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Visit Our New Site www.CoinWeek.com

CoinLink and CoinTelevision have Merged

Visit our NEW SITE at www.CoinWeek.com

In an exclusive partnership, David Lisot of CoinTelevision.com and Scott Purvis of CoinLink have merging to create a new website called CoinWeek.com

The NEW site will offer the same great online rare coin news covering all areas of the numismatic hobby, but we will be adding New Video content with industry leaders and prominent collectors featured in VIDEO segments, interviews and articles contributed by numismatic experts.

Major sections of the site include:

Coverage will highlight all the major coin conventions including auctions and market reports with a focus on delivering the most current and unbiased information for both new and advanced collectors.

We are in the process of converting over the 6000+ existing articles presently offered on CoinLink, and until this is completed, CoinLnk Will Remain On-line for archival purposes.

ALL NEW Articles and News will now appear on CoinWeek

We are also happy to announce that CoinWeek is introducing a NEW Dealer Directory, in fact 4 new directories, One for the US and Canada, One for the UK, One for Europe and One for Australia. We have over 5200 listed Web sites and numismatic resources available.

We also have a NEW Events Calendar which will be listing virtually ALL rare coin shows and Auctions worldwide.

Finally we are most proud to offer the CoinWeek Video Library. This is a subscription based Video Archive which will draw from over 1000 video titles produced by David Lisot of Coin Television.

Presently we have over 100 hours of video content, and we will be adding in 40-50 hours of NEW content each month

For the past 25 years, David has been producing numismatic Video content of Seminars, Presentation and educational material, and the New CoinWeek Video Library will be presenting this unique and important content to our subscribers.

Content includes Interviews with historic numismatic figures such as Walter Breen, Aubrey Bebee, Q David Bowers and Eric Newman, along with the best educational presentation ever produced. This material is NOT Available anywhere else on the web, and will be a major resource for collectors of all interests.

We invite you to Visit our New site, send us comments and become part of the largest and most comprehensive online rare coin news and resource site.

More News at a Glance – December 28, 2010


Cents of 1794-1795 Reflect Changes

Numismaster
Those collectors who specialize in the early copper cents often have a soft place in their hearts for coins dated 1794 and, to a lesser extent, 1795. The cents of 1794 in particular have been studied with great care by researchers for 150 years yet new information still comes our way from time to time. The years 1794 and 1795 were an era of great change in the copper coinage, perhaps more so than at any other time in the history of the old large cents.
[ Read Full Article]

‘One of world’s largest gold coins’ estimated at $600,000 at Heritage
Paul Fraser Collectibles
It was struck for the first Olympic Games in China with ancient stone carving techniques. Heritage Auctions’ World & Ancient Coins sale on January 3-4 is billed as being its “largest” World Coin auction to date – and one of the most hotly anticipated lots in the auction is also one of the largest gold coins in the world.
[ Read Full Article]

2011 Platinum Eagle Design Candidates Reviewed by CFA
Coin Update News
The Commission of Fine Arts (CFA) has recently reviewed the design candidates for the 2011 Proof Platinum Eagle. This coin will feature the concept “To Insure Domestic Tranquility.” The collector version of the American Platinum Eagle is in the middle of a six year design series exploring the core concepts of American Democracy. Each concept is presented on the reverse design of the coin, while the obverse of each coin features an image of the Statue of Liberty designed by John Mercanti.
[ Read Full Article]

Counterfeit Detection: 1914-D Buffalo Nickel
NGC
Unscrupulous people have made counterfeit and altered coins to fool collectors since time immemorial. These fakes were almost always key or semi-key dates, and collectors knew to exercise additional caution with coins such as the 1909-S VDB Lincoln Cent or the 1916-D Mercury Dime. Common date gold coins were also copied, particularly in the 1960s and 1970s, because of their intrinsic value. Coins with little collector value were generally ignored by counterfeiters because there was not a lot to gain.
[ Read Full Article]


2011 Annual Sets Release Dates

Mint News Blog
The release dates are now available for the United States Mint’s 2011 Proof Set, 2011 Mint Set, and 2011 Silver Proof Set. The Mint had previously announced that these products would be available earlier in the year due to collector feedback. The 2011 Proof Set containing 14 different proof coins struck at the San Francisco Mint will be released on January 11, 2011. The 2011 Silver Proof Set, containing 90% silver versions of the proof dime, quarters, and half dollar, along with the remaining coins in standard compositions will be released on January 25, 2011.
[ Read Full Article]


Public waits for 5 oz coins

Numismatic News
People who want to buy the new 5-ounce America the Beautiful silver bullion coin are caught up in a circle of supply and demand. The demand is there, but the supply of coins is limited and the normal distribution channels are clogged. Only 33,000 of each of the five designs were minted, far short of the 100,000 mintage originally planned. “That’s really a big problem,” said Lee Crane of L&C Coins. “I think the Mint didn’t read the market really well. They are creating rarity by the number they are minting. If they wanted everyone to get one, they should have minted more.”
[ Read Full Article]

US Mint Director Edmund Moy Resigns

Director of the United States Mint Edmund C. Moy announced today that he has submitted his resignation to President Barack Obama, effective January 9, 2011.

Mr Moy reportedly will depart for a private-sector job, however the Mint didn’t disclose Mr. Moy’s new position and a spokesman didn’t immediately return phone calls seeking more information.

Moy was sworn in as 38th Director of the United States Mint in September 2006 after being appointed by President George W. Bush for a five-year term. Prior to assuming his duties as Director of the Mint, Moy was a Special Assistant to President Bush for Presidential Personnel.

In his remarks to all Mint employees about his departure, Moy praised their performance during his tenure. “I’m proud of the progress we’ve made over four and a half years. The Mint is a better place and delivering more value to the American taxpayers. The foundation has been rebuilt and the work is now in your capable hands,” he said. “Please know that I will always remember my being Director of the United States Mint as a special time in my life.”

In comments to the Wall Street Journal, David Ganz, a former president of the American Numismatic Association said: “What is surprising is how long he has lasted into the Obama administration. If you look back 50 years, there’s no Mint director that has served a full term when there has been a change of administration.”

Mr. Ganz said Mr. Moy has long had an interest in coins.

“The most fascinating thing about Director Moy is that as a kid he worked in his parent’s Chinese restaurant and as a cashier he used to go through the cash draw every night and pick out coins for his coin collection,” said Mr. Ganz.

Prior to his public service in the White House and Mint, Moy spent eight years working with venture capital firms and entrepreneurs. From 1989 to 1993, he served President George H. W. Bush as a political appointee at the federal Health Care Financing Administration at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He has also served as a sales and marketing executive for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Wisconsin.

Moy graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1979 with a triple major in economics, international relations and political science. He and his wife Karen have a daughter, Nora.

Ponterio & Associates Kicks-Off 2011 with the January N.Y.I.N.C. Auction

Sale features outstanding selection of Mexican and ancient coinage and Italian banknotes

Ponterio & Associates, a division of Bowers and Merena Auctions, is pleased to present the January 2011 N.Y.I.N.C. Auction at the Waldorf Astoria in New York on Jan. 7-8. The auction will feature 2,558 lots including Part I of the Len Novotny Collection of Mexican Coinage, the Michael Demling Collection of Ancient Coinage, David Ian Wright Collection of Italian Banknotes and a superb selection of Fussli specimens.

“After wrapping up our December Hong Kong auction with the Wa She Wong Collection, we are excited to offer another extremely diverse selection of ancient and world coins and paper money,” said Rick Ponterio, executive vice president of Bowers and Merena. “Sure to be the center of attention, the 1854 Guatemala 8 Reales, lot 1036 and graded AU-55 by NGC, is perhaps the rarest crown-sized type coin for all of Latin America.”

Shortly after the production of this coin, the Republic of Guatemala adopted the decimal system and began producing coinage in Pesos and Centavo-equivalent denominations. This marks the coin as the first, last and only 8 Reales produced by the Republic of Guatemala.

Another anchor of the sale is lot 827, an extremely rare and important 1897 Anhwei Pattern Dollar, graded MS-62 by PCGS. “This particular specimen is clearly intended for special presentation purposes as it exhibits a bold, full-bodied strike with all special characters and sharp details,” said Ponterio.

Furthering the significance of the piece, the short-lived Anhwei mint only produced silver coinage for approximately two years before operations ceased and the mint was dismantled.

Additional coin and paper money highlights of the auction include:

· Lot 116, 1784/3 Mexico 8 Escudos, Key Charles III Proper Portrait, Choice Extremely Fine

· Lot 131, 1823 Mexico 8 Escudos, Hookneck Eagle, AU-55 (NGC)

· Lot 258, 1835 Belgium 40 Francs, MS-64 (NGC)

· Lot 357, 1850 Costa Rica ½ Onza, SP-61 (NGC), (Ex: Fredrick Mayer Collection)

· Lot 464, 1883 Honduras 10 Pesos, , AU-50 (NGC)

· Lot 549, 1926 Italy 50 Lire, MS-64 (NGC)

· Lot 550, 1926-R Italy 20 Lire, MS-65 (PCGS)

· Lot 2031, 264 B.C. Siculo-Punic Silver Dekadrachm, Time of First Punic War, Sicilian Mint, Choice Very Fine

· Lot 2536, 1892 Bank of Greece 100 Drachmai, P-45

· Lot 2611, 1913 Imperial Bank of Persia 2 Tomans, P-2, About Uncirculated, Consecutive pair

· Lot 2613, 1890-1923 Imperial Bank of Persia 1,000 Tomans Specimen, P-10s, Choice Uncirculated

The first day of the two-day auction will feature Part I of the Len Novontny Collection of Mexican Coinage and an array of world gold coins, world crowns and minors. The second day will host the Michael Demling Collection of Ancient Coinage, David Ian Wright Collection of Italian Banknotes, and ancient and world paper money including Fussli specimens. Lot viewing will be conducted before the sale at the Waldorf Astoria in the Morgan Suite, floor 18, Jan. 5-8. (more…)

Medallic Art Company Announces New Web Site

The world-famous Medallic Art Company announced today a new web site, www.medallic.com , designed to better display its 100+ years of minting excellence and to provide ready access for customers and art historians to numerous product categories, galleries, and historic slide presentations and custom minting information.

The new www.medallic.com is intuitive, which lets a site visitor navigate with ease, letting visitors examine Medallic Art Company’s custom medals, institutional chains and maces, stock and collectible medals, specialty items, lapel pins, and spinning medals and plaques. The ten new galleries feature outstanding creations of renowned sculptors such as James Earle Fraser (the Buffalo Nickel), Victor David Brenner (the Lincoln cent), and Augustus Saint-Gaudens (the ‘double eagle” coin). Since its creation, great artists have always been affiliated with Medallic Art Company.

The new website also provides a fascinating look at the entire minting process from concept to finished medallion, underscoring the complexity and artistry demanded of the sculptors, artists, die-makers, and production specialists in the creation of a fine work of art. Highlighted for visitors is the complete film, “The Medal Maker.” First shown to the Society of Medalists in 1929, it features multi-award winning coin and medal designer, sculptor Laura Gardin Fraser in her famous New York Studio in 1929 creating the models for the Special Medal of Honor for the National Sculpture Society, America’s highest sculptural award. Every step of creation and production is shown, including sketching, preparing background plate, transferring the drawing and applying clay pellets to the model, foundry casting of the pattern, die making and striking the medal at Medallic Art Company. This exceptional movie is narrated by Elizabeth Jones, sculptor, and former United States Mint Chief Engraver, from her studio in Philadelphia.

About Medallic Art Company

Medallic Art Company was formed in 1903 by Henry Weil, a highly respected French sculptor living in New York City. Through the years, the company has reproduced bas relief work of some of the most famous 20th century American sculptors, as well as many of the important medals and awards in the United States, including the Pulitzer Prize, Congressional Medal of Honor, National Medal of Science, President’s Medal for Freedom, the Newbery and Caldecott Medals, and the inaugural medals for 11 United States Presidents. (more…)

More News at a Glance – December 17, 2010


‘First example’ of the 1882 Gold banknote sells with $500,000 estimate

Paul Fraser Collectibles
Limited to just 14,000, this note, appearing for sale for only the second time, is the star at Heritage. Heritage Auctions, the official auctioneer of the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) Show, will present a substantial number of rare and exceptional notes as part of its Signature Currency Auction. The sale is being held on January 6-10 in Tampa, Florida.
[ Read Full Article]

Dealers Confused by New America the Beautiful Sale Rules
Numismatic News
Dealers say new rules imposed by the U.S. Mint on the sale of 5-ounce silver bullion coins are far from clear. “I think there is some question on exactly how those rules apply, and we don’t have answers to the questions,” said Michael Haynes, CEO of American Precious Metals Exchange, one of 11 companies authorized by the Mint to sell the new America the Beautiful coins. APMX has ordered 3,000 sets, the maximum allowed per distributor.
[ Read Full Article]

Yoko Donates Gold Lennon Coin
Numismaster
A unique 22-karat gold version of the new John Lennon £5 coin of Alderney has been donated by Yoko Ono to Great Britain’s Alder Hey Hospital’s Imagine Appeal for auction next year to raise money. Ono is the widow of the famous Beatle songwriter/singer/musician. The coin is part of the British Royal Mint’s Great Britons series of £5 silver Alderney coins. Lennon was chosen to accompany in the series such luminaries of history as Winston Churchill by choice of the British public.
[ Read Full Article]

Interview with the Central Bank of Ireland’s Coin Department Head of Marketing
Coin Update News
One of the most innovative sets of national coinage of its day (many would say they can still hold their own against some of the most innovative coinage concepts today) were the designs which came to be affectionately known as the “Barnyard” series. They are once again resurrected as Ireland issues the first of three coins in a new series of silver collector crowns. In 1926, a commission organized to decide the themes for circulation coins of the newly established Irish Free State came into being and was headed by the poet (and later Senator) W. B. Yeats.
[ Read Full Article]


The 1962 Seattle World’s Fair Million Silver Dollar Exhibit

The E-Sylum
One of the many committees working on the 1962, six-month-long, Seattle World’s Fair, which would live on in the Space Needle and Monorail, was responsible for producing, promoting and selling souvenir medals for the exposition. The committee, with Northwest Historic Medals, was also charged with producing a venue for medal sales and was thus attracted to an advertisement for Behlen buildings. The committee also conceived of the display of a million silver dollars to attract medal purchasers and thus contacted Gerry Joseph, Behlen’s sales manager, to see if they might be interested in a package promotion.
[ Read Full Article]


US Mint Sales: Silver Coin Products in Demand

Silver Coins Today
The United States Mint welcomed a newcomer to their America the Beautiful product portfolio. The five ounce 2010 America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins began with debut sales of 75,000 from Authorized Purchasers. That is 375,000 ounces of silver in a single day on their launch Friday.As for the other US Mint bullion product, demand for Silver Eagle bullion coins picked up compared to the first week of December. The .999 fine bullion Silver Eagles advanced 1,005,000 in the last seven days, which totals 1,422,000 in the first half of December. Annual sales rolled in at 34,312,500.
[ Read Full Article]

More News at a Glance – December 14, 2010


United States Mint Uncirculated Coins Get a New Look in 2011

United States Mint
The United States Mint today announced that it is discontinuing the satin finish on numismatic uncirculated coins produced for the United States Mint Uncirculated Coin Set® and other products. Instead, beginning in 2011, uncirculated-quality coins will feature a brilliant finish. The United States Mint began using the satin finish for its uncirculated coins in 2005 to be consistent with other products in its portfolio, such as commemorative coins. The satin finish, however, highlights surface marks that inherently result from the coin-handling systems.
[ Read Full Article]

The Mint coins a new phase: After 50 years, Lincoln Memorial gone from the penny
The Washington Post
You may have noticed a small change in your small change. More likely, you haven’t. “Now, when did they do that?” asked Victor Schubert, a lawyer from Racine, Wis., squinting at a freshly minted 2010 penny. “And why?” Schubert and other tourists on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial one recent afternoon were surprised to see a brand-new look to that most familiar of coins.
[ Read Full Article]

The Recovery of Julian Leidman’s Stolen Inventory
The E-Sylum
Court papers filed in New York identify the son of a Diamond District jeweler as the man who allegedly bought a multi-million dollar collection of coins and currency stolen in October 2009 from a Maryland coin dealer’s van as he dined in a Montville restaurant. What the papers don’t show is who the FBI believe was responsible for the theft. A complaint filed by FBI Special Agent Daniel X. McCaffrey, Jr. details how Yan Kandinov allegedly bought the cache for $80,000 from an unidentified individual who said they had “something for him to look at.”
[ Read Full Article]

Napolitano named Bowers president
Numismatic News
Bowers and Merena Auctions, a subsidiary of Spectrum Group International Inc., announced Dec. 1 that numismatic professional Chris Napolitano has joined the 27-year-old auction house as president. A collector since childhood, Napolitano decided to make numismatics his life’s career in 1989 with the founding of Summit Rare Coins, Inc., serving as president and CEO since its inception. Under Napolitano’s leadership spanning more than two decades, the company has handled in excess of $250 million in rare coins. In 2001, Napolitano co-founded American Rare Coins and Collectibles with locations in St. Paul and Minneapolis, which he helped to grow into a $20 million business.
[ Read Full Article]


France Seizes Lava Treasure Coins

Numismaster
France recently seized an unannounced number of third century A.D. Roman gold coins as well as an ancient gold plate allegedly with a pedigree linking the material to the Lava Treasure, according to an Oct. 27 announcement. The Lava Treasure, consisting primarily of ancient Roman gold coins, received its name because the find was discovered accidentally by fishermen diving in the Gulf of Lava. The gulf is off the west coast of Corsica in the Mediterranean Sea. Corsica belongs to France.
[ Read Full Article]

More News at a Glance – December 13, 2010


Coins Honoring Nation’s Oldest Military Branch Unveiled at Army/Navy Game

United States Mint
Designs for the 2011 United States Army Commemorative Coin Program were unveiled today during the annual Army/Navy football game played in Philadelphia, PA. Public Law 110-450, the “United States Army Commemorative Coin Act of 2008,” authorizes the United States Mint to mint and issue $5 gold, $1 silver and half-dollar clad coins to recognize and celebrate the founding of the United States Army in 1775.
[ Read Full Article]

How Peru Became the Counterfeit-Cash Capital of the World
The E-Sylum
Back in the 1980s, Peru’s government ran the printing presses as an answer to the country’s massive economic crisis, but churning out currency only made things worse and hyperinflation topped off at 1.2 million percent by the end of the decade. The printing presses have returned, but this time it is not the government cranking out bills, and the currency coming out is not necessarily the Peruvian nuevo sol.
[ Read Full Article]

Peter the Great rules Russian Coins and Currency sale with a $234,000 gold piece
Paul Fraser Collectibles
The commemorative medal marking the Battle of Riga led the way in Bonhams’ spectacular sale. Bonhams completed their sale of roughly 550 lots of rare Russian coins and currency last week with nearly 100 coming from the Tsarina collection. We felt confident in predicting that many of the best lots would shoot past their estimates given the rapidly increasing power of the Russian collectibles markets which certainly has numismatics at its head. We weren’t disappointed.
[ Read Full Article]

Hobby Popularity Boosted Dime Saving
Numismaster
Perhaps it is time we take a second or even a first look at some of the lower-mintage Mercury dime dates like the 1938-D. Right now the 1938-D seems fairly stable in terms of price, but you have to think that $34 for an MS-65 and $62 for an MS-65 with full split bands is awfully inexpensive when you consider its mintage and the potential for demand for a coin that is now more than 70 years in age. The 1938-D Mercury dime had a mintage of 5,537,000. It seems unlikely that a coin with such a mintage would be overlooked, and especially overlooked for seven decades.
[ Read Full Article]


Morgan dollars in high demand after silver surge

Rare Coin Market Report
Gold and silver continued their assent Dec. 6, with gold hitting a record $1,432.50 and silver reaching a 30-year high of $30.73 during trading on Dec. 7. Investors continue to be worried about the financial stability of Europe, the potential for a weak U.S. dollar, and the possibility that the Federal Reserve will expand its latest stimulus package to buy more U.S. bonds. These factors, combined with increased demand associated with the holidays, means there is a strong likelihood that bullion prices may keep increasing.
[ Read Full Article]


Mint delays sale of America the Beautiful 5 Ounce Coins

Numismatic News
A flood of complaints about high prices caused the U.S. Mint to postpone the beginning of sales of the 5-ounce America the Beautiful silver bullion coins. The Mint was supposed to begin selling 165,000 of the new 3-inch diameter pieces to its Authorized Dealer Network on Dec. 6. However, before the day was finished, the Mint issued a statement saying it was not confirming any sales that day.
[ Read Full Article]

Wikileaks Reveals State Dept Deal with Spain In Black Swan Treasure Lawsuit

For years, Odyssey Marine has been in litigation with the Spanish government over a 17 tons of gold and silver coins that Odyssey discovered from “The Black Swan”.

The 19th-century shipwreck at the heart of the dispute with Odyssey Marine Exploration is the Nuestra Senora de las Mercedes — a Spanish warship sunk by the British navy southwest of Portugal in 1804 with more than 200 people on board.

The Legal Proceedings:

Odyssey announced in May 2007 it had discovered the wreck in the Atlantic and raised 500,000 silver coins and other artifacts worth an estimated US$500 million (€324 million). The coins and artifacts were brought into the United States with a valid export license and imported legally pursuant to U.S. law. Odyssey brought the artifacts under the jurisdiction of the U.S. District Court by filing an Admiralty arrest action. This procedure allows any legitimate claimant with an interest in the property to make a claim.

Spain went to the U.S. federal court claiming ownership of the treasure and the case is currently set for Oral Arguments tentatively scheduled to take place during the week of February 28, 2011 at the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit.

Additional appeals have been filed by groups who have presented documentation indicating that if Spain is correct, and the recovered cargo originated from the Mercedes, they are descendants of the owners of Mercedes’ cargo and have legitimate property rights. Those claimants have recognized Odyssey’s archaeological recovery efforts and have acknowledged Odyssey’s right to a salvage award. (more…)

California Gold Dealer, Superior Gold Group LLC is seized, assets frozen

On Monday, a California judge froze the assets of Superior Gold Group LLC of 100 Wilshire Boulevard, as well another office in Woodland Hills,  after it was accused of fraudulent business practices in a civil lawsuit filed against the company and owner Bruce Sands by the Los Angeles County district attorney and the Santa Monica city attorney.
Editors Note: This company has NO relationship to Superior Galleries, a well known and respected numismatic firm.

Superior Gold Group, which sold gold coins and bullion and other precious metals, is alledged to have taken  payments from customers but never delivered the gold ordered, charged prices much higher than fair market value and misled customers into buying expensive specialty coins according to the lawsuit, filed Friday.

In their lawsuit, the agencies said Superior Gold took advantage of investors who flocked to gold as the price of the precious metal rose and the value of many other investments fell in recent years.

“By fostering fear and confusion among its customers, Superior has induced them to pay far above market prices for various gold products,” the complaint said.

In a report by The LA Times, they recounted one victims story…”

Steven Siry, 61, of Los Angeles is one customer who believes he was ripped off. Siry said he invested $20,000 in a “gold IRA” through Superior Gold. But company representatives sold him collector’s coins at an inflated rate rather than offering him bullion, and it took more than a year and numerous phone calls before the coins were delivered to the trust company that was to hold them, he said.

Siry estimates the actual value of the gold, when it finally arrived, as a little more than half of what he paid for it.

“It was a big mess, it was uncomfortable, and I felt kind of stupid, quite frankly, because I didn’t do enough shopping before I used them,” he said.

In another complaint the victim stated: “Nearly two years ago (Mar. ’09), I purchased approx. $47, 000 worth of gold and silver coins (my entire life savings). I have yet to recieve (sic) a single coin! I have been calling for years and they refuse to give me my money back or to buy my coins,” (more…)

Sea Search Armada Seeks Rights to 1708 Shipwreck and Treasure Coins Worth $17 Billion

Sea Search Armada, a US-based salvage company, claims the Republic of Colombia owes it $4 billion to $17 billion for breaching a contract granting it the right to salvage the galleon San Jose, sunk by the British Navy on June 8, 1708.

The Spanish galleon San Jose was trying to outrun a fleet of British warships off Colombia on June 8, 1708, when a mysterious explosion sent it to the bottom of the sea with gold, silver and emeralds owned by private Peruvian and European merchants, and lies about 700 feet below the water’s surface, a few miles from the historic Caribbean port of Cartagena, on the edge of the Continental Shelf.

Jack Harbeston, managing director of the Cayman Islands-registered commercial salvage company Sea Search Armada, who has taken on seven Colombian administrations during two decades in a legal fight to claim half the sunken hulk’s riches.

“If I had known it was going to take this long, I wouldn’t have gotten involved in the first place,” said Harbeston, 75, who lives in Bellevue, Wash.

The 41-page federal lawsuit outlines a long, tortuous jpurney through the Colombian courts after the Glocca Morra Co. identified six shipwreck locations, between 1980 and 1985, operating with permission of Colombia’s Direccion General Maritima.

Harbeston claims he and a group of 100 U.S. investors – among them the late actor Michael Landon and the late convicted Nixon White House adviser John Ehrlichman – invested more than $12 million since a deal was signed with Colombia in 1979 giving Sea Search exclusive rights to search for the San Jose and 50 percent of whatever they find.

Colombia tried to weasel out of the deal after Sea Search recovered materials from the ship, proving it was down there. Colombia “delayed signing the written agreement it had drafted, and eventually refused to sign the offer it had made to SSA,” the complaint states. But nonetheless Colombia refused to let it salvage the shipwreck.

All that changed in 1984, when then-Colombian President Belisario Betancur signed a decree reducing Sea Search’s share from 50 percent to a 5 percent “finder’s fee.” (more…)

Pricing Controversy with New 5 oz. “America the Beautiful” Bullion Coins

The U.S. Mint’s Dec. 1 announcement that the new 2010 America the Beautiful 5-ounce .999 fine silver bullion quarter dollars were to go on sale December 6th was canceled earlier this week over Mint concerns and complaints that the much anticipated coins were being overpriced.

The US mint does not distribute its bullion products directly to the public, but rather uses a network of 11 “Primary Distributors” who purchase the coins from the US Mint at $9.75 over the spot price of silver, and then in turn mostly wholesale these out to retail dealers. Few of these Primary Distributors have retail facilities.

Here is a list of the Primary Distributors:

  • A-Mark Precious Metals
  • Coins ‘N Things Inc.
  • MTB
  • Scotia Mocatta
  • Dillon Gage of Dallas
  • Prudential Securities Inc.
  • The Gold Center
  • American Precious Metals Exchange, Inc. (APMEX)
  • Commerzbank International (Luxembourg)
  • Deutsche Bank A.G. (Germany)
  • Tanaka Kikinzoku Kogyo K.K. (Japan)

As part of the December 1st announcement, the Mint surprisingly drastically reduced the mintage’s for the much anticipated 5 oz  America the Beautiful Bullion coins from an anticipated 100,000 coin  (for each of the 5 designs this year), to a mere 33,000.

After the announcement, APMEX decided to offer the 2010 5 coin set to customers and allow them to pre-order the coins from their website. Apmex is one of the few Primary Distributors that maintains a retail presence  through their website (which is excellent by the way). The 5 coin set was being offered at $1,395.

Obviously with such limited supplies, the large (3 inches in diameter) bullion coins were expected to be in hot demand .

However within hours of this pre-launch offering, complaints started to be registered with the US Mint because Apmex, responding to the anticipated demand and low mintages, had placed a $130.00 premium per coin on the set.

Apmex customers didn’t seem to mind the hefty premiums too much because within 19 hours after the posted  pre-launch offer, they had sold 1000 sets. But the US Mint did mind. In fact they halted the release of the new 5 oz coins to review the situation. (more…)

More News at a Glance – December 8, 2010


Pinoy’s design chosen for 2012 Olympic coin

ABS-CBN News
A Filipino graphic designer based in London has brought a rare and distinct honor for the Philippines. Roderick Enriquez could not believe to this day that his coin design would become one of the treasured mementos for the 2012 London Olympics. His sporting design was chosen to be printed on millions of 50-pence, the biggest coin circulating in Great Britain. Enriquez submitted four entries, but his design for the wrestling sport got the nod of the International Olympic Committee.
[ Read Full Article]

Commentary requires discerning eye
Numismatic News
Early this morning I was reading some overseas commentaries on precious metals and one presented what appeared on the surface to be a very logical argument for the price of gold to approach infinity. Is this plausible? Well yeah, if you believe in the tooth fairy. The problem with 98 percent of those who write about precious metals is that they are in the business of selling it. They use fear and greed to promote their business. So one must sift through articles for the real and credible information. Now don’t misunderstand me.
[ Read Full Article]

Coins Depict Controversial Shroud of Turin
Numismaster
The remarkable Sindone di Torino, aka Suaire de Turin, aka Shroud of Turin is on of the more controversial artifacts of Christendom. It is certainly one of the most studied. Many dismiss it as a hoax created in the Middle Ages, but millions of Christians venerate it as the burial shroud of Jesus Christ, believing it to bear the imprint of his crucified body. All four Gospels refer to Joseph of Arimathea wrapping the body of Jesus in a linen cloth before placing it in the tomb. Several pieces of cloth have been claimed to have been used in the burial, but none has gathered the religious following of the Shroud of Turin.
[ Read Full Article]

2010 Proof Silver Eagles at 707,704
Mint News Blog
The total reported sales for the 2010 Proof Silver Eagle have now reached 707,704. After less than three weeks of sales, this amount has already exceeded the final mintage of the last available issue of the series. The US Mint did not provide sales data last week, so the latest report available on Coin Update News reflects two weeks worth of new sales data. The Proof Silver Eagle had debuted with sales of 273,212, so the latest total represents an increase of 434,492.
[ Read Full Article]


The Story of the Truman Library Collection

The E-Sylum
In the late 1940’s Joseph B. Stack, my uncle, became friends with John W. Snyder, Truman’s Secretary of the Treasury. John W. Snyder was a coin collector and we at Stack’s assisted him in forming a collection, different than others we had help develop. The collection was in honor of all the Presidents’ and featured one coin of each denomination that might have been issued during his Presidency. For example, for George Washington, you would need a Half Cent, large Cent , Half Dime, Dime, Quarter , Half Dollar, Silver Dollar, a Quarter Eagle, Half Eagle and Eagle.
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Useless Money: Production “Error” to Cause Delay in New $100 Bill Debut

The US government said it is still trying to identify the source of the production glitch that forced it to postpone introducing the new $100 bill and could force it to shred hundreds of millions of error-ridden bills. The issue stems from what officials called a “problem with sporadic creasing of the paper during printing” that resulted in blanks spots on some of the newly redesigned bills.

Officials at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing are working with Crane & Co., the Massachusetts company which has supplied the government with paper for currency for more than 130 years, to identify what caused the errors, but it’s unclear if the problem was caused by Crane’s paper or some other element of the printing process.

A person familiar with the situation said that at the height of the printing process, as many as 30 percent of the bills rolling off the printing press included the flaw, leading to the production shut down.

The government said it believes most of the 1.1 billion bills already printed can be salvaged, but any of the bills that were misprinted will have to be shredded.

According to a source familiar with the matter, the bills are the most costly ever produced, with a per-note cost of about 12 cents—twice the cost of a conventional bill. That means the government spent about $120 million to produce bills it can’t use. On top of that, it is not yet clear how much more it will cost to sort the existing horde of hundred dollar bills.

Sorting such a huge quantity of bills by hand, the officials estimate, could take between 20 and 30 years. Using a mechanized system, they think they could sort the massive pile of bills in about one year. (more…)

Using Ancient Coins to Map Trade Routes in Mediterranean Europe

Researchers at McMaster University in Hamilton have launched a research project in which nuclear radiation is used to identify changes in metal content among ancient Greek and Roman coins held in a world-class collection amassed at the university since the 1940s.

By probing the metal content of coins exchanged thousands of years ago in Mediterranean Europe, the scientists have discovered a new way to map ancient trade patterns, to retrace economic ups and downs at the dawn of Western Civilization and even to shed new light on the collapse of the Roman Empire.

“As we determine what the coins are made of, we are then able to reconstruct ancient trade routes, understand the development of economies and even determine the extent of counterfeiting,” McMaster archeologist Dr.Spencer Pope states in a project summary issued Tuesday. “This research will help us link the archeological to the historical to understand how we, as a society, got to where we are today.”

A joint project between the university’s classics department and its department of medical physics and applied radiation sciences, the ancient coin initiative involves x-ray analysis and a “proton microprobe” to determine how much silver, bronze or gold is contained in each piece of money.

“We use multiple systems to look for a number of metals — gold, copper, silver — present in the outer layer of the coins,” said radiation scientist Michael Farquharson. “Then we use the McMaster Nuclear Reactor to penetrate deeper into the coin to determine whether or not the coin was plated with a different material than it was actually made of.”

“For the Roman period, there are many crises that can be recognized in the numismatic record,” said Pope, describing one “budget crunch” during Punic Wars of the 3rd century B.C., when Rome was battling Carthage — centred in present-day Tunisia — for control of the Mediterranean world.

“We can see metal coins begin to have more base metal — junk metal — added to ‘debase’ the coins,” he noted. “As Rome and other cities fall into crises and get into economic trouble, more bronze coins appear (rather than silver), and even these are diluted by tin or lead.” So far, about 20 coins have undergone this “deep probe”. (more…)

More News at a Glance – December 7, 2010


America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins Halted

Coin Update News
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City says it will open a Bowing to consumer concerns about the excessive premiums being charged for the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins, the United States Mint will delay the launch of the program. No orders placed by the primary distributors have been confirmed, while the Mint attempts to determine the appropriate course of action to best serve customers. The new silver bullion program was expected to launch today. The coins would feature the designs of the America the Beautiful Quarters, stuck in 5 ounces of .999 fine silver.
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Hobby Gifts Are Always a Good Fit
Numismaster
As I write this column, the store displays in Wausau, Wis., are interesting, advertising for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas—all at the same time. I guess that is an indicator of how bad the retail economy is. The paper money hobby, however, seems to be in decent shape. For my part, I think prices are just about right, room for a profit for the dealer and affordable for the collector. We will continue to see big prices on finest know or super scarce notes, but the majority of large-size type notes remain affordable for the serious collector.
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The Tsarina returns: A coin collection from Russian royalty comes back to auction
Paul Fraser Collectibles
Bonhams’ sale will be led by an Alexander II gold coin which could easily bring $100,000. Tomorrow, December 8, Bonhams is presenting their auction of the Tsarina Collection of Russian Gold Coins and Medals as part of their 530 piece Coins and Banknotes sale. Comprised of just under 100 items, this private collection has been off the market for many years with several of the coins and medals never having been offered at public auction at all.
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Low mintages to create new modern rarities
The Rare Coin Market Report
The U.S. Mint’s Dec. 1 announcement that it is placing tighter than expected mintage limits on the new 2010 America the Beautiful 5-ounce .999 fine silver bullion quarter dollars may result in the creation of some new modern rarities. The large (3 inches in diameter) and undoubtedly impressive coins will surely be in hot demand, especially with such limited supplies.
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Ancient Coins Stolen From Germany

The E-Sylum
At the Museum Schloss Hohentübingen, Tübingen (Germany, Baden-Württemberg), 44 antique coins were stolen from a showcase in the public exhibition room. The theft was reported to the local criminal investigation department on Wednesday November 24. The delinquent(s) are still unknown. The stolen pieces include Hellenistic and Roman imperial coins. Obviously, the thieves were especially interested in gold coins, for they took 37 staters, aurei and solidi, furthermore 5 coins of silver and 2 of bronze.
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Peace pipe chosen

Numismatic News
A ceremonial peace pipe will grace the reverse of the 2011 Native American $1 coin. Both the Commission of Fine Arts and Citizens Coinage Advisory Com-mittee had endorsed the design earlier this year. Its selection was announced Nov. 26 by the United States Mint. The theme for the design is “Supreme Sachem Ousamequin, Massasoit of the Great Wampanoag Nation Creates Alliance with Settlers at Plymouth Bay (1621).”
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More News at a Glance – December 6, 2010


Federal Reserve to Open Denver Money Museum

The E-Sylum
The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City says it will open a “Money Museum” and conference center at its Denver Branch next month. The new features are part of extensive renovation to the first floor of the Denver Branch, at 1020 16th St. in downtown Denver. The 7,000-square-foot Money Museum “will offer visitors a unique look at the nation’s central bank in action,” the Fed said in a statement. “Visitors can learn more about the Federal Reserve through interactive exhibits that explore an efficient payment system, a safe and sound banking system, and how monetary policy provides for a stable economy.”
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2010 Silver Eagle Coins Make History in November
Silver Coins Today
November was a history making month for 2010 Silver Eagle coins. The bullion version broke three records during the month and the numismatic proof version debuted with exceptional three-day sales. The 2010 Silver Eagle bullion continues to add to its all-time annual sales and mintage records, but the last of the three records — how many were sold in November — is now official history.
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The Famed “Comet” 1807 Large Cent
Stack’s
In our upcoming January 26-27, 2011 Americana Auction there is a magnificent 1807 S-271 large cent, the famed “Comet” variety of that year, so named for the comet-like die sinking behind Liberty’s head. This particular specimen is from the Bement, Beckwith, Gies and Hogan Pond collections and is one of just two examples that have earned an MS-65 Red and Brown grade from PCGS.
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Coin Modernization Bill Passes Senate
Coin Update News
The bill H.R. 6162 Coin Modernization, Oversight, and Continuity Act of 2010 passed in the Senate on November 30, 2010. This was the same day that a separate coin related bill authorizing palladium bullion coins was also passed in the Senate. In order to become law, both bills now only await the President’s signature.
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Build Partial Set of Large Cents

Numismaster
To specialize in large cents is a task that intimidates many a collector. One glance at the scope of this series, from 1793-1857, shows you what a challenge you have ahead. The rarities in the set can stop a determined collector. Although all large cents were struck at Philadelphia, and you won’t have to worry about mintmarks, the collecting of large cents can keep a collector busy, searching, and studying for many years, even with a hefty collecting budget.
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ANA backs WWI commem

Numismatic News
A World War I commemorative dollar to be struck by the U.S. Mint in 2017 won the support of the American Numismatic Association board of governors. Rod Gillis, ANA numismatic educator, asked for the board’s support noting that commemorative coins honor veterans of the Civil War, World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War, but no coinage exists to honor World War I soldiers. The board took action when it met Nov. 30 via conference call.
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More News at a Glance – December 3, 2010


Mary Todd Lincoln First Spouse Gold Coin

Mint News Blog
The US Mint will begin sales of the Mary Todd Lincoln First Spouse Gold Coins today, December 2, 2010 at 12:00 Noon ET. This will represent the final release of the year for the 24 karat series and one of the most well known First Ladies. The obverse of the Mary Todd Lincoln Gold Coin features her portrait, as designed and sculpted by Phebe Hemphill. Inscriptions include “Mary Todd Lincoln”, the motto “In God We Trust”, “Liberty”, order of the Presidency “16th”, years served “1861-1865”, and the date and mint mark.
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Ancient, English and Foreign coins shatter their pre-sale estimates at Spink
Paul Fraser Collectibles
Collectors and investors gathered in London to see a number of coins exceed all expectations, this week. The Spink ‘Ancient, English and Foreign Coins and Commemorative Medals’ auction ended in London yesterday, with some very impressive figures and a few surprises for numismatists. The sale made a total of £3,206,472 and amongst the lots were many that greatly exceeded expectations, with some selling for up to ten times their pre-sale estimates.
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Who Are We and How Do We Collect?
Numismaster
In all my years of collecting coins, reading and writing about coins and learning about coins, I have often wondered what exactly is a coin collection and what makes up a coin collector, or as those in the hobby like say, a numismatist. Does a coin collection have to be many coins, or can it be just one or two? Does it take years of study and collecting to be a numismatist, or do you instantly become one the first time you put away a few coins that you like and enjoy?
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Search for value buying opportunities
Numismatic News
I am a value buyer. When at shows, dealers will come by with boxes/sets of coins to offer. I mention this really as an indication of the opportunity that exists in the current coin market with the strong rise in precious metals. As a value buyer, I look at anything in terms of what it will bring at current prices and whether it is interesting and salable in a reasonable time.
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Mint Revises $1 Coin Design For 2011

Vending Times
The U.S. Mint said it will update the design of the Native American $1 coin next year, leaving the familiar portrait of Sacagawea on the obverse (heads) side while replacing the reverse with a new image of a peace pipe being passed from one hand to another. The Native American $1 Coin Program, mandated by Congress, requires the U.S. Mint to issue $1 coins featuring designs celebrating the important contributions made by Indian tribes and individual Native Americans to the history and development of the United States.
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A Steady Market in an Uncertain World

Stack’s
The market has remained relatively unchanged during the past week or so. Demand for choice and rare coins of all kinds remains strong, with investors competing for high grade issues, MS-65 and Proof-65 and higher, especially for items priced from a few hundred dollars up to several thousand dollars. There is, of course, continuing demand for higher priced coins, but the number of newcomers coming into the field and dropping hundreds of thousands of dollars as a start have been fewer.
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More News at a Glance – December 2, 2010


Gold coins among discovery of ancient artifacts

International Business Times
Gold coins were among the relics unearthed from the capital of an ancient Buddhist Kingdom in Northwest Pakistan, according to published reports. Also found in Taxila, the seat of the Kingdom of Gandhara and a learning center, were in excess of 100 seals of ancient Buddhist Kingdom, the rare Red Stone, and sculptures of Buddha, according to People’s Daily online. Officials believe the find dates to a time period between the first century BC and the fifth century AD.
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Collectors Usually Prefer the Proofs
Numismaster
People have been collecting proof sets and proof singles for a long time. Just consider the 1886 sale of the J. Colvin Randall collection offered by W. Elliot Woodward. The proofs included three-piece proof sets of 1878 (10 sets), 1879 (82 sets) and 76 of the 1880. The listing was not clear, but it is thought the 35 additional 1880 sets were full going up to the Trade dollar and the same might have been true of the 32 1882 sets.
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American Palladium Eagle Coins with Silver Mercury Dime Design Approved
Silver Coins Today
Legislation authorizing the US Mint to strike American Palladium Eagle coins was approved Tuesday by the U.S. Senate and has been sent to the desk of President Barack Obama to await his expected signature. The coin legislation was originally introduced by United States House of Representative member Denny Rehberg (R) from Montana to add bullion and collector proof and uncirculated Palladium Eagle coins to the US Mint’s product offerings.
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The Forged Roman Silver Denarius
The E-Sylum
Roman coin discovered by a cleaner was struck at the time of Christ by a forger who couldn’t spell and didn’t know one emperor from another. Experts at the British Museum say the coin is a mystery because it is made from solid silver and probably cost the forger as much to make as he received in profit.
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5 Ounce America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins

Coin Update News
Today, the United States Mint provided the release details for the America the Beautiful Silver Bullion Coins. The maximum mintages for these eagerly awaited coins will be lower than expected and numismatic versions will be available. The new bullion program was authorized under Public Law 110-456. This is the same law that authorized the America the Beautiful Quarters series.
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Multi-coloured Lebanese banknote could float to $93,300 in London

Paul Fraser Collectibles
The auctioneer has announced a second day of selling collectible currency next week. As we’ve reported Spink is offering a full private collection, the Pestrello collection, of rare collectible banknotes on December 9, based on banknotes from the Bank of Portugal. There are two 50 million reis notes from 1889 available; each expected to fetch up to €16,000 ($20,900).
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More News at a Glance – December 1, 2010


Rare California Bank Notes and 34-Ounce Gold Nugget in Auction

Coin Update News
A collection of more than 100 historic Orange County California bank notes and a 34-ounce gold nugget from the collection of the late William (“Willie”) Pannier will be among the highlights of the pre-Long Beach Expo auction to be conducted by Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins and Collectibles in Beverly Hills, California, January 31 – February 2, 2011.
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The Finest Known Wheat Cent
About.com
Have you ever wondered which Wheat Cent is considered to be the best one in the world? According to the grading service PCGS, the finest known wheatback penny was minted in 1919 by the Philadelphia Mint, and earns the astonishing grade of MS-69 on the 70-point coin grading scale. For a copper coin to merit such an ultra-high grade, several things have to line up just right.
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Rare coins auction journeys from Ancient Greece to Modern Rome
Paul Fraser Collectibles
Two rare and historic items set to star in the next Artemide Aste sale couldn’t be much further apart. The Artemide Aste sale of rare coins and medals on December 18 has two standout lots, with more than 2000 years between them. The highest-priced coin of the auction is a rare Greek Tetradrachm from the city of Agrigentum, dated 464-450 B.C.
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Gold Coin Premiums Begin to Go Higher
Numismaster
Gold is up 1.5 percent, silver 3.5 percent and platinum a paltry 1 percent. Platinum continues to react to oil pricing, which has been weaker on European economic woes from banking problems in Ireland and pending labor strikes in Portugal protesting the austerity needed to dig out of their debt mess. Gold is the safe haven and has reacted to the Korean military situation and news of miners unrest.
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Proofs in demand

Numismatic News
Collectors eagerly grabbed 273,212 proof silver American Eagle coins in the opening two days of sales. The 2010 pieces became available at noon Eastern Standard Time Nov. 19, and as expected, a crush of initial buyers, slowed response times on the U.S. Mint’s website and generated busy signals on the telephone order lines for the first several hours.
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Article Highlights Rare Oxford 1066 Penny

The E-Sylum
A rare coin made in Oxford in or around 1066 – the year of the Battle of Hastings – is set to fetch up to £1,500 at an auction next month. The 1,000 year-old silver penny was made in Oxford by a so-called moneyer named Aelfwig during the 10-month reign (January 5,1066, to October 14 1066) of King Harold II. Harold was killed after being shot in the eye with an arrow at the Battle of Hastings, which was won by William The Conqueror on October 14,1066, and which is recorded on the Bayeux Tapestry.
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More News at a Glance – November 30, 2010


Sedwick Treasure auction No. 8 realizes $1.3 million

Coin Values
All prices here reflect the 18 percent buyer’s fee, which is discounted to 15 percent for cash payments. The auction offered shipwreck-recovered coins and bars, as well as Mexican and other Spanish colonial coins, plus English, world, U.S. and ancient coins. The 2,789-lot auction was called the firm’s “biggest yet.” Three hundred thirty-six lots, or 12 percent, did not sell.
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Early coin from China’s first-ever modern mint is estimated at $60,000
Paul Fraser Collectibles
An historic piece of Chinese numismatic history is auctioning in Hong Kong, and online. A late-19th century Chinese coin is expected to sell for the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars in Hong Kong, tomorrow (December 1), at Champion Hong Kong’s auction. The piece is question is an undated Hina-Kwangtung coin from 1889 from the first set of coins ever made at China’s first modern mint.
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Canadian 2010 Crystal Snowflake Silver Coins Near Sell Out
Silver Coins Today
Two recently released 99.99% pure silver coins featuring a unique crystal snowflake design are almost sold out, the Royal Canadian Mint advised customers late last week. Sales of the Mint’s $20 Blue Crystal Snowflake and $20 Tanzanite Crystal Snowflake have each passed 90% of their maximum mintage, which is 15,000 across both options. The two silver coins were released by the Royal Canadian Mint in October along with its other final 2010 issues.
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CFA Review of 2012 America the Beautiful Quarter Designs
Coin Update News
Although the America the Beautiful Quarters Program just completed its first year of release, design candidates have already been prepared and reviewed for the third year of the series. The 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters will feature El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico, Chaco Culture National Historic Park in New Mexico, Acadia National Park in Maine, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park in Hawaii, and Denali National Park in Alaska.
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New Coins from Latvia and France

The E-Sylum
Latvia has issued a coin containing a small piece of amber. The coin was issued on Nov. 15. The coin has a face value of 1 lat. France has issued 100 Euro circulating coin. It is being issued at face value hence it can be truly called a circulation coin. This is the third and last year for an innovative concept: renewing usage of precious metals as circulation coins. This tradition was started in 1960 with the silver 5 Franc coin, and was abandoned with the demise of the Franc.
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Micro Nations Prosper in Coins

Numismaster
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation ancient coin authenticator David Vagi has joked with me about a fictitious country he calls Gurkistan. World coin dealer Allen Berman is well known for promoting the mysterious kingdom of Bermania. There are more places than you might think that exist in someone’s mind, but their physical existence may be limited to fantasy coins or perhaps to some place that may only be visible at low tide.
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Second Edition of Rasiel Suarez’ Book “Encyclopedia of Roman Imperial Coins” Available

OLYMPIA, WA. November, 2010 — Lovers of classical Rome along with legions of coin collectors helped drive 2005’s “Encyclopedia of Roman Imperial Coins” to an unlikely Top Ten position in the most sought after out-of-print books in America according to Bookfinder.com the news of which was then brought to national attention in an article in the Christian Science Monitor. These fans were pleased when noted numismatist Rasiel Suarez announced the availability of the long-awaited second edition just days later.

Customers who had been on the preorder queue, many for several months, were instantly impressed with the heft and sheer beauty of the book which tips the scales at just short of ten pounds. Amazon and Facebook fan page reviews continued praise in monolothic response with the common denominator being the breathtaking scope of the information covered and the eye candy of so many thousands of rare coins reproduced in high resolution color photography; a welcome departure from the customary fuzzy gray images otherwise so prevalent in numismatic literature.

The sizzle may sell but ultimately it’s the steak that feeds. ERIC II’s content catalogues a dizzying 60,000+ coin varieties far outclassing all previous Roman reference works in this critical metric then adds current market pricing and rarity data in an innovative approach that is considerably more accurate than the vague price guides published up until now.

Besides the text dealing directly with the coinage, the author has crammed every nook and cranny with biographical and historical notes relevant to each of the reigns. Even in this capacity, where photographs are not essential, the author nevertheless spares no opportunity to include even more of them in a bid to make each of its almost 300 sections a tidy, self-contained database of all the knowledge pertinent to that domain thus earning it the encyclopedia status of its namesake title.

First printing limited to 3,000 units, $149.95. Autographed and numbered copies of ERIC II: The Encyclopedia of Roman Imperial Coins may be ordered from the publisher’s website at dirtyoldbooks.com

About the Author

Rasiel Suarez is owner and co-founder of Dirty Old Coins, LLC, a company founded in 2002 with the vision of bringing the hobby of ancient coin collecting to a broad demographic largely unaware that owning genuine ancient coins was both possible and affordable. 2005 saw the release of his first book, The Encyclopedia of Roman Imperial Coins, which broke new ground in making the subject much more accessible to those entering the hobby.

By 2007 the company had sold over one million Roman coins by way of retail-ready coin kits that taught thousands of families how to restore these ancient artifacts using the same methods museums use. His success as an author and recognized expert in the field of Roman numismatics was cemented by the release of the second edition of his Encyclopedia in the Fall of 2010. An avid traveler and photographer, Rasiel lives with his family in Olympia, Washington.

More News at a Glance – November 26, 2010

US Mint Deletes 2010 Proof Silver Eagle Orders in Error
Coin Update News
The United States Mint has discovered that an estimated 2,700 orders placed online have been deleted in error. Approximately 2,200 of these orders were for the 2010 American Silver Eagle proof coins. The Mint has been attempting to contact the customers whose orders have been affected. The deleted orders were placed between Friday, November 19 at 12:00 Noon ET and Sunday, November 21 at 7:30 PM. During this time, the Mint had processed more than 35,000 online orders.
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Many Coins Undergraded
Numismaster
For the last two months, I’ve been writing about my efforts to get the most out of a very odd accumulation of coins. In addition to such oddities as a large number of 20-cent pieces and Territorial gold, the collection included long runs of half cents, large cents, and Indian Head cents. Because these coppers (and copper-nickels) were housed in less than optimal holders (2- by 2-inch cardboard staple-type with soft plastic for the windows) in a suboptimal environment (high heat and humidity), most of the coins were quite dark and often corroded.
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$180,000 for a Chinese coin series missed by even the best collectors
Paul Fraser Collectibles
For numismatists, Ponterio’s upcoming auctions in Hong Kong mean the year will end on a high. Early next month, Ponterio Coins is set to kick off a major sale of World Crowns and Minors, with some other gold coins on offer too. Whilst there are coins from all round the world on offer, the Hong Kong Division of Bowers and Merena begins with the Wa She Wong Collection of China and Hong Kong Coins, which includes some spectacular examples amongst the 478 lots.
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Donald Ariel, Overseer of Israel’s National Coin Collection
The E-Sylum
When he was a senior at Brown, Donald Ariel took a graduate-level class in ancient coins in which the professor assigned cataloguing a coin collection at Wheaton College in nearby Norton, Massachusetts. The collection consisted of 250 coins, all of them minted during the time of ancient Greece or Rome. “We were told to do the full Monty,” Ariel says. “Learn how to organize the collection, how to identify the coins, how to find the relevant reference material, and how to write up a catalog describing each one and its significance.”
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Where’s the beef?

PCGS Blog
The beef these days is in Plus + grades. Yes that’s right; while lots of people are asking how to value Plus graded coins others are out there making them and selling them for huge increases over regular grades. When PCGS introduced Plus grading last March most people thought it was a good idea. We had been beseeched by collectors over the years to do something to recognize coins that were superior for the grade. Our Plus standards have been very strict and not many coins achieve this distinction.
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Final 2010 First Spouse Gold Coin and Bronze Medal

The United States Mint
The final 2010 coin in the First Spouse Coin Program, struck in honor of Mary Todd Lincoln, will be available at noon Eastern Time (ET) on December 2. The one-half ounce 24-karat gold coin is produced at the United States Mint at West Point in proof and uncirculated qualities. Pricing for the coins will be based on the United States Mint’s pricing structure for precious metals products. For current pricing information, visit http://usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?flash=yes&action=goldplat. Bronze medals that bear a likeness of the gold coin will be available for $5.50 each.
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More News at a Glance – November 23, 2010

Portugese banknotes from Pestrello collection could ‘float to the top’ at Spink
Paul Fraser Collectibles
A London auction of late 19th century notes is likely to capitalise on the upwards trend in collectibles London auction house Spink is holding another currency auction early in December – not the Ancient, English and Foreign coins auction on December 1-2, which as we’ve mentioned stars a ‘failed’ coin from the reign of Edward IV – but one using a more recent form of money.
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Sixth day of Christmas on Manx 50p
Numismatic News
Six geese a-laying appear on the reverse of a new Isle of Man Christmas 50 pence coin. The new coin portrays the sixth verse of the favorite traditional festive carol The Twelve Days of Christmas. A portrait of Queen Elizabeth 11, who is Lord of Man, is on the obverse. According to Pobjoy, the Christian tradition of celebrating the Twelve Days of Christmas, starting on the Dec. 25 through to the morning of Epiphany on Jan. 6, is based on a sequence of verses in the Bible
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5 Sleazy Gold Coin Scams
The Street
With gold prices rising thanks to the economic and market chaos, the shiny yellow metal’s profit potential is drawing some unscrupulous gold scam artists out of the woodwork. Here are five of the most common and most damaging gold scams out there right now — plus 3 safe ways to invest in gold. Gold Scam No. 1: Grading Games. The Coin Con: In gold coins, MS-70 is the top of the heap — a “mint state” coin that has never been handled. But what’s an easier way to increase the value of a coin than to lie about the condition?
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2010 Proof Silver Eagle Sales Debut
Silver Coins Today
Collectors wasted no time in purchasing more than a quarter of a million 2010 Proof Silver Eagles, indicating that there truly was pent-up demand for the silver coins. US Mint customers ordered 273,212 of them in less than three full days, according to the most recent sales figures. Those include all Proof Silver Eagle sales from their release on Friday, November 19, 2010, through this past Sunday, November 21, 2010.
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A Lustrous 1795 $10

Stack’s
Stack’s is pleased to announce it has been chosen to sell a small collection of early gold coins as part of our January 26-27, 2011 New York Americana Sale, the highlight of which is a 1795 $10 gold piece. This BD-2 variety is graded AU-50 by PCGS and is still in its original first generation slab. This lustrous and well-struck example shows some light circulation friction and light marks, but has a wholesome appearance.
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Fallen Marine David Smith Honored With Medal in His Name

The E-Sylum
This story about a fallen Marine mentions, toward the end, the establishment of a scholarship and medal program by East Carolina University in the name of the Marine, who died in Afghanistan in January. Of course the article calls it a “coin” but we know it to be a medal. Marine Sgt. David Smith’s parents and stepparents planned to spend Veterans Day at Arlington National Cemetery, sitting at the grave of their son, who was killed in Afghanistan in January.
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Rare 1934 $5,000 Federal Reserve Note Will Be Auctioned Nov. 30

A rare $5,000 Federal Reserve Note, said to be one of only 342 known to be remaining in circulation, will be auctioned on Tuesday, Nov. 30, by Chicago auction house Direct Auction Galleries in an auction taking place in Chicago at 7232 N. Western Ave. Absentee bids are also accepted.

The $5,000 bill is one of 800 lots which also includes a 1934-Star $1,000 Federal Reserve Note (165,372 said to be remaining in circulation), and a 1934-A $500 Federal Reserve Note (Unc.), Brown & Green Seal Notes, 8 Gold Coins including an 1898 Unc. Gold Liberty Head Coin, and more in an auction also offering Furniture and Furnishings, Jewelry, a Vintage Nickel Slot Machine, Bronzes, Art, 1893 Columbian Exposition and 1933 Century of Progress items, and much more.

The last printing of high denomination bills ($500 to $100,000) was in 1945. Giving way to advancing and secure technologies, the large bills had been used by banks and the U.S. government primarily for bank transfer payments, and the Federal Reserve officially discontinued these notes and began removing them from circulation in 1969.

The rare $5,000 bill in this auction is graded approximately AU condition and has James Madison, the 4th president of the United States (1809-1817), the “Father of the Constitution” and chief architect of the Bill of Rights on it.

An interesting footnote about President Madison, he also helped establish the departments of war, treasury, and state, and also tried to establish a national brewery; and even a cabinet position for a secretary of beer, as reported on a recent “Sunday Morning” on CBS. Whoever has the winning bid for this item might be toasting with more than beer!

Direct Auction Galleries is a Chicago auction house specializing in estates and fine antiques, founded in 1962 by Mike and Barbara Modica, located at 7232 N. Western Ave. in Chicago. Auctions are held every other Tuesday with inspections Monday prior to auction day from 3:30-7:30pm and 2-3pm before the sale. For more information, call 773-465-3300 or for full listing, photos, and catalog, visit www.directauction.com.

More News at a Glance – November 22, 2010

Many ways to collect Seated design
Numismatic News
All those Seated Liberty coins. What’s a collector to do? Six different denominations, rarities, dates and mintmarks, spanning 54 years. Even for a devoted fan of the series, completing any set of these classic American coins seems hopeless. Or is it? Finding a set-within-a-set can enable a Seated Liberty fan to complete a set to his liking. Take each denomination within the series, and see how a nice collection can be assembled, maybe without a big cash outlay.
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London auction offers ‘failed’ $11,000 coin from the reign of Edward IV
Paul Fraser Collectibles
Here’s how a gold shortage in England in the 15th century produced a rare coin on today’s markets. It was one of the first-ever gold coins struck in Paul Fraser Collectibles’ home city of Bristol, nearly 450 years ago during the reign of Edward IV (brother of Richard III, pictured top right). And next month, an historic 7.48g half-ryal coin is set to auction at a Spink in London with a £5,000-7,000 ($7,988-11,183) estimate.
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The Completeness of Louis Eliasberg’s U.S. Coin Collection
The E-Sylum
Eliasberg’s collection was magnificent, of that there is no doubt. But those who follow stories like this closely know that Eliasberg did not quite succeed in his task; one of them, evidently escaped. My notes say that when the family turned the collection over for auction by Bowers & Merena in the early eighties, he was one coin down: an 1866 no motto $20 gold piece. The king of coins was by then deceased, his estate, or heir, offering the gold coin collection anonymously through Bowers & Merena, and from my perspective, there was a mystery to be solved of who was selling the Eliasberg coins without calling them such.
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1820 Cent Well Represented in Hoard
Numismaster
There are many interesting stories about large cents. The 1820 large cent is among the dates involved in the story of the Randall Hoard. If we go back to 1820 we find that the 1820 large cent had a mintage of 4,407,550. That was a very large total. In fact, it was a record for the time. Under the circumstances we would expect the 1820 to be an available date. This is basically true in every grade starting at $29 in G-4 and going up to $300 in MS-60. While the mintage would suggest the 1820 should be at available date prices, that is not always the case with coins of the era.
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New Lincoln one-dollar coin is introduced

MSNBC
Robert Hood writes: Consumers have shown time and time again that they favor paper bills over $1 coins. Most adults have not seen, much less held, one of the 1.3 billion $1 coins that have been minted over the years. It begs the questions why the government keeps producing and marketing the coins. Supporters of coin usage argue that it’s more economical to use coins. It costs about 16 cents to make a $1 coin, and that coin lasts 30 years. It costs about seven cents to produce a $1 bill, but that bill has a life span of about 21 months.
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More News at a Glance – November 19, 2010

Canada Tops First COTY Vote
Numismaster
None of the five U.S. coins nominated for the 2011 Coin of the Year Awards survived the first round of balloting. Ninety-three coins issued by mints worldwide were nominated for the award that honors coins issued in 2009. Judges picked winners in 10 categories. From these, they will select a Coin of the Year winner. The public will join in the process by selecting a People’s Choice Award winner from a field comprised primarily of the category winners.
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Europe’s banks kept gold for future
Numismatic News
It is very easy to take something for granted. We do it all the time and that includes the coins we collect. There are millions of U.S. gold coins in the market today and that means if you want a simple type coin in a higher grade it is usually not that hard to find. What many do not realize is that despite a history rich in gold coins and a national history rich in gold rushes and the lure of gold, the fact is our current situation with regard to historic gold coins could very easily have turned out very differently.
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2010 Proof Silver Eagle on Sale Today
Coin Update News
Today the United States Mint will begin sales of the 2010 American Silver Eagle Proof Coin. Demand for the collectible one ounce silver coin is expected to be intense. The American Silver Eagle features Adolph A. Weinman’s “Walking Liberty” design, originally used for the the circulating half dollar coin from 1916 to 1947. Miss Liberty strides confidently forward, towards a rising sun, with one hand outstretched and the other carrying a bouquet of olive branches. The reverse of the coin features a heraldic eagle with an arrangement of thirteen stars above, designed by John Mercanti specifically for the series.
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More on Replicas and the Hobby Protection Act
The E-Sylum
Speaking of replicas: Regarding the tiny “COPY” inscription on the Higley copper reproduction illustrated in previous issues, I wrote: “I thought that “COPY” was a wee bit small myself. So which regulatory agency is in charge of enforcing the Hobby Protection Act?” Ben Keele writes: The Federal Trade Commission issues the regulations, and they are found at Title 16, Part 304 of the Code of Federal Regulations.
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‘Colossally rare’ Italian coin carries a $10,000 estimate in New York

Paul Fraser Collectibles
The ‘largest and highest denominated Italian gold coin of its era’ will auction at Spink Smythe, tomorrow. Numismatists won’t want to miss out on Spink Smythe’s November Collectors’ Series Sale, which is taking place tomorrow (November 20) in New York. A number of rare and coveted coins and banknotes are appearing in the sale, with highlights among the former including this certified 1903-R 100 Lire Italian Gold coin.
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Gold coin sales increase by 400%

BBC
Sales of gold coins have soared by 400% so far this year compared with 2009, according to the Royal Mint. With the price of gold hitting record levels, the Mint says commemorative coins are in strong demand. Sales of silver coins have also risen, though by a comparatively modest 20%. “In these days of economic uncertainty people look for something they can see as being a bit more secure,” Dave Knight, director of commemorative coins at Royal Mint, told the BBC.
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More News at a Glance – November 18, 2010

Is penny worth $3 million?
By Barrett J. Brunsman – Cincinnati Enquirer
The front of the penny supposedly shows both the head of Abraham Lincoln and the wheat stalks that normally are on the back.”It looked like it got stuck in the die, and it got re-stamped,” said Wilkins, 64. “It’s totally ridiculous (that some) think it’s a fake,” Wilkins said. “It’s jealousy.”Fred Weinberg, a respected dealer in so-called error coins, is among those who think the penny isn’t worth much – if anything.
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Historic German and Austrian coins and medals appear for sale in Stuttgart
Paul Fraser Collectibles
Rare centuries-old numismatic gems are available for online bids, in an auction closing later today. Of the 1,604 rare coin lots that are presently up for sale at Auktionen Meister & Sonntag in Germany on November 17-18, there are some noteworthy lots for entry-level investors. Among them is this very rare and “tiny” 30 Kronenthaler coin dated to 1811 and bearing the image of Friedrich II of Austria (unknown-1246), the third son of Duke Leopold VI.
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Newly Discovered 1861 Demand Note
Numismaster
A newly discovered 1861 $10 Demand Note, Fr. 10a (the only known example), will be featured in Heritage Auctions’ Signature Currency Auction slated for Jan. 6-8 in Tampa, Fla. Heritage is the official auctioneer of the Florida United Numismatists Show. The auction will consist of three floor sessions, held Jan. 6-8, 2011 in Tampa, Fla. and one online-only session that will take place Jan. 10, 2011 in Dallas.
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CCAC Reviews Arnold Palmer Congressional Gold Medal Designs
Coin Update News
The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) recently reviewed obverse and reverse design candidates for the Arnold Palmer Congressional Gold Medal. As stated by Kaarina Budow of the U.S. Mint, the Medal is being award to Mr. Palmer “in recognition of his service promoting excellence sportsmanship in golf.” During the same October 26 meeting, the Committee had also reviewed the design candidates for the 2012 America the Beautiful Quarters and the New Frontier Congressional Gold Medal.
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Wayne’s Numismatic Diary

The E-Sylum
Tuesday the 9th was the night of the November meeting of Nummis Nova, my Northern Virginia numismatic social group. Our host was Gene Brandenberg, who made reservations for us at the Union Street Public House in Old Town Alexandria, VA. For many years Gene operated a coin shop right next door. The location was especially convenient for Bill Eckberg, who lives within walking distance.
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Insiders Secrets to the Coin Biz

About.com
This two-part article will teach you the behind-the-scenes secrets to buying and selling coins. In the first part, I explain the business from the coin dealer’s perspective, how he views the coins people bring him to him, hoping he’ll buy them, and how he arrives at his offers. In the second part, I explain how to sell your own coins for maximum profit when you want a dealer to buy them. It should come as no surprise that one of the most important things you can do is “stage” your collection, much like Realtors “stage” a house for sale. Make the collection look its best (but don’t clean your coins, that’s not what I mean!)
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