Tuesday, March 21 was the night of my Northern Virginia numismatic social group, Nummis Nova. Eric Schena was our host and he chose the Founding Farmers restaurant at Reston Metro Plaza. I was looking forward to it as I'd never been there before, or even set foot on the new plaza that I drive by on my way to and from work. The plaza sprung up alongside the Washington Metro Silver Line, "... a transit-oriented, mixed-use, urban employment center in the community of Reston in Fairfax County, Virginia."
There's a Starbucks, a CVS drugstore, multiple restaurants and parking, amid residential and office space, including a Google office. LED lights accent the buildings at night.
A large outdoor screen played relaxing videos and sometimes switched to a traffic-camera view of the surrounding area.
Here are some shots of the restaurant.
Eric and Dave Schenkman were the first to arrive. Soon we were seated at a tall table in the bar area. Others included my guests Jonas Denenberg and Kellen Hoard, Jon Radel, Chris Neuzil, Mike Packard, Roger Burdette, Daryl Haynor, Steve Bishop, Wayne Herndon and Julian Leidman. Jim Haas was delayed in traffic and arrived late.
Early birds Jon Radel, Chris Neuzil, and Mike Packard look over menus, coins and books.
Jon, Chris and Mike in conversations after food arrived.
Some of my displays
Jonas Denenberg reviewing a 1948 Katen price list
A candid shot during dinner. Clockwise from left: Eric Schena, Dave Schenkman, Jon Radel, Chris Neuzil, Mike Packard, Julian Leidman, Roger Burdette, Kellen Hoard, Daryl Haynor.
Here are the literature items I brought along.
I brought these Standing Liberty Quarter books to show my other guest Jim Haas, author of the recent book on the coin's designer, Hermon Atkin MacNeil: American Sculptor in the Broad, Bright Daylight . I introduced Jim to Roger, whose books helped Jim in his research. I also introduced him to Wayne, and they discussed how they might get Jim's book listed on Wayne's Wizard Coin Supply site.
This 1948 Numismatic Literature and Supplies fixed price list from Frank Katen pictures his coin shop and includes four pages of book offerings. Many years ago I visited Frank and his wife Laurese at their home in Maryland, viewing their massive numismatic library along with fellow visitors Dave Hirt and John Burns.
"It's Only Money" is a very scarce privately printed 1966 work on U.S. error coins.
Recently numismatic author and researcher Gene Hessler gave the Newman Numismatic Portal permission to digitize his many books. I shipped my copies of some of his works to St. Louis where NNP staff and students will scan them. One of his more obscure works is this little 1973 price guide, which I located in the stock of E-Sylum supporter Kenny Sammut. I'll scan it myself and send the file to NNP.
Kenny is currently running for the American Numismatic Association Board of Governors. His package included a couple souvenir wooden nickels, including this campaign piece.
I brought along this scarce Dwight Musser publication given to me for Newman Portal digitization by former regular Howard Daniel.
Roger Burdette kindly gave me a review copy of his new book, Saudi Gold and other Tales from the Mint.
To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
WAYNE'S NUMISMATIC DIARY: FEBRUARY 26, 2023, PART 2 : Dwight Musser Publication
NEW BOOK: SAUDI GOLD
1787 Immunis Columbia
Dave Schenkman brought this slabbed 1787 Immunis Columbia.
S.S. Central America Gold
Steve Bishop writes:
"I had one item. In 1857, the S.S. Central America went down in a storm while carrying a cargo of gold coins and bullion. A team led by Bob Evans recovered some of it, and released 1857 PCGS-encapsulated samples of a double pinch (1.5 grams) of gold nuggets, worth one dollar in 1857. At current gold prices, it is worth about $95."
South African & International Exposition Medals
One never knows what will be passed around the table at a Nummis Nova dinner. When these came by, all I could say was "I'd never seen nor even heard of these before."
Eric Schena writes:
"I brought two interesting late nineteenth century award medals from the South African & International Exposition, held in Kimberley, Cape Colony in 1892. Opened in the diamond rush town of Kimberley at the insistence of Cecil Rhodes, the exposition opened on 8 September 1892 and closed 20 January 1893 in an effort to promote South African mining, agriculture, and commerce. The choice of location turned out to be to the expo's detriment, as Kimberley was located in the back of beyond and took quite a bit of effort for visitors to get there. It was poorly attended and ultimately lost over £14,000, which Rhodes had to cover personally. Both medals are 44 mm in diameter and identical in design, though without the designer's name or indication of where they were struck.
While the silver one is unengraved, the bronze one is engraved that it was awarded to "Harris & Sheldon for Excellence in Shop Fittings." Harris & Sheldon was a manufacturer and provider of various shop and store fittings in Birmingham, England and was established in 1880 by Sydney Harris and joined a few years later by John Eccleston Sheldon."
I always enjoy public artwork, especially whimsical pieces. The restaurant had a good number of these.
Mr. Wolfe is a regular at the bar. Dave Schenkman took a photo of me beside him. Thanks.
Did I mention the time I saw a werewolf drinking a piña colada at Trader Vic's? Yep ... his hair was perfect.
Even the Men's Room had whimsical touches.
It was a short drive home for me from there. A great evening of numismatic fellowship, as always. I'm already looking forward to April.
I'll wrap up by adding one more old song reference. Friday night I got a routine oil change for my Honda Hybrid, and the service manager gave me a vehicle report, noting that the brakes and other mechanical parts were in good shape, but the tires, while not ready for replacement yet, were getting worn. I thought, "Now I got me a Hot Rod Lincoln - brakes are good, tires fair..."
'til next time, everyone.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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