(Temecula, California) July 31, 2020 – Buyers of physical gold and silver during the 2020 “Gold Rush” should be wary of potential counterfeits in the marketplace, mistaking plated “gold coins” for bullion products, and avoid overpaying for any purchases, cautions the Accredited Precious Metals Dealers (APMD www.APMDdealers.org) division of the nonprofit Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG www.PNGdealers.org).
“Adding gold, silver or platinum bullion coins or ingots to an investment portfolio can be a smart choice, but knowing your seller can be a crucial choice,” advises PNG-APMD President Richard Weaver. “If you don’t know gold, you’d better know your gold dealer.”
Buyers should be cautious of an increase in counterfeit gold coins offered in the marketplace by unscrupulous sellers, and also beware of scam artists trying to lure investors with urgent claims of too-good-to-be-true low prices and quick, guaranteed bullion market profits.
“Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation (www.ACEFonline.org) has identified over 100 websites selling counterfeit precious metals coins and ingots. Information about the suspected spurious sellers has been given to the U.S. Treasury Office of Inspector General, but buyers should always be prudent before making any purchases from unknown sellers,” cautions Weaver.
He also advises investors seeking bullion to know that base metal replicas in the marketplace, often advertised as “tribute coins,” may be merely plated or layered with just a microscopically thin coating of gold — only about $1 worth of actual precious metal.
“They may have limited secondary market value and should not be confused with genuine, legal tender gold bullion coins, such as the popular American Eagle or Canadian Maple Leaf,” explains Weaver.
“To avoid potential scams, investors must know the credentials of the bullion dealer, not just what the dealer may tout in TV advertisements or on a fancy website,” added Weaver.
All members of the Accredited Precious Metals Dealer program must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics (https://APMDdealers.org/apmd-code-of-ethics/) in the buying and selling of precious metals. A list of APMD member-dealers is online at www.APMDddealers.org/apmd-dealers or call the Professional Numismatists Guild at 951-587-8300.
Every year, the American Numismatic Association (ANA) recognizes members who go above and beyond with their service and dedication to numismatics. The following awards, which are typically presented at the World’s Fair of Money®, will be awarded during the Service Awards Presentation virtual event on Sept. 2 at 12 p.m. MT.
The Adna G. Wilde Jr. Memorial Award for Exemplary Service recognizes ANA members who dedicate their time and resources to further the educational purposes of the Association and the hobby, and who set an example for others. This year’s recipient is Doug Davis.
Davis is the founder and president of the Numismatic Crime Information Center (NCIC) based in Arlington, Texas. He established the NCIC with the Pantego Police Department (where he previously served as chief of police) in 1987. The NCIC’s goal is to assist law enforcement officers in the investigation of crimes against collectors and dealers. His work has led to the recovery of untold rare numismatic items, and he has recently taken on the battle against counterfeiting.
Davis has over 30 years of experience in law enforcement and the numismatic industry. He is a graduate of the University of Texas and holds a master-level police officer license in the state of Texas. Although Davis is no longer chief of the Pantego Police Department, he still holds the rank of lieutenant. He also is a licensed law enforcement instructor.
In 1988 Davis was presented the Professional Numismatist Guild’s Sol Kaplan Award. Davis received an ANA Presidential Award in 2012. Past President Thomas Hallenbeck bestowed the honor at a free educational program where Davis presented to about 65 law enforcement personnel in conjunction with the ANA National Money Show. In 2019 Davis became the director of the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force.
The Medal of Merit is bestowed on members who have dedicated years of service to numismatics. The medal is being presented to both Dr. Michael S. Fey and Thomas J. Uram this year.
Fey has held a number of leadership positions within the numismatic community. He has served the ANA as a member of the Consumer Protection Committee (2001-05 and 2007-08), Board of Governors (2005-07), Mediation Committee (2007-18) and, currently, the Advisory Council. He also has loaned Morgan silver dollars for display at the Money Museum (2017-19) and has donated thousands of dollars’ worth of coins to the Association’s collection. He has taught classes as a senior instructor at Summer Seminar since 1998.
Michael Fey has published a variety of works, including his books Top 100 Morgan Dollar Varities: The VAM Keys and A Decade of Top 100 Insights. His writings have appeared in several newsletters, including Top 100 Insights and Top 100 Value Guide, as well as magazines such as Coinage and The Numismatist. In addition, Fey Developed a template for the ANA to use to persuade dealers and collectors to donate rare coins to the Money Museum for use in Summer Seminars.
In addition to the Medal of Merit, Fey has received the Glenn Smedley Memorial Award (2001), the National Silver Dollar Roundtable President’s Award (2002), the New Jersey Numismatic Society Charles F. Nettleship Award (2007) and the Numismatic News Ambassador Award (2010).
Thomas Uram has proven to be a dedicated promoter of numismatics and a stalwart supporter of the two organizations he is most closely associated with, The Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN) and the ANA. He joined the ANA in 1974 as a young numismatist and became a life member in 1976. He served his first term as a club officer (secretary of the George Washington Numismatic Association) while he was still in high school. He has occupied many positions in the Association, from exhibit judge (2011), governor (2017-19), Foundation Committee chair (2017-19), board liaison to the Exhibits Committee (2017-19), and Convention Committee chair (2019-21).
Uram is part of numerous communities and clubs, including the Sphinx Society, North Hill Coin Club, South Hills Coin Club, CSNS, FUN, Chicago Coin Club and the Industry Council for Tangible Assets. Further, Uram has served on the United States Mint Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (Speaker of the House appointment) since 2012. Now on his second five-year term, he has chaired the organization since 2019.
Uram has published a handful of numismatic works, including two articles in The Numismatist: “Morse Code on Money” (May 2013), and “Under the Dome” (October 2015).
He has received various accolades for his numismatic accomplishments, including the ANA Presidential Award (2011), the Radford Stearns silver award (2014), the People’s Choice exhibit award (2015), Numismatic Ambassador (2017) and Glenn Smedley Memorial Award (2019).
Harry J. Forman Dealer of the Year honors a professional numismatist who shows uncommon dedication to strengthening the hobby and the ANA, and displays exemplary ethical standards as a numismatic dealer.
This year’s recipient is Harlan J. Berk. Berk describes himself as a “dealer’s dealer” in ancient coins, having been in the business for 56 years. He specializes in Greek, Roman and Byzantine specimens, U.S. large cents and proof-like dollars.
Berk has published three books, including Roman Gold Coins of the Medieval World (1985), Successors of the Sestertius (1986) and 100 Greatest Ancient Coins, 2nd edition (2019). In addition, more than 100 of his articles appear in the Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine and various Krause Publications periodicals (1964-present). He has been a contributing editor for The Numismatist since the mid-1990s. Further, several of his lectures have been recorded, such as “The Art of Judging the Art of Ancient Coins” (1991), “Coins of Croesus” (1993) and “Theodotus Did Make the Dies for the Drachm of Clazomenae” (2011).
Berk has been a member of the Ancient Coin Club of Chicago since its founding in 2001 and has served as president of the Gemini Numismatic Auctions, LLC since 2005. In 1980 Berk gave 1,900 casts of ancient coins to the ANA’s Edward C. Rochette Money Museum. Since 2001, he has donated the coins that are distributed to collectors enrolled in the ANA’s David R. Cervin Ancient Coin Project. He has been part of the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) for many years, taking on different roles including secretary (1995-97), treasurer (1997-99), vice president (1999-2001) and president (2001-03). During his time as president, he rewrote many PNG rules relating to board members and adopted the “Collectors’ Bill of Rights.” Berk also co-founded History in Your Hands in 2016, a classroom-based program that teaches kids about coins, maps and antiquities.
The American Numismatic Association is a congressionally chartered, nonprofit educational organization dedicated to encouraging the study and collection of coins and related items. The ANA helps its 28,000 members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of educational and outreach programs as well as its museum, library, publications, and conventions. For more information, call 719-632-2646 or visit money.org.
Basketball legends and U.S. Mint medallic artists discuss the importance of the 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame Commemorative Coin Program, which recognizes the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame’s 60th anniversary. This program features the first colorized coins the United States Mint has ever produced.
Watch it on YouTube → here.
United States Mint Announces Designs for George H.W. Bush Presidential $1 Coin and Barbara Bush First Spouse Gold Coin
WASHINGTON – The United States Mint (Mint) today officially announced the designs for the George H.W. Bush Presidential $1 Coin and the Barbara Bush First Spouse Gold Coin. Public Law 116–112 authorizes the Mint to strike and issue these coins.
The obverse (heads) design of the Presidential $1 Coin honoring George H.W. Bush features his portrait with the inscriptions “GEORGE H.W. BUSH,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “41st PRESIDENT,” and “1989-1993.” Mint Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) artist Elana Hagler created the design, which Mint Chief Engraver Joseph Menna sculpted.
As with the earlier Presidential $1 Coins, this coin bears the common reverse (tails) design featuring a striking rendition of the Statue of Liberty, designed and sculpted by former Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart.
The inscriptions “2020,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” and the mint mark are incused on the coin’s edge.
The obverse design of the First Spouse Gold Coin honoring Barbara Bush features her portrait with the inscriptions “BARBARA BUSH,” “IN GOD WE TRUST,” “LIBERTY,” “2020,” “41st,” and “1989-1993.” The design was created by AIP artist Benjamin Sowards and sculpted by Mint Medallic Artist Phebe Hemphill.
The reverse design pays homage to Mrs. Bush’s passionate advocacy for family literacy. The design depicts a person reading, with an open road before them. The open book symbolizes literacy, education, and knowledge. The road symbolizes the future and the journey of life, and the sun in the distance is the promise of a brighter future. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “E PLURIBUS UNUM,” “$10” “1/2 oz.,” and “.9999 FINE GOLD.” The design was created by AIP artist Barbara Fox and sculpted by Mint Medallic Artist John P. McGraw.
The Barbara Bush First Spouse Gold Coin will be available for purchase beginning on August 20 at noon EDT. The Barbara Bush First Spouse bronze medal will be included in the George H.W. Bush Presidential $1 Coin and First Spouse Medal Set and the George H.W. Bush Coin and Chronicles Set. Additional details will be announced prior to the release date. The Mint will announce the on-sale date for the George H.W. Bush Presidential $1 Coin later in the year.
The United States Mint (Mint) began accepting orders for the 2020 American Innovation™ $1 Reverse Proof Coin honoring Connecticut on July 21 at noon EDT. The coin recognizes the Gerber Variable Scale, often called the most revolutionary engineering tool since the slide rule.
Produced at the Mint’s facility in San Francisco, the Connecticut American Innovation $1 Reverse Proof Coin features a frosted background and a brilliant, mirror-like finish. Its reverse (tails) design depicts the scale being used to increase a geometric shape by 200 percent, a shape that resembles the state of Connecticut. Inscriptions are “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” “GERBER VARIABLE SCALE,” and “CONNECTICUT.” The obverse (heads) features a dramatic representation of the Statue of Liberty in profile with the inscriptions “IN GOD WE TRUST” and “$1.” The design also includes a privy mark of a stylized gear, representing industry and innovation. “2020,” the mint mark, and “E PLURIBUS UNUM” are incused on the coin’s edge.
The Certificate of Authenticity is embedded in the packaging.
The Connecticut American Innovation $1 Reverse Proof Coin (product code 20GE) is priced at $11.50. The Mint is currently accepting orders only at catalog.usmint.gov/. Information about shipping options is available at catalog.usmint.gov/customer-service/shipping.html.
Mintage is limited to 50,000 units. Orders are limited to five units per household for the first 24 hours of sales, after which the limit will be removed.
Due to the impact of COVID-19, our sales centers are closed until further notice. Click here for details.
The American Innovation $1 Coin Program is a multi-year series featuring distinctive reverse designs that pay homage to America’s ingenuity and celebrate the pioneering efforts of individuals or groups from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories. Visit usmint.gov/learn/coin-and-medal-programs/american-innovation-dollar-coins to learn more about this program.
Note: To ensure that all members of the public have fair and equal access to United States Mint products, the United States Mint will not accept and will not honor orders placed prior to the official on-sale date of July 21, 2020, at noon EDT.