The Rocket Ship Set is a coin product produced for kids to tie in with the space theme generated by the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Commemorative Coin program. The set contains two coins: an uncirculated 2019 Kennedy Half Dollar an a proof Native American $1 Coin honoring American Indians in the Space Program. The coins are mounted on a card shaped like a rocket ship that glows in the dark and can be set up to stand up on a desk, shelf, or anywhere else.
The text an the card explains the significance of the coins in honoring the space program written for children.
When the set was announced, there was a lot of commentary how the U.S. Mint was wrong for doing this. I read and received emails saying that this is the wrong way to reach children that many thought this set would barely reach 15,000 units sold.
While the numismatic snobs were throwing around adjectives like “dumb” and “stupid” claiming it is “bad for the hobby” and wondering out too loud what the U.S. Mint was thinking, customers bought up 93½-percent of the available inventory in two-weeks!
Although we do not know how many of the sales are to dealers or other institutional buyers, the fact that there is that level of interest suggests the U.S. Mint might have a better idea as to what’s good for the hobby than the snobs.
While searching for something else, I came across a story that F+W Media, the parent company of Krause Publications, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 10. As part of its bankruptcy filing, the company plans to liquidate its assets to pay its creditors.
According to the bankruptcy filing, F+W owes $105.2 million in outstanding debt to between 1,000 and 5,000 creditors (filing is not specific and I did not want to count the over 500-page filing). The most money is owed to LSC Communications, a company that provides printing and distribution services with over $2.7 million owed.
F+W is also asking the court to approve $8 million in financing to be used as working capital. They claim to have over $10 million in assets.
F+W has been a hobby publisher for many years. The company was founded in 1913 and was named for its two initial publications Farm Quarterly and Writer’s Digest. Farm Quarterly ceased publication in 1955.
Since 2000, F+W has been on a buying spree trying to diversify its portfolio. In 2000, F+W bought UK-based book publisher David & Charles and later renamed it F+W International. In 2002, they bought Krause Publications. In 2012, F+W Media acquired Interweave, an arts and crafts media company, and in 2014 purchased New Track Media.
F+W has had a failed Internet strategy that was not coherent across imprints. While those of us who regularly read Antique Trader find it difficult to understand why Numismatic News does not have a website to match. After scanning the bankruptcy filing, it is apparent that the lack of a cohesive e-commerce strategy led to the failure of the Numismaster website.
The bankruptcy of F+W will be felt across a lot of hobbies. They report that the company averages 600 new titles every year and has over 4,000 titles in print. The company produces 42 magazines, not all are weekly publications like Numismatic News. It lacks a cohesive e-commerce strategy and their idea of selling e-books is producing PDF files of their publications.
From a reader’s perspective, F+W magazines have no integration. Several times I have written to the writers and editors of Antique Trader and Old Cars Weekly magazines when there is a numismatic-related mistake in their publications. The response is almost as if they do not realize the other publications exist.
Krause Publications publishes more than numismatic-related magazines and books. Many of their books are collector and buyers guides for other hobbies. Books like Antique Trader Antiques & Collectibles, Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles, Goldmine Price Guide (vinyl records), and Military Trader magazine define these industries.
For the sake of numismatics, I hope that the Krause publications survive. This includes the Standard Catalog books, which are a hobby staple. In fact, because of the Standard Catalogs, Krause should have a significant database of numismatic information that should beat almost anyone. With a lot of imagination, that data could be put to great use for the benefit of numismatics and a way to produce premium content in order to generate the revenue to support its existence.
Just their database could create a treasure trove of possibilities that could be used beyond the numismatic community. All it would take is someone with money (which I don’t have) and imagination (which I have plenty).
A lesson learned is that people do not pay attention or care, which is why the iodine pen is popular. This is why the story of the week is about a person in suburban Des Moine, Iowa is wanted for passing a counterfeit American Gold Eagle coin.
According to the story, the suspect, who has been identified, used the alleged gold coin to purchase $25 worth of merchandise from a gas station. The next day, the clerk who took the coin found it was fake after taking it to a local coin shop.
Although the story does not say why the employee accepted the coin as payment, I speculate there was a greed motive involved. The suspect probably convinced the clerk it was real and that worth more than the $50 face value but was low on cash and needed the merchandise. The clerk thought that the coin is worth more took it hoping to make a profit.
If the coin was worth more than face value, then why did the clerk not ask why the suspect did not take it to a coin shop himself?
Even if you do not know the price of gold, why would someone try to use a valuable coin in a gas station?
I have commented in the past about the perpetual hunt for “rare” 50 pence and £2 circulating commemorative coins in the United Kingdom. At least by publicizing the coins, Britons learn a little about the coins issued by the Royal Mint. In fact, if you are watching my Twitter feed (@coinsblog), I post stories about other countries that produce stories about coins put out by their country’s mints.
Unfortunately, the best we get in the United States outside of the numismatic media is an infrequent blurb in a local news source. The Washington Post’s new motto is “Democracy Dies in the Darkness.” It also dies with ignorance especially when movie money is mistaken for real.
And now the news…
Worried about buying a fake when you shop online? Here's how you can keep counterfeits out of your shopping cart. David P. → Read more at desmoinesregister.com
Richard Masters’ work for the U.S. Mint is a marriage of his interest in art and his boyhood hobby of coin collecting. A former professor of art at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, Masters has designed 21 coins and five medals, including the 2009 Bicentennial Lincoln Cent (Log Cabin), the 2011 Sacajawea gold dollar reverse and the 2017 America the Beautiful Effigy Mounds (Iowa) quarter reverse. → Read more at legion.org
Finance ministry had issued a notification on March 6 announcing the launch of 5 new coins in the country namely new One Rupee, Two Rupees, Five Rupees, Ten Rupees and Twenty Rupees. The new series of coins are visually impaired friendly and have enhanced design. → Read more at zeebiz.com
Urbandale police are looking for a man who used a counterfeit $50 coin to make a purchase at an Casey’s General Store in February. → Read more at desmoinesregister.com
Warwickshire County Council wants to raise £62,000 towards buying a hoard of Roman coins. → Read more at bbc.com
More A lucky penny which deflected an enemy bullet during the First World War One – saving a soldier’s life – is set to be sold at auction. Private John Trickett would have been shot in the heart if the bullet – which still left him deaf – had not struck the coin in the breast pocket of his uniform. → Read more at uk.news.yahoo.com
It has been eight months since I opened my shop of treasures. While I have had fun most of the time one thing that has not happened is a good cash draw find. That is until recently.This past week, a customer bought a small item and paid for the under $3 purchase with three coins, a 1979-P Susan B Anthony Dollar, two 2000-P Sacagawea dollars. Of course, given the past problems with confusing a Susie B for a quarter, I took an extra glance at the coin to make sure.
I think the patron was surprised I took the coins without question. I threw the coins in the far left slot and counted out his change. With a quick tear of the receipt and a nod, I thanked the customer for his business and he left.
Later, I was telling someone about the transaction and was told the customer was testing me. Apparently, some people use dollar coins, half dollars and two dollars bills to test the store to see if the store knows enough to take the coins. I was told that the “pass rate” for this test is under 20-percent. I guess I passed!
Earlier today, I passed one of the Sacagawea dollars out for change.After hours, when it is time to close the books on the day, I was counting the change in the quarter bin and saw something odd. It was the size of a quarter but shinier. The U.S. Mint does not strike circulation coins this shiny. A closer look revealed that it is a 2013 British ten pence coin.
It’s a cool find and worth 13-cents, but what is it doing in my cash drawer?
I cannot blame anyone because my assistant was not in and I was the only one operating the cash register. I didn’t open a roll taking the blame off the bank. No, this is my fault and I lost 12-cents on the transaction!
I thought I would find a loose Canadian cent or a Jamaican penny mixed in with the copper. Nope! Apparently, I didn’t pay enough attention and was handed 10 pence.
After counting the coins, I replaced the British coin with a U.S. quarter that was in my pocket. My drawer balances but now I have my own lesson to pay attention!
Both men were familiar with each other from local coin club meetings.
Over the last few years, the English tabloids have been publishing stories about how low-mintage, modern circulating 50p commemorative coins were being sold for hundreds or thousands of pounds on eBay. This has awakened the public about the potential for collecting these coins.
The Royal Mint has been producing 50p coins commemorating the animals featured in Beatrix Potter’s stories since 2016 including Peter Rabbit. By the time the country caught on to their value, the limited edition 2016 and 2017 coins were being hoarded and becoming more difficult to find. People who wanted a complete collection turned to the secondary market.
Of course, where there is a demand the person who can provide a supply can make money.
According to news reports, Bostock snuck into McGhee’s flat to steal his collection of Beatrix Potter coins while McGhee was not home. Unfortunately, McGhee returned home and found Bostock in the act. Bostock stabbed McGhee 17 times and tried to set the place on fire to cover up the crime.
Police were able to track the trail of blood Bostock made with his shoes to Bostock’s home. Bostock was convicted after using the defense that someone else wore his shoes after a drinking party even though the police found the shoes, coins, and the murder weapon in his possession.
Although this type of situation may not happen over the National Parks quarters, we did see the greed of dealers put the public in danger for the release of the 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Gold Proof Coin. Dealers handed out cash to needy people who did not conduct themselves in a manner that is consistent with the ANA Code of Ethics so they could buy the coins first without having to worry about U.S. Mint purchasing limits.
In this case, nothing happened to the dealers who should have been dealt with by the ANA. They could have lost money since the release was not a sellout and the price of gold dropped, but we will never know.
And now the news…
The demand for U.S. cash is skyrocketing — an indicator that’s leaving some economists sounding the alarm. → Read more at cnbc.com
Charlotte is known for its banks but in some circles, it's known for its actual money. The gold coins that Charlotte's mint produced in the mid-19th century are desirable. "When you're a coin collector, you don't worry sometimes the value. → Read more at wfae.org
Before immigrating to the United States in 2001, Paul Balan worked as a painter and sculptor in his native Philippines. Now he is pushing his artistic talents in new directions, doing coin and medal designs for the U.S. → Read more at legion.org
Last August, 90-year-old pensioner Miroslav Jurníček harvested onions from his garden, when he noticed a small golden coin lying on the ground. He started rummaging around and eventually unearthed a vessel full of gold and silver coins. → Read more at radio.cz
A coin enthusiast has been convicted of murder after stabbing a fellow collector 17 times while trying to steal a rare set of Beatrix Potter 50ps. Danny Bostock, 33, attacked 52-year-old Gordon McGhee in his bedroom before turning on the gas cooker and lighting a dishcloth, seemingly to cause an explosion and destroy evidence of the killing. → Read more at telegraph.co.uk
From Kew Gardens to Paddington bear, there are a number of rare and collectible 50p coins and the Royal Mint will be releasing a Stephen Hawking coin later this month. The late Cambridge University physics professor died in March last year and the coin will feature a black hole and the scientist himself. → Read more at manchestereveningnews.co.uk
Last week, the U.S. Mint reported that the sales of the Rocket Ship Set is close to being a sellout. With an announced limit of 50,000 sets, they said that 46,762 were sold. The Rocket Ship Set is a coin product produced for kids to tie in with the space theme...read more
While searching for something else, I came across a story that F+W Media, the parent company of Krause Publications, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on March 10. As part of its bankruptcy filing, the company plans to liquidate its assets to pay its creditors....read more
One of the most popular stories on this blog that people find via a search is “How easy is it to pass counterfeit currency.” I wrote it in response to watching a cashier use a pen with iodine-based ink used to determine whether the paper used is...read more
It has been eight months since I opened my shop of treasures. While I have had fun most of the time one thing that has not happened is a good cash draw find. That is until recently. This past week, a customer bought a small item and paid for the under $3 purchase with...read more