The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 5, Number 31, July 28, 2002:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2002, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  We have one new subscriber this week: David Klinger.
  Welcome aboard!   Our subscriber count is now 477.

  NOTE:  Because of your editor's travel to the ANA
  Convention, next week's issue may be late.


  According to a mailing from the American Numismatic
  Society, "the ANS Library and Vaults will be open from
  July 9 through August 9, Monday through Friday, 9am to
  4:30 pm.   To view coins, we suggest that you make an
  appointment with the relevant curator.  (212) 234-3130."

  [Librarian Frank Campbell's extension is 220.  Numismatic
   bibliophiles attending this week's ANA Convention in
   New York City are encouraged to take advantage of this
   opportunity.   And please don't miss the NBS events.
   See last week's E-Sylum for details.  I hope to see many
   of you there.  -Editor]


  Kavan Ratanuga writes: "I posted to my web site some sample
  coin images from a nice cheap toy, the Intel QX3+ Play
  Microscope.   It could be useful for collectors, researchers
  and authors.  See"

  This is a toy collectors of a bygone age would have paid
  a king's ransom for.  Magnification of 60x produces very
  decent images, and up to 200x is possible.

  Kavan notes that Intel has stopped production of the item.
  The original suggestion was from Paul Murphy in the
  SouthAsiaCoins Yahoo Group.   The price in USA is 30%
  of that in Europe.  Here's an excerpt from Paul's post:

  "I just purchased the Intel Play QX3+ microscope at about
  80 Euro's.  The microscope connects to the PC via USB
  connection. You see the image on your screen, which you
  can save or export. e.g.  Photoshop. Image can range from
  10X - 60X - 200X!  I have just been testing with several
  coins and the result is fantastic.  For punchmarked coins, I
  can even see the angle the punch struck the metal. Boy, am
  I having fun.

  To find out a dealer try a QX3 search on
  where there are many dealers still selling and some at a lower
  price than I paid.   Intel will carry parts for at least one year.
  For tech details, go to and at the product
  search enter QX3."


  Bill Hancock of Orlando, Florida writes: "I was wondering if
  you are familiar with the J.M Clapp notebook?  Apparently Mr.
  Clapp kept a meticulous notebook of his purchases.  His
  collection was bought intact by Louis Eliasberg in 1942.  Some
  of the pages are reproduced in the Eliasberg catalogs and a
  partial page is reproduced in the Early Dime book.

  If you are familiar with it, I was wondering if you could help me
  locate photocopies of the pages dealing with early dimes, 1796
  to 1837.  Thank you."

  [Can any of our readers help locate the notebook today?  Did
  it end up in a reference library or is it still in private hands?


  Coin World News Editor William T. Gibbs  writes:
  "Blame me (or credit me) for Coin World's use of "Winged
  Liberty Head" dime rather than "Mercury" dime.  While the
  decision to adopt this term was a joint decision of the editorial
  staff, I was the driving force behind its use.  We've used the
  term since the mid- to late 1980s, when we first produced a
  Coin World style manual.

  We adopted an editorial style manual in order to standardize
  terminology.  When I joined the Coin World staff in October
  1976 fresh out of journalism school (I was a longtime Coin
  World subscriber, so this was and remains a dream job),
  very few style rules were in place. It was entirely possible for
  two staff members to write about the same coin and describe
  them in completely different terms.  Not only did that cause
  confusion for new collectors unfamiliar with numismatic
  terminology, even seasoned collectors could be excused for
  wondering whether an "1899 Coronet eagle" was the same
  coin as an "Liberty Head $10 gold coin of 1899."   In the
  mid-1980s, under the direction of editor Beth Deisher, the
  editorial staff spent months studying numismatic terms,
  debating the best terms and then putting them into a written
  document. As news editor, I took charge of the style manual
  and put it into its final form.

  A major goal of our style manual is accuracy.  You hear many
  collectors complain about noncollectors and Mint officials using
  the word "penny" when they mean "cent," but few criticize their
  use of "nickel" for the copper-nickel 5-cent coin. Both penny
  and nickel are inaccurate in that context, and I believe as
  journalists we should use the accurate terms rather than the
  common, inaccurate terms. We use Winged Liberty Head dime
  instead of Mercury dime because "Mercury," while commonly
  used, is inaccurate. The designer of the coin described what the
  design represents, and we all know it isn't Mercury, so why do
  we insist on calling it that?

  Coin World style also is based on what is grammatically
  accurate. For example, we use Seated Liberty, Standing
  Liberty and Walking Liberty rather than Liberty Seated,
  Liberty Standing and Liberty Walking for one very good
  reason: "Seated," "Standing" and "Walking" all represent
  adjectives modifying the noun "Liberty," so they are
  properly placed before "Liberty," not after.  Likewise, it
  is Indian Head and Liberty Head, with "Indian" and
  "Liberty" modifying the noun "Head."   Also, I believe that
  the term Liberty Seated is very awkward, while Seated
  Liberty flows smoothly both in written and spoken form.

  I know there are some in the numismatic community who
  disagree with our style usage. That's OK. We describe
  coins (and medals and notes and tokens) the way we do
  for two very good reasons: to educate our readers, and
  to keep from confusing them with multiple terms for the
  same items.

  I revised the Coin World Style Manual last year. I keep
  a copy in my desk and maintain an electronic version on
  my computer, and refer to it frequently."


  Regarding Dave Bowers' remarks on the word "exergue",
  Paul Landsberg writes: "You hang around the wrong crowd!!
  For the collector of ancient coins, the use of the term exergue
  is commonplace!!  That is where the "mintmark" for most
  Roman Imperial coins are."

  [For an illustration, see this page:


  Continuing our discussion of the word "Syngraphics", Bill
  Rosenblum writes: "Back in the late 1970's or perhaps
  1980's a number of collectors and myself founded the Judaic
  Syngraphic Collectors Association.  It was an attempt to get
  more research and articles published in the paper field of
  Judaica. In a way it did so, because The Shekel, the organ
  of AINA, agreed to publish more articles (if more were
  written) on paper. Neither the JSCA nor the term Syngraphic
  caught on and JSCA may have survived a year or so at the


  Neil Shafer  writes: "Your discussion about various terms for
  paper money collectors, etc. caught my attention.  As you are
  probably aware, the Professional Currency Dealers Association
  (Pcda) has published a series of introductory booklets starting
  about 10 or 11 years ago.  One of their earliest was mine titled
  '"The Wonderful World of Paper Money."  They allowed me
  to try to bring into play a new word for the Great Paper
  Periphery, so on page 44 of that booklet I introduced a word
  I had "coined" to correspond exactly with the "exonumia"
  word- it was "exographica" and I explained it this way:

  "There are literally thousands of paper items of interest
  generally to paper money collectors.  Many of these pieces
  are not money or were never intended to resemble any kind
  of currency.  Instead, they fill in much of the sidelines and help
  tell the fuller story of money through what they depict.

  "A new term is being introduced which encompasses all this
  paper periphery, including many issues of paper tokens and
  good-fors of all sorts: exographica.  This word was chosen
  to bring some cohesion to the many and varied aspects of
  those pieces of paper which are obliquely related to some
  aspect of numismatic collecting.   Kinds of items which
  generally fit into this exographic category include but are
  not limited to:  checks and other fiscal documents,  stagecoach,
  horsecar and trolley tickets, railroad passes and tickets, food
  stamp change, receipts of all kinds, most engraved items of
  paper, lottery tickets, labels, coupons of all sorts, military
  passes, pictorial advertising, letterheads, souvenir cards,
  diplomas, announcements, autographs, insurance policy forms,
  various awards, and the like."

  Looking back on it 10 years later, it strikes me that my new
  word is too broad in its scope, but that can easily be rectified.
  I still think it is as useful as its exonumia brother, can be broken
  down into the same kinds of descriptive terms: exographist
  (the collector), and the other 2 forms used above for the
  collective noun and adjective.  Is this idea worth backing at
  all from anyone else besides Pcda?"

  [Non-numismatic bibliophiles would probably call that stuff
  "ephemera", but a term specific to numismatic paper could
  be useful.   What does the E-Sylum readership think?


  From Bowers and Merena's Coin Collector Issue 98,
  November 21, 2000:

  "Francis Leroy Henning of New Jersey chose what
  denomination to counterfeit in large quantities during the


  John and Nancy Wilson write: "We received this site from
  a friend in Wisconsin.  It is pretty good and if you want to
  list it as a site for E-Sylum readers that would be fine with us.
  The site is:

  [Actually, we have listed it before, but it's worth repeating.
   The first mention was back on September 29, 1998, long
   before many of our current subscribers joined us.  It's an
   online exhibit of American currency by the Federal Reserve
   Bank of San Francisco.  -Editor]


  Joel Orosz writes: "In a belated answer to Michael Sullivan's
  question, I was also one of the attendees at George Kolbe's
  First Numismatic Book Auction at the Baltimore ANA in

  As Dr. George Heath would have said, "What's wrong with
  some numismatic bibliopole holding another one?"


  Tom DeLorey writes: "Wasn't this term from the unreleased
  silent movie "The Road To Alaska," with Bing Crosby as
  Der Bingle and Bob Hope as Calvin Coolidge, which was
  suppressed by the Hays Office because Dorothy Lamour
  refused to wear her mukluks???"


  Andy Lustig sends this item, noting: "This is worth sharing!"
  It's an article titled "Tangible Nanomoney" by Robert A.
  Freitas Jr., originally published in July 2000.

  "Robert Freitas, author of the recently-published
  groundbreaking technical book Nanomedicine, reflects
  on how we might pay for very advanced medicine -- or
  indeed, pay for anything at all -- in a world where artificial
  molecular machine systems are commonplace.

  Hint: Perhaps we'll be using coins made of tantalum or

  [It's hard to disagree with the author's fourth law of money:
  "Money should not be inherently physically dangerous to its
   owner (e.g. radioactive, poisonous, explosive, etc.).  King
   Midas can attest to that...  -Editor]


  Howard A. Daniel III writes the following: "I have heard every
  new generation of collectors who collects non-coin numismatic
  material eventually having a problem being called a "coin
  collector", attending a "coin" show, joining a "coin" club, etc.
  As far back as I can remember in numismatics, I can
  remember  discussions about coming up with words to describe
  each minute area of numismatics.

  Whenever one of these frustrated non-coin collectors talks to
  me, I tell them that numismatics covers a wide, wide range
  of financial instruments, and even medals and decorations.
  Whenever someone asks them in the future what they are,
  tell them "I am a numismatist." in the field of numismatics.

  I have found that "numismatist" throws a lot of people, even
  coin collectors, so then I can explain what I collect, and it is
  not just coins.  It will be the same explanation, even if I used
  "notaphilist", "synagraphist", and many other words, so I just
  use "numismatist" and some non-numismatist friends are even
  starting to remember it and "numismatic" too.

  For your knowledge, I collect every, and I mean every,
  numismatic or philatelic financial instrument that was used
  (circulated, issued, bought, etc.) in Southeast Asia and any
  reference about them.  If you have or are interested in anything
  covering my narrow interests, please contact me at"


  Many thanks to all the E-Sylum subscribers who've
  contributed recently - your submissions are what make this
  newsletter so interesting and valuable.   As for the rest of you,
  don't be shy - we'd love to hear from you once in a while.

  Your Editor's desk is overflowing with great raw material,
  but with family and other commitments, it's hard to get
  much written up on my own these days.   There are many
  items in the numismatic press worthy of mention as well as
  several  helpful mentions of NBS and The E-Sylum.  I'd love
  to acknowledge more of these, but it can be an effort just to
  edit and release what's been submitted each week.  My
  apologies also to many of our submitters who don't get a
  return email acknowledging their effort.  Mom didn't raise me
  to be rude, but time is very short.

  So if you see something that would interest our readers,
  by all means, please take a minute to write it up and send
  it in!   We'd love to hear what's on your mind.

  Those of you attending the ANA this week can start by
  sending in a write-up of your experiences relating to literature
  or research.   We'll print some in an upcoming E-Sylum,
  and if there is enough material we may instead compile an
  article for our print journal, The Asylum.


  Earlier this week, a visitor to my personal web site the
  following. NOTE:  Like Dave Barry says, I am NOT
  making this up!

  "Hi my name is ________  . About ten years ago I fawned
  a coin in the woods when i was coon hunting .it has a mans
  head on it And.the name on it Napolean . The date on it is
  1855. No one seams to now eneaything about it .Do you
  now eney thing about it my email is _____________ thank


  Bill Malkmus writes: "In the July 7 issue (with the merriment
  about the "Boar of Directors"), reference was made by a
  reader to "this piscine position."  I expected a follow-up
  round of new witticisms related to the use of of "piscine"
  rather than the more likely "porcine."   But none has appeared
  in the last two issues.  So, with double-take speed, I will
  hasten to add my feeble footnote (in the nature of an editor/
  proofreader who wants no error to stand uncorrected) that
  something is fishy here!"


  This week's featured web site is the "Origins of Money and
  of Banking", an excerpt from Davies, Glyn, "A History of Money
  from Ancient Times to the Present Day, rev.ed. Cardiff: University
  of Wales Press, 1996.    "A new edition is in preparation and
  will be published in July 2002."

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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