Weekly World Numismatic News for November 22, 2020

CDC COVID-19 InfoThis news update is a warning that if you want coin shows and other events to continue, you better start taking COVID-19 more seriously.

I do not care about your politics, who you voted for, or where you live. If you do not take the efforts to stop the spread seriously, there will be few shows in 2021 without relief until 2022.

Sure, vaccines are around the corner, but how long do you think it will take to deliver almost 660 million doses? Think about it: the U.S. Census estimates the population at the end of 2019 at 328.2 million people. If the pharmaceutical companies are saying every vaccine requires a booster within three weeks, that will require the manufacture, delivery, and administration of nearly 660 million doses of the vaccine. You have to wait on long lines to get tested, and that has covered less than 40% of the population.

If you think this is not real because some politician or pundit has said it to you, remember that they do not care about you. They care about their power, money, and an ego trip for the ability to make you do their bidding. The more they control you to do their bidding, the more they gain. They will gain. You will suffer.

Facts are facts. As I type this, the straight facts are that the Johns Hopkins University Coronavirus Resource Center confirms that 58,082,876 have been diagnosed with COVID-19 worldwide. There are 12,085,386 confirmed cases in the United States. That means the U.S. has 20.8% of the world’s coronavirus cases while only having 4.25% of the world’s population. Johns Hopkins is also reporting that there have been 255,823 COVID-19 deaths in the U.S., representing 18.5 percent of global deaths.

Only ONE country in the world has a faster infection rate, and only Sweden, who tried the herd immunity course of action, is having a faster death rate over the last three months than the U.S.

Why am I bringing this up in this forum? I want the shows back. I want to be able to go to Baltimore for the Whitman Show. I want to be able to go to the World’s Fair of Money. But at this rate, it is not going to happen.

The reality is that the National Money Show next March in Phoenix is likely going to be canceled. Arizona is a significant hot spot, and it will not get better before the ANA is forced to make a decision. And with the infection rate in the upper-midwest growing faster than anywhere else in the nation, I would not be surprised to see the World’s Fair of Money canceled or moved from Rosemont.

This week, I returned from the funeral of a second family member that died of COVID-19. One died early during the pandemic when our understanding of the virus was minimal. The most recent one was likely because of an infection at a place that should have known better.

The virus is real. It is not a hoax. It is not a government conspiracy. Nobody will use it against you, and it is not an infringement on any rights to require you to wear a mask for public safety. In fact, it is an infringement on my rights for putting me in danger. It is not a political statement. It’s only a mask!

Stay six feet apart.
Wash your hands, especially after exposure to the environment.
AND WEAR YOUR DAMNED MASK!

And now the news…

 November 15, 2020
Gold tends to perform well in times of high inflation and financial market turmoil. I consider gold a core portfolio holding. PHYS is a closed end fund that invests all of its assets into physical gold.  → Read more at seekingalpha.com

 November 16, 2020
The biggest factor in whether your metals investment will make money will often be whether or not you purchase your metal at a fair price. It is easy to compare prices and avoid getting ripped off, but investors must take the time to do it.  → Read more at fxstreet.com

 November 17, 2020
An Indigenous organisation is questioning how the Royal Australian Mint can issue coins featuring the Aboriginal flag at the same time as the Australian Senate is investigating the flag’s copyright issues.  → Read more at indaily.com.au

 November 17, 2020
Measuring nearly 7 centimetres in diameter and weighing a hefty 174.9 grams, the 50 duct gold coin from 1621 is masterpiece of baroque engraving and a pearl of Polish coinage. DESA Unicum  → Read more at thefirstnews.com

 November 18, 2020
James and Clarrisa Munford say they never considered keeping the dozens of gold and silver coins they found in a drawer in their new house. (CNN) — A South Carolina couple found a forgotten treasure while settling into their new home — dozens of gold and silver coins worth thousands of dollars.  → Read more at cnn.com

 November 19, 2020
Bullion coins and bars are the "purest" way to invest in gold, but can be costly to own and slow to sell. lionvision/Getty Images  → Read more at businessinsider.com
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The U.S. Mint Responds… YAWN!

U.S. MintFollowing the debacle that became of the online ordering process for the End of World War II 75th Anniversary American Eagle Coins, the U.S. Mint issued a statement on social media. On Twitter, the U.S. Mint posted in a series of tweets that read:

When people complained, whoever is posting on their social media platforms commented:

The problem is that there have been problems for many years. Every time the U.S. Mint offers a limited edition coin, their website has problems meeting the demand, leading to an apology and a promise that they will resolve the system issues.

Searching this blog, you can find problems with the ordering process for:

What you will not find is a story where the ordering process went smoothly. You will not find a story where the U.S. Mint claims that they have fixed their ordering problems. And you will be able to find a story where the U.S. Mint explains how they plan to fix the problems.

From 2016 through 2019, the U.S. Mint has held a collecting forum in Philadelphia. Each year, the U.S. Mint has invited people from all areas of the industry to meet with them and discuss the future of the U.S. Mint’s products. The coronavirus pandemic prevented them from holding this year’s forum. After every forum, the U.S. Mint thanks the participants and promises to do better.

David J. Ryder at the hearing regarding his nomination to be the 39th Director of the U.S. Mint

Unfortunately, politics have hurt the U.S. Mint. Since the resignation of Ed Moy in December 2010, they had been without a director until the appointment of David J. Ryder in April 2018. During the time between appointments, the Senate refused to confirm three nominations made by President Barack Obama to fill the position. Instead, there was an endless line of acting directors, which the law limits the term to 210 days.

Ryder is not a stranger to the U.S. Mint or the federal government. Besides working at the Commerce Department, he served in the Office of the Vice President for George H.W. Bush. Bush appointed Ryder as the 34th Mint Director during a Senate recess in 1992.

Before joining the U.S. Mint, Ryder worked for the Secure Products division of the Sarnoff Corporation. After purchased by Honeywell in 2007, he was Director of Currency for Honeywell Authentication Technologies. Ryder can lead an organization looking in the critical security of currency handling with worldwide influence, but he cannot manage the U.S. Mint out a technological paper bag.

As a former federal contractor, I understand that the contracting process is slow. The federal government acquisition process is fraught with checks, rechecks, oversight, and investigations that drive up a hammer’s price to thousands of dollars. But it is the same process to purchase a tool as it is to make a change to a fighter jet costing tens of millions of dollars.

The U.S. Mint has done some work on the website. Aside from changing the look, they replaced the content management system which manages the site. For the technologically savvy, they migrated from the original Drupal implementation to WordPress. The Coin Collectors Blog uses WordPress.

Although the transition to WordPress may provide the flexibility the U.S. Mint needs to manage the website, they have not met the critical need for customer engagement. Fixing customer engagement in a government agency requires the head of the agency to initiate that change. What has Ryder been doing?

Although the pandemic caused significant interruptions in everything, developers do not have to be on-site to develop software. A program can write programs from just about anywhere. Why were these processes not managed in the subsequent months?

I am asking Ryder to step up to his role and better manage the situation. I am not calling for the removal of Ryder. (POLITICAL ANALYSIS ALERT: Don’t read the rest of the paragraph if you do not like a frank discussion of politics as it affects the U.S. Mint). If Ryder leaves his position, President-elect Biden will likely never have an appointment voted on by the Republican-controlled Senate. We will be back to the nearly eight years of Acting Directors who do not have the authority to make necessary changes as the appointed director could.

Please, Director Ryder, fix the problem. Maybe you can listen to the collecting community. We have good ideas, and we are willing to help.

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VOTE!

1976 Washington Quarter with my favorite, the Drummer Boy reverse

Election Day is when We the People tell the politicians what we think by executing our franchise and vote.

Voting is so important to how this country operates that the U.S. Constitution was amended four times to ensure every vote is represented. In addition to the Civil Rights Act, Congress passed six significant voting acts to protect everyone’s vote by making voting accessible to the handicapped and elderly to empowering military and other overseas workers.

The bottom line is that it is your right and duty to vote.

If you did not vote early or by absentee/mail-in ballot, go to your polling location and vote.

Do not let anyone stop you or intimidate you. VOTE!

What is Numismatically Trending

Over the last few weeks, I have been posting and watching the chatter on social media about the current offerings by the world’s mints. Given the opportunity, I engaged several people to conduct an informal poll. I did not define specific questions. I allowed people to discuss and argue about what they really think. Based on these conversations, here is what I learned.

Colored Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Clad Half-Dollar

Basketball Hall of Fame 2020 Colorized Half Dollar (U.S. Mint Image)

Many people are interested in colored coins. More than half of the people who responded to public statements or my direct queries said they were interested in the colorized Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coins. It was almost unanimous amongst this group that they favored using color as an enhancement to the design.

Although those favored using color as an enhancement, an overwhelming majority did not like all printed coins. Many of the complaints came from the lenticular coins from Canada. And while most would not purchase many of the coins with comic book themes, the only objections were the printed designs.

Few people objected to the commercial themes used on coins. Whether the coins celebrate Star Trek or Star Wars, the only difference was if the collector wanted to be beamed up or was with the Force. Those who did not like colored coins would be interested in coins struck using these themes.

THE CAPED CRUSADER - GOTHAM CITY

Niue $2 THE CAPED CRUSADER™ – GOTHAM CITY™ 1oz Silver Coin (Image courtesy of the New Zealand Mint)

I heard from a small group of comic book fans who love the coins with their favorite characters’ themes. Many pointed to fandom websites that celebrated the coins produced by the New Zealand Mint, Royal Mint, and Royal Canadian Mint. They do not care who produces the coins. These fans see the coins as an extension of their comic book fandom.

Last week, I talked with someone about classic rock, which was wearing a Kiss tour jacket. He expressed excitement at finding the Kiss Challenge Coins online. He also mentioned challenge coins and medals from other bands. After our conversation, I searched online for the information. I found that Kiss authorized four challenge coins with each member’s image plus one for Eric Carr, the late drummer who died in 1991. Exonumia is a part of numismatics.

Themed coin series is a trendy way of collecting outside of the United States. Several British collectors thought that the Royal Mint’s 50p coins’ themes were a lot of fun. The Royal Mint produces 50p coins that celebrate children’s book characters, famous authors, and historical figures. A mother of three youngsters was excited about the recently released Winnie the Pooh 50p coin. Aside from being a children’s favorite, Winnie’s creator, A.A. Milne, also wrote speeches for Winston Churchill.

It’s not a “ classic” coin but the Drummer Boy reverse is still one of my favorite modern designs.

Then there were the hard-core, anything made after 1964 and not silver contingent. These collectors were a minority but were the most vehement about the “right way” to collect coins. When I asked how they would classify my collecting habits, I was accused of collecting junk or trinkets or buying into scams. I never told them that I compiled a complete set of high grade (not in slabs) Peace Dollars. With one exception, everyone in this group was male and over 50 years old. The other was in his late-40s.

Numismatics is a hobby. Hobbies are supposed to be fun. You are supposed to like what you collect. If you like Kiss Challenge Coins, then go out and find them all. If using different metals to create interesting effects like the Royal Canadian and New Zealand Mints create, have fun. Even if you find enjoyment with searching pocket change for coins, you are a numismatist and are welcome to the hobby.

Everyone who collects numismatics should be welcome without being told they are collecting the wrong way. As time moves on, I will be proposing new ideas on making the hobby more inclusive. I welcome everyone’s feedback!

An Open Letter to the ANA and its Members

This past weekend, the Newman Numismatic Portal (NNP) held an on-line symposium that was an extended Money Talks session via Zoom. Although using Zoom and the format took advantage of new technologies, it is something I have been trying to convince the American Numismatic Association to do for a long time.

On May 21, 2016, I wrote, “Now is the time for the ANA and any other organizations that provides educational sessions to consider adding online access to their shows.”

Since then, I have been trying to convince the Association that it could extend its reach beyond the Summer Seminar and the World’s Fair of Money by broadcasting the content on-line.

“There are technologies that can help support the bringing the lectures, courses, and other activities to an online community,” I wrote in 2016. “There are a number of web-based conferencing system that requires a minimal amount of technology to broadcast these activities to collectors everywhere.”

I wrote that before the creation of Zoom!

Unfortunately, the ANA President and Board of Governors ignored all previous work regarding online education, making the Association look like an also-ran. Although some of the Summer Seminar sessions appeared online, the NNP Symposium surpassed the reach of the Summer Seminar in both content and impact.

The NNP succeeded where the ANA has failed. The NNP took advantage of modern technology to deliver numismatic education while the ANA, whose mission is supposed to be education, has done very little.

Why?

Why has the ANA Board of Governors failed in its mission?

It is easy to lead when times are good. An extended period of good times allows organizations to sit on its laurels. They can point to incremental changes as progress.

Leadership means being able to lead during good times and know how to respond when a crisis occurs.

“What leaders have to realize is that when a crisis hits, you can’t just rest on your laurels and think that everything will move along normally,” says Ronald Riggio, Ph.D., a professor of leadership and organizational psychology at Claremont McKenna College in California. “You need to train, prepare and execute.”

The ANA did not plan. The ANA was not prepared. There was nothing for the ANA to execute. The ANA FAILED in its mission.

The Board was told that it needed to expand to online education. When I was asked, “Can’t the ANA use something like Zoom to create classes?” Not only did I say it was possible, but I also noted other services the ANA could have used.

When I learned that Robert Oberth was appointed the Chair of the Information Technology Committee, I had a conversation with him on Facebook as part of comments to a post on the ANA Facebook page. I used Facebook to keep the conversation open and allow any member interested in why the ANA has failed to meet its members’ obligations.

As part of the conversations, I provided the lines to my writing on the subject. Unfortunately, the conversation has little impact. The ANA is lagging behind everyone in providing online education.

Even though I am not on the IT Committee, it does have institutional knowledge. According to the committee membership list published on the ANA website, Governor Greg Lyon is also a committee member. In his sixth and final term as ANA Governor, Lyon has been involved with the committee since the beginning. Lyon was the original Board liaison to the committee.

Lyon has not said much about the committee and its work either to me or in public. Now, when the ANA could use guidance, where is he? There is an English proverb that says, “cometh the hour, cometh the man.” A term that is associated with Winston Churchill, who stepped up when his country needed him.

Hey Greg, the ANA needs leadership. Where are you?

It has been six months since the crisis began. Where is the Board of Governors? What are you getting accomplished in those “excruciating” Board meetings (your word, Steve)?

The ANA Board of Governors has failed the Association and its members. These are the people who need to resign TODAY and allow new leadership to be selected by ANA members:

  • President Steve Ellsworth
  • Vice President Ralph Ross
  • Governors:
    • Mike Ellis
    • Muriel Eymery
    • Mary Lynn Garrett
    • Greg Lyon
    • Cliff Mishler
    • Rob Oberth
    • Shanna Schmidt

Are there six people who will run for the Board of Governors? If there are, I will join you to make a slate of seven people whose only purpose is to lift the ANA from the morass created by the current Board.

Celebrating 100 Years of Fixing a Mistake

On August 18, 1920, Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify the 19th Amendment to the United States Constitution. After a battle in the Tennessee House, which was lead by an anti-suffragist leader, two members changed their votes at the last minute.

Although people in the United States tout the “right to vote,” suffrage has been a long and difficult fight since before the signing of the Constitution. It did not end with the 19th Amendment as its text did not eliminate the discrimination based on race.

The fight for the “right” continues today. Reduced access to polls, including the closing of precincts in minority districts and hindering the Postal Service’s ability to handle ballots, infringe on everyone’s suffrage rights.

The commemorative coin reflects the history of the movement by depicting women wearing different hat styles during the thick of the fight. The movement started to gain momentum in the 1870s when states and territories in the West allowed women to vote. The first attempt to pass an amendment for suffrage began in 1878, where the depiction of the commemorative coin begins.

On the reverse is a depiction of a ballot box. The box has an art deco design with the centennial anniversary year looming large as it is descending into the ballot box.

The coin was designed by Christina Hess, a member of the Artistic Infusion Program and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. The dollar coin is .999 silver with a mintage limit of 400,000. The sale of each coin includes a $10 surcharge paid to the Smithsonian Institution’s American Women’s History Initiative.

It is an excellent design to depict the 100th Anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment. Although I am not a collector of commemorative coins, this may be one that I will add to the coins I collect because the design is worthy of collecting.

Weekly World Numismatic News for August 16, 2020

Whitman canceled the November show in Baltimore because the city continues to use the convention center as a staging area for COVID-19 emergencies. Although the number of cases in the Baltimore area has decreased, city and state health officials warn of a spike that will require the use of the convention center.

Nearly every health expert, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) located in Atlanta, has issued warnings of a second wave combined with the seasonal flu will cause a significant public health risk. Rather than cancel the show, Whitman Expo manager Lori Kraft said that they are “working on an alternate show venue.”

This past week, the Virginia Numismatic Association (VNA) canceled its annual show scheduled for September. They hold their show in Fredericksburg, Virginia, about 50 miles south of Washington, D.C.

The Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN) hopes that the Monroeville Convention Center (outside of Pittsburgh) will be able to hold their Fall Show at the end of October. Currently, the venue is restricting events to those with 25 attendees or fewer.

States in the northeast continue to have restrictions similar to those in Pennsylvania. Going east to Illinois has similar issues.

If Whitman keeps the show on the east coast, the only place left for them is in Georgia, where they are located. As much as it pains this University of Georgia alumnus to admit, the fellow alum that sits in the state governor’s office has made Georgians’ health and safety a source of political tension.

The year is more than half-over, and the infection is getting worse. Virus hot spots have moved out of the northeast into states where health and safety have been politicized, including Georgia. Leaders are not listening to the medical community, and people are paying with their health and lives.

It is time to admit that 2020 is a lost year. It is time for everyone to adapt to what we have today and plan for the future. It is time for Whitman to cancel the Expo for 2020.

Plan now for a better future when it is (hopefully) safer.

Everyone please stay safe and healthy!

And now the news…

 August 10, 2020
Staff at the North Carolina Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores turned off a 30-foot waterfall and collected all the coins visitors had thrown into the water to make wishes. After cleaning the money, they'll put it toward the aquarium's expenses.  → Read more at npr.org

 August 10, 2020
Gold Last Tuesday somebody told Gold buyers that it’s normally hot in the month of August. Then the Gold price broke above the key $2,000 resistance level and it kept on going.  → Read more at kitco.com

 August 11, 2020
The Museum of West Bohemia in Plzeň has announced the discovery of hundreds of silver and gold coins from the 14th century. The treasure, unearthed in a forest near the Kladruby Monastery in the region of Tachov, is believed to be one of the biggest troves of gold coins unearthed on the territory of the Czech Republic.  → Read more at english.radio.cz

 August 12, 2020
Gold is hot. Record-breaking prices and demand for gold bullion have thrust the yellow metal back into the media spotlight.  → Read more at energyandcapital.com

 August 12, 2020
Anti-National Socialism political activist and student Sophie Scholl will be commemorated on a special coin, said the German Finance Ministry on Wednesday. The €20 ($23) sterling silver collectors coin will be issued in April 2021, timed to coincide with Scholl's birthday.  → Read more at dw.com

 August 13, 2020
I heard about the coin shortage on the news. Maybe it's from people wishing 2020 will be over. OK, all jokes aside, it turns out to be just a disruption in coin circulation.  → Read more at marshfieldmail.com
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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 12, 2020

2020 Elton John Uncirculated Coin

Reverse of the 2020 Elton John Uncirculated Coin (Courtesy of the Royal Mint)

This past week, the Royal Mint announced the next coin release in their Music Legends series to honor Sir Elton John. He is an international legend coming out of the British music scene who made his mark with talent and flamboyance. His long-time partnership with Bernie Taupin has entertained us since the 1960s.

Coins are available from the Royal Mint in gold, silver, and uncirculated. Uncirculated coins come in a special folder honoring Elton John.

There will be those that will complain that these coins hurt the hobby. To borrow a term from our British friends: RUBBISH! If these coins bring people into the hobby, then they are great.

What is bad for the hobby is buying surplus coins from the U.S. Mint and calling it a hoard! For years, the U.S. Mint has been selling off its excess inventory or melting precious metals. This time, someone bought them, sent them to be slabbed, and would jack up the prices under the guise of something special. When the buyer goes to sell them and finds out that they are not worth what they paid, that will have people running away from the hobby. It is similar to the overpriced crap sold on television during the 50 State Quarters program.

Even GovMint.com is getting into the junk selling hype. They have been on satellite radio hawking the emergency production bullion coins struck at Philadelphia after COVID-19 temporarily closed the West Point Mint. Their ad for “P-Mint designated” coins touts them as something special. They are not unique or rare, as the commercial insinuates. Bullion coins are struck at Philadelphia. The difference is that there was a way to determine which mint struck these coins.

What is more damaging to the hobby, selling over-priced bullion or common leftover coins or non-circulating legal tender (NCLT) coins with themes that some old-timers do not seem to like?

Here, let me make some of you upset. I visited the website for the Royal Mint and found something that I will add to my collection:

Queen Coin Cover

Queen Coin Cover is created in cooperation with the Royal Mint and Royal Mail (Image courtesy of the Royal Mint).

If that makes you upset, then you need to rethink your attitude on the hobby!

And now the news…

 July 2, 2020
A flag flies in front of the federal courthouse in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2020. Scott G Winterton, Deseret News  → Read more at deseret.com

 July 6, 2020
Connor Shumate holding his metal detector and treasure. Photo: Malcolm Andrews. Rising Brownsville second grader Connor Shumate may have found pirate treasure right in his own yard!  → Read more at crozetgazette.com

 July 7, 2020
Treasure hunters hit the jackpot as they discover Roman coins at racecourse  → Read more at gazette-news.co.uk

 July 8, 2020
Royal Mint The coin depicts Sir Elton John's trademark glasses as musical notes Rock legend Elton John is to be commemorated on a £1,000 gold coin celebrating his musical legacy.  → Read more at bbc.com

 July 8, 2020
The design for the new gold $1 Elizabeth Peratrovich coin was on display during the Elizabeth Peratrovich Day celebration at the Tlingit and Haida Community Council on Feb. 16, 2020.  → Read more at juneauempire.com

 July 10, 2020
CRANSTON — Just weeks after being granted compassionate release from federal prison, the self-proclaimed “world’s greatest counterfeiter,” Louis “The Coin” Colavecchio, died Monday at age 78. He was in hospice care after struggling with dementia, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, hypertension and other ailments.  → Read more at providencejournal.com

 July 10, 2020
In the summer of 2020, we received multiple inquiries from readers about the accuracy of news reports and social media posts that referred to an ongoing shortage of coins across the United States.  → Read more at snopes.com
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