POLL: What do you use to find information?

I am getting ready to open the next chapter of my life, and I was thinking about how I can leverage my knowledge and experience to enhance the collecting community. As an experienced collector of all types and a dealer in areas other than numismatics, I learned a lot about collectors and their habits that could benefit a general audience.

As I was thinking about sharing my experiences, I wondered where most people learned about their collectibles. But the resources I had are different than those available today. Even the way we take in and understand knowledge is different. I thought it would be interesting to ask the numismatic community how they learn about collecting.

So let’s ask the question:

What resources do you use for numismatic information?









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ANA Board Continues to Play Games

Faran Zerbe

Faran Zerbe ca. 1908

Last week, the ANA announced that the Board of Governors renamed the annual Distinguished Service Award to honor Chet Krause. The ANA will award the first Chester L. Krause Distinguished Service Award beginning this year.

In early 2021, the Board voted to remove Faran Zerbe’s name from the award based on unproven accusations. Based on the Board’s statement, they accused Zerbe of “hucksterism and fraud” for a collectible created in 1904 for the Louisiana Purchase Expo. However, contemporary accounts do not support this accusation, and Zerbe went on to serve as head numismatist for the expositions in 1905 (Portland) and 1915 (San Francisco).

The Board also accused Zerbe of “unscrupulously obtained personal ownership of The Numismatist in 1908 from relatives of the ANA’s late founder, Dr. George F. Heath.” Their statement even said it was an “allegation” and has never provided documentation to confirm their allegations.

It is difficult to argue against creating an award for Chet Krause, and his work and dedication to the ANA and the hobby deserve an honor. But honoring Krause should NOT diminish the contribution of Zerbe, and the ANA should have created a separate award or renamed the award the Zerbe-Krause Distinguished Service Award.

Instead of joining the politically correct “woke” crowd, the ANA Board of Governors should be working on ways to expand the association’s reach and impact. There is so much the Board can do to better the ANA than play these games.

Weekly World Numismatic News for May 1, 2022

The Bureau of Engraving and Printing announced that they negotiated a transfer of land from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to build a new facility in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, D.C.

The USDA will transfer the 104-acre Beltsville Agricultural Research Center northwest of the Capital Beltway for the new printing facility. The BEP plans to begin construction in 2023 and complete the facility by 2027. The new printing facility will employ at least 850 people.

The BEP used to be the security printer for the United States government. The BEP printed security documents, including bonds and deed certificates, and stamps, other than printing currency.

Legally, the primary mission of the BEP is to print currency for the Federal Reserve. They would offer other printing services as long as they continued to supply the Fed with currency. Beginning in the 1970s, the BEP reduced the number of stamps they printed until ending stamp printing in the early 1990s. When the Treasury ended the Series E savings bond program, they contracted printing to other contractors.

The economic expansion of the 1980s led the BEP to end almost all security printing to print currency. Before opening the Fort Worth printing center in 1991, Treasury officials explored using commercial printers to supplement the BEP’s capabilities.

In 2022, the Federal Reserve ordered the printing of over 6.9 billion notes. Although this is less than last year’s order, the BEP is approaching its maximum capacity between the Washington and Fort Worth sites. And even though bonds and stamps have become electronic assets, the U.S. government still has a security printing requirement. Although a source at the BEP would not elaborate on the printing requirement, they said that government officials want to make security printing a government function.

And now the news…

 April 27, 2022
It will house a new state-of-the-art and environmentally conscious production facility to print U.S. paper currency and other federal security products.  → Read more at nbcwashington.com

 April 30, 2022
COIN collecting was once a hobby for Stephanie Sabin – now she lives her dream by steering the ship for a major grading service firm.  Mrs Sabin, who is the president of Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS), has been into collecting since she was a child thanks to her family’s numismatic background.  → Read more at the-sun.com
Coin Collectors News
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Weekly World Numismatic News for April 24, 2022

I am sponsoring GOLD memberships for new and renewing memebers of the American Numismatic Association. This is a limited-time offer to celebrate National Coin Week and the 131st anniversary of the American Numismatic Association. The offer expires on April 25, 2022. Call (800) 514-2646 or visit info.money.org/ncw-2022-barman to take advantage of this offer. Be sure to apply code NCW22SB at checkout!

National Coin Week wraps up this weekend, celebrating coin designs. One thing that has been constant throughout the 21st century is changing coin designs. It started with the 50 State Quarters program and has affected every circulating coin except the half-dollar and the dime.

Although the design has lasted more than 25 years, it is not likely that the Treasury Department will change the design. The story of the JFK assassination continues to resonate with a significant sector of the population, and Kennedy’s popularity remains.

Franklin D. Roosevelt’s appearance on the dime is different. Roosevelt helped create the March of Dimes, and following his death, Congress decided that adding his portrait to the dime was the best way to honor the late president. Since its release in 1946, the dime’s design has not changed.

The Roosevelt Dime is the smallest coin produced by the U.S. Mint. Changes to the design may not display as well. When John Sinnock designed the coin’s reverse, the similarity with the Mercury dime was not a coincidence. Aside from the symbolism, the U.S. Mint knows the design will strike well on a small planchet.

While the ability to strike the designs continues to be a concern, modern technology could help produce a suitable design. The problem is, what would make an appropriate design?

Until someone in Congress proposes a bill to change the dime’s design, it will remain the longest-running design on U.S. coins.

And now the news…

 April 17, 2022
“The Romans had been used to extremely fine silver coinage, so they may well have lost confidence in the denarius when it ceased to be pure,” Matthew Ponting, one of the archaeologists involved in the research, said in a media statement.  → Read more at mining.com

 April 17, 2022
An approximate amount of $1 has been received. The U.S. economy is estimated to grow by $5 trillion over the next five years. Coins with physical characteristics. The 11th quarter accounts for about 80% of this value. A billion-dollar note is $100 worth 5 billion. 70 percent of new bills are written to replace older notes as they go out of circulation each year.  → Read more at malaysiandigest.com

 April 18, 2022
Nearly 1,300 priceless 4th-century AD Roman coins, all in a pot, were found in September 2021 near Bubendorf, Basel County, Switzerland by amateur archaeologist volunteer, Daniel Ludin.  → Read more at ancient-origins.net

 April 20, 2022
A family's new truffle-hunting puppy is already worth its weight in gold after digging up 15 sovereign coins worth £6,000 on its first walk.  → Read more at dailymail.co.uk

 April 22, 2022
Out on his daily constitutional, a dog in Poland unexpectedly struck gold, or rather, silver.  → Read more at ancient-origins.net
Coin Collectors News
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Collecting Because of the Design

I am sponsoring GOLD memberships for new and renewing memebers of the American Numismatic Association. This is a limited-time offer to celebrate National Coin Week and the 131st anniversary of the American Numismatic Association. The offer expires on April 25, 2022. Call (800) 514-2646 or visit info.money.org/ncw-2022-barman to take advantage of this offer. Be sure to apply code NCW22SB at checkout!

Since National Coin Week is celebrating coin designs, we can recognize that the coin design can be a factor in collecting the coin. Let’s look at a coin in my collection only because of its design.

Commemorative coins are a fundraising mechanism. An organization convinces a member of Congress to submit a bill to create a commemorative coin that will raise money. The authorizing legislation usually is tied to a milestone, even if it is late, so there is something to promote.

Although people collect commemorative coins, I collect those with subjects that interest me. But there was one commemorative coin I purchased because of the design. My collection includes the 2015 March of Dimes Commemorative Coin Set because of the coin’s design.

Produced for the celebration of the March of Dimes Foundation’s 75th anniversary, the design is a phenomenal work of art. It is the most appropriate image for any modern commemorative coin.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the National Foundation for Infantile Paralysis, now called the March of Dimes) in 1938 to fund research to cure polio. FDR fought the painful effects of polio throughout his life. After Drs. Jonas Salk and Albert Sabin developed a very effective vaccine, the Foundation changed its mission to prevent birth defects, prematurity, and infant mortality.

Fortunately, my family has not been touched by the issues that March of Dimes looks to correct, but it is a worthy cause to champion. Otherwise, it is not something that has personal meaning. But the reverse design is compelling.

The reverse was designed by Don Everhart and described on the U.S. Mint’s website, “The reverse (tails) design depicts a baby cuddled in the hand of a parent, representing the foundation’s dedication to the health of babies everywhere.” It is one of the most powerful images on a commemorative coin.

When I decided to add a version to my collection, I waited until the commemorative silver set was available. The set contains the commemorative silver dollar, a proof Roosevelt Dime, and a reverse-proof Roosevelt Dime. It was the reverse-proof dime that made the set attractive. The best-looking coins of the last ten years were reverse-proof and enhanced uncirculated coins.

Although the reverse proof and enhanced uncirculated are in the manufacturing processes, the final results highlight the coin’s design in a way that could not happen with any other process.

This set is included in my collection because of the phenomenally inspirational design of the reverse of the commemorative silver dollar and the reverse-proof silver dime.

All images are original and property of the author used under the Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

Other Country’s Coin Designs

I am sponsoring GOLD memberships for new and renewing memebers of the American Numismatic Association. This is a limited-time offer to celebrate National Coin Week and the 131st anniversary of the American Numismatic Association. The offer expires on April 25, 2022. Call (800) 514-2646 or visit info.money.org/ncw-2022-barman to take advantage of this offer. Be sure to apply code NCW22SB at checkout!

2006 Canada 25-cents Pink Ribbon coin

It is important to see what other countries are doing when looking at coin designs. We do not have to look further than Canada to find fascinating designs.

The Royal Canadian Mint issued the 2004 Remembrance Day poppy 25-cents coin, the world’s first colorized circulating coin. The RCM produced 30 million coins featuring a red poppy on the reverse. The RCM expanded the program in 2008 for the 90th anniversary of the end of World War I with other collectibles.

In 2006, the RCM partnered with the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation to create a pink ribbon colorized coin. The pink ribbon is the symbol of hope and awareness for breast cancer. Talking about breast cancer also brings awareness to all cancers.

According to the National Cancer Institute, one-in-three people have been diagnosed with cancer or a direct relative diagnosed with cancer. Cancer is the second leading cause of death in the United States, and my family was reduced by someone who died of cancer, including my first wife.

2006 Breast Cancer Silver Coin with colored pink ribbon.

Although I have a collection of Canadian coins, I have an uncirculated pink ribbon 25-cents coin as part of a personal remembrance collection. It is a collection that represents places and people in my past. The Canada Pink Ribbon 25-cents coin and silver commemorative are part of that collection in memoriam to Elisa and my other relatives who lost their battles with cancer.

My story is also a reminder that you do not have to collect in the way others recommend. You do not have to fill blue, brown, or green books with coins or the lists produced by someone else, and you can collect based on the topics that mean something to you. Go out and enjoy your collection!

All images are original and property of the author used under the Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.

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