Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) President Mitch Ernst is proud to announce Dennis Tucker and Chris Seuntjens as the 2021 recipients of his annual “Sower Award”. The sower is an allegorical image of a person planting seeds in a field portraying hope for the future.
“It is my privilege to bestow the “Sower Award” to two gentlemen, who from my observation and experience epitomize the spirit of the ‘sower’,” said Ernst. “Both have shown, by example, the spirit of the sower, which is ‘Sow good seeds and let time do the rest’.”
Dennis Tucker is best known as a publisher at Whitman Publishing, specializing in books on numismatics, banking, and financial history. Less known is that about 15 years ago he started spending and dropping Buffalo nickels to be found in public venues.
“I’ve ‘dropped’ more than a thousand of the coins so far—in airports, public parks, playgrounds, and hiking trails,” Tucker said.
More recently, he began organizing older portions of his collection, portions that he no longer actively collects, and began “sowing” these items – which include United States Mint pewter replicas of the Comita Americana medals and other bi-centennial medals. High traffic areas are his target, and the numismatic items are not hidden too cleverly since the goal is “for them to be found soon and treasured, with minimal exposure to the elements.”
“Give those coins, medals, and tokens you have accumulated over the years a new and noble purpose in life. Put them to work. Sowing is easy. And it can start a newcomer on the path to hobby fun,” Tucker said.
Chris Suentjens is a long-time coin dealer from Des Moines, Iowa. Always looking for ways to attract the interest of YNs in the hobby, COVID-19 gave Chris a particular challenge. He started a Facebook group called “Americans Helping Americans”; in essence, a bulletin board for good ideas and good deeds of people finding ways to help families cope with schools begin closed and kids being home with little to do.
Christopher’s Rare Coins made a post on Facebook offering 20 free foreign coins to whoever wanted them. That outreach shipped out over 2,000 coins to families. Out of that grew a project of Wheat cents, which again mailed out over 6,000 Wheat cents to kids and families homebound due to COVID-19 restrictions.
Again, not satisfied, Chris worked with the Iowa Army National Guard Youth Program to put together coin collecting kits for kids who had a parent deployed. 100 coin collecting kits were assembled in an assortment of nickels, a nickel album, a price guide, 2×2’s and 2×2 pages, and a magnifying glass. Over 100 of those kits were mailed out. In all, over 11,000 coins were sent to kids in 2020.
“I’m pretty sure there are lots of kids that will be coin collectors for life,” said Seuntjens.
The presentation of the awards will take place at the CSNS Award Ceremony scheduled to take place at the ANA World’s Fair of Money on Friday, August 13 at 8:00 am. Previous recipients include Rod Gillis, Clifford Mishler, Dave Harper, Walt Ostromecki, and Rick Snow (2019); and Barbara Gregory, Brett Irick, David Heinrich, and Thomas Uram (2020).
CSNS president Ernst collects coins, medals, currency, etc. with the image of the sower and each award will have a medal from his collection attached to the plaque.