The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 27, Number 5, February 4, 2024, Article 8

HARRY W. GARRISON II (1941-2024)

New Jersey dealer Harry Garrison has passed. Here's an excerpt from his online obituary. -Editor

Harry Garrison Harry (Bud) W. Garrison, 82, of Cream Ridge, passed away Wednesday, January 3, 2024 from pancreatic cancer. Born in Trenton, Harry graduated from Hamilton High East and Marywood College and served in the US Army. He worked for McGraw Hill for 38 years, retiring in 2000. An avid coin collector, Harry turned his hobby into a career when he opened Colonial Valley Coins in Yardville. He sold the business in 2023. He was a long-time member of the Trenton Numismatic Club. Harry also enjoyed fishing, boating, and trips to "the lake" in Canada.

Son of the late Harry and Ruth Garrison, he was predeceased by his brother, Robert Garrison. Harry is survived by his loving wife of 62 years, Judith A. Garrison, his children, Deborah Garrison, Wesley Garrison and his wife, Veronica, Jacob Garrison and his wife, Melissa, and Asia Garrison; his grandsons, Jacob Garrison, William Garrison, Connor Guarniere, and Chase Garrison; his sister, Lorraine Wilson and her husband, Lynn as well as many nieces and nephews.

Ray Williams writes:

"He was a local coin dealer who opened Colonial Valley Coins after retiring. I don't think there was a collector in New Jersey that didn't know Harry."

Ray and his wife Diane shared this article she wrote some 24 years ago about one of Ray's transactions with Harry. Thanks. -Editor

A Numismatic New Year
By Diane Williams (Mrs. Ray Williams)

12-31-1999 millennium coin sales Harry Garrison and Ray Williams 1 12-31-1999 millennium coin sales Harry Garrison and Ray Williams 2   Millennium Coin Sales: Harry Garrison and Ray Williams

The time is 11:59:55 PM on December 31, 1999. The end of the century – the end of the second millennium! Where do I find myself on this momentous occasion? In Times Square watching the ball drop? Hardly! At a festive party, with family and friends, watching the ball drop on TV? Not exactly… I find myself in the not-quite-open-for-business, new location of Colonial Valley Coins, camera poised and ready to record a transaction between my husband, Ray Williams and the proprietor, Harry Garrison. A small transaction, Ray selling Harry a roll of Connecticut quarters, but a transaction none the less. The last of the millenium? Perhaps...

Seventeen seconds later, 12:00:12 AM on January 1, 2000, as the sound of the town fireworks echo through the windows and the TV in the next room faintly delivers the celebration in Times Square, my camera is flashing again. This time it's Harry selling Ray an R6 Connecticut Copper (M14.2-A.2 for all Ray's Colonial friends). The first transaction of the new millenium? It's hard to say.

I can't help but imagine that at 12:00:12 AM GMT in a little coin shop overlooking the Thames, that some British coin collector and his dealer friend are conducting similar business with the bright flashes of the London fireworks display lighting up the shop through the windows. Or maybe a couple of hours earlier, a tiny shop in the narrow streets of Bethlehem has two numismatists huddled over a counter conducting their business with an eye on the clock and making history.

But whether the actual last and first numismatic transactions of 1999 and 2000 in the world or not, I know this much –If nothing else, they were the last and first millennial transactions in Hamilton, NJ! And perhaps the way I spent New Year's Eve 1999 wasn't in the most festive or exciting or traditional manner, but it made two really nice guys smile from ear to ear, so I can't think of a better way to start the next millennium!

To read the complete online obituary, see:
Harry W. Garrison II (

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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