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By Harvey G. Stack, Senior Numismatic Consultant

After the Second World War coin collecting surged, stimulated by the sale of Mint sets by the U.S. Mint, the advent of the Guide Book (red book) published by Whitman, new improved coin albums which sold for 25 cents each, deluxe pages and albums by Wayte Raymond and coin columns in major national publications (such as the New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Los Angeles Times). Even the very popular Life magazine had a multiple page story of the Louis E. Eliasberg collection in full color!

By Bruce Roland Hagen, Senior Research Numismatist

The consignment deadline for our November Baltimore Auction is upon us Monday September 24th. There is scant time for your selected paper money rarities to be showcased in our final auction event of the year. Consignors were more than pleased with their superb results in our recently concluded Philadelphia ANA and Hong Kong sales, proving the market is ripe for prime numismatic items of all genres. The paper money session boasted an overall sell through of 92%. This is remarkable and displays the confidence Stack’s Bowers consignors have in us to highlight their treasured collections and single rarities, without reserves, as we offer accurate grading and descriptions, top notch research and cataloging, and transparent bidding procedures making it a fair playing field for buyers and sellers.

Written by Q. David Bowers, Chairman Emeritus

Welcome to my weekly comments. As I contemplate what to write about I cannot help but think of our tradition of handling the greatest of the great collections in the past. While inexpensive Morgan dollars, scarce Lincoln cents, interesting tokens, modern Mint issues and the like make up a large part of the numismatic hobby, it is the great rarities and landmark collections that attract the most attention and linger longest in one’s mind.

By Frank Van Valen, Numismatist and Cataloger, U.S. Coins

“Short Worm” Variety to Star in Our November 2012 Baltimore Sale

In 1783, Annapolis, Maryland gold and silversmith Captain John Chalmers (1750-1817), one-time Continental Army recruiting officer and Sherriff of Baltimore, produced a series of silver coins in the denominations of threepence, sixpence and shilling, with several die varieties now known to today’s collectors, some of which are extremely rare. Many, if not all, of the dies were produced and cut by Thomas Sparrow, who is also known for his work on the paper money plates of the Maryland Colony. Chalmers may also have been responsible for some of the dies, as he was a talented silversmith and no stranger to finely detailed engraving. The coins were produced in a wooden building at Fleet and Cornhill streets in Annapolis.

By Greg Cohen, Professional Numismatist and Consignment Director, U.S. and World Coins

One of our November Baltimore world highlights is a Commonwealth Unite, 1653. Freshly back from PCGS, this coin is now in a PCGS EF-45 Secure Holder. From the Ronald Lyle Collection, this coin has resided in a safe deposit box for decades until recently, when it was consigned to our sale. A scarce type coin that will delight the eye and incite strong bidding activity when it crosses the auction block in Baltimore.

By Matt Quinn, Assistant Director of Currency

The upcoming Stack’s Bowers official currency auction of the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Baltimore Expo in November will feature an important Fractional Currency offering. These miniature currency notes have been highly regarded by numismatists since their first public release just over 150 years ago. Collecting a general type set of all denominations from the five issues is quite simple in Extremely Fine grades, but becomes quite difficult in Uncirculated. This offering will present a wide array of varieties from the First Issue to the Fifth Issue, with many pieces also being the finest graded examples according to third party population reports. The notes mostly come from two private collections, which have not been available for decades. The originality and high quality of the notes is absolutely striking. The Third Issue notes in particular are spectacular with vivid bronzing and deeply embossed inks of the primary design.

By Jeff Lubinski, Numismatist

Errors are one of the most fascinating areas of numismatic study. As a young numismatist I became enamored with errors and how they were produced. The original focus of my personal collection was errors, and I’ve always been partial to the most bizarre pieces to escape the mint. Today I’ve got two very interesting pieces on my desk. The first coin is an undated large cent (1808-1834) with a full brockage strike. For those of you not familiar with errors The Official Price Guide to Mint Errors (Herbert) describes it as such, “A coin which was stuck with all of a struck coin between it and one of the dies, showing on the struck object coin as a shallow irregularly rounded depression in the entire face…with a slightly enlarged and distorted incuse image of the intervening coin design.”

By Harvey G. Stack, Senior Numismatic Consultant

Numismatic Days in the Early Thirties

Harvey Stack continues his reminiscences and the story of Stack’s, with numismatic traditions dating back to 1858, in its present form founded in New York City in 1933. Stack’s held its first public auction sale in 1935. Today, Stack’s Bowers Galleries is the longest-established and most accomplished rare coin firm in America.