Last week we published an item about the U.S. cent the artist Jack Daws had made in gold and spent at face value.
Loren Gatch writes:
How charming it is to see this news item! Daws spent much legal money on gold to make one insignificant counterfeit cent, whereas J.S.G. Boggs monetized his own talents to create counterfeit notes worth far more than their face values. The strategies are opposite, but the aesthetic logic is identical: whatever it is made of, money is what we say it is, even if its substance (gold) or form (currency vignettes) causes us to value Daws' and Boggs' creations at rates far higher than their face values. This is an inherent property of numismatics as a practice. Any kid who finds a 1909-S VDB penny in change is only doing the same thing.
Tom DeLorey writes:
This story is highly suspect. The coin that the lady found supposedly weighed "three grams, one more than similar pennies from 1970." Small cents from 1864 to mid-1982, except for the 1943 steel cents, weighed 3.1 grams.
An 18kt gold cent of the same volume as a normal 1970 cent would weigh approximately 4.5 to 5 grams.
David W. Lange of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) concurs:
Once again the general press proves itself to be an unreliable source of numismatic information. A cent from 1970 would weigh approximately 3.1 grams when new, a bit less when worn. Where these people got their figures is a mystery.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
BROOKLYN WOMAN FINDS ARTIST'S CENT MADE OF GOLD
Along similar lines is this tale of a wiseacre trying to sell for $50 a gold coin worth many times that amount. He had no takers.
Mark Dice, a California native, tried to sell a one ounce Canadian gold bullion coin for $50 but no one knew how much it was worth nor were they interested. Unfortunately for them, one ounce of gold is $1,100 USD.
To read the article and check out the video, see:
Man tries to sell 1 ounce gold coin for $50
Wayne Homren, Editor
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