POLL: Do more series?

Counterfeit €2 coins were found in Italy.

Counterfeit €2 coins were found in Italy.

The problem with counterfeiting has been getting worse. Even though congress passed the Collectible Coin Protection Act, the added force of law has not dissuaded foreign counterfeiters from trying to scam the collecting public. In fact, it was reported that North Korea has cranked up its presses and is trying to flood the Chinese market with counterfeit currency.

With stories like this and how Europe is having a difficult time with the counterfeiting of £1 and €2 coins during a time of economic uncertainty had me considering what I could do to help the community.

Rather than just talk about the problems I decided that I would write about how help collectors understand what to do to protect themselves. This lead to the six-part series this past week about how you can check your coins to ensure that they are genuine. For some, the series may have been a rehash of old information. But sometimes seeing again may be a good refresher.

What do you think? Did you like the series? What did you (or did you not) like?

Do (or did) you like the series on Detecting Counterfeits?

Yes, I do! (78%, 7 Votes)
Sorry, this is not doing anything for me. (11%, 1 Votes)
It's OK but I really have no opinion. (11%, 1 Votes)

Total Voters: 9

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Would you like to see more information about other topics? Would you like me to go back to just blogging in single posts? Leave me a comment here with your suggestions.

And THANK YOU for being a reader!

POLL: Should we bring back the Buffalo nickel?

1913 Buffalo Nickel Type 2 RevAfter reporting about the petition to return the Buffalo nickel to circulation, I thought I would ask my readers. Since I have not updated the polls for a while, I thought this was a good topic to begin this week.

While I love the design by James Earle Fraser and have starting hoarding Buffalo nickels during my estate finds, I am not sure that this is a design that would work on today’s nickel. Collectors of Buffalo nickels can tell you that while a great design the elements do not wear well especially on critical high points, such as the buffalo’s horn.

Possibly a better idea is to bring back the design of the 2005 Westward Journey American Bison nickel. Aside from having a better portrait of President Thomas Jefferson than the one currently in use, the bison on the reverse appears to work better on modern coins. Maybe the bison can be given a new look, but it would be a better version for today’s market.

What do you think?

Should we bring back the Buffalo nickel?




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Westward Journey nickel imaged courtesy of the U.S. Mint.

POLL: Are there too many coin shows?

Not long ago an acquaintance asked if I was attending the National Money Show in Dallas. I said that I had wanted to but there was a conflict that prevented me. He said that it did not matter because there were too many shows and it does not pay to go to all of them.

Panorama of the 2013 National Money Show bourse floor at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans

Panorama of the 2013 National Money Show bourse floor at the Ernest N. Morial Convention Center in New Orleans

I was a bit shocked.

When you enjoy something, there is never too many or too much. I try to go to as many coin shows as possible whether they are as large as the World’s Fair of Money or a local show with 30 tables that meets in a local hall. If I cannot be at a coin show, I love to go to car shows including ones where I can bring my vintage Mopar.

It is difficult to find a car show in the winter. Owners of classic, vintage and antique cars would rather park our babies under cover than take them out in bad weather. This is a good time to find all of the coin shows.

I woke up my baby this past weekend!

I woke up my baby this past weekend!

There are not enough coin shows, especially when the weather is not suitable for car shows. Since I have been attending these shows for a while, I know many of the local dealers at the smaller shows and a few more of the dealers at the larger shows. For me, this makes the show fun.

I asked why he thought there were too many he complained about the costs. He felt that he had to buy something at every show in order to justify his attendance.

When I go to a show, I have a budget I keep to, collecting goals for that day, and the knowledge that if I come home with money in my pocket I can still have a good day if I see people and talk about coins and collecting.

Maybe the problem with my acquaintance is that he sees going to shows as a buying trip while I look for the experience. He might consider talking to some of the people, make friends, and see if he could learn something from these dealers. Even if I do not spend money, if I learn something I will have had a good time.

What do you think?

Should there be more or less coin shows?





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POLL: Do you collect grading service labels?

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)

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.

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.

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.

An example of the PCGS 30th anniversary retro 1986-era green label insert.

Numismatic Guarantee Corporation continues their signature labels march adding Former Perth Mint Director Ed Harbuz to the list of signatures that includes Elizabeth Jones and John Mercanti. Of course NGC as its other numismento labels.

2016 Australia $1 Wedding silver proof coin with autograph label

2016 Australia $1 Wedding silver proof coin with autograph label

Former Perth Mint Director Ed Harbuz

Former Perth Mint Director Ed Harbuz

I was curious as to what my readers thought. Do you collect the labels? Do you look for the labels? Do you care? Take the survey and then weigh in with comments!

Do you collect slabs with special labels from the grading services?








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Credits

POLL: What about the Mark Twain commemoratives?

I am not a collector of commemorative coins except for when I am interested in the subject or the coin is intriguing. The last commemorative I purchased was the 2015 March of Dimes Silver Dollar because I loved the reverse design. I bought the 2014 National Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Silver Proof dollar and clad half dollar because of the subject and the curved design.

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 obverse

2016 Mark Twain Commemorative Gold $5 reverse

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 obverse

2016 Mark Twain Commemorative Silver Dollar reverse

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)

Total Voters: 37

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Images courtesy of the U.S. Mint.

It’s Boxing Day!

No, not this kind of boxing!

No, not this kind of boxing!

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)

Total Voters: 13

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Image courtesy of the Sports Memorabilia Museum.

POLL: What are your gift plans?

Could this Looney Tunes Silver Kilo coin be on your list?

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)

Total Voters: 43

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POLL: What to do about currency design

History Instructing Youth

Series 1896 $1 Silver Certificate Education Note, History Instructing Youth (Fr# 224)

Since the Department of the Treasury announced that a redesigned $10 Federal Reserve Note will feature a woman starting in 2020, there have been more than a few articles denouncing everything about the idea from objecting to the removing of Alexander Hamilton to the fact that a woman will replace him.

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.

According to Q. David Bowers and David M. Sundman in their book 100 Greatest American Currency Notes, the only small-sized currency notes in the list are:

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

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Leave any comments below!

Image courtesy of the National Numismatic Collection via Wikipedia.

POLL: How should the U.S. Mint fix its ordering process

2015 Dwight D. Eisenhower Coin & Chronicles Set

2015 Dwight D. Eisenhower Coin & Chronicles Set

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.

We saw this recently when the main website, www.usmint.gov crashed during the sale of the Eisenhower Coins and Chronicles set because the U.S. Mint did not build enough capacity. We know this because if you went to catalog.usmint.gov you were able to complete your order.

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)

Total Voters: 26

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POLL: Are you going to the 2015 World’s Fair of Money?

2015 Worlds Fair of MoneyOn 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)

Total Voters: 16

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World’s Fair of Money logo courtesy of the American Numismatic Association.

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