Tuesday July 16, 2019 was special in two ways - it was the first time my Northern Virginia numismatic social group Nummis Nova began meeting on the 3rd
Tuesday of the month (to avoid conflict with the recently-formed Fairfax Coin Club), and it was a night when we welcomed several out-of-town guests and two
We met at J. Gilbert's restaurant in Mclean, VA. Joining us would be my friend Tom Uram and four of his fellow members of the Citizen's Coinage
Advisory Committee (CCAC), who were in town for an official meeting the next day. Also joining us was my old friend Pat McBride who accompanied Tom on his
drive from Western Pennsylvania, where both are heavily involved with the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists.
I started off by welcoming everyone and kicking off a long round of introductions that was stopped and started a few times to allow for the waitstaff
to do their jobs. I understand everyone enjoyed their meal, which is our usual experience at this place (Photo by Tom Kays).
Our Nummis Nova attendees included regulars Steve Bishop, former CCAC member Roger Burdette, Joe Esposito, Wayne Herndon, Wayne Homren, Tom Kays, Jon Radel,
Eric Schena and Dave Schenkman.
Current CCAC member visitors included Erik Jansen, Mary Lannin, Don Scarinci, Jeanne Stevens-Sollman and Tom Uram.
Clockwise from left: Roger Burdette, Erik Jansen, Steve Bishop (hidden), Joe Esposito, Jon Radel, Jeanne Stevens-Sollman, Wayne Homren (standing), Mary
Lannin (hidden), Don Scarinci (hidden), Wayne Herndon, Tom Uram. Pat McBride, Dave Schenkman and Eric Schena (Photo by Tom Kays)
But we had a couple of surprise visitors as well. I had been driving to the restaurant after work when Tom Uram phoned me to let me know he and Pat had
already arrived and been shown our room. They were waiting in the bar.
Just a few minutes later I got an excited call from Tom - "you'll never guess who we just ran into here!! - Dick Peterson!!" Richard Peterson
succeeded Ed Moy in Mint leadership and was the longest-serving acting director/deputy director in the U.S. Mint's history, serving from January 2011
through March 2017. He was succeeded by acting directors Rhett Jeppson and David Moti until the appointment of David J. Ryder in 2018.
Beverly Ortega Babers, Jon Cameron, Tom Uram, Richard Peterson
Dick was there meeting with two former Mint colleagues, Jon Cameron and Beverly Ortega Babers, former Deputy Assistant Secretary for Management and Budget
at the Department of the Treasury. Later Dick and Jon stopped by to visit with everyone (Photo courtesy Tom Uram and a willing bystander).
Tom Uram and Pat McBride (Photo by Tom Kays)
In another surprise, Tom announced that a bill was about to be introduced in the House of Representatives for 2021 Commemorative Silver dollars. Part
of the surcharge would benefit numismatics, and the coins are sure to please collectors - they include 2021-dated reissues of the Morgan and Peace silver
dollar designs, including pieces struck at the old Carson City mint building and bearing the CC mint mark. He and fellow CCAC member Mike Moran had been
promoting the concept quietly for months.
Tom sent me a copy of the legislation right before I left my office. I printed a copy out and brought it to the meeting where everyone present signed it. I
plan to donate this great piece to the upcoming NBS fundraising donation auction. If you collect silver dollars or numismatic ephemera, be prepared to bid.
To read the complete Coin World article, see:
Legislation seeks 2021-CC Morgan
dollar struck at old Carson City Mint (https://www.coinworld.com/news/us-coins/legislation-seeks-2021-cc-morgan-dollar-struck-at-old-carson-city-mint)
Tom also brought along copies of a photo booklet he created on the Numismatic Journey of the Apollo 11 Commemorative Coin. The CCAC was involved in
promoting and choosing designs for this coin honoring Saturday's 50th anniversary of the historic July 20, 1969 moon landing.
Numismatic Journey of the Apollo 11 Commemorative Coin
Pennsylvania Railroad check
John's Gold and Silver Exchange check
Pat brought envelopes with two numismatic presents for everyone at the dinner. First is an unused check for the Pennsylvania Railroad Company,
probably the biggest, richest and best known company in the country in its day.
The second item is from the estate of numismatic literature dealer John H. Burns - a similarly unused check from the coin shop he operated for a time in the
Wilkinsburg area near Pittsburgh - John's Gold and Silver Exchange.
With Pat's current hairstyle a number of people have remarked to him that he looks a lot like Benjamin Franklin. So going all in, he's planning to
be a Franklin impersonator at upcoming Pittsburgh-area coin shows. He showed off his Franklin spectacles and fur hat that Franklin adopted to declare his
humble frontier American roots to the French. Pat explained that Franklin was a city dweller (Boston, New York, Philadelphia) and never visited the American
frontier, but the French ate it up and invited him everywhere (Photo by Tom Kays).
Ivanpah Mining Company One Dollar Note
Here's a rare one dollar mining note I just purchased, and passed around at the dinner. A two dollar denomination was sold as Lot 3031 in the October
16, 2007 Stacks sale of John Ford’s collection. I’d be interested in knowing of any other denominations.
Dave's other exhibits included a great 1802-1902 Scovill Manufacturing Company centennial medal and a 1732 Windisch-Gratz taler.
1802-1902 Scovill Manufacturing Company Medal
1732 Windisch-Gratz taler
The 1732 Windisch-Gratz taler of Leopold Viktorin Johann is listed by Davenport as #1202. This coin was sold as lot 287 in the October 1965 sale of the
Virgil Brand collection. Of all the items, the California silver mining company note is by far the rarest.
Dave can always be counted on to bring some amazing numismatic material.
One of the medals that I brought was a hefty 81-mm bronze medal of Ernest Hemingway designed by French-Spanish medalist Andre Belo. It has a portrait
of Hemingway on the obverse and an impressionistic account of Santiago, the old fisherman, struggling to reel in a marlin on the reverse; the legend on the
reverse in lower-case letters: “le vieil homme et la mer" (the old man and the sea). This coming week marks the 120th anniversary of Hemingway’s
birth. The medal usually resides in my office, providing writing inspiration.
I also brought a medal commemorating Robert Frost, which was issued by the California Friends of Robert Frost; I had seen a copy of it in the
archives at the Robert Frost Library at Amherst College recently and tracked down my own. This is another large piece, 89 mm, and was designed by Francis
Sedgwick, who was a California sculptor and rancher. There are various Frost medals and the poet also was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal, which President
Kennedy presented to him on his birthday in 1962.
Among the discussions in our area of the table was the upcoming Virginia Numismatic Association convention and the medals and the three types of
copies of Karl Goetz’s original 1915 Sinking of the Lusitania medal. But, as usual, topics ranged beyond numismatics, including the Frank Lloyd Wright-designed
landmark Fallingwater, which is not far from next year’s ANA convention, and even popular D.C. restaurants The Dubliner and Martin’s Tavern. I
appreciated the centennial medal of a church in Pittsburgh, St. Bernard, given to me by Tom Uram, who created it, and which was designed by Joel Iskowitz and
sculpted by Heidi Wastweet.
Steve Bishop took the prize for largest numismatic item - a sea-salvaged 1756 Swedish plate money 4 Daler piece.
This section is authored and illustrated by Tom Kays. Thanks!
Be Afraid Be Very Afraid by Jeanne Stevens-Sollman
Aside from what Wayne has already told you, I sat between Joe and Jon and talked with many of the CCAC appointees regarding medallic arts and crafts.
On the other side of Jon sat Jeanne Stevens-Sollman, an award-winning medallion sculptress and environmentalist who lives in rural Pennsylvania and who
observes and depicts natural and whimsical creatures found in farm and field in her work.
She told of her dog who sniffs out mice who trap themselves in her horses’ feed buckets. The dog lifts them out unharmed and carries them about as living
squeak toys giving them freedom with dog breath, and a chance to make amends for horse chow stealing.
One bronze medallion in multiple fitted layers on its epidermis freezes nose and jowls of her dog’s snout in extreme close-up with mouse tail-a-wagging.
Inside the maw is a hopeful mouse, resigned to its fate after a grand banquet followed by a night in the can, that sees that snout as a terrifying apparition,
yet may escape with a slobbering to warn the neighbor mice about it.
I understand Jeanne accepts commissions and it would be well worth it to engage her talents in artworks for environmental education centers.
In a competition where she set about to sculpt a female of note, Jeanne chose Amelia Earhart in a touching piece with aviatrix portrait framed by riveted
aircraft wreckage, juxtaposed with a butterfly wing and the word “Lost.” I get it. Nice!
Show-and-Tell Medals were present from Nummis Nova regulars in good numbers at dinner including an Edward H. Harriman Memorial Medal for the Utmost Progress
in Safety and Accident Prevention, a Scovill Manufacturing Company Centennial Medal of 1902 presented by the Company to George F. Sinclair; Joe ransacked his
office to bring both a Spanish medal with the eminent face of Hemingway and reverse of the Old Man and the Sea, and a Robert Frost medal of 1963, by the
California Friends of Robert Frost; and a medal designed by Karl Goetz, depicting of the Sinking of the Lusitania from 1915 (British version used for rallying
the English to fight the Hun due to apparent “premeditation” as it showed the date of sailing, and not the corrected date of sinking) brought by Tom Kays.
Goetz Lusitania Sinking Medal
Donald Scarinci Impresses Wayne Herndon with Invisible Medal
FROM LEFT: Pat McBride, Dave Schenkman, Eric Schena. STANDING: Dick Peterson, Jon Cameron
Dick Peterson, Jon Cameron
Numismatic paper at dinner included a counterfeit fifty cent fractional currency of George Washington [Received for all United States Stamps “Not Approved
March 3, 1863] with an old tag reading: “Counterfeit money – Made at Stone House half mi[le] above Alliance Furnace on Jacob’s Creek, [Fayett] Co.in 1865.
Cancelled and stamped “counterfeit” at [Treas.] Washington D.C. One of the first counterfeiting in the USA.” I don’t agree with the last statement, by the way.
The cancellations are punched and inked with “Counterfeit” in rude letters across poor George Washington’s face.
Early American paper ephemera including lottery tickets floated past including a Washington City Lottery #1 for cutting the CANAL through the City of
Washington, to the Eastern Branch Harbour (obviously this was not the winning ticket which would have been redeemed for prizes) along with a Federal City
lottery ticket #2 for improvements of the Federal City (Subject to the discount of 5%), and a Grand Consolidated Lottery ticket (cost a Quarter) for internal
improvements, literature, and charities in the City of Washington, [and in the States of Delaware, North Carolina, and Louisiana.] (subject to a reduction of
15%) and printed in Washington City in 1828.
Eric brought scarce obsolete paper money from New Market, Virginia, issued September 17th , 1861 in one bit (12.5 cents), ten cents and three cent
denominations, payable in Virginia money when presented in sums of five dollars or more. Lastly a Payable to Bearer on Sight, One dollar bill that was issued
from the Ivanpah Consolidated Mill & Mining Co at 308 California Street in San Francisco reminded us of the nationwide extent of wildcat banking in the
Mary Lannin writes:
I always love seeing how clever and multi-layered Jeanne Stevens-Sollman's medals are....she is extremely talented!
The Ivanpah mining note is pictured above with Dave Schenkman's other material. Here are images of some of my early Washington, DC lottery tickets, with
three different names for the under-construction city.
Improvement of the Federal City
The Canal Through the City of Washington
Land and Cash Lottery District of Columbia
Clockwise from left: Roger Burdette, Erik Jansen, Steve Bishop, Wayne Homren, Joe Esposito, Tom Kays, Jon Radel, Jeanne Stevens-Sollman, Mary Lannin
(hidden), Don Scarinci, Wayne Herndon, Tom Uram. Pat McBride, Dave Schenkman (Photo by Eric Schena)
Our meetings are always enjoyable, but our guests made this quite a special evening. Thanks to everyone who attended and assisted with this article.
'Til next time!
Image courtesy Wayne Homren
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