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“A.N.A. Centennial Elongates”

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist & Cataloger, U.S. Coins

Author: Frank Van Valen / Friday, March 06, 2015 / Categories: Exonumia Corner

In 1991 the American Numismatic Association held its Centennial Summer Convention in Rosemont/Chicago, Illinois, a grand event that was capped by a world-class auction by Bowers and Merena. I walked the bourse floor daily, took a successful side trip and picked up a complete set of Liberty Seated half dollars for a future auction – one of my fondest memories of the trip -- and generally had a fine time. As part of the fun I purchased six 1891 Indian cents and another half dozen 1891 Liberty Seated dimes, all in Fine or so condition and rather inexpensive. Then I sought Ray “the elongated man” who traveled to all the shows with his elongated cent machine and had my half dozen 1891 cents and half dozen 1891 dimes turned into 1991-dated souvenirs. I thought 100 year old coins would make great 100th Anniversary mementos. I gave a few of the two-piece sets to friends at the convention and kept a set for myself. That year the ANA was seeking contributions for their Centennial time capsule which was buried later in 1991 and is scheduled to be dug up in 2091 -- I don’t plan to attend that ceremony. For inclusion in the time capsule, I wrote a short “greetings to the future” letter on Bowers and Merena stationery and included a set of 1891-1991 elongates for future coin collectors to enjoy. As my reward, some numismatist in 2091 may actually say “Hey, who was this Van Valen guy anyway?”