Q David Bowers Inducts James Ruddy to the PCGS CoinFacts Dealer HoF
James F. Ruddy (1933-2017) Dealer career: 1953-1977, HOF: 2014. James F. Ruddy, known as Jim to his friends, entered the rare coin business in 1953, trading as the Triple Cities Coin Exchange in Johnson City, New York. From an early time he was interested in the study of die varieties, history, and the like, and soon became a very knowledgeable professional. In 1956 he handled the numismatic estate collection of Claude Colier, an old-time American Numismatic Society member. In 1957, with Dave Bowers, he conducted the first and only Penn-New York Auction Company sale, featuring many choice and gem pieces. On April 15, 1958, he and Dave Bowers became partners in Empire Coin Company, Inc., continuing through 1966. Then in 1971 they formed Bowers and Ruddy Galleries, Inc., in Los Angeles, which went on to many successes. In the early 1960s, Jim served as secretary of the Professional Numismatists Guild, handling correspondence, making payments and arrangements, processing memberships and more -- all on an unpaid basis (today, the position is considered full time and pays well). After many years of study, research, and photography, in 1970 he published Photograde, a photograph guide to grading coins. This was an instant success and replaced earlier guides that used line drawings or narratives. By matching a coin to a photograph a user of the book could grade a coin almost instantly. The book was a sensation, revolutionized the grading system, and became a best seller. Jim went into retirement in 1977, but since that time has kept abreast of major numismatic activities through his lifetime membership in the American Numismatic Association. He is certainly one of the "greats" in the hobby during the very transitional and formative era of the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s.