Numismatic Coin Club
World Internet Numismatic Society


Exceptional Email

Subject: WINS: Late FUN Report
Date: Friday, January 16, 2004 4:27 PM

Better late than never, but I figured I'd give my FUN report if anyone out there is short on reading material.

The main reason I went to the show was to promote and sell my 8TF and Hot 50 Attribution Wizard software and use the proceeds to buy Morgan dollar varieties cherrypicked from dealers' stock. I'd also hang out with other collectors afflicted with the VAM collecting bug and officially launch the "VAMSlab," which is a Coin World slab labeled with not only the variety of the coin, but a picture of the key diagnostic on the holdered coin and a description of the variety. Simple enough mission, I suppose.

Here are some pictures of the VAMSlab:

VAMSlab 1

VAMSlab 2

No controversial grade that nobody would agree with, anyway. Just the variety information. I guess I could also call myself the "Grade It Your Damn Self" grading service.

I met up with Jeff Oxman on Thursday to discuss the strategy for selling the software. Kyle Vick, now President of Stanton Books, bought a bunch of them, and VAM collectors bought the rest at the first annual "VAM Thing" -- the official name of the SSDC (Society of Silver Dollar Collectors) FUN show meeting.

At the "VAM Thing," which had about 40 people in attendance, Jeff Oxman and Mike Fey talked about the current state of silver dollar collecting. Q. David Bowers launched a book on silver dollars geared toward the general public at the show. I gave a presentation on my software, another presenter talked about Peace dollar varieties, and another talked about clashed die variety research he is doing. The SSDC announced a $10,000 reward for the first collector to assemble a set of the Top 100 Morgan VAMs in mint state. Some of the varieties in the Top 100 list aren't even known in BU as of yet, but perhaps a $10,000 reward for showing the set would be incentive to find them.

The SSDC is now going to organize more like a real club than a mailing list. I've volunteered to be regional coordinator for "Region 8," which is the Internet. Keeps travelling to a minimum. I'll be putting out a weekly or so e-newsletter similar to what the EAC does (so I'm told).

Another thing Mike and Jeff did at the "VAM Thing" was hand out a couple awards. The first annual "VAM Master" lifetime achievement award was presented to Leroy Van Allen (in absentia). The other award, the Terry Armstrong Memorial Award for outstanding service to the VAM collecting hobby was presented to yours truly. Quite a pleasant surprise, I must say. The award looks much nicer than the room I'm going to hang it in. The meeting was the last in that room for the day, which gave us all a chance for a show and tell and swap meet. I also showed people the VAMSlab. Editor's input, see John receive his award "HERE".

I did manage to buy a handful of coins I needed, most of which were 1878 Morgans, plus a 1900-O/CC VAM 9, a couple 1888-O Oval O, and some others. I also won a 100 hole state quarter folder and a spiral Red Book at the Whitman booth. They had a promotion where they slapped stickers on people as they entered the show. Find the person with the sticker matching yours and win a prize. Finally, to reprise the "album filling" kick from when I first started collecting, I bought a Littleton wheat cent album. Nice construction on their albums. I have assorted blue folders and bags with cents in them, so I've gone through them and picked out the nicest for the album. I have everything 1941 on in BU red, and a few earlier ones filled in. I plan on filling the album with stuff that is not really slabworthy, but nice nonetheless.

Finally, I scrounged through a junk box for my daughter and got her some nice stuff. I also picked up a 1931 Panama 1 Balboa (KM #13) for her. Very cool design.

A bit of a concern for those of you that know her, Adrian Pitt (from SEGS) recently had a heart attack and missed the show. I wish her a speedy and complete recovery.

That's enough for now.

John Baumgart


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