The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 24, Number 27, July 4, 2021, Article 21


Bob Campbell's All About Coins Inc, will be selling the Irv Ratcliffe collection of Mormon and Utah medals and trade tokens at the September 3, 2021 NATCA convention in Salt Lake City. With permission, here's an article about Irv from the July 2021 issue of The Mint Master from the Utah Numismatic Society. -Editor

Irv Ratcliffe collection Irvin (Irv) Hale Ratcliffe

Irvin Hale Ratcliffe was born in 1930 in Roanoke, Virginia. As the third of eleven children he learned to work hard at an early age. When he was ten years old, one of his chores included walking some distance to a neighbor's house to buy milk. His mother would provide him with Indian Head Pennies, Buffalo Nickels, and the occasional Standing Liberty Quarter. Irv was fascinated with these older coins.

Money was very tight at the Ratcliffe farm. but on rare occasions his mother would give him an old well-worn coin. lrv treasured these coins and the special bond with his mother, and it was at this young age that his interest in collecting started. However, Irv did comment that as a youth his collection was always safe until summer arrived and the ice cream man came by the farm.

Irv moved to Utah during his youth and was educated at Weber College (Weber State University) in Accounting and Social Work. He was a devoted husband and father to his four children. Irv's interest in collectables continued after working with Alvin Rust at Chevron, Standard Oil of California. Alvin left to start his own coin shop and Irv became a regular customer and life-long friend. Irv originally loved Lincoln Pennies and Morgan Dollars, but his interests soon expanded to include plates, watches, tokens, and memorabilia from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Irv frequently commented that his biggest issue with collecting was not being able to focus on any single group of collectibles. He had a passion for history and loved being able to hold pieces of it in his hands.

A key part of Irv's passion for collecting was the knowledge he gained and adventures he experienced tracking down his next purchase. He loved researching historical data and visiting unique locations throughout Utah and the western United States. Saturdays were generally reserved for trips that were in part history lessons and treasure hunts. He was as excited about finding a new item as he was about finding a better-quality version of a piece he already owned.

He was also passionate about his coin club membership and was President of the Utah Numismatic Society in 1974. He attended the first meeting of the National Utah Token Society on January 27, 1982 and had genuine pride in his collection of "NUTS" medals. Irv was also able to share his talent when he was asked to be on the committee designing the Bountiful, Utah medal celebrating 150 years as a City in 1997.

Irv loved to share his knowledge about coins, tokens and other collectibles. He frequently exhibited portions of his collection and won 1st Place, People's Choice, and Best in Show multiple times. Irv didn't discuss his awards or display them, but he would often talk about the people he met. However, many people may actually know his wife Danny better because Irv would bring her to the exhibits and then leave her in charge while he went off scouting for his next great acquisition.

Irv commented that he was never more comfortable than when he was with his fellow hobbyists and he took great pride in helping other people learn more about collecting and collectibles. The Ratcliffe Family would especially like to thank Bob Campbell for helping put together this auction. Bob started attending, U.N.S. meetings when lrv was President and Bob was a mere teenager, and the two have always had a special bond.

The Ratcliffe Family

For more information on the clubs, see:
Utah Numismatic Society (
The National Token Collectors Association (

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