Holabird Western Americana Collections Will Host a Huge, 5-Day ‘SPOOKTACULAR’ Sale, Live in Reno, Nevada and Online, Oct. 29-Nov. 2

Start times all five days are 8 am Pacific time. More than 3,600 lots in a wide array of collecting categories are set to cross the auction block, with online bidding available on several platforms.

RENO, Nev. – Original artwork for what is widely regarded as the very first psychedelic rock poster – created in 1965 for the grand opening of the Red Dog Saloon in Virginia City, Nevada and advertising the acid-rock group The Charlatans for a series of dates that never happened – is an expected star lot in Holabird Western Americana Collections’ big, five-day Spooktacular Sale planned for Oct. 29-Nov. 2, online and live in the gallery located at 3555 Airway Drive in Reno.

Start times all five days are 8 am Pacific time. More than 3,600 lots in a wide array of collecting categories are set to cross the auction block. “We continue to get in marvelous collections of Americana from all over the country, and this auction features many amazing one-of-a-kind rarities and several long-awaited collections, like the ones for Ken Prag, Salvatore Falcone and John Reynolds,” said Fred Holabird, the president of Holabird Western Americana Collections.

The Charlatans concert poster will be offered on Day 1, October 29th, and has a pre-sale estimate of $10,000-$15,000. In 1965, when Red Dog Saloon owners Mark Unobsky and Chandler Laughlin made plans to open for business, they decided against a jukebox for music and instead wanted to enlist a house band. A friend suggested The Charlatans, a fledgling acid-rock group in San Francisco that had never even played a gig – just practiced. Oh, and dropped a lot of acid.

To advertise the event, one of The Charlatans, George Hunter, suggested a poster, only not the usual kind that featured publicity photos of the act. This one would be hand-drawn, in the style of an old circus poster, with the faces and names of the band members and the dates – June 1-15. Hunter himself did the artwork. Except The Charlatans were too stoned to keep the dates, so the shows had to be pushed ahead, to June 21st. As a result, another poster was created. The one in the auction, for the June 1-15 dates, is the original (“The Seed”), and is a psychedelic rock rarity.

Along with that rare poster, Day 1 will be filled with 679 lots of art, Native Americana, textiles, foreign and general collectibles, collector spoons, jewelry, scales, advertising items and signs, furnishings and 3-D items, music, theater, sports, tobacciana, saloon, cowboy, comic books, books and magazines, antiquarian books, bottle, marbles and gaming – a collector’s paradise.

Co-headlining Day 1 will be a classic 1960s 25-cent slot machine from the famous Nevada Club Casino, a classic slot for those who collect Tahoe items (est. $550-$650). The machine features the classic Jennings Indian Head in brass. Also offered will be a complete set (#1-169) of Classic Illustrated Comics (1941-1969). These comic books took classic stories from history and literature and made them more attractive to children and teenagers (est. $3,000-$6,000).

Other Day 1 superstar lots will include a banded Lutz marble, very attractive and in a rare 1 ½ inch size, with a clear glass base (est. $700-$800). Along with the two Lutz bands there are also four light blue outer strands. The surface is original. Also, a turquoise cluster bracelet by the well-known Navajo silversmith Ella Peter, boasting beautiful dark blue turquoise stones and flanked on both sides by nice silver work, signed by the artist, should command $550-$650.

Day 2, Friday, October 30th, will be just as packed as Day 1, with 762 lots of firefighting memorabilia, fraternal organizations items, badges (which will also be offered on Day 5), numismatics, bullion, ingots, coins and currency, dies and hobbs, ephemera and exonumia, medals, so-called dollars (named because they are shaped like silver dollar coins) and tokens.

Day 2 might just see the top lot of the entire auction: a large silver ingot from the U.S. Assay Office in San Francisco, the product of five pours in the 1940s. The ingot came to Holabird in an old Farmers Merchants Bank (Lodi, Calif.) cloth bank bag, held by the same family since its original purchase. Weighing 1016.70 troy ounces, the ingot should bring $24,000-$35,000.

Also offered on Day 2 will be a Moore and Sweet token, good for 50 cents in merchandise at Fort Quitman, which operated on the border of Texas and Mexico in northwest Texas from 1858 to 1877. Struck in 1871, the token has an estimate of $800-$1,600. A British gold sovereign coin from 1890, during the rule of Queen Victoria, weighing .2354 ounces, should reach $500-$700.

A Washington, D.C. Metro Airport Fire Department gold-plated brass badge from the 2001 presidential inauguration, showing the presidential seal, the American and Virginia flags, a passenger jet and a fire truck, is estimated to sell for $200-$250. Also, a group of ten Fire Department Convention ribbons, all from Northeastern states and circa 1808-1911 (example: “Neptune Vet. Firemen’s Assn., Newburyport, Mass.”) is expected to garner $300-$400.

Day 3, October 31st, will feature 685 ‘spooktacular’ collectibles in a wide variety of categories: transportation, stocks and bonds, minerals and mining, tools, firearms, political memorabilia, World’s Fair collectibles and militaria. Firearms sales subject to state and federal regulations.

Day 3 highlights will include a rare and early stock certificate for Gould & Curry (Virginia City, Nev.), one of the key producers on the Comstock, datelined San Francisco Jan. 13, 1865 and one of possibly only a dozen known (est. $800-$1,200); and a great gold specimen from the North Bonanza mine, located in the Flowery District down Six Mile Canyon in Virginia City, Nevada, near the Lady Bryan (est. $1,000-$2,000). The visible gold specimen weighs in at 2.59 ounces.

Day 4, November 1st, will contain 712 lots of general Americana (geographically sorted, from Arizona to Wyoming), maps, photographs, philatelic, Wells Fargo and bargains and specials.

Day 4 top lots will include an original broadside for the opening of the Hoover Dam in Boulder City, Nevada, printed circa 1935 and measuring 22 inches by 32 inches, reading, “Las Vegas, Nevada / Gateway to the Great Boulder Dam” (est. $1,000-$2,000); and a blue and white enameled metal sign for the Valley Express Company, measuring 24 inches by 16 inches, with some corrosion and wear on the back but the front in very good condition (est. $500-$1,000).

Day 5, November 2nd, will feature Part 2 of bargains and dealer specials, art, Native Americana, firearms and weaponry, badges, foreign collectibles, textiles, furnishings and 3-D collectibles, general Americana ephemera and collectibles, Hollywood and theater, music, cowboy / saloon / tobacco, bottles, gaming, jewelry, general Americana (geographically sorted), political, sports, postcards, Wells Fargo, World’s Fairs, military, mining, stocks and bonds and transportation.

Offered on Day 5 will be a nice quartet of four 1800s bourbon and whiskey bottles, including a rare J. Moore Brown Old Bourbon, a Roanoke Rye brown, a blob top brown and a clear Old Quaker Club Whiskey with a rare embossed picture, all being sold as one lot (est. $350-$1,000).

Online bidding will be facilitated by iCollector.com, LiveAuctioneers.com, Invaluable.com, AuctionMobility.com and Auctionzip.com. Telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted. For those planning to attend live, Holabird’s gallery is located at 3555 Airway Drive in Reno. All state and CDC regulations regarding COVID-19 (masks, social distancing, etc.) will be enforced.

Color catalogs are available by calling 1-844-492-2766, or 775-851-1859. Also, anyone owning a collection that might fit into an upcoming Holabird Western Americana Collections auction is encouraged to get in touch. The firm travels extensively throughout the U.S., to see and pick up collections. The company has agents all over America and will travel to inspect most collections.
Holabird Western Americana Collections is always in the hunt for new and major collections to bring to market. It prides itself as being a major source for selling Americana at the best prices obtainable, having sold more than any other similar company in the past decade alone. The firm will have its entire sales database online soon, at no cost – nearly 200,00 lots sold since 2014.
To consign a single piece or a collection, you may call Fred Holabird at 775-851-1859 or 844-492-2766; or, you can send an e-mail to fredholabird@gmail.com. To learn more about Holabird Western Americana Collections, visit www.holabirdamericana.com. Updates are posted often.

VIDEO: Walkabout Denver

Walkabout with David Lisot at Denver Coin Expo During COVID Virus October 3-5, 2020.

David Lisot, Host, CoinTelevision.com, with Cayden & Scott Allen, Glenna Brewer, Buck Burgess, Neal Hatgi, Denver Coin Expo, Don Kagin, Kagin’s Auctions, Chad Morgan, Diana & Jeff Wuller, Jaye Watermann, and lots of coins!

David Lisot braves the Corona Virus at the Denver Coin Expo to bring you news about one of the first major regional coin conventions. David talks to Neal Hatgi, promoter of the show to find out all the precautions taken to ensure a safe coin collecting experience. He talks to dealers and collectors including Don Kagin and Jeff Wuller. He shares with Glenna Brewer about the passing of her youngest son, Adam Brewer, and his life of collecting. Plus he shows you lots of coins and tips how to have a successful convention.

Watch it on YouTube → here.

The Royal Mint Announce First Coin in Celebration of Diversity

2020 Project Crown Silver Proof Coin 50p Silver Proof Coin in case right

The Royal Mint has today unveiled a brand new coin, a 50p celebrating the diversity which built Britain. The coin marks a new era for British coinage, with more designs celebrating diversity and inclusivity set to follow.

To support this landmark coin, The Royal Mint is working in partnership with the West India Committee to offer a school programme exploring the diversity that built Britain, and marking Black History Month. The educational pack will be issued to every primary school in England and Wales, and explores stories of significant black figures in British history as well as including a ‘Diversity Built Britain’ 50p.

A second education pack will encourage children to explore their own thoughts and feelings about diversity and to express themselves creatively, with links back to the coinage of Britain. Both education packs are available to download for free from: royalmint.com/diversity.

Royal Mint's Education Packs

The Royal Mint’s Education Packs, created in partnership with the West India Committee

The ‘Diversity Built Britain’ coin has been designed by The Royal Mint’s Dominique Evans, who boasts a number of high profile designs in her portfolio. As one of Britain’s foremost coin designers, Dominique has also designed the 75th anniversary of VE Day, the Queen’s Sapphire coronation and Jane Austen £2.

To accompany the circulating coin, The Royal Mint has produced a new commemorative 50p coin collection. There will be an exciting range of commemorative coins available in Brilliant Uncirculated, Silver proof and Gold proof editions.

Dominique Evans

Dominique Evans the designer of the Project crown 50p with coin close up

Dominique Evans, Designer at The Royal Mint, said: “When designing this coin, I began by thinking about the people who inspire me and what diversity has meant in my life. I believe that no matter where you are born, we all belong under the same sky and this was the starting point of the design.

“The background of the coin features a geodome with a series of interconnecting lines and triangles that form a network. Each part is equal, and symbolises a community of connection and strength. The words ‘DIVERSITY BUILT BRITAIN’ talks about the differences between us, and the connection which gives us unity. The design also looks to the future, how we can connect, develop bonds and grow stronger together.”

Anne Jessop

Anne Jessop with project Crown coin close up

Anne Jessopp, CEO of The Royal Mint, said: “Britain’s history is rich and diverse. For more than 1,100 years, the nation’s story has been told through coins struck by The Royal Mint, a narrative carried in the pockets and purses of all its people. The contribution of ethnic minority communities has been such an important part of that story but has often gone unrecognised. This coin has been created to celebrate all the people who have made Britain what it is today. This is a very exciting development for us and the launch of this important coin coincides with Black History Month, signalling a change in UK coinage, one that I am personally delighted to pioneer.”

Rishi Sunak, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, said: “I have seen first-hand the contribution made by ethnic minority communities to Britain’s history. That is why I backed the “We Too Built Britain” campaign and requested that the Royal Mint introduced this coin to celebrate it.

“This coin, and the rest of the series, will act as a fitting tribute to the very profound impact ethnic minority communities have made on Britain, and I am grateful to the Royal Mint for turning this around at record speed.”

Boris Johnson, the Prime Minister, said: “Congratulations to Dominique Evans the designer of The Royal Mint’s new 50 pence coin – ‘Diversity Built Britain’. Her design is the first in a series of coins The Mint will be producing, celebrating those who have helped shape our national history and culture.

“I had the great pleasure of welcoming Dominque to a Cabinet meeting, along with Anne Jessopp, the first female Deputy Master of the Mint and Blondel Cluff CEO of the West India Committee and Advisor to The Royal Mint. This new coin echoes the government’s commitment to building a fairer society for all”.

As part of the wider ‘Diversity built Britain’ campaign, the Royal Mint has also launched an Inspiration Wall on their website encouraging people to submit their own stories of who inspires them. It also looks at recent coins issued such as the 2007 £2 coin in commemoration of the abolition of slavery, and a 2014 £5-coin commemorating Britain’s First Black Officer Walter Tull.

This month The Royal Mint unveiled their first henna-inspired collection in celebration of Diwali. Consisting of a 1g gold bullion bar and a 5g gold bullion bar, each item is wrapped in beautiful henna-inspired packaging.

For more information about The Royal Mint’s range, to view the Inspiration Wall or to find out more about the Diversity Built Britain coin, visit the website royalmint.com/diversity.

Coin Title Signaling a change in the UK Coinage 2020:UK 50p Gold Proof Coin Signaling a change in the UK Coinage 2020: UK 50p Piedfort Gold Proof Coin Signaling a change in the UK Coinage 2020: UK 50p Silver Proof Coin Signaling a change in the UK Coinage 2020: UK 50p Silver Proof Piedfort Coin Signaling a change in the UK Coinage 2020: UK 50p Brilliant Uncirculated Coin
Denomination 50p 50p 50p   50p
Issuing Authority UK
Alloy 999.9 Au – Red 925 Ag Sterling Silver Cupro Nickel
Weight 15.50g 31.00g 8.00g 16.00g 8.00g
Diameter 27.30mm 27.30mm 27.30mm 27.30mm 27.30mm
Obverse Designer Jody Clark
Reverse Designer Dominique Evans
Quality Proof Proof Proof Proof Brilliant Uncirculated
Limited Edition Presentation 950 200 25,000 2,500 Unlimited
RRP £1,125.00 £2,225.00 £57.50 £100.00 £10.00

Hobby Community Mourns the Loss of Businessman and Philanthropist Joel R. Anderson

Joel R Anderson(Florence, Alabama) — Joel R. Anderson, of Florence, Alabama, died peacefully at home on Monday evening, October 12, 2020, from natural causes at the age of 76. He was well known in the numismatic world as a businessman and generous supporter of many hobby causes.

The Anderson family has been active for decades in numismatics, publishing, and media distribution, among other industries. This started in 1917 with a street-corner newsstand built in downtown Florence by his late father, Clyde W. Anderson. The Anderson Companies grew into a business that today includes Anderson Media Corporation; TNT Fireworks (the largest importer and distributor of consumer fireworks in the United States); specialty publisher Anderson Press; and Books-A-Million (the nation’s second-largest book retailer).

Joel Anderson attended the University of North Alabama and then worked in his family businesses. He served as a director of many affiliated firms and chairman of the Anderson Companies, which today employ more than 11,000 associates in the United States, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and China.

A Longtime Hobby Supporter and Enthusiastic Collector

Among hobbyists and collectors, the best-known Anderson brands are ANCO (manufacturer of coin tubes and other supplies); Cowens (cardboard coin holders); H.E. Harris & Co. (stamp dealer, publisher, and philatelic supplier); and Whitman Publishing, the largest publisher of numismatic books and supplies, and creator of the annual Guide Book of United States Coins (the “Red Book”).

Joel Anderson was an active supporter of the American Numismatic Association, the American Numismatic Society, and other hobby organizations. “Mr. Anderson believed in the power of literacy, research, and education,” said Whitman president Mary Burleson. “He gave generously of his time, business expertise, and financial resources to strengthen every aspect of the hobby. He did this quietly, without fanfare, never seeking praise or publicity for himself.”

Anderson was a serious collector of rare United States paper money. In 2018 and 2019 his collection was sold by Stack’s Bowers Galleries for more than $34 million. It was the most valuable cabinet of U.S. paper currency ever dispersed at public auction.

A Positive Influence in Many Worlds

Friends from across the wide spectrum of the Anderson family’s business and civic activities are mourning the loss of Joel Anderson. In the world of pyrotechnics, he is remembered as the founder, chairman, and director of the American Fireworks Standards Laboratory. (Dr. John A. Conkling, in Boom: America’s Ever-Evolving Fireworks Industry, wrote of Anderson’s “strong and capable leadership” of the safety and testing organization, which is credited with reducing the number of fireworks injuries and fatalities.) Medical organizations such as the Cardiovascular Institute of Philadelphia and the American Heart Association celebrate him as a trustee and supporter. His philanthropic, civic, and humanitarian endeavors have earned him the respect and admiration of the Salvation Army, the United Way, and the many schools, libraries, and museums that he championed and served.

The Anderson family shared some words of wisdom Joel Anderson gave in a letter to his grandchildren, exemplifying his life philosophy: “Always smile and feel happiness and it will become a part of you. Always be positive and if you are sometimes defeated in something, don’t pout, don’t complain, just turn around and take another path to winning. Always respect others, always be honest with others and, very importantly, yourself. Always go out of your way to do the right thing in any situation and always remember to be nice and share with others, especially persons who need a helping hand.”

Anderson is survived by his wife, Carmen Hemmer Anderson; daughters, Ashley Ruth Anderson and Kristen Lore Anderson; son, Joel Ray Anderson II (Sophie); brother, Charles Caine Anderson; sister, Jan Anderson Wiggins (Bob); grandchildren, Kate Brooklyn Billingsley, Grant Ray Billingsley, and Stella Ruth Chanin; niece, Catherine Foss Wingfield; nephews, Anderson Malone Wingfield, Charles Caine Anderson Jr. (Moll), Terrence Carroll Anderson (Susan), Clyde Barbour Anderson (Summer), and Harold Myron Anderson (Amber). He was preceded in death by his father, Clyde W. Anderson; mother, Ruth Keenum Anderson; and sister-in-law, Hilda Barbour Anderson.

There will be a drive-by visitation at 1:00 p.m. on Friday, October 16, followed by a private graveside service for family at 3:00 p.m. at Greenview Memorial in Anderson’s hometown of Florence, Alabama.

The family welcomes donations, as an expression of sympathy in lieu of flowers, to the American Heart Association, the University of North Alabama, or United Way of Northwest Alabama.

An online guest book may be signed at greenviewmemorial.com.

Hardship, Heartbreak, and Opportunity’—The Fascinating Tales Told by Colonial and Early American Money

The second edition of the Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins debuted in September 2020. This essay is condensed from the book’s foreword, by Kenneth Bressett.

by Kenneth E. Bressett

The story of money, its everyday use in commerce, and how it is created for payment of taxes and use in trade, presents a chronicle of the people, the tribulations, and the progress of every nation. Knowledge of the various kinds of coins and other money used during the formation of the United States is essential to understanding the character of its early settlers, the problems they faced, and steps that were taken to overcome the many hardships associated with achieving some degree of economic freedom and stability.

Money that was used in early America was nothing at all like the coins, paper bills, and credit cards used today. It would have been as difficult for the original settlers to envision electronic transfers as it is for us to think about having to do without a standard monetary system, or the checks, coins, and currency we use to facilitate trade. For colonizers of a new land it was far more essential to journey with the essentials of life that must have included clothing, household goods, farm equipment, tools, and barter items. With no place to spend money, the early settlers in America were not overly concerned about bringing cash with them to their new home.

Most of the early American settlers were farmers or small merchants looking for a better life. They had heard stories about rivers teeming with gold and precious gems, and while both they and the English government longed for immediate riches, their goal was mainly to ensure economic growth. The men hunted, built homes, and farmed, while the women cooked, made preserves, spun, and made clothing. Theirs was a self-sufficient society that relied on barter and needed little outside assistance or money. But that was not what the king of England hoped to achieve in the plantations that were intended more as a source of exports to the mother country.

Early commerce in New England consisted of exchanging goods with the natives, by which valuable furs were obtained for export. In England they were used to acquire needed supplies and items that could not be produced locally. Beaver skins, wampum, imported trinkets, grain­—and, in Virginia, tobacco—soon became the commonly accepted media of exchange for all other available commodities. The settlers had little use for coined money at first, but when traders came from foreign lands, coins were usually demanded in payment for goods. Coins that did occasionally come from England were immediately returned in payment for essential items from the homeland.

Gold and silver coins of all nations were accepted in normal dealings by the colonists who in turn used them to purchase imported goods. English copper and silver coins were familiar and desirable, but of equal value were the German thalers, Dutch silver lyon (lion) dollars and gold ducats, French louis, and, of course, the ever-present gold doubloons and silver pieces-of-eight and their fractions from Spain as well as mints from Mexico to South America. English copper coins served the need for small change, but even these were scarce and rarely adequate for commercial needs.

In time, barter out of necessity became the prime medium of exchange within the colonies. Europeans were anxious to purchase fish and pelts from America, and the colonists were eager to accommodate them by bartering for those items with the Indians. Beads, knives, hatchets, and blankets were the favorite items. Trade with Europe was necessary and brought in powder, shot, guns, nails, and other provisions, thus adding to the shortage of coined money in the colonies. By and large, the colonization of British North America began and grew under the principles of mercantilism, a system whereby the colonies were expected to buy English finished goods and pay for them by sending locally abundant raw materials to England to supply her factories and stores. Colonial trade policy and England’s mercantile system in general were governed by the English Board of Trade, which regulated commerce, raw materials, manufacturing, and shipping. Trade with any other country was discouraged in an effort to keep the colonies dependent on England.

The British mercantile system required gold and silver to be used in England, and largely prevented the colonies from using anything but barter. As inhibiting as this was, the barter system at least served communities well for domestic needs, and the Americans even continued to exchange goods, services, and products well beyond the period of British control.

From 1637 to 1661, Indian wampum became a standard medium of exchange for trade with the Native Americans. Wampum, basically strings of colored shell beads, was highly coveted and could be exchanged for furs. Six white beads or three blue beads equaled one English penny. All financial records were kept in the traditional English pounds, shillings, and pence, but debts and taxes were often paid in corn, beaver, or whatever foreign coins were available. The terms “country pay” and “corn” referred to a number of different kinds of grain or even peas, and all were accepted by some colonial treasuries for payment of taxes.

To a great extent, the saga of the American colonization effort is a story of the settlers’ struggle to achieve a degree of economic sufficiency in defiance of unsympathetic British policies. Self-sufficiency, which could be better called “liberty,” meant the opportunity to market surplus produce at reasonable prices, and to use the income for necessities, or even an occasional luxury. This, however, was not the royal intent, and every possible obstacle was used to force a kind of restricted trade with England that would favor the Crown and leave the colonists with only the barest of necessities—and a continuing need to trade with the homeland.

Coining money was considered a royal prerogative and was forbidden to the colonists. Some trade did go on with other foreign merchants, and small quantities of Spanish-American coins did circulate here, as well as other gold and silver pieces, but most local transactions had to rely on barter or trade without the use of coins. In time, just about anything that even looked like a coin was considered spendable. It was not until 1652, during the reign of Oliver Cromwell, three years after King Charles was removed from the throne, that coinage became an issue, and the Massachusetts Bay Colony faced the issue squarely. A mint was established in Boston to provide a coinage that could be used to satisfy local needs and to counteract debased Spanish-American silver coins. The coins made at that historic facility were produced over the next 30 years in defiance of British law. The date 1652 was continued in use on them by convention, representing the date of authorization by the colony. It is a matter of debate as to whether the maintaining of this date was intended to hide from British authorities the fact that the coins were made far beyond Cromwell’s time.

Mark Newby, a Quaker merchant, came to New Jersey in 1681 with a group of immigrants and a quantity of Irish coins known as St. Patrick’s halfpence. The legislature of the colony made them legal tender for that amount. In 1688, Richard Holt, a British entrepreneur, arranged for a quantity of tin tokens to be made for the American plantations, but these never crossed the Atlantic.

Over the years British financial policies created many hardships and ill feelings towards the Crown. They prompted acts of defiance such as the Massachusetts coinage that was seen by some as the “first Declaration of Independence.” Later there were other revolts against taxation and fiscal controls that seemed to be against the best interest of the colonists. The Stamp Act of 1765 was particularly offensive because it was seen as taxation without representation and a restriction on the freedom of the press. In Boston, reaction to the British tax on tea was swift and harsh.

Some relief from the always-prevalent coin shortage in America was promised to the colonies in 1722 when William Wood, an English businessman, obtained a patent from King George I to make tokens for Ireland and America. These were to be lightweight brass pieces that would facilitate trade in the colonies, and not likely to be returned to England because they were not made to the same standards as regal coins. Some were sent to America along with the “Rosa Americana” pieces that had been made expressly for the colonies. Both circulated for a short time, but despite the desperate need for small change, these coins were widely rejected because of their weight, and the experiment died the following year.

Among the many kinds of coins and tokens used to facilitate trade in the early colonies were those from France that were made either for homeland or colonial use, English merchants’ coins and tokens, and nearly anything imported from Europe that could be called a “coin.”

When the British government agreed to make an issue of copper coins exclusively for Virginia in 1773, they again were lightweight and included an image of King George III, who by then was not very popular with Americans on the verge of revolution. The coins were considered too little and too late to help with the economic future of a new country; it was time to begin thinking about becoming self-sufficient in every way. In 1776 the Continental Congress proposed an issue of coins with a design inspired by Benjamin Franklin. For some reason, that coinage never progressed far beyond a limited distribution of pewter pieces. Specimens today are considered to be rare and valuable collector items. New Hampshire proposed a coinage in 1776, but the idea did not progress past the pattern stage. Another early attempt to provide the states with a uniform coinage was tried when copper coins dated 1783 with the legend NOVA CONSTELLATIO were made under contract with a private mint in Birmingham, England, and imported for use in America.

Various other patterns and state-authorized coinages were proposed and started in the period from 1785 through 1788. Each is a chapter in the history of early America and tells of the measures taken by Vermont, Connecticut, New Jersey, New York, and Massachusetts to provide coinage for the beginning nation. Mixed with these states’ efforts were a number of tokens and coins sent here in commerce, while others were imported by merchants from overseas for local use.

The extensive assortment of coins and tokens pressed into use prior to the establishment of the American monetary system is formidable. Detailed accounts of various segments of these have been published in many forms; today they are presented in one convenient source—the Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins. Author Q. David Bowers has spent a lifetime researching this absorbing topic. He has carefully documented each coin type, along with all of the notable variations that hold such high interest for collectors.

The story of money in early America reflects the hardships, heartbreaks, opportunities, conquests, and political horse-trading that went into winning financial freedom for the emerging nation. It is a story reflected and amplified in each of the coins described in the Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins.

Kenneth E. Bressett has been involved in the hobby of numismatics since the 1940s. He has written many articles and is author or editor of more than a dozen related books; a past governor, vice president, and president of the American Numismatic Association; and a highly accomplished teacher, researcher, and student. He served for many years as editor (then as senior editor, and today as editor emeritus) of the Guide Book of United States Coins, popularly known as the “Red Book”—with nearly 25 million copies sold, one of the best-selling nonfiction titles in the history of American publishing. As a former consultant to the United States Mint, Bressett was instrumental in originating the 50 State Quarters Program and in selecting many of the coins’ reverse designs. He is an inductee in the Numismatic Hall of Fame (at ANA Headquarters in Colorado Springs).
#   #   #
Whitman Encyclopedia of Colonial and Early American Coins, second edition.
By Q. David Bowers; foreword by Kenneth Bressett; valuations editor Jeff Garrett; research editor Julia H. Casey.
ISBN 0794847277.
Hardcover, 8.5 x 11 inches.
352 pages.
Full color.
Retail $49.95 U.S.

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