Weekly World Numismatic News for June 26, 2022

Even though I spent the week relaxing, the news continues. Here are three significant stories from this past week.

New Mint Director

Ventris C. Gibson, 41st Director of the U.S. Mint

The 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 Treasurer

Chief Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba, 18th Chief of the Mohegan Tribe and the 45th Treasurer of the U.S.

The 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 Record

2021 Nobel Peace Prize Medal sold for $103.5 million with proceeds going to charity (Image courtesy of Heritage Auctions)

In 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…

 June 19, 2022
The mighty gold often overshadows its cousin silver, but did you know that its price jumped 70% the last year? From $15.5 per ounce, silver is now traded at $27 an ounce worldwide.  → Read more at newsweekme.com

 June 21, 2022
Amateur metal detectors have found a Viking-era cache of silver coins and jewellery in a field in Mynämäki in southwest Finland, the Finnish Heritage Agency has reported in a press release.  → Read more at yle.fi

 June 24, 2022
TBritain’s Central Bank will remove bank notes worth 14.5 billion pounds, or nearly $18 billion, from circulation by Sept. 30, as it seeks to retire its remaining paper currency in favor of polymer bills. The transition will make Britain the world’s largest economy that uses only plastic-like bank notes.  → Read more at washingtonpost.com

 June 24, 2022
SN 1054 was almost wholly absent from the Western record—except, potentially, for a subtle hint at it in the most unlikely of place: some Byzantine coins.  → Read more at phys.org

 June 25, 2022
Back in 1951, shortly before I was born, my father had a very challenging job. He worked at a tavern in a very rough Chicago neighborhood on East 51st Street. One very special day for me, anyway, a customer came into the tavern, ordered a drink, and paid for it with a half dollar.  → Read more at americanthinker.com
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LA28 Commemorative Coins Bills

One of several emblems as part of a changing logo to be used by LA28 Committee

Two bills were submitted in Congress (H.R. 8047 and S. 4382) to create a 2028 commemorative coin program for the LA28, the Summer Olympics and Paralympic Games hosted in Los Angeles in 2028. Both are called the LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games Commemorative Coin Act.

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
Sponsor: Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA)
Introduced: June 13, 2022
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Jun 13, 2022
Introduced in House — Jun 13, 2022
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/117-HR8047.

S. 4382: LA28 Olympic and Paralympic Games Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA)
Introduced: June 13, 2022
Introduced in Senate — Jun 13, 2022
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Jun 13, 2022
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. (Sponsor Introductory Remarks on measure: CR S2912) — Jun 13, 2022
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/117-S4382.

Weekly World Numismatic News for June 19, 2022 on the 20th

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…

 June 10, 2022
The American Women Quarters Program aims to celebrate and honor women who have made history in the US. This week, Wilma Mankiller was honored, and she will be featured on a limited quantity of US quarters. Mankiller was the first women to serve as principal chief of a major American Indian tribe.  → Read more at thehill.com

 June 14, 2022
It is increasingly common to see various options on the Internet for collectible products, such as coins, action figures, artistic pieces and even banknotes that are currently in circulation in Mexico.  → Read more at california18.com

 June 14, 2022
The new Bela Lyon Pratt Gallery of Numismatics at the Yale University Art Gallery showcases objects from the museum’s numismatics collections — rare and unique coins, medals, and paper money. The Circus Maximus, the stadium where Romans gathered by the tens of thousands to watch chariot races and other spectacles, had lap counters shaped like dolphins.  → Read more at news.yale.edu

 June 19, 2022
It would undoubtedly be strange that among the coins most sought after by collectors, and therefore most appreciated, is the paltry 1 cent coin. Rare one-cent coin – Nanopress.it  → Read more at hardwoodparoxysm.com
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Things That Make You Go Hmm…

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.

1882-CC GSA “Grand Snake Morgan Dollar Struck 15% Off Center graded NGC MS 65 (Image courtesy of NGC)

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.

Weekly World Numismatic News for June 12, 2022

1943-S Steel Cent

Over the last few weeks, I have been answering questions about the 1943 Steel Cent. The questions asked about the coin’s authenticity, and people asking where they could purchase one.

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…

 June 6, 2022
Prague, Czech Republic – A rare ten-ducat coin dating from the 17th century sold for more than 10 million Czech crowns (about €4 million) at an auction held in Prague on Saturday. The ten-ducat coin was minted in Prague during the reign of Frederick the Great in the early 17th century.  → Read more at kafkadesk.org

 June 7, 2022
Hyderabad: Security Printing and Minting Corporation of India Limited (SPMCIL) is organising Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav celebrations from June 6 to 13 in all its units. As a part of the celebrations, India Government Mint, Hyderabad, is inaugurating the coin museum at Saifabad Mint on June 7.  → Read more at thehansindia.com

 June 7, 2022
Centuries-old shipwrecks complete with gold coin treasure have been discovered off Colombia.  According to officials, Colombian naval officials conducting underwater monitoring of the long-sunken San Jose galleon discovered two other historical shipwrecks nearby.  → Read more at presstv.ir

 June 8, 2022
A SELLER on eBay recently had some luck with his coin collection – selling it for nearly $3,500. The collection featured Lincoln steel pennies that mostly bared the 1943 dates, according to the seller.  → Read more at the-sun.com

 June 10, 2022
The U.S. Mint released the first quarters featuring Wilma Mankiller, who was the first woman named Chief of the Cherokee Nation.  → Read more at poncacitynow.com
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A Piece of Numismatic History Can Be Yours

Peace Dollar with PCGS Prototype Handwritten Label
(Image courtesy of Great Collections)

I have always been fascinated by history. From two days before my eighth birthday, when Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was assassinated, when something happened, I tried to understand the background of what led to the event. My modern library has many books written by the people on the front row of history, whether I agree with their politics.

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!

EDITED: I am not the owner/seller of this slab and I am not a bidder in this auction. I was accused of shilling this auction by a reader via an email. It is featured here because I thought it was something interesting and, quite frankly, cool. I have no association with Great Collections except as a satisfied customer.

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