Silver Medal from the 2013 Theodore Roosevelt Coins and Chronicles Set
A few weeks ago, the U.S. Mint announced to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee that they would be producing silver medals based on the design of previous presidential medals. These medals would be struck using the same .999 silver planchets that are used for the American Silver Eagle coins.
The U.S. Mint thinks that the silver medals would be a popular seller since silver coinage sells well. Using existing designs, the U.S. Mint hopes to be able to save time and money by removing the process of creating new images and not having to undergo the onerous review process of the CCAC and the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts.
I think the U.S. Mint is missing a point. Collecting commemorative silver and American Silver Eagle coins have the cache of being legal tender coins.
Although there are some very dedicated collectors of medals and other exonumia, the vast majority numismatics collectors are collecting legal tender coins.
Many of these programs are a success because they are legal tender coins. It is a mindset that the coins are worth more because they are legal tender. Even coins advertised as being legal tender from Native American Nations (tribes) gain attention.
People are drawn to the concept of collecting and/or investing in real money.
Medals are not money.
Although it sounds like a harsh assessment of the concept, the only downside that can be foreseen is if the U.S. Mint faces a planchet shortage like it did in 2009. Otherwise, I am not sure it will sell like I think the U.S. Mint is portraying.
One way to make collecting more fun is to combine interests. One of the members of my local coin club loves cats and has always had one around his house. To help enhance his collecting experience, he collects coins, medals, and tokens with images of cats.
I recently learned that the family of another club member was from Rhodesia. He is working on a collection of Rhodesian coins from before they became Zimbabwe.
Just to complete a thought, a friend’s family came to the United States and 1876 from Eastern Europe. After he traced his family’s history and their path to the United States, he collects coins that were struck in 1876 from the countries his family stopped in during their trip.
My interest is cars. I love the muscle cars of my youth, particular the Mopar muscle. But I love all of the older cars. I think that their designs through the muscle car era had depth and style. Other than the 1959 Cadillac with the biggest fins ever produced in Detroit, I find the Art Deco look of the pre-war cars very appealing.
Recently, I was able to add to my cars and numismatics collection by finding one gram silver ingots with images of vintage cars.
While searching online auctions looking for holiday-related one grams silver ingots to use as gifts, I stumbled across a seller with about two dozen of the ingots with images of classic cars including an 1879 Benz, largely considered the first commercially available automobile. I systematically placed a minimum bid on each of the ingots and decided not to pay any more than one dollar per ingot. When the auctions were over, I won 16 of the 24 that were for sale.
When they arrived, I examined them closely looking for something to indicate who might have made them. Aside from the image of the automobile on the front and the manufacturer on the reverse, there is a sequence number and a copyright that says “476” on the bottom right. The numbers are so small that I needed a 16x loupe to see them.
Each ingot contains 1 gram of .999 silver. At the current price of $16.99 per Troy ounce, each ingot contains 55-cents worth of silver. Since I paid 99-cents for each ingot I think I did pretty well on this deal. They will fit nicely with my Somalia classic cars and motorcycle coins.
If anyone has information as to who created these ingots, please comment below or contact me with the information.
The Royal Canadian Mint has created two unique coins they call “Nocturnal by Nature” that would fit the theme of Halloween.
What makes them interesting is that the fields and some of the devices are plated with black rhodium to create a darkened look.
The first coin’s reverse, which is sold out, features a barn owl (Tyto alba) descending upon its prey. The view is looking up as the owl descends toward the night sky.
The second coin’s reverse has an image of a brown bat, darkened by night with its silhouette as it crosses passed the moon overhead.
2017 Royal Canadian Mint Silver Nocturnal by Nature: The Barn Owl
Obverse of the 2017 Nocturnal by Nature coins by the Royal Canadian Mint
2017 Royal Canadian Mint Silver Nocturnal by Nature: The Little Brown Bat
As with all Canadian coins, the obverse features the official Royal Canadian Mint portrait of HM Queen Elizabeth II. The fields and legends are also plated with black rhodium that will make the Queen’s portrait really stand out.
Each coin is one troy ounce of .9999 silver, has serrated (reeded) edges, is 38 mm in diameter, and weighs 31.39 grams. Both coins have a face value of 20 dollars. The Royal Canadian Mint classifies the finish as matte proof.
American Liberty Four Silver Medal Set will be on sale on October 19, 2017 at Noon ET for $199.95
The U.S. Mint did you publish in the Federal Register last week that the American Liberty 225th Anniversary Silver Four-Medal set will be priced at $199.95.
The American Liberty Four Silver Medal Set are four silver medals featuring the gold 225th Anniversary American Liberty Gold design struck in silver and without a denomination. Each medal will contain one troy ounce of silver and consist of one medal from each of the active mints with different finishes:
Philadelphia Reverse Proof
San Francisco Proof
West Point Enhanced Uncirculated
It was previously announced that the set will go on sale at noon on October 19, 2017.
Not including the regular issues that will be sold by the U.S. Mint, the items left on their schedule is the American Liberty Four Silver Medal Set and the American Palladium Eagle.
American Liberty Four Silver Medal Set will be on sale on October 19, 2017 at Noon ET
I previously discussed the Palladium Eagle. The american Liberty Four Silver Medal Set are four silver medals featuring the gold 225th Anniversary American Liberty Gold design struck in silver and without a denomination. Each medal will contain one troy ounce of silver and consist of one medal from each of the active mints with different finishes:
Philadelphia Reverse Proof
San Francisco Proof
West Point Enhanced Uncirculated
Although the price has not been announced, given the current 225th Anniversary American Liberty Silver Medal $59.95, it is within reason to predict that the four medal silver set with special packaging will cost around $250 (plus-or-minus 15-percent).
The poll question of the day is are you going to buy these items?
Are you interested in the remaining U.S. Mint special collectibles?
I am just not interested (42%, 18 Votes)
I will buy the American Liberty Four Silver Medal Set (23%, 10 Votes)
These items are too expensive for my budget (14%, 6 Votes)
I am going to buy both (12%, 5 Votes)
I will buy the American Palladium Eagle (9%, 4 Votes)
I might consider them but buy them on the secondary market (0%, 0 Votes)
I have delayed writing about my happenstance to attend the Whitman Baltimore Expo waiting for more information on something that was on display at the U.S. Mint booth.
I was not going to visit the Whitman Expo on April 1 because I had a meeting scheduled with a client. After the client canceled, I decided to turn the truck to downtown Baltimore toward the Convention Center. One of the reasons for going was to see the 2017 Liberty Gold coin. I thought it would be my only chance to see the coins since it is unlikely I will purchase one. When I walked to the U.S. Mint booth in Hall C, the gold coin was in a display case. What was next to it was far more intriguing.
On a spinning stand were two silver medals using the same design as the gold Liberty coin. One was a proof with a “W” mintmark on the reverse and the other a reverse proof with a “D” mintmark. The look of the medal in silver was fantastic! The eagle on the reverse really stands out on the proof whereas the calming look of the burnished finish of the reverse proof shows real artistry.
2017-W Liberty Silver Medal (Proof Obverse)
2017-W Liberty Silver Medal (Proof Obverse)
Further examination of the pictures suggests that the reverse proof may be considered enhanced uncirculated where the U.S. Mint laser treats dies to change the texture of the strike.
2017-D Liberty Silver Medal (Reverse Proof Obverse)
2017-D Liberty Silver Medal (Reverse Proof Obverse)
It appears that the medals are the same size as the silver planchets used for the American Silver Eagle coins. If they are using the same planchets, they would be 38.1 mm in diameter of one troy ounce of .999 silver.
The U.S. Mint did not announce the production of silver Liberty medals. U.S. Mint personnel attending the booth were not able to provide additional information. Email inquiries have not yet been answered.
NOTE: Readers of the “Numismatic World Newsletter” were provided a preview of the medals. The newsletter consists of numismatic-related news from non-numismatic sources and a brief article that will not be posted here. Sometimes, I will send items to subscribers before appearing on the blog. Click here to subscribe!
A few weekends ago, I was out picking when someone offered to sell a box of lapel pins and buttons. Most of the buttons were modern political mainly from the 1988 election through the 2008 election. There was a mix of both major parties along with a number of local and state races, primarily from Virginia.
The box was nothing remarkable. It was originally for high-priced basketball shoes from a well-known company in the western United States. Alongside many of the political buttons were lapel pins and some sports pins. I also noticed some buttons with cute sayings. While being stuck in the fingers I was thinking that I could buy the box and use it as junk filler at a show. Just like coin dealers have junk boxes, those of us in other collectible areas have our versions of junk boxes. In this case, I can lay them out in felt-lined trays and let buyers pick over them for a dollar each.
Flag and ribbon pins always sell. So do buttons that say, “I usually don’t wake up grumpy, I sometimes let him sleep.” This gets the ladies to laugh and look at some of my other items.
After setting up the card table I use to work on this type of sorting, I dumped the box in the middle of the table. Expecting to have to sort through a few hundred pins and buttons when I noticed a 2×2 flip on top of the pile. It was a coin sitting that was sitting in the bottom of the box now at the top of the list of things to look at.
At first glance, I noticed it was not a U.S. coin and thought that it just could be an uncirculated copper-nickel coin until I looked closer. Shifting my glasses to get a better view there was no mistaking the reverse design as a Mexican Liberatad. The 1984 Libertad is clearly marked “1 ONZA PLATA PURA” (1-ounce pure silver) with the obverse declaring it from “ESTADOS UNIDOS MEXICANOS” (United States of Mexico).
I found a beautiful, uncirculated 1984 Mexico Libertad worth more than what I paid for the box!
Obverse of a 1984 Mexico Libertad
Reverse of a 1984 Mexico Libertad
Edge lettering on a 1984 Mexico Liberdad
Although I love large silver coins, I have never owned a Libertad. Did you know that the edge of the Libertad has edge lettering? It reads “INDEPENDENCIA Y LIBERTAD” (Independence and Freedom). The distinctive mintmark of the Mexico Mint is on the reverse and has an overall great look.
Artist’s conception† of the common reverse for the 2019 Apollo 11 commemorative coin program.
Every year since coming into office, President Barack Obama and his family packs up and flies to Hawaii for an end of the year vacation. Obama was born in Hawaii and still has some family on Oahu. Before leaving Washington, he will sign whatever bills are sent to him by congress. According to the White House News Feed, President Obama signed the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act on Friday, December 16, 2016!
Based on my posts from the last few weeks, I am sure you can tell I have a fascination with space. In fact, if there is such thing as reincarnation, I want to come back in the future to be able to travel around the universe in a manner similar to what we see in the movies. It is sad that there is no real enthusiasm for space exploration as there was when Apollo 11 landed on the moon!
In July 1969, my family lived in the Long Island suburbs of New York. The year before Apollo 11, my father bought a new, large RCA color television. Aside from learning that the beginning and end of Wizard of Oz was in black-and-white, I was able to watch the launches of the world’s largest Roman candle, the Saturn V rocket. Before Skylab and the Shuttle programs, it was a marvel of human achievement. I loved watching the liftoffs from Cape Kennedy and always wanted to go see one in person. I never did get to see a rocket launched, but I hope to some day.
This was a time when kids went outside to play, even in the summer evenings. We played a lot of baseball-related games including setting up a “field” in the street. Nobody was in the street. We were all home watching television and watching overhead shots of Mission Control in Houston. Even through the television, you could sense the tension until Neil Armstrong announced, “Houston, Tranquility Base here. TheEagle has landed.”
It wasn’t until years later when I learned more about the Cold War when I understood why it was more important for the United States to land and walk on the moon first. All I knew was it was very cool that an American was up there. It made Star Trek seem possible!
The moon walk was Monday night. Again, we were staring at the television watching the enactments as to what to expect. There were mockups of the Lunar Module and astronauts demonstrating what Armstrong was supposed to do. I remember the concentration on the “D-Ring,” the D-shaped handle that Armstrong had to pull on to open the door that had the camera. There was a question that the ring had to survive the landing and that the door could have jammed. We would have a historical moment without it being recorded on video!
“These are the first pictures ever broadcast from the moon,” was the words by whoever was on television. I remember the words but not who said them. Pulling on the D-ring worked and the world was watching. We watched as Neil Armstrong climbed down the ladder onto the surface of the moon. After a brief stop to remove the cover on the plaque that was attached to the ladder, Armstrong put both feet on the footpad of the lunar module. After a quick bounce step from the footpad to the surface of the moon, Armstrong gave his famous like, “That’s one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for mankind.”
There has been a “controversy” about whether Armstrong said “… one small step for man,” or “… one small step for a man.” Whatever is the correct version does not take away from the feat and the fact that Neil Armstrong was the first human being to set foot on Earth’s only natural satellite!
While NASA was the inspiration for many of the modern technologies we enjoy today, only Apollo 11 took it to the level of defining U.S. technology. While Skylab and the Shuttle programs were far more advanced, Apollo 11 stands as one of the 20th-century’s most amazing feats.
Needless to say, I am excited!
Commemorative program issued in 2019
Required design elements:
Convex in shape “to more closely resemble the faceplate of the astronaut’s helmet of the time”
“The Secretary shall hold a juried, compensated competition to determine the design of the common obverse of the coins minted under this Act, with such design being emblematic of the United States space program leading up to the first manned Moon landing.”
Winning designer to receive no less than $5,000 for their design.
Common reverse design “shall be a representation of a close-up of the famous ‘Buzz Aldrin on the Moon’ photograph taken July 20, 1969, showing just the visor and part of the helmet of astronaut Edwin ‘Buzz’ Aldrin, in which the visor reflects the image of the United States flag, astronaut Neil Armstrong, and the lunar lander.”
We all have our bromides we use to describe Mondays. We have a love-hate relationship with Mondays. Those who love Mondays see it as a new beginning and to start the week on a high note. Others see is as another week of more of the same and another way for things to get worse.
As for me, I make sure I get enough coffee so that I can make it through just about anything.
Rather than dwell on the fact it is Monday and that there is a lot of news even before the day begins, I would rather start with something better. Prettier. More pleasing than anything else. I give you the 2016 Panda silver bullion coin just added to my collection.
Obverse of the Chinese Panda features the Temple of Heaven
Reverse of the 2016 Chinese Silver Panda coin
The People’s Bank of China, through its subsidiary Panda Gold Coin, have been striking bullion coins with the image of a panda since 1982. Up until 1999, the images have been almost cartoon-like in nature. Starting in 2000, they hired a new artist who turned the panda image into a fantastic work of art.
The skill of the artist and die makers combine matte and shiny images with fine details to come up with an image that not only endures but keeps these coins selling at a premium. Even with their higher mintages since 2010, I have seen sales of the silver coin up to three-times its original sale value.
Making it more of an interesting coin if you want to collect and have a nice investment is that even with the weight change in 2015. Prior to 2015, the coin was made of one troy ounce of silver or about 31.1 grams. Starting in 2015, the coin was struck using 30 grams of silver.
When the change was discovered after not being officially announced, the industry was up in arms. Why? Because some felt they were being short-changed on 1.1 grams of silver for the same price, sort of like paying for 12 ounces of coffee that comes in the same 16-ounce can (I remember back when that was a newsworthy topic). At the current price spot price of $18.41 per troy ounce, 1.1 grams of silver is only 65-cents.
Somehow, I don’t think 65-cents is going to make a difference in the beauty of the coin.
Rather than worry about 1.1 grams of silver, I just love the coins and was able to purchase one this weekend. As for Monday, I would rather look at the beauty of the panda climbing out on a limb than whatever limb I end up climbing!
Let’s not put the cart before the horse. We all have used adages. Some are centuries old when it was really something special when a penny saved was a penny earned. For some adages, things are not always what they seem which makes appearances deceiving.
In a comment about a technical issue, I was trying to explain that something would not work and exclaimed, “That isn’t worth two-bits.”
To the few people in the room within my age group, they understood what I said. Those younger than being eligible for AARP and those born outside of the United States did not understand. Since it is more blessed to give rather than receive, it gave me the opportunity to teach someone about the origin of money in the United States.
When the colonies were settled, George I was the King of England. Although the king ruled from an ocean away, the governors sent to manage the colonies on his behalf were under strict orders to not allow the colonists to coin money. An exception was made during a small period in the 17th century, colonists had to make due with the low-value copper coinage the king and his governors allowed.
Even with a standing army in the colonies, the governors could not control the commerce. Instead, they applied duties and fees for allowing the colonists to trade with the rest of the Western Hemisphere. Notice that there were no taxes because only the king could tax the royal subjects. Governors could levy duties to run the colonies. They also took kickbacks and bribes in order to get their way.
Although the Pound Sterling was the coin of the realm it was not available to the colonies. Instead, trading posts accepted the 8 reales coin, also known as the Thaler or Spanish Milled Dollar, as payment for goods and services. With the trade of high-cost goods like tobacco, cotton, and hides caught in the Appalachian Mountains the colonies relied more on the Spanish Milled Dollar than on the copper British coins.
Colonial governors ignored the growing economy, as they were able to satisfy the companies that sponsored the settlements and paid the taxes while lining their pockets. Colonists were able to make do with what was left.
A problem came about that everything could not be worth 8 reales and without subsidiary coinage, it was impossible to give change. Using the silver value of the coin, people would cut the coin into pieces in order to make subsidiary coinage. A milled dollar cut in half was a half-dollar. That half-dollar cut in half was a quarter-dollar and the quarter-dollar cut in half was called a bit.
The bit was the basic unit of commerce since prices were based on the bit. Of course, this was not a perfect solution. It was difficult to cut the quarter-dollars in half with great consistency which created problems when the bit was too small, called a short bit. Sometimes, goods or services would be adjusted to accommodate the short bit. Other times, short bits were supplemented with the English pennies that were allowed to circulate in the colonies.
Getting back to our adage, two bits were made from a quarter-dollar. Saying something was not worth two bits was either a negotiating tactic or someone wanted to use a short bit to pay for an item. Like many adages that have origins in the 17th and 18th centuries, the reason for their existence has been lost with time.
But arguing about its origin would be rocking the boat. We do know that some of our colonial ancestors should have measured twice and cut once to avoid the problem. But alas, there is no sense crying over spilled milk.
From my collection
Obverse of a 1795 8 Reales silver Thaler
Reverse of a 1795 8 Reales Thaler; also know as the Pillar dollar or Spanish Milled dollar