Numismatists Of Wisconsin

From the Editor

From The Editor, Fall 2014

Welcome to the Fall issue! (It is the Fall issue, but we don’t have to admit we are in the autumn season yet. After all, mosquitos are still nailing me as I write this! Yes, I have mosquitos in the house –“Kids, shut the blasted door!”)

I’m certain your first thoughts upon looking at the cover of this issue were, “what editor in his right mind would put an enlarged photograph of ‘that thing’ on the cover?” ‘That thing’ as you all know, is the Wisconsin State Quarter. Now let me try to defend myself with an explanation. While it is true that our representative state quarter has been much maligned for its design, (regularly polled in the bottom five of all the states) it is ‘our’ quarter and we have learned to live with it for ten long years. Which brings me to my first point of defense; this is the ten year anniversary of ‘our’ quarter! The state quarter program started in 1999 and ended in 2008. The Wisconsin quarter was the last of five issued in 2004. Point number two; it is the only state quarter to have a significant minting error that is universally recognized by the numismatic community! The specimen on our cover is the ‘extra leaf low’ variety, and as you all know, this refers to the lower left leaf on the stalk of corn that is growing out of the wheel of cheese, which are all under the watchful eye of Elsa the cow. There are both ‘low leaf’ and ‘high leaf’ varieties. These ‘extra leaves’ are not supposed to be there, and their origin is still unaccounted for. Speculation and theories abound, but there has been no concrete evidence to show how these ‘leaves’ appeared on the coins. Perhaps a Denver mint employee who hails from Wisconsin thought the design was lacking so he or she took it upon themselves to ‘spice up’ our state quarter. Perhaps it was a random happening; a small shard of metal stuck on the die. My own theory is that a mint employee was clipping his fingernails too close to the coining press. Whatever the case may be, ‘our’ quarter stands alone in the world of state quarter major mint error varieties. Point number three; let’s face it, out of all fifty state quarters there is maybe a half dozen truly artistic and esthetically pleasing designs, so to be critiqued in the bottom five is really no big deal, we are simply swimming in the depths with forty or more carp, bullheads, or other bottom feeders. Fourth and final point; come on, admit it, every time you get a quarter in change you hope it’s ‘our’ state quarter with an extra leaf! These points are reason enough for us to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Wisconsin State Quarter

I believe we have another outstanding issue for you, beginning with NOW NEWS and NOTES, a special feature about award-winning member Neil Shafer, Club News, ANA, U.S. Mint News, BEP, and our regular look at BOOKS! Of course we have great feature articles from your fellow NOW members. Dreux Watermolen ‘Electrifies’ us with a look at an iconic figure from the past. Tom Casper tells us about a man named ‘Pinkey’. Mark Benvenuto again brings us ‘Back to Basics’, this time featuring nickels, and Fred Borgmann shows us that the Steel Founders Society of America did not forge their award medals out of steel!

Whenever I tell you about the articles we feature that are written by NOW members it inspires me to call out to all of you to PLEASE share your knowledge, your passion, your curiosity, your wisdom with the rest of the membership. I would like to be stockpiled with more and more articles, so we can fill these pages with the fun and education of numismatics for years to come. Won’t you please consider sending in an article? All it takes is a word file or pdf. If you don’t have email, you may send hard copy. I can help you with illustrations if necessary. Just ask! As past authors will tell you, it’s fun and rewarding to write about the things you love to collect. So drop me a line, email, or call me at 920-410-2997 if you have questions or would like to discuss an idea. Thanks!

DO NOT forget to peruse the SHOW CALENDAR on this site as well as on the inside back cover of every issue, and remember to contact me with your upcoming show information.

While you’re at it, why not recruit a new member!? There is a handy dandy Membership Application on this page and on the last page of every issue of NOW NEWS. There is also recruiting opportunities out there at shows as well.

We will, as much as feasible, have an NOW table at local shows – please stop by and say hello, or better yet, work the table for a half hour and tell people about NOW.

Enjoy your Fall issue, and as always, keep in touch with your feedback.

-- Jeff Reichenberger

As always, your comments and correspondence are welcome and encouraged.