Nevada Coin and Jewelry

Coin and Jewelry Buyers in Las Vegas

Jewelry Deisgns

As a lifelong New Yorker, Shawn Warren’s jewelry embodies that cool, understated chic you find on the streets of Manhattan. Raised around the fashion world by a mother who modeled for top fashion designers of her day, Shawn began her own career as a psychotherapist. She traveled widely, built an art collection and private practice, but remained intrigued by fashion. Eventually, she began designing herself, launching her jewelry business in 2003.

Shawn’s jewelry is bold but never over the top, made to fit and flatter a woman on the go. From the eye-catching statement jewels she designs herself to more accessible production pieces, Shawn Warren jewelry is always about accessorizing, not status. Today I’m talking to Shawn about the limited-edition jewelry that has become her signature.


Bali Small Feather Diamond Earrings by Shawn Warren

You work with some interesting gem material. Where do you find your stones?

I buy a lot of stones at the Tucson Gem Show. What is so amazing about Tucson is that you have vendors from around the world all under one roof. You can find everything from beautiful colored sapphires from Thailand to rubies from India and emeralds from South America.

What do you look for when you shop stones?

I look for the unusual. I’ve been in this business long enough that certain stones don’t have the same appeal any more, because you see them everywhere. So I’m usually looking for an unusual color, an unusual shape. I’m very drawn to palettes of blues, grays, and greens. They tend to be the stones that not only sell the best for me, but that I find myself most drawn to.

 Sage_Opal_Starburst earrings by Shawn WarrenFiona Crown ring by Shawn Warren

Orin emerald diamond lariat necklace by Shawn WarrenI love the sliced diamond pieces. That seems to have become a signature for you.

The sliced diamonds are particularly interesting to me because they’re very organic. Each one has its own story and the price point is much more compelling than a traditional cut diamond. You can get a lot of look and value. Most people I sell to don’t want to wear the same thing as their best friend. They want something a little unusual. So if you were to get a pair of diamond slice studs, chances are the shape would be unique. It lends a little individuality.

What kind of woman wears Shawn Warren jewelry?

She’s a woman who really likes fashion but is not necessarily looking to broadcast her brand. She’s more discreet. She has a bit of a downtown edge, likes to wear jeans with a great pair of boots. She probably has the newest bag but it’s more likely to say Loewe than Celine. She’s worldly and smart. She exercises. We have a page on the website that describes our philosophy and one of the phrases is “perfectly imperfect.” I like that motto.

On your website, you refer to your mother as your muse. Tell me about her.

My mother modeled for Geoffrey Beene, Halston and Kasper in the fifties. She very much embodied the kind of woman I just described – confident and comfortable. She wore jeans a lot, a woman before her time. She liked beautiful things but preferred them to be under the radar.

What would she think of your jewelry?

She got to see a little of it. She would always tell me straight out which pieces she loved and which pieces she hated. [laughs] She didn’t have a great filter! I think she would have appreciated what’s become of my business.

Rainbow_Opal_Ring_by Shawn WarrenSignature Large Oval Cuff by Shawn Warren

If we met for lunch, which pieces might you be wearing?

I’m loving these lariat necklaces. You can wear them with many different necklines because you can adjust them up or down. I’m going to do them in a lot of colors, but I tend to prefer more monochromatic pieces myself. I might wear my signature large oval cuff with the black diamonds. It fits really well, grips the wrist and doesn’t move around.

And I love the idea of the floating diamonds so I might wear that Teardrop ring. Another design I’m wearing a lot are the big Portia fan earrings. That top piece fits into your lobe and the triangle extends below.

Portia Fan Earrings by Shawn Warren Your jewelry looks very easy to wear.

I think a lot about wearability. I prefer jewelry that doesn’t call too much attention to itself but adds some dimension to your jeans or your blazer. The way women dress now is not so much about special occasion. They want something they can wear day to night, that they’ll be able to get a lot of use from. My jewelry is not just going to sit in a safe somewhere.


Half dimes

One of the favorite coins in my collection is one of tiniest. The half dime was authorized under the Coinage Act of 1792 as the smallest silver denomination. The weight of the coin was just 1.35 grams, which was later reduced to 1.34 grams. The diameter was a 15.5 mm, making it both smaller and thinner than the dime.

half-dime

I came across this 1829 half dime, which was graded NGC AU 53 in an old holder. While the scan above does not convey completely, the coin is covered in colorful, original toning. Furthermore, the coin displays much greater detail and minimal wear than the grade level would suggest. As a premium example for the given grade, I decided to mark the purchase. I sent the coin to CAC and it received their gold sticker, indicating that the coin exceeded their standards for the given grade level.

Slowly but surely I will attempt to build a collection of the Capped Bust Half Dimes in similar grade and quality. The series is relatively short lived, running from 1829 to 1837. This makes for only nine different dates to acquire. There are no significant key dates for the series so all coins carry a modest price tag for about uncirculated coins.

It's not the most popular series, so not every dealer has a lot of examples available. However, I am sure I will be able to pick up an outstanding coin or two in the coming years.

Error coins


With billions of coins produced each year by the United States Mint, it is inevitable that a few might experience inadvertent flaws or abnormalities within the minting process. Such error coins typically occur with extreme rarity and are avidly pursued by some coin collectors.

Error Coins

The rarity of the different types of errors can vary across the denominations and years of issue. Generally, errors with larger diameter coins occur with less frequency compared to smaller coins. Errors on circulating coins are more likely to escape detection than numismatic coins. Since early 2002, modifications to the production process have greatly reduced the occurrence of certain types of errors.

Due to their nature, nearly every error coin will have some unique aspects, although many of these will fall into one of several broad categories established by collectors. 

Some of the more frequently encountered errors include clipped planchets where a portion of the metal is missing, off center strikes where the coins were struck incorrectly centered, and broadstrikes which were struck outside the retaining collar. At the start of the Presidential Dollar Program, missing edge lettering errors were common until the production process was modified.

Error Coin

Less frequently encountered errors include coins which have been struck multiple times, coins struck on the wrong planchet or wrong metal, and mule errors where coins are struck with obverse and reverse dies intended for different coins.

As with many other segments of collecting, it is often useful to certify error coins. A third party company with authenticate the piece, describe the error, and assign a numerical grade. This site includes additional basic information on error coins and a selection of certified errors available for sale.

New Ruble Paper money.

Russia issued new 100 Ruble Crimea commemorative banknotes

The Central Bank of Russia is issuing new 100 ruble commemorative bank notes that feature the federal cities of Sevastopol and the Republic of Crimea.

Nearly two years ago, the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea was controversially "reunified" with Russia by way of well equipped, organized, and trained "self-defense units" that were actually Russian special forces.

The operation to seize Crimea began on February 27, 2014, when an unidentified task force captured several government buildings including the parliament in Simferopol. Within a month, a treaty was signed to annex Crimea and turning the peninsula into a Russian forward operating base.

Front: The "Swallow's Nest" castle, a Crimean landmark

Back: Scuttled ships in Sevastopol Bay

Half Gold Eagles

Half Eagle Denomination

eagleThe Coinage Act of 1792 authorized the construction of a mint building in Philadelphia and also authorized the production of coinage in ten different denominations. One of these was known as the half eagle, representing $5 and containing 123-6/8 grains (8.02 grams) pure or 135 grains (8.75 grams) standard gold. The coins were to carry an image emblematic of Liberty on the obverse and the figure or representation of an eagle with the inscription "United States of America" on the reverse.

The half eagles would actually represent the first gold coinageofficially struck by the United States Mint. The designs, which would also match the other gold denominations, featured a bust of Liberty on the obverse wearing a turban or cap. The reverse featured a small eagle within an open wreath with the required inscription surrounding.

As can be imagined these early gold coins are today quite scarce. This is due to low mintage levels and also a fair amount of melting which took place. At various times, the market value of gold exceeded the face value of the coins such that they could be profitably melted down.

Future series of half eagles would carry similar designs, with interpretations of Liberty by a number of different engravers. The longest running image was designed by Christian Gobrecht for the Liberty Head type issued from 1839 until 1908.

The final series for the denomination was the Indian Head type designed by Bela Lyon Pratt with an incuse design featuring a Native American.

Whats the deal with Gemstones

The Best of Gemstones

Etsy.com handmade and vintage goods


It’s Gemstone June here on the Etsy Blog, which means that we’ve had all things gem-related on the brain! So far we’ve coveredfinding the perfect engagement ringour favorite gemstones (opal, chalcedony, and turquoise, anyone?), and how to make a crystal planter, and we’re just getting started. Be on the lookout for more about birthstones, rare stones and jewel tones.

To wrap up the week, we thought it would be nice to share some recent gems (pardon the pun), as well as some oldie-but-goodie blog posts. Enjoy!

Amethyst iPhone case.

Putting an (ethical) ring on it.

An uncut, Colombian emerald.

etsyfeaturedshop-valentinesday-jewelry-handmadeengagementrings-lexluxe-alexisrussell-large



diamonds-


“Diamonds” giclee print.

Check out this silver druzy quartz ring. Shimmery!

Engagement rings to make your heart sing.

cookiecutter


3D-printed diamond cookie cutter!

etsyfeaturedshop-everybearjewel-handmadejewelry-etsyinternational-004

Rolex is synonymous when describing wealth and prestige.

Rolex Cellini Time Diamond-Set Bezel Watch Hands-On

Rolex Cellini Time Diamond-Set Bezel Watch Hands-On Hands-On

It is actually a pity that I don’t personally have more occasions to wear a timepiece such as the Rolex Cellini. Very much distinct from the famed Swiss watch maker’s more sporty products, this is the formal-blood of today’s Rolex brand. When Rolex recently debuted a brand new version of the Rolex Cellini dress watch collection in 2014, they didn’t just offer one new watch, but a trio of models that would later be further subdivided into the family of (often only slightly different) collection pieces. The simplest version of the new Rolex Cellini is the “Cellini Time,” and it indicates just the time with central hours, minutes, and seconds hands.

Rolex Cellini Time Diamond-Set Bezel Watch Hands-On Hands-On

This particular reference 50709RBR version is near the top of the Rolex Cellini Time watch pyramid, being one of two models with a diamond-set bezel. Of course, the collection begins with the standard Rolex Cellini Time in 18k white or Everose gold that does not contain diamonds, and builds up to two diamond-set models. One such model has a reduced fluted bezel which is flanked by a thin ring of diamonds around the bezel and additional diamonds on the dial as hour markers; while the current top version of the Cellini Time is the pictured model that entirely does away with the fluted bezel in favor for a larger row of round-cut diamonds decorating the bezel. It is actually a very logical way of positioning a Rolex dress watch, if you think about it.

Rolex Cellini Time Diamond-Set Bezel Watch Hands-On Hands-On

I’ve mentioned in the past how I place the Rolex Cellini in the category of tuxedo watches because they are not only designed to be dress watches but further intended to be formal dress watches. What is the difference? Well, a dress watch is suitable for office and other professional to casual business attire. A formal watch is of course dressy but takes things a step further, being more akin to a ballroom dress for women – specifically intended to highlight both exclusivity and celebration.

So why is the Rolex Cellini Time a solid timepiece when you want to both feel exclusive and celebrate – especially when it comes to this model with diamonds? In this context, “exclusivity” more or less means “luxury priced.” It implies that few people can own it, either because of cost or rarity. Rolex timepieces might not be rare in the context of timepieces, but the ability to afford one is rare when taking into consideration the volume of disposable income most people in general have. Even in the context of high-end timepieces, dressy Rolex watches are uncommon because Rolex buyers tend to stick with buying more traditional models such as a Submariner or Datejust before venturing out to purchase more niche models such as the Rolex Cellini.

Rolex Cellini Time Diamond-Set Bezel Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Being a Rolex Cellini owner not only implies that it is more than likely not your only watch (as explained above), but that you have ample opportunity to celebrate. Why? Because you must have some reason for wearing formal attire such as a tuxedo often enough to merit the purchase. Then again, it is possible to “dress down” a Rolex Cellini, but the question is “why?” That is especially important to ask when it comes to this Rolex Cellini Time with diamonds that is like a men’s equivalent of ball-gown jewelry. Is there a place for this watch with casual attire, or does that erode the very core personality which we associate with the most formal of dress watches?

Rolex Cellini Time Diamond-Set Bezel Watch Hands-On Hands-On

It isn’t huge, but at 39mm wide, the Rolex Cellini is unapologetically modern in its stature. The 39mm in width is probably the new default size for men’s formal wear timepieces meant to work with sleeves and seamlessly integrate with any black-tie affair. This, of course, is best suited to the white gold versions of the Rolex Cellini while the 18k Everose takes on the role of something slightly louder given the color of the gold metal which is vastly more conspicuous that the more sober tone of white gold. Then again, add Rolex-standard diamonds to the bezel of this particular 50709 Rolex Cellini, and you increase the “noise” volume a bit more, allowing more people to notice your watch.

Rolex Cellini Time Diamond-Set Bezel Watch Hands-On Hands-On

Diamonds on a watch are exclusively about attention. There is no other purpose for diamonds on a timepiece, and in many ways, there doesn’t need to be. Watches have comfortably been indicators of status and prestige since their invention hundreds of year ago. The best watches had decoration to prove as such, and today, that legacy continues with diamond-embellished dress watches like this. The row of stones around the bezel doesn’t add or subtract from the functionality, and all that you sacrifice here is the “mini” version of Rolex’s famed fluted bezel which has been made famous by the Datejust and Day Date collections and shows up in reduced form on the current generation of Rolex Cellini watches. Again, there is a version of the Rolex Cellini Time with both a row of smaller diamonds and an even more minimalized fluted bezel known as the Rolex Cellini 50609RBR (in 18k white gold with black dial), which in its own way attempts to offer the best of both worlds.

New Commemorative Coins for 2016

2016 National Park Service Commemorative Coin Images

The U.S. Mint has shared images of its upcoming 2016 National Park Service Commemorative coins, due for release on March 24. The N.P.S. commemorative coin program was authorized by Public Law113-291 and will include Proof and Uncirculated versions of three distinct issues: a five-dollar gold coins, a one-dollar silver issue, and a clad half dollar. Color-coded images providing more information on the finishes on these coins can be viewed here.

2016-national-park-service-obverse PROOF BOTH

2016 N.P.S. Commemorative $5 Gold Proof Coin.

2016-national-park-service-centennia obverse UNC BOTH

2016 N.P.S. Commemorative $5 Gold Uncirculated Coin.

The obverse of the $5 gold coin features profile portraits of John Muir and Theodore Roosevelt, with Yosemite National Park’s Half Dome pictured in the background. Inscribed along the rim of the coin are LIBERTY, 2016, and IN GOD WE TRUST. Its reverse features the N.P.S. logo and the inscriptions UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, and the coin’s $5 denomination. Don Everhart designed and sculpted both the obverse and reverse of the coins.

2016-national-park-service-centennial-proofBOTH

2016 N.P.S. Commemorative $1 Silver Proof Coin.

2016-national-park-service-centennial-UNC BOTH

2016 N.P.S. Commemorative $1 Silver Uncirculated Coin.

The silver coin’s obverse design, created and sculpted by Joseph Menna, features a depiction of Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful geyser behind a solitary bison. The inscriptions LIBERTY, NATIONAL PARK SERVICE CENTENNIAL, IN GOD WE TRUST, and 1916-2016 are placed around the image. The reverse image includes the N.P.S. logo before a Folklórico dancer. Inscriptions are UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, $1, HERITAGE, CULTURE, and PRIDE. The reverse was designed by Chris Costello and sculpted by Jim Licaretz.

2016-national-park-service-centennial-PROOF BOTH

2016 N.P.S. Commemorative Clad Proof half dollar.

2016-national-park-service-centennial-CLAD UNC BOTH

2016 N.P.S. Commemorative Clad Uncirculated half dollar.

The clad half dollar obverse features a hiker exploring the wilderness and a child peeking through ferns at a small frog. Inscriptions are LIBERTY, 2016, IN GOD WE TRUST, 1916, and NATIONAL PARK SERVICE. The obverse was designed by Barbara Fox and will be sculpted by Michael Gaudioso. The coin’s reverse features the N.P.S. logo, with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, E PLURIBUS UNUM, HALF DOLLAR, STEWARDSHIP, and RECREATION inscribed around the design. The reverse was designed by Thomas Hipschen and sculpted by Charles L. Vickers.

Also, a reminder that the following products will no longer be available after noon ET today, December 30:

Diamonds are forever.

Origin of the Diamond 4Cs

4Cs of Diamond Quality

Every diamond is a miracle of time and place and chance. Like snowflakes, no two are exactly alike.

Until the middle of the twentieth century, there was no agreed-upon standard by which diamonds could be judged. GIA created the first, and now globally accepted standard for describing diamonds: ColorClarityCut, and Carat Weight. Today, the 4Cs of  Diamonds.

The creation of the Diamond 4Cs meant two very important things: diamond quality could be communicated in a universal language, and diamond customers could now know exactly what they were about to purchase.




The Man Made Diamond

Synthetic Diamonds

A synthetic diamond is man-made, the result of a technological process, as opposed to the geological process that creates natural diamonds. Synthetic diamonds have essentially the same chemical composition, crystal structure, optical, and physical properties of diamonds found in nature. Most synthetic diamonds are categorized as either high-pressure, high-temperature (HPHT) or chemical vapor deposition CVD diamonds, depending on the method of their production. Since HPHT and CVD diamonds are virtually identical to natural diamonds, differences only become clear when they are viewed by a trained grader in a gem laboratory.

While synthetic diamonds represent a small segment of the market, they are becoming more widespread and increasingly difficult to detect. GIA is at the forefront in meeting this challenge, offering a distinct report for synthetics so that there is no confusion in the marketplace.

How does a GIA Diamonds GIA tests every diamond to determine if it is natural. If a diamond is found to be laboratory-grown, GIA issues a Synthetic Diamond Grading Report, which looks distinctly different from the the standard grading report. As an added precaution, GIA also laser-inscribes the diamond's girdle with a report number and a statement that the diamond has been laboratory-grown.


Gold Bullion and Fed Hikes.

Gold Blog


Gold's Positive Trend Was Not Sustainable

After falling to its cycle lows in July, the gold price had advanced nicely and last month we wondered whether the positive trend was sustainable. The short answer is: No, it wasn’t. In November, the gold price fell to new 5.5-year lows at $1,052 per ounce, as the U.S. Dollar Index1 (DXY) approached long-term highs.  ended the month at $1,064.77 per ounce for a loss of $77.39 (6.8%).

On November 4, Bloomberg News reported that Federal Reserve (the "Fed") Chair Janet Yellen said an improving economy would set the stage for a December interest rate increase if economic reports continue to assure policymakers that inflation will accelerate over time. This set the tone for both gold and the U.S. dollar, which fell and rose, respectively, for the remainder of the month. A strong jobs report on November 6, followed by generally positive economic releases throughout the month enabled market consensus to gain momentum for a rate increase at the upcoming December 16 Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) meeting. Gold bullion exchange-traded products (ETPs) saw 1.59 million ounces (49.3 tonnes) of redemptions in November which drove gold ETPs’ combined holdings to a new cycle low of 47.92 million ounces (1,490.3 tonnes).

Investors Ignored Strong Q3 Earnings

During November gold equity indices fell with the gold price and nearly met the lows set in July. The NYSE Arca Gold Miners Index2 (GDMNTR) declined 8.5%, while the Market Vectors Junior Gold Miners Index3(MVGDXJTR) fell 8.6%. Low gold prices caused investors to largely ignore the robust results of the third quarter earnings season. BMO Capital Markets reported free cash flow of $978 million from the North American senior miners, far surpassing expectations of $94 million. Scotiabank’s universe of senior and larger mid-caps had production that was 3% above expectations and all-in mining costs that were 8% lower than expected. The favorable results stemmed from operating efficiency, bear market pricing for materials and services, low local currency values, and low fuel prices. Many companies have indicated that there is still room to cut costs further. We now expect positive production results and cost-savings to continue in 2016.

Gold Has Unique Supply and Demand Drivers

Physical demand for gold bars, coins, and jewelry improved in the third quarter. The World Gold Council (WGC) reported that Q3 gold demand increased by 8% over Q2 and by 14% over last year. Year-to-date demand is up 3% versus the same period in 2014. The WGC reckons that there was a gold market deficit of 56.0 tonnes in Q3. The largest drivers of this strong demand were India and China, where demand increased 13% in each country which equates to a 58.0 tonne increase over Q2. Chinese demand continues as physical deliveries from the Shanghai Gold Exchange through November have now surpassed the record set in 2013.

Investors might wonder how Gold

Investment Demand vs. Physical Demand

For commodities other than gold, strong physical demand drives prices higher – prices follow demand. With gold, the current price drives physical demand – demand follows prices. Lower prices entice buyers in India and China. They also bring strong retail demand from the U.S. and Europe. This physical demand increases when prices drop, helping to stabilize prices. However, physical demand usually diminishes when prices increase.

Investment demand generates price strength in the gold market and a lack of investment demand characterizes bear markets. The motives that drive both physical and investment demand are the same – to utilize gold as a store of wealth and a hedge against currency weakness, tail risk4, or financial stress. However, investment demand manifests itself mainly in the futures market in New York and the over-the-counter market in London. These markets exert the largest influence on gold prices and they are driven more by macroeconomic, financial, and geopolitical events than by prices and supply/demand equations.

Gold ETPs are relatively transparent vehicles that we use as a proxy for broad investment demand. In Q3 global bullion ETPs had 63.0 tonnes of redemptions. This is probably a good indicator of weak investment demand in New York and London. It also lends better insight into price action than physical demand from China or elsewhere.

We believe that physical demand should play a larger role in price discovery, and maybe it eventually will as the Asian gold market grows and matures. In the meantime, the Chinese seem happy to accumulate all the gold the West cares to provide at low gold prices. Regardless of what we believe should happen, we make investment decisions based on what actually drives the market. This means investing in companies that can survive intact or gain an advantage if a lack of investment demand drives prices lower than expected.

Market Expectations and the Fed

Once again the markets are essentially convinced that the Fed will raise rates at the next FOMC meeting. Based on recent Fed comments, economic releases, and the level of expectations, we will be shocked if the Fed doesn’t raise rates. Rate rising cycles introduce risks to the economy and financial system and they often end badly. According to Gluskin Sheff5, a bull market in the S&P 500 Index6 has never ended after an initial rate hike. It’s a different story if the rate hikes keep coming. The stock market crashed in October 1987 after three rate hikes over five months. NASDAQ crashed in April 2000 after six rate hikes over 11 months. Rate increases are often a prelude to recessions, which become increasingly likely as the yield curve flattens or inverts (when short-term rates exceed long-term rates).

The Fed has never waited as long as five years into a bull market to begin to raise rates. A few reasons the Fed has been reluctant to pull the trigger:

  • In the last four decades, the Fed has never raised rates when the Institute of Supply Management (ISM) Manufacturing Index7 was below 50, which signifies a manufacturing recession. The ISM Index is currently 48.6.
  • How long can Fed policies diverge from the rest of the world where the central banks of Europe, China, Australia, and Japan are all easing to combat economic weakness?
  • Every country that started a rate-hiking course after the Great Recession that ended in 2009 was ultimately forced to reverse course.

Hard to Say How Gold Will Respond

On November 2 as we watched Fed Chair Yellen address the Economic Club of Washington D.C., the U.S. Dollar Index approached a 12.5-year high while gold made a new 5.5-year low at $1,052 per ounce. With the dollar and gold at extreme levels, it seems the market has already priced in forthcoming rate hikes. credit suisse

Gold has a similarly inconsistent reaction to rate increases, as shown in this excerpt from our March gold market update, written when the market was obsessed with the Fed’s rate decision, as it unfortunately still is: