Author Archives: John S. Queen

Memorable auction still astounding

In October of 1977, I was attending a coin show in Miami Beach. During the show, two men whom I did not know came and sat down at our table. They looked at a few coins and chit-chatted. Almost as if on signal, they both leaned back and one said, “We didn’t come here to discuss coins. We came to ask a question.” Continue reading

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Plenty of change but at what price?

You all know what I am talking about. We buy an item and get back some coins in change. We put the coins in our pocket or purse. When they accumulate a bit, we take them out and put them in a jar or dish or whatever. The story changes a bit from there. Continue reading

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Make a lesson out of your mistakes

Recently a man came in and handed me a ring. It was most impressive. It was a very heavy ring with a large, deep red stone. I felt certain it would be gold so I looked and sure enough it was marked most clearly “14K.” Continue reading

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Big bourse profits can look easy

When I left Paramount in the early 1970s, I needed someone to help in the business. I met a beautiful young woman by the name of Barbara who had two small children. She had recently been divorced and needed a job. I had known her family 20 years earlier when I was in a totally different profession. I hired her. I hired an accountant from Troy, Ohio, to come one hour each week for six weeks to teach her bookkeeping and office management. Continue reading

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Conder tokens teach pricing lesson

As mentioned in an earlier story, Q. David Bowers was president of Paramount International Coin Corporation before I went with the company in 1967. Before he left, he made a trip to Great Britain and must have hired a separate boat to bring back all his plunder. It was a great variety of material. I do not recall what all there was but there were many, many rolls of 1950 and 1951 British pennies, a large quantity of silver crowns and a goodly number of copper Conder tokens. Continue reading

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Pro learns new investing technique

I wrote a few earlier stories mostly to preserve numismatic history that was known only to me. Approaching my 89th birthday, I did not wish this history to be lost should I depart this realm. The responses to stories were favorable so I am writing more that I hope the reader will find of interest. These stories have little real significance as far as numismatics go. Just read and enjoy. Continue reading

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When coin dealers play chicken

After I became the market-maker in Canadian coins in the 1970s and felt them to be woefully underpriced, I decided to try to put together the finest Canada 10-cent set possible. I only put fully brilliant uncirculated or toned uncirculated coins in that set. I was progressing well when I was able to purchase The Magnificent Hoard. Again, a tale told earlier. I went through all 50 pieces of every date from 1900 to 1938 and chose the most exquisite of every date. Continue reading

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Through the clouds to meet Bowers

It happened in 1965. Or was it 1966? In order to put our first meeting in context, it is important to relate some background and some numismatic history. I was in a profession unrelated to numismatics. My position was demanding … Continue reading

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Hoard puts dealer atop Canadian

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.  >> Subscribe today! In 1973 I decided to terminate my employment at Paramount International Coin Corporation and go into business for myself. My wife had always graciously accepted my decisions and fortunately … Continue reading

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Hoard made

I am in my 89th year and there are stories of coins hoards that so far as I know have never been told in the numismatic press. Before they are lost forever, I feel they should be told. Continue reading

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