April 2020 Numismatic Legislation Review

Seal of the United States CongressAlthough the calendar passed May the Fourth (be with you) and Cinco de Mayo, the days are running together that the one thing I forgot was the end of April. Days are blurring together to the point that I forgot that Thursday was senior day at some local stores. I do not mind the label of a senior citizen. It means that I survived to wear that moniker.

So that I can correct this senior moment, it is time to talk about the one numismatic-related bill introduced in the House of Representatives in April.

H.R. 6555: United States Semiquincentennial Quarter Series Act
Sponsor: Rep. Bonnie Watson coleman (D-NJ)
Introduced: April 17, 2020
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Apr 17, 2020
Introduced in House — Apr 17, 2020
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR6555.

The United States Semiquincentennial Quarter Series Act (H.R. 6555) would create a five quarters program to celebrate the U.S. Semiquincentennial (250 years) in 2026. If the bill passes, the U.S. Mint will “issue quarter dollars in 2026 with up to five different designs emblematic of the United States semiquincentennial. One of the quarter dollar designs must be emblematic of a woman’s or women’s contribution to the birth of the Nation or the Declaration of Independence or any other monumental moments in American History.”

According to the bill, the Secretary “may” mint “$1 coins with designs emblematic of the United States semiquincentennial.”

H.R. 6555 takes a different approach than the Bicentennial coinage. For the Bicentennial, the program lasted two years, 1975-1976. The coins were dated 1776-1976, and the reverse of the quarter, half-dollar, and dollar coins were redesigned. The previous designs returned in 1977.

The country is busy with other issues rather than being concerned with the nation’s semiquincentennial. But it is nice to think about a celebration than the worries we are going through today.
 

1976-S Silver Proof Bicentennial Autograph Set

Weekly World Numismatic News for April 12, 2020

2020 National Coin WeekEarlier this week, Roundtable Trading announced that the Great American Coin Hunt that is part National Coin Week would go on as planned.

During the week of April 19-25, 2020, coin dealers will attempt to place collector coins into circulation. Those finding coins are encouraged to log onto social media and show off their finds using the hashtag #GreatAmericanCoinHunt.

Who is spending money and where are they spending it?

With the current COVID-19 stay-at-home orders, The number of places that are now taking cash payments has dwindled. Patrons of restaurants and encouraged to use online ordering and payments before arriving. Delivery services also want items paid for before making the trip to your front door.

In states that have laws that require retail stores to accept cash, retailers are requesting that customers limit “payment options to credit cards/debit cards… to minimize physical contact.”

The PaymentsJournal, a payments industry publications, reported that a study released by RTi Research shows an increase in people showing concern about catching coronavirus from using cash. The studies show that more people have used less cash, and more will use less cash in the future.

If consumers are using less cash in the fewer open retail outlets, then how successful will a coin drop be?

And now the news…

 April 4, 2020
Dear Reader,

In line with the resolution of the European Parliament and of the Council of April 27, 2016  on the protection of natural persons with regard to the processing of personal data and on the free movement of such data, and repealing Directive 95/46/EC (General Data Protection Regulation), we are informing you that we are processing your data.
  → Read more at scienceinpoland.pap.pl

 April 6, 2020
Strengths • The best performing precious metal for the week was gold, off only 0.45 percent. The yellow metal is continuing its strong showing.  → Read more at kitco.com

 April 6, 2020
A new Irish bullion company has achieved 70% of its yearly target in their last three weeks of trading. Investors have rushed to the precious metal as the price of gold drifts upwards.  → Read more at breakingnews.ie

 April 7, 2020
A proposal to land the Apollo lunar module on the reverse side of a new $1 coin has been waved off by the committees reviewing the design.  → Read more at space.com

 April 10, 2020
Parents and children across the nation are finding themselves at home and looking for things to fill their time and keep their minds active. These are troubling times but there is a silver lining. Americans have found an opportunity to slow down and reconnect with their families. Coin collecting can be an enjoyable and wholesome escape from television and electronic devices. That is why US coin dealers and collectors alike from coast to coast are pledging to give away coins and coin albums to parents for their kids.  → Read more at prweb.com

 April 10, 2020
— A very (very) small portion of the metal in NASA's official Apollo 13 50th anniversary medallions flew to the moon and back — just like the mission the bronze pieces serve to commemorate.

The medallions, which were created for NASA by Winco International of California, are among several new mementos and limited edition products that celebrate the Apollo 13 mission half a century after it "had a problem."  → Read more at collectspace.com

 April 11, 2020
Lecturer Jamie Pringle has unearthed a medieval coin under his raspberry patch after doing a spot of weeding during lockdown. He was trying to stave off boredom when he headed into the back garden of his three-bedroom semi in Hartshill.  → Read more at stokesentinel.co.uk
Coin Collectors News
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 ANA Cancels 2020 Summer Seminar (Apr 9, 2020)

 

Collectible to satisfy 3 interests

Pontiac 25th Anniversary Money ClipNow that some of us have a little time on our hands, why not think about how you can have fun with your collection. After all, there is more to collecting coins by types or date sets. Sometimes you need to think outside the folder and album and find something different.

Take, for example, the money clip pictured here. Embedded in the money clip is a version of my favorite coin, a Peace Dollar. Although the 1922 Peace Dollar may be the most accessible of the series, its presence in this money clip adds to the allure.

But wait, there’s more!

If you look above the Peace Dollar is the Indian Chief emblem of Pontiac, the former automobile division of General Motors. The emblem celebrates the silver anniversary, 25 years, of the Pontiac Motor Division.

Pontiac 25th Anniversary Emblem on Money ClipGM introduced Pontiac as a companion marque nameplate to the Oakland Motor Division in 1926. Oakland managed Pontiac to sell cars at a lower price point than other Oakland manufactured vehicles. By 1929, Pontiac became more popular than Oakland, which led to Oakland’s closure in 1931 during the Great Depression.

Ironically, Pontiac would meet the same fate during the Great Recession. To meet the demands of regulators for accepting a $25 billion federal government loan, GM agreed to close Pontiac and Saturn, sell Saab, and close or sell Hummer as part of the restructuring. Like Oakland, Pontiac is now part of automaking lore.

The 1951 Pontiac Chieftain was a popular car. The Chieftain was available as a sedan, sedan coupe, business coupe, and deluxe convertible coupe. In 1950, Pontiac introduced the Catalina coupe that became a popular option that, in 1959, the Catalina succeeded the Chieftain as a model. The cars sold at the right price point for the burgeoning middle class of the post-war United States.

I drove a 1970 Pontiac Catalina 1977-78. It was big. It was green. It guzzled gas. We nicknamed it, “The Green Bomb.”

Turn over the money clip, and aside from seeing the reverse of the Peace Dollar, the clip is engraved, “Jack Blank Says Dollar for Dollar You can’t Beat a Pontiac.”

Jack Blank Pontiac was located at 1437 Irving Street, NW, in Washington DC. Jack Blank (1901-1980) founded Arcade Pontiac in 1937. In 1951, he renamed the dealership after buying out his partners. Blank retired as company president in 1969.

Blank was a prolific promotor. Aside from buying the rights to be the “Official Car Dealership of the Washington Redskins,” Blank created a lot of promotional items. Numismatically, collectors can find a 1964 encased cent with the dealership’s name and address. The money clip was a one-year promotion.

Blank died in 1980. The last records of the dealership were advertising in 1992 publications.

One collectible satisfies three interests. Numismatically, it is a Peace Dollar. I love the Peace Dollar. Even though this dollar was polished and is glued into an enclosure, it is still a silver dollar.

It is an advertising piece for a vintage car. My two favorite car eras are the muscle cars of the mid-1960s to the early 1970s and the cars of the art deco era. The Chieftain would be redesigned in later years, but it retains the art deco look I like.

Finally, it is part of Washington, DC history that has nothing to do with the government.

It is your turn to go out and find something that will satisfy you numismatically and other interests!

Quarantine Update: COINS ON TELEVISION ARE STILL NOT A GOOD DEAL

It’s that time of year, boys and girls. It’s scam time!
All the little suckers collectors are home captivated by what’s on televison. Let’s see if we can suck them in catch their eyes to separate them from their money sell them common material great coins at inflated great prices!

Since being ordered to stay-at-home, the number of queries about deals for coins from television commercials, infomercials, and the home shopping channels has risen. The number of readers for my article “DON’T BUY COINS ON TELEVISION” has quadrupled in the past week.

The questions are all the same: is it a good buy?

Usually, the answer is NO!

In “DON’T BUY COINS ON TELEVISION,” I compared the offer of a date run of 31 American Silver Eagles each graded NGC MS-69 to a full 34 coin set. I found that the television markup was 50-80% over other alternatives.

The experience with this television con came less than a week after someone came into my shop with a box of overpriced items that he purchased from a home shopping television show and places like the National Collectors Mint. In “The Sad State of Television Numismatics,” I wrote about this experience and some more things to watch out for, including gold-plated tributes that have less than 1-cent worth of gold.

So that you know that this is not new, back in 2011, I wrote about another infomercial that claimed the Presidential $1 Coins were “vanishing from circulation at an alarming rate” because collectors are hoarding them. It was another show where the statements made the overpriced items appear too good to be true.

The worst part of both television pitches is that they both used respected numismatic authors as props. While neither endorsed the products the announcer was pitching, their presence was an effort to give the pitch an air of legitimacy.

I know it is difficult for some to be home during the day. Many of us are used to working and not having this much time on our hands. But it is not the time to stop thinking about getting the best value out of your collection. If you see a pitch for coins on television that intrigues you, then stop, take notes, and do some research before picking up the phone or visiting that URL.

What do the price guides say about the price? If the items are in slabs, go to the price guides for NGC or PCGS and find out what they say the coins should be worth. Want an independent opinion? Check the prices with the Greysheet Price Guide or the Numismedia Fair Market Value Price Guide.

Are there other purchasing options? Use a search engine to search for others who may be selling the same items. Check online auction sites, like eBay.

If you do a little due diligence, you may find that you can purchase the same or similar numismatics at a better price. You might be able to find something with a better grade also at a lower price.

Please do not overpay for your collectibles. If you regret your purchase, then it takes the fun out of collecting. We have enough problems, don’t compound them. Relax and enjoy your collection!

Using Numismatics to Promote Remote Education

Chihuahua Revolutionary Banknotes

Chihuahua Revolutionary Banknotes

Parents and teachers are looking for opportunities to continue the education process during this time of quarrantine. It had me thinking as to how numismatics can tie into history lessons. If coins and currency are history in your hands, why not use them for education.

Inspired by “These Chihuahuas are not dogs,” that I wrote in 2018, I challenged teachers to dig through a junk box of old banknotes and use them as a teaching tool. Since we are now practicing social distancing, that is not an option.

An option would be to talk to a dealer and ask if they could help. Go to the American Numismatic Association’s dealers directory at coin-dealer-directory.money.org and find one near by. Call them and ask if they can help you and your students.

Most dealers have junk boxes. Junk boxes are coins and currency that are not worth the time and expense to handle. Ask the dealer if a student sent a self-addressed and stamped envelope with $1.00 would the dealer send the student something from the junk box. Ask the dealer to send a mix of items to different students like United States coins older than the students, world coins, currency, and a few tokens.

Once the arrangements are complete, instruct the students to write a friendly letter (gets them used to communicating in full sentences without emojis), enclose a $1.00 bill and a self-addressed and stamped envelope, and mail it to the dealer. When they receive their numismatic items, have each research the history of the era of when the coin, currency, or token was issued.

Rather than picking a topic, it is a fun way to have the students select a topic and make history come to life.

If your online classroom uses technology like Zoom, then have each student to a presentation to the class. If the class is using forums or written means only, let them write a paper and submit it for a grade.

Like my token trip to Spain and Venezuela, it will give the students something tangible to use as part of their learning experience.

Weekly World Numismatic News for March 15, 2020

Following Saturday’s article, an article appeared in my newsfeed with tips on how to start building a collection of Buffalo Nickels.

CNN interviewed noted numismatist Charles Morgan. The article is a good synopsis of collecting Buffalo Nickels.

Buffalo nickels are a favorite of a lot of people. Designed by James Earle Fraser, the Buffalo Nickel was struck by the U.S. Mint from 1913 to 1987. The obverse of the coin features a Native American that Fraser said was a composite design of three chiefs, and the reverse is a buffalo that Fraser said was modeled after Black Diamond, an American bison he found at the Bronx Zoo. Both claims by Fraser have been controversial since several American Indian Chiefs claimed to have been Fraser’s model, and Black Diamond lived at the Central Park Zoo. In either case, it is a beautiful coin and an excellent entry to collecting.

Buffalo nickels are very available coins with a few exceptions. Beautiful examples with full dates and at least three-quarters of the buffalo’s horn still visible are available at reasonable prices.

For someone starting a Buffalo nickel collection, you might want to consider starting with a date and type set. Going this route would spare the beginning collector from trying to find the Type 2 1913-D and 1913-S coins, which can be expensive.

If you complete the goal of the date and type set, then try to fill in the rest of the coins to create the full date and mintmark set.

Another idea is to use the Buffalo nickel as the basis to collect other coins with buffaloes as part of the design. In 2011, I presented a Herd of Buffaloes type collection. Maybe it can be something to do while riding out the current situation.

Maybe, if we can attract new collectors using an article from CNN, we can encourage them to write more.

And now the news…

 March 6, 2020
The five extremely rare Islamic coins dating from the 7th century AD Image Credit: Dubai: As a UAE exhibition – Coins of Islam: History Revealed – with a display of 300 coins is proving to be a big draw at the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque Centre in Abu Dhabi, five rare coins are making big news globally because they offer a historic narrative of Islamic coinage, dating back to the 7th century or the dawn of Hijri (Islamic calendar).  → Read more at gulfnews.com

 March 10, 2020
Some of the coins and pins made by Brad Brown, owner of B2 Promotions.  HERMITAGE – When people ask Brad Brown what he does for a living, he isn’t sure what to tell them.  → Read more at meadvilletribune.com

 March 11, 2020

A rare 1,300- year-old coin featuring the face of an unknown Saxon King sells for ₤48,000 after the proprietor invested 3 years attempting to verify its historic relevance.
  → Read more at theunionjournal.com

 March 14, 2020
Written by Forrest Brown, CNN Whether an entry point for budding neophytes or the domain of studied numismatists, buffalo nickels hold a fascinating place in the world of coin collecting. For the uninitiated, buffalo nickels are copper-nickel 5-cent pieces produced by the US Mint in the first half of the 20th century.  → Read more at cnn.com
Coin Collectors News
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No 2021 Silver Dollars For You!

The 2021 commemorative coin calendar is full and it does not include a commemorative Morgan or Peace silver dollar.

Last October, Congress passed the Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act of 2019 (Public Law No. 116-65) to be issued in 2021. In December, they passed the National Law Enforcement Museum Commemorative Coin Act (as part of Public Law No. 116-94). With two commemorative coin programs in 2021, there is no room for the 1921 Silver Dollar Commemorative Coin Act.

The odds of Congress creating a third commemorative program for 2021 is less than 1-percent.

When H.R. 3757 was introduced, the American Numismatic Association sent out a press release and asked the members to write their member of Congress. The numismatic press also carried that mantle at the beginning. Some suggested that a commemorative Morgan Dollar could be struck at the former mint in Carson City.

But that was in July, 2019, prior to the World’s Fair of Money.

During the World’s Fair of Money, a new Board of Governors was installed to allegedly lead the ANA. Since then, there has been little said by the ANA about H.R. 3757. This is the opposite of the response lead by Farran Zerbe.

Zerbe’s proposal for what became the Peace Dollar led to the appointment of a committee that lobbied Congress for the coin’s creation. It was not an easy road for the proposal, but Zerbe persisted, and a bill was passed.

Zerbe, who was ANA President from 1908 t0 1910, showed extraordinary leadership in getting this bill passed.

Many others have stepped up to represent the community with the support of the ANA and the hobby. Amongst the community’s achievements are the Bicentennial coins and the 50 State Quarters program.

Where is that support today?

Where has the ANA been since August 2019?

Like the 1921 Peace Dollar, a 2021 commemorative coin would not only highlight history but make sure the public knows about the ANA’s place in that history. It would introduce new collectors to one of the 20th century’s best designs and the ANA at the same time.

Aside from the public relations boost, 40-percent of the program’s surcharge would be paid to the ANA. With a mintage limit of 500,000 coins with a surcharge of $10 per coin, a potential $2 million could have been added to the ANA’s treasury.

A one-time payment of $2 million would provide a cushion of 35-percent, based on the ANA’s published 2019 budget. It would furnish a down payment on new education initiatives and outreach to promote the ANA’s growth.

The ANA has been business-as-usual with little said from the current Board.

It is difficult to understand why the ANA Board of Governors would let this opportunity pass. Is this a sign of leadership we are to expect during its two-year term?

Numismatic Legislation Review

Seal of the United States CongressI did not realize that it has been a few months since I did a Numismatic Legislation Review. It is time to look back at the past months of Congress meddling with coin designs.

December 2019 Numismatic Legislation Review

The first piece of legislation is a lesson in why watching Congress is not for the faint of heart!

H.R 1865, sponsored by Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-NJ), started as the National Law Enforcement Museum Commemorative Coin Act. Its original purpose was to create a three-coin commemorative coin program for the National Law Enforcement Museum in the District of Columbia in 2021. From the time it was submitted until passage by the Senate on November 12, 2019, it was just another commemorative coin bill.

Then the sausage-making process began.

It starts with the necessity to fund the government. With time running out, the House of Representatives sends a message to the Senate that they have a resolution to start the funding process. The Senate objects to the House’s actions and looks around for something so they can add funding amendments.

Although H.R. 1865 passed in the Senate, the bill did not go to a conference committee to resolve differences. It became a convenient vehicle for the two chambers to negotiate a budget.

By the time the bill passed Congress, it was renamed to the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020, and the provisions for the National Law Enforcement Museum Commemorative Coin Act became “Division K” of the signed law.

The following is the unedited status of what is now Public Law No. 116-94 (there is more below this section):

H.R. 1865: Further Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2020
Sponsor: Rep. William J. Pascrell (D-NJ)
Introduced: March 25, 2019
Summary: This bill provides FY2020 appropriations for several federal departments and agencies.It includes 8 of the 12 regular FY2020 appropriations bills:

  • the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020;
  • the Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020;
  • the Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020;
  • the Department of the Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020;
  • the Legislative Branch Appropriations Act, 2020;
  • the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020;
  • the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 2020; and
  • the Transportation, Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2020.

In addition to providing appropriations, the bill includes legislation that extends several expiring programs and addresses a wide range of policy issues throughout the federal government.

Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 25, 2019
Introduced in House — Mar 25, 2019
Mr. Scott, David moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. — Oct 28, 2019
Considered under suspension of the rules. — Oct 28, 2019
DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 1865. — Oct 28, 2019
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote. — Oct 28, 2019
Passed/agreed to in House: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote. — Oct 28, 2019
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Oct 28, 2019
Received in the Senate. — Oct 29, 2019
Received in the Senate, read twice. — Oct 29, 2019
Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent. — Nov 12, 2019
Measure laid before Senate by unanimous consent. — Nov 12, 2019
Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent. — Nov 12, 2019
Message on Senate action sent to the House. — Nov 13, 2019
ORDER OF BUSINESS – Mr. McGovern asked unanimous consent that it be in order at any time to take from the Speaker’s table the bill H.R. 1865, with the Senate amendment thereto, and to consider in the House, without intervention of any point of order, a motion offered by the chair of the Committee on Appropriations or her designee that the House concur in the Senate amendment submitted for printing by Representative Lowey of New York in the portion of the Congressional Record designated for that purpose in clause 8 of rule XVIII; that the Senate amendment and the motion be considered as read; that the motion be debatable for one hour equally divided and controlled by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Appropriations; that the previous question be considered as ordered on the motion to adoption without intervening motion or demand for division of the question; and that House Resolution 708 be laid on the table. Objection was heard. — Nov 19, 2019
Motion by Senator McConnell to refer to Senate Committee on Appropriations the House message to accompany H.R. 1865 with instructions to report back forthwith with the following amendment (SA 1260) made in Senate. — Dec 17, 2019
Motion by Senator McConnell to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1865 with an amendment (SA 1258) made in Senate. — Dec 17, 2019
Cloture motion on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1865 presented in Senate. — Dec 17, 2019
Motion by Senator McConnell to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1865 made in Senate. — Dec 17, 2019
Measure laid before Senate by unanimous consent. — Dec 17, 2019
Message on House action received in Senate and at desk: House amendment to Senate amendment. — Dec 17, 2019
Motion by Senator McConnell to refer to Senate Committee on Appropriations the House message to accompany H.R. 1865 with instructions to report back forthwith with the following amendment (SA 1260) made in Senate. (CR S7088) — Dec 17, 2019
Motion by Senator McConnell to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1865 with an amendment (SA 1258) made in Senate. (CR S7087) — Dec 17, 2019
Cloture motion on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1865 presented in Senate. (CR S7087) — Dec 17, 2019
Motion by Senator McConnell to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1865 made in Senate. (CR S7087) — Dec 17, 2019
Resolving differences — House actions: On motion that the House agree with an amendment to the Senate amendment Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 297 – 120 (Roll No. 689). — Dec 17, 2019
Pursuant to the provisions of H. Res. 765, Mrs. Lowey moved to agree in the Senate amendment to H.R. 1865 with an amendment consisting of the text of Rules Committee Print 116-44. — Dec 17, 2019
Mrs. Lowey moved that the House agree with an amendment to the Senate amendment. — Dec 17, 2019
DEBATE – The House proceeded with one hour of debate on the motion that the House agree to the Senate amendment, with an amendment to the bill H.R. 1865. — Dec 17, 2019
The previous question was ordered pursuant to the rule. — Dec 17, 2019
POSTPONED PROCEEDINGS – At the conclusion of debate on the motion to agree to the Senate amendment with an amendment, the Chair put the question on the motion and by voice vote, announced that the ayes had prevailed. Mrs. Granger demanded the yeas and nays and the Chair postponed further proceedings on the motion until a time to be announced. — Dec 17, 2019
On motion that the House agree with an amendment to the Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 297 – 120 (Roll no. 689). — Dec 17, 2019
On motion that the House agree with an amendment to the Senate amendment Agreed to by the Yeas and Nays: 297 – 120 (Roll No. 689). — Dec 17, 2019
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Dec 17, 2019
Pursuant to the provisions of H. Con. Res. 82, enrollment corrections on H.R. 1865 have been made. — Dec 17, 2019
Message on Senate action sent to the House. — Dec 19, 2019
Senate agreed to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1865 by Yea-Nay Vote. 71 – 23. Record Vote Number: 415. — Dec 19, 2019
Motion to waive all applicable budgetary discipline with respect to the measure (the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1865) agreed to in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 64 – 30. Record Vote Number: 414. — Dec 19, 2019
Motion by Senator McConnell to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1865 with an amendment (SA 1258) withdrawn in Senate by Unanimous Consent. — Dec 19, 2019
Point of order that the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1865 violates section 3101(b) of S.Con.Res. 11, 114th Congress, raised in Senate. — Dec 19, 2019
Motion by Senator McConnell to refer to Senate Committee on Appropriations the House message to accompany H.R. 1865 with instructions to report back forthwith with the following amendment (SA 1260) fell when cloture invoked on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1865 in Senate. — Dec 19, 2019
Cloture on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.1865 invoked in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 71 – 21. Record Vote Number: 413. — Dec 19, 2019
Considered by Senate. — Dec 19, 2019
Motion to waive all applicable budgetary discipline with respect to the measure (the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1865) agreed to in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 64 – 30. Record Vote Number: 414. (CR S7186) — Dec 19, 2019
Cloture on the motion to concur in the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R.1865 invoked in Senate by Yea-Nay Vote. 71 – 21. Record Vote Number: 413. (CR S7175) — Dec 19, 2019
Resolving differences — Senate actions: Senate agreed to the House amendment to the Senate amendment to H.R. 1865 by Yea-Nay Vote. 71 – 23. Record Vote Number: 415. — Dec 19, 2019
Presented to President. — Dec 20, 2019
Signed by President. — Dec 20, 2019
Became Public Law No: 116-94. — Dec 20, 2019
This law can be viewed at http://bit.ly/116-HR1865.

For good measure, Rep. Steve Watkins (R-KS) introduced the Conan Commemorative Coin Act to honor Conan, a Belgian Malinois who has worked with the United States Special Operations Forces in the Middle East. If passed, the money will be given to the Department of Veterans Affairs to support vetinary care for service animals.

H.R. 5537: Conan Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. Steve Watkins (R-KS)
Introduced: December 23, 2019
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Dec 23, 2019
Introduced in House — Dec 23, 2019
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR5537.

January 2020 Numismatic Legislation Review

In January, Congress passed the President George H.W. Bush and First Spouse Barbara Bush Coin Act to extend the Presidential Dollar and First Spouse Gold coin programs to include the late President and First Lady. The law requires the coin to be issued in 2020.

S. 457: President George H.W. Bush and First Spouse Barbara Bush Coin Act
Sponsor: Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX)
Introduced: February 12, 2019
Summary: President George H. W. Bush and Barbara Bush Coin Act
This bill requires the issuance of

  • $1 coins bearing the image of President George H.W. Bush for a one-year period beginning on January 1, 2019, and
  • bullion coins bearing the image of Barbara Bush during that same period.
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Feb 12, 2019
Introduced in Senate — Feb 12, 2019
Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent. — Dec 16, 2019
Measure laid before Senate by unanimous consent. — Dec 16, 2019
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent. — Dec 16, 2019
Passed/agreed to in Senate: Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent. — Dec 16, 2019
Message on Senate action sent to the House. — Dec 17, 2019
Received in the House. — Dec 17, 2019
Held at the desk. — Dec 17, 2019
Ms. Waters moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill. — Jan 13, 2020
Considered under suspension of the rules. — Jan 13, 2020
DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on S. 457. — Jan 13, 2020
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by voice vote. — Jan 13, 2020
Passed/agreed to in House: On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by voice vote. — Jan 13, 2020
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Jan 13, 2020
Presented to President. — Jan 16, 2020
Signed by President. — Jan 27, 2020
Became Public Law No: 116-112. — Jan 27, 2020
This law can be viewed at http://bit.ly/116-S457.

February 2020 Numismatic Legislation Review

Finally, in February, Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-NY) introduced the Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act. Even though Tubman was born in 1820, the bill calls for a three-coin commemorative program in 2022 to celebrate 200 years since her birth. If passed, the money raised from this program will be paid to the Project Legacy of Brooklyn, NY, to advance its mission.

H.R. 5873: Harriet Tubman Bicentennial Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. Gregory W. Meeks (D-NY)
Introduced: February 12, 2020
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Feb 12, 2020
Introduced in House — Feb 12, 2020
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR5873.

And with that, we are all caught up!

Weekly World Numismatic News for March 1, 2020

Show of hands: how many of you have found an old coin only to think it was a reproduction?

As an avid junk box diver at flea markets, antique shows, and other venues, I regularly come across reproductions of old coins made of various materials. The most common are brass and pewter.

In 2018, someone found a pewter coin that resembles a Continental Currency dollar in the same design as the Fugio Cent. After consulting a dealer, the coin was sent to Professional Coin Grading Service for authentication.

PCGS determined that it was a period created coin. They graded it MS-62.

1776 Pewter Continental Dollar

1776 Pewter Continental Dollar, PCGS MS-62
(Image courtesy of PCGS)

It is not clear where the coin was made. Some experts say that it was a pattern made in Philadelphia. Others speculate that it was made in England as a satire piece to mock the newly formed country.

The problem is that PCGS does not describe the criteria that they used to determine the coin is authentic. Neither their public news article or the PCGS Coin Fact entry does not provide details of what makes this a genuine coin. With all due respect to PCGS, I have learned the hardway: trust but verify!
https://www.pcgs.com/news/pcgs-paris-office-certifies-1776-continental-dollar?gid=47
https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1776-1-curency-pewter/794

Someday, I hope to find something similar in one of my junk box dives. But I hope PCGS would help the community by publishing what to look for when junk box diving. I would not mind sending a proper find for authentication, but I do not want to pay for a service if it is not necessary.

And now the news…

 February 24, 2020
The Carson City Mint operated from 1870 until it stopped producing coins in 1893, and was finally closed entirely in 1933. The historic building remained unoccupied until 1941, when it was selected to be the site for the Nevada State Museum.  → Read more at mesquitelocalnews.com

 February 25, 2020
PHILADELPHIA — Julius Erving and fellow basketball hall-of-famer Sheryl Swoopes struck fear in the opposition on the court. On Tuesday, they struck coins at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, unveiling a special commemorative coin expected to raise as much as $10 million for Springfield’s Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame.  → Read more at masslive.com

 February 25, 2020
A Pennsylvania appeals court has overturned a judge order that required a convicted thief to pay nearly $87,000 for stealing a collection of rare coins. Should a convicted thief who stole a batch of rare collectible coins from his former employer have to pay nearly $87,000 in restitution for the crime?  → Read more at pennlive.com

 February 27, 2020
NewsRegionBaltimore City Actions Posted: 6:19 PM, Feb 24, 2020  → Read more at wmar2news.com

 February 29, 2020
WABASSO, Fla. (WPTV/CNN) – A group of friends in Florida loves to look for buried treasure and last week they found a trove of silver coins that are 300-years old. The skies are overcast and rain's moving closer to the beaches along Hutchinson Island while people seek cover, but it's the perfect time to dig for treasure in the sand.  → Read more at mysuncoast.com

 February 29, 2020
A RARE 1776 continental dollar bought at a French flea market for 56 cents is now worth a stunning $100,000. The anonymous buyer picked up the rare coin in June 2018, thinking it was just a piece of junk, but it turned out the coin was a rare treasure printed in the year of American independence.  → Read more at thesun.co.uk

 February 29, 2020
"The large coin had letters similar to the Arabic language on it while the smaller coins had Hindu gods on them," a source who was present at the site tells TNM. It was close to 10 am on Wednesday morning and workers at the Jambukeswar Akilandeshwari in temple were clearing a space behind the Prasanna Pulaiyar sannidhi.  → Read more at thenewsminute.com

 February 29, 2020
Treasure hunter Jonah Martinez, 43, of Port St. Lucie, found 22 Spanish coins from a 1715 shipwreck at Turtle Trail beach access on Friday, Feb.  → Read more at tcpalm.com
Coin Collectors News
news.coinsblog.ws

 

Opening my eyes about growing the hobby

While thinking about how to grow the hobby, I was reading the numismatic-related news from around the world. What do other people consider when they are collecting coins?

Stories about buried coins or hoards of ancient coins generate a lot of interest. Whether it is builders and archeologists digging in the Middle East or metal detectorists hunting the British countryside, the stories about these finds make for exciting reading.

Lincolnshire Hoard of Roman Coins

Largest hoard of Roman coins found in Lincolnshire
(Image courtesy of the BBC)

Unfortunately, the United States is a young nation compared to Europe and the Middle East. While it is possible to unearth coins in the United States, most metal detectorists report finding other artifacts and common coins. On the east coast, it is common to find bullets, buttons, and other metal objects from the colonial period to the Civil War. Although these finds are fascinating, it is not like finding a hoard of fused copper Roman coins.

Modern error coins seem to be of interest. News outlets in Great Britain and Australia regularly publish stories about an error someone found or sold online. Although these stories cause people to become treasure hunters, there have been reports that some have turned into collectors.

First new £1 coin error found with missing detail on the thistle

Interestingly, the United States experienced something similar with the discovery of the “extra leaf” error on the Wisconsin state quarter. People were already looking at the quarters in their pocket change. The possibility of finding the error increased interest.

Finally, when a mint issues a coin with a different, the interest grows. Both Royal Mint and the Royal Australian Mint issued coins with letters of the alphabet and an image of something that begins with that letter. The news created a buzz and new collectors in both countries.

2018 British Paddington Bear 50p coin

2018 Paddington Bear 50p reverse.

The Royal Mint continues to use the 50 pence coin to create circulating commemoratives for significant milestones of British culture. Whether it is a coin celebrating the anniversary of Paddington Bear or the new dinosaur collection, British collectors appear to grow.

Recently, the U.S. Mint issued the quarter honoring the National Park of American Samoa with the reverse image of a fruit bat mother hanging in a tree with her pup. It is such an unusual design for a United States coin that it made the news.

It also has people talking about the coin. On a recent trip to the grocery store, I quickly looked at my change to see if anything was unusual. The cashier, whose accent suggested she was not a native of the area, asked if I was looking for “coins with the bat?” She was looking for one for her young son after a neighbor showed him the coin.

Through 2019, there were 50 coins released as part of the America the Beautiful Quarters program. Before the American Samoa quarter, these quarters only generated local interest, as the Fort McHenry quarter did in Maryland.

The only other coin that I can recall generating national interest was the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin. Aside from baseball’s popularity, the curved coin was something different.

2020 National Park of American Samoa

I love the image of the fruit bats!

Coins with bats. Paddington Bear. The alphabet. A curved baseball coin. What do these have in common? Each coin has a different theme and design that is appealing to the general public.

The purist will argue that these are gimmicks. I will counter that if you want to grow the hobby, you need to give the people something that will interest them.

It is not enough to push the collecting of every Morgan Dollar varieties in the VAM catalog. Some people do not have that kind of patience. And you cannot blame that on younger collectors since I am one of those people. I find the study of VAM fascinating but not something I want to do.

However, if you release coins honoring the rock band Queen, I will order as soon as possible. I will watch with interest to see who else the Royal Mint honors. I am looking forward to coins honoring bands like the Beatles, Pink Floyd, and The Rolling Stones. I own their vinyl, why not own their coins!

Unfortunately, the U.S. Mint is bound by the whims of congress. They cannot create programs that could generate interest in the general public without permission. Someday, if congress could get its act together, maybe they will allow the U.S. Mint to create a yearly program around a theme.

Think about the possibilities. One year the U.S. Mint can have a five-quarter series of dinosaurs. Another year would be for great discoveries. Whatever themes are selected, make it something that will generate enthusiasm, and allow the U.S. Mint the freedom to produce coins that would generate interest. Even if it means introducing colored coins into circulation, it has not hurt Canadian coins!

If we are to grow the hobby, congress has to be encouraged to let the U.S. Mint pursue new markets. Hopefully, those who think that their way is the only way to collect will either accept new ideas to increase the hobby or step away and let the rest of us enjoy what we collect, even if it is not Barber coins.

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