Austrian Mint celebrates 25th Anniversary – From the Memory Bank, part 21

Austrian Mint celebrates 25th anniversary of its Philharmonic gold bullion coin launch. This article first appeared in the September 22, 2014 issue of Coin World, available here.

The quarter-ounce size of gold Philharmonic coin

The quarter-ounce size of gold Philharmonic coin was initially produced as an affordable size for the Austrian populace to purchase, while the 1-ounce size was intended for investors.

The Austrian Mint is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the launch its Philharmonic gold bullion coin.

What better way to celebrate than with a golden anniversary cake, complete with the Philharmonic’s iconic logo featuring musical instruments of the world famous Vienna Philharmonic, the coin’s namesake?

During the recent American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill., I was both surprised and honored when Austrian Mint CEO Gerhard Starsich asked if I would assist him in cutting the cake.

Celebrations have a way of triggering flashbacks. The Austrian Mint’s October 1989 news release announcing its entry into the gold bullion coin market raised a few eyebrows. How could a relatively small Mint from a country with no active gold mines compete with the big players in the market, namely South Africa, Canada, Australia, and the United States? Continue reading

Cash In your Coins: Selling the Rare Coins You’ve Inherited, first edition, is an award winner!

Cash In Your Coins NLG Best Investment Award

The Numismatic Literary Guild cited Cash In Your Coins as the “Best Specialized Book in Numismatic Investments” during its 2014 Writer’s Competition awards banquet Aug. 7, held in conjunction with the World’s Fair of Money in Chicago.

I am very pleased that Cash In Your Coins is receiving recognition within the numismatic community, but equally pleased with the exceptional sales in the world outside collector circles — its intended audience.

In May Cash In Your Coins won first place in the Nonfiction Books for Adult Readers category of Ohio Professional Writers 2014 Communications Contest. The judges noted: “A clear and understandable guide to selling coins for the non-collector. This book will be a useful resource for anyone who inherits coins.”  Continue reading

Cash In Your Coins 2nd Edition on sale September 13, 2014

The second edition of my book Cash In Your Coins: Selling the Rare Coins You’ve Inherited goes on sale nationwide Sept. 13.

Cash In Your Coins 2nd Edition book cover

Cash In Your Coins: Selling the Rare Coins You’ve Inherited

Autographed copies of the expanded, updated 304-page book will be available exclusively at my Cash In Your Coins website for $9.95 plus shipping.

Non-autographed copies of the second edition will be available at the publisher’s web site, Whitman, as well as from booksellers like Amazon and hobby shops throughout the nation.

The first edition, published in June 2013, won the Numismatic Literary Guild’s “Best Specialized Book on Numismatic Investments” award for 2014, and a first-place nonfiction award from Ohio Professional Writers.

The second edition is expanded with 16 additional pages, updated case studies, a new chapter on taxes, new illustrations, and more. Continue reading

1982 Washington Commemorative Half Dollar – From the Memory Bank, part 20

Mint’s new chief sculptor-engraver’s first assignment to design 1982 Washington coin. This article first appeared in the August 25, 2014 issue of Coin World, available here

Elizabeth Jones' sketches for the obverse and reverse designs of the 1982 Washington commemorative half dollar - copyright Coin World

Elizabeth Jones’s sketches for the obverse and reverse designs of the 1982 Washington commemorative half dollar.

President Reagan’s signing into law Dec. 23, 1981, legislation calling for the issuance of a half dollar in 1982 commemorating the 250th anniversary of George Washington’s birth brought excitement and great collector expectations.

The authorization of the first U.S. commemorative coin in more than a quarter century also brought excitement to the Philadelphia Mint, where the chief sculptor-engraver, Elizabeth Jones, was getting settled in, having been sworn into office Oct. 27, 1981. Her first assignment would be designing the new coin.

Authorizing legislation mandated that designs for both the obverse and reverse of the coin be “emblematic” of the Washington anniversary, but did not dictate any specifics. Thus, Jones was able to work without restraint.

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Join me at the World’s Fair of Money, August 5-9

Chicago World's Fair of MoneyI will be the featured guest on Coin Show Radio from 3 to 3:20 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 6. The live webcast will originate from the World Mint Stage on the bourse floor of the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Ill. Anyone interested in watching the show as it is being webcast may do so free of charge and seating is available. The live webcast will be available at and The convention center is located at 5555 North River Road.  Continue reading

1984 Los Angeles Olympic coin program – From the Memory Bank, part 19

Battle of wits waged in Congress over the number of coins for 1984 Los Angeles Olympic coin program. This article first appeared in the July 28, 2014 issue of Coin World, available here

Rep. Frank D. Annunzio, D-Ill and the Olympic coin program - copyright Coin World

Rep. Frank D. Annunzio, D-Ill

By mid-April 1982, Olympic officials and private marketers believed they had gained the upper hand in the battle over the number of commemorative coins to be produced to honor and financially support the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games.

They had enlisted House Banking, Finance and Urban Affairs Committee Chairman Fernand J. St. Germain, D-R.I., to introduce legislation to set the number of coins at 17, rather than 25 (approved earlier by the Senate). Having St. Germain as chief sponsor was a strong-arm tactic to force Subcommittee Chairman Frank D. Annunzio, D-Ill., to compromise from his insistence that the U.S. Treasury have control of both production and marketing and to accept the 17-coin number.

Annunzio countered by holding yet another Subcommittee on Consumer Affairs and Coinage hearing on May 11, during which Coin World Editor Margo Russell reported the result of a poll conducted by the publication.

Continue reading