United States Mint Public Tours and Gifts Shops in Denver and Philadelphia Have Reopened

U.S. MintWASHINGTON – Public tours of the United States Mint (Mint) facilities at Denver and Philadelphia have reopened. The gift shops at both of these locations have also reopened. Please note that during High COVID-19 community levels, tours of the Mint facilities at Denver and Philadelphia will be suspended, and gift shops will be closed.

Tour participants must comply with all COVID-19 safety requirements (including but not limited to mask wearing) in effect at the Mint at the time of the tour.

Tours are subject to cancellation, possibly with little or no notice, when circumstances warrant building closure or other cancellation at the Mint’s sole discretion.

In Philadelphia, tours are self-guided and will be open during the summer (now until Labor Day) Monday through Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:30 pm, with the last entrance at 4:15 pm. The Philadelphia tour will be open on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday of the Labor Day weekend. The tour will be open Monday through Friday from Labor Day until Memorial Day. All tours of the site are free of charge with no reservation required. Visitors must adhere to the latest state and local guidelines about the COVID-19 pandemic while on site. Please be aware that at times there is a line to enter the building. For more information on Philadelphia Mint tours, click here.

In Denver, the tours are guided, and availability is limited. For more information on Denver Mint tours, click here.

If you are unable visit in person, please download the U.S. Mint Virtual Tours mobile app from the Apple’s App Store® or Google Play™. With this app, numismatists of all ages can go behind the scenes at the Philadelphia Mint to see how coins are made. Explore the production floors and follow the steps of circulating coin creation through videos, images, and 3-D models. Along the way, collect hidden coins.

Barker Recipient of Highest ANA Award for Young Collectors

The American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) highest accomplishment for a young collector is being named ANA Young Numismatist of the Year. The honor is given to those who show exceptional achievement in the hobby. Due to her outstanding contributions to the hobby, this year’s recipient is Kelly Barker. She was recognized for her accomplishments during a virtual event on Wednesday, July 13, by ANA President Dr. Ralph Ross with Barker’s friends and family.

When she was a tyke, Barker’s brother and father encouraged her to join them in searching for “Wheaties” in rolls of Lincoln cents. Her interest in collecting heightened when she attended local coin shows with her family, and she became an ANA member by the time she was in 5th grade. She enrolled in the “Coins for A’s” program and earned 32 pieces over the past eight years.

Now 18 years old, Barker has attended numerous conventions, often as a page or other volunteer, including the World’s Fair of Money® (WFM) and the National Money Show®. An eager participant in the ANA’s young numismatist activities (YN), the Delaware resident has completed The Dollar Project, regularly attends the annual online YN auctions, and achieved first place twice in her age group in National Coin Week challenges.

Skilled with the written word, Barker also earned the first place Bill Fivaz Young Numismatist Literary Award in 2016, and she is in the process of publishing her first novel, a mystery for young adults.

A soccer player and a runner, the athletic collector also has a talent for exhibiting, and her “Treasures of the Sea” display won second place at the 2018 WFM. The future is certainly bright for this positive and creative collector who is helping to grow the hobby by teaching her peers about her favorite numismatic topics. Barker heads to Virginia Tech in the fall to major in creative writing, sports and converting new friends to numismatics

NGC, NCS and PMG Appointed the Official Grading and Conservation Services of the ANA

NGC, NCS and PMG are thrilled to announce that the American Numismatic Association (ANA) has once again selected the companies to serve as the organization’s exclusive Official Grading and Conservation Services.

The close relationship between the ANA and NGC, NCS and PMG began in 1995, when NGC was chosen as the ANA’s exclusive Official Coin Grading Service. NCS was added as the ANA’s Official Coin Conservation Service in 2000, and PMG became the ANA’s Official Paper Money Grading Service in 2007. The renewed agreement will continue the beneficial partnership, which is founded in a shared commitment to the advancement of the hobby.

The ANA’s partnership with NGC, NCS and PMG includes an exclusive $15 discount for ANA members who join NGC, NCS and PMG for the first time. As a paid member of NGC, NCS and PMG, collectors get direct submission privileges in addition to many other great benefits that come with the companies’ expert grading and conservation services.

“We are very excited to be extending our partnership with NGC, NCS and PMG,” said Kim Kiick, Executive Director of the ANA. “For 27 years, we have worked closely together to support the best interests of collectors, and we continue to select NGC, NCS and PMG as our Official Grading and Conservation Services based on the value, safety and trust that their services provide.”

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Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation warns hundreds of websites selling fakes

Caution! Hundreds of websites selling counterfeit gold and silver coins

Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation warns of fake “precious metal” and “rare coins” offered online, and helps a Texas investor who became an unsuspecting victim

(Temecula, California) June 30, 2022 – Looking to buy gold and silver, “Oliver,” an investor in Texas, responded to advertisements on Facebook from two companies that touted exceptionally low “introductory offer” prices for silver and gold bullion coins. He paid $1,000 and now is trying to get his money back because the “gold coin” and all 50 “silver coins” he received are counterfeits apparently made in China, according to the non-profit Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation (www.ACEFonline.org).

“I started suspecting they were not genuine when tracking information for my orders was in Chinese,” said Oliver. “That was a red flag. I also saw the same advertisement online with the same format and same pricing but with different company names. When I received the orders, I thought I had gotten taken.”

At the time he placed his order, a one-ounce United States Mint-produced American Gold Eagle would have been priced at about $1,950. He paid $499 but got a counterfeit. Each of the 50 one-ounce American Silver Eagle coins he ordered should have sold for about $40 each, a total of about $2,000 for 50 genuine examples. Oliver paid $499.98 for 50 but received only fakes.

Some of the counterfeit coins received by a Texas investor.

He now is working with his credit card companies to reverse the charges on his two purchases and is assisting the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation (ACEF) to alert investigators and the public.

“Chinese counterfeiters are blowing up the web selling fake silver and gold coins that may look like the real thing at first glance but certainly are not. We’ve seen suspicious ads posted on many platforms, including Amazon and Facebook, with links to the fraudsters’ websites,” cautioned Doug Davis, ACEF Anti-Counterfeiting Director.

“The counterfeiters and their accomplices are heavily marketing fakes through social media and online ‘coin dealer’ websites. We now are tracking more than 300 websites selling fakes, many of them apparently operated by the same individuals or companies, but often under different company names. Some even copy the exact wording and actual photos from legitimate dealers’ web pages,” explained Davis, a former Texas Police Chief.

“Remember, if you don’t know precious metals or rare coins, you’d better know a reputable seller, such as experts affiliated with the Accredited Precious Metals Dealer program (www.APMDdealers.org) or the Professional Numismatists Guild (www.PNGdealers.org),” advised Davis. Members of both PNG and APMD must follow a strict code of ethics in the buying and selling of numismatic merchandise.

The foundation is alerting the Secret Service about the fakes as part of the organization’s ongoing assistance to federal, state, and local law enforcement as well as prosecutors to fight counterfeiting and the sales of counterfeit coins.

“The important work of the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation and its volunteer task force of rare coin and precious metals experts is supported entirely by donations,” explained ACEF Executive Director Robert Brueggeman. “The ACEF is a 501(c)(3) corporation, and all donations are tax deductible.”

For additional information, contact the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation by phone at 817-723-7231, by email info@ACEFonline.org, or visit the website at www.ACEFonline.org.

Ventris C. Gibson Confirmed as Director of the United States Mint

Ventris Gibson

Ventris Gibson

WASHINGTON – On Friday, Ventris C. Gibson took the oath of office as Director of the United States Mint. President Biden nominated Ms. Gibson on December 13, 2021. On May 4, the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs advanced her nomination. The full Senate approved the nomination by voice vote on June 15.

Director Gibson becomes the 40th Director of the Mint. She is the first African-American to serve as Director, and the seventh woman to serve in this position.

“I am honored and humbled to be confirmed as Director of the Mint,” said Gibson. “Since joining the Mint last October, I have been tremendously impressed by the dedication and professionalism of its workforce, and the outstanding quality of the circulation coins, bullion coins, and numismatic products made by the Mint.”

Director Gibson is a U.S. Navy veteran who joined the Mint from the District of Columbia government, where she served as the Director of Human Resources. In this role, Ms. Gibson provided executive oversight and execution of human capital programs and services for nearly 37,000 employees. Prior to that, she served as Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resources in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. She was responsible for the development, articulation, and delivery of Department-wide human resources policies, plans, and programs.

Director Gibson’s career with the Federal Government includes leadership roles in the Federal Aviation Administration, where she was Assistant Administrator for Human Resources, and the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) as Deputy Assistant Secretary for Human Resource Management and its first Deputy Assistant Secretary for Resolution Management. She was the VA’s highest-ranking woman veteran and directed human resources management and civil rights programs affecting 230,000 employees.

During a career spanning more than 40 years in human resources executive and professional positions, Director Gibson earned numerous awards and commendations. She received an Exceptional Service and a Meritorious Service Award from the Secretary of Veterans Affairs, an Exceptional Service Award from the Secretary of Transportation, FAA Manager Association’s Leadership Award, National Hispanic Coalition’s President’s Award, and the Northern New Jersey Metropolitan Area’s prestigious “Woman of the Year” award.

A graduate of the Federal Executive Institute, Executive Technique, and Aspen Institute, Director Gibson attended the University of Maryland, University College. She has three children and four grandchildren.

ANA Honors Distinguished Numismatists with Awards

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 presented at the World’s Fair of Money®, will be awarded during the Member & Awards Celebration, Thursday, Aug. 18 at 3 p.m. in room 25/26 of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois.

The Adna G. Wilde Jr. Memorial Award for Exemplary Service recognizes collectors and hobbyists who are active at the regional and/or national level and work to advance numismatic knowledge among the general public. Recipients promote and strengthen the hobby by serving as club officers, newsletter editors, coin show volunteers, and the like. This year, three individuals will be recognized: Patrick McBride, David Schenkman, and Jeffrey Swindling.

Patrick McBride joined his first coin clubs in the mid ’80s, all in western Pennsylvania, and has consistently volunteered for those organizations since then. He holds several offices for the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists and was the host club chair for the ANA’s 2019 National Money Show®. He has contributed extensively to the ANA’s educational efforts, including loaning several of his rare issues of The Numismatist when the ANA digitized the entire run of the magazine in 2015. Additionally, he lobbied for both versions of the bills proposing the creation of 2021 Peace and Morgan dollar centennial commemoratives. His efforts contributed to the successful passage of the legislation.

The Numismatist “Tokens &anp Medals” columnist David Schenkman has cheerfully and selflessly contributed countless hours to both the ANA and any fellow hobbyist who has sought his expertise. He has taught ANA Summer Seminar classes and has given talks for local, regional, and national numismatic organizations. He regularly shares his knowledge through the many columns, books, and articles he has written over the past five decades. A former president of the Token and Medal Society (TAMS), he was editor of the TAMS Journal from 1982-2010 and currently serves on the board of directors. The recipient of dozens of literary and achievement awards – including numerous ANA Heath Literary Awards – he was inducted into the ANA Hall of Fame in 2015.

Jeffrey Swindling has recruited over 500 members to the ANA in addition to donating his time as a regular ANA convention volunteer and district representative. He is committed to sharing the hobby with the next generation and has served as a Coin Collecting Merit Badge counselor since 2002, helping thousands of scouts earn their badges. During his time as chair of the ANA’s YN and Scout Committee, he instituted several key initiatives, including the “Coins for A’s” and the ANA College Scholarship programs. Swindling has received several ANA Member Booster Awards and continuously shares his extensive knowledge with collectors and non-collectors alike.

The ANA’s Medal of Merit honors individuals at the regional and/or national level who have dedicated numerous years of service to the ANA and hobby. This year’s recipients are passionate volunteers who spread the joy of numismatics everywhere they go.

Sandra “Sandy” Hill worked as an employee in the ANA’s membership department for 21 years until she retired. She now serves as a national volunteer and recruits throngs of new members at ANA conventions every year. She became a member of the Century Club in 2016 and has received the John & Nancy Wilson Member Booster Award twice (2019 and 2020). Her cheerful, charismatic persona is magnetic and is glad to help anyone with any task. She has even jumped in as a substitute Summer Seminar instructor when the scheduled teacher experienced travel delays.

Since 2011 she’s served as a district representative for Washington. She founded the Kalama Coin Club in Washington in 2008 and currently serves as its president. She also plans to introduce an incentive program for youngsters using world coins as educational tools.

Hill’s work ethic demonstrates that one doesn’t need to be a scholar to be an instrumental member of the numismatic community. She was recognized with an ANA Presidential Award in 2011 and Glenn Smedley Memorial Award in 2013.

During his 45 years of service, Bob Hurst has volunteered and exhibited at many coin conventions. He has also judged displays and given educational talks at state shows hosted by the Florida United Numismatists (FUN), Central States Numismatic Society, Georgia Numismatic Association, and others. He was the bourse chair for the Blue Ridge Numismatic Association for six years. A respected leader, he currently serves as president of both FUN and the Tennessee State Numismatic Society, where he’s been instrumental in stabilizing the latter organization’s finances.

Hurst developed an interest in ancient coins in 1973 while he was serving overseas in the U.S. Air Force, and he founded a club for like-minded collectors in San Vito dei Normanni, Italy. He participated in several archaeological digs in the country, and he led a dig under the auspices of the National Museum in Napes that unearthed an assortment of Roman coins. As a dealer and enthusiastic student of ancient and world issues, he’s become an authority on these pieces, particularly crown-size coins and talers, and he’s given numerous educational talks on the topic. Hurst has been recognized with several hobby accolades, including two ANA Presidential Awards (2007 and 2021), the Numismatic Ambassador Award (2008), and the ANA Glenn Smedley Memorial Award (2009).

Gary Lewis served in the U.S. Air Force, which took him on a journey from Illinois to Thailand to Colorado to Florida, and his travels didn’t stop there. He’s attended 54 ANA conventions since his first in 1963 and has visited all 50 states, attending coin shows or club meetings in about half of them. Lewis became an ANA district representative for Colorado over 50 years ago, and since then, has served in many capacities for the Association, including chief exhibit judge, National Coin Week chair, regional representative, governor, vice president, and by 2003, he was elected president. He has served on more ANA committees than anyone else in Association history, and today, he mentors students enrolled in the ANA’s Numismatic Diploma Program. A creative problem-solver, Lewis offers forward-thinking ideas. Years before technology evolved to its current state, he was looking ahead to the digital world he knew was imminent.

Lewis has served as an officer in nine local and regional clubs, including six presidencies in a 47-year time span. While he was president of the Colorado Springs Coin Club from 1972-74, he started the annual coin show that is now integrated with Summer Seminar. His reach extends beyond the collecting community – he was a member of the U.S. Assay Commission in 1974 and chaired the Florida State Quarter Selection Committee from 2001-2003. Lewis has written articles for several numismatic publications on a variety of topics that have interested him in his 66 years of collecting. He was named the ANA’s Outstanding Adult Advisor in 1979 and received the Glenn Smedley Memorial Award in 2005.

The ANA has named John Brush the 2022 Harry J. Forman Dealer of the Year. Presented annually, the award honors a professional numismatist who shows uncommon dedication to strengthening the hobby and the ANA; exhibits high ethical standards and integrity; and treats all members of the numismatic community and the general public fairly and consistently.

The Virginia Beach, Virginia, resident is well-known for his role as president of David Lawrence Rare Coins (DLRC), a position he’s held since late 2015. Brush joined the company as a staff numismatist in 2006 after working as a wholesale trader at Spectrum Numismatics (now Stack’s Bowers Galleries). As president, Brush oversees the direction of DLRC and serves as the chief buyer, traveling to all major shows on an annual basis. He is respected for his inviolable ethical standards and oversees what many consider the leading website in the industry. Brush also assists with curating the D.L. Hansen Collection for his business partner Dell Loy Hansen, a Utah real estate and business mogul.

Brush serves as chairman of the National Coin and Bullion Association and is the treasurer for the Professional Numismatists Guild. The former Summer Seminar attendee and later instructor has been a hobbyist since age five. He joined the ANA in 1987 at the urging of his father, and he has inspired countless others to do the same.

Treasury Applauds Appointment of Chief Lynn Malerba as Treasurer of the United States

Chief Lynn Malerba will become the first Native American to serve as Treasurer of the United States and will lead the newly established Office of Tribal and Native Affairs.

Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba, D.N.P., M.P.A., the newly appointed Treasurer of the United States (image courtesy of NIH)

WASHINGTON – Today, ahead of Secretary of the Treasury Janet L. Yellen’s visit to the Rosebud Indian Reservation in South Dakota, President Joe Biden announced the appointment of Lynn Malerba, Lifetime Chief of the Mohegan Tribe, to serve as Treasurer of the United States. Chief Malerba is the first Native American to serve as the nation’s Treasurer. To underscore the Department’s commitment to Tribal nations, Treasury also announced the establishment of a new Office of Tribal and Native Affairs. The new office will be led by the new Treasurer and coordinate Tribal relations across the Department.

Chief Malerba became the 18th Chief of the Mohegan Tribe in 2010 and is the first woman to serve in this position in the Tribe’s modern history. She previously served as a member of the Treasury Tribal Advisory Committee. Chief Malerba’s appointment as Treasurer of the United States will also mean that for the first time in U.S. history, a Native woman’s signature will soon be seen on the nation’s currency.

“I am deeply honored that Chief Malerba will serve as the nation’s Treasurer and spearhead the department’s new Office of Tribal and Native Affairs. This is an historic appointment,” said Secretary Yellen. “Her leadership and experience will deepen our commitment to help expand economic opportunities for all Tribal communities.”

“I am honored and humbled by Secretary Yellen and the Biden Administration’s commitment to ensuring that all voices are heard by Treasury as we work together to create an equitable and just society,” said Chief Lynn Malerba. “It is especially important that our Native voices are respected. This appointment underscores this Administration’s commitment to doing just that. I am excited to serve our communities as Treasurer and for the work ahead.”

As Treasurer, Chief Malerba will also oversee the newly established Office of Tribal and Native Affairs that will house staff directly dedicated to communication with Tribal nations and the hub for Tribal policy. Treasury previously created a Tribal team in 2021 as part of its efforts to develop the department’s growing relationship with Tribal nations and to help administer $30 billion in programs directed towards Tribes through the American Rescue Plan. The new Office of Tribal and Native Affairs will work across Treasury’s portfolio on issues related to Tribal nations, and Treasury intends to work with Congress to ensure this office has the resources it needs to carry out its mission.

In addition to leading the Office of Tribal and Native Affairs, the Treasurer of the United States directly oversees the U.S. Mint, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Fort Knox, and is a key liaison with the Federal Reserve. Chief Malerba will also serve as a senior advisor to the Secretary in the areas of community development and public engagement.

Secretary Yellen’s visit to Rosebud Indian Reservation marks the first time in history that a Treasury Secretary has visited a Tribal nation. During her visit, the Secretary will highlight how American Rescue Plan funds are supporting the Tribe’s recovery from the pandemic and expanding economic opportunity for its citizens. She will meet with residents who received Emergency Rental Assistance funds that helped them remain in their homes, speak with Tribal leaders about their plans to use a portion of their State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds to increase affordable housing supply, and highlight the investments that the Tribe is making to boost educational and economic opportunities for all households by expanding access to high-speed affordable internet.


Chief Mutáwi Mutáhash (Many Hearts) Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba became the 18th Chief of the Mohegan Tribe on August 15, 2010 and is the first female Chief in the Tribe’s modern history. The position is a lifetime appointment made by the Tribe’s Council of Elders. Prior to becoming Chief, she served as Chairwoman of the Tribal Council, and served in Tribal Government as Executive Director of Health and Human Services. Preceding her work for the Mohegan Tribe, Malerba had a career as a registered nurse, ultimately as the Director of Cardiology and Pulmonary Services at Lawrence + Memorial Hospital. She earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice at Yale University and was named a Jonas Scholar. She was awarded an honorary doctoral degree in science from Eastern Connecticut State University and an honorary doctoral degree in humane letters from the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford, Connecticut. Malerba earned a master’s degree in public administration from the University of Connecticut and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the College of St. Joseph.

Read more about Chief Malerba via her NIH biography.

Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games UK 50P Coin

With a storied history that dates back to 1930, the Commonwealth Games is one of the biggest sporting events in the world. Sandwiched neatly in between summer Olympic years, the quadrennial event has long established itself as a true hub of athletic excellence, covering a wide array of action-packed sports and featuring the very best athletes from across the Commonwealth.

This year, the Commonwealth Games returns to England for only the third time in its history and will emanate from the city of Birmingham for the very first time. The motto for Birmingham 2022 is ‘Games for Everyone’, with a conscious focus on inclusivity – a stance that is backed by the largest female and para-sport programme in the history of the Commonwealth Games.

The Royal Mint is proud to celebrate the Commonwealth Games and its incredible 92-year legacy with a UK 50p coin dedicated to Birmingham 2022. Featuring a bespoke reverse design by The Royal Mint’s own Natasha Preece, this coin captures the essence of the Commonwealth Games through the striking geometric patterns associated with Birmingham 2022.


  • Celebrating the first Commonwealth Games held in England for 20 years
  • Features a design that cleverly incorporates the unmistakable geometric patterns of Birmingham Library
  • Year-dated 2022 commemorating the historic 22nd Commonwealth Games
  • The perfect memento to celebrate the very first Games held in Birmingham
  • Collaboratively developed with Birmingham 2022 and each home nation’s respective team.

New Whitman Book Explores the 100 Greatest Canadian Coins and Tokens

A new Whitman Publishing book, 100 Greatest Canadian Coins and Tokens, by Dr. Harvey B. Richer, will debut in July 2022 at the annual convention of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association, in Ottawa. The 160-page hardcover coffee-table volume will be available from bookstores and hobby shops and online (including at Whitman.com). Here, Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker discusses how the book came to be, and its context within Whitman’s focus on Canadian numismatics.

Collectors in Ottawa, Ontario, will be among the first to see Dr. Harvey Richer’s new book, 100 Greatest Canadian Coins and Tokens as it takes its place among nearly 75 years of related Whitman Publishing books and hobby supplies.

The publishing company, while headquartered in Racine, Wisconsin, began an extensive lineup of Canadian coin folders in 1950. Meanwhile, up in Toronto, James E. Charlton was self-publishing his Catalogue of Canadian Coins, Tokens & Fractional Currency. In 1959 R.S. Yeoman, father of Whitman’s popular Guide Book of United States Coins (the “Red Book”), approached Charlton to publish his book and distribute it in the United States. Yeoman tripled the page count and expanded the content, and sales reached 100,000 copies per year in the 1960s. In the same era Whitman also published the Standard Grading Guide to Canadian Decimal Coins, distributed a “Canadian Coin Hobby Starter Kit,” and offered hobbyists a checklist and record book to keep track of their collections.

In the 1970s Robert C. Willey and James A. Haxby pioneered the modern study of Canadian coins in a new Whitman book, Coins of Canada. Willey (1927—1993), of Saskatchewan, was well established as a numismatic researcher and writer. Haxby was known for his authoritative papers on die-making and his scholarship in Canada’s decimal coinage. Their book was groundbreaking. Whitman published it into the early 1980s.

In 2003 Q. David Bowers joined Whitman as the company’s numismatic director, and in 2004 I took the role of publisher. Clifford Mishler, former president of Krause Publications (and a Whitman author himself), introduced me to James Haxby in 2007. From this renewed partnership came a modern era of Whitman activity in Canadian coinage. We planned a brand-new, 464-page Guide Book of Canadian Coins and Tokens—a full-color illustrated history, price guide, and reference book that was published in 2012. Whitman also updated its Canadian coin folders, for large cents through modern dollars and Toonies.

In 2017 Boulder Publications released Harvey B. Richer’s excellent Gold Coins of Newfoundland, 1865—1888, subtitled How Newfoundland Came to Possess a Spectacular Mintage of Gold Coins. Part of what made Gold Coins of Newfoundland such a remarkable book was Dr. Richer’s talent as a writer and a teacher, as well as his approach to numismatics. He began his study with the formation of the solar system, moved into continental drift and a theory of geographical connection between Britain and Canada, and then a summary of 9,000 years of Newfoundland history! With this fascinating background Richer led up to the minting of Newfoundland’s gold coins.

“One aspect I was particularly interested in,” he later told me, “was the effect such a magnificent issue of coinage had on the Newfoundland population 150 years ago. Recall that this was a very poor society largely driven by fishing and seal hunting. What was the impact of the coinage on commerce, on how the Newfoundlanders viewed themselves?”

I met Dr. Richer in 2017 at the American Numismatic Association show in Denver, and we discussed the potential of a new volume in Whitman’s library of “100 Greatest” books. We immersed ourselves in the best way to present a subject as far-reaching as “the best of Canadian coins.” Dr. Richer’s development of the manuscript included consultation with the Canadian Numismatic Research Society. In 2021 we began its final editorial work.

Harvey Richer brought the same intellectual curiosity to 100 Greatest Canadian Coins and Tokens that he gave to Gold Coins of Newfoundland—asking questions, laying the groundwork, and always looking for the human element. His writing is embellished with personal asides (the connections that make numismatics an art as well as a science). And he’s not afraid to push boundaries in his exploration of what defines a “coin” or “token.” Among the 100 Greatest you’ll find playing cards, wampum belts, and encased postage. While clearly not coins, are these forms of token money? Such questions always enliven the conversations around Whitman’s “100 Greatest” books—not to mention how to define “greatness,” and what constitutes the greatest of the great

Accompanying his narrative are outstanding pictures of the coins and tokens themselves. Photographs shared by Heritage Auctions make up the majority of the coin images—not surprising, given Heritage’s status as the largest collectibles auctioneer and third-largest auction house in the world. Many of the Canadian rarities find their homes through the Dallas-based firm’s sales. PCGS and Stack’s Bowers Galleries also contributed photographs, as did numerous museums, archives, and libraries. The result is a gorgeous numismatic panorama, a virtual coin cabinet that can be opened and enjoyed any time.

As a professor of astronomy, Harvey Richer has used the Hubble Space Telescope and major terrestrial telescopes to gaze into the heavens. The numismatic community is fortunate to have his attention turned to the richly interesting field of Canadian coins and tokens. And at Whitman Publishing we’re proud to add him to our roster of Yeoman, Charlton, Willey, and Haxby in the exploration of Canadian numismatics.

100 Greatest Canadian Coins and Tokens
By Harvey B. Richer; forewords by Kenneth Bressett and Emily S. Damstra.
ISBN 794849830. Hardcover, 10 x 12 inches, 160 pages, full color.
Retail $34.95 U.S.

Fabled sunken treasure ship’s bell donated to US Naval Academy

Gift from California business executive Dwight Manley honors ship’s brave Captain, Commander William Lewis Herndon

SS Central America Bell

The 268-pound ship’s bell from the legendary “Ship of Gold,” the SS Central America that sank in 1857, has been donated by Dwight Manley of Brea, California to the United States Naval Academy. (Photo courtesy of California Gold Marketing Group.)

(Annapolis, Maryland) May 23, 2022 – The United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland has received an important piece of American and naval history, the bell from the SS Central America, the legendary “Ship of Gold” that was led by Commander William Lewis Herndon (1813-1857). The famous ship sank in 1857 while carrying 578 passengers and crewmembers and a king’s ransom of California Gold Rush treasures.

Rare coin expert, real estate developer, philanthropist, and former sports agent Dwight Manley of Brea, California donated the Central America’s 268-pound bronze bell to the Academy where there has been an important tribute monument to Commander Herndon for the past 162 years. The historic bell was formally dedicated on May 23, just prior to the 2022 annual monument climb by the Academy’s freshmen (“plebes”).

A distinguished career naval officer, Herndon sacrificed his life in a brave effort to save the Central America. “He saved the lives of 152 passengers before he made the decision to go down with the ship,” according to the Naval Academy.

The Central America sank in the Atlantic Ocean 150 miles off the North Carolina coast during a hurricane on September 12, 1857. In 1860, a 21-foot-tall granite obelisk was dedicated in Herndon’s honor near the center of the Naval Academy campus.

Prior to his important assignment as Master of the United States Mail Steamship Central America in 1855, Herndon served with distinction during the Mexican-American War of 1846-1848 and led a successful South America expedition in 1851 that resulted in his acclaimed 1854 report, Exploration of the Valley of the Amazon.

“Commander Herndon is a revered and honored name in the U.S. Navy. His legacy has been part of the annual rite of passage at the Academy with his monument scaled by the current year’s plebes. It is my extreme privilege to be able to unite the bell with the monument so all in attendance each year can experience the sounds Commander Herndon heard as he went down with the ship after 40 hours of valiant effort to save every woman and child aboard,” said Manley who spoke at the bell’s May 23 dedication ceremony.

Last August, Manley met at Annapolis with Naval Academy Superintendent, Vice Admiral Sean S. Buck, to offer the gift of the recovered, historic bell, and the Department of the Navy accepted the offer.

Assistant Secretary of the Navy Meredith Berger approved the gift “to support and educate the Brigade of Midshipmen,” and in a letter to Manley she expressed the Department of the Navy’s “sincere appreciation.”

The bell was discovered 34 years ago, 131 years after the ship sank. It is larger than most ships’ bells of the era, measuring nearly two feet tall and a little over two feet wide at its lower flange edge.

SSCA bell on ocean floor

Using a remote-controlled submarine in 1988, the 268-pound bell from the fabled “Ship of Gold,” the SS Central America that sank in 1857, was discovered 7,200 feet under the surface of the Atlantic Ocean. (Photo courtesy of California Gold Marketing Group.)

“The site of what we thought might be the SS Central America was discovered in 1988 about 7,200 feet below the ocean’s surface. Using a robot submarine, we located a bell and could see part of the embossed lettering on it, MORGAN IRON WORKS NEW YORK 1853. That provided additional evidence that the shipwreck site was indeed the Central America,” explained Bob Evans, the chief scientist and historian on the recovery missions who also attended the bell’s dedication ceremony at the U.S. Naval Academy. “The bell provided spectacular and undeniable confirmation we located the ship.”

The Central America was a 280-foot long, three-masted side-wheel steamship carrying what Life magazine later called “The Greatest Treasure Ever Found,” tons of California Gold Rush-era gold coins and assayers’ ingots. The loss of the valuable cargo was a major factor in the economically devastating financial panic of 1857 in the United States.

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