by Ursula Kampmann
translated by Annika Backe
April 2, 2015 – Q. David Bowers is one of the most distinguished US American authors of numismatic works. Since 1953, he has published more than three dozen books. Amongst them is an entertaining compilation of his most interesting numismatic anecdotes. It bears the title Coins & Collectors.
Q. David Bowers, Coins & Collectors. Golden Anniversary Edition. Second edition. Whitman Publishing, Atlanta (GE), 2014. 416 p., 22,3 x 28,5 cm, color pictures, hardcover. ISBN: 978-079484272-7. US$29,95.
The enjoyable stories the author shares in this book make a colorful mélange. He looks back at a numismatic past that covers more than half a century, and he vividly recalls accompanying his father to the bank, to get coin rolls that were then thoroughly searched for big rarities. Many people used to do that back then. The way that the Whitman coin boards made coin collecting become a flourishing hobby in the postwar era is a matter of some socio-historical interest. Bowers describes it enthusiastically, being an eye witness. Along with it, he conveys a lot of special knowledge, in respect of numismatics – and he does so from a very personal perspective.
Bowers knows how to keep his readers entertained. They follow him eagerly from story to story – there are 51 of them, each spanning between 3 and 5 pages –, hardly being aware of how much knowledge and experience they derive just from reading the chapters.
Anyone who is not too keen on dry books on US American numismatics will appreciate this lavishly illustrated publication. With “Coins & Collectors”, Bowers has presented a work that oscillates between biography, history book, collection of reminiscences and popular textbook. The chronological range spans from the first US American coinages to the Jefferson Nickel from 1950. The articles deal with coins, medals and banknotes. The author both shares his personal experiences and focuses on leading (numismatic) characters, institutions and exhibitions.
What better thing to say about a book than it is a pleasure to read? People interested in US American coins or in the history of coin collecting, novices or dye-in-the-wool collectors – everyone will enjoy reading this book and learning one or two things.
The easiest way to get a copy is by placing an order on Amazon.