You may recall that last week we were deciding on whether to postpone the January meeting of my Northern Virginia numismatic social club, Nummis Nova. In the end we did postpone it for a week, and that turned out to be a good idea. The weather got bad late in the afternoon and when I arrived home from work my own street was already very icy.
When this Tuesday morning rolled around it was deja vu over again. When I woke up everything was caked in ice. But I didn't let it bug me. I went out and tossed salt around our driveway and sidewalk, then started my car and turned on the heater and defrosters. Then I went back inside to have some breakfast. When I came back out I turned off the car and pretty easily scraped the ice off. The driveway took more time, but the ice shattered into little pieces when I worked on it with a long-handled scraper. I showered and got ready for work. Luckily there was no more precipitation, and the main roads were fine.
So our Tuesday evening dinner was on. After work I headed to the Tyson's Galleria Mall, where our meeting was being held at the Wildfire restaurant. Dave Schenkman and Gene Brandenburg were already seated at our table. Bill Eckberg arrived next, passing around an 1804 spiked chin half cent.
Unfortunately, the coin had a problem - someone had turned the coin into an 1801, a date never struck by the U.S. Mint. Had the coin not been altered, it would have been the second finest known of the variety. How sad! Later someone joked that "somebody ought to turn the 1 back into a 4..."
Mike Packard had a newer product of the U.S. Mint to display - a new 2011-D Native America Wampanoag Treaty dollar. Someone asked where the date was (it's on the edge), and someone else piped in that "it's a Forever Dollar" like the Postal Service's "Forever Stamp".
When Roger Burdette walked in he handed me a copy of his new CD-ROM book, Silver Dollars Struck Under the Pittman Act of 1918. See the press release elsewhere in this issue.
I passed around a 1936 bronze Carnegie Hero medal. I'd purchased it on eBay a couple months earlier. Dave Schenkman noted that there were a few of these coming up in the Stack's Americana sale (see a later item in this issue for a silver Carnegie Hero medal from that sale).
As a theme for the meeting, I jokingly had suggested "die varieties of Lithuanian subway tokens", and Jon Radel showed up with a group of eight Slovenian bus tokens in different colors, each in a holder with a (fake) Krause-Mishler number. You don't see THAT every day.
Bill Eckberg also had a chocolate coin story to report. One time for the Early American Coppers convention, he had a number of chocolate coins made, using real coins as the model. One was a particularly rare half cent die variety. They offered a free EAC membership to anyone who could find and properly attribute the variety. One gentlemen did - he was a newbie to the group, and later became very active.
Two people had questions for E-Sylum readers. Here they are:
When will the Whitman Half Cent/Large Cent book be published? (It's been in the works for a while)
Can anyone recommend any decent coin apps for the iPhone or Android?
Howard Daniel, Chris Neuzil, Wayne Herndon and Tom Kays attended as well, although I didn't get to talk much with their end of the table.
I was feeling sore and hadn't eaten much of my dinner. I had been coughing all day, and was fading fast. I said my goodbyes and left as soon as our checks arrived. I bought some generic Nyquil on the way home and it worked wonders - I felt fine the next morning.
Not much else to report numisamtically except that numismatic books and catalogs kept arriving all week. One shipment was a box of old books I'd bought for resale, and others were mostly review copies of new books. My review pile is getting ominous.
I did notice a new dollar bill in my wallet on Thursday - it was the first Series 2009 I recall seeing, with the signature of Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner and Treasurer Rosa Rios. Little did I know that their names would come across my radar again soon.
Sunday afternoon I finally got around to reading Monday's Coin World and saw an article that said the U.S. Mint would not strike medals for Geithner and former Mint Director Ed Moy, "bringing a halt to two traditional, longtime series of Mint-produced medals."
That's a real shame. The first Mint Director honored with a medal was H.R. Linderman. The Treasury Secretary's medal began in 1890.
Another article answered my next question - who the heck is in charge of the Mint now that both Moy and his Deputy Director Andrew Brunhart have left? Until the President appoints a new Director, the Treasurer of the U.S. Rosa Gumataotao Rios "will carry out the duties and powers prescribed by the secretary of the Treasury to direct the program and operations of the United States Mint." (Both articles are on page 10 of the January 31, 2011 issue).
That's all for this week. Happy collecting, everyone!
Wayne Homren, Editor
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