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PNNA Home / Officers / President / 2006

President's Message 2006
by PNNA President Larry Gaye

Gaye_50.jpg (8666 bytes)4th Quarter 2006

It’s that time of year again. The Second Annual Willamette Coin Club/PNNA Mini-Con is just two weeks away as of the writing of this missive. We are all very excited about it and are still getting requests for dealer tables. This is good, that’s why God invented the waiting list. The advertising is in awaiting publication. Security is arranged, the electrician is just waiting to plug in his wears and the dealers are chomping at the bit. The Willamette Coin Club is firing up their prodigious convention machine which will meet at 12:00 High on Friday the 13 to set up the bourse floor. Steve Cox has once again produced some beautiful commemorative script for sale as a fund raiser. The Mini-Con will be open to the public on Saturday, October 14 and Sunday, October 15, 2006. An extensive advertising effort is underway to bring in the locals and not-so-locals we hope to see.

There will be three educational events for mini-con goers. On Saturday, October 14 from 12:30 until 4:00 or so, WCC member and Scout Master extraordinaire James Reinders will be conducting a Scout Merit Badge program which will involve 40-50 Scouts from the Portland area. Jim does a superb job of education which includes the nuts and bolts of collecting, but also teaches them how to act on the bourse floor. The dealers love to see the scouts come; it really adds a “buzz” to the floor. It also brings Scout parents in.

The second event will be a Sunday Numismatic Theatre schedule which will run from Noon until it’s conclusion at 3:00 PM. Three presenters are scheduled to present informal discussions on subjects of their choice.

Our third component is non-competitive numismatic exhibits for the public to enjoy. This format works well in that members are more likely to bring out their specialties and not worry about how the exhibit is judged. Several of the numismatic theatre presenters will be using the items they have exhibited as spring boards to their presentations on Sunday.

Once again, Scott and Lisa Loos have done a fantastic job putting together the bourse with an excellent cross section of dealers. We are very fortunate to have them and all the members and volunteers who pitch in to make this a most excellent event. Special thanks goes out to our host, the DoubleTree Hotel at Lloyd Center. They roll out the red carpet for us; our event coordinator Julie Kowitz does a fantastic job at making us feel welcome.

Come and join us in Portland and see for yourself. We are waiting for you all with open arms and lots of coins to look at!

3rd Quarter 2006

The Romans had a great saying, Fel Temp Reparatio right on their coins. It means literally “Let the good times roll,” the empire is in good shape. I am happy to say we are on a roll. At the last board meeting the PNNA commitment to educational opportunities in numismatics became a priority. Look for seminars and quarterly club activities in your future. We are striving to give the membership new and better opportunities to further their knowledge in numismatics. We will be planning quarterly membership meetings that will not involve board meetings but will offer guest speakers with a seminar type atmosphere open only to members of the PNNA. The Nor’Wester will continue its mission and be more involved in letting you know who, what, where and when you can expect a meeting in your area.

Last April a member club, The Willamette Coin Club, held a members only mini grading seminar. Thirty of its members attended and had a great time. While it was only a four hour program, I can guarantee a lot of knowledge and information was disseminated by all in attendance. We will use this as a model for our quarterly meetings and hope you will join us. We also hope you can let us know what you would like to see offered. It’s your club, what would you like to see?

So why are we doing this? The answer is simple; it is our obligation to offer our members something for their membership dollars. One of those things is to feel like you are a member of a viable and living organization, and what better way than to offer you a chance to meet your fellow members in a venue other than a once a year convention where everyone is in search of coins and fellowship is almost secondary. The one on one meeting of fellow members is what builds a community, not a bureaucracy that only puts on an annual convention. Quite frankly, the annual convention is pretty good, but we want to make your membership experience better, so much so that you will say to your collecting friends, “Come and Join Us.”

Take care, and have a great summer!

2nd Quarter 2006

Well, here we are again, its election time at the ol’ PNNA. PNNA members received their PNNA ballots in the mail with this issue of The Nor’wester. Please examine your ballot closely as there is something very special about it. I’ll return to this thought further later.

The PNNA is over five decades old. Many folks have belonged to it since its inception; some have taken active roles in directing the association as officers or board members. Decisions have been made and territory marked out that has made us what we are today.

What are we?
As best as I can figure out our club currently exists for one thing, the annual convention and activities associated with it. Sure we show up at the annual Puyallup Fair and man a table in the exhibit area. Awards are given to member clubs for hosting a convention or offer a prize for the club with the best exhibit for National Coin Week, an ANA program. We have in the past encouraged numismatic investigation by offering the best exhibitor at the convention prize money to be used to help defray the cost of taking the exhibit on the road to the ANA World’s Fair of Money®; so too with a scholarship awarded to a Young Numismatist or an experienced one to go to the ANA’s Summer Seminar to learn more about their hobby and bring back and share with us the knowledge gained. Why don’t we have more exhibitors? Why don’t we have a greater variety of PNNA award winners? Where is your award?

The PNNA brings in guest speakers from outside our club to offer numismatic programs and help with the festivities of the annual convention; speakers that will join us this year are ANA Governor Prue Fitts, Art Fitts former curator and Governor of the ANA, and Richard Doty author, lecturer and curator of the numismatic collection at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C. This type of activity is money well spent for those that attend; the problem is the cost per lecture attendee is very high because very few people outside the board members ever show up to avail themselves of their knowledge, experience and passion of and for the hobby. Why don’t we have local numismatists willing to participate as lecturers or listeners? Where are you?

At the convention board members set it up and take it down all after volunteering through the year to be on committees that bring it all together. They spend time and money through out their term to travel to board meetings because of the passion they have for the hobby. Have you helped set up tables, displays, lamps, clamps, electrical cords, treasure hunts, and hospitality room? Are you waiting to be asked? “A journey of a thousand miles begins with the first step.” Take a chance and get involved. Come to the board meetings and make your voice heard. Tell the board what you want to see; it’s your club.

Where are you?
Take some time off the convention floor – sit in on a speaker’s presentation, relax and have some refreshment for the mind and body. You will be the winner for learning more about your hobby. Roll up your sleeves, help on a committee by lifting a showcase or two, help yourself by learning more about your fellow member, and help your heart by exercising more. I cannot think of a better way to get to know fellow PNNA members than working side by side with them at a board meeting or the convention and its preparation. Where are you?

Oh, I almost forgot about the special thing regarding the ballot. It is this: all the officers are running unopposed. There are ten openings for board members and we have only eight who have offered up their names for consideration after some aggressive recruiting; only two are first timers.

New officers, board members and active general members and their ideas are needed to continue the evolution and growth of the PNNA. Where are You! As to the question I asked early on, “What are we?” Well, that’s up to you!

[Editor’s note: this year the South King County Coin Club will provide volunteers for the PNNA convention. The SKCCC will be there to help; will you?]

1st Quarter 2006

Is there such a thing as a numismatic industry? Look at any publication that supports the hobby and you might be forced to say yes. Along with articles, the pages are crowded with advertisements, monthly or weekly updates on coin prices, mint figures, want ads and so on. Dealers, be they government mints or the private sector have full page or small classified ads advertising their specialties from tokens to the latest commemorative coins.

However, if we step back and look at it from the purely personal level the observation might be quite different. Numismatics by nature is a pretty solitary pastime. We do have however, a support system that enables us as collectors to read, explore, investigate and share our passion for the hobby.

Let me share an example. This past weekend I attended the Salem Coin Club of Oregon’s annual show. There were around thirty-five dealers selling mostly United States coins and one selling ancient and foreign. I purchased several coins from this dealer and rummaged through the inventory of the rest and came up with six interesting non-US finds. One of those finds a small Islamic bronze had no identifying tag, it just called to me.

I left the show a few dollars well spent plus one puzzle piece. I spent the next day trying to figure out what that small hammered piece was. I used several references with no success. I then went on the internet to use some of the many numismatic data bases I have bookmarked and still no joy. At no time did I have a specialist in Islamic numismatics that sat with me to help. I did however have a support system of my personal library and thanks to the internet, data bases and dealer stores that will help me in my search, contributions from my fellow numismatists.

I’m sure all of you have had this same experience. This “industry” is really our support system, and like any support system there must be investment in it by us for it to be there when we need it. That investment may be the purchase of literature and periodicals in our chosen field, acquiring coins from a dealer, joining an online group such as Yahoo Groups to find and share information or travel to a local, regional or national show and then retreat to our solitary place to enjoy our new finds and pursue our hobby as well as share with this knowledge with others.

By the way, I still haven’t identified the coin, but I will certainly be more “industrious” in my pursuit. I’ll keep you posted.

Larry Gaye is an avid bronze collector specializing in Byzantine and related bronze coinage, Eighteenth Century Tradesmen’s Tokens (Conder Tokens) and a love for all things bronze. He is the current president of the PNNA and the Willamette Coin Club ( ) of Portland, Oregon and an avid volunteer for the American Numismatic Association.