About W. David Perkins


W. David Perkins is a collector, researcher, author, and Professional Numismatist. Like many, he began collecting coins around age nine, sold his childhood collection in 1970 to buy his first car, and then again began serious collecting coins in 1983.  He soon began buying from leading dealers and auction houses, including Early U.S. Silver Dollars 1794-1803, Seated and Trade Dollars, Capped Bust Half Dollars, and early Bust and Seated silver Type Coins. He also started to collect trade tokens, Civil War Store Card tokens, and medals.  Most importantly, he built an extensive Numismatic Library and joined many numismatic clubs and organizations.  

In the mid-1980s he began to research the early U.S. Silver Dollars 1794-1804, with a focus on great collectors and collections that were relatively unknown as their collections had not been sold in “name sales.” Dave contacted former collectors and their families, searching for annotated books and catalogs, notes, and old correspondence, and invoices.  Dave has been quite successful in this over the years, having acquired many original and unpublished documents and other information on great Early, Gobrecht, and Seated Dollar collections of the past, including Jacque and A. J. Ostheimer III, Eliasberg, Col. E.H.R. Green, Emanuel Taylor, W. Earl Spies, Frank Stirliing, K. P. Austin, and W. G. Baldenhofer, among others.  Much of this research has been published over the years in the John Reich Journal, the Journal of the John Reich Collectors Society (JRCS), and in The Asylum, the Journal of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS). 

In the 1980s he discovered that his great-great grandfather, Wm. Perkins, Jr. issued two Detroit Civil War Store Card tokens in 1863. He began collecting and researching the Detroit tokens.  He has the only complete collection of Detroit Store Cards, which took approximately 25 years to complete, with many “finest knowns” and plate coins from the Fuld Civil War Store Card token book.

Dave is an award winning author and has published well over 100 numismatic articles.  He is a contributor to many important Numismatic Books, including The Encyclopedia of United States Silver Dollars 1794-1803, The United States Early Dollars 1794 to 1803, Early Quarter Dollars of the United States Mint 1796-1838, The Secret History of the U.S. Mint, U.S. Civil War Store Cards (Third Edition), and others.  He has been an instructor at the ANA Summer Seminar on a number of occasions, and has spoken at ANA Conventions in the ANA Numismatic Theatre, John Reich Collectors Society (JRCS) meetings, and at the Liberty Seated Collectors Club (on Gobrecht Dollars).


Numismatic highlights include:


  • Consulted in the cataloging of the Eliasberg Early Silver Dollars 1794-1803 for Bowers & Merena, the Eric P. Newman early quarters 1796-1838 and early dollars 1794-1803 for Heritage Auctions, the Dr. Hesselgesser Collection of Early Dollars for Ira and Larry Goldberg, and in 2015 the Brent Pogue 1794 and 1795 Flowing Hair Dollars for John Kraljevich and Stack’s Bowers Galleries.
  • Sold the James Matthews Collection of Early and Capped Bust Half Dimes, a large collection with 90 of the 92 known Capped Bust Half Dime die marriages, plate coins from the Logan-McCloskey book, die remarriages, and numerous specimens in late die states and with cuds.  Many record prices were set at this sale.
  • Purchased in partnership the Warren Miller collection of early dollars 1794-1803 which had all 118 known die marriages at the time of completion, 169 early dollars in total, with an average grade of Almost Uncirculated. 
  • Was selected to sell the Kirk Gorman collection of Capped Bust Dimes 1809-1837, which was sold in a combination Fixed Price List Sale and Sealed Bid Auction Sale in two parts, the first part at FUN 2016 and the balance of the collection at the ANA World’s Fair of Money at Anaheim in August 2016.  The Gorman Collection had 122 of the 123 known die marriages, with a very high average grade for this series of Almost Uncirculated.  Many record prices were set in these two sales.
  • Purchased the Ostheimer Collection of So-Called Dollars and sold this collection in partnership with Jeff Shevlin, a So-Called Dollar Specialist.  This extensive collection had many rare and unique pieces, dozens of plate coins from the H&K So-Called Dollar book, and over 700 different H&K Numbers (varieties and metals) in total, likely the second most complete collection ever.  This collection included a group of eight exceptional Lesher Dollars (one is graded MS-66 today!) and Farran Zerbe’s personal set of Bryan Dollars, including three unique pieces not listed in the Shorenstein book, Bryan Money.
  • Have bought and sold a large number of R-7 and R-8 die marriages of early dollars 1794-1803 including a number of six figure rarities.  He's also sold a number of R-6 to R-8 early half dimes and dimes, Capped Bust Half Dollars. Dave has consulted on new discoveries with the major auction houses, dealers, grading services, JRCS, Donn Pearlman, and others. 
  • Acquired and later sold the only known 1795 Flowing Hair Dollar struck over a previously struck 1794 Dollar. 
  • Purchased the W. Earl Spies Collection of business strike Liberty Seated Dollars 1840-1873 which was put together in the 1950s and 1960s. This old-time collection was missing only the 1851, 1852, and 1870-S Dollars, with the 1858 Proof (only) Dollar and 1851 / 1852 Dollars having been previously sold with Spies’ collection of Proof Seated Dollars.  
  • Re-discovered” the extensive Emanuel Taylor Collection of early, Seated, and other silver dollars in a virtually unknown 1959 Hollinbeck-Kagin Fixed Price List, and determined later that much of this collection had been unsold and tucked away for decades, appearing for sale in two B&M public auctions in 1995.
  • Was selected by the American Numismatic Society (ANS) to sell duplicate Gobrecht Dollars from the Korein Collection.  Dr. Julius Korein donated over 100 Gobrecht Dollars to the ANS, some as a permanent Reference Collection and others (duplicates) specifically to be sold to raise money for other ANS projects.
  • Received the Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) “Best Article” Award for, "Early Silver Dollar Die Marriages Discovered Since the 1881 Haseltine Type Table - A Detailed Analysis" published in the John Reich Journal in January 1988.  This article also won the 1998 JRCS Jules Reiver Award.
  • Elected to the JRCS Hall of Fame in 2017.


Clubs / Organizations


American Numismatic Association (ANA) – 30 year member. Chairman of the ANA Library Committee.

American Numismatic Society (ANS) – 25 year member

Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS) – Long-time member, former Treasurer, current Board of Directors Member, and frequent author

Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG) – Long-time member; won NLG “Best Article Award” 1998

John Reich Collectors Society (JRCS) – Life Member, Board of Directors, current Treasurer, and frequent author.  Won Jules Reiver Award (Best Article) in 1998.   Elected to JRCS Hall of Fame in 2017

Early American Coppers (EAC) – 30 year member

Liberty Seated Collectors Club (LSCC) – First Numismatic Club / Organization that I joined (1984)

Civil War Token Society (CWTS) – Life Member and Award Winning Author

Token and Medal Society (TAMS) – 20 Year Plus Member and Award Winning Author

Other Clubs / Organizations:  NTCA (Charter Member), CTCC, CSNS, FUN