Friday, September 25, 2020

Numismatic Articles

What is coin grading?

Coin grading is to determine the condition of the coin, the state of preservation, the degree of wear, the details or strike. All these factors will determine the grade of the coin and which it turn, determine the coin's market value.

Coins usually fall into 2 categories. Circulated or Uncirculated.

Circulated coins means that the coins have been in circulation and there are signs of US Trade Dollar 1974'wear and tear". Numismatic coins are usually circulated e.g. coins dating back to 1700 - 1900s.

The photo on the right is an example of a circulated coin - a US Trade Dollar dated 1874

Un-circulated Coins as the term suggest are coins that are not circulated. These coins usually comes from the Mint in rolls or bags and do not show any signs of wear nor handled by bare hands. Another term to take note of is Mint Sate. The coin is usually in perfect, pristine condition. It does not have any signs of wear except for some bag marks. One perfect example is the Mint or proof set.

The early coin grading guide were rather simple. Coin dealers used terms like poor, good, fine, and uncirculated. Coin grading is also quite subjective. Some say it is an art and others say it is science. A person may grade a coin as VF while another person may grade it as EF. Because personal opinion defers, this is where 3rd party grading comes in.

When a coin is graded by a professional 3rd party, it gives collectors and investors the assurance that the coin is genuine and promotes confidence of the buying and selling among numismatic community

Most grading companies today uses the  Sheldon Scale which is a 70-point scale for grading coins, developed by Dr. William Sheldon in 1949. Dr William Sheldon was a physician and medical researcher at the New York's Columbia University. It uses a 30 different grade designations that classified a circulated coin from a scale of low of 1 to 58 and 60 - 70 for uncirculated.

The Sheldon Scale of coin grading which Dr. William Sheldon developed in 1949 was to provide a precise meaning to replace the subjective terms such like Good, Very Good, Fine etc. Initially, coin collectors were not keen to use Dr. Sheldon's scale. It was in the 1908s that it became the bench mark standard because of third-party coin grading services which popularized it

Since then, a a slightly modified form of the Sheldon Scale has become the de facto standard for grading U.S. coins and eventually covers World coins also.

The tip to grading an uncirculated coin is guided by a framework of eight factors - Luster, contact marks, strike, color, toning, friction, coin or die flaws and obverse/reverse consolidation.  Each of this factor adds up and will determine the grade which in term determine the market value of the coin




Perth Mint coins

Perth Mint is one the oldest operating mint in the world. dating back to 1899. It started as a branch of the Royal Mint in London to refine gold and manufacture gold sovereigns and half sovereigns to be used as currency in the colony. The Mint remained under the jurisdiction of Britain until July 1, 1970, when it became a statutory authority of the Government of Western Australia. It is now owned by Gold Corporation which is wholly-owned by the Government of Western Australia.

Today, their coin designs hold a prominent place as some of the most beautiful in
1 oz  Kookaburra Silver cointhe world.  
A  laughing kookaburra, the largest member of the kingfisher species, is synonymous
with the Australian bush.

Kookaburra silver coins are legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965 and bear an effigy of "Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II" on one side and the Kookaburra bird with a monetary denomination on the obverse. Beside their investment value, Perth Mint coins make excellent gift items due to their
quality and individual packaging.

Perth Mint offers one of the world's most extensive ranges of bullion coins struck from 99.9% pure silver.
Each coin in the program is issued as official legal tender under the Australian Currency Act 1965, its Government guarantees of quality

Trusted by investors worldwide, Perth Mint silver bullion coins are further characterized by limited mintage and new reverse artistry each year.

Each design incorporates the Mint's traditional 'P' mint mark, a 110 year old symbol embodying its commitment to minting excellence

Perth Mint's coins are one of the most recognizable brand and the coin designs are some of the most beautiful in the world.
There is an increasing pool of collectors worldwide for Perth Mint modern bullion,
and whether you buy them as an investment or for their beauty,
Perth Mint's coins is well known for the highest quality and among the fineness in the world

These coins are distinguished from other precious metal investment coins by:

  • Annual design changes on all sizes.
  • A government guarantee of purity and weight.
  • Official Australian legal tender status.
  • Distinctive Australian designs, so they are easily recognized on the international stage.
  • A superior quality of finish, which incorporates delicate proof-like frosting within the central design area.


The Australian Kookaburra silver coins are unique in that they are the world's largest bullion coins and their design changes each year.

This has also created a loyal following of collectors worldwide and the prices of the earlier dates are fetching a high premium

Production mintage for Australia kookaburra bird silver coins:

  • 1 ounce SILVER - 300,000 yearly maximum
  • 2 ounce and 10 ounce - minted according to yearly demand
  • 1 kilo -  minted according to yearly demand

The 2 ounces are limited in mintage and thus, commands a higher premium

This Australian Silver Kookaburra coins comes in sizes from one ounce to one kilo. 

1 Kilo Australian Silver Kookaburra coin
Face value of $30,
weight of 1003.002g,
diameter of 100.60mm and 14.60mm thickness.

10 Ounces Australian Silver Kookaburra coin
Face value of $10,
Weight of 312.347g,
Diameter of 85.60mm and 6.60mm thickness.

2 Ounces Australian Silver Kookaburra coin
Face value of $2,
weight of 62.770g,
diameter of 55.60mm and thickness of 3.60mm

1 Ounce Australian Silver Kookaburra coin
Face value of $1,
weight of 31.635g,
diameter of 45.60mm and of thickness of 2.60 mm

The Perth Mint's Kookaburra bird coin designs are some of the most beautiful in the world. Collectors are growing for this modern bullion and whether you buy them as an investment or for their beauty, the high quality of these modern bullion coins are one of the fineness in the world


How is money created

Federal Government creates money by borrowing from the Federal Reserve Bank. The Federal Reserve Bank holds, by law, a licensed monopoly from the Federal Government on money management, and can "create" money, at will, without asset backing, at whatever interest rate it deems appropriate. It attempts to manage the money supply by central control, the function handled by individual traders in self managed systems. Since the government does not put up any assets as collateral for its borrowing from the Federal Reserve Bank, it is trust that the government (i.e. all the citizens) will repay government loans and the interest on them that keeps the money system alive.

Dr. Martenson presents a short and interesting understanding how money is created. It provides a foundation for appreciating the implications of the massive levels of debt and how debt came into being. As John Kenneth Galbraith once said, "The process by which money is created is so simple, the mind is repelled." Dr. Martenson walks through this simple process of fractional reserve banking


What is numismatics?

The strict meaning of Numismatics is defined as the scientific analysis of coinage throughout history. The word "Numismatics" is is derived from the Greek word "nomisma", i.e. coin - the science of coins and money as well as their history. This often involved extensive research and cross references because the earliest coins do not have any dates. for example, the Roman coins, the gold fanams, Chinese Coinage. However, in the 1990s, the term "Numismatic" also extend to the "the study or collecting of coins, medals, paper money" and not just coinage. In today's context, the term numismatist has been used to mean generally anybody who is really serious about their coin collecting. In another word - a coin collector.


Keynesian vs Austrian Economics

Keynesian vs Austrian Economics

What is Keynesian and Austrian about? This is often mentioned with regards to economics.

John Maynard Keynes and F. A. Hayek

Keynesian economics is a theory of total spending in the economy (called aggregate demand) and its effects on output and inflation. It was named after John Maynard Keynes (1883 - 1946), a British economist whose ideas have profoundly affected modern macroeconomics and social liberalism, both in theory and practice.

Bottom line - it encourages spending

Austrian Economics is a school of thought that is associated with little government interference in the marketplace, the primacy of property rights and is generally associated with libertarian ideology. Austrians focus on the role interest rates play in balancing saving and investment activity.

Friedrich August von Hayek CH (8 May 1899 – 23 March 1992), was an Austrian-born economist and philosopher known for his defence of classical liberalism and free-market capitalism against socialist and collectivist thought.



Listen and Watch this interesting rap song. - Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem is a place to learn about the economic way of thinking through the eyes of creative director John Papola and creative economist Russ Roberts. - Lyrics of the song

John Maynard Keynes, wrote the book on modern macro
The man you need when the economy’s off track, [whoa]
Depression, recession now your question’s in session
Have a seat and I’ll school you in one simple lesson

BOOM, 1929 the big crash
We didn’t bounce back—economy’s in the trash
Persistent unemployment, the result of sticky wages
Waiting for recovery? Seriously? That’s outrageous!

I had a real plan any fool can understand
The advice, real simple—boost aggregate demand!
C, I, G, all together gets to Y
Make sure the total’s growing, watch the economy fly

We’ve been going back and forth for a century
[Keynes] I want to steer markets,
[Hayek] I want them set free
There’s a boom and bust cycle and good reason to fear it
[Hayek] Blame low interest rates.
[Keynes] No… it’s the animal spirits

You see it’s all about spending, hear the register cha-ching
Circular flow, the dough is everything
So if that flow is getting low, doesn’t matter the reason
We need more government spending, now it’s stimulus season

So forget about saving, get it straight out of your head
Like I said, in the long run—we’re all dead
Savings is destruction, that’s the paradox of thrift
Don’t keep money in your pocket, or that growth will never lift…


Business is driven by the animal spirits
The bull and the bear, and there’s reason to fear its
Effects on capital investment, income and growth
That’s why the state should fill the gap with stimulus both…

The monetary and the fiscal, they’re equally correct
Public works, digging ditches, war has the same effect
Even a broken window helps the glass man have some wealth
The multiplier driving higher the economy’s health

And if the Central Bank’s interest rate policy tanks
A liquidity trap, that new money’s stuck in the banks!
Deficits could be the cure, you been looking for
Let the spending soar, now that you know the score

My General Theory’s made quite an impression
[a revolution] I transformed the econ profession
You know me, modesty, still I’m taking a bow
Say it loud, say it proud, we’re all Keynesians now

We’ve been goin’ back n forth for a century
[Keynes] I want to steer markets,
[Hayek] I want them set free
There’s a boom and bust cycle and good reason to fear it
[Keynes] I made my case, Freddie H
Listen up , Can you hear it?

Hayek sings:
I’ll begin in broad strokes, just like my friend Keynes
His theory conceals the mechanics of change,
That simple equation, too much aggregation
Ignores human action and motivation

And yet it continues as a justification
For bailouts and payoffs by pols with machinations
You provide them with cover to sell us a free lunch
Then all that we’re left with is debt, and a bunch

If you’re living high on that cheap credit hog
Don’t look for cure from the hair of the dog
Real savings come first if you want to invest
The market coordinates time with interest

Your focus on spending is pushing on thread
In the long run, my friend, it’s your theory that’s dead
So sorry there, buddy, if that sounds like invective
Prepare to get schooled in my Austrian perspective

We’ve been going back and forth for a century
[Keynes] I want to steer markets,
[Hayek] I want them set free
There’s a boom and bust cycle and good reason to fear it
[Hayek] Blame low interest rates.
[Keynes] No… it’s the animal spirits

The place you should study isn’t the bust
It’s the boom that should make you feel leery, that’s the thrust
Of my theory, the capital structure is key.
Malinvestments wreck the economy

The boom gets started with an expansion of credit
The Fed sets rates low, are you starting to get it?
That new money is confused for real loanable funds
But it’s just inflation that’s driving the ones

Who invest in new projects like housing construction
The boom plants the seeds for its future destruction
The savings aren’t real, consumption’s up too
And the grasping for resources reveals there’s too few

So the boom turns to bust as the interest rates rise
With the costs of production, price signals were lies
The boom was a binge that’s a matter of fact
Now its devalued capital that makes up the slack.

Whether it’s the late twenties or two thousand and five
Booming bad investments, seems like they’d thrive
You must save to invest, don’t use the printing press
Or a bust will surely follow, an economy depressed

Your so-called “stimulus” will make things even worse
It’s just more of the same, more incentives perversed
And that credit crunch ain’t a liquidity trap
Just a broke banking system, I’m done, that’s a wrap.

We’ve been goin’ back n forth for a century
[Keynes] I want to steer markets,
[Hayek] I want them set free
There’s a boom and bust cycle and good reason to fear it
[Hayek] Blame low interest rates.
[Keynes] No it’s the animal spirits

“The ideas of economists and political philosophers, both when they are right and when they are wrong, are more powerful than is commonly understood. Indeed the world is ruled by little else. Practical men, who believe themselves to be quite exempt from any intellectual influence, are usually the slaves of some defunct economist.”
John Maynard Keynes
The General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money

“The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design.”
F A Hayek
The Fatal Conceit