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Indian Gold Coins of the 20th CenturyWritten by Mike Thorne
Excerpted from COINage Yearbook 2011 - Used With Permission

The next two NLG award-winning books I'll review focus on gold coins. The first is Mike Fuljenz's Indian Gold Coins of the 20th Century, which received the award for Best Specialized Book: Numismatic Investments. Mike Fuljenz is a coin dealer in Beaumont, Texas, and a three-time winner of the NLG Investment Book of the Year award.

To give you some of the flavor of Fuljenz's writing, here's the first paragraph in the first chapter, titled "A History of the Indian Quarter & Half Eagles":

Conceived in controversy, born of conflict, and reviled at birth, the $2.50 and $5 Indian Head Quarter Eagles overcame their rocky beginnings to become two of America's most popular gold coins. The tale of these extraordinary coins ripples with the sinews of high drama and political intrigue, of powerful ambition hammering against bureaucratic inertia, of soaring imagination transcending drab intellect.

This is excellent writing, and it makes this book a pleasure to read. Although much of the book is devoted to a date-by-date analysis of the three series (Indian Head quarter and half eagles and Indian Head eagles), before he begins this analysis, Fuljenz describes in detail the history of the designs.

In addition, he explains why the Indian gold coins are so popular, suggests some ways to collect them, provides buying tips, discusses grading, looks at how to protect your collection from being stolen and considers where to sell your gold coins and jewelry quickly. In discussing where to sell quickly, he gives both advantages and disadvantages. The disadvantages should be read carefully, as in some cases (e.g., hotel buyers, gold parties) they far outweigh any advantages.

In the date-by-date analysis, Fuljenz talks about the rarity of each date relative to others in the series and gives the overall rarity and the rarity in four uncirculated grades. He also discusses the quality of the strike and the luster, the presence or absence of copper spots and the quality of the eye appeal. He ends each series with a checklist and space for collector notes.

Overall, this is a worthwhile book, particularly if you're interested in the coin series reviewed. It's both entertaining and informative, and what more could you ask of a book with a list price of just $14.95. The publisher is Subterfuge Publishing (, and it is available from Amazon.


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