Ancient Collector's Blog

29 Apr 2019

Book Review - Money of Their Own

| Ancient Collector

Since we are talking about books, I would like to slip in a real oldie but goodie. Money of Their Own, by Murray Teigh Bloom is a fascinating book about some prominent forgers of currency. Although prominent, they obviously were not great forgets, because as the author points out, the really good ones don't get caught.

The book was published in England in 1957, and I first read it when it was quite new. A few years ago, I remembered it and mentioned it to my sons and about how much I enjoyed it. Voila, I received a copy as a Christmas Present. I reread it and enjoyed it as much as I had in college back in the 1950's.

Money of Their Own tells the story of 10 counterfeiters (or groups of counterfeiters). The stories range over a large number of years from the late 19th through 20th Century and cover Mexico, Europe, and US and Africa. The two most extensive sections deal with Operation Bernhard (The Nazi counterfeiting of US currency) and the story of Artur Alvez Reis, who was so successful that he brought down the government of Portugal.

Fun, light reading with lots of personal interjections by the author, the book steers away from a lot of the technical aspects but gives you just enough that you get a feeling of what the perps went through in trying to increase their own wealth.

The only negative that I might give the book is the lack of photos of those involved and of the masterpieces they created.

Money of Their Own is often available on Amazon for no more expensive than a modern novel, that is under $30.00.

I rate it a solid 4.5 Stars out of 5.



Level 4

Sounds like a good book. Does the ANA Library have a copy? I'll have to check it out.

Sounds like a great book!


Level 4

I'm sold! I can't wait to get my copy!


Level 6

Now that is a book review. I will be checking this one out to read. I have to agree with Mokiechan. I think China has cornered the market. I have it on excellent authority, an ANA past pres. who went to China, that entire sections of some cities in China are government sponsored counterfeiters of our current and past coins. Then again, the good ones aren't caught. Like Omega. Thanks..


Level 4

Excellent book review. Thank you.


Level 7

Now Sir thank you for a proper report on a book. I enjoyed reading it. Simply because you made it so easy. Your own words. Great description of the book. I don't collect but a few things once in a while but I would be interested in it. Thank you for your words and your work. It's a breath of fresh air. Pat

It's Mokie

Level 6

Nowadays we have Daniel Carr, who makes exquisite fantasy issues of American Coins and of course the Chinese. I would suspect that modern technology makes the forger's work easier.


Level 4

Sounds like a great book. Thanks!

I will have to check the sone out. It is always funny to me how the best forgers never get caught. This sounds like an excellent, fun read that I can just sit back and enjoy.

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