You are browsing the archive for 2014 February.

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Mt. Gox files for bankruptcy, hit with lawsuit

February 28, 2014 in Bitcoin, News, Virtual currency

By Yoshifumi Takemoto and Sophie Knight TOKYO Fri Feb 28, 2014. (

(Reuters) – Mt. Gox, once the world’s biggest bitcoin exchange, filed for bankruptcy protection in Japan on Friday, saying it may have lost nearly half a billion dollars worth of the virtual coins due to hacking into its faulty computer system.

The collapse caps a tumultuous few weeks in which the company has remained virtually silent after halting trades of the crypto-currency, shaking the nascent but burgeoning bitcoin community.

Wearing a suit instead of his customary T-shirt, Mt. Gox’s French CEO Mark Karpeles bowed in contrition and apologized in Japanese at a news conference at the Tokyo District Court, blaming his firm’s collapse on a “weakness in our system”, but predicting that bitcoin would continue to grow.

“First of all, I’m very sorry,” he said. “The bitcoin industry is healthy and it is growing. It will continue, and reducing the impact is the most important point.”

Full article at the source>

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Tax man comes for couple’s gold-coin find

February 28, 2014 in Antique Coins, Coins, Gold, Gold Coins, Gold Eagles, News, Numismatica, Numismatics, Rare Coins, Treasure, USA Coins

The people who unearthed the stash on their property could owe nearly half of the $10 million value in federal and state taxes.

By MSN Money Partner. By Myra Saefong, MarketWatch (
The “greatest buried treasure ever unearthed in the United States” is about to be hit by the tax collector.

According to Kathleen Pender, a columnist at the San Francisco Chronicle, the couple who found in cans (pictured) buried on their property more than 1,400 rare gold coins worth more than $10 million will probably owe close to half of that sum in federal and state income tax, whether or not they sell the coins.

She quoted a 2013 tax guide in which the IRS stated: “If you find and keep property that does not belong to you that has been lost or abandoned (treasure-trove), it is taxable to you at its fair market value in the first year it is in your undisputed possession.”

Full article at the source>


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$1B in historic currency, Ga. gold at Atlanta National Money Show

February 27, 2014 in ANA (American Numismatic Association), Antique Coins, Bank Notes, Coins, Coins for sale, Collecting, Conventions, Gold, Gold Coins, Money, News, Numismatica, Numismatics, Silver, Silver Coins, USA Coins, World Coins

By: Carla Caldwell, Morning Edition Editor ( Atlanta Business Chronicle

More than $1 billion in historic coins, paper money and other historically significant numismatic treasures – including gold from Georgia’s gold rush – will be on display Thursday through Saturday at the 2014 Atlanta National Money Show at Cobb Galleria.

The show is sponsored by The American Numismatic Association, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging people to study and collect money and related items.

Full article at the source>

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PCGS-Certified MS66+ 1888-O Morgan Becomes 50 Millionth Item Certified By Collectors Universe

February 27, 2014 in Antique Coins, Coin Grading, Coins, Collecting, Morgan Silver Dollars, News, Numismatica, Numismatics, PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service), Press Releases, USA Coins

For immediate release
February 26, 2014
News media contact:
Steve Sloan, (949) 567-1223

PCGS-Certified MS66+ 1888-O Morgan Becomes 50 Millionth Item Certified By Collectors Universe

An important and historic milestone has been reached by Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT), the parent company of Professional Coin Grading Service (  On February 26, 2014, PCGS authenticated and graded a coin that became the 50 millionth item certified by Collectors Universe.


This 1888-O Morgan dollar, graded PCGS MS66+, became the 50 millionth item certified by Collectors Universe.  (Photo credit: Professional Coin Grading Service)

This 1888-O Morgan dollar, graded PCGS MS66+, became the 50 millionth item certified by Collectors Universe. (Photo credit: Professional Coin Grading Service)


“We opened our doors for business in February 1986 and we received 18,000 coins for grading that very first month, a number far in excess of what we expected.  The next month we received 35,000 coins, and we have been growing steadily since.  Now just a few weeks after our 28th anniversary of being in business, we’ve reached the 50,000,000th milestone because collectors and dealers worldwide have put their trust in the assurance and market liquidity that Collectors Universe’s expert, third-party grading and authentication provide,” said David Hall, President and Founder of Collectors Universe.

“They’ve come to us year-after-year to certify the authenticity of some  of the world’s most valuable rare coins, trading cards, game-used baseballs, bats and other sports memorabilia, autographs and historical documents.”

The landmark achievement of certifying the 50 millionth item occurred at the American Numismatic Association National Money Show in Atlanta, Georgia when a team led by PCGS President Don Willis certified the authenticity and grade, PCGS MS66+, of an 1888-O Morgan dollar.  It was submitted by Mike Newman of Augusta, Georgia, a member of the PCGS Collectors Club and a participant in the PCGS Set Registry® under the name “Georgia Dawg.”

A special insert label that reads, “Collectors Universe 1986 – 2014 50,000,000 Coins, Cards & Autographs Graded,” was used when PCGS encapsulated the coin.  There is also another specially-prepared 50,000,000 designation insert on the reverse of the holder that was personally autographed by Hall.

In recognition of the milestone and as a symbolic representation of the year PCGS was founded, the company is awarding the submitter a 1986 proof American Eagle gold one-ounce bullion coin.

“The PCGS concept of standardized grading, a cash-back grading guarantee, and sight-unseen trading of coins in safe, long-term storage holders, revolutionized the rare coin industry.  These dramatic improvements have forever changed the way rare coins are bought and sold,” said Willis.

Since its founding PCGS has examined, authenticated and graded nearly 28 million coins with a combined market value of over $27 billion.  These include the world’s most valuable rare coin sold at auction, a 1794 Flowing Hair silver dollar graded PCGS SP66 that’s believed to be the first silver dollar ever struck by the United States Mint and that brought $10 million.

PCGS experts also certified the authenticity and grade of the buried treasure trove of more than 1,400 gold coins found in California that generated international headlines this past week.

The Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA) and PSA/DNA Authentication Services divisions have certified since 1991 over 22 million trading cards, sports memorabilia items and autographs with a combined estimated market value of over $1 billion.  Among the PSA and PSA/DNA certified items are the baseball bat that sold for $1.2 million in 2004 that was used by Babe Ruth in 1923 to hit the first home run in the original Yankee Stadium.  And at the request of the NFL, PSA/DNA has authenticated all of the footballs used in more than a dozen Super Bowl games.

For additional information about Collectors Universe, visit  For  information about PCGS products and services visit or call (800) 447-8848, and for PSA and PSA/DNA visit or call (800) 325-1121.


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PCGS Certifies “Saddle Ridge Hoard” of Buried Treasure Gold Coins

February 26, 2014 in ANA (American Numismatic Association), Antique Coins, Coin Shows, Coins, Collecting, Gold, Gold Coins, Gold Eagles, News, Numismatic Societies and Clubs, Numismatica, Numismatics, PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service), Precious Metals, Rare Coins, Treasure, USA Coins

February 25, 2014 By  (

Professional Coin Grading Service ( has authenticated and graded a hoard of 1,427 19th century U.S. gold coins that were discovered in eight, decaying metal canisters buried on private property in California’s gold country.

The coins, which are dated from 1847 to 1894 and have a combined face value of $27,980, are estimated to be valued at more than $10 million. The majority are $20 denomination Liberty Double Eagles struck at the San Francisco Mint between 1855 and 1894. Described as the “Saddle Ridge Hoard,” it is believed to be one of the greatest buried treasures ever unearthed in the United States.

Some of this amazing treasure will make its public debut at the upcoming ANA National Money Show in Atlanta, courtesy of Kagin’s, Inc. ( of Tiburon, California, the PCGS Authorized Dealer that recently submitted the treasure trove for certification.

Full article at the source>

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How Mt.Gox went down

February 26, 2014 in Bitcoin, Investing, News, Virtual currency

By Jose Pagliery  @Jose_Pagliery February 26, 2014 (


Bitcoin skeptics say the digital currency is doomed. They’re wrong. But the failure of Mt.Gox shows the agony of an evolving industry without any government oversight and led by tech entrepreneurs with zero financial experience.

The shutdown of Mt.Gox — one of the world’s largest bitcoin exchanges — and the potential loss of more than $350 million worth of bitcoins is the result of abysmal mismanagement at the company.

By its own account, Mt.Gox collected only $380,450 in revenue during most of 2012. The next year, U.S. government agents seized $5 million from its accounts. Such a massive loss would cripple any business, but Mt.Gox remained open in Tokyo, taking people’s cash for bitcoins.

Full article and video at the source>

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Shutdown of Mt. Gox Rattles Bitcoin Market

February 26, 2014 in Bitcoin, Investing, News, Virtual currency

Closure Raises Concern About the Future of Unregulated Virtual Currency

By Robin Sidel, Michael J. Casey and Eleanor Warnock. February 25th, 2014 (

The virtual currency bitcoin suffered the biggest setback in its five-year history after a major exchange shut down on Tuesday, stoking concern about the future of a digital form of money traded by professional investors and ordinary people, but regulated by no one.

The abrupt closure of Tokyo-based Mt. Gox underscored the risks of a virtual currency that has seen a meteoric rise in the past year. Unlike a U.S. bank failure, in which deposits are insured by the government, there may be little recourse for people whose money is locked up in the shuttered exchange.

Federal prosecutors in Manhattan subpoenaed Mt. Gox this month, asking the bitcoin concern to preserve certain documents, among other things, according to a person familiar with the matter.

Full article at the source>

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Couple Uncovers Coins Worth $10M While Walking Dog

February 26, 2014 in ANA (American Numismatic Association), Antique Coins, Coins, Gold, Gold Coins, News, Numismatica, Numismatics, Precious Metals, Rare Coins, Treasure, USA Coins

LOS ANGELES February 25, 2014 (AP) By JOHN ROGERS Associated Press (

A Northern California couple out walking their dog on their property stumbled across a modern-day bonanza: $10 million in rare, mint-condition gold coins buried in the shadow of an old tree.

Nearly all of the 1,427 coins, dating from 1847 to 1894, are in uncirculated, mint condition, said David Hall, co-founder of Professional Coin Grading Service of Santa Ana, which recently authenticated them. Although the face value of the gold pieces only adds up to about $27,000, some of them are so rare that coin experts say they could fetch nearly $1 million apiece.

Full article and video at the source>

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The Gold and Silver Mine – Understanding mint-state, uncirculated and proof coins

February 25, 2014 in Bullion, Coins, Collecting, Education, Gold, Gold Eagles, Numismatica, Numismatics, Precious Metals, Proof Coins, Silver, Silver Coins, Silver Eagles, US Mint, USA Coins

By: Douglas Keefe. February 24th, 2014. (

Last week’s article spoke about purchasing American Gold Eagles and Silver Eagles for investment purposes. These coins contain 1 full ounce of gold or silver and are sold at a slight premium over the spot metal’s price. Although they have a face value as a coin ($50 for the 1-ounce gold and $1 for the 1-ounce silver)’ they will never be spent as such because the metal value of each coin exceeds the face value. The term for this is “non-circulating legal tender.”

While discussing the investment benefits of these coins with a customer last week, he inquired about their condition, as he was aware how the condition affects the value of older coins. I explained how since these coins were never meant for use in commerce, they all are considered “uncirculated.” However, some people do submit these coins to the independent grading services with the hope that they will be graded MS70 (for mint state 70), the highest grade achievable.

Full article at the source>

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Over 150 medieval and ancient coins confiscated by police at numismatic fair in Romania

February 25, 2014 in Ancient Coins, Antique Coins, Archaeology, Coins, Collecting, History, Numismatic Crimes, Numismatica, Numismatics, Rare Coins, Roman Coins, Theft, World Coins

By Irina Popescu. February 25th, 2014 (

A total of 154 old coins were confiscated by the police at a numismatic fair in Brasov, center Romania.

The coins, some of them dating from the second and first centuries B.C. while others from the medieval period, came from archeological sites and were illegally sold at the fair for prices between RON 5 and RON 20.

“After the police checked the 125 persons participating at the fair,  seven people aged between 35 and 61, from Bihor, Buzau, Caras Severin and Salaj counties, and Bucharest were identified, they illegally traded 154 ancient and medieval coins that seem to come from archaeological sites protected by law,” according to the Brasov County Police spokesman, Liviu Naghi, quoted by Mediafax.

Full article and video at the source>

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PCGS Announces New Crossover Policy: Top-Graded Coins Crossed At PCGS 70

February 25, 2014 in Coin Grading, Coins, Collecting, News, Numismatic Societies and Clubs, Numismatica, Numismatics, PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service)

For immediate release
February 25, 2014

News media contact:
Steve Sloan, 949 567 1223, Email:

PCGS Announces New Crossover Policy:
Top-Graded Coins Crossed At PCGS 70

The new PCGS Crossover Service policy now includes Mint State 70 and Proof 70 coins.  (Photo credit: Professional Coin Grading Service.)

The new PCGS Crossover Service policy now includes Mint State 70 and Proof 70 coins. (Photo credit: Professional Coin Grading Service.)

(Santa Ana, California) — Professional Coin Grading Service (, the world’s leading, independent third-party coin authentication and grading company, has announced a new Crossover Policy.
Effective February 25, 2014, PCGS Collectors Club Members and PCGS Authorized Dealers can submit crossover coins, previously graded 70 by another grading service, to PCGS and specify MS70 or PR70 as the minimum grade.

Previously, PCGS would only allow crossovers to have a minimum grade of MS69 or PR69.
“It is great news for collectors who have longed for the highest grade by the most respected grading service in the world.  They no longer run the risk of crossing their ’70’ coins at a lower grade with the PCGS Crossover Service,” said Don Willis, PCGS President.

“It is an important move for PCGS, too.  We made this policy change because many collectors and dealers have told us they want peace of mind by having the best grade from the world’s best grading company,” explained Willis.

For a coin previously graded and currently encapsulated by any other grading service, PCGS will holder the coin only if it meets or exceeds the minimum grade that is specified by the submitter, or meets the grade on the original holder.  If your minimum grade is MS70 or PR70 and the coin does not meet PCGS’ strict standards the coin will be returned to you in its original holder.

For more information about the PCGS Crossover Policy, visit or call PCGS Customer Service at (800) 447-8848.


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Launch of Belgian Euro Coins for King Philippe

February 24, 2014 in Belgian coins, Coins, Euro Coins, Medals, Royal Mint of Belgium, World Coins

February 24, 2014 By Michael Alexander (

The Royal Mint of Belgium have launched the set of Euro coins which bear the effigy of their new King who succeeded to the Belgian throne upon the abdication of his father King Albert II on the 17th July of last year.

The new portrait which will be used on circulation Euro coins depicts the King who normally wears glasses – without them and in a break with tradition where the Monarch faces to the left on coins – he is depicted facing to the right. His initials, “F P” representing his name in both Flemish and French (Filip – Philippe) are placed to the left of the portrait. The King, who approved the design – was present at the Royal Mint to see the first strikes of the new EURO on the 4th February and also started the minting presses which would produce Belgium’s new circulation coins. The portrait was designed by the Royal Mint’s chief artistic director Luc Luycx who is also the designer of the Eurozone’s common reverse side of all eight denominations.

Full article at the source>

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Gold Sovereigns that spans 525 years. The Hemisphere Collection at Baldwin’s auctions

February 24, 2014 in Antique Coins, British Coins, Coins, Collecting, English Coins, Gold, Gold Coins, History, Investing, News, Numismatica, Numismatics, Rare Coins, World Coins

By: Yareah Magazine February 23rd, 2014 (

A collection of Gold Sovereigns that spans 525 years, 15 Monarchs and seven mints, will be offered for sale by London based auctioneers, A. H. Baldwin & Sons Ltd, on Thursday 8th May 2014. The comprehensive date collection of 394 Sovereigns from the earliest hammered examples to modern milled is entitled The Hemisphere Collection and follows hot on the heels of The Bentley Collection of British Gold Sovereigns, sold by Baldwin’s during 2013 for £3,994,638.

Formed over 10 years from 2003, the current owner’s fascination with the history of the Sovereign has culminated in the only private collection known to the auction house that contains examples of each and every monarch for the Sovereign denomination.

Full article at the source>

The Hemisphere Collection will be offered as a single sale in London on Thursday 8 May 2014. The catalogue will be available to view online at  and online biding with no additional premium is available through the services of

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Künker Berlin Auction Marks Successful Start of the Numismatic Year

February 23, 2014 in Antique Coins, Auctions, Coins, Collecting, Gold, Gold Coins, News, Numismatica, Numismatics, Rare Coins, Silver, Silver Coins, World Coins

February 21, 2014 By Ursula Kampmann (

With 7.4 million euros turnover on a single auction day, seven lots achieving hammer prices in the six-figure range, hundreds of collectors and dealers from all over the world attending the auction in person: the Künker Berlin auction once again exceeded all expectations.

Those who visited the auction floor at Berlin Estrel Hotel on 6 February 2014 had to search for a seat that wasn’t already taken. After all, the high-quality range of offers presented by Künker in auction sale catalog 244 had attracted many interested potential buyers.

Full article at the source>

Künker’s website is at

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Legend-Morphy’s sixth Regency sale excites with over $2.5 million, brings big numbers on gold

February 21, 2014 in Auctions, Coins, Coins for sale, Collecting, Gold, Gold Coins, Numismatica, Numismatics, Precious Metals, Press Releases, Proof Coins, Rare Coins, Silver, Silver Coins, USA Coins

Fri, 2014-00-21 12:00 ET (

LAS VEGAS – Legend-Morphy Rare Coin Auctions started off 2014 strong, with their sixth Regency Sale wrapping up last Thursday night at the PCGS Members Only Show in Las Vegas. Online pre-bidding drove up prices, resulting in stellar numbers across the board. A packed house, frenzied phone bidding, and live online bidding made for an exciting 3+ hour sale. Auctioneer Ron Guth returned to the podium and did a dutiful job setting the pace.

Julie Abrams, president of Legend-Morphy, was thrilled with the sale. “We’re excited to have been able to start off the new year with such an impressive offering and outstanding results. We can only hope that the rest of 2014 brings as much success as The Regency Auction VI.”

Total prices realized were $2,546,571.63, with numerous stand outs:

  • Lot 1 – 1c 1793 Wreath Vine/Bars PCGS XF40 CAC, $22,325.00
  • Lot 66 – 10c 1880 PCGS PR67 Cameo CAC, $7,050.00
  • Lot 95 – 25c 1863 PCGS PR66+ CAC, $21,150.00
  • Lot 123 – 25c 1896 PCGS PR67 DCameo CAC, $9,987.50
  • Lot 174 – 50c 1938 PCGS PR67+ CAC, $4,406.25
  • Lot 201 – $1 1880-S PCGS MS66 CAC Ex Sonnier, $5,875.00
  • Lot 306 – 1c – $1 1860 Proof Set PCGS CAC, $61,687.50
  • Lot 315 – $2 1/2 1796 No Stars PCGS AU58, $182,125.00
  • Lot 330 – $5 1853-C PCGS MS64 CAC, $64,625.00
  • Lot 339 – $10 1900 PCGS MS65, $11,162.50
  • Lot 340 – $10 1904-O PCGS MS65 CAC, $28,200.00
  • Lot 381 – 50c 1879 J-1597 PCGS PR66 Cameo CAC, $30,550.00

Legend-Morphy partner Laura Sperber “would like to thank everyone who helped make The Regency Auction VI such a success. For a smaller, 381 lot sale, we had 119 successful winning bidders plus hundreds more watching live during the sale. Prices realized were not only impressive, but met or exceeded prices realized by similar coins at any major auction house!”

Sperber went on the say that “the Proof Sets really did well in this sale and there was some very exciting bidding on the 1860 Matched Original Proof Set. In addition, a number of gold pieces met or exceeded our already lofty expectations. This sale was a promising start to 2014, and it bodes well for ushering Legend-Morphy into its second full year.”

All prices realized are posted on the Legend-Morphy website:

The next Legend-Morphy sale, The Regency Auction VII will be held Thursday, May 22 at the PCGS Members Only Show at The Venetian in Las Vegas. They will be accepting consignments through mid-March.

For information about Legend-Morphy, e-mail Julie Abrams at, call 845-430-4378, or visit

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What An Olympic Gold Medal Is Really Worth

February 20, 2014 in Bronze, Gold, Medals, Numismatica, Numismatics, Silver

By:  .

With the start of the Winter Olympics, the whole world has turned its eyes toward Sochi, Russia — and everyone is dreaming of gold. Here are some details about the tradition of awarding medals in Olympic history, as well as the lowdown on the gold, silver and bronze medals at this year’s Olympic Games in Sochi.

In the beginning, there were no medals. The Olympics began as a series of contests between Greek city-states back in 776 BC. Held every four years for more than a millennium, the games included running events, wrestling, javelin throwing and chariot racing. Winners received an olive wreath from the wild olive tree that grew at Olympia — and four years’ worth of bragging rights.

The modern Olympic Games began in 1896 in Athens, Greece. Event winners received a silver medal and an olive branch — symbolizing the original olive wreath of the ancient games — while the second-place contestant took home a copper or bronze medal and a branch of the laurel tree.

The custom of awarding gold, silver and bronze medals to the top three finishers in each event commenced with the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis, Missouri. At that time, the first-place medals were solid gold. However, that practice quickly became too expensive, and the last time pure gold medals were awarded to Olympic winners was in Stockholm, Sweden, at the 1912 Summer Games.

The gold medal at this year’s Sochi Olympic Games weighs 531 grams, making it one of the largest ever awarded. If it were made of pure gold, it would be worth nearly $24,000 at today’s gold prices. Based on its composition, however, it’s worth quite a bit less.

Here’s the breakdown of precious metal content in each medal:

Gold: Composed of 525 grams of silver (at least .925 grade) covered with six grams of pure gold. Worth about $600 based on today’s gold prices.
Silver: Composed of 525 grams of silver (at least .925 grade). Worth about $370 based on today’s silver prices.
Bronze: Composed of copper mixed with zinc and tin. Worth about $3.50.

Full article at the source>

Liberty Coin and Currency Website


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US Mint Sales Report: 2014 Kennedy Half Dollars Debut

February 20, 2014 in Coins, Collecting, Gold, Gold Coins, Half Dollars, News, Numismatica, Numismatics, Platinum, Platinum Coins, Precious Metals, Silver, Silver Coins, US Mint, USA Coins

February 18, 2014 By Michael Zielinski (

The latest weekly report of the United States Mint’s numismatic product sales includes the debut figures for the 2014 Kennedy Half Dollar bags and rolls as well as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park Quarter Three Coin Set.

The US Mint began accepting orders for the circulating quality 2014 Kennedy Half Dollars in bags and rolls on February 13, 2014. The products consisted of a two roll set containing one 20-coin roll each from the Denver and Philadelphia Mints and a 200-coin bag containing 100-coins from each mint. This year marks the 50th anniversary of the coin series issued to honor President John F. Kennedy following his assassination. In addition to the typically offered bags and rolls, the US Mint also has plans for special anniversary products to be released later in the year.

Full article at the source>

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Rare Tipu coins to be auctioned this weekend

February 20, 2014 in Ancient Coins, Antique Coins, Auctions, Coins, Collecting, History, Indian Coins, News, Numismatica, Numismatics, Rare Coins, Silver, Silver Coins, World Coins

By: Special Correspondent. February 19, 2014  (

Extremely rare and unique silver coins issued by Tipu Sultan will come under the hammer in Bangalore this weekend as a Silver Double Coin, also called as “Haidari”, and a half Anna, have been put on the block by a Delhi-based collector.

These two coins are among many other rare coins from the collectors’ kitty that will be auctioned during the three-day National Numismatic Exhibition, organised by the Bangalore-based auction house Marudhar Arts, starting from Friday.

The “Haidari”, which weighs 23 grams, according to Rajendra Maru of the auction house, has come for auction in India for the first time in several decades. “The last time we heard about the coin was some years back when a fake Haidari was in circulation. There are less than 100 such coins known to be with collectors,” he added. It is being auctioned with a base price of Rs. 1.5 lakh.

The Haidari was issued on March 16, 1790 by Tipu Sultan in honour of his father Hyder Ali. The coin minted in Srirangapatna was equivalent to 32 copper coins. The other coin issued by Tipu Sultan is an extremely rare half Anna silver coin issued in 1785 that weighs just half a gram and is 7.33 mm in size.

Full article at the source>

Auction House  Marudhar Arts  website

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Dealing in coins requires keeping your head, researching tales

February 19, 2014 in Coins, Collecting, Education, Gold Coins, Investing, Numismatica, Numismatics, Rare Coins, Silver, Silver Coins, USA Coins, World Coins

By: CHRIS LUSVARDI H&R Staff Writer February 19th, 2014 (

DECATUR — Bennie Strumpher developed an interest for coins as a child growing up in Taylorville.

Although Strumpher would later take his family on trips based on the trade show circuit, he didn’t find the right fit as a business owner until recently. He found an opportunity in 2007 after buying Decatur Coin and Jewelry, a store that has been at the same location, 104 N. Main St. in downtown Decatur, for more than 40 years.

“I was fascinated,” Strumpher said. “I was 11, and the fire started then. It’s a passion. We love it.”

Like other coin collectors, Strumpher wants to pass on his interest, so education has become a key part of the business.

His daughter, Samantha Strumpher, works alongside him in the shop, having shared the interest after growing up going on the family trips. They would often go to Florida as a family.

“I was at the show,” Strumpher said. “They went to Disney or wherever.”

When his daughter was old enough, Strumpher said he would be stuck behind a table at a trade show while his daughter would go around selling coins for him.

“It’s good old Americana,” said Samantha Strumpher, who started collecting coins when she was 9.

They have ensembled a team with sharp eyes for their craft: They must be able to tell what is a counterfeit.

They’re able to teach what to look for with the counterfeits they encounter, Strumpher said.

Research is important to increasing their self-taught knowledge, as Strumpher estimates they spend at least 25 percent of their time doing homework. The research, education and trading allows them to be called professional numismatists, or coin collectors, Strumpher said.

Full article at the source>

Link to Decatur Coin and Jewelry Website>

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Numismatic Diploma ANA School of Numismatics Diploma Program

February 19, 2014 in ANA (American Numismatic Association), Clubs and Associations, Coin Grading, Coins, Collecting, Education, Numismatic Societies and Clubs, Numismatica, Numismatics

The American Numismatic Association offers individuals the opportunity to Discover and Explore the World of Money by enrolling in the School of Numismatics Diploma Program.

The program provides individuals the opportunity to obtain a “Numismatic Scholar” certificate by completing a series of correspondence courses, hands-on seminars or a combination of the two.

Students embark on an exciting and rewarding journey while acquiring the knowledge and skills necessary to appreciate and enjoy the hobby.

Read more at the ANA’s School of Numismatics page>

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Note to investors: not all money will make money

February 19, 2014 in Auctions, Bank Notes, Coins, Investing, News, Numismatica, Numismatics, Rare Coins, World Coins

By: James Cockington. February 19th, 2014 ( Sidney Money Herald (Australia)

Rare coins and stamps are now an established asset class, increasingly popular among those with self-managed superannuation funds. Coins were nominated as the third-best-performing asset on a December 2013 Deutsche Bank list – increasing by 60 per cent in value since July 2007. Rare violins (133 per cent) and gold (91 per cent) were the two top performers.

Banknotes, it appears, are yet to be accepted in this blue-chip category.

Two Saturdays ago, several prime examples were included in the numismatic auction held by Roxbury’s Auction House at the Hotel Grand Chancellor in Brisbane.

Full Article at the source>

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Ancient Currencies, Stamps Take Students into the Past

February 15, 2014 in Ancient Coins, Antique Coins, Coin Shows, Coins, Education, History, Indian Coins, News, Numismatic Societies and Clubs, Numismatica, Numismatics, Rare Coins, World Coins

By J Shanmugha Sundaram – VELLORE 15th February 2014 (

An array of rare coins, currencies and stamps displayed at the fifth annual exposition of the Vellore Numismatic and Philatelic Association (VNPA) held at the Town Hall here on Friday has drawn a large number of students from several institutions, and also members of the public. The three-day expo has laid a platform for curious visitors and students to have a glimpse of the coins minted centuries ago.

Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, coins, tokens, stamps and other related objects.

Nearly 10 numismatists exhibited their collection  among which were the punch-marked coins developed during the early Coinage of India dating back to 1,200 BC; and coins minted by the Madurai Nayakas, Tanjor Nayakas, Arcot Nawab, Gingee Nayakas, Tanjore Maratha, Tipu Sultan, Madras Presidency and Bombay Presidency.

“It was astonishing to take notice of the vast collection minted in ancient India, a period before our great grandparents were even born,” said a student from Voorhees School.

A group of students from the school shared the same view. They said that the show had kindled their interest in numismatics.

“I really got fascinated to lay hands on the world’s first silk stamp released by Thailand,” said another student.

Full article at the source>

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The Gold and Silver Mine – Investing in gold and silver remains popular

February 15, 2014 in Bullion, Coins, Collecting, Gold, Gold Coins, Gold Eagles, Numismatica, Numismatics, Opinion, Precious Metals, Silver, Silver Coins, Silver Eagles, US Federal Reserve, US Mint

By: Douglas Keefe. The Gold And Silver Mine. February 15th, 2014 (

While I sit here writing this week’s article, gold is attempting to break through the $1,300 per ounce level while silver is trading at over $20 per ounce. Maybe by the time you read this, gold will be trading over $1,300.

What is causing this movement? Well, many people feel the economy is slipping and things could get much worse. Many reports coming out of Washington aren’t up to the expected levels, the most recent being a disappointing jobs report. And it appears the new Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen is planning on keeping the money printing presses running at full speed for the time being.

This is resulting in interest in precious metals as a hedge against bad times. A report I read stated that government sales of American Gold Eagles (those are gold coins sold for their gold value) for January this year was up 60 percent over last year and that silver eagle sales tripled. Now these are sales of physical coins, not paper transactions, so this tells me more people are buying and storing for monetary protection. They feel it is better to have access to the actual item rather than just having a piece of paper saying your metal is stored somewhere. There have been many scams in the past where a company offers to store your bullion after you purchase from them, only to find when their vaults are opened, they are empty.

I am often asked what gold and silver items I feel are the best investment, so here is my opinion.

For gold, there are choices from coins currently minted by many different countries such as the United States, Canada, China, South Africa and many others. There are also many gold coins available from countries from the time when they were actually used in commerce. Plus you can buy actual gold bars, but be careful as counterfeiting can be a problem, especially with 10 ounce bars. The premium charged over the spot price of gold varies depending on which coin you purchase. I feel the best choice is to stick with our own gold eagles and to get them in various weights of 1-ounce and 1/10-, ¼-, and ½-ounce sizes. The reason for the smaller sizes is that if you many ever need to raise a small amount of cash by selling some gold, you can do so by selling a smaller coin. Remember, though, that the premium over the spot price of gold for the smaller coins is greater than for the 1-ounce coin – the smaller the coin, the greater the premium.

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Gold up again: “So, why did Wall Street miss the move upward?,” asks Michael Fuljenz

February 14, 2014 in Bullion, Gold, Gold Bullion, Gold Coins, Precious Metals, Press Releases

For immediate release
February 14, 2014

News media contact:
Paul Stein, (409) 860-9077

Many Wall Street analysts missed gold’s recent move over $1,300 and traders again turning to gold as a safe haven because they apparently were only listening to other negative Wall Street analysts and not taking a fresh look at actual, record demand for gold by the public and central bank purchasing, says award-winning author Michael Fuljenz, President of Universal Coin & Bullion.

Michael Fuljenz, President of Universal Coin & Bullion.

Michael Fuljenz, President of Universal Coin & Bullion.

(Beaumont, Texas) — Gold’s move above $1,300 this week completely surprised some Wall Street analysts who were predicting further decline, according to award-winning precious metals and rare coin author Michael Fuljenz, President of Universal Coin & Bullion ( in Beaumont, Texas. He points out many investors have continued to purchase physical gold, such as American Eagle and Canadian Maple Leaf gold bullion coins, and some mints around the world are scrambling to keep with the demand.

“Why did financial experts miss gold’s big, sudden move in the new year?,” he asks.

“They missed the obvious, including growing demand in China and other markets, plus the record-high sales in physical gold coins. Some analysts seem to only focus on their own peer group of like-minded Wall Street traders who sold their gold exchange-traded funds (ETFs) or gold futures contracts last year. Wall Street analysts looked at negative sentiment among other firms on Wall Street and predicted ‘more of the same’ instead taking a fresh look at gold’s global fundamentals,” said Fuljenz.

He pointed out that various mints around the world, such as the United States Mint, and government mints in Australia, Austria and Canada, have seen record demand for gold coins from their customers. He also noted that China had a record year of gold imports, an increasing number of central banks have been buying gold and many gold mining operations shut down due to last year’s low gold price, thereby liming the amount of new supply on the market.

“With the dramatic declines in the stock market in January, that very few analysts predicted, enough traders became afraid of more volatility in stocks and turned to gold for its historic safe haven status,” said Fuljenz.

Fuljenz points out that while some Wall Street firms and investment banks were predicting lower gold prices, Germany’s Commerzbank issued a more realistic price projections in December that bonds and stocks would not be as attractive as gold in 2014.

On December 20, 2013, Fuljenz issued a year-end advisory stating: “Although gold will close lower on a year-to-year basis for the first time in 12 years, the long-term outlook for gold is still quite positive. Gold was down in 2013, but it’s not out in 2014.”

Mike Fuljenz has won dozens of prestigious national and regional awards and honors for his consumer education and protection work in rare coins and precious metals. Known as America’s Gold Expert®, he is a respected community leader in his hometown of Beaumont, Texas. Mike also has served with distinction as a consultant to the Federal Trade Commission, United States Mint and Royal Canadian Mint, and is on the Board of Directors of the influential Industry Council For Tangible Assets.

His weekly Metals Market Report newsletter is available free online at


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Colonial Money program rescheduled

February 14, 2014 in Antique Coins, Coins, Collecting, History, News, Numismatic Societies and Clubs, Numismatica, Numismatics, Seminars, USA Coins

February 13th, 2014 (

Award-winning numismatist Philip I. Mossman, MD, will present a program on “The Money of Colonial Virginia” 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 20 at the R. R. Smith Center in Staunton.

The presentation had been scheduled to be a two-part series set to begin Thursday, but was compressed into a one-night event next week due to the ongoing major snowstorm.

The event is part of the popular Stuart Talk series presented by the Augusta County Historical Society in the Smith Center’s second floor lecture room and are free for ACHS members.  Non-member admission is $5 adult, $1 for students .

The first part of the program will describe the development of colonial monetary systems, and how colonial monies prospered despite great pressure against them from England.  Mossman notes, “The deck was always stacked in favor of the mother country.”  He will discuss the use of Virginia tobacco as a money equivalent, as well as the specific colonial coins actually put into circulation.

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