American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

A page from one of the notebooks

Kenneth Lee notebook and fractional gold coin photographs, circa 1932-1969, 1979
0.3 cubic feet (1 box)

Biographical note
Kenneth W. Lee (1907-1980) was the author of California Gold Dollars, Half Dollars, Quarter Dollars (1970 & 1979), an updating of California Gold, Quarters-Halves-Dollars: a Descriptive List of Privately Issued, Interesting and Historical Coins of Small Denominations (1932), which was written by his father, Edward (Ed) Melvin Lee (1871-1943). Kenneth was born in Glendale, California, and was a graduate of the University of Southern California. He worked briefly in advertising before joining his father in the coin and medal business in 1930. He became a member of the American Numismatic Association in 1932, the American Numismatic Society in 1944, and was one of the organizers of the California State Numismatic Association in 1947.

Three-ring bound notebook containing pages from Edward (Ed) Melvin Lee’s book California Gold, Quarters-Halves-Dollars (1932) that have been heavily annotated by Edward and then by his son, Kenneth. This would result in Kenneth’s updating of his father’s work with his own book, California Gold Dollars, Half Dollars, Quarter Dollars (1970-1979). The notebook may have been continually updated from approximately 1932 to 1969. In it are detailed descriptions, diagnostic notes, pieces reported but not seen, pedigrees of known specimens, auction appearances, and other notes. Items found loose in the notebook include a letter from dealer B. Max Mehl offering Edward five rare California gold dollars from the Waldo Newcomer collection, along with rubbings of the coins (1932), and a certificate of copyright from the Library of Congress for Edward’s book (1932). Also present are photographic negatives and contact proof sheets of Kenneth’s collection of octagonal and round fractional gold coins, including Kroll hoard pieces, in twenty-five cent, fifty cent, and one dollar denominations (1979).

Archival Collections