Encased Collectors International, an Internet based organization for collectors of encased coins, was organized in 2004. The club is dedicated to promoting, discussing and disseminating encased information as well as exchanging ideas about encased coinage. ECI’s motto, Knowledge Through Fellowship, reflects the camaraderie experienced by a rapidly growing global membership of over 540 collectors.
ECI’s website is the most extensive site of its kind. Posted on the site are quarterly newsletters and articles providing historical and current hobby related information, pictured in the “ShowCase” are hundreds of photos of interesting and unique encased pieces, also there is a place for members to meet on line via a private members only “Chat Room.” A new “Discussion Board” has been introduced which allows members to post questions or comments concerning the hobby. ECI has taken on as part of its mission the task of attributing mavericks; posting pictures of the pieces to be identified in “the Wrangler” section. Additional member’s benefits include an online store where members may purchase older encased as well as newly minted pieces created by the club. Members may also choose participate in the new Bid Board which provides an opportunity for them to auction their extra pieces to club members.
The encased hobby suffered when Northern Mint of Waukon, Iowa ceased production of encased coins in March 2005. At that time the hobby seemed to be at a stand-still offering only the possibility of collecting older encased pieces. ECI was successful in locating a private mint to fill the void and now members have an opportunity to create new encased pieces of their own. This news has spread quickly among the collecting community and the encased hobby has been experiencing a new revitalization.
Encased enthusiasts can register for their dues-free membership on ECI by logging onto their website: http://www.encasedcollectorsinternational.org .