|Steven & Abe Kosoff|
Photo by Coin World
Steven Kosoff was born in NY, and his family moved to
California in the late
1940s. Steve attended his first national
coin convention at age 10. At that ANA
convention, in 1950, Steve helped his father with the convention
auction. Steve apprenticed with his
father as he grew to adulthood and worked alongside his father as a professional for
more than a decade.
Being of the same age and proximity, Steve and I developed a casual friendship. Outside of work, we both loved horses and occasionally attended races at
Del Mar. At coin shows he would often invite me over
to their table, sharing knowledge and providing an opportunity to see new and
interesting coin specimens.
Steve helped me learn about Proof Three Cent Nickels, Uncirculated Half Dimes, Seated Dimes and Bust Halves. We examined Large Cents and lots of other old type coins.
During this period I was dealing in modern coins. In the 1960s BU rolls and other modern issues were the rage and ran the coin market. Abe Kosoff spoke out strongly against the driven market for modern coins. He noted this was not numismatics, but pure and simple speculation. He was correct. The market was working its way towards a bubble which ultimately burst and deflated, as over-hyped markets always do.
Steve Kosoff was trying to teach me that these overlooked and under-appreciated old coins had beauty, value and immense potential for the future.
Let’s look at a couple of examples of how modern items considered “hot” in the 1960s fared over the past 46 years, compared to type coins:
|1949-S BU Roll Nickels||$ 90.00||$ 115.00|
1951-S BU Roll Dimes
|$ 375.00||$ 550.00|
1854 Choice BU Large Cent
|$ 21.00||$ 400.00|
1867 3c Nickel, Gem Proof
|$ 20.00||$ 550.00|
I listened carefully to everything Steve was trying to tell me about coins. I became terribly disillusioned by the the rise and fall of the BU Roll market, losing plenty of my limited capital in the crash, along with lots of other dealers and collectors. From that time on, I turned my focus to good collector coins.
Steve Kosoff died suddenly on March 3, 1969; he was 28 years old.