Welcome to the New Year of 2014 and the 27th year of the Greater Atlanta Coin Show!
This month, the show was back into its normal and preferred Joe Mack Wilson Ballroom.
Not unexpectedly, the hotel was very quiet this month with only a few cars in their parking lot when the dealers arrived in the early morning.
The bourse, too, didn't have as much traffic as the before-the-holidays coin shows.
People busily returned from holiday vacations or recuperated from their celebrations while they mentally prepared to return to their normal schedules.
Plus, probably some folks - like a few of our dealers - thought the show was the second weekend.
For those that missed the January show, our next one is February 9. Please note, this year's shows vary from the first to second to third Sundays where we had to work around schedule conflicts.
Some of our dealers began preparing to travel to the F.U.N. show in Orlando later in the week.
For Sunday's show, the dealers and visitors traveled under overcast skies with temperatures in the low 40s and light rain in the late afternoon.
And, just two days later, the area enjoyed (tongue-in-cheek) some snow flurries before the temperatures dropped into the single digits.
A few miles north in the North Georgia foothills, some back porch thermometers registered negative numbers rarely seen in the south - thankfully.
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Coin Show - Monthly Notes from January 2014
Make plans to visit the next Greater Atlanta Coin Show on Sunday, February 9, 2014 to see what the coin dealers have on display and to buy, sell and browse their many examples of coins and currency, jewelry and other collectibles.
At the coin show, the dealers brought many of the favorites - slabbed gold and silver coins, bullion gold and silver, old coins no longer circulating and ancient coins from foreign lands.
One ancient coin of note was a dekadrachm of Greek origin. There are several versions of the Greek drachma coins.
The drachma was the Greek coinage for many centuries. But, in 2002, the euro replaced the modern version of the Greek drachma at a ratio of 340.750 drachma to the euro.
Sunday's coin, a dekadrachm, was a beauty in the mid 5-digit range of value.
Interestingly, President Teddy Roosevelt admired these ancient coins for their beauty.
During his presidency, several people heard his complaints about the "boring" US coinage designs of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
He compared the designs, many by Charles Barber, to the ancient Greek coins and found the US coinage sadly lacking.
Historical papers note that Roosevelt wanted coins "possessing the artistic excellence and high relief of the coinage of ancient Greece."
As he pursued the new coinage, President Roosevelt admired the artistry of Augustus St. Gaudens and requested he design the medal for his second inauguration.
President Roosevelt was pleased with the resulting medal designed by St. Gaudens and modeled by Adolph A. Weinman.
As a result, the president requested St. Gaudens to provide new designs for the US coinage.
Today, numismatists still enjoy the designs by St. Gaudens and by Weinman. (see Saint-Gaudens, Weinman & Fraser: American Masters of Coin Design for more interesting details.)
On Sunday's coin show bourse, another mid 5-digit range coin was on display.
This one was an American gold coin from 1929, a $5 Indian graded MS 64 by NGC.
Though not like a dekadrachm, President Roosevelt also influenced this coin in his efforts to improve US coinage.
President Roosevelt's friend, Dr. William Bigelow, advised him to consider the artist, Bela Lyon Pratt, who had studied under Augustus St. Gaudens.
During the latter part of President Roosevelt's second term, the Indian Head half eagle began being minted in 1908 and continued into 1916. After more than ten years, the gold $5 coins were minted again in 1929.
Pratt's American Indian chief design on both the half eagle ($5) and quarter eagle ($2.50) was the first to use the incuse technique on a gold coin. (Incuse elements are those recessed below the flat plane.)
Some think Pratt's coins, smaller in size, are less spectacular than the larger gold pieces by St. Gaudens.
Others believe that their size makes the coins more innovative and daring in their design.
It's a case of "beauty is in the eyes of the beholder."
In the case of Sunday's examples of the dekadrachm and the MS 64 $5 Indian, both were beautiful and their combined value rose into the 6-digit range - for some numismatists - their dream coins.