When they persisted in questioning him, he stood up and said to them, “The one without sin among you should be the first to throw a stone at her.”
During an open session of the ANA Board of Governor on January 19, 2021, a session not advertised in a prominent location, the Board voted to remove Farran Zerbe’s name from the top service award offered by the organization.
Let’s take a look at the reasons given for removing Zerbe’s name from the ANA award. According to the ANA’s press release:
I have documented inflated prices and deceptively inflated claims by Rare Collectibles TV, DCN Coin Talk, and other scams that walked into my shop that purchased coins from these members of the ANA. the RCTV pitch included Miles Standish, and the DCN Coin Talk pitch included David Ganz. Ganz, like Zerbe, is a past ANA President.
These are not the only cases of inflated claims on coins that have appeared on television. Frequent viewers of “The Coin Collector” on HSN regularly send emails asking if they are legitimate. I purposely avoided the show because I already have heartburn issues, and it would put a severe test on my regimen of Pepcid.
Zerbe also served as head numismatist for the expositions in 1905 (Portland) and 1915 (San Francisco). Were there any accusations for those expos? Or was there cherry-picking of reasons to justify their actions?
What is the difference between the claim that Zerbe made inflated claims on coins versus the television hucksters? Zerbe is dead and cannot defend himself. The hucksters are living and have given money to the ANA.
The first word of this is “allegations.” His actions were alleged. Can the allegations be substantiated? What evidence do they have?
Whatever evidence they have is circumstantial and hearsay. I understand that someone can make a strong case using circumstantial evidence, but when the case is being built against someone who cannot testify, there should be almost no questions.
An example of solid circumstantial evidence would be that if you go to bed, the ground is clear. When you wake up, there is snow on the ground. You did not see the snowfall, but you see the snow on the ground. The snow on the ground is circumstantial evidence that there was a snowfall overnight.
CLAIMS? The ANA Board of Governors has chosen to besmirch the name of a past president, the driving force behind the creation of the Peace Dollar, and whose collection formed the basis of the Chase Money Museum on CLAIMS?
What are the claims? Who made the claims? What documentation do we have of the claims?In the mean time, no dealer was ever sanctioned who paid someone to buy 2014 50th Anniversary Kennedy Gold Half-Dollars that caused problems outside of the Denver Mint and at the World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont. The ANA only released a statement essentially saying “bad boys” to dealers that created the dangerous situations.
The problem I have with all of this is that there is NO documentation offered to the membership. The ONLY documentation provided is a 119-word paragraph, most of it reproduced here.
Another problem I have is that the ANA holds open Board sessions with little advertisement. Had I known about the session, I would have made myself available. Unfortunately, the Board is lax with their membership engagement making it seem they are a club amongst themselves.
The press release does not report the vote total for the motion. I am sure that the press release would report it was a unanimous vote if it was the case. But the tersely written press release suggests there was contention behind the decision. The ANA does not write terse press releases. Look it up!
The decision was made by a Board of Governors with a sitting member that was once asked to resign from a previous Board because “He realized he had made a mistake.” It was a mistake related to a lawsuit against the ANA by former ANA Executive Director Larry Shepherd.
What did Steve Ellsworth add to the discussion? As past president, Ellsworth is a non-voting member of the Board of Governors. However, given his previous actions that left the ANA flat-footed when the pandemic closed everything down, it would be interesting to hear his counsel on this matter.
Unless the ANA Board of Governors publishes the details of the allegations against Zerbe, including source material and where it was discovered, then the move adds the ANA to the “woke community” looking to cancel a historic member of the numismatic community.
Indeed – Yet another instance of Cancellation in today’s culture of unforgiving intolerance. Claims and allegations and accusations, OH MY… How about some proof and context??
Farran Zerbe was a working man’s numismatist from humble means and did more to bring numismatics to the masses than anyone of his time or since. Until his appearance numismatics was the providence of the elite, dominated by those with extreme means and influence who could easily sway US Mint and government officials to their whims and likings. Corruption and collusion amongst these high minded twaddle was the norm and a form of pompous competition. To those high functioning narcissists Mr. Zerbe was an uneducated, uncouth interloper who needed to be put in his place. To condemn Mr. Zerbe for defense of his work in the face of those self serving scoundrels is to condemn any man for his life’s pure work and devotion to righteous endeavor. Has anyone actually read all those issues of The Numismatist, Mehl’s Monthly, Numismatic Society & Club minutes and other references from the early 1900s?
Mr. Zerbe was mostly a man of honor, but not without fault. When personally and ruthlessly attacked during the 1909 ANA elections, he defended himself with the means at his disposal. Mr. Higgins stood no chance against the newly diversifying ANA membership. So he engaged in a smear campaign, then held the ANA’s incorporation and congressional charter hostage for a year. In exchange, Dr. Henderson was elected by acclamation to preserve the appearance of unity. Some these days would seek to glorify Mr. Elder for his contemptuous part, which was nothing more than an egotistical stooge and attack dog of his elite clientele.
The 1904 Exposition medals, and others from subsequent years, were ‘souvenirs,’ and as such were meant to inspire and promote numismatics to the masses. He proclaimed as much in his article “Coins” That Are Not Coins”, The Numismatist, May, 1909, p147. Mr. Zerbe was an entrepreneur of modest means and needed to make a living – a foreign concept to most influential collectors of the time and ‘their’ dealers. What are those medals worth today??
Mr. Zerbe stepped in and bought The Numismatist when those of the illuminati could not be bothered with such a menial endeavor. They were given their opportunities and none responded. Mr. Zerbe realized the ‘Official Organ’ as essential to the ANA’s existence, otherwise it would have died an undignified death – in Dr. Heath’s barn. He salvaged and raised The Numismatist to a world class publication in less than a year. Only later in 1909 when the illuminati realized its power and potential did they pitch a fit and ultimately forced Mr. Zerbe to sell it under duress in 1910. While The Numismatist did ultimately belong with the ANA, its means of extraction was unconscionable.
Why this man has become an anathema to numismatists these days can only be attributed to indolence, cowing and the decadent irreverence for the shoulders on which they and most Americans stand.