The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 8, February 20, 2005:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers are Pete Morelewicz of The
Squished Penny Museum, courtesy of Gail Baker, Harold Levi,
courtesy of Fred Reed, Benj Fauver, courtesy of David Perkins,
Len de Jesus, President of the Philippine Numismatic and
Antiquarian Society, courtesy of Doug Andrews, and Eric
Pederson. Welcome aboard! We now have 726 subscribers.

Most of our new subscribers learn of The E-Sylum by word-
of-mouth (or should we say "keyboard"?). Thanks to everyone
who recommended us to a friend. Please encourage anyone
you think would enjoy The E-Sylum to sign up. It would be
nice to get over the 800 mark by this summer.

This issue is being published on Friday to accommodate the
editor's travel schedule. We should be back to our usual Sunday
night publication date next week.


A few announcements from NBS President Pete Smith:

1. NBS Secretary/Treasurer David Perkins asked to be
relieved of his duties at the end of 2004. We thank him
for his service.

2. David Sundman has agreed to serve as Secretary/Treasurer
for the remainder of the term. His appointment was
confirmed by a vote of the board.

3. The new business address for NBS is:

David M. Sundman, Secretary/Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
P. O. Box 82
Littleton, NH 03561

4. The final issue of The Asylum for 2004 is ready for
printing and should be in the mail soon. A membership
renewal notice will be included with the issue. You
can avoid the rush and renew now.

5. We always encourage subscribers to the E-Sylum to
become members of the NBS. You may send your
membership fee to the address shown above.


Fred Lake writes: "The prices realized list for our sale #78
which closed on Tuesday, February 15, 2005 is now
available for viewing at: Prices Realized

Thanks to those who participated in the sale and our next
sale will be held in early May, 2005."


Hadrien Rambach of Spink & Son Ltd. writes: "Spink is
pleased to announce that the catalogue of the library of
Professor Le Rider has now been published. Any customer
who requested a copy should have received it by now,
and the catalogue is available to everybody as a pdf file on
Catalogue. "

[I recently received my copy of the catalogue, and it is
very nicely done. 957 lots are offered at fixed prices.
The illustrations should be of interest to all bibliophiles --
they include many images of bookplates and author
inscriptions. -Editor]


The following is taken from the press release:
he American Numismatic Society is pleased to announce
the forthcoming publication of:

Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins, by
Sewall Menzel 496p, over 2000 illus. (American
Numismatic Society 2004) ISBN 0897222849.
Price US $125.00 (ANS members receive a 30% discount)

The book will be available in March, and can be ordered
now through the ANS’ book distributor, The David
Brown Book Co.

In this comprehensive study, Sewall Menzel brings out the
critical details needed to understand the ten early Spanish
mints of México, Santo Domingo, Perú, Potosí, Panama,
Santa Fe de Bogotá, (Nuevo Reino de Granda), Cartagena,
Cuzco, Guatemala and Cuba and their respective coinages.
Through the use of some two thousand photos and diagrams
the coins are identified by mint, king, denomination, assayer
and type.

After the legendary conquests in Latin America by Hernando
Cortez and Francisco Pizarro, the Spanish crown began to
set up an extensive administration, which allowed better
control and exploration of its newly found wealth. Royal
mints were set up to account for gold and silver coming
from mines such as those at Potosí. At the same time, coins
were being minted for commercial transaction in large
quantities. For over 250 years the mints churned out millions
of “cob”-style coins, many of which found their way into the
treasure galleons of the day. Soon, mints such as Mexico and
Potosí became known as the financial 'pillars of empire' and
enabled Spain to engage in seemingly endless wars of
conquest and plunder. Geography, crown intransigence,
bureaucratic incompetence, royal intrigues and outright
scandal all had an impact on the mints and their productions.

Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins will be the
standard work for the next generation of scholars and
collectors in this field.

Sewall Menzel is a leading authority in the field of Spanish
American Numismatics. After retiring from military service
in 1989 as an Army colonel, Menzel began working at
Florida International University in 1993 as an adjunct and
contract professor with the Department of Political Science,
teaching in the fields of Latin American politics and U.S.
foreign and national security policy.

The David Brown Book Co., PO Box 511, Oakville
CT 06779 Toll-free: 800-791-9354 Tel: 860-945-9329
Fax: 860-945-9468 email: at
Direct link to the book Link to Book
Or to the David Brown Web site: David Brown Web site
enter the site, then click "distributed titles" and choose -
The American Numismatic Society and miscellaneous

For more information contact Joanne Isaac, Museum
Administrator at: 212-571-4470 ext. 1306
or email isaac at "


Jørgen Sømod of Denmark writes: "A couple of weeks ago,
I asked on another list about a picture of the Boulton Watt
mint machine. One hour later came an answer with a link to
a web site showing that machine. But the quality of the
picture was too bad for me. However, it was on the site
told, that the picture was taken from a booklet issued by
British Museum after an original in The Saturday Magazine
1836. After surfing a few minutes, I found an antiquarian
in a little town in England, who would sell that magazine for
£20. It came today. A wonderful original print in a thick
book with many other fun and interesting prints for nearly
nothing. It would not have been possible without the Internet."


Last week I discussed the group of "twenty gold niketeria
reportedly found at Aboukir in 1902 have been the subject
of intense debate." One of these is the "Elephant Medallion,"
the subject of a recent book. I asked: "Where are the
medallions today, especially the elephant medallion? Where
does the controversy stand today? "

Ed Snible writes: "This web page provides a picture of the
elephant dekadrachm: image

The silkroad site also links to a British Museum web page
on the subject. I'd give you the URL, but it is too long!
[I've shortened it! -Editor] British Museum

Pages 832-3 of the Historia Numorum mention the elephant
medallion (no photo): Medallin  "


Regarding the subject of coin designs lasting 100 years or
more, as brought up by Dick Johnson in connection with the
subject of the U.S. Lincoln Cent, David Gladfelter writes:
"How about the enduring Schwenzer and Voigt designs on
the Swiss 5, 10 and 20 rappen pieces which go back to 1879?
You can still find a few 10 and 20 "raps" from the 1920s in
circulation but the old nickel 5s were withdrawn when the
composition of that denomination was changed to brass
about 1980. And the ½, 1 and 2 franc designs go back
even farther, to 1875. These designs are by Jean François
Antoine Bovy and are signed. I guess the Swiss don't make
changes easily. (Actually there was a change in the franc
design: A star was added for Canton Jura when it was
formed in 1979.)

David Lange writes: "There are several USA commemoratives,
both vintage and recent, that qualify, but one comes to mind
immediately. The Buffalo Silver Dollar issued in 2001 began
nearly ten years earlier as a silver "nickel" that would serve
as a fund raiser for our National Parks. When that theme
failed repeatedly to generate enough Congressional support,
it morphed into a bill to fund the Museum of the American
Indian. Evidently, that was more politically beneficial (and
right in Washington, DC), so the bill finally passed. Lost in
translation, however, was any reference to that theme on
the coin itself. Though the Indian bust and bison may be
seen as graphic representations of Native American life,
there is only statutory text on the coin, without any mention
of the museum."


Alan V. Weinberg writes: "With respect to Anne Bentley's
inquiry on the John Adams medal at the Massachusetts
Historical Society: yes, it is quite likely the Leonard medal
referred at length in Prucha, page 136-138. But as
Chapman sold it for only $10 and as Mickley was in
possession of the obv die, it is quite likely the pewter
impression in the MHS is a Mickley-struck product.
Chapman would have asked a three figure price for this
unique medal if he thought it had been struck by the Mint.
Nevertheless, Mint or Mickley origin, it is extremely rare,
never published /pictured to my knowledge. I would
welcome a picture of the medal or, better yet, an article
in Coin World by Ms. Bentley."


Alan V. Weinberg writes: "With respect to Carl Honore's
further inquiry on the diametrically opposed opinions of Hal
Dunn and myself on the rarity of silver dollar / 8 reale-based
genuine old law enforcement badges: the argument that Hal
is aware that many museums house such badges so they
must not be particularly rare does not hold water. There is
an astonishing number of "Old West" fantasy and fake items
exhibited and in the possession of museums due to a lack of
worldly experience by curators who are largely involved in
academics and curating and do not "get out there" in the real
world to see the plethora of fakes on the marketplace.

If indeed there are only 2 or so such badges in the collection
of this knowledgeable collector-friend of Carl's, they might
very well be genuine and are very rare. Particularly if , as
Carl observes, they are on 8 reales and not silver dollars
which the forgers/fantasy makers would more likely use."


A recent Reuters article notes that Chinese officials want to
put curbs on the use of images of Chinese currency.

"China's central bank has proposed fines on people who
use images of the yuan currency to fan ethnic tensions, harm
territorial integrity, or promote pornography.

New draft measures published by the People's Bank of
China Wednesday lay down guidelines on how images of
Chinese money, also known as the renminbi or "people's
money," can be used in print and on the Internet.

The rules were issued "to strengthen management of the
use of renminbi images and guard the credibility of the
renminbi," the bank said on its Web site,

Chinese money, from the light green 1-yuan note to the
pink 100-yuan bill, bears portraits of the late Chairman
Mao Zedong."

"Offences included defacing the currency, harming national
unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity, fanning ethnic
separatism, leaking state secrets, and promoting
pornography, superstition and violence."

To read the full article, see: Full Story


David Gladfelter writes: "The Gettysburg Address can be
found in "The Lincoln Centennial Medal" book published
by G. P. Putnam's Sons in 1909. Bound right into the pages
of this lovely book is the 63mm Centennial medal by Roiné,
King 309."

[This is among the elusive titles on U.S. numismatics that I
don't yet have in my library. Keep this in mind for my
birthday, everyone 8-) -Editor]


Dick Johnson writes: "When did the Bank of Israel demonitize
the 1 agora coin as legal tender? An article published this week
states how an Israeli pharmacy chain is rounding down (to the
next lowest 5 argot amount) instead of raising to the next highest
5 multiple."

Here's an excerpt from the article, published February 15:
"Retail chain SuperPharm yesterday announced the demise of
the 99-agorot cash register receipt. The chain will now only
round down for payment in cash, so charges that end in 96-99
agorot will be rounded down to 95 agorot.

Incidentally, SuperPharm receipts often end in 96-99 agorot,
as almost all products sold at the chain are priced to 99 agorot.

Until now, the retailer rounded payment up or down according
to the actual sum of the bill, following Bank of Israel instructions
since the 1 agora coin ceased being legal tender."

To read the full article, see: Full Story


Dan Gosling forwarded a set of inquiries on several
topics. We published the first two previously.
Here's item #3:

"Now that I have fully recovered from "my dream
vacation" as Dick Johnson described it in the Oct 3,
2004 issue of the E-Sylum I would like some input
on "my dream library".

What size is a reasonable compromise?
Is one and one half to two stories high the optimal height?
If an upper area is include should it have a walkway or be
accessed via rolling ladder?
Is it mandatory to have a fireplace and leather sitting chairs?
Is it a sin to include a TV in the room?
Should the windows only face north or be excluded?
What other amenities should be included (coffee machine,
bar, washroom, sound system)?
What were some of the significant features of the great
libraries of the past (and present)?
Should there be areas set up for computing and current
publications (newspapers and journals, etc.)?

[Great questions. Myown dream library would have two
stories as well - you can never have enough shelf space.
The office/library at Eric Newman's old numismatic museum
in St. Louis was set up this way. A spiral stair led to a
walkway around the second level. I don't know that I'd
be brave enough to have a working fireplace, and a
mantle would mean less space for books, so that's not
for me. But a comfy leather reading chair? Now you're
talking. I understand John Ford had a sink nearby where
visitors were made to wash their hands and don gloves
before touching books. I love having my library within
reach of the keyboard, so for me a computer is a must.
I'm ambivalent on the idea of a TV. I don't have one in
my office/library, but on occasion it would come in handy.
I rarely watch TV, but on nights when I do I find myself
popping over to the office every commercial break to
edit The E-Sylum. Every spare minute helps, so having
a TV would be as much a timesaver as it would be a
distraction. What do our readers think?


"Switzerland's smallest coin, the gold-coloured five-centime
piece, looks set to become history if the official mint in Bern
has its way.

The coin costs more to make than it is worth (4.1 United
States cents) and no one seems to find much of a use for
it anymore.

"There are people who shake their heads when I try to
give them a five-centime coin as change,"commented a
woman cashier at a Coop supermarket.

To put it bluntly, people don't want to accept them
because they don't know how to get rid of them

Vending machines, public telephones, parking meters
and washing machines do not accept them. And anyone
foolhardy enough to leave one for a waiter as a tip is
considered unfriendly in the extreme.

When they first appeared in the summer of 1981, it
was a totally different story, with many people amazed
at how the old silvery coin now glittered with gold thanks
to a higher copper content. But times have changed."

"According to statistics, one in five of the four billion
coins in circulation in Switzerland is a five-centime piece.

The problem is that because people "hoard" them at home
and so withdraw them from circulation, swissmint has to
keep minting more new ones."

"It looks, therefore, as though swissmint will ask the Swiss
government in the near future to give the coin the kiss of
death, although it is not clear exactly what the savings
would be if it were withdrawn from circulation."

"In a related development, the Swiss National Bank (SNB)
has announced it is preparing a new banknote series that
has as its theme"Switzerland open to the world".

A major change is that the focus of the notes should not
be on any individuals, inventions or achievements.
Twelve graphic designers have been asked to submit
their proposals by the end of October.

The central bank says the notes should portray Switzerland
as a platform for dialogue, progress, humanitarian
commitment, exciting experiences, creativity and the search
for practical approaches to solutions within organisations.

The current denominations of SFr10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and
1,000 and the colours of the individual denominations will
be unchanged. However, the size of the notes will be
slightly reduced."

To read the full article, see: Full Story


On Thursday, February 17th The Birmingham News
published an article about Penny Cunningham, now 88
years old, who was appointed by President Richard Nixon
to the 1969 Assay Commission. Penney - great name for
a numismatist, eh?

"Behind the baby grand piano in the living room is a
painting of a pensive Penny Cunningham at age 16. The
impressionistic portrait, done recently by an Alabama
School of Fine Arts student, is surrounded by a blur of
items representing the arts.

The adjacent sun parlor features an extensive coin collection
on the wall and lots of old books, a rock collection,
translucent marbles, some of which belonged to her father,
and Frank Fleming sculptures on the bookshelves.

"I am a collector of collections," Cunningham says."

"She was born in 1916 at the old West End Hospital.

>From an early age, "I wanted to do everything," she says.
She took dance lessons from age 4 and still has her
recital programs. "I kept everything," she says."

Cunningham graduated from Phillips High School when
she was 15. "I wanted to go to college, but it was the
bottom of the Depression."

Even so, her family managed to send her to Birmingham-
Southern in 1932 where she majored in English and
Psychology. She then earned a master's degree in
psychology at Ohio State and later a doctorate in arts
administration at the University of Alabama.

She taught handwriting at Lakeview Elementary for 20
years and keeps in her secretary an inkwell like the one
she put on the windowsill for students to fill their fountain
pens. Former students still approach her once or twice
a week, and she can remember where many of them
sat in class."

"She often pursues a hobby for years, then drops it
suddenly and moves on.

Her coin collection was amassed over 15 years, and she
was appointed by President Richard Nixon to attend the
annual Assay Commission in 1969 at the U.S. Mint in
Philadelphia. The members of the commission examine
newly minted coins for one day.

"It was fun," she said about the honorary position. But
soon after, she stopped collecting coins. Most of them
are divided into three boxes, one for each of her grandsons."

To read the full article, see: Full Story

[We have some former Assay commissioners on our
subscriber list. Can anyone tell us what it was like to
serve on the commission? -Editor]


George Fuld writes: "I have only one original plaster,
depicting "Dr. George Fuld" (in my youth?). It is a 16 inch
plaster done by Don Dow for the first president of TAMS
in 1960. I have spray painted it with gold paint and mounted
on a velvet frame. Perhaps my grandchildren will see me in
my youth!"

Julian Leidman writes: "I wish to add my two cents to the
"plaster" conversation. I purchased a number of the plasters
in Lepczyk's sale and I agree that the after-market was quite
thin, but I have none now and they were all sold at a profit,
I am pretty sure. The rarity of the item is what made it
collectible and, ultimately, saleable. They mostly went to
people that collected the series of items that had to do with
the subject of the plaster. I believe that they make a very
interesting addition to specialized numismatic collections
and would encourage their addition. Resalability is no
reason not to collect something. It may be a reason not to
invest, but has no place in the theory behind collecting."

Fred Reed writes: "As a follow up to friend Dick Johnson's
comments on the Fraser Studio plasters which appeared in
a Joe Lepczyk auction of October 1980, my colleague at
Coin World David T. Alexander wrote the article which
greatly buoyed the Lepczyk auction. In his own indomitable
style, DTA (a present and longtime cataloger for Stack's,
former employee of Dick's at Johnson and Jensen, a founder
of the Medal Collectors of America, and presently "Research
Desk" medal columnist for Coin World) convinced Editor
Margo Russell that this was a truly historical offering and we
needed to give it more than usual auction coverage space.
He then skillfully banged the historical drum loudly enough
that -- as Dick said -- brought the sale great success it
deserved. If you Google "fraser lepczyk" the first three
entries that come up are articles I did for the December
1999, February 2000, and April 2000 issues of “Heritage
Insider” about the Fraser Lincoln nickel and cent models,
the Augustus Saint-Gaudens medallion plaster, and the
Laura Gardin Fraser plaster model which became the basis
for the $5 George Washington gold coin, which appeared
in that sale. Incidentally, afterward I obtained Lepczyk's
original photographs of ALL the plasters (including many
of the three-dimensional items from various views), rights
to publish them, and even the page paste ups from the
auction catalog from Joe. Many of these photos will
appear in my book, FIRST FAMILY OF AMERICAN
SCULPTURE: A joint biography and catalog raisone of
James Earle Fraser and Laura Gardin Fraser."

[To save everyone the trouble I've listed below the
addresses of the three articles Fred refers to. -Editor]

Full Story
Full Story
Full Story

Dick Johnson writes: "I hope I didn’t come off as the bad
guy in last week’s report on owning plaster models, particularly
since I have sold some of these in the last two auctions of friend
Joseph Levine’s sales in his Presidential Coin & Antique auctions.

The original question was omitted in last week’s report:
collecting plaster models by a NEW collector. I stand by what
I said – plasters are not a suitable item for a new collector nor
a large collection of these. Yet I also said every seasoned
collector should have ONE plaster or galvano and ONE die –
to be aware of how a coin or medal design becomes a struck
piece. It adds greatly to a collector’s understanding of the
minting technology by owning these. (I hope the purchasers
of my consigned plasters in Joe’s auctions were seasoned

Having said that, here is what you need to know about
conservation of plaster models:

(1) They attract dust like a magnet. If a plaster comes from
a sculptor’s studio it will have been subjected to considerable
plaster dust which fills up a lot of the crevices. For goodness
sake do not use any liquid to remove the dust. Use air!
Compressed air or air from an aerosol spray can. For
whatever use you have in mind you want a virgin white
plaster (not a dusty, dirty model).

(2) Do not remove the "flange." That is the inch or two extension
of plaster around the edge of the model, which down the road
in the process is necessary for the clamps to hold the pattern to
the die-engraving pantograph. It is part of the technology. If you
have the urge to trim it to the edge of the design – resist the
urge to trim.

(3) Plaster models need to be protected as best possible.
Plaster will break (dent & chip & all those things I said last
week). Frame it if you want to hang it on your wall. Put it in
a shadow box with a glass front. This prevents damage and
dust accumulation to its surface. For a stunning wall piece
use a strong color cloth as a background behind the white
plaster – red, royal blue, purple, black – your choice for
a great contrast.

(4) Plaster storage. If you don’t frame it and wish to store
it, ask the sculptor you get it from (or have a sculptor do
this for you) – make a rubber mold. Lay the plaster flat on
a very sturdy shelf and place the rubber mold on top of it.
Then if anything is dropped on it the rubber mold cushions
the blow. If you obtain both the positive and negative
plaster casts, these may be stored one on top of the other.
Place the positive on top. If it breaks from something
dropped on it, you can have another positive made from
the negative plaster (hoping of course, it didn’t break).

To really enjoy owning a plaster model, get the struck piece
– coin or medal – made from that plaster. Study both and
note particularly three things: the height of the relief, the
top edges of all letters and devices -- are these sharp and
crisp or slightly rounded over? And finally note the bevel
or draft on the relief -- the sides of all lettering and devices
must be slightly sloped so the piece can release from the
die when it is struck (this has to be in sculptor’s original

See why I say this is not something for a beginning
collector to collect? Next week I will tell you how to
protect galvanos."


Alan Luedeking writes: "Regarding David Gracey's odd couple,
Medina was not averse to lumping his works together on occasion;
I recently parted with a volume which was a marriage between
Medina's "Monedas Coloniales Hispano-Americanas" (his most
famous and important work) and "Monedas Coloniales de Chile,"
also an important work for its original documentation. Even
though they went well together, it bothered me to have them both
in one binding (nicely bound, too), so I sent them packing as soon
as I had obtained each in separate original bindings. David's work,
"Medallas Coloniales Hispano-Americanas" (1900) is sometimes
found bound together with its supplement, "Medallas Coloniales
Hispano-Americanas: Nuevos Materiales Para su Estudio" (1919),
where, being soul-mates, the two-in-one binding is not a bad thing;
the other partner in David's pair, "Las Medallas Chilenas" is really
the companion volume to "Las Monedas Chilenas" which were
originally written as José Toribio Medina's doctoral thesis in law,
but these were always bound separately as they are each hefty
tomes. In David's case, given that the two works in question
1) were issued separately (1901 and 1900),
2) the binding is cheap and in bad shape, and
3) 'Medallas Chilenas' is an important work with much excellent

I say, rip it apart, open it up, and rebind it. Hopefully, the
original card covers and half titles are still present."

Ralf Boepple writes: "On the question of keeping books in their
original condition, here is what I have learned from a curator of
the Württembergische Landesbibliothek a couple of years ago:

If the binding is damaged to the extent that it neither can be
restored nor can be used without inflicting further damage, there
are two ways to follow.

If the book is important less for its content but for itself, as a
document of the state of the art of its time, leave it as it is. Put
it in a tightly-fit box, so that it will not suffer further damage
from storing, and see that it is put flat on a shelf, not in upright

If you would like to use the content, that is, read it and use
it for research, then have it rebound. Here it is up to the
owner to decide how to do it. From a bibliophile's view,
it may be wise to have it rebound in a style and in material
as close to that of the original. Of course - and the book
dealers out there will surely know more about it than I do
- an original will always be worth more than a second
binding, but then in our case the original was gone anyway.
You won't make a vf coin uncirculated, either.

If you have one damaged book in a set of many, you may
try to have it rebound as close to the others. It won't be
the same, but still better than not being able to use the
volume at all for fear of seeing it fall apart completely.

David Gracey's story of his Medina book took me by
surprise. As I understand it, he has two books bound
together, one opened and one still uncut. I always
understood that in order to bind a book you have to
ut the pages, so I wonder how that one came into

Bill Murray writes: "I've been out-of-pocket for about
three weeks, but recent issues of The E-Sylum have
discussed the rights and wrongs of binding, rebinding
or leaving collectible books as is. I'm no bibliomaniac
expert, or any other kind for that matter, but I have my
own strong opinion about one volume in my library.

At The Elongated Collectors at the ANA convention in
Miami Beach in 1974, I was sitting next to Max Schwarz.
Right in front of us was Dottie Dow, elongated expert
and author of The Elongated Collector, a 1965 book
then out of print. I leaned over Dottie's shoulder to ask if
she knew where I could get a copy. Her answer was no,
but a few minutes later she turned back around and said
she had an incomplete, unbound copy she could send me
with reproduced copies of the missing pages. I asked
her to do so. Max, at that moment, asked if she could
send him such a copy, to which she replied yes.

When my copy arrived. though unbound as promised,
it was enclosed in the dust cover. I cherish that book
in just the way I received it. I wonder whatever may
have happened to Max's copy.

To each his own."


Last week Yossi Dotan wrote: "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."

Gar Travis writes: "As a point of interest a Royal tour was
made in 1927 and two additional Royal tours were planned
in 1949 and then again in 1952. Both of these tours however
had to be canceled due to the King’s ill health."


Don Cleveland writes: "I just read the comments about
maintaining the Royal Family and the monarch's effigy on coins.

Just to confuse the issue of the use of the monarch's effigy
on coins and banknotes. Fiji declared itself a Republic on
October 6, 1987, severing links with the British crown.
Fiji replaced the Queen's Representative, the Governor
General, with its own President. Yet, to this day, Her
Majesty Queen Elizabeth II's effigy appears on all Fijian
coins and banknotes. Fiji is a member of the Commonwealth
of Nations, but so are several other former British colonies,
all of which discontinued using the Queen's effigy upon
becoming Republics."


Jørgen Sømod writes: "RIGSBANKSKILLING is a long and
Danish word, but spelled in German as seen on some Danish
coins minted 1816-1939 is it longer REICHSBANKSCHILLING."

Ron Haller-Williams writes: "The best I've yet found on a COIN
is BODENSEESCHIFFAHRT (500 Schillinge, Austria #2967,
18 letters, undivided). This would be even longer if German
didn't have the rule that where a triple F occurs in combination
(e.g. SCHIFF-FAHRT), it is shortened to a double F. There
appear to be three companies involved in shipping across
Lake Constance, one each from Austria, Germany and
Switzerland. Does anybody know of a medal relating to the that
last-mentioned? That would be the Schweizerische
Bodenseeschiffahrtsgesellschaft A.G. which includes a 31-letter
word (though possibly hyphenated).

A close runner-up is LANDESAUSSTELLUNG
(Switzerland #43, 17 letters).

And the longest English-language one I have spotted is
SESQUICENTENNIAL (USA Columbia half dollar,
1936, 16 letters), which equals Martin's most ambitious offering.

On banknotes, Germany does better:
18 letters: FÜNFHUNDERTTAUSEND (500000) e.g. #88, #922
20 letters: DARLEHENKASSENSCHEIN #47 thru #62; R122 thru R134
and surpasses this on military payment certificates:
21 letters: BEHELFSZAHLUNGSMITTEL M31 thru M37
If the hyphen is allowed, Hungary has:
27 characters: OESTERREICHISCH-UNGARISCHEN #29 thru #66

Regarding, "What the heck is
Ron writes:

"I'd suggest that the hyphen, which does NOT appear in
the name ON the elongate at See Elongate
 (the page you cite) or Image
is there for two reasons:

1. People expect a double-L, but might reckon more to
be a keying error;

2. For those who know how to pronounce the double-L
in Welsh, i.e. like a harsher version of English "HL", this
makes it clear how to pronounce what is probably the
world's THIRD-longest placename.

I'll make the additional letter clearer by capitalizing it:
This brings the count up to the 58 that Neil claims.

I, being Welsh, would however only acknowledge 51 letters!
This is because "CH" and "LL" are individual letters of the Welsh
alphabet, which begins A, B, C, CH, D, DD, E, F, FF, G, ...

The name you will find on road maps is the official one,
consisting of just the first 20 (or 17!) letters, i.e.
Llanfairpwllgwyngyll, rather than as shown on the cited page:

(a) Locally referred to as "Llanfair P.G."
(b) Both "Llanfairpwll Station" and "Llanfairpwll Post Office"
exist, but (according to my postcodes database) they are
in the postal town of "LLANFAIRPWLLGWYNGYLL, Gwynedd".

We are beaten by:

1. A hill in New Zealand called

2. The name of Bangkok (Krungthep) in Thai -
(See More Information for both the above.)

3. Finally, at Myths
one sees the assertion that "The twentieth-century Welsh tourist industry
has invented an even longer, and more nonsensical, one to beat it 
66 letters of very bad fake Welsh) ..."

[The breadth of knowledge of our E-Sylum readers
(E-Sylumites?) never ceases to amaze. I believe it was in
his film Annie Hall, where Woody Allen's character is
standing in a movie line being annoyed by a nearby man
going on and on about the works of Marshall McLuhan.
Allen gets into a heated argument with him. Exasperated,
he finally says, "Wait here." Then he goes behind a nearby
movie poster and pulls out a man who who turns out to be
Marshall McLuhan himself. And McLuhan says to
the guy: "You're totally wrong. You know NOTHING
about my work." Allen turns to the camera and says
"Don't you wish real life could be this way?" Sigh, yes.
And, occasionally, it is. We just so happened to have
a Welshman waiting in the wings to set us straight on
spelling and pronunciation. Now wait here while I get
the top numismatists from New Zealand and Thailand to
testify that the #1 and #2 lengthiest place names have
never appeared on a numismatic item. Yet. I can hear
those elongated cent dies being cut already....


Howard A. Daniel III writes that he has been in Viet Nam
for a couple of days. He is trying to get used to the heat
before venturing out too far on his own so for the first few
days he is staying close to his townhouse in Ho Chi Minh
City. He read the recent item about the counterfeit
Japanese coins coming out of China. He writes:

"Counterfeiting is rampant in China! I believe the
counterfeiters must have official approval at some level
because it is so big an operation and covers worldwide
coins and paper money.

Chinese counterfeits of the paper/cotton notes of Viet
Nam are numerous in Viet Nam! And a recent discovery
of a paper/cotton counterfeit of the new Vietnamese
polymer notes has been found! All of them are coming
across the Chinese border.

I was recently at the Interpol headquarters website to
see about making an appointment with them when I am
in Paris at the end of March. I did not see anything there
about the Chinese counterfeits of Vietnamese banknotes
so I sent them a long email about them and am awaiting
a response."


Last week, we published Roger deWardt Lane's story about
his first dime, which had been accidentally baked into a pancake.

Leonard Augsburger writes: "Putting coins in pancakes is bad.
The following is from The Numismatist, December 1983:

Queen Victoria had in 1840 ordered that gold sovereigns be
placed in Christmas puddings given to the royal staff. The
tradition of handing the gold piece directly to the gift recipient
was a bit safer, because there was always the danger that
someone might swallow a coin by accident. This happened
on at least one occasion, to a gentleman named Ernest
Hatfield who accidentally ingested a Christmas coin baked
in a pudding and required surgery many years later to
remove it. "


Ralf W. Böpple writes: "By the way, the Good Clean
Funny Joke did ring a bell with me. I have known the
same joke since childhood, but obviously here in
Germany it was told with the 10 Pfennig coin and the
considerably smaller 50 Pfennig coin. I thought of the
joke a couple of years ago when the deutschmark went
away and the euro coins were introduced. The 10
eurocent piece is smaller than the 5 eurocent piece,
but it is thicker. The 1 euro coin is smaller than the 50
eurocent coin, but it is bimetallic and thus simply appears
more valuable. In both cases, the difference of the
diameter is so tiny that few people will actually notice.
So there is no fun in telling this joke nowadays - I guess
it has been demonetized..."


This week's featured web site is about Francis George
Claudet, who "is responsible for the rarest coins of British
Columbia--a mere handful of precious silver and gold $10
and $20 coins that were minted in 1862."

Featured Web Site

  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.

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