The ANA Election is Over, Support Your New Board

The American Numismatic Association election is over and the membership has made a choice. Steve Ellsworth will become the new President of the American Numismatic Association at the World’s Fair of Money in August. Ralph Ross will become Vice President.

Although these were not my choices for leadership, I will support them for their two-year term. Both men deserve the support of the entire membership regardless of what you thought about the election.

The ANA is at a critical juncture in its modern history. There is a societal change happening that is affecting many hobbies and traditional institutions. It is a change borne out of changes in ideas, ideals, and how the new generation thinks about hobbies and their traditions.

The status quo is no longer acceptable. Millennials and those identified as Gen Z, who graduated from high school this year, grew up in a different world. In their world, money is electronic, stamps are utilitarian only used when necessary, and the concept of formality is reserved for a noncontroversial post on social media.

With the Millenials and Gen Z now in that numismatic black hole between being a Young Numismatist and their reawakening when they get older, it is time that the ANA adapt to the new world order of technology.

Adapting traditional hobbies between the past and technology will be difficult. Ask the philatelic (stamp collecting) world how technology has upended what they built. Technology has changed many aspects of our lives, and if numismatics do not change along with it, numismatics will become a minor aspect of the hobby community.

Making this bridge between the traditions of numismatics and the future is what the new ANA leadership and the Board of Governors will need your help. The only way the ANA will change to meet the needs of the membership is for the association to speak out. Members, especially those that are not of AARP eligible age, must be the ones to speak to the Board and let them know what the ANA has to do to have a healthy future.

Overall, 19,737 ANA members were eligible to vote in this election; 31.06 percent of eligible voters participated.

One of the most significant issues is that the membership is not engaged. Maybe it is time for the ANA members to get off the sidelines and become involved.

Members must open lines of communications with the Board of Governors and let them know what you think. They cannot perform their jobs without knowing how to respond to the membership. Your input will help President-elect Ellsworth, and the rest of the Board set their agenda.

Help Ellsworth and the Board have a successful term. Let them know what you think. As a member you can contact the ANA directly. When you do, please keep it respectful and include your membership number.

Those who want to add their comments to a public forum, the ANA gives you that opportunity. Go to the ANA website, register, and post your message as an open blog post. Yes, the ANA website has a blog section for you to post whatever you like. Keep it clean, respectful, to the point. If you can add details to your ideas, I am sure the Board would appreciate the help.

In case you did not know, the ANA website also has a section of numismatic forums for collectors to talk with other collectors about numismatics. For those who are not happy with other forum sites, you might want to take the opportunity to see what the ANA has to offer.

If all else fails, you can write to me. Although I am one voice in the numismatic wilderness, I am a collector who wants to see the ANA remain a thriving home for numismatic collectors. You can write to me directly or post a comment here.

It is your ANA.

Your ANA needs your input.

Support the new Board and help them find their direction.

Hey ANA Members, it’s time to VOTE!

The countdown to the July 1 deadline to vote for the next American Numismatic Association Board of Governors approaches, it is time to look at the candidates and determine who can best lead the organization forward.

For the first time in many years, there are races for President, Vice President, and Board of Governors. This year this is a choice. Here are my choices:

President

For ANA president members have the choice of COL Steven K. Ellsworth, ret., or Donald H. Kagin, Ph.D.

Ellsworth is currently a member of the ANA Board of governors and the owner of Butternut Coin Company, which moved from Virginia to Tennessee. Ellsworth has been around but has many strong opinions that have irritated several of the ANA’s constituency. Recently, during the National Money Show, Ellsworth made statements that exhibitors and the exhibit committee interpreted as hostile to them. Unfortunately, when he had the opportunity to clarify his position, his tone turned combative while making accusations of there being a clique amongst the exhibitor community.

Kagin grew up in the numismatics business, the son of a very prominent member of the ANA. But Kagin is not without his issues. He was a member of the Board of Governors during the fiasco with Executive Director and Legal Counsel Christopher Cipoletti in 2007. Then there were the Larry Shepherd issues that led to more embarrassment. For the subsequent election, Kagin said that he and the Board made mistakes and he wanted another chance. Kagin lost the election during a “throw the bums out” feelings by the membership.

Over the last few years, it appears that Kagin has learned from his mistakes. Sometimes it takes falling on your behind to be able to learn from those mistakes. It also seems that his vision for the ANA has matured since his return to the Board.

The Coin Collectors Blog endorses Don Kagin for ANA President for his sober vision and less combative personality, which is necessary for the ANA.

Vice President

The race for ANA Vice President is between Dr. Ralph W. Ross and Thomas J. Uram.

Although I have briefly met both gentlemen, I cannot say that I have had an extensive conversation with either. The personality dynamics are very different. Although that should not be a determining factor, the differences make it a consideration.

Ross has been a member of the Board of Governors for some time. He is a teacher by trade, which can be beneficial to figure out how to spread the word about numismatics beyond the ANA. In reality, where has he been? In my interaction with the Board, Ross is its quietest member. We do not hear much from him or about him regarding his position on the Board. He is just there.

Uram has been an active participant for some time. He is an exhibitor, judge, and has acted as a coach to exhibitors. Having someone on the Board who understands the exhibitor community may be good for the ANA.

Uram is not a professional numismatist but has had a long career in the financial services industry. Given the ANA’s propensity for having consistent financial problems, having someone around who can make sure the ANA stays fiscally stable may be a good idea.

Finally, Uram is a member of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) as an appointee of the Secretary of the Treasury. Although I have been a critic of the CCAC and not a fan of the Secretary, having someone with that type of experience could have its advantages.

Therefore, the Coin Collectors Blog endorses Tom Uram to be the next Vice President of the ANA.

Board of Governors

There are ten candidates to fill seven seats. Three people will not be serving on the Board. I will not comment on every one of the candidates in this space. I will provide some thoughts on what has gone into my decision.

First, I do not endorse Mike Ellis and his return to the Board. Although I believe in second chances, some have to come with a significant amount of contrition and time. It has not been long enough after “he had made a mistake and chose to step down from the board.” Any person who had to step down from the Board of Governors because of “mistake” must be required to jump a higher hurdle to return. I am still waiting for the jump.

While I have nothing against Greg Lyon, this would be his sixth and final term on the Board. After ten years as a member of the Board of Governors, it is time to step aside and allow new people into leadership.

There are endorsement forthcoming for Muriel Eymery and Shanna Schmidt. Eymery, who is from London, would bring a very different perspective to the ANA that is very necessary. Her view on foreign collectors and the world of numismatics outside of the United States would be an asset to an organization that appears insular. This type of diversity would benefit the ANA.

Schmidt is a dealer with a specialty in ancient numismatics and has a background beyond numismatics. Aside from adding diversity to the Board of Governors, which is very necessary, the line in her biography that attracted me was that her “master’s thesis was on the cultural-property debate as it relates specifically to ancient coins.” It is a topic that I have commented on several times and wish the ANA would involve itself with on behalf of the numismatic community.

Based on the considerations, the Coin Collectors Blog endorses the following seven candidates for the ANA Board of Governors (in alphabetical order by last name): Rick Ewing, Muriel Eymery, John Highfill, Cliff Mishler, Paul Montgomery, Robert Oberth, and Shanna Schmidt.

If you are an ANA member, go vote!

If you are not an ANA member, you should consider becoming one!

The Story of Tubman on the $20: a mass of lies, evasions, folly, and hatred

Mockup of the $20 note featuring Harriet Tubman

When there is a discussion on the design of United States currency, there is no way to avoid politics. Politics drives the designs, composition, and the economic condition that goes behind every coin in your pocket. Politics governs the currency printed by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, including the overall management of it through the Department of the Treasury.

Aside from my interest in the nuance of politics, beyond reports on cable news, it is why there is a monthly report on legislation that would effect numismatics. Whether it is a proposal for a commemorative coin or the creation of a commission to celebrate something in history, every bill introduced in Congress has the potential to change numismatics.

Paper currency is less regulated than coins. Coining money is mentioned in Article I Section 8 of the United States Constitution. The federal regulation of currency began with the National Bank Act of 1863. Whereas the Constitution says, “Congress shall have Power…to coin Money, regulate the Value thereof, and of foreign Coin,” there is no provision for paper currency.

The Constitution does not say that Congress should design the coins, but they do, sometimes to the detriment of the final result. But the design of the currency is left to the Department of the Treasury.

There is no set process that the Treasury goes through to decide on the design of the nation’s currency. The process changes for each new Secretary that heads the department. In the previous administration, Secretary Jacob “Jack” Lew, went through his version of the process to decide that the portrait of Andrew Jackson on the $20 Federal Reserve Note will be replaced with Harriett Tubman by 2020.

According to sources, although the Bureau of Engraving and Printing would have preferred a little more time to create the master engraving plates to make this change, the timing of the announcement would not present a significant problem.

Lew resigned as the 76th Secretary of the Treasury on January 20, 2017, with the inauguration of a new administration. Steven T. Mnuchin was sworn in as the 77th Secretary of the Treasury on February 13, 2017.

Steven T. Mnuchin, the 77th Secretary of the Treasury

Sources report that Mnuchin did not interfere with the BEP’s efforts to redesign the $20 FRN immediately. As the work continued, the BEP also continued to work on additional anti-counterfeiting measures for U.S. currency. Specifically, the BEP was looking into changes that would first impact the $10 note followed by the $5 bill.

The paper $5 note was a more significant focus for the BEP. In working with the U.S. Secret Service, they were finding that many counterfeiters were using bleaching products to remove the ink from the paper to use it to print higher denominations, predominantly $20 bills. One internal report suggested that the criminal would see a net gain of $14 for each $20 note they could produce.

Although it costs more to counterfeit $20 bills this way, it is a lower risk for the criminal. As we have seen, few people pay attention to the problem and those that do find that the currency passes the iodine pen test. After all, it is currency paper.

Bleached Counterfeit Currency

An example of a $100 Federal Reserve Note printed on a bleached $5 note (Image courtesy of Prescott Police Department via AOL.com)

Interference from Mnuchin came after his first three months in office. It started with a question from a reporter who asked the president about the change. The president’s statement was followed by a cabinet meeting where the president said something to Mnuchin about the change. Then, a source reports that the president said something to Mnuchin who agreed to do something without raising concerns.

Mnuchin did not directly interfere with the process. Instead, he used the budgetary process to direct funds away from the development of the proposed change in portrait.

Mnuchin was able to hide the change from the public because of the nature of Treasury’s budgetary process. Since the BEP is self-funded by the profits (seigniorage) that is deposited in its Public Enterprise Fund, all Treasury had to do was obtain Congress’s permission to use a set amount from the fund without providing details.

Treasury and BEP were able to hide the changes in the CFO’s Annual Report by using internal reorganization to obfuscate where the spending was going.

In short, Mnuchin ordered the BEP, which is lead by a career professional and not a politician, to move the resources away from the redesign and prioritizing other aspects of currency redesign. Mnuchin purposely slowed the redesign process in a way that gives Treasury and the BEP deniability.

A statement published on the BEP website, BEP Director Len Olijar wrote in response to the news reports, “BEP was never going to unveil a note design in 2020.” That was not the policy of the Treasury Department and the BEP when Secretary Lew announced the change. Mnuchin changed it at the request of the president.

The story of the “delay” of the redesign with Tubman’s portrait appeared in The New York Times. In the story, the Times used an image from the original announcement that depicted Tubman superimposed on the $20 bill. Sources suggested that Olijar, under orders from Mnuchin, was to try to discredit the story in any way possible. Rather than continue with the fact, albeit flawed compared to previous reports, the statement went on to pick on an inconsequential aspect of the story, the image published by the Times.

“The illustration published by the New York Times was a copy of an old Series note with the signatures of former officials, with a different image superimposed on it.”

As my source said, “let’s attack the messenger and not the message.”

Unfortunately, Olijar, a career government employee, is caught in the middle having to work with the politicians. He loses credibility by contradicting the previous reporting, which is unfortunate because sources have suggested that some other than Mnuchin “ordered” Olijar to issue the statement.

There is an old expression that one should never discuss politics, religion, and sex/money/pick something in polite company. It is impossible to be polite when talking about coins and currency before their manufacture. It spreads through the entire process. Or as George Orwell aptly said:

In our age, there is no such thing as ‘keeping out of politics.’ All issues are political issues, and politics itself is a mass of lies, evasions, folly, hatred, and schizophrenia.

ANA’s 2019 Election Cycle

Members of the American Numismatic Association who opted into online voting should have received the election announcement via email. If you think you did request the electronic voting option and did not receive your notice, check your spam folder.

Those who are not signed up for electronic voting should receive a paper ballot in the mail shortly. Deadline to vote using either method is July 1, 2019.

2019 ANA Election Notice

This year, there are races for president, vice president, and Board of Governors. In addition to the races in all categories, three women are running for the Board of Governors, and five of the candidates are running for the first time. Two are running again after having served in the past.

Three of the current member of the Board of Governors are running for higher office, meaning that there will be at least three new Board members.

Maybe there should be at least four new board members.

It has been a long tradition in United States populist society to “throw the bastards out” dating back to the antebellum South where the southern Democrats ran dirty campaigns and even fixed ballots to weaken the Whig Party that was anti-slavery. Newspapers at the time suggested that if the pols do not protect the southern traditions then vote them out.

Just remember, dirty politics pre-dates the founding of the United States as an independent country. In the 1820s, the movement found a rallying cry.

The ANA has had its “throw the bastards out” situation a few years ago after former ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd file a lawsuit against the ANA and fired Jeff Shevlin as executive director. It was clear that there were problems, which attracted a large field fo candidates for the seven seats on the Board of Governors. I was one of the candidates.

There was quite a change in made in that election. Unfortunately, a few of the members that were voted in during that election remain. As someone who likes to see change and believes in term limit, anyone elected in 2013 should be retired from the Board of Governors. It has nothing to do with their qualifications, but there is a time for new ideas to replace the old.

Numismatics is not a dying hobby. For as long as physical currency is in use, there will be someone to collect those items and the billions of coins already in collections around the world. But there is some trouble in the hobby.

The ANA has to figure out its long-term direction in the context of today’s society. Kids are no longer checking mom and dad’s pocket change looking for coins. They are not encouraged to do so, but there are no incentives for them to begin. There is no long term encouragement.

We have to adapt to a new way of thinking. Unfortunately, very few of the candidates’ statements show that they are seriously thinking about the future.

Change begins with change. It is time for those who have served to retire from the Board and let others step forward. Let’s thank them for their service and allow them to move on.

It may not be a revolution, but evolution is necessary.

In a few weeks, I will post my endorsements.

Until then, I welcome your thoughts.

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.

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.

Finding Coin World’s new podcast shows Numismatics is in technology amateur hour

Did you hear? Coin World started a podcast.

I found out in one of their multiple daily email blasts that Coin World is producing a podcast starring Chris Bulfinch and Jeff Starck.

A professionally produced podcast that is regularly published for the hobby is a good idea. I would become a listener but it is not possible. The podcast is not in the Apple Podcast directory and only available on directories other than Apple including Spotify, Stitcher, or TuneIn.

Aside from not having enough room on my iPhone for another app, I have a lot of time invested in my chosen podcast app that is configured to work with my weird listening schedule.

Why did Coin World make this decision? Shouldn’t they want to reach as many people as possible? After all, there are approximately 97.2 million iPhone users in the United States. That is approximately 47-percent of the smartphone market. And some research suggests that approximately two-thirds of podcast listeners use an Apple device. That is a lot of people to exclude!

Time and again it seems that when numismatics does something to try to reach beyond its borders using technology, the attempt reminds me of the 1971 kitschy movie The Gang that Couldn’t Shoot Straight. In this case, Coin World shot itself in the foot.

ADDENDUM: After I wrote this and queued it for posting, I went back to the announcement page on Coin World’s website and looked at the HTML source behind the page. I found the URL of the RSS feed that my podcast app could use to subscribe.

Even though I found the URL, I deconstructed the page to find where the link was hiding. Yes, it is hidden.

To find the link, you have to hover your mouse over the embedded podcast player on their webpage so that the controls appear. Click on the share button to the far right to bring up a share panel. There is a button that says “Get the RSS Feed.” Clicking on that will bring you to the feed.

Or you can just use https://feeds.buzzsprout.com/273189.rss.

Click on the share button? Really? Now that’s really intuitive!

Coin World is using Buzzsprout as their hosting service. There is nothing wrong with Buzzsprout although its embedded podcast player’s UX (user experience) leaves much to be desired. However, Buzzsprout is a well-rated service for podcast hosting.

Then again, Coin World should have read Buzzsprout’s “How to Make a Podcast” guide. Step 6 on their list is “Get listed in Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.” After all, it says “Listing your podcast in these directories will ensure that people can find your podcast when they search for it. Getting into these directories is the most important step in marketing your podcast.”

Coin World should have considered their overall UX when doing this. It’s an amateur’s mistake!

There once was a time that Coin World’s parent company, Amos, had a good technical group that was there to help the Amos properties but was also doing consulting. These were the people who were brought in to help get the improved money.org off the ground. The people we worked with were very intelligent.

Unfortunately, Amos did not retain this group following the issuing of the money.org request for proposal (RFP). These smart people went their separate ways. I hope they all have had a lot of success after leaving Amos. But for Coin World, it is too bad because this is a time when it seems that this they could have used expert assistance.

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

Coin Collectors News
news.coinsblog.ws

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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