The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 21, May 26, 2013, Article 9


Alan Weinberg writes:

On the PCGS Message Boards Coin forum there is a discussion concerning the publication of Karl Moulton's Ford/Franklin hoard book. I went thru the printed layout of the book over a 30-40 min period at FUN at Holabird's table. The massive book appeared to be complete at that point. One of the things I'm most eager to see is the correspondence between Ford and many luminaries in the hobby at the time- Kosoff, Norweb, Stack's , etc.

Here are a couple excerpts, with a follow-up from Karl Moulton. -Editor

Ford Franklin Hoard book cover

Last year, Karl Moulton was supposed to publish a "tell-all" book about John J. Ford, Jr. and his connection to the Franklin Hoard USAOG 20's. I was tempted to order the book, but in the end, I couldn't justify the price. To this day, I have seen no further information about the book, even on Karl's website. Has it indeed been published?

Karl Moulton responded:

When a 500 page draft was shown around at the 2009 ANA convention in Los Angeles, word of the forthcoming book got to Paul Franklin, oldest son of Gerow Paul Franklin - the namesake of the "Franklin Hoard".

A visit was arranged for October. Because of the large amount of previously unknown background information that was so graciously presented by Mr. Franklin, a nearly complete, 7 month re-write was undertaken, thus delaying the book until later this year.

Not wanting to create a 10 pound book resulted in the deletion of several hundred Ford letters to individuals in the 1950s-1970s, however, the pertinent letters regarding Franklin Hoard material and the marketing of such items (most have never been seen) will be included in their entirety.

To read the complete forum exchange, see:

Alan Weinberg writes:

I sure hope Karl does not edit out some of the Ford private correspondence letters that gives the reader some insight into the man himself. It astonishes me just how many "experienced numismatists" on the PCGS Coin Forum never met or knew Ford. Guess I am getting old.

Karl Moulton ( ) adds:

There will hundreds of John Ford letters included, along with several of his personal invoices. The book is due to be sent from the U.S. printer on May 28th. I will be sending out all pre-order copies as soon as they arrive in Arizona.

Any orders between now and the 7th of June will be sent out immediately. Orders placed after that time will be sent around the first of August, due to being away for several weeks.

The book is hardbound and has 924 pages (with numerous color plates). Order price is $250 postpaid. I'll have a copy with me at ANA in Chicago to show people and will be taking orders.

Karl also forwarded the acknowledgements section of the book. -Editor

Q. David Bowers - This highly respected American numismatic dealer and author made useful, constructive comments, and provided several personal items from his various interactions with John J. Ford, Jr. He also reviewed and helped edit the text.

Dr. Richard (Dick) Doty - Numismatic curator, researcher, and author who was extremely helpful in providing color images of items from the National Numismatic Collection housed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

Paul Franklin - Son of Gerow Paul Franklin, reviewed the text and unselfishly provided items of interest from his father's estate; all of which had been previously inaccessible.

Dan Hamelberg - Numismatist and owner of the largest private American numismatic library. The original Ford correspondence used in this work, now resides in his collection.

Dennis Hengeveld - Enthusiastic collector and dealer of American coinage, provided color images from the Bank of California exhibit of western money located in San Francisco.

J. Wayne Hilton - Confederate States of America collector and author who was the original purchaser of the Ford correspondence in 2005 and was gracious enough to allow the author to obtain copies.

Fred Holabird - Author, mining geologist, and cataloguer reviewed the text and made many suggestions. His research into assay bars has been exemplary; he is the foremost authenticator for this type of material, and is president of Holabird-Kagin Americana.

Larry Holcomb - Provided commentary on the S. S. Brother Jonathan shipwreck, a $500 gold bar, and his interactions with Gerow Paul Franklin and John J. Ford, Jr.

Wayne Homren - Author and helpful editor of The E-Sylum, the electronic newsletter of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. He is always willing to field inquiries and help educate.

Dr. Donald Kagin - Reviewed the text and is a leading dealer in American numismatics that specializes in western gold issues, among other things. He is an author who is also the editor of the Brasher Bulletin, the newsletter of the Society of Private and Pioneer Numismatists (SPPN).

George F. Kolbe - Numismatic literature dealer extraordinaire, cataloguer of the two part John J. Ford, Jr. library, along with many others, since beginning in business in 1967.

Robert D. Leonard, Jr. - Reviewed part of the text and provided extensive research into pre-1950 collectors and dealers who handled western assay bars.

Eric P. Newman - One of the most respected American numismatists. This collector, researcher, and author studies and exposes counterfeit items, and offered unique historical records from his investigations into the genuineness of numerous "Franklin Hoard" pieces.

Dan Owens - Author and researcher reviewed the text, provided material, and spent countless hours consulting on the latest research surrounding the gold and silver "Franklin Hoard" items.

Steve M. Tompkins - Collector, author, and good friend, who was responsible for the layout, design and all of the graphics seen in this book. He also provided helpful editing on numerous occasions.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NEW BOOK: JOHN J. FORD, JR., AND THE FRANKLIN HOARD (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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