The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 33, August 19, 2007, Article 6


Alan V. Weinberg forwarded the following observations from the
recent Milwaukee American Numismatic Association convention, with
notes on some great coins, medals and numismatic literature:

"The ANA bourse was on the 3rd floor of the convention center with
registration on the 2nd floor. Access to the bourse was via three
escalator levels, somewhat like the setup for the San Francisco ANA.
This arrangement is certainly a discouragement to the unwelcome
homeless or the grab-it-and-run thief. The downtown area around
the hotels and convention center was remarkably clean of undesirables,
even at night, unlike San Francisco. However, the streets around at
least half of the convention center were torn up by construction
which may have dampened the general public's desire to park and
attend the free-entry show.

"The Walt Husak early large cents, to be auctioned by Heritage in
Long Beach next February, 2008 were on display for the first time
in slabs. The coins were in first time, entirely clear, see-through
PCGS slabs and those cents with lettered or decorated rims were in
3 'pronged' entirely clear slabs so their rims are visible and easily
readable. I'm reliably informed that PCGS developed four slab dies
before they came up with exactly what was needed for the Husak coppers.
The result is superb. Hopefully, this type of slab will be adopted
for all future encapsulations - with no more opaque white centers or
unreadable rims.  It's almost like holding the coin in your fingertips.
With this type of slab, I can be persuaded.

"I also had the privilege of seeing part of the Husak catalogue
manuscript largely written by Mark Borckardt with some additional
assistance from Denis Loring. I was impressed. Aside from extensive
pedigree information, most of the large cents are graded four ways
- that is, the PCGS slab grade, the Del Bland grade, the Bill Noyes
grade and the EAC standard grade with both Mark and Denis concurring
on this final grade. Four grades for each coin, a first in any
numismatic catalogue!

"If it sounds confusing having each cent graded four different ways,
it is not. I found the EAC grade with the Borckardt-Loring concurrence
to be almost always 'right on' in my 'hobby oldtimer's' opinion.
Additionally, there was a sale 'prospectus' catalogue with condensed
lot descriptions and a magnificent blue cover picturing in color
some of the cents (Walt Husak's own photography) available at the
Heritage bourse alongside the coppers themselves. This certainly
whetted the appetite.

"I'm informed the lot by lot photography will be Heritage's own. I
frankly prefer Walt's coin photography which is more vivid but taken
at a very slight angle with a shadow at the bottom of each early
copper. The coins look more 'real' in my opinion with the lustre
and surfaces more alive.

"Walt is thinking of a novel proposal: Heritage photographs lot by
lot - straight on images, and Walt's photography in full page plates
of dozens of pennies at one time - two different full color views
of the each large cent in the catalogue. Hopefully, this may fly.

"I was contemplating buying the Martin Logies 1794 Dollar book with
each then-known dollar pictured, characteristics and pedigrees. An
impressive reference ... until I learned from the author himself
that a 2nd edition is planned for November release with additional
dollars since discovered and a more extensive narrative. Dave Perkins
tells me that George Kolbe will be this year publishing Jack Collins'
1794 dollar manuscript 'as is' with pictures missing, etc. So this
will compete with Logies' 2nd edition.

"Martin (former owner of the Cardinal bust dollar collection
auctioned by American Numismatic Rarities) was at the show with his
magnificent 1792 half disme on display and at the same booth, Karl
Moulton's new reference on Henry Voigt's classic Early American
coinage for sale at $79. I inquired of the seemingly high price,
considering the forthcoming much larger & more pictorial "100
Greatest Medals and Tokens" Bowers-Jaeger book will be sold for
$29.95. Author Moulton explained that his book was printed in the
U.S. whereas the Whitman Bowers book is being printed in much
larger numbers in China.

"I also examined a slabbed MS66 1799 dollar which until the 1980's
was in a private family's hands. What a magnificent, originally toned,
full cartwheel early dollar! There is reportedly no finer condition
early bust dollar, although Dr. Robert Hesselgesser reports this exact
dollar was once in an MS-63 slab." [Hesselgesser, with whom I flew
home to Los Angeles, is a renowned early bust dollar collector].

"A magnificent silver Libertas Americana silver medal found in Europe
within the past year and among the three or four finest known hammered
for $130K in the Heritage auction to a Wnuck-Agre-Labstain buying
partnership.  With the 15% buyer's fee, this comes to approximately
$150K, a record for this medal.  The medal was found with an MS65
bronze version which was recently auctioned by Heritage for over $40K.

"The Harry Bass-Cardinal Collection silver Libertas Americana medal
is the cover medal in the soon-to-be-released Dave Bowers-Katie Jaeger
authored  Whitman Publishing Company '100 Greatest Medals and Tokens'
book, to be released this Fall. The Heritage medal, new to the hobby,
is superior to the Bass-Cardinal Collection medal, both examined by
me.  No doubt the anticipation of the Bowers-Jaeger book and its cover
image (and anticipation that the medal is #1 or #2 in the '100 Greatest')
as well as the picturing of the medal in the latest Redbook has lead
to the hugely increased market demand and value of this silver Comitia
Americana medal proposed by Benjamin Franklin. There are at least
25-30 silvers known. 2-3 years ago, a really choice silver Libertas
Americana medal was worth $35K.

"I enjoyed the show immensely, with the most valuable thing coming
home with me - increased knowledge. After 50 years in this hobby,
I still learn an awful lot by attending these shows."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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