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The Tarnished Truth
*** Vol II *** WINSnews *** Issue XXXI ***

Welcome to the Tarnished Truth, your newsletter. When computers were first starting to be a well used tool for the average home there was a group of individuals who enjoyed lording it over the rest of us new comers with a vocabulary of strange and seemingly nonsensical words such as bit and byte, ram and nanosecond. Well you know in all my years in the numismatic hobby I do not ever remember seeing a collector do that with his acquired knowledge. The sharing of such knowledge is actually a major part of the hobby. History and its little stories is what gives certain coins that mystique that creates the demand. So the next time you are sitting in a restaurant talking coins with a friend and a ease-dropper gives you what for because you are saying unkind things about the last President, just tell them no that is the George Clinton Cent we are talking about, it is a very rare colonial coin and it is worth a small fortune.

Best
Ray D Larson






Feature Article

CONTEST Starts Now !



By Ray Larson WINS# 21

READ the details here




Special Article

Brick-and-Mortar Coin Shop Robbed




By JD White WINS#7

Another small coin shop here in the United States has suffered a devastating burglary and in danger of closing it's doors forever. This small mom and pop coin shop carried everything collectors could want from US and world coins to supplies and the new Euro coin sets and bi-metallics. I am part of a small group of collectors seeking support to help this shop stay in business and we are appealing to coin collectors worldwide for assistance.
Please read the complete story here:
and please do what you can to assist. These are really good people and they deserve our assistance. If small shops like this continue to close, soon there won't be any left. If you could print the data on the webpage and pass it around at your next local club meeting, it would be most helpful





**** WINS BIO ****


Steve Kelly

Me, and Coins!


    Born in 1957 on Florida's Space Coast, my interest in coins came about in the time-honored tradition of being passed down from dear-old-dad. My father was a hobbyist who purchased his Whitman Coin Albums, and would then search his spare change for the purpose of plugging the holes. Buying coins was of no interest to him. Being a product of the Great Depression with the memory of the Federal Reserve Bank breaking its contract with the people fresh in his mind, he also kept things like jars of Silver Dollars on hand. My own interest blossomed through him. Dad would work as a volunteer for the local church bagging collection money. After Sunday services, we'd go through the coins thrown in the collection box, buying the coins we needed. I would merely assist in the search. It was in this manner that I found a 1909-S Lincoln Cent. I remember spending weeks looking at the reverse of that coin, but no matter how hard I stared, the letters, "V.D.B." never showed up. Starting in about 1966, such searches got a secondary delegation to the task of buying all the silver out of the collection box.

    My Boy Scout career only included two Boy Scout Merit Badges (living on the beach has a way of distracting one from such things), but one of those two was the Coin Collecting Merit Badge. My clearest memory of obtaining that badge was not so much meeting the requirements of the merit badge itself as it was coming up with the right excuse avoid one particular requirement. Back then its type-set requirements included obtaining a 1913 Type I Buffalo Nickel. Buffalo Nickels were already getting quite scarce (it was an event to find one with a readable date by then), and the Type I's were already long out of circulation. I completed the rest of the requirements. As a sweetener I threw in the 1909-S Lincoln, went to the merit badge counselor, and sang my sad song about how finding a Type-I Buffalo was beyond the means of a kid doing house chores for an allowance of fifty cents a week. My charm prevailed (actually, the counselor said he waived that particular requirement for everyone, but I still enjoy self-delusion, and this is MY Bio after all), and I ended up with the merit badge.

As the years went onward, things like sports and surfing lured my interest away from coin collecting.

    We will now fast-forward to the year 2000. Down goes the stock market, and with it my portfolio. I start doing a little investment research. A few weeks of research reveals that this stock market was not something that was going to turn around any time soon. Interest rates are falling like a rock, which merely added to my already dim opinion of saving in dollars. By fate, a fourth of my work time was spent working on the 401(k) and Pension Fund of Newmont Mining Company. What is this? A stock actually going UP in value? This of course leads to researching what it is they actually mine - GOLD. What is this here? Gold is selling at 100-year lows in CPI-adjusted dollars? Silver is at nearly these same amazing lows? Alas the decision was made. No more stocks for at least another decade or so (unless it's a mining stock, of course), and certainly not dollar accounts. Let someone else be silly enough to loan their hard earned money to the government For me, gold and silver it shall be!

    Now my "how to buy gold" lesson had to begin. Naturally, since my own 401(k) was like most everyone else's, offering only the choices of bad and worse, alternatives had to be found. In an altogether unrelated newsgroup, there was this fellow I knew named Roy Wilson. I remembered long ago his mentioning a sweet tooth for precious metals. It was through his suggestion that bullion coins, rounds, and 90% silver coins was probably the best way to invest into precious metals for those without the $30,000 required to make purchases on the COMEX. Thus, the purchases began. Of course, when you're buying quarters and dimes with every spare dollar you have, it's hard to resist the urge to start looking at their dates, especially when someone like Roy suggests, "so why not try and fill a Whitman?"

    Such is how the hooks are set, and how someone with a passing interest in coin collecting from childhood returns to it.

On the Hobby Itself:

    On visiting numismatic clubs, I found out I am a young guy! At work, being 46 made me the grandfather of the department (pension and 401(k) admin is an industry of the young). It was nice to find a hobby where I am the spring chicken, and not the old man.

    The big challenge Numismatics faces today is attracting kids. In my opinion, the coins in circulation aren't enough to hook their interest. In my days, even at my young tender age, one could still find an abundance of interesting coins. Buffalo Nickels and Mercury Dimes were still in some circulation. One could still buy a Lincoln 1909-1940 Whitman and still be able to make a respectable start on it.

On coins I own

    My favorite coins are always those I obtain under the most unusual of circumstances. Imagine answering the knock on your door. Imagine seeing your upstairs neighbor showing you a jar of coins he found beside his bathtub working in his bathroom. Imagine opening it up, and finding the usual silver and wheat pennies of no special value. Imagine going to the seven silver dollars, five of them of no particular value, and then wondering how THESE ended up there:


1878-CC and 1881-CC





? ? ? Trivia Question ? ? ?

On what current USA minted coin would you find a representation of the slave cap?

Answer at the bottom of this page.







Byline Josh Moran


Click Here



Exceptional E

This Month






The Feature Coin




Counter Marked Coins


Whether it be a matter of not enough local coinage or as in the case the Chinese chop marks a validation of a coins intrinsic metal value countermarked coins have been used by many countries and even private parties for centuries. This example is a Guatemalan one Peso stamped onto a Peru Un Sol coin. A very interesting and collectable specialty area in numimimatics.



HOBBY HISTORY

THE LITTLE KING COMES HOME TO THE "QUEEN CITY"

1849-C "Open Wreath" gold dollar - is returning to Charlotte, North Carolina - the "Queen City" - for the American Numismatic Association's (ANA) National Money Show™, March 21-23
More info at the ANA site






? ? ? Trivia Answer ? ? ?

The answer is: It is of course the magnificent rendision of Weinman's Walking Liberty design now reborn on the yearly issued Silver Eagle.




T Report

by Robert Peterson


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Expenses $60 (email list fees)

Revenue Net amount $5.53

Paypal Balance as of 2-21-03    $213.66




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