Five members of an Israeli scuba diving club were in for a shock when they stumbled upon a stash of 2,000 ancient gold coin. The divers, Tzvika Feuer, Kobi Tweena, Avivit Fishler, Yoav Lavi and Yoel Miller became inadvertent treasure hunters when they discovered the hoard during an excursion inside the harbour of Caesarea National Park. The group explains that they initially encountered one coin and thought it was a toy token from a game. Intrigued, they recovered several more and showed them to the director of the dive club. The director in turn notified the Marine Archaeology Unit of the Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA), the body responsible for overseeing such finds. A second dive was subsequently conducted to uncover the rest of the treasure. The total find was found to weigh in at an impressive 12-13 lbs of gold and is now recognized as the largest collection of gold coins found in Israel to date.
Upon examination, it has been revealed that the collection dates back to the Fatimid period of the 11th century. The IAA says that the coins are diverse, with specimens in dinar, half-dinar and quarter-dinar denominations.
Numasmatist Robert Cole weighed in on this story by saying, “the coins are in an excellent state of preservation. Despite the fact they were at the bottom of the sea for about a thousand years, they did not require any cleaning or conservation intervention from the metallurgical laboratory.”
The IAA hopes that the coins will shed light upon Muslim rule during the era of the Fatimid Islamic Dynasty, the dominating regime of the Middle East during the Classical Islamic Era. No one knows why such a windfall came to be lost but several theories have been voiced. Director of the IAA Marine Archaeology Unit Kobi Sharvit explains, “There is probably a shipwreck there of an official treasury boat which was on its way to the central government in Egypt with taxes that had been collected.”
Other variations of this theory include speculation that the coins were being carried by merchant traders who traded with coastal cities. Regardless of where they came from, the coins are certainly an impressive archaeological find for Israel.
As for the divers themselves, they will be able to claim that they had a hand in discovering the treasures, but the coins themselves are all properties of the country under Israel’s Law of Antiquities. Sharvit calls the loyal divers model citizens with hearts of gold for enabling Israel to access such a valuable historical find.
Star Trek: The Original Series proof silver coins will be released tonight (February 15th) at 7pm EST. There will be two coins released, one depicting Captain James T. Kirk while the other portrays his Constitution-class starship, the U.S.S. Enterprise NCC-1701. Don’t forget to order directly from the Perth Mint to receive free shipping over $400.
The true gem of this release is the extremely limited two-coin set that has a mintage of only 1,500. This set will sell out almost immediately after release. Be sure to make an account with the mint before the release.
There will be tremendous demand for these coins on release day for many reasons. First of all, the fan-base behind Star Trek is extremely passionate about the series and collectors go nuts for anything related to it. Even though the individual coins are pretty snazzy themselves, the extremely limited and super cool two-coin set is what will definitely sell out first.
Keep an eye out on Sunday January 15th @ 7:00pm (EST) SHARP if you’re interested in grabbing the two-coin set or the individual Star Trek proof coins.
Gold and silver prices sold off on Friday as better than expected US jobs data showed strong wage growth. This strong jobs data could give the Federal Reserve reason to raise interest rates earlier than expected which has translated into weakness for precious metals.
Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 257,000 in January, which beat the 236,000 forecast, although the unemployment rate ticked slightly higher to 5.7 percent, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. As well, the change in non-farm payroll employment for November was revised to 423,000 from 353,000 and the change for December was revised to 329,000 from 252,000.
Over the two-month period, employment gains were 147,000 higher than previously reported, setting up the strongest three-month gain in 17 years. Average hourly earnings increased 12 cents to $24.75 following a decrease of five cents in December.
Over the year, average hourly earnings have risen 2.2 percent. Labour reports over the next several months will take on added significance because the Federal Reserve is on the verge of raising interest rates.
The current market consensus is that rates will rise in mid-2015 although this is a moving target that will be dictated by jobs and inflation data.
Read more @ FastMarkets
The third coin in the exciting bi-annual Birds of Prey series has just been released on January 29th. This coin, the Red-tailed Hawk is the most common Hawk in Canada. Red-tailed hawks are very large with broad, rounded wings and a short, wide tail.
This coin depicts an adult Red-tailed Hawk descending on its prey in a field. Its wings and tail feathers are spread and the hawk’s wings are spread wider than what the coin allows us to see. The detail on this coin is simply spectacular along with most other coins produced by the Royal Canadian Mint.
This beautifully rendered coin is made from one ounce of 9999 fine silver which makes it among the most pure of silver coins on the market today. What do you think about this third release in the popular Birds of Prey series? Leave a comment below with your opinion about this coin.
International customers will be happy to hear that this product is available for secure shipment across the globe. Click on the link below for the current price of this coin. Also previous coins in the series, such as the Bald Eagle are still available for around the same price, so check the stock at the link below.
Wondering where gold and silver will go in 2015? This video reviews what analysts and traders are forecasting for precious metals during 2015.
Silver is one of the top performing commodities of 2015. It has rallied over 15% so far this year and has nearly doubled gold’s performance. Over the next few years, silver is set to continue outperforming gold as it has corrected far greater and become extremely undervalued relative to gold.
The silver-to-gold ratio suggests that silver could have far more room to run. The ratio has recently topped at around 76:1 on December 31st, 2014 and has been falling ever since. It currently sits at around 71:1, a 5 point drop since the start of the year.
Considering that the historical average is a ratio of 55:1, silver will likely make impressive gains once a solid bottom is found and the resumption of the bull market officially begins. The ratio bottomed in mid-2011 at a staggering 32:1 which highlights just how undervalued silver currently is, relative to gold.
The nation of Burundi has recently commenced their new “African Lion” coin series with the release of its 2015 1 oz Silver African Lion Coin. The exclusive piece will be restricted to a limited mintage of only 50,000 pieces. Each silver coin has been carefully crafted from 1 troy oz of silver and possesses a fineness of .999, consequently giving it an impressive face value of 5,000 Burundi Francs. All coins included in this particular collection are guaranteed to be in brilliant uncirculated and will be shipped in either a protective coin flap, original sealed tube of 20 or sealed monster of 500.
The artwork for this stunning piece commemorates none other than Africa’s most ferocious predator, the lion. Gracing the front of the coin is a male lion, laying next to his female mate. The intense and attentive expressions on both their faces suggests that the pair may be on the look out for their next unsuspecting prey. Depicted around these feral felines are the Boabab trees and tall blades of grass that make up the terrain of their African savanna home. Such detailed rendering of both the lions and their native habitat are enough to make the viewer feel as though they were actually on safari. Also printed on the obverse of the coin is the title of the coin series and its year of mintage.
The reverse side of the coin offers a moving tribute to the rich culture of the Burundi people with an artistic rendition of the national coat of arms. In the center of the crest is a lion’s head, complete with a thick mane. Beneath it is an unfurling scroll inscribed with the nation’s motto of “Unite, Travail, Progres.” It is written the country’s official French language and translates into the words, “Unity, Work and Progress.” Serving as a circular border to this design are the coin’s vital information including its country of origin, mintage date, denomination, purity and weight.
With its beautiful artwork, the 2015 1 oz Burundi Silver African Lion Coin is stunning collectible that is suitable for both the wildlife enthusiast or world traveler. For more information, please call 800-276-6508 or use the site’s live chat feature. Similar merchandise can be viewed in the World Silver Coins page of this website.
Goldman Sachs has recently revised their gold price prediction for 2015 due to the yellow metal’s strong performance since the start of the year. The US bank still remains bearish on the yellow metal in the long term, according to their latest commodities report. Do you agree with Goldman Sachs 2015 gold price forecast?
In its report, Goldman Sachs said that they expect prices to average $1,290 an ounce within the first three months of the year. They said that prices will be supported by the recent massive quantitative easing program in Europe and shifting expectations that the Federal Reserve will end up hiking interest rates later in the year.
The analysts said that disappointing manufacturing data, and low inflation will keep interest rates unchanged until at least September.
“Net, absent a reversal in the US and global recovery, we expect only limited further upside to gold prices despite the recent European and Swiss monetary shifts, as these are likely already largely priced in,” the report said.
Although prices will remain relatively stable during the first quarter of the year, prices should start to fall by the second quarter and the second half of the year. The bank’s 6-month and 12-month forecast are for gold prices to average $1,270 and $1,175 an ounce, respectively.
The Russian gold buying spree rages on as its central bank added to its gold reserves for the ninth straight month. The country’s gold reserves rose to about 38.8 million ounces as of Jan. 1 from 38.2 million ounces a month earlier. This latest purchase equals about 18.7 metric tons, similar to amounts bought in November and October, and compares with 37.3 tons added in September.
Russia has been a furious buyer of gold over the past few years. It has more than tripled its gold reserves since 2005 and there has hardly been a month since then that the country didn’t increase its holdings.
Many have questioned why Russia has so consistently been increase it’s reserves. Well for one thing, the ruble has lost 50% of its value during the past 12 months. Russia’s economy has been teetering on the brink of a recession due to sanctions imposed on them by the United States and the European Union, in addition to plunging energy prices.
In fact, Russia has been building its reserves throughout much of the Putin era as he is an avowed believer in the place of gold in the global economy. What is the true reason behind this Russian central bank gold buying spree? Contribute to the discussion by leaving a comment below.