Monday, October 31, 2011

Buyer Beware: Looted Treasure of Benghazi

The recent dust-up in Libya offered great opportunities for thievery. Noting the incredible quantity of stolen coins, collectors are wondering what the impact will be on the market -- however, with no documentation and no photographs, Libyan officials will be hardpressed to identify the stolen tgreasure if it is pieced out. Story here.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Rare (Maybe a Million$) Coin Missing From Brinks Delivery

A very rare double eagle was found to be missing from a Brinks shipment upon arrival at Heritage auction house. The shipper, an authentication company, apparently has tapes showing that the coin was safely passed along to Brinks. It would seem a simple matter to determine who had access up to the time of delivery to Heritage ... we'll see. Story here.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Order of the Golden Fleece Alive and Well

The Order of the Golden Fleece, mentioned in reference to several noble medallions, was established as a clever political maneuver in the days of the 100 Year War. The Order survives, though now as two entities. "The Spanish branch is presided by Juan Carlos I of Spain since 1938. He has turned the Order into a truly royal community. Members (current or former) are inter alia (in order of joining): Constantine, King of Greece, Charles Gustav, King of Sweden, Jean, Grand Duke of Luxembourg, Akihito, Emperor of Japan, Hussein, King of Jordan, Beatrix, Queen of the Netherlands, Margrethe, Queen of Denmark, Elizabeth, Queen of the Commonwealth realms, Albert II, King of the Belgians and Harald V of Norway." More about the Order here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

A Different Take on Coins as Art

As you would note if visiting my art medal site mentioned in the side panel, I collect and sell coins and medals of interest for their images. I like it that the "root of all evil" can have artistic value. Although I use coins decoratively I hadn't considered the possibilities of volume -- as in creating a work using 250,000 Euro cents! It happened in Amsterdam in 2008. See the result here.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Thousands of Dollars for Pennies in Your Pocket? Could Happen...

The top ten rare coins you might find in your pocket change include a number of modern pennies. I read an article not long ago on a collector and his daughter who sorted through a million pennies, over time, looking for treasures such as these. They did find a number of error coins but I don't know how that translated as "profit." Anyway, here is a list.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Two Heads Better Than One ... With Coins, Maybe So

Generally when you find expert comments on two headed or two tailed coins, the point is made that they are all fake, such coins have never come from the official U.S. mint but are put together in machine shops. Well, I found a site with information somewhat to the contrary. Perhaps the official mint actually did produce a few two headed or two tailed coins ... however, they never reached general circulation and so won't be found in your pocket change.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Why Are Many Masonic Tokens Marked "One Penny"?

I recently put up a batch of Masonic coins or tokens for sale on eBay, among them being a couple which in addition to other Masonic markings were engraved "One Penny." There were also two actual U.S. pennies marked with Masonic emblem and punched. Though I haven't gone deeply into it, I would guess that the penny is a traditional vehicle for identification of "brothers." It seems to have come about when a Masonic penny was minted as genuine coinage and circulated throughout the British Empire. Some information on the matter may be found here.