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ANA Summer Seminar - Week #2 Summary

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I wanted to provide a small summary to compliment the one done for Week #1 for the ANA Summer Seminar (from the other side of the street).


Let me first tell you, the seminar was described by one fellow board member as Disneyland for numismatists and he is right on! It was friggin' awesome! You can rub elbows with many of the biggest names in the business. I had a chance to speak (sometimes briefly sometimes much longer) with J.P. Martin, Rick Snow, Ken Bressett (he signed my ANA Grading book...thanks Ken!), Bill Conroy and Bill S. (from NGC), Bob Rhue, Tom Hallenbeck, Charlie Brown, Harlan Berk, Ricardo (forgot last name, specialist in Mexican coinage currency), Jim Jones, and many others. Also, there were a large number of collectors in all sorts of specialties that I really enjoyed talking to. I have a wide range of interests that I've toyed with exploring or have dabbled in and these people have some extraordinary knowledge and insights. It was hard to not talk to all of these people without having the biggest smile always on my face.


I also want to say that you definitely get your money's worth. And, I mean that. I think after you figure in the cost of the room and board your paying no more than $12/hour of highly specialized instruction time. You cannot get that anywhere else!


The YN auctions raised just over $23,700 for the two weeks. Week #2 raised over $15,600 alone! We beat the [embarrassing lack of self control] out of week #1. The auction alone was extremely entertaining. I came away with a Coins of the World album (for my daughter) which was originally produced by the Franklin Mint. I way overpaid for it but it was worth helping out the YN's. There are a ton of stories to talk about just about the auction...you had to be there! Now, because of the auctions, 23 YN's can have scholarships to attend the ANA Summer Seminar for 2007.


I went to every single what-used-to-be-called "bull sessions" or mini-mini seminar. This included: X-Ray Spectroscopy, So You Want to be a Coin Dealer, An Early American Collection (this was spectacular!), a lecture about the collector Colonel Green, Mexican History and its Coinage (a wonderful speaker and enlightening talk), and others that I'm forgetting right now.


Virtually every night was spent staying up late speaking with fellow collectors of varied interests talking about various aspects of the hobby and their personal collections and advice....advice....advice.


The Advanced Grading and Problem Coins seminar was a tremendous boost to my knowledge of understanding how to accurately grade Mint State (and near-Mint State) coinage and recognizing coins that cannot be traditionally holdered. I have had very little experience handling gold but I graded everything from $1 to $20 gold pieces, including Clark and Gruber pieces. Plus, we had a grading session on just territorial and colonial pieces that was challenging to say the least.


The most challenging aspect of grading for me was determining when something was "wear" vs. "rub" and when there was bit too much rub (and/or lack of luster) to put the coin into a Mint State holder. Very eye opening!


The graders were more than happy to field any and all questions, no matter how politically correct. They constantly compared and contrasted grading standards between NGC and PCGS. That was also pretty cool. Bill Conroy (NGC) was extremely enlightening and extremely knowledgeable. He never hesitated to call a spade a spade. I couldn't count how many times he said that something should have never holdered at a certain grade that was currently in a PCGS or NGC holder. At a time or two, he blanched and said he was embarrassed it holdered at that particular grade. Many times he stated that a certain coin would absolutely upgrade by the current services' standards from the current holder it was in. Everything was explained very clearly so there was little doubt as to why something should or should not grade a particular way. This seminar was worth every penny!!!


The ANA Library and Museum was in 3 minute walking distance. Plus, you get to see some crappy old coins like a couple of 1804 Bust Dollars and a couple of yucky 1913 Liberty Nickels wink.gif. I picked up a copy of the latest Hendin book for $40!


If you guys have questions, go ahead and shoot. There were a few board members that I ran into there, like Fiddler and Trime.


My face is still hurting from smiling too much!



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  • Member: Seasoned Veteran

A good time was had by all!


I'm just back from teaching U. S. Type Coins with co-instructor Frank Van Valen of American Numismatic Rarities. Bruce is correct that the event is worth the investment, both for the education and the sheer fun.

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