Colonial and early American coins are among the most interesting areas of numismatics. The Guide Book of United States Coins gives an excellent overview of the series. What is the coin you would pick to represent American numismatics if you could only select one? Louis E. Eliasberg, who formed the greatest collection of American coins ever, said his favorite was the 1652 Pine Tree shilling. Kenneth E. Bressett, long-time editor of the Guide Book made the same selection and I agree.
While not everyone can afford a nice example of this coin, there are many colonial and early American coins that can be purchased from the tens of dollars into the low hundreds. This is especially true of the copper coins of the 1780s and the George Washington coins of the 1790s.
The focal point or meeting place for enthusiasts is the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4), formed by Michael Hodder and friends in 1993. Today it numbers hundreds of enthusiastic members. Its annual meeting is coming up quickly and will be held at the Whitman Coin Expo in Baltimore two weeks from now.
Your assignment if you want to open a new door to this fascinating world: Join the Colonial Coin Collectors Club. Believe it or not, the yearly dues amount to just $31, and you get four issues of the C4 Newsletter, which might be better called a magazine.
At the Expo, Stack’s Bowers Galleries will offer hundreds of colonial and early American coins at auction. The catalog can be acquired upon application to SBG or can be viewed for free online. Check it out.
I will be there, and if you plan to attend, stop by and say hello.
For now, Happy Halloween!