The Royal Mint celebrates John Logie Baird on a commemorative 50p

Ian Baird, grandson of John Logie Baird, with the 50p commemorative coin (Photo courtesy of the Royal Mint)

The Royal Mint, the Original Maker of UK coins, has released the third coin in its Innovation in Science series – a commemorative 50p coin celebrating the life and work of John Logie Baird.

‘The Father of Television,’ Scottish inventor, John Logie Baird changed society and entertainment around the world with the early invention of the electromechanical television.

In honour of television’s founding father, The Royal Mint’s commemorative coin was first unveiled in the 2021 Annual Set. The design, by commissioned artists Osborne Ross, bares a graphic representation of broadcast transmission, with circular shapes emanating a silhouette of the Crystal Palace mast – the site of John Logie Baird’s former television station and transmitter.

The coin also features the milestone moments of one of Britain’s greatest original makers; from his birth in Helensburgh Scotland in 1888, studying electrical engineering at Glasgow’s Royal Technical College in 1926, the first demonstration of analogue television in 1926, the first transatlantic transmission in 1928 and the end of a full and successful life in 1946.

The design was brought to life with the expertise and innovation techniques gathered across the 1,100-year history of The Royal Mint, where the product design team adopted a skilful ‘scooping’ technique between the lines on the model to create a quality 3D finish.

Available in limited-edition Gold Proof, Silver Proof, Silver Proof Piedfort, as well as a Brilliant Uncirculated edition, the coins have been created in consultation with Iain Baird, grandson of John Logie Baird, to mark the 75th Anniversary year of his grandfather’s passing.

Speaking on behalf of the Baird family, Iain Baird commented: “The Baird family feels extremely honoured that The Royal Mint has chosen to recognise my grandfather’s contributions in this way. He was involved in both the technology and the progress of television broadcasting and the coin design illustrates his dual role as a pioneer in the scientific world as well as in a brand-new medium of communication.”

Clare Maclennan, Divisional Director of Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said, “The Life and Work of John Logie Baird is an exciting addition to our popular ‘Innovation in Science’ series, which celebrates the legendary names at the heart of Innovation and Science on a commemorative 50p. The design represents Baird’s accomplishments and the invention of broadcast transmission, which has shaped culture and entertainment as we know it today. It has been a pleasure and privilege to work with the Baird family to commemorate a true British icon and a pioneer of one of the greatest scientific discoveries of the twentieth century.”

The Life and Works of John Logie Baird follows Stephen Hawking and Rosalind Franklin, as part of the Innovation in Science Series. Find out more about the John Logie Baird coin, the Science in Innovation Series and the 2021 Annual Set at www.royalmint.com.

John Logie Baird Coin Specifications
Coin title John Logie Baird 2021 UK 50p Gold Proof Coin John Logie Baird 2021 UK 50p Silver Proof Piedfort Coin John Logie Baird 2021 UK 50p Silver Proof Coin John Logie Baird 2021 UK 50p Brilliant Uncirculated Coin
Denomination 50p 50p 50p 50p
Issuing Authority UK UK UK UK
Alloy 916.7 Au – Red 925 Ag Sterling Silver 925 Ag Sterling Silver Cupro-Nickel
Weight 15.50g 16.00g 8.00g 8.00g
Diameter 27.30mm 27.30mm 27.30mm 27.30mm
Obverse Designer Jody Clark Jody Clark Jody Clark Jody Clark
Reverse Designer Osborne Ross Osborne Ross Osborne Ross Osborne Ross
Quality Proof Proof Proof Brilliant Uncirculated
Maximum Coin Mintage 405 2200 5010 Unlimited
RRP £1,005.00 £100.00 £57.50 £10.00

Chicago World’s Fair of Money® Gets the Green Light

Safety protocols may limit size of the show

Coin collectors can breathe a sigh of relief.

The Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois – a suburb of Chicago – announced on May 4 that it will resume hosting trade shows and events beginning in July, which is great news for those hoping to attend the American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) World’s Fair of Money (WorldsFairOfMoney.com), Aug. 10-14.

The convention center, one of the largest such facilities in the U.S., plans to reopen with the health and safety of attendees top of mind, which likely means adhering to social distancing, wearing masks and establishing disinfecting protocols. The convention center has not yet indicated whether limits will be placed on the number of people allowed in the event facility at one time.

To adhere to safety protocols, the ANA currently is limiting the number of dealer tables to 300 to allow for appropriate distancing between booths. Once the bourse has sold out, dealers will be placed on a wait list. In the event that COVID conditions improve and protocols are relaxed, the ANA may increase the number of dealer tables to 500.

Produced by the nonprofit American Numismatic Association, the annual World’s Fair of Money is considered the biggest week of the year for collectors of coins, paper money, tokens and medals. The event traditionally features expansive educational forums led by notable speakers sharing their numismatic expertise; exhibits of rare treasures from private collectors and the ANA’s Money Museum; hundreds of dealers buying and selling numismatic items in all price ranges; and major auctions by Heritage Auctions (HA.com) and Stack’s Bowers Galleries (StacksBowers.com). A first-ever “Dealer Day” will be held immediately prior to the show on Aug. 9.

Money Museum to Deaccession Duplicate Items on eBay

ANA members will be able to acquire objects at a discounted price

The Money Museum (money.org/money-museum), operated by the nonprofit American Numismatic Association in Colorado Springs, Colo., announced that it will soon be selling – or deaccessioning, as the practice is known – select items from its collection that are redundant, mostly low-value specimens already well represented. The sales will be conducted on eBay and are anticipated to begin in June.

No specimens from the Money Museum’s permanent collection will be sold.

The auctions will focus on world coins, paper money, tokens and medals, though a few American duplicate coins, mint sets and numerous stock certificates also will be included. The auction project will eventually expand to duplicate books and catalogs from the ANA Library and ANA-branded objects from the Money Museum store.

The American Numismatic Association’s collection, formed originally in 1928, was stored with the Curator of Numismatics at the Smithsonian Institution until 1966, when the ANA located its headquarters in Colorado Springs, creating the permanent home for the collection and allowing for the establishment of the Money Museum. Since that time, the collection has grown to encompass hundreds of thousands of objects, many of which are multiple duplicates of those needed to meet the Museum’s educational mission.

According to Money Museum Curator and Director Doug Mudd, only duplicates are being considered for deaccession. “This will allow the ANA to clear space for future objects, while the revenue generated will help support our ongoing mission of promoting and advancing the hobby of numismatics,” says Mudd.

“We believe that the fairest method to sell our duplicate specimens is through open auctions with the widest possible reach,” Mudd explains. “To meet that goal, we have chosen eBay to be our primary vehicle for selling the deaccessioned material. eBay not only has an expansive online auction platform, but its low overhead costs and administrative features will streamline the day-to-day logistics of running auctions.”

The eBay auctions will allow for low starting bids and no reserves to ensure that collectors of all means have an opportunity to obtain objects from the Money Museum collection. According to Mudd, “this ensures that, as a nonprofit, we are approaching the project with transparency and fairness. Ultimately, the market alone will dictate the final price of any object.”

ANA members will be able to acquire deaccessioned objects at a discounted price as a benefit of membership.

According to Mudd, the deaccession auction project is expected to launch in June and will be a work-in-progress for the next several years. “Ultimately, we are doing what is right for our members and our collection,” he says.

Mr. Men Little Miss… The nation’s favourite bedtime stories? Jenni Falconer thinks so!

Jenni Falconer unveils the Little Miss Sunshine Royal Mint Mr Men coin. Picture date: Friday April 23, 2021. (Matt Crossick/PA Wire)

TV and radio presenter Jenni Falconer has today unveiled the final coin in The Royal Mint’s Mr. Men Little Miss collection – revealing that the loveable characters are her children’s favourite bedtime story.

To celebrate the launch of the final design in the collection, The Royal Mint worked with avid coin collector, Jenni Falconer, to unveil vibrant ‘Little Miss Sunshine’ on a £5 coin. Jenni also revealed that the book, first introduced in 1981, is a firm favourite in the Falconer household.

Jenni Falconer said, “The Mr. Men Little Miss books are perfect for bedtime reading, and Little Miss Sunshine is a true classic! It is definitely our current favourite. We are so excited to be able to complete our Mr. Men Little Miss coin collection with Little Miss Sunshine.

“Collecting coins is such a fun family hobby, and the Mr Men and Little Miss designs will be treasured for years to come. I love seeing the coin and the book side by side as it really brings the character of Little Miss Sunshine to life.”

The Royal Mint launched the ‘Mr. Men Little Miss’ collection earlier this year to mark the 50th anniversary of Roger Hargreaves’ loveable characters. Each coin was designed by Adam Hargreaves, and other coins in the collection feature Mr Strong, Little Miss Giggles and Mr Happy.

Little Miss Happy has been recreated on a £5 coin in vibrant yellow, thanks to new technology at The Royal Mint. The coins are available as gold and silver Proof editions, as well as Brilliant Uncirculated editions.

Commenting on the launch, Clare MacLennan, Divisional Director for Commemorative Coin at The Royal Mint said, “We’re pleased to announce the final coin within our Mr. Men Little Miss series which showcases Little Miss Sunshine. We’re honoured to have Jenni Falconer on board for this project to remind parents and children of their love for the Mr. Men Little Miss characters.

“The success of the range has proven that collecting coins remains a popular hobby, and we’re delighted to continue making such vibrant designs to inspire future generations of collectors.”

The 50th Anniversary of Mr Men 2021 UK Half Ounce Silver Proof Coin – Coin 1 2 and 3 – in acrylic blocks left

Now entering its fifth decade, the Mr. Men Little Miss collection is still as popular as it was when it first began in 1971. Left in the capable hands of Adam Hargreaves, son of creator Roger Hargreaves and designer of the Mr. Men Little Miss coin collection at The Royal Mint, the brands legacy continues to captivate a new generation of fans with each passing era. The longevity of the book series makes these quirky little characters just as familiar to adults.

The third coin in the series featuring Little Miss Sunshine is available exclusively via The Royal Mint. Visit: www.royalmint.com/mrmen to view the full commemorative coin range. The coin will not be entering general circulation.

Gold Coin Specifications
Coin title Little Miss Sunshine – The 50th Anniversary of Mr. Men Little Miss 2021 UK One Ounce Gold Proof Coin Little Miss Sunshine – The 50th Anniversary of Mr. Men Little Miss 2021 UK Quarter-Ounce Gold Proof Coin Little Miss Sunshine – The 50th Anniversary of Mr. Men Little Miss 2021 UK One Ounce Silver Proof Coin Little Miss Sunshine – The 50th Anniversary of Mr. Men Little Miss 2021 UK Half-Ounce Silver Proof Coin Little Miss Sunshine – The 50th Anniversary of Mr. Men Little Miss 2021 UK £5 Brilliant Uncirculated Coloured Coin Little Miss Sunshine – The 50th Anniversary of Mr. Men Little Miss 2021 UK £5 Brilliant Uncirculated Coin
Code UK21M3GP UK21M3QG UK21M31S UK21M3HS UK21M3BU
Issuing Authority UK UK UK UK UK UK
Alloy 999.9 fine gold 999.9 fine gold 999 fine silver 999 fine silver
MCM 280 760 6,510 9,010 15,050
Reverse Designer Adam Hargreaves Adam Hargreaves Adam Hargreaves Adam Hargreaves Adam Hargreaves Adam Hargreaves
Limited Edition Presentation 275 750 6,500 9,000 15,050
RRP £2,315 £595.00 £97.50 £65.00 £22.50 £13.00

Arkansas Governor Hutchinson Signs Bill Providing Sales-Tax Exemption

On May 3, 2021, Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson signed into law Senate Bill 336, creating an exemption from the sales and use tax for coins, currency, and bullion. “The bill’s primary sponsor, Senator Mark Johnson, along with its House sponsor, Representative Delia Haak, championed the bill through the legislature,” said Dan Hedges (Auro Industries, Little Rock, Arkansas). “Arkansas dealers, collectors, and investors cannot thank them enough for their dedication.”

In the spring of 2018, Paul Mason (Mason’s Coin and Pawn, Hot Springs, Arkansas) contacted NCBA to assist him with an initiative to establish a sales-tax exemption for coins, currency, and precious-metals bullion. A coalition of Arkansas dealers including the Arkansas Numismatic Society was formed, headed by Mason and Tom Poole (Northeast Arkansas Coin Company, Jonesboro, Arkansas) with the help of Hedges. They hired a lobbyist and oversaw the creation of a bill. The lobbyist, Len Pitcock of The Perimeter Group in Little Rock, Arkansas, secured Senator Johnson to sponsor and introduce this bill in 2019. The Senate Revenue & Tax Committee heard testimony on Senate Bill 389, but the bill did not get enough favorable votes to pass out of the committee before the general assembly’s sine die adjournment on April 24, 2019.

Despite the setback, Hedges persevered, picking up the gauntlet to lead the effort without a lobbyist when the legislature reconvened in 2021. Senator Johnson introduced SB 336 to create an exemption from the sales and use tax for coins, currency, and bullion. NCBA executive director David Crenshaw submitted written testimony in support of the bill, and NCBA’s board member and sales-tax exemption expert, Pat Heller (Liberty Coin Service, Lansing, Michigan), testified in person alongside other local dealers at the Senate Revenue & Tax Committee meeting on March 10, 2021. From there, the bill successfully moved through the legislative process in both chambers and was delivered to Governor Asa Hutchinson on April 27, 2021.

“[There were] lots of behind-the-scenes discussions,” said Senator Johnson. “Let us just say that the commonsense arguments [the coalition and National Coin & Bullion Association] made were finally heard.”

“[This bill’s passage is a] huge step forward to building economic opportunity in Arkansas,” said Representative Haak. “Thank you to NCBA for all their resources and work on this bill.”

“Arkansas now joins the 38 other states with a sales-tax exemption,” said executive director Crenshaw. “The dealer and collector communities, in conjunction with NCBA, put a tremendous amount of hard work into the grassroots campaign. We especially thank Dan Hedges for his continued perseverance to help make this exemption a reality.”

The new law’s effective date is October 1, 2021.

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