While most of us have heard stories of different coin collectors that have amassed very specific coin collections that they have kept for show, there are those that we seldom hear about. These coin hoarders are less concerned with collection coins for the sake of creating a collection, instead they harbor fears such as a natural distrust of banks. Lavere Redfield was once such hoarder and in his lifetime amassed over 400,000 silver dollars. As a young man born at the turn of the 20th century, Lavere Redfield was a simple potato farmer. When the Great Depression hit, he decided to take a chance and move to California. Here he began to buy junk bonds and foreclosed property as a form of investment. Once the depression ended he turned his investments into a small fortune that allowed him to purchase his own rather large home on farmable acreage in Reno, Nevada.
The West Point Mint, located in New York, is primarily a producer of uncirculated commemorative and proof coins today. It is one of the lesser known mints, but coins it has struck are recognized because they bear a W mint mark. For collectors of US gold coins, the West Point Mint is very important because today it produces not only American buffalo gold bullion coins, but all American Eagle series proof and bullion coins. In addition to gold coins, those buying coins of the commemorative type will most likely recognize it as a mint that produces silver and platinum coins too. This is a highly secure facility whose address is not released to the public. It has a fascinating history behind it. Since it never offers tours, a chance to learn about it is definitely something to take advantage of.
The West Point Mint was built in 1936, before it minted proof coins, it was known as the West Point Bullion Depository. Though it is now known for producing US gold coins, it was home to the highest concentration of silver of any of the US mints which caused some to call it the Fort Knox of Silver. While people buying coins today will likely have at least seen offers of coins coming from this mint, when it was first constructed it did not have mint status, primarily acting as a storage facility for the substantial silver holdings of the US instead.
(October 1, 2012) - When a person thinks about rare coins, they are often focused on its value, but there are several other reasons why these coins are prized among collectors. In fact, gold coins from the Greek and Roman empires are considered by academics to be among the finest and most relevant works of art from those time periods. For the first time ever, a collection of 500 coins, many of them gold or silver coins from thousands of years ago, will be on display at the Museum of Fine Art in Boston. According to a recent article in Art Daily, this is the only gallery dedicated to coins at a major art museum within the United States. The new Michael C. Ruettgers Gallery for Ancient Coins was funded by the man himself who also gave of his own collection, including such rarities as the Roman Aureus coin which shows Aelius Verus, minted in 137 AD.
The 2012 Olympic Games in London have turned the world's attention once again to the coveted gold medal. The same holds true for the silver and bronze medals which are still admired around the world for what they symbolize. But what are the metals actually made of? It is interesting to note that the medals for the Olympics have not always included precious metals. Let’s first cover the beginnings of the Games and how the medals came to be.
The Olympic games trace their lineage back to Ancient Greece when winners were given not gold, but olive wreaths. It would not be until 1896 that the modern Olympic Games tradition would begin with games held every 4 years during the summer season. Silver medals were given at the first games in Athens, Greece as well as an olive branch. The runners up received a laurel branch and a bronze medal.
The 1904 Olympic Games in St. Louis, Missouri were the first to use actual precious medals in the popular 3 kinds we know today. The International Olympic Committee, commonly known as the IOC, is the body that set the standard of gold, silver and bronze medals, even going back and awarding those top three competitors in each of the 1896 and 1900 Games in 1904.