Weekly World Numismatic News for June 24, 2018

Two dollar coins on the way to be stamped at the Royal Australian Mint
(Image courtesy of ABC Canberra: Louise Maher)

On June 20, 1988, the Royal Australian Mint replaced its two dollar currency note with a coin. This year, they are celebrating the coin’s 30th anniversary. It was introduced four years after replacing the dollar paper note with a coin (1984).

Similarly, the Royal Mint introduced the one-pound coin in 1983 and the Bank of England stopped issuing one-pound currency in 1984.

The Royal Canadian Mint introduced the dollar coin, nicknamed the Loonie, in 1987 while the Bank of Canda ceased issuing the paper dollar.

The euro entered began circulating as a continental currency beginning in January 2002. When it was introduced, they issued one- and two-euro coins and the lowest denomination paper currency was the 5 euro note.

According to the International Monetary Fund, after the United States, the European Union has the world’s second largest economy even though it is not ranked as a country. When considering countries, the second largest economy is China followed by Japan, Germany, and the United Kingdom. Canada is the world’s tenth largest economy.

Of the Top Ten, only the United States and China issue their unit currency as paper. However, because of economic controls and exchange rate, most of the Chinese economy is based on the Renminbi (the People’s Money). Small change is popular in urban areas and paper is more common in rural areas.

But the Chinese economy is heavily regulated within the country. Of the Top 20 economies identified by the International Monetary Fund, only the United States and China issues its unit currency as paper notes. Most countries issue a note of two of their base units and many are considering replacing their five unit note with a coin.

Yet the United States, the country with the largest economy on earth, the one that people say should be the leader lags behind every country except China by producing a one dollar paper note.

The lack of paper currency has not hurt these other economies. In fact, it helps because coins last longer than paper currency. Also, it is better for the government because, for every one-dollar coin produced, the government makes 68-cents in seignorage (with the dollar coins costing an estimated 32-cents each to produce).

Replacing paper mone with the coin does not seem to have hurt other economies, yet the issue raises the ire of some who wants to call this a conspiracy against the people. It makes economic sense to move in this direction and should we not be all in favor of doing things in our own economic benefit?

And now the news…

 June 19, 2018

The durability of the $2 coin means it could be around for decades to come, despite Australia’s shift towards a cashless society. → Read more at abc.net.au


 June 20, 2018

Sofia. 34,000 fake coins were found in the home of the main member of a criminal group involved in counterfeit money making and distribution, prosecutor Nikolay Dimitrov said during a briefing. → Read more at focus-fen.net


 June 20, 2018

A sterling effort in more ways than one. → Read more at breakingnews.ie


 June 21, 2018

A graduate of Glenwood High School in Chatham designed Illinois’ bicentennial coin, which is available for preorder for $45 on the state treasurer’s website. → Read more at ilnews.org


 June 21, 2018

Residents in Puerto Rico were left without power for months after Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico, and experts estimate that around 4,640 people died. But the Environmental Protection Agency thinks it did an A-plus job responding to the disaster. → Read more at thehill.com


 June 23, 2018

On this day in 1775, the Second Continental Congress issued $2 million in bills of credit. → Read more at politico.com


 June 23, 2018

The National Bank of Ukraine (NBU) and Crane Currency on June 22 signed the Agreement of Cooperation in the field of currency production, the central bank’s press service reports. → Read more at ukrinform.net


 June 24, 2018

Under President Trump, once stately medallions have gotten glitzier, and at least one featured a Trump property. Ethics watchdogs are worried. → Read more at nytimes.com

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Weekly World Numismatic News for July 17, 2018

Thomas Rawlins Oxford Crown coin that minted in 1644. Only 100 of these coins were produced under the reign of Charles I.
(Image courtesy of The Sun.)

This past week’s news had two stories about coin finds that makes me a little jealous.

Workers cleaning out the cellar in an abandoned home in Brittany, a northwest region in France, discovered a shell-shaped container that rattled when shaken. Inside the container were 600 Belgian gold coins dated 1870. The obverse of the coins had the portrait of Leopold II, then the reigning monarch of Belgium.

Local media reported that the coins could be worth 100,000 euros or about $116,000 at the current exchange rate.

As reigning monarch in Belgium, as democratic reforms were sweeping through Europe, Leopold II had little power except to expand his empire. He did so by using explorer Henry Morton Stanley to help him lay claim to the Congo. Leopold was a harsh ruler in the Congo as he depleted the country of its two major resources: ivory and rubber. After, gaining a fortune Leopold basically went on a spending spree.

By 1908, Leopold was forced to give up control of the Congo to be managed as a legitimate Belgium colony. Belguim Congo gained independence in 1960 and became the Republic of the Congo.

There have been several hoards of Belgium gold coins from the Leopold II era that has been driving down the price of all coins. Add that European history does not portray him well makes his reign very unpopular.

The other find was by a woman in Hull, or more properly, Kingston upon Hull in the United Kingdom. She was cleaning out her loft and found a coin collection she inherited from her grandfather. She offered the coins to her children but they declined, believing the coins were junk.

Wanting to know more, she went to get the coins appraised and found that she had a Thomas Rawlins Oxford Crown coin that minted in 1644. Only 100 of these coins were produced under the reign of Charles I. It has an estimated value of £100,00 ($132,729 at the current exchange rate).

The lesson we should learn is to find those old boxes, containers, tins, or anything else that was given to you by a relative and do not assume it is junk. Have them appraised because you never know what you might find!

And now the news…

 June 10, 2018

©Belga Demolition workers in the French town of Pont-Aven in Brittany have uncovered a fortune in Belgian gold coins worth €100,000. The coins date back to 1870, and show the notorious king Leopold II on the reverse. → Read more at brusselstimes.com


 June 11, 2018

French gendarmes say workers paid to demolish an uninhabited house in Brittany made an unexpected discovery in the cellar — 600 gold coins. The Pont-Aven gendarmerie said the workers discovered the coins after rattling a mysterious, shell-shaped container. → Read more at abc.net.au


 June 12, 2018

Liza Minnelli famously sang about the role of money in the award-winning Broadway play Cabaret, saying “Money makes the world go round.” Oscar Wilde cleverly wrote about it, as well, stating “When I was young, I used to think that money was the most important thing in life. Now that I am old, I know it is.” → Read more at jasper52.com


 June 13, 2018

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – A one of a kind 18th century gold coin bearing the likeness of the first U.S. President, George Washington, is expected to fetch more than $1 million when it goes up for auction in August, auctioneers said on Wednesday. → Read more at in.reuters.com


 June 13, 2018

A GRANDMOTHER found a rare 17th century coin worth £100,000 in a box of junk she was about to dump. The 69-year-old from Hull was clearing out her loft when she discovered the Thomas Rawlins Oxford Crown coin, minted in 1644. → Read more at thesun.co.uk


 June 13, 2018

The South African Reserve Bank (SARB) has released the designs of its commemorative banknotes and coins for Nelson Mandela’s birth centenary, ahead of the launch on July 13. The central bank on Wednesday issued a statement indicating that test packs of the commemorative notes were made available to the cash industry to make preparations for cash processing, cash dispensing machines and ticket machines, among other things. → Read more at fin24.com


 June 16, 2018

Family Fortunes: A sniper shot and seriously wounded him in east Belfast in 1922 → Read more at irishtimes.com


 June 16, 2018

A one of a kind 18th century gold coin bearing the likeness of the first U.S. President, George Washington, is expected to fetch more than $1 million when it goes up for auction in August, auctioneers said on Wednesday. → Read more at reuters.com

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Meme Monday!

During a quick diversion on Facebook after posting a job for my new business, I found this post. I think it is appropriate for everyone!

I hope your Monday was as exciting as finding an Indian Head cent in your coin roll!

If not, have another cup of coffee and try again on Tuesday! 😉

Weekly World Numismatic News for June 10, 2018

Elongated 2013 Fort McHenry quarter that was part of the Maryland Token and Medal Society souvenir card

Sometimes, we forget that there is more to numismatics than coins and currency. While collecting Morgan dollar VAM varieties may be rewarding, there are opportunities just to have a little fun.

This is where our article feature article, “Pressing Memories: Pursuing elongated coins won’t break the bank,” in Antique Trader is appropriate. It tells the story about the origin or elongated coins and the current market for these coins.

One way to consider collecting elongated coins is to collect them based on where you have been. While some people will buy postcards or lapel pins to collect as souvenirs, elongated coins can be less expensive and have even more variety than gift shop fare.

You can find the machines with the cranks that will create elongated coins in a lot of museums, theme parks, and even in on the Disney properties. Most machines charge 51-cents to $1.01 to squish and imprint a design on the one-cent coin you pay for the service. Almost all of the machines are mechanical where you do the work. They also will only elongate cents. There are a few machines that are more automated that can elongate almost any coin.

Having played around with a few of these machines, the best coin to use is one of the copper-plated zinc cents (post-1982) that is red-brown in color with more red than brown. Very shiny coins look too artificial and the design seems to get lost on brown cents. One of the reasons not to use the all-copper cents is that the rich brown that makes those cents attractive does not look as good when squished.

If you start to collect elongated coins you may consider joining The Elongated Collectors (TEC) organization. Considering that elongated coins are fun collectibles, TEC has to be a fun group. Join in and have fun!

And now the news…

 June 1, 2018

By Karen Knapstein You don’t need to have an interest in coin collecting to get started in coin collecting. If you are a traveler, a fun-seeker, a keeper of mementos from family outings or historical events, creating and collecting elongated pennies may be a good fit for you. → Read more at antiquetrader.com


 June 3, 2018

Before you tell me I am cuckoo, allow me to introduce Ian Watt. The 70-year-old from the United Kingdom has made the enormous amount of money in a very peculiar way. Mr Watt’s fortune has come from him never walking past a coin on the ground, with the eagle-eyed dad collecting almost a million of lost coins in his travels. → Read more at news.com.au


 June 4, 2018

Patna: The Reserve Bank of India (RBI), in view of the coin glut in Bihar, said on Monday that the central government was encouraging use of coins, and it was receiving two to four truckloads of coins daily in Patna to be distributed across the state through banks. → Read more at telegraphindia.com


 June 5, 2018

(Kitco News) – The gold market continues to struggle with weak bullion demand as the Royal Canadian Mint reported a more than 50% drop in sales in the first quarter of 2018. In its first-quarter earnings report, released last week, the Canadian mint said that gold volume dropped to 108.5 thousand ounces in the first quarter, down from 228.2 thousand ounces reported in the first quarter of 2017. → Read more at kitco.com


 June 5, 2018

The Singapore Mint has released a limited-edition set of medallions to commemorate the historic first summit between a sitting U.S. president, Donald Trump, and a North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, scheduled in the island state for June 12. → Read more at newsweek.com


 June 8, 2018

Exploration company Golden Predator plans to start selling the coins — about $1,800 for a one-ounce coin — later this month. → Read more at cbc.ca


 June 9, 2018

The Mint continues to tap in to its creativity and innovation to further unleash the → Read more at globalbankingandfinance.com

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New Baseball Medals

Keeping with this week’s theme of sports on coins, a company named Baseball Treasure (at baseballtreasure.com) created baseball “coins,” technically medals, representative of all 30 teams. Each team is represented by one player whose likeness will appear on the medals.

These medals are licensed by Major League Baseball and the Major League Baseball Players Association.

Most of the medals are made from one ounce of copper. The medals are mounted on a baseball-card-sized cardboard card with player highlights, similar to what you would see on a baseball card.

The medals are sold in packs of three, six, and nine—or you will receive multiple packs of three medals. You can buy a box containing 36-packs. Assuming a pack contains three medals, their “Treasure Chest” contains 108 medals. For $3,000 you can buy a 12 box package with 432 packs containing 15,552 medals.

According to their website, one in every 432 packs will have a version of the medal made in .999 silver. Silver medals have been struck for each of the 30 players.

If you want to go for the gold, one in every 21,600 packs contains a specially marked medal redeemable for a gold medal featuring Aaron Judge of the New York Yankees. This was created to commemorate his rookie record of 52 home in the 2017 season.

Images courtesy of Baseball Treasures.

For those who are into trivia and would like to win a silver medal, they will post a clue on social media with the answer being a major league team. If you want more information, visit their #JoinTheHunt webpage for more information.

Previously, Upper Deck created hockey coins that they sold for $100 per coin on a virtual basis. While you could request the physical coin, they created a system to buy and trade these medals. There was also the chase to find the gold versions in this series.

The hockey coins are legal tender coins in the Cook Islands.

I had interviewed the Vice President involved in the program and just could not bring myself to write about the interview because I was very skeptical about how the program worked. Initially, they were sold in what they called e-Packs, virtual packages that would be held by Upper Deck. From the e-pack website, collectors can trade with each other.

One of my issues with this program is that they are sold blind packaged like baseball cards. You do not know what is in the package until it is opened. At $100 you can receive either a one-ounce silver coin, one-ounce high relief coin, one-ounce silver frosted coin, or a quarter-ounce gold coins. It would be a real bargain if you received a gold. It would be a worse deal than many Royal Canadian Mint silver coins otherwise.

Visiting their website recently, there is an option to purchase the coins at Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) throughout Canada. There is no option to physically purchase coins in the United States except through the e-pack website.

These coins must be selling well enough for Upper Deck to continue the program.

In both cases, I am just not impressed with either program.

Both programs are over-priced.

The Baseball Treasure program is selling one-ounce of copper medals at $6.65 each. With the current copper price of $3.2858 per pound, each coin contains 20.5-cents of metals. The rest is packaging, licensing, and distribution. Even so, that is a 3,123,9-percent markup that you may never make up on the secondary market if you were to lose interest, especially since this is a medal and not a legal tender coin.

Of course, it is a better deal if you found a silver or gold medal. Then again, part of the markup to the copper medal is subsidizing the silver and gold medals. Without knowing how many medals or packages are being produced, it is difficult to determine how much of the $6.65 price is subsidizing the gold and silver.

Baseball Treasure’s program is certainly a more interesting idea than the Upper Deck Hockey Coin Program. It is more affordable and carries less risk. The Treasure Hunt also looks like fun and maybe something I will look into. But for now, it is not something I will collect. But if you do be aware that the copper medals may not return much more than $1-2 on the secondary market, depending on the price of copper.

That sounds like silver

One of the reasons why I continue to search through my change every day is because there will always be something cool to find. After coming home from a long day setting up my new store, I emptied my pockets so that I could wash the jeans I was wearing. As I dumped...

read more

Meme Monday!

During a quick diversion on Facebook after posting a job for my new business, I found this post. I think it is appropriate for everyone! I hope your Monday was as exciting as finding an Indian Head cent in your coin roll! If not, have another cup of coffee and try...

read more

Weekly World Numismatic News for June 10, 2018

Sometimes, we forget that there is more to numismatics than coins and currency. While collecting Morgan dollar VAM varieties may be rewarding, there are opportunities just to have a little fun. This is where our article feature article, “Pressing Memories: Pursuing...

read more
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