The eSylum - Volume 9 (2006)

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 9, Number 06, February 5, 2006:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


NBS CONVENTION MEETING IDEAS

Last week, NBS President Pete Smith asked for some suggestions
for our organization's annual meeting at the American Numismatic
Association summer convention.  Len Augsberger writes: "How about
a research-oriented "networking" event?  Everyone gets 60 seconds
(someone should bring a timer with a loud alarm!) to talk about
what they are researching, then the audience gets an equal amount
to time to suggest research resources and other approaches.  If
someone goes overtime they can network more afterwards.  Or we
could have an auction for additional audience time, to raise NBS
funds.  It would be a good way for everyone to find out what's
out there and what everyone else is doing.

You could also pre-announce a research topic in The E-sylum and
have a trivia contest on that subject at the meeting.  "History
of the National Numismatic Collection" comes to mind, but only
because I am doing a bunch of reading about that right now.
Perhaps the topic could be relevant to the meeting site.  The
prize could be the right to pick the topic of next year's contest."


LAKE BOOKS SALE #83 CLOSING FEBRUARY 7

Fred Lake writes: "Lake Books mail-bid sale of numismatic
literature #83 closes on Tuesday, February 7, 2006 at 5:00 PM
(EST). The 500-lot sale includes material from Part III of the
Clarence Rareshide library and may be viewed at: Lake Books
Bids may be submitted by email, telephone, or fax until the 
closing time."


NEW BOOK: R. ALLAN BARKER ON THE CASH COINS OF VIETNAM

Craig Greenbaum writes: "Collectors of old Vietnamese cash
coins will be happy to know that a new book has been published
on this subject.  The book is titled "The Historical Cash Coins
of Vietnam by Dr. R. Allan Barker of Singapore.  It covers all
official, semi-official and rebel coinage of Vietnam form 968 AD
to the last Emperor Bao Dai in 1945.  Every reign has numerous
varieties shown in full color and b/w rubbings.  All coins are
assigned a rarity code to assist collectors in valuing their
coins.  The book contains information on common and not so
common forgeries of cash type coins and new research on
unattributed coinage.

Allan had this published in Singapore using four color, direct
to plate technology on 90 gram matte coated art paper.   The
book is hard bound is full color front and back.  The quality
of the photography is excellent and each coin is shown in its
true color.  Allan has worked on this book for over three years
and the result is a superb numismatic achievement.

I have set up a website at coinsofvietnam
Please note these are low resolution scans on my site.

I bought 50 copies from Allan to help him defray his initial
costs of printing 400 copies.  I can offer them to other members
at the discounted price of $37.50 plus $4.50 media/insured to
US addresses."


NEW BOOK: MONEY OF GEORGIA

According to a February 3rd news release from Tbilisi, a new
book has been published on the numismatics of Georgia.

"I am delighted with the brilliant book "Money in Georgia".
This edition allows to become acquainted with fine, rich and
ancient history of Georgia," reads the letter of Kathleen White,
head of Public Relations Office of International Relations
Department of IMF."

"According to NBG, 25-century history of money circulation
in Georgia is illustrated in the book. The abovementioned edition
tells not only about national heritage of Georgian money, but also
gives exhaustive information on national achievements of money
circulation to people interested in numismatics and bonistics.
The book describes nearly all types of coins, minted and put in
movement on territory of Georgia."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


VOCABULARY WORD: BONISTICS

The previous item mentioned "numismatics and bonistics".
Bonistics is the study of paper money, but I don't believe
we've ever used the term in The E-Sylum before.   Is anyone
familiar with its origin?


1894-S DIME ASSAY COUNT ISSUE SETTLED

In recent issues we published information regarding the 1894-S
dime from Kevin Flynn and Nancy Oliver & Richard Kelly, who had
independently researched and written about the coins.  Thanks
to the exchange in The E-Sylum, your editor was able to put the
parties in touch, and as a result one aspect of these discussion
now seems to be settled.

Kevin Flynn writes: "My article was published on the 1894-S dime
in the January 16th, 2006 issue of Coin World.  I stated that
there were five 1894-S dimes which were sent for assay:  two on
June 9th, 1894 as part of a special assay,  two collected from
the Cashier on June 25th, 1895 as part of the monthly assay, and
one on June 28th, 1894 as part of the annual assay submitted on
a quarterly basis."

Nancy Oliver & Richard Kelly offered "... to send along a copy
of one page of the Journals of Bullion, Auxillary on Monthly
Dispersing Accounts 1888-1894....which we copied from the National
Archives in San Bruno.  It shows a monthly summary of the June
totals for silver coins for assay."

In a note to purchasers of his new book on the 1894-S Dime, Kevin
Flynn noted that although both parties had originally come to the
same conclusion about five 1894-S dimes being assayed, the archive
record subsequently found by Nancy & Richard "clearly shows that
only 3 were assayed."

He added "I learned this after the books were printed.  I decided
the best way to present these findings and update the book was to
add a two page addendum as an insert page which went with the book."

[For more information on ordering the book, contact Kevin directly
at kevinj50@comcast.net.   I'm glad we were able to play a small
role in sorting out this issue.  I commend all involved for their
willingness to share information and be guided by the facts of the
case, and especially thank Kevin for his willingness to take on
the added expense of updating his book.  -Editor]


ON NAMING NAMES

Last week we published a research request for information on
the consignors of two anonymous collections.  Bob Lyall writes:
"The idea of publishing the names of anonymous collections is
hardly one to be applauded, after all, the vendor (or even the
collector) specifically didn't want to be identified and may
have very good reasons for this (I'm sure it doesn't take a great
brain to work out one such reason).  It seems to me to be a
gross infringment of privacy to publish their names."

[Bob has a valid point; anonymous sales have been part of the
hobby for generations.  From a researchers' standpoint though,
these represent a roadblock to the completion of pedigree chains.
With the passage of time, the reasons for the initial decision
may fade, but the urgency to record the information for posterity
grows, for if not recorded it could be lost forever.

But how much time is enough?  Unfortunately, one can never know,
and it falls to the researcher to consider the tradeoffs involved
in publishing the information.  Still, by its very nature, the
publication of the information by anyone but the publisher of
the original catalog can only be considered hearsay.  I've never
heard that the "outing" of a previously anonymous consigner has
ever had repercussions beyond adding to the general body of
numismatic knowledge.  Are any of our readers aware of such a
case?  -Editor]


FIRST ISSUE OF JOURNAL FOR SO-CALLED DOLLAR COLLECTORS.

Dick Johnson writes: "Volume one number one of the "So-Called
Dollar Collectors' Club Journal" arrived this week and I am
impressed. Granted, it is only 11 pages, but hey, it's a start!
High quality, great illustrations in sharp detail and vibrant
color; off to an excellent start with three interesting articles
and a membership report.

The E-Sylum published the notice when a group of California
so-called dollar aficionados started gathering names and dues
for the proposed club (v07n23a09.html).

Eighteen months later, it is out of the gate and worth the wait.
I hope officers Jeff Shevlin and Tony Swicer continue this same
quality as they step up the tempo of publication.

Masthead of the slick-paper journal list a dozen positions on
the journal and the new organization with half of them open for
volunteers. The hope is interested collectors among the 103
members will step forward to fill these positions. Mention is
made of the organization's website - www.SoCalledDollar.org -
where discussion of the medal specialty has an internet forum.
It lists 19 subjects open for discussion.

Numismatic author W. David Perkins wrote in this first issue
about Dick Kenney's 1953 publication (published by Wayte Raymond
in his Coin Collectors Journal), and the 1961 Announcement flyer
of Hal Hibler and Charles Kappen, two major events in this field's
cataloging efforts. Shevlin contributed an article on Continental
Dollar restrikes and Swizer on his collecting in the field in
the 1980s.

There is an unchallenged rule in numismatics: if you want to
spur interest in a specialty, then publish a catalog on it. Here
we have a mature collecting specialty with the standard catalog -
by Hibler and Kappen - now 43 years old. The field is ripe for
some serious discussion and the new journal is the ideal forum.
Perhaps a new catalog is in the near future as well.

Interest in the series remains high. Joseph Levine reports
so-called dollars were the most popular area of his medal auction
sale last December with surprising prices realized. Speaking of
prices, as a group they have advanced beyond those listed in the
price guide my partner, Chris Jensen, and I published in 1978.
They have even exceeded the inflated values originally published
by HK.

Shevlin reports he is holding open the charter status of membership
for those interested in this coin-like medal series. If you are
interested, join now, while you can still get volume one number
one of the Journal. Initial dues $15. Email Tony Swicer at
Swicer@adelphia.net for an application. Or write to him at P.O.
Box 5823, Lake Worth, FL 33466.  Shucks, send him the fifteen
bucks now and fill out the application afterwards.

So-called dollar catalogers Dick Kenney, Hibler and Kappen
wrote about this infant specialty decades ago; it has now reached
adulthood as a collector topic of widespread interest. And now
it has its own journal."


NEW ZEALAND MEDAL EXPORTS STIR CONTROVERSY

A February 5th article from New Zealand highlight the laws of
that country regarding the export of medals and a local
collector's problem in exporting a collection of the medals
for sale abroad.

"A collector seeking to export New Zealand war medals has
accused the Ministry of Culture and Heritage of institutional
racism for treating only medals won by Maori as taonga.

Last year Auckland collector Aubrey Bairstow applied to the
ministry for certificates to export his collection of about
140 medals, dating from the 1840s-70s, as required by the
Antiquities Act.

He bought most of the medals overseas and offered them to
New Zealand museums before seeking to export them, but
found no takers.

Bairstow said he was told he could not export medals rewarded
to members of the "Native Contingent"- Maori who fought on the
Crown's side - but was permitted to sell identical medals
awarded to European soldiers in New Zealand."

"The Antiquities Act 1975 requires the ministry to consider
the historical, archaeological, scientific, cultural, literary,
artistic, or other special national or local importance of
items, and their spiritual or emotional association with the
people of New Zealand, or any group within New Zealand."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


DENVER MINT CELERATES 100TH BIRTHDAY

The Rocky Mountain News published an account of a celebration
at the U.S. Mint marking the Denver landmark's 100th year:

"The United States Mint at Denver commemorated 100 years of
service today at its historic facility at 320 West Colfax,
where more than 550 former and current employees gathered in
the building's Grand Hallway.

"Today, we pay tribute to our craft and to the artisans of
the coins that jingle in the pocket and purses of nearly
every American," said Tim Riley, plant manager of the agency.

During the event, a time capsule was presented with a set
of 2006 uncirculated coins minted in Denver and a scroll
signed by every current employee. The time capsule included
a separate scroll with the autographs of former employees
dating back to the late 1970s."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

To view a video from a local Denver television station, see: Video


POLICE ON TRAIL OF FLORIDA COIN THIEVES

The Herald of Bradenton, FL reported that police have some
suspects in one of the recent robberies of people returning
from coin conventions:

"Local investigators said Wednesday they believe they are
getting closer to the trail of the robbers who stole $200,000
worth of collector's coins last month.

Two men recently released from federal prison for pulling
a similar $1.8 million heist in Nebraska in 1999 top the
list of suspects, Manatee County Sheriff's Office investigators
said Wednesday. Also, detectives have collected a blood sample
from another theft that may yield DNA evidence.

A Southwest Florida couple were on their way home from a coin
convention in Orlando when they were robbed at a Bradenton
Waffle House on Jan. 7.

A green car stopped behind the couple's silver Mercedes,
and three men wearing ski masks jumped out and attacked the
man, according to a sheriff's office report. They fought the
victim for the key to the car, where two metal briefcases
filled with rare coins and gold bullion were stowed."

"It happens all the time," Fitzwater said of thefts after
a major coin or jewelry convention. "They target people who
didn't have security guards."

"The thieves, who are Russians, were sentenced in federal
court to 24 months and 27 months in prison respectively,
Fitzwater said. They were released from prison last October
and December."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


MINT ENGRAVER PHOTOS SOUGHT

Saul Teichman writes: "I was wondering if any of the Esylumites
had any images of Christian Gobrecht, William Barber, Anthony
Paquet or J. Bailey for use on the uspatterns.com website."

[Coincidentally, the March 2006 issue of COINage magazine
profiles the work of Charles D. "Chuck" Daughtrey, numismatist
and artist who specializes in creating images of numismatic
personalities, including Victor David Brenner, James B. Longacre,
Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Frank Gasparro.  For more information,
see Daughtrey's web site: coppercoins.com  -Editor]


LEE HEWITT'S NUMISMATIC CREDIT BUREAU INFO SOUGHT

Mike Savinelli writes: "I recently read the book "Coins and
Collectors" by Q. David Bowers.  On page 134 (of the 1964
edition), there is a copy of a 1933 advertisement by Lee F.
Hewitt for the Numismatic Credit Bureau.  The advertisement
states, in part, "Dealers, Collectors, It Pays to Know.
When the Cost is Only 9c Per Month.  Be Posted.  Subscribe
to the Numismatic Credit Bulletin.  Issued Monthly."

The book does not give much detail about this service, other
than it offered credit information to dealers in 1933.  Does
anyone have additional information on this service, such as
(1) specifically how it worked and how reportable information
was obtained, (2) whether the numismatic market at the time
had a need for such a service and why, (3) whether the venture
was profitable, (4) how long the service was in existence, (5)
whether it was a type of collection agency or a credit reporting
service, similar to today's Experian, (6) did Hewitt have a
background in this type of activity, etc.  Any information
would be appreciated.  I am interested in learning more about
how this service interacted with, or otherwise influenced,
the numismatic markets in the 1930s."


NUMISMATIC ORAL HISTORIES

Last week, inspired Dick Johnson's numismatic oral history
project, I wrote: "Who out there might be a little less known
to the general collecting public, yet has a wealth of numismatic
history to relate?"

Dave Lange writes: "I would nominate Michael Lantz. He is a
retired Denver Mint employee who has written a number of articles
for Coin World. In private correspondence, however, he has told
me many more interesting anecdotes and unpublished facts about
the day-to-day workings of that facility during the 1960s, 70s
and 80s, as well as relating the stories told to him by oldtimers
who worked there as far back as the 1930s.

He is giving a program at the upcoming CSNS convention in
Columbus, and I strongly encourage anyone who will be there to
attend it. If Dick Johnson will be in Columbus, he should
certainly make Michael's acquaintance."

Pete Smith writes: "I am interested in Dick Johnson's oral
history project. This reminds me of my drive with Dick from
Minneapolis to Green Bay. I recorded our conversation and
wrote up about half of it for an article in The Asylum.

The other half of the conversation was more about medals.
That half has never been transcribed and published. Transcribing
the first half was much more work than recording it. Just as
history can be lost, the value of this tape could be lost.

As members of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society, we like
to see ink on paper. Audio tapes, video tapes, and digital
recordings are wonderful. However, a single copy of a tape
in someone's cabinet is of no use to another researcher who
doesn't know it exists.

I hope Dick will get his recordings transcribed and published.
I encourage anyone else who has similar valuable tapes to
label them, transcribe them and make at least a few copies.
I suspect the ANA library would be happy to receive a copy
for their files."

Roger Siboni adds: "The ANS Archivist has begun an Oral
History of the ANS with some fairly good success."


REVAMPED $10 NOTE LAUNCHES MARCH 2, 2006

The following is from a Bureau of Engraving and Printing
Press Release: "Businesses that handle cash and use machines
that receive or dispense cash are encouraged to make final
preparations for the new $10 notes that will go into circulation
on March 2, 2006. Beginning on that day, Federal Reserve banks
will distribute the new $10 notes to their banking customers
for distribution to businesses and the public worldwide.

The redesigned notes are expected to begin circulating
immediately in the United States and will enter circulation
more gradually in other countries as international banks place
orders for $10 notes from the Federal Reserve. The older-design
notes will continue to maintain their full-face value.

The redesigned $10 note incorporates state-of-the-art security
features to combat counterfeiting, including three that are
easy to use by cash handlers and consumers alike: color-shifting
ink; security thread; and, watermark."

For more information and images of the new notes, see: Full Story


SELMA BURKE DID NOT CREATE ROOSEVELT DIME

[Featured Web Sites are often a last-minute choice, sometimes
inspired by the subject of one of the week's articles.  The
Roosevelt Dime became the subject last week.  I figured the
Selma Burke reference would generate some discussion, since
it has been a topic of a number of articles in the Numismatic
press.  Many thanks to Dick Johnson for his review of the
subject. -Editor]

Dick writes: "Last week's featured E-Sylum website recycled
the Selma Burke controversy that she - not John R. Sinnock-
designed the Roosevelt Dime portrait. It is time to put this
false claim to rest once and for all.

I have examined enlarged photographs of both FDR portraits.
Both are round, with similar view of the president, both face
the same way and both are in modulated bas-relief. That is
the extent of the similarity. If you examine minor points of
the placement of features, the characteristics of the ear and
hair plus the eyebrows you will learn, as I have, that Sinnock's
design is 100 percent original, that he did the dime model
entirely without any influence of Selma Burke's bas-relief
model.

I must admit I did not do an even more conclusive test -
an overlay of photographic negatives both to the same scale.
That would improve the odds of proving Sinnock's original
creation I'm sure.

Burke was a talented sculptor, educator and her portrait of
the 32nd president is exquisite. But it is NOT the portrait
which was placed on the Roosevelt dime. Burke was a New Year's
baby, born either December 31st or January 1st, she was unsure
of the year (1900 or 1907, sic!). Her study of sculpture had
brought her commissions executed prior to World War II. She
had lectured widely on African art.

Following the war, when the Roosevelt dime first appeared in
1946, Burke began making claims the work was hers. Black
publications ran this as gospel. Art publications were more
skeptical. But numismatic publications continued to flame the
controversy. Breen mentions Burke in his section on the Roosevelt
Dime in his Complete Encyclopedia (p 329-30). Numismatic author,
and KP editor in Iola, Bob Van Ryzin ran a factual account in
Numismatic News, November 30, 1993, two years before Burke's
death in 1995.

The worst account, perhaps, was the book "Notable Black American
Women" by Jesse Carney Smith (published in 1992 by the reference
book house, Gale Research) which gave Burke the entire credit
and did not even mention Sinnock.

Until we read the final word in the numismatic masterwork on
Sinnock's coin and medal creations, by N. Neil Harris (former
editor of The Numismatist), we should stop being politically
correct and nice-nice and hang up this false claim. I couldn't
resist, however, taking a peek at Neil's manuscript to read
that Gilroy Roberts assisted Sinnock in the modeling of this
coin design. The controversy, thus, is not two white men versus
one black woman, it's facts versus false claim."


FIRST-HAND REPORT: NEVADA STATE QUARTER LAUNCH CEREMONY

Hal Dunn writes: "The new Nevada state quarter, 36th in the
state series, was launched in a ceremony beginning at 10 AM,
January 31st, in front of the Capitol in Carson City.  The
event was attended by an estimated 3,500 people, with well
over 1,000 of those being school children bused in from
various schools in western Nevada.  According to State
Treasurer Brian Krolicki, presiding over the ceremony, this
was the largest single event ever held in front of the Capitol,
including inaugurations.

It was clear and cold (mid-30s) and just about everything
was soaked from a rain storm the evening before.  As the
ANA District Delegate for Nevada I was fortunate to have an
invitation to reserved seating on dry ground as contrasted
to standing on wet grass.  The National Anthem and "Home
Means Nevada" were sung solo by two young ladies, the blessing
was given by a Paiute elder, a Mark Twain impersonator provided
humorous remarks, and two re-enactors portraying Pony Express
riders delivered a bag of "first strikes" to Governor Kenny
Guinn.

In typical Mark Twain style the impersonator said, "Wild
horses - one end bites and the other kicks.  Perfect for
Nevada."   United States Mint Acting Director David A.
Lebryk made the official presentation of the Nevada quarter.
There was one tense moment when Kate Krolicki, the young
daughter of the treasurer, on horseback with one of the Pony
Express riders, fell from the horse.  Fortunately she was
uninjured, and the ceremony continued uninterrupted.

Immediately following the program $10 rolls of quarters went
on sale (by 8:30 AM people were lining up at a tent on the
grounds where an armored car was parked).  By a little after
1 PM they ran out of rolls.  There was a Kid's Quarter Handout,
where each person under 18 years could receive one free quarter,
handed to them by the governor, treasurer, the acting director,
or one of the other state constitutional officers.

There were 3,000 commemorative quarter sets (one each from
Philadelphia and Denver) with a special card in a plastic
holder and certificate signed by the treasurer.  First limited
to two per person, and later to one per person, these sold out
quickly.  The proceeds benefit the Division of Museums and
History, which includes the former Carson City Mint.

There were also special postmarks and a limited edition
commemorative medal struck on the historic coin press number
1 at the old mint.  At the Nevada State Museum (the old Carson
City Mint) there were demonstrations of the coin press and the
Reno Coin Club had a table distributing literature and coin
boards.  Hopefully, at the end of the day, we will have some
new collectors that will stay in numismatics."


STATE QUARTER EPHEMERA

After reading Hal Dunn's report on the Nevada Quarter launch
ceremony, I wrote to Hal: "Thanks for the first-hand account
- this is great.   Did the Mint distribute any literature?
This is the type of ephemera I love to collect.   It would be
very hard to assemble a collection of the literature for all
the state quarter launches."

Hal responded: "Sorry, no U.S. Mint literature, but the state,
in cooperation with Nevada State Bank, provided a nice program
on heavy stock - some have made it to eBay.  There are also 3
photos being offered, one in which the photographer captured
the backs of the state controller, the president of the Reno
Coin Club, my wife, and yours truly.  I purchased one, "just
because."  As an aside, we left Carson City at about 1:30
arriving home at about 6:30.  I commented to my wife that I
would "bet the ranch" that some of the material offered for
the first time at the Capitol would be on eBay when we got
home - and sure enough!"


MEDIA ACCOUNTS: NEVADA STATE QUARTER LAUNCH CEREMONY

There were some great (and lengthy) newspaper accounts of
the ceremony:

To read an article based on the Mint press release, see: Full Story

The Reno Gazette-Journal also published an account of the
launch ceremony:  "Nevadans celebrated their new quarter
Tuesday by showing up in record numbers at the state Capitol.

The long-anticipated launch of the Silver State's wild
horses quarter drew an estimated 3,500 people to the heart
of Carson City, the largest for a single event at the Capitol.

"From everything I've been told, we've established a new
threshold. I'm overwhelmed," said state Treasurer Brian
Krolicki following the ceremony.

Officials for the Capitol police estimated the crowd at 3,500.

"Jean Sexton of Carson City, the first person in line, said
she arrived at 8:30 a.m.

"For an event like this, you have to get here early. But it
was worth the wait," the 62-year-old Sexton said. "This is
our quarter, and I wouldn't have missed this event for anything."

"Schoolchildren from the Reno-Carson City area made up a
large percentage of the crowd. All children received a free,
shiny new quarter from the U.S. Mint and a complimentary green
plastic piggy bank from Nevada State Bank.

Shawn Judd, 12, and his sister, Crystal Judd, 9, of Jacks
Valley Elementary School in Douglas County walked away with
happy faces from the tent where the free quarters and piggy
banks were provided."

To read the full story, see: Full Story

The Las Vegas Sun published an Associated Press account
of the event: Full Story


SAFE DEPOSIT RESTRICTIONS?

Joe Boling writes: "In response to your piece about restrictions
on release of items from safe deposit boxes in the event of a
natural disaster: customers of Washington Mutual (who follow
the rules) won't have to contend with those restrictions - they
will not have any of the restricted monetary items in their boxes
when the disaster strikes. I cite my 29 December 2003 submission
to the MPC gram (which I see now was never published).

"Remember my bank that does not use cash? They have recently
taken another step down the road of non-service, with the
publication of new rules, including: "Effective immediately,
safeboxes shall not be used for the storage of coin or currency."
I called the telephone banking number to check this out. What
they call safeboxes are, indeed, what the rest of the world
calls safe deposit boxes. When I asked the reason for the rule,
I was given a runaround that seemed to center on liability.
Well, guess what - the bank is already not liable for anything,
and they also have a rule limiting their non-liability to $10,000.
The contract for a box specifically tells the renter to acquire
separate insurance. I then asked why jewels, stamps, sports cards,
and other such items were considered OK, but not coins and notes.
No reply. She promised to have the rule makers respond; so far,
they have not. [And two years later I am still waiting.] If you
are a Washington Mutual user, I recommend that you lodge strong
objections to this asinine policy, and if not satisfied, remove
accounts from WAMu. I am waiting to see what they have to say
in writing (if anything) to my telephone query."

Their issues might revolve around drug money, but they won't
say so. In the absence of any intelligent rationale for this
stupid rule, the boards of three numismatic organizations for
which I am treasurer directed that their funds be moved to a
less idiotic bank. WAMu lost deposits of over $100,000 because
of their absolutely ludicrous policy. - which remains in effect."


PROFFERED LIBERTY DOLLARS LEAD TO ARREST

In recent issues we discussed the Liberty Dollars offered as
an alternate currency by Bernard von NotHaus.   According to a
lengthy article published on the alternative new site
NewsWithViews.com , a man whose daughter offered Liberty
dollars for payment (and paid with U.S. notes when the offer
was refused) found himself pursued as a potential counterfeiter:

"Derby, New York businessman Dan Buczek 55, and 7 family members
and friends were enjoying an evening out like thousands of other
Buffalo, New York area hockey fans on Dec. 26, 2005-cheering their
favorite Buffalo Sabres on to victory over the New York Islanders.

During the course of the evening, Buczek's daughter Amanda and
her boyfriend, Joel Lattuca went to the HSBC refreshment stand
to buy a beer and a hotdog. And that's where the Buczek family
trouble began that evening. Amanda Buczek asked the refreshment
stand vendor if he accepted Liberties..."

Because the vendor did not accept "Liberties," Amanda Buczek
paid for the beer and hot dogs with a Federal Reserve Note. As
Joel Lattuca carried the beverages his girlfriend had just
purchased back to her family, neither realized they were being
followed by off-duty Buffalo Police Detective Edward Cotter.
When Cotter began to interrogate Amanda and Joel about what he
thought might be counterfeit coins, Dan Buczek interjected
himself into the discussion by asking Cotter who he was and
what he wanted with his daughter. Cotter replied that he was
head of security for the HSBC stadium, and he wanted to see
the coin she was trying to use with the concession people."

"I've been looking all over this f*****g stadium for you all
night," Cotter told Shane, adding that he'd received reports
from several vendors at the stadium that people were trying
to buy beer with counterfeit coins-claiming the coins were
worth $100 each. Cotter called the Buffalo police department
for back-up to take the Buczeks into custody. "

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


TELEVISION COVERAGE OF JULES REIVER AUCTION

Dave Perkins writes: "A link on the Heritage website leads
you to this clip from ABC Television covering Jules Reiver
and the sale of his collection:

"War hero's rare coin auction attracts thousands

Hundred of coin collectors flocked to Dallas Tuesday and
were joined by 6,000 others on the internet to bid on the
late war hero Jules Reiver's collection of rare coins.
"This is the first coin the United States made," said Steve
Ellsworth, a Virginia coin collector who traveled to Texas
for a chance to buy a piece of American history as he eyed
one coin."

Full Story


HENRY BERGOS ON MEETING DON TAXAY

Henry Bergos writes: "I seem to have missed the earlier
discussion about Don Taxay. Sometime in the early/mid 70s I
went to the American Numismatic Society to ask about a 1915 cent
I had just bought as a proof. Doc Brady, I think, said that only
a few people could tell which ones are or aren't proofs. He then
called me back and told me that Don was upstairs in the library
on the second floor, and that he was one of the few. I excused
myself and asked him about the coin. His eyes lit up and he
pronounced it Proof. I thanked him profusely. He was a delight
to meet. I THINK we met a few more times but it's been a LONG time.

Regarding the most important numismatic books, I would nominate
Taxay's books on "The U.S. Mint and Coinage" followed by his book
on Commemoratives ONLY after Dickinson and Walter Breen's
Encyclopedia.  When I moved I took them with me in my hand luggage;
they were that important to me."


COINS VS PAPER

Stephen P. Woodland writes: "The article "TORN DOLLARS: TWO RIDES
FOR THE PRICE OF ONE" (E-Sylum v9#5) intrigued me.  If public
transportation authorities are worried about riders cheating the
system by tearing dollar bills in half, they should lobby harder
for the withdrawal of the paper dollar and its replacement by a
dollar coin.  These days, it is much harder to counterfeit a coin
and it is significantly more difficult to tear in half."


BENJAMIN FRANKLIN'S CURRENCY PRINTING REMEMBERED

A recent article remembered Benjamin's Franklin's printing of
New Jersey currency in 1728:

"Excited children huddled in front of a nondescript vacant lot
within sight of the Delaware River.

Their eyes wide with wonder, they hung on every word as a man
dressed in Colonial garb regaled them with tales of how Benjamin
Franklin once walked where they now stood.

Jeff Macechak, education director for the Burlington County
Historical Society, also told the home-schooled children how
Franklin worked at a print shop that operated on the now-empty
lot at 206 High St."

"Reading from Franklin's autobiography, Macechak told the
children that Franklin stayed in the city for three months in
1728. He printed currency for the then-colony of New Jersey
using a copperplate press he built.

Though the print shop was torn down in 1881, its original door
handle and latch survived. They are on display at the historical
society library in the Corson Poley Center at 451 High St.

The ornate metal handle plate has the initials "H.R.H," an
abbreviation Macechak said means "His Royal Highness" -- a
reference to the king of England, who controlled the colonies.

The door handle plate was donated by Carrie B. Aaron, 
great-granddaughter of Isaac Collins, a Colonial government 
printer who operated the shop in the late 1700s."

"Alan Stahl, a curator of numismatics at Princeton University, said
no currency Franklin printed in 1728 is known to exist."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


WHY I DON'T COLLECT CHINESE VASES

Dick Johnson writes: "The British Museum had a little boo-boo
this week. A visitor to their Fitzwilliam galleries tripped on
his shoelace, fell down a flight of stairs and ended up at the
base of a display that toppled over breaking three Chinese vases
in the process.  Oops!

The three Qing dynasty vases are not quite ancient, dating only
from the late 17th or early 18th century. Even so, they ended up
in "very small pieces" said museum officials, who further declared
"we are determined to put them back together."

The shoelaces and their occupant, it was reported, were undamaged.

Aren't you glad you collect coins, medals and tokens?  These are
noted for their longevity. Coins are still in existence after
2,500 years, medals for more than 500. No chance of broken pieces
here. And the only possibility they won't be around for another
2500 or 500 years would be the destruction of the entire earth.

Can't claim that longevity for any other art form. Statues and
even buildings of that age have nearly all crumbled or disappeared.
Coins and medals are impervious to the vicissitudes of time.

Blog readers had some rare comments about this event. Check out:
Blog


FEATURED WEB PAGE: SO-CALLED DOLLAR CLUB

This week's featured web page is the official web site
of the So-Called Dollar Collector's Club:

Featured Web Site

  Wayne Homren

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a
non-profit organization promoting numismatic
literature. For more information please see
our web site at coinbooks.org.

There is a membership application available on
the web site at this address:
Membership Application

To join, print the application and return it with 
your check to the address printed on the application. 
Membership is only $15 to addresses in North America, 
$20 elsewhere.  For those without web access, 
write to:

David M. Sundman, Secretary/Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society,
P. O. Box 82
Littleton, NH 03561

For Asylum mailing address changes and other
membership questions, contact David at this email
address: dsundman at LittletonCoin.com

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, 
just Reply to this message, or write to the Editor 
at this address: whomren at coinlibrary.com

Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers 
(or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following 
web page: https://my.binhost.com/lists/listinfo/esylum

All past E-Sylum issues are archived on the NBS
web site at this address: www.coinbooks.org/club_nbs_esylum_archive.html

The issues from September 2002 to date are also
archived at this address: binhost.com/pipermail/esylum/


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