The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 27, Number 18, May 5, 2024, Article 15


E-Sylum Feature Writer and American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on Cyrus H. Phillips, Sr. and his sons, who all promoted numismatics through exhibiting, speaking and writing. Thanks! -Editor

After the story last week about bank exhibitions, there was strong public demand for another story about one of the exhibitors.

  Cyrus Harold Phillips, Sr. (1905-1989)

Cyrus H. Phillips, Sr. Cyrus H. Phillips was born in New Jersey on December 28, 1905, the son of William A. (1874- ) and Hattie Van de Sandt Phillips (1876- ). He was married to Hazel and had two sons, Cyrus Jr. and Wayne who both went into the coin business.

Phillips began his banking career with the Seaboard National Bank of New York in 1929. He was employed with the United States Trust Co. of New York for 15 years. By 1951 he had moved to California and was affiliated with the Monrovia branch of Bank of America. Later he was with the public relations department for Bank of America. Still later he was a business development representative for the bank.

Phillips joined the ANA in 1944 as member 10100 from Tenafly, New Jersey. His ads began to appear in The Numismatist a year later under the name of Cyrus H. Phillips. The ads offered catalogs for mail bid sales. In 1947 he was awarded a blue ribbon for participation in National Coin Week.

  Monrovia Bank Display

Phillips used his coin collection to create an exhibit for the bank. The first display was on June 5, 1954, at the Monrovia, California, branch of the Bank of America. The bank arranged for a permanent loan of one of their sets of colored slides from the ANA. Phillips took his exhibit and the ANA slides to programs around the community.

In 1956, the Bank of America reported on their educational program Historical Background of American Coinage. Their exhibit and colored slides provided by the ANA had been shown to 45,976 students and teachers at 168 schools plus 1483 adults at 26 different service clubs for a total showing of 47,459. Attendance dropped off over the next few years. In 1965, the ANA reported that the program had been seen by one-quarter million people in the previous ten years.

A 1959 item in the Press Telegram (and others) described Phillips as past president of the American Numismatic Society. The ANS History does not support that claim.

He was a member of the American Numismatic Association, a member of the California Numismatic Association and a charter member of the Southern California Numismatic Association.

In 1990, Rare Coin Review reported that Phillips Sr. had given more than a thousand talks on numismatics between the 1950's and his death on August 20, 1989.

  Cy Phillips, Jr. Wayne C. Phillips

  Cyrus Harold Phillips, Jr. (1931-2001)

Cyrus H. Phillips, Jt. was born in New Jersey on February 24, 1931, the older son of Cyrus H. Phillips, Sr. He married Hope Hobbs Eckhout in 1961. Their children were Patty and David.

He began collecting stamps at age 4 and coins at age 11. He opened a shop with his dad and brother in 1960. He opened S. C. Coin & Stamp as a corporation on September 8, 1976.

He joined the ANA in 1961 as K-48248. In the ANA he was generally known as Cy Phillips, Jr.

A 1975 article stated, Guest speaker will be Cyrus H. Phillips, Jr., philatelist and numismatologist. In another article he was described as a professional lecturer. In 1978-79, he conducted four mail bid sales in The TAMS Journal.

In 1984, The Golden Rain Beach Leisure World News started, He is reported to be the world's most active speaker on the subject of coins giving on the average 150 talks each year.

In 1991 he claimed to have given more than 1500 talks in the past fifteen years.

He died on December 11, 2001.

  Wayne C. Phillips (1942-2014)

Wayne C. Phillips was born in New Jersey on August 26, 1942, the younger son of Cyrus H. Phillips, Sr. He married Alice C. Criswell on December 31, 1963.

In 1960, he was the general manager for S. C. Stamp and Coin Company working for his brother, Cy Phillips, Jr. He also did business as Wayne C. Phillips Rare Coins with an address in Phillips Ranch, California. He specialized in ancient coins and was noted for his collection of Roman Sestertii.

Wayne C. Phillips contributed a column to Coin World, Let's talk Ancients' beginning in 1990. There are no reports that he made talks to the public.

He died in March 2014 and is buried in Forest Lawn Memorial Park in Covina, California.

  - - -

Presenting an educational program to non-numismatists may be a service to the hobby. It may encourage others to pursue coin collecting. Every time the speaker is mentioned in the paper, it is free publicity. The public contact may provide leads to buy collections. Someone who attends the talk may remember the speaker five years later when they have to deal with an estate liquidation. Self-promotion is a sound business strategy.

Quite true, as is the opposite statement - if no one knows you as a coin person, they'll never reach out to you about coins, whether buying or selling. Public relations is important. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Heritage E-Sylum ad 2024-05-05

Wayne Homren, Editor

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