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Letters to the Editor (Oct. 17, 2017)

 John Mercanti (right) signs a book for dealer Ken Viets before being approached by a retired teacher with an opinion on handwriting. Mercanti’s wife, Marianne, looks on.

John Mercanti (right) signs a book for dealer Ken Viets before being approached by a retired teacher with an opinion on handwriting. Mercanti’s wife, Marianne, looks on.

Mercanti schooled on signature by retired teacher

Your experience with the “cursive collector” brought to mind a rather humorous encounter at our PAN 2016 Fall Coin Show and Convention. John Mercanti attended our show as he has periodically done in the many years past. He has always tried to help us out with his appearances.

We had a book-signing table set up. John was graciously signing his silver Eagle books and anything else that collectors brought and wanted him to sign. The line progressed without a glitch until it came to an old retired school teacher that had been waiting and observing the process. When it came to his turn, he directly instructed John not to sign his book in that scribble that he calls a signature. John paused and asked him how he would like him to sign his own signature. The old fellow replied that he was a retired school teacher and illegible handwriting would not be tolerated. He instructed John to long-handed and cursively make all the letters in his name legible and correct so there would be no question as to whom the signature belongs. John, not wanting to receive an “F” on his report card, kindly complied. Thank God for his artistic skills and his ability to render the task with ease as directed.

The old teacher kindly thanked him and left. John, his lovely wife Marianne and I looked at each other in confused bewilderment, wondering if the encounter really just happened. I suspect that we won’t see that signed copy on eBay, but it is certainly one of a kind!

Pat McBride
Address withheld

Hobby loses honest, trusting dealer in Leon Hendrickson

I had met Leon Hendrickson several years ago at the MSNS in Dearborn, Mich. As you can imagine, he was quite busy and saw me standing there. He saw that I had a paper bag taped up and asked what I had. I told him I had 104 Ike dollars, would he be interested? He said yes and made me a very generous offer, which I gladly accepted. I gave him the bag and he turned to his son, David, and told him to pay me. I asked him to check the contents to be sure, and he said, “Why should I? You told me what you had.” It could have been a bag full of washers for that matter. He said he took me at my word as were all his transactions. That’s the sort of man he was, trusting and honest. He will be missed.

I also would like to comment on “Viewpoint.” Kudos to Frank Robinson on his comments on Jim Klein’s view on coin cleaning. If it weren’t for cleaned and damaged (holed, bent, etc.) coins, I never would have completed my 19th century type set, not to mention my 18th century set as well, sans the 1796-97 half dollar. The cost would have been too prohibitive. (Anyone have a cleaned, holed, bent, beat-up one to sell?)

Frank Henry
Address withheld

Why the big deal over asking prices now?

I wish to comment on the letter about the asking prices of “Pawn Stars.” Back in the stone ages of the ’70s and ’80s, there was the Graysheet for coin prices. I considered myself lucky if I got 50 percent of Graysheet values, so what is the big deal of this happening now?

John Benson Prescott
Valley, Ariz.

ANA World’s Fair of Money returns to Denver with gusto

The American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, 126th convention, was held at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver, Colo., Aug. 1-5. The last ANA WFOM held in Denver was in 2006, and that convention had no official auction and was held in the very back of the convention center. This event had two, a Heritage auction and a Stack’s Bowers auction. Both of these auctions had thousands of lots that realized tens of millions of dollars in sales. The majority of items in all the sales sold for excellent prices.

This World’s Fair of Money was held in the front of the convention center on the second floor. The convention had more than 500 bourse tables, which included 21 club tables, eight government agencies (that featured the annual World Mint Passport), the U.S. Mint (with a special set of coins that drew large crowds trying to purchase them) and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing (with their special drawing for the Spider Press prints, the U.S. Post Office and FedEx, a fantastic ANA Museum Showcase, a Kids Zone Treasure Trivia area, dozens of well-done competitive exhibits (kudos to Robert Rhue for winning the Howland Wood Best-in-Show award with his exhibit titled “The Colored-Seal Notes of Colonial Georgia”), daily Money Talks educational programs, an important ANA District Representatives meeting, an author’s table, Coin Collecting 101 classes, a Maynard Sundman/Littleton Coin Co. Lecture Series, ANA Legacy Series and reception featuring Barbara Gregory interviewing Tom and Ken Hallenbeck, a Scout Merit Badge Clinic, the official ANA coin and supply dealer Whitman Publishing, and the official ANA grading services NGC and PMG along with many more grading services.

Numismatic publisher in attendance included F+W Media/Krause Publications (it is always nice to get the new annual Coin Show Calendar sponsored by Numismatic News) and Amos Press/Coin World.

Several off-site dinners and meetings by different coin clubs and organizations included PNG, NLG (congratulations to Bank Note Reporter and Coins magazine Editor Robert Van Ryzin for being awarded the NLG Clemy Award), CONECA, TAMS and others.

There was a well-done official program, ANA official medals and ANACS provided cloth bags for everyone who attended the convention. The Elongated Collectors featured a rolling machine and an area featuring the special elongated made for this convention. Concession stands were kept very busy.

The Friday night ANA Awards Banquet was also very nice, and the silent auction was very successful.

A special thanks to Michael “Miles” Standish, who had his head shaved by special guest Rick Harrison of “Pawn Stars” to raise money for the ANA and the Standish Foundation for Child & Family Centered Healthcare, a nonprofit devoted to helping sick children.

An admission is charged for both of the ANA annual coin conventions for non-ANA members. Once again the board and staff came up with a slabbed silver medal for new members. If you don’t belong, visit and join the association. Join, not just for a possible slabbed medal you may get, but for the many educational opportunities the ANA will have available to you as a member. Many of the activities held at this event including the official program are possible because of the generous support of the convention sponsors and patrons. Without their support, we don’t think the association could even have a convention the size and scope of what was held in Denver. From our perspective, the convention was well-attended and most of the dealers we talked to had an excellent convention. This is also a great location for a coin show. The immediate area of the convention center has many excellent hotels, restaurants and reasonable rates for parking.

It takes many months to prepare for a convention of this magnitude. We want to thank the following for tireless and dedicated service: Convention Manager Rhonda Scurek and Exposition Manager Sam Joseph along with their entire staff, Executive Director Kim Kiick and her staff, President Jeff Garrett and the board, and especially Host Chair Steve D’Ippolito along with Honorary Host Chair Gerome Walton and their committee. Thanks to the Colorado Springs Numismatic Society for hosting the event. Thanks again to everyone and anyone we missed for their work to make this a very successful WFOM in Denver.

We would be remiss if we didn’t mention the Sunday, Aug. 6, Golden Day 50th anniversary of ANA headquarters dedication in Colorado Springs. We took the bus that was arranged by ANA for a modest fee to headquarters on Sunday morning. Upon arrival, ANA staff members checked us in for the event. It has been quite a while since we were an ANA headquarters, and we were very pleased with the way the exhibits were presented to attendees. Several food venues were set up including a fantastic cake that resembled the ANA headquarters. We had Hall of Fame Inductee Raymond W. Dillard prepare special rolled coins (1967 and 2017 half dollars) commemorating the event Considering how tired the ANA staff had to be, everyone was smiling and thanking all who attended for supporting the ANA. Many of them returned to the convention center on Monday to help break down the just completed WFOM convention. It was a grand celebration that we think everyone who attended (probably 150 or more) enjoyed immensely. Thanks to ANA for setting up this event for the membership.

We hope to see you at the next two ANA conventions: the National Money Show in Irvine, Texas, March 8-10, 2018, and the World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia, Pa., August 14-18, 2018.

John and Nancy Wilson
ANA National Volunteers
Ocala, Fla.

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News. >> Subscribe today.

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