Monday, August 29, 2011

Federal Authorities Say They Can Confiscate So-Called Liberty Dollar

Subject of a recent court case, the privately minted so-called Liberty or Norfed Dollar circulates in quantity among collectors. The feds say they can seize any they discover. That includes any displayed for educational purposes only.See the story here.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Official 9-11 Medal Prices Rise, Proceeds Support Museum

The official U.S. 9-11 commemorative medal is a big seller and has now passed the introductory price stage. To my mind, this isn't an investment or collector sort of thing, it's about support for the victims, survivors and all those who worked to bring some healing to the wounds of an unthinkable tragedy.If you have not, please read the biographies (archived here) of the innocents who died, compiled by The New York Times. More information on the medal is available here. If you buy a 9-11 medal, be sure it is from a reputable source and proceeds will indeed help with remembrance projects.
Portraits: 9/11/01: The Collected "Portraits of Grief" from The New York TimesPortraits: 9/11/01: The Collected "Portraits of Grief" from The New York TimesPortraits: 9/11/01: The Collected "Portraits of Grief" from The New York Times

Friday, August 19, 2011

Rare Numismatic Books at Auction Closing Sept. 15, 2011

Kolbe & Fanning’s 122nd sale includes over 1400 lots of rare and desirable numismatic literature. A mail-bid sale, it closes on September 15, 2011 (see the catalogue’s Terms of Sale page for bidding instructions). Particularly rich in rare and desirable works on American numismatics, the 112-page catalogue also includes an extensive selection of interesting and elusive works on ancient, medieval and modern numismatics, including the working library of a specialist in ancient coinage. Catalog, bid sheet and informative site here.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Money Museum on The Medicis and Murder

In October 1587, the mortal remains of the 47-year-old grand duke Francesco I de' Medici and his second wife, Bianca Cappello, were buried in the little church Santa Maria a Bonistallo near Florence. The couple had died within only a few hours from each other – unexpectedly and under mysterious circumstances. Was it murder? ... See the article here.

Empires - The Medici: Godfathers of the RenaissanceThe House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall

Friday, August 12, 2011

Gold Investments May Not Be Solid

The Better Business Bureau has targeted two Texas firms specializing in gold as engaging in very questionable sales practices. The conclusion of the article offers cautionary advice on buying gold in general. Check it out:

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Collector News: Zimbabwe "Dollarizes" Monetary System

Not sure exactly what this means for collectors. There hasn't been enough small change in Zimbabwe so consumers have had to accept scrip, tokens, even candy and biscuits as change.
Officials cut a deal with the U.S. to supply U.S. coins to be used as a medium of exchange. Financial institutions and government agencies there have chartered a plane to fetch a cargo of coins from the U.S. -- which in the least sounds like a take-off point for a thriller-action film!
Wondering about the implications. Are older coins from Zimbabwe, many featuring wildlife and other nature themes, now scarce and collectible? What sort of tokens were issued as change? Will there be any counter-stamp on the U.S. coins (no mention so not likely)?
Here's a news story on the subject.

From an older but interesting note on Zimbabwe coinage:
"The 1 Cent coin is no longer produced as they were costing nearly 50 Cents each to make. The 5 Cents is more or less obsolete. Importation of both of these denominations ceased in 1999 and as mentioned earlier, there will not be new version of the 1 and 5 Cents coins. When the new versions of the other coins do appear then likely the older versions (namely the Copper-Nickel pieces) will soon disappear, already an engineering firm buys up old 50 Cent coins, drills holes in them and sells/uses them as washers for nuts & bolts. This is far cheaper than pressing washers from plate metal." The article, here, mentions that, at the time of writing, a single copy of a newspaper cost $20 in Zimbabwe.