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Category: Press Releases

Odyssey Marine Exploration Comments on WikiLeaks Information

“Black Swan” and HMS Sussex projects named in Government Communications

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. (NasdaqCM: OMEX) a pioneer in the field of deep ocean exploration, was named in several U.S. State Department cables obtained by WikiLeaks and furnished to the media worldwide. Some of the released cables suggest that the State Department offered special assistance in the “Black Swan” case to Spanish officials in exchange for assistance in acquiring a French painting confiscated by the Nazis during World War II and now controlled by Spain.

The cables indicate that the U.S. Government also provided confidential documentation on Odyssey to Spain.

Other State Department cables contradict Spain’s claims and support Odyssey’s previously stated version of events relating to the company’s activities in Spain, including the HMS Sussex project and the boarding of Odyssey’s vessels.

“While we are obviously concerned about these implications regarding the ‘Black Swan’ case, we are attempting to obtain additional information before taking any specific actions. I have personally sent a letter to the Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton, requesting additional information and a review of the position taken by the U.S. in the ‘Black Swan’ legal case,” stated Greg Stemm, Odyssey CEO. “The possibility that someone in the U.S. Government came up with this perfidious offer to sacrifice Odyssey, its thousands of shareholders, and the many jobs created by the company in exchange for the return of one painting to one individual is hard to believe. The WikiLeaks cables clearly show that we have worked cooperatively and transparently with both Spain and the State Department for many years, in spite of claims to the contrary. That fact makes the revelations all the more disappointing. The cables also make us wonder what other agreements may have taken place between U.S. Government officials and Spain regarding the amicus brief filed in support of Spain’s position in the ‘Black Swan’ case.”

“We’ve wondered why the United States changed its long standing position on sovereign immunity, which prior to this case was consistent with U.S. law, international law and U.S. naval regulations that in order for a foreign country’s ships and cargo to be immune from the jurisdiction of the U.S. courts they must be engaged in military, non-commercial activities,” stated Melinda MacConnel, Odyssey Vice President and General Counsel. “These released cables do call into question the motivation behind the amicus brief filed by the Executive Branch supporting Spain in the ‘Black Swan’ case.”

Additional cables released support Odyssey’s statements that, contrary to allegations of certain Spanish officials, the company always cooperated with the Spanish Government and that permits from the Spanish government were granted for work on the HMS Sussex project. The cables also demonstrate the obstructionist activities carried out by certain Spanish officials who had personal reasons for trying to prevent Odyssey from working on the Sussex. These obstructions took place even though Odyssey has an exclusive contract for the archaeological excavation of this UK sovereign immune warship (which was on a strictly military mission when it sank in 1694 off the coast of Gibraltar). Odyssey filed an affidavit in 2007 with a chronology of Odyssey’s interactions with the Spanish Government since 1998. It can be accessed at http://shipwreck.net/pdf/ExhibitE.pdf. The document contains entries that are corroborated by information in the State Department cables, which directly contradict claims by some Spanish officials and the Spanish media. (more…)

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…)

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.

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.

Early U.S. coins, classic proofs headline Houston Auction

Early U.S. coinage and classic proofs, including one of the finest known 1895 Morgan dollars, are the twin strengths of the Heritage Auction Galleries December 2010 U.S. Coin Auction, to be held in conjunction with the Money Show of the Southwest in Houston, TX. Floor sessions are Dec. 2-3.

With Featured Collections such as The W. Philip Keller Collection of U.S. Colonials and The Eagle Harbor Collection, Part Two lined up, we knew this auction was going to be heavy on early U.S. coinage. The many great proof coins we’re going to offer were more of a surprise, though definitely a welcome one.

Perhaps the most surprising lot of them all is an 1895 Morgan dollar graded PR68 Ultra Cameo by NGC. This example from what is arguably the most famous Morgan dollar issue combines great condition with immense popular demand. It is estimated at $90,000+.

For many years, collectors believed that there were business strike 1895 Morgan dollars out there waiting to be discovered, and in the meantime, they collected proof examples to fill the gap. Today, there is growing acceptance that the business strikes may never be found, but this has hardly dampened enthusiasm for the proofs.

Just 880 proof Morgan dollars were struck in 1895 for inclusion in the year’s silver proof sets. Perhaps half that number survive today, but only a handful of those coins are in a condition approaching the PR68 Ultra Cameo level.


On the early coinage side, the most prestigious pedigree belongs to a 1793 Wreath cent with Vine and Bars edge, S-5, B-6, graded MS61 Brown by PCGS. It is estimated at $50,000+.

This coin has been well-recognized and important to collectors for more than a century. It was first highlighted in the auction catalog for the Dr. Charles Clay Collection, sold all the way back in 1871. After that, it passed through a series of famous hands, including W. Eliot Woodward, Lorin G. Parmelee, and Wayte Raymond. We expect another name with plenty of future appeal to add this prestigious and carefully preserved coin to his or her collection. (more…)

One of the finest 1895 Morgan dollars known headlines Heritage Houston U.S. Coin Auction

Early U.S. coins and classic proofs to provide holiday cheer to numismatists at the Money Show of the Southwest, Dec. 2-3

Early U.S. coinage and classic proofs, among them one of the finest known 1895 Morgan dollars, are the twin strengths of the Heritage Auction Galleries December 2010 U.S. Coin Auction, to be held in conjunction with the Money Show of the Southwest in Houston, TX. Floor sessions are Dec. 2-3.

“With Featured Collections such as The W. Philip Keller Collection of U.S. Colonials and The Eagle Harbor Collection, Part Two lined up, we knew this auction was going to be heavy on early U.S. coinage,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage. “The many great proof coins we’re going to offer were more of a surprise, though definitely a welcome one.”

Perhaps the most surprising lot of them all is an 1895 Morgan dollar graded PR68 Ultra Cameo by NGC. This example from what is arguably the most famous Morgan dollar issue combines great condition with immense popular demand. It is estimated at $90,000+.

“For many years, collectors believed that there were business strike 1895 Morgan dollars out there waiting to be discovered, and in the meantime, they collected proof examples to fill the gap,” said Rohan. “Today, there is growing acceptance that the business strikes may never be found, but this has hardly dampened enthusiasm for the proofs.”

Just 880 proof Morgan dollars were struck in 1895 for inclusion in the year’s silver proof sets. Perhaps half that number survive today, but only a handful of those coins are in a condition approaching the PR68 Ultra Cameo level.

On the early coinage side, the most prestigious pedigree belongs to a 1793 Wreath cent with Vine and Bars edge, S-5, B-6, graded MS61 Brown by PCGS. It is estimated at $50,000+.

“This coin has been well-recognized and important to collectors for more than a century,” said Rohan. “It was first highlighted in the auction catalog for the Dr. Charles Clay Collection, sold all the way back in 1871. After that, it passed through a series of famous hands, including W. Eliot Woodward, Lorin G. Parmelee, and Wayte Raymond. We expect another name with plenty of future appeal to add this prestigious and carefully preserved coin to his or her collection.”

In addition to proof silver, proof gold is also well-represented in this auction by an 1876 three dollar gold piece graded PR63 by PCGS, a proof-only issue with an official mintage of just 45 pieces, among the most elusive Philadelphia dates in the series. This Select example was certified early in the history of PCGS, and no mention is made on the holder of the coin’s obvious cameo contrast. It is estimated at $40,000+. (more…)

Mike Printz Joins Harlan J. Berk, Ltd.

Veteran professional numismatist, Michael D. Printz, has joined the staff of Harlan J. Berk, Ltd. in Chicago.

“When it came to our attention that Mike was no longer affiliated with Larry Whitlow, Ltd., we regarded it as an opportunity of great potential for increasing our dealings in higher-end U.S. rare coins because Mike is a market savvy, knowledgeable numismatist of great integrity. We certainly are pleased he has agreed to become part of Harlan J. Berk, Ltd. We’re confident our dealings in U.S. numismatics now will match what we are known for in the field of classical numismatics,” said Harlan J. Berk, President of the company.

A University of Illinois graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in finance, Printz worked for Larry Whitlow, Ltd. for 19 years until Whitlow sold a portion of his business earlier this year to concentrate on other areas.

“Having specialized in U.S. mint state and proof type, better date 20th century and classic commemoratives, I saw an exceptional opportunity to join Harlan J. Berk, Ltd. because their strong policy of fine customer service matched my own philosophy,” said Printz.

“I’m also pleased my imaging skills in U.S. numismatics will complement their already outstanding ancient coins photography department. This will be a win-win for customers and the entire Harlan J. Berk, Ltd. team.”

Berk’s retail store and gallery are located in downtown Chicago, one block from the famous Daley Civic Center and City Hall, and open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Central time.

For additional information, contact Harlan J. Berk, Ltd., 31 N. Clark St., Chicago, IL 60602. Online: www.HarlanJBerk.com. Phone: (312) 609-0016. Email: mdprintz@hjbltd.com.

US Mint to Begin Selling Mount Hood Quarters Next Week Followed by Ceremonies

WASHINGTON – Quarter-dollar coins honoring Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon will enter into circulation on November 15. At noon Eastern Time (ET) the same day, the United States Mint will begin accepting orders for collectible bags and two-roll sets containing the new coin. The bags are priced at $35.95 each, and the two-roll sets are priced at $32.95 each. The Mount Hood National Forest quarter is the fifth coin released in the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.

The bags and rolls contain circulating quality coins that were struck on the main production floors of the United States Mint facilities at Denver and Philadelphia. The two-roll set includes one roll each of 40 coins-one each bearing the “P” and “D” mint marks. The distinctive packaging displays the name of the national park or site, state abbreviation, mint of origin and “$10,” the face value of its contents. Each canvas bag contains 100 coins and bears a tag denoting the mint of origin, name of the national park or site, state abbreviation and “$25,” the face value of its contents.

Orders will be accepted at the United States Mint’s Web site, http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, or at the toll-free number, 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers may order at 1-888-321-MINT. A shipping and handling fee of $4.95 will be added to all domestic orders.

Mount Hood’s last major eruption was in 1790, 15 years before Lewis and Clark’s expedition to the Pacific Northwest. But on Wednesday, November 17, the public is invited to witness an eruption of a different kind, as thousands of new quarter-dollar coins struck in honor of Mount Hood National Forest are released during a ceremony in nearby Portland, Oregon. The ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. Pacific Time (PT) at the World Forestry Center located at 4033 SW Canyon Road in Portland.

The ceremony will include a coin exchange at which members of the public may swap their currency for $10 rolls of Mount Hood National Forest quarters at face value. Children 18 years old and younger will receive a free quarter to commemorate the event. Those unable to attend will be able to view a live broadcast of the ceremony at http://www.americathebeautifulquarters.gov.

The United States Mint will host a coin forum on the evening prior to the launch ceremony. It will be held Tuesday, November 16, from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. PT at Cheatham Hall, World Forestry Center. This public forum will give collectors and others an opportunity to meet with United States Mint Deputy Director Andy Brunhart and discuss the future of the Nation’s coinage.

The coin’s reverse (tails side) design depicts a view of Mount Hood with Lost Lake in the foreground. Inscriptions on the reverse are MOUNT HOOD, OREGON, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The reverse was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill. The coin’s obverse (heads side) design features the 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan, restored to bring out subtle details and the beauty of the original model. Inscriptions on the obverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and QUARTER DOLLAR.

Note: To ensure that all members of the public have fair and equal access to United States Mint products, orders placed prior to the official on-sale date and time of November 15, 2010, noon ET, shall not be deemed accepted by the United States Mint and will not be honored.

Bowers and Merena Selected for 2011-2013 ANA Pre-Show Auctions

Bowers and Merena Auctions has been selected by the American Numismatic Association as the official auctioneer for the ANA Pre-Show, which will immediately precede the World’s Fair of Money conventions. This three-year agreement includes the ANA Pre-Shows to be held in Chicago in 2011, Philadelphia in 2012 and Chicago in 2013.

“The ANA is very pleased with the selection of Bowers and Merena as the Official Auctioneer for the ANA Pre-Show Auctions,” said Larry Shepherd, ANA Executive Director. “We are working to ensure that our official ANA Pre-Shows are great events for everyone, and we are excited that Bowers and Merena’s top-tier auctions will be a significant part of these events.”

Bowers and Merena will hold live auctions of coins and paper money including:

• U.S. Coins, U.S. Colonial Coins, U.S. Tokens, U.S. Exonumia
• U.S. Paper Money, World Paper Money
• Ancient and World Coins

The Bowers and Merena Auctions will increase the availability of numismatic material at the World’s Fair of Money convention which starts immediately after the ANA Pre-Show ends.

“We are thrilled to continue our relationship with the ANA and honored to have been entrusted with the rights to host the Official ANA Pre-Show Auction for the next three years,” said Greg Roberts, CEO of Bowers and Merena Auctions. “The ANA World’s Fair of Money is one of the most important coin shows in the world and the ANA Pre-Show presents an amazing auction venue. We look forward to working with such a well-respected organization as the ANA.”

The ANA Pre-Show is scheduled the three days prior to each ANA World’s Fair of Money convention. The 2011 Chicago ANA Pre-Show will be held Aug. 13-15 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont. In 2012 the ANA Pre-Show will be held Aug. 4-6 in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The ANA Pre-Show returns to Chicago Aug. 10-12 in 2013.

Headquartered in Irvine, Calif., Bowers and Merena Auctions is a world leader in numismatic auctions. For more information, visit www.bowersandmerena.com or call 800-458-4646.

The American Numismatic Association is a congressionally chartered nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging people to study and collect money and related items. The ANA helps its members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of education and outreach programs, as well as its museum, library, publications, conventions and seminars. For more information, call 719-632-2646 or visit www.money.org.

New Lincoln Dollar Coins to be Available on November 18th

United States Mint to launch new coin at 16th President’s summer home

Presidential $1 Coins bearing the image of one of our Nation’s most admired leaders will enter into circulation on November 18.

In honor of the release of the new Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coin, the United States Mint invites the public to a launch ceremony on November 19, to be held at President Lincoln’s Cottage on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home in Washington, D.C. The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coin is the 16th release in the United States Mint Presidential $1 Coin Program. The coin’s obverse (heads side) design, by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart, features an image of Lincoln with the inscriptions ABRAHAM LINCOLN, IN GOD WE TRUST, 16TH PRESIDENT and 1861-1865. The coin’s reverse (tails side) design, also by Everhart, features a dramatic rendition of the Statue of Liberty, with the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and $1. The year of minting or issuance, 2010, E PLURIBUS UNUM and the mint mark are incused on the coin’s edge. To view and download high-resolution images of the circulating Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coin, go to http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=photo#Pres.

President Lincoln’s Cottage is the most significant site associated with Abraham Lincoln’s presidency after the White House. President Lincoln lived there for one quarter of his presidency and was living there when he drafted the Emancipation Proclamation and deliberated critical issues of the Civil War. Lincoln commuted three miles daily by horseback or coach to the White House, last visiting the Cottage the day before his assassination. The National Trust for Historic Preservation opened the Cottage to the public in 2008 after a seven-year restoration. Today, the Cottage offers intimate, guided tours providing an in-depth, media-enhanced experience, highlighting Lincoln’s ideas and actions through historical images and voices. For more information about the Cottage, go to http://www.lincolncottage.org.

Presidential $1 Coins that are produced for daily cash transactions last for decades, are 100 percent recyclable and can save the country hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

Like previously released Presidential $1 Coins, the Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coin will be shipped to banks and other financial institutions in rolls, unmixed with other $1 coins. Banks may order and store each Presidential $1 Coin up to three weeks prior to the introduction, so they will have supplies on hand on the release date. The coins will be available in unmixed rolls for two weeks after the introduction of each design. The special ordering process begins again when each new Presidential $1 Coin is released.

The ordering period for unmixed quantities of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coin will begin on October 28. To order boxes of wrapped rolls ($1,000 minimum order) of the Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coin, depository institutions may use FedLine Web® Access Solution. In addition, local Federal Reserve Bank offices can handle special requests for $2,000 bags of unmixed Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coins, $2,000 bags of mixed $1 coins, and orders for Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coins after the special order period ends on December 2, while supplies last.

Presidential $1 Coins are also educational and fun to collect, with four new designs issued each year. The Abraham Lincoln Presidential $1 Coin is featured in collectible products available for purchase via the United States Mint’s Web site at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).

Bowers and Merena Nov Baltimore Coin Auction Features over 3500 Lots

Bowers and Merena will conduct the official auction of the November 2010 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo. Scheduled for November 4-5 at the Baltimore Convention Center, the sale will present more than 3,500 lots of important United States coins and currency.

“We are thrilled to continue our long-standing and successful partnership with the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo,” said Greg Roberts, CEO of Bowers and Merena. “This year’s official auction of the November Expo ranks as one of Bowers and Merena’s most important Baltimore auctions of all time. With more than 3,500 lots, our catalog for U.S. coins and currency offers something for everyone, from collectors and dealers on a strict budget to advanced numismatists seeking the finest-known examples of some of the rarest and most famous coins ever struck in the United States Mint.”

Three consignments in particular stand out as defining the importance of the upcoming Baltimore auction. The Kupersmith Once-in-a-Lifetime Collection is a truly amazing offering, the likes of which is rarely seen in even the most prestigious sales, that has at its core six of the rarest gold coins struck in the Philadelphia in 1875. Nearly impossible to assemble such a collection in any grade, the consignor remained committed to quality and selected only the highest-graded examples that he could find, many of which are actually top-of-the-pop.

“Needless to say, it is difficult for us to single out one coin in this collection for each piece qualifies as a highlight, although special recognition must go to the 1875 Three-Dollar Gold Piece in NGC Proof-66 Ultra Cameo,” said Roberts. A pop 1/0 coin at both PCGS and NGC, this coin also ranks as the finest of perhaps just 10 original strikings of the proof-only 1875 Three-Dollar. Not to be overlooked and in addition to the 1875-dated gold set, the Kupersmith Collection will also be presenting a selection of rare proof and business strike Three-Dollar gold pieces, the proofs of which comprise the highest-ranked set on the NGC Registry.

The Malibu Collection offers the #2 collection of Standing Liberty Quarters with full-head designation on the PCGS Set Registry. “Nearly all of the Standing Liberty Quarters in the Malibu Collection are either top-of-the-pop or tied for finest certified, and plus-designated coins are figured prominently throughout the set. Of particular note are the low-mintage 1916 in PCGS MS-67 FH (Pop: 2/1), the conditionally challenging 1919-D in PCGS MS-66+ FH (Pop: 1/0) and the key-date 1927-S in PCGS MS-65+ FH (Pop: 1/2),” said Roberts. Other selections from the Malibu Collection include impressive runs of Seated Liberty Half Dollars and Silver Dollars that feature many key-date and/or conditionally rare pieces. (more…)

Cardinal Large Cent Collection To De Displayed Next Month At Whitman Coin Expo

The acclaimed Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation‘s large cents collection, the number one-ranked set of its kind in both the PGCS and NGC Set Registry listings, will be publicly displayed for the first time in the Baltimore-Washington area during the first two days of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo, November 4 and 5, 2010.

The exhibit, co-sponsored by Bowers and Merena Auctions (www.BowersAndMerena.com) and Collateral Finance Corporation (www.cfccoinloans.com), will be displayed at the Bowers and Merena booth, #1205, during the show.

“It is truly an amazing collection that includes some of the finest known examples of United States large cents struck from 1793 to 1857, said Greg Roberts, CEO of Bowers and Merena. “There are 77 large cents in the set, and many are the finest known for their respective date and type.”

This 1793 Chain Cent (S-2), graded PCGS MS65BN, is one of the highlights of the multi-million dollar Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation large cents collection that will be displayed August 10 – 13, 2010 by Bowers and Merena Auctions and Collateral Finance Corporation at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Boston.  (Photo by PCGS)

While supplies last, visitors to the exhibit can receive a free, 40-page illustrated booklet published by the foundation, “Portraits of Liberty,” that describes the history of U.S. large cents.

Highlights of the exhibit include:

  • 1793 Chain Cent (S-2) graded PCGS MS65BN that set a world’s record in 2005 as the most valuable U.S. cent at the time
  • 1793 Wreath Cent, PCGS MS69BN, the single highest-graded 18th century U.S. coin of any date of denomination
  • 1794 Liberty Cap “Head of 1793” Cent, PCGS MS64BN, described by Logies as “the single finest representative work of early Mint engraver, Joseph Wright”
  • 1803 Draped Bust Cent, PCGS MS66RB, acclaimed by the Early American Coppers society as tied for the finest known Draped Bust cent of any date or variety
  • the record-setting 1842 Braided Hair Cent from the Naftzger Collection, PCGS MS65RD, widely acknowledged as the finest existing “Petite Head” type
  • and another record-setting coin from the Naftzger Collection, an 1852 Braided Hair Cent, graded PCGS MS65RD, and acknowledged as the finest existing cent from its era.

“The Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation is a non-profit educational organization that focuses on the study and publication of information about early coinage of the United States of America. With the valued assistance of Bowers and Merena and Collateral Finance Corporation, this will be the first opportunity for collectors to see these superb-quality, early American cents in person in the Washington-Baltimore area,” said Martin Logies, a director of the Sunnyvale, California-based foundation.

One of America’s leading rare coin auction houses, Bowers and Merena of Irvine, California holds three of the top seven world-record auction prices for U.S. coins. For additional information call (949) 253-0916 or visit online at www.BowersandMerena.com.

Collateral Finance Corporation of Santa Monica, California offers precious metals financing to dealers and collectors on a wide array of bullion and numismatics. For additional information, call (310) 587-1410 or visit www.CFCcoinloans.com.

The Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo will be held in the Baltimore Convention Center, One Pratt Street, Baltimore. It will be open to the public on Thursday, November 4, from Noon to 6 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, November 5 and 6, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sunday, November 7, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Kolbe & Fanning’s 119th auction sale, closing on November 18, 2010.

Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers announce their 119th auction sale, closing on November 18, 2010. The 60-page, 588-lot catalogue comprises a diverse selection of interesting and elusive works on ancient, medieval and modern numismatics, and is particularly rich in rare and unusual works on American numismatics.

Featured in the sale among the many interesting lots of American interest are: the Currency Act of 1764, a rare British Parliamentary Act regulating American colonial paper money, the severe restriction of which provided in part the justification of the American Revolution; the Wayne Homren collection of some fifty early American newspapers with numismatic content, including a 1787 description of Fugio coppers, Birmingham coppers in 1752, a 1788 account of the Massachusetts Mint, George Washington’s 1792 comments on the establishment of the U.S. Mint, a contemporary account of 1794 dollars, early Mint Reports, a contemporary account of the 1851 Lewis Roper sale, and the 1857 loss of the S.S. Central America; nice examples of the first two coin publications of Q. David Bowers, issued in 1955 and 1956, and specially bound combined presentation editions of both the Garrett and Norweb collection sales; a special hardbound edition of Barney Bluestone’s famous Grinnell paper money sales; a 1914 letter from S.H. Chapman to William H. Woodin, discussing plated Gable sale catalogues; Evelyn’s 1697 Numismata, which includes the earliest illustration of the St. Patrick’s coinage; Sanborn Partridge’s rare 1979 article on Vermont coins, hand-annotated by the author; the famous 1878 Adolph Weyl sale of the Fonrobert collection of over 6,000 American and Canadian coins, tokens and medals; a nice first edition, first printing of the Red Book; a rare antebellum children’s guide book with currency tables, published in 1857 in Charleston by William Babcock; Confederate States of America publications on currency; a nautical almanac for the year 1803 signed by early American naval hero Thomas Truxtun that may well have accompanied Truxtun when he captured the French frigate L’Insurgente in 1799 and during the successful encounter in 1800 with La Vengeance, which resulted in President Jefferson presenting Truxtun with the first Congressional medal made in the United States; an interesting collection of American numismatic literature from the Civil War years; and two of the rarest limited editions of the Red Book: the 2008 ANS sesquicentennial and 2008 NLG Bash volumes, limited to editions of 250 and 135 copies respectively.

A few of the important works on ancient, medieval and modern numismatics include: a fine copy of John Evelyn’s 1697 Numismata, the first substantial work on English medals, once in the libraries of Rogers Ruding, Matthew Young and Edward Hawkins; a set of the Forni reprint of Babelon’s Traité des Monnaies Grecques et Romaines; a handsomely bound sales room copy of the iconic 1974 Zurich Kunstfreundes sale of superb ancient Greek coins, with buyers’ names and prices; a nice selection of Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum fascicules; the first 15 volumes, 1960-1989, of Numizmatika i Epigrafika; Medina’s classic 1924 Medallas Europeas Relativas à América; Cayón’s 1990-95 four-volume Compendio de las Monedas del Imperio Romano; the seldom-encountered Forni reprint of Imhoof-Blumer’s Die Antiken Münzen Nord-Griechenlands; and Éditions Spéciales of seven Victor Gadoury works on French coins.

A printed catalogue may be obtained by sending $10 to: KOLBE & FANNING NUMISMATIC BOOKSELLERS LLC, 141 W JOHNSTOWN ROAD, GAHANNA OH 43230-2700. The catalogue is also accessible free of charge on the Kolbe & Fanning website at www.numislit.com. (more…)

Sedwick Auction To Feature Shipwreck Treasure, Gold Cobs and World Coins

Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC announces the release of their Treasure and World Coin Auction #8, scheduled for October 21-23, 2010, comprising 2789 lots, by far their largest sale to date. For the first time Sedwick has incorporated “World Coins” into the title, as the auction features almost 1000 lots of general world coins.
As usual the auction will start with Gold Cobs, more than 50 of them this time (mostly from shipwrecks), including several of the finest known 1715-Fleet specimens: a full-date and exceptionally struck Mexican 8 escudos 1714 and 4 escudos 1715; a near-perfect Lima 2 escudos and probably the finest known Lima cob 1 escudo, both dated 1710 and encapsulated PCGS, the latter MS-64. Also there are no less than nine Fleet “bogeys” (Bogotá 2 escudos) in this sale.

The next section, World Gold Coins, contains over 300 lots, most of them Spanish Colonial “busts,” including: the finest known Mexican 1 escudo 1733/2, recovered by Marty Meylach from the 1733 Fleet and the inspiration for his book Diving to a Flash of Gold; a unique Santiago, Chile, 1 escudo, 1755/4, from the famous Eliasberg collection; and well over 100 Spanish colonial bust 8 escudos by date, most of them starting below melt value.

The Ingots section features a collection of large, natural gold nuggets, as well as several important 16th-century ingots (including “tumbaga”) and a unique silver “piña” ingot from the Atocha (1622).

“This is not just a treasure auction–it is also a world coin auction, our first big offering of gold and silver coins from countries all over the world.
Daniel Frank Sedwick

In Shipwreck Silver Coins bidders will find hundreds of Atocha (1622) silver coins, both rarities and wholesale lots, in addition to coins from dozens of shipwrecks around the world assembled by two different collectors.

The Silver Cobs sections for Mexico, Lima and Potosí contain no less than four Royals (round presentation specimens) in various denominations. The Lima listings are dominated by the collection of Robert Mastalir, including a nearly complete date-run of 1R that contains several unlisted overdates. Featured in Other Cobs is a Santo Domingo 4 reales of Charles-Joanna (one of very few ever offered at auction), as well as a large collection of dated cobs from mainland Spanish mints.

Following a short but varied Ancient Coins offering (the first for Sedwick), the expanded World Silver Coins section comprises over 600 lots, with particular emphasis on Colombia (featuring Part II of the Herman Blanton collection) and the British Isles (Great Britain, Ireland and Scotland). There is also a large collection of British Admiral Vernon medals.

“Our most important items are in shipwreck artifacts, however,” says Sedwick’s assistant Agustin “Augi” Garcia, whose new book The “Tumbaga” Saga about some conquest-period silver bars is being released at the same time. “Of particular significance is a unique Tarascan (Mexican) silver rodela (plate) from the “Tumbaga wreck” (ca. 1528), featured in my new book and the important link for figuring out what the silver ingots of that time were made of.”

The Shipwreck Artifacts section also features a large gold-and-emerald pendant and a gold religious medallion and chain from the 1715 Fleet, followed by many lots of small artifacts from the 1733 Fleet, the collection of Marty Meylach himself. Non-shipwreck Artifacts include a large selection of colonial-era weapons, mainly flintlocks and swords, as well as several natural history items like fossils and scrimshaw.

The auction is rounded out by Documents and Media (books and catalogs), ending with a special, full-color, hardbound, limited edition #1 of 50 copy of Augi’s much-anticipated book The “Tumbaga” Saga, which the author will personally inscribe to the winning bidder. (more…)

THE ZÜRICH COLLECTION TO ANCHOR BOWERS AND MERENA’S BALTIMORE AUCTION

Bowers and Merena will feature the important and extremely rare proof gold coins from the Zürich Collection in the Official auction of the November 2010 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo.

“We are extremely honored to include the Zürich Collection among the anchor consignments in our upcoming November Baltimore Auction,” stated Bowers and Merena CEO Greg Roberts. “Assembled by a collector who is a connoisseur of rare classic proof gold coinage, the Zürich Collection was assembled over a period of many years. Our consignor spent a lot of time and effort acquiring these coins, passing on many other pieces that did not meet his strict standards for technical quality and eye appeal. The result is a collection replete with stunning examples of both proof Liberty gold coinage and 20th century proof gold rarities, many coins of which are among the finest certified for their respective issues.”

Continued Roberts: “The core of the Zürich Collection is a selection of proof Liberty Double Eagles dated 1878 through the series’ end in 1907. The stand-out highlight in this group is the 1878 Double Eagle certified Proof-64 Cameo by NGC. With a surviving population of only nine specimens from a tiny mintage of just 20 coins, the 1878 is one of the rarest and most underrated issues in the entire proof Liberty Double Eagle series. The issue is particularly underrated relative to the proof Type I and Type II Double Eagles of the late 1860s and 1870s, many issues of which are equally as rare as the 1878 yet priced much higher in today’s market. The proof 1878 in the Zürich Collection, therefore, represents a particularly important bidding opportunity for the astute collector.”

Roberts concluded: “Additional Proof Liberty Double Eagle rarities in the Zürich Collection include two Gem-quality examples of the 1892—a date that is also an important rarity in business strike format—one of the two finest-certified 1897 Twenties in NGC Proof-66 Ultra Cameo and several Cameo-finish specimens from the early 20th century including a 1902 and 1906, both of which are the finest certified for their respective issues. The Zürich Collection is also well represented in other classic proof gold series, and we note the presence of an elusive 1876 Gold Dollar in PCGS Proof-64 Deep Cameo, the finest-certified proof 1884 Liberty Half Eagle in NGC Proof-66 Ultra Cameo, a sandblast proof 1913 Indian Half Eagle in NGC Proof-67 and a 1908 Motto Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle in NGC Proof-66 that was struck with the characteristic dark matte finish of the issue. Finally, the Zürich Collection also features a complete set of business strike Indian Quarter Eagles in MS-64, centered around the key-date 1911-D certified by NGC.”

Highlights of the Zürich Collection include:

• 1911-D Indian Quarter Eagle, MS-64 (NGC)
• 1876 Gold Dollar, Proof-64 Deep Cameo (PCGS), PCGS Population: 2/1
• 1884 Liberty Half Eagle, Proof-66 Ultra Cameo (NGC), Combined PCGS and NGC Population: 1/0
• 1913 Indian Half Eagle, Proof-67 (NGC)
• 1878 Liberty Double Eagle, Proof-64 Cameo (NGC), One of Just Nine Examples Confirmed Extant from a Mintage of 20 Coins
• 1892 Liberty Double Eagle, Proof-66 Ultra Cameo (NGC), Combined PCGS and NGC Population: 6/0
• 1892 Liberty Double Eagle, Proof-65 Cameo (NGC)
• 1897 Liberty Double Eagle, Proof-66 Ultra Cameo (NGC), Combined PCGS and NGC Population: 2/0
• 1902 Liberty Double Eagle, Proof-66 Cameo (NGC), Combined PCGS and NGC Population: 1/0
• 1906 Liberty Double Eagle, Proof-66 Cameo (NGC), Combined PCGS and NGC Population: 2/0
• 1907 Liberty Double Eagle, Proof-64 Cameo (NGC)
• MCMVII (1907) Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, High Relief, Wire Rim, Proof-64 (NGC)
• 1908 Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle, Motto, Proof-66 (NGC) (more…)

2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Designs Unveiled United States Mint

New commemorative coin marks 150th anniversary of the establishment of the Medal of Honor

United States Mint Deputy Director Andy Brunhart unveiled designs for the 2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Program today at the Congressional Medal of Honor Society’s annual convention in historic Charleston, S.C. The bureau is minting and issuing the commemorative coins in recognition and celebration of the establishment of the Medal of Honor in 1861, as authorized by Public Law 111-91, the Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Act of 2009. Options will include gold $5 coins and silver $1 coins in proof and uncirculated qualities.

The obverse (heads side) of the gold coin, by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna, depicts the original Medal of Honor, authorized by Congress in 1861, as the Navy’s highest personal decoration. Inscriptions on the obverse are LIBERTY, 1861, 2011, IN GOD WE TRUST and MEDAL OF HONOR. The coin’s reverse (tails side) was designed by Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) Master Designer Joel Iskowitz and sculpted by Sculptor-Engraver Michael Gaudioso. The design features Minerva, based on the common central image on both the original Navy and Army Medals of Honor. Minerva, standing with a shield representing the Army and Navy in her right hand and the Union flag in her left hand, is flanked by a field artillery cannon and wheel of the Civil War era. Inscriptions on the reverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, $5 and E PLURIBUS UNUM.

The obverse of the silver coin, by Sculptor-Engraver Jim Licaretz, depicts the three current Army, Navy and Air Force Medals of Honor, left to right. The ribbon with field of stars in the center is the common feature of all three medals, reflecting the joint nature of modern era warfare and that the Medal of Honor is the only U.S. military medal worn around the neck. Inscriptions on the obverse are LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST, MEDAL OF HONOR and 1861–2011. The coin’s reverse was designed by AIP Master Designer Richard Masters and sculpted by Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill. The design depicts a modern-day infantry soldier carrying a wounded soldier to safety under enemy fire, reflecting the courage and self-sacrifice of all Medal of Honor recipients. Inscriptions on the reverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, ONE DOLLAR and E PLURIBUS UNUM.

Mintages for the Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin Program are limited to 100,000 gold $5 coins and 500,000 silver $1 coins. Surcharges collected from coin sales—$35 for each gold coin and $10 for each silver coin—are authorized to be paid to the Congressional Medal of Honor Foundation to help finance its educational, scholarship and outreach programs.

The Medal of Honor is the highest award for valor in action against an enemy force that can be bestowed upon an individual serving in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is presented to a person who distinguishes himself or herself conspicuously by gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his or her life above and beyond the call of duty. The medals are presented by the President in the name of Congress.

“The men and women of the United States Mint are honored by the role we will play in connecting America to the values and qualities of courage, sacrifice and patriotism through the 2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative $5 Gold and Silver Dollar Coins,” said Deputy Director Brunhart.

Bullock 1856-O double eagle brings $345,000 to headline $13.4 Million Heritage Long Beach Auction

Gold remains in high demand as it reaches world record $1,300 an ounce high

The recently discovered Bullock specimen of the 1856-O double eagle, XF45+, NGC, was the unabashed star of the Sept. 23-26 Heritage Auctions September Long Beach, CA Signature® U.S. Coin Auction, as it soared to $345,000 amidst spirited bidding. The auction realized an impressive $13.4 million total, with almost 5,000 bidders vying for the 7,385 lots, translating into a 93% sell-through rate by value and 96% by total number of lots.

Overall the auction affirmed the continued strength of gold in an up-and-down global market – with spot gold prices reaching $1,300 and on Friday, Sept. 24 – with fully seven of the top 10 lots coming in the form of the precious metal.

“We were all quite impressed overall with how these coins performed,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions. “Collectors continue to respond enthusiastically to the best and rarest examples, as evidenced by the heated competition for the Bullock 1856-O double eagle. We don’t expect to see a drop-off in gold demand as the year comes to a close and we hold our last few auctions of 2010.”

The 1856-O $20 XF45+ NGC, Ex: Bullock, one of perhaps 20 or fewer commercially available examples, made front-page news in the July 26, 2010 Coin World, with a headline proclaiming “1856-O gold double eagle surfaces in Ohio.” The coin was part of a “small accumulation of gold coins held by a family in Ohio for nearly 100 years,” and is now further distinguished by its $345,000 and its spot at the top of the roster in the Long Beach Auction.

Always popular when they come to auction, Kellogg & Humbert S.S. Central America gold ingots continued to capture collector imaginations, and superb final prices realized, at Long Beach when an astounding 114.65 ounce (9 pounds) “Very Large Size” Kellogg & Humbert Gold Assayer’s Ingot, 114.65 Ounces , brought $253,000 from an advanced collector, while a 23.35 Ounce Kellogg & Humbert S.S. Central America Gold Ingot, considered “small to medium-sized,” captured great attention at a final price of $80,500.

Nineteenth century gold continued its dominance at the top of the auction, with the single finest 1891 Carson City $10 MS65 NGC bringing $74,750. The same final price was realized by a spectacular 1848 $2-1/2 CAL. MS61 NGC, a sublime quarter eagle gold coin made from some of the earliest gold mined during the California Gold Rush.

Further highlights include, but are not limited to:

1796 50C 16 Stars VF25 PCGS. O-102, High R.5.: Realized $69,000.

1895 $1 PR64 Deep Cameo PCGS: Realized $60,375.

1876 $3 PR64 Cameo NGC: Realized $54,625.

1886 $20 XF45 NGC: Realized $54,625.

1874-CC 10C Arrows AU50 PCGS. CAC: Realized $50,313.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.

Coin Grading in Paris, PCGS Grading Week a Big Success

Next Grading Week Event Will Be October 25 – 29, 2010

PCGS Authorized Dealers from across Europe eagerly attended another successful Grading Week conducted at the Paris, France offices of Professional Coin Grading Service, September 13 – 17, 2010.

Photo: Don Willis, Fabrice Walther, David Hall

PCGS Co-Founder and Collectors Universe President David Hall personally met with the attendees to talk about the current rare coin marketplace in Europe, the importance of third-party grading, and the next scheduled Paris Grading Week, October 25 – 29, 2010. “There is a thriving market for world coins in Europe and there are a lot of U.S. gold coins still in Europe. Paris is the center of the European coin market. There are dozens of dealers there and a ton of activity,”

“Certified grading is starting to be accepted in Europe. Many dealers and collectors are beginning to see the advantages of third-party certification and are quite enthusiastic about the new PCGS grading office in Paris. said Hall.

“There were many outstanding coins submitted, including an amazing collection of high-grade Greek coins and several hundred Brittany coins,” said Don Willis, President of PCGS, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).

Dealer Takis Syvridakis of Collector’s Shop International in Athens, Greece, who submitted a 1901 (Creta) 2 Drachmas that was graded PCGS MS64, said: “My client was more than pleased with such a grade and he promised to continue to send his collection to PCGS for grading.”

Syvridakis was also pleased to meet Collectors Universe President and PCGS Co-Founder David Hall in person in Paris.

“I was very impressed with his enthusiasm, his honesty, his knowledge and his visions on the coin market. He was very helpful with my collection, gave me great ideas for my business and many solutions to offer to my clients. I was very glad to meet him in person and felt quite privileged.”

Jonathan Fhal of Godots et Fils in Paris agreed: “We were very happy to get the opportunity to actually meet Monsieur David Hall. He had great advice and, indeed, guided us all along the process of selecting the coins which we should grade or not.”

Laurent Fabre of Monnaie d’Antan in Poses, France submitted over 200 Brittany coins from the prestigious collection of collector Alexis Bigot for an upcoming auction (www.catalogues.monnaisedantan.com/vso8) including an 1861 Napoléon III 5 Francs that was graded PCGS MS65. He described it as “certainly the most beautiful known today.”

PCGS Authorized Dealer Fabrice Walther of Numisaisne in Paris brought in for authentication and grading a large quantity of important rare coins he is offering in the upcoming Salon de Brogniart Paris show on October 16, 2010. PCGS will participate in that show.

“We’re now also eagerly looking forward to attending the big Coinex show in London, October 1 and 2, and the Warsaw Coinexpo in Poland, October 14 and 15, and, of course, hosting the next PCGS Paris Grading Week, October 25 to 29,” said Muriel Eymery, Manager of the Paris office and PCGS Director of International Business Development.
For a list of PCGS Authorized Dealers in the EU, visit www.PCGS.com/dealers and click on the map to locate your country.

To make an appointment for PCGS’ next grading sessions or to obtain more information, EU dealers can contact the Paris office at info@PCGSglobal.com or by calling Muriel Eymery at 33 (0) 1 40 20 09 94. Additional information on PCGS is available in English and other languages at www.PCGSglobal.com.

New Collector Coins from The Royal Canadian Mint

The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to demonstrate its skill and craftsmanship with a new selection of precious metal collector coins celebrating symbols of Canadian heritage ranging from prehistory to heraldry. These new collector products include a $300 platinum coin featuring the giant prehistoric ground sloth, a $300 gold New Brunswick Coat of Arms coin and extra-thick “Piedfort” pure gold and silver Maple Leaf coins.

“The Royal Canadian Mint values the role its collector coins play in showcasing Canada’s vast heritage through precious and unforgettable works of art and craftsmanship,” said Ian E. Bennett, President and CEO of the Royal Canadian Mint.

“Collectors from Canada and around the world will find that the Mint’s newest collector coins honour the tradition of celebrating Canada’s defining features through keepsakes of uncompromising quality”.

The following are descriptions of the products now available to collectors and gift givers worldwide.

2010 $10 1/5-OZ PURE GOLD AND 2010 $5 1-OZ PURE SILVER PIEDFORT COINS – MAPLE LEAF

The Royal Canadian Mint is proud to celebrate its expertise and artistry in the field of precious metal refining and manufacturing with a pair of pure gold and silver “Piedfort” coins whose exceptional thickness distinguishes them from ordinary coins and makes them spectacular gifts or collectibles for those with an eye for the exclusive.

Both the $10 1/5 oz. 99.999% pure gold coin -the Mint’s first gold Piedfort, and the 1 oz. 99.99% pure silver coin -only the second of these coins the Mint has produced in silver, feature the iconic maple leaf, long symbolic of the Mint’s leadership of the world bullion industry. Only 3,000 1/5 oz. coins of 99.999% pure gold and 9,000 silver one-ounce coins of 99.99% purity are being made available in this exciting release.

The entire mintage of 99.999% pure gold coins Piedfort coin is offered as part of a set including the 99.99% pure silver Piedfort coin, retailing at $679.95 CAD. Another 6,000 individual silver Piedfort coins are being offered at $79.95 CAD each.

2010 $300 PLATINUM COIN — GROUND SLOTH

The fourth issue in the Mint’s exclusive Prehistoric Animals Collection of 9995 fine platinum coins features the gigantic Jefferson’s Ground Sloth, so called after the third President of the United States of America donated, in 1797, the first fossil specimens found in North America to Philadelphia’s American Philosophical Society. The tradition of showcasing the fascinating animals which roamed ancient Canada continues on this precious Mint coin containing a full ounce of pure platinum. Like the rare bones of the creature it immortalizes, this platinum coin has been made in very low quantities, with a worldwide mintage of only 200 examples. Designed by Alberta artist Kerri Burnett, this coin retails for $2,999.95 CAD.

(more…)

Unique Bronze 1943-D Lincoln Cent Sold for $1.7 Million by Legend

A one-of-a-kind Lincoln penny, mistakenly struck in 1943 at the Denver Mint in bronze rather than the zinc-coated steel used that year to conserve copper for World War II, has been sold by Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey for $1.7 million to an unnamed Southwestern business executive.  The coin’s anonymous former owner made arrangements for the entire sale proceeds to go to a charitable organization.

The only known 1943-dated Lincoln cent mistakenly struck at the Denver Mint on a bronze planchet has been sold for a record $1.7 million by Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey. The unique coin, not publicly known to exist until 1979, is graded PCGS MS64BN.

The new owner is a Southwestern United States business executive who wants to remain anonymous, but who plans to exhibit this coin and others in January at the Florida United Numismatists convention.

He also purchased in the same transaction through Legend a 1944 Philadelphia Mint cent struck on a zinc planchet, graded PCGS MS64, for $250,000, and an experimental 1942 Philadelphia cent mostly composed of tin for $50,000. The unnamed new owner plans to exhibit these coins and others at the Florida United Numismatists convention in January.

(Photo credit: Legend Numismatics.)

“The 1943-D bronze cent is the most valuable cent in the world, and it took four years of aggressive negotiations with the coin’s owner until he agreed to sell it.”

“The new owner is proudly now the only collector to ever own the all-time finest and complete sets of Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco 1943 bronze cents and 1944 steel cents,” said Laura Sperber, President of Legend Numismatics.

“The new owner is a prominent Southwestern business executive who’s been collecting since he was a teenager, searching through pocket change looking for rare coins. As a youngster he thought he’d actually found a 1943 copper cent in circulation but it was not authentic. He still has that in his desk drawer, but now he’s the only person to ever assemble a complete set of genuine 1943 bronze cents, one each from the Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco Mints. He will display that set at FUN along with his 1944 Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco zinc cents,” said Sperber.

The anonymous collector who formerly owned the coin “donated it to a charitable organization so they could sell it with all of the proceeds going to the charity,” according to Andy Skrabalak of Angel Dee’s Coins and Collectibles in Woodbridge, Virginia who acted as agent on behalf of the former owner.

“As a specialist in small cents, this transaction is the ultimate accomplishment for me and I’m privileged to be part of it. I don’t think it will ever be duplicated in my lifetime,” said Skrabalak.

Zinc-coated steel was used for producing cents in 1943 to conserve copper for other uses during World War II, but a small number of coins were mistakenly struck on bronze planchets left over from 1942.

“We estimate that less than 20 Lincoln cents were erroneously struck in bronze at the Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints in 1943, but this is the only known example from the Denver Mint,” explained Don Willis, President of Professional Coin Grading Service.

Sperber said the collector’s historic, mis-made World War II era cents will be displayed during the first three days of the FUN convention in Tampa, Florida, January 6 – 8, 2011. (more…)

Ponterio & Associates to Auction the Wa She Wong Collection of Chinese and other Asian Coins

Ponterio & Associates, a division of Bowers and Merena Auctions, is pleased to present the Wa She Wong Collection of Chinese and Asian coins as well as other fine properties in its December Hong Kong Auction held Dec. 3-4, 2010 at the Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel and Towers. The Wa She Wong collection represents one of the most important offerings of Chinese and Asian coins to ever be held.

“The Wa She Wong Collection contains rarities that are an honor to view, let alone bid upon,” said Rick Ponterio, executive vice president of Bowers and Merena. “We are extremely proud to have been entrusted with its sale as it is one of the most memorable collections I have had the pleasure of preparing for auction. Bidders from around the world have begun to make reservations to attend the highly anticipated Hong Kong Auction in December for a chance to bid on the lots firsthand.”

The Wa She Wong collection is a masterfully gathered assortment of rare coins of China, including many rarities which are coveted by the most important collectors of Chinese numismatics as well as many scarce pattern coins, which are coins of proposed designs and strikes of that were never released into the general circulation. An extremely unique coin in the collection is the Szechuan 30 Cash Struck in Copper, 1904, HSU-289, CCC-Unlisted. Considered one of the 100 greatest Chinese coins, there was believed to have been only three known in existence until the fourth was unearthed in the Wa She Wong Collection after being hidden away for 30 years.

“It is not frequent that a rarity, like the ‘Flying Dragon’ Szechuan 30 Cash Struck in Copper, is unearthed such as the case with the Wa She Wong Collection,” Sun Hao, Chinese coinage expert and author. “This specific example features a profile or ‘Flying Dragon’, while the others depict a frontal view or ‘Facing Dragon’. The opportunity to bid on this coin is a chance of a lifetime.”

The fine Wa She Wong collection features coinage that has rarely appeared on public markets and others that are missing from most major collections. Some other highlights of the auction include:

· Kwangtung Specimen set, 1890 (5 coins). K-21/25. ($1, 50¢, 20¢, 10¢, 5¢)
· Shensi Specimen Set, 1898 (4 coins). K-53,54,56,&57 (50¢, 20¢, 10¢, 5¢)
· Kiangnan. Pattern dollar, 1897. Plain edge Proof. K-66.
· Kwangtung Specimen set, 1890 (5 coins). K-16/20. ($1, 50¢, 20¢, 10¢, 5¢)
· Pattern dollar, 1911. L&M-29. (Ex: Kann Collection)

The auction is further bolstered by Asian coins and bank notes from other consignors and is highlighted by an 1868 Hong Kong Five Piece Silver Proof Set. (more…)

Grand Canyon National Park Quarter Coin Rolls and Bags Available Starting Today

The United States Mint will offer collectible bags and two-roll sets containing Grand Canyon National Park quarters beginning at noon Eastern Time (ET) on September 20. The two-roll sets are priced at $32.95 each and the 100-coin bags are priced at $35.95 each. The Grand Canyon National Park quarter is the fourth coin released through the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters® Program.

Collectors may place their orders at the United States Mint’s secure Web site, http://www.usmint.gov/catalog, or at the toll-free number, 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers may order at 1-888-321-MINT. A shipping and handling fee of $4.95 will be added to all domestic orders.

The bags and rolls contain coins that were struck on the main production floors of the United States Mint facilities at Denver and Philadelphia for use in general circulation. The two-roll set includes one roll each of 40 coins-one each bearing the “P” and “D” mint marks-wrapped in distinctive packaging displaying the name of the national park or site, state abbreviation, mint of origin, and “$10”, the face value of its contents. A tag is attached to each 100-coin bag denoting the mint of origin, name of the national park or site, and the state abbreviation.

The coin’s reverse (tails side) design, by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill, features a view of the granaries above the Nankoweap Delta in Marble Canyon near the Colorado River. (Marble Canyon is the northernmost section of the Grand Canyon.) Inscriptions on the reverse are GRAND CANYON, ARIZONA, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The design featured on the coin’s obverse (heads side) is the 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan, restored to bring out subtle details and the beauty of the original model. Inscriptions on the obverse are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, LIBERTY, IN GOD WE TRUST and QUARTER DOLLAR.

The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation’s sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage. Its primary mission is to produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.

Stack’s Pens Three Year Deal with the ANA to be Official Coin Show Auctioneer

Stack’s will be the official auctioneer for the 2011, 2012 and 2013 American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd has announced.

“I’m very pleased to have received multiple strong bids for these prestigious auctions,” Shepherd said. “This reflects a renewed confidence auction companies have that the ANA can host high-quality auctions with exceptional potential.”

Shepherd was also pleased that Stack’s bid included a commitment to support the Association’s educational programs and seminars at the World’s Fair of Money and in New York City, where Stack’s is headquartered. “In a very competitive bidding process, Stack’s commitment to ANA educational programs was an important consideration,” Shepherd said.

“We believe strongly in the educational mission of the ANA,” said Stack’s President Christine Karstedt. “This is a great opportunity for Stack’s to deliver first-rate auctions in association with the hobby’s premier membership organization. We look forward to holding extraordinary auctions in Chicago and Philadelphia.”

Live auctions will be held during the 2011 Chicago World’s Fair of Money, Aug. 16-20; the 2012 Philadelphia show, Aug. 7-11; and the 2013 Chicago show, Aug. 13-17.

Stack’s, founded in 1935 by Joseph B. and Morton Stack, is holding its 75th Anniversary Auction in Baltimore this November. No other numismatic auction company has ever had such an anniversary. For more information, visit www.stacks.com.

ESM Collection of Early Proof Copper Coins To Be Displayed at Long Beach Coin Show by PCGS

Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com) will provide on-site authentication and grading services and showcase the first West Coast public display of the acclaimed, award-winning ESM Collection of early proof copper coins during the Long Beach Coin, Stamp & Collectibles Expo, September 23 – 25, 2010.

PCGS will accept Show Service submissions starting with dealer set-up on Wednesday, September 22 through 5 p.m. Friday, September 24. All other submission levels, excluding bulk, will be accepted through mid-afternoon on Saturday, September 25.

In addition to viewing the coins from the ESM Collection, visitors to the PCGS booth (#807) can Meet the Expert with PCGS Co-Founder David Hall, and have their coins personally examined by him from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday and Friday.

Assembled by Illinois collector Pete Miller, the ESM Collection ranks among the all-time finest of its kind in several PCGS Set RegistrySM categories with some of the finest known proof Half Cents, Large Cents, Indian Head Cents and matte proof Lincoln Cents. The weighted Grade Point Average for the collection is an astounding 65.974.

“This amazing treasure of early proof copper certainly was one of the highlights of the recent ANA World’s Fair of Money in Boston when it was displayed at the PCGS booth. Now West Coast collectors and dealers will have an opportunity to see these coins in person in Long Beach,” said Don Willis, PCGS President.

An informative, illustrated brochure about the ESM Collection will be available free at the PCGS booth while supplies last.

The following show specials will be available in Long Beach to PCGS Authorized Dealers and members of the PCGS Collectors Club:

* Walkthrough: one-day turnaround for $100 ($125 for Secure Plus) on any coin with a maximum value of $100,000
* Show Economy: $65 per coin for U.S. and world coins valued up to $3,000 each with a minimum submission of five coins
* Show Gold: $45 per coin ($55 for Secure Plus) for any U.S. gold coin valued up to $3,000 each with a minimum submission of ten coins.

Customer Service representatives will be at the PCGS booth to answer questions and accept submissions. Visitors will also have the opportunity to see demonstrations of the convenient PCGS Photograde™ Online applications for the Apple iPhone™ and Apple iPad™.

“Aside from our PCGS Members Only Show at The Venetian in Las Vegas, September 9 – 11, this will be the only opportunity in September for collectors and dealers to take advantage of PCGS on-site grading services at a national show. We will not be attending the Whitman Philadelphia show scheduled for the week after Long Beach,” said Willis. (more…)

Arthur Blumenthal appointed Senior Numismatist at Heritage Auctions, New York

Heritage Auctions has announced that Arthur Blumenthal has been appointed Senior Numismatist by the company, working out of Heritage’s recently opened New York offices at 445 Park Avenue (at 57th Street).

“Arthur brings a tremendous amount of experience to his position with Heritage,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage. “His expertise encompasses the numismatic, currency and gold markets as well as the New York market, easily one of the most important in the entire business.”

Blumenthal, a New York native, graduated from C.W. Post College with a B.A. in History Education, teaching school for a few years before going to work in the coin department at Gimbels in New York.

Arthur then made his way to Galerie des Monnaies of Geneva, also in New York, where he spent more than a decade as head trader. From there he spent almost 15 years with Stacks, where he focused his talents on all aspects of the coin business, from buying important collections, consigning great collections for auction and helping to develop the currently high powered bullion market.

“I’m thrilled to be part of Heritage’s expansion into New York,” said Blumenthal. “This is an important move for Heritage and I look forward to establishing the company’s presence in the financial center of the world. As the planet’s biggest numismatic dealer, this is the exactly where we need to be.”

Blumenthal has been interviewed by CNN, USA TODAY, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and the New York Observer, among many publications, and has been a frequent guest on the FOX Business Channel with Stuart Varney, where he has established himself as an authoritative voice on the role of gold, U.S. numismatics and currency in world financial markets.

Heritage Auctions, headed by Steve Ivy, Jim Halperin and Greg Rohan, is the world’s third largest auction house, with annual sales more than $600 million, and 500,000+ registered online bidder members. For more information about Heritage Auctions, and to join and gain access to a complete record of prices realized, along with full-color, enlargeable photos of each lot, please visit HA.com.

The Royal Mint’s Three Gold Coin Set to Commemorate the London 2012 Olympics

Faster Three-Coin Set to Commemorate the London 2012 Olympics

The Royal Mint launches its limited edition Gold Series – an exclusive three themed set created in fine 22 carat gold only. Inspired by the Olympic motto Faster, Higher, Stronger, the ‘Faster’ Series is the first set to go on sale in celebration of the 30th Olympiad in London 2012.

Including the rare £100 coin – the highest denomination for a coin available – the prestigious Gold Series is the ideal high-end memento of the first UK Olympics for over sixty years. With only 4,000 of these sets available to buy globally, this unique set is accompanied by an individually numbered Royal Mint certificate denoting the limited mintage of these coins and ensuring their high value investment in years to come.

The Faster Series coin set is presented in a luxurious hardwood walnut case with the Olympic Rings inscribed in gold foiling on the lid. The second and third three-coin sets of this singular collection, representing Altius (Higher) and Fortius (Stronger) will be available to purchase later in the countdown to London 2012.

Inspired by the classical heritage of the Olympic Games and combined with modern sporting achievement, each of the three coins in the distinctive Faster collection feature a different Roman God reflecting the first strand of the Olympic motto ‘Citius’ or ‘Faster’: Neptune, the God of the Sea, (1oz) watches over the sport of sailing; Diana, the Goddess of Hunting, (1/4oz) overlooks modern cyclists and Mercury, the God of Speed, (1/4oz) is depicted alongside track athletes.

The obverse of the coin has been designed by Ian Rank-Broadley FRBS with the Olympic reverse designed by sculptor John Bergdahl, who looked at both the classical and contemporary interpretations of the Olympic Games. Bergdahl explained: “The Olympic ideals span more than two and a half thousand years of history so I took inspiration from combining the classical ideology of the ancient Gods with images of modern athletes in modern attire and equipped with modern technology. And who knows, maybe those same Gods will still be smiling down on us in London 2012.”

Dave Knight, Director of Commemorative Coins, commented: “The Gold Series is incredibly exciting for us; it is the only collection in our London 2010 coin programme to feature the iconic Olympic rings and is the first ever £100 UK coin not featuring Britannia. As the name suggests, the collection is exclusively in gold and will not be available in any other metal. All these factors come together to make the Series highly prestigious and highly desirable. With the Faster set being the first launch from The Gold Series, I have no doubt that global demand will be incredibly strong and sell out quickly.” (more…)

Heritage Auctions New York City Gallery opens Sept. 1

445 Park Avenue (at 57th Street) location features eye-opening “Heritage Window on Park Avenue” of upcoming auction treasures

NEW YORK – The eagerly-awaited new Manhattan gallery and offices of Heritage Auction Galleries will open at 445 Park Avenue (at 57th Street) on Wednesday, September 1, 2010.

The expansion of Heritage, the world’s third largest auction house, into the New York City market comes at a time when many major auction firms are contracting. The Dallas-based firm also opened a Beverly Hills, California gallery and salesroom earlier this year.

“The New York City area is home to many of the top collectors and collections, and the center of the art and antique market,” said Greg Rohan, President of Heritage. “It’s a perfect fit with our increasingly expanding services, and the best possible place for us to serve the art and high-end collectible needs of our clients. I can think of nowhere else we’d rather be opening a new gallery right now than right in the heart of Manhattan’s auction district.”

“Heritage is distinguished by its superb sales catalogs, unequalled online resources for buyers and sellers and transparency in how we do business. We have a non-stop auction rotation that features the very best across 30 categories including rare coins, collectibles, fine art, jewelry, comics, movie posters, rare wine, sports memorabilia and much more,” explained Rohan.

The first auction to take place under the auspices of Heritage Auctions New York City will be the company’s Oct. 16 Signature® Illustration Art Auction at the Fletcher-Sinclair Mansion (The Ukrainian Institute), 2 East 79th Street. It will feature some of the very best illustration pieces Heritage has ever offered, including works by Maxfield Parrish, Norman Rockwell, Gil Elvgren, J.C. Leyendecker and one of the most iconic pieces of illustration art pieces to come on the market anywhere in years, Garth Williams’ original graphite and ink on paper drawing for the cover of E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web, 1952.

One of the most talked about features of Heritage’s new Manhattan venue will be the Heritage Window on Park Avenue, which will feature a continually rotating selection from upcoming Heritage auctions, across all of the firm’s categories.

Highlights from the inaugural Heritage Window on Park Avenue will include, but are not limited to: Thomas Moran’s oil on canvas Venice, Grand Canal, 1903; Howard Terpning’s A Winter Trail, 1975; Birger Sandzen’s Rock Mountain Landscape, circa 1920; a very rare copy of a 1939 Detective Comics #27, CGC 7.0, the first appearance of “The Batman,” and Garth Williams’ aforementioned Charlotte’s Web original cover art.

“We expect the Window to become a regular attraction for both collectors and everyday New Yorkers alike,” said Rohan.

The offices on Park Avenue at 57th will be open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.