Posts Tagged signs
Many numismatists begin their collections or type sets with the 1793 coins, the copper half cents and large cents. the coinage of 1792 includes a number of rare and historical pieces, of quaint designs, that fascinate the collector to this day, even if every detail of their manufacture and design is not known.
How many of these coins were minted? the 1792 half disme, the most famous and available of the 1792 coins, had an estimated mintage of 1,500-2,000, but this is just an estimate; only a few hundred of these coins exist. the others are excessively rare, with a dozen or less known of each variety. a single copper striking of the half disme exists – perhaps a pattern or die trial.
Were these coins patterns or circulating coinage? again, the half disme was struck in a fairly high number and most pieces known show circulation, to the point of about good-good condition. the other 1792 coins exist in small quantities, but quite a few show signs of circulation, such as a well-worn disme, a Birch cent, and a few of the silver center cents.
Who engraved the dies for these coins? Perhaps Henry Voigt engraved the silver center cent. the Birch cent was engraved by someone named Birch – the name appears at Liberty’s neck – but was it William or Thomas, or someone else? most likely it was not Thomas, born in 1779 and only thirteen years old in 1792. as for the disme, some say Birch engraved the dies; other claim Henry Voigt did the job; still others believe that Adam Eckfeldt and Birch were the engravers. Compare the Liberty head on the obverse of the Birch cent and the half disme, and a case can be made that Birch also engraved the famous half disme. Joseph Wright designed the 1792 quarter. Compare the lovely face of Liberty on this piece with another of his works, the Liberty Cap cent of 1793.
Where were the historic first coins struck? Philadelphia is the obvious answer, but the half dismes were struck in John Harper’s cellar. Harper was a local saw-maker. And which of these coins was the first United States coin? Was it the Birch cent, the disme, or the half disme? a strong case can be made for the half disme, as it went out into circulation; the mintage was relatively high; and it was made of silver. the striking of coins made in silver verified a country’s position and strength in 1792; the minting of the silver half disme may have accomplished this for the new country, the United States.
Detailed information about these coins may never be fully known, but this does not diminish their status as some of the most historical coins in the American series. seeing one of these coins, examining one, learning about it as it is offered at auction, can be a highlight of any collector’s experience, no matter what his specialty. Spending time studying these coins is a real link to American history. George Washington or Thomas Jefferson most likely saw the exact same 1792 coin you see at a convention or major auction, and might have even handled that coin.
Not knowing the full stories behind the coins adds to their mystique and enhances their desirability. Entire books have been written about modern series and even single coins (such as the 1933 double eagle). an older historic coin with many unanswered questions is something different for the true numismatist, who never stops learning. Specialists in high-grade modern coinage – common coins in super grades – may not be aware of these coins, and may not be interested. the 1792 coins, for the most part, are not available in top grades.
The 1792 coins bear old-fashioned designs and inscriptions and will never be number one on the collecting hit parade. some of the legends on these coins only appeared in 1792. And the denominations? while collectors may be aware of five-cent coins called “half dimes,” what of the “half disme”? How was that word pronounced – dime or deem? Evidence says “deem,” and that sounds quaint, doesn’t it?
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The half disme circulated; many surviving specimens show wear and are found in fair, good, very good condition. a few are nicked, scratched, show edge bumps and one specimen is holed. one disme shows excessive wear and is barely recognizable. one of the Birch cents is worn almost smooth and a number of the silver center and fusible alloy cents show signs of wear.
One half disme grades Specimen-67 and was, no doubt, a presentation piece; whether it was struck for President George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Director of the Mint David Rittenhouse, or someone else, is not known. the coin is remarkably well struck and shows wonderful detail on its obverse and reverse. from Liberty’s hair to the feathers on the small eagle, even the coin’s borders show the very best the new nation had to offer in the way of coinage.
While the design may be quaint to modern eyes, it is a beautiful coin and a genuine link to the early days of the Mint and the Founding Fathers who established the Mint. the eagle on the reverse is small and looks like a fledgling emerging from its nest, perhaps a symbol of the beginning of a new country.
A few of the half dismes exist in XF or better grade. These 210-year old coins may show mint luster in between the lettering and have nice surfaces, despite their age.
A persistent rumor claims that Martha Washington was the model for Liberty; this is probably untrue, along with the story that George Washington supplied silver for these coins, but good rumors never quite die.
The 1792 disme bears a portrait of Liberty remarkably similar to the 1793 half cent, while the reverse shows a small eagle that is not exactly flying (hovering?). Only 15 copper specimens and three in silver are known. many of the copper dismes in better grades show good strikes and nice surfaces; one grades Specimen-65. the details of Liberty’s hair are strong and the eagle’s feathers, including the breast feathers, are defined.
While the half disme and disme are attractive in an old-fashioned way, the silver center cent is less pretty, and has been described to me as “butt-ugly.” the portrayal of Liberty on the obverse shows an older, matronly Liberty with long hair streaming behind her, surrounded by the inscription, “Liberty Parent of Science and Industry.” the reverse looks similar to large cent fans: a wreath with the denomination, one cent, the fraction 1/100, and “United States of America.” about a dozen of these coins in copper, with a silver plug in the center, are known to exist; one without the center plug is known. This coin may have been a trial piece. nine or ten specimens of this cent struck in “fusible alloy,” a blend of copper and silver, are known, with a few impounded in museums.
More charming is the Birch cent, a larger copper coin with a more attractive Liberty head. the reverse is quite similar to that used on large cents later in the decade. Unique to these cents is the edge inscription, “to be esteemed be useful.” about 15-20 of these cents are known, along with a single white metal coin inscribed “GWPt” on the reverse – meaning “George Washington President.” our first President did not wish his portrait to appear on United States coins.
Perhaps the loveliest of the 1792 coins is the quarter dollar, although the denomination is not stated on this piece. a note from the Mint, dated Sept. 11, 1793, makes a reference to engraver Joseph Wright and “two essays of a quarter dollar.” the coin is simple but elegant, with a woman’s portrait, the word “Liberty” and the date; an eagle perched atop a globe and “United States of America” appears on the reverse. Two copper specimens exist, including the Smithsonian piece. there are also four struck in white metal and two uniface die trials.
The American series contains much more beautiful coins than the 1792 issues, coins in spectacular Mint State and proof, famous gold and silver rarities that command major headlines in publications when they are sold for millions of dollars. but those who want genuine pieces of history, visible links to Washington and Jefferson, coins that could really tell stories, there are no more important coins than the 1792 issues. whether coins or patterns, these pieces were made in the earliest days as the Philadelphia Mint was in the process of being established; possibly, no other United States coins would exist if not for these classic issues of 1792.
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(Kitco News) – Gold prices could be due for a retracement next week after their sharp rally since late December, with analysts citing technical-chart considerations and late-week signs that the U.S. dollar may strengthen against the euro again.
In the weekly Kitco News Gold Survey, out of 32 participants, 24 responded. eleven see prices down, six see prices up and seven are neutral. Market participants include bullion dealers, investment banks, futures traders, money managers and technical-chart analysts.
February gold rose $14 per ounce over the last week to settle Friday at $1,630.80 on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. March silver added 83.9 cents to $29.522 an ounce.
The February gold contract ran up 9.1% from a Dec. 29 low of $1,523.90 to a Thursday high of $1,662.90 before pulling back on Friday, leaving analysts thinking there could be more of a correction ahead.
“It looks to me like gold should probably fall off a little bit next week,” said Darin Newsom, senior analyst with Televent DTN. “I am not anticipating a huge sell-off. But it certainly looks like we may have run out of a little bit of bullish momentum. we tested some technical price resistance up here right around $1,665 this week…and have backed off.”
He sees potential for the market to drift back down to technical-chart support that he put around $1,610 before stabilizing.
“If we’re looking for a fundamental reason outside of technicals…we’re seeing some headlines today about renewed concern about downgrades in the eurozone,” Newsom said. “This is weakening the euro and supporting the dollar.”
Mike Zarembski, senior commodities analyst with optionsXpress, also sees gold falling back next week on a combination of technicals and unfolding European events, suggesting February gold could test $1,615 to $1,610.
“I think gold may be headed for a little bit of a correction,” he said, citing the inability of the market to maintain upward momentum after crossing above $1,650 an ounce the last two days and then falling back to a low near $1,625.Plus, there is the situation with Europe and concerns about debt downgrades,” he said. rather than benefiting as a “safe haven,” gold lately has often moved with other commodities inversely to the dollar, which has benefited from the nervousness about Europe, he said.
“Gold has been more susceptible to a strengthening dollar than it has in the past several months,” Zarembski said.
Meanwhile, George Gero, vice president with RBC Capital Markets Global Futures, looks for improvement in gold next week after Friday’s sell-off.
Traders were reluctant to buy Friday ahead of a long weekend due to factors such as worries over European downgrades, he said. But as the situation becomes more clarified, “you’ll probably see some buyers return to the market,” he said. “I think this is a short-term sell-off and is mostly technical.”
Interest in the 25th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Sets shows no signs of waning now that the United States Mint has started shipping confirmed orders to customers.
In fact, if anything, excitement and activity surrounding them may be growing as those who have them either enjoy their new procurement or ponder their values, while those who were unable to order the sets they desired originally from the Mint search secondary markets to fulfill their needs.
One such secondary market, and perhaps one of the best indicators of true market conditions for modern coins, is the online auction site eBay. while 25th Anniversary American Silver Eagle Sets are no stranger to eBay since they actually started appearing on the site days before they were even released, there has been a flood of new listings since.
A bit of background, however, is in order before we go into the details of these newer listings. First, the United States Mint created the 25th Anniversary set to mark twenty-five years since the American Eagle program debuted back in 1986. Included within it are five different Silver Eagles, three of which are routinely struck and easily attainable separately, including a 2011 American Silver Eagle Bullion Coin, a 2011-W American Silver Eagle Proof Coin and a 2011-W American Silver Eagle Uncirculated Coin.
Two of the coins were minted especially for the set. As such, these two are key strikes in the series with the second lowest mintage of any Silver Eagle to date at 100,000. those two coins include a 2011-S American Silver Eagle Uncirculated Coin and a 2011-P American Silver Eagle Reverse Proof Coin.
25th Anniversary Set Values Continue to Rise
Recognizing the uniqueness of the set as well as the limited availability of the two strikes, interest for the collection has been astoundingly high. in the days before its actual release, sets started appearing on eBay as presales. those presale prices averaged between $475-$600 per set, providing a tidy profit for sellers who paid the United States Mint’s issue price of $299.95.
Prices surged higher following the set’s October 27 release as fervor grew when they sold out within four and half hours. however, as a fallout of selling out, eBay began intervening and pulled most of the 25th Anniversary auctions from their site. eBay indicated that listings would once again be routinely allowed after sellers actually had the sets in their possession.
Recent Prices Realized as High as $875
Taking a snapshot of the successful closing auctions on eBay gives a glimpse of more details. in a single two hour period on Friday, forty-nine sets had sold. Of those, the average price was $735 per set. the best "deal" during the period was a bit lower at $710, while the high of the time-frame was $875. it should be noted that the average takes into account several listings that included multiple sets, which have higher totals but are typically better buys in the sense that the cost translates to lower per set prices.
Ungraded sets sold outside of eBay are difficult to track down as of this writing. many coin dealers are showing the 25th Anniversary Sets as "out of stock" or in pre-order status, with yet unknown prices. one coin company, Coast to Coast Coins, is currently advertising complete sets within the U.S. Mint box at $895.00.
Individual Coins from Set as High as $449
Individual coins from the set are also being listed, most notably the two coins unique to the 25th anniversary set. Of those that sold on eBay, the 2011-S Silver Eagle Uncirculated Coin has been averaging almost $250 for a single ungraded strike. Premiums escalate much higher for single 2011-P Silver Eagle Reverse Proof Coins. Average closing prices range between $300 and $449.99. once again, that was for single ungraded strikes.
Graded Set Prices
A few graded offerings are beginning to show up through other venues outside of eBay. the Home Shopping Network (HSN) appears to be in the upper price range. ANACS sets that are graded 69 are currently available at HSN for $1,499.95 while those graded 70 are being listed for $2,999.95.
Chattanooga Coin inc. is offering graded sets as well. NGC certified 69 sets are available from the company for $975 while graded 70 sets are listed for $3,975.
Augusta, GA —
It’s seems as if it’s a growing trend in the world of business. almost everywhere you see the signs of we buy gold. I stopped by a local we buy gold store off Augusta West Parkway, to see why opening these businesses and selling gold was becoming so popular.
Stacey Troy co-owner of a Troy Ounce LLC We buy Gold says the process is quick and easy and you walk out paid.
“they are using it in a lot of the equipment now and well the dollar bill is down so gold goes up. a lot of people are having hard times and gold is up so they get the extra cash. We write a check and we don’t do cash. they give us the gold and I write out a check for whatever the weight is. We scratch it, test it with our tester. and whatever the computer says that’s what I offer them.”
Stacey says the way they make money is by selling the gold they buy to the refineries.
Here at Cudos where the buying gold business is booming, they say don’t be discouraged about the color of your gold, because you could be keeping money out of your wallet. Gemologist, Herb Ledbetter explains.
“We pay more than any jewelry store in the area. So we have a lot of repeat business because of that. a lot of people are a little hesitant of the color of their gold. it can be white gold, it could be damaged, used, someone could have given it to them. it makes no difference.”
Ledbetter says so if you are weighing your options of selling that jewelry that’s just sitting around your home or not and may want some extra Christmas cash.
“September hit $1,923 an ounce, and that got peoples’ attention, so September October and November by far have been the best three months this year.”
U.S. gold prices rose 1.3 percent and peaked toward a three-week high Wednesday, but it was silver that led the percentage gains among the major metals with its 2.5 percent increase.
Jon Nadler, Senior Analyst at Kitco Metals inc, notes: "The same excuses that were called into duty to explain why markets fell on Tuesday were swiftly reshaped to suit the mood of the day and were employed to explain today’s gains. ‘Gold Falls as European Crisis Shows Signs of Worsening’ was followed by ‘Gold Rises on Renewed European Debt Concerns.’ got that? good. now go invest."
"At the end of the day, such ‘retrofitting’ of the European puzzle’s story pieces shows that not only are global investors confused to the max about what to do (and who can blame them?) but that the pundits as well as the media do not have any better grasp of the situation either. Actually, it is becoming slightly comical to read certain headlines of late. But, we will leave that to the ‘Daily Show’ to bring to you later tonight."
Gold prices gained $21.60 to $1,682.60 an ounce in the December futures contract on the Comex in new York. Gold moved between an intraday low of $1,662.00 and a high of $1,693.90 — its highest point since September 23.
"Gold is slowing building up to the long side again. any technical moving average we break has some significance to it," Reuters quoted Zachary Oxman, managing director of futures broker Trendmax.com. "if we can cross and close above $1,700, that’s the key point to start buying again."
Silver prices for December delivery advanced 79.1 cents to settle at $32.789 an ounce. the precious metal traded from $31.860 to $33.100
Platinum prices for January delivery rose $35.60, or 2.3 percent, to close at $1,554.40 an ounce. the PGM metal ranged between $1,522.40 and $1,559.40.
Palladium prices for December delivery gained $6.80, or 1.1 percent, to settle at $611.10 an ounce. Palladium touched an intraday low of $603.30 and hit a high at $617.80.
London Precious Metals Fixings
After several days of mixed results, London precious metals rose as a group. When comparing PM fixings on Wednesday to those on Tuesday, gold prices gained $19.00 to $1,682.00 an ounce, silver added $1.52 to $32.89 an ounce, platinum advanced $32.00 to $1,546.00 an ounce and palladium climbed $10.00 to $612.00 an ounce.
U.S. Mint Bullion Coin Sales
Following two days of unmoving numbers, the U.S. Mint on Wednesday published gains for each of its one-ounce bullion coins. the 24-karat Gold Buffalo and 22-karat Gold Eagle each climbed 2,500. the bullion Silver Eagles scored the biggest increase, as typical, at 218,000. the latest daily, monthly and year-to-date U.S. Mint bullion coin sales figures follow:
Sales of U.S. Mint American Eagle and Buffalo Bullion CoinsDaily GainsOctober GainsYTD 2011Gold Eagle Coin (1 oz.)2,50024,000784,000Gold Eagle Coin (1/2 oz.)02,00064,000Gold Eagle Coin (1/4 oz.)04,00076,000Gold Eagle Coin (1/10 oz.)00345,000Gold Buffalo Coin (1 oz.)2,5007,500140,000Silver Eagles (1 oz.)218,0001,880,00035,291,500Sales of America the Beautiful 5 Oz. Silver Bullion Coins* YTD 2011Gettysburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin126,700Glacier National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin126,700Olympic National Park 5 oz. Silver Coin82,200Vicksburg National Military Park 5 oz. Silver Coin30,500Chickasaw Park 5 oz. Silver Coin20,500TOTAL388,600
*The Gettysburg and Glacier America the Beautiful five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins are sold out. unlike other investment-grade products, the United States Mint does not provide daily per coin sales totals for the Olympic, Vicksburg, and Chickasaw America the Beautiful five Ounce Silver Bullion Coins. the individual totals are as of Monday, October3. the overall year-to-date total is current as of Monday, October 10 (4,800 of the five ounce coins have sold in October, with 2,000 added last week).