The annual convention of the Colonial Coin Collector’s Club, held in
Baltimore in conjunction with the Oct. 30 to Nov. 1 Whitman Expo,
redefines what a convening of numismatists should be.
While there is a bourse, and plenty of coins are bought and sold,
business is far from the focus. Friendships are central, with as much
time spent visiting and talking coins as anywhere else. Show and tell
is the norm, with many collectors taking a bourse table in the C4 area
just to have a place to look at coins and socialize.
Even dealers get into this routine, bringing their personal
collections and relishing a crowd that enables even their oddest
Colonial-centric numismatic interests to find an appreciative audience.
There may not be another group that focuses so much on education and
evangelization of their interests.
Joining forces with the American Numismatic Society, the C4
convention hosted an evening of presentations for the latest
installment of the Stack Family Coinage of the Americas Conference, a
lecture series that has covered a wide variety of topics since its
founding in 1984.
This year, four speakers presented talks on the overarching topic of
“Circulating Coinage of Pre-Federal America.”
Oliver Hoover of the ANS started with an excellent overview of
foreign and homegrown types in his talk titled “Coins of Our
Forefathers: The Circulating Money of North America before 1780.”
Chris Salmon, the author of The Silver Coins of Massachusetts,
explained and illustrated the physical evidence behind the production
techniques of the four major types of Massachusetts silver coins in
“The Silver Coins of Massachusetts: Evolution of Minting Techniques.”
Jack Howes covered the myths, legends, and truth behind Thomas
Machin in his well-researched “The Man and His Coinage.”
I got to dig into my personal collection and research files to
explain the evidence behind how we know what circulated in early
America in “World Coins That Circulated in Early America: Sources and Methods.”
A Friday night auction session of hundreds of Colonial coins by
Stack’s Bowers Galleries and a Saturday afternoon auction of
Colonial-focused numismatic literature by Kolbe and Fanning followed,
giving attendees plenty of opportunity to find a prize to take home,
whether they were looking for New Jersey coppers or the rare Chapman
catalogs that depicted them a century ago.
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