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HomeWorld CoinsCoinWeek News Wire for April 14, 2017

CoinWeek News Wire for April 14, 2017

News Wire Feature Graphic - Two Hands with Misaligned 12-sided British Pound

By Coinweek ….

CoinWeek News Wire for April 14, 2017

Brain Food

1.) Test How Much You Know About Bitcoin

As the world’s monetary systems teetered on the edge in late 2008, some computer whizzes sought a digital solution. As Lehman Brothers lay dying, a math-based, completely digital means of exchange known as bitcoin was born.

But how much do you really know about this increasingly high-profile currency? Let’s find out…

2.) The golden land that lit the path to ancient empires

Another artefact found in U Thong was a coin of Marcus Piavonius Victorinus, a Roman emperor who ruled the Gallic Empire from 260 to 274 AD. The coin was minted during a period modern historians call the “Crisis of the Third Century” in which Romans faced border unrest, plague and economic depression.

Bowell’s study states that large volumes of this coin were minted during Victorinus’s short reign. Coins from other Roman emperors’ reigns were found in Cambodia and Vietnam. “However, the questions of how and when these coins arrived in Southeast Asia are still difficult to answer…”

3.) Why do people receive coins on Maundy Thursday?

Maundy Thursday always happens on the Thursday before Easter Sunday, the day on which Christians commemorate the Last Supper of Jesus.

The Queen marks it by giving out special silver coins known as ‘Maundy money’ to local pensioners recommended by clergy and ministers. The people who are chosen to receive the money are being recognized for their services to the church or to the local community.

Her Majesty visits a different Cathedral or Abbey nearly every year, after deciding the money should not just be distributed to people in London…

4.) Could this rare one pound coin be the most valuable yet?

A one pound coin that was supposedly misaligned during minting could be one of the most valuable coins yet, with its owner believing it to be the only one of its kind.

Callum Hayden is in possession of a new 12-sided one pound coin that he claims was misaligned during minting leading it to be off-centred quite noticeably…

5.) Off the Wall: South Australia’s long-forgotten ‘keeper of coins’

The Art Gallery celebrated the centenary of the appointment of its first female curator earlier this year. Sedley Marianne Towler was one of the earliest female professional institutional numismatists in the world.

At the time of her appointment, Towler was 55 years old, and in 1917 she was promoted with the curatorial title of “keeper of coins”.

While much was said about her being a woman in a responsible position, a rarity in those times, she was seen by the numismatic world simply as a competent numismatist and worthy to be in charge of an important collection…

Current Events

6.) Impossible Standards? UK Bill Makes Trade in Items from Conflict Zones Since 1954 Illegal

The chief controversy in the current Bill comes from clause 17(1) . This clause makes it a crime to deal in unlawfully exported cultural property that a dealer knows or has reason to suspect has been unlawfully exported from an occupied territory, and it is retroactive to items exported since 1954.

Victoria Borwick, president of the British Antique Dealers Association, said that while the arts industry fully supports the aims of the Bill, there are concerns that, “honest and well-intentioned dealers and auction houses do not risk criminal prosecution when conducting reasonable due diligence.”

[And so it goes. A similar law passed in Germany in 2016 has already led to the arrests of coin collectors in that country. For information on that law–and why we should ALL care about the criminalization of private ownership of “cultural property”, read this. —CoinWeek]

In Memoriam

7.) Longtime New Orleans dealer dies

Longtime New Orleans coin dealer James H. “Jimmie” Cohen died March 28 at the age of 91.

Mr. Cohen was a third-generation coin dealer and the middle link in a chain of five generations of dealers going back more than 100 years.

His grandfather William Feldman started selling coins in his antique store in the early 1900s in the same building in New Orleans where the family still operates its business…

Under the Radar

Tower Mint Manx Coin - Isle of Man8.) A Manx fiver made of metal

A set of new Manx coins [were] issued on Monday. They include a 5p, 10p, 20p, 50p, £1, £2 and £5, which will go into general circulation. The new £1 will continue to be the same size and shape as the current £1 coin, breaking with the UK, which has introduced a 12-sided coin to replace the original dimensions.

The new Manx coins all have a Celtic border with truly Manx motifs and have have been minted by the Tower Mint in London…

9.) Vine-themed Georgian 5 GEL coins will be released in July

Brand new 5 GEL (Georgian lari) silver coins will soon be released in Georgia to promote the country’s rich culture and history of ancient winemaking traditions. The new coins will picture Georgian vine varieties, wine and a large, ancient Georgian winemaking vessel qvevri.

With these new 5 GEL coins Georgia will participate at this year’s prestigious wine festival at Bordeaux Centre for Wine and Civilizations in France, where Georgia will be among the special guests of the event.

The National Bank of Georgia (NBG) came up with the idea to release vine-themed new coins especially for this event, where Georgia will promote its viticulture and wine history. Japan Mint, a government-administered organisation responsible for producing and circulating Japanese coins, will produce Georgian coins that will be released in July of this year…

Georgian 5 Gel coin10.) Reserve Bank of South Africa clarifies commemorative coins value

“These circulation coins, whether normal or commemorative, are all worth their face value, which is R5 in the case of the R5 Griqua Town circulation coin,” said the central bank

The Future Is Now

11.) Sweden Incorporates Iran Investment Firm Using Only Bitcoin

In a notable update, the Swedish government has allowed a blockchain startup to use a bitcoin account – as opposed to a traditional bank account – as a way to prove their liquidity and incorporate domestically with the Swedish Companies Registration Office, Bolagsverket

12.) Microsoft Office Can Now Verify Docs on the Bitcoin Blockchain

Stampery, which provides verification of documents against both the Bitcoin and Ethereum blockchains, will be accessible for verifying emails without users leaving Outlook itself

Crime & Punishment

coin_crime_alert13.) NCIC Crime Bulletin

From the Numismatic Crime Information Center (NCIC):

Express Mail Loss

On Tuesday April 8, eight boxes were shipped express mail from the Costa Mesa Post Office and received by APMEX in Oklahoma City on April 7. The boxes contained gold bullion. One box arrived completely empty (the box was clearly tampered with) and another had contents missing.

The following coins are missing:

  • 90 1 ounce gold Maple Leafs – Various Dates
  • 30 1 ounce gold rounds .9999 – inscribed “Global Future City”

Anyone with information should contact Chris Napolitano at (877) 566-2646 or [email protected].

Burglary Oakland California

The Oakland,CA police department is investigating the residential burglary of a 78 year old victim. The following is a partial list of stolen coins.

  • PCGS 50074293 1888-S $20 MS63
  • NGC 656966-005 1905-S $20 MS63
  • NGC 676611-036 1890-S $20 MS63
  • NGC 246099-004 1892-S $20 MS63
  • PCGS *03393828 1907-S 20 MS63
  • NGC 911762-056 1906 $20 MS63
  • NGC 3293147-002 1896-S $20 MS63
  • NGC 3256019-001 1889-S $20 MS63
  • NGC 172208-007 1891-S $20 MS63
  • NGC 450176-005 1915-S 2.5 MS63
  • NGC 393738-017 1893-S $20 MS63
  • NGC 1936233-002 1926-S 2.5 MS63
  • PCGS *05983441 1902-S $20 MS63
  • PCGS #05954685 1899-S $20 MS63
  • PCGS 50145666 1898-S 20 MS63
  • PCGS 3859280 1908 2.5 MS63
  • NGC 604693-004 1929 2.5 MS63
  • PCGS #07340130 1926 2.5 MS63
  • NGC 3000708-003 1928 2.5 MS63
  • PCGS 90012135 1879-S 20 MS63
  • PCGS 50199645 1897-S 20 MS63
  • PCGS 73831886 1895 20 MS63
  • PCGS 50178529 1894 20 MS63
  • NGC 1886029-001 1900 20 MS63
  • PCGS #04829171 1901 20 MS63
  • NGC 380998-009 1927 $2.50 MS63
  • NGC 597191-001 1903 $20 MS63
  • NGC 357484-010 1904 $20 MS63
  • NGC 40002925 1925-D $2.50 MS63

If you have information regarding any crime involving coins or other numismatic objects, please contact the NCIC’s Doug Davis at (817) 723-7231 or email him at [email protected].

* * *

The Numismatic Crime Information Center is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit corporation. P.O. Box 14080 Arlington, Texas 76094.


14.) ‘Barr bills’ scam gave rise to a myth

There was a lot of publicity regarding Barr’s short tenure in office, and naturally people, suspecting notes with his signature might become valuable, started hoarding them in anticipation of a big payday. To fuel that activity, some enterprising individuals (that’s a fancy name for crooks) took out ads in the classified section of newspapers around the country under the “Wanted to Buy” section offering to pay up to $1,000 for bills signed by Joseph Barr. The ad directed people to send $5 to obtain a list of Barr dollars and the price that would be paid for them.

To the best of my knowledge, either the lists were not provided or they contained descriptions of notes that did not exist, hence no payments were ever made. But someone collected a lot of $5 payments…

15.) Counterfeit 5-guilder coins in circulation

Counterfeit five-guilder coins are in circulation, according to the Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten. The coins bear the year 1998 and 1999, or are slightly smaller or slightly larger than the real currency. The difference in size is at first sight not noticeable.

One of the security features of the five-guilder coin (this also applies to the one-guilder coins) is that they are magnetic…

16.) Texas thief convicted of stealing Santa Cruz couple’s gold coins

A Texas man posing as a coin broker was convicted on April 6 of stealing a gold coin collection belonging to an elderly Santa Cruz couple.

Donald Scott Rainey, who operated out of Beaumont, Texas as Vintage World Coin, was convicted of first degree burglary, elder financial abuse and embezzlement…

17.) Two arrested in Singapore for attempting to pawn fake gold bars

Police received a report on March 30 that two men had tried to pawn two gold bars believed to be fake. Both men were arrested on Wednesday (April 5)

Bitcoin & Cryptocurrency

18.) No, you can’t avoid taxes by investing in Bitcoin

[T]he IRS considers investments in bitcoin as property deals — requiring that capital gains or losses in this usually volatile medium of exchange be considered like stocks or bond sales and reportable on Form 8949

19.) Is bitcoin ‘money’ or something else? Courts wade in

Scott doesn’t dispute the value of bitcoins but, in his eyes, that doesn’t make them money. Scott defines currency as a financial instrument or medium of exchange that is assessed value, is regulated and is protected by a sovereign power.

Yes, bitcoins have value, but they are not regulated and there is no government or central authority backing them up. To the contrary, Scott noted, “the whole point of bitcoin is to escape the entanglement with sovereign governments.”

“Money is not just any financial instrument or medium of exchange that people can devise on their own,” the judge said in his ruling…

20.) Financial Spring Cleaning: For Bitcoin, Save All Records

If you’re participating in the cryptocurrency universe, it’s best to keep as comprehensive records as you can until regulators someday catch up to the innovative but messy new developments in crypto assets happening every day

21.) Russia To “Recognize” Bitcoin In 2018, Monitor All Transactions

Previously, Bitcoin and altcoins had languished in a regulatory gray area, with both users and entities operating in Russia threatened with takedowns and even jail time

Banknote News

22.) Canada 150 commemorative bank note

Discover the special design elements of the Canada 150 bank note that celebrate our history, culture and land

23.) Image by renowned Nunavut artist appears on commemorative $10 bill

An image by the late Kenojuak Ashevak of Cape Dorset, Owl’s Bouquet, will appear on a commemorative $10 bill that the Bank of Canada unveiled April 7 in Ottawa

24.) New $10 bill features the first Canadian woman and first indigenous person on a bank note

The new $10 bill features four Canadians: founding prime minister John A. Macdonald, Sir George-Étienne Cartier, Agnes Macphail, and James Gladstone, a.k.a. Akay-na-muka.

Macphail was the first woman to be elected to Parliament, representing Grey Southeast and later Gray-Bruce from 1921 to 1940.

Gladstone, a Cree by birth and adopted into the Blackfoot Nation, was the first indigenous person to serve in the Canadian Senate…

25.) Central Bank of Iran Currency Revaluation a Two-Year Process

In early December, while ratifying the CBI bill during a Cabinet meeting presided over by President Hassan Rouhani, the government approved changing Iran’s monetary unit from rial to toman, which meant lopping off one zero from the current national currency

Gold, Precious Metals & Bullion

26.) Gold To Rise When Treasury Currency Report is Published

The US Treasury report on currency manipulation was ordered by Donald Trump to address the issue of countries manipulating their currencies, normally to devalue them and give an unfair advantage to their own exporters.

The report is expected to be published mid-April and it expected to have a strong impact on the currency markets.

Another market the findings may impact is that of Gold which is heavily influenced by sentiment flows as it is used as a safe-haven in times of stress…

27.) Bank of Mongolia implementing project to build gold refinery

The Bank of Mongolia purchased 18.3 tons of gold in 2016 and is aiming to buy 20 to 25 tons annually between 2017 and 2020. Following this objective, the working group was assigned to research opportunities to build domestic gold refinery

28.) Saddam Hussein’s gold discovered in T-54 Iraqi tank by British military restorers

A military collector discovered five gold bars worth more than £1m ($1.24m) hidden inside a restored tank purchased for £30,000, prompting theories it was plundered by Saddam Hussein’s soldiers during the first Gulf War in a ‘Three Kings’-type heist

29.) Credit Suisse defends damaged reputation after gold, jewelry, cash seized from accounts in series of international raids

The damage-limitation attempt came after three of its offices were raided in an international tax-case involving 55,000 suspect accounts. The raids reopened the controversial issue of tax evasion which has plagued Swiss banks for years. Wealthy individuals around the world use the country’s strict bank secrecy laws to hide cash from the taxman

Treasure & Archaeology

30.) Man discovers ‘modified’ piece of treasure

“After the initial excitement had passed we began to examine the coin and we could see that it was a Queen Anne guinea dating to 1713, but also that it had a small silver loop soldered on to the coin, and that it would have been worn as a necklace sometime in the past. Due to the fact the coin had been modified into jewelry, this meant the object fell under the Treasure Act and was classified as treasure.”

Mr Britton sent the item to Lewes Museum but it was later disclaimed as no museum officially wanted to purchase the coin…

31.) Salvation Army auctioning donated 1715 Fleet gold coin

The gold coin donated to the Salvation Army in Sebastian last December will be auctioned as a fundraiser for the charity.

The gold Escudo, which has ties to the sunken 1715 fleet of Spanish galleons that sunk off the coast near Vero Beach during a hurricane, is part of an online auction by Daniel Frank Sedwick LLC of Winter Park, Florida…

32.) Metal detectorist finds 13th Century treasure in Lancashire farmer’s field

Photographer Andrew Smith discovered six silver pennies from Edward I’s reign while taking part in a dig at Pendleton in February. Blackburn coroner Michael Singleton has now ruled the unearthed coins can now be returned to the 46-year-old from Clitheroe.

Coroner Mr. Singleton said that to his ‘surprise’ the British Museum had relinquished any claim on the near-mint condition coins and the farmer who owned the field had also not indicated any interest in the find…

Upcoming Auctions & Events

Looking In

33.) The Alcoholics Anonymous–Coin Maker Who Drinks Away His Stress

There was a lot of pride that went into making the coins for Alcoholics and Narcotics Anonymous. Those tags would be worn by people who have gone through hell. That was very big for me. It was a source of inspiration and hope for individuals. This coin represented the powerful change they had made. There would be the triangle with a circle in it and a roman numeral representing the number of years sober. The whole idea of these coins is they’re supposed to give you strength if you feel weak

World of the Weird

34.) Can a coin dropped from a skyscraper REALLY kill you?

[I]f a tourist at the top of the 102 floor Manhattan skyscraper was to drop a coin from the top, it would not bore into a pedestrian’s head like a bullet. Instead it would just bounce off the victim with little more than a light sting.

And even a heavier object such as a baseball would still not cause instant death if it hit someone on the head after being dropped from a great height.

However, there is one thing that city workers should be aware of – and that’s ink pens…

Just for Fun

35.) Special code unlocks secret on the Bank of Canada’s new $10 bill website

The Bank of Canada has placed an Easter egg on its website promoting the new $10 bill.

If visitors to the website enter the right series of keys, it plays the national anthem and fills the screen with a shower of tiny animated banknotes. The key sequence to unlock the secret is known as the Konami code because it was first included in a video game by the Japanese company of the same name in 1986.

The cheat code has since been used in dozens of other games…

* * *

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