Will the Jackie Kennedy first spouse coin be popular?

Is Jackie Kennedy three times as popular as Eleanor Roosevelt?  The US mint is counting on it.  For the now anemic first spouse gold coin series, mintages are limited to 10,000 per coin (split between the proof and uncirculated).  For most of the first spouses, the demand has been nowhere near 10,000.  In 2015, the series will be headlined by Jackie Kennedy.  For this coin, the limit will be tripled to 30,000.

Will collectors who have been on the sideline rush towards Jackie?  What do you think?

Over $20,000 in coins collected from vending machines and car wash vacuums

Dr. Planchet would like to congratulate Rick Snyder for his efforts in coin collecting.  Although Mr. Snyder may not have found any coins of significant numismatic value, he was able to collect $21,495 in coins -- an amazing plentitude of cents, nickels, dimes, and quarters-- all abandoned in vending machines and the vacuums in car washes.  It took Mr. Snyder over ten years to accomplish his feat.

The coins were donated to the Gulf Shore Animal League.

The full story can be found .here.

Pawn Stars Melting a coin collection? -- Pardon my Skepticism

Today I read an interesting article about a coin collection that was allegedly stolen and then sold to the Las Vegas Gold & Silver Pawn Shop that is featured on the History Channel's show, Pawn Stars (which admittedly I have watched once or twice).  The coins were apparently graded and slabbed.

A Pawn Shop spokesperson (I didn't realize Pawn Shops had spokespersons) stated "If the grader is not someone we trust, the cases are cracked open and the coins are sent out to be melted down."

The melting of any historic coin brings a tear to my eye.  But here, I smell a rat.

The coins included a Saint Gaudens double eagle, morgan dollars, and an American Buffalo gold coin.  The fact that the coins may have been overgraded by a disreputable third party grader would not produce grounds for melting the coins.  All of the coins, even at relatively low grades, would have at least some premium to the bullion value.  Even if they had no premium, melting them would still make no sense.  Any nitwit knows an American Buffalo coin contains one ounce of pure gold.  If it is melted into a clump of gold, its purity will be unknown to anyone except those wishing to conduct extensive tests.  Silver investors frequently buy silver coins (rather than no-name silver bars) because they know the composition.

And so, why were the coins so quickly melted?  One reason is that it could provide cover in case the coins turned out to be stolen.

As a postscript, the article claims the collection included a rare 1903 Saint Gaudens double eagle -- which would indeed be rare since the series did not start until several years later.  I assume the year was a typo.

The original article can be found here.

Brasher Doubloon vs. 1913 Liberty Head Nickel: A Battle for most valuable coin

Today in Florida, there is a battle for the most valuable coin in the FUN show auction as a 1787 Brasher Doubloon takes on a 1913 Liberty Head Nickel.  The internet bidding has now closed.  The Brasher Doubloon has a high bid of 3.6 million dollars (4.23 million with the buyer's premium) while the Liberty Head nickel has a high bid of 2.8 million dollars (3.29 million including the buyers premium).  

Both coins have appeared on fictional TV or movies.  The Olsen specimen of the Liberty head nickel appeared on the Hawaii five O episode, million dollar nickel, while the Doubloon starred in the detective movie entitled The Brasher Doubloon .

The coins are both important, but sharply contrasting parts of numismatic history.  The Brasher Doubloon as an early example of colonial coinage (the only gold coin intended to circulate) while the liberty head nickel is likely the result of minting shenanigans.  The liberty head nickel is the scarcer of the two coins with only five struck.  There are seven Brasher Doubloons that are accounted for.

We will wait and see how high prices go.  Good luck to both coins.