Although "Numismatic Diary" won the 2013 NLG "Extraordinary Merit" for Best Web Site Column, I have to admit that in recent months a large part of my column consists of text and images submitted by my fellow Nummis Nova members Dave Schenkman, Tom Kays and Eric Schena. That monthly night out is often my only numismatic experience outside of the E-Sylum. I had to miss the August dinner, which fell on my son Tyler's birthday. But thanks to Eric, "Numismatic Diary" has not gone dark this month. Here are his notes from the meeting. Thanks!
Tuesday was our monthly gathering of Nummis Nova, this time hosted by Julian Leidman. Unfortunately, our Fearless Leader (to borrow a phrase), Wayne Homren, was unavailable to join us. Eleven of us met at Jerry's Seafood in Lanham, MD. I sat at one end of the table with Gene Brandenburg, Dave Schenkman, Jon Radel, Joe Levine, Andy Singer, while Ron Abler, Steve Bishop, Michael Merrill, Lenny Goldberg, and Julian sat at the other.
Dave had invited long-time Baltimore coin dealer Michael Merrill to join us. He and Dave told great stories about their brushes with fame in the music world, including the time Johnny Cash came to Michael's shop, and the Rolling Stones bought a banjo from Dave.
The Rolling Freakin’ Stones?? Dave’s cooler than I thought.
Since Dave was recently awarded the ANA's highest honor, the Farran Zerbe Award, the theme was to try to stump him, though many of us brought some recent acquisitions from the World's Fair of Money. For my part, I brought a couple of local Maryland medals in honor of our location, including a white metal souvenir medal commemorating Maryland's participation in the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, an 1854 quarter countermarked "Jordans Springs" from the Winchester, Virginia area, and a really neat 1858 half that was delicately engraved with "Cheap Goods at K. Palmer & Cos., Bonsacks, Va."
Andy Singer brought a beautiful silver grosso of Pope Sixtus IV, which bears the first realistic portrait of a pope. Lenny passed around a selection of interesting tokens from New Mexico and Jon brought a telephone token from Thailand that he thinks was used as a test piece. I am not sure anyone was able to stump Dave, though.
Much of what we discussed was centered around the ANA's World's Fair of Money in Rosemont and the Stacks Bowers auction - quite a few of the folks around the table made the trek there the previous week. Since a number of us exonumists were at my end of the table, we talked about how strong much of the Ford tokens realized.
The catalog will likely be an important reference, especially for his countermarked coins and I, for one, liked the spiral binding and full color printing of the catalogs, even if I was not able to add a single Ford piece into my collection. That said, for me, I enjoyed the show itself and I was able to add quite a number of items from the bourse floor to my Mid-Atlantic collection.
The BEP's section was astonishing- they brought some superb one of a kind items, including several large denomination uncut sheets - it's not every day you see an uncut sheet of $100,000 gold certificates. Seeing the Rittenhouse half disme, his appointment certificate, as well as the Bebee 1913 V nickel and an 1804 dollar (let alone the other stunning rarities which abounded) are things I can now cross off my numismatic bucket list. Chicago itself was a lot of fun and I know my wife and I plan on attending next year's World's Fair of Money.
All in all, a pleasant evening of fine companionship. I certainly hope Wayne and our other fine Nummis Nova folks will be able to join us next month.
Since I'm the host next month, I expect to be there. I'd better get crackin' and choose a place.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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