A full slate of educational seminars is scheduled Jan. 8 to 10 for the Florida United Numismatists Convention in Orlando.
The programs will be presented in Room W224A of West Hall of the Orange County Convention Center. The presentations are free and open to the public.
Thursday, Jan. 8
➤ 11:30 a.m. — “The Loss of the 1715 Plate Fleet,” by Ben Costello, a director of the 1715 Fleet Society. 2015 is the 300th anniversary of the historic Spanish fleet loss off the east coast of Florida. Costello will detail the “hows, whys and whens” of one of the most significant events in numismatic history.
➤ 12:30 p.m. — “Grading and Authenticating Mercury Dimes,” by Bill Fivaz. Fivaz, will guide collectors through the nuances of grading and authenticating the popular Winged Liberty Head dime series.
➤ 1:30 p.m. — “The Wonderful World of Foreign Coins,” by Bob Hurst, current vice president of FUN and one of America’s leading foreign coin dealers, will detail how collectors can get the most enjoyment out of their world coin collecting experience.
➤ 2:30 p.m. — “Grading 201: AU or BU, the Great Divide,” by Jacksonville, Fla., numismatist Ray Herz, will focus on some of the best ways to determine if a given coin is Uncirculated or slightly worn. The difference in value could be huge.
➤3:30 p.m. — “15 of My Favorite Coins for 2015,” by Don Bonser. Central Florida dealer Don Bonser is a consultant to several major professional grading services and a former full-time grader. Bonser will list his 15 favorite coins for potential growth in the coming year.
➤ 4:30 p.m. — “A Sunken Ship is a Time Capsule: The 1715 Plate Fleet Wreck,” by Peter Cowdrey, current educator in residence at the Museum of Florida History in Tallahassee. His program will focus on a range of issues including what was on these ships, the degree to which they’ve been preserved, and navigational problems faced by fleets of that era.
Friday, Jan. 9
➤ 10:30 a.m. — “12 Reasons Why Coin Grading is Difficult,” by Skip Fazzari. Almost every beginner struggles to master the art of grading. Independent Coin Gradiers grader Skip Fazzari has tips and vital information that will help those looking to improve their grading skills.
➤ 11:30 a.m. — “Looking Back at How the Top 10 Events of 2014 Will Shape Coin Collecting in 2015,” by Coin World Editor-in-Chief Steve Roach. Roach believes recent numismatic events will have a huge impact on the 2015 coin market. Roach will address exactly how will this play out.
➤ 12:30 p.m. — “10 Forecasts for 2015 and 5 for the Next Generation,” by Numismatic News editor Dave Harper. Harper is one of America’s most respected market observers. He has some interesting views on what the next generation will be collecting and how they will collect those items.
➤ 1:30 p.m. — “The Impact of Gold and Silver Values on Rare Coin Prices,” by Scott Travers and Maurice Rosen. The speakers are respected numismatic consumer advocates and prolific numismatic authors. Can certain rare coins do well in a falling bullion market? Which coins could be among the best performers? Travers and Rosen have the answers.
➤ 2:45 p.m. — “My Favorite VAMs for 2015,” by John Roberts. Roberts is the director of attributions for the ANACS grading service. He also writes a monthly column on VAMs in Coin World. What are his favorite Morgan and Peace dollar varieties for 2015? Attendees will find out in this outstanding educational program.
➤ 3:45 p.m. — “Annual VAM Thing,” by the Society of Silver Dollar Collectors. Once again, the FUN convention is the site for this meeting of silver dollar variety enthusiasts. Information on recent discoveries, and their approximate values, will be among topics covered in this lively and informative meeting that is open to new collectors and veterans alike.
Saturday, Jan. 10
➤ 11 a.m. — “Assembling an Affordable Short Set of Classic Buffalo Nickels,” by Bart Bartanowicz. Can the average collector afford to collect Buffalo nickels? The long-term hobbyist and researcher will show you how to put together a terrific collection of Buffalo nickels at a price you can afford!
➤ Noon — “What’s Hot and What’s Not in the Error-Variety Market,” by Fred Weinberg and BJ Neff. Weinberg is a consultant for several of the major grading services and is considered America’s leading error-variety specialist. Neff has several decades of experience as an error-variety researcher. Together they will inform those in the audience about current happenings and developments in the error-variety market.
➤ 1 p.m. — “Building a Silver Dollar Investment Portfolio: Which Coins Should You Choose?” by Al Johnbrier and Randy Campbell. The speakers are both former presidents of the National Silver Dollar Roundtable. Each one of them will discuss their favorite silver dollars, as well as those items they believe should not be in your portfolio.
➤ 2 p.m. —“Review Quality Notes: Quality You Can Purchase Sight Unseen,” by John Bremer and Vince Cavo. The speakers are officials in a company that reviews certified pieces of paper money to make sure those notes are certified and graded appropriately. Expect a most informative overview of the status of the paper money market in this eye-opening program.
➤ 3 p.m. — “My 10 Favorite Copper Coins of All Time,” by Chuck Heck, who has been an officer in the Early American Copper organization for many years and an avid copper collector for several decades. Copper enthusiasts will be thrilled as Chuck Heck takes you on an unforgettable tour of his 10 favorite copper coins of all time.
➤ 4 p.m. — “An Introduction to VAM Collecting,” by Dr. David Close. Dr. Close has been a well-respected silver dollar specialist for over 20 years.
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