Weekly World Numismatic News for Super Sunday, February 4, 2018

Super Bowl 52 Official 2-Tone Flip Coin
(Courtesy of the Highland Mint)

In 1966, discussions between the upstart American Football League and the National Football League led to the development of a championship game. The idea came from Kansas City Chief’s owner Lamar Hunt to have a single game to crown the championship during the five years it would take to merge the leagues.

The game was called the AFL-NFL World Championship Game and was first played in the Los Angeles Coliseum on January 15, 1967, between the NFL’s Green Bay Packers and the AFL’s Kansas City Chiefs. The game drew 61,846 in a stadium that held over 90,000 people. Halftime entertainment featured Al Hirt and the marching bands from the University of Arizona and Grambling State.

Green Bay, coached by the legendary Vince Lombardi, won the game 35-10. Bart Starr was the game’s MVP. Kansas City was not a bad team, coached by Hank Stram and led by quarterback Len Dawson. But the Packers were just that much better.

The game was broadcast by both NBC and CBS who charged $42,000 per 30-second commercial. It is estimated that the game was seen by more than 51 million people.

The first game to be officially branded as the Super Bowl was Super Bowl III played at the Orange Bowl in Miami. It was also the game that introduced us to significant pre-game hype when New York Jets Quarterback Joe Namath guaranteed a Jets victory over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts. The Colts were led by Coach Don Shula and the legendary Quarterback Johnny Unitas. The Jets’ 16-7 victory has been said to have accelerated the merger between the leagues.

Super Bowl LII will be held in Minneapolis, Minnesota, a nice city but not exactly a “hot” spot in February. U.S. Bank Stadium will be sold out to its capacity of 73,000 and should be seen by a national television audience of over 111 million people. It is estimated that another 30 million, including 4 million from Canada, will be watching around the world.

Advertisers are paying $7.7 million per 30-seconds for their commercials. Adjusting for inflation ($42,000 in 1967 would be the same as $314,711 today), it is costing advertisers almost 24½-times more than the first AFL-NFL World Championship Game. Although the production of the commercials has been a big deal, the gauntlet was thrown down in 1979 when Coca-Cola aired “Hey kid, Catch” starring Pittsburgh Steelers Defensive Tackle “Mean” Joe Greene. If you have not seen it or want to see it again, you can watch it at https://youtu.be/xffOCZYX6F8.

Super Bowl LII marks the 25th year that the Highland Mint of Melbourne, Florida will be striking the medal used in the coin toss. Prior to the making of the official coin, each game either used a coin of their choosing or the host city created their own medal. Of course, the NFL could not pass up a marketing opportunity and has decided to control the process.

After the game, the coin used for the coin toss is sent to the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio. If there is an overtime game, as there was for Super Bowl LI, the same coin is used as the pre-game coin toss.

The official coin “is carefully struck of fine silver plate and selectively flash plated with 24kt gold,” according to the Highland Mint. Each 1½-inch coin is individually numbered with a mintage limit of 10,000. Super Bowl fans and the fans of the winning team can order one directly from the Highland Mint.

And now the news…

 January 29, 2018

The Wilmington Symphony will premiere ‘The Dance of the Coin’ Feb. 3 at the CFCC Wilson Center. Handling coins is still a regular occurrence for many people. Writing this story served as a reminder that touching these artfully cast pieces of metal is as close as most of us ever come to touching history. → Read more at starnewsonline.com


 January 29, 2018

More than $50 million worth of gold bars, coins and dust that’s been described as the greatest lost treasure in U.S. history is about to make its public debut in California after sitting at the bottom of the ocean for more than 150 years. → Read more at foxnews.com


 January 29, 2018

The Royal Mint is set to honour four generations of the monarchy with a new coin depicting the Queen and three future kings. A new £5 coin will feature Her Majesty and her son the Prince of Wales, grandson the Duke of Cambridge and great-grandson Prince George. The historic coin will show their initials E, C, W and G, and three crowns. → Read more at standard.co.uk


 January 30, 2018

New culture of asking for change surfaced after VAT says Al Tayer → Read more at gulfnews.com


 January 30, 2018

Metal detectorists Paul Adams, 58, and Andy Sampson, 54, began dancing around a field in Suffolk, crying out in joy when they stumbled upon a handful of ancient coins potentially worth £250,000. → Read more at dailymail.co.uk


 February 1, 2018

The pool drains into a fountain called a “nymphaeon”—the first such structure found in Israel.  → Read more at newsweek.com


 February 1, 2018

The US Mint recently began accepting mutilated coins from scrap recyclers after a 2 year hiatus while it investigated an alleged massive Chinese coin fraud operation. → Read more at motherboard.vice.com


 February 1, 2018

While many countries are winding down use of physical money in favour of card and app payments, Germans are stubbornly clinging to the clink of coins and rustle of banknotes. → Read more at gulf-times.com


 February 2, 2018

Dubai resident explains his fascination with coins and the story behind his collection → Read more at gulfnews.com


 February 3, 2018

A new 50p coin will be in circulation this year to mark 100 years since women first got the vote. → Read more at bbc.com


 February 3, 2018

One of the most important pieces of the Super Bowl has a Florida connection. Going inside the factory making the official game coin. → Read more at firstcoastnews.com

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January 2018 Numismatic Legislation Review

Numismatically, the legislative news of the month is the hold placed on David Ryder’s nomination by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in what amounts to a hissy fit over the Department of the Treasury not answering his inquiries. The problem is that to Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, it does not matter.

Currently, David Motl is the Acting Deputy Director and the highest-ranking official at the U.S. Mint. Providing department oversight of the U.S. Mint is Treasurer of the United States Jovita Carranza, who has been in office since June 19, 2017. From Mnuchin’s perspective, there is no urgency to have a permanent director when there are two people doing the job.

A source tells me that there is a strange dynamic between Mnuchin and Congress. While he seems to get along with members of the Senate Banking Committee, there are strains in relationships with other members including Grassley, who is the Chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee. One source suggested that Mnuchin may feel that he does not have to answer to the Judiciary Committee since the Banking Committee has more direct oversight of Treasury.

Regardless of the issues, it is preventing Ryder’s nomination from moving forward.

H.R. 770: American Innovation $1 Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. James A. Himes (D-CT)
Introduced: January 31, 2017
Summary: This bill directs the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue “American Innovation” $1 coins commemorating an innovation, an individual innovator or pioneer, or a group of innovators or pioneers from each state, each U.S. territory, and the District of Columbia. Treasury shall issue four coins per year, in alphabetical order by jurisdiction, until a coin has been issued for each jurisdiction.
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Jan 31, 2017
Mr. Duffy moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. — Jan 16, 2018
Considered under suspension of the rules. — Jan 16, 2018
DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 770. — Jan 16, 2018
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote. — Jan 16, 2018
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Jan 16, 2018
Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Jan 17, 2018
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-HR770.

PN1355: David J. Ryder — Department of the Treasury
Date Received from President: January 8, 2018
Summary: David J. Ryder, of New Jersey, to be Director of the Mint for a term of five years, vice Edmund C. Moy, resigned.
Received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Jan 8, 2018
Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Ordered to be reported favorably. — Jan 17, 2018
Reported by Senator Crapo, Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, without printed report. — Jan 17, 2018
Placed on Senate Executive Calendar. Calendar No. 596. Subject to nominee’s commitment to respond to requests to appear and testify before any duly constituted committee of the Senate. — Jan 17, 2018
This nomination can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-PN1355.

Weekly World Numismatic News for January 28, 2018

I wanted to keep this week to writing more about numismatics than commenting on something going on. Unfortunately, that changed with an alert showing up in the Federal Register that the David Ryder nomination is on hold. That put a funk on the week.

During the week I was able to pick up something for my collection and find a few cool banknotes. That helped pick me up for the week. Adding to my collection is always fun and learning is essential to keeping the mind sharp.

There was a lot of news this week. I was able to whittle the number of interesting stories down to 11. It is compelling to see how numismatics is seen from the non-numismatic media.

There was also a lot of news from the numismatic industry including the announcement of the passing of Ed Rochette. A sad loss for the community.

If you want to keep up with some of the announcements from the community, you can watch the Coin Collectors News site, the sister site to the blog. You can watch the news directly on the site, from the “Recent News” widget on the sidebar, subscribe to the RSS feed , or subscribe to receive notices by email. If there is news, you will only see one email per day.

And now the news….

 January 22, 2018

TEHRAN, Jan. 22 (MNA) – Police officials in Iranian northern city of Qa’emshahr arrested three antique smugglers who were illegally trafficking 299 antique coins of Sassanid era. → Read more at en.mehrnews.com


 January 23, 2018

Former landscape architect Ben Huang started his coin cufflink company Patinova after noticing a gap in the market. His jewellery has taken off and he’s branching out into other Chinese-themed accessories → Read more at scmp.com


 January 24, 2018

Russia now has a coin commemorating the iconic Russian musician, actor, and poet Vladimir Vysotsky, who would be 80 years old on January 25 if he were still alive. → Read more at rferl.org


 January 25, 2018

Business briefs from the Daily Pilot newspaper. → Read more at latimes.com


 January 25, 2018

A first look at the new R5 coin celebrating the centenary of Nelson Mandela’s birth → Read more at brandsouthafrica.com


 January 25, 2018

A vast selection of coins and medals is on display at the National Numismatic Exhibition, opened earlier this week at the National Museum of Archaeology in Valletta. It is being presented by Heritage Malta. “This valuable collection shows us and reminds us of our country’s eventful and rich past,… → Read more at timesofmalta.com


 January 26, 2018

PJ police have managed to recover a unique Roman coin that was stolen from a religious sanctuary in Alijó, Vila Real, Northern Portugal, over 30 years ago in 1985. → Read more at theportugalnews.com


 January 26, 2018

The tourist attraction lets you 'strike your own coin' → Read more at walesonline.co.uk


 January 26, 2018

Melbourne company Highland Mint continues to flip out over its role in Super Bowl — making the *the* Super Bowl coin that decides who gets the ball first. → Read more at floridatoday.com


 January 26, 2018

A stash of gold coins is latest clue that shipwreck 40 miles off NC is that of the steamship Pulaski. → Read more at charlotteobserver.com


 January 26, 2018

One man spent £150,000 on the coins – which are now worth no more than £50,000 → Read more at nottinghampost.com

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Ryder nomination on hold

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA)

On Friday, January 19, 2018, rather than working to prevent the shutdown of the government, Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) took to the floor of the Senate and delivered a message that he intends to object to the proceeding to the nomination of David Ryder to be the next Director of the U.S. Mint.

According to the notice filed in the Congressional Record:

Mr. President, I intend to object to any unanimous
consent request at the present time relating to the nomination of David J. Ryder, of New Jersey, to be Director of the Mint, PN1355 .

I will object because the Department of the Treasury has failed to respond to a letter I sent on September 29, 2017, to a bureau within the Department seeking documents relevant to an ongoing investigation by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary. Despite several phone calls between committee staff and Treasury personnel to prioritize particular requests within that letter, the Treasury Department has to date failed to provide any documents.

My objection is not intended to question the credentials of Mr. Ryder in any way. However, the Department must recognize that it has an ongoing obligation to respond to congressional inquiries in a timely and reasonable manner.

Charles E. Grassley is a seven-term Republican Senator from Iowa. Grassley has a history of abusing the Department of the Treasury to make it look like he’s doing something to keep his seat in the Senate. It is common for Grassley to have something to complain about without substance regardless of the ramifications of his actions.

In the meantime, the U.S. Mint remains without a permanent director while Grassley has his hissy fit.

PN1355: David J. Ryder — Department of the Treasury
Date Received from President: January 8, 2018
Summary: David J. Ryder, of New Jersey, to be Director of the Mint for a term of five years, vice Edmund C. Moy, resigned.
Received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Jan 8, 2018
Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. Ordered to be reported favorably. — Jan 17, 2018
Reported by Senator Crapo, Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, without printed report. — Jan 17, 2018
Placed on Senate Executive Calendar. Calendar No. 596. Subject to nominee’s commitment to respond to requests to appear and testify before any duly constituted committee of the Senate. — Jan 17, 2018
This nomination can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-PN1355.
† If you look at Grassley’s record, he has a record of making outlandish claims and using his office against Treasury bureaus regardless of the party in the White House. In 2005, I was involved with a Treasury bureau forced to a hearing in the Senate. Even though the evidence showed the contractor was clearly derelict in the performance of their contract, Grassley did everything except put on knee pads in deference to the contractor. Outside of the hearing room, I had a confrontation with one of his staffers and offered to supply the knee pads so that Grassley could complete the job. Since that hearing, I have held Grassley in contempt for being a bully and not a representative of the interests of his constituents in Iowa.

Weekly World Numismatic News for January 21, 2018

One of the more interesting news items is that the Royal Canadian Mint is suing the Royal Australian Mint.

The Royal Canadian Mint alleges the Royal Australian Mint infringed on its patents when creating the 2012 Remembrance Day $2 coin.

Apparently, the Royal Canadian Mint alleges that the process used by the Royal Australian Mint to produce the 2012 $2 Remembrance Day Poppy coin used a process that was patented by the Royal Canadian Mint. The Royal Australian Mint says the process is substantially different that it does not infringe on the Royal Canadian Mint’s intellectual property.

Reports state that the two sides have tried to discuss the matter over the last two years. When no agreement had been reached, the Royal Canadian Mint decided to sue for relief. The Royal Canadian Mint is demanding that Australia hand over all 500,000 of the Remembrance Day coins struck or “destroyed under supervision.”

Since the Royal Canadian Mint is a crown corporation, it is an independent entity of the Canadian government. It has its own corporate and governance structure mandated by law. For those in the United States, it is similar to the relationship that Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac have with the United States government. On the other hand, the Royal Australian Mint is an agency in the Australian government in the same manner that the U.S. Mint is an agency in the United States government. Therefore, the Royal Canadian Mint is suing the Commonwealth of Australia.

“The applicant has suffered, and will continue to suffer, loss and damage by reason of the acts of the respondent pleaded above,” the statement of claim filed by the Royal Canadian Mint reads. Really? The Royal Canadian Mint has suffered because the Royal Australian Mint created a coin with a colored poppy for sale and distribution in Australia?

If the Royal Australian Mint infringed on the Royal Canadian Mint patent then there may be a case for relief owed for using the technology. But if the Royal Canadian Mint is trying to make a case based on the suffering of damages from sales of circulating versus commemorative coins, I think that the Royal Canadian Mint may be royally going in the wrong direction.

And now the news…

 January 15, 2018

“At a time when our national debt is over $20 trillion, it is more and more difficult to find money for important things like cancer research,” – Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney. → Read more at womensenews.org


 January 17, 2018

Online dealer sold 30kg of gold Tuesday, worth more than $1m Bitcoin tumbles below $10,000 for first time since December Amid the wild Bitcoin ride that’s wiped more than 40 percent off the cryptocurrency’s price in a month, a pattern may be emerging: sellers are switching out of digital gold and into the real thing. → Read more at bloomberg.com


 January 17, 2018

Gold’s liquidity and stability have made it an attractive option for investors in recent years. There are many ways to invest in gold. Investopedia lists gold futures, investing in old companies, gold EFTs, gold mutual funds, gold bullion, gold jewelry, and, of course, gold coins. → Read more at newsmax.com


 January 17, 2018

After more than a year, visitors to the Nevada State Museum can watch the museum's historic Coin Press No. 1 carry on a mission it started nearly 150 year ago in the same building. The venerable press — which churned out millions of dollars in silver and gold coins during stints at U.S. → Read more at nevadaappeal.com


 January 18, 2018

OTTAWA — The Royal Canadian Mint is suing its Australian counterpart over the way it prints red poppies on its commemorative Remembrance Day coins. Documents filed in Australia’s Federal Court in December allege The Royal Australian Mint used without permission a printing method patented by the Canadian mint — which is now demanding that Australia’s 500,000 commemorative $2 coins, in circulation since 2012, either be turned over to them or “destroy(ed) under supervision.” → Read more at nationalpost.com

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Image courtesy of the Royal Australian Mint and had to be downloaded from Internet archives since it was deleted from their website.

Money manufacturing continues during a shutdown

The last time the government shutdown, because Congress did not do their job, was on September 30, 2013. Over the weekend, the major impact will be the recreational-based activities including the National Parks and the Smithsonian Museums—although many of these agencies will remain mostly open using what is called “carry-over funding” which are services whose bills are paid but the agencies are owed the services. It is an accounting trick that can help some agencies up to 72-hours during a shutdown depending on the amount of money and to whom it is paid.

Thankfully, the Washington, D.C. government will pick up the trash and provide basic cleanup services on the National Mall and other areas that would normally be taken care of by the National Parks Service.

Should the shutdown last through Monday, both the U.S. Mint and Bureau of Engraving and Printing will be operational. Both organizations are funded from their profits (seigniorage) which is held in their respective Public Enterprise Funds. The only responsibility that Congress has in their funding is to authorize the spending of the money. That authorization is not impacted by the shutdown because these are not (technically) taxpayer funds.

Since the U.S. Mint and Bureau of Engraving and Printing are self-funded, they are also not subject to the debt ceiling issues.

Although the U.S. Mint and Bureau of Engraving and Printing has not made a formal announcement, it is likely that facility tours will be suspended during the shutdown. This is because the security personnel are Treasury employees and not direct employees of the bureaus. Some will be designated as “essential personnel” and continue to work to help maintain security at all U.S. Mint and Bureau of Engraving and Printing facilities.

Security for the Bullion Depository at Fort Knox, Kentucky will not be impacted by the shutdown.

Since the Federal Reserve is an independent organization and not subject to congressional appropriations, they will remain open during a shutdown. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) will probably also remain open. OCC is funded by the Federal Reserve to help regulate banks.

All independent government organizations not subject to congressional appropriations will continue to operate including the United States Postal Service.

Representatives of these agencies may contact me to provide additional information. Government employees who work for these agencies that want to provide additional information may also contact me. Please note that I do respect the confidentiality of all sources!

NOTE: Although I no longer work as a contractor to the federal government, my views on the government have changed only in my level of disgust with their practices. I am not a member of any political party. I am a supporter of government employees who makes up a very dedicated workforce and do not deserve the way they are treated by elected and appointed officials.

Image courtesy of Adam Bitely at NetRightDaily.

U.S. Mint to resume Mutilated Coin Redemption Program

Coins found in the recycling stream.

Starting on January 19, 2018, the U.S. Mint will be resuming the Mutilated Coin Redemption program. The program was suspended in December 2015 when the government alleged that a company in New Jersey was importing counterfeit coins from China to redeem as mutilated coins. Formal charges were brought against the persons involved in March 2016 and the U.S. Mint extended the suspension indefinitely in May 2016.

The recycling industry has complained to the Department of the Treasury and their members of Congress over the U.S. Mint’s inaction with providing new rules to restart the program. After publishing two draft rules and making adjustments based on the comments, the Final Rule was published in the Federal Register (82 FR 60309) on December 11, 2017.

The Final Rule that makes adjustments to the regulations for “Exchange of Paper Currency and Coin” (31 CFR Part 100 Subpart C) in order to add additional clarity and oversight to the process. This includes depositing worn or heavily scratch coins in a bank or other authorized depository. Bulk submission over one pound must be separated by denomination and must be identifiable. Each denomination is considered one submission and must be over one pound (e.g., one pound of nickels and one pound of dimes and one pound of quarters, etc.). Dollar coins also have to be separated by type (e.g., Eisenhower, Sacagawea, Presidential, etc.). The updated program restricts the redemption of fused, unsorted, and unidentifiable coins. Coins made of gold and silver are not accepted as part of this program.

Those needing more detailed information should consult the “Mutilated Coin Redemption Program” webpage on the U.S. Mint website (see http://bit.ly/Mutilated-Coin).

Image courtesy of Recycling International.

Weekly World Numismatic News for January 14, 2018

One of my favorite quotes is from philosopher, essayist, poet, and novelist George Santayana who wrote, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” I was reminded about this quote while reading the news and stumbling over a story “Stamp Out the Sexist Legacy of the Dollar Coin” by Addison Nugent.

The Susan B. Anthony dollar coin was introduced in 1979 with much fanfare for being the first coin to honor a woman. The coin was a failure because it was confused with a quarter

Ms. Nugent, who revealed that she is distantly related to suffragette Susan B. Anthony, laments the lack of women on United States coins and currency. She rightly points out that Susan B. Anthony was “the first nonfictional woman to grace the face of the dollar coin” only to complain later that the coin was removed later.

Nugent complains that the design of the coins and the fact that they use the visage of a female as the reason these dollar coins have not been successful. What Nugent failed to do is learn from history and the facts.

The failure of the Susan B. Anthony dollar was not because the coin depicted a woman or was called the “Agony Dollars” (I had never heard this term before reading the article). The coin failed because of the decision to make it too close to the size to the Washington quarter, had reeded edges like the Washington quarter, and on a simple glance was consistently confused with the Washington quarter. The confusion made the coin very unpopular in the United States but continues to find usage in other countries whose currency is based on the U.S. dollar.

The unveiling of the Sacagawea Dollar design at the White House with (L-R) First Lady Hillary Clinton, Sacagawea Model Randy’L He-dow Teton, and Designer Glenna Goodacre.

When it came time for Congress to recognize the failure of the Susan B. Anthony Dollar, Congress approved a new design and went out of their way to select another historic woman to feature on the coin. After several suggestions, Sacagawea, the Shoshone guide of the Lewis and Clark expedition, was eventually chosen to appear on a coin that was to be golden in color and a smooth edge. When the designs were reviewed, Treasury picked Glenna Goodacre’s design with the profile of Sacagawea in three-quarter view and her infant son, Jean Baptiste Charbonneau, carried on her back. It is considered one of the best circulating coin designs of the modern era.

Nugent then wrongly notes that “Sacagawea coins were pulled from circulation from 2002-2008 and from 2012 onward.” I do not know where she gets her facts from, but the reality is that the U.S. Mint, Department of the Treasury, and Federal Reserve does not recall paper currency or coins from circulation. What happens is that when there is no demand for a coin the Federal Reserve stops ordering them from the U.S. Mint.

The reason that the dollar coin does not circulate is not that it depicts a woman. The dollar coin does not circulate because the public has chosen paper over a coin. Even though studies have shown that the public can adopt and that there would be a savings to the government if the paper dollar was no longer printed (see the Government Accountability report GAO-13-164T), Congress does not have the intestinal fortitude to eliminate the paper dollar.

To add insult to the facts, Nugent does not take into consideration that the Sacagawea dollar was changed starting in 2009 to the Native American $1 Coin Program. While Sacagawea continues to appear on the obverse, the reverse honors Native American history. The last I looked the Native American population has undergone a significant negative history in the United States.

Another fact that Nugent does not acknowledge is that even though the U.S. Mint does not produce these coins for circulation they are produced for the collector market. In addition to being included in mint and proof sets, there have been special sets created with Native American coin honoring their accomplishments. Aside from being able to purchase these coins at face value in any U.S. Mint and Bureau of Engraving and Printing facility open to the public, you can also go to any bank and request they obtain a roll for you from the Federal Reserve.

Series 1886 $1 Silver Certificate featuring Martha Washington (Fr #217)

Nugent’s complaints also do not consider the appearance of women and minorities on commemorative coins or that the first woman to appear on circulating currency was Martha Washington. Our first First Lady’s portrait appeared on the $1 Silver Certificate between 1891 and 1896.

Although I agree with Nugent that United States coins and currency should be more diverse and I am in favor of removing Andrew Jackson, who was responsible for the Trail of Tears, from the $20 note, it is difficult to side with any argument whose purpose is based on factual errors.

And now the news…

 January 7, 2018

Popular online magazine Atlas Obscura recently became the latest to probe the question of how an 11th century Viking penny came to rest on the coast of Maine. In the decades since the 1957 discovery by amateur archaeologists, it’s been denounced as a hoax, validated by scholars, denounced as a hoax again and — as recently as this past November — validated by scholars again. → Read more at thinkmaine.bangordailynews.com


 January 8, 2018

A similar coin sold for more than £4,000 in a 2011 auction, but Jason has gone down the correct route of declaring it as treasure → Read more at plymouthherald.co.uk


 January 8, 2018

The U.S. dollar coin has been the only American currency to regularly feature women. With these leading ladies now ousted, it's time to toss the coin. → Read more at ozy.com


 January 8, 2018

The United Kingdom’s round pound coin will no longer be accepted as a form of payment for services and retail purchases in shops after February 28. → Read more at iomtoday.co.im


 January 8, 2018

When Eric Lawes set off for a field in Hoxne village, Suffolk on November 16, 1992, it wasn’t on a treasure hunt. The metal detector he’d received as a retirement gift was meant to find a hammer lost on the farmland. → Read more at smithsonianmag.com


 January 9, 2018

JAMES Grear started selling coins with his best mate Henry when they were just 18. The pair were fed up with working as labourers on a building site in Bristol earning up to £9 per hour and decided… → Read more at thesun.co.uk


 January 10, 2018

State Police are working to find the owners of a large bicentennial medallion coin. It was recovered months ago, but no one has stepped up to claim it. → Read more at mpnnow.com


 January 10, 2018

Colonial Williamsburg has acquired a rare and iconic Danish abolitionist medal that commemorates a royal edict to end the slave trade. The bronze medal was struck in 1792 and is one of only a handful known to exist, according to a Colonial Williamsburg Foundation press release. → Read more at wydaily.com


 January 10, 2018

By Baek Byung-yeul Organizers for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics unveiled a new limited coin set for the Winter Games, Wednesday. At the building of Poongsan Corporation in Seoul, the maker of the PyeongChang Olympics commemorative bill, the organizing committee made public the new package. → Read more at m.koreatimes.co.kr


 January 12, 2018

Grip the handle and turn the crank. Watch the roller turn. Wait for that clink, reach into the little door. → Read more at stltoday.com

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Update on Ryder Nomination

David J. Ryder at the hearing regarding his nomination to be the 39th Director of the U.S. Mint

As previously reported, the nomination of David J. Ryder to become the 39th Director of the U.S. Mint was returned to the President at the beginning of the second session of the 115th Congress. Under Senate Rules, the nomination neither confirmed nor rejected during the session can be returned on adjournment, unless the Senate agrees to allow the nomination to carry forward by unanimous consent or the majority leader makes the decision.

Apparently, Ryder’s nomination was returned to remove the hold placed by Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) in December. Grassley filed an intent to object to the nomination because “the Department of the Treasury has failed to respond to a letter I sent on September 29, 2017, to a bureau within the Department seeking documents relevant to an ongoing investigation by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.” Grassley said that the objection was not intended to question Ryder’s credentials but as a punitive action against the Department of the Treasury for not answering his committee’s inquiry.

Ryder’s nomination was resubmitted by the President on January 8, 2018 (PN1355). As required, it was referred to the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. It is likely to be passed out of committee without a hearing. However, that does not mean Grassley or any other senator would not put a hold on the nomination.

Your government at work.

PN1355: David J. Ryder — Department of the Treasury
Date Received from President: January 8, 2018
Summary: David J. Ryder, of New Jersey, to be Director of the Mint for a term of five years, vice Edmund C. Moy, resigned.
Received in the Senate and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Jan 8, 2019
This nomination can be tracked at http://bit.ly/115-PN1355.

Weekly World Numismatic News for January 7, 2018

Artwork courtesy of Dave Helwig

This is the space where I try to comment on something in the news that I found interesting. Like my update on December 3, 2017, my mind is elsewhere.

If you are a college football fan or happened to watch the Rose Bowl last Monday, my undergraduate alma mater, the Georgia Bulldogs played a thrilling game to beat the Oklahoma Sooners 54-48 in double overtime for the right to play in the National Championship game tomorrow. The last time Georgia played in the Rose Bowl, they were crowned the 1942 National Champions.

Seventy-five years later and 37 years after Georgia’s last National Championship (in the 1981 sUGAr Bowl where I was a member of the Redcoat Marching Band), it will be a battle of Southeastern Conference Titans: Alabama v. Georgia. Also known as the Teacher v. the Student since Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart was once the Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach under Alabama’s Nick Saban. Saban’s former assistants are 0-11 against their former boss. At some point, that streak has to end. Why not on Monday?!

Of course, my mood has been affected by Monday’s game. Even while working an antique’s show this weekend, which is why I am not in Tampa for the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Show, it has been a wild week—and sales have been very good. But I am waiting for the game. Monday night at 8:00 PM on ESPN.

For the coin toss (I have to include some sort of numismatic content), the referees used a silver coin with the logos of the schools on both sides. The coin looked like it was silver dollar size (at least 38mm) and in an AirTite or similar holder. There was no calling “heads or tails.” The logo that showed face up won the toss. For the pre-game and overtime coin tosses, Oklahoma won the toss. But that does not matter. I want one of those coins!

Video of 2018 Rose Bowl Coin Toss

Both the Rose Bowl site and the Highland Mint has what they call “dueling helmets” coins (yes, I know they are really medals). I want one of those silver coins like that was used for the coin toss. I sent a note to the people who run the Rose Bowl to ask how I can purchase one.

If you want to know what kind of mood I will be in on Tuesday, it will correspond to the outcome of the game!

HOW BOUT THEM DAWGS!

And now the news…

 December 31, 2017

The story of Dr Frankenstein and his cursed monster is celebrated in a new set of coins. A £2 issue will mark the 200-year anniversary of the novel by Mary Shelley which launched the modern horror genre. → Read more at mirror.co.uk


 January 2, 2018

Editor's Note: View Kitco News' full 2018 outlook coverage (Kitco News) – It was a tale of two markets for gold in 2017, as prices made their biggest gains since 2010, but U.S. Mint coin sales were the weakest in a decade. → Read more at kitco.com


 January 2, 2018

Norway minted its own coins during much of the Middle Ages. But the coins didn’t always impress outsiders or even the Norwegians themselves. NTNU Associate Professor Jon Anders Risvaag specializes in medieval coins. → Read more at sciencenordic.com


 January 3, 2018

Challenge coins mean different things to different troops. Senior enlisted and officers tend to place them on a desk to gloat to peers and the more junior troops slam them on the bar to see who’s buying the next round. → Read more at wearethemighty.com


 January 3, 2018

The Royal Mint has unveiled the designs of four new commemorative coins to be launched this year. Based on the sales values of previous issues, these could be attractive investments. Three of the coins commemorate the centenaries of major events and organisations that have helped shape Britain, including a £2 coin that marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice — the agreement that ended fighting between the Allies and Germany. → Read more at telegraph.co.uk

Coin Collectors News
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 HAPPY NEW YEAR 2018! (Jan 1, 2018)

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