Ken Barr Numismatics, P. O. Box 32541, San Jose, CA 95152
[Go to Ken Barr Numismatics homepage]


I've been posting April Fools spoof articles on the Usenet newsgroup rec.collecting.coins off and on since 1997.  A few recent readers have asked about "back issues" (OK. so ONE recent reader has asked ...), so I've uploaded a compendium of them to my website ....


WOW!  Just found this announcement posted in the newsgroup
news.announce.government.trump ...


Washington DC and Moscow Russia, April 1, 2017 (API)

United States Treasury Secretary Stvn Mnchn and Russian Finance Minister Igor Lyinhisazov jointly announced this morning a new currency to replace the United States dollar and the Russian ruble in international finance.

It will be named the "dolble" in the United States and the "rublar" in Russia, and will, according to Mnchn and Lyinhisazov, combine all of the positive features of each currency, and eliminate all the negative features of each currency as well.  It is intended to compete directly with Far Eastern currencies such as the Chinese yuan, the Japanese yen, the South Korean yin and the North Korean yang.  "The dolble will be a strong currency," proclaimed Mnchn, "backed by the full faith and credit of the United States, as well as the full faith of Russia, or whatever they are calling themselves this decade.  Since Russia has no credit in the international markets, it will be be backed by faith alone there."  "However," added Lyinhisazov, "the Russian people do produce a large amount of vodka, polonium 'cocktails' and nuclear missiles, so we expect our faith to be trusted.  We reserve the right to turn any disbelieving country into a glowing smoking crater uninhabitable for thousands of years."  The dolble/rublar is expected to be a stable currency, largely unaffected by trade balances and inflation, due to the steadying influences of the Federal Reserve System in the United States and the Friends of Putin Society in Russia.

Mnchn announced plans to eliminate the lower denominations of the dolble/rublar, namely the one, two, five and ten dolble/rublar notes.  "President Trump doesn't think anything worth less than twenty dolbles is worth buying, so there is no need for these notes.  As a concession to public transit, he will allow a one dolble coin to be produced, featuring vanquished opponent Hillary Clinton on the obverse and former Russian Federation / USSR / CIS / whatevertheycalleditbackthen President Boris Yeltsin on the reverse.  It will inevitably be described as "as worthless as Hillary" in the United States and "as useless as Buymeadrink Yeltsin" in Russia. ", Mnchn predicted.

The designs of the new banknotes will also be changed dramatically.  The new twenty dolble/rublar note will feature dual portraits of George Washington and Vladimir Lenin, the respective "fathers" of the United States and Russia on the face, with a large "TWENTY / ENTY-TWAY" on the back, along with a new crimson red color.  These 'redbacks' are expected to be quite popular compared to the old 'greenbacks' according to Lyinhisazov.  "After all," he added, "red is the color of the setting sun, while green is the color of moldy cheese.  Which would you rather have in your pocket?"  Mnchn quickly disputed Lyinhisazov's claims, pointing out that red is also the color of blood, while green is the color of lima beans, and if he was picking something to eat for dinner, lima beans would easily win out over blood.

The fifty dolble/rublar denomination will be eliminated, while the new hundred dolble/rublar note will feature dual portraits of, according to Mnchn, "Donald Trump's beautiful, sexy, intelligent, sexy, talented, sexy daughter Ivanka Trump and Vladimir Putin's daughter Yeoxerina Putin."  A new thousand dolble/rublar note will feature dual portraits of, again according to Mnchn, "Donald Trump's handsome, sexy, talented, sexy, genius, sexy son Donald Junior as well as Vladimir Putin's son Garbajescow Putin."  A new million dolble/rublar note will feature dual portraits of, according to Mnchn, "Donald Trump's sexy, attractive, sexy, beautiful, sexy, imported wife Melania, as well as Vladimir Putin's ex-wife Lyudimungous Putin."  A new billion dolble/rublar note is also planned, featuring dual portraits of Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffet and exiled Russian billionaire oil magnate Mikhail Khodorkovsky, "in case Melania wants to buy a lamp or a new coat rack for the White House.", Mnchn announced

But by far the most impactful item on the agenda is the issuance of a trillion dolble/rublar note, featuring portraits of esteemed U. S. President Ronald Reagan and esteemed Russian President Mikhail Gorbachev.  According to Mnchn, President Trump plans to print twenty-five of these notes, then send his son-in-law Jared Kushner to meet Chinese Premier Le Keqiang shortly thereafter.  Kushner is to present nineteen of these  notes to the Premier and say "Here ya go, pal, we're buying our country back"  The remaining six notes will be retained by Trump in the White House safe in case he wants to buy a country like Sweden, or Finland, or some other cold place to exile his ex-wives and political opponents.  Alternatively, he may want to buy someplace warm like Fiji or Kenya in order to have a place to send those journalists who, according to Mnchn, "get too close to the truth, if you know what I mean."

The stock and bond markets, being closed for the weekend, had no reaction.  It is expected that Proctor & Gamble (NYSE: PG), the manufacturer of Pepto-Bismol, will have a tremendous gain on Monday.

2016:    PCGS To Encapsulate All Collectible Merchandise

Hmmmmm, I just found the following article posted in the news.announce.biznessstuff.whatever newsgroup ... I wonder what effect this will have on the collectibles market?!?


PCGS To Encapsulate All Collectible Merchandise
(April 1, 2016)  (API Newswire) (Newport Beach, California)

The Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), a division of Collectors Universe (NASDAQ: CLCT) has announced their intention to expand their product offerings across the entire spectrum of collectibles.

PCGS President Donn Williss , in a press conference held at the annual Collectibles and Other Stuff Trade Show and Tax-Deductible Vacation event taking place in Honolulu, Hawaii displayed samples and discussed PCGS's expansion plans.  "We intend to provide authentication, grading and encapsulation for virtually ALL collectible items, adding to our current portfolio of coins, stamps, sportscards and comic books."

For example, he continued, "We've already contracted with the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam to slab Vincent Van Gogh's painting titled 'Sunflowers'.  They think the public will get a better appreciation of the work if they can get closer to it, and actually place their hands on the lucite encapsulation.  We're working on the Louvre to get the Mona Lisa slabbed, but they are not on board yet.  Similarly, the National Toy Museum in Texasapolis, Texas is having us slab their First Edition Mint In Box G. I. Joe and Barbie dolls so that the young visitors to the museum can actually play with the slabs without risking any damage to the Mint Box.  The National Gambling Museum in Las Vegas, Nevada is having us slab a very rare ashtray from a special suite in the old Sands Hotel, purportedly still containing ashes from one of Frank Sinatra's cigarettes.  It appears to be in Used 30 condition, and will have a appropriate 'Rat Pack' label embedded in the lucite.  We had a lot of trouble preparing an appropriate slab for a very special collectible, the first 'meadow muffin' produced by the great thoroughbred Secretariat after winning the Triple Crown in 1973.  We have a letter of authentication signed by both the owner and the trainer identifying this as the First Emission, and have designed a special label reflecting that designation.  The slab itself is also unique, with a small shaft leading from the top of the slab to the embedded item, so that the full aromatic experience can be appreciated if the airtight cover is removed.  The owner assures us that the cover will only be removed under very special circumstances, such as wanting to impress a new girlfriend."

The new Vice President of Everything Else, Lucite DuPont, announced a very special item which will be slabbed shortly.  "The purchaser of the very first Tesla Model 3 electric car, sold just yesterday, has contracted to have it shipped directly from the assembly line to our Large Collectible Slabbing Facility in an unnamed town in ... let's say Nebraska.  There, after careful inspection to assure that there was no damage in shipment, we expect it to be slabbed as a BO-100, the highest grade possible on the Barney-Oldfield automobile grading standard."  When asked how it was possible to slab something that big, DuPont stated that "We've done several items of this size already, from a retired drug-running submarine for El Chapo to a Hummer H-1 for Arnold Schwartzenegger who said the backseat had a 'very special significance'. In fact, the first large item we slabbed was my grandfather, Arnold 'Whatchutalkingbout' DuPont, who to this day looks exactly like the old wrinkled man he was on the day he died."

Pricing on these Everything Else services will vary, depending on the size of the item, the difficulty required in providing authenticity/grading, shipping, and the color of ink to be used on the label.  "We'll try to be reasonable", DuPont stated, "but anyone wanting this kind of custom product should expect to pay a professional price.  Plastic ain't cheap, ya know ...".

2015:  New "First Slabbed" Procedure Announced by American Numismatic Association

WOW!  I just found the following article posted in the news.announce.currentevents.ANA newsgroup ... I'm glad they are finally taking action after that fiasco in Chicago last year!


New "First Slabbed" Procedure Announced by American Numismatic Association

(April 1, 2015)  (API) (Colorado Springs, Colorado)

The American Numismatic Association is pleased to announce a new procedure for the distribution of "first slabbed" coins at future ANA conventions, according to ANA Chief PR Flack Ponn Dearlmann.  "We acknowledge that there were a few minor hiccups in the distribution of the Baseball Hall of Fame coins in Chicago last year", admitted Dearlmann, "and have implemented changes in the program to make this an even more fair, equitable, fun and profitable experience for our ANA members, our ANA deelers, the general public and the shelterally-challenged community.

According to Dearlmann, at ten random times during each day of the convention, ten mini-helicopter drones will be launched from the ANA Message Center.  Each drone will carry a plastic egg containing a number.  One of the eggs will be gold, three will be silver and six will be bronze.  At random times shortly after launching, each drone will drop its egg onto the bourse floor.  If the egg lands within a dealer's bourse booth, that dealer will be able to claim the egg.  If it lands exactly on the line between two dealer booths, the dealer with the most mustard stains on his shirt will be awarded the egg.  Cameras on the drone will assure that no dealer adds mustard stains after the drop occurs -- any dealer caught doing so will be disqualified from participating in any further egg drops that day, will be required to recite five "Hail Q. Davids" in penance and pay a $631 fine to the ANA Executive Director's Secret Slush Fund (if such a fund existed, which it does not).  In the event of a dispute between the two dealers, the decision of ANA Chief Mustard Stain Inspector Lewis Gary will be final.  The ANA also formally guarantees that these egg drops will be ENTIRELY RANDOM, and that if somewhere between two and four eggs happen to land in incoming ANA President Jeff Garrett's booth each day, that will be PURELY COINCIDENTAL.

Eggs which land in the aisles, the dining areas or the public areas of the government booths will be "up for grabs" according to Dearlmann.  "First person to grab the egg, hold it aloft and shout 'Zerbe!' gets it", per Dearlmann.  In the case of a "mutual possession" dispute, the ANA Egg Grab Referee Pendell Polka will make the determination of the winner, using surveillance video from the drone camera if necessary.  Eggs which land within the private areas of the government booths will be retained by the appropriate government until their leaders can figure out what to do with them, which will undoubtedly be several months after the convention ends, and will so be meaningless.  In the special case of an egg landing on a dealer's bourse case, a contest will be undertaken to award possession of the egg.  Any collector seated in a visitor chair at the dealer's table will be permitted to compete in a round-robin sumo tournament among themselves to determine one of the challengers for the final duel.  The dealer may nominate him- or herself or any member of his staff to be the other challenger.  (NOTE:  the collector may challenge the dealer's nominee as 'numismatically unworthy' if he or she suspects that the dealer hired this staff member specifically to compete in the challenge.  The ANA Librarian Bibi O'Graphy will then ask the staff member a series of questions that only a serious numismatist could answer, such as "Whose portrait appears on the Lincoln cent?", "What color is the 'Red Book'"?, "How many coins are there in a roll of three-cent nickels?" and "What would you pay for a Lower Slobovian 1771 five quiznortz in PCGS MS64 with a gold CAC sticker?".  Based on the responses, the Librarian will either qualify the staff member (in which case an arm-wrestling match will determine the egg winner), or disqualify the staff member (in which case the collector is awarded the egg).

Dearlmann continued, "Once the eggs are awarded, the fun begins!  The winners must rush across the bourse floor to the Meeting Place, where they will run though a muddy obstacle course and  press a button which sounds a horn.  They will then line up in order of finish and open their eggs one at a time.  The ones with the bronze eggs are stuck with the numbers inside, while the ones with the silver eggs may swap numbers with the person on either side of them, and the one lucky person with the gold egg may swap numbers with the person on either side of them, or with the person two spots away from them.  Once any swapping of numbers is completed, the winners then re-line up in numerical order and troop over the the U. S. Mint booth for processing.  Once they pay for the coin, they get to select which slabbing service they want to use and which label style they want to select.  The labels will all include the lines "ANA convention id, Early Slabbed, Day x, Drawing y, Number z", where 'convention id' will be Chicago 2015, Anaheim 2016 or whatever, the 'day' will be 1, 2, 3, etc. up to how many days the show runs, the 'drawing' will be between 1 and 10 each day and the 'number' will be between 1 and 10 as per the final slip they ended up with."

Winners then have the option of either receiving their slabs later that day, or consigning them directly to the Official ANA Auction where they will be auctioned off in that evening's session.  It is anticipated that the Day 1, Drawing 1, Number 1 slab could bring anywhere between $1.1 and $2.5 million depending on the topic of the coin.  Obviously, some sort of base metal coin depicting some boring monument in Washington DC would fetch near the lower end of the estimate, while a precious metal coin featuring a popular personage might bring near the top of that range.  In fact, if the proposed $1000 strontium-90 commemorative coin featuring the famous centanumisphilanfreakic rock musician Auric Neumann is authorized and released at an ANA convention, the 1/1/1 slab could easily realize between $10 and $20 million according to inside sources.

"We look forward to the next ANA convention", Dearlmann concluded, "where these minor tweaks to the First Slabbed procedures should eliminate any lingering animus regarding the procedure used in the past, and provide our convention attendees with an interesting, exciting and totally non-discriminatory way of adding an immensely historic numismatic artifact to their collections."

2014:  Major New Hoard Discovered in Northern California

WOW!  I just found the following article posted in the rec.announce.exciting.newfinds newsgroup ... I can't wait until more information is published in the mainstream media!


Major New Hoard Discovered In Northern California

(April 1, 2014)  (API) (East Tiburon, California)
An amazing new coin hoard has been discovered in Northern California according to noted expert Nod Nigak of the website Coins, Stamps and Stuff Inc. (

A couple walking their ferret in the town of North San Francisco reportedly tripped over two jars protruding from a dirt path in the Platinum Portal Park area.  One jar, according to Nigak, was "stuffed to the gills with 1943 pennies, probably about 1,000 of them."  "I looked it up on the Interweb", Nigak proclaimed, "and these coins are worth up to $1,000,000 each.  That's potentially a billion dollars in that one jar!  They're mostly rusty, though, so I have them soaking in a tub of WD-40.  Once I take them out and scrub them up, they might only be worth $500,000 each, so that billion is probably an optimistic estimate."

The other jar contained what Nigak described as "ancient Bitcoins", about a hundred of them.  "The front shows a portrait of Bitcoin inventor Satoshi Nakamoto, the motto 'In Electrons We Trust' and the letters MMXI, which I'm told is a secret unbreakable computer programmer code that indicates the year the coin was struck.  The back shows a mountain with stars around it, like the Paramount logo, but ...", Nigak added breathlessly, "the mountain is Mt. Gox, not Mt. Fuji!".  Strangely, according to Nigak, the only denomination on the coins is a large "5" in the center of Mt. Gox.  "I don't know if this means it's a five bitcent coin, or a five bitdollar coin", he admitted.  "I think I'll have to take it to the local bitgrocery store, pick up a five bitcent cigar, lay the cigar and the coin on the counter and see what happens.  If the merchant hands me the cigar and says 'Thanks!" then I'll know it's a five bitcent coin.  But if he gives me B$4.95 in change, I'll know it's a five bitdollar coin.  My great-great-great-great-granduncle Josh Mutat did something similar over a hundred years ago to figure out if his coins were nickels or five dollar gold pieces."

The physical Bitcoins, introduced several months before their electronic counterparts, are highly coveted by both numismatists (coin collectors) and abacudariasts (computer memorabilia collectors).  In the right auction, Nigak estimates that these coins could sell for hundreds of thousands of dollars each.  The couple is still debating which venue to use to sell the coins, with and Fast Eddie's Noomismatic Emporium ( currently the top contenders.

Nigak, a world-renowned expert on insects, admits that coins are not his forte.  "I'm an entomologist, or is it an etymologist?  I never remember which one deals with bugs and which one deals with words.  In either case, I'm a bug guy.  But I did consult with our fishing collectibles expert, Peter Pike, and he concurs with my assessments in this case."

The couple, who asked to be called Filliam Werguson and Fatalie Nerguson in order to protect their privacy, are also still debating the official name of the hoard.  Filliam reportedly favors The Farry Herguson Hoard in honor of their ferret, while Fatalie reportedly favors The Oh C&#% I Just Tripped Over A Jar Hoard.  Interested readers of this article are encouraged to make their preferences known at the website.

In the meantime, the Internal Revenue Service has presented the couple with a tax bill for $565 million based on the expert appraisal by Nigak.  "We expect our money by Friday," IRS executive Leuten Pillege explained, "and the payment has to be in cold hard US dollars, not in pennies or Bitcoins!"  The State of Kaleefornia is expected to also assess the couple in the amount of $50 million or so.  State Franchise Tax Board spokesperson Mary Jane Duby told reporters that she would get back to them with a final amount once she has completed a "medical treatment and a Twinkie binge".


Coins, Stamps and Stuff, Inc. (CSSI) is a subsidiary of Hobbytownworld (HTW), a publicly-traded company listed on the Uranus Stock Exchange.  Forward looking statements are pretty much just wild guesses, and should not be believed any more than the Tooth Fairy or phrases like "consistent returns above the market average".  Your Mileage May Vary.  Contents may have settled during shipment.  Void where prohibited, and in Vermont because we hate maple syrup.

Back Issues:

1997 - Microsoft Acquires U. S. Mint

WOW!  I just read this posting in alt.biznez.announcements.  Is it real, orsomebody's idea of an April Fool's Day joke?

...April 1, 1997.....Redmond, Wash......(API).....April 1, 1997


Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced this morning that his companyhas acquired the U. S. Mint for $987.6 million in a stock-swap buyout. "It's cool", Gates said, "Microsoft has alway been in the business ofmaking money, now we can *really* make money!".  The first change inpolicy announced by Gates was the elimination of the penny and nickel. "They're so heavy and worthless, it's a shame to ruin a $2,000 pair ofslacks by wearing a hole in the pocket with so much useless change. From now on, the U. S. Mint will only strike dimes, quarters and halves,plus three new coins.  First, we're going to completely revise and updatethe Susan B. Anthony dollar, and reissue it as a 'Missy' coin.  Internallyto Microsoft, of course, it will officially be known as a 'MSIE'.  Next, we'lladd a $1,000,000 coin called the 'Allen' for Microsoft Vice-ChairmanPaul Allen.  We'll probably strike a few hundred of these, in 22k gold, sothat Paul can buy the Seattle Seahawks, Mariners and Pilots, as well asany other professional sports teams he wants.  He may also buy theKingdome, Tacomadome and possibly other domed stadiums ---- he hasexpressed and interest in collecting 'domed things' lately.  Lastly, we'llstrike a few $1,000,000,000 coins called the 'Gates' for me, just in case Iwant to buy a company like Apple Computer, a few networking companies,or I want to add a new room to the house, or buy a really neat car.  Thesewill be struck in solid Franklinium (R), a very scarce precious metal notused in coinage since the casino chips of the 1960's and 1970's.  In orderto make sure these new coins are accepted in commerce, the motto 'In GodWe Trust' will be changed to 'Backed by Bill'."

Mint director Philip K. Diehl, on the other hand, was stunned.  "We didn'tsee this coming at all.  We were so busy focusing on shafting the coincollectors with overpriced limited edition sets and planning the year 20002000-coin Olympic commemorative coin program that they just snuck upand grabbed us.  We didn't have time to whine to Congress or anything!  Nowwe have to figure out how to put a matte proof Missy, with a "W" mintmarkof course,  in a limited edition 'new denominations' proof set, and keep themintage to two so that only Bill and Paul can have one.  We may have to usePGP-verified e-mail order forms to make sure that no one else tries to orderthe set.  We're lucky that Malcolm Forbes is dead, otherwise this would bea much more difficult program to develop.  Let's just hope that the Sultanof Brunei and Warren Buffet are not coin collectors!"

In a related move, the precious metals market for zinc and nickel plungeddramatically.  After all, these two metals are practically useless exceptfor coinage, so what else could happen?  Gold remained fairly constant, whileone trader, speaking on the condition of anonymity, stated that Franklinium (R)had "soared" on the opening bell.  As usual, no firm quotes on the metal were
available for publication since this is a tightly controlled market dominatedby a private 'mint' near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Asked whether he had any additional money-related acquistions planned,such as a hostile takeover of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Gatessimply smiled coyly and said "Maybe next year ...".


Any confirmation or additional info you hear would be appreciated.  TIA.

1999 - Microsoft Acquires Bureau of Engraving and Printing

WOW!  I just read this posting in alt.biznez.announcements.  Is it real, orsomebody's idea of an April Fool's Day joke?

...April 1, 1999.....Redmond, Wash......(API).....April 1, 1999


Microsoft Chairman Bill Gates announced this morning that his companyhas acquired the Bureau of Engraving and Printing for $987.6 million in astock-swap buyout.  The new company will operate as a wholly-ownedsubsidiary of Microsoft, and be called MS-BEP.  "It's cool", Gates said,"Microsoft has alway been in the business of making money, now we can*really* make money!".  The first change in policy announced by Gates wasthe addition of two new denominations of notes.  The $1,000,000 bill willfeature a smiling portrait of Microsoft Vice-Chairman Paul Allen on theface and a Seattle Seahawks football game in the Kingdome on the back.

"This will make it so convenient," Allen was overheard to say, "wheneverI want to buy a new sports team or stadium.  No more having to waste somuch time writing out a check.  I'll just have to peel a few 'Allens' off mybankroll and it's done!"    Microsoft also plans a new $1,000,000,000 notefeaturing Gates on the face and his multi-million-dollar home on the back."This will be a limited edition note", Gates warned, "and will probablyonly be used by my wife and me.  I may want to buy a company like AppleComputer, a few networking companies, or a really neat car, and my wifemay want to buy a lamp or something for the house".  In order to make surethese new notes are accepted in commerce, the motto 'In God We Trust' willbe changed to 'Backed by Bill'."

Secretary of the Treasury Robert Rubin was shocked.  "We didn't see thiscoming at all.  We were so busy making funny looking portraits of AlexanderHamilton for the upcoming redesigned $10 note that we didn't notice Gates'team auditing our books and buying up large blocks of BEP stock."

Asked whether he had any additional money-related acquistions planned,such as a hostile takeover of the Federal Reserve System, Gates simplysmiled coyly and said "Maybe next year ...".


Any confirmation or additional info you hear would be appreciated.  TIA.

2000 - Amazing Error Coin Discovered

I found this posted in alt.current-events-weird-stuffthis morning ... does anyone have any further informationon this discovery?

>April 1, 2000
>(API)  Officials  at the United States Mint and the British
>Royal Mint are scratching their heads trying to figure out
>how an unusual error coin was created.  One side of the coin,
>about the size of a U. S. quarter dollar, features a design of
>Paul Revere on horseback, but with the legend "Caeser
>Rodney King" and is dated 1999.  The other side of the
>coin features a full-figure portrait of Queen Elizabeth II
>wearing a necklace (and nothing else!) and is dated 1997.
>According to U. S. Mint spokesperson April Foo, the coin
>was discovered in a roll of the new .999-fine gold Sacajawea
>dollars being distributed exclusively by Neiman-Marcus.
>British Royal Mint spokesperson Josh N. Yew added that the
>coin has been examined by Prince Philip with a 20-power
>loupe, and that he reluctantly concurs that it is indeed the
>"Numismatic World" error columnist Herbert Allen
>has also seen the coin and declared it "absolutely
>100% genuine" and " the first transcontinental
>and time-warp error I've ever seen!".
>The coin has been slabbed by the Amateur Coin
>Grading Service, and is currently offered for sale
>on iBay as lot # 10047774438914393020.  It is
>described as a GB-US 1997/1999 two-quarterpounder,
>graded MS 63.7, with DNA fingerprinting pending
>(expected within two weeks, unless the Los Angeles
>Police Department Forensic Lab contaminates the
>sample).  Mint employee J. O. Simpson has not been
>named as a suspect in this case, although everyone
>knows that he did it.

2000 - Actress Injured Filming Dollar Commercial

I thought that this article in
this morning might be appropriately reposted here
in r.c.c ...

#   April 1, 2000 (API)
#   Comic actress Judy Carne was injured while
#   filming a commercial for the new "golden
#   dollar" Sacajawea coin yesterday.  During a
#   break in filming, Carne was heard to say
#   "I don't know what the big deal about the
#   name of this new coin is.  It may be a golden
#   dollar to you, but it's a Sackie to me".   Her
#   companions immediately froze in horror, then
#   quickly moved back as an eerie chant arose
#   within the soundstage ... "Sackie to me!
#   Sackie to me!  Sackie to me!  SACKIETOME!".
#   Miss Carne was only able to utter the short
#   phrase "Uh-oh!" before she was drenched with
#   several buckets of water thrown by unknown
#   assailants.  Police are investigating the assault,
#   but have issued no statements other than that
#   it a is "verrrrrrrrrry interesting" case and that
#   a dirty old man was seen shuffling around the
#   set shortly before the incident ...

[Note to US readers less than 40 years old:  Ask your
grandparents about "Rowan & Martin's Laugh-In", a
popular teevee show in the 1930's.  Note to non-US
readers:  Never mind, it would take too long to

2002 - U. S. Mint Announces "Strike To Order" Policy

Just found the following article posted on the
us.government.announcements.official newsgroup.
Do you think it will have much of an impact on the
numismatic hobby?

Monday, April 1, 2002, 8:00 AM EST
Newsgroup:  us.government.announcements.official
Subject:  U. S. Mint Announces "Strike To Order" Policy

The United States Mint today announces its new "Strike To Order" policyfor United States coinage.  "The tremendous interest in old coins whichresulted from the sceduled auction of the sort-of unique 1933 $20 goldpiece this coming July has caused us to revise our striking policy", saidU. S. Mint Publicity Director Ponn Dearlmann.  "It seems that everyonewants one of these things for their collection, so we've decided to strikeadditional examples as demand permits.  This is a result of the Mint'sEnterprise Program which is designed to make us more responsive tocustomer wants and needs, just like a real business would be."

The Mint will not limit these "Strike To Order" coins to 1933 doubleeagles, however.  Any U. S. coin struck since 1792 is eligible for sale,including unique and near-unique items.  "We've already sold twenty1849 Double Eagles to people working on their gold date sets, andnumerous 1873-CC Seated Liberty dimes to quite a few Liberty SeatedCollectors Club members", Dearlmann added.  Pricing for these coinshas been established as follows:  copper and nickel coins cost $10 each,silver coins cost $25 each and gold coins cost double the melt value. Each order is subject to the Mint's standard $3.95 shipping charge.

"The really special feature about this program is that we're not goingto limit it to coins that the Mint actually struck", continued Dearlmann. "We had a collector who wanted his Lincoln cent set to be 'symmetrical'so we struck a 1909-D VDB, a 1909-D, a 1910-D, a 1921-D, a 1922-S,a 1923-D, a 1932-S, a 1933-S and a 1934-S for him.  We've informedWhitman Publishing and Dansco of these new coins, and expect the'Red Book' and numismatic collecting supplies to be updated shortly."

"We've had one request that we're still considering", added Dearlmann. "Bill Gates has requested that we strike a $1,000,000,000 coin whichfeatures a Monopoly board on the obverse and the phrase 'Screw You,Justice Department' on the reverse.  He intends to flip this to theJustice Deparment chief prosecutor at the conclusion of the appealsto the Microsoft Anti-Trust case and sarcastically proclaim 'Here, pal,keep the change'.  This project is on hold pending approval from Milton-Bradley to use their trademarked 'Monopoly' design."

Orders may be placed on the U. S. Mint's new website at  Please allow up to four weeks for deliveryof regularly-issued coins, and up to six weeks for delivery of coins whichwere never originally struck.  Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover,PayPal and BrucesBarterBucks are all accepted in payment.  Your resultsmay vary.  Void where prohibited.  Contents may settle during shipment.I am not your lawyer, and this is not formal legal advise.  Batteries notincluded.  No shirt, no shoes, no service. Have a nice day!

2003 - Arrest Warrants Issued For R.C.C Posters

[Note:  perhaps too inside for most readers ... several r.c.c posters (and even the newsgroup itself!) were sued for slander in 2002 ...]

I found the following in this morning ...


The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced today the issuance of arrestwarrants for numerous members of the rec.collecting.coins Usenet newsgroup.

Most were charged with Conspiracy To Collect Counterfeit Coins, a violation of69 USC 666, with some of the members also facing additional charges.

The ringleader has been identified as Red Goldberg, who operates out of anunknown Eastern seaboard location along with his prime co-conspirators PhillDeMustard and an elderly female black rap artist known only as ProGramma.

When pressed for details, FBI Special Agent Tim Windsor admitted that Goldbergis also wanted for identity theft and impersonation of a federal agent.   FBIDeputy Director of Operations Bill Fordler has reportedly expressed a personalinterest in the vigorous prosecution of this case.

Sergeant Preston of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police is also hot on the trailof George Smith and Jay Berman, charged with Posting To Usenet Without ALicense, a violation of Canadian Law 602P and punishable by a fine of five cents(Canadian) for every message posted to Usenet since silver was removed fromcirculating coinage.  Smith and Berman should be easy to identify, claimsSgt. Preston, since they generally wear sandals without socks, even on thefrozen tundra of downtown Toronto.  Their socks have been appropriated byGoldberg for unknown nefarious purposes according to unnamed senior WhiteHouse officials.

The Central Intelligence Agency is also involved in this action, offering a rewardfor information leading to the arrest of Enormous Freddd, a minor sheik in theKingdom of Ahia.  The CIA has yet to locate Ahia on any map, even with theassistance of Yahoo!Maps, but believes that it is a small country somewhere inthe Middle East, possibly near Yhabba Dhabba Dhoo.  Freddd is charged with importation of counterfeit feedbags in violation of the Agricultural Import Billof 1913 and felony failure to send Euros.

Other "Persons Of Interest" named by the FBI include Crystal Watson, Rod Bubb,Mick McNight, Laurie Colder, Tim DeLorean, Sam Eisenhower-Sackagawea, theStown Crime Family (John, Jim, Curly, Zack, Jerry and The Other Brother Jerry),Asa Ackugrade, Eric Stuller-Tippery, Barry Tippery-Stuller,  Lewis Garry,Adam Haroutoutoutoutoutunian,  Penny Pinscher (an exotic dancer / coin dealeralso known as "Ms. 64-DD"), The Shell Answerman and a dangerous Slabonianterrorist mastermind known only by her codename, "The Fishwife".  A reward ofup to $3.56 is being offered for information leading to their arrest and convictionon whatever charges the gubbermint can dream up.

2004 - eBay Purchases Federal Reserve System

WOW!  I just found the following article posted in the newsgroup  I wonder what implications
this has for the coin collecting public???


San Jose, CA (API) ..... April 1, 2004 .....


eBay (NASDAQ: EBAY), the world's leading person-to-person auctionnetwork, announced today that it has reached an Agreement InPrinciple to purchase the Federal Reserve System for an undisclosedamount of cash and stock.

eBay CEO Margaret (Meg) Whitman stated that eBay became awarelate in 2003 that some eBay users were using cash and checks to payfor their auction purchases rather than using the eBay in-house PayPaltransaction payment system.  "Since eBay did not receive a percentageof these cash and check transactions", Whitman said, "we regarded thisas a type of 'fee avoidance' and took steps to remedy the problem.

Effective on May 1, 2004, all checks processed through the Federal Reserve System, which incidentally will be renamed 'eFed', will be subjectto a transaction convenience fee of 25c plus 1.1% of the amount of thecheck.  Also, all cash delivered to any bank or armored car service afterthat date will be subject to a currency availability fee of $10 plus 0.9% ofthe amount received.  We believe that our new customers will be quitedelighted to pay these minimal fees in return for the continued top-notchcheck and currency services provided by eFed."

Whitman also announced that Alan Greenspan will be replaced as Chairmanof eFed by her distant cousin, renowned singer Pierre "Slim" Whitman.  Allother eFed governors will remain in their current positions until appropriateWhitman relatives can be located and appointed to fill their positions.

Changes in the Federal Reserve Notes, to be renamed Meg-a-bucks in thenear future, will also be made.  A new $100,000 Meg-a-buck Note will beintroduced featuring the portrait of Whitman's great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather Walt Whitman.  Additionally, a $1,000,000Meg-a-buck Note will also be introduced, to feature Ms. Whitman herself. "It will make identification easy", Whitman explained, "since I'll just have to point to the portrait and say 'Look, it's me!' if I'm questioned by a cashierwhen trying to spend one of the notes.  Melinda Gates might have a littlemore trouble spending one of these, but she could have had Bill buy eFedif she wanted to avoid the hassle."

eBay stock rose 3.2% to $88.88 per share on the news.  Stock in the Federal Reserve System is not publicly traded.

== 30 ==

2005 - Hager Expands Accugrade Lawsuit

[NOTE:  More "insider info" re the ongoing slander lawsuit versus r.c.c and others.  Feel free to skip this one if you were one of the few people not sued in this action.]

FYI, I found this notice posted in the newsgroup earlier this morning:


April 1, 2005:  LONGWOOD, FL (API)  Hager Expands Accugrade Lawsuit

The law firm of Sloucher, Slacker and Doofus, representing Alan Hagerand ASA-Accugrade Corporation in their litigiation versus several individualsand a Usenet newsfroup, announced this morning that they are expandingthe defamation lawsuite both internationally and intergalactically.

The firm has contracted with British barristers Suem, Screwem and Tattooem to file suit in the World Court against several additional defendants located in the civilized parts of Europe, plus Italy and France.  The new defendants include British citizen Clayton Toney, a Greek named 'google', a Swiss only known as Herr Bobbgrove andevery British or Scottish citizen named Ian.  "It was easier to sueevery Ian than to figger out which ones to exclude" was the commentby Skumsuking Suem.

Additionally, the firm announced that it has contracted withthe intergalactic law firm of Ming The Merciless, LLP to extend the lawsuite to several extraterrestrials who formerly resided on Earth and are hence subject to litigation as well.  The filing will take placein the Intergalactic Court on Triskelion within a month according tothe firm.  One named defendant, known as Mork From Ork, was stunnedto hear that he was being sued.  "Shazbat!", he exclaimed, "Let mespeak with my lawyer.  <beep-boop-da-bing> Nanu, nanu!  GeorgeFrancisco, please.  ...  George,  Mork here.  Nanu, nanu!  Have I beenserved lately? ... No? ... All is well, by the jowls of Orson!  Word toyour wife, Buck, Emily, Vestna and your binnaum Albert!  <bloop>".

Another defendant, Dick Solomon, a former professor at Pendleton College in Rutherford, Ohio, formally stated "I have been advised bymy attorney, The Big Giant Head, to make no comment on this case. Therefore, other than stating that I have no comment to make onthis case, I will have no comment to make on this case. Thank you!".

Captain Starbuck, reached at his coffeeshop in Seattle, exclaimed "Frak!  Cassiopeia and I don't have the cubits to defend this kind of lawsuite!  I'll have to find a Pyramid game somewhere to raise somemore cash.  Felgercarb!".  Barkeeper Quark, back on Ferenginar aftera long stint on a space station, claimed that Rule of Acquisition 017("A contract is a contract is a contract - but only between Ferengi.")protected him from litigation.  "Still," he lamented, "I'll probably haveto spend some gold-pressed latinum in order to get a favorable rulingfrom the Grand Negas on this matter."

Mr. Spock, contacted at his numiartifacts shop on Vulcan, was quotedas saying "Vulcans are perfectly able to authenticate and grade theirown numiartifacts.  The use of a third-party service would be illogical." Harcourt Fenton Mudd, on the other hand, was more vocal, claiming thathe had the best attorneys in the galaxy on retainer.  "Bring it on, Hager! They got me out of that smuggling charge on Rigel VII, and they arelooking forward to chewing you up and spitting you out like a Denobulanslimeworm eating a targ!"

Attempts to contact another named defendant, Tim O'Hara's so-called"Uncle Martin", were unsucessful, most likely because he passed awaya few years ago.

[DISCLAIMER:  The above is PARODY, a protected version of Frea Speach,and not subject to lawsuiting (I hope ...).  Apologies in advance to allcitizens of Italy and France.  Your mileage may vary.  Kids, DO NOT TRYTHIS AT HOME!  Professional satiricist on a closed track.  Void whereprohibited, taxed or encapsulated, and in the states of Washingtonand Iowa.  Contents may have settled during shipment.  Limit one perperson or extraterrestial entity.  No facsimilies accepted.  Stop mebefore I post again!  Read this article backwards for hidden message. THIS IS NOT SPAM!  Satisfaction guaranteed (mine, not yours!).  Pleaseremember to tip your server!  G'Night, Seattle, wherever you are!]

2007 - PCGS Authenticates "Missing Planchet" Washington Doller

PCGS Authenticates "Missing Planchet" Washington Doller

(April 1, 2007)  (API) (Newport Beach, Oklahoma)

The Perfessional Coin Gradin' Service (PCGS) has recently authenticated and enslabulated the first-known "missing planchet" 2007-D George Washington Presidential Doller.

E. Ron Guff, PCGS President and Chief Toady, acknowledgedthe company's excitement at being part of numismatic history. "Mr. Floyd R. Turbo, of Greasy Goose, North Dakota, submitteda U. S. Mint-wrapped roll of these coins for authentication andgrading recently", Guff explained.  "Imagine our surprise whenwe only discovered only twenty-four coins in the twenty-five coinroll.  Obviously, the twenty-fifth coin in this roll had been struckon a 'missing planchet'.  All of our graders and finalizers crowdedaround the tray the roll was spread out on, pushing the coinsaround to make sure that it wasn't 'hiding' under another coin. One of the younger graders even got down on his hands and kneesand looked under the grader's workstation to make sure that ithadn't simply been inadvertently dropped on the floor."

"After a few minutes", Guff continued, "we reached the unanimous conclusion that we had finally discovered the long-missing KingOf Error Coins, the 'missing planchet' error.  We immediatelycreated a special slab insert documenting this fact, gently'picked up' the missing planchet from where we thought it wouldhave been in the tray, and sent it to the slabbing room.  It wasformally enslabulated as PCGS coin number 123456789, a'2007-D George Washington Dollar, Missing Planchet Error, MS-65'.  Unfortunately, it is not known whether this coin was not struck ona lettered edge planchet, or not struck on a plain edge planchet,so the potential for a Major Double Error remains hypothetical".

When asked how PCGS could assign a grade to a missing planchet error, Guff explained that it was via the scientific method.  The other twenty-four coins in the submitted roll all graded between MS-63 and MS-67, he stated, with the average grade being MS-65.37.  "We rounded down, to MS-65, in order to be conservative and avoidthe appearance of giving major rarities an extra point or ten ...",Guff clarified.

When asked about other major errors that PCGS had enslabulatedin the past, Guff thought for a while and then enumerated his favorites.  "There was a 2000-P Sacagawea doller submitted that had a very unusual toning.  We subjected the coin to a battery of spectrological and metallurgical tests, and determined that it had received a special wash with Palmolive Dish Washing Liquid in the Mint prior to striking.  We slabbed this as the 'Madge The Manicurist'variety.    We also received a 1936 Bridgeport commemorative halfdoller struck from a die that had been re-engraved by a mintengraver to show P. T. Barnum with a mustache and a cigar in hismouth.  This was designated as the 'Groucho Marx' variety.  Therewas also a 1978-D Eisenhower doller struck on an Oreo cookie ---we had quite a time trying to get that baby into a slab!  By far,however, my favorite is the 1972 Cook Island doller, which featuresa Polynesian god on the reverse, which had significant die polishing. We identified this as the 'missing testicles' variety", Guff saidwith a smile.

"We look forward to authenticating and enslabulating additional rare error coins in the future", Guff expounded, "and are eagerly awaiting the submission of the next great King Of Error Coins, the coin struck on an antimatter planchet.  We've heard rumors of its existance, but have never managed to get our hands on one for morethan a few nanoseconds, and even then we had to spend monthscleaning up and rebuilding the cubicle.  Ah, well, maybe next year!"


The Perfessional Coin Gradin' Service (PCGS) is a subsidiaryof Coinsandstuff Universal (CU), a publicly-traded company listed on the Mars Stock Exchange.  Forward looking statements are pretty much just figments of our imagination, and should not be believed any more than the Easter Bunny or phrases like "consistent grading". Your Mileage May Vary.  Contents may have settled during shipment. Void where prohibited, and in Wisconsin because we hate cheese.

2008 - New A. N. A. Executive Director Resigns


APRIL 1, 2008:  Colorado Springs, Colorado (API)

The American Numismatic Association has announced that newly-hiredExecutive Director Larry Shepard has resigned after less than a monthon the job.  In a tersely worded press release, it was claimed thatShepard had "irreconcilable differences" with the ANA facilities, andhad returned to his former position as a high-profile coin dealer.

Contacted at his Cincinnati, OH office, Shepard explained the reasonsfor his abrupt departure.  "When I was interviewed by 'NumismaticNews' just after taking the job", Shepard said, "I stated that I was'scared' about the new position.  That quickly turned to 'terrified' onceI moved into the ANA headquarters a few weeks later.  The facilityis HAUNTED!  The first day in my office, when I opened a small closetto hang up my sports coat, a short, dark-haired woman handed me apiece of paper, said "You are served!", and DEMATERIALIZED!  Mysecretary, running into the office to see why I was screaming, calmlytold me that this was 'just the Ghost of Peggy Hoffman', who hadbeen haunting the ANA building for several years.  She said that mostof the female ANA staff were 'served' by Hoffmann once a week orso, normally in the ladies bathroom."

"A few hours later", Shepard continued, "I was getting some coffee to calm my nerves when the box of sugar substitute moved across the table by itself, keeping itself a few inches ahead of my grasp.  ANA staff member Penny Nichols, also getting some coffee at the sametime, explained that this was 'just the Ghost of Glenn Smedley' movingthe box, as he was a 'real kidder' during his time on the ANA staff."

"The last straw, however", Shepard expanded, "was when the ANA custodian, Flor duCoin, came into my office to clean.  She studiouslyavoided touching the visitor's chair in front of my desk.  When I askedwhy, she said that the Ghost of George Heath was sleeping in it, andshe did not want to disturb him.  Just then, a tremendous belch echoedthroughout the room, and Flor smiled.  'I keep telling him not to havethe pastrami sandwich for lunch', she chuckled, 'but he never listens!'. "Needless to say", Shepard concluded, "I immediately cleaned out mydesk and caught the next flight back to Ohio".

ANA President Barry Stuppler expressed his dismay with the situation. "I thought that Larry could work around these minor inconveniences",Stuppler stated, "as all of his precedessors have managed to do. Especially since we had finally exorcised the Ghost Of N. Neil Harris,who had been inserting typographical errors into memos, documentsand 'Numismatist' articles for the past fifteen years!  Neil, by theway, was the one who dropped the 'The' from 'The Numismatist' onemonth, and the Board was so embarrassed by that that we passed aresolution claiming that it was a planned change".

When asked about plans for a new Executive Director,Stuppler explained that a new process was underway.  "Since our last few choices have been somewhat unsuccessful", he explained, "the Board decided to take a new approach.  We've asked the heirs ofthe Lewis M. Reagan estate to have Arizona Cryogenics unthawhim to serve as Executive Director for the next several years. Reagan was ANA Secretary from 1944 to 1961, a position thathas since been renamed Executive Director, and is probably quitefamiliar with most of the Ghosts who currently inhabit the building. It may in fact be sort of an 'Old Home Week' kind of atmospherewith George Heath, Frank Duffield, Farran Zerbe and Oscar Dodsonshowing up a few times per week."

When asked about the status of former Executive Director ChristopherCipoletti, Stuppler paled.  "We haven't been able to contact him in quitea while.  We heard that he changed his name to Christopher Chipotle,moved to Washington State and became Director of Sauces for Jack InThe Box Corporation, but have been unable to confirm that rumor."

2009 - Treasury Department Announces Sweeping U. S. Coin and Currency Reforms

WOW, big changes in the U. S. coin and currency system!

This was just posted in the newsgroup a few minutes ago.  I wonder how many coins are going to be in the 2009 Proof Sets now!


Washington, D. C. :  April 1, 2009    ***** FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE *****


Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner announced today that there will be major changes to the United States coin and currency system as part of the financial reform process included in the sweeping Obama Stimulus Plan.

"First", Geithner noted, "the cent and the nickel will be eliminated.  Nobody really cares about them any more, except for coin collectors, and they cost more to make than they are worth.  We project savings of $345.6 billion dollars over the next eighteen years by eliminating these unnecessary denominations."

"Next", Geithner continued, "the smallest coin remaining in circulation, the dime, will be renamed the 'Sasha' after the Obamas' younger daughter.  It will feature her gorgeous face on the obverse, and a design showing her playing on the White House swing set on the reverse.  The quarter will similarly be renamed the 'Malia', after the Obamas' elder daughter.  It will feature her gorgeous face on the obverse, and a design showing her hotwiring a car in the White House parking lot on the reverse."

"For those of you with long memories", Geither added, "there used to be a half dollar coin in circulation.  We are officially eliminating that denomination at this time, formalized an unofficial policy that has been in effect since the Reagan administration.  If there is enough of an uproar from some special interest group, like the gambling industry and their one-and-a-half to one payout for 'Blackjack!', we'll reinsitute the denomination on a limited basis.  It will probably feature the forthcoming White House dog on the obverse, a design featuring the dog watering Michelle Obama's new White House garden on the reverse, and be called a 'Honeybuckle' or whatever the name of the bitch turns out to be."

"More important changes are coming in the currency arena", Geithner continued.  "The dollar bill will be eliminated, replaced by a note named the 'Michelle", featuring the First Lady on the face and a design showing her mother minding the children on the back.  Notes in denominations of Five Michelles, Ten Michelles, Twenny Michelles and Fifty Michelles will also be introduced, with similar themes and designs.  These notes will only be issued while Senator Ted Kennedy is alive and the Crane Paper Company continues to dictate national monetary policy.  After Kennedy's passing, the One Michelle, Five Michelle and Ten Michelle notes will be replaced with coins."

"The one hundred dollar bill will be replaced with a note called the 'Barack'.  It will feature a portrait of the President on the face and a design featuring Obama whipping a naked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton with a switch on the back.  New denominations of Five Baracks and Ten Baracks will be introduced, with similar themes and designs, bringing back equivalents of the old $500 and $1000 bills which used to be in circulation sixty years ago, when $500 and $1000 was actually a lot of money.  There is NO TRUTH, I repeat, NO TRUTH to the rumor that the Five Baracks and Ten Baracks notes will have an RFID feature in the security strip so that large cash transactions by money launderers, drug dealers, coin dealers and other societal degenerates can be tracked."

"The Bureau of the Mint and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing are already working on new dies and plates to produce these new denominations, and we expect them to be introduced into commerce by the end of the month.  If there are any questions, please contact the Treasury Department Chief Deputy UnderSecretary for New Money, Dr. Faux Bogus, at 1-800-NEW-MONY.", Geithner concluded.

2010 - Collectors Universe Purchases Chinese Mint

WOW!  Breaking news just posted on the news.announce.important.numismatics newsgroup:



Collectors Universe (NASDAQ: CLCT), the parent company of the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS), Professional Sports Authenticator (PSA), autograph authentication company PSA/DNA Authentication Services (PSA/DNA), Professional Stamp Experts (PSE) and the American Nasal Hair Grading Service (ANHGS), announced before the opening bell on Wall Street this morning that it has purchased the Bejing, China based Whang Hang Low Mint.

David Hall, President of CLCT, stated that "We have conducted an exhaustive study of all the Chinese mints producing counterfeit United States coins and counterfeit PCGS holders, and determined that Whang Hang Low was clearly the best of this group.  We look forward to integrating their product line into the CLCT family, organized as a wholly owned subsidiary called WHL Mint Inc gMbH Ltd Pty Cie.  The PCGS Registry Set requirements will immediately change to include the WHL Mint products which the United States Mint was either unable or unwilling to produce, such as 1921-D Lincoln cents, 1932 P, D and S Buffalo nickels and 1933 P, D and S Washington quarters, among other coins.  We will also be adding a counterfeit fourth-party certification service sticker to all WHL Mint products, a green oval sticker with one letter added to the end of the name of a well-known current fourth-party service.  These CACA stickers will serve to definitively certify the enclosed coin as being a genuine WHL Mint counterfeit housed in a genuine counterfeit PCGS slab".

Mark Salzberg, President of PCGS competitor Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC) was contacted for his comments on this acquisition and replied "No comment ... other than that we do not agree that Whang Hang Low Mint is the best counterfeit Chinese mint, and that, by the way, NGC will have a major announcement in the next day or two".

The United States Treasury Department's Secret Service was also contacted for comments, to which they replied "No comment ... we're a SECRET SERVICE, dammit, so how did you even get this phone number?"

2011 - Coin Doctors Arrested in Nationwide Sweep

WOW!  Just found this announcement posted in the newsgroup ...


Washington, DC, April 1, 2011 (API)

The Federal Bureau of Investigation announced this morning that a large number of "coin doctors" have been arrested in a nationwide sweep conducted earlier this week.  Supervising Special Agent Quincy D. Bauers, answering reporters' questions in the FBI's Washington, DC auditorium, the David Hall, provided details on the arrests and charges filed against several of the prime suspects.

"In Los Angeles", Bauers stated, "we arrested Augustus 'Gus' Dubligull, one of the more notorious of the coin doctors.  We have evidence that he altered numerous Bust type dollars, changing the bust from the standard 34B to as large as a 38DD, although most modifications were to the 36C range, which is much more difficult to detect with the naked eye.  He was charged with performing plastic surgery without a license and attempting to deceive a numismatist via mammarization."

"In Houston", Bauers continued, "we arrested Kay 'The Moustache' Grande, the only known female coin doctor.  She mostly altered type 1 Standing Liberty quarters and was know as 'the queen of the full nipple variety'.  Many of her products are currently residing in third-party slabs with proclaimed grades as high as MS66FN.  She was charged with one hundred and two counts of aggravated sexual battery and thirty-two counts of grand areolaization."  "Interestingly", Bauers added, "she is quite an attractive woman with no facial hair, so we have no idea as to how she acquired her nickname."

"In Boston", Bauers concluded, "we arrested Douglas Vance Broughton, the mastermind behind the scourge of the fraudulent 1909-S DVB Lincoln cents that have been appearing on the market over the past several months.  He claims that he is simply adding his initials to the bottom of the reverses of coins as art.  He was charged with four hundred and six counts of fraudulent engraving and attempting to defraud the dyslexic."

Several dozen other coin doctors were arresting across the country, with charges ranging from simple vandalism (cutting the bands holding the bundles of sticks together on the reverses of Mercury dimes) to animal cruelty (re-engraving teeth on the badger on the obverse of the 1936 Wisconsin commemorative half dollar).  Other suspects were not immediately apprehended, and are expected to be arrested as they arrive at major coin shows later this year.

2012 - Apple Introduces iCoin, U. S. Mint Shuts Down

WOW!  Just found this announcement posted in the newsgroup
news.announce.important.eBusiness ...


Cupertino, CA, April 1, 2012 (API)

Apple, Incorporated [NASDAQ: AAPL], formerly Apple Computer, Incorporated, today announced the introduction of "the iCoin" (TM).  "It effectively replaces all circulating coinage, i. e., pocket change, which is used in real-world commercial transactions today, with a single reprogrammable silicon disk", according to Apple spokesperson Pippin McIntosh.

Any consumer wishing to avoid carrying around a pocket full of coins can now simply carry one iCoin with them.  Then, at the checkout counter, when they know the total due, say $152.77, they can swipe their iCoin over any standard Apple product (iPhone, iPad, iPod, iBell, iBook, iCandle, iWatch, iLocket or iCufflinks).  This will automatically transfer the 77 cents from their bank account to the iCoin.  They then can swipe the iCoin over the store's scanner and the 77 cents will automatically transfer to the merchant's bank account.  The remaining balance can then be paid with inconvenient, messy, germ-infected paper money, possibly resulting in even more paper money "change" being returned.

While refusing to make any specific promises, Apple hints that this on-going problem may be resolved in the near future with the release of an even newer product.  They would neither confirm nor deny that CEO Tim Cook had recently purchased a new Lamborghini SUV and paid for it by swiping a piece of "iCurrency" over the dealership's cash register.

"We held off introducing the iCoin until we solved the vending machine problem", McIntosh added.  "Most vending machines do not have a scanner, so the iCoin can't work in its traditional format.  Our revolutionary shape-shifting metallurgical technology was incorporated in the the iCoin, allowing it to change shape and size as needed.  If you need three quarters for a soda machine, say, all you do is swipe the iCoin over your iWhatever and say 'vending quarter'.  It will then transform itself into an object that will be accepted by the vending machine as a quarter, but then will transform itself into a slug-like object and get returned in the reject slot.  Repeating the process two more times will result in the seventy-five cents credit needed to purchase the frosty beverage, although most likely a germ-infested dollar bill will be needed as well.  Unless of course you simply want to use the iCoin four more times to complete the transaction.  We haven't exactly figured out yet how to reimburse the vending machine operators for the iCoin usage, as that is an exercise left for the implementors in Phase Two."

"The iCoin (TM) is manufactured at our factory/city in China, and costs about two cents to make", McIntosh continued.  "We give one away with every iThing we sell, but add about two dollars to the retail price of it, allowing us to retain our standard Apple 10,000 percent markup."

The United States Mint immediately responded by laying off all of its employees and shuttering all its production facilities.  "We obviously can't complete with the iCoin", explained the exhausted U. S. Mint Director and amorphous government bureaucrat Firstname MI. Lastname.  "We produce things people don't want, like pennies, nickels and Sarcophagus dollars, many of which cost more to make than they are worth, if you can believe that, and expect people to carry around multiple copies of the same thing just to be able to easily purchase groceries, rent videos or pay for their fat-laden heart-attack-inducing fast food meals.  What's the point?  The iCoin is faster, cheaper, better and easier than using coinage.  They even are reported to last a hundred years given the polymer coating which is applied by the underpaid, overworked, polymer-inhaling serfs in the Apple factory/city in China.  The Mint is doomed!  Doomed, I say!  Fortunately, I have over forty years of government employment under my belt, so I'm off to RetirementLand to collect my fat pension and free permanent gold-plated health care!  Whoot!  Whoot!  Whoot!"

Mr. Lastname was last seen skipping down Pennsylvania Avenue singing "I'm Out Of The Money" while twirling an umbrella on his right hand.  Lastname's immediate superior, Secretary of the Treasury SomeOther OldWhiteGuy, was unavailable for comment on this matter.

AAPL stock opened up $88.44 per share after the announcement, bringing it to $666.66 per share.  This makes the company worth more than every other company in the world, combined.

2013 - PCGS Introduces "Plus-Minus" and "Plus-Plus" Grading

PCGS Announces "Plus-Minus" and "Plus-Plus" Grading

(April 1, 2013)  (API) (Newport Beach, Oklahoma)

The Perfessional Coin Gradin' Service (PCGS) is pleased to announce that they are now providing "Plus-Minus" and "Plus-Plus" grading options for their certified coin products.

E. Ron Guff, PCGS President, acknowledged that the "Plus" grading option introduced last year greatly exceeded their expectations, with tens of thousands of coins being resubmitted by the owners in the hopes of increasing their nominal grades from, for example, MS66 to MS66+.  "We've reaped millions of dollars from these resubmissions", Guff admitted, "and probably increased the market value of these coins by hundreds of thousands of dollars".  He continued, "However, as we all recognize, there are some coins that are quite a bit better than MS66, but not quite as nice as MS66+.  So, for these coins, we've introduced the MS66+- grade.  Similarly, for coins much nicer than MS66+, but not quite as nice as MS67, we'll now identify them as being MS66++ if warranted."

"We spent considerable time developing an upgrade pricing policy that suits everyone's needs", added PCGS Chairman David Hull, "especially our own.  If you submit a coin for +- grading, the fee will be $20 plus the square root of Greysheet 'bid' for the underlying grade, so an MS66 coin with a 'bid' of $2500 will cost $20 plus the square root of $2500 ($50), or $70 total, in order to be considered for the Plus-Minus upgrade.  Similarly, if you submit a coin for ++ grading, the fee will be $20 plus the square root of Greysheet 'bid' for the next higher grade, so an MS67+ coin with a 'bid' of $3600 in MS68 will cost $20 plus the square root of $3600 ($60), or $80 total, in order to be considered for the Plus-Plus upgrade."

"We've listened to our customers", Guff continued, "and are supremely confident that they are going to be willing to spend this small additional sum in order to consistently maximize the grades of their coins.  We'll even consider Plus-Minus-Minus, Plus-Minus-Plus, Plus-Plus-Minus and Plus-Plus-Plus grading in the future if we think we can get away with it.  And future plans include introducing our own in-house FOURTH-PARTY certification service called PCGSAC, which will use red stickers, white stickers and blue stickers to  segregate the slabs into 'run of the mill', 'above average' and 'stupendous' categories."

"We've already received an offer of $100,000 for the first MS66+++ coin with a blue PCGSAC sticker from an anonymous slab collector.  He doesn't care what kind of coin is in the holder as long as the slab meets his strict criteria.", Hull concluded.  "We're excited about the future of this hobby!"


The Perfessional Coin Gradin' Service (PCGS) is a subsidiary of Coinsandstuff Universal (CU), a publicly-traded company listed on the Mars Stock Exchange.  Forward looking statements are pretty much just figments of our imagination, and should not be believed any more than the Easter Bunny or phrases like "consistent grading".  Your Mileage May Vary.  Contents may have settled during shipment.  Void where prohibited, and in Wisconsin because we hate cheese.