Author Archives: Robert R. Van Ryzin

Soft spot for Deadwood history

This month’s cover of Bank Note Reporter has the image of a No. 1 Deadwood $10 note. The note is part of Stack’s Bowers’ sale at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money in Denver this year. I have … Continue reading

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Shadowy rarity: 1913 nickel first seen in 1919, not 1920

On a rainy afternoon in October 1919, Samuel W. Brown posed for a photograph that could be a key to the sketchy history of the famed 1913 Liberty Head nickel, of which five specimens are known. Brown is shown standing … Continue reading

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Union Station linked to FBI history

Gangster history from the 1930s is one of those areas that interests me, as I’m sure it does many others. Lately, I’ve been reading Public Enemies by Bryan Burrough. It details the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s 1933-1936 “War on Crime.” … Continue reading

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First Kansas City IPMS a success

A new venue, a different type of barbecue, and an influx of new clients were all factors in the perceptions dealers shared with Bank Note Reporter about the recently concluded 41st Annual International Paper Money Show. IPMS, which had until … Continue reading

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Short changed: 20-cent piece, it was thought, would fill a gap

It’s tempting to think that if there was a serious problem with making change in the West—one that supposedly led to the introduction of a 20-cent piece in 1875—that it could have been solved by use of other small change, … Continue reading

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‘Coins’ issue makes brief appearance in major film

Thanks to sharp-eyed Coins reader Matthew Joy for noticing Coins magazine in “The Infiltrator.” The movie, released in 2016, tells the true story of Robert Mazur, a U.S. Customs official who went undercover as Bob Musella in an effort to … Continue reading

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How much money could you lift?

Would you get rich if you could lift your weight in gold? In silver? In paper? There is a 1910 newspaper article that speculated on that. The July 12, 1910 article, “The Weight of Money,” in the Evening News, San … Continue reading

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Gold $3s were prone to spending at higher value

When the gold $3 piece was released, in 1854, its design was generally praised in the press. The Delaware State Reporter, Dover, wrote in its May 9, 1854, issue: “The new gold piece of three dollars value will be issued … Continue reading

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$2 notes still waiting to catch on

I started collecting in 1976. I had some coins prior to that, but I did not get interested in the hobby until then. It wasn’t what got me started, but it was about the same time as the new $2 … Continue reading

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J.S.G. Boggs challenged perceptions of money

Shown below is a work by money artist J.S.G. Boggs. He died recently, at age 62. In the 1990s, I wrote extensively about Boggs, having initially found reference to an upcoming exhibit of his work in Tampa, Fla. I called … Continue reading

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