Steve Austin, Elmore, Alabama
I am Steve Austin, of IASAC (International Association of Silver Art Collectors). I am married to my best friend Diane Austin whom is also a silver art collector and enthusiast. I am a graduate of the University of South Alabama and live near Montgomery, Alabama.
I have been collecting for many years now and greatly enjoy collecting and the never ending fun of learning about silver art bars, old pours, studio art (ie. H. Alvin Sharpe & Ken W. Smith pieces), trial strikes/test pieces, errors, enamels, die history, mint history, hobby specific paperwork, original art bar artwork and anything else that helps bring the stories of the hobby together. Some of my favorite pieces are TM-78V and TM-78EN 1990 World Series Cincinnati Reds, TM-5 Pete Rose, RM-1 Silver Certificate, GCM-17, Darwin, PEM-4 Barfather, Sunshine Mining, Company Wildflower enamel series and DT Mint Death Dealer Card Set.
I started a collector group on Facebook almost four years ago and expected about sixty to eighty members and now have over six thousand members of which over three thousand are fairly active. I feel it is a community effort in the gathering and freely sharing of information that drives this fantastic hobby and will keep it going for the following generations of collectors and future researchers and historians. With that being said, I also hold membership in CONECA (Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America) and FUN (Florida United Numismatists) and the ANA (American Numismatic Association). I always have a zest to receive and share information pertaining to the hobby. I enjoy attending shows to meet fellow collectors and getting to know everyone. This is indeed a wonderful hobby with a community of fantastic people as it’s core.
Randy Rush, Summerville, Georgia
I have always enjoyed the club. I think I have been a Member around 15 years or so. I have been a collector/dealer since the late 80’s. I have been on ebay as of June will be 21 years. I have been with my Wife, Teresa nearly 36 years. I have one Son, Dustin, his Wife Charolette, and 5 Grandchildren.
I lost my Father and best Friend April 27th 2020. My Mom is doing as good as can be after 61 years of marriage. It’s tough as most, or at least some of you know.
My Father-in-Law got me started collecting by giving me a 1976 Proof set. I collected proof sets back to 1950, wish I had tried to finish when they were cheaper! I have pretty much always been “Blue Collar”. I was a meat cutter for 25 plus years. Went to school for training. started as an apprentice and worked all the way to Manager. I also have been a truck driver, and worked in the HVAC industry. On the side, and full time, My Wife and I have operated three different successful businesses. After all I went through in 2019 I am still in a “Comeback” stage. I promise you learn to appreciate things more when life humbles you.
I am still a collector and dealer. Coca Cola silver being my specialty, but older art bars too. And some of the new pieces coming out are awesome! I am Baptist, saved by grace. I was the sound man at our Church several years. My Father was the Song leader, and Mom played the piano there for 39 years.
I have helped with countless fund raising events, from St. Jude’s, to Scottish Rite Children’s Hospitals, to local Church’s and Charitable events. Usually as MC, or serving in the food line, to cooking whatever. I will do whatever needs done.
I enjoy helping people. I live my life by the “Golden Rule”. I go to bed every night with a clear conscience. I don’t like conflict or friction. I believe in working through problems. Life is too short. Strength is in Unity, not Division. I will always listen to ideas, and will never be afraid to try a different option or suggestion if it has good potential.
I feel like I am good at organizing events, and having the vision to see potential problems before they happen. I am a 32nd degree Master Mason, Scottish Rite Valley Of Atlanta, I have been Knighted in St. John’s Commandry. I have served as WM Six times.
I am currently serving as 7th District WM over 66 Lodges and nearly Six thousand Mason’s in Georgia. I have served as High Priest Four times, and served as District High Priest.
Teresa and I served on the Grand Master’s Entertainment Committee for two different Grand Masters. Setting up everything from the Grand Master’s Ball, to taking out the trash.
I have served IASAC as a Member, Trustee, and VP. I have heard some of the issues going on with our club.
Mike Gilberg, Islip Terrace, New York
Ever since I was a small kid, I collected baseball cards, my earliest recollection was going to the corner grocery store with my mom and her buying me a pack of 1976 Topps baseball cards. I collected baseball cards through my early days of college, even finishing a 1963 Topps set with all the errors, variations and corrections. This hobby however stalled with raising a family and ultimately being a single dad with two daughters.
With my children a bit older and being engaged to the love of my life, I started to worry about the state of the economy and my silver journey started innocently as just looking to stack silver as a survival mechanism should the economy by destroyed. This journey started about 5 years ago and my generic and junk silver quickly turned into a love for the art that was depicted in many of these silver pieces. With this interest sparked, I was able to complete and entire MS set of Early Silver Commemorative Half Dollars (146 coins in all).
My passion allowed me to start a Facebook Group entitled “Commemorative Coin Club – Sales & Insight Community” which currently has 1.4K members. The Commemorative Half Dollars also started my love for silver art bars and rounds. My collecting started out around pieces with Buffalos, Native Americans and Baseball, and now encompasses many items I just find to be beautiful.
In the Numismatic Community, I am a member of IASAC and the ANA and I am also a Collector Member of CAC.
HISTORIAN: Chris Geiner, Toledo, Ohio
I first started in coins but i have been interested in art bars and rounds for 23 years. 1970 Pontiac GTO silver bar minted by Silvertowne was my first art bar. My ffavorite vintage art bar would be Fuel Shortage by Garden State Mint. CMG Mint “Welcome to Germany” I am German so it’s special to me and “Naughty Food” by Postal Mint are two of my favorite modern pieces.
I see the hobby growing and expanding. We now have more Mints with their own line of art bars/pours. Something that hasn’t really been seen since the 1970s-80sWhat vintage art bar is top of your want list? Waiting for santa by ISIC is my top piece on my want list.
Sean Page #943, Kansas City, MO
I recently joined the IASAC. However, I have been in the hobby collecting/trading/selling vintage bars and rounds for around 10 years. I started collecting coins and currency at a young age, and would attend coin shows with my parents every now and again. Around 10 years ago, I came across an International Silver Ingot Corp (ISIC) UFO bar in a coin shop, and was infatuated by the design, and knowing it was minted over 30 years prior and survived the big melting in the 1980’s. After purchasing the bar, I acquired the Kidd 5th Edition book, and began collecting the mints that caught my eye. While I’ve been through many phases, my favorite mints that I still collect currently are ISIC, USSC, and Death Valley Mint. With my strong passion for silver art and the hobby, in late-2016 I began minting my own bars under the name STL Mint. Since then, we have released dozens of art bars, rounds, and pours to a dedicated core of collectors.
On a personal level, I’m a married father of two little angels - Lailah (6) and Bryce (4). I am from St Louis, MO, but currently live in Kansas City, MO working as an Operations Director at Kansas City Southern Railway. I’m in my early 30’s, and believe I can be a huge help to the IASAC Trustees in a variety of facets, as I’m tech savvy and always have a can do attitude. I’d be willing to help out wherever I can to keep the IASAC up and running for many, many more years down the road.
Bruce Holland #788, Suffolk, VA
I’m Bruce Holland and I have been a member since 2009. So far, I have attended 8 annual meetings since I have joined. I have been collecting bars and rounds since 2008. I haven’t been buying many of the older bars lately but have been buying several of the new bars that are being produced by the New Mints.
It is a pleasure serving as trustee for IASAC.
Diane Austin #785, Elmore, AL
My name is Patricia “Diane” Austin, but I go by Diane with friends and family. I am currently the editor of “The Silver Bugle” and enjoy all the stories, bios, information and getting to learn more about the hobby and its great members.
I enjoy traveling around the country meeting collectors and getting to know such good people. I have made some great friends over the years, too many to mention here.
My favorite pieces are generally the Cartoon issues like Disney and other Rarities Mint pieces. Also, the AMC Cartoon Celebrities, animal themed pieces, and pieces like the cartoon Greathouse Productions. My favorite vintage art bars are the Wizard of Oz set by The Silver Mint and the Yellow Brick Road pieces by International Silver Ingot Company. As far as new art bars my favorites have to include Pepper Mint (Halloween Night in Oz) and Postal Express Mint (Bar Father; which is actually a tribute bar to my husband, Steve Austin) My husband got me more and more interested in art bars instead of just rounds years ago which opened up a whole new world of art.
We have the Facebook collector group Silver Bars and Art Collectibles which is very fun as I get to interact real time with other collectors and mints.
I have had an eBay store for ten years and have 100% positive feedback for which I am very proud.
Robin Freeburg #970, Salem, OR
Wise parents told me to earn money to pay for my hobbies and “never quit my day job” 😊.
I have Lived in Ohio, California, Florida, and Oregon. Held many different jobs to include:
Doctors Office Manager, Commercial Insurance Rater, Assistant Underwriter, **Debit Life Insurance Sales, San Francisco Street Artist, Crab Cracker Wharf Rat. Deli Clerk, Cashier, Butcher Block Manager, Dishwasher, Nanny, **Childcare Director, **ECE Head Teacher, Administered, Created and **Directed Children’s Class Programing, wrote yearly Budgets, attended Staff meetings. **continued education/licenses required for said jobs.
I turned 67 in December. Met my husband Dan 19 years ago. He grew up sharing an avid interest in Numismatics and collecting, with his late Father. They had subscribed to Numismatic News for many years.
Experienced in Photography, writing Auctions, writing simple HTML, navigate a host website for photos, and selling Art Deco Glass and Silver Art Bars and Rounds since 2001. Many of those “Sold” Auctions were selected and published at Worthopedia.
Research and information gathering are one of my favorite pastimes. I strive to inform, speak to as best I can, and present Silver Art Bars and Rounds professionally.
I belong to some Precious Metals Groups on Facebook to include IASAC, SAC, and Steve and Diane Austin’s “Silver Bars and Art Collectables” Facebook Group…and am glad to help Collectors with Information and observations.
Contributing the right info can save a fellow collector years of ‘looking’.
Josh Martin #972, Cranston, RI
My name is Joshua Michael Martin, but I go by Josh with friends and family. I currently submit quarterly articles for the I.A.S.A.C newsletter. The articles I submit primarily focus on the study of vintage poured silver bars. My passion for this hobby stems from the fact that investing in precious metals has significantly improved my quality of life. It has given me the opportunity to not live paycheck to paycheck like majority of society. Which in return has helped me provide for my family. That is my number one focus in life. My fiancé and I have been together for 9 years. We have three children together. My oldest is a strong student and an avid soccer player. I have assisted in coaching her for most of her career. My only son is the middle child and a splitting image of me when I was his age. The youngest is 10 months old. She is an absolute doll and is a total daddy’s girl.
I have been a student of vintage poured silver bars for the past 5 years. Studying the rich history is one aspect that I thoroughly enjoy. I find each vintage poured bar to be unique in its own way. No two are the same. It all started for me with Engelhard, Johnson Matthey, and Australian bullion. After a couple years of studying and collecting. I found my interest shifting into US mining bars, bank bars, and smaller private refiners from the 1940s-1970s. It was during that time that I learned about a famous numismatist by the name of John J. Ford Jr. That is where my collecting journey has brought me to at this time. My personal favorite silver bars come from his very controversial “hoard”. I encourage anyone reading this to search the topic online.
I am active on social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram. Two of the better Facebook groups I have been a part of is Silver Bars And Art Collectibles and Vintage Poured Bars. Both are well established and offer an incredible amount of high quality content. Some of the information you will find there is not something you can learn from a book or on the internet. Both groups are great places to network and meet like-minded people.