Monday, July 8, 2013

Roman Coin Hoard Found in Festival Clean-up

Obviously I haven't been posting, involved in other projects. But here's a good one. They were metal-detecting for tent pegs in a field where a festival had been held. The pegs can harm livestock and machinery. Bingo, they hit a hoard of ancient coins.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

1,000-Year-Old Coins on Remote Australian Beach

How did copper coins, some dating back a thousand years, arrive on a remote island beach off Australia? An expedition has been formed to learn more, if possible. There is a related legend of gold doubloons and ancient weapons (via Esylum newsletter). Story Here.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

On the Trail of Yet Another Fake

As is often noted here and elsewhere, China, probably among others, is source of scads of fake coins, some of a sort that don't even seem worth faking, others that go for big bucks. I happen to like the 1910 Mexican Silver "Caballito," partly because I'm partial to horse images, also because it is very well done coin. I notice most go for at least $100, an offer starting below $50 on eBay is unusual. I just noticed one starting at .99-cents! Could be the real deal, of course, but...? Looking for further info, I find the Caballito is often faked. The entry on this site is a sad story but worth reading through, maybe it will save you a similar experience.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

"Not Worth a Penny" Describes Many Coins

Most of us are aware of moves afoot to eliminate the U.S. penny which is worth more as metal than as buying power. But the penny is hardly the least valuable of coins. Among many listed in this article (tip of the hat to Esylum newsletter) is one requiring two thousand to equal a U.S. penny in "value."

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Government Says Ancient Coin Collectors Are Outlaws

The battle over interpretation of "theft of culture" laws, regulations and policies has had an effect in many collecting areas, and that is now very true of ancient coins. Importation is in many cases illegal, according to the U.S. State Department. While there is no doubt that the market for antiquities and collectibles can encourage theft, smuggling and vandalism, such activities hardly encompass the whole of the field. The problem has been presented to the U.S. Supreme Court, as lower courts have proven reluctant to deal with it. Story here.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Dead Man's Gold Hoard Looted by Thieves

An estimated $200,000 in gold coins was stolen from the home of an apparently eccentric and decidedly reclusive Vermont resident whose death went unnoticed by authorities for months. "Radkin" sounds like he deserves a biography, a very interesting character. Dealers became suspicious when large numbers of gold coins were offered by four people who were later arrested ... Story here.

Is It a Genuine Fake or Just a Repro?

Museum shops are a great source of reproductions of coins of all sorts. I have an album of what I called fakes, many of which are more appropriately termed reproductions. A basic definition seems to be that a fake is produced to deliberately deceive. So it would seem that a reproduction can graduate to fake status if it hits the market in a deceptive way. At any rate there are tons of "repros" out there and my bet would be many are resold as genuine, thus becoming fakes. Here are some interesting examples of what's available from museum shops, just the tip of the iceberg. Buyer beware.