The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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

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Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link

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There is a membership application available on the web site 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 the U.S., $20 for First Class mail, and $25 elsewhere. For those without web access, write to:

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

Asylum

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

Submissions

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

BUY THE BOOK BEFORE THE COIN


You won't regret it!

Click here to read this issue on the web

WAYNE'S WORDS: THE E-SYLUM OCTOBER 9, 2011

Wayne Homren

Among our new subscribers this week are Brad Rodgers, Johann Armannsson and James Ricks. Welcome aboard! We have 1,460 email subscribers, plus 165 followers on Facebook, including Dan Aidif.

This week's issue was "put to bed" after midnight Friday. Bruce Perdue published it tonight on my behalf. Thanks! I'm traveling this weekend and will plow through my email backlog next week. Thank you all for your patience.

This week we open with a short note from Fred Lake and word of a new book on the future of U.K. Numismatics. Other topics include available grants for numismatic researchers, books on the Charlotte Mint, and an interview with Dr. Richard Doty of the Smithsonian.

To learn more about engraver Philip G. Randall, how to measure an irregularly shaped coin, Anhänger medals, and nano-scale anticounterfeiting technology, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society

LAKE BOOKS 109TH SALE RESULTS AVAILABLE

Fred Lake forwarded the following announcement. -Editor

The prices realized list for our 109th mail-bid sale of numismatic literature featuring selections from the library of Dr. Allen Axenfield is now available for viewing on our web site at www.lakebooks.com/current .

The sale was busy at the last hour and results were satisfying.

Our next sale will be held during January, 2012 and will highlight material from the extensive library of J. R. Frankenfield, a driving force in the Early Coppers realm.

Be sure to obtain a copy of this sale to find specially bound catalogs and books garnered by this wonderful collector over many years. He was a true "giant" in this numismatic arena.

Lake Books
6822 22nd Ave. N.
St. Petersburg, FL 33710
727-343-8055 Fax 727-345-3750

NEW BOOK: THE BRITISH MUSEUM AND THE FUTURE OF UK NUMISMATICS

CoinsWeekly published a release about a new book based on the proceedings of a conference held to mark the 150th anniversary of the British Museum’s Department of Coins and Medals in 2011. -Editor

British Museum and Future Barrie Cook (ed.), The British Museum and the Future of UK Numismatics, British Museum Research Publication No. 183. Oxbow Books, 100 pages, 40 plates, 10 diagrams and tables. ISBN 978-0861591831. Paperback. GBP 15.

This book covers the history and methodology of the discipline of numismatics as a whole, as well as for the specifics of the institution whose anniversary is celebrated. It is focussed on the future – but the future would not be possible without building on the achievements of the past 150 years.

Barry Cook, Curator of Medieval and Early Modern Coins in the British Museum, is the editor of the proceedings of a conference held to mark the 150th anniversary of the British Museum’s Department of Coins and Medals in 2011. The publication spells out ways forward for numismatic activity and the roles UK museums may play in developing the discipline in the 21st century.

Contents:

  • Foreword, Barrie Cook, Curator of Medieval and Early Modern Coins, British Museum
  • * The British Museum and Numismatics Past and Present, Andrew Burnett, Deputy Director, British Museum
  • The British Museum and the UK Numismatic Community: Past Experience and Future Possibilities, Nick Mayhew, Deputy Director, Ashmolean Museum
  • The International Numismatic Community and the Role of the British Museum: Past, Present and Future, Christel Schollaardt, Manager of Collections and Research, Geldmuseum, Utrecht, and President of ICOMON
  • Coins in Context: Archaeology, the Portable Antiquities Scheme and Treasure, Richard Kelleher, Editor of Money and Medals Newsletter, and Ian Leins, Curator of Iron Age and Roman Coins, British Museum
  • Money Laundering: The Conservation of Coins and Coin Hoards at the British Museum, Ellen van Bork, Metals Conservator, Rijksmuseum and freelance teacher, University of Amsterdam
  • The Application of Science to Coins and Coin Hoards at the British Museum, Duncan Hook, Senior Scientist, British Museum
  • Building the Collections: Past, Present and Future, Gareth Williams, Curator of Early Medieval Coins, British Museum
  • New Histories of Central and South Asia: the Role of Numismatics, Robert Bracey, Project Curator Kushan Coins, British Museum
  • Alexander, Apelles and Lysippus in the Renaissance: Coins, Medals and Pictures, Luke Syson, Curator of Italian Paintings before 1500 and Head of Research, National Gallery
  • Money in Africa: New Historical and Anthropological Approaches, Maxim Bolt, Researcher: Money in Africa project, Catherine Eagleton, Curator of Modern Money, and Leigh Gardner, Researcher: Money in Africa project, British Museum
  • Money for the Masses: Coins, Museums and the Public, John Orna-Ornstein, Head of London and National Programmes, British Museum
  • Collections Online at the British Museum. Eleanor Ghey, Documentation Assistant and Project Curator, Roman Coins, British Museum
  • Distributing the Wealth: Digital Knowledge Transfer for Numismatics, Daniel Pett, ICT Advisor, Portable Antiquities and Treasure, British Museum
  • The British Museum and Numismatics: the Future, Philip Attwood, Keeper of Coins and Medals, British Museum

The book is published and distributed by Oxbow Books. www.oxbowbooks.com

To read the complete CoinsWeekly article, see: The British Museum and the Future of UK Numismatics (www.coinsweekly.com/en/News/4?&id=812)

To visit the site of the British Museum, see: www.britishmuseum.org

To read CoinsWeekly’s report on the conference, see: The British Museum celebrates its 150th birthday (www.coinsweekly.com/en/The-British-Museum-celebrates
-its-150th-birthday/4?&id=460)

'ONE COIN IS NEVER ENOUGH' AUTHOR TO HOLD ONLINE SEMINAR

Regarding the new book One Coin Is Never Enough, Scott Tappa of Krause Publications writes:

We will have the author of this book, Michael Shutty, conducting an online seminar October 20 as part of our efforts to really offer up the content in as many forms of media as possible.

Nice idea - I hope there's a good turnout to make it worthwhile. The more media formats the better for promoting numismatics. As much as I love books, they aren't the only game in town anymore. Here's the press release for the event. -Editor

OneCoinNeverEnough Michael J. Shutty Jr., PhD, author of the popular new book One Coin is Never Enough from Krause Publications, will present a free online coin collecting seminar on Oct. 20.

Shutty will talk with seminar attendees about the reasons they collect, the thrill of the hunt and the very different kinds of people who are drawn to the hobby of kings. Questions for Shutty may be submitted in advance of the seminar, or during the seminar via email and Twitter. Attendees following the seminar on Twitter will be eligible to win prizes from Krause Publications.

The seminar will be held at 4 p.m. EST, Oct. 20. To register, visit
www1.gotomeeting.com/register/763696041 .

For more information on Shutty's book, One Coin is Never Enough, visit
www.shopnumismaster.com/product/one-coin-is-never-enough/us-coins .

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NEW BOOK: ONE COIN IS NEVER ENOUGH (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v14n40a04.html)

CSNS BOARD APPROVES GRANTS FOR NUMISMATIC AUTHORS AND RESEARCHERS

Bruce Perdue forward this note from the Central States Numismatic Society. It's a great opportunity for authors. -Editor

"Attention: All Numismatic Authors And Researchers... The Central States Board Of Directors has approved a grant program which will fund writing and research on numismatic topics. Mini-grants between $2500 and $5000 are available through the CSNS Education Committee and Board. Details about the grants and application procedure are available from CSNS Education Director: Ray Lockwood- 765-664-6520 OR sunrayofmarion@aol.com ." Further information is available on the CSNS Website CSNS Grants
(http://www.centralstates.info/grants.html)

KOLBE & FANNING NUMISMATIC BOOKSELLERS

has hundreds of titles listed for immediate sale on their website at www.numislit.com. From the standard to the obscure, from all periods and in all languages, Kolbe & Fanning cover the entire range of numismatic literature. New titles added regularly. Come check us out at www.numislit.com.

1872 INTERNATIONAL PEACE JUBILEE MEDAL ENGRAVER: PHILIP RANDALL

Last week Dave Bowers wrote:

I have an inquiry. In studying a die made for the International Peace Jubilee in Boston in 1872 I cannot decipher the engraver’s name, which is reproduced on attached pictures. Can anyone help?

sc B-MA-330 . MA, Boston . International Peace Jubilee r scmirror [qdb] DIFF

sc B-MA-330 . MA, Boston . International Peace Jubilee r scmirror [qdb]

I wrote:

Part of this looks like "RANDALL" to me, but it sure is hard to read. Any other guesses? Anyone know for a fact who the engraver was? -Editor

Well, Dick Johnson came through for us, submitting the following. -Editor

Dave Bowers sent a scan of a signature on an 1872 International Peace Jubilee shell in last week's E-Sylum asking for the identity of the signature. Editor Homren suggested D. RANDALL.

I searched my databank of American Artists and found a Randall that fit the correct time and place (the Rule of Propinquity). Unfortunately I had no full name nor dates. I had recorded, however, two items by this engraver, both from 1875, and both listed as Holland 4 and 5 from an article in American Journal of Numismatics. This was listed by H.W. Holland in "American Centennial Medals" in the January 1876 issue of AJN.

Also I had a citation by Storer to each of these medals, one in his medical medals, and one in his Massachusetts medals. I had cited that the name had also been recorded by Richard Kennedy in his manuscript cards at the ANS. The name Randall was recorded for only one diesinker in the David Schenkman diesinker archives, recently acquired, but this was for a Randall in Los Angeles decades later. (Rule of Propinquity obviously ruled this out).

But Dave's request sent me deeper into my records. I had compiled a list of all engravers and diesinkers of all kinds and stripes in New England. I had gathered these records for just such an inquiry. Sure enough I found a hit -- Philip G. Randall of Boston. He had been listed in a New England Business Directory of 1875. (Rule of Propinquity proved this was right on target!)

But what were those letters at the end of the name that looked like FNO. FECIT didn't fit. Then I recall how Juniors signed their name in the 19th century JNO.

Sure enough the signature on Dave's piece is P. G. RANDALL JNO for Philip G. Randall of 41 Arch Street, Boston who was active 1872-75.

This does bring me to offer a service to anyone who has an obscure signature, initials or monograms-- on American items only! -- for possible identification. Send a scan, drawing or description as best you can. I will attempt to identify the engraver or sculptor of your numismatic item from my 3,587-artist databank and my other records. Limit 3 at any one time.

If you have a lot to identify buy my book, Monograms of American Medallists, $45 postpaid. Contact: dick.johnson@snet.net.

NORTH CAROLINA STATE TREASURY NOTE SIGNATURE IDENTIFIED

Last week Paul Horner submitted this question about a hard-to-read signature. -Editor

1862 10 cents very odd signature

The attached is an image of a genuine 1862 10 cents North Carolina State Treasury note. I would like any readers ideas as to what the signed name is. I have never seen another note with a signature like this.

1862 10 cents very odd signature cropped

Paul writes:

Thanks for posting the images of the odd signature on the North Carolina note. It didn't take long for someone to decipher it. On Monday John MacVean e-mailed me that the signature appears to read "Eugene Newman M.D." I agree with him. I have no idea who "Eugene Newman MD is or was, but I would call it a "vanity autograph" on a remainder note and not a contemporary signer. E-Sylum readers are the best! I puzzled over it for a long time, and then the answer arrived in one day.

I don't think I could have guessed that one in a million years. Thanks! -Editor

QUERY: GORNY & MOSCH CATALOGS SOUGHT FOR ANA LIBRARY

Amanda Harvey, Assistant Library Manager at the American Numismatic Association writes:

The ANA Library is looking for Gorny & Mosch catalogs from after March of 2008 and we were wondering if any of your readers might have some that they would like to donate to the library.

Can anyone help complete the library's holdings? -Editor

QUERY: HOW TO MEASURE AN IRREGULARLY SHAPED COIN

Leon Saryan writes:

Here's a question for the experts: Is there an accepted way to measure and report the diameter of an irregular (i.e. not exactly circular ancient or medieval era) coin? If the coin is irregular the diameter will vary depending on the way it is placed within the caliper. Let's say for example the maximum diameter of a coin is 22 mm, and the minimum is 20 mm, can the diameter be reported as 21 mm? Should one rather say it is 20-22 mm, or 21 +/- 1 mm, or what?

Good question. Is there an accepted practice in this regard? -Editor

“MILLIONS OF COIN COLLECTORS CAN’T BE WRONG!”

A Guide Book of United States Coins is the world’s most popular annual price guide for U.S. coins, tokens, and other numismatic items. It’s also one of the best-selling nonfiction titles in the history of U.S. publishing—more than 22 million copies in print since 1946. Add the 65th edition to your numismatic library: Order at www.WhitmanBooks.com or call 1-800-546-2995.

NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: OCTOBER 9, 2011

Where to Buy 'The Alexander Medallion'
For those interested in the Holt/Bopearachchi book The Alexander Medallion, Howard Cohen confirmed with Philip Skingley of Spink that they would be selling the book. On Friday Philip wrote: "The books were delivered to me this morning so we can now supply, the price is £40". Check the firm's web site to confirm details.

Via Bill Daehn, Frank Holt writes:

You may also contact: Libraire Fenêtre sur l'Asie, 49 rue Gay Lussac, 75005 Paris, Phone: ++ 33 1 43 29 11 00. E-mail: fenetresurlasie@yahoo.fr

Dr Irving Shuster's Collection
Alan V. Weinberg writes:

I believe Dr Irving Shuster's large collection of Washingtonia was auctioned by Bowers and Merena. And, if my memory serves me right, this collector formed much of his Washingtonia collection by acquiring it intact in a trade with John Ford in which Shuster traded a single ex. rare coin to Ford - it might have been one of the Nova Constellatio patterns as I recall. Does anyone know what in fact Ford received in trade? You can be certain Ford had the upper hand in the trade. Knowledge is King.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: QUERY: AUCTION CATALOGS SOUGHT FOR ANA LIBRARY (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v14n41a12.html)

QUERY: BOOKS ON CHARLOTTE MINT HISTORY

Scott Barman writes:

I am looking for a reference about the Charlotte Mint and found one reference. Do you know anything about the book, "United States Branch Mint at Charlotte, North Carolina: Its History and Coinage" by Clair M. Birdsall?

Well, I have three Charlotte Mint books in my library (besides the Doug Winter book on the Charlotte coins). One is the Birdsall book, published in 1988. The others are:

Stautzenberger, Anthony J., The Establishment of the Charlotte Branch Mint: A Documented History, published in 1976

Wilkinson, Henrietta H., The Mint Museum of Art at Charlotte: A Brief History, 1973

I would recommend having all three - for me, one book is never enough. The Stautzenberger book, as the subtitles states, is a collection of original documents relating to the establishment of the Mint. The Wilkinson book is divided in two parts - the first covers the building and its use as a Mint; the second part covers the building's life as a museum. It's still there, and I should probably add this to my Numismatic Bucket List.

If I had to recommend just one of these, the Birdsall book is probably the best history for a numismatist; it also discusses the coins. Reader thoughts are welcome.

Birdsall, The U.S. Branch Mint at Charlotte, NC Stautzenberger, Establishment of the Charlotte Branch Mint

Wilkinson, Mint Museum of Art

MORE ON ACHIEVEMENT MEDALS

Dick Johnson submitted the following in response to my discussion of 'Achievement Medals'. -Editor

Your request for information on Achievement Medals has already been done. In fact there are several books on the subject. Instead of listing the recipients for you I will list the books that contain these.

Needless to say, one firm dominated the creation of these medals in America in the 20th and now the 21st century: obviously Medallic Art Company. You are correct these medals do come on the market, generally after a generation or two's time. It seems a parent's medals are esteemed and kept within the family but a grandparent's medals are often disposed.

This list of books can be found in my medalblog article on awards: Medal Award Programs 
Require Better Management (medalblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/29/medal-award
-programs-%e2%80%a8require-better-management/)

Awards, Award Medals and Recipients

{1956} Brook (Herbert) The Blue Book of Awards. Chicago: Marquis–Who’s Who, 186 pages.

{1969} Gale Research Company. Awards, Honors and Prizes. Detroit: Gale Research Company. Volume 1 (American) 16 editions through 2000.

{1969} Gale Research Company. World of Winners; International. Detroit: Gale Research Co. Volume 2 (Foreign):

{1977} Stuart (Sandra Lee) Who Won What When; the Record Book of Winners. Secaucus, NJ: Lyle Stuart Inc. 488 pages.

{1978} Walter (Claire) The Book of Winners. New York: Harcourt Brace Jovanovich. 731 pages. Published & copyrighted by Facts on File.

{1979} Europa. World Dictionary of Awards and Prizes. London: Europa. 386 pages.

{1988} Gregory (Gregory W.) Awards & Decorations of U.S. State Military Forces. Vandenberg AFB, CA: Patriot Press. 530 pages.

The books listed above only identify the medal recipients. The book I envision would also have numismatic information about each medal – photos, measurements, number struck, artist, engraver, manufacturer, etc. I've gotten no suggestions for a "Top Ten" list of Achievement Medals, but certainly the Nobel and Pulitzer prize medals would be up there. Each country has its own national medals, but in the U.S. these would include the Congressional Medal of Honor and any of those awarded by the President. There have been some good periodical articles on some of these, but I don't think these have ever been gathered in a book. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: OBAMA AWARDS NATIONAL MEDALS OF SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v14n41a23.html)

Dick adds:

National Medal of Science The image of the National Medal of Science should be rotated 5 degrees clockwise.

Or it might be easer to say, line up the lowest point of the first and last letters of the legend (N...E) completely horizontal. That will bring its orientation into correct alignment. It will make his back appear more vertical straight up and down and not leaning backwards.

This medal was the creation of sculptor Donald de Lue (1897-1988), it is struck by Medallic Art Company and carries the catalog number 1960-025.

The image was taken directly from the news article. Although I often edit images to crop or align them, I didn't try with this one. I tried it for this issue, but rotating it led to loss of part of the image. So the original is displayed again here. -Editor

THE BOOK BAZARRE

DAVID SKLOW - FINE NUMISMATIC BOOKS offers Mail Bid Sale No. 14 on October 15, 2011, including: Cogan catalog of a Private Collection of United States Large Cents Nov. 1, 1858 www.finenumismaticbooks.com. PH: (719) 302-5686, FAX: (719) 302-4933. EMAIL: numismaticbooks@aol.com. USPS: Box 6321, Colorado Springs, CO. 80934. Contact me for your numismatic literature needs!

QUERY: CENTRAL STATES NUMISMATIC SOCIETY SALE CATALOGS SOUGHT

Bruce Perdue forwarded this request for auction catalogs missing from the Central States Numismatic Society's collection. Can anyone help? -Editor

CSNS Historian/Archivist Jack Huggins is looking for the following catalogs from CSNS Conventions. Any donations are welcome and postage will be reimbursed. Purchase of catalogs is also an options. Any other CSNS convention material would be welcomed and preserved. For information contact Jack Huggins at HUG511@aol.com . Thanks in advance for any assistance.

  • 1942 May 9 Kelly, James
  • 1947 May 2 Kelly, James
  • 1948 Apr 16 Kelly, James
  • 1949 May 13 Kelly, James
  • 1951 May unk
  • 1954 Apr 30 Kosoff, Abe - Numismatic Gallery
  • 1956 Apr 27 Kosoff, Abe - Numismatic Gallery
  • 1963 Apr 16 Rare Coin Company of America
  • 1965 Apr 23 French's
  • 1967 Apr 28 unk
  • 1968 Apr 19 unk
  • 1980 Apr 17 Kagin's
  • 1981 Apr 2 Bowers & Ruddy
  • 1982 Apr 29 Bowers & Ruddy
  • 1983 Apr 7 Bowers & Merena
  • 1992 May 1 RARCOA & Akers, David
  • 1993 May 21 RARCOA & Akers, David & Heritage
  • 1994 Apr 7 Heritage
  • 1995 Apr 28 Heritage
  • 1996 Apr 26 Heritage
  • 1997 Apr 10 Heritage
  • 1998 Apr 23 Heritage
  • 1999 Apr 23 Heritage

ON GERMAN ANHäNGER OR "GOOD FOR" MEDALS

William P. Houston of Frankfurt am Main, Germany submitted these thoughts on the "Liberty Seated Lookalike Token" described in the last issue. Thanks! -Editor

Liberty Seated lookalike token

Several times the item is referred to as a "token." This is a basic error. A token is a "Good For" something. They often are used in place of legal coins or as a promotional or gift give away. This piece is strictly a medal. The correct German term for such an item is "Anhänger," or if you don't have a correct font, "Anhaenger." This means something that one can hang (see the similarity?) somewhere, since the item was made with a loop which probably originally had a small ribbon in it with a pin attached so that one could pin it to a coat, blouse or whatever.

On the "harp" (it's actually a lyre) side of the medal the inscription starts with the number 12 followed by a period (12.). This is a type of shorthand, just the same as 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 12th.

I have run across the Liberty Seated design on German items a few times before in the past. Don't remember exactly for what -- medals or counters or maybe even a real token. I might still have one or two somewhere but I would be hard put to find them.

Alan V. Weinberg adds:

I just acquired on eBay a basically mint state 1873 seated quarter with the reverse edge inscription removed and replaced with an extraordinary engraved naval-related inscription in 1874.

Wreck of Line Virginia

To read the complete lot description, see: 1873 Seated Quarter Ship Wreck Commem of The Line Virginia High Grade Love Token

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: INTERESTING LIBERTY SEATED LOOKALIKE TOKEN (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v14n41a09.html)

QUERY: INFORMATION ON DR. JOHN E. WILKISON SOUGHT

Jeffrey P. LaPlante submitted this question about Dr. John E. Wilkison. I did not find an entry in Pete Smith's American Numismatic Biographies. Can anyone help? -Editor

I am doing some research on a Dr. John E. Wilkison and recently purchased at auction his copy of the 1953 Palace Collections Catalog inscribed to him by R. Green of Sotheby's. It has what I assume are his personal marks and notations probably written during the auction. I happened to notice David Akers either auctioned off his holdings or purchased them outright. I was wondering if anyone knows anything about the Doctor.

It is my hope this research will lead to an article in The Asylum or some other periodical or journal in the future. I am also looking for any other information about the Doctor as I know next to nothing at this time, other than he was a doctor and a coin collector. Obviously of some note if he took the long trip to Cairo in those turbulent times.

CHOPMARK NEWS INTERVIEWS SMITHSONIAN CURATOR RICHARD DOTY

Readers know I'm a big fan of specialty numismatic publications, and one of my favorites is Chopmark News edited by Colin Gullberg for the The Chopmark Collectors Club. The September 2011 issue (Volume 15, Issue 3) has a nice interview by Colin with Dick Doty, curator of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Here are some excerpts. For more information on the newsletter Colin can be reached at chopmarknews@gmail.com. -Editor

Doty Richard CG: First let me ask you about yourself and your collecting interests. What do you collect?

RD: I‘ve collected many things over the years. I started out with US coins when I was a kid and later moved into foreign coins: 18th and 19th century European stuff, Far Eastern, Roman Imperial, Byzantine, 18th century British tokens, and 19th century Mexican coins which I started about 50 years ago, gave up for a bit, but have now come back to. So a bit of everything.

CG: When did you start collecting?

RD: In 1950.

CG: Did you or do you collect chopmarked coins?

RD: I don‘t collect chopmarked coins in any systematic way, but I do have some. I bought my first chopmarked coin in 1963, a 1807 Mexican 8 reales. I didn‘t know anything about chopmarks at the time. I bought it because the price was pretty good and I could afford it. I was at college at the time. Later I lived in Guam and when I was there some Far Eastern stuff came my way. I have been interested in them ever since. I have a 1904 Mexican Zacatecas peso and a 1877-S US Trade dollar. I have some coins with Korean chopmarks, and I picked up a Philip III or IV piece of eight from Mexico City with very tiny chopmarks. A few of these things came on the market a few years ago. I heard there was a hoard of Mexican stuff found on the coast of China. It makes sense of course, that‘s where the coins went in the China trading days. I‘m not interested in coins unless they have served their actual purpose, which is to say they have been used. Chopmarks show that the coin was used for commerce and probably passed through many hands.

CG: Were you ever a dealer?

RD: No. When I was 15 or 16 years old I worked for some dealers in Portland, Oregon, but I was never a dealer.

CG: Your title is doctor. What is your PhD in?

RD: It‘s not anything remotely related to numismatics. We don‘t have in this country any degrees in numismatics. In Europe it tends to be the handmaiden of archaeology, but we don‘t have that much archaeology around here that involves coins. I mean, if you find a hoard of nickels from 1928 big deal, we already know what was going on in 1928. My PhD is in Latin American studies. I did my PhD in the 1960s when the cold war was on and America was worried about Castro. I concentrated in Latin American history and my dissertation is in Mexican history.

CG: What exactly does a curator do?

RD: It depends on the curator. I spend about 50% of my time writing and 50% researching, mainly on the collections we‘ve got here. My research has tended to be on American topics but my Matthew Boulton book on 18th century British Trade Tokens was done by travelling back and forth to Birmingham, England. I also travel a lot and give lectures. I‘m also mentoring some of the younger people here who are new hires.

CG: Does the Smithsonian have a large numismatic department?

RD: No, there are only four people.

It's amazing what the Internet has done to enable the exchange of numismatic information. Chopmark news is available in hardcopy or electronically (a .pdf sent via email). Colin lives in Taipei, Taiwan. -Editor

For more information on the club, see: www.chopmarks.org

THE BOOK BAZARRE

RENAISSANCE OF AMERICAN COINAGE: Wizard Coin Supply is the official distributor for Roger Burdette's three volume series that won NLG Book of the Year awards for 2006, 2007 and 2008. Contact us for dealer or distributor pricing at www.WizardCoinSupply.com .

CITY OF LAKEWOOD CHALLENGE COIN

An E-Sylum reader forwarded this story about a challenge coin from the News-Tribune (Washington state). -Editor

Lakewood Challenge Coin The City of Lakewood has created its own challenge coin, drawing from a military tradition so civic leaders can recognize a job well done.

Its development reflects both the growing popularity of challenge coins in the civilian world and the close ties that Lakewood has with the military. The city is Joint Base Lewis-McChord’s closest neighbor. Many service members and veterans live in Lakewood, and a majority of the City Council has served in uniform.

“We recognize that our city is in the heart of the military community here in the South Sound area,” said Jordan Haines, co-owner of Lakewood-based COINFORCE.com, which designed the city coin with input from the City Council. “It only made sense for them to have a coin.”

Mayor Doug Richardson presented coins to Lakewood Police Chief Bret Farrar and Ken Sharp, chief at West Pierce Fire & Rescue, during Sunday’s commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The Lakewood Police Department has its own challenge coins. Former Police Chief Larry Saunders ordered them shortly after the department formed in 2004, and Chief Bret Farrar requested an updated design earlier this year.

The heritage of challenge coins is said to date back to World War I. Service members carry them as proof they belong to a military unit, and commanders often present them to reward notable service. Service members who fail to produce their coin when challenged at a bar traditionally buy a round of drinks for colleagues who show their coins.

Lakewood’s coin traces its origin back to a small dilemma for city leaders. Military commanders often presented the coins when they attended homecomings and change-of-command ceremonies at Lewis-McChord. They had nothing to give in return.

Council members Don Anderson and Jason Whalen, who work for the same Tacoma law firm, created a preliminary design that COINFORCE’s team could put to metal. The other council members liked the idea.

To read the complete article, see: City of Lakewood creates own coins (www.thenewstribune.com/2011/09/17/1827637/
city-of-lakewood-creates-own-coins.html)

SECURITY FIRM ANNOUNCES NANO-SCALE BANKNOTE AUTHENTICATION TECHNOLOGY

According to its press release, a Canadian company has produced nano-scale technology for embedding anti-counterfeiting features into banknotes. -Editor

nano photo1 Nanotech Security Corp. has reached a major milestone in authentication and anti-counterfeiting security technology developed by replicating nano-scale structures similar to those found on the wings of the iridescent Morpho Butterfly. Nanotech Security Corp. is pleased to announce its team of researchers have successfully created the world’s first master shim http://www.nanosecurity.ca/press_imagesvideos.php , or master die, that manufacturers can use to reproduce nano-holes in a variety of materials - including banknotes - in large volumes quickly and cost-effectively without changing the manufacturing process.

Because it requires highly-specialized equipment in the tens of millions of dollars, patented algorithms and extensive scientific expertise to replicate the unique nano-structures, Nanotech

Security Corp.'s technology is more secure than current authentication features such as watermarks and holograms – both of which can be forged using readily available printing equipment.

In Canada alone, businesses lose an estimated half a billion dollars a year because of counterfeiting. Counterfeiting has been described by the FBI as the crime of the 21st century.

According to the International Anti-Counterfeiting Coalition Inc., a Washington, D.C.-based non-profit organization, counterfeiting is a $600 billion a year problem worldwide annually, with U.S. businesses alone suffering up to $250 billion in unnecessary costs each year. Nanotech Security Corp. has had ongoing discussions with numerous third parties, and has now been asked to produce master shims for commercial trials by a number of those parties.

This shim is fully customizable using a technique called QuickShift®. Nanotech Security Corp. can control and specify what colors are created when the angle of view is changed along with the ability to replicate images.

Nanotech Security Corp's master shim is customizable in size from microns to centimeters. On the shim, stand tens to hundreds of millions of nano-scale pillars and from this master, multiple shims can be manufactured. By imprinting these shims into a material, the pillars emboss a grid of nano-scale holes, creating a signature iridescent effect, similar to that of the Morpho Butterfly.

The company has replicated the features of the master stamp on banknote-grade polypropylene, polyethylene (PET) and acetates.

nano photo2

To read the complete article, see: Nanotech Security Corp. to provide banknote manufacturers with world’s first authentication technology on a nano-scale (www.nanosecurity.ca/pressreleases/13390093_NTS_-_PR_Sept_28_2011_f.pdf)

MILESTONE COINS AND KIDS

In an email exchange about Ken Bressett's Milestone Coins book this week, Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing related this story:

Milestone Coins I gave a presentation for groups of children at one of the Whitman Expos in Atlanta a few years ago, centered on the designs of ancient coins and the question "What would YOU put on a coin if you wanted people in 2,000 years to know about you?" I used Milestone Coins as a launch pad for the discussion, and to show the kids examples of the messages and themes on ancient coins. They were fascinated.

I half-jokingly told one group, "I might show a beagle on my coin, because I have two beagles and I think they're the greatest dogs in the world." One little girl's eyes lit up and she could barely contain her enthusiasm --- she looked like I just told her Santa Claus was on his way with a sleigh full of candy and toys. "I love beagles!" she said in an excited whisper. "I would put my beagle on a coin, too!"

What a great reaction! It was such a heart-on-your-sleeves exclamation. . . . I really felt like I'd gotten her thinking about how cool coins are, and how they communicate to us --- they're more than just pieces of metal.

I use some of my E-Sylum material in a "coins in the news" segment for the kids program I do at the coin shows here in Virginia. Last time I showed a picture of the "Ides of March" coin and asked who this guy on the coin was, and what he did. It was a little like a game of "Clue" - "The butler did it in the pantry with a melon baller."

Roman gold Eid Mar coin

After we determined that Brutus killed Caesar I asked "What did he kill him with?", figuring the pictures of the daggers were a dead giveaway. My son Tyler blurted out, "um, a chainsaw??" -Editor

HEDGE FUND BUYING UP NICKELS

Dick Johnson forwarded this article about a hedge fund that's buying up supplies of nickels. -Editor

Kyle Bass has a lot of spare change.

The founder of Hayman Capital, the Dallas-based hedge fund that profited from the collapse of the housing market, bought 20 million nickels, according to a new book from Michael Lewis.

In "Boomerang," Lewis writes that Bass spent $1 million on 20 million five-cent coins.

Why?

Bass apparently believes that the metal in each nickel is worth 6.8 cents. So the face value is below the underlying value of the coins.

That seems like such an obvious way to make money that its almost surprising everyone isn't hoarding nickels.

The catch is that melting U.S. coins is illegal. In 2006, the U.S. Mint reacted to rising metal prices by passing an interim rule that banned melting coins. In 2007, that rule became permanent.

"The rising commodity prices of copper, nickel, and zinc have increased the value of the metal in both pennies and nickels so that the content of these coins now exceeds their face value," the Mint explained. "There is concern that speculators could remove pennies and nickels from circulation, and sell them as scrap for profit."

To read the complete article, see: Kyle Bass's Nickel Collection (www.cnbc.com/id/44788851)

THE ORIGAMI-STYLE MONEY SCULPTURES OF ARTIST DAN TAGUE

Dan Freidus forwarded this item from the Utne Reader about the paper money sculptures of artist Dan Tague. Thanks! -Editor

dantague7-weneedarevolution dantague1-realitysucks
"We Need A Revolution" and "Reality Sucks"

Dan Tague is a New Orleans-based artist with a different sort of green thumb. Tague folds American banknotes in a sort of slapdash origami-style. Often his mini-money-sculptures look like inconspicuous, crumpled wads of cash. But if you look closer, you’ll see that Tague has creased the money in such a way to spell out messages—many of which have an anti-capitalist tone. You probably didn’t think that “We Need a Revolution” was written on the six dollars in your pocket. Well, look again.

dantague2-livefree
"Live Free or Die"

To read the complete article, see: Money Makes the World Go Down (www.utne.com/Arts-Culture/Dan-Tague-Anti-Capitalist-Money-Sculptures.aspx)

FEATURED WEB SITE: THE MEGAPENNY PROJECT

This week's Featured Web Site is suggested by Timothy Grat.

Visualizing huge numbers can be very difficult. People regularly talk about millions of miles, billions of bytes, or trillions of dollars, yet it's still hard to grasp just how much a "billion" really is. The MegaPenny Project aims to help by taking one small everyday item, the U.S. penny, and building on that to answer the question: "What would a billion (or a trillion) pennies look like?"

100000 Pennies
100,000 Pennies (well, 98,304 actually)

www.kokogiak.com/megapenny/

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