Super Bowl 52 Official 2-Tone Flip Coin (Courtesy of the Highland Mint)
In 1966, discussions between the upstart American Football League and the National Football League led to the development of a championship game. The idea came from Kansas City Chief’s owner Lamar Hunt to have a single game to crown the championship during the five years it would take to merge the leagues.
The game was called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game and was first played in the Los Angeles Coliseum on January 15, 1967, between the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. The game drew 61,846 in a stadium that held over 90,000 people. Halftime entertainment featured Al Hirt and the marching bands from the University of Arizona and Grambling State.
Green Bay, coached by the legendary Vince Lombardi, won the game 35-10. Bart Starr was the game’s MVP. Kansas City was not a bad team, coached by Hank Stram and led by quarterback Len Dawson. But the Packers were just that much better.
The game was broadcast by both NBC and CBS who charged $42,000 per 30-second commercial. It is estimated that the game was seen by more than 51 million people.
The first game to be officially branded as the Super Bowl was Super Bowl III played at the Orange Bowl in Miami. It was also the game that introduced us to significant pre-game hype when New York Jets Quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed a Jets victory over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts. The Colts were led by Coach Don Shula and the legendary Quarterback Johnny Unitas. The Jets’ 16-7 victory has been said to have accelerated the merger between the leagues.
Super Bowl LII will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a nice city but not exactly a “hot” spot in February. U.S. Bank Stadium will be sold out to its capacity of 73,000 and should be seen by a national television audience of over 111 million people. It is estimated that another 30 million, including 4 million from Canada, will be watching around the world.
Advertisers are paying $7.7 million per 30-seconds for their commercials. Adjusting for inflation ($42,000 in 1967 would be the same as $314,711 today), it is costing advertisers almost 24½-times more than the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game. Although the production of the commercials has been a big deal, the gauntlet was thrown down in 1979 when Coca-Cola aired “Hey kid, Catch” starring Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Tackle “Mean” Joe Greene. If you have not seen it or want to see it again, you can watch it at https://youtu.be/xffOCZYX6F8.
Super Bowl LII marks the 25th year that the Highland Mint of Melbourne, Florida will be striking the medal used in the coin toss. Prior to the making of the official coin, each game either used a coin of their choosing or the host city created their own medal. Of course, the NFL could not pass up a marketing opportunity and has decided to control the process.
After the game, the coin used for the coin toss is sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. If there is an overtime game, as there was for Super Bowl LI, the same coin is used as the pre-game coin toss.
The official coin “is carefully struck of fine silver plate and selectively flash plated with 24kt gold,” according to the Highland Mint. Each 1½-inch coin is individually numbered with a mintage limit of 10,000. Super Bowl fans and the fans of the winning team can order one directly from the Highland Mint.
The Wilmington Symphony will premiere ‘The Dance of the Coin’ Feb. 3 at the CFCC Wilson Center. Handling coins is still a regular occurrence for many people. Writing this story served as a reminder that touching these artfully cast pieces of metal is as close as most of us ever come to touching history. → Read more at starnewsonline.com
More than $50 million worth of gold bars, coins and dust that’s been described as the greatest lost treasure in U.S. history is about to make its public debut in California after sitting at the bottom of the ocean for more than 150 years. → Read more at foxnews.com
The Royal Mint is set to honour four generations of the monarchy with a new coin depicting the Queen and three future kings. A new £5 coin will feature Her Majesty and her son the Prince of Wales, grandson the Duke of Cambridge and great-grandson Prince George. The historic coin will show their initials E, C, W and G, and three crowns. → Read more at standard.co.uk
Metal detectorists Paul Adams, 58, and Andy Sampson, 54, began dancing around a field in Suffolk, crying out in joy when they stumbled upon a handful of ancient coins potentially worth £250,000. → Read more at dailymail.co.uk
The US Mint recently began accepting mutilated coins from scrap recyclers after a 2 year hiatus while it investigated an alleged massive Chinese coin fraud operation. → Read more at motherboard.vice.com
While many countries are winding down use of physical money in favour of card and app payments, Germans are stubbornly clinging to the clink of coins and rustle of banknotes. → Read more at gulf-times.com
There may be a coin, token, or medal that will help celebrate any holiday or occasion.
Someone looking for a collecting idea decided to find out if there was a coin for every holiday or commemoration. After searching online for the last few months, this person found over 150 coins and medals to cover more celebrations than Hallmark has cards for.
I had asked for a sample of some of the finds. There were a few commemorative coins and medals from the United States and foreign made. Many are known, some were a bit obscure.
Happy Groundhog Day Commerative Coin
Then I decided to ask about specific holidays. With Groundhog Day approaching, I asked what was in the collection for that celebration. I was expecting a Canadian coin with a badger or Canadian marmot on the reverse. Instead, I was sent a link to the “Happy Groundhog Day Commemorative Coin.”
The Happy Groundhog Day Commemorative Coin is technically a medal. It is a 1½-inch gold-colored medal available from Punxsutawney Phil’s Official Souvenir Shop in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. For the low price of 94-cents each (and likely with added shipping costs), you can also have a medal to add to your collection to celebrate Groundhog Day.
When they pulled the poor rodent out of his warm home, probably from a comfortable sleep, and paraded him around, Phil did see his shadow, thus winter will last for six more weeks. Historically, Phil and his ancestors have only been 39-percent accurate.
This is the space where I try to comment on something in the news that I found interesting. Like my update on December 3, 2017, my mind is elsewhere.
If you are a college football fan or happened to watch the Rose Bowl last Monday, my undergraduate alma mater, the Georgia Bulldogs played a thrilling game to beat the Oklahoma Sooners 54-48 in double overtime for the right to play in the National Championship game tomorrow. The last time Georgia played in the Rose Bowl, they were crowned the 1942 National Champions.
Seventy-five years later and 37 years after Georgia’s last National Championship (in the 1981 sUGAr Bowl where I was a member of the Redcoat Marching Band), it will be a battle of Southeastern Conference Titans: Alabama v. Georgia. Also known as the Teacher v. the Student since Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart was once the Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach under Alabama’s Nick Saban. Saban’s former assistants are 0-11 against their former boss. At some point, that streak has to end. Why not on Monday?!
Of course, my mood has been affected by Monday’s game. Even while working an antique’s show this weekend, which is why I am not in Tampa for the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Show, it has been a wild week—and sales have been very good. But I am waiting for the game. Monday night at 8:00 PM on ESPN.
For the coin toss (I have to include some sort of numismatic content), the referees used a silver coin with the logos of the schools on both sides. The coin looked like it was silver dollar size (at least 38mm) and in an AirTite or similar holder. There was no calling “heads or tails.” The logo that showed face up won the toss. For the pre-game and overtime coin tosses, Oklahoma won the toss. But that does not matter. I want one of those coins!
Video of 2018 Rose Bowl Coin Toss
Both the Rose Bowl site and the Highland Mint has what they call “dueling helmets” coins (yes, I know they are really medals). I want one of those silver coins like that was used for the coin toss. I sent a note to the people who run the Rose Bowl to ask how I can purchase one.
If you want to know what kind of mood I will be in on Tuesday, it will correspond to the outcome of the game!
The story of Dr Frankenstein and his cursed monster is celebrated in a new set of coins. A £2 issue will mark the 200-year anniversary of the novel by Mary Shelley which launched the modern horror genre. → Read more at mirror.co.uk
Editor's Note: View Kitco News' full 2018 outlook coverage (Kitco News) – It was a tale of two markets for gold in 2017, as prices made their biggest gains since 2010, but U.S. Mint coin sales were the weakest in a decade. → Read more at kitco.com
Norway minted its own coins during much of the Middle Ages. But the coins didn’t always impress outsiders or even the Norwegians themselves. NTNU Associate Professor Jon Anders Risvaag specializes in medieval coins. → Read more at sciencenordic.com
Challenge coins mean different things to different troops. Senior enlisted and officers tend to place them on a desk to gloat to peers and the more junior troops slam them on the bar to see who’s buying the next round. → Read more at wearethemighty.com
The Royal Mint has unveiled the designs of four new commemorative coins to be launched this year. Based on the sales values of previous issues, these could be attractive investments. Three of the coins commemorate the centenaries of major events and organisations that have helped shape Britain, including a £2 coin that marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice — the agreement that ended fighting between the Allies and Germany. → Read more at telegraph.co.uk
As we begin a new year, we should look forward to better times for our hobby, our nation, and our world. I wish you and yours a Happy and Healthy 2018 and hope that you find the key coin of your dreams!
Utah sculptor LeRoy Transfield, right, poses in his sculpting studio in Orem.
In a rare Monday holiday appearance by government workers, the U.S. Mint announced that they selected a design for the World War I American Veterans Centennial Commemorative Coin.
The winning design was submitted by LeRoy Transfield, a sculptor from Orem, Utah.
In an interview that appeared in the Desert News, Transfield said that he had two uncles that served as members of the New Zealand Expeditionary Force Native Contingent during World War I. This lead to his interest in learning about the history of the war.
2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar Obverse — “Soldier’s Charge” by LeRoy Transfield
2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar Reverse — “Poppies in the Wire” by LeRoy Transfield
For the obverse, Transfield titled it “Soldier’s Charge.” In the interview, Transfield said that he “didn’t want him to look like some model in an artist’s studio. I made his nose like it might’ve been broken. I wanted to give him a rugged looking face. … I wanted that feeling of combat”
Transfield said that the reverse was more difficult to for him to design. After several tried he came up with the “Poppies in the Wire”
In 2012, I wrote about the poem “In Flanders Fields” and suggested that it be adopted on a U.S. commemorative coin. It only took five years for my suggestion to become a reality! You can read about the poem and my recommendation → here.
Poppies are a fitting tribute since their use was inspired by the poem “In Flanders Fields.” The poem was written by Lt. Col. John McCrae, a Canadian physician following the funeral of a friend and fellow soldier who died in battle. It was published in 1915 and first adopted by the American Legion to commemorate the American Soldiers killed in the war. It was later adopted by veterans groups within the British Empire including Canada.
Transfield is originally from New Zealand but moved to the United States to attend BYU-Hawaii. After graduating with a Bachelors of Fine Arts degree, he moved with his wife to Orem where he operates a sculpting studio in his garage.
The World War I American Veterans Centennial Commemorative Coin will be issued in 2018. According to the law (Public Law 113-212) , the U.S. Mint is limited to selling no more than 350,000 silver dollars. Each coin will have a $10 surcharge (a maximum of $3.5 million) will be paid to the U.S. Foundation for the Commemoration of the World Wars to assist the World War I Centennial Commission in commemorating the centenary of World War I.
Given the texture in the both the soldier on the front and the poppies on the reverse, it will be interesting to see if the U.S. Mint comes up with an enhanced uncirculated version. It could be extraordinary!
Image of LeRoy Transfield in his studio courtesy of the Desert News.
Canada Day, or Fête du Canada in the French-speaking areas, is Canada’s version of Independence Day. It celebrates the enactment of their Constitution on July 1, 1867. The Constitution Act of 1867 brought together Ontario, Quebec, Nova Scotia, and New Brunswick to create the Dominion of Canada. As a Dominion then an independent member of the Commonwealth Realm, Canadian history is a bit different from that of the United States but as interesting.
Reverse design of the 2017 Canada $2 “Dance of the Spirits” circulating coin
What the 2017 Canada $2 “Dance of the Spirits” reverse would look like in the dark
Collectors can purchase a 5-coin set of uncirculated Canada 150 circulation strike coins in a special folder from the Royal Canadian Mint for $19.95 CAD (currently $15.39 USD). For those who want the full set of uncirculated coins, the complete 12-coin set is available for $34.95 CAD ($26.95 USD).
2017 Canada 150 5-Coin Collection
2017 Canada 150 Circulation 12-Coin Collection
If you can wait, the Royal Canadian Mint is scheduled to attend the World’s Fair of Money. Sometimes they offer discounts to those attending the show and they could be sold out of these sets! But if you are not going to make it to Denver, the Royal Canadian Mint is very good with shipping to the United States.
A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the second son of Joe and Rose Kennedy. Born on May 29, 1917 in Brookline, Massachusetts, Jack, as he was known to family and friends, was born of privilege and lead that life being able to travel the world in his younger days. It also helped that his father was named Ambassador to the Court of St. James (London).
The goal of education is the advancement of knowledge and the dissemination of truth.
He used his experience to better understand the plight of people and majored in government at Harvard College. For his honors thesis, Kennedy toured the Soviet Union, the Balkans, and the Middle East to research different political philosophies. He later was in Germany when the German Army invaded Poland marking the beginning of World War II. With his father still in London, they attended the House of Commons supporting the declaration of war on Germany.
My fellow Americans, ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country.
On his return to the United States, Kennedy tried to enter the Army’s Officer Candidate School but was medically ineligible because of chronic lower back problems. He used his family’s connections to join the U.S. Naval Reserves. During World War II, he famously commanded PT-109.
Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.
Following the death of his elder brother in 1944, Kennedy was tapped by his father to run for office. Kennedy won his first election in 1946 to serve two terms in the House. In 1952, Kennedy ran for the Senate against three-term incumbent Henry Cabot Lodge Jr. The popularity of Dwight Eisenhower running for the president did not help Lodge as Kennedy was able to win by 70,000 votes.
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future.
2014-W Reverse proof in the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Silver Set
On January 2, 1960, Kennedy announced that he was seeking the Democrat’s nomination for President of the United States. Although very young by presidential standards at 43 years old, Kennedy’s greatest obstacle was his religion. This was the first time a Roman Catholic politician was running for president. He was able to win the nomination by using a well-organized campaign that also took advantage of his good looks and the popularity of his wife, Jacqueline.
I am not the Catholic candidate for president. I am the Democratic Party candidate for president who also happens to be a Catholic. I do not speak for my Church on public matters – and the Church does not speak for me.
While trying to overcome the “Catholic question,” Kennedy his opponent, Richard Nixon, held three debates. Although not much is said about the last two debates, the first one was historic. Kennedy used makeup and appeared cool and presidential. Nixon looked nervous, sweaty, and his five o’clock shadow did not help. When the debate was over, those watching on television thought Kennedy won while those listening on radio thought Nixon won. It was a fascinating use of new media and set the tone for presidential races to come.
If we cannot now end our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.
Kennedy won the 1960 election by two-tenths of the popular vote and exceeded the Electoral College by a 303-219 margin even though 14 electors from Alabama and Mississippi refused to support him because of his stance on civil rights. Kennedy became the youngest person ever elected president.
We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.
There were a lot of accomplishments and difficulties during the term of the 35th president that there are too many to highlight here. But one that is significant in the current numismatic world was the speech he made at Rice University in support of the space program. At the time Kennedy was pushing for the funding to enter the space race, Congress was skeptical over spending the money. His impassioned speech to the students at Rice as well as several others around the nation helped gain public support. Congress eventually funded the space program.
In 2019, we will be celebrating the 50th anniversary of making it to the moon by the end of that decade with the Apollo 11 Commemorative Coin program. Phase One of the competition ends on June 29, 2017, or until 1,000 entries are received. Visit the U.S. Mint’s competition page for more information.
Would the United States have made it to the moon by the end of the 1960s and beaten the Russians there without Kennedy? We may not be able to answer that question but we do know he set the policies that will allow for the celebration in two years.
Happy 100th Birthday to President John F. Kennedy.
2017 Kennedy Half Dollar and 2015 Kennedy Dollar images courtesy of the U.S. Mint.
The last surviving member of Doolittle’s Raiders is Lt. Col. Richard Cole, Doolittle’s co-pilot. Cole is now 101 years old. Click here to read about Cole and Doolittle’s Raid on Japan that helped the U.S. launch the War in the Pacific.
The first recorded organized public recognition of the war dead occurred on May 1, 1865 in Charleston, South Carolina. On that day, Freedmen (freed southern slaves) celebrated the service of the 257 Union soldiers buried at the Washington Race Course (now Hampton Park). They labeled the gravesite “Martyrs of the Race Course.” African Americans continued that tradition and named the celebration Decoration Day.
Southern states began their own commemoration to honor their soldiers who died during the war. No specific date was used but occurred in late April through June. By 1880, there was a more organized Confederate Memorial Day. These celebrations honored specific soldiers to commemorate the Confederate “Lost Cause.” By 1913, a sense of nationalism saw a commemoration of all soldiers that have died in battle.
1995-S Civil War Battlefields Commemorative Silver Dollar
Memorial Day took on national significance following World War I when the nation began to recognize all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice during all conflicts. By the end of World War II, most of the celebrations were renamed to Memorial Day. Memorial Day did not become an official holiday until 1967 with the passage of the Uniform Holidays Act in 1968. Under the law, Memorial Day was set to the last Monday in May, changing it from the traditional May 30th.
Memorial Day is the national remembrance of those who made the ultimate sacrifice for this country. Please take a moment and honor the memories of those who have died for without them who knows where we would be today.
Visitors are reflected in the Vietnam Memorial in Washington, May 27, 2016. (Susan Walsh/AP Photo via ABC News)