MICHAEL MAROTTA ON NUMISMATICS AND THE LAW
The E-Sylum (5/9/2010)
Wayne Homren was kind enough to let me see these four academic-style journal volumes from 1981-1982. They are evidence of both the permanence and transience of issues in our hobby. Review of Numismatics and the Law and its successor, The Counsellor (sic), were published by Carson City Publications of Midland Park, New Jersey. The editor and principal author was Ronald I. Friedman.
Other articles were the work of D. Larry Crumbley, Clair J. Nixon, Eileen P. Friedman, Allen Kamp, Les Fox, William M. Egbert, Ron Solove, Juan Impuestsos, (John Tax, pen name for an IRS agent), and David L. Ganz.
Ronald I. Friedman was a professor at the law school of Capital University in Columbus, Ohio. Les Fox ran Carson City Publishers. Solove was a professor of law; Eileen Friedman graduated from law school; Crumbly and Nixon were professors of accounting; Crane and Egbert were attorneys. This was a proficient faculty.
Volume 1 Number 1 carried a warning to attorneys: Because most of our readers are not attorneys it has been decided not to clutter up the Review with legal citations to cases, statutes and the like. Personally, I believe that this allowed them to make themselves the experts of record. The Bluebook mode of legal citation favors brevity. For instance, Tips on collecting classic proof coins, by Q. David Bowers, The Numismatist, Vol. 108, no. 1 (Jan., 1995), p. 77-79 and Vol. 108, no. 2 (Feb., 1995), p. 203-206, would be Bowers, Num. 108, 1-2. It is not insurmountable.
Overall, these articles (25 in four volumes) had little to with numismatics per se and much to do with legal topics that concern us: taxation, safe deposit boxes, metal detecting, travel abroad and buying abroad, sunken treasure, and precious metals. Of course, the law changes. Nonetheless, these 30-year old articles do address questions that we still have.
A shift in editorial policy was obvious when The Review of Numismatics and the Law became The Counsellor. The back cover of Volume 2 Number 1 listed Dealers Wed Like to Know More About For Our Files. Among the suspects were The Old Roman, Jules, Karp, and Foothills Coins.
Via their reports from their own Numismatic Legal Referral Service, the publication also took to task Steve Ivy Rare Coins, Ed Rochette and the ANA, Coin World, Clifford Mishler and Krause Publications, and Bowers and Ruddy. They made a special case of Richard Suter of Three Rivers Coins. In addition to listing him along with the other rogues, Les Fox wrote Richard Suter: Coin Man or Con Man for Volume 2 Number 2.
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: MORE ON A REVIEW OF NUMISMATICS AND THE LAW (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v13n15a06.html)