In December, I coined a term “numismentos,” a portmanteau of numismatic+memento. I was reminded of that with the recent announcements from both major third-party grading services.
Professional Coin Grading Service announced that as part of their 30th Anniversary celebration that they created a series of labels for their slabs including a retro-green label similar to the first labels issued by PCGS 30 years ago. Some, like the Mark Twain “First Strike” label will only be available at shows like the recently held the Long Beach Expo.
The PCGS 30th anniversary label for silver (shown here) and gold 2016 First Strike American Eagles. (PCGS)
An example of a PCGS special First Strike insert label for the 2016 10th anniversary of the gold Buffalo coins.
PCGS has produced special First Strike – Long Beach Expo labels for the new silver $1 and gold $5 (shown here) 2016 Mark Twain coins.
An example of the PCGS 30th anniversary retro 1986-era green label insert.
But I am on the fence on the 2016 Mark Twain commemorative coins. Like many people, Adventures of Mark Twain and Adventures of Huckleberry Finn were required reading in school. Aside from his literature, he was a fan of emerging technologies and befriended both Thomas Edison and Nikola Tesla. His novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court brings his interest into the fantasy of time travel, a very interesting book that does not get the credit it deserves.
2016 Mark Twain Commemorative Gold $5 obverse
2016 Mark Twain Commemorative Gold $5 reverse
Later in life after he encountered financial troubles, he embarked on speaking engagements to earn money. His speeches are very insightful and humorous that are worth reading. Twain published a compilation of his speeches in Mark Twain’s Speeches, which can be found in its entirety online.
Aside being a fan of Twain, of the two coins, I really like the design of the gold coin. You can look at that portrait and imagine him intently listening, as it has been documented he did, ready to provide his sharp and witty wisdom when you stopped. Looking at that portrait, I can only imagine what Twain would have said about his imaged appearing on coins. He would have been very amused!
2016 Mark Twain Commemorative Silver Dollar obverse
2016 Mark Twain Commemorative Silver Dollar reverse
How do you feel about the Mark Twain commemorative coins? Are you going to buy them? What do you think?
Which of the Mark Twain commemorative coins did/will you buy? (select all that apply)
Mark Twain Proof Silver Dollar (25%, 13 Votes)
Mark Twain Uncirculated Silver Dollar (24%, 12 Votes)
Mark Twain $5 Gold Proof Coin (16%, 8 Votes)
I'm not sure. (16%, 8 Votes)
I do not buy commemorative coins (8%, 4 Votes)
Mark Twain $5 Gold Uncirculated Coin (6%, 3 Votes)
I am not interested in this commemorative coin (6%, 3 Votes)
Boxing Day is a secular holiday that is particular to the Commonwealth Realm. It appears that it is celebrated in the United Kingdom, all British colonies, and the commonwealth nations. Boxing Day is celebrated in countries that were former British colonies except for the United States. For those not familiar with Boxing Day:
Some historians say the holiday developed because servants were required to work on Christmas Day, but took the following day off. As servants prepared to leave to visit their families, their employers would present them with gift boxes.
Another theory is that the boxes placed in churches where parishioners deposited coins for the poor were opened and the contents distributed on December 26, which is also the Feast of St. Stephen.
In honor of Boxing Day, I ask:
Did you receive a numismatic-related gift for the holidays?
No, not this year. (54%, 7 Votes)
No, I bought my own gift. (23%, 3 Votes)
Yes, I receive collectible coins. (8%, 1 Votes)
Yes, I received some other numismatic item. (8%, 1 Votes)
Bah Humbug! (8%, 1 Votes)
Yes, I received collectible currency. (0%, 0 Votes)
Could this Looney Tunes Silver Kilo coin be on your list?
Before it became a thing, Black Friday is the day after Thanksgiving that is usually the biggest shopping day of the year and where retailers become profitable for the year, or being in the black. When online sales began to pick up and most people were connected to the Internet by slow connections, usually by a modem, people would go their offices on Monday and use the company’s faster Internet to place their online orders. In 2005, the National Retail Federation started calling it Cyber Monday.
The meaning of Black Friday and Cyber Monday has been dulled over the last few years except as an alleged barometer for the shopping season it is still something that becomes an event where the worst behaviors can be seen on the evening news. In 2013, the U.S. Mint did their part in the Black Friday hype by offering free standard shipping for the first week of the holiday shopping season.
All this means that it is the time for gift giving and gift receiving. While we are searching for the holiday deals, what is on your wish list this year? If you want to provide details, add it to the comments below!
What are your 2015 gift plans?
I have coins on my wish list. (54%, 37 Votes)
I plan to give someone a numismatic gift. (14%, 10 Votes)
I am not planning on giving a numismatic gift. (13%, 9 Votes)
I have currency on my wish list. (12%, 8 Votes)
I have exonumia or other numismatics on my wish list. (6%, 4 Votes)
Bah Humbug! (1%, 1 Votes)
I do not have any numismatics on my wish list. (0%, 0 Votes)
The discussions have ranged from the reasoned (leave Alexander Hamilton on the $10 note because was our first Secretary of the Treasury) to the absurd (why change?) and the misogynistic that will not be repeated here.
I do not understand the the “why change” reasoning. There once was a time when there were regular changes to U.S. currency and there is no record of an uproar from the public. In 1929, the Federal Reserve reduced the size of the note from 7.375 x 3.125 inches to their present size of 6.14 x 2.61 inches. The change from Silver Certificates to Federal Reserve Notes and the color of the seals not withstanding, the designs have remained relatively the same since 1929.
65. World War II Emergency Issue Series 1935A $1 Silver Certificate With “HAWAII” Overprint (Fr# 2300)
66. Series 1928 $10,000 Federal Reserve Note (Fr# 2203-A thru 2203-L)
76. Series 1928 $1,000 Gold Certificate (Fr# 2408)
77. World War II Emergency Issue Series 1935A $1 Silver Certificate With Yellow Seal (North Africa Note) (Fr# 2306)
92. Series 1928 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note (Fr# 2220-A thru 2220-L)
99. Series 1928 $1,000 Federal Reserve Note (Fr# 2210-A thru 2210-L)
Of this list, only two notes were issued for general circulation and those were emergency issues because of World War II. The others are high denomination notes not usually circulated for the general public. After all, carrying around a $1,000 note will be equivalent to carrying around $13,914.91 (according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics).
United States currency used to be beautiful. There was a regality in its design that represented the nation. Even the Education Notes from the Series of 1896 Silver Certificates were phenomenal in their design and artwork. Today’s note, while secure, do not compare to their past counterparts.
Let’s see if we can figure out what the best way forward.
What should the Treasury do about currency design?
Leave things the way they are. (34%, 10 Votes)
Change all of the portraits. It's time to give other historical figures a chance. (34%, 10 Votes)
Remove all portraits and use other designs. (21%, 6 Votes)
Designs of small size currency stinks. Leave the portraits and look at what other countries are doing for inspiration. (7%, 2 Votes)
I don't care. (3%, 1 Votes)
What difference does it make. Non-cash transactions (credit cards, e-currency) are the wave of the future. (0%, 0 Votes)
Total Voters: 29
Leave any comments below!
Image courtesy of the National Numismatic Collection via Wikipedia.
Over the last few years, the U.S. Mint has been trying to process orders via the web and not being successful. Their website fails when they try to sell limited production items and the site gets slammed by collectors and dealers trying to place orders.
Another problem is how to handle the production of special products, such as a reverse proof dollar or enhanced uncirculated coins. Maybe a poll for another day would ask if it is a good idea to change how the U.S. Mint issues these special strikes.
What should the U.S. Mint do? How should they fix the problems? Take the poll and add comments below. If you have another suggestion, add it to the comments, too.
How should the U.S. Mint fix its product ordering process?
Just fix the darn website! (81%, 21 Votes)
Go further back to old school and do mail order only. (12%, 3 Votes)
Since the U.S. Mint cannot get the web right, go back to telephone ordering. (4%, 1 Votes)
Forget it... it's a lost cause. I'm going to take my chances on the aftermarket. (4%, 1 Votes)
Sell only through authorized dealers. (0%, 0 Votes)
On Tuesday, August 11 is the opening of the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money. It is the largest coin show in the world. The show attracts collectors, dealers, and mints from around the world. If someone could only attend one show, this is the one I recommend.
This show is significant in that it ends the run of shows in Rosemont. The run in Rosemont was a deal negotiated by former Executive Director Larry Shepherd under the guise that the ANA was more about the shows than being an educational association. He thought that being central in the country and close to O’Hare airport would make the show more of a success.
I have come out against holding the ANA premiere show in one location. While I love Chicago and have friends in the Chicagoland area, being able to move the show to different venues allows the ANA to reach more people and include it educational agenda in more places. For 2016, the World’s Fair of Money will be held in Anaheim, California, home of Disneyland! (fill in your own Goofy joke!)
I would still like to see a World’s Fair of Money in Washington, D.C. I started to help work on that but a lot of external forces have prevented me from pursuing this. I hope I can convince others to pick up that torch and run with it. I think there would be no better place to hold the World’s Fair of Money than the Nation’s Capital!
For this week, the World’s Fair of Money is in Rosemont. This week’s poll question, are you going?
Are you going to the 2015 Worlds Fair of Money in Rosemont, Illinois?
No, I would like to but I have other obligations (31%, 5 Votes)
No, traveling to the Chicagoland area is not easy (31%, 5 Votes)
Yes, and I cannot wait! (25%, 4 Votes)
No, I am not interested (13%, 2 Votes)
Yes because I am working at the show (0%, 0 Votes)
I think I covered all of the options. If I have not or you want to add more commentary, even (especially) if you disagree with me, then leave a comment. Remember, the only comments I reject are for bad language and spam. Keep it clean and it will appear as soon as I can get to them.
Are you going to buy the new 2015 American Liberty High Relief Gold Coin?
Yes, I cannot wait! (50%, 36 Votes)
No, because the gold coin is too expensive (25%, 18 Votes)
Yes, but I also do not like the design (11%, 8 Votes)
No, because I am not interested (7%, 5 Votes)
No, because I think the coin is ugly (7%, 5 Votes)
The current $10 Federal Reserve Note featuring Alexander Hamilton
Since Treasury Secretary Jack Lew announced that the re-designed $10 note will feature the portrait of a woman, there have been a lot of polls popping up asking for readers to add their opinions as to whose portrait Secretary Lew should choose. Most polls have selected up to five different women with an option to add your own.
Not to be outdone, we here at the Coin Collectors Blog want to give our readers more choice. Rather than limit to the choices to a perceived top set of picks, we culled several polls and will ask what our readers think about all of the potential choices. In fact, in addition to the choice to choose someone else, you can even choose to leave the Alexander Hamilton, the first Secretary of the Treasury, on the $10 note. And to be further inclusive, I am adding an “I do not care” option to the poll.
Before someone asks, I removed Susan B. Anthony as an option because she appeared on the $1 coin. Anthony has already appeared on circulating currency, albeit one that was not well received. We should make the opportunity available for someone else.
Vote note. Tell your friends. If there are at least 50 votes, I will submit the winner to the Treasury as this community’s vote.
I know my postings have been sparse. Business has been picking up making me very busy. I will explain more at another time. But for now, I wanted to share my first 2015 find of the year.
In the past few years I have had to wait until late April or May to find a coin with the current year’s date in pocket change. This year, it took a trip to New York to find a 2015 coin earlier than in the past.
After dropping off my dogs at the house of the person who babysits them, my wife and found our way to I-95 then north to the city of my birth. Since I am a coffee hound, I have to stop in order to take care of the after effects of drinking the coffee and buy more, of course. This time, we stopped at the Chesapeake House Travel Plaza on I-95 in Cecil County, Maryland.
First, we were stunned by the new building. the state demolished the old Chesapeake House and rebuilt a new building complete with LEED Silver Certification and a better choice of side-of-the-road restaurants than the usual. One of those establishments was Peet’s Coffee and Tea where I was able to fuel myself before fueling my vehicle.
As part of my change I received a shiny, new 2015 Lincoln cent!
Not only did a get a good cup of coffee but I was treated to my first 2015 find of the year. It was a good way to start a weekend that included a family celebration!
Did you find a 2015 coin in your pocket change?
Yes I did (71%, 17 Votes)
Not yet (21%, 5 Votes)
I am not looking (8%, 2 Votes)
Total Voters: 24
$2 Federal Reserve Notes found at a convenience store near where I work