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Sayles picked to write 'Britannica' entries

Ancient coin specialist, author and publisher Wayne Sayles has written a new entry on coin collecting for "Encyclopaedia Britannica."
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Ancient coin specialist, author and publisher Wayne Sayles has written a new entry on coin collecting for Encyclopaedia Britannica and updated its section on coins.

Over the past two decades, there has been a significant rise in the popularity of coin collecting as a recreational activity. Recognizing this trend, the editorial department of Encyclopaedia Britannica, one of the world?s best known and trusted educational resources, determined that a new article about ?Coin Collecting? should be added to its editorial content and that its existing comprehensive article about ?Coins? should be updated.

The longstanding and popular ?Coins? article was written by C.H.V. Sutherland, the former Keeper of Coins at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford, England.

Sayles is known primarily among ancient coin collectors as founder of The Celator magazine and author of the six-volume series Ancient Coin Collecting. From his home in the Missouri Ozarks, Sayles recalled his surprise upon receiving the Britannica commission.

?As an art historian, I have always admired the insightful work of Humphrey Sutherland, and was frankly a bit nervous about trying to update his article. Even with the explosion of information accessibility today, it is hard to follow in the footsteps of a true master of his craft. To be asked to do this was a great honor.?

Britannica was first published in Scotland in 1768 and appeared in America shortly thereafter. The publication was purchased by two American entrepreneurs in the early days of the 20th century and is now headquartered in Chicago. It is the oldest continuously published reference work in the English language.

Since 1994, Britannica has also been available by subscription online. As part of its promotional program, Britannica regularly publishes a sampling of articles online. Each week a selection of these articles is featured on its Web site?s front page at The Sayles article on ?Coin Collecting,? which has now been added to the encyclopedia, is scheduled to be featured, free and in its entirety, on the site during the week of Sept. 10.

In addition to the ?Ancient Coin Collecting? book series, Sayles wrote the monograph ?Classical Deception,? co-authored the series ?Turkoman Figural Bronze Coins and their Iconography? with the late William F. Spengler, wrote the exhibition catalog for the Ned and Gloria Griner Collection of Ancient Coins at Ball State University Art Museum and has published several numismatic titles by other authors.

He is a Life Fellow of the American Numismatic Society, Fellow of the Royal Numismatic Society (Britain), Life Member of the Hellenic Numismatic Society (Greece), Life Member of the American Israel Numismatic Society, and in 2004 founded the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild ? currently serving as its executive director.