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Mr_Norris_LKNS's Blog

30 Aug 2022

Legacy Knights Numismatic Society Starts 7th Season

Club Exchange | Mr_Norris_LKNS

The Legacy Knights Numismatic Society kicked off its seventh season of after-school activities at Legacy Christian Academy, Xenia, Ohio yesterday with a Membership Signup Session in the school library. Parents picking up their 3rd through 6th grade students were invited to park and come inside to ask questions, complete forms, pay dues, sign up for an upcoming field trip, order t-shirts, and meet the Club Coordinator. The LCA students were joined by several local homeschool students. 20 members so far are joining us for this year, some of which are returning members and some of which are brand new to our club. We expect to pick up a few more members as signups remain open, but 20 is a good turnout. We are excited and looking forward to a great year!Our after-school signup event prior to our first official meeting has been a breakthrough for our club. We tried it first last year and it was such a success, we will continue doing it this way. We will of course still accept late-joining members each year, but taking care of this administrative work gives us a great idea of how much to prepare for the rest of the year: planning activities, buying supplies, sending in ANA YN memberships, etc. It also gives us a jump on collecting dues, t-shirt orders, etc., so that we can make all of the above available to our members sooner than later. Plus, our first official meeting can be spent as a real meeting, rather than standing in line turning in applications, etc.We have some fun activities planned already: Our first official club meeting is September 19. Club meetings are normally the last Monday of the month (except December and May)... but this September we had to change that for a schedule conflict. Instead, we are planning to take a tour of Osborne Coinage and Mint in Cincinnati, America's oldest private mint! Some of our students' parents may remember using tokens when visiting Chuck-E-Cheese pizzerias in the 1990s; those were made by Osborne. Some of our students' great-grandparents may remember using blue and red OPA tokens during WW2 as ration points; those were made by Osborne. The company's name and ownership have changed periodically over the generations (it was originally Z. Bisbee Co.), but it's been there ever since 1835. We hope to see original dies from Abraham Lincoln's presidential campaigns (as well as a couple other famous Presidents) and see how coins and tokens are made, from design to production!Of course we will have guest speakers, a Christmas party, our annual LKNS anniversary party, and our end-of-the-year auction, as well as some activities to teach us about minting, grading, identification, and other related subjects. We *might* even get started on another LKNS coin this year! You can follow the fun on our club's Facebook page.I highly encourage everyone to get involved in a club... and if you don't have one, look for ways to start one. It's a great hobby, and better when you can share it.

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17 Dec 2021

Chicago Transit Authority Token Varieties

Tokens | Mr_Norris_LKNS

UPDATE: The Smithsonian Institute has one of these tokens in their collection as part of their National Museum of American History. According to their website, these tokens were made in the early 20th century by the Scovill Manufacturing Company of Waterbury, Connectictut. Scovill made, among other things, buttons, tokens, coins, and medals... and staplers, as my mother had a Scovill stapler at her desk for many years.

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15 Nov 2021

LKNS Attends the 2021 Fall PAN Show

Coin Shows | Mr_Norris_LKNS

On Saturday, October 30, 2021, the Legacy Knights Numismatic Society traveled to the 2021 Fall PAN Show for their first big field trip as a club. The PAN Show (operated by the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists, or PAN) was held at the Monroeville Convention Center in the suburbs of Pittsburgh.LKNS took part in the PANKidZone activities especially geared towards young collectors. The PANKidZone is an effort headed up by Mr. Malcolm Johnson to generate interest and enthusiasm among young people for numismatics and help them in their pursuit of their collection and knowledge.Due to unfortunate circumstances Mr. Johnson was unable to meet us there; however he made sure we were in capable hands with the rest of the friendly folks on the PAN committee. Our members were the recipients of a generous collection of numismatic items, from t-shirts to cent collection folders to coins, literature, and more. A couple of famous guests even helped us enjoy the show in the forms of Benjamin Franklin and Abraham Lincoln.The show itself was wonderful with a wide array of dealers attending. We saw ancient coins, paper currency, lots of old and rare American coins, tokens, elongates, medals, and collector supplies. Several of our members went home with new purchases to add to their collections. The dealers seemed as happy to see us as the friendly PAN Show staff, and all were very helpful. Several took the time to explain the significance of some of their displays or items for sale. Their hospitality made an impression on our members, who felt they were treated like valued members of the numismatic community.The YN auction at the end of the day was a big hit with our students of course. They had acquired some PANKidZone auction money through their participation in both the show and our club. Bidding was often fast and furious and some of the bids reached some rather incredible heights before a sole bidder remained and won the lot.LKNS is an extracurricular activity of Legacy Christian Academy in Xenia, OH, which is about four hours away from Pittsburgh. While some members opted to travel with their parents and spend the night in the Pittsburgh area, the main body of members rode together in vans and made the trip all in one day. That made for a long day, but traveling with friends made the time pass quickly, and getting to attend the PAN Show was well worth the trip!Many thanks go to PAN, Mr. Malcolm Johnson, Mr. Pat McBride, and others who made sure we were able to attend and had an incredible field trip!To see more photos, please visit the PAN Show 2021 photo album on the LKNS Facebook page.

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19 Apr 2021

Touchstones of Early Numismatic Influences

Young Numismatists Exchange | Mr_Norris_LKNS

Saw something from my past not too long ago: a collection of Western Publishing Company play money paper notes. My parents made me an instant millionaire when they took me to the local Ben Franklin 5 and 10c store and I came home with "a million bucks" in a nice cellophane wrapped bundle. When I saw some on eBay, I had to get some for nostalgia. I even posted about them in my "Collections" here on money.org.It got me thinking of what may have influenced me to take such an interest in coin collecting as a kid, a hobby that would return to me later in life.Aside from my collection of play money (with bills ranging from 1 to 100,000 in denomination), there were a few other moments in life I can remember that probably played a role. I'll list the numismatic items that accompanied them.1. Germany 1950 Five Pfennig

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18 Nov 2020

LKNS Featured on Coin World Podcast

Young Numismatists Exchange | Mr_Norris_LKNS

Hello all!Just wanted to let you all know that yours truly was recently interviewed by Jeff and Chris of Coin World Magazine's podcast last week, and that the podcast was published today! If you would find amusement in hearing me talk about the Legacy Knights Numismatic Society and answer Jeff and Chris's questions about our history, what we do, and where we're going, CLICK HERE to get to the podcast, then give it a listen.Jeff and Chris start out with a discussion on the US Mint's activities recently regarding the WW2 Victory coin issues; the LKNS portion starts a little less than halfway through. However, I would encourage you to listen to the whole podcast, as they offer a good discussion of the Mint topic that seems to have so many collectors annoyed. In fact, the Coin World podcast features lots of good topical discussions and interviews. One of my favorites is their interview with Fred Schwan, someone I consider a numismatic influencer for his work with WW2 numismatics and military numismatics in general. Scroll through their episode listing and see what interests you. Make your commuting time more fun and useful by learning more about your favorite hobby.

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02 Nov 2020

New LKNS Season Off and Running

Club Exchange | Mr_Norris_LKNS

The first Legacy Knights Numismatic Society meeting of the 2020-2021 school year is in the books. We were able to register 20 members, and although we would have room for a few more, I am very happy. Given how the pandemic has impacted how people think about social gatherings, 20 kids in an after school program is great. It's actually right in the middle of our membership average over the years since we've started. Maybe the pandemic is not as much a factor on our numbers as is the fluctuation in class sizes of eligible grades from year to year. I'll have to look into that.We started out with an introduction to LKNS for the benefit of our several new members, and as a review for the returning members who hadn't been to a meeting in a long time due to the cancellation of the last three months of in-person school events last year. Some things could be dry, especially for kids, but if you keep them involved as you go through, and break it up with a few giveaways here and there, you can hold their attention awhile longer.Normally we give out Red Books to our new members. They are usually not current year Red Books; we ask for donations of Red Books from people who want to upgrade to the latest year, because it's not so much the latest prices that we need from these books as much as the information, grading guides, mintage figures, etc. that you can find in a Red Book. I like the size of the Red Books because our students can throw one in their school bookbag without taking up too much space or adding too much weight. Because we haven't been meeting with other coin clubs, we haven't been able to gather second-hand Red Books like we used to. But we have a month to get some.\Next month we have a special presentation about elongated coins for our meeting. The Elongate Collectors Club (TEC) provided this lesson plan to us through a Miami Valley Coin Club member who attended one of the national ANA shows. They made a nice donation of some souvenir elongated cents so that every member could have a couple. I also managed to find a couple of 100+ lots of elongated cents on eBay for a great price. You see these machines across the country but you don't realize how many there are until you start looking on places like www.pennycollector.com and sorting through them by state. They are most common in zoos, museum gift shops, and other local tourist attractions. The National Museum of the US Air Force isn't far from our school and they have 3 machines producing a dozen designs. Kings Island has machines all over the park it seems. The retired designs are fun to find. I managed to find the last retired design of the NMUSAF (back when it was called the USAF Museum) that I was missing: The Apollo 15 capsule. Now I believe I have the complete "official" collection (I've come across a few others but I don't know if they were actually made at the AF museum or not).It's so much fun seeing the kids getting interested in something, learning, and having fun together over a common interest. I'd encourage anyone who loves kids first, numismatics second, to consider starting a YN club at your local school. Schools need volunteers to help interest the kids in learning and developing their minds. Numismatics definitely supports a good well rounded education through all the connections to history, science, math, economics, languages, and cultures. Put together your idea for a club and approach your local school administration. You should have a good basic knowledge of numismatics to start a club, but you do not have to be a professional at it or even know all the answers. You will learn with the kids! Being an organized person in your planning helps (I'm not great at that but am learning). Being organized in running meetings helps too, but when dealing with kids, you can't let a little chaos get in the way of having a good time! Know going in that the kids have limits to their attention span... structure is good, tyranny is not. You'll have to keep them engaged by keeping it simple, keeping it moving, and keeping them actively engaged.But always remember, the kids are more important than the coins.If you believe that, you will make a good club coordinator.What's most important to them is that you care about them, and will make a safe place for them to have fun while learning. They will surprise you with what they learn!

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23 Oct 2020

Starting A New Year For A YN Club

Young Numismatists Exchange | Mr_Norris_LKNS

The first official meeting of the Legacy Knights Numismatic Society for the 2020-2021 school year is scheduled for Monday, October 26.After missing the last 3 meetings of last year, it's going to be good to be able to return to somewhat normal... however, even normal isn't quite the same with pandemic rules.

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07 Oct 2020

Doolittle Tokyo Raiders US Mint Medal update

Medals | Mr_Norris_LKNS

[UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: I added two photos of the actual medal as delivered from the US Mint. It really is as good as the picture of it on the Mint's website.]

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28 Sep 2020

US Mint CGM Replica Prices Quadruple

Medals | Mr_Norris_LKNS

I enjoy history, particularly WW2 history. I am not a frequent shopper of United States Mint products... not that I find anything wrong with them, but I've never been a mint set subscriber or anything. I'd more likely buy a numismatic item I wanted at a coin shop or coin show. But I have seen some of the Mint's commemorative medals, and some of them I like; especially some of the WW2 related ones, and a few Presidential ones. When I read the news from Coin World Magazine that there was a tremendous price hike in the works, I thought I'd better investigate.The United States Mint creates the Congressional Gold Medals as they become authorized by Congress. Typically these recognize an individual or a group, and the reason or occasion for Congress awarding them the medal. Medals have been awarded to military personnel (not to be confused with the Medal of Honor and other medals for valor), pioneers in medicine, science, aviation and space exploration, humanitarians, even entertainers and athletes. US citizenship is not a requirement for recipients, you just have to be appreciated for some notable reason by the US Congress. The Congressional Gold Medal has about the same level of prestige as the Presidential Medal of Freedom; however, far fewer CGM's have been awarded in spite of having been authorized for much longer. The PMF has been awarded to over 500 recipients since its inception in 1963 during President Kennedy's term (with 102 awarded by President Reagan and 123 by President Obama). By comparison, the CGM has only been awarded 163 times (as of April 2019) even though it has been around nearly 200 years longer, since the Second Continental Congress authorized it and first awarded it in 1776 to then-General George Washington! It must take a great deal more cooperation to get two-thirds of Congress and their respective committees to agree on granting such an award, than for the President to decide you deserve recognition. The CGM is not the kind of medal you wear around your neck or pinned to your jacket; it's more of a trophy type medal that you would display on your desk or in a prominent display case.I can't confirm it but I've heard that the Mint uses the sales of CGM replicas made in silver and bronze to fund the production of gold medals. That is what you are getting when you buy the 1-5/16" or 3" bronze or silver medals from the US Mint. Congress does occasionally authorize actual Congressional Silver Medals and Congressional Bronze Medals to be awarded to individuals or groups. Congressional Silver and Bronze Medals are rare, and are not the same thing as the replica CGMs made in silver or bronze that you can buy from the Mint. Typically the Congressional Silver and Bronze Medals are awarded as part of an award of a Congressional Gold Medal, whereas the main person leading a group effort might get the gold, his chief assistants or officers would get the silver, and the rest of the crew would get the bronze. This recognizes everyone's participation in the event commemorated at different levels of responsibility, activity, etc.; not to mention awarding gold medals to every individual in a large crew would be very expensive. Everyone who receives a silver or bronze Congressional Medal still played a part in Congress's recognition that the event deserved commemorating by awarding the CGM., and their silver or bronze medal is proof of that.As of this writing, 1-5/16" bronze CGM replicas are being sold for $6.95 plus shipping, and 3" replicas are being sold for $39.95 plus shipping. $40+ for a bronze replica isn't hateful if you really like the topic, and $7+ for a smaller replica would make collecting them an affordable hobby. Of the two, of course, the larger one is what I'd want. I was hesitant to order, though, at that price, simply because it wasn't as high a priority as some other things. Then Coin World Magazine announced in a Facebook post that the price of the 3" medals was going up.A lot.Afte r January 1, 2021, the price of the 3" CGM replicas in bronze are supposedly going from $39.95 to $160.What?! Whoa!!Supposedly the Mint loses money on these things; and that's driving the price increase. So now I wonder, how much have they been losing, and for how long?? because that's a pretty steep price hike.So I finally jumped and ordered my favorite WW2 design, just in case the price hike story is really true (and if Coin World reports it, I have no reason to doubt them).My favorite of the ones they have available is the Doolittle Raiders CGM replica. First reason is, it's WW2 history and I am fascinated with the story. Second reason, I live within driving distance of the original Wright Field (now Wright Patterson AFB) where Jimmy Doolittle spent some time before his famous raid (you can see photos of him with a Wright Field patch on his flight jacket); Dayton was also the hometown of his co-pilot, Dick Cole. Thirdly, my son and I have actually attended Doolittle Raider events at the National Museum of the US Air Force there, with Mr. Cole present. If you haven't seen a flight of 17-odd B-25's flying in formation and heard the collective rumble of their twin radial engines in flight, you've missed out.So the Doolittle Raider CGM replica is a natural selection for me, and someday my son will probably have it. If for some reason he doesn't want it, the price jacking happening this January will make $40 look like a bargain, and there shouldn't be any trouble selling it. Unless, of course, the price hike has the unintentional consequence of killing the CGM replica sales program and none sell for $160. I guess then, if Congress wants to issue a gold medal, we'll just pay for it in our taxes instead of by adding to our collections.Maybe I can convince somebody to buy me my favorite Presidential 3" medals before Christmas. :-)

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