Paper Money

Buy the book before the note? That's right

A numismatic reference library can pay for itself with the knowledge you obtain by referring to the research before buying items.

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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.

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