My long nightmare is over!
I now have a “W” mintmark quarter!
And I acquired it the old fashioned way: I bought it!
Since the days that the Federal Reserve started to ship the quarters from the cash rooms, I have been looking for these elusive quarters. Every time I spend cash, I will examine every quarter returned in change. Every time I open a roll in my shop’s cash register, I avoid giving away any coin that looks shiny so that I can check the mintmark later.
I convinced my wife to save the change. She is also looking for W mintmark quarters.
But I could not help myself when I found that a club member added one to our monthly auction. From the opening bid until I won the coin, my hand stayed in the air. I was going to get that coin regardless of what it cost.
Ok, I had a limit to what I would spend, and it was $1 more than my final bid. But the competition stopped bidding, and the coin is now mine!
Just because I purchased a Lowell National Historic Park W mintmark coin does not mean I am stopping. There are four other coins issued in 2019 with W mintmarks.
The hunt continues!
The Canadian Broadcast Company reported that a bank in Montreal refused the deposit of $800 in rolled coins.
Julien Perrotte saves the coins he receives in change. Every year he will sort and roll the coins so that he can deposit them into his account at Laurentian Bank. This year, the bank told Perrotte that it was a new policy not to accept coins.
Canadian laws do not require banks to accept all legal tender coins or currencies. They can refuse to take any form of specie and only operate using electronic funds.
Laurentian Bank has taken advantage of these laws and no longer employ human tellers to accept cash. Customers can deposit currency and checks in their automated banking machines. The machines do not accept coins.
Before people begin to criticize Laurentian, this is starting to occur in the United States. Banks and other financial institutions are beginning to offer checking and other consumer banking services accessible online. They do not have branch offices.
The largest and most successful of the online banks is Ally. Anyone can open an Ally account and have access to the full line of banking services except you cannot deposit cash.
Then there are banks with physical presences that are transitioning to a model like Laurentian. Capital One Bank entered the consumer banking business when it started buying smaller banks in 2005. Today, Capital One is closing branches and consolidating teller operations in Capital One Cafes. Customers that do not live near Capital One Cafes can deposit currency and checks via an ATM but cannot deposit coins.
Does this mean we are heading toward a cashless society?
No! It means that the United States has an economy diverse enough to support new ideas in banking services while maintaining traditional banking operation. It is because the United States has a diverse economy that includes a cash-based transaction (see here and here) that will prevent our society from going cashless.
Rather than try to deal with Laurentian Bank’s new policy, Perrotte said he will be taking his business elsewhere.
During the unpacking of an estate, I came across a book with the title Coin of the Canonical Realm. It is a short, 58 pages, paperback book that has an intriguing cover. As a coin collector, I started to thumb through the book to get a sense of its purpose. Since it was not apparent, I had to wait until later.
After cleaning off my desk, I found the book and decided to read the Introduction to understand the book’s purpose. According to the introduction, its purpose is to “21st century sense of all the 19th century mentions of money in the Sherlock Holmes stories.”
Sherlock Holmes was a fictional detective created by Arthur Conan Doyle. Doyle created Holmes as a “consulting detective” so that the character can appear in varying environments. Doyle was one of the first authors to create a crime-fighting character that includes all of the tools that we take advantage of today. Someone suggested that Mission: Impossible is a modern extension of the Sherlock Holmes stories.
Most of Doyle’s stories are written from the perspective of John H. Watson, M.D. as Holmes’ biographer. Watson is a friend and part-time roommate who accompanies Holmes on his investigations. Watson can be annoyed with Holmes on some of his actions while being intrigued by his actions.
During his life, Doyle wrote 56 short stories and four novels about Sherlock Holmes. The short stories are compiled in five books which I have read three of them. All of the Sherlock Holmes stories are highly recommended.
The Sherlock Holmes stories endured long after Doyle’s passing in 1930. Aside from the movies and other new media recreations, there are societies dedicated to studying the intricacies of Holmes, the crimes, and other characters Doyle included. One of those organizations is The John H. Watson Society.
The John H. Watson Society, founded in 2013, is described as an organization that will study Dr. Watson as a unique individual and how his character enhances the Doyle classics. Watson, whose background is revealed throughout the stories, is a renown physician with a heroic war record and trust by a community is leery of the medial arts.
The book, written by Nickolas Utechin whose biography describes himself as having a long history with studying Sherlock Holmes, is the first monograph published by the John H. Watson Society.
Starting from Chapter 1, Utechin copies one or two-line passages from Doyle’s writings that reference money then explains them in the context of the 21st-century. He first describes the old British monetary system where there were 240 pence to a pound including the varying minor coins that were in use at the time. (See this post for a description of the old British monetary system)
Each of the chapters covers the five volumes of compiled short stories and then four chapters for each of the novels. Although you can get the gist of what Utechin writes about, it is best to use this booklet as a companion while reading a Sherlock Holmes story.
Having this explanation while reading one of the short stories adds a different perspective to the story. For those who have not read a Sherlock Holmes story, I would recommend that you first read the story without consulting this booklet. On your second reading have this booklet nearby to help you put the story into perspective.
Some may consider Coin of the Canonical Realm a supplemental study guide to Sherlock Holmes. Whatever you want to call it, fans of the stories may find it adds to their enjoyment.
If you are interested in owning a copy of Coin of the Canonical Realm, you can order it directly from The John H. Watson Society.
While perusing the news sources looking for numismatic-related news in the general media, I am noticing that there is an increase in crimes involving coin dealers. Between robberies or scams against dealers, the escalation of crime is noticeable and concerning.
Any business that handles money is a potential target for criminals. Even with the policies of dropping excess cash into time-locked safes, criminals will rob any store where they can easily take a few dollars.
What makes robberies from coin dealers concerning is that these types of crimes increase when the criminals are looking for a more significant take when their economic situation appears to be getting worse.
Although the markets may be up and the unemployment numbers are low, the indications are that the economy has some soft spots that should be concerning to everyone. The number of people taking contingent and alternative employment arrangement, sometimes called the gig economy, has risen in the last year. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that much of the rise in the gig economy is being used to supplement regular income.
In the last month, silver has been a rise of nearly $2 since the beginning of August. Even though silver has dropped to $17.88 from a $19.30 high in September, economic indicators suggest that global affairs will prevent the price from falling. These investors will be affected by a potential oil crisis following the bombing of Saudia Arabian oil fields and the trade war caused by tariffs.
Gold has been relatively flat over the last few months although up for the year. As an investment instrument, gold is favored by large and institutional investors. What is preventing their rise is that on a larger scale, they are not as worried by global affairs. The investments they are involved with are not as affected by a potential oil crisis and a Chinese trade war. Many have isolated themselves from these issues.
The concern is that the split in the economic effect will cause those at the lower ends to try to find some relief by turning to crime. A stolen American Gold Eagle coin has the potential to yield a better return than robbing a convenience store.
As some dealers are pushing the sales of gold, think about what they are saying about the economy.
And now the news…
OYSTER BAY, NY — A Fort Salonga coin dealer has been accused in a $330,000 coin consignment and sales scheme in which he bilked several coin dealers and private collectors out of money, gold and collectible coins under the guise of legitimate coin deals, prosecutors said. → Read more at patch.com
Photographer: Ted Aljibe/AFP via Getty Images Congestion and constant flooding in the Philippine capital are prompting the central bank to move its mint away from the city. Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas signed a deal Friday to relocate its production facility for coins and bank notes to New Clark City, a former U.S. air base where the government is building a back-up capital. → Read more at bloomberg.com
Julien Perrotte stood in front of the representative at his local bank last week, unsure he properly understood what she was telling him. He was carrying about $800 worth of coins, sorted and rolled, that he had collected over the past year. → Read more at cbc.ca
September 18, 2019 – Sibenik was the first city in Croatia to mint its own money during the Venetian period. Today, the city has released a new sweet souvenir in its honor. HRTurizam writes that back in 1485, the Venice Council of Nine approved the minting and use of Sibenik's coins – known as the bagatin, which was a means of payment in the city for more than two centuries. → Read more at total-croatia-news.com
Break-in happened Aug. 30 in Silver Spring Montgomery County police released surveillance video Tuesday of a man stealing what they estimate to be $6,500 in property from a downtown Silver Spring rare-coin store on Aug. → Read more at bethesdamagazine.com
More and more people are swapping cash for contactless payments – which means fewer coins are being made. That means the Royal Mint, the company which produces coins for the UK, don't make as many anymore. → Read more at bbc.co.uk
The U.S. Mint unveiled the design of the Basketball Hall of Fame coin at the induction ceremony in Springfield. I found the story on NBA.com, created a post that was later picked up by the rest of the numismatic community.
A day later, the U.S. Mint issued a press release about the design announcement to the general public.
Over the last year, the information from the U.S. Mint has had problems. Announcements are being issued late. On a recent case, they had to issue corrections. Now, they cannot even include the numismatic community in a collectible that has generated excitement.
The U.S. Mint may be the largest manufacturer of coins, but their communications skills leave much to be desired.
Why is the U.S. Mint not partnering with the numismatic media to get their word out?
Why is the U.S. Mint not issuing general press releases to all news outlets to publicize what they are doing?
Why is the U.S. Mint not publicizing themselves? Aside from being the sole manufacturer of coins in the United States, they are making a profit! Although some decry the amount of seigniorage they earn, it is a profit center for the United States government.
Tell the world!
Tell the world that not only are you producing coins but collectibles. Tell the world that you are producing bullion. Tell the world about the commemorative coins.
Why was the U.S. Mint not out in public in the run-up to the 50th Anniversary of Apollo 11 to highlight the coins? Why was the U.S. Mint not involved in helping celebrate one of the most significant events in United States history?
While the U.S. Mint did participate in National Coin Week, its outreach beyond the collector community leaves much to be desired. The U.S. Mint is doing itself a disservice. They are not helping the numismatic community. And, by extension, not doing right by the country which they are supposed to serve.
Why is this a difficult concept for the U.S. Mint?
It is time for Director David Ryder to either lead the U.S. Mint forward or vacate the job and allow someone who understands modern marketing to raise the bureau’s profile.
And now the news…
Nevada Appeal staff report As the 150th anniversary of the opening of the U.S. Branch Mint in Carson City draws closer, the Nevada State Museum is expanding the days it showcases one of the Mint’s most enduring artifacts. → Read more at nevadaappeal.com
MANAMA, Bahrain — There's a burgeoning online market for the elaborate and colorful coins pressed into the palms of Navy petty officers when they pin on their anchors and take the chief petty officer's pledge, but some critics say the trade diminishes the value of the tradition. → Read more at military.com
The Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO) has teamed up with the Royal Australian Mint to release their first ever coin featuring a secret code. The coin was released in commemoration of ASIO’s 70th anniversary this year. → Read more at businessinsider.com.au
PROVO — The camera rows behind the baseline of a basketball court offer a vantage point of the game unlike anything caught from the nosebleed seats or even on television. It’s there where you can truly absorb the athleticism of the sport and appreciate how the way men and women fight for a loose ball, a ball much smaller than their gargantuan frames, flows elegantly like poetry. → Read more at ksl.com
While reading the news from around the world, it is easy to understand why numismatics is not well received in the United States. Compared to numismatic-related articles from countries like the United Kingdom, France, and India, U.S. reporting lives down to the...
The Canadian Broadcast Company reported that a bank in Montreal refused the deposit of $800 in rolled coins. Julien Perrotte saves the coins he receives in change. Every year he will sort and roll the coins so that he can deposit them into his account at Laurentian...
During the unpacking of an estate, I came across a book with the title Coin of the Canonical Realm. It is a short, 58 pages, paperback book that has an intriguing cover. As a coin collector, I started to thumb through the book to get a sense of its purpose. Since it...
While perusing the news sources looking for numismatic-related news in the general media, I am noticing that there is an increase in crimes involving coin dealers. Between robberies or scams against dealers, the escalation of crime is noticeable and concerning. Any...