Prefect weather, an enthused audience, great presentations, and related activities combined to create an outstanding James H. Laird Memorial Seminar Sept. 15 in Vallejo, Calif.
Hosted by the Northern California Numismatic Association and held at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum, the 5th California Numismatic Seminar was renamed for Laird, who recently died and had been a primary benefactor.
“We were most pleased with the attendance and the presentations. Written comments by attendees repeatedly complimented the facility and the fine programs given by our presenters,” said Lloyd. Chan, NCNA’s president.
The four presenters in order were: Scott E. Douglas of Acton, Ontario, Canada; Dr. David S. Goya of San Mateo, Calif; William D. Hyder of Scotts Valley, Calif.; and Scott D. “Si” Griffin of Suisun City, Calif.
Douglas spoke about Hudson’s Bay tokens and medals. His presentation was comprehensive and generated new interest among seminar attendees. He noted that Hudson’s Bay Company would be 350 years in existence in 2020. While no longer in the fur trade and dealing with Canadian First Nations in remote trading posts, the company was instrumental in the development of much of present-day Canada. This development was reflected with its tokens, “Made Beaver,” scrip and service medals.
Dr. Goya shared his passion for the commemorative coinage from the Panama-Pacific International Exposition of 1915 in San Francisco. Each commemorative issue was reviewed in detail, including potential values and rarity, as well as the background of these issues. Farren Zerbe, who was much involved in the designs and sales, was acknowledged. Dr. Goya exhibited the rare and highly sought framed holders and display boxes, minus the coins. He added that then-Treasury Secretary William McAdoo had much influence in the design selections, as he was a casual numismatist.
Hyder began the afternoon session with “So-Called Dollars of Western United States Expositions,” adding that as much as he likes to collect, “I also like to write rather than exhibit,” sharing what has been learned. He noted and credited his close collaboration with noted so-called dollar scholar Jeff Shevlin. Historical backgrounds of various issues, as well as related collectibles, were explained. Hyder remarked that values as well as interest in so-called dollars have exploded in recent years.
Griffin concluded the seminar with “Toned Morgan Dollars.” His presentation logically presented the factors behind toning: the color spectrum, the types of toning, and even tools to distinguish between artificial and natural toning. The influences as to what collectors would prefer would be the color, surface, haze and grade. Toning on the obverse is sought rather than toning on the reverse. A key factor is the length Morgan dollars were left in cloth bags, as well as the rate of change on different levels of a dollar’s surface.
Patrons and contributors were recognized. Alexander B. “Xan” Chamberlain and Michael S. “Stan” Turrini were honored with certificates for their generosity toward the Canadian Association for Numismatic Education. Both were recognized for their generosity by Scott E. Douglas, representing CAFNE.
Herbert Miles, who now resides in Southern California, was awarded the NCNA President’s Medal and the Donnell Award from the Alameda Coin Club.
Assisting Turrini, who was the seminar coordinator, were: Donald L. Hill and Earlene Millier, registration and door prizes; Herbert Miles, moderator; Maria E. Stillwagon, dinner arrangements; and Lloyd G. Chan, video/DVD and photography.
No date has been set for the 2019 Seminar. Updates can be found at www.solanocoinclub.com.
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