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December 16, 2010

Today is Chet Krause’s 87th birthday. I plan to visit his office today to wish him happy birthday.

The office is located in the building he put up in Iola, Wis., in 1957 to house Numismatic News, then a rapidly growing start-up business that was sailing on the rising tide of coin collecting in the United States.

The actual business that I am currently a part of moved out of that building in 1975 and it served as a church and a coin dealership office among other uses. Chet bought it back after he retired from Krause Publications and he keeps busy working on his never shortening list of special projects.

From his vantage point, a lot has changed since the first issue came off the press in 1952.

Gold was a federally mandated $35 an ounce. Silver fluctuated a bit but was still virtually controlled by the government. It traded in 1952 in a range of 82.75 cents to 88 cents.


What hasn’t changed is the basic collecting impulse. If you feel it, you want to learn as you acquire your coins. For me and many thousands of others, that meant subscribing to Numismatic News. I acquired my first copy 41 years ago.

Though my vantage point is not quite as elevated as Chet’s, I do see that because he shared his collector’s dream with so many others that we all became better hobbyists.

That’s quite an accomplishment. He’s led quite a life. My birthday wish is heartfelt.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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