HURRCANE RELIEF

Members of NVOAD are vetted non-profit organizations with a track records of helping in times of disaster. Please consider a donation to one of their national members. Visit nvoad.org to learn more about their members and where to donate.

Blood is a perishable commodity and is always in need. That need increases in the time of disasters! Please visit redcrossblog.org to find a blood drive near you.

Legend’s 23rd Regency Auction to be Largest Yet. Sale to Feature Many Important and Fresh to the Market Rarities

(Lincroft, NJ—September 19, 2017) Legend Rare Coin Auctions has just put the finishing touches on the cataloging of the Regency Auction XXIII to be held on the evening of October 26, 2017 at the Philadelphia PCGS Members Only Show. This sale quickly became the most impressive and valuable offering yet! Anchoring the sale are the D.W. and Crow River Collections, along with impressive Morgan dollars, including the most valuable of all, the Vermuele-Coronet 1893-S graded PCGS MS67 CAC. Totaling 548 hand selected lots, this sale will be remembered as one of the major numismatic events of 2017!

The sale begins with the D.W. Collection, an offering of 55 coins focusing on 19th century type and gold assembled over the last decade or so from a very picky collector and friend of Legend Numismatics. Highlights include a near mint 1802/1 silver dollar and a superb run of low mintage Philadelphia mint quarter eagles in MS66 and MS67, including an 1892 in PCGS MS67 CAC that has mesmerized our staff.

Following the D.W. Collections we are offering U.S. type coins from 1/2C to silver dollars, and the offering includes selections from the High Octane Collection and the Dale Larsen Collection, as well as awesome silver dollars from the San Francisco Set. Highlights obviously include the aforementioned 1893-S silver dollar, but also the Eliasberg-Coronet specimens of the 1892-S and 1893-O Morgan dollars (PCGS MS67 CAC and PCGS MS66 PL CAC respectively).

Between the type and gold coins, pattern issues are presented, including a very high end GEM 1836 J-67 and 1879 Washlady half dollar. An impressive pair of undated but presumed 1965 patterns, a quarter and half dollar, both the first of their respective issues graded by PCGS and are the finest known, graded MS66 CAC and MS67 CAC were recently discovered by our consignor in Europe and consigned to our sale. These will certainly see strong bidding from pattern collectors of all stripes.

The gold coin section begins with a glorious, original four piece 1902 gold proof set. All four coins are PCGS/CAC and the half eagle and eagle are the finest known for the issues. A remarkable numismatic treasure that will certainly see strong bidding. The Crow River Collection is the current #2 Registry Set of $10 Indians, and each coin was carefully selected by the principals of Legend Numismatics for placement in this special set. Obviously, each coin is PCGS-graded and most are CAC approved. The Wire Rim is a PCGS MS66 CAC and is a beautiful GEM!

Gold coins from various consignors feature rare and high grade specimens from dollars to double eagles and are then followed by a selection of very attractive high-end gem classic commemoratives. Ending the sale are selections from the Rainbow Warrior Collection of Toned Silver Eagles.

“Shortly after our May auction, one of our long time clients said he was interested in consigning his set of $10 Indians,” explained Laura Sperber, founder of LRCA, “as soon as we mentioned the consignment of that collection, and then with the record results from our Regency Auction XXII in July, the floodgates opened! Old clients, whom we have not heard from in years contacted us to place their coins in our sale.”

Julie Abrams, president of LRCA, continued “We were very selective with what we took in for the sale, as it was filling very quickly, and we did not want it to become a 700+ lot auction, which it very well could have become. As it is, with 548 lots, it is our largest offering by lot count and with a presale estimate of over $7,500,000 it is our most valuable offering. Our boutique auction venue does attract the best coins!”

The sale will begin at 5:30 eastern time on Thursday, October 26, 2017 at the PCGS Members Only Show in Philadelphia. Catalogs are in production, and should be out in the mail in early October. Pre-sale internet bidding will begin on or about Thursday, September 21. A special lot viewing for West Coast clients will take place on Friday, October 13 in conjunction with the PCGS “Public Friday” in Santa Ana, CA. For more information about the Regency Auction XXIII, email info@legendauctions.com.

Legend Rare Coin Auctions is a boutique numismatic auction firm which holds 4-5 Regency Auctions as the official auctioneer for the PCGS Members Only Show each year, as well as monthly Premier Sessions Internet Only Auctions. For more information about consigning contact Julie Abrams (julie@legendauctions.com) or Greg Cohen (greg@legendauctions.com).

United States Mint Launches New Palladium Bullion Coin Program

Sales to Authorized Purchasers begin September 25

WASHINGTON – The United States Mint today announced it will begin for the first time sales of a one-ounce American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coin to Authorized Purchasers on September 25.

As with American Eagle Gold and Silver Bullion Coins, American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coins will be made available through the United States Mint’s Authorized Purchaser network. Authorized Purchasers consist of major coin and precious metals wholesalers, brokerage firms, banks, and other participating financial intermediaries.

American Eagle Palladium Bullion Coins will be made available to United States Mint Authorized Purchasers at a 6.25 percent premium over the prevailing price of palladium.

Public Law 119-94 requires the Secretary of the Treasury to mint and issue palladium bullion coins weighing one troy ounce of .9995 fine palladium, with a face value of $25.00, in such quantities as the Secretary determines appropriate to meet demand. Only coins in the one-troy ounce size are permitted; fractional sizes are not authorized. Title 31 U.S.C. Section 5112(v) authorizes the Secretary to mint and issue proof and uncirculated versions of the one-ounce palladium bullion coins.

As mandated by the law, the obverse design of the palladium coin is an adaptation of Adolph A. Weinman’s ‘Winged Liberty’ design used on the obverse of the so-called ‘Mercury dime,’ and the reverse design is based upon Weinman’s Eagle design for the 1907 American Institute of Architects (AIA) gold medal. In developing the coin, the United States Mint was able to utilize the original reverse plaster of the AIA gold medal. This is the first time that Weinman’s AIA design appears on a U.S. coin.

A New Book for the Serious Coin Collector: Inside the Rare Coin Marketplace

by Dennis Tucker

“Buy the book before the coin” is good, solid, often-quoted advice for newcomers to the hobby. Frankly, it’s guidance for a lifetime of collecting; we should all heed it well beyond the beginner stage. And fortunately for today’s hobbyist, this advice has never been easier to follow—thanks in large part to one incredibly productive author, Q. David Bowers.

Numismatic publishing has experienced a renaissance, an exciting boom, over the past 15 years. Dave Bowers joined forces with Whitman Publishing in 2003 as the company’s numismatic director and as research editor of the Book of United States Coins (the hobby’s best-selling annual price guide and reference, known everywhere as the “Red Book”). He had been a Red Book contributor for years before that, and had helped with other Whitman projects. But it was in 2003 that the relationship was formalized—if a handshake agreement can be called “formal”—and things really took off.

I joined Whitman Publishing myself the following year, as the company’s publisher. I’ve been a coin collector since around age seven, and like any good collector I owned a number of well-read Bowers books, most of them bought directly from his company (at the time, Bowers and Merena Galleries) when I was in my teens and early twenties. Among the Bowers books that traveled with me from my little hometown of Phoenix, New York, to college in Rochester, and later to Atlanta, were his 1987 monograph The Strange Career of Dr. Wilkins: A Numismatic Inquiry; the 1988 reprint of his 1964 classic, Coins and Collectors; and the 13th (!) edition of High Profits From Rare Coin Investment (1991).

Working With Mr. Bowers

By the time I started working for Whitman Publishing, Q. David Bowers was a world-famous numismatist with decades of experience. Several hugely successful companies had his good name attached to them as a founder and officer. He had served as president of the Professional Numismatists Guild and of the American Numismatic Association. His track record as a dealer and auctioneer included selling many of the finest, most valuable, and most historic coin collections ever assembled. For years I (and many other fans) had read his Coin World column, “The Joys of Collecting.” He’d been named as one of only six living people in a roster of eighteen “Numismatists of the Century” in a 1999 poll conducted by COINage magazine. And as a book author he had a long shelf of numismatic titles to his credit, many of them best sellers.

I remember my first conversation with “Mr. Bowers” (as I addressed him a couple times), made by phone because he was in New Hampshire and I was in Georgia. Finally he said, “If you keep calling me ‘Mr. Bowers,’ I’ll have to call you ‘Mr. Tucker.’” From that point on it was “Dave,” as he prefers it, as relaxed and down-to-earth as can be.

Since then I’ve emailed Dave or spoken with him on the phone nearly every day, and we’ve published dozens of new “QDB” books ranging from 96-page monographs to 900-page encyclopedias (plus several editions of the 1,504-page Mega Red, for which he serves as research editor).

Here are some thoughts on the development of his latest book, Inside the Rare Coin Marketplace, which will debut in October 2017, and where it stands in the Bowers oeuvre.

The Expert’s Guide

In 1999 Whitman Publishing had released an excellent new book by Kenneth Bressett, longtime editor of the Red Book. His Whitman Guide to Coin Collecting quickly established itself as a popular introduction to the world of numismatics. In my first year at Whitman, one of my big projects with Dave Bowers was another new book that might be placed on the other end of the hobby spectrum. Its title is The Expert’s Guide to Collecting and Investing in Rare Coins. Because of its sheer size (688 pages) it’s tempting to characterize the Expert’s Guide as a book reserved for advanced collectors. In reality, this was (and is) a volume for everyone with a serious interest in the hobby, whether new or old. As Dave wrote in his introduction:

“It is never too early or too late to discover coins and the other delights that make up the world of collecting. If you are a preteen, welcome! Similarly, if you are in retirement, welcome! Numismatics knows no restrictions of age, race, religion, politics, or anything else.”

The Expert’s Guide was a monumental undertaking, compiling Dave’s 50-plus years of hobby/industry experience in 34 chapters of engaging prose with more than 1,300 illustrations. We released it in October of 2005 with much fanfare, including mainstream publicity in the Wall Street Journal. Collectors immediately fell in love with the book, and it earned strong reviews:

  • “Dave Bowers is uniquely qualified to write this book,” said Clifford Mishler, retired chairman of Krause Publications. “He brings proper balance to the interplay of collecting and investing in our hobby community.”
  • Ken Bressett, who wrote its foreword, asked rhetorically, “Are there really ‘secrets’ to successful coin buying? You bet! And Dave Bowers reveals them. His style is entertaining, informative, and motivating. The profits you will accrue from reading this book extend far beyond the monetary.”
  • Bill Fivaz, coauthor of the Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties of United States Coins, said, “If there’s a single person who could write this book, it’s Dave Bowers”—and he jokingly opined that the prolific author’s next book would be The History of the World!

Dave tells me that of all his books, the Expert’s Guide is the one that generates the most enthusiastic letters and emails from readers. He likens reading it and absorbing its lessons to getting a master’s degree in numismatics. Sales numbers confirm its popularity: Whitman has sold tens of thousands of copies since 2005.

Inside the Rare Coin Marketplace

About 10 years later we were planning on updating Ken Bressett’s Whitman Guide to Coin Collecting, by then well established and popularly known as the “Yellow Book.” It had been reprinted several times over the years and was ready for a new edition. As I studied our publishing list and talked with our sales team (who interact every day with collectors nationwide), I noted that we have the Yellow Book as a beginner’s introduction to coin collecting, and the 688-page Expert’s Guide for more advanced students of numismatics. Was there an opportunity for a companion to these two titles—specifically, a book for intermediate collectors who have devoured the Yellow Book and the Red Book, and want to continue expanding their knowledge?

Knowing the hobby community and the needs and interests of collectors, I strongly believed the answer was “yes.”

To that end, this year’s harvest of new Whitman books includes:

  • for hobby newcomers, the freshly revised, updated, and expanded new edition of the Whitman Guide to Coin Collecting, which debuted in July 2017, and
  • for continuing students of the art and science of numismatics, Inside the Rare Coin Marketplace: Secrets to Being a Smart Buyer will be available in October.

With each book you get more and more information to add to your storehouse of numismatic knowledge.

In Bressett’s Whitman Guide to Coin Collecting, a newcomer will learn about coin collecting as a hobby; reasons people collect coins; coins as historical documents; how coins are made; where to find them; what factors affect their value; and the basics of grading coins, studying them, storage and display, maintaining a collection, and other points of interest.

Bowers’s Inside the Rare Coin Marketplace tells you how to successfully navigate the numismatic marketplace and find high-quality coins; how to build a great collection; and ways to explore new highways and byways of the hobby. Dave shares wit and wisdom from his experiences as a professional coin dealer, today adding up to 60-plus years in numismatics.

Bressett’s Yellow Book offers, among other resources, an illustrated catalog of all U.S. coins by type. Chapter 3 of Bowers’s Inside the Rare Coin Marketplace does as well, but with a more in-depth approach, and many more photographs. The information is compiled with the goal of making you a smarter buyer of high-quality coins, no matter which series you collect.

In chapter 4 Dave shares stories about colonial and early American coins and tokens, treasure-ship coins, commemoratives, private and territorial gold pieces, numismatic books, historical medals, counterstamps, and other specialties. Many of these subjects are introduced on a basic level in the Yellow Book; in Inside the Rare Coin Marketplace they’re given more analysis, with case studies; and in the Expert’s Guide most of them get even deeper coverage in their own individual full-length chapters.

Chapter 5 introduces dozens of numismatic personalities from yesterday and today, many of whom Dave knew personally, and gives a history of the rare-coin market and its historical cycles. Chapter 6 offers a guided tour down memory lane, with the author sharing his recollections of the marketplace in a “personal scrapbook.”

My hope for Inside the Rare Coin Marketplace is that, whether you’re a fresh face in the hobby or have been around a while, you’ll learn something new, you’ll pick up a few good “coin stories” to share with friends and family, you’ll discover ways to sharpen and hone your collecting habits and strategies, and—of course, because this is a Dave Bowers book—you’ll be thoroughly entertained along the way.

Good Photos of Bad Coins: An Example of Crowdsourcing and Numismatic Publishing

by Dennis Tucker

What’s the state of numismatic publishing today? Coin collectors are spoiled! Or at least it feels like we are when it comes to photographs in numismatic books, compared to fifteen or twenty years ago and more. Full color, high resolution, and visual perfection are the order of the day for 21st-century hobbyists.

In Whitman Publishing books, coin collectors are used to seeing beautifully preserved Mint State coins—well-struck examples that illustrate types, dates, and die varieties with crisp detail and generous eye appeal.

Earlier this year, though, we took a road less traveled.

In February 2017 I put out a call for “problem coins” to illustrate some of the educational warnings author Kenneth Bressett gives in his new Whitman Guide to Coin Collecting. I asked hobbyists for high-resolution photographs of PVC damage, bag marks, scratches, edge bumps, nicks, dents, and other problems caused by poor handling or storage.

The call for cull coins quickly spread throughout the hobby community. Publications like Coin World, Numismatic News, The Numismatist, E-Sylum, Coin Update, Mint News Blog, Scott Barman’s Coin Collectors Blog, and Coins Weekly helped get the word out.

When Numismatic News editor Dave Harper saw our request for damaged coins, he remembered a painfully educational experience. “There are many problem coins out there,” he noted in his column. “Collectors cannot be collectors for long without encountering them.” He recalled a 1940-D Washington quarter he bought when he was a child. After he got the coin in the mail he took it out of its stapled 2×2 holder—and that’s when he saw the deep gouge in its rim. The seller had a “no returns” policy for coins removed from their holders, so Harper was stuck with the damaged quarter. “Problem coins are educational,” he wrote in his column. “I was educated by one. I expect other collectors have been, too.”

In the new Whitman Guide to Coin Collecting, author Ken Bressett—longtime senior editor of the Guide Book of United States Coins, known as the “Red Book”—tells about the dangers of storing coins in polyvinyl-chloride (PVC) holders; the correct ways to handle coins; proper storage and display; and ways to avoid damage to our collections.

Instead of simply telling about the risks and dangers, we decided to show them.

I talked with dozens of collectors from across the United States and Canada, and all together they shared photographs of more than 300 coins.

Syd Martin contributed a Lincoln cent found on the beach, with saltwater damage from exposure to the elements. David Luftig shared a box of Liberty Seated silver coins, all of them stained, holed, scratched, or otherwise damaged. Mike Angelo has an 1807 Draped Bust dime with a wavy indentation, as if someone had tried to bend it.

Professional numismatist Jim Bucki, who writes for The Spruce, shared some frighteningly detailed photographs of advanced PVC damage. The close-ups on page 90 are enough to make you run to your safe-deposit box to double-check all your plastic coin flips and make sure they’re not made of this numismatically dangerous plastic. Cody Charlton also shared photos of milder (but still unpleasant) green hazing caused by PVC exposure.

Stack’s Bowers Galleries contributed photographs of an 1865 copper-nickel three-cent coin sprinkled with a rash of flyspecks across Miss Liberty’s face. These are small black dots that can emerge over time if you breathe or sneeze on a coin, leaving moisture on its surface.

Jon Roche shared photographs of a 1909-S Indian Head cent with Extremely Fine details marred by corrosion, giving Miss Liberty a bad case of chickenpox on her neck and chin. (He told me that it sold on eBay for less than the Red Book value for the same coin in undamaged Good-4 condition.)

From author and educator Bill Fivaz came photographs of an otherwise Mint State Eisenhower dollar with fingerprints on both sides. Bill noted that the coin was part of an Uncirculated Mint Set, still in its sealed cellophane envelope—so much for being “untouched by human hands”! It’s a good example of how fingerprints might not be noticeable at first, but will eventually show up clearly (and sadly, for the owner) on a coin’s delicate surface.

Some of the crowdsourced coins had been defaced deliberately: Bob Evans has an 1855-S gold double eagle recovered from the wreck of the SS Central America. Some nineteenth-century doodler scratched a pipe clenched between Miss Liberty’s lips, like Granny Clampett smoking a corncob. You’ll see it on page 244. Tom Koolick shared photos of a Buffalo nickel that was notched on its rim, perhaps to be secured into a necklace pendant. Collectors sent us photographs of valuable old coins made worthless by having holes drilled into them. This might have been done to fashion a button, or simply to pass the time with some mindless tinkering.

Other contributors whose photographs were used in the Whitman Guide to Coin Collecting include Kevin Day-Thorburn, Phil Iversen, and Isaiah Hageman.

Our thanks to everyone who wrote to offer their photographs for publication. It was fun hearing your stories and seeing your coins—they might be less than perfect, but they’re still educational. As the old saying goes, “Nobody is completely worthless. You can always serve as a bad example!”

#   #   #
About the Whitman Guide to Coin Collecting

The 288-page softcover Whitman Guide to Coin Collecting debuted July 4, 2017, and is now available from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide, and online (including at www.Whitman.com), for $12.95. It officially debuted at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Denver, August 1–5, 2017.

The guide, popularly known as the “Yellow Book,” includes chapters on coin collecting as a hobby; places to find coins; how coins are made; venues to learn about collecting; getting started as a collector; caring for a coin collection; grading techniques and standards; coin prices and values; commemoratives, bullion, special coin issues, counterfeits, medals, tokens, casino chips, and more.

Whitman Guide to Coin Collecting: An Introduction to the World of Coins
By Kenneth Bressett; foreword by Rodney Gillis
ISBN 0794845215
Softcover, 6 x 9 inches, 288 pages, full color
Retail $12.95 U.S.
https://www.whitman.com/store/Inventory/Detail/Whitman-Guide-to-Coin-Collecting+0794845215

Damaged U.S. Currency Redemption Services for Citizens Affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma

Washington, DC – September 14, 2017 – If hurricane victims have currency that has been damaged by flood waters resulting from Hurricanes Harvey or Irma, they are encouraged to send that currency to be reviewed for possible redemption by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) as soon as they are able.

The BEP is giving priority to processing mutilated currency claims resulting from the hurricanes to speed recovery efforts for those affected. Flood victims submitting a claim should mark HURRICANE on the outside of the package.

As a free public service, BEP’s Mutilated Currency Division reviews mutilated currency (not coin) that is damaged to the extent that its value is questionable. This may occur as a result of fire, water, chemicals, ground deterioration, or other physical means.

Each year, the staff of experienced Mutilated Currency Division examiners process approximately 30,000 claims.

“We firmly stand with everyone affected in Texas, Florida, and the surrounding areas that experienced such devastation,” said BEP Director Len Olijar. “BEP prides itself on serving our customers and we will do whatever it takes to lessen the impact of these disasters.”

For information about how to submit a claim for review, please visit BEP’s website at bep.gov or contact the Mutilated Currency Division by email at mcdstatus@bep.gov or toll free at (866) 575-2361.

Financial institutions should visit the Federal Reserve Bank Financial Services website at https://www.frbservices.org/fedcash/index.html for guidance.

Images courtesy of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.
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