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The E-Sylum:  Volume 10, Number 6, February 11, 2007, Article 4

NUMISMATICS IN FICTION: WILLIAM VEACH AND THE GOLDEN FROG

Roger Moore writes: "My interest in William N. Veach began during
the first few years of the Twenty First Century, when I volunteered
to be the moderator for the Virginia Colonial Coin Internet Research
eSIG Group developed by Jim Spilman.  As I delved into the numismatic
history of the Virginia coinage, I was lead to a series of newsletters
devoted to this coinage, published by William Veach between August
1990 and June 1993.

"The publication was called 'The Generation Newsletter', and it was
readily apparent that the editor was one of the few people in the
world with an in-depth appreciation and knowledge of the Virginia
coinage.  By hook and crook I was able to obtain a full set of these
Newsletters and learned that Mr. Veach had also written a book called
'The Gold Frog', which he had distributed to the readership of his
newsletter.

"My curiosity was peaked as to why the readers of a Virginia coinage
based newsletter would have an interest in such a novel, but my primary
curiosity was “what had happened to William Veach”?  He seemed to have
disappeared in 1995 and no one knew where he was.  Google searches,
Internet investigations and telephoning all the previous subscribers
of 'The Generation Newsletter' did not solve the mystery.  However,
having feelers out finally paid off and I was able to locate the
mystery man in a peaceful Florida retirement.

"It is from him that I received a signed copy of 'The Gold Frog' (I
had also gotten a copy during my unsuccessful attempt to find him
while calling all his previous subscribers.)  I am very happy to say
that we have continued to communicate and he will be a co-author on
a paper that will be coming out in The Colonial Newsletter in August
which discusses Virginia coinage forgeries.

"Now the real reason I write this summary is for the numismatic
bibliophile who is most like unfamiliar with The Gold Frog.  This
book is not only a fantasy novel but is also a numismatic riddle.
It was written in 1991 and self-published by the author using
Business Images, Inc. with a publication run of 500 copies.

"The prose are unusual and the story line is reminiscent of Alice
in Wonderland, but with a decidedly Virginia coinage twist.  In
essence, Mr. Veach provides hints throughout the book concerning a
“hidden treasure”.  In hunting for the treasure a Virginia coin turns
up in the story line and it is actually pictured in the book.  In
fact, the Virginia colonial coin is the only photograph in the book.

"I belatedly found out from the author that his photo has major
significance.  However, to elucidate this significance you need to
be an astute student of the Virginia coinage series.  To use the
author’s own words to describe the book, 'this story is not merely
a simple work of fiction, for there is that single, irrevocable thread
of historic and romantic presence of an era gone by, a land with a
dream, a people with a destiny and rigid standards set by men who
lived “the old ways”.'

"Though there will be no Pulitzer nominations for this book, it does
nicely fit into the numismatic library for those with an eclectic, if
not very eccentric, interest in unusual literature associated with
colonial coins."

[Roger has donated copies of The Golden Frog book to the American
Numismatic Society (ANS) and the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4)
libraries in Mr. Veach's name.  -Editor]

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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