Author and researcher David Lange submitted this update on the market for rare coin boards. Thanks! -Editor
I try not to bother E-Sylum readers with too much coin board activity, but there was a significant series of listings this week that brought extremely strong prices.
Three boards published by Lincoln Printing Company of Los Angeles in the late 1930s set new price records. The boards appear to grade VF-NM, an almost unheard-of level for this
elusive publisher's boards, which typically are found grading VG-F or lower.
The three titles are for INDIAN HEAD PENNIES, LINCOLN HEAD PENNIES and BUFFALO NICKELS, respectively. The first is listed in my 2019 Value Guide at $65, yet it brought $96. The
Lincoln Cent board, which is of the most often seen variety for this brand, realized $86 against a published value of $50 in VF. Most desirable was the very scarce board for
Buffalo Nickels, and this brought $83 against a VF value of $65. I believe that it would have brought even more if it hadn't been the first of the three to sell. Once bidders
became aware of the fierce competition the stakes were raised for the remaining two boards. As it turns out, I was the disappointed underbidder on all three, and I would have bid
even more if I'd known how much someone else wanted them. I suspect that the winner placed "nuclear" bids ahead of time and was surprised at having to pay such high
Since I already have these varieties in similar grades within my own collection, my reason for bidding so strongly was that they all feature one or more vendor stamps for
Maurice Scharlack, the Texas coin dealer most famous for his extensive promotion of the 1922 cent varieties (No D and Broken D). Scharlack was the brother-in-law of Lincoln
Printing Company owner Robert Ritterband, who caught the coin bug from him. To own a vendor-stamped board from Scharlack's inventory is like having a coin from the Garrett or
Mickley Collections, at least to board collectors.
Robert and Jean Ritterband are at left, Maurice Scharlack and Nessye Levinson at right. It was taken Fourth of July, 1932 in San Antonio. This photo is courtesy of Robert
Ritterband's younger son, Lawrence, with whom I keep in touch to this day.
From the March 1943 issue of The Numismatist showing Maurice Scharlack turning in thousands of pennies to combat the shortage that resulted from the suspension of bronze
coinage in May of 1942. Supplies ran very low before the zinc cents debuted early in '43.
Wayne Homren, Editor
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