by Charles Morgan and Hubert Walker for CoinWeek….
The VNA Annual Convention
Over the weekend, Charles travelled to Fredericksburg, Virginia to take in the Virginia Numismatic Association’s (VNA’s) 56th Annual Convention, Coin and Currency Show, held Sept. 26-27 at the Fredericksburg Expo & Conference Center.
Advertised as the largest coin show in Virginia, it boasted 140 dealer tables. Present were several dealer members of Charles’ local Richmond Coin Club, including President Bill Scott, who offered U.S. material, and Vice President Perry Bragg, whose wares ranged from German notgeld notes to hammered material in circulated grades spanning most of Europe.
Charles also met up with CoinWeek writer David Provost, writer of the highly informative Commemorative Stories articles, as well as a piece on the Mecklenburg Independence Medal, which won the Numismatic Literary Guild’s 2014 Best Column, Small Publisher award. David drove up from Raleigh to score a quality classic commemorative gold coin or two. He ended up finishing off a decade-long hunt for U.S. struck coins from the Philippines instead.
Also at the show was Coin World editor Steve Roach. Steve was the keynote speaker at the VNA Awards Banquet, held Saturday night.
On Sunday, Charles and his wife Ha invited Steve to Richmond to have brunch. They talked about the craft of writing, Numismatics, and a mutual guilty pleasure: reality tv. After that, Steve headed off to visit the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
He sent Charles this image of Theodore Roosevelt with the hilarious caption: “Teddy says ‘sup bro!”
Roman Coin Hoard
22,000 Roman coins from the third and fourth centuries were discovered recently in Devon, England by metal detecting enthusiast Laurence Egerton. Egerton, who took up the hobby seven years ago, discovered what he described as “very small Roman coins” during a dig in a stretch of rural farmland.[cite or reference]
Further sweeping of the area turned up iron ingots and additional coins.
Egerton then contacted the local authorities, who instructed him to fill the holes he had dug and await the arrival of a trained team of archaeologists. The UK instituted laws in 1996 to protect artifacts the government deems culturally, historically, and archaeologically important.
Over the next three days and with the support of the landowner, Egerton stood guard over his find.
It took a team of archaeologists several months to recover the majority of the coins buried at the site. The existence of the hoard was made public late last week.
The Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter has expressed an interest in purchasing the coins. In the event of a sale, Egerton and the property owner will split the proceeds.
The discovery of large caches of Roman coins is nothing new in the United Kingdom. A similar discovery was made by a metal detecting enthusiast in 2010, when a huge jar containing 52,000 Roman coins, also from the third century, was discovered in Somerset.
Viola Joins the CCAC
The Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC), established in 2003, is one of the groups that consults with the Treasury Secretary concerning upcoming coin designs.
There are 11 members on the committee, seven of whom are appointed by the Secretary (the other four are appointed by the majority and minority leaders of both the House and the Senate).
Four of the Treasury Secretary’s nominees are appointed according to their expertise or field of study. One place on the committee is reserved for an expert in American History. Another appointee must be an experienced sculptor or medallic artist. A third member must be a nationally or internationally recognized curator of a numismatic collection. The Secretary’s fourth nominee must be an expert numismatist.
Each member of the committee serves a four-year term.
On Monday, September 29, the United States Mint issued a press release announcing the appointment of Dr. Herman J. Viola to the CCAC. Dr. Viola is an expert in the history of the American West, and will be assuming the history chair. He is replacing Michael A. Ross, an associate professor of history at the University of Maryland at College Park.
Dr. Viola is a curator emeritus at the Smithsonian, and has worked at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.. He has also taught at several universities and has written extensively.