Congress may be filling out the 2020 commemorative coin calendar with the Senate passing the Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act (S. 1235). If passed by the House, the bill would require the U.S. Mint to issue a one dollar silver coin to commemorate women suffrage activists in 2020.
S. 1235: Women’s Suffrage Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
Passed Senate with an amendment by Unanimous Consent. — Jun 4, 2019
Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs discharged by Unanimous Consent. — Jun 4, 2019
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Apr 30, 2019
On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Since there were 48 states in the union, 36 represented the three-quarters necessary to ratify the amendment.
S. 1235 was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Marsha Blackburn from Tennessee.
According to the bill the design of the coin is supposed to “contain motifs that honor Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Carrie Chapman Catt, Harriet Tubman, Mary Church Terrell, Alice Paul, Lide Meriwether, Ida B. Wells, and other suffrage activists of the late 19th century and early 20th centuries.” That is a lot of people to try to fit on a 1½-inch coin.
As with almost every other commemorative coin bill, the silver dollar will have a $10 surcharge. The surcharge will go to the Smithsonian Institution’s American Women’s History Initiative.
This bill does not mention mintage limits. It is possible to become the most produced commemorative coin of the modern era.
Next, the bill is sent to the House of Representatives for their vote.
The legislative review is back after taking a month hiatus since there was nothing to report for April.
Legislation introduced in May is a bit different than others in that only one bill directly affects the section of the law that governs the U.S. Mint (Subchapter III of chapter 51 of title 31, United States Code). Let’s look at each of legislation submitted in May.
S. 1300: National Law Enforcement Museum Commemorative Coin Act
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — May 2, 2019
The National Law Enforcement Museum Commemorative Coin Act is a typical three-coin commemorative coin legislation ($5 gold, $1 silver, half-dollar clad) to raise money for a cause. If passed, this law will pay the surcharges to National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund.
H.R. 2559: Gold Reserve Transparency Act of 2019
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — May 7, 2019
The Gold Reserve Transparency Act of 2019 calls for a complete assay, inventory, and audit of gold reserves held by the federal government. The proposed law requires that the location of all gold is documented “including any gold in ‘deep storage,'” the security of those places, and any transactions of that gold.
If enacted, the Comptroller General of the United States do this audit for the past 15 years and have it completed within 12 months and every five years. The law would require the complete audit to be made public with the only exception of the physical security issues.
COMMENTARY: Given the nature of the economy and a lot of other factors are the gold holds that important? The Federal Reserve reports that the M1 money supply is over $3.7 trillion and the M2 is over $14.5 trillion. Think of the M1 as cash used in commerce. The M2 represents all money, including those in savings, securities, or may have circulating restrictions. Even if the government were to account for every grain of gold as reported an in U.S. Mint’s annual reports, that would represent less than 1-percent of the M1.
Gold holdings are irrelevant to the strength of the United States economy. Maintaining the M1 supply is more critical because it is a measure of activity. Economists fear wild tariffs since it will have a direct effect on the M1 money supply. Changes to the M1 will alter the demand for the products produced by the U.S. Mint and Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
H.R. 2558: To define the dollar as a fixed weight of gold.
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — May 7, 2019
H.R. 2558 would require the Secretary of the Treasury “define the dollar in terms of a fixed weight of gold, based on that day’s closing market price of gold” and allow Federal Reserve Notes to be exchangeable for gold at that statutory rate.
COMMENTARY: This is a backhanded attempt to return the United States to the gold standard without the sufficient backing of gold that will support this effort. With the money supply being over $14 trillion, trying to match the amount of gold at market value to every U.S. dollar would cause a devaluation of the currency that it would not be economically viable to do business in or with the United States.
Further, the market price of gold is set by private banks, metals dealers, mining companies, and other financial companies from all over the world through the London Bullion Market Association (LBMA). Given the makeup of their membership, this bill will allow this market that includes people from Bahrain, China, Switzerland, Russia, and other countries where the United States may have disputes to have direct influence over the strength of the U.S. dollar.
The introduction of a bill like this makes for good talking points for a constituency that is ignorant of the ramifications of this law. It is not sound policy given the nature of the markets.
H.R. 2630: Cash Always Should be Honored Act
Referred to the House Committee on Energy and Commerce. — May 9, 2019
The Cash Always Should be Honored (CASH) Act states that “It shall be unlawful for any physical retail establishment to refuse to accept legal tender as payment for any products or services offered for sale by such physical retail establishment.” The bill allows exemptions for online and telephone-based transactions.
COMMENTARY: Although I believe in the power of spending the products of the U.S. Mint and Bureau of Engraving and Printing over using electronic means, it should not be the government’s place to tell anyone how to conduct business.
Another short-sighted bill that does not consider the modern economy because it does not consider changes to the concept of a physical retail establishment. For example, what about mobile-based commerce? Would the rideshare companies be required to take cash? What about the plumber who comes to fix your sink? What about the food truck where you might buy lunch?
For the numismatists, how would this affect dealers at a coin show? Will you be required to carry around a wad of currency to buy coins? Would there be a distinction between the dealer who only sells at shows versus a dealer with a shop who travels to shows?
It is another bill that looks better as part of talking points than its effects on the real economy.
H.R. 2650: Payment Choice Act of 2019
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — May 9, 2019
This Payment Choice Act of 2019 is similar to the CASH Act in that it will prohibit any business from refusing “to accept United States legal tender of cash as payment for goods or services,” post signs saying that the establishment will not accept cash, or charge a higher price for paying in cash. The bill exempts “any goods or services sold to the public by telephone, mail, or internet.”
COMMENTARY: See the commentary for the CASH Act, above.
The most interesting news of the week was not printed by a media outlet but by the Government Printing Office. On May 23, 2019, the GPO published an entry in the Federal Register saying that the U.S. Mint has priced the Pride of Two Nations Limited Edition Two-Coin Set at $139.95.
Which two nations? Of course, if this is coming from the U.S. Mint, one of the countries is the United States. However, several reports claim that the second nation is Canada.
According to a source, the set will include a proof one-ounce American Silver Eagle coin and a proof one-ounce silver Canada Maple Leaf with a unique privy mark. There was no further information as to what the privy mark will be.
Production will be limited to 250,000 sets, according to the source.
The coins will be packaged and marketed by the U.S. Mint. The Royal Canadian Mint will also take orders for the set that will be fulfilled by the logistics contractor working for the U.S. Mint.
The source did not have information about the packaging.
The set will go on sale at the beginning of the World’s Fair of Money via Internet and telephone ordering only. Falling under the category that we can no longer have nice things, the U.S. Mint’s reticence to open sales at shows is a result of the fiasco that occurred when they released the 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half-Dollar Gold Proof coin at that year’s World’s Fair of Money.
Of course, no dealer was penalized by the American Numismatic Association for disrupting the World’s Fair of Money or setting the conditions that disrupted the distription outside of the Denver Mint.
And now the news…
May 28, 2019
ST. GEORGE — Glen Canyon National Recreation Area’s investigation of centuries-old Spanish coins that were turned into the park has provisionally concluded the coins are authentic. However, according to a news release from the National Park Service, the two small coins were probably part of a modern coin collection, perhaps accidentally or intentionally dropped by a visitor to Lake Powell. → Read more at stgeorgeutah.com
May 29, 2019
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include the newest mock-up of the Harriet Tubman currency from the advocacy group Women on 20s. WASHINGTON – The Trump administration says it needs until 2028 to release a new $20 bill featuring abolitionist hero Harriet Tubman. → Read more at usatoday.com
June 1, 2019
The coins and a silver ingot, believed to be worth £500,000, were seized in Durham and Lancashire. → Read more at bbc.com
June 1, 2019
Is the current 1p piece the least valuable British coin since the currency was unified in 1707? → Read more at bbc.com
W is more than the 23rd letter of the Latin-based alphabet. While it is the chemical symbol for tungsten and used as an abbreviation for watt, in numismatics, it is an elusive mintmark found on only by a few dedicated hunters.
With 2 million quarters produced by for each of the five National Parks Quarters issued in 2019, it represents from 0.5 to 1-percent of the total production for each coin. Yet being in the shadows of the nation’s capital and running a business that sees a lot of cash, the only W mint quarters I have found were shown to me by a customer asking about them.
Most of the reports of W mintmark quarter finds have been from roll hunters. They buy rolls from the bank and search. But I have searched the rolls I buy for the shop and not found any W mintmark quarters.
I might offer a bounty for someone bringing one into my shop. I am not sure what I have to trade. I have a roll of 40-percent silver half-dollars I used to give to children when they come in and show an interested in coin collecting. That might be a fair trade!
How about you?
In the argument as to whether to get rid of cash in favor of credit cards and electronic payments just took an interesting twist this week. According to a study by LendEDU.com, a website that specializes in loan comparison and education, credit and debit cards are dirtier and carry more germs than currency and coins.
LendEDU reported that they “used a scientific device that tests for bacteria on a given surface.” Their publication did not disclose the device that they used. And based on the results, the tests were performed in New York City.
On average, NYC CitiBike (a bicycle sharing service), McDonald’s door handles, a park bench, and a parking meter had more bacteria than the average credit card. But they did find that the credit card was dirtier than a Penn Station bathroom, cash, coins, and a subway pole.
With all due respect to LendEDU, did they find the most remote bathroom in Penn Station and test it after someone did their quick wipe down? And did they test the pole on the subway car after someone used that bathroom and washed their hands if the sink worked?
Aside from being a proponent for using the products produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the U.S. Mint, I am a native New Yorker and one-time commuter from Long Island. These findings are difficult to believe, especially the low score for the subway pole. I have taken the A Train. I would not have a sandwich without washing my hands after getting off the train!
It is a fun story but hardly a credible test.
If you would excuse me, I have to check the level of the big bottle of hand sanitizer next to the cash register!
And now the news…
May 22, 2019
That credit or debit card in your wallet is apparently dirtier than you might have suspected. → Read more at foxbusiness.com
May 23, 2019
MONTREAL, May 23, 2019 /PRNewswire/ – In 1969, Plastic Ono Band (John Lennon and Yoko Ono) recorded Give Peace A Chance, an anti-war anthem for generations of pacifists and music fans around the world. The song was recorded live from Lennon and Ono’s Queen Elizabeth Hotel suite in downtown Montreal → Read more at finance.yahoo.com
May 24, 2019
The recent discovery of two ancient Spanish coins near Halls Crossing excited archaeologists at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, who wondered whether they offered evidence that Spanish explorers, possibly in search of mythical cities of gold, passed through Utah centuries ago. → Read more at sltrib.com
May 25, 2019
A US-made collectable coin lists Britain and France among the honored US allies in WWII, but, strangely, the Soviet Union, whose Red Army delivered a crushing blow to the Nazis in Europe and fought Japan, is omitted. → Read more at rt.com
May 25, 2019
Apparently, the Soviet Union, whose soldiers hoisted a red flag over the Reichstag marking the liberation of most of Europe from the Nazis during World War II, is not a country that contributed to securing the "liberties" the Western states "enjoy today", per a US company which issued a souvenir commemorating the victory's upcoming anniversary. → Read more at sputniknews.com
Five coins were found by a soldier while fishing in 1944. He put the coins away and forgot about them only to rediscover them again in 1979. When he sent them to a museum for identification, they turned out to be over 1,000 years old. A find like this show the coins predate the story of the island’s discovery by James Cook in 1770.
A Kilwa Coin similar to those found on the beach in Australia (Source: news.com.au)
In recent years, the coins have sparked interest in understanding how they ended up in Australia. Even though they are from a time after the arrival of the Aboriginal people, it presents questions as to whether there were other European settlers before James Cook.
Coins are not only a holder of value; they are also a representation of art, history, and commerce. Coins tell us more about our lives than history, which is written by the victors and not the ordinary people who may have done more to guide history than those whose writings may be less than accurate for their glory or the glory of their sponsors. Nowadays, we call that spin.
If finding five coins on a beach in a remote fishing spot in Australia can rewrite history, what will the coins in our pockets tell future generations about us? What stories do any of the coins we collect tell? While it may be nice to hold a mint state 19th-century dollar in our hands, what impact did that worn large cent have on history? Or the history of those who used it?
The term “history in your hand” could never be more impactful than the story of those five coins found while fishing in Australia.
And now the news…
May 12, 2019
Who needs a boring coin purse when you can surprise shoppers at the cash register by popping the lid on your miniature rice cooker? → Read more at soranews24.com
May 13, 2019
Remember when you were taught Australia was first claimed for the British throne when it was discovered in 1770 by James Cook who promptly declared it “terra nullius”? → Read more at news.com.au
May 15, 2019
The 10,000-yen (US$92) coin costs a lot more than 10,000 yen. → Read more at soranews24.com
May 16, 2019
The Japanese government has announced a new design for the ¥500 coin. The updated version, slated to hit pockets in fiscal 2021, retains the familiar paulownia design but adds a two-tone look and features like microlettering to thwart counterfeiters. → Read more at nippon.com
May 16, 2019
QUEEN ELIZABETH II has her portrait printed on every UK coin in circulation, as well as on the coinage of many Commonwealth countries. Now, a Royal Mint designer has shed some light on a coin which is a particular favourite. → Read more at express.co.uk
There are very few people who can amass a collection of everything dealing with one topic. Even the most famous collections limited their scope to something specific. The National Numismatic Collection has its limits. It is why when someone like David Lange makes a significant purchase of coin boards, it is exciting news for the hobby.
The Midwest Collection of Coin Boards (Image courtesy of David Lange)
Coin boards came before folders and albums. They provided a way for collectors to organize their coin collection. Some dealers used them as an incentive to have people pick coins out of pocket change to sell back to the dealer. The dealer would give the board away with the offer of a reward for bringing it back once it is full of coins.
David Lange is the hobby’s leading expert on coin boards. This past week, Lange announced that he purchased a lot of more than 400 coin boards from a midwest collector dubbed the “Midwest Collection.” The hoard includes several rare coin boards.
Lange’s fascination with coin boards is evident in the three books he has published about them. The most popular is his first book, Coin Collecting Boards of the 1930s & 1940s. It is a recommended book for anyone who wants to know more about numismatic history. He is now selling the book for $19.95 ($14.95 plus $5 for shipping). See his website for more details.
Even if you do not collect coin boards, it is good that there is someone like David Lange to preserve this aspect of the hobby. Otherwise, this aspect of numismatic history would get lost and forgotten. That would be a tragedy.
And now the news…
May 5, 2019
The U.S. Mint, Washington, suspended its mutilated coin redemption program this May. The U.S. → Read more at recyclingtoday.com
May 7, 2019
The Royal Mint has unveiled a series of special £2 coins to mark 75 years since the D-Day landings. The coins pay tribute to those involved in the events on June 6, 1944, which are widely seen as a key turning point in the Second World War. → Read more at sports.yahoo.com
May 9, 2019
How did these two coins, believed to be Spanish pieces dating to the 13th century, get to Glen Canyon NRA?/NPS → Read more at nationalparkstraveler.org
May 10, 2019
The Royal Mint produced no £2 or 20p coins in 2017 as people used change in a rush to get rid of their pound coins as the old ones went out of circulation. → Read more at telegraph.co.uk
May 11, 2019
Experts believe they may have found a Kilwa coin that could change what we know about the history of global trade → Read more at theguardian.com
May 12, 2019
JapanToday Higashi-Azabu IS bldg, 4F 1-8-1 Higashi-Azabu Minato-ku Tokyo 106-0044 Japan Tel: +81 3 5561 7755 Fax: +81 3 5561 7756 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ©2019 GPlusMedia Inc. → Read more at japantoday.com
May 12, 2019
More than 3,000 4th Century Roman coins were found in a buried pot in Lincolnshire. → Read more at bbc.com
After I closed up shop, I did my usual after Saturday chores then sat down to count the change in my cash register. As I counted all of those brown and red Lincolns, I noticed the 1859 Copper-Nickel Indian Head cent was gone.
I am not sure who received it or if my assistant was the one to make sure it found a new home, but it left without any further discussion.
Unfortunately, I found an 1899 Barber dime in the change along with several 1957-D Lincoln cents. On Monday, I will try to give away the Barber dime.
With the pre-sale of the Royal Australian Mint’s 2019 two-coin set honoring the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 beginning, a customer service representative from the Mint clarified their shipping policy.
After purchasing the set for AU$177.27 on their website (US$123.96, up 32-cents from yesterday), they charge a flat rate of AU$35.00 (US$22.37) for shipping. Packages are shipped using Auspost eParcel which provides tracking numbers that will be available to users of the U.S. Postal Service’s tracking system.
If there are import fees and taxes, the USPS will collect those from you before delivery.
According to the Royal Australian Mint representative, the 50th Anniversary of the Lunar Landing two Coin Set will not be offered for direct sale in the United States because of licensing agreements. However, that does not affect sales on the secondary market.
Purchasing one set and having it shipped to the United States will cost AU$212.27 (US$148.43) plus surcharges added onto your credit card for the currency exchange.
After the fiasco earlier this week when I tried to give away an 1859 Indian Head cent, someone else just rejected the coin.
It was a busy day, and there were a large number of cash transactions. Since I was not paying attention to the coins I was pulling out of the drawer, I scooped 2-cents to give to someone in change. As I dropped the coins into his hand, I noticed that one was the 1859 Indian Head Cent.
Rather than putting the coins in his pocket, he dropped the two coins into a tray I keep by the cash register.
Since this happened earlier in the afternoon, I left the coin there to see if anyone would notice. Following several more cash transactions, I took the coin out of the tray and dropped it back into the drawer.
It might not be the prettiest Indian Head cent I have seen, but it is still worth about $15-20. And I cannot give it away!
If I cannot give it away on Saturday, it is coming home with me. At least I appreciate its significance in numismatic history.