These press releases discuss the founding of the new Institute for Silver Dollar Education and Research. I added the Morgan dollar reverse image.
Introducing The Institute for Silver Dollar Education and Research
Michael S. Fey, Ph.D., Jeff Oxman, and John Baumgart have formed a new not-for-profit Delaware corporation called,
The Institute for Silver Dollar Education and Research, (The Institute). It was formed to continue the educational contributions of Leroy Van Allen and A. George Mallis (VAM) during their lifetimes of research and cataloging. The product of these efforts was published in their ground-breaking reference book, The Comprehensive Catalog and Encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace Dollars, along with more than a dozen other volumes dealing with VAM collecting. Ultimately, focus of the Van Allen/Mallis team was to help the public attribute and collect U.S. silver dollars, and that remains the Institute's mission, as well.
An 1896 $1 Silver Certificate (Educational Note) forms the basis of the Institute's new corporate logo, and images of the 2nd U.S. Mint, a Morgan and Peace silver dollar, and the corporate name are all featured in the artwork.
The basis of the Institute's research library is the recent acquisition by Dr. Fey of the Leroy Van Allen Estate, his reference books, coins and library, each of which represents Van Allen's legacy in both research and education about Morgan and Peace dollars. Van Allen, who devoted his entire life to the hobby, cannot easily be replaced, but Dr. Fey has assembled a
Who's Who of Morgan and Peace silver dollar experts to get the Institute off the ground. Fey, Oxman and Baumgart have become the founding Board of Governors and Baumgart is its new Executive Director.
A key function of the Institute will be to attribute new Morgan and Peace dollar varieties, and assign VAM Numbers to all new discoveries. Leroy Van Allen, Bill Fivaz, David Close, M.D., John Roberts, Michael Faraone, Larry Briggs, David Lange and Randy Campbell have volunteered to serve on the Advisory Board. Baumgart will be the chief attributor, and from time-to-time will be relying on one of the above specialists for assistance in determining new Morgan silver dollar varieties and errors, along with correcting VAM book listing mistakes. Dr. Close will do the same for Peace silver dollars.
Robert W. Julian and Roger Burdette have volunteered as co-historians, adding critical knowledge to the history and evolution of Morgan and Peace silver dollars.
Alex Nocerino, a New York lawyer, and knowledgeable VAM dealer, has volunteered to provide general pro bono legal counsel.
Len Augsburger, noted seated specialist and Project coordinator of the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Portal (NNP) at Washington University in St. Louis has offered technical assistance and document repository space in getting nearly two dozen references on the internet.
Several positions in the organization still need filling, and in particular, a knowledgeable silver dollar expert volunteer to help the organization with social media marketing and advertising is being sought. A web domain,
Ilovesilverdollars.com, has been secured and a professional website is being constructed.
In the future, we envision the Institute for Silver Dollar Education and Research as a major supporter of the hobby, and for those who are like-minded, we are seeking your participation.
There are various levels of involvement as a donor: Founding Organization: $5000+ [Gem+ Donor], $1000 min.; $500+ [Gem Donor], $250 [Mint State Donor]: $100 [Circulated Donor], $25 [Friend of the Institute], and lastly, a vintage silver dollar or any other amount [Supporter]. Those organizations and individuals who donate this year will remain on our
Founding Donor webpage as long as the organization exists!
Thank you in advance for your consideration in supporting our efforts to continue Leroy's research and education about silver dollars. Indeed, we believe everyone in the hobby, including the collecting public, dealers, Grading Services, and even Auction Houses have greatly benefited from the efforts of Van Allen and Mallis, and it is our hope to facilitate continuing his legacy into the future. As Dr. Fey has frequently stated,
In numismatics, Leroy Van Allen has touched all of our lives in the hobby, and it's safe to say that in the future we all will continue to stand on his shoulders.
Bill Fivaz Donates Early Silver Dollar Files to
the Institute for Silver Dollar Education and Research
Noted Variety collector Bill Fivaz, co-author of the Cherrypickers' Guide donated a box of early historical files and records about Morgan and Peace silver dollars to the Institute of Silver Dollar Education and Research.
According to Dr. Michael S. Fey, The Institute's Chairman, this represents some of the earliest research and development efforts on discovery and frequency of observations of various silver dollar varieties known. Contributions and some personal correspondence by early silver dollar experts in the 1970's included: Leroy Van Allen, A. George Mallis, Pete Bishal, Ted Clark, Randy Campbell, Tom Delorey, Martin Field, Bob Reithe, Hoyt Warren and others. Morgan and Peace Silver dollar variety collectors rest on the shoulders of these pioneers.
In the 1970's Bill Fivaz formed a
VAM Club within the Numismatic Error Collectors of American (NECA), which was a forerunner to the
Combined Organization of Numismatic Error Collectors of America (CONECA), with nearly 1000 members today. Along with publisher Leroy Van Allen, and Chairman Randy Campbell, Fivaz contributed 34 VAM Club Reports, published in the NECA Dollar Varieties and Error Scrapbook (1979).
The files will be retained in the Institute's Library for further historical analysis and future publication.
Bill Fivaz is a former American Numismatic Association (ANA) Governor, a Farren Zerbe and Numismatist of the Year awardee, was inducted into the ANA Hall of Fame in 2002, and has an Honorary Doctorate of Numismatics Award.
We'll look forward to hearing more from the new group.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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