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Kagin, Donald


Born in Des Moines, Iowa; son of Arthur Kagin. Received B.A. from Northwestern University in 1972. Received Ph.D. from the Union Graduate School in 1979. His B.A. and Ph.D. were the first in the country granted in the field of numismatics. Married Sara Ellen Goldiner October 10, 1976. They have two sons and a daughter. He is a member of the Masons and Shrine. PNG member after 1993. Named a Numismatic Ambassador in 2002.  Received Glenn Smedley Memorial Award in 2002. Elected to the ANA board for 2015-2017. Served as ANA vice president 2017 to 2019. Kagin has had several positions in numismatics:

Hollinbeck-Kagin, part time and seasonal, 1959 to 1972.

Hollinbeck-Kagin, cataloger, 1972 to 1974.

A.M. and Don Kagin, Inc., vice president, 1974 to 1980.

Kagin Numismatic Investment Corp., owner and president, 1980-1984. 

Marin Numismatics, manager, 1987 to 1991.

International Numismatic Exchange, president, 1989 to 1991.

Kagin contributed a column, "As I See It" to Coin World 1980 to 1988. He has also contributed articles to several other publications. Author of Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States issued in 1981 at $29.95. Author of Donald Kagin's Personal Guide to Rare Coin Investments in 1983. Author of Treasury Notes of the War of 1812.

Kagin has appeared in character as “The Oldest Living Pioneer” and “Colonial Man.”

In 2021 he was on the Coin World list of The Most Influential People in Numismatics 1960-2020. He made the list again in 2022, 2023 and 2024.

bio by correspondence, 1991; bio: WWWest 84 profile: NN/WW 2/10/98 (photo).


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    Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States 1/1/1981

    Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States

    This is the story of three gold rushes in American history, starting in the Appalachians in the late 1820s, exploding in California twenty years later, and concluding in Colorado in the late 1850s. Although California has most captured popular thought, all three are intertwined with private gold coinage, technically illegal but tolerated by a federal government unable to service the blood of commerce. Kagin does more than merely catalog the artifacts; indeed, the reader must persist until the detailed appendix in order to find the usual technical data. The real treasure here is the wealth of historical context surrounding private gold coinage - stories of the coiners and the mints, of early strikes and the halting attempts of the U.S Government to absorb the gold economy. A useful associated item is a sale catalog issued by Kagin's, entitled The Robert Bass Collection: The Finest Collection of Pioneer Patterns Ever Assembled.

    Voted #62 of the top 100 American numismatic works by the Numismatic Bibliomania Society in a 2009 survey.

    Treasury Notes of the War of 1812 2019

    Treasury Notes of the War of 1812

    The War of 1812 triggered our nation’s first severe financial crisis since the Revolution. Yet for the most part it is a forgotten conflict. Often called our nation’s “Second War of Independence,” the conflict erupted after an extended disagreement with Great Britain over trade tariffs and their continued capturing and impressing of U.S. citizens for British maritime service, including prosecuting their war against France. The war lasted more than two years, and ended in something of a stalemate but did confirm American Independence.

    These Treasury Notes significantly helped to provide a medium of exchange for our fledging nation during the most difficult part of the war and as such are among the most important currency ever provided by the United States. A total of five issues between 1812 and 1815 totaling $36 million in denominations of $3 to $1,000 were emitted. The notes proved to be extremely successful and were fully subscribed and accepted by banks and merchants.

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