After reading up on the fakes coming out of China[/URL], I decided to get my hands on one (it was that easy). Here’s a 1879-CC in “UNC” condition. See the images below. The luster was a bit “off” at the high points, particularly on the obverse, but the cartwheel was fully intact. At worst, it looked like a lightly cleaned genuine Morgan to the naked eye. With a bit of pocket wear, it could easily pass for an AU coin.
At this point, I’d recommend only buying raw coins from the most reputable of dealers on eBay (I can list them off on one hand), or dealers whom you’ve done repeated business with & developed a rapport.
Another option is to stick to slabbed coins on eBay, but apparently they are being counterfeited too….Be cautious of any PCGS/NGC slabbed coins that look off. Have genuine slabs to compare against. Take note of the font details, as well as the plastic raised...
For 2015 I sought to set a simple goal. I would acquire a gold coin by hook or by crook. Many of you saw the large Electrum Kidarite Dinar I posted a while back, great coin but still not a gold coin. I knew there were of ancient and medieval coins available everywhere and its just a matter of throwing money at it.
Hugely generalizing its very difficult to find an ancient or medieval coin in VF or better condition for less than $500. There are a few very good candidates for what is considered relatively inexpensive gold coins. You have some common Byzantine solidi and fractions that can be had in the $250 range. On occasion you might find a large diameter scyphate coin from the Middle Byzantine period in VF (or super EF if you are Eng). If neither of these is what strikes your interest at the moment than the quest gets rather interesting. Ancient Roman, Greek, Persian and Chinese gold are generally unavailable to the average casual collector and can range from $1000 to Moon Cheese....
This info comes from one of my bullion suppliers.
At first glance the American Gold Eagle looked fine. Its color, weight, density and feel were all correct. It measured 32.70 (mm) Diameter and 2.87 (mm) Thickness, matching that of a genuine Eagle.
The other day I stopped in a local coin shop which had a weekly bid board ending then. After looking over the lots on the wall and not seeing too much that I really wanted to bid on, I looked over the large lots and expensive coins which are kept in one of the glass cases instead of being hung up on the bid board. One lot that caught my eye was the following medal, sorry the photos are so dark, was doing the best I could with a borrowed camera set up:
Stacks Bowers and PCGS (both in Irvine) recently announced the following grading and consignment event at Stacks’ new offices and since PCGS was offering tours of their offices at the same time, I thought I’d take the opportunity to consign some coins I’ve had for a while to the August ANA auction and take PCGS up on their tour offer which is what I did today. Here is their announcement:
Among the earliest of my ancient coin purchases was a fascinating bronze of Germanicus and Drusus issued during the time of Tiberius and later overstruck by a creative proconsul, possibly during Caligula's reign. It appears to be the sole instance in which coins were later modified with special ring dies, preserving the central devices while creating a new legend. Recently I picked up a second example and a copy of an old Celator issue* which has an article about the type.
The Wheat Penny/Cent: The Wheat Penny/Cent is one of the most well-known coins in U.S history, minted from 1909-1958. Buyers of all range of wealth can spend on common dates (such as the 1944 copper cent or the 1958 cent) or Key Dates (such as the 1909 S VDB or the 1914-D cent). Wheat Cent hoards are common and will continue to grow in value as long as the coins continue to grow in popularity and collectors' value. Before we need to know about the specific dates, however, we need to learn about the designer.
Victor David Brenner- Victor David Brenner was born in Lithuania in 1871, by the name of Viktoras Baranauskas. At age 19, he immigrated to America as his father had done years before. Unable to find a job, he decided to work with his father, as an engraver. He mastered skills surrounding this art, and also learned the English language during the time. His designs for the Obverse and Reverse were picked by the government, out of many designs submitted by professional engravers....
This actually happens to be my first post-Carolingian medieval French coin, after the split of the Frankish Empire into the kingdoms of West and East Francia, which later developed into France and Germany, respectively.
This coin was struck by Count Herbert of Maine (a region in northern France). I think this coin, not being struck in the name of the king at the time (Robert II of the Capetians), is a testament to the feudal, decentralized nature of France at the time, when many local counts and dukes pretty much had free reign to do what they pleased as long as they recognized the king.
Those wacky Romans… they deified and worshipped everything. This one, however, deserves your devotion: Venus Cloacina, Goddess of the Great Sewer.
Yep. That’s right. A Sewer Goddess.
Before you poo-poo Her importance, consider this: Rome’s Cloaca Maxima (Great Sewer) was in large part responsible for the health and prosperity of Rome. Waste-related bacterial burdens were reduced as the sewage flowed away from the city instead of pooling in populated areas. The sewer also drained the marshlands, greatly diminishing the breeding grounds for disease vectors such as mosquitos.
Moneyer issues of Imperatorial Rome. L. Mussidius Longus, 42 BC. AR denarius, Rome mint. Radiate and draped bust of Sol facing slightly right / Shrine of Venus Cloacina: Circular platform surmounted by two statues of the goddess, each resting right hand on cippus, the platform inscribed CLOAC and ornamented with trellis-pattern balustrade, flight of...
I shared my U.S. Half Dollar Type Collection with this board in Summer of 2011, however since then I have found some new examples and have upgraded a few coins. So I wanted to share my updates. I have been working on this collection since January 2011 -- and as some of you know, I have a passion for coins with interesting color and/or toning patterns, so when I could find a colorfully toned example of a type, I made the leap.
Flowing Hair: I knew the early Flowing Hair Half Dollar was going to be a stumbling block. The Flowing Hair Half was the first Half Dollar type minted in the U.S and was only produced for two years: 1794 and 1795. It sports the "Small Eagle" reverse, a design that Ben Franklin complained looked more like a turkey than an eagle. According to the Guide Book of U.S. Type Coins, only between 3,500 and 6,000 Flowing Hair Half Dollars remain in existence -- so this is a very rare type coin. I wasn't sure I would ever acquire this early Half Dollar; but...
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