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Get tomorrow's news today

Gold is backing away from the $1,000 mark again, trading at $949.10 a troy ounce as this is written.

Aside from the usual armchair analysis that I could give, the price movement helps me out a bit. How so? Am I betting on a lower price?

No, that isn’t it. It is something more mundane.

On a weekly basis we publish the price of gold on Page 4 of Numismatic News. The June 16 issue went to press last Thursday reporting a price on the page of $954.50 a troy ounce. The problem was the price was actually $10 higher.

Oops.

Errors of that kind are always embarrassing. We not supposed to do such things, but every so often I find proof that we messed something up. This was one of those occasions.

In this case, the market has followed our errant report lower and readers will not be misled by it.

I am reminded of a program that I used to watch called “Early Edition,” where tomorrow’s newspaper showed up at the door of the hero today so he could stop some mayhem from happening.

Numismatic News is not such a magic newspaper, but in this case events have followed what was reported and I was reminded of a show I used to like.

Everybody wins. What a relief.

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4 Responses to Get tomorrow's news today

  1. Mr. Chuck Schroeder says:

    Dave, stop using the "fear of loss" hype, when stocks goes up, gold and silver drops, it’s a roller coster ride son. It’s NOT a win win for gold and silver holder’s. You know this to. It’s time I added my 2 cents worth. I have been reading Numismatic News for years. Now, it’s my turn. The negativism of non licensed coin dealers, and real coin dealers. Do you think cherrypicking is pretty much the same as stealing?. Or should people be allowed to benefit from their superior knowledge, as long as they pay the dealer the price he wants for the coin, or wishes to give to you for spot price to melt down when selling it to them?. As most people are aware, the price of gold has reached record levels (from fear of loss and hype), and is currently flirting with $1,000 an ounce. Silver has more than tripled in just over 3 years, rising from $6.40 in Jan. 2005 to about $20 an ounce today. Pawn shops, jewelry stores, and so called coin dealers are all doing a very brisk business in buying gold and silver coin items from customers who want to cash in. Most of this gets melted down and/or resold fairly quickly at a real high price over gray sheet in a market like this. But should coin dealers be melting down the very treasures they are charged to protect and conserve for future generations of collectors?. Are some coins okay to melt but not others?. Personally, I am appalled at this mass melting of U.S. coinage. Perhaps this is an attitude found more commonly among the collectors of ancient coins than the modern coin collectors, but I see coin collectors and dealers as stewards of our national heritage. Not phony con-artist’s. These coins can never be replaced, and coin collectors have a duty to conserve and protect this heritage to pass down to future generations. After all, we can’t take them with us when we die, so melting them for bullion is just selfish and antisocial. On the other side of the coin, however, are the folks who believe that if you pay for the coin, you own it. It’s yours to do whatever you want with it, even destroy it by tossing it into the melting pot. It’s bad enough Coin Club’s are disappearing at an alarming rate, like the drive in movie places, use to be years ago, how is our children of today, going to find that coin, to put in a empty hole in a book, when the silver coins are all melted down for 10 times face, that gave some coin dealer 77 ounces of silver for $100 face value of silver coins and, kills the knowledge of what coin collecting is all about, "Children", and our hobby, and The Family.

  2. Mr. Chuck Schroeder says:

    We heard of the story of Phineas Taylor Barnum (July 5, 1810 – April 7, 1891) was an American showman, businessman, and entertainer, remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the circus, that made a 50 cent coin, and, sold it for $2.50, and he coined the word’s, "there’s a sucker born every minute". When you talk about a silver coin, or gold one, keep in mind, about the phone one. Such as the 1 oz Panda from China, .999 is ok, weight is ok, measured from side to side is ok, hight is BAD, for 2009, to thick, inside it’s copper not silver, it’s dipped in silver only, now about a gold coin, it could be copper, dipped in 7 or more layers of 24k gold, rub it on the blocn, drop on that the acid, put that under a light, and, it’ll show 24k gold, but it’s another fake. On a weekly basis you may publish the price of gold on Page 4 of Numismatic News. The June 16 issue went to press last Thursday reporting a price on the page of $954.50 a troy ounce. The problem was the price was actually $10 higher. You need to also talk more about these FAKE coins to Dave.

  3. Mr. Chuck Schroeder says:

    Correction typo we all make mistakes I guess.

    We heard of the story of Phineas Taylor Barnum (July 5, 1810 – April 7, 1891) was an American showman, businessman, and entertainer, remembered for promoting celebrated hoaxes and for founding the circus, that made a 50 cent coin, and, sold it for $2.50, and he coined the word’s, "there’s a sucker born every minute". When you talk about a silver coin, or gold one, keep in mind, about the phony FAKE one. Such as the 1 oz Panda from China, .999 is ok, weight is ok, measured from side to side is ok, hight is BAD, for 2009, to thick, inside it’s copper not silver, it’s dipped in silver only, now about a gold coin, it could be copper, dipped in 7 or more layers of 24k gold, rub it on the block, drop on that the acid, put that under a light, and, it’ll show 24k gold, but it’s another fake. On a weekly basis you may publish the price of gold on Page 4 of Numismatic News. The June 16 issue went to press last Thursday reporting a price on the page of $954.50 a troy ounce. The problem was the price was actually $10 higher. You need to also talk more about these FAKE coins to Dave.

  4. Mr. Chuck Schroeder says:

    Great story about FAKE COINS

    Large scale counterfeiting operations are not new. We numismatists can consider ourselves lucky because in the past, most of these operations have concentrated on our country’s circulating paper currency. Nevertheless, about 30 years ago, one American Numismatic Association member was reported to have visited a large counterfeiting operation in Beirut, Lebanon. The fakers were striking our coins on a “date-by-request” basis using the same brand of coining press chosen by the Philadelphia Mint when they modernized their equipment.

    Around that time, while working at the American Numismatic Association Certification Service in Washington, D.C., Treasury authenticators and Philadelphia Mint employees confirmed our belief that the Beirut counterfeits were of such poor quality because the dies being used to produce the fakes were not executed or annealed properly. Additionally, the actual press settings used at our government’s mints was a closely guarded secret, thus leaving the counterfeiters clueless in that regard.

    The most important requirement of counterfeit detection is to know what the genuine coin should look like. In order to learn how genuine coins were made, I was treated to several private visits to the Philadelphia Mint with Charles Hoskins, the first director of ANACS, and also a former public affairs officer at that facility.

    No amount of my questioning could pry certain aspects of the minting process out from the mint superintendent, the section supervisors, or the workers themselves, although I know Charlie knew a lot more about the operation than he let on. By now, I suspect that much of this proprietary information about tonnage, die preparation, and die life has been leaked out over time by former employees and those numismatic researchers who have since visited the Mint. This can be confirmed by the quality of certain counterfeits being produced today.

    Now, based on several recent news stories complete with photographs of the operation, let’s make the assumption that China is one of the principal sources for the fake coins appearing in the numismatic market. I also believe there are several sources producing the coins because of the wide range in the quality of these counterfeits.

    I am not one to scare collectors with inflated claims; but I will say that many of the fake coins I have seen in the past are very deceptive. It’s a moving scale. By that, I mean, in the 1970s, the “Omega” coins were state-of-the-art fakes fooling most professional numismatists. Today, the quality of those counterfeits is almost comical. Looking forward to the 1980s, a group of circulated 1794 to 1796 type coins hit the market and fooled many. I still believe this group to be dangerous fakes because they can resemble genuine specimens that have been repaired and harshly cleaned. I should never buy one of these expensive coins unless it was slabbed by a major grading service even though diagnostics for detecting these fakes have been published.

    Today, excellent copies of U.S. Trade dollars and Flowing Hair dollars have been reported. From what I have seen, a “second generation” of these fakes is very deceptive.

    While most Chinese counterfeits, such as the Morgan dollar illustrated here, will not pass inspection by a knowledgeable numismatist, those fakes often do. This is especially true when their surfaces are chemically altered or cleaned to simulate age.

    Under those circumstances, it takes more than just a quick look to tell the difference between a genuine specimen and a fake. Even with the magnification provided by a stereo-microscope, authentication can be a challenge. I suspect that the dies for the most deceptive fakes are being made using CNC machines guided by computers.

    I’ve selected what I refer to as a mid-range Chinese counterfeit to illustrate here. This particular fake Morgan dollar has much better color, detail, and relief then the run-of-the-mill fakes being sold by Chinese vendors; yet it is not even close to the quality of the best counterfeits out there. Despite this, look how closely the hair, bud and leaf detail compares on the genuine coin (Fig.1) and the counterfeit (Fig. 2). Note that the genuine coin has more “life”; causing it to display a stronger contrast in the micrograph.

    Figure 3 (genuine) and Figure 4 (fake) show the grainy surface on the counterfeit as opposed to a much smoother appearance to the field of the genuine coin.

    As we approach 40X magnification in Figures 5 and 6, the roughness of the counterfeit’s surface becomes more pronounced. When examining coins for authenticity, zero in on the area where the relief meets the field. In this case, the sides of the “N” on the fake lack the sharpness found on the genuine.

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