As I write this we are well into the spring run of Iowa coin shows. I have attended several shows and plan to make it to several more before summer starts. Be sure to say hello if you see me.
I took my own advice from my last message and gave my oldest grandson a Lincoln Cent Whitman Album. Wow, was I surprised at his enthusiasm. I gave him a couple rolls of wheat cents to start with. I figured that would get him started and he could look through change for the newer coins. I talked to him a couple weeks later and he was so excited to tell me that had found a couple of his birth year. I had told him that since he was born in 2009 he had four different designs to find. His father had given him a 20th century type set folder and a couple of Washington Quarter pages. He really wanted to start collecting quarters. His birthday is coming up so I picked a state quarter album for him. I also have a Jefferson Nickel album ready to go. I found an 1817 large cent at the Muscatine show that I will give him as well. That should give him something to do this summer.
Numismatics is all about learning. When I go to a coin show I am always looking for something interesting that makes me want to know more about it. Several years ago I bought a Mexican Revolutionary banknote from Brian Fanton. It wasn't uncirculated, but it had a red over stamp on the back that made me want to know more. The over stamp reads:
This is a Genuine "Villa" Dollar
Send 50 cents for a complete set of
1, 5, 10, and 20 Peso Notes of Mexico
E. W. Harr, Nora Springs, Iowa
"Largest Numismatist Dealer in the West"
Now I really wanted to know who Mr. Harr was. I searched the internet and found nothing at the time. However, in January I was giving a presentation on Mexican money to the Cedar Rapids Club and ran across the note again. So I did another search. An article popped up from the June 1916 "Northwest Druggist" titled "Pharmacist-Numismatist". That made my day!
In closing, I look forward to seeing many of you at various shows and meetings in the coming months.
President, Iowa Numismatic Association