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Buy the book before the … note
Most of us have heard the advice first voiced by dealer Aaron
Feldman in 1966 to “buy the book before the coin.” Wendell Wolka
changes that adage slightly in his “Collecting Paper” column to
recommend you “buy the book before the note.”
In his column, Wolka writes that “smart [collectors] quietly follow
this advice, understanding that knowledge is power, particularly in
more uncharted waters like obsolete paper money. I can tell you from
personal experience that reference books can make you money rather
than cost you money.”
To learn more, read Wendell’s column, published exclusively in the
print and digital editions of the April 23 issue of Coin World.
So much that is unknown to researchers
John Kraljevich Jr. writes in his “Colonial America” column, “I have
a confession: I don’t know everything about early American coinage.
Not even close.” The longtime specialist in early American numismatics
discusses some of the many things that researchers still do not know
about the field.
Among them, John writes, “why are there hundreds of die varieties of
St. Patrick farthings? Why are the Gloucester shillings so rare? When
did coinage of Oak Tree shillings stop and Pine Tree shillings start?
And who wrote the essay titled ‘On the Coin of the United States’ in
the July 4, 1789, issue of the Gazette of the United States?”
To learn more about why this 1789 article is so interesting, read the
column in the April 23 issue.
The closer one studies, the more one finds
In his “About VAMs” column, John Roberts reports about a VAM die
marriage first described in 2007. “The Philadelphia Mint 1887 Morgan
dollar has long been a target of variety collectors’ attention with
its wide array of possible significant finds,” he writes, describing a
marriage now cataloged as VAM-26A and its earlier stage, VAM-26.
“Both stages of the marriage are apparently rare, with less than a
dozen verified examples combined.” Learn what diagnostics to look for
in his column in the April 23 issue.
Progress being made on fighting counterfeits
Philip N. Diehl is a former director of the United States Mint and
is now chairman of the Industry Council for Tangible Assets, so he
knows a lot about both the government and the hobby of coin
collecting. With ICTA now taking a leading role in fighting the
counterfeiting of U.S. coins, Diehl can report that progress is being made.
ICTA’s Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force, founded in January 2017, has
been educating government officials about the problems experienced in
the hobby. He notes that the due to the task force’s efforts, both the
Secret Service and Customs and Border Protection have changed their
policies and are being more aggressive in their law enforcement efforts.