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Pocketmags Digital Magazines
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Pocketmags Digital Magazines

David Thomason Alexander

CELEBRATED NUMISMATIC CATALOGER

December 2019 will mark my 70th year as a coin and medal collector. It occurs to me that my life in numismatics has spanned a world of change with which I have been associated and which I have followed from the inside. Just possibly, my experiences may provide clues to why things have gone as they have in the numismatic world around me and possibly even how what may develop tomorrow.

My first real awareness of coins came in the summer of 1943, when I was 3, my brother John, 5. My family was living on the grounds of the Tanglewood Music Festival in Lenox, Massachusetts. One aft ernoon my father returned from his job with GE in Pittsfield and presented us with a handful of glittering silvery objects bearing a bearded bust and “ONE CENT.”

Th is was fantastic! Here was the familiar “Lincoln penny” but silver, eliciting my brother’s immediate judgement, “they look just like DIMES!” A 5-year-old had immediately identified one of the basic reasons for the immediate failure of the zinc and steel wartime cents. Fast-forward to 1948, Joe and Al’s Fish Market on Brooklyn’s, Kingston Ave. just off St John’s place. “Here, you kids can have these,” and across the counter came a number of Indian Head cents from some recess in the cash register. We were fascinated but didn’t keep them long.

Moving to downtown Miami in 1952 brought us into contact with two major influences, first the new Miami Public Library with its whole shelves of circulating coin books and a reference room that received Th e Numismatist and Numismatic Scrapbook, donated by something called the Miami Coin Club. Th is group had been founded in 1948 by veterans of the New York Numismatic Club (NYNC). I’ve been active with the NYNC since 1990.

At the same time, we found our first coin dealer, a veteran of the 1930s whose Shoreland Arcade store was dominated by a massive safe adorned with gold-leaf identification “FREDERICK A. NEWMAN PHILATELIST – NUMISMATIST.” His 5- and 10-cent junk boxes stoked the flames and ultimately, we graduated to the 69-cent specials. Newman off ered more costly “foreign coins,” crowns, and thalers at $2,00 up.

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About COINage

CoinAge August 2019, Ultimate Secrets of Coin Auction, Gold Scam Protection, First Circulating Currency of the U.S, And More....