Born in Boston. Received AB from Princeton in 1957 and MBA from Harvard in 1960. Married Mary Markle Pierce August 29, 1959. They have three children. Married Regina on June 28, 2000. Employed in research department for Kuhn Loeb & Co. in New York City 1960 to 1961. Assistant treasurer at Corning Glass Works 1961 to 1966. Chairman of Adams, Harkness & Hill, later Canaccord Adams, investment bankers in Boston. He is a fellow of the Massachusetts Historical Society, the ANS, and the American Antiquarian Society.
Adams was editor of Monographs on Varieties of United States Large Cents 1793-1794 published in 1976 at $20. Author of United States Numismatic Literature Volume I Nineteenth Century Auction Catalogs issued in 1982. Volume II covering twentieth century catalogs was published in 1991.
Author of The Indian Peace Medals of George III (1999), The Medals Concerning John Law and the Mississippi System (2006), with Anne Bentley of Comitia Americana and Related Medals (2007), with Fernando Chao of The Medallic Portraits of Admiral Vernon (2010).
Adams assembled a collection of 1794 cents that was sold at fixed prices by Bowers and Ruddy in 1982. Their catalog, The Celebrated John W. Adams Collection, is an important reference in the field.
Adams consigned part of his library including manuscripts, correspondence and documents relating to large cents to auction by George Frederick Kolbe June 1, 1990. Duplicates from his library were sold at auction by Money Tree March 13, 1989, February 26, 1990, and July 30, 1990. His Indian peace medals were sold via Stack’s January 12, 2009.
Vice President and board member for NBS 2001 to 2007, President 2007-2009. President of Medal Collectors of America (MCA) 2005-2009, editor of Medals Collectors Advisory after 2004.
In 2016, John and Regina received the ANS Trustees' Award.
bio: WWA 82; WWF&I 83; CAT Bowers and Ruddy; correspondence, 1990. Email 2010
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Monographs on Varieties of United States Large Cents 1793-1794 edited by John W. Adams. This is an in-copyright publication. "Snippet" results will appear in the Newman Portal search results.