Big Nub Numismatics's Blog

28 Apr 2019

Numismatic Book Review-Fascinating Facts, Mysteries, and Myths About U.S. Coins

| Big Nub Numismatics

Fascinating Facts, Mysteries, and Myths About U.S. Coins was written by Robert R. Van Ryzin and published by Krause Publishing in 2009. This book is one of the least exciting I have ever read. This book was poorly written and a bit lethargic. It seems as it was written by a child. Just series of facts laid out without a real flow. This 200-some paged book took a long time to read for how short it should have been. The author goes off course several times during the book which is a bit infuriating. You can definitely find a better book on coins than this. This is unfocused and unless you have nothing better to do, I would avoid picking up this book. This would have even made sense if you did not know most of the stories presented. 2.5/5.

26 Apr 2019

Piedfort Coins

| Big Nub Numismatics

In an earlier blog I referenced that the Queen Victoria coins were being made in a piedfort fashion. Piedfort, pronounced Pie-four, is almost a thousand year idea getting its start in Twelfth century France. Their names are well fitting meaning heavy measure or weight in French, given that these coins are two, sometimes more, times the size of regular issue coinage. The coins are created with the same dies as the regular, circulating coins, but pressed onto planchets two-three times thicker than the regular-issue. These coins are somewhat like the ultra-high relief 1907 $20 St.Gaudens double eagle coin which also had a relative thickness of two times the standard planchet size. The genesis of these coins are still debatable, but most theories are based on key ideas. Most people have fund that they are models for the new coins that are going to be minted, as gestures and gifts to kings and queens of nations surrounding, and as pattern pieces to mint officials. These piedfort coins were made as thick as they were to prevent them from being circulated as they were pattern pieces for elite personnel and very important collectors. You only held a piedfort piece if you were wealthy and powerful. These coins went out of fashion in the mid millennium. The 16th century saw a fall in pieces being created, and countries spent little to no time or effort in producing them. Great Britain's last piece for pattern purposes was a 1588 sixpence which in itself is hard to find without the piedfort part. Until recently these coins have not been offered for the public's purchase and use. 1982 marked the first time in almost four hundred years. These coins carry a massive premium, especially those minted in precious metals. Sometimes reaching ten times actual silver weight or actual gold weight pricing. The secondary markets for these pieces are where the coins hit their financial stride bringing it down to about two to three times the precious metal price. These coins are great additions to a world coin collection or pattern collection. Their size is interesting and so is their long history. The Royal mint and the French mint each produce piedforts of their regular issued commemorative pieces adding a large area for specialization to your collection.

25 Apr 2019

A Most Victorian Coin

| Big Nub Numismatics

Queen Victoria the first was one of the most successful monarchs of all time. The second longest reigning king or queen only to Queen Elizabeth the second ruling today, and the last queen of the true British empire she was one of the most influential people of the nineteenth century. She was born on May 24th, 1819. She was coronated in 1837 and she would rule for 63 years until she died in 1901, just after the turn of the century. She had an odd lifestyle to say the least. The heit to teh throne she was overprotected by everyone surrounding her and she spent all of her childhood being prepared to be queen. She eventually married her first cousin( something truly vile today but common practice in royal families to "preserve the blood") and had nine children, the oldest of which would be the successor after her death. She was the empress of India controlling the empire's crown jewel while she lead, along with expanding the British empire during much of the stages of imperialism. You can read her views on her own life anytime you want, as she wrote over two-thousand words a day and ompleted 122 volumes of her journal. This year Great Britain is minting a commemorative for what would have been her 200th birthday. A fitting tribute in the least. This coin will feature the same design of the victorian young head used on many countries' coinage during her reign. This five pound coin will be produced in the regular copper-nickel, a proof silver and gold coin, and a piedfort coin( I will discuss piedforts in details in a later blog but as for now they are coins twice the thickness of circulating quality coins) A kilogram (about 2.2 pounds) and five ounce silver coin will be produced, along with a five ounce and kilogram gold coin. These pieces are very limited. 5,000 pieces for the silver proof regular sized, 1,500 piedfort, 600 5-ounce silver coin, only 125 coins of the silver kilogram variety, the five ounce gold coin is 70, and only twelve coins weighing a kilogram of gold will be minted. This coin has an actual gold weight/ price of over 41,000 dollars. These coins are only for collectors with quite deep pockets. These coins are quite beautiful, and are going to be an excellent addition to people's collections with paired with the older coins of teh same design.

20 Apr 2019

Numismatic Book Review-Coin Collecting for Dummies

| Big Nub Numismatics

Coin Collecting for Dummies 2nd edition was written by Neil S. Berman, and Ron Guth in 2001. This book is one the more basic books you can find. Offering only the most elementary information on coin collecting, however it gives an accurate base to begin with and form teh correct fundamentals of this amazing hobby. Unfortunately, this book is not in color, but unless you have never seen the blue book, it does not affect the reading at all. This is a slightly longer book on the subject, pushing 400 pages, but is excellently written making it easy to understand the topics an dlessons given by teh authors. Once this book has hooked you on teh idea of coin collecting, it gives a large assemblance of other resources in whch to find more in-depth knowledge of the hobby. 4/5 stars because it is so basic, but if new to this hobby definitely a 5 star.

19 Apr 2019

Great American Coin Hunt Update

| Big Nub Numismatics

The Great American Coin Hunt is the largest organized dumping of collectable coins into circulation ever. This dump is not limited to coins, and silver certificates and star notes will also be put into circulation. A group of over 1,000 dealers and collectors are planning to do this during National Coin Week in late April. This was organized by the organization Coin DealersHelping Coin Dealers founded by Robert Oberth. This is supposed to be the best time to look through your change and to coin roll hunt again. The Great American Coin Hunt was devised to progress the movement of people to local coin shops around the country as well as to advertise our great hobby. Their desire is to spur many new young and old collectors into the hobby. There are many fun activities they have devised. Roundtable Trading has teamed up with this hunt and amazing idea and is sponsoring to give out golden ticket hologram stickers. These golden ticket stickers will be placed on special tokens distributed amongst participating dealers with a gold color and the liberty head found on the obverse of the V-nickel on the front. These coins can be redeemed by the oganization itself. These coins redeemed will be worth around $1,000. Tokens with silver stickers with the same lettering and sticker only with a silver color can be redeemed by participating dealers, a list of which you can fin don their website( greatamericancoinhunt.com). These can be redeemed at the dealer's shop for a coin worth up to $100. There are also metal detecting drops that many metal detecters will be able to find if they are dedicated enough and lucky enough to. Many collectors are excited for thsias I am, and others see no point in this endeavor as the chances of losing something, as well as parting with a coin are to much of a risk and certainty. Be sure to check your change extra closely for April, there might beseomthingoutstanding waiting for it to find you. Check your banks, local shops, and cash registers and if not participating, make sure to give another effort to try and convert others into collectors, this hobby is not just about coins but tehpeople in the community as well. The more the merrier.

17 Apr 2019

Laura Gardin Fraser

| Big Nub Numismatics

Laura Gardin Fraser was born in Chicago in 1889. This woman has iconic works in both the numismatic and art world, however these are already somewhat connected. She was teh first woman to design a US coin.Laura had a great career, but because of her gender she was looked down upon, and her works were sometimes ignored. She was also shadowed by her husband, the designer and engraver for the beautiful and iconic Buffalo nickel. Best known for her winning design of the new Washington quarter, which was used on the commemorative of the bicentennial of Washinton's death. This coin was issued in a gold composition in a face value of five dollars. She also designed the 1921 half dollar commemorative for Alabama, and the Oregon trail commemorative which she completed with her husband James Earle Fraser. But Laura had some other successful pieces as well. Most prominent in medals, engraving the congressional medals of honor for both Benjamin Franklin and George Marshall. Laura won many awards inluding the Ager Prize, the Julia L. SHaw prize, the Watrous Gold Medal of the National Academy of Design, the National Art Club Medal of Honor, and she won the Saltus Gold medal twice! It is too bad this amazing woman is overlooked by most people because of her husband, and because of her gender.

12 Apr 2019

Numismatic Book Review-From Caesar to Augustus (c. 49 BC-AD 14) Using Coins as Sources

| Big Nub Numismatics

From Caser to Agustus (c.49 BC-AD 14) Using Coins as Sources was written by Clare Rowan and was published in 2018. This book is quite long at just around 250 words, a good five hour read. This book was actually written for cambradge undergraduates majoring in Roman history. This book is bursting with information, and my favorite book on ancient coins thus far. It was organized well, and flowed great. This author paired small latin lesson on terms commonly used on the coins with larger-than-life photographs of these coins. Made in chronological order, so you can use it as a refernce book on both history and coinage. This book make sit easy to learn both the coin sof the era, an dthe historic turmoil of the government system in Italy at the time. 5/5.

11 Apr 2019

Frosted Rarity

| Big Nub Numismatics

On March 21st, one of the most beautiful coins I have ever seen came up to auction. Sold for almost forty-five thousand dollars an 1871 Proof-66 DCAM Seated Liberty was purchased at Legend Rare Coin Auctions. This coin is one of top graded coins by PCGS. It is tied with another coin at Proof-66, yet there is still an even higher graded example in someone's collection today. The 1871 seated liberty dollar was struck for thirty-four years from 1840-1873, minting proofs in each year at severly low mintages. They have a diameter of 38.1 mm, and weigh 26.73 grams. The seated liberty dollars have a reeded edge and two distinct varieties due to the addition of " In God We Trust". The Seated Liberty obverse and reverse were designed by Christian Gobrecht. In the first decade of its production, silver went through a massive increase in price, and the dollar coins were then worth more than their face-value. These coins were melted through thousands of dollars, and the mint responded by only minting just over a thousand in 1851 and 1852. These coins were very popular, an dthe mint officials at that time took advantage and made restrikes and copies to fool anyone willing and naive enough to buy one. Through the next decade silver prices kept on rising, and the mint slowed down production again and through the civil war, collectors could spend a little over face value. After the civil war a new motto was emplaced on America's coinage. In 1864 In God We Trust was placed on coins for the first time. This marked a low-point in the nation, and reconstruction from the war was of the highest priority. The nation was still divided, and former Confederate soldiers and citizens kept that they were in the right. This particular issue, the 1871 seated liberty dollar proof, has a mintage of less than a thousand, 960 to be exact. This rare issue is actually one of the most common issues of the seated proofs. This coin has the deep cameo attribution well deserved. The contrast is like that seen in modern proofs, mirrored fields, and bright, frosted devices. Each device is sharp, and other than the date, you would have tought the mint had just produced this.

10 Apr 2019

2010 Proof Yosemite

| Big Nub Numismatics

Modern proof coins are quite common. Each year the mint produces millions of these proof coins when only seventy years ago proof coins numbered in the thousands. This has depreciated the value and rarity of purchasing a proof, but some are still just as beautiful for a much lower price-tag. Proof coins are now purposefully meant to have the cameo contrast we see on almost every modern coin available. Proofs of old too were not specially made to have this contrasted effect. Modern proof National park quarters have always struck my fancy. Deep cameo contrast between the filed and devices, lower mintages if not what they could be, affordable in high grades, and easy to find. This coin is the clad variety minted in San Francisco. This coin was graded by NGC as a Proof-69, the second highest grade available. This coin has the deepest cameo of all my proof national park quarters, however they received the same attribution. This quarter was minted in 2010 with the Yosemite design. The coin features El Capitan, a famous rock face and ridge at the park. Yosemite is one of the oldest national parks create din 1890. It is located in California and receives millions of visitors every year. It has a diverse range of mountains, wildlife, and plant-life. These mountain ranges get up over two miles high. This park is vast, covering over 700,000 acres of land in the Sierra-Nevada mountain region. Yosemite contains some of the most beautiful waterfalls and some of the largest trees and stones in the world, including El Capitan as the largest granite stone. The proof Yosemite quarter weighs 5.67 grams, has a diameter of 24.3 millimeters, and has a reeded edge. The proof coin has a mintage of only 1,401,522 coins, quite low for a modern coin, which may have helped this coin reach over $60 in an eBay auction for an only Proof example quite like this one. This sale was also near the end of 2018 which shows the relevancy of the coin. The obverse was designed by John Flanagan. The reverse designer is mysterious, as even the Mint's website does not acknowledge any designer. My quarter has no blemishes or special depreciations, which is the reason it has been graded as a 69. This is my favorite modern coin in my collection, and sparks joy whenever I view it.

07 Apr 2019

Numismatic Book Review-Concordia Disciplinarum

| Big Nub Numismatics

Concordia Disciplinarum was written by William E. Metcalf. This book has color pages and excellent pictures on ancient coins in the European area. This book is over 250 pages of excellently researched pages of information. The author uses coins as evidence for historic breakthroughs in history not seen anywhere else. From the controversial correspondence of the Greeks and Scythians to the mathematically and culturally important evidence of compound numbers written in Greece, something so advanced for what we thought this society was capable of. If you are a nut for history, and love ancient coins, or you just want to sit down and learn something you can find anywhere else, you should look into this book. I would give this a 4.5 out 5 stars.


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