Weekly World Numismatic News for April 14, 2019

Fifty cents = $5,000: The two Quarter Quest-winning PCGS First Discovery 2019-W Lowell quarter dollars side-by-side. (Photo credit: Professional Coin Grading Service www.PCGS.com.)

This week, the Professional Coin Grading Service announced that they would provide a $5,000 for the first collector to send in a new 2019-W Lowell National Historical Park quarter. By Friday, PCGS announced that two people won the prize. Each will receive $2,500.

During the week, I had two occasions to go to the bank and purchase rolls of quarters. Even though I asked for new rolls, most of the quarters I received were either from 2018 or non-W mint quarters from 2019. In the shop, I checked every quarter received for payment and when I received quarters in change.

The competitive side of me wanted to be the first, or amongst the first to find one of these quarters. Even after running errands earlier today, I did not find any coin struck in 2019.

PCGS is still rewarding those who find the W mint quarters with special labels and cash prizes. Even though the top prize was claimed, I want to find one in change!

And now the news…

 April 8, 2019

When you rifle around in your purse for some change soon, you might be lucky enough to pull out a new 50 cent coin, launched today by the Royal Australian Mint to celebrate the International Year of Indigenous Languages.  → Read more at theconversation.com


 April 9, 2019

Country continues tradition of honoring icons of art and science over politicians on its currency.  → Read more at soranews24.com


 April 9, 2019

Australia has issued a new coin celebrating some of the country’s indigenous languages, many of which are at risk of extinction.  → Read more at cnn.com


 April 10, 2019

Why is gold valuable? For thousands of years, gold has functioned as a store of wealth that sees its value climb in times of economic or societal unrest. Gold jewelry has been a sought-after luxury good since before the dawn of the first civilizations.  → Read more at gainesvillecoins.com


 April 10, 2019

SARANAC LAKE — Stephen Krupka’s metal detector beeped and wailed as he passed it over the soft ground Tuesday afternoon. “Looks like we’ve got a nickel signal here,” he said. Kneeling down, he took out a serrated hand trowel and cut a plug of grass from Denny Park on the corner of Pine Street and Bloomingdale Avenue.  → Read more at adirondackdailyenterprise.com


 April 11, 2019

A treasure hunter has struck it rich after digging up a 500-year-old gold coin that could be worth more than £4,000 ($5,200), but refuses to part with his rare find. Gareth Millward unearthed the coin in a field near Ashbourne, Derbyshire, and says it is the highlight of his four-year hobby.  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk


 April 12, 2019

(Kitco News) – Wall Street is split on the near-term direction of gold prices, while Main Street remains bullish, according to the weekly Kitco News gold survey.  → Read more at kitco.com

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 The Hunt Is On! (Apr 11, 2019)

 

March 2019 Numismatic Legislation Review

When it comes to numismatic-related legislation, proposing commemorative coin programs can look like a pastime to the members of Congress. At the prompting of constituent groups, members will submit bills that have everyone excited but does not deliver on its promise.

For now, the only commemorative coin program that has become law is the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.

In March, members of Congress have introduced bills to create five more commemorative coin programs. All have merit but the reality is that most of these bills will not pass Congress.

For the 116th Congress, there have been 16 numismatic-related bills submitted covering 13 different commemoratives (some are introduced in both the House and Senate to increase its chance of passage). One bill, Route 66 Centennial Commission Act (H.R. 66), was added to the watch list because the bill recommends a possible commemorative coin for the celebration.

Maybe there will be something more exciting to report next month.

S. 639: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Sen. Tom Cotton (R-AR)
Introduced: March 4, 2019
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Mar 4, 2019
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-S639.

H.R. 1805: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the centennial of the establishment of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Sponsor: Rep. Brad R. Wenstrup (R-OH)
Introduced: March 14, 2019
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 14, 2019
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR1805.

H.R. 1830: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
Sponsor: Rep. Sean P. Maloney (D-NY)
Introduced: March 18, 2019
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 18, 2019
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR1830.

H.R. 1865: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint a coin in commemoration of the opening of the National Law Enforcement Museum in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. William J. Pascrell (D-NJ)
Introduced: March 25, 2019
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 25, 2019
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR1865.

H.R. 1923: To amend title 31, United States Code, to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue quarter dollars in commemoration of the Nineteenth Amendment, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Barbara Lee (D-CA)
Introduced: March 27, 2019
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 27, 2019
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR1923.

H.R. 1982: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and celebration of the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Sponsor: Rep. Joseph D. Morelle (D-NY)
Introduced: March 28, 2019
Referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition to the Committee on the Budget, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. — Mar 28, 2019
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR1982.

Weekly World Numismatic Newsletter for March 31, 2019

2019 National Money ShowDid you know there was a big coin show in Pittsburgh?

The National Money Show was held this past week in Pittsburgh with a rousing silence. There was no news. No announcements. Nothing.

It had to be one of the quietest shows in recent memory.

Although I could not attend, I was waiting for something to come across my email to let me know that the numismatic industry is alive, well, and enjoying Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh is a really nice place. It has shaken off its past as a result of the steel mills closing and has really turned itself around. Its redevelopment was well underway when I attended Carnegie Mellon for graduate school. It has only become better.

Since it is baseball season just two off-topic notes about Pittsburgh. Did you know that the last home plate used for Forbes Field is under glass in the main hall at the Pitt Law School? It’s not the exact location but close enough. Also, behind the Law School is what remains of the left field wall. It was left in tribute to the Bill Mazeroski game-winning home run against the Yankees in the 1960 World Series.

Did someone go to Pittsburgh for the National Money Show? Or did they go out and ride the Duquesne Incline, visit the Strip District, tour the Heinz History Center, or relax in Schenley Park? There are great places to eat on the South Side including at Station Square, but there was a show going on. What happened?

Instead of worrying about whether a kids-oriented set sold by the U.S. Mint is good for the hobby, maybe the hobby has to think about letting the world know that it still exists!

And now the news…

 March 24, 2019

The Royal Mint unveiled its Peter Rabbit 2019 coin recently, with the new designs becoming available only last week. At the time of writing, three different designs of the mischievous Beatrix Potter character had been released.  → Read more at express.co.uk


 March 25, 2019

A commemorative 50p coin to celebrate Brexit has not been minted yet, in what must surely be the ultimate metaphor for Brexit. The coin was announced at last year's Budget, with the Treasury suggesting it would bear the date '29 March 2019' and be available from Brexit day.  → Read more at mirror.co.uk


 March 25, 2019

The single biggest hoard of Celtic coins ever found is now thought to be two separate stashes that were buried together. The Le Câtillon II hoard includes 70,000 gold and silver coins and 11 gold torques, or necklaces, and dates to the First Century AD.  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk


 March 25, 2019

This rare Irish coin could fetch thousands of Euro at an auctionWhyte's A rare Irish 20p coin could fetch up to $6,800 (€6,000) at an upcoming auction in the Dublin. Read More: A guide to valuing all your old Irish coins  → Read more at irishcentral.com


 March 27, 2019

A COIN fan who stabbed a fellow enthusiast to death and stole his collection has been jailed for life. Danny Bostock, 33, broke into Gordon McGhee’s flat and knifed him at least 14 times. SWNS:South West News Service  → Read more at thesun.co.uk


 March 29, 2019

From time to time, legislation gets introduced in Congress to eliminate dollar bills in favor of dollar coins. The lawmakers pushing the legislation always tout it as a way to save the government money.  → Read more at fedsmith.com


 March 30, 2019

KOLKATA: Winds of change are blowing over this 232-year-old church, tucked in one corner of Dalhousie, diagonally opposite Raj Bhavan. St John’s Church, which was the first cathedral the British built in the country and was the only cathedral till St Paul’s was built, is being thrown open to public programmes.  → Read more at timesofindia.indiatimes.com

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Brace yourself, the U.S. Mint is about to release another product for the kids

Although the U.S. Mint has not formally announced it, on March 28, 2019, they will make the 2019 Explore and Discover Coin Set (Product Code 19XGB) available to the general public. It is the second of three sets to be issued this year designed to get kids interested in coins.

This set features new characters they call the Mighty Minters.™ According to the U.S. Mint, the Might Minters are “fun, diverse, and relatable ambassadors to children, parents, and gift-givers. Each character projects its own style while introducing a variety of new Mint products to kids.” Although the concept may seem cheesy to us alleged adults, those who deal with the diverse population daily understands that in order to get the younger people interested they have to be engaged on their level.

I know. I know. It was different when we grew up. Back then you could still find silver coins in pocket change. Wheatback cents were about as common as Memorial cents are today. People even tried to use Susan B. Anthony dollars in their daily lives before confusing it with a quarter.

But that was the past.

Today’s children have a much different view on things. For one, if they are 18 years old or younger, they were born after 9/11 or were an infant and do not remember what happened. They grew up with the Internet, smartphones, and computers everywhere doing nearly everything. You can get access to everything at almost any time while their parents always bought things online.

Not only is money still important but the United States government owns the world’s largest money manufacturing business. No other mint manufactures, sells, or is more profitable than the United State Mint. It is an agency that does not get enough credit for producing billions of dollars of goods that our economy thrives on.

The U.S. Mint’s products are useful and collectible. And while there have been a few design issues, it is able to produce millions of versions of the art that people carry around daily and with an error rate that should make any company envious.

Errors are a fun aspect of the hobby because the rate of the errors is low. This is likely why the U.S. Mint is including a blank one cent planchet in the set. Not only does it show what a coin looks like before it is struck, but it also introduces kids to error collecting.

The Explore and Discover Coin Set introduce kids to the full range of circulating products produced by the U.S. Mint including the longest running design in the Mint’s history: Victor D. Brenner’s Lincon cent design.

In addition to a 2019 Jefferson Nickel and Roosevelt Dime, they are introduced to the Kennedy Half-Dollar. One of the quickest coin designs ever produced, the Kennedy half-dollar is not circulated as half-dollars once were. Although there are a lot of theories as to why half-dollars stopped circulating, one was that the 1964 half-dollar, which was made using an alloy that was 90-percent silver, was saved by many in honor of the slain president coupled with the coin shortage that followed effectively ended the coin’s circulation.

Also in the set is the first 2019-issued Lowell National Historical Park Quarter and 2019 Native American $1 Coin featuring American Indians in the Space Program honoring the achievement of Native Americans dating back to Mary Golda Ross (Cherokee Nation), the first Native American engineer at NASA.

These are two coins that should help kids not only learn about the coins but also about the subjects they depict. This should not discount the dollar coin’s obverse of Sacagawea carrying her baby, Jean Paul Baptiste.

It is another opportunity for the hobby purists to weigh in on how the U.S. Mint is getting it wrong before it sells out!

Weekly World Numismatic Newsletter for March 24, 2019

2019 Celebrating The Life of Stephen Hawking 50P Coin Reverse
(Image Courtesy of the Royal Mint)

As I peruse the non-numismatic news sources looking for coins and collecting-related information, I am surprised how much is published by the media in other countries about their coins. Interestingly, most of the stories are either from the Commonwealth Realm or those countries formerly a member of the Commonwealth Realm.

A Commonwealth Realm is a sovereign country in which the Monarch of Great Britain, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is the reigning constitutional monarch and head of state. The role of the queen is largely symbolic as the government of each country manage its domestic affairs.

As part of this management, each country produces its own coinage. Within the Commonwealth Realm, the largest state-run mints are the Royal Mint, Royal Canadian Mint, Royal Australian Mint, and Perth Mint. There are other private mints that produce legal tender coins, but these are the only government-owned mints in the commonwealth.

Every time one of these mints issues a new coin for circulation, the information is all over their country’s media. For example, in the run-up to the issue of the Peter Rabbit circulating 50p commemorative as part of the Royal Mint’s Beatrix Potter series, nearly every news outlet in the U.K. has been covering the anticipation.

This phenomenon is not restricted to the Commonwealth Realm. Former Commonwealth members also heavily promote their coins. We know that India is issuing a 12-sided 20 rupee coin along with other new designs. South Africa Reserve Bank is issuing circulating coins to celebrate the country’s 25 years as a Constitutional Democracy.

Yet the United States press has been largely silent. Sure, there are blurbs when a congressperson drops a bill into the virtual hopper but the press has been silent after that.

While there were other things going on in December, there was very little reported about the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Act for 2020.

There was hardly a peep out of the press for the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative coins. Even with the political turmoil, this country should be commemorating one of its greatest feats of the 20th century that did not involve bombs or bullets.

There has been more coverage in the science and tech-related press about the release of the Black Hole coin honoring Stephen Hawking by the Royal Mint.

To its credit, the American Legion has been promoting the 100th Anniversary commemorative coins to their members. However, was there any general media outlets covering the program’s release?

The hobby is perceived to be dying because it is not attracting new members. How can the hobby attract new members when it does not promote itself outside of its insular bubble?

I am sure that I will hear from the bullion sellers because they have been crowing about the steady rise of gold prices. Aside from being an investment and not a hobby issue, the rise of gold prices is alarming. Investing in gold and other precious metals is seen as a safe-harbor move when investors predict that markets will be less lucrative. If investors are pulling money out of other investments to invest in gold that means they do not trust the markets and we may be in for problems.

If we stop worrying about what is good or bad for the hobby and figure out how it could survive, maybe we can attract new collectors. First, we have to do is to let everyone know the hobby still exists.

And now the news…

 March 12, 2019

This new series comprising denominations of ₹1, ₹2, ₹5, ₹10, and ₹20, designed by the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, will aid the visually-impaired through its thoughtful design. As per the notification issued by the Ministry of Finance, apart from the ₹20 coin, which will be a 12-sided polygon (a dodecagon), the rest of the coins will be circular in shape.  → Read more at architecturaldigest.in


 March 18, 2019

A 14th-century French gold coin was discovered inside one of three hidden drawers in a bureau inherited by a woman who lives in Derbyshire, England. The mother of three, Amy Clapp, 37, told reporters she had no idea the 650-year-old coin — or the secret drawers — existed after being left a 20th-century bureau by her distant cousin.  → Read more at thevintagenews.com


 March 19, 2019

The brand new commemorative Peter Rabbit coin that was announced last week has been released to the public. The new coin features an original illustration of Peter Rabbit taken from the book, The Tales of Benjamin Bunny.  → Read more at inews.co.uk


 March 19, 2019

TYLER, TX (KLTV) – An East Texas woman found a unique coin on the side of the road by the Caldwell Zoo more than six months ago, and she wants to find its rightful owner. Jan Hommel, the director of the American Freedom Museum, knew exactly where the coin came from.  → Read more at kltv.com


 March 19, 2019

A $1 million penny, a $3 million nickel and more than $100 million more in rare coins are coming to Pittsburgh from March 28 through 30 when the National Coin & Money Show stops at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.  → Read more at triblive.com


 March 20, 2019

A "rare" 650-year-old coin found in a secret drawer in a desk has been sold for £850 at auction. The 14th Century coin was discovered inside one of three hidden drawers in a 1970s bureau, left to a woman by a long-lost relative.  → Read more at bbc.com


 March 21, 2019

A number of new coins have been approved by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and celebrate the country’s 25 years as a Constitutional Democracy. A few of the coins will be collector’s items, and the R500 and R50 coins are specifically made for commemorative purposes only.  → Read more at capetownetc.com


 March 23, 2019

LITTLETON, N.H. — After playing a key role in the success of Littleton Coin Company for nearly 30 years, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer Mike Morelli has announced his retirement at the end of 2019.  → Read more at caledonianrecord.com

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