Summer 2022 has ended with a couple of numismatic events that I thoroughly enjoyed. The first was the ANA summer show in Chicago. The other, just this week, was my coin club’s annual picnic. Both were significant and, for that matter, the year’s numismatic highlights.
First, there is nothing like a major coin show for buying new coins, viewing educational displays, making new friends, and catching up with old friends. The annual ANA Worlds Fair of Money is one of the year’s best shows, and whenever it is in Chicago, I try to attend.
This year instead of driving to Chicago, I took the bus my coin club chartered. There is nothing like riding 2-plus hours with your club friends talking coins. Furthermore, riding to Chicago on the bus was much cheaper than driving.
Once there, I took care of business first. I went to the US Mint area to buy the just-released Liberty silver medal. Desiring the ANA provenance, I took the medal to NGC with several other submissions for grading. Because the medal went on sale Thursday and I went to the show on Friday, I didn’t know if one would be available when I got to the show, so I ordered one online Thursday.
As an aside, I found the online ordering process with the US Mint much better than in the past. No hang-ups with the website and shipping that same day. It doesn’t get much better than that. Now, if I’m going to whine about how messed up the US Mint is for placing orders, I ought to let them know when things are working as they ought. Later that afternoon, I told the new US Mint director in person how pleased I was with the latest ordering experience. The smile on her face beamed from ear to ear.
After window shopping dealer tables and viewing displays, I was tired and had to sit down. I eventually stopped by the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists table. Having introduced myself as a fellow PAN member, I had a pleasant conversation with W. Thomas Corey. We mainly talked about other PAN members and persons I thought he should know. I also attempted to visit ANA member World_Coin_Nut’s table, but he was away at the time. However, I had a brief but pleasant conversation with his wife. Overall, I had a nice afternoon and enjoyed chilling on the bus ride home.
Currently, member dues for my coin club are $5 per year. Attending the club’s picnic means I get more from my annual dues than I paid. The club paid for subs, chips, and a cookie for my wife and me. Oh, and I paid for my drinks which amounted to two bottles of bottled water. I often wonder where my club gets the money for all the club activities I take advantage of. Then I remember that my club hosts two regional coin shows a year.
One of the highlights of the annual picnic is the BINGO games we play for coin-related prizes donated by a generous local coin dealer. There were 8 games to be played by 30 people in attendance, with one grand prize. The grand prize this year and in past years has been a small gold coin, usually a 1/10 ounce gold eagle. As was pointed out by the member calling the game, there would be only 8 winners and 22 losers. My wife and I always brace for the worst. Last year we won NOTHING ☹. Still, we left with a smile on our faces having had a good time.
Each game increases the odds for the losers since the winners are ineligible to play after they win. However, everyone plays the last game for the grand prize. As fate would have it, my wife finally won something this year. She won a 50 State Quarters Coin & Die Set. The set included a Kentucky State Quarter with the die that struck it and a COA with all the pertinent information about the die. The quarter has a considerable amount of residue on the coin’s surface. This all begs to question of how it got there. One clue is found in the COA, which states that the accompanying quarter is “one of the first acceptable production coins struck with this die.” I am guessing that the planchet wasn’t washed or something of that sort.
That brings me to the final BINGO game for a 1996, 1/10-ounce, $5 gold coin. The game started very slowly for me. However, since it was a full card game, I had plenty of time to catch up. After about ¾ of the way through, I started hitting all the numbers on the card. Finally, I was down to one number, hoping nobody else would call BINGO. The following number was called, and I yelled BINGO! I had just won the gold coin! My wife and I beat the odds this year and brought two of eight prizes home. It seems as if it’s feast or famine for us! And that’s OK. It’s all about fun and fellowship anyway!
Ultimately, I realized that it’s more fun to yell BINGO than to take home a prize. To have to fill a full card was very satisfying. It made winning that much sweeter! Finally, if anyone wants to know the name of the generous dealer who donated the prizes, please send me a personal message. Otherwise, the $5 gold coin should cover next year’s dues! Gary