The following is an excerpt from an article by Kevin Lipton on the website of the Professional Numismatists Guild
It pains me to inform you that the numismatic community recently lost one of our longest, surviving PNG dealers, my dear friend John Rowe. Johnny was the founder of Southwest Numismatics, a PNG member since 1961. More so, Johnny forever left his mark on the numismatic world as well as every person who had the honor to spend time with him.
Johnny Rowe, a member of the ‘golden era’ of numismatics, built two of the greatest coin collections of the latter 20th century. He was a PNG member since 1961.
– KEVIN LIPTON, Friend
Johnny was a member of the “golden era” in the numismatic world, having attended ANA conventions annually since the 1950s! He is credited with having built two of the greatest coin collections in the second half of the 20th century. More specifically, his close relationship with Amon Carter Jr. allowed him the opportunity to amass a collection of coins and currency that would fetch well over $100 million if sold today, including but not limited to the finest 1794 dollar that recently sold for more than $10 million. More so, his work with John Merrill amalgamated one of the greatest collections of rare gold and territorial issues ever assembled!
I, for one, had the privilege of meeting Johnny in the summer of 1975 when I was working for Steve Ivy as a 16-year-old kid. Johnny, who made a habit of scrupulously choosing who he would befriend and share his words and wisdom with, for some reason, was willing to befriend a brash young kid from New Jersey. This most unlikely of connections paved the way for me to have an almost 50-year friendship with one of the most exceptional people and numismatic dealers that ever existed. Johnny had an almost photographic memory and his knowledge of Texas currency was unsurpassed, along with his great knowledge of U.S. gold and currency.
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