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- American Achievement: the Apollo 11 Moon Shot While American technological and political achievements are numerous, few are as resonant as the great Space Race of the 1960s. This included the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo space programs that reached their triumphant apex with the Apollo 11 mission that saw astronauts Neil Armstrong and Edwin “Buzz” Aldrin land on the moon and their safe return, along with command module pilot Michael Collins, to Earth. The United States Mint is releasing a seven coin commemorative program to mark the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission and the moon landing. The series will have broad appeal for numismatic collectors as well as technology and space buffs alike. Commemorating the 50th Anniversary of the Apollo moon landing is really an attempt to capture the vibrant spirit of the Sixties and of the extraordinary achievements of America and Americans. The “one small step for man… one giant leap for mankind” celebrated with these c ...Read more »
- The Australia Wedge-Tailed Eagle Series: History in the Making In 2014, John Mercanti and the Perth Mint made history as the former Chief Engraver of the United States Mint collaborated with the Perth Mint on the new Silver Wedge-Tailed Eagle. The new issue marked the first time that a US Mint engraver designed a coin for a foreign mint. The first release in the series had a mintage of just 50,000 pieces, and the response among collectors worldwide was so overwhelming that the series has become a mainstay of the Perth Mint and among the most anticipated annual releases among collectors. The 2019 edition marks the fifth anniversary release in the series and just the first time that a new design has been introduced after just one year of the previous ...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 »
- Buried Coins May Reveal a Hidden History As the old saying goes, dead men tell no tales. The same cannot be said of coins, especially those discovered from places and times, about which, relatively little is known. In fact, a pot of coins found recently during excavations near Vianen, Netherlands may tell researchers more about the area during the time period from which they date than is otherwise known. The Dutch city of Hagestein suffered a siege and ultimately fell in 1405. As is often the case with such circumstances, historians know relatively little about the city during the century that followed. Recently, however, waterworks employees came across a red-baked earthenware pot that was full of textiles and a hoard of approximately 500 coins, twelve of which were gold and the rest were silver. Now, researchers are pouring over the pieces in hopes of lear ...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 »
- Platinum and Palladium Prices in 2018 So Far In the precious metals market, many of us tend to focus solely on gold and silver. While the majority of us are aware of platinum and palladium, there are far fewer products on the market made from these metals. The result of this is that we don’t pay as much attention to them. The American Platinum Eagle is an excellent example. These coins are primarily seen as something that’s of interest to collectors as opposed to something for bullion stackers. Remember that these coins were introduced as a bullion series. However, more platinum and palladium products seem to be making their way to the market. Let’s take a look at how these two precious metals have fared in 2018 so far. Platinum Prices in 2018 The spot price of platinum on January 1 ...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 »
- Symbols and Rulers on Ancient Coins It is probably hard to imagine, but coins without dates pretty much dominated the ancient world. Symbols and rulers, including deities, took precedence over dates on coins. It seems that coin years or dates on coins were not important to the ancients. They were more interested to know who ruled than in which year a coin was issued. It is in many cases nearly impossible to pinpoint the exact year of issue when it comes to ancient coins without dates. In such instances, one can at best make educated guesses. This can be done by considering any symbols, including Mint marks, and rulers who might feature on a coin. The idea is then to try and match it to any historical records of the time that might exist today. This matchmaking can help to roughly determine the period a coin was issued, especially when a specific coiner’s Mint mark is present. Mint marks were introduced to be able to pinpoint the source when issues aro ...Read more »