Interview With A Collector’s Society Member - Dr. Edward Dauer

Posted on 1/17/2017

PMG recently sat down with Dr. Edward Dauer to discuss several topics from his beginnings in collecting banknotes to his philosophy on collecting.

This interview has been edited for content and clarity.

PMG: How did you start collecting paper money?

Dr. Dauer: Well, I first started collecting stamps when I was four years old. I didn’t get into paper money until I was 21 years old. At first it was just a hobby. I didn’t get serious about collecting for some years later.

PMG: What was your first note?

Dr. Dauer: My first note was a $5 Chief, and my second was a $10 Bison. I bought both in 1971, the Chief for $100 and the Bison for $120. Both were UNC (uncirculated). Now they are in a PMG holder. They still graded UNC. I still have them today. The following year in 1972 I bought a $100 1914 Federal Reserve Note from Atlanta. I kept seeing the same ad over and over again in a numismatic publication. I finally bought one for $140. They were sold as UNC. Soon after that I bought the $1, $2 and $5 educational notes for $675. I’ve since sold those educational notes and bought them back.

PMG: Did you have a mentor to point you in the right direction when you first started your collection?

Dr. Dauer: I had the pleasure to meet Dean Oakes in 1973. He was instrumental in my education. Dean has been a prominent dealer since I met him in the early seventies and continues to be to this day. He wrote a book on Iowa paper money in 1982 which was published by the Society of Paper Money Collectors. He also contributed to the small size US paper money book. I think it’s very important to have people you can trust who will supply you with great knowledge and guide you in the right direction.

Dean Oakes can be contacted via his website.

PMG: What is your favorite note in your collection?

Dr. Dauer: I’ve always really enjoyed the Rainbow notes. I think they are very pretty.

1869 $500 Legal Tender, front
PMG Graded 53 About Uncirculated EPQ
Click image to enlarge.

1869 $1,000 Legal Tender, front
PMG Graded 53 About Uncirculated
Click image to enlarge.

A Coin Week article can be viewed here that goes into more detail.

PMG: How do you generally collect?

Dr. Dauer: I first started collecting by seal type. I started with the blue seals of the large size silver certificates and worked from there.

Editor note for a list of seal types see a previous article here.

PMG: Do you collect banknotes more for enjoyment or for investing?

Dr. Dauer: Definitely for enjoyment. I buy notes because I like them, not to make money on them. My advice is not to buy a note (or anything for that matter) if someone says it’s an investment. If someone says it’s an investment run away. Run away as fast as you can.

PMG: Do you believe in the old adage buy the book before the note?

Dr. Dauer: Of course. Education is very important. You need to be able to learn about the note. Learn how to grade. How does the note feel? Has it been repaired? Education is very important; which is also why PMG is so important to the collector. They help the end buyer so they don’t get burned.

PMG: What advice would you give your younger collecting self?

Dr. Dauer: Three pieces of advice. Always buy the best quality banknote that you can. They will always be more in demand. Always buy the tough stuff first. The common notes are easily found so buy them last. EPQ is important. Buy within your budget. Finally pick a theme – design, series, by type – something. Pick something that you will enjoy and buy a note because you like it.

We are grateful that Dr. Dauer took some time out of his busy schedule – before his vacation no less to discuss the finer points of paper money.

Dr. Dauer and his wife have written two books – one on US paper money the other on Australian paper money. To buy the book American History as Seen Through Currency written by Dr. Edward Dauer and his wife Dr. Joanne Dauer click this link. If you would like to purchase Australian History 1901-2001 as Seen Through Banknotes click here.

Both links will send you to Amazon. PMG is not affiliated with any book seller or the sale of books on Amazon.

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