Catching Up On Whitman’s Baltimore Show

Those following the weather-related events around Washington, DC have seen how a little wind can set the local electric companies into a tizzy. Most of us in the effected areas feel that the restoration experience more represents the Keystone Cops rather than a responsible utility company. The last few blog posts have been previously scheduled. Now that power is restored and the refrigerator has been cleaned and restocked, it is time to talk numismatics.

Before the storm, I attended the Whitman Baltimore Expo. While their June show may be the smallest of the three shows that are put on in Baltimore, it still remains a premier show on the east coast, only rivaling its other two shows and F.U.N. for being amongst the best of non-A.N.A. shows. This may be a biased view since the Baltimore Show was the first show I attended when I returned to numismatics following the untimely passing of my first wife. But I am still amazed how Whitman can put on a good show three-times per year!

Friday, after a morning appointment and a delay in leaving, I backed out of my garage and headed to the highway. Over the last year, there is a new highway that will bring me to I-95 a lot quicker than driving down to the Capital Beltway. The ride was a pleasure since it new highway is a toll road and people seem to be allergic to tolls. My problems began when I exited to I-95 North. An accident and two major construction projects extended the usual one-hour trip to nearly two-and-a-half hours! I should be used to this type of traffic living in the D.C.-area, known as the worst on the east coast, but Capital Hill is not the only place where one could find mindless acts.

I could not park in my usual location because it was full, so I was further delayed by trying to find parking near the convention center. Thankfully, my new hip allows me to walk further distances and I was only 35 minutes late for the talk by Don Kagin. While I did arrive in time to take some pictures (a very small sample are on Pinterest), I wish I could have been there for his entire talk.

Before walking the bourse floor, I did have business to conduct, some of which I will discuss at another time. Suffice to say that I took the opportunity to see some people, shake hands, and show my appreciation for their work. Amongst the people I was able to see was Michelle Coiron, Director of sales for Star-Spangled 200 and David Crenshaw, General Manager of Whitman Expos. Both do a great job for their organizations and deserve a sign of appreciation.

Then it was time to hit the bourse floor. As opposed to other times I was at the show, there seemed to be quite a bit activity even as the day wore on. I was pleased to see quite a number of people attended the show that late on a Friday. It keeps the dealers happy and at their tables. I really did not see an exodus begin until about 5:30, about a half-hour before closing.

I spoke with a few dealers who said that business was steady. Most of the coin dealers seemed to be happy while most of the currency dealers called the show a little slow. If anything, I was a little disappointed with some of the currency dealers. With my interest in Maryland colonial currency, I was looking at their inventory for something I could add to my collection. I did not find much colonial currency and what I did was not from Maryland. The only dealer who had any currency in stock from Maryland had 1774 notes, which are the easiest to find.

Since I was late, I passed a number of dealers I spoke with in the past so I could cover as much of the floor as possible. I was not in much a buying mood but I was able to find the 2012 silver one-ounce Chinese Panda and Australian Koala. Both beautiful coins and will be added to what I call my “silver dollar” collection—silver coins 38-40 millimeters in size, like the American Silver Eagle, British Britannia, and Canadian Maple Leaf.

Being in a good mood and wanting to do some thing different, I did spend a lot of time with the exonumia dealers. I saw some really wonderful medals, tokens, and encased coins that really piqued my interest. Rather than buying just anything, which I could have done given my good mood, I applied a little personal discipline and stuck to my goal of finding something neat at every show but limit it to fit in my collection of New York City-related numismatics.

While searching through one dealer’s stock I found my “oh neat” item from New York. What I found was made of pewter, 35½mm in diameter, 3⅓mm thick, and holed on the top. It became irresitable after reading the obverse that says, “Two Cities As One/New York/Brooklyn.” On the reverse in true Victorian style, it says “Souvenir of the Opening of the East River Bridge/May 24th, 1883/1867-1883.” In 1915, New York City renamed it the Brooklyn Bridge.

On May 24, 1883, thousands of people crowded lower Manhattan and Brooklyn for the grandest of all ceremonies from all over the area—even as far away as Philadelphia. The list of dignitaries was a Who’s Who of the political America that included President Chester A. Arthur, New York Governor Grover Cleveland, and New York City Mayor Franklin Edson. The carriage carrying President Arthur and Mayor Edson lead the parade surrounded by a very large cheering crowd.

At 1:50 PM, the processional arrived at the entrance of the new bridge, President Arthur and Mayor Edson left their carriage and crossed what was the world’s longest suspension bridge arm-in-arm to a cheering crowd who paid $2 for tickets to watch from the bridge. The band played Hail to the Chief as ships who came to the ceremony and anchored around the East River blew horns to honor the President. Navy ships who were invited to the ceremonies took turns giving 21-gun salutes.

When they arrive in Brooklyn, they were greeted by Brooklyn Mayor Seth Low The three men locked arms and marched to the Brooklyn Pier (today, the area of Brooklyn Bridge Park) to complete the ceremony dedicating the bridge to the people of the New York City and Brooklyn.

Growing up on Long Island, my late mother insisted that during some of our breaks from school that we play tourist and visit various places in and around New York City to learn about where we are from. During the trips to Rockefeller Center, a place I would work in the 1990s, we would visit the Chase Manhattan Bank Money Museum. Up until it was closed in 1977, it held one of the best collection of numismatic items outside of the Smithsonian Institute. Ironically, the Smithsonian was the recipient of some of the items in the museum following its closure. Another beneficiary was the American Numismatic Society who still retains their part of the Chase Manhattan Collection.

This museum was source of fascination, especially after I learned about collecting while searching through the change I made delivering the afternoon Newsday on Long Island. Somewhere, buried in a box, I have a pamphlet from one of my visits to the Chase Money Museum. I remember the cover was blue and it had a “money tree” on the front. As a youngster, that was significant because my father would lecture me by saying, “money doesn’t grow on trees.” Although the item was made to look like a tree with coins coming off the branches, it was a source of comic relief at home. Otherwise, I do not have a souvenir from the museum. Until now!

Searching through boxes from the same dealer I bought the Brooklyn Bridge medal, I found an encased Lincoln Cent from the Chase Money Museum. In fact, I found several from various dates. Of the ones I found, I bought one with a 1956-D Lincoln Cent that still had its red luster! Even though I could not have visited the museum in 1956—it was before I was born—it was the only coin that looked uncirculated. Rather than try to find one that would have been from the time I could have visited, I picked the better looking coin. Now if I could find my pamphlet, it would make a great part of my New York City collection.

My next show will be the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money in August at the Philadelphia Convention Center. I will have a lot planned for those few days and should make for an interesting story. Stay tuned!

Follow Me To Baltimore

I will be attending the Whitman Coin & Currency Expo today at the Baltimore Convention Center. I will be getting a start later in the morning because of previously scheduled engagement. But I should be there for most of the afternoon. Those following me on Twitter (@coinsblog) can read my realtime thoughts on the Expo. Those following me on Pinterest can watch the board “Whitman Baltimore Expo 29-June-2012” for any images I can capture during my time in Baltimore.

While at the show, I will be attending the MSNA Distinguished Lecture to be given by Don Kagin about the bank notes of the War of 1812.

Collectors Corner CoinSearch At June 2012 Baltimore Expo

Although I usually do not post press releases verbatim, timing and relevance to the Whitman Baltimore Coin & Currency Expo this weekend makes this an exception. Besides, it is about technology and I am for any personal tech that will improve numismatics. I will be attending the show on Friday and will provide a full review thereafter.

Find Coins Fast With Collectors Corner CoinSearch™,, at June 2012 Baltimore Expo

(Baltimore, Maryland) – The first mobile application of its kind for collectibles, Collectors Corner CoinSearch™, will be available free during the upcoming Whitman Baltimore Coin & Collectibles Expo. The unprecedented mobile app will let collectors instantly locate specific coins they’re looking for at the show, June 28 – July 1, 2012.

The free Coin Collectors Corner CoinSearch™ mobile app lets users see photos and information about specific coins available at the Baltimore Expo.

Collectors and dealers can use the free Collectors Corner CoinSearch™ mobile app to instantly locate Baltimore Expo dealers who have specific coins in inventory.

The new service from Certified Coin Exchange (CCE) uses state-of-the-art mobile technology and is compatible with all mobile devices. The Collectors Corner CoinSearch free app is available at

“The app was successfully beta tested with great results at the recent Long Beach Expo, and we’re now offering it for collectors and dealers at the Baltimore show,” said Cassi East, President of CCE, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc. (NASDAQ: CLCT).

“Coin buyers will be able to use their smart phones, iPads or other mobile tablet devices to find the exact coins they’re seeking during the Baltimore Expo, and even prior to the show. They»ll also be able to immediately pinpoint the exact bourse floor locations of the dealers who have those specific coins in their inventory.”

Before the show, dealers can list coins in their Collectors Corner inventories that they’ll have at their Baltimore tables. Collectors and other dealers then can use the Collectors Corner CoinSearch mobile app to easily locate any coins they’re seeking.

The ability to post Collectors Corner listings in the Baltimore Expo CoinSearch data base at will be available for all CCE member dealers at no additional charge as part of their CCE membership.

“CCE members can call us at (800) 733-6623, and we’ll walk you through the easy download mechanics,” explained East.

“This is an incredible, free service for collectors to locate exactly what they’re looking for. Everyone can use it,” said David Hall, President of Collectors Universe. “Mobile apps are the future, and this is a great collaboration between dealers, collectors and show promoters to bring together buyers and sellers.”

Additional information about the Whitman Baltimore Expo is available at

Additional information about the Collectors Corner CoinSearch app is available by calling Collectors Corner at (888) 469-2646 or by visiting

Images courtesy of Collectors Universe, Inc.

Don Kagin: Our Nation’s First Circulating Currency: The Treasury Notes of the War of 1812

MSNA 2012 Distinguished Lecturer Series Presents
Dr. Donald Kagin
Our Nation’s First Circulating Currency
The Treasury Notes of the War of 1812
Friday, June 29, 2012 2:00 PM
at The Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo
Baltimore Convention Center
Room 301 (2 floors above the bourse)

Don KaginThe fourth speaker in the Maryland State Numismatic Association (MSNA) annual Distinguished Lecturer series will be Dr. Donald Kagin, one of the country’s leading numismatists and numismatic researchers. Don was raised in a numismatic household. His father, Art Kagin, was also a respected numismatist. Numismatic education has been a top priority for both Don and his father throughout their careers.

Don is widely recognized as the country’s leading authority on pioneer gold coins. He also has an exceptional numismatic education Don was awarded the first ever Bachelor of Arts degree in numismatics, this from Northwestern University, and holds the first (and only) Ph.D. in numismatics in the country which he earned at the Union Institute and University in Ohio. His Ph.D. major studies resulted in the book Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States, which won the Numismatic Literary Guild’s (NLG) Best Book of the Year award, and which remains the definitive reference on pioneer gold. His Ph.D. minor studies were on early American currency, and his chapter on the early notes of 1812, included in Friedberg’s authoritative study of American currency, is also still the definitive work in this area.

Don contributes to the Official Guide to United States Coins and the Coin and Currency Dealer Newsletter, which he founded. He regularly publishes articles in a number of leading periodicals including Money magazine, U.S. News and World Report, Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, and The Numismatist. He has made several radio and television appearances. He received the American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) Heath Literary Award for several of his articles. As chairman of the American Money and Gold Rush Museum, he strongly contributed to the passage of a Congressional bill for the San Francisco Mint commemorative coins, the proceeds from which will go for the renovation of the historic old San Francisco Mint. Don served two terms on the ANA Board of Governors. He is also an expert numismatic investment advisor having written the book Donald Kagin’s Personal Guide to Rare Coin Investments, which won the NLG’s Best Investment Book of the Year award.

Don’s lecture is entitled “Our Nation’s First Circulating Currency: The Treasury Notes of the War of 1812.” It will be presented at 2:00 PM on Friday, June 29, 2012 in Room 301 of the Baltimore Convention Center during The Whitman Coin & Collectibles Expo. Don will also bring examples of the Treasury Notes from the time of the War of 1812.

A Second Bicentennial

Following the end of the American Revolutionary War in 1783, Britain concentrated its efforts in colonizing Canada and defending itself in Europe. After the turn of the century, the British Empire was threatened by France with the rise of Napoleon Bonaparte.

As the new nation was forming and expanding, the British were also expanding and began to recruit Native American Tribes to agitate the Americans. The British were also hijacking American merchant vessels, many trading with France.

Some historians call War of 1812 the United State’s second revolutionary war. The primary reason for declaring war on Great Britain was after years of the Royal Navy harassing or capturing merchant ships bound for France. At the time, England was in the middle of the Napoleonic Wars and was trying to prevent France from getting the supplies it needed. This lead to President James Madison writing a letter to congress explaining England’s actions. Although Madison did not call for a declaration of war, the Democrat-Republican lead congress voted to declare war on Great Britain (79-49 in the House, 19-13 in the Senate). Madison signed the declaration on June 18, 1812. It was the first Declaration of War passed by the new nation.

To commemorate the bicentennial of the start of the what has been called America’s Second Revolutionary War, the Star Spangled 200 and the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission held Sailabration in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor.

The week long celebration featured concerts, vendors, tours of Fort McHenry, tall ships, air show by the famous Blue Angels, and more.

As part of the celebration, the Star Spangled 200 organization was present to sell the 2012 Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Proof Silver Dollar and promote the sale of the other options.

To assist the Star Spangled 200 organization and the coin clubs of Maryland, the organization invited the Maryland State Numismatic Association to set up a table on the side of their tent to promote the coin clubs of Maryland. MSNA and the Montgomery County Coin Club Vice President, your blog host, staffed the table on Sunday.

Aside from promoting collecting and the clubs of Maryland, I was also able to help talk with visitors about the 2012 commemorative coin to the various visitors. For seven hours, I stayed with the wonderful staff of the Star Spangled 200 organization talking with many visitors.

coinsblog's 2012 Sailabration in Baltimore album on Photobucket

Follow Me On My Star-Spangled Adventure

Today, March 5, 2012, the 2012 Star-Spangled Banner Commemorative Coins will go on sale with a launch ceremony at the the Fort McHenry National Monument and Historic Shrine. Program is scheduled to begin at 11:00 A.M. at the Visitor Center and sales to begin at 11:30 A.M.

According to the media release from Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission, the group organizing the bicentennial of what historians consider America’s second revolutionary war against the British, “Those who purchase a coin that day will receive a Certificate of Authenticity from the United States Mint and a special acknowledgement from the Maryland War of 1812 Bicentennial Commission.”

In addition to the coin sales, specially made chocolate versions of the coins will be offered by Kirchmayr Chocolatiers, a Baltimore company specializing in fine European chocolate.

If you cannot make it to Baltimore for the launch, fear not! Your intrepid blogger will be making the trip, camera and iPhone in hand. As part of the trip, I will be live tweeting on Twitter from Baltimore. Follow me @coinsblog to read about the ceremony and see some the pictures I take. I plan to shoot video of the ceremony and will post an edited version later this week.

Did You Know?

Fort McHenry was built prior to the War of 1812. The fort is named for James McHenry, Secretary of War, 1796-1800.

Fort McHenry aerial image and nugget courtesy of the National Park Service.

Whitman Expo Trip Notes

For the first time since the 2008 World’s Fair of Money, I went to a coin show. Attending the Whitman Baltimore Expo was timed so that I could be there before the Annual Meeting of the Maryland State Numismatic Association (MSNA), but so not to spend a lot of time on my bad leg. When I arrived after 1:30 PM, there was still nice activity on the bourse floor. Although some dealers had left the show, there was a significant presence. After carefully assessing the landscape, it appears that the folks at Whitman has moved dealers around so that the area near the entrance continues to have active dealers.

Seen on the way to the Whitman Baltimore Expo!

On my way to Baltimore driving north on I-95 from the Capital Beltway, I came upon an interesting looking turquoise truck. As I approached, I noticed it had Taylor Swift’s signature. While I am not one of her fans, seeing a concert equipment truck on I-95 is not a usual occurrence. Searching on-line, the truck must be traveling to New York from Columbia, South Carolina. Taylor was playing November 20-21 in Madison Square Garden.

When I arrived I did a quick tour of the bourse floor toward Halls B and C. For this show, I found that the dealers in Hall C were the most active and had the some of the more interesting items. Before going into the Hall C area, I found a dealer in foreign coins to sell some Canadian silver dollars. With that money, I went to Hall C and purchased 2011 silver Panda and Britannia coins.

Time was short, so I went to the third floor to find the meeting room for the MSNA meeting. Since the floors above the bourse were reserved for educational seminars for the American Physical Society, meeting rooms for the Whitman show were reserved more than half-way to the Camden Yards end of the Baltimore Convention Center. If you have not visited the BCC, it is a very large structure and the walk is not easy for someone with a bad leg. But I made it and the MSNA Board accomplished some work.

2012 Maryland State Numismatic Association Officers

Amongst the agenda items was the installation of officers. With that, I am now the Vice President of the MSNA. Since this is the first time I am an officer, I have to buy a red sports jacket like the rest of the board. I should have one by the Whitman Expo in March.

On my return to the bourse floor, I noticed more than half the dealers had packed and left the show. For me, this is not a problem since I was more interested in the interesting item from the dealers that were left, primarily at the far end of Hall B and the dealers in Hall C. For the first time, I stopped at the table of a dealer who was selling ancient coins. Although I am not a collector of ancients, I have supported Ancient Coin Collectors Guild (ACCG) and their efforts to prevent import/export restrictions on ancient coins. I spoke with the dealer for a few moments asking questions about the ancient coin market.

I also had the chance to speak with Bob Hall, a numismatic book dealer. Every time I see him at a show, I make sure I stop by his table. Hall has a wide selection of books from the current to the old. He is also a good conversationalist who really knows his stuff. Even though I did find a book I was interested in, it was a bit out of my price range. I will try again in March.

One thing I noticed is that there did not seem to be a currency area. Currency dealers were found in different places and not in one particular area.

At the end, I sat at the table of one dealer in Hall C and went through his “junk bag” of foreign currency. Flipping through those notes gave me an idea for a collection and potential exhibition. If I can find currency with the appropriate characteristics, I will have an exhibit ready for the Whitman Expo in March.

After the show closed for the evening, returned to my car happy to be off of my feet. After a stop for an appropriate beverage, I spent the next hour driving home.

That was a lot of fun, even for a few hours. I will have to look into going to a smaller show before the next Whitman Expo.

coinsblog's 2011 Whitman Baltimore Expo - Fall album on Photobucket

O Baltimore!

Today is the Annual Meeting of the Maryland State Numismatic Association (MSNA). The meeting is being held at the Baltimore Convention Center during the Whitman Baltimore Expo. I am looking forward to this meeting because I was nominated as Vice President of MSNA.

The MSNA was founded in 1972 that could function as a central organization for Maryland. From humble beginnings out of John Henry’s vision with nine charter clubs, MSNA now represents 20 Maryland clubs.

Another reason why I am excited is that I have not been to a coin show since the 2008 World’s Fair of Money that was held at the Baltimore Convention Center. A bad knee has prevented me from going to coin shows. Although my knee does not feel better, I am going to the convention center a few hours before the MSNA meeting and visit the bourse. I am going to try to limit my walking, but I look forward to doing this. (And this will allow my wife to stay home read in peace!)

Obviously, I will bring my new iPhone 4S with me which will allow me to tweet about my adventures. Follow @coinsblog on Twitter to read my tweets. Hopefully, I will be able to take pictures and pass them along in real time.

Stay tuned for my show report!

Sunday Afternoon in Charm City

Sunday traffic to Baltimore was not bad. Even though the Orioles were playing the Atlanta Braves at Camden Yards (the O’s crushed the Braves 11-2), there was not a lot of traffic in downtown Baltimore. I was able to park in my usual overpriced location at the Sheraton Inner Harbor Hotel and hobbled my way through the lobby, up the escalator, to the walkway between the hotel and the Baltimore Convention Center.

I know that some dealers wanted Whitman to bring back Sunday hours, but when I was there the floor was empty. It appeared that more than half of the dealers left before the Sunday session but the number of people there appeared less than I saw before closing on Friday. Maybe this is not a good indicator of the potential for Sunday attendance because of the nearby Orioles’ game. Rather than regular parking rates, nearby lots charge “event rates” which may keep people away. The next Whitman Baltimore show will be November 12-15. The Baltimore Ravens, who play in nearby M&T Bank Stadium, will play on Monday night that week. We will see how Sunday hours do in November without competing events in downtown Baltimore.

The great thing about going to these shows are the people you meet. There are some dealers that it is great to talk with. They are wonderful, hard working people who make this a great hobby. These are also the dealers that I continue to buy from because not only do they deserve my business, but they also sell at a fair price, which all that we collectors can ask for.

Every show always has an underlying theme, a type of coin that seems to be more prevalent with the dealers and looked after by the buyers. This time it was interesting because nearly every dealer, regardless of what they were selling, had rolls or singles of the 2009 Lincoln Bicentennial cents. One dealer whose inventory contained a lot of silver coins as well as gold and silver bullion also had rolls and singles of the cents for sale. There were others with the D.C. & U.S. Territories quarters and Presidential Dollars, the 2009 cents were a dominant theme.

While talking with that bullion dealer I found very nice examples of the 2009 silver Maple Leaf and Panda. While the Maple Leaf was very full of luster and is a solid and consistent design, I continue to be amazed at the artistry and craftsmanship of Chinese Panda. Since they hired a new artist in 2001, the design of the Panda coins have been phenomenal. The artistry and the quality of the strike makes the Panda something really special to own.

As I looked over the shoulder of the buyers searching the cases, I noticed that 20th century United States silver coins were a popular choice. From early Washington quarters to Walking Liberty half dollars, I noticed quite a few people interested in silver. And not just silver coins, quality early issues of these popular series. Even some later series were receiving attention, like the Roosevelt Dime and Franklin Half Dollar. I think this is the first time since I have been attending this show that I observed the dominant coin was not the Morgan Dollar.

Even though the Sunday session was sparsely attended, I still had the opportunity to meet and talk with a lot of good people. I even found a Father’s Day present for my father that I know he will like. I also know he reads this blog so this purchase will remain a secret until he receives it next week!

In keeping with my tradition, I had to find that one “oh, neat” item. This time, it was given to me shortly after my arrival on Friday. Following the setup of my exhibit, I spoke with Patti Finner in the Kids Korner. While speaking with her, she gave me a card with a type 2 blank cent planchet and an uncirculated 2008-D Lincoln Cent. A type 2 planchet is one whose rims were upset, the last step before striking. The planchet and the cent are in US Mint-type blister packaging and attached to a card explaining the “Before and After” of the process. The card was produced by the US Mint in conjunction with the h.i.p. program (History In your Pocket) for teaching children about coins and collecting.

I will be talking more about my conversation with Patti Finner in another post, but I would like to publicly thank her for this neat card and our very educational conversation.

If you made it this far, I am sure you can guess that my exhibit did not win at the show or I would have mentioned it at the beginning. The exhibit that one was a person who collected half-cents that were clipped during the minting process in each of the positions of the clock. He presented 12 coins in the layout of a clock that showed each coin and their clip. It was a very interesting and fun exhibit. It was a very fun and educational experience. I learned a little about exhibiting and will be making adjustments in order to do better next time—and there will be a next time. At least I received an uncirculated 2009 Silver Eagle for participating.

I know that sometimes it seems that buying coins online either through auctions or dealers appears easy, but you should really try to visit a coin show. You should meet the people in the hobby. You should see the coins. There is nothing more fascinating than looking at a case full of shiny silver dollars or something you are not collecting. By being on the bourse floor, you can meet dealers and other collectors. You can ask questions. You can get a better appreciation for this hobby beyond just accumulating. It is a hobby of people bound by the this passion for numismatics and that makes for a fun day at a coin show.

My Day In Baltimore

There are few shows like the thrice yearly Whitman Baltimore Expo. There are other large shows that are very well attended and Whitman is trying to expand their show portfolio to places like Philadelphia, but Baltimore supports this show three times per year. It is an amazing sight that has to be experienced to really appreciate.

I left home a bit late this morning after doing some work. With my backpack and cane, I drove to Baltimore. The drive to Baltimore was uneventful except, meaning the traffic on the Capital Beltway was bad. As I turned off the highway onto I-395 toward downtown Baltimore I had a sinking feeling. At the first traffic light I looked in my bag and realized I left the backing to exhibits at home. After taking the time to cut the backing to size, the feeling of instant panic was almost consuming.

Rather than go to the Baltimore Convention Center, I veered to downtown to find a place to stop and think. I looked at the iPhone and started to look up locations of craft stores. After finding a store not too far away and calling to confirm they had sheets of felt, I brought up a map with directions and drove to the store.

After purchasing four large pieces of felt, I rushed to the Sheraton Inner Harbor, where I usually overpay for parking, and hobbled to the Convention Center. After claiming my Exhibitor badge, I entered the large exhibit hall and found the exhibit area next to the Kids Corner. I was the last to set up, but I made it to my cases.

My exhibit is titled “The Bicentennial In Numismatics.” It is about one-third of my collection of numismatic-related bicentennial memorabilia put on display for all to see. Aside being a great milestone for this country, the bicentennial coinage marked the first time those of us at the tail end of the Baby Boom era experienced a change in design in our coinage. Numismatically, it is a fun topic. There were so many medals and tokens produced, it was difficult to reduce the number of items to fit in four cases.

As I setup my cases I realized that I left a few medals and a two dollar bill at home. I had one two dollar bill that was stamped in Philadelphia on the first day of issue, but I wanted a second one to show the reverse that was an engraving of John Trumbull’s painting “The Declaration of Independence.” Oh well… next time I will be more organized.

After I completed my setup, I looked at the other cases in the exhibit area. There were some differences between their cases and mine. Each had a different theme, but had a strict order to them. I felt that mine was not so much an exhibit but a celebration. In fact, I had a few people view the exhibit just after I set it up and commented as to how they remembered the coins, medals, and the celebration. Even if I do not win, I know that at least one person enjoyed the exhibit!

If there is one thing I do not like about my iPhone is the quality of the built in camera. Even with the glare of the overhead lights, I think I was able to capture images of the cases to give my readers an idea of my exhibit. The following is a slideshow of the cases as stored in a Photobucket album:

I will have more to say about the show in another post. But I wanted to mention that amongst the people I met, I had a nice conversation with American Numismatic Association Vice President Patti Finner. I met Patti at the Kids Corner where she was ready to talk about anything numismatics. I invited her to speak at my coin club the next time the Whitman show will be in Baltimore. She was very gracious, full of energy, and looking to help as best she could in making her talk a success for our club. I really appreciate her taking the time to talk with me.

Exhibits competition results will be announced at 11:00 AM on Sunday morning. Stay tuned!

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