It has been a very busy few weeks. Now that our Memorial Day weekend is over, I thought it was time to catch up on a few items.

Tom Noe, the indicted coin dealer charged with allegedly bilking the Ohio Bureau of Worker’s Compensation (BWC), pleaded guilty to three counts of federal campaign finance violations. Noe was charged with using friends and associates to funnel $45,400 to President Bush’s re-election campaign. It was reported that the plea deal came with a recommendation for a 2-year prison sentence. If Noe had gone to trial, a guilty verdict could have resulted in a 15-year sentence and over $900,000 in fines. Noe still faces charges in Ohio for the BWC case.

In Rock Me Amadeus, I wondered if the Austrian Mint would issue commemoratives honoring the 250th birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. My posting said that the Austrian Mint scheduled the release of Mozart collectibles on May 10th. A visit to their site lead me to Euro Collections International, the official dealer for the Austrian Mint’s North American Market. My quick search found an 2006 Austrian 5 Euro siver commemorative in a special collectors card and a 50 Euro gold commemorative coin. I also found a 2006-D uncirculated and proof 10 Euro commemorative coins from the German Mint (the D mint mark indicates the was struck at the Munich Mint).

I also have been waxing poetic on the beauty of silver and its price. Silver closed at $12.42 today, below the $13 price I wrote about earlier. Like all investments, you have to decide what is best for your needs regardless of what Bill Gates and Warren Buffet do for their portfolios! I am still buying silver, but I am watching the price a little more closely.

Finally, my friends have been asking me about hoarding Lincoln cents since it costs more to make than face value. One thing everyone missed was that the cost to mint the coin also includes labor, materials, and other costs. The costs of the metal used to make the Lincoln Cent costs less than face value and not worth hoarding. Spend those little brown beauties. A future posting will look at the arguments for keeping or doing away with the cent.

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