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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 9, March 2, 2008, Article 21

QUERY: CENTENNIAL MEDALS IN THE COIN COLLECTOR'S JOURNAL

Ron Abler writes: "In several issues from 1876-1877, a list
of Centennial medals was published in the Coin Collector's
Journal.  I have copies of the articles that comprise the
complete list, but none of them have an author's name or
byline.  Can I assume that the author was the editor?  If
so, do you know who the editor was at that time?

[I'm fortunate to have a complete bound set of the CCJ in
my library, so I pulled the 1876 and 1877 volumes off the
shelf to have a look.  I happened to open the latter volume
to p5 of the January 1877 issue.  On the page is an article
(noted as being "Continued from October Number") titled
"Centennial Medals" by Ed. Frossard.

The April, June, July and October 1876 issues also have
"Centennial Medals" articles, but the author is not listed.
I didn't page through all the issues, but I checked the NIP
Index which says there were Centennial Medal articles in
the Feb/Mar/Apr/May/Jun/Jul/Aug/Oct 1876 and Jan/Mar 1877
issues.

According to Charles Davis in American Numismatic Literature
(p159), Ed Frossard was the editor from December 1875 through
December 1876.  The remaining volumes were edited by David
Proskey.  So to answer your question, the author of the
Centennial Medals article series would appear to be Ed
Frossard.

Davis notes that "the final Volume 13 is scarce and not
known in publisher's cloth", but if my Volume 13 isn't in
publisher's cloth then it's a darn good imitation.  My set
came from the Donald Miller library and has bookplate from
the Nelson Thorson library. -Editor]

Ron Abler continues: "One significant question that I have,
which may (or may not) depend on who the author was, relates
to the question of alloys.  The CCJ list and the other
contemporary list compiled by Holland in the American Journal
of Numismatics both list their medals variously in the standard
alloys of gold, gilt copper, bronze, copper, brass, and white
metal.  The question centers around the fact that neither
seem to agree as to which ones were issued in bronze, copper,
and/or brass.

"My first thought was that the authors of both lists were
contemporary to the medals being listed, so they ought to be
able to tell the difference between bronze, (brass, and copper
from the mostly mint condition medals that they must have
observed.  However, they disagree, one saying copper when the
other says bronze, and vice versa.  And, sometimes, my own
collection is no help, because bronze and copper can be
indistinguishable after 122 years of toning.  I'd just live
with the problem as a collector, but as an author I have to
decide, and I don't want to list a medal in an alloy that
never did exist.  Any suggestions?  Thank you."

[Got me - do our readers have any suggestions?  By the way,
if you're not familiar with the Numismatic Index Project
(NIP), be sure to check it out - it's a great resource.
-Editor]

To access the Numismatic Index Project (NIP), see:
nip.money.org/

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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

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