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FUN convention makes fast start

It was busy on the bourse floor at the Florida United Numismatists convention yesterday.

That is a good sign, especially when it lasts most of the day.

A crowd was waiting in the lobby to get in at 10 a.m. after a ribbon was cut.

FUN President Randy Campbell kept his welcome remarks short. But he did take time to mention that a FUN president from the 1970s, Bill Calderazzo, had made a donation.

The money will pay for sending two Young Numismatists each year to the American Numismatic Association Summer Seminar on full scholarships.


Abigail Zechman

The amount was not revealed, but Campbell said it would fund the two annual scholarships for many years to come.

Because dealers were occupied with customers, I spent some time in the club table area.

At the Original Hobo Nickel Society table, I met 15-year-old Abigail Zechman. She was carving a hobo nickel.

This form of art begins with a Buffalo nickel. Her work required the use of a stereo-microscope.

She said she had just begun her third year carving these sought-after collectible pieces and she was pleased to be able to put her artistic skills to good use.

Also at the table was Harry L. Caldwell IV. His carving was monitored by a camera. It fed a live signal into a video screen for the benefit of the public passing by. Images of the coin being crafted were hugely magnified.


Harry L. Caldwell IV

Caldwell has a background in the jewelry business. He has a website. Check it out at

Later today, and tomorrow, if I can get near the dealers at their tables, I will ask them to assess how they rate their results. FUN is the first big show of the year. It helps set the tone.

If Thursday was any indication, they will have a lot of good news to tell me.