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Coin Show - Monthly Notes from October 2018


Coin Clock

Many visitors came to the October 2018 Greater Atlanta Coin Show to see what the dealers had on display such as coins, currency, bullion and other collectibles.

Thank you one and all - the many visitors, the dealers, the security and the hotel's staff. We are glad you came and hope you found the show interesting.

Though the calendar claimed fall is here, the weather hasn't caught up yet. That's okay, visitors enjoyed the overcast morning but sunny afternoon with temperatures in the upper 70s.

As for the fall foliage, this year's warm weather may not give us the spectacular colors of years past. That's okay, too. Warm versus cold? We'll take the warm.
This month, the church next door to the coin show enjoyed making a "joyful noise." We certainly understand their exuberance, but their noise made it difficult to hear on the bourse.

Outside, the hotel hosted a wedding in the Brumby house. Difficult to see, that facility once occupied by Arnoldous Brumby is located to the right as you enter the hotel's main entrance.

The October show with its mix of regular dealers and visiting dealers provided a wide variety of collectible interests for visitors to browse and buy.
Also, several visitors brought items to be appraised and offered to sell to the dealers.

And, for those proactive visitors, the show offered many items that would make nice gifts during the upcoming holiday season.

Now, let's take a virtual look at a few items seen at this month's show.

Vintage Elgin Alarm Clock Acrylic with 1963 proof set coins
The first item in this month's tour is an odd but interesting collectible containing a clock and a proof set held in Lucite. Or is it acrylic?

Did you know that Lucite is a brand name for acrylic?

Acrylic is an umbrella term for the kinds of thermoplastics that are petroleum based and created from the derivation of natural glass. Acrylic is also known as polyacrylate.

Acrylic is very similar to glass and is often used as an alternative in a variety of products.
Lucite, on the other hand, is an acrylic plastic resin that is used primarily in windows and fashionable interior and furniture design due to its crystal transparency, flexibility and strength, as well as its resistance to water, wind and UV rays.

In all likelihood, Lucite surrounds this Elgin alarm clock and 1963 proof set.

The proof set encased in this clear acrylic was the last year of the Franklin half dollar coin.

The US Mint produced 3,075,645 of the sets containing the half dollar, quarter, dime, nickel and one cent coins for a face value of $0.91 and a sales price of $2.10.

Now, one wonders how many of these sets remain if some are in clocks, some broken for individual coins and some just damaged or lost.
Coins of America 1909 VDB One-cent coin
The next collectible no longer contains references to its original distributor, but it is interesting nonetheless.

This Coins of America collectible includes a 1909 VDB one-cent coin and also provides a large replica that shows where the initials are located on the reverse.

The enclosed booklet tells the story of the controversial coin:

"In 1909, Abraham Lincoln became the first former president to grace the face of any American currency. Many Americans, however, weren't so eager to honor Lincoln in such a fashion.

"Many were troubled by the very notion of money bearing the face of a former president. They felt it was too similar to the practices of European monarchies.
Others believed that a man of Lincoln's stature deserved to be on a higher denomination than a mere penny. Yet others opposed the replacement of the Indian head cent, which had been in circulation since 1859, and was one of the most popular U.S. coins.

"Most notable of all was the controversy surrounding sculptor Victor David Brenner. Brenner who was chosen by Theodore Roosevelt to perform the artwork for the penny, had carved his initials into the reverse side of the coin. When the coin was issued, President Taft had just succeeded Roosevelt.

"Taft's Secretary of Treasury, Frank MacVeigh, objected to the prominence of Brenner's initials on the coin, and ordered them to be removed and replaced with a single "B" on the obverse of the coin. Charles Barber, the Mint's Chief Engraver, had other ideas. Unhappy that the design had been done by an 'outsider,' Barber claimed that such a change would be impossible without delaying production for several weeks. Instead, he offered to grind the V.D.B. off of the hub being used to make dies, a much more expeditious process.

"Presumably, Barber didn't want Brenner's initial to be confused with his own "B" that already appeared on the Barber dime, quarter and half dollar. After he died in 1917, his assistant, George T. Morgan, restored the V.D.B. to the coin on the base of Lincoln's shoulder.

"For years hence, collectors nationwide have coveted the V.D.B. penny. Enigmatic and unique, it is a living symbol of a young and progressive America."

Of course, if this coin also had the "S" mint mark, it would be even more valuable.
Mint medal with white house on the obverse and presidential seal on the reverse
Did you know that at one time you could visit the Treasury Exhibit Hall in Washington, D.C. and make your own mint medal?

From the US Mint's December 27, 1972 press release announcing the new exhibits:

"Come See the Gold, Come Strike a Medal at the Treasury Department

"Gold bars weighing almost half a ton.
"A press specially designed so visitors may strike their own White House medal.

"These fascinating attractions, and much more, are part of the all-new displays in the Exhibit Hall of the Department of the Treasury, 15th and Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W., Mrs. Mary Brooks, Director of the Mint, announced today. The new exhibit opens to the public on Tuesday, January 4, 1977, at 11:00 a.m.

"The 30 gold bars of 999.8 fine gold are valued at $552,790.01, at the official rate of $42.22 per fine troy ounce. The bars, containing 13,092.402 fine troy ounces of gold, weigh approximately one-half ton and are on display in a unique Cannon Ball vault-type safe.
"An 80-ton hydraulic press has a special triggering attachment to activate the press to strike a 1-1/2″ pewter medal showing the White House on the obverse and the Presidential seal on the reverse. Visitors may purchase the pewter blanks for $1.00 and strike their own White House medals-or buy the medals over-the-counter at the Mint sales counter in the Exhibit Hall."

This particular medal in its sealed Bureau of the Mint plastic bag appears to be one of the over-the-counter versions.

In searching the Mint and the Treasury web sites and tours, it doesn't appear making your own medal is an option today.

But, wouldn't it have been fun to do?
Binion Collection 1921 Morgan Silver Dollar Coin
The next collectible has an interesting background filled with murder and mystery.

NGC, Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, certified the Binion Collection and provide this description on their web site:

Ted Binion, the controversial former casino owner who met an untimely and mysterious death, made his larger-than-life reputation as a businessman in Nevada. Building on his father's start, he helped develop Binion's Horseshoe Casino in Las Vegas into an internationally recognized brand. His coins were kept in a secret underground vault in the Nevada desert.

The Binion coins were authenticated and certified by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC), one of the nation's leading independent facilities for the inspection, authentication and grading of collector and investor coins. At the completion of their process, NGC sealed each silver dollar into a tamperproof plastic holder showing the coin's year and mint of issue, plus the coin's grade. A coin's grade is important because it is the primary determinant of the coin's market value.


Mark Salzberg, President of NGC, said, "This is the greatest collection of silver dollars that NGC has ever authenticated."

NGC has also included a unique certification sealed into each protective holder for the historic coins. Each Binion silver dollar features a special NGC pedigree label that for the first time is in a color (green) and depicts three cowboys from the Old West. Each label also reads, Binion Collection and BinionCollection.com to further identify the pedigree and to offer collectors a website with additional information about the collection. "These coins are dripping with amazing originality and historical importance," said Salzberg. He added, "Less than one out of every 1,000 coins NGC grades has a pedigree. Pedigrees add to the collectibility of a coin because they identify it from a historical perspective."

"The coins of the Binion Collection offer an opportunity for both novices and sophisticated collectors to acquire coins for their collections," said Mark Albarian, President and CEO of Goldline.
"The price range is affordable-many coins are available for less than $50 with the most expensive over $10,000." The Binion Collection should be good for the U.S. rare coin market. Salzberg also remarked, "Collections like these bring interest to the coin market. People that never thought about collecting and investing in coins will make a decision to do so because of the press surrounding the Binion Collection."

This coin is not just another Morgan Silver Dollar. Wonder what stories it could tell of its journeys.
2018 Silver Reverse Proof Set 50th Anniversary of the San Francisco Mint
Back in July, the US Mint released the silver reverse proof set, the first time with all of the coins minted in reverse.

From the US Mint's June 19, 2018 press release:

WASHINGTON - The United States Mint (Mint) will begin accepting orders for the 2018 San Francisco Mint Silver Reverse Proof Set (product code 18XC) on July 23 at noon EDT. The Mint is issuing this set to mark the 50th anniversary of proof coin production at the San Francisco Mint.

This two-lens set contains 10 coins-all with a reverse proof finish-from the United States Mint at San Francisco. The set includes the following 2018-dated coins:
Five silver America the Beautiful Quarters® Program Coins with reverse proof finishes honoring Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore (Michigan), Apostle Islands National Lakeshore (Wisconsin), Voyageurs National Park (Minnesota), Cumberland Island National Seashore (Georgia), and Block Island National Wildlife Refuge (Rhode Island).

One Native American $1 Coin with a reverse theme that commemorates the contributions of Jim Thorpe to American sports and culture. The design depicts Jim Thorpe, while the foreground highlights his achievements in football and as an Olympian. Inscriptions are “JIM THORPE,” “WA-THO-HUK,” (Thorpe’s native name), “UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,” and “$1.”

One silver Kennedy half dollar
One silver Roosevelt dime
One Jefferson nickel
One Lincoln penny.
The half dollar, quarters, and dime are minted in 90 percent silver. Each set comes with a Certificate of Authenticity.

Orders are limited to ten sets per household across all sales channels, including bulk purchases, for the first 24 hours of sales after which the Mint will remove the limit. The maximum mintage is 200,000 units.

Oddly, the US Mint does not include the definition of "reverse proof" in their glossary.

PCGS, Professional Coin Grading Service, provides this definition:

reverse proof - Contrary to popular belief this is not a coin struck from Proof dies only on the "tails" side of the coin. It is a type of proof coin made for collectors where the fields are a matte finish and the devices are brilliant, the opposite of standard proof coinage. It might more accurately be referred to as an "Inverted Proof". The U.S. Mint began minting reverse proof silver eagles in 2006 and has created a few other reverse proof commemoratives since.

In the early days of reverse proof, the US Mint focused on their eagles products rather than proof versions of circulating coinage.

Though there have been reverse proof versions of singular coins, such as the Kennedy half dollar and the Roosevelt dime, this is the first time all of the circulating coinage designs are reverse proof.

Take a look at the 2018 proof quarters panel to compare the effects with the silver reverse proof.

Which do you prefer? The standard proof or the reverse proof? 
2018 Silver Reverse Proof Coins five America the Beautiful quarters
2018 Regular Proof Coins five America the Beautiful quarters
These collectibles provide a brief glimpse into the many different, odd and unique items found on the bourse each month.

The monthly show focuses on coins, but many other collectibles such as currency, bullion, exonumia, scripophily and non-money items can be found on display as well.

Some displays show off items thousands of years old, while others are just days or weeks old.
As collectors themselves, the dealers always search for new and interesting items to add to their displays each month.

Just think, there are only two more shows before the holidays and the end of the year.

Mark your calendars and visit the next Greater Atlanta Coin Show on Sunday, November 11, 2018, in the Lyon, Sanford and Cole rooms to meet the dealers and see the collectibles on display.
2018 Silver Reverse Proof Coins half, dime, cent, nickel, and dollar