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In 1982 I visited the Old San Francisco Mint and made a purchase in their souvenir shop, which was the start of a collection I have been working on ever since. The purchase was a set of 1.312-inch diameter Presidential bronze medallions, which at the time consisted of medallions from George Washington through Jimmy Carter. Continue reading
It’s a nightmare scenario for coin collectors – coins being replaced by smart cards, a cashless electronic currency system, or by a cyber cash monetary system. Well, I hate to be the one to point it out, but Denmark is already encouraging smart cards, Sweden is favoring a totally cashless electronic currency system, and Canada is now contemplating a virtual currency it calls MintChip. Welcome to the 21st century! Continue reading
Many lament the demise of the circulation finds era, but a plethora of fascinating (as well as valuable) coins may be found among bulk world coins. My own best finds to date are a 1952 British West Africa 6 pence and a 1977 Rhodesia half cent. These are worth $325 and $1,500, respectively, in uncirculated condition per the 2013 Standard Catalog of World Coins. Continue reading
Coin collecting is a wonderful and enjoyable hobby that for many represents art struck on precious metals. For astute and patient collectors it represents a useful personal asset. Continue reading
Wikipedia defines “numismatics” as “the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, and related objects.” In your “Letters” and “Viewpoint” departments, there have been a growing number of letters and viewpoints which appear to be outside the definition of “numismatics.” Continue reading
In the popular Harry Potter series of books and movies, Harry and his companions are sometimes transported to distant places by means of a portkey. A portkey is an object enchanted to instantly bring anyone touching it to a specific location. Most of the time, a portkey is an everyday object that would not draw the attention of non-magic folk like you and I. Continue reading
I know a lot of the numismatic purists consider the collecting of modern commemoratives, silver American Eagles, gold American Eagles or anything else that isn’t a gazillion years old to be sacrilege to being a “coin collector” a.k.a. a numismatist. I must admit I have mixed feelings about that bias. Continue reading
We each have our own journey to and through numismatics. For me, that journey begins a very long time ago on Nov. 21, 1942. On that day, after nine months of seemingly interminable darkness and hunger, I found myself entering a strange, inexplicable state – California. To be more specific, it was San Pedro, Calif., a city hugging the Pacific Ocean near Los Angeles. Continue reading
Amidst all the complaints about how the mint distributed the American Eagle 25th anniversary coin sets, collectors have forgotten what rarity is all about. The bottom line is that not everyone can possess a rare coin. Continue reading