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The E-Sylum:  Volume 3, Number 29, July 16, 2000, Article 11

GOLD BARS REVIEW 

   Michael E. Marotta offers the following brief observation on 
   "Western American Gold and Unparted Bars: a Review of the 
   Evidence" by Michael Hodder, which appears in the American 
   Numismatic Society's AJN Second Series 11 (1999): 

   "Consistently observational and never theoretical in his method, 
   Hodder demonstrates that there is no general way to distinguish 
   genuine bars from fakes. For myself, as a fan of the "Columbo" 
   series of mysteries, I was most impressed with Hodder's 
   explanations of what one would have to do if one were motivated 
   to create simulation assay bars." 

   A reading of the article shows "what one would have to do" 
   discussions on p136-137 (for the Western bars) and  p145-146 
   (for the Mexican bars).  The paper's conclusion is that "The 
   Mexican bars remain in a sort of numismatic limbo, awaiting the 
   attention of serious study." but that "the question of the Western 
   bars should now be settled in their favor." 

   As a bibliophile, your editor naturally found the footnotes and 
   bibliography as interesting as the text, referring as they do to 
   rare manuscripts, such as Breen's "Evidence to be Read at the 
   Trial of the Knave of Hearts" and the report of the USAOG 
   Study Group.   Still to be published is Daniel Owens' upcoming 
   book, "California Coiners and Assayers, 1849-1863", 
   described as "in press". 

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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