The text of this week’s post does not contain any numismatic content. The numismatic content is below the story.
The love of a dog can never be measured. When you bring one into your home and heart, the bond is instantaneous and enduring. Bring in two, and it is a house full of barking, messes, love, and affection. My wife and I raised two puppies, a brother, and a sister, from different litters.
When the youngest has been with you for 13 years and 7 months, it may be a long time, but it feels like yesterday. We raised Tessa from a puppy from the day we picked her up in November 2008.
We used to say that if Tessa was human, she’d be a party girl. Tessa was a fun-loving dog who was very intelligent but would rather play. She did not have a short attention span, but it was short when she was not playing.
Aside from annoying her (late) brother, Boomer, Tessa’s favorite pastime was eviscerating toys. Any stuffed toy would not last more than a few moments, and she would attack, and the stuffing would be all over the house. If the toy had a squeaker, Tessa would chew it until it stopped squeaking.
Tessa slowed down a lot over the last two years, and age was catching up with her. Amongst her ailments, Tessa had arthritis in her hips. We bought a doggie stroller to bring her around the neighborhood. Since I had some time off on Monday, Tessa and I went for a long walk. The image on this post is from that walk. It was the last time we had quality time together.
On Saturday, Tessa went into respiratory failure, and we rushed her to the veterinary hospital. For a while, it seemed that she was stable and could get better, but she took a turn for the worse. We had no choice but to help her end this journey and lead her on to her next journey across the Rainbow Bridge.
I hope Tessa finds her brother Boomer, and they are running around like they did so many years ago. Sweet dreams, my baby-baby sweetheart. You will be missed.
There’s a new reason to break open your piggy bank. Pocket change is in short supply – again. While some will call it the great coin shortage of 2022, America is facing a coin circulation problem. → Read more at usatoday.com
TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — Amid war in Ukraine and market chaos, nickels are now worth more in melted metal than their face value. But before you empty the piggy bank and fire up a smelter in the yard, there are a few things you should know. → Read more at nbc4i.com
EVERYONE likely has a circulated coin somewhere around them – and it might shock you to learn that it could be valuable. A circulated coin could mean a few things, but generally, it is a type of condition that collectors refer to. → Read more at the-sun.com
I have not talked about my favorite news of January, and I waited until I received a numismatic collectible to go along with the news. In case you have not heard
After Georgia’s 33-18 victory over Alabama to capture our first National Championship in 41 years, my fingers sprinted to the Georgia Bookstore website to place a significant order. Included in my order was the obligatory numismatic item to add to my collection
The Highland Mint has limited production to 5,000 medals. It is a 39 mm gold-plated masterpiece that has me excited.
The Dawg Nation has been celebrating for the last three weeks. We are ecstatic and will continue to celebrate for the next few months. In the meantime, I may go to the Highland Mint’s website to see what else I can add to my collection. HOW BOUT THEM DAWGS!
Today, July 6, 2021, I am posting my 2,000th article!
When I started this blog, there were few websites for coin collectors. Numismatic publications were barely online. Their web presence was used to lure subscribers to their print editions. Since starting this blog, there has been a growth in numismatic news outlets and other information. I welcome everyone who has joined me online.
It has been 6,003 days since my first post. That translates into 16 years, 5 months, and 8 days. Over that time, many of those producing numismatic information has come and gone. However, after 2,000 posts, I am still here as the sole author of everything posted here.
I did not know what would happen as I kept writing, but I never thought about reaching 2,000 or lasting more than 16 years!
To those who have been around from the beginning, thank you for staying with me.
To those who joined since the beginning, thank you for reading.
If you like what you read, share, and show your support
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.
“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
I want to open and wish everyone a very happy holiday season. Whatever holiday you celebrate, I wish everyone the best.
This week, I am not producing a weekly news update. Instead, I want to talk about the last few weeks and recent events. I am not making this post from home. I am in Charlotte, where my father used to live. I said “used to” because he died in November after being infected with COVID-19. I have not said much publicly because I am not ready. In a few weeks, I will have a tribute to the man responsible for my addiction to coin collecting.
Shortly before being intubated, he told my brother that there were coins “all over the house.” He was not kidding. We found the equivalent of four large bins of coins during the last few days, including an old flight bag that we found in the bottom of his closet yesterday.
My father was born before World War II and collected coins from pocket change. There are albums of Walking Liberty and Franklin Half-Dollars, half-dollars in 2x2s, and many other coins. There are mint sets, proof sets, silver proof sets, prestige sets, and American Eagles. The few American Gold Eagles we gave to his grandchildren at his request.
My father’s half dollar collection
It also appears that he bought every commemorative coin produced by the U.S. Mint since 1982. Most of his collection consists of sets when they were available, including a few gold coins.
Sifting through the coins, I found a Mint roll for American Silver Eagles. There are five 1986 American Silver Eagle coins in the roll. It would not surprise me to learn that he used the coins as gifts.
That was just the United States coins. Another bin is overflowing with Israeli coins. My father was a big supporter of Israel. As part of his support, it appears he was a purchaser of everything produced by the Israel Government Coins and Medals Corporation. IGCMC was the manufacturer of Israeli coins before the government sold the company to a private business. Now they contract their coin manufacturing, and the old company, now renamed the Israel Mint, is a preferred dealer and distributor for the Bank of Israel.
A bin of Israeli coins that we have not searched at the time I write this.
He might have purchased everything produced by the IGCMC since 1971. A few years ago, they began to produce gold bullion coins. He purchased one, decided that he did not like the premium on top of the spot price, then gave the coin to me.
As I try to create an order to produce a catalog for the estate, it reminds me of the calls we used to have talking about the products from the U.S. Mint. As opposed to other collectors of his age, he liked the modern Mint products. He was not concerned about resale value or that the U.S. Mint produced something other than classic coins. My father complained about the updated ordering requirements. When I found the Mercury Dime and Standing Liberty Quarter Centennial Gold Coins, I remember that he complained about not ordering the Walking Liberty Half Dollar Centennial Gold Coin because of the U.S. Mint ordering system.
My father had almost every mint and proof set dating back to 1970.
My father found beauty in all of the coins, even the ones that the industry said were “ugly.” They were coins, and he liked the coins. He loved the Israeli coins and their symbolism with Jewish heritage. It is his heritage, as the first generation born in the United States of immigrant parents. His father was so happy to come to the United States that he volunteered to go back to Europe four years after arriving at Ellis Island to fight in The Great War. My grandfather earned the Purple Heart fighting in France as part of the 82nd Infantry, today known as the 82nd Airborne Division.
Grandpa was also a coin collector of sorts. He was a change hunter and liked to fill albums with pennies. I still have the Library of Coins Indian Head Cent album that was part of his estate when he died in 1969.
As I type this, I picked up a small stack of Morgan Dollars to find that he has a circulated 1890-CC dollar. A cool find, indeed.
A few of the loose coins found in the collection
After we complete cataloging my father’s collection, we will sell them at auction. My company will conduct the auction online. Of course, I will post a note here when the auction is ready. Stay tuned.
So my father went a little crazy with the Bicentennial coins.
This evening I was loading my truck to make a delivery. At least once per week am running out the door after closing to deliver items when my cell phone rang. After lifting a large desk into the bed of my pickup truck, I was initially dreading the call. This customer has canceled before after I loaded the truck.
But this was different. The call was from American Numismatic Association Executive Director Kim Kiick. As chair of the Technology Committee, or I think we are now called the money.org committee, we discuss issues that arise making a call from Colorado Springs not surprising. After securing the desk, I did not listen to the message. I just called her back.
Today’s call was different. Kim was not calling me to discuss an issue but to give me the news that the ANA Board of Governors has selected me to be the 2019 recipient of the Glenn Smedley Memorial Award!
I was and am still SHOCKED! And very honored!!!
First, from the ANA’s website: “The Glenn Smedley Memorial Award was created in memory of Glenn B. Smedley, a collector’s collector, to recognize individuals who have devoted their efforts to the betterment of the ANA.”
I became a member of the Technolgy Committee a few years ago after publishing many articles on this blog about how far behind the ANA was in the use of technology. It was a chance to put-up or shut-up.
When the chair of the committee resigned, I was asked to succeed him. That was not a problem. I continue to believe in the mission of the ANA, and I believe that the only way to bring in younger members is to find ways of making the ANA more technology aware. I was not doing this for awards–especially now that I am trying to run a business.
I am rarely overwhelmed. Then I went to the website to see the list of past recipients and I am in absolute awe of the decision.
The award will be presented at the World’s Fair of Money this August. I should probably make arrangements to be there!
THANK YOU TO THE ANA BOARD OF GOVERNORS FOR THIS HONOR!
This post does not contain any numismatic content.
The day Boomer fell into our hearts: December 2, 2006.
On December 3, 2006, I wrote about our new acquisition. A day before that post, we traveled to southwest Virginia to adopt Boomer. At the time, Boomer was a 9-week old Puggle. Boomer was a very cute puppy with a stub for a tail. We were accused of cutting off his tail but that was the way he was born.
Boomer was far more intelligent than he originally let on. As many puppies do, he explored his limits he began to not only understand what he could or could not do, but how to pull at his new mommy and daddy’s heartstrings.
A cross between a pug and a beagle, Boomer showed more of the personality of the beagle but had the snuggle ability of the pug. Boomer was a snuggler, always wanting to sit on the couch or crawl into bed to snuggle with us.
Like the beagle, Boomer could bark and howl with the best of them. He was our storm warning system. When the thunderstorms were off in the distance, Boomer would warn us and howl right through the storm. We nicknamed him Thunder Boomer.
When we brought home Tessa, he was tolerant of her mishegas. She was much more active than the laid back Boomer but I think they grew to like each other. Tessa was really attached to her brother.
This is our last picture of Boomer taken the morning of December 24, 2018. Good bye sweet prince!
He was intelligent beyond that of an ordinary dog. He learned certain conversational cues and could react to them as we spoke. He would also teach us to respond to him by using those cues and his body language to tell us what he wants. It wasn’t a good time for a walk but he needed to go out? Stand in a certain place and let us know to open the back door. Did he want some attention? Tell us it was time for bed? Or any other thing that was on his mind? He had his own language and we were able to communicate.
Of all things, Boomer was a kind, sensitive, and loving dog who loved to be around us always wanted to snuggle and loved the attention. Since my wife and I could not have children, Boomer was our son.
At 5:25 am on December 25, our baby Boomer left us for his next adventure. He was a beautiful and smart boy. Always loved and always loving. Goodbye to our sweet prince.
For the last few weeks, a few have noticed that there has been a slowdown in my postings. Several have written during the last week-or-so asking if I was doing well and whether I have abandoned the blog.
To those who have written, thank you for your concern. Following a bought with a sinus infection, I am doing well. But that was not why posting has slowed.
I mentioned that I started a business working with collectibles and estates. From a 4,000 square foot warehouse with a 400 square foot showroom, my staff and I are working with a diverse crowd interested in all sorts of items from memories in vinyl records to vintage comic books. We are also working with estates and downsizers to help sell off assets via private branding online auctions.
When I started, I thought the business would be a good idea. It would fill a niche that does not exist in this area of Maryland. When I opened the doors at my 4,000 square foot space, I told my wife that the place is so big that it may take more than a year to fill the space.
I opened the doors at the end of June without advertising. I thought I would begin with organic growth while completing the setup. The advertising campaign began in August. By mid-September, I had a client list that created more demand for our services than I can serve from the 4,000 sq ft warehouse. In October, we are generating revenue that I originally projected would have occurred six months from now.
I knew I had a good idea but I did not know this business would take off as fast as it is!
For now, I am working seven days a week and late into the evening. Although I try to take Sunday off, I have to work today. But I do not mind. I am having fun.
I am meeting new people and allowing myself to enjoy this process. And it allows me to do practice what I preach… I may be the boss but my employees have a say in how things are done. They are encouraged to tell me when I do something wrong, offer suggestions, and make some decisions on their own. My assistant allowed some unusual consignments that later turned into quick and profitable resales. She’s good!
As for the Coin Collectors Blog, I am still posting stories to social media and collecting the best ones for this weekly post. I do have a number of posts I started but never finished that I will get to shortly—including my thoughts on the Apollo 11 Commemorative coin design. I just need to complete the priority tasks for the next few days then I will be back.
A commemorative series of £5 coins has been released to mark the Prince of Wales' birthday. It features an engraved portrait of Prince Charles, who turns 70 on 14 November. The Royal Mint, based in Llantrisant, Rhondda Cynon Taff, also struck coins for his 50th and 60th birthdays. → Read more at bbc.com
A $1 coin has caused a storm on social media after its owner spotted an odd feature, but there is a simple explanation to this ”˜time-travelling’ coin. The heads side of the coin is marked with the year 2019. → Read more at finance.nine.com.au
In less than a month, many nations around the world will mark a momentous date. This year, November 11th will be the 100th anniversary of the Armistice to end the horrific tragedy of the First World War. → Read more at rcinet.ca
One of the very first pennies produced in the U.S., estimated to be worth $1 million, will be auctioned in Baltimore next week. The 1792 Birch Cent will be auctioned by Stack’s Bowers Galleries at the Whitman Expo in Baltimore on Oct. → Read more at foxnews.com
A mind-blowing coin with a nifty hidden mechanic is wowing the internet. The object in question was made by Roman Booteen, an Instagram artist who creates intricate carvings on Zippo lighters and coins. → Read more at mashable.com
German prosecutors have indicted four young men over the brazen theft of a 100-kilogram (221-pound) Canadian gold coin from a Berlin museum. The "Big Maple Leaf" coin, worth several million dollars, was stolen from the Bode Museum in March 2017. → Read more at miamiherald.com
“The most wonderful time of the year” is quickly approaching, and you know what that means. Parties, potlucks and…plenty of time to show off your beloved bullion coins, collectors coins… → Read more at invest.usgoldbureau.com
Obverse of the 2018 Rose Bowl Commemorative Medal from the Highland Mint
It has been a few weeks since my Georgia Bulldogs lost the national championship game in overtime. It was a devastating end to a great season, one I had not experienced since I was a junior at the University of Georgia in 1980.
In 1980, it was a big deal to pack the Redcoat Marching Band into seven busses and travel to New Orleans for the sUGAr Bowl. We thought it was great to spend New Year’s Eve on Bourbon Street and then play in the Superdome, what we called the World’s Largest Mushroom.
I can only imagine what the current Redcoats felt like when they climbed aboard a chartered 757 out of Atlanta to fly cross-country to attend the Rose Bowl. In 1980 there were 300 total members including auxiliaries and support staff. Today, there are almost 300 musicians in the band.
Reverse of the 2018 Rose Bowl Commemorative Medal from the Highland Mint
The last bowl game I went to as a member of the Redcoat Marching Band was the January 1, 1983 sUGAr Bowl where we lost to Penn State. I was not happy then but time moves on. Now that we are 35 years later, age has caught up with me and my distance from Athens means I watch the games from the comfort of my living room. The last game I attended was Homecoming in 2012. I have to try to get down there for Homecoming this year!
But that Rose Bowl game was something else. No matter who I talk with about the game, it was the most exciting game they have seen, especially for a Rose Bowl. It was the first time a Rose Bowl went to overtime. Needless to say, I was happy with the outcome!
Previously, I mentioned I was interested in obtaining a copy of the coin used in the coin toss. In the video, it appeared to be silver in a plastic capsule with the school logos on either side. When I received an answer from someone associated with the Rose Bowl committee, I was told that it was indeed a silver coin, specially struck for the game. Only a limited number are struck and given to VIPs. The game-used coin is saved as part of a Rose Bowl museum. There are no extras struck and none are for sale.
I decided to find an alternative.
The Highland Mint, in cooperation with the College Football Playoff, struck souvenir medals for each of the games. Medals were struck in brass and placed in a plastic holder with the matchup. They also offer a silver-plated brass medal in a capsule and a velvet-covered case.
A medal in a case is pedestrian. It can be mistaken for just about any collectible, even those from the U.S. Mint. I would rather have the commemorative plastic holder with the information about the game. It makes more of a statement and can be displayed on my desk.
Front of the 2018 Rose Bowl Medal display case
Back of the 2018 Rose Bowl Medal display case
As I work to open my new business, I am planning on having this medal in my new office. It will remind everyone that if there is an early kickoff next fall, we will close on-time at noon so that I can rush home to my television and watch the game. Hopefully next year I will buy one that says National Champions!
This is the space where I try to comment on something in the news that I found interesting. Like my update on December 3, 2017, my mind is elsewhere.
If you are a college football fan or happened to watch the Rose Bowl last Monday, my undergraduate alma mater, the Georgia Bulldogs played a thrilling game to beat the Oklahoma Sooners 54-48 in double overtime for the right to play in the National Championship game tomorrow. The last time Georgia played in the Rose Bowl, they were crowned the 1942 National Champions.
Seventy-five years later and 37 years after Georgia’s last National Championship (in the 1981 sUGAr Bowl where I was a member of the Redcoat Marching Band), it will be a battle of Southeastern Conference Titans: Alabama v. Georgia. Also known as the Teacher v. the Student since Georgia Head Coach Kirby Smart was once the Defensive Coordinator and Assistant Head Coach under Alabama’s Nick Saban. Saban’s former assistants are 0-11 against their former boss. At some point, that streak has to end. Why not on Monday?!
Of course, my mood has been affected by Monday’s game. Even while working an antique’s show this weekend, which is why I am not in Tampa for the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Show, it has been a wild week—and sales have been very good. But I am waiting for the game. Monday night at 8:00 PM on ESPN.
For the coin toss (I have to include some sort of numismatic content), the referees used a silver coin with the logos of the schools on both sides. The coin looked like it was silver dollar size (at least 38mm) and in an AirTite or similar holder. There was no calling “heads or tails.” The logo that showed face up won the toss. For the pre-game and overtime coin tosses, Oklahoma won the toss. But that does not matter. I want one of those coins!
Video of 2018 Rose Bowl Coin Toss
Both the Rose Bowl site and the Highland Mint has what they call “dueling helmets” coins (yes, I know they are really medals). I want one of those silver coins like that was used for the coin toss. I sent a note to the people who run the Rose Bowl to ask how I can purchase one.
If you want to know what kind of mood I will be in on Tuesday, it will correspond to the outcome of the game!
The story of Dr Frankenstein and his cursed monster is celebrated in a new set of coins. A £2 issue will mark the 200-year anniversary of the novel by Mary Shelley which launched the modern horror genre. → Read more at mirror.co.uk
Editor's Note: View Kitco News' full 2018 outlook coverage (Kitco News) – It was a tale of two markets for gold in 2017, as prices made their biggest gains since 2010, but U.S. Mint coin sales were the weakest in a decade. → Read more at kitco.com
Norway minted its own coins during much of the Middle Ages. But the coins didn’t always impress outsiders or even the Norwegians themselves. NTNU Associate Professor Jon Anders Risvaag specializes in medieval coins. → Read more at sciencenordic.com
Challenge coins mean different things to different troops. Senior enlisted and officers tend to place them on a desk to gloat to peers and the more junior troops slam them on the bar to see who’s buying the next round. → Read more at wearethemighty.com
The Royal Mint has unveiled the designs of four new commemorative coins to be launched this year. Based on the sales values of previous issues, these could be attractive investments. Three of the coins commemorate the centenaries of major events and organisations that have helped shape Britain, including a £2 coin that marks the 100th anniversary of the First World War Armistice — the agreement that ended fighting between the Allies and Germany. → Read more at telegraph.co.uk