The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 12, March 24, 2013, Article 14


We recently discussed a 1940s dealer buying guide. Mark Johnson of Cedar Rapids, Iowa submitted this item from his blog The Coin Roll (March 17, 2013), about a 1940s fixed price list from dealer Norman Shultz of Salt Lake City, UT. Thanks! -Editor

NormanShultz17Front NormanShultz17Back

While browsing the collectibles section of our local Half Price Books I came across a small 84 page pamphlet titled the "Illustrated Catalog and Price List No. 17 of Coins, Paper Money and Medals of The United States and Foreign Countries." It is undated but the cover states "Price 25c - For Sale by Norman Shultz Numismatist P. O. Box 746, Salt Lake City, Utah." with the disclaimer: "This Cancels All Previous Lists."

The cover is grey card stock with purple text and features what appear to be watermark illustrations of the obverse and reverse of a 1794 US Dollar, an 1851 Humbert Fifty Dollar Gold Octagonal, and a 1776 Continental Dollar. The back cover reads:

"Wanted U.S. and FOREIGN Gold Coins. I will pay 30 percent over face for any of these in nice condition, $20.00 Gold Pieces, $26.00 each, and others accordingly. I also want other U.S. Coins in nice condition. Pioneer Gold Coins, Colonial Coins, Unc. Lincoln and Indian Head Cents, etc."

There is nothing to indicate who printed the pamphlet so it may have been self-published. There is no date on the pamphlet which makes for a nice, if not too difficult challenge. Norman Shultz offered "Liberty Standing Type Half Dollars" dated 1940 to 1943 for 85 cents each. Under the heading "Washington Centennial Quarters" he offered "1936 P, D or S mint, to 1943, Unc. 60c each." 1943 is also the latest year listed for uncirculated Mercury Dimes which he sold for 25 cents each.

Interestingly, the "Jefferson head" is listed under "Indian Head and Buffalo Type" nickels. The 1939-D cost 35 cents while the "1943, S or P, Part Silver. Unc." were 15 cents each.

The Lincoln Cents section includes a "1909, S mint, with V. D. B., Unc., $3.50; Fine, $2.50; V.G., $2.25. Rare." Again, 1943 is the latest date listed but unlike the part silver Jefferson nickel, no mention is made of the change to steel for the 1943 cents. For that reason, I'll guess that Mr. Shultz published this price list in 1942. It's possibly the catalog a collector would receive by answering this ad in the February, 1942 issue of Popular Mechanics.

The last page in the pamphlet is a full page ad: "Kodachrome Transparencies 35mm - Scenic Views of the West in Full Natural Color - Scenes taken with 35mm Contax Camera....each 50c or 6 for $2.50." Was Norman Shultz a photographer and numismatist or were these sold on consignment for somebody else?

After some quick research on the internet, I found Norman Shultz was not only a well known numismatist but was inducted into the ANA's Numismatic Hall of Fame in 1984. Ed Reiter interviewed Norman Shultz for the New York Times in 1981. He includes portions of that interview in his PCGS article from 1999: "Norman Shultz Longtime Dean of Numismatics".

I contacted Ed Reiter for more information on Norman Shultz, and his response is below. Thanks! -Editor

Ed Reiter writes:

I did, in fact, write a piece on Norman Shultz in my "Numismatics" column in the Sunday New York Times in 1981. I can't be more specific about the date, since that column -- like most of my Times columns from 1979 to 1989 -- got literally lost in transit during a somewhat hectic move from the Jersey Shore to North Jersey in 1990.

As I remember, Norman was soft-spoken, self-effacing and still sharp as a tack despite his advanced age, with an excellent memory for detail and a wealth of knowledge. Without question, he was one of the most fascinating people I've profiled in more than four decades as a numismatic journalist.

I never owned or even came across a price guide published by Norman, of the type Mark Johnson found. I congratulate him on his good fortune in locating it in a half-price bookstore, and look forward to future articles by Mark examining its contents.

As an aside, this seems to be a big week for Normans in my correspondence with you about The E-Sylum. First Norman Stack, now Norman Shultz. I think I'd wash my hands, though (if not my hair), of Norman Bates.

Ed forwarded a copy of his complete article on Norman Shultz. The next E-Sylum article is an excerpt. Thanks!

We have some old-timers among our readers. Did anyone else know Norman Schultz? -Editor

To read the complete article, see: A Time Traveler's Guide to Coin Collecting in the early 1940's (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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