The E-Sylum:  Volume 7, Number 47, November 21, 2004, Article 8


  Len Augsberger writes: "About ten years ago, Marshall
  Field's in Chicago distributed a 15% off coupon to
  anyone who came into their store and opened a Field's
  charge card.  Knowing that gold bullion type coins
  were sold in the coin department, I stopped by one day
  and attempted to buy several American Eagles, at a 15%
  discount, of course.  The proprietor, needless to say,
  wasn't pleased.

  After a trip upstairs to the Field's customer service
  office to sort things out, the deal was indeed done at
  the 15% discount.  It's not something I would do today,
  but as a starting collector I thought the whole episode
  was great fun."

  One more story, printed in Rare Coin Review #142 (on
  the numismatic works of Fred Reinfeld), but worth
  repeating in this context---

  "Fred Reinfeld's most frequent collaborator was Burton
  Hobson, who is perhaps best remembered for Historic
  Gold Coins of the World, a lavishly photographed book
  from 1971 featuring hundreds of gold coins in color from
  the ANS collection.  Hobson, today the chief operating
  officer of Sterling Publishing, related the story of
  his introduction to the company: "I started in the
  Marshall Field's coin department when still in school
  at the University of Chicago, then continued as manager
  for five years.  I met David Boehm, president of Sterling,
  who wanted to sell me a book called Coinometry.  I
  replied that it wasn't the kind of book my customers
  wanted, to which he said, 'Why don't you write that
  book?' ".

  Last week Larry Gaye wrote about the coin department at the
  old Hudson's department store in Detroit.  Tom DeLorey writes:
  "I too used to visit the coin department at Hudson's when I
  was a student at Wayne State University in Detroit. In
  pleasant weather I would walk down Woodward Avenue after
  classes and visit used book stores along the way, drop in
  at Hudson's and Earl Shill's store behind them, and then
  catch the Plymouth Rd. express bus home.

  One day I found a pristine first edition Redbook at one of
  the used book stores for 75 cents. I think it was the original
  price it had sold for in 1946, and the used book dealer simply
  resold it at that. When I got to Hudson's I showed the guy
  behind the counter my find, and he generously offered to double
  my money. I declined."

  David Palmer writes: "With regard to Department Store Coin
  counters, I used to be dropped off at the Gimbel's Coin Dept.
  at the Roosevelt Field Mall, in Garden City, NY, by my mother
  when she went shopping, which seemed quite often. The man
  that ran the counter was named Art Diamond. When all other
  coin shops basically told me to get lost, as I was too young
  to spend enough money for them, he took the time to teach me
  about coins, and a little about life along the way. He would
  talk to me as long as a "real" customer didn't show up (this
  was our little joke.) I saw many coins that I would never
  have seen otherwise, and was able to buy things quite
  reasonably, to me anyway. He taught me how to buy Morgan
  dollars, and I picked out some real beauties, for $3 each.
  They were DMPL 80 & 81-S's mostly, but when I decided to
  sell them, I made quite alot of money, thank to him. Without
  his tutelage, I would have dropped out of the hobby, which
  constantly reminds me to be kind to the children that come
  up and ask questions at shows. I also try to have a few
  coins around to give them. I was very sad when I found out,
  upon returning from the Air Force, that he had passed away.
  I shall always remember him, and thank him for his time and
  effort on my behalf. Thanks for letting me pay tribute to a

  Dave Lange writes: "A few weeks before we got into this
  current discussion, I had posted a message on a San Francisco
  oral history forum inquiring whether anyone else from that
  area had fond memories of the coin shops I remembered from
  my youth. In my own posting I happened to mention that I had
  stopped going to one shop in a poor neighborhood after I got
  mugged coming out of it in broad daylight. The first person
  to respond with his own posting seemed to miss the theme of
  my reminiscences and proceeded to detail how he makes a point
  of carrying a gun with him wherever he goes, no one is going
  to rob him, yada yada yada . . . This may or may not have
  discouraged further submissions, but there were just a couple
  more postings after that. I'm mentioning this experience
  only as an observation of how civilized our message forum
  is in comparison to many others. It's always refreshing to
  open the E-Sylum on Monday mornings and be reminded that
  there are interesting and intelligent people out there.

  As long as I'm giving thanks, I'd like to acknowledge how
  much I've enjoyed the articles posted by Dick Johnson and
  Michael Schmidt regarding the history of coining technology.
  I've saved these and mounted them sequentially in my
  scrapbook. I'm certain I'll refer to this information time
  after time."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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