Friday, August 26, 2011

Hilary Clinton's comments at MOU signing

This English-language TV coverage is from New Tang Dynasty (NTD) Television.

Illegal export of old coins

In this case, pre-2004 cupronickel 1 peso coins of the Philipines. According to a story in the Manila Standard by Roderick T. dela Cruz, “In 2006 it even discovered that an international syndicate was smuggling out the copper one-peso coins”. The central bank switched to nickel-plated steel.

The purpose of dela Cruz's story is to urge citizens to spend their old coins to relieve the Philipine Central Bank the burden of minting new ones. “The central bank always loses when minting coins with a face value lower than five pesos because the average cost of minting them is two pesos per coin.”

Amazingly, not only is the Philipine Central Bank minting 1 peso coins at an expense of 2 pesos, it is also minting 1, 5, 10, and 25 centavo coins, although one web page suggests the 1 centavo coins cannot be found and the 5 centavo coins are mostly used as decorations. A peso is worth 2.4 US cents; 25 centavos would be 0.6 US cents.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Outrageous shipping and handling fee

One topic that is ever-popular in online discussion groups is outrageous shipping and handling fees. Reuters blogger Felix Salmon recently described a transaction in which the shipping and handling fees alone are expected to be $400,000,00.

Hugo Chávez intends to ship 211 tons of physical gold from London to Caracas Venezuala. The bullion value is $12,300,000,000. Shipping and insurance will not be cheap.
... my gut feeling is that Venezuela would be do well to get away with paying 3.3% of the total value of the gold in total expenses...
Always look at the shipping fees before purchasing, Dictator Chávez.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Prospero Collection

Next year Baldwin's will auction The Prospero Collection. Baldwin's site doesn't yet have the catalog but it does have a 19 page Flash animated brochure featuring many rarities including an Alexander the Great Poros dekadrachm and the unique Abydos gold stater (?) shown here.

If I had time I would “review” the brochure website, which uses a strange Flash viewer with lots of scrolling and zooming. Try it.

Friday, August 05, 2011

Welcome Celator Readers

Welcome readers who are discovering this blog because of Kevin Barry and Zach Beasley's “The Internet Connection” column in The Celator.

Other blogs mentioned were Ancient Coins, Ancient Coin Cleaning and Restoration, and Vox Populi.

I haven't been posting much lately but last month I received Martin Huth's gigantic new book Coinage of the Caravan Kingdoms and hope to blog upon it soon.

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

Why is the dollar coin unpopular?

The editors of The Economist report on a psychological study by Princeton psychology professors Adam Alter and Daniel Oppenheimer on the percieved value of coins and notes. (The article is 3 years old).
People offered the banknote believed, on average, that they could use it to buy 83 paperclips, 72 napkins or 46 sweets. Those offered the [dollar] coin thought 39 paperclips, 51 napkins or 27 sweets. In other words, the note was believed to be almost twice as valuable as the coin.
The problem with the coin is not it coin-ness, but unfamiliarity — a similar study show people undervaluing the $2 bill.

I would expect this effect to also manifest as countries change their currency, both today and in historical times.