Follow me to the Roadshow

Although this is not numismatic-related, I thought my readers would like a different type of collectible diversion.

AntiquesRoadshowToday I will be attending the taping of Antiques Roadshow in Virginia Beach, Virginia. As a fan of the show, I am fascinated by the vintage and antique items people find, the stories behind them, and what they end up being worth. Of course they pick out the best stories and phenomenal values to feature on the broadcast, but one can only hope.

Although Antiques Roadshow does not appraise coins and currency, they would appraise medals, military awards, and even old stock certificates that were signed by famous business leaders. Unfortunately, I do not have any of those items to appraise. Since we are only allowed to bring two items to appraise, I am bringing the following:

The poster from Grand Valley State College (now Grand Valley State University) is from a pair of 1972 shows by humorists Dick Gregory and Mort Sahl. It was hung on campus and not made to last. I have not seen another like and and the only listing of it online is in the university’s library. This was picked at an estate sale for $10.00.

The music box is Swiss made and there is a faint hallmark that can be seen on the mechanism that suggests it was made around 1922. The motor works well and all of the teeth are attached and play loudly. The interesting thing about this music box is that it plays six 30-second arias. When it reaches the end of an aria, the mechanical mechanism will move the drum over to play the next one. After the sixth aria it will move the drum back to the first position. This was an auction buy which I forgot what I paid.

If you want to following along, you can follow the various social media outlets for my business Having-Fun Collectibles—after all, it is not numismatics.

It is common for people to use the hashtag #antiquesroadshow on all of these sites. I hope to remember to use this tag.

Have a good weekend!

A Perfect 10!

Coin Collectors BlogSometime in 2005 I began to search the Internet for information about coins. The two major publications, Coin World and Numismatic News, were not quite fully engaged online at that time. There were other online services but there was not something that would be the voice of a collector. Chat boards are nice but they are fractured. I wanted to have a conversation with the community.

Although I have a technical background, I did not know how to create and run a blog. After doing some research I discovered Blogger, Google’s blogging platform. After playing with the administration and learning how to create a blog post, I wrote my first post on October 29, 2005.

In my first post, I said that the coins I like include “Adolph A. Weinman’s Walking Liberty Half-Dollar and Liberty Head “Mercury” Dime, James Earl Fraser’s Buffalo Nickel, Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ $20 Double Eagle, and Bela Lyon Pratt $5 Half-Eagle.” Not much has changed except for my interest in exonumia, especially those pieces with ties to New York City, and the addition of Canadian coins to my collection

The blog has changed, or I would like to think it has evolved over the years. The biggest change was moving away from Blogger to my own domain. As part of the move I decided to create a logo using the allegedly non-existent 1964-D Peace Dollar, and I now participate social media specifically Twitter and Pinterest. What has not changed is the amazed and humbling experience I feel when I look at the server logs to see that more than 1,000 people read my posts—even with the recent slowdown in writing.

To all my readers, past, present and future, THANK YOU for being part of my numismatic adventure!

Stay tune… more to come!

MSNA Inaugurates a new president

The Maryland State Numismatic Association held its annual meeting on Saturday, November 9, 2013 during the Whitman Expo at the Baltimore Convention Center. Following the meeting, the new officers were inaugurated for 2014. Receiving the gavel of the presidency was your favorite coin blogger.

While I would like to say that it was a tough race, I was nominated because I was the previous vice president and elected by a unanimous vote of five people. Truth be told, I forgot to vote! In either case, I accept the honor and trust of the MSNA and hope to expand the organization’s outreach. My first duty will fix the MSNA website that “broke” when my template stopped working properly with the underlining content management system. I hope to fix it by the end of the month.

I do plan to reach out to the member clubs to expand the work of MSNA throughout the state and hopefully grow numismatic participation. We also have a Young Numismatist fund earmarked for a yet to be determined program. If we come up with something good, I will share it with everyone so we can help other numismatic organizations grow.

If you like my tie (click on one of the images to see a larger version) you can buy your own version on Zazzle. Those who have seen me at the last few show have seen the tie. It gets quite a reaction. If you buy the tie, $5 will be added to the MSNA YN fund I spoke about earlier.

Twelve years ago

Twelve years ago, I was a few miles away from the Pentagon when a plane crashed into its side. I remember driving to work hearing about the plan crashes in New York originally thinking that what I predicted many years ago finally came true, a small plane crashed into the World Trade Center. The reports turned grim as I kept driving toward my office.

When I arrived, I sat in the car a while listening to the radio and trying to call friends I knew who worked in lower Manhattan. I remember one was working in the World Financial Center across the street from the Twin Towers. I later found out that he had taken a job on the other side of the river in New Jersey a year earlier.

Another friend was working in 6 WTC, a 40 story building next to 2 WTC or Tower 2. Thankfully, he and his coworkers were able to escape before the second tower collapsed onto that building.

Just after the plane crashed into the Pentagon we were sent home.

I came home to the empty house my late first wife and I bought. She had died five months earlier and this time, the quiet of the house was deafening. I tuned on the television just before the second tower collapsed.

Although it was twelve years ago, I remember the day like it happened yesterday. Those who were around when President Kennedy was assassinated say the same thing about that day. It is difficult to forget these traumatic events, which is good. We should not only remember them but remember what happened after in order to do better next time. We need to learn from history rather than repeat it.

Medal images and descriptions courtesy of the U.S. Mint.

The NEW Official Blackbook Price Guide to United States Coins for 2014

2014 Official Blackbook Price Guide to United States Coins, 52nd EditionLast year I reviewed The Official 2013 Blackbook Price Guide to United States Coins I received as an e-book from the publisher. In that review I was surprised as to the quality information that was in the book including articles that were written by numismatists sharing their expertise with the collecting public. Unfortunately, some of the information seemed dated and needed updating. Apparently the editors agreed and worked to update information.

Based on the review, the editors turned to a numismatist whose experience with computers, the Internet, and writing for the collector who could add the information about using technology to enhance the collecting experience.

This is where your favorite blogger enters the picture.

The Official 2014 Blackbook Price Guide to United States Coins has an new chapter, “Using Technology to Enhance Your Collecting Experience.” Written in plain language for the collector, the chapter discusses what numismatic-related resources are online.

Blackbook Tech Chapter by Scott BarmanThe chapter opens with a brief history of how computers and the Internet has advanced my collecting experiences. This includes a brief history of the Internet from its birth as ARPAnet through the invention of the birth of the World Wide Web and the services we now take for granted. I wrote it so that when you hear something Internet and web history in the news you have the background to understand why it is important.

Following the introduction are sections that helps you find the information you want online. These sections are titled:

  • Online Price Guides
  • News and Blogs
  • Mobile Computing
  • E-books
  • Social Media
  • Buying and Selling Online
  • Auctions (Established auction houses and their online options)
  • Looking into the Future
  • Your Security Online

If nothing else, the section “Your Security Online” may be worth the price of the book. It is something I have written in many forms, in many places, and have lectured about locally. These are general awareness tips that everyone should follow.

To their credit, the editors Mark Hudgeons, Tom Hudgeons Jr., and Tom Hudgeons Sr. read my review and updated the 52nd Edition of The Blackbook to address many of my concerns outside of my chapter. It is a better reference than in the past and worthy of a place in your numismatic library!

Autographs For Education

After autographing my first copy of the book I decided that rather than give away my autograph I want to use it to help raise money for numismatic education. For every autograph, I am asking for a minimum donation of $25 to the American Numismatic Association Florence Schook School of Numismatics to be used to further all numismatic education.

You can either mail the check yourself to the ANA and show me that you donated or give me the check and I will mail all of them together. Checks given to me should be made payable to the “American Numismatic Association” (NOT ME!) with a note on the memo line saying “For The Florence Schook School of Numismatics.”

For your donation, I will autograph the first page of my article above the title and give you recognition here on the blog. Since the ANA is a not-for-profit organization, your donations are tax deductible to maximum allowed by law.

One way to find out where I will be is to follow me here on the blog since I usually announce when I am going to a show. For planning purposes, I will attend the Virginia Numismatic Association Show on Saturday, September 28; the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists show during October 24-26 (my attendance dates TBD) in Monroeville (a suburb of Pittsburgh); and the Whitman Baltimore Expo on Saturday, November 9. I might attend the Wall Street Coin, Currency and Collectibles Show in October if I can resolve a scheduling conflict.

Of course scheduling conflicts do arise, but let me know you if you will be looking for me at a show.

Post Script

Collectors of paper money, world coins, and stamps will be happy to know that the chapter will be adopted for the Blackbook covering those areas in 2015. I will also update the the current chapter since the online world has changed a little since it was written (e.g., Google shutdown the Reader service).

Book cover image courtesy of Random House.

Baby don’t you want to go


Come on, Baby don’t you wanna go
Hidehey, baby don’t you wanna go
Back to that same old place
Sweet home Chicago

Few things make me happier than music. I have been listening and playing music since I was young and learned to play the clarinet in elementary school. This was before I learned about collecting coins. As I get ready to fly to Chicago for this year’s World’s Fair of Money I keep hearing the Blues Brothers singing “Sweet Home Chicago!”

I don’t care what the critics say, the Blue Brothers is one of my favorite guilty pleasure movies!

While you have image of Jake and Elwood Blues dancing on the stage at the Palace Hotel with the Chicago Police and the Good Ol’ Boys looking for justice and revenge, I am on my way to the Windy City to join other American Numismatic Association members in this year’s convention.

Over the next few days, I will be tweeting from the convention center. You can either follow @coinsblog on Twitter or use the widget on the right side of this page. I will also be adding pictures to Pinterest on the board I set up for this show. I will also try to provide a daily update here.

In the mean time, did you know that Augustus Saint-Gaudens, the designer of the last $20 gold double eagle and $10 eagle coins made for circulation also created statues that are in Chicago?

Stay tuned for reports from Chicago!


  • Chicago collage is the box cover of the “Sweet Home Chicago” puzzle from Buffalo Games.
  • Clip from the Blues Brothers is probably copyrighted by someone but it’s on YouTube and now linked here.
  • Images of the statues by Augustus Saint Gaudens from the blog Public Art in Chicago.


Series 1934 $1000 Federal Reserve Note

Series 1934 $1000 Federal Reserve Note

One thousand.

It is written as a one followed by three zeros.

In scientific notation it is written as 1 × 10³.

In the metric system, kilo- is the prefix for 1,000 of something like a kilogram is 1,000 grams or a kilometer is 1,000 meters.

A millennium is one thousand years.

One thousand days ago from today (April 14, 2013, the day this is posted) was Monday, July 19, 2010.

One thousand days from today will be Saturday, January 9, 2016. I wonder if it will snow?

“Grand” is slang for one thousand and Grover Cleveland appeared on the last one grand note produced by the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

In Roman Numerals, one thousand is represented as “M.”

For the computer geeks, one thousand can be written as 1111101000 in binary, 01750 in octal (base 8), and 0x3E8 in hexadecimal (base 16).

If “A picture is worth a thousand words,” then what would one thousand blog posts be worth? You are reading what I never thought would occur. This is the one thousandth post to the Coin Collectors Blog!

When I started this blog on October 29, 2005, there were few websites for coin collectors. Back then, the numismatic publications were barely online and mostly as a place to subscribe to their print editions. Since starting this blog, there has been a growth in numismatic news outlets and other information. Rather than reporting the news, I moved to a little more analysis and opinion on the numismatic news of the day while keeping with other collecting information.

I like to think I started a trend but there are a lot of smart people out there with ideas of their own. I welcome them to online numismatic community.

It has been 7 years, 5 months, 16 days since my first post. I have had a lot of fun writing about my experiences, looking at the numismatic community, reporting some news, providing some analysis, and writing about whatever comes to mind. After all this time I can say that I am still having fun!

To those who have been around from the beginning, thank you for staying with me.

To those who joined since the beginning, thank you for reading.

Now onto the next 1000!

2007 Australia 1000 Dollars Lunar coins obverse

2007 Australia 1000 Dollars Lunar coins obverse

Announcing My Candidacy for the ANA Board of Governors

Montgomery County, Maryland—Newly installed Montgomery County Coin Club (MCCC) President Scott Barman announced that he would be running for a seat on the American Numismatic Association (ANA) Board of Governors.

“I would like to bring new ideas to the ANA that will increase its membership beyond the steady 25,000-28,000 of the last decade,” Scott said in his announcement. “Not only does the ANA need to embrace the future, but find ways of keeping young numismatists engaged after they reach 18 years old instead of waiting for them to find their way back after 40.”

Like many young numismatists, Scott’s collecting pursuits waned when he entered college. Although he carried his old blue folders and albums through adulthood, there was never time to engage in the hobby while growing a career and family. Like many, that changed in his 40s after becoming a widower.

Scott believes that if the technology was as available as it is today, he could have integrated collecting into his young adult activities into his life and continued with his collecting interests.

“Technology has changed a lot since I wrote my first program on punch cards,” Scott noted. “We use technology for everything from our work to talking with our neighbors. Schools teach classes online. Seminars are held online. Virtual organizations meet online. The ANA should embrace technology to keep those between 18 and 40 engaged.”

In keeping up with the technology industry, Scott knows that social media and computer-based learning are part of the fabric of life for those under 40. There is a lot that can be done with modest investments to keep young numismatists engaged as they advance to adulthood and help others interested to engage.

“A number of reports said that more than 3 million people were collecting State Quarters since the program started in 1999,” Scott said. “Why hasn’t that interest translated into more ANA members?”

Aside from making the services and resources of the ANA more available to its members, Scott is worried that the Association does not feel more accessible to the average collector. While the support from the commercial community is important, the ANA would benefit by engaging more collectors.

Building a service platform that the ANA can deliver its content to a wider audience will go a long way to engage current and new collectors. This will help make the ANA a leader in educating the public and possibly a model for similar organizations to emulate.

Another area that has to be addressed is the stability of the ANA Headquarters. For the second time, a dismissed executive director has chosen to pursue a claim against the ANA in court. This gives the appearance of a dysfunctional situation in Colorado Springs. Scott believes that the professionals working for the ANA are competent and qualified, but the Board of Governors must look into what it will take to create an atmosphere to support them and prevent the problems of the past.

“With support for the professionals in Colorado Springs and expanding the use of technology to engage more collectors, the future of the ANA will be very bright,” Scott added.

When Scott returned to collecting in 2002, he joined the Montgomery County Coin Club. Finding a club with an active membership, Scott embraced the challenge to become more active and looked to make an immediate impact. Shortly after joining, Scott became Webmaster of the MCCC website ( and began to contribute to meetings with presentations. Eventually, Scott was elected to the MCCC Board of Directors before being first elected club president in 2008.

Scott served two terms as MCCC president including 2009, the club’s 50th anniversary. Club rules prohibited seeking a third consecutive term, so he became a board member and then vice president. Scott was elected president for 2013 and will continue to serve the club as its president and Webmaster.

After becoming hooked on numismatics again, Scott joined the ANA in 2003 and read everything he could find about his collecting interests. This has lead to Scott joining the American Israel Numismatic Association while collecting Israel currency and exploring his Jewish heritage, and the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association to learn more about Canadian coinage since his second wife’s family is from Canada.

Following his time as a club representative to the Maryland State Numismatic Association (MSNA), Scott became a member and the organization’s webmaster (, board member, then was elected vice president for 2012. MSNA Vice President Scott Barman is serving his second term in 2013.
In 2005, Scott started the Coin Collectors Blog ( that he continues to write today. The Coin Collectors Blog is where Scott has spoken directly to other collectors writing about news, history, instructions, opinions, and whatever else has come to mind. This has lead to articles that have appeared in on-line and printed numismatic publications.

For the last year, Scott has worked with the ad-hoc ANA Technology Committee providing assistance to the ANA Board of Governors to repair and grow the ANA’s technology platforms. His work will continue with this committee and support it being made a permanent advisory committee to the ANA Board of Governors.

Recently, Scott has been working with the Gold & Silver Political Action Committee as political coordinator keeping the membership informed of the numismatic and precious metal news in his locale, Washington, DC.

When not involved in numismatics, Scott is an information security and systems architecture analyst for a not-for-profit corporation that works with the Federal Government. His job is to help the government build systems to serve the public and protect personal information. Scott holds a Bachelor of Science with a major in Computer Science from the University of Georgia and a Master of Information Systems Management with a concentration in information security and public policy management from Carnegie Mellon University.

Scott is currently finishing a book about collecting titled Enjoying Numismatics, A Conversation in Collecting. This will be published as an electronic book to reach the same audience he wants to interest in becoming ANA members.

Scott’s next project is tentatively titled The Policy and Politics of Money Manufacturing in the United States. The plan is to use his interest in public policy and numismatics and study what is behind the minting and printing of money in the United States. It will also help answer the perpetual question, “Why did the Mint do that?”

Scott’s collecting passion includes the coins of the 20th Century, numismatics representing his hometown of New York City and Inwood, Long Island; Maryland Colonial Currency; and Israel banknotes. He is also a fan of Philatelic Numismatic Covers also called coin covers with interesting themes.

Scott is passionate about collecting and the organizations that support the collector and dealer communities. He would like to use his unique background to bring a new perspective to the Board of Governors and to ensure the ANA’s future.

For more information, please contact Scott Barman at

To read more about my platform, visit my campaign website at

My New Medal and a New Adventure

Cool collectibles come in various forms from a number of sources. This week, I received a nice collectible just for doing something I like to do: talk!

I have been a member of the Washington Numismatic Society for about a year and wanted to become involved. During the Whitman Show and the Maryland State Numismatic Association Annual Meeting, I was approached by the bulletin editor who is also a member of my home club sort of cornered me and convinced me to be the November program. He did not have to twist my arm (much) to get me to talk about Maryland Colonial Currency.

Not only have I posted articles about Maryland Colonial Currency (see this, this, that, and here), but I had published a full story in the Maryland Numismatist (Vol. 38, No. 1) that won the MSNA Article of the Year.

Since writing the article I had purchased a few notes and found more information. So I had taken the first presentation [PDF] I made to my coin club that inspired the articles and interest in Maryland colonial currency, and edited it for time and content.

After the presentation, I was presented with a bronze medal from WNS’s 75th Anniversary. WNS is the one of the oldest numismatic organizations in the area who celebrated their 75th anniversary in 2002. The medal is 38mm in diameter and 4mm at the thickest part of the design. It is nicely made by the Medallic Art Company of New York.

Doing this presentation not only reminded me that I have more research to fill in some of the details, but that I am missing notes in my collection. I also found a new group of collectors in the area to learn from, which is always good. I paid my dues for 2013 and hope to attend more meetings.

Coin Magic for a Saturday

It is homecoming weekend at my undergraduate alma mater. For the first time in many years, I am off to join other alumni to relive some good times from our youth in front of more than 92,000 of our closest friends. I’m sure we will find time to watch some football.

In the mean time, let me leave you with this video for a little weekend fun. Magician Rick Lax performs a trick to penetrate a clear drinking glass with a coin.

Rick Lax sent the link to me in hopes I would give him some free publicity. Since it is a cool trick and it only costs $19.95 to learn how to do it, I thought I would give him a shout out for the trick. Click here to learn more about the trick.

If you want to really have some fun, you can watch my personal Twitter stream. I might take some pictures before the game, from the field during pre-game, and provide other commentary during the game!

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