Former Mint Director Johnson and Zerbe Award Winner Fivaz consign to ANA Baltimore Auction

May 1, 2003 By ekr

Former Mint Director Johnson and Zerbe Award Winner Fivaz consign to ANA Baltimore Auction

(Colorado Springs, CO)–For the first time in the history of the American Numismatic Association (, a former director of the United States Mint has personally consigned coins to an ANA public auction.

About two dozen items consigned by former director Jay W. Johnson will be offered at the official auction at the World’s Fair of MoneySM in Baltimore, July 30-August 3, by Bowers and Merena Galleries of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire ( In addition, there will be several hundred coins from the legendary collection of award-winning author and former ANA Governor Bill Fivaz.

The Jay W. Johnson Collection of modern mint memorabilia includes individual coins and sets acquired around the globe by the former Mint director during his tenure. Many of these items were autographed and presented by directors of the mints he visited.Johnson was nominated for the position by President Bill Clinton in August 1999 and, following Senate confirmation, served in the post from March 2000 to August 2001.

“The Fivaz Collection contains some of the finest complete sets of Buffalo nickels and Mercury dimes listed on the PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service) Set Registry,” says Paul Montgomery, president of Bowers and Merena, a division of Collectors Universe, Inc.

“Bill also has consigned silver dollars, spectacular error pieces, counter-stamped coins, as well as additional coin types and varieties,” Montgomery adds. “Many of the items he consigned to this auction are the same coins photographed for use in a number of numismatic reference books, including A Guide Book of United States Coins (the ‘Red Book’), The Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare Die Varieties and Walter Breen’s Complete Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Coins.”

A well-known and respected numismatic researcher and author, Fivaz served on the ANA Board of Governors from 1985 to 1989. He has received many awards, among them the Association’s highest honor, the Farran Zerbe Memorial Award for Distinguished Service (1995), and Numismatist of the year (2001).

Fivaz says, “After more than 50 years of collecting and enjoying my collection, I decided the time is right to sell most of my major sets. It was truly a difficult decision. I can remember when and where I purchased most of the nicer coins, even though the pieces in my Buffalo and Mercury sets were bought 25 to 30 years ago when ‘Gem’ specimens were much easier to find.”

With pride, Fivaz points out that he paid “only $400” in 1962 for his 1916-D Mercury dime, which now is graded Mint State (MS)-65 “Full Bands” by PCGS.The ANA auction by Bowers and Merena Galleries also includes highly-prized coins consigned by other collectors, including the extremely rare 1817/4 overdate Bust half dollar from the Eliasberg Collection, which is graded About Uncirculated (AU)-50 by PCGS.

Consignments for the official ANA 2003 World’s Fair of Money auction will be accepted until May 23. For more information about the auction or to consign, contact Bowers and Merena Galleries, Box 1224, Wolfeboro, NH 03894; phone 800-458-4646; or e-mail

Originally Release Date: May 1, 2003
ANA Contacts: Phone: 719-482-9872
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