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Letters to the Editor: Jan. 4, 2022

From left: ANA Executive Director Kim Kiick, Dr. Don Kagin and Joint Coordinator Michael S. Turrini pause without masks for the camera during the Dec. 4 joint Christmas party of the Vallejo Numismatic Society and Fairfield Coin Club of California.

From left: ANA Executive Director Kim Kiick, Dr. Don Kagin and Joint Coordinator Michael S. Turrini pause without masks for the camera during the Dec. 4 joint Christmas party of the Vallejo Numismatic Society and Fairfield Coin Club of California.

ANA’s Kim Kiick Spends Time with Local Clubs

Kim Kiick, the executive director of the American Numismatic Association (ANA), spent a busy three days in northern California in early December with the Vallejo Numismatic Society and the Fairfield Coin Club and served as the Mistress of Ceremonies at the two groups’ annual joint Christmas party Dec. 4.

In addition to the joint Christmas party, she toured and tasted fine wines in the world-famous Napa Valley, attended and shared collecting at the Sequoia (Redwood City) Stamp Club’s PENPEX, a stamp show, building bridges between the two grand collecting hobbies, and added cheer at the holiday dinner of the Diablo (Concord/Walnut Creek) Numismatic Society.

From left: Xan Chamberlain, Don Hill accept the Ron Miller Memorial Award presented by Kim Kiick and Michael S. Turrini.

From left: Xan Chamberlain, Don Hill accept the Ron Miller Memorial Award presented by Kim Kiick and Michael S. Turrini.

Kim presided over the joint Christmas party, which had an attendance over 90, assisted in bestowing awards and recognitions, plus met and mingled with fellow hobbyists, sharing the joy of the holiday season. During the party, she met the presidents and members of these northern California coin clubs: Cupertino, Diablo, Fairfield, Liberty, Peninsula, Redwood Empire, Sacramento Valley, Solano Silver, Vallejo, the Northern California Numismatic Association (NCNA) and the California State Numismatic Association (CSNA).

She stated that this was an excellent opportunity to network and to learn from those involved with local coin clubs, as well as their leaders, while also offering encouragement. Even her visit to a stamp show proved educating. In short, local club members hope her time this December 2021 would spark further such travel and visits.

Kim is scheduled to attend and to contribute to the upcoming CSNA 75th Anniversary Convention and Show the last weekend in January 2022, being held in Arcadia, Calif.. Details are at calcoin.org.

Her festive and full three days were coordinated by Michael S. Turrini, current CSNA President, and Lloyd G. Chan, current NCNA President.

During all her visits, Kim was warmly received and spoke highly of the local groups’ efforts toward our numismatics, noting that social gatherings bring kindred hobbyists together. She identified the local coin clubs as the essential “grass roots” of organized numismatics. Kim clearly remarked that she had “a fantastic time.”

Acknowledging budget limitations and time obligations at the ANA’s headquarters, Kim still will consider invitations and opportunities to travel and to visit local coin clubs around the country

In closing, both the Fairfield and Vallejo groups express admiration and sincere appreciation to Kim Kiick for her enthusiasm, energy and engaging, with her great smile and laughs, during the first weekend of December 2021 here in northern California. Thanks, Kim! Best Wishes!

Michael S. Turrini
Vallejo, Calif.

Flea Market Find Kicked Off Quest for Mint Sets

I always enjoy Mr. Benvenuto’s articles in NN. He sets a price goal then shows what coins can be had for that price. As a collector on a budget, I do the same thing. I published a book through Amazon/Kindle a few years ago and listed over 300 coins with mintages of less than 1 million that could be bought for under $100 in circulated grades. The article by Mr. Benvenuto in the Nov. 9 issue of NN really caught my eye, as I started purchasing mint sets (proof and uncirculated) starting in 1978. My first-ever proof set was a 1968 that I bought at a flea market, and it is what really got me to start buying sets from the U.S. Mint.

Earlier this year, I purchased a hoard of 400 proof and uncirculated sets with a few modern commemorative coins mixed in. Included in this were 15 proof sets from 1959. Although the packaging and envelopes were in really nice shape, the coins had begun to get black spots on them, probably a chemical reaction with the green paper card inside, which was turning brown. I am glad the Mint packages their sets so much better these days. Out of the collection I purchased, the 1959s were the only early silver sets (there were a few modern silver Prestige sets), but this person had managed to accumulate numerous copies of nearly every year from 1965 onward, some still in their original, unopened five-to-a-box package directly from the Mint!

I saved two of the 1959 sets and removed some proof and uncirculated sets that I had failed to purchase over the years, and the rest I have been selling on eBay. I agree with Mr. Benvenuto that the quality of sets has improved. Some of the coins in the earlier sets have some minor flaws, whereas more recent sets contain coins that would all get a 70 or at least 69 grade in my opinion. I think this is also evidenced by the late-night [television] coin sales people who always seem to have a huge supply of MS-70 or PF-70 graded coins.

My only gripe about modern sets is the inflated prices, but that’s another topic.

Daryl Conley
Truth or Consequences, N.M.