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    Thinking About a Summer Road Trip? Summer FUN and the World’s Fair of Money are Worth a Visit!

    Posted on June 30, 2017

    It’s that time of year when the days are long, the sun is bright, and the air wraps you in a warm embrace; well, for most of the US that’s the case anyway! Summer not only brings a break from studies for students and time with family, but also ample opportunity for numismatists to explore their love of precious metals at two of the most prominent coin shows. Florida United Numismatists (FUN) will host its 11th annual Summer FUN convention in Orlando in July, while the American Numismatic Association’s (ANA) World’s Fair of Money goes Mile High in Denver in August.

    If you still haven’t taken a summer vacation and want to indulge in some of the best offerings in the numismatic world, it might be time to consider a trip to one (or both) conventions. You can embrace summer’s warmth in Orlando or beat the heat in the Rockies! Here’s what’s coming up at both shows.

    Summer FUN: July 6-8 2017

    Florida United Numismatists is well known for its annual conventions in January which have spanned decades, but Summer FUN is a newer alternative for those who can’t make the annual shows in January. This year marks the 11th edition of Summer FUN, which takes place at Orlando’s Orange County Convention Center from July 6th to the 8th.

    The convention opens to the public at 10:30 AM on Thursday and concludes on Saturday at 5:30 PM. A schedule of planned seminars for Summer FUN is available here, and among those highlight seminars you can find the following:

    • An educational seminar from Mr. Gregg Wagner, education director and historian of the Ft. Lauderdale Coin Club. He’ll be discussing the Walking Liberty Half Dollar Series (1916-1947) and its value to beginning and advanced collector’s alike. Catch Mr. Wagner’s seminar at 2:30 PM on Thursday, July 6th.
    • A deeper look at the Seated Liberty coin series (1836-1891) from the US Mint. Mr. Gerry Fortin, President of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club goes into detail on this popular series of coinage, which featured half-dime, dime, and half-dollar denominations throughout, and silver dollar denominations until 1873. Mr. Fortin’s seminar starts at 2:30 PM on Friday, July 7th.

    Exhibits and auctions are a big part of Summer FUN conventions, and this year is no different. There are a variety of exhibit categories, but the focus will be on US coins, paper money (US and foreign), medals/orders/decorations/tokens, and foreign coins. One the true centerpieces to this year’s show will be a collection of more than 50 double eagles from the Carson City Mint which have recently be obtained from foreign holdings, such as banks.

    US double eagle coins have a denomination of $20 (USD) and were authorized by Congressional act in 1849, taking advantage of the massive influx of gold to the US Treasury following the California Gold Rush. Double Eagles featured the Liberty Head design from James B. Longacre from 1849 to 1907, when it was replaced by Augustus Saint-Gaudens’ Liberty image. These original Liberty Double Eagles went through three design iterations:

    • 1849-1866: Liberty head without the national motto and value as “twenty D”
    • 1866-1876: Liberty head with national motto and value as “twenty D”
    • 1877-1907: Liberty head with national motto and value as “twenty dollars”

    The Liberty Head Double eagle featured a left-profile portrait of Liberty with a coronet on her forehead, and 13 stars surrounding her image on the obverse, along with a year of issue below. The reverse originally featured Longacre’s version of the heraldic eagle with sunburst rays above its figure and 13 stars in a circle. The national motto of “In God We Trust” was added in 1866 within the circle of 13 stars.

    Among the 50 or so Double Eagles available at Summer FUN are six 1874 specimens from the Carson City Mint, with CC mint mark. The Carson City Mint struck 115,085 Double Eagles in 1874, and many had moderate to heavy circulation. Most remaining specimens are Extremely Fine to About Uncirculated in condition, along with a select few with low-end Mint State certifications.

    Two of the 1874-CC Double Eagles at Summer FUN feature AU 58 grades from the Professional Coin Grading Service. According to the ANA, an AU 58 coin has the barest traces of wear visible on one or more of the high points of the design. No major detracting contact marks are visible and the coins generally have attractive eye appeal, with nearly full luster.

    These stunning 1874-CC Double Eagles will be available during auction at Summer FUN, so check them out!

    ANA World’s Fair of Money: August 1-5, 2017

    The American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money is billed as the “biggest, most educational coin show in the country.” The ANA’s annual event takes place this year in Denver, Colorado, one hour north of the ANA’s headquarters in Colorado Springs, from Tuesday, August 1st to Saturday, August 5th.

    Specifics on the World’s Fair of Money aren’t available just yet, but the program annually includes displays of historic coinage and opportunities to learn more about certification and grading for historic and bullion coinage. 2017 marks a special point in the history of the ANA.

    This year is the ANA’s 50th anniversary in Colorado Springs, and the ANA Museum Showcase at the Colorado Convention Center in Denver during the World’s Fair of Money will include Colorado Gold Rush era numismatic offerings. Examples include a $20 denomination gold coin with a depiction of Pikes Peak and the heraldic eagle struck by Clark, Gruber & Co. in 1860.

    Another interesting display planned for the World’s Fair of Money is the 1913 Liberty Head Five-Cent piece. The Liberty Head design on the nation’s nickels was in circulation from 1883 to 1912, officially. Featuring the same coronet, left-facing depiction of the Goddess of Liberty as the original Gold Double Eagle coins, these coins had a wreath and laurel on the reverse with a “V” in the center.

    The coins were designed by US Mint Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber, and struck for circulation through 1912. However, five pieces were struck with a 1913 date despite the switch from the Liberty Head design to James Earle Fraser’s popular Buffalo Nickel design that year (1913-1938). The most recent sale of one of these five known 1913 Liberty Head Nickels went for a total of $3,737,500.

    On display at the World’s Money Fair will be one of the five known specimens from this rare striking. Known as the J.V. McDermott/Aubrey Bebee specimen, this is a rare opportunity to see this coin up close and personal!

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