The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 20, Number 37, September 10, 2017, Article 9

COLIN R. BRUCE, II (1939-2017)

I was sorry this week to learn from George Cuhaj of the passing of Colin R. Bruce, longtime editor of multiple Krause Publications catalogs. Clifford Mishler supplied this remembrance. Thank you. -Editor

Colin Bruce
Colin in his office at Krause Publications (Image courtesy George Cuhaj)

Colin R. Bruce, II Succumbs to Cancer

Colin R. Bruce, II, long-time editor and author at Krause Publications, succumbed to cancer on Sunday, September 3, 2017, at Iola Living Assistance following an extended fight with the disease. He was 77 years old. Raised in the Buffalo area of upstate New York, he had been a resident of Iola, Wisconsin, since 1974, having served as a member of the world coin and paper money cataloging staff from then until his retirement in 2008.

Bruce was especially interested in and knowledgeable of the numismatic issues of Mexico, China, Japan, and the Indian Princely States. Through the years he developed an international network of enthusiasts and experts in wide-ranging specialty areas, through both his staff and pre-Krause involvements as a part-time dealer operating out of North Tonawanda, N.Y., upon whose expertise he successfully built to grow and refine the “Standard Catalog” reference line.

“Colin Bruce was an outstanding cataloger of world numismatic issues,” former Krause Publications president Clifford Mishler observed. “He was, in my opinion, in a global sense, the most outstanding numismatic cataloger of his era."

“Colin was to the world coin and paper money collecting disciplines what R. S. Yeoman was to the United States coin field a couple generations before,” Mishler continued. “He was tirelessly dedicated to expanding the realm of knowledge available to collectors for fostering their development in, and resulting benefits realized from pursuit of the world collecting realm.”

SCWC 1601-1700 6th ed A major specialist contributor to the first and second editions of the Standard Catalog of World Coins (Krause-Mishler), published in 1972 and 1973, Bruce came on board at Krause Publications in 1974 and spearheaded publication of the third edition in 1975 as its editor. He was the lead cataloger and editor of all subsequent editions published annually through the 35th published in 2007, during which time it expanded from a single volume reference of about 1000 pages, to a massive five-volume set comprising a combined 6000-plus pages, covering all issues from the early 17 th century to the early 21 st century.

Pick World Paper Money 4rd edition Bruce similarly served as the lead cataloger and founding editor of the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money (Pick), the first edition of which appeared in 1975, and of the ongoing editions that appeared prior to his retirement. That original 720-page reference grew to become a three-volume set – dedicated to General Issues, Modern Issues, and Specialized Issues – that embraced some 4000 total pages.

He was also responsible for the content and appearance of several specialized country and regional catalogs, drawn from consultant relationships and the Standard Catalog coin and paper money databases, that were published in the intervening years. Multitudes of varieties and dates of known coinage types, generally unrecognized except by specialized scholars, were first chronicled for the collecting universe as a result of his digging.

Bruce also found time to assemble and organize the diverse universe of non-governmental “coin” issues for publication of the popular Unusual World Coins, a title first published in 1987. He also authored numerous specialized articles and features published from time to time in World Coin News and the Bank Note Reporter over the years.

“From the mid-1970s onward, the materials compiled and published under Colin's direction were a major contributor to the great expansion of collecting interest, pursuit and satisfaction in the world coin collecting realm from the early 1600s onward into the 21st century,” Mishler observed. “His capabilities in unraveling the often mysterious and challenging issues of Southeast Asia, which were of particular merit for the first two editions of the SCWC, first connected Chet Krause and myself with him.”

A lifelong coin collector, Bruce had first become an aficionado of the coins of Mexico while serving in the United States Army (1962-65) and based in El Paso. He subsequently became enamored with the challenge of understanding and gathering the coins and paper money issues of Japan, and China, along with the offerings of other Asian countries. His appreciation and understanding of all world numismatic issues spread much broader afield.

“Colin's passing will certainly be missed by all who made his acquaintance along the line, but particularly so by those of us who worked beside and with him in pursuing enlightenment of the world numismatic realm,” Mishler concluded. “He and his contributions will be long remembered by us all.”

Books edited by Colin Bruce

George Cuhaj adds:

Some of his other publications were:

Standard Catalog of German Coins, (several editions) edited with N. Douglas Nicol,

Standard Catalog of South Asian Coins and Paper Money, 1982 with William Spengler,

Collecting World Coins,

World Gold Coins,

Modern World Gold Coins, and

Standard Catalog of Mexican Coins, Paper Money, Bonds and Medals

How E-Sylum readers can help
George adds:

Colin had been cremated. There is a memorial service at 7 PM on Tuesday Evening September 12, 2017 with visitation from 6-7 PM at Voie's Funeral Home in Iola, Wi. In leu of flowers please consider the instructions below.

His protracted illness had a devastating impact on Colin and his wife Kandy. Subsequent to his death, Kandy is faced with severe financial hardship. Over the years, Colin may have mentioned to some of you how he and Kandy provided a home for a multitude of abandoned “critters”. Kandy is now faced with the continued care of 20+ cats – her beloved family. Kandy's struggles will continue for some time. Please honor your memory of Colin – or your love of animals – by sending your financial support to: Kandy "the Kitties c/o Randy Thern, P.O. Box 433, Waupaca, WI 54981. Please forward this message to anyone you can. Or via Paypal to via the "Friends "Family" link so that Paypal fees are not removed.

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