Gallery Mint Museum ScrapBook  
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Gallery Mint Museum Box706 EurekaSprings AR 72632 
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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: Collapsed Dies... A Multitude Of Cracks
Link: [ Headed For Florida For The Winter ]
Link: Studying Die States Is Challenging
Link: Brutus EID MAR "Ides of March" Denarius
Link: [ Sam Bush And The Doe Brothers ]
Link: Gallery Mint? ...NOT!
Link: [ Last Catch Of The Season ]
Link: Counterfeit? No Kidding!
Link: Falsely Accused!
Link: Brother... Can You Spare A Fifty?
Link: [ Simply WOW! ]
Enlargement scans available on WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM. 
Click for Obverse or Reverse enlargement on CD-ROM
Click for Obverse or Reverse SUPER SIZED enlargement on CD-ROM
Click for Obv.Cracks or Rev.Cracks Expanded Area CLOSEUP on CD-ROM
Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
Bronze Dies for the 1999 Chicago ANA Convention Exhibitor's Pattern Minerva Medal
A massive 51.3mm in diameter (a hair over 2") and too heavy to weigh on my 8.8oz scale.
  • Collapsed Dies... A Multitude Of Cracks

  •    In my 9/28/2001 SBsubject: Link: GMM ANA Exhibition Medal Set Completed! I made this observation... Maybe I will stumble across some other related material for this collection but I suspect that this is as complete as it gets unless GMM becomes involved in future ANA Exhibition Medals... we can always hope!
       Well... TheGuys haven't created any more exhibition medals but Ron did share this wonderful set of bronze dies with me recently. I have referred to the medals struck from these dies as patterns but that is only because there were so few struck and different dies were made for the 1999 medals produced and distributed to the ANA exhibitors in Chicago. Actually this "pattern" issue was a failed first attempt at creating production medals.
       Being able to study these dies has shown me things that I never knew to look for. Ron had told me that these dies had "collapsed" but I didn't understand what collapsed dies really meant. At the top of this page there are two clips out of extreme close-up scans of the dies. On them you can see an example crack in both the obverse and reverse dies. If you are reading this from a ScrapBook CD-ROM you can click on these close-ups and see expanded area views of these cracked areas. The SUPER SIZED enlargements... again, available on both WWW and CD-ROM ...are stunning and show the multitude of die cracks resulted from these dies collapsing inward at the center.
       Did you notice the square on the reverse die that contains ANA "Lamp of Knowledge?" What??? You say it doesn't look square to you? Well... look at the same area on the hot struck silver medal shown below. Hard to believe how much deformation took place when the central portion of this pair of dies collapsed inward!

    Bronze Die (left)       Silver Medal (right)
       Once I knew what to look for, and where to look, I could see the die cracks reflected on my hot struck silver medal. Shown above is the same area on the die and the medal. These dies remind me of what a cut broomstick looks like... dense/hard on the outside and grainy/soft in the center. You can really see this on these dies by the coloration of the patina in addition to the multitude of cracks.
       We have discussed Ron's ANA Exhibitor's medals previously in these SBsubjects: Link: 1999 ANA Chicago Medals, Link: Too Massive For The Technology, Link: GMM ANA Exhibition Medal Set Completed! and Link: 1915 Panama-Pacific Inspiration.
       I consider this a rare opportunity to be able to handle and study these wonderful dies... most particularly because of my long standing interest in Ron's Exhibitor's medals. Even better... these dies created the rarest of those medals! My hot struck silver "pattern" specimen is shown below. Thank you Ron! EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
    Click for Obverse or Reverse enlargement on CD-ROM
    Click for Double or Triple
    sized enlargement on CD-ROM
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
    Click for Double or Triple
    sized enlargement on CD-ROM
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
    -by Lee Griffiths
    Headed For Florida For The Winter

    Click for Enlargement on CD-ROM
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
    -by Steven G. Adams
       When Hobos were riding trains looking for work... they migrated to warmer climes over the winter months for obvious reasons. Many of them "wintered" in Florida. Today's homeless don't appear to migrate to the extent that the Hobos did but we experience a slightly different sort of migration now-a-days.

       Every January hobo style carvings, from the best of today's nickel carvers, "migrate" to Florida for an auction held by The Original Hobo Nickel Society at the Florida United Numismatists convention. Shown here are some prime examples of today's nickel carving artform that will be put on the auction block at FUN2004.

       I wish I could attend the convention just to see all the wonderful carved nickels that will be scattered across the nation to their proud new owners. I did get to handle the two Lee Griffiths carvings shown here when Lee last visited me. I almost held him hostage just to convince him to pay me off with his "HoeBo" (sleeping hobo) carving... but he called my bluff and took it home with him. :-(

       I know another avid nickel carving collector who feels the same way about Lee's other carving shown here... "The Inspector" ...because it is styled after the pop-out (or is that pop-up?) coins created from U.S. coinage some hundred years ago or there-abouts.

       Looks like a good time will be had by all this winter in Florida... so bring your checkbooks because they don't take plastic! EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
    A Clifford Bolling photograph.       Click for Enlargement on CD-ROM
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
    1796 Half Dollars
  • Studying Die States Is Challenging

  •    I recently acquired a GMM 1796 50c with obverse 1 and an early version of reverse 3. This new reverse shows much better detail and is missing the berry under the first 'T' in STATES. I have labeled them reverse 3a and reverse 3b. The reverse 3b shows heavy die polishing and lots of design touch-up. I have several pieces with reverse 3b, all are paired with obverse 4. This new piece is paired with obverse 1, and it looks like it might have been an earlier die state than all the other obverse 1 pieces I have. I think the reverse 3 die might have been in use for a short period before my reverse 1 die, then something happened to it and it was retired. Later, it looks like they needed a reverse die quick, and the retired die was re-polished, touched up and put back into service. Pretty neat! Please remember that my numbering system is purely arbitrary and most likely does not represent the order in which the pieces were struck. Clifford D. Bolling... Saturday, October 11, 2003 10:20AM
       The auction photo piqued my curiosity, so I just had to get it. As near as I can tell, it is the only one with no berry under the first 'T' of STATES. My elegant charting of the obverse/reverse pairings of the 16 star halves is totally wasted. This reverse might have been the first reverse. Clifford D. Bolling... Monday, October 13, 2003 11:20PM
    Click for Enlargement on CD-ROM
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
       The "3a" reverse specimen Cliff purchased came off eBay... item:3050918487. Cliff provided us with some really COOL Link:extreme closeups of the "3a" reverse compared to the "3b" reverse but they are so large that they can only be made available to you on our ScrapBook CD-ROM.
       It has been my observation that whenever one finds GMM's "COPY" stamped in unusual, non-standard locations... like we see here on Cliff's newest purchase ...the die combinations have a good chance of being unusual. I believe this is because non-standard "COPY" specimens are normally struck as special orders for a customer and TheGuys grab a pair of dies, from those on their workbench, basically at random. The luck of the draw at it were... what you get when manufacturing processes are all done by hand and aren't completely standardized. It makes for some really COOL specimens for the specialist. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

    Click for Enlargement on CD-ROM
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
    Genuine Brutus EID MAR Denarius
  • Brutus EID MAR "Ides of March" Denarius

  •    Brutus Ides of March Denarius. 43-42 BC. BRVT IMP L PLAET CEST, head of Brutus right / EID MAR, liberty cap and two daggers. With this famous reverse type Brutus commemorates his assassination of Julius Caesar on the notorious Ides of March, 44 BC, and claims that the deed was done to secure liberty for the Roman people (the liberty cap). This sentiment does not prevent him, however, from placing his own portrait on the coin, like a Hellenistic monarch and like Caesar himself shortly before his death! This coin commemorates the most important single day event in ancient history. There is barely a person living in the Western world today who doesn't know the words written by William Shakespeare, "Et Tu Brute" or the words Eid Mar inscribed on the reverse of this coin. The fact that a man would commit a political murder and put the date of that murder and the implements used to do it on the reverse of the coin between which is a cap representing Liberty and freedom and on the other side, his portrait and his name with the inscription IMP or imperator is remarkable. On this coin, he not only commemorates the act and the day that he saved the Republic, but contradicts the meaning and spirit of the reverse of the coin by placing his portrait on the obv and saluting himself as emperor. Somewhat more than 50 of these remarkable coins exist. 8 August 2000, 11:30:52AM... Herakles Numismatics, Inc. Source: the auction lot description of the Nelson Bunker Hunt specimen.
       I couldn't find out how much the genuine Denarius sold for but the minimum bid was $110,000 without the vig... a pretty penny in anybody's book for sure. You can see this wonderful specimen at... Link:Brutus EID MAR denarius, RSC 15, Syd 1301, Cr502/4 which is a page in this wonderful website... Link:WildWinds: Online Reference, Attribution & Valuation Site For Ancient Greek, Roman & Byzantine Coins.
       So... why am I showing you this expensive ancient Roman coin here in our GMM ScrapBook? When I visited Eureka Springs on October 11th I found Ron busy at his engraving bench. He was re-re-engraving the dies used to strike the trial strikes shown below. It turns out that while doing trial strikes the center of the dies caved in. Ron had lapped the legend off, re-engraved it, lapped the legend off again and was re-re-engraving it. They only got three specimens off the original dies before they collapsed. When I asked politely... Ron kept one specimen for himself and sold me the other two I'm showning you below. Eventually I am certain he will get the die set repaired and into production so all of you can purchase cool Landis specimens too. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
    Click for Enlargement on CD-ROM
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
    Trial Strikes Of Landis' Brutus Denarius
    Click for Expanded View on CD-ROM
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
    Joe Rust(left)     Sam Bush(left center)     Ron Landis(right center)     Chuck Onofrio(right)
    Sam Bush And The Doe Brothers
       Well... Caroline and I just came back from the Link:56th Ozark Folk Festival 2003 where TheGuys played the opening set for the Sam Bush concert. Don't know who Sam Bush is? I didn't either but music fans know him as the leading Mandolin player in the US today. You can check out Link:The Official Sam Bush Website and learn about him. He surprised Ron by coming out and playing the last song of the set with TheGuys. Ron still hasn't come down off the ceiling... he was absolutely in awe and it was infectious to those of us in the audience. It was a great experience! EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
       Wow! Thanks for the picture! Even when I was in Eureka Springs over Labor Day, Sam Bush was about all Ron could talk about! I don't know who TheGuys admire more, Sam or Bill Monroe! Sam I think. I never heard of Sam Bush until my trip there last month. Of course they told me he was only the best mandolin player ever. When I got home I told some of my friends here that Ron was going to be playing with Sam Bush and they turned green with envy! I started feeling like the kid in "Sandlot" who took his dad's autographed by Babe Ruth baseball and used it to play ball. One of his friends hit it over the fence into "the Beast's" backyard which turned out to be James Earl Jones' St. Bernard. The kid was wondering who this "Baby Ruth" person was. Ever see it? If not, I recommend it. Took me back to my youth. It was a great movie. At least now I am fully aware of who Sam Bush is and fully understand Ron's "Dream State!" Michael Ellis... Tuesday, October 14, 2003 9:33AM
    Click for Enlargement on CD-ROM
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
  • Gallery Mint? ...NOT!

  •    One would think that an organization that makes a living providing authenticity assurances to the numismatic community wouldn't trip over their own feet and attribute a Royal Oak Mint creation as being a Gallery Mint creation. Makes one wonder what will happen down the road a couple generations with regard to all these rare coin recreations... at least they have COPY on them so I guess mixing up their actual provenance won't be too damaging... just frustrating.
       As I write this, the specimen shown above is ticking down its final hours on eBay... item:3052439570. It will be interesting to see what price this misattributed specimen brings. These pieces are readily available from Ken Potter. Ken tells us that only 20 each of the different die combinations were created. Somehow I had it in my mind that 100 of each were struck but I am sure that Ken is in a position to know with absolute certainty. In any event, these neat pi鑓es de caprice are scarce and unusual pieces without question. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
    Postscript... This slabbed specimen sold for $66+$4sh at 8:17PM on 10/14/2003.
    Ken Potter [] offers the following on his website... Link:Rare Coin Reproductions
    Royal Oak Mint Silver Dollar "Mules"
    Mintages of Just 20 Each -- No more will be made!
    1836 Gobrecht Dollar w/ Morgan Dollar Rev Proofs
    1836 Gobrecht Dollar w/ Trade Dollar Rev Proofs
    1885 Trade Dollar w/ Gobrecht Dollar Rev Proofs
    1885 Trade Dollar w/ Morgan Dollar Rev Proofs
    1895 Morgan Dollar w/ Gobrecht Dollar Rev Proofs
    1895 Morgan Dollar w/ Morgan Dollar Rev Proofs
    1895 Morgan Dollar w/ Peace Dollar Rev
    1964-D Peace Dollar w/ Gobrecht Dollar Rev Proofs
    1964-D Peace Dollar w/ Morgan Dollar Rev Proofs
    1964-D Peace Dollar w/ Morgan Dollar "CC" Rev Matte Unc/BU
    Your pick at just $75.00 each.
    Click for Expanded View on CD-ROM
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
    Last Catch Of The Season
       The fish shown above were caught two weeks ago. Dennis put his boat in storage this past weekend. As far as what, and how big, it is as follows.... All salmon but one. There is a steelhead towards the middle. The smallest fish is probably in the 2.5 to 3 pound range. We usually throw something that small back, but keep them if they are hooked in a bad way. The largest fish would go about 14 pounds. No monsters in this group, but fun to catch. The limit is five per person per day. We caught 12 on this outing, and took these ten home. How about you giving this a try next season? Late summer is best. Steve Adams... Thursday, September 25, 2003 8:56PM
       Steve really knows how to push my buttons! I can only hope that I live long enough to take him up on his offer to show me the ropes of Salmon fishing on the Great Lakes. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
    Click for Obverse or Reverse enlargement on CD-ROM
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
  • Counterfeit? No Kidding!

  •    eBay item 3050018098 (Ends Oct-05-03 12:11:51PDT) - 1796 "no pole" Half cent counterfeit? I am not sure what the intentions were for this coin. The weight and diameter are correct but it does have some minute design flaws. Could make a nice conversation piece or fill a hole in your collection. trccoin... Sunday, Sep-28-03 12:11:51PDT
       WOW... starting to run rampant here on the auction network. This title has a question mark after the word counterfeit. Come on, a great job on a "Filled in" the word COPY. There is only one genuine specimen that could equal the condition. The Whitney example which sold years ago...6 figures. Mario (jsuis2003)... Monday, September 29, 2003 6:38AM
       I'm sure this one is ours. Usually the better altered pieces are created from pieces with an obverse copy stamp. It would be easier to fill, touch up, and then copper plate over the fill before toning. Ron Landis... Monday, September 29, 2003 4:08PM
       I haven't really encountered many altered GMM based fakes so it sure was a shock to have two purported specimens listed on eBay the very same day. I can tell you that I can't find where the "COPY" counterstamp was originally. Can you? If you can, PLEASE EMail me and enlighten me! EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

    Click for Enlargement on CD-ROM
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
  • Falsely Accused!

  • Original ScrapBook posting removed!
       When this interesting specimen was originally posted on eBay for sale... as a 1796 "No Pole" HalfCent was suggested, on an open-forum discussion website, that it was somehow created from a Gallery Mint Museum HalfCent reproduction. This is quite certainly false... as easily ascertained by studying the comparison scans posted here. It was obvious from the lettering, hair curls and other fine details, that this specimen was NOT a GMM based fake. It was my considered opinion that a GMM recreation stood falsely accused here.    On November 20, 2003 I received an EMail message informing me that this interesting specimen is in fact a 1795 HalfCent and that the problem was a simple typographical error when typing the slab label. This piece was returned to the grading company and reslabbed for the current owner. I wish all of life's problems were so easily resolved. EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

    Click for Obverse or Reverse enlargement on CD-ROM
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
  • Brother... Can You Spare A Fifty?

  • Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
       Well... actually I'd have needed lots and LOTS of $50's to purchase either of these magnificent Landis $50 recreations. I know you can't figure out my dumb SBsubject title this time so I will explain. These two HUGE 2.5oz Kellogg & Co. $50 gold recreations went begging this week on eBay. Even at 56% and 70% of original retail... there was nary a bidder to be found anywhere in hyperspace. If I had a piggy bank this absolutely would have been the time to break it open! EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
    Click for Obverse or Reverse enlargement on CD-ROM

    WWW-Link:Monaco Financial
      WWW-Link:Ship Of Gold - Historical Relics, An Epic Story and Own a Treasure  
    WWW-Link:Ship of Gold - Journey Through History
    SB-Link:Keep Your Eyes Open!
    SB-Link:Our First Glimpse Of The Horseman
    SB-Link:Still Watching For The Horseman
    SB-Link:Presented by Monaco Financial, LLC
    SB-Link:A horse is a horse, of course, of course
    SB-Link:Brother... Can You Spare A Fifty?

       As a special bonus to all my readers who purchase ScrapBook CD-ROMs... Hummm... probably not much of a deal since over the past three years I have sold roughly a dozen of them and given away almost twice that many... I just gave CD-ROM#31 to Ron Landis they aren't selling like hot cakes. Even the ones I sold were almost half upgrades so my total budget for this activity has been under $200. Mama told me there would be days like this but she never mentioned I could have a thousand of them in a row. If all this moaning motivates you to support somebody then go support Ron Landis and not me. Without Ron I wouldn't have anything to keep me occupied.
    Enough whining... on with the work!
    Your special bonus...
    additional scans of Ron's Kellogg & Co. $50 recreations:
    Image:What you get for your money!
    Image:A peek into the booklet; "A Piece of Gold Rush History."
    Image:The frame for holding the slabbed specimen. - Empty at the moment.
    Image:A nifty screwdriver and velveteen sack. - Useful for placing slab back in frame.
    Hey! The screwdriver has S.S.Central America on the handle. What more could you ask for?
    Oh yes... included are full written operation instructions. Now are you happy?

    Image:The $2,795 specimen in its slab. and Image:The $3,500 specimen in its slab.
    Image:The $705 tag showing why one specimen costs more that the other.
    Image:Closeup of the 11 September 2001 counterstamp. - Reckon this is what the $705 is for.
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
    -by Bill (Jameson) Zach
    Simply WOW!
       The hobo nickel owes its beginnings to the most unlikely of artisans. The expression and creativity shown by the early carvers was a humble yet unique start to an art form we have grown to love. Were they engravers? You bet they were! The tools and conditions were crude, thus carving was a better term at the time. It was still engraving, no matter how crude. Even the better known early carvers advanced their skill and talent, by eventual use of better tools.
       Today we are no different - better tools are available, but it still takes patience and creativity to master the hobo nickel art form. I don't wish to debate old versus new. I merely suggest we look past our own opinions for one moment and look at the current status of nickel carving (or engraving) today.
    Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
    -by Clifford Kraft

       Hobos started the dawn of this art form, and one might say the likes of Bert and Bo were the golden era of the art form. It is my belief we are now in a rebirth, or renaissance of the art form. Perhaps after all of us are gone, the resurgence and perpetuation of carving by today's best artisans will be looked at as the golden era - only time will tell. Over the years, both amateur and professional engravers have taken this art form to heart. It is a wonderful meld of skills on all levels. Each amateur engraver has their own unique story as well. By means of perfecting their craft, they are contributing to the evolution of the art form.
       The hobo nickel art form is experiencing a fascinating time in its history, with new carvers arriving on the scene from many backgrounds and skill levels. In looking at recent carvings, I find the amateur work totally fascinating. The creativity and steady improvement is at an all time high, with no signs of slowing down. The best work is yet to come, and it is truly exciting. Steve Adams... Monday, August 25, 2003 6:56PM

       I extracted these four paragraphs here for you out of Steve's well written Link:An Engraver's Point of View. It would be well worth your time to follow this link and read the full text of Steve's article. As far as I am concerned the two nickel carvings shown here by Bill and Cliff are superlative examples of what Steve is talking about... so I say again; "WOW!" EMail:Verne R. Walrafen
       Very nicely written article by Steve. I started working on one myself along the same lines. This is an old argument and I get steamed up when certain members start complaining about all these new engravers when the goal of GMM is to try to keep this art form alive. When there are no more hand engravers, we will no longer have this living art. Only artifacts of a bygone era. Ron Landis... Tuesday, August 26, 2003 10:51AM
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    Bill (Jameson) Zach
    Bill's Photo Album available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM Bill's Photo Album available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
     Nickel Carving Photo Album 

    Only available on CD-ROM
     Recent Sales 

     of  Nickel Carvings
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