This week’s LOOK BACK is my take at the stir made over the positioning of the edge letters on the newly struck George Washington Dollar coins in 2007.
If you search the online auction sites, you will find less than honest sellers trying to sell variations in the positioning of edge lettering of the new George Washington Dollars errors or varieties. Letters that are pointed up, or the top of the letters towards the obverse, are considered “normal” by these sellers. Letters that are pointed downward, or the top of the letters closer to the reverse of the coin, have been called errors or varieties. They are neither.
Exasperating the issue is that one third-party grading service added a designation to their labels with the orientation of the edge lettering.
According to one third-party grading service, Presidential Dollars With The Tops The
Edge Lettering Facing the Reverse Are Designated As “Position A.”
Those With The Tops Of Their Letters Facing The Obverse Are “Position B.”
An accepted definition of a variety “is any variation in the normal design of a given coin, usually caused by errors in the preparation or maintenance of the coin dies.” They are also errors caused in the striking process. But these definitions do not account for the differences in the orientation. The problem is that after the planchets are struck into coins by the high-speed coining machines, they are mechanically collected and fed into a machine that will press the lettering into the edge of the coins.
The machine that adds the edge lettering uses a three-part collar to impress the incuse lettering does this without regard to position. not only could the edge lettering face any direction, but the lettering can appear at any position along the edge. The U.S. Mint confirms this by saying that because of “the minting process used on the circulating coins, the edge-incused inscription positions will vary with each coin.”
Since the Mint is saying that the process can vary, these variations are normal for the design. Since these are normal variations, they are not numismatic varieties or errors. Thus, the coins with variations of orientation edge lettering are not worth the premiums being sought online. They are worth their face value of $1.
There have been errors found with the edge lettering. The most infamous has been called the “Godless Dollars” for coins missing their edge lettering and the motto “In God We Trust.” Most of these coins were minted in Philadelphia and discovered in Florida. Others have found doubling of edge letters and what looks like breaks in the three-part collars where letters have moved out of place. These are legitimate errors and worth a premium above face value. Orientation variations of the edge lettering are not errors.
If you want to consider these varieties, please save your money and visit your local bank. You can purchase these coins for face value without shipping and handling fees. If you purchase a 25-coin roll, you can spend the coins you do not want since they are legal tender.
The original article can be read here
On July 20, 2018, the president signed the American Innovation $1 Coin Act to become Public Law No. 115-197.
Beginning in 2019, there will be four dollar coins issued where the obverse will be “a likeness of the Statue of Liberty extending to the rim of the coin and large enough to provide a dramatic representation of Liberty.” The reverse will be emblematic of an innovation, innovator, or a group of innovators significant to that state or territory. The dollar coins will use the same Manganese-Brass composition as all dollar coins struck since 2000 with the edge lettering consisting of the year, mintmark, and the national motto E PLURIBUS UNUM.
The American Innovation $1 Coin will be issued in the same order as the 50 State Quarter Program, the order the states entered the union, followed by the District of Columbia and U.S. Territories.
The order will be as follows:
- New Jersey
- South Carolina
- New Hampshire
- New York
- North Carolina
- Rhode Island
- West Virginia
- North Dakota
- South Dakota
- New Mexico
- District of Columbia
- The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
- American Samoa
- The U.S. Virgin Islands
- The Northern Mariana Islands
With a lot of the international news focused on the finding of ancient coins buried in old ruins, the story that caught my eye came out of Colorado Springs.
Glenna Goodacre, the designer of the Sacagawea Dollar and a graduate of Colorado College in Colorado Springs, donated several items relating to the design of the dollar coin to the American Numismatic Association Money Museum.
Donations include several plaster and bronze casts of the coin that were used to test the design and show the relief of the coin. There is also a plaster cast with an alternate version without her baby, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, on her back.
News of the donation was published on Friday, July 13, 2018. According to the article, ANA communications coordinator Amanda Miller said that there were no immediate plans to display these items.
Following a significant donation, the ANA will issue a press release. When they do, it would be nice to read that some of these items would be on display at the World’s Fair of Money next month in Philadelphia.
And now the news…
July 9, 2018
An uninhabited island off the coast of Arnhem Land may be the discovery place of a medieval African coin, which, if confirmed, would be among the oldest foreign artefacts ever found in Australia. → Read more at abc.net.au
July 12, 2018
The Money Museum, the local, official museum of the American Numismatic Association, recently announced an exciting new donation to its collection. Sculptor and Colorado College graduate Glenna Goodacre has given the museum a selection of items related to the Sacagawea dollar, for which she designed the obverse (the face side). → Read more at csindy.com
July 13, 2018
The tenacity of amateur archaeologists and historians searching on a remote island off the coast of the Northern Territories in Australia seems to have finally paid off. The team has found a small coin that apparently comes from a medieval African city. → Read more at ancient-origins.net
July 13, 2018
The banknotes highlight Nelson Mandela’s historical journey, from the rolling hills of the Eastern Cape to the Union Buildings. More than 400 million banknotes and coins bearing the face of South Africa’s first president in the era of democracy, the late Nelson Mandela, are being released to commemorate his centenary. → Read more at citizen.co.za
July 15, 2018
A Virginia Beach coin dealer recently spent $2.64 million on a rare coin from 1834. He and his business partner are collecting coins from 1792 to present day. → Read more at pilotonline.com
July 15, 2018
The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) has named GraceKennedy Payment Services Ltd (GKPS) as an official coin collection agent in the national coin redemption drive.According to the BOJ, following efforts to identify agents to widen its coin redemption drive, it… → Read more at jamaica-gleaner.com
Sometimes watching specific legislation to make its way through Congress is like watching paint dry. We know the paint will eventually dry but it takes a lot longer than we have time to wait. With the exception of bills that are proposing useful things like eliminating the paper dollar for a coin, there is no point to check daily.
But that is what I do. I wrote a program to download the bill information produced by the Government Printing Office on behalf of the Congress and store it in a database so that it can be reported here. This process does not become interesting until something happens.
The last two weeks in June looks like it was the equivalent of a wild ride. First, the American Innovation $1 Coin Act (H.R. 770) appeared on the agenda in the House of Representatives where the only “debate” was Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT), the bill’s sponsor, and the day’s floor manager, Rep. Sean Duffy (R-OH) speaking in favor of passage. Then it followed the regular course of passage by the House, passage by the Senate with a change, followed by the House agreeing with the amendment. Next month it should be signed into law by the President.
In the middle of this two new commemorative coin bills were introduced. First, Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) introduced a bill for a commemorative coin program in recognition of Paul Laurence Dunbar.
Paul Laurence Dunbar, circa 1890
Paul Laurence Dunbar (1872-1906) was an American poet, novelist, and playwright. Dunbar was very popular in his day whose work was known for its colorful language and conversational tone that made his work seem lyrical. Dunbar, who was born in Dayton, Ohio as a child of former slaves, was famous for writing in the “Negro dialect” that was associated with the antebellum south.
Dunbar had briefly worked at the Library of Congress before resigning to concentrate on his writing. His home in the LeDroit Park neighborhood of Washington, DC still stands today. In 1904 he returned to Dayton to be with his ailing mother but ended up contracting tuberculosis and dying in 1906.
The day after Holmes Norton introduced her bill, Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV) introduced a bill for a commemorative coin program to commemorate the 150th Anniversary of the Carson City Mint.
Carson City Mint (1866)
The Carson City Mint opened in 1870 primarily in response to the Comstock Lode. It started as an Assay Office in 1963 but did not gain Mint status until 1870. It was in operation from 1870-1885 and 1889-1893. It is the only branch of the U.S. Mint to have used a two-letter mint mark.
Today, the building is a branch of the Nevada State Museum.
Since the text of both bills has not been published, details of the programs are unknows except it is safe to assume that the Carson City 150th Anniversary commemorative coin program will occur in 2020.
H.R. 770: American Innovation $1 Coin Act
Summary: (Sec. 2) This bill directs the Department of the Treasury, over a 14-year period beginning in 2019, to mint and issue “American Innovation” $1 coins commemorating innovation and innovators from each state, each U.S. territory, and the District of Columbia. Treasury shall issue four coins per year, in alphabetical order by jurisdiction, until a coin has been issued for each jurisdiction. Treasury may mint and issue a $1 coin in 2018 to introduce the series. Neither the bust of any person nor the portrait of any living person may be included in the design of the coins.The bill instructs Interior to continue to mint and issue $1 coins honoring Native Americans and their contributions.
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Jun 27, 2018
On motion that the House agree to the Senate amendment Agreed to without objection. (text as House agreed to Senate amendment: CR H5786-5787) — Jun 27, 2018
Mr. Hensarling asked unanimous consent to take from the Speaker’s table and agree to the Senate amendment. — Jun 27, 2018
Message on Senate action sent to the House. — Jun 21, 2018
Passed Senate with an amendment by Voice Vote. — Jun 20, 2018
Measure laid before Senate by unanimous consent. — Jun 20, 2018
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent. — Jun 20, 2018
Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Jan 17, 2018
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Jan 16, 2018
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote. — Jan 16, 2018
DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 770. — Jan 16, 2018
Considered under suspension of the rules. — Jan 16, 2018
Mr. Duffy moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. — Jan 16, 2018
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Jan 31, 2017
H.R. 6214: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint commemorative coins in recognition of Paul Laurence Dunbar.
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Jun 25, 2018
H.R. 6221: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the Carson City Mint 150th anniversary, and for other purposes.
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Jun 26, 2018
All images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Yesterday, the House of Representatives agreed and passed the Senate’s amendment to American Innovation $1 Coin Act (H.R. 770) that changes the order of issue to be the same as that was used with the 50 State Quarters.
Presidential $1 Coin Common Reverse
The next step is that the bill is engrossed, which means that it will be printed in its final form and signed by the Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan (R-WI), and the President Pro Tempore of the senate, Orrin Hatch (R-UT), certifying that the printed bill has been approved by both chambers of commerce.
Once signed, the bill is sent to the White House for the President’s signature.
If this bill was not on your radar, it requires the coins use the same Manganese-Brass composition as all dollar coins struck since 2000 with the edge lettering consisting of the year, mintmark, and the national motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. The obverse will be “a likeness of the Statue of Liberty extending to the rim of the coin and large enough to provide a dramatic representation of Liberty.” The reverse will be emblematic of an innovation, innovator, or a group of innovators significant to that state or territory.
If the president signs this bill, and there is no reason why he would veto this biil, then the program will begin in 2019.
On June 20, 1988, the Royal Australian Mint replaced its two dollar currency note with a coin. This year, they are celebrating the coin’s 30th anniversary. It was introduced four years after replacing the dollar paper note with a coin (1984).
Similarly, the Royal Mint introduced the one-pound coin in 1983 and the Bank of England stopped issuing one-pound currency in 1984.
The Royal Canadian Mint introduced the dollar coin, nicknamed the Loonie, in 1987 while the Bank of Canda ceased issuing the paper dollar.
The euro entered began circulating as a continental currency beginning in January 2002. When it was introduced, they issued one- and two-euro coins and the lowest denomination paper currency was the 5 euro note.
According to the International Monetary Fund, after the United States, the European Union has the world’s second largest economy even though it is not ranked as a country. When considering countries, the second largest economy is China followed by Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Canada is the world’s tenth largest economy.
Of the Top Ten, only the United States and China issue their unit currency as paper. However, because of economic controls and exchange rate, most of the Chinese economy is based on the Renminbi (the People’s Money). Small change is popular in urban areas and paper is more common in rural areas.
But the Chinese economy is heavily regulated within the country. Of the Top 20 economies identified by the International Monetary Fund, only the United States and China issues its unit currency as paper notes. Most countries issue a note of two of their base units and many are considering replacing their five unit note with a coin.
Yet the United States, the country with the largest economy on earth, the one that people say should be the leader lags behind every country except China by producing a one dollar paper note.
The lack of paper currency has not hurt these other economies. In fact, it helps because coins last longer than paper currency. Also, it is better for the government because, for every one-dollar coin produced, the government makes 68-cents in seignorage (with the dollar coins costing an estimated 32-cents each to produce).
Replacing paper mone with the coin does not seem to have hurt other economies, yet the issue raises the ire of some who wants to call this a conspiracy against the people. It makes economic sense to move in this direction and should we not be all in favor of doing things in our own economic benefit?
And now the news…
June 19, 2018
The durability of the $2 coin means it could be around for decades to come, despite Australia’s shift towards a cashless society. → Read more at abc.net.au
June 20, 2018
Sofia. 34,000 fake coins were found in the home of the main member of a criminal group involved in counterfeit money making and distribution, prosecutor Nikolay Dimitrov said during a briefing. → Read more at focus-fen.net
June 20, 2018
A sterling effort in more ways than one. → Read more at breakingnews.ie
June 21, 2018
A graduate of Glenwood High School in Chatham designed Illinois’ bicentennial coin, which is available for preorder for $45 on the state treasurer’s website. → Read more at ilnews.org
June 21, 2018
Residents in Puerto Rico were left without power for months after Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico, and experts estimate that around 4,640 people died. But the Environmental Protection Agency thinks it did an A-plus job responding to the disaster. → Read more at thehill.com
June 23, 2018
On this day in 1775, the Second Continental Congress issued $2 million in bills of credit. → Read more at politico.com
June 23, 2018
The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) and Crane Currency on June 22 signed the Agreement of Cooperation in the field of currency production, the central bank’s press service reports. → Read more at ukrinform.net
June 24, 2018
Under President Trump, once stately medallions have gotten glitzier, and at least one featured a Trump property. Ethics watchdogs are worried. → Read more at nytimes.com
Anyone looking forward to a new dollar coin program can be happy that we are one step closer to one beginning in 2019.
2018 Native American $1 Coin featuring Jim Thorpe
On Wednesday, June 20, the Senate passed the American Innovation $1 Coin Act (H.R. 770) by a unanimous voice vote. However, since the bill was amended by the Senate, the bill has to go back to the House of Representatives to approve the amendment or it will have to go to a conference committee and back to each chamber for a vote.
The amendment changes the order of issuance from alphabetical order to the order that the state entered the union followed by the District of Columbia and the territories. This was the same order uses for the 50 State Quarters program.
If the House approves the amendment, it is sent to the President for his signature.
If signed, the 14-year program will honor “American innovation and significant innovation and pioneering efforts of individuals or groups from each of the 50 States, the District of Columbia, and the United States territories.” Four dollar coins will be issued each year and not circulate alongside the Native American Dollar coin.
The bill requires the coins use the same Manganese-Brass composition as all dollar coins struck since 2000 with the edge lettering consisting of the year, mintmark, and the national motto E PLURIBUS UNUM. The obverse will be “a likeness of the Statue of Liberty extending to the rim of the coin and large enough to provide a dramatic representation of Liberty.” The reverse will be emblematic of an innovation, innovator, or a group of innovators significant to that state or territory.
I wish I could get excited about this series but it will not even raise an eyebrow as long as it does not circulate. And the only way it will circulate is if Congress votes to eliminate the one-dollar Federal Reserve Note. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that happening is slim-to-none and Slim just left town!
For those of you who do not like where politics and policy cross the line into numismatics, this post is not for you. Skip past the beginning into the news section below.
Zimbabwe’s 2009 $100 trillion hyperinflation note
In the news this week was a story about the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe touting the adoption of Chinese currency for general use in the country as circulating currency.
Zimbabwe’s economy has seen wild swings between massive inflation and significant economic stagnation that has caused currency fluctuations so bad that the country has given up managing its own currency. The economic problems have created a hyperinflation currency with notes printed with denominations as high as 100 Trillion Zimbabwean Dollars. So many of these notes were printed that any collector can buy them for $5-10 each.
Because of trade restrictions, Zimbabweans turned to United States currency smuggled from outside of the country. The supply of United States currency was so limited that some had begun the practice of cleaning the paper because people were carrying their currency in their underwear and new notes were difficult to come by.
Following negotiations with the United States, the RBZ was able to obtain new currency notes and offered an exchange to its residents. But that is where the negotiations ended. Upon the change of administrations, the current Department of the Treasury stopped negotiating with Zimbabwe and other African nations to introduce additional trade in United States dollars.
As the United States began to abandon these countries, the Chinese stepped in. The Chinese government has been negotiating with these countries and have made several inroads, especially in Africa. Zimbabwe is just the latest to announce that they could adopt the Yuan as their currency.
Although Zimbabwe is not an influential economy, it expands the Chinese economic base in Africa. By chipping away at the United States economic influence, it reduces the impact of the dollar on the continent that could have an effect on numismatics.
Africa continues to have the largest deposits of precious metals. Southern African regions have the world’s most active gold, silver, and platinum mines that if the United States loses influence in the region could have a negative effect on worldwide precious metals prices.
It is not a matter of the golden rule, “He who has the gold rules,” it is a matter of who controls the flow of gold from those mines. If the Chinese control the economic engine that runs those mines, they can use that influence to make or break the markets as they see fit. The ripple effect could not only bring higher precious metals prices but worldwide economic instability.
History has taught us that market manipulating does not work except if the manipulators have a backup plan. In this case, the Chinese are using their treasury as the backup plan. They are amassing economic power that could manipulate markets to the point that would cause prices to rise.
Currently, precious metals prices are set by arrangement with the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA) based on the daily auction prices in London. This is known as the London Fix Price. The market uses United States dollars for its pricing. However, if the dollar loses its economic power because the Chinese are controlling the markets where the metals are mined, it will affect the cost of everything.
In the short term, economic factors will affect the price of bullion being produced by the U.S. Mint since those prices are based on LBMA price averages. Collectors and investors will be hit first. After that, it would be a short time before economic instability hits everyone else.
And now the news…
May 27, 2018
If you visit Stones River National Battlefield and Cemetery, you'll likely see coins on the top of many tombstones. According to park workers, the small mementos are a way some choose to pay their respects to the fallen soldier, and each kind of coin has a different meaning. → Read more at newschannel5.com
May 27, 2018
In this edition of East Idaho Newsmakers, Nate Eaton speaks with Randy’L Teton. Teton is a Fort Hall native and is featured on the US Sacagawea dollar gold coin. She is the only living person to currently appear on a United States coin. During their conversation, Teton shares the fascinating story of how she ended … → Read more at eastidahonews.com
May 28, 2018
TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The Finance Ministry said Friday that it will issue a silver coin to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the 1868 start of the country’s Meiji period, which ended in 1912. → Read more at the-japan-news.com
May 29, 2018
Ahmed Mohamed Fahmy Yousef has spent the last academic year at the University of Colorado conducting research on learning technologies and instructional design in computer science education. → Read more at dailycamera.com
May 29, 2018
Tawanda Musarurwa, Harare Bureau The adoption of Renmimbi/Yuan as a reserve currency, will help the country repay loans and grants from China, the Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe has said. → Read more at chronicle.co.zw
June 1, 2018
Archaeologists in Egypt have unearthed a 2,200-year-old gold coin depicting the ancient King Ptolemy III, an ancestor of the famed Cleopatra. → Read more at foxnews.com
June 1, 2018
An ancient Egyptian coin discovered in far north Queensland has researchers questioning how it got there. → Read more at abc.net.au
June 3, 2018
The Royal Canadian Mint unveiled their first-ever panda-themed coin at the Calgary Zoo. → Read more at thestar.com
Following the failure of the Susan B. Anthony Dollar, there was an effort to revive the dollar with a new design. When the debate settled, Congress produced legislation to change the coin to have a golden color and a smooth edge to make sure it can be distinguishable from the quarter. After another debate, Sacagawea, the Shoshone guide of the Lewis and Clark expedition, was eventually chosen for the coin’s design. When the designs were reviewed and following a vote by the public, Treasury picked Glenna Goodacre’s design with the profile of Sacagawea in three-quarter view and her infant son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, carried on her back.
Randy’l Teton interview on East Idaho Newsmakers (screen grab)
Since there are no known images of Sacagawea, Goodacre searched for someone she could model her design on. Goodacre found Randy’L He-Dow Teton is a member of the Shoshone-Cree tribe to be the model. Teton was a student at the University of New Mexico majoring in art history and was working for the Institute of American Indian Arts Museum in Santa Fe when Goodacre visited looking for information about the Shoshone tribe. While talking with the museum’s curator, Goodacre was shown a picture of the curator’s daughter, Randy’L, and decided to work with her to create the Sacagawea design.
Recently, Teton sat with Nate Eaton of EastIdahoNews.com for his series East Idaho Newsmakers. Although they cover other topics, most of the video is about Teton’s experience as being the model for Sacagawea.
EastIdahoNews.com does not provide the ability to embed the video elsewhere on the web. To watch the video and hear the story from Teton’s point of view you can visit the site: Newsmakers: The fascinating story of how this local woman ended up on the dollar gold coin.
Another country has decided to stop printing its unit currency and will strike coins instead. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority announced that they will be replacing the one-riyal (SR1) notes with coins.
Saudi Arabia to replace the one-riyal note with coins (Image courtesy of Asharq Al-Awsat)
SAMA made the announcement as part of their introduction of new coin designs using modern techniques in coin manufacturing.
Under their transition plan, SAMA will allow the SR1 paper note to circulate alongside the new coin as the notes will be withdrawn from circulation. When the coins become available, the banks will be ordered to replace the SR1 note with a coin based on an availability formula that will be provided when the coins are ready for circulation.
According to Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunication (SWIFT), the company that runs the network that enables the world’s financial institutions to security send financial transactions to each other, the United States dollar makes up 40.86-percent of every transaction in the world (as of February 2017). The United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP), the measure of an economy’s output, is over $19 trillion (in 2017 according to the International Monetary Fund) more than any country or trading cooperative (such as the European Union). But the United States is the only country ranked in the Top 10 of either of these lists to continue to produce its unit currency in paper form.
For a country that is supposed to be a leader, it looks like the United States has fallen behind the rest of the world. It is time to eliminate the one-dollar Federal Reserve Note.
And now the news…
May 20, 2018
A new £1 coin could actually end up earning you hundreds thanks to a Royal Mint 'error'. Three examples of the error have already been seen by ChangeChecker – and they are selling for more than £200. → Read more at bristolpost.co.uk
May 22, 2018
Prosecutors won’t pursue charges against a drummer accused of stealing rare coins and a passport from famed New Orleans musician Fats Domino. → Read more at pagesix.com
May 22, 2018
The sifting project, which has operated since 2004 in the Emek Tzurim National Park, aims to salvage religious and historical artifacts from the rubble, as well as to educate the public about the veracity of Jewish history on the Mount. → Read more at jns.org
May 22, 2018
Aaron Judge and Michael Conforto are two of the young stars that New York baseball fans have been buzzing about the past two years. Now fans of the Yankees and Mets outfielders can now get the star… → Read more at nysportsday.com
May 24, 2018
2018 Baseball Treasure MLB Coins checklist, release date, silver and gold coin info and all you need to know about the officially licensed set of baseball coins. → Read more at beckett.com
May 25, 2018
The much-ballyhooed summit between the United States and North Korea met its end Thursday. The cancellation, for now, stamps out the prospects for peace, yet does nothing to stop the snazzy coins featuring Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in front of patriotic backdrops surrounded by olive branches → Read more at cnn.com
May 25, 2018
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) will start withdrawing SR1 banknotes from the market from Thursday, SAMA has said. In a statement, SAMA announced issuing its sixth edition, which was developed during the reign of the Custodian of the Two → Read more at aawsat.com