US Coins

Joel J. Orosz receives top literary award

The Burnett Anderson Memorial Award for Excellence in Numismatic Writing for 2021 goes to Joel J. Orosz, a prolific researcher and writer who has been working in the field for four decades, including as a monthly columnist for “Coin World.”

Images courtesy of the ANA.

The Burnett Anderson Memorial Award for Excellence in Numismatic Writing for 2021 goes to Joel J. Orosz, a prolific researcher and writer whose ongoing work in the field spans four decades and includes writing a monthly column for Coin World.

The award is presented annually to a researcher, author or journalist in recognition of their body of work and career contributions to numismatics.

First conferred posthumously on its namesake in 1999 at the American Numismatic Association 108th Anniversary Convention, “the award is intended to recognize quality and integrity in numismatic wordsmithing of every kind,” according to the ANA citation announcing the award. The recipient is selected in a cooperative process by the ANA, the American Numismatic Society and the Numismatic Literary Guild.

Orosz found a vocation in philanthropy and an avocation in numismatics, the citation states. “These interests brought balance to his life, for, as he puts it, he dedicated his workdays to giving away large sums of money and spent his leisure hours trying to claw a little bit of it back. Over the years, he has focused on tracing the literary byways of early American numismatics and also on gathering association copies (books inscribed by their authors and notable previous owners),” according to the ANA.

His numismatic corpus originated in the early 1980s. His research has been published in Rare Coin Review, The Numismatist, The American Journal of Numismatics and several other periodicals, and he is currently a columnist for The Asylum and Coin World, writing “Numismatic Bookie” for the latter (see page 30). He’s authored two numismatic books and co-authored three more. His three most recent works — The Secret History of the First U.S. Mint (2011); Truth Seeker: The Life of Eric P. Newman (2016); and 1792: Birth of a Nation’s Coinage (2017) — all received the Numismatic Literary Guild’s Book of the Year Award.

The philanthropic numismatist also has been honored with three first-place ANA Heath Literary Awards. Orosz shared the 2020 NLG Clemy Award with Len Augsburger.

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