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".
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
"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
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
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
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.
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.
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:
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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