World's Oldest Coins
One of the world’s oldest coins was recently sold in Germany for over over $380,000. Issued between 600 and 625 B.C., this coin is unique because of the stamp of Phanes. The exact identity of Phanes remains unknown. “I am the badge of Phanes” is one of the English translations of the stamp. The words can also be translated as the more cryptic “I am the tomb of light.” Since Phanes was the god of light, and also the word for light, the ancient words can be interpreted in many different ways.

There are four examples of these types of coins. Known as “Staters of Phanes,” the denomination is one stater. A stater is an early currency of ancient Greece. Denominations began at 1/96, and went up to one stater. There were seven total denominations. Only the two highest had the Phanes stamp.
One of the oldest coins known was discovered in Efesos, an ancient Hellenic city and prosperous trading center on the coast of Asia Minor. The 1/6 stater was made from electrum, a natural occurring alloy of gold and silver. It originated in Lydia.

The ancient stater was hand struck. A die with a design for the obverse (front) of the coin was placed on an anvil. A blank of metal was placed on top of the die, and a punch hammered onto the reverse. The result was a coin with an image on one side and a punch mark on the other.
Electrum Stater Of Miletos. Several Greek cities as well as the Lydian kings began minting the first coins by stamping the badge of their city into one side of a standard weight lump of electrum and various punches into the other. These were used to facilitate trade by certifying that the intrinsic value and weight of the metal was guaranteed by the issuing authority.

Of these early coins, those of Miletos (600-550 BC), are probably the finest.
In 2014 A diver found what is believed to be the oldest gold coin ever discovered in Bulgaria. The ancient coin was found in shallow waters near the resort town of Sozopol on Bulgaria’s Black Sea coast.

The coin was minted in Lydia in the second half of the seventh century BCE, which puts the coin’s age at around 2750 years. Sozopol was founded as a colony of the Greek city state of Miletos about 611 BCE – first named Antheia, it was later known as Apollonia. The coin weighs 0.63 grams and has a denomination of 1/24 of a stater.

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A silver Tetradrachm, Thrace dates from 386-375 BC and depicts a Griffin preparing to spring on the obverse with a nude image of the god Apollo carrying a laurel branch and patera and accompanied by a stag. About $7,500

Gold octadrachm from the reign of Ptolemy II in Alexandria from 285-246 BC. Arsinoe II on the obverse, a double cornucopia appears on the reverse. $11,500.
Thrace - Tauric Chersonesus, Pantikapaion, (c.320 B.C.), gold stater, (9.13 gm), obv. head of bearded Pan to left, with animal ear, wearing ivy wreath, rev. horned griffin with curved wings standing to left on an ear of corn, right foreleg raised, head facing, holding spear in jaws. $33,000
Gold coin of Croesus - Croesus was the king of Lydia from 560 to 547 BC until his defeat by the Persians. In Greek and Persian cultures the name of Croesus became a synonym for a wealthy man. Croesus' wealth remained proverbial beyond classical antiquity: in English, expressions such as "rich as Croesus" or "richer than Croesus" are used to indicate great wealth to this day.

Ancient Roman Gold Aureus Coin of Emperor Augustus - 10 BC. $ 5,800
Gold Byzantine Solidus Coin of Jesus Christ & Emperor Justinian II. $8,000.00

Ancient Celtic AV Gold Remic Stater Coin from the Atrebates Tribe - 55 BC. $1,600.00
English Medieval gold sovereign struck under King Henry VIII. The obverse depicting the King, enthroned holding orb and sceptre, portcullis at feet, his cloak falling over his feet in folds, ornate pillars either side.
The legend reading:


"Henry, by the Grace of God, King of England and France, Lord of Ireland" - $19,500.00
Alexander the Great lifetime stater, 8.61g, official issue from Abydos, Asia Minor, c. 328-323 BC

Silver stater of Lokris featuring Ajax. Persephone is on the obverse.
Syracuse, 16 Litrae coin of Hieron II. (275-215 BC)

Sicily, Katane. c. 430-420. BC

The Walton Nickle
It's a mysterious nickel that was estimated to bring $2.5 million at auction. The coin, known as the Walton nickel, surpassed estimates and sold for $3.17 million in early 2013.
This nickel is both old and rare, one of only five that were struck at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia in 1913. That year a buffalo image was to replace the Liberty head design on the front side of the U.S. nickel. Five coins were inadvertently struck with the old image.

The coin is not supposed to exist. It is supposed to have the buffalo design.

The existence of the coin and its four mates was not discovered until 1920, by which time the five 1913 Liberty head nickels had fallen into the hands of different owners. But for many years, the Walton nickel, named after one of its owners, coin collector George Walton, went missing.

The last time the Walton nickel was up for sale was 1944, when Walton bought it for $3750. Eighteen years later, Walton was killed in a car accident while on his way to a coin show. Though Walton's collection was recovered, his family was told that the 1913 Liberty nickel he had with him that day was a fake.
A decade ago, as a promotion for a display of the other four nickels in the set, a $1 million reward was offered for anyone who brought in the missing coin. Walton's family decided to bring their nickel in to see if it might be real after all. Indeed it was.

The family decided to put the coin up for auction. "It's been in their family for 70 years. They decided that the hundredth anniversary of the coin was the right time to sell it and for another collector to have it," Rohan said.

Ancient Gold Coins redux
Example of the most successful coin denomination in history; an antique fine gold ducat or Zecchino, minted under the 82nd Doge of Venice, Lorenzo Priuli. Struck 1556 - 1559 in Venice, Italy.

The gold ducats of Venice were first struck in 1284. Their very high gold content (99.40%) made the coins extremely desirable and they are considered to be the earliest examples of a globally accepted currency. Ducats continued to be struck for over 500 years - longer than any other coin issue in history. $1,250.00
An ancient Indian gold Maiores Domus dinar from the Kushan Empire, struck under Emperor Vasudeva II circa 270 - 310 A.D.

The obverse with Vasudeva II, nimbate, standing left, sacrificing over altar and holding filleted scepter; in left field, filleted trident. The reverse with the goddess Ardoxsho, nimbate, seated facing on throne, holding diadem and cornucopia. $850.00
An ancient Greek hekte from Cyzicus, Mysia, struck circa 500 - 450 B.C. The obverse with naked youth kneeling right, hair bound by taenia with frontal projection, holding knife and tunny fish (emblem of Cyzicus). The reverse with quadripartite incuse square punch. Kyzikos was a wealthy ancient town located between the Aegean and the Black Sea, its advantageous position made it a major center for commerce and trade. $2,250.00
Ancient Celtic gold stater struck by the Chief of the Corieltauvi tribe, Volisios Dumnocoveros. Dating to the Late Iron Age circa 20 - 35 A.D.

The obverse with a vertical wreath made up of square leaves running in opposite directions from the centre of the coin. Across this in two lines is the legend: VOLISIOS The reverse with disjointed Celtic horse, galloping left. $3,250.00
An ancient Byzantine gold solidus of Emperor Basiliscus, (Flavius Basiliscus Augustus.) Struck January 475 - August 476 A.D. at the Constantinople mint. The obverse with a superb portrait of Basiliscus, shown wearing an ornate cuirass and pearl diademed helmet, carrying a spear which rests over his shoulder and holding an oval shield, decorated with a horseman spearing a fallen enemy. The legend reading:

D[ominvs] N[oster] BASILICVS P[ater] P[atriae] AVG[vstvs]
"Our Lord Basiliscus, Father of the People, Augustus"

The reverse with the goddess, Victory standing left holding a long, jewelled cross and wearing loose drapery. $7,000.00

Caligula Gold Coin Found in Cyprus
In late 2012 an ancient Gold aureus of emperor Caligula was discovered underwater in the area between Limassol and Larnaca in Cyprus by a local amateur fisherman.

The coin was made in Rome in the first century AD and depicts the Roman emperor Gaius (reigned AD 37-41), otherwise known forever to history by his nickname Caligula ('Little Boot').
Roman gold went east in payment for spices and silk. The Roman writer Pliny the Elder (AD 23/4-79) tells us that, in his day, over 25 million denarii were spent each year on this trade, equivalent to one million gold coins.
Caligula was very tall, with spindly legs and a thin neck. His eyes and temples were sunken and his forehead broad and glowering. His hair was thin and he was bald on top, though he had a hairy body. During his reign it was a crime punishable by death to look down on him as he passed by, or to mention a goat in his presence.
Caligula was sadistic, cruel and indulged in sexual aberrations that offended Rome and were considered insane. Caligula's power soon led him to believe himself a God. This led him to kill anyone that he thought surpassed him in something.

Declaring himself a deity caused a major backlash in Judea, because the Jewish law said that they could only worship their God. His refusal to revoke the decree that the nations worship him caused the revolution in Judea. Caligula's hubris eventually destroyed him. He insulted his Roman military commanders, particularly Cassius Chaerea, who plotted against and murdered him on January 24, 41 at the Palatine Games.


US mint runs out of certain Silver Eagles
"Inventories of newly struck 2013 American Eagle silver bullion coins are exhausted after United States Mint authorized dealers ordered 6,007,000 in less than two weeks.

Sales came to an unexpected end Thursday for the one-ounce, 99.9% pure silver coins. The U.S. Mint implemented a sales suspension that, it says, will continue until inventories build up to support at least rationed buying. The Mint’s target date to resume ordering on an allocated basis is on or about the week of Jan. 28, 2013.

2013-dated American Eagle silver bullion coins launched on Jan. 7, 2013. Opening sales hit 3,937,000 for a one-day record that spans through the Silver Eagle’s 27-year history. Pent-up demand boosted the numbers as the 2012-dated bullion coins sold out on Dec. 19, leaving distributors without new supplies for three weeks."
Silver prices posted the biggest gain for the week among major metals, up 5%.

Silver prices are up nearly 8% in the past couple weeks as investors increasingly load up on the white metal.

Trillion Dollar Coin Trick "explained"
So the massive US deficit is no problemo, don't we worry our little heads. Fallback plans include minting a trillion-dollar coin out of platinum. Whazza?

"Today, former US Mint director Philip Diehl explained in a comment on the Pragamatic Capitalism blog how the proposed trillion-dollar coin of platinum would come about."
1. The US Congress authorized the Treasury Secretary more than 220 years ago to handle money. In particular, the Secretary has complete discretion to produce all platinum coins, including the denominations.

2. The accounting treatment for this coin is the same as all others:
•the US Mint makes the coin
•the coin is shipped to the Federal Reserve
•the Fed books $1 trillion and transfers that amount to the Treasury’s general fund
•the general fund can then be applied to finance government operations
•25-cent coins are handled in the same way

3. Once the US federal debt limit is raised:
• the Treasury sells more bonds to bring in more money for the government
•the Federal Reserve ships back the trillion-dollar coin to the US Mint
•the accounting treatment for the trillion-dollar coin is reversed
•the trillion-dollar coin would be melted and it never would be circulated

Diehl said this works like additional tax revenue or borrowing under a higher debt limit so there are no negative macroeconomic effects. Moreover, the trillion-dollar coin doesn’t circumvent congressional power nor raise the debt limit, it delays when the debt limit is reached."

So there's absolutely NOTHING to worry about here, right?


$ 50 American Buffalo Gold Coin
The United States Mint reported sales of the proof coin notched 19,765 as of January 21, 2013.

The American Buffalo, also known as a Gold Buffalo, were the first .9999 fine 24-karat gold coins offered for sale by the United States Mint on June 22, 2006.

2006 – 2012 American Buffalo Gold Proof Coin Mintages / Sales
YearInitial PriceMintages / Sales
2012 (released March 15)$1960.0019,765
2011 (released May 19)$1,760.0028,693
2010 (released June 3)$1,510.0049,263
2009 (released October 29)$1,360.0049,306
2008* (released July 22)$1,199.9518,863
2007 (released May 23)$825.9558,998
2006 (released June 22)$800.00246,267

"LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Royal Mint has started to manufacture gold sovereign coins in India for the first time in almost 100 years, it said on Monday.

Indian residents have been unable to buy commemorative sovereigns since 1918, when the Royal Mint operated a branch in the country, producing 1.3 million coins in a single year. The first production run will be for 50,000 pieces and will be available in the market immediately, the Royal Mint said in a statement that coincided with British Prime Minister David Cameron's visit to India. The commemorative sovereigns will be produced by Indian gold producer MMTC-PAMP using tools and techniques developed by the Royal Mint in its South Wales facility.

India is the largest consumer of gold, with gold coins playing a key role in wedding ceremonies and festival celebrations throughout the year. The country's gold medal market is estimated at around 80 tonnes a year."


World's largest Gold Coin(s)
Ottawa, Ontario, October 18, 2007 – The Royal Canadian Mint (RCM) is proud to announce that its masterpiece 100-kg, 99.999% pure gold bullion coin with a $1 million face value has been proven by Guinness World Records to be the world's largest gold coin.

After several interested buyers came forward, the RCM decided to make a very limited quantity available for sale. To date, five of these majestic gold bullion coins, weighing 3,215 troy ounces each, have been purchased by investors from Canada and abroad.

3,215 troy ounces (of many extra fine 9s) gives us something that otter be worth around $ 5,460,000, at least, if we find one laying around today.

Not to be outdone in such matters, The Perth Mint in Australia took 18 months and unveiled a 1 tonne, 1,000 kilograms, or 32,150.7466 troy monster coin in late 2011.

My math makes this baby worth $ 54,655,500 on a real bad day.


RCM 10kg Coin
One has to hand it to the Royal Canadian Mint. If one of the 100 kg solid gold coins is slightly outside your budget the RCM has a nifty 10 kg variety (limited edition of 20, don't be ridiculous pffft) thats sure to tickle your expensive fancy.

Featured is west coast artist Bill Reid's iconic "The Spirit of Haida Gwaii"


Composition: 99.999% gold
Weight: 10,000 g
Diameter: 180 mm
Edge: Serrated
Finish: Proof
Face Value: 100,000 dollars
Artists: Bill Reid (reverse), Susanna Blunt (obverse)
Master Engraver: Cosme Saffioti (2003-2011)
Item Number: 113954

The RCM has issued an ultra nifty 1 kilo coin (35.27 ounces) for the discriminating Gold fan with a limited run of 20.

Naturally if one is wondering about the price you probably don't need one. For those of us not concerned about such petty matters this baby can be had (while they last) for $ 69,000 with no tax.

Specifications : No123807
Mintage 20
Composition fine gold (99.99% pure)
Finish proof
Weight (g) 1,000
Diameter (mm)101.6
Edge serrated
Certificate serialized
Face value 2500 dollars
Artist W. David Ward (reverse), Susanna Blunt (obverse)

Gold aureus of Septimius Severus
A circa A.D. 202 to 210 gold aureus issued by Septimius Severus recalls the measures he took to keep his sons Caracalla and Geta from fighting. The boys were then in their mid- to late teens. All three appear on horses on the reverse of the aureus, raising their right hands as if receiving an ovation. The coin highlights Baldwin of St. James’s New York City auction Jan. 14.

Severus took his wife and two sons to wage war against the Caledonians of northern Britain. Severus sent his sons to lead the troops. While in Britain Severus fell ill and died in A.D. 211, leaving behind two sons who were still intent on eliminating one another.
The Romans never campaigned deep into Caledonia again: they soon withdrew south permanently to Hadrian's Wall. Upon his death, Severus was deified by the Senate and succeeded by Caracalla and Geta, who were advised by his wife Julia Domna. Caracalla had Geta murdered later that year. Severus was buried in the Mausoleum of Hadrian in Rome. His remains are now lost
Severus' currency debasement was the largest since the reign of Nero.

The coin is “virtually as struck and almost mint state, extremely rare and possibly the finest specimen known,” according to the firm. It has an estimate of $24,000 to $30,000.

Caracalla persecuted and executed most of Geta's supporters and ordered a damnatio memoriae. It became a capital offence to speak or write Geta's name.

The Tyrant Collection
When Edward VIII became King of England, the Royal Mint prepared five proof sets of the coins bearing his portrait, and these were scheduled to be issued in January of 1937. But on December 11, 1936, Edward VIII abdicated. By this act, Edward VIII became the only king of England for whom no coins were issued as money within the United Kingdom.
The Prince of Wales, (1894 - 1972)

This Ptolemy IV gold octodrachm (circa 202-200 BC) is one of the collection's highlights
The Tyrant collector has been assembling what is the world’s most valuable coin collection in private hands, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Excessively rare with only 8 recorded specimens, the Marcus Junius Brutus, d. 42 BC. Gold Aureus (8.07 g), was struck at a traveling mint in Macedonia or Western Asia Minor, in summer/autumn 42 BC. A choice example made $ 525,000 in 2010.

Gold Roman aureus issued by Marcus Junius Brutus
Gold coins discovered in Germany mark site of Roman Massacre
Eight gold coins discovered during an archaeological excavation in Germany could confirm the site of the legendary Battle of Teutoburg Forest. Such a find is extremely rare and this recent discovery at Kalkriese expands the number of gold coins collected at the site by more than double the previous amount.

The coins featured images of the Emperor Augustus, with the imperial princes Gaius and Lucius Caesar on the back, and date between 2BCE and 5CE. The Battle of the Teutoburg Forest took place in 9 CE, when an alliance of Germanic tribes ambushed and destroyed three legions of the Roman commander Publius Quintilius Varus.
As a result of the battle Germania remained independent from Roman rule.

Roughly 18,000 men were killed during the slaughter in Teutoburg Forest.
An aureus from the reign of Emperor Augustus would have been enough to feed an entire family in Rome for a month.

Archaeologists speculate they once belonged to a high-ranking Roman officer.
In September 9 AD Varus marched with three legions with him, the Seventeenth, the Eighteenth and the Nineteenth when news arrived from the Germanic prince Arminiusof a growing revolt in the Rhine area to the West. Ignoring a warning from Segestes not to trust Arminius, Varus marched deep into the Teutoburg Forest.

All three legions were wiped out to the last man. Varus committed suicide.