CDN Publishing contributing editor Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez wrote an article interviewing John Highfill of the National Silver Dollar Roundtable.
Here's an excerpt; see the complete article online. The Donnie Osmond story is a riot! -Editor
John Highfill is known as a silver dollar guru. Having founded the National Silver Dollar Round Table in 1982 and a decade later published his
landmark 1,200-page tome, The Comprehensive U.S. Silver Dollar Encyclopedia (Oklahoma Coin Exchange, 1992), Highfill is indelibly linked to numismatics.
It's a reputation he has only further cemented by serving on the boards of governors for significant organizations like the ANA and ICTA.
In so many ways, Highfill isn't your ordinary numismatist—and not just because he's risen to the top of the hobby. The 76-year-young Highfill can still run
cartwheels around his “cartwheels,” and that's in part because he's learned how to roll with the punches. This renaissance man has been as successful outside
of coin collecting as he's been in numismatics. During his days in the record industry, he once rubbed elbows with the likes of popular artists Elvis Presley,
Kenny Rogers, Karen Carpenter, and Donny Osmond. He later had a lucrative brush with the famous 1990s-era plush collectibles known as Beanie Babies. According
to Highfill, the numerous successes he's enjoyed in his long and colorful career has simply been a matter of “luck.” Maybe so… Or, perhaps, he's just thought
outside the box all of these years.
... 1982, that was the beginning of the National Silver Dollar Roundtable. In 1982, we were in Houston, Texas, I had a meeting with Ken Bressett and Leonard
Albright from ANACS. And the controversy at the time, when they were still using pictures of the coins in a Ziploc bag or whatever. It was all nuance. At the
time, they had the position that the grade on the back of the coin had nothing to do with the grade for the rest of the coin, and they weren't double grading
it. We had some disagreements on the grading, and I said I had a bunch of guys who were with me on the grading. And somehow, I become the leader of these guys,
and that's when I formed the National Silver Dollar Roundtable, and I signed up 100 guys right there at the show.
I've always been about education and promoting learning—the NSDR was founded on those principals. I've also done over 100 seminars. Well, eventually we
began working in a new grade—64. We were the founders of the “64” grade. And within a year so, Greysheet began reporting prices for the 64 grade and so. And
now we've got 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, so on. I've also been on the Board of Governors of the ANA, ICTA, and NSDR. And last year my organization awarded me with
a legacy award, the John W. Highfill Lifetime Achievement Award. And I've got to admit, that honor felt pretty good.
To read the complete article, see:
The Kaleidoscopic Career of John Highfill
Wayne Homren, Editor
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