Noted token and medal researcher, numismatist and author Dr. George
J. Fuld died Oct. 19 in Baltimore City, Md., at age 80.
Although he had wide-ranging knowledge in a number of numismatic
fields — including Indian Peace medals, and pioneer and territorial
numismatics — Dr. Fuld is best known for his contributions with his
father, Melvin, to the field of Civil War tokens.
In addition to numerous articles in the American Numismatic
Association’s journal, The Numismatist, and in The
Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, the Fulds co-authored the
seminal references Patriotic Civil War Tokens and U.S. Civil War
Store Cards, along with A Guide to Civil War Store Card Tokens.
Dr. Fuld also co-authored with Russell Rulau an update to W.S.
Baker’s Medallic Portraits of Washington.
Dr. Fuld’s most recent literary contribution was penning
reminiscences of his Civil War token collecting and research for Q.
David Bowers’ just released reference, A Guide Book of Civil War Tokens.
As an 11-year-old growing up in Baltimore, Dr. Fuld became
enamored with numismatics, first with Lincoln cents, and then Indian
Head cents, transitioning into Civil War tokens.
Civil War token expert
He introduced his father to the token field, and between the two
of them, they acquired thousands of Civil War tokens for their
collection and eventual research.
The Fulds were instrumental with a handful of others in the
formation in 1960 of the Society of Tokens, Medals and Obsolete Paper
Money, with the younger Fuld serving as its first president, from 1960
to 1962. The organization was later renamed Token and Medal Society.
Dr. Fuld served as editor of the club’s publication, now called
the TAMS Journal, from 1960 to 1962.
Dr. Fuld is recognized numismatically on past president TAMS
medals, struck in different metals. An example of the bronze medal is
In 1967, collector interest had grown sufficiently to support the
formation of the Civil War Token Society, with Melvin Fuld serving as
its first president.
George Fuld was named to the CWTS Hall of Fame in 2002, the
inaugural year for the award.
Also in 2002, Dr. Fuld was recognized by the ANA with its Lifetime
Dr. Fuld received the ANA Medal of Merit in 1961 and was inducted
into the ANA Numismatic Hall of Fame in 2008. Dr. Fuld was recognized
by the Numismatic Bibliomania Society in 1993 with its Armand Champa
Award, and in 2004 he received the Carl Carlson Award from the Medal
Collectors of America.
According to biographical notes accompanying Dr. Fuld’s papers
donated to the American Numismatic Society, he earned a doctoral
degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was a consultant
and vice president of Fuld Brothers (1954 to 1960) before working as a
radiation researcher with Goodyear Tire (1963 to 1967).
After marrying his wife, Doris, in 1955, the family established
Dorge Approvals, a philatelic and token and medal auction business
that conducted sales during the 1970s.
Dr. Fuld served stints as auction manager for Bowers and Ruddy
Galleries and as vice president and director of auctions at Pacific
Coast Auction Galleries. Dr. Fuld also contributed to extensive
auction cataloging with Kagin’s and Stack’s.
The contents of Dr. Fuld’s research papers donation to the ANS can
be found online at http://numismatics.org/Archives/Gjfuldbio.
Tributes from peers
Dr. Fuld made his mark on the hobby, says medallic researcher and
auction cataloger David T. Alexander.
“The passing of George Fuld is an irreparable loss to the world of
numismatics. He was a true pioneer who, with his father, Melvin,
opened up the then-bewildering field of Civil War Tokens to a modern
audience,” Alexander said. “By the 1990’s, George had covered so many
areas (Civil War and Hard Times Tokens, Washington), that he made
fewer new discoveries and his output of articles slowed. He continued
a lively correspondence and was always helpful to inquiring collectors
Via email from numismatist Alan V. Weinberg: “George collected and
lived at a time [in the late 1940s to the mid-1960s] when many
colonial coins and Washingtonia, early American medals, Civil War
tokens and Hard Times tokens, Western trade tokens and other esoterica
were thinly collected and not in demand.
“So, George had frequent access to the choicest material that
today is quite popular — somewhat attributable to the start of the
2003 Ford collection auctions cataloguing by Stack’s,” Weinberg said.
“Unfortunately, George was not a wealthy man and had to sell or trade
off many of the rarest pieces he’d acquire which contributed greatly
to major collections like Norweb, John J. Ford Jr., dealing directly
with those collectors or through George’s friend colonial coin
specialist dealer Dick Picker. Many of the really great collections
[dispersed] by auction in the fairly recent past owe their prominence
and relative completeness to George Fuld.”
Collector Barry Tayman knew Dr. Fuld and his wife for more than 40 years.
“Early on, he kindled the spark that helped me transition from
filling holes in coin albums to becoming a numismatist, as I developed
an understanding of the history, and importance of the nontraditional
areas of the hobby (Colonial coins, tokens, and medals),” Tayman said.
He added that he developed an interest in Canadian tokens and medals,
“which was greatly advanced by the acquisition of George’s extensive
Canadian numismatic library.”
Fellow token and medal researcher and author David E. Schenkman
said he began corresponding with Melvin and George Fuld in the
mid-1960s, and visited George Fuld and his wife for the first time in
the early 1970s.
“He had a huge inventory, mostly from his personal collection. I
recall that on my first trip to his house I purchased, among other
things, his entire collection of Civil War sutler tokens and also a
large percentage of his hard rubber token collection,” Schenkman said.
“Acquiring a large quantity of rare material was great. Even better
was spending time with George discussing tokens. He shared his
knowledge freely with me, and I certainly benefited numismatically as
a result of the visits.
“Although his name is associated with tokens, he was knowledgeable
in other areas of numismatics as well. In my opinion, George was one
of the numismatic pioneers of his time,” Schenkman said.
Additional reflections about George Fuld can be found in Q. David
Bowers’ “The Joys of Collecting” column on Page 24 of this issue.
Fuld is survived by his wife, Doris. He is the father of Terry
(Alan) Dressin, Jeffrey (Rebecca) Cohen, Robert (Sara) Fuld, Andrew
(Carol) Cohen and the late Steven Alan Fuld. He had 12 grandchildren
and two great grandchildren.
Funeral services and interment were conducted Oct. 22 at Beth El
Memorial Park in Randallstown, Md.
Sol Levinson & Bros. Inc. in Pikesville was in charge of