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Rare Money Blog

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​​There is something special about coins struck in copper. Even well-worn pieces can be beautiful. With few exceptions this cannot be said of coins in nickel, silver, or gold. The often-quoted comment by  William H. Sheldon, Early American Cents, 1949,  has served as an inspiration for many collectors:

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

The August 1955 number of The Numismatist included a "Silver Quiz for Coin Collectors" compiled by Stuart Mosher. The original text is reprinted here:

Count 5 for each correct answer. If you score 50 you have a slightly better than average passing score. If your score is 75 or more you are indeed talented and by all rights should be quite wealthy. Some of the questions are tricky and those playing this game are warned not to jump at their first conclusions.

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​In looking through Numismatic Scrapbook  Vol. 1, No. 6, published by Lee F. Hewitt in November 1935, I was captivated by a brief article by Robert K. Botsford  titled “Health and Happiness in a Hobby.” Coincidentally, Mr. Botsford was important to me during my early days in collecting and dealing coins in the mid-1950s. From his Pennsylvania home he wrote me many letters about how a young man should conduct his business affairs properly, adding his personal observations about the market and human characteristics in general.

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​The December 1939 issue of The Numismatist included "The Collecting Instinct," by George A. Pipes, long-term contributor to the journal. He suggested that collectors are born, not made, and "if the germ is in the blood, it will break out sooner or later." The writer went on to say:

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​In 1875 Early Coins of America, by Sylvester S. Crosby, was published by the Boston Numismatic Society. Drawing upon his own extensive knowledge as a dealer and scholar and with help from many others he created what remains one of the greatest classics in American numismatic literature.  Today in 2020 the book is widely available in reprint form with multiple offerings on abebooks.com as well as by dealers in antiquarian books.

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​If you are stranded on a desert isle, we hope you have a good book or two to read. Or, if your island is not far away from civilization, I hope you can tie in to the Internet.

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​In numismatic history, Virgil M. Brand (1861-1926) is part of the hobby's DNA. Never has one person assembled such a large and varied collection, and few people have had as much numismatic knowledge. In his office and residence attached to the Brand Brewery on Elston Street in Chicago, it seems that he ate, slept, and dreamed coins. Well, almost. By the time of his passing he had gathered over 300,000 coins. If one rarity was good, multiples were better. As an example, he had six of the ten known 1884 trade dollars!

By Q. David Bowers, Co-Founder

​For my blog this week I am questions from a coin quiz I wrote 25 years ago for Rare Coin Review #107 in 1995. As opposed to asking questions about famous and rare coins, it deals with coins that are quite affordable, but at the same time are numismatically interesting.

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