Born in Des Moines, Iowa. Son of Arthur Kagin. Received B.A. from Northwestern University in 1972. Received Ph.D. from the Union Graduate School in 1979. His B.A. and Ph.D. were the first in the country granted in the field of numismatics. Married Sara Ellen Goldiner October 10, 1976. They have two sons and a daughter. He is a member of the Masons and Shrine. PNG member after 1993. Received Glenn Smedley Memorial Award in 2002. Elected to the ANA board for 2015-2017.
Kagin has had several positions in numismatics:
Hollinbeck-Kagin, part time and seasonal, 1959 to 1972.
Hollinbeck-Kagin, cataloger, 1972 to 1974.
A.M. and Don Kagin, Inc., vice president, 1974 to 1980.
Kagin Numismatic Investment Corp., owner and president, 1980-1984.
Marin Numismatics, manager, 1987 to 1991.
International Numismatic Exchange, president, 1989 to 1991.
Kagin contributed a column, "As I See It" to Coin World 1980 to 1988. He has also contributed articles to several other publications. Author of Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States issued in 1981 at $29.95. Author of Donald Kagin's Personal Guide to Rare Coin Investments in 1983.
bio by correspondence, 1991;
bio: WWWest 84 profile: NN/WW 2/10/98 (photo).
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This is the story of three gold rushes in American history, starting in the Appalachians in the late 1820s, exploding in California twenty years later, and concluding in Colorado in the late 1850s. Although California has most captured popular thought, all three are intertwined with private gold coinage, technically illegal but tolerated by a federal government unable to service the blood of commerce. Kagin does more than merely catalog the artifacts; indeed, the reader must persist until the detailed appendix in order to find the usual technical data. The real treasure here is the wealth of historical context surrounding private gold coinage - stories of the coiners and the mints, of early strikes and the halting attempts of the U.S Government to absorb the gold economy. A useful associated item is a sale catalog issued by Kagin's, entitled The Robert Bass Collection: The Finest Collection of Pioneer Patterns Ever Assembled.
Voted #62 of the top 100 American numismatic works by the Numismatic Bibliomania Society in a 2009 survey.