The Royal Mint has launched a commemorative 50p coin in celebration of the 100th anniversary of the discovery of insulin, marking the historic medical breakthrough for the first time on official UK coin.
Designer Iris De La Torre reveals The Royal Mints 100 Years of Insulin 50p
The 100 Years of Insulin 50p celebrates the life-saving treatment for diabetes discovered by researchers; Dr John Macleod, Sir Frederick Banting, Dr Charles Best and Dr James Collip in 1921.
Designed by renowned artist Iris De La Torre, the contemporary design is an artistic interpretation of the structure of insulin along with its molecular formula.
Inspired by an image of human insulin crystals through a microscope, the design features a geometric pattern repeat using hexagons and circular shapes on the canvas of an official UK 50p coin.
The new 50p coin, available in brilliant uncirculated and precious metals, is the fifth release in The Royal Mint’s ‘Innovation in Science’ series, which pays tribute to some of the greatest scientific discoveries.
100 Years of Insulin UK 50p Silver Proof Piedfort Coin obverse – UK21DISF
100 Years of Insulin UK 50p Silver Proof Piedfort Coin reverse – UK21DISF
100 Years of Insulin UK 50p Gold Proof Coin reverse – UK21DIGP
The latest 50p follows commemorative coins in recognition of the life and work of inventors Charles Babbage, John Logie Baird, Rosalind Franklin and Stephen Hawking, as part of the collectable series.
The Royal Mint’s Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin Clare Maclennan said: “The collectable 100 Years of Insulin 50p, designed by artist Iris De La Torre, is a beautiful piece of art which celebrates the importance of the ground-breaking discovery of insulin on an official UK coin. A landmark medical breakthrough of the twentieth century, it has transformed the lives of people with diabetes for 100 years and is a fitting addition to our Innovation in Science collectable series, marking the greatest scientific innovations and the remarkable people behind them.”
Designer of the 100 Years of Insulin 50p, artist Iris De La Torre, said: “Coins are pieces of art and maintainers of history and tradition and so to see my design on an official UK coin that celebrates and raises awareness of such an important discovery is a dream come true.”
Speaking of the design, she added: “I came up with a design inspired by images of an accurate segmentation of single-isolated human insulin crystals for in-situ microscopy that I found in a medical document online. The image shows segments of human insulin crystals in the form of hexagons. It is a beautiful image and inspired a pattern repeat which worked well on the 50p coin.”
Professor Mirela Delibegovic, Director of the University of Aberdeen’s Cardiovascular and Diabetes Centre, consulted with The Royal Mint on this project, adding: “The insulin breakthrough is one of the most significant in medical sciences and was led by a team which included University of Aberdeen graduate JJR MacLeod. We are delighted to see this legacy recognised on a UK coin. This beautiful design is a fitting tribute to the Toronto research team and for all the researchers who have followed in their footsteps by working on new ways to treat and manage diabetes.”
The 100 Years of Insulin 50p coin is available to purchase from today at The Royal Mint website.
Partnership enables ANA to continue offering free classes to collectors
CDN Publishing, purveyor of print and online numismatic publications such as the Greysheet, CPG Market Review and CAC Rare Coin Market Review, is partnering with the American Numismatic Association (money.org) to ensure the ANA eLearning Academy webinar series remains viable and free of charge to all collectors.
Launched in late June 2020, the ANA eLearning Academy (info.money.org/elearning) offers collectors 20 to 24 online courses per quarter. Topics are designed to appeal to a range of numismatic interests. The one- and two-hour classes have been hugely popular, with an average of 2,000 class registrations per month.
CDN’s flagship publication, the monthly Greysheet (greysheet.com), joins the Association as the Official ANA eLearning Academy Partner beginning April 1. According to John Feigenbaum, Publisher of CDN Publishing, Greysheet was established with the mission of providing accurate, unbiased pricing for the coin industry, and has been a trusted source of information for collectors, investors and dealers since 1963.
“We believe that supporting the ANA and the ANA eLearning Academy are among the most important opportunities we have to foster education and learning within the hobby,” says Feigenbaum. “We appreciate this opportunity to help educate the next generation of collectors.”
As time and technology changes, we have to be able to keep up with the times. For the longest time, the Coin Collectors Blog and Coin Collectors News have used Google’s Feedburner to allow users to subscribe for updates via email. Starting in 2021, email updates for the Coin Collectors Blog and Coin Collectors News will use WordPress to send email updates exclusively.
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United States Mint Begins Accepting Orders for Set Featuring San Antonio Missions National Historical Park Quarters on September 10
SAN ANTONIO — The United States Mint (Mint) today officially launched the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program coin honoring San Antonio Missions National Historical Park in Texas. This is the fourth quarter of 2019, and the 49th coin overall in the program.
The reverse (tails) design of the quarter depicts elements of the Spanish Colonial Real coin to pay tribute to the missions. Within the quadrants are symbols of the missions: wheat symbolizes farming; the arches and bell symbolize community; a lion represents Spanish cultural heritage; and a symbol of the San Antonio River represents irrigation methods and life-sustaining resources.
In his remarks to the crowd, Mint Acting Deputy Director Patrick Hernandez said, “The San Antonio Missions quarter serves as a reminder of the importance of diverse people coming together, sharing their skills and heritage, to form self-sustaining, multicultural communities.”
Additional guest speakers included U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett, Trinity University President Danny J. Anderson, Archbishop Gustavo García-Siller, and National Park Superintendent Mardi Arce. Mint Artistic Infusion Program member Chris Costello, who designed the San Antonio Missions National Historical Park quarter, received acknowledgement during the ceremony. Video footage of Costello, along with that of Mint Chief Engraver Joseph Menna, discussing their work on the quarter is available here.
Additional event highlights included the Mint’s customary coin forum on the eve of the launch ceremony, and a coin exchange of $10 rolls of San Antonio Missions National Historical Park quarters following the event. Products containing the new quarter are available for purchase through the Mint’s online catalog.
Established in the 1700s, the San Antonio Missions were among the largest concentrations of Spanish missions in North America, and helped create the foundation for the Texas city of San Antonio. The San Antonio Missions National Historical Park manages four of the five missions: Mission Concepción, Mission San José, Mission San Juan, and Mission Espada. The four missions, along with Mission Valero (the Alamo), were designated a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Site in 2015. The park also includes Rancho de las Cabras, the ranch associated with Mission Espada, in Floresville, Texas.
The America the Beautiful Quarters® Program is a 12-year initiative that honors 56 national parks and other national sites authorized by Public Law 110-456. Each year until 2020, the public will see five new national sites depicted on the reverses (tails sides) of the America the Beautiful Quarters coins, with a final coin scheduled for release in 2021. The Mint is issuing these quarters in the order in which the national sites were officially established.
Legislation Authorizing 2021 Morgan & Peace Silver Dollars
to Benefit American Numismatic Association
Coin collectors soon could purchase 2021-CC Morgan and Peace silver dollars that support the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and the hobby.
Legislation was introduced on July 16 (H.R. 3757) to authorize production of 2021-dated dollar coins to mark the 1921 transition from the Morgan to the Peace designs. A combined maximum production of 500,000 proof and uncirculated Morgan and Peace dollars would be authorized under the 2021 Commemorative Silver Dollar Coin Act. An unspecified number of Morgan dollars could be struck with the “CC” mintmark at the former Carson City Mint, which now houses the Nevada State Museum.
Sales of the two coins would include a surcharge of $10 per coin, 40 percent of which would be paid to the American Numismatic Association to help fund educational programs – after the U.S. Mint has recouped all of its production and associated costs. The National World War I Museum & Memorial in Kansas City also would receive 40 percent of all net surcharges, while the Nevada State Museum located in Carson City would receive 20 percent.
The enabling legislation, jointly introduced in the House of Representatives by Emanuel Cleaver, (D-Mo.) and Andy Barr, (R-Ky.), requires 189 Congressional co-sponsors.
This commemorative coin initiative is being led by Tom Uram, chairman of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC), president of the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists, and current ANA board member; and Mike Moran, noted author and researcher, and member of the CCAC since 2011.
“It’s critical that hobbyists reach out to their Congressional representatives immediately to press them to co-sponsor the bill,” says Uram. “We need the required number of co-sponsors in order for this to become a reality.”
(Collectors unfamiliar with how to reach their Congressional representatives can visit money.org/coin-legislation.
ANA President Gary Adkins noted that the silver dollar commemoratives will ignite additional interest in the hobby. “I encourage every collector to contact their Congressional representatives to co-sponsor H.R. 3757 and support the 2021 Commemorative Silver Dollar Coin Act,” he said. “Not only is this great for the hobby, but for the first time ever proceeds from a commemorative coin program will support the numismatic hobby.”
The Peace dollar was approved in December 1921 to commemorate the declaration of peace between the United States and the Imperial German government, replacing the Morgan dollar. According to information provided in the proposed legislation, the design conversion from the Morgan dollar (minted between 1878 and 1904, and again in 1921) to the Peace dollar (struck from 1921 to 1935) reflects a pivotal moment in American history. “The Morgan dollar represents the country’s westward expansion and industrial development in the 19th century. The Peace dollar symbolizes the country’s coming of age as an international power while recognizing the sacrifices made by her citizens in World War I and celebrates the victory and peace that ensued.”
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 25,000 members and the public discover and explore the world of money through its vast array of instructional and outreach programs, as well as its museum, library, publications and conventions. For more information, call 719-632-2646 or visit www.money.org.
by Dennis Tucker, Publisher, Whitman Publishing
In the United States today the Lincoln cent is the most popular “classic” collector coin. Uniquely, it holds that position while also being one of the most popular modern coins.
To call the Lincoln cent a classic American coin is to group it with Buffalo nickels, Mercury dimes, Standing Liberty quarters, Liberty Walking half dollars, and Saint-Gaudens double eagles—all well-loved series that were born in the “Renaissance” era of U.S. coinage at the beginning of the 1900s.
Many active hobbyists collect Lincoln cents. So do people who don’t consider themselves numismatists, but simply enjoy saving interesting coins. Among other currently circulating coinage only Washington quarters—specifically, the 1999 to 2008 State quarters—have matched their broad popularity.
Since I started working at Whitman Publishing in 2004, Lincoln cents have never been far from the front burner, measured by reader interest, ongoing numismatic research, and sales of folders, albums, and other hobby supplies.
Serious discussion of publishing a Guide Book of Lincoln Cents got under way in December 2006. Which grades would we include in the price charts, knowing that there are Brown, Red-Brown, and Red color designations in the higher Mint State conditions? “I need to figure out how to make the price grid not look like a bingo board!” author Q. David Bowers told me.
By the spring of 2007 we were gathering images and photographing coins as needed, with staff photographer Tom Mulvaney focusing on early dates and major die varieties. (Tom, at the time, was also photographing hundreds of pieces for the Guide Book of Canadian Coins and Tokens, and the Guide Book of United States Tokens and Medals.)
That June I invited Lincoln cent specialist Charles Daughtrey to write the book’s foreword.
Dave Bowers was simultaneously working on the first edition of the Guide Book of United States Commemorative Coins. He’s always enjoyed working on multiple projects “in parallel,” as he calls it, likening his process to a chess master who used to visit his son’s elementary-school chess club in Shrewsbury: “They had 35 chess boards, and he played 35 opponents all at the same time!”
I touched base with the United States Mint that May, looking for photographs and any new information on Lincoln cents. David W. Lange granted permission to quote from his Complete Guide to Lincoln Cents, and Cherrypickers’ Guide coauthor J.T. Stanton offered to go through his notes and photographs of die varieties. Ken Potter, Bill Fivaz, Kenneth Bressett, Sam Lukes, Stewart Blay, Roger W. Burdette, Randy Campbell, John Dannreuther, Beth Deisher, Lee Gast, Paul Gilkes, Bob Shippee, David Sundman, Frank Van Valen, and other numismatists shared photographs, discussed die varieties, and advised on questions and ideas. This kind of collaboration is fundamental to Dave Bowers’s success as a researcher and author.
In the midst of all this activity, in June 2007, Fred L. Reed pitched his manuscript for a new book on Abraham Lincoln in numismatics. It would develop into two volumes—Abraham Lincoln: The Image of His Greatness, and, later, a sequel, Abraham Lincoln: Beyond the American Icon. Interest was building toward the 2009 bicentennial of Lincoln’s birth.
Dave’s manuscript was done and submitted for final editing before the end of July 2007. Layout and proofing came next, and we sent the book to press in September. (By that time the Sage of Wolfeboro, never one to rest for long, was well into his work on the Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins.) In early November I alerted the numismatic press that the book was on its way, and in December 2007 it was in readers’ hands.
Collectors bought tens of thousands of copies of the first edition. When it debuted I wrote: “One of the goals of Whitman’s Bowers Series is to offer the human touch that connects coins to people and to history. A Guide Book of Lincoln Cents lives up to that goal. I believe it will greatly please the numismatists who already collect these coins, and encourage others to start a new collection.”
In an informal poll of 130 hobbyists in the summer of 2018, I found that 33 percent consider themselves active or very active collectors of Lincoln cents (constantly upgrading their sets, collecting die varieties by Fivaz-Stanton number, and/or filling albums and folders); 32 percent consider themselves casual collectors (collecting the coins, but not as their primary interest); 18 percent own some but don’t consider themselves collectors (with more of an accumulation than a collection); and only 17 percent don’t collect or own them at all. Comments from those polled include:
- “I’m an active collector of Lincoln cents. They’re the first coins I started collecting.”
- “I’ve collected them since 1957.”
- “I like getting them from circulation, and also collect the Uncirculated Mint sets and basic Proofs.”
- “Collectors are slowly coming to realize that pleasant and originally toned Lincolns are an overlooked and exciting area to explore—the last untapped field for toners.”
- “Still have the 1909-S V.D.B. hole in my Dansco album . . . the only one missing. I will get one again someday (I’ve had a couple in the past).”
- “I’m working on filling a Whitman album with my daughter, and actively collecting Deep Cameo Proofs for my Lincoln Memorial set.”
- “I love the series. I managed to cherrypick three Matte Proofs out of dealer stock over the years.”
- “I actively collect a registry set, plus an almost-complete raw set. Part of me needed to complete the sets I started as a kid in the 1960s. Back then I could only afford what I found in change. When I finally could afford to buy coins at a shop, this was the first set I worked on.”
- “Absolutely love them. Wheat cents started my joy for the hobby! I collect a wide range now. Currently I am on a repunched-mintmark mission. I keep toners, Mint errors, varieties. I roll-hunt often, and cherrypick to the best of my ability.”
- “Not only do I collect Lincoln cents in albums, I collect albums for Lincoln cents.”
- “Lincolns were my primary collection, and the only date run I ever collected. I was able to assemble a date-and-mintmark set from 1909 to 1933 in average grade of MS-65BN in both NGC and PCGS. It took several years to complete, mostly from 2003 to 2014.”
Hearing this kind of feedback from collectors, studying Whitman’s book and product sales, and keeping up with ongoing research tells me that Lincoln cents are greatly appreciated. They’re a numismatic evergreen—perennially popular—and we’re happy to bring the third edition of Dave Bowers’s Guide Book of Lincoln Cents to the hobby community. It joins a robust list of Lincoln-centric numismatic books that have been published over the past 20-plus years. Collectors will find much new information in this third edition . . . and they can rest assured it won’t be the last.
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Happy New Year!
As we begin a new year, we should look forward to better times for our hobby, our nation, and our world. I wish you and yours a Happy and Healthy 2018 and hope that you find the key coin of your dreams!
2018 World War I Centennial Silver Dollar
2018 Breast Cancer Awareness commemorative
Over the years, I have been receiving press releases from many different numismatic-related sources that usually end up deleted because there was nothing I wanted to write about. I write about the releases when I feel there is something I can add.
Some of these press releases have an interest to the wider numismatic audience and I feel guilty for not sharing them. Rather than delete this information, I created this microsite called Coin Collectors News.
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