The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 2, January 9, 2005:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Numismatic literature dealer John H. Burns writes:
"I'll be at the Florida United Numismatist show at booths
1520-1522 January 13-16, 2005."


In our December 26, 2004 issue we discussed an article from a
Maryland newspaper with a a story about the discovery of a
common 18th century copper coin in Boonsboro, MD. The
article quoted NBS board member John Kraljevich, who hadn't
been able to examine the coin or a photo. The reporter has
written a follow up story which was published today.

"Local contractor Clyde Barnhart's discovery of a centuries-old
coin beneath the rotten floorboards of the historic Boone Hotel
building in Boonsboro sparked interest among coin collectors.
Their enthusiasm for the find - and their estimation of the coin's
value - increased at least tenfold when they saw the copper coin's
image in the newspaper.

That's because it's a fake. A 219-year-old one.

"That's unreal. There's no way I would have expected that," said
Barnhart, a Hagerstown resident who found the worn, copper
halfpenny dated 1775 a few months ago while renovating the
former hotel building on Boonsboro's Main Street. The front
side of the coin includes a bust of King George III with the
words "Georgius III Rex." The back side of the coin reads

John J. Kraljevich Jr. of Annapolis, director of numismatic -
pertaining to coins and currency - research for New Hampshire-
based American Numismatic Rarities, pegged the coin as
common - and today worth between $5 and $10 - when he
was called with a description of the coin and the location of
the find. He also noted that many "coppers" were counterfeit
by the late 18th century.

Kraljevich and counterfeit halfpenny specialist Byron Weston
agreed that Barnhart's coin fits into the contemporary counterfeit
category - and the only known American-made variety of 1775
British halfpenny fakes - when the experts saw the picture of the
halfpenny in the Sunday, Dec. 26, edition of The Herald-Mail.

Kraljevich and Weston then estimated the coin's value at a
minimum of about $100."

"Barnhart's coin is considered a Rarity-4, meaning there are
between 76 and 200 known specimens, Weston said.

"It is a Vlack 4-75A and is Atlee's handiwork," Kraljevich
said. "As far as precisely when or where it was made, let's
just say counterfeiters tend not to leave a lot of paperwork
behind and that this information is a bit speculative, but
probably essentially accurate as well."

To read the full story, see:
Full Story


Morten Eske Mortensen has published two new books:

Danish-Norwegian GOLD Coin Price Yearbook, 1996-2005
Size: A4 on red paper, soft spiralbound
Pages: [xyz]+[28]
Number of auction results: 6.000 results from 186 public auctions
Printing run: 20 (twenty) copies have been printed to the benefit
of those who REALLY want to have such a price guide
Cover illustration and pricing details: pricing details
Language: Danish

Swedish-Finnish GOLD Coin Price Yearbook, 1996-2005
Size: A4 on red paper, soft spiralbound
Pages: [xyz]+[28]
Number of auction results: 8.000 results from 186 public
auctions 1995-2004
Printing run: 20 (twenty) copies have been printed to the
benefit of those who REALLY want to have such a price guide
Cover illustration and pricing details: pricing details
Language: Swedish


We recently reported that Irish bank officials were considering
withdrawing and replacing an entire issue of banknotes in the wake
of a bold robbery. The decision has apparently been finalized.
A Friday Reuters article reports that "Northern Bank announced
on Friday that it would withdraw all its paper banknotes in
circulation and replace them with new ones in different colors at a
cost of up to 5 million pounds.

"So in essence this large robbery has become the largest theft of
waste paper in the living history of Northern Ireland," said Orde.
Police said the final tally of the haul stolen was 26.5 million pounds,
up from their original estimate of 22 million. Around 22 million
was in notes issued by the Northern Bank."

To read the full story, see: Full Story

From the BBC news:
"Mr Price said it would cost the bank about £5m to recall and
replace all its £10, £20, £50 and £100 notes. It currently has
more than £300m of its notes in circulation and only its existing
plastic £5 notes will remain in circulation. The withdrawn notes
are to be replaced by new notes of the same design - but they
will be a different colour, have a new logo, and new prefixes to
their serial numbers.

"It will take up to eight weeks to print the new notes, and they
will be in circulation as soon as possible after that. The move
makes it difficult to recirculate the old notes into the economy
in the timescale. Mr Price said: "To my knowledge this is the
first time this has been done.

To read the article, see: Full Story

A letter to the editor of the News Letter of Northern Ireland
notes: "The whole exercise would be a reversal of the 16th
century (Gresham's) Law in that it would be a case of "good
money driving out bad".

To read the full letter, see: Full Story

[In the U.S., I believe there has only been one instance of a
note issue being recalled by the government as a result of a
crime - the ransom notes paid in the Lindbergh kidnapping
case. I asked if there have been other such recalls in the U.S.
or elsewhere; the following item describes a currency exchange
completed just last month which was motivated (at least in
part) by thefts. -Editor]


From a December 31, 2004 report:
"Under the watch of UN peacekeepers and rebel soldiers,
people lined up for hours on Thursday in Cote d'Ivoire's rebel
capital Bouake to swap old bank-notes for new in a last-minute
operation launched by the Central Bank of the States of
West Africa (BCEAO).

The BCEAO, which controls the CFA franc currency used
by eight nations in West Africa, launched a drive in mid-
September to withdraw billions of the aged crumpled notes
by 31 December and replace them with a new series.

But in northern Cote d'Ivoire banks have been closed since the
outbreak of civil war in September 2002. As a result, more
than six million people living under rebel control faced the
nightmare of being left with bags of worthless cash."

"The bank has said the crispy-clean new notes will be harder
to forge. But the introduction of the smaller bills will also
prevent the laundering of buckets of cash which have been
robbed from the BCEAO's coffers in Cote d'Ivoire.

Diplomats suspect that the rebels financed their insurgency
with the proceeds of a raid on the BCEAO's Ivorian head
office in Abidjan shortly before the civil war began. Rebe
fighters were subsequently blamed for a successful raid on
the bank's Bouake branch and attempted break-ins to the
BCEAO vaults in Man and Korhogo.

Soldiers serving with the French peacekeeping force in Cote
d'Ivoire have also been caught stealing notes from banks
they were guarding in rebel territory over the last 15 months.

The CFA franc, which is backed by the French treasury, was
introduced in 1945 to provide the then French colonies with
a stable currency."

To read the full story, see: Full Story


Paul Schultz writes: " I am a little confused by the terminology
used to describe the emperors on Roman coins. Common terms
that I see to describe the emperor's image include cuirassed,
draped, togate, cuirassed and draped, bust, and head. My
references state that the cuirass is either the armor, or the clasp
to hold the toga, but do not clarify further. My guess is that
cuirassed means armored, but draped and cuirassed means
wearing a toga with the clasp showing. Perhaps togate means
wearing a toga with no clasp showing. I assume head means
the neck and up, whereas bust means the shoulders and up.
(For headwear, it seems pretty clear that radiate means a
spiked crown, diademed means a jeweled headband, laureate
means a leafy twig or metal imitation, and veiled is a hood.
These are not really in question.) I don't think I missed any
descriptors. Any clarification or confirmation would be


Peeople tell me I don't miss much, but judging from the emails
I've received, I must be the last bibliophile in the U.S. to know
about the new leatherbound edition of "A Guide Book of
United States Coins" (also known as "The Red Book").

Nancy Green, Librarian of the American Numismatic Association
writes: "Happy New Year! The ANA Library received a
copy of the leather bound copy of the “red book” from Whitman.
Cary also has copies for sale in the Money Market."

Denis Loring writes: "I was given one: number 127."

Brad Karoleff writes: "I have received mine as a contributor.
It is larger than the "normal" Redbook with gilded edges to the
pages and a ribbon bookmark. There are 4 raised bands on the
spine and the leather closely matches the "original" red color of
the book.

There is a "certificate of limited edition" title page bound in the
front of the edition which has been signed by Ken Bressett,
the editor. The certificate is then also numbered as a limited
edition of 3000.

The interior pages of the book are the same as the regular issue
with an attractive gold border around the perimeter allowing
for the additional size of the work.

The cover letter I received with the book states that "The
book represents the premier release of an unprecedented
genuine leather bound edition, the start of what we hope will
become a yearly tradition."

I am thrilled with my edition and have purchased others as
Christmas gifts. I would encourage members to obtain one
as it is the first of what may be many to come."

Richard Jewell writes: " Not only did David Harper have an
editorial on the Deluxe Red Book on page 6 in the Dec 7th
issue of Numismatic News, but on page 4 of the same issue
there was a short ad mentioning the book. However, in the
December 27th Coin World issue on page 58 was the official
half page advertisement! I've purchased one and am in
possession of Limited Edition # 407 of 3000. Hopefully
Whitman will do the leather bound edition each year, it's a
really nice book."

[Rich brought his copy along to a meeting of the Western
Pennsylvania Numismatic Society (WPNS) Tuesday evening.
It's a thing of beauty, and worth the price, in my opinion.
What a shame the company hasn't been making deluxe
editions through the years. Let's hope sales are good and a
new numismatic literature tradition starts. -Editor]

David Crenshaw writes: "A Guide Book of United States Coins
Limited Edition 2005” is available at
email info at, or call 800-546-2995. If
you visit the website and select its image from the home page,
there is a slide presentation of a few pages of the book’s contents."

Stephen Pradier writes: "In response to your inquiry on the
leatherbound Redbook, it can be ordered from their website at
Order Info

(from the web site)
Guide Book of United States Coin Limited Edition 2005
Price: $69.95

In 1946, “The Guide Book of the United States Coins” was
introduced and voted the most useful reference guide. Known
as the “Bible of the Industry, ” this work has been a standard
source for historical facts, pricing, and technical information
relating to American coinage. Today, in its 58th Edition,
Whitman Publishing LLC is offering “The Official Red Book
A Guide Book Of United States Coins Limited Edition 2005”.
Each 6” X 9” leather bound publication is individually numbered
and personally signed by the editor Kenneth Bressett. Along
with gold stamped lettering on the cover and gilt edges to each
page, this book has acquired a collectible status in and of itself.
Again, this special production is for a limited time only, so
please act fast. (Note: The contents of this edition will be the
same as the regular edition.)"

Gar Travis writes: "I bought a copy for a fellow auction
cataloger and a copy for myself. I suppose most will be placed
on a shelf unwrapped - I have chosen to have mine handy for
quick reference in the office - creating perhaps the rarity of a
used copy in 50 years..."


Gar Travis writes: "Interesting read - Max von Bahrfeldt is
not mentioned, but this may be of some interest to readers,
regarding the German atrocities in Belgium during WWI. The
picture accompanying the article is a rather odd choice....
Full Story "


Last week Mark Borckardt wrote (discussing the three Brasher
coins in a Heritage auction) : "I never thought I would even see
these coins, let alone have a chance to catalog them."

Mark asked where this sentence has been used before.
Saul Teichman writes: "Sounds like a B. Max Mehlism with
regard to the sentence about the Brashers. I do not remember
if it came from the Dunham or other sale."

Any other guesses?


From a January 05, 2005 article by Reuters:
"The Zimbabwe government today slammed what it called
mischievous political slogans appearing on banknotes as
campaigning heats up ahead of parliamentary polls due in
March. State media have published pictures of banknotes
stamped with the messages "enough" and "get up, stand up"
and linked them to a pressure group which the ruling party
says is aligned to the main opposition Movement for
Democratic Change (MDC)."

"David Chapfika, the deputy finance minister, said the
government would "come down hard" on the culprits if
caught, saying it was a criminal offence to deface the
country's currency. "We are still doing our investigations
but the slogans appear to be synonymous with slogans
used by certain characters in the opposition," Chapfika,
a member of parliament for Mugabe's ruling Zanu(PF)
party, said."

To read the full story, see: Full Story

[Political slogans appearing on coins and currency are
nothing new. Has anyone ever compiled a listing of
modern political and other graffiti on numismatic items?


Dick Johnson writes: "A number of genuine celebrities collect
coins. Few become coin dealers. One of those was Tom Ryan,
who left the entertainment business and did just that. A
musician who performed in Sammy Kaye’s band, with
comedians Phil Silvers (of "Sgt. Bilko" fame), Henny Youngman
and in a variety of radio shows and on Broadway stage.

When I learned Tommy Ryan was closing his coin shop in a
suburban Chicago shopping mall and retiring to Florida, it
brought back memories. He started coin dealing about the
same time Coin World started up. I remember he was a night
person (and I was a day person). He would call me at home
to give me the copy for his weekly ad in Coin World. This
often happened so late at night I was already in bed. But I
was dutiful and transcribed his ad copy. That was nearly 45
years ago.

An article in the Daily Herald by staff writer Matt Arado this
week tells of Chicago area coin collectors losing a friendly
coin dealer as Ryan closes his coin shop. The article tells a
lot about Tom Ryan (except the one fact he used to race in
sulky horse races). Read the article at: Full Story

Good luck in your Florida retirement, Tommy, old friend.
I’ll bet you will still be performing for your fellow retirees.
Once a showman, always a showman. Break a leg. "


Charles Culleiton gave a talk at a local coin club meeting a
few months ago about Isaac Newton. He lent me his copy
of "Isaac Newton" by James Gleick (2003). It's a quick
and interesting read which, like most books on Newton,
says little about his time at the Mint. But the last paragraph
describes the contents of his estate, which included "thirty-
nine silver medals and copies in plaster of Paris" and "gold
bars and coins."

Does "Newton at the Mint" or any other book describe
these numismatic items in more detail? Are any known to
exist in collections today?


Ralf W. Böpple of Stuttgart, Germany writes:
"All the best for a successful 2005 and for the continuation
of your fantastic work!

With regard to last week's quiz, this was a very positive start
into the new year for me - there are actually two out of six
questions I can answer without going to the E-Sylum archive:

John Leonard Riddell is known by his book "A Monograph
of the Silver Dollar, Good or Bad", published in 1845. It is a
cambist-style listing of the coins and medals he encountered
at the New Orleans mint, where he worked in the 1830s and
1840s, I think as refiner, which is why so many coins from all
over the world crossed his desk. The work is very important
for collectors of Mexican coins mainly because it depicts
many contemporary counterfeits. It was reprinted in 1969 by
the Sociedad Numismática de México

I never had the pleasure of meeting Alan Luedeking, but the
eclectic mix of modern Nicaragua, medieval papal medals
and classical Byzantine coins stuck to my mind when I read it.
Maybe I'll get the chance to have a chat with him on Latin
American numismatic literature one day, preferably during an
event of the ANUCA, the Central American Numismatic

[Both answers are correct. Anyone want to try answering
the remaining questions? -Editor]


Ralf W. Böpple writes: "Concerning the postcard publisher
Walter Erhard from Württemberg that David Gladfelter was
asking for: The name does not ring a bell with me, but I will
ask around at the next meeting of the Württembergischer
Verein für Münzkunde here in Stuttgart and see if somebody
can give more details. I suppose, though, that the postcards
are more popular with postcard collectors today."

Dick Johnson writes: "Dave Gladfelter asked about certain
coin postcards in last week’s E-Sylum. Here is what I know:
They were produced by Alfred Joseph Blumer [full name
from Library of Congress card]. Issued individually but
published in albums. An edition of ten -- bound in red cloth
book form -- was issued in 1926. One of these books was
donated to a U.S. president, another received by the Library
of Congress where it was cataloged: "The Coinage of Different
Countries; a Scientific Statement Dedicated to His Excellency
the President Calvin Coolidge." This is illustrated at 

I have an album of these postcards. There is a sticker on the
inside back cover: "A.J. BLUMEL / VIII., Josetstadterstrabe
82 / Vienne - Wien - Vienna / Autriche-Osterreich-Austria".
A previous owner penned on the label "c.1930" missing the
issued date by only four years.

The postcards are uniform size 3 11/16 x 5 5/8-inch (9.3 x
5.2cm) printed in the color of the coins with metallic ink. A
separate card is devoted to the coins of one country. For
Germany, Sweden, Austria, Turkey and U.S. two cards are
required. For some unknown reason the last three cards in
my album are rubber stamped "Souvenir" (for France, British
India, Russia).

Their production was quite involved. Embossing dies were
made the size of the cards from casts of original coins (all in
great condition – I observe no wear on any coins). Only
one side of the coins are shown, but often several types
(e.g. both U.S. Liberty Head and Buffalo nickel). A center
panel was left blank on the embossing die, the coins are
arranged around this panel. A pebble background was
added around some of the coins (for a technical reason --
to balance the pressure when these were pressed). A
brief list was intended to be printed in that open panel.

The card stock was printed in postcard format. Black ink
on both sides was printed first. Then a separate press run
for each of the metallic inks. Finally the cards are then
pressed between embossing dies.

I have a "mint error" on the card of Norway. There are
22 coins shown on this card causing many of the coins to
overlap. In the lower left corner two gold coins were
intended to overlap a nickel 50 ore coin. However the
gray nickel color is shown where it was printed after
the gold ink press run on top of the gold. The embossing
shows the detail of the two adjacent gold coins of 10 and
20 kroner, part gold, part gray.

It is reported there are 48 cards in a complete set. I have
47 with a dozen duplicates. I have observed these cards
for sale among postcard dealers in the $15 to $25 range
each. I would love to know which card I am missing."


This week's featured web site is suggested by subscriber
John Frost. He writes: "The Barber Coin Collectors' Society
(BCCS) now has a website dedicated to all Barber coinage.
In addition to information about the BCCS itself, it contains
useful information about the four series: dimes, quarters, halves,
and Liberty Nickels too. On the site, you will find articles,
a sample Journal, and membership information. The site
can be found at

Some of the most useful information includes details on
authenticating the "Big 3" Barber Quarters: 1896-S, 1913-S,
and most importantly, the heavily counterfeited 1901-S.
Detailed photos all of the genuine dies and important
diagnostics can be found there.
If you are even thinking about obtaining these coins, this
information is critical.

The site also maintains a list of upcoming coin shows where
BCCS members and other Barber enthusiasts will be meeting.

Have a look! Feedback and comments are welcome. We
can also be reached via email at BCCS at"
  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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