Friday, December 30, 2011

Year In Review: 2011

Do you have a coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment

Books: Time to upgrade, whether you have older books or are new to collecting get the 2012 or 2013 versions. If you can, get the e-books they are cheaper.

Equipment: Cameras/phones are still getting better and cheaper, scales have not changed much but still a good investment. Get a caliper with in/mm.

Change Finds: The graph below shows 44 world coins found from 18 countries which is less finds than last year but from more unique countries. Canadian finds still lead but have also fallen short compared to last year. With the U.S. finds the total is 81 which barely beats out last year and is a new record for significant finds.

The United States, Canada, Great Britain, Bermuda, and Trinidad & Tobago are my constant finds. Except this year I found no Trinidad & Tobago (T&T) coins, for nearly a decade in a row I always found at least a T&T cent. I have a few Trinidadian friends but I did not push them for some free change and none went to visit the homeland so I guess 2011 will be the year without T&T. Last year I did not get any British coins but then this year I got 5 so I have hope for 2012.

Oldest United States Find
1920 Cent

Oldest Foreign Find
1943 Canadian Cent

Most Valuable Find (above face value)
2006 $1 dollar star note in CU about $25.00

Most Valuable Foreign Find

2006 10 Meticais in VF about $0.75

Most Valuable Coin Find Overall

2006 10 Meticais in VF about $0.75

Yet again the most valuable find was a note not a coin. Notes are quickly becoming the hotter collectible.
No silver coins found this year, I blame roll hunters.
As for trying to complete my collection of one of every coin ever made I got a little closer but then they announced all new coins for next year so I am back to 0.000000000001% complete.

Wishing everyone a Happy New Year and change for all

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2001 China Yuan

Do you have a Chinese coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment

Technically this is a People's Republic of China coin but that is way to long for a title. China makes lots of commemorative Yuans but the one I am showcasing is just the regular circulating issue.

Chinese coins of any era are not uncommon to find. The main reason is that they have been made in the hundreds of  millions since the early 1900s.


The edge has RMB three times with an incused  diamond between each RMB. RMB mean Renminbi or sign: ¥; code: CNY; also CN¥, 元 and CN元 all means legal tender.

ZHONGGUO RENMIN YINHANG means Peoples Bank of China or 中國人民銀行 which is written on the front.

Here's the stats for both coins...
Type/Country: 1 Yuan / China
Edge: Upside side up when Obverse is facing up, ↑↓.
Year: 2001
Mintage: Unknown.
Metal: Nickel-Plated Steel
Value: $1.00 in XF

P.S. Made in China

Do you have Asian coins and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Monday, December 26, 2011

1985 Taiwan 10 Yuan

Do you have a Taiwanese coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment

This is listed as a Republic of China coin with the subheading of Taiwan. There is so much history, drama, and politics going on with these two countries that I will just stick to talking about the coin.

With a bust of military leader Chiang Kai-shek and simple flower branches on the back this coin is very understated compared to others. Edges are reeded given it the look and feel of a quarter, although I cannot remember how I got it.

Obverse says year 74 or 1985. Otherwise not sure what the coin says because the symbols are unfamiliar to me. I tried but maybe it is something with the regional characters or maybe I just do not see it. Oh well I welcome any help, this is a learning blog and I love to learn.

Here's the stats...
Type/Country: 10 Yuan / Republic of China - Taiwan
Year: 1985
Mintage: 200,000,000
Metal: Copper-Nickel
Value: Very-Fine about $0.30

Do you have a coin from Taiwan and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Friday, December 23, 2011

1985 $1 Dollar Bill

Do you have an old bill  and want to know its value? Leave a comment

The big debate over coin versus dollar is based on some efficiency model. The projection is that over 30 years coins will be cheaper to produced. Some might notice that thanks to e-commerce notes are used less and less. 

This note was printed in February 1986 and despite the fact it is almost 16 years old it has survived well. Modern notes are estimated to last about 40 months, the old estimate of 18-22 changed as people use notes less.

Sure the bill is very folded it still is machine readable.

While year end predictions are awful I will say that 15 years from now the amount of circulating cash will be less than now. I can also guess that a note will last 80 months on average.

Here's the original stats...
Type/Country: 1 Dollar / United States
Year: 1985
Date Printed: February 1986 (190 months ago)
Printings: 422,400,000
Run: 4th from Group/Block CA, C00000001A - C416000000A
Value: $1.00 in this shape

Do you have a currency bill and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Small-Size U.S. Paper Money 10th Ed.

Do you have some small size currency and want to know its value? Leave a comment

So I used a $25 gift card and a Barnes & Noble coupon to get this book in person for $1.87. In store this book is $32.99 + tax. Yes it is cheaper online but trying to get anything delivered to my apartment requires a team from Mission Impossible and two and a half miracles. Now if you through Amazon and do not have any coupons or gift certificates it will be a cheap $21.77 .

I enjoy books they look great in my mini library and I find them faster then computers. That said I use Amazon Kindle app and if these books get to the Kindle faster I will gladly change formats. 

What's New
  • Removed picture under Serial Numbers.
  • Removed star note picture under star notes, that did not have a star.
  • Added photo above Mules.
  • Removed wide and narrow $5 and $10 pictures under Wide and Narrow Margins.
  • Spacing adjusted made to have the next page to start with properly and not in the middle of a paragraph or list.
  • $1 1935-D Narrow picture enlarged.
  • $5 1953-C picture added in full color.
  • Pictures added and removed to adjust for spacing all over.
  • Certain (Sheets) and (Notes) were added.
  • Disclaimers added to most Dark and Light green seals for 1928-1934.
  • Up to 2009 listed for the most part.
  • Generally higher values across the book, some modern notes are lower.
  • Reverse of $5,000 and $10,000 pictures finally added.
  • Expanded Changeover Pairs appendix.
  • 12 more pages but less Color ads in the back.

  • Printed in China (Nothing against China but a U.S. paper book should be printed in the U.S.) 
  • Appendix of fancy serial numbers still not back. 

All the mistakes I listed from the last edition have been corrected. This one is a vast improvement from the others and if you own only one small size currency book this should be it.

P.S. 2004 $20 EK-* is still listed as 3,840,000 even though I think it should be 384,000. (Unless I'm wrong since this is 3rd time in a row)

P.P.S I found it funny it is still 2011 and they are already selling the 2013 World Coins Book...

Do you have a U.S. bill and want to know its book value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Monday, December 19, 2011

2001 Panama Cent

Do you have a coin from Panama and want to know its value? Leave a comment

So far this has been my only change find for December. Apparently gift cards and debit cards will be the down fall of this blog. Well at least I still have a box full of old coins to share.

The ninth Panamanian coin I found most of them are common. All modern coins from Panama are a fraction of the Balboa. So this one is 1/100th of a Balboa.

URRACA (Urracá, indigenous freedom fighter of colonial Panama) 2001

Two weeks left in the year and if all I find is more Panamanian coins I am fine with that. Still there is one foreign coin I need to make my yearly list complete but let me not speak of it until the year is over.

Here's the stats...
Type/Country: 1 Centesimo / Panama
Year: 2001
Mintage: 160,000,000
Metal: Copper Plated Zinc
Value: $0.07 in Extra-Fine

Made at the Royal Canadian Mint although it has no mintmark.

Do you have a Panamanian coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The Myth of The Dollar Coin

As many may have heard the presidential dollars will cease production of new circulating coins at the end of the year. That means 20 of 38 scheduled coins made it to circulation. Collectors issues of the remaining will still be made.

Now this is third failure of dollar coins following the Eisenhower and Anthony dollars, even add the Sacagawea to that list if you want. Despite 40 years of rejection their is a certain segment of people who want to force it on the U.S. by eliminating the dollar bill instead. (The same rich fools call for the end of the pennies and nickels.)

You want to see the future if the dollar bill gets eliminated...

Coin-Op Laundromat: A True Story 
Ten years ago my local laundromat took quarters and had machines that would convert quarters. Today the same 1960s washing machines are still there but the coin slots have been replaced with card slots. These re-loadable cash cards serve one function, to hold money. No names, IDs, or validation required. My card is six years old and has not failed. It has hundreds if not thousands of dollars pass through.

Why am sharing my lack of a washing machine in my apartment? Simple because it works better than carrying quarters.

Read that carefully: TREAT THIS AS CASH

If the dollar bill gets eliminated the rush will not be to dollar coins. The rush will be to these universal cash card that charge no fee, has no personal information, and can collect you change after each transaction. This would also be a great way to reduce the production of pennies and nickels without the whole rounding to the nearest dime scenario.

I do not want this to become a rant but the loud coin-pushers are whining so much something must be said.

Leave You with Some Facts:
  1. 50 years of NYC Subway tokens (1953-2003) gave way to Metrocards (1993-present) and even now a system is being tested to accept fares directly from a credit card, debit card, or smartphone.
  2. Cash cards can be exact so 8.675% sales tax can be precise without rounding up.
  3. Most places that have cash registers need electricity to make cash transaction so if power is comprised then the policy is to suspended transaction and ask customers to return later.
  4. The metric system was strongly pushed in 1975 for the U.S., as I sit here drinking my 8 oz can of orange drink.
  5. Vinyl, tapes, CDs, may sound better but digital downloads outsell them all.
  6. Pennies are an acceptable term for U.S. cents so I will continue using it.
  7. Remember the half dollar coin, that lasted longer than most dollar coins yet they are hardly seen or used in recent years.

So yes reduction of dollar coins is great. Heavy coins may be more cost effective but they are not as comfortable as dollar bills. For the young the two forms are obsolete and they already know that debit cards and smartphones are both efficient, cost effective, and comfortable.

Dang it! I think this did turn into a rant.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

1979 Cambodia 5 Sen

Do you have a Cambodia coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment

Found it! Temporarily mislabeled this coin in the unknown envelope the last time I went through my foreign coins. Since I only have this one Cambodian coin I often forget about it. There are no recognizable symbols or designs that I associate with Cambodia.

Royal emblem.
5 Sen 1979
It is a nicer piece in hand but you can clearly see splotches. This is typical among aluminum coins that are exposed to water droplets. Honestly with all the problem zinc, aluminum, and silver coins are giving me because of this New York City humidity I am liking gold more everyday.

Here's the stats...
Type/Country: 5 Sen / Cambodia
Year: 1979
Mintage: Unknown
Metal: 100% Aluminum 
Value: $1.25 in Extra-Fine

Do you have a coin from China and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Kwangtung Province 10 Cash

Do you have a Chinese coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment

It took a long time to identify this coin, mostly because some versions of world coin books reference this coin but never actually show it. In the Krause books this one is referred to as Y# 193 but in the 2010 World Coin Book it is not shown. 

Also there are mule versions where Y#192 and Y#193 have their reverses switched. Yes, confusing especially when you do not know the language.

Kuang-tung Sheng Tsao,  Kuang-hsü Yuan-pao around Board of Finance and Copper Coinage 10 Cash 
 光緒董事會財務硬幣十個現金 (pardon the translation)

Kwang-Tung is the province in China and ten cash is equivalent to one cent. The back of this one seemed to have something spilled on it. It has since turned into a powder and is falling off. I am sure it is a real coin so this is not casting residue. I hope one day to use distilled water to clean it off but that is not a priorty since the whole coin has verdigris damage.

Here's the stats...
Type/Country: 10 Cash (1 Cent) / China-Kwangtung Province
Year: 1900-1906
Mintage: 1,211,487,000 for the Y# 192 and I assume this Y# 193.
Metal: 95% Copper, 4% Lead, 1% Tin
Value: Fine about $2.00 but only if I can safely remove the powdery thing.

Oh yeah and varieties exist in the lettering and spacing.

Do you have a coin from China and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Friday, December 09, 2011

2002 $5 Gold

Do you have gold and want to know its value? Leave a comment

Buy them gold.

For whatever holiday you celebrate in the upcoming few weeks nothing would make a nicer gift than a bit of gold. I got this for myself in 2002 for Christmas from the mint for $42.95. Currently they are $175.00 on average, subject to the changing value of spot gold.


Check out the size compared to a dime, yup slightly smaller but worth so much more.
This tenth ounce (1/10 oz.) bullion coin has quadrupled in value and yes occasionally I feel like kicking myself for not buying a dozen and saving in the bank with this one. Slowly I am turning away from silver since even in a bank vault the silver coins are beginning to tarnish but gold barely changes.

Here's the stats...
Type/Country: 5 Dollar / United States
Year: 2002
Mintage: 230,027
Metal: 91.67% Gold, 5.33% Copper, 3.00% Silver
Value: $200.00 in Uncirculated

Do you have a gold coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment / question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

1997 Chile 10 Pesos

Do you have a Chile coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment

I always think I have more South American coins than I actually own. Mostly because I know a lot of people from that continent so the coins seems common. It turns I only have two coins from Chile.

This coin is much more silver color in hand but halogen lights and a lack of proper photo setup makes it look a bit yellow. Trust me it is more nickel than brass.

REPUBLICA DE CHILE LIBERTADOR B. O'HIGGINS (mintmark is an o on top of an S)
10 PESOS 1997
Although this one has the Santiago mint mark on the front it has no real affect since all these types of 10 Pesos have it.

Here's the stats...
Type/Country: 10 Pesos / Chile
Year: 1997
Mintage: Not yet known.
Metal: Nickel-Brass
Value: $0.10 in Very-Fine

Do you have a Chilean coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Monday, December 05, 2011

1990 Cayman Islands Quarter (DDO?)

Do you have a Cayman Islands coin and want to know its value? Leave a comment

One of six Cayman Islands coin I have and for the first time I noticed it has some doubling actually it is tripling. Looking at the word CAYMAN and the 1990 just with your eye it looks blurry. A closer look there is some doubling.

This picture was as clear as I could get as the camera was showing the shaky camera symbol. My poor Canon G11 could not auto-focus on half of the coin.

Check out this close up on the A you see clear flat machine doubling. Oh but the next picture it gets better.

Check out the 199 and  you see tripling. But the tripling is like steps each layer is flat and slightly lower then the one before that is clearly machine doubling and not true doubling. Even the rim has some doubling and at the point the rim is spilting is where the design is also affected. 

Anywhere the rim is normal so is the design. This is because the die hit the coin and then jumped on the coin a second and third time as the coin shifted slightly.

Back of the coin is normal.

So at the end this coin has no extra value. It is not an error but it is very cool to notice after years in my collection.

Here's the stats...
Type/Country: 25 Cents / Cayman Islands
Year: 1990
Mintage: Not yet known.
Metal: Copper-Nickel
Value: $0.25 in Fine (although the tripling may change that for some)

Side note: This should be a Cambodian post but I cannot find it. All I have is a notebook scribble that says Cambodia 1979 with no other reference, whether it was a coin or note it is gone, for now.

Do you have a quarter from the Cayman Islands and want to know its value? Leave a comment/question and I will do my best to find out the price and history for you.

Friday, December 02, 2011

Nightline: Penny Hoarders

Tonight the team at Nightline exposed the society of penny hoarders.

Here's the official link...Nightline Penny Hoarders.

My position is that people who hoard coins are slightly nuts. I mean take the money now and buy some silver, gold, or platinum. You now what buy dinner for your family that would be more rewarding.

Nightline first teased it as a scheme then said it is enterprising.

First up Joe Henry has 200,000 pennies or $2,000. He uses the analogy if he had Enron stock or some stock it would be worth nothing. (I would say what if he had Google or Microsoft stock.)

Next is Adam Youngs is a professional penny sorter who sells $100 of pennies for $176. He is so giggly it reminds of a kid who knows their doing something naughty and is getting away with it.

The Laws
It is against the law to transport $5.00 in pennies outside the country.
It is against the law to melt pennies or nickels.

The law against penny melting may be changed the next time the lawmakers meet.

At the end the buyers and hoarders are hoping They watch copper values go up, the theft of copper going up, and see the market for copper get larger. Unfortunately even if the law does change the market is bound to crash. Imagine billions and billions of pennies being turned to copper-smiths.

Update from an early story done on Joe Henry:
Joe Henry says the time it takes to get enough pennies to get a major windfall isn't worth it, but says he is continuing to collect for his son.
Joe Henry has a son diagnosed with autism and he used collecting to teach the boy to be more social.  

The ABC story focused on the business of penny hoarding  while the local station got the back-story. I think an Autism penny drive would do this family good.

Coin Jewelry

What is the point of collecting such ordinary circulating coins?

Well try gold plating them and putting them on a gold chain and bam you got something good. Looking over a recent ad from Macy's the coins instantly jumped out at me. They are Euros on a thin 14 karat 8 inch gold chain at one overvalued original price.

Maybe quality adds some value. Plus gold is doing well too. Seriously $1,200 for this.

I see a Luxembourg Euro Cent and an Austrian 2 Euro Cent piece but none of these have any special value,despite the year being hidden.

Now I may have missed something. Could it be these are solid gold Euro copies, highly doubt it. Are gold chains more valuable then I think at 14k? Maybe I will stop by Macy's and take a look in person.

Well in the future when you find a gold Euro cent in your change and you wonder why please refer to this post. This also applies to any other low grade coin that seems off metal but still weighs the same as a normal coin.

Side  note: This post was possible because I cannot find the Cambodian money I once had and can no longer locate. I may skip it and go to Cayman Islands coins next.