Weekly World Numismatic News for January 19, 2020

Egyptian 9th C Dinar

Abbasid coins of the late ninth century
(via Egypt Today)

A lesson in unintended consequences was filed in an Egyptian court this week. As part of policy disagreements between Egypt and Turkey, the case asks the courts to demand the return of 23 million gold coins taken by the Ottoman Empire.

The Ottoman Empire was the last of the significant conquering empires of Europe. By the late 19th century, modernization and uprisings forced the Empire to consolidate around the area of modern-day Turkey and the Middle East. Even though the Empire was declining, that did not stop the government from trying to exert influence.

After Great Britain left Egypt in 1914, the Ottomans stepped in and demanded Egypt pay tribute in the form of gold coin to the Empire. After the fall of the Empire and the formation of modern-day Turkey, they continued to demand tribute. Egypt stopped paying the tribute on the establishment of the Republic in 1953.

The lawsuit claims that the Ottomans and Turkey illegally removed the coins from Egypt and demands their return.

In one report, the brief cites the provisions of the UNESCO convention as authority for demanding their return by declaring the coins as cultural property.

If allowed through their courts and if the suit is successful, it becomes precedent for Egypt to claim any item as cultural property and demand their return. Aside from coins, exhibits at museums around the world would have to prepare for similar requests. In the United States, the Brooklyn Museum has one of the most extensive Egyptology collection in North America. Their holding is second to the British Museum, who will also face the same questions.

Ancient Egypt did not have a monetary system as we know it today. Since they did not have silver mines and gold was scarce, they traded goods and services. Taxes were paid by people providing products or working for the government.

There are known bronze coins from early periods, but several references noted that they were used for a limited amount of trade.

The first known coins of Egypt came during the Ptolemaic Empire of ancient Greece. By that time, the Egyptian Empire moved up the Nile River from the area near modern Cairo to modern-day Alexandria. As a weakened Empire, Ptolemy I was able to conquer these areas of the Middle East following the death of Alexander the Great.

It was a time of great fortune that included education, the arts, and modernization of the old Egyptian Empire. Silver and gold were brought as the economy soared. Ptolemaic coins are considered Greek coins for many collectors of ancient coinage.

Those who enjoy collection ancient coins should carefully watch this case as it winds through the Egyptian courts. The wrong outcome will affect collectors and be another attack on the hobby.

And now the news…

 January 13, 2020
…My Proustian moment came when I read Maurer’s comment: “People working on new technologies of money tend to assume that money is just money…  → Read more at frbatlanta.org

 January 15, 2020
14 January 2020 Almost 1,000 coins dating back to the years 1500 – 1600 have been discovered in the locality of Săbieşti, in Dâmboviţa county, some 50 km north of Bucharest.  → Read more at romania-insider.com

 January 15, 2020
It looked, on first examination, like an antique charm bracelet loaded with gold trinkets: a tiny Eiffel Tower and a little bowling pin and iconic images of provincial Italy. The owner thought the family heirloom might fetch $8,000 on the open market.  → Read more at ottawacitizen.com

 January 16, 2020
While first responders in Windsor-Essex save other peoples' lives every day, they're now equipped with a new 'All In Coin' taking aim at their own mental health. Essex-Windsor EMS and Essex Fire are giving out coins to their workers to make it easier for them to talk when needing mental help.  → Read more at cbc.ca

 January 18, 2020
A rare coin featuring Britain's King Edward VIII, who abdicated to marry American divorcee Wallis Simpson, has sold for a record £1 million  → Read more at cnn.com

 January 18, 2020
CAIRO – 18 January 2020: Egypt’s Administrative Court has set February 15, 2020 to consider a lawsuit demanding Turkey to repay Egypt more than 23.1 million gold coins that were taken from Egypt in tribute by Ottoman Empire “illegally.”  → Read more at egypttoday.com

 January 19, 2020
If you’re keen to own a piece of British history, The Royal Mint January sale may have just what you’re looking for.  → Read more at dailyrecord.co.uk
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Weekly World Numismatic News January 12, 2020

Congratulation to the Louisiana State University Tigers for winning the National Championship!

My story of the week comes from England, where a father, separated from the boy’s mother, lives 100 miles away from his son. To maintain their bond, the father and son collect coins.

Aside from using coins as their bond, the video notes that when they are together, the pair looks for coins in Britain’s version of thrift stores. Some of the stores are run by charitable organizations whose inventory relies on donations.

Jacob, 7, and his dad John are not hunting high-end coins. They are looking for interesting pieces, filling holes from pocket change, and anything else they can find. It is father and son time over a shared interest that each can do on their own and talk about later.

Watch the video below. Maybe it will give you an idea as to how to use coins to bond with your children.

And now the news…

 January 6, 2020
HUDSON, Wis. — St. Croix County prosecutors last week charged a Minnesota woman accused of stealing more than $42,000 worth of coins from her deceased father’s property in rural Somerset. Willernie resident Kathy L.  → Read more at rivertowns.net

 January 6, 2020
Local News by: Posted: Jan 6, 2020 / 11:41 AM MST / Updated:  → Read more at krqe.com

 January 9, 2020
Piggy bank full of gold coins An incredible find has just been made in Israel when lucky archaeologists discovered a series of gold coins hidden in what appears to be an ancient “piggy bank”.  → Read more at thevintagenews.com

 January 10, 2020
“How many people will I annoy when I try to pay with 18 coins?” I thought to myself.  → Read more at buffalonews.com

 January 12, 2020
A father who lives almost 100 miles away from his seven-year-old son says coin collecting has brought them closer together. John Gamble introduced Jacob to the hobby after separating from his partner.  → Read more at bbc.com

 January 12, 2020
It's a little discrepancy you may never even have noticed before but, once you spot it, it's hard not to wonder why. Queen Elizabeth's iconic profile faces to the left on postage stamps, perhaps so she can read the postcards, but to the right on all coins.  → Read more at mylondon.news

 January 12, 2020
Editor's Note: 2020 is expected to be another year of significant uncertainty and turmoil. But the question is what asset will emerge the victor when the dust settles from the global trade war, Brexit, recession threats, negative bond yields.  → Read more at kitco.com

 January 12, 2020
Keep an eye out for a shiny new quarter with a raised image of fruit bats and be careful not to let the coin fly out of your wallet or pocket. As part of the U.S.  → Read more at abcnews.go.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for January 5, 2020

I have been a busy week, month, and year. Many of you have stuck with me while Real Life has taken a lot of my time. I appreciate your support. I have more things to write about and will try to do so in 2020.

Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
— Hellen Keller

News opened for the new year with ancient coins returning to Mexico after previously been legal for trade.

Pre-Hispanic Mexican Coins

Pre-Hispanic Mexican coins that were recently “returned” to Mexico (Image courtesy of Mexico News Daily)

According to the story, Mexico requested the return of 3,500 pre-Hispanic copper coins after discovering its existence in 2013. The coins were obtained by Florida collector in the 1960s, long before the UNESCO convention that turned foreign governments into treasure hunters.

After the coins were taken to Spain for auction, the Mexican government contacted the FBI asking for their help. Allegedly, the collector voluntarily turned them over.

Even though the coins were obtained legally and subsequently legislated into chattel, foreign governments continue to attack United States collectors because they can.

Under the UNESCO convention, numismatic items are the most problematic. When so many examples exist, every coin should not be considered cultural property. Countries can be reasonable and hold back a few examples that would help tell their story, but what is wrong with sharing that story with the world? Does 3,500 coins, most that will never see the light of day again, have to be hidden from the public in Mexico? Would it be against Mexico’s interest to share about 85-percent of that hoard with the world?

Watchers of how countries selectively enforce the provisions UNESCO convention will note that the majority of claims on the alleged numismatic cultural property occurs in the United States or against Americans abroad. Why does the Italian government not claim property rights for all the Roman hoards found in the United Kingdom? Why has there not been claims made against hoards found along the path of the Silk Road during the last few decades?

The only time the UNESCO convention is invoked for numismatics is when someone tries to smuggle coins out their countries, which is reasonable, or in the United States. Why?

And now the news…

 December 31, 2019
The United States returned a collection of over 3,500 pre-Hispanic copper coins to Mexican authorities in a ceremony in Miami on Monday. The coins were used in what are now Michoacán and Guerrero between the years 1200 and 1500, according to Jessica Cascante, spokesperson for the Mexican Consulate in Miami.  → Read more at mexiconewsdaily.com

 December 31, 2019
What I see for them is not yet, What I behold will not be soon: A star rises from Yaakov, A scepter comes forth from Yisrael; It smashes the brow of Moab, The foundation of all children of Shet. Numbers 24:17 (The Israel Bible™)  → Read more at breakingisraelnews.com

 January 1, 2020
Rare gold dinars from Abbasid caliphate period found inside a juglet in Yavneh Liat Nadav-Ziv, Israel Antiquities Authority A hoard including rare gold coins from the early Islamic period about 1,200 years ago was found during a salvage excavation in Yavneh on Thursday.  → Read more at haaretz.com

 January 5, 2020
To take one and two-cent coins from circulation, such is the idea the Bank of Lithuania will start a discussion on. Retailers, however, see risks in consumer mood over rounding sums up.  → Read more at bnn-news.com

 January 5, 2020
Today when authorities warn of bad bills or counterfeit money it's usually 20 dollar bills. In 1908 the problem was bogus coins — silver dollars, dimes and quarters. While it might seem not worth the trouble to create, such a coin could purchase much more than today.  → Read more at whig.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for December 29, 2019

PCGS NFC illustration

PCGS plans to place an NFC chip under their labels. (PCGS Image)

The year is ending with the news that Coin World and PCGS are trying to leverage technology to allegedly combat counterfeiting and provide a value add to the hobby.

Coin World wants to join the sticker craze and add one to your NGC or PCGS slabbed coin. PCGS is offering a similar technology under the label.

Both services will use something called Near Field Communication (NFC). NFC is a technology based on low-frequency communications where a transmitter emits a signal when activated by a reader.

Although NFC is not a new technology, it had gained interest when Apple announced that the latest iPhones had programmable NFC hardware. The NFC capabilities built into prior versions of the iPhone were not accessible outside of Apple’s applications running on the phone.

You may have used NFC without your knowledge. All contactless payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and the tap-to-pay credit cards require NFC. Many department stores are using they call smart tags, which are tags with an NFC chip embedded in them. Aside from electronic payment, contactless keycards, sometimes called proximity cards, are used to access restricted areas are NFC-based technologies.

NFC Tag

One Example of an NFC Tag

Now Coin World and PCGS want to bring it to numismatics.

Like every technology, NFC is not perfect. Its most significant risks come from the use of NFC tags. These low-power devices have limitations that have allowed hackers to defeat whatever features they are supposed to protect.

The security concerns do not consider privacy issues. Do you trust PCGS or Coin World with the data they claim to be keeping? Do you trust that this data will not be for sale under any circumstances? Do you trust that there are sufficient protections in place to prevent others from hacking the NFC antenna that will allow you to be tracked?

In my past life in information security, I had the opportunity to test the security of these wireless communications. As part of the test, I was able to walk out into the parking lot and open car doors without access to the keys. Unfortunately, the principles I used in that demonstration are the same that others have used to hack NFC.

As we head into 2020, I plan to discuss the impact of NFC from the perspective of someone who used to look at this stuff for a living and had to explain it to non-technical people.

And now the news…

 December 23, 2019
Most years, at least, a nickel produced that same year would show up in pocket change somewhere between late winter and mid-summer.Not in 2019. I even purchased two rolls of nickels from a bank in …  → Read more at ottawacitizen.com

 December 25, 2019
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Tainan City police have arrested a woman suspected of smuggling in fake Taiwanese currency from China with the intention of disturbing the economic system on the island. According to Liberty Times, the police received a report from an owner of a claw machine who claimed that someone had been inserting fake NT$50 coins into the drop-and-grab machine.  → Read more at taiwannews.com.tw

 December 26, 2019
Local News Posted: Dec 26, 2019 / 11:10 AM MST / Updated:  → Read more at krqe.com

 December 26, 2019
The recent introduction of GHC 100 and GHC 200 new currency denominations has left many thinking about the nation’s one pesewa coin, which has gone into oblivion. Background It is common knowledge that, when currencies are introduced, they are well received by the people who are keen to hold them sometimes in admiration of the mere design amidst criticism of the colours and the features used.  → Read more at myjoyonline.com

 December 28, 2019
The United States Mint has announced that new reverse designs will be coming to the popular American Silver Eagle (ASE) and American Gold Eagle (AGE) coins in 2021, marking the end of the popular “family of eagles” reverse design by renowned sculptor Miley Tucker-Frost from the original 1986 gold coin series.  → Read more at newsmax.com

 December 28, 2019
Following heated debates in Crown Heights over a recently minted coin, we bring you a halachic exploration of the topic from the Ami Magazine. The beis din column appears weekly in the Ami Magazine.  → Read more at anash.org

 December 28, 2019
When a handy, capable soldier truly loves a woman, he can fashion something beautiful out of practically anything.  → Read more at djournal.com
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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

As we celebrate the holidays and the new year, I hope we can remember those less fortunate who might need our help. Helping a neighbor is the best gift we can give and a sign of love beyond measure.

May the holidays find you happy, hopeful, and healthy.

Since I missed posting the news from Sunday: and now the news…

 December 17, 2019
A men who attempted to smuggle £450,000 in counterfeit £1 coins into the UK have been jailed for 50 months. Edward Magill (pictured) of Northern Ireland conspired with a haulier to smuggle the old-style round coins – which were manufactured illegally at the European Central Mint (ECM) in Westpoort, Amsterdam – into the UK in December 2012.  → Read more at securingindustry.com

 December 17, 2019
Not using proper cleaning methods will permanently damage your coin. Read on to learn how to clean coins safely and easily here. Is your challenge coin in need of a good scrubbing?  → Read more at baltimorepostexaminer.com

 December 19, 2019
Seven coins and a Roman ring that were found by three metal detectorists have been declared treasure. The ring, found in Newport in October 2017, is decorated with a pattern representing a palm branch.  → Read more at bbc.com

 December 20, 2019
(Updated: 1:26 p.m. EST, 12/20/2019) Topline: Queen Elizabeth II approved a plan for new 50 pence coins to be minted with January’s planned Brexit date, first reported by Bloomberg, after two other coins meant to mark the occasion were scrapped previously when the U.K. failed to exit the bloc.  → Read more at forbes.com

 December 22, 2019
Builders have stumbled upon a treasure trove of 200-year-old coins worth nearly half a million pounds. The 10,000 coins were discovered during renovation work in the historic city of Krakow in Poland.  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk
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Weekly World Numismatic News for December 15, 2019 +2

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… especially if you are in retail and your sales are tripling! I hope to be on time with next week’s news report. Until then, here is what I had planned to say on Sunday.

2019 Australian Coincryption

“Coincryption” from the Royal Australian Mint (Image via news.com.au)

The old information security geek became excited when I found out that the Royal Australian Mint issued a coin that had an encrypted message. They also held a contest to see who could decrypt the message.

The coin, called “Coincryption,” was issued in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). The ASIO is equivalent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.

As part of the contest, the person who cracked the code was eligible to receive a one-of-a-kind coin designed to celebrate the anniversary of the ASIO.

To crack the code, you need to use the one-time pad as a key. A one-time pad (OTP) is randomly generated text that, when you apply a specific formula, will reveal each letter. OTPs can be very secure if used only once, and the equation to decode the message is frequently changed.

For this contest, the Royal Australian Mint published the OTP in the literature sold with the coin (for AU$10) or online. Since the contest is over, the Royal Australian Mint removed the OTP from their website.

UPDATE: I found the OTP on the Royal Mint’s website → here.

According to the press report, the decoded message says:

There is no greater honour than the trust of the Australian people or weightier burden than protecting the security of Australia and its people.

If you want an encryption challenge, you can try your skills at Kryptos, the copper sculpture that is outside of the Central Intelligence Agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Kryptos contains four messages in the 865 characters carved into the sculpture. Since its installation in 1990, world-wide experts have solved three of the four messages. The last 97 characters, known as K4, remain unsolved.

Since Kryptos is on the CIA grounds, it is off-limits to the public. However, the CIA has made it available on their website. More information about Kryptos, including the messages hidden in the first three panels, is available in this article.

Kryptos might be a good idea for a commemorative coin. Create a clad coin with K4, attach it to a card with information about the sculpture that includes the cipher, and offer a special gold coin to whoever solved the puzzle. Add a $5 surcharge and donate the money to STEM education.

And now the news…

 December 3, 2019
A metal detectorist has said he was "amazed" as a hoard of 99 silver Anglo-Saxon coins that he found in a farmer's field sold at auction for £90,000. The proceeds will be split 50/50 between builder Don Crawley, who unearthed the pennies at the site of a forgotten Saxon church in Suffolk, and the landowner.  → Read more at scotsman.com

 December 9, 2019
Nine silver quarters recovered from the wreck of a sunken ship carrying tonnes of treasure during the California Gold Rush are ready for auction. The rare quarters were recovered in 2014 from the wreck of SS Central America, a steamship that sank on September 12, 1857, while carrying gold and other treasure from San Francisco to New York.  → Read more at 9news.com.au

 December 10, 2019
Belgium did it earlier this month, following Finland, the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy Making cash payments is gradually getting easier in Western Europe. As of the beginning of December, it is no longer possible to pay cash amounts like 3,22 or 5,99 euros when you shop in Belgium.  → Read more at themayor.eu

 December 14, 2019
Magill, 55, from Newry in Northern Ireland, gets a 50-month sentence for conspiring to import fake currency.  → Read more at news.sky.com

 December 14, 2019
The Royal Australian Mint has finally revealed the secret message hidden on a “unique and exciting” Aussie coin. In September this year, the Mint made history after releasing the first Aussie coin featuring a secret code.  → Read more at news.com.au

 December 14, 2019
Sackers scrap metal and waste recycling The haul was made up of some legal tender and some old notes Staff at a scrap metal dealer who found about £20,000 as they cut up a safe to be recycled will donate the money to charity after no-one claimed it.  → Read more at bbc.co.uk

 December 14, 2019
Swissmint’s retail website buckled under pressure as demand soared for a commemorative coin featuring the country’s tennis star Roger Federer. A look at some old coins that are worth a fortune today:  → Read more at economictimes.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for December 8, 2019

After a week of being busier than a one-armed paper hanger, I sat down to write a blog post and found that this was marked as a draft and never published. Sorry for the delay!

2019 Wallace & Gromit 50p Reverse

The Brits love collecting these coins that would be called “gimmicks” in the United States
(Royal Mint image)

A study in the United Kingdom has shown that the Brits are collectors. Whether they collect coins, stamps, memorabilia, refrigerator magnets, and toys, over 80-percent of Brittons claim to have collected something.

The study that was commissioned by the Royal Mint sampled 2,000 adults and showed that more than 50-percent of the respondents collected coins or stamps, the most in the survey.

Although age was a factor in the type and size of the collection, the study showed that themed coins were more popular with younger collectors than the traditional set building.

When it comes to advancement in electronic payments, e-commerce, and similar conveniences, the UK is no different than the United States. One Bank of England study showed that younger adults are adapting to credit cards and electronic payment options more than their parents and grandparents. The difference is that the average value of the transactions is higher.

In addition to the 1-, 2-, 5-, 10-, 20-, and 50-pence coins, the Royal Mint produces £1 and £2 circulating coins. Brittons are used to carrying these coins and using them for low-value transactions. While many stores will accept micro-transactions using credit cards, the cost structures are different that using coins is encouraged.

In the United States, the credit card companies have pushed the use of cards to the point of lowering transaction fees to the merchants to encourage microtransactions. While it is common to see someone in the United States pay for a $2 large soda with a credit card, the studies show that this does not happen as much in the United Kingdom.

Aside from the societal norms that continue to promote coins for commerce, the Royal Mint has done an excellent job promoting coin collecting by producing different designs. They produced 20p and 50p circulating coins that have promoted various aspects of British cultural history. It is common to see weekly stories of a limited edition circulating coins to sell for high values in online auctions.

Not only are these coins accepted by the British numismatic community, but they are also used to promote the hobby more than the sovereigns of the higher-priced collectibles. News reports demonstrate that the British collecting public would instead collect coins about Wallace & Gromit or Paddington Bear than a sovereign.

Rather than embrace change in United States coinage, the numismatic Illuminati would rather bemoan the state of “modern coinage.” They forgot how the 50 States Quarters Program brought back interest in collecting coins. But they were happy when people started showing up at their shops and shows while ignoring the hucksters out there who were selling overpriced packages which has lead to giving the hobby a proverbial black eye.

The situation is understandable. Dealers have to make a living, and it is more profitable to sell Morgan Dollars than it is to sell Presidential Dollars. Unfortunately, the way dealers turn their noses up to the lower-end market is turning away future customers. Collectors have to start somewhere and if it means getting someone interested in collecting National Parks Quarters or encouraging a series of quarters based on cultural icons, then embrace the change. Your future may depend on it!

And now the news…

 December 3, 2019
Half of Brits are proud owners of a collection – including everything from coins and fridge magnets to items from hotels. Stamps, candles and pens also made the list of collectable pieces.  → Read more at mirror.co.uk

 December 3, 2019
ÇANAKKALE-Anadolu Agency Turkish archeologists have unearthed a 1,800-year coin thought to feature Paris, an ancient figure some have blamed for starting the legendary Trojan War. More historically, Paris may have also founded the ancient city of Parion in the coastal Canakkale province, in Turkey's northwest, near the unearthed traces of Troy.  → Read more at hurriyetdailynews.com

 December 3, 2019
A drill site at Ascot Resources’ Premier project. Credit: Ascot Resources  → Read more at mining.com

 December 3, 2019
A hoard of Anglo-Saxon coins discovered in a field by an amateur detectorist has fetched £90,000 at auction – three times its original estimate. The collection, made up of 99 "silver pennies" thought to be 1,000 years old, was found buried on farmland in Suffolk in March 2017.  → Read more at bbc.com

 December 6, 2019
Massachusetts regulators have taken legal action against Metals.com for allegedly convincing seniors to invest millions of dollars of retirement savings into overpriced precious metals. A Quartz investigation linked the company with a web of Facebook ads and websites that specifically target conservative retirees.  → Read more at qz.com

 December 6, 2019
In 2012, the federal government—at the time headed by Stephen Harper—began to devise a strategy to take the penny out of circulation in Canada. One of the reasons behind this rationale was simple: the cost of making a new one-cent coin was estimated at 1.6 cents per coin.  → Read more at princegeorgematters.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for December 1, 2019 (Day Late)

Sorry for being late. It’s the holiday season and those of us in retail are busy!

‘Tis the season… for scams!

Ericsson DBH 1001

Ericsson DBH 1001 (ca. 1931), the first combined telephone made with a Bakelite housing and handset.

Scams are everywhere with people vulnerable and gullible to believe the voice at the end of the telephone. Although email scams continue, the most successful and cunning are happening over the phone.

According to the AARP Fraud Watch Network, the people perpetrating the scams are skilled in the psychological warfare necessary to get the intended victim to believe them. Most target the elderly because they are the ones with psychological issues that come from aging, such as reduced functionalities, loss of loved ones, and a changing culture that they do not understand.

Although gold and silver scams are not new, scammers are using the confusing language of new laws that allows these criminals to hide behind the mumbo-jumbo of words.

Unfortunately, these slick-talking salespeople are good at what they do. The result is separating their mark from their money, leaving the victim broke.

The best suggestion to deal with this type of fraud is not to buy anything over the telephone from someone you do not know. It does not matter how professional they sound or good they make you feel. These people are not looking out for your best interest.

Also, do not fall for the “we will hold your gold or silver in our vaults and give you a receipt” scam. While there are legitimate companies that will offer this service, for a fee, others are not licensed or insured to keep your assets secure. If you fall for this scam, they will run away with your money while you hold onto a worthless piece of paper.

Unless you initiate the call to a verified telephone number, do not give out any personal information to the person on the other end of the line. Even if the person claims to be from a charity, you will not be able to verify whether their story is true or not. Just hang up and go on with your life. You will be happier that you did!

RECOMMENDATION: If you want to learn more about how scams occur and how to protect yourself and your loved ones from them, you will want to listen to The Perfect Scam, a podcast from AARP. Although I have heard about many of these scams, the podcast puts them into a broader context by discussing how widespread it is. If there is a vulnerable person in your life, you should listen to this podcast to learn about the signals that they may be in trouble from a scammer. You can listen to it on your favorite podcast app or visit the podcast’s homepage.

And now the news…

 November 26, 2019
A chest containing 60 coins believed to have been in circulation in the 19th and 20th centuries was discovered in the basement of a dilapidated building, Russia’s state news agency TASS reports. The find is estimated to be worth up to 1 million rubles, or £2,200.  → Read more at express.co.uk

 November 28, 2019
@pixabay.com A record-breaking coin auction was held recently at the Hotel Metropole in Monaco.  → Read more at hellomonaco.com

 November 28, 2019
The Royal Mint has launched its largest coin ever, a creation that measures 175mm in diameter, weighs 5kg and has a denomination of £5,000. The coin has been created as part of The Royal Mint’s new Great Engravers series, which pays homage to artists who have worked on British coinage.  → Read more at independent.co.uk

 November 28, 2019
Lithuania announced it would celebrate Jewish heritage with a special coin, which some critics charge features a symbol associated with far-right admirers of Holocaust perpetrators. The 10-euro coin celebrates 2020’s labeling in Lithuania as the Year of the Gaon of Vilna and Jewish Heritage” and features a menorah atop a local symbol known as the Columns of Gediminas, commemorating that 13th-century ruler.  → Read more at israelnationalnews.com

 November 28, 2019
Photo: Shutterstock  → Read more at twocents.lifehacker.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for November 24, 2019

Maine Troop Greeters Coin

Maine Troop Greeters Coin – Created to commemorate the 3,000th flight greeted, March 22, 2008 (Image courtesy of the Maine Troop Greeters)

Although there is a lot written about numismatics, there are areas that are missing reliable information. This week, it was announced that the Maine Troop Greeters created a database to help identify Military Challenge Coins.

As part of their work greeting service members coming home from the world outpost, the service members leave their challenge coins with the greeters as a token of appreciation. Within the last few years, the organization created a museum within the Bangor International Airport for these challenge coins. With over 6,000 in their collection, they have documented their holdings, making it available for all collectors.

The database provides color images of each of the challenge coins with a description of size, shape, and devices. If you have a challenge coin you cannot identify, you can search the database for keywords found on the coin. It is a simple yet effective idea.

According to their website, the Main Troop Greeters are slowing their growth and winding down operations as the number of troops overseas decreases. They have done a great service welcoming back soldiers returning from overseas wars. Hopefully, their work will not have to be duplicated in the future.

And now the news…

 November 15, 2019
BANGOR, Maine (WABI) – The Maine Troop Greeters have a new, easier way for people to search through their collection of military challenge coins.  → Read more at wabi.tv

 November 15, 2019
Video An extremely rare half-dollar coin from 1838 has been sold at auction for $504,000. The coin was auctioned Friday at the Whitman Baltimore Winter Expo at the Baltimore Convention Center.  → Read more at foxnews.com

 November 18, 2019
One expensive coin A rare British gold coin from 1703 made from gold seized from a Spanish galleon just sold for over a million dollars.  → Read more at thevintagenews.com

 November 20, 2019
Prominent Russian billionaire entrepreneurs spend their time and money not only on entrepreneurial activities. There are dedicated collectors among them, too. Some of them approach their hobby as professionals, rather than enthusiastic amateurs.  → Read more at pravdareport.com

 November 23, 2019
Remember the times when our mothers used to sell old newspapers and old magazines to the scrap dealers? Maybe this woman got a little carried away or didn't realise in time what she was doing, but she accidentally ended up handing over 15 gold coins to a scrap dealer.  → Read more at indiatimes.com

 November 24, 2019
November 20, 2019 5 Comments Ireland's Central Bank will honor THIN LIZZY's Phil Lynott with a limited-edition commemorative coin, marking 70 years since his birth.  → Read more at blabbermouth.net

 November 24, 2019
Video Two amateur treasure hunters were sentenced Friday to lengthy prison terms for stealing millions of dollars worth of 1,100-year-old coins. The coins date back to the period when the Anglo-Saxons were battling Vikings for control of England.  → Read more at foxnews.com

 November 24, 2019
The coins were found under a hedge by a member of the public A stash of rare coins which were found hidden under a hedge at an allotment have been reunited with their owner.  → Read more at bbc.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for November 17, 2019

American Eagle 2019 One Ounce Silver Enhanced Reverse Proof CoinThe biggest numismatic-related news of the week that not reported in many media outlets. It was the failure of the U.S. Mint to deal with a high volume of orders for what everyone anticipated would be a popular product.

On November 14, 2019, the numismatic community rushed to the U.S. Mint website. It flooded their call center attempting to purchase the 2019 American Eagle One Ounce Silver Enhanced Reverse Proof Coin. As with almost all of their past launches, the U.S. Mint e-commerce systems failed the collecting community.

Collectors reported web failures, outages, and disconnection on the telephone trying to order the product. I was first alerted of a problem by a family member and my mailbox filled with readers who experienced similar issues.

After hearing the criticism, the U.S. Mint issued the following statement:

At the moment of launch, there were 99,000 people online and 4700 callers waiting to purchase the American Eagle 2019 One Ounce Silver Enhanced Reverse Proof Coin (19XE). Completed orders were processed until all inventory was sold. We are constantly seeking feedback from our customers, and rest assured your voice is being heard.

To try to spin this further, on Friday, the U.S. Mint issued the following statement:

Yesterday, the Mint catalog website had more than 150,000 unique visitors and 1.6 million page views in the first hour of sales of the American Eagle 2019 One Ounce Silver Enhanced Reverse Proof Coin (19XE). For context, the catalog website’s previous highest traffic and page views were for the Apollo 11 product launch, when we had 124,000 visitors in one day and 863,000 page views in one hour. We are pleased with the numismatic community’s response to this product. The volume of traffic did briefly slow down our site response. However, after the first two minutes we were able to process over 1800 orders per minute on average. Completed orders were processed until all inventory was sold. Additionally, we identified approximately 5% of traffic as coming from bots, including 3% of traffic from a single IP address, of which zero orders were processed.

With all due respect to the U.S. Mint, if this is beyond your capacity, then the competence of the Mint and their contractor (aren’t they contracted with Pitney-Bowes?) are in question. There are e-commerce systems that have higher capacity requirements and service their customers better.

The failure of their e-commerce system is not a new problem for the U.S. Mint. We can go back through the history of this blog to note how badly they have implemented their e-commerce systems.

Frankly, I am not surprised. Years ago, when I was a contractor within the Department of the Treasury, I had to listen to how the U.S. Mint’s systems were built to be greater and better than anyone else in the department. Their technology directors touted their capacity and their capabilities over all the other bureaus. They used these reasons to allow them to separate themselves and to avoid integration with other systems, even suggesting that they be the central integrators for the department.

Even though I have not worked within the Treasury Department in many years, the results and the spin published by their public relations department demonstrates that the chutzpah continues.

For four years, the U.S. Mint has been holding forums to try to learn from collectors what they expect. One thing they have not learned is to fix the mechanisms that provide collector access to U.S. Mint products. It is time for the U.S. Mint to stop talking and do something. Their problems have surpassed annoying and are bordering on malfeasance!

And now the news…

 November 12, 2019
We all have them, worth almost nothing, but still can be useful. They are the little button-sized ¢5 coins that fill up your pockets or coin jar, that the Banco Central (Central Bank) will stop minting starting January 1, 2020.  → Read more at qcostarica.com

 November 12, 2019
LOWELL, Mich. — When 43-year-old Jason Faraj entered Collector’s Korner in Lowell, the smooth-talking antiques aficionado gained the trust of the store owner and left with more than $5,700 in merchandise.  → Read more at wzzm13.com
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