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One more time: Last editor’s letter completes a long journey

 Robert R. Van Ryzin

Robert R. Van Ryzin

Even though I have often written long feature articles—sometimes covering 10 pages or more—one of the things I figured I would never be able to write on a regular basis was an editorial such as this. That’s because I feared I would have nothing to say, or that I couldn’t come up with something worthwhile for it on time.

Therefore, it was generally the last thing I did before an issue went to press, whether it be for Coins magazine (for which I’ve been writing one every month for 20+ years) or for its sister publication, Bank Note Reporter, which I also edit. But, somehow, I’ve managed, and I hope readers have enjoyed at least some of my efforts.

So here goes for one last time. After 31 years with the firm, having been blessed to have as my profession what was also my passion, I have decided to retire.

I began collecting coins in 1976 after purchasing a copy of Coins off a newsstand in the university town in which I then lived. What attracted me was a headline on the cover of Coins that related that a certain modern Lincoln proof cent was worth $17 or so. This, plus the fact that I had a stash of some old coins, and friends who were avid collectors, encouraged me to buy the magazine.

Soon I was reading everything I could find on the topic. I put together four double-row boxes of coins, including the coins from my stash, and marked and graded each coin as best I could.

I then started attending small coin shows, where I began by buying Franklin half dollars. These I chose because of the series being a bit older and in silver and because they were inexpensive and that’s all I could afford. My 1949-S Mint State-65 Franklin with full bell lines cost me just $60.

I joined Krause Publications in December 1986 as a staff member of World Coin News and began contributing articles to this publication shortly thereafter. My first in this magazine was not on Franklins, but on Kennedy halves.

I have also had stints on Numismatic News, including serving for a period as its managing editor, and as editor of Coins’ former sister publication, Coin Prices. Along the way, I’ve written five books and lots of articles relating to U.S. coins, with a smattering of pieces on U.S. paper money.

Though I started collecting attracted by the thought of making a profit, I came to love the history behind the coin more than its market value. Having completed a master’s degree in history prior to joining Krause Publications, I was always keen on U.S. history and research, and these publications were a perfect match for my interests.

I will forever be grateful to those who hired me and for the chance to have worked with and for many of the hobby’s luminaries here at Krause Publications including, of course, Chet Krause, and plan to continue to be active in the hobby.

Thanks to the readers for your loyalty and to the feature contributors and the staff here in Iola for your help over the years. It’s greatly appreciated.

Happy collecting.

This article was originally printed in Coins Magazine. >> Subscribe today.

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