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NNP Blog

Feb 13 2024

Newman Portal Solves the Case of the Missing Gold Article

In the October 21, 2012 E-Sylum, Alaska dealer Dick Hanscom described a search for a long lost numismatic article that remained stubbornly lodged in his memory: “I remember an article in Coin World or Numismatic News Weekly about a pressed disk made from placer gold. This would be in the years ownership of bullion was prohibited. Ownership of placer gold was legal, so this was a way to ‘fabricate’ it into a more convenient form rather than gold dust. I have looked through Coin World from 1970 to 1975 (the years that I believe it would have been) but have not had the opportunity to look through Numismatic News Weekly.”

Dick recently updated the Newman Portal collection of The Alaskan Token Collector and Polar Numismatist, contributing the years 2009-2023 to our online listing. An important file in this group is the 45-year index, covering the entire run of this publication since inception (1979). Dick mentioned to us his search for the article on gold placer disks, and we could not resist spending some time on the problem. Various search terms eventually pulled the needle out of the haystack, and we can now identify the article as “Placer Gold ‘Disks’ OKd by Treasury,” from the August 28, 1973 issue of Numismatic News Weekly.

The article summarizes a decision by the U.S. Treasury Department to permit the sale of coin-like objects formed by placer gold, as long as the placer gold was not “melted or treated” and the objects were not marketed as coins or medals. Hence, the word “disks” was used. Numismatic News Weekly noted “The ruling followed an inquiry from Independence (Mo.) Coin and Mint, Co., which sought to market a ‘bonded ounce gold’ of ‘pure natural placer gold about .840 fine, formed by pressure into a 28 mm disk, 5 mm thick.’"

Link to October 21, 2012 E-Sylum article on placer gold disks:
Link to The Alaskan Token Collector & Polar Numismatist on Newman Portal:
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