A cricket hopped into the grading room

Today marks the third weekend of the college football season. Sunday is the second weekend of the NFL season. Autumn begins on Wednesday, and there are 43 days until Halloween.

Want to celebrate Halloween in style? Why not bid on an encapsulated cricket!

Slabbed cricket up for auction from the Collection of Fred Weinberg at GreatCollection Auctions (GreatCollection photo)

Up for bid at GreatCollection Auctions is a PCGS holder with the remains of a cricket. Yes, a real cricket.

According to GreatCollections, “back in the 1990s, there was a cricket disturbing the coin graders at PCGS, until one of them caught it and put it in a slab. It was then the subject at a high level meeting of graders where it was decided to give it to error expert Mr. Fred Weinberg.”

It was recently on display at the last World’s Fair of Money.

After more than 20 years, the carcass is a bit fragile. If nothing else, it proves that the slabs are not air-tight. If the slabs were air-tight, the carcass would not deteriorate.

Although the slab does not have a grade, the folks at GreatCollections said that they “would grade the cricket a solid MS-65 Full Head (Detached).”

As of Friday, September 17, the high bid is $2,900 with 54 bids. The auction will end on Halloween at 4:05 PM PST.

What started as a joke is now a fun part of numismatic lore.

Here’s an interview from CoinWeek with Fred Weinberg talking about the “error”:

SPECIAL AUCTION: My Father’s Coin Collection

I will take this moment to personal privilege to announce that my late father’s coin collection is now up for auction.

My Father’s Coin Collection Auction
NOW ONLINE THROUGH
AUGUST 29, 2021 at 6:00 PM
You can find the auctionhere!

After cleaning out his house and gathering the coins hidden in many places, the entire collection was cataloged, imaged, and is now online for anyone to bid. The collection includes both United States and Israeli collectibles.

My father liked modern commemorative coins and collected almost everything produced by the U.S. Mint, including Mint Sets, Proof Sets, Prestige Proof Sets, commemorative coins, and American Silver Eagles. The collection has many Olympic commemorative coins. It was his way of supporting the Olympics and getting a coin in the process.

When you look at the coins from Israel, you can see that he collected nearly everything. In the piles of coins were appreciation medals from the Israel Government Coins and Medals Corporation for being a top customer. The collection includes many different sets that I learned about by going through this collection.

There are 557 lots of coins in this auction that will close on Sunday, August 29, beginning at 6:00 PM Eastern Time. To prevent sniping, it is a “soft close” auction. Bids received in the last 30 seconds before the auction closes will extend the bidding for another 30 seconds. Bidding will continue until at least 30 seconds passes after the final bid.

SHIPPING IS AVAILABLE

What Does $18 Million Buy These Days?

On June 8, 2021, Sotheby’s auctioned the Stuart Weitzman Collection. The auction consisted of three of the rarest items in the world, including the Farouk-Fenton 1933 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle. It is the only 1933 Double Eagle coin that anyone who can afford it can legally own.

The coin sold for $18,872,250!

Although not confirmed by Sotheby’s, the price realized suggests that it includes the buyer’s premium. Sotheby’s has not disclosed the buyer’s name.

Farouk-Fenton 1933 Saint-Gaudens $20 Double Eagle was sold by Sotheby’s for $18,872,250 in a June 2021 auction.
(Picture Credit: PCGS)

Arguably, the most famous coin in the world, the price was over the auction estimate of $10-15 million but under what the numismatic industry expected. The price is significantly more than the $7,590,020 paid in 2002 for the coin, including $20 to monetize the coin officially. The auction included the U.S. Mint’s monetization certificate.

U.S. Mint’s Certificate of Monetization for the Farouk-Fenton Double Eagle (Picture Credit: Sotheby’s)

Also included in the auction was The Inverted Jenny Plate Block sold for $4,860,000 (estimated at $5-7 million), and The British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta stamp that sold for $8,307,000 (estimated at $10-15 million).

Numismatists may want to save the catalog link for the sale of this coin. Sotheby’s catalog listing includes the coin’s history with an updated history of the other 1933 Double Eagle coins. The update includes the ten coins “discovered” by Joan Langbord, daughter of Israel Switt, and her family’s fight to retain ownership. Documentation from court filings adds to the story.

David Tripp wrote the original catalog description for the first Sotheby’s/Stack’s auction. In 2004, Tripp published his research in Illegal Tender. Given the new information, would it be worth updating the book?

Weekly World Numismatic News for March 21, 2021

Some noticed that I did not post a Weekly World Numismatic News last week. It is nice to see that so many readers are paying attention. This week, I will combine the news of the last two weeks with some highlights.

We Know Who Owns the ’33 Double Eagle

The 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle is arguably the world’s most famous coin. The only coin of its type legal to own sold for $7,590,020 in a Sotheby/Stack’s auction to an anonymous buyer in 2002. We learned that the owner is shoe designer Stuart Weitzman and will be selling the coin along with two extremely rare stamps at an exclusive auction. The auction will include a rare plate block of the famous Inverted Jenny stamp, the holy grail for stamp collectors. Sotheby’s is estimating the coin’s value at $10-15 million. I predict it will sell for over $12 million.

British Coin Sells for £1 Million

A rare gold coin with the portrait of King Edward VIII sold for £1 million. King Edward VIII was the shortest-serving monarch of the 20th century. He abdicated the throne 11 months after his coronation to marry a twice-divorced American woman. At the time, the British people felt that the divorces and her ex-husbands were living as an insult to the Church of England. Rather than fight the church, Edward gave up the throne. During his reign, the Royal Mint struck only three £5 gold coins and never circulated. The sale makes this coin the most expensive British coin.

A Britannia of Color

Britannia, the female allegorical symbol of Britain, is depicted on bullion coins as a woman of color. Early in U.S. coin history, Liberty has appeared in ways similar to Britannia. See the image on the Seated Liberty Dollar for an example. Following the United States’ use of a woman of color to represent Liberty, the Royal Mint mint designers produce their own. The new designs are being lauded in the cynical British press for their art and its symbolism. The Royal Mint notes that Anglo-Saxons do not dominate British territories and members of the Commonwealth Realm. It is important to understand that the coin was planned and designed before the Royal Family’s recent controversies.

U.S. Wins COTY

In case you missed it, the 2019 Apollo 11 50th Anniversary of the Moon Landing Commemorative five-ounce silver proof coin win the prestigious Coin of the Year competition. World Coin News sponsors the annual competition. Nominations, reviews, and voting are held the year following the coins’ issue. They announce the winner the following year. Aside from winning COTY, the coin won the Best Contemporary Event Coin and Best Silver Coin categories. It is one of the best designs by the U.S. Mint in recent years.

Picture Credits: Sotheby’s, Heritage Auctions, the Royal Mint, and collectSPACE.com

And now the news…

 March 7, 2021
An exceptionally rare gold coin for King Edward VIII's short-lived reign is tipped to sell for more than £1million. The £5 coin with a bust of the controversial monarch on one side was struck but never put into circulation as he abdicated after just 11 months on the throne.  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk

 March 11, 2021
S otheby’s New York is pleased to present Three Treasures – Collected by Stuart Weitzman, a dedicated live auction of three legendary treasures from the personal collection of the renowned fashion designer and collector.  → Read more at sothebys.com

 March 11, 2021
COIN collectors or people who’ve inherited old change could be sitting on a small fortune. But as the rarest coins are all from before decimalisation – the switchover to the currency system we use now – you won’t find them in your spare change.  → Read more at thesun.co.uk

 March 12, 2021
In the autumn of 2020, I was contacted by the field archaeology unit of the Swedish National Historical Museums, who are also known as the Archaeologists. They were excavating at a Viking-age settlement at Viggbyholm just north of Stockholm.  → Read more at theconversation.com

 March 15, 2021
A rare Bermuda coin is expected to fetch thousands of dollars when it goes up for auction next month. The coin, which may have been minted as early as the 17th century, was found by a metal detectorist in Kent in the UK in 2019.  → Read more at royalgazette.com

 March 17, 2021
The helmeted warrior Britannia has personified the nation, engraved on coins holding a trident and shield with the symbolic and patriotic lion by her side, for more than 2,000 years. Give or take the odd tweak, she’s remained untouched with the passing of time while society and all those around her have altered.  → Read more at vogue.co.uk

 March 17, 2021
Dozens of rare parchment fragments that are over 1,800 years old have been found in a remote cave in the Judean Desert. Israeli Antiquities Authority  → Read more at goodnewsnetwork.org

 March 20, 2021
Supplied John Mowbray, the owner of Mowbray Collectables, says sales at the Kapiti Coast stamp and coin auction house are up 30 per cent over 2019.  → Read more at i.stuff.co.nz

 March 20, 2021
Benjamin Franklin’s Libertas Americana, one of the most sought-after American medals of all time, will be on display for one day only at Sarasota Rare Coin Gallery on Saturday, March 20, 2021 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.Jeff Garrett, Senior Editor of the Guidebook of United States Coins (Redbook), will be on hand to present the medal.  → Read more at wflanews.iheart.com
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 NEW VIDEO (Mar 15, 2021)

 

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Who is Stuart Weitzman

1933 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle (obverse).
Last sold for $7,590,020 in 2002.

Stuart A. Weitzman founded the manufacturing company Seymour Shoes with his brother Warren and father, Seymour. After his father died in 1965, Stuart and Warren ran the company until selling it in 1971. Stuart continued to design shoes for the company. He bought back the family business in 1994.

Weitzman continued to design shoes with unique designs and materials not used before. He was creating one-of-a-kind designs for stars to wear on the red carpet. Top stars and models consider Stuard Weitzman shoes the must-have accessory to any designer outfit.

Weitzman collected stamps as a child. As he collected, Weitzman became fascinated with very rare stamps. Although his collection is modest in size, it consists of two rarest stamps, the only surviving British Guiana One-Cent Magenta stamp and the 1918 24-Cent Inverted Jenny Plate Block stamps. Sotheby’s will be selling both stamps in an auction on June 8, 2021.

As part of the auction announcement, Sotheby’s revealed that Weitzman was also selling the only 1933 Saint Gaudens Double Eagle gold coin that is legal to own. It is the first time the identity of the coin’s owner is publicly known.

Stuart Weitzman was the winning bidder of the Sotheby/Stack’s auction held on July 30, 2002, held at the Sotheby’s headquarters in New York City. When the hammer fell, Weitzman anonymously purchased the coin for $6.6 million plus a 15-percent buyer’s premium. Sotheby’s famously paid the $20 face value to the U.S. Mint to monetize the coin. The final sale price was $7,590,020. At the time, it was almost twice the previous record paid for a coin.

Although there are other one-of-a-kind coins, none have the same story as the 1933 Farouk-Fenton Double Eagle. It is a unique story that could only be born out of the circumstances of the Great Depression and the documented corruption at the Philadelphia Mint.

The coin and stamps will be on public view by appointment at Sotheby’s in New York until March 17 and June 5-7.

The Double Eagle and British Guiana stamp carries a pre-auction estimate of $10-15 million. The Inverted Jenny is estimated to be worth $5-7 million.

I expect the sale of the coin will break the record for the price of a single coin. The coin is likely to sell for more than $12 million, including the buyer’s premium.


Auction preview video courtesy of Sotheby’s
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Weekly World Numismatic News for October 18, 2020

The narrative about the 2020 numismatic market has been consistent across the media. These reports claim that hat collector coins are selling but at less than enthusiastic rates. Dealers are reporting that bullion coins dominate the market, primarily online. And everyone has read stories that the rare coin market is as healthy as it has ever been.

1794 Flowing Hair Dollar, PCGS SP-66, from the Bruce Moreland Collection (Image courtesy of Rare Coin Wholesalers via PCGS)

Within that narrative, two of the rarest and most expensive coins did not sell within the last month. The finest-known 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar, one of the first coins to be minted by the United States in 1794, failed to sell. Purchased in 2013 by Bruce Morelan, Legend Auctions tried to find a buyer at a recent auction in Las Vegas. The coin had a pre-sale estimate of $8-9 million but failed to find a buyer with an opening bid of $7 million.

A few lots later, the Dexter Specimen Class I 1804 Draped Bust Dollar, recognized as the finest known, failed to sell. The auctioneer lowered the opening bid to $3.2 million and still had no interest.

Although the top of other collectible auctions has seen lower prices, the drop is not as significant as being demonstrated with numismatics. It has become common for art to sell for over $1 million that it no longer makes the news. But few are selling at record prices.

Auction watchers are reporting that rare and scarce items are selling at 20-50 percent over their previous prices. Sports collectibles and other memorabilia are amongst the hottest collectibles. Simultaneously, these same watchers report that automobilia, pottery, and numismatics are not generating the same interest.

Analysts are not trying to explain why the market shifts noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everything. One analyst wrote that some markets see the benefit of material once locked up in collections has surfaced to generate money for the sellers. The market has not kept pace. It is assumed that the buyers are not financially capable of purchasing at the prices being demanded.

It has become a cliché to call these “unprecedented times.” For the auction predictors, the pandemic’s effect has most trying to understand what it means for the markets. We will see if it carries into November when Stacks-Bowers tries to auction the Stickney-Eliasberg 1804 dollar.

And now the news…

 October 10, 2020
An exceedingly rare American coin up for auction turned out to be chump change.  → Read more at nydailynews.com

 October 11, 2020
Residents of Hosur in Tamil Nadu's Krishnagiri district were recently forced to learn a valuable lesson — All that glitters is not gold. On Friday evening, close to 4 pm, residents who were passing by Bagalur-Sarjapur road, suddenly noticed some coins glittering on the muddy sides off the main path.  → Read more at thenewsminute.com

 October 12, 2020
MIND-BLOWING photographs from the Royal Mint's archive give a rare look at its 1,100-year-long history. The images have been revealed by the government-owned mint to celebrate its first-ever coin released to commemorate itself.  → Read more at thesun.co.uk

 October 13, 2020
The Vatican City State Mint has issued a 10-euro silver coin depicting "Mother Earth" — an image designed for World Earth Day by Bergamo-born sculptor and engraver Luigi Oldani.  → Read more at churchmilitant.com

 October 17, 2020
The Royal Canadian Mint's silver collector coin celebrates an unexplained sighting in 1978 in Clarenville.  → Read more at cbc.ca

 October 17, 2020
Amid escalating demand for alternative investments, expert cites 5 key ways to determine if the historical rare coin asset class ‘fits’ your personal needs and overarching investment goals  → Read more at blackenterprise.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for September 6, 2020

When a $1 coin worth over $10 million is scheduled for auction, it will make worldwide news. The announcement that one of the first silver dollars ever struck by the U.S. Mint will be sold at auction in October.

In June, Legend Numismatics announced the Bruce Morelan Collection sale that includes a rare, early die-state 1794 Silver Dollar graded Specimen 66 by PCGS that Legend purchased for a record $10 million in 2917.

Moreland assembled the finest examples of early dollar coins from the founding of the Mint in 1794 through 1804 with Legend and its principal owner, Laura Sperber.

1794 Flowing Hair Dollar, PCGS SP66
(Image courtesy of PCGS)

1804 Draped Bust Dollar, Original – Class BB-304, PCGS PR65 (Image courtesy of PCGS)

While the news focused on the 1794 dollar coin, most missed the Class I 1804 dollar, the other significant rarity in the collection. Class I 1804 dollars was part of the eight coins that were struck in the early 1830s to create sets for diplomatic missions. The 1804 dollar in the Moreland collection is the Dexter Specimen named for one of its first owners James V. Dexter. It is believed that Dexter carved a small “D” into the reverse of the coin.

The coin’s pedigree includes being owned by the U.S. Mint, who bought the coin after being in a private collection, and D. Brent Pogue. It is the third finest example of the 1804 dollar.

The Moreland collection is scheduled to be part of the auction at the PCGS Members-only Show held in Las Vegas in early October.

And now the news…

 August 28, 2020
On October 15, 1794, Henry Voigt, the Chief Coiner of the United States, hurried nearly 2,000 silver coins to the desk of David Rittenhouse, the Director of the United States Mint. That day marked a milestone in the making of a country: Two years after Alexander Hamilton established the Mint under President George Washington, the first dollars had been minted.  → Read more at atlasobscura.com

 August 28, 2020
Elana Hagler’s grandmother, an avid coin collector when she lived in Russia, has a special gift coming soon. Hagler had a major role in the design of an upcoming 2020 presidential $1 coin from the U.S. Mint. The coin will feature her drawing of President George H.W. Bush.  → Read more at fresnobee.com

 August 29, 2020
Today, 28 August, a treasure of 32 silver coins dated to the early Kyivan Rus times is discovered and donated to the local regional history museum in north-Ukrainian Zhytomyr Oblast. The silver coins known as srebreniks or sribnyks were the first coinage minted in medieval Kyiv around the early 1000s A.D. Historians attribute the 32 silver coins to the times of Kyiv princes Volodymyr and Sviatopolk around 1000-1019 A.D.  → Read more at euromaidanpress.com

 September 2, 2020
• The Royal Australian Mint has unveiled a new coin that is designed to be donated. • The Donation Dollar encourages Aussies to use it for charity.  → Read more at businessinsider.com.au
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My First Numismatic Auction

UPDATE: The auction is online and begins to close at 7:00 PM on Sunday, November 3, 2019!

1878 Liberty $2 1/2 Quarter Eagle Gold Coin

Lot #1: Beautiful classic Liberty Head $2½ quarter eagle gold coin in a Capital Plastics holder.

One of the reasons for my limited posting is that I started a business in collectibles and estate downsizing. Until now, I had not received many numismatic consignments. The few numismatic items that consignors have brought in were not exciting.

A few weeks ago, someone walked into the shop and asked about consigning coins. The coins were something he inherited and did not know what to do with them. Then my consignor removed an 1878 Liberty $2½ quarter eagle gold coin in a Capital Plastics holder. It is a beautiful coin in hand. It looks uncirculated.

Although the 1984 U.S. Olympics Commemorative Set sare not popular, he handed two of the three-coin sets with the gold coin.

He continued to empty the bag, and I found Morgan and Peace dollars, Seated Liberty quarters, and a few other coins.

1 Gram TAYER Gold Ingot

1 Gram TAYER Gold Ingot

While unpacking another consignment, there was a 1 gram gold bar mixed in amongst the papers.

Finally, someone brought in the few Israeli coins and medals his late father owned.

Put it all together, add a few of my surplus coins, and there are 54 total coins in my company’s current auction.

Here is a small sample of some of the coins in this auction:

We do ship!

If you want more than coins, check out the rest of the auction which includes sports autographs (like a Joe Montana autographed football), art (two prints from Yaacov Agam), a Black Forest Cukoo Clock (it works!), and so much more. Feel free to peruse the entire 284 lot auction.

But don’t forget the coins, including this 2005 Canadian Silver Maple Leaf silver bullion coin with a Rooster Privy Mark.

Weekly World Numismatic Newsletter for December 23, 2018

Imperial Russian Government, 1917 Specimen 4% Savings bond sold at auction for $12,810 (Image courtesy of Archives International)

When it comes to numismatic-related news, nothing catches my interest more than when the news is not coin-related. Even though this is the Coin Collectors Blog, I have advocated that numismatic consider more areas of collecting than coins.

This past week, Archives International announced that a 1917 Imperial Russian Government 4% Savings Bond Specimen that was estimated at $400-600 sold for $12,810 with buyer’s premium. It was a record for Russian Specimen bonds.

Archives International is not the standard numismatic auction house many have come to recognize. They specialize in all types of financial paper from around the world. From 2007 to 2011 the firm handled American Bank Note Archives Auctions, Parts I through VIII, which included their entire archives of samples and other financial paper ephemera from the worldwide customer base of ABN through history.

Recognizing this accomplishment is not only good for Archives Internation but for the numismatic industry. It shows everyone that there is more to collecting numismatics than coins. It shows that you can take an interest in collecting currency, bonds, stock certificates, and other scripophily and still be a numismatist.

Somewhere in grandpa or grandma’s belonging may be a stock certificate for The Haloid Photographic Company, Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company, or Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company that may not be worth anything financially, but what a wonderful piece of history would be added to your collection!

And now the news…

 December 16, 2018

KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Monday issued Rs50 commemorative coin with regard to International Anti-Corruption Day, ARY News reported. The federal government had authorised the central bank for issuing the coin, which was made available at the exchange counters of all the field offices of SBP Banking Services Corporation.  → Read more at arynews.tv


 December 17, 2018

(ArtfixDaily.com) FORT LEE, N.J. – Archives International Auction’s “50th Milestone Auction” held on December 3rd & 4th, 2018 was highlighted by a 1917 Imperial Russian Government 4% Savings Bond Specimen estimated at $400 to $600 and hammering for $12,810 smashing all previous records for Russian Specimen bonds on December 3rd, 2018, the first day of a two day sale, held at the historic Collectors Club in New York City.  → Read more at artfixdaily.com


 December 17, 2018

Editor's Note: Kitco News has officially launched Outlook 2019 – Rush To Safety – the definitive reference for precious metals investors for the new year. We chose this year's theme as financial markets face growing uncertainty.  → Read more at kitco.com


 December 18, 2018

NATIONAL Police warn the public to keep an eye out for coin scam going around Europe once again.  → Read more at euroweeklynews.com


 December 19, 2018

A Tudor coin hoard found in Shropshire which features Henry VIII and all his children is on display at Ludlow Museum.  → Read more at shropshirestar.com


 December 21, 2018

CBK lauded over new currency that is friendly to the blind  → Read more at standardmedia.co.ke

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BONUS

I named three very significant companies above. If you have not guessed who they are today and have read this far:

The Haloid Photographic Company
Founded in Rochester, NY in 1906 as a company that manufactured photographic paper and equipment. In 1938, Chester Carlson invented a process for using an electrically charged dry powder that could be transferred to paper by pressing it on a roller. It took nearly 20 years to perfect before it became a product. The company coined the term “xerography” from two Greek words meaning “dry writing.” In 1961, the company was renamed Xerox.
Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company
Formed in 1911 to be the holding company for four companies: The Tabulating Machine Company, International Time Recording Company, Computing Scale Company of America, and the Bundy Manufacturing Company. The four companies made a range of products from time-keeping systems, scales, meat slicers, and punch card equipment. Thomas J. Watson Sr. was hired by CTC in 1914 after he was fired from NCR. He became company president in 1915. In 1924, Watson renamed the company the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM).
Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company
The company was founded in 1902 in Two Harbors, Minnesota to attempt to mine corundum in Minnesota and provide manufacturing support. When the mines turned out to be a failure, the company moved to Duluth and began to manufacture sandpaper. Over the years, the company found new products to manufacture and diverged from its mining roots. The name was too cumbersome to put in packages so they used the trade name “Three-M.” Later it was shortened to 3M and in 2002, the company officially changed their name to 3M.

As Paul Harvey used to say, “Now you know the rest of the story.

An Estate Auction tip

Not long ago I wrote about alternative places to find coins and other numismatic collectibles that included some of my secrets. As an addendum, I am going to provide another secret to an estate auction from a company I have done business with in the past.

If you are in the central Virginia area or willing to pay for shipping, you can bid on the Coin and Postcard Auction from JLR Auctions of Culpeper, Virginia.

The auction has 144 lots of coins along with eight lots of supplies. If you are into old postcards, there are a few nice lots in this auction. A little something for everyone.

I have bought items through JLR Auctions and have consigned surplus items. They are a good company to work with. I have no stake in this auction but passing along a tip to my readers.

Happy bidding!

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