At the 2008 Whitman Coin and Currency Convention

Tom Carrier at the Coin and Currency Convention
1985 B $10 bill with overprinted obverse worth $4500
A 5 cent nickel cap struck 3 times worth $15,000
Worthologist Glen Burger
At the Kid's Korner
A sample of Christopher Madden's engraving skill
Christopher Madden, engraver with the Bureau of Engraving and Printing
At the Kid's Corner coin grab
Patti Jagger Finner at the Kid's Corner
Dan Borsey at our WorthPoint booth

Gold and silver, platinum and kids. The 36th Annual Coin and Currency Convention in Baltimore, Maryland last weekend had quite a lot of all that, plus so much more. This is where you can both be a long time collector and still enjoy learning like a kid. That’s what I found out when I followed the kids to see Patti Jagger Finner at the Kid’s Korner.

Ms. Finner is the Vice President of the American Numismatic Association and for the past ten years she has hosted all children under the age of 14 at the Kid’s Korner. Here, while the grownups were scouting for bargains, the children received coin books courtesy of Whitman Publishing, grabbed a fistful of free collectible coins from all over the world thanks to the generosity of many coin dealers, and learned about how currency is made from engravers from the Bureau of Printing and Engraving (BEP). I enjoyed meeting Christopher Madden from the BEP who was instrumental in engraving portions of the new $5 bill and the reverse of the new $10 bill. He talked about his “spendable art” and even had the kids help engrave a banknote which they designed. As the kids say, that was cool!

But the real kid in me started popping out when I had a chance to talk with Worthologist Glen Burger, a specialist in error coins and currency. He showed me a 1985 B $10 bill from the New York Reserve that was mistakenly overprinted 3 additional times on the obverse. “It had been in circulation for many years, until someone noticed the error in one of their bills issued by an ATM and sold it to a collector.” Its value now is the equivalent of 450 regular $10 bills or $4500. The moral of the story — pay attention to your money folks. That funny looking bill you might get through an ATM just might be worth an ATM.

Joe Gallo, from A Variety of Errors, showed off a genuine 1996S Lincoln penny that was double struck with a value upwards of $45,000. For a penny! While it was never in circulation, it did have an official letter from the U.S. Secret Service authenticating it as genuine, not one of the many forgeries that have been created since then.

The new generation of collectors and dealers were simply everywhere. In the booth next to ours, we met a father son collector/dealer team. Both Don Rinkor (of Santa Rosa, California) and his 17-year-old son were selling Morgan dollars from various years. Don took an immediate interest in as an additional resource for his business. He particularly liked the ability to research past auction records.

The variety of collectors and dealers was astounding to me, a first time coin and currency attendee. Currency from all over the world, old and newly valuable, were on display along with ancient artifacts, reference books, all manner of historical medals, coin and currency graders, live auctions, gold and silver exchanges, and even early flags and political ribbons – my specialty. With 500 dealers there was an incredible amount to experience and see.

Dan Borsey and I were ‘struck’– pardon the expression – by the helpfulness of the staff, the easy sharing of knowledge by the dealers and collectors, and the numerous opportunities to learn more about the coin and currency collectible industry. We’ve learned that the ‘currency’ of collecting is the joy it brings you. We plan to ‘spend’ it forward and share it with others through and – wait, hold on. I see a nickel under the fridge. Is that a buffalo on the back? You don’t suppose….

Read WorthPoint’s Dan Borsey’s blog about the great folks he met at the Baltimore Coin and Currency Show

Dan Borsey talks with Mastro Auctions at the Baltimore Coin and Currency Convention

Steve Johnson, WorthPoint Vice President, also attended the Baltimore Coin and Currency Show

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