Weekly World Numismatic News for September 12, 2021

CC Privy Mark for the 2021 Morgan Dollar

Coin World reports that scammers are selling counterfeit 2021-CC Morgan Dollars on eBay.

According to Coin World, the coins have several issues, but the primary problem is that the U.S. Mint has not shipped any coins. How can you buy a coin that the manufacturer has not shipped?

Another scam you can find on eBay is that some sellers are offering MS-70 coins for “pre-sale.” How can a seller sell a coin graded MS-70 that has not been released or graded by the grading service? How will these sellers guarantee that the coins they receive from the U.S. Mint will grade MS-70 unless they pay off the grading service?

I know many collectors want to add these coins to their collection. You may want to wait until the coins are issued, the grading services see the coins in hand, and the suckers get out of the market. If you want to see what I mean, look at the 25th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Set. After they were released, the prices climbed to $500-700 with limited availability. Although the price numbers have not changed, the value of $500 is less than in 2011 and is generally available.

And now the news…

 September 10, 2021
Renovators discovered a hidden box and pouch stuffed with rare gold coins, minted during the reigns of French Kings Louis XIII and Louis XIV  → Read more at smithsonianmag.com

 September 12, 2021
Telangana’s Rachakonda police seized fake Indian currency notes with a face value of over Rs 1 crore and genuine currency worth Rs 1.3 lakh after busting a gang involved in cheating people on the pretext of exchanging black money.  → Read more at indianexpress.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for September 6, 2021

Welcome to the Labor Day Edition of the Weekly World Numismatic News!

The story that caught my eye is that the members of Accredited Precious Metals Dealers (APMD) of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PMG) predicted their end-of-year prices for precious metals.

According to the APMD members, the year-end predictions are as follows:

  • Gold: $1,897
  • Silver: $28
  • Platinum: $1,153

Their estimates are the “mean averages of price predictions made by 25 accredited dealers” of the APMD. Members of the APMD “based their forecasts on years of being on the front lines of the bullion markets.” In other words, their predictions are as reliable as those that predict the pro football and basketball drafts.

With all due respect to the APMD and their members, every forecast I have heard while carefully watching the markets as a buyer has been bullish. It is very rare to hear anyone that is involved with this market make a bearish prediction.

Let’s have some fun with this. In the next few days, I will make my predictions along with the logic behind my prediction. Then I will create a graph to monitor the markets compared to our predictions. Let’s see how we do after the market closes on December 31!

Image courtesy of the U.S. Mint.

And now the news…

 August 26, 2021
While excavating the ancient city of Phangoria, located north of the Black Sea, in the Taman peninsula of southern Russia, archaeologists made an odd discovery: A single copper coin, minted in the year 1570, far far away in the Cypriot city of Famagusta.  → Read more at haaretz.com

 August 27, 2021
Dealing with a recently passed away parent’s belongings is always a tough subject. It’s never just about the stuff – it’s about the memories and the emotions it all brings up, not to mention disagreements with siblings and partners about what to do with it all.  → Read more at goodmenproject.com

 September 2, 2021
Money, money, money, money, ah so not just the song. But, the real thing. During the height of the pandemic, remember the shortages of toilet paper, paper products, disinfectant, hand sanitizer and yes, money, coins to be exact.  → Read more at poconorecord.com

 September 3, 2021
By K Rajan Chennai: A finely made thin silver punch-marked coin weighing 2.2g unearthed at Keeladi in the seventh season of excavation this year holds key to the history of trading routes spanning the subcontinent and beyond — till Sri Lanka in the south and Afghanistan in the northwest  → Read more at timesofindia.indiatimes.com

 September 4, 2021
Cree artist Sheila Orr designed a collectors coin for the Royal Canadian Mint, depicting the fur trade from a Cree perspective. It was released earlier this summer.  → Read more at cbc.ca
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Weekly World Numismatic News for August 29, 2021

The U.S. Mint attempts to fix their online ordering system, but to what effect?

This past week, the U.S. Mint held a press availability for the numismatic media. I highlighted the meeting after the discussion, which includes corrections. While the U.S. Mint appears to be working to rectify its e-commerce issues, there continue to be unaddressed problems.

A few weeks ago, I wrote that it was my impression “that the lawyers had more say over policy than the appointed director or the career executives.” It is not clear that the U.S. Mint has separated its policy decision from the advice of counsel.

Missing from the discussion is how the lawyers forced the U.S. Mint to violate the law. Even though they identified the Internet Robots (BOTs), the lawyers not allowing the U.S. Mint to resolve the problem puts the e-commerce system in violation of the Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA). FISMA was passed in 2002 to require the government to protect computing resources.

Although it sounds like a technical issue, FISMA’s purpose is to allow bureaus like the U.S. Mint to protect public access to government resources. It also allows the government to do what is necessary to serve the public.

While the dealer community is part of the public, they are not the majority of the interested public. The U.S. Mint reported that only 18 authorized purchasers could access 10% of production at a 5% premium as part of its early access program.

The U.S. Mint deserves commendation for its ability to exceed production during the pandemic. Questions remain on the decisions on collector coin programs.

And now the news…

 August 24, 2021
OTTAWA, ON, Aug. 20, 2021 /CNW/ – The Royal Canadian Mint (the "Mint") is pleased to announce its financial results for the second quarter of 2021 that provide insight into our activities, the markets influencing our businesses and our expectations for the next 12 months.  → Read more at newswire.ca

 August 27, 2021
Hundreds of ancient coins looted from archaeological sites were found in a house in Bnei Brak, the Antiquities Authority (IAA) announced Monday. The artifacts were uncovered during an operation by the IAA’s Robbery Prevention Unit.  → Read more at jpost.com

 August 27, 2021
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — It was a slow day Aug. 1 when Nick Amelio was treasure salvaging near Corrigan's shipwreck, just south of Turtle Trail Beach.  → Read more at tcpalm.com

 August 27, 2021
Generally speaking, gold is the antithesis of fiat currencies and is viewed as a hedge against inflation.  → Read more at swfinstitute.org

 August 27, 2021
There are few things more alluring than buried treasure — preferably ancient and preferably gold. Historically, people tended to bury their coinage in times of trouble, intending to come back for it.  → Read more at independent.ie
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U.S. Mint Talks About Their Website and Ordering System

The U.S. Mint held a press availability for members of the numismatic media this morning. There will be more to say about the information presented, but the following are some highlights that will interest the numismatic community.

Mint management noted that the U.S. Mint is the only sovereign mint with continuing bullion production during the pandemic. In addition to the bullion coin production, the U.S. Mint has produced more circulating coins than any other time.

The U.S. Mint continues operating at the highest level while maintaining safety and controls to protect the employees during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although it is easy to criticize the U.S. Mint, it is commendable that the bureau continued production but manufacturing more products than ever in the last 18 months.

U.S. MINT DIRECTOR DAVID RYDER noted that sales at the U.S. Mint had been declining prior to his arrival. Part of the reason is that there was not a permanent director in almost nine years. Ryder saw his job as trying to expand the product line to increase interest in the numismatic process.

U.S. MINT ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF SALES AND MARKETING MATTHEW HOLBEN said that the U.S. Mint had faced unprecedented demand for its products during the “black swan event.” According to Holben, the U.S. Mint sold more proof American Silver Eagle Proof coins in under a half-hour than they sold in 2019.

The U.S. Mint has 18 dealers that are registered authorized purchasers of numismatic products. These 18 dealers can purchase up to 10-percent of the numismatic products before the public sale. They credit the reduction in attempts to use automated methods to order (BOTs) now that the dealers can determine their inventory.

U.S. MINT DEPUTY CHIEF MARKETING OFFICER KIRK GILLIS said that since the first 2021 Morgan Dollar release, the catalog website could process 217 peak orders per second, up from 96 peak orders per second.

Gillis reported that “up to 60% of the activity on the sites were BOTs” based on the drop in traffic demand since the May 24 launch of the 2021 Morgan Dollar products. He said that the U.S. Mint had implemented technology to reduce the impact of scripts and BOTs used to order products.

The U.S. Mint will explore pre-ordering and waiting room software similar to the processes used by the ticket purchasing systems. They are also looking into other rate-limiting technology.

Beyond the highlights, there are other issues to explore. Stay tuned!

CORRECTIONS
  • The website can process “217 peak orders per second, up from 96 peak orders per second.” It was originally reported as “270 orders per second, up from 90.”
  • Clarified the 60% reduction in BOT activity as being since the May 24 launch of the initial Morgan Dollar products.
Sorry for the confusion.

Inspector General to Investigate the U.S. Mint

According to Coin World, the Treasury Office of Inspector General (OIG) “may” investigate how the U.S. Mint has handled the sales of limited-edition numismatic collectibles. Coin World may have confirmed information provided to me on background.

Although the web-based ordering has sort-of worked, I reported on the systemic issues facing the U.S. Mint in moving forward. In summary, my investigation found:

  1. The alleged silver shortage was not a shortage of silver but a failure of the U.S. Mint to manage its supply chain properly.
  2. The U.S Mint’s insistence that Internet robots (BOTs) were the cause of their web-based issues was the symptom of a more significant problem that they have not learned from their past mistakes.
  3. The U.S. Mint’s management managing like they were afraid of repercussions because the lawyers said so. The way it sounded, the U.S. Mint management was not managing but taking instructions. If they cannot manage, should they be replaced by lawyers?

An investigation by the Treasury OIG is an excellent first step. But experience has shown that an OIG report does not guarantee that U.S. Mint will fix the problems. I have seen government managers and appointees say all of the right things and do little to nothing.

It might require an act of Congress to fix the U.S. Mint. If it requires an act of Congress, don’t hold your breath waiting for changes.

Weekly World Numismatic News for August 15, 2021

Although this past week was the World’s Fair of Money, there was not much news surrounding the event. According to individual reports, people said that it was a good show even with the COVID precautions. It was similar to reports from The National, which was held in the Stephens Convention Center the week before.

The week’s biggest news was the U.S. Mint publishing the lot numbers used to label the boxes with the American Eagle bullion coins.

Until last year, the U.S. Mint has not identified where they strike the American Eagle bullion coins. Spokespeople emphasize that since their production is for the investment market, the mint location is not relevant. Of course, collectors view the market differently. Dealers and third-party grading services have tried to determine where the coins were struck based on shipping labels and other factors. Although they are reasonably sure, there are mistakes in their assumptions.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the West Point Mint to close temporarily. To keep up with production, the U.S. Mint struck 240,000 bullion coins in Philadelphia. The third-party grading services asked the U.S. Mint about the production of these coins. Rather than leave the industry guessing, the U.S. Mint identified which boxes contained American Silver Eagle bullion coins struck in Philadelphia. As a result, the third-party grading services accurately noted the origin of the bullion coin on the label of their slab.

U.S. Mint Error Label on American Silver Eagle bullion boxes

The U.S. Mint reports that some of the boxes marked with “BF” should not have the “F” since they were not part of the first production run.

Without the industry asking, the U.S. Mint released the lot information about the American Eagle bullion coins this year. Making this remarkable is the U.S. Mint broke published the lot numbers for the Type 1 and Type 2 reverses for both the silver and gold bullion coins. In fact, they noted that a few boxes had labeling errors incorrectly marking some of the coins as part of the first production.

Although the U.S. Mint has claimed it was always considerate to the collector community, it is the first time they voluntarily provided this information without prompting. Could the U.S. Mint finally be learning from past mistakes? Time will only tell.

American Eagle Bullion Lot Information

And now the news…

 August 9, 2021
The 2,600-year-old site produced highly standardized “spade money,” possibly on government orders  → Read more at smithsonianmag.com

 August 9, 2021
'Remarkable' collection of 52 Tudor, Stuart and Commonwealth coins is set to sell for £500,000 at auction — including a Henry VIII coin struck in tribute to his first wife Catherine of Aragon  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk

 August 11, 2021
A scavenger hunt at a Talmud-era village in northern Israel took a surprising turn on Tuesday when an Israeli girl found a 1,500-year-old bronze coin.  → Read more at israelhayom.com

 August 11, 2021
While out camping with family on the beach, Yotam Dahan discovers 13-pound lump of coins from about 1,700 years ago which archeologists speculate belonged to a merchant ship that wrecked ashore  → Read more at ynetnews.com

 August 11, 2021
TEHRAN – Iranian authorities have seized some ancient coins from an illegal digger in the western province of Ilam, the provincial tourism chief announced on Wednesday.  → Read more at tehrantimes.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for August 8, 2021

Greetings from Athens, Georgia!

New Change Find: a 2021 Roosevelt Dime

Athens is my first stop in a week-long commitment that I could not avoid. It will keep me from Chicago, but sometimes obligations take precedence. I am concerned about the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, and it is adding stress to the trip. But I will miss being at the World’s Fair of Money.

As of today, it looks like my next show will be the Whitman Expo in Baltimore next November.

Please don’t think that the trip is all work. When I come to Athens, I am reminded of my youthful days as a student at Georgia. It is always interesting to see how the area has changed, but it is fascinating as to what remains the same. Tonight’s dinner came from The Taco Stand on Milledge Avenue. The sign inside said it has been open since 1977, and I was a freshman in 1978. My Baja Burrito was a taste down memory lane.

When I received my change, one of the dimes is dated 2021. It marks the first time that I found a 2021 coin in my pocket change. It has only taken 219 days and a trip to Athens to find my first 2021 coin. I was hoping to find the new Washington Crossing the Delaware quarter first, but a dime is a good find with the year more than half-over.

Last week, The National Sports Card and Collectors Convention (The National) held its annual show in Rosemont. According to the reports from many collector publications, the show was a rousing success. Although there were a few complaints about Cook County’s mask mandate, the reports said it did not take away from the show and called it a success. Sports cards have made a big comeback that even some of the over-produced cards of the 1980s and 1990s are selling. It has helped players find ways to be accessible to fans and willing to sell their wares to anyone who will pay.

Finding new avenues to attract new collectors and existing collectors to spend more is always a challenge. Sports memorabilia collectors are beginning to see what can happen with the new market in college sports’ Name, Image, and Likeness (NIL) rules. The NIL rules allow college players to sell their name, image, and likeness and remain eligible for college sports.

There was always a potential for better college players to earn money for NIL, but the NCAA rules prevented this. The NCAA suspended Georgia’s Todd Gurley for four games for selling his jersey to a collector in 2014. He used the money to take his girlfriend to dinner. And I won’t talk about Reggie Bush who’s situation is a travesty given the new rules.

Numismatics has to consider what it will take to expand the base. The base is not going to be expanded by recycling the Morgan and Peace dollars. You expand the base by embracing everything new and welcoming everyone that does not care about the old. There is so much fun to have with modern coinage that I think I will explore more over the next few months.

In the meantime, if you can make it to Rosemont for the ANA World’s Fair of Money, have fun. If you are like me and have Real World commitments that prevent you from going, stay tuned. There is a lot more to come!

And new the news…

 August 8, 2021
Archaeologists have uncovered 2,640- to 2,550-year-old clay moulds for casting spade coins as well as fragments of finished spade coins at Guanzhuang in Xingyang, Henan province, China. The technical characteristics of the moulds demonstrate that the site — which was part of the Eastern Zhou period (770-220 BCE) bronze foundry — functioned as a mint for producing standardized coins.  → Read more at sci-news.com

 August 8, 2021
CARSON CITY — See historic Coin Press No. 1 in action Saturdays in August at the Nevada State Museum, Carson City, before it goes on hiatus in September for maintenance.  → Read more at carsonnow.org

 August 8, 2021
A punch-marked silver coin that was dug out during the seventh phase of excavation at Keeladi last week has sent a wave of excitement among archaeologists, as they are further able to collate and establish trading activity of the civilisation believed to have flourished on the banks of Vaigai river more than 2,500 years ago.  → Read more at thehindu.com

 August 8, 2021
A Roman coin of the last pagan emperor which might have been deliberately damaged as an "act of erasure" was found by two metal detectorists.  → Read more at bbc.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for August 1, 2021

2021-W ASE Type 1

2021-W American Silver Eagle Type 1 Proof

Last week I spoke to a dealer who attended the Summer FUN show in Orlando. When asked how the show was, the answer was “HOT!”

The answer was not a response to the weather but the market. According to his partner, they had a difficult time stocking inventory. The number of buyers is outpacing the sellers a lot. The limited inventory is also impacting dealer-to-dealer transactions. The low supply and high demand are causing prices to rise.

Aside from the typical demand for collector coins, modern silver is in high demand. Anything made of silver is in high demand, that many dealers cannot find enough inventory.

One observation was that after silver, collectors are looking for something different. International coins are seeing increased interest. New collectors are discovering their past and are looking for coins that their grandparents may have used. One dealer said there is an increase in people looking for 20th-century coins from Eastern Europe.

Another area that is becoming popular is hometown collecting. A currency dealer said that collectors are asking about obsolete and national banknotes based on their location. After suggesting to speak with an exonumia dealer, I learned that new collectors are discovering transportation and other tokens from their hometowns or the hometown of their parents. The dealer told me that two young collectors almost cleaned out their inventory of Iowa tokens.

The lesson is that the market is hot, prices are rising, and new collectors are entering the market looking to have fun. It makes for a healthy

And now the news…

 July 26, 2021
A collection of 80 copper staters discoverd by archeologists at the site of the ancient city of Phanagoria. Courtesy of the Russian Academy of Science’s Institute of Archaeology.  → Read more at news.artnet.com

 July 27, 2021
Nikola Tesla, pioneer of alternating current electricity, might have been shocked to know how his legacy would cause a row between European states.  → Read more at bbc.com

 July 28, 2021
Loose change was scarce last year. Retail and restaurant industries collected less cash from customers, so had fewer coins to deposit with their banks, while limited hours and new safety protocols at mints around the country slowed coin production.  → Read more at newyorker.com

 July 29, 2021
SALT LAKE CITY — In February 1848, Isaac Chase stalled the vigorous swing of his pick at the sound of something metallic in a hole by a creek in what is now Liberty Park.  → Read more at ksl.com

 July 30, 2021
The claim: Microwaving a penny for one minute will shrink the coin Most everyone knows some things are not meant to be microwaved, like metal for example. But some social media users are contradicting that, claiming microwaving a coin will shrink it.  → Read more at usatoday.com

 July 31, 2021
Numismatics – more commonly known as coin collecting – is a time-honoured pastime that has grown in popularity over the years.    Often dubbed ‘the hobby of kings’ due to only the very wealthy being able to enjoy the activity – the good news is coin collecting is now something that pretty much anyone can take a shine to, regardless of status.    → Read more at eadt.co.uk
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Weekly World Numismatic News for July 25, 2021

General George Washington Crossing the Delaware Quarter reverseAccording to reports, there continues to be a coin shortage. In areas of the country where the people primarily use cash, retailers tell news outlets that they are receiving fractions of their orders from the banks. The banks are countering that they are not receiving their complete orders from the Federal Reserve.

The Federal Reserve Banks have not commented on the problem, but the U.S. Coin Task Force continues their Get Coins Moving promotion. When speaking on background, sources say that there are coins in the Fed’s cash rooms but that the amount they keep in reserve for emergencies is lower than usual. Some report that there is an overabundance of dollar coins if someone wants them.

While other areas of the country are experiencing coin shortages, the D.C. area does not seem to have problems. The only advertising for the Get Coins Moving program is on national telecasts. Very few businesses have signs asking for customers to spend their coins.

To see what I can find in change, I have been paying with cash for local transactions. When traveling away from home, I will use cash to test the diversity of the change I receive. While doing this in the last three months, there is a lack of diversity in the change I receive.

Even though the U.S. Mint produced more coins than it had in its history in 2020, the change I receive is full of 2019 coins and older 50 State Quarters. Over the weekend, my change had six Ohio state quarters complete with the hanging astronaut.

We are getting close to the end of July, and I have not seen a 2021 coin, including the Washington Crossing the Delaware quarter.

There is money out there. People have to spend it for it to circulate. Please spend your pocket change so I can find something interesting.

And now the news…

 July 19, 2021
Despite disruptions brought on by the pandemic, the SA Mint managed to produce the Reserve Bank's full order of 811 million coins in its 2020/21 financial year.  → Read more at businessinsider.co.za

 July 21, 2021
An extremely rare 22-carat gold coin dating from the reign of Henry VIII has sold for £64,000.  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk

 July 22, 2021
The silver market faces some short-term headwinds as focus on the potential for tighter monetary policy; however, the precious metal's drop to a three-month low below $25 an ounce has exaggerated the market's weakness, according to one research firm.  → Read more at kitco.com

 July 23, 2021
Historians are wondering how 118 coins minted during the Carolingian Empire, a Frankish dynasty who ruled over what is today much of France, Germany and Italy in the period 750–887 AD, managed to find their way to Poland.  → Read more at thefirstnews.com

 July 23, 2021
An unprovenanced ancient coin, identified as a Stater (c. 500-480 B.C.), was handed over to the Greek Ambassador to the US, Alexandra Papadopoulou, on Thursday, by officers of the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  → Read more at ekathimerini.com

 July 23, 2021
Archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology of the Russian Academy of Sciences have announced the discovery of a coin hoard in the ancient city of Phanagoria. Phanagoria was founded by Teian colonists around 543 BC, and developed into a Greek centre of trade between the coast of the Maeotian, and the countries on the southern side of the Caucasus.  → Read more at heritagedaily.com
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Weekly World Numismatic News for July 18, 2021

The U.S. Mint announced the new ordering procedures for upcoming silver products and that there will be changes to the bulk purchase system. Most collectors met both news items with a collective yawn.

For many years the U.S. Mint has promised improvements for the collector and access to their products. During that time, the collecting public held their collective breaths hoping that they will get it right. After failing to show progress, collectors are not optimistic.

According to the U.S. Mint, the problems are a low supply of planchets and Internet robot ordering on a broken ordering system. The supply issue has acceptable reasons external to the Mint. The broken ordering system and managing against the bots is the direct responsibility of the U.S. Mint.

Even if they fix the ordering and distribution systems for the upcoming product, it will take a long time for the U.S. Mint to gain the trust of collectors.

And now the news…

 July 13, 2021
The association says the suspension of the program has been a burden to scrap recyclers across the country. The Washington-based Institute of Scrap Recycling Industries (ISRI) is urging the U.S. government to reinstate its mutilated coin redemption program, which was suspended in 2019.  → Read more at recyclingtoday.com

 July 14, 2021
When the first modern Olympics were held in Athens in 1896, winners did not get gold medals as they will later this month when the Tokyo games get underway. Instead, they got silver, while runners-up got bronze. There were no medals for third place.  → Read more at thenationalherald.com

 July 14, 2021
A rainstorm in London has led to the discovery of a hoard of more than 300 coins dated to the first century B.C.  → Read more at smithsonianmag.com

 July 15, 2021
A German federal court on Tuesday rejected the appeal of two defendants who had been jailed for stealing a massive gold coin from Berlin's Bode Museum. The court in the city of Leipzig concluded that there were no "legal errors to the disadvantage of the defendants" in their February 2020 sentencing and, as such, their prison terms were found to be legally binding.  → Read more at dw.com

 July 15, 2021
A Viking era "piggybank" of silver coins has been discovered on the Isle of Man by a metal detectorist who made another startling discovery last year.  → Read more at bbc.com

 July 16, 2021
THE Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) issued a new warning to the public about the supposed "Brilliant Uncirculated 20-Piso" coin being sold online.  → Read more at manilatimes.net
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