Latest Entries »

Blooomberg Editorial

My Humble Opinion:

Those f….king capitalists…

People may be suffering but all they care about is the stock market

Read this short piece of a Bloomberg Editorial for example…

“The possibilities range from runs on European banks to violent rioting in the streets of Athens — or even civil war… a prepackaged, well-managed bankruptcy, not unlike the ones arranged by the Obama administration for General Motors Co. and Chrysler Group LLC in 2009, would be better than letting the chips fall where they may.”


John Flanagan (1865-1952) of New York was a medalist who also studied under St. Gaudens. He produced several medals and sculptures. His most famous work is the Washington Quarter first produced in 1932 to commemorate the 200’th anniversary of George Washington’s birth.

The choice of Flanagan’s design was controversial because the Commission of Fine Arts and the Washington Bicentennial Commission chose Laura Frasier’s design as being far superior to all the 100 entries in a competition. Super rich financier and Treasury Secretary Andrew Melon pushed through his choice and America had a new quarter in 1932. It is said Melon’s choice was made not for artistic reasons but because he was a male chauvinist.

Astute readers may recognize the name Frasier in the context of coin design. Laura Gardin Frasier was the wife James Earle Frasier who designed of the Buffalo Nickel. A more recent Commission of Fine Arts chose Laura Frasier artistic design to grace the 1999 $5 Gold coin that commemorates the 200’th anniversary of Washington’s death.

Nazi Coins Info

The Third Reich started issuing clearly identifiable “Nazi” coins (ie with swastika) from 1936. Although the Nazi’s were in power from 1933, with Adolf Hitler as the party leader.

The Third Reich minted a range of coins of different designs through their 7 mint factories. As a general rule, the less coins minted by a particular mint factory, then the harder it would be to find these coins and thus the greater their potential value on today’s market. 1936 was a particularly good year for most denomination coins, particular the smaller Reichspfennig coins. In May 1945, the Nazi regime came to a grinding halt along with its captured or destroyed mint factories. Hitler either escaped or was killed, his fake sucide and skull, held by the russians has since been proven to be that of a woman.

Above 1 Reichspfennig in copper, 2 Reichspfennig in copper, 5 Reichspfennig in copper/Alum. Alloy
10 Reichspfennig in copper/Alum. Alloy, 50 Reichspfennig in aluminum, 2 Reichsmark in 62.5% silver,5 Reichsmark in 90 % silver

Adolf Hitler did not feature on any official Third Reich coins. Instead, it was the Reich president Von Hindenburg who was commemorated on Nazi Germany’s coins both before his death and after. One might well question however why the 1935-1936 Nazi 5 Mark silver coin featuring  the bust of Hindenburg, did not incorporate two small swastikas on either side of  the Reichsadler. After all, the earlier 1934-1935 Nazi 5 Mark silver coin featuring the  Potsdam Church (Postdam Kirche) incorporated the use of the swastika.

The 3rd Reich had a number of mints (coin factories). Each mint location had its own identifiable letter. It  is therefore possible to identify exactly which mint produced what coin by noting the mint mark on the coin. Not all mints were authorized to produce coins every year. The mints were also only authorized to produce a set number of coins with some mints allocated a greater production than others. Some of the coins with particular mint marks are therefore scarcer than others. With the silver 2 and 5 Reichsmark coins, the mint mark is found under the date on the left side of the coin. On the smaller denomination Reichspfennig coins, the mint mark is found on the bottom center of the coin.

A = Berlin
B = Wien (Vienna)
D = München (Munich)
E = Muldenhütten (Dresden)
F = Stuttgart
G = Karlsruhe
J = Hamburg

10 Reichspfennig 1945 A

These are rarer varieties from the Third Reich. Military issues are tough to find especially ones minted outside Berlin. Most of general issued zinc coins are quite common except for the ones dated 1945. This one posted is minted in Berlin.

Denomination –  10 Euros
Country –  Greece
Year –  2007
Head Of State – Prime Minister Constantinos Karamanlis
Mint – Athens National Mint
Obverse – Closed zoom in to a typical view of the flowers and birds of the park.
Reverse – National emblem of Greece inside an artistic representation of a tree.
Designer – Georgios Stamatopoulos
Metal – 0,925 Silver
Krause – #KM 221
Condition – Proof
Mintage – 5,000
Diameter  –  40,00 mm
Weight – 34,00 gr
Interesting Facts – The river of Arkoudorema passes through the national park in Valia Kalda. The flora is just as impressive, with hundreds of types of trees, herbs, flowers and other plants which can only be found there. The geology and the flora are remnants of the ice age, as are twin lakes Flega at the centre of the park. There are no paved roads in the national park. Visitors can walk at the marked paths, the most famous of which is E6
Approx. Value – 58 Euros (as of February 2012)
Denomination –  10 Euros
Country –  Greece
Year –  2006
Head Of State – Prime Minister Constantinos Karamanlis
Mint – Athens National Mint
Obverse – In the obverse, The National Emblem Of Greece between flowers is depicted. On the top edge ‘Hellenic Republic’ is written in the Greek Alphabet. The face value of the coin is displayed along the lower edge.
Reverse – In Greek mythology, Zeus was the son of Cronus and Rhea and the highest-ranking god among the Olympian Gods. He was god of the sky and thunder and his attributes included thunder, the lightning bolt, the septer, and the eagle. Zeus (in Greek Dias) was the ruler of Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece and the home of the gods. In 1981 UNESCO declared Mount Olympus an “International Biosphere Reserve” and in 1987 it was declared a National Park of Greece. This is the main motif of the reverse of this coin
Designer – Georgios Stamatopoulos
Krause – #KM 219
Metal – 0,925 Silver
Condition – Proof
Mintage – 5,000
Diameter  –  40,00 mm
Weight – 34,00 gr
Interesting Facts – In Greek mythology, Zeus was the son of Cronus and Rhea and the highest ranking god among the Olympian gods. He was god of the sky and thunder and his attributes included thunder and the lightning bolt, the scepter, and the eagle. Zeus (in Greek Dias) was the ruler of Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece and the home of the gods. In 1987 the mountain was declared a National Park and in 1981 Unesco declared it an ‘International Biosphere Reserve’
Approx. Value – From 75 to 98 Euros (Taken From 2011 Ebay Auctions)
Denomination –  10 Euros
Country –  Greece
Year –  2003
Head Of State – Prime Minister Constantinos Simitis
Mint – Athens National Mint
Obverse – Logo of the Greek presidency, together with the words ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΠΡΟΕΔΡΙΑ ΤΗΣ ΕΥΡΩΠΑΙΚΗΣ ΕΝΩΣΗΣon the top and “HELLENIC PRESIDENCY OF EU” on the bottom, is depicted
Reverse – National Emblem of Greece, sourrounded by the words ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΔΗΜΟΚΡΑΤΙΑ (Greek Democracy) and the face value of €10 is shown.
Metal – 0,925 Silver
Condition – Proof
Mintage – 75.000 Proof (50.000 in the Coinset 2003)
Diameter  –  28,25 mm
Weight – 9,75 gr
Interesting Facts – This coin was issued to commemorate the Treaty of Accession (2003), signed in Athens on 16 April 2003, with Greece holding the Presidency of the Council of the European Union.The Treaty of Accession 2003 was the agreement between the European Union and ten countries (Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary,Malta, Poland, Slovenia, Slovakia), concerning these countries’ accesion into the EU . At the same time it changed a number of points which were originally laid down in the Treaty Of NiceThe treaty was signed on 16 April 2003 in Athens, Greece and it entered into force on 1 May 2004, the day of the enlargement of the E.U.

The designs of the Portugal 2012 CuNi commemoratives are ready:

2.50 euros “Great painters: José MalhoaSPECIFICATIONS
Composition: CuNi
Diameter: 28.00 mm
Weight: 10.00 g
Mintage: 100 000
Artists: Paula Lourenço
Issue date: april 2012

2.50 euros “London Olympic Games

Composition: CuNi
Diameter: 28.00 mm
Weight: 10.00 g
Mintage: 300 000
Artists: José João de Brito
Issue date: may 2012

5 euros “Numismatic treasures: “a peça” of king John V

Composition: CuNi
Diameter: 30.00 mm
Weight: 14.00 g
Mintage: 150 000
Artists: Rui Vasquez
Issue date: september 2012

10 euros “20th Anniversary of Iberoamerican series

Composition: CuNi
Diameter: 40.00 mm
Weight: 27.00 g
Mintage: 100 000
Artists: Espiga Pinto
Issue date: october 2012

2.50 euros “Unesco World Heritage: Historical center of Guimarães

Composition: CuNi
Diameter: 28.00 mm
Weight: 10.00 g
Mintage: 100 000
Artists: António Marinho
Issue date: november 2012

(information and images from the Portugal Mint)

LINK: Casa da Moeda

The Change to Decimal Coinage

Prior to ‘D-Day’ on 15th February 1971 the English coinage system was based on the following relationships:

  • 2 Farthings = 1 Halfpenny
  • 2 Halfpence = 1 Penny (1d)
  • 6 Pence = Sixpence (often referred to as a tanner) (6d)
  • 12 Pence = 1 Shilling (often referred to as bob, e.g. six bob) (1/-)
  • 2 shillings = 1 Florin (or two bob bit) (2/-)
  • 2 Shillings and 6 Pence = 1 Half Crown (rarely referred to as half a dollar) (2/6)
  • 5 shillings = 1 Crown (5/-)
  • 20 Shillings = 1 Pound (often referred to as a quid) (£1)

Other terms much more rarely used include

  • 4 Pence = 1 Groat (4d)
  • 13 Shillings and 4 Pence (160 pence) = 1 Mark (13/4)
  • 21 Shillings = 1 Guinea (£1/1/-)

Note the way sums of money were written: 6/8 means 6 shillings and eightpence, while £2/19/11 was two pounds nineteen shillings and eleven pence. The use of d for penny may seem odd until you realise it is short for the Latin denarius.

The term guinea was (and is) used for 21 shillings (£1.05), especially in horse racing and by auction houses, although no coin of that value has been issued since 1813.

The Mark was traditionally used as a standard fine by the University of Cambridge during my own time there in the early 1960’s.

In advance of D-day the halfpenny and half-crown were withdrawn, and 5 new pence and 10 new pence coins were issued from 1968 to circulate alongside the existing shilling and florin coins. A 50p coin appeared in 1969 to replace the old 10 shilling banknote. The farthing had gone long before, in 1961.

After D-day the penny and threepence coins rapidly disappeared from use. The sixpence continued in use as 2½ pence for about nine years. The new halfpenny went not long afterwards. However, the old shillings and florins continued alongside the 5p and 10p coins until a reduction in size in the early 1990’s resulted in their disappearance from circulation. The 50p coin was also reduced in size in 1997.

Three new coins have been introduced since decimalisation – the 20p appeared in 1982 followed by the pound coin in 1983 and the two pound coin in 1998 (although 1997 versions are frequently found in change). Commemorative two pound coins were issued irregularly from 1986, but these early coins differ from the circulating version first issued in 1998 in that the latter is much thinner and is also bimetallic.

Source Coins Of the UK website, URL:

Originally, coins were milled in order to prevent scalping the edge of precious gold and silver coins or to indicate the highest valued denomination coin at that time. Circulating unmilled British sterling silver coins were known to be shaved to almost half of their minted weight. Now it is done in order to identify the specific coin easily or to prevent counterfeiting. The holed coins also conserve coinage material

Source Fleur De Coin Website URL

The Sheldon Coin Grading Scale is a 70 point scale used in the numismatic assessment of a coins quality. It is used by nearly all major coin grading companies, the main two being NGC and PCGS.

The grades for the scale are as follows:

Blank Poor Fair AG G VG F VF XF AU MS Proof
0 1 2 3 4-6 8-10 12-15 20-35 40-45 50-58 60-70 60-70

Acronyms Explained:

AG – About Good

G – Good

VG – Very Good

F – Fine

VF – Very Fine

XF – Extra Fine

AU – About Uncirculated / Almost Unirculated

MS – Mint State

The scale was invented by William Herbert Sheldon.

William Herbert Sheldon, Jr. (November 19, 1898 – September 17, 1977) was a American psychologist and numismatist. He created the field of somatotype and constitutional psychology that tried to correlate body types with behavior, intelligence and social hierarchy through his Ivy League nude posture photos.  However, his work is generally dismissed by modern researchers.