Krause Publications recently announced a new book by Bob Van Ryzin titled
Fascinating Facts, Mysteries & Myths About U.S. Coins.
Robert R. Van Ryzin, editor of Coins, Coin Prices and Bank Note Reporter magazines, leads readers on an intriguing and entertaining journey through some of the most interesting stories of U.S. coin history, while uncovering many truths and just as many tales. For example, there's the one about the Ford Motor Company offering to give a car to anyone who found a copper 1943 cent. While it was a rare coin to find at the time, simply because the U.S. Mint changed from a copper composition to a zinc-coated steel version for that one year, the free Ford story was just a myth.
How about the story of noted numismatist J. Sanford Saltus' untimely death while cleaning his coins in 1922? At a time when coin cleaning wasn't frowned upon, it's said Saltus, president of the British Numismatic Society, was using potassium cyanide to clean silver coins he had just purchased and had ordered a bottle of ginger ale when he retired to his room that evening. Come the next day a glass with the poison and another with ginger ale were found on the dressing table of his room with a deceased Saltus beside them, according to the Numismatist. It's believed while cleaning his coins he mistakenly drank the poison instead of the ginger ale.
Among other facts, myths and mysteries featured in this book is the story of professed plagiarism in the design of the Roosevelt dime; rampant rumor of a recall of the Jefferson nickel released in 1938 due to the exclusion of the flag on the depiction of what appeared to be the White House -- which in reality was Jefferson's home, Monticello; truth and tales behind the redesign of the Standing Liberty quarter, and heated debate over the true identity of the models of the Saint-Gaudens gold $20 and the Indian Head nickel.
With so many stories to go around this book touches on some of the most noted and possibly notorious, while encouraging collectors, readers and historians to take a closer look at the past to discover how the present came to be.
In addition to serving as editor of three magazines for Krause Publications, long-time coin collector Robert R. Van Ryzin has also written Striking Impressions: A Visual Guide to Collecting U.S. Coins; Twisted Tales: Sifted Fact, Fantasy and Fiction From U.S. Coin History; and Crime of 1873: The Comstock Connection, and edited the CD "Silver Fever: The Comstock Lode to the Carson City Mint."
For more information, see:
Joe Boling adds this word of caution about online ordering:
George Cuhaj, speaking of KP's new paper money books, says "There are great price reductions available if readers order on-line at shopnumismaster.com." But if book condition is important to you (as a bibliomaniac), DON'T buy online. The fulfillment house that is shipping Krause Publications titles uses a packing method that damages more covers than not. Buy your book at a show where you can select a pristine copy.
On a separate note, Joe adds:
Regarding the American Numismatic Society publications website, I immediately went there to see what the latest edition of Numismatic Literature is. I found "Numismatic Literature has been published quarterly from 1947 to 67, semi-annually from 1968 to 1999, and irregularly since 2000." That is thoroughly unhelpful.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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