James L. Halperin

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James L. Halperin (born October 31, 1952, in Boston, Massachusetts) is an American author and businessman. In 1985 Halperin authored a text on grading coins, How to Grade U.S. Coins, upon which the grading standards of the two leading third-party grading services PCGS and NGC were ultimately based. He is also author of two popular futurism fiction books, The Truth Machine (1996) and The First Immortal (1997), both best-sellers that were each cited in PC Magazine's 20th Anniversary Survey in 2001 as one of the 17 top science/technology fiction books of the previous 20 years.[1] The Truth Machine is currently under development as a motion picture by Morgan Freeman's Revelations Entertainment.


Halperin graduated from Middlesex School in Concord, Massachusetts in 1970, then attended Harvard University between 1970-1971 where he majored in psychology and later philosophy. After three semesters, Halperin dropped out to pursue a career in numismatics. In 1976 he established a rare coin fund for investors, New England Rare Coin Fund (NERCF). Upon liquidation at auction in April 1980, each investor in NERCF received 460% of their initial investment after commissions and fees.[2]

In 1982, he sold his coin company to a former employee, entered into a 50/50 business partnership with renowned numismatist-turned-businessman Steve Ivy and settled in Dallas, Texas. Halperin and Ivy still co-direct Heritage Auctions, of Dallas, Texas, which advertises itself as the world's largest rare coin company and third largest auction house (2012 sales of about $860 million).

A profile on Halperin appeared in Forbes in 2004,[3] to which Halperin posted an annotated (clarified and/or corrected in footnotes) version on Heritage's website.[4]


Halperin also endows The James & Gayle Halperin Foundation, which supports health and education-related charities.

He has been married to his wife Gayle since 1984 and they have two sons, David (born 1990) and Michael (born 1995).

His niece is Molly DeWolf Swenson, American Idol Season 10 contestant and co-founder of RYOT (sold to Huffington Post / AOL in 2016).


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