As I returned from two weeks off, I noticed that the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation (ACEF) warned about Chinese counterfeits using the example of a gentleman in Texas who was scammed by buying counterfeits.
According to the report, “Oliver” paid $1,000 for counterfeit coins. As part of the order, Oliver paid $499 for an American Gold Eagle that the U.S. Mint sold for $1,950. He paid $499 for 50 alleged American Silver Eagles that would have been worth $40 each and received fakes.
If Oliver had done a little due diligence, he would not have been scammed out of $1,000. Sure, he will work with his credit card company to recover his money, but that may be $1,000 that the credit card company has to absorb. The credit card company will try to recover the money from the scammer, but the process will cost money.
Remember, credit card companies do not absorb these losses. They will raise service charges and interest rates to compensate for the losses. Oliver might be made whole, but we will all pay for his lapse of judgment.
Before you purchase these alleged “good deals,” please remember my rules:
- NO LEGITIMATE DEALER IS SELLING BULLION COINS FOR BELOW THE SPOT PRICE!
- IF THE DEAL IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT LIKELY IS NOT A GOOD DEAL!
- IF THE DEALER DOES NOT IDENTIFY THEMSELVES ON THEIR WEBSITE, THEY ARE LIKELY HIDING SOMETHING!
Check the “About” or “Contact” page. If there is no address, then they are hiding. If the address is in China or the Middle East, they will sell you counterfeit merchandise. If there is an address, go to Google Maps and see what is really at the address.
- IF THERE ARE ANY QUESTIONS, THEN DO NOT PURCHASE THE COINS!
There is no harm in asking for help. Talk to a dealer. If you do not know a dealer, reach out to an expert affiliated with the Accredited Precious Metals Dealer program (www.APMDdealers.org) or the Professional Numismatists Guild (www.PNGdealers.org). Or ask me! Using my background as a (now retired) information security specialist, I can tell you if I think a scammer created the website.
Please! Please! Please! Do not give these scammers your credit card information. You will be ripped off, and they will likely steal your credit card information, leading to other problems.
And now the news…
Copper was a crucial element in making bullets for the war efforts. With the production of war materials increasing, congress and the U.S. Mint thought that striking the cent using another metal would help. After testing different materials in 1942, the U.S. Mint selected a zinc-coated steel planchet. In 1943, the U.S. Mint produced 1,093,838,670 steel cents between the three mints.
The coins were not well received by the public. Their size and lighter weight caused many people to confuse the steel cent with the dime. The zinc coating would wear as the coin circulated, allowing rust to form on the steel.
With over 1 billion coins struck, there are plenty of opportunities to collect steel cents. At the time, some people saved rolls, and others put the coins aside because they did not like to use them. They can be purchased online or from many dealers.
When looking for steel cents for a collection, look for a coin that continues to show its zinc color. The zinc will be a semi-bright silvery color that does not have a very shiny look. Grey-looking and dark grey coins have been handled and should be less expensive.
Nice examples of Steel Cents are not expensive. With over 680 million struck in Philadelphia, uncirculated examples of those coins cost $2.50 – $3.00. There were over 210 million struck in Denver, uncirculated 1943-D steel cents will sell for $3.25 – $4.00. There were fewer steel cents struck in San Francisco. Over 190 million struck, uncirculated 1943-S coins cost $5.00 – 6.50.
When buying coins for your collection, be careful with coins that look shinier than others. These coins may be reprocessed Steel Cents. Reprocessed steel cents are real coins but have a new coating of polished zinc. While they are pretty coins, numismatists consider these coins damaged and advise not collecting them if you are looking for value.
Rather than continuing to use the steel planchet, the U.S. Mint used copper recovered from the spent shell casing used for ammunition. The shell casing came from the training fields in the United States and not from the battlefields.
In 1944 and 1945, spent ammunition provided the copper used to strike Lincoln Cents. These coins are known as shotgun case cents and are darker than other copper coins because the smelting process could not remove all of the impurities from the ammunition.
There are famous 1943 Lincoln Cents struck on copper planchets, and 1944 cents struck on steel. These are rare coins and not as readily available.
The 1943 Steel Cent is the only circulating coin ever produced by the United States Mint that does not contain copper. Collecting a complete three-coin set adds a historic coin to your collection at an affordable price.
And now the news…
That curiosity in history had me searching for the auction of a significant piece of numismatic history. An article appeared at Coin Week reporting that a sample PCGS Type 1 holder with a handwritten label was up for auction at Great Collections.
According to the auction description, it is a prototype holder for a very worn Peace dollar to show how a coin with a worn date could be certified by PCGS. The handwritten label was produced in 1989 or 1990, with PCGS confirming the label’s authenticity.
The label is a demonstration of the growing pains experienced by PCGS. By 1989, PCGS was three years old and experienced an exception to its established procedures. Long before low-ball collecting, what does a company do with a low-grade coin?
The prototype holder with a coin that would likely grade PO-1 today is an artifact of numismatic history. Aside from its historical significance, it is just a cool item. The price as this is being written is $5,050. The auction ends Sunday, June 19, 2022, at 06:38 PM Pacific Time. Get your bids in!
The college-age child of a friend accepted a summer job in London and went early to witness the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. Earlier today, I joined my friend on a video talk with the group of U.S. students staying in a London hotel.
During the discussion about the atmosphere around the streets of London, I asked about coins and medals that they encountered. All of the students found a 50 pence coin issued by the Royal Mint, and almost every shop and street vendor carried the coin they included in making change.
Other souvenirs the group collected are aluminum tokens with images commemorating the jubilee. The tokens were reminiscent of Mardi Gras tokens. Some found tokens that were the size of the old large penny with images of the Queen at various ages.
A few found currency-looking commemoratives, and they were designed as £70 notes with images of the Queen. The reverse has the name and address of a London business using the notes as an advertising opportunity.
The jubilee celebration is over, but the collectibles will live on.
And now the news…
Memorial Day took on national significance following World War I when the nation began to recognize all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice during all conflicts. By the end of World War II, most of the celebrations were renamed to Memorial Day. Memorial Day did not become an official holiday until 1967 with the passage of the Uniform Holidays Act (sometimes referred to as the Monday Holiday Bill). The law set Memorial Day to the last Monday in May, changing it from the traditional May 30.
The modern Memorial Day is a holiday celebrating the lives of those sacrificed in defense of the United States and its ideals at home and abroad. We honor the memories of those who paid the ultimate sacrifice so that we can collect what we like. They have gifted us the freedom so that I can write this blog and you can read and share it with others.
And now the news…
For most of the 21st century, many groups have advocated for eliminating the $1 bill, while others provide a counterpoint to maintain the status quo. While the discussion of eliminating the note has economic and policy concerns that lawmakers must address, how would the U.S. government implement the policy?
The Federal Reserve Act of 1918 gives the Federal Reserve the authority to procure, distribute, and manage the nation’s currency supply. They must procure the paper money from the Treasury Department, but the Federal Reserve is required to tell Treasury how much money they need to print. But does the Fed determine which notes to print?
The law (12 U.S. Code § 418) says that the Treasury Department prints notes in “the denominations of $1, $2, $5, $10, $20, $50, $100, $500, $1,000, $5,000, $10,000 as may be required to supply the Federal Reserve banks.” The statement suggests that the Federal Reserve banks set the printing requirements. Does this mean that the Federal Reserve banks can tell Treasury that it no longer requires them to print the $1 note?Neither entity can make this decision alone. On July 14, 1969, history teaches us that the Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve announced they would discontinue issuing $500 and higher notes “immediately due to lack of use.” Even though the Bureau of Engraving and Printing last printed these notes in 1945, the Nixon Administration felt that removing them from circulation would help reduce crime. The Federal Reserve withdrew the notes as customers deposited them in banks.
Although the denominations remain part of the law, the Federal Reserve Act gives the Federal Reserve latitude to manage the currency supply as it deems necessary. It was a policy enacted by the Treasury and Federal Reserve in tandem.
The agreement was not as easy as the history books want us to believe. In 1969, William McChesney “Bill” Martin was the Federal Reserve Chair. Martin was appointed by Harry S. Truman in 1951, fiercely guarded the Federal Reserve’s independence, and was known to push back against presidential policies with a minimalist approach to managing market factors. In the 1960s, Martin ran afoul of Lyndon Johnson and Richard Nixon for not doing more to help prevent a recession.
Following a meeting with Nixon in October 1969 about what his administration saw as an impending recession, Nixon announced that he would replace Martin when the Federal Reserve chair’s term expired on January 31, 1970.
It was not the first time the Federal Reserve changed United State currency without legislation. Since the formation of the Federal Reserve, the Federal Reserve authorized the printing of gold certificates, silver certificates, Legal Tender notes, Federal Reserve Banknotes, and the ongoing Federal Reserve Notes.
Before the formation of the Federal Reserve, the Treasury Department determined what currency to print and its design. Treasury Secretary Franklin MacVeagh proposed reducing the size of the currency paper in 1909. After years of study and discussion, Secretary Andrew Mellon approved new smaller designs issued in 1929. The change did not require new legislation.
Based on history, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Chairman of the Federal Reserve Jerome Powell can decide to withdraw the $1 Federal Reserve Note from circulation. Powell can instruct the Federal Reserve Banks to stop issuing $1 bills and use the $1 coin instead. When the notes return to the Federal Reserve System, they can withdraw the notes and destroy them as they do with old currency.
Yellen can refuse by saying that she is following her boss’s policies, the President of the United States. But the Federal Reserve is an independent agency and does not have to ask for permission. By law, if the Federal Reserve does not order the printing of new $1 bills, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing will not print new currency.
Politics may prevent Yellen and Powell from making this decision, but they can do it and allow the United States to join the rest of the civilized world that no longer carries its unit currency in paper form.