The numismatic world lost one of its great pioneers when Chester Lee “Chet” Krause passed away on June 25, 2016 from congestive heart failure. Chet was 92.
I cannot say that I was Chet’s personal friend, but when you were around him he treated you like you were his best friend. The few times we met, he was a gentleman and generous with his time and knowledge. He was willing to talk numismatics as long as he could.
And he insisted that everyone call him Chet.
When I met him for the first time at the 2007 World’s Fair of Money where he became a member of the ANA Board of Governors, I said, “It is a sincere pleasure to meet you, Mr. Krause.” He chuckled as he said to call him Chet. I had a feeling that this was a theme throughout his life.
Chet published the first Numismatic News in 1952 in order to communicate with other coin collectors especially those living in rural areas. Later, he would work with Cliff Mishler to compile the Standard Catalog of World Coins, probably the most significant resource for collectors of world coins. Krause-Mishler (KM) numbers are a standard catalog identification system used by many collectors.
Chet was not just a numismatic publisher. Krause Publications published Old Cars, a weekly magazine for people with interest in classic and antique cars. Krause publications also publishes books and magazines about antiques, crafts, comics, outdoors, and other personal interests. While some see the Standard Catalog of World Coins is seen as a seminal work in the numismatic industry, Warman’s Antiques & Collectibles is a seminal work for those of us in that industry.
Regardless of his success, he was just Chet, an icon but you would never know it if you met him.
On behalf of the world you touched, from numismatics to collectibles, thank you Chet for helping make collecting that much more enjoyable.
Although this is not numismatic-related, I thought my readers would like a different type of collectible diversion.
Today I will be attending the taping of Antiques Roadshow in Virginia Beach, Virginia. As a fan of the show, I am fascinated by the vintage and antique items people find, the stories behind them, and what they end up being worth. Of course they pick out the best stories and phenomenal values to feature on the broadcast, but one can only hope.
Although Antiques Roadshow does not appraise coins and currency, they would appraise medals, military awards, and even old stock certificates that were signed by famous business leaders. Unfortunately, I do not have any of those items to appraise. Since we are only allowed to bring two items to appraise, I am bringing the following:
The poster from Grand Valley State College (now Grand Valley State University) is from a pair of 1972 shows by humorists Dick Gregory and Mort Sahl. It was hung on campus and not made to last. I have not seen another like and and the only listing of it online is in the university’s library. This was picked at an estate sale for $10.00.
The music box is Swiss made and there is a faint hallmark that can be seen on the mechanism that suggests it was made around 1922. The motor works well and all of the teeth are attached and play loudly. The interesting thing about this music box is that it plays six 30-second arias. When it reaches the end of an aria, the mechanical mechanism will move the drum over to play the next one. After the sixth aria it will move the drum back to the first position. This was an auction buy which I forgot what I paid.
If you want to following along, you can follow the various social media outlets for my business Having-Fun Collectibles—after all, it is not numismatics.
- Full posts will be Facebook under the user HavingFunCollects
- Links and images will be posted to Twitter user @HavingFunInc
- Most images will be take with Instagram shared from user havingfuncollectibles
- And I set up a board on Pinterest named “Antiques Roadshow”
It is common for people to use the hashtag #antiquesroadshow on all of these sites. I hope to remember to use this tag.
Have a good weekend!
The European Union was formed after World War II in various forms in an attempt to collectively rebuild Europe by integrating their resources. The first formal attempt was the Treaty of Rome in 1957 signed by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany to create the European Economic Community (EEC) and established a customs union. What we know today as the European Union was established when the Maastricht Treaty became effective in 1993.
As part of the integration under the E.U. is the common currency known as the Euro. First distributed in 1999 with 14 participating nations, now includes 19 of the 28 nations plus the Vatican, Monaco, and San Marino who are not formally members of the E.U. The United Kingdom (England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, and Whales) continues to use the pound sterling, sometimes referred to the Great Britain Pound. Ireland, sovereign from the United Kingdom, uses the euro.The U.K. is holding this vote because Prime Minister David Cameron promised to hold this vote as part of his 2015 campaign. When the Conservative Party won the majority of seats in Parliament, Cameron, as party leader, was elected by Parliament to serve as Prime Minister.
Interestingly, many of the arguments for leaving the E.U. are similar to those being applied by the apparent nominee for the Republican Party in the United States while those campaigning to remain in the E.U. are similar to the apparent Democratic Party nominee. It just goes to prove that regardless of which side of the pond you live, politics is polarizing.
So why is this significant for a coin collector’s blog? We do look at economic matters affecting collecting including those whose collection are being put together for speculation including the purchase of bullion-based numismatics. Also, the outcome could not only affect the world economic system but could also have an impact for those who collect foreign coins.
If the U.K. votes to remain in the E.U. then the status quo remains. The British will go back to their partisan politics and scratch their heads over the U.S.’s partisan politics known as the 2016 presidential election. Markets that have tightened in anticipation of what Brexit may mean could see this as a temporary reprieve.
If the U.K. votes to leave the E.U. the markets may not like it and the economy can go into a freefall. Markets do not like uncertainty and a vote for the U.K. to leave the E.U. would bring about the uncertainty of “what happens next?” and “now what?” Business leaders, who are largely in favor of remaining the in E.U., has noted that it makes it easier for them to move money, people and products around the world. What happens when those doors are closed?
As we have seen when economies are uncertain, markets react by selling off speculative assets, like stocks, and running to safer investments like trustworthy bonds and precious metals. In the last three weeks in the run up to Brexit, gold is up $56 (4.6-percent) in the last three weeks and silver is up $1.41 (8.8-percent). Both are off their annual highs set on June 16 when published polls are suggesting that Stay has a lead greater than the margin of error over Leave.
Market watchers can watch what happens to the Tokyo Nikkei 225 market index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Index. Both are the major indexes in the Asia/Pacific region and will be around their midday trading sessions on Friday.
Collectors looking for something numismatic to add to their collection might want to consider the In/Out UK EU Referendum Medallion produced by Chard(1964), a British metals dealer. These copper medals were produced for the Britons who were undecided. Flip the medal before you vote to decide whether to remain or leave. The Remain side has the E.U. flag surrounded by “Remain,” “Better Together,” “United,” and “Stronger in Europe.” The Leave side has the British Union Jack with “Brexit,” “Independence,” “Leave,” and “Sovereignty.”
Medals are 31mm in diameter and weighs 14 grams. They come in pure copper or Abyssinian Gold, a type of brass made of 90-percent copper and 10-percent zinc that has a gold-like color. They can be purchased for £2.95 each ($4.33 at the current exchange rate) plus shipping (estimated at £6.00 or $8.80) directly from Chard’s website.
The artistic error was found by a member of my local coin club who also participates in re-enactments from the Revolutionary War era. Since he is acquainted with the how items from that period look, he told fellow club members about his find.
While looking at the quarter celebrating the Cumberland Gap National Historical Park in Kentucky he noticed something was wrong. A careful examination of the gun shows the flintlock is mounted on the wrong side.
During that time, since most people were right-handed or learned to shoot with their right hand on the trigger, the flintlocks were placed on the right side of the stock. Doing so allowed the flash created by striking the flint to be guided away from the shooter. If the flintlock was placed on the left, the flash would fire into the shooter causing injury.
Manufacturing technology was very different prior to the industrial revolution. Parts were either case manually with molds or formed one at a time where speed was important, especially to satisfy a government’s order to arm soldiers. It would be impractical to alter the basic mechanism for the majority of guns made. Left-handed guns were custom projects that only the wealthy could afford. A frontiersman would not be the type with the means to purchase a custom made gun with a left-handed flintlock.
Further, look how the frontiersman is holding the gun. He is not cradling the gun with the trigger nearby so that he can fire if necessary. The butt, or stock of the gun is extended forward and the barrel pointed backward. Someone suggested that the perspective on the flat coin may make this look different but think about it, how would you hold the gun if you were standing on a ridge looking westward over an untamed landscape?
Although I did not have the eye or knowledge to pick up on this mistake, surely one of the specialists on the CCAC especially the one appointed to the commission who is a specialist in American history. I do not expect much out of the CFA since their specialties are not really fine arts since the majority of their work deals with the aesthetics of buildings, facades, and fencing around the District of Columbia.
There are 11 members of the CCAC and seven in the CFA and not one of them noticed any problems with this image? If they are allowing historically inaccurate images on United States coinage, then what is their purpose?
- Coin images courtesy of the U.S. Mint.
- Flintlock image courtesy of the Rock Island Auction Company.
Another of my guilty pleasures is How It’s Made on the Science Channel. How It’s Made is simply a show that will demonstrate how every day and other items are manufactured. I am fascinated by seeing the process of manufacturing. Some of the machines that are created to make our everyday items is fascinating. Take something simple as a pencil and think about how a company makes thousands over the course of a day and the non-standard machines required to do this.
The U.S. Mint infrequently posts videos about their coins, people and operations. What I find fascinating is the How It»s Made like videos that shows how they deal with the basic manufacturing process. In the latest video, the U.S. Mint shows how they package American Silver Eagle bullion coins into tubes for shipping to dealer.
The machine is called an Auto Tuber and can be found at the West Point branch mint where bullion coins are struck. After the coins are struck, they are laid flat on trays with the trays being stacked on a rack. From the rack, a machine takes one of the trays, places it next to the Auto Tuber, and pours the coins into the tracks. Using a suction cup fingers, the machine lifts the coins and places them into tube. The tubes are capped, weighed, packaged, inventoried, and sent for shipping.
At the end of the line is a human worker who picks up the packed green boxes you might have seen some dealers advertise for sale as “Monster Boxes” and places them on a pallet for shipping. That is where the one-minute journey ends.
Similar to the standard production videos is the proof set production video from the U.S. Mint in San Francisco that includes a similar machine that places the coins in the holders.
- Monster box image courtesy of Wikipedia.
- Videos courtesy of the U.S. Mint.