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.
A few weeks ago while watching Jeopardy!, I noticed they had a category “On Big Money.” The premise was to name the person whose portrait is on high denomination currency—notes with a face value of $500 and greater.
I wrote down the questions and decided to create my own version of Jeopardy! How many can you answer, or ask correctly? Remember, in Jeopardy! you have to answer in the form of a question.
It’s Saturday… let’s have a little fun!
Click on the image to see the question.
Click to Flip
Reference: Marbury v. Madison
Click to Flip
John Marshall, Fourth Chief Justice, 1801-1835
Click to Flip
McKinley was assassinated on September 14, 1901 in Buffalo, NY
Click to Flip
Cleveland is the only president to serve non-consecutive terms.
Click to Flip
Chase was Treasury Secretary when he was appointed by Lincoln in 1864
How well did you do?
For those unsure of the questions that coincide with the answers, click on the value of the question in the tab to see the explanation.
The $200 Answer
The answer is a reference to the case Marbury v. Madison
resulting from a petition to the Supreme Court by William Marbury, who had been appointed Justice of the Peace in the District of Columbia by President John Adams but whose commission was not subsequently delivered. Marbury petitioned the Supreme Court to force the new Secretary of State, James Madison, to deliver the documents. The Court, with John Marshall as Chief Justice, found firstly that Madison’s refusal to deliver the commission was both illegal and correctable. The Court stopped short of ordering Madison (by writ of mandamus) to hand over Marbury’s commission, instead holding that the provision of the Judiciary Act of 1789 that enabled Marbury to bring his claim to the Supreme Court was itself unconstitutional, since it purported to extend the Court’s original jurisdiction beyond that which Article III established. The petition was therefore denied. (Wikipedia)
The $400 Answer
Chief Justice John Marshall
John Marshall (1755-1835) was nominated for Chief Justice of the Supreme Court by President John Adams. Marshall became the fourth Chief Justice on January 31, 1801. He served on the court for 34 years until his death on July 6, 1835. Marshall was Cheif Justice for the landmark cases of Marbury v. Madison
and McCulloch v. Maryland
The $600 Answer
2013 William McKinley Dollar
William McKinley, the 25th President of the United States, was shot on the grounds of the Pan-American Exposition at the Temple of Music in Buffalo, New York on September 6, 1901. He was shaking hands with the public when Leon Czolgosz, an anarchist, shot him twice in the abdomen. McKinley died eight days later on September 14 of gangrene caused by the gunshot wounds. (Wikipedia)
Later that day, Theodore Roosevelt was sworn in as the 26th President at the Ansley Wilcox House in Buffalo. This made Roosevelt the youngest person (42 years, 322 days) to be inaugurated as President.
The $800 Answer
2012 Grover Cleveland First Term Dollar
Grover Cleveland was the only person to serve two non-consecutive terms as President of the United States. Cleveland was the 22nd President from 1885 through 1889. In a very contentious campaign where tariffs were the main issue, Benjamin Harrison won by a slim margin. There were accusations of voter fraud and fixed election, particularly in Indiana. Cleveland did not challenge the result and served his full term.
2012 Grover Cleveland Second Term Dollar
Cleveland won back the Presidency in the 1892 election in what was a very calm election for the time period. Cleveland became very vocal during the Harrison administration over monetary policy including opposing the Sherman Silver Purchase Act
. He was nominated by the Democrats to run again. Harrison did not campaign opting to be with his wife Caroline who was dying of tuberculosis. Following her death on October 25, 1888, two weeks prior to the election, all candidates suspended campaigning. Cleveland was the 24th President of the United States from 1893 through 1897.
The $1000 Answer
Salmon P. Chase, 6th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court
Salmon P. Chase (1808 – 1873) was the sixth Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. Chase was nominated by President Abraham Lincoln while serving as the 25th Secretary of the Treasury. A significant case during his tenure was when he presided at the impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson in 1868. With 27 states and 54 senators, it required 36 (two-thirds) guilty votes to remove Johnson from office. Johnson was acquitted with 35 guilty votes and 19 not-guilty votes. Chase served on the Supreme Court from December 6, 1864, until he died on May 7, 1873.
What do you think? Is this something you would like to see more of? Let me know!
- Coin images courtesy of the U.S. Mint.
- All other images courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.
Passing the time after 10:00 PM on Monday night, the television found its way to the History Channel for the return of Pawn Stars, the reality show about a pawn shop in Las Vegas. While the first show of the hour was just interesting it was the second show that started at 10:33 PM that was more intriguing.
Although the show was marked as “NEW” on the visual guide, it first aired last January. To make sure I was able to study the coins more, I found the episode on the History Channel website. It is also available on YouTube at https://youtu.be/yTKbcAKbQtU. (embedded below)
Opening the show, a seller name Walter walked in with two rare coins. The first coin was a 1792 Half Disme and the other a silver Libertas Americana. Two coins dating back to the earliest days of the country’s history.
If you recognize Walter his full name is Walter Husak. In 2008, Husak sold his extraordinary collection of large cents at an auction held during that year’s Long Beach Expo. For this show, he was selling the two coins.
The 1792 Half Disme was graded MS-65 by Numismatic Guarantee Corporation who lists the coin as a TOP POP, meaning no coin has graded higher. There are only two half dismes graded MS-65 by NGC and one appeared on Pawn Stars.
1792 Half Disme obverse graded NGC MS-65 TOP POP (screen grab)
1792 Half Disme reverse graded NGC MS-65
The Libertas Americana is one of the rare silver versions and was graded MS-61 by Professional Coin Grading Service
obverse of the silver Libertas Americana graded MS-61 by PCGS (screen grab)
Reverse of the silver Libertas Americana
As with a lot of these purchases, Rick calls in an expert for assistance. This time, the expert is Jeff Garrett, the founder of Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries in Lexington, Kentucky and immediate past president of the American Numismatic Association.
Jeff Garrett stands next to Walter Husak as they examine the Half Disme and Libertas Americana on Pawn Stars (screen grab)
I noted that Garrett’s firm is in Lexington since the location of the television show is in Las Vegas. While doing a little online investigation into the prices and to see if there was more information, there was a note on the Collectors Universe forums suggesting that the segment was not a reality, but it had been staged.
According to user “cardinal,” he wrote:
Jeff Garrett is one of the experts that gets brought in to evaluate numismatic items for the show. For this specific episode, Jeff was looking for both a half disme and a Libertas medal, and Jeff was able to locate them and had the respective owners’ permission to have them appear on the show. The half disme is pedigreed to the Garrett Collection, and the silver Libertas medal was one that Jeff Garrett had sold some years back. (This particular Libertas medal has been in the Cardinal Collection for the past 6 years.)
I believe Ccardinal is the anonymous person behind the Cardinal Collection who has collected some of the finest coins in the PCGS registry.
Following a discussion on the actual Libertas Americana used for the show, he ends with:
During the show, the half disme was a no-sale. The Libertas medal was shown as sold at $150K on camera. That being said, the piece was not actually sold, even though Rick actually did want to buy it for $150K.
I have heard stories as to how some segments are real and some are staged. When I spoke with Charmy Harker about her appearance in 2012, I was under the impression that her attempt at selling a World War II-era aerial bomber camera was not overly staged. That does not seem to be the case in this episode.
My one complaint is that these two esteemed numismatists mispronounced the name of the coin. Everyone kept pronouncing disme as “DIZ-ME.” In reality, disme is pronounced as if the “s” was not included in the word. Disme is derived from the French term for tenth but pronounced dime—which is why the “s” was dropped after the first issues of 1792 coins.
Oh well… it was a fun segment to watch.
When I go picking I look for the unusual. Whenever I walk into an estate sale or any other picking opportunity, I will find the most remote area and work from there. In most homes, I head for the basement and the garage. These are the places that people store things they did not want to throw out, It is where I find the most unusual items.
Lately, I have been finding that buying old books can be just as interesting. Aside from cultivating a small clientele of interested customers, I have found that people hide things in books, especially old books.
Not long ago I visited a difficult to find estate sale hoping to find something interesting. I did not find much but there were some books that had possibilities. At $2 each, I felt I could find a few gems.
Based on the type of books I found, the owner had a passion for European history. In addition to travel books and books about European influence on United States society, there was a two-volume set written in French.
My French is good enough to figure out that the books were published in 1899 Paris and were from the first printing of the first edition. For book collectors, once the book meets the condition test, these are the books they like. Since they were in good condition with nice covers I added them to my pile.
This past week I was going looking through the box of books. As I was cataloging them I will either scan the pages or fan them to see if I find something. Within these two volumes of French language books on European history, I found money.
I was a little surprised to see notes from the Central Bank of Egypt. Seven different Egyptian notes, mostly from the late 1980s. The face value of the notes totals 13 pounds.
Obverse of the Egyptian banknotes found in a French language book about European history.
Reverse of the Egyptian banknotes found in a French language book about European history.
Aside from being mostly in horrible condition, I do not recall any indication of books, magazines, or catalogs referencing Egypt of the Middle East or North Africa.
The best-looking note is a 25 piastre note (Pick #57a) but it looks water damaged. It was probably water damaged before being stored between the pages of the book since the book shows no effects from the storage.
Although the notes can be worth $5 for the 25 piastre note to $25 for the 5-pound note, that would be if they were in better condition. I am not sure the entire lot is worth $5!
The moral of this story is that if you go picking at estate sales, check the bookcase. You never know what might fall out when you fan the pages.