U.S. Mint Unveils Negro League Baseball Museum Commemorative

The U.S. Mint and the Negro League Baseball Museum held an unveiling event for the 2022 NLBM Commemorative Coin Program. The ceremony was held at the museum in Kansas City, Missouri. NLBM Director Bob Kendrick hosted the event. Also attending was Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), President of the Kansas City Federal Reserve Esther George, and Kansas City Mayor Quentin Lucas (D).

Rep. Emmanuel Cleaver (D-MO) recorded a message for the event because he was traveling overseas. Cleaver was a council member and was an early supporter of the museum. Cleaver continued to support the museum as mayor of Kansas City and was one of the Members of Congress who ushered the bill to authorize the commemorative program to passage.

As part of the ceremony, Sen. Blunt presented a copy of the signed law to the museum. Blount and Cleaver autographed the copy.

Acting Director of the U.S. Mint Ventris Gibson recorded the design unveiling ceremony they played at the museum. Before announcing the designs, Gibson revealed that her father played for a Negro League team in Virginia from 1949 through 1960.

Later in the day, the U.S. Mint published a press release with the design information.

The following are screenshots of the ceremony:

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Weekly World Numismatic News for October 24, 2021

2021 Canada Bluenose 10-cents

2021 Canada circulating 10-cent coin featuring a splash of color honoring the 100th Anniversary of the Bluenose (Royal Canadian Mint image)

A few weeks ago, the Royal Mint published a survey that said British collectors love the new 50 pence series featuring childhood characters. The series has been attracting new collectors of the various 50p coins. They report increased sales in the colorized coins.

This week, the Royal Canadian Mint announced that they would issue a colored 10 cent coin to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Bluenose. The Bluenose was a famous fishing schooner launched from Nova Scotia in 1921. Canadians nicknamed the vessel The Queen of the North Atlantic. An image of the Bluenose began its depiction on the Canadian 10-cent coin in 1937.

The dual-dated coin will include a splash of blue on the design that represents the water. The Royal Mint and Bank of Canada have begun circulating the coin this week.

The new 10-cent coin is not the first circulating colorized coin. In 2004, the Royal Canadian Mint produced a 25-cent coin with a red poppy to honor Canadian veterans. In 2006, they produced a 25-cent coin with a pink ribbon in support of Breast Cancer research.

Canadians do not have the same hangups about what constitutes a coin as their U.S. neighbors. Regular contacts report that Canadians welcome the new coins excitement. Many suspect people will pick the coins out of circulation as soon as they enter, similar to the red poppy and breast cancer awareness 25-cent coins.

Imagine the reaction if the U.S. Mint produced a colorized circulating coin?

And now the news…

 October 18, 2021
Archaeologists from the Israel Antiques Authority (IAA) have excavated a hoard of silver coins from the Hasmonaean period in Modiin-Maccabim-Reut, Israel.  → Read more at heritagedaily.com

 October 19, 2021
WASHINGTON – The U.S. Department of the Treasury has approved an image of former Principal Chief Wilma Mankiller with “a resolute gaze to the future” for the reverse side of a 2022 quarter as part of the U.S.  → Read more at cherokeephoenix.org

 October 20, 2021
A man was “completely amazed” to find one of the US’s first struck coins in a forgotten sweet tin. The Hon Wentworth Beaumont said he found the mid-17th century New England shilling in an old Barker and Dobson sweet tin at his father’s home among a collection of old coins.  → Read more at standard.co.uk

 October 21, 2021
The People’s Bank of China has launched a set of Panda precious metal coins, in celebration of the iconic Panda series’ fortieth anniversary on October 20. The range includes the first platinum Pandas to be released since 2005.  → Read more at miningweekly.com

 October 21, 2021
Conservation workers have discovered a 127-year-old farthing which had been placed under the mast of Nelson’s flagship, HMS Victory, for good luck.  → Read more at uk.news.yahoo.com

 October 21, 2021
By Anil Dhir Bhubaneswar: Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose had declared the formation of the “Provisional Government of Free India” at Singapore on the 21st Oct 1943.  → Read more at orissadiary.com

 October 22, 2021
Image Credit : Dr Marek Florek Archaeologists from the Maria Curie-Skłodowska University (UMCS) have excavated another medieval treasure hoard in Zawichost-Trójcy, Poland.  → Read more at heritagedaily.com

 October 22, 2021
Households were not only hoarding canned goods and toilet paper during the coronavirus pandemic, they were also stockpiling rolls of coins. Demand was so high for 20¢, 10¢ and even 5¢ pieces when COVID-19 sent the nation into lockdown that the Royal Australian Mint was forced to double shifts to produce enough change to keep up over the past financial year.  → Read more at smh.com.au

 October 24, 2021
OTTAWA — You could soon have a little splash of blue in your pocket, with a new dime from the Royal Canadian Mint commemorating a national icon. The Mint is launching Canada’s first-ever coloured dimes to commemorate the 100th anniversary of Bluenose, the famous fishing schooner that graces the coins.  → Read more at ottawa.ctvnews.ca
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Traveling and Change Hunting

If you are a change hunter, you know the thrill that you can find in your pocket as you travel. Spend a few dollars here and there, drop the change in your pocket, then spend time later looking hoping that you find something interesting.

Earlier today, it was time to leave Atlanta. After the stress of dropping off a rental car, getting through the TSA checkpoint complete with physical and verbal molestation, I needed a cold drink. Braving airport prices, I bought a bottle of water and waited for my plane.

A few moments ago, I emptied my pockets and found the coins I have been hunting for since the beginning of the year: two nice 2021 quarters, the Tuskeegee Airmen National Historic Site and the Washington Crossing the Delaware quarters.

2021 Quarters Obverse

Obverse of the 2021 Tuskegee Airmen National Historic Site quarter on the left and the 2021 Washington Crossing the Delaware Quarter on the right.

The first noticeable thing is that the obverse of the Washington Crossing the Delaware quarter looks closest to the last regular issue quarter in 1998. Washington’s bust is more prominent, and there are smaller fields. The compromise in the design is to fit “LIBERTY” in the field left of the bust.

If the U.S. Mint designers can use a smaller font for “LIBERTY,” they can produce an obverse similar to this 2021 revival. Remember, congress has passed legislation for circulating commemorative quarters for the next ten years.

2021 Quarters Reverse

Reverse designs of the 2021 quarters

The images produced by the U.S. Mint show promise for the reverse designs. However, when you look at the coin in hand, the design has a smooth feel. The design lacks the depth needed to bring out the design. It can be a good design, but the U.S. Mint’s tradeoff to lower relief coins to extend the die’s life ruins the intended effect.

Although the Tuskeegee Airmen National Historic Site quarter was struck in a similar relief, it appears that the dies were engraved to give the design a better image of depth and texture. The design and engraving of this coin gives the America the Beautiful Quarter program a well-designed closed.

Weekly World Numismatic News for January 17, 2021

1994-P Washington QuarterThe president has signed the last numismatic-related bill this past week. On January 13, 2021, the president signed the Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020 (Public Law No. 116-330). It was the last possible day to sign the bill. If he did not sign it, the bill would be subjected to a pocket veto.

  • H.R. 1923: Circulating Collectible Coin Redesign Act of 2020
    Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
    LAST ACTION: Signed by the President and became Public Law No: 116-330. — Jan 13, 2021

The law will require the U.S. Mint to redesign the quarters’ reverse through 2030, starting in 2022.

Prominent American Women Quarters

For the quarters issued between 2022 and 2025, “The design on the reverse side of each quarter dollar issued under this subsection shall be emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of one prominent woman of the United States.” The U.S. Mint will issue “up to” five quarters per year and confer with several groups to determine who receives the honor.

United States Semiquincentennial Coins

The United States will celebrate its seniquincentennial (250th Anniversary) on July 4, 2026. In celebration of the event, the law states that the U.S. Mint will issue the following coins:

  • QUARTERS: 2026 quarters “with up to five different designs emblematic of the United States semiquincentennial.” One quarter must be design to be emblematic of the contribution of a woman or women.
  • DOLLARS: orders the Mint to issue “$1 dollar coins with designs emblematic of the United States semiquincentennial.” These dollar coins will be issued in addition to the Native American and Innovation dollars.

Youth Sports Program

The law requires the U.S. Mint to celebrate youth sports with changes to the quarter and half-dollars to correspond to the Summer Olympic games of 2028 and the Winter games of 2030. This program will run from 2027 through 2030.

  • QUARTERS: Up to five coins issued each year “shall be emblematic of one sport played by American youth.”
  • HALF-DOLLARS: Up to five coins issued each year “emblematic of one Paralympic sport.”
  • MEDALS: The law authorizes the U.S. Mint to create “medals with designs emblematic of the sport honored with the issuance of the coin.”

Medals for the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles

The law authorizes the U.S. Mint “to design and manufacture medals for awarding at the 2028 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, California.” The law makes it the first time in the modern Olympics history that the U.S. Mint will create the games’ medals. Previously, the Olympic committees had a private vendor create the medals. According to the International Olympic Committee website, medals for the games played in the United States were created by the following:

Year Games Location Minter of the Medals
1904 Summer St. Louis Diege & Clust
1932 Summer Los Angeles The Whitehead & Hoag Co.
1932 Winter Lake Placid Robbins Company
1960 Winter Squaw Valley Herff Jones
1980 Winter Lake Placid Medallic Art Co.
1984 Summer Los Angeles Jostens, Inc
1996 Summer Atlanta Reed and Barton
2002 Winter Salt Lake City O.C. Tanner

Silver Bullion Coins

The new law allows the U.S. Mint to continue to make the five-ounce silver bullion coins that correspond to each of the quarter and half-dollar programs. Interestingly, the silver hockey-puck-sized coins appear to be popular and will continue to be available to collectors and investors.

Also added to the law is the ability to strike factional silver bullion coins with the same designs. It is uncertain if a half-ounce or quarter-ounce silver coin will sell, but we will find out.

Obverse of the Coins

George Washington will continue to appear on the obverse but “be designed in a manner, such as with incused inscriptions, so as to distinguish it from the obverse design used during the previous quarters program.”

The bill includes similar language for the image of John F. Kennedy on the 2026 Semiquincentennial half-dollar.

And now the news…

 January 8, 2021
Coin collecting is viewed by many enthusiasts to be a form of modern day treasure hunting, as shops in South Beloit and Beloit continue to do well as collectors come seeking rare finds, or simply to make an investment in precious metals.  → Read more at beloitdailynews.com

 January 11, 2021
The world’s finest Brasher Doubloon, the most legendary U.S gold coin ever produced, is heading for auction at Heritage this month. The 18th century coin is described as “arguably the world’s most famous numismatic rarity”, and is one of only seven examples known to exist.  → Read more at news.justcollecting.com

 January 13, 2021
Ongoing excavations at a rural spot near the village of Újlengyel in central Hungary recently struck gold, both figuratively and literally. Archaeologists armed with powerful metal detectors found a buried treasure of approximately seven thousand silver and four medieval  gold coins  in Hungary, hidden centuries ago by unknown individuals.  → Read more at ancient-origins.net

 January 14, 2021
Egypt: Archaeologists find coins with Cleopatra’s face on Thousands of objects including ancient coins, pottery and sculpture thousands of years old have been secured, the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) has confirmed.  → Read more at express.co.uk
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James Earle Fraser and A Controversial Statue

Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall entrance

Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt at the American Museum of Natural History in New York City. (Wikipedia)

Last week, the American Museum of Natural History requested that New York City remove the Equestrian Statue of Theodore Roosevelt at its front door. James Earle Fraser designed the statue.

Since Roosevelt’s death, Fraser was asked to design three different statues honoring the 26th President with themes picked by the sponsors. The theme was chosen for this statue by the Roosevelt Memorial Association. The statue would honor Roosevelt and the indigenous people in the Badlands of South Dakota and the Africans he met during his post-presidency safari. They were meant to be allegorical figures, not real people.

Theodore Roosevelt was a fascinating personality. TR was fond of the Badlands area, the area of the Dakota territory around the Little Missouri River. In his autobiography, Roosevelt admitted that he used his trips to the Badlands as an escape. The trips started after the death of his first wife, Alice, who died within days of giving birth to their only child.

Roosevelt stopped talking about Alice after her death. Until he wrote his autobiography, the last statement Roosevelt made about Alice was in his diary, where he wrote, “The light has gone out of my life.” Some scholars believe that Roosevelt’s trips to the Badlands were his attempt to combat depression or post-traumatic stress following Alice’s death.

Following his presidency, Roosevelt went on a safari in Africa and a trip through Europe. In Africa, Roosevelt’s safari was a research project sponsored by Andrew Carnegie that would bring back specimens for the Smithsonian Institue and the American Museum of Natural History.

His guide through Africa was a British national RJ Cunninghame. Aside from his knowledge of the region, Cunninghame knew many natives who can lead them around the land. In each of the countries, the local guides were natives.

In his autobiography, Roosevelt would credit the native people for helping on his trips. It was clear that Theodore Roosevelt would not have been associated with these people in other areas of his life. Still, his writing demonstrated a lot of respect for their guidance.

James Earle Fraser

James Earle Fraser, ca. 1920 (Wikipedia)

Fraser was consulted many times by the Roosevelt Memorial Association. It was due to his being an accomplice to Roosevelt’s “pet crime,” the redesign of the nation’s coinage. Fraser, who was an assistant to Augustus Saint-Gaudens, understood the imagery the President wanted that became the inspiration for the Buffalo Nickel.

Frasier’s style was called Beaux-Arts, which relied on neoclassical-like images. Frasier was the designer of the Buffalo Nickel and other commemorative coins. Frasier’s style was called Beaux-Arts, which relied on neoclassical-like images. Frasier took Beaux-Arts to a new level by studying his subjects’ history and incorporating them into the imagery.

All of Frasier’s work has many elements that have to be studied to be appreciated. Numismatists can see his attention to detail by studying a Type 1 Buffalo Nickel with a loupe. The detail gives the coin a lot of character that makes it an appealing collectible. When the U.S. Mint tried to recreate the design for the 2001 commemorative coin, collectors were not satisfied with the flatter image.

The 24-karat Gold Buffalo coin is a good representation of Frasier’s Type 1 Buffalo Nickel design. John Mercanti’s execution of Fraser’s design is phenomenal.

Many of the statues in tribute to the 26th President show Roosevelt on a horse. Fraser was consulted about two other Roosevelt memorial statues. The statue Fraser proposed that is now on Roosevelt Island in New York’s East River was similar in design to the Equestrian Statue at the Museum of Natural History. The other was a statue to be part of the Theodore Roosevelt Island in the Potomac River near Georgetown. It depicted Roosevelt on a horse without the guides. Fraser died before funding for the statue was realized.

Fraser’s image for the statue was clear. It was the two indigenous people working to support Roosevelt’s adventures. These are not racist images, even when it has been badly misinterpreted by some media who call the person to Roosevelt’s left an African-American.

Unfortunately, the current society has lost the ability to reason beyond the surface at allegorical symbols that are supposed to honor rather than demean. It takes a higher sense of forethought to understand what is being depicted. A value that is lacking today. Understanding the history of the man and the imagery offered by Fraser something to be admired. It is a work of art that needs to be preserved and not run over by a politically correct freight train.

Weekly World Numismatic News for December 15, 2019 +2

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… especially if you are in retail and your sales are tripling! I hope to be on time with next week’s news report. Until then, here is what I had planned to say on Sunday.

2019 Australian Coincryption

“Coincryption” from the Royal Australian Mint (Image via news.com.au)

The old information security geek became excited when I found out that the Royal Australian Mint issued a coin that had an encrypted message. They also held a contest to see who could decrypt the message.

The coin, called “Coincryption,” was issued in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). The ASIO is equivalent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.

As part of the contest, the person who cracked the code was eligible to receive a one-of-a-kind coin designed to celebrate the anniversary of the ASIO.

To crack the code, you need to use the one-time pad as a key. A one-time pad (OTP) is randomly generated text that, when you apply a specific formula, will reveal each letter. OTPs can be very secure if used only once, and the equation to decode the message is frequently changed.

For this contest, the Royal Australian Mint published the OTP in the literature sold with the coin (for AU$10) or online. Since the contest is over, the Royal Australian Mint removed the OTP from their website.

UPDATE: I found the OTP on the Royal Mint’s website → here.

According to the press report, the decoded message says:

There is no greater honour than the trust of the Australian people or weightier burden than protecting the security of Australia and its people.

If you want an encryption challenge, you can try your skills at Kryptos, the copper sculpture that is outside of the Central Intelligence Agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Kryptos contains four messages in the 865 characters carved into the sculpture. Since its installation in 1990, world-wide experts have solved three of the four messages. The last 97 characters, known as K4, remain unsolved.

Since Kryptos is on the CIA grounds, it is off-limits to the public. However, the CIA has made it available on their website. More information about Kryptos, including the messages hidden in the first three panels, is available in this article.

Kryptos might be a good idea for a commemorative coin. Create a clad coin with K4, attach it to a card with information about the sculpture that includes the cipher, and offer a special gold coin to whoever solved the puzzle. Add a $5 surcharge and donate the money to STEM education.

And now the news…

 December 3, 2019
A metal detectorist has said he was "amazed" as a hoard of 99 silver Anglo-Saxon coins that he found in a farmer's field sold at auction for £90,000. The proceeds will be split 50/50 between builder Don Crawley, who unearthed the pennies at the site of a forgotten Saxon church in Suffolk, and the landowner.  → Read more at scotsman.com

 December 9, 2019
Nine silver quarters recovered from the wreck of a sunken ship carrying tonnes of treasure during the California Gold Rush are ready for auction. The rare quarters were recovered in 2014 from the wreck of SS Central America, a steamship that sank on September 12, 1857, while carrying gold and other treasure from San Francisco to New York.  → Read more at 9news.com.au

 December 10, 2019
Belgium did it earlier this month, following Finland, the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy Making cash payments is gradually getting easier in Western Europe. As of the beginning of December, it is no longer possible to pay cash amounts like 3,22 or 5,99 euros when you shop in Belgium.  → Read more at themayor.eu

 December 14, 2019
Magill, 55, from Newry in Northern Ireland, gets a 50-month sentence for conspiring to import fake currency.  → Read more at news.sky.com

 December 14, 2019
The Royal Australian Mint has finally revealed the secret message hidden on a “unique and exciting” Aussie coin. In September this year, the Mint made history after releasing the first Aussie coin featuring a secret code.  → Read more at news.com.au

 December 14, 2019
Sackers scrap metal and waste recycling The haul was made up of some legal tender and some old notes Staff at a scrap metal dealer who found about £20,000 as they cut up a safe to be recycled will donate the money to charity after no-one claimed it.  → Read more at bbc.co.uk

 December 14, 2019
Swissmint’s retail website buckled under pressure as demand soared for a commemorative coin featuring the country’s tennis star Roger Federer. A look at some old coins that are worth a fortune today:  → Read more at economictimes.com
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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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Basketball Hall of Fame Commem Unveiled

During a ceremony at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts on September 6, the U.S. Mint unveiled the design for the 2020 Hall of Fame commemorative coin.

The obverse of the coin, designed by Artistic Infusion Program artist Pheobe Hemphill, has an image looking down into the net from the rim. Superimposed on above the rim are three players: a man, woman, and wheelchair player, reaching for a ball.

The design is something that represents the Basketball Hall of Fame. As opposed to Halls of Fame from other sports, the Basketball Hall of Fame honors the best basketball players from any arena, not just from the professional leagues.

The reverse of the curved coin, designed by Artistic Infusion Program artist Justin Kunz, the image of a basketball as it is about to drop into the basket. While using the image of a ball is similar to what the U.S. Mint used for the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin, this one is a little different. For this commemorative coin, the ball does not take up the entire side, leaving a distinct rim around the ball. Also, the ball will be on the concave side of the coin.

Line drawings of coin designs do not provide the perspective of the final product, making it difficult to judge. The design unveiled in Springfield appears to have a lot of potentials. Let’s hope that the final product can be just as nice.

Although U.S. Mint Director David Ryder once mentioned something about selective coloring on this coin, there has been no formal announcement from the U.S. Mint.

A video of the ceremony is available on the NBA’s website.

Some random thoughts…

Although it has been a while since I have posted something outside of the Weekly World Numismatic News, it does not mean that I have been idle. Here are some random thoughts:

Glenn B Smedley Medal

2019 Glenn B Smedley Medal

First, I want to thank the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors for awarding me the 2019 Glenn Smedley Memorial Award. It is an honor! I wish I could have been there for the award ceremony.

ANA President Steve Ellsworth asked me to continue as Chair of the Technology Committee. I accepted his appointment. Steve has a different vision for how to move forward. Change is a good thing and will work with him and the Board to do what is best for the ANA.

There continues to be work to do for the ANA to add technology to the numismatic experience. One of the areas I would like to include more technology are the exhibits. After speaking with one person familiar with the exhibiting process, I think there are ways to add technology without technology overshadowing the numismatic content. I will have a proposal shortly. Stay tuned.

2007 Somalia Motorcycle Coins
I love these coins but is this the direction the U.S. Mint should go?

Not long ago, U.S. Mint Director David Ryder said that there might be a chance to add color to the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins. I have had a mixed feeling about adding color to coins. There are some cases where the color acted as an enhancer. Other times, some mints produced coins that were discs with prints. I will wait until the design is released to decide how I feel about the Mint’s attempt with color.

There are many collectibles whose values have declined over the last year, including some collector coins. One area that remains low are those collector sets produced by the television hucksters or the private mints. These firms overhype the value of their wares to convince buyers that they should purchase them as an investment. Recently, I handled an estate with several items purchased from QVC and the Franklin Mint. All of the coins were overpriced. The family was upset when I provided my valuation. I will talk about this more in a future post.

Another article idea that is inspired by my business is the difference between collecting and investing. Although some people like to try to mix the two, most of the time, the result is that the investor does not create a compelling collection while most of the collectors create value without trying.

I sold my silver Pandas. I lost interest after the composition was changed but the hype has kept the prices up. Hype is not a long-term strategy.

Recently, I decided to liquidate part of my collection. As part of the process, I realized how much I have learned over the years. It is a real case of “the more you know, the more you realize what you don’t know.” I learned several lessons during this process, including not to trust my judgment. In one case, coins I graded years ago were over graded. If I would have used the tools and knowledge, I have today, and the grades would be different.

Finally, I am still waiting to find a “W” quarter in change. I have yet to see one. Most of the people I know that are looking for these quarters are roll hunting. If I were into conspiracies, I would suggest that the Mint did this on purpose to increase the demand for quarters. People would demand rolls of quarters, forcing the Federal Reserve to order more.

Considering the U.S. Mint is a government agency, I bet they are storing most of the quarters in Area 51! After all, if we are going into conspiracy theories, we might as well go all of the way!

Weekly World Numismatic News for July 7, 2019

Steven Kenny

Newly named Artistic Infusion Program artist Steven Kenny (photo courtesy of www.stevenkenny.com)

Usually, news about a new artist selected for the Artistic Infusion Program is not big news in the numismatic community. The program currently has 13 artists including a few who were once employees of the U.S. Mint. But the recent announcement that Steven Kenny of St. Petersburg, Florida seemed a little unusual because of his artistic style.

Kenny’s primary work is surrealism, a style described as “irrational juxtaposition of images.” There are many different styles of surrealism that many artists have explored. One of the most famous surrealist artists was Salvador Dali.

The Beach by Steven Kenny

“The Beach” by Steven Kenny. Available as a print on his website.

While exploring Kenny’s website, you can see he has an interesting take on surrealism. Most of his works appear to be his take on portraits of different types of people adapting to their environment in unique ways. But these works go beyond that simple description, which is usually the case with artists who specialize in surrealism. His work has a simplicity that the more you look at them, the more that you can see complex themes formed by the image.

The way Kenny approaches a subject makes his selection to the AIP a fascinating choice. The U.S. Mint has always had a problem figuring out how to create designs for complex subjects. It is one thing to design a coin with an organization’s logo or the bust of a person, but what about design a coin for a national park, a forest, or an event?

Although seeing a surrealistic design on a coin would be interesting, someone with a background in surrealism has a different view that has the potential to improve on coin designs.

Kenny’s selection to the AIP is a very interesting move for the U.S. Mint. Whoever made the selection should be praised for not only selecting a talented artist but one with a different perspective.

I encourage everyone to explore Steven Kenny’s website to see more about his art.

And now the news…

 June 30, 2019

Using powerful infrared light, researchers have found a way to tint metal without dyes or pigments – with scientific implications far beyond coin-collecting  → Read more at theglobeandmail.com


 July 2, 2019

The U.S. Mint selected St. Petersburg surrealist painter Steven Kenny to create designs for coins.  → Read more at abcactionnews.com


 July 3, 2019

PHOTO: “MIR”  → Read more at galpost.com


 July 3, 2019

To continue, please click the box below to let us know you're not a robot.  → Read more at bloomberg.com


 July 3, 2019

 → Read more at kitco.com


 July 4, 2019

A rare gold solidus dating back 1,600 years has been found by a group of Israeli students in the Galilee region.  → Read more at sci-news.com


 July 4, 2019

A treasure trove of Arab coins dating back some 1,000 years has been discovered in an old German cemetery near the Baltic coast.  → Read more at thefirstnews.com

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