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The E-Sylum (7/8/2018)

Book Content

Breen-Taxay First Coinvestors Certificate

Breen-Taxay Certificate - face

Breen-Taxay Certificate - back

Dave Lange writes:

Regarding the Breen authentication letters posted at the Newman Numismatic Portal I have something similar that may be of interest. It's a small (2.5" x 4.5") certificate that was signed by both Walter Breen and Don Taxay authenticating and grading a 1771 North Carolina note. They were then working for Stanley Apfelbaum's First Coinvestors, Inc.

The certificate was issued to a member of the company's Colonial American Coin Club, and it likely dates to the early-mid 1970s. A photocopy of the note is stapled to the back, as issued, and the certificate itself was formerly stapled to a holder containing the note. I traded the latter a few years ago to a dealer for a Whitman coin folder printing plate that he wouldn't sell for cash. Instead, he said to offer him something historic and cool, so I sacrificed the note, which was indeed quite nice. I never mentioned the certificate, which was of nearly equal interest to me for its association with two controversial figures in numismatics.

Neat item - I wasn't aware of these. Thanks. See also the five shillings 1771 North Carolina note in our Numismatic Nuggets item elsewhere in this issue. -Editor

Taxay and Taxay Associates Certificates
Tom Caldwell of Northeast Numismatics writes:

In a collection we purchased this week were these two coins that came with accompanying certificates. Much like the more occasionally encountered ANACS certificates of the era these were the first we had seen from Taxay. We know there are collectors out there for different grading holders from the past 40 years of so but not sure if this one has been acknowledged.

One is signed by Mike Berton as an "associate" who around that time did business with Taxay as did ourselves. Don & his wife used to visit our office every few months during this time period when we were in Acton, MA.

Mike is the son in-law of Ed Leventhal, the founder of JJ Teaparty formerly of Bromfield St in Boston. Mike is still involved in numismatics & working with the the new owners of Teaparty. The time period between the two Certificates is about the time Taxay disappeared, so it appears that Berton in some sort of way continued working with Taxay as an associate.

1864 Two Cent Piece Taxay Certificate front

1864 Two Cent Piece Taxay Certificate back

1942-S Half Dollar Taxay Certificate front

1942-S Half Dollar Taxay Certificate back

I hadn't seen these, either. Thanks! -Editor

Tom adds:

The bigger mystery is perhaps what happened to Don Taxay? At the height of his career after authoring books in the 1960's & 70's Don seemingly disappeared. A quick Google search reveals that it is believed that Don around this time period converted his wealth & possibly from the influence of Walter Breen moved to India never to be seen or heard from again. Perhaps some other readers will have some new information in regards to Don today?

I expect Don Taxay's disappearance from the hobby will remain an unsolved mystery. The topic has come up here periodically, but no answers have been found. But if anyone has new or overlooked pieces of information, please share them with us. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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