Gregg Moore Interview June 2004

Conder Tokens: Let me start by thanking you for taking the time for this interview Gregg. I'm hoping to not only learn a little about a fellow collector but to get your perspective as the Conder Token Collector's Club president on upcoming Conder related activity as well as to maybe get some insight into your thoughts on where token collecting and the CTCC might be going in the future. Perhaps you could begin by telling readers about the club. What are the goals of the club?
Note: Shown on the right is the cover page of the Conder Token Collector's Club Journal Volume IX Number 1 Spring 2004 Consecutive Issue #31 

Gregg Moore: I had spent some time thinking how best to define the goals of the CTCC, not having seen them articulated previously. Based upon the efforts of our clubs volunteers, I arrived at the following:
The goal of the Conder Token Collectors Club is to foster and support activities that Edify, Enlighten, Educate, and Enhance Conder collecting on behalf of its membership.
Conder Tokens: How many active members are there? How many countries do these members represent?
Gregg Moore: Total club enrollment seems to equalize around 230 to 240 members, representing Germany, England, Wales, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Australia, Canada, Russia, and all 50 US states.

Conder Tokens: The club publishes a journal for members and maintains a public web site. Quality products such as these take considerable effort. How does the club make this happen?
Gregg Moore: Hard working volunteers. The Journal's Table of Contents lists the individuals who have researched, written, and submitted articles, absent of which the Journal could not exist.

The Directory of Club Officers and Appointees lists the individuals who do the everyday work of the club. Mike Grogan and Harold Welch - Journal editing, publishing, and mailing. In addition, Harold maintains the club library, while Mike is webmaster at Scott Loos tracks financials, dues payments and club expenses, while John Whitmore tracks UK members and delivers out their new Journals.

Recently Alan Judd and Bill McKivor teamed up, making it possible for UK members to pay in £'s directly to Alan; a much more efficient process.

Mike Grogan is also webmaster at , displaying images of the finest Conder pieces. If you think you have such a coin, be sure to contact Mike. Likewise your own website Eric, is a valuable informational resource to the club and a reflection of your own volunteerism.

Our club and its Journal are a wonderfully collaborative effort between a wide ranging group of volunteers who work very hard on behalf of CTCC membership as an expression of their own interest in Conder Tokens, history, and collecting in general.

Conder Tokens: How active does the club keep you?
Gregg Moore: It keeps me far busier than I ever would have guessed. Rarely does a full week go by where there is not something that needs to be done, however minor. Things are especially busy starting a couple of weeks before a new Journal is issued.

Conder Tokens: Can you tell me about the upcoming CTCC annual meeting to be held at the ANA convention in Pittsburgh this August?
Gregg Moore: Our annual CTCC meeting is traditionally held in coincidence with the annual ANA convention, this year being held in Pittsburgh. The convention itself will contain hundreds of collector booths from all over the world at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center. Our CTCC meeting will take place there on Friday night the 20th of August at 6:30 p.m. in room 235. I am quite excited, having never been either to an annual CTCC meeting or Pittsburgh.

I will be making a short presentation on Scottish coins at the meeting, as well as holding discussions on the possibilities for:

  • An on-line edition of the Journal
  • On-line dues billing
  • A website dedicated to the most beautiful Conder Token examples (already underway)
  • Entertain more articles for the Journal, to include collector biographies as articles of interest
  • Someday publishing our Journal in house and in color
  • All of this excitement to be immediately followed by consumption of the traditional pizzas and adult beverages. (The part I will be waiting anxiously for!)

    Conder Tokens: Are there any other token related activities coming up this year that you're looking forward to? The Spence auction at DNW maybe?
    Gregg Moore: I am absolutely thrilled about this event, which lies between the Token Conference in Hudders-field and COINEX in London. Among the colonists going over at the same time as myself are Bill McKivor and Harold Welch.

    The auction of the late Dr. David Lee Spence of Pittsburgh’s 18th Century British Tokens comprises some 3,600 Conder tokens making it the next largest Conder auction in the last half century, second only to the W.J. Noble auction held in July, 1998.

    It will be handled by one of our CTCC members, Dix, Noonan, Webb of London, and auctioned in at least two parts, the first being October 7th of 2004, with the next sometime in October 2005. The coins will be available for show at DNW’s offices by appointment from September 13th through October 6th, with the auction October 7th at London’s Covent Gardens.

    We will of course also be attending the annual Token Conference in Huddersfield, October 1st through the 3rd, and COINEX beginning on the 8th. I have also made arrangements with the British Museum for a private showing of Conders not available for general viewing, AND, I hope to meet with as many of our overseas members as I possibly can throughout all of this.

    Conder Tokens: How did you get started with collecting Conder tokens? What led you from this beginning to becoming the president of the CTCC?
    Gregg Moore: I enjoy reading history: Greeks, Romans, English and US, particularly colonial. When I do pick up that rare novel, one of my favorites is Charles Dickens. How did this lead to my first phone conversation ever about Conder tokens with Gary Sriro? I have absolutely no idea, but one must have led to the other, perhaps while running an Internet search.

    The next major event was meeting with Bill McKivor in a McDonalds parking lot in Seattle. He brought with him a box of Conders, a stack of books, and that overwhelming McKivor enthusiasm. I have been hopelessly hooked on Conders ever since.

    As to my current position, it was suggested I throw my hat into the ring for the president’s post, and so I did. Having spent 7 years in the military, I should know better than to volunteer!

    Conder Tokens: What do you see in the future for the CTCC?
    Gregg Moore: All good things. Many truly wonderful Conder collections will continue to make an appearance. We of course had the W.J. Noble auction in 1998, the Spingarn auction in 2001, then recent Bill Wahl collection handled by Allen Davisson, and the huge Spence collection this fall. So I think that collections will continue to appear far into the horizon, providing for the continued liquidity and availability of Conders for us collectors.

    We also have a dedicated group of volunteers who help this club work wonderfully well, and our club is continually reinvigorating itself as new members join, bringing fresh energies and new skills and ideas, providing for a diverse pool of volunteers to draw upon for a bright future.

    Conder Tokens: And in the future for your own collecting?
    Gregg Moore: Other than the staggering debts I am currently collecting as I build a new home (Mr. Blanding’s Builds his Dream Home revisited)....I have only intentionally collected one thing in my life, that being the Provincial Token Coinage of the 18th Century, or Conder Tokens.

    As you all know, my most ardent pursuit is of the Scottish Conder Token series. I occasionally will pick up a Genuine Tradesmen Token from Bell's Commercial Coins 1787-1804, and recently I began a foray into the 1811-1813 silver tokens as discussed in May's Tokens of Those Trying Times, whenever particularly beautiful and pleasing examples surface.

    My true passion, however, is for the wonderful Scottish series. I cannot explain it, I just accept it: Perhaps I have some Highlander in me, who knows? My goal, 30 or 40 years from now, is to accumulate one of the finest Scottish collections known. What great fun I shall have!

    Conder Tokens: Any special advice you'd like to share with other collectors ... especially those that might be new to either coins or Conder tokens?
    Gregg Moore:

  • Avoid being a shooting star (starting out white hot, only to quickly flame out). Take your time. Read, learn, and be patient. Focus on what truly delights and interests you.
  • Look at lots of coins, hundreds, as many as you can. Learn to make your own judgments as to a coins condition and value. Learn to recognize what truly pleases you.
  • Stick to buying those coins that truly please you, as best you can. Owning a RRR is not enough, in and of itself. Owning a proof-like Unc is not enough, in and of itself. You have to anticipate taking that coin out to look at and admire, having it bring a smile to your face for many years to come.
  • Continue to read, learn, and be patient, maintaining your focus as you build your collection with these marvelous coins, and enjoy the hunt
  • Conder Tokens: Excellent advice. Thanks again for your time and for your insights. All the best with the club, collecting and your new home.

    See a PDF version of this interview suitable for printing.