Book chronicles Coin and Currency Institute history
- Published: May 14, 2016, 4 AM
The history behind The Coin and Currency Institute Inc. and the coin albums it produced are captured in numismatic researcher and author David W. Lange’s newly published reference, Coin Collecting Albums – A Complete History & Catalog Volume Two: The Library of Coins and the Treasury of Coins.
Lange is director of research for Numismatic Guaranty Corp. in Sarasota, Fla.
The 144-page, 8.75-inch by 11.25-inch hardcover book provides not only detailed catalogs and photos of the Library of Coins and Treasury of Coins album lines, but also an extensive history of The Coin and Currency Institute’s founder, Robert Friedberg.
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A noted publisher of numismatic references, The Coin and Currency Institute counts among its titles Paper Money of the United States, Gold Coins of the World, So-Called Dollars, and British Coins of the World.
Friedberg was one of the original founders of the Professional Numismatists Guild in 1955. He had entrenched himself in the coin business beginning in 1931 with Capitol Coin Company.
He also worked behind the scenes in another coin venture. Although not mentioned by name in any ads for the coin concessions at Gimbel’s department stores, beginning in 1947 Friedberg was the primary coin buyer for Jacques Minkus, whose Minkus Stamp Company supplied Gimbel’s and other venues with their hobby inventories.
Friedberg eventually branched out into numismatic writing and publishing, including authoring a coin guide book.
Furthermore, Friedberg was instrumental in the sale of the Albert A. Grinnell paper money collection, which took seven sales between 1943 and 1947 to disperse.
1953 witnessed the debut edition of Friedberg’s Paper Money of the United States, which continues to be published today by his sons, Arthur and Ira Friedberg.
With more numismatic books projected, Friedberg decided to establish a publishing division for Capitol Coin Company. Originally called The Coin and Currency Publishing Institute upon its 1956 launch, the word “Publishing” was eventually dropped from the business’ name.
Robert Friedberg died in 1963.
Library of Coins
Friedberg conceived the design for a less expensive coin album than those already on the market that would integrate pages and covers into a single product taking up less space.
Introduced in 1959, the Library of Coins album line combined the best parts of the more expensive loose-leaf binders with the economy features of the existing self-bound albums.
Each coin’s obverse and reverse were visible through movable, transparent slides. The 8.25-inch by 6.25-inch illustrated albums had the appearance of a bound book, hence the name “Library.”
Four editions were produced, with revisions including design modifications and addition of actual photos to replace line drawings.
A loose-leaf edition was also produced to demand.
Treasury of Coins
Introduced in 1961, the Treasury of Coins line was launched as a cost-saving measure to counter complaints that the Library of Coins albums were too expensive for beginners. The Treasury of Coins initial product line, which Lange refers to as the Slip Case Edition, was a failure.
Very few titles were produced in that product line, according to Lange.
Robert Friedberg followed up in 1963 with what Lange refers to as the Treasury of Coins Binder Edition. Sometime after 1964 the Treasury of Coins albums ceased to be produced.
Where to buy
Lange’s book is available for $49.95, plus $10 shipping.
Payment may be made by check to David W. Lange or via PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org. Lange may be contacted at Box 110022, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211, or by telephone at 941-586-8670. His website, providing a history of vintage coin boards (where he also buys and sells such items), is coincollectingboards.com.
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