DR. SOL TAYLOR
    The Lincoln Cent Expert
Coin News Archive
September 28, 2006
Perfect Srike 'PERFECT' PENNY FETCHES $13,500
The only business strike (regular circulating) Lincoln cent ever to be judged perfect by the Professional Coin Grading Service (MS-70) brought $13,500 in a Teletrade auction on Sept. 28. With buyer's fee, the total was $15,120. The coin was made at the Philadelphia mint in 2003. (Photo:Teletrade)

August 29, 2006
Perfect Srike PERFECT BUSINESS STRIKE
Calling it "the Holy Grail of Lincoln cents," Professional Coin Grading Service announced Aug. 29 that it had assigned a grade of MS-70 for the first time ever to a Lincoln cent made for circulation. A grade of MS-70 means a coin is flawless under a microscope, and until now, the designation has gone only to a small percentage of cents made specially for collectors and never touched by human hands. "It took 20 years and over 160,000 tries" to find a perfect business-strike Lincoln cent, the company said. The coin was minted in Philadelphia in 2003. (Photo:PCGS)

August 17, 2006
Sol Taylor SOL TAYLOR GOES 3-FOR-3
Veteran Lincoln cent expert and author Sol Taylor was a triple winner in the Numismatic Literary Guild's 2006 writing competition. Taylor took the prize for best column ("Making Cents") in a non-numismatic newspaper (The Signal of Santa Clarita, Calif.), as well as the best single coin article in a non-numismatic newspaper ("Beware Buying Coins at Swap Meets, Garage Sales," Oct. 1, 2005). Additionally, this Web site — soltaylor.com — was recognized as the best Web site operated by a non-numismatic organization (The Signal). Awards were presented Aug. 17 in Denver, coinciding with the American Numismatic Association's summer convention. The Numismatic Literary Guild is the organization of all numismatic writers in all media. (Photo: Susan Shapiro)

August 14, 2006
Paquet $20 PAQUET $20s FETCHES $1.5MM
Adam Crum (shown), vice president of Monaco Rare Coins in Newport Beach, Calif., paid $1.6 million, including buyer's fee, for a "Paquet reverse" $20 gold coin of 1861. Crum was the winning bidder in an Aug. 14 auction conducted in Denver by Heritage Auction Galleries. "This is a spectacular rarity, one of only two known andáthe fourth rarest U.S.-minted coin," said Crum. Anthony C. Paquet was an assistant Mint engraver whose intricate coin designs are recognized today as fine artwork. (Photo: Donn Pearlman)

August 11, 2006
Paquet reverse 1 OF 2 1861 PAQUET $20s ON THE BLOCK
Most coins are known by their obverse, or "heads side." What makes this 1861 double eagle ($20 gold piece) special is its reverse, or "tails side." One of only two known "Paquet reverse" double eagles of 1861 — named for their designer, Assistant Mint Engraver Anthony C. Paquet — will be sold in a Heritage Galleries Auction to be held Aug. 13 and 14 at the Warwick Hotel in Denver. The auction precedes the American Numismatic Association's 2006 "World's Fair of Money" convention in Denver the week of Aug. 14. (Photo:Heritage)

August 6, 2006
Pyramid RECORD PENNY PYRAMID
A Florida man has completed a pyramid of an estmiated 289,318 "pennies" and is waiting confirmation of its world-record status from the publishers of the Guiness Book. The previous record was set in 1981 by a pyrmaid of "only" 71,825 cents. Marcelo Bezos, 41, of Broward County, created his Penny Pyramid Project to raise awareness for colorectal cancer screening and to spread the message that "the penny continues to be a very important denomination" and that "there are ways to responsibly collect, build, and conate this commonly hoarded coin." More: PennyPyramidProject.com.

July 27, 2006
1933 'ILLEGAL' COINS TO DEBUT
The U.S. Mint announced July 27 that it will display ten 1933 Saint-Gaudens double eagles ($20 gold coins) at the American Numismatic Association's "World's Fair of Money" convention in Denver from Aug. 16-19. The controversial coins — never before seen by the public — were "kept" by the Mint last year after a Philadelphia family presented them for authentication. The Treasury Department considers 1933 double eagles to be stolen government property because they were not issued into the Federal Reserve System. The government has deemed only one such coin legal to own; it sold at auction in 2002 for $7.59 million.

June 30, 2006
Edmund C. Moy SECOND TIME A CHARM?
President Bush has nominated Edmund C. Moy, special assistant to the president for White House personnel, to fill a five-year term as director of the U.S. Mint, the White House announced June 30. A native of Waukesha, Wis., Moy previously served as director of the Department of Health and Human Services╠ Office of Managed Care for the Federal Health Care Financing Administration. Moy is Bush's second choice to replace former Mint Director Henrietta Holsman Fore, who moved to the State Department a year ago; his first choice, Oklahoma businesswoman Terry Neese, withdrew her name the day before her scheduled Senate confirmation hearing last October.

June 26, 2006
Elm Tree $20 TREE TOPPLES
An elm tree featured on the back of the $20 bill, to the right of the White House, fell over June 26 as the mid-Atlantic region sustained heavy rains and flooding. President Theodore Roosevelt planted the tree sometime between 1902 and 1906. It was sick and old, a National Park Service spokesman said; American elms live about 85 years. The tree fell away from the building and did no damage. It was mulched and will be replaced with a younger tree. The north lawn of the White House and its elms have appeared on the U.S. $20 since 1929. (Photo:AP)

June 22, 2006
Buffalo Gold BUFFALO GOLD
The U.S. Mint released the nation's first 24-karat (.9999 fine) gold bullion coins on June 22. Bearing a denomination of $50, the one-ounce "American Buffalo Gold" coins feature James Earle Fraser's popular Buffalo nickel designs of 1913-1938 (obverse and reverse). Struck at West Point, the coins are intended to appeal to investors who prefer gold in pure form, who previously had to turn to countries such as Canada and Australia. Traditionally, U.S. gold coins, such as the still-current American Eagle Bullion coins that are modeled after the double eagle of Augustus Saint-Gaudens, are .900 fine. (Photo:U.S. Mint)

June 16, 2006
Granite Lady 'GRANITE LADY' COINS COMING
President Bush has signed legislation calling for the manufacture of 100,000 $5 gold coins and 500,000 $1 silver coins to commemorate the second San Francisco Mint (1874-1937), known as the "Granite Lady." A surcharge will help the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society establish the American Money & Gold Rush Museum inside the Mint building in cooperation with the American Numismatic Association. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., and John Ensign, R-Nev., carried the Senate bill; Reps. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., and Mike Castle, R-Del., carried the House bill. The coins will be dated 2006, coinciding with the 100th anniversary of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake and fire; the Mint building was one of few structures that survived.

June 12, 2006
Michael Newdow 'GOD' PREVAILS
U.S. District Judge Frank C. Damrell Jr. dismissed Sacramento atheist Michael Newdow's lawsuit challenging "In God We Trust" on U.S. coins and currency. Damrell determined, among other things, that Newdow failed to prove that the nation's motto was the direct cause of the discrimination he said he felt. Newdow (pictured) said he was prepared to lose in the trial court but expects to prevail in the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.

June 2, 2006
Jim Kolbe PENNY GOING AWAY?
Veteran U.S. Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., said he will reintroduce a bill to abolish the Lincoln cent before he retires from Congress at year's end. The rationale? Soaring bullion prices. It costs the government about 1.4 cents to manufacture a copper-coated zinc cent today. (The lowly penny isn't alone. It costs about 6 cents to make a 5-cent nickel, which is mostly copper.) Chances for passage are slim; Americans' affinity for the cent is just too strong, as reflected in public opinion polls. Overall, the Mint still adds tens of millions of dollars to the U.S. Treasury each year through the manufacture of dimes, quarters and collector coins, whose face value exceeds their intrinsic value.

June 1, 2006
Henry Paulson NEW HEAD AT TREASURY
Henry M. Paulson Jr., chairman and CEO of The Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and chairman of the board of The Nature Conservancy, has been nominated by President Bush to replace John Snow as Treasury Secretary. Snow resigned May 30. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist is seeking a confirmation vote by July 4. Under Paulson's leadership, Goldman Sachs stock has trebled since Paulson took the helm in 1999, according to Numismatic News.

May 18, 2006
Arizona logo CACTUS STATE QUARTER?
Nevadans picked wild horses over a silver prospector. Washingtonians picked a fish over an apple. Arizonans have until July 15 to submit their artwork, and so far it looks like they're sticking to tradition. As of May 18, according to the Tucson Citizen newspaper, 61 percent of the entries have featured a saguaro cactus.

April 26, 2006
Half Disme 5c COIN FETCHES $1.3MM:
A 1792 half disme, one of the first coins minted by the federal government, sold for $1,322,500 (including buyer's fee) to an anonymous buyer in an April 26 Heritage auction in Columbus, Ohio. George Washington is believed to have provided the silver for the coinage, possibly from some old silverware. (Photo:Heritage)

April 4, 2006
Half Disme NO MORE CONFISCATION:
U.S. Rep. Frank Lucas, a senior Republican on the House Financial Services Committee, has introduced H.R. 5077, which would disclaim any government rights to privately held coins minted prior to Jan. 1, 1933. Subsequent coins not legally released by the Mint (such as 1974 aluminum cents) would be kept or sold by the government — rather than destroyed — with proceeds benefiting the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.

March 1, 2006
Braille ORDER NOW:
The five-coin proof set of 50-state quarters for 2006 went on sale March 1. The set features the year's five quarter designs — Nevada, Nebraska, Colorado, North Dakota and South Dakota. Sets are $15.95 and can be ordered for a limited time directly from the Mint.

February 28, 2006
Braille BRAILLE DOLLAR:
The House of Representatives passed a bill Feb. 28 authorizing a commemorative silver dollar to honor Louis Braille, the French inventor of the popular reading and writing system for the blind, in 2006, the 200th anniversary of his birth. If approved in the Senate and signed by President Bush, a $10 surcharge would go to the National Federation of the Blind.

February 1, 2006
Del Monte $20 DENVER CENTENNIAL:
The United States Mint at Denver celebrated its 100th anniversary of coinage Feb. 1. The Denver Mint was actually authorized by Congress in 1863 but functioned as an assay office until Feb. 1, 1906, when the first U.S. coins rolled off the presses. Denver manufactured 167 million gold and silver coins in all of 1906; today the facility produces 27 billion to 30 billion base-metal coins annually.

January 7, 2006
Del Monte $20 DEL MONTE LABEL:
An unidentified Texan paid $25,300 on Jan. 6 for a $20 Federal Reserve Note with a Del Monte banana label overprinted with a Treasury seal and serial number. The bill was discovered in 2003 by an Ohio college student who plucked it from a cash machine and sold it on eBay for $10,100. The new buyer (its third owner) acquired it in a Heritage Galleries auction at the recent Florida United Numismatics (FUN) Convention in Orlando. It is speculated that a worker at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing dropped the label between the second and third printing runs, since it covers part of the note's image. (Photo:AP; click photo for full image)

December 30, 2005
George W. Bush BIG 7-FIGURE YEAR:
More coins topped $1 million at auction in 2005 than ever before, according to Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers, which sold six of the eleven. Tied for top billing were the unique 1787 Brasher doubloon with punch on breast (shown, sold in January) and a 1907 high relief Saint-Gaudens $20 double eagle (in November). Each brought $2,990,000 in Heritage auctions. (Photo:Heritage)

December 23, 2005
George W. Bush DEAD PRESIDENTS ON COINS:
Sacagawea-size "golden" dollars will bear the likeness of every U.S. president (one at a time, in order) beginning in 2007, under a bill signed by President Bush on Dec. 23. Four presidents will appear each year, and one-third of all dollar coins will continue to show Sacagawea. Under the final version of the bill by Sen. John Sununu, R-N.H., presidents must have been dead for at least two years to be depicted. Grover Cleveland, who served two nonconsecutive terms, will appear twice. Non-circulating "companion" gold bullion coins with a $10 face value will show the first ladies and the emblems of their favorite causes. The bill also calls for a redesigned Lincoln cent to coincide with the 200th anniversary of Lincoln's birth in 2009. (Photo:AP)

December 6, 2005
1916 Mercury FINEST MERCS ON THE BLOCK:
The Larry Shapiro Registry Collection of Mercury Dimes, the finest set of 1916-1945 winged Liberties ever assembled, will come under the gavel during the Florida United Numismatics (FUN) convention Jan. 3-7 in Orlando. Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers will handle the sale, which includes a newly discovered 1817/4 Capped Bust half dollar. (Photo:Heritage)

December 2, 2005
U.S. gold GOLD HITS 22-YEAR HIGH:
Gold topped $500 an ounce in New York on Friday, Dec. 2, for the first time since February 1983. Gold has been rising steadily since 2001; economists blame the return of deficit spending and inflation, rising interest rates, a weakening dollar and heavy gold buying in Asia. Silver prices topped $8.30 for the first time in two decades. (Photo:U.S. Mint)

November 17, 2005
Motto NO GOD WE TRUST?
Michael Newdow, the Elk Grove, Calif., man who sued to remove "under God" from the pledge of allegiance, filed suit Nov. 17 in federal court in Sacramento in an effort to remove "In God We Trust" from the nation's coins and currency. The lawsuit, filed against the U.S. Congress, Treasury Secretary John Snow and others, states that Newdow doesn't trust in God and alleges that therefore, the use of the motto violates his equal protection rights under the Constitution.

November 2, 2005
Royal Canadian Mint HOLIDAY BAUBLES:
A painted 25-cent coin is the latest addition to the Royal Canadian Mint's official holiday lineup. Order by Dec. 9 and they'll guarantee Christmas delivery. For information visit the RCM online or call (800) 268-6468 toll-free from the United States.

November 1, 2005
King of Siam RECORD SET:
Orange County (Calif.) coin dealer Steven L. Contursi of Rare Coin Wholesalers paid $8.5 million on Nov. 1 for the 11-piece "King of Siam" proof set, minted in 1834 and given in 1836 by President Andrew Jackson to King Ph'ra Nang Klao (Rama III) of Siam (Thailand). His son, Rama IV, was the king in "The King and I"; he probably gave the coins to the governess, Anna, as it was her heirs who first sold the set in the 1950s. It last traded hands in 2001 for $4 million. The sale to Contursi, who also owns the first U.S. silver dollar (1794) and the first gold coin minted in the U.S. (a 1787 Brasher doubloon) was handled by Goldberg Coins & Collectibles of Beverly Hills. The set includes a Class-1 1804 silver dollar; two of the other pieces (a half dime and a medal of Jackson) are replacements. If considered a single numismatic item, the price sets a new record.

October 14, 2005
Terry Neese NON-STARTER:
Oklahoma businesswoman Terry Neese has withdrawn her bid to become the next permanent director of the U.S. Mint, citing family obligations. President Bush had nominated her Aug. 1 to replace Henrietta Holsman Fore, who moved to the State Department. Neese reportedly told Bush of her declination just prior to her scheduled Senate confirmation hearings. The Mint is being run by Interim Director David A. Lebryk.

September 28, 2005
$10 LIBERTY+SECURITY:
In January the $10 bill will sport new security features that were unveiled Sept. 28 by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing on on Ellis Island. Key features include orange, yellow and red background hues; the Statue of Liberty's torch to the left of Hamilton; the words, "We the People," in script from the Constitution, to the right; and small, yellow "10's" on the back. Bills down to the $10 are redesigned every seven to 10 years to keep ahead of counterfeiters. Fewer than 1 in 10,000 $10's is fake, but the number is expected to grow with digital technology. Digital copies in all denominations have grown from less than 1 percent of counterfeit notes detected in the United States in 1995 to 54 percent in 2004.

September 6, 2005
$10 TECHNICOLOR $10:
Alexander Hamilton is getting new security features to deter counterfeiting. The $10 bill follows the $20 and $50 with the addition of subtle background colors and patriotic devices. The U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing will unveil the new look Sept. 28 on Ellis Island (suggesting that the new devices might include the Statue of Liberty). The redesigned currency will enter circulation in early 2006. The $100 bill will get a makeover in about a year. (Photo:BEP)

September 5, 2005
1854-S SAN FRANCISCO TREAT:
A previously unknown 1854-S quarter eagle ($2.50 gold piece) from the first year of the San Francisco Mint will be auctioned Sept. 18 in Beverly Hills. One of 10 remaining specimens from a mintage of 246, the coin, graded XF-45, traces its heritage to an unidentified Chinese immigrant who arrived in northern California just after the gold rush. It was handed down through the generations and surfaced at the ANA's July convention in San Francisco, where it was consigned to American Numismatic Rarities LLC of Wolfeboro, N.H. (Photo:ANR)

September 2, 2005
New Orleans Mint NEW ORLEANS MINT:
Part of its roof is missing, but otherwise it appears the old U.S. Mint at New Orleans survived Hurricane Katrina. Authorized by Congress in 1835 (along with the Charlotte and Dahlonega branch mints), the New Orleans Mint opened in 1838, was seized by Confederate forces in 1861, resumed coin production in 1879 and operated through 1909. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, it is now part of the Louisiana State Museum system and houses exhibits on the history of jazz and the Mardi Gras. As of Sept. 1, the status of its contents was unknown. (Photo:U.S. Treasury Dept.)

August 31, 2005
Looting in Biloxi KATRINA'S TOLL:
As the death toll from Hurricane Katrina threatened to climb into the thousands Aug. 31, looters tore open slot machines full of coins in Biloxi, Miss., and ransacked jewelry and other stores in New Orleans' French Quarter, which had been largely spared. Untold numbers of rare coins, currency and other valuables in underwater bank vaults have been destroyed by moisture and sludge; vaults and safety deposit boxes are fireproof, not waterproof. (Photo:AP)

August 29, 2005
1871-CC RARITIES ON THE BLOCK:
Bidding opens at $375,000 for the best known 1871-CC Liberty double eagle ($20 gold piece) in Ira & Larry Goldberg's auction Sept. 19-21 in Beverly Hills. Also expected to fetch more than $100,000 are a suberb 10-coin 1899 proof set, a 1797/5 Liberty Capped $5 gold coin and one of the five best 1895 proof Morgan dollars. The auction precedes the nearby Long Beach Coin Show, Sept. 22-24. (Photo:Goldberg)

August 25, 2005
1933 $20 KANSAS COIN COMING:
The Kansas state quarter, showing a bison and sunflower, will quietly enter circulation Aug. 29, two weeks before the official launch celebration at the Kansas State Fair in Hutchinson on Sept. 9. The Kansas quarter is the 34th in the 50-state quarters series, the fourth different quarter for 2005, and the second new coin this year to feature a bison — the other being a Jefferson nickel. (Photo:U.S. Mint)

August 12, 2005
Mount St. Helens MOUNT ST. HELENS QUARTER?
Probably not — although it was suggested. In an online poll by the state of Washington Arts Commission, 43 percent of 1,150 voters said Mt. Rainier should appear on the Washington state quarter. Tied for second place were the Space Needle and "apples" at 30 percent each. Gov. Christine Gregoire has until Sept. 30 to forward her recommendation to the U.S. Mint. Washington will be the second state honored in 2007. The third, Idaho, is accepting design concepts from the general public through Sept. 9. (Photo:AP)

August 11, 2005
1933 $20 MINT CONFISCATES 10 ST. GAUDENS:
The U.S. Mint said Aug. 11 it has confiscated ten 1933 St. Gaudens double eagle ($20) gold pieces and is storing them at Fort Knox. The coins had been in the possession of Joan Langbord, daughter of Philadelphia jeweler Israel Switt, who died in the early 1980s. The mint said it recovered them in September 2004 after Langbord's attorney brought them to the mint's attention; the mint authenticated them June 21 and decided to keep them. About 445,500 double eagles were minted in 1933, but President Franklin D. Roosevelt took America off the gold standard and ordered the coins destroyed before they could be issued. All were supposedly melted except for two that went to the Smithsonian Institution, but some "were stolen from the United States Mint at Philadelphia," the mint said. Including these 10, the mint has recovered 20, nine of which it destroyed in the 1940s and '50s. The remaining one is the only one that can be lawfully owned by a private party, per a 2001 out-of-court settlement. It was sold at auction in 2002 for $7.59 million, the highest known price ever paid for a coin. The family is considering litigation to recover the coins. (Photo:U.S. Mint)

August 8, 2005
Gold Penny BRITS HALT SALE:
British Culture Minister David Lammy has temporarily halted the export to the United States of a unique, 1,200-year-old gold coin, based on its aesthetic and historic significance to London, where it was minted. The coin, a "penny" issued during the reign of Coenwulf (796-821), king of Mercia in Middle England, was discovered in 2001 in Bedfordshire on a footpath beside the River Ivel. It was sold at auction in October 2004 by Spink of London to American collector Allan Davisson for 230,000 pounds. Lammy's ruling gives Britain's Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art until Oct. 2 (with a possible extension to February 2006) to raise an agreed-upon 357,832 pounds to buy out Davisson and keep the coin on British shores. (Photo:Spink)

August 5, 2005
Ocian in View 'OCIAN IN VIEW' CORRECTED:
The U.S. Mint put the "Ocean in View" version of the Jefferson nickel into circulation Aug. 5 at Cape Disappointment State Park in Ilwaco, Wash. William Lewis wrote in his field notes, "Ocian in View! O! the joy!" when he wrongly thought the Lewis and Clark Expedition had spotted the Pacific Ocean on Nov. 7, 1805. The new coin corrects the historic spelling error. It is the second nickel design of 2005 and the fourth in two years to honor the explorers. Its designer is Joe Fitzgerald of Silver Springs, Md., seen here signing nickel rolls at the unveiling. (Photo:AP)

August 1, 2005
Terry Neese NOMINEE FOR MINT DIRECTOR:
President George W. Bush nominated Oklahoma businesswoman Terry Neese for director of the U.S. Mint on Aug. 1, following the confirmation of ex-Director Henrietta Holsman Fore (2001-05) as Under Secretary of State for Management. Neese owns and operates a temporary employment agency in Oklahoma City and is a founder of the bipartisan Women Impacting Public Policy and the nonprofit Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence. The interim Mint director is David A. Lebryk, most recently the Treasury's deputy assistant secretary for fiscal operations.

July 31, 2005
euro 'FATHER OF THE EURO':
Wim Duisenberg, first president of the European Central Bank (1998-2003), has died. He was 70. The Dutch-born banker is credited with the smooth transition to the euro system. He shepherded the introduction in 1999 of the standardized coins and currency, which supplanted 12 European nations' separate monetary systems in early 2002. Duisenberg drowned July 31 in his swimming pool in southern France after suffering an apparent heart attack.

July 30, 2005
Octagonal $50 PAN-PAC SET UPSTAGED:
The six-piece set of first-issued 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exhibition coins fetched $368,000 (including buyer's premium) in the Heritage Galleries auction at the American Numismatic Convention in San Francisco on July 30. Top dollars went to a pair of $20 Liberty double eagles (1854-O and 1856-O), which went for $431,250 each. Heritage, the convention's title sponsor, said its San Francisco auction saw more than $19.2 million in total prices realized.

July 28, 2005
Taylor-awards TAYLOR TAKES TWO:
Sol Taylor took honors for best coin column in a non-numismatic newspaper (The Signal of Santa Clarita, Calif.), and Soltaylor.com was named best website by a non-numismatic organization (The Signal) in the Numismatic Literary Guild's 2005 Writers' Competition. The NLG presented more than 50 awards in 34 categories on July 28 during the ANA's summer convention in San Francisco. (Photo:Leon Worden)

July 22, 2005
Octagonal $50 PAN-PAC BACK IN S.F.:
The very first set of 1915-S Panama-Pacific Exhibition coins to be minted (half-dollar, $1, $2.50, round and octagonal $50) will be put up for public auction for the very first time during the American Numismatic Association's annual "World's Fair of Money" convention in San Francisco, July 27-31 (Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers, Dallas). The 1915 Exhibition, also held in San Francisco, celebrated the completion of the Panama Canal. The first coins off the presses were presented to Exhibition President Charles C. Moore, who held them until his death. Mintages ranged from 3,000 for the $50 to 200,000 for the half-dollar.

July 20, 2005
USMC SEMPER FI:
U.S. Mint Director Henrietta Holsom Fore launched the Marine Corps 230th Anniversary silver dollar July 20 at the USMC base at Quantico, Va. The commemorative dollar coin features a rendering of Joe Rosenthal's famous flag-raising photograph at Iwo Jima on one side and the USMC emblem on the other. The coins sell for $33 in uncirculated condition and $35 in proof until Aug. 22, when prices rise to $35 and $39, respectively. A built-in $10 surcharge helps fund construction of the $68 million National Museum of the Marine Corps at Quantico. (Photo:USMC/Sgt. Donald Bohanner)

July 19, 2005
Alberta quarter O, ALBERTA:
Twenty-five cent pieces honoring Alberta's 100th anniversary entered circulation July 19. (They aren't called "quarters" in Canada.) Calgary artist Michelle Grant's rendering of an oil derrick with grazing cattle before a prairie sky was the top choice of current and former Alberta residents who were invited to select from four designs. Public participation in the design selection process occurs frequently in the United States, but this was a first for the Royal Canadian Mint.

July 15, 2005
CoinFacts.com GRADING LEADER BUYS INFO SITE:
Collectors Universe, the Nasdaq-listed parent company of the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), said July 15 it has acquired CoinFacts.com for $500,000 in cash. CoinFacts.com offers detailed, proprietary information about every U.S. coin by date and mint mark, from colonial coins to current U.S. Mint issues.

July 12, 2005
NASA-JPL COINS FROM SPACE:
The House of Representatives passed a bill July 12 authorizing a 10-coin series in 2008 to mark the 50th anniversary of NASA and Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. The series includes a $50 gold coin (1 troy oz.) depicting the sun and nine $1 silver coins with symbols representing the exploration of each planet. All goverment agencies that own flown spacecraft are instructed to deliver gold, silver, copper and other metal samples from them to the mint; traces of the flown metal will be blended into all coins in the series.

July 8, 2005
Oregon Cover MINT RELEASES OREGON COVERS:
Fifty thousand first-day covers featuring a P- and D-mint Oregon quarter went on sale July 8 from the U.S. mint. The covers are postmarked June 6, 2005, when the quarters were first released to the Federal Reserve Bank (the quarters themselves were made on the first day of mintage, May 4.) Order directly from the U.S. Mint at www.usmint.gov/catalog for $19.95.

July 8, 2005
1794 dollar JUDGE O.K.'s TREASURE HUNT:
U.S. District Judge Nancy Gertner issued an injunction July 8 in Boston barring anyone from interfering with Martin Bayerle's exclusive efforts to salvage treasure from the RMS Republic. The British flagship of the White Star Line sank 50 miles off the coast of Nantucket on Jan. 24, 1909, when she collided with the SS Florida in a dense fog. Bayerle, of Long Island, discovered the wreck at a depth of 250 feet in 1981 and has invested $2 million in the salvage. Among the voluminous bounty aboard the Republic when she went down were two secret shipments of gold for the czar of Russia: 15 tons of gold bars and five tons of brand-new U.S. gold coins ($3 million in face value). The federal government had protested Bayerle's exclusive salvage rights, unsuccessfully arguing that the court lacked jurisdiction in international waters. (Visit Bayerle's website)

June 30, 2005
1794 dollar 2 COINS JOIN $1MM CLUB:
The F.C.C. Boyd Collection specimen 1794 silver dollar (one of 1,758 minted) sold for $1.15 million and a 1796 no-stars Quarter Eagle $2.50 gold piece (one of 958) sold for $1.38 million on June 30, becoming the 16th and 17th coins to top $1 million. The auction was conducted by American Numismatic Rarities of Wolfeboro, N.H. — numismatist Q. David Bowers' firm — and featured more than 60 pedigreed coins from some of the hobby's most famous cabinets. (Photo: American Numismatic Rarities)

June 27, 2005
Trafalgar RULE BRITANNIA:
Anna Tribe, gr-gr-great granddaughter of Admiral Lord Nelson, stands aboard the HMS Victory in Portsmouth, England, on June 27, holding a 5-pound coin newly issued by the Royal Mint to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Trafalgar. Nelson succumbed to sniper fire aboard the Victory, but not before cementing Britain's dominance of the seas and thwarting Napoleon Bonaparte's plans to invade England. (Photo:AP)

June 22, 2005
Coinstar JUST DON'T CALL THEM 'PENNIES':
The 62-year-old owner of Ed's Service Station in Flomaton, Ala., set a world's record June 22 for a hoard of one-cent coins. Edmond Knowles walked into Escambia County Bank with 1,303,459 cents ($13,034.59) that he'd been collecting since 1967 and storing in 55-gallon drums. Luckily, the bank had just installed a Coinstar machine. Coinstar said Knowles broke the previous record of 1,048,013 "pennies" ($10,480.13) set in November 2004 in Barberton, Ohio. Afterward, Knowles said he never wanted to see another Lincoln cent — but he might think about dimes. (Photo:Coinstar)

June 15, 2005
Oregon Quarter OREGON IN THE SPOTLIGHT:
Oregon Gov. Ted Kulongoski joined U.S. Mint officials on June 15 in Portland to launch the 33rd coin in the 50-State Quarters series. The Oregon quarter features one of the state's major tourist attractions, Crater Lake — at 1,949 feet, the nation's deepest. At a rate of five new quarter designs per year, each coin is in production for just 10 weeks. Oregon follows Minnesota; next comes Kansas. (Photo:AP)

June 2, 2005
Nevada Quarter NEVADANS PICK WILD HORSES:
Forget dice or roulette wheels. With a 39-percent vote out of 59,000 ballots cast in May, Nevada residents picked a team of horses running through sagebrush against a backdrop of mountains and a rising sun (in the west?) to depict Nevada in the U.S. Mint's 50-State Quarters Program. (Bighorn sheep and a miner were in a dead heat for second place at 24 percent each.) In February the Bureau of Land Management determined that 14,700 of the nation's 31,000 wild horses live in Nevada. The Nevada quarter will be the first of five designs to be issued in 2006.

June 2, 2005
1913 Liberty 1913 LIBERTY NICKEL
FETCHES $4.15 MILLION:

Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, N.J., paid $4.15 million for collector Ed Lee's 1913 Liberty nickel. It's the highest price ever paid for a 1913 Liberty — only five exist — and the second-highest price for any coin (the current record was set in 2002 when the only legal-to-own 1933 twenty-dollar gold piece sold for $7.59 million). Lee, of Merrimack, N.H., had purchased his 1913 Liberty in 2003 from California sports agent Dwight Manley for $3 million. (Photo:AP/PCGS)

May 26, 2005
Oregon quarters OREGON'S TURN:
The first business strikes of the Oregon quarter rolled off the presses May 26. Part of the U.S. Mint's 50-State Quarters Program, the Oregon quarter depicts Crater Lake. Each quarter in the series is minted for 10 weeks; states are honored in the order they were admitted to the Union. Minnesota preceded Oregon; Kansas will follow. (Photo:AP)

May 25, 2005
marine coin NEW FROM THE U.S. MINT FOR MEMORIAL DAY:
First minted May 25, a new commemorative silver dollar honors the 230th anniversary of the founding of the U.S. Marine Corps. One side features the flag-raising at Iwo Jima; the other sports the official Marine Corps emblem. Proceeds go toward building the Marine Corps National Museum in Quantico, Va. (Photo:AP)