A Look Back at FUN
I recently returned from the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) convention in Tampa, always a fun event to attend. I spent most of my time at the Stack’s bourse table meeting new friends and greeting old ones. And, there were lots of nice comments about Stack’s and Bowers & Merena Galleries combining.
Although business was subdued around the bourse, spirits were good. Everyone hopes that the current economic recession will come to an end soon—hopefully in 2011. In the meantime, most segments of the coin market remain strong. Part of this is that very few numismatists have leveraged or built their collections on borrowed money, so there are no “calls” to sell.
Although most convention talk is about buying and selling, and the topic of numerical grading continues to be hot, there is not as much discussion of basic numismatics anymore. As such, something is lost. Perhaps this missing ingredient should be restored, as it constitutes much of the enjoyment our hobby offers. This thought came to the fore the other day when I was reading a coin quiz published in The Numismatist in December 1954, by which time I had been collecting coins for just a short period of time—since 1952. I was busy building a numismatic library, tracking down all the old magazines, catalogs, and books I could find.
Offered in that old issue of The Numismatist was “Copper Quiz for Coin Collectors,” by Stuart Mosher—a fine gentleman whose qualifications included creating most of the text for the first issue of A Guide Book of United States Coins and being curator of numismatics at the Smithsonian Institution. He suggested that readers should count five points for every correct answer. “If you score 70 you have a very fine score. Fifty or less is below average, while 90 or more is remarkable.”
Below I give the quiz. Look it over, and then in a couple of days check our “Nostalgia” feature here and I will give the correct answers and also some modern-day commentary.
In the meantime, enjoy your week and have fun in the world’s greatest hobby: coin collecting.
The Copper Coin Quiz
- Which contains the most copper, a Lincoln cent of 1954 or a Jefferson nickel of 1954?
- What country is famous for issuing the largest copper coins?
- Approximately what percentage of copper will be found in foreign gold coins?
- What country of ancient times used copper coins weighing about one pound and equal in value to one ox?
- If you were to refine 20 pounds of current U.S. silver coins, how much copper would you obtain? [Remember, this is a 1954 quiz, and coins contained silver then, quite unlike 2011]
- What country issued the same denomination and about the same type of copper coins for over 2,000 years?
- Why are policemen sometimes called ‘cops,’ or ‘coppers’?
- What state in the U.S. produces the most copper? [Again, try to give a 1954 answer]
- What country in the world produces the most copper? [Think 1954, as above]
- During the Civil War some people were called ‘copperheads.’ Who were they?
- Which is the better conductor of heat, iron or copper?
- Which came first, the Copper (Bronze) Age or the Iron Age?
- Name the one U.S. coin that did not contain copper as an alloy.
- What is the largest English copper coin ever made?
- For three years the United States made silver coins containing three parts silver and one part copper. What coin was it?
- What is the chemical symbol for copper?
- Name the one year between 1793 and 1857 when the United States did not strike copper coins.
- Was copper ever used as an alloy in the silver coins of ancient Greece?
- Give the name of at least one copper coin of ancient Rome.
- What was the largest amount of money ever paid for a U.S. copper coin? [Okay, in 2011 this might be hard for you to answer, as again this is a 1954 quiz]