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Joe O

Money Bytes

Joe O'Donnell

Joe O’Donnell, digital content producer, joined the Coin World editorial staff in 2014. Joe writes web content, manages Coin World’s social media accounts, compiles content for daily digital eNewsletters, and contributes on occasion to the print magazine. He has enjoyed interacting with Coin World readers while covering the sale of coins from the Saddle Ridge Hoard and the 50th anniversary Kennedy half dollar releases.

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Archive for '2014'

    What are you asking Santa for this Christmas?: Readers respond

    December 4, 2014 11:50 AM by

    Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be over, but I'm sure plenty of spouses, kids, significant others, and friends are still out there looking for a gift or two for the numismatist in their lives. (Along those lines: )

    I'm here to help. I asked our Coin World Facebook fans last month which numismatic items they'd like to see under the tree this year, and I received plenty of responses. 

    Shoppers, take note!

    • Todd Abshire: "I would love for my friend,  Kenny Keller  to buy me a nice 1893-S Morgan Dollar graded XF45 by PCGS."
    • Ken Lemke : "Seems like the Holiday season starts soon and sooner. Heck, I just put my grill away. Coins? Heck, I collect coins year round."
    • Bob Yamtich : "I hope I can get my wife to buy me the baseball commemorative half, as a good luck token to have in my pocket at games."
    • Michael Warner : "'21 Denver Walking Half. I have a soft spot for the series and I still need the key."
    • Gary Geiser : "4 MS64+ Morgans. Date unimportant - just need them to finish filling a box of 20."
    • John A. Zieman Jr. : "1792 Half Disme. Reason is because of the history and rumors of George and Martha Washington's donation of silverware to make them. Plus, one of the coolest looking coins ever…"
    • Alexandrea Zieman : "The Mar. 23, 1836 first steam coinage token. I would absolutely love one because I love this time period of the mint and the new technologies of the time. Plus its a nice looking coin."
    • Jack Kennedy : "Any barber quarter"
    • Jason Broom : "I'll take a monster box of pandas please..."
    • Robert A. Balduf : "I would love to get the 2014 American Silver Eagle Proof!"
    • Russell Morgan : "A Barack Obama memorial four cent piece!"
    • Mark Boyle : "1933 saint gaudens"
    • David Hollister : "Hoping an early commem shows under up under the xmas tree this year !"
    • Braydon Ballow : "Just the right amount of cash. To throw down on the best deal iv seen, for a slabbed 1925 D 2.5 dollar Indian Head. Mm baby"
    • Gordon G Murray II : "I know this is going to sound really stupid but I turned 50 this year so I'm hoping somebody in my family will get me something Kennedy related. What I really would like to get is the 2014 Silver Proof Set not the one with the presidents in it but that box set that they started in 2012 the net asset in 2013 so I'm assuming sometime in 2015 the release the 2014 set so I guess I would want a gift card to the US Mint so that I could get that set to add to my collection"
    • Elijah Homuth : "Any coin because every coin has a piece of history in it."
    • Gary Richards : "I would love a gold Kennedy, it's the only Kennedy issued this year that I don't have. I can't afford one."

    More from CoinWorld.com:

    Federal judge sentences Liberty Dollar creator Dec. 2 to probation for 2011 conviction

    Collectors love finding coins bearing the 'CC' Mint mark from the Carson City Mint

    Government, Langbord family present oral arguments as Philadelphia Court of Appeals hears 1933 $20 case

    Batman features on exclusive collector coins from Niue

    Collectors need to spot the difference between genuine and fake coin toning

    Keep up with all of CoinWorld.com's news and insights by signing up for our free eNewslettersliking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter. We're also on Instagram!

    What do you want from us? (Seriously, though.)

    November 24, 2014 4:35 PM by

    On Monday, I posted my first Morning Report post, a short, easy-to-read compilation of several bite-size numismatic items. 

    In that first post, I touched on a new find within a well-known coin hoard, where gold and silver prices stood, a few other CoinWorld.com posts readers might be interested in, and embedded a Facebook post from The Royal Mint regarding the anniversary of Charles Darwin publishing On t he Origin of Species .

    Coin World’s aim is to bring you these posts multiple times per week to give our readers a quick entry point for your consumption of coin and paper money news and insights.

    The idea of the Morning Report is to, as much as possible, give you a selection of our stories, to provide you with a sampling of the many areas we cover, all in one place.

    With that in mind, we would love for you to comment on this post or tell us via Facebook and Twitter what you would like see in the Morning Report going forward.

    Is it a quick news item? Links to popular CoinWorld.com stories? Gold and silver values? Social media finds?

    Tell us what you want more of!

    More from CoinWorld.com:

    United States Mint resumes silver American Eagle sales Nov. 17 to satisfy voracious investor demand

    None of Kennedy half dollars in two-coin 50th Anniversary set graded Specimen 70

    Can ISIL issue its own coins?

    More than 2,000 19th century silver coins in mud-pot hoard discovered in India

    Collector finds 1969-S DDO Lincoln cent after searching through 12,000 cents in rolls

    Keep up with all of CoinWorld.com's news and insights by signing up for our free eNewslettersliking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter. We're also on Instagram!

    6 things to know about America's Thanksgiving coin, the Pilgrim Tercentenary half dollar

    November 18, 2014 2:54 PM by

    Thanksgiving is approaching, when many Americans chow down on turkey, mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce and reflect on the peace and harmony between the Pilgrims and Native Americans during the inaugural feast at Plymouth Colony.

    Don’t we?

    Yes or no, some collectors of early U.S. commemoratives don’t need the stuffing and pumpkin pie to be reminded of those early settlers, because they have a Pilgrim Tercentenary half dollar or two. 

    Here are the basics on the most Thanksgiving-y coin around:

    1) When was the Pilgrim Tercentenary half dollar issued?

    The Pilgrim Tercentenary half dollar was a two-year issue produced in 1920 and 1921, 300 years after William Bradford and his Puritan Separatists landed in Plymouth Colony, which is now the Cape Cod area.

    The anniversary dates 1620 – 1920 appear on the reverse of the coins. The second year’s coins have the date 1921 on the obverse to indicate the year of issue, while the 1920 coins lack a corresponding 1920 on the obverse.

    2) What is on the coin?

    Boston sculptor Cyrus E. Dallin designed the coin’s obverse and reverse, with the former featuring “a stylized portrait of Bradford depicted on the obverse of the commemorative half dollar in typical Pilgrim garb, wearing a conical hat and carrying a Bible under his arm," Michele Orzano wrote in a 2000 Coin World article.

    The reverse features a rendition of the Mayflower, the famous ship Bradford and the Separatists arrived on.

    3) Is that what the Mayflower really looked like?

    No, in fact Dallin's version of the vessel was met with criticism, Paul Gilkes wrote in a 1995 Coin World article. 

    "The Mayflower as it appears on the half dollar, is depicted with a flying jib, a triangular sail set on a stay extending from the head of the foremast to the bowsprit, or jib boom,” Gilkes wrote. "At the time the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in late 1620, that type of sail had not yet been put into marine use.”

    4) How many coins were struck and how many are still around today?

    The legislation authorizing the Pilgrim Tercentenary half dollar ordered 300,000 coins to be struck, Orzano’s article reads. The first strike in 1920 saw 200,112 coins produced, though 48,000 were melted, leaving a final mintage of 152,112. The dated 1921 versions had an original mintage of 100,053, but a final mintage of only 20,053 after 80,000 of those were melted down. 

    5) How much do they cost?

    According to Coin World’s Coin Values, a 1920 Pilgrim Tercentenary half dollar is worth between $60 for a VF-20 example and $750 for an MS-66 example. 

    The range for the 1921 issue is between $100 for a VF-20 example and $1,000 for one grading MS-66. 

    6) Are there any notable errors?

    Yes. In a Collectors’ Clearinghouse column from the July 6, 2009, issue of Coin World, Bill Fivaz focused on the discovery of new stages of a previously identified die crack on the reverse of the 1920 issue. 

    The first stage is characterized by "a small die crack between the mainmast and the mizzenmast (the aft-most mast) of the Mayflower,” Fivaz writes. It progresses through three more stages into what Fivaz refers to as a “huge” die break.

    "This is an interesting and dramatic die break progression, with the later stages of the die break so large that the variety is potentially collectible,” Fivaz wrote.

    More from CoinWorld.com:

    Can ISIL issue its own coins?

    United States Mint resumes silver American Eagle sales Nov. 17 to satisfy voracious investor demand

    More than 2,000 19th century silver coins in mud-pot hoard discovered in India

    Coveted' 1965 Washington quarter planchet error among unusual auction items: Whitman Expo Market Analysis

    Collector finds 1969-S DDO Lincoln cent after searching through 12,000 cents in rolls

    Keep up with all of CoinWorld.com's news and insights by signing up for our free eNewslettersliking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter. We're also on Instagram!

    You bought it: 1883-CC Morgan dollar from GSA hoard, 1958 Italian Lire coin

    October 27, 2014 3:50 PM by

    As part of our continued conversation with our readers, I like to ask Coin World Facebook fans to share about the numismatic purchases they've made recently.

    Below are the recent purchases  our fans told us about on Facebook along with the reasoning behind the buys:

    • Todd Abshire: "Three more certified toners for my collection."
    • Jared Grove: "Picked up an 1892 Colombian Half Dollar commemorative (NGC MS64 CAC) for use in guest speaking to an American history class. What better to start with than the maiden voyage of 1492!”
    • Julio Jimenez: "Picked up an 1883-cc Morgan Silver Dollar, MS-64, GSA Hoard. At the same time Two Morgans and two peace dollars I had certified by NGC seem to have been lost in the mail. Good times in numismatics!!!!!!!”
    • Phil N. Molé: "Not much this week. I did get a 1958 Italian 500 Lire coin -- I always get those when they're reasonable prices. Beautiful, slightly smaller than a US half dollar and about 83% silver."
    • Jay Painter: "Was bidding on a 1857 flying eagle cent with a $20 eagle die clash.....someone ended it early, slightly let down!"
    • Rick Snow: "2012 1 oz Silver Australian Lunar Year of the Dragon Coin silver grey-pink colored"

    Want us to add your weekend purchase to the list? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

    More from CoinWorld.com:

    California man finds gold nugget weighing more than 70 ounces in Butte County

    Early buyers of 2015 U.S. Marshals Service coins prohibited from quickly profiting

    2015 Panda bullion, collector coins lack inscriptions for weight, metal, fineness

    U.S. Mint announces product limits for Kennedy silver, copper-nickel clad sets

    Longtime dealer observes huge differences in numismatic hobby in more than 50 years

    Should Franklin Roosevelt be taken off the U.S. dime?

    October 3, 2014 4:31 PM by

    The Roosevelt dime is the only circulating U.S. coin that has not gone through a redesign. Do you think it should be redesigned, and if so, who of these individuals would you prefer to see on the coin? 

    Coin World’s most recent poll question about the future of the U.S. dime and who should grace it has gotten plenty of response this week, both quantitative and qualitative. 

    In terms of the quantitative, poll voters so far are leaning toward Lady Liberty as Franklin Roosevelt’s successor. As of 1:52 p.m. Eastern Time on Friday, Oct. 3, 27 percent of voters said Liberty should be put on a redesigned dime. 

    Twenty-six percent of voters said the Roosevelt design should not be changed, while 24 percent voted for Ronald Reagan as a replacement. 

    A new Franklin Roosevelt portrait had the support of 12 percent of voters, and 11 percent wanted the likeness of an elder Roosevelt, Theodore, to take over on the 10-cent piece.

    As for the qualitative feedback, our Facebook fans have chimed in, and here are a few of their responses:

    • Shawn Savage : "Please no more dead Presidents. I would love to see us go back to designs of Lady Liberty"
    • Bret Swanie : "Reagan or keep the same"
    • Mike McCall : "Reagan"
    • Daniel Pon : "FDR was one of our greatest presidents so he should stay. Perhaps change the reverse to reflect his accomplishments. They could retire the Kennedy half. As much loved as he was, he didn't have the time to leave as big a legacy as the other presidents commemorated. Theodore Roosevelt is the most prominent president not to have appeared on a circulatingcoin and is loong overdue for the recognition."
    • Paul Gunsallus : "Are you people serious??? We are in a time of American circulating coinage that has seen very little change with regards to our money. We have had Washington on the quarter since 1932 and he continues, Jefferson continues on the Nickel since 1938 with no more change in sight. Lincoln has been on since 1909 and not a single person will be alive that was living during a time during a different Cent. The Kennedy has now celebrated its 50th. Why are we even talking about keeping ANY DEAD Presidentson our money? Our money is flat and ugly with no relief, and we need to see something new come to the Dime if it is going to be redesigned, instead of anyone that was a President. There are many things to be put on a coin. If you want to look at America, the one thing that hasn't been put on a coin other then the Kentucky Quarter is a Horse. It is a fantastic symbol of the great American West. That is just one idea. Please, please do not put any more Politicians on our money. Enough is enough."
    • Mark Boyle: " Bring back the mercury dime, for good."

    What do you think should happen with the U.S. dime? Vote in our Coin World poll and then explain your vote on Facebook!

    More from CoinWorld.com:

    U.S. Mint gets ready to launch four-coin Kennedy silver half dollar set on Oct. 28

    Rare issue 1879-CC Morgan dollar in black GSA holder sold for $42,777: 'Buy the Holder' Market Analysis

    Morgan dollar in GSA holder disproves old adage, U.S. Mint monthly gold sales double: Week's Most Read

    Gold American Eagle bullion coin sales from U.S. Mint more than double in September

    Five sure-fire ways to make money in coins: Buy blue chips

    You bought it: 1920 Standing Liberty quarter, silver cannabis round

    September 29, 2014 10:30 AM by

    ​As part of our continued conversation with our readers, I like to ask our Coin World Facebook fans to hare about the numismatic purchases they've made recently.

    Below are the recent purchases our fans told us about on Facebook along with the reasoning behind the buys:

    • Todd Abshire : "Two more certified toned Morgan Dollars."
    • Adam Jankos : "1886s & 1901s $5 liberty gold"
    • John Mallon : "$100 face value of %90 junk silver (halves)..... Because I think it was a really good investment"
    • Josh Lasater : "A Franklin a walking liberty 5 Rosies and a merc"
    • Kevin Smith : "1920 standing liberty quarter. AU 53. Because it was a great deal."
    • Jay Painter : "LP2 Lincoln mint sets, for the ddr's/ddo's. 2 sets, 3 different ddr's, and a ddo!"
    • Matt Kidd : "I bought a silver bullet silver shield cannabis round."
    • Sean Boyer: "1827 AU55 Square base '2' Capped Bust Half Dollar."

    Want us to add your weekend purchase to the list? Tell us about it in the comment section below.


    You bought it: 1956 toned Franklin half, 1964 Kennedy rolls

    September 22, 2014 11:19 AM by

    As part of our continued conversation with our readers,  I like to ask our  Coin World Facebook fans  to share about the numismatic purchases they've made recently. 

    Below are the weekend purchases our fans told us about on Facebook along with the reasoning behind the buys:


    • Michael Pillion : "1956 toned Franklin half in BU condition because I needed it for my toned BU set of Franklins"
    • Jeff Blair : "1881 CC Morgan dollar MS-65 I'm finishing up my CC dollars for the Morgan series"
    • Todd Abshire : "PCGS MS66 Toned 1976 Bi-centennial quarter for my toner type set."
    • Mark Overman : "A nice 1867 two cent piece from Charmy (The Penny Lady). Because it was pleasing to my eye."
    • Jared Grove : "Purchased a few BU rolls of 64 Kennedys. Always one of my favorite coins and with silver hitting new lows it might be a good time to load."
    • Jack Kennedy : "1964 proof set. First kennedy half, last of the silver"
    • Gary Richards : "I bought the annual dollar coin set and rolls of the 's' mint quarters from the mint. keeping up on annual sets and rolls for my collection. I've been dealing with the mint since 1973."


    Want us to add your weekend purchase to the list? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

    You bought it: 1908 Barber half dollar, 1986 gold American Eagle

    September 8, 2014 12:58 PM by

    As part of our continued conversation with our readers, I like to ask our Coin World Facebook fans and Twitter followers to share about the numismatic purchases they've made recently. 

    Below are the weekend purchases our fans and followers told us about on Facebook and Twitter:

    • Chad Hartzell: "Roll of mercs"
    • Andy Dempster: "70 silver roosevelt dimes at spot price"
    • Kevin Smith: "1908 D Barber half." (Example pictured at left.)
    • Steven Genovese: "1986 American Gold Eagle in MS 69. Beautiful since it's first series of this coin."
    • David Rickley: "1895-O Barbara dime" (Let's assume David meant an 1895-O Barber dime.)
    • Joshua H. (@eparses): "I got some Finnish, British, Chinese, Ethiopian, Hong Knog and Bahamian coinage."
    • Bear Johnson: "1850 seated lib dime and an 1836 large cent for $10.00... I love yard sales"

    Want us to add your weekend purchase to the list? Tell us about it in the comment section below.

    Bullion for bitcoins? Yes, that's a thing

    August 27, 2014 9:43 AM by

    Where traditional meets new-fangled, Coin World is there. And apparently so is Provident Metals.

    The precious metals and rare coins company is now letting its customers purchase its cold, hard currency with nonphysical, virtual currency.

    Provident, which sells zombie-themed bullion and survival supplies in addition to traditional coinage, began accepting Bitcoin, Dogecoin and Litecoin virtual currency payments Aug. 25.

    “The value of cryptocurrencies and precious metals are market driven, and they both appeal to forward-thinking investors," Provident Metals CEO Joe Merrick said in a July 22 company release. “This integration was logical because many of our customers are proponents of alternative currency, and it's our job to respond to their needs.

    A post to Providents company blog on Aug. 25 reminded customers of the the new payment option.

    “The new payment method allows online customers to use theses cryptocurrencies on all products through a simple and secure process, the blog post reads.

    Provident offers customers who pay with virtual currency a 2 percent discount off its listed price. (Those who pay with cash are offered a 2.99 percent cut.)

    That means the About Uncirculated or better gold $20 Saint Gaudens double eagles listed on Provident s website at $1,449.93 (at approximately noon Eastern Time on Aug. 26) would cost virtual currency users $1,420.78. With the value of 1 bitcoin sitting at $513.05 according to Google Finance (again, as of noon ET on Aug. 26), a Provident customer would have to cough up about 2.77 bitcoins for a double eagle.

    Provident isn t the first or only numismatic dealer to go virtual.

    Harlan J. Berk in Chicago—which deals in ancient coins, U.S. coins, U.S. paper money, antiquities, autographs, paintings and books—accepts bitcoins as payments, according to its terms and conditions of sale.

    Taking it a step further is Denver-based Amagi Metals. Not only does Amagi already accept Bitcoin, it plans to stop taking U.S. dollars at the end of 2016 and accept only virtual currencies.

    We want to be a leader in the sound money movement,  Amagi CEO Stephen Macaskill said in  an Aug. 20 release . With the adoption of cryptocurrencies increasing every day, their viability is virtually assured. History shows that paper currency, backed by nothing of value, will ultimately fail. Its only a matter of time until no one will be accepting the dollar.

    Buying bullion with bitcoins. Did your mind just break?

    Overstock.com among early Bitcoin adapters in retail market

    August 22, 2014 9:56 AM by

    At Coin World we like to regularly bring our readers information on virtual currencies and their growth and popularity because of the implications that they have for traditional coinage and, therefore, the future collector’s market.

    In addition to highlighting traditional collector content from around the web, my Money Bytes blog will keep Coin World readers abreast of what's going on in the world of virtual currency.

    A recent development could be a biggie for the prospect of it becoming a border-ignoring form of payment:

    Overstock.com​ is set to expand its acceptance of Bitcoin next month, when it will give non-U.S. customers the ability to pay for everything from furniture, to jewelry, to electronics with the virtual currency.

    By mid-September, Overstock.com plans to begin allowing international customers to make purchases with Bitcoin, according to an Aug. 13 Reuters report, and will devote 4 percent of revenue brought in by Bitcoin sales to promoting the virtual currency.

    Overstock.com was among the first major online retailers to accept Bitcoin, it explained in a Jan. 9, 2014, press release. The company partners with Coinbase.com, which processes Bitcoin payments and handles the conversion of Bitcoin into U.S. dollars. 

    "Bitcoin is well suited for online transactions," CEO Patrick Byrne said in that release. "It has no transaction fees and works well for international customers. Providing this convenience for the cult-following Bitcoin customer is the smart thing to do."

    It didn't take long for the online retailer to hit the $1 million mark for items sold to Bitcoin-using purchasers. That happened in March.

    Overstock.com even explains to its customers how to make a purchase with Bitcoin.

    One bitcoin is currently valued at $510.23, according to Google Finance. That number is down from the $599.86 a bitcoin was worth on Aug. 1, but up from Aug. 18, when one was valued at $460.67.

    Do you think Bitcoin will ever become a reliable global currency? Do you even consider it when making traditional coinage purchases? I'm curious as to what you think about this so please tell me in the comments!

    Other virtual currency news we're interested in: