Help Wanted: Numismatic & Bullion Industry Public Policy Writer

Do you have an interest in public policy and its impact on the numismatic community? How are your research skills? Can you search multiple sources to find those issues from the local, state, federal, and international politics that could be reported to numismatic and bullion dealers? It would be a real plus if you were able to contact and network with people on Capitol Hill to find information whether it is on background or that can be published.

Can you keep up with the policy changes during the month and write about it in a monthly newsletter?

If you have an interest in writing about the public policy of the numismatic and bullion industry as it affects dealers, then please contact me.

Aside from being interested in the topic, you must be able to write for a general audience. This includes having a good understanding of the policy (sausage) making processes and be able to write about it coherently. To get a better understanding of the type of writing this work requires, you can read the posts here under the legislative category.

This is a once per month newsletter with a stipend.

I am not the person doing the hiring but I am helping the hiring manager fill this position.

If you are interested or have further questions, please contact me.

Weekly World Numismatic News for January 28, 2018

I wanted to keep this week to writing more about numismatics than commenting on something going on. Unfortunately, that changed with an alert showing up in the Federal Register that the David Ryder nomination is on hold. That put a funk on the week.

During the week I was able to pick up something for my collection and find a few cool banknotes. That helped pick me up for the week. Adding to my collection is always fun and learning is essential to keeping the mind sharp.

There was a lot of news this week. I was able to whittle the number of interesting stories down to 11. It is compelling to see how numismatics is seen from the non-numismatic media.

There was also a lot of news from the numismatic industry including the announcement of the passing of Ed Rochette. A sad loss for the community.

If you want to keep up with some of the announcements from the community, you can watch the Coin Collectors News site, the sister site to the blog. You can watch the news directly on the site, from the “Recent News” widget on the sidebar, subscribe to the RSS feed , or subscribe to receive notices by email. If there is news, you will only see one email per day.

And now the news….

 January 22, 2018

TEHRAN, Jan. 22 (MNA) – Police officials in Iranian northern city of Qa’emshahr arrested three antique smugglers who were illegally trafficking 299 antique coins of Sassanid era. → Read more at en.mehrnews.com


 January 23, 2018

Former landscape architect Ben Huang started his coin cufflink company Patinova after noticing a gap in the market. His jewellery has taken off and he’s branching out into other Chinese-themed accessories → Read more at scmp.com


 January 24, 2018

Russia now has a coin commemorating the iconic Russian musician, actor, and poet Vladimir Vysotsky, who would be 80 years old on January 25 if he were still alive. → Read more at rferl.org


 January 25, 2018

Business briefs from the Daily Pilot newspaper. → Read more at latimes.com


 January 25, 2018

A first look at the new R5 coin celebrating the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth → Read more at brandsouthafrica.com


 January 25, 2018

A vast selection of coins and medals is on display at the National Numismatic Exhibition, opened earlier this week at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta. It is being presented by Heritage Malta. “This valuable collection shows us and reminds us of our country’s eventful and rich past,… → Read more at timesofmalta.com


 January 26, 2018

PJ police have managed to recover a unique Roman coin that was stolen from a religious sanctuary in Alijó, Vila Real, Northern Portugal, over 30 years ago in 1985. → Read more at theportugalnews.com


 January 26, 2018

The tourist attraction lets you 'strike your own coin' → Read more at walesonline.co.uk


 January 26, 2018

Melbourne company Highland Mint continues to flip out over its role in Super Bowl — making the *the* Super Bowl coin that decides who gets the ball first. → Read more at floridatoday.com


 January 26, 2018

A stash of gold coins is latest clue that shipwreck 40 miles off NC is that of the steamship Pulaski. → Read more at charlotteobserver.com


 January 26, 2018

One man spent £150,000 on the coins – which are now worth no more than £50,000 → Read more at nottinghampost.com

Coin Collectors News
news.coinsblog.ws

HAPPY HOLIDAYS 2017

Whether you celebrated Chanukah

“10 Zuz” Silver Hanukkah Gelt — ca. 19th Century from Eastern Europe (Image courtesy of Moreshet Auctions)

Observed Festivus, for the rest of us

FDR dime struck on a nail (stand in for Festivus Pole) (Imaget courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

Having a Merry Christmas

Reverse of the 2009 Latvia 1 Lat coin with the Christmas Tree on the reverse (Image courtesy of Latvijas Banka via Numista)

Or will begin celebrating Kwanzaa

1999 Angola 1 kwanza as a stand-in to help celebrate Kwanzaa (Image courtesy of the Currency Wiki)

I hope you are having a joyous holiday season!

Happy Thanksgiving 2017

American Abundance designed by Albert Laessle and issued in 1934

Thanksgiving was first celebrated in 1621 by the Dutch settlers at Plymouth, Massachusetts to celebrate a successful harvest. It was a tradition that the Pilgrims brought with them from Europe. After the birth of the United States, President George Washington issued a proclamation honoring the Thanksgiving harvest during his presidency. The only other president to issue a Thanksgiving proclamation was President James Madison.

As part of his attempt to maintain the union, President Abraham Lincoln issued a proclamation that made Thanksgiving Day a national holiday in 1863.

After Lincoln’s proclamation, it was traditional to celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November. In a move to increase the holiday shopping period to promote more spending, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed to have congress pass a law to move Thanksgiving earlier in the month. In December 1941, Roosevelt signed a bill that set Thanksgiving as the fourth Thursday in November.

Be thankful for your life.
Be thankful for your family.
Be thankful for our hobby.
Be thankful for everything.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Keep Safe Out There!

Sunday afternoon satellite images from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Storms of all type are hitting the shores of the United States. Nearly two weeks after Harvey did his damage in southeast Texas, Irma is north of the Florida Keys and heading towards Naples as I type this.

And don’t get me started on the devastation that Equifax will bring to all of us!

While Irma is now attacking Florida, Hurricane Jose is hanging out about 300 miles northwest of the northern Leeward Islands. Some forecasts have Jose stalling out over the Atlantic Ocean. However, its movement shows is on a very slow track that if it keeps going will land on the shores of the Carolinas.

Forget the suggestion to keep your valuables in your dishwasher or washing machine. If the electricity flashes or surges, it could trigger the appliance to turn on. If the storm rips apart your house, your appliance can find itself miles away with your valuables still inside.

In the days to come, I will have information about protecting your collectibles in case of a disaster.

It is too late to plan now. Your primary concern should be to the lives of you and your family, relatives, friends, and neighbors. If you were told to evacuate, get the heck out! Material items can be repaired and replaced. Once you die there is no coming back.

For everyone else not in the path of the storms, please consider helping. If you cannot work in the affected area, you can donate money and blood. Money is more flexible than donating goods because it allows relief workers to buy what is necessary instead of warehousing surplus.

Blood is needed to help the injured and sick during this time.

Blood has a shelf-life of around four weeks. It constantly needs renewal. You can donate whole blood every 56 days!

To find a blood drive near you visit redcrossblood.org.

The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) works with credible agencies to help people during domestic disasters. You can donate to any of the members listed on their website at nvoad.org.

Keep safe!

How about a Numismatic World News Podcast?

For the last few weeks, I have been publishing the Weekly Numismatic World News every Sunday evenings. These posts consist of links to the articles that I find around the Interwebs along with a commentary on one of the articles or something else related to the news.

I had an idea. Rather than just post the news, I would create a podcast that would allow me to report the news and add some information. Rather than typing a full discussion, the news links posted on the website would be the equivalent of show notes for the podcast. The commentary would be moved to the show.

For those not familiar with a podcast, it is like a radio show but stored in an audio file that can be downloaded or listened to on demand. You can download podcasts and listen to them like any music file. There are also programs that allow you to subscribe to podcasts so that they can be downloaded when new episodes are available.

If there is an interest, I can produce a weekly podcast that will look at the various numismatic-related news items with commentary in a show that is a half-hour or less. In the future, I will look to create special podcasts from events.

Please note: I will continue to write this blog. It is not an either/or situation. If there is an interest, I can do both!

Would you be interested?
 

Would you be interested in a Numismatic World News Podcast?





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Quick update

Although I have a few posts in draft form, I had to take some time out for some administrative-type work.

Since I published the Numismatic Dictionary I have received many corrections and requests for additions from readers. Thank you to everyone who send their input. The dictionary now has 678 entries that appear to have been copy edited by a few persistent readers. If anyone finds something that was missed, please feel free to contact me. I have plans that involve publishing the dictionary. Stay tuned for that announcement.

In the last month, I had the requirement to print blog entries. When I tried to print the blog entries, the output was ugly because it included a lot of the extra items on the page. Elements like the sidebar and sharing buttons are useless on a printed page. It has taken a bit of work, but now if you print the page using your browser’s print button, the article will print without the extras. You do not need any extra software or to go through an extra step to print a page. For those who are not programmers, we go through a lot to make life easy for ourselves until we find another problem and work hard to make the next one easy.

Behind the scenes I am trying to convert the blog from using HTTP, to HTTPS (secure). The reason behind this is to promote privacy, such as when you read the blog on a public Wi-Fi network nobody needs to know your interests, and because search engines are lowering the search rank of those sites that do not support HTTPS. Obviously, Google, the proverbial 800-pound gorilla in the search space, is the first search engine to lower the rank of sites not supporting HTTPS.

Unfortunately, it is not as easy as one would think—or at least I thought. A test I conducted this past week proved I have a bit more to do. When the site is converted, the only difference you will notice is the lock icon on your browser will appear. Until then, if you try to go to https://coinsblog.ws it will redirect you to the non-encrypted version.

After I finish converting the blog, I will then convert the news micro-site (news.coinsblog.ws).

Finally, I will be spending a few hours at the Whitman Baltimore Expo tomorrow (Sunday, June 18). I do not expect anything to happen but you may want to watch @coinsblog on Twitter for updates. I am so embarrassed… Whitman Expo is NEXT weekend!

Weekly Numismatic World Newsletter — SERVICE UPDATE

Since Volume 22 of the “Weekly Numismatic World Newsletter” will not be sent via email, the following would have been the exclusive content included in the newsletter. A service update follows.

Counterfeiting remains a problem for society and the collector’s market. This was highlighted this week with two stories I posted about scammers and opportunists preying on the public too eager to believe.

In the collector’s market, scammers are taking advantage of the Royal Mint’s myriad of errors on the new £1 coin and mocking up their own errors to sell online. The error coins are clearly contrived because most either remove the center copper-nickel section or replace it in reverse, showing the Queen’s portrait on the wrong side. A few have been polishing the side with the Queen’s portrait to resemble the 2016 version that was issued by the Royal Mint to businesses for testing.

Canadian authorities have found that altered $5 notes are being used to forge $100 notes. Currently, the $5 note is made of polymer and scammers have found that by cutting out the features in the clear window and taping over the cutouts and still be used. Scammers print their own $100 notes, which are still printed on cotton bond currency paper, and use the clear window to make the notes look legitimate. The problem is that if people looked at the notes, its alterations and counterfeits are easily detectable.

It is interesting that people are so willing to try to figure out how to counterfeit currency, especially when it can be detected if someone put in the time to look. It says a lot about a society when the number one blog post on my site is “How easy is it to pass counterfeit currency” where I discussed the use of the iodine pen and the number one clicked link is the one to the site where I borrowed the image of the of the iodine pen.

The scary part is that people are not paying attention to the simple measures.

SERVICE UPDATE

Because of an issue with the provider, the Weekly Numismatic World Newsletter has been suspended.

Unfortunately, the automated system run by MailChimp appeared to have choked on the word “counterfeit.” I am not sure if this is the exact reason for the problem, but their support is so bad that I have not been able to contact a human to explain the issue to me. When I tried to find another provider (SendInBlue based in France), I was accused of being a spammer. Based on what I can find out, MailChimp may have added me to a non-public database blackballing me from finding another service.

If that is the case, then I will likely create a self-hosted newsletter service. Although it is something I am technically capable of doing I was hoping to relieve myself of the management responsibility. Until I can determine my next move, I am suspending the newsletter. Sorry!

Delay for Weekly Numismatic World Newsletter

To all the readers expecting the Weekly Numismatic World Newsletter, I apologize for the delay. Chalk this up to the list provider over abusing automation and blocking my account.

According to the mailing list service, I violated their Terms of Service (TOS). I do not know how I violated the TOS because when I click on their links for the reason, I am sent to their Terms of Service web page. It’s like being punished but not knowing why you are being punished!

The notice I received said that the third-party service that they contract with to check for violators to the TOS is a computer without the smarts of Watson or common sense to understand context. In other words, it was programmed by a bunch of geeks whose knowledge of fuzzy logic defies Boolean logic. I used to work with these types of people… they would drive me crazy!

After some serious word parsing of the TOS, I think it might be because I was talking about counterfeiting. I was not promoting counterfeiting, selling counterfeit items, nor was I providing instruction how to counterfeit, but I was providing a cautionary note with regard to the recent stories about the fake British £1 coin errors and the counterfeited Canadian $100 note.

Unfortunately, the ability to communicate with a sentient being at this company is limited to clicking on a link and sending an email. Since I do not know when they will come to their senses and re-activate my account, I cannot tell you when you will receive the newsletter.

I want to keep the content exclusive to the newsletter. However, if the problem is not resolved by tonight (Monday, June 5), I will post what I wrote here and look for a new provider.

And now, the news

Astute observers might have noticed minor changes to the blog. While the look has been the same, I add a News menu item and a Recent News feature to the sidebar. These were added along with the soft launch of the Coin Collectors News.

Following a number of years writing the blog, I have been added to many mailing lists that send press releases and announcements from around the numismatic industry. Usually, I only publish these releases on the blog when I have something to add. When I do not, they end up being deleted. Since most have good information for the community, I decided to publish them.

Rather than add the press releases to the blog, I created a microsite called Coin Collectors News at news.coinsblog.ws. Although the microsite has the same look and feel of the blog (it’s now my brand), it is separate from the blog. Since it is separate, there is a different RSS feed for the site. If you use an RSS reader, you can find the feed here. For those who want to receive updates via email, you can sign up at here. Later on, if you decided you want to subscribe to the feeds, see the signup fields on the top and bottom right of any page.

When news items are published, an alert will be posted to the @coinsblog Twitter feed, the same account as the blog.

The items posted on Coin Collectors News will be press announcements only. No comments or commentary will be allowed, including by me.

Subscribers of the Numismatic World News Newsletter were the first to know about this service. It was announced to them about two weeks ago as a perk for subscribing. Last week, I added the links to the microsite to the blog and now I am ready to let everyone else on the new resource.

Behind the scenes, I am working on a numismatic bill tracker. Currently, I manually keep a list that I update monthly. After doing this a while I decided to put my technical background to good use and write programs to search for new bills, maintain their status, and produce a formatted report. With that work done, the next step is to create a microsite to share this with everyone. When it is ready for the soft launch, the subscribers to the Numismatic World Newsletter will be the first to know.
 

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