Mr_Norris_LKNS's Blog

04 Sep 2020

After Action Report: the "Better Late Than Never" LKNS Auction

Club Exchange | Mr_Norris_LKNS

On Monday, August 31, the Legacy Knights Numismatic Society held its annual Student Members Only Year End Auction for our 2019-2020 school year members.Normally the auction would have happened in May towards the end of the school year, after the students had earned a school-year's worth of Knights Payment Certificates, or KPC, for their participation, to use for bidding in the auction. However, the pandemic threw a wrench in that when the school closed its doors for the remainder of the 2019-20 school year. Fortunately I was able to stay in touch with our members and parents through email, Facebook, the school e-newsletter, telephone, and the US Postal Service. Our student members were given a summer extension to complete projects normally due in May, which allowed several to earn LKNS medals as well as additional KPC for the auction. Activities were logged and KPC awarded, and auction items were catalogued so the students could plan their bidding.

25 May 2017

Our First Student-Members-Only Auction

Young Numismatists Exchange | Mr_Norris_LKNS

The Legacy Knights Numismatic Society ended the school year by holding its first annual student-members-only auction, which turned out to be a rousing success!The idea came about when I was pondering how to fairly distribute donated items among our student members. The donated reference books went to our school library to create a numismatic reference section. That way they are always available during the school year, not only for our Society members, but also the rest of the student body, as a way of perpetuating awareness of our numismatic group.But what about the other donated items? We have 13 members; what would we do with something that couldn't be divided evenly by 13? How would we match these items to the persons who actually had an interest? And what if more than one student wanted an item; how do we give everyone a fair shot at something?Thus was born the First Annual Legacy Knights Numismatic Society End of the Year Student Members Only Auction.Up front, I eliminated the idea that they would use real money for bidding. Not so much to keep the richest kid in the room from winning all the bids, but because the items up for bid were all donations to be given to the kids, or earned as awards for achievements, etc.; not sold to them.I could either have them bid using balance sheets, or I could use "play money". I opted for the latter, as it was more fun. For "security reasons", I opted to design and print my own, rather than buy some online.The auction was conducted using custom-made "Knights Payment Certificates" (KPC, Series 171), which were denominated in British pre-decimal Pounds, Shillings, and Pence: 12 pence to a shilling, 20 shillings to a pound. We used eight different denominations of notes.Now why in the world, you may ask, would I make third graders use pre-decimal British pounds, shillings, and pence? Well, because we are, after all, Knights; and shillings of one variety or another were once used in many European countries where knights lived. But more practically, the British system of £/s/d circled the globe with the British Empire; and our student numismatists, all of whom are learning to identify world coins, would be well served if they could understand that system. And besides, I just thought it would be fun to try.We had to set some auction rules, the main one being that if you overbid and couldn't pay for an item you won, you would forfeit the item, pay a penalty, and be disqualified from bidding for the rest of the auction. This forced them to think about their bids and kept us from wasting time with overbids.Each student received £6 5/- (or 125 shillings) to use for bidding. To make it interesting, I let students bring in their own items to auction ahead of the donated items. In this way, they could add to their bidding funds. One student nearly doubled his funds with the popular items he auctioned. Donated items auctioned included US and foreign coins and currency, such as an 1843 US large cent, a proof Eisenhower dollar, a BU silver US bicentennial half, US silver certificates, a German 5000 mark banknote, a collection of 1800's world coins, several WW2-era coin sets, a subset of Japanese Invasion Money, a page of four different WW2 Allied Military Currency notes, and rolls of wheat pennies. Other popular hobby-related items included a jeweler's loupe and coin collection display folders, with foldovers and storage tubes being bought outright at the end of the auction for a penny or three.If you're an experienced auction buyer you might think bidding among elementary students would be pretty tame. You would be wrong! Some heady sums were reached during the often furious-paced, cookie-fueled bidding. We managed to distribute all the donated items by auction's end. And most importantly, everyone had a lot of fun. We will definitely plan another auction for next year!

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