In Northern Ireland, two men looking for a friend’s lost wedding ring found a small hoard of 84 coins dating back to the 16th century. The oldest coin was dated 1512, which was during the reign of Henry VIII.
According to the story, the men who do this as a hobby, look at old maps and accounts of history to find areas that may be the sites of ancient villages or battles. Although I was surprised to read this, it makes sense, and it brings up an interesting point.
Finding artifacts buried in the ground, including coins, are a window into history. Researching where to search and understanding the history of a coin is like what archeologists do to unearth history.
I wonder if there is a way to welcome metal detectorists into the numismatic family?
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For those who do not remember or were not born at the time, McAuliffe was selected as the first civilian teacher to fly into space as part of the Space Shuttle program. On January 28, 1986, she boarded the Space Shuttle Challenger along with Francis R. Scobee, Michael J. Smith, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Judith Resnik, and Gregory Jarvis for mission STS-51-L. Challenger lifted off from Cape Canaveral at 11:39 AM.
It was an unusually cold morning, even for Florida. The cold and deterioration of the O-Rings that sealed the joints of the solid rocket boosters failed. The firey escape of fuel caused the external fuel tank to explode 73 seconds into the flight. Challenger disintegrated, taking the lives of the seven-member crew.
The surcharge of $10 per coin sold in 2021 will be paid to the For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology (FIRST) robotics program “for the purpose of engaging and inspiring young people, through mentor-based programs, to become leaders in the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.”
S. 239: Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act of 2019
The House also passed the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act (H.R. 2423) for 2020 and the National Law Enforcement Museum Commemorative Coin Act (H.R. 1865) for 2021. Both bills head to the Senate for their consideration.
H.R. 1865: National Law Enforcement Museum Commemorative Coin Act
H.R. 2423: Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
Two additional commemorative coin bills were introduced in the House of Representatives. One is so new that the Government Printing Office has yet to release the official text.
H.R. 4681: National World War II Memorial Commemorative Coin Act
H.R. 4940: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the 200th anniversary of the establishment of the Nation’s first statewide investigative law enforcement agency, the Ranger Division of the Texas Department of Public Safety.
He was in an area not far from Jamestown. The metal detector community in the area knows that it is possible to find small items dating back to colonial times. Most of the time, people find bullets and buttons from the Civil War era. They dream of finding something special.
On this day, my friend comes in excited. He finds what he thinks are colonial coins. If he is right, he could have hit the local jackpot. I asked to see the coins.
Upon pulling out the coins wrapped in cheesecloth, the first thing I noticed that the coins were round. But Scott, you say, coins are supposed to be round. I say that you are correct, but at a time when minting coins required striking dies with a hammer, the result is not perfectly round.
While laying the open cloth on my desk, the sound the coins made was suspicious. Anyone who has handled large copper coins knows the sound made by a dropped coin.
Picking up my trusty 16x loupe, I went to examine the coins when I picked them up and felt they were lighter than expected. A quick drop on the hard floor confirmed that they were aluminum.
My friend found souvenir coins from Colonial Williamsburg used as part of the experience of living in the 16th century. A tourist would pay for the coins then use them in the shops or to purchase dinner in the village. Quick online research suggested they were used in the 1980s.
We think some kids buried the coins while playing and forgot about them. Or someone was trying to fool a metal detectorist, like my friend.
Even though he had dreams of being in one of the stories I add to the weekly news digest, we had a good time hanging out and talking. After all, what is the point of collecting if you do not have fun!
And now the news…
UPDATE: The auction is online and begins to close at 7:00 PM on Sunday, November 3, 2019!One of the reasons for my limited posting is that I started a business in collectibles and estate downsizing. Until now, I had not received many numismatic consignments. The few numismatic items that consignors have brought in were not exciting.
A few weeks ago, someone walked into the shop and asked about consigning coins. The coins were something he inherited and did not know what to do with them. Then my consignor removed an 1878 Liberty $2½ quarter eagle gold coin in a Capital Plastics holder. It is a beautiful coin in hand. It looks uncirculated.
Although the 1984 U.S. Olympics Commemorative Set sare not popular, he handed two of the three-coin sets with the gold coin.
Finally, someone brought in the few Israeli coins and medals his late father owned.
Put it all together, add a few of my surplus coins, and there are 54 total coins in my company’s current auction.
Here is a small sample of some of the coins in this auction:
We do ship!
If you want more than coins, check out the rest of the auction which includes sports autographs (like a Joe Montana autographed football), art (two prints from Yaacov Agam), a Black Forest Cukoo Clock (it works!), and so much more. Feel free to peruse the entire 284 lot auction.
But don’t forget the coins, including this 2005 Canadian Silver Maple Leaf silver bullion coin with a Rooster Privy Mark.
The talk around the Washington, DC metropolitan area is not what is happening on Pennsylvania Avenue. It is what will be happening on Constitution Avenue starting at 2:00 PM on November 2. According to the Mayor’s office, the parade for the World Champion Washington Nationals will begin on Constitution Avenue NW at 15th Street NW and end on Pennsylvania Avenue NW at 3rd Street.
A rally will be held at the end of the parade route.
If you are a baseball fan, you hope that every World Series goes six or seven games. Most of the drama comes in those last two games. This series was no different.
Obligatory numismatic content:
Fans of the Nationals can purchase a commemorative plaque from the Danbury Mint that includes a bronze medal. This is an uncompensated message only used so that I had something numismatic to add!
Mints around the world do business differently than the U.S. Mint. In many cases, these mints are public corporations or private corporations contracted to strike coins on behalf of the government. Very few are state agencies like the U.S. Mint.
From what I can tell, the United States is the only country where coin design is governed by the whim of 535 people whose design esthetics are eclipsed by their inability to understand the effects of their decisions. In other countries, themes and designs are managed through the mint in cooperation with the central bank and the government.
In the United Kingdom, the committee advising the Royal Mint has a membership of ten men and three women. According to reports, this committee is usually lead by a Cabinet Minister. It is the practice that the minister is selected from the House of the Lords, the least powerful branch of the government.
As it turns out, most of the Lords are male. Since the chair of the committee selects the members, most of the members of the committee are male.
A Controversy is now brewing in the U.K. because a proposal to honor Emily and Charlotte Bronte with commemorative coins were rejected. Even U.S. educated children know about the Bronte sisters having been assigned to read Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre in school.
It is not the first time that the committee rejected the selection of a woman author. The committee had decided not to honor Enid Blyton, a children’s author. Blyton wrote over 600 children’s books that echoed her conservative and moral lifestyle. Although she continues to be criticized by more literary critics, her books remain popular.
The committee decided that Blyton was not worthy of the honor.
The British women authors are up in arms over the decision. But could this be a tempest in a teapot?
This year, the Royal Mint issued coins celebrating the 20th anniversary of The Gruffalo and Mouse. The Gruffalo is a children’s book written by Julia Donaldson. The book is about a mouse’s adventures walking through the woods until it meets the mythical Gruffalo.
The award-winning book was translated into 59 languages and made into an animated short film.
Although the Royal Mint did not honor Donaldson on a coin, her characters are so honored.
The Royal Mint has also issued 50p coins honoring Paddington Bear, a character that became popular in the United States through the movie. While Michael Bond wrote Paddington Bear, the books were initially illustrated by Peggy Fortnum.
We learned that whether committees or politicians design coins, they will get it wrong. We also learned that maybe we should stop trying to put humans on coins because regardless of the decision, someone is going to be upset. Sometimes, it is not worth the hassle.
And now the news…