Twelve years ago, when I went looking for numismatic information online, there were a few resources. The major numismatic publications had not fully embraced the online world and writing about numismatics strictly from the collector’s point of view was non-existent. I took a chance and started writing my own blog.
On October 29, 2005, I posted my first article on the Coin Collectors Blog. Back then it was hosted on Google’s Blogger service. While that was a good start, I found Blogger a bit limiting and moved to have it hosted by another company and changed the look-and-feel.
During that time I have also updated my collecting habits. In addition to the coins of the 20th century, I added Maryland colonial currency, the currency of the State of Israel, Canadian coins, and numismatic items associated with my hometown of New York City and specifically, Brooklyn.
1770 Maryland Colonial 6-dollar note
1774 Maryland colonial 2-dollar note
1774 Maryland Colonial 8-dollar note
1901 Dominion of Canada Large Cent reverse
2000-D New York quarter with Daniel Carr’s autograph on ICG label
2008 $2 Single Note from the New York Fed
New York City Type 2 Subway Token error. It’s missing the punched out “Y”
1983 Brooklyn Bridge Centennial Medal issued by Brooklyn Union Gas
Medal from the opening of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1883
50th Anniversary medal from the Inwood Country Club.
1938 Encased Cent from the First National Bank of Inwood (NY)
1949 Empire State Building Encased Cent announcing it as the “World’s Tallest Building,” which it was in 1949.
I have also picked up some other items that I just think are neat.
1973 Israel 4th Series Banknote — 50 NIS featuring portrait of Chaim Weismann
1973 Israel 4th Series Banknote — 10 NIS featuring portrait of Moshe Montifiori
2010 Somalia Sports Cars
Closeup of the elongated quarter that is part of the Maryland Token and Medal Society souvenir card.
University of Georgia Bicentennial Medal — HOW BOUT THEM DAWGS!
Pearl Harbor 65th Anniversary Set from the Honolulu Mint
2007 Somalia Motorcycle Coins
Bureau of Engraving and Printing 100 Years
2016 Canada Star Trek 25-cents Coin
And I have written a lot.
Over 1,540 articles later, I have written on everything from the one-cent coin to the 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles. I have written about the making of coins and currency to the government’s legal and policy roles in the process. I have called out the American Numismatic Association for its failures but have complimented them when deserved.
What I have found really special is you, my readers.
When I started I did not know how many people would be interested in reading the blog. Today, I can report that my logs show that there an average of 1,100 unique visitors to this blog every time something is posted—which does not include the number of times people or bots try to hack the blog!
Not every reader is from the United States. After the United States, the top five countries the logs show (in order) are Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, India, and Spain.
After the home page, the top read post is “How easy is it to pass counterfeit currency.” This seems to be a search engine favorite when people are looking to do nefarious deeds. But after that post, my information pages U.S. Coins by Type and Numismatic Dictionary (respectively) are the second and third most read pages. GREAT! I am glad it is a used resource!
I am humbled and honored that you take time out of your day to read what I write. I hope you enjoy reading the Coin Collectors Blog as much as I enjoy writing.
Thank you for being part of my 12-year journey. Now onto my next 12 years!
And now the news….
October 21, 2017
Sunlight barely reaches the depths of the cavernous, 5,000 sq ft warehouse space in Chai Wan where Dr Werner Burger and his Taiwanese-born wife, Tsai Yui-mei, who goes by the name Lucy, house seven tons of coins. → Read more at scmp.com
October 22, 2017
You’d be hard pressed to find anyone in our country who hasn’t been affected by breast cancer—more than 100 women die from this disease every single day. The unbearable toll is too much; it’s time to end breast cancer once and for all. → Read more at marieclaire.com
October 23, 2017
MOORESTOWN — Ted Brigante’s interest in coins began early. An owner of E&B Co. on West Main Street, Brigante grew up listening to his father weave tales of his own fascination with the pennies, dimes and dollars that might one day be worth more than their face value. → Read more at burlingtoncountytimes.com
October 23, 2017
Metal detectorists Reg Mead and Richard Miles unearthed the ancient trove, which contained around 74,000 coins, as well as gold and silver jewellery, in June 2012 in a field in Grouville, ending a 30-year search for the treasure. → Read more at jerseyeveningpost.com
October 24, 2017
A coin dating back to the construction of a historic North-east castle has been discovered. The 16th-century find was unearthed at Castle Fraser, near Inverurie, by a nine-year-old taking part in an archaeological dig, run by the National Trust for Scotland (NTS). → Read more at eveningexpress.co.uk
October 24, 2017
On October 23, in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Congressmember Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12) joined Breast Cancer Research Foundation (BCRF) President and CEO Myra Biblowit, BCRF Chief Mission Officer Dr. → Read more at qgazette.com
October 25, 2017
An American “doughboy” with a distinctive crooked nose will adorn a World War I Centennial Silver Dollar being released by the U.S. Mint to mark the hundredth anniversary of the war’s end. The design on the heads side of the coin, which goes on sale next year, is titled “Soldier’s Charge,” and depicts a stone-faced soldier gripping a rifle. → Read more at stripes.com
October 25, 2017
PHOTOS BY ADRIENNE SARVIS / THE SUMTER ITEM A large coil of copper, called a mondua, and a u-shaped piece of copper, called a manilla, were on display during the annual Sumter Coin Show on Saturday. The pieces were used as currency by Africans and Europeans during the time of the Atlantic slave trade. → Read more at theitem.com
October 25, 2017
In a rather remarkable discovery, Chinese archaeologists excavated nearly 300,000 pieces of ancient coins that weighed 5.6 tons. The ancient currency was found under a common residential home in Fuliang County located in the province of Jiangxi, China. → Read more at nextshark.com
October 26, 2017
British coin expert Roger F. Bland—stopping through the United States to accept a prestigious award for his study of coins—visited campus Thursday evening to detail the history of ancient coin-finding to a group of roughly 40 University affiliates at the Harvard Art Museums. → Read more at thecrimson.com
All coin images courtesy of the U.S. Mint.
In January, I reacted to the intent of one of the candidates announced to run for President of the American Numismatic Association. Since then, I learned there will be competition for that position. Last week, it was reported that Don Kagin will run for Vice President and the various numismatic outlets have been reporting on others interested in making a run for the ANA Board of Governors.
While reading the stories of the people who announced their intention of running for the Board of Governors, I have to admit that I do not recognize any of them. But that is great. It means that there are people who are working more on a local level to apply their knowledge nationally. It also means that there are new people to give the Board new life. I applaud those who have stepped up to run.
Since my missives about the ANA Board of Governors, I have heard from several members urging me to run. It is both humbling and an honor to hear from these members offering their support. Following a few conversations with past Board members and my family, I have decided not to run for the Board of Governors.
Although I remain committed to the mission of the ANA and would like to see the ANA expand to be more inclusive to every demographic other that old, white men, my decision is based simply on timing. I was presented with a business opportunity that will take a significant amount of my personal effort to launch, especially since the opportunity is based on my vision. It would not be possible start a business venture and appropriately serve the ANA at the same time.
Because of conflicts with my business venture, I will not be able to attend the National Money Show in March. This is too bad because I had a plan to use Mickey Mouse ears get attention and talk about the Board of Governors on the bourse floor!
For now, I will continue to serve on the Technical Committee as long as the President, Board, and the committee will allow me. I will also continue to write this blog and include any information and criticism necessary to further the mission of the ANA.
Although this post is not about the the 1980 hit by the Romantics or the sitcom that ran on The WB over 10 years ago, it is about you.
Websites keep these records for various reasons, especially if they are monetizing the views. Since I am not doing this to make money, I want to know what people are interested in reading or searching for. The statistics allow me to see how many people read the blog when I post or come from another link, like the results of a search. These statistics are not perfect because I refuse to add the extra taking items that would tell me if you were reading these posts from an online news aggregator or were sent the information via email. But they are better than other services while not exposing you to potential privacy issues.
Looking at the statistics kept by the new software has been interesting. Let me tell you what I have learned:
- You do read! And I really THANK YOU for being a reader. Based on the statistics 85-percent of the regular readers will read a new post within 3-days of its posting or by Monday if posted on a weekend. I am going to keep posting when I can and not try to target a date or time.
- The most popular day is Wednesday. For some reason, more people read on Wednesday than any other day.
- Although the vast majority of you are from the United States, the Top Five other countries (in descending order) are Germany, Canada, United Kingdom, India, and Spain. Readers have been identified from being from all over the world in many places. There are too many to mention but I find the list fascinating.
- After the Home Page the most popular page is U.S. Coins by Type, a page that provides a list of every legal tender coin produced by the U.S. Mint including planned future issues.
- The most popular post is “No, it wasn’t a double-strike” when quickly looking at my pocket change, I thought the 2013 Mount Rushmore quarter was a double strike. Since I have not beeb paying attention to the striking process, I was not aware of the coins’s design. I thought it was funny but one commenter did not see it that way!
- The second most popular post and the most popular over the last six weeks is “How easy is it to pass counterfeit currency.” The post is about a lesson in using iodine pens versus the security features that Bureau of Engraving and Printing adds to every note it produces. Embedded in the post is a story from the television show Dateline showing the basics but leaving out some critical details.
- Readers come here from Google, Yahoo, and Bing searches. However, after Google, the most people come from Twitter to read the posts. Although it is difficult to identify the search terms that has lead readers to the blog, the top three terms are “us mint news,” “coin blog,” and “2013 mount rushmore quarter error.” The most interesting search term identified had to be “the “a” was key to identifying the mint city. in principle coins of the greeks (1932), h.” I am not sure what it means! If you know, add it as a comment below.
- Finally, you seem to like my pictures as opposed to pictures I embed from other websites. Most of these pictures are the images that I have taken of coins, events, or anything else that may come up. I will try to see if I can find more unique images to write about.
After nearly 11 years and over 1,300 posts, not only am I happy to have you as a reader, but I want to keep going. I appreciate the support over the years and welcome new readers. If there is a topic you would like to see covered, please add it as a comment or send a note.
Just for fun, here are the Romantics and “What I like about you:”
Although this is not numismatic-related, I thought my readers would like a different type of collectible diversion.
Today I will be attending the taping of Antiques Roadshow in Virginia Beach, Virginia. As a fan of the show, I am fascinated by the vintage and antique items people find, the stories behind them, and what they end up being worth. Of course they pick out the best stories and phenomenal values to feature on the broadcast, but one can only hope.
Although Antiques Roadshow does not appraise coins and currency, they would appraise medals, military awards, and even old stock certificates that were signed by famous business leaders. Unfortunately, I do not have any of those items to appraise. Since we are only allowed to bring two items to appraise, I am bringing the following:
Show poster from October 9-10, 1972 at Grand Valley State College
Swiss-made music box from the 1920s plays 6 arias
Inside the 1920s Swiss-made music box
The poster from Grand Valley State College (now Grand Valley State University) is from a pair of 1972 shows by humorists Dick Gregory and Mort Sahl. It was hung on campus and not made to last. I have not seen another like and and the only listing of it online is in the university’s library. This was picked at an estate sale for $10.00.
The music box is Swiss made and there is a faint hallmark that can be seen on the mechanism that suggests it was made around 1922. The motor works well and all of the teeth are attached and play loudly. The interesting thing about this music box is that it plays six 30-second arias. When it reaches the end of an aria, the mechanical mechanism will move the drum over to play the next one. After the sixth aria it will move the drum back to the first position. This was an auction buy which I forgot what I paid.
If you want to following along, you can follow the various social media outlets for my business Having-Fun Collectibles—after all, it is not numismatics.
It is common for people to use the hashtag #antiquesroadshow on all of these sites. I hope to remember to use this tag.
Have a good weekend!
Sometime in 2005 I began to search the Internet for information about coins. The two major publications, Coin World and Numismatic News, were not quite fully engaged online at that time. There were other online services but there was not something that would be the voice of a collector. Chat boards are nice but they are fractured. I wanted to have a conversation with the community.
Although I have a technical background, I did not know how to create and run a blog. After doing some research I discovered Blogger, Google’s blogging platform. After playing with the administration and learning how to create a blog post, I wrote my first post on October 29, 2005.
In my first post, I said that the coins I like include “Adolph A. Weinman’s Walking Liberty Half-Dollar and Liberty Head “Mercury” Dime, James Earl Fraser’s Buffalo Nickel, Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ $20 Double Eagle, and Bela Lyon Pratt $5 Half-Eagle.” Not much has changed except for my interest in exonumia, especially those pieces with ties to New York City, and the addition of Canadian coins to my collection
The blog has changed, or I would like to think it has evolved over the years. The biggest change was moving away from Blogger to my own domain. As part of the move I decided to create a logo using the allegedly non-existent 1964-D Peace Dollar, and I now participate social media specifically Twitter and Pinterest. What has not changed is the amazed and humbling experience I feel when I look at the server logs to see that more than 1,000 people read my posts—even with the recent slowdown in writing.
To all my readers, past, present and future, THANK YOU for being part of my numismatic adventure!
Stay tune… more to come!
The Maryland State Numismatic Association held its annual meeting on Saturday, November 9, 2013 during the Whitman Expo at the Baltimore Convention Center. Following the meeting, the new officers were inaugurated for 2014. Receiving the gavel of the presidency was your favorite coin blogger.
While I would like to say that it was a tough race, I was nominated because I was the previous vice president and elected by a unanimous vote of five people. Truth be told, I forgot to vote! In either case, I accept the honor and trust of the MSNA and hope to expand the organization’s outreach. My first duty will fix the MSNA website that “broke” when my template stopped working properly with the underlining content management system. I hope to fix it by the end of the month.
I do plan to reach out to the member clubs to expand the work of MSNA throughout the state and hopefully grow numismatic participation. We also have a Young Numismatist fund earmarked for a yet to be determined program. If we come up with something good, I will share it with everyone so we can help other numismatic organizations grow.
2014 President Scott Barman accepts the MSNA gavel from outgoing president Frank Murphy
2014 MSNA Officers (L-R): Secretary Bryce Doxon, President Scott Barman, Vice President Jack Schadegg, and Treasurer Simcha Kuritzky
If you like my tie (click on one of the images to see a larger version) you can buy your own version on Zazzle. Those who have seen me at the last few show have seen the tie. It gets quite a reaction. If you buy the tie, $5 will be added to the MSNA YN fund I spoke about earlier.
Twelve years ago, I was a few miles away from the Pentagon when a plane crashed into its side. I remember driving to work hearing about the plan crashes in New York originally thinking that what I predicted many years ago finally came true, a small plane crashed into the World Trade Center. The reports turned grim as I kept driving toward my office.
When I arrived, I sat in the car a while listening to the radio and trying to call friends I knew who worked in lower Manhattan. I remember one was working in the World Financial Center across the street from the Twin Towers. I later found out that he had taken a job on the other side of the river in New Jersey a year earlier.
Another friend was working in 6 WTC, a 40 story building next to 2 WTC or Tower 2. Thankfully, he and his coworkers were able to escape before the second tower collapsed onto that building.
Just after the plane crashed into the Pentagon we were sent home.
I came home to the empty house my late first wife and I bought. She had died five months earlier and this time, the quiet of the house was deafening. I tuned on the television just before the second tower collapsed.
Although it was twelve years ago, I remember the day like it happened yesterday. Those who were around when President Kennedy was assassinated say the same thing about that day. It is difficult to forget these traumatic events, which is good. We should not only remember them but remember what happened after in order to do better next time. We need to learn from history rather than repeat it.
September 11 National Medal obverse features Lady Liberty holding the Lamp of Remembrance. Behind her are beacons of light stretching skyward. Liberty, the lamp and the light symbolize not just the immeasurable loss on that fateful day, but also the resiliency and triumph of those who persevered. The inscriptions are ALWAYS REMEMBER and 2001–2011.
Designer: Donna Weaver
Engraver: Phebe Hemphill
September 11 National Medal reverse depicts an eagle, symbolizing the strength of the survivors, families and Nation, against a backdrop of cascading water. The flowing water is emblematic of peace, serenity, healing and the continuity of life. The inscriptions are HONOR and HOPE.
Designer: Donna Weaver
Engraver: Joseph Menna
Medal images and descriptions courtesy of the U.S. Mint.
Last year I reviewed The Official 2013 Blackbook Price Guide to United States Coins I received as an e-book from the publisher. In that review I was surprised as to the quality information that was in the book including articles that were written by numismatists sharing their expertise with the collecting public. Unfortunately, some of the information seemed dated and needed updating. Apparently the editors agreed and worked to update information.
Based on the review, the editors turned to a numismatist whose experience with computers, the Internet, and writing for the collector who could add the information about using technology to enhance the collecting experience.
This is where your favorite blogger enters the picture.
The Official 2014 Blackbook Price Guide to United States Coins has an new chapter, “Using Technology to Enhance Your Collecting Experience.” Written in plain language for the collector, the chapter discusses what numismatic-related resources are online.
The chapter opens with a brief history of how computers and the Internet has advanced my collecting experiences. This includes a brief history of the Internet from its birth as ARPAnet through the invention of the birth of the World Wide Web and the services we now take for granted. I wrote it so that when you hear something Internet and web history in the news you have the background to understand why it is important.
Following the introduction are sections that helps you find the information you want online. These sections are titled:
- Online Price Guides
- News and Blogs
- Mobile Computing
- Social Media
- Buying and Selling Online
- Auctions (Established auction houses and their online options)
- Looking into the Future
- Your Security Online
If nothing else, the section “Your Security Online” may be worth the price of the book. It is something I have written in many forms, in many places, and have lectured about locally. These are general awareness tips that everyone should follow.
To their credit, the editors Mark Hudgeons, Tom Hudgeons Jr., and Tom Hudgeons Sr. read my review and updated the 52nd Edition of The Blackbook to address many of my concerns outside of my chapter. It is a better reference than in the past and worthy of a place in your numismatic library!
Autographs For Education
After autographing my first copy of the book I decided that rather than give away my autograph I want to use it to help raise money for numismatic education. For every autograph, I am asking for a minimum donation of $25 to the American Numismatic Association Florence Schook School of Numismatics to be used to further all numismatic education.
You can either mail the check yourself to the ANA and show me that you donated or give me the check and I will mail all of them together. Checks given to me should be made payable to the “American Numismatic Association” (NOT ME!) with a note on the memo line saying “For The Florence Schook School of Numismatics.”
For your donation, I will autograph the first page of my article above the title and give you recognition here on the blog. Since the ANA is a not-for-profit organization, your donations are tax deductible to maximum allowed by law.
One way to find out where I will be is to follow me here on the blog since I usually announce when I am going to a show. For planning purposes, I will attend the Virginia Numismatic Association Show on Saturday, September 28; the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists show during October 24-26 (my attendance dates TBD) in Monroeville (a suburb of Pittsburgh); and the Whitman Baltimore Expo on Saturday, November 9. I might attend the Wall Street Coin, Currency and Collectibles Show in October if I can resolve a scheduling conflict.
Of course scheduling conflicts do arise, but let me know you if you will be looking for me at a show.
Collectors of paper money, world coins, and stamps will be happy to know that the chapter will be adopted for the Blackbook covering those areas in 2015. I will also update the the current chapter since the online world has changed a little since it was written (e.g., Google shutdown the Reader service).
Book cover image courtesy of Random House.
Come on, Baby don’t you wanna go
Hidehey, baby don’t you wanna go
Back to that same old place
Sweet home Chicago
Few things make me happier than music. I have been listening and playing music since I was young and learned to play the clarinet in elementary school. This was before I learned about collecting coins. As I get ready to fly to Chicago for this year’s World’s Fair of Money I keep hearing the Blues Brothers singing “Sweet Home Chicago!”
I don’t care what the critics say, the Blue Brothers
is one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies!
While you have image of Jake and Elwood Blues dancing on the stage at the Palace Hotel with the Chicago Police and the Good Ol’ Boys looking for justice and revenge, I am on my way to the Windy City to join other American Numismatic Association members in this year’s convention.
Over the next few days, I will be tweeting from the convention center. You can either follow @coinsblog on Twitter or use the widget on the right side of this page. I will also be adding pictures to Pinterest on the board I set up for this show. I will also try to provide a daily update here.
In the mean time, did you know that Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the designer of the last $20 gold double eagle and $10 eagle coins made for circulation also created statues that are in Chicago?
Abraham Lincoln Monument by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in Lincoln Park, Chicago
(Credit: Public Art in Chicago)
General John Logan Memorial by Augustus Saint-Gaudens in Grant Park, Chicago
(Credit: Public Art in Chicago)
Stay tuned for reports from Chicago!
- Chicago collage is the box cover of the “Sweet Home Chicago” puzzle from Buffalo Games.
- Clip from the Blues Brothers is probably copyrighted by someone but it’s on YouTube and now linked here.
- Images of the statues by Augustus Saint Gaudens from the blog Public Art in Chicago.
Series 1934 $1000 Federal Reserve Note
It is written as a one followed by three zeros.
In scientific notation it is written as 1 × 10³.
In the metric system, kilo- is the prefix for 1,000 of something like a kilogram is 1,000 grams or a kilometer is 1,000 meters.
A millennium is one thousand years.
One thousand days ago from today (April 14, 2013, the day this is posted) was Monday, July 19, 2010.
One thousand days from today will be Saturday, January 9, 2016. I wonder if it will snow?
“Grand” is slang for one thousand and Grover Cleveland appeared on the last one grand note produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
In Roman Numerals, one thousand is represented as “M.”
For the computer geeks, one thousand can be written as 1111101000 in binary, 01750 in octal (base 8), and 0x3E8 in hexadecimal (base 16).
If “A picture is worth a thousand words,” then what would one thousand blog posts be worth? You are reading what I never thought would occur. This is the one thousandth post to the Coin Collectors Blog!
When I started this blog on October 29, 2005, there were few websites for coin collectors. Back then, the numismatic publications were barely online and mostly as a place to subscribe to their print editions. Since starting this blog, there has been a growth in numismatic news outlets and other information. Rather than reporting the news, I moved to a little more analysis and opinion on the numismatic news of the day while keeping with other collecting information.
I like to think I started a trend but there are a lot of smart people out there with ideas of their own. I welcome them to online numismatic community.
It has been 7 years, 5 months, 16 days since my first post. I have had a lot of fun writing about my experiences, looking at the numismatic community, reporting some news, providing some analysis, and writing about whatever comes to mind. After all this time I can say that I am still having fun!
To those who have been around from the beginning, thank you for staying with me.
To those who joined since the beginning, thank you for reading.
Now onto the next 1000!
2007 Australia 1000 Dollars Lunar coins obverse