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Nation in brief: Rare coins sell for $30 million

Sun., Nov. 18, 2007, midnight

An anonymous buyer has paid more than $30 million for a collection of rare U.S. prototype coins, some from the 1700s, that never went into circulation, according to the dealer that brokered the sale.

The collection consists of about 1,000 coins that collectors refer to as pattern coins – trial designs that never went into production because the U.S. Mint chose other designs.

“This collection is an incredible collection. … These were some of the first coins ever, ever struck by the United States government,” said Laura Sperber, a partner in Legend Numismatics of Lincroft, N.J., which brokered the deal.

The seller wanted to remain anonymous, and the buyer, concerned about security, agreed to be identified only as “Mr. Simpson, a Western states collector,” Sperber said.

The coins span the period from 1792 to 1942. Highlights include test designs for the first pennies made in 1792 and six coins from 1872 that are often referred to as “Amazonian” patterns because the female figure portraying Liberty is much stronger and regal looking than earlier versions.

Las Vegas

Union, lawmaker endorse Clinton

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton on Saturday accepted endorsement from a 230,000-member union and appeared at a rally with a young Hispanic lawmaker who promised her ground support in the early caucus state.

After addressing a gathering of sheet metal, air, rail and transportation workers for the soon-to-be-merged SMART union, Clinton spoke at a rally at a high school in a largely Hispanic district of North Las Vegas, with the support of the first Hispanic immigrant elected to the Nevada legislature, Assemblyman Ruben Kihuen.

“We wanted to show the diversity of America, and I’m proud to have so much Latino support,” Clinton said at Rancho High School.

SMART, the International Association of Sheet Metal, Air, Rail and Transportation Workers, will merge the Sheet Metal Workers’ International Association and the United Transportation Union in January.


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