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John Story Jenks: A Great American Coin Collector


SKU: 11491
ISBN 13: 9780983269243
ISBN 10: 0983269246
EAN: 9780983269243
Regular Price: $12.95
Sale Price: $9.99
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When we think of the great coin collections through the course of our history, we normally think of those of Louis Eliasberg, T. Harrison Garrett, John Pittman, King Farouk of Egypt, Colonel Edward Howland Green, John J. Ford, J.M. Clapp, Waldo Newcomer, and Virgil Brand to name a few. Does a great coin collection make a great coin collector? Are the two distinguishable?

What attributes define a great collector? For example, the ability to grade and select quality coins can demonstrate the collector’s knowledge of the coins themselves and skill to judge those characteristics of a grade including strike, luster, color, toning, hairlines, contact marks, wear, and most importantly eye appeal. Seeking the finest known or highest grades takes patience, attention to detail, and determination. As coins normally represent historic people, places, events, an important attribute to being a great collector is an integral understanding of their collection, including historical relevance and symbolism of the designs used for the coins. As the essence and objective of a hobby is the advancement of the hobby through the expansion of knowledge for the benefit of the hobby. Those who embrace such a commitment to the hobby are the true great collectors.

In the author’s opinion, John Story Jenks is the greatest American coin collector. He displayed qualities that include:

  1. An extensive coin collection in his field of study. For Jenks this primarily focused on Ancient and World coins.
  2. A comprehensive knowledge of the historical facts surrounding their coins. Jenks’s 1906 book “An Account of Some Coins in a Private Collection,” displayed this comprehension.
  3. A willingness to share that knowledge for the benefit of the hobby. Jenks was an integral part of his coin club, acting as its Vice President for almost 20 years and contributing his knowledge to teach others.
  4. The ability to identify and select quality coins, some of the finest known today.
  5. The ability to preserve those coins in a near perfect original state.
  6. His philanthropic and charitable contributions to society. After Jenks retired in 1893, he was part of many clubs and organizations for the betterment of society including the Board of Education of Philadelphia, the Society for the Employment and Instruction of the Poor, and the Society for Organizing Charity to name a few. This general attribute cannot be overlooked, it is a quality that is not often seen. It is the essence of what our hobby should be.

This book explores Jenks’ life, his contributions to the hobby and society, his collection, the intimate knowledge he had of his coins and their history, and Jenks displayed those qualities that we should all aspire to.

Binding: Paperback
Edition: 1st
Publication Date: September 2013
Size: 6 x 9
Pages: 80

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