ANA’s Baltimore Show is historic!

August 8, 2003 By ekr

ANA’s Baltimore Show is historic!

The American Numismatic Association (ANA) World’s Fair of MoneySM 2003 in Baltimore was one for the history books.

The show attracted more than 13,000 people to the Baltimore Convention Center, July 30-August 3, and opened with the announcement that all in attendance would have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see all five known specimens of the 1913 Liberty Head nickels on display for the first time in more than 80 years. The coins were produced 90 years ago under mysterious circumstances when the United States Mint was changing from the Liberty Head to the Buffalo design.

ANA Executive Director Christopher Cipoletti made the announcement at the show’s opening ceremonies on Wednesday, July 30. Four of the five coins were scheduled to be exhibited at the show. The fifth specimen disappeared 41 years ago when its owner, George O. Walton, died in automobile accident.

California sports agent Dwight Manley, Legend Numismatics (of Lincroft, New Jersey), the Smithsonian Institution and the ANA Money Museum each agreed to loan their respective 1913 Liberty Head nickels for the exhibit. However, hours before the convention opened, relatives of the late George Walton brought their piece forward for authentication.

Told in the 1960s that their rarity was one of many altered-date coins produced over the years, Walton’s relatives kept the piece closeted for four decades. They brought it out of hiding when a nationwide search for the missing genuine specimen was begun in late May by Bowers and Merena Galleries, official auctioneer for the ANA show. The firm offered a minimum of $1 million for the coin’s return and sale.

Two lengthy and exhausting examinations of the Walton coin began Tuesday morning, July 29, and continued late into the night. At 12:15 a.m. Wednesday, after comparing the Walton piece with the other four specimens, the fifth 1913 Liberty Head was declared genuine by authenticators Paul Montgomery and Mark Borckhardt of Bowers and Merena Galleries, and experts John Dannreuther, Jeff Garrett, David Hall and Fred Weinberg.

Word of the historic exhibit spread quickly, with stories carried by the Associated Press news wire service, NBC’s Today Show, CBS radio, National Public Radio’s All Things Considered, as well as Baltimore and Washington, D.C., area newspapers, television and radio stations. (An extensive media advertising and publicity campaign for the convention was orchestrated by the ANA Public Relations Department and Minkus & Pearlman of Northbrook, Illinois.)

Long lines of convention attendees waited patiently every day of the show to see the display produced by ANA Museum Curator Lawrence Lee. The exhibit case included a list of owners, a vintage leather case that once housed all five of the coins and other material related to these numismatic rarities. A special exhibit case was provided by Diamond International Galleries of Timonium, Maryland, which also mounted a $3 million display of paintings and sculptures depicting Disney’s famous cartoon character Scrooge McDuck in money-related themes. The artwork, brochures about the Liberty Head nickel exhibit, posters and a limited-issue reprint of a 1940s Donald Duck comic book were provided by Diamond International and its sister company, Gemstone Publishing.

Nearly 400 individuals joined or renewed their membership at the convention, and the ANA sold more than 1,000 of its “World Mints Passports,” which offered attendees the opportunity to collect coins from 15 countries represented at the show.

Dealers were active throughout the convention, as people bought and sold coins, paper money, tokens and medals. ANA Library and Museum Services staffs were busy with book signings, reference help and numismatic valuations.

The United States Bureau of Engraving and Printing (BEP) displayed its $1 Billion Exhibit, which includes examples of $100,000 bills. Also exhibited for the first time in Baltimore were sheets of the new, more colorful $20 bills that will begin circulating this fall. BEP Director Thomas Ferguson spoke about the new bills at one of six news conferences at the show, where representatives from the mints of France, Japan, Singapore, United Kingdom and the Athens 2004 Olympic Games Coin Program talked about their new products. The British Royal Mint, in conjunction with New Zealand Post and New Line Cinema, launched The Lord of the Rings coin program at the show.

Henrietta Holsman Fore, director of the U.S. Mint, conducted an open forum to gather collector and dealer input, and spent hours signing souvenir cards for visitors. The recently organized Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee held an open meeting, where members discussed the designs of upcoming State quarters and the new Jefferson nickel.

The official auction by Bowers and Merena Galleries of Mandeville, Louisiana, and Lyn Knight Currency Auctions of Overland Park, Kansas, realized nearly $12.8 million. Among the nearly 5,300 lots offered, was a Class III 1804 Bust dollar consigned by ANA Governor-elect Don Kagin that sold for $1, 207,500 to Beverly Hills dealer Kevin Lipton. It was the first time one of these rarities was auctioned at an ANA convention.

At the Awards and Installation Banquet on Saturday, August 2, Charles J. Ricard, Charles N. Ricard and the Lighthouse Family were presented the Farran Zerbe Memorial Award for Distinguished Service, the Association’s highest honor; the Albert L. Baber Family received the ANA’s Lifetime Achievement Award; Ron Landis of the Gallery Mint Museum received the Numismatic Art Award for Excellence in Medallic Sculpture; the Dallas Coin Club was recognized for 75 years of club membership; and the Corpus Christi (Texas) Coin Club, Inland (Washington) Empire Coin Club and Long Island (New York) Coin Club celebrated 50 years of ANA membership.

At the conclusion of the banquet, the newly elected ANA Board of Governors for the 2003-05 term was installed: President Gary E. Lewis; Vice President William H. Horton Jr.; and Governors M. Remy Bourne, Arthur M. Fitts III, Alan Herbert, Donald H. Kagin, Will Rossman, Barry Stuppler and John W. Wilson.

Twenty-three sponsors and nearly 150 patrons contributed nearly $75,000 to support the ANA convention. The two Title Sponsors–Delaware Valley Rare Coin and Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC)–each donated $10,000. Contributions of $350 to $8,500 came from 21 Secondary Sponsors: National Gold Exchange; Heritage Rare Coin Galleries;; Spectrum Numismatics; Superior Galleries; American Numismatic Rarities; U.S. Coins, Inc.; Catherine Bullowa-Moore; J.J. Teaparty; Anthony Terranova, Inc.; Main Line Coin & Stamp, Inc.; Lee Minshull Rare Coins, Inc.; American Heritage Minting, Inc.; Austrian Mint; Kevin Lipton Rare Coins; Marsh Affinity Group; Numismatic Emporium; Scott Travers
Rare Coin Galleries; Texas Numismatic Investments, Inc.; Fred Weinberg & Co., Inc.; and M&M World Travel Service.

The ANA Education Department presented more than 50 hours of free programming during the show. Hundreds of young collectors, age 6-18, participated in the popular “Treasure Trivia Game,” with each player receiving a “goodie bag” containing various numismatic collectibles, including a Buffalo nickel, Indian Head cent, a State quarter in an NGC holder and a copy of A Guide Book of United States Coins (known as the “Red Book”). Winner of the grand prize in the Treasure Trivia drawing, a Spanish silver pillar dollar, was Thomas Feder of Alhambra, California. John Horenkic of Lanham, Maryland, was the winner of a 1/10th-ounce American Eagle gold bullion coin given away in a drawing among ANA members living in the area who returned a post card sent to them before the show.

On Saturday, August 3, National Gold Exchange sponsored the Young Numismatists Awards Breakfast, with sponsoring the subsequent YN auction. More than 50 Boy and Girl Scouts participated in a collecting badge clinic co-sponsored by American Heritage Minting and Numismatic Emporium.
More than 50 people took advantage of ANA’s “Coin Collecting Basics” program that introduces beginners to the various aspects of coin collecting, from the State quarters and paper money to ancient and world coins.

At the opening ceremonies on Wednesday, July 30, convention General Chairman Tom Palmer received the Good Fellowship Award. The show was co-hosted by the Maryland State Numismatic Association, Baltimore Coin Club and Token and Medal Society of Maryland.

At the Membership Reception on Friday, August 1, Edward C. Rochette, ANA executive director emeritus, was honored as the 2003 Numismatist of the Year. At the banquet the next night, Rochette also received the Burnett Anderson Award for Excellence in Numismatic Writing.

The ANA presented 60 competitive exhibit awards to individuals of all ages and experience levels who mounted 94 displays. The Charles H. Wolfe Sr. Award for YN Best-in-Show Exhibit was presented to Max Spiegel for his exhibit “The Old West.” Recognized at the annual banquet as the “World Champion Numismatic Exhibitor” and winner of the Howland Wood Memorial Award for 

Best-in-Show Exhibit was Lenny Vaccaro for “A Selection of U.S. Mint Medals from the War of 1812, Engraved by Moritz Fuerst.” The Rodger E. Hershey Memorial People’s Choice Exhibit Award, selected by those attending the show, was given to John Whitney for “Collecting United States Federal Currency.”

Originally Release Date: August 8, 2003
ANA Contacts: Phone: 719-482-9872
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