Gallery Mint Museum ScrapBook  
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Gallery Mint Museum ~ Box706 EurekaSprings AR 72632
OrderDesk...(888)558-MINT(6468)     Questions...(479)253-5055
 Website...www.gallerymint.com       EMail...GalleryMintMuseum
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

2004 ScrapBook Subjects
Page
Index
Links
Link...Stuff Falls Through The Cracks
Link...A Couple Of Southern Belles
Link...[ Dear CONECA Friends: ]
Link...Libertarian For President
Link...2002 Presentation Strikes For ANA
Link...2004 Ellis Family Reunion
Link...Limited Editions and Mistakes
Link...[ RoadTrip! ]
Link...GNA 40th Anniversary
Enlargement scans available on WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM. 
11/11
2004
Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROMEnlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM

Stuff Falls Through The Cracks
   I had my regular creation of a 1995 Annual Medal overstruck with GMM's Annual Hobo Tokens dies done right off in 2002. Naturally I acqired my regular issue 2002 GMM Hobo Tokens at that same time. After that I never looked twice at these Hobo Tokens. THEN... here a couple years later Mike Ellis uncovers tokens that were struck with a different "Uncle Sam" obverse die.
   Obviously it never occured to TheGuys to tell V-Dubya that they had changed obverse dies. At this late date nobody can remember why this change was made; broken or clashed die? or possibly Ron had artistic problems with the first die. He did recently say that he wasn't happy with the way Uncle Sam looked on the first die... that is as close to an explaination that we can come here two years later. ALL this shows that a person should ALWAYS pay attention to everything that happens in an area of their interest/obsession otherwise stuff simply falls through the cracks.
~ EMail...Verne R. Walrafen


11/6
2004
Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROMEnlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM

A Couple Of Southern Belles
   An Ozarks' Coin Club mini-mint token, featuring our new Longacre Flying Eagle cent design, will be included free with any lots won in our eList subscribers ONLY auction! Michael Ellis... Saturday, November 06, 2004 9:28AM
   Another new show token... SUPER! It is great to see more Mini-Mint show tokens being created and the flying eagle has to be one of the all-time great coinage designs.
   Speaking of Mini-Mint show tokens... I was browsing around on eBay the other day and saw an odd little link someplace that asked something about searching through the "eBay Stores" with my query. So I clicked it and what should jump up but a GMM token with a BuyItNow price of $0.29. I thought... "Now this ought to really be 'a deal'!" but I went to look at it anyway. The TNA token shown above on the right is what was being sold. Now, I have a very leaky brain, but it seemed to me I had never seen this particular show token before. My next thought was... "I bet shipping is $8!" but the Seller only wanted $1 shipping. WOW! How could I resist? After I purchased this token I did a search of my GMM ScrapBook and I can't find it mentioned in any SBsubject previously. Ya never know what is going to happen when you get up in the morning! ~ EMail:Verne R. Walrafen


Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM

Dear CONECA Friends:
   Recognizing the significance of CONECA and impact the organization has in numismatics in general, I, Michael 'Mike' L. Ellis, submit myself as candidate for the position of President of CONECA - Again! Most of you know me and have been faithful members nearly as long or longer than I have so I need not qualify the 'again.' However, for those of you who are not familiar with me, I say "again" as I have already served as President longer than anyone in club history (six years and 1 month). In addition, I served as Vice-President for two years and as a board member for another two years.

Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
   During my tenure, several significant member benefits were born or strengthened and remain strong to this day. Among them are the streamlining of the current literary awards program, creating the 'Fivaz/Stanton Cherrypickers' Award" and the 'Eddie Colwell Cherrypickers' Award, creation of the now highly successful CONECAonline.org website (thanks to continued efforts on behalf of the current board, particularly Ken Potter and James Wiles), creation of the special publications fund allowing would be authors to publish references useful to the error and variety hobby including all of James Wiles' excellent reference works, creation of the full-time 20th Century Die Variety Attributor position, implementation of the now streamlined die variety file system which will never have to change again and will remain with the hobby forever (due in large part to the efforts of current President James Wiles), arranged for the copyright protection of all CONECA attribution guides authored by James Wiles on behalf of CONECA, initiated and implemented the 'CONECA Error and Variety Authentication and Attribution Service' offered by Independent Coin Grading Service (ICG) and; perhaps most importantly, brought CONECA to the forefront of numismatics by dramatically increasing hobby awareness of CONECA and its contributions to the 'Hobby Of Kings,' numismatics. Of course, the list could go on but, you get the idea of how active I am when committed to a cause.
   This decision did not come easily to me as I would not make it were I not prepared to immerse myself in the position. Call me 'the other reluctant candidate' if you will but know that my reluctance was born of my level of commitment. I know what it takes to be a successful President of CONECA. First and foremost there must be a high level of commitment and second is awareness of the fact that it is an elected position which means I serve you and not the other way around. As President I have and will continue to cater to the needs and desires of you, the membership. Though I mourn the loss of James Wiles as President, I fully support those who are running for reelection and especially look forward to working with the newer board members of whom I have not had the privilege or working with in the past. Mike Ellis... Friday, November 05, 2004 2:12PM

10/17
2004
Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROMEnlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROMEnlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM

Libertarian For President
   Other than the Gallery Mint's involvement in the new golden dollar coin we do not involve ourselves in mainstream politics. However, during the first weekend of October, Joe Rust, president and, Ron Landis, vice-president; both co-owners of the Gallery Mint Museum, made a memorable appearance as both the Gallery Mint Museum and the Doe Brothers at the Sixth Annual Liberty Dollar Fair in Evansville, Indiana. During the day they ran the mini-mint striking pewter specimens (example shown is one of 25 silver off metal specimens struck, 5 of which are trial strikes) of this beautiful mini-mint token using the same obverse die used on the Community First Bank tokens. The reverse is an original design by Ron Landis in fairly high relief.
   In the evening the two appeared as the infamous Doe Brothers entertaining banquet attendees including Bernard Von Nothaus, originator of the Liberty Dollar Program; and Michael Badnarik, Libertarian Candidate for President of the United States. The Gallery Mint Museum does not endorse Mr. Badnarik; he just happened to be the keynote speaker at the banquet. Heck, even now we really don't know anything about the man except that he is an educator and his running mate, Richard Campagna, is an attorney. Still, Ron and Joe think it was neat to entertain for a Presidential candidate.
   And, I, Mike Ellis, now wish I had gone. No, not because I feel like I missed anything; rather, because I probably would not be nursing a head with 12 staples in it, a severely sprained neck and a totally separated shoulder that I acquired about the same time the Doe Brothers were wrapping it up in Indiana! (Don't worry folks. It was not an automobile accident. I survived my first ambulance ride though and am on the road to recovery.) Michael Ellis... Sunday, October 17, 2004 3:10PM


9/30
2004
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2002 Presentation Strikes For ANA
   I have "backed up" and am fixing this unfinished SBsubject here in January 2005. I recall that Mike Ellis found the presentation strikes shown above and offered them on eBay. After that discovery Mike also found the brass version of the Summer Seminar token... so you should know that both tokens were struck in four metals; silver, copper, brass and pewter. I know that less than ten sets were struck so this was an exceptionally limited issue. ~ EMail:Verne R. Walrafen


9/28
2004
Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM

2004 Ellis Family Reunion
   Before joining the staff here at the Gallery Mint Museum in Eureka Springs, Arkansas; my dad, Bob Ellis, was already planning a family reunion for Branson, MO or Eureka Springs. Because I had been here many times before I was able to attest to the fact that this area of the Ozarks was right down the family alley. I knew they would love it here. We have a family reunion about every three years in different locations. So, while still in the reunion planning stage, I moved to Arkansas and my dad rented a couple of condos on Holiday Island just outside of Eureka Springs. How convenient?!!!!
   At any rate, I have also been wanting to learn more about die sinking through hands on training. I also wanted to do something special for the family reunion. Naturally, everything fit together so nicely. Joe Rust cut me a die blank, Ron Landis showed me where to begin and the rest is history.
   On this particular mini-mint token we used the stock 2004 Three Cent nickel die paired with my (Mike Ellis) first punched die - EVER! I punched in the letters and the denticles. Ron Landis added the scroll work in about two minutes to complete the reverse die. I did destroy one die while trying to lap it down somewhat. My work on the final reverse die took about an hour to do! It was a great training exercise for me, a test to see if I had any potential in die sinking and a great souvenir of the family reunion all at the same time!
   YES, I very much plan to improve my skills in die sinking. It was great fun and now I am hooked! Only 40 regular pieces were struck and I struck about 10 errors before the die collapsed while making two teddy bears. The family was on hand touring the Gallery Mint Museum when the bulk of them were struck. Obviously, the majority of the pieces were distributed to Ellis Family members.
   To make things even better as far as the family reunion goes, they were able to enjoy a Doe Brothers concert. Conveniently, Holiday Island had hired the Doe Brothers to play in Holiday Island! Thank you Holiday Island for paying the Doe Brothers to play for the Ellis Family reunion! Mike Ellis... Tuesday, 28 September 2004, 12:50PM

   Yes... I know! I've been AWOL for several weeks. My attention has been focused on mowing grass, fishing for pike and sturgeon, taking care of my parents and expanding the Link:Original Hobo Nickel Society website. Thankfully Mike has prompted me to apply some time to our GMM ScrapBook by providing the above documentation about the latest creation out of our favorite mint. ~ EMail:Verne R. Walrafen


9/13
2004
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Limited Editions and Mistakes
   We still have some of the limited edition 1792 pattern quarters in pewter and copper left. Now that we have actually struck some... they must be seen to be believed! They are gorgeous, the pewter ones especially. The pewter quarters weigh 30 grams each (more than an ounce) and feel unbelievably good while holding in your hand. After seeing them you may want to reconsider ordering them as it was almost impossible to visualize what we had in mind.
Enlargements available on both WWW and ScrapBook CD-ROM
   We made a mistake and would like for you to have the opportunity to capitalize on our error! On the second production run of the Silver Continental Dollars a group of lettered edge dollar planchets were inadvertently included. The regular variety is an edge with repeating chevrons. This piece serves as a great reminder that all coins have 3 sides!
   We know less than 150 were minted with the lettered edge (metal composition and planchet size and weight are correct) and some were sent out to our customers. So, check your Continental Dollars for this rare variety which is destined to be the most significant variety we produce on the silver Continental Dollars. If yours is not the rare lettered edge we are making a limited number of them available to our e-news subscribers only at this time. We have 46 with the copy stamp on the reverse and 9 with the copy stamp on the obverse for a total of 55 pieces. This is the entire amount remaining.
   Normally, when we discover such an error we charge two to three times the normal price for the pieces we sell. However, as our way of saying "thank you" for subscribing to the e-news, we offer these pieces for only $50.00 post paid each. Order as many as you want. When they are gone, they are gone! You have our guarantee we will not reproduce this error intentionally and are now on heightened alert to avoid making the same mistake. Mike Ellis... Monday, 13 September 2004, 3:05PM

   I am actually posting this information from Mike Ellis late in September. I just spoke to him and learned that he has a few specimens remaining of all the pieces mentioned above. So it isn't too late... YET! ~ EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

RoadTrip!
   First I'll bore you with a limited number of photos from my Fall 2004 vacation.
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   Then I think you might find what I posted about my FIRST attempt at doing a nickel carving on the Link:Original Hobo Nickel Society website to be of some small interest.
Turn your chisel over... it's upside down!             Verne RWalrafen ... Click to EMail this person.
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   One of the provisions that Steve Adams made when he agreed to entertain V-Dubya this fall was that I would attempt to carve a nickel so that I'd know a bit about what is required to create such art works. He didn't know that I don't have a single artistic bone in my body. However, I am an engineer and do have patience and an eye for minute detail.
   Steve opened his work shop and home to me. He provided a wide selection of tools for me to experiment with. I quickly found that the motorized/power equipment required an experienced hand which was well beyond me. An optivisor, chisels, punches, hammer, abrasive stones, oil and a paper towel were all I could use with any control worth mentioning.
   I am a big fan of using a variety of textures in nickel carvings so I created a "Sampler" quite similar to what sewing/needlework students have done for generations. Steve started me off with a couple chisel cuts and turned me loose to experiment. About halfway through he made the cut to separate the hair and beard from the facial skin areas.
   With Steve's prompting I was finally able to consistently remember which edge of the chisels does the actual cutting... definitely a critical thing of course. "Walking" a chisel was a really fun technique to learn! The most surprising thing I learned was how quickly a nickel carving can be completed. Steve, with years of experience, invested probably five minutes and I added at most a couple hours. It would have gone much quicker if I hadn't been a complete novice. Another totally unexpected thing that I found out is how soft the metal is once a thin surface layer is removed. The lightest touch with virtually any tool leaves a mark! Somehow I had always thought of a nickel as being a HARD metal!
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   There are, in my opinion, two things that actually are hard to do when carving nickels. First, is the true mastery of the engraving tools themselves of course... particularly the power tools that are so versatile and efficient. Second, and most importantly, is the imagination and artistic talent it takes to create original carvings that aren't simply knock-offs/recreations of another artist's work. It is obvious that creating the same few designs over and over again would be singularly unrewarding.
   While I was fumbling my way through this project Steve was putting the finishing touches on his masterpiece "Mona Lisa." It was so cool to watch Steve enlarge the hole for the gold insert... he made it look so easy. I have it on good authority from a talented and experienced carver that such inlays aren't actually as simple as Steve made it appear. I wasn't watching when he inserted the gold piece and stamped it with his "SA" signature. Most likely I was upstairs with Heidi feeding my face. The Adams' family sure knows how to feed a fella! I had one truly fantastic experience... Thanks Steve and Heidi!
   Looking back... the carving went very easily thanks to pointers from Steve. What really surprised me is how quickly one could turn out decent carvings if one wanted to produce a quantity. Makes one wonder what why so many people produce real trash when it takes so little time to do decent, albeit unimaginative, carvings. The real difficulty would be to come up with more complicated designs and then obviously the time would go up exponentially I'm quite certain. Besides... carving the same thing fifty times would get REAL boring!
   Actually what most folks would call the hat was intended to be a fabric drape. I incorporated this feature from a carving that Steve Alpert owns (he calls it a hat) and modified it to suit my own tastes. I liked the fact it had different textures and that it completely obliterated Fraser's original hair feathers. To each his own I reckon.
   I wasn't particularly proud of the beadwork on drape and collar but that was my second and third attempt at "walking" a chisel... my first line was on a practice nickel Steve had laying there for me to use to test doing what he instructed me to attempt. You can see where I was a bit hesitant on the drape beading (carved from the top down) and that I was more confident when I did the collar beading. I felt that both features came out well for a few seconds work. All the punch work for hair and beard only took a couple minutes. Most of my time was spent smoothing the drape, facial skin and background/field.
   I would rather promote the collecting of recent nickel carvings, and the artists that create them for us all, than to commit my time to doing more carvings of my own. I must admit though that I learned a lot doing one and I'll always treasure the memory as a gift from Steve Adams. ~ EMail:Verne R. Walrafen

8/14
2004
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GNA 40th Anniversary
   Here's a really cool and rare Gallery Mint Museum collectible from the recently concluded Georgia Numismatic Association 40th Anniversary Convention. It is an infamous mini-mint 2004 token with GNA 40th Anniversary token encased in a BU 1964 Kennedy half! This was done in honor of the 40 years of the GNA and only 27 were made; most distributed to GNA Show Officials. Mike Ellis... Sunday, 20 June 2004, 5:37:04PM
   Now that Mike is at the Gallery Mint we benefit from an increased flow of really interesting information out of the mint. Thanks Mike! ~ EMail:Verne R. Walrafen