POLL: Are you going to attend the World’s Fair of Money?

Earlier this month, the ANA announced that the World’s Fair of Money will be held as scheduled. As part of the announcement, the ANA said that the show would be limited to 300 dealer tables to configured the bourse floor to allow for social distancing. Those attending the show will be asked to maintain social distancing, and masks will be required.

There are no indications as to whether there will be capacity or other limits. Other questions include how are they handling exhibits, room configuration for meetings and talks, and seating for the auctions? How will the banquet be handled?

I am not questioning the ANA’s commitment to health and safety. But I have personal concerns there. There are members with age-related health issues that have to consider their situation before attending. It would be nice if the ANA were more forthcoming about how the World’s Fair of Money will operate.

As we know of the situation today…

Are you attending the World's Fair of Money in August?

No. Either I cannot go or I am worried in the current environment. (42%, 10 Votes)
Yes! I am or will be making reservations. (29%, 7 Votes)
Maybe, depending on my situation (17%, 4 Votes)
Maybe if I can understand the ANA's safety precautions. (13%, 3 Votes)
Yes, but I reserve the right to change my mind. (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 24

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World’s Fair of Money Is ON!

Two days after questioning whether the ANA will have to cancel the World’s Fair of Money this year, they issued a statement saying that the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, will be open for shows.

The ANA press release said that the show would be limited to 300 dealer tables to configured the bourse floor to allow for social distancing. Those attending the show will be asked to maintain social distancing, and masks will be required.

Currently, there are no indications as to whether there will be capacity limits.

I am sure the ANA will do what it can to make the show safe. I encourage you to assess your risks and make an informed decision as to whether you will attend.

Admittedly, I may be more paranoid than many people. Having lost two family members to COVID-19, a long-time friend, and seeing a few others who have had long-haul health issues, I may wait until the last moment before making my decision. My original plans were to attend the last two days of The National (National Sports Collectors Convention) and stay for the World’s Fair of Money. I will skip The National this year and decide whether I go to the World’s Fair of Money by July.

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Will the World’s Fair of Money Be Canceled

Trying to assess the short-term future of our life during this stage of the pandemic has many of us wondering when the numismatic shows will restart? Smaller shows have found ways of being held with required social distancing. A few medium-sized shows have moved to larger venues to allow for social distancing, but what about the big shows.

Organizers of the significant shows canceled their shows while the pandemic caused problems. As the vaccination rate has increased and the infection rates decreased, there is hope that life will return to normal.

In the first sign of the post-pandemic life, Florida United Numismatists continue to plan to hold Summer FUN starting on July 8 in Orlando. Florida health officials have lifted crowd restrictions that would prevent the show from happening.

It is a different situation in Rosemont, Illinois. Currently, the Stephens Convention Center, where the World’s Fair of Money is scheduled for August 10-14, remains closed. Illinois state health officials continue to restrict large gatherings throughout the state.

Although the ANA has not said anything about the World’s Fair of Money, the National Sports Collectors Convention (NSCC) issued a statement warning that their show could be canceled. The NSCC, known as The National, is to the sports collecting business as the World’s Fair of Money is to numismatics. The National is scheduled to be held at the Stephens Convention Center July 28 through August 1, before the World’s Fair of Money.

According to The National’s organizers, the Illinois Department of Public Health will publish their rules about large conventions on or around June 1.

Since the ANA is not communicating with its members about the World’s Fair of Money, watch what The National is saying. If The National is canceled, the World’s Fair of Money will likely be canceled.

Weekly World Numismatic News for May 2, 2021

One bit of news that did not make the numismatic press is that the Coin Collectors Blog sponsored 36 news memberships to the American Numismatic Association. All 36 new members will begin to have access to the ANA, the Numismatist, submit coins to NGC, check out books from the library (oops… I have a few books I have to return), and attend the World’s Fair of Money without having to pay an entrance fee.

I thought it was important to sponsor new memberships to the ANA to bring in new members, especially those with diverse backgrounds and ideas. All the new members should let us know how they collect.

The ANA must evolve to the new environment. The ANA was caught flat-footed when the pandemic changed the environment. Even though the headquarters staff did their best with the resources provided, it was clear that the leadership lacked the imagination to do better.

New members can help. You can tell the ANA what they can do to help make your collecting experience more valuable. You can contact the Board of Governors directly or tell me. I will publish the ideas on this blog. Together, we can make the ANA a better organization.

To the 36 new members: WELCOME!

And now the news…

 April 26, 2021
DALLAS, TEXAS – The first dollar coin struck at the fledgling US Mint in 1794, an experiment in copper that would become the pattern for more valuable silver versions minted later, sold for $840,000 at Heritage Auctions Friday, April 23.  → Read more at antiquesandthearts.com

 April 28, 2021
It may have been the greatest heist of all time, and it took place on the high seas. The royal ship Ganj-iSawai, property of Indian emperor Aurangzeb, had set sail from the port of Mocha on the Red Sea bound for Surat, India.  → Read more at theday.com

 April 28, 2021
Jersey Heritage Hundreds of coins and 35 pieces of jewellery are among the Le Câtillon I hoard which have been bought  → Read more at bbc.com

 April 28, 2021
It may have been the greatest heist of all time, and it took place on the high seas. The royal ship Ganj-iSawai, property of Indian emperor Aurangzeb, had set sail from the port of Mocha on the Red Sea bound for Surat, India.  → Read more at theday.com

 April 29, 2021
A picture made available on 29 April 2016 shows one of 19 Roman amphoras discovered in the town of Tomares, near Seville (EPA Photo)  → Read more at dailysabah.com
Coin Collectors News


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This year, National Coin Week celebrates the anniversary of the last of the large dollar coins. One hundred years ago, the U.S. Mint brought back the Morgan dollar while coming up with a new design that eventually became the Peace Dollar. Also, 50 years ago, the U.S. Mint began production of the Eisenhower dollar. These three coins were 38.1 mm in diameter and were the last of the large circulating coins.

As part of the Nation Coin Week Celebration, the American Numismatic Association is offering a discount on the GOLD (digital) membership. For $5, you can join the ANA for one year.

Let’s make joining the ANA more fun! The first 25 new members who join the ANA through this link will pay Zip, Zilch, Nada!
If you are not a member of the ANA, I will pay your 2021 Gold Membership dues for the first 25 readers of the Coin Collectors Blog who join during National Coin Week. All you have to do is click this link and use the Promotion Code NCW21SB when you check out.

In addition to being the world’s largest numismatic organization, the ANA offers collectors resources to learn more about your collection. Aside from the shows, my three favorite resources are:

  1. The Numismatist. There are a lot of great writers talking about numismatics. The Numismatist brings you the best of the writing that can inspire you to learn more or spend money on new collectibles. With the Gold Membership, The Numismatist is delivered electronically so you never have to worry about it being lost or damaged in transit. Since the ANA has digitized every issue dating back to 1888, it serves as a historical reference of numismatic knowledge. Members can access the digital archives from any computer and there is an app for tablets.
  2. The Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library. If it is not printed in The Numismatist, the Library has more than 128,000 items that members can check out. All you pay is shipping, and you can check out books, catalogs, and other resources. I have a box of books I am going through now!
  3. Directly submit coins to NGC. As an ANA member, you can apply for an account with NGC and send your coins directly for grading and encapsulation. Currency collectors can submit their collectibles to PMG. You will have to pay for the grading service but you can submit without becoming an NGC or PNG member.
Click this link and the first year of your GOLD membership is FREE!

Offer expires on April 24, 2021 or when 25 new members join only at info.money.org/ncw-2021-barman.

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ANA Library Opens Again

A year after the pandemic shut everything down, the ANA Library is back! ANA members can check out books from the library and have them shipped.

The ANA announced the library’s opening yesterday in their monthly Money Mail. After reading it, I found my notes with the four books I want to consult and submitted a request.

The ANA Library might be the most underused benefit of being an ANA member. The library contains many hard-to-find and expensive books that might be useful for a short time. All you do is pay for the shipping in both directions, and the entire world of numismatics is delivered to your mailbox.

Books are an excellent resource for information that is no longer in the mainstream. For example, I developed an interest in foreign coins used as legal tender in the United States and the foreign coins struck by the U.S. Mint. There are a few resources, and they are challenging to find. None of the books are available in digital format.

Part of my book buying binge

Since the start of the pandemic, I have been on a book buying spree. References books that I wanted to borrow from the ANA were purchased and added to my growing library. The expansion of my numismatic library has forced me to downsize my old techie books. Numismatic books are more fun.

Having a ready library of references helps satisfy my curiosity. A few of the books have references to scanned books and articles found online at both the Newman Numismatic Portal and the Government Printing Office. These resources help in providing background to my reading.

Having access to the digitized editions of the Numismatist also helps. ANA members can access the complete library of the Numismatist via their website or a smartphone app. It has been common to have the app open on my iPad while staring into the computer screen reading another resource.

Since all of the Numismatists are available online, I will be finding new homes for the paper copies taking up valuable shelf space.

Weekly World Numismatic News for February 28, 2021

I still need more signatures to appear on the ANA Board of Governors ballot. If you are an ANA member, please download the petition, sign it with your ANA member number, take a picture with your smartphone and email it to me at scott@coinsblog.ws. Your help is appreciated.

Several people asked about my positions on a few issues. Here are the top three:

  1. I am 100% for reviving the Exhibition Committee. I favor amending the ANA By-Laws to make the Exhibition Committee a required standing committee of the association.
  2. I have no position on the holding of the 2021 World’s Fair of Money now. I know everyone wants a grand show, but I am concerned about general safety. The ANA should wait until May before making a decision based on the facts rather than speculation. Remember, my father died of COVID-19, making me very sensitive to the issue.
  3. Several people expressed concern that the ANA heavily favors the dealers. The perception comes from the number of dealers in leadership roles and making decisions for the ANA. The members in leadership roles are doing what is best for the hobby, but I understand the need for additional input from collectors. There are ways for collectors to be more involved.

I will write more about these issues at another time.

For now, I found four fascinating news stories for the week. The story that collectors should read is from the BBC, “Coins can inspire people to look into the past.” Following their story on Decimalisation in the United Kingdom, they heard from many Britons who shared their coin collecting stories. The piece offers the stories of five collectors and their collections.

 February 22, 2021
Have you ever heard of challenge coins? Maybe you or someone you know has earned one in recognition of extraordinary service.   → Read more at progress-index.com

 February 22, 2021
Old coins are dug up in gardens, bought in auctions, and passed down the generations.  → Read more at bbc.com

 February 25, 2021
Business Insider SA  Feb 25, 2021, 05:53 PM  → Read more at businessinsider.co.za

 February 26, 2021
Whether ancient or modern, coins reflect the culture that produced them, including aspects of politics, economics, religion, and even fashion and style. And it’s even more of a wonder that such exceptional detail can be communicated on such a small scale.  → Read more at artic.edu
Coin Collectors News


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In a meeting this afternoon, the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors voted to cancel the National Money Show that was to be held in Phoenix, Arizona.

The vote was 7-2 with President Steve Ellsworth and Governor Mary Lynn Garrett voting against the measure.

The ANA has not made an official announcement pending discussions with the Phoenix Convention Center. The Board discussed the potential to schedule a future show in Phoenix.

This is breaking news. More to come…

ANA Needs Your Help

The American Numismatic Association needs your help.

ANAIf the ANA needs your help, then the hobby needs your help.

The ANA, like everything else, has been hit hard by the pandemic. Aside from canceling the World’s Fair of Money, the headquarters in Colorado Springs had to close. And with the number of cases rising, especially in areas that were not hit hard in the first wave, the near future is uncertain. Remember, the 2021 National Money Show is scheduled to be held in Phoenix, and Arizona is reporting one of the worst rates of COVID-19 infections in the country!

Earlier today, ANA members received an email from Executive Director Kim Kiick asking members to donate to the association.

After the note arrived, I tried to write to Kim and the ANA to make a recommendation. I received an autoresponder note saying that Kim was on furlough!

I admit that my heart sank when I received that note. Here in the Washington, DC area, furloughs have a real negative feeling. When the government was closed, and everyone was furloughed, we contractors did not get paid. Being on furlough and knowing people on furlough is terrible, especially when you know and like them.

The ANA has not reported the furloughs’ extent, but I am sure that Kim is not the only one. But the furloughs may not be enough. While the ANA is trying to maintain a presence in the hobby, the ANA is not fully operational. For example, the library is closed. I need the library for a project I have to put on hold because they have a hard-to-find book I want.


The ANA is the voice of the hobby and must be viable to ensure numismatics has a future. For the ANA to be viable, the association has to pay the people working in the headquarters. They are the unsung heroes of the ANA. Kim and her staff have held the organization together during the pandemic. They need to be fairly compensated.

Go to info.money.org/fall-appeal to learn how to donate.


Did you know that you can raise money for the ANA just by shopping on Amazon? They have a program called AmazonSmile that will let you shop and support your favorite charitable organization. Just go to smile.amazon.com, find the ANA in the charitable organizations list, select it, and go shopping.

When you purchase an item marked as “Eligible for AmazonSmile Donation,” Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price to the ANA.

If you buy a $30 item from Amazon, they will donate 15-cents to the ANA. But if 20,000 members buy a $30 item from Amazon, the ANA will receive $3,000!

You might say that this is not a lot of money. But when an organization is hurting, everything counts. If you are shopping on Amazon regularly, just shop on AmazonSmile. If you are a Prime member, Amazon will recognize your membership for free shipping.

Amazon has a page that provides information about the AmazonSmile program. Just click here.

You are shopping on Amazon anyway. Use AmazonSmile and support the ANA. I use AmazonSmile for all of my purchases, including business purchases, and I am a Prime member.

An Open Letter to the ANA and its Members

This past weekend, the Newman Numismatic Portal (NNP) held an on-line symposium that was an extended Money Talks session via Zoom. Although using Zoom and the format took advantage of new technologies, it is something I have been trying to convince the American Numismatic Association to do for a long time.

On May 21, 2016, I wrote, “Now is the time for the ANA and any other organizations that provides educational sessions to consider adding online access to their shows.”

Since then, I have been trying to convince the Association that it could extend its reach beyond the Summer Seminar and the World’s Fair of Money by broadcasting the content on-line.

“There are technologies that can help support the bringing the lectures, courses, and other activities to an online community,” I wrote in 2016. “There are a number of web-based conferencing system that requires a minimal amount of technology to broadcast these activities to collectors everywhere.”

I wrote that before the creation of Zoom!

Unfortunately, the ANA President and Board of Governors ignored all previous work regarding online education, making the Association look like an also-ran. Although some of the Summer Seminar sessions appeared online, the NNP Symposium surpassed the reach of the Summer Seminar in both content and impact.

The NNP succeeded where the ANA has failed. The NNP took advantage of modern technology to deliver numismatic education while the ANA, whose mission is supposed to be education, has done very little.


Why has the ANA Board of Governors failed in its mission?

It is easy to lead when times are good. An extended period of good times allows organizations to sit on its laurels. They can point to incremental changes as progress.

Leadership means being able to lead during good times and know how to respond when a crisis occurs.

“What leaders have to realize is that when a crisis hits, you can’t just rest on your laurels and think that everything will move along normally,” says Ronald Riggio, Ph.D., a professor of leadership and organizational psychology at Claremont McKenna College in California. “You need to train, prepare and execute.”

The ANA did not plan. The ANA was not prepared. There was nothing for the ANA to execute. The ANA FAILED in its mission.

The Board was told that it needed to expand to online education. When I was asked, “Can’t the ANA use something like Zoom to create classes?” Not only did I say it was possible, but I also noted other services the ANA could have used.

When I learned that Robert Oberth was appointed the Chair of the Information Technology Committee, I had a conversation with him on Facebook as part of comments to a post on the ANA Facebook page. I used Facebook to keep the conversation open and allow any member interested in why the ANA has failed to meet its members’ obligations.

As part of the conversations, I provided the lines to my writing on the subject. Unfortunately, the conversation has little impact. The ANA is lagging behind everyone in providing online education.

Even though I am not on the IT Committee, it does have institutional knowledge. According to the committee membership list published on the ANA website, Governor Greg Lyon is also a committee member. In his sixth and final term as ANA Governor, Lyon has been involved with the committee since the beginning. Lyon was the original Board liaison to the committee.

Lyon has not said much about the committee and its work either to me or in public. Now, when the ANA could use guidance, where is he? There is an English proverb that says, “cometh the hour, cometh the man.” A term that is associated with Winston Churchill, who stepped up when his country needed him.

Hey Greg, the ANA needs leadership. Where are you?

It has been six months since the crisis began. Where is the Board of Governors? What are you getting accomplished in those “excruciating” Board meetings (your word, Steve)?

The ANA Board of Governors has failed the Association and its members. These are the people who need to resign TODAY and allow new leadership to be selected by ANA members:

  • President Steve Ellsworth
  • Vice President Ralph Ross
  • Governors:
    • Mike Ellis
    • Muriel Eymery
    • Mary Lynn Garrett
    • Greg Lyon
    • Cliff Mishler
    • Rob Oberth
    • Shanna Schmidt

Are there six people who will run for the Board of Governors? If there are, I will join you to make a slate of seven people whose only purpose is to lift the ANA from the morass created by the current Board.

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