The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 30, July 29, 2007, Article 17


Dick Johnson writes: "Announcement was made Wednesday this week
of the latest innovation that unites two collectables: coin
collecting and trading cards. This is destined to be a sure winner.

"Sharp, color illustrations of prominent coins, often in top condition,
are illustrated in the card format similar to sports cards. Since many
coin collectors -- and coin dealers too -- have an interest in both
collectables this is a natural marriage. The idea is the creation
of Les Fox, who partnered with Upper Deck, leading trading card producer.

"The cards will be packaged in foil wrapped packets of ten, randomly
inserted. In addition each packet will be a BU Lincoln cent (in a
die-cut card), plus a bonus card where more than 10,000 coins are
offered in a vast sweepstakes. A handful of the top prizes are PCGS
coins encapsulated and autographed by past presidents Gerald Ford
or George Bush, or the American Bicentennial coin artists.

"The first series will contain cards of 500 different coins. Included
among these will be all U.S. type coins and every gold and silver
commemorative coin. The remainder are spread across all American
coin denominations and periods. We can envision collectors assembling
the cards much like they do their own coins -- in sets, by artists,
by composition, by denomination, or by any topic that whets a
collector's fancy.

"The cards show the coin obverse on the front of the card, and
obviously, the reverse on the back. The cards will be available
in coin, hobby, and some mass marketers, as Wal-Mart or CVS.
Retail price will be $5 to $6. Rollout date is November 1, 2007.

"I talked with Les Fox this week. He told me the startup cost for
this project is approaching two million dollars. I mentioned he
should keep the high quality of cards and illustrations, and stress
the educational aspect. He assured both are high on his list of
priorities. The first with possible gold printing. For the second
he has offered half a million cards to the ANA if they would
oversee the distribution to American school children.

"The cards are reminiscent of the German cigarette cards a century
ago that depicted world coins, or perhaps the A.J. Blumel postcards
discussed here in E-Sylum before. [See link below. -Editor]  Will
sets or albums of the coin trading cards find their way into
future numismatic libraries? Perhaps so.

"I asked Les about numismatic books. He said he and wife Sue have
authored six books, the one most known in numismatics is "The U.S.
Rare Coin Handbook for Collectors and Investors" which hit the New
York Times best seller list. His name for the card series is
"Eagles of America Rare Coin Trading Cards." His corporate name
is West Highland Fine Art & Publishing LLC.

"Do visit his website for more information on the coin trading cards,
a dozen or more of which are illustrated (but you will not be able
to download illustrations of the coin cards, I get the point! --
you will have to buy those!). Web site:

"I first read about this on the PRWeb Newswire.
Here is that article:
Full Story ."

[This is certainly a commendable project that I hope will go a
long way toward educating the general public and casual collectors
alike in new aspects of numismatics.  But I wouldn't go so far as
Dick in calling it innovative or "groundbreaking" as the press
release describes.   There have been similar projects in the past,
although probably not marketed to the same extent.  Readers can tell
us if they know of others, but I can point to two in Pennsylvania

The Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists introduced "PAN Decks"
in the 1990s, sets of printed cards picturing various coins that
were given to young numismatists.  They were a hit with the kids,
who often wrote in to ask for more.  But this was a non-profit
educational item, not a commercial venture.

But Wayne J. Decroo of Pittsburgh, PA currently produces and
sells sets of numismatic trading cards in a similar format, and
has been doing so for several years.  He provided a large number
of packs gratis to PAN for distribution to attendees of the
club's Coins4Kids events.  I forwarded to him the Eagles of
America Rare Coin Trading Cards press release.

Wayne Decroo writes: "Thank you for sending the release.  It is
surprisingly similar to my idea that I spent a substantial amount
of money developing, producing and attempting to legally protect.

"My Coin Trading Cards were intended to educate young collectors
in the field of Numismatics.  This so-called groundbreaking product
is extremely similar to my product.  The biggest difference is
they enlisted Upper Deck who has the marketing capabilities and
a great reputation.  It is somewhat upsetting to me that this
happened.  They appear to be producing a great product on a
much grander scale than my cards.

"Our cards have been around since the year 2000 and are still
available in packs, and beginner sets.  Anyone interested can
still call 724-335-8264 as we still run it as a family operated
business from my home.

"Our web page is for any dealer interested.
My thoughts are that once the upper Deck cards hit the market,
mine will look inferior.  They are also offering a chance to win
some nice coins which will attract customers.  I hope they help
the hobby."

To view the Numismaticards, Inc. Coin Trading Cards web page, see:


  Wayne Homren, Editor

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