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Posts posted by shirohniichan

  1. I don't think any of us expects Hollywood writers to employ numismatists to check their scripts for inaccuracies, but certain thing rub me the wrong way. Are there any coin terms or uses you can think of in movies that don't fit the time period of the setting?


    The one that bothers me most is the use of the word "nickel" when the film is supposed to be a western from the 1860s to 1870s. Nickel three and five cent pieces didn't circulate to any great extent in the wild west in the early days. Couple that with the fact that term "nickel" usually referred to early Indian Head cents until the copper-nickel 5 cent pieces became more common, and you have an odd situation when a cowboy refers to a "nickel" in a film supposedly set in the early 1870s. Unless he'd gone "back east", a cowboy wouldn't likely have seen either a copper nickel 1, 3 or 5 cent piece.


    On the other hand, it pleased me in the series "Lonesome Dive" to see Augustus McCrae lay two half dollars on the bar when tendering a dollar for two glasses of rye whiskey. Had he taken out a silver dollar in a scene supposedly set in 1876 to 1877 Texas, he would have had a scarce coin indeed!

  2. way super cool coin to buy with excellent history AND value opportunity





    ---circulating contemporary counterfeit federal coins


    ----decent electrotypes of colonial coins


    ----1902-o micro o morgan dollars still in third party grading companies slabs by pcgs/ngc/anx


    -----1870-cc liberty seated dollar first year and coin struck at carson city mint cant get any more history and romance than that...............................


    -----spanish colonial coins struck in south america that circulated in the thirteen colonies

    and into the 19th century


    -----genuine colonial coins that circulated in the american colonies like the new jersey coppers first coin to have the latin phrase e pluribus unum you find on most every usa circulated coins today in one many in other words you have thirteen separate colonies but under one strong federal govt also to have a shield with thirteen stripes signifying the thirteen original colonies ( i am sure if i am mistaken i will be corrected but it is rather early am here)


    -----the list could go on and on for pages




    Yea, verily.


    I sold my 1870-CC dollar I bought from David Lawrence years ago, and I wish at times I still had it.


    Inexpensive coins with cool stories include:


    - Mid-to late 18th century Spanish 2 reales.

    These circulated in the colonies and early states for 20 cents, making them the first 20 cent pieces used here.


    - Chopmarked coins

    They show that they made it to China and back, and common ones are fairly inexpensive. They can get pricey, though, if they are on particular coins or are of a particular design.


    - Mid-19th century 1 bu coins

    These little rectangular coins were some of the most pure circulating silver coins ever made. I read that an assay of some pieces showed them to be .991 fine. They certainly look "pre modern".


    - Early 19th century francs

    During the Gold Rush these circulated in California as quarters, even though they only contained 20 to 22 cents worth of silver in them. Speculators imported as many as they could to profit from their overvaluation. By the mid 1850s they were called a "drug on the market" and were only taken at silver value, leaving the holders with a loss.

  3. Section 4 of the 1853 Coinage Act says that subsidiary silver coins "shall be paid out at the mint,in exchange for gold coins at par, in sums of not less than one hundred dollars."


    Here is an exception I found reported that year:


    "New Mint Regulations.

    Hereafter all silver found in the California gold will be paid for in standard silver, and gold as heretofore. This is a measure which was much desired by California depositors. The largest issue of new silver coin is to consist of twenty five cent pieces. This new silver work for the mint, it is said will lessen the capacity of the mint to coin gold, but it is thought that the assay office in New York, by the conversion of dust into bars and ingots, will greatly lessen the necessity of so much gold coinage, as they can be used fur commercial purposes. It is said that the assay office will manufacture and stamp bars of $200, $1000. $2000 and $4000 in value, and charge the depositors only the bare cost of their conversion, while hereafter the mint is to charge the depositors one half of one per cent seniorage for the coinage of all gold submitted for that purpose."


    (Italics added)


    Los Angeles Star, Volume 3, Number 5, 11 June 1853


    If this were the case, depositors of California gold would be the beneficiaries of seignorage (although they would have to pay the refining and coining charges), wouldn't they?

  4. If these coins could be found and the provenence established, would they be collectible as "Chicago Fire Effect" coins?


    Melted Coin from Chicago at the Philadelphia Mint.


    On the 18th instant the counting of the melted coin from the Assistant United States Treasurer, at Chicago, was begun at the Mint, in Philadelphia. The Inquirer says :


    The coin was taken from the large iron chests in which it had arrived, and spread upon tables where it was examined. By instructions received from Secretary Boutwell, an accurate account of this money must be made. To perform this duty Messrs. Jas. C. Eyster, O. B, Jones, William M. Bunkel, William S. Steel and Levi C. Cowperthwait were detailed, and at a little after nine o'clock in the morning the work commenced. The coin had evidently been shoveled up from the ruins of the vaults, and as it was poured forth from the bags was found to be mixed with particles of stone, mortar and burned rags. In many caaes the silver and nickel coins, which melt much easir than gold, were found to have been run down by the heat, and in their melted condition had so fused with the gold as to render hundreds of dollars into one solid mass, which could not be separated except by the action of chemicals.


    Considerable of the gold and all of the silver will have to be remelted and recoined before it can be again used by the Government. Most of the gold has been badly oxidized by the action of heat and water, but from a test made Wednesday by the assayers it in thought that a greater part or the whole mass can be cleared and reissued without going through the process of melting and recoining. This will be accomplished by the action of chemicals and washing, and will be more economical for the Government than the process of melting would be. The coin, as far as has been examined, consists of $20s, $10s, $5s, $2 1/2 and $1s in gold, and all denominations of silver pieces, from the half dollar down to three cents. A few nickles and copper pieces have also been found. The duty of separating these coins from each other, classifying and counting them, was performed by the gentlemen above named on Wednesday, and from the time at which the chests were opened until 9 o'clock on Wednesday night about $258,000 were handled and put away to the credit of the Chicago Treasurer."



    Daily Alta California, Volume 28, Number 7891, 1 November 1871

  5. Something I've never understood. As a collector, what difference would it make if I couldn't profitably sell a coin I had just acquired? Evidently I wanted it more than the money I paid for it or I wouldn't have bought it in the first place.



    Buried in my coins? I couldn't care less.


    One of the problems with paying WAY TOO MUCH as a collector is that you have buried resources into that item at the expense of something else. I blew it this summer with a piece for which I paid way too much, at least according to a recent auction result. The trouble is you never know what is going to become available when it concerns a rare item. You can wait for years and see nothing, and then a couple of them will come on the market all at once.


    The flip side to that is when prospective buyers use auction results when supply dries up. "The last five coins in this grade were way lower than your asking price" isn't of much use when those results were from a particular time when the coin was easier to find.


    BTW, I'd love for 20 1876 Romanian 1 leu coins to come to market at the same time. There'd finally be enough supply to meet world demand.



    The October issue of the American Journal of Numismatics has an article upon the " Depravity of American Coinage, which is of general interest. We concur most heartily in all that ihe writer says of the abominable character of our coinage, its design, which is but caricature, and its execution, which is unworthy the rude efforts of the engravers of Chinese cash. The Journal is especially indignant at what it charges to be a dishonest valuation. The writer says that until recently our coinage has been honest, the old dollar and from that downward being worth the valuation marked upon its face, and the old cent, if clumsy and uncouth, containing a full cent's worth of copper. With, however, the "advent of the present small coinage of composition and admixture of every base metal, came a new order of things.'' He asks "To whom do the profits of these pettifogging attempts at coinage accrue ?" With the writer's statements as to the quality or valuation of the coins, we hardly agree, as we believe them to fairly represent the values stated upon them; but as to their execution we heartily coincide witn him.


    lt may be laid down as a general truth that the American coinage is the most contemptible in existence. The designs are trivial and commonplace, and the execution is infinitely beneath the coins of China, India, and even the South American States, whiie no comparison can be made between it and the elegant coinage of Great Britain, France, Italy, and many of the Germanic States. From the establishment of the Mint, in 1793 to the present time, our coins have not only been universally bad, but have been growing worse with each new issue. The present one, two, three, and especially the five cent pieces, are a positive disgrace and the suggestion of a correspondent in the same journal to substitute buttons, is not without force, as one could at least distinguish their valuation without a microscope. No consideration has ever been paid to the art idea of our mint engravers. The lettering is wretched. The eagle is always a goose, whether it be spread or volant, and the Goddess of Liberty is invariably a wretched, uncomfortable looking woman with a night cap on her head .The colonial coins and State issues were fair specimens of coinage. The "Bungtown coppers," as they are vulgarly called, of Jackson, Webster, and Benton, were classical in their designs and spirited In execution compared with our national series.


    If there be anything in which a great commercial country holding intimate relations with the other great commercial countries of the world should strive to excel, it should be in the character of its coinage. An elevated standard of coinage is one of the strongest evidences of civilization. Judged by the standard, Buenos Ayres excels, and Japan rivals us. There is no excuse for this. We have engravers able to produce beautiful deigns and durable coins. The Congressional and private medals issued from the Mint are models of beauty and graceful execution. Why should the coins be deformities ?


    Daily Alta California, Volume 18, Number 7021, 15 December 1866


    Alas, kvetching about US coin designs has been going on for an awfully long time.

  7. Sacramento Daily Union, Volume 44, Number 6704, 27 September 1872


    "HOUSEBREAKING.— Yesterday afternoon, during the absence of the family in the city, the residence of John P. Odbert, near the County Hospital, was entered by thieves, who stole a valuable cabinet ot coins and other money, etc., valued at about $1,000. Among the property was a pine tree shilling of 1652, with a piece clipped from one side; a half-dollar or quarter of 1828; a silver dollar of 1795; Japanese coins; a Confederate $100 bill, and another of $50; small currency ranging in value from 3 to 50 cents each ; two Salt Lake bills of 25 cents each; three or four gold halfdollars and a number of gold quarters; a small silver and gold brick, 2 inches long and 3/4 inch wide by 3-16th of an inch thick, with a small piece clipped trom one side, valued at $18 48, etc., etc. A gold watch belonging to Mrs. Odbert. and silver ware of considerable value, which were close at hand, were overlooked by the thieves in their hurry."


    Sorry if someone else already reported this. I've been away from the forums for a while.

  8. I ran this same thread on the PCGS board and got a lot more votes ... so I thought I would post a consensus rank based on those votes. I assigned a first place a numeric 6, second place 5, ..., sixth place 1 -- and then totaled the numbers for a consensus ranking. When people just listed 6 coins without a rank, I gave all listed 1 vote. If people listed fewer than 6, I gave their top rank 6 down to where their list stopped. What I should do is add in all the votes given in this NGC thread to the PCGS thread vote totals but I was too lazy.


    So here is the CONSENSUS VOTE for the most Beautiful Classic Commemorative Half Dollar Design (from the PCGS board votes)


    #1 Oregon = 4 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 4 + 6 + 3 + 6 + 1 + 5 + 4 + 6 + 6 + 6 = 59

    #2 Texas = 6 + 4 + 6 + 6 + 5 + 6 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 = 37

    #3 PanPac = 5 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 4 + 2 + 3 + 2 + 4 + 4 = 31

    #4 Connecticut = 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 1 + 5 + 1 + 1 + 6 + 3 + 4 = 25

    #5 Pilgrim = 5 + 3 + 3 + 6 + 2 + 3 = 22


    #6 Hawaiian = 6 + 4 + 1 + 5 = 16

    #7 SanDiego = 2 + 4 + 6 + 2 = 14

    #8 Illinois = 1 + 6 + 5 = 12

    #9 BayBridge = 4 + 5 + 1 = 10

    #10 California = 3 + 1 + 2 + 3 = 9


    #11 StoneMtn = 3 + 3 + 2 = 8

    #12 Columbian = 5 = 5

    #13 Boone = 5 = 5

    #14 Gettysburg = 1 + 1 + 1 = 3

    #15 Antietam = 1 + 1 = 2


    #16 Hudson = 2 = 2

    #17 Maine = 2 = 2

    #18 Vancouver = 1 = 1

    #19 Missouri = 1 = 1

    #20 Vermont = 1 = 1


    The Oregon was not only the top vote getter (by a longshot) but the most often mentioned (14 times) .

    The second most mentioned (11 times) was the Connecticut (even though the total votes only took the Connecticut to forth place.


    The Texas and Panama-Pacific were high vote getters and mentioned often and came in solidly second and third, respectively.


    The Pilgrim has fewer mentions, but enough high votes to push it to 5th place.


    I am not surprised about the consensus top 5, but I am surprised the Hawaiian made it to #6 -- clearly there are some big fans of that design.


    The SanDiego, Illinois, BayBridge, and California rounded out the consensus top 10.


    I am also surprised the Stone Mountain didn't get more votes and could only limp into 11th place, as I always thought that design was beautiful, but perhaps the high mintage took away some of the mystique.


    Consensus Rank #1 through #5



    Consensus Rank #6 through #10



    Consensus Rank #11 through #15



    Consensus Rank #16 through #20



    Holy carp! Your coin makes even the Columbian design look good! :Q

  9. I'm listing coins as I have the time and will update the list in a somewhat orderely fashion.


    1875-S I/II trade dollar MS61 PCGS: $1,050

    Average strike, small contact marks, die cracks on obverse and reverse



    1946 $1 AU-55 ICCS: $78

    1963 $1 prooflike: $17

    1964 $1 BU: $15 each (4 total)

    1990 $20 "Avro Lancaster" bomber from aviation series (w/ case): $105



    AH 1255/12 2 kurush EF: $22

    AH 1293/17 5 kurush VF/EF: $12



    I'll take photos of the better stuff as requested. It's going to take me weeks to get everything listed.


    Postage and insurance at cost from California. Sent when checks clear (money orders ship immediately). Prices in US dollars.

  10. When you need (not just "want") to sell your coins, what methods yield the best return for the amount of time and money invested?


    For bullion items I'll go to my local coin store. There are no advertising fees, and I get cash quickly.


    When I don't need the money for a month or so, what works best?


    To get the most for trade dollars or seated coins, I figure an ad in the Gobrecht Journal may bring the best return for scarcer varieties. The downside is that it may take a long time.


    I haven't used eBay for years because of the high fees, flakey buyers, and other hassles. Is it time to go back?


    Do the buy/sell/trade boards on this forum and the other side of the street work well?


    If I had lots of time I'd go back to my coin business and start a web page again. I don't have that much time any more.

  11. In planning a trip to Colorado and back, I figured we'd head north and drive through Wyoming on the return trip.


    Lo and behold, I found out about an obscure work that includes sculptures from our beloved Augustus St. Gaudens-- the Ames Brothers Pyramid near Buford (know as "the smallest town in America).


    Check it out here:


    I'm sure my non-numismatist friends will be enthralled by my story of how I took my family miles out of the way to see this historic landmark.

  12. "Twenty-four miles from our last station we came to the Maricopas Wells, situated in a large plain of alkali soil and coarse grass. There are, in all, six or eight wells, and the water is very good. We found a number of Indians there, and one of them had the audacity to ask me three bits (37 1/2 cents) for a small melon he wished to sell. I showed him two three-cent pieces, and the insufferable contempt which he gave me would be worth a fortune to an actor if put in the right place. I am sure his melon would rot before he could get another chance to sell it" (The Butterfield Overland Mail. Ormsby, Waterman L. The Huntington Library, 1962, pp. 98-9).


    This observation was included in a report dated October 13, 1858, and posted from San Francisco regarding the stage trip between Tucson and Yuma, AZ.


    Didn't those savages know that Spanish colonial and Mexican reales were no longer legal tender?! Just because they were in the territories they thought they could continue avoiding decimal coinage?! The outrage!

  13. Roger, I'm curious about this because hexavalent chromium is a dangerous carcinogen.




    Attention California Residents:


    California Proposition 65 (also known as the Safe Drinking Water and Toxic Enforcement Act of 1986) requires a warning to California consumers for any product that contains certain chemicals which are known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm. Accordingly, is informing you as follows:


    WARNING: Proof coins are a product of processes that may contain chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm.

  will include a notice containing such a warning with all products shipped by to California addresses. We have also directed our suppliers that they must comply with California Proposition 65 and provide specific warning with all products produced by and shipped by our suppliers to California addresses which fall within the requirements of Proposition 65.

  14. There already is a book grading scale in existence, and it's much simpler than that for coins. It rates simply from 1 to 10, with "10" meaning an absolutely new book, usually still in original shrink wrap :) .


    Yes, but what of all the dealers who over grade their books James?

    Maybe a 10 is easy enough to determine, but what separates an 8 from a 9? I don't know about you, but I'm tired of buying my books as "9"s and selling them back as "8"s. It just isn't right! All kidding aside, I am surprised this idea hasn't taken hold with rare books. I'm glad it hasn't, but it seems like a perfect scheme.


    So...what do you think the population of your book is James? 1/0? I'm only partially kidding. It seems like there wouldn't be too many available still new.

    Next thing you'll be telling me is we need a hundred point grading system! Maybe there needs to be a fourth-party grader that can make sure a book graded 7.8 isn't really a 7.7 and not deserving of a sticker?


    lol !!


    I really need to get images of the book :luhv: ....


    Remember not to use a flash. A flash can turn a 975 UNRD into a 960 in a ... a... a... flash.