Morgan, Peace dollar expert sells assets and intellectual property
- Published: Dec 9, 2021, 8 AM
The numismatic assets and intellectual property of professional numismatist, researcher and prolific author Leroy Van Allen were acquired for an undisclosed sum by Morgan dollar expert Michael S. Fey from Rare Coin Investments in Ironia, New Jersey.
Van Allen is most noted for his collaboration with the late numismatist A. George Mallis in researching and writing the seminal reference the Comprehensive Catalog & Encyclopedia of Morgan & Peace Dollars.
Varieties of both coin series detailed in the book are attributed by VAM numbers — an acronym of the authors’ surnames, Van Allen and Mallis.
When Mallis passed away in January 2000, his portion of the copyright to the Encyclopedia was transferred to Van Allen by the Mallis estate. The copyrights to the Encyclopedia and to 17 detailed monographs are being transferred to Fey as part of the asset acquisition.
Since Mallis’ passing, Van Allen has attributed, researched and photographed the many new variety discoveries.
The Van Allen assets acquired by Fey include approximately 18,000 photos of Morgan and Peace silver dollar VAM-numbered varieties
Also included in the sale are Van Allen’s canceled U.S. dies and collars and fabricated dies and punches that were used as models to demonstrate his theories on overdates and over Mint marks, as well as about 100 autographed books from his reference library, some dating back to the late 1800s.
The sale also includes approximately 425 rare Morgan and Peace dollar die varieties, errors, rotated dies, about 700 Indian Head 5-cent coin die varieties and rotated dies, and multiple other U.S. and foreign coins.
Some of the coins are graded and encapsulated by independent third-party grading services, but most of the coins are “raw,” according to Fey.
According to Fey, “This marks the passing of a torch to a new generation of dedicated specialists who intend to continue Leroy’s efforts to research, catalog and educate dealers and collectors on Morgan and Peace silver dollars.”
Separately, Fey is also a noted researcher and author. Among his written works are The Complete Virtual Guide to Pricing Your Morgan Silver Dollars (1878–1921); and The Top 100 Morgan Dollar Varieties: The VAM Keys, co-authored with Jeff Oxman.
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