Old World, New Ideas
Kevin D. Goldberg began collecting European coins as a Middle School student in suburban Philadelphia. Three decades later, he still collects European coins, but now in suburban Atlanta, where he teaches in the Department of History & Philosophy at Kennesaw State University. He earned his Ph.D. in European History from the University of California, Los Angeles, and was a postdoctoral fellow in the International Humanities at Brown University, 2011-2013. Kevin has been planning on expanding his collection beyond Europe for the past decade, but is only now getting around to it.
Beating the Chicago Blues
It’s that time of year; school is back in session, traffic is trending heavier, days are trending shorter, and summer vacations are coming to an end. To add insult to injury, many of us had to watch from the sidelines as the hobby gathered in Chicago last weekend for the World’s Fair of Money, perhaps the busiest coin show on the yearly circuit.
If ever a shot in the arm was needed for a bad case of numismatic envy, it was this past week. Fortunately for collectors in the Southeast, the antidote was available in the form of the 56th Blue Ridge Numismatic Association (BRNA) show, held in Dalton, GA, August 21-23.
Dalton, an easy daytrip from Atlanta, Nashville, and Birmingham, is an ideal location for the show’s 300+ dealers to cast a wide net. The show this year—on Saturday at least—seemed less-well attended by collectors than in years past, but this hardly dampened the mood. Entering the showroom reminded me of walking through a bleacher tunnel at a football stadium. Just like when seeing the freshly painted white lines atop the lush green grass and hearing the intoxicating roar of the crowd, I was overawed with the enticing task of scrutinizing a few hundred tables.
Although the BRNA show is geared more towards collectors of U.S. coins than world coins, there were enough well-stocked dealers in foreign types to make the trip worthwhile. I didn’t find anything on my “want” list, but I was happy to leave with a 1622 Nuremberg 15 Kreuzer, a relatively large denomination from the “Kipper and Wipper” period, a time when rulers in Central Europe debased their currencies in an effort to pay for the wars then engulfing the continent.
As always seems to happen, I regretted passing on a few coins as soon as I pulled out of the parking lot. And as usual, I considered turning around until about 20 minutes into the drive. Alas, a pristine 5 Batzen from the Swiss Canton of Aargau that should have been riding shotgun with me likely will by this point have traveled home on the same horse that it rode in on.
Despite the fact that I struck out with my want list, and that I was cautious to a fault when faced with spontaneous purchasing decisions, the Blue Ridge show did what I had hoped; it injected a dose of fun into an otherwise busy time of year and cured a nasty case of World’s Fair of Money envy. I’m already looking forward to getting sick with envy again next year.