Even as some areas of the country are easing quarantine restrictions, the best way to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to stay home. Although the United States has 4.25-percent of the world’s population, it has 33.19-percent of the reported cases of the disease with a death rate of 5.77-percent.
The dangers of the novel coronavirus are not only to older people, who dominate the hobby, reports that younger people who may not have shown symptoms have experienced strokes. Even the youngest children are showing symptoms that resemble Kawasaki disease.
I know it is a financially and mentally tough situation. The business I worked hard to build was beginning to break through when Maryland ordered non-essential companies to close. When I am not working alone to organize a warehouse, I am finding solace in numismatics.
During the last few weeks, I have been reducing the to-be-read pile of books. But I am beginning to run out of books. I am looking for something different. Since I like history and tying history with numismatics, I am looking to learn something new. With a tight budget, I am also looking for something new that does not cost much.
I found four entries to my Quarantine Reading List that are interesting and have taught me something. The best thing about each of the books is that each is available online.
U.S. Mint Modern Era
Other than the formation of the U.S. Mint, there is no single seminal event that marks its history than the elimination of silver from circulating coinage. It is the dividing line between what is considered classical coinage and the modern era.
When you find information about the era, it discusses the discussion and the result that created clad coinage. But when you dig into the policy, there is a bigger story. As with a lot of history, the details help us understand the road to where we are today.
The road to modern coinage began with changes in the laws and policies at the U.S. Mint. The one place that every law and policy announcement documented is in the “Annual Report of the Director of the Mint Fiscal Year June 30, 1965.”
What makes this over 300-page document interesting to read are the details that are no longer present in present-day Annual Reports. The text reprints congressional testimony, reports, announcements, policies, and the laws that affected the U.S. Mint. Since this report covers the last half of calendar year 1964 and the first half of calendar year 1965, it is ideally situated to document the government’s action from silver to clad coinage.
The first numbered page begins with the text of the Coinage Act of 1965.
For those that like charts and data, you can go to page 201 to read the section on “The World’s Monetary Stocks of Gold, Silver, and Coins in 1964.” It is a look at circulating coinage of the entire world for 1964. It is a fascinating view that the U.S. Mint stopped doing in 1972.
Download your copy of this Annual Report → here.
While looking for records about colonial currency, I stumbled on an electronic copy of Description of the Paper Money Issued by the Continental Congress of the United States and the Several Colonies by John W. Haseltine, published in 1872. Haseltine was a dealer, auctioneer, and cataloger of many collectibles, including coins. Many of his catalogs were sparsely illustrated, but the listings have proven invaluable.
Paper Money Issued by the Continental Congress is one of those catalogs. Its contents are nothing more than lists of colonial currency issued in the 18th century. It is a useful reference for anyone with interest in the currency of that era. Download a copy → here.
If you want a colonial currency reference that is more extensive, you can download The Early Paper Money of America by Eric P. Newman → here.
Branch Mints and Gold Coins
Did you know that the Charlotte Mint was the first branch mint outside of Philadelphia? Authorized in 1835 following the gold strike at the Reed Gold Mine, it became operational in 1838. The Charlotte branch mint was closed when the building was seized in 1861 by the Confederacy during the Civil War.
When I wanted to learn more about the Charlotte Mint, I was pleasantly surprised to discover that Charlotte Mint Gold Coins, 1838-1861 by Douglas Winter is available to read online or to download. The book is an easy read with illustrations, and a catalog of the coins struck at the mint. You can find the book → here.
The branch mint in Dahlonega, Georgia, opened after Charlotte also to mint gold coins from a nearby gold strike. Dahlonega was also seized by the Confederacy in 1861 and did not reopened.
Gold coins minted at Dahlonega carry the “D” mintmark. Since Dahlonega only struck gold coins and gold coins were not struck in Denver, this has not been an issue. To read about the colorful history of this branch mint, read Gold Coins of the Dahlonega Mint 1838-1861, Second Edition, by Douglas Winter. The book is similar in format to Winter’s Charlotte book. You can find this book → here.
Winter did write books about the gold coins struck at the New Orleans and Carson City Mints, but I had not read either book at the time of this writing. These books and more free resources are available through the Newman Numismatic Portal.
This past week has been interesting for the precious metals markets. When the market seems like it will take off, prices modulate and lay flatter than a pancake. Predictions as what the markets will do are all over the place without a consensus answer from analysts.
It reminds me of the quote attributed to President Harry S. Truman, “Give me a one-handed Economist. All my economists say; ‘on one hand…,’ then ‘but on the other….’”
This past week, the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation (ACEF) weighed in with another problem in this market: COUNTERFEITING!
Counterfeiting is not a new problem. What makes the problem more pronounced is that with much of the country staying home and Internet usage increasing, the number of websites trying to scam people out of money has risen. ACEF has been monitoring the problem and has reported over 100 websites selling counterfeit coins and bullion to government enforcement agencies.
Many of these counterfeiters create slick websites. Not only is it easy to create professional-looking sites with modern tools, but it is easy to copy information from one website to another. Once the scammer has the information they want, it is easy to repurpose it to scam people. They also copy the text from legitimate websites, especially if English is not their first language. It is easier to steal the text than have to create their own.
- If the price is too good to be true, it is probably a scam. Check a site like kitco.com for the current Bid/Sell price. If the offer price is below the current Bid, be wary of the seller.
- Many scammers do not include real information about their location. Beware of the seller if they do not have a physical address. I know that there are exclusively online dealers that work from home but use post office boxes, so they do not publicize their home address. For those dealers, you will have to do more investigations. However, if the dealer is using a private postal box, you may want to avoid their offers. Private postal box services have fewer verification checks than the Post Office. Also, if something happens with a Post Office Box, you will have a stronger case when you complain to the Postal Inspection Service.
- Nearly everything said about addresses can apply to telephone numbers. Telephone numbers can be faked, rerouted, sent to a pay-as-you-go phone that some people call a “burner phone,” and so many more options. The problem also exists for toll-free telephone numbers but with an additional issue: when you call a toll-free telephone number, the owner of the number will get the phone number of the telephone you used to call. Since the recipient is paying for the call, they have the right to know where the call originated.
“But Scott,” you ask. “How do I figure out if this information is real?”
Let your favorite search engine be your friend.
Use your favorite search engine and type the address into the search bar. What information comes up for that address? Is the address a business? A private home? A private mailbox service?
Use an online map service that shows street views, like Google Maps. Search for the address found on the website. What can you learn from looking at the street view?
You can also enter the telephone number as a search term. In many cases, you will find one of the many “is it a scam” websites. These sites rely on users to enter data about their experiences with the telephone number. Click on a few to see what others have said about the telephone number in question.
With those essential tools, you should be able to avoid most scammers. Unfortunately, the professional scammers know their way around these issues. Then again, some of those scammers work out in the open. They run legally but use emotion, patriotic-sounding buzzwords, and extremist rhetoric to convince buyers to overpay for their products.
If you think you have been scammed or there is a question about a dealer, contact the ACEF (www.acefonline.org) and ask for assistance.
Finally, if you are in the market to buy precious metals, you should consider working with a member of the Accredited Precious Metals Dealer program (www.APMDdealers.org).
And now the news…
April 27, 2020
Retail investors can’t seem to get enough of gold during the coronavirus crisis, and they are willing to pay staggering amounts to get their hands on it. Consumers who want to buy gold coins typically have to pay more than the per-ounce prices quoted on financial markets in London and New York.
→ Read more at bloomberg.com
April 29, 2020
Our guest column this week is a report on a study done by accessibility consulting and assistive technology firm BarrierBreak on the new currency coins launched by the Reserve Bank of India that claim to be accessible to people with visual impairments.
→ Read more at newzhook.com
April 29, 2020
Australia’s largest gold refinery has ramped up production of one kilogram bars to ease the supply squeeze in the U.S. that helped propel a surge in the premium for New York futures.
→ Read more at finance.yahoo.com
May 1, 2020
With central banks spraying unprecedented amounts of printed money at the global economic system, it’s little wonder the gold price soared by 18% in the six weeks following the stockmarket meltdown. All the extra money sloshing around means the chances that consumer price inflation will take off and erode the value of your cash have risen sharply.
→ Read more at moneyweek.com
In last Sunday’s Weekly World Numismatic News, it opened with a discussion about how gold and silver were doing in the current market. While researching the data, the indication was that physical bullion and electronic purchases were driving the markets. Bullion coins were not a factor.
On Monday, Bloomberg News published an article that suggested otherwise. The article notes that retail buyers of gold are paying up to $135 per ounce above spot prices. An analyst interview for the article said, “There has never been a time for American Gold Eagles at this premium level.”
A call to a trusted source explained the differences in the reporting.
Last year, gold hit a low of $1,269 per troy ounce. With good economic indicators, investors thought that the prices would continue to fall. The market did not see value in buying a declining asset. Sellers were hoarding their stock until prices became more favorable.
The lack of buying, especially by retail investors, left dealers with a lot of inventory. With inventory building, dealers did not buy additional coins from the U.S. Mint’s dealers. As the prices rose, sellers started to sell their gold coins adding to the inventory.
Then came the coronavirus pandemic.
Markets hate uncertainty. The coronavirus pandemic has made uncertainty the only certainty. Not knowing where to turn, many sources are reporting significant gold sales. Where the reports differ is the source of the gold.
Although sources confirm that physical bullion and warrants are producing the highest volumes, they say it is because the investors cannot find enough bullion coins to satisfy market demands. The markets adjusted.
The demand increased when the U.S. Mint temporarily closed the West Point Mint. While the reaction did not rise to panic-like levels, retail gold buyers sought bullion coins, primarily American Gold Eagles, with greater urgency.
Professional investors are buying bullion and other gold products, including classic United States gold coins. The retail demand for American Gold Eagle coins has driven up the price. As the price for Eagles rises, it has driven up the cost of other bullion coins, including the Canadian Maple Leaf and Krugerrand.
When considering the purchase of gold coins, keep the spread in mind. If you purchase gold coins with a $150 premium over spot, to ensure that your investment generates a return, the bid price has to raise $150 plus whatever premiums dealers place on the coins. It might require the price of gold to rise $200-255 per troy ounce to break even.
Investors thought that the supply would ease with the Royal Canadian Mint resuming processing of bullion. However, in the beginning, the Royal Canadian Mint will produce large gold bars to satisfy orders from central banks so they can settle on accounts. They will also be striking silver Maple Leaf bullion coins.
Some reports suggest that most of the early production of silver coins will stay in Canada.
After discussing the markets with three different analysts, the only certainty is uncertainty. Each had an opinion that differed from each other but agreed that someone is going to make money.
As the stay or safe at home orders continue, news in the investing world around coins and bullion is whether there will be a recovery and what will happen.
While investors are turning to gold as the equity markets are less than stable, reports that bullion and bullion-related warrants are outselling all coin offerings. Even though the West Point Mint briefly paused coin production, the markets have not felt the impact.
Silver prices are faring as well as gold. The area that silver is gaining strength is in the industrial markets. Driving the price is the demand for electronics. The primary use of silver is in the braising that ensures the connections between the chips are secure and with the production of LEDs.
Industrial silver is in more demand than industrial gold. As Asian electronics production begins to ramp up, some investors feel that there may be a temporary shortage of silver. One analyst suggested that silver prices could climb to $18 per ounce. Silver is currently $15.26 per troy ounce.
On the other hand, the reports of economic contraction have suggested that bullion prices will collapse. If this is the case, then there will be more to worry about than the market price of bullion.
And now the news…
April 22, 2020
People have been collecting coins for about as long as coins have been made. That’s a passion that has endured for centuries, since roughly 600 to 800 BC. Coin collecting is a worthwhile hobby and can sometimes be a financially savvy investment.
→ Read more at washtimesherald.com
April 23, 2020
Gold coin demand makes up a small part of total demand, and thus doesn’t have much impact on the gold price. Demand for gold coins must be seen as a retail sentiment indicator.
→ Read more at seekingalpha.com
April 25, 2020
Copper is well documented for its impressive antibacterial properties. Even Ancient Egyptians used bronze filings (an alloy of copper and tin) from their freshly sharpened swords to treat their wounds.
→ Read more at iflscience.com
April 25, 2020
What's True The reverse of a U.S. quarter issued in 2020 honoring the National Park of American Samoa features a pair of fruit bats.
→ Read more at snopes.com
Contrary to popular belief, you can put metal in your microwave oven. It will not make your oven explode or catch fire. But that does not mean it is a safe thing to do.
Microwaves work by shooting electrons at whatever it finds. The electrons create friction as it passes through the surfaces and generates heat. These electrons cannot pass through a metal surface. When you try to microwave metal, you will see sparks as the electrons skip over the metal surface.
Some chefs have discovered ways of using aluminum foil to direct the electrons to use the skipping electrons to add extra heat to one area of the food. As part of the process, the electrons speed up before finding someplace to go. Another technique is to cover areas to minimize the reaction.
Regardless of how you try to control the flow of electrons, they have to find someplace to go. The reaction is the basis of chemistry. A free electron looks to bond with an atom that has more protons than electrons. It balances the equation.
This basic science lesson is to help explain why you do not want to microwave your currency.
You might have heard that using your microwave oven would help kill the COVID-19 virus. Some research says it is plausible, but the idea is for food. If you have any questions about whether your takeout order is safe, put it in your microwave. You can also heat your food in an oven or on your stovetop. As long as you cook the food to over 140°F (60°C), you will kill most pathogens.
But what happens when you put money in your microwave? It will burn!
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing has produced currency notes with a security thread to thwart counterfeiting since 2003. The security thread is a thin ribbon of metal embedded into the currency paper. Hold the currency up to the light, and it will tell you what the denomination should be. On the $100 note, it is a wider strip with a distinct look.
When you microwave money, the electrons will strike the metal thread, pick up speed, and look for a place to land. The next softest material is the currency paper around the security thread. The increase in friction on the currency paper will cause the paper to burn.
Think of it like this: rub your hands together for a few seconds. You will feel your skin begin to heat. Now multiply your hand rubbing by the speed of an electron flying by, and the friction will burn your hands. That is what is happening to the paper.
If you do burn currency paper, bring all the pieces to your bank. The bank will exchange the notes for ones that are not burned and will send them back to the Federal Reserve for disposal.
First, if you are working with collectibles, DO NOT CLEAN YOUR COLLECTIBLE COINS AND CURRENCY! Cleaning collectible coins, currency, tokens, and medals will reduce their collector value. Just don’t do it!
There are many ways you can clean your circulating pocket change. You can wipe them with a disinfectant, including 70% rubbing alcohol or a household wipe that contains alcohol and Dimethylbenzyl Ammonium Chloride (Clorox and Lyson bleach-free wipes contain this chemical). Another method is to wash coins using warm water and a dish cleaning detergent. Finally, leave coins in your pocket when you wash your pants. The only problem with washing coins with clothes is the racket your dryer will make, and you may dent the drum. Currency may require a warm iron to make flat again.
Another method is using ultra-violet (UV) light.
UV light is classified into three categories depending on the wavelength. UV-A is the longest wave length. UV-B is considered a medium wave length. UV-C is the shortest wavelength. It is also the most deadly.
Image courtesy of Phonesoap, a smartphone cleaning device that uses UV-C light.
The short wavelength of UV-C light will penetrate cell walls and kill the DNA within the cells. We are protected from the Sun’s UV-C light by the Ozone Layer of the Earth’s atmosphere. By destroying the Ozone Layer, we let the Sun’s UV-C light penetrate the atmosphere increasing skin cancers.
While UV-C is altering your DNA to create cancers, it is also killing germs using the same properties to alter its DNA.
You can buy lightbulbs that generate UV-C light. However, if you create a UV-C disinfecting station, be careful. Shining UV-C light randomly will cause skin damage worse than a tanning bed. A tanning bed mixes the spectrum of UV light and filter most UV-C light. But a dedicated UV-C light is not good for your body.
Since UV-C light does not generate a lot of heat, you can create an enclosed disinfecting station using almost any material. One example is to create a box using poster board with the edges sealed with duct tape. Cut a hole in the top for the light and then seal the hole with the duct tape. Place your currency inside the box and leave it for 15 minutes.
If you spend a little more money, you could purchase a wall timer. Set the time for the light to turn on after you leave the room and to turn off 15 minutes later. Do not go into the room until the process completes.
There are commercially made devices made with sealed chambers and timers.
Finally, if you want the safest way to disinfect your money, place it in a plastic bag that seals. Close the bag most of the way. Leave about an inch unsealed. Then let the bag sit in a sunny area for about 24 hours. The natural UV-C light will disinfect the money. When you are ready, remove the money and throw the bag away. Use a clean bag for the next round.
Of course, you can avoid all of this by using a credit card that you can clean with a disinfecting wipe when you get home. Contactless payments, like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and Samsung Pay are also alternatives to paying with cash.
With the announcement that the coalition of northeast states will continue their stay-at-home order at least through May 15, it is time to turn off the news and think about something else.
Since the kids are doing their homework without a teacher, you can pick up a book or two and learn something about the hobby we love.
The inspiration for today’s Quarantine Reading List came from a reader asking about the history surrounding the institutions that create the numismatic products.
Although many books explain the manufacturing processes and describe the history, the goal of this list is to suggest well written and accessible books on each topic. If the publication is available online, there will be a link to read it or download a copy.
Of all the money manufacturing institutions, the U.S. Mint has the most documented history. There are so many good books about the Mint’s history it is difficult to narrow down a recommendation to one book. If you are going to read one book, read History Of The United States Mint and Its Coinage by David Lange.
Whether you read for knowledge or pleasure, it is always best when it is well written. David Lange’s reputation as a great writer is on full display in this book. Using his skill, Lange writes a broad context of the history of the U.S. Mint fitting it in 190 pages with images of coins, vignettes, and documents of the time. After you finish, give the book to your young numismatist who will also enjoy it.
History Of The United States Mint and Its Coinage is no longer in print but can be found on the secondary and used book market.
Bureau of Engraving and Printing
The Bureau of Engraving and Printing started in 1862 in the basement of the Treasury Building as the National Currency Bureau. Their first job was to separate currency notes produced by private banknote printing companies. The newly formed bureau started its printing operations in 1863.
The BEP grew out of the necessity to fund the Civil War. From there, the bureau became the primary security printing service for the government. To learn more about the BEP and its growth, read History of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Produced for the 100th Anniversary of the BEP, the book is the most comprehensive coverage of its history.
For those looking to save money, the book is available online. It does not have copyright restrictions since it was produced by the BEP and printed by the Government Printing Office. You can download the book in many electronic formats from Newman Numismatic Portal and the Internet Archives. Download the book now and start reading!
Department of the Treasury
The Treasury Department is the only Cabinet-level department whose history mirrors the country’s history. Although there has been a lot written about Treasury, most of the book covers a specific era of history. Whether the subject is the founding of the department by Alexander Hamilton, the Gold Rush era, or the transition to working with the Federal Reserve starting in 1913, you can find a book that will expand on Treasury’s history.
For a good overview that discusses the history of the department and reconizes the production of money through the years is The United States Treasury: A Pictorial History by Gene and Clare Gurney.
Written in 1978, it is not an academic study of the Treasury Department. The book provides a pictorial overview along with the story of Treasury with over 350 illustrations in 216 pages.
Of course, you can buy the book and have it as a perpetual reference. If you want to “borrow” an electronic book, you can do so at the Internet Archives. Once you create a free account on the Internet Archives, you can check out an electronic version for two weeks.
Commission of Fine Arts
Although the Commission of Fine Arts is not part of the manufacture of money, it wields influence on the designs of the coins struck by the U.S. Mint. The first influence the CFA had on coin design was for the 1921 Peace Dollar. It was the CFA that managed and selected the competition that was won by Anthony de Francisci.
In 1976, the CFA published the initial version of the commission’s history. They produced updates every five years with the last published in 1996 that covers its history through 1995. Most of the book does not mention its ties to numismatics until the 1985-1990 additions.
It is difficult to find physical copies of the later version of the book. The most common version found on the secondary market was the one published in 1986, before their involvement with the American Eagle program. But as a government publication, it is available online at the Internet Archive. As with other electronic books downloadable from the Internet Archive, it is available in many different formats depending on your device.
Reading is an excellent way to pass the time.
Stay healthy! Stay safe!
Links to purchase the books on Abe Books are affiliate links. Money earned from using the links to buy the books will help pay the blog’s hosting bill while I am not working.
Now is the time for all collectors to join the ANA!
Yes, you read that right. FREE!
During National Coin Week, the Numismatic Guarantee Corporation (NGC), is paying for GOLD MEMBERSHIP to new ANA Members. That’s a $28 value.
What do you get for FREE?
- Digital subscription to The Numismatist Magazine with content that is not available anywhere else. You will also have access to the electronic archive of every issue of The Numismatist published from its founding in 1888.
- Access to the ANA Education Programs including all of the education content on money.org. You will also get free access to the National Money Show and the World’s Fair of Money to take advantage of those education opportunities, including the Money Talks session and exclusive content on money.org.
- Access to the World’s Largest Numismatic Library! They have more than books. The collection includes auction catalogs, videos, DVDs and slide sets. And you don’t have to go to Colorado Springs (but you might want to go see the Museum). Items can be mailed to you for the cost of postage. The staff is also very helpful and can provide research services (for an extra fee).
- Exclusive Discounts beyond the FREE admission to the shows.
- While you are stuck at home and going through your collection, as an ANA member you can directly submit coins to NGC and currency to PNG for grading.
Want to learn more about the ANA benefits? Read the ANA’s member benefit brouchure → HERE!
You can’t beat that at twice the price!
Well? What are you waiting for! CLICK HERE and join for FREE!
Glenna Goodacre, the designer of the Sacagawea Dollar and world-renown sculptor, died at her home in Santa Fe, New Mexico of natural causes. She was 80 years old.
Amongst her better-known works include the Vietnam Women’s Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, DC. Goodacre also created the 8-foot standing portrait of President Ronald W. Reagan at the Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California.
The unveiling of the Sacagawea Dollar design at the White House with (L-R) irst Lady Hillary Clinton, Sacagawea Model Randy’L He-dow Teton, and Designer Glenna Goodacre.
Numismatists know Goodacre for the design of the Sacagawea Dollar. Since there are no images of Sacagawea, the Shoshone guide of the Lewis and Clark expedition, Goodacre found Randy’L He-Dow Teton, a member of the Shoshone-Cree tribe, to be her model. The resulting profile of Sacagawea in three-quarter view and her infant son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, carried on her back has been produced for 20 years.
In 2018, Goodacre donated several plaster and bronze casts of the coin that was used to test the design and show the relief of the coin. There is also a plaster cast with an alternate version without her baby on her back.
As Dennis Tucker wrote in her memory, “The numismatic community joins Glenna Goodacre’s family, friends, and many fans in mourning her loss and celebrating her art.”
And now the news…
April 14, 2020
SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Renowned sculptor and painter Glenna Goodacre, who created the Vietnam Women’s Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C, has died. She was 80.
→ Read more at huffpost.com
April 14, 2020
She discovered the rare 22-carat, 16th century Henry VII Fine Gold Angel coin A single mum struck gold when she unearthed a 500-year-old coin worth £2,500 in her back garden. Amanda Johnston, 48, was bored at home in the appropriately named Portsmouth suburb of Moneyfields when she grabbed her son George's metal detector and set to work looking for treasure.
→ Read more at dailymail.co.uk
April 15, 2020
(Bloomberg) — The clamor for retail investors to get hold of precious-metals coins is about to get more urgent.
→ Read more at finance.yahoo.com
April 16, 2020
(Kitco News) – Bullion investors shouldn’t expect to see a drop in premiums anytime soon as the supply crunch for gold and silver coins continues to grow, according to Peter Hug, global trading director for Kitco Metals.
→ Read more at kitco.com
April 16, 2020
Gold saw its price soar over 1.5% notching its highest increase in more than seven years earlier this week, as investors moved towards the precious metal’s traditional safe-haven focus on fears of an extended recession and gloomy corporate earnings.
→ Read more at irishexaminer.com
April 18, 2020
Jeb Robinson is on the hunt for the SS Benmacdhui A diver aged 84 and his old team – the youngest in his 70s – are kitting up to find treasure on the bed of the North Sea. Jeb Robinson will show there’s life in the old seadog yet as he searches the SS Benmacdhui.
→ Read more at mirror.co.uk
The feedback from my post, “Why the ANA does not have online education,” was interesting. About 10-percent of the readers (based on collected statistics) commented to me via email. That is a lot of feedback for one post! The comments ranged from a virtual headshake to anger for being “disrespectful” to the ANA president.
Unfortunately, nobody will go on the record with their comments. Please remember that I welcome all comments and will allow you to post any criticism you want. I accept and post all feedback, especially if you disagree with me. All I ask is that you keep it clean.
I want to answer two questions publically:
1. You’re the head of the IT Committee, why don’t you do something about the situation?
I am not longer the chairman of the IT committee, and I am no longer a member of the committee.
In late November 2019, ANA President Steve Ellsworth removed me from the committee after seven years of service.
When Ellsworth called to tell me, he did not give the exact reason. His statements as to why he made the decision were vague and ambiguous. Later that same day, I had to send him an email for clarification.
I assume that he did not want me around. After all, I came out against his candidacy before the end of the last election. But Ellsworth had a problem. How could he remove a recipient of the Glenn Smedley Award from the position that was the reason for the honor?
Unfortunately, I gave Ellsworth a way out. After he took office, Ellsworth changed a few things, including wanting status reports and a strategic plan. When he told me about the strategic plan, Ellsworth said that the ANA did not have one in many years and should come up with one.
At the same time, my business picked up. I was working 18 hour days, instead of my usual 14 hours, and had to hire more people. While my business was good, it did not provide enough time to devote to the ANA. I was hoping to catch up in late October, but that did not happen.
With the ANA not being a priority and my inability to deliver whatever Ellsworth wanted, I gave him the excuse to get rid of me.
Ellsworth’s move was a bit punitive, but it pales in comparison to what he hass done to the Exhibition Committee. That is a story for another time.
2. Can’t the ANA use something like Zoom to create classes?
They can also use software like Microsoft Teams, Google Hangouts, GoToMeeting, WebEx, and Skype. Any video conferencing software and presentation slides that can be shared can create an instant class environment.
Google Hangouts and Skype are suitable for small classes. Although both are known to have bandwidth issues, keeping the courses between 7-10 people make these an inexpensive option.
Zoom is the current darling of the industry since they have a free tier. While Zoom has some excellent features, its security issues have shown they are going through significant growing pains. It is like watching your teenage son grow six inches in two months while his voice is changing. Eventually, he will evolve, and so will Zoom.
WebEx and GoToMeeting are the old stalwarts of the industry. Both have the advantage of being mature and familiar to many in the business world. The significant difference between these services and Zoom is that Zoom makes it easier to connect to a meeting.
Another option is YouTube Live. Classes can be live streamed with any number of people tuning in. Interacting with a YouTube Live stream is via comments only, similar to Facebook Live, but it is something that the ANA can use.
Here is an idea: How about a YouTube Live class for Numismatics 101? After the live class, leave the video online with an email link to allow future viewers to send questions.
There are better ways to hold online classes. Blackboard and similar software have better options. But to start, do something!
Earlier this week, Roundtable Trading announced that the Great American Coin Hunt that is part National Coin Week would go on as planned.
During the week of April 19-25, 2020, coin dealers will attempt to place collector coins into circulation. Those finding coins are encouraged to log onto social media and show off their finds using the hashtag #GreatAmericanCoinHunt.
Who is spending money and where are they spending it?
With the current COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, The number of places that are now taking cash payments has dwindled. Patrons of restaurants and encouraged to use online ordering and payments before arriving. Delivery services also want items paid for before making the trip to your front door.
In states that have laws that require retail stores to accept cash, retailers are requesting that customers limit “payment options to credit cards/debit cards… to minimize physical contact.”
The PaymentsJournal, a payments industry publications, reported that a study released by RTi Research shows an increase in people showing concern about catching coronavirus from using cash. The studies show that more people have used less cash, and more will use less cash in the future.
If consumers are using less cash in the fewer open retail outlets, then how successful will a coin drop be?
And now the news…
April 4, 2020
In line with the resolution of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 27, 2016 on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), we are informing you that we are processing your data.
→ Read more at scienceinpoland.pap.pl
April 6, 2020
Strengths • The best performing precious metal for the week was gold, off only 0.45 percent. The yellow metal is continuing its strong showing.
→ Read more at kitco.com
April 6, 2020
A new Irish bullion company has achieved 70% of its yearly target in their last three weeks of trading. Investors have rushed to the precious metal as the price of gold drifts upwards.
→ Read more at breakingnews.ie
April 7, 2020
A proposal to land the Apollo lunar module on the reverse side of a new $1 coin has been waved off by the committees reviewing the design.
→ Read more at space.com
April 10, 2020
Parents and children across the nation are finding themselves at home and looking for things to fill their time and keep their minds active. These are troubling times but there is a silver lining. Americans have found an opportunity to slow down and reconnect with their families. Coin collecting can be an enjoyable and wholesome escape from television and electronic devices. That is why US coin dealers and collectors alike from coast to coast are pledging to give away coins and coin albums to parents for their kids.
→ Read more at prweb.com
April 10, 2020
— A very (very) small portion of the metal in NASA's official Apollo 13 50th anniversary medallions flew to the moon and back — just like the mission the bronze pieces serve to commemorate.
The medallions, which were created for NASA by Winco International of California, are among several new mementos and limited edition products that celebrate the Apollo 13 mission half a century after it "had a problem."
→ Read more at collectspace.com
April 11, 2020
Lecturer Jamie Pringle has unearthed a medieval coin under his raspberry patch after doing a spot of weeding during lockdown. He was trying to stave off boredom when he headed into the back garden of his three-bedroom semi in Hartshill.
→ Read more at stokesentinel.co.uk