Posts by Adam Turnbull

The million dollar coin that caused ‘public outrage’…

Since 1795, the 10-dollar Gold coins in circulation in the United States have been referred to as “Eagles”. These coins were legal tender until their withdrawal in 1933. However, there is one Eagle in particular that has become a numismatic legend.

A presidential intervention

You see, the obverse of the Eagle had long bore the goddess of freedom (Liberty), however in 1907, President Theodore Roosevelt complained to the Secretary of Treasury that US coinage lacked artistic merit.

1905 half eagle rev - The million dollar coin that caused ‘public outrage’…

1905 Eagle Coin

As a result, Roosevelt personally commissioned New York City sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens to re-design this Gold coin; however, it was certainly not without incident!

Augustus Saint Gaudens - The million dollar coin that caused ‘public outrage’…

Augustus Saint Gaudens

Firstly, as the coin was designed by a sculptor, rather than a professional engraver, there were a number of issues in production, particularly due to the high relief.  As a result, several versions of the coin had to be minted before achieving a sample appropriate for full production and release into circulation.

1907 eagle reverse 1 300x149 - The million dollar coin that caused ‘public outrage’…

1907 Indian Head Coin

Secondly, Roosevelt felt strongly that a Native American war bonnet should be included in the design as a “picturesque” and “distinctly American” symbol. So, under President Roosevelt’s instruction, Gaudens retained the Liberty profile on the obverse, simply placing a feather headdress on her head.  Later, the coin would receive criticism for this absurd addition, with one art historian declaring that it missed out on being “a great coin” due to the President’s interference.

Liberty - The million dollar coin that caused ‘public outrage’…

Lady Liberty with Native American War Bonnet

Finally, further issues arose when the motto “In God we Trust” was replaced by “E PLURIBUS UNUM”, which translates to mean “Out of Many, One”. In fact, such was the public outrage, Congress passed a bill mandating its inclusion on any further coins. Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber added the words and made minor modifications to the 1908 design.

mottos 300x149 - The million dollar coin that caused ‘public outrage’…

The coins changing mottos

A numismatic legend!

However, as is often the case, the flaws in the original 1907 Indian Head Eagle have made it one of the most desirable coins in the world.  

In January 2011, what is probably the best-known example of an Indian Head Eagle, one of only 50 originally minted coins in the rare proof finish, was sent to auction – It sold for an incredible $2,185,000!

If you’re interested…

2017 Most Valuable Coins if the World US Indian Head Gold Proof Coin Obverse Reverse - The million dollar coin that caused ‘public outrage’…

Today you can own one of the most valuable coin designs in the world…

This pure gold coin weighing just 1/100oz is an affordable way of owning one of the most valuable coin designs in the world – the 1907 USA Indian Head.

Click here to secure yours today >>


Happy Birthday Prince George

Today His Royal Highness, Prince George, celebrates his fifth birthday.

The British public and people from all corners of the globe have watched fascinated as young Prince George has grown from baby to boy; enamoured by photos of his first steps, his first day at nursery and when he started primary school.

To mark his fifth birthday this exclusive 24ct gold-plated five coin set has been released, which looks back on our future King’s first five years.

DN Prince George Fifth Birthday Guernsey Gold Plated Five Coin Set product pages9 - Happy Birthday Prince George

The first coin in the set shows the precise moment the whole world fell in love with our prince. When his beaming parents, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, introduced their new born son to the world outside of St Mary’s Hospital in London.

DN Prince George Fifth Birthday Guernsey Gold Plated Five Coin Set product pages4 - Happy Birthday Prince George

The next coin shows George during his first public engagement as part of the royal families tour of New Zealand and Australia in 2014. However, unlike his parents, his role was much more relaxed – it didn’t include ribbon cutting or speech making, instead just a simple play date.

DN Prince George Fifth Birthday Guernsey Gold Plated Five Coin Set product pages7 - Happy Birthday Prince George

During the same royal tour, Prince George visited Taronga Zoo in Sydney, where he was introduced to one of the zoos bilbies, a desert-dwelling marsupial, which had been named after the Prince. A moment that’s been captured on this coin.

DN Prince George Fifth Birthday Guernsey Gold Plated Five Coin Set product pages8 - Happy Birthday Prince George

Next up is a coin that shows a considerably older Prince George, during the Cambridge families week long Royal Tour of Canada in 2016. The hugely popular photo of Prince George shows him absolutely mesmerised by bubbles at a children’s party, which boasted a petting zoo, balloon modellers and a puppet show.  However, shortly after this shot was taken, our Prince was publicly upstaged by his younger sister, Princess Charlotte, who spoke her first word in public, ‘pop’.

DN Prince George Fifth Birthday Guernsey Gold Plated Five Coin Set product pages5 - Happy Birthday Prince George

Finally, the coin that completes the set shows Prince George adorably practicing that all important royal wave, aged just three, at the end of his Royal tour of Canada in 2016.

DN Prince George Fifth Birthday Guernsey Gold Plated Five Coin Set product pages6 - Happy Birthday Prince George

This brand new coin set looks back fondly and perfectly captures the first five years of our future King’s action-packed life – and it’s sure to be extremely sought after by collectors in years to come too.

If you’re interested:

You can secure the Exclusive HRH Prince George of Cambridge’s 5th Birthday Coin set today. But when you consider the very low edition limit and high demand for commemoratives celebrating the fifth birthday of our future King, a full sell-out is expected, so don’t delay.  Click here to find out more>> 

DN Prince George Fifth Birthday Guernsey Gold Plated Five Coin Set product pages9 300x208 - Happy Birthday Prince George

The Crown Jewel in the Nation’s greatest hobby

It started – as all ‘great’ ideas do – down the pub.

There I was, sipping on my *ahem* first pint of amber nectar, when an interesting point came up.  A good friend of mine, Billy, is turning 70 this year, and I was asked by my mates what I planned to get him.

It didn’t take me long.  By the second round I was in top form, and a great idea came to me.

And yet to their minds, my gift seemed beyond generous.  And I’m not sure any of them believed me.  But why?

Well that’s because it’s a genuine Penny Blackthe crown jewel in the nation’s greatest hobby.

Penny Black blog - The Crown Jewel in the Nation’s greatest hobby

The 1840 Penny Black

A genuine one?” was the doubting reply.  Which is something I’ve heard a lot over the years.

It’s a perfectly valid response.  Especially when you consider the most famous example sold for just under £350,000!

You see, the Penny Black is the world’s FIRST postage stamp.  And better yet – from a collector’s point of view – they were only issued for 9 months (1840-41), and are so highly revered in philatelist circles that no collection is complete without it.  The very first.  A pillar of the Victorian Age.

But here’s the rub.  68 million Penny Blacks were printed in its 9 months of production.

And so for stamp collectors, condition is everything.  In fact Stanley Gibbons, the authority on stamps, have a series of terms to help clarify what the condition of a stamp is worth.  Every year they assign values to every British stamp ever issued.  The values of the most desirable versions are called the ‘fine [used or unused] catalogue price(s)’.

And while there are indeed many more factors that affect the overall value of a Penny Black (plate number, cancellation and corner letters), the gold-standard is the ‘4-Margin’ – a stamp with four clear white margins around the stamp.  And despite what you might think, it is a real rarity.

You see it was this version, the most desirable of the Penny Blacks, which I was giving to Billy.  Perhaps you can now appreciate my friends’ disbelief.

But there’s something else.  Something even more remarkable…

Roland Hill Penny Black 203x300 - The Crown Jewel in the Nation’s greatest hobby

Roland Hill – The inventor of the Penny Black.

Over recent years the global market for stamp collecting has grown at a rapid rate.  One of the major factors for this is because old, historic stamps are rare, difficult to source and limited in supply.

This overall rise in values is perhaps best illustrated by the Stanley Gibbons 250 Index, which has seen a 288% rise in the last ten years alone.  Tracking the price of 250 key investment stamps, the index rise reflects the constant demand for the very best stamp issues.  And significantly, this growth has been in stark contrast to other comparable markets over the same time.

As a result of this continued demand, the last two decades alone has seen the official Stanley Gibbons catalogue value for a fine used example of the Penny Black rise by 150% – out-performing many other comparable commodities.

And so came my idea.  To give my good friend Billy a meaningful gift for a milestone birthday.  A gift that’s not only dear to my heart, but something with genuine historical significance, fantastic desirability, and as a bonus, a clear track record of increasing value.

So there you have it, a great idea for a great friend – thank-you Fosters.

If you’re interested… 

Penny Black 251x300 - The Crown Jewel in the Nation’s greatest hobby

1840 Penny Black with 4 clear margins

You can own your own 4-Margin Penny Black, like Billy.  Click here for details >>>