In an article she wrote for Numisamtic News, E-Sylum reader Ginger Rapsus tells how she came to write her book on U.S. Clad Coinage.
Writing about coins was just as enjoyable as observing and collecting coins. I had been an English major in college and was editor of the school newspaper for years, so this was something I could do for fun.
With all of my interests, research and reading and studying, I had yet to see anything major on clad coinage. The clad coins appeared in 1965, and were definitely not favored by collectors. By 1990, the clads had been around for 25 years, but I rarely saw anything in print or any mention of them.
The changeover from silver to copper-nickel clad coins had been a major part of coin history. I wanted to read a great amount about these coins and what led up to their creation, but there just wasn't anything there. These coins, though modern, were just as much a part of U.S. coin history as any other coins, and important in their own way. All a clad collector could find to read were back issues of coin magazines. That's when I decided to do something about this missing part of coin history. I decided to write my own history of the clad coins.
I notified my collector friends about my new project. I accumulated old articles, from coin publications and newspapers, an article from a metal working magazine and lots of feedback from those who remembered when the clad coins were released. My pile of documents filled a small basket. Library books, from the ANA library and more local libraries, were also used in my research. After about five months of accumulating information, the writing began in earnest.
Writing up my research, carefully documenting the legal aspects, and featuring an entire chapter on selecting the metal for coinage took much of the time. Actually, I wrote the chapter on the metals first, it was so fascinating to me. There was the Bible bill, introduced by Sen. Alan Bible of Nevada, that could have outlawed the hobby. There were mintage figures, and the question of the 1970-D half dollar, made for collector mint sets only. I found a discrepancy in the mintage figure and the total of mint sets released. I had letters and figures from collectors who had pulled coins out of change to see what dates and mintmarks showed up the most. There were plenty of 1965, 1966 and 1967-dated coins, but hardly any 1968-D or 1969-D coins.
Bowers and Merena published the finished product in 1992. How proud I was to hold the book in my hands. Here was my research, my writing project, on a neglected area of U.S. coinage. I had used my writing and research, that I enjoyed, to contribute something big to the hobby I loved.
To read the complete article, see:
Hobby Writer Wrote History of Clad Coins
Wayne Homren, Editor
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