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The Amon G. Carter. Jr. Family Collection, Part 8

By Harvey G. Stack, Senior Numismatic Consultant

Author: Harvey G. Stack / Thursday, August 07, 2014 / Categories: Harvey G. Stack Remembers

From the earlier parts of my story about the Amon G. Carter Family Collection, you can appreciate what a father and son can accomplish when they work together to assemble a coin collection. This was especially true for this father and son as they were collecting when other great collections were coming to market. These cabinets  provided great rarities and other important coins for the Carters to acquire. To try to duplicate this now is a difficult task as the number of collectors competing today is so great, and these old-time collections have been divided up, with the rarities going to many different collections.

The Carters, though primarily interested in coins of the United States and of the early pioneer period, also expanded their collection to include gold coins that were used in colonial America, many from Mexico and Central and South America. These coins circulated in the United States freely till 1858 for they provided hard money to be used as there was a shortage of a national currency. The Carters’ Spanish American collection contained 1 to 8 Escudos, and the later 1 pesos to 20 pesos, primarily of Mexico, as well as a superb assemblage of Central and South American issues.

Amon G. Carter, Jr., took pride in the family collection and displayed it at many numismatic conventions and local coin shows over the years. He made his collection available to researchers who were doing special studies on various coin designs and varieties. In this way he helped to advance the knowledge we have today of the various dies and uses of the dies during the development of United States money.

Much of the paper currency, which was a huge holding, was acquired from the estate privately, and many pieces are presently in museums, especially in Texas. They give evidence of the economic growth of the West and the culture that developed there. These items provide a record of history as no book ever could and, along with the other Carter pieces that remain in museums, can be seen and studied by all who have an interest in and seek information on monetary history.

Though many Carter Collection items have ended up in museums, they sometimes become available as institutions change displays or revise their missions. The funds from such sales are then used for the institution’s enhancement. I sincerely believe as these institutions de-accession their numismatic holdings some of the great rarities will find their way to important collections that someday will be sold, making the pieces available to new collectors seeking them.

Many coins of yesteryear, because they are made of metal, have survived the centuries, and found their way into collectors’ hands, where they are cherished and then passed on. The cherished Carter Family Collection coins were passed on to the collectors of the 1980s and some have since been offered again. Hopefully current owners will maintain the Carter Family pedigree as these coins again become available to the numismatists of the future.