Not Samuel Johnson, but the compiler of another important book - Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology. The following was submitted by Dick in response to Nancy Green's earlier comments. -EditorThank you for the kind words, Nancy, in last week's E-Sylum. I ran across the word agio -- and this will please the librarian cockles in your heart, Nancy -- in a book (surprise!). It was a book on Egypt. While I have spent a lifetime collecting and reading numismatic books, I often learn more from non-numismatic books. Money transactions in Egypt a century ago were conducted by the weight of the coins (struck in precious metals of course). Sellers would weigh the coins to ascertain their bullion value to complete the transaction. If this was less than the value stated on the coins the difference was called "agio."
To ascertain "agio" was a legitimate English word I check with my Webster's Unabridged Third Edition. Sure enough it is defined there. So I added it to my Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology manuscript. This term brought the total number terms to 1,833. This manuscript covers the entire spectrum of the technical end of die struck coins and medals -- how they are made, used, collected and curated. I don't have a lot of collectors' terms (I am still undecided yet to include slab or slabbed) but you will find 101 terms with the word "die" in it, for example, or 27 terms with the word mint it them. There are four kinds of relief used for coins and medals, and I define the nine types of proof finish.
As with such projects I am 99% complete. I have only 12 more terms to compile, the most difficult, of course, to write up. At this stage I must use an editor (even though I have been one in the past). I am looking for someone who may not be a numismatic technologist, but rather someone who is so savvy in the field he could detect an error even if he was unfamiliar with the specific technology.
I have found that editor, and his name will not surprise you. As an E-Sylum reader, you, of course, will know Wayne Homren. I am impressed with Wayne's widespread knowledge of numismatics and his work ethic. The 1,833 terms logically divide into 14 categories and I have sent Wayne the first four categories listed in this manuscript.
Wayne is one of the busiest persons I know, but I am certain he will edit this manuscript in due time. Give a big job to a busy person and he will get it done!
Thanks again, Nancy! Keep on encouraging people to read in the numismatic field. Even in your retirement. You will never know, you just may have inspired someone to write another numismatic book!
It's not an easy task Dick has talked me into, and it certainly won't get done quickly. But it's a worthwhile task and I'll contribute where and when I can. -Editor
Wayne Homren, Editor
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