Weekly World Numismatic News for November 29, 2020

I forgot the comedian’s name who had about depicting the cost of things in old movies. He explained that in old western movies, a man would dismount from his horse, amble up to the bar for a drink and throw down a coin for the libation. It did not matter what the drink cost. The drinker paid one large silver coin with a loud ping.

The silver dollar was the coin of the realm for the old west. It was hard money to go along with the hard times. Paper money had questionable value and could not be as trusted as a silver coin. Settling in the territories and building new lives on untamed land was risky and the feel of a metal coin was less risky than paper.

After the last Peace Dollar was struck in 1935, the U.S. Mint never minted another silver dollar for circulation again. The return of the large dollar coin came in 1971 with the copper-nickel Eisenhower Dollar. The coin was popular as a curiosity but waned until the bicentennial redesign. After the bicentennial, it seemed that the dollar coin had returned.

Then came the biggest failure of the modern coin era: Susan B. Anthony dollar.

Although the idea to honor suffragette Susan B. Anthony was sound, the rest of the coin’s design led to the long term rejection of dollar coins. The coin was smaller than the Eisenhower dollar but only slightly larger than a quarter. It was made using copper-nickel clad planchette and reeded edges that made it too similar to a quarter. Rather than being an 11- or 12-sided coin, it was round with a design that included a border to simulate the edges.

Many people tried to embrace the coin, but the confusion with the quarter was too costly. As college students, we abandoned the coin early. When the coin was spent as a quarter, we poor college students lost 75-cents per transaction or three cups of late-night coffee from the vending machine.

The introduction of the Sacagawea dollar in 1999 saw the basic planchet changed to fix all of the problems found in the Susie B. With the color change and the smooth edges, it was unlikely to be confused for another coin. Unfortunately, the Susie B. was such a failure that the coin has never gained traction in commerce.

The dollar coin programs of the 21st century have not been appreciated the way they should be. What better way to celebrate the republic’s longevity and the concept of the peaceful transfer of power than a celebration of the presidents? Since 2009, the coins celebrate the history of the Native American contributions with underappreciated designs.

Although some complain about a new series of coins, the American Innovation Dollar celebrates great inventions that have made life better. The coin is a better representation of the American spirit than a static design.

But there is no incentive to wean the country off of the paper dollar and embrace the coin. Even though Congress passed the laws to create these coins, they do not have the intestinal fortitude to eliminate the dollar note, as almost every first-world country has done. Instead, they pass laws creating coin series and wonder why they are not successful.

One of their alleged reason is that people do not want to change. But they are asking people who give specious reasons for resisting as “would you rather carry around 20 dollar coins or 20 $1 bills.” My response is, “neither. I would rather carry a $20 bill!”

It would be nice to join the civilized world and remove the $1 Federal Reserve Note from circulation. The coins have such exciting designs that they deserve circulation. Maybe someday the do-nothing Congress will figure it out–likely when its members’ average age dips below 60 years old!

And now the news…

 November 22, 2020
Time to stop worrying about Covid, the election, rising sea level, murder hornets, the end of the world, etc. etc. Time instead to focus on the immediate problem, i.e. why we’re not using dollar coins?  → Read more at lostcoastoutpost.com

 November 24, 2020
We used to carry and trade bits of metal everywhere, but a pandemic shortage and the rise of digital money are making jingly pockets a distant memory for many.  → Read more at nytimes.com

 November 24, 2020
Ron Kerridge They will be offered by international coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists Dix Noonan Webb via their website www.dnw.co.uk.  → Read more at worthingherald.co.uk

 November 24, 2020
IRMO, S.C. — An Irmo couple made a remarkable discovery after moving into their dream home.  James Mumford and his wife Clarissa recently moved to Irmo and when settling in, found quite a collection in one of the built-in dressers.   → Read more at wltx.com

 November 25, 2020
"Brother, can you spare a dime?" That question became famous in the Great Depression. In 2020, with the pandemic raging, the answer could be, "Maybe, but they're hard to find."  → Read more at newsweek.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for November 22, 2020

CDC COVID-19 InfoThis news update is a warning that if you want coin shows and other events to continue, you better start taking COVID-19 more seriously.

I do not care about your politics, who you voted for, or where you live. If you do not take the efforts to stop the spread seriously, there will be few shows in 2021 without relief until 2022.

Sure, vaccines are around the corner, but how long do you think it will take to deliver almost 660 million doses? Think about it: the U.S. Census estimates the population at the end of 2019 at 328.2 million people. If the pharmaceutical companies are saying every vaccine requires a booster within three weeks, that will require the manufacture, delivery, and administration of nearly 660 million doses of the vaccine. You have to wait on long lines to get tested, and that has covered less than 40% of the population.

If you think this is not real because some politician or pundit has said it to you, remember that they do not care about you. They care about their power, money, and an ego trip for the ability to make you do their bidding. The more they control you to do their bidding, the more they gain. They will gain. You will suffer.

Facts are facts. As I type this, the straight facts are that the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center confirms that 58,082,876 have been diagnosed with COVID-19 worldwide. There are 12,085,386 confirmed cases in the United States. That means the U.S. has 20.8% of the world’s coronavirus cases while only having 4.25% of the world’s population. Johns Hopkins is also reporting that there have been 255,823 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., representing 18.5 percent of global deaths.

Only ONE country in the world has a faster infection rate, and only Sweden, who tried the herd immunity course of action, is having a faster death rate over the last three months than the U.S.

Why am I bringing this up in this forum? I want the shows back. I want to be able to go to Baltimore for the Whitman Show. I want to be able to go to the World’s Fair of Money. But at this rate, it is not going to happen.

The reality is that the National Money Show next March in Phoenix is likely going to be canceled. Arizona is a significant hot spot, and it will not get better before the ANA is forced to make a decision. And with the infection rate in the upper-midwest growing faster than anywhere else in the nation, I would not be surprised to see the World’s Fair of Money canceled or moved from Rosemont.

This week, I returned from the funeral of a second family member that died of COVID-19. One died early during the pandemic when our understanding of the virus was minimal. The most recent one was likely because of an infection at a place that should have known better.

The virus is real. It is not a hoax. It is not a government conspiracy. Nobody will use it against you, and it is not an infringement on any rights to require you to wear a mask for public safety. In fact, it is an infringement on my rights for putting me in danger. It is not a political statement. It’s only a mask!

Stay six feet apart.
Wash your hands, especially after exposure to the environment.
AND WEAR YOUR DAMNED MASK!

And now the news…

 November 15, 2020
Gold tends to perform well in times of high inflation and financial market turmoil. I consider gold a core portfolio holding. PHYS is a closed end fund that invests all of its assets into physical gold.  → Read more at seekingalpha.com

 November 16, 2020
The biggest factor in whether your metals investment will make money will often be whether or not you purchase your metal at a fair price. It is easy to compare prices and avoid getting ripped off, but investors must take the time to do it.  → Read more at fxstreet.com

 November 17, 2020
An Indigenous organisation is questioning how the Royal Australian Mint can issue coins featuring the Aboriginal flag at the same time as the Australian Senate is investigating the flag’s copyright issues.  → Read more at indaily.com.au

 November 17, 2020
Measuring nearly 7 centimetres in diameter and weighing a hefty 174.9 grams, the 50 duct gold coin from 1621 is masterpiece of baroque engraving and a pearl of Polish coinage. DESA Unicum  → Read more at thefirstnews.com

 November 18, 2020
James and Clarrisa Munford say they never considered keeping the dozens of gold and silver coins they found in a drawer in their new house. (CNN) — A South Carolina couple found a forgotten treasure while settling into their new home — dozens of gold and silver coins worth thousands of dollars.  → Read more at cnn.com

 November 19, 2020
Bullion coins and bars are the "purest" way to invest in gold, but can be costly to own and slow to sell. lionvision/Getty Images  → Read more at businessinsider.com
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2022 Commemorative Coin Programs Pass the Senate

Two commemorative coin bills introduced and passed in the House of Representatives were passed by the Senate this week. Both bills will create commemorative coin programs for 2022.

H.R. 1830: National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act

Purple Heart

Purple Heart Medal (image courtesy of Stars and Stripes)

H.R. 1830 passed the Senate by unanimous consent. The resulting law will create gold $5, silver dollar, and clad half-dollar commemorative coins in honor of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor, NY. Surcharges will be paid “to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, Inc., to support the mission of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, Inc., including capital improvements to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor facilities.”

It would have been interesting to require this coin to be in the shape of a heart. The obverse design could be similar to that of the Purple Heart medal. The reverse could be about the Hall of Honor or the sacrifice made by those awarded the Purple Heart.

I will likely purchase this commemorative coin in honor of my grandfather, a recipient of the Purple Heart for injuries sustained in Europe during World War I.

H. R. 4104: Negro Leagues Baseball Centennial Commemorative Coin Act

(From Twitter)

H. R. 4104 passed the Senate by unanimous consent will create gold $5, silver dollar, and clad half-dollar commemorative coins in honor of the centennial of the Negro Leagues. Although the centennial would be in 2020, the first available commemorative slot will be in 2022. Surcharges will be paid “to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum for educational and outreach programs and exhibits.” The Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is located in Kansas City, MO.

Although the law will not require these coins to be curved, there is an opportunity for judicious use of color and selective highlights, such as those used for the enhanced strikes.

Both bills will become law when signed by the president.

Now that Congress has begun its Lame Duck session stay tuned for more numismatic bills to pass by unanimous consent.

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Weekly World Numismatic News for November 15, 2020

Any time news is published about someone finding a hoard that has been buried for centuries, it is guaranteed that I will read the story. If coins are history in your hand, then buried treasure is history speaking to us.

In some areas of the world, there are active archeological digs to discover the past. According to reports, there are a dozen or more archeological in and around Jerusalem. If the Middle East is the cradle of civilization, then the capital appears to be around Jerusalem.

In other areas, treasure hunters use metal detectors for hunting the countrysides looking for something to make them rich. Hunting treasure using metal detectors is a popular hobby in Great Britain. Hobbyists have uncovered coins and other artifacts dating back to the Roman conquest of Britain. More recent finds led to new information about the Viking conquest of the British Isles.

While the knowledge gained from these finds provides insight into history, the treasure hunters find themselves in trouble.

In places where archeological digs are sanctioned, there are no controversies. The finds in those digs are the property of the country. However, in Great Britain, where people hunt without government sanction, the finds are becoming controversial.

Although the United Kingdom has some of the most comprehensive laws that help private citizens protect their finds, other laws like property rights and antiquities laws can turn euphoria into an instant headache.

Coins featuring Anglo-Saxon Kings Ceolwulf II, of Mercia, and Alfred, of Wessex

Ninth-century coins found by metal detectorists in the UK feature a representation of two contemporary Anglo-Saxon kings—Ceolwulf II, of Mercia, and Alfred, of Wessex—sitting side by side. The discovery that Alfred and Ceolwulf minted coins in the same style offered surprising evidence of an alliance between them—one that Alfred had sought to whitewash in an official chronicle of the period. As Gareth Williams, a curator at the British Museum, explains, “It’s like Stalin airbrushing Trotsky out.” The coins have caused a controversy over where and how it was found.
(Photograph courtesy © the Trustees of the British Museum via The New Yorker, whose caption was used here)

The laws are different in the United States. If you have permission to hunt with a metal detector and dig on the property, whatever you find is yours. The history of archeological policy in the United States recognizes that North America’s colonization is around 400 years old. Policymakers recognized that settlement history was very well documented compared to other countries, making it unlikely for anyone to make significant finds.

There are exceptions to the basic finder’s keepers rule regarding finding Native American artifacts and evidence of past civilizations. Otherwise, as long as you have permission to search the area, you can keep what you find.

These post-find issues can turn the story of these finds into fodder for a true-crime story.

And now the news…

 November 9, 2020
Vikings plundering Anglo-Saxon Britain often buried treasure for safekeeping.  → Read more at newyorker.com

 November 10, 2020
South Korea is working on replacing its frequently used 100-won coins as the design includes a portrait drawn by an artist who was pro-Japanese during the colonial period, the country’s central bank said Tuesday.  → Read more at koreaherald.com

 November 11, 2020
Four gold coins were recently discovered inside a pottery jar found during an excavation in the Western Wall Plaza of Jerusalem's Old City. The precious 1,000-year-old coins reflect the political and historical shift of power between the two Muslim dynasties that ruled the city at the time.  → Read more at haaretz.com

 November 11, 2020
Valley, Ala. (WTVY) -An Alabama lawmaker is sponsoring a bill that would force merchants to return coins to customers. Rep.  → Read more at wtvy.com

 November 14, 2020
A recent discovery on the season 8 premiere of the History Channel series The Curse of Oak Island could provide a significant clue to what's hidden on the island. So what’s the discovery?  → Read more at menshealth.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for November 8, 2020

2020 American Eagle Silver One Ounce Proof Coin Obverse Privy MarkSome of you may have noticed that the Coin Collectors Blog and Coin Collectors News sites have been down for a few days. I apologize. There have been technical issues that were resolved (obviously).

It shows that even for a retired expert, this computer stuff can be complicated. But for a government agency with a full-time professional staff and contractors with alleged expertise, the ordering experience of last week’s End of World War II 75th Anniversary American Eagle Proof Coins coins was not an acceptable situation.

My issue was coordinating a response with a hosting company to resolve my issues. The U.S. Mint should not have the same issues. They should have control over the systems and manage the contractor that is providing their service.

Unfortunately, I learned that government agencies do not manage contractors well. Contracts officers (CO) do not show the willingness to make contractors take responsibility for their work. Their technical representatives (Contract Officer Technical Representatives or COTR, pronounced CO-TAR) are ineffective since they tend to serve two bosses, the CO and the project leader.

When I worked for one of the bureaus in the Treasury Department, efforts to consolidate information technology functions did not end well. Each bureau had their reasons for the others not to play in their sandbox. However, the U.S. Mint’s network was a candidate for expanding Internet-related connectivity for applications. Their systems and network could handle more Internet traffic at the time than any other bureau. The U.S. Mint’s IT staff pushed back on the attempt to consolidate with them.

It appears that little has changed with the U.S. Mint. They seem to be circling their proverbial wagons to protect themselves while only tacitly recognizing a problem. After recognizing the problem, then they have to figure out how to fix it.

One of the most significant mistakes government agencies make is not producing proper requirements that contractors can answer. How do they know if the contractor can do the work if you have not told them exactly what to do? The biggest failure of government projects is the lack of appropriate requirements analysis. So far, it looks like attempts to update their web-based services were incomplete and may be a victim of this failure.

Let’s hope that the U.S. Mint will figure it out and make the necessary changes because it is frustrating for the numismatic industry.

And now the news…

 October 31, 2020
TEHRAN – A total of 5,000 historical coins being kept at Rasht Museum of Anthropology in northern Gilan province have been documented. “5,000 coins dating back to different historical epochs including Achaemenid, Parthian, Elamite, Sassanid, Umayyad, Al-Buwayh, Seljuks and Mongol ilkhans, and Elymais, have been documented,” the provincial tourism chief Masoud Hallajpour announced on Saturday.  → Read more at tehrantimes.com

 November 3, 2020
CHICAGO — Coins were in short supply last month at El Nopal Bakery in Chicago’s Little Village neighborhood as the coronavirus pandemic and statewide shutdowns stymied the flow of coins through the economy.  → Read more at seattletimes.com

 November 3, 2020
 An incredibly rare 900-year-old coin unearthed by a metal detectorist has sold for almost £30,000 at auction. The silver penny issued by a Yorkshire landowner was found by Rob Brown in two inches of mud in a stubble field near Pickering.  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk

 November 5, 2020
 → Read more at news.bitcoin.com

 November 7, 2020
The coins date from between 1657 and 1667, pointing to their minting shortly after the Deluge, a series of wars with Sweden throughout the 17th century which wreaked havoc and destruction throughout the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth.  → Read more at thefirstnews.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for November 1, 2020

Here we are with the election on Tuesday. The numismatic-related news has some stories but nothing of significance. For bullion buyers, the metals market has been active. One analyst called the market schizophrenic while trying to figure out what economic conditions will be.

Another analyst that follows the silver market noted the decline of silver prices since September. Among the reasons is that early buyers of silver are looking to cash in on their holdings. Those who bought last year when the average price was around $18 per ozt have been looking to profit from the spot being over $22. When asked if the price of silver will decline, the response was to ask after the election.

Gold prices have been steadier but have shown a gradual decline since August. A gold analyst reminded me that gold is a safe haven for investors when markets are uncertain. This analyst did not think the markets will see certainty after the election. Their firm is telling clients that regardless of the outcome of the election, the lame-duck Congress will create a lot of infighting that will spill over into the markets.

The value of many modern collector coins is dependent on the value of the metals. Those coins will see their values fluctuate with the market. Unfortunately, none of the analysts consulted predicted stability in the market. They suggested that unless you had to sell that you might wait. One recommended setting a high and low price for buying and selling but would not recommend the spread.

Regardless of what you choose to do with your investment coin, be prepared for a bumpy ride because none of the analysts would predict any stability for the next six months.

And now the news…

 October 24, 2020
For almost three thousand years, humans have been using coins as payment. As that winds down in an increasingly cashless world, let’s take a look at how the Vikings dealt with money.  → Read more at lifeinnorway.net

 October 25, 2020
A man with a metal detector has found a long-hidden, 222-year-old coin under a few inches of soil outside a church in Maine. Shane Houston, of Charlotte, North Carolina, was on a metal-detecting trip with a friend from New Hampshire when he found the coin earlier this month, the Bangor Daily News reported.  → Read more at wbtv.com

 October 27, 2020
A rare King Harold II coin dating from 1066 that was found by a metal detecting teenager has made £4,000 at auction.  → Read more at bbc.com

 October 27, 2020
The Bank of Lithuania minted the first euro piece of currency containing Hebrew letters. The 10-euro coin was minted on Tuesday and is a limited-edition commemorative collector’s item celebrating the 300th anniversary of the birth of the Vilna Gaon, the 18th-century rabbinical luminary Elijah ben Solomon Zalman, who lived and died in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius.  → Read more at jpost.com

 October 29, 2020
Heartbreaking message behind new $2 Aussie coin. Source: Royal Australian Mint  → Read more at au.finance.yahoo.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for October 25, 2020

Fake Silver Eagles

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

Although the number of reports about people buying counterfeit American Silver Eagle coins has diminished, they have not stopped. This week, I received four more inquiries about these coins.

I have tried my best to get the word out to as many people as possible, including the media. I spent a few hours scouring the Internet for the consumer reporters’ addresses in as many major markets as possible, even sending messages to competing stations. Nobody has responded.

Even though high traffic and Google statistics tracking has pushed the blog closer to the top of the search when people inquire about counterfeit American Silver Eagles, the fact remains that it is difficult or a one-man crusade to cut through the daily noise.

It would have been nice if I had help. I did post warnings on the ANA’s Facebook group. Even though there are Board members involved with the Facebook group, nobody has picked up the ball and tried to put the force of the ANA behind an educational campaign.

The email sent about these fake coins add up to over 150 counterfeit coins. Although it is a small fraction of the total American Silver Eagle population, counterfeits in the market can potentially turn potential collectors into someone who does not trust the market.

I will continue my part of the fight.

Other than the posts I made about these coins, I compiled a list of the websites identified by readers as selling counterfeit American Silver Eagle coins. Once I created the list, I checked the sites to see if they are still selling fakes.

Readers can find the list of dealers selling fake coins at coinsblog.ws/fakes. I will maintain that list with the information as I receive it. Maybe if we work together, we can educate the public and eliminate the demand these scammers use to dupe people.

And now the news…

 October 19, 2020
Special Indonesian exhibit unveiled at quiet vernissage Batik was the dress code of the day at Alliance Coin & Banknote, as a special exhibit on the currency of Indonesia was unveiled on October 5th in downtown Almonte.  → Read more at millstonenews.com

 October 22, 2020
The Harold II silver penny found by Reece Pickering Two nearly 1,000-year-old coins dug up this year by two unrelated teenagers may be worth thousands of pounds each.  → Read more at expressandstar.com

 October 22, 2020
JERSEY’S government could find out how much it will cost to buy 70,000 late Iron Age and Roman coins found in a field in Grouville before the end of the year, the Chief Minister has revealed.  → Read more at jerseyeveningpost.com

 October 23, 2020
Mother Lode Gold, a wooden currency circulates at the CalaverasGrown farmers markets in Calaveras County. The currency is crafted by local farmer and woodworker Sean Kriletich.  → Read more at calaverasenterprise.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for October 18, 2020

The narrative about the 2020 numismatic market has been consistent across the media. These reports claim that hat collector coins are selling but at less than enthusiastic rates. Dealers are reporting that bullion coins dominate the market, primarily online. And everyone has read stories that the rare coin market is as healthy as it has ever been.

1794 Flowing Hair Dollar, PCGS SP-66, from the Bruce Moreland Collection (Image courtesy of Rare Coin Wholesalers via PCGS)

Within that narrative, two of the rarest and most expensive coins did not sell within the last month. The finest-known 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar, one of the first coins to be minted by the United States in 1794, failed to sell. Purchased in 2013 by Bruce Morelan, Legend Auctions tried to find a buyer at a recent auction in Las Vegas. The coin had a pre-sale estimate of $8-9 million but failed to find a buyer with an opening bid of $7 million.

A few lots later, the Dexter Specimen Class I 1804 Draped Bust Dollar, recognized as the finest known, failed to sell. The auctioneer lowered the opening bid to $3.2 million and still had no interest.

Although the top of other collectible auctions has seen lower prices, the drop is not as significant as being demonstrated with numismatics. It has become common for art to sell for over $1 million that it no longer makes the news. But few are selling at record prices.

Auction watchers are reporting that rare and scarce items are selling at 20-50 percent over their previous prices. Sports collectibles and other memorabilia are amongst the hottest collectibles. Simultaneously, these same watchers report that automobilia, pottery, and numismatics are not generating the same interest.

Analysts are not trying to explain why the market shifts noting that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected everything. One analyst wrote that some markets see the benefit of material once locked up in collections has surfaced to generate money for the sellers. The market has not kept pace. It is assumed that the buyers are not financially capable of purchasing at the prices being demanded.

It has become a cliché to call these “unprecedented times.” For the auction predictors, the pandemic’s effect has most trying to understand what it means for the markets. We will see if it carries into November when Stacks-Bowers tries to auction the Stickney-Eliasberg 1804 dollar.

And now the news…

 October 10, 2020
An exceedingly rare American coin up for auction turned out to be chump change.  → Read more at nydailynews.com

 October 11, 2020
Residents of Hosur in Tamil Nadu's Krishnagiri district were recently forced to learn a valuable lesson — All that glitters is not gold. On Friday evening, close to 4 pm, residents who were passing by Bagalur-Sarjapur road, suddenly noticed some coins glittering on the muddy sides off the main path.  → Read more at thenewsminute.com

 October 12, 2020
MIND-BLOWING photographs from the Royal Mint's archive give a rare look at its 1,100-year-long history. The images have been revealed by the government-owned mint to celebrate its first-ever coin released to commemorate itself.  → Read more at thesun.co.uk

 October 13, 2020
The Vatican City State Mint has issued a 10-euro silver coin depicting "Mother Earth" — an image designed for World Earth Day by Bergamo-born sculptor and engraver Luigi Oldani.  → Read more at churchmilitant.com

 October 17, 2020
The Royal Canadian Mint's silver collector coin celebrates an unexplained sighting in 1978 in Clarenville.  → Read more at cbc.ca

 October 17, 2020
Amid escalating demand for alternative investments, expert cites 5 key ways to determine if the historical rare coin asset class ‘fits’ your personal needs and overarching investment goals  → Read more at blackenterprise.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for October 4, 2020

New 2021 Britannia

The Royal Mint adds new security features for the 2021 Britannia

Even with the numismatic-related news picking up this week, the number of people that have written about buying counterfeit Silver Eagle coins has increased.

As much as I have written, tried to manipulate the search engine optimization (SEO) to get the word out, and dropped messages on social media, people continue to purchase counterfeit coins from China.

You cannot even trust the slabs sent by Chinese companies. A dealer who saw my post about purchasing coins that I suspected were counterfeit saw the picture of the slabs that were shipped. On closer examination, the slabs are the same as they use to counterfeit NGC slabs.

Last week PCGS announced they are adding a tag to their slabs that can help identify them electronically. The technology is called Near Field Communications (NFC). The technology creates contactless communications between a passive and an active device. In this case, the tag in the slab or currency holder is passive. There is no power in the passive tag but will respond to a special signal to transmit its data.

The active device sends the signal that causes the passive tag to respond. In this case, your smartphone can send the signal to and process what the passive tag sends. It is called Near Field Communications because the passive tag does not generate a strong signal, and the active device has to be close enough to hear what the tag has to say.

Using NFC is an interesting idea and, if implemented correctly, can add to the security of a slab. In the future, I will contact PCGS to discuss the security of the system they developed. Maybe I will dust off my old hacker’s hat and reverse engineer one of these tags. Very few electronic devices are unhackable. The idea is to make it as difficult as possible.

In the future, the technology that will help collectors protect themselves must be made publicly available. The current state of image processing and artificial intelligence can be used to examine a coin’s surface. Aside from its ability to grade the coin, it could tell the difference between a legitimate coin and a counterfeit that uses an aluminum alloy.

In addition to adding technology, the U.S. Mint should follow the leads of the Royal Canadian Mint and the Royal Mint to add security features to bullion coins. After all, David Ryder spoke about security during his confirmation hearing. Where is the progress on that?

And now the news…

 September 28, 2020
The European Commission is considering proposing a law to start phasing out the small 1 and 2 Eurocent coins, and round prices off to the nearest 5 cents. On Monday, the Commission opened a 15-week public consultation on the use of the small coins, during which both regular citizens and interested institutions are invited to share their opinions and suggestions on the issue.  → Read more at brusselstimes.com

 September 28, 2020
Doha: Since ancient times, coinage has played a significant role not only in the socio-economic aspect of civilisations as an instrument of business and trade but also in reflecting pivotal moments in a nation’s history.  → Read more at thepeninsulaqatar.com

 September 29, 2020
The Royal Mint has unveiled new gold bullion coins which can be authenticated as genuine by moving them in the light.  → Read more at belfasttelegraph.co.uk

 October 1, 2020
A Norwich jeweller has got people across the nation scratching their heads over his riddles which reveal where 49 special coins are hidden.  → Read more at edp24.co.uk

 October 2, 2020
Over time, people and markets the world over have been able to establish that investing in precious metals is a great way to diversify your investment portfolio. Whether you’re talking about gold, silver, or platinum, there are a handful of ways to get started in owning precious metals.  → Read more at thecostaricanews.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for September 27, 2020

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.

Images courtesy of @potetodaze1129p on Twitter.

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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