Long Beard's Blog

07 Nov 2020

After The Plaque

Coins | Long Beard

To those who frequent the ANA website, particularly those who read the forum posts, a few weeks ago I posted about the then upcoming PAN Fall Coin Show. Though the process of writing weekly blogs, I always begin by putting pen to paper as I research the topic or subject matter, editing in the post as I read from the journal. In doing so, often noticing a similar post had already been covered by another writer. In this case it was Mokie who beat me to the topic of the week. While I easily could have change the topic, instead narrowing it down to a specific encounter which was long over due and quite enjoyable. Enjoy!

Like many of you, I pondered on what the near future of coin shows would be comparative to those before the pandemic of 2020 and how things may change in the long term due to this devastating event. As Mokie has commented, attendance was brisk exceeding initial expectations. Aside from the necessary safety protocols, the layout and feel seemed unchanged. What stood out was the number of younger collectors walking about or setting at tables flipping through three ring binders looking for coins. Most definitely up from the show last year. In the end, not only does the future look bright, the shows will go on and in ways better than before.

For quite some time I had been putting off joining the Barber Coin Collectors Society (BCCS) despite having the club's website linked to my favorites list of my web browser for well over two years. I know this because I've paused at the club's table before moving on in years past. Until this past weekend, enrolling in a two-year membership. As I stood there, filling out the application, listening intently to the gentleman representing BCCS talk passionately about the 6thChief Engraver of the United States Mint, it became clear why I needed to belong to this particular club. With the application completed, the pen and clipboard handed back, he continued the discussion on Charles E. Barber of which most I had already known. After a few minutes I changed the subject to an odd steel square approximately one inch by one inch withfour raised pins at each corner andthe obverse design of a Barber Dime in reverse. Although he explained as much, I immediately knew it was created for the purpose of counterfeiting. What I had not known were the specifics behind it, in particular, that German silver was most likely used in producing copies from the little device. Having the reverse plate would complete the presentation, yet still fascinating alone. And so, the conversations changed once more. This time to things I had not known. Of his descendants, the things they had and passed on. Some of which are in the possession and care of the BCCS. Of his connections, not only with President Theodore Roosevelt, but that with President Rutherford B. Hayes. Having stood there for about twenty minutes, the representative expanded on what I had known and educated me on what I had not, I browsed the floor in search of Seated Liberty Dimes needed to complete the series. Finding none of those tough dates needed, leaving only with a single key date 1937 Irish six-pence in about extra-fine.

As I sat before my computer the following morning, thoughts of yesterday somewhat fresh on my mind (it was early and not yet through the first of many cups of coffee- my beverage of choice), I turned to the BCSCS web page. It was at that moment I recognized and realized who it yesterday schooling me on my favorite Mint Engraver. John Frost, the club's President. To explain why the importance to me personally, he and I share a very similar passion for all things Barber. The vast connections he has, in particular, with U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder. Both of us committed to the prospect of implementing a change to our current coinage designs. To meet this man was truly an honor to say the least.

To conclude, specialized clubs such as these are essential to the hobby. There is a great wealth of knowledge within them which books alone can not provided. Any serious collector should consider such clubs as they exist for many series. The topic's image was taken from the BCCS web site since I regrettably failed in taking photos at the show.



Level 4

Neat story. Glad you were able to attend and register for membership. It sounds like a great fit.

It seems the collecting community has been re-evaluating Barber's career and work as of late. Nice to see he has something of a "fan club" because he definitely left his mark on numismatics.


Level 6

Fun blog! You never know who you're going to run into at a show. I had the honor of meeting Q.David Bowers one time. What a great guy!

I. R. Bama

Level 5

Thanks for a really interesting blog. It' s really cool you got a lesson from the President of the Barber society and to see those counterfeit dies, wow! I would have liked to hav e seen them. It's these clubs that focus on a designer or series where the in depth knowledge comes from. In terms of learning, I think of Robert Frost.... " Miles to go before I sleep".


Level 5

The Barber Club sounds great, but I just don't collect them. If I joined I would go all in though. My wife and I attended Friday for a couple hours.

We can all find our niche in the hobby, and the specialized clubs give numismatics something very few hobbies have.


Level 5

I agree with you there. Nothing can replace these. I hope to be able to attend some soon, but Covid really needs to chill a bit first haha. Good luck, stay healthy, stay safe. Cheers, NM


Level 5

It is amazing the people we talk to under "normal" circumstances, only to find out later who they are. In my experience some of the more powerful, amazing personalities act no different than "the guy on the street". No arrogance, just a desire to communicate quietly with folks. Great Blog, Later!


Level 6

Good to hear about the kids there. It is amazing who you can talk to at these shows. My wife and I have met and talked to a couple of Numi legends They are always just guys at the shows. Very fun. I hope to go again soon. Thanks.


Level 7

Very informative blog. I never knew of the Barber club. I bet there are many clubs we don't know about. Not that I would want to join one. But it's great to know there are people out there keeping the great names alive. I also did not know if Mokies club. I wish I knew of this earlyer. I wonder how many clubs are out there and the requirements for joining. Thanks again. I appreciate the information.


Level 5

Ah, the much-maligned Barber coins by the collecting community and myself in particular. I'd always thought the design was flat and ugly. Until a few years back, I thought Lady Liberty was a dude until a Barber collector set me straight. Worn examples of Barber coins never did that much for me and skewed my perception of the coins. That was until I bought beautiful MS-64 examples of the dime, quarter, and half-dollar for my typeset! Am I reformed enough to join the Barber Collectors? Probably not, but at least now I have an appreciation for the beauty of the Barber coins. In the end, it takes owning them to really appreciate them. I will say this about them, they were designed to last a lot of years in circulation. I even heard of them being referred to as workhorses.


Level 6

Interesting you should mention the amount of young people at the PAN show, I was told by our show runner, Benjamin Franklin, aka Pat McBride, that only about 15 kids showed up at the KIDZone on Saturday. I understand they were thrilled to participate in the auction with only about half of the normal group. I am hoping a return to our carpeted venue in May, along with a return of the Cent Tables moves attracts more Kids again. Thanks for letting us know about the Barber Collectors Club, I am a member of their sister organization, the Liberty Seated Collectors Club. These specialty organizations do an immense service to our hobby and their publications are top notch.

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