Leonard, Robert D. Jr. (b. 1942)

Mr. Robert D. Leonard, Jr. joined the Chicago Coin Club in July, 1983 and assigned member #967. He quickly became involved in the management of the club, becoming President in 1989 and serving until 1992. He was a contributing author in the club’s book Perspectives in Numismatics issued in conjunction with the 800th Meeting celebration in 1985. For several years after, he promoted the sales of the book on behalf of the club. In 1992 he received the club’s Medal of Merit. Mr. Leonard received three club literary awards and two 1st place and six 2nd place Cabeen awards. He has given featured presentations in front of the club 14 times. He received the Krause Numismatic Ambassador award in 1995. In 1996 Mr. Leonard was co-chairman of the American Numismatic Society conference held in Chicago. He was the General Chairman of the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money convention held in Chicago in 2011.

Mr. Leonard (born April 15, 1942) attended schools in the Chicago area, graduating high school in 1959. He attended the Illinois Institute of Technology from 1959 to 1961, then transferred to the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. He earned a B.S. Degree in General Engineering (minor Engineering Publications), 1964 and a second B.S. degree in Communications (journalism) major in News-Editorial, 1965.

Mr. Leonard started collecting coins at the age of eight and quickly built this interest into the pursuit of knowledge through research encompassing many areas of numismatics including primitive money, medieval coinage, early American coinage, and early tokens. He joined the American Numismatic Association (ANA) in 1961. His first article in The Numismatist in 1963 won him a Heath Literary award. He received two additional Heath awards since.

He joined the American Numismatic Society (ANS) in 1980 and became a Fellow in 1999. He participated in the ANS’s Coinage of the Americas conferences (COAC) in 1988, 1994, and both COACs in 1999. He also was a guest speaker at the Stack Memorial Lecture in 1994. He is also a member of the Royal Numismatic Society. Mr. Leonard has participated in numerous specialty clubs throughout his over 50 years of numismatic involvement, including Token and Medal Society of which he was president from 2006 to 2008, International Primitive Money Society where he is currently the Editor, Israel Numismatic Society of Illinois where he held several offices including President, American Tax Token Society, and Biblical Numismatic Society, to name a few. He has published numerous articles in the journals of each of these prestigious numismatic organizations.

Mr. Leonard has given lectures at the International Numismatic Congress held in Brussels (1991), Berlin (1997), and Glasgow (2009), and at the Society for the Study of the Crusades and the Latin East conference in Istanbul (2004). He presented papers at several ANA conventions, regional societies, and specialty clubs as well as ANA’s “Money Talks.”

Mr. Leonard is an accomplished author having written several books including Curious Currency – The Story of Money from the Stone Age to the Internet Age (2010) with a 2nd edition in 2019, Forgotten Colorado Silver (2017), and lead author of the 2nd Edition of California Pioneer Fractional Gold (2003). He also has written over 100 articles for various numismatic publications.

Mr. Leonard is a consummate numismatic scholar who has freely shared his knowledge with fellow collectors and is truly deserving of this recognition.


The article was published first in the Chicago Coin Club Hall of Fame and is re-published courtesy of the Chicago Coin Club.