Weekly World Numismatic News for February 16, 2020

2020 Native American $1 ReverseIn our never-ending quest to convince more people to be interested in coin collecting, this week’s news provided us with another example of “if you do something that people like, they will be interested.”

As the U.S. Mint released the Native American dollar coin with the image of Civil Rights leader Elizabeth Peratrovich, Alaskans are clamoring for a wider release of the coin. It is the first time since the early days of the small-dollar programs that there is a broad interest in $1 coins.

Elizabeth Peratrovich was an Alaskan native who was instrumental in having Alaska’s Anti-Discrimination Law passed by the territorial government. It was the first anti-discrimination law of any type passed in the United States.

Alaskans are asking that the Federal Reserve release 5 million coins into general circulation. The Seattle Branch of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank is responsible for banking in Alaska.

The Alaska State Legislature passed a resolution requesting the Federal Reserve make these coins available to Alaskans.

Although the Federal Reserve has not publically responded, they should be talking with the U.S. Mint to strike the 5 million coins necessary to send to Alaska. The coins may not circulate, but it is an excellent promotion for coin collecting.

Over the last few years, we have learned that interesting themes have sold well. Look at the interest in the American Somoa National Park fruit bat design. It is a well-executed design that is very interesting and has people looking for the coin in change. It will likely be in the one America the Beautiful Quarter in the most demand.

Other commemorative coins did very well when there was an exciting topic. With no offense to the American Legion, an outstanding organization, but what was the difference in the interest between their commemorative coin and the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative?

Remember the Girl Scouts’ commemorative coin fiasco?

You do not have to be a rocket scientist or a marketing guru to understand people will buy what they like. It is why the Royal Canadian Mint and the New Zealand Mint sign deals with entertainment companies to sell coins with movies, comics, and other images. These coins sell.

Unfortunately, we have a congress in the way that prevents the U.S. Mint from expanding its product line. Without being able to create collector coins for a new audience, we will continue to try to figure out ways to do the impossible: get more people interested in collecting coins.

And now the news…

 January 23, 2020
Antiques Road Trip is back on our screens this February 2020, with more antiques experts ready to haggle and bag a bargain. Each series follows the same premise, as two experts head out across the country, scouring for the best finds they can then take to auction.  → Read more at realitytitbit.com

 February 11, 2020
A collection of Celtic coins in a Jersey museum has received a Guinness World Record for the largest collection of Iron Age coins discovered in the United Kingdom or Ireland. The total number of coins found in the huge hoard was a staggering 69,347, overtaking the previous record of 54,951 coins held by a collection in Wiltshire.   → Read more at irishcentral.com

 February 11, 2020
OTTAWA — Willie O'Ree's image is on a plaque in the Hockey Hall of Fame, a likeness of his trademark fedora sits atop an NHL award that bears his name, and two hockey rinks in the United States and Canada are named in his honor.  → Read more at nhl.com

 February 13, 2020
The 2020 Native American $1 Coin depicts Alaska Native civil rights leader Elizabeth Peratrovich and a formline raven. (U.S. Mint)  → Read more at alaskapublic.org

 February 13, 2020
Before the $20 bill is redesigned, Harriet Tubman could appear on a coin.  → Read more at auburnpub.com

 February 14, 2020
Seven ancient coins were returned to the government of Cyprus Friday at a repatriation ceremony in Washington, D.C. (CBP Photo/Handout) BALTIMORE, MD — More than 10 years after federal agents in Baltimore discovered ancient coins in a search of cargo, they returned them to their rightful owner: the government of Cyprus.  → Read more at patch.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News January 12, 2020

Congratulation to the Louisiana State University Tigers for winning the National Championship!

My story of the week comes from England, where a father, separated from the boy’s mother, lives 100 miles away from his son. To maintain their bond, the father and son collect coins.

Aside from using coins as their bond, the video notes that when they are together, the pair looks for coins in Britain’s version of thrift stores. Some of the stores are run by charitable organizations whose inventory relies on donations.

Jacob, 7, and his dad John are not hunting high-end coins. They are looking for interesting pieces, filling holes from pocket change, and anything else they can find. It is father and son time over a shared interest that each can do on their own and talk about later.

Watch the video below. Maybe it will give you an idea as to how to use coins to bond with your children.

And now the news…

 January 6, 2020
HUDSON, Wis. — St. Croix County prosecutors last week charged a Minnesota woman accused of stealing more than $42,000 worth of coins from her deceased father’s property in rural Somerset. Willernie resident Kathy L.  → Read more at rivertowns.net

 January 6, 2020
Local News by: Posted: Jan 6, 2020 / 11:41 AM MST / Updated:  → Read more at krqe.com

 January 9, 2020
Piggy bank full of gold coins An incredible find has just been made in Israel when lucky archaeologists discovered a series of gold coins hidden in what appears to be an ancient “piggy bank”.  → Read more at thevintagenews.com

 January 10, 2020
“How many people will I annoy when I try to pay with 18 coins?” I thought to myself.  → Read more at buffalonews.com

 January 12, 2020
A father who lives almost 100 miles away from his seven-year-old son says coin collecting has brought them closer together. John Gamble introduced Jacob to the hobby after separating from his partner.  → Read more at bbc.com

 January 12, 2020
It's a little discrepancy you may never even have noticed before but, once you spot it, it's hard not to wonder why. Queen Elizabeth's iconic profile faces to the left on postage stamps, perhaps so she can read the postcards, but to the right on all coins.  → Read more at mylondon.news

 January 12, 2020
Editor's Note: 2020 is expected to be another year of significant uncertainty and turmoil. But the question is what asset will emerge the victor when the dust settles from the global trade war, Brexit, recession threats, negative bond yields.  → Read more at kitco.com

 January 12, 2020
Keep an eye out for a shiny new quarter with a raised image of fruit bats and be careful not to let the coin fly out of your wallet or pocket. As part of the U.S.  → Read more at abcnews.go.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for January 5, 2020

I have been a busy week, month, and year. Many of you have stuck with me while Real Life has taken a lot of my time. I appreciate your support. I have more things to write about and will try to do so in 2020.

Resolve to keep happy, and your joy and you shall form an invincible host against difficulties.
— Hellen Keller

News opened for the new year with ancient coins returning to Mexico after previously been legal for trade.

Pre-Hispanic Mexican Coins

Pre-Hispanic Mexican coins that were recently “returned” to Mexico (Image courtesy of Mexico News Daily)

According to the story, Mexico requested the return of 3,500 pre-Hispanic copper coins after discovering its existence in 2013. The coins were obtained by Florida collector in the 1960s, long before the UNESCO convention that turned foreign governments into treasure hunters.

After the coins were taken to Spain for auction, the Mexican government contacted the FBI asking for their help. Allegedly, the collector voluntarily turned them over.

Even though the coins were obtained legally and subsequently legislated into chattel, foreign governments continue to attack United States collectors because they can.

Under the UNESCO convention, numismatic items are the most problematic. When so many examples exist, every coin should not be considered cultural property. Countries can be reasonable and hold back a few examples that would help tell their story, but what is wrong with sharing that story with the world? Does 3,500 coins, most that will never see the light of day again, have to be hidden from the public in Mexico? Would it be against Mexico’s interest to share about 85-percent of that hoard with the world?

Watchers of how countries selectively enforce the provisions UNESCO convention will note that the majority of claims on the alleged numismatic cultural property occurs in the United States or against Americans abroad. Why does the Italian government not claim property rights for all the Roman hoards found in the United Kingdom? Why has there not been claims made against hoards found along the path of the Silk Road during the last few decades?

The only time the UNESCO convention is invoked for numismatics is when someone tries to smuggle coins out their countries, which is reasonable, or in the United States. Why?

And now the news…

 December 31, 2019
The United States returned a collection of over 3,500 pre-Hispanic copper coins to Mexican authorities in a ceremony in Miami on Monday. The coins were used in what are now Michoacán and Guerrero between the years 1200 and 1500, according to Jessica Cascante, spokesperson for the Mexican Consulate in Miami.  → Read more at mexiconewsdaily.com

 December 31, 2019
What I see for them is not yet, What I behold will not be soon: A star rises from Yaakov, A scepter comes forth from Yisrael; It smashes the brow of Moab, The foundation of all children of Shet. Numbers 24:17 (The Israel Bible™)  → Read more at breakingisraelnews.com

 January 1, 2020
Rare gold dinars from Abbasid caliphate period found inside a juglet in Yavneh Liat Nadav-Ziv, Israel Antiquities Authority A hoard including rare gold coins from the early Islamic period about 1,200 years ago was found during a salvage excavation in Yavneh on Thursday.  → Read more at haaretz.com

 January 5, 2020
To take one and two-cent coins from circulation, such is the idea the Bank of Lithuania will start a discussion on. Retailers, however, see risks in consumer mood over rounding sums up.  → Read more at bnn-news.com

 January 5, 2020
Today when authorities warn of bad bills or counterfeit money it's usually 20 dollar bills. In 1908 the problem was bogus coins — silver dollars, dimes and quarters. While it might seem not worth the trouble to create, such a coin could purchase much more than today.  → Read more at whig.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for December 29, 2019

PCGS NFC illustration

PCGS plans to place an NFC chip under their labels. (PCGS Image)

The year is ending with the news that Coin World and PCGS are trying to leverage technology to allegedly combat counterfeiting and provide a value add to the hobby.

Coin World wants to join the sticker craze and add one to your NGC or PCGS slabbed coin. PCGS is offering a similar technology under the label.

Both services will use something called Near Field Communication (NFC). NFC is a technology based on low-frequency communications where a transmitter emits a signal when activated by a reader.

Although NFC is not a new technology, it had gained interest when Apple announced that the latest iPhones had programmable NFC hardware. The NFC capabilities built into prior versions of the iPhone were not accessible outside of Apple’s applications running on the phone.

You may have used NFC without your knowledge. All contactless payments like Apple Pay, Google Pay, and the tap-to-pay credit cards require NFC. Many department stores are using they call smart tags, which are tags with an NFC chip embedded in them. Aside from electronic payment, contactless keycards, sometimes called proximity cards, are used to access restricted areas are NFC-based technologies.

NFC Tag

One Example of an NFC Tag

Now Coin World and PCGS want to bring it to numismatics.

Like every technology, NFC is not perfect. Its most significant risks come from the use of NFC tags. These low-power devices have limitations that have allowed hackers to defeat whatever features they are supposed to protect.

The security concerns do not consider privacy issues. Do you trust PCGS or Coin World with the data they claim to be keeping? Do you trust that this data will not be for sale under any circumstances? Do you trust that there are sufficient protections in place to prevent others from hacking the NFC antenna that will allow you to be tracked?

In my past life in information security, I had the opportunity to test the security of these wireless communications. As part of the test, I was able to walk out into the parking lot and open car doors without access to the keys. Unfortunately, the principles I used in that demonstration are the same that others have used to hack NFC.

As we head into 2020, I plan to discuss the impact of NFC from the perspective of someone who used to look at this stuff for a living and had to explain it to non-technical people.

And now the news…

 December 23, 2019
Most years, at least, a nickel produced that same year would show up in pocket change somewhere between late winter and mid-summer.Not in 2019. I even purchased two rolls of nickels from a bank in …  → Read more at ottawacitizen.com

 December 25, 2019
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Tainan City police have arrested a woman suspected of smuggling in fake Taiwanese currency from China with the intention of disturbing the economic system on the island. According to Liberty Times, the police received a report from an owner of a claw machine who claimed that someone had been inserting fake NT$50 coins into the drop-and-grab machine.  → Read more at taiwannews.com.tw

 December 26, 2019
Local News Posted: Dec 26, 2019 / 11:10 AM MST / Updated:  → Read more at krqe.com

 December 26, 2019
The recent introduction of GHC 100 and GHC 200 new currency denominations has left many thinking about the nation’s one pesewa coin, which has gone into oblivion. Background It is common knowledge that, when currencies are introduced, they are well received by the people who are keen to hold them sometimes in admiration of the mere design amidst criticism of the colours and the features used.  → Read more at myjoyonline.com

 December 28, 2019
The United States Mint has announced that new reverse designs will be coming to the popular American Silver Eagle (ASE) and American Gold Eagle (AGE) coins in 2021, marking the end of the popular “family of eagles” reverse design by renowned sculptor Miley Tucker-Frost from the original 1986 gold coin series.  → Read more at newsmax.com

 December 28, 2019
Following heated debates in Crown Heights over a recently minted coin, we bring you a halachic exploration of the topic from the Ami Magazine. The beis din column appears weekly in the Ami Magazine.  → Read more at anash.org

 December 28, 2019
When a handy, capable soldier truly loves a woman, he can fashion something beautiful out of practically anything.  → Read more at djournal.com
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HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

HAPPY HOLIDAYS

As we celebrate the holidays and the new year, I hope we can remember those less fortunate who might need our help. Helping a neighbor is the best gift we can give and a sign of love beyond measure.

May the holidays find you happy, hopeful, and healthy.

Since I missed posting the news from Sunday: and now the news…

 December 17, 2019
A men who attempted to smuggle £450,000 in counterfeit £1 coins into the UK have been jailed for 50 months. Edward Magill (pictured) of Northern Ireland conspired with a haulier to smuggle the old-style round coins – which were manufactured illegally at the European Central Mint (ECM) in Westpoort, Amsterdam – into the UK in December 2012.  → Read more at securingindustry.com

 December 17, 2019
Not using proper cleaning methods will permanently damage your coin. Read on to learn how to clean coins safely and easily here. Is your challenge coin in need of a good scrubbing?  → Read more at baltimorepostexaminer.com

 December 19, 2019
Seven coins and a Roman ring that were found by three metal detectorists have been declared treasure. The ring, found in Newport in October 2017, is decorated with a pattern representing a palm branch.  → Read more at bbc.com

 December 20, 2019
(Updated: 1:26 p.m. EST, 12/20/2019) Topline: Queen Elizabeth II approved a plan for new 50 pence coins to be minted with January’s planned Brexit date, first reported by Bloomberg, after two other coins meant to mark the occasion were scrapped previously when the U.K. failed to exit the bloc.  → Read more at forbes.com

 December 22, 2019
Builders have stumbled upon a treasure trove of 200-year-old coins worth nearly half a million pounds. The 10,000 coins were discovered during renovation work in the historic city of Krakow in Poland.  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk
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Weekly World Numismatic News for December 15, 2019 +2

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… especially if you are in retail and your sales are tripling! I hope to be on time with next week’s news report. Until then, here is what I had planned to say on Sunday.

2019 Australian Coincryption

“Coincryption” from the Royal Australian Mint (Image via news.com.au)

The old information security geek became excited when I found out that the Royal Australian Mint issued a coin that had an encrypted message. They also held a contest to see who could decrypt the message.

The coin, called “Coincryption,” was issued in honor of the 70th anniversary of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO). The ASIO is equivalent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation in the United States.

As part of the contest, the person who cracked the code was eligible to receive a one-of-a-kind coin designed to celebrate the anniversary of the ASIO.

To crack the code, you need to use the one-time pad as a key. A one-time pad (OTP) is randomly generated text that, when you apply a specific formula, will reveal each letter. OTPs can be very secure if used only once, and the equation to decode the message is frequently changed.

For this contest, the Royal Australian Mint published the OTP in the literature sold with the coin (for AU$10) or online. Since the contest is over, the Royal Australian Mint removed the OTP from their website.

UPDATE: I found the OTP on the Royal Mint’s website → here.

According to the press report, the decoded message says:

There is no greater honour than the trust of the Australian people or weightier burden than protecting the security of Australia and its people.

If you want an encryption challenge, you can try your skills at Kryptos, the copper sculpture that is outside of the Central Intelligence Agency’s headquarters in Langley, Virginia.

Kryptos contains four messages in the 865 characters carved into the sculpture. Since its installation in 1990, world-wide experts have solved three of the four messages. The last 97 characters, known as K4, remain unsolved.

Since Kryptos is on the CIA grounds, it is off-limits to the public. However, the CIA has made it available on their website. More information about Kryptos, including the messages hidden in the first three panels, is available in this article.

Kryptos might be a good idea for a commemorative coin. Create a clad coin with K4, attach it to a card with information about the sculpture that includes the cipher, and offer a special gold coin to whoever solved the puzzle. Add a $5 surcharge and donate the money to STEM education.

And now the news…

 December 3, 2019
A metal detectorist has said he was "amazed" as a hoard of 99 silver Anglo-Saxon coins that he found in a farmer's field sold at auction for £90,000. The proceeds will be split 50/50 between builder Don Crawley, who unearthed the pennies at the site of a forgotten Saxon church in Suffolk, and the landowner.  → Read more at scotsman.com

 December 9, 2019
Nine silver quarters recovered from the wreck of a sunken ship carrying tonnes of treasure during the California Gold Rush are ready for auction. The rare quarters were recovered in 2014 from the wreck of SS Central America, a steamship that sank on September 12, 1857, while carrying gold and other treasure from San Francisco to New York.  → Read more at 9news.com.au

 December 10, 2019
Belgium did it earlier this month, following Finland, the Netherlands, Ireland and Italy Making cash payments is gradually getting easier in Western Europe. As of the beginning of December, it is no longer possible to pay cash amounts like 3,22 or 5,99 euros when you shop in Belgium.  → Read more at themayor.eu

 December 14, 2019
Magill, 55, from Newry in Northern Ireland, gets a 50-month sentence for conspiring to import fake currency.  → Read more at news.sky.com

 December 14, 2019
The Royal Australian Mint has finally revealed the secret message hidden on a “unique and exciting” Aussie coin. In September this year, the Mint made history after releasing the first Aussie coin featuring a secret code.  → Read more at news.com.au

 December 14, 2019
Sackers scrap metal and waste recycling The haul was made up of some legal tender and some old notes Staff at a scrap metal dealer who found about £20,000 as they cut up a safe to be recycled will donate the money to charity after no-one claimed it.  → Read more at bbc.co.uk

 December 14, 2019
Swissmint’s retail website buckled under pressure as demand soared for a commemorative coin featuring the country’s tennis star Roger Federer. A look at some old coins that are worth a fortune today:  → Read more at economictimes.com
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