The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 20, Number 32, August 6, 2017, Article 23


I had a great trip to the American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money in Denver this week. Here's what I did, told mainly in photos.

Wednesday was a travel day for me. United Airlines moved my flight up a couple hours due to an incoming weather system, so I went into work in the morning but headed back out again for the airport after a couple hours.

We bounced around a good bit through turbulence on our descent into Denver, and it gave me a bit of a headache. I grabbed a sandwich for dinner at the airport and hopped a shuttle to my hotel, the Sheraton. Stepping onto the sidewalk I immediately ran into and chatted with ANA Executive Director Kim Kiick.

Except for checking email, that was the extent of my numismatic activity for the day.

Still on East Coast time, I woke up at 4am and set to work on The E-Sylum. With travel and convention events taking up so much time this week I wanted to get a head start. With short breaks for my morning routine and breakfast at 6am, I worked until around 10.

Setting off for the convention center, I walked back and forth before finally getting my bearings - it was about four blocks away and out of sight from the hotel.

The Colorado Convention Center has a whimsical sculpture of a three-story tall bear peeking in the window. I texted a picture to my daughter back home, who thought it was cool.

2017 ANA Blue Bear 2017 ANA Blue Bear2

I ran into NBS Board member John W. Adams on the way to registration and stopped to say hello. But I was running late to meet up with E-Sylum subscriber Martin Kaplan. We'd never met in person. We found each other right away and had a nice chat, planning to get together again later that morning.

I made my way up to the registration desk and spoke to ANA Membership manager Cary Hardy. He kindly lent me a lanyard since I'd forgotten mine (and my convention ribbons) back in the hotel.

The first U.S. Coin
I quickly ran into Don Kagin who offered to show me the 1783 plain obverse Nova Constellatio Quint pattern featured at his table - see the article earlier in this issue for more information. He and the burly guard stationed next to it opened the display case and got the coin out so I could hold it. Here's Don posing with it.

2017 ANA Kagin with Nova

Legend Numismatics
The Legend Numismatics table was right up front. I stopped to thank them for their recent advertising support and admire their displays.

2017 ANA Legend table1

2017 ANA Legend table2

An employee opened the case so I could get a photo without glare. Take a close look at the spelling, an intentional attention-getting mistake.

Paul Bosco
Here's a candid shot of medal dealer Paul Bosco. Like many dealers at the show he was busy with customers and I didn't get a chance to talk.

2017 ANA Bosco

Charlie Davis
2017 ANA Ute and Charlie Davis Next I made my way to the table of numismatic literature dealer Charlie Davis, where he was speaking with Ute Wartenberg Kagan, Executive Director of the American Numismatic Society. Here they are at right.

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2017 ANA Neil Musante with Vicken Vegparian
Neil Musante speaking with Vicken Vegparian

While at Charlie's table I spoke with Numismatic Bibliomania Society legends P. Scott Rubin and George Kolbe. Scott was a Board member for decades, and George cofounded our group with the late Jack Collins.

2017 ANA Rubin and Kolbe
P. Scott Rubin and George Kolbe

I spoke a bit with George about the changing market for numismatic literature. We both recall the days before the internet when individual bookshops and the industry publication AB Bookman ruled the book world.

One of the first books I bid on in numismatic literature sales was a corporate history of the American Bank Note Company by William Griffiths. Illustrated with real engravings, the book regularly brought $100 in numismatic literature sales. I didn't want to pay that much, and regularly got outbid.

I was living and working in Pittsburgh at the time, and read about a used and rare bookstore that had opened up on the South Side. I called them up and asked if they had any titles on coins or paper money. When they read off the title of the ABNCO book and said it was priced at $5, I told them to hold it and I'd come over at lunchtime.

George told me he would regularly buy these from used booksellers and resell them at a profit in the numismatic market. I was a fast learner and had put my own ads in AB Bookman and bought and sold several of these myself. George also recounted how we could regularly buy ANS Numismatic Notes and Monograph titles in the U.S. and resell them at a good profit overseas. Those were the days.

Garrett Ziss
2017 ANA Garrett Ziss 1 Around 11 o'clock I found the Money Talks room and entered to hear part of a talk by young numismatist Garrett Ziss on the coins found in the time capsules recovered from the Washington Monument in Baltimore. I took a seat in the front row between Joel Orosz and Len Augsburger. Garrett did a great job, but the three of us had to duck out early for the NBS Board Meeting.

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2017 ANA Garrett Ziss 2

NBS Board Meeting
The annual Board Meeting of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society took place at 11:30. Before we got started, I introduced Martin Kaplan to the board and thanked him for his promotional work which was responsible for a large part of our recent E-Sylum subscriber increases this year. I'd asked him to come in to take a bow, and he got applause from the group. Thanks, Martin!

Next it was time to get to work. Here the officers are reviewing the treasurer's report.

2017 ANA NBS Board meeting 2
John Adams, Tom Harrison, Dave Perkins, David Sundman

"Hmm, what's this 'Slush Fund for Personal Numismatic Literature Purchases'...?"

2017 ANA NBS Board meeting 1
David Fanning, Len Augsburger

There's no slush fund, but club finances are tight. With the proceeds from the fundraising auction we'll probably be OK this year, but everyone reading this can help by joining or sending in their dues, taking out an ad in The Asylum, or making a donation.

NBS Symposium: Neil Musante
2017 ANA Musante NBS Symposium Right after the Board meeting it was time for the annual NBS Symposium. On the way there I ran into Tom Wetter and his wife. Tom has labored long and hard on the NBS web site Wiki, compiling great pages of information on U.S. auction catalogs. He had a sad but funny story about the fate of one of his antiquarian numismatic books after his dog realized that vellum is just a tasty 300-year-old piece of beef jerky.

This year's speaker was Neil Musante, author of Medalllic Washington and The Medallic Work of John Adams Bolen. Here's Neil at the podium.

Tokens & Medals Symposium
On May 28, 2017 Susan Trask wrote:

The Civil War Token Society (CWTS), Token and Medal Society (TAMS) and Medal Collectors of America (MCA) are hosting a Money Talks presentation on Thursday, 3:00 pm at the American Numismatic Association in Denver this August titled ASK THE EXPERTS! A SYMPOSIUM ON THE ALLURE OF TOKENS AND MEDALS. I'm moderating a panel featuring David Schenkman, Bill Hyder, Steve Hayden, Neil Musante and Q. David Bowers. We would love your readers to submit their questions for the event to me via email at or write to me at P.O. Box 2053, Sister, Or. 97759.

The long-awaited event took place at 3pm Thursday in Room 501.

2017 ANA Allure of Tokens and medals panel 1
Hayden, Musante, Hyder, Schenkman, Bowers; Trask at podium

2017 ANA Allure of Tokens and medals panel 2

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MAY 28, 2017 : Symposium On The Allure Of Tokens And Medals (

1792 Author's Table
At 3:30 the merry band of authors was present at the Heritage booth to sign and sell copies of 1792: Birth of a Nation's Coinage. While visiting several folks came by, including Kellen Hoard. I also got to meet and share a laugh with reader Rob Rodriguez who pulled out a Continental Dollar for me to hold and examine.

2017 ANA 1792 authors table

Right next to the authors was a display of the Resolute Americana collection of 1792 coinage and related items.

2017 ANA 1792 collection

More Novas
On a jaunt round the bourse floor I stopped for a quick look at the Nova Constellatio patterns on display at Kevin Lipton's table.

2017 ANA Lipton Nova exhibit sign 2017 ANA Lipton Nova exhibit

BEP Damaged Banknotes Display
We've often discussed the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's efforts to reimburse citizens for destroyed paper money. The BEP had a nice exhibit of the different types of damage notes can sustain.

2017 ANA BEP Water Damage 2017 ANA BEP Pest Damage

2017 ANA BEP Intentional Damage 2017 ANA BEP Fire Damage

Chet Krause Silent Auction
One table displayed items of numismatic show memorabilia from the estate of the late Chet Krause, founder of Numismatic News. A wide array of badges, buttons, ribbons and medals was offered.

2017 ANA Krause Silent auction sign

2017 ANA Krause Silent auction 3

2017 ANA Krause Silent auction 2

Attinelli Fellowship Dinner
The inaugural annual dinner of the Attinelli Fellowship took place Thursday evening at Marlowe’s Saloon & Chophouse.

2017 ANA Attinelli 2
Foreground: Charlie Davis, Scott Rubin, Scott' wife, Tom Sheehan, John Lupia;
In back: George Kolbe at right

2017 ANA Attinelli 1
Neil Musante, John Kraljevich, Len Augsburger, Roger Siboni

2017 ANA Attinelli 3
Joel Orosz, Dave Perkins, David Fanning, John Adams

Note to self: letting waiters and your friends refill your wine glass like it's water leads to the consumption of a great deal of wine. As I later heard John Adams remark in a different context, "a little bit of Pinot Noir goes a long way."

So as much as I hated to leave, it was probably a Good Thing that I had to duck out around 9pm to go back to the Sheraton for the NLG Bash. Joel, Len and Deb had already done the same ahead of me.

NLG Bash
Our sister organization the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) holds an annual banquet and awards ceremony called the NLG Bash every year as part of the ANA convention.

I was surprised and honored to learn that The E-Sylum had won the PCGS Education Award. Len's wife Deb Kurtz took these photos. I was asked to say a few words at the podium.

2017 ANA NLG Bash E-Sylum
"Hey, that's me!"

2017 ANA NLG Bash E-Sylum award plaques
Wayne and Len Augsburger review the E-Sylum award plaques

The Book of the Year award went to 1792: Birth of a Nation's Coinage

2017 ANA NLG Bash Book of the year 1792

That's Charles Morgan of CoinWeek and Joe Boling preparing winner plaques.

2017 ANA NLG Bash Book of the year 1792 authors

In this shot camerman David Lisot records authors Len Augsburger, Joel Orosz and Pete Smith making acceptance speeches. At the podium are Maurice Rosen and Scott Travers of NLG.

Kolbe-Fanning E-Sylum ad 2016-10-16 Free Priority Shipping

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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