Weekly World Numismatic News for September 6, 2020

When a $1 coin worth over $10 million is scheduled for auction, it will make worldwide news. The announcement that one of the first silver dollars ever struck by the U.S. Mint will be sold at auction in October.

In June, Legend Numismatics announced the Bruce Morelan Collection sale that includes a rare, early die-state 1794 Silver Dollar graded Specimen 66 by PCGS that Legend purchased for a record $10 million in 2917.

Moreland assembled the finest examples of early dollar coins from the founding of the Mint in 1794 through 1804 with Legend and its principal owner, Laura Sperber.

1794 Flowing Hair Dollar, PCGS SP66
(Image courtesy of PCGS)

1804 Draped Bust Dollar, Original – Class BB-304, PCGS PR65 (Image courtesy of PCGS)

While the news focused on the 1794 dollar coin, most missed the Class I 1804 dollar, the other significant rarity in the collection. Class I 1804 dollars was part of the eight coins that were struck in the early 1830s to create sets for diplomatic missions. The 1804 dollar in the Moreland collection is the Dexter Specimen named for one of its first owners James V. Dexter. It is believed that Dexter carved a small “D” into the reverse of the coin.

The coin’s pedigree includes being owned by the U.S. Mint, who bought the coin after being in a private collection, and D. Brent Pogue. It is the third finest example of the 1804 dollar.

The Moreland collection is scheduled to be part of the auction at the PCGS Members-only Show held in Las Vegas in early October.

And now the news…

 August 28, 2020
On October 15, 1794, Henry Voigt, the Chief Coiner of the United States, hurried nearly 2,000 silver coins to the desk of David Rittenhouse, the Director of the United States Mint. That day marked a milestone in the making of a country: Two years after Alexander Hamilton established the Mint under President George Washington, the first dollars had been minted.  → Read more at atlasobscura.com

 August 28, 2020
Elana Hagler’s grandmother, an avid coin collector when she lived in Russia, has a special gift coming soon. Hagler had a major role in the design of an upcoming 2020 presidential $1 coin from the U.S. Mint. The coin will feature her drawing of President George H.W. Bush.  → Read more at fresnobee.com

 August 29, 2020
Today, 28 August, a treasure of 32 silver coins dated to the early Kyivan Rus times is discovered and donated to the local regional history museum in north-Ukrainian Zhytomyr Oblast. The silver coins known as srebreniks or sribnyks were the first coinage minted in medieval Kyiv around the early 1000s A.D. Historians attribute the 32 silver coins to the times of Kyiv princes Volodymyr and Sviatopolk around 1000-1019 A.D.  → Read more at euromaidanpress.com

 September 2, 2020
• The Royal Australian Mint has unveiled a new coin that is designed to be donated. • The Donation Dollar encourages Aussies to use it for charity.  → Read more at businessinsider.com.au
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Weekly World Numismatic News for August 30, 2020

9th Century Gold Dinars

Hoard of 9th Century Gold Dinars found during an excavation in Israel (Credit: Robert Kool/Israel Antiquities Authority via CNN)

There were two items this week of a particular note. First, two Israeli teenagers found a hoard of gold coins that experts say date back to the 9th century.

The jar of coins found consists of 425 24-karat gold coins weighing 845 grams (1.86 pounds). Most of the coins are cut to that were once used as change.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) says that the area was under the rule of the Abbasid Caliphate. Their rule spread from modern-day Algeria in the east to Afghanistan in the west from 750–953 when Shia opponents overthrow the caliphate. There were many successors to the Abbasid Caliphate. They joined together in 1157 to create a cooperative empire that was eventually overthrown by 1258 by Mongol forces.

Finding a hoard of gold coins and the surrounding artifacts will help archeologists learn more about the region’s commerce. Once again, numismatics helps scientists better understand our history.

The following video from the IAA talks about the project and finding the coins.

The other news is the conclusion of what was a successful Newman Numismatic Portal Symposium 2020. The symposium, held online using Zoom, had several interesting speakers and presentations. Although NNP has yet to publish its final statistics, the sessions I attended were well done and seemed to be well attended.

My session, “How to Identify a Potential Scammer BEFORE Buying Coins Online,” was attended by more than 60 people and generated about a dozen questions. It was a great experience.

I will have more to say about the NNP Symposium in the next few days.

And now the news…

 August 24, 2020
Two Israeli teenagers on summer break unearthed a trove of hundreds of gold coins that date from 1,100 years ago.  → Read more at edition.cnn.com

 August 26, 2020
Are you looking for ways to tell if your silver is authentic?—the “real McCoy”? There are several ways you can determine whether your silver is real. In fact, some of the best silver test methods are quite easy and can be done right at home.  → Read more at gainesvillecoins.com

 August 28, 2020
On October 15, 1794, Henry Voigt, the Chief Coiner of the United States, hurried nearly 2,000 silver coins to the desk of David Rittenhouse, the Director of the United States Mint. That day marked a milestone in the making of a country: Two years after Alexander Hamilton established the Mint under President George Washington, the first dollars had been minted.  → Read more at atlasobscura.com

 August 28, 2020
Oleksandr Alfyorov / Facebook  → Read more at unian.info

 August 28, 2020
Somebody stole a very pricey potty last year from the restroom of a palace in England. But the police still don’t know who did it and have been trying to find out ever since.  “The toilet is still missing,” a Thames Valley Police spokesman confirmed to USA TODAY Aug.  → Read more at usatoday.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for August 23, 2020

On August 28-30, 2020, the Newman Numismatic Portal is hosting the virtual NNP Symposium 2020. The symposium will be presentations by numismatists from around the world delivered online and for free.

Think of it as a weekend of Money Talks seminars delivered online so that you can participate anywhere. All you need is an Internet connection and Zoom. To attend a session, download the appropriate Zoom client for your computer or mobile device, register online, receive the access information (which is why you have to register), and attend.

Registration is for the entire conference, not an individual session. You can attend any session at any time without registering again.

Each session is one hour. The presenter will deliver their talk in 30-45 minutes, leaving time for questions.

If you miss a session or cannot attend, the people at NNP will record the sessions and make them available online. The only difference is that you will not be able to ask a question in real-time.

Finally, suppose you want to know what I look at to determine whether a website is potentially going to sell you counterfeit coins. You can attend “How to Identify a Potential Scammer BEFORE Buying Coins Online.” Check your registration listing for the time and access information.

And now the news…

 August 18, 2020
Myrna Pokiak, an Inuvialuk artist in the N.W.T., designed the new N.W.T coin celebrating 150 years of joining confederation. (CBC)  → Read more at cbc.ca

 August 18, 2020
© DC Thomson Gary Pirie with some Commonwealth Commemorative coins from his collection. Collecting coins has been a life mission for 52-year-old Gary Pirie who started with a half crown at the tender age of nine.  → Read more at eveningtelegraph.co.uk

 August 21, 2020
(Kitco News) – With gold prices finding strong resistance around $2,000 an ounce the market has become a two-way street and the price action could be fairly volatile as short-term sentiment continues to drop, according to the latest results of the Kitco News Weekly Gold Survey.  → Read more at kitco.com
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 NLG announces 2020 awards winners (Aug 19, 2020)

 

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Weekly World Numismatic News for August 16, 2020

Whitman canceled the November show in Baltimore because the city continues to use the convention center as a staging area for COVID-19 emergencies. Although the number of cases in the Baltimore area has decreased, city and state health officials warn of a spike that will require the use of the convention center.

Nearly every health expert, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) located in Atlanta, has issued warnings of a second wave combined with the seasonal flu will cause a significant public health risk. Rather than cancel the show, Whitman Expo manager Lori Kraft said that they are “working on an alternate show venue.”

This past week, the Virginia Numismatic Association (VNA) canceled its annual show scheduled for September. They hold their show in Fredericksburg, Virginia, about 50 miles south of Washington, D.C.

The Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN) hopes that the Monroeville Convention Center (outside of Pittsburgh) will be able to hold their Fall Show at the end of October. Currently, the venue is restricting events to those with 25 attendees or fewer.

States in the northeast continue to have restrictions similar to those in Pennsylvania. Going east to Illinois has similar issues.

If Whitman keeps the show on the east coast, the only place left for them is in Georgia, where they are located. As much as it pains this University of Georgia alumnus to admit, the fellow alum that sits in the state governor’s office has made Georgians’ health and safety a source of political tension.

The year is more than half-over, and the infection is getting worse. Virus hot spots have moved out of the northeast into states where health and safety have been politicized, including Georgia. Leaders are not listening to the medical community, and people are paying with their health and lives.

It is time to admit that 2020 is a lost year. It is time for everyone to adapt to what we have today and plan for the future. It is time for Whitman to cancel the Expo for 2020.

Plan now for a better future when it is (hopefully) safer.

Everyone please stay safe and healthy!

And now the news…

 August 10, 2020
Staff at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores turned off a 30-foot waterfall and collected all the coins visitors had thrown into the water to make wishes. After cleaning the money, they'll put it toward the aquarium's expenses.  → Read more at npr.org

 August 10, 2020
Gold Last Tuesday somebody told Gold buyers that it’s normally hot in the month of August. Then the Gold price broke above the key $2,000 resistance level and it kept on going.  → Read more at kitco.com

 August 11, 2020
The Museum of West Bohemia in Plzeň has announced the discovery of hundreds of silver and gold coins from the 14th century. The treasure, unearthed in a forest near the Kladruby Monastery in the region of Tachov, is believed to be one of the biggest troves of gold coins unearthed on the territory of the Czech Republic.  → Read more at english.radio.cz

 August 12, 2020
Gold is hot. Record-breaking prices and demand for gold bullion have thrust the yellow metal back into the media spotlight.  → Read more at energyandcapital.com

 August 12, 2020
Anti-National Socialism political activist and student Sophie Scholl will be commemorated on a special coin, said the German Finance Ministry on Wednesday. The €20 ($23) sterling silver collectors coin will be issued in April 2021, timed to coincide with Scholl's birthday.  → Read more at dw.com

 August 13, 2020
I heard about the coin shortage on the news. Maybe it's from people wishing 2020 will be over. OK, all jokes aside, it turns out to be just a disruption in coin circulation.  → Read more at marshfieldmail.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for August 9, 2020

2019 American Silver Eagle Enhance Revers Proof obverseThe U.S. Mint does it again by shutting out collectors with an unannounced change in procedures.

According to reports, 95 of the 2019-S American Silver Eagle Enhanced Reverse Proof did not sell the first time because of an alleged glitch. Rather than letting the general public know that the coins were available, they snuck it onto their website and sent messages to people who signed up for reminders only.

The U.S. Mint did not send the message to everyone on their reminder list. Only to those people who signed up for when the coin would be available again.

So let me get this straight. If you’ve signed up for the U.S. Mint reminder services but not for restocking notice, you did not get notified. But if you signed up for a restocking notice after the U.S. Mint announced that all 30,000 coins sold, you were sent a notice.

From the poorly designed website with a bad ordering experience to the sneaking the surplus coins by the general public, the U.S. Mint is not endearing itself to the collecting public.

How can the hobby expect to attract more collectors if the source of coins makes it difficult to purchase their products?

And now the news…

 July 29, 2020
Toilet paper, sanitizer and yeast were but a few of the top-of-mind goods hoarded by Canadians at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In more recent weeks, however, another shortage – this of $50 banknotes – has come to light.  → Read more at canadiancoinnews.com

 August 3, 2020
Minelab Metal Detectors Luke Mahoney said the "feeling of scraping the dirt away and seeing the coins is indescribable" A metal detectorist who has spent 10 years searching for hidden treasure found "the biggest hoard of his life" in a field behind his village pub.  → Read more at bbc.com

 August 4, 2020
UK considers minting coin to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi  |  Photo Credit: BCCL Mahatma is poised to become the first-ever nonwhite person to feature on the British currency.  → Read more at timesnownews.com

 August 4, 2020
On July 27, 2020, gold prices hit an all-time high. Although the earliest traces of gold as a valuable material date back to the Paleolithic era in 40,000 B.C., about two-thirds of all the gold ever mined has been wrested from the ground since 1950. Throughout human history, it’s estimated that human beings have mined 197,576 tons of gold. One reason that gold has been so attractive to people across every corner of the Earth for all of recorded history is that it’s nearly indestructible, which means virtually all of that 197,576 tons is still around in one form or another. Even so, if you combined every ounce of gold ever mined into one large cube, that cube would only measure about 70 feet on each side.  → Read more at thestacker.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for August 2, 2020

Colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Half Dollar Clad Coin

Colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Half Dollar Clad Coin (Image courtesy of the U.S. Mint)

Tradition is the transmission of customs or beliefs passed from one generation to another. Traditions are not laws or rules.

People invested in a tradition are afraid to change. It has always been that way and was successful, then why change?

At some point, change is necessary, or the tradition will stifle growth. Two areas where tradition is holding back activities are baseball and numismatics.

Hardcore baseball fans are the most traditional fans. They are the people who can tell you who was on deck when Bobby Thompson hit “the shot heard around the world,”† the nuance of the double switch, or why on-base percentage is a better statistic than batting average.

While trying to have a season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, baseball had to look tradition in the face and calmly walk in another direction. Aside from adding the designated hitter (DH) in the National League was placing a runner on second base when the games go into extra innings. The purpose is to shorten games, especially those that go to extra innings.

We are used to the DH. When games are played in an American League Park, all teams use the DH. But putting the runner on second base who did not get a hit to be there is very different.

But the move seems to be working. In the first week of the new season, four games went to extra innings, and all of the games ended in the 10th inning. It is an unorthodox move for a sport bound in tradition.

Numismatics is the same in many respects. The U.S. Mint strikes real coins, not trinkets. To be a real collector, you have to collect all of the best stuff, including the highest grade versions of the most popular coins. Finally, coins have to be a good value.

A “real coin” is money that an issuing authority legally monetizes for a market. The market may be for collecting purposes, but the issuer has assigned a face value. Even though the U.S. Mint has issued commemorative coins that are not intended to circulate, the traditionalists have determined the new colorized coin is something less than a real coin.

Traditionalists may not want to hear that a general collector community has reacted favorably to the colorized Naismith Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins. On message boards where collectors discuss their collections, they are now beginning to realize that the U.S. Mint has issued other sports-related commemorative coins. In a recent discussion, some started to ask about the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins.

These collectors are not interested in Morgan Dollars, Standing Liberty Quarters, or Buffalo Nickels. They want the coins to add to their sports collections. A fan of Dr. J, Julius Erving, said that he plans to buy the colored and non-colored coins for his collection.

When it comes to numismatics, what defines a good value? How does one tell a person who may have inherited coins why a dealer would buy a coin for $20 but sell it for $45 or $50?

This past week, Michael Taylor, a financial writer for mysanantoinio.com, wrote the article, “Coin collecting a fine hobby, but not a good investment.” His fundamental question was, why is the spread between the bid and ask prices of coins so vast.

Briefly, Taylor acquired coins from his elderly father and tried to figure out their value. His mother had taken the small hoard to a coin shop and was offered about half of their retail value. As part of Taylor’s investigation, he used the Red Book (A Guide Book of United States Coins) and the Blue Book (Handbook of United States Coins) to understand pricing.

Taylor concluded that coins were not a good investment based on his analysis of the pricing differences found in both books.

Taylor is a published financial professional with many years of understanding markets. Most markets are very understandable that professionals who predict markets can do so with reasonable certainty. They can mitigate risks for wrong predictions and still make a good living.

Based on analyzing the Red and Blue books, how does one do that in the coin market? The problem is that there is so much more to the market that these books do not cover. A lot is based on tradition, unwritten lore, and irresponsible perceptions.

The general public has a better understanding of the automobile market than they do of the numismatic markets.

If you want to fix the hobby, it is time to look at these traditions, lore, and perceptions and act responsibly. Otherwise, the collectors may only be one-time coin buyers, and the hobby will continue to stagnate.

And now the news…

 July 26, 2020
CINCINNATI, Ohio — It's been more than a month since the Federal Reserve declared a coin shortage in the U.S. Businesses like banks, grocery stores and laundromats have had to change their practices to keep change on hand, but one private mint based in Cincinnati is in a unique position to cash in.
  → Read more at spectrumnews1.com

 July 28, 2020
The U.S. Mint has reduced the volume of gold and silver coins it’s distributing to authorized purchasers as the coronavirus pandemic slows production, a document seen by Bloomberg shows.  → Read more at bloomberg.com

 July 29, 2020
Coins don’t work well as investments, but they are OK as collectibles, according to columnist Michael Taylor.  → Read more at mysanantonio.com

 July 30, 2020
South Carolina, introduced in 2000, was the eighth state quarter brought into circulation. Growing up in San Diego in the early 2000s, Kelsey Fehlberg proudly displayed her state quarters in a map with inserts for each coin.  → Read more at nytimes.com

 August 1, 2020
The US Mint is slowing the production of gold and silver coins and limiting supply to authorized distributors – a sign that the pandemic is hampering the supply of physical money in the US.  → Read more at markets.businessinsider.com

 August 1, 2020
The price of gold hit record highs earlier in the week, Friday morning the price was at about $1.957 per ounce. From gold rings, necklaces and bracelets, people have been bringing in their jewelry to Emerald Coast Coins in Pensacola wit hopes of getting some cash and they're walking out with a lot more than expected.  → Read more at weartv.com

 August 1, 2020
The round £1 coin was demonetised at midnight on 15 October 2017 About 122m round £1 coins have not been returned to the Royal Mint, nearly three years after they stopped being legal tender.  → Read more at bbc.com
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† For the non-baseball die-hards, the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” was a game-winning home run by New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca at the Polo Grounds in New York City on October 3, 1951, to win the National League pennant. You might have heard the famous call by Giants Broadcaster Russ Hodges. Since there was one out when Thompson was at-bat, the next batter would have been a Giants rookie named Willie Mays.

Those Cheap Silver Eagles Are A Chinese SCAM!

Fake Silver Eagles

Two counterfeit American Silver Eagles purchased from LIACOO, a company based in China.

My posts with the titles “SCAM ALERT” has been the most popular posts in the last few months. They warn about these Chinese scammers. After buying two of these coins and examining several websites sent to me by readers, my analysis has lead me to the following:

  • The scammers are in Shenzen, China
  • It may be more than one person behind the scam, but they are working together.
  • There appears to be a pocket of these scammers in the Middle East. Early analysis suggests they are in Doha, Qatar.
  • All email addresses are either on Gmail or use Google’s professional services that allow Gmail to look like a real domain.
  • Any of these sites that have a U.S.-based telephone number are using burner phones. For those not familiar with the term, a burner phone is one on a pay-as-you-go plan. The phones are cheap, easily disposed of, and are difficult to trace.
  • Any of these sites that use a U.S.-based physical address use a dropbox service from a logistics company. The dropbox service is a locker that the company pays as a way to manage shipping remotely. There are legitimate uses for these dropbox services, but these scammers use them to make it look like they are located in the United States.
  • The scammers are using branded gift cards to pay for these services.

While investigating these sites, I learned that there are five tips that, if followed, you will avoid being scammed.

  1. NO LEGITIMATE DEALER IS SELLING BULLION COINS FOR BELOW THE SPOT PRICE!
    The current price of silver is $23.43 per troy ounce. If anyone is selling American Silver Eagles for less, they are likely trying to sell counterfeit coins.
  2. IF THE DEAL IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT LIKELY IS NOT A GOOD DEAL!
    When purchasing bullion and coins from dealers, the price between the spot price and the price the dealer will sell the coins for is called the spread. The spread can change based on inventory, availability, and other market forces. It is rare when the spread is less than 5-percent. Some of the largest dealers will lower their spread for their better customers or as a special to lure other customers. A good deal is when the spread is less than 5-percent. However, the spread is rarely less than 2-percent. If a legitimate dealer sells metals for less than 2-percent over the spot price, that is a good deal. These companies are not in business to lose money. Be very worried if someone is trying to sell bullion coins for less.
  3. IF THE DEALER DOES NOT IDENTIFY THEMSELVES ON THEIR WEBSITE, THEY ARE LIKELY HIDING SOMETHING.
    On every website that is likely selling counterfeit coins, they have a wonderfully written “About Us” page that says nothing. The Of the four websites that readers have sent to ask if they were legitimate, all of the “About Us” pages were copies. A web search using sample passages from the page yielded thousands of results.
  4. IF THE CONTACT PAGE DOES NOT HAVE LEGITIMATE CONTACT INFORMATION, THEY ARE LIKELY HIDING SOMETHING.
    One of the indicators of a site owned by Chinese scammers is if they give you hours in HKT or Hong Kong Time. These scammers are not in Hong Kong but are in Shenzen, which is in the same time zone.
  5. IF THE SITE IS “POWERED BY SHOPLAZZA,” IT IS LIKELY A SCAMMER SITE.
    Go to the bottom of any page. If there is a copyright statement followed by “Powered by Shoplazza,” then run away. Shoplazza is a newly created service out of China that seems to be a Shopify clone made by reading Shopify’s HTML. While looking at the HTML code, there are indications that the site was created quickly. During a quick look at three sites highly suspected of selling counterfeit American Silver Eagle coins, I was able to confirm that their sites are hosted on Shoplazza.
IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS ABOUT A WEBSITE THEN DON’T PURCHASE FROM THEM!

Since my first post about these Chinese scammers, I have received at least five notes per week saying they bought ten coins from these websites. Everyone that received the coins and was able to weigh them found they weigh only 25 grams. A real American Silver Eagle coin should weigh 31.103 grams.

Yes, I bought two coins from one of the sites, but I did so for educational purposes. I suspected that these would be counterfeit, and I wanted the coins to learn more about them. I believe they are silver plated. As for what is under the silver plate, I have to wait until I can visit a dealer with one of those devices that can analyze coins.

Please do not buy from them.

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Weekly World Numismatic News for July 26, 2020

Colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Half Dollar Clad Coin

Colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Half Dollar Clad Coin (Image courtesy of the U.S. Mint)

The news of the week was tragic. It blew up social media and seemed to make people upset. This news is going to be the end of the hobby. We may never recover.

No, the tragedy is not the alleged coin shortage.

Social media went berzerk because the U.S. Mint is going to sell colorized versions of the Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins.

How dare the U.S. Mint do something like this? It’s… it’s… un-American!

Calm down, folks. It is only a little color enhancing a commemorative coin.

But it’s not what the U.S. Mint is supposed to be about. They are supposed to produce real coins.

Real coins? Like the mess of coins in what we refer to as the Classic Commemorative Era? Can we also consider the circulating coinage disasters like the steel cent and Susan B. Anthony dollar?

It will turn us into Canada!

I can think of worse places. I like Canada. I have family in Canada. I collect Canadian coins. However, it is not going to turn the U.S. Mint into the Royal Canadian Mint. First, the Royal Canadian Mint produces more non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) coins that the U.S. Mint. Second, the Royal Canadian Mint uses technologies like lenticular printing to create the design. For the Basketball Hall of Fame coin, the colorization is an enhancement of a struck design.

Colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Dollar Coin

Colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Dollar Coin (Image courtesy of the U.S. Mint)

It’s ugly!

That is your opinion. I like what the U.S. Mint will do to the half-dollar coin by emphasizing the ball and rim. Based on the pictures I have seen, the colorized rim on the silver dollar is not enough.

It’s not what the U.S. Mint is supposed to do. I’m not buying it!

Good! It means that I will be able to buy one for myself without trying to fight the speculators.

It’s too expensive.

Finally, an argument I can agree with. Yes, the U.S. Mint is charging too much for the colorized coins. This is because instead of bringing the technology in-house, they have to pay a contractor to do the colorization.

It’s bad for the hobby!

How many times have we heard something is wrong for the hobby. Slabs signed by television reality stars were supposed to be the beginning of the end of the hobby. Endless series of circulating commemoratives are supposed to be bad for the hobby. Commemorative coins with unpopular themes were also going to kill the hobby.

To borrow a phrase: We’re still standing. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

Sorry, boys and girls (and we know the complaints are mostly coming from old men). Colorized commemorative coins are not bad for the hobby. It could be good for the hobby. These coins could attract people to the hobby that may not have been interested in the past.

If you want to know what is not good for the hobby, it is the U.S. Mint selling coins that did not sell at cut-rate prices to a television huckster like RCTV that pays NGC to slab the coins with special labels and then sells them at hugely inflated prices to unknowledgeable people on television.

You may also watch for the U.S. Mint’s “de-trashing” policy that is dumping other surplus coins on the market. These are coins that did not sell during the regular sales period that will have “special designation” labels from NGC. Not that the labels would make a difference, but we know that the dealers will over-hype these coins at prices far beyond their worth.

Remember what happened with the television hucksters selling state quarters at over-inflated prices? Or even RCTV selling a set of 31 American Silver Eagle bullion coins for more than you can buy a date run of 34 coins? Eventually, these coins will end up being brought to dealers who will tell them that they overpaid.

I will take colorized coins over the feeding crap to the television hucksters any day.

And now the news…

 July 20, 2020
Editor's Note: Get caught up in minutes with our speedy summary of today's must-read news stories and expert opinions that moved the precious metals and financial markets. Sign up here! (Kitco News) Gold and silver prices are higher in early U.S. trading Monday, with silver notching a nearly four-year high just above $20.00.  → Read more at kitco.com

 July 20, 2020
As if we needed any more challenges in 2020, earlier this month a national coin shortage hit America. That right, America doesn’t have enough physical change to go around.  → Read more at fastcompany.com

 July 21, 2020
Coin finds: Looking at this rural scene of Thornhill where Roman coins were found not far away on the Overthorpe estate in 1938, it fires the imagination to think that the early Romans just might have passed by this picturesque spot and even decided to settle here.  → Read more at spenboroughguardian.co.uk

 July 23, 2020
Old Masters seem to be a safe bet during the uncertain times. This painting, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, St.  → Read more at barrons.com

 July 23, 2020
In recent weeks, you may have noticed that most shops and restaurants are not accepting cash. This isn’t because of COVID transmission, as some assume, but because of a national coin shortage.  → Read more at savingadvice.com

 July 25, 2020
“Clare Duffy is a CNN Business associate writer covering the business of technology and the strategies of Big Tech companies. The opinions expressed in this commentary are her own.  → Read more at cnn.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for July 19, 2020

CoinsThere is a coin shortage.

There is also a currency shortage, but it is not as severe as the coin shortage.

The shortage is not because the government has stopped the manufacturing process. There was a production slowdown in April and May, but that does not account for the lack of circulating coins. The West Point Mint briefly closed because the circumstances were different. West Point does not strike circulating coinage.

Although the Bureau of Engraving and Printing slowed down production in Washington, D.C., Fort Worth did not miss a beat.

The Federal Reserve, an independent organization, did not stop the circulation of money. There is money in the various cash rooms around the country. While some of the supply is lower than usual, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell testified to Congress that their supplies are adequate to meet the demand.

If the government is not causing the coin shortage, then where are the coins?

For nearly eight weeks beginning in mid-March, the amount of money circulating diminished to its lowest levels since the Great Depression. You have not been spending cash. The result is that the stores and banks were not circulating coins forcing the logistics companies to store what they can and deposit the rest with the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve believes there are enough coins to satisfy commerce. The problem is that the supply chain has to restart. There is a limit to how fast the supply chain can move the coins around.

The warehouses where the coins are stored is like a gallon jug or your favorite beverage. To server your guests, you need to pour that gallon jug into glasses. But the only way to pour the jug is into a funnel to guide the liquid into each glass. How much is pouring slowed down by the bottleneck of the smaller opening at the bottom of the funnel?

In the case of coins, the smaller opening is the armored cars that deliver the money from the warehouses to the banks and other large institutions. The limited capacity of the opening will slow down the pouring of the beverage and the pouring of the coins back into the economy.

One Federal Reserve research group suggested that it could take 3-6 weeks for the supply chain to get back to normal. Compared to the lack of Clorox and Lysol cleaners in the supermarkets, that is lightning fast!

And now the news…

 July 14, 2020
A recent social media post falsely said a coin shortage in the U.S. was a sign of an impending one-world government. The false claim included a photo of a sign in a grocery store asking customers to use exact change or noncash payments due to a "national coin shortage," according to PolitiFact.com.  → Read more at dailyherald.com

 July 14, 2020
Editor's note: This is an excerpt of Planet Money's newsletter. You can sign up here.  → Read more at npr.org

 July 15, 2020
People have been collecting coins since they became useful for bartering around 700BC. The hobby of collecting currency today is now one of the best activities that kids of all ages can become involved with. There isn’t a video game in existence that packs the same reward as collecting coins.  → Read more at williamsondailynews.com

 July 15, 2020
Interest in gold is rising across the globe as confidence in paper currencies declines. Image: Chris Ratcliffe, Bloomberg Demand for Kruggerands, the top-selling gold coin in the world, is surging as buyers across the globe scramble for one of the few safe havens in times of economic distress.  → Read more at moneyweb.co.za

 July 16, 2020
Maybe you’ve seen signs in retail stores about a coin shortage, which led to a widely shared conspiracy theory on Facebook. "National Coin Shortage Just Beginning. The national coin shortage was done intentionally, the mint is no longer releasing coins into circulation aka this is the beginning of the end of paper money," the July 2 post says in part, arguing it’s part of a decades-old plan toward enabling a "soon coming one world government" to track every private transaction.  → Read more at politifact.com
Coin Collectors News
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ANA to hold 2023 WFM in Pittsburgh

According to a source, the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors voted to hold the 2023 World’s Fair of Money in Pittsburgh. As part of the selection, the “ANA will be seeking a better deal from the venue than they got in 2020.” If they do not get a better deal, the source interpreted the discussion that the ANA will look elsewhere.

The vote was 7-2 in favor of the decision. President Steve Ellsworth and Governor Mary Lynn Garrett voted against the measure. Both believe that the show should exclusively be in Rosemont.

I have come out against holding the ANA premiere show in one location. Moving it around the country will help reach more people and include its educational agenda in more places. While I love Chicago and have friends in the Chicagoland area, moving the show is in the best interest of the ANA.

For a hobby that is not seeing growth and is having difficulties with diversity amongst its membership, having a traveling show should be an invitation to potential members.

I am still holding out hope for holding the World’s Fair of Money in Washington, D.C. While there have been roadblocks in the past, the environment for making the District more welcoming to the ANA a possibility. I have a few ideas to welcome minority communities to introduce them to numismatics. It would work well in the Washington community.

With all due respect to Ellsworth and Garrett, you miss out on an opportunity to reach out to potential new members. You have to look beyond your self-interests and work for the good of the association!

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