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A brief history of Coin Replicas

CoinReplicas.com was founded in 2003 by Charles Doyle. A Bronx, NY, native and a current resident of Putnam County, NY, Doyle is a metallic art reproductionist, specializing in museum-quality, rare and ancient coins. A long-time apprentice to his uncle, ancient coin expert and reproductionist, Peter Rosa, Doyle’s unique coin reproduction skills and techniques are a Rosa legacy.

“Doyle is continuing Rosa’s mission to make the art of the ancients available to the collector of any means.”

Charles Doyle and the Making of CoinReplicas.com

For Charles Doyle, it all started in the early 1960’s when, at the age of 13, he began working for his uncle, Peter Rosa, who is known as one of the 20th Century’s greatest makers of ancient coin replicas.   After school, Charles started working as a shipping clerk, fulfilling and shipping customer orders. Within a few years, he was manufacturing the coins through their entire process while Peter spent his time creating new works.

In 1969, Doyle enlisted in the Navy and spent four years traveling the world.  He spent the first three years on the Aircraft Carriers USS Constellation, and the USS Hancock as part of the Commander of the Air Wing’s staff. His team provided air support for combat operations in Vietnam.

Doyle’s last year in the Navy was spent in Hawaii with the Fleet Operations Control Command Center reporting to the executive officer who was second in command.  The center was a four story building buried deep underground that was a joint military war center for all the branches of the military.

After his discharge, Doyle found himself back with Rosa who had now moved his shop to New Rochelle NY.  Upon his return, Doyle was met with disappointment when he found that his uncle was virtually out of the coin replica business as a result of new laws, which restricted the manner in which replicas could be produced. The backlash, which led to most of the major coin publications banning Rosa advertisements, had devastating effects on his business.

With no way to effectively market his coin art, Rosa started making belt buckles.  Doyle and Rosa eventually found their way down to lower Manhattan near the East Village where they set up a new shop making buckles.  Doyle eventually built a staff of ten production workers to keep up with the volume.   It was at this time that Doyle started to think that it would beneficial for the business if he went back to school to earn a college degree. In the back of his mind, Doyle always believed that the coin business — not belt buckles — was their future.

After receiving an engineering degree with honors from Pratt Institute in 1981, Doyle started working for IBM as a manufacturing engineer not far from where Rosa lived.  He spent most weekends visiting Rosa and keeping abreast of the new materials he was using to make coin dies again.

In 1987, Doyle teamed with Rosa once again on a project to commemorate the bicentennial of state coinage.  Four coins, one each from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Massachusetts, were created to commemorate the one-cent pieces that were originally struck in 1787.

In 2003, Doyle decided that he needed to start looking for something to do with his life after retirement.  He auctioned some of his reproduction coin collection on eBay to finance casting and mold making equipment to make pewter figurines.  The molds for these figures were purchased from Rosa’s twin brother.

At the time, Doyle didn’t think there was much interest in coin collecting as a form of art appreciation. He assumed the hobby had evolved into more of an investment vehicle.  But when he began listing his coins, he was surprised to find that they sold faster than he could list them.  He changed direction, pulled out his Rosa coins and molds and began to fulfill his longtime dream of making coin replicas

“I didn’t realize how much influence my uncle Peter had in shaping my life from the time I started working for him as a kid — he was always teaching me. CoinReplicas.com is keeping Peter’s legacy alive and enabling me to fulfill my dream, which is to encourage a love of art and history through coins.”

— Charles Doyle

Coin Replicas | Colonial coins with rifle by Gene Austin

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