Words of personal wisdom from a member.
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73 posts in this topic

If I seem (correctly) to minimize the value of what Roger spends his time on, it may be because most of what he covers I already have read. A lot of it is still in my library. I am a Kolbe and Fanning customer. I also USE my access to ALL past issues of The Numismatist. Does Roger provide some valuable service? I never said he didn’t. I bought his book on 1936-42 proofs. But I CANNOT ACCEPT his tendency to fill the inevitable gaps in the record with naked opinion not labeled as such. 

Edited by VKurtB
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One other quick point. The general quality of numismatic writing in recent years is pretty “urine poor”. I’d love to know who is ghosting for QDB, cuz whoever he is is good. Whitman seems to have an effective monopoly, and that’s a horrible state of affairs. Both of these things ARE true: Roger is among the best presently out there AND there are valid criticisms of his methods. 

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On 3/14/2022 at 7:54 PM, VKurtB said:

But I CANNOT ACCEPT his tendency to fill the inevitable gaps in the record with naked opinion not labeled as such. 

If it's clearly opinion or if he is drawing a logical conclusion, that's OK.

It's not like Walter Breen getting caught (not his fault, IMO) talking about an English hoard of Saints.

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On 3/14/2022 at 6:54 PM, VKurtB said:

If I seem (correctly) to minimize the value of what Roger spends his time on, it may be because most of what he covers I already have read. A lot of it is still in my library. I am a Kolbe and Fanning customer. I also USE my access to ALL past issues of The Numismatist. Does Roger provide some valuable service? I never said he didn’t. I bought his book on 1936-42 proofs. But I CANNOT ACCEPT his tendency to fill the inevitable gaps in the record with naked opinion not labeled as such. 

He really should concentrate his attention on clad but, then, shouldn't we all....  :wink:

Edited by cladking
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VKurt, I respect both you and Roger's opinions greatly. I had lurked here for years before joining and I'm glad I did, it taught me most of what I now know. I know that both of you provide valuable insight and services to the ANA, you with your volunteer work with shows and Roger listed as an editor of The Numismatist. I can respect both of you with your differing opinions, and have things that I disagree with for both. This would be what I disagree with you about, and for Roger its the whole thing about 65-67 SMS coins not being identifiable after they are removed from mint packaging. I never understood his point on that.

A little backstory: I'm young, and don't have anywhere near the wisdom that many of you on the forums have gained in multiples of my time in the hobby. But one thing that I learned and drilled into my head early on in my ten years in the hobby was to read. Read everything that you can. I read the redbook cover to cover five times early on, and I still reference it every now and then for mintage figures. I managed to stay away from bad purchases and getting burned on my small budget by reading and knowing more than the person selling the coin. It was always my goal to know the most about that given coin that I was thinking of purchasing. What made that ONE coin the special one out of the mintage of say 40,000? I also realized early on that many of the threads on the forums provided better input than most books, but a lot of what was in them was opinions.

I've also noticed that the further I get into a specialty, the harder it is to find new info on a coin or series. You eventually get to a point where there is just no more knowledge to find in text and you have to find it yourself by experience, especially in a smaller area of collecting. You have clearly met this point with many coins. At that point, the reading grows old and there is no need to read it again, it provides no use. That's why I don't read the redbook anymore, its use has faded. A lot of what runs in The Numismatist is good, particularly David Lange's articles and the humor section. There has only been one cover story, however, that I truly learned something from, and the online versions are just plain hard to navigate in my experience. I need to find a better system. Roger's books are so grossly in depth that there is always something to be gained from them, but a lot of what I take is his opinions, because the facts are in many places, in things I've already read. It seems to me that this is your main beef with Roger, his opinions. It may have gone back to the Longboard case or further, I don't know for sure since I have just started reading on that subject.

So I guess the question to ask is this, based on the 36-42 proofs book. Roger clearly fills some gaps in with opinion (I maintain that those are logical conclusions), but do you agree with the opinions he puts out? At some point, all of numismatics has to fall to opinion, especially when someone wants to find new information related to a topic. Just my opinion. I suppose that one can say that Roger has no need to mark his opinions because they could very well be true, and many are. If the numismatic hobby in general agrees with his opinions, can they then be accepted as fact? Using the same book, if you say no to the questions, I would want to see an example. I think a critical part of arguing a point would be having evidence, which I would assume you have if you don't agree with Roger's opinions. Everyone has a right to argue their point, but they've got to have something to back it with. xD

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Really good post, FlyingAl.  

While I hope to read FMTM in its entirety this Summer, I read Roger's Saint-Gaudens Double Eagles book cover-to-cover....you can clearly see the depth of research that the book involved....and where Roger offers opinions or draws conclusions, I believe they are very reasonable just like his estimates for each coin's population.

There are so many scamsters and fraudsters out there that to quibble with someone's methodology or style or conclusions is to focus on minutae, IMO.  If you think someone is wrong on a specific fact or opinion, then point it out.

But the information-sharing we all get from these Forums and from other websites was unknown 30 years ago.  Whatever specific interests you have, the information is now available to all and quickly, too. 

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On 3/15/2022 at 9:41 AM, FlyingAl said:

VKurt, I respect both you and Roger's opinions greatly. I had lurked here for years before joining and I'm glad I did, it taught me most of what I now know. I know that both of you provide valuable insight and services to the ANA, you with your volunteer work with shows and Roger listed as an editor of The Numismatist. I can respect both of you with your differing opinions, and have things that I disagree with for both. This would be what I disagree with you about, and for Roger its the whole thing about 65-67 SMS coins not being identifiable after they are removed from mint packaging. I never understood his point on that.

A little backstory: I'm young, and don't have anywhere near the wisdom that many of you on the forums have gained in multiples of my time in the hobby. But one thing that I learned and drilled into my head early on in my ten years in the hobby was to read. Read everything that you can. I read the redbook cover to cover five times early on, and I still reference it every now and then for mintage figures. I managed to stay away from bad purchases and getting burned on my small budget by reading and knowing more than the person selling the coin. It was always my goal to know the most about that given coin that I was thinking of purchasing. What made that ONE coin the special one out of the mintage of say 40,000? I also realized early on that many of the threads on the forums provided better input than most books, but a lot of what was in them was opinions.

I've also noticed that the further I get into a specialty, the harder it is to find new info on a coin or series. You eventually get to a point where there is just no more knowledge to find in text and you have to find it yourself by experience, especially in a smaller area of collecting. You have clearly met this point with many coins. At that point, the reading grows old and there is no need to read it again, it provides no use. That's why I don't read the redbook anymore, its use has faded. A lot of what runs in The Numismatist is good, particularly David Lange's articles and the humor section. There has only been one cover story, however, that I truly learned something from, and the online versions are just plain hard to navigate in my experience. I need to find a better system. Roger's books are so grossly in depth that there is always something to be gained from them, but a lot of what I take is his opinions, because the facts are in many places, in things I've already read. It seems to me that this is your main beef with Roger, his opinions. It may have gone back to the Longboard case or further, I don't know for sure since I have just started reading on that subject.

So I guess the question to ask is this, based on the 36-42 proofs book. Roger clearly fills some gaps in with opinion (I maintain that those are logical conclusions), but do you agree with the opinions he puts out? At some point, all of numismatics has to fall to opinion, especially when someone wants to find new information related to a topic. Just my opinion. I suppose that one can say that Roger has no need to mark his opinions because they could very well be true, and many are. If the numismatic hobby in general agrees with his opinions, ave if you don't agree with Roger's opinions. Everyone has a right to argue their point, but they've got to have something to back it with. xD

....can they then be accepted as fact? ......never....

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On 3/15/2022 at 2:13 PM, zadok said:

....can they then be accepted as fact? ......never....

Can what be accepted as fact ?  Opinions in books that are backed up by other facts ?  I think they can...if NOT supported, then no.

If I say that the Mets WILL win 90 games this year and make the playoffs, based on everything they have done so far I think that my OPINION is well-supported by the facts.  If I say that they will win 105 games...steamroll through the playoffs...and win the World Series...that's an unsupported opinion and conjecture.

Some of these books I can't speak to. But FMTM is too detailed and too long to be mostly "opinions."  As for his Saints book which I have gone back to dozens of times.....I think it's meticulouosly researched and opinions are clearly presented as such.  When talking about trade flows, the Gold Standard, use of Double Eagles, etc....RWB presents actual factual documentation and/or logical reasons based on economics, finance, and Treasury/Mint policy to make reasonable deductions.

I think we are splitting hairs here, folks.  Like wondering if a coin is MS-65 or MS-65+.  :)

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 3/15/2022 at 2:26 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Can what be accepted as fact ?  Opinions in books that are backed up by other facts ?  I think they can...if NOT supported, then no.

If I say that the Mets WILL win 90 games this year and make the playoffs, based on everything they have done so far I think that my OPINION is well-supported by the facts.  If I say that they will win 105 games...steamroll through the playoffs...and win the World Series...that's an unsupported opinion and conjecture.

Some of these books I can't speak to. But FMTM is too detailed and too long to be mostly "opinions."  As for his Saints book which I have gone back to dozens of times.....I think it's meticulouosly researched and opinions are clearly presented as such.  When talking about trade flows, the Gold Standard, use of Double Eagles, etc....RWB presents actual factual documentation and/or logical reasons based on economics, finance, and Treasury/Mint policy to make reasonable deductions.

I think we are splitting hairs here, folks.  Like wondering if a coin is MS-65 or MS-65+.  :)

...bottom line is still...opinions r never facts, even if they prove to be true....

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On 3/15/2022 at 2:29 PM, FlyingAl said:

Zadok, I respect your opinion, but I would like to see one such opinion that cannot be presented as a fact, particularly from the 36-42 proofs book.

...u will need to look else where, the 36-42 proofs book not anything of interest or import to me, opinions, facts or otherwise...my statement stands alone, opinions r not facts by themselves n never should be considered as such....just my opinion on ur suggestion, nothing more....

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On 3/15/2022 at 2:36 PM, zadok said:

...bottom line is still...opinions r never facts, even if they prove to be true....

Agreed....but well-supported OPINIONS are worthwhile.  BS is not.

For instance, Roger said in his Saints book that (theoretically) there are 39 MM Saints that can't be accounted for, the documentation for which is NOT there that they were conclusively melted.   So in theory, they all could still be out there. That's a fact.

Now...if he said that PROVES that there are 39 MM Saints in SDBs, foreign banks, American attics, etc....that would be something not supported by the numerical fact above.  He's not saying that.  OTOH, if he were to say that regardless of the veracity of the 39 MM Saints.....there continue to be mini-Hoards and they can come out at any time and depress the numismatic value of a premium coin so be careful....that is an OPINION that IMO is WELL-SUPPORTED by the underlying facts.

See the difference ?  You just have to be careful and qualify your statements.  Don't oversell something.

I think this is just basic common-sense. (thumbsu

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 3/15/2022 at 2:48 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

 So in theory, they all could still be out there. That's a fact.

....not a fact....an opinion or a theory as u say.....well supported or non-well supported opinions r still just opinions n should be clearly stated as such n not presented as facts...diminishes everything else that is presented in the same venue....one opinion that almost always turns out to be true, coin collecting is a common sense based endeavor, failure to recognize this most likely will cost u more coin...

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On 3/15/2022 at 1:36 PM, zadok said:

...bottom line is still...opinions r never facts, even if they prove to be true....

"Never" is much too big a word.  

"Experience" is essentially by definition the only fact, even if is not yet supported by "science".  I will take anyone's experience even over expert opinion every time.  

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On 3/15/2022 at 5:20 PM, cladking said:

"Never" is much too big a word.  

"Experience" is essentially by definition the only fact, even if is not yet supported by "science".  I will take anyone's experience even over expert opinion every time.  

...close but no cigar....experience is by definition the observation of facts, not really relevant here...science has nothing to due with opinion versus fact, perhaps a bit too much faucism exposure...expert, non-expert opinions still just opinions nothing to do whether factual or not...but true, "never" is a big word by definition...

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On 3/15/2022 at 1:36 PM, zadok said:

...bottom line is still...opinions r never facts, even if they prove to be true....

I can and do agree with this view, while acknowledging that saying it out loud can be viewed as provocative. Opinions used to help fill in the gaps in the established record of facts ARE PERFECTLY OKAY as long as those opinions are carefully stated to be that. But just casually throwing in opinion and leaving it indistinguishable from facts in the record is intellectually dishonest, and Roger does that nearly every time his fingers hit the keyboard. 

Edited by VKurtB
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On 3/16/2022 at 4:50 PM, VKurtB said:

I can and do agree with this view, while acknowledging that saying it out loud can be viewed as provocative. 

...i prefer advocative, but have never minced words all that much.....

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On 3/16/2022 at 4:00 PM, zadok said:

...i prefer advocative, but have never minced words all that much.....

Never having used the adjectival form of the word advocate before, I bow to your superior vocabulary choice. 

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VKurt, I'm understanding this a little better now. I see why you want the opinions separate, and perhaps I will agree with that. I do think that Roger perhaps never thought to separate his opinions, instead leaving that job to the reader to figure out. 

Obviously, this raises problems later on, which you are clearly pointing out. I suppose that it is quite possible that Roger did this in error, but I think he may have intentionally left those opinions in there for the reader to decipher and decide if they want to agree or not, like I said before. As such, some people will take those as facts, which would be incorrect, even if the conclusions (opinions) he draws are logically true, and can be perhaps accepted as true. I agree with your point on this.

I certainly learned a lot about opinions vs facts today!

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On 3/16/2022 at 4:28 PM, FlyingAl said:

I do think that Roger perhaps never thought to separate his opinions, instead leaving that job to the reader to figure out. 

I am not insensitive to that idea. Really critical readers will do that as a matter of course. And reading EXTREMELY critically is precisely what I did for over 13 years for the Judiciary Committee of the Pennsylvania House of Reps. That and write language for statutes. But I don’t expect others, especially YOUNGER others, to have that skill set. Your understanding of this difference, Al, speaks to a high degree of insight. 

Edited by VKurtB
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On 3/15/2022 at 1:29 PM, FlyingAl said:

Zadok, I respect your opinion, but I would like to see one such opinion that cannot be presented as a fact, particularly from the 36-42 proofs book.

The 36-42 proofs book was important enough for me to overlook my more “personal” problems with Roger. Frankly, I’d like to see it augmented with material on the Lincoln Matte Proofs and early Buffalo Matte Proofs, but then again, Carl Waltz of Millersville, PA might have the former well covered, and is presently working on the latter. He is right now sending me his draft on the career of numismatist Charles T. Steigerwalt. 

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On 3/16/2022 at 4:27 PM, VKurtB said:

The 36-42 proofs book was important enough for me to overlook my more “personal” problems with Roger. Frankly, I’d like to see it augmented with material on the Lincoln Matte Proofs and early Buffalo Matte Proofs

I loved the 36-42 proofs book, as you can probably tell by now. These proofs are my main collecting interest and Roger's book is I think without a doubt the most informative and well done reference for these proofs. However, the best way to learn about these based on my experience is just to look at a lot of them and apply what Roger says to your own knowledge based on the coins themselves, and images found on sites like CoinFacts. 

As to the topic of Matte proofs, I do think that there is not much out there, but I haven't really looked to be honest. I do also think that there is a lot of misinformation on them, and a lot of "get rich quick" information going around. The idea of cherrypicking these is a major contributor to their popularity today IMO. I don't think that there are as many collectors willing to build a full set of these, Lincoln or Buffalo, as the market lets on. Such a shame too, if they were cheaper I'd be all over them lol. It would be nice to see Roger put out a book similar in style to the 36-42 book for these Matte proofs, I think it may contribute to a larger collector base rather than a "get rich quick" base. It takes a special collector to truly understand those proofs and go after the best ones. I do also think having a published list of the diagnostics would be helpful. Many of the sites for diagnostics that the forums list are either too old and therefore no longer hosted on the internet, or incomplete (particularly the Buffalo series). Of course, the books you mentioned may already provide this information in spades, but since I don't have them to reference I cannot speak to that.

Edited by FlyingAl
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On 3/16/2022 at 5:28 PM, FlyingAl said:

VKurt, I'm understanding this a little better now. I see why you want the opinions separate, and perhaps I will agree with that. I do think that Roger perhaps never thought to separate his opinions, instead leaving that job to the reader to figure out. 

I'm a bit lost here as I don't know ANYYBODY who has ever said they don't want opinions and facts separate.  I think the gray area is where you draw conclusions.

It might pay to give examples from somebody's or Roger's books/research, but I gave an example above from a topic and book I am familiar with above, namely Roger's Saints book.  I do not think that everything presented in any book is always either labled a fact or an opinion....many times it's a gray area between.  I don't think that unless you state these nebulous areas are facts that if you present them as plausibly true that you are guilty of fraud.  I think only MATERIALLY FACTUALLY WRONG information being presented as factually true or possibly true is a breach of ethics.

Not every logical assertion needst to be mathematically or visually/orally confirmed.

On 3/16/2022 at 5:28 PM, FlyingAl said:

Obviously, this raises problems later on, which you are clearly pointing out. I suppose that it is quite possible that Roger did this in error, but I think he may have intentionally left those opinions in there for the reader to decipher and decide if they want to agree or not, like I said before. As such, some people will take those as facts, which would be incorrect, even if the conclusions (opinions) he draws are logically true, and can be perhaps accepted as true. I agree with your point on this.  I certainly learned a lot about opinions vs facts today!

I'm confused....can you give an example of something that is an opinion being passed off as fact ?  I may be at a disadvantage given my lack of knowledge about Peace/Proof coins that Roger wrote about but hopefully I can follow the facts/opinions.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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BTW, there is a difference between BIAS and OBJECTIVITY -- they are often used interchangeably, but they are NOT the same thing.  You can be biased and still be objective.(thumbsu

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Roger's Saints Book:  As an example of Roger's attempt to be fair, he had 2 lengthy sections on the debate abour Proof High Relief Saints.  Despite not believing that they ever struck Proofs...and despite the stronger evidence that there wasn't.....Roger gave equal time to the pro-Proof side. 

He could have just as easily given a few sentences and left it at that.  I haven't read some of these other books you folks cite, but if they have the footnotes and bibliography that the Saint-Gaudens DE book has, it's about as well-researched a book as you can get.

If you disagree or like some other books, please tell me who are these authors and their books.  I can tell you I like Bowers' books on Double Eagles and Morgan Dollars and Akers/Ambio's book on Gold Coins.  

 

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Goldfinger, I am with you 100% here, I was really just trying to get where VKurt was coming from. I always try to hear both sides of the story before I take a side. 

I'll try and explain where we went in a few posts, it did go really fast. The first thing that got us to where we decided that Roger does not sometimes distinguish his opinions and fact was where it was established that opinions (conclusions) cannot be facts. I had no idea this was true, but the definitions make it clear, and I was wrong. Opinions and conclusions are by definition, very close to the same. The only difference is that conclusions are generally logic and fact based, but are not in themselves fact and cannot be. I think this is where you got lost, and it was where I did before I researched it too. I encourage you to look it up, I'm sure there are sites that can give a much better answer than I can. 

I'm sorry I can't come onto your home base with the Saint's book, I'm afraid I don't have it. I will choose something that is familiar to a lot of numismatists, but this is by luck that Roger chose to have an opinion here. I will note that there were only two things in the 36-42 proofs book that were opinions that were very layered in with facts where they got very blurry and it was easy to take the opinions as fact unless you really red between the lines. They were Roger's statements on original proof sets and the number of cameo coins a die pair could have struck. I agree with his stance on the former, and disagree with the latter.

I'll choose the original proof set statement to begin with. Roger states that since all proofs were ordered individually and that they were randomly assembled at the mint (fact) they were therefore never in original sets to begin with (opinion). He does, however, correctly state that the so called "original sets" are only coins that were received in the original package from the mint. He goes on to state that there is no difference between a set in the original package and a set in five certification holders and says they are the same (opinion).

While many would agree with this, if the coins from the original set and box where also graded, I do think (opinion) that a major premium would be paid for a set never removed from the mint cellophane, which has never come to market but I know that I certainly would. This would say that the market DOES distinguish between a certified set where the coins came from all over and a truly original set just as it came from the mint. As such, the opinion that is so layered between facts is therefore taken as a fact by a reader who does not truly know the market. 

All being said, Roger has written an excellent work and is right on almost everything, there is no possible way to write a perfect book. His is as close to perfect as you can get, and I'm really having to dissect the work here. I also agree with Roger on his stance about original sets, any premium I would pay is based off of having novelty of a set surviving for so many years straight from the mint. I do suspect others would want the originality of it. However, Roger is 100% correct in saying that there is no difference between a set of five coins in one set of holders and five others in a set of a different TPG's holders. You also raise a good point about finding other good books. There are few for niche markets, especially the 36-42 proofs book, and VKurt's statement proves this when he says: 

On 3/16/2022 at 4:27 PM, VKurtB said:

The 36-42 proofs book was important enough for me to overlook my more “personal” problems with Roger

There aren't many books out there and it is unfortunate, but you may be able to find one on the Saints. I do, however, know that if there is a better or more researched book out there about the 36-42 proofs, I haven't found it. I view Roger's book as the authoritative reference on these coins. 

I, however, agree with Roger and Goldfinger on this one. Roger's conclusions are so logically driven that there is not necessarily a need to separate them every time, for many reasons. One is that it would take too much time. Two is that it would lengthen the work. Three is that it is redundant. Four is that there is no easy way to write "in the author's opinion" (I found this out when writing my ANA YN literary submission, and it was a pain). I also suspect that there are many other reasons. I do, however, think that VKurt has a valid point for major opinions, where the opinion covers something so big that it could change the market. That should be stated as an opinion. 

Of note, I'm really not trying to burn any bridges here. I'm new to the forums but do hope that I can take what I've learned in my time in numismatics and hopefully apply it here. That's also why I took the time to (hopefully) understand both sides and where they were coming from with their arguments. I haven't really gotten to know either Roger or VKurt at all, but I do know that they have made major contributions to the hobby. I do hope that at some point, you two will be able to put your differences aside and work for the hobby together. What you could do would make a difference that would last for years, and YN's like me would thank you when we're older for how you made the hobby better. 

It does seem we've had a long argument over something that seems rather minor in my eyes now xD.

 

 

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On 3/17/2022 at 2:30 PM, FlyingAl said:

It does seem we've had a long argument over something that seems rather minor in my eyes now xD.

Probably true FlyingAl..., but at the same time it helps us in an endeavor -- coin collecting, numismatics, grading, etc. -- without absolutes.(thumbsu   So I think that we know the quality of people we deal with.  I would never say someone isn't good at what they do just because they have a different opinion than me.

All I know is I read a 640-page book that Roger wrote/edited and I found it chock-full-of-facts and well-supported conclusions/opinions.  I don't think it would have helped me if facts, opinions, and conclusions were all color-coded.

On 3/17/2022 at 2:30 PM, FlyingAl said:

Goldfinger, I am with you 100% here, I was really just trying to get where VKurt was coming from. I always try to hear both sides of the story before I take a side. 

Yeah, you were spot on.  The problem is that Roger likes to answer using jokes and humor and VKurt can be sarcastic and at times smarmy and it can lead to a volatile back-and-forth.  Throw in their diametrically opposing views on gold in general or the 1933 Saint in particular....and it's like inviting Putin and the Ukrainian Freedom Association to the same dinner. xD

On 3/17/2022 at 2:30 PM, FlyingAl said:

I'll try and explain where we went in a few posts, it did go really fast. The first thing that got us to where we decided that Roger does not sometimes distinguish his opinions and fact was where it was established that opinions (conclusions) cannot be facts. I had no idea this was true, but the definitions make it clear, and I was wrong. Opinions and conclusions are by definition, very close to the same. The only difference is that conclusions are generally logic and fact based, but are not in themselves fact and cannot be. I think this is where you got lost, and it was where I did before I researched it too. I encourage you to look it up, I'm sure there are sites that can give a much better answer than I can. 

I think you did a good job.  I agree with your analysis here.  I just can not recall in the Saints book (which I read in-depth and in it's entirety, not the case with FMTM) reading anything where Roger tried to pass off an opinion or a conclusion as definitive fact.  There was no "Walter Breen, Longon Hoard" moment.  I'm not an expert on coins or even Saints, but I have read alot on both and if someone tries to pass something off that is not clearly established or a logical conclusion, I'll probably sniff it out.  I might not have the answer myself, but I can tell when someone is jumping to an unsupported conclusion.

If it's on a minor detail, hey, those happen in a lengthy books.  If it's a major part of a chapter or a key idea, then I'll have trouble with it.  As you noted, we can be parsing things a bit too finely here....debating how many Angels fit on the head of a pin.  

Again....I didn't see any noticeable unsupported opinions being passed off as facts or even conclusions in the Saints book.  And I was looking for them, because I would have grilled Roger in the Saints thread.  And those that I had questions on, Roger graciously answered my concerns in the Saints Thread and they tended to be minor clear-ups or questions.  If I had a major disagreement on a key point in the book or in the 55 pages (to date) of the Saints thread, I can't recall them.

On 3/17/2022 at 2:30 PM, FlyingAl said:

I will note that there were only two things in the 36-42 proofs book that were opinions that were very layered in with facts where they got very blurry and it was easy to take the opinions as fact unless you really red between the lines. They were Roger's statements on original proof sets and the number of cameo coins a die pair could have struck. I agree with his stance on the former, and disagree with the latter.

This book by it's nature is more specific and defined than other books like my Saints book which covers 26 years, decades of the Gold Standard and other gold topics, and lots of different topics both within the Saints annual/mint coin reviews and the Special Chapters between them.  This type of book is by necessity going to have more conclusions along with lots of facts but you can't possibly have every other sentence footnoted and given a stamp of approval. 

Facts, logical conclusions, and nebuoulsly-supported opinions are 3 different levels of confidence.  At various times, you need to decide if something is major or minor and the level of proof needed to make a statement and if that statement is one of fact, conclusion, or opinion.  Roger's numerical math on Saint survivors is one good example of this and the presence of hoards and hidden bags being found, plus a continued drip-drip-drip from the retail public, can lead an individual to take EITHER position on more coins being found (or not) for a particular Saint mintage. 

Not sure what is special about the 1936-42 Proofs but clearly there's enough interest in them to justify a book. (thumbsu 

On 3/17/2022 at 2:30 PM, FlyingAl said:

You also raise a good point about finding other good books. There are few for niche markets, especially the 36-42 proofs book, and VKurt's statement proves this when he says: 

There aren't many books out there and it is unfortunate, but you may be able to find one on the Saints. I do, however, know that if there is a better or more researched book out there about the 36-42 proofs, I haven't found it. I view Roger's book as the authoritative reference on these coins. 

Other sources besides books might be the commentaries in auction catalogs and auction sites like HA, forums like this, and other various sources on the web.  I recently found some new information on the 1983 MTB Saint/Gold Hoard from the Stack's website archives.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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