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Adult Facts Beat Kid Fiction
October 29, 2009

Romantic stories help sell coins. No, these aren’t of the Barbara Cartland type, but if the misty romantic past type when life was supposedly more adventurous or simply better.

I thought of this as I noticed that in the Stack’s 74th anniversary sale scheduled for Nov. 9-11 in Baltimore that there is a Confederate cent.

Now the Confederacy never issued cents. This is a pattern created by Robert Lovett Jr. for the Confederate government.

Nevertheless, this is one of those issues that yarns can be built around. These yarns were particularly compelling for me when I was a kid and we were marking the centennial of the Civil War.

Why a Confederate cent could have been given to the father of a friend’s granddad who was charged with getting it and other valuables out of a burning Richmond in 1865.

Wild fantasy? Of course. But it has kid appeal.

There is something fitting about this cent because it is belongs to Q. David Bowers. He knows the value of a good story. It has helped him sell coins for his entire career.

More importantly, his stories are meticulously researched history.

You know what? That history is even more exciting than the yarns of childhood.


Because as a responsible adult I know Bowers' stories are true and I find them just as exciting as the lies my friends and I swapped as kids.

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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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