Normally, I do not directly publish news items but this is important for the entire community.
Did you receive an email or call trying to sell you a Philadelphia World’s Fair of Money hotel room?
The ANA did not authorize this.
It has come to our attention that a third-party booking company inaccurately representing itself as our hotel vendor is contacting ANA members, dealers and exhibitors, offering to book you a hotel room at the ANA World’s Fair of Money; some even provide a promotion code or will misrepresent that they are calling from the hotel.
ANA is not utilizing any housing service vendors for the Philadelphia World’s Fair of Money. Nor has the ANA shared your email with anyone.
Room reservations for the Philadelphia World’s Fair of Money should be made directly with the Philadelphia Marriot Downtown (the show’s host hotel) either by phone – 1-888-236-2427 (mention ANA World’s Fair of Money to secure the group rate) – or via our website at www.money.org/worldsfairofmoney/lodging. Should you want to stay elsewhere, we strongly recommend calling the hotel directly or using a reputable online service such as Hotels.com or Expedia.com.
If you provide your credit card information to any of these unauthorized vendors, your card may be charged but you may not have a reservation when you arrive in Philadelphia. Unfortunately, this is a well-known scam perpetuated on unsuspecting conventioneers across the country.
If you have any questions about the World’s Fair of Money hotel block, or general questions about the show, please contact Jennifer Ackerman at email@example.com, Christie Cooper at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call the ANA Convention team at 1-888-448-3262. Complete information about the show is also available online at www.worldsfairofmoney.com.
Did you know that January is National Hobby Month?
After reading that, you are now saying, “But Scott, it’s February!”
Letter from the ANA received in February.
Yes, but I did not know that January is National Hobby Month until I received a letter in the mail from the American Numismatic Association informing me of this fact.
The ANA, like other non-profit organizations, periodically send out what I like to call “beg letters” to members and those who have previously donated in order to solicit donations. There is nothing wrong with these letters. In fact, when I can I do respond to the organizations I regularly contribute to including the ANA.
What is unusual about this letter is that across the top, it tells me that January is National Hobby Month after being sent and received in February.
Since this came on a Friday and it was not opened until after hours, I have not attempted to contact the ANA to ask about this letter. However, if the ANA wants to tell me that January is National Hobby Month, maybe they should do it in January.
I guess things went well at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money. There seems to have been a little reaction on social media and some input from the regular numismatic media, but for the most part, I am going to have to wait until my coin club meeting on Tuesday to speak with those who attended.
My week has not been without the ability to acquire numismatic items. While rummaging through an estate sale I found some Canadian tokens. Since I own a copy of the Breton book, Illustrated History of Coins and Tokens Relating to Canada, this will give me a chance to look into the few token I was able to buy at a very inexpensive price. Who knows, maybe this will spark another collection interest!
A recent purchase of six Canadian Tokens
Finally, I want to wish my brother Joel a Happy Birthday. I cannot believe the old man is 53!
July 31, 2017
As far back as he can remember, he has collected coins. As a young boy, he tagged along with his father to coin club meetings and exhibitions, gaining an interest in Canadian pennies and U.S. cents. "I don't remember not collecting," said Hallenbeck, who owns Hallenbeck Coin Gallery at 711 N. → Read more at gazette.com
July 31, 2017
OSKALOOSA — Jerry Jenkins, a former Oskaloosa resident who now lives in Texas, recently mailed two old coins to the Oskaloosa Herald. Jenkins said he wanted the coins to be donated to Nelson Pioneer Farm and Museum as part of Mahaska County history. → Read more at oskaloosa.com
July 31, 2017
BENGALURU: Investors and history lovers made a beeline this weekend for Nanyadarshini 2017. This was the first edition of the annual numismatics exhibition post-demonetisation by the Karnataka Numismatic Society at Shikshakara Bhawan on Kempegowda Road in the city. → Read more at economictimes.indiatimes.com
August 1, 2017
In 2013, David McCarthy spotted a rare coin in an auction catalog and immediately had a hunch it was the first coin minted by the fledgling United States of America in 1783. Not the first run of coins, mind you, but the very first one. → Read more at npr.org
August 1, 2017
WASHINGTON (AP) — Old inns along the Revolutionary War trails boast of George Washington sleeping there. But coin experts say they have found the first silver piece minted by the United States — one likely held by the most en vogue of Founding Fathers, Alexander Hamilton. → Read more at seattletimes.com
August 1, 2017
A picturesque stretch of land in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula is set to grace a special quarter the United States Mint unveils for 2018. The Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore is among the places featuring on the reverse side for the America the Beautiful Quarters program, officials announced Wednesday at the American Numismatics Association’s World’s Fair of Money. → Read more at detroitnews.com
August 2, 2017
The design for a coin representing Voyageurs National Park was unveiled this week along with the designs for four other national sites to be included in the United States Mint multi-year "America the Beautiful Quarters" program. → Read more at ifallsjournal.com
August 3, 2017
The Royal Mint is celebrating Prince Philip‘s retirement the same way they celebrate, well, all big royal milestones: with a new coin. The Queen‘s 96-year-old husband retired from official duties on Wednesday, after 64 years of service on behalf of the royal family. → Read more at people.com
August 3, 2017
ULAN BATOR, Aug. 3 (Xinhua) — The Central Bank of Mongolia has issued a commemorative coin dedicated to the Gobi brown bear which is on the verge of extinction. The coin made of pure silver has the shape of a circle with a diameter of 38.61 mm and a price of 300,000 togrog (122 U.S. dollars). → Read more at news.xinhuanet.com
August 3, 2017
Recently in The Hill, we heard former Reps. Jim Kolbe (R-Ariz.) and Tim Penny (D-Minn.) promote currency reforms as a way to save taxpayers money. Unfortunately, their proposed solution, The Currency Optimization, Innovation, and National Savings (COINS) Act of 2017, misses the mark completely and would move the country in exactly the wrong direction. → Read more at thehill.com
Ribbon cutting at the opening of the 2017 ANA World’s Fair of Money.
(L-R) Acting Director of the U.S. Mint Dave Motl, Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing Len Olijar, (HELP I FORGOT HIS NAME), ANA President-Elect Gary Adkins, current ANA President Jeff Garrett
Since the World’s Fair of Money has opened let me get into my annual rant:
Why isn’t the show broadcast for those of us who cannot attend?
Once again, work obligations have prevented me from traveling to attend the World’s Fair of Money. Unfortunately, it has been a few years since I was able to attend. I want to go. I want to be there. But since I am not a dealer, Real Life becomes a deterrent.
Since the American Numismatic Association Technology Committee was formed and I was asked to be a member, I have been calling for some way to bring parts of the show to the public that cannot attend.
It is not like there is a big technological barrier anymore!
Twitter has the capability to allow for streaming but I have been told that there are some technical issues that make streaming for a long time a little difficult. Minimally, a standard smartphone could be used to stream videos.
Instagram videos have a one-minute time limit that could also be used those quick hit items.
YouTube has a streaming service but there is a question about accessibility. Google makes YouTube unlimited streaming available through YouTube Red service, their paid service. There is a way to add shorter streaming content on YouTube but it is not as easy.
But if you want easy, there is always Facebook!
The easiest way to stream video on Facebook is the open the Facebook app on your favorite smart phone, go to your timeline, the press the button that says “Live” where it allows you to send an update. The app lets you adjust the camera before you press the button to go live!
Someone does not have to hold a camera. There are adapters for any smart phone that will allow one to attach the camera to a tripod.
For a little more money, a used 720p high definition camera could be purchased, interfaced with a computer, and the video streamed to both Facebook and Twitter. There is switcher-like software that will take the audio and video from the camera and broadcast it using both sites.
Someone could have broadcast the opening ceremonies.
There could be on the bourse floor interviews including at the Whitman booth where famous numismatic authors will be there for autographs.
The U.S. Mint has introduced the 225th Anniversary Enhanced Uncirculated Set. A camera could be brought to their booth to show the set.
Every Money Talks presentation can be live streamed.
Award ceremonies could also be live streamed!
For those of us who cannot attend, having access to video of the show may not be as good as being there but is a darn good substitute.
And the best thing about these videos is that they can live on forever! The broadcasts on Facebook and Twitter will remain on those sites for those who cannot watch live. The videos can be captured and posted on YouTube.
Basically, it is requesting that the ANA being accessible to everyone. It is the ANA being the numismatic resource.
Videos can be sponsored.
[FADE FROM BLACK] “We are here on the bourse floor with Joe Dealer to talk about the show.” But what you did not see is that Joe Dealer donated money to the ANA for that access. Remember, the ANA is a not for profit organization and needs the funds to do this.
Larger corporate sponsors could participate.
It is not like some of them are video streaming virgins. Both Heritage and Stacks-Bowers will be live streaming their auctions at the show. This is not the first time either company has provided these types of auctions.
Live streaming can benefit everyone. The ability to introduce more people to the hobby is invaluable. You can promote the ANA, dealers, and the hobby. If you like what you see, come join us. The more people who become interested can become members.
The American Numismatic Association announced today that Gary Adkins will be the associations 60th President. Gary will take office during the World’s Fair of Money.
Adkins won with 62-percent of the vote.
Don Kagin, who ran unopposed, will be the next Vice President.
With seven available position for the Board of Governors and eight candidates, only Adam Crum was not elected. Crum was a newcomer to the ANA election process and was one of my choices for that reason. He needs to stay engaged and try again in the future. The ANA needs new people and new perspectives.
The election for ANA President was really the only consequential race and I am pleased with the outcome. I wish the new leadership luck and will support them in whatever way I can.
By the way, I think that at least one of the Board of Governors will reach his term limit of five terms for the next election cycle. I hope that this may convince more people to run for the Board of Governors during the next election in 2019. If not, run anyway. The ANA needs new voices and new ideas from all members of the hobby!
Earlier this week I received the ballot information for the election of the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors. There are two candidates for president, one for vice president, and eight for Governors which seven will be selected.
As some of you who are ANA member began to receive your ballots, I have received many emails asking who I support. Since the slate is smaller this year, there is not a big choice. But as a preliminary answer, I have expressed my preference for one of the candidates not be elected as ANA President. I continue to stand by that assessment. Even if Gary Adkins was running unopposed, there would be no issue with supporting his candidacy.
There is also no problem with Don Kagin becoming Vice President. I believe Kagin is the first person who has a Ph.D. in numismatics, is a successful dealer, and I believe is someone good for the ANA.
As for the Board of Governors, only seven of the eight will be elected to the Board. The anti-incumbent sentiment in me says that I should support all those running for the first time: Adam J. Crum, Brian Hendelson, John W. Highfill, and Thomas J. Uram. After reading their statements and watching the candidate forum video, all four will do well.
That means one of the four incumbents have to go. Trying to decide between Steve Ellsworth, Greg Lyon, Paul Montgomery, and Ralph W. Ross is not as easy as I initially thought it would be. I know where I am leaning and why, but I want to take some time to consider my position. I will make my decision sometime the beginning of June.
Until then, you may want to spend the hour-and-forty-seven minutes and watch the candidates forum:
During my nearly 11 years of writing this blog, there has been criticism and compliments of the work done by the American Numismatic Association, its Board of Governors, and its staff. The organization has come a long way during that time and yet has had a lot of bad missteps over the years.
Any organization is not perfect as long as imperfect humans are part of its governance. Humans are imperfect beings and subject to imperfect thoughts, reasoning, and emotions. Emotional responses are human’s greatest strength while being their greatest weakness. Even when humans claim they have a dispassionate response there is a twinge of emotion associated with the final result. For a real-world example of the problems making these types of decision, “Who Gets What” by Kenneth R. Feinberg makes for interesting reading. Feinberg was the appointed Special Master of the 9/11 Victims Fund where his job was to try to dispassionately determine who gets what compensation, or anything at all.
These thoughts came to mind in a recent exchange between two members of the numismatic community over the upcoming ANA Board of Governors election. Published in Numismatic News in “Letters to the Editor” on April 4, 2017 (see the last letter on the page), Ronald Brown appears to make a case for a stronger line between the Professional Numismatic Guild and the ANA by being more of an advocate for the collector/hobbyist. In short, he advocates that if a dealer wants to serve on the ANA Board of Governors there be a sharper division between their business interests and the interests of the ANA.
In the third-from-the-end paragraph, Brown writes, “In my opinion, any person running for office in the ANA must pledge their allegiance to the ANA and void any other membership activity that has the appearance of conflict of interest.” This becomes a line of contention between Mr. Brown and Cliff Mishler, a former member of the Board of Governors and ANA past president.
In Mishler’s response (posted on April 23, 2017) he rightly notes that many ANA members, including those who serve of the Board of Governors are not members of one organization and that this should not disqualify someone from serving. I believe that Mishler is a member of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA), as I am. Like the ANA, the RCNA welcomes all members from around the world. They support numismatics of all types but their members concentrate on Canadian numismatics like the ANA concentrates on United States numismatics.
Should being an RCNA member disqualify either of us to serve on the ANA Board of Governors? It would if we were to follow Mr. Brown’s standards.
This question can be asked of anyone who is a member of any organization that may not be an ANA member or whose mission is somewhat different from the ANA and would prevent members of specialty organizations who could bring a different perspective from serving. It will do nothing to resolve the issue appears to have with dealers dominating the ANA.
A statement that appeared to irk Mishler was when Brown followed up separation suggestion with, “Additionally, stakeholders of coin businesses should put their business holdings into blind trusts for the duration that they hold office in the ANA, to again avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.”
When I first read the statement, I rolled my eyes and wondered who would comment. Mishler, who can come off as a gruff and cranky old man but is really a sweetheart, appeared to have a button pushed and responded in a way consistent with our politically charged environment. Of course, this did not sit well with Brown and he responded.
Both have overstated good points from their perspective but neither addresses the issues in a manner that would let both sides think about why there is a problem.
From a collector’s point of view, the ANA appears to be run with the agenda to do more to protect the dealer than the collector. When there is an issue in the collector community, policies appear to favor the high-value collector. Since most of the members who run for the Board of Governors seem to be either these high-end dealers or collectors, it appears that these dealers and collectors do not understand most of the rank-and-file members. It looks like an exclusive club that regular members can join but are not allowed into the inner circle.
From a dealer’s point of view, many have been members of the ANA for quite some time. They may have started as a vest pocket dealer or behind the counter in another shop, but they grew up in this industry. These dealers have seen the pains the ANA and the hobby has experienced and seen how bad decisions have hurt everyone over time. In the process, they have cultivated good and profitable businesses understanding what the collector wants. After all this hard work, they are not going to give up the businesses that provide their livings because a “junk-box picker” thinks we don’t understand.
NOTE: I am not calling Ronald Brown a “junk-box picker.” I am using it as emphasis based on a conversation I had with a friend about the series of letters.
As always, reality is somewhere in the middle.
I do believe that the policies are a little slanted to the dealer, but not in the extreme Brown and others correspondents claim. Part of the problem is that more members of the ANA Board of Governors, presidents, and vice presidents come from the ranks of dealers, even though recent past presidents Mishler and Walt Ostromecki are not dealers. I believe that four of the nine elected members of the Board of Governors, including President Jeff Garrett and Vice President Gary Adkins, are dealers.
Why is it a problem that dealer have influence on the ANA Board of Governors?
Like anyone else serving on a Board, regardless whether it is a for-profit or non-profit, there will always be an agenda. You will not do anything to hurt your own livelihood nor will you do anything to damage your potential customers. While dealers have ruled the roost, it is difficult to see how everything they have done is bad for the ANA.
Unfortunately, I believe that their views do not consider the ordinary collector or the collector that may be out of the mainstream. I thought Mishler would be more understanding with his noted collection of stickered coins and a former editor at a major numismatic publication. But his response appeared to be more pro-dealer than understanding that there may be a perception of elitism.
Then again, there is the golden rule: He who has the gold, rules! You can see who has the most influence on the organization by those who spend the money for advertising and sponsorships. As we know, this is the way of the world.
The needs of the collector and the dealer can co-exist. While I may never be a customer of a higher-end dealer, I do respect their accomplishments and contributions to the industry. However, there are some who should stop looking down their noses at the junk-box diver or the blogger who will flip through red boxes of 2x2s looking for something new that says “New York.”
As a member of the Technology Committee, I know that there is work being done to try to bridge some of that gap by considering the rank-and-file members. It encourages more involvement to introduce and extend the hobby in a way that some of the older dealers have accepted, regardless of their phobia to technology. Even Mishler, who I heard recently purchased his first cell phone, supports the effort!
Of course, this is not enough but it is a start. Remember, the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
There have been a lot of single steps over the last few years and enough movement to show progress. Progress is not full success and there is a lot more to be done. The only way to move forward to be more responsive to the collector is for collectors to become part of the solution. Collectors should be encouraged to run for the Board of Governors. If you cannot run for the Board, try doing something on a volunteer basis. Work to make your local club successful because sometimes, one of the best solutions is to resolve the issues from the bottom up.
Come in with an agenda. Know what you want to see happen. In fact, if I should ever run again for the Board of Governors, here are some of the issues I would like to see addressed:
- Diversity. Face it, the vast majority of the ANA’s membership is white, male, and over the age of 50. The only time I have seen a diverse crowd at a show was at a FUN show. By diversity, I am also including women and younger people. The hobby has to start attracting a more diverse membership.
- Get Younger. While there are good Young Numismatist programs, they basically end when the YN graduates high school. The hobby needs to think about that gap when the YN drops the hobby for their life and picks it up again when they have their own YN to bring in. This is one area where the perceived elitism of the high-end dealers is hurting the hobby. We should be able to find some way to keep the YN interested all the way through their life without waiting for them to pick up their blue folders again when their kids become interested.
- Club Support. Numismatics is a hobby that can be built from the ground up. Part of that growth are the local clubs. More should be done to support local clubs. Ideas include meeting support where clubs that are getting staid can use the help to bring new ideas to their meetings; program support where the ANA can help arrange for speakers or support other programs that a club can use to highlight their meetings; and advertising support to help get the word out locally. There can also be a club program exchange portfolio where materials used by one club can be borrowed by another.
- Secondary and more accessible publications. Although I love the Numismatist, there is more information out there that needs to be publicized. For example, there used to be a YN journal. What happened to that? A YN journal needs to be brought back at least quarterly. Another idea is a monthly review of articles that appear in other journals. Nearly every regional and specialty organization has a newsletter, bulletin, or journal. Why not allow them to submit articles to be nationally featured?
- More Technology. Last, but not least, leverage the new technology to bring the ANA to the people. This is something I continually bring up with the Technology Committee, but I would like to see convention programs broadcast over the Internet and stored for later viewing. The technology exists to broadcast all of the Money Talks sessions and have it available for whenever someone wants to use it. In fact, those sessions can become part of the club support where instruction is given to the clubs how to use them during a meeting.
I appreciate Ronald Brown’s passion, but I think he needs to be a bit more realistic. This is not the federal government. Dealer’s should not be expected to make the Board of Governors a full-time job without compensation. But he does have a good point about creating more opportunities and adjusting policies for collectors. If he is not a candidate for the Board of Governors this time around, he should consider running in 2019. Maybe I will join him!
Looking for a job in numismatics? The the American Numismatic Association maybe can help. Earlier this month, the ANA launched an online job service. You can find the service at https://www.money.org/job-board.
The Job Board is open to everyone regardless of membership status. Although it would be nice if you were a member, non-members can visit the Job Board and look at the listings.
Employers looking to post a job can post jobs for free until June 30, 2017. After, listing created by members will cost $50.00 and non-members must pay $100.00.
Now that this resource exists, I would love to see jobs that do not require physical presence. For example, one of the job listings is for a Research Assistant. Does this person have to be located onsite? Can this person do research remotely? What about potential catalogers for auction catalogs, websites, and other documentation? Given the information, someone could do this writing remotely.
It is time that the numismatic industry tries to look for ways to expand its ways of doing business and think about how work can be done by hiring someone who can do the work but is not sitting in your office? Even the federal government utilizes telework when it can.
I know that some jobs cannot be done remotely like someone who can take pictures of the items for a catalog or website. But once the inventory is imaged, does the person posting them to the website have to be sitting on your proverbial lap?
I can tell you from experience that telework can make the employee more productive. With the exception of the times I was involved in classified work, I would work from home 90-percent of the time. This included the ability to teleconference. There is a reason why online teleconference services like WebEx and GoToMeeting are popular with business. It is very effective and you do not have to be in the same location.
Sometimes, it is not possible to do everything remotely. That is why there are local employees. But face it, you can hire a part-time employee to take pictures and email the pictures along with the price to someone that will post them on your website and social media.
Now that we have this resource, it is time for the numismatic industry to consider how they can better engage the broader community.
BTW: Has any dealer thought about contracting someone in another area of the country to bring your inventory to a show you would not normally attend? Maybe, if two-or-three dealers want to try this, I may be talked into setting up a booth at the Whitman Show in Baltimore. It is another outlet to market your inventory. Send me a note if you think that this could work and we can discuss details.
Image courtesy of the ANA
In January, I reacted to the intent of one of the candidates announced to run for President of the American Numismatic Association. Since then, I learned there will be competition for that position. Last week, it was reported that Don Kagin will run for Vice President and the various numismatic outlets have been reporting on others interested in making a run for the ANA Board of Governors.
While reading the stories of the people who announced their intention of running for the Board of Governors, I have to admit that I do not recognize any of them. But that is great. It means that there are people who are working more on a local level to apply their knowledge nationally. It also means that there are new people to give the Board new life. I applaud those who have stepped up to run.
Since my missives about the ANA Board of Governors, I have heard from several members urging me to run. It is both humbling and an honor to hear from these members offering their support. Following a few conversations with past Board members and my family, I have decided not to run for the Board of Governors.
Although I remain committed to the mission of the ANA and would like to see the ANA expand to be more inclusive to every demographic other that old, white men, my decision is based simply on timing. I was presented with a business opportunity that will take a significant amount of my personal effort to launch, especially since the opportunity is based on my vision. It would not be possible start a business venture and appropriately serve the ANA at the same time.
Because of conflicts with my business venture, I will not be able to attend the National Money Show in March. This is too bad because I had a plan to use Mickey Mouse ears get attention and talk about the Board of Governors on the bourse floor!
For now, I will continue to serve on the Technical Committee as long as the President, Board, and the committee will allow me. I will also continue to write this blog and include any information and criticism necessary to further the mission of the ANA.
In my blog post “About the ANA Presidency” I said that I would challenge Mike Ellis for the position.While researching what was required to run for President of the American Numismatic Association I discovered that, according to the ANA Bylaws, I would have to have served on the Board of Governors at least one term. Since I ran unsuccessfully in 2013, I am not eligible to run for ANA President.
I learned that Gary Adkins has announced he will be running for President of the ANA. Having worked with Gary as part of my participation with the Technology Committee, I believe that Gary is looking to improve on the work that has been done that has gone into fixing the ANA. He will not be looking for an unnecessary “fresh start!” While I applaud Gary’s decision to run, it will not affect my decision.
The decision to attempt to run for an ANA office is not made lightly. I continue to believe that Ellis is not the right person to be president of the ANA, especially since he wants a “fresh start.” A fresh start from what, the progress over the last few years from the turmoil and lawsuits that he is a likely contributor?
One of the problems with the governance of the ANA is that there are too many dealers and too many selfish people who run for the Board with a personal agenda and not an agenda that benefits the organization. I have nothing against dealers but I do not think they should dominate ANA governance. As for the others, some who say that are interested in the ANA’s well-being have agendas that are not broad enough to progress in a new environment.
Since my blog post I have heard from dozens of members supporting my decision to run. I am very flattered. Their words of encouragement and support has me thinking about running for the Board of Governors. If I make that run, I will be the voice for the average collector while considering what is necessary to keep the entire association from succumbing to the whims of a potential leader with an agenda that does not coincide with the ANA’s progress and goals.
When the decision is made, I will let you know!