The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 9, February 27, 2005:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers is Joanne Isaac, Museum
Administrator of the American Numismatic Society.
Welcome aboard! We now have 728 subscribers.

Last week we reported having 726 subscribers. Gail Baker,
Director of Education for the American Numismatic Association
writes: "You actually have 727 subscribers as I print each issue
for Adna Wilde, ANA Treasurer and non-computer guru."

It may or may not come as a surprise, but in all the years
I've edited The E-Sylum I have yet to actually print one out.
I know there are at least several readers who do print and
save them, including NBS Historian Joel Orosz who files
copies in the society archives. These efforts are much
appreciated. Bits and formats come and go, but paper will
last hundreds of years.


Thanks go to Dick Johnson and Michael Knight for spotting
a problem in the E-Sylum archive on the NBS web site.
Michael writes; "The Volume 8 No 8 (20 Feb) on the website
is same as Vol 8 no 7!" The problem was due to a typo,
and our volunteer webmaster Bruce Perdue reports that the
problem has been fixed.


Dick Johnson writes: "Last week editor Wayne Homren ran
up the flag pole the term "E-Sylumites" for readers of this
electronic newsletter. I hope nobody salutes that term.

How about "E-Syluminaries" (pronounced e-si-loom’i-nar-ies)?
For shining examples of numismatic wisdom, E-Sylum readers
brighten the field with their collective AND individual knowledge.
A luminary is a celebrity who is an inspiration to others.
Continuing the "cutsey" connection to inmates of an asylum is
now an old joke. I see bright stars among our readers -- not
lunatics – (although I do admit to a slight neurosis for buying
numismatic books). "

[It's a mouthful, but we sure do have an abundance of
numismatic luminaries as subscribers, foremost among
them Dick Johnson himself. I'm not sure the term
"E-Syluminaries" will catch on, but it does accurately
describe a big portion of our readership. -Editor]


Fred Lake writes: "Another great issue of The E-Sylum !!
I just changed the NBS listing in the member clubs section
of the FUN web site and realized that the Secretary-Treasurer
is still in the same town as before... just happens to be in a
different state.

Look for the change at:"

[Yes, I also thought it was interesting that our former and
current Secretary-Treasurers hail from Littleton (Colorado
and New Hampshire, respectively). Are we starting a trend?

Anyway, this is a good opportunity to remind our subscribers
to be on the lookout for references to NBS around the web
that may be out of date. If you manage a numismatic web site,
or notice an outdated link to NBS on your travels, please let
us know. Our web address is and our
society mailing address is at the end of each E-Sylum.
Thanks. -Editor]


The following item is taken from the Canadian Numismatic
Association E-Bulletin, Vol. 1 No. 4 (February 20, 2005):

"Frank Fesco advises that a new book about wampum, in
French with a high percentage English from quoted sources,
has just been published by Jonathan C. Lainey. It is titled:
"La Monnaie des Sauvages" and resulted from his Master's
thesis in History at Laval University in 2003. Although Lainey
is not a numismatist, he is a Huron-Wendat, and enthusiastic
about his fascinating subject. He is currently weaving a
modern wampum belt. The book is available for $30 at
Chapters. In his e-mail, Frank highly recommends the book.

In searching the Indigo/Chapters Website, we were unable
to locate it, possibly because it is rather new."

[My web search turned up the following link to the
Septentrion publishing house of Quebec, offering the book
for sale. The page is in French, but information on the
publisher is available in English.


Last week I wrote: "We have some former Assay
commissioners on our subscriber list. Can anyone tell us
what it was like to serve on the commission?"

David Ganz (of the 1974 Commission) writes: "Let me set
the stage. A quarter century ago this past February, Richard
Nixon was in the final throes of his star-crossed Presidency,
though no one yet suspected that Watergate was about to
become his ultimate downfall and lead to probable impeachment.
American coinage of 1974 was devoid of silver, and private
gold ownership had been illegal since 1933, except for rare and
unusual gold coin of that era or earlier, unless the Office of
Domestic Gold & Silver Operations gave a rarely sought,
seldom-granted license to acquire the particular specimen.
As Washington hunkered down for a difficult winter storm,
the White House press office was readying a press release
that would surprise many for the number of Democrats and
other non-supporters of President Nixon that were to be
listed – not the so-called Enemy’s List, but actually a
designation to public service.

The weeks before had been trying for the applicants, many of
whom had written letters, sent resumes, asked political contacts
for a personal boost, responded to background checks that
were initiated by government staff, followed up by security
agencies interested in potential skeletons that could prove
embarrassing to the White House if found in a presidential

First inklings of what was to transpire probably came to most
individuals in the form of a telephone call on Friday, Feb. 8
from Washington, asking if the prospect could be available for
official travel the following week on Tuesday. Arrangements
were strictly on your own, as were virtually all of the associated
expenses in traveling to Philadelphia.

What this preparation was for was the Trial of the Pyx, the
annual Assay Commission, a tradition stretching back to 1792,
and at that time, the oldest continually operating commission in
the United States government. First of the commissions, which
were mandated by the original Coinage Act of April 2, 1792
were deemed so essential to the confidence of the public in the
national money that section 18 of the legislation directed that
the original inspectors were to include the Chief Justice of the
United States, the Secretary and Comptroller of the Currency,
the Secretary of the Department of State, and the Attorney
General of the United States.

This was neither a casual request nor one that was considered
so unimportant an aide could attend. The statute is explicit:
this who’s who “are hereby required to attend for that purpose”,
meaning that in July of 1795, chief justice John Jay, Secretary
of State Edmund Randolph, Treasury Secretary Alexander
Hamilton, Attorney General William Bradford may have gathered.

In the Jefferson Administration, consider this remarkable group:
Chief Justice John Marshall; Secretary of State (and future
president) James Madison; Secretary of the Treasury Albert
Gallatin, Attorney General Caesar Rodney might all have been

By 1801, the statute had been amended to add the United
States District Judge for Pennsylvania as an officer at the
Annual Assay, and by the time that the Act of January 18,
1837 was approved, the cabinet officials and the Chief Justice
were omitted in favor of the U.S. District Court Judge from
the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (the state having been
divided in half for judicial purposes), other governmental
officials, and “such other persons as the President shall, from
time to time, designate for that purpose, who shall meet as
commissioners, for the performance of this duty, on the
second Monday in February, annually....”

Flash forward to 1974. The call comes from Washington.
A trek begins to Philadelphia, where it has begun to snow.
Dozens of people from all across the country come to serve
on the Assay Commission, all traveling at their own expense.
Starting in the midst of the Truman Administration, a serious
numismatist or two had begun to be appointed. Some who
assisted the government in some numismatic or related matter
were similarly given the honor. Among the early appointees:
Max Schwartz (1945), the New York attorney who later
became ANA’s legal counsel; Ted Hammer (1947), John Jay
Pittman (1947), Adm. Oscar Dodson (1948), and Hans M.F.
Schulman (1952).

Some came by air (from California); others drove. I came
by train, on Amtrak’s metroliner, leaving from New York’s
Penn Station and arriving an hour and a half later at Philadelphia’s
station by the same name.

Those who came in February, 1974, gathered on Tuesday
evening, Feb. 12, at the Holiday Inn off Independence Mall,
and unlike years when there were only one or two hobbyists,
this was a banner year. (I almost did not attend; having started
law school just three or four weeks before, I had to petition
the Dean of the School to permit the attendance lapse and
honor the presidential appointment).

My classmates, as we have referred to ourselves over the
succeeding quarter century, included some then and future
hobby luminaries: Don Bailey (former officer of Arizona
Numismatic Association), John Barrett (member of several
local clubs), Dr. Harold Bushey, Sam Butland (Washington
Numismatic Society V.P. ), Charles Colver (CSNA
Secretary), David Cooper (CSNS v.p.), George Crocker
(S.C.N.A. president), Joe Frantz (OIN Secretary), Maurice
Gould (ANA governor), Ken Hallenbeck (past president,
Indiana State Numismatic Assn.).

Also: Dr. Robert Harris, Jerry Hildebrand (organizer World
Coin Club of Missouri), Richard Heer, Barbara Hyde (TAMS
Board member, sculptor), Philip Keller (past president of the
American Society for the Study of French Numismatics),
Reva Kline (member of several upstate New York coin clubs),
Stewart Koppel (past president, Aurora, Ill. Coin Club),
Charles M. Leusner (Delaware Co. Coin Club).

Rounding out the Commission: Capt. Gary Lewis (past
president of Colorado-Wyoming Numismatic Association),
Fred Mantei (past president Flushing Coin Club), Lt. Col.
Melvin Mueller (member of many local and regional clubs),
James L. Miller (COINage Magazine publisher), John
Muroff (Philadelphia Coin Club member), and Harris
Rusitzsky (Rochester Numismatic Association member).
I was also a member (law student and former assistant
editor, Numismatic news).

This rather remarkable group of men and women, the White
House and Mint joint announcement announced, were
appointed by the President “from across the nation... The 25
Commissioners, working in such varied fields as medicine,
dentistry, law, engineering, forestry research and the military,
share a common interest in coins and the science of numismatics.”

Early in its history, and indeed, into the first half of the 20th
century, the appointees were either political themselves, or
politically connected. Ellen (Mrs. Irving) Berlin,
Commissioner 1941, was one example; Mrs. Norweb
(1955) was another. So was Sen. H. Willis Robertson
(1962), chairman of the Senate Banking Committee and
father of television evangelist and presidential hopeful Pat

William Ashbrook, a member of Congress from Ohio who
sponsored the legislation chartering the ANA in Congress,
served six times between 1908 and 1920. Albert Vestal,
a member of Congress from Indiana, served consecutively
from 1920-1925. There were many other Congressmen
and Senators through the years, as well.

I recall meeting in the lounge of the Holiday Inn and suggesting
my old friend Maury Gould to be the chairman of the commission.
The fix was already in: the California delegation had already
agreed, and lobbied other members, to elect Barbara Hyde
to that honor.

The work that we did was largely honorific, but there was a
brief moment when some of us thought that the actual results
of an assay were under-weight – which mint officials regarded
as calamitous, and of sufficient importance to re-weigh the
parcel in question. (It passed the test, and as was the case in
most years, pro forma resolutions prepared by mint staff were
signed by all of the commissioners).

But that does not say that the description of the work done
by the Assay Commission remains irrelevant. To the contrary,
unlike 1974 which examined the non-precious metal coinage
of 1973, today there are silver, gold and platinum bullion coins,
and numerous commemorative coins, and related items that
circulate the world-over.

There is accountability within the Mint, but at present, the
Mint’s primary accountability is to Congress, and to the
coinage subcommittee in the House, and the larger Senate
Banking Committee on the other side of Capitol Hill. If
there is a problem, it remains largely unknown to the public
at large, except in case of acute embarrassment.

In April, 1987 for example, the U.S. mint was accused of
having grossly underweight fractional gold coins – a move
that nearly scuttled the entire effort of the program to market
into the Far East. The Assay Commission having been
abolished in 1980, there was no voice of authoritative
reassurance, for the Mint denied that there was even a
problem – when it was clear that the fractionals had not
been properly assayed and were lightweight in their gold

Abolition of the Assay Commission came in two stages. In
1977, President Jimmy Carter declined to name any public
members to the Commission, ending a practice of more than
117 years duration. Then, F.T. Davis, director of the
General Government Division of the President’s Reorganization
Project, got into the act. “We are conducting an organizational
study of the Annual Assay Commission,” he wrote me on Sept.
6, 1977. “The study will focus on possible alternative methods
of carrying out the functions of the Commission.”

I prepared a memorandum for Davis at his request, answering
several specific questions, careful to take no position on its
continued validity. Earlier in the year, in a major law review
article proposing a “Revision of the Minting & Coinage Laws
of the United States” which was published in the Cleveland
Law Review, I had essentially concluded that it was a political
choice to decide whether or not to continue the two-century
old commission.

Davis asked if the mission of the Assay Commission was
essential. I replied “More aptly, the question is whether or
not assaying of coins is essential. The answer is an unqualified
yes to that.” Indeed, the Mint regularly conducts assays of its
coin product as a means of assuring quality. (The 1987 foul-up
was an administrative problem; the gold coins were assayed
and came up short, but a decision was made to circulate them,

Davis also asked what the function of the Commission should
be in the succeeding two years if it was continued. I suggested
that the law be “rewritten to provide for compositional analysis
of all subsidiary coinage plus the dollar coin”.

The die was already cast, however, and the Carter
Administration (having already declined to name public members)
simply let the Assay Commission whither away until, in 1980, it
expired with the passage of Public Law 96-209 (March 14, 1980).
The irony is that only a short time later, the Mint was once again
producing precious metal coinage."

[Another E-Sylum Marshall McLuhan moment, Thanks, David!


In the v8n7 issue of The E-Sylum (February 13, 2005),
Anne E. Bentley, Curator of Art at the Massachusetts
Historical Society asked for information regarding the
MHS specimen of the John Adams Indian Peace medal,
signed "Leonard".

Roger W. Burdette writes: "From October 28 to November
4, 1878 there is an exchange of letters between A. Louden
Snowden and Robert Preston, Acting Director of the Mint,
in which Snowden outlines ownership of the Adams medal
obverse die. “This die was purchased by Mr. Mickley from
a son-in-law of Michael Eckfeldt…and on this side it is
claimed that this die was made for and purchased by Adam
Eckfeldt, and that the government never had possession of it.”
Snowden then recommends that the Mint purchase the die
from the Mickley auction. On October 30 Preston authorized
buying the die for $40 and on November 4 Snowden reported
that, “…I purchased the die from Henry J. Mickley…for the
sum of $40.00….Previous to receiving your letter, I learned
that a private party prepared to pay the sum of $100 for the
die at the sale….I saw Mr. Mickley and agreed to purchase
the die at the price he named.”

Snowden then described a much earlier conversation with
Franklin Peale regarding the Adams die, and was then able
to examine Robert Patterson’s manuscript for “Register of
Medal Dies of the United States.” Snowden stated, “…[I]
was then enabled to examine the same and found the
following very interesting note in relation to the die under
consideration: ‘Chief Coiner’s Office Mint of the U.S., 1841.
There is an obverse die engraved by Fürst with the portrait
of John Adams. It is the property of Mr. Adam Eckfeldt
and in his possession. It is a good likeness and otherwise a
good work of art, probably the only one in existence, and
is very desirable to complete the series of Presidential
medals.’ This is in Mr. Peale’s handwriting.”

Director Linderman repaid Snowden for his $40 and
ownership of the Adams die passed to the U.S. Mint


David F. Fanning asked where he might find a published
portrait of historian and numismatist William Sumner Appleton.

Dick Johnson writes: "Answer: New England Historical and
Genealogical Register (1904) vol 58, page 219.

I found this listed in the A.L.A. Portrait Index (1906) and
therein lies a story. In my college days I worked at the
Washington University library and was a voracious reader.
Somewhere I read the Library of Congress had published
this important reference book and was discarding hundreds
of unsold copies. If anyone (even an impoverished college
student!) wanted a copy FREE, they should write the
appropriate LC department. I did and I have been carrying
around this 1,600-page tome for the last 50 years. I have
cited it 69 times for portrayed artists in my upcoming
directory of American Artists, Diesinkers, Engravers,
Medalists and Sculptors."


Dick Johnson writes: "Galvanos are a necessary intermediate
step between an artist’s bas-relief model and the die to strike
a coin or medal. An artist prepares his oversize model in clay,
wax, plaster, wood, plastilene (a modeling compound) --
any media he is comfortable with. However, none of these
are sturdy enough as a pattern to place on the die-engraving
pantograph, commonly called a "reducing machine."

When the Contamin engraving machine was first used the
patterns were made of cast iron. Franklin Peale made a cast
iron pattern from Ferdinand Pettrich’s model of John Tyler
in 1842 to cut the dies – in three sizes – on the Philadelphia
Mint’s Contamin, it had acquired in 1836, to strike the Tyler
Presidential Medal. This was the first medal to be made by
this technology in America. (Actually Peale made a device
punch of Pettrich’s portrait relief of Tyler, not the complete
obverse die with lettering.)

The trouble with cast iron, however, is that it does not
reproduce fine detail. The relief is not sharp and crisp. All
edges of relief are rounded. Enter electroplating. Invented
in Germany, but developed in England, it was ideal for
making metal patterns to be reduced for diecutting in
addition to coating metal. This technology can reproduce
fine detail down to sub-molecular!

A galvano is an electrolytic cast. The artist’s model, which
now becomes the pattern, is coated with a metal powder as
a release agent. (Often this pattern is plaster like what I have
mentioned in the last two week’s issues of E-Sylum). The
metal powder covers the surface of the pattern and must
conduct electricity. The pattern is wired from this coated
surface to connect to a bar overhead.

This wired pattern is immersed in the electrolyte solution. A
direct current is turned on. It travels from a rectifier to bars
along side the tank to copper (or silver or gold) anodes in
the solution, through this to the surface of the pattern, up the
wires to the overhead bar, back to the rectifier to complete
the circuit.

The electric current carries away ions of metal from the
anodes (they wear away like a bar of soap) and deposit
on the surface of the pattern. The ions are microns thick
but deposit immediately and rapidly. It takes about three
day’s time, however, to build up, say an eighth of an inch
of deposited metal. The metal galvano is pried apart from
the pattern.

While galvanos are pure copper metal, with time they can
become brittle. Its molecular structure is such that it is not
like rolled or cast metal. Care must be taken in handling a
galvano. So here are my recommendations for handling
and storing a galvano:

1) Even though a galvano is metal, treat it like it was "moon
rock" – a very expensive object. Cushion it whenever you
can and carry it with caution.

2) After use in an electrolytic tank the galvano will still have
the copper wires attached to it. Do not remove these. In fact,
hang the galvano on racks by these wires. It is best if galvanos
do not touch the floor or touch each other. Let them hang
free. If the wires have been removed place the galvano in a
cloth shopping bag and hang by the handles of the bag.

3) Never, never lean a galvano against a wall or store in a
position where it is not supported. In time it will deform, it
will bend or warp and distort its relief image.

The demise of the galvano came after the 1960s when a
space-age material became available with somewhat desirable
characteristics – epoxy. Mint technicians found they could
mold an epoxy pattern from the artist’s model; after curing it
would be hard enough to be used on the die-engraving
pantograph, saving day’s of time in the galvano tanks. Most
mints use epoxy today.

In addition to being sturdy, galvanos are long lasting. Medallic
Art Company once made new dies from 65-year-old galvanos
-- Calverley Lincoln Medal of 1909 reissued in 1975 -- with
perfect definition of detail, no loss of original integrity. The
jury is still out if this could be done with an epoxy pattern.

The term galvano comes from the electrogalvanic process.
It was virtually unknown in the numismatic field. In his study
"A Numismatography of the Lincoln Head Cent," E.V.
Wallace in 1952 called it "Galvana" misspelling it and
capitalizing the term, it was so unfamiliar to him. Today
galvanos are represented in seasoned numismatists’
collections, as are plaster models (but I know of NO
epoxy pattern in any numismatic collection)."


Phil Carrigan writes: "I'd first want space. Sinks and TV no,
but a computer and peripherals for sure. Then empty shelves
and cases. Finally, much space, actually, very much! "

[While we're on the subject I'll expand on my daydream from
last week. Phil mentioned cases, meaning "bookcases", I
assume, but I've always wanted to incorporate numismatic
exhibit display cases into my dream library. Built-in bookshelves
would line the room, of course, but at about waist height a ledge
would extend out another foot or so, making for extra-deep
storage space underneath; these could be closed cabinets, open
shelves, or a combination of the two, perfect for shelving oversize
books or storing unsightly (but cherished) ephemera and boxes
of plain ol' "stuff". But the key is that just below the ledge would
be drawers, each tall and wide enough to store a standard
Allstate exhibit case. Whenever I wanted to work on an exhibit
for an upcoming coin convention, I could use these cases to
work on the layout, and just slide them closed and lock them
up when not in use. It beats having dozens of rare items strewn
across my desk the week before a convention, where the kids
could walk in at any time, or my wife could turn up her nose at
"all that junk" I'm playing with. -Editor]


In earlier issues we discussed coins designed to commemorate
events which never came to pass, as a result of Yossi Dotan's
initial question and responses by Gar Travis and others.

This week Martin Purdy writes: "The 1949 New Zealand crown
(5 shillings) was issued for the Royal Visit which was canceled
because of the King's ill health. There is another more recent
example, the $5 commemorative of 2001, for a further Royal
Visit which was canceled, this time in the wake of September 11,
if I remember correctly. "


Dick Johnson writes: "Dave Gladfelter reported in last week’s
E-Sylum on one of the first books with a medal bound in –
the Lincoln Centennial Medal (King 309). This was one of two
books issued for the Lincoln Centennial in 1909. Both were
initiated by Robert Hewitt Jr., said to be the greatest Lincoln
medal collector -- his intact collection of Lincolniana still
resides in the Smithsonian numismatic collections -- but he
should be remembered for something even greater.

Hewitt, a Manhattan real estate investor, underwrote the
development of the Circle of Friends of the Medallion,
also issued with medals bound in books, the first commercial
American art medal series. This inspired, in turn, two decades
later, the creation of the prestigious Society of Medals, which
showcased the most prominent 20th century American medalists.

In September 1977 I wrote a Specialized Report on the
Circle of Friends and told of Hewitt’s activity, along with
newspaperman Charles de Kay (previously mentioned in E-Sylum,
vol 5, no 43, October 27, 2002) in the creation of this medal /
book series. De Kay wrote the books, little more than puff
pieces, much like his newspaper writings, but the medals
bound in his books were well designed and executed by
prominent medalists of the early 20th century with interesting
topics. They have been collected ever since their issuance,
September 1909 to June 1915, with 12 medals forming a
complete collection.

Hewitt’s first book, titled "The Lincoln Centennial Medal,"
had several varieties of the medal both with and without
the maker’s signature MACO for Medallic Art Company
(without is King 306). The second book was issued after
the celebration, "The Lincoln Tribute Book," containing
text of speeches and such. It was edited by Horatio Sheafe
Krans and contained a smaller silverplated medal bound in
(King 332 – it has a larger cast variety, King 294 which
was not bound in a book).

I illustrated both books in that Specialized Report holding
in front of each book the medal found housed inside. Since
publishing that report I have acquired a silver version of the
first book. It is bound in gray cloth to indicate the solid
silver medal therein. The report also served as subject of
an internet article by Ed Reiter on the website of the
Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) entitled "A
Milestone For The ‘Circle of Friends’ [of the Medallion]"
and posted May 24, 1999."

To read the article, see: Full Story


Another recent topic has been long words on numismatic items,
which led to the mention of a number of lengthy place names,
including, as Ron Haller-Williams wrote, a hill in New Zealand
called Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateapokaiwhenuakitanatahu.

Martin Purdy of New Zealand writes: "That's the abbreviated
version! The full name is:

It's less than the 85 letters that it appears to have, since Maori,
like Welsh, treats certain digraphs as single letters - in this
case ng and wh.

And no, I don't think it's ever appeared on a numismatic item, but
I would welcome correction ..."


Arthur Shippee forwarded the following item from The
Explorator mailing list (explorator 7.43). He writes:
"A metal detectorist in Norfolk found a hoard of Roman

The following is quoted from an article in the Eastern
Daily Press of Norfolk:

"Finds officer Dr Adrian Marsden said the collection of
900-plus Roman denarii is a significant discovery and
includes coins from 270 years of early British history.

The earliest coins – from 32BC – feature Marc Anthony,
consort to Cleopatra, whereas the most recent date from
240AD and the short-lived reign of teenage emperor
Gordian III.

"We were out on a Sunday and it was almost dark when
we started," said Mr Buckley.

"We have never found anything as large as this before. The
50 that we first found on the surface was amazing but to think
there were hundreds below the surface as well."

To read the full article, see: Full Story

Here's another article, this one with a photo of some of the coins:
Full Story


Arthur Shippee also sent an article from the Morocco Times
about another new coin hoard:

"Local authorities in the northern Moroccan town of Asilah
are investigating the mysterious discovery, a month ago, of
468 coins near a small village called Sidi-Yamani. They are
almost ten centuries old.

The 468 coins, which were handed over to the Al-Kasbah
Museum in Tangier, have a great archaeological and historical
value, said experts. According to the date struck on the coins
in Hindu numbers (480 A.H.), the old coins date back to the
Almoravid dynasty.

Made of a yellowish metal alloy, probably of copper or
bronze, the coins are in an excellent state of conservation.
With a circumference of 2.1 cm and an average weight of
10.10 gr., the two sides of the coins are struck by the religious
invocation “there is no God but Allah” (on the face) and
“Mohammed is the Prophet of Allah” (on the back). "

To read the full article, see: Full Story


Are any of our readers familiar with the current status of a
project to image the U.S. Mint's Historical Collection? While
looking for other things I happened across this old report on
the web. It describes "a unique archival and historical imaging
project: to image almost the entire Mint’s historical record
which is spread over all U.S. Mint facilities and Assay Offices,
several National Archives’ facilities, and a variety of other
federal agencies and commissions." The project was begun
in 1999. An email to the report's author, Anne Rothfeld,
bounced; she has apparently moved on - A more recent
reference to her was found at the National Library of Medicine.

Here's a link to the report: Full Report


Dan Gosling forwarded a set of inquiries on several topics.
We published the first three previously. Here's item #4:

"I was thinking after Christmas, while reading the Boxing
Week sale fliers, as whether there have been any notable
"sales" in our hobby. What were some of the memorable
"close out sales" by dealers? If a collector sells their collection
at auction the memorable or important events are preserved
forever on the page of the catalogue. Dealer close out sales
might get lost in the page of newspapers and not be as easily
remembered. I am looking for those "extra special" sales
that have occurred as well as the memorable "close out"
sales of a complete dealers inventory. The story behind the
event will be of most interest to the other readers."


This week's featured web page is on the coinage of the
Australian colonies, 1788-1909.

Featured Web Page

  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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