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- While watching From Russia With Love (1963) recently, I was amazed to see something in the movie I had long forgotten—the James Bond Gold Piece! Near the beginning of the movie, Q delivers a special black brief case to Bond. The case was filled with the usual rounds of ammunition & many high-tech weapons – but also featured two straps hidden inside the lining of the case, which secretly held 50 Gold Sovereign coins! Towards the end of the film, when a SPECTRE hit man has Bond on his knees, he tells the henchman about the fifty gold sovereigns hidden in his briefcase. When the greedy assassin proceeded to investigate Bond’s claim and open the briefcase, it explodes in his face! Needless to say, James Bond escapes to spy another day… While this may just seem like another exciting moment in a classic action film, I can tell you that Gold Sovereigns haven’t just saved the life of ...Read more »
- Treasure Hoards Discovered People have always been fascinated with "treasure" whether buried or sunken. Over time many great hoards of coins have been discovered and many rare coins have been found in pristine condition because they were stored away and forgotten about for generations, until they were discovered. Many existing hoards have already been found and dispersed through sales and auctions over the years, to the delight of many rare coin collectors. Certainly there are still many great coin hoards still hidden away, just waiting to be discovered. The following are just some of the many great coin hoards discovered in America. Castine Hoard (1840s) ...Read more »
- Posted: September 10, 2018|Categories: Coin CollectingSymbolism has been a part of numismatics for almost as long as coins have been struck. It has also long been a part of propaganda, with national personification frequently used in literature and, even more frequently, imagery. This was especially true in print during the golden age of newspapers before television took over in terms of visuals. While these national personifications are used far less frequently today than they were prior to the introduction of other forms of media, some of them stuck and continue to be used on coinage to this day. Many of the allegorical figures that represent entire nations are based on the Greek goddess Athena. Athena was the goddess of wisdom and war. Goddesses based on this figure include Britannia, Germania, Helvetia, and Hibernia. Each of these figures has appeared on precious metals coins, and some continue to do so. The best known of these figures among collectors is Britannia, for whom ...Read more »
- The New York Bank Hoard Story It is the dream of most coin collectors, to discover a hidden hoard of rare coins. Now, imagine finding 16 sealed original U.S. Treasury bags containing 16,000 vintage Morgan Dollars! That dream came true recently with the discovery of a large hoard of Morgan Silver Dollars that were hidden away for over 50 years in Wall Street Bank Vault. Recently, the heirs of their father’s secret silver stash, revealed the insistence of this hidden hoard that was untouched for over 50 years, ever since the 16 bags of Morgan Silver Dollars, were placed in a New York bank large safe-deposit box back in 1964. This remarkably well-preserved hoard was virtually untouched for over half a century and boasts a number of high-grade pieces, including 118 that graded NGC MS 67. Tha ...Read more »
- Lost Buried Treasures Stories of lost buried treasure hoards capture the imagination and spark the hidden treasure hunter within all of us, who learn about these Legends of Lore. Hidden Treasure discoveries can happen anytime, anywhere, unexpectedly, or through extensive research and expense that may eventually reveal these artifacts of history. Unfortunately over the centuries, these hidden treasure stories can take on a life of their own, with little documented evidence or proof of their existence, but also many have left hints of history behind. History leaves clues, and those that follow these history hints may discover true treasure… whether from the enjoyment of the chase, to the actual realization of a historical find. ...Read more »
- Coins With Animals Animals, both domesticated and wild, seem to have always fascinated man. Whether in the form of Roman military standards (ensigns), coins or sacred totems that feature animals – all seem to be bearers of powerful animal symbols that played a pivotal role in awareness and self-expression. The use of animals on coins, including birds, is as old as coins itself. Different animals are featured on many coins – too many to mention here. Some coins even feature two or more animals. E.g. the rare ancient coins that were issued by Hadrian feature an eagle alongside an owl and a peacock. This makes for a fascinating variety of coins with animals to collect, both ancient and modern. Horses and eagles seem to feature most frequently on ancient coins. Rare animals such as elephants, lions and turtles are also featured. On the other hand, modern coins feature almost every animal imaginable. Let’s consider a few ancient and mod ...Read more »
- Mintages of popular coins vary widely based on a variety of factors, such as demand and the availability of metals. Depending on the coin, some mintages can range from hundreds of thousands to several million pieces. Occasionally, though, mintages of otherwise popular coins are at levels substantially below the usual swings. Here are a few examples of issues of coins that are notable for especially low mintages and the circumstances surrounding those issues. Arguably the most popular coin in the history of American numismatics, the Morgan Silver Dollar reigned supreme from 1878-1904. Although commonly used in daily commerce during their run, Morgans remain popular among avid and casual collectors alike, with many being passed on as heirlooms for generations. With a smattering of exceptions of releases from individual Mints, most Morgan issues went well into the millions. That is except for the period from 1893-1895. ...Read more »
- Coins in Culture: Rich Traditions, Powerful Symbols Coin collecting tends to appeal to a rather narrow audience, much like any other hobby, but that does not mean that coins are forgotten by the rest of society. Aside from serving as media of exchange, coins are also central in cultural traditions throughout the world. In fact, finding cultures that do not have some sort of traditions involving coins is rather difficult. Coins are incorporated into wedding rituals throughout the world. One of the most basic and clearest examples of this is the Irish tradition of a wedding day coin presentation. The groom gives his bride a coin while saying, “I give you this as a token of all that I possess.” This beautiful gesture encapsulates marriage perfectly, indicating that the groom is giving himself to his wife entirely; two become one. Across the Irish sea in Britain, there are two more popular wedding-related traditions. One of them comes from a tr ...Read more »
- What are interest rates? Interest rates are the benchmarks or rates at which money is either borrowed or loaned. It is normally expressed as percentages or amounts. In short: Interest rates determine the cost of money and credit. The most important interest rates Federal Discount Rate: The federal discount rate is the interest rate at which commercial and private banks borrow money from the Federal Reserve. Money loaned via this “discount window” helps banks to maintain minimum reserve levels as determined by law. Changes in the federal discount rate affect the prime rate, which in turn affects consumer spending, inflation expectations and more. These two rates normally move in the same direction. Prime Rate: The prime rate is in essence a benchmark for lending rates. This index is used to determine interest rates when it comes to personal loans ...Read more »
- Shooting Thalers GovMint will soon receive an exciting selection of the 2018 edition of the annual Shooting Thaler silver and gold coins issued by Switzerland, which are released to commemorate the very popular shooting tournaments held there. A thaler, or taler in German, is a silver coin issued between the 15th and 19th centuries that is considered a precursor of the dollar. Its name comes from the German word tal, which means valley, so a thaler is a person or thing from the valley. The name itself is an abbreviated form of “Joachimsthaler", a coin from the town of Joachimsthal, in the Kingdom of Bohemia (part of the Czech Republic today) that had silver mines. The first thalers were struck there in the 1500s. Swiss shooting thalers are issued to celebrate the annual shooting festivals held in Switzerland, a country where marksmanship is by far the most popular sport and whose people are fervent support ...Read more »