Antique Coin Boards with David W. Lange – www.coincollectingboards.com …..
For Collectors of Antique Coin Boards
Number 59 — Summer 2021
ONLY ONE MORE TO GO
It’s been nearly a year since the publication of my book Coin Collecting Albums—A Complete History & Catalog, Volume Three: Whitman Publishing Company Folders and Albums 1940-1978. In it, I reported that my collection of First Edition blue folders was lacking just two titles to be complete. Those for silver three cents and half dimes had never been seen by me in 40 years of collecting early folders, yet they clearly were listed by Whitman from the get-go in 1940-41. Would they ever be found?
Well, that question has been half answered. Shortly before preparing this newsletter, a First Edition of the half dime folder was posted on eBay at $499!
No, I didn’t mean $4.99. The seller was an acquaintance of mine with whom I’ve done business before, and after some haggling, I got the price down to $150 cash plus a signed copy of my new book. Had I never shared my knowledge I might have been able to pick it up for just a few dollars, but I don’t mind paying full value for something I know to be so rare and desirable.
It feels great to be putting the COVID-19 pandemic behind us. My masthead coin boards have discarded their irksome masks, and I hope that all readers have come through this scary time unscathed.
IN LIVING COLOR
Since there’s little likelihood of my coin board book having a second edition, and the photos in the existing edition aren’t that clear, I’ve committed to posting my entire collection of coin boards to the Newman Numismatic Portal’s image gallery. This is a long-term project, as I scan both sides of each board in high resolution. All of my Kent and Whitman boards may be found there already, with the remaining publishers to be added as time allows. In addition to introducing coin boards to those perhaps not aware of them already, these large images will prove very useful in attributing your own collections. Check out the NNP’s Image Gallery here.
In revisiting my own collection during the scanning process, I determined that some updates to my book are in order.
In Whitman’s First Edition, the variety listed as W1¢D1c has proven to be non-existent. In the Second Edition variety, W50¢B2c turns out to be a simple manufacturing error in which the die cut for W50¢C2b was used instead of the correct one. I’ve determined that the color of Third Edition boards is better described as Navy Blue, rather than the Royal Blue appearing in my book.
Several titles in the Third Edition are known with either clothlike or leatherette face paper and have been confirmed as such. For those where only one finish was known when my book was published in 2007, I nevertheless included place-holder varieties that might turn up later. Enough time has gone by that those not already known by now probably never existed, so some Lange Numbers have been simplified to drop the a and b variants. These for which there are now just single varieties include W1¢A3, W1¢B3, W2¢A3, W25¢D3, W50¢C3, and W$1A3.
New varieties found recently include W10¢D1a.5, which is similar to a.4 but with matte face paper, and L1¢Ba.3, which is similar to a.1 but with a different list of titles and a bizarre overprint. It’s difficult to see what has been blotted out, but the last line reads Head Pennies From 1909 to 1937 Inclusive.
There have been more than the usual number of coin board listings on eBay during the past quarter. Most are not especially notable, but there have been some nice Kent and First Edition Whitman pieces for sale. Some remain available as of this writing, with the prices being fair at the retail level. In addition, there are my own listings of common boards in decent condition. I try to keep a dozen or so available at all times to draw in new enthusiasts.
In my many years of collecting coin boards, folders, and albums, I’ve sometimes discovered that items listed as NO COINS INCLUDED did, in fact, feature hidden treasures. A recent purchase of a Second Edition Whitman folder for silver three-cent pieces actually included one coin so deeply toned that it blended in perfectly with the folder’s face paper. I didn’t discover this coin lurking within an otherwise emptied folder until some weeks later.
It turned out to be an 1859 with only slight wear, and it was the same color as the backing paper (which is what made it almost impossible to see). It’s hard to get trimes out of their slots without tearing through the backing because the coins are so thin, but I finally pried it loose and applied some TLC to make it more presentable. Since I had a couple of other low-value coins to submit for grading, I included this one in the lot, and it came back as AU-55!
Oh, and the folder is nice, too.
MORE NEW COIN BOARDS
There has been a rebirth of coin boards recently, though most of these don’t fit our traditional understanding of the term. The popularity of coin searching and sorting videos on YouTube seems to have prompted the creation of boardlike products to make this activity easier.
The latest entry comes from none other than Whitman itself. Actually a large coin folder, it opens up to reveal illustrations of various nickel types and dates of historic note. These images are borrowed from the internet.
The list of known vendor stamps keeps growing. These were spotted online, though I was unsuccessful in adding them to my own collection, hence the fuzzy photos.
ON THE ROAD AGAIN
Wow, I haven’t been able to say that in a long time. I’ll be at the NGC booth during Summer FUN in Orlando, Florida, July 8-10. Also on my calendar is the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Chicagomont, August 10-14. It will be great to take in the show, see old friends, and pick up some recently published books.
—David W. Lange, coincollectingboards.com
The author’s desktop, featuring Gramercy coin boards as his computer wallpaper. Photo courtesy David W. Lange
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All books purchased from David W. Lange will be signed, unless requested otherwise, and personalized inscriptions are available upon request. Payment may be made by check to David W. Lange or via PayPal to [email protected]. David W. Lange may be contacted at POB 110022, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34211 or by telephone at (941) 586-8670. His website providing a history of vintage coin boards and from which he buys and sells such items, is coincollectingboards.com.