|About Bruce Lorich|
|I began collecting coins in 1953, at the age of 7. I studied the Red Book and by the time I was in high school I had mastered what was then the "art" of grading. This remained a hobby until I went to Penn State University in 1964. I earned three degrees (B.A., M.A, M.S.) and then for several years I edited books for a Philadelphia publishing company and for the National Geographic Society in Washington, D.C. |
While in the publishing business, I rediscovered coin collecting and began going to auctions. I quickly learned that many dealers were not very well informed but that one dealership -- Bowers & Ruddy Galleries, Inc. -- stood out from the rest because of its dedication to quality and to its customers. It was the pre-eminent dealership of the era, and I decided that I wanted to work for the two gentlemen who owned it. In 1974, I got my wish and was hired by Q. David Bowers and James F. Ruddy. Joining this company was akin to going to work for Tiffany & Co. in the jewelry business. Instantly I found myself beside some of the top numismatists in America. I worked for the legendary Hollywood, California, dealership for five wonderful years -- as advertising manager, publicity writer, editor of the monthly Special Coin Letter, and cataloguer of all kinds of coins for the firm's signature auctions as well as its famed Rare Coin Review. During these years (1974-1979), I began publishing articles about rare coins in Coin World and in other journals of the hobby. Dave Bowers and Jim Ruddy placed great emphasis on ethical business practices. The focus of the company was United States coins, and it was one of the few dealerships which devoted energy to educating its customers, via the publication of research articles and stories about coins. This was where I learned my trade.
Bowers & Ruddy Galleries was also deeply involved in World Coins, and my taste for the exotic and the unusual was tempted on a daily basis as wonderful coins passed before my eyes. As a former English major, my interest was drawn especially to England and its rich coinage heritage. One of the highlights of my five years in Hollywood was the assignment to write up what are arguably the most famous of all British coins, the patterns of the abdicated King Edward VIII, which were offered for sale in the 1978 A.N.A. auction. Never before had these marvelous coins been photographed in color or described in extensive detail in a public forum. So rare are these coins that the abdicated monarch, the Duke of Windsor, was never able to obtain a set for himself . . . and yet I got to examine, handle and write about them!
By 1979, I felt it was time to become an independent dealer, and I formed a company based in Pasadena with another former B&R employee. We called ourselves California Numismatic Corporation. We sold beautiful United States coins and decided also to offer coins of England as having excellent collecting qualities; we quickly found that our customers saw exceptional value in these coins, and the demand which our sales created taught me an early lesson: that Gem English coins are much rarer than corresponding U.S. coins, yet they were (and still are) temptingly priced.
In 1984, I decided to break up my business partnership and move back to Pennsylvania. My wife and I settled on State College. It was an ideal place for flying off to England in search of coins, a much quicker trip than from Los Angeles.
My business has flourished here. I also "hire myself out" to catalogue coins for several auction houses. I have written about countless United States and World coins, with a specialty in British of course, for Ira and Larry Goldbergs' auctions in Beverly Hills, for the St James's - Baldwin's London sales, and in particular for Heritage Auctions of Dallas. In 2008, I was asked to write historical text for the special four-piece collection of Russian gold coins that appeared in St James's Auction 10, one of which now holds the record for the highest priced Russian coin ever sold. I have written about virtually every U.S. and British rarity, as well as many thousands of coins of other countries. My cataloguing is distinguished by historical commentary and by detailed descriptions.
In 2006, I was asked by Ira Goldberg to contribute to a book he was going to have produced by Whitman Publishing. It would tell the story of coinage, from ancient Greece to the modern world, and would feature illustrations of numerous splendid coins contained in the worldwide collection of one of his firm's clients. The book appeared in the spring of 2007 bearing the title Money of the World and was lavishly illustrated. I wrote Chapter 4: Coins of the European Renaissance. The book won an award, has been enthusiastically praised, and has sold well. At the end of May 2008, the collection which formed the basis for the book was auctioned by Ira and Larry Goldberg, in Beverly Hills, California, and many world-record prices were set at the event. I catalogued all of the English coins and edited much of the text for the 1100 coins in this landmark auction. The book's subtitle is "Coins That Made History" -- and these coins, wonderful in many ways, continue to garner acclaim and to make history. I show above the cover of the book and images of the three catalogues that described The Millennia Collection. I hope you get a chance to read this book (many public libraries have it), and I urge you to contact the Goldberg firm to purchase copies of the Millennia auction catalogues, for each publication is highly informative, rewarding to study and valuable to own.
After nearly 40 years of working with the world's finest rare coins, I have experienced the wonderful wide world of numismatics and have benefited in many ways. At its best, numismatics is about sharing our collective cultural heritage as seen by and interpreted through the world's historical coinage. It's a special kind of education -- literally, an understanding of mankind's evolution seen through coins as symbolic works of art.
I invite you to correspond with me for any reason, and to seek my guidance in collection building if you so desire. I answer all emails. Many numismatists have written to me about following my cataloguing work in Heritage's World Auctions and in other venues, and it would be my pleasure if you too decide to become one of my numismatic friends.
P.O. Box 236, State College, PA 16804
Telephone (814) 237-6761
|Copyright © 2015 · Bruce Lorich · All rights reserved|