Today marks the third weekend of the college football season. Sunday is the second weekend of the NFL season. Autumn begins on Wednesday, and there are 43 days until Halloween.
Want to celebrate Halloween in style? Why not bid on an encapsulated cricket!
Up for bid at GreatCollection Auctions is a PCGS holder with the remains of a cricket. Yes, a real cricket.
Slabbed cricket up for auction from the Collection of Fred Weinberg at GreatCollection Auctions (GreatCollection photo)
According to GreatCollections, “back in the 1990s, there was a cricket disturbing the coin graders at PCGS, until one of them caught it and put it in a slab. It was then the subject at a high level meeting of graders where it was decided to give it to error expert Mr. Fred Weinberg.”
It was recently on display at the last World’s Fair of Money.
After more than 20 years, the carcass is a bit fragile. If nothing else, it proves that the slabs are not air-tight. If the slabs were air-tight, the carcass would not deteriorate.
Although the slab does not have a grade, the folks at GreatCollections said that they “would grade the cricket a solid MS-65 Full Head (Detached).”
As of Friday, September 17, the high bid is $2,900 with 54 bids. The auction will end on Halloween at 4:05 PM PST.
What started as a joke is now a fun part of numismatic lore.
Here’s an interview from CoinWeek with Fred Weinberg talking about the “error”:
With everything going on, it is nice to find something amusing. Over the weekend, I wanted to listen to a couple of podcasts. I reached into my pocket for the case containing my wireless earbuds and found something came along for the ride.
Stuck to the magnetic closure was a coin. A closer look found the coin is a 1978 Canada 10-pent coin. Or that is what the coin appears to be.
The Canada 10-cent coin is slightly larger than the U.S. dime (18.03 mm versus 17.91 mm), and today, the Canadian coin is made of plated steel. But this is a 1978 coin and may not be steel. While investigating the coin’s specification, it is supposed to be made of nickel. I thought nickel was not magnetic. Time to review my basic science
My earbud case magnetized the Canada 10¢ coin made of nickel.
The Canada 10¢ coin is very slightly larger than the U.S. dime.
Nickel is one of the transition metals, an element used to form bonds with other elements. While I let you explore the chemistry on your own, let us say that it mixes well with other elements to create valuable compounds. In numismatics, nickel provides the silver color on many base metal coins.
But that does not explain why the coin stuck to my wireless earphone case.
I found that nickel is a ferromagnetic metal, meaning that it can become magnets or be attracted to magnets. Nickel is not naturally attracted to magnets or easily magnetized. But nickel is one of only four elements that can be magnetized easily at room temperature. The other three are cobalt, iron, and gadolinium.
For help, I turned to a high school chemistry teacher to refresh my memory. During the refresher lesson, I flashed back to the high school chemistry demonstration on magnetism, creating a magnet from a ferromagnetic item.
While the coin was in my pocket, the coin rubbed next to the magnet. The rubbing caused the nickel atoms to become orderly that turned the coin into a magnet. The Canadian ten-cent coin that stuck to the earbud case could pick up a straight pin to test the theory.
But why won’t any of my United States coins turn into a magnet in my pocket?
Since U.S. coins are made up of an alloy of 75-percent copper and 25-nickel, the copper and the nickel’s strong bond with the copper stops the ferromagnetic process. It would take a very strong magnet to order the nickel atoms in a U.S. coin to turn it into a weak magnet.
Not only can coins teach history, but they can also teach chemistry.
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This week’s fun story comes from Japan, where coin-operated machines sell everything from candy to bitcoin. A user of a coin-op machine in Japan found that the coin slot was looking back at him.
The eyes looking back were of a tiny frog that is common in the countrysides of Japan. The frogs are so small that they seem to find their way into interesting places. It is unusual to find one of these frogs in a vending machine, especially in the cities.
According to the story, the vending machine user posted his adventure on Twitter. He tried to use small change to coax the frog out of the machine. Eventually, the coin’s weight caused the frog to seek an escape and jumped out of the coin slot.
As the Twitter user (@potetodaze1129p) wrote, “When you look into the abyss, sometimes the abyss looks back at you.”
If you want to read an interview describing the reaction from @potetodaze1129p, you can find the story here (in Japanese) or translated into English here.
And now the news…
September 23, 2020
Stephen Noyse of Coldwater, found an 1836 half dollar more than a decade ago. He was using a metal detector in Texas somewhere in the vicinity of the Alamo near the Rio Grande River that day. By the time he reached the buried coin, Noyse had dug down to the depth of his elbow.
→ Read more at sturgisjournal.com
September 23, 2020
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Although this video is “sponsored” by Wix, it is interesting to watch the process of making a coin sorting machine. Just ignore the Wix ads at the beginning and end of the video.
In today’s video I want to show you how to make extremly effective fully mechancal coin sorting machine that allows you to sort up to 300 coins per minute! All you need is plywood, screws and chipboard. You can use this coin sorter anywhere cause it’s quite portable!
If you want to watch the video on YouTube and see the rest of the text with the advertisement, click here.
This one is just for fun.
Cory Nelson of Phoenix, Arizona, built the world’s largest coin pyramid.
Cory Nelson poses with his World Record creation (screen grab from YouTube)
In an interview with CBC Radio, Nelson said that after building a coin pyramid with 41,000 coins on his desk, his coworkers asked if it was the world’s largest. He said that if it were not, he would make sure it is.
According to the Guinness World Records, the record was 1,000,935 Lithuanian one-cent coin by Vytautas Jakštas and Domas Jokubauskis. The pair built their coin pyramid in 2014 using Lithuanian Litas as a celebration before Lithuania converted to the Euro.
After three years of work on it for 20 hours per week, 45 YouTube videos tracking his work, and 1,030,315 Lincoln cents later (that is $10,303.15 worth of coins), Nelson submitted his creation to become the world records holder. It will take a while for GWR to verify the record.
Here’s the final video of Nelson’s pyramid:
W is more than the 23rd letter of the Latin-based alphabet. While it is the chemical symbol for tungsten and used as an abbreviation for watt, in numismatics, it is an elusive mintmark found on only by a few dedicated hunters.
With 2 million quarters produced by for each of the five National Parks Quarters issued in 2019, it represents from 0.5 to 1-percent of the total production for each coin. Yet being in the shadows of the nation’s capital and running a business that sees a lot of cash, the only W mint quarters I have found were shown to me by a customer asking about them.
Most of the reports of W mintmark quarter finds have been from roll hunters. They buy rolls from the bank and search. But I have searched the rolls I buy for the shop and not found any W mintmark quarters.
I might offer a bounty for someone bringing one into my shop. I am not sure what I have to trade. I have a roll of 40-percent silver half-dollars I used to give to children when they come in and show an interested in coin collecting. That might be a fair trade!
How about you?
After I closed up shop, I did my usual after Saturday chores then sat down to count the change in my cash register. As I counted all of those brown and red Lincolns, I noticed the 1859 Copper-Nickel Indian Head cent was gone.
I am not sure who received it or if my assistant was the one to make sure it found a new home, but it left without any further discussion.
Unfortunately, I found an 1899 Barber dime in the change along with several 1957-D Lincoln cents. On Monday, I will try to give away the Barber dime.
During a quick diversion on Facebook after posting a job for my new business, I found this post. I think it is appropriate for everyone!
I hope your Monday was as exciting as finding an Indian Head cent in your coin roll!
If not, have another cup of coffee and try again on Tuesday! 😉
Hockey is to Canada as baseball and basketball is to the United States.
Although all sports are represented throughout North America, ice hockey is purely a Canadian invention. Although there are records of hockey being played as far back as ancient Egypt, the first appearance of hockey played on the ice dates to the early 19th century in Nova Scotia.
125th Anniversary of the Stanley Cup® — 3 oz. Pure Silver Coin (2017)
The early game was derived from the North American Natives game of shinney but played on the ice. From Nova Scotia, the game spread to the people living along the Saint Lawrence River in Montreal and Quebec. It quickly spread west to Ontario.
Montreal is to hockey as Springfield, Massachusetts is to basketball. The first organized games were played in Montreal where the first organized rules were formed. The first ice hockey club was the McGill University Hockey Club founded in 1877. This was followed by the Quebec Hockey Club in 1878 and the Montreal Victorias in 1881.
Lord Stanley of Preston, the Governor General of Canada, attended his first game in 1888 with his children who were hockey fans. Lord Stanley became a fan and noticed that there was no championship trophy awarded to the best team in Canada. He purchased a silver bowl to use as a trophy and created The Dominion Hockey Challenge Cup. It was first awarded in 1893 to the Montreal Hockey Club.
2017 25-cent 125th Anniversary of The Stanley Cup® Special Wrap Coin Roll
While ice hockey was dominating in Canada, universities in the United States had their own version of ice polo played with a ball rather than a puck. The first game between collegiate hockey clubs was played in 1893 in Baltimore when Yale beat Johns Hopkins 2-1.
Lord Stanley’s sons were so enthusiastic about hockey that they traveled the world to introduce the sport to others. By 1903 they organized a five-team European league.
The Western Pennsylvania Hockey League was formed in Pittsburgh in 1898 which primarily operated in areas within a four-hour train ride from Pittsburgh. Most of the professional players were from Canada. In 1904, a rival International Professional Hockey League was formed to include Canadian cities.
With all of the competing leagues, the National Hockey Association was formed in 1908 to organize professional hockey in the provinces of Quebec and Ontario. With western Canada feeling left out, the Pacific Coast Hockey Association (PCHA) was formed to stretch professional hockey across Canada. The two leagues negotiated a championship between them that the winner of the series would will what was then being called the Stanley Cup first awarded by Lord Stanley.
World War I and a dispute between the owners and Toronto Blueshirts owner Eddie Livingstone saw the fall of the NHA in 1917. As part of their attempt to reorganize, owners formed the National Hockey League. The NHL was supposed to be a temporary measure until disputes were worked out but its success continues.
1.5 oz. Pure Silver Coin – 100th Anniversary of the NHL® (2017)
The original NHL included the Montreal Canadiens, Montreal Wanderers, Ottawa Senators, and the newly created Toronto Arenas. The Wanderers disbanded in 1918 after the Montreal Arena burned down. In 1919, the NHA’s Quebec Bulldogs joined the league bringing the number of teams back to four.
The Toronto Arenas won the first NHL championship in 1918 and then defeated the Vancouver Millionaires of the PCHA for the Stanley Cup.
The NHL expanded but found itself hurt by the Great Depression and the onset of World War II. By the 1942-43 season, the league was reduced to what has been referred to as The Original Six, the six teams that were the NHL from 1942 until the first expansion in 1967. The original six are the Boston Bruins, Chicago Black Hawks, Detroit Red Wings, Montreal Canadiens, New York Rangers and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Today there are 31 teams with 24 operating in the United States and seven in Canada. The oldest team is the Montreal Canadiens whose history dates back to the NHA. The Toronto Maple Leafs can trace their history to the Toronto Blue Shirts of the NHA but does not acknowledge a direct lineage.
1/2 oz. Pure Silver Coloured Coin – Passion to Play: Montreal Canadiens® (2017)
Since its first presentation by Lord Stanley of Preston in 1893, the Stanley Cup has been awarded 101 times. It is the oldest team championship trophy in existence. The Montreal Canadiens have won the Stanley Cup 24 times, the most by any team. The Detroit Red Wings hold the United States record for 11 Stanley Cup victories.
Currently, the Washington Capitals are winning in the Stanley Cup Finals 3-1 against the Vegas Golden Knights. The Capitals played their first season in 1974-75 and appeared in the Stanley Cup finals once, in the 1997-1998 season. This is the Vegas Golden Knights first season as an NHL Team.
Since the Eastern Conference Finals, fans have been gathering around Capital One Arena to watch the games whether the Caps are at home or on the road. All of the games have been projected on the side of the National Portrait Gallery on G Street NW. For road games, fans have been allowed into the Capital One Arena to watch the game on the big screen.
Pure Silver Coin – The Toronto Maple Leafs®: Anniversary Logo (2017)
To say that the area has gone Caps crazy would be an understatement. The neighborhood around Capital One Arena, known as Chinatown, will be flooded with fans on Thursday to watch the game outside projected on the side of the National Portrait Gallery and from the bars around the area.
In the area is the headquarters of the U.S. Mint on 9th Street NW. Although its sales counter may be open during the day, the crowds are expected to gather in the area beginning around noon. Plan accordingly.
If you are going to be in Washington and want to experience the fans Rock the Red (the Caps wear red sweaters at home leading to the moniker), you are welcome to join the crowd. If you want to avoid the crowd, find something else to do on Thursday that might be away from the area. This might be a good day to visit the Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center of the Smithsonian’s Air and Space Museum. It is located in Chantilly, Virginia near Dulles Airport about 25 miles east of the Capital One Arena and far away from the crowd.
As for me, I will be watching from home. Since my team has not won the Stanley Cup since 1983, I am cheering for the Caps.
NOTE: Click on any image to go to the Royal Canadian Mint’s website if you are interested in purchasing the coins shown in this post. All of the images are courtesy of the Royal Canadian Mint.