Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Gold Standard of Tungsten?

Do you think of gold as a safe investment? The newly found tungsten-filled gold bars should keep you up at night. As New York merchant Ibrahim Fadl notes in
"It's a shame. This business is built on trust."
That's just gold bars, right? Think gold coins are immune? According to China Tungsten Online, as pointed out by Tyler Durden in Zero Hedge
"Tungsten is the only lower value metal that has a specific density close enough to gold to fabricate passable counterfeit pieces of the same size and weight as genuine"

"We are a professional tungsten fake gold coin manufacturer.Our tungsten gold fake coin is only for souvenir and decoration purpose. Here we declare: Please do not use our tungsten fake gold coin and other fake gold coin products for any illegal purpose."
Gold Bugs beware.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Mars Needs 1909 VDB Lincoln Cents!

As reported in, a 1909 VDB Lincoln Cent is currently on Mars with Curiosity.
The copper coin is attached to a smartphone-size plaque at the end of the robotic arm on Curiosity, NASA's Mars Science Laboratory car-size rover. The plaque, which was added to the vehicle as a calibration target, looks like an eye chart supplemented with color chips and the attached penny.
 The calibration plaque will be used to test the Mars Hand Lens Imager (MAHLI). The coin was selected and purchased by principal investigator Ken Edgett with Malin Space Science Systems in San Diego, CA.
"The penny is on the MAHLI calibration target as a tip of the hat to geologists' informal practice of placing a coin or other object of known scale in their photographs. A more formal practice is to use an object with [its] scale marked in millimeters, centimeters or meters," Edgett said. "Of course, this penny can't be moved around and placed in MAHLI images; it stays affixed to the rover."
Apparently coins in space is not a new idea: See Gus Grissom's lost mercury dimes.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Throw them back!

In the spirit of Catch and Release Coin Collecting there is now a worn Indian Head Cent and a Buffalo Nickel back in general circulation. I dropped the cent into a cup near a cash register and spent the nickel in a vending machine. Throw them back, live free!