HomeClubs & OrganizationsPennsylvania Association of NumismatistsPennsylvania Association of Numismatists PAN eNews for December 2017

Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists PAN eNews for December 2017

By Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN) ……

Season’s Greetings

All of us at PAN wish you a Merry Christmas and a great dose of Holiday Cheer to you and your family and friends. Who wouldn’t mind a nice coin in their stocking? A VF or better 19th-century slabbed type coin would put a smile on most collectors’ faces.

Why not pay a visit to your local coin shop and buy a gift that your special collector will really appreciate?

This issue is loaded with a review of numismatic happenings from the last half of 2017. Please scroll the following pages.

PAN Year-End Donation Special

We are now down to about 60 tickets left to sell for our fundraising raffle. There are only 250 tickets printed with four three-digit numbers on each ticket.
That is four cracks at winning $10,000. The winning number will be the early PA lottery drawing on December 31, New Years Eve.

We are also giving a 1989 ANA convention badge designed by John Mercanti as a bonus gift with each on-line ticket purchase. John hand signed an information card that is included with the medal. It is also a nice gift idea instead of a few scratch off tickets to give to that special person.

Visit the PAN website www.pancoins.org to make your ticket purchase. We will send it out today. We’re getting close. We can email your ticket!

PAN 2017 Fall Coin Show

The PAN Fall Coin Show and Convention started with our ribbon cutting. This one was special as Monroeville Mayor and part-time coin dealer Greg Erosenko cut the ribbon for the last time as Mayor. We presented him with one of our 3” bronze PAN logo medals as a token of appreciation. Greg has come to our opening day ribbon cuttings every year during his term as Mayor. The municipality charter rules invoke a term limit so Greg will move on to new adventures. We thank him and wish him all the best.

The show crowd size was well within our expectations and slightly more than usual. The attendance count was Thursday – 306, Friday – 389, and Saturday – 490 that made a grand total of 1,185 coin enthusiasts passing through the doors.

We had 106 dealers set up. The dealer to customer ratio was 1:12 (see table below). That is not bad compared to other shows. There were more than 40 early bird and wholesale buyers working the show floor.

Most dealers reported a good show and have intentions to return for our May Spring Show to be held on May 10 – 12.

One of the statistics that we like to do is to attempt to track the number of dealers and attendees at coin shows and create a ratio. These are difficult numbers to acquire since not all shows publish both numbers. We have been able to assemble some comparisons for the last few years of a few coin shows. The attendance numbers presented do not include dealers and table help. Some shows combine both so we subtracted the number of dealers listed in their directories. Our goal was to see how the PAN shows stacked up as compared to others. We have never published this list before and have stats going back to 2013. If you run a coin show then we would be grateful for your accurate numbers.

Show attendance statistics, courtesy PANWe view this as a tool to determine the trends and health of the coin business. Major national shows tend to have attendees that are serious buyers. Smaller shows may have a mix of serious buyers and curiosity seekers. There are many other factors that determine the success of a coin show; this is only presented as food for thought. What are your thoughts? Email us at [email protected].

2017 PAN Banquet

The PAN Banquet held on Thursday evening October 26 was a stellar evening at the beautiful five-star LeMont Restaurant overlooking the stunning view of the city of Pittsburgh. Mr. Donald Scarinci presented a talk, “A Brief History of the J. Sanford Saltus Award”. The award was initiated in 1913 by J. Sanford Saltus to reward sculptors “for distinguished achievement in the field of the art of the medal”. A. A. Weinman, one of the finest American sculptors of the Beaux-Arts tradition and the second winner of the award, designed the silver medal presented by the American Numismatic Society (ANS).

Don Scarinci is an attorney and founding partner of Scarinci and Hollenbeck, LLC located in Lyndhurst, NY. He also serves as a member of the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC), which is required by law to review and recommend designs for all coins and medals issued by the United States Mint. Don is a member of the ANS panel of experts to award the J. Sanford Saltus Award. He is a numismatic writer and researcher, and a photography enthusiast.

Don’s passion is clearly medallic art as was evident in his fine presentation. It delved into the history and creation of this beautiful award and the variety of artists of varied creative styles that have been honored over these many years. Examples of the works of the many sculptors were shown to the audience with Don’s explanation of the various styles from the classics of Weinman, Fraser and MacNeil to modern works including fellow CCAC member and Pennsylvania’s own Jeanne Stevens-Sollman. PAN was fortunate to have Don Scarinci come to our convention to open a window into the beauty and symbolism of medallic design.

PAN President (and also a CCAC member) Tom Uram presented Mr. Scarinci with a plaque of appreciation that included our PAN Logo medal dominated by the eagle design that was created by late Chief Engraver Frank Gasparro.

The PAN banquet continued as the band played on. The Washington Jazz Orchestra treated all of us to some great music throughout the evening. It was an over-the-top event!

One of the banquet highlights is the presentation of the PAN Dealer of the Year Award. We have started this back up after a long absence. PAN has recognized that successful coin shows rely on the collectors, the volunteers and the dealers that choose to participate in the organization’s success. We have begun to notice a resurgence in dealers that make the extra effort to promote PAN during their travels around the show circuit.

This year we were proud and delighted to present this recognition to Ed Hammond of Running Bear Coins from Kanona, NY.

Since Ed started setting up at PAN shows, he has typically made time to chat with us on ways that we can improve our show from the dealer’s perspective. We have implemented many of his suggestions that have proved to be successful. We often strive to make each coin show a little better for both our dealers and customers. PAN is very fortunate to have a group of board members that are genuinely interested in what our dealers think and are receptive to their input. We view our organization, dealers and attending collectors as a partnership with the end goal of creating an enjoyable and prosperous environment for all.

The theme of this PAN Convention was Life Membership. We had a surge of members that decided to take the extra step and upgrade their PAN membership status. PAN President Tom Uram and PAN Membership Chairman Rob Throckmorton were delighted to acknowledge some of those members at the banquet.

Coin Corner

Wow! These silver dollars look beautiful! Find out what is wrong with them at the free “Rare Coin Basics Lecture” presented Thursday and Saturday at the P.A.N. Fall Coin Show Oct 26-28.

This was a Facebook post that we did before our Fall Coin Show. We got quite a few comments that ranged between “monster beauties” to “cooked in an oven”. The truth about these Morgan Dollars was not revealed on Facebook but was explained at our lecture. For those that could not attend, here is the real story behind them.

They were purchased in the mid-80s from a marketing company geared to attract those not too familiar with rare coins. They are cleaned, polished and common-date Morgan Dollars housed in a cheap plastic case. After such harsh processing they would only be worth silver value if they were ever to be offered for sale again. These types of companies marketed items at inflated prices to the unsuspecting. The coins are well worn and both sides were harshly cleaned to make them “nice and shiny”. The set was stored in a dark closet for 30+ years and forgotten about (it was viewed as a lesson learned, a stupid purchase).

The coins were pressed into the holed blue cardboard, which could explain the toning. But why were they toned only on one side? The reverses were faced against a thin blue sponge type of material as part of the packaging. This acted as the catalyst over a very long period of time in a fairly consistently controlled temperature environment.

So what do we have now, gem beauties that are worth a lot of money? No, we still have mistreated coins that have a pretty color on one side. The danger of items like this is that they could be removed and placed in single flips with the reverse side up sitting in a flea market or estate auction with the implication of gorgeously toned Morgan Dollars from an old-time collection.

The important lesson to look for first is the worn polished look of the obverse and the equal polished wear on the reverse. Do not fall in love with the toning and blind yourself to the coin’s actual condition.

Also note that everything stated on the certificate is true but fails to mention the long, harsh journey these coins took after they left the mint. You are invited to sit in on our Rare Coin Basics talk that is presented free at all of our PAN coin shows. Knowledge is power and leads to happy collecting!

Coin Show Speakers

We had a distinguished line up of speakers at our fall coin show. Here are some photos taken in our lecture area. John Frost also gave a talk on Barber coinage. Don Scarinci was our banquet speaker and gave a different talk at our lecture series.

Lecture Series Chairman Rich Jewell gave each speaker a certificate of our appreciation and a bronze PAN logo medal. John Frost also hosted a joint meeting of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club (LSCC) and the Barber Coin Collectors’ Society (BCCS).

Dealer News

Bourse contracts for our Spring Coin Show can be accessed and printed out on the Dealer Info page of our website, pancoins.org/dealer-info/ If you print and mail a check, note that the table 10% discount rate expires on April 15, 2018 (Tax Day).

You can also purchase a table, lights and cases on line on the same page. Just click the button. If you choose this option please list your table help in the Order Notes block when filling out info in the check out page.

We Have a Winner!

Congratulations to Ray Burns of Ray Burns Ltd and Gary Grunwald of Cleveland Coin and Currency Exchange. They were drawn for a free table at our Spring Coin Show. Gary and Ray share a corner and a straight table at 704-705. That is a $765 value compliments of PAN and the skill of Jay Woodward that drew out the winning card. Jay of Iron City Coins was the last winner and had the honors.

Scheduling Conflict

PAN has been dealt an unforeseen problem concerning our October 25-27, 2018 Fall Coin Show and Convention dates. The Whitman Baltimore show has moved from November to the same October date as PAN. We have looked into alternative dates at the Monroeville Convention Center but have not had much success. We require a Wednesday through Saturday block and that is difficult to acquire because of other locked in shows at the convention center.

We know that we will lose dealers if we are unable to move to another set of dates. We are confident that we will not loose attendance because of the travel distance to Baltimore. For dealers, an advantage to doing the PAN show is less expense across the board with lower bourse fees, hotel charges, meal costs, free parking and potentially less dealer competition. The question then becomes, if we cannot move our fall show date, how many dealers would we lose? We have dealt with other show conflicts in the past and have managed fairly well to quite well. Our last spring show conflicted with the Denver Coin Expo, the Indian State Show, and the South Carolina State show. We lost some dealers to all three but still ended up with a sold-out bourse floor.

Email us back with your thoughts and choice of shows. We’ll make it a straw pole to gauge the impact. We know this may be upsetting to many of our loyal national dealers. It is equally upsetting to us. Please keep your comments constructive. We’re pretty thick skinned and are keenly aware of the potential impact. Email [email protected].

In Memoriam

Long-time PAN member and active PAN participant Gerald Kochal, 85, of Lititz, PA, passed away on Friday, November 10, 2017. Jerry was a life-long coin collector and a member of the Red Rose Coin Club, the Lebanon Valley Coin Club, the American Numismatic Association (ANA), the Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS), Florida United Numismatists (FUN), and PAN.

Jerry was very involved in PAN’s competitive collector exhibit program just as he was on a national level. He gave many lectures and advice on how to properly display a good exhibit. He was also an ANA Exhibit Judge. His humor, command of presence and approachability was a large part of his character. One of his classic moments is when he emceed a banquet dressed as an Amish farmer. He had a brilliant way to capture the moment when he was in the room. His role as our fundraising auctioneer over many years will be sorely missed. His shoes will not likely ever be filled equally. We bid farewell to our numismatic friend. Memorial contributions can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, 706 Rothsville Rd., Lititz, PA 17543.

New Medal

Another medal project with a PAN connection is being undertaken by PAN President Tom Uram. This is a beautiful 1.5” medal celebrating the 100th anniversary of St. Bernard Church of the Pittsburgh Diocese. Tom is the medal concept designer.

PAN is not a religious organization but has lent its expertise to various groups in the creation process to produce medals that are professionally wrought and artistically beautiful. The very talented Joel Iskowitz, a member of the U.S. Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program (AIP), designed this medal.

Heidi Wastweet sculpted the medal. She has created over a thousand coins, medals, tokens, and rare coin replicas for various private mints since 1987. Heidi is currently a member of the CCAC and has held various positions with many medal societies.

Visit the PAN store on our website to see other medal creations PAN has been involved in producing. This medal will be for sale on our website soon. Medallic Art & Mint has begun to produce the bronze medal. The plan is to mint 1,000 bronze medals. There may be a limited mintage of silver medals of 25 to 50 pieces. Pricing has yet to be determined.

Competitive Exhibits Judging Class held at PAN Fall Coin Show Michigan State Numismatic Society President and ANA Judge Brett Irick conducted a judges familiarization and certification program Thursday morning October 26 at the PAN show. The American Numismatic Association Exhibit Committee approved a requirement that current ANA Judges take a classroom type-training refresher course once every five years. Brett’s class had nine participants of which three were certified as new ANA judges. We thought that was pretty good for a regional show with the short notice about the course training.

The PAN competitive exhibit area was one of the best that we have had for participation in all numismatic categories. There were 73 cases displayed of quality material. The competition was keen with few points separating the first through third place winners. The fall competitive exhibit winners will be published in the next issue of the Clarion.

Fort Becomes a Fellow

PAN board member and numismatic researcher E. Tomlinson Fort has been named a Fellow of the American Numismatic Society (ANS). One of the leading numismatic research institutions in the world, the ANS was founded in 1858 and has one of the most famous assemblages of numismatic objects with a permanent collection of more than 800,000 items dating from the mid-seventh century BCE to the present day. Their library holds some 100,000 books, articles and artefacts. The ANS regularly presents lectures, educates post-graduate students and publishes monographs and journals covering all aspects of numismatic research.

Tom holds degrees in history from the Pennsylvania State University and Mediaeval History and Numismatics from the University of St. Andrews (Scotland). His principal areas of interest are the coinages of Scotland, early Mediaeval Europe and the Roman Republic. He is the owner of one of the largest private libraries regarding these areas in Pennsylvania. Tom has also published articles and studies in a number of American and British periodicals. He has presented papers at conferences in the United States, Canada, Scotland and France. Tom’s research has taken him to museums and archives in New York, London, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Cambridge, Paris, Krakow and Warsaw. He is a member of numerous learned numismatic and historical societies including: the British Numismatic Society, the Royal Numismatic Society, the Société française de numismatique, the Medieval Academy of America, the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society and the North Hills Coin Club. He is presently finishing an article dealing with the coinage of King David I of Scotland (1124-1153) and is working on a monograph concerning the coinage and monetary history of Scotland during the reigns of James VI and Charles I in the first half of the 17th century.

Tom has also posted his research articles on the PAN Facebook page and in recent issues of the PANeNEWS.

A Generous Donation

Most times the visit to the PAN mailbox is uneventful. But not on Saturday, November 25, 2017!

Thank you to the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society for the generous $5,000 donation to PAN. It could not have come at a better time as we make our plans for 2018. This was unsolicited and unexpected but a very welcome surprise. We are grateful. All of the donations that we receive are funneled back into promoting numismatics. We are always trying to raise money to continue our numismatic education programs, to enhance our PANKidZone, to bring in quality speakers, to improve the Burns Reference Library, to keep publishing our print journal, and to attract specialty organizations to our coin shows.

It is not easy to raise money. Our board members diligently try to think of new and fresh ideas. We do have a couple of possibilities that we plan to bring forth in 2018 and look forward to presenting them to our membership.

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About PAN

The Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN) is a non-profit educational organization founded in 1978 consisting of individuals and coin clubs throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and the United States. A life member of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), PAN is dedicated to promoting the hobby of coin collecting through coin shows, lectures, seminars, a published journal, and an electronic newsletter. Our primary focus is learning about art, history, and world cultures through coinage, medals, and paper money. Go to www.pancoins.org for more information, or visit us at facebook.com/pancoins.

NGC-Certified American Silver Eagle Coins Currently Available on eBay


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