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HomeCollecting StrategiesCoin Board News Number 61 - For Collectors of Antique Coin Boards

Coin Board News Number 61 – For Collectors of Antique Coin Boards

Coin Board News Number 61 - For Collectors of Antique Coin Boards

Antique Coin Boards with David W. …..


For Collectors of Antique Coin Boards

Number 61 — Winter 2022



Your eyes do not deceive you… Yes, that’s a Third Edition Whitman board for Shield Nickels! This title was unknown in the Third Edition when I published my book in 2007, but it seemed that it should have been produced, so I included place-holder listings for such a board with either clothlike or leatherette paper.

Since that time I’d pretty much resigned myself to the fact that it would never be found, but now I am the owner of the only example known to me.

This surfaced in a group lot of Third Edition boards being sold by a small, online auction company I hadn’t heard of before, and I was completely unaware of this opportunity until I was tipped off by a fellow board enthusiast. Mike Nixon’s interest is primarily in filling boards with coins for the purpose of framing and displaying them, and he’s drawn to the Kent and First Edition Whitman boards. Thus, he suggested I’d be a more likely buyer for this lot. Not having bid with the company before, I was flummoxed by the process and watched helplessly as it sold well below what I was prepared to pay. I reported my failure to Mike in an email the next day only to discover that he had bought the lot solely to prevent the boards from selling too cheaply! Long story short, we struck a deal involving cash and a trade for two of my books.

Though it may appear leatherette in the photo, this board has cloth-like paper and is thus W5¢A3a. That suggests it was printed early in the Third Edition, obviously in a very small press run for this poor-selling title. Its back is identical to that of W5¢A2b.

Now, here’s the second surprise of this story, one that will reveal just why this lot was so amazing.

The other boards were all rarities, too—high-grade examples of both Liberty Seated Dime boards, Washington Quarters, and… Peace Dollars! The 1837-62 dime board and the Peace Dollar board have already been placed with want-list customers, but the remaining two boards are found on my new price list, which is devoted entirely to Whitman’s under-appreciated Third Edition.


I mentioned in the last newsletter that I was deleting those Third Edition paper varieties that had not yet surfaced, under the assumption that they never will. Well, this episode has proved that miracles do happen, so the place-holder listings for clothlike and leatherette finishes will remain. I’m sure this news comes as a relief to collectors not wanting to re-label their holdings by dropping the ‘a’ and ‘b’ suffixes!


Most of the coin board offerings over the past quarter have been unremarkable. There were both single and group lots of common boards in grades ranging from Poor to Very Fine, with most falling somewhere in-between those extremes. The few nice boards offered have been priced at or slightly above full retail, and most of these continue to roll over without a bite. One notable exception was an attractive example of the very scarce Kent board K1¢A2a.2 that I estimated to grade Fine or so from the photos. I bid as much as I dared in an effort to buy this jewel for resale, but it brought slightly over my catalog value for that grade. I’ve thought about raising the values cited for that variety in this year’s update, but I’m not certain it would sell that high in a Buy-It-Now listing. I will say that auction sales tend to bring more for rare boards than do overestimated BINs.

An antique dealer is offering complete sets of Eagle-Indian Cents and Buffalo Nickels in beautifully framed Whitman First Edition boards, but the prices are such that I didn’t even bother to do the math. I’m no expert in picture frames, but I doubt that they’re worth enough above the value of the boards and the coins to make an offer.


Found on one of the coin collecting message boards was the following homemade coin album for Seated Liberty Dimes. Obviously based on Robert Friedberg’s Library of Coins product, the collector who fashioned this knock-off corrected an error in the original to make it more suitable for his needs. It’s rare that I can find any flaw in the late Friedberg’s business model, but he did make a critical marketing mistake: Seemingly unable to fit the entire Seated Liberty series into a single album, and reluctant to make it two volumes, he instead produced a two-volume album titled Early Dimes that covered all entries 1796-1891. This resulted in an awkward division at the year 1853, which became a sore point for collectors wanting to collect just Bust or just Seated Dimes.

The sensible thing would have been to produce a single album for Bust Dimes and two albums for Seated Liberty Dimes, but this same overlapping of coin types was utilized for quarter dollars, as well. The homemade album below addresses this oversight perfectly. Now, if the maker could only mass produce it for sale to others…


This issue is accompanied by the annual updates for my coin board book and all three album books. There were very few price movements in coin board sales during the past year, but I did become aware that the supply of nice Whitman Third Edition boards has dried up almost completely. My own inventory is surprisingly low, and it’s been very difficult to restock or fill want list requests. The recent purchase described above has only reinforced the rarity of nice boards from this edition, so prices are up for the scarcer titles.


Perhaps not, but the New York Store was (or perhaps still is) located in Sheridan, Wyoming years ago when this vendor sticker was affixed to a coin board.


Recently, I presented an online video program titled “Whitman’s Blue Coin Folders as Collectibles”, and it features a number of rarities from my collection. This was done as part of the Newman Numismatic Portal’s Symposium, and my presentation is now posted for viewing here.


Next up is the massive FUN Show in Orlando from January 6-9, 2022. I’ll be there at my usual post, leaving it only when needed in NGC’s grading room. After that I’ll be at the February 17-19 Long Beach Expo in California, followed by the ANA’s National Money Show in Colorado Springs (a favorite place of mine) March 10-12. If your plans include any of these events please stop by to talk coin boards – late afternoon is best for me.

Best Regards,

David W. Lange,
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


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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