Weekly World Numismatic News for June 13, 2021

Before unveiling my father’s grave marker, it was covered with an appropriate towel. After 12 years, he is next to my mother, again.

Even though the United States may be recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, many will feel its effects for a long time. Whether from missing events from 2020 to the loss of a family member, survivors will have reminders that will last a lifetime.

Last Friday was my father’s unveiling. For those not familiar with the custom, Jewish descendants celebrate the life of the deceased by dedicating the grave marker where the loved one is buried. The marker is covered then revealed at the end of the service.

As a die-hard and always suffering Mets fan, my father’s marker was covered with a Mets towel until the end of the service. Later that night, the family went to Citi Field to attend a Mets game in his honor. Jacob deGrom pitched a phenomenal six innings and the Mets won.

It was my first time attending a game at Citi Field. The stadium is quite different from Shea Stadium where my father and I saw many games together. In 1972, we attended more games than he expected because I kept winning tickets. That year I was delivering Newsday when it was an afternoon newspaper. To boost the number of subscribers, Newsday would give out prizes to the paperboys who sold the most subscriptions. When Newsday started a Sunday paper, there would be more opportunities to win prizes. I chose the Mets tickets whenever it was an option.

In those days, the paperboys collected directly from the subscriber. On Saturday, we would pay the distributor for the week’s newspapers and hand in orders for the next week. One week I almost did not have enough money to pay the bill because several people paid using silver coins. The silver coins went inserted into the blue folders. My father helped me make up the difference.

By the end of my three years delivering Newsday, I had a nearly complete set of Roosevelt dimes picked from pocket change and from the people who paid for newspapers. Shortly before we moved from New York, my father and I went to a local coin shop and we purchased 12 dimes to almost complete the set. A few days later, he came home from work with the one dime that the local coin shop did not have and a Whitman Deluxe album. Later, I learned he bought the coin and the album from Stack’s in Manhattan.

Although this chapter is over, the memories and the album of Roosevelt dimes remain.

And now the news…

 June 10, 2021
“Treasure of Chianti,” now on view through Sept. 3 at the Museum of Santa Maria della Scala in Siena, Italy. A treasure trove of ancient Roman silver coins discovered by a team from Florida State University is now on display to the public for the first time in Italy.  → Read more at news.fsu.edu

 June 11, 2021
 → Read more at smithsonianmag.com

 June 13, 2021
By Updated  → Read more at smh.com.au
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Weekly World Numismatic News for June 7, 2021

With the country reopening, there is a lot of activity arranged to make up for the lost time. It is going to make June a busy month that will delay the Weekly World Numismatic News posts. Stay tuned because I have a lot of good content coming!

Life in the United States is coming back. Although COVID-19 continues to be a concern, the vaccines seem to be mitigating many of the issues that closed down the country last year. According to many reports, the United States is doing better than other countries with vaccinations. The result is a decrease in the number of infections and deaths.

COVID-19 will change how we live life, at least for the next few years. Aside from the loss of family members, I am no longer shaking hands. I will fist-bump with someone. Maybe we should learn from the Japanese and bow in respect.

Another change is the reduction in handling items. When I go to a store, I continue to wear nitrile gloves. Even though science has proven that COVID-19 cannot live on surfaces for long times, studies have shown that a dollar bill can have more bacteria than a toilet seat.

The next question is what will happen at coin shows. When we go to shows, people will examine coins, currency, and exonumia before they purchase. Collectors will be digging through junk boxes, those long storage boxes, and flipping pages in notebooks. Collectors will handle slabs and flip through pages of the available books. While this is no different from shows in the past, the COVID-19 pandemic scared everyone. A result of the heightened awareness of viruses was a significant reduction in flu cases.

People traveling to long-distance shows will be required to wear masks in the airport and on airplanes. Show venues will continue to require people to wear masks and social distancing that will reduce dealer participation.

COVID-19 restrictions require the ANA to reduce the number of dealers to maintain social distancing. What we do not know are the other restrictions that the ANA will have to follow. Will there be restrictions on the number of people on the bourse floor? What about attendance restrictions on the peripheral sessions like Money Talks and the auctions? How will the exhibits be handled? What other restrictions will the ANA be required to follow?

It is good that life is resuming, but there are more questions than answers. Get vaccinated and stay safe.

And now the news…

 June 1, 2021
How many times have you weighed the little usefulness of the pennies you have in your purse? You may even have accumulated them and that you have them stored in a boat waiting to count them so that they can be exchanged for coins of more value or a banknote, but be careful that there is a special cent coin that could have a value of 50,000 euros So what maybe you have among those pennies that you hardly pay attention to.  → Read more at marketresearchtelecast.com

 June 3, 2021
Written by Oscar Holland, CNN Two of the most coveted items in stamp-collecting and one of the world's rarest coins could fetch a combined $37 million when they go under the hammer in New York next week.  → Read more at cnn.com

 June 4, 2021
Cincinnati, Ohio, June 04, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Cryptozoologists worldwide are scampering to find Cincinnati, Ohio on the map and Osborne Mint on the web to see The Yeti and be able to capture the creature for themselves.   → Read more at globenewswire.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for May 30, 2021

When it comes to identifying the numismatic-related news of the week, you cannot ignore the fiasco caused by the U.S. Mint. It is a repeat of every significant release for the last 15 years: underestimate demand, make purchasing policies that are out of touch with the demand anticipated by the industry, not have the infrastructure in place to meet the demand, apologize and promise to do better later.

Wash, rinse, and repeat.

Collectors are not taking this situation in stride as they previously have. According to congressional staffers who spoke on the promise of anonymity, the calls to their offices bordered on outrage. The stories were amazing.

One staffer said that their district office received a call from an assisted living center in their district. Five people were on the call. Each made a statement and passed around the telephone, so they could all tell their members of congress how upset they were. One of the people told the staffer about buying his first proof set from the U.S. Mint in 1958.

Another staffer said that the House Financial Services Committee redirected calls made to their offices. Someone investigated and decided that something I wrote the day of the sale prompted the calls.

A source with the Treasury Department said that they logged a lot of calls on Wednesday. Although they would not break down the distribution of the calls, sources suggested that calls made to the main Treasury caught Secretary Janet Yellen’s attention.

Although members of the numismatic industry called, everyone I spoke with said it was the public’s outrage that caused the U.S. Mint to take quick action.

Instead of putting up with bad service from the government, the people stood up and asked for answers. The government responding to the people is the best news of the week. Now let’s hope the U.S. Mint does not waste this moment.

And now the news…

 May 27, 2021
Cabinet policy addressing “colonialism, patriarchy, and racism” strikes coin honouring Canadian scientist who discovered insulin  → Read more at torontosun.com

 May 28, 2021
During excavations near Tübingen, archaeologists discovered the tomb of an early Bronze Age woman with an unusual burial gift: a small spiral made of gold wire – possibly a hair ornament – appeared to be the earliest reliable gold discovery in southwestern Germany.  → Read more at thewestonforum.com

 May 28, 2021
While working on the downtown Ellisville street repair project, Heath Pickering made an interesting find while repairing a sewer line.  → Read more at leader-call.com
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U.S. Mint Pauses 2021 Morgan and Peace Dollar Sales

The U.S. Mint posted the following on its Facebook page at 11:30 PM on Thursday, May 27, 2021:

For those who do not access Facebook, the following is the complete text of the announcement:

The United States Mint is committed to providing the best possible online experience to its customers. The global silver shortage has driven demand for many of our bullion and numismatic products to record heights. This level of demand is felt most acutely by the Mint during the initial product release of numismatic items. Most recently in the pre-order window for 2021 Morgan Dollar with Carson City privy mark (21XC) and New Orleans privy mark (21XD), the extraordinary volume of web traffic caused significant numbers of Mint customers to experience website anomalies that resulted in their inability to complete transactions.

In the interest of properly rectifying the situation, the Mint is postponing the pre-order windows for the remaining 2021 Morgan and Peace silver dollars that were originally scheduled for June 1 (Morgan Dollars struck at Denver (21XG) and San Francisco (21XF)) and June 7 (Morgan Dollar struck at Philadelphia (21XE) and the Peace Dollar (21XH)). While inconvenient to many, this deliberate delay will give the Mint the time necessary to obtain web traffic management tools to enhance the user experience. As the demand for silver remains greater than the supply, the reality is such that not everyone will be able to purchase a coin. However, we are confident that during the postponement, we will be able to greatly improve on our ability to deliver the utmost positive U.S. Mint experience that our customers deserve. We will announce revised pre-order launch dates as soon as possible.

Sources reported that unhappy collectors “besieged” the U.S. Mint with email and telephone calls following their latest ordering fiasco. The sources also said that the offices of several members of congress contacted the U.S. Mint after hearing from their constituents.

One source said that collectors contacted the Treasury Office of Inspector General (OIG) and prompted them to question U.S. Mint management on the problems. I have not been able to confirm this story.

In short, it was the action by angry collectors that made the U.S. Mint stop and rethink its sales policies. It was you, the collector, who called Congress, made waves, and forced the U.S. Mint to listen.

Too bad ANA leadership did not take a leadership role on behalf of the hobby.

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Weekly World Numismatic News for May 23, 2021

Your humble blogger in front of The Arch at the University of Georgia. The last time I was there I had hair!

As a numismatic blogger, I try to limit the posts to numismatic-related issues. Sometimes, it is necessary to bring the non-numismatic issues into the discussion. The rest of this post is going to cross over into an area some will disagree. But I think it is necessary for the safety of the community.

This past week, I had to make a trip to Georgia for business. The trip required a flight from Baltimore to Atlanta. Travelers must follow TSA and the FAA rules for safety, including masks in the airport and on planes.

Unfortunately, the wearing of masks became a political issue. It’s not. It’s a mask. The idea of the mask is to protect you and to protect others. Masks are an inexpensive tool to reduce the spread of the virus. Nothing else!

During this trip, I learned the difference in attitudes with different people in Baltimore and Georgia. While at BWI Airport, the less than the capacity crowd was very diligent with their masks. Very few people were leaving noses uncovered, and one person politely asked me to replace my mask after taking a sip from my water bottle. It was a sense of community caring, not punitive.

Hartsfield-Jackson Airport was a different story. The number of people prevented moderate social distancing. Everyone packed into the transport trains, and the mask-wearing varied from covering the chin to uncovering the nose.

Arriving in Athens, Georgia, home of my alma mater, the University of Georgia, the scene was different. Walking the streets and the time I spent on campus, you can tell the difference between the students and everyone else. The students were wearing masks and keeping distances. Students working in local businesses were more diligent than the parents that were in town for commencements.

I had the opportunity to discuss the situation with some of the students. They relayed stories about how the students did not take the pandemic seriously until it spread on campus.

The problems are not with the students and those concerned about public health. The problems are with those who see masks as a conspiracy. Many numismatic dealers have indicated they are on the side of the conspiracy theorists.

The attitude of these dealers, mostly older and obstinant, can turn the re-opening of the hobby into a disaster.

The World’s Fair of Money will be limited to 300 tables to comply with Illinois Health Department rules. Currently, there has been no announcement regarding attendance limited. Given the attitudes of the anti-maskers, especially amongst the dealer population, I am afraid that the World’s Fair of Money will become a super spreader event.

You might want to question my assertion because of the presence of the vaccines. While the vaccines provide immunity against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that has plagued the United States for more than a year, combating the variants is uncertain. Research has shown that the vaccines will fight some of the variants, but not all of them.

As people travel, the variants will spread with the people that will carry them. The only way to prevent the variants from ruining the re-opening is to get serious about wearing masks.

Yes, wearing masks suck. As someone with allergy and respiratory issues, wearing a mask is very uncomfortable. During the workday, I will take my dog for a walk when I need to take off my mask. I know that for a year or two discomfort, we can re-open society and hold shows again.

We need to come together as a community and be leaders for the country. Numismatics has the chance to lead. By leading and acting as we care for one another, we can look like heroes to the rest of the world and possibly attract new members.

Care for your fellow numismatist and potential new numismatists. Wear a mask!

And now the news…

 May 19, 2021
Coins celebrating the writer and poet Maya Angelou, left, and the astronaut Sally Ride will be issued next year as part of the U.S. Mint’s American Women Quarters Program.United States Mint  → Read more at nytimes.com

 May 20, 2021
A silver coin found in Maryland after almost 400 years provided a big clue for archaeologists searching for St. Mary's Fort — one of the earliest English settlements in the New World. The coin, a silver shilling with a portrait of King Charles I, was created by the royal mint in the Tower of London back in England at around the time the fort was settled in 1634, according to Travis Parno, the director of research and collections at the Historic St.  → Read more at cnn.com

 May 21, 2021
WITH most of us spending more time at home, you want may to dig through your spare change for rare and valuable coins. If you spot one of the top six, then you could end up making a tidy profit, as they're worth up to $10,633 each.  → Read more at the-sun.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for May 16, 2021

It has been a long 16-months. During that time, a virus caused a worldwide pandemic still being felt in much of the world. Thanks to science and the government removing barriers that slow the development process, the pharmaceutical industry found vaccines to reduce infection rates.

The increase in vaccinations and the reduction of infections has government easing restrictions that shut down the country for three months in 2020. As the restrictions ease, coin shows are appearing. Small shows have been running for a few months, but last week, the ANA announced the World’s Fair of Money would go on.

Over the last six months, hobby and other spending have dramatically increased. The demand for goods has outpaced the supply. Big-ticket items like housing and vehicles are experiencing low inventories as people leave their homes and spend money. I regularly pass a few used car lots on my way to work, and their inventory is the lowest I have seen.

Numismatics is also seeing a surge. Even though analysts note that lower sales of bullion coins from last year, the demand for collector coins has caused prices to skyrocket. Services that monitor online markets say that the 2021-W American Silver Eagle Proof coin price is averaging $140-160 or 100-percent over their issue price.

Because silver is in high demand, dealers are charging high premiums over the spot price and sellout out of their inventory. When I recently looked at buying circulated coins whose value is tied to the silver spot price, the premiums were the highest that I have seen.

It has been a long time since silver coins were this popular. There is no telling how high this market will go with the expanding market for non-circulated legal tender (NCLT) and bullion coins drawing people into collecting.

And now the news…

 May 10, 2021
What do ancient coins tell us about the Omer period and the time of the Bar-Kochba revolt, when the 49 days between Passover and Shavuot became associated with death and mourning? According to the Bible, the seven weeks between the two holidays referred to as ‘omer’ – a unit of measure which was used to quantify the amount of produce to offer as a sacrifice to God – was not meant to carry any specific connotation other than its agricultural meaning.  → Read more at jpost.com

 May 11, 2021
An early pandemic problem that plagued businesses is back: not enough change to go around. Why it matters: The pandemic broke America's coin flow. It has repercussions for millions that rely on it for daily transactions.  → Read more at axios.com

 May 13, 2021
Nov.  → Read more at theglowup.theroot.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for May 9, 2021

Do you know what happens if the blogger does not press the button that says “Publish?” The post does not get published to the site. This week’s delay was because I forgot to press the button. Sorry!

There were two other news items that collectors should be aware. Last week, the ANA held an online Candidates Forum. Only one of the candidates did not attend.

The forum demonstrated two types of candidates: the status quo and those who want to do something. The status quo candidates refused to think outside of the proverbial box and look to continue using the same methods that have not advanced the ANA beyond its current state. The others have different ideas to move the ANA forward.

Few of the candidates have ideas discussed in the past but taking advantage of the current climate. These are the candidates that need to be elected to the ANA Board of Governors. A full review of the Candidates Form is forthcoming.

Another bit of news was a May 4 conference call by the U.S. Mint with members of the media. Even though I asked questions they answered during that conference call the previous week, I was not invited to participate. There are additional questions that the U.S. Mint did not address, which I sent via email. The U.S. Mint has not answered those questions.

I will wait a few days for the U.S. Mint to answer my questions before explaining how they do not care about the collectors and what I suggest the community can do to correct their behavior.

And now the news…

 May 2, 2021
A silver English shilling found during a dig in St. Mary’s, Md., is more proof that archaeologists have pinpointed the correct location of an old fort.  → Read more at washingtonpost.com

 May 4, 2021
Editor’s Note: With so much market volatility, stay on top of daily news! Get caught up in minutes with our speedy summary of today’s must-read news and expert opinions. Sign up here!  → Read more at kitco.com

 May 4, 2021
When heavy metal guitarist Ed Fuhrman hits the road, one of his priorities is seeking out a local collector’s shop. Is he looking for a vintage guitar or a hard-to-find record? No.  → Read more at northjersey.com

 May 6, 2021
How did people living in the Bronze Age manage their finances before money became widespread? Researchers from the Universities of Göttingen and Rome have discovered that bronze scrap found in hoards in Europe circulated as a currency.  → Read more at sciencedaily.com

 May 7, 2021
An 1804 silver dollar is expected to sell for US$7 million at auction in August. Stack’s Bowers Galleries  → Read more at barrons.com
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World’s Fair of Money Is ON!

Two days after questioning whether the ANA will have to cancel the World’s Fair of Money this year, they issued a statement saying that the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, will be open for shows.

The ANA press release said that the show would be limited to 300 dealer tables to configured the bourse floor to allow for social distancing. Those attending the show will be asked to maintain social distancing, and masks will be required.

Currently, there are no indications as to whether there will be capacity limits.

I am sure the ANA will do what it can to make the show safe. I encourage you to assess your risks and make an informed decision as to whether you will attend.

Admittedly, I may be more paranoid than many people. Having lost two family members to COVID-19, a long-time friend, and seeing a few others who have had long-haul health issues, I may wait until the last moment before making my decision. My original plans were to attend the last two days of The National (National Sports Collectors Convention) and stay for the World’s Fair of Money. I will skip The National this year and decide whether I go to the World’s Fair of Money by July.

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Weekly World Numismatic News for May 2, 2021

One bit of news that did not make the numismatic press is that the Coin Collectors Blog sponsored 36 news memberships to the American Numismatic Association. All 36 new members will begin to have access to the ANA, the Numismatist, submit coins to NGC, check out books from the library (oops… I have a few books I have to return), and attend the World’s Fair of Money without having to pay an entrance fee.

I thought it was important to sponsor new memberships to the ANA to bring in new members, especially those with diverse backgrounds and ideas. All the new members should let us know how they collect.

The ANA must evolve to the new environment. The ANA was caught flat-footed when the pandemic changed the environment. Even though the headquarters staff did their best with the resources provided, it was clear that the leadership lacked the imagination to do better.

New members can help. You can tell the ANA what they can do to help make your collecting experience more valuable. You can contact the Board of Governors directly or tell me. I will publish the ideas on this blog. Together, we can make the ANA a better organization.

To the 36 new members: WELCOME!

And now the news…

 April 26, 2021
DALLAS, TEXAS – The first dollar coin struck at the fledgling US Mint in 1794, an experiment in copper that would become the pattern for more valuable silver versions minted later, sold for $840,000 at Heritage Auctions Friday, April 23.  → Read more at antiquesandthearts.com

 April 28, 2021
It may have been the greatest heist of all time, and it took place on the high seas. The royal ship Ganj-iSawai, property of Indian emperor Aurangzeb, had set sail from the port of Mocha on the Red Sea bound for Surat, India.  → Read more at theday.com

 April 28, 2021
Jersey Heritage Hundreds of coins and 35 pieces of jewellery are among the Le Câtillon I hoard which have been bought  → Read more at bbc.com

 April 28, 2021
It may have been the greatest heist of all time, and it took place on the high seas. The royal ship Ganj-iSawai, property of Indian emperor Aurangzeb, had set sail from the port of Mocha on the Red Sea bound for Surat, India.  → Read more at theday.com

 April 29, 2021
A picture made available on 29 April 2016 shows one of 19 Roman amphoras discovered in the town of Tomares, near Seville (EPA Photo)  → Read more at dailysabah.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for April 11, 2021

Some can make an argument to call the Farouk-Fenton 1933 Saint-Gaudens Gold $20 Double Eagle coin the most famous coin in the world. Although other coins have surpassed it in price since Stuart Weitzman purchased it in 2002, its legend lives beyond any other coin.

The story of the coin spans families, generations, continents, court cases, and was almost destroyed in the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001. Its story was told in two excellent books and the revealing of the coin’s current owner made international headlines.

Now, the world’s most famous coin has been certified, graded, but not entombed in plastic. Sotheby’s requested the grading and certification for the coin and asked that the coin not be slabbed. PCGS graded the coin and provided an image certification. They also announced that the new owner could submit the coin for holdering after the auction.

Although certification is necessary for some coins in this day of counterfeits, there are some coins whose importance goes beyond the need to entomb them in plastic away from the world. The last legal tender gold coin from the time Franklin D. Roosevelt withdrew gold from the market is one of those coins.

There have been other famous coins displayed in slabs that give them a lonely feel. Looking at any of the five 1913 Liberty Head Nickels makes it seem like it’s trapped instead of proudly standing, showing off its fascinating story. The same fate awaits the 1933 Double Eagle should its next owner decide the plastic is more important than the coin.

For the sake of allowing the legend to live, I hope the next owner decides not to hide this coin in plastic and allows the world to celebrate its story and beauty.

And now the news…

 April 5, 2021
A magnified view of corrosion on one of the medieval Islamic coins being examined and restored by the Louvre Abu Dhabi.Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi In a newly acquired cache of more than 2,800 coins dating to Islam’s medieval era, the Louvre Abu Dhabi not only has a bounty for its permanent collection, but also signposts on the road map of early Islam, all coated in tarnish, corrosion and the mystery of history.  → Read more at nytimes.com

 April 6, 2021
A 17th-century Arabian coin discovered by Jim Bailey. Courtesy of the American Numismatic Society via Flickr.  → Read more at news.artnet.com

 April 7, 2021
This gold "Memento Mori" ring, dating to the Tudor period, sports an enamel skull.  → Read more at livescience.com

 April 9, 2021
If the infamous rum-soaked Jack Sparrow of Pirates of the Caribbean dropped some of his pocket change while drunkenly dancing around when he was supposed to be pillaging and plundering, what would you expect to find 325 years later?  → Read more at syfy.com
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