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This week’s intriguing people

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Michael S. ?Stan? Turrini,
Vallejo, California
Belongs To Over One Hundred Organizations, Clubs, Groups, and Associations

One:        Once, I was asked what sparked my intense and now lifelong interest in our ?world of money’, and my response has been that sometime in the late 1950s, my long deceased and little remembered neighbor, Mrs. Tripplet, gave me a simple small Christmas gift. It was one of the old type small boxes, like those one would picked-up at a local stationery store, for notary seals or gold stars that a grammar school teacher might stick on a really good assignment. For me, opening it, open a world of involvement and fun, with time. I still remember unwrapping it, with my late Dad looking-on, and lifting the box cover off to discover some old coins and particular a well-worn 1898 Barber Half Dollar. It is still in my collection, saved and secured in my safe deposit box, over a half century later.

Two:        Remember, our hobby is truly ?the world of money?, because there are coin hobbyists most anywhere you go or fly around this world. With the advent of Internet, you can communicate with any coin hobbyist anywhere. Remember also, our hobby is a continuum, as there were hobbyists yesterday, and there are hobbyists today, there shall be hobbyists tomorrow. But, remember most, our hobby can create fun, and the camaraderie and fellowships are its real undervalued treasure. In addition, look for and try to encourage the commonalities among collecting and hobby interests, for this is also an underestimated advantage of numismatics: its relations and relatives to other collecting and hobbies.


Three: 
       I jog, actually slow walk, everyday, for what it is worth in weight control, have written in a daily journal consistently since May 23, 1968, and used to love to dance to Disco! If time would allow, going back to fishing, having rods and reels ready, would be something to relax an afternoon. Plus, I can name all the United States Presidents in order and tell you some ?dirt? about each! And, I took Latin in high school.


Four:  
      Something old, really old, which one can tell a story to it. In my accumulations, there is a 1861 Seated Liberty Half Dollar, purchased from my first and foremost mentor, back in the mid-1970s, for just a few dollars, but it was what ?Bill? Cummings said to me when I purchased it, which should be said by others to novice and new hobbyists. It was these words: ?if that coin could talk?. Any old coin has been held by saints and sinners and travel thousands of miles through time itself, witnessing history as it happened. That is powerful.


Five:   
    A gold Carnegie Medal, knowing that only nineteen (19) were issued, with the last in 1923. I have bronzes and two rare silvers, but the gold eludes me. Did hold, in 2004, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a specimen gold strike, and even have a snapshot of me holding it for a very brief few seconds.


Six:  
      My first and foremost mentor, William Frealin ?Bill? Cummings. Although ?Bill? (1902-1980) passed away back in September 1980 and many others have come to mentor and to influence, it was ?Bill?s? few lessons that continue to educate: enjoy the hobby, always listen to others, and be fair and honest. The primary lesson that he instilled was confidence, by saying simply but surely, one day, long ago, that ?You Will?, knowing then I would progress in our ?world of money?.

Seven:        Since I have never, to this date, considered numismatics as a business upon my part, this question is irrelevant. I do regret not purchasing certain coins over the years, allowing the price to increase, and there have been great purchases also. My mentor ?Bill? once said that opportunities do come and so do be prepared. Owning two Yap Stones, pedigree from the Island, is testimony enough for his sage advice.

Nine:        Attending the June 14, 1989 Bicentennial of Congress Congressional Coinage First Strike Ceremony at the United States Capital Building, one of the few times, and maybe only time, United States coins have been minted outside a United States Mint. I was invited, and took the last four days of the school year off and flew, flying for the first time in my life, to Washington, DC with my late fellow coin friend, Joe Sirois. We attended the ceremony, and I took many slides. What made it a real joy is that we remained for several days and did all the tours and visits, walking many miles. In fact, we circled the Lincoln Memorial and walked the entire Mall! Going to Arlington and to the Tombs of the Unknown and viewing Washington below shall remain always treasured.


Ten: 
       First, in my hobby time since beginning in organized numismatic back in August 1972 and in these past fifty-five (55) years, the United States Mint has become the world?s largest and most active coin dealer. Second, in addition, world mints have joined their nation?s respective postal authorities with their copious stamp issues and become ?coin dealing mints?. Third, ?third-party grading? has changed and continued to change our hobby. Fourth, the rise of specialty collecting groups, for many, if not most, did not exist fifty-five (55) years ago.

Additional:    One, our ?world of money? is truly a ?world of friends and fellow hobbyists?. Many of my friends and acquaintances are solely founded because of kinship with and in numismatics. This, too, is one of our hobby?s great undervalued assets. Two, always give back, generously and readily, for our ?world of money?s? survival and success are predicated upon not what one takes but what one gives. Three, never be ashamed wearing saddles, shorts, and a cap! And Remember, Have Fun With Your Hobby! Always Serve Others! Enjoy Your Collecting! And, Create Hope!

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Christopher Webb
Dix Noonan Webb Auctioneers
London, UK

 
 
How and when did you get started in the hobby?

To cut a long story short, I was an apprentice Elevator Engineer and a total failure, I started looking for a new career, applied for two places, one a landscape gardener, the other an Auction sale room porter (Glendinning?s), it was November 1972, I passed for both places, could not decide, said yes to both, and on the Monday Morning to start work, it was poring with rain, so that settled it, auctions for me.
 

What advice would you give to someone who is new to the hobby of
 numismatics?

Make sure you enjoy it or there is no point .
 

Tell us something that most people don?t know about you.

Best kept to myself .
 

If you could select the first coin for someone to begin a collection with
what would it be and why
?

A Roman Denarius, you can buy them for a few pounds, they are fantastic works of art and the thought that these were used all over the known
world by people in togas makes you think .
 

If you were allowed to buy one coin, no matter the price, what would it
be and why?

A James VI  20 Pound, a Fantastic Coin !
 

Behind every successful person … tell us about someone who has had a significant impact on your professional success.

Mr French was my mentor, anybody who knew him or had met would know why.
 

What is the best business decision you?ve ever made, and why?

To leave Glen?s and to set up this present company, it is hard to describe how satisfying that is.  
  

What is the most memorable industry event ? auction, show, etc. ? that you?ve attended, and why?

So many Auctions it is hard to pick one, but I guess the sale of the
Mary and Henry Darnley Ryal of 1565, which sold for ?42,000, then a record price, which I had discovered in a junk box!  

In your opinion, what is the most unique/compelling marketing or promotional program during the past 55 year?  

 
I guess it is a combination of thing?s, the presentation of Auction catalogues and price lists in full colour must have had a big impact.   
 

   

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Ed Reiter
Senior editor, COINage
Glen Rock, N.J. (home); Ventura, Calif. (magazine)

How and when did you get started in the hobby?

In my freshman year of high school, I became friendly with a classmate named Dick Leary, who was vice president of the Rochester Junior Numismatic Association in my hometown of Rochester, N.Y. He got me interested in coins, and subsequently the owners of several mom-and-pop stores in my neighborhood allowed me to look through the coins in their cash drawers. During one such search, I found a 1909-S VDB Lincoln cent in fair condition ? a coin then listed in the Red Book at $9 in good condition.


What advice would you give to someone who is new to the hobby of numismatics?

 Read all you can about the hobby before buying any coin for more than face value. Find a series you like and (if it?s a current one) try to find as many date-and-mint combinations as you can in circulation. See if there are any coin clubs in your area and go to one of the meetings; you?ll meet kindred spirits who will reinforce your interest. Also check for coin shops; some dealers won?t bother with beginners, but others take time to help them and really get them off on the right foot.


Tell us something that most people don?t know about you.

 I?ll tell you several things. I?m a frustrated songwriter who aspired to be another Jerome Kern, back in the days of pre-hysteric music. I?m a longtime reader and collector of EC comic books from the 1950s (?Tales From the Crypt,? ?Weird Science? and the original ?Mad,? among others). I was chess champion at my college (St. Bonaventure University). I put together sample final examinations in my favorite high school subjects (including Latin). And I?ve constructed a number of coin-themed crossword puzzles.


 If you could select the first coin for someone to begin a collection with what would it be and why?

 
I can think of several, but I guess my first choice would be a 1909-VDB Lincoln cent. Lincolns are the coins most new collectors begin with, and this first-year issue contains a number of the elements that make our hobby so appealing: history (the fact that it marked the centennial of Abraham Lincoln?s birth), artistry (Victor D. Brenner?s simple yet elegant design), the importance of small features (Brenner?s initials and the mint mark ? or, in this case, the lack of a mint mark), intrigue (the outcry that led to the removal of those initials) and value (when the new collector learns what the coin would be worth if it had those initials plus an ?S? mint mark). The 1909-VDB can be purchased in attractive circulated condition for just a few dollars. It would be a great starting point.

If you were allowed to buy one coin, no matter the price, what would it be and why?

An ultra-high-relief Saint-Gaudens double eagle in the highest attainable grade. This is truly the ultimate in U.S. coinage art — and exceedingly rare and valuable, to boot. 


 Behind every successful person ? tell us about someone who has had a significant impact on your professional success.

 I?ve had helping hands throughout my career as a numismatic writer, columnist and editor. My editor at the Asbury Park (N.J.) Press, Si Liberman, gave me my first chance to write a regular coin column. Cliff Mishler recruited me to edit Numismatic News — a position that greatly broadened my perspective and my platform. Bernie Gladstone gave me my biggest soapbox of all, as Numismatics columnist for The New York Times. But of all the people who helped my career, the single most important was Jim Miller, the late publisher of COINage, who hired me in 1986 as that magazine?s senior editor — a post I still hold today. Although this is not a full-time position (I also work at a daily newspaper in a job unrelated to coins), it has given me the security I lacked in my years as a free-lancer and the stature to present my views in print and receive a respectful hearing.

What is the best business decision you?ve ever made, and why?

 I don?t get to make business decisions very often. I guess it was business-related when I decided to accept an invitation from Mike Levitas of The New York Times a few years ago to write a book called ?The New York Times Guide to Coin Collecting.? It?s my one and only book — and though magazine articles are my strong point, I?m glad to have this one, much more permanent, piece of writing available for inclusion in my obituary.


What is the most memorable industry event ? auction, show, etc. ? that you?ve attended, and why?

 The opening session of the Garrett Sale in 1979. That was the sale that ushered in the era of fabulous public auctions where coins from some of the all-time greatest collections — Garrett, Brand, Eliasberg, Norweb, Pittman, Ford and others ? changed hands for incredible sums, totally transforming the hobby and the marketplace.


In your opinion, what is the most unique/compelling marketing or promotional program during the past 55 years.

There were two, in my opinion. One was the introduction of third-party grading by PCGS in 1986. David Hall?s innovation of grading coins by consensus, then encapsulating them in ?slabs,? was both a solution to the grading problems then besetting the market and, at the same time, the basis for a whole new way of buying and selling coins. Two decades later, the ?Grading Revolution? has made certification a vital tool for dealers and collectors.
 
The second marketing masterstroke was the U.S. government sale of Carson City silver dollars in the 1970s. That program jump-started the coin-buying boom that gained momentum throughout the Seventies, culminating in the greatest bull market rare coins have ever known. There were other factors feeding the frenzy, of course ? the raging market in precious metals and runaway inflation, to name two. But the CC Dollar Sale drew many thousands of non-collectors into the hobby and the market, and laid the groundwork for Morgan dollars? ascendancy as collectibles.

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Randy Thern
Krause Publications, ANA, IADA, Manuscript Society, U.A.C.C.
Scandinavia, WI

How and when did you get started in the hobby?

In about 1972 ? accumulation given to me by my grandmother.

What advice would you give to someone who is new to the hobby of numismatics?

Buy books; learn about grading; do a lot of comparison shopping before buying; buy the best grade you can afford; avoid hype, claims of future increases, etc.; ask lots of questions, buy for fun and learning now, investment later; even if you buy certified coins, look closely at them.


Tell us something that most people don?t know about you.

I collect and deal in autographs; I enjoy Progressive Rock Music ? YES, ELP; King Crimson, etc.


If you could select the first coin for someone to begin a collection with what would it be and why?

High-grade, spot-free copper coins of the world ? 19th & 20th century. They are hard to find, attractive and have good potential.

If you were allowed to buy one coin, no matter the price, what would it
be and why?

The best grade Gothic Crown I could find. It is a gorgeous coin!

Behind every successful person ? tell us about someone who has had a significant impact on your professional success.

Clifford Mishler ? My wife was looking at some coins I had with me at my in-laws house (Mishlers). She picked one up and asked, ?why did you buy this?? ? Cliff?s voice echoed from the other room ?Because it?s neat!?.

What is the best business decision you?ve ever made, and why?

It?s a secret.
 

What is the most memorable industry event ? auction, show, etc. ? that you?ve attended, and why?

NYINC ? just about any of them. New York is alive 24-7, lots of interesting people, always surprises ? lots of neat stuff.
 

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Donald H. Kagin, Ph.D./Numismatics
Kagin?s Inc., past Governor of ANA and numerous coin clubs
Tiburon, California


How and when did you get started in the hobby?

1955 my father brought home a sack of 1000 Lincoln cents to sort by date, and I was hooked.


What advice would you give to someone who is new to the hobby of
 numismatics?

Collect what you like; read books and other literature on that area; find a dealer who will work and mentor you in building your collection

Tell us something that most people don?t know about you.

I left college for a year to travel with an international music group called Up With People and learned that while most people around the world have the same major issues to deal with, but each has their own perspective. Those of us from the U.S. take a lot for granted.

If you could select the first coin for someone to begin a collection with
 what would it be and why?

If one could afford it, a $50 gold piece from the California gold rush. It represents the ingenuity of our nation?s pioneers to provide for an adequate medium of exchange(the main reason for issuing coins), it is unusual and interesting, and one of the most beautiful of all coinage.


If you were allowed to buy one coin, no matter the price, what would it
be and why?

The Brasher Doubloon because it is the first distinctly American gold coin

Behind every successful person ? tell us about someone who has had a significant impact on your professional success.

My father, A.M.Kagin


What is the best business decision you?ve ever made, and why?

Besides getting into the business of numismatics, it would be the repurchase of the Clifford-Kagin Collection of Pioneer Gold Coins


What is the most memorable industry event ? auction, show, etc. ? that you?ve attended, and why
?

The Garrett sales, especially part 2 in 1980 with the sale of the unique proof $50 A. Humbert gold piece and a number of great pioneer gold rarities.
 

In your opinion, what is the most unique/compelling marketing or promotional program during the past 55 years.

The creation of the independent grading services starting with ANACS, and especially PCGS and all their promotions.

Michael Haynes
Collector’s Universe, Inc.
Newport Beach, CA


How and when did you get started in the hobby?

I was nine years  old visiting coin shops in downtown Fort Worth, Texas.


What advice would you gove to someone who is new to the hobby of numismatics?

My advice is to learn as muhc as you can about a single issue and then expand from there.

Tell us something that most people don’t know about you.  

I played college football at SMU in Dallas ,Texas.

If you could select the first coin for someone to begin a collection with what would it be and why?

Lincoln cents are a great place to start since there is a large number available over many years with relatively low prices.


If you were allowed to buy one coin, no matter the prices, what would it be
?  

Tewnty dollar Saint-Gaudens High Relief in MS63 or better; this is the most beautiful coin ever produced.


Behind every successful person…tell us about someone who has had  a significant impact on your professional success.

My wife puts up with me as I travel around the U.S. and the world.

What is the best business decision you’ve ever made and why?

I’d like to think it was the most recent decision, since the results have yet to be determined.

What was the most memorable industry event – auction, show, etc. – that you’ve attended and why?

Grand openings are always memorable, and for the coin business I had the pleasure of launching the first lot of a new auction company, at the time Steve Ivy Numismatic Auctions, now called Heritage Auctions.

In your opinion, what is the most unique/compelling marketing or promotional program during the past 55 years?

The establishment of PCGS, and later the creation of PCGS set registry,
set in motion a series of events that have dramatically improved and broadened the hobby and in general the personal satifaction and fulfillment of collectors.

 

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