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Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Are You Registered Yet?

Registration is open for ISA’s fall courses!  Courses are being offered in Toronto, Ontario, Naperville, IL and Dallas, TX.

Requalification – September 28-29 (Toronto, ON)
Antiques & Residential Contents – October 1-6 (Naperville, IL) - Newly Revised
Core Course in Appraisal Studies – October 8-14 (Naperville, IL)
Appraisal of Fine Arts – October 15-20 (Naperville, IL) - Newly Revised
15 Hour Personal Property USPAP – October 22-23 (Naperville, IL)
Advanced Report Writing – October 24-25 (Naperville, IL)
Requalification – October 26-27(Naperville, IL)
7 Hour Personal Property USPAP – November 8 (Dallas, TX)
Oriental Rugs – November 9-10 (Dallas, TX)

Click here to register for an upcoming ISA course.

If you have questions about an upcoming course, please contact ISA at 312.981.6778. 

Thursday, August 23, 2012


This is a friendly reminder that the deadline for returning completed ballots for ISA’s upcoming election is rapidly approaching. Ballots must be postmarked no later than September 7, 2012. Be sure to cast your vote for the candidates running for election to the ISA Board of Directors:

Terri Ellis, ISA CAPP
Christine Guernsey, ISA CAPP
Libby Holloway, ISA CAPP
Karen Rabe, ISA CAPP

There are three positions available, each for a three year term. Please be sure to take part in this important process, and vote.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Share Your Experiences and Be a Guest Blogger

Would you like to be a guest blogger on the ISA Now blog?  It’s easy, just send the story or experience that you would like to share to ISA and we will post it for you.  Did you learn something interesting or new on a recent appraisal? Have you come across something unique or rare?  All of these make for perfect content for a blog post.  Contact Michelle Stearns, Education & Credentialing Coordinator at, to submit your story or experience for the ISA Now blog.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Discovering Treasures

In my role as editor of Coin World, I continue to be amazed at the treasures that still lurk in attics and storerooms, still waiting to be discovered.  As appraisers, each project provides us the chance to uncover something amazing.

It seems that nearly every month, a rare coin comes out of the woodwork and is introduced to the coin collecting community.  Sometimes it is an example of a rare variety – more in the realm of the expert numismatist than the average person.  Take the case of an 1817/4 Capped Bust half dollar that was unearthed by a New York contractor in 2005 while he was raking fill dirt. When raking the soil he heard a “clink” and after consulting with experts, he learned that it was a rare overdate variety. His rare half dollar sold at a 2006 auction for $253,000 (and later resold at auction in 2009 for $109,250).

Last week in Philadelphia in conjunction with the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money – the world’s biggest coin show – rare coin auctioneer Stack’s Bowers offered original plasters and bronze casts for Hermon MacNeil’s 1916 Standing Liberty quarter dollar.

Artist models like this are reminders that seeing a glimpse of the process of creating a coin’s design can help one better understand the finished product. Yet, amazingly, these plasters were almost disposed of at one time. After MacNeil died, the contents of his studio were reportedly hauled to the dump and some items were saved by a neighbor. The casts were purchased at a garage sale as a curiosity in 2001, with the purchaser thinking that they might somehow be related to a coin.

While to today’s coin collectors it sounds impossible that historically important — and economically valuable — items would be discarded so carelessly, many artist studios of the past century have suffered undignified fates.

In MacNeil’s time, sculptors rarely preserved their process work — work that supported the creation of a finished product for a commissioned piece. The competition to design new coins in 1916 where the U.S. Mint invited outside artists was no exception. Researcher Roger Burdette wrote in 2006, “Time has not been kind to either the visual or written record of the 1916 design competition.”

Some of these numismatic treasures surely remain waiting to be discovered — in bookstores, garage sales, and estate sales.

The rewards for finding these are great, as they are expensive today. In 2009 three plaster models by Chester Beach for the 1921 Peace dollar competition (he lost to Anthony De Francisci and the Peace dollar was produced from 1921 to 1935) sold at auction for nearly $20,000.

The coin collector premium for the numismatic work of sculptors is substantial. For comparison, more typical plasters by Beach of profile portraits from the 1920s and 1930s sold at auction in 2009 at the $100 to $200 level. The Beach studio was left relatively untouched after his death and its treasures were revealed only after the Beach family home was put on the market several years ago.

That is one of the wonderful things about working with fine art, rare coins, antiques and collectibles: there are always new things that are waiting to be discovered.  It certainly keeps things fun for us appraisers!

Steve Roach, ISA AM
Treasurer, International Society of Appraisers

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Scholarship Recipients

The Board of Directors of the Foundation for Appraisal Education is excited and proud to announce the recipients of the 2012 scholarship awards! This year, the Foundation provided education opportunities for (8) individuals that were carefully selected by the Scholarship Award Committee.  Our successful fundraising efforts over the past two years have enabled us to award additional scholarships for 2012, and we couldn’t be more pleased!  After the initial round of previously announced scholarships, the Foundation was able to accommodate three additional awards including a special scholarship to our upcoming seminar sponsored by Quinn Auction Galleries.  The applicants who were not selected in the first round became candidates for these additional scholarships. It has been a banner year for the Foundation!

Leland Little Auction & Estate Sales, Ltd. Scholarship in Fine & Decorative Arts:

Amelia Green (ISA ARC Course) $1,500.00

Experienced Appraiser:

Laura Nelson (ISA Fine Arts Course) $1,000.00

Suzy McGrane-Hop (ISA Assets 2013 Conference) $1,000.00

New Appraiser:

Danielle McAllister (Canada) (ISA Core Course distance education) $1,000.00

Kamille Parkinson (ISA Fine Arts Course) $1,000.00

Additional General Scholarships:

Carol Wamble (CAPP Requal) $450.00

Larra Nebel "Using Comparables in Appraisal Practice" $395.00

Judy Martin Scholarship for the 2012 Quinn Seminar:

Amanda Williams $375.00

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Ballots for ISA’s upcoming election were mailed to voting members last week! Be sure to check your mail box as these are time sensitive.  The Nominating Committee, chaired by Marian (Mo) Aubry, ISA CAPP, worked diligently putting together this year’s slate. There are three Board positions available, each for a three year term.

We’re pleased to announce the following candidates are running for election to the ISA Board of Directors:

Terri Ellis, ISA CAPP
Christine Guernsey, ISA CAPP
Libby Holloway, ISA CAPP
Karen S. Rabe, ISA CAPP

Please participate in this important process. Be sure to vote and return your completed ballot, postmarked no later than September 7, 2012.

Best of luck to each candidate!