The following is re-posted from the “Bowers on Collecting” column on Coin Update
Last week I said this, on the personal side:
At the age of 80, I am selling my extensive collection of Civil War patriotic and store card tokens via e-mail catalogs. Included are tokens from under $100 to unique Gem rarities in the thousands of dollars.
I have received at least 20 requests, and have filled many orders—much more activity than I had anticipated!
On that subject, the third edition of my Official Guide Book of Civil War Tokens, published by Whitman, seems to be flying off the shelves. If you are seeking a new specialty, these tokens combine history, many different designs, and very reasonable prices. While my list is 90% of Mint State tokens starting around $100, on eBay and at coin shows there are countless EF and AU common tokens that cost from $25 to $50. When my wife Christie and I married in 1978 and she started going to coin shows she was excited about Civil War tokens, and in a couple of days formed a nice collection in EF or so grade showing different objects—wagons, Indians, ships, sewing machines, buildings, the ironclad Monitor, Lincoln, Franklin, Washington—you name it.
The Civil War Token Society is composed of about 750 members and issues the Civil War Token Journal edited by Susan Trask and containing many articles, advertisements, and news. Remarkably, the dues are just $18 per year! Check the website and join, for a nice collecting experience.
As you know if you have been reading this column, one of my mission statements is to encourage collectors to find a niche specialty that combines affordability, a wide selection of items that are not easy to find (so as to enjoy the thrill of the chase), and for which one, two, or several reference books are available. This is the antidote to instant collecting, running out of money, and exiting numismatics, never to be heard from again!
Enjoy numismatics. Enjoy the week.
All good wishes,