Tuesday the 9th was the night of the November meeting of Nummis Nova, my Northern Virginia numismatic social group. Our host was Gene Brandenberg, who made reservations for us at the Union Street Public House in Old Town Alexandria, VA. For many years Gene operated a coin shop right next door. The location was especially convenient for Bill Eckberg, who lives within walking distance.
I had a longer haul to get there, but after locating a parking space I arrived at the restaurant about 6:35pm. Several folks were already there, seated at a table in the upstairs dining room. I took an empty chair across from Tom Kays and next to my guest for the evening, Edmund Moy, Director of the U.S. Mint.
Ed had been invited earlier by Roger Burdette, who knew him through his work on the Citizen's Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). But because of his travel schedule, it had been difficult to find an open date. I followed up with Ed via email, and we picked November a couple months ago. Luckily, he remained open and was able to attend.
It was great to finally meet him - I don't get out much to Mint events or major coin shows. He's been a very active Mint Director, and travels the country introducing new coin designs at their launch events. He clearly enjoys his work. He recounted for some of us how he came to get the appointment and receive the word by phone from President Bush.
He acknowledged that the tough part of the job is dealing with multiple constituencies. With so many interested parties, it's inevitable that some will be unhappy. There's the blue-collar factory workforce, Treasury officials, suppliers and contractors, coin collectors and the general public, among others. He seemed happy to be among a group that didn't have a complaint or want something from him. As always, our group was there for the fun part of numismatics - sharing stories, coins, and fellowship.
Absent were regulars Roger Burdette and Wayne Herndon, whose work schedules got in the way. Those present included Chris Neuzil, Jon Radel, Joe Levine, Dave Shenkman and Julian Leidman.
Julie went up to introduce himself to Ed Moy, and ended up taking my seat for a long conversation. But I like to mingle, and stayed at the other end for our meals, speaking with Joe and Dave. Dave passed around a slabbed 1798 dollar along with three different Gallery Mint dollar reproductions. One had a triple error, made to order for him by the Gallery Mint's Ron Landis.
I had a couple binders of ephemera relating to the U.S. Mint and coin legislation, including a copy of the April 12, 1792 National Gazette, featuring the full text of the 1792 Mint Act, covering all of the front page and part of page 2 (see, I'm not selling ALL of my neat newspapers)!
Also included were two scarce reports of the Director of the Mint (1867 and 1872).
Other topics of conversation included Chief Engraver John Mercanti and the 2009 Ultra-High Relief Saint-Gaudens $20 gold coins. After waiting to allow everyone else a chance to acquire one, Director Moy bought one on the last day of sale and only after everyone was sure they weren't going to be sold out.
Tom expressed interest in a rare undated handwritten manuscript among the ephemera I'd brought. The six-page article written by "A.M. Smith, Numismatist, Philadelphia" is titled "Rare U.S. Coins". I purchased it in the January 2002 Stack's Americana Sale (lot 522). Here's a link to a slideshow on Flickr:
A.M. Smith Manuscript, "Rare U.S. Coins"
Tom and I spent part of the evening discussing the events for kids that Jon Radel and I help run at Wayne Herndon's Northern Virginia coin shows. While at the recent Virginia Numismatic Association show in Richmond, Tom solicited donations of numismatic items to be given to the kids or sold at the kids' auction. He'd brought with him a canvas Mint bag holding about 40 pounds of coins! On top of that, he had another bag of coins, some of which he'd placed in specially made holders. Wow!
As the dinner broke up we all thanked Ed for coming and invited him to come again. He gave everyone his business card. It had been a very enjoyable evening. Tom offered to walk me to my car to help haul the donated coins. I dropped him off at his car on the way out of Alexandria.
The rest of the week flew by quickly, and I did little numismatically, not even working much on The E-Sylum. But I did send out some emails to start the planning process for the next kids' event, to be held December 11th at the Annandale, VA coin show. I made arrangements to meet Wayne Herndon at his office Saturday morning to organize the giveaways and auction lots.
It was an unusual weekend for me - my wife had taken the family up to Pittsburgh to celebrate her niece's birthday and attend a wedding shower. I stayed home tending to chores and Max the Dog. I got up early Saturday, walked Max, went for a run, and installed some weather-stripping around our doors (winter's coming)! After 11am I left the house.
Wayne's office is spacious, yet crowded with work areas and merchandise. In back is a small warehouse for all of his Wizard Coin Supply stock and displays. I took pictures of the coin book aisle. Before I left his wife Karin and son Kyle arrived, on hand to help unload a shipment arriving later by truck.
We talked about plans for the next Nummis Nova dinner. On the way home I grabbed lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings, taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi to work on a few articles for this E-Sylum. But Max was waiting, so I didn't dawdle.
Back home, after walking Max I scanned images for this article. I worked on the issue off and on over the rest of the weekend between other chores. The gang arrived back home about 8:30pm Sunday. It's a school night, so it was time for the kids to shower and get to bed. I was able to publish The E-Sylum a little early and watch the Steeler football game. The weekend was a nice break, but it's back to the old grind tomorrow. Keep those E-Sylum emails coming, folks.
Another of Tuesday night's exhibits
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