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Four speak at California seminar
By Numismatic News Staff
October 04, 2017

Over 50 attendees registered for the all-day Fourth Annual California Numismatic Seminar on Sept. 16. They were there to be educated and enjoy most interesting and informative programs by four noted numismatic speakers and numismatic advocates.

This year’s seminar was again at the Vallejo, Calif., Naval and Historical Museum, and it was a sponsored educational gathering by the Northern California Numismatic Association.

“We are quite proud that four respected numismatists spoke and shared their expertise. The reviews afterwards were completely positive and offer only compliments,” reported Lloyd G. Chan, NCNA’s current president.

“Preparations and invitations began over a year ago, and much effort and energy was devoted not only by me but others, before the seminar’s day and during the seminar. The success is credited to the enthusiasm dedicated by NCNA and supporters.

“Acknowledgement is raised to our generous benefactors of Alexander B. “Xan” Chamberlain and James H. Laird, as well as over 10 Patrons,” said Michael S. Turrini, NCNA’s current treasurer and seminar coordinator.

The four invited speakers were, in order of appearance: Paul R. Johnson, from Unionville, Ontario, Canada; Robert E. Luna, from Benicia, Calif.; Roger Lyles, from Fremont, Calif., and David C. Harper, Numismatic News editor, from Iola, Wis.

The seminar’s theme was “Collecting In Today’s World.” Each speaker offered his perspectives and suggestions.

Johnson began by noting that when he started in numismatics, there was no third-party grading, only printed literature with no Internet, and auctions required in-person bidding.

He emphasized that the social setting, the opportunity to meet and to mingle with fellow hobbyists, remains true, and nothing could replace this advantage.

Johnson pointed out that two age groups need to be attracted: over 30 and over 60, with retirees an untapped audience. He directed one “to collect variety,” not just a specific coin variety but various facets of numismatics, taking an expansive approach over traditional albums and series collecting.

Luna began by noting that three things - gold, low mintage, and high prices - restrict many from better or fuller enjoyment of numismatics.

Luna sought to remember this by pointing out some very attractive areas currently. He was specific in his recommendations: 20th century type set, Franklin half dollars, year set of Peace dollars, Allied Military Currency, Guerrilla Money, Flying Eagle cents, 1943 steel cents, and short sets.

Short sets are the last few years in a coin series, such as the 1941 through 1947 Walking Liberty half dollars. He added that a coin hobbyist needs good reference books, a quality magnifier, and he or she should join a local coin club.

Lyles reviewed, in an enthusiastic tone, much of his collecting experiences since beginning as a child in 1951. What became his hobby then became a professional career.

He displayed his first coin, a holed 1845 large cent, and showed some of his completed collections, as examples of what and how to collect as he did.

Lyles advised to keep a want list, and his begun 1960, and he is still using it. He offered the observation that the “best part of numismatics is the friends”; he continued “gather those together of a similar interest and our hobby would continue for years.”

As to what to collect, Lyles’ message was simple: “Find a niche and have fun enjoying whatever that may be.”

Harper was the clean-up batter in the four-person line-up.

He said, “I would not be in this hobby if it was dying,” and further “it is the people that you meet that are more important than the coins.”

Harper stated “be ready for opportunities.” While the peak year might have been 1964 and precious metal prices have dictated much since 1968, there are still opportunities to enjoy and to collect.

He noted that an avid coin hobbyist needs to be aware of both “external” and “internal” forces that influence and even control the hobby.

As examples of external factors, he cited congressional legislation and the state of the economy. Among the internal forces are changes in organized numismatics.

Harper said reader surveys showed that “40 percent of those in the hobby today began before age 20 and another forty percent after age 40.”

After the speakers finished their four presentations, there was an open panel discussion, with the only time restriction being based on audience and panel questions and exchanges. The event continued past the museum building’s closing time as the discussion continued.

The overall recommendation by the panelists were 1) enjoy the hobby, 2) enjoy something you like to collect, and 3) be educated, learn. Certainly those attending were there to learn.

A highlight of the seminar was the presentation of a President’s Award from the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association. It was given by Paul R. Johnson to Michael S. Turrini for his dedication to Canadian numismatics. Johnson acted as representative of RNCA President Henry Neinhuis.

Each attendee at the end received a keepsake gift bag.

A video was made of the entire program. Copies of the video CD may be requested for $10 each.

They can be ordered from Turrini at P.O. Box 4104, Vallejo, CA, 94590-0410.

To obtain information, visit the website at www.solanocoinclub.com, or email Turrini at EMPERORI@juno.com, or email csnalibrary@gmail.com. Written requests for information can be sent to Turrini at the above address.

Seminars workers were: Michael S. Turrini, coordinator; Donald L. Hill, keepsake gift bags and the California State Numismatic Association Library; Robert W. ‘Bob’ Belleau Sr., registration; Lloyd G. Chan, video and photography; and Herbert Miles, moderator.

A tentative date and theme for next year’s seminar is being promoted: Saturday, Sept. 15, 2018, will be “Why I Collect These?,” returning for the fifth time to the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum. Put the date on your calendar.



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