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Coin Show - Monthly Notes from October 2019

Just think, the year's days and months have passed quickly with the end-of-year holidays nearly upon us.

The Greater Atlanta Coin Show offers many old and new treasures each month among which visitors can browse, buy, sell or trade.

Of course, numismatic items and other collectibles make interesting and intriguing gifts for the holiday season - for someone on your list or as a gift to yourself.

Each month, the dealers add new and exciting collectibles to their displays. Visitors find the collectibles on the bourse vary widely across all the dealers, and their showcases offer many numismatic opportunities.

Mark your calendar and visit the next Greater Atlanta Coin Show on Sunday, November 10, 2019 in the Joe Mack Wilson ballroom to buy, sell, trade or just browse among the displays.

1963 Franklin Half Dollar Coin

Banco Nacional De Costa 5 Pesos

The October 2019 Greater Atlanta Coin Show welcomed many visitors during the morning and midday to a bourse filled with dealers and their showcases crammed with collectibles.

Being a "coin show," the dealers present a variety of coins but also currency, bullion and other numismatic items.

But, the dealers being collectors at heart, they also bring other interesting objects to the show.

For a fall day and after October's early month temperatures in the mid-90s, a rainy Sunday in the mid-60s was a great day to visit the coin show to see the treasures and talk to the dealers and other visitors.
As always, we appreciate all the people who visit the show, all of the dealers, the show's security and the hotel's staff.

We are thankful each month to those who help make the coin show an interesting place to visit for an hour or two or more.

Each month, some visitors search for particular treasures, some come to obtain a verbal appraisal, while others specifically visit to sell numismatic related items.
Though we don't have an image, the show had people looking at and looking for 1000-ounce COMEX silver bars.

People in the industry refer to these bars as an exchange-sized bar, as they are the actual bars approved for the COMEX Exchange. 

COMEX encourages people to allow them to store the bars rather than taking delivery, however some individuals prefer to be able to see and even touch their silver investments.

As a side note, the COMEX approved 1,000 oz Silver bars allow for a +/-10% differential in weight where the actual size of the bars can vary from 910 - 1100 troy ounces.

Several visitors to the show searched for Trump silver rounds. Unfortunately, all the dealers at the show had sold out of the silver bullion rounds. Perhaps the dealers will have some at the next show.

Now for just a few of the items seen on the bourse.
Franklin Half Dollar 1963 Full Bell Lines Finest Known auctioned
Remember that 1963 Franklin Half Dollar Coin that we introduced in the June notes?

At the June show, the coin was in an NGC (Numismatic Guaranty Corporation) certified holder and was the finest known of this coin in this year with Full Bell Lines.

As seen in the July notes, the coin had been sent to PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) and was still the finest known specimen of that year, mint and characteristics.

Now, let's jump forward in time to the October show. The coin did not return to the show as it had recently been sold at auction.
Legend Rare Coin Auctions brokered the sale of that small, round, silver, finest known 1963 Franklin Half Dollar Coin and realized a sold price of $85,187.50.

The coin show enjoyed having one of our dealers showcase this collectible for a couple of months then share the auction information as well.

Just stunning - both characteristics and price - for a 56-year-old collectible.

1889 Morgan Dollar Coin


This next coin is another extraordinary example but of a different year and denomination.

In 1889, the US Mint produced the Morgan Dollar Coin in Philadelphia, Carson City, New Orleans and San Francisco.

In total, they struck over 34.6 million of the coins, but of those, the Carson City location generated only 350,000 or roughly one percent of the total population.
1889 CC Morgan Dollar PCGS MS62DMPL
Of course, the quantity produced adds to the rarity of this particular coin.

PCGS graded this coin as MS62DMPL or MS-62 Deep Mirror, Proof-like.

They comment for the Morgan Dollar:

"Key dates in this series include 1889-CC, 1893-S, and 1895 (Proof only). Other dates (such as 1895-O) are considered condition-rarities (common in low grade but extremely rare in high grade)."

In other words, this rare coin in this grade can command a very nice five-digit value. The price can increase into the six-digits for coins at the higher grades.

2017 Palau Big Skull Coin

It is made of .999 fine silver, weighs 500 grams and has an antiqued finish. Palau limited the mintage and produced only 555 of the interesting but odd Big Skull coins.

This coin is individually numbered on the obverse near the top. This side shows the $25 face value and the emblem of Palau. If you look closely you can see Neptune and a mermaid next to a treasure chest.

The shape of this coin is based on the reverse design. This design features an amazing level of detail, it really looks like a skull. The antiqued finish only adds even more to this coin's eye appeal.
2017 Palau Big Skull limited edition coin
Our next coin is perhaps apropos for October - a scary looking Big Skull Coin.

Palau, a small island nation, enjoys numismatic popularity for its collectible coins.

This Big Skull coin was issued by Palau in 2017 using high relief technology.
This coin would definitely be a conversation piece if someone wanted to display it prominently.

However, the coin's silver content and its limited mintage make it too valuable to be just a casual conversation piece.

Banco Nacional De Cuba 20 Pesos CIA Counterfeit

USA CIA Counterfeit Bay of Pigs Invasion Force banknote PMG 66
Supposedly, the United States CIA forged Cuban 20 pesos Banco Nacional de Cuba notes of 1961 for the Bay of Pigs invasion.

Alejandro Quesada in The Bay of Pigs: Cuba 1961, Osprey Publishing, 2009 stated:

"Each Brigade member taking part in the invasion was issued approximately 100 counterfeit Cuban pesos made by the CIA.

"This money was intended for purchasing supplies from the peasants and/or bribery."

However, the Bank Note Reporter of June 1987, reported that Cuban sources claimed these items were privately produced, and were not made by the CIA. But why wait 25 years to make this claim?

Paper Money Guarantee (PMG) Company slabbed this particular note and identified it as "USA C.I.A. Counterfeit - Bay of Pigs Invasion Force Issue."
The forgeries are characterized by their serial numbers or lack thereof.

Four types are known:

1. F69 at left; no serial number at right.

2. F69 at left; reduced size serial number at right.

3. F70 at left; no serial number at right.

4. F70 at left: serial number at right.

This particular note appears to be version 3 of the forgeries.

The tales this note could tell of its travels.
This "banknote" told of safe conduct and humane treatment to any soldier of Costa who turns himself in to officials.

The war game occurred between the fictional nations of Costa and Ventura.

In the associated training exercises, the U. S. Army Special Forces worked with and used this "currency" to pay pretend rebel forces.

The Safe Conduct instructions noted:

1. Lay down your weapon.

2. Place your hands on top of your head.

3. Identify yourself.

4. Turn in this pass to any Venturan or US military personnel.
Banco Nacional de Costa war games Safe Conduct Pass
In addition, it stated, "The bearer of this pass is entitled to fair and humane treatment, to include food, shelter, clothing and medical care. The bearer will be evacuated immediately to the nearest military police check point."

Wonder who used this note and what position they played in the war games.
The next note appears to be one used in war games using the same "Safe Conduct Pass" propaganda that has been used in various forms around the world.

Banco Nacional De Red 20 Pesos

Banco Nacional de Red Safe Conduct Pass
The next note looks similar to the one supposedly counterfeited by the C.I.A., except instead of counterfeiting the currency, the note included the Safe Conduct Pass information.

In particular, a person in the Red Army could gain safety if they followed the directions.

The text is somewhat different for the "Red Army" than for the Costa and Venturan armies.

This one stated:

Soldiers of Red. hide this from your officers, it could save your life.
In the event that your position is overrun, follow these four steps to insure your safety.

1. Lay down your weapons.

2. Raise your hands over your head.

3. Stay in place.

4. Follow the instructions of your captors.


Wonder if these Safe Conduct Passes are used in today's military war games or given to fighters and civilians in war-torn areas in the world.