From the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN) February 2015 Newsletter …..
PAN president Tom Uram and PANeNEWS editor and Treasurer Pat McBride flew to Orlando FL to attend the recent FUN Coin Show. This is by far one of the premiere numismatic events in the country. It allows for the perfect venue to promote PAN and numismatics to the most influential people in the hobby today. The yearly gathering hosts over 500 dealers and 10,000 public attendees to buy and sell a range of numismatic material and share opinions on the important issues regarding today’s hobby.
PAN did not have a table this time but we both found it to be an unexpected advantage. We were able to seek out and meet with a lot more people and discuss PAN’s goals and forge mutual agreements to promote PAN with other organizations.
One of our first priorities was a visit to the CoinWeek booth. Videographer David Lisot and Editor Charles Morgan were busy setting up on day 1. We had a very good exchange of ideas to help PAN extend its reach through the use of the very extensive CoinWeek website www.coinweek.com. Their site has been expanding at an accelerated rate the last few years. They agreed to readily publish PAN press releases and significant programs that PAN does throughout the year. David has been producing numismatic videos since the mid 1980’s and is very well known.
A visit to the U.S. Mint booth was a pleasant surprise with sculptor and engraver Don Everhart present. He was set up and demonstrating his artistic talent by working on a clay rendition of Constantino Brumidi, an Italian- American historical painter, best known and honored for his fresco work in the Capitol Building dome in Washington, DC.
PAN President Tom Uram and Don Everhart had a long conversation about Don’s professional life and his path to the U.S. Mint. He has done many coins and medals for the mint. The “In God We Trust” medal that Tom created to celebrate the 150th anniversary of our nation’s national motto on U.S. coinage was also sculpted by Don. The mint’s effort to have Don at the show to talk to anyone that had questions about how a coin is created
and the process that takes place including a myriad of steps involved to reach a point of production was a brilliant idea. His presence was a creative live interactive demonstration that is rarely witnessed beyond the walls of the mint. Don was very approachable and accommodating to sign autographs and chat to anyone that stopped by. Our compliments go to the mint for offering such a fine feature.
Tom Uram is also a member of the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee that periodically meets in Washington DC to make recommendations to the Treasury Department in selecting the designs that are under consideration for future coinage that will eventually be created and placed in circulation.
The next stop on the trail was a visit to the Sixteenth President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln. It is amazing the people that you may stumble onto at a major coin show.
Dennis Boggs is a historical re-enactor that does a very convincing job of recreating the presence of Lincoln. I sat down for a long talk with the president and went over a few old topics and touched on a few current ones also. Dennis has been doing Abraham Lincoln as a full time job. His life as Lincoln started as a hobby with presentations at schools and historical societies but has blossomed into a worthy life endeavor. I first saw him at the Whitman Coin Expo in Baltimore. I didn’t get to speak to him too much then but did this time since it was early in the morning before the public came onto the show floor. We are going to try to have him visit a future PAN coin show.
He is in character most of the time but is not as intimidating, as you would expect. Dennis enjoys speaking with young people about the importance of continuing their education and ties in Mr. Lincoln’s meager beginnings and the ability to achieve great things under extreme adversity. To learn more about Dennis Boggs as Abraham Lincoln: www.meetmrlincoln.com/homepage.html
Lectures at the FUN show are a convention highlight. Coin World Editor Steve Roach hosts one of the more popular sessions. The podium is abandoned in favor of a more informal round table type setting. This particular talk was the top ten numismatic stories of 2014. The audience is encouraged to add comment or questions within the limited time constraint.
One of the top stories that Steve referred to was the resumption of the salvage operations of the S.S. Central America. PAN offered a wonderful opportunity at our past Fall Convention with the appearance of Mr. Bob Evans the chief historian and scientist
of the recovery efforts. Bob presented a lecture on the latest finds and the future of this fascinating subject. The story took a surprising twist with the arrest of the ship discoverer Tommy Thompson in Florida last month. Many thought that he was in a far off location and would never be found. For those that don’t know the story, there is pending litigation filed by salvage investors against him and the current recovery efforts are under the supervision of a court appointed receiver. This story will surly continue to make numismatic headlines in 2015.
Another story Steve referred to was the chance discovery of the Saddle Ridge gold hoard found by a California couple’s attentive dog. It contained more than 1,000 – $20 gold pieces found in old metal cans. Some of the finest known pieces were dug from the ground, conserved, encapsulated, and subsequently markted and sold by Kagin’s.
The 1715 Fleet Society hosted a fantastic display at the show. PAN legal counsel Ben Costello presented a detailed talk of the fleet’s demise off the Florida coast and the treasure recovery that continues to this day. Ben also had part of the display at the last October PAN coin show.
A lecture was also offered about the navigation techniques used in 1715 with replica devices and a demonstration of the function and operational capacity that were used by the crew. The presenter was in period costume and very knowledgeable about 18th century seafaring.
The McLarty Treasure Museum in Vero Beach, FL houses many of the artifacts that were on loan for the show and magnificently displayed.
To view more of the recovered objects view at: atocha1622.com/mclarty.htm
A few last interesting photos from the show include a visit from Rick Harrelson of the popular television show Pawn Stars. Many people lined up to have some of their prized objects evaluated for a chance to appear on the popular show. Rick’s appearance was sponsored by NGC and created quite a buzz on the show floor.
Treasurer of the United States Rosie Rios was at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing booth. Her signature appears on all of
our current paper money. She made herself available to sign notes for collectors to have as show keepsakes. Tom Uram later asked her to sign a couple of things that we can use as part of our yearly banquet auction fundraiser that we hold at our Fall PAN Convention. We have managed to have some of the most interesting items throughout the many years of PAN’s existence. Some of them are sometimes so off the chart that the authenticity is sometimes questioned but rest assured that we always know the provenance of the items first hand. Our yearly banquet has always been a must for collectors to have a chance to acquire some very nice numismatic items.
Tom and I continued to make friendships and contacts to benefit PAN during the week. We were able to add a few new dealers to our bourse floor. We invited more wholesale dealers to visit our show. We had some early talks with the ANA about the Philadelphia Summer ANA World’s Fair of Money that is on the books for 2018. It was a very productive week for PAN. Our next stop is the Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS) in Schaumberg, Illinois on April 23 – 25. We will have a table at this show. It must be said as often before that all PAN board members and volunteers travel at their own expense to these shows with no reimbursement from PAN. The tables at the major coin shows are offered to clubs and associations at little or no cost. All of our funding is used to promote the hobby. It is the passion for the hobby that drives us. Please help us to stay viable through membership in PAN. Information can be found on our website at www.pancoins.org.