Central States Numismatic Society

Serving the Numismatic Community since 1939

Book Grants 2016

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Central States Author Grants

2016 Awards

The four 2016–2017 Central States Author Grant recipients and the titles of their respective books are:

  • Kenneth Berger: Philippine Emergency Currency
  • Russell Doughty: Flying Eagle/Indian Cent Die Varieties
  • Kevin Flynn: Coin Collecting For Kids
  • Winston Zach: Contemporary Counterfeit Coinage

The Central States Numismatic Society has awarded grants totaling $20,000 to six numismatic authors to research and publish information on topics ranging from elongated coins to early half dollars.

CSNS Education Director Ray Lockwood, who oversees the authors grant program, said, “This four-year old program has proven to be one of the most successful education programs ever undertaken by CSNS.” To date, it has provided grants to 21 authors and researchers.

The Central States Numismatic Society has awarded $5,000 grants to five researchers to produce books and articles about numismatic subjects ranging from the national motto on coins to the signatures appearing on large-size national bank notes. The Central States authors grant program, now in its fifth year, has awarded grants to 26 numismatic researchers. To date, the recipients have published 15 books, with several more in the pipeline.

Central states Past President Bruce Perdue remarked, "I am especially proud of CSNS's Book Grant program as I see it as helping to preserve independent research that might not survive otherwise."

Education Director Ray Lockwood said, “Awarding monies to numismatic authors benefits everyone in our great hobby. There never can be enough numismatic literature.”

William Bierly for "The Origin of the Motto: In God We Trust"

Bierly, whose exhibits on the evolution of the national motto have placed highly at American Numismatic Association and Central States Numismatic Society conventions, is taking his research a step further with the planned publication of a book on the subject.

Bierly plans to use the grant to cover research and travel costs during the next year.

In his application, he wrote, “The purpose of the book I am proposing is to illuminate the origins of the motto ‘In God We Trust’ on U.S. coins and currency. I recall reading a quote some years ago from David Bowers to the effect that history and coin collecting often don’t intersect. He cited a conversation with a history professor, an expert of the Civil War, who had never heard of Civil War tokens, a popular collectible series among numismatists. In a way the professor was missing an element of what everyday life was like during the war as people struggled with making small change. It also reflected the larger issues of how the war was being financed and the longer term impacts on coinage and currency in the U.S. This story of the motto provides a perfect example of that intersection between history and numismatics as both the study of the coins and of the documentary history surrounding them are necessary for a fuller understanding of the story.”

The book, he said, will not end with the 1864 placement of the motto on coins. “Finally,” he wrote in his application, "there will be a chapter dealing with how the motto has fared since the Civil War and how it continues to be the focus of controversy and strong opinions pro and con."

Kevin Flynn for "The Authoritative Reference on Liberty Seated Quarters and Authentication of Rare Dates and Die Varieties"

Flynn, who has written 49 books on a wide variety of numismatic subjects, plans to use his grant to cover photography and printing expenses for two books covering Seated Liberty quarter dollars and rare dates and varieties of several series.

In his application, he wrote, “I have already completed authoritative type books on the Liberty Seated half-dimes, twenty cent pieces, and dollars. The Authoritative Reference on Liberty Seated Quarters is the next book in the series and will present a complete analysis of the history, individuals who were involved in the creation or changes to this series, all design changes, all die varieties including multiple micro photographs and a detailed description of the variety and all diagnostics, archive letters, and a thorough examination of all hot topics for this series.

He wrote, the objective of the rare date and variety book “is to present the top coins and die varieties, such as the 1916-D Mercury dime or 1918/7-S Standing Liberty quarter and to present close up photographs of diagnostics and design elements such as the date and mint mark, to assist in identification and verifying that it your coin is not a counterfeit.”

Peter Huntoon for articles on "Treasury signatures on large size national bank notes ."

Huntoon, a noted writer, researcher and speaker on national bank notes, plans to use his grant to cover travel expenses while he researches signature combinations on national bank notes.

In his application, he said, “Treasury signature combination collecting faded in popularity after John Hickman diverted collector attention to collecting by location beginning in the mid-1960s. Town, county and state collectors could have cared less about the signatures on their notes, so auction cataloguers and dealers stopped paying much attention to them. That attitude is passing. The entry price for admission to serious location collecting has shut out newbies, so some of them - and some frustrated seasoned location collectors - are giving Treasury signature collecting a rebirth.”

He wrote, “The numismatic community has determined qualitatively which Treasury signatures are scarce in the various series based on a feel for how frequently they have gone by. There is no publication that: (1) explains why given signatures are rare on the various series or (2) provides a list of the rare ones by bank, series, sheet combination and serial number range.

“The reason for this is that: (1) the job of figuring out which combinations were issued in which series is tricky and (2) screening out exactly which ones carry the rare signatures is daunting because one has to sift through 52,000 proofs in the National Numismatic Collection and perform very sophisticated analyses on the National Currency receipts ledgers in the National Archives to get the answers.

“It is my opinion that collectors should be armed with definitive information on exactly why certain signatures are rare in general and others are rare only on selected types. Every possible signature combination on every type should be determined. Then I believe collectors should have a definitive list of exactly which banks issued the rarities along with the sheet combinations and serial numbers.”

Huntoon plans to publish his findings as a series of articles in Paper Money, the publication of the Society of Paper Money Collectors.

Allan Schein for The $2.50 and $5.00 Gold Indians of Bela Lyon Pratt.

Schein, author of the recently released MEXICAN BEAUTY - BELLEZA MEXICANA, Un peso Caballito, will be used to help pay for printing the book about Bela Lyon Pratt’s incuse $2.50 and $5 Indian head gold coins, minted from 1908 to 1929.

He said, “This book is already a work in progress. The granddaughter of Bela Lyon Pratt has been gracious in allowing me extensive use of archived family documents, including more than 1,000 personal letters and numerous photographs heretofore unpublished in numismatic works. Sadly, Cynthia Kennedy Sam passed away June 8th, 2015, but was happy I was writing this book and the way I was doing it; with significant emphasis on her grandfather. In part, this book is a testament to her extensive work as the Pratt family historian, as without her years of dedication to preserve Bela's legacy, this book and the story of a great and prolific talent would be incomplete.”

He anticipates completing the book next spring. (2016)

Gerald Tebben And John Roberts   for Columbus, Ohio, Civil War Tokens.

The book by Tebben, numismatic writer and editor; and Roberts, coin author and VAM expert, builds on Tebben’s 1998 monograph on the merchants who issued tokens in Columbus during the Civil War. The book will be illustrated with photographs of every known die marriage as well as off-metal tokens.

The book, which is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2016, expands beyond the city’s nine Civil War token issuers to include sections on Merchants Exchange, a post-war issuer of tokens that was mistakenly included in the first edition of George and Marvin Fuld’s U.S. Civil War Store Cards; sutler tokens issued for Camp Chase, a massive Confederate Prisoner of War camp on the city’s west side; and scrip issued in the names of the token issuers.

While Columbus is well north of the Mason-Dixon line, the city was home to many Confederate sympathizers, a circumstance that sometimes complicated the lives of some of the city’s token issuers.

Lockwood noted, “Central States prides itself on its many education programs and the collectors, clubs and dealers that benefit from our efforts.” In addition to the authors grant program, Central States provides member clubs with grants to purchase numismatic books for schools and libraries and helps fund speaker fees.

Authors and researchers interested in applying for 2016 grants may contact Lockwood at sunrayofmarion@aol.com.

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