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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 3, January 15, 2006, Article 13

LANDMARK NUMISMATIC LITERATURE NOMINATIONS

Larry Gaye writes: "Regarding landmark numismatic works -
while not pertaining to U.S. numismatics, one in my
opinion is "Monnaies Byzantines" by Rodolfo Ratto on
December 9, 1930, the first sale of a private collection
of Byzantine coinage that served as an information source
for collectors.  Not until David Sear published "Byzantine
Coins and Their Values" in 1974 was there a comprehensive
"guide" to this important series."

David Palmer writes: "With regard to Landmark Numismatic
Literature, I would nominate the EAC '75 Sale catalog.
Due to the fact that so many varieties of Connecticut
Coppers were illustrated and described, I believe it
revolutionized collecting in that area of Confederation
era coinage. Before this catalog, all the collector had
was Dr. Hall's manuscript, when you could find it, with
no pictures whatever. Collecting Connecticuts up to this
time was difficult, at best. Interestingly enough, to me
at least, is that I started collecting Large Cents and
Connecticuts in 1980, joined EAC, and never heard of
that catalog, until about 1986, when I was able to pick
up the catalog at a local coin show, along with the
Kessler-Spangenberger Sale for about $5 for the pair.
One of my better non coin purchases."

Michael E. Marotta writes; "Walter Breen's Complete
Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins created the
current standard for academic scholarship in numismatics.
The footnotes, references, documentation, and citations
made it necessary for any subsequent work to deliver the
same craftsmanship.  For a generation now, numismatic
histories cite sources: the newspapers and journals of
the time; and previous articles and books.  Beyond "U.S.
and Colonial" issues, all knowledgeable collectors expect
more from auction listings than "Coin. Date. Ruler's
Head/Legend. Eagle/Legend. Price."  Minimalist listings
define common material, while truly desirable objects
earn solid attributions.

Breen also "cracked the code" of the U.S. Mint.  He made
estimates of actual coin production by year, despite the
tallying methods for which all coins struck in a fiscal
year were counted alike, regardless of the numerals in
the exergues.  That dedicated investigation set the
standard for the best writing in our hobby."

Bill Bremmer writes: "I would nominate B. Max Mehl's
The Star Rare Coin Encyclopedia and Premium Catalogue.
Supposedly it got millions of people looking through
their change."

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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