Bits & Pieces... by David Sundman

A Fascinating Find: Wayte Raymond's Ancient Roman Coin Album

[photo: Seen above is the top of a page from an Ancient Coin Album by Wayte Raymond, coin dealer & auctioneer from 1908-1956. Below is Littleton’s Ancient Roman Coin Album.]

Seen above is the top of a page from an Ancient Coin Album by Wayte Raymond, coin dealer & auctioneer from 1908-1956. Below is Littleton’s Ancient Roman Coin Album.

I happen to collect old coin albums, and was amazed when a dealer friend showed me the old Roman coin album page seen at top, complete with coins! Beginning in the 1930s, the owner had carefully built an extensive collection of several hundred coins over more than 40 years. The Roman silver denarii portion was housed in these nice album pages. Despite my having collected old albums for more than 30 years, these pages were something I had not previously seen. They were a product of famed New York dealer and auctioneer Wayte Raymond, active from 1908-1956. Over the years, Raymond worked with many great collectors. He handled many major American and world numismatic items in his day, principally through his own fixed price lists and auctions, as well as in cataloging for other firms. At one time, Wayte Raymond owned all five 1913 v-nickels (major rarities), before selling them all to Colonel E.H.R. Green.

Raymond was also a major innovator and promoter of coin albums – an essential part of the hobby’s rise in popularity beginning in the 1930s. While albums for collecting U.S. coins were beginning to see popularity in the late 1920s and 1930s, pages for Roman coins were something entirely new. Collecting ancient Roman coins in those days was not easy, as the field is so large with so many different issues. What direction should a collector take? Raymond’s Roman album pages provided direction for the new ancient coin collector – who was interested in coins and intrigued by ancient history. The pages were built to conveniently fit his National Coin Album line for U.S. coins, which Raymond had purchased in the 1930s from Martin Luther Beistle. This gave the would-be Roman coin collector an easy route to follow – simply start with Roman silver Denarii and work on that series. The owner of this collection was very advanced, as he was lucky to obtain several popular rarities – the Julius Caesar, Marc Antony and Cleopatra coins being worth several thousand dollars each today.

Littleton Coin Company has produced an Ancient Roman coin album that is growing in popularity across the country. It is more flexible in approach than the Wayte Raymond variety of the 1930s, as it provides pages identified by emperor, with pockets that allow you to collect ancients of almost any size – whether bronze, silver or gold. The pages are inert, providing protection against environmental damage that can occur in some albums. You can order Littleton’s Ancient Roman coin album by calling us toll free 1-800-645-3122, and it comes with our usual 45-Day Money Back Guarantee of Satisfaction.