Welcome to the summer issue of the Maryland Numismatist. We have all been witness these past few weeks to longer days, warmer temperatures, and an overdue cooling off of the blistering hot commodity markets which took most metal prices to 30-year highs. Where a few areas of numismatics naturally benefited from these broader market moves, I’m somewhat pleased that all the speculative interest in the commodities did not translate into similar speculative plays in the numismatic arena.
This issue is released just a few days before MSNA has the pleasure of introducing our third keynote speaker for our 2011 Distinguished Lecturer Series event. Anthony Swaitek (a.k.a. Mr. Commem) will be with us June 17th in Baltimore at the Whitman Coin Expo. I hope member clubs have taken advantage of the information releases and passed the invitation to our third Distinguished Lecturer event along to your members and other numismatic friends and associates.
Proposed Maryland legislation HB 206—Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Precious Metal Bullion and Coins—Repeal which would eliminate the state tax exemption on numismatic and bullion purchases over $1,000 was before the Maryland House Ways and Means Committee earlier this year for endorsement. MSNA, Whitman Conventions, and a number of other numismatic organizations opposed this legislation. MSNA contacted each of the 20-plus members of the House Ways and Means Committee with our concerns and reasons for the Committee not to forward the bill to the General Assembly. In April, the House Ways and Means Committee declined to take measure forward and allowed it to expire. Thus this bill, unfavorable to the broader numismatic interests in Maryland, was defeated by lack of Ways and Means endorsement.
I am also pleased to report that we have completed our efforts to inventory and re-stow all items of MSNA’s John B. Henry collection of Civil War tokens, Maryland tokens, and colonial currency. We are especially grateful to Don Curtis and Bill Stratemeyer for their contributions of time, energy, resource, and knowledge.
The MSNA board of directors is currently discussing means for ensuring adequate member club representation at our meetings and events. Along those lines, I will be contacting all member clubs here shortly via email, website, or mail to express the board’s concerns and to have member clubs re-establish or confirm its representative to MSNA. For an organization such as ours, active participation to the extent reasonable or possible is in the better interests of all involved.
One task before us is the design and selection of our 2012 Souvenir Card to commemorate the War of 1812. We are looking for design ideas or proposals from the at-large MSNA membership. Please feel free to submit your designs for our consideration prior to November.
Finally, we have three Maryland Numismatist articles in the fiscal year already, but contest rules say we need three authors before holding the best article competition and we have only two. We need a third author to enter an article in time for the September issue (i.e., by July 31) to hold the competition. Our editor is willing to assist with editing and possibly research. Please consider writing an article on your specialty or perhaps an interesting piece you’ve added to your collection. The Maryland Numismatist editor also has some article ideas on local medals in the pipeline that he is willing to farm out to anyone who wants to do the research. With that, I wish you the best of these upcoming summer months.
Jack Schadegg, MSNA President