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, AUGUST 2ND
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.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 3RD
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.
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
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.
The Legend Numismatics table was right up front. I stopped to thank them for their recent advertising support and admire their displays.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
John Adams, Tom Harrison, Dave Perkins, David Sundman
"Hmm, what's this 'Slush Fund for Personal Numismatic Literature Purchases'...?"
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or write to me at P.O. Box 2053, Sister, Or. 97759.
The long-awaited event took place at 3pm Thursday in Room 501.
Hayden, Musante, Hyder, Schenkman, Bowers; Trask at podium
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MAY 28, 2017 : Symposium On The Allure Of Tokens And Medals
THE ALLURE OF THE TOKEN AND MEDAL SOCIETY (http://www.coinbooks.org/v20/esylum_v20n23a12.html)
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.
Right next to the authors was a display of the Resolute Americana collection of 1792 coinage and related items.
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.
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
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
Attinelli Fellowship Dinner
The inaugural annual dinner of the Attinelli Fellowship took place Thursday evening at Marlowe’s Saloon & Chophouse.
Foreground: Charlie Davis, Scott Rubin, Scott' wife, Tom Sheehan, John Lupia;
In back: George Kolbe at right
Neil Musante, John Kraljevich, Len Augsburger, Roger Siboni
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
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.
"Hey, that's me!"
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
That's Charles Morgan of CoinWeek and Joe Boling preparing winner plaques.
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.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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