The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 35, August 19, 2012, Article 20


Harvey Stack writes:

I was at the ANA for only 3 days, last Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. I was indeed kept busy greeting friends and working for my consignors at the various sessions of our Stacks Bowers Auction.

I wanted to attend the NBS meetings but one conflicted with a presentation I made to induct Abe Kosoff into the DEALERS HALL OF FAME. That was a long luncheon meeting that conflicted with NBS that day.

Since E-Sylum readers might like to see what I said, I enclose a copy of my presentation remarks, as one of the previous dealers who was inducted last year to the Hall of Fame.

I am sure many of our members who could not be every where all the time would like to know of A. Kosoff's induction to the RARE COIN DEALERS HALL OF FAME.

Below is the text of Harvey's remarks on Abe Kosoff. The Coin Dealer Hall of Fame is sponsored by PCGS. Thanks! -Editor

abe_kosoff I have the distinct pleasure of announcing that Abraham Kosoff, (aka A. Kosoff and Abe to his friends) has be nominated to the Rare Coin Dealers Hall of Fame.

Abe entered the numismatic profession in 1930 at the age of 17 years, (two years after I was born) and began his venture through the hobby as the depression of the 1930's took hold.

His earliest contacts sold him gold coins on which he could sell to dealers and collectors for literally a few cents profit, and he also dealt with buying and selling gold scrap and artifact which fluctuated on a daily basis, and he was able to make a living .

He was an active member of the Brooklyn Coin Club which had in its membership some of the great dealers and collectors of the 1930's. These club members met once a month, had great learned discussions, showed their latest as well as cherished coins from their collections, and provided the unbelievable and rare knowledge that the collectors and dealers had during this period and shared it with the new members as well as others who were at all their meetings. The same group met with others at the growing New York Coin Club who met monthly and attracted numismatists, not only from New York but from New Jersey, Long Island, The Bronx and Westchester. as well as Connecticut.

The coins seen and knowledge acquired at these meetings was endless, and the personal knowledge obtained was priceless.

Abe Kosoff developed in this wonderful environment, and by 1937 hung out his shingle "A. Kosoff, Professional Numismatist"

In the early 1940's he met F.C.C. Boyd and their friendship led to the sale in the mid 1940's of the World's Greatest Collection,, which Abe sold on behalf of Boyd. After the second world war he partnered with Abner Kreisberg, and occasionally with Hans M.F. Schulman.

Is interests included a great interest in the growth of the Hobby and to make the dealer receive more respect from the American Numismatic Association. The professional collectors felt that the dealers were not well informed and Abe with his writings and cataloging tried to prove that the dealer was important part of the hobby.

In 1953 he and Sol Kaplan called a meeting of the major dealers who were available in New York after a coin show, met on my Uncle Joe's lawn in Queens, and set forth the formation of the what became in 1955 the PNG (the Professional Numismatic Guild), and Abe was its first president. He continued his efforts to elevate the status of the Professional dealer in the eyes of the collector.

At the same time in 1952 he led a delegation of dealers and collectors to Cairo to bid on the coins of King Farouk. Among those who went with him was Sol Kaplan, Hans M.F. Schulman, John J. Pittman, Gaston DiBello to mention some, together with bids in hand representing a number of well known collectors.

During the 1950's he conducted a number of important sales, and then in the 1970's he worked with Ken Bressett on establishing a newer form of grading known as the "Sheldon Numerical System" modeled after the one conceived by Dr. William Sheldon for "Early U.S. Large Cents". At a meeting in Colorado Springs at ANA Headquarters in 1973, a large group of professional dealers and collectors passed a resolution to adopt Numerical Grading (with reservations)

Kosoff meanwhile acted as representative and dealer to many collector, and conducted several sales during the 1950's to late 1970's.He during this period help re-write the Judd Book on Patterns, which is still used till this very day. Early in life he developed shocking white hair, and as he was always dealing an negotiating he acquired the nick name "the Silver Fox", which he accepted, but since he always admired the way B. Max Mehl developed his way in the business mostly before Abe obtained his status he always hoped to acquire the name "Dean of Numismatic" as he was called by many for his great knowledge, way of dealing and working towards elevation of the Dealers in numismatics.

During his lifetime he continued to advocate the value of the Professional dealer, and tried to promote the hobby by lecturing and writing about coins and his experiences and therefore made a major contribution to the growth and prestige the Numismatic Hobby and Profession enjoys today.

It is with great honor and pleasure I nominate Abe Kosoff to the Numismatic Dealers Hall of Fame.

To read more about the PCGS Coin Dealer Hall of Fame, see:


DAVID SKLOW - FINE NUMISMATIC BOOKS offers Mail Bid Sale No. 17 on October 6, 2012, including: Rare membership applications, envelopes and forms printed on Dr. Heath's original printing press that produced The Numismatist 1888-1893. PH: (719) 302-5686, FAX: (719) 302-4933. EMAIL: USPS: Box 6321, Colorado Springs, CO. 80934. Contact me for your numismatic literature needs!

Wayne Homren, Editor

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