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Category: Education & Seminars

PNG 2011 YN Scholarship Competition Begins

(Fallbrook, California) — The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) will provide a scholarship to a deserving young numismatist (YN) to attend the 2011 American Numismatic Association (ANA) Summer Seminar in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This is the seventh consecutive year of PNG YN scholarships for the popular, annual ANA program.

“The scholarship will cover airfare, tuition for one of the two week-long Summer Seminar sessions in June or July, meals and six nights of dormitory accommodations on the campus of Colorado College, site of the ANA headquarters,” said PNG Executive Director Robert Brueggeman.

“All young numismatists between the ages of 13 and 22 are eligible to enter and are cordially invited to apply for the scholarship. Entrants must submit a short essay outlining why they should be chosen as the 2011 scholarship recipient. The deadline for receipt of the entries is March 31, 2011,” said PNG President Paul Montgomery.

Entries must include the applicant’s name and contact information. The essays can be sent by email to info@PNGdealers.com or by mail to the PNG Executive Director, 28441 Rancho California Road, Suite 106, Temecula, CA 92590.

The two separate 2011 ANA Summer Seminar week-long sessions will be held Saturday, June 25, to Friday July 1, and from Saturday, July 2, to Friday, July 8. Participants ranging from teenagers to senior citizens spend 25 hours taking one course of their choice about specific coins or paper money or the hobby’s technical or business aspects. Additional information about the Summer Seminar sessions can be found on the ANA website, www.money.org.

“We are thankful that the PNG recognizes the value of providing young collectors a chance to realize their full numismatic potential, and offering a scholarship to the ANA’s Summer Seminar is a great start. We want to thank the PNG for generosity in providing this YN scholarship and for promoting the ANA’s education programs,” said Susan M. McMillan, ANA Education Project Manager.

Photo caption: picture taken at the Chase Manhattan Money Museum circa 1945 when Vernon Brown was curator. Image from The E-Sylum

The money to pay for the annual PNG YN Scholarship is administered from PNG’s Gerald Bauman Memorial Fund. Bauman, who died in 2001, served for many years as a prominent coin dealer with Manfra, Tordella & Brookes in New York City.

The PNG is a nonprofit organization composed of many of the top rare coin and paper money dealers in the United States and seven other countries. PNG member-dealers must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics in the buying and selling of numismatic merchandise. For additional information, visit online at www.PNGdealers.com or call (951) 587-8300.

Coin Collecting: Thoughts on Originality?

By Doug Winter – RareGoldCoins.com

“Originality.” It’s one of the most overused terms in all of numismatics. And it’s one of the most misunderstood as well. Given the choice, I believe that most people would rather own an “original” coin instead of one that has clearly had its appearance changed in recent years. With the help of some good quality images, I’d like to show some of the characteristics that I equate with “originality” and offer some suggestions on how to judge if a coin is original or not.

1844-D Quarter eagleThe first coin that we are going to look at is an 1844-D quarter eagle graded AU55 by NGC. (Disclosure: this coin is currently in my inventory and it is currently for sale. I am not using this coin as an example in the hope that someone will buy it as I am certain someone will and I don’t need to go to this much trouble to sell it. I am using it to illustrate this report because I believe it represents what I believe is complete originality.)

One other quick topic before we review this 1844-D quarter eagle. My definition of an “original” coin is one that appears to have never been cleaned, lightened or in any way altered. I would be quick to point out that the flaw in this definition is that, of course, there is no way to make such a comment without having had access to this particular coin at all times since 1844.

There is always the possibility that, in the 1850’s or the 1860’s (or even the 1960’s), it may have been lightly cleaned. But there are some things to look for on a coin that I think gives a reasonably good assurance that it hasn’t been messed with. The most obvious is hairlines. If a coin has been improperly cleaned at one time, it is going to show hairlines. These may range from subtle to very obvious. If a coin has nice seemingly “original” color but it shows noticeable hairlines, this probably means that it was cleaned years ago and has subsequently retoned. Such a coin may have a natural appearance but, from the standpoint of semantics, it can’t truly be called “original.” You can also look for areas of cloudiness or haze. If a coin has these, the chances are good that something has been applied to the surfaces at one time.

In looking at this coin, there are a few points to note. The first is its depth of coloration. Take a look at the color on the obverse and the reverse and note how the hues in the fields are richer than in the protected areas. On coins with natural color this is generally going to be the case. On a coin that may have been dipped at one time, you are going to see the opposite; the color tends to be lighter at the centers and deeper at the peripheries. Also, note how on this 1844-D quarter eagle there is color present even on the high spots and relief detail. A coin that has been cleaned or dipped typically lacks color on these areas as they are the first places that the original color is lost. Finally, note the depth and intensity of the color. On natural coins, the color is “sharp” in hue and depth. On dipped or cleaned coins, the color tends to be “fuzzier” and less intense. (more…)

Exhibitors Honored at Boston World’s Fair of Money

The American Numismatic Association presented 60 competitive exhibit awards at the 2010 World’s Fair of Money in Boston. Winners were announced at the Exhibit Awards Presentation and Reception on Aug. 14.

Forty-eight ANA members, showing 68 exhibits, competed in this year’s Collector Exhibits program. There also were 6 non-competitive exhibits.

Brett Irick received the Howland Wood Memorial Award for Best-in-Show for his exhibit, “Canadian Coins of 1947-1948.” The Radford Stearns Memorial Award for Excellence in Exhibiting, presented to the first and second runners-up, was awarded to John W. Jackson for “United States Interest-Bearing Proofs” and Simcha Laib Kuritzky for “The Jewish Lion,” respectively.

Richard Margolis won the Thos. H. Law Award for First-Time Exhibitors for “Benjamin Franklin: Early Medals and Medallions.” The Rodger E. Hershey Memorial People’s Choice Award, chosen by convention attendees, was given to Jeffrey Feuerman for “National Bank Notes of Massachusetts.” Feuerman’s exhibit also received the Ira & Larry Goldberg Award for Best Exhibit of Coins that Made History. Zachary Beier received the Derek Pobjoy Award for Best Exhibit of Modern Circulating Commemorative Coins for “Who Would Have Guessed? From a Log Cabin to the White House.”

The ANA presented competitive exhibit awards for Young Numismatists (YN) age 17 and under. The Charles H. Wolfe Sr. Memorial Award for YN Best-in-Show exhibit was presented to Benjamin Gastfriend for “Elongated Coins Featuring John F. Kennedy.”

Cindy Wibker received the Joseph E. Boling Award for Judging Excellence.

The following class exhibit awards were presented:

Class 1: United States Coins – Lelan G. Rogers Memorial

First Place – John M. Frost, “Rarities, Bargains and Neat Stuff”

Second Place – Carl B. Waltz Jr., “Matte Proof Lincoln Cents, 1909-1916”

Third Place – George B. Fitzgerald, “Rarest U. S. Silver Coin Issued for Circulation” (more…)

Numismatic Theatre Schedule Set for ANA Coin Show in Boston

Numismatic Theatre, a popular part of the American Numismatic Association’s convention education programs, has been finalized for the 2010 ANA World’s Fair of Money, Aug. 10-14 in Boston. Numismatic Theatre consists of 30-40 minute presentations given by ANA members on a wide range of topics. Presentations will be held Aug. 11 and Aug. 13-14 in Room 209 of the Hynes Convention Center.

A highlight of the presentations will be “The Development and Use of the Screw Press for Coin Production,” a two-hour panel discussion Aug. 13 from 3-5 p.m. Led by dealer and early U.S. coinage expert Brad Karoleff, the panel will discuss different aspects of early minting technology in the United States. Panelists include:

* John Dannreuther, author and former ANA Numismatist of the Year
* Dr. Richard Doty, curator, Smithsonian Institution National Numismatic Collection
* Bill Eckberg, noted half cent collector and researcher
* R. W. Julian, prolific numismatic writer and researcher
* Douglas Mudd, curator, ANA Edward C. Rochette Money Museum
* Craig Sholley, author famous for research into the U.S. Mint archives

Other highlights include “Money as a Social Reflection” with David Liu, 2010 ANA Harry W. Bass Jr. Numismatic Intern (Aug. 11, 9 a.m.); and “Engraver & Patriot Paul Revere: The Man & the Medal” with Jamie Franki, professor of art at the University of North Carolina and designer of the official ANA 119th anniversary convention medal (Aug. 14, 4 p.m.).

Below is a complete list of Numismatic Theatre presentations:

Wednesday, August 11

9 a.m. – “Money as a Social Reflection,” presented by David Liu

10 a.m. – “Henry Morgan: Brutal Pirate & Honored Statesman,” presented by Tom Sebring

11 a.m. – “The Liberty Paper Mill: A Cradle of the American Revolution,” presented by Peter Hopkins

12 p.m. – “Coin Grading for Beginners,” presented by William Robins

1 p.m. – “The Story of One 1786 M 5-3-B-2,” presented by Robert Moffatt

2 p.m. – “To Arms! A History of the American Revolution as Seen on Obsolete Bank Notes,” presented by C. John Ferreri

3 p.m. – “The Coin Finds from the Antioch Excavations – Revisited,” presented by Alan Stahl

4 p.m. – “Curious Currency of the World,” presented by Robert D. Leonard (more…)

Gold to Shine in Forum at World’s Fair of Money

Two leading experts on the acquisition and trading of gold coins and bullion will provide a wealth of inside information on those subjects – free of charge – during the ANA World’s Fair of Money (www.WorldsFairOfMoney.com), the year’s biggest coin show, on Friday, August 13, 2010, at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, Massachusetts.

The experts, Scott A. Travers and Maurice H. Rosen, will be the featured speakers at Coin Collector’s Survival® Conference 2010, a 90-minute seminar that will give attendees useful information on how to “survive and thrive during the decade of gold.”

The Survival Conference will start at 10:30 a.m. August 13 in Room 200 of the convention center. Admission is free, and everyone who attends will receive a copy of one of the bestselling books authored by Travers, as well as a newsletter published by Rosen. The free books and newsletters will be vintage copies of earlier editions.

Travers is a nationally known New York City coin dealer, author and consumer advocate who has written more than half a dozen award-winning books, including The Coin Collector’s Survival Manual®, a hobby bestseller that will have its seventh edition published by Random House in November. The New York Times has described him as “the Ralph Nader of numismatics” for his consumer activism.

Rosen is a prominent professional numismatist and coin market analyst from Plainview, New York, whose influential Rosen Numismatic Advisory is recognized perennially as the outstanding newsletter in the field of rare coins and precious metals. He forecasts in the soon-to-be-published edition of the Survival Manual that “by the end of 2020, the price of gold in U.S. dollars will be $5,000 to $10,000 per ounce.”

Travers and Rosen both foresaw the tremendous advance in the market value of gold well before it began. Travers was predicting $1,000-an-ounce gold in books and articles several years beforehand, when the price was less than half that amount and barely one-third its present level of about $1,200.

Also taking part in the symposium will be Jerry Jordan, award-winning news editor of The Examiner, a newspaper in Beaumont, Texas, who wrote a series of articles exposing apparent abuses by traveling gold buyers. Jordan’s four-part series revealed that in many cases, the itinerant buyers – operating out of hotel suites – apparently offered unwary sellers a small fraction of the true value for their gold coins and jewelry.

2010 Maynard Sundman/Littleton Coin Company Lecture Series Explores History of Numismatics in New England

The Maynard Sundman/Littleton Coin Company Lecture Series will be presented August 12 during the American Numismatic Association’s 2010 World’s Fair of Money at the Hynes Convention in Boston. This annual series features new scholarship on a numismatic topic; the topic this year is “New England Numismatics and Numismatists: Then and Now.

The lectures will take place in Room 209, and are free and open to all attending the show. A luncheon will be held Aug. 12 from 12:15-1:45 p.m. in Room 204, near the lecture area. Attendees may choose from Chicken Roulade, New York Sirloin or a vegetarian option. The luncheon is $10 per person, and is underwritten by the Maynard Sundman Littleton Coin Co. Lecture Series Endowment and David Sundman. To register for the luncheon call 719-482-9857 (pre-registration required).

Below is the lecture schedule for the 2010 Sundman/Littleton Coin Co. Lecture Series:

10 a.m.: “Colonel Edward H.R. Green: Collector Extraordinaire”

Peter Huntoon is a renowned numismatic researcher, author and instructor

Born into a wealthy Bedford, Mass., whaling family, Edward H.R. (“Ned”) Green had an eccentric and miserly mother, Hetty. After her death, he took his half of her fortune and became a famous philatelic and numismatic collector, acquiring anything and everything in his sights, including all five 1913 Liberty Head nickels.

11:15 a.m.: “It May Prove a Drugg in Time: The Rise and Fall of Wampum in 17th-Century Massachusetts”

Max Spiegel is a prolific author and former ANA Young Numismatist of the Year

For three decades, wampum circulated alongside gold and silver coins in Massachusetts Bay. Its widespread use in the colony arose from both necessity and a desire for quick profits from the fur trade. Governor William Bradford’s warning turned out to be a remarkably

accurate prediction, and wampum’s rapid rise was followed by its sudden fall and disappearance.

2 p.m.: “Making Money in Massachusetts”

Richard Doty is a curator with the Smithsonian Institution’s Division of Political History

Colonists found ways to obtain metal and produce coins without attracting the attention of the British. Massachusetts also got into issuing paper currency, and in the process found it was a fragile medium subject to alteration and counterfeiting. In response, Jacob Perkins of Newburyport invented siderography (the art and practice of steel engraving) and steel-plate printing, making safe money available in abundant quantity to a growing nation. (more…)

San Francisco Double Eagles Gold Coins: A Date by Date Analysis Part Two

By Doug Winter – www.RareGoldCoins.com

The second part of this study on San Francisco double eagles deals with the Type Two issues struck from 1866 to 1876. [EDITOR: Click Here To Read Part One]

There are no absolute rarities in this series as with the Type One issues but there are a number condition rarities as well as affordable dates that are easy to locate in Extremely Fine and About Uncirculated grades.

Let’s take a look at each date and focus on the higher grade coins as these tend to be the most interesting Type Two double eagles from this mint.

1866-S With Motto:

After a small number of No Motto double eagles were struck in San Francisco in 1866, the change was made to the new With Motto design. The 1866-S With Motto is desirable as a first year of issue date but it is not really rare in terms of overall rarity. It tends to be found in lower grades (EF40 to AU50) and is nearly always seen with heavily abraded surfaces and poor eye appeal. It is scarce in properly graded AU55 to AU58 and rare in Uncirculated with an estimated two to three dozen known. It is extremely rare in MS62 above and none have been graded better than this by PCGS or NGC. The population figures in MS61 seem to be very inflated at both services and a few of the coins that I have seen in MS61 holders are marginal at best for the grade. The current auction record is $39,100 set by Bowers and Merena 7/06: 1667, graded MS62 by PCGS.

1867-S:

The 1867-S is a bit more available than the 1866-S With Motto in terms of overall rarity. In Uncirculated it is actually more rare with an estimated 15 or so known. The finest is a single MS63 at NGC; another five or six are known in MS62. This date is typically seen with a flat strike, very “ticky” surfaces and poor luster. Examples with good eye appeal are quite hard to locate and are worth a good premium over typical coins. Properly graded AU55 to AU58 pieces are very scarce and any example that grades above MS61 is extremely rare. The current auction record is $22,425 set all the way back in 2002 by Superior during the ANA auction; this was for a coin graded MS62 that is still the best that I can recall having seen.

1868-S:

The 1868-S is the most common Type Two double eagle from San Francisco struck during the 1860’s. It is plentiful in grades below AU55 but it is scarce in properly graded AU58 and rare in Uncirculated. I think there are around three dozen known in Uncirculated with most in the MS60 to MS61. Above MS61, the 1868-S is extremely rare. The highest graded is a single MS64 at NGC; the services have combined to grade four in MS62 with just one of these at PCGS. This date comes better struck than the 1866-S and 1867-S and has better luster as well. Like all San Francisco double eagles of this type, it is plagued by excessive surface marks. The natural coloration is often a pleasing rose-gold; others are found with orange-gold or greenish-gold hues. The current auction record was set by Heritage 2006 ANA: 5644, an NGC MS62 that sold for $32,200.
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Putting History Into the Hands of Children with Ancient Coins

ACE projects create a new learning experience for many young students.

Ancient Coins for Education, Inc., entirely run by volunteers, was established in 2001 as a registered non-profit organization to encourage learning about Classical (Greek, Roman, and Byzantine) history and culture through the use of ancient coins. ACE provides coins to students nationwide for their study and attribution with the help of online and computer resources.

ACE is supported by professional and amateur numismatists that have donated coins for the students, their time and knowledge as classroom mentors, and even books on the subject. Each year ACE holds essay contests for students with the subject of the essay being a Roman Emperor or a member of their family. The prize is an ancient coin for the student to keep. Last years national winner, 15-year-old Wendy Owens, was celebrated in her local newspaper:

http://www.gazette.net/stories/03042010/urbanew163749_32555.php

Zee Ann Poerio, an ACE director and teacher at St. Louise de Marillac School in Pittsburgh, PA, pioneered the Ancient Coin Museums project, which has brought displays of history through ancient coins to a growing number of schools. Parents at the first opening in Pittsburgh were amazed to see the exhibits and many said they wished that they had such an opportunity when they were at school.

ACE students are not only learning about history, but are also introduced to archaeology in the form of simulated digs where they can excavate authentic ancient coins. The coins used in this project are mostly in poorer condition than the coins used as inspiration and prizes for the essay contests or in the museum displays. Though actually quite common, they are typical of the coins also found at most Roman period archaeological sites.

The private sector, too, has recognized the valuable work of ACE and the Ancient Coin Museum project. In 2007, a $2,500 Best Buy Teach Award was presented to St. Louise de Marillac School for demonstrating how interactive technology can be used to make learning more fun for students.

The Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG) supports the valuable work of ACE and all of its teachers in bringing new dimensions to learning about our classical heritage.

For information about ACE, and how to help with their worthwhile projects, visit:
http://ancientcoinsforeducation.org/

How To Collect Charlotte Gold Coins

By Doug Winter – www.RareGoldCoins.com

Charlotte Gold Dollar, $2.50 and $5.00There are many ways to collect Charlotte gold. Some people have only a mild interest in these coins and may buy just one or two pieces. Other people are more serious and they have a large number of Charlotte issues in their collection. A small number of Charlotte collectors are obsessives who focus exclusively on these pieces and do not collect anything else. I would like to make some suggestions on how to collect Charlotte gold. In my experience, all of these ideas have merit and none is “better” than the other. It depends on the tastes and budget of an individual collector to determine which one(s) is right for him.

I. THE INTRODUCTIORY THREE COIN SET

The most basic way to collect Charlotte gold is to purchase a single example of the gold dollar, quarter eagle and half eagle denominations. This is a very good way to collect for the individual who has a limited budget or who is not certain how deep his interest lies in Charlotte gold.

A basic three coin set of Charlotte gold should consist of nice, problem-free pieces. It would make sense to focus on the more common dates although some collectors might prefer to include some scarcer issues. The grade range for these coins is likely to fall in the Extremely Fine-40 to About Uncirculated-58 range.

The 1851-C is the most logical choice for the gold dollar in this set as it is the most common and affordable date. A pleasing Extremely Fine can be obtained for $1,500 or so. About Uncirculated pieces range from $1,750 to $3,500 depending on quality.

The optimum quarter eagle for this set is the 1847-C as it is the most common date of this denomination from Charlotte by a large margin. A nice Extremely Fine example costs around $2,000 while About Uncirculated coins range from $2,500 to $4,000. It is possible to upgrade to a much scarcer date without paying a substantial premium. As an example, the 1843-C Large Date sells for around the same price in Extremely Fine as does the 1847-C but it is much harder to locate.

In About Uncirculated, the 1847-C used to be much less expensive than all other Charlotte quarter eagles but the price spread has diminished in the last few years. This, in my opinion, makes dates such as the 1843-C Large Date, 1848-C and 1858-C very interesting alternatives, especially in the lower range of the About Uncirculated grades.
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Massachusetts Historical Society to Showcase Numismatic Treasures

While the American Numismatic Association (ANA) is in Boston this summer, the Massachusetts Historical Society (MHS) is taking the opportunity to show off some of its numismatic treasures.

From August 2 through September 11, “Precious Metals: From Au to Zn” will be on display in the Society’s building at 1154 Boylston Street—just three blocks west of the Hynes Convention Center.

Special guest curator John W. Adams and MHS Curator Anne E. Bentley have planned an exhibition to highlight many of the rare and unique pieces in the collection.

A small sampling includes the NE two pence and shilling and the 1776 Massachusetts Pine Tree copper penny for the coin collectors. A piece of original Massachusetts-Bay stock and the February 1690/1 Massachusetts Bill of Credit, along with some special colonial notes and obsolete bank bills will tempt the paper specialists.

Medal collectors will be drawn by the full set of Washington-Webster silver Comitia Americana medals, as well as what is possibly the only surviving example of an 18th century diplomatic medal, that was presented by the United States General of the Netherlands to envoy John Adams. Medals from the Betts series, Indian Peace Medals of colonial and federal issue, school and personal medals will also be on view.

The MHS will display a generous number of Washington medals from the Baker series and will feature some fascinating pieces from the Vernon medal series. As well, there will be a display of awards and badges that honor medical and military victories. There is something for everyone at the Massachusetts Historical Society.

Regular public hours are from 1 to 4 PM, Monday through Saturday, and there are special ANA morning hours, from 9 AM to noon, on August 10-14. If convention attendees plan to research the MHS collection while in town, please contact Anne Bentley in advance to make an appointment, as time and space are limited at abentley@masshist.org or call 617-646-0508.

About the MHS Numismatic Collection

Created as a repository and a publisher to collect, preserve, and disseminate resources for the study of American history, the Massachusetts Historical Society has been collecting numismatic material since it first opened in 1791. Coins, ancient and “modern” [i.e. colonial American], paper currency, and medals of all classes were grist to our mill. Over this period the Society has enjoyed the support and guidance of several of the hobby’s notables, including earlier luminaries and MHS members William Sumner Appleton, Malcolm Storer, and Shepard Pond; and more recent numismatic collectors and authors John W. Adams, the late Douglas Ball, and Q. David Bowers.

The DWN Online Rare Gold Coinapedia

By Doug Winter – RareGoldCoins.com

For many years, it has been my strong belief that the best DWN client is one who is educated. An educated collector is a confident collector and a confident collector is a more active collector. This is one of the reasons that I have tried to share as much of my knowledge about United States gold coins as possible. I’ve written the standard reference books on Charlotte, Carson City, Dahlonega and New Orleans gold as well as hundreds of specialized articles and blogs that can be found on my website www.raregoldcoins.com.

With few exceptions, I don’t think there are many other dealers who can make the claim that they are as interested in educating their clients as much as I can.

My current work-in-progress is something that I am especially proud of. I call it the DWN Online Rare Gold Coinapedia and I am proud to officially announce that it is available for collectors to use immediately.

What this online project consists of are hundreds of high-quality images (obverse and reverse) of 18th, 19th and 20th century United States gold coins along with descriptions of each. These descriptions, while taken from write-ups that originally appeared on my website, are informational as opposed to commercial and should provide the new collector with lots of basic facts about the coins they are interested in.

The beauty of this project is that it is totally non-commercial. None of the coins that appear on the on-line encyclopedia are currently for sale. No hype, no sales pressure, just useful facts about coins. And the quality of the images is superb.

At this point in time there are around 300 different images posted. These include the following:

As time passes, I will be adding images and descriptions to this resource. I hope to double it in size by the end of 2010. While it will never be totally complete (there are clearly a number of very rare issues that I will not be able to image in the near future) I anticipate that it will become an important, widely used reference in the months to come.

Please visit the DWN Online Rare Gold Coinopedia. Use it often and give me input as to how to make it better and more useful to you. I look forward to hearing your comments.

Special ANA Educational Seminar on Augustus Saint-Gaudens Scheduled August 15-18 in New Hampshire

The educational event “Augustus Saint-Gaudens: The Renaissance of American Coinage” is being held August 15-18 at the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site, Cornish, New Hampshire. The seminar is the American Numismatic Association’s inaugural “Destination Education” program, and offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to study the life and work of Saint-Gaudens in the beautiful New Hampshire setting where he created his work and made his home.

No artist embodied the optimism of the American Renaissance movement more than sculptor and numismatic designer Augustus Saint-Gaudens (1848-1907). Students will spend three nights at the historic Juniper Hill Inn and attend four 3-hour sessions scheduled over two days to study his work and influence on American art and coinage.

“Augustus Saint-Gaudens: The Renaissance of American Coinage” is being held in conjunction with the American Numismatic Association’s 2010 World’s Fair of Money® in Boston. The cost is $1,595 per person and $2,390 per couple (one queen bed). The price is all-inclusive: tuition, gourmet meals, lodging and transportation are included.

This event is for members of the ANA or the American Numismatic Society. To register or for more information, call 719-482-9850 or visit www.worldsfairofmoney.com.

Some of the world’s top Saint-Gaudens scholars will be featured:

Dr. Henry J. Duffy, Curator, Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site

A Tour and Overview of the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site and Museum

Dr. Duffy will lead a museum tour of the site and present a lecture covering the historic Saint-Gaudens site, the artist’s life and his importance to American art history. Over 100 of Saint-Gaudens’ works can be seen in the galleries. (more…)

The Second US Mint at San Francisco: Part One

This is the first article in the series.

The “New Mint” – The “Granite Lady.”

The early history of Alta California included the establishment of a series of Missions by the Franciscan Monks, accompanied by Spanish soldiers from Mexico and, from the north, the fur trappers, including those from Russia. The population, at fi rst, was sparse. On September 16, 1848, there were only about 15,000 people in Alta California. However, this changed rapidly with the discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill near Coloma by John Marshall on January 24, 1848. Soon, the “gold rush” began, led by the miners known as the “49ers.” Within two years, California was admitted to the Union as the 31st state in 1850.Workers inside the SF Mint

A desperate need for financial institutions soon followed. Some twenty private mints of various sizes and efficiency were established. On September 16, 1848, a newspaper, “The Californian” printed a resolution reciting this great need and asking for action.

The “action” was soon forthcoming. President Fillmore, in his first Message to Congress, December 2, 1850, recommended that a U.S. branch mint be established in California to meet the need there. The California State Legislature, meeting in Sacramento on April 9, 1852, approved a resolution asking that a mint be established in San Francisco. Congress authorized a U.S. branch mint in California and passed the Act of July 3, 1852 noting the facility would be located in San Francisco.

The minting of coins soon got underway. The new mint was located in a small, sixty square foot building located on Commercial St. However, it soon became apparent the facility was inadequate, even with modifications. The mint’s director remarked: “It is almost impossible to conceive how so much work can be well done, and so much business transacted safely in so small a space.”

The problem grew worse. With the discovery of the vast amount of silver from Nevada’s Comstock Lode, the huge influx of silver sealed the fate of the small facility on Commercial St. The plans to either find a new building or look for a new site and construct a facility commenced. On December 6, 1866 the “Daily Alta California” reported a recommendation to the Secretary of the Treasury by a person named Miller that “the Vara lot located at the corner of Mission and Fifth Sts., owned by Eugene Kelly, be purchased to house the new building.”

In his annual report for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1866, James Pollock, Director of the Mint, wrote: “I cannot too earnestly urge upon the Government the importance of erecting a new Mint building at San Francisco. The present building is not only wholly unfitted for the large and increasing business of the Branch Mint, but unsafe, and unworthy of the great mineral wealth of the Pacifi c States.”

A special telegraphic message to the “Daily Alta California” on Feb. 5, 1867, reported the purchase of this lot on Feb. 4th for $100,000 in coin. The plans were for a building 220 feet long by 166 feet wide, to cost $600,000. (more…)

PCGS Announces Winners of 2010 ANA Summer Seminar Scholarships

Three lucky PCGS Set RegistrySM members have been selected to receive scholarships to the popular American Numismatic Association Summer Seminar in Colorado Springs, Colorado this year. The ANA (www.money.org) and the Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com) are jointly offering tuition, meals, lodging and airfare for each of the three to attend one of the two week-long Summer Seminar sessions.

The winners, who will be attending an ANA Summer Seminar for the first time, are Christopher Bryan, James M. Bucki Sr. and Gerry Fortin.

“Winners were selected based on their set display and a brief explanation of why they should be selected for a scholarship,” said BJ Searls, Set Registry Manager.

Bryan’s set, known as “Route 66 — Tazman,” is listed under Carson City Morgan Dollars, Circulation Strikes (1878 – 1893), and can be found online.

“Christopher hopes to learn more about coins at Summer Seminar and, in particular, learn how to make the hobby better for everyone. He named his set ‘Route 66’ because he hopes to eventually have all his coins graded Mint State 66. It’s clear from his set description that he loves the hobby. His set now contains five of the highest-graded CC dollars certified by PCGS. Each coin is imaged and described in detail,” explained Searls.

Bucki’s set, named “JMBCoins Jeff Nickel Basic Proof,” is listed under Jefferson Nickels Basic Set, Proof (1965 – present) and is online.

“James is a father of six and is actively involved in the Buffalo, New York Numismatic Association. He’s the Scouting and Youth Coordinator for the club. In addition, he has instructed over 850 Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts on the Coin Collecting Merit Badge. He hopes to pass on to youths in his area what he learns from the ANA seminar. His entry had a great description of his set with detailed information and images for each coin.”

Fortin’s set, “The Gerry Fortin Liberty Seated Dime Collection,” is listed under Liberty Seated Dimes with Major Varieties, Circulation Strikes (1837 – 1891), and is online. (more…)

Grassroots Coin Group Sprouts At Central States

Numismatists United for Political Action (NUPA) a grassroots organization with a mission to educate and inspire the coin collecting community to stand and be heard in Washington organized this week.

The effort follows discussions at the recent Board of Directors meeting of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets (ICTA). NUPA is already set up on Google groups and Facebook and invites anyone, especially coin dealers and collectors to join and get involved. There are no dues or fees for membership.

Three core issues right now for NUPA are: getting the U.S. Mint to produce 2010 Proof Silver Eagles, fighting for elimination of restrictive private commodity sales language in the Senate Financial Reform measure and passage of S.1769 the Coins in IRAs Bill. Nicholas Pyle who addressed the ICTA meeting on political action said, “The need for NUPA is clear, our community needs to step up and be heard.” “NUPA is here to fill a void since many of the organizations that serve to numismatic community have charters and tax status that limits their political activity to education and prevents direct lobbying to Members of Congress.” Our goal with NUPA is to complement these organizations activities and energize their memberships and the broader coin-collecting universe to be heard on important issues.

NUPA efforts will provide inspired coin enthusiasts with talking points on key issues for individuals to use in reaching out to their constituent representatives. The tools will be useful in emailing, writing and visiting Members of Congress. We will take a broad brush of “shotgun” approach for initial outreach efforts to all of congress and focus resources of time and visits to the key members on committees like Banking in the House and Senate as well as the House Ways and Means Committee and the Senate Finance Committee.

Pyle noted we are less than a day old and moving quickly on raising awareness for NUPA. We have a core group identified with interest in serving on a steering committee. Our next steps are putting issue talking points on the web and providing direction for grassroots efforts. If significant interest does arise we may want to consider a Washington “fly-in” and March on Congress in conjunction with the next major Baltimore coin show. (more…)

The Effect of Carbon Spots on Copper-Nickel Coins

By Numismatic Conservation Services, LLC (NCS)

The term “carbon spots” refers to tiny black concentrations of corrosion. Oftentimes these are so small as to escape notice by the naked eye, though they may be seen with low-power magnification. Also called “flyspecks” by some in the hobby, these spots are actually slightly raised from the surface of the coin, as the corrosion forms around some particle of organic matter, such as paper dust (often present with coin albums and cardboard “2×2” stapled holders) or human saliva deposited unknowingly by a numismatist during casual handling. Oxygen, humidity, and other atmospheric elements react with the debris to form a minute mound of corrosion around it, and this is called a carbon spot.

Removal of the debris will usually stop the reaction, and thus worsening of the spot, then and there. This may be as simple as removing the offending particle. The resulting corrosion, however, will remain as an unsightly black speck that can range greatly in size from nearly microscopic to as much as a quarter-inch in diameter, depending on how much mass the contaminant possessed and how long the reaction was occurring.

Most often carbon spots will form on the surface of copper or bronze coins. The highly reactive nature of copper as a metal will often lead to their formation, but US copper-nickel coins as well as other copper-nickel coins from around the world are also quite susceptible. Most nickel alloys used for United States coinage are a combination of 75% copper and only 25% nickel. This includes the three- and five-cent pieces made since 1865 and the outer layers of our current dimes, quarters and halves, as well as those of the dollars coined 1971–99. The thick cents dated 1856–64 included 88% copper to only 12% nickel and, given their greater copper content, have an even greater susceptibility to developing carbon spots.

For copper-nickel coins displaying carbon spots, proper conservation can remove both the contaminants and the resulting spots. In some instances a pale ghost of the spot may remain, and removal of carbon spots will usually leave tiny bald patches in a coin’s toning. For these reasons, copper-nickel coins that undergo removal of carbon spots will typically have their toning removed as well during the conservation process. This is preferable to having such eye-catching gaps and is in the best interest of the coin’s long-term preservation.

Win a Full Scholarship and Free Airfare to ANA Summer Seminar!

NGC and the ANA offer three numismatists the experience of a lifetime.

NGC has teamed up with the American Numismatic Association (ANA) to bring three motivated individuals to the numismatic educational event of the summer. Winners of the ANA Summer Seminar Registry Contest will receive full tuition and room and board for one session of the ANA Summer Seminar, courtesy of the ANA. Air travel to Colorado Springs, Colorado, will be provided by NGC. The ANA Summer Seminar is a life-changing event that has catapulted the careers of many of the nation’s most successful numismatic collectors, authors and dealers. It has also been instrumental in shaping young numismatic enthusiasts into respected hobby leaders.

To enter, the collector must be an NGC Registry participant. Each contest applicant should send a self-nominating e-mail to SeminarContest@NGCcoin.com by Friday, April 30. The e-mail should include the collector’s public registry name and a brief description (fewer than 500 words) of how attending Summer Seminar could contribute to his or her experience as a collector. Winners will be selected by the NGC Registry Awards judging panel, based on a combination of Registry Sets and the e-mail provided, on Wednesday, May 5.

“No collectors are more passionate about the hobby than those who participate in the NGC Registry,” said Scott Schechter, vice president of marketing and sales at NGC. “This contest is a phenomenal way to recognize and encourage them. Summer Seminar is the single best learning environment in numismatics, and we are thrilled to work with the ANA to make it available to three collectors who otherwise may not have been able to attend.”

Susan McMillan, ANA education project manager, commented, “We think Summer Seminar is the best education in numismatics. Period. We are very excited to be able to offer NGC Registry members the opportunity to attend this year’s Summer Seminar and hope to be able to offer more such scholarships in the future.”

The ANA Summer Seminar, a hobby destination for 42 years, will feature a lineup of classes to suit virtually every collector’s hobby needs. Mini-seminars will cover topics such as ancients, paper money, Morgan dollars, Lincoln cents, shipwreck coins, commemoratives, and medals and tokens. Seminar attendees can learn to grade coins and detect counterfeits. Most importantly, participants will have the opportunity to meet and converse with the hobby’s most distinguished scholars, rising young stars and successful business leaders.

The Summer Seminar, held in Colorado Springs, Colorado, will consist of two sections, the first from June 26 to July 2, 2010, and the second from July 3 to July 9, 2010. The ANA will provide contest winners with their choice of attendance at either section, plus basic accommodations and meals ($1,000 value). NGC will provide round-trip airfare for each winner. Some classes in each section are already sold out and will not be available. Winners can pay for room upgrades if so desired.

To learn more about the ANA and educational opportunities at Summer Seminar, please visit www.money.org

NGC Instructors at ANA Summer Coin Seminar

The ANA Summer Seminar is called “the best education in numismatics.” Take a look at the courses being taught by NGC experts.

Numismatists from NGC will be present in full force at this year’s ANA Summer Seminar. Now celebrating its 42nd year, Summer Seminar features a lineup of classes to suit virtually every collector’s hobby needs. Whether your interest is ancients, paper money, Colonial Americana, Lincoln cents, shipwreck coins, commemoratives, or medals and tokens, there’s a class or mini-seminar for you. Want to start or grow a business, or learn something about security? There’s a class for you. Students can learn to grade coins and detect counterfeits and, most important, hobnob with the hobby’s most distinguished scholars and successful business leaders.

Classes are held in small groups so everyone can actively participate. You’ll learn not only from instructors who are recognized leaders in their fields, but from the collective experiences of fellow students, who range in age from 13 to 90. And rarely do students or instructors attend just one Summer Seminar. They come back time and time again for the education, friendships and camaraderie.

To learn more about summer seminar, visit the information page on the ANA’s Web site, or download the full course catalog [PDF].

The following courses are instructed by professional numismatists from NGC:

Advanced United States Coin Grading and Problem Coins

This course concentrates on the nuances of high-grade, mint-state and proof coins. Students learn how to distinguish original surfaces from mint-state and circulated coins that have been cleaned or altered, and to identify minute imperfections and color variances that can affect a coin’s grade. Students will learn the methods used by experts, as well as their own strengths and weaknesses. Prerequisite: Successful completion of “Intermediate Grading of United States Coins,” or permission from the instructor, is required. Prospective students must complete a questionnaire before enrollment is confirmed. Each grading class is limited to 21 students. (more…)

Adkins, Garrett and Leidman will lead PNG “Ask The Experts” Seminar at Central States

The Professional Numismatists Guild will conduct another in its continuing series of PNG Share the Knowledge seminars at the Central States Numismatic Society 71st anniversary convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin at 1 p.m. on Friday, April 30, 2010. The educational session is free and open to collectors and dealers, and a complimentary light lunch will be available for audience members.

“Gary Adkins, Jeff Garrett and Julian Leidman, three outstanding professional numismatists including two former PNG Presidents, will conduct an Ask the Experts session to answer the audience’s questions about the hobby and the rare coin marketplace,” said PNG Executive Director Robert Brueggeman.

“Any and all numismatic topics are open for questions, from what to collect, the best ways to buy and sell, third-party grading and so on,” explained Paul Montgomery, PNG President. “These three distinguished panelists have over 100 years of cumulative experience and knowledge in numismatics.”

Former PNG President (2007 – 2009) Adkins is President of Gary Adkins Associates, Inc. of Minneapolis, Minnesota and helped create the PNG Share the Knowledge series that was launched in 2008 to underscore the organization’s motto, “Knowledge. Integrity. Responsibility.”

Former PNG President (2005 – 2007) Garrett is President of Mid-America Rare Coin Galleries in Lexington, Kentucky and Sarasota Rare Coin Galleries in Sarasota, Florida. A current member of the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors, he is the author of Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coinage and co-author of 100 Greatest U.S. Coins, among other books, and was a featured speaker in the first PNG Share the Knowledge seminar in February 2008.

“Sometimes the world of coin collecting can be quite confusing. Having access to a seasoned professional can be informative and useful, and collectors of all levels will be able to get answers from us on a wide range of subjects. Remember, knowledge is one of the most valuable assets when purchasing rare coins,” said Garrett.

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Philadelphia No Motto Half Eagles From the 1840’s: A Date by Date Analysis

By Doug Winter – RareGoldCoins.com

The Philadelphia mint began producing the familiar Liberty Head half eagle design in 1839. After a quick modification in 1840, this issue continued without change until 1866 when the motto IN GOD WE TRUST was added to the reverse.

The branch mint No Motto half eagles from the 1840’s are very popular with collectors. But their Philadelphia counterparts have lagged behind, both in price and level of demand. I would not be surprised to see this change a bit over the coming years given the fact that the Philadelphia issues are much more affordable and a complete “by decade” set from the 1840’s is within the budget of most gold coin collectors.

Here is a date by date analysis of the Philadelphia half eagles from the 1840’s, to assist new collectors.

1840: Mintage: 137,822.

This is one of the more common issues from this decade. There an estimated 400-500+ known and they are easily located in all circulated grades. In Uncirculated, the 1840 is scarce. I believe that there are around fifteen to twenty known with most in the MS60 to MS62 range. There is one Gem. It is originally ex Pittman I: 947 where it brought $41,250 as a raw coin. It last appeared as Heritage 2/06: 1853 where it sold for $43,125. It has been graded MS65 by both PCGS and NGC.

There are two varieties known. The more common has a Narrow Mill (or diameter) while the scarcer has a Broad Mill. The Broad Mill variety seems to be considerably harder to find in higher grades, especially in Uncirculated. The Broad Mill has an extremely distinct appearance and it is much easier to distinguish from the Narrow Mill than on the New Orleans and Dahlonega issues of this year.

1841: Mintage: 15,833.

The number of half eagles produced at the Philadelphia mint in 1841 is the fewest of the decade. This is the second scarcest date in this subset but it has an interesting grade distribution. There are an estimated 125-150 known and this issue is generally seen in Extremely Fine or in the MS62 to MS64 range.

There was a hoard of 1841 half eagles that was found a few decades ago. Most are in the MS63 to MS64 range and are characterized by sharp strikes, excellent luster and rich golden coloration. I have personally seen at least four MS64 examples and believe that there are a few more known. In all, probably 10 to 15 exist in Uncirculated. The finest is Bowers and Merena 12/04: 2635, graded MS65 by NGC, which sold for a record-setting $27,600. PCGS has not graded any pieces higher than MS64 and their current listing of eight examples is certainly inflated by resubmissions. (more…)

ANA Counterfeit Detection Seminar Offered April 22 at MSNS Spring Convention

The one-day seminar, “Introduction to Counterfeit Detection of United States Coins,” will be offered April 22 at the Hyatt Regency Dearborn in Dearborn, Mich. The seminar is presented through the ANA’s Florence Schook School of Numismatics, and is in conjunction with the Michigan State Numismatic Society’s Spring Convention, April 23-25.

Join instructor Mike Ellis, noted numismatist and variety specialist, and learn how to detect counterfeit and altered coins seen in the marketplace today. All types and denominations of U.S. coins will be discussed, with genuine and counterfeit specimens present for hands-on study. There will also be opportunities for group discussion and one-on-one instruction.

“Introduction to Counterfeit Detection of United States Coins” will be held Thursday, April 22 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuition is $149 for ANA and Michigan State Numismatic Society members, and $199 for non-members. To register for this seminar, e-mail education@money.org or call 719-482-9850.

For more information about the Michigan State Numismatic Society, visit www.michigancoinclub.org.
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2009 Money Show of the Southwest Educational Seminar DVD’s Now Available

DVD’s of the educational presentations delivered at the Money Show of the Southwest are now available for collectors.

Speakers include former football great Greg Bingham, historian and teacher Ricardo DeLeon, collector Sebastion Frommhold, coin promoter and lecturer Mike Fuljenz, coin fund manager Bob Higgins, Money Show coin convention chairman Carl Schwenker, and PCGS president Don Willis. The Greater Houston Coin Club sponsors these educational presentations.

These videos are available in the latest DVD format and are produced by David Lisot, founder of Cointelevision.com. Lisot has been involved in video and television production since the 1980’s. He has produced hundreds of titles about collecting and works with the major numismatic coin and currency collector organizations to videotape the educational seminars delivered at their conventions. The presenters of these seminars are many of the most well known, knowledgeable, and important people in the coin hobby.

Cointelevision.com is a free video news service website that offers video clips from these coin conventions as well as segments from many educational presentations.

The DVD’s from the Money Show of the Southwest retail for $24.95 plus $4 S/H. A complete list of hundreds of other DVD’s available about coin collecting can be found at Coinvideo.com.

TITLES OF DVD’s

Benefits of Third Party Grading
By Don Willis

Don Willis is president of the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS). He shares new developments on the PCGS website along with the benefits offered by third party grading.

MSSW09-001
Length: 52:32 (more…)

Professional Numismatists Guild Announces Sixth Annual YN Scholarship Competition

For the sixth consecutive year, the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) will provide a scholarship to send a deserving young numismatist to the 2010 annual American Numismatic Association (ANA) Summer Seminar in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

png_logo The scholarship will cover airfare, tuition for one of the two, week-long Summer Seminar sessions in June or July, meals and six nights of dormitory accommodations on the campus of Colorado College, site of the ANA headquarters.

“All young numismatists between the ages of 13 and 22 are cordially invited to apply for the PNG scholarship. To be eligible for consideration, entrants must submit a short essay outlining why they should be chosen as the scholarship recipient. The deadline for receipt of the entries is March 31, 2010,” said Robert Brueggeman, PNG Executive Director.

Nominations must include the applicant’s name and contact information. The nominating essays can be sent by e-mail to info@PNGdelaers.com, or by mail to the PNG Executive Director, 3950 Concordia Lane, Fallbrook, California 92028.

The two separate 2010 ANA Summer Seminar week-long sessions will be held Saturday, June 26, to Friday, July 2, and from Saturday, July 3, to Friday, July 9. Participants, ranging from teens to senior citizens, spend 25 hours taking one course of their choice about specific coins or paper money, the hobby’s technical or business aspects. (more…)

Future PNG Days Announced, Seminar in Houston

The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) has announced the next three dates in 2009 and 2010 for PNG Days, invitation-only events held in conjunction with major coin shows around the country. Collectors can obtain complimentary invitations to attend from participating PNG member-dealers.

PNG_PAUL_MONTGOMERY_2The future dates include the first-ever PNG Day and PNG Share the Knowledge educational seminar held in conjunction with the annual Greater Houston Coin Club’s Money Show of the Southwest. The upcoming dates and locations of PNG Days for the remainder of this year and next are:

o Wednesday, December 2, 2009, at the George R. Brown Convention Center, Hall E, 1001 Avenida de la Americas, in Houston, Texas. In conjunction with the Money Show of the Southwest, December 3 – 5.

An educational seminar, “Navigating the Bourse,” will be presented by PNG President Paul Montgomery during the Money Show of the Southwest at 11:30 a.m. on Friday, December 4, in room 215 of the convention center. A complimentary light lunch will be available for attendees, courtesy of the PNG.

“Navigating the ‘shark infested waters’ of a numismatic bourse floor really is not that tough, and should not be intimidating for collectors or investors. Many coin dealers are there to help; however, there are some unwritten and oftentimes unspoken protocols that can determine your success or failure,” explained Montgomery. “The seminar will guide you through a few easy, logical steps to make your coin show experiences worthwhile and rewarding with smooth sailing.” (more…)

2010 National Coin Week Theme Chosen: “Beautiful Places: Landmarks and Mintmarks”

ana_2010_coinweek“Beautiful Places: Landmarks and Mintmarks” is the theme of 2010 National Coin Week, April 18-24. The theme celebrates the many landmarks and scenic places that have inspired the designs on coins and paper money. It was chosen by a panel of American Numismatic Association staff and club members active in the annual celebration.

Clubs are invited to help the ANA celebrate the week by participating in a number of fun and educational events involving geography on coins. A scavenger hunt will be held in the form of a “road trip” visiting beautiful places that have inspired designs on currency, and a program will be available for clubs to hold at their April meetings. Prizes will be awarded for individuals and clubs.

A wealth of resources will be available on www.money.org, including a sample press release and proclamation, interactive flier, lesson plans for teachers, and online games for kids and adults. The Edward C. Rochette Money Museum will be creating a traveling exhibit available to clubs and offering fun activities and coins for youth who visit the museum.

Each year during the third full week of April, collectors celebrate National Coin Week with exhibits, presentations and other activities promoting the fun of collecting and studying coins and other forms of money. To get involved in the 87th annual National Coin Week, call 719-482-9814, e-mail ncw@money.org, or visit www.money.org

Stunning Smithsonian Coins Exhibit in PCGS Video

The acclaimed, new traveling exhibition of the Smithsonian’s National Numismatic Collection, “Good as Gold – America’s Double Eagles,” now can be seen on a free, new video available online courtesy of Professional Coin Grading Service.

pcgs_jim_hughes_101909The 7 minute program is on PCGS’ home page at www.PCGS.com. By clicking the full screen option, viewers get can get an up close ‘n’ personal with some of America’s greatest numismatic gold rarities that were exhibited for the first time together outside of Washington, D.C. at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money convention in Los Angeles, August 5 – 9, 2009.

“This stunning exhibition will be displayed at the next three ANA spring and summer conventions. We created this video in cooperation with the Smithsonian and made it available on our web site so that everyone can enjoy seeing and learning about these amazing coins whenever it is convenient to do so,” said Don Willis, PCGS President.

Jim Hughes, Associate Curator of the National Numismatic Collection, gives viewers a “private tour” describing and showing on camera many of the 20 historic coins in the exhibit.
One part of the Smithsonian exhibit.

Highlights include an 1849 pattern Liberty Double Eagle, the first $20 denomination coin struck by the United States Mint during the early days of the California Gold Rush, and two of the Smithsonian’s three 1933 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles, representing the last year of production.

Hughes describes the 1849 pattern as “probably the highlight of highlights of the Smithsonian collection.”

The videos also shows examples from the exhibit of branch mint gold pieces as well as territorial and private gold coins, such as Clark, Gruber & Co. of Denver, Baldwin & Co. of San Francisco, and Mormon gold pieces struck in Salt Lake City. (more…)

ANA Offers “Fundamentals of Digital Photography” Seminar in New Hampshire, October 24–25

At this two-day seminar, you can learn the basics of numismatic photography, under the instruction of a distinguished museum curator.

digital_photographyThe American Numismatic Association’s Florence Schook School of Numismatics is coming to New Hampshire Oct. 24–25. “Fundamentals of Digital Photography” is offered in conjunction with the New Hampshire Coin and Currency Expo in Manchester.

This two-day seminar is instructed by Douglas Mudd, curator of the ANA’s Edward C. Rochette Money Museum. Learn the basics of numismatic photography, from shooting the image to preparing it for the Web, presentations or publication, using Adobe Photoshop. Students should be prepared to bring their own “macro-capable” cameras and several coins they would like to photograph. Although not required, students are also encouraged to bring their own laptops and software.

“Fundamentals of Digital Photography” will be held each day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuition is $294 for members of the ANA and the New England Numismatic Association (NENA), and $394 for non-members. ANA Basic Membership (www.money.org) is $28; NENA Membership (www.nenacoin.org) is $12.50.

To register, call 719-482-9850 or register online at www.money.org (select “School of Numismatics” from the “Numismatic Events” dropdown menu). Register early — the seminar is limited to 10 students.

The New Hampshire Coin and Currency Expo will be held Oct. 23–25 at the Radisson Hotel Manchester, 700 Elm Street, Manchester, N.H. For more details on the expo, visit www.nhcoinexpo.com
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More Features, 2,500+ Photos Added to PCGS CoinFacts®

New features and more than 2,500 additional high-quality coin photos have been added to the all-new PCGS CoinFacts® (www.PCGSCoinFacts.com) since the enhanced web site was launched on July 27. A division of Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), the site is the Internet’s most comprehensive, one-stop source for historical U.S. numismatic information.

pcgs_coinfacts_images “We’re adding about 250 superb-quality PCGS TrueView images of high-grade coins every week. We’re all very pleased about the response by the collecting and dealing community to the huge expansion of the site,” said Ron Guth, PCGS CoinFacts President.

“In addition to all the photos, we’re also adding new findings and narratives about particular coins written by members of the PCGS CoinFacts Board of Experts, including PCGS Co-Founder, David Hall. It‘s a way for disseminating the accumulated knowledge of veteran numismatists as well as quickly getting out information about new discoveries and new varieties.”

A multi-functional combination of numismatic encyclopedia, historical price guide and reference resources, PCGS CoinFacts is the most extensive repository on the Internet for information about nearly 30,000 United States coins.

Guth explained that the high-quality images help collectors and dealers immediately discern differences in coin varieties, such as large and small dates or lettering. (The accompanying close-up comparison illustration of four varieties of 1823-dated Capped Bust half dollars is an example of the educational convenience and photographic clarity available with PCGS CoinFacts.)
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