Gallery Mint Museum ScrapBook  
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I absolutely LOVE your idea of creating this scrapbook.
This is a great way of answering questions that come up a lot. 
Ron Landis...Sun, 30 Jul 2000 11:59:06

ScrapBook Subjects
Link: Too Massive For The Technology
Link: GMM Mobile Mini-Mint Creations
Link: 1796 "Burned Die" HalfCent
Link: "Will Jones Pewter" Trial Strikes
Link: [ Don't Be Afraid To Clean Those RenFest Medals! ]
Link: More Than You Ever Wanted To Know About GMM's Many Chain Cents
Link: Czapla Helps Differentiate Wreath Cent Dies
Link: Czapla First Edition Publication Found
Enlargement scans available on WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM. 
Click for Obverse or Reverse enlargement

1999 ANA Pattern Exhibitor's Medal

  • Too Massive For The Technology
       When I visited with Ron Landis about this impressive 38-39mm hot struck silver medal he told me that the dies had been made of bronze. It rapidly became apparent that they were trying to strike too large a piece with bronze dies. His dies simply couldn't take the pressure required to strike such a large high relief medal. They struck 16-17 pieces with both the dies and the resultant medals becoming more and more distorted until they were forced to give up and start over from scratch.
       When you lay this pattern piece alongside a final production medal (shown below) it becomes apparent that the Minerva bust is subtilely different. I would describe the pattern bust as more mature and the regular issue bust as more youthful. The mature bust is more pleasing to my eye but I certainly am happy with either one. Being a bit more mature myself I suppose that might explain my preference. Ron has done his usual superlative job on both sets of dies. It was the "regular issue" of this ANA exhibitor's medal that got me started collecting the GMM/Landis medals. I can't adequately express how pleased I am to find a pattern of that very medal! EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

1999 ANA Exhibitor's Medal

Click for Obverse or Reverse enlargement
Click for Obverse or Reverse enlargement

  • GMM Mobile Mini-Mint Creations
       Joe told me you would never believe the frenzy at their convention tables. Folks use up all GMM's prepared pewter planchets, every scrap of webbing, all the odd coins and tokens they can find on the browse floor, proof coins, etcetera. Many of the strikes are like the three nice pieces shown above ...BUT... every once in a while somebody goes the extra mile and creates something extra special like the two gold strikes shown below. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
       I own this 1996 ANA medal double struck with the second strike off-center on a 1991 dated 1/10oz Mexican gold piece. This is the only 1/10oz gold piece struck slightly off-center in 1996 by GMM. It stuck to the upper die and fell to the lower die and moved to the side a bit while striking just before the second strike of the piece.
       There are four others struck correctly on Mexican 1/10oz gold pieces. I own two of them, Bill Fivaz owns one and someone else has the other. Why four? I showed Bill F. what I had on gold. He was so excited over mine that he went over to the GMM booth (ANA Conv) and had one struck. Gary Beedon...Sun, 03 Dec 2000 21:02:52
       How about this 1998 ANA medal struck on a 1/10oz Mexican gold piece? It is one of three pieces struck at the Portland ANA Convention by Joe Rust. Gary Beedon...Sun, 03 Dec 2000 21:09:07

Click for Obverse or Reverse enlargement

  • 1796 "Burned Die" HalfCent
       This excellent scan was sent to me by EMail:Cliff Bolling and he is not responsible for any liberties I took with it after he sent it. In the July 1997 Gallery Mint Report, on page 5, in ErRORS it says;
       This is an unusual error that occurred during the hardening process. The furnace temperature exceeded the limits of the anti-scale compound that protects against such corrosion.
       The compound pooled up in the die, protecting the main device, but burned the exposed surfaces severely. There is a muddy kind of doubling that is burned around the letters similar to the kind of erosion that happens on extremely worn dies.
       This die was not really intended to be used as a working die. Since the main device remained intact, this die was able to serve its real purpose as a master die to create the main device punch. In short, all the working dies for the 1796 half cent repro were "cloned" from this die.

       GMM only offered strikes from this die to interested error collectors for a short time. This piece was never on their price list. I am trying to find out an estimate of the number of specimens struck and will let you know what I find out. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

Click for Obverse or Reverse enlargement

32mm Brass Medal Struck From The Final Dies

  • "Will Jones Pewter" Trial Strikes
       MORE of those lovely trial strikes done during the creation of Ron's dies. By now you all know I simply delight in finding these pieces. Maybe this doesn't do a whole lot for most of you but I reckon you will just have to be patient with me.
       The obverse die trial shows a die that has yet to acquire a lot of fine detail; additional relief, more hair strands, the "RL" on the bust truncation, etcetera. The reverse die trial is missing not only the fancy designs in the field but the fine detailing on the chalice. Both of these trial strikes are superb specimens showing the work in progress. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
Click for Obverse or Reverse enlargement

32mm Brass Obverse Die Trial Strike
Click for Obverse or Reverse enlargement

32mm Brass Reverse Die Trial Strike
Don't Be Afraid To Clean Those RenFest Medals!
Say what? Did I hear correctly? Yes... this is what Ron Landis told me as I was buying these neat RenFest medals. He went on to tell me that when he was selling this material at Renaissance Fairs/Festivals people wouldn't buy them unless they were bright and shiny. Since he and Joe were touring the country in their converted school bus their material was regularly exposed to less than ideal environmental conditions. So they used Brasso on anything showing distress. This all means that... These RenFest medals are NOT, with rare exception, what a numismatist would consider to be in pristine condition. In fact, lots of them exhibit the very corrosion spots that brought out the Brasso in the first place. I have chosen to leave the medals as I find them beyond a bit of silicone to remove loose dirt. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

Click for Full Coin

Wide Date Proof

Narrow Date Proof

Experimental Proof
Matte Finish Field
With Periods

  • More Than You Ever Wanted To Know
      About GMM's Many Chain Cents

       Most of us are happy to have a single example of a GMM Chain Cent from their uncirculated dies. We hope to "someday" be able to own a specimen from their proof dies but sure aren't holding our breath until then.
       So... it is disheartening to learn how far we have to go if we were to ever aspire to owning all the different die varieties GMM issued. Let's look on the bright side. IF we ever get a specimen at least we will know which one it is. :-)
       Anytime you see green text or a green border around an image you should give credit to Mr. Czapla for his scholarship and hard work. I am just following in his footsteps. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

Carved Directly
Into Working Die

Doubled Die Bust
High "9" In Date
With Periods

Coin World Issue
With Periods

Coin World Issue
Cancelled Die
Click for Full Coin

Wide Date

Click for Obverse or Reverse enlargement

  • Czapla Helps Differentiate Wreath Cent Dies
       Did you ever get a nice prooflike specimen and this a proof or an uncirculated issue? How about seeing a scan of a lovely piece on eBay that the Seller says is proof and wondering...REALLY??
       With the Czapla photographs at hand the worry is GONE! The lovely Wreath Cent shown above is clearly an uncirculated issue. All doubt gone. Peace of mind at last! EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

First Proof
Click for
Cliff Bolling Date Area

Second Proof

First Uncirculated
   I must add that there are two uncirculated wreath cent obverse dies. I have one specimen from the second die which was struck right at the end of their minting. I think the work horse first die broke right at the end before all their orders were filled. At that time I tried to obtain a terminal die state example of the first die but Ron sent a specimen struck from the newer second die instead to fill my order. Lindy Stone...Fri, 15 Dec 2000 18:48:18
Click for Full Coin

Second Uncirculated


  • Czapla First Edition Publication Found
    Gallery Mint

    Michael L. Czapla, III

    Click for enlargement
       I knew that Mr. Czapla had done extensive research into the GMM creations but due to his untimely death I never could lay my hands on a copy. At this writing I have momentary custody of Ron Landis' only copy of the Czapla first edition publication.
       This reference work, was created to provide collectors with the necessary information to determine and identify the various die varieties, die combinations and mintage of reproductions and modern issues struck by the Gallery Mint Museum. Michael L. Czapla, III...circa 1997
       The publication is an 84 page loose leaf, punched for a three ring binder, study broken into 12 subjects; 1) Half Cents, 2) Large Cents, 3) Half Dimes, 4) Dimes, 5) Quarter Dollars, 6) Half Dollars, 7) Silver Dollars, 8) Modern Dollars, 9) Colonials, 10) Early American, 11) Gold Reproductions and 12) Mintage Summary. It was originally available through Mr. Czapla for $17.95 postpaid. I am currently investigating the possibility of locating a source for any original existing prints of this research publication.
       It is my opinion that Mr. Czapla included quite a few "made to order" specimens that don't properly belong in this study alongside GMM's regular production pieces. At least, not without being clearly noted as such. None-the-less, this publication has beautiful LARGE (two to a 8.5x11 page) photographs and lots of information that is not available in any other source that I am aware of. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
       I've been working my way down through Ron Landis' copy of the Czapla manuscript. Today I got up to the half dimes...section `C' and no `C' anywhere. Started looking and sections `D' dimes, `F' half dollars and `J' early american are also missing. Section `K' gold reproductions is just a skeleton...not a single photograph of any of the pieces. In section `H' Modern Dollars the "Large Date with Mintmark" pattern 1995 Liberty Flowing Hair Concept Dollar was not included and he did not even have a photograph of the "In God We Trust" pattern although he did know it existed. Looks like Mr. Czapla wasn't that far along when he sent Ron his copy of the manuscript. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen...Sat, 16 Dec 2000 08:30:23
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Inexpensive Webpage Creation: I'm interested in creating webpages for fishing camps, resorts and lodges. I work on the barter services for your we both get a good deal and I get some excellent fishing experiences. I do my "thing" first and if you don't like my end product then I don't get "paid"! EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

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