Saturday, August 30, 2014

Rick’s Pedigree Coins – 2015 Winter FUN (Florida United Numismatists) Coin Show

I have submitted my application to FUN to exhibit the Fitzgerald Silver Dollar Collection - “The Purple Gang Set” at the 2015 Winter FUN Convention. 

The 2015 Show will be held January 8-11, 2015, at the Orange County Convention Center, West Building, Hall WD, Orlando, Florida.  It is one of the largest gatherings of numismatists in the world with over 1,500 dealers and an attendance averaging over 15,000 collectors.  More information on times, area hotels and directions can be found at the FUN website: 
I have attended the past several shows and am always impressed by how well the FUN gathering is run.  And admission is FREE!  January, Central Florida, Coin Show, Disney World....sounds like an easy decision to me.  

The Original Purple Gang

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rick’s Pedigree Coins – “Rick’s Legacy – Pedigree & Hoard / Coins & Currency” – Great Collections Auctions

My first book, “Rick’s Legacy – Pedigree & Hoard / Coins & Currency”, was temporarily sold out at Great Collections; however, a new shipment has been sent and is now available.   You can find the book at Great Collections website shown below and then click on the “Coin Books” tab.  You should have no problem locating the book, but if you do, just give Great Collections a call.  They provide exceptional customer service.   

It is also available on Ebay, Amazon, Gary Adkins Associates and Wizard Coin Supply.  All have Internet websites.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Rick’s Pedigree Coins – Weighing Precious Metals – Troy vs. Avoirdupois Ounce

I thought I would switch it up a little bit and write a few articles on some other coin topics that the Pedigree collector may find of value.  The first thing to cover is the weight issue when purchasing precious metals.  When measuring the weight of gold or silver, the Troy ounce is used.  When measuring the weight of a person, pound of beef or chicken, the Avoirdupois ounce is used.  While both are measured in ounces, that is where the similarities stop.

Precious metals and gemstones (including gold, platinum, silver) are measured using the Troy measurement system.  A Troy ounce contains 31.10 grams and 12 ounces equal 1 Troy pound.  All other items (fruits, vegetables, people, animals, etc) use the Avoirdupois ounce.  An Avoirdupois ounce contains 28.35 grams and 16 ounces equal 1 Avoirdupois pound.  In practice when talking about weight, the descriptive “avoirdupois” is dropped; however to avoid misunderstandings, when referring to precious metals the Troy ounce description is often retained.  If you are purchasing gold or any other precious commodity and it is not described as a Troy ounce, you should ask for clarification for your own protection.  After all, a Troy ounce of gold weights 2.75 grams more than an Avoirdupois ounce and at the current price of gold that equals a $115 difference per ounce.  

A bit of a brainteaser is that a Troy ounce weights more than an Avoirdupois ounce.  But a Troy pound weights less than an Avoirdupois pound.  (Troy pound = 31.10 grams X 12 oz to a pound = 373.2 grams).  (Avoirdupois pound = 28.35 grams X 16 oz to a pound = 453.6 grams). 

Source for this article:  Mike Unser,, July 22, 2007

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Rick’s Pedigree Coins – St. Cloud (Florida) Find - July/August 2014

When I spoke at the Summer FUN show in Orlando, someone asked me when I expected the next hoard to be found.  I cannot remember my exact words but basically I said it is out there hidden and just waiting to be discovered.

Fast forward one month and I received an email from a new friend and fellow pedigree collector about a recent coin find in a condemned house in St. Cloud, Florida (near Orlando).   The find reportedly contained over 2,000 silver coins including many Walking Liberty half dollars.  Here is the article that appeared in the Orlando Sentinel on August 8th about the hoard:

Thousands of silver coins discovered in condemned St. Cloud house

Treasure: 30 lbs of silver coins hidden for decades

ST. CLOUD — Florida has a long history of buried, lost or sunken treasures.

Most involve shipwrecks and gold doubloons or "Pieces of Eight."

This tale involves a condemned home with a crumbling chimney in a neighborhood once home to Civil War veterans near the shores of East Lake Tohopekaliga.

"The house was full of Florida junk," neighbor Jim Tuck said Friday about the 30 pounds of silver coins discovered in the recently demolished North Minnesota Avenue home. "It was grab, grab, grab and then talk, talk, talk."

Stored for decades inside the walls, large glass pickle jars holding the more than 2,000 coins shattered when a crew of St. Cloud city workers leveled 1915 bungalow on April 22.

At least one large construction dumpster had been removed before a member of the crew kept hearing the sound of metal pouring out of the walls.

"It was like a treasure hunt … the more you dug the more you found," said Melissa Howes of city code enforcement, laughing about the scramble to find more. "We thought we might be able to keep it like finders keepers, but it was city property."

Nothing was announced publicly, but rumors began circulating month ago.

This week, police Chief Pete Gauntlett showed off the coins that have been stored in police evidence.

City officials had been waiting to see whether anyone would come forward claiming ownership, he said.

The booty included 861 half dollars, 1,016 quarters, 202 dimes and three nickels, police records show.

The oldest spotted among the half dollars was dated 1917 and the most recent was a 1964 Kennedy half dollar.

Gauntlett speculated the coins began being hidden in the walls during the Great Depression when Floridians and others lost faith in banks. The practice continued until at least 1964 by a previous owner.

"We're going to have them appraised to see if they're worth more by weight or as collectible coins," said Gauntlett of their eventual sale.

Silver currently sells for about $20 an ounce.

The last owner of the house, Lamarr LoMax Lowe, abandoned it last year after failing to pay $511,500 in code-enforcement liens including daily $250 fines for more than 10 years, according to city records.

A former Walt Disney World employee, Lowe bought the 776-square-foot house in 1991 for $39,900.

Prior to abandoning the house last year, neighbors said Lowe lived there for months without water or electricity and that he ran a Christian-themed business specializing in marathon runners' T-shirts.

Lowe could not be reached for comment.

But the dream of finding more lost treasure remains alive.

Howes said she thinks more coins were taken to the dump before the treasure was discovered. "I'm not kidding."

End of Orlando Sentinel story.  Pictures of the coins and demolition project can be found at:

While this hoard may not contain rare collector coins, it does illustrate that there probably are a lot more coins stashed in old homes just waiting to be discovered.  What is a bit frightening is how close these coins came to not being discovered.  It makes you wonder how many old buildings have been torn down that contained treasures and no one found them.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Rick’s Pedigree Coins – Ocala Coin Club, Ocala FL – “Rick’s Legacy – Pedigree & Hoard / Coins & Currency”

I have been invited to give a presentation on “Pedigree Coins” at the Ocala Coin Club meeting on August 26.  The meeting will be held at the Motel 6 Conference Center and starts at 6:30PM.  So, if you are in the area, you are welcome to attend and participate in the discussions about pedigree coins.

“Rick’s Legacy – Pedigree & Hoard / Coins & Currency” is available from the following outlets:

Great Collections    -

Wizard Coin Supply    -

Gary Adkins Associates, Inc.    -


Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rick’s Pedigree Coins – Omaha Bank Hoard & Nevada Silver Collection – Walking Liberty Half Dollars

Walking Liberty half dollars from the Omaha Bank Hoard and Nevada Silver Collection remain good buys for the pedigree collector. 

1.)    Binion Collection silver dollars have had steady premium increases over the past year while the Nevada Silver Collection coins (also from the Binion stash) can be found at little premium cost. 

2.)    Omaha Bank Hoard Walking Liberty half dollars are one of the rarest varieties to find in that collection, but when appearing in auctions fail to bring the acquisition premium you would expect.

3.)    The Walking Liberty is one of the (if not most) attractive and desired coins available to the collector and the quality of both the Nevada Silver Collection and Omaha Bank Hoard are exceptional.

So why these two varieties have not experienced a run up in premium “demand” cost is puzzling.  However, as I have written before, it is a good thing for the collector because the coins can be found at very reasonable prices.