Weekly World Numismatic News for October 27, 2019

2019 UK Peter Rabbit 50p Silver Proof Coin

Reverse of the 2019 Peter Rabbit 50p Silver Proof Coin. Peter Rabbit was created by Beatrix Potter. (Image courtesy of the Royal Mint)

At least once per month, one story that catches my eye and causes a reaction. Many times I let it pass without comment because I know there is more to the story than what the news reports. This time I looked a bit deeper.

Mints around the world do business differently than the U.S. Mint. In many cases, these mints are public corporations or private corporations contracted to strike coins on behalf of the government. Very few are state agencies like the U.S. Mint.

From what I can tell, the United States is the only country where coin design is governed by the whim of 535 people whose design esthetics are eclipsed by their inability to understand the effects of their decisions. In other countries, themes and designs are managed through the mint in cooperation with the central bank and the government.

In the United Kingdom, the committee advising the Royal Mint has a membership of ten men and three women. According to reports, this committee is usually lead by a Cabinet Minister. It is the practice that the minister is selected from the House of the Lords, the least powerful branch of the government.

As it turns out, most of the Lords are male. Since the chair of the committee selects the members, most of the members of the committee are male.

A Controversy is now brewing in the U.K. because a proposal to honor Emily and Charlotte Bronte with commemorative coins were rejected. Even U.S. educated children know about the Bronte sisters having been assigned to read Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre in school.

It is not the first time that the committee rejected the selection of a woman author. The committee had decided not to honor Enid Blyton, a children’s author. Blyton wrote over 600 children’s books that echoed her conservative and moral lifestyle. Although she continues to be criticized by more literary critics, her books remain popular.

The committee decided that Blyton was not worthy of the honor.

The British women authors are up in arms over the decision. But could this be a tempest in a teapot?

This year, the Royal Mint issued coins celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Gruffalo and Mouse. The Gruffalo is a children’s book written by Julia Donaldson. The book is about a mouse’s adventures walking through the woods until it meets the mythical Gruffalo.

The award-winning book was translated into 59 languages and made into an animated short film.

Although the Royal Mint did not honor Donaldson on a coin, her characters are so honored.

The Royal Mint has also issued 50p coins honoring Paddington Bear, a character that became popular in the United States through the movie. While Michael Bond wrote Paddington Bear, the books were initially illustrated by Peggy Fortnum.

We learned that whether committees or politicians design coins, they will get it wrong. We also learned that maybe we should stop trying to put humans on coins because regardless of the decision, someone is going to be upset. Sometimes, it is not worth the hassle.

And now the news…

 October 21, 2019
BRYAN, Ohio — Tom Reed of Bryan, Ohio donated more than 50 books to the Williams County Public Library, which mainly center on numismatics, also known as coin collecting. Reed saw a need for books on coin collecting to be available to the public, and decided to offer many books from his personal collection to the Williams County Public Library, said a news release.  → Read more at kpcnews.com

 October 24, 2019
WINNIPEG—The Royal Canadian Mint has issued a new coin featuring a portrait of Louis Riel, an important Métis leader and the founder of Manitoba. The coin was launched on the 175th anniversary of Riel’s birth.  → Read more at thestar.com

 October 24, 2019
OSAKA — While a 500-yen coin may not go as far as it used to, at least it still weighs the same. That's the verdict of the annual weight test of coinage, which was held at the Japan Mint in Osaka's Kita Ward on Oct.  → Read more at asahi.com

 October 24, 2019
Hobo nickel is a term used to describe the 18th century sculptural art form of hand-engraving coins, resulting in miniature bas-relief sculptures that you can hold in the palm of your hand. While the ancient art is rarely practised today, Russian artist Roman Booteen keeps the craft alive with his extraordinary coin carving designs.  → Read more at mymodernmet.com

 October 24, 2019
The original 29 March 2019 design for the Brexit 50p. The date was changed to October 31 and now, presumably, will be altered again  Credit: Treasury A small batch of special Brexit 50p coins minted with October 31 are expected to become collectors' items now that it looks almost certain Britain will not have left the EU by then.  → Read more at telegraph.co.uk

 October 24, 2019
Are you a coin collector who wants to get a job in the coin business? Plenty of numismatic jobs are out there! Today, I’m going to show you how to find a job working with coins.  → Read more at coins.thefuntimesguide.com

 October 24, 2019
The production of thousands of special commemorative Brexit coins has been put on hold amid continuing uncertainty over when the UK will leave the EU. The Royal Mint had been asked to make new 50p pieces featuring the 31 October date on which the UK was due to leave and a message of "Peace, prosperity and friendship with all nations".  → Read more at bbc.com

 October 24, 2019
An extremely rare 1879 $4 gold coin could sell for $1 million when it is auctioned next month. The 400 cent piece, known as the $4 Gold Stella, is valued at roughly $200,000 but could sell for $1 million, according to auction house Stack’s Bowers Galleries.  → Read more at foxnews.com

 October 26, 2019
– Umayyad, a historic Islamic coin which was made around 723AD has sold for £3.7m – Among the inscriptions said to be on the coin is one that reads "Mine of the Commander of the Faithful" – The coin was initially billed to sell £1.6m but increased at the auction because of much interest  → Read more at legit.ng

 October 26, 2019
Royal Mint bosses have been accused of sexism for rejecting plans to honour novelist sisters Emily and Charlotte Bronte with special coins. The Mint’s male-dominated advisory committee on commemorative coins was accused of failing to ‘take women seriously’ after snubbing the authors of Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre.  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk
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Weekly World Numismatic News for October 20, 2019

2019 American Innovaation $1 - DelawarePerusing the wide world of coins, I noticed that it is only here in the United States that collectors complain about modern coinage. Why?

My Twitter followers (@coinsblog) have seen the articles coming from the United Kingdom. U.K. news outlets have staff that follows the special issues from the Royal Mint that are selling for hundreds of times over their face value in online auctions. These coins have a limited run and are issued as circulating commemorative coins.

Similarly, the Royal Australian Mint recently released an alphabet series, similar to what the Royal Mint did in 2018. As part of the series, they created a stir when they used the letter “X” to highlight a small village in Western Australia. Aussies learned something about their own country.

In the United States, we bemoan new issues by the U.S. Mint. We look at the coins and come up with some reason to dislike them. Many of the reasons range from the parochial to the absurd.

Dealers do not like them because they make more money on selling you what they think are “better” coins. Rather than try to use the opportunity to get people interested and into their shop, they would rather sell a more expensive coin. Note to dealer: selling 100 coins at a $1 profit is the same as selling one coin for a $100 profit except that you now have 100 new customers rather than recycling old ones.

Another reason I hear is that modern coins are not worth the money and, therefore, not worth the time. Really? Are you collecting or investing? Are you enjoying your collection, or is it something to do?

Recently, I sold off my Morgan Dollar collection. I started the collection many years ago and realized that I did not have the eye for coins that I have today. I also lost interest.

2019 Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness Quarter - IdahoSomeone asked what am I collecting today. I respond with modern circulating commemoratives. When I get a strange look, I have been responding with, “do you know what the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness is?”

Who is Frank Church, and what is the River of No Return? If you paid attention to the American the Beautiful Quarters program, you would learn more about your own country. I did not know about this wilderness area in Idaho until I looked at the quarter.

I also learned that the Northern Mariana Islands and Guam, both United States territories, have beautiful memorials to those who gave their lives in World War II.

Now collectors are lamenting the new American Innovation $1 coins. Why? Because they do not circulate? Then go pick up a roll and start spending them! You can show people the series that is beginning with honoring Annie Jump Cannon, who invented a system for classifying the stars still used today. Aside from being a Delaware native, Cannon was a suffragist and hearing impaired.

Stop being so stuck up about modern coins, buy a roll, and give someone a William Henry Harrison dollar. Then ask them why Harrison is so important to U.S. history? Pick a president who is not famous and do the same exercise.

If you have children, why not plan a trip based on the quarter that has been released. If you cannot travel to Guam to see the War in the Pacific National Park, then a trip to San Antonio Missions National Historic Park. You can also Remember the Alamo and visit a fascinating area of the country.

Collecting modern coins may not make the dealers rich or be a great investment. But there is enough material to have fun beyond just accumulating metal discs.

And now the news…

 October 10, 2019
Weet-Bix is given the “W” in an A-to-Z collection depicting “all things Australian.” Weet-Bix, a breakfast cereal manufactured by a Seventh-day Adventist health food company in Australia, is set to cement its icon status.  → Read more at adventistreview.org

 October 11, 2019
Finance minister Tito Mboweni on Friday finalised the designs for the 2020 silver Kruger Rand and the R25 Natura Series collectable coin due next year. He also gazetted an update to a coin design that makes a leopard featured in a Big 5 collectable coin series somewhat less angry.  → Read more at businessinsider.co.za

 October 12, 2019
As many as 96 varieties of coins used during the period of the Western Ganga dynasty, which ruled Karnataka, are among the attractions at the three-day philately and numismatic exhibition here. Among the other exhibits at the 12th State Level Philately Exhibition organised by the Karnataka Postal Circle are commemorative coins, Chinese gold panda coins, stamps on 100 years of Indian cinema.  → Read more at thehindu.com

 October 12, 2019
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A young Alaska Native woman left an impression on Alaska’s territorial Senate in 1945, delivering a speech that led to the passage of the nation’s first anti-discrimination law.  → Read more at seattletimes.com

 October 15, 2019
MURRELLS INLET — The ship owned by the richest man in America is giving up its gold, again. The North Carolina was a side-wheeled steam packet, a coastal transport that carried mail and was owned by Cornelius Vanderbilt.  → Read more at postandcourier.com

 October 16, 2019
One of the rarest coins in the world is set to sell at auction for an incredible £1.6million. The Umayyad gold dinar dates back to 723AD and was made from gold mined at a location owned by the Caliph – one of the successors to the Prophet Muhammad.  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk

 October 16, 2019
A Bunbury businessman has unearthed one of Australia’s rarest coins — worth more than $10,000 in mint condition —while birdwatching in the Goldfields outback. Mick Cross was photographing birds at Malcolm Dam near Leonora when he picked up a small coin sitting in the dirt metres from the popular camp site.  → Read more at thewest.com.au

 October 16, 2019
Calling all Antique Roadshow enthusiasts. Have you ever seen a large metal coin featuring an old lamp with the number 60 on it? After discovering this mysterious-looking coin among her Grandmmother’s collection, a woman from Chilliwack is asking the public if they have any idea what it is.  → Read more at coastmountainnews.com

 October 18, 2019
Nowadays, having savings and investments both have equal weight in importance and necessity as well. In terms of investments, there are a lot of options for you to choose from. These options range from stock investments to mutual funds to cryptocurrency.  → Read more at nuwireinvestor.com

 October 19, 2019
Binyamin Elkin, the six-year-old son of Jerusalem Affairs and Heritage Minister Ze'ev Elkin discovered a 2,000-year-old coin from the City of David excavations at the President's Residence on Thursday.  → Read more at israelnationalnews.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for October 13, 2019

Australian $1 X Coin

X is for Xantippe
(Image courtesy of the Royal Australian Mint)

George Santayana was a Spanish-American philosopher, writer, and poet who influenced many of the decision-makers in the early 20th Century. In 1905, Santayana wrote The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense, where he wrote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

In the chapter, Santayana was emphasizing the need to use every experience as a lesson to improve the future. The rest of the chapter discussed how to apply lessons from things that went well.

What does George Santayana have to do with numismatics? Numismaitcs has not learned from the past and making the same mistakes expecting a better outcome. In other words, the numismatic industry is fulfilling the axiom credited to Albert Einstien: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

What are we doing wrong? Let’s look at it in the context of this week’s news. Following the lead of the Royal Mint, the Royal Australian Mint is producing 26 limited-edition circulating one-dollar coins with the letters A to Z along with a depiction of something Australian that represents that letter. They call it the Great Aussie Coin Hunt.

Some letters are easy, like G for G’Day or V for Vegemite. Others do not have obvious names. When it came to X, the Royal Australian Mint picked Xantippe.

What is Xantippe?

Aussies were perplexed when trying to figure out who, what, or where Xantippe could be. That is when the Royal Australian Mint revealed that Xantippe is a small farming town in Western Australia.

For the Royal Australian Mint, it was the perfect way to get the message out about the new dollar coins. It caused a minor yet fun controversy that had the county talking about the series creating excitement about finding the coins.

In the UK, the Royal Mint had a similar program called The Great British Coin Hunt. In 2018, the Royal Mint issued 10 pence coins struck with British themes. Along with the other limited edition 50 pence themed coins, the Royal Mint keeps Brittons interested in coins by generating excitement about each release.

In the United States, we also saw excitement about looking for coins. We saw an increased awareness of coin collecting during the 50 States Quarters Program. Earlier this year, there was some interest shown over the release of the W mint quarters. The interest was not as strong as the 50 State Quarters, but people heard about the coin.

But that was for National Coin Week. What has happened since then?

Learn from the positive: by advertising, getting the word out, and promoting the coins, the US Mint is capable of getting people interested. By having the numismatic industry join them, people were paying attention.

Since the end of Nation Coin Week, the numismatic industry has been silent to those outside of the hobby. Most of the promotion has been like preaching to the choir. We get it. We got it. But you cannot keep an industry going that outsiders are claiming is dying.

Numismatics is not dying or near death. Like every hobby, it has problems to overcome. The first step to better health is to expand the base. The only way that could happen is if the numismatic industry does something radical: reach out consistently to everyone.

It is time to learn what worked in the past and stop doing the same things over again.

We can learn lessons from other industries. What about the collector car industry? Nearly 20 years ago, the collector car industry existed but was not that strong. The thought was that getting into cars was expensive, time-consuming, and confusing. Then Discovery Networks fell over the answer.

For Discovery, it started as HDNet, a television channel where they experimented with high definition content. They would create something in high definition and air it on HDNet to test the public’s reaction. Interestingly, the shows about cars were their most highly rated content. Then they contracted with Mecum Auctions to broadcast their events, and the ratings for a niche cable channel were higher than expected.

HDNet was renamed to Velocity. Now it is owned by Motor Trend, who rebranded the channel in its name.

Although the car hobby business was doing well, the trade publications point to the rise of HDNet and Velocity as a reason that the hobby is doing better than ever.

What can we learn from putting cars on television? First, there is an interested market out there that may not know where to turn for information. The shows provide both knowledge and entertainment. While there are shows that have a doctrine-like attitude, most are inclusive of all styles and interests.

Just like in numismatics, there is no single way to collect and enjoy cars. And like cars, there is a lot that can be used to teach everyone about history.

There was a multi-part series about the growth of the auto industry that followed many of the early titans, including Henry Ford, William Durant, and Walter Chrysler. One of the segments was their reactions to World War II, while the story was about how the automotive industry also showed how the country participated in the war effort.

What stories can be told about the 1943 steel cent? What about the “Shotgun Shell” cents struck in 1944 by recycling spent shells picked up from the training field?

How about some fun shows? Numismatic Jeopardy, where the questions are based on answers derived from something numismatic-related. For example, “It’s called the Old Line State.” The answer is on the reverse of the 2000 Maryland State Quarter!

Revive the old PBS show History Detectives and do it with numismatics. After all, they did investigate a coin said to be associated with Annie Oakley and a $6 Continental Currency note found in Omaha.

These are a few ideas. I am sure that others can come up with better ones.

Then again, that may mean that the industry will have to break out of its niche comfort zone and embrace something different.

And now the news…

 October 4, 2019

Metal detectorists have made many amazing discoveries down the years in Britain, with a great hoard of 2,600 coins just revealed last month. But there are strict rules regarding archaeological finds made by detectorists.  → Read more at ancient-origins.net


 October 6, 2019

The Royal Australian Mint is producing 26 limited-edition legal tender coins that will be given out as change at post offices over the coming weeks. The A to Z of Australiana could see you pocketing a Neighbours , Weet-Bix or didgeridoo $1 coin in your small change.  → Read more at news.com.au


 October 8, 2019

The UK’s Treasury plans to commemorate Brexit by minting millions of 50 pence ($0.61) coins. But like many of the Conservative government’s recent moves, there is a major flaw: the imprint date will be the Oct.  → Read more at qz.com

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Weekly World Numismatic News for June 16, 2019

British CurrencyWhile the tech world is pushing for a cashless society and those listening with a tin ear follow them down this road beating the drums louder, regulators in the United Kingdom have pledged the ensure that cash remains available.

The Join Authorities of Cash Strategy Group, a UK cooperative agency made up of government finance and trade agencies along with the Bank of England issued a preliminary report that says there is a gap in the availability of cash, especially in less densely populated areas.

According to the research group, only 10-percent of people in the UK have gone cashless. Similarly, the United States, the Federal Reserve reports that 30-percent of all transaction and 55-percent of all purchases under $10 are cashless. The Fed also says that the amount of cash in circulation is rising.

Both the Fed and the Bank of England recognize that while the population centers may have more people considering going cashless, it is not universal across the entire population. Similar to the findings in the UK, less densely populated areas rely on cash more than their urban neighbors. Both countries are finding an increase in the use of debit cards rather than credit cards.

For numismatists, it means that the manufacturers of coins and currency will continue to produce their products, which gives us something to collect. That is good news!

And now the news…

 June 10, 2019

Detectorist Tom Thomas kept the rare artefact for nearly 30 years, not knowing its real value.  → Read more at bbc.com


 June 10, 2019

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and the South African Mint yesterday launched a new commemorative coin range of R2 and R5.  → Read more at brandsouthafrica.com


 June 11, 2019

When Kevin-Barry Martin goes for a walk, he’s not only interested in exercising or spending time outdoors. The 42-year-old St. John’s resident is part of a group called Newfoundland History Hunters, and he’s often on the move  → Read more at thechronicleherald.ca


 June 11, 2019

Trade body UK Finance has set up a taskforce, called the Joint Authorities Cash Strategy Group, to ensure cash is kept available to the millions who depend on it.  → Read more at thisismoney.co.uk


 June 12, 2019

Numisbing says it is planning to IPO on Nasdaq First North Stock Exchange in Stockholm next month  → Read more at arabianbusiness.com

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Weekly World Numismatic News for May 5, 2019

In midst of the growing sentiment to rid society of low denomination coins, Britain’s Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond announced that that the country will continue to produce 1 penny and 2 pence coins.

A study by the British Treasure estimates that 2.2 million people in the U.K. continue to rely on cash for daily commerce. An independent report in the U.K. estimated that more than 8 million people rely mostly on cash. That review concluded, “Poverty is the biggest indicator of cash dependency, not age.”

It is the same argument that is presented in the United States when discussing cash versus electronic payments. Those that would be hurt the most by moving to a cashless society would be the poor, elderly, anyone of modest means, and rural communities. Areas that are not as well served by technology, even in eastern states, will be hurt by the move to a cashless payment model.

Another difference between the United Kingdom and every other country versus the United States is that every other country is not afraid to make changes to protect its change. Countries around the world make a change to their coinage without everyone going into a panic. Although the British went through a row when converting from the round pound to the new 12-sided coin, they forged through the process. Even the mention of a potential change in the composition of U.S. coinage leads to predictions of economic doom and gloom for many sectors of the economy.

The last I looked, the U.K., Canada, and the entire European Union made significant changes in their circulating coinage in the previous 20 years that has not caused a disaster. Change seems to scare many Americans who will do anything to hold on to the past no matter how much it hurts to maintain the status quo. You can look no further than the fuzzy math produced by the Government Accountability Office whose report on the coin versus paper money is an exercise in proving “Figures will not lie, but liars figure.”

And now the news…

 May 2, 2019

Turkish security forces confiscated more than 2,500 Roman and Hellenistic-era coins along with several other historical artifacts in an anti-smuggling…  → Read more at dailysabah.com


 May 5, 2019

COLUMBUS —  The latest budget plan unveiled by Ohio House Republicans would kill a sales tax exemption for investments in coins and precious metal bullion …  → Read more at toledoblade.com


 May 5, 2019

The Treasury decides to continue with copper coins and sets a plan to ensure people have access to cash.  → Read more at bbc.com

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Finally, a Cash Register Find

It has been eight months since I opened my shop of treasures. While I have had fun most of the time one thing that has not happened is a good cash draw find. That is until recently.

1979-P Susan B Anthony Dollar and 2000-P Sacagawea Dollar found in the cash draw

This past week, a customer bought a small item and paid for the under $3 purchase with three coins, a 1979-P Susan B Anthony Dollar, two 2000-P Sacagawea dollars. Of course, given the past problems with confusing a Susie B for a quarter, I took an extra glance at the coin to make sure.

I think the patron was surprised I took the coins without question. I threw the coins in the far left slot and counted out his change. With a quick tear of the receipt and a nod, I thanked the customer for his business and he left.

Later, I was telling someone about the transaction and was told the customer was testing me. Apparently, some people use dollar coins, half dollars and two dollars bills to test the store to see if the store knows enough to take the coins. I was told that the “pass rate” for this test is under 20-percent. I guess I passed!

Earlier today, I passed one of the Sacagawea dollars out for change.

2013 British 10p coin. It looks better in hand!

After hours, when it is time to close the books on the day, I was counting the change in the quarter bin and saw something odd. It was the size of a quarter but shinier. The U.S. Mint does not strike circulation coins this shiny. A closer look revealed that it is a 2013 British ten pence coin.

It’s a cool find and worth 13-cents, but what is it doing in my cash drawer?

I cannot blame anyone because my assistant was not in and I was the only one operating the cash register. I didn’t open a roll taking the blame off the bank. No, this is my fault and I lost 12-cents on the transaction!

I thought I would find a loose Canadian cent or a Jamaican penny mixed in with the copper. Nope! Apparently, I didn’t pay enough attention and was handed 10 pence.

After counting the coins, I replaced the British coin with a U.S. quarter that was in my pocket. My drawer balances but now I have my own lesson to pay attention!

Weekly World Numismatic News for March 10, 2019

2018 Peter Rabbit 50p Uncirculated Coin
(Image courtesy of the Royal Mint)

One of the most disturbing stories relating to numismatics is the conviction of a man for killing someone for his coin collection. In Colchester, England, Gordin McGhee, 52, was stabbed in his flat by Danny Bostock, 33, who broke in to steal a set of Beatrix Potter 50 pence coins.

Both men were familiar with each other from local coin club meetings.

Over the last few years, the English tabloids have been publishing stories about how low-mintage, modern circulating 50p commemorative coins were being sold for hundreds or thousands of pounds on eBay. This has awakened the public about the potential for collecting these coins.

The Royal Mint has been producing 50p coins commemorating the animals featured in Beatrix Potter’s stories since 2016 including Peter Rabbit. By the time the country caught on to their value, the limited edition 2016 and 2017 coins were being hoarded and becoming more difficult to find. People who wanted a complete collection turned to the secondary market.

Of course, where there is a demand the person who can provide a supply can make money.

According to news reports, Bostock snuck into McGhee’s flat to steal his collection of Beatrix Potter coins while McGhee was not home. Unfortunately, McGhee returned home and found Bostock in the act. Bostock stabbed McGhee 17 times and tried to set the place on fire to cover up the crime.

Police were able to track the trail of blood Bostock made with his shoes to Bostock’s home. Bostock was convicted after using the defense that someone else wore his shoes after a drinking party even though the police found the shoes, coins, and the murder weapon in his possession.

Although this type of situation may not happen over the National Parks quarters, we did see the greed of dealers put the public in danger for the release of the 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Gold Proof Coin. Dealers handed out cash to needy people who did not conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the ANA Code of Ethics so they could buy the coins first without having to worry about U.S. Mint purchasing limits.

In this case, nothing happened to the dealers who should have been dealt with by the ANA. They could have lost money since the release was not a sellout and the price of gold dropped, but we will never know.

And now the news…

 February 27, 2019

The demand for U.S. cash is skyrocketing — an indicator that’s leaving some economists sounding the alarm.  → Read more at cnbc.com


 March 2, 2019

Charlotte is known for its banks but in some circles, it's known for its actual money. The gold coins that Charlotte's mint produced in the mid-19th century are desirable. "When you're a coin collector, you don't worry sometimes the value.  → Read more at wfae.org


 March 7, 2019

Before immigrating to the United States in 2001, Paul Balan worked as a painter and sculptor in his native Philippines. Now he is pushing his artistic talents in new directions, doing coin and medal designs for the U.S.  → Read more at legion.org


 March 7, 2019

Last August, 90-year-old pensioner Miroslav Jurníček harvested onions from his garden, when he noticed a small golden coin lying on the ground. He started rummaging around and eventually unearthed a vessel full of gold and silver coins.  → Read more at radio.cz


 March 8, 2019

A coin enthusiast has been convicted of murder after stabbing a fellow collector 17 times while trying to steal a rare set of Beatrix Potter 50ps. Danny Bostock, 33, attacked 52-year-old Gordon McGhee in his bedroom before turning on the gas cooker and lighting a dishcloth, seemingly to cause an explosion and destroy evidence of the killing.  → Read more at telegraph.co.uk


 March 8, 2019

From Kew Gardens to Paddington bear, there are a number of rare and collectible 50p coins and the Royal Mint will be releasing a Stephen Hawking coin later this month. The late Cambridge University physics professor died in March last year and the coin will feature a black hole and the scientist himself.  → Read more at manchestereveningnews.co.uk

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Weekly World Numismatic News for March 3, 2019

Royal Mint’s 26 Alphabet 10p Coins
Image courtesy of the Royal Mint

While searching the interwebs for numismatic-related stories there are pointers that lead to the British tabloids. Most of the stories are about the hundreds or thousands of pounds paid for a former circulating coin on eBay. Sometimes, their pages lead to different stories on their site that are very entertaining. Those who have read the New York Post would understand the format.

This is not to say these publications are wrong, but they are prone to hyperbole and exaggeration. Take for example the story “Two million RARE 10p coins enter circulation – get one here” that was posted to the Daily Star’s website this past week.

The title refers to the release of Royal Mint’s “The Great British Coin Hunt of 2019.” Using the same designs as last year, the Royal Mint will place into circulation 10 pence coins with 26 designs representing the letters of the alphabet.

The Great British Coin Hunt started last October with the weekly release of several coins at a time until 2.4 million were placed into circulation. As part of the program, collectors can purchase a special folder from the Royal Mint (£9.90 or about $13.10) or other items to help people collect the coins. The Royal Mint also sells uncirculated 10p coins for £2 each.

If you think that the U.S. Mint overcharges for their products, 10p is worth about 13-cents at the current exchange rate and £2 is about $2.65. Does packaging and other expenses cost $2.52 per coin?

But to call 2.4 million coins rare may a bit of an exaggeration.

Or is it?

If each coin has the same circulation, that means there will be about 92,000 coins per letter. Since the United Kingdom’s population is around 66 million people, that means only one-tenth of one percent of the people can collect these coins.

Maybe the tabloids are not wrong calling 2 million coins “rare!”

And now the news…

 February 25, 2019

From dark designs mourning the dead, to figures celebrating military accomplishments and well-known buildings, Roman coins held by the Otago Museum…  → Read more at odt.co.nz


 February 26, 2019

Originally posted on http://www.1007sandiego.com/story/40029522/a-story-of-honor-the-curious-history-of-military-challenge-coins   If you’re a member of the United States military,…  → Read more at kxxv.com


 February 26, 2019

FRESHLY minted collectable 10p coins are being released this month — and they have a “quintessentially British” theme including tea and fish and chips.  → Read more at dailystar.co.uk


 February 27, 2019

THE ROYAL MINT have announced that they are set to release 26 new designs of 10 pence coins, for its 2019 Great British Coin Hunt collection.  → Read more at express.co.uk


 February 28, 2019

If you lost a coin in Montreal’s west end, there’s a good chance it was picked up by Young S. New. But he didn’t slip that coin in his pocket with the intent of spending it on himself — he picked it up so he could give it away.  → Read more at cbc.ca


 February 28, 2019

The nine British bullion coins were discovered by chance after being hidden near Allington Castle in Kent. Detectives have launched an appeal to return the hoard to its rightful owner.  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk

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Weekly World Numismatic News for November 25, 2018

The 2009 Kew Gardens 50p coin is the rarest of post decimalization circulating commemoratives. The Royal Mint plans to reissue the coin as part of a new commemorative set. (Royal Mint image)

Numismatic news coming out of the United Kingdom is that after seeing the collector price of 50 pence circulating commemorative coins rise, the Royal Mint will be reissuing many of those coins.

Using the designs of some of the most popular coins being traded online, the Royal Mint will be issuing two sets of five commemorative coins to celebrate the 50p coin’s 50th anniversary.

The 50p coin was introduced in 1969 as part of the UK’s transition to decimalization following the introduction of new 5p (to replace the shilling) and 10p (to replace the florin) coins. As the coins began to circulate, some of the lower denominations were withdrawn. On February 15, 1971, British merchants stopped issuing coins that were based on the 240 pence-based Pound and issued change using the decimalization currency known as New Pounds.

Although the coins will be issued as part of commemorative sets with 2019 dates, some feel that the Royal Mint is doing this to manipulate the market to reduce the collector value of its coins. Officials of the Royal Mint has denied the accusation.

Could the reissue of coins with previous designs hurt the value of the collectors market? In the United States, collectors demand the use of classic designs and that has had no impact on the collector market. However, the coins were issued as part of precious metals programs that has almost no competition with the collectible coin market. When was the last time someone decided that the Walking Liberty half-dollar was not worth collecting because the American Silver Eagle uses the same design?

If the Royal Mint mint limits the issue of the coins to the sets they announced, then the awareness of the coins could enhance the British collectors market. However, if the Royal Mint changes their mind and issues the coins for circulation, the collector market could be impacted in a manner similar to the general collectibles market of the 1980s where companies overproduced and overhyped their products.

And now the news…

 November 19, 2018

Tap-and-go payments and the decline of coins are hurting the Royal Australian Mint despite its plan to make up lost revenue with a rise in profits from selling collectors' items and manufacturing currencies for countries overseas.  → Read more at smh.com.au


 November 22, 2018

The 50p was first introduced into circulation in October 1969 and since then dozens of designs have entered the market – many of which could soon make a comeback  → Read more at mirror.co.uk


 November 23, 2018

The Spainhowers’ house burned down in Camp Fire but they found some luck when they uncovered a coin from their honeymoon within the rubble.  → Read more at yahoo.com


 November 25, 2018

The South African Mint, a subsidiary of the South African Reserve Bank has announced its first ever Natura coin in fine silver.  → Read more at businesstech.co.za


 November 25, 2018

Many precious findings are still hidden under the ground.  → Read more at spectator.sme.sk

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Weekly World Numismatic Newsletter for November 4, 2018

What happens when a policy that was supported by a popular vote becomes less popular? You get the situation that the British government faces as Brexit inches closer to its March 2019 execution.

On June 23, 2016, the people of the United Kingdom held a referendum as to whether the country should leave the European Union. The vote and process has been called “Brexit,” a portmanteau of the term “Britain Exit,” as in should Britain exit the E.U.?

Brexit won by a very slim margin.

Chard, a UK coin dealer, created a copper and bronze Brexit medal for the “undecided voters” to flip on election day. They are still available on Chard’s website.

As a result of the Brexit vote, the British Parliament voted to complete the Brexit process in March 2019 and the Prime Minister resigned. PM David Cameron was against Brexit and felt that someone else should lead the government who favored the process. Theresa May was selected to be Britain’s second female Prime Minister and will lead the country through Brexit.

However, polls in Britain show that Brexit is no longer as popular as it was in 2016. These polls were taken following the announcement that the Royal Mint mint will be producing a 50-pence coin commemorating Brexit next March.

Although the coin has yet to be designed, the British tabloids, especially those who have soured on Brexit, have been running editorials with anti-Brexit mockups. With these mock-ups frequently appearing in Britain’s newspapers, polls are showing that the pre-Brexit election support of nearly 49-percent has eroded to 37-percent.

Opinions on the concept of a Brexit coin are almost evenly split with 37-percent in favor of the coin, 34-percent against, and 29-percent with no comment or opinion.

In the United States, the only way to raise public passion about a coin is for it to have an error, such as the “Godless Dollars” for coins missing their edge lettering and the motto “In God We Trust.” Otherwise, only we numismatists care.

At least the Brits are paying attention!

And now the news…

 October 30, 2018

View photosMore A special 50p is just one of the many changes Britain’s departure from the UK will bring. The commemorative coin, which is expected to carry the words “Friendship With All Nations” will be available from March 29 – the day the UK leaves the EU.  → Read more at finance.yahoo.com


 October 30, 2018

New collectors' coins commemorating statesman Ignacy Jan Paderewski are to be released on Tuesday, in a year in which Poland marks its independence centenary. Paderewski's is the fourth coin in a series issued by the National Bank of Poland.  → Read more at thenews.pl


 October 31, 2018

“II am visiting this gallery for the second time in a month,” says Ayushi, a New Delhi-based history honours student. “The glimpse into the past is so fascinating that I have brought along my friends to have a first-hand experience of the remarkable collection of Indian currency,” she adds.  → Read more at gulfnews.com


 November 1, 2018

The Royal Australian Mint wants you to be on the lookout for $1 coins specially marked with A, U or S.  → Read more at abc.net.au


 November 2, 2018

Increased gold buying by consumers and central banks pushed overall demand for the yellow metal up slightly in the third quarter, according to the World Gold Council's Gold Demand Trends 2018 Report.  → Read more at seekingalpha.com

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