Weekly World Numismatic News for January 16, 2022

The late Harvey G. Stack and Muriel Eymery, both inspirations in numismatics

The deaths of Harvey G. Stack and Muriel Eymery and other events in my life have me thinking about our legacy on the hobby. All of us will leave a legacy, and whether it is with our family or the hobby in general, sometimes we need to take stock in what that legacy will be.

Although they were of different ages, Stack and Eymery had similar philosophies. Both wanted to bring advancement to the hobby by expanding what people collected. Stack was one of the people who advocated for the 50 State Quarters program, and Eymery was an advocate for international collecting for collectors from all over the world.

It was not enough for both to look beyond their primary interests. Stack could have made a good living from his New York City store selling rare coins, holding auctions, and serving a high-end community without being involved in areas that would help the average collector. Eymery took her passion and made a career in several countries, including the United States and Hong Kong. She became an ANA Governor overcoming xenophobia because she spoke with an accent even though she was a U.S. citizen.

Both stepped beyond their comfort zone to help the hobby and should be role models for all of us. Stack and Eymery went beyond their self-interests to grow the hobby. They had their business interests, but they could think beyond an alleged correct way to collect for the sake of the hobby.

What will your legacy be? Are you going to leave the hobby static or grow it by creating a legacy that collecting is fun and does not have to be limited by plastic-encased coins or printed albums? Or will you embrace everything that the hobby offers, including areas you do not collect?

For the memory of Harvey Stack and Muriel Eymery, we should commit to leaving a legacy of progress and inclusion in the hobby that all of us want to grow and thrive.

And now the news…

 January 11, 2022
Famous author and noted civil rights leader Maya Angelou became the first African American woman featured on the 25-cent coin. The U.S. Mint began shipping the quarters on January 10. Reportedly, the Angelou coin is the first in a series designed to celebrate the accomplishments of American women.  → Read more at spokesman-recorder.com

 January 13, 2022
A coin collector shows the commemorative coin, released by the Colombian Central Bank, to celebrate the 200th anniversary of Colombian independence.  → Read more at marketwatch.com

 January 14, 2022
Being called “two-faced” by someone today would most likely “breed a quarrel,” as the old saying goes. However, if one were to go back just two centuries to classical Rome, that same depiction might elicit a very different response.  → Read more at theday.com

 January 14, 2022
A hoard of 337 silver Roman coins, discovered in a field, have been declared as treasure.  → Read more at bbc.com

 January 14, 2022
A badger has led archaeologists to a hoard of more than 200 Roman coins that had been hidden in a cave in Spain for centuries. The animal had burrowed into a crack in the rock inside the La Cuesta cave in the Asturias region of northwest Spain, and dug out coins that were later discovered by a local man, Roberto García, according to a paper on the find published in December.  → Read more at cnn.com
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HAPPY NEW YEAR 2022!

2021 was a little better than 2020. We saw some of the world return to a normal with vaccines that allowed the return of coin shows. Unfortunately, the Omicron variant may put a damper on the immediate future. Please wear a mask, maintain a social 6-foot distance, wash your hands regularly, and be considerate of your neighbors and fellow citizens. I wish you and yours a Happy and Healthy 2022 and hope that you find the key coin of your dreams!

A Numismatic Look Forward to 2022

Bullion

The year will start with the U.S. Mint shipping 2022 American Silver Eagle bullion coins to authorized resellers. The first bullion coins will likely hit the streets within a week, and graded coins will take about a month to be processed by the grading services. Bullion dealers are selling these coins in advance of receiving inventory.

In 2022, the American Silver Eagles and American Gold Eagles will feature Type II reverses introduced in 2021.

2022 American Platinum Eagle Proof reverse celebrating the First Amendment right of Freedom of Speech

The first American Eagle coins will be the Platinum proof coins. American Platinum Eagle proof coins will continue the First Amendment to the United States Constitution Platinum Proof Coin Series with Freedom of Speech.

During some press briefings, the U.S. Mint has suggested that American Eagle coins will be released with different finishes. There has been no formal announcement for these options.

Commemorative Coins

The U.S. Mint will release two commemorative coin sets starting at the beginning of January. Both sets will consist of a $5 gold coin, silver dollar, and clad half-dollar.

The Negro Leagues Baseball Commemorative Coin Program celebrates the Negro Baseball League. Money raised from the sale of the coins will be paid to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City.

The other commemorative three-coin set will be the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Program. The museum honors the recipients of the oldest medal in the United States. General George Washington created the medal to honor the service of those injured in battle. Money raised by the sale of the coins will benefit the Purple Heart Hall of Honor in New Windsor, New York. As part of the museum’s mission, they are trying to reconstruct records destroyed in a fire several years ago.

American Women Quarters Program

The American Women Quarters Program starts in 2022 and will run for four years. Each year will feature the accomplishments and contributions made by women to the nation’s development. In 2022, the five women that will be honored are as follows:

  • Maya Angelou – celebrated writer, performer, and social activist
  • Dr. Sally Ride – physicist, astronaut, educator, and the first American woman in space
  • Wilma Mankiller – first female principal chief of the Cherokee Nation
  • Nina Otero-Warren – a leader in New Mexico’s suffrage movement and the first female superintendent of Santa Fe public schools
  • Anna May Wong – first Chinese American film star in Hollywood

2022 Quarter Obverse design by Laura Gardin Fraser

George Washington will continue to be featured on the obverse but with a new design. The U.S. Mint will use the original design recommended by the Committee for Fine Arts created by Laura Gardin Frasier. LGF, the wife of James Earle Frasier, created an acclaimed design that the CFA picked twice in a competition of artists. Unfortunately, Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon, a known misogynist, rejected the design and selected the art of John Flannigan instead. Gardin’s design will take its rightful place on the coin’s obverse.

The authorizing law (Public Law 116-330) allows the U.S. Mint to produce the quarters as five-ounce bullion coins, nicknamed the “hockey puck.” The law also allows the U.S. Mint to issue fractional bullion coins. Although some media outlets announced the possibility of a smaller 2.5-ounce puck, the U.S. Mint has not announced new products.

The law allows the U.S. Mint to create five-ounce bullion coins of half-dollars that feature new designs in future programs.

Morgan and Peace Dollars

The U.S. Mint announced that they plan to continue the Morgan and Peace dollar programs in 2022 and beyond. Although the products have not been finalized, there may be different finishes and the production of the coins at other mint facilities.

Dollars

2022 Native American Dollar featuring Ely Samuel Parker

The two underrated dollar programs will continue into 2022. The Native American Dollar will feature Ely Samuel Parker, a U.S. Army officer, engineer, and tribal diplomat who served as military secretary to Ulysses S. Grant during the U.S. Civil War.

Also continuing is the American Innovation $1 Coin Program that features the contributions from the following states:

  • Rhode Island – Reliance yacht naval innovation
  • Vermont – Snowboarding
  • Kentucky – Bluegrass music
  • Tennessee – Tennessee Valley Authority and rural electrification

New U.S. Mint Director?

U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder resigned as of September 30, 2021. After being appointed by two different administrations, Ryder served as the 34th and 39th Director. His confirmation came the position was vacant for over seven years following the resignation of Edmund Moy.

In October, Ventris Gibson was appointed as Deputy Director of the U.S. Mint. Gibson will also serve as Acting Director. By law, Gibson can serve as Acting Director for 180 days. It will be up to the president to appoint a new director for senate confirmation. Given the state of politics, it is fair to question whether the president will make an appointment and if he does, will it be confirmed by the Senate.

Hopefully, the U.S. Mint will have a little better 2022!

All coin images courtesy of the U.S. Mint.

Top 5 Numismatic Stories of 2021

The last two years have been a wild ride. Anyone who predicted what would have happened should be picking lottery numbers. For the rest of us, the predictable (i.e., the U.S. Mint) became unpredictable. The positives had a lot of negatives and what used to be extraordinary is now ordinary.

Without further ado, here are the top five numismatic stories for 2021.

5. Return of the coins shows

It isn’t easy to have any retrospective of 2021 without acknowledging how COVID-19 has affected the industry. At the beginning of 2021, there were cancelations of shows and other events. As the vaccines became more available and the infection rates declined, the shows returned.

Smaller shows found hotels willing to lease larger rooms to allow the setup of a socially distance bourse. Like the World’s Fair of Money, Larger shows changed to provide for social distancing and limiting contact. Collectors that attended these shows called them a success. Still, the reports may be more emotional satisfaction after a year off.

Coins shows are adapting to an alleged new normal, and collectors are happy to get what they can. While it makes collectors happy, the looming threat of new variants may slow down the shows at the start of 2022.

4. The Positives and Negatives of the U.S. Mint

Ventris Gibson, Acting Director of the U.S. Mint (LinkedIn photograph)

The U.S. Mint is the source of the items we collect and the biggest frustration experienced by the community. On the one hand, the manufacturing business of the U.S. Mint made it the biggest success story of 2021. Compared to the rest of the manufacturing sector, the U.S. Mint has been running in overdrive since mid-2020. The only manufacturer of United States coinage has produced more money than any three mints in the world combined.

Even with the COVID issues, the U.S. Mint could produce the coins required by law, including the 2021 Morgan and Peace Dollars. Unfortunately, selling these coins revealed collectors’ frustrations with the U.S. Mint.

The U.S. Mint’s online order processing system may work without product release. Still, a major product release causes the system to fail. The product release was a perfect storm of a limited supply and a high collector demand. The result exposed how PFSWeb, the U.S. Mint’s contractor, created a system that could not handle the rush.

The U.S. Mint became more communicative with the numismatic press. During this communication, it was clear that Director David Ryder wanted to talk more about the successes. Unfortunately, the failures of the ordering system overshadowed any success. Ryder resigned as Director effective October 1, 2021.

The e-commerce system at the U.S. Mint is broken and needs to be replaced. Unfortunately, the open communications from the U.S. Mint indicate that they are planning to install a bandaid to cover up the system’s problems. Unless the U.S. Mint and PFSWeb make major changes to their online order system, the issues will continue into 2022.

3. 2021 Morgan and Peace Dollars

Numismatists know that 2021 marked the end of the Morgan Dollar series and the introduction of the Peace Dollar. Morgan Dollars may be the most collected coin in U.S. numismatics. The Peace Dollar was the coin promoted by former ANA President Faran Zerbe with support from the ANA. In 1921, the U.S. Mint produced both coins. What better way to celebrate the centennial is by creating tributes to both coins.

The tribute idea was popular by collectors suggesting that it would be a high-demand product. But the U.S. Mint found a way to destroy the movement. In a series of missteps, the U.S. Mint allowed its lawyers to restrict their ability to do its job. As a result, the U.S. Mint could not purchase enough planchets to satisfy collector demand.

It is difficult to call the program a success given its problems. But the coins were a sellout, and they continue to do well on the secondary market. The U.S. Mint announced that the program will continue in 2022, and hopefully, it will go better than the 2021 releases.

2. Million Dollar Coins No Longer a Surprise

1804 Class I Original Draped Bust dollar

1804 Class I Original Draped Bust dollar, PCGS Proof-68 and the finest known of its kind, acquired for a client by GreatCollections for $7.68 million. (Photo credit: Professional Coin Grading Service.)

It used to be that very few coins would sell for more than $1 million. The sale would be broadcast on the traditional news media when they did. In 2021, ten coins sold for more than $1 million. Except for one coin, other sales were barely noticed by the mainstream media. Unfortunately, the numismatic market is not educating the

The numismatic market is very active, and the price increase of significant rarities results from the active market. Although the market favors United States coins, the collectors extend their collections to coins made elsewhere. Of the ten-million-dollar coins sold in 2021, four were not U.S. coins.

Here are the coins that sold for more than $1 million in 2021:

Million Dollar Coin Sales in 2021
Sale Price Coin Sold Date Sold
$18,900,000 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle (King Farouk provenance) June 8, 2021
$9,360,000 1787 Brasher Doubloon – EB on Wing (ex: Stickney-Ellsworth-Garrett-Partrick) January 21, 2021
$8,400,000 1822 Half Eagle (ex: Pogue) March 25, 2021
$7,680,000 1804 Bust Dollar – Class I (one of 15 known) August 18, 2021
$5,280,000 1804 $10 Proof Eagle (Finest of Three known) January 20, 2021
$4,750,000 1907 Saint-Gaudens Ultra High Relief Double Eagle April 6, 2021
$2,640,000 1825 Russia Ruble Pattern with would-be Emperor Constantine April 6, 2021
$2,280,000 1928 China Pattern Dollar featuring the warlord Zhang Zuolin April 6, 2021
$2,280,000 1937 Edward VIII 5 Pounds Pattern (one of six known) March 26, 2021
$2,160,000 1928 China Pattern “Mukden Tiger” Dollar (one of ten known) December 11, 2021

1. The Double Eagle That Flies Higher

Farouk-Fenton 1933 Saint-Gaudens $20 Double Eagle was sold by Sotheby’s for $18,872,250 in a June 2021 auction. (Picture Credit: PCGS)

As part of a May 2021 auction announcement, Sotheby’s revealed that Stuart Weitzman owned the 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, the only legal coin of the mintage to own. Before the auction announcement, Weitzman was the anonymous buyer of the historic coin when it was an auction in 2002. He purchased the coin for $6.6 million-plus a 15-percent buyer’s premium. Sotheby’s famously paid the $20 face value to the U.S. Mint to monetize the coin. The final sale price was $7,590,020. At the time, it was almost twice the previous record paid for a coin.

Since that sale, several coins sold for more.

On June 8, 2021, Sotheby’s auctioned the Stuart Weitzman Collection, including rare Inverted Jenny Plate Block and the British Guiana One-Cent Black on Magenta stamps. The coin sold for a record $18,872,250.

It answers the question, “What is a coin worth?” What are you willing to pay for it?

Weekly World Numismatic News for December 26, 2021

CoinsIt has been a rough few years, so it is good to highlight a good story.

A news story from KXAS, the NBC-owned station in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, reported that a coin dealer opened a new storefront three years after being robbed.

According to the report, Christian Lyche was robbed of 75-percent of his inventory in April 2019. Although the police caught the robber, Lyche did not recover any merchandise or compensation.

Lyche said that the numismatic community helped him set up online, and he was back in business. After rebuilding his business, Lyche opened Dallas Gold and Gun last weekend. He reported having a good opening weekend.

Congratulations to Christian Lyche for recovering, following your dreams, and maintaining a positive presence in the hobby.

And now the news…

 December 21, 2021
Rust Rare Coin owner Gaylen Rust, pictured in this July 2010 photo, pleaded guilty to wire fraud, securities fraud and money laundering in federal court on Monday. Matt Gillis, Deseret News SALT LAKE CITY — The second of three owners of a Utah rare coins business federally indicted in a Salt Lake City-based Ponzi scheme has pleaded guilty.  → Read more at deseret.com

 December 22, 2021
Three years ago, Christian Lyche was at the beginning of his career and also rock bottom. He’d recently opened shop in Corinth, turning a passion for collecting coins into a thriving business. "I loved coins long before I bought and sold them, I collected them, traded them,” said Lyche.  → Read more at nbcdfw.com

 December 22, 2021
Marine archaeologists diving off the coast of Caesarea have discovered a number of ancient artifacts in recent months, including some dating back to the third century, the Israel Antiquities Authority revealed on Wednesday.  → Read more at timesofisrael.com

 December 23, 2021
Deep beneath the streets of London, locked in a vault behind a heavy swing door and iron gate, is the world's largest collection of rare coins. There are around 20,000 of them, from Roman denarii and ancient Greek decadrachms to British gold double sovereigns.  → Read more at news.sky.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.

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