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The News at a Glance – July 28, 2010

Stars on Banknotes Are Special
Sometimes the Bureau of Engraving and Printing messes up a note as its printed. It can’t be issued. It must be destroyed, but the accounts must be balanced. What to do? Well, since 1910 the BEP has employed a star at the end of the serial number in place of the letter to indicate that it is a replacement note for one that was destroyed. Collectors love star notes because they are scarcer than regular notes and some of them are downright rare. The percentage of spoiled notes is very small; hence the number of star notes is rather limited. In the early series of U.S. small size notes, the spoilage percentage has been accurately estimated at less than 1 percent of toal notes. No attempt is made to replace any defective note with the same serial number star note.
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2010 U.S. Proof Platinum Eagles Available August 12
U.S. Mint
American Eagle Platinum Proof Coins are collector versions of the official United States Mint American Eagle Platinum Bullion Coins and are available in limited mintages in the one ounce size. The obverse features Lady Liberty, symbolizing vigilance and faithfulness to duty. The reverse design is emblematic of the principle To Establish Justice, the second of six principles of American democracy found in the Preamble to the United States Constitution. It features a blindfolded justice, symbolizing impartiality, holding traditional scales and carrying a branch of laurel. Inscriptions include UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, 1 oz., .9995 PLATINUM, $100, and JUSTICE THE GUARDIAN OF LIBERTY, which is from the East Pediment of the Supreme Court Building.
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How Much Bullion and Rare Coins Should You Own?
Coin Update News
A question I am frequently asked by both new and experienced buyers of precious metals is just how much of one’s portfolio should be devoted to gold, silver, and rare coins? There is no one-size-fits-all answer to this question.  Factors that affect the allocation decision include someone’s current financial position, their amount of liquid assets, their age, the level of potential risk versus reward they can accept, and their commitments that may tie up assets in the future. To help people, I have come up with a range of answers, using the percentage of net worth as the standard.  For some it may be easier to think in terms of percentage of an investment portfolio.
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Fake British £1 coins Increasing
BBC Business News
Nearly two million counterfeit £1 coins were returned to the Royal Mint in the last financial year, figures show. This was more than 23 times higher than the number seized six years earlier, MPs were told. An estimated one in 36 £1 coins in circulation are counterfeit, prompting a campaign by the Royal Mint telling people how to spot fakes. Key signs of counterfeits include a poorly defined ribbed edge or an indistinct design of the Queen.The UK Treasury said that the proportion of counterfeit £1 coins in circulation had only risen slightly in the last year. Attempts to tackle the number of fakes had led to the high number seized and returned to the Royal Mint.
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The U.S. Mint’s Stealth Anti-Counterfeiting Campaign
Dave Harper’s Buzz
In the United States, we have not had a problem with fake $1 coins in circulation, but the Mint, nevertheless, keeps churning out alternative coins. The Ike dollar arrived in 1971, the Anthony in 1978, the Anthony revival in 1999, the Sacagawea dollar in 2000, the Presidential dollars starting in 2007 and the Native American coins starting in 2009. Americans have a choice of five different coin designs to ignore each and every year now. … That’s darn clever of the U.S. Mint. It has successfully defended the U.S. economy from an influx of fake dollar coins and saved its valiant retail merchants from unfortunate losses.
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U.S. Seeking Input for Banknote Modification to Aid the Visually Impaired
The Federal Register has published for public comment changes to United States Federal Reserve Notes — U.S. paper currency — to make them accessible to the blind and the visually impaired, knowing that the alterations will financially affect some ATM, kiosk and self-checkout owners and operators. “The purpose of this Federal Register notice is to inform the public of the features the Bureau of Engraving and Printing intends to propose to the Secretary of the Treasury to accommodate people who are blind and visually impaired and to solicit public comment on the proposed accommodation,” the Federal Register wrote in the proposal titled, “Meaningful Access To United States Currency for Blind and Visually Impaired Persons.”
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