American Heritage Minting, Inc.

American Heritage Minting, Inc. is a world-renowned numismatic company buying any size collection or estate. AHM specializes in United States coins as well as strictly GEM quality English, French, and general foreign coins. AHM maintains an extensive raw and certified (PCGS & NGC) inventory of United States, gold, silver, copper, type and scarce date coins. AHM has always taken pride in building many of the most important collections for its customers.

French jewelry merges with coins

French jewelry merges with coins

Posted on January 15, 2019 by Richard Giedroyc

Designing coins is a craft. So is designing jewelry. While it has been argued in the past that the line separating some medallic art from sculpture may be nebulous, the line between what constitutes a coin and what should be called jewelry has not been addressed. The jewelry manufacturer Boucheron and Monnaie de Paris, the French Mint, plan to address this latter issue through an unusual partnership between the two organizations.

According to the Boucheron jewelry company website, “Innovation, creativity and craftsmanship have been at the core of Boucheron’s creations for 160 years.” Frédéric Boucheron founded the business in 1858. Since that time, it has been managed by four generations of the Boucheron family. The business has since been acquired by Kering, a luxury group whose holdings include Gucci and Saint Laurent.

Monnaie de Paris has been striking coins since the year 864. In modern history, the mint has produced fine art medallions in addition to coins.

The mint invited some of France’s best craftsmen to design limited edition coins marketed to collectors in 2010 through its “Excellence a la Francaise” program. Baccarat, Cartier, Manufacture Nationale de Sèvres, and Van Cleef & Arpels collaborated with the mint through this program.

The Paris minting facility was renovated between 2011 and 2014. In 2014, the mint launched a program of contemporary art exhibitions.

Today, the French mint has state-of-the-art enameling, engraving, and jewelry workshops in which more than 300 craftsmen produce gold coins, medallions, and official decorations. Circulation coinage is struck at a facility in Pessac, while artistic work is produced in Paris.

The Nov. 5, 2018, issue of Art World magazine described the partnership between the mint and the jeweler as calling for “their respective craftsmen to marry their ancestral traditions to produce a collection of limited-edition coins – part jewelry, part numismatic collectible – to appeal to connoisseurs of high craftsmanship.”

Monnaie de Paris Marketing and Development Director Claude Giffin said, “The monnaie identified Boucheron as one of the most innovative of French jewelers. Given that collector coins evoke celebrations, we decided that it would be fantastic for the 2018 edition of Excellence à la Française to coincide with Boucheron’s 160th anniversary.”

Boucheron Creative Director Claire Choisne added, “We were thrilled with the opportunity to work with artisans who share our vision of creativity and who, like us, use their technical knowhow to bring life to new objects that are born out of dreams. The monnaie identified Boucheron as one of the most innovative of French jewelers.”

There may still be a perceptual disagreement. Art World wrote, “A major perennial challenge for the mint when collaborating with a jeweler is to translate the design of a three-dimensional piece of jewelry onto a two-dimensional coin.”

Collectors might observe that coins may be reasonably flat, but they are three dimensional nonetheless.

The new coin-jewelry collection will be highlighted by a massive 2.2 pound octagonal 5,000 euro meant to resemble the shape of Place Vendôme and that of an emerald-cut stone. The coin will be set with a Boucheron motif diamond-studded ivy leaf and will be produced in an 11-piece edition.

Other coins will include gold and silver pieces with face values between 10 euro and 500 euro. The 200-euro gold and 10-euro silver coins are shaped like an ivy leaf.

Choisne said, “We had dreamed of coins that would not be round, but more like a piece of jewelry with a realistic design to give them more life. That produced the ivy-leaf coin in high relief.”

French Mint Creative Director and Principal Engraver Joaquim Jimenez added, “We agreed that the coins would represent ivy growing out of Boucheron’s maison and onto the Place Vendôme, virtually invading the square and its paved surface. For the main coin, we engraved the piece and Boucheron produced the diamond-set leaf, which was then fitted onto the coin. It was a work of high precision and true collaboration.”

Royal Canadian Mint-stamped gold wafer appears to be fake

Story: http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/ottawa/fake-gold-wafer-rbc-canadian-mint-1.4368801

"The Royal Canadian Mint is investigating how a sealed, "pure gold" wafer with proper mint stampings may in fact be a fake. 

The one-ounce gold piece, which was supposed to be 99.99 per cent pure, was purchased by an Ottawa jeweller on Oct. 18 at a Royal Bank of Canada branch. Yet tests of the bar show it may contain no gold at all.

When neither the mint nor RBC would take the bar back, jeweller Samuel Tang contacted CBC news.

"Who is going to make sure those [gold wafers] are real?" asked Tang. "I am worried there are more of those [gold wafers] out there, and no one knows."

RBC has now picked up the bar and and returned it to the mint for testing, refunding Tang the $1,680 purchase price. 

The Royal Canadian Mint said in a statement to CBC it is in process of testing the bar, "although the appearance of the wafer and its packaging already suggests that it is not a genuine Royal Canadian Mint product." 

William Rentz, a professor at the University of Ottawa's Telfer School of Management and an expert on investments and equity, says it is troubling.

A currency counterfeiter doesn't make just one fake $50 bill," he said. "They make a whole lot of them. So I would suspect this might just be the tip of the iceberg."

RCMP said they are aware of the incident, but no formal complaint has yet been made.

Figuring out gold was fake

The mystery began on Oct. 18, when Tang purchased what he thought was a 99.99 per cent pure gold wafer from an RBC branch just across the road from his Glebe-area boutique, Joy Creations.

He carried the business-card-sized bar, still sealed in its Royal Canadian Mint blister-pack, back to his shop. 

His goldsmith, Dennis Barnard, said he cut open the plastic mint packing and placed the one-ounce wafer in a hand-cranked jeweller's tableting mill.

"I thought my age was catching up with me — because it was so hard to roll," said Barnard.

 

'Something is amiss'

He also tried bending the wafer. Pure gold is usually pliable and can be bent easily. Instead, Barnard says, the wafer snapped, leaving a jagged line.

"That's when I started realizing something is amiss," said Barnard.

Barnard then tested the gold himself, using an acid testing kit.

In an acid test, the jeweller rubs a streak of the metal across an abrasive test stone. Then, a drop of pre-mixed acid is added to the center of the streak.

If the metal streak changes colour or disappears, then the metal is less than the karat of the test acid.

Gold of 99 per cent purity is considered to be equal to 24-karat gold.

But the bar from RBC failed a test that gold of 18-karat or higher purity would pass.

That's when his boss contacted RBC.

"This could be huge. There could be quite a few people out there who've been rolled over," said Barnard.

CBC News took the same bar to Ernest Marbar, owner of the Gold Lobby, an Ottawa buyer of precious metals.

Marbar also found the bar failed an acid test for 14-karat gold.

Million-dollar question

"The bar that came from that package is a piece of junk," said Marbar.

"That's the million-dollar question — how it ended up in that plastic case," he said.

At Joy Creations, goldsmith Barnard said his concern wasn't with goldsmiths being duped.

Both he and Tang worry the bogus gold could be widely distributed and difficult to find, since most buyers are investors and leave the metal in the mint's blister-packed cases.

"Who's going to run around and open their packages, which are sealed by the mint?" asked Barnard.

It's a concern echoed by Rentz: "It's a serious problem. If the trust disappears, it could be seize up the market, at least temporarily." 

Checking security footage

The professor said the mint would be motivated to get to the bottom of this case, since the discovery of a counterfeit undermines confidence in their product.

Tang said last Monday he spoke with the manager of the RBC branch where he purchased the bar.

He said the manager was told by a mint dispatcher they were checking security footage, and trying to trace everyone involved in the handling of the bars.

If the swap turns out to be an inside job, it wouldn't be the first time.

Last November, 35-year-old Leston Lawrence was found guilty of smuggling $190,000 worth of gold pucks, each the size of a small muffin, in his rectum over several months.

Lawrence worked at the mint from July 2008 until March 2015. His job included purifying gold.

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2017 Enhanced Uncirculated Set PCGS SP 70 First Day Of Issue

2017-S Enhanced Uncirculated Set

Now Available With Exclusive PCGS First Day Of Issue Denver ANA Label - SP 70

enhanced set obv
enhanced set rev

 

Only sets that were submitted to PCGS on the first day of the Denver ANA were eligible for this rare first day of issue label.

Just 225,000 total sets were minted which marks the lowest  mintage for a Lincoln penny!

 

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You receive all ten coins shown in the image graded by PCGS as SP 70(serial numbers will vary). These sets include:

2017-S Lincoln Penny graded SP 70RED

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2017-S Roosevelt Dime graded SP 70 FULL BANDS!

2017-S Kennedy Half graded SP 70

2017-S Sacagawea graded SP 70

Five Quarters from the America the Beautiful Quarters® Program featuring:
Effigy Mounds National Monument in Iowa; Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in the District of Columbia; Ozark National Scenic Riverways in Missouri; Ellis Island in New Jersey; and George Rogers Clark National Historical Park in Indiana.

 

The 2017 enhanced set was struck in celebration of the Mint’s 225th anniversary. The set contains 10 coins with an enhanced uncirculated finish featuring a combination of laser-frosted areas and an unpolished field that accentuates design details. The process creates a unique contrast distinctly different from the mirror-like finish of proof coins. Each coin bears the “S” mint mark of the United States Mint at San Francisco.