Some numismatists are also accomplished poets. On Monday I got this email from Fred Michaelson:
A gift I ain't bought her.
But happy birthday to your daughter!!
She turned 11 this week, but Sunday was the big day of celebration. We don't have birthday parties in our family - for the kids,
they're more like Birthday Festivals. This one included a nice lunch with the family at Benihana, and a kid dinner party at an indoor
trampoline arena with pizza and cake.
Tuesday was the monthly meeting of my Northern Virginia Numismatic Social group, Nummis Nova. Eric Schena was our host, and he picked
Clyde's Restaurant at Reston Town Center. It was a good choice - the food and drinks were great, the staff was attentive, and as usual
the numismatic fellowship was a delight.
I took a seat at our long table between Aaron Packard and Roger Burdette, and across from Chris Neuzil. Other attendees included
regulars Lenny Goldberg, Mike Packard, Wayne Herndon, Joe Levine, Gene Brandenburg, Dave Schenkman, Julian Leidman and Steve Bishop. We
were delighted to have Howard Daniel back in town and also be joined by my guest, former U.S. Mint Director Ed Moy, who found a seat at the
end of the table between Wayne and Eric. Here's a group photo:
From left, going clockwise: Dave, Gene, Chris, Joe, Lenny,
Wayne Herndon, Ed, Eric, Mike, Roger, Wayne Homren, Aaron, Steve, Julian
Topics at my end of the table included Chris Neuzil's research on War of 1812 medals, my work on the Newman Numismatic Portal, and
plenty of non-numismatic topics from horrible Reston restaurants to my days working at Bell Laboratories.
Show and Tell
Several numismatic items were passed around the table, including a copy of the new deluxe edition of the Red Book. "Use two
hands!", I was told. Dave Schenkman brought his example of the Kings' Road token we discussed in an earlier issue (above). What a
In the it's-a-small-world department, Dave adds:
Here are pictures of the Dakota Territory token I passed around. I bought it on eBay recently, and when the package arrived the seller
had sent the wrong token. I contacted him and he asked if I would send it to the correct buyer, and he would have him send the one he
received. I agreed, and it turned out that the other buyer was Aaron Packard, so we swapped tokens last night.
Eric Schena writes:
At my end of the table, we had a lively chat with Ed Moy about Bitcoin, the elimination of the cent, the dollar coin versus the dollar
bill, as well as the 1933 double eagles (which was prescient since they have since re-entered the news cycle). Ed was also quite
interested in how we all became numismatists as well as how to bring more folks into the hobby's fold. Was quite an interesting and
quite memorable discussion.
Here's what I brought to the dinner. I brought one of my latest acquisitions - a tin or lead token from
Zetelle's Eating Saloon from Richmond, Virginia. I brought it especially to show Dave as we are looking to see when it may have been
used. Zetelle was an interesting character. He emigrated from Corfu who ran a restaurant in downtown Richmond from sometime in the late
1850s through to at least July 1861 before returning to Europe during the Civil War. He returned to Richmond in 1865 and tried running a
restaurant again. It's a fascinating piece and worthy of some additional research.
Aaron Packard displayed a very rare item among several new additions to his collection. He writes:
The U.S. retroceded Castle Clinton to New York City in 1822. The government of NYC leased the complex to Jonathan Rathbone and Francis
Fitch, who opened the complex as an entertainment venue.
It's theorized that the Castle Garden tokens were actually subscriber admittance passes, engraved and struck by Richard Trested.
Rulau reports that there are a total of 9 extant pieces. Eight are in silvered brass, and the ninth struck in lead. My particular
specimen was issued to one "R.L. Wilson." ]
Over the next month or so, I anticipate publishing an article on the token and its history at www.novanumis.com.
The Big Nickel Transaction
At last month's meeting Gene and Dave made a great fuss over Wayne Herndon's buying price for pre-1960 nickels - 6 cents. Dave
made up an invoice to Wayne, selling a single nickel - and declaring that it was owned jointly by him and Gene. Now Wayne had to pay each
of them three cents.
Wayne kicked it up a notch by saying he'd have his bank issue and mail checks. It wouldn't cost Wayne anything, but his bank
would have to shell out first class postage for each one. "Your bank isn’t going to like you," Gene said. "I don't much
like them, either..." was Wayne's reply.
Coincidentally, I'd found a pre-1960 in change that afternoon, and declared that I
was holding out for the long dollar - I wanted 7 cents. I didn't make a sale. But Dave and Gene had the evidence of their completed
transaction - six one-cent checks. Dave pointed out the "Hold until..." date, which was different for each check. Wayne said this
"would help with cash flow..."
A Chat With Ed Moy
I was landlocked for most of the dinner and didn't get to chat with many folks. I could only wave to Howard as he got up to leave. But
at the end of the evening as chairs opened up, Ed Moy moved down to talk with me and Roger Burdette. Ed and Roger knew each other well from
Roger's time on the Citizen's Coinage Advisory Committee. Topics included the High-Relief St. Gaudens restrike, the curved baseball
coin, digitizing U.S. Mint records, and Ed's various work projects. He recently moved back to the Washington, D.C. area, and we're
looking forward to having him at more meetings in the future.
I was able to chat a bit with Eric and Gene on the way out. It was another wonderful night of numismatic fellowship, and a great
restaurant to boot (I had the salmon, and by skipping drinks and dessert got away with a very reasonable tab for such a fancy place).
I'm already looking forward to next month.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MARCH 15, 2015 : The Kings Private Roads Token
Wayne Homren, Editor
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