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2008 New York International Coin Fair


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Saturday began with two meetings. The first was the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild meeting. This year I counted twenty-five attendees, the highest count I have seen thus far at these meetings. The meeting began with some words from a genetlemen representing ACE. I am afraid I was a few minutes late and thus did not catch his name. He lauded the assistance the ACE program has received from collectors and dealer. Harlan Berk was singled out for recognition in providing coins for study by students. Thanks to his efforts students get to see much more variety and rarity than would otherwise be possible. After a few words from Harlan, Wayne Sayles highlighted the events of the past year. The slideshow focused on educational activities as well as the increased national media attention that collector's issues have received. Next, Peter Tompa reviewed the legislative issues and actions. He dealt mainly with the import restrictions on Cyprus and China, and the FOIA lawsuit around how the decisions and requests have recently been handled. At the conclusion of the meeting Wayne handed out a packet with copies of some of the national articles that were released this year. Additionally, a request for contributions to the legal fund was attached. Since our own club is a member club, and dues were one time only, I will take this to our next meeting to ask for some contributions. A once per year club contribution seems like a good idea for all member clubs. Wayne also committed to post an article on the ACCG website detailing the top five issues that need volunteer help. Since there twenty member clubs it should be a snap to find about ten volunteers! At the conclusion of the meeting I was also able to meet Ed Snible in person, so now I have one more face to put with the electronic persona I see on-line.

The subsequent meeting was that of the Dedicated Byzantine Collectors. After minimal club business the presentation began. Officially it covered the changes in iconography of the solidus from the time of Anastasius until the reform of the coinage in 1091. I say officially because the presentation delved into pre-Byzantine times and started with Constantine who introduced the solidus. The talk was extremely informative. One thing I learned was that the emperor was depicted with a shield that bore devices of the mounted emperor spearing a fallen foe. The appearance of that shield over so many centuries makes me wonder if it ever existed as an actual imperial armament. Another aspect I found fascinating was the very slow conversion from Latin legends, to Greek legends in Latin characters, finally to all Greek legends. At the end the group also decided to nominate Prue Fitts for an ANA award for all her wonderful service.

After the meeting I ran once more into John Haer who was busy drooling on a Nerva denarius at the Smythe table. The coin had recently acquired a very attractive price and I fully expect to see it again at the next club meeting. Member Tom Beniak was also there basking in his Triton purchases. I slipped into Charlie Davies' book store and picked up RIC II Part 1 and picked his brain on a few other titles I plan on purchasing in the future. Since both Ian Carradice and Ted Buttrey were at the show I had my book signed. This afforded me two more real world interactions to layer atop by virtual numismatic associations. The floor traffic on Saturday looked very impressive. The young numismatists meeting that was held next to the Byzantine meeting was also quite full. I then made my way to find some lunch. The rest of Saturday was spent at the Metropolitan Museum where I was eager to see the new Roman and Greek wing. I'll write about that a little later, there are a very good number of ancient coins in that museum accenting the exhibits quite nicely.

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