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Category: Press Releases

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…)

World Gold Demand Jumps 36% with ETF Investment Demand Rising 414% to 291.3 Tonnes

Gold demand reached 1,050.3 metric tons in the second quarter, 36% higher than the same quarter in 2009, mostly thanks to soaring investment demand

According to the WGC’s Gold Demand Trends report for Q2 2010, published today, demand for gold for the rest of 2010 will be underpinned by the following market forces:

* India and China will continue to provide the main thrust of overall growth in demand, particularly for gold jewellery, for the remainder of 2010.

* Retail investment will continue to be a substantial source of gold demand in Europe.

* Over the longer-term, demand for gold in China is expected to grow considerably. A report recently published by The People’s Bank of China and five other organizations to foster the development of the domestic gold market will add impetus to the growth in gold ownership among Chinese consumers.

* Electronics demand is likely to return to higher historic levels after the sector exhibited further signs of recovery, especially in the US and Japan.

Investors are making the switch from buying gold only in times of crisis to having gold as part of a diversified portfolio, said Jason Toussaint, a managing director for the World Gold Council.

“Gold is the ultimate diversifier,” he said. “Correlation to U.S. equities is zero” in addition to its proven ability to not only hold value in times of crisis but increase.

Marcus Grubb, Managing Director, Investment at the WGC commented:

“Economic uncertainties and the ongoing search for less volatile and more diversified assets such as gold will underpin investment demand for gold in the immediate future. Further, in light of lingering concerns over public debt levels and the euro, European retail investor demand has increased significantly.

Over the past quarter, demand for gold jewellery in key Asian markets has been challenged by rising local prices. Nevertheless, we are seeing a deceleration in the pace of decline in demand, providing a strong outlook for ongoing recovery in this crucial market segment.”

DEMAND STATISTICS FOR Q2 2010

* Total gold demand1 in Q2 2010 rose by 36% to 1,050 tonnes, largely reflecting strong gold investment demand compared to the second quarter of 2009. In US$ value terms, demand increased 77% to $40.4 billion. (more…)

Chinese Gold Leads World & Ancient Coins section of Heritage Boston Sale

Trio of ‘Lucky Number 8’ Lunar Kilo 10,000 Yuan gold pieces top $480,000 combined prices realized in Heritage event

International coin rarities continued to assert their growing numismatic strength during the Aug. 11-16 Heritage Auctions Boston ANA World’s Fair of Money trio of auctions, realizing more than $8.6 million in Heritage Signature® World Coin Auction, part of the overall $46+ million total of the combined auction events.

More than 2,860 collectors were on hand – whether on the auction floor or online via Heritage LIVE!™ – to bid on the more than 3200 offerings assembled for the auction, which translated into a sell-through rate of more than 94% by value.

“This auction offered one of the strongest groupings of any World Coins event we’ve held yet,” said Warren Tucker, Vice President of Heritage World Coin Auctions, “and international collectors, I think, recognized that. As a result we saw excellent prices across the board, especially where British rarities were concerned; the Highlands Park Collection brought more than 30%-40% than our pre-auction estimates.”

The trio of Chinese 10,000 Yuan Lunar Kilo coins that took the top three spots in the auction showed that Chinese collectors are asserting their willingness to claim their nation’s numismatic treasures. It was an extremely rare Lucky Number 8 Year of the Dog 2006 Lunar Kilo 10,000 Yuan, Gem Ultra Cameo Proof, that led the pack with a final price realized of $162,627. That coin was very closely tailed by a Lucky Number 8 Year of the Horse Lunar Kilo 10,000 Yuan 2002, Gem Ultra Cameo Proof and a Lucky Number 8 Year of the Rooster Lunar Kilo 10,000 Yuan 2005, both of which brought $161,000. All prices include 15% Buyer’s Premium.

“The number 8 is widely regarded as a universally lucky number in Chinese culture,” said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Vice President of International Numismatics at Heritage, “and it proved very fortunate for Heritage in this auction, as well. We’re currently in a 20 Year cycle of the number 8, which began in the lunar year of 2004 and runs through 2024. All 15 of the Chinese Kilo Lunar issues are rare, but there is only one number 8 for each issue, hence the heated competition to acquire these beauties.”

Chinese rarities were not the only coins bringing seriously high bids, as the rest of the auction’s Top 10 lots show, with the top seven lots all breaking the $100,000 threshold. As closely bunched as the prices of the top three lots were, they were again followed closely on the heels by a previously unknown 1928 George V Specimen Sixpence, KM16.1 for type but an unlisted date, SP63 NGC, Reeded Edge, struck in .925 (sterling) silver, which saw spirited bidding between several collectors before finishing at $155,250.

Russian rarities proved popular in the Heritage Boston ANA World Coin auction, led by a spectacular Nicholas II Proof gold 25 Roubles (2 1/2 Imperials) 1896, Bit 312 (R2), Fr-171, Proof 61 NGC, which brought $149,500. This coin was thought to be a special commemorative issue for the Coronation of Nicholas II and was issued in a tiny mintage of 301 pieces, of which very few examples are known to survive.

The Edward Roehrs Collection of U.S. Regulated Gold proved to be one of the most exciting highlights of the auction, one of the most hotly contested groupings, as collectors seriously went after the important offerings in it, including an historically important Myer Myers regulated Half Joe marked by New York’s most famous Jewish goldsmith, perhaps unique, Brazil. Jose I 6400 Reis 1771-R, Rio mint, KM172.2. EF-45, which brought $92,000, while a Chilean Carlos III 8 Escudos 1775 DA. Santiago mint. EB in oval for Ephraim Brasher, KM27, VF, coin of great historicity and collectible appeal – a genuine Brasher doubloon – realized $80,500. (more…)

Money on Paper Exhibit at Firestone Library, Princeton University Opens August 30th

Bank Notes and Related Graphic Arts from the Collections of Vsevolod Onyshkevych and Princeton University – August 30, 2010, to January 2, 2011

Paper money as a form of art might seem the makings of a rather small exhibition, to judge from the modern bills of the United States and Europe. Bank notes, however, have constituted one of the dominant forms of visual communication for the past two centuries, and in many cases can be seen as works of art in their own right. Princeton University’s Numismatic Collection is featuring currency worth looking at in the exhibition “Money on Paper” on view in the August 30, 2010, through January 2, 2011.

New Jersey, 1 shilling, December 31, 1763.
Printed by James Parker, Woodbridge.

Because British colonial policies resulted in a dearth of circulating coins, the American colonies were the home of the earliest regular issues of paper money. Illustration was applied to colonial currency as an anti-counterfeiting device as well as for aesthetic purposes. Not surprisingly, the most inventive printer of paper money of the time was Benjamin Franklin, who devised a system of transferring the vein patterns of tree leaves to printing plates to foil counterfeiters. The Princeton exhibition includes a large selection of Franklin’s nature-print notes, as well as issues of Paul Revere and the South Carolina engraver Thomas Coram, who brought classical imagery to that colony’s bank notes.

One of the highlights of the exhibit will be the first public display of the recently discovered banknote engraving of a grouse by John James Audubon, the great wildlife illustrator’s first published work. On display with a sample sheet containing the vignette will be an original watercolor by Audubon, a steel printing plate from The Birds of America, and the Princeton first edition of the elephant folio book open to the page with Audubon’s drawing of the pinnated grouse.

Asher B. Durand, one of America’s greatest painters, was also a major figure in the development of bank note art in this country. Along with his brother Cyrus, who invented a highly decorative series of anti-counterfeiting devices, he developed a classical, patriotic approach to bank note design that dominated the medium for the first half of the nineteenth century.


Montgomery $1,000
Confederate States of America, $1,000, Montgomery, May 22, 1861.
Portraits of John C. Calhoun and Andrew Jackson
.

A section of the Princeton exhibit will explore the divergence of imagery on the bank notes of northern and southern issuers before and during the Civil War. Collectors of paper money will be especially interested by the complete set, in Extremely Fine condition, of six notes printed by the National Bank Note Company in New York and smuggled into the Confederacy in 1861 for distribution as notes of Montgomery, Alabama, and Richmond, Virginia. The American section of the exhibition ends with the high point of American bank note art, the Educational Series of 1896, designed and engraved by some of the most important illustrators of the day. (more…)

Perth Mint Unveils the Gold and Silver Bullion Coins to be offered in 2011

Recognized throughout the world for their superior quality, superb artistry and Government guarantee of weight and purity, the Perth Mint has unveiled it’s 2011 Australian Bullion Coin Program. These pure gold and silver coins are actives sought after by both investors and collectors.

The comprehensive line-up for 2011 includes two designs for gold bullion coins ranging from 1/20oz up to 10 kilos and three designs for Silver bullion coins from 1/2oz up to 10 kilos.

Struck by The Perth Mint from 99.99% pure gold, each coin is issued as legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965, the undisputed guarantee of its weight and purity. Portraying creative new reverse artistry, every 2011 gold bullion coin also features The Perth Mint’s historic ‘P’ mintmark, a traditional symbol of quality trusted by investors worldwide. Uniquely, many of these releases are restricted by mintage, a feature that creates an exciting potential for even greater investment return in the form of a numismatic premium.

AUSTRALIAN KANGAROO GOLD BULLION COINS : 1 kilo, 1oz, 1/2oz, 1/4oz, 1/10oz
A kangaroo is the most instantly recognisable wildlife symbol of Australia. In 2011, The Perth Mint is releasing four small gold bullion coins portraying two kangaroos ‘boxing’ in the outback. In addition, a large 1 kilo Australian Kangaroo coin is available with a classic kangaroo design by Dr Stuart Devlin, AO CMG goldsmith and jeweller to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II.

No more than 350,000 1oz coins, 100,000 1/2oz coins, 150,000 1/4oz coins and 200,000 1/10oz coins will be produced in 2011.

AUSTRALIAN LUNAR GOLD BULLION COINS : 10 kilo, 1 kilo, 10oz, 2oz, 1oz, 1/2oz, 1/4oz, 1/10oz, 1/20oz
The Australian Lunar series of gold coins epitomizes The Perth Mint’s rich tradition of minting investor coins portraying Chinese themes. This year’s releases mark the 2011 Year of the Rabbit, one of 12 animals associated with the ancient Chinese lunar calendar. In Chinese culture, people born in the Year of the Rabbit – 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011 – are articulate, talented, and ambitious. They are virtuous, reserved, and have excellent taste. Rabbit people are admired, trusted, and are often financially lucky. They are fond of gossip but are tactful and generally kind. Rabbit people seldom lose their temper. They are clever at business and being conscientious, never back out of a contract.

No mintage limit applies to 1 kilo, 10oz, 2oz, 1/2oz, 1/4oz, 1/10oz and 1/20oz coins. However, production will close at the end of 2011, when The Perth Mint will declare each coin’s official mintage. A maximum of 100 10 kilo coins will be produced on a made-to-order basis. However, production will close at the end of 2011, when the coin’s actual mintage will be declared. The Perth Mint will produce no more than 30,000 1oz coins. Production will cease when the mintage is fully sold or at the end of the series, whichever comes first. (more…)

Odyssey Marine Exploration Challenges Claims by Spain in Its “Black Swan” Appellate Reply

Odyssey Marine Exploration, Inc. today filed its Reply to Spain’s Response in the “Black Swan” case, currently pending in the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit in Atlanta, Georgia. This is expected to be the last round of written pleadings at the appellate court level. Odyssey’s filing is available for review at http://www.shipwreck.net/blackswanlegal.php

Odyssey is appealing the district court’s dismissal of the case based on the court’s finding of lack of federal jurisdiction. Odyssey’s Reply presents the following documented facts that debunk the misrepresentations made by Spain that contributed to the clear error in the district court’s earlier ruling and that have been repeated in Spain’s appellate Response:

  • there was no vessel and there were no human remains located at the “Black Swan” site
  • Odyssey acted legally and appropriately in the recovery of the “Black Swan” artifacts
  • evidence, including accounts from Spain’s “experts” and Spain’s own contemporaneous diplomatic communications, prove that the Mercedes (the vessel Spain associates with the site) was on a commercial mission on her final voyage — a fact that legally voids Spain’s claim of immunity under settled international law and conventions
  • a distinction between cargo and vessel is allowed and even required by settled admiralty law; and — according to the manifest of the Mercedes, the vast majority of cargo on board did not even belong to Spain — even Spain concedes the cargo was “articles of Spanish citizens.”

“The emotional and inflammatory language used in Spain’s appellate response serves to distract from the truth and the relevant legal issues. The story Spain tells mirrors the one it told at the district level, where the court made clearly erroneous factual findings,” said Melinda MacConnel, Odyssey Vice President and General Counsel.

“Spain’s filing has painted a negative portrait of Odyssey, but the company has always acted in full compliance with the letter and spirit of the law. We brought the artifacts to the U.S. courts for proper adjudication of claims, but we didn’t even receive a hearing on the jurisdictional facts. If the court did not have jurisdiction, it would have no legal authority to order transfer of the property to Spain, who did not have possession of the coins. (more…)

Resignation of PNG Member, Suspension of Another Announced

The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) has announced the resignation of one member, the suspension of another and the hiring of legal council specifically in connection with allegations of “coin doctoring” against some PNG member-dealers.

“The PNG Board has regretfully accepted the resignation of long-time member-dealer Jonathan Kern of Lexington, Kentucky. Mr. Kern was currently serving a two-year term on the PNG Board of Directors, and that position now is being filled by PNG member-dealer James A. Simek of Westchester, Illinois who had the next highest number of votes in last year’s PNG election,” said Robert Brueggeman, PNG Executive Director.

Meeting in Boston on August 8, 2010, the PNG Board ratified the suspension, effective immediately, of member-dealer Jonathan Lerner of Scarsdale, New York for non-payment of arbitration fees.

In another matter, the Board retained a lawyer to provide the Guild with legal advice specifically in connection with allegations of “coin doctoring” against several PNG member-dealers. The Guild’s legal counsel, Armen Vartian, is co-counsel for the plaintiffs in a lawsuit naming several PNG member-dealers among others as defendants.

“We have retained an independent legal counsel to avoid any potential conflict of interest concerning specific ‘coin doctoring’ cases involving possible breaches of the PNG Code of Ethics and possible conduct prejudicial to the organization. PNG affiliate member and attorney, Robert A. Levinson of the law firm of Levinson, Arshonsky & Kurtz, LLP in Sherman Oaks, California, will assist the Guild as we investigate these important matters,” said Brueggeman.

For additional information about the Professional Numismatists Guild, contact the PNG at 3950 Concordia Lane, Fallbrook, California 92028; by phone at (760) 728-1300, or online at www.PNGdealers.com.

United States Mint to Adopt New Brand Indenty: “Connecting America through Coins”

Global strategic branding firm Siegel+Gale, www.siegelgale.com, today announced the development of a new brand promise and identity for the United States Mint, a bureau of the United States Department of the Treasury.

The new brand promise, Connecting America through Coins, communicates the widespread influence the United States Mint has on Americans’ everyday lives — highlighting coins as not only a powerful link between American values and commerce, but the basis for everyday moments shared among us. From enabling commerce to initiating the start of sporting events and even helping children learn to count — the coins produced by the United States Mint connect us in various ways.

The new promise and identity were developed based on four objectives: to strengthen the identity and level of awareness with the public, to increase sales of collectible coins, to increase the uptake and use of dollar coins and develop and further build a reputation for the organization as the only legal manufacturer of American coins.

“As the world’s largest coin maker and sole authorized manufacturer of American coins and official medals, the United States Mint has an incredible impact on the American economy,” says David Srere, co-president and chief executive officer, Siegel+Gale. “But, the American public has had little understanding of how the United States Mint touches their lives outside its role of enabling commerce. While recognizing President Obama’s call for openness and transparency in government, we wanted to develop a simple and elegant promise that would act as a foundation for the United States Mint to more clearly communicate the influence it has on us all.”

An accompanying visual identity enlivens the promise with the symbol of a coin flipping in the air to demonstrate the optimistic spirit of America and the inscription of “e pluribus Unum” as a reminder of the nation that brings us all together.

The first phase of the United States Mint’s brand rollout includes the simple and elegant design of packaging for the organization’s highest selling retail item — the Annual Sets. The new brand positioning and identity will be displayed on all the Annual Set packaging, beginning with the 2011 sets.

Siegel+Gale continues to work with the United States Mint as it introduces its new brand.

How to Detect Doctored Coins? The PCGS “Coin Sniffer”

The PCGS Coin Sniffer™, a process incorporating advanced technology for detecting foreign materials and other enhancements on a coin’s surface, will be used in two roll-out phases on all PCGS Secure Plus™ submissions with the first step beginning in September or October 2010.

“When our testing and development are completed, the PCGS Coin Sniffer will analyze the surfaces of coins to detect foreign substances, whether they are organic or inorganic materials. We will begin first with organic substances,” said Don Willis, President of PCGS, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ).

“We are currently testing the detection of organic materials on coin surfaces and will begin incorporating that process on all PCGS Secure Plus submissions this fall. We are still in the development stage of detecting inorganic foreign materials, such as metals. Implementation of the PCGS Coin Sniffer for inorganic materials is planned for early 2011,” he told attendees at the PCGS Set RegistrySM awards luncheon at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Boston on August 13, 2010.

The PCGS Coin Sniffer uses dispersive X-ray spectrometry (EDX), Fournier Transform Infra-Red Spectral analysis (FT-IR), Raman Spectroscopy and other analytical techniques to detect the kinds of materials applied by so-called “coin doctors” to conceal problems with a coin or alter its surface to improve its appearance in an attempt to artificially increase the coin’s value.

Commonly used organic materials applied to coins include plastic resins such as Bondo, putty, caulk, wax, lacquer, varnish, acrylics, paint, ink, acetone, glue, and citric acid.

“Some coin doctors have even used soap, eggs, fertilizer, forehead and nose grease and urine,” Wills explained.

FT-IR spectroscopy in the PCGS Coin Sniffer process uses a beam of infra-red light that is reflected off a coin’s surface to detect molecules of foreign substances. Different molecules vibrate at different wave lengths. A complete analysis of a coin’s surface with simultaneous detection of all wave lengths can be completed in less than one minute.

Coins detected with foreign substances are classified by PCGS as “altered surfaces.”

Willis explained that some coin doctors use metals to build up certain areas on a coin’s surface, for example, attempting to create a full head on a Standing Liberty quarter, full split bands on a Winged Liberty/Mercury dime or improving diagnostic high areas. Metallic solutions such as solder, indium, Clorox®, iodine and potassium or potash have been applied to alter a coin’s surface.

Beginning next year, the PCGS Coin Sniffer will use EDX technology to analyze elements of coins on the atomic level. The FT-IR technology that will be implemented this fall analyzes coins on the molecular level. In the EDX process, a high-energy beam of electrons is focused on a coin’s surface. Resultant dispersed energy is measured and the atomic structure is determined.

“It’s similar to scanning with an electron microscope,” said Willis. “Foreign metals as well as metal fatigue due to high heat from a blow torch or laser can be detected.”

Willis also reminded the audience that expanded “plus” (+) grading is now available for all standard submissions and show submissions to PCGS at no additional cost.

Since 1986, PCGS experts have authenticated, graded and certified more than 20 million coins from around the world with a declared value of over $20 billion. For additional information, visit www.PCGS.com or call PCGS Customer Service at (800) 447-8848.

United States Mint Names 7 New Associate Designers From Artistic Infusion Program

The United States Mint today announced that seven new artists have been selected to participate in the Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) as Associate Designers. The AIP began in 2003 to help enrich and invigorate the design of U.S. coins and medals.

A call for artists was issued August 28, 2009, seeking up to 10 associate designers to supplement the current pool of artists under contract in the AIP. Applications were accepted on a rolling basis with three deadlines. The United States Mint received more than 150 applications from professional visual artists nationwide.

After the first two deadlines of November 9, 2009, and March 8, 2010, an official panel convened at United States Mint headquarters to review the qualifying applications. The panel was composed of representatives from the National Endowment of the Arts, the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of the American Indian and National Gallery of Art, the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

After its review and evaluation, the panel recommended four artists after the November 9 deadline and three after the March 8 deadline. The new associate designers are:

* Paul Cainto Balan of Round Lake Heights, Illinois
* Chris Costello of Arlington, Massachusetts
* Barbara Fox of Little Valley, New York
* Thomas Hipschen of Arlington, Virginia
* Frank Morris of Memphis, Tennessee
* David Westwood of Lakewood, California
* Gary Whitley of Kelso, Washington

The final deadline for the 2009-2010 call for artists was July 6. There are three remaining AIP associate designer positions to be filled by the panel.

In the past, AIP artists have submitted successful designs for the 50 State Quarters® Program, American Eagle Platinum Coin Program, Presidential $1 Coin Program, First Spouse Gold Coin and Medal Program, America the Beautiful QuartersTM Program and others.

The AIP was specifically designed to develop and train a pool of talented external artists ready to work with the United States Mint’s in-house staff of sculptor-engravers to create new coin and medal designs. United States Mint Sculptor-Engravers model the designs submitted by the AIP artists. (more…)

The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) Announces 2010 Outstanding Achievement Award Winners

The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) presented its outstanding achievement awards for 2010 during the PNG Day banquet held in Boston, Massachusetts on August 9, 2010.

Patrick Heller of Liberty Coin Service in Michigan was given the Abe Kosoff Founders Award presented in recognition of a PNG member-dealer who has made a significant contribution to the Guild or to the numismatic fraternity in general. “Pat has shown enthusiastic leadership, dedication and selfless sharing of knowledge,” said Gary Adkins, who chaired the Kosoff committee. The award is named after PNG’s Founding President

Prolific author and prominent dealer, Q. David Bowers of New Hampshire, received one of the two Robert Friedberg Awards presented at the PNG Day banquet in Boston, August 9, 2010, and was also honored for 50 years of membership in the Professional Numismatists Guild. (Photo courtesy of Donn Pearlman. All rights reserved.)

David Hall, President of Collectors Universe, Inc. and a co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service, received the PNG Significant Contribution Award “for years of dedication and significant contributions to numismatics,” according to committee co-chairs Dana Samuelson and Barry Stuppler.

New Jersey coin dealer Ken Starrett was presented with the Sol Kaplan Award. He assisted in the recovery of coins stolen from long-time PNG member-dealer Julian Leidman of Maryland, according to Kaplan committee chair, Jeffrey Bernberg. Jointly presented by the PNG and the Lewis M. Reagan Foundation to people who have helped fight fraud and thievery in the numismatic profession, the award is named after a former PNG President who was responsible for the apprehension of several people suspected of numismatic-related crimes.

Paul Whitnah, a Texas collector and travel agent, received the Art Kagin Ambassador Award “for his many decades of volunteering and tireless support of the entire numismatic community,” according to Kagin committee chair Fred Weinberg. The award is named after a former PNG President who provided distinguished service as an advocate of numismatic goodwill.

(Paul Whitnah of Texas received the PNG’s 2010 Art Kagin Award in recognition of his decades of professional assistance to PNG member-dealers and volunteer work in the numismatic community. (Photo courtesy of Donn Pearlman. All rights reserved.)

Book authors Q. David Bowers and Cory Frampton each received a Robert Friedberg Award. Committee chair Tom Denly said Bowers received the award “in honor of his exemplary work on the Whitman Encyclopedia of U.S. Paper Money,” and Frampton received the award “in honor of his exemplary work on Mexican Paper Money.” The Friedberg award is named in honor of a well-known publisher and author of numismatic reference books.

Bowers also was recognized for 50 years of PNG membership. PNG Executive Director Robert Brueggeman announced that Bowers is being given lifetime membership in the organization, only the fifth person in PNG history to be so honored. Bowers joined the PNG in 1960 and holds membership number 58.

Three 25-year members were honored: John Wilkison (#351), PNG Immediate Past President Gary Adkins (#352) and Larry Stack (#355). All three joined the organization in 1985. (more…)

2010 American Eagle Platinum Proof Coin Available August 12

Coin features second new reverse design in six-year “Preamble Series”

The United States Mint today announced that it will begin sales of the one-ounce 2010 American Eagle Platinum Proof Coin at noon Eastern Time (ET) on August 12, 2010. The 2010 coin features the second reverse (tails side) design in the six-year “Preamble Series” program introduced in 2009. The program commemorates the core concepts of American democracy by featuring the six principles of the Preamble of the U.S. Constitution. The 2010 coin design is emblematic of the theme “To Establish Justice,” the second principle found in the Preamble.

The reverse designs of the coins in the series are inspired by narratives prepared by the Chief Justice of the United States at the request of the United States Mint. The other five design themes are: “To Form a More Perfect Union” (released in 2009); “To Insure Domestic Tranquility” (2011); “To Provide for the Common Defence” (2012); “To Promote the General Welfare” (2013); and “To Secure the Blessings of Liberty to Ourselves and our Posterity” (2014).

Orders will be accepted at the United States Mint’s Online Catalog at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog or at the toll-free number 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers may order by calling 1-888-321-MINT. A shipping and handling fee of $4.95 will be added to all domestic orders. Orders will be limited to five coins per household for the first week of the product’s release. At the end of this week, the United States Mint will re-evaluate this limit and either extend, adjust or remove it.

The 2010 coin’s reverse was designed by United States Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Donna Weaver and sculpted by Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill. The design features a blindfolded justice-symbolizing impartiality-holding traditional scales and carrying a branch of laurel. Inscriptions are JUSTICE THE GUARDIAN OF LIBERTY (from the east pediment of the Supreme Court building), 1oz., $100, .9995 PLATINUM and UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. A new design element, an American Eagle “privy mark,” is being included on each coin in the series. The privy mark is from an original “coin punch” identified at the United States Mint at Philadelphia. The coin’s obverse (heads side) was designed and sculpted by United States Mint Chief Engraver John Mercanti. The design features Lady Liberty, a symbol of vigilance and resolute faithfulness to duty.

The American Eagle Platinum Proof Coins are minted at the United States Mint at West Point and have the W mint mark. Mintage is limited to 10,000 units. The coin’s price will be based on the United States Mint’s pricing structure for numismatic products containing precious metals.

Cardinal Collection of US Large Cents On Display in Boston

Bowers and Merena Sponsor display of this Multi-Million dollar collection ranked the Finest Registry Set

The number one-ranked collection of United States large cents in both the PGCS and NGC Set Registry listings will be publicly displayed for the first time in Boston, August 10 – 13, 2010, at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money. The historic coins from the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation include some of the finest known examples of large cents struck from 1793 to 1857.

The foundation’s exhibit is co-sponsored by Bowers and Merena Auctions (www.BowersAndMerena.com) and Collateral Finance Corporation (www.cfccoinloans.com), and will be displayed at the Bowers and Merena booth, #1017, during the five-day show.

“This is a truly amazing collection, valued at millions of dollars. There are 77 large cents and each is among the very finest known for its respective date and type. Many of them are simply the finest known, period,” said Greg Roberts, CEO of Bowers and Merena.

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;

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. The foundation is delighted at the opportunity for thousands of people to see these superb-quality, early American cents in person in Boston with the valued assistance of Bowers and Merena and Collateral Finance Corporation,” said Martin Logies, a director of the Sunnyvale, California-based foundation. (more…)

Complete Collection of all 102 Continental Currency Friedberg Examples to be offered by Heritage

Heritage will present The Collection of a Patriotic American, a complete collection of all 102 Friedberg numbers associated with Continental Currency and believed to be the finest collection ever assembled. It represents over a quarter of a century of dedicated research by one man with a passion for American history, collecting the finest examples that could be acquired. Perhaps even more importantly, the notes were selected for their eye appeal, and in the few instances where technical grade is lacking, the notes are likely finest looking, rather than finest known. The collection does include a large number of finest known examples as well as important counterfeits, the only known Raised Denomination Continental and rarely seen counterfeit detector sheets.

The collection also includes 71 additional related items, including the finest $20 marbled edge bill and the extremely rare marbled edge counterfeit detector; eight extra Fugio bills representing the different plate positions; 21 different contemporary counterfeits; nine sheets of Continental Currency, including a very rare sheet of Fugio bills; and nine counterfeit detector sheets. Among the 71 items are 23 pieces issued by cities and states payable in Continental Currency: four notes from Albany dated 1776 and 19 typeset certificates from Georgia dated June and September 1777.

The superb May 10, 1775 marbled edge bill is truly the highlight of the collection. Unique among Continental Currency in size and shape, it is the finest known specimen of the only Continental Currency bill printed on marbled paper procured by Benjamin Franklin. Complementing this bill is its extremely rare counterfeit detector, the finer of only two extant, the other held by Colonial Williamsburg’s museum. The full sheet of 24 Fugio bills of Franklin’s design, comprising six bills of each of the four denominations from $1/6 to $2/3, is the finest of three in existence. The overall quality of the collection is superb and contains numerous choice uncirculated and finest known specimens.

Continental Currency is inextricably linked with the history of the United States from its inception. J.W. Schuckers stated in his 1874 book A Brief Account of the Finances and Paper Money of the Revolutionary War, “In the modern mode of making war, money is not less essential than valour in the field or wisdom in the cabinet. The deepest purse decides the fate of nations as often as the longest sword.” Accordingly, the Continental Congress authorized the first issue of Continental Currency on May 10, 1775. The bills were to be redeemed via taxes levied on the individual thirteen colonies using a quota method. Congress authorized eleven different emissions, the last being January 14, 1779, resulting in the issuance of a total of $241,552,780 of Continental Currency with denominations ranging from $1/6 to $80. (more…)

Kolbe & Fanning to Hold Notable Numismatic Book Auctions This Fall

During September of this year, Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers will conduct two notable auction sales. The first, closing on September 12th, 2010, is comprised of the collection of early printed numismatic books formed by the late Anders Frösell of Sweden. Forty-eight works are featured, dating from the early 1500s to the late 1700s, with over half dated before 1600.

Condition covers the spectrum, allowing numismatists on modest budgets the infrequent opportunity to add a work to their libraries dating from the cradle period of numismatic printing. The roster of famous early numismatic authors represented in the sale includes Father Augustín, Anselmo Banduri, Guillaume du Choul, Sebastian Erizzo, Hubert Goltz, Johann Huttich, Adolph Occo, Fulvio Orsini, Onuphrio Panvinio, Charles Patin, Guillaume Rouille, Johann Sambucus, Ezechiel Spanheim, Jacob de Strada, Gabriel Simeoni, Jean Foy-Vaillant, Aenea Vico and others.

The second sale, closing four days later, on September 16th, features the outstanding and extensive numismatic library formed by the well-known ancient coin dealer, auctioneer and numismatic photographer Robert J. Myers. Devoted to works on ancient coins, art and antiquities, the 108-page catalogue of the Myers library features over 1300 lots. It is comprehensive in its coverage of ancient Greek numismatics, and also features a wealth of important reference books on Roman coins and ancient art.

Included among the truly important and often quite rare works in the Myers library are: a set of the Numismatic Chronicle, largely complete from 1881 to 2009; an attractive set of Mionnet’s sixteen volume 1806-37 classic Médailles Antiques, Grecques et Romaines; many rarely offered numismatic excavation reports, among them all of the Olynthus volumes featuring coins (and virtually all of the other volumes in that series), including a fine example of Robinson and Clement’s The Chalcidic Mint; a fine original set of the famous Jameson collection; original sets of the McClean, Hunterian and Weber collections; a comprehensive collection of Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum volumes; seldom encountered classic die studies such as Herzfelder on Rhegium, Ravel’s Vlasto on Tarentum, Regling on Terina, Boehringer on Syracuse, Calciati on Sicily, Imhoof-Blumer’s Antiken Nord-Griechenlands, May on Ainos, Calciati’s Pegasi on Corinth, Ravel on Corinth, Svoronos on Athens, Seltman on Olympia, Le Rider and Svoronos on Crete, Waddington on Asia Minor, Cahn on Knidos, Lederer on Nagidos, Naville on Cyrene and Svoronos on the Ptolemies.

Classic works on Roman coins include Mazzini and Robertson on the Hunter collection; a complete set of the series by Bastien and others of Numismatique Romaine; C.H.V. Sutherland’s set of Alföldi on contorniates; Burnett on Roman Provincials; and a fine original Dattari. The extensive selection of auction catalogues featuring ancient coins is perhaps highlighted by the first twelve fixed price and auction sale catalogues issued by Jacob Hirsch, one of the most notable ancient coin dealers of all time. All are Hirsh’s unique annotated sales copies, generally recording information about the coins in the sales and the collectors who acquired them that may be found nowhere else. Among other key auctions catalogues in the sale are all of Hirsch’s Ars Classica sales devoted to ancient coins; his other key ancient coin and medal sales, including Rhousopoulos, Weber I & II, and Löbbecke on medals; a nearly complete set of Leu ancient coin sales, 1971-2009; and classic sales by Cahn, Egger, Florange, Ciani, Hamburger, Helbing, Adolph Hess, Münzhandlung Basel, Santamaria, Sotheby’s and many others. (more…)

2,500 year-old Greek coin anchors ancient offerings in Heritage Boston ANA auction

Coin originated in Rhegion region – modern day Reggio, Italy – was struck between 415 and 387 BC; offered as part of Heritage ANA World Coin event

A nearly 2,500-year old silver coin of Rhegion, an ancient Greek city located in would become Italy, is expected to bring upwards of $25,000 at the Heritage Signature® Auction of Ancient and World Coins at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Boston, Thursday, Aug. 12, starting at 6 p.m..

The silver tetradrachm – lot number 20007 – a coin about the diameter of a quarter but much thicker and heavier, depicts the stylized head of a lion on the obverse and a profile portrait of Apollo, Greek god of wisdom and enlightenment, on the reverse. It was struck between 415 and 387 BC, a time when the Greek cities of Italy and Sicily were competing with each other and with Carthage in North Africa for control of the western Mediterranean.

“Simply stated, this piece is an artistic masterwork,” said David S. Michaels, director of Ancient Coins for Heritage. “The artist who engraved the dies was a supremely talented individual who employed a host of sophisticated techniques in creating an image of unique power and beauty.”

The lion’s head on the obverse uses foreshortening and compression to create an illusion of extreme depth, while his piercing gaze is shifted slightly to the left, as though zeroing in on his prey. The image of Apollo on the reverse is also created with such lifelike distinction that, were he to walk into a room, he would be instantly recognizable from his image on the coin.

Rhegion, modern Reggio, Italy, also called Regium, is located on the “toe” of Italy, just across the Straits of Messina from the island of Sicily. The second-oldest city in Italy, it was founded by Greek colonists from two cities on mainland Greece, Chalkis and Messenia. According to legend, the Chalkidians set forth after a famine in their homeland. The citizens appealed to the god Apollo for help, who replied through an oracle that a large body of colonists should seek a fresh start in fertile southern Italy.

Rhegion (meaning “it breaks away”) prospered and built a temple dedicated to Apollo, who appears prominently on the city’s coinage. The Messenian component worshipped the demigod Herakles. The lion on the obverse likely refers to the Nemean Lion slain by Herakles as one of his Twelve Labors.

Rhegion grew rich and powerful by controlling trade through the Straits of Messina.

“During its heyday in the fifth century BC, Rhegion produced coins as beautiful as those of the great contemporary Greek cities of Sicily, including Syracuse, Akragas, and Messana,” said Michaels. “There seemed to be a competition among these cities to produce the most attractive coins in commerce. Now it’s one of the highlights of one of our best-ever offerings of ancient coins.” (more…)

PNG Adopts Coin “Doctoring” Definition

The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) has created a definition of coin “doctoring” and now officially included it as one of the prohibitions in the organization’s By-Laws.

“The deliberate and unacceptable alteration of a coin in an effort to deceive is a complex matter. Everyone seems to know what coin ‘doctoring’ means, but it’s a difficult thing to concisely and substantively define,” said Paul Montgomery, PNG President.

“After extensive discussions and consultation with both Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), the official grading service of PNG, and with executives of the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), the PNG has created its first formal definition of coin doctoring,” Montgomery added.

PNG already required disclosure of information about altered coins.

“Section seven of the PNG Code of Ethics specifically states that PNG member-dealers must refrain from knowingly dealing in counterfeit, altered or repaired numismatic items without fully disclosing their status to their customers. Section four of the Code prohibits misrepresenting the quality of a coin,” said PNG Executive Director Robert Brueggeman.

“Adding a more specific definition of coin doctoring is a major step toward helping the PNG review any complaints against members accused of compromising ethical standards established by the organization. We now have an enforceable criterion for our membership.”

The PNG Board of Directors has adopted this initial definition:

Coin doctoring is the action of a person or the enabling of another to alter a coin’s surface or appearance, usually to diminish or conceal defects, and thereby represent the condition or value of a coin as being superior to its actual condition or value.

Among the practices defined as doctoring are effacing hairlines by polishing or manipulating the surfaces of proof coins, applying substances to the surface of coins to hide marks and defects, hiding marks or otherwise changing the appearance of a coin by adding toning, adding chemicals or otherwise manipulating the surfaces to create “cameo” frost on the devices of proof coins, and making a coin appear more fully struck by re-engraving portions of the devices, such as re-engraving bands on the reverse of a Mercury Dime or adding head detail to a Standing Liberty Quarter.

Altering dates or mintmarks or other struck portions of a coin to make it appear to be from a mint date or type other than that of origin, and altering business strike coins to make them resemble proof issues are also examples of coin doctoring. This definition is not intended to be all-inclusive, but only illustrative of forms of coin doctoring.

“As of today, no one has filed any formal complaints with PNG or presented evidence directly to the PNG of alleged coin doctoring by any of its members. However, we have been closely monitoring developments, and are taking action regarding a civil court lawsuit over alleged coin doctoring that was filed by PCGS in May of this year,” said Brueggeman.

Founded in 1955, the Professional Numismatists Guild is a nonprofit organization composed of many of the top rare coin and paper money dealers in the United States and other countries. PNG member-dealers must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics in the buying and selling of numismatic items. For additional information and the locations of PNG member-dealers, call (760) 728-1300 or visit online at www.PNGdealers.com.

UPWARD TREND IN GOLD PRICE DURING SECOND QUARTER 2010 BACKED BY STRONG FUNDAMENTALS, SAYS THE WORLD GOLD COUNCIL

Mixed economic news around the world, concerns over a double dip recession and significant fiat currency weakness meant gold retained its lustre as a protector of wealth during the second quarter 2010, according to the World Gold Council’s (WGC) latest Gold Investment Digest (GID).  The quarter recorded significant net inflows into various gold-backed investment vehicles, as investors sought to harness gold’s investment benefits at a time of weakness and pronounced volatility in other asset classes.

While China has remained resilient, GID also suggests that jewellery demand in other key markets has continued to recover from a weaker 2009.

The report, which was published today, showed:

  • Heightened investor activity supported an upward trend in the gold price throughout the quarter; on several occasions breaking record highs and reaching US$1,261.00/oz on the London PM fix on 28 June, as investors sought out assets offering protection, diversification and liquidity.
  • Investors bought 273.8 net tonnes of gold via exchange traded funds (ETFs) in Q2 2010.  This represents the second largest quarterly inflow on record and brought the total amount of gold held in the ETFs that the WGC monitors to over 2,000 tonnes (worth US$81.6 billion). In particular, SPDR Gold Shares (GLD) surpassed the US$50 billion milestone.
  • In the early part of the second quarter, many currencies around the globe not only fell against the US dollar but also experienced higher levels of volatility as credit woes in Europe had a negative impact on the outlook for the euro and the British pound. While the dollar appeared to fare better, investors sought out gold as a currency alternative as evidenced by large purchases of coins and small bars around the globe.
  • Many assets, including global equities and commodities, experienced a period of pronounced volatility, in some instances surpassing levels seen during the first quarter of 2009.  Gold price volatility, however, remained much lower than many of these assets during the period, meaning gold outperformed versus S&P 500 Total Return Index, the MSCI World ex US Index and S&P Goldman Sachs Commodities Index (S&P GSCI) on a risk-adjusted basis.
  • In Q2 2010, the diversity of gold’s demand base, less driven by industrial uses as many other commodities, meant that gold was one of the best performing commodities.  Oil fell by 9.1% and, similarly, metals with a greater degree of exposure to industrial cycles fell substantially: zinc, nickel and lead dropping by more than 20.0% quarter-on-quarter. Even platinum and palladium posted quarterly losses on the order of 6.7% and 7.9%, respectively.

Juan Carlos Artigas, Investment Research Manager, World Gold Council commented:

“During the second quarter, many financial assets, especially in Europe, suffered losses as risk aversion, credit concerns, and disappointing economic news around the world prompted investors to seek assets with little or no default risk, greater liquidity and lower volatility.  As a result, gold was, once again, one of very few assets that exhibited a positive price performance during the period.  However, it is important to note that while gold continued its upward trend during Q2 2010, its price, relative to the price of various assets is not overvalued by historical standards1 . (more…)

Legend Numismatics Adds Proof 1804 Gold and Silver $10 Eagles To Impressive List of Rare Coin Transactions

One of the three known proof 1804 Eagles made on behalf of President Andrew Jackson and a rare 1804 Eagle silver pattern have been acquired by Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, New Jersey and sold to a Texas collector. Both coins will be publicly displayed together for the first time at the upcoming American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money convention in Boston, August 10 – 14, 2010.

“The 1804 proof gold Eagle is a classic American rarity and the silver pattern is an amazing companion to it. Both coins are now part of the incredible collection being assembled by Bob R. Simpson of Texas, a connoisseur of numismatic quality and rarity, and a long-time client and friend,” said Laura Sperber of Legend Numismatics (www.LegendCoin.com)

The gold 1804 $10 (Judd-33), graded NGC PF65 Ultra Cameo, was obtained by Legend from a private collector with the assistance of John Albanese of Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC). The silver 1804 $10 (Judd-34), graded NGC PF64, was purchased from Steven L. Contursi, President of Rare Coin Wholesalers in Irvine, California.

Graded NGC PF65 Ultra Cameo, this 1804 proof Eagle (Judd-33) was recently acquired and sold by Legend Numismatics, and now will be displayed at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Boston, August 10 – 14, 2010. (Photo credit: Numismatic Guaranty Corporation)

The coins will be displayed at the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation booth (#704) at the ANA convention (www.WorldsFairOfMoney.com).

“It’s beyond incredible to see these two coins side-by-side. A silver proof 1804 $10 redefines ‘coolness’ in my book, and I’ve handled an awful lot of world-class rarities. The gold 1804 $10 is so sharply struck it looks like a medal, and it’s one of the most beautiful coins I have ever seen,” said Sperber.

This rare 1804 proof silver pattern Eagle, graded NGC PF64 (Judd-34), was recently acquired and sold by Legend Numismatics, and will be displayed at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Boston, August 10 – 14, 2010. (Photo credit: Rare Coin Wholesalers)

The purchase and sale prices were not disclosed for these transactions. The 1804 gold proof Eagle made national headlines in 2007 when it was sold for $5 million, a record price at the time for a certified, encapsulated U.S. gold coin.

Although dated 1804, the coins were struck in 1834 or 1835 with the gold Eagle intended for use in overseas diplomatic gift presentation sets presented on behalf of President Jackson. The pedigree of this coin includes such famous collectors as Waldo Newcomer, former U.S. Treasury Secretary William H. Woodin and Col. E.H.R. Green. It was displayed at the opening reception for the Smithsonian Legendary Coins and Currency exhibit in 2005.

“The preparation of diplomatic presentation sets of United States coins circa 1834-35 prompted the minting of this proof-only edition. As no ten-dollar pieces had been issued since 1804, the Mint Director requested and received several proof examples from dies back-dated to 1804 but prepared for this occasion using technology of the 1830s,” explained David W. Lange, NGC Research Director.
The 1804 gold Eagle and 1804 silver Eagle are listed in the standard reference book, United States Pattern Coins (10th edition) by J. Hewitt Judd, M.D. The gold coin is described on the book’s rarity scale as R8 (two to three examples known) and the silver pattern as H7 (four to six known).

“Mr. Simpson’s patterns collection is unparalleled. Over the years, we’ve helped him assemble a collection that includes such famous rarities as the Amazonian set, a marvelous example of the 1792 silver-center cent (Judd-1) and two quintuple Stellas. His gold Bickford $10 will be displayed as one of the highlights in the Museum Showcase area at the ANA convention in Boston,” said Sperber.

Limited Edition Copies of the Book “Paper Money of the United States” Available in Boston

Two hundred limited-edition copies of Paper Money of the United States, 19th Edition, numbered and signed by co-authors Arthur L. Friedberg and Ira S. Friedberg, will be available for purchase at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money in Boston. The books are $80 (tax included) and will be available August 12-14 in the ANA Museum Showcase on the bourse floor. Proceeds will benefit the ANA Edward C. Rochette Money Museum.

These special hardcover copies are part of the release of the book’s new 19th edition, and include an attractive dust jacket with gold foil lettering. The cover features the image of an 1863 $100 Legal Tender note from the ANA Bebee Collection of U.S. Paper Money. Many other photographs of notes from the Bebee Collection are used throughout the book.

First offering will be to convention attendees on a first-come, first serve basis. A silent auction for the first three numbered copies will be held, with a minimum bid of $80 for each copy. The auction will be at the ANA Museum Showcase, and will begin Aug. 12 at 9:30 a.m. and end Aug. 14 at 3 p.m. Attendees wishing to purchase a specific-numbered copy can e-mail museum@money.org before the show to request a number for an additional $15.

Co-author Arthur L. Friedberg will be available at the Museum Showcase Aug. 12 at 2 p.m. and Aug. 13 and 14 at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. for one-hour sessions to provide personalized autographs and discuss the book. Purchases and bids can only be made by convention attendees, but those not attending may enlist an agent to make bids on their behalf.

Paper Money of the United States is the premier reference book for United States paper currency. Originally authored in 1953 by Robert Friedberg, Arthur and Ira’s father, the book illustrates, catalogs, describes and places values on all U. S. paper money from 1861 to the present. The Friedberg numbering system is the method used by numismatists to identify and describe notes.

The World’s Fair of Money, held this year at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston, is the nation’s premiere money show. Show hours are 1-5:30 p.m. August 10, and 9:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. August 11-14. Dealer set-up is from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, August 10. Admission is $6 for adults, and free for ANA members and children 12 and under. For more information on all of the show highlights, call 719-482-9857 or visit www.worldsfairofmoney.com.

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…)

Rare Coin Wholesalers Names Laurel Kamper Marketing Director

Laurel Kamper has been appointed Marketing Director of Rare Coin Wholesalers (RCW) of Irvine, California.

“Laurel has excellent experience in successful advertising and marketing in a half dozen business fields as well as trade shows. She’ll be a tremendous help in our efforts to keep our company in the forefront of the numismatic community, and to expand the awareness and enjoyment of rare coins with new audiences outside the usual hobby universe,” said Steven L. Contursi, RCW President.

Contursi generated international headlines in May when he sold his unique 1794 specimen Flowing Hair silver dollar for a record $7.85 million.

A native of New Jersey, Kamper is a Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Alabama with a major in advertising and a minor in English.

“I’m very excited to be working with the RCW team. We’ll be looking at fresh advertising and marketing strategies to educate new customers about the benefits of rare coins because they can be a great asset to an individual or investor. Keep an eye on RCW for upcoming announcements and a ‘new look’ in our print materials and web site,” said Kamper.

For additional information, contact Rare Coin Wholesalers, 8015 Irvine Center Dr., Suite 440, Irvine, California 92618. Phone: (800) 347-3250 or visit online at www.rcw1.com.

Yosemite National Park Quarters Available July 26

The United States Mint will offer America the Beautiful QuartersTM bags and rolls, containing quarter-dollar coins honoring Yosemite National Park in California, beginning at noon Eastern Time (ET) on July 26. The coins, minted at the United States Mint facilities at Denver and at Philadelphia, will be available in two-roll sets priced at $32.95 each and 100-coin bags priced at $35.95 each. The two-roll sets contain one roll each of 40 coins bearing the P and D mint marks, wrapped in distinctive packaging displaying the name “Yosemite,” the abbreviation “CA” for California, the mint of origin and “$10,” the face value of its contents. The canvas 100-coin bags bear tags denoting their mint of origin, “Yosemite,” “CA” and “$25,” the total value of their contents.

Orders will be accepted online at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog or at the toll-free number 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Hearing- and speech-impaired customers with TTY equipment may order by calling 1-888-321-MINT (6468). All domestic orders are assessed a shipping and handling fee of $4.95 each.

The Yosemite National Park quarter is the third release in the United States Mint America the Beautiful Quarters Program, a new multi-year initiative to honor 56 national parks and other sites in each state, the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories. The coin’s reverse (tails side) design depicts the iconic El Capitan, which rises more than 3,000 feet above the valley floor and is the largest monolith of granite in the world. Inscriptions are YOSEMITE, CALIFORNIA, 2010 and E PLURIBUS UNUM. The reverse image was designed by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Joseph Menna and sculpted by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill.

The coin’s obverse (heads side) design-common to each coin in the series-continues to feature the 1932 portrait of George Washington by John Flanagan, restored to bring out subtle details and the beauty of the original model. Inscriptions 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.

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 July 26, 2010, noon ET, shall not be deemed accepted by the United States Mint and will not be honored. For more information, please review the United States Mint’s Frequently Asked Questions, Answer ID #175.

Wizard Coin Supply Chosen by Verdi-Chem™ as Exclusive Distributor

Verdi-Chem has chosen Wizard Coin Supply as the exclusive distributor for its VERDI-CARE™ with ReAcT2™ coin conservation fluid product, a revolutionary coin care offering.

Verdi-Chem™ is proud to announce that it has selected Wizard Coin Supply, a global provider of coin collecting supplies, as the exclusive distributor of VERDI-CARE™ with ReAcT2™, a revolutionary new coin conservation fluid and protectant that is already changing the way coin collectors care for and protect their coins. Developed by professional chemists in conjunction with Verdi-Chem™, VERDI-CARE™ is a safe and water soluble coin conservation product that can be applied to all types of coinage, including gold, silver, nickel, copper, brass and more. VERDI-CARE™ contains no harsh chemicals and is designed to ensure that valuable coins are protected while maintaining and preserving surface integrity.

VERDI-CARE™ with ReAcT2™ is easy to use and can be almost entirely removed with water, if so desired. “This product was designed specifically for numismatists who understand the importance of protecting and preserving valuable coins,” noted Thad J. Meszaras, Verdi-Chem™ President. “VERDI-CARE™ is not a coin cleaning product and its gentle ingredients will effectively condition and preserve the natural subtleties of a coin’s surface.”

“VERDI-CARE™ with ReAcT2™ is an important breakthrough in coin conservation technology and we are very excited to offer it to our customers,” said Wayne Herndon, President of Wizard Coin Supply. “We believe VERDI-CARE™ is a major step forward for numismatics and we are happy to offer this product among the thousands of coin collecting supplies and accessories that are currently available at WizardCoinSupply.com.”

ReAcT2™ is a state of the art chemical compound that adheres to all metals, forming a transparent, anti-corrosive protective lower layer on the surface of valuable coins. It consists of the same chemical technology employed by the US Mint in protecting its coins. In addition to the lower layer of protection, a second, water soluble, polymeric layer is created that actively repels contaminants. Experienced numismatists will quickly realize just how effective VERDI-CARE™ with ReAcT2™ can be for conserving and rejuvenating the natural features of collectible coins.

VERDI-CARE™ with ReAcT2™ is recommended for coin collectors who have experience handling coin conservation and protective agents as well as various types of coin cleaning supplies. VERDI-CARE™ performs best when coins are properly prepared for application and when specific instructions are followed for drying and storage of coins. Although this product is completely non-toxic and contains no harsh chemicals, it is always recommended that users wear gloves and eye protection as a safety precaution.

About Verdi-Chem™:
Verdi-Chem™ is based in Cincinnati Ohio and is run by chemist and numismatist Thad J. Meszaras. The company is dedicated to the advancement of coin conservation science. Verdi-Chem™ uses the latest discoveries in chemical technology to develop its products.

About Wizard Coin Supply:
Wizard Coin Supply is a global provider of coin collection supplies and coin collection accessories, based in Chantilly, Virginia. Wizard is dedicated to providing its customers with the largest possible selection of coin supplies at deeply discounted prices and to promoting the hobby and enjoyment of numismatics.

Bowers and Merena Auctions to Host Boston Rarities Auction

Auction to Feature Condition Census #4 1794 Silver Dollar

Bowers and Merena Auctions will host its Boston Rarities Auction on Saturday, Aug. 7 at The Castle at Park Plaza Hotel and Towers in Boston, Mass. The sale, comprised of nearly 1,800 lots, will feature world-class rarities and highly desirable collectors’ coins.

“Three consignments stand out in my mind as defining elements of the importance of this sale: the Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation Mint State Set of 1794 United States Coinage, the Horseshoe Collection of New Orleans Mint gold and silver coins, and the Ostheimer Specimen of the 1870-S Seated Liberty Silver Dollar,” said Greg Roberts, CEO of Bowers and Merena. “With selections as diverse, important and desirable as these, we are confident that our Boston Rarities Sale will see spirited bidding from a wide variety of collectors.”

The Cardinal Collection Educational Foundation (CCEF) Mint Set of 1794 United States Coinage is a fully Mint State complete set of 1794-dated coins struck from the Half Cent through the Silver Dollar with most coins choice to gem in quality. The coins are among the finest known for their respective issues and die varieties, but the obvious highlight of the set is the Virgil Brand-F.C.C. Boyd-Cardinal specimen of the 1794 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar. Certified MS-64 by NGC, the coin is Condition Census #4 for the issue and one of only six Mint State examples known to exist. The five coins in the 1794 Mint State Set will be auctioned individually at the beginning of the beginning of the Silver Dollar section.

“This important offering is made possible by the CCEF’s recent acquisition of the Carter-Contursi 1794 Silver Dollar, graded PCGS Specimen-66, which recently sold for $7,850,000 in a transaction that set a world record price for the most valuable coin,” said Roberts.

At the heart of the Horseshoe Collection is one of the most comprehensive sets of New Orleans Mint gold and silver coins that Bowers and Merena has offered in quite some time. The stand-out highlight of the collection is an 1854-O Liberty Double Eagle, a pop 2/0 coin certified AU-55 by PCGS. With an estimated 25-35 surviving coin population from a mintage of 3,250 pieces, it is the second-rarest New Orleans Mint Double Eagle. Other rarities featured in this collection include Morgan Dollar condition rarities, key-date 19th century gold coins from other Mints and a J.W. Scott Restrike of the fabled 1861 Confederate States of America Half Dollar. (more…)

Chet Krause Resigns from ANA Board of Governors

Chester L. Krause has resigned from the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors, and will be replaced by former Governor Alan Herbert.

In a July 7 letter to President Clifford Mishler, Krause explained that health reasons precluded his attendance at the Board of Governors meetings in Florida in January and in March in Fort Worth during the ANA National Money Show.

“Although I feel in generally good health, it has become increasingly difficult for me to travel,” Krause said to President Mishler. “Consequently, I don’t feel I can serve the Board or the ANA membership to the fullest extent. I think it is proper for me to step aside sooner than later. It has been my pleasure to serve with you and all the Board members during the last three years.”

Krause was elected to the Board in 2007 and reelected in 2009. To most, he is “just plain Chet.” He is a member of the ANA Hall-of-Fame who has been recognized with virtually every honor the Association can bestow, including the Medal of Merit, Glenn Smedley Memorial Award, Exemplary Service Award, Numismatist of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award and the ANA’s highest honor, the Farran Zerbe Memorial Award for Distinguished Service.

During Krause’s tenure on the Board of Directors, the ANA has hired a new executive director, Larry Shepherd, stabilized its finances, increased donations, expanded educational programs and approved a third annual show, the Fall National Money Show, which debuts in Pittsburgh in 2011.

“I am sure everyone shares my sadness at losing Chet’s wisdom and sage advice,” said Shepherd. “I will miss Chet’s guidance and opinions, which I value and respect greatly. I thank Chet for his love of the ANA and his devotion to the hobby. There are very few people in the history of the ANA who have done as much for this organization – or the hobby – as Chet.”

Mishler echoed Shepherd’s sentiments. “We have greatly valued Chet’s contributions to the Board and will miss his wise and experienced counsel. At the same time, we welcome Alan back to the Board and are pleased that Chet’s seat on the Board is being placed in such capable hands. (more…)

US Mint to Release Annual 2010 Uncirculated and Proof Coin Sets This Month

The 2010 United States Mint Uncirculated Set®, priced at $31.95, will be available on July 15; and the 2010 United States Mint Proof Set®, priced at $31.95, will be available on July 22.

Both sets include the first five commemorative quarter-dollar coins in the America the Beautiful QuartersTM Program, honoring Hot Springs National Park (Arkansas), Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming), Yosemite National Park (California), Grand Canyon National Park (Arizona), and Mount Hood National Forest (Oregon). The sets also include four Presidential $1 Coins, honoring Presidents Millard Fillmore, Franklin Pierce, James Buchanan and Abraham Lincoln; one Native American $1 Coin; one Kennedy half-dollar coin; one Jefferson 5-cetn coin; one Roosevelt dime coin; and one Lincoln one-cent cent.

The United States Mint Uncirculated Coin Set includes two folders, each containing 14 coins from the United States Mint facilities at Denver and Philadelphia. The coins are struck on special presses using greater force than circulating coins, producing a sharp, intricately detailed image. The satin-finish coins are displayed in a folder that includes a Certificate of Authenticity.

The United States Mint Proof Set contains 14 coins that bear the “S” mint mark of the United States Mint at San Francisco. The coins are manufactured using specially prepared, highly polished dies. The coins are extraordinarily brilliant, with sharp relief and a mirror-like background. A frosted, sculpted foreground gives these coins a special cameo effect. The coins are sealed in three protective lenses to showcase and maintain their exceptional finish. A Certificate of Authenticity is included with each set.

Sales for these sets will open at noon Eastern Time (ET) on the specified release dates. 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 by calling 1-888-321-MINT (6468). All domestic orders will be assessed a shipping and handling fee of $4.95 per order.

Customers may also acquire the United States Mint Uncirculated Set and the United States Mint Proof Set through the Online Subscription Program. For more information about this convenient ordering method, please visit http://www.usmint.gov/catalog. (more…)

PCGS’ Paris Office Grand Opening: Dealers Praise Easy Access to Coin Grading

Professional Coin Grading Service successfully opened its European grading center at its Paris, France office on June 7, 2010. Coin dealers from all over Europe visited PCGS in Paris to submit coins for onsite authentication and grading. By the end of the week, PCGS’ numismatic experts had evaluated thousands of rare and modern commemorative coins from French, German, Italian, Greek and British dealers and collectors.

The dealers were extremely pleased with this new, convenient setting. More and more dealers and collectors are recognizing that impartial, third-party grading (evaluation) by PCGS will help their coins realize their true worth in the marketplace. The Paris office finally allows them to benefit from PCGS grading more easily and in a less-costly way.

Michael Creusy of ABC Numismatique in Lyon, France, expressed his appreciation: “Thank you, PCGS, for having made this marvelous grading service so easily available to all Europeans.”

Because of this overwhelmingly positive reaction, PCGS is preparing for an even bigger workload when the grading team returns to Paris. The next big grading week begins on September 13th, 2010.

“By establishing its EU grading center in France, PCGS has eliminated the need for European collectors and dealers to send their coins to the U.S. for grading and authentication. All submissions from within the EU are now made directly to the Paris office through PCGS’ network of EU Authorized dealers,” explained Muriel Eymery, Director of International Business Development at PCGS.

Dr. Josef Fischer of Emporium Hamburg in Hamburg, Germany, shared his opinion: “The PCGS grading in Paris was an excellent experience. It was easy to ship there and we got very quick service; turnaround times are much shorter than shipping to the USA with customs clearance and so on. Grading in Europe will make PCGS better-known and more appealing for European dealers and collectors.”

PCGS President Don Willis is encouraged by the dealers’ responses. “The convenience of a central Paris location makes getting coins authenticated and graded by PCGS easy for EU dealers,” he said. “Coins received on Monday and Tuesday are returned graded on Thursday or Friday of the same week. The dealers appreciate our commitment to serving them.”

Ingram Liberman of The London Coin Company in London, England expressed his approval of PCGS services: “Why have we chosen an American (coin grading) company rather than a British one? The main reason is that PCGS is the most respected of all the coin grading companies in the world and truly impartial. The future is bright for the future of grading.” (more…)