Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Gold & Silver Investment as Shark-Infested Waters

I thought there seemed some similarities between the current Arizona case and another I'd read about. In that previous case the dealer was sentenced to three to nine years in prison, I believe, and required to make restitution. The problem in this field is not just theft, of course, there are any number of scams going, to the extent that I noticed where one law firm deals especially in gold fraud cases. Please do not consider this a recommendation, you should of course check references when you need legal counsel, however I did find the site very interesting.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Why They Invented Safety Deposit Boxes

A residential burglary in Arizona netted quite a haul for the perpetrator. The details are a bit sketchy but it certainly seems someone had inside information. It would appear they had a limited time and knew enough to hit the storage room. Did they come in on a front-end loader? Think of the combine weight of it all:

The victim said that the following is missing from her home: 7,000 American Silver Eagle 1-ounce coins in plastic sleeves; 12 bags of silver nickels, dimes and quarters minted from 1920-1963; 15 South African Krugerrand gold coins; 20 10-pound bars of silver; 20 5-pound bars of silver; 30 American Gold Eagle coins with Canadian Gold Maple Leafs; 10-ounce and 6-ounce bars of silver with Johnson Matthey and Engelhard stamps; and $80,000 cash in bank envelopes.

The full story here.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Bonnie Prince Charlie's Buried (?) Treasure

It might be that too many people knew about the casks of coin sent to Scotland by France and Spain to fund Bonnie Prince Charlie's failed Jacobite rebellion. With the collapse of the rebellion, what became of the money? There were accusations but the full answer remains a mystery. Story here.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Brasher Doubloon "The Most Expensive Gold Coin"

A coin minted by a neighbor of George Washington has brought $7.4 million, said to be the record for a single gold coin. There are probably more in-depth articles elsewhere. But, if you didn't buy it, didn't sell it, and don't have one stashed in the a hidey-hole somewhere, this may be all you need to know.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Happy Holiday Hunting Grounds for Silver Searchers

There's an area of coin collecting called roll searching. It's just a matter of obtaining rolls of coins from banks and digging through them. I think I mentioned the story about one fellow and his daughter who plowed through a million pennies looking for, and finding, valuable error coins. This story however is about silver content in 50-cent rolls. The searcher says the holiday season is a great time, presumably because piggy banks or other stashes are cashed in by those more interested in shopping than in searching. Here's the story...

Christmas Benefactor Drops Gold in Sallie's Bucket

A nice surprise for the Salvation Army in Tulsa as an anonymous donor slipped a one ounce gold American Eagle coin into one of their red Christmas collection buckets. Apparently it's a tradition with this generous giver, story here...
Apparently it's a nationwide phenomenon, gold and silver coins showing up in kettles far and wide. A video report here.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Penny Savers Hope to Cash in on Copper

It seems inevitable that the penny, minted at a loss, must cease to exist as U.S. coinage. Do the cost-benefit, easy to see that it's only a question of when.
So, though it is currently illegal to melt pennies, the time should come when the law is scuttled. And then pre-1984 pennies should have substantial scrap value, that being when the mostly zinc penny was launched.
In anticipation, hoarders are hard at work... story here
And a tip of the hat to Esylum newsletter for the tip.

Friday, December 2, 2011

New Book on Peace Medals and Power

Peace medals were a token of "friendship" presented to important Native American allies by government operatives on behalf of the President whose image they bore. Of course this was a way to convey power and recognition to select individuals. Tribes didn't necessarily have over-all chiefs but rather individuals who rose to responsibility for particular situations. However the U.S. needed a "chief" to sign treaties and the medals helped give credence to whomever was selected. Peace medals often come up on auction sites at prices assuring they are not genuine. Buy a good guidebook before buying the medal. Here is a story on a new exhibit and related book.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

CoinCrime: Photos of Stolen Coins

Coin theft is a common problem with new reports surfacing every few days. I'm aware of one professional group that logs thefts but they keep the info privileged, I'm sure with good reason though it means the loss of assistance from amateur sleuths. I'm posting a link to some good photos of stolen coins, a tiny drop in the bucket but a good example of what victims could do to alert the public. And a good reminder, take photos of any valuable coins in your collection. This particular theft took place a few years back and there's no update. If still out there, they could make an appearance at any time.