Since Sunday was a holiday, today is really the first full day of National Coin Week and the Great American Coin Hunt. As you go to work and buy your morning coffee, breakfast, lunch, or anything else during the day, check the change you receive. There could be a surprise.
Don’t forget about the ANA Trivia Contest!
For those who come into my shop this week, I will be adding some older coins to the cash register and have a few giveaways for the young numismatists who visit.
I will do what I can in support of the hobby, but what about you.
Since I have not posted a poll in a while, I thought this would be a good way to start the week.
National Coin Week is celebrated every third week of April to bring awareness to those neat little metal items jingling in your pocket as something that makes a fun collectible. This year the numismatic community is going all out to get you to look at your change with the Great American Coin Hunt. Why? Because change hunting is how many of us started. While finding silver coins may be rare (or is it?), there are still collectible coins in circulation.
Round Table Trading is a nationwide organization of coin dealers. Members of the Round Table have committed to placing collectible coins into circulation. Coins will range from Indian Head Cents to Morgan Dollars and everything in between. You may want to examine that dime you just received in change carefully because it could be a Mercury Dime that was struck by the U.S. Mint from 1916-1946.
One dealer said he placed a 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent in circulation. When the Lincoln Cent was introduced in 1909, there was an outcry because the designer of the coin, Victor David Brenner, put his initials at the bottom of the coin’s reverse. After producing 484,000 of the coins in San Francisco, production was interrupted so that new dies can be made without the “V.D.B” initials (the lack of a period after the B is not a typo). If you find a 1909-S VDB cent in your change, it will be worth about $2,000! Although I own one of these coveted coins, I will also be looking!
I already own a 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent, but I will be looking, too!
Also, look for coins with silver and gold stickers on them. If you find one, bring it to a coin dealer and redeem it for something worth more. Silver stickers can be traded for silver coins, and gold stickers will get you a gold coin. There are rumors that some dealers will redeem a gold sticker for a Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle ($20) gold coin worth more than $2,500.
The U.S. Mint is also participating by releasing the first-ever circulating coins with the “W” mint mark to indicate that the coins were minted at the facility in West Point, New York. In 2019, the U.S. Mint will add 10 million quarters, two million for each of the 2019 America the Beautiful Quarter Series coins, into circulation. After being struck at West Point, 1 million of each quarter will be sent to the mints at Philadelphia and Denver to be mixed in with the circulating coins that will be delivered to the Federal Reserve.
Although you might think that producing 10 million coins is not rare, consider that the U.S. Mint will produce nearly 1 BILLION quarters in a year making it about 1-percent of the Mint’s quarters production.
Finally, the American Numismatic Association is holding a 2069 coin design challenge and an Online Trivia Challenge. Visit the ANA website daily for the rules and a new daily question.
And now the news…
April 16, 2019
GREENWICH – A high school senior from Greenwich is bringing a very modern approach to the ancient pastime of coin collection. Christian Hartch, 18, was given a small collector's book for pennies by his father, Greg, when he was 5. He's been obsessed with numismatics, the study of coins, ever since, and brought his enthusiasm to thousands of followers on YouTube. → Read more at greenwichtime.com
April 18, 2019
Byzantine ruler created the 438 Theodosian law code, which collected the thousands of imperial laws of the sprawling empire and officially made Jews second-class citizens → Read more at timesofisrael.com
April 18, 2019
A new dollar coin designed to commemorate 50 years of homosexual rights has sparked a dual backlash — from both members of Canada’s LGBT community and from a social conservative group. → Read more at cbc.ca
April 18, 2019
A gold and silver coins hoard was found by four treasure hunters with a metal detector in a field in Buckinghamshire and includes 12 rare full gold coins from the time of the Black Death. → Read more at dailymail.co.uk
April 19, 2019
2019-04-19T17:51:29.479634Z → Read more at wmur.com
April 20, 2019
EASTON — Take a moment to really count your change next week, you might be surprised to find some unusual and collectible coins.As part of National → Read more at tauntongazette.com
Today I was able to see a West Point Mint struck Lowell National Historical Park quarter. The problem was that it was not my coin.
One of my regular customers came into the shop to ask about the quarter. He had heard that there was a bounty issued to find the first quarter and wanted to know if I could help claim the prize.
I was surprised when he dropped five 2019-W quarters in my hands. After I explained that the first-find bounty was claimed, I asked how he found five coins. The answer was obvious: roll hunting.
My customer works in the Baltimore area and stopped in a few banks to buy a few rolls. He said that he could buy two rolls at each bank without the tellers complaining that he is not a customer. When he searched through the rolls, he found the five coins.
I do not know why I was surprised by the coin roll response. It would make sense that if the U.S. Mint were sending the bags directly to the Federal Reserve for circulation, the rolls would be at the banks rather than in circulation. Large retailers usually get their change from logistics companies who specialize in transporting large sums of money. Small retailers may have a small batch of coins that are just stored and not circulated. Both situations are not conducive to forcing coins into circulation.
Then I read that one of the PCGS $5,000 First Discover winners found the coin at the end of a roll.
When I closed the shop earlier today, I opened the five rolls of quarters I purchased from my bank on Thursday. To put it in baseball terms, I am oh-for-200 with a batting average of .000! That is definitely below the Mendoza Line!
Although I am still searching for a quarter with a W mintmark in my change, it does not mean I am not finding anything. Today’s find was not in change but from the bottom of a box.
Peering inside the little purse we see the coin
I picked up a box that someone used to bring in a consignment, dumped the packing peanuts into another box, and began to prepare to fill the box for shipping. When I checked the box, I found a little pink purse stuck to the bottom.
Little Pink Doll Purse found in a box
A few months ago, a client delivered dolls and other collectibles they did not want to take on their move across the country. We sold most of the collectibles and moved on. But this little purse found something in the box to attach itself to and stayed behind.
I opened the purse to find a little handkerchief and a penny. How cute, I thought, they put a penny in the doll’s handbag. The edge of the coin showed a distinctive red color and wondered about the year. Considering that most of the toys were from the 1990s, I was expecting to see a period coin.
Imagine my surprise when I removed the coin and found it was a 1907 Indian Head cent. The red colored coin has signs of toning on the obverse, likely from being stored in the purse with a little cotton hankie. The coin looks like it has never been in circulation.
I am not a fan of toned coins, but this one is light enough to enhance the red coloring of the coin rather than being a different color.
The images of the coin do not do it justice. I should have taken the picture on a white background and away from fluorescent lights. But I wanted to send the picture to someone who might be interested in the coin.
If that person does not buy the coin, I may take the chance to send it to a grading service. I think it could probably grade MS64-RD. It is such a pretty coin that it is worth the risk. After all, mint state Indian Head cents graded as red-brown start at $40. I cannot lose!
This week, the Professional Coin Grading Service announced that they would provide a $5,000 for the first collector to send in a new 2019-W Lowell National Historical Park quarter. By Friday, PCGS announced that two people won the prize. Each will receive $2,500.
Fifty cents = $5,000: The two Quarter Quest-winning PCGS First Discovery 2019-W Lowell quarter dollars side-by-side. (Photo credit: Professional Coin Grading Service www.PCGS.com.)
During the week, I had two occasions to go to the bank and purchase rolls of quarters. Even though I asked for new rolls, most of the quarters I received were either from 2018 or non-W mint quarters from 2019. In the shop, I checked every quarter received for payment and when I received quarters in change.
The competitive side of me wanted to be the first, or amongst the first to find one of these quarters. Even after running errands earlier today, I did not find any coin struck in 2019.
PCGS is still rewarding those who find the W mint quarters with special labels and cash prizes. Even though the top prize was claimed, I want to find one in change!
And now the news…
April 8, 2019
When you rifle around in your purse for some change soon, you might be lucky enough to pull out a new 50 cent coin, launched today by the Royal Australian Mint to celebrate the International Year of Indigenous Languages. → Read more at theconversation.com
April 9, 2019
Country continues tradition of honoring icons of art and science over politicians on its currency. → Read more at soranews24.com
April 9, 2019
Australia has issued a new coin celebrating some of the country’s indigenous languages, many of which are at risk of extinction. → Read more at cnn.com
April 10, 2019
Why is gold valuable? For thousands of years, gold has functioned as a store of wealth that sees its value climb in times of economic or societal unrest. Gold jewelry has been a sought-after luxury good since before the dawn of the first civilizations. → Read more at gainesvillecoins.com
April 10, 2019
SARANAC LAKE — Stephen Krupka’s metal detector beeped and wailed as he passed it over the soft ground Tuesday afternoon. “Looks like we’ve got a nickel signal here,” he said. Kneeling down, he took out a serrated hand trowel and cut a plug of grass from Denny Park on the corner of Pine Street and Bloomingdale Avenue. → Read more at adirondackdailyenterprise.com
April 11, 2019
A treasure hunter has struck it rich after digging up a 500-year-old gold coin that could be worth more than £4,000 ($5,200), but refuses to part with his rare find. Gareth Millward unearthed the coin in a field near Ashbourne, Derbyshire, and says it is the highlight of his four-year hobby. → Read more at dailymail.co.uk
April 12, 2019
(Kitco News) – Wall Street is split on the near-term direction of gold prices, while Main Street remains bullish, according to the weekly Kitco News gold survey. → Read more at kitco.com
A few weeks ago, I wrote that when the U.S. Mint issues new coins into circulation, the U.S. media does not say much. Again, other than the American Legion promoting their commemorative coin, finding news in the non-numismatic press is rare.
Imagine my surprise when perusing my search of numismatic-related news in the media comes up with an article about the upcoming “W” mint quarters! The story appears on al.com, the website of The Birmingham News dedicated to cover the news for Alabama.
For those who did not see the news, last week, the U.S. Mint announced that for the first time, they would be adding the current War in the Pacific (Northern Mariana Islands) quarter America the Beautiful Quarter Series to bags of coins in Philadelphia and Denver. It will take a few weeks before these quarters will appear in circulation.
The article was a summary of the U.S. Mint press release with additional information about the America the Beautiful Quarters.
Kudos to the reporter, Leada Gore, and al.com for publishing this story!
And now the news…
March 27, 2019
SPRINGFIELD — Heads up, artists. The United States Mint is hosting a design competition looking for artists capable of creating the obverse, or heads, side of new commemorative U.S. Coins celebrating the game of basketball and benefitting the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. → Read more at masslive.com
April 2, 2019
Often it isn’t until a recession or times of economic/financial panic occur that middle-class Americans and conservative investors truly consider the impact of gold on their portfolio. While diversifying into precious metals shouldn’t be a decision you make without research, there are opportunities to invest lightly so you can begin to understand the potential that certain metals might have for your financial future when the dollar dips, but gold and silver stay stable, perhaps even growing. → Read more at topnewsgazette.com
April 3, 2019
The U.S Mint is releasing new limited edition quarters. → Read more at al.com
April 4, 2019
Two metal detectorists who discovered an unprecedented treasure trove of coins after searching for 30 years may be wishing that finders were indeed keepers. Richard Miles, 56, and Reg Mead, 77, are at odds with officials over the valuation of their discovery in Jersey that is recognised as the world’s largest hoard of Celtic coins. → Read more at thetimes.co.uk
April 5, 2019
An amateur metal detectorist scouring the grounds of a field in Kent has discovered a perfectly preserved gold coin dating back almost 2,000 years. It is emblazoned with the face of Emperor Allectu who is being touted as the first Brexiteer after he took Britain out of the Roman Empire during his reign around 293AD. → Read more at dailymail.co.uk
April 5, 2019
The owner of a Vancouver coin shop who defrauded customers out of $1.4 million was sentenced in federal court Friday to four years in prison. → Read more at columbian.com
When it comes to numismatic-related legislation, proposing commemorative coin programs can look like a pastime to the members of Congress. At the prompting of constituent groups, members will submit bills that have everyone excited but does not deliver on its promise.
For now, the only commemorative coin program that has become law is the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in 2020.
In March, members of Congress have introduced bills to create five more commemorative coin programs. All have merit but the reality is that most of these bills will not pass Congress.
For the 116th Congress, there have been 16 numismatic-related bills submitted covering 13 different commemoratives (some are introduced in both the House and Senate to increase its chance of passage). One bill, Route 66 Centennial Commission Act (H.R. 66), was added to the watch list because the bill recommends a possible commemorative coin for the celebration.
Maybe there will be something more exciting to report next month.
S. 639: Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Centennial Commemorative Coin Act
Read twice and referred to the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs. — Mar 4, 2019
H.R. 1805: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the centennial of the establishment of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 14, 2019
H.R. 1830: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in commemoration of the National Purple Heart Hall of Honor.
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 18, 2019
H.R. 1865: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint a coin in commemoration of the opening of the National Law Enforcement Museum in the District of Columbia, and for other purposes.
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 25, 2019
H.R. 1923: To amend title 31, United States Code, to require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue quarter dollars in commemoration of the Nineteenth Amendment, and for other purposes.
Referred to the House Committee on Financial Services. — Mar 27, 2019
H.R. 1982: To require the Secretary of the Treasury to mint coins in recognition and celebration of the National Women’s Hall of Fame.
Referred to the Committee on Financial Services, and in addition to the Committee on the Budget, for a period to be subsequently determined by the Speaker, in each case for consideration of such provisions as fall within the jurisdiction of the committee concerned. — Mar 28, 2019
Although the U.S. Mint has not formally announced it, on March 28, 2019, they will make the 2019 Explore and Discover Coin Set (Product Code 19XGB) available to the general public. It is the second of three sets to be issued this year designed to get kids interested in coins.
This set features new characters they call the Mighty Minters.™ According to the U.S. Mint, the Might Minters are “fun, diverse, and relatable ambassadors to children, parents, and gift-givers. Each character projects its own style while introducing a variety of new Mint products to kids.” Although the concept may seem cheesy to us alleged adults, those who deal with the diverse population daily understands that in order to get the younger people interested they have to be engaged on their level.
I know. I know. It was different when we grew up. Back then you could still find silver coins in pocket change. Wheatback cents were about as common as Memorial cents are today. People even tried to use Susan B. Anthony dollars in their daily lives before confusing it with a quarter.
But that was the past.
Today’s children have a much different view on things. For one, if they are 18 years old or younger, they were born after 9/11 or were an infant and do not remember what happened. They grew up with the Internet, smartphones, and computers everywhere doing nearly everything. You can get access to everything at almost any time while their parents always bought things online.
Not only is money still important but the United States government owns the world’s largest money manufacturing business. No other mint manufactures, sells, or is more profitable than the United State Mint. It is an agency that does not get enough credit for producing billions of dollars of goods that our economy thrives on.
The U.S. Mint’s products are useful and collectible. And while there have been a few design issues, it is able to produce millions of versions of the art that people carry around daily and with an error rate that should make any company envious.
Errors are a fun aspect of the hobby because the rate of the errors is low. This is likely why the U.S. Mint is including a blank one cent planchet in the set. Not only does it show what a coin looks like before it is struck, but it also introduces kids to error collecting.
The Explore and Discover Coin Set introduce kids to the full range of circulating products produced by the U.S. Mint including the longest running design in the Mint’s history: Victor D. Brenner’s Lincon cent design.
In addition to a 2019 Jefferson Nickel and Roosevelt Dime, they are introduced to the Kennedy Half-Dollar. One of the quickest coin designs ever produced, the Kennedy half-dollar is not circulated as half-dollars once were. Although there are a lot of theories as to why half-dollars stopped circulating, one was that the 1964 half-dollar, which was made using an alloy that was 90-percent silver, was saved by many in honor of the slain president coupled with the coin shortage that followed effectively ended the coin’s circulation.
Also in the set is the first 2019-issued Lowell National Historical Park Quarter and 2019 Native American $1 Coin featuring American Indians in the Space Program honoring the achievement of Native Americans dating back to Mary Golda Ross (Cherokee Nation), the first Native American engineer at NASA.
These are two coins that should help kids not only learn about the coins but also about the subjects they depict. This should not discount the dollar coin’s obverse of Sacagawea carrying her baby, Jean Paul Baptiste.
It is another opportunity for the hobby purists to weigh in on how the U.S. Mint is getting it wrong before it sells out!
As I peruse the non-numismatic news sources looking for coins and collecting-related information, I am surprised how much is published by the media in other countries about their coins. Interestingly, most of the stories are either from the Commonwealth Realm or those countries formerly a member of the Commonwealth Realm.
2019 Celebrating The Life of Stephen Hawking 50P Coin Reverse
(Image Courtesy of the Royal Mint)
A Commonwealth Realm is a sovereign country in which the Monarch of Great Britain, currently Queen Elizabeth II, is the reigning constitutional monarch and head of state. The role of the queen is largely symbolic as the government of each country manage its domestic affairs.
As part of this management, each country produces its own coinage. Within the Commonwealth Realm, the largest state-run mints are the Royal Mint, Royal Canadian Mint, Royal Australian Mint, and Perth Mint. There are other private mints that produce legal tender coins, but these are the only government-owned mints in the commonwealth.
Every time one of these mints issues a new coin for circulation, the information is all over their country’s media. For example, in the run-up to the issue of the Peter Rabbit circulating 50p commemorative as part of the Royal Mint’s Beatrix Potter series, nearly every news outlet in the U.K. has been covering the anticipation.
This phenomenon is not restricted to the Commonwealth Realm. Former Commonwealth members also heavily promote their coins. We know that India is issuing a 12-sided 20 rupee coin along with other new designs. South Africa Reserve Bank is issuing circulating coins to celebrate the country’s 25 years as a Constitutional Democracy.
Yet the United States press has been largely silent. Sure, there are blurbs when a congressperson drops a bill into the virtual hopper but the press has been silent after that.
While there were other things going on in December, there was very little reported about the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Act for 2020.
There was hardly a peep out of the press for the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary Commemorative coins. Even with the political turmoil, this country should be commemorating one of its greatest feats of the 20th century that did not involve bombs or bullets.
There has been more coverage in the science and tech-related press about the release of the Black Hole coin honoring Stephen Hawking by the Royal Mint.
To its credit, the American Legion has been promoting the 100th Anniversary commemorative coins to their members. However, was there any general media outlets covering the program’s release?
The hobby is perceived to be dying because it is not attracting new members. How can the hobby attract new members when it does not promote itself outside of its insular bubble?
I am sure that I will hear from the bullion sellers because they have been crowing about the steady rise of gold prices. Aside from being an investment and not a hobby issue, the rise of gold prices is alarming. Investing in gold and other precious metals is seen as a safe-harbor move when investors predict that markets will be less lucrative. If investors are pulling money out of other investments to invest in gold that means they do not trust the markets and we may be in for problems.
If we stop worrying about what is good or bad for the hobby and figure out how it could survive, maybe we can attract new collectors. First, we have to do is to let everyone know the hobby still exists.
And now the news…
March 12, 2019
This new series comprising denominations of ₹1, ₹2, ₹5, ₹10, and ₹20, designed by the National Institute of Design, Ahmedabad, will aid the visually-impaired through its thoughtful design. As per the notification issued by the Ministry of Finance, apart from the ₹20 coin, which will be a 12-sided polygon (a dodecagon), the rest of the coins will be circular in shape. → Read more at architecturaldigest.in
March 18, 2019
A 14th-century French gold coin was discovered inside one of three hidden drawers in a bureau inherited by a woman who lives in Derbyshire, England. The mother of three, Amy Clapp, 37, told reporters she had no idea the 650-year-old coin — or the secret drawers — existed after being left a 20th-century bureau by her distant cousin. → Read more at thevintagenews.com
March 19, 2019
The brand new commemorative Peter Rabbit coin that was announced last week has been released to the public. The new coin features an original illustration of Peter Rabbit taken from the book, The Tales of Benjamin Bunny. → Read more at inews.co.uk
March 19, 2019
TYLER, TX (KLTV) – An East Texas woman found a unique coin on the side of the road by the Caldwell Zoo more than six months ago, and she wants to find its rightful owner. Jan Hommel, the director of the American Freedom Museum, knew exactly where the coin came from. → Read more at kltv.com
March 19, 2019
A $1 million penny, a $3 million nickel and more than $100 million more in rare coins are coming to Pittsburgh from March 28 through 30 when the National Coin & Money Show stops at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. → Read more at triblive.com
March 20, 2019
A "rare" 650-year-old coin found in a secret drawer in a desk has been sold for £850 at auction. The 14th Century coin was discovered inside one of three hidden drawers in a 1970s bureau, left to a woman by a long-lost relative. → Read more at bbc.com
March 21, 2019
A number of new coins have been approved by the South African Reserve Bank (SARB) and celebrate the country’s 25 years as a Constitutional Democracy. A few of the coins will be collector’s items, and the R500 and R50 coins are specifically made for commemorative purposes only. → Read more at capetownetc.com
March 23, 2019
LITTLETON, N.H. — After playing a key role in the success of Littleton Coin Company for nearly 30 years, the firm’s Chief Operating Officer Mike Morelli has announced his retirement at the end of 2019. → Read more at caledonianrecord.com
Last week, the U.S. Mint reported that the sales of the Rocket Ship Set is close to being a sellout. With an announced limit of 50,000 sets, they said that 46,762 were sold.
The Rocket Ship Set is a coin product produced for kids to tie in with the space theme generated by the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Commemorative Coin program. The set contains two coins: an uncirculated 2019 Kennedy Half Dollar an a proof Native American $1 Coin honoring American Indians in the Space Program. The coins are mounted on a card shaped like a rocket ship that glows in the dark and can be set up to stand up on a desk, shelf, or anywhere else.
The text an the card explains the significance of the coins in honoring the space program written for children.
When the set was announced, there was a lot of commentary how the U.S. Mint was wrong for doing this. I read and received emails saying that this is the wrong way to reach children that many thought this set would barely reach 15,000 units sold.
While the numismatic snobs were throwing around adjectives like “dumb” and “stupid” claiming it is “bad for the hobby” and wondering out too loud what the U.S. Mint was thinking, customers bought up 93½-percent of the available inventory in two-weeks!
Although we do not know how many of the sales are to dealers or other institutional buyers, the fact that there is that level of interest suggests the U.S. Mint might have a better idea as to what’s good for the hobby than the snobs.