Weekly World Numismatic News for September 20, 2020

It has been two weeks and two days since my last Weekly World Numismatic News update. It was a case of Real Life™ getting in the way. The launch of my books also added to my time. But the news continues.

Agatha Christie £2 Commemorative Coin

A brilliant uncirculated version of the new £2 coin, which features jigsaw pieces and a replication of Dame Agatha Christie’s signature (The Royal Mint/PA)

News in the numismatic world of the United States has focused on the U.S. Mint. First, the U.S. Mint announced that they have partnered with the Royal Mint to collaborate a British coin and U.S. medal to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the landing of the Mayflower in the New World. Response from the U.S. collecting public ranged from tepid to wondering if this is the best these two mints can do.

In the meantime, the Royal Mint issued a £2 coin commemorating the 100th Anniversary the publishing of Agatha Christie’s first novel, The Mysterious Affair At Styles. The exciting design featuring a puzzle with a missing piece and implements from the novel had several Coin Collectors Blog readers wondering why the U.S. Mint could not produce something similar for American literature.

Then there was the announcement that the late owner of the Utah Jazz amassed a collection of 1,600 quality coins that is estimated to be worth about $25 million. Larry H. Miller, an entrepreneur from Salt Lake City, was a fixture of the city’s business scene for his business and his support of professional sports. Miller died in 2009 at 64 years old, leaving behind the collection that nobody other than his family knew about.

The Larry H. Miller Collection, which includes an 1804 Draped Bust Dollar, will be auctioned by Stack’s Bowers Galleries later this year. The proceeds from the auction will go toward constructing a children’s hospital in Lehi, Utah, a city south of Salt Lake City.

The news of the Miller Collection appeared to excite more people in the collecting world than the other stories. Although the other coins are obtainable to the average collector, numismatic rubberneckers watch the rarities that most cannot afford.

Just as rubbernecking slows down traffic on the highway, numismatic rubbernecking slows down the growth of the hobby. The hobby can revel in a previously unknown collection uncovered from their hiding places, but it should not be the standard in which collections are judged.

We should be collecting stories with the coins. Without the stories, the coins are just pieces of metal with designs. Yes, the 1804 Dollar has a heck of a story, but very few can afford to collect that story. But show me someone who collects coins based on comic book characters, historical humans, historic events, sports themes, or has created a theme that tells their story, and you will be showing me someone who is enjoying their collection.

And now the news…

 September 10, 2020
WASHINGTON – The United States Mint and The Royal Mint (United Kingdom) have collaborated to create two limited-edition sets marking the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage.  → Read more at metrowestdailynews.com

 September 10, 2020
As the price of gold reached a record above $2,000 in August, gold-backed exchange-traded funds attracted new assets for the ninth consecutive month, although the pace slowed, according to new data released on Wednesday by the World Gold Council.  → Read more at barrons.com

 September 13, 2020
New £2 coins celebrating 100 years since Dame Agatha Christie’s first novel was published are being put on sale by the Royal Mint.  → Read more at uk.news.yahoo.com

 September 14, 2020
Editor's note: This article is a part of a series reviewing Utah and U.S. history for KSL.com's Historic section. SALT LAKE CITY — For years until his death in 2009, Larry H.  → Read more at ksl.com

 September 17, 2020
Gold has had a fantastic year so far in 2020, with its price climbing from around $1,500 per ounce at the end of 2019 to briefly above $2,000 per ounce recently. That's put the cherry on top of a nice five-year bull market that has seen the yellow metal almost double in price.  → Read more at fool.com

 September 19, 2020
Anyone who likes to see a new production date on their coins is set for a disappointing decade. The Royal Mint has no plans to make new 2p or £2 coins for the next 10 years. → Read more at finance.yahoo.com
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Queen of the Collection

Reverse of the £5 Queen Coin

Reverse of the £5 Queen Coin

Growing up in the 1970s allowed me to enjoy the height of the Progressive Rock era. Today, the music is called Classic Rock and is popular with Baby Boomers and our offspring. One of those popular bands was Queen.

Queen’s frontman and principal writer was Farrokh Bulsara, better known by his stage name Freddie Mercury. Mercury was talented, charismatic, and a showman whose first big hit “Killer Queen” put them on the radar of young rockers in the 1970s.

In 1975, Queen released A Night at the Opera with the iconic “Bohemian Rhapsody” that always appears on the Top 10 lists of all-time songs. A Day at the Races followed, sometimes considered Part 2 to A Night at the Opera. Next was News of the World featuring “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions” that continue to be featured as anthems in sports stadiums.

There is also the phenomenal performance by Queen at the 1985 Live Aid concert at Wembley Stadium.

Earlier this year, the Royal Mint issued the first coin in their “Music Legends” collection to honor Queen. Still featuring his long curly hair, Brian May, help the Royal Mint launch the new coin series.

The coins are available as a half-ounce silver proof and a £5 uncirculated coin with limited edition slipcases. The Royal Mint partnered with the Royal Mail to produce a coin cover.

Coin covers, known as Philatelic Numismatic Covers (PNC), are covers with coins or medals encased and usually postmarked on the First Day of Issue of the stamps. PNCs are popular in Europe. The colorful cache with the stamps and coins gives the collectible more context and appeal.

My collection contains every coin cover issued by the U.S. Mint, some issued by private companies, and several by the Royal Mint and Royal Mint with global interest topics. When I discovered that they issued a coin cover with the Queen coin, it was an opportunity to add a great collectible to my collection.

The covers are a great way to collect something numismatic that ties to other interests. Aside from classic rock, I noticed that the Royal Mint and Royal Mail has two limited edition covers celebrating Sherlock Holmes. I first read Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Hound of the Baskervilles for a college literature class. I thought it was fantastic. When discussing the book, the professor said that Doyle wrote many short stories featuring Holmes. As a poor college student, I was able to find an affordable two-volume set of Doyle’s 56 short stories in a used bookstore. Later, I read the four Sherlock Holmes novels.

As you can see, the coin covers add additional context to the collection. It bridges numismatics with other subjects that allow the enjoyment of both. In fact, I was listening to the Top 700 countdown of the 1970s hits on SiriusXM’s 70s on 7 channel that reminded me to write about the cover.

For the record, the listeners of the 70s on 7 voted Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” as the Number 1 song of the 1970s. “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions” was Number 10.

Weekly World Numismatic News for September 6, 2020

When a $1 coin worth over $10 million is scheduled for auction, it will make worldwide news. The announcement that one of the first silver dollars ever struck by the U.S. Mint will be sold at auction in October.

In June, Legend Numismatics announced the Bruce Morelan Collection sale that includes a rare, early die-state 1794 Silver Dollar graded Specimen 66 by PCGS that Legend purchased for a record $10 million in 2917.

Moreland assembled the finest examples of early dollar coins from the founding of the Mint in 1794 through 1804 with Legend and its principal owner, Laura Sperber.

1794 Flowing Hair Dollar, PCGS SP66
(Image courtesy of PCGS)

1804 Draped Bust Dollar, Original – Class BB-304, PCGS PR65 (Image courtesy of PCGS)

While the news focused on the 1794 dollar coin, most missed the Class I 1804 dollar, the other significant rarity in the collection. Class I 1804 dollars was part of the eight coins that were struck in the early 1830s to create sets for diplomatic missions. The 1804 dollar in the Moreland collection is the Dexter Specimen named for one of its first owners James V. Dexter. It is believed that Dexter carved a small “D” into the reverse of the coin.

The coin’s pedigree includes being owned by the U.S. Mint, who bought the coin after being in a private collection, and D. Brent Pogue. It is the third finest example of the 1804 dollar.

The Moreland collection is scheduled to be part of the auction at the PCGS Members-only Show held in Las Vegas in early October.

And now the news…

 August 28, 2020
On October 15, 1794, Henry Voigt, the Chief Coiner of the United States, hurried nearly 2,000 silver coins to the desk of David Rittenhouse, the Director of the United States Mint. That day marked a milestone in the making of a country: Two years after Alexander Hamilton established the Mint under President George Washington, the first dollars had been minted.  → Read more at atlasobscura.com

 August 28, 2020
Elana Hagler’s grandmother, an avid coin collector when she lived in Russia, has a special gift coming soon. Hagler had a major role in the design of an upcoming 2020 presidential $1 coin from the U.S. Mint. The coin will feature her drawing of President George H.W. Bush.  → Read more at fresnobee.com

 August 29, 2020
Today, 28 August, a treasure of 32 silver coins dated to the early Kyivan Rus times is discovered and donated to the local regional history museum in north-Ukrainian Zhytomyr Oblast. The silver coins known as srebreniks or sribnyks were the first coinage minted in medieval Kyiv around the early 1000s A.D. Historians attribute the 32 silver coins to the times of Kyiv princes Volodymyr and Sviatopolk around 1000-1019 A.D.  → Read more at euromaidanpress.com

 September 2, 2020
• The Royal Australian Mint has unveiled a new coin that is designed to be donated. • The Donation Dollar encourages Aussies to use it for charity.  → Read more at businessinsider.com.au
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July & August 2020 Numismatic Legislation Review

Seal of the United States CongressDuring a class for my master’s degree, a professor was fond of reminding us that politics is a contact sport. He meant that metaphorically, but the point was direct. Politicians will do what they can to get their job done, regardless of the inside consequences.

Unfortunately, the contact sport has spilled out of the halls of congress into the mainstream. Regardless of whether the proposal has merit and the politician is proposing with good intension, the game no longer is about the substance but the team everyone is on.

S. 4326: 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act
Sponsor: Sen. Michael B. Enzi (R-WY)
Introduced: July 27, 2020
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Jul 27, 2020
Introduced in Senate — Jul 27, 2020
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-S4326.

For example, S. 4326, 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act, would allow the U.S. Mint to strike silver dollars to commemorate the 100th Anniversary of the last Morgan Dollar and the 100th Anniversary of the first Peace Dollar. The bill does not limit the number of coins, and does it have an end date.

The bill is not a commemorative coin act. It says that “all coins minted under this Act shall be considered to be numismatic items.” The bill does not add surcharges to the coins’ sale, and the government keeps the seignorage.

Given the popularity of the Morgan and Peace Dollars, it would be logical to consider that the amount of seignorage earned from their sale would provide a good windfall for the government. Give the collectors something to excited about and pocket some change by doing so. A bill like this should be a no-brainer. Right?

I contacted an old friend that has survived the last 20 years on Capitol Hill. Aside from wondering why he was not receiving battle pay, we talked about pending legislation. When I asked about the 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act, he laughed at me.

“If it passes the Senate, the only way it will make past the door of the House would be if (someone) is sick.”

The “(someone)” is one of several members of Congress on one of the teams known to use constitutional procedures against the other team. They have objected to coin-related bills passed by the Senate because they revenue-generating measures. They cite Article I Section 7 of the U.S. Constitution (All Bills for raising Revenue shall originate in the House of Representatives;) to block bills passed by the Senate.

Since a member of the red team introduced S. 4326, the blue team will block the bill from being introduced in the House. Unless the Speaker of the House can convince these members to withdraw their objections, this bill will not pass.

Not all is lost. A version of the bill (H.R. 6192) was introduced in March by Rep Andy Barr (R-KY). If the red and blue teams play nicely together and pass this version, the U.S. Mint may be selling 2021 Morgan and Peace Dollars next year.

H.R. 7995: To amend title 31, United States Code, to save Federal funds by authorizing changes to the composition of circulating coins, and for other purposes.
Sponsor: Rep. Mark E. Amodei (R-NV)
Introduced: August 11, 2020
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Aug 11, 2020
Introduced in House — Aug 11, 2020
This bill can be tracked at http://bit.ly/116-HR7995.

Rep. Mark E. Amodei (R-NV) introduced H.R. 7995 in August. At this time, the Government Printing Office has not published the text of the bill. Judging by the title as introduced, the bill will require the U.S. Mint to change circulating coinage composition.

Without the text of the bill, it is impossible to judge its merits. I will see if this bill is worth discussing when the bill’s text is posted.

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Weekly World Numismatic News for August 30, 2020

9th Century Gold Dinars

Hoard of 9th Century Gold Dinars found during an excavation in Israel (Credit: Robert Kool/Israel Antiquities Authority via CNN)

There were two items this week of a particular note. First, two Israeli teenagers found a hoard of gold coins that experts say date back to the 9th century.

The jar of coins found consists of 425 24-karat gold coins weighing 845 grams (1.86 pounds). Most of the coins are cut to that were once used as change.

The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) says that the area was under the rule of the Abbasid Caliphate. Their rule spread from modern-day Algeria in the east to Afghanistan in the west from 750–953 when Shia opponents overthrow the caliphate. There were many successors to the Abbasid Caliphate. They joined together in 1157 to create a cooperative empire that was eventually overthrown by 1258 by Mongol forces.

Finding a hoard of gold coins and the surrounding artifacts will help archeologists learn more about the region’s commerce. Once again, numismatics helps scientists better understand our history.

The following video from the IAA talks about the project and finding the coins.

The other news is the conclusion of what was a successful Newman Numismatic Portal Symposium 2020. The symposium, held online using Zoom, had several interesting speakers and presentations. Although NNP has yet to publish its final statistics, the sessions I attended were well done and seemed to be well attended.

My session, “How to Identify a Potential Scammer BEFORE Buying Coins Online,” was attended by more than 60 people and generated about a dozen questions. It was a great experience.

I will have more to say about the NNP Symposium in the next few days.

And now the news…

 August 24, 2020
Two Israeli teenagers on summer break unearthed a trove of hundreds of gold coins that date from 1,100 years ago.  → Read more at edition.cnn.com

 August 26, 2020
Are you looking for ways to tell if your silver is authentic?—the “real McCoy”? There are several ways you can determine whether your silver is real. In fact, some of the best silver test methods are quite easy and can be done right at home.  → Read more at gainesvillecoins.com

 August 28, 2020
On October 15, 1794, Henry Voigt, the Chief Coiner of the United States, hurried nearly 2,000 silver coins to the desk of David Rittenhouse, the Director of the United States Mint. That day marked a milestone in the making of a country: Two years after Alexander Hamilton established the Mint under President George Washington, the first dollars had been minted.  → Read more at atlasobscura.com

 August 28, 2020
Oleksandr Alfyorov / Facebook  → Read more at unian.info

 August 28, 2020
Somebody stole a very pricey potty last year from the restroom of a palace in England. But the police still don’t know who did it and have been trying to find out ever since.  “The toilet is still missing,” a Thames Valley Police spokesman confirmed to USA TODAY Aug.  → Read more at usatoday.com
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The Failures of the U.S. Mint’s Website Continues

2019 American Silver Eagle Enhance Revers Proof obverseThe subject line of the email contained the entire note. My correspondent asked, “Did you try to buy the 2019 Reverse Proof?”

Reports said that the remainder of the products sold out in 10 seconds. That was probably the same 10 seconds the U.S. Mint’s website seemed to freeze.

I admit that I tried cheating. As a retired programmer, I tried to script the purchase. The script watched the clock, and right at noon, the script tried to place the coin in my bag then transfer the payment page to the browser. But for the seconds after high-noon, the site did not respond. Frozen!

The best solution offered for these situations is a lottery system. Reports suggested that the suggestion was made to Director David Ryder. Ryder, like the last appointed director, is tone-deaf to the collectors. Some day, the U.S. Mint will have a competent director.

Weekly World Numismatic News for August 9, 2020

2019 American Silver Eagle Enhance Revers Proof obverseThe U.S. Mint does it again by shutting out collectors with an unannounced change in procedures.

According to reports, 95 of the 2019-S American Silver Eagle Enhanced Reverse Proof did not sell the first time because of an alleged glitch. Rather than letting the general public know that the coins were available, they snuck it onto their website and sent messages to people who signed up for reminders only.

The U.S. Mint did not send the message to everyone on their reminder list. Only to those people who signed up for when the coin would be available again.

So let me get this straight. If you’ve signed up for the U.S. Mint reminder services but not for restocking notice, you did not get notified. But if you signed up for a restocking notice after the U.S. Mint announced that all 30,000 coins sold, you were sent a notice.

From the poorly designed website with a bad ordering experience to the sneaking the surplus coins by the general public, the U.S. Mint is not endearing itself to the collecting public.

How can the hobby expect to attract more collectors if the source of coins makes it difficult to purchase their products?

And now the news…

 July 29, 2020
Toilet paper, sanitizer and yeast were but a few of the top-of-mind goods hoarded by Canadians at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. In more recent weeks, however, another shortage – this of $50 banknotes – has come to light.  → Read more at canadiancoinnews.com

 August 3, 2020
Minelab Metal Detectors Luke Mahoney said the "feeling of scraping the dirt away and seeing the coins is indescribable" A metal detectorist who has spent 10 years searching for hidden treasure found "the biggest hoard of his life" in a field behind his village pub.  → Read more at bbc.com

 August 4, 2020
UK considers minting coin to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi  |  Photo Credit: BCCL Mahatma is poised to become the first-ever nonwhite person to feature on the British currency.  → Read more at timesnownews.com

 August 4, 2020
On July 27, 2020, gold prices hit an all-time high. Although the earliest traces of gold as a valuable material date back to the Paleolithic era in 40,000 B.C., about two-thirds of all the gold ever mined has been wrested from the ground since 1950. Throughout human history, it’s estimated that human beings have mined 197,576 tons of gold. One reason that gold has been so attractive to people across every corner of the Earth for all of recorded history is that it’s nearly indestructible, which means virtually all of that 197,576 tons is still around in one form or another. Even so, if you combined every ounce of gold ever mined into one large cube, that cube would only measure about 70 feet on each side.  → Read more at thestacker.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for August 2, 2020

Colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Half Dollar Clad Coin

Colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Half Dollar Clad Coin (Image courtesy of the U.S. Mint)

Tradition is the transmission of customs or beliefs passed from one generation to another. Traditions are not laws or rules.

People invested in a tradition are afraid to change. It has always been that way and was successful, then why change?

At some point, change is necessary, or the tradition will stifle growth. Two areas where tradition is holding back activities are baseball and numismatics.

Hardcore baseball fans are the most traditional fans. They are the people who can tell you who was on deck when Bobby Thompson hit “the shot heard around the world,”† the nuance of the double switch, or why on-base percentage is a better statistic than batting average.

While trying to have a season amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, baseball had to look tradition in the face and calmly walk in another direction. Aside from adding the designated hitter (DH) in the National League was placing a runner on second base when the games go into extra innings. The purpose is to shorten games, especially those that go to extra innings.

We are used to the DH. When games are played in an American League Park, all teams use the DH. But putting the runner on second base who did not get a hit to be there is very different.

But the move seems to be working. In the first week of the new season, four games went to extra innings, and all of the games ended in the 10th inning. It is an unorthodox move for a sport bound in tradition.

Numismatics is the same in many respects. The U.S. Mint strikes real coins, not trinkets. To be a real collector, you have to collect all of the best stuff, including the highest grade versions of the most popular coins. Finally, coins have to be a good value.

A “real coin” is money that an issuing authority legally monetizes for a market. The market may be for collecting purposes, but the issuer has assigned a face value. Even though the U.S. Mint has issued commemorative coins that are not intended to circulate, the traditionalists have determined the new colorized coin is something less than a real coin.

Traditionalists may not want to hear that a general collector community has reacted favorably to the colorized Naismith Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins. On message boards where collectors discuss their collections, they are now beginning to realize that the U.S. Mint has issued other sports-related commemorative coins. In a recent discussion, some started to ask about the National Baseball Hall of Fame commemorative coins.

These collectors are not interested in Morgan Dollars, Standing Liberty Quarters, or Buffalo Nickels. They want the coins to add to their sports collections. A fan of Dr. J, Julius Erving, said that he plans to buy the colored and non-colored coins for his collection.

When it comes to numismatics, what defines a good value? How does one tell a person who may have inherited coins why a dealer would buy a coin for $20 but sell it for $45 or $50?

This past week, Michael Taylor, a financial writer for mysanantoinio.com, wrote the article, “Coin collecting a fine hobby, but not a good investment.” His fundamental question was, why is the spread between the bid and ask prices of coins so vast.

Briefly, Taylor acquired coins from his elderly father and tried to figure out their value. His mother had taken the small hoard to a coin shop and was offered about half of their retail value. As part of Taylor’s investigation, he used the Red Book (A Guide Book of United States Coins) and the Blue Book (Handbook of United States Coins) to understand pricing.

Taylor concluded that coins were not a good investment based on his analysis of the pricing differences found in both books.

Taylor is a published financial professional with many years of understanding markets. Most markets are very understandable that professionals who predict markets can do so with reasonable certainty. They can mitigate risks for wrong predictions and still make a good living.

Based on analyzing the Red and Blue books, how does one do that in the coin market? The problem is that there is so much more to the market that these books do not cover. A lot is based on tradition, unwritten lore, and irresponsible perceptions.

The general public has a better understanding of the automobile market than they do of the numismatic markets.

If you want to fix the hobby, it is time to look at these traditions, lore, and perceptions and act responsibly. Otherwise, the collectors may only be one-time coin buyers, and the hobby will continue to stagnate.

And now the news…

 July 26, 2020
CINCINNATI, Ohio — It's been more than a month since the Federal Reserve declared a coin shortage in the U.S. Businesses like banks, grocery stores and laundromats have had to change their practices to keep change on hand, but one private mint based in Cincinnati is in a unique position to cash in.
  → Read more at spectrumnews1.com

 July 28, 2020
The U.S. Mint has reduced the volume of gold and silver coins it’s distributing to authorized purchasers as the coronavirus pandemic slows production, a document seen by Bloomberg shows.  → Read more at bloomberg.com

 July 29, 2020
Coins don’t work well as investments, but they are OK as collectibles, according to columnist Michael Taylor.  → Read more at mysanantonio.com

 July 30, 2020
South Carolina, introduced in 2000, was the eighth state quarter brought into circulation. Growing up in San Diego in the early 2000s, Kelsey Fehlberg proudly displayed her state quarters in a map with inserts for each coin.  → Read more at nytimes.com

 August 1, 2020
The US Mint is slowing the production of gold and silver coins and limiting supply to authorized distributors – a sign that the pandemic is hampering the supply of physical money in the US.  → Read more at markets.businessinsider.com

 August 1, 2020
The price of gold hit record highs earlier in the week, Friday morning the price was at about $1.957 per ounce. From gold rings, necklaces and bracelets, people have been bringing in their jewelry to Emerald Coast Coins in Pensacola wit hopes of getting some cash and they're walking out with a lot more than expected.  → Read more at weartv.com

 August 1, 2020
The round £1 coin was demonetised at midnight on 15 October 2017 About 122m round £1 coins have not been returned to the Royal Mint, nearly three years after they stopped being legal tender.  → Read more at bbc.com
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† For the non-baseball die-hards, the “Shot Heard ‘Round the World” was a game-winning home run by New York Giants outfielder Bobby Thomson off Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher Ralph Branca at the Polo Grounds in New York City on October 3, 1951, to win the National League pennant. You might have heard the famous call by Giants Broadcaster Russ Hodges. Since there was one out when Thompson was at-bat, the next batter would have been a Giants rookie named Willie Mays.

Weekly World Numismatic News for July 26, 2020

Colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Half Dollar Clad Coin

Colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Half Dollar Clad Coin (Image courtesy of the U.S. Mint)

The news of the week was tragic. It blew up social media and seemed to make people upset. This news is going to be the end of the hobby. We may never recover.

No, the tragedy is not the alleged coin shortage.

Social media went berzerk because the U.S. Mint is going to sell colorized versions of the Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins.

How dare the U.S. Mint do something like this? It’s… it’s… un-American!

Calm down, folks. It is only a little color enhancing a commemorative coin.

But it’s not what the U.S. Mint is supposed to be about. They are supposed to produce real coins.

Real coins? Like the mess of coins in what we refer to as the Classic Commemorative Era? Can we also consider the circulating coinage disasters like the steel cent and Susan B. Anthony dollar?

It will turn us into Canada!

I can think of worse places. I like Canada. I have family in Canada. I collect Canadian coins. However, it is not going to turn the U.S. Mint into the Royal Canadian Mint. First, the Royal Canadian Mint produces more non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) coins that the U.S. Mint. Second, the Royal Canadian Mint uses technologies like lenticular printing to create the design. For the Basketball Hall of Fame coin, the colorization is an enhancement of a struck design.

Colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Dollar Coin

Colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Silver Dollar Coin (Image courtesy of the U.S. Mint)

It’s ugly!

That is your opinion. I like what the U.S. Mint will do to the half-dollar coin by emphasizing the ball and rim. Based on the pictures I have seen, the colorized rim on the silver dollar is not enough.

It’s not what the U.S. Mint is supposed to do. I’m not buying it!

Good! It means that I will be able to buy one for myself without trying to fight the speculators.

It’s too expensive.

Finally, an argument I can agree with. Yes, the U.S. Mint is charging too much for the colorized coins. This is because instead of bringing the technology in-house, they have to pay a contractor to do the colorization.

It’s bad for the hobby!

How many times have we heard something is wrong for the hobby. Slabs signed by television reality stars were supposed to be the beginning of the end of the hobby. Endless series of circulating commemoratives are supposed to be bad for the hobby. Commemorative coins with unpopular themes were also going to kill the hobby.

To borrow a phrase: We’re still standing. Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!

Sorry, boys and girls (and we know the complaints are mostly coming from old men). Colorized commemorative coins are not bad for the hobby. It could be good for the hobby. These coins could attract people to the hobby that may not have been interested in the past.

If you want to know what is not good for the hobby, it is the U.S. Mint selling coins that did not sell at cut-rate prices to a television huckster like RCTV that pays NGC to slab the coins with special labels and then sells them at hugely inflated prices to unknowledgeable people on television.

You may also watch for the U.S. Mint’s “de-trashing” policy that is dumping other surplus coins on the market. These are coins that did not sell during the regular sales period that will have “special designation” labels from NGC. Not that the labels would make a difference, but we know that the dealers will over-hype these coins at prices far beyond their worth.

Remember what happened with the television hucksters selling state quarters at over-inflated prices? Or even RCTV selling a set of 31 American Silver Eagle bullion coins for more than you can buy a date run of 34 coins? Eventually, these coins will end up being brought to dealers who will tell them that they overpaid.

I will take colorized coins over the feeding crap to the television hucksters any day.

And now the news…

 July 20, 2020
Editor's Note: Get caught up in minutes with our speedy summary of today's must-read news stories and expert opinions that moved the precious metals and financial markets. Sign up here! (Kitco News) Gold and silver prices are higher in early U.S. trading Monday, with silver notching a nearly four-year high just above $20.00.  → Read more at kitco.com

 July 20, 2020
As if we needed any more challenges in 2020, earlier this month a national coin shortage hit America. That right, America doesn’t have enough physical change to go around.  → Read more at fastcompany.com

 July 21, 2020
Coin finds: Looking at this rural scene of Thornhill where Roman coins were found not far away on the Overthorpe estate in 1938, it fires the imagination to think that the early Romans just might have passed by this picturesque spot and even decided to settle here.  → Read more at spenboroughguardian.co.uk

 July 23, 2020
Old Masters seem to be a safe bet during the uncertain times. This painting, Pieter Brueghel the Younger, St.  → Read more at barrons.com

 July 23, 2020
In recent weeks, you may have noticed that most shops and restaurants are not accepting cash. This isn’t because of COVID transmission, as some assume, but because of a national coin shortage.  → Read more at savingadvice.com

 July 25, 2020
“Clare Duffy is a CNN Business associate writer covering the business of technology and the strategies of Big Tech companies. The opinions expressed in this commentary are her own.  → Read more at cnn.com
Coin Collectors News
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Simply put, there is an adequate amount of coins in the economy

Coin JarThe U.S. Mint succinctly stated in its press release about the shortage of circulating coins is that there are enough coins in the economy. There is no shortage.

What is happening is that, like everything else during the COVID-19 crisis, the supply chain broke. Coins stopped circulating because people were not going out and spending the coins or currency. Since cash sales dropped, there was no need for stores to stock up on coins. They had the supply to conduct business.

Since the stores did not need the coins, the banks stopped ordering coins for its inventories. Larger stores that rely on logistics carriers were not ordering coins or sending coins into the supply chain. Finally, the logistics carriers saw their inventories rise and become stagnant, giving them no reason to buy more coins from the Federal Reserve.

Now that areas are opening and the demand for change has increased, the supply chain has to restart. According to Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell, the cash rooms operated by each Federal Reserve District has a sufficient supply of coins. But the coins have to be circulated through the system.

The government is doing its job. The U.S. Mint is striking a sufficient volume of coins for circulation, and the Federal Reserve has the supply to support commerce. It is the private sector that manages the supply chain that has failed.

The logistics companies, the coin processors that move the money between the Federal Reserve, the banks, and the retailers, have caused the backup. Since many banks have limited access to their drive-thru operations, there is an opportunity for the supply chain to adjust. They cannot adjust fast enough.

If you want to help fix the supply chain, spend your coins. Use exact change when possible. When it is not possible, use a credit or debit card.

If you are the type that keeps coins in jars, now is the time to do your search and send the rest back into circulation. Some banks are offering bonus payments for bringing in coins. Others that were charging fees if you did not roll the coins are waiving those fees. If you regularly buy from Amazon, consider using a Coinstar machine to turn your coins into an Amazon credit. Coinstar does not charge a fee when you trade your coins for Amazon credit.

Relax! It is not a conspiracy to get coins out of circulation. The government is not replacing U.S. dollars with Bitcoin. The government is not participating in creating a global currency, especially when you see how that has worked with mixed results in Europe. And this is not how the government is going to take your money away from you. That is what the tax code does.

Take your coin jar, search for collectible circulating coins, and spend the rest. Get the coins back into circulation.

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