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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 29, July 16, 2006, Article 6

COIN MANUFACTURING BOOK RECOMMENDATION SOUGHT

Jerold Roschwalb writes: "I find your reports most interesting
and useful.  I began collecting coins several years ago when I
found that many, if not most, young people I encountered had been
denied sound education in geography and world history.  I thought,
as a former teacher, that my grandchildren would learn these
subjects because they were interested in them without knowing
it was an academic exercise.

I now have several thousand coins from 150 countries and a variety
of U.S. coins from different times.  Children are naturally curious
and I know they will ask how the coins came to be not only historically
but materially.  The Mint has some good stuff.  I found a brief
pamphlet by Denis Cooper, published by Shire in England that is very
good.  I now seek whatever else is available.

I wonder if you can advise me on texts that describe in detail
the manufacturing of coins from the making of planchets to the
striking of proofs -- today and through the ages.  Thank you for
your fine work and any assistance you may offer."

[I immediately thought of the Taylor Morrison book we discussed
earlier in The E-Sylum.  I put the question to our resident minting
technology expert, and here are his recommendations.  Any others?
-Editor]

Dick Johnson writes: "Without a doubt, the first book to give to
children is "The Buffalo Nickel" by Taylor Morrison (published 2002
by Houghton Mifflin). This exciting book will stimulate children's
interest in the subject and the field of coin collecting. Not only
does it appeal to small fry but also to adults.

Author Morrison did extensive research and got the technology of creating
coins absolutely correct so it provides a quick overview for all of
us. He applied this research to his illustrations as well as his text.
The widespread appeal of the American five-cent coin (issued 1913-38)
is verified by the fact that the U.S. Mint resurrected the
Indian-Buffalo design for the gold $50 piece issued earlier this year!

Educator Roschwalb found the Denis Ralph Cooper booklet on "Coins and
Minting" (the 1996 Shire publication). If you like this inexpensive
32-page paperback you will also enjoy his full treatment of the subject
-- "The Art and Craft of Coinmaking; A History of Minting Technology"
(published 1988 by Spink & Son). Its 264 pages are the best in English
on the subject. The author was chief engineer at the British Royal Mint
and brought a lifelong professional experience to the subject.

If the kids like something close to a textbook, get a copy of James
Wiles' "The Modern Minting Process" from the American Numismatic
Association. It's like a correspondence course - read it take the
self tests provided.

Other than these general books, it gets pretty technical in the
rest of the literature. I like Walter Breen's "Dies and Coinage"
in Hewitt's Information Series, and Richard Doty's "The Soho Mint
and the Industrialization of Money." The latter is a tribute to
Matthew Boulton who did more for the minting of coins and medals
than any other individual in the world! He not only created a mint,
but also industrialized the entire minting process."

[I'd like to add that members of the American Numismatic Association
can borrow library books by mail, so it's not necessary to seek out
and purchase these works individually, which can be difficult for the
out-of-print titles.  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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