VOL. XVII No.2
VAM expert A. George Mallis dies at 84
Reprinted with permission of Coin World
A. George Mallis, a pioneer in the study of Morgan silver dollar die varieties, died Dec. 30 at the age of 84.
Mr. Mallis, a native of Springfield, Mass. began collecting in 1928. By the early 1950s, he had accumulated an extensive collection of U.S. coins. According to Leroy Van Allen, longtime fellow collector and co-author of Comprehensive Catalog and Encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace Dollar, Mr. Mallis turned his attention to Morgan dollars because they were relatively inexpensive coins and in need of being catalogued.
Beginning in late 1958, while CEO of a Springfield architectural firm, Mr. Mallis made weekly trips to a job site in northern Virginia. On the return trip, he purchased a $1,000 bag of silver dollars from the U.S. Treasury Department sales counter in Washington, D.C. By 1964 he had examined about 35,000 silver dollars and recorded the die varieties by date and Mint mark as he found them.
Two years before that, Mr. Mallis had begun to prepare a pamphlet documenting his recordings of silver dollar die varieties. In October of 1964 he distributed 50 copies of his pamphlet, titled “List of Die Varieties of Morgan Head Silver Dollars.” In 1971 Mr. Mallis and Van Allen privately published Guide to Morgan and Peace Dollars. Over the next several years, more than 20,000 copies of a hardcover edition, first published in 1976, were sold under the title Comprehensive Catalogue and Encyclopedia of U.S. Morgan and Peace Silver Dollars. In 1977, the book received the Book of the Year award from the Numismatic Literary Guild.
The book is credited with generating interest in collecting silver dollar varieties. It was revised and expanded into a third edition in 1992 under the title Comprehensive Catalog and Encyclopedia of Morgan and Peace Dollars.
Mr. Mallis served on the U.S. Assay Commission in 1962 and was a numismatic lecturer at the Adelphi University School of Finance in Long Island, New York. He taught numismatic courses at the Springfield Technical Community College in Springfield, Mass. He also wrote many articles on coin scales for the American Association’s The Numismatist.
Mr. Mallis was a member of the ANA, American Numismatic Society, Numismatic Literary Guild, New England Numismatic Association, Old Time Assay Commissioners Society and the British Numismatic Society.
He was preceded in death by his wife, Dorothy by five days on Dec. 25, the anniversary of their wedding. He had no children. Survivors include two sisters.