Scott Barman

2012 U.S. CoinsAlthough coin production increased in 2011, the dominant conversation was what to do with the overproduction of one-dollar coins.

Passionate arguments on both sides of this issue found that eight different bills were introduced in congress to try to fix the problem. As with a lot of bills in congress, none were acted upon. In December, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner ordered their production be limited to what was needed to supply the collector community […]

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LegislationAs the 112th Congress gets ready to open its second session, let’s take a look back at the numismatic-related legislation that were involved in the first session.

The characterization of the 112th Congress as a "do nothing" congress can apply to how they have handled numismatic legislation. Of all the bills submitted in both chambers, none have become law. The only bill that was of a concern to coin dealers was Comprehensive 1099 Taxpayer Protection and Repayment of Exchange Subsidy Overpayments Act of 2011 (H.R. 4, Public Law No.: 112-9). The new law changes the provisions in the Affordable Healthcare Act (Healthcare Reform) to eliminate the requirement to file Form 1099 after any transaction anyone makes of more than $600 […]

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LegislationAs we know, the United States Mint does exactly what it is told by law. In order to understand what the U.S. Mint will do in the future, it is necessary to follow coin-related laws that are introduced and passed in Washington, DC.

Watching congress could be a sport in itself. But for our purposes, we limit the viewing to legislation concerning coin and the U.S. Mint […]

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2011 Medal of Honor Commemorative Coin DesignsIn 2011, the United States Mint has been authorized by Public Law 111-91 to issue commemorative silver and gold coins to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the Medal of Honor.

The Medal of Honor for individual valor was proposed by Iowa Senator James W. Grimes in 1861 and signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln on December 21, 1861. […]

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Briefcase of CoinsDuring the last week, there were two more stories of dealers being robbed. One occurred in Wichita Falls, Texas and the other in Parisippany, New Jersey. In both cases, the dealers stopped at a restaurant after the show ended, and had their windows broken to take what was in the car. The incident in Wichita Falls also involved an assault on the dealer and his wife.

Earlier this year, a coin dealer was robbed in Acton, Massachusetts after leaving a coin show in Westford. Also, a coin dealer from Jacksonville, North Carolina was robbed in Wilmington when he went to visit someone’s home he thought was interested in purchasing coins.

These incidents show that it is time for dealers to step up their security awareness and learn to protect themselves from the risks of robberies. Dealers with store fronts have a lot of options to protect their assets, although some have fatal ramifications. For the dealer who travels to and from shows, the security of their vehicle is very important.

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American FlagAccording to the lawyers at the U.S. Mint, the term "America the Beautiful" cannot be used when referring to the quarter series without noting that it is a trademark.

Coin World is reporting that Numismatic Guarantee Corporation will change the labels they use on certified 2010 quarters to remove "America The Beautiful" from across the top because the lawyers at the U.S. Mint complained.

According to registered trademark number 77823874, the trademark is for the term America the Beautiful Quarter™ with the disclaimer "No claim is made to the exclusive right to use America or Quarters apart from the mark as shown."

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BEP $100 noteSecurity researchers discovered that the website for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and associated "MoneyFactory Store" were hacked on Monday.

The attacker added instructions to the front page of both sites that would run a script to allow a Ukrainian-based system insert instructions that will allow someone to attack a user’s computer through the browser.

Currently, the BEP website (moneyfactory.gov, bep.gov, and bep.treas.gov) and the BEP’s online store (moneyfactorystore.gov) are off-line. The website used to support the launch the new $100 Federal Reserve Note (newmoney.gov) was not infected by this attack.

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PCGS Secure Plus graded coinsThis week, the Professional Coin Grading Service announced "The Big One," a service called PCGS Secure Plus — a new service line that will be an option for most collectors except for rare and ultra rare coins which must be certified by PCGS Secure Plus.

The significant part of this service is that PCGS is adding modern computer imaging to coin grading.

Coins grade through Secure Plus will be scanned by an optical device that will map the surface of the coin creating a digital signature of its characteristics that can be used for later reference. The digital signature is a unique identification of the coin that can withstand potential coin doctoring and to prevent the users from removing the coin from the slab to try to have it graded higher. It can also be used to determine if the coin was doctored from its previous submission such as being artificially toned.

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Theodore RooseveltWhile catching up on the weekend’s reading I came across an article Debate rages in coin world: Theodore Roosevelt or George Washington on new quarter? The article is about how the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee debated whether to recommend that Teddy Roosevelt be placed on the obverse of the new America the Beautiful Quarters.

Introduced in 1932, the Washington Quarter was intended to be issued as a one-time circulating commemorative to honor the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth. The quarter was born of controversy when Secretary of the Treasury Andrew Mellon chose John Flanagan’s depictions over what had been determined to be a more artistic version by Laura Gardin Fraser. Although Mellon was a collector of great fine art that was later donated to the National Gallery of Art, many knew he was a sexist and refused to consider that a woman’s work was better than a man’s.

As the Great Depression deepened, no quarters were struck in 1933. Toward the end of the year, US Mint director Nellie Tayloe Ross was asked by the Federal Reserve to produce more quarters for circulation. Rather than use a new design, Ross ask the Treasury Secretary William Woodin for permission to continue to use Fraser’s design. Since Ross and Woodin did not want to undergo a new design competition, the Fraser designed continued until it was "updated" in 1999 for the 50 State Quarters Program.

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With my background in computers, I love technology. When technology can be used to enhance what we do, I am one of the first people there to participate. This week, I downloaded my first coin-related iPhone application, PCGS Photograde™ for the iPhone (http://www.pcgs.com/Photograde/). While reading an article reviewing PCGS Photograde website, I noticed they included […]

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