Update on Royal Australian Mint Apollo 11 Commemorative Set

With the pre-sale of the Royal Australian Mint’s 2019 two-coin set honoring the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 beginning, a customer service representative from the Mint clarified their shipping policy.

After purchasing the set for AU$177.27 on their website (US$123.96, up 32-cents from yesterday), they charge a flat rate of AU$35.00 (US$22.37) for shipping. Packages are shipped using Auspost eParcel which provides tracking numbers that will be available to users of the U.S. Postal Service’s tracking system.

If there are import fees and taxes, the USPS will collect those from you before delivery.

According to the Royal Australian Mint representative, the 50th Anniversary of the Lunar Landing two Coin Set will not be offered for direct sale in the United States because of licensing agreements. However, that does not affect sales on the secondary market.

Purchasing one set and having it shipped to the United States will cost AU$212.27 (US$148.43) plus surcharges added onto your credit card for the currency exchange.

I can’t even give it away

After the fiasco earlier this week when I tried to give away an 1859 Indian Head cent, someone else just rejected the coin.

It was a busy day, and there were a large number of cash transactions. Since I was not paying attention to the coins I was pulling out of the drawer, I scooped 2-cents to give to someone in change. As I dropped the coins into his hand, I noticed that one was the 1859 Indian Head Cent.

Rather than putting the coins in his pocket, he dropped the two coins into a tray I keep by the cash register.

Since this happened earlier in the afternoon, I left the coin there to see if anyone would notice. Following several more cash transactions, I took the coin out of the tray and dropped it back into the drawer.

It might not be the prettiest Indian Head cent I have seen, but it is still worth about $15-20. And I cannot give it away!

If I cannot give it away on Saturday, it is coming home with me. At least I appreciate its significance in numismatic history.

Aussies to Release Apollo 11 Commemorative with US Half

While perusing my Twitter feed, I found the announcement from the Royal Australian Mint is beginning the presale of the two-coin set honoring the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11.

The set features a 2019-S Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Proof Clad Half Dollar and an Australian Silver Proof $5 coin. The two-coin set can be ordered for AU$195.00 in Australia, where the price includes the Goods and Services Tax (GST). Outside of Australia, the price is 177.27 ($123.64 as of May 9, 2019).

The Australian coin has an interesting design. On the obverse, the Royal Australian Mint reduced the size of Queen Elizabeth II’s effigy on the obverse and filled the side with an image of the moon, a radio telescope representing the CSIRO Parkes Observatory, and a part of the transcript of the Apollo 11 mission. The CSIRO Parkes Observatory was one of the ground tracking stations that helped NASA communicate with the Apollo 11 crew.

The reverse features a stylized scene from the moon landing with a color image of the earth positioned in a way to make Australia facing the virtual camera.

The Australian $5 silver coin can only be purchased in this set and has a mintage limit of 10,000 coins. Thus, it is safe to assume that there will be a limit of 10,000 of these sets.

The Royal Australian Mint is selling a version of the silver coin that is plated in nickel and domed like the U.S. coin. The images on the Royal Australian Mint website shows a dark-colored coin that makes the colored image of the earth stand out. This coin also has a limited production of 10,000 coins.

There is also a gold coin and a six-coin uncirculated set that features copper-nickel base coins and aluminum-bromide one- and two-dollar coins. These coins feature different reverse designs than their precious metals counterparts. The obverse features the effigy of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank Bodley.

Coins ordered now will be shipped starting on June 5, 2019.

The Royal Australian Mint has not (yet) provided information if there will be a special program for shipping to the United States or if they will partner with the U.S. Mint to sell the set.


If you are thinking about ordering you might want to watch the currency markets. There has been a decline in the value of the Australian Dollar (AUD) versus the U.S. Dollar since the beginning of April. Although markets are difficult to time, a fluctuation of 5-percent in the prices is not going to make a big difference.

Aside from waiting for answers to my questions from the Royal Australian Mint, I will watch the markets for the next two weeks to see if I can save money if the AUD dips below 60-cents to the USD.

Coin images courtesy of the Royal Australian Mint.

Not Everyone Likes Old Change

With most of the roll of 1957-D very red Lincoln cents still in my cash register’s draw and the quarter bin even half-full of uncirculated bicentennial quarters, I thought that most of the more expensive and interesting coins made it into circulation. That was not the case.

A new customer came into the shop and found a few items she wanted to purchase. After selecting a few things, she left to find an ATM because, she said, that she does not like using credit or debit cards. As a reseller of estate and other used items, this is a common practice for many purchases under $100. It is a typical scenario.

After paying for her purchase, she saw that I had given her two very shiny Lincoln cent and one with a beautiful brown color. Except it was not a Lincoln cent. It was an 1859 Indian Head cent that was left over from National Coin Week.

I had included two 1859 Indian Head cents in the draw. This coin was the second that survived National Coin Week. Depending on how you look at the coin, it could grade VG-F making it worth about $15-20.

When she looked at the coin what was different in her hand, she asked what it was. After I explained what it was, she accused me of giving her a counterfeit coin. She insisted it was not real and that I was trying to cheat her.

I walked over to the shelf and grabbed a new copy of the Red Book to show her that it is a real coin and that it has value. But she was not impressed insisting that was scamming her with stuff I did not know. Even after pointing to my name in the list of contributors she would not back down.

Finally, I agreed to change the coin.

As I put the coin back into the cash register drawer and replaced it with one of the 1957-D cents, she stopped me and said that I told her the coin is worth $15-20 and she wanted $20. I reminded her that she thought the coin was bogus, so why should I pay for a fake coin?

After handing her another coin, she looked at it and noticed the wheat ears reverse. While accusing me of trying to cheat her, she asked why am I giving away “phony money?”

I explained that the coin was a bit more modern even though it is a little older than me. Its value is about $5-6. She looked at the coin and compared it to the coins in her purse, ignoring the fact that I had given her two of them earlier.

“The back is funny. Why is the back funny?” she asked.

While explaining about the design and the changes made to the coin, I search the change draw then my pocket for a more modern coin. She gave the 1957-D back, and I replaced it with a brown Memorial-back cent I found in my pocket.

Happy that she has recognizable money, she walked out threatening to call the police. As I held the door for her, I said that she should contact the U.S. Secret Service because they are responsible for dealing with counterfeiters.

I wished her a good afternoon.

My new and former customer left without saying another word.

Weekly World Numismatic News for May 5, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

And now the news…

 May 2, 2019

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


 May 5, 2019

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


 May 5, 2019

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

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Weekly World Numismatic News for April 28, 2019

Just a few of the coins that I gave away from the cash register

National Coin Week has come and gone, and I did not find anything in my change. Even though I purposely carried one and five dollar bills to create change, there was nothing to be found.

In my shop, I advertised that I would trade a 40-percent silver half-dollar for a W mint quarter. Most of the people who came by did not know about the quarter.

While the lack of interest seems disheartening, there appears to be a growing problem with the coverage of these stories. Aside from a few local accounts, there were few reports from the national news media. Even with Congress being out of town this week, all of the national press seems to be buried in their respective corners looking for red meat to chew.

No wonder the public does not trust the media.

And where was the numismatic community? Last week, I was busy posting a lot of news releases from the numismatic industry (news.coinsblog.ws). This week, the only post was a found video from a few years ago. Where were the national or regional organizations?

If nobody knows the numismatic industry is here and cares then why should anyone care?

It might be time for the numismatic industry to have a lesson in public relations because if they think what they are doing now is working, the foot traffic into my shop where collectors of all type visit tell me it is not!

And now the news…

 April 11, 2019

Archaeologists have been researching interesting findings in the Liptov region. A married couple during a hike to the Choč mountain near Likavka made a great discovery of silver and two golden coins from the turn of 15th and 16th century, My Liptov wrote.  → Read more at spectator.sme.sk


 April 23, 2019

A group of amateur treasure hunters in England found a horde of gold and silver coins from the 14th-century that could be worth nearly $200,000 according to experts.  → Read more at foxnews.com


 April 24, 2019

Collectors are expected to place millions of vintage coins and paper money back into circulation as part of a nationwide event.  → Read more at mercurynews.com


 April 24, 2019

A man bought a box of Milk Duds in Tiburon this week with a handful of Indian Head cents. “We’re trying to do something here,” said Don Kagin, just before using an 1876 quarter to help pay for a pound of butter.  → Read more at sfchronicle.com


 April 25, 2019

CLAREMORE, OK. – An Oklahoma man is offering $10,000 in exchange for one penny. Richard McPheeters is a coin dealer and collector in Claremore, and he is looking for a rare penny to complete a set. This isn’t your average penny. The particular penny he is searching for is a  certified 1982 Small Date Denver mint penny made of copper. 1982 was the last year pennies were made from copper. McPheeters has 7 of these pennies out of 8 from the Denver mint and he is looking for the 8th one.  → Read more at whnt.com


 April 26, 2019

National Park Service officials at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area are puzzling over an apparent discovery of old Spanish coins — do they represent a remark  → Read more at lakepowelllife.com


 April 26, 2019

Challenge coins are handed out to commemorate American military campaigns. But the trinkets carry different weight when displayed beside tokens from earlier wars that failed.  → Read more at nytimes.com


 April 26, 2019

A Fort Mill, South Carolina man got a call from Tennessee about an unusual penny with his father’s information on it. Sgt. Clifford Wilford served the Army in Europe from D-Day to liberation during WWII.  → Read more at heraldonline.com


 April 26, 2019

NUR-SULTAN — Kazakhstan’s National Bank has issued freshly minted coins with engraved texts in the country's new Latin-based alphabet. The new tenge coins were issued on April 26 in denominations of 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50, and 100 tenges, the bank said in a statement.  → Read more at rferl.org

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POLL: Are you joining the Great America Coin Hunt?

Since Sunday was a holiday, today is really the first full day of National Coin Week and the Great American Coin Hunt. As you go to work and buy your morning coffee, breakfast, lunch, or anything else during the day, check the change you receive. There could be a surprise.

Don’t forget about the ANA Trivia Contest!

For those who come into my shop this week, I will be adding some older coins to the cash register and have a few giveaways for the young numismatists who visit.

I will do what I can in support of the hobby, but what about you.

Since I have not posted a poll in a while, I thought this would be a good way to start the week.

Are you joining the Great American Coin Hunt?

Yes, I am! I am even going to bank to buy rolls of coins. (26%, 5 Votes)
Yes, I am! I may not be searching rolls, but I am spending more cash to look for coins. (16%, 3 Votes)
I am, but it is a casual pursuit. (16%, 3 Votes)
I am not searching but I did add some coins into circulation. (11%, 2 Votes)
No, I cannot be bothered. (11%, 2 Votes)
What is the Great American Coin Hunt? (11%, 2 Votes)
Not only am I searching for coins but I have added some for other people to find. (5%, 1 Votes)
No, I use credit or debit cards for all of my purchases. (5%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 19

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Weekly World Numismatic News for April 21, 2019

National Coin Week is celebrated every third week of April to bring awareness to those neat little metal items jingling in your pocket as something that makes a fun collectible. This year the numismatic community is going all out to get you to look at your change with the Great American Coin Hunt. Why? Because change hunting is how many of us started. While finding silver coins may be rare (or is it?), there are still collectible coins in circulation.

Round Table Trading is a nationwide organization of coin dealers. Members of the Round Table have committed to placing collectible coins into circulation. Coins will range from Indian Head Cents to Morgan Dollars and everything in between. You may want to examine that dime you just received in change carefully because it could be a Mercury Dime that was struck by the U.S. Mint from 1916-1946.

I already own a 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent, but I will be looking, too!

One dealer said he placed a 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent in circulation. When the Lincoln Cent was introduced in 1909, there was an outcry because the designer of the coin, Victor David Brenner, put his initials at the bottom of the coin’s reverse. After producing 484,000 of the coins in San Francisco, production was interrupted so that new dies can be made without the “V.D.B” initials (the lack of a period after the B is not a typo). If you find a 1909-S VDB cent in your change, it will be worth about $2,000! Although I own one of these coveted coins, I will also be looking!

Also, look for coins with silver and gold stickers on them. If you find one, bring it to a coin dealer and redeem it for something worth more. Silver stickers can be traded for silver coins, and gold stickers will get you a gold coin. There are rumors that some dealers will redeem a gold sticker for a Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle ($20) gold coin worth more than $2,500.

The U.S. Mint is also participating by releasing the first-ever circulating coins with the “W” mint mark to indicate that the coins were minted at the facility in West Point, New York. In 2019, the U.S. Mint will add 10 million quarters, two million for each of the 2019 America the Beautiful Quarter Series coins, into circulation. After being struck at West Point, 1 million of each quarter will be sent to the mints at Philadelphia and Denver to be mixed in with the circulating coins that will be delivered to the Federal Reserve.

Although you might think that producing 10 million coins is not rare, consider that the U.S. Mint will produce nearly 1 BILLION quarters in a year making it about 1-percent of the Mint’s quarters production.

Finally, the American Numismatic Association is holding a 2069 coin design challenge and an Online Trivia Challenge. Visit the ANA website daily for the rules and a new daily question.

And now the news…

 April 16, 2019

GREENWICH – A high school senior from Greenwich is bringing a very modern approach to the ancient pastime of coin collection. Christian Hartch, 18, was given a small collector's book for pennies by his father, Greg, when he was 5. He's been obsessed with numismatics, the study of coins, ever since, and brought his enthusiasm to thousands of followers on YouTube.  → Read more at greenwichtime.com


 April 18, 2019

Byzantine ruler created the 438 Theodosian law code, which collected the thousands of imperial laws of the sprawling empire and officially made Jews second-class citizens  → Read more at timesofisrael.com


 April 18, 2019

A new dollar coin designed to commemorate 50 years of homosexual rights has sparked a dual backlash — from both members of Canada’s LGBT community and from a social conservative group.  → Read more at cbc.ca


 April 18, 2019

A gold and silver coins hoard was found by four treasure hunters with a metal detector in a field in Buckinghamshire and includes 12 rare full gold coins from the time of the Black Death.  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk


 April 19, 2019

2019-04-19T17:51:29.479634Z  → Read more at wmur.com


 April 20, 2019

EASTON — Take a moment to really count your change next week, you might be surprised to find some unusual and collectible coins.As part of National  → Read more at tauntongazette.com

Coin Collectors News
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 Burglary-Coin Shop-Safes Torched (Apr 18, 2019)

 

W Quarter Find Average is Still Below the Mendoza Line

Today I was able to see a West Point Mint struck Lowell National Historical Park quarter. The problem was that it was not my coin.

One of my regular customers came into the shop to ask about the quarter. He had heard that there was a bounty issued to find the first quarter and wanted to know if I could help claim the prize.

I was surprised when he dropped five 2019-W quarters in my hands. After I explained that the first-find bounty was claimed, I asked how he found five coins. The answer was obvious: roll hunting.

My customer works in the Baltimore area and stopped in a few banks to buy a few rolls. He said that he could buy two rolls at each bank without the tellers complaining that he is not a customer. When he searched through the rolls, he found the five coins.

I do not know why I was surprised by the coin roll response. It would make sense that if the U.S. Mint were sending the bags directly to the Federal Reserve for circulation, the rolls would be at the banks rather than in circulation. Large retailers usually get their change from logistics companies who specialize in transporting large sums of money. Small retailers may have a small batch of coins that are just stored and not circulated. Both situations are not conducive to forcing coins into circulation.

Then I read that one of the PCGS $5,000 First Discover winners found the coin at the end of a roll.

When I closed the shop earlier today, I opened the five rolls of quarters I purchased from my bank on Thursday. To put it in baseball terms, I am oh-for-200 with a batting average of .000! That is definitely below the Mendoza Line!

Not Your Ordinary Change Purse Find

Although I am still searching for a quarter with a W mintmark in my change, it does not mean I am not finding anything. Today’s find was not in change but from the bottom of a box.

Peering inside the little purse we see the coin

Little Pink Doll Purse found in a box

I picked up a box that someone used to bring in a consignment, dumped the packing peanuts into another box, and began to prepare to fill the box for shipping. When I checked the box, I found a little pink purse stuck to the bottom.

A few months ago, a client delivered dolls and other collectibles they did not want to take on their move across the country. We sold most of the collectibles and moved on. But this little purse found something in the box to attach itself to and stayed behind.

I opened the purse to find a little handkerchief and a penny. How cute, I thought, they put a penny in the doll’s handbag. The edge of the coin showed a distinctive red color and wondered about the year. Considering that most of the toys were from the 1990s, I was expecting to see a period coin.

Imagine my surprise when I removed the coin and found it was a 1907 Indian Head cent. The red colored coin has signs of toning on the obverse, likely from being stored in the purse with a little cotton hankie. The coin looks like it has never been in circulation.

I am not a fan of toned coins, but this one is light enough to enhance the red coloring of the coin rather than being a different color.

The images of the coin do not do it justice. I should have taken the picture on a white background and away from fluorescent lights. But I wanted to send the picture to someone who might be interested in the coin.

If that person does not buy the coin, I may take the chance to send it to a grading service. I think it could probably grade MS64-RD. It is such a pretty coin that it is worth the risk. After all, mint state Indian Head cents graded as red-brown start at $40. I cannot lose!

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