The ANA's 2012 literary awards -recognizing articles published in the 2011 volume of the ANA's official magazine, The Numismatist-were presented on August 9 at the ANA World's Fair of MoneySM in Philadelphia. The Numismatist was first published by ANA founder and inaugural editor Dr. George F. Heath in 1888 and will celebrate its 125th anniversary next year.
The Heath Literary Award, introduced in 1949, acknowledges outstanding articles published in the preceding year. First place went to Ernie Nagy for his September 2011 article, "Great Numismatic Moments in American Literature," which explained how many authors recognized the value of including coins to enhance the fabric of their classic works. Nagy received $250, a bronze medal and a certificate. (In last year's competition, Nagy received third place for his September 2010 article, "Artifacts of Andrew Jackson's Bank War.")
John M. Kleeberg took second place ($100, certificate) for "Getting to the Bottom of the Seawater Uncs" (February 2011), which described a group of dull, lightly etched coins thought to have been part of a 19th-century payroll lost in Florida's Indian River. Eric Brothers received third place (certificate) for "John Reich: The Mint's Overworked & Underappreciated Engraver" (March 2011), which told how the talented artist put his skills to work at the first U.S. Mint, but was frustrated by roadblocks set up by Chief Engraver Robert Scot.
The Wayte and Olga Raymond Memorial Literary Award, endowed by the late John J. Ford Jr., is presented for articles in The Numismatist that display original and comprehensive research in U.S. numismatics. Kleeberg and his "Seawater Uncs" received first-place honors ($400, certificate), and Brothers was awarded second place ($200, certificate) for "John Reich." Leroy Van Allen earned third place (certificate) for "Morgan Dollar 'Micro O' Fakes" (July 2011).
Funded by an anonymous donor, the Catherine Sheehan Literary Award for U.S. Paper Money Studies was presented to three authors. First place ($50, certificate) went to Mark D. Tomasko for "Lions on Steel" (May 2011), which considered two outstanding vignettes by talented bank-note engraver James Smillie. Todd Sciore received second-place honors (certificate) for "The Gettysburg Connection" (July 2011), in which he explained how a "Brown Back" National Bank note had unexpected links to the American Civil War. Third place (certificate) was awarded to Chip Scoppa for "Red 'R' & Red 'S' Revisited" (March 2011), which described how letters overprinted on World War II-era bills identify experimental issues.