Weekly World Numismatic News for October 13, 2019

Australian $1 X Coin

X is for Xantippe
(Image courtesy of the Royal Australian Mint)

George Santayana was a Spanish-American philosopher, writer, and poet who influenced many of the decision-makers in the early 20th Century. In 1905, Santayana wrote The Life of Reason: Reason in Common Sense, where he wrote: “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

In the chapter, Santayana was emphasizing the need to use every experience as a lesson to improve the future. The rest of the chapter discussed how to apply lessons from things that went well.

What does George Santayana have to do with numismatics? Numismaitcs has not learned from the past and making the same mistakes expecting a better outcome. In other words, the numismatic industry is fulfilling the axiom credited to Albert Einstien: “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.”

What are we doing wrong? Let’s look at it in the context of this week’s news. Following the lead of the Royal Mint, the Royal Australian Mint is producing 26 limited-edition circulating one-dollar coins with the letters A to Z along with a depiction of something Australian that represents that letter. They call it the Great Aussie Coin Hunt.

Some letters are easy, like G for G’Day or V for Vegemite. Others do not have obvious names. When it came to X, the Royal Australian Mint picked Xantippe.

What is Xantippe?

Aussies were perplexed when trying to figure out who, what, or where Xantippe could be. That is when the Royal Australian Mint revealed that Xantippe is a small farming town in Western Australia.

For the Royal Australian Mint, it was the perfect way to get the message out about the new dollar coins. It caused a minor yet fun controversy that had the county talking about the series creating excitement about finding the coins.

In the UK, the Royal Mint had a similar program called The Great British Coin Hunt. In 2018, the Royal Mint issued 10 pence coins struck with British themes. Along with the other limited edition 50 pence themed coins, the Royal Mint keeps Brittons interested in coins by generating excitement about each release.

In the United States, we also saw excitement about looking for coins. We saw an increased awareness of coin collecting during the 50 States Quarters Program. Earlier this year, there was some interest shown over the release of the W mint quarters. The interest was not as strong as the 50 State Quarters, but people heard about the coin.

But that was for National Coin Week. What has happened since then?

Learn from the positive: by advertising, getting the word out, and promoting the coins, the US Mint is capable of getting people interested. By having the numismatic industry join them, people were paying attention.

Since the end of Nation Coin Week, the numismatic industry has been silent to those outside of the hobby. Most of the promotion has been like preaching to the choir. We get it. We got it. But you cannot keep an industry going that outsiders are claiming is dying.

Numismatics is not dying or near death. Like every hobby, it has problems to overcome. The first step to better health is to expand the base. The only way that could happen is if the numismatic industry does something radical: reach out consistently to everyone.

It is time to learn what worked in the past and stop doing the same things over again.

We can learn lessons from other industries. What about the collector car industry? Nearly 20 years ago, the collector car industry existed but was not that strong. The thought was that getting into cars was expensive, time-consuming, and confusing. Then Discovery Networks fell over the answer.

For Discovery, it started as HDNet, a television channel where they experimented with high definition content. They would create something in high definition and air it on HDNet to test the public’s reaction. Interestingly, the shows about cars were their most highly rated content. Then they contracted with Mecum Auctions to broadcast their events, and the ratings for a niche cable channel were higher than expected.

HDNet was renamed to Velocity. Now it is owned by Motor Trend, who rebranded the channel in its name.

Although the car hobby business was doing well, the trade publications point to the rise of HDNet and Velocity as a reason that the hobby is doing better than ever.

What can we learn from putting cars on television? First, there is an interested market out there that may not know where to turn for information. The shows provide both knowledge and entertainment. While there are shows that have a doctrine-like attitude, most are inclusive of all styles and interests.

Just like in numismatics, there is no single way to collect and enjoy cars. And like cars, there is a lot that can be used to teach everyone about history.

There was a multi-part series about the growth of the auto industry that followed many of the early titans, including Henry Ford, William Durant, and Walter Chrysler. One of the segments was their reactions to World War II, while the story was about how the automotive industry also showed how the country participated in the war effort.

What stories can be told about the 1943 steel cent? What about the “Shotgun Shell” cents struck in 1944 by recycling spent shells picked up from the training field?

How about some fun shows? Numismatic Jeopardy, where the questions are based on answers derived from something numismatic-related. For example, “It’s called the Old Line State.” The answer is on the reverse of the 2000 Maryland State Quarter!

Revive the old PBS show History Detectives and do it with numismatics. After all, they did investigate a coin said to be associated with Annie Oakley and a $6 Continental Currency note found in Omaha.

These are a few ideas. I am sure that others can come up with better ones.

Then again, that may mean that the industry will have to break out of its niche comfort zone and embrace something different.

And now the news…

 October 4, 2019

Metal detectorists have made many amazing discoveries down the years in Britain, with a great hoard of 2,600 coins just revealed last month. But there are strict rules regarding archaeological finds made by detectorists.  → Read more at ancient-origins.net


 October 6, 2019

The Royal Australian Mint is producing 26 limited-edition legal tender coins that will be given out as change at post offices over the coming weeks. The A to Z of Australiana could see you pocketing a Neighbours , Weet-Bix or didgeridoo $1 coin in your small change.  → Read more at news.com.au


 October 8, 2019

The UK’s Treasury plans to commemorate Brexit by minting millions of 50 pence ($0.61) coins. But like many of the Conservative government’s recent moves, there is a major flaw: the imprint date will be the Oct.  → Read more at qz.com

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WWWWoW!

I finally did it!

My long nightmare is over!

I now have a “W” mintmark quarter!

And I acquired it the old fashioned way: I bought it!

Since the days that the Federal Reserve started to ship the quarters from the cash rooms, I have been looking for these elusive quarters. Every time I spend cash, I will examine every quarter returned in change. Every time I open a roll in my shop’s cash register, I avoid giving away any coin that looks shiny so that I can check the mintmark later.

I convinced my wife to save the change. She is also looking for W mintmark quarters.

But I could not help myself when I found that a club member added one to our monthly auction. From the opening bid until I won the coin, my hand stayed in the air. I was going to get that coin regardless of what it cost.

Ok, I had a limit to what I would spend, and it was $1 more than my final bid. But the competition stopped bidding, and the coin is now mine!

Just because I purchased a Lowell National Historic Park W mintmark coin does not mean I am stopping. There are four other coins issued in 2019 with W mintmarks.

The hunt continues!

Weekly World Numismatic News for October 6, 2019

The Coin Broker

Rebecca Clay Pippin’s husband Jason Pippin hangs the Coin Broker’s sign on their new storefront at 1604 Laurel St. in San Carlos. (Image courtesy of the San Mateo Daily Journal)

Two stories this week say different things on the state of the hobby. On Wednesday, a report that said The Coin Broker moved from their former Palo Alto home of 40 years to a new location in San Carlos. Rebecca Clay Pippin will now run the shop founded by her father, Jim Beer.

Meanwhile, in Worcester, Massachusetts, the owner of Lincoln Stamp and Coin Company announce the shop will be closing at the end of October. Owner David J. Ephraim cited that he could not continue to pay rent in Worcester, “operating on a slim profit margin, and collectors are an aging group, with few younger customers walking through the door.”

Both situations demonstrate the same problems with different solutions. Commercial rents are too high. Commercial insurance is too high. Security costs are too high. And many of these businesses are trying to survive on thin margins.

The Coin Broker solved its problem by moving to a new location. Although moving is time consuming, costly, and filled with emotion, the story makes it seem like they are ready to turn the page and continue.

For Lincoln Stamp and Coin, Ephriam is not as bullish on the market. His business does not see enough younger collectors, his regulars are either retired or dying, and those collecting are buying on the Internet.

Two stories with the same underlying problems. Two different solutions. But the hobby continues with one less place that collectors can go to buy coins.

And now the news…

 September 28, 2019

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) estimates that at least J$100 million in one- 10- and 25-cent coins, the ‘red’ money, is ‘lost in circulation’ in the Jamaican economy, and has partnered with GraceKennedy (GK) Money Service in a recovery drive.  → Read more at jamaica-gleaner.com


 September 30, 2019

A national treasure hunt has been launched, and Australia is very much at the centre. The coins are marked to celebrate all things iconic to Australia: the meat pie, a boomerang, Vegemite, and a Hills Hoist, just to name a few.  → Read more at katherinetimes.com.au


 October 2, 2019

Most people use banks as a place to either borrow money or store it. But some lucky coin enthusiasts have found a unique way to get money out of the bank: bringing home rolls of coins and searching through them for ones worth more than their face value.  → Read more at cnbc.com


 October 2, 2019

When Jim Beer opened the Coin Broker in Palo Alto’s Town & Country Village shopping center some 40 years ago, he was retiring as a civil engineer and looking to  → Read more at smdailyjournal.com


 October 3, 2019

PM Narendra Modi released the commemorative coins of Rs 150 denomination to celebrate Mahatma Gandhiji’s 150 th birthday. The event took place in Ahmedabad, Gujarat on October 2, 2019 when the Prime Minister reached the Sabarmati Riverfront to participate in the proceedings of the Swacch Bharat Divas program.  → Read more at businessinsider.in


 October 4, 2019

A steamship that sank in 1840 after colliding with another ship off the coast of South Carolina contains a trove of rare gold coins, according to the dive team salvaging the wreck.  → Read more at foxnews.com


 October 5, 2019

WORCESTER — The bidding board is still covered with coins and envelopes are full of stamps, but the buzz is gone from Lincoln Stamp and Coin Co. The venerable business that was once the place to go for people looking for a special stamp or unique coin, is selling off its inventory and closing its doors, probably for good.  → Read more at telegram.com


 October 6, 2019

Metal detectorists have made many amazing discoveries down the years in Britain, with a great hoard of 2,600 coins just revealed last month. But there are strict rules regarding archaeological finds made by detectorists.  → Read more at ancient-origins.net

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September 2019 Numismatic Legislation Review

Seal of the United States CongressThe numismatic industry is all a buzz about a pending new commemorative coin. When signed by the president, the Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act (S. 239) will create the first commemorative coin for 2021.

The bill calls for a maximum of 350,000 silver dollar commemorative coins in memory of Christa McAuliffe, the teacher killed as part of the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster.

Congress sent the bill to the White House on September 27, 2019. It is waiting for a signature which should happen soon.

S. 239: Christa McAuliffe Commemorative Coin Act of 2019
Sponsor: Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH)
Introduced: January 28, 2019
Summary: (Sec. 3) This bill directs the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue not more than 350,000 $1 silver coins in commemoration of Christa McAuliffe, a teacher tragically killed in the Space Shuttle Challenger Disaster.(Sec. 4) The design of the coins shall bear an image and the name of Christa McAuliffe on the obverse side and a design on the reverse side that depicts the legacy of McAuliffe as a teacher.(Sec. 5) Treasury may issue the coins from January 1-December 31, 2021.(Sec. 7) All surcharges received by Treasury from the sale of the coins shall be paid to the 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.
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Jan 28, 2019
Passed Senate with amendments by Voice Vote. — Jul 9, 2019
Measure laid before Senate by unanimous consent. — Jul 9, 2019
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent. — Jul 9, 2019
Message on Senate action sent to the House. — Jul 10, 2019
Received in the House. — Jul 10, 2019
Held at the desk. — Jul 10, 2019
Ms. Waters moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill. — Sep 19, 2019
Considered under suspension of the rules. — Sep 19, 2019
DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on S. 239. — Sep 19, 2019
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill Agreed to by voice vote. — Sep 19, 2019
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Sep 19, 2019
Presented to President. — Sep 27, 2019
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-S239.

This bill and the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act (S.1235) were being held at the desk in the House because of an objection made by a freshman member. The member was convinced to let the bills pass and to use other bills to make the point.

Just a typical day on Capitol Hill.

H.R. 1830: National Purple Heart Hall of Honor Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. Sean P. Maloney (D-NY)
Introduced: March 18, 2019
Summary: This bill directs the Department of the Treasury to mint and issue $5 gold coins, $1 silver coins, and half-dollar clad coins emblematic of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.The bill limits the issuance of such coins to the one-year period beginning on January 1, 2021.The bill prescribes surcharges for coin sales, which shall be paid to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor, Inc., to support the mission of such organization, including capital improvements to the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor facilities.
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 18, 2019
Mr. San Nicolas moved to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended. — Sep 19, 2019
Considered under suspension of the rules. — Sep 19, 2019
DEBATE – The House proceeded with forty minutes of debate on H.R. 1830. — Sep 19, 2019
On motion to suspend the rules and pass the bill, as amended Agreed to by voice vote. — Sep 19, 2019
Motion to reconsider laid on the table Agreed to without objection. — Sep 19, 2019
Received in the Senate and Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Sep 23, 2019
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR1830.

H.R. 4332: Paul Laurence Dunbar Commemorative Coin Act
Sponsor: Rep. Eleanor H. Norton (D-DC)
Introduced: September 13, 2019
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Sep 13, 2019
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR4332.

Weekly World Numismatic News for September 29, 2019

While reading the news from around the world, it is easy to understand why numismatics is not well received in the United States. Compared to numismatic-related articles from countries like the United Kingdom, France, and India, U.S. reporting lives down to the reputation that politicians claim.

For example, in The Trentonian, the newspaper of record for Trenton, New Jersey, columnist L.A. Parker wrote an opinion piece that calls for the elimination of the “penny.” Although the article reads like Parker was trying to add a little snarkiness, his premise lies flatter than a coin.

If Parker were a proper journalist, he would recognize that the article contains one significant mistake that ranks high on my pet peeve list. The lowest denomination coin produced by the U.S. Mint is the CENT. While it is colloquially called a “penny,” the penny as the lowest denomination of the British coin system.

The difference is clear. If one looks at the reverse of the two coins, each has their denominations spelled out.

Lately, the U.S. Mint has been adding to the confusion by using the word “penny” instead of “cent.” The significant abuser appears to be U.S. Mint Director David Ryder. While previous directors and acting directors have been careful with the name, it seems to have loosened its language since the appointment of Ryder. Ryder should know better since this is not his first appointment to the U.S. Mint.

Adding to the confusion in Parker’s article, he cites statistics in favor of the cent that was compiled by Americans for Common Cents. Americans for Common Cents is a lobbying organization dedicated to preserving the United States’ lowest denomination coin.

According to Parker, “Pennies no longer matter.” If the one-cent coin no longer matters, then why does the U.S. Mint produce over 13 billion of them each year?

The primary client of the U.S. Mint is the Federal Reserve. Every year, the Federal Reserve places an order for the U.S. Mint to produce coins for circulation. Although the order can be updated during the year, the Federal Reserve rarely requests few coins. It means that the U.S. Mint manufactures coin the Federal Reserve will buy.

The U.S. Mint does produce coins for the collector market. But in comparison to their circulating coin production, the numismatic market is tiny.

Naturally, this leads to wondering if the coins no longer matter, then why is the Federal Reserve asking the U.S. Mint to manufacture and deliver over 13 billion coins?

And now the news…

 September 22, 2019

Two women have designed a commemorative coin to recognize 100 years since the Boll Weevil monument was erected. Enterprise high school Quarterbacks club secretary Judi Stinnett got the design idea from a coin she received at the Diamond Jubilee over 60 years ago.  → Read more at wtvy.com


 September 22, 2019

The South African Mint Company are doing something a little different to celebrate 25 years of democracy in this country. So what better way to commemorate “power to the people” than by handing them control of what should appear on the new R2 coin?  → Read more at thesouthafrican.com


 September 23, 2019

Nassau County District Attorney Madeline Singas announced that a coin dealer from Fort Salonga was arraigned for a $330,000 cross-country coin consignment and sale scheme that targeted coin dealers and private collectors from California, Michigan, Ohio and Long Island.  → Read more at longisland.com


 September 24, 2019

A builder is celebrating after finding a huge haul of 1,000-year-old silver coins worth £50,000 – including one from Lincolnshire which experts have never seen before. Don Crawley, 50, was searching for buried treasure in farmland using his metal detector when he discovered the haul.  → Read more at lincolnshirelive.co.uk


 September 24, 2019

(Image: © FIRST/Jack Kamen/NASA via collectSPACE.com) The United States Mint will memorialize the first teacher who launched toward space with a new coin that will help continue her mission of science and technology education.  → Read more at space.com


 September 25, 2019

Have only seven red cents to my name and soon a self-description will employ penniless as identification. Not ready for the poorhouse though as poor mouth expressions mean only that all pennies have been removed from jars, drawers and a car console.  → Read more at trentonian.com


 September 26, 2019

AN EXTREMELY rare copper coin marking King Edward VIII's short reign has sold for a record price of £133,000. The Edward VIII 1937 Pattern Penny was created as a trial coin by the Royal Mint ahead of his coronation in the same year.  → Read more at thesun.co.uk


 September 26, 2019

Lori Ann Lewis was doing charity work in downtown Orlando when, by chance, she ran into someone who worked in the gold business. It was in the lobby of the Seacoast Bank skyscraper in 2016, just before the presidential election, when she met Susan Kitzmiller, an employee at U.S.  → Read more at orlandosentinel.com


 September 28, 2019

The Bank of Jamaica (BOJ) estimates that at least J$100 million in one- 10- and 25-cent coins, the ‘red’ money, is ‘lost in circulation’ in the Jamaican economy, and has partnered with GraceKennedy (GK) Money Service in a recovery drive.  → Read more at jamaica-gleaner.com

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Canadian Bank Refused Deposit of Coins

The Canadian Broadcast Company reported that a bank in Montreal refused the deposit of $800 in rolled coins.

Julien Perrotte saves the coins he receives in change. Every year he will sort and roll the coins so that he can deposit them into his account at Laurentian Bank. This year, the bank told Perrotte that it was a new policy not to accept coins.

Canadian laws do not require banks to accept all legal tender coins or currencies. They can refuse to take any form of specie and only operate using electronic funds.

Laurentian Bank has taken advantage of these laws and no longer employ human tellers to accept cash. Customers can deposit currency and checks in their automated banking machines. The machines do not accept coins.

Before people begin to criticize Laurentian, this is starting to occur in the United States. Banks and other financial institutions are beginning to offer checking and other consumer banking services accessible online. They do not have branch offices.

The largest and most successful of the online banks is Ally. Anyone can open an Ally account and have access to the full line of banking services except you cannot deposit cash.

Then there are banks with physical presences that are transitioning to a model like Laurentian. Capital One Bank entered the consumer banking business when it started buying smaller banks in 2005. Today, Capital One is closing branches and consolidating teller operations in Capital One Cafes. Customers that do not live near Capital One Cafes can deposit currency and checks via an ATM but cannot deposit coins.

Does this mean we are heading toward a cashless society?

No! It means that the United States has an economy diverse enough to support new ideas in banking services while maintaining traditional banking operation. It is because the United States has a diverse economy that includes a cash-based transaction (see here and here) that will prevent our society from going cashless.

Rather than try to deal with Laurentian Bank’s new policy, Perrotte said he will be taking his business elsewhere.

REVIEW: Coin of the Canonical Realm

During the unpacking of an estate, I came across a book with the title Coin of the Canonical Realm. It is a short, 58 pages, paperback book that has an intriguing cover. As a coin collector, I started to thumb through the book to get a sense of its purpose. Since it was not apparent, I had to wait until later.

After cleaning off my desk, I found the book and decided to read the Introduction to understand the book’s purpose. According to the introduction, its purpose is to “21st century sense of all the 19th century mentions of money in the Sherlock Holmes stories.”

Sherlock Holmes was a fictional detective created by Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle created Holmes as a “consulting detective” so that the character can appear in varying environments. Doyle was one of the first authors to create a crime-fighting character that includes all of the tools that we take advantage of today. Someone suggested that Mission: Impossible is a modern extension of the Sherlock Holmes stories.

Most of Doyle’s stories are written from the perspective of John H. Watson, M.D. as Holmes’ biographer. Watson is a friend and part-time roommate who accompanies Holmes on his investigations. Watson can be annoyed with Holmes on some of his actions while being intrigued by his actions.

During his life, Doyle wrote 56 short stories and four novels about Sherlock Holmes. The short stories are compiled in five books which I have read three of them. All of the Sherlock Holmes stories are highly recommended.

The Sherlock Holmes stories endured long after Doyle’s passing in 1930. Aside from the movies and other new media recreations, there are societies dedicated to studying the intricacies of Holmes, the crimes, and other characters Doyle included. One of those organizations is The John H. Watson Society.

The John H. Watson Society, founded in 2013, is described as an organization that will study Dr. Watson as a unique individual and how his character enhances the Doyle classics. Watson, whose background is revealed throughout the stories, is a renown physician with a heroic war record and trust by a community is leery of the medial arts.

The book, written by Nickolas Utechin whose biography describes himself as having a long history with studying Sherlock Holmes, is the first monograph published by the John H. Watson Society.

Starting from Chapter 1, Utechin copies one or two-line passages from Doyle’s writings that reference money then explains them in the context of the 21st-century. He first describes the old British monetary system where there were 240 pence to a pound including the varying minor coins that were in use at the time. (See this post for a description of the old British monetary system)

Each of the chapters covers the five volumes of compiled short stories and then four chapters for each of the novels. Although you can get the gist of what Utechin writes about, it is best to use this booklet as a companion while reading a Sherlock Holmes story.

Having this explanation while reading one of the short stories adds a different perspective to the story. For those who have not read a Sherlock Holmes story, I would recommend that you first read the story without consulting this booklet. On your second reading have this booklet nearby to help you put the story into perspective.

Some may consider Coin of the Canonical Realm a supplemental study guide to Sherlock Holmes. Whatever you want to call it, fans of the stories may find it adds to their enjoyment.

If you are interested in owning a copy of Coin of the Canonical Realm, you can order it directly from The John H. Watson Society.

Weekly World Numismatic News for September 22, 2019

While perusing the news sources looking for numismatic-related news in the general media, I am noticing that there is an increase in crimes involving coin dealers. Between robberies or scams against dealers, the escalation of crime is noticeable and concerning.

Any business that handles money is a potential target for criminals. Even with the policies of dropping excess cash into time-locked safes, criminals will rob any store where they can easily take a few dollars.

What makes robberies from coin dealers concerning is that these types of crimes increase when the criminals are looking for a more significant take when their economic situation appears to be getting worse.

Although the markets may be up and the unemployment numbers are low, the indications are that the economy has some soft spots that should be concerning to everyone. The number of people taking contingent and alternative employment arrangement, sometimes called the gig economy, has risen in the last year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that much of the rise in the gig economy is being used to supplement regular income.

In the last month, silver has been a rise of nearly $2 since the beginning of August. Even though silver has dropped to $17.88 from a $19.30 high in September, economic indicators suggest that global affairs will prevent the price from falling. These investors will be affected by a potential oil crisis following the bombing of Saudia Arabian oil fields and the trade war caused by tariffs.

Gold has been relatively flat over the last few months although up for the year. As an investment instrument, gold is favored by large and institutional investors. What is preventing their rise is that on a larger scale, they are not as worried by global affairs. The investments they are involved with are not as affected by a potential oil crisis and a Chinese trade war. Many have isolated themselves from these issues.

The concern is that the split in the economic effect will cause those at the lower ends to try to find some relief by turning to crime. A stolen American Gold Eagle coin has the potential to yield a better return than robbing a convenience store.

As some dealers are pushing the sales of gold, think about what they are saying about the economy.

And now the news…

 September 12, 2019

OYSTER BAY, NY — A Fort Salonga coin dealer has been accused in a $330,000 coin consignment and sales scheme in which he bilked several coin dealers and private collectors out of money, gold and collectible coins under the guise of legitimate coin deals, prosecutors said.  → Read more at patch.com


 September 13, 2019

Photographer: Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images Congestion and constant flooding in the Philippine capital are prompting the central bank to move its mint away from the city. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas signed a deal Friday to relocate its production facility for coins and bank notes to New Clark City, a former U.S. air base where the government is building a back-up capital.  → Read more at bloomberg.com


 September 16, 2019

Julien Perrotte stood in front of the representative at his local bank last week, unsure he properly understood what she was telling him. He was carrying about $800 worth of coins, sorted and rolled, that he had collected over the past year.  → Read more at cbc.ca


 September 17, 2019

September 18, 2019 – Sibenik was the first city in Croatia to mint its own money during the Venetian period. Today, the city has released a new sweet souvenir in its honor. HRTurizam writes that back in 1485, the Venice Council of Nine approved the minting and use of Sibenik's coins – known as the bagatin, which was a means of payment in the city for more than two centuries.  → Read more at total-croatia-news.com


 September 17, 2019

Break-in happened Aug. 30 in Silver Spring Montgomery County police released surveillance video Tuesday of a man stealing what they estimate to be $6,500 in property from a downtown Silver Spring rare-coin store on Aug.  → Read more at bethesdamagazine.com


 September 17, 2019

More and more people are swapping cash for contactless payments – which means fewer coins are being made. That means the Royal Mint, the company which produces coins for the UK, don't make as many anymore.  → Read more at bbc.co.uk

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Weekly World Numismatic News for September 15, 2019

Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin reverseThe U.S. Mint unveiled the design of the Basketball Hall of Fame coin at the induction ceremony in Springfield. I found the story on NBA.com, created a post that was later picked up by the rest of the numismatic community.

A day later, the U.S. Mint issued a press release about the design announcement to the general public.

Over the last year, the information from the U.S. Mint has had problems. Announcements are being issued late. On a recent case, they had to issue corrections. Now, they cannot even include the numismatic community in a collectible that has generated excitement.

The U.S. Mint may be the largest manufacturer of coins, but their communications skills leave much to be desired.

Why is the U.S. Mint not partnering with the numismatic media to get their word out?

Why is the U.S. Mint not issuing general press releases to all news outlets to publicize what they are doing?

Why is the U.S. Mint not publicizing themselves? Aside from being the sole manufacturer of coins in the United States, they are making a profit! Although some decry the amount of seigniorage they earn, it is a profit center for the United States government.

Tell the world!

Tell the world that not only are you producing coins but collectibles. Tell the world that you are producing bullion. Tell the world about the commemorative coins.

Why was the U.S. Mint not out in public in the run-up to the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 to highlight the coins? Why was the U.S. Mint not involved in helping celebrate one of the most significant events in United States history?

While the U.S. Mint did participate in National Coin Week, its outreach beyond the collector community leaves much to be desired. The U.S. Mint is doing itself a disservice. They are not helping the numismatic community. And, by extension, not doing right by the country which they are supposed to serve.

Why is this a difficult concept for the U.S. Mint?

It is time for Director David Ryder to either lead the U.S. Mint forward or vacate the job and allow someone who understands modern marketing to raise the bureau’s profile.

And now the news…

 September 8, 2019

Nevada Appeal staff report As the 150th anniversary of the opening of the U.S. Branch Mint in Carson City draws closer, the Nevada State Museum is expanding the days it showcases one of the Mint’s most enduring artifacts.  → Read more at nevadaappeal.com


 September 8, 2019

MANAMA, Bahrain — There's a burgeoning online market for the elaborate and colorful coins pressed into the palms of Navy petty officers when they pin on their anchors and take the chief petty officer's pledge, but some critics say the trade diminishes the value of the tradition.  → Read more at military.com


 September 9, 2019

The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has teamed up with the Royal Australian Mint to release their first ever coin featuring a secret code. The coin was released in commemoration of ASIO’s 70th anniversary this year.  → Read more at businessinsider.com.au


 September 15, 2019

PROVO — The camera rows behind the baseline of a basketball court offer a vantage point of the game unlike anything caught from the nosebleed seats or even on television. It’s there where you can truly absorb the athleticism of the sport and appreciate how the way men and women fight for a loose ball, a ball much smaller than their gargantuan frames, flows elegantly like poetry.  → Read more at ksl.com

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Basketball Hall of Fame Commem Unveiled

During a ceremony at the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in Springfield, Massachusetts on September 6, the U.S. Mint unveiled the design for the 2020 Hall of Fame commemorative coin.

The obverse of the coin, designed by Artistic Infusion Program artist Pheobe Hemphill, has an image looking down into the net from the rim. Superimposed on above the rim are three players: a man, woman, and wheelchair player, reaching for a ball.

The design is something that represents the Basketball Hall of Fame. As opposed to Halls of Fame from other sports, the Basketball Hall of Fame honors the best basketball players from any arena, not just from the professional leagues.

The reverse of the curved coin, designed by Artistic Infusion Program artist Justin Kunz, the image of a basketball as it is about to drop into the basket. While using the image of a ball is similar to what the U.S. Mint used for the 2014 Baseball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin, this one is a little different. For this commemorative coin, the ball does not take up the entire side, leaving a distinct rim around the ball. Also, the ball will be on the concave side of the coin.

Line drawings of coin designs do not provide the perspective of the final product, making it difficult to judge. The design unveiled in Springfield appears to have a lot of potentials. Let’s hope that the final product can be just as nice.

Although U.S. Mint Director David Ryder once mentioned something about selective coloring on this coin, there has been no formal announcement from the U.S. Mint.

A video of the ceremony is available on the NBA’s website.

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