The Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of
America is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a limited-edition
medal overstruck on a 2013 American Eagle 1-ounce silver bullion coin.
The medal design features CONECA’s logo on the obverse — an
outstretched eagle with a ribbon in its beak that boasts CONECA’s
motto, “Knowledge through Education.”
The reverse design shows a stylized 30th anniversary motif and
states CONECA was formed in 1983.
In a departure from its previous 20th and 25th anniversary medals,
the organization decided that no normal strike medals would be made
How medals were struck
Error coin specialist Ken Potter, who arranged to have the medals
struck, said each American Eagle silver bullion coin was “placed on
the dies by hand, safety doors closed, and struck one at a time. The
obverse die was cut by Brian Timmins of Landmark Die Engraving of De
Pere, Wis. in 2008 while the reverse ‘30th’ side die was produced by
BEX Engraving Co. Inc. in Fullerton, Calif. this year.”
The full date and portions of the lower design can be seen on the
obverse of the coin, while portions of UNITED STATES OF AMERICA can be
seen on the reverse.
Many of the overstrike medals are similar, but every one of them
is different in one way or another due to them being hand-fed into the
press, according to a CONECA news release.
Potter said the medals “are stunning with deep cameo devices on
highly reflective mirror-like fields contrasted against the satiny
finish of the host coins.”
CONECA’s medals program began as a way of raising funds for the
club with the specific purpose of preventing an increase in its
In 2003 CONECA’s annual dues were $20 and it was demonstrated that
they needed to be raised to $30 if the club was going to continue to exist.
A compromise was hammered out with annual dues raised only to $25
with several board members committing themselves to projects to
provide the necessary funds to keep the club running without raising
dues again the next year, according to the news release.
To date, CONECA has never had to raise its dues, in large part
because of the profits made from medals sold in 2003 and 2008, it said.
The medals are available to members and nonmembers and will be
struck through 2013. No additional medals will be struck after 2013.
CONECA’s initial order was for 100 pieces. CONECA has typically
sold somewhere between 50 and 100 of each of its past silver issues.
Each medal costs $65. Add $4 postage and insurance for the first
medal, plus $1.50 each for any additional medals ordered. Buyers from
outside the United States should check with program coordinator Al
Raddi for postage rates by emailing him at email@example.com.
Checks or money orders should be made out to CONECA and sent to
CONECA Medals Program, c/o Al Raddi, 591 Tower Ridge Court, Milford,
Medals may also be ordered from the club website, www.ConecaOnLine.org.
CONECA will also have a club table at the American Numismatic
Association World’s Fair of Money Aug. 13 to 17 in Rosemont, Ill.,
where the dies will be on display and medals will be available for sale.
Though some naysayers predicted it would not last, CONECA was the
result of a merger in 1983 of two longtime error clubs — Collectors of
Numismatic Errors (CONE) and Numismatic Error Collectors of America (NECA).
Members of both organizations had long and sometimes tumultuous
discussions beginning in 1981 about merging into one club. The
proposal was for the two clubs to merge under the umbrella of The
Error Coin Museum, which was founded in 1981 by long time error dealer
“Lonesome” John Devine.
The proposed affiliation with the museum was extensively discussed
by both groups at meetings held during the 91st American Numismatic
Association convention in Boston in 1982.
In early 1983 the merger was put to members of both clubs for a
vote and the merger was approved.
The new organization’s name was derived from combining the
acronyms of the two parent groups. Initially the name “CONECA” stood
for nothing, but after one unrelated name was briefly adopted and then
dropped, club members decided on the full name of “Combined
Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America.”
In 1985 CONECA ended its merger with The Error Coin Museum.
The club publishes a bimonthly magazine, Errorscope, for its
members. Visit the club website at www.conecaonline.org. ■