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Wisconsin wooden nickel available
By Clifford Mishler
November 01, 2017

Tucked away in northwestern Wisconsin, the Fishbowl Wooden Nickel Coin Club sponsors a coin show at the Siren Senior Center during the community’s annual Summerfest celebrations. This year’s August show hosted 10 dealers, offering a great selection of collectibles to the attending public. Siren is a very rural community boasting a population of only 800 or so, being situated in Burnett County, population about 15,500, about 70 miles south of the Duluth/Superior area and 80 miles north of the Twin Cities. The club issues annual additions to an ongoing run of special commemorative woods marking the events; this year’s offering was a limited edition of 100 pieces. They are available for $1  plus SASE from the FWNCC, c/o Gary Schauls, 2702 150th Street, Luck, WI 54853-3811.


FLORIDA – At the 11th annual FUN summer show in Orlando this past July, as reported in the Fall 2017 quarterly magazine – FUN Topics – of the Florida United Numismatists, a popular bourse floor attraction accorded attendees the opportunity to “Pan for Gold” much as gold rush prospectors did. The issue also features group photos that captured three FUN sponsored busloads of attendees, over 100 in all, originated by the Greater Jacksonville, Palm Beach and West Hernando coin clubs. Convention coordinator Cindy Wibker noted the show bucked the recent trend of weak “hum” volumes for many show bourses.


ILLINOIS – In the Fall 2017 issue of the quarterly ILNA Coin Digest, secretary John Schikora shares with the membership that a purge of the mailing list resulted in a current count that stands at 417. In plugging for new members, he notes that for 2018 the dues for regular and club memberships is increasing to $20 for receipt of “the Digest in printed form.” For those wishing to join as “digital Digest” members, the annual dues will be only $10, but as an inducement to build membership, those individuals and clubs joining in 2018 “will receive the 2018 and 2019 digital Digest for a total cost of $10.”


INDIANA – The Old Fort Coin Club, founded at Fort Wayne in 1956, lost a charter member on Aug, 25, 2017, according to a report carried in the September 2017 issue of the club newsletter, The Chatter. James W. Fairfield, who established and operated Fairfield Coins in 1970, later being joined his son, James D. Fairfield, passed away at the age of 87. Prior to entering the coin business, he was a salesman for National Mill Supply. He is survived by his wife, five daughters, two sons, 21 grandchildren and three great-grandsons.


IOWA – President Dean Parr of the Iowa Numismatic Association offers observations on why people collect coins in the Fall & Winter 2017 issue of its official publication, The Iowa Collector; “. . . some do a lot of roll searching . . . metal detector collecting . . . have gotten the bug for tokens . . . start with a coin folder or album and feel the compulsion to fill all of the holes . . . for some it is the history or art . . . numismatics is all about learning.” In the issue Parr is also pictured presenting Tom Robertson his INA 50-year membership pin.


KANSAS – In the Kansas Numismatic Association newsletter – Across the Plains – editor Steve Carr offers up his “My Two Cents” on the state of the hobby. “Is numismatics a dying hobby? Not necessarily. Top end coins continue to bring huge dollars . . . research has been made much easier . . . But numismatics is not what it was . . . What the hobby needs to grow is just some energy . . . it is at a turning point . . . younger generation does not collect coins . . . older generation is tired and generally no longer does much to promote the hobby . . . the answer to that situation . . . do something for numismatics. You might like it.”


MARYLAND – Members of the Maryland State Numismatic Association won big at the 2017 American Numismatic Association convention in Denver, according to reports carried in the most recent quarterly issue of The Maryland Numismatist: dealer member Julian Leidman was recognized with the Lifetime Achievement Award, he noting the “tradition that Moses lived a full life at 120 years . . . he hopes to be ‘achieving’ for another fifty years”; MSNA treasurer and editor Simcha Kuritzky pulled down four first in class exhibit awards, the first to ever do so; newest member Michael Shutterly was recognized with the Women & Numismatics award and placed as second runner-up in the Best-of-Show judging.


NORTH CAROLINA – In a thought provoking exploration presented in 2017’s third quarter issue of the NCNA Journal, board member Daniel Freeman offers an observation tied to the “good old days” of 1967; “Imagine if you had $1,000 to spend on coins . . . a BU 1916-D dime for $350 . . . a BU 1893-S Morgan for $600 . . . and a BU 1852-C $5 gold for $50 . . . let’s assume BU in 1967 means MS-63 now . . . 1916-D at $16,000 . . . 1893-S at a whopping $225,000 . . . 1852-C at $18,500 . . . three smart investment choices . . . grew from $1,000 to $259,500 . . . passbook savings account paying 4 percent compounded yearly, the account would have $7,106.68 today . . . nice, choice coins can be a great long-term investment . . . be smart today and be sure to live 50 more years.”


WISCONSIN – Diversity was delivered to N.O.W. News readers in the Fall 2017 issue. Fred Borgmann details a Milwaukee Jahrmarkt badge; Tom Casper recalls working for the picker token issuing Krier Preserving Co. at Belgium as a youth; Donald Kocken recounts collecting vintage coin boards, albums  and folders; Jeff Reichenberger presents the case for attributing the EASTMAN counterstamp to Oshkosh. Jerry Binsfeld presents an interview with dealer Joe Pankratz, fifth in a series, but announces a “plan to shift gears and start an ‘Ask A Coin Dealer’ column” in the next issue, inviting readers to submit questions.


NATIONAL – A report recently distributed to American Numismatic Society members indicates the organization for the year through August welcomed a healthy growth of 102 new members, ranging in age from 11 to 72. Other highlights for the year: a recently introduced monthly “Money Talks: Numismatic Conversations” lecture series has been favorably received; the annual Eric P Newman Graduate Summer Seminar hosted eight students in its 63rd year; it placed an outstanding group of 33 ancient coins on long-term loan to the Getty Villa galleries at the J. Paul Getty Museum; and through the intercession of the late Chester L. Krause, it repatriated to  the Salzburg Museum Carolino-Augusteum a 94 coin grouping clandestinely removed in 1945, after establishing their provenance.


Assorted perspectives on the role and importance of reference works and libraries are offered up by 18 bibliomaniacs in the Autumn 2017 issue of The Asylum, the quarterly journal of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. The stories they recount of the lure and lore that drew them to develop and commit to building numismatic libraries are varied, interesting and inspirational. Published contributors to the “Bibliomania Origin Stories” collection range from friends Joe Boling to Bruce Wonder, with eight others of my personal acquaintance interspersed, which made for particularly fascinating reading personally.


Metallurgist Chris Pilliod, in The Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Collectors’ Society journal, Longacre’s Ledger, published three times annually, leads off the August 2017 issue – 100th –sharing with readers his evolution as a “cud” collector. President of “The Fly-In Club” since the 43rd issue, he was just out of college and getting back into collecting, when a fellow engineer at a steel plant in Keokuk, Iowa, on the banks of the Mississippi River, showed him a Washington quarter received in vending machine change that displayed a “great big blob of metal where the date should be.” That encounter “sparked a keen interest for me in error and cud collecting.”


An informative tutorial exploring the purpose and utilization of the Society of Paper Money Collectors’ developing obsolete currency database website is featured in the Sept./Oct. 2017 issue of its bimonthly Paper Money journal. Spearheaded over the past several years by Shawn Hewitt, now SPMC president, this ambitious project is structured “similar to the web portal Wikipedia, where any member can contribute.”


CANADA – The Calgary Numismatic Society, established as the Calgary Coin Club in 1950, which will be hosting the 2019 Royal Canadian Numismatic Association convention, (it previously hosted in 1968, 1975, 1987, 1995, 2005 and 2012) has been publishing a monthly CNS Bulletin since 1959. The club was recognized with 11 first, second, or third place finishes in the ANA’s annual best club publication competitions from 1983 to 2004, and was similarly recognized in Canada by the CNA in 1998 and 1999. The editor since October 1977 has been Neil Probert, who anticipates continuing in that role “for the foreseeable future.”



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