Interested in Coin Collecting – Ask Beth

A website visitor and blog reader contacted me this week with the following question:

Dear Beth, I recently retired and decided to get out of the stock market. I have become very interested in starting a coin collection with the intent of leaving it to my grandchildren. Hopefully they will be able to see a sizable  profit years down the road. Being a novice at collecting, I was hoping you could recommend a few books for somebody like me to learn the basics about coin collecting. if you have a few spare minutes, I would appreciate any advice you can give me as to books that would help me get started and learn the basics about the field of coin collecting. thank you for any advice you can give. Christopher

Here is my response to Christopher:

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A visit with former U.S. Mint Director Mary Brooks

A visit with former U.S. Mint Director Mary Brooks. Writer, official shared a journey to Amana Colonies in Iowa. This article From the Memory Bank series was first published in the October 26, 2015 issue of Coin World, available here.
Amana Colonies map - Cash In Your Coins

Map shows the seven villages that comprise the Amana Colonies. Copyright image published by permission of the Amana Colonies Convention & Visitor’s Bureau.

By early 1982 Coin World Editor Margo Russell decided that I should travel with her to some regional and state coin shows to meet collectors and hobby leaders.

One of the largest regional coin shows is sponsored by the Central States Numismatic Society. The 1982 CSNS spring show was scheduled April 29 to May 2 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa.

A special tour of the nearby Amana Colonies was offered in conjunction with the show. Margo had signed up for the tour, as had her good friend, former Mint Director Mary Brooks. Continue reading

Coin Basics: District and U.S. territories get own quarters

DC -U.S. Territories get own Quarters - Cash In Your Coins

The modified portrait of George Washington, the same as that used for the 50 State quarters, appears on the obverse of the District of Columbia and Territories quarters. The reverse of the District of Columbia quarter features native son Duke Ellington, the internationally renowned composer and musician, seated at a grand piano. Images courtesy of U.S. Mint

Soon after the 50 States quarter dollar program was launched in 1999, Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., began her quest for recognition of the District of Columbia and the five U.S. territories on the reverse of the circulating Washington quarter dollar. She introduced legislation five times, gaining passage in the House of Representatives. However, her initiatives were blocked in the U.S. Senate because the legislation was viewed by opponents as a backdoor attempt to gain statehood for the federal district.

Rep. Michael Castle, R-Del., who was the chief sponsor of the legislation that created the 50 State quarters program, declared his support for quarter dollars honoring the district and the territories soon after the launch of the State quarters program. Castle joined Norton in working to obtain its passage. They achieved success at the close of the 110th Congress by attaching the bill to the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2008 (PL 110-147) signed into law Dec. 21, 2007, some 10 years after the approval of the 50 States quarters law.

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Coin Basics: 50 States Quarter Program prove Americans like change

U.S. State Quarters - Cash In Your Coins

Hawaii’s quarter features Hawaiian monarch King Kamehameha I stretching his hand toward the eight major Hawaiian Islands. Delaware’s quarter depicts Caesar Rodney’s historic horseback ride to Philadelphia to cast the deciding vote for independence in the Continental Congress. Images courtesy U.S. Mint

The 50 States quarter program proved Americans like change. From the outset in 1999, the public embraced the new designs, providing undeniable proof the mindset long engrained at the United States Treasury — that Americans would find new circulating designs confusing and therefore reject them was premised on nothing more than bureaucratic inertia.

Rep. Michael Castle, R-Del., shepherded through Congress legislation that became Public Law 105-124, a 10-year initiative commemorating each of the 50 United States with a reverse on the circulating Washington quarter dollar.

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Marketing the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics

Mint innovates to raise interest, money for Games, angering authorizing bill’s sponsor. This article From the Memory Bank series was first published in the September 28, 2015 issue of Coin World, available here.
Olympic $10 Gold Coin - Cash In Your Coins

The W Mint mark made its first appearance on the Olympic gold $10 coin honoring the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Photo compliments of Coin World.

From the perspective of the Los Angeles and U.S. Olympic committees, the commemorative coin program was always about money. Money, that is, to help finance staging the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic s.

In recognition of the need for funding, the authorizing legislation allowed pre-issue coin sales, with surcharges of $10 for each silver dollar and $50 for each gold $10 coin to be turned over to the Olympic committees. The authorized mintage was 50 million total for 1983 and 1984 silver dollars and 2 million for the 1984 gold $10 coin. Had the total 52 million coins been sold, the Olympic committees could have received $600 million.

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Cash In Your Coins receives NLG Extraordinary Merit Award

NLG Extraordinary Merit Award - Cash In Your Coins

Author Beth Deisher and Whitman Publisher Dennis Tucker show off the NLG Extraordinary Merit award won by the second edition of Cash In Your Coins — Selling the Rare Coins You’ve Inherited at the Numismatic Literary Guild’s banquet Aug. 13.

The second edition of my book, Cash In Your Coins — Selling the Rare Coins You’ve Inherited  received an “Extraordinary Merit” award during the Numismatic Literary Guild’s annual awards banquet Aug. 13, held in conjunction with the recent American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL.

I accepted the award and mentioned that I have been extremely pleased to be able to provide guidance to so many people.  While at the World’s Fair of Money I participated in two Whitman Publishing “meet-the-author” sessions, autographing books and answering questions directly from WFOM attendees.

I wrote Cash In Your Coins to inform and protect the hundreds of thousands of Americans who already collect coins, and those who will someday inherit their collections.

The 304-page expanded second edition, published in September 2014, followed the sell-out of the award-winning first edition. The first edition, published in June 2013, won the Numismatic Literary Guild’s “Best Specialized Book on Numismatic Investments” award for 2014, and a first-place nonfiction award by Ohio Professional Writers

The second edition is expanded with 16 additional pages, updated case studies, and a new chapter on taxes, new illustrations, and more.

Whitman Publishing, LLC, of Atlanta published both editions of my book.

Autographed copies of Cash In Your Coins — Selling the Rare Coins You’ve Inherited are available directly from my website at and non-autographed copies are available in retail bookstores as well as at