US Coins

Looking closer and discovering

Our December Coin World Special Edition is a fun one to put together as I imagine our readers taking a break from the busy holiday season by leafing through our pages.

As it seems that the holiday season has a way of quickly emptying even the fattest wallet, this issue has three features intended to introduce you to rich collecting areas with low barriers to entry in terms of cost.

Our cover story by Paul Gilkes explores a fascinating area of collecting: circulating contemporary counterfeits.

In contrast to dangerous and deceptive counterfeits that are intended to deceive coin collectors, contemporary counterfeits are sometimes charming, humble objects that were intended to pass in circulation for face value. Their makers likely didn’t foresee that today they would be viewed as collectible and even researched by enthusiasts. They’re contemporary in that they were produced to circulate alongside real coins in commerce and are rich in stories.

Speaking of stories, it often comes as a surprise to new collectors that they can purchase legendary coins that are mentioned in the Bible for less than $25, with small bronze Widow’s Mites, as Jeff Starck explores in his world coins feature.

If you are looking for something larger and newer than an ancient Widow’s Mite, Michele Orzano explains the fantastic area of obsolete currency in her paper money feature. The rich design elements on these obsolete notes, like the jolly Santa and his reindeer shown on this page, make these relics of America’s fiscal history irresistible to enthusiasts. They also can be very affordable and the diversity of topics and places where they were issued makes them fun and unusual holiday gifts.

Even noncollecting leisure time can have a numismatic component, as Bill Gibbs discovered when watching an episode of the television show Castle that involved the discovery of a hoard of rare 1792 half dismes. What did the show get right? What did it get wrong?

Will you find something new in this issue for your collection or learn something new about an object that you own? We hope so! Happy Holidays from all of us at Coin World.



Steve Roach

COIN WORLD ... anywhere, anytime!

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