The supervisory board of the Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank) have confirmed the winning designs in their competition for the €2 coin dedicated to the centenary anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, which will be officially celebrated in February 2018. ...

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Estonia: Winning €2 coin design unveiled celebrating centenary of Independence

The supervisory board of the Bank of Estonia (Eesti Pank) have confirmed the winning designs in their competition for the €2 coin dedicated to the centenary anniversary of the Republic of Estonia, which will be officially celebrated in February 2018. (This coin is separate from the joint commemorative issue of Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania, reported here, and from the Estonian coin commemorating the events leading up to independence, reported here.)

Estonian Independence was declared from Russia on the 24th February 1918, which is the day that is celebrated (the declaration was officially recognised by the Treaty of Tartu on the 2nd February 1920). This self-determination was short-lived, with Soviet forces occupying Estonia along with Latvia and Lithuania in 1944 when all three Baltic States were illegally incorporated into the USSR. Estonian independence would not be re-established until 1991, when the USSR once again recognised all three Baltic States as independent. Estonia...

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New Zealand: Rugby excellence features on new silver coin for British and Irish Lions tour

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand have launched (12th April) two new coins marking the upcoming British and Irish Lions 2017 rugby tour. Every four years, the British and Irish Lions tour the Southern Hemisphere, and in 2017 it’s New Zealand’s turn to host and compete in a series that captivates a nation. The series will begin in Whangarei on the 3rd of June, and over the course of six weeks, 10 matches will be played in seven different cities against eight different New Zealand teams. The 2017 British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand will see the British and Irish Lions play 10 rugby union matches, including against all five New Zealand Super Rugby franchises, the New Zealand Barbarians, the Māori All Blacks, and three test matches against New Zealand. The test matches conclude on the 8th July in Eden Park, Auckland.

The coins, struck in both silver and cupro-nickel versions, are produced by the BH Mayer’s Kunstprägeanstalt GmbH on behalf of the Reserve Bank and are...

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Mint to release second 2017 America the Beautiful 5-oz. silver Uncirculated coin May 2

(Washington, D.C.)—The United States Mint will begin accepting orders for the 2017 America the Beautiful 5-Ounce Silver Uncirculated Coin–Frederick Douglass National Historic Site (product code 17AK) on May 2 at noon Eastern Time (ET).

The reverse was designed by Artistic Infusion Program artist Thomas R. Hipschen. The design places Douglass to the right of the field in a three-quarter profile toward the left, seated at his writing desk. His left hand rests on his knee, while his right holds a pen to paper on the desk top. In the background is his Washington, D.C., home, Cedar Hill. The legend surrounding the field reads, in three parts, FREDERICK DOUGLASSDISTRICT OF COLUMBIA, and E PLURIBUS UNUM, with the date of issue, 2017, below the main design. The designer’s initials, TRH, appear to the left of Douglass’s knee; engraver Phoebe Hemphill’s initials, PH, appear just below his left arm.

The obverse features the left-facing profile portrait of George Washington...

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U.S. Mint sales report: Week ending April 23, 2017

This U.S. Mint numismatic sales report covers the week ending April 23, 2017—an unusually slow sales week, with additional downward adjustments that result in a negative number of unit sales.

For the first time this year, the Mint’s report includes only one item that sold 1,000 or more units: the 2017 U.S. Mint Proof Set (17RG), which was released March 29. With 6,547 units sold, the set far outstrips the rest of the products on the list of top 10 best sellers. The items ranked 2nd through 10th average 584 units sold apiece; the biggest seller among these is the 2017 American Liberty 225th Anniversary high-relief gold coin (17XA), with 803 units sold.

Although we don’t normally tally the unit sales for the entire Mint catalog, this week it provides an interesting exercise. From April 17 through April 23, the Mint reports 18,205 numismatic items sold—the lowest figure for any report this year. (The highest was from the week ending March 26, when the Mint sold 257,910 items.) In...

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East India Company–St. Helena: Gold two-coin set celebrates bicentenary anniversary of guinea/sovereign transition

The East India Company has launched an exclusive Bicentenary Guinea and Sovereign Collection combining the two most iconic gold coins in British history and commemorating the moment of their transition during 1816–1817. These numismatic items represent the origins of the modern pound coin still used in the British economy and further afield. The unusual quarter-ounce Proof collection, struck in 22-karat gold, includes modern releases of the beautiful 2016 spade guinea (struck on the day) and the Royal Mint’s Pistrucci-designed, 2017-dated Sovereign.

The bicentenaries of the last guinea and the introduction of the sovereign are brought together in a very special set of coins. The guinea is minted once more in its original specifications and denominated exactly as it would be had the coin survived into decimalisation: £1.05. The reverse features at its centre the most famous “spade” guinea motif as  used on the last circulating guinea, which was issued between 1787 and 1799...

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