Here are my quick notes from the Society of Silver Dollar Collector's meeting in Baltimore, August 1st, 2008. Feel free to edit and improve them!
SSDC President Ash Harrison. John Austin received the President's award for his contributions to VAMworld! Unfortunately John could not attend, but his plaque is pictured here.
Jeff Oxman talked about VAM collecting being an information driven hobby. The group was pleased to hear that Jeff recently reprinted the Hot 50 book which had been unavailable for almost nine years. Additionally, everyone in attendance received a complimentary copy of the book funded by Cameo CC! Jeff is currently working on the Hit List 40 book, which is expected to be completed early next year.
Michael Fey discussed the need for the SSDC to formalize the organization structure, discussed some of the history of VAMing and how we need to set up the organization for the future. He proposed a nominating committee be created and a board of governors setup for the SSDC. He also talked about his Top 100 Insights book that is a time capsule covering a decade of VAM developments.
SSDC vice president John Baumgart discussed his new projects, the VAMslab sticker with a picture of the VAM that adheres to a slab and a photo service that will image a coin along with a close up of the VAM feature. He also talked about his more recent VAM identification CD for 1878 coins.
Brian Raines talked about his research into 1879-S coins. It was an interesting detective story that involved thinned reverse dies, apparently these are the first 1879-S coins struck and they were NOT the reverse of 1878. The discoveries got more interesting when Brian and John Roberts discussed the coins here on VAMworld and made connections to a 1964 numismatic article that John recalled. [Discussion thread]
John Roberts lead a discussion on what should be a VAM - The Overton model where every die gets recorded or the Snow system where only the significant dies are cataloged. John feels that for VAM acceptance to continue to progress in the marketplace we must make the correct choices in the next few years.
Ash also discussed plans to choose a Board of Directors for the SSDC during FUN. He will soon appoint a selection comittee and see nominations for the board.
Rob Joyce talked about the creation of VAMworld and provided some of the latest statistics:
In the month of August there were 15,500 visits with 213,000 pages viewed. VAMworld has 226 registered users. It contains 4,400 Pages and 11,500 Images. There are about 9,700 public discussion messages right now.
The meeting adjourned with several of the members planning to go to dinner together. We ate at a Chinese restaurant in downtown Baltimore, swapping coin stories. DT Miller, owner of one the finest Morgan dollar sets in existence (including the only known 1901-P PCGS DMPL) was kind enough to pick up the
tab. Please join us next time!