“One-man library” Q. David Bowers to contribute a weekly column starting on January 3

Background photo by Jeff Belmonte.

The late, great, Ed Reiter once called Q. David Bowers a “one-man library” due to his propensity to not only produce a massive amount of content, but to imbue each and every article, column, or book with quality as well. Commencing Wednesday, January 3, 2018, Coin Update and Mint News Blog will have the pleasure of hosting a weekly column by the world-renowned numismatist and prolific author. Every Wednesday, both blogs will be featuring a regular piece by Bowers, who was named one of the Numismatists of the Century by COINage magazine. Bowers himself describes the columns as covering topics such as “nostalgia, philosophy, and current events,” the latter of which particularly refers to auctions. Readers of the two blogs are in for a treat, as Bowers’s very name is synonymous with the field of numismatics.

Quentin David Bowers was born on October 21, 1938, in Honesdale, Pennsylvania, and since the age of 14 has massively contributed to the numismatic hobby. He made history by being the first person to serve as president of both the Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) and the American Numismatic Association (ANA). The PNG’s highest honor, the Founders Award, was bestowed upon Bowers, and furthermore, he received their Freidberg Award for numismatic literature an unprecedented seven times. To many hobbyists, Dave Bowers is one of the most revered numismatists to ever grace the hobby. He holds additional interests in music and cinema as well, having assembled sizeable collections of musical instruments in addition to historical silent film posters. He has written books on collectible postcards, early silent film, mechanical music machines, famous personalities, and other historical topics.

Even if you are not familiar with Q. David Bowers, if you possess a copy of The Official Red Book, then you are already familiar with his work, as Bowers has been a long-time editor and researcher of the ubiquitous tome. He has produced many other notable works as well, both online and in print, such as Lost and Found Coin Hoards and Treasures (2015), A Guide Book of Lincoln Cents (second edition, 2017), A Guide Book of Half Cents and Large Cents (2015), and A Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars (fifth edition, 2016). He has contributed regularly to publications such as Coin World, The Numismatist, and CoinWeek as well. Bowers has appeared publicly on the Today Show, CNN, Fox, ABC, NBC, and the Discovery Channel and has also lectured at Harvard University.

We on Coin Update and Mint News Blog are excited to host Q. David Bowers as a regular contributor and we are confident that you will find his weekly column intellectually stimulating and rich in quality.

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  1. KEITHSTER says

    Last chance on the ATB. quarters up to the 17’s well there time has come ! But it was more fun in the old days when you had to figure when they would go out ? Well now we know let the mess begin and Good Luck All :>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>

  2. So Krates says

    I guess they shitcanned Diana?

    That’s too bad. I found her unjaded enthusiasm and beginner’s perspective quite refreshing.

    The only constant is change.

  3. datadave says

    @Keithster – So the 2016 ATB quarters will be gone by EOY? I did not see that announcement on their site but its about time.

  4. cagcrisp says

    AM Gold Fix $1,243.40
    PM Gold Fix $1,240.90

    To get a Gold Decrease tomorrow we need:

    1. Wednesday AM Fix under$1,258.85
    2. Wednesday PM Fix needs to be lower than $1,250.00…

  5. Achmed says

    wednesday AM fix of 1258.84 would give a result of 1249,998. Would the usmint round that up to 1250? and no price decrease? this is theory only as I expect an AM fix of under 1250.

  6. cagcrisp says

    @Achmed , “do you already have the new sales numbers?”

    No. As yet the numbers are not out…

  7. KEITHSTER says

    Sure hit the shop button then last chance then the ATB’s and you can see that they will all be gone at the end of the year! So you need to find out what you want out of them or not ? Dusty care to post the S’s or not ? Well Good Luck To Us All:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>:>

  8. KEITHSTER says

    Sorry except the 17’s !Who knows if they will keep them up for the next 7 years or not but hope not ? Well Good Luck Anyway”>”>”>”>”>”>”>

  9. datadave says

    Here is the current S Mint ATB totals for 2016 in millions:
    Shawnee 1.06334
    Cumberland 1.01698
    Harpers Ferry 1.03120
    Teddy Roosevelt 1.05010
    Fort Moultrie 0.95836

  10. cagcrisp says

    16AN 2016 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – FT MLTR 17,790 +62
    17AJ 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – EFF MNDS 16,366 + 85
    17AK 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – DOUGLASS 16,541 +131
    17AL 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – OZARK 16,296 +207
    17AM 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – ELLIS ISLAND 17,258 + 4
    17AN 2017 ATB SILVER UNC 5 OZ – G R CLARK 14,612 +14,612

  11. cagcrisp says

    Boy Town Gold Uncirculated Under 3,000…LOL…

    17CA 2017 BOYS TOWN GOLD PROOF 1,575 +62
    17CB 2017 BOYS TOWN GOLD UNC 2,999 +330
    17CC 2017 BOYS TOWN SILVER PROOF 25,407 +358
    17CD 2017 BOYS TOWN SILVER UNC 10,701 +208
    17CE 2017 BOYS TOWN CLAD PROOF 17,142 +191
    17CF 2017 BOYS TOWN CLAD UNC 14,802 +135
    17CG 2017 BOYS TOWN 3-COIN SET 5,365 +58

    17CH 2017 LIONS CLUBS SILVER PROOF 67,419 +382
    17CJ 2017 LIONS CLUBS SILVER UNC 16,933 + 101

  12. cagcrisp says

    These puppies are going to be Gone in a couple of weeks…(Finally)…

    16XA 2016 WALKING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .5OZ 65,141 +147
    16XC 2016 STANDING LIBERTY 24K GOLD .25OZ 91,266 +183

  13. cagcrisp says

    16EA 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER PROOF 1 OZ 579,948 + 1,016
    16EB 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 23,918 + 49
    16EC 2016 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ 5,842 +10

    16EG 2016 AM EAGLE SILVER UNC 1 OZ 215,472 +1,199

  14. cagcrisp says

    17EB 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 7,753 +221
    17EC 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ 2,089 + 67
    17ED 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 1/4 OZ 3,605 +204
    17EF 2017 AM EAGLE GOLD PROOF 4-COIN SET 9,812 (1)

    17EG 2017 AM EAGLE SILVER UNC 1 OZ 136,429 +1,688

    17EJ 2017 AM EAGLE PLATINUM PROOF 1 OZ 8,892 (1)

    17EL 2017 AM BUFFALO GOLD PROOF 1 OZ 15,325 +17

  15. cagcrisp says

    17XA 2017 AM LIBERTY 24K GOLD 1 OZ 26,677 + 186
    17XB 2017 AM LIBERTY SILVER MEDAL (P) 53,252 + 697
    17XC 2017 225TH ANN ENHANCED UNC SET 210,329 (6)
    17XD 2017 AM LIBERTY SILVER 4-MEDAL SET 28,029 + 456

  16. cagcrisp says

    A Couple of weeks to Go…And Still No Love for the Low Mintage Wonders…

    JQ1 2015 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 2,737 + 6
    JQ2 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – TRUMAN 1,925 + 3
    JQ4 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – EISENHWR 2,081 +1
    JQ8 2015 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – JOHNSON 1,879 + 1

    16SA 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – NIXON 2,621 + 3
    16SB 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – NIXON 1,716 + 4
    16SC 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – FORD 2,444 + 5
    16SD 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – FORD 1,710 +10
    16SE 2016 FS GOLD PROOF 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 3,516 +15
    16SF 2016 FS GOLD UNC 1/2 OZ – REAGAN 1,975 +5

  17. Anthony says

    I’ve been collecting coins ever since I was only knee-high to a “grasshopper” and I have read (and in many cases, re-read) Mr. Dave Bowers scholarly numismatic writings!!! You can never go very wrong to read articles he has written over his career. You are BOUND to find his name in articles in just about any topic of U.S. coins THAT IS YOUR U.S. coin collecting objective.

    After much thinking, not seems I’ve been collecting coins ever since the Earth cooled!!! 🙂 LOL

  18. datadave says

    The Mint did everyone a big favor by only making 3000 Boy’s Town Gold UNCs. Those who wanted one got one and they prevented 1000 being purchased by flippers at the end of the year.

  19. joe#2 says

    Its amazing to me how last week over 500 of the 2017-w gold proof buffaloes were sold, And then this week only 17 were sold.

  20. earthling says

    I’m wondering if anyone at all cares about Coins anymore. Well maybe they care about Foreign Circus Coins with all their extreme gimmicks , odd shapes and colors. But how does a treasure like Father Finigan on a Coin end up under 3,000 ? Does anyone care at all ?


    Maybe bitcoin just steals all the static electricity out of everything these days. Anyone at all looking to grab some value wants to grab the biggest bunch of hype that ever existed?

    Yeah. That it ! That’s the ticket.


  21. earthling says

    Any early early guesses on next years doggy Commemorative Coin Offerings? Haven’t seen many glowing reviews on that oddly designed Soldier Coin. The Boobsey Twin Coin isn’t exactly doing much better. I don’t have plans to buy anything. This year I didn’t bother at all with the ASE. I got a BU AGE and a couple Proof Buffaloes 👍 – that was it for me. 😄

    …. didn’t even THINK about returning anything 😉

  22. Throckmorton says

    Received 2 GRC pucks. One has a significant divot between the 1 and 7 so back it goes. The second one has a odd shine to the reverse devices that is attractive as well as a better strike. I keep trying to swear off of these things but they always seem to come up with an attractive design.

  23. Einbahnstrasse says

    Thanks for the numbers!

    Interesting that the non-sold-out Boys Town options really didn’t experience much of a sales spike in this week’s numbers. I was thinking they might, if people started to think that one sellout might be followed by more.

    Anyway, here again are the Boys Town sales as percentage of the current record-low mintages in each category:

    Gold proof: 6940/13266 = 52.3%
    Gold unc.: 2999/5150 = 58.2% and sold out
    Silver proof: 30772/61992 = 49.6%
    Silver unc.: 10701/14497 = 73.8%
    Clad proof: 22507/47326 = 47.6%
    Clad unc.: 14802/21019 = 70.4%

    Still three more weeks of sales to go (unless more sellouts happen), and judging by last year’s experience, it wouldn’t be surprising if sales accelerate every week until the end. Even so, it’s looking like at least four of these coins will end up setting new record lows.

    As for next year’s commems, you never know until the numbers are in, but my suspicion is that the breast cancer coins might sell strongly because they might actually be promoted by the beneficiary organizations, unlike most recent commems. The pink-ribbon industry is nothing if not skilled at self-promotion, after all. And the WWI coin will probably sell at least decently, because military themes are generally popular-ish, even if the design is, ah, not the greatest. And then in 2019 we get Apollo, which is a guaranteed sellout, possibly even as fast as the Baseball one. My guess is that whatever record lows the Boys Town coins set, they’re going to hold on to those records for a while.

  24. NCM Collector says

    It seems they under produced and cannot produce more before years end. Kind of a black eye for planning department.

  25. Mintman says

    Because it’s sold out.
    There was plenty of warning, including the endless “last chance” emails and free shipping promotions
    If you didn’t get one, next time act sooner

  26. cagcrisp says

    Gold AM Fix $1,241.60

    There WILL be a Gold Decrease at the Min this Afternoon IF the Gold PM Fix is less than $1,250.00…

  27. cagcrisp says

    Just How Weak is Gold and Silver?

    Currently the USD is DOWN which in turn…

    Currently Corn is UP
    Currently Soybeans UP
    Currently Wheat UP
    Currently NYMEX UP
    Currently Brent UP
    Currently Nat Gas UP
    Currently RBOB gas UP
    Currently Sugar UP
    Currently Coffee UP
    Currently Copper UP

    Currently Gold DOWN
    Currently Silver DOWN

    …SO…You have the USD Down and Gold and Silver Down…

    …That doesn’t happen Very Often…

  28. cagcrisp says

    The Lower than Expected CPI number Really affected the Bond Market…

    …Not so much for Gold and Silver…

  29. cagcrisp says

    Gold PM Fix $1,242.65

    There WILL be a Gold Decrease this Afternoon.

    This will be the First Gold Decrease in 12 weeks…

  30. Sith says

    CPI numbers? I hate to say it, but right or wrong, the sails have gone out of PMs. The establishment did not want people to invest their money in “worthless” PMs,” so they raised margins, allowed naked shorting, banging the close\open, and they they got their wish. Bitcoin is now king.

  31. Sith says

    @earthling – I disagree…Bank of Cyprus executes depositor bail-in…India pulled 86% of its cash out of circulation…MF Global experienced a meltdown of its financial condition, caused by improper transfers of over $891 million from customer accounts to a MF broker-dealer account to cover losses created by trading losses.

    POOF! …Its gone

  32. Sith says

    Oh and I forgot…The IRS took millions from innocent people because of how they managed their bank accounts, inspector general finds. POOF! …Its gone

  33. John Q. Coinage says

    I saw the mint is offering 30 VicoidinTM with apurchase of the Betty Ford FS $10…. hmmmmm Pat Nixon a botle of ketchup for your cottage cheese, Nany R a bag o’fake weed, Bess Truman a Star of David…..seriously some low #s, but will they exceed melt, so far Eleanor R is the Queen la BU sold for $999 in Sept on the bay, the $1,300 offers seem to languish? I did go for the Jefferson & the other classic obverse gold for the bachelor Presidents, but alas no legs…..looking forward to the Q man’s insight maybe discuss how to revive collecting, I say the mint dumps some old real silver coins into circulation, or unsold proofs, something!!! Get the PEOPLE to look, not just us coinaholix

  34. mgm says

    Gold went down $50 dollars on the 2017 Gold Proof Buffalo. Now $1590 and the lowest mintage of any year. Denver mint gift shop is out but the Philadelphia mint gift shop has eight. I bought two for xmas. Call them at 215-408-0233. They honored the lower price too.
    Good luck and let me know if anyone got any…

  35. earthling says

    Does anyone still want POGS, Beanie Baby’s, Baseball Cards, Stamps, Coins, Quisp, Quake, Time Shares, PT Cruisers, or how about a free trip to Las Vegas to see a Hot Country Music Band?

    Things change. Sometimes it’s just time to pack up and go. When exactly did the Mint pack up the Commemorative program back in the 50’s? Time to consider a 21st Century repeat.

  36. John Q. Coinage says

    Joe M, seen it many times, may come true but unless I go into stasis hope to sell for something, maybe IF it makes a $2k run, perhaps it will take a bit coin cra$h or stock market correction…… earhling I have said it before I fear ‘collecting’ as to better dates & sets is slowly diminishing…. I tried with my kids they do collect, but it’s baseball cards, coins get a big yawn, I did a few coin discussions @ school, grammar school class of 25 kids only 2 were perky about it, gave them mint Buffalos [newer…duh…] & ATB w/Teddy R~ S mint…they asked if they could spend them. Want some fun & to see confusion, pay for something with a 50c piece, pick a cashier <30….the looks & calls to managers.

  37. Sith says

    @earthling – The mint has pink gold, the WWI Centennial, and the Apollo 11 anniversary coming up. They can discontinue the program after 2019. 🙂

  38. Sith says

    @John Q. Coinage – Try spending a two dollar bill, or a presidential dollar

    @Joe M – “The Rip Van Winkle Caper.” Ah, back when gold was money, but it was illegal to own it.

  39. earthling says

    I shudder to think what would happen if you tried to pay with a $100 1 oz BU bullion Platinum Coin.

    Probably get the Coppers on you. 😦

  40. Joe M. says

    @ John Q. Coinage
    Yes, it’s a very good episode.
    I hope SOMETHING happens to spark interest in coins and silver. When I first started buying silver, I was only paying 3.2-3.5 X face(1994). Just as we all start out in diapers and die in diapers, I fear my silver will go back down to 3.5 x face after reading Cagcrisps’ analysis…but I’m still going to invest in silver because I’m HOPING for one good run-up before I cash in totally 🙂
    Was it illegal to own US gold coinage, or??? I’m hoping someone here will clarify. I was under the impression it was just circulating coinage was supposed to be surrendered for the going rate.
    I sometimes spend junky Eisenhower dollars…much better wonderment AND REFUSAL…HEHEHE. If I were dishonest, I could cut my spending in half. It’s AMAZING to me how many “kids” at fast-food think a half dollar is ONE DOLLAR.

  41. Jerry Diekmann says

    Earthling – the Mint stopped the commemorative coin program in 1954, after the atrocious multi-year, multi mintmarks Booker T. Washington coins, followed by probably the ugliest ever of all commemorative coins – the Booker T. Washington – George W. Carver “Americanism” coins, again multi-year and multi mintmarks. A lot of worthy events were in the following years were thus not recognized, like the Civil War Centennial of 1961-1965, Alexander Hamilton Bicentennial -1957, 1982 – FDR Centennial, 1969 – Transcontinental Railroad Centennial, 1959 – Abraham Lincoln Sesquicentennial, 1958 – Theodore Roosevelt Centennial, 1962 – First Man in Space – Project Mercury – 1962, 1979 – 50th anniversary birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., many more good subjects that were never portrayed because of the abuses of the commemorative coin program from the 1930s to the 1950s.

    We are now reaching a second time where there are too many coins being issued for less than stellar reasons, as we have seen with this second try at commemorative coins and the same results – poor designs, politically correct coins which detract from the images being commemorated, fraternities, sports and military themes ad infinitum, coins designed for surcharges to organizations that lobby Congress – I think we’re reaching a second tipping point where commemorative coins should be stopped again – the program now is too political and the designs are generally poor – look at the terrible World War I coin coming out next year. Even when an event is truly worth commemorating, the Mint screws up – again – and gives us a terrible design – again.

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