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Category: What’s New

Scott Travers’ ‘Survival Manual’ Now Available in Seventh Edition

(New York, NY) – Gold and grading share the spotlight in The Coin Collector’s Survival Manual, Seventh Edition, the just-released latest edition of the perennial hobby bestseller by award-winning author Scott A. Travers. Published by Random House, this thoroughly updated 400-page book also contains two new and timely fact-filled chapters; one on buying and selling gold coins and other precious metal items, the other on recent innovations in coin grading.

With gold scaling record-high price levels, Travers examines the impact the precious metals boom is having on the rare coin market. Citing one expert’s prediction that gold might soar to $10,000 an ounce, he shows why this is not far-fetched. A new section of the book looks at possible negative effects for collectors and dealers if burdensome IRS 1099 reporting requirements are not changed before their scheduled implementation in 2012.

Travers also provides pointers on how to avoid being victimized when buying or selling valuables containing precious metal, and goes behind the scenes to show in detail how buyers determine the value of gold and silver in items they buy from the public. Travers reveals insider secrets for getting the most money when selling gold and silver coins, jewelry or “scrap.”

He cautions that high-profile gold buyers who advertise extensively often pay rock-bottom prices, “luring cash-starved victims with slick TV commercials or eye-catching newspaper ads promising ‘top dollar’ for the gold that’s sitting idle in their jewelry boxes or drawers.”

A new chapter titled “A Grade Leap Forward” explores what Travers calls “the new math of coin grading” – the enhancement made possible in early 2010 when the Professional Coin Grading Service introduced its PCGS Secure Plus™ system and added intermediate “plus” (+) designations to coins at the high end of their grade level. The Numismatic Guaranty Corporation of America (NGC) soon began offering similar grading.

Exclusive first-time photographs show the differences between “regular” and “plus” grades.

Travers also explains how Secure Plus™ combats coin “doctoring” and shares insiders’ tips on how to get the greatest value when buying and selling PCGS and NGC plus-grade coins.

Hundreds of never-before-published digitized coin images give readers a clear look at subtle grading nuances and ways to detect altered coins. In a beefed-up color section, surprising photos reveal how the same coin was given different grades by leading services. It also shows examples of difficult-to-detect doctored and altered coins, plus endangered coins rescued from harm’s way through proper conservation.

Exclusive color photographs pinpoint how to distinguish between Morgan dollars and Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles that are Mint State-65 and Mint State 65+ — a small difference in grade that can make a significant difference in marketplace value. (more…)

Mint of Finland issues a coin incorporating hand-crafted filigree

Filigree technique has never been used in coin minting before

Mint of Finland issues a coin which incorporates hand-crafted filigree on October 15. Mint of Finland presented the Cabbage Rabbit Filigree coin in American Numismatic Association’s conference in Boston on August 11. The Filigree coin aroused plenty of interest in the conference. The Filigree .

The Cabbage Rabbit Filigree coin will be issued by the Mint of Finland on October 15. In the middle of the collector coin there is a delicate rabbit made of filigree. The Cabbage Rabbit Filigree coin is a part of the Mint of Finland’s Year of the Rabbit series. The collector coin illustrates popular Chinese Lunar theme. Chinese astrology designates year 2011 as the Year of the Rabbit.

Filigree – traditional hand-craft art as a centerpiece for modern design

Filigree is a delicate kind of jewel work made with twisted threads usually of silver or other alloys. The silver wire is not much bigger than the thickness of a hair so making the filigree is very intricate, requiring fine attention to detail and steady hands. The filigree technique has been used in jewellery making for thousands of years but it has never been used in coin minting before.

One of the Mint of Finland’s design techniques is combining coin with fragile materials that haven’t been used in coin making earlier. “The Mint of Finland is the only mint in the world that offers collector coins minted with joining technology. The technology is developed and patented by the Mint of Finland. Before filigree the Mint of Finland has joined also stone and coin”, comments the Mint of Finland’s Collector Item’s vice president Mika Peippo. The patent number of the joining technology is FI 118505B.

In the EU-area the Cabbage Rabbit Filigree coins can be subscribed from the Mint of Finland’s webstore at www.suomenrahapaja.fi from October 15.

Mint of Finland is the leading company in its field in Scandinavia and the Baltic region. Mint of Finland owns Mint of Sweden (AB Myntverket) and 50% of Mint of Norway Ltd. (Det Norske Myntverket AS). Its activities include the design, marketing and minting of coins. The company is owned by the Finnish state. It encompasses two business units: Circulation Coins and Collector Items. Mint of Finland produces metal circulation coins, jubilee and special coins, coins sets, medals, badges of honour and jewellery. The group employs some 133 people and exports to nearly 40 countries. The year 2010 marks the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Mint by the order of Tsar Alexander II. During the jubilee year, Mint of Finland will issue five new collector coins, open an online boutique, and in October, Finns can discover how coins are minted at an exposition at the Finnish Science Centre Heureka. For further details about the jubilee year events, see our website at www.suomenrahapaja.fi (more…)

Austrian Mint’s Vienna Philharmonic 20 Ounce Gold Coin celebrates a 20 Year Success Story

Twenty years ago in 1989 the Austrian State Mint passed from the Treasury into the ownership of the central bank. The mint was given the freedom to produce and sell products in accordance with the demands of the modern numismatic and investment markets. One of the very first innovations introduced by the new CEO, Paul Berger, was the production of a gold bullion coin for investment purposes: the Vienna Philharmonic.

20z_philharmonicOn 16th October this year a limited quantity of 6,027 Vienna Philharmonic coins, each weighing 20 ounces of fine gold, will go on sale in Europe, America and Japan.

20 ounces to commemorate 20 years!

Why the odd number? The mint decided to offer 2009 coins (the date of the 20th anniversary) in its three major markets: in Europe, in America and in Japan. Investors still remember the 15 giant coins (each of 1,000 ounces) that celebrated the fifteenth anniversary in 2004, and that entered the Guinness Book of Records as the then largest gold coin in the world. All 15 giant coins were snapped up within days, and the excitement surrounding this special issue of a 20 ounce coin promises a similar market reaction.

The new 20 ounce coin has a diameter of 74 mm and a thickness of 8.3 mm and is housed in a prestigious wooden and red velvet case. Pre-orders for this unique anniversary gold coin have already started pouring into the mint in Vienna. It promises to be a major success as indeed the past 20 years of the Austrian bullion programme have been.

The Vienna Philharmonic Story

The decision in 1989 to issue a gold bullion coin in the two weights of 1 ounce and ¼ ounce was greeted with indulgent smiles. Austria, a small central European country since the destruction of her empire in 1918 and without any gold mining industry to support, was entering the bullion market, long dominated by the Krugerrand and that time divided between the USA, Canada and Western Australia.
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2009 Silver Proof Set Available July 17 from the US Mint

The 2009 United States Mint Silver Proof Set contains 18 coins, each bearing the “S” mint mark of the United States Mint at San Francisco.

This year’s set contains 18 coins:  four Presidential $1 Coins honoring William Henry Harrison, John Tyler, James K. Polk and Zachary Taylor; a new Native American $1 Coin; six commemorative quarter-dollar coins honoring the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories (the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, the United States Virgin Islands and the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands); four new Lincoln Bicentennial One-Cent Coins struck in honor of the 200th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s birth; and the Jefferson 5-cent coin, Roosevelt dime and Kennedy half-dollar.  The dime, half-dollar, and six quarters are struck in lustrous 90 percent silver.

All 18 coins bear the “S” mintmark of the United States Mint at San Francisco.  The set also includes a Certificate of Authenticity signed by the Director of the United States Mint.

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Heritage announces new Monthly World Coin Internet Auctions

DALLAS, TX – Heritage Auction Galleries, the world’s leading numismatic auctioneer, has created a new online auction venue for World Coin buyers with its new Monthly Internet-only World Coin Auctions. The first installment of this new venture is currently online at www.HA.com/WorldCoins, closing on July 12. The next auction will start the same day, July 12, immediately following the closing of the previous auction.

“The format of the auctions is quite simple,” said Cristiano Bierrenbach, Director of International Sales at Heritage. “They will stay up for four weeks, will have an average of 500-600 certified lots, all unreserved and all starting at $1.”

As the undisputed industry leader in World Coins, Heritage is starting its monthly world coin Internet auctions as both a compliment to its weekly U.S. Rare Coin Internet-only auctions as well as to serve the world coin collecting audience devoted to coins that fall in the price range below that of most of the company’s more high profile auctions.

“There’s a consistent and committed audience for world coins that is only looking to spend anywhere from $30 to $300 and up,” said Bierrenbach. “We heard the demands of collectors and now present to them our monthly world coin Internet-only auctions.”

Buyers of rare world coins will now have a reason to visit the Heritage world coins auction home page more than just during the company’s Signature auction offerings. With a monthly selection of rare world coins – featuring the variety and pricing that Heritage is known for – collectors will have a reason to check in with Heritage on a regular basis. This allows them some excellent buys on fine and rare world coins as well as a first look at any catalog offerings that will be coming up.

“We’re excited to provide this opportunity to collectors,” said Bierrenbach. “They love fine world coins the way that we do here at Heritage, so we know what a regular buying occasion can do for them, and for their collections.”

For more information on this and other future World Coin Monthly Internet Auctions, to read detailed descriptions and download fully enlargeable, hi-res images, go online to the Heritage World Coin Auctions homepage. (more…)

United States Mint Unveils Modern Ultra-High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin

Secretary of the Treasury Henry Paulson announced that pursuant to Public Law: 31 U.S.C. § 5112(i)(4) the United States Mint will issue a one-ounce ultra-high relief 24-karat gold coin, creating a 2009 version of what many have called the most beautiful gold piece ever made: the Ultra High Relief Saint-Gaudens $20 Double Eagle.

2009 Ultra High Relief Gold

Aided by advancements in technology, the United States Mint now can produce, in quantity, the ultra high relief coin envisioned, but never fully realized, by renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens in 1907.

The mintage of the new coin will be unlimited for one year. Among the production specifications approved by Secretary Paulson are the new coin’s business-strike finish and a diameter of 27 millimeters, making the new collectible coin about 50 percent thicker than other United States Mint one-ounce gold coins.

Only 2009-dated coins will be minted. The coins will go on sale in early 2009, although sales may continue into 2010 if inventory exists.

United States Mint Director Ed Moy will participate in the Opening Ceremony of the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money on Wednesday, July 30, 2008, at 9:30 a.m. ET

Visitors will be able to feel the ultra high relief on plasters of the coin that will be featured at the Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Gold Coin exhibit at the United States Mint booth on the bourse floor at the World’s Fair of Money.

The Obverse: Saint-Gaudens’ Liberty, personified by a statuesque woman striding powerfully forward. Liberty is leading the way with a torch in her front hand and an olive branch in the back hand. The United States Capitol dome is also depicted in the background.

The Reverse & Edge Lettering: A young eagle flying during a sunrise is depicted on the reverse. The motto, “E PLURIBUS UNUM” is on the edge of the coin, allowing a cleaner design on the obverse and reverse.

PCGS Announces Innovative Roll Certification Program

 PCGS Roll HolderProfessional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) is offering a new service, the Roll Certification Program, for rolls of Brilliant Uncirculated coins. Certified rolls are encapsulated in a new PCGS product, the clear, durable CrystalVue™ holder, which enables easy viewing of the obverse and reverse designs as well as the coins’ edges.

“In 1986, PCGS revolutionized the coin market by establishing the standard for third-party grading of individual coins. Now, with so many people collecting coins such as Presidential dollars by the roll, PCGS is revolutionizing coin collecting again with the Roll Certification Program. It gives collectors a safe, effective method of protecting their coins for future generations while guaranteeing the authenticity and Brilliant Uncirculated grade of an entire roll,” said Ron Guth, PCGS President.

PCGS now is accepting for roll certification Presidential dollars submitted in Mint-sealed boxes of government-wrapped rolls, and American silver Eagles in Mint boxes. Acceptance of additional coin denominations and series will be announced in the coming weeks. (more…)

Mike Fuljenz Helps Author Scott A Travers in Placing Values on Gold Coins in the ‘Insider’s Guide to U.S. Coin Values 2008’

Insiders Guide to Coin Values 2008In the 2008 release of the “Insider’s Guide to U.S. Coin Values” Mike Fuljenz, President of Universal Coin & Bullion, once again assisted author Scott A. Travers in placing values on gold coins. This is a leading coin price guide published by Bantam Dell, a division of Random House, Inc. Collectors anxiously await this guide across the country considered “The most up-to-date comprehensive Coin Book in America” to evaluate their collections.

The most prestigious numismatic authorities in America assign the values to the coins covered in this guide. Mr. Travers is often sought by publications such as The Wall Street Journal and Business Week, and has served as a coin valuation consultant to the Federal Trade Commission. He has surrounded himself with other leading experts to provide coin collectors the most accurate coin values available. In his acknowledgements Travers give recognition to those numismatic experts he depends on to give him the values for his publication. His acknowledgement for Mike Fuljenz, read “Michael R Fuljenz” of Universal Coin & Bullion in Beaumont, Texas updated the values for gold eagles through double eagles. He is one of the Nation’s highest profiled and most esteemed gold coin authorities. His contributions, like the metal, itself, glitter.”

In past issues Fuljenz, the President of Universal Coin & Bullion has served as the gold coin price coordinator. Mr. Fuljenz is also a well-known numismatic author who has written numerous books relating to coin collecting, such as “The Collector’s Guide to Indian Head Quarter Eagles” and just recently, “The Collector’s Guide to $10 Indian Head Eagles.” Mike Fuljenz is also the recipient of a 2002 NLG Book of the Year Award for his “Type II Double Eagles: 1866-1876” book.

The “Insider’s Guide to U.S. Coin Values 2008” is available on Amazon.com and in most local bookstores.

Issue #12 of Die Variety News Features “Extra Beard” Cents

Die Variety NewsIt seems that I discovered the existence of Die Variety News #11 just in time, because reader Danny Chapman dropped me a line earlier this morning to tell me that Die Variety News #12 has just come out! Die Variety News is a bimonthly variety coin magazine published free of charge in PDF format by variety coin expert Billy Crawford. If you enjoy hunting through pocket change to find rare and valuable coins, you don’t want to miss Billy’s great magazine, which is loaded with photos showing you exactly what to look for.

The lead story in Die Variety News #12 is about the recently discovered 2000-P Lincoln Memorial Cent doubled die obverse which shows an extra section of Lincoln’s beard, rotated about 40 degrees and then offset a ways onto the neck. The doubling can be seen with the naked eye, which makes this variety an important type. Billy provides several photos that will help you find your own specimen in your pocket change (or you can just take the lazy man’s way and buy it on eBay.) Read Full Story

District to Get Its Own Quarter

DC to get State Quarter?Christmas seems to have come early for the District of Columbia.

Yesterday we reported that a congressional ban on needle-exchange programs was finally lifted and that we were getting our D.C. postmark back. Today we find out that the District will join the other 50 states and get its own quarter.

Buried in a larger article in the Post on a $515.7 billion spending bill that allocates funds for the District, the announcement was made with almost no fanfare:

The legislation provides hundreds of millions of dollars for the District. It includes the annual federal payment for D.C. courts, almost $224 million, as well as almost $48 million for defender services in family courts, according to a statement from Norton. It makes available $190 million to assist former prison inmates returning home to the city. It also includes millions for schools, sewers, libraries and a new forensics lab, among other projects… The bill also will establish a quarter with an image representing the District, similar to coins commemorating the 50 states. Read Full Article

Perth Mint To Release 200th ANNIVERSARY OF THE RUM REBELLION Set January 2, 2008

1oz HOLEY DOLLAR & DUMP SILVER PROOF COIN SET ANNIVERSARY RELEASE COMMEMORATES AUSTRALIA’S ONLY COUP D’ÉTAT

Perth Mint New Release - Rum RebellionExactly 20 years after the First Fleet dropped anchor in Sydney Cove on 26 January 1788, Australia experienced its first, and only, military insurrection – the Rum Rebellion.

The revolt was perpetrated against Governor William Bligh, forever remembered as the Captain of the mutinous crew aboard HMS Bounty. The perpetrators were the powerful officers of the NSW Corps – also known as the Rum Corps because of their control of the colony’s ‘rum’ trade.

Perth MintIn response to the Governor’s attempted reforms, which threatened the officers’ lucrative business, the Corps marched on Government House in Sydney to arrest Bligh, ignominiously dragging him from beneath his bed.

This spectacular Australian legal tender set commemorates the 200th anniversary of the extraordinary coup. Struck by The Perth Mint from 1oz of 99.9% pure silver in proof quality, it resembles Australia’s first official coinage – the Holey Dollar & Dump – which was introduced in the aftermath of the famous Rum Rebellion. (more…)

New Book By Jeff Ambio on Gold Coin Investment Stategies Due Out in January

Investment Strategies for US Gold Coins

Available in January 2008 from Zyrus Press, Investment Strategies for U.S. Gold Coins, by Jeff Ambio, offers advice on how to successfully and profitably invest in United States gold coins.

Ambio is a well-known numismatic expert and auction cataloger. His professional career spans the nation’s top auction houses: Heritage Auction Galleries, Superior Galleries, Bowers & Merena. Recently, Ambio served as Vice President of Numismatics at Rare Coin Wholesalers. As one of the industry’s most highly trained numismatic scholars, Ambio brings first-hand experience and expertise together to offer exclusive insider tips for the collector and investor – What do I look for? Which coin should I buy next? Is the coin available on the market? How much can I expect to pay? And how do I make the most of my investment?

This book covers regular-issue gold series from 1795 through 1933 and informs the reader on a number of investing strategies, including collecting by type, variety, or rarer issues. The book includes over 150 high-resolution gold coin images, graphs, and vital pricing data. Each chapter begins with a brief history of a gold type, then goes on to describe various tactics or “game plans” to help the investor build his or her collection. (more…)

NumisMaster Adds U.S. Paper Money Pricing

NumismasterUnited States paper money listings have been added to the NumisMaster online pricing and information service powered by Krause Publications.

“All of the photographs and listings found in the Standard Catalog of United States Paper Money are now available online, with quick searches that take you right to what you’re looking for,” said George Cuhaj, paper money market specialist at Krause Publications.

And accessing the price listings online means having the most up-to-date prices at the click of a mouse. Just log on to www.numismaster.com

“The escalation of the currency market creates a need for current pricing and the most accurate information available,” Cuhaj said.

The United States Paper Money Guide includes all non-coin monetary issues of the United states, including large-size, small-size, Fractional Currency, National Bank Notes, error notes, pre-Civil War Treasury notes, Silver and Gold Certificates, Military Payment Certificates, encased postage and postage stamp envelopes. Current market values are listed in up to four grades of preservation. (more…)

Passing the buck: Mint pushes Peace Dollar

Liberty Peace DollarAfter unveiling its own “currency” bearing Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul’s likeness this year, The Liberty Dollar of Evansville, Ind., an “alternative” mint that has tried to print its own money to compete with the U.S. dollar, has now minted coins that advocate an end to the war in Iraq.

The Liberty Dollar made its name minting coins pegged to commodity prices. It has now released the 2008 Peace Dollar, with a face value of 10 Liberty Dollars and containing a half-ounce of pure silver.

The $20 Ron Paul Dollar was minted in support of the Republican presidential candidate, who has ridden a wave of Internet buzz to increased prominence. Also available are $1,000 gold denominations. Read Full Story

Last of the Austrian Mint’s “Vienna Jugendstil” Series

Austrian Mint - House No. 38 in the Linke WienzeileThe Austrian Mint’s four coin gold series “Vienna Jugendstil” concludes with the issue of the coin “House No. 38 in the Linke Wienzeile” on 7th November, 2007.

The series began in 2004 with a coin for the Vienna “Secession”, the exhibition hall in which the “Jugendstil” school of art had its origins. 2005 saw a work of sacral art, the “Church am Steinhof” with its golden dome. 2006 brought the “Vienna River Gate” to the City Park, a monumental work for public use. The series now is rounded off with an apartment house designed by the great Jugenstil architect Otto Wagner, who even took an apartment for himself in this building on the street bordering the Vienna River, the “Linke Wienzeile”.

The house was built in 1898-99 and is one of the best known examples of the Jugendstil in Vienna. Occupying a corner block, its cream façade decorated in gold is a prominent sight in the Linke Wienzeile. The rounded corner of the house itself is flanked on top by two female half-figures who, with hands raised to their mouths, trumpet out their joy to all Vienna. These figures are the work of the sculptor Othmar Schimkowitz, who also created the angels on Wagner’s Church am Steinhof. The façade is decorated with gold medallions of women’s heads, designed by the great Jugendstil artist Koloman Moser. Wagner had hoped to create a row of Jugenstil houses along the Wienzeile; a dream that was not to be realised. (more…)

PCGS Currency to No Longer Use “Red Holders” for Problem Notes

PCGS Currency October 24, 2006—PCGS Currency has announced that, effective immediately, notes with major problems and/or restorations will no longer be placed in “Red Holders.” While the grading standards for problem notes have not changed, with the “Apparent” grade system remaining in place, such notes will be placed into PCGS Currency holders with the normal green-colored security tape label. The word “Apparent” will appear larger and bolder than before, as will the problems described on the holder for each note, but the color of the holder will no longer be red.

According to the PCGS Currency Grading Standards, notes that have major faults such as tears, splits, holes, missing pieces or have been subject to major restoration, such as repaired tears or splits, redrawing of the design, bleaching of the paper, or even reconstruction of missing pieces, will be assigned a “problem note” designation. Such problems will be noted on the grading label. In these cases we will assign an “Apparent” grade followed by a brief and concise description of the problems or repairs. The “Apparent” grade will equate to what the note would have graded without the mentioned problems. For example, “Apparent VF30, bleached and starched” might be a description of a problem note, as might “Apparent XF45, upper-right corner restored”. No net grade will be given. (more…)

All-Time Finest Collection of Private & Territorial Gold Patterns

by Greg Reynolds, a CoinLink exclusive report

1849 Cincinnati Mining & Trading Company Pattern $20 The Robert Bass collection of Private & Territorial gold patterns, die trials and related pieces is the all-time finest in this field. Bass started buying territorial gold coins and patterns in the 1960s. He sold his collection of territorial gold in 1999. He was too emotionally attached to his territorial patterns, however, to part with them, until 2006 when he had to deal with personal and health problems.

Don Kagin reports that he purchased this collection from Robert Bass “more than one year ago.” It has taken a long time to inventory, weigh, research and prepare a catalogue of the items. Kagin emphasizes that a featured trio are “three unique Humbert $50 pieces” that were previously in the legendary Bushnell and Garrett family collections.

Items from more than thirty private mints or prospective mints are in the Bass collection. Eleven of these may never have minted gold coins.

This Bass collection contains 179 pieces. For about eighty-three of these, fewer than five pieces are known. Even more startling is that, of these eighty-three or so, more than fifty of them are unique, meaning just one piece is known to exist today. (more…)

Uncertainty Over Grading Leads to New Service

By Mark Ferguson for COIN VALUES

Collectors Acceptance CorporationAs rare coin prices in general have risen during this 5-year-old bull market trend we’re still in, prices have differentiated those coins that are solid for a grade or considered premium quality (PQ) from those coins that barely make a grade, or are even considered to be overgraded.

Demand has been unprecedented during this time, leaving the vast majority of coins on the market picked over because they are considered low quality for their grades.

Some collectors, and even some dealers, who are relatively new to the scene have trouble recognizing coins that are solidly graded. However, “old school” collectors and dealers, and those who’ve educated themselves about grading standards, are having a very difficult time finding coins they consider acceptable.

A common belief among dealers and collectors is that over the years, Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corp., which have each been grading coins for more than 20 years, have practiced “gradeflation,” a loosening of grading standards, in order to entice more business (submissions). The belief some hold is that submitters have been receiving higher grades from one service, forcing the other to loosen its standards.  Read Full Story

New Film on Augustus Saint-Gaudens

Augustus Saint- GaudensA new hour-long feature documentary, Augustus Saint-Gaudens: Master of American Sculpture, is being produced by the Trustees of the Saint-Gaudens Memorial with assistance from the Saint-Gaudens National Historic Site. Paul Sanderson, of Our Town Films, Inc. is the film’s producer and director.

Although millions today see Saint-Gaudens’ work in museums and public places, few know the man behind the art. The film will introduce new audiences to this artist and his work and show how he influenced American cultural life through the art of sculpture and as teacher and supporter of the arts. The documentary will cover Saint-Gaudens life, from his birth in Dublin, Ireland and childhood in New York City, though his rise to prominence in the art world both in Europe and the United States, and his continued legacy as one of the country’s greatest artists.

The film had its first advanced screening on Friday, July 13, 2007, at Dartmouth College, Hanover, N.H. Additional advanced screenings and symposia are scheduled at the Smithsonian Institution (September 7), the Metropolitan Museum of Art (September 23), the Philadelphia Museum of Art (September 30), the Art Institute of Chicago (March 8, 2008), and with other locations anticipated. The film will air on New Hampshire Public Television during Spring 2008. (more…)

New ‘Heritage Magazine’ Targets World’s Top Collectors

Heritage MagazineDALLAS, TEXAS – Former Frito-Lay International CEO and rare-coin supercollector Jim O’Neal is featured on the cover of the premiere issue of Heritage Magazine for the Intelligent Collector.

The quarterly magazine, hitting mailboxes this month, targets readers pursuing the world’s most valuable collectibles, with stories on Hollywood memorabilia (a 1934 “The Black Cat” movie poster that fetched more than $250,000); White House mementos (jewelry being auctioned by former first daughter-in-law Sharon Bush); Civil War collectibles (a sword belonging to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant that sold for $1.67 million); and sports memorabilia (a Lou Gehrig game jersey is expected to sell for up to $400,000).

“The collectibles market is growing at a phenomenal rate, with everything from fine art to comics growing as legitimate investments,” says editorial director Hector Cantu. “We’ll be providing collectors with solid advice, sales information and interviews so they can make smart decisions when it comes to selling and buying the most sought-after collectibles.”
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New $5 Bill Debuts During “Wi-5” Event

 First-Ever “Digital Unveiling” of a Redesigned Bill  – Introduction Scheduled for Early 2008

New Redesigned $5 noteWASHINGTON, D.C. (September 20, 2007) – The U.S. government today digitally unveiled a new, more secure design for the $5 bill that will be issued and enter circulation in early 2008. A new $100 bill will follow. This is the first time in history that U.S. paper money has ever been unveiled entirely online.

Similar to recently redesigned $10, $20 and $50 bills, the new $5 bill incorporates improved, easy-to-use security features, making it easier for businesses and consumers to check the new $5 bills they receive and more difficult for counterfeiters to fake.

Officials from the U.S. Treasury, Federal Reserve Board, Bureau of Engraving and Printing, and U.S. Secret Service were part of today’s “Wi-5” preview, an entirely digital event which emphasized the government’s commitment to staying ahead of counterfeiters. The live “unveiling” of the $5 bill design, which featured government officials discussing currency security efforts, took place on www.moneyfactory.gov/newmoney and also included an online Q&A for news reporters. Podcasts featuring important information about the new $5 bill are also posted on the site. (more…)

Wyoming Strikes Up the Band at State Quarter Launch

United States Mint Director and Wyoming Governor Celebrate Legacy of Women’s Rights, Pioneer Spirit

CHEYENNE, WYOMING – The sounds of the University of Wyoming Marching Band filled the Cheyenne Civic Center today in celebration of the official launch of the State’s commemorative quarter-dollar. Hosted by United States Mint Director Ed Moy and Governor Dave Freudenthal, the Wyoming launch ceremony honored the 44th coin in the United States Mint’s popular 50 State Quarters® Program.

Released into circulation on September 4, the Wyoming quarter design features a bucking horse and rider, which pays homage to the State’s Wild West heritage. The coin also bears the inscriptions “The Equality State,” recognizing Wyoming’s historical role in establishing equal voting rights for women; “Wyoming;” and “1890,” the year Wyoming was admitted into the Union. (more…)

From Design to Production – Wyoming State Quarter

CHEYENNE — It will take the super-fast presses at the U.S. Mint just 10 weeks to produce all of the roughly 500 million Wyoming quarters that will ever be produced.But it took more than two years and hundreds of hours of behind-the-scenes work to get the quarter ready for the minting process.

Roughly 3,200 Wyoming residents contributed by submitting design ideas. A committee appointed by Gov. Dave Freudenthal honed the concept, while the governor made the final choice.

The process yielded a design that has been described as “clean,” “simple” and “elegant”by some and unfortunate by those who think the bucking horse and rider image does not accurately represent the state.

Treasures of Australia Sapphires 1oz Gold Proof Locket Coin

Perth Mint – New Release

Treasures of Australia Sapphires 1oz Gold Proof Locket CoinTreasures of Australia is a beautiful series of locket coins celebrating Australia’s abundance of natural riches. This first release contains stunning blue sapphires, which are found in major accumulations in Queensland and New South Wales.

For a limited time only, collectors who purchase this Treasures of Australia gold proof locket coin will automatically receive a pure silver version absolutely free! Offer ends 31 October 2007 or when the full mintage of just 1,000 gold proof locket coins has been taken up.

The 2007-dated coin is struck from 1oz of 99.99% pure gold in proof quality. The design surrounds a transparent half-circle locket containing approximately 1-carat of sapphires. Linked through time with many special properties, including wisdom, loyalty and healing, sapphires are also the birthstone of people born in September.

More Information is available at the Perth Mint Web site 

Amero Coin Con

Amero Coin - North American UnionPhotos of amero design created by parody coin designer, Daniel Carr

Pictures of the supposedly designed and coined “Amero” have been making their rounds on the internet lately, causing a stir among those aware of real proposals for a common currency between the United States, Canada, and Mexico. It seems as though certain individuals have picked up on this design and propagated the idea that it is a legitimate and official design of the Amero currency to be distributed en masse. Further research reveals that the design comes from a known parody coin designer named Daniel Carr, and is a collectable, fantasy pattern.

Pictures of the coin can be seen on his website by clicking here. According to the website, the coin is to be a “private-issue fantasy pattern.”

“These private-issue fantasy pattern coins will be struck as an annual series (until such time as it is no longer legal to do so), starting in the latter part of 2007.

Kraljevich Opens Firm

John Kraljevich is striking out on his own, starting a numismatic business named John Kraljevich Americana and Numismatics.

“As a wide-eyed boy of 11 years, I resolved that by the age of 30 I’d be either the Phillies starting third baseman or an independent professional numismatist,” Kraljevich said, citing Q. David Bowers as a role model and mentor.

Kraljevich’s new firm will be based in New York City and specialize in early American historical items. In particular, he intends to work with Colonial, pre-federal, and early U.S. Mint coins up to the introduction of steam; early American paper money; American historical medals and unusual paper and metallic Americana.

Iowa Bank Note Book Released

The Higgins Foundation and Museum has announced the publication of the reference book Iowa National Bank Notes, A Comprehensive Census of the Notes and History of the Banks by James C. Ehrhardt and Steven J. Sweeney.

The book presents detailed information on the census of 11,058 reported Iowa notes. This is about 3,000 more notes than previously published sources contain.

Listings for each note detail type, denomination, serial numbers, plate position letter, Friedberg number, condition, bank signatures and pedigrees to the Higgins Museum and other public institutions or events. Data summarizing the census by town, county, note type and Treasury signatures are also listed.

A 32-page chapter provides full-color images of all known types of Iowa notes, as well as many rare and interesting notes. Capsule histories of several large hoards are given by authors who were involved with them. The book also offers a study of the growth and decline of banks. Case studies are provided on the Abram Rutt National Bank and the 1932 bank holiday in the town of Nevada.

New Coin Celebrates Link between Jefferson, University of Virginia

By University of Virginia – UVA Today

On Aug. 30, the United States Mint is releasing the latest in its series of gold coins honoring the spouses of American presidents. Because Thomas Jefferson had been a widower for 19 years prior to beginning his presidency, there was no First Lady to honor. Instead, his coin depicts Lady Liberty on the obverse, and on the reverse, an image of his monument, overlaid with his famed epitaph: “Here was buried Thomas Jefferson, author of the Declaration of American Independence, of the Statute of Virginia for Religious Freedom, and Father of the University of Virginia.”

In observation of the coin’s release and celebration of Jefferson’s beloved “Academical Village,” below is a sampling of Thomas Jefferson quotes relating to the great labor of his later years, the establishment of the University of Virginia. They are drawn from
“The Jefferson Cyclopedia: A Comprehensive Collection of the Views of Thomas Jefferson,” available through the U.Va. Library at http://etext.lib.virginia.edu/jefferson/quotations/foley/. (more…)