The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 7, February 13, 2005:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers is Joe Geranio. Welcome
aboard! We now have 721 subscribers.

NOTE: Next week's issue may appear a couple days early
to accomodate your editor's travel schedule.


Fred Lake writes: "The 78th mail-bid sale of numismatic
literature by Lake Books will close on Tuesday, February
15, 2005 at 5:00 PM EDT. The sale features selections
from the library of Jack Haymond and can be viewed at
Current Sale

Bids may be placed by telephone, email, or FAX before
the closing time."


Thanks to you sharp-eyed readers for keeping me honest.
Not only did I misspell Alan Luedeking's name in the last
issue, but David F. Fanning kept me honest about Snoopy.
He writes: "I'm sure I'm not the only comic strip nerd in
this crowd who's going to call you on this, but Snoopy
didn't pretend to BE the Red Baron, he fought AGAINST
the Red Baron in his Sopwith Camel."

I guess I should be even gladder that I'm not the only one
old enough to remember Snoopy period. Creator Charles
Schultz is dead. but the strip lives on, zombie-like, in


Anne E. Bentley, Curator of Art at the Massachusetts
Historical Society writes: "I'm trying to confirm that our
John Adams Indian Peace medal, signed "Leonard" is of
the type (if not the actual 1845 piece) mentioned by Fr.
Prucha in Indian Peace Medals (pp. 136-7).

It's lead or pewter, very rounded edges, 60 mm obverse
--JOHN ADAMS PRES. U.S. flanking bust of young John
Adams, to right, wearing wig and pleated cravat. Signed
LEONARD on field below shoulder truncation. reverse--
appears to be the Peace and Friendship die of 1809, as
illustrated in Julian.

Storer's catalog card notes that we purchased it from
Chapman for $10 in 1918, and has the added note "unique."
Has anyone out there seen another of these, or can it still
be considered "unique"?

With thanks for all the information I'm gleaning from
your subscribers!"


Cheryl Simani writes: "Ed Snible suggested that perhaps
someone on The E-Sylum could help me with a research

I am a student at the University of Houston. Prof. Frank Holt,
author of "Alexander the Great and the Mystery of the Elephant
Medallions", is my grant mentor. I hope to publish the paper.

In the collection of John Quincy Adams, sold at auction
twenty-odd years ago, there were at least three Roman coins.
Do you, or you list members, have more information about this
and other colonial collections which contained ancient Greek,
Roman, or Middle Eastern coins? At this point it does not
matter if they were imitations or not. They simple must have
been part of a collection from colonial times, hopefully including
information on when and how the coin came to be part of the
collection. Also, outside of the well known accounts by
Haywood and Atwater, are any of you aware of early
American sources mentioning the discovery of such coins?"

Cheryl 's email address is csimani1 at


I couldn't pass up a reference like "Alexander the Great and
the Mystery of the Elephant Medallions" without investigating
further. Professor Holt's book was published by the University
of California Press in November 2003 (217 pages, 6 x 9 inches,
14 b/w photographs, 6 line illustrations, 3 maps, $35.00, £22.95
ISBN 0-520-23881-8) The book is available from on the
publisher's web site. See: Purchase

The book's web page contains the following review:
"Frank Holt probably knows more than anyone alive about
the mysterious Greek kingdoms in Bactria and on the frontiers
of India that were one of the odder legacies of Alexander's
Eastern conquests. The literary evidence is sparse, the coins
remain ambiguous, the topography defeats all but the toughest.
Holt's forays into this world are those of a clever and persistent
detective: he loves cracking problems, and the tougher they
are, the better. This time--very properly beginning by invoking
the name of Sherlock Holmes--he has given us what Conan
Doyle would probably have called 'The Adventure of the
Elephant Medallions.' Debate has raged over the scene these
portray ever since the first was discovered. A cavalryman with
a lance confronts an opponent on an elephant. Who are they?
What is the occasion? Guesses have ranged from Alexander
to the Greco-Bactrian monarch Eucratides, from Porus at the
Jhelum to Darius at Gaugamela. Using his numismatic and
historical skills like a Holmesian magnifying-glass, Holt takes
us through the theories, deftly explodes the fallacies, and
comes up with a (for me) entirely cogent and satisfying
solution. He has also, somewhere along the way, acquired a
really marvelous prose style. Not only is the problem in itself
a page-turner; Holt also throws in, by way of introduction,
the best short impressionistic account of Alexander's career
I have ever read. This is high scholarship at its most exciting."
--Peter Green, author of Alexander of Macedon, 356-323
B. C.: A Historical Biography"

Also included is a link to the first chapter of the book.
Following the footnotes (another hobby of mine) led to these
two numismatic references:

Adrian de Longpérier, "Trésor de Tarse," Revue Numismatique
13 (1868): 309-36;

cf. Cornelius Vermeule, "Alexander the Great, the Emperor
Severus Alexander and the Aboukir Medallions," Revue suisse
de numismatique 61 (1982): 61-72, esp. p. 62.

Yet another hobby being web surfing, using "Aboukir Medallions"
as keywords, I located this page with illustrations of a couple of
the medallions (but not the elephant one): Illustrations

The web page notes: "The twenty gold niketeria reportedly
found at Aboukir in 1902 have been the subject of intense
debate. Circumstances surrounding their discovery, and
their artistic features caused many to doubt their authenticity:

"In the summer of 1902 there appeared in 'Paris a number
of Orientals, of doubtful aspect and mysterious actions,
who laid before the astonished eyes of the Paris experts a
series of gold medals, similar to the ones found many years
ago near Tarsus, but far surpassing them in beauty and
boldness of their design. But the possessors inspired little
confidence; the whole business looked too "fishy"... It was
the astounding quality, preservation, and the bold
workmanship of these medallions which prejudiced
numismatists against them in the early days of their

Now another footnote lead to this article:
E.T. Newell, The Gold Medallions of Aboukir, AJN XLIV
(1910), p. 128.

Aha! Rolling my chair back from my desk, I plucked the
1910 volume of the American Journal of Numismatics from
my shelf. Newell's article goes on to p130 and includes
two plates (but still no elephant). He writes:

"Though more than eight years have passed since the startling
discovery of the now famous "Medallions of Abukir," it is too
soon to give any but a qualified answer to the vexing question of
their authenticity. The foremost numismatists and archaeologists
of are still too hopelessly at variance, while every month sees
new opinions, new doubts and defences appearing in the learned
papers of Europe. The advantage in the discussion inclines first
to one side and then to the other; but to the student of antiquity
and the collector of ancient coins the story of these eight years
of controversy may not make unprofitable reading. Although the
question is far from settled, the weather-vane of opinion seems
at the present moment to be swinging round to the acceptance
of these truly remarkable medallions as genuine antique works
of art."

Other reading indicated that eight of the medallions made their
way into the collection of J.P. Morgan and were dispersed by
Wayte Raymond.

Further searching turned up a gorgeous image of another
medallion, this one found in 1912 (Still no elephant). See:

Can any of our readers shed further light on this subject?
Where are the medallions today, especially the elephant medallion?
Where does the controversy stand today?


>From the American Numismatic Society announcement:
"The Colonial Newsletter 104-126 is Now Available on CD

CNL Issues 104 through 126 inclusive are available on CD
for $45 ($48 outside the US).

Please download the order form at Order Form
or purchase online at Purchase on line

Please note, individual issues available in hard copy only for
$15 each.

For further information, please contact Juliette Pelletier at
pelletier at, or
(212) 571-4470 ext.1311"


In response to Myron Xenos' note last week, David
Gladfelter writes: "Off the top of my head I can now
account for 6 of these albums: President Coolidge,
Library of Congress, Johnson, Xenos, Brown (cited in
his bibliography of embossed coin books) and Gladfelter,
ex Jonah Shapiro, ex Imogene Vogel. Who, you might
ask, is Imogene Vogel? A child, probably a tourist on
vacation with her parents, who many years ago received
my copy of this book and scrawled her name in the back.
The book is not identified as a limited edition and does
not look like one. I have my doubts that only 10 copies
were made."


Mark Borchardt writes: "I can confirm that there is a book
in the works on the 1913 Liberty Nickel. Authors are Mark
Borckardt, Paul Montgomery, and Ray Knight. Ray is a
business writer from New Orleans who actually did all of
the writing. Paul and I are included as co-authors essentially
because of our role in finding the missing fifth example. I can't
tell you any more at this time, except that this book will be
an enjoyable read."


<From the press release:
"Freelance writer Katherine Jaeger, Shamokin, PA, a
descendant of the Lovett family and possessor of the family's
archives, announced in the Feb. 2005 issue of Numismatist
that she has teamed with token expert Russell Rulau, Iola, WI,
an inductee in Numismatic Hall of Fame, to produce a book
on the Lovetts.

Family patriarch Robert Lovett Sr. and his three famous
sons dominated American token-medal engraving 1816 to
the 1890's. The volume is to contain previously unpublished
photographs of family members, history, their products and
genealogy. Wesley S. Cox, Columbia, MO, has added
die-evidence studies to the work.

Rulau stated he waited to reveal these plans until Ms.
Jaeger published her Numismatist article on Brooklyn's
Green-Wood Cemetery, final resting place of many of the
greats of New York numismatics. He said, "There is no
timetable. When the work is completed to our satisfaction,
we'll consider publication. No publisher has been approached
or selected at this time."

Any person wishing to assist in this labor of love may
contact Ms. Jaeger at katrinka at or Rulau at
rviking at

Robert Lovett Jr. produced the famous Confederate States
cent and George Hampden Lovett cut the original Confederate
States Treasury Dept. seal. John Doubleday Lovett, the third
son, was less known though active. Robert Lovett Sr. during
the Hard Times period was a strong anti-U.S. Bank man but
produced both pro-Jackson and anti-Jackson medalets -
"profit above politics."


David Gracey writes: "Your question about keeping books
in their original condition motivated me to write with a similar

I recently purchased a book with Medina's "Medallas
Chilenas" and "Medallas Coloniales" bound in one volume.
I was surprised to find that the "Medallas Chilenas" had never
been trimmed. It still has the original folds in the paper that
were made after printing. Therefore I have a 100+- year old
book that (tragically) has never been read. Should I retain
this volume in its original condition? The question is academic
since I already had a copy of "Medallas Chilenas". The reason
I bought this volume was for the copy of "Medallas Coloniales"
and its pages have been separated. The binding was cheaply
done and is in poor condition but I have no intention of having
the book rebound.

Does anyone have any comments about the proper action if
they encounter a similar situation?"

[I'm with you - trim the pages and let the book live as its
maker intended. Let's see what our fellow E-Sylum readers
think. -Editor]


Dick Johnson writes: "To answer Dan Gosling’s dilemma: If
you plan extensive time researching in libraries and archives
across America, get a motor home! It is ideal for parking in
the library’s parking lot and you can live right on location for
as long as necessary. Get a used one, about five years old.
Use it as long as necessary and then sell it. Often, if you made
a good buy originally, you can virtually recoup your entire
investment, so your housing and living cost is quite small.
However, eight miles to the gallon of gas is not unusual
getting there.

The American Antiquarian Society in Worcester Massachusetts
is the only such institution I know that has coop housing -- right
across the street -- for visiting scholars and researchers, the
Goddard-Daniels House. Be sure to contact in advance, it’s not
a hotel!, and it is usually full in academic vacation periods. (Those
darn history professors tend to hog the best rooms!)


Mark Borchardt writes: "To Dick Johnson, I'll give you a
more exact count of the number of entries on my spreadsheet
soon, and this information probably will be published someday,
but my intent is more than just a checklist."


<From a lengthy article in the Kansas City Star:
"Almost two years after 65 tons of U.S. tank rumbled over
Marine Cpl. Travis Eichelberger early in the Iraq invasion, the
military has delivered another crushing blow.

"Subj.: Revocation of the Purple Heart," read the subject line
at the top of a one-page memo mailed to the Atchison man
just before Christmas.

Eichelberger was among 11 Marines who were notified that
the injuries they suffered were not "caused directly or indirectly
by combat" and thus did not merit the medals pinned on them
in 2003.

"You give out 11 Purple Hearts and then take them away?"
Eichelberger said Tuesday after the revocations became widely
known. "How come they didn't figure out my injury was deemed
an accident when they handed out the medals?"

"Marine Gen. William Nyland pinned the Purple Heart to the left
shoulder of Eichelberger's hospital gown.

Eichelberger on Tuesday showed reporters at his home a snapshot
taken of the April 5 presentation, along with a photo taken later
of President Bush visiting his hospital bed.

The medal on Tuesday sat in an open black case on a coffee
table in his parents' Atchison home. Eichelberger said he wasn't
certain what he was supposed to do with it now. He assumes
that he can keep it but that the designation will be lifted from
his service record."

"The Purple Heart originated with George Washington, whose
profile is seen on the medal. It is given far more widely than
other combat medals, such as the Bronze or Silver Star awards,
which are presented for heroism and require nominations."

"Eichelberger, a lifelong Atchison resident who was his high
school's homecoming king, came home to a hero's welcome a
month after he was hurt. Nearly 400 people gathered in a
church parking lot to hold signs and ask to see his Purple Heart.

He once wore the ribbon on a visit to a grade school in

To read the full article, see: Full Story


Martin Purdy writes: "My entry would be "RIGSBANKSKILLING"
(Denmark, 16 letters), which is so long it's usually split into two
lines on the coins in question. Otherwise, here are some 14-letter
(Poland, though that's probably 12 letters in the Polish way of
counting them), CESKOSLOVENSKA (Czechoslovakia) and

If you throw the field open to medals and banknotes, there will
doubtless be other, longer contenders, but if I start looking for
them I will never get any work done! "

Neil Shafer writes: "With regard to the longest word on a
numismatic item, I'll play Can You Top This with this one-word
name of a Welsh town on a British Railways Board railroad
platform 3d ticket:
There are 58 letters! What I'd like to know is the reason for
such a long name. There must have been some logic behind
the formation of this and other long Welsh names; perhaps it
had to do with those individuals who lived there and who lent
their names to this possible conglomerate. Does anyone
know the answer?

[My answer is longer, but because of an added hyphen and
one additional letter, which may be due to a typo in one or the
other version. It's the same Welsh place name. I found it on the website that was mentioned last week. on their
"Penny of the Month" page for February. The page discusses
the origin of the name.

"What the heck is 
and what is it doing on a squished coin?

Well, it started back in the mid-19th century when a small
town in Wales (whose national symbol is a red dragon)
was looking to put itself on the map. And what better way
to do so than a show of civic pride? Knowing that folks are
bound to head for anywhere that claims to have the world's
longest place name, a local tailor decided that his village
should capture that title. The name roughly translates into:
The Church of St. Mary in the hollow of the white hazels
near a rapid whirlpool and the church of St. Tysilio near
a red cave." Fortunately for residents -- and the post
office -- the name usually is shortened to Llanfairpwll or
Llanfair P.G."

Full Story



Carl Honore' writes: "On my original question of Sheriff and
Marshal's badges, these that I have seen definitely fit the
description that Alan Weinberg presented. He does NOT
have a large collection of these. He has a large collection of
brass and silver badges from which ONE or TWO of them
are made from older coins. These do have the pins broken
off and there are Mexican Pesos visible on the pin side.
They do in fact say just sheriff, or whatever. I couldn't make
out the date on one of them. Yes, these could be modern
fantasies made from older coins I suppose but why go to all
that trouble? This man knows his stuff and I don't think he
paid premium prices for these two from his collection. In any
event, the two responses in the 6 February edition of The
E-Sylum are at first glance diametrically opposed. Are these
rare, or not? Weinberg seems to think they are, Hal Dunn
seems to think they are perhaps more numerous than rare but
still somewhat scarce. I was just curious. I don't think my
accountant was fooled. He has an encyclopedic knowledge
of what he has and where he got it."


Yossi Dotan writes: "I wrote to the Hungarian National Bank
requesting information on a coin of that country. A PR expert
at their communication department, Böröcz Szilvia, dealt with
my request. She was extremely helpful, not only giving me the
exact wording and translation of the inscriptions on the coin
I asked about, but also pointing out that the coin was issued
to mark an event that was planned but did not happen.

The Hungarian coin is KM-705, 100 forint 1993, the subject
of which is Expo '96, a world exposition planned for 1996 in
Budapest. I remember vaguely having read once about a coin
issued to mark a visit by the British royal couple to one of the
members of the Commonwealth, but do not know about
which coin this was told.

Do the readers of The E-Sylum know of other such
non-event coins?"


An article in The Japan Times February 4, 2005 reports
that counterfeit 500 yen coins have appeared. The
perpetrators deposited the coins in an account via an
automatic teller machine.

"Since late January, 5,583 500 yen coins that are believed
to be counterfeit have been discovered in Tokyo, Fukuoka
and Kumamoto prefectures, the Finance Ministry said Thursday.

The coins were found among some 15,565 500 yen coins
that were deposited in an undisclosed number of savings
accounts at post offices in the three prefectures between
Jan. 22 and 27, the ministry said.

Records show that all the deposited money has since
been withdrawn in bank notes, according to the ministry.

Police said they suspect a large-scale coin counterfeiting
operation. Later Thursday, they put a man on a wanted
list on suspicion of depositing some of the fake coins at
a post office in Kumamoto."

"They are made of an alloy comprising copper, nickel and
zinc, but their component percentages are different from
authentic coins, it said.

Japan Post later took 38 of these coins to the Bank of Japan,
which in turn asked the Japan Mint, an affiliate of the Finance
Ministry, to probe their authenticity. Japan Mint announced
Thursday that five of the 38 coins are fake."

"The fake coins found in the recent incidents are basically the
same as the ones discovered among mail parcels from China
processed by Tokyo Customs in April and May, the Finance
Ministry said."

To read the full article, see: Full Story


Bill Malkmus writes: "Regarding Joe Geranio's inquiry about
getting a copy of SAN, Vol. XX, No. 1, this issue is still
available through SAN, as far as I know ($6.00 US postpaid).
SAN, the ancient numismatic journal, long dormant, appears
to be slowly reviving. The latest info on SAN can be found
on: SAN

For those interested in journal numbering (if not ancient
numismatics), SAN was a quarterly journal from Vol. I through
Vol. XVIII. With Vol. XIX, it was changed to a semi-annual.
Vol. XX, No. 1, was issued in 1997; no No. 2 was issued, so
Vol. XX, No. 1 is a complete Volume XX. Volume XXI
(released last year) is a single-issue volume. As a charter
subscriber as well as author, I wish them well in a difficult


Recently, I was part of an email exchange with Joe Levine
and Dick Johnson regarding the merits of collecting original
artists' plaster or wax models and galvanos for coins
and medals. I own exactly one plaster, created by U.S.
Mint Sculptor-Engraver John Mercanti for the 2004
Pittsburgh ANA Convention medal. Eventually I'll get it
framed and hang it in my office. Dick pointed out several
negatives on the collecting of plaster and wax models, and
Joe and I offered some counterpoints. Below is a reworking
of our discussion. Comments, anyone?

Dick Johnson writes: "It is NOT recommended for
individuals to form collections of plaster and wax models
of coins and medals for the following four reasons:

1) They are impermanent. They easily break, chip, scratch,
dent and are very easily damaged. It is not recommended,
particularly for a new collector. They must be handled and
stored in a professional manner, which most collectors do
not have this knowledge or capability.

2) They do not hold their value. There is no aftermarket.
You cannot easily sell them when you wish to dispose of
them. See comments below.

3) They are purchased for the wrong reason. Burning in the
mind of everyone who buys models (and dies) is often the thought
-- "Since this is the original I am going to reproduce this."
Some even think of having a die made from a plaster model
to strike specimens they can sell (a la Robert Bashlow
restriking the Confederate cent from both dies). Most
reputable medal makers will not accept this business. If you
find a shady firm that will, you are courting disaster. While
not counterfeiting, it is certainly a disreputable practice of
restriking, shunned by seasoned collectors.

4) Plasters are so easily replicated. You never know if you
have an original or a replica. It takes about 40 minutes and
40 cents worth of plaster to reproduce a plaster model. You
can then sell either the positive or the negative. On the other
hand making a galvano from a plaster takes some skill, an
electrogalvanic tank, copper anodes and three day's time.
The galvano is metal and permanent!

Even I – with four thumbs – could replicate a plaster. I
can’t make a galvano.

Maybe my concern is WHO is buying plasters. For
seasoned collectors, as I stated, should have ONE as
an example of how a coin or medal is made. I do not
see collectors with large collections of plasters. Such
a collection would have so many problems!

The most notable example: Michigan numismatist Joseph
Lepczyk accepted a consignment of plaster models from
the studio of James Earle Fraser and listed these in one
of his numismatic auction sales, complete with pictures.
These included some of the Fraser Buffalo nickel models.
(Did he wonder why this came to him instead of being
consigned to one of the big name auction houses?) A
Coin World article at the time heightened the interest for
these unusual items.

A dentist in Texas bought most of these plaster models.
He paid dearly for them. When the dentist went to sell
them he could not find a buyer, even at a substantial loss.
To get out from under a bad situation he wanted to donate
them for a tax writeoff. He could not find any appraiser
who would give him anywhere near the appraisal of what
he paid.

Note: The metal galvanos made from some of these plaster
models is a completely different story. Walter Breen even
mentioned the Buffalo nickel galvanos in his Complete
Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Coins and
created the term "electrotrial" for these pieces.

These galvanos are unique, tell a delightful story of Fraser's
testing the design, and command realistic substantial prices.
(It was the founder of Medallic Art Company, Henri Weil,
who made these for Fraser -- even silver plating copper
galvanos to look like nickel -- and were mentioned in the
manuscript history of MAco by brother Felix Weil.)

However, it has been my recommendation that a seasoned
collector should have ONE plaster model or galvano and
ONE die in his collection just to be familiar with the
technology of how a coin or medal is made. But I would
not recommend a large number of plasters – as a collection
-- for the average collector. "

Countering some of these points, Joe Levine replied: "I
can't say that I wholly agree with Dick's condemnation of
collecting plasters. Just because they are easily broken is
hardly a good reason not to collect them - Liverpool
pitchers are easily broken too!"

I agree -- it is part of the risk one takes as a collector.
My library can and does suffer damage from too much
light, handling, etc. from time to time, but this is par for
the course. On the valuation point, Joe Levine writes:

"Nothing holds its value if it is initially purchased at a
very high price! If the guy had bought the Fraser materials
on the cheap back then and offered them for sale now,
he would probably have shown a nice profit."

Dick is right that the market is exceedingly slim for these
items, and that finding buyers is always tough. But I also
agree with Joe's point. Over time, rare items will come
to have their day in the sun. Time was when many of the
items which comprise my numismatic library were unwanted
and unappreciated by the mass of collectors of either coins
or literature. But now, things that I bought for $25 or less
now bring $200 or more. And anyone who bought say,
a rare plated Chapman catalogue for $9,000 many years
ago would still be waiting to make money off the purchase.
The material in each case remains very desirable, but
paying top dollar at market peaks is never a good way to

As for the ease of replication, I have no plans or desire to
strike duplicate medals using my plaster, and doubt many
collectors would either, but it does remain a possibility.
It is a difficult task, though, and that also limits the likelihood
of this happening. As for reproducing the plasters
themselves, this is far easier than reproducing a galvano or
die. In fact, my plaster is one of THREE made.

Joe Levine writes: "Who is to say what motivates someone
to purchase a plaster? I have sold a number of them for
various Official Inaugural Medals and I don't think even one
of my customers had in mind creating a galvano or a die from

I agree with Dick about the ease of replication -- however, if
the pedigree can be ascertained with some degree of certainty,
I don't have a problem with authenticity. It's like the lock of
Kennedy's hair that is accompanied by a letter from his barber
authenticating it. A letter from the artist's son would be the same."


Some nice articles on the Wisconsin quarter varieties are
still appearing. USA Today covered the story. Full Story

And here's a good article from the Denver Post. It has some
great close-up shots of the corn stalk. Great headline, too:
Mint Sprouts Corny Coins."
Full Story


Dick Johnson writes: "Periodically, someone wants to do
away with the Royal Family of Britain. Mostly its Brits
themselves. One out of three Englishmen are no longer
loyal to the Royals. This one act alone would effect the
images on coins of Australia, Canada, New Zealand (and
a dozen other dominions and colonies) in addition to
England itself. Royal Family images appear on paper money
and stamps, as well. Prince Charles impending marriage to
Camilla Parker Bowles won’t change much.

"Has the time for royalty passed?" asked writer Doug Casey,
February 8, 2005 in the International Speculator. Does
England really want to abolish the monarchy? He lists the
actions of the dysfunctional current Royal Family but states
firmly that as long as Queen Elizabeth rules Britannia there
will be no more talk of that. It costs British taxpayers
approximately 37 million pounds (almost $70 million) each
year to keep the monarchy but the citizens are, apparently,
still willing to pay this for the "pomp and circumstance" the
Royal Family provides.

But imagine what British coins would look like without a
king or queen’s physiognomy? The country has a rich
heritage of symbols, from Big Ben to country castles. It
also has not one, but two medallic sculptor organizations
in the wings whose members are fully capable to create
new coin designs.

Doug Casey’s article "Loyal To The Royals": 
Full Story

[Thanks for pointing out this article, Dick. Here are some
excerpts. -Editor]

"Throughout history, kings and queens have ruled over
Britain. With a national anthem of ‘God Save the Queen’
and the monarch-of-the-day’s face emblazoned on every
British pound note and coin, British heritage is steeped in
this time-honored tradition of the Royal Family. However,
the world—and many Britons—periodically wonder: Has
the time for royalty passed?

In a country built on so-called ‘pomp and circumstance,’
admittedly, the Royal Family fits in perfectly. With a cast of
colorful characters that any TV soap opera would take
pride in, it is no wonder that the Windsors are a favorite
of international tabloid paparazzi who revel in every detail
of fairy tale marriages and high-file divorces, tragic deaths
and rumors about homosexuality. Every milestone and
misstep by the blue-bloods has been well publicized and
sold millions of newspapers."

"Of course, older generations of Britons, who served ‘Queen
and country,’ have always shown strong support for this
institution. "When I was a boy, loyalty to the Crown was a
big thing. Now you don’t hear so much about it," Sir William
Broun of Colstoum, a 13th-generation baronet, told The
Guardian. Nevertheless, more and more British people seem
to feel disloyal to the Royals. A 1999 poll in The Sun found
that 1 in 3 Brits (up from 1 in 4 in 1996) said they would vote
to abolish the monarchy if there was a public referendum."

"So, why are the Royals still treated so royally? Maybe the
Brits are able to forgive and forget because they take the
Royals for what they are—an eccentric, antiquated and
out-of-touch family who nostalgically represents centuries
of tradition. Of course, as long as the Queen is still alive
and kicking, the throne will be safe from blunder-prone
successors. After that, we’ll just have to see."


We published one of David Sklow's quiz questions about
ANA history in last week's issue. It was: "What ANA
members were both editor of The Numismatist and ANA

This stumped everyone, but the answer is: George Heath,
Farran Zerbe, Albert Frey, Frank Duffield and Ed Rochette."


The Florida Sun-Sentinel published a story on February
5, 2005 with an answer to the mystery of where a load of
stolen U.S. nickels ended up.

"Police officers on Friday dug up some unusual back-yard
buried treasure -- about three million stolen nickels that never
made it to the Federal Reserve in New Orleans.

Miami-Dade police came across the nicked nickels, worth
about $180,000, at a home in the Redlands area of southwest
Miami-Dade. They were still in Federal Reserve bags, in a
wooden box, covered with a thick plastic tarp and buried
about four feet deep.

"We think most of them are there," said Judy Orihuela,
spokeswoman for the FBI, which is investigating the theft.
"There's probably going to be a few missing."

The nickel caper began on Dec. 17 when truck driver
Angel Ricardo Mendoza picked up the coins at the
Federal Reserve facility in New Jersey.

Mendoza, who worked for a private trucking contractor,
vanished with the 45,000 pounds of silvery loot. A few
days later, the truck and trailer turned up at a Fort Pierce
truck stop, but the bags of nickels had disappeared, along
with Mendoza.

Friday morning, Miami-Dade police officers and DEA
agents looking for a hydroponics lab at a home in southwest
Miami-Dade, stumbled upon a cooler and a bucket full of

"That's what made the little light go off," Orihuela said.

Scanning the back yard with metal detectors, investigators
found the entire load of nickels."

"However, there was no sign of Mendoza, who is a suspect
in the coin heist. Investigators think he may have left the

To read the full story, see: Full Story


Bill Malkmus adds: "In the department of worthless additional
information, the joke (nickel vs. dime) forwarded from the
Good Clean Funnies List ( was recognized
as an old joke in my childhood, so certainly is way over 60
years old (and may date back to the introduction of the nickel,
as far as I know).

In a previous incarnation, the subject was a (grownup) denizen
of an asylum (lower-case). I guess in these politically correct
times, such an overt setting is no longer acceptable (although in
the current version, the young subject is still imputed to be in
the lower percentiles of the IQ ladder). But I guess that's OK;
someone has to be there.

Keep up the great work."


Roger deWardt Lane of Hollywood, Florida writes: "Last
week you listed a clean funny story, which made me realize,
I may have an family story of interest.

Four or five months ago, (I retired two years ago and wish
to keep busy with my hobbies, coins and computers) I
started writing a family history - My Life Story. I'm almost
finished with plans to burn CD-rom's for my 5 Grandchildren,
one Great Grand Daughter and My daughter. Since I have
scanned 1000 family pictures and added them thorough
hyperlinks to the story which is in html, this will save them
for them, as long as computers read CD-rom's. As you
mentioned in this past issue, slide projectors are almost
antiques now and this may happen to the CD-rom reader
in a computer some day.

One of my chapters is - I was a child of the depression,
but we never went hungry - The first story is copied

My first dime.

For breakfast, quite often, my mother would make pancakes
or as we use to call them flapjacks. I was busy eating mine,
when I spoke up and said "look there is a dime in my pancake."
Sure enough, there it was, a nice shinny silver dime. So, the
next question was - how did a coin get in the flapjack?
Thinking for a moment, Mother can up with the answer.
Each day, a neighbor who had cows, would deliver a quart
of farm fresh milk. We had to put out yesterday's empty milk
bottle and leave a dime in it to pay for the new milk. Of
course they were supposed to remove the money and wash
the bottle before refilling it and delivering it to us or one of the
few nearby families. This time they did not take the dime out.
And I hope they did not forget to wash the glass bottle, either.
The milk was used by my Mother to make our breakfast
with a dime in the pancake.

Little did I know at the time, that many many years later,
collecting world dimes would become my passion.

[Roger is the author of Modern Dime Size Silver Coins
of the World on CD-rom and recipient of the NLG Best
Software on 2003. -Editor]


Dick Johnson writes: "Dual anniversary commemorative
Lincoln Cents – honoring the bicentennial of Abraham
Lincoln’s birth and the centennial of the Lincoln Cent itself
–– moved closer to reality this week.

Four Senators are backing a bill similar to one that passed
in the House September 7, 2004. The Senate bill is
co-sponsored by Senators Dick Lugar of Indiana and
Barack Obama, of Chicago.

The Senate bill, like the House version, calls for four
different reverse cent designs for 2009, each representing
a different era in Lincoln’s life. These honor three states
-- Kentucky, Illinois, Indiana -- where Lincoln lived and
the nation's capital where he was president.

Both of these Congressional bills aline with what has been
proposed by the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
Creating new reverse designs for the anniversary year Lincoln
Cent is but one of many anniversary programs suggested by
the commission but the one, perhaps, that will be most
evident to American citizens -- in their pocket change
everyday -- and last forever.

Victor D. Brenner’s portrait of Lincoln will continue to remain
on the obverse setting somewhat of a world record for a coin
portrait in continuos use, every year for a century! The House
version contained a tribute to Brenner in the legislation’s
wording: "The original Victor David Brenner design for the
1-cent coin was a dramatic departure from previous American
coinage that should be reproduced, using the original form
and relief of the likeness of Abraham Lincoln, on the 1-cent
coins issued in 2009."

The House bill called for the cents to be struck in bronze,
the original composition of the 1909 cent. This was 95
percent copper, 5 percent zinc or zinc and tin. Without,
of course, any cladding or coating -- solid bronze.

Numismatists know Brenner’s record coin portrait longevity
is surpassed by the Maria Theresa thaler, of course –
used for over 220 years without changing the 1780 date
-- but can any e-Sylum reader reveal any other long-term
portrait use on a coin greater than a hundred consecutive

President Bush signed a law July 14, 2003, keeping the
Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission alive through
2009, thus insuring the Lincoln Cent would be issued
through 2009 (E-Sylum vol 6, no 29, July 20, 2003).
Should the president sign the present bill it would be a
major event for American citizens, collectors and

A story in The Southern, an Illinois newspaper, see: Full Story

For wording of the House Bill No. 5012 see: Wording


[In honor of Lincoln's birthday, Arthur Shippee sent us
the text of his famous Gettysburg address, and I thought
I'd reprint it here -- we bibliophiles love words. When
Lincoln said said "The world will little note, nor long
remember what we say here," maybe he believed it, but
his concise and memorable remarks stand for the ages
thanks for the power of print. -Editor]

Address at the Dedication of the cemetery at
Gettysburg, Pennsylvania:
November 19, 1863

Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth
on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty, and
dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether
that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated,
can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that
war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field,
as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives
that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper
that we should do this.

But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate -- we cannot
consecrate -- we cannot hallow this ground. The brave
men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated
it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world
will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it
can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living,
rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which
they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It
is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task
remaining before us -- that from these honored dead we
take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave
the last full measure of devotion--that we here highly resolve
that these dead shall not have died in vain--that this nation,
under God, shall have a new birth of freedom--and that
government of the people, by the people, for the people,
shall not perish from the earth.


This week's featured web site is It's a
community website. It's not focused entirely on numismatic
literature, but that is a part of the site. The main point is
to provide a forum for people to discuss all numismatic
related topics.

  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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