The Sun and Its Coins — Past

The sun has formed human mythology and symbolism since the beginning of history. It’s no surprise that sun symbols and imagery have appeared on our coins for thousands of years. Karshapana coin, credit of Wikipedia user Jean-Michel Moullec. Used under CC by SA 2.0 Karshapana coins from India date back to…

via The Sun and Its Coins — Past

Summer Reading for Coin Lovers — Past

We spend most of the year reading things that are “serious,” that are needed for professional development or personal growth. But summer reading is about fun and escapism, and that goes for coin collectors, too. Here are a few of our favorite fun reads that have scenes or themes that may be of…

via Summer Reading for Coin Lovers — Past

New 10-cent note issued in Canada (but not by the Bank of Canada)

 Canada Tire celebrates 150th anniversary of Confederation with a 10-cent note

By , Special to Coin World

Since it was introduced in 1958, Canadian Tire Money has sometimes been called “Canada’s second currency.” They are actually from the Canadian Tire company’s cash loyalty program, but they have become a form of private scrip in its stores and a popular collectible.

Not to be outdone by the Bank of Canada’s efforts to commemorate the nation’s sesquicentennial with a $10 note, the company released its own “Canada 150” note on June 30. Bearing a face value of 10 cents, the new issue was being given away, one per customer, at all the company’s stores for three days while supplies lasted. A total of 2 million notes were printed. On July 1, they were being offered on eBay at a range of prices starting at $3.07.

 

The commemorative note is significantly different from the normal ones and arguably more attractive. The same portrait of the fictive Sandy McTire in his tam o’shanter is less prominently featured than on the regular issues. The note is primarily red and gold, with maple leaves festooned over a mountainous landscape. It includes some of the same security features as real currency, with gold foil elements and a visible watermark.

The company calls its currency “cash bonus coupons.” They exist today in denominations of 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents, 50 cents, $1, and $2. All are printed by the Canadian Bank Note Co. A $1 token also exists.

The company says that over $1 billion in Canadian Tire Money has been put into circulation since its inception. The company went to a digital currency in 2014, but paper versions, it says, are still in circulation.

Look closely at this Series 1976 $2 note (do you see anything wrong?)

 Not all errors are immediately apparent, but that doesn’t make them any less desirable

By , Coin World

One form of paper money error is not always noticeable at first glance. In fact, you have to look at two of a note’s individual elements to detect that something is wrong — that the note has mismatched serial numbers.

A Series 1976 Federal Reserve note is among the error notes to be offered in Stack’s Bowers Galleries’ U.S. paper money auction to be held in conjunction with the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Denver the first week of August. While a casual look at the note might lead the observer to conclude that the note is perfectly normal, a closer study reveals that it is an error note with different serial numbers.

 

The serial number at the lower left of the face reads B 59208497 A; the serial number at the upper right reads B 59208597 A.

The prefix letter “B” identified the note as overprinted for the New York Federal Reserve Bank, while the suffix letter “A” identifies it as being from the first “block” of sequence of notes printed (the suffix letter is advanced each time the serial numbers reach their limit).

The green and black overprinting of the serial numbers and Treasury seal and the Federal Reseve District numbers and seal is applied at the final stage of a note’s production, after the faces and backs are printed. A stuck serial number wheel probably accounted for the one-digit difference between the two serial numbers.

Here is the Stack’s Bowers lot description for the error note:

“A desirable Two Dollar error note that shows with a single digit mismatch of the serial numbers. Still pleasing embossing is seen through the holder leaving us curious as to why an ‘EPQ,’ designation was not applied.”

The note is graded Choice Uncirculated 64 by Paper Money Guaranty, but does not bear an “Exceptional Paper Quality” designation as the cataloger notes.

The note has an estimate of $500 to $700.

New book by collector-journalist explores world of silver bullion coins

 Guide offers background information, rarity and pricing data, images and more

By , Coin World

A new guide for silver bullion buyers is available.

Sebastian Wieschowski, a numismatic journalist and collector in Germany, has authored Bullion Book: Silver Coins for Collectors and Investors.

The book offers insights into the world of silver bullion coin investment from 1982 to 2020.

 

The book is designed as a guidebook, a coin catalog and a means to allow collectors to document their collections, all in one unit.

Wieschowski said that modern collectors are increasingly collecting investment products made of silver, which has seen price increases for some coins reaching many multiples of their precious metal value.

“There are many people who want to invest and collect at the same time and don’t have enough money for gold coins, so silver bullion is a perfect field for them,” Wieschowski said.

The book explores 36 coin series from 18 different countries, making it a comprehensive look at the silver bullion market as of its June 2017 publication.

Wieschowski provides extensive background information, with specifications and mintages, as well as hundreds of coin photos.

He created an elaborate open-ended pricing structure that is based on rarity and precious metal value, and lists include fields allowing manual additions of new issues through 2020.

The 180-page softcover book measures six inches wide and nine inches tall and is available for $19 U.S. with worldwide shipping.

German police make arrests in March heist of giant Canadian gold coin

 By , Coin World

Police in Germany have arrested individuals in connection with one of the most brazen and famous recent coin heists in the world.

Law enforcement officials in Berlin detained four suspects in the March 2017 theft of the 100-kilogram gold Canadian coin with a face value of $1 million from the Bode Museum in Germany’s capital.

The 2007 coin was minted from 100 kilograms of .99999 fine gold, one of six made by the Royal Canadian Mint.

 

A Coin World correspondent from Germany, who is a numismatic journalist there, has confirmed that 13 suspects were targeted in raids in Berlin’s Neukoelln district. The raids were announced July 12.

All four suspects detained are under the age of 21, and according to multiple European news reports, are from a large Arab family with connections to organized crime.

On March 27, three people walked along the train tracks near Berlin’s Hackescher Markt and Friedrichstrasse light rail stations, propped a ladder against the wall of the Bode Museum and climbed into the building. Once inside, the thieves smashed through the bulletproof cabinet and retraced their steps back out of the museum, using a wheelbarrow to cart the giant coin 100 meters down the tracks, across a bridge to a nearby park, according to The Guardian.

Was it an inside job?

The theft appears to have occurred around 3:30 a.m. local time. Only one security guard was in the museum at the time of the break-in, according to Coin World’s correspondent Sebastian Wieschowski.

“He is also under investigation because he presented different stories on what actually happened,” Wieschowski reported.

This was at least the criminals’ second effort to break into the museum, Wieschowski said, after a failed attempt on March 21.

Police acknowledge there is little to no hope of finding the coin intact, and that it likely was melted and the gold sold.

The $1 million coin measured 53 centimeters across and 3 centimeters thick and contained 220 pounds — 3,215 troy ounces — of gold. The gold has a current market value of about $3.9 million U.S. (the coins were each worth about $2.2 million U.S., when issued in 2007.

The $1 million coins depict the Susanna Blunt effigy of Queen Elizabeth II on the obverse and a Stan Witten design of three maple leaves on the reverse.

The Bode Museum houses more than 500,000 numismatic items, with some 4,000 items on display at any given time. The gold coin was the only target in the heist.