Neil Shafer (2010)
Neil Shafer has added immensely to the paper money hobby through his work in developing the Standard Catalogue of World Paper Money
(although he is no longer associated with the publication). His writing in various magazines over almost 50 years has cemented his place as the chronicler of the paper money hobby in North America. Neil’s interest in paper money was sparked by a confederate note he was given as a 12-year-old boy in Chicago. Like many others, he was initially a collector of coins as paper money was too expensive to purchase on a child’s allowance, but even at this early age he tried to research the background to the notes he acquired. After a planned career as a US Air Force officer was derailed on medical grounds, Neil joined the Air Force Orchestra, based in Washington, DC. This allowed him a great deal of free time, during which he researched the currency issued in the Philippines while it was under US administration. This led in 1961 to the publication of United States Territorial Coinage for the Philippine Islands and in 1964 to the publication of his authoritative Guide Book of Philippine Paper Money by Whitman Publishing Company. Whitman offered Neil a job with the Whitman Numismatic Journal, where he wrote on both banknotes and coins for many years. Since 1987, Neil has written an article each month for the Bank Note Reporter. Neil became involved with the initial manuscript for the SCWPM as a consultant in 1975 and was involved with every issue until 2005. Neil has passed on his love of paper money to his son, Joel, who is well known for his role running world paper money auctions for the Lyn Knight organization in the US.