Northeast's Blog

Numismatically Themed Chuck Norris Jokes New!

We are reviving this blog post from several years ago because, well, it's funny. And we welcome your participation!

Some of you are probably familiar with the popular Chuck Norris jokes. Ones like these: 

Chuck Norris sleeps with a pillow under his gun. 
Chuck Norris was an only child...eventually. 

Well, one evening (years ago) after work a few of us here met for Mai Tais at the Chinese restaurant below our (at the time) office. We began scratching out some coin-related Chuck Norris jokes. Easy to do after a potent Mai Tai. For those who appreciate the regular Chuck Norris jokes, we invite you to read on and add any that you can come up with. 

*Chuck Norris' coins consistently grade MS71. 
*All of Chuck Norris' coins come back from CAC with a platinum sticker. 
*Chuck Norris doesn't submit to PCGS or NGC. They submit to him. 
*Chuck Norris made the Seated Liberty stand up. 
*The Sheldon Scale is being changed to suit Chuck Norris. Gem coins are no longer MS65; they are CS65, or Chuck State 65. 
*If Chuck Norris doesn't get the grades he wants, it's the graders who end up in the body bags, not the coins. 
*Poorly struck coins are actually just coins that Chuck Norris squeezed too tightly.

*The Greysheet Ask price is irrelevant to Chuck Norris because Chuck Norris never asks for anything. 
*Chuck Norris achieved the number one Registry Set ranking for Morgan Dollars even though he's never bought a Morgan Dollar in his life. 
*Chuck Norris cracks out coins barehanded...with one hand. 
*PCGS blackout dates to not apply to Chuck Norris.


Tips: Coin collecting with a metal detector New!

The following is a guest post from Alex Lemaire.

There are many ways to collect coins. One of the most popular is coin hunting with a metal detector. In this short article, I will give you few tips to collect more coins using this device.

Tools needed

In addition to the detector, you need a digging tool, a pouch, and a screwdriver. The latter will help you in coin popping.

Some machines are capable of estimating the depth of the buried metal object. These indicators are calibrated with coin-sized objects. Therefore, if you think the coin isn’t very deep. Pop it up with a screwdriver to preserve the grass.

Old coins are precious. You don’t want to damage them with your digging tool. To avoid this problem you have to determine their exact location. This is why you need a pinpointer. It is also important to dig slowly.

Places to hunt

There are many locations where you can find coins. I can’t list all of them here. So I’ll give some tips for coin hunting in three common places.

*Parks are the most obvious places where you can hunt for coins. In most cases, you don’t need permission to use your metal detector. However, I recommend you check your local laws.

Scanning an entire park isn’t practical. Therefore you need to start with spots where you are most likely to find lost coins. Trees shades and park benches are good places to start with. People lose coins when they sit. Sandboxes, slides, and swings…are good spots too. You can find some cheap coins lost by kids.

Make sure you carry a trash bag with you to remove any sharp metal object you find. This way, you hunt coins and you help to make parks safer for kids. Use small digging tools (trowel not a shovel) and fill the hole you dug.

*Another common spot to hunt is sports fields. Always dig the surroundings not the actual playing field.

As always, start with the bleachers and trees where spectators set their lawn chairs to watch the match. Sidelines, along the fences and behind the home plate (in the case of baseball fields) are very good locations too. People will lose coins when they are jumping and cheering players.

Don’t forget to hunt for coins near concession stands and the parking lots. Coins spill out of pockets when people buy something or reach out for their keys.

*You may not find many coins in open fields. But, they will certainly be older and more valuable. To find good locations, you need to do some research before going for a hunt. This means that you need to check old plat maps, county atlas, old aerial photos… They are easily accessible in local libraries and local museums or online.

You need to look for is old structures (houses, Barnes, churches…) that no longer exist. You will find very precious coins around them.

To conclude, coin hunting is an easy and enjoyable hobby. You need nothing more than basic tools. And to make your hunts more successful, target areas with a lot of human activity.

About Alex Lemaire: Alex is passionate about unearthing history and collecting coins and relics. He thinks that metal detectors are time machines that help us know more about our ancestors’ lifestyle. You can follow him on his blog at

Coin Survival New!

The following was written by Brian.

Mintage or Survival Rates? What's More Important?

One of the first questions collectors ask me about a coin they are considering is "what is the mintage?". Of course, if I do not have the answer off the top of my head, I'll look it up. However, the research doesn't and shouldn't end there. One of the oft overlooked aspects of coin availability is survival rate. 

Survival rate is an estimate of the number of coins believed to exist for any particular issue. One good example of a coin with misleading availability is the 1932 Saint Gauden's Double Eagle. The coin had a mintage of 1,101,750. It shouldn't be too difficult to get your hands on one of those, yes? Well, no, as that particular issue was ordered melted by the US Government. In fact, most 1932 double eagles were melted following the abandonment of the gold standard in the 1933 by President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. As some of those coins eventually came out of the woodworks, what came to be was a coin with a high mintage, yet an incredibly low survival rate. Estimates are somewhere around 175 mint state graded coins and literally zero known in circulated grades. 

Another good example is the 1876-CC 20 Cent piece. Coin mintage was 10,000, which is by all standards low, but the survivability of around 16 known is shockingly low. In a letter dated March 19, 1877, the Director of the Mint (Henry R. Linderman) ordered the Superintendent of the Carson City Mint (James Crawford) to melt down all Twenty Cents still on hand at the time. Presumably, many, if not most of the 1876-CC Twenty Cents were included in the melt. An estimated 16-20 1876-CC Twenty Cents are known today. 

So word to the wise; be sure to check survival rate before considering a coin too expensive when it shows a high mintage. There could be more to the story. 

FYI - PL and DMPL New!

The following was written by Brian.

I often overhear the question 'how is a PL/DMPL coin created'. I have heard everything from die polish to early die state and everything in between as reasons, but the truth is that it is the complete die preparation (not just simple polishing) that creates these eye appealing and in-demand coins. 

The creation of DMPL and PL Morgan Dollars mostly occurs in the production process of the individual dies that are used to strike the coins. Dies were made individually from a so-called master hub with all of the major design elements which are then transferred to the individual dies. These dies are then basined, which is where the prooflike factor comes in. During this process the dies were placed against a zinc receptacle that contained water and fine grind particles that were slowly revolving, continually polishing the die. Depending on the amount of time the die was polished a prooflike or even deep-mirror prooflike die could be produced. Q. David Bowers proposes in his Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars that the dies that struck DMPL coins were inadvertently polished for too long, but this is merely a theory that has not been confirmed. It is possible that some dies were polished longer than others on purpose, perhaps to show off the quality and workmanship of the employees at the various mints.

 As you can see in the images below from PCGS (, the mirrors can be highly reflective and when the devices are frosty enough, it gives the appearance of cameo contrast and in my opinion warrants a premium.  

An interesting find II New!
There is 1 comment on this post.

The following was written by Chris.

We deal a fair amount in Swiss Shooting Medals. I love the unique and often ornate designs of them. In fact, I have several in my personal collection. While finally getting around to going through a small lot of them that we bought several years ago, I came across this medal. 

I could not find a listing of it in the Richter catalog. Granted, it's not actually a shooting medal. Thanks to my quite rusty skills in the German language that I acquired back in college (well, that and Google translate), I determined that the medal commemorates the inauguration in 1939 of the Swiss Shooting Museum. The legend on the medal is in both German and French. 

Some further research brought me to this website. This museum is located in Bern, and as you can see it is indeed the one depicted on the medal. I plan on contacting the museum to see if they have seen many of these inauguration medals. If not, I think it would make for an interesting donation for their display.

For further information on Swiss Shooting Medals, head on over to If you'd like to view our current selection of Shooting Medals, you'll find them in the medals section of our inventory.


Update 7/3/2019:

I reached out to the museum to see if they were familiar with the medal. They of course were and had an example on display and another in their archives. I asked if they would be interested in having a third for their collection and they were delighted. The director of the museum, Regula Berger, sent us a very nice note along with several post cards from their museum.


Created by: davidrhorer on 05/30/2019

Chris, I'm with you with regard to Swiss Shooting Medals, especially certain of the Beautiful Women set.

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