The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 24, June 9, 2013, Article 8


Dan Hamelberg writes:

I checked my Kelly's Coins and Chatter, and the list in the recent E-Sylum is essentially correct. The only correction I found was in Vol. 2, the September issue is missing. As an addition, I have a 1949 issue of Coins and Chatter that appears to have been an insert for Hobbies Magazine. The format for the insert follows the same 4 page format of most all the regular issues. There is no date on the insert, but the latest date coin advertised is a 1949 commemorative.

David Fanning forwarded this information about Kelly's Coins and Chatter from the upcoming Kolbe & Fanning sale. -Editor

Kellys Coins and Chatter 445 Kelly, James. KELLY’S COINS AND CHATTER. A complete set of Kelly’s house organ, 1948–61, plus ten affiliated auction sales. 4to, self-covered as issued. Folded for mailing, else fine copies. (200.00)

A complete set of this lively house organ. Kelly’s publication schedule was erratic over the course of Coins and Chatter’s existence, with some volumes comprising twelve numbered issues, while others consisted of as few as two. His numbering scheme often went askew, making it difficult to determine what exactly makes up a complete set. To complicate matters further, he published occasional unnumbered ANA issues, as well as ten auction sales that, while separate publications, were issued with the periodical.

This set includes the following: Vol. 1 (1948), Nos. 1–7, complete. Vol. 2 (1949), Nos. 1–11, complete. Vol. 3 (1950), Nos. 1–11, plus a special ANA edition, complete. Vol. 4 (1951), Nos. 1–12 (10 was skipped), complete. Vol. 5 (1952), Nos. 1–10 (8 was skipped), complete, plus auctions 1, 2, 3, 4/5, and 6. Vol. 6 (1953), Nos. 1–9 (2–3 were skipped), plus a special ANA edition, complete, and auctions 7 and 8. Vol. 7 (1954), Nos. 1 and 2, complete. Vol. 8 (1955), Nos. 1–6, complete. Vol. 9 (1956), Nos. 1 and 2, complete. Vol. 10 (1957), Nos. 1–12, complete (the first three numbers are misidentified as being from Vol. 7). Vol. 11 (1958), Nos. 1–8, complete. Vol. 12 (1959), Nos. 1–12, complete, plus two unnumbered auctions. Vol. 13 (1960), Nos. 1–12, complete. Vol. 14 (1961), Nos. 1–6, complete.

In the interest of accuracy, it has to be mentioned that an issue of Coins and Chatter not here present was distributed in the March 1949 issue of Hobbies magazine: whether this is necessary for a complete set is subject to debate.

Though a modest publication, Kelly’s Coins and Chatter provides an excellent feel for numismatics during the time period, and their seemingly ephemeral nature meant that few issues were saved, so that significant runs are infrequently offered. Ex Del Bland library.

Tom Wetter writes:

These are the types of questions that we are hoping to address on the NBS Wiki. The entry for this item has not been completed but most of the research has. A complete set consists of 127 issues along with ten auctions sales and an unnumbered ANA issue. The volumes are broken down as follows:

Volume 1 (1948) Consists of 7 issues; numbers 1-7
Volume 2 (1949) Consists of 11 issues; numbers 1-11
Volume 3 (1950) Consists of 12 issues: numbers 1-12
Volume 4 (1951) Consists of 11 issues; numbers 1-9, 11-12. Number 10 was not used. Special ANA issue.
Volume 5 (1952) Consists of 14 issues: numbers 1-7, 9, 10. Number 8 was not used. Auctions 1, 2, 3, 4/5, 6
Volume 6 (1953) Consists of 10 issues; numbers 1, 4-9. Numbers 2 and 3 were not used; Auctions 7, 8. Unnumbered ANA issue.
Volume 7 (1954). No volume designation. Consists of 2 issues; 1-2
Volume 8 (1955) Consists of 6 issues; numbers 1-6
Volume 9 (1956) Consists of 2 issues; numbers 1-2
Volume 10 (1957) Consists of 12 issues; numbers 1-12 with numbers 1-3 having a Volume 7 designation
Volume 11 (1958) Consists of 8 issues; numbers 1-8
Volume 12 (1959) Consists of 14 issues; numbers 1-12; Auctions 9, 10
Volume 13 (1960) Consists of 12 issues; numbers 1-12
Volume 14 (1961) Consists of 6 issues; numbers 1-6

David Gladfelter writes:

James Kelly’s dating and numbering “system” for his periodical Coins and Chatter is what my Pennsylvania Dutch ancestors would describe as “all verhoodelt”. He published 127 issues on an irregular schedule from 1948 to 1961, including 119 newsletters and 8 mail bid auctions.

Remy Bourne’s tally is correct, according to Michael Sullivan who dug into this problem and reported the results in the Summer 1993 issue of The Asylum. Dave Hirt has ‘em all, except for the 8 auctions, which were sent to Kelly’s subscribers along with the newsletters. In the May 1952 issue Kelly wrote that beginning with that issue “we are starting a monthly COINS AND CHATTER Auction Sale. The listing for the first of these Sales, as well as the April issue of COINS AND CHATTER, is enclosed.”

The newsletter does contain interesting factual tidbits in with the coin advertisements, but little if any original research. An example taken at random from the February 1951 issue is captioned “Pine Tree Shilling”. It’s two paragraphs long and concludes with the sentence, “Hawthorne’s tale of the dowry given to Hull’s daughter Hannah – her weight in gold and silver, is therefore probably based on fact.” The periodical is not indexed.

David Fanning provided the image. Thanks, everyone! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: QUERY: KELLY'S COINS AND CHATTER SET (

Kraljevich esylum ad6.jpeg

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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