The retirement of the ubiquitous and prolific numismatist, author, and columnist Q. David Bowers from his American Numismatic Association and Coin World columns was announced earlier this week. We at Coin Update and Mint News Blog have a similar announcement to make regarding his weekly “Bowers on Collecting” column. As keen readers may have already noticed, we have been publishing some more of his archived work in previous weeks as his active workload was gradually trimmed down toward retirement.
Bowers’ earliest piece on Coin Update was “Tribute to Saint-Gaudens by de Francisci,” and he has since been a frequent contributor. In January 2018, his “Bowers on Collecting” column commenced, and ever since he has provided his unique insight to Coin Update readers on a weekly basis.
One can hardly think of numismatics without the name “Bowers” coming to mind. His work has inspired, enlightened, and contributed to the hobby in an incalculable number of ways. From his writing and consulting with Whitman Publishing (made formal in 2003 when he joined the firm as Numismatic Director), to his active roles in the retail and auction markets (since the 1950s), to fostering and collaborating in historical research (also since the 1950s, including as a founder of the Rittenhouse Society), Bowers has made his mark in every way a person can in the hobby. He is known for his encyclopedic memory about coins and the history behind them, recalling every detail in a manner so similar to his published content that the two are irrevocably married.
We will continue to rerun occasional articles selected from the archive of his weekly “Bowers on Collecting” column. And Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker assures Coin Update readers that there are new Bowers books in the works, covering U.S. quarter eagles and half eagles, private and territorial gold coins, obsolete paper money, the history of coin collecting in America since colonial times, and other topics, including his own autobiography.
Having personally worked with Dave Bowers, I can say it’s been an experience I will never forget. Those of us in the hobby are undoubtedly standing on the shoulders of giants.