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The E-Sylum (12/12/2010)

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Leon Majors submitted the following summary of his survey of surviving sets of Scott's Coin Collector's Journal. Thanks! Below is an image of a set provided by Charles Davis.

Scott's Coin Collector's Journal

Coin Collector's Journal January 1888 First I must apologize for the delay in writing this article. I thought this would be an easy article to write, with lots of interesting data, and the results may be interesting, but are not what I expected.

Well over a year ago, I surveyed readers about ownership of volumes of the early CCJs. I heard back from about a dozen members. I expected to hear what I’ve read, that all volumes of the early CCJ’s are relatively common except for Volume 13 from 1887. I asked about what volumes were owned and how they were bound. In addition to the survey, I have fairly consistently tracked both eBay and Abebooks for the past two years, looking for additional volumes.

What did I find? The readers responding to my survey reported 5 complete bound sets, including my own, and one complete set in wraps. Yes, that’s right… 6 total sets, plus another set missing 3 monthly issues of Volume 13. In addition, respondents reported about a dozen miscellaneous other volumes. On eBay and Abe I have seen maybe another dozen total volumes, including a combined Volume 8&9 on Abe. All of this equates to not enough information to draw statistically valid conclusions from, but I’ll try anyway.

One interesting note was that there were two partial sets of loose monthly issues of Volume 13, one person had 9 monthly issues and the author has 11 loose issues.

In conclusion I spoke with George Kolbe and Charlie Davis about what they expected the numbers to be. George believed and Charlie concurred that there are likely about 25 complete sets extant. George also believes, but I’m not sure I agree, that there are sufficient copies of all volumes (including number 13) to put together another 25 sets.

From the sparse data gathered, and from my prior observations over the past decade or so, Volumes 1-4, are more common than other volumes but none are truly common. A further point would be that all original volumes in wraps are rarer than their bound counterparts.

Now that I’ve put this forth and created a nice target, all of you can now dig through your stacks, boxes and cases and send me info on all those miscellaneous volumes you didn’t think were important before. If someone has access and inclination to search through university reference systems and see how many are impounded in rare book rooms at schools across the country, it would be informative.

Very best regards.
Leon Majors (

Below is an image of my set - the first thirteen volumes on the left are the Scott series. I first set eyes on this set when visiting Donald Miller in Indiana, PA. When I spotted it on the shelf I told myself, "I want to buy this library someday." Ultimately I did. Don and I had similar tastes in numismatic literature and there were tons of duplicates, but the effort was worth it to get this set. I'm sure more than five or six complete sets will ultimately be documented, but it will remain a rare and important element of any library of American numismatic literature. Many thanks to Leon for his survey efforts. Please do contact him if you know of other sets of individual volumes. -Editor

Coin Collector's Journal

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: SURVEY: THE COIN COLLECTOR'S JOURNAL (

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