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Study Of Classic American Coins.

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Author Previous TopicReplies: 6 / Views: 398Next Topic  
Valued Member
Russian Federation
160 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2020  03:57 am Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Slerk to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
Where do you think you can study coins? What literature is worth reading to become an expert in the field of numismatics?
I am an ANA member but I have absolutely no understanding of the site, maybe there are some good materials to study?
Bedrock of the Community
17898 Posts
 Posted 12/03/2020  09:03 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add sel_69l to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
How about a study in ancient coin art?

My avatar confirms that I collect ancient coins.
When it comes to machine struck coins, I just love the neo classic style of classic American coins, that have ancient coins as their inspiration.

For example,
1. The Corinthian helmet Liberty found on the gold $50 Panama Pacific Half Union has it's inspiration on the ancient silver staters of Corinth.

2. The standing eagle found on the Indian Head gold $10 Eagle and the BLP Half Eagle finds it's inspiration on the silver Ptolemaic tetradrachms of Egypt.

3. The flying eagle found on the St Gaudens $20 Double Eagle finds it's inspiration on the silver staters of Elis - the City of the ancient Greek Olympic Games.

Classic art is timeless, and collectors of American coins in 2,000 years into the future
will find just as must satisfaction in being a temporary custodian of them,
as we find in being a current temporary custodian of ancient coins that were struck more than 2,000 years ago.
Bedrock of the Community
United States
20020 Posts
 Posted 12/04/2020  08:56 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Try the Whitman Publishing web site. They have a pile of coin books.
just carl
Bedrock of the Community
United States
17164 Posts
 Posted 12/04/2020  09:40 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Conder101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
If US coins is your primary interest, start with A Guide Book of United States Coins by R.S.Yeoman (commonly known as The RedBook). Ignore the price listing in it but READ the introductory material, and the descriptive material at the beginning of each series/section. This will give you a good beginning working knowledge of US Numismatics. Once you have done that then you can decide what direction you wish to explore more deeply and how far down the rabbit hole you want to go.

You don't need the latest edition to get all that information, a copy several years old will do just fine and they are very cheap. A quick look on shows 2012 editions for $3.61 and that includes shipping.

Another really good general information book I like to recommend (I refer to mine constantly) is the Coin World Almanac. Once again a slightly older edition works fine. Abebooks has 1990 or 2000 editions available for under $8 including shipping. (that's for softbound, they have hardbound for as low as $12)
Gary Schmidt
Valued Member
Russian Federation
160 Posts
 Posted 12/10/2020  04:05 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Slerk to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Thanks for the help. I already ordered the book. I will study
Pillar of the Community
United States
938 Posts
 Posted 12/11/2020  8:00 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Ballyhoo to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I myself spend hours on the Newman Numismatic Portal. Practically anything numismatic related going back well into the 1700's. As a member of the ANA, check out the Numismatist link on the yellow bar, then archives in the drop down. Begin with "Getting Started". Once registered you'll have access to every publication dating to the late 1800's. I have seen old advertised listings for books which may no longer be in print, but obtainable through a web search of the title.
ANA member
PAN Member
BCCS Member

There's no problem only solutions - the late, great John Lennon
Pillar of the Community
United States
7520 Posts
 Posted 12/17/2020  06:02 am  Show Profile   Check westcoin's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add westcoin to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
The Newman Numismatic Portal is a godsend and where I spend many hours.

As a member of the ANA you have free access to check out many books from the Dwight N. Manley Library, you pay only postage both ways and you keep the books for a month or so, it's also easy to extend time if needed. Unfortunately with Covid that is been put on hold due to not having staff to handle incoming and out going orders. The cost of shipping is minimal as the Museum Media Rate is even lower than standard USPS Media Rate shipping. So be sure to use that when returning books (insured of course).

Link to ANA Dwight N. Manley Library to get you started: for now you can at least browse for books in their catalog, and create an account for checking them out later.

Now the NBS or "Numismatic Bibliomania Society" is also a great place to learn about literature and books. They created the Top 100 book list which in itself is a good US list of books that would likely fulfill your goal of learning US Numismatics if you were to read 80% of them. I'm missing about 5 or 6 from that list in my own Numismatic library now. I did complete a set of Numismatic Scrapbook periodicals, but doubt I will ever have all the Coin World magazine/newspapers. There are a few other esoteric and rather expensive books I don't have as well, Atinelli's Numisgraphics and Heath's Counterfeit Detector, some others I have in reprint only.
A great list of the cream of the crop in any US numismatic library. I would also tell you while at the NBS site, to sign up for the e-sylum weekly newletter (it's free and wonderful, put out each Sunday evening by Wayne Homren).

Many of my own favorite numismatic books are all online for free at the NNP, check under "Library - Books by Author" menu for Bowers, Quentin and the following great books he wrote:

Adventures with Rare coins - This book is what really got me to be a serious collector for life.

The History of United States coinage as Illustrated by the Garrett Collection.

American Numismatics Before the Civil War 1760-1860, emphasizing the story of Augustus B. Sage

United States Gold Coins: An Illustrated History

Also (other authors now):

The Early Coins of America - Sylvester S. Crosby (The Quarterman Press edition is a good quality affordable reprint to search out in a physical copy).

Those are all free and available to download via PDFs, though I still recommend you pick up copies as they appear at a reasonable price. All but the "Augustus Sage"
I've seen on eBay for under $30 per copy sometimes much less than that, all are large illustrated books. The Crosby book you will have to settle for a reprint unless you are willing to spend upwards of $1000 for a copy.

Also not free but very worthy books as well IMO, especially on early US history of coinage are:

Roger Burdette's 3 vol set:
Renaissance of American Coinage 1905-1908 (2006)
Renaissance of American Coinage 1909-1915 (2007)
Renaissance of American Coinage 1916-1921 (2005)
and his From Mine to Mint (2013)

The Secret History of the First U. S. Mint - Leonard Ausbuger and Joel Orosz (2011)

History Of The United States Mint and Its Coinage - David Lange (2005)

History Of The First United States Mint: Its People And Its Operations - Frank Stewart (1924)

Henry Voight and others involved with America's Early Coinage - Karl Moulton (2007)

For Pioneer and Territorial Gold:

Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States - Donald Kagin (1981)

A Pioneer Denver Mint: Clark, Gruber and Company, 1860#8209;1865 - Nolie Mumey (1950)

Now the best place on earth to really learn is the ANA Summer Seminar a week or two week long immersion into coins and attending class taught by the foremost experts in their fields. I have attended many of them over the years beginning with my first one in 1982 as a YN scholarship winner, I've done grading, advanced grading counterfeit detection(several times on the latter two classes as things change over the years), coin photography, VAM Collecting, Early American Copper Coins, Cherry picking varieties, errors and oddities from the mint, etc. my favorite memories mainly revolve around ANA seminars I've been to and attended.

For book purchasing, try:
eBay - Coins>Publications & Supplies>US>Books
Amazon - always shop around as many sellers have other shops around the web often with lower costs.
Kolbe & Fanning
Charles Davis

Those last two are very well known book dealers specializing in numismatics, they also hold auctions. I'm a regular buyer from both of them and can attest they are extremely knowledgeable and honest. Once I became a known buyer with K&F they regularly ship my auction winnings off to me before I even get my invoice. That's trust! Plus K&F and C. Davis have some of the best quality books in condition, always exceeding my expectations when I place an order or win a bid at auction. They ship everything very well packed which is more than I can say for many other sellers.
"Buy the Book Before You Buy the Coin" - Aaron R. Feldman - "And read it" - Me 2013!
ANA Life Member #3288 in good standing since 1982, EAC Member #6202, NBS Member, 2 variety collector.

See my want page:
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