First of all, have a Happy Thanksgiving. Here in the United States of America, the vast majority of us have a lot to be thankful for. Plus, good thoughts and prayers for those who are in the midst of difficulties, such as those who have had losses by fire in California, those struggling with drug abuse, and more.
I keep hoping that America will experience a Golden Age. It is sad that we are fighting wars in a half dozen countries that have not threatened us, and that we are spending untold billions of dollars on military and arms, while arts, sciences, and education are struggling for funds. It is my hope that Congress will change its priorities and, for once, consider what will benefit the electorate instead of military contractors. Things have not changed. I illustrate a Civil War token from 1863.
Changing the drift slightly, one way to increase the enjoyment of life is to become deeply involved in numismatics. This necessarily involves learning, and learning involves reading. Since 2003, Whitman Publishing has issued over 300 titles! I have contributed my share of these. Check the Whitman website.
Among my favorites are these:
- The Expert’s Guide to Collecting and Investing in Rare Coins. This is listed at just $19.95. I have been told several times that reading it is like taking a university course in numismatics. If you want to buy just one book on Black Friday or Cyber Monday, pick this title. By the way, as numismatic director of Whitman, I do not get a royalty on copies sold. Accordingly, I hope you will agree that my recommendations are in your best interest, not mine.
- The Official Red Book of Morgan Silver Dollars, now in its sixth edition, has been a best seller. It is necessarily specialized to the title subject and will tell you just about everything you want to know. $19.95.
- A Guide Book of Civil War Tokens, now in its 3rd edition, is listed at $39.95 and will keep you busy reading for at least a couple of days. This popular series has hundreds of varieties that are available in high grades for less than $100 per token.
- A Guide Book of Mercury Dimes, Standing Liberty Quarters, and Liberty Walking Half Dollars, $29.95, opens the door to these three popular and widely collected series.
- 100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens,$29.95, is a large-format color-illustrated book that if published elsewhere would probably cost twice as much. This is another of my all-time favorites.
- Lost and Found Coin Hoards and Treasures, $39.95, is a treasure in itself and is another book that will keep you occupied for an evening or two (or three).
For more, go to the Whitman website.
Again, Happy Thanksgiving to you, your family, and your friends.
If you wish to reach out to me for commentary, questions, or suggestions, I can be contacted via e-mail at