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HomeCollecting StrategiesCoin Board News Number 53 - For Collectors of Antique Coin Boards

Coin Board News Number 53 – For Collectors of Antique Coin Boards

Antique Coin Boards with David W. Langewww.coincollectingboards.com …..


For Collectors of Antique Coin Boards

Number 53 — Winter 2020



The past quarter was unremarkable for the most part, though there were a few notable transactions. A four-piece lot of Oberwise boards sold on eBay for very strong money. All were in fairly nice condition, but it was the presence of two rather scarce varieties that almost certainly accounted for the final bid. The Indian Cent and Buffalo Nickel boards were of common varieties, but the Lincoln Cent board was a later printing with dates through 1946. Thus, the title was omitted to make way for the extra openings. It’s easy to see why Oberwise abandoned boards for folders exclusively a couple of years later. The Mercury Dime board also was a very scarce, later printing, with dates through 1945 and mintages through 1944. I needed that one for my own collection and was quite disappointed to miss out on it.

Also of note was an example of the rare Colonial board C10¢B2a having dates only through 1937. I was lacking this variety in my own collection, so I bid it up despite the less-than-stellar condition. A real shocker came with the sale of a rather ordinary Lincoln Printing Company board for Lincoln Cents in rough condition that realized $35 on nine bids. If the under-bidder contacts me I can provide a much nicer example for the same or less money!


On a related subject, I was examining coins in my office at NGC when I received a call from a dealer who was set-up at the Coin eXpo Show in St. Charles, Missouri. He said that he had an album of Whitman coin boards ranging from Indian Cent through Standing Liberty Quarters. I knew immediately from that line-up that it was the rare First Edition board album, WBV1. Of course I was interested, so he sent me some low-res cell phone photos. Unfortunately, it was loaded up with quite a few coins, including the silver pieces, and he wanted $2,500. I’ve bought many boards and albums with the coins in place, carefully removing them for separate sale, and it’s always a challenge earning enough to bring my net cost down to just the value of the album. Sadly, I declined, informing him that I’d be interested if he managed to unload the coins.

Before he could respond, another very well known dealer bought the whole thing at his asking price. The new owner knows that the album is worth preserving, but I don’t know that I’ll ever see it again. One curious feature is that the original owner pasted her bookplate onto the inside front cover, giving it an honored place in her library!


I frequently do internet searches on terms such as coin board, penny board, etc. These usually direct me to eBay listings I’ve saved already, but every now and then I find something truly exciting. That was certainly the case when I came across this gem:

Yes, no one in coin board hobby has ever seen or reported this vintage poster until now. Yes, I immediately wrote to the website holder to see if I could buy it or trade for it. No, it’s not for sale. This poster is part of an institutional collection and will likely never be for sale. The only question remaining is whether another exists anywhere. This rare jewel features Second Edition board W1¢D2f, with dates through 1938 and mintages through 1937.


Shown below is the announcement of Joseph Oberwise’s relocation across the street at the end of 1939 and also a 1941 ad for Gramercy Stamp Company’s PENNY HOBBY COIN COLLECTIN’ OUTFIT. This was a boxed set of its two coin boards for which I’ve previously illustrated the associated guide book. To date, no one has found an example of the actual boxed set, though Gramercy’s companion stamp set was sold on eBay years ago. I didn’t have the presence of mind to buy it when it was available, a mistake I won’t make again.


There are no new varieties to report this quarter, but there is some news about existing entries. My request for anyone having an example of the Colonial Mercury Dime board matching my book’s variety C10¢B2b to verify its existence went unanswered, and this confirms my suspicion that this was never more than a copy-and-paste error on my part. The existing entry for B2c thus becomes B2b, and there now is no B2c.


A few years ago longtime reader Chris Buck tipped me off to a brief article about the owner of Colonial Coin & Stamp Company that appeared in the April 1933 issue of Hobbies: The Magazine for Collectors. This appeared prior to his coin board venture. It was quite challenging, but finally I was able to obtain an actual copy of that issue to make some high-resolution scans. Though this portrait of Schnelling was included in an earlier issue of CBN, I now present him in a scale much more suited to his stature in our hobby:


For some time I’ve been aware that my original grading standards were too strict for most boards, as they were based solely on the Whitman Second and Third Edition boards, which have very thick backing paper. I used those simply because I had so many to study, but that proved to be a mistake. I’m revising my published standards as follows: a Very Good board may have as many as 10 partially torn openings, Fine may have six, Very Fine may have three and Near Mint may have one. The other criteria for each grade remain the same.


Percy Ford brought to the meeting his collections of Indian Head and Lincoln Cents, mounted in Colonial Coin & Stamp Company coin boards. Also, if any of your boards have a distinct odor of tobacco, we may have found the reason why in this rather crude vendor sticker.


With Orlando just a couple hours’ drive away, there’s no escaping the Winter FUN Show January 9-11. I haven’t had any confirmation about attending the Long Beach Expo February 20-22, but it’s more than likely I’ll be there. Check with me when we get a little closer.

Best Regards,

David W. Lange, coincollectingboards.com

Photo of the author's desktop and computer wallpaper. Courtesy David W. Lange - Coin Board News

The author’s desktop, featuring Gramercy coin boards as his computer wallpaper. Photo courtesy David W. Lange

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David Lange
David Lange
The author of several books on United States numismatics, David W. Lange received numerous awards and accolades from both the ANA and the NLG. David was the former President of the Pacific Coast Numismatic Society, the California State Numismatic Association, and the New Jersey Numismatic Society. He also had memberships in the ANA, the NLG, the ANS, the LSCC, the EAC, the BCCS, and the Rittenhouse Society. Career highlights included the launching of NGC's Photo Proof and writing historical copy for the United States Mint's website and H.I.P. Pocket Change program for kids. His specialties have included Seated Liberty silver, Philippine coinage under U.S. administration, and British coinage from 1816-1970. In 2007, David published the first comprehensive reference to Coin Collecting Boards of the 1930s and '40s, and for over a decade published Coin Board News four times a year. David Lange died on January 16, 2023. He is missed.

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