Parent of Krause Publications Files for Bankruptcy — Will Sell Off Assets

While searching for something else, I came across a story that F+W Media, the parent company of Krause Publications, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 10. As part of its bankruptcy filing, the company plans to liquidate its assets to pay its creditors.

According to the bankruptcy filing, F+W owes $105.2 million in outstanding debt to between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors (filing is not specific and I did not want to count the over 500-page filing). The most money is owed to LSC Communications, a company that provides printing and distribution services with over $2.7 million owed.

F+W is also asking the court to approve $8 million in financing to be used as working capital. They claim to have over $10 million in assets.

F+W has been a hobby publisher for many years. The company was founded in 1913 and was named for its two initial publications Farm Quarterly and Writer’s Digest. Farm Quarterly ceased publication in 1955.

Since 2000, F+W has been on a buying spree trying to diversify its portfolio. In 2000, F+W bought UK-based book publisher David & Charles and later renamed it F+W International. In 2002, they bought Krause Publications. In 2012, F+W Media acquired Interweave, an arts and crafts media company, and in 2014 purchased New Track Media.

F+W has had a failed Internet strategy that was not coherent across imprints. While those of us who regularly read Antique Trader find it difficult to understand why Numismatic News does not have a website to match. After scanning the bankruptcy filing, it is apparent that the lack of a cohesive e-commerce strategy led to the failure of the Numismaster website.

The bankruptcy of F+W will be felt across a lot of hobbies. They report that the company averages 600 new titles every year and has over 4,000 titles in print. The company produces 42 magazines, not all are weekly publications like Numismatic News. It lacks a cohesive e-commerce strategy and their idea of selling e-books is producing PDF files of their publications.

From a reader’s perspective, F+W magazines have no integration. Several times I have written to the writers and editors of Antique Trader and Old Cars Weekly magazines when there is a numismatic-related mistake in their publications. The response is almost as if they do not realize the other publications exist.

Krause Publications publishes more than numismatic-related magazines and books. Many of their books are collector and buyers guides for other hobbies. Books like Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles, Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles, Goldmine Price Guide (vinyl records), and Military Trader magazine define these industries.

For the sake of numismatics, I hope that the Krause publications survive. This includes the Standard Catalog books, which are a hobby staple. In fact, because of the Standard Catalogs, Krause should have a significant database of numismatic information that should beat almost anyone. With a lot of imagination, that data could be put to great use for the benefit of numismatics and a way to produce premium content in order to generate the revenue to support its existence.

Just their database could create a treasure trove of possibilities that could be used beyond the numismatic community. All it would take is someone with money (which I don’t have) and imagination (which I have plenty).

Weekly World Numismatic News for March 17, 2019

Counterfeit American Gold Eagle found in Iowa
(Image courtesy of the Des Moines Register)

One of the most popular stories on this blog that people find via a search is “How easy is it to pass counterfeit currency.” I wrote it in response to watching a cashier use a pen with iodine-based ink used to determine whether the paper used is counterfeit and how it can be defeated.

A lesson learned is that people do not pay attention or care, which is why the iodine pen is popular. This is why the story of the week is about a person in suburban Des Moine, Iowa is wanted for passing a counterfeit American Gold Eagle coin.

According to the story, the suspect, who has been identified, used the alleged gold coin to purchase $25 worth of merchandise from a gas station. The next day, the clerk who took the coin found it was fake after taking it to a local coin shop.

Although the story does not say why the employee accepted the coin as payment, I speculate there was a greed motive involved. The suspect probably convinced the clerk it was real and that worth more than the $50 face value but was low on cash and needed the merchandise. The clerk thought that the coin is worth more took it hoping to make a profit.

If the coin was worth more than face value, then why did the clerk not ask why the suspect did not take it to a coin shop himself?

Even if you do not know the price of gold, why would someone try to use a valuable coin in a gas station?

I have commented in the past about the perpetual hunt for “rare” 50 pence and £2 circulating commemorative coins in the United Kingdom. At least by publicizing the coins, Britons learn a little about the coins issued by the Royal Mint. In fact, if you are watching my Twitter feed (@coinsblog), I post stories about other countries that produce stories about coins put out by their country’s mints.

Unfortunately, the best we get in the United States outside of the numismatic media is an infrequent blurb in a local news source. The Washington Post’s new motto is “Democracy Dies in the Darkness.” It also dies with ignorance especially when movie money is mistaken for real.

And now the news…

 October 14, 2016

Worried about buying a fake when you shop online? Here's how you can keep counterfeits out of your shopping cart. David P.  → Read more at desmoinesregister.com


 March 10, 2019

Richard Masters’ work for the U.S. Mint is a marriage of his interest in art and his boyhood hobby of coin collecting. A former professor of art at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Masters has designed 21 coins and five medals, including the 2009 Bicentennial Lincoln Cent (Log Cabin), the 2011 Sacajawea gold dollar reverse and the 2017 America the Beautiful Effigy Mounds (Iowa) quarter reverse.  → Read more at legion.org


 March 11, 2019

Finance ministry had issued a notification on March 6 announcing the launch of 5 new coins in the country namely new One Rupee, Two Rupees, Five Rupees, Ten Rupees and Twenty Rupees. The new series of coins are visually impaired friendly and have enhanced design.  → Read more at zeebiz.com


 March 13, 2019

Urbandale police are looking for a man who used a counterfeit $50 coin to make a purchase at an Casey’s General Store in February.  → Read more at desmoinesregister.com


 March 13, 2019

Warwickshire County Council wants to raise £62,000 towards buying a hoard of Roman coins.  → Read more at bbc.com


 March 13, 2019

More A lucky penny which deflected an enemy bullet during the First World War One – saving a soldier’s life – is set to be sold at auction. Private John Trickett would have been shot in the heart if the bullet – which still left him deaf – had not struck the coin in the breast pocket of his uniform.  → Read more at uk.news.yahoo.com

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Weekly World Numismatic News for February 24, 2019

The delay in reporting the weekly world numismatic news was because I worked at my first Comic Convention or Comic-Con. It was a small Comic-Con with between 60 and 80 vendors around a large hotel ballroom. Of course, each table had comics but others had different items related to the comics, science fiction, horror, pulp fiction, and similar works.

As with any of the shows that I have worked, there were the serious collectors with want lists who were laser-focused on finding that gem for their collection. There were the collectors and those with a general interest who were there for the experience. They were looking at different items for something unusual. Finally, there were those who were there for the cosplay. Cosplay is a portmanteau (combination) of the words costume play.

Aside from a visit by the likes of Darth Vader, Wonder Woman, and the Joker in the crowd, the best costume was the guy dressed as Iron Man. Ironically, the solid pieces of his costume were made from wood. It looked good but the wood seems odd given the character.

What does my experience at the Comic-Con have to do with numismatics? It is a type of show that demonstrates how other hobbies adapt with their audience to lure new collectors. Rather than concentrating on making sure that every collector has the latest special edition of the No. 1 copy of the current story with their favorite character, it promotes fun, interaction, and does not judge each other because someone does not collect the four special covers of the No. 1 copy just issued by the comic book designer.

Numismatics claims to be all inclusive but if you ask most dealers what to collect, they will gravitate to most of the same answers. If they are not pushing gold the number of Morgan dollars in their cases is an indication of their preference.

There are too many people with set ideas of what makes a good collection. And the problem is that the dealers are the wrong people to ask. They have an agenda over the perpetuation of the hobby. There is nothing wrong with that agenda because it contributes to their livelihood and the well being of their employees. Unfortunately, too many dealers pay lip service to the notion of collect what you like while pushing the latest set of VAMs on you.

While thinking about the show as I was driving away with half-empty bins of inventory was that if the hobby was more inclusive to people who do not collect high-end merchandise. People have different tastes and there should be more dealers who not only cater to those tastes but should be given better access.

Speaking of the dealers, if they want to be more inclusive and show consideration for the collectors they should stay until the close of a show on Sunday. When I participate in the many antique shows, flea markets, toy shows, sports shows, and now this Comic-Con, dealers are warned that if they pack up and leave early they may not be allowed to set up at a future show. Numismatic shows say this, including those sponsored by the ANA, but nobody follows through. Then we get a situation like in Baltimore where it is not worth attending on Sunday, my only day off this week.

Finally, something should be done to make the shows fun. While I am not suggesting that people get dressed up like at the Comic-Con, there has to be something to make it fun. For example, the last time I attend the F.U.N. show, there were tables set up where Hobo Nickel artists were carving coins and making jewelry on the show floor. That was fun!

Although there are dealers who give out low-value coins to young collectors, can we do something to make the show more fun for the casual collector? Does everything have to be about buying the next piece of stickered plastic that happens to have a coin inside?

There have been some successful promotions including a chance to win an autographed Red Book but what about a drawing for a gift certificate? Hire a magician to do some coin magic to intrigue people. What about a walking exhibit where an expert in a non-mainstream area walks around and starts with, “Hey, let me tell you a story…” which involves taking a coin and talking about it beyond its grade. I am sure that someone can take a handful of tokens representing the area of the country where the show is and tie it with local history.

Numismatics is not dying, but it is not adapting. Maybe if the shows can be made into a real event then more people would be willing to collect. Remember, the Comic-Con had aisles full of people on a Sunday, more than will attend the Whitman Show in Baltimore next week!

The view standing In the middle of Hall A at the Baltimore Convention Center for the March 25, 2018 Whitman Expo.
Is this the fate of numismatics?

And now the news…

 February 19, 2019

A TEAM of metal detectorists in a field near Malvern had a 'lottery winning' moment as they found a hoard of rare 17th Century coins.  → Read more at worcesternews.co.uk


 February 19, 2019

Coins were buried in a ceramic pot under the floor of a building, Warwickshire County Council said.  → Read more at bbc.com


 February 20, 2019

The 14th Century coin was discovered inside one of three hidden drawers in a wooden bureau.  → Read more at bbc.com


 February 20, 2019

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas on Tuesday warned the public against improper handling of peso bills and coins.   Current trending headlines in business, money, banking, finance, companies, corporations, agriculture, mining, foreign currency rates, Philippine Stock Exchange (PSE) Index, inflation, interest, market prices and economic analysis.  → Read more at gmanetwork.com


 February 21, 2019

Danny Bostock is accused of killing rival Gordon McGhee during bungled burglary  → Read more at theweek.co.uk


 February 21, 2019

The 14th Century coin was discovered inside one of three hidden drawers in a wooden bureau.  → Read more at bbc.com


 February 21, 2019

A Burnsville man and former coin dealer has pleaded guilty to fraud charges in federal court. Barry R. Skog, 68, pleaded guilty Thursday to one count of mail fraud and one count of selling counterf…  → Read more at twincities.com

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Thank you Dave Harper, and good luck!

After having time to catch up on my reading, I was perusing the news from the numismatic press when I came upon a blog post by Dave Harper announcing his retirement from Numismatic News.

Shortly after I started this blog in October 2005, I found I liked writing about coins and all about numismatics. Aside from giving me an outlet to express my opinions, it also gave me the ability to learn more about everything surrounding numismatics. Writing provides me with the ability to learn more about history and politics, my undergraduate minor and the concentration when I earned my masters.

When I reached out to the numismatic publication, I was able to talk Dave to publishing a few articles. I originally wanted to write for a little money, knowing I would not get rich. But I was satisfied with just having the byline!

My greatest thrill was my front-page story in Numismatic News about the launch of the 2012 Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coin. It was an easy task since the drive to Fort McHenry is a little more than an hour from home.

A few months later, Barry Stuppler, a past ANA president and founder of the Gold & Silver Political Action Committee, was looking for someone to help write a newsletter. Dave recommended that Barry contact me. After helping cover an event for the PAC on Capital Hill, Barry offered me the job of Political Coordinator.

From July 2012 until February 2018, I wrote the PAC’s monthly email newsletter. It was a way to combine my Masters in public policy with numismatics. It was a great experience and I have Dave Harper to thank for recommending me for the job.

Thank you, Dave, for helping me when I was looking for a writing outlet.

Thank you for your nearly 41-year service to the numismatic community.

And much naches to you and your family as you embark on your next adventure!

Image courtesy of Numismatic News.

Weekly World Numismatic News for February 3, 2019

Sorry for being late, but there was this boring football game on. And the commercials stunk, too!

A story that resonated with me was from the American Physical Society that discussed research being done in Germany that could digitally examine coins.

Currently, the research is using ancient coins stored by their local heritage society. The purpose is to aid in the identification of the coins and to maintain an accurate description of these coins.

Although there have been similar attempts including smaller programs, this appears the first attempt to use computer imaging on a large scale to analyze the characteristics of coins. If it is successful, the imaging can also be used to determine the grade of coins.

Images borrowed from the original article.

Yes, I am saying that computers can do the grading of coins and probably do a better job than humans.

Computer imaging has come such a long way that it is an enhancement to almost everything that requires visual work. Nothing is more impressive than the system that uses medical imaging to virtually recreate a surgery scene so that a doctor and team can practice the most delicate surgery before cutting open the patient. Imaging can see beyond blood, organs, and even ordinary body fat to guide instruments through the body allowing for minimally invasive surgery.

Those of us with a smart telephone in our pocket that was purchased within the last three years has a device with the imaging capabilities and computing power that is equivalent to those used in those medical situations.

We can perform medical miracles, detect people from satellites thousands of miles in space, and even capture clear images of someone committing a crime with a phone from your pocket but the numismatic industry pedantically resists the use of computer imaging to grade coins.

The problem is that computer imaging will disrupt the status quo and make the grading services nearly obsolete if it was an acceptable way of analyzing coins. Dealers would lose their advantage of being the experienced eye looking at coins.

The result will be a consistency in coin grading that is not available today.

Think about it. There would be no need for crossovers, crack-outs, or a fourth-party sticker service that is nothing more than an arbitrage system to drive prices up. Collectors would be in control. Take out your phone and scan the coin. It will tell you the grade. And it will be the same grade whether I do the scan or if you do.

Computers do not like. Computers do not have emotions. Computers do not have an agenda. Take the picture, analyze, and provide a result. It puts the power in the hands of the collectors.

Of course, putting the power in the hands of the collectors is not what the dealers want. It is not what the grading services want. Computer imaging will disrupt their business.

And now the news…

 January 29, 2019

During school field trip, student finds coin bearing the inscription "King Agrippa."  → Read more at israelnationalnews.com


 January 30, 2019

At the same time, the number of fake banknotes has dropped.  → Read more at spectator.sme.sk


 January 30, 2019

The County  → Read more at thecounty.me


 January 31, 2019

The massive medallion, made of the purest gold bullion ever refined and worth $5.8 million, was stolen from the Bode Museum in Berlin—and has never been found  → Read more at macleans.ca


 February 1, 2019

A new exhibit at a landmark Vermont museum showcases the work of a renowned artist who calls New England Home. In his Windham County workspace, Johnny Swing transforms quarters, half dollars, and other…  → Read more at nbcboston.com


 February 1, 2019

Countless historical coins that differ from each other only in details are in storage at German state museums. Unlike paintings, these archaeological artifacts may not be labeled, marked or barcoded. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF developed a scanner and analysis software in collaboration with the Saxony-Anhalt State Office for Heritage Management and Archaeology, which digitally capture the visual features of coins and describe them exactly in a matter of seconds. The scanning system can be used to identify and recognize coin finds.  → Read more at phys.org

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It was for the wurst

Staatliche Münze Berlin
(photo courtesy of Wikimedia Commons)

It seems that in my attempt to highlight numismatic-related news from somewhere other than the United States I may have done my wurst!

While the story about the currywurst commemorative coin seemed like something to poke fun at, I was reminded that Staatliche Münze Berlin, the Berlin State Mint (www.muenze-berlin.de), is not an official government mint. It is a private mint that has been contracted by the German government to assist in producing coins. Their website reports that they produce one-fifth (20-percent) of all German coins.

Reports suggest that the Staatliche Münze Berlin has been under contract to Latvia to produce legal tender coins since 2014.

It appears that Staatliche Münze Berlin would be to Germany as the Pobjoy Mint is to the United Kingdom. Both a private mints that are contracted to strict legal tender coins that create their own commemorative.

This might mean we are safe from coins commemorating poutine and haggis. However, the idea of mixing curry with ketchup may be worth a try!

Weekly World Numismatic News for January 7, 2019

Sorry for the one day delay, it was a busy weekend!

The important news is not being reported in the numismatic press nor by those who are supposed to watch over the industry. The important news is the government shutdown and its potential effects on the economy as a whole.

Market performance is like a disease. When one part gets infected the rest of the organism will follow. The part the economic organism that is getting infected is the Washington, DC area. Home to 15 companies in the Fortune 500 including government-sponsored Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, The Washington Post is reporting that 174,800 people have been furloughed in the Washington, DC-area because of the shutdown.

When that many people are not getting paid they are not spending money and the economy gets stagnant. When a region as significant in size becomes stagnant, it is only a matter of time before it spreads to other areas including those where the federal government has the most impact including Alaska, Montana, and New Mexico. Farming states could also feel the impact since the U.S. Department of Agriculture is closed and cannot process subsidy (welfare) checks for farmers hurt by the trade war with China, potentially affecting the price of food.

Since the markets do not like uncertainty, investors tend to seek refuge in precious metals, primarily gold and silver. The problem is that there is so much news that timing the markets has given the market watchers whiplash as the uncertainty seems to force the professional investors (gamblers) to treat the market like they are playing the hokie-pokey: a little bit in, a little bit out, panic a little and shake all about the next news cycle.

The dollar is strong but that is because the Federal Reserve did not raise rates in December. While that averted a panic, the Fed may not be able to hold back if the shutdown continues and puts inflationary pressure on the economy.

With news cycles that could change at the drop of a Tweet, it does not make sense to try to time the market. However, if the price of gold climbing as a result of those in the equity markets looking for a safer haven, you may want to tell your representatives in Congress to work to end this shutdown. Although some would love to see $2,000 per ounce gold prices, it could negatively impact the economy and your ability to collect.

And now the news…

 December 31, 2018

Have you ever wondered what happened to all the old, round £1 coins after they were removed from circulation? We just found out  → Read more at mirror.co.uk


 December 31, 2018

Chain restaurants Sweetgreen and Dig Inn in the US have already stopped accepting cash. Starbucks and UK pubs are also moving towards card and contactless.  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk


 January 1, 2019

U.S. Mint sales of American Eagle gold and silver coins dropped to their lowest …  → Read more at reuters.com


 January 2, 2019

Editor's Note: Kitco News has officially launched Outlook 2019 – Rush To Safety – the definitive reference for precious metals investors for the new year. We chose this year's theme as financial markets face growing uncertainty.  → Read more at kitco.com


 January 3, 2019

PolicÃa Nacional has issued a warning after a rise in reported cases of members of the public receiving the wrong currency in their change. Instead of being handed back euros, unsuspecting holidaymakers and expats are being short-changed with coins of much lower value compared to the euro.  → Read more at express.co.uk


 January 5, 2019

KIND-hearted shopkeepers are helping an Inverness youngster with her coin collecting hobby by setting aside specially-minted versions of 50p and £2 coins produced to commemorate historic occasions. A Girl Guides centenary 50p sparked the interest of Cradlehall Primary’s Isla Macdonald, who now has 40 special 50p coins and 30 differently designed £2 coins.  → Read more at inverness-courier.co.uk

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Weekly World Numismatic News for December 9, 2018

Each week I look at the news from the week in order to highlight something interesting. With the holiday season upon us, I was hoping to find something nice to write about. Instead, Kitco’s story about the increasing sales of silver and a marketplace that is now moving is more concerning than positive.

Precious metals are the investment of last resort. While some portfolios will diversify into metals for a safe haven, metals become active when there is uncertainty in the market. The trade wars between the United States and China have caused market players to reduce their risk by investing in silver.

Although most prefer gold, silver has been the metal of choice for the Chinese for hundreds of years. It has been the benchmark of their trade and the basis for their monetary system prior to all countries moving off precious metals standards. It was the basis of trade that the United States thought would be resolved by creating the Trade Dollar coin in 1873.

The rise in silver sales from the U.S. Mint is good in that it will increase seigniorage. It is not so good in that it indicates there is the potential for the markets to change course. Markets hate uncertainty and this could be their answer to the uncertainty brewing in trade between China and the United States.

And now the news…

 November 28, 2018

Currencies / Fiat Currency The first gold coins appeared around 560 B.C. Over time it became a practice to store larger amounts of gold in warehouses.  → Read more at marketoracle.co.uk


 November 29, 2018

These days, you can't buy much with 5¢ – including the cost of making one. That's right, the cost of producing a 5¢ piece is about 5.059¢, and this is about the cheapest it's been in recent years. In 2015, the cost of producing a 5¢ piece hit a high of 7¢ due to the fluctuating cost of nickel and copper.  → Read more at smh.com.au


 November 29, 2018

Inmates in a Bulgarian prison were in for a shock when they stumbled across an enormous hoard of silver coins from the Ottoman Empire. The incredible haul was discovered alongside two broken treasure pots in a prison in the Bulgarian city of Pleven.  → Read more at mirror.co.uk


 December 2, 2018

The National Bank of Romania (BNR) has put into circulation, for numismatic purposes, a commemorative collector banknote with face value of lei 100 dedicated to the anniversary of 100 years since the Great Union on December 1, 1918.  → Read more at romania-insider.com


 December 3, 2018

Correcton:The U.S. Mint provided incorrect information on its website Monday morning, misstating the number of ounces sold in December. In an update of its sales data the U.S.  → Read more at kitco.com


 December 4, 2018

Rare gold coins and a golden earring have been discovered in the ancient Mediterranean port of Caesarea in northern Israel—possibly left and never recovered as Crusaders conquered the area 900 years ago.  → Read more at phys.org


 December 6, 2018

It was 150 years ago this month when one of Nevada's most treasured artifacts first arrived in Carson City.  → Read more at carsonnow.org


 December 6, 2018

Lianna Spurrier has the tooth fairy to thank for a hobby that transformed into sudden job opportunities.   → Read more at thetrailblazeronline.net


 December 8, 2018

This article first appeared in the Nevada Appeal on July 20, 2014. Abe Curry received papers on July 16, 1866, approving the start of construction on the Carson Mint.On  → Read more at nevadaappeal.com

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They will come for you next!

I said that if we do not act that we would become victims!

A man came into my shop the other day. Like all new visitors, my assistant greeted him with her usual charm while he looked at the eclectic inventory in the showroom.

The man was different than others. On a slow morning, he lingered around the set of auction catalogs I have for sale while saying little to my assistant who felt uncomfortable with this man in the shop. Another customer came into the shop and my assistant took care of them while I watched this gentleman.

After a while, he came to me and, in a heavy accent I could not identify, asked if I was the store’s owner. He pulled out a few folded pieces of paper and showed me a sheet with the article “Coin jewelry is not legal everywhere” I wrote on this blog in April 2016.

He pointed to one of the pictures and asked if I knew anything about the coin. I asked why and he said he was interested in purchasing one. For some reason, I had a feeling that he might have had other interests in mind.

Examples of the coin jewelry from the orignal post

I explained to that I do not carry a lot of jewelry since it is not a specialty of my business. When I do have jewelry in stock it does not sell well. He opened the paper and asked if I knew anything about the jewelry on the page.

I explained that the article he is holding is from a blog post I made explaining how some countries have restrictions regarding the usage of their coins for jewelry. When he pressed for more information I said that it was noted in the posting that the images came from Etsy and I do not know any of the sellers. Their goods were used as an example for the posting.

It felt like I was being interrogated. I asked if he was a member of law enforcement or any other government investigative agency, he mumbled something I did not like. I asked him to leave. My assistant had called the police.

The police arrived and escorted the man out of the shop and questioned him before letting him drive away in his own vehicle. I noted the license plate. The officer came inside and said that this will be handled elsewhere and that I was not to report it any further.

About a week later, I was visited by someone representing a federal agency and a member of federal law enforcement who wanted to question me about the incident. After they produced proper identification, we went into my office to discuss the matter.

I was told that the man who came into my shop was an agent for an unnamed foreign government. This government has been visiting collectible stores and shows to intimidate people into “returning cultural items” from that country. The country that this person represents considers this legal even though it violates my Fifth Amendment right of due process.

Apparently, the person that visited my shop is responsible for the “confiscation” of items from more than a dozen antiques and collectibles shops in the mid-Atlantic region.

It is not the first time we have heard the foreign governments have tried to go around the United States’ right of due process by trying to confiscate coins under the guise that they are “national treasures.” In 2013, I wrote “Why you should care about restrictions on collecting ancient coins” sounding an alarm for people to act.

People did not act or act strongly enough. It has allowed a foreign government to pervert the 1970 UNESCO Convention’s intent to steal legally obtained inventory from United States businesses they claim are national treasures.

In the next few weeks, I will be writing a short position paper to present to the American Numismatic Association in order to get them to work to protect collectors. It is time that the ANA and other numismatic organizations work together to protect the hobby and stop kowtowing to every country who wants to retroactively make a claim against United States business because a foreign government said so.

Weekly World Numismatic News for November 18, 2018

Vahid Mazloumin is seen appearing in court for the first time on charges of manipulating the currency market. He was later sentenced to death, in Tehran, Iran. September 8, 2018.Tasnim News Agency /Handout via REUTERS (via ChannelNews Asia)

Coin collecting, whether it would be enjoyment or profit, received a black eye this week as Iran executed Vhid Mazloumin, the man nicknamed the “Sultan of Coins.” Mazloumin and his accomplice, Mohammad Ismail Ghasemi, were hanged in Tehran on the charge of manipulating the coin and currency market in charges that included smuggling.

The charges stem from a new round of sanction by the United States that has Iranians hoarding gold and looking for other safe investments. To serve that market, Mazloumin and his associates began to trade in gold coins and bullion.

Up until the sanctions, Iran did not have many restrictions on the trading of gold and other bullion but found itself in another financial crisis. The Iranian central bank is reporting a reduction of reserves and those with the means to purchase gold have been doing so at a rate higher than in the past.

According to many reports, Mazloumin was caught with non-Iranian coins and bullion including bars made by Swiss and German companies. Amongst the charges included trading in gold American Eagle coins and Krugerrands. As part of this defense, Mazloumin claimed that the coins were imported before the ban.

What is troublesome is that the collecting and investing communities have been silent on the execution of someone whose actions were made retroactively illegal by a panicking government. It is a more extreme version of blaming the collector for the financial crisis, such as the United States did in 1964 over silver coinage.

Although someone will inevitably ask if condemnation will do anything, just remember how an industry condemned the actions in Turkey and the United States over actions against journalists. Communities that do not stand up for itself run the risk of allowing governments to run roughshod over them at their convenience.

Therefore, I CONDEMN IN THE STRONGEST POSSIBLE TERMS THE STATE-SPONSORED MURDER OF A COIN DEALER IN IRAN!

I urge the rest of the numismatic and investment industries to join me before someone comes for you!

And now the news…

 November 12, 2018

Coins from 1930s donated during "Fill the Boot" fundraiser.  → Read more at spectrumlocalnews.com


 November 12, 2018

DHAKA, Nov. 12 (Xinhua) — Shelves and cases in the money museum in Dhaka, capital of Bangladesh, are filled to the brim with coins and currencies from the barter era to modern times, with the displays attracting many visitors.  → Read more at xinhuanet.com


 November 12, 2018

A local fire department wants the public's help in making the Holidays special for members of The Armed Forces.  → Read more at fourstateshomepage.com


 November 14, 2018

These coins both endangered and saved Optatius Buyssens's life, as he fought as a soldier during World War One  → Read more at bbc.com


 November 14, 2018

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. – BOCES Career & Technical Education culinary students hosted a recent Kiwanis Club luncheon where prominent numismatist Anthony Swiatek discussed old coins and currency, which might be worth a great deal more than their owners realize.  → Read more at saratogian.com


 November 14, 2018

Iran has executed two men convicted of manipulating coin and currency markets. Vahid Mazloumin and Mohammad Ismail Ghasemi were hanged on Wednesday after they were found guilty of manipulating coin and hard currency markets through illegal and unauthorized deals, Iranian Students’ News Agency (ISNA) reported.  → Read more at newsweek.com


 November 14, 2018

On November 14 the national Bank put into circulation four commemorative coins of irregular shape. This reports the press service of the regulator on the official page in Facebook, writes the Chronicle.info with reference to epravda.com.ua.  → Read more at bobrtimes.com

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