(Pelham, Alabama) — A new metal-detecting and coin-collecting column by award-winning author Frank J. Colletti will debut on Monday, March 1, 2021. The column, “Hidden Treasures,” will appear in Coin Update (www.coinupdate.com) every other week.
Frank Colletti, a Certified Public Accountant, is known to the numismatic community as a specialist and collector of the Guide Book of United States Coins, popularly known as the “Red Book.” He wrote the Guide Book of the Official Red Book of United States Coins (Whitman Publishing, 2009), a reference for book collectors, which Kenneth Bressett has called “a fascinating account with a wealth of information.” Colletti follows the market for rare and special-edition Red Books and regularly advises on pricing and rarity.
The longtime collector became interested in coins in 1962, when he received a Barber quarter (last minted in 1916) in payment on his newspaper-delivery route. His interest in metal-detecting is also longstanding, and he has written hundreds of related articles in various hobby publications, including Lost Treasure magazine. He wrote monthly columns on coin collecting (“Money Talks”) and on the good deeds that metal detectorists perform (“Civic Patrol”).
“The hobbies of treasure-hunting and coin-collecting are richly connected,” says Colletti. “Metal detectorists often locate scarce and unusual coins, and we should be knowledgeable about our finds. As you learn more about coins, you become better equipped to form a nice collection, rather than just a random accumulation. And if you’re already an active coin collector, you can enter an exciting new world by learning the ins and outs of hands-on treasure hunting.”
Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker has seen growing interest in metal-detecting over the past year. “We published the second edition of Dave Bowers’s Lost and Found Coin Hoards and Treasures in the winter of 2019,” Tucker says. “The book was featured in social media and got coverage from the American Numismatic Association and the hobby publications. Then it started to gain more attention from metal detectorists. In five weeks I received nearly 400 Facebook friend requests from treasure-hunters who were interested in the book. There are active communities online, where detectorists share information and inspire each other to keep looking for the next big treasure.”
Colletti joins a regular lineup of Coin Update columnists including Q. David Bowers, Michael Alexander, Louis Golino, and Michael Bugeja. News articles, market commentary, Mint reports, and opinion pieces on U.S. and world coins, medals, tokens, and paper money are published daily at www.coinupdate.com.
The Royal Mint, the Original Maker of UK coins, in collaboration with the Natural History Museum has today launched a new commemorative coin collection celebrating fossil hunter and pioneering palaeontologist Mary Anning.
This is the second coin collection in The Royal Mint’s ‘Tales of the Earth’ series celebrating the awe-inspiring ancient creatures discovered here in Britain. The next coin collection shines a light on one of Britain’s greatest fossil hunters – Mary Anning. The first release in the Mary Anning Collection features Temnodontosaurus, one of the largest types of ichthyosaur and an apex predator that once roamed the ocean that covered much of southern Britain. Other coins in the collection will Anning’s discoveries of Plesiosaurus and Dimorphodon.
Renowned British paleo-artist and designer of the first Tales of the Earth commemorative coin collection, Robert Nicholls, has brought all three of Mary Anning’s discoveries back to life. Based on current understanding and the expert guidance of Sandra Chapman of the Earth Sciences Department at the Natural History Museum, each of the coin design’s created by Robert are a scientifically accurate reconstruction of the creatures and the environment that they existed in. By using the latest colour printing techniques, the intricate characteristics of each of the prehistoric marine reptiles have been captured to illustrate accurately how these creatures looked like on Earth millions of years ago, making them appear dynamic and adding a new level of visual fidelity to the coins.
Clare Maclennan, Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said, “It is an absolute pleasure to continue the popular Tales of the Earth commemorative 50p coin series in conjunction with the Natural History Museum. The next collection in the series celebrates fossil hunter and pioneering palaeontologist Mary Anning, with three coin’s featuring Anning’s astonishing discoveries of Temnodontosaurus, Plesiosaurus and Dimorphodon.
In addition to each of the coin designs being a scientifically accurate reconstruction of the creatures and the environment they lived in, we have combined augmented reality technology with the coins to bring the animals to life through animation and allow people to explore the details of the prehistoric marine reptiles from the comfort of their home.”
Clare Matterson, Executive Director of Engagement at the Natural History Museum said: “We are thrilled to continue working with The Royal Mint on the Tales of the Earth series. The Mary Anning Collection celebrates a pivotal figure in the understanding of palaeontology, important contributions to science that were rarely acknowledged in Mary’s lifetime. It is fantastic to see Mary celebrated in such a special way in 2021.”
Mary Anning was born in Lyme Regis, Dorset, in 1799 and spent her entire life in this small seaside town on England’s south coast. Anning’s father Richard had a large family to support and, in order to supplement his modest income as a carpenter, he set up a curiosity table outside their home selling fossils to tourists. It was at this point that she developed an interest in helping her father and amongst the curiosities they discovered were ‘snake stones’ (ammonites), ‘devil fingers’ (belemites) and ‘verteberries’ (vertebrae). Aged only 12 or 13, Anning made her first discovery, an articulated skeleton of an ichthyosaur, a type of marine reptile that once roamed Jurassic seas. From this point forward Anning made a number of astonishing discoveries making her the greatest fossil hunter of the Victorian era.
Designed in conjunction with experts at the Natural History Museum, the augmented reality brings the mighty beasts to life from the comfort of home. To access the augmented reality feature, customers will need to visit The Royal Mint website to unearth exclusive content.
The first coin in the series features Temnodontosaurus and is available in gold and colour and non-colour silver proof editions, as well as a brilliant uncirculated finish and a special colour printed brilliant uncirculated edition, exclusively available from The Royal Mint. Visit www.royalmint.com/MaryAnning to view the full commemorative coin range.
|Coin title||The Mary Anning Collection – Temnodontosaurus 2021 UK 50p Brilliant Uncirculated Coin||The Mary Anning Collection – Temnodontosaurus 2021 UK 50p Brilliant Uncirculated Colour Coin||The Mary Anning Collection – Temnodontosaurus 2021 UK 50p Silver Proof Coin||The Mary Anning Collection – Temnodontosaurus 2021 UK 50p Silver Proof Colour Coin||The Mary Anning Collection – Temnodontosaurus 2021 UK 50p Gold Proof Coin|
|Alloy||Cupro-Nickel||Cupro-Nickel||925 Ag||925 Ag||916.7 Au|
|Obverse Designer||Jody Clark|
|Reverse Designer||Robert Nicholls|
|Quality||Brilliant Uncirculated||Brilliant Uncirculated||Proof||Proof||Proof|
|Limited Edition Presentation||Unlimited||50,000||3,000||7,000||250|
Legend Numismatics Buys The Finest MS+PR Sets Of Liberty Nickels
Multimillion-Dollar Sets Involve the All-Time Finest 1913 Liberty Nickel, Graded PR66 by Professional Coin Grading Service(Santa Ana, California) February 23, 2021 – Bruce Morelan and Legend Numismatics recently completed an historic $6 million transaction to reclaim an exquisite collection of Liberty Nickels, including the 1913 Liberty Nickel graded PR66 by Professional Coin Grading Service (www.PCGS.com). The sets, encompassing United States nickels dated from 1883 through 1913, were sold to Legend Numismatics by longtime collector Jerry Forsythe, who commissioned Laura Sperber and her Lincroft, New Jersey, auction company to build the sets.
“This specimen of the 1913 Liberty Nickel was once owned by legendary collector Louis Eliasberg and, graded PCGS PR66, is the finest specimen known,” explains Brett Charville, president of PCGS, which graded the 1913 Liberty Nickel and other pieces in the Liberty Nickel sets recently procured by Morelan. “Bruce and Laura as a team have built some of the finest coin collections of our generation. Their collaboration exemplifies the amazing accomplishments that can be achieved when an ultimate collector like Bruce works with a true numismatic advocate like Laura.”
Both the Mint State and Proof collections of Liberty Nickels are ranked as number-one sets in the PCGS Set Registry (https://www.pcgs.com/setregistry), meaning these collections of Liberty Nickels cumulatively boast the highest overall grade-point average of coins for all such registered sets. The keystone coin for the Proof Liberty Nickels With 1913 Proof (1883-1913) PCGS Registry Set is the 1913 Proof Liberty Nickel, and this transaction marks the third time Morelan has owned this exact specimen.
“It clearly is one of his all-time favorite coins,” says Legend Numismatics (https://www.legendnumismatics.com/) Founder Laura Sperber of the PCGS PR66 Liberty Nickel. “Bruce has no plans on selling it and is planning to keep it alongside his 1794 PCGS SP66 Flowing Hair Dollar and 1804 PCGS PR65 Draped Bust Dollar as family heirlooms.” She goes on to say, “As a previous owner, the late Dr. Morton Smith, once said, ‘This coin needs a good home, [and] I am it.’ Morelan has the same feeling, and it’s his belief the 1913 Liberty Nickel is one of the greatest coins to own in all of numismatics.”
Morelan, whose recently repurchased 1913 Liberty Nickel previously sold at auction in 2018 for $4.56 million, further cements his place among the greatest collectors of all time. “Not many collectors have owned both a 1913 Liberty Nickel and 1804 Draped Bust Dollar,” he notes. “Those two coins are so rare and popular, and simultaneous ownership just hasn’t happened much.”
His achievements put him in the company of but a handful of prestigious collectors to include Eliasberg and Reed Hawn. Morelan plans on displaying his prized 1913 Liberty Nickel at some point in the future.
About Professional Coin Grading Service
Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) is a third-party coin and banknote grading company that was launched in 1986. Over 35 years, PCGS has examined and certified more than 45 million U.S. and world coins, medals, and tokens with a combined value of over $41.7 billion. For more information about PCGS products and services, including how to submit your coins for authentication and grading, please visit www.PCGS.com or call PCGS Customer Service at (800) 447-8848.
by Dennis Tucker
Gold is in the mainstream news headlines these days as the precious metal takes a wild ride up and down the market. The United States Mint is doing land-office business in gold coin production, investors are looking at gold as a way to diversify their portfolios, and collector demand is robust for rare older gold coins as well as modern American Gold Eagles and other bullion coins. With all of this attention, it’s no surprise that “the bad guys”—counterfeiters—are on the prowl looking for ways to separate innocent gold buyers from their hard-earned money.
I recently spoke with professional numismatist Randy Campbell, senior grader and authenticator at ICG (Independent Coin Graders) of Tampa, Florida. Over the past 30-plus years Campbell has examined and graded millions of coins. “Almost every day as a grader I see quantities of counterfeit and altered U.S. gold coins,” he said. He observed that 2020 brought bad news and pitfalls for buyers: “Most coin shows in the United States were canceled. Coin-club meetings became almost nonexistent. Coin shops have shortened their hours of operation.” Campbell notes that these complications can dramatically limit a collector’s hands-on access to impartial expertise. “The numismatic bad guys know this, and they’ve flooded the market with even more bogus gold coins,” he said. He estimates that as of late 2020 and early 2021, the quantity of counterfeit gold coins being sold is approaching an all-time high.
Campbell’s advice to all numismatists, collectors, and investors is: “Fight back. Seek out the knowledge you need to combat the counterfeiters.” And don’t let your guard down once coin shows open back up. “I attended my first coin show in 1960,” he says. “Since then, I’ve been to hundreds of local, regional, and national conventions, and I’ve seen counterfeit gold coins at every single show I’ve attended.”
Two Whitman Publishing books give the kind of knowledge Campbell recommends—and for less than $20 apiece.
The latest edition of Beth Deisher’s Cash In Your Coins: Selling the Rare Coins You’ve Inherited features a new illustrated chapter on the increasingly deceptive counterfeits coming from China. This is an area of expertise for Deisher. After retiring as editor of Coin World she served as director of anti-counterfeiting for the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation. The advice she shares is valuable for anyone new to gold coins—and even for longtime hobbyists. The eye-opening chapter also helps collectors’ heirs identify risks and avoid mistakes.
A book devoted entirely to the subject is the United States Gold Counterfeit Detection Guide, by Bill Fivaz, a full-color, 224-page reference for identifying fake gold coins from dollars to double eagles, plus commemoratives and California fractionals. Campbell endorses the book, calling it “easy to read and easy to understand,” and “an absolute must for anyone who buys or is thinking of buying United States gold coins.”
Collectors have reason to be afraid, says Campbell. But healthy fear should provoke action. “We need these books now more than ever before,” he says. Knowledge is power—and it can take the advantage away from counterfeiters and give it back to collectors.
By Beth Deisher; foreword by Q. David Bowers
Softcover, 6 x 9 inches
Retail $19.95 U.S.
By Bill Fivaz; foreword by Randy Campbell
Softcover, 6 x 9 inches
Retail $19.95 U.S.
Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo Shifts Gears with Expanded November 2021 Bourse and Events
Stack’s Bowers Galleries Auction Will Still Be Held in June 2021
(Baltimore, Maryland)—The June 3–5, 2021, Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo will not be held as the State of Maryland and the City of Baltimore continue to mitigate and recover from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.
The show’s management plans an expanded “Mega Bourse” for the November Expo, one of the largest numismatic events of the year. It will be held at its regular venue, the Baltimore Convention Center.
Whitman Expo manager Lori Kraft said, “Our hearts go out to the front-line workers who continue to battle the pandemic, and to everyone who has lost a loved one to COVID-19. We’re relieved to see progress on many fronts, but the City of Baltimore has indicated that it’s not as ready as they’d hoped it would be to realistically plan for a June Expo. We understand and respect the City’s decision to cancel large gatherings. Transportation remains a challenge, some hotels and restaurants are closed, and some venues that are open are operating with smaller workforces. These challenges will change as vaccinations move forward. While Baltimore remains as friendly and welcoming as ever, the city needs more time to gear back up and get ready to host large events and welcome thousands of Expo visitors again.”
Kraft and her Expo team are now focusing on the November 2021 Baltimore Expo, with plans to make it the largest ever. “Our bourse will be expanded to accommodate not only the dealers who normally come to our November show, but also those who annually attend the March and June Expos,” Kraft said. “If you’re a first-time dealer and want to join in the November Mega Bourse, please get in touch. We expect that collectors and the general public will be attending in record numbers. Our goal is to have a fun, energetic Expo that’s also comfortable and safe for everyone.”
Collectors can expect a lineup of new Whitman Publishing books, and a slate of educational events and exhibits, at the November Expo.
Whitman’s Guide Book of United States Coins, known hobby-wide as the “Red Book,” celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2021. The November Baltimore Expo will be the scene of giveaways and programs in recognition of this numismatic milestone. In addition, the seventh edition of MEGA RED, the expanded 1,504-page version of the Red Book, will be available at the show. Its expanded feature section focuses on silver and modern dollars. By November, the United States Mint’s new 2021 Morgan and Peace centennial silver dollars, and the new reverse designs of the American Eagle gold and silver bullion coins, should be available for collectors.
Updates and news about the Baltimore Expo will be posted at expo.whitman.com.
Stack’s Bowers Galleries will provide details of its still-scheduled June 2021 auction on their web site, www.stacksbowers.com.
For updates on COVID-19 in Maryland and elsewhere, visit www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov.