Even though I spent the week relaxing, the news continues. Here are three significant stories from this past week.
New Mint DirectorThe Senate confirmed Ventris C. Gibson as the 41st Director of the United States Mint. Gibson is the first African American to hold the post. The president nominated Gibson on January 7, 2022, after appointing her as Deputy Director and Acting Director. Her confirmation was on June 22, 2022.
Compared to previous appointments, the Senate acted with lightning speed to fill the vacancy left by David J. Ryder. Ryder’s resignation. The position was vacant for 264 days.
New TreasurerThe president appointed Chief Lynn Malerba to serve as Treasurer of the United States and lead the newly established Office of Tribal and Native Affairs. Chief Malerba is the first Native American to serve as the nation’s Treasurer.
Chief Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba became the 18th Chief of the Mohegan Tribe in 2010 and is the first woman to serve in this position in the Tribe’s modern history. Chief Malerba earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice and Masters in Public Administration degrees, and she has advocated for tribal health and management throughout her career.
Since the Federal Reserve Note includes the signatures of the Treasury Secretary and the Treasurer, it will be the first time in United States history that both signatures on the currency will be women.
New Numismatic Auction RecordIn 2021, the Nobel committee awarded Russian journalists Dmitry Muratov and Maria Ressa the Nobel Peace Prize for “their efforts to safeguard freedom of expression, which is a precondition for democracy and lasting peace.” Even though their news outlet, Novaya Gazeta, was closed because of the war, both have worked tirelessly to bring the truth to light and help stop the war.
Muratov, the editor-in-chief at Novaya Gazeta, decided to sell his Nobel Peace Prize medal to raise money for Ukrainian relief. Heritage Auctions hammered closed the auction for a record $103.5 million. All proceeds were paid to UNICEF’s aid efforts for Ukrainian children and their families displaced by war. It is a record sale for any Nobel medal and any numismatic item.
And now the news…
If passed, the commemorative set will include a $5 gold coin, silver dollar, clad half-dollar, and a five-ounce silver proof coin that collectors call the “hockey puck.” The bill sets mintage limits are 100,000 gold coins, 500,000 silver dollars, 300,000 clad half-dollars, and 100,000 proof hockey pucks.
The 300,000 limits for the clad half-dollars are likely to be increased when the bill goes through markup.
The bill sets the surcharges at $35 for each of the $5 gold coins sold, $10 for each silver dollar, $5 for each clad half-dollar, and $50 for each hockey puck. Proceeds will be paid to the U.S. Olympic Committee.
If the program sells out, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee will receive $15 million from the sale of the commemoratives.
Of course, all this will be moot if the bill does not pass Congress and is not signed by the President.
H.R. 8047: LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games Commemorative Coin Act
S. 4382: LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games Commemorative Coin Act
Now is the time for all exhausted people to take a necessary vacation. If you are tired of the pandemic, need a breather, worked your behind off, and have not taken a break, it is time you take a break.
Disconnect from the world and go away. Rent a boat and go out into the middle of the ocean and enjoy the view. The sound of the boat’s engine and the wake it leaves behind is symbolic of washing away the cares and worries of the day.
Yes, I am on holiday and relaxing. It is time to get away and enjoy myself after starting a business and ensuring it survives through the pandemic. Change is coming but not before I recharge the batteries. Even after driving over 10 hours and spending two days away, I recommend going away to just relax. I know the price of gas is up along with everything else. Then go for one week instead of two. Leave for an extended weekend. Find a bed and breakfast of a lovely Airbnb somewhere and just go. Having a break is good for your mental health. And what good is collecting if your mind is scattered in the doldrums?
In the meantime, if I find anything fun in numismatics, I will let you know.
And now the news…
Life can be confusing. One of those confusions is when people do something for reasons that are not obvious. Then when the people were asked why they did not offer any answers.A few weeks ago, NGC announced they certified the “Grand Snake,” an 1822-CC Morgan Dollar that was struck off-center and housed in a GSA holder. What makes the coin unique is that it has the further off-center strike of any known Morgan Dollar, and it is the only one known to be in a GSA holder.
The coin is fascinating in that it looks stunning, survived for so long to be part of the GSA Hoard, and the original owner purchased the coin for $30 in 1972. But that is not what makes this coin a curiosity.
Rather than NGC applying the tamper-evident label that NGC wraps around the GSA holder, NGC placed the entire GSA holder in one of their Mega Holders.
According to NGC’s website, the Mega Holder can hold a coin as large as 180 mm (about 7-inches) in diameter and 28 mm (about 1.1-inches) thick. The NGC holder appears to be three times the size of the GSA holder.
Understandably, a collector would send a coin of this significance to NGC for authentication and grading. But why did NGC have to slab the entire GSA holder? The coin is 38.1 mm in diameter (less than 1-inch) and is in a holder for a coin seven times its size. The coin, which should be the central focus, appears lost.
I tried to ask NGC about their decision to slab the entire GSA holder, and the response I received referred me back to the article that does not discuss the decision. There must be a reason other than “this is what the client wanted.” Even if NGC does not want to answer the question, I want to see the coin in person.
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!