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The E-Sylum:  Volume 9, Number 41, October 8, 2006, Article 4

SUBSCRIBER PROFILE: GINGER RAPSUS

Subscriber Ginger Rapsus is the author of the 1992 book on the
United States clad coinage (published by Bowers and Merena
Galleries).  I welcomed her to The E-Sylum and mentioned that
I had a copy of her book.  She writes: "I heard about E-sylum
in Coin World and through the writings of Dave Bowers. I am
happy you bought my book; it wasn't exactly a best-seller!
I was interested in updating it, and I sent a few messages to
Whitman, but apparently they weren't interested.  I wrote the
book basically to fill a need.  Nothing had been written on
clad coins, even after they had been circulating for over 20
years.  I stopped writing from 1997-2004 or so, and since I
came back, I've been writing lots of coin articles for
different magazines, and I have completed three novels."

[Ginger's book should rightly be remembered as a landmark,
and is still valuable today.  The clad coinage was looked down
upon from day one by most in the numismatic community, and I
was guilty myself of ignoring it even though I knew better.
As Dave Bowers often writes, the time to collect something is
when no one else is interested.  I told myself on a number of
occasions that I ought to be putting aside quantities of high
grade clad coins, searching for varieties, etc., but every
time thought twice and never got started.  Like most of us,
I was just too interested in other things at the time.  I don't
regret my choices, but do wish I'd found the time (and money)
to do more along the way.  Now, over forty years have gone by
and predictably, some issues are difficult to find in high
grades and certain varieties are sky-high in price.

Her book opens with a 33-page Part I on The End of Silver Coinage
addressing the price of silver, the coin shortage and government
response, the 1964 silver dollar, etc.  Part II covers the debate
over and eventual composition of the new coins.  Part III presents
mintage figures.  I found Part IV very interesting - "Clad Coins
in Circulation and Collections" addresses the issue of how the
new coins were greeted by collectors.

"I can tell you from firsthand experience that it all but killed
interest in collecting coins out of circulation," commented Ken
Bressett.  "As hard as we tried, we just could not get people to
start collections of clad coin in Whitman folders."

Part V, "A Collection of Readings" rings true today, in an era
where all the swirl is over eliminating the cent for some of the
same reasons that chased silver out of our coinage.  Finally,
the book reprints the text of the Coinage Act of 1965.

I would recommend her book to anyone with an interest in U.S.
coinage, modern or otherwise.  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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