The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 03, January 20, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  We have one new subscriber this week:  Edward C. D.
  Hopkins.  Welcome aboard!   Our subscriber count is now


  Several subscribers reported not receiving last week's
  issue of The E-Sylum, but this time, not all were AOL
  users.  If you didn't receive your copy and would like
  me to forward you a new one, just let me know by
  email.  Hopefully our correspondence won't get caught
  in the same black hole that snared the previous issue.


  Bob Leonard writes: "I am hoping that some reader of
  The E-Sylum with a priced and named copy of Martin
  Brothers' auction of the John Bartram collection, November
  29 and 30, 1869, could supply me with prices and buyers'
  names for lots 550 through 556.  I'd appreciate it very
  much, as the ANS library lacks a priced and named copy
  of this sale."  Bob's email address is


  Stack's of New York has released their Winter/Spring 2002
  "Special Price List of Numismatic Books".  The sixteen-page
  fixed price list offers both new and out-of-print publications
  on U.S. coins, paper money, tokens and medals, ancient
  and medieval coins, and world coins, paper money, medals,
  tokens, and orders and decorations.


  Dick Johnson sent an article from The Washington Times,
  published January 19th.

  "Airline security personnel at Phoenix's international
  airport questioned a retired general and war hero about the
  Medal of Honor he was carrying before he boarded a flight
  to Washington, D.C.

  "They just didn't know what it was but they acted like I
  shouldn't be carrying it on," retired Marine Corps Gen.
  Joseph J. Foss of Scottsdale, Ariz., said yesterday in a
  telephone interview.

  "I kept explaining that it was the highest medal you can
  receive from the military in this country, but nobody
  listened," he said.

  Gen. Foss, an 86-year-old former South Dakota governor
  whose resume also includes stints as president of the
  National Rifle Association and as commissioner of the old
  American Football League, said he was "hassled" about the
  medal by two separate security crews at Sky Harbor
  International Airport in Phoenix."

  "Gen. Foss said he normally doesn't travel with his medal.
  "I do not carry the medal around with me. But I had it with
  me this time to show to cadets at the U.S. Military Academy
  at West Point," where he was a guest speaker last week."

  [The Medal of Honor is very unusual in that by law, there
  is no secondary market for the medal.  They may be held by
  the family of the recipient, but cannot be bought or sold.
  Officials have had examples of the medal pulled from eBay
  auctions and other trading venues.  Is anyone aware of other
  medals or awards that cannot be sold?   I believe the
  Academy of  Motion Picture Arts and Sciences frowns on
  the resale of Oscar statues, but it was only recently that
  nominees were required to sign an agreement that the
  Academy has the right of first refusal to purchase the
  statuette for the sum of $1.00.  The agreement covers the
  recipient's "heirs, legatees, executors, administrators, estate,
  successors and assigns."  See Rule 7:


  Darryl Atchison, of County Cork Ireland writes: "For the past
  seven years or so we have been compiling a new bibliography
  on Canadian numismatics.

  It has recently been suggested to me that I should include
  references for the official programs for the annual C.N.A.
  conventions as well as specific bibliographical references to
  any articles of importance appearing in these publications.

  To this end I am asking for your help.  Please disseminate this
  information to as many people/organizations as possible.
  If you have unwanted or duplicate programs from any C.N.A.
  convention regardless of the year, kindly let me know and I
  will respond to you as quickly as possible.

  With your assistance, I hope to be able to include references
  for each of the official programs issued from 1954 (?) to date.
  Thank you very much for your cooperation and assistance."

  [Mr. Atchison's email address is


  Dick Johnson writes: "I saw my first Euro coins yesterday.
  Great graphic design ... for two dimensions. Officials didn't
  recognize coin designs are made up of MODULATED
  RELIEF in three dimensions!

  For website,  visit, but I like
  the conversion site better:


  From a January 2nd article in The New Scientist: "The
  introduction of the Euro, the largest currency switch in
  history, has proceeded with few problems - until now.
  Polish statisticians say the one Euro coin, at least in
  Belgium, does not have an equal chance of landing
  "heads" or "tails".  They allege that, when spun on a
  smooth surface, the coin comes up heads more often.

  The observation is not to be taken lightly on a sports-mad
  continent where important decisions can turn on the flip
  of a coin. But the accusation of bias has been countered
  by statistical analysis from, of all places, Euro-sceptic Britain.
  The UK is one of only three EU countries that have not
  adopted the common currency.

  Tomasz Gliszczynski and Waclaw Zawadowski, statistics
  teachers at the Akademia Podlaska in Siedlce, received
  Belgian Euro coins from Poles returning from jobs in
  Belgium and immediately set their students spinning them.
  Gliszczynski says spinning is a more sensitive way of
  revealing if a coin is weighted than the more usual method
  of tossing in the air.

  The range of 6.2 per cent on either side of 50 per cent is
  expected to cover the results, even with a fair coin, in 95
  of every 100 experiments.  Nonetheless, Grubb cautions,
  the Polish result is at the outside of this range, and would
  be expected in only about 7 of every 100 experiments with
  a fair coin, leaving a glimmer of hope for their hypothesis.
  Clearly, more research is needed.

  Gliszczynski plans to continue his experiments - aimed
  mainly at teaching his students statistics - with the German
  Euro, which has an eagle on its heads side, and present
  them at a conference in February.

  New Scientist carried out its own experiments with the
  Belgian Euro in its Brussels office. Heads came up five
  per cent less often than tails. This looks like the opposite
  of the Polish result but in fact - in terms of statistical
  significance - it is the same one."

  [Is anyone familiar with other coins that have been
  suspected of not being fair when spun or flipped?
  Have any kickoffs have been decided by the flip of
  a high-relief St. Gaudens $20 gold piece? -Editor]


  From a January 15th, 2002 article in The Financial Times:

  "Smart tags, which come in many forms - beads, labels,
  fibres, paper and so on - can be built into microchips, or
  used with chipless technologies.  Unlike the anti-theft tags
  used to protect goods in many retail outlets, they also carry
  data. They can identify a unique object (such as a travellers
  cheque) as well as recurring items (such as banknotes).

  Hitachi Europe is looking at the banknote market. The
  company's Information Systems Group has developed a
  smart tag chip called Minimum Meu, which measures 0.3mm
  square and is just 60 microns thick: about the thickness of a
  human hair.

  "A banknote is about 100 microns thick, so the chip could
  be put inside one," says Peter Jones, the company's pre-sales
  manager. Mass-production of the new chip will start within
  a year. It has "attracted a lot of interest and will be a very
  cost-effective solution," says Mr. Jones."

  [See also The E-Sylum Volume 4, Number 52, (December
  23, 2001) "Paper Euros May Contain Chips" -Editor]


  Granvyl Hulse, Numismatics International Librarian,  writes:
  "Is there a current publication (last five-ten years) providing
  an extensive coverage of English farthings and their varieties?"


  Bob Dunfield of Tradewind Numismatic Books writes: "I
  have been reading through old (1960's) 'Numismatic
  Scrapbook'  booklets, and am finding a lot of interesting
  things.  In one copy, there's an ad to trade new 1962
  Chevrolets for "Unc. 1955 rolls";  also an interesting article
  on boxes in the mint, opened in the 1860's, and then
  resealed, containing 1804 dollar dies, half cent dies, 1836,
  1840's, one tenth cent dies, etc. including patterns.  What
  do you think happened to these dies?

  The article appeared in 'The Numismatic Scrapbook
  Magazine', Dec., 1961 issue, by Walter Thompson.  The
  title is "The 1804 Dollar Die and Others Found at the Mint
  in 1867"   The following text is taken from the article:

  "In all of American numismatic history, there is no coin that
  has been as controversial as the 1804 dollar. In view of the
  recent agitation over a newly discovered specimen it seems
  that fate had a hand in the accidental discovery of the
  following documents at the National Archives.......May 18 '67
  ...On the 8th of July, 1859 several experimental dies were
  boxed, sealed, and placed in the vault, in the Cabinet, by the
  then Director of the Mint, and a list thereof was filed in the
  Director's office.  Another sealed box of experimental dies
  was placed in said vault July 30, 1860, and a list filed in the
  same office.  Neither of these papers can now be found, and
  the Director deems it proper to have the boxes opened and
  again sealed up. It is ordered that the boxes referred to shall
  be opened this day in the presence of the Director, Chief
  Coiner & Engraver. A list of the dies shall be replaced in the
  boxes and sealed up under the official seals of the Director
  and Engraver. H.H. Linderman, Director..........May 18,

  ...List of dies Sealed up  in box by Director of the Mint,
  July 30th, 1860 & resealed May 18th, 1867:

  Dollar Die 1804
  Silver Dollar Dies 1838
  "" ""1836
  '' '' 1839
  Experiment Dies Half Dollars 1 head & 4 rever. 1859
  Paquet Half Dollar Die 1859
  ''   Quarter Dollar Die 1859
  Half Dollar Die 1858
  " "  ''  1859
  Dollar Dies (Silver) 1851 & 1852
  Half Cent Die 1836
  " ' ' 1851
  " " " 1851
  " " " 1852
  " " " 1844
  " " " 1846
  " " " 1847
  " " " 1848
  " " " 1842
  " " " 1840
  " " " 1852
  Quarter Dollar Die 1827
  Experimental gold Dollar Die 1852
  " "  " " 1836
  ..............................................  May 18, '67

  List of Dies Sealed up in box by Director of the Mint July 8th
  1859 & resealed May 18th 1867......

  3 Flying Eagles 1 cent obverses, 2 - 1854, 1 - 1855
  1 Liberty Head 1 Cent obverses 1854
  1 reverse 1 cent
  1 ring cent obverse & reverse 1850
  1 cent (Liberty Seated) obverse & reverse 1851
  1 Tenth Silver Cent obverse & reverse
  1 cent blank obverse & Wreath reverse
  1 - 2 cent Eagle obverse & reverse
  1 - 3 Cent Liberty Cap obverse & reverse silver
  1 - 3 Cent Figure 3 obverse & reverse silver

  ........... The fact that an 1804 dollar die appears on this
  list coupled with the revealing information contained in
  Linderman's letter that it was found in the Mint Cabinet
  vault should settle once and for all the question of where
  existing Type II 1804 dollars were struck.  The conclusion
  to be drawn is that these long disputed coins were struck
  at the mint for trading purposes.  The fact is further
  substantiated by the nature and character of the other dies
  on the same list.

  All the other dies listed as being sealed in a box July 30,
  1860 are either patterns or coins of great rarity and both
  classifications represent prime trading material or if another
  conjecture is to be made - readily saleable at a price. As
  a matter of fact restrikes are known of many of the dies
  listed, notably the Gobrecht dollars, 1827 quarter and the
  half cents.

  A review of the correspondence with Director Snowden
  in "What the Archives Reveal About the 1804 Dollar"
  (NSM August 1961) pinpoints the years 1859 or 1860
  when coins from this die, known as Type II, were struck.
  This discovery lends further credence to the generally
  accepted fact that the type I 1804 dollar was also struck
  by the mint in the 1840's."

  Copyright Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, Vol. XXVII
  No. 12, December, 1961 , Whole No. 310, and Walter


  An article in the January 14, 2002 Wall Street Journal
  notes that the British government is about to issue a new
  gold sovereign coin WITHOUT the traditional St.
  George and the Dragon design.

 "The British Royal Mint is about to give one of Britain's
  revered symbols -- its Gold Sovereign coins -- a makeover
  for 2002.  The government soon is expected to reveal
  official details on the storied coins, which among other uses
  are known for being carried by British soldiers for use as
  barter if they get in trouble. The coins will have a new
  design to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the reign
  of Queen Elizabeth II."

  "The sovereigns still get attention, at least among collectors,
  and this year's Golden Jubilee issue will mark only the
  second time since Queen Victoria's 1887 Golden Jubilee
  that Benedetto Pistrucci's traditional design of St. George
  and the Dragon won't be on the reverse of the coin. The new
  design will appear for one year only.

  The Royal Mint, in Llantrisant, England, declined to comment
  about the release of the new coin, except to say that it will
  make an official announcement soon. The design is said to
  have been inspired by that on sovereigns struck during the
  first 50 years of the reign of Queen Victoria and will show
  the Royal Arms within a wreath of laurel. Afterward, the
  regular design of St. George and the Dragon will return."


  A January 8th article on Wired News detailed Apple
  Computer's launch of its new iPhoto software.   One feature
  not highlighted by most media outlets is likely to be welcomed
  by bibliophiles (and is closely related to the print-on-demand
  technology discussed in recent E-Sylum issues):

  "... perhaps most importantly, iPhoto can be used to create,
  for the first time, a linen-covered, hard-bound book of
  photographs. The software contains a page-layout feature that
  makes it very easy to create 10- to 50-page photo albums of

  Users simply choose the layout style (photo album, portfolio,
  etc.) and the number of pictures on each page. The software
  then converts the book into a PDF file and dispatches it to a
  printer where it is printed and bound into a hardcover book.
  The service costs $30 for the first 10 pages and then $3 per
  page thereafter.  "It's killer," Jobs said. The one-click ordering
  process also includes a mandatory shipping charge.

  "The nice thing about iPhoto is it turns ordinary guys into book
  publishers," said John Santoro, Apple's product manager for
  iPhoto. "You can tell a story with a book. It's permanent.
  It's a book.",2125,49552,00.html


  From an article on the AP wire datelined Lubbock, TX,
  January 15, 2002:

  "To Robert Massengale, the job is hardly small change. The
  retired city employee has taken on the task of separating dirt
  and debris from about 7.6 million pennies piled high in a

  The new copper coins spilled out of a tractor-trailer during a
  traffic accident on October 4 as they were being transported
  from the U.S. Mint in Denver to San Antonio.

  Massengale was hired by an insurance company to clean the
  pennies so they can be put into circulation.

  After the truck overturned, heavy equipment was called to
  scoop up the pennies. It was raining that day, so a large
  amount of dirt and mud was picked up along with the coins,
  Massengale told the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal for its
  Monday editions.

  It took nine fully loaded dump trucks to bring the pennies
  to Lubbock, Massengale said.

  "I knew it was an unusual situation, and all I could say at the
  time is that I'd go out and look at it," Massengale said. "Once
  I took a look at it, I decided I would try to do something
  with it."

  Massengale is using large screens to sift the pennies from the
  dirt. The pennies will then need to be cleaned, possibly with
  an acid wash. Massengale hopes to finish the job within 60

  "I hope we can find somebody to take them in bulk rather
  than having to roll all of them" into 50-cent packs, he said."


  This week's featured web site is The Congressional
  Medal of Honor Society web site, featuring background
  information on the medal - its history, symbolism, types,
  recipients, etc.

 Wayne Homren
 Numismatic Bibliomania Society

Content presented in The E-Sylum is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature.   For more information please see our web site at There is a membership application available on the web site.  To join, print the application and return it with your check to the address printed on the application.  Visit the Membership page. Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link.

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