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Numismatic Quick Hits: Butte Nugget Sold + Bitcoin News + Denmark Cashes Out

By Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek …..

It’ll be a busy week for us here at CoinWeek. Charles will be leaving for Baltimore on Wednesday to attend the Fall 2014 Whitman Expo. As always, you’re invited to stop by and say Hi if you’re in town. He’ll file his first show report Friday morning.

In addition, we have a host of great articles and coverage of the bustling numismatic industry this week as we wind down an adventurous 2014.

In the meantime, be sure to check out the latest “nuggets” in this edition of Numismatic Quick Hits.

Gold Nugget Sells… Butte for How Much?

That didn’t take long.

quickhitsbutte1The ‘Butte Nugget’, the 98-ounce gold nugget discovered on private property in Northern California in 2010–and recently offered for sale by Tiburon, California-based rare coin dealer Kagin’s Inc.–sold over the weekend to a “prominent Bay Area collector”, according to the company’s principal owner Don Kagin.

The large nugget, perhaps the largest discovered in modern times, sold for slightly less than Kagin’s $400,000 asking price. In a report filed over the weekend by San Francisco Chronicle writer Kevin Fagin, neither Don Kagin or Kagin’s Senior Numismatist Kevin McCarthy would disclose the final figures.

CoinWeek was also unable to get a firm number on the transaction. At the time of the sale, the spot price of the gold contained in the nugget was $120,540, or approximately 30% of Kagin’s asking published asking price.

*Original Report:

mcxNOW Urges Users to Withdraw Bitcoins from Site Immediately

mcxNOW, a cryptocurrency exchange service, announced that the site will be entering a maintenance period beginning November 15, 2014, in order to “address some issues concerning wallet use and the number of system administrators able to resolve problems.”

mcxnowlogoThe site urges users to withdraw all bitcoins prior to November 15, as the site plans to remove all existing online wallets and install a new wallet system. Users who do not comply with the order will lose their holdings as the site administrators plan to destroy wallet backups as well.

mcxNOW provides services to 38,044 user accounts.

Earlier this month, the site announced that 350 million dogecoins were stolen when a software update (from Dogecoin 1.7 to 1.8) was delayed. The burden of this theft was shifted to users, who, at the time of the announcement, were informed that they would have to take a “haircut” of up to 85% of the value of their holdings.

This amount was reduced after the site recovered 135 bitcoins from a user the site claimed to be the “main person” behind the theft.

Denmark to Contract Out Coin and Currency Production

The National Bank of Denmark (Danmarks Nationalbank) announced plans last week to outsource production of the nation’s coins and currency.

The bank contends that the shift in production will save the government 100 million kroner ($17.2 million) through 2020.

“Although the volume of cash in circulation remains high in Denmark,” a press release by the Bank says, “demand for new banknotes and coins has been falling for some years, and Danmarks Nationalbank does not expect the trend to reverse.”

The bank points to a number of factors for this decline in demand, the obvious one being the proliferation of electronic payments. Another, perhaps more surprising, reason is the improved lifespan of notes due to advances in paper and printing technology.

Denmark traces its current decimal system of coinage back to 1874. Its numismatic history, however, traces back more than a thousand years before. Currently, Danish coins are struck at the Bank’s Copenhagen facility.

There is no word as to which “external supplier” will produce the country’s coins and currency after 2016. In any event, it is unlikely that the Kroner coins and currency will go away, as the country does not intend to adopt the Euro.

Stay tuned for next week’s Numismatic Quick Hits!

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Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker
Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker
Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker have been contributing authors on CoinWeek since 2012. They also wrote the monthly "Market Whimsy" column and various feature articles for The Numismatist and the book 100 Greatest Modern World Coins (2020) for Whitman Publishing.

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