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The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 40, October 4, 2009, Article 7

REPUBLIC OF CUBA 1ST REPUBLIC 1915-1958 TYPE SET FOLDER PUBLISHED

The Cuban Numismatic Association has produced a coin folder to house a type set of the 1st Republic 1915-1958 Cuban coins. For ordering information, visit www.cubanumis.com. The CNA's October 2009 Newsletter had a great article about the making of the folders, an interesting companion to David Lange's recent book on the history of coin boards and folders in the U.S. Here are a number of excerpts from Jesus Inguanzo's "The Making of a Coin Folder". -Editor

Cuba coin folder cover From the first day that I started collecting Cuban coins, the most glaring lack was the fact that there were no coin folders to put my recently purchased coins. I searched and asked, and looked everywhere, and was able to find an old one, busted up into pieces made by Dansco probably about 50 years ago.

I continued to search and look everywhere for a Cuba type set folder, even calling Dansco to see if they had any leftover from the original printing or if they were willing to make a new batch. The answer to both was NO.

At our first meeting of the Cuban Numismatic Association, I was hoping that somebody would know or want to make a Cuba coin folder, but no one had any great interest in taking on the adventure. After a while, though, Frank Putrow, our President, made the effort of contacting a number of coin folder companies and was finally able to get a quote from one of them at about $50 a book for a minimum of 500. This was disappointing since I saw the making of a coin folder completely out of reach financially and an impossible dream.

At the January 2009 meeting, during a moment of absolute dementia, I volunteered to look into finding a less expensive way of completing this project. Although I had no idea or previous experience in doing any of this I set out to contact printing and die cut companies. Yellow pages, Google, friends, phone calls, driving from shop to shop; all dead ends. Nobody had ever done this before and they were either fearful of embarking on this project and/or simply did not want to do it.

Most of the places that I visited in the industrial area of Miami were out of a Harry Potter movie, surrounded by dilapidated warehouses, next to railroad tracks, under metro rail overpasses, or a few blocks away from the Amtrak station. Some of the doors I knocked on, looked like they hadn't been opened in weeks, with spider webs and several layers of dust on the windows.

Some of these places looked like nobody had visited them in years and the people inside looked even more surprised than I was, that they finally had a warm body come indoors. As much as they wanted the business, they had no idea of what my project was, nor did they feel capable of undertaking it.

After visiting a large number of print shops and die cut companies, and showing them the scope of the work, I had almost given up; however, as if by divine guidance, I visited what I thought would be my last try at convincing somebody to do this for me. I dropped in on a shop next to the Amtrak station in Hialeah, the place looked abandoned on the outside, but a busy, albeit, small print shop inside.

I explained my project for the hundredth time, and although they were not receptive to being able to do the job, they said they used this great Cuban owned print and die company for all their die cut work. She was very kind, even calling their salesman, George Acosta, and setting up an appointment with him the very same day.

"If anybody can do this, Fastkit can" she told me in a very confident voice, trying to reassure this desperate looking face, on the verge of giving up. She saw my desperation, my frustration, my this is my last try look, so when making the call, maybe not wanting to be responsible for my throwing myself under a passing train out of frustration, she may have even stretched the nature of our relationship, just to make sure I was able to see George at Fastkit that day. That meeting turned out to be one of my greatest days as a numismatist.

As I explained what the project entailed, (for the 20th time in a week), I was surprised with the glow in his eyes, somebody actually took great interest in what we were trying to do. He called Jose Fernandez, one of the owners, into the meeting and his eyes also glowed in happiness, his father would love to have a Cuban type set book like that, with his own coins.

He then called his father into the meeting, and as his father walked in, Jose is telling me "I don't care how much money you have, I don't care how much this is going to cost, and we are going to do this project and will figure out later how we are going to pay for it". They asked me to come back for a second meeting with David Barjun, the art director, so that we could start the art work process. Needless to say, I flew home to tell Dora and Frank.

Four months after my initial contact, 20 or 25 meetings later and the greatest cooperation I have ever received from a company who is trying to sell something to a customer on a job where they are going to lose more money than they planned on, I was able to hold in my hands this beautiful Cuba type set coin folder thanks to the efforts of many people.

Cuba coin folder inside

We finally did it, the books are done! Come and get them while they're hot!

What a great story, and one with a happy ending! Congratulations to Jesus Inguanzo and the Cuban Numismatic Association. -Editor

David Lange adds:

I bought one on eBay last week. They did a nice job overall, but the spine is actually larger than necessary, which prevents the pages from lying flat when folded. I suppose this would correct itself with regular use but, of course, I don't plan to use mine!

To visit the Cuban Numismatic Association web site, see: www.cubanumis.com

CNA President (and new E-Sylum subscriber) Frank Putrow adds:

Our web site is under construction and our webmaster is not well, so we will not have the site updated for a few weeks. As a result the current newsletter or the book information will not be on line. In the meantime, I can be contacted at Fxputrow@aol.com, or 727-531-7337.



Wayne Homren, Editor

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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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