The E-Sylum:  Volume 7, Number 3, January 18, 2004, Article 5


  Q. David Bowers writes: "As announced in Coin World,
  Numismatic News, the American Numismatic Rarities
  website, and elsewhere, I have signed on with American
  Numismatic Rarities as their "numismatic director," rejoining
  a great "dream team" group of people, many of whom I had
  the pleasure of working with in earlier times.

  The numismatists there include John Pack and Rick Bagg
  (consignment gathering specialists) and  Frank Van Valen,
  with whom I've worked for a long time, but long ago he
  took some time out to catalogue for Christie's.  Then there is
  Beth O. Piper, who got her first job in coins with me many
  years ago. One of my favorite anecdotes about Beth relates
  to one day when a group of the biggest "names" among
  American coin dealers were in Wolfeboro looking at rarities
  for an upcoming sale.  Rick Bagg came into the room, stating
  that someone had consigned a "grading set" of PCGS
  Saint-Gaudens twenties, one each MS-60 to MS-65.  A
  test was proposed on the spot, a piece of masking tape was
  put over the label of each, and each was given a designation,
  1 to 6, for the six holders.  The country's greatest experts all
  wrote down their evaluations. The  tape was then removed
  and---guess what?--Beth came closest to the PCGS score!

  Doug Plasencia is so busy taking pictures for the upcoming
  ANR sale that he won't talk with me now about some photos
  for a book I am now completing for Whitman--a 288 page
  volume about double eagles, probably everything you wanted
  to know, and a lot of other stuff you never cared about.
  There will be a lot of hitherto unpublished information (at least
  not in a single volume) giving interesting and specific
  information on vast quantities of double eagles being exported
  to Europe, personal interviews conducted by me with many
  importers (beginning with Jim Kelly and Paul Wittlin in the
  1950s, when I first became interested in hoards), and more--
  including recent talks with Mark Yaffe and Marc Emory, just
  to keep up to date, including the expose of a fantasy hoard, a
  practical joke, but it landed in Breen's 1988 Encyclopedia!

  If any E-Sylum readers would care to send me previously
  unpublished information on hoards of double eagles, secret
  finds, etc., etc., and can do this within the next few days, I
  will use anything of interest to me. I will also keep confidential
  any information, if desired, as I have done for several Swiss
  and other foreign bankers and for the one-time owner of four
  1933 double eagles (my gosh, am I piquing anybody's interest?).
  There will also be some new (to most readers) stuff on how
  Matte Proofs and Roman Finish Proofs were made, some
  great info sent to me by Roger W. Burdette (who lives close
  enough to the National Archives to poke around there on a
  regular basis), some nifty info from David E. Tripp (who can
  with equal facility regale listeners on the subject of MCMVII
  Ultra High Relief or 1933 double eagles), and from others.
  Of course, you can expect that if Whitman Publishing Co.
  were not involved and if budget were not a consideration,
  the double eagle book could be a thousand pages! Really.

  Back to the ANR staff, it was nice to see Cynthia LaCarbonara
  and Laurel Morrill on the auction podium the other day in
  Orlando at the Rarities Sale, which totaled about $4 million.
  After reading the description in the catalogue of the Thomas
  Sebring Collection of treasure coins, I could not resist bidding
  on and buying an 1856-S $20 from the Fort Capron treasure,
  the marvelous Herndon medal, ex the Garrett Collection years
  ago, made to honor the captain of the lost S.S. Central America,
  and even a Chinese export porcelain cup fished up from a 1799
  wreck in the Antipodes or somewhere like that.  My wife
  Christie out-collects me on many things, can even read Chinese
  coin inscriptions, etc., and when I brought this prize little cup
  home,  she reminded me that some years ago she had bought
  similar pieces from a shop in New Bedford (or was it Salem?),
  Mass.,  and told me the story about the wreck.  John Kraljevich,
  Jr., is,  of course, the very definition of a young numismatist
  with talent.  The other day I had a nice lunch with Mike Hodder
  (who is up to his ears in cataloguing the Ford Collection for
  Stack's), and we both agreed that the future of numismatics was
  in good hands with John K and John's friend, Vicken Yegparian,
  also in his twenties, and a Stack's staffer. Of course, in the
  modern market of certified coins, perhaps numismatic
  scholarship is a dead science. But, I hope not.

  Christine (Chris) Karstedt has held the ANR banner high for
  about a year now, with impressive success--it is fun to sit back
  and watch! Such an excited, enthusiastic staff I have never seen.
  While I am at it, I'll mention Chris' daughter Melissa, by now a
  familiar face at conventions and auctions, Jennifer Meers
  (graphics artist and guru extraordinaire, whose talents
  constantly amaze me, and who did the entire layout work for
  produced without budget limitations under the aegis of Dwight
  Manley and the California Gold Marketing Group), is now
  laying out some ideas for new ANR magazine to be called
  THE NUMISMATIC SUN, of which I will be editor (if I pass
  the spelling test which they plan to give me). Joel Orosz
  writes to say that he has already subscribed---hopefully not a
  leap of faith, but faith well placed! Now I will HAVE TO write

  Jenna King, who answers the ANR telephone at 1-800-569-0823
  and sounds as if she always enjoys hearing from me, takes
  care of incoming calls at ANR, while Jeremy Wiggin helps
  with mailing, shipping, and many other things, including, the
  other day, a scramble through a storeroom full of "stuff" to
  find a stack of papers about a certain double eagle. Mary Tocci
  I've known for a long time--10 years? 15 years?--and if you
  order a copy of my new double eagle book from ANR, she
  will be the one who takes care of your request.  I almost forgot
  to mention my son Andrew, who has been around coins ever
  since he first learned how to walk and talk, or even before
  then. He is on the ANR staff, too, and, according to Jenna
  King, "never rests--he has your work ethic." Now, if he can
  only learn to look at 1,000 Morgan dollars at a convention
  and cherrypick 10 or 20 good ones. Actually, he can already
  do some of this sort of thing--good for ANR customers who
  like quality.

  My new e-mail address within a day or two will be
  qdavid at, but until then it remains
  qdbarchive at My new business mailing address,
  in case anyone wants to send me an old-fashioned letter with
  a stamp on it, is Dave Bowers, American Numismatic Rarities,
  Box 1804, Wolfeboro, NH 03894.  Wonder where they got
  that nifty box number!

  That's about it for now. Happy New Year and good health
  and fortune to all."

  [It's always great to hear from Dave, and we'll be looking
  forward as always to his new numismatic publications.
  Let the Numismatic Sun shine!   -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

Google Web
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor 
at this address:

To subscribe go to:
Copyright © 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.



Copyright © 1998 - 2005 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster