The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 34, August 5, 2005:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2005, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


We have a contest winner! Alan Meghrig writes: "Since they're
your words.. WAYNES WORD(S)." I like it, and I'll go with
the plural form since I can rarely stop at just one (or even a few)
words. Like Ken Lowe of The Money Tree always said about
himself, I suffer from "diarrhea of the keyboard..."

This issue is arriving a couple days early due to your Editor's
travel schedule. We should be back on the usual Sunday publishing
schedule next week.

Among our recent subscribers is Tony Hine. Welcome aboard!
We now have 775 subscribers. Can we reach 800 by the end
of the year? If you know someone who would enjoy receiving
our newsletter, please forward them a copy and encourage them
to subscribe.

Lastly, this is off-topic, but too good not to include. This
number puzzle mind-teaser will keep some of you busy for a
while. Have a great week.


NBS President, Pete Smith writes: "Results of the recent
Numismatic Bibliomania Society election were announced
during the ANA convention in San Francisco.

President: Pete Smith
Vice President: Dan Hamelberg
Secretary/Treasurer: David Sundman

Board Members: John Adams, Dan Friedus, Joel Orosz,
David Perkins, Scott Rubin, David Sklow.

We thank those who served on the board for the past two
years and welcome those who will serve during the current
term. Thanks also to all the candidates and voting members
who participated in the election."


Ralf Böpple of Stuttgart, Germany writes: "I would like to
bring to your attention a new production of the American
Numismatic Association. "!Viva la Revolucion - The Money
of the Mexican Revolution" is the catalog for the corresponding
exhibit which the ANA Money Museum put on display between
November 2003 and September 2004. Authored by two
leading experts in the field, Don Bailey and Joe Flores, it is,
however, more than a simple catalog, since it also gives a lot
of background information on the series, the times and the people.
Owing to the fantastic rarities which had been on display and the
inclusion not only of coins, but also of bills, orders, medals and
photographs, this book is a long-needed primer that makes a
fascinating era of Mexican numismatics accessible to anybody
who would like to get a comprehensive overlook of what this
confusing series with its plenty of necessity issues, crude strikes,
different metals, designs, mints and issuing authorities is all about.

The hardbound book can be ordered at $39.95 through the ANA."

[Viva La Internet! We've just learned from someone in Germany
about a book on Mexican numismatics based on an exhibit in
Colorado Springs. I saw this exhibit on my visit to the ANA
last year, and I'm glad to see it's being published. The ANA's
web site is ANA. Click on "Shop at MoneyMarket"
and enter "Mexican" in the search box. Or, try the following URL,
which should take you directly to the proper page:
Direct Link to page -Editor]


On August 2nd the Edmond Sun of Edmond, Oklahoma
reported that "A former Edmond business woman who has
served as an auxiliary economic adviser to President George
W. Bush will now have her role formalized.

The president nominated Terry Neese as director of the U.S.
Mint to replace Henrietta Fore, who is stepping down. Neese,
an Oklahoma City businesswoman who lived in Edmond for
several years, will be the highest ranking Oklahoman in the
Bush administration if her appointment passes Senate
confirmation. That confirmation hearing is expected to happen
in September when Congress returns from its August recess,
said Brenda Jones, a spokeswoman for Neese.

Neese did not make any public statements Monday or
this morning about the appointment.

"She's completely focusing on getting ready for her Senate
hearing," Jones said today.

The appointment will take Neese to Washington, D.C.,
where she is looking for a home, Jones said. Currently,
Neese has been based in Oklahoma City and traveling
back and forth to Washington, D.C.

President Bush asked Neese to take the job during a
telephone conversation Friday evening, and word of the
nomination was posted on the White House Web site that night.

Jones said naming a successful business owner to the
U.S. Mint position makes sense.

"It's one of only government agencies that makes a profit.
If there's anyone who knows how to make a profit, that
would be Terry Neese," Jones said.

Edmond's Brenda Reneau, who is state labor commissioner,
praised the appointment.

"No one in Oklahoma, and few in America, can match Terry's
advocacy for small business. Her leadership of the bi-partisan
organization, Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP), has
made her one of the key players in development of a positive
and substantive agenda to raise the status of American women
in establishing good policies for a stronger economy," Reneau
stated. "I am proud of her personal and professional qualities
that have brought her to this important national position."

The Mint maintains physical custody of the nation's gold and
silver assets, and administers the national depository at Fort
Knox, Ky. The Mint also redeems and processes mutilated coins.

"President Bush could not have chosen a better steward of
national assets than Terry Neese, who has mentored thousands
of American women and men who are successful in today's
complex and integrated world economy," Reneau said. "I am
thrilled for Terry, and for our state, at this joyful news."

To read the full article, see: Full Story

The following is the full text of the July 29th White House
Press Release: "The President intends to nominate Terry Neese,
of Oklahoma, to be Director of the Mint at the Department of
the Treasury. Ms. Neese currently serves as President and
Co-Founder of Women Impacting Public Policy, a bipartisan
public policy organization advocating for women in business.
In 1975, she founded Terry Neese Personnel Services and
continues to serve as Chairman of the Board. She previously
served as a member of the National Advisory Council on
Indian Education and the National Women's Business Council."
Full Story

Here are links to a couple other web pages on Neese:
More on Neese
and More

[In the early days of the Industrial Revolution, Mint Directors
were men of science, such as Sir Isaac Newton and David
Rittenhouse, a renowned astronomer and first Director of
the U.S. Mint. I haven't researched this, but assume many
later Directors included political appointees who didn't have
experience in either science or technology. But what is the
Mint but a huge manufacturing operation? Shouldn't a Mint
Director have experience managing far-flung manufacturing
operations with a large workforce? It will be interesting to
see how the Senate explores Neese's qualifications.
And will she pass the Obama test? -Editor]


The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration (NOAA)
"... is taking part in the United States Mint's launch of the "Ocean
in View" nickel by unveiling a commemorative geodetic marker
featuring the design of the new nickel. A dedication of the marker
took place in a ceremony today at Cape Disappointment State
Park near Ilwaco, Wash.

"The 'Ocean in View' geodetic marker commemorates a significant
moment in American history," said James R. Walpole, NOAA
general counsel. "This marker will have exact coordinates, assisting
hikers and outdoor enthusiasts in navigation and finding specific
destinations using handheld global positioning system equipment."

The last nickel in its Westward Journey Series, the "Ocean in View"
nickel design commemorates Lewis & Clark's completion of their
mission, depicting the dramatic coastal landscape where they
reached the Pacific Ocean in November 1805. The nickel features
the inscription "Ocean in view! O! The Joy!," which reflects a
journal entry by Clark."

To read the full article, see: Full Story


Dave Ginsburg writes: "I was pleased to see in the E-Sylum's
description of David Lange's updated Mercury dime book
that he went to the Archives and did some original research.
So few authors seem to do that and so few collectors seem
to be interested. I've always treasured the details that R. W.
Julian puts in his articles (number of dies, when they were sent,
etc.). I suppose that others might see that as pointless trivia,
but one of my dreams is someday to spend some time in the
Archives unearthing information no one else has published."


Andy Lustig of R.M. Smythe, Inc. writes: "Please ask the gang
if anyone knows who bought lots 1987 through 1989 in the
Farouk sale. Thanks."


George Kolbe writes: "The San Francisco ANA was great
fun. Where else can you see real flower children, i.e., "hippies,"
still traversing city thoroughfares, though it is apparent that
many are approaching senior citizen status?"

[I've often wondered what became of many of the Flower
Children. Hearing Grace Slick's vocals on the radio one day,
I had to wonder if she's now somebody's grandma, puttering
around in her flower garden. Then I came to and realized that
here I was listening to an oldies station, and I'm no spring
chicken myself. I'm not eligible for AARP yet, but my wife
keeps reminding me it won't be long. Young whippersnapper!

Howard Spindel writes: "I just returned from the convention.
I spent some time volunteering at the ANA's photo ID booth -
that's a great way to meet people!

It was a fun show for me. I met two guys that I've emailed back
and forth with for several years but never met in person. I
bought three shield nickel varieties - more than I usually find to buy.

On the book front, I saw one book that interested me - Carlos
Guytan's book on Revolutionary Mexican Coinage. Unfortunately,
it's entirely in Spanish and my Spanish is far too rusty to read it."

Larry Gaye writes: "Regarding the ANA Show in San Francisco,
as usual I saw a lot of old friends and met some new ones; life is
good. While I am a national volunteer and have an opportunity
to make the rounds, I will say that it was a very hard show from
the standpoint of set up and take down. My feet were very sore
from start to finish.

I did manage to receive a couple of books from an author
which he donated to our coin club. I am sorry I cannot remember
his name and the books are being shipped, but they were on cameo
proof Franklin Half dollars. I sure do appreciate his generosity.

A lot of dealers seemed to have left early which is of course
bad for those who might come on Sunday. I have no idea
how to encourage them to stay for the entire show. This is
the first convention in a long time that I haven't purchased a
book for my collection, but I did come home with a large
group of Byzantine coinage that will put my existing library
to the test. Got to go for now, cheers to all of you."


[NBS President Pete Smith will have some additional
convention news in the next issue of The Asylum. The
following note from Asylum editor E. Tomlinson Fort refers
to an award The Asylum received at the convention. -Editor]

Tom writes: "The Lesson for 2005 from the Numismatic Literary
Guild (NLG) is that if you organize a major project and do 90%
of the work all of the credit will go the someone else.

I had been aware that the NLG existed for several years. A
number of The Asylum’s contributors are members and the
numismatic press usually prints a list of the awards that they
present every summer. At the 2004 Pittsburgh ANA convention,
NBS president Pete Smith (who is a member) and I went to their
meeting. Everyone on the floor was recognized by the nice people
sitting at the front table, the only two exceptions being Pete and
myself (they later apologized for this omission at another NLG
function that evening). Since I was a non-member and had never
attended a NLG meeting, let alone an ANA convention before
in my life, this is not surprising. Pete tried to get me to cough up
the $20 for a membership by I demurred, using Groucho Marx’s
famous dictum that I did not want to join any club that wanted
me as a member. I did ask Pete, and other NLG members,
what the organization actually did and they frankly admitted that
they spent most of their time giving out awards to each other
and having a nice time at ANA conventions.

Earlier this year NBS president Pete Smith submitted the special
25th anniversary issue of The Asylum to the NLG for consideration
of one of their awards on the suggestion of our editor-in-chief
David Fanning (who is also an NLG member). It had been their
intention that any award(s) go to the journal, a policy with which
I heartily agree. Instead, the NLG gave an award for “Extraordinary
Merit” to David. I cannot stress too much that neither Pete nor
David did anything wrong. They submitted the issue to the NLG in
the firm belief that an award, if won, would go to the publication.
David certainly had no idea that the award would go to him. For
those who have not had the pleasure of meeting either man, both
are fine individuals and brilliant scholars. If you do not believe me,
please see their articles in The Asylum over the past few years.
The NLG should give both men awards, but for the outstanding
works they have written.

The special issue of The Asylum was my baby. I conceived the
idea and sold the project to the board. I solicited the articles
from our contributors, sent them gentle (and in a couple of cases,
not so gentle) reminders that I needed their work by the deadline.
I created the layout. I worked the images through Photoshop.
I read and re-read everything until I had almost memorized the
studies. I sent out the press releases. I came up with the ideas of
deferring costs through the publication of a limited edition hardcover
copy and the auctioning of the signed manuscripts from the authors.
I dealt with our printer and binder. David, Pete and Gosia (my wife)
read through the proofs and pointed out lots of errors. Those
who bought the marked up proofs at last years NBS Society
meeting can see the level of their contributions. Nevertheless,
the quality, or lack thereof, for the issue rests with me. If any
awards are to be handed out for this issue they should bear the
name(s) of the journal (the best choice), the NBS or myself.

I am not a member of the NLG and therefore the organization
gave the award to David. Again, please let me stress that neither
Pete nor David is at fault, neither man knowingly did anything
wrong. The blame rests on the shoulders of the NLG. Apparently
it is their policy only to give awards only to members. Even if the
member(s) did not do the work. Thus, if you are an NLG member
and help a numismatic author on his/her monograph and get a
mention on the acknowledgments page you can submit that
work to the NLG and win an award. What a great organization!
Even better, they will send out press releases to Coin World,
Numismatic News, The Numismatist etc… and your name will
appear in print while the person who spent months locked away
from friends and family will be anonymous. And, as an added
bonus, you get a great plaque with your name on it to hang on
your wall and show your friends.

And all this for $20. What a great deal. It must be great to
be an NLG member.

If the NLG wants to truly recognize literary merit, it should be
like the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and
grant awards (in their case the Oscars) to the best work,
or to those who do the best work, regardless of whether they
are members or not. The NLG is a private organization and is
well within its rights to grant awards to whomever it likes.
However, as today’s lesson demonstrates, the quality of
these awards is very low indeed. "

David F. Fanning adds: "I not only have no problem with
anything Tom says here, but will loudly declaim to all and
sundry that Tom did the vast majority of the work on this
issue and deserves any award for the issue as a whole way
more than I do. I'm an NLG member and am perfectly
happy to be such. I am very pleased that they chose to give
me another award for the individual article I contributed to
our special summer issue. I don't deserve an award for
the issue as a whole, however--Tom does."

NBS President Pete Smith adds: "David did not submit the
issue for the award because he did not have enough copies
to send. I sent in the copies and submitted his name as
Editor-in-Chief because he is the NLG member. The NLG
gives awards to its members and does not accept submissions
from non-members. I feel we should accept the award as
the recognition for a great issue of our Journal.]

[I can certainly attest that the anniversary issue was Tom's
baby from start to finish. I regretted being unable to help
much beyond my individual article contribution due to the
demands of being General Chairman of the convention. The
printer problems were maddening but Tom never threw up
his hands, and kept working though the problems even
during the week of the convention. The naming situation
is unfortunate, but the recognition of the quality of the
anniversary issue is very well-deserved. -Editor]


In a note published on the Colonial Numismatics mailing list
this week, Ray Williams writes: "I just found out this afternoon
that Bob Vlack has been awarded the Fred Bowman Literary
Award, this past weekend, by the Canadian Numismatic
Research Society (CNRS)!!! You may remember that Phil
Mossman received an award a couple years ago from the CNRS.
I am so pleased to see Bob's work on French Colonials recognized!
I waited until now to inform the membership, because I didn't
want Bob to find out after everyone else. Bob is now aware of
the honor and VERY excited. I wish you all could have heard
his excitement on the phone when I told him why I needed his
mailing address - it was exciting and emotional for me!

Bob is one of the "Old-Timers" still active in colonial numismatics.
Die Varieties have been named for him, he has done pioneering
research in many colonial areas, even when they weren't popular.
At 78, he has experiences from his early days that few of us
can imagine. When you see Bob, congratulate him on the French
colonies Book and on the award it received. It was well deserved.

PS, My copy of the Bob's book will be well worn by the time
I finish referencing it for the Ford French Colonials. Does
anyone know when these will be auctioned by Stack's?"


I missed the original publication of this story in the New York
Times, but it has been republished on the web site of The
Financial Express of India:

"When David Tripp planned his home office, he considered
his personality first. “My study is designed to keep me focused,
when I’m working, because of my short attention span, which
my wife calls scatter shot,” laughs Tripp, a former archaeologist
turned international coin specialist and author of “Illegal Tender:
Gold, Greed and the Mystery of the Lost 1933 Double Eagle.”

"“It’s also not a heavily lit room. When I’m working, I keep the
wooden window blinds down and one desk lamp on to focus
me, like a spotlight.” Tripp, who is a fellow of the Royal and
American Numismatic societies, says his study is basically his
coin research library.

Bookcases needed to be built to specific measurements to hold
the many sets and journals on special subjects. Tripp’s wife,
Susan, who is also a fellow of the American Numismatic Society
and a trustee, helped design of the room. “The carpenter didn’t
understand the concept of making the shelves different sizes and
made them all the same size,” recalls Tripp. “I almost had a
meltdown when the books didn’t fit. There’s something to be
said about having them made with adjustable shelves.”

The new bookcases, which can be removed if needed, are
constructed with small permanent shelves at the top and the space
between shelves becomes larger as you go down to the floor. So
Tripp didn’t have to try to climb behind a heavy bookcase to get
to an outlet, wall sockets were built into the bottom of the

To read the full article, see: Full Story

[Putting electrical outlets into bookcases is a great idea.
I took the poor man's way out with my cheapo "put 'em
together yourself" shelves - I snaked extension cords from
the outlets that would be made inaccessible by shelving units.
Appliance cords are more expensive, but they're heavy duty
and are designed to press flush against the wall, saving
space. -Editor]


On August 1 Bloomberg news reported that "The European
Central Bank is being sued by a security company claiming
that every euro banknote in circulation infringes its anti-
counterfeiting patent.

Document Security Systems Inc., based in Rochester,
New York, filed the complaint against the bank at the
European Court of First Instance in Luxembourg today,
the company said in a statement. ECB spokeswoman
Regina Schueller declined to comment.

Document Security said it owns the patent on technology
used on euro notes that stops them from being forged
using digital scanners."

To read the full article, see: Full Story


On August 2 the Belfast Times reported that: "The decision by
Her Majesty's Treasury to review the regulations governing the
issue by Northern Ireland banks of local banknotes is to be
welcomed by the general public here.

It has always been difficult to spend local banknotes anywhere
else in the UK or even further afield other than Northern Ireland
and, indeed, some retailers refuse to recognise notes issued
by Northern Ireland banks."

To read the full article, see: Full Story


In September 2004 (E-Sylum v7n37) we discussed the
gold coin of Coenwulf discovered in Bedfordshire, England.
The coin was later sold by Spink to Allan Davisson, but
there was a question of whether an export license would
be granted to allow the export of the coin out of England.
According to a report published this week, "Culture Minister
David Lammy has placed a temporary export bar on a gold
coin, issued during the reign of Coenwulf, king of Mercia
(796-821). This will provide a last chance to raise the money
to keep the coin in the United Kingdom.

The Minister's ruling follows a recommendation by the Reviewing
Committee on the Export of Works of Art. The Committee
found that the coin was so closely connected with our history
and national life that its departure would be a misfortune; that
it was of outstanding aesthetic importance; and that it was of
outstanding significance for the study of numismatics, monetary
history, royal government and the history of London, where it
was produced. The Committee also awarded a starred rating
to the coin, meaning that every possible effort should be
made to raise enough money to keep it in the country.

The coin is one of the most stunning of all known Anglo-Saxon
coins and was discovered in 2001. It belongs to an excessively
rare category of coinage, is of very fine quality and in an
exceptional state of preservation, and has a striking image of
Coenwulf, with inscriptions in elegant lettering. It weighs 4.33g
and measures 20mm in diameter."

To read the full article, see: Full Story


Dick Johnson writes: "Both Beth Deisher and David Ganz have
written articles on H.R. 68 – the new House bill authorizing the
NASA and JPL 50th Anniversary Commemorative Coin Act.
But there is so much in this legislation that neither writer covered
it all.

Congressmen are getting cagey in what they put into these laws.
Both writers mentioned the coins to be issued, the specifications,
design, and surcharges. Both a $50 gold coin and nine one
dollar silver coins are planned. Beth did mention that a new
numismatic museum is to be built if the revenue from the surcharges
is great enough. But that project stands third in line.

Perhaps Congress figured if they held out a new coin museum --
Beth rightly called it a carrot! -- this would appeal to collectors
who would buy enough of these commems to reach the magic
amount. The first million in surcharge profits goes to NASA,
the next half million to National Air and Space Museum, and
whatever is left over after that goes to the Smithsonian for that
new stand-alone numismatic museum.

But what hasn’t been mentioned, I believe, is that there is some
precious metal that has flown in space and this is to be formulated
into a melt with other precious metal to make the composition
for the blanks from which these coins will be struck. This sounds
like what Franklin Mint did 35 years ago. It’s deja vu all over
again, to be redundant.

Numismatists do like RELIC coins and medals – made from
some distinctive artifact metal used previously for some significant
purpose. This must be stated on the coin or medal itself, MADE
FROM, don’t forget that. But the percentage of relic metal may
be insignificant in this instance.

Let’s see if H.R. 68 passes the Senate when Congress reconvenes
in September. Meanwhile, E-Syluminaries, would you buy either
or any of these commem coins? Would you want a separate
numismatic museum?"


The Tribune-Times of South Carolina published an interesting
human-interest story on July 25 involving a well-worn, but
sentimentally important silver dollar:

"For many of the men who lived through it, D-Day in World
War II stands as a memory unto itself: 156,000 Allied troops
invading Normandy in western France against heavy gunfire
to begin pushing German troops back toward Germany.

Many in the initial landings never reached the Normandy beach.
Others died from landmines and bullets and many others were
injured trying to establish a beachhead.

But for Simpsonville's Rollins Bayne, his memory of D-Day
takes a back seat to another personal memory that stayed
with him throughout the war and ever since: a 1922 family
silver dollar.

"I believe in luck," said Bayne, 81, who served as a corporal
in the U.S. Army 29th division. "And I believe that silver
dollar is lucky."

"I married my wife Katherine in August 1943 and went
overseas that November on the Queen Mary," Bayne said.

But just before he left home, Katherine handed him a special
coin and told him to always keep it with him.

"I just wanted him to have something from home to carry with
him, something lucky to hold onto," she said. "So I gave him
that silver dollar."

"For eight months it was nothing but a keepsake.
Then came D-Day June 6, 1944. "

"When asked how he escaped any injury or mishap at all,
Bayne simply shrugged and said, "I just wasn't at the right
place at the right time, I guess."

"I was on guard duty and long about midnight the Germans
launched the awfullest barrage you ever saw in your life," he said.
"They dropped a bomb in a hole I had just got out of and it
filled up with dirt just like a swimming pool. My bedroll was
tore up, but I never did have a scratch."

Bayne got to safety but on inspection, he realized that the
silver dollar was missing.

Against all odds of finding it again, he returned to the same
foxhole, which now had been turned into an earthwork.

"I went back the next morning and there it lay," he said.

Pocketing it, he survived the rest of the war and arrived
back home in January 1946, still awaiting his official discharge
and still carrying his keepsake.

Katherine then put it away but unlike other family memorabilia,
this one refused to stay in the memory drawer.

Three other family members carried it into the service; one
survived the Korean War, another survived Vietnam.

By then, the family silver dollar had taken on a life of its own.
If it could bring home three men from three wars, why couldn't
it work its magic in other critical moments?

"It's gotten to be a big family thing," Katherine Bayne said.

Family members faced with an upcoming job interview, a
long trip, a wedding, a doctor's appointment, a driver's exam
practically anything deemed important took the coin with
them and they always returned it."

"I think it's lucky," he said. "And you probably won't find
another silver dollar like it that is that old and has been as many
places as it has and is still here."

To read the full article, see: Full Story


Fred Holabird writes: "I was forwarded the comments in
last week's E-Sylum regarding ingots.

As a thirty year member of the mining industry, I have dealt
first hand with tens of thousands of precious metal ingots,
many historical, and had the good fortune to observe first
hand many of the collections still in the original mining families

Every collecting discipline has frauds and fakes, particularly
when cash money is at stake. Ingots are no different. I have
spent considerable time in an effort to educate the public about
historical ingots, much of it published in Coin World or the
Numismatist. I have also presented serious scientific papers
at such prestigious forums as the American Academy of
Forensic Science annual meeting. In fact, an Associated
Press story on some of our work was published yesterday
in many newspapers in America.

I have a simple rule: let science and history direct us to the
authenticity of an ingot, or to any precious metal artifact for
that matter. We did not possess the technology seven or
ten years ago that we have developed today. One needs to
keep an open mind and let the science do the talking.

I have had many discussions with Mr. Buttrey, Hodder and
Kleeberg. All have significant points that need addressing,
particularly with some ingots that I have never seen or analyzed.
But scientific analyses costs money. To date, no one has
forwarded me, or any of my colleagues, for professional
analysis many (or any) of the seriously questioned bars, such
as Hoard, Star, or the "Mexican" pieces. [Another author
has addressed many of the Mexican bar issues recently.]

Dave Fitch and I are working on another paper to present
our latest research, some of which was presented at the ANA
summer seminar, as well as at the AAFS annual meeting in
Dallas last year.

[The article Fred mentions was published by the Salt Lake
Tribune and other newspapers. Here's an excerpt:

"Experts now are able to identify atomic components that can
trace metals to their mining district of origin, providing a sort
of DNA fingerprint. Combined with an unprecedented historical
record recovered from the ocean floor, the process is generating
excitement among numismatists - coin collectors - and hobbyists,
who say it could help expose disguised worthless trinkets and
validate the authenticity of others.

''There have been some exceptionally rare pieces questioned
for a long time,'' said Beth Deisher, editor of Coin World magazine.
''If there is a process by which we can determine without question
the origin of the gold, it could be a definite statement as to
whether the pieces are real or fake.''

To read the full story, see: Full Story


Ralf Böpple writes: "I agree that there are a lot of fakes on eBay.
However, this has not been a bad thing as such for me personally,
because I have been able to acquire a number of contemporary
counterfeits of coins in my collection, as well as a number of
modern fabrications which I can use for study purposes.

In the past, I have been unable to get these counterfeits,
because dealers do not want to sell them - quite understandably,
of course, because even if the dealer and me agree on the
fact that the coin is a fake, he would not want to run the risk
that in some distant future a fake coin appears on the market
with the pedigree "bought from Dealer XY:::" Most of these
fake items sell at the moderate prices at which they should
sell, and they were either correctly offered as counterfeits or
with a statement along the lines of "I am no collector and
don't know much of these things and can't guarantee anything",
which is always a sign that the seller knows pretty well the
item at sale is not the real McCoy.

In two cases of less obvious counterfeits, I have contacted
the sellers (on eBay Germany), and both of them took the
coins off, in one case the sale had already expired and the
seller put me in contact with the buyer and offered to cancel
the transaction at his own cost.

On the other hand, I have contacted sellers on German eBay
of these little Mexican "Maximiliano Emperador" gold disks
and informed them that these are neither "RRR" nor issued
by the Mexican authorities nor really "desirable collectibles".
Most did not react at all, one changed his description of the
item by adding a small "NP" for "Nachprägung" (copy), which
can easily be overlooked. One frequent seller made hilarious
statements about the origin and the value of these disks, and
he did not reply to several emails from me, so that I finally
sent an email to every winning bidder, making no claims
about these items at all but only providing a link to a homepage
that gives more information about them. It must have worked,
because now the same seller offers all his items as 'private
auctions', making this after-sale contact impossible! "


USA Today and other news media reported last week on
an event of interest to token collectors. Over the years many
department stores have issued charge coins, key tags, tokens,
medals and other items of interest to collectors. Due to the
longevity of many of these locally-based businesses, collectors
delight in being able to visit the business that created these
collectibles decades or even centuries ago. In a number of
cities, however, these long-time names are about the disappear.

"Department store chain Macy's will become a national brand
— and many longstanding regional store names will disappear
— after this holiday season, its parent, Federated Department
Stores (FD), announced Thursday."

"Federated said it will convert about 330 May locations to
Macy's, dropping such names as Famous-Barr, Robinsons-May,
Foley's, Hecht's and Kaufmann's."

Here in Pittsburgh, the Kaufmann's name has been around for
generations, and my own collection includes a number of
Kaufmann charge coins. My encased postage collection includes
one issued by Lord & Taylor in 1862 - this is one name that still
exists. I also have a Bailey & Co. encasement, a predecessor of
the Baily, Banks & Biddle jewelry firm.

To read the full story, see: Full Story


Dick Johnson writes: "Be on the lookout for advertising in the
numismatic press from Howard Ruff, who publishes a newsletter
called Ruff Times. His recent announcement: "I’m Baaack!"
And then comes the pitch "And just in time to help you make
another fortune in gold and silver."

If you are critical of newsletters as numismatic literature, Ruff
has written a couple of best-selling books, "How to Prosper
During the Coming Bad Years" was his early book. Now he
has "Safety Prosperous or Really Rich."

If you were reading the numismatic press in the 1970s you will
remember his ads touting the purchase of gold, and later silver.
He rode gold from $120 to $850, and later silver from $2 to
$50. he claims he gave the signal to sell two weeks before
the price dropped.

Now you can do the same. Subscribe to his newsletter at $90
a year. Undoubtedly he will tell you to buy gold and silver.
He will fill up newsletter pages with some economic data,
metal market activities and other mumbo jumbo. But you
have to hope he gives the Sell Signal in time again.

His home page:"


Regarding last week's question about the source of a quote
relating to the "In God We Trust" motto on coinage, Bruce
Perdue writes: "I ran a Google search of the quote and of
course your page came in first...however the following quote
came from a Dave Bowers article at Full Story which is
"Collecting Two-Cent Pieces 1864-1873" on the PCGS site...

"In December 1863, Mint director James Pollock wrote to the
secretary of the Treasury as follows, in part: "I also propose
for your consideration the coinage of a two-cent piece, same
material and double weight of the cent, and with such devices
and mottos as may be approved by you. The piece would be
a great public convenience, and its coinage, in my opinion,
should be authorized. The devices are beautiful and appropriate,
and the motto on each coin, as all who fear God and love
their country will approve. I prefer the 'shield and arrows' to
the 'head of Washington' on the obverse of the coin. They
are submitted for your consideration."

The same quote from James Pollock is on the Collin County
Coin Club site: More 'In God We Trust' "

[Rodger Burdette was able to provide a reference to the
original source Pollock letter in the National Archives.
Thanks, everyone! -Editor]


Jeff Starck writes: "You mentioned the ANA Money Museum
exhibit on Cruikshank notes.

A quick Google search leads viewers to the right source... or does it?
Google Search

The page comes up as unavailable, but... Google has a feature
called "Cached." Beneath and to the right of the URL that
matches your request are two links: Cached and More Results.
Click on cached to get a copy of the page, in this case without
Cached Story

While it probably can't match seeing the page in its original
layout, if you just need information, it works well. And of
course, some cached pages show images (though rarely, it
seems). And, not all pages are cached, though Google
misses very little. Cached pages remain in Google's files,
long after sites pull them down. It's a great detective tool.

(Oh, and a quick Google search of "1818 George Cruikshank
Bank Restriction" reveals several related Cruikshank links,
including this from the British Museum: British Museum )"


This week's featured web site is actually a trio of web pages
relating to U.S. Mint Director David Rittenhouse. The first is
an overview of his life, and the others relate to his clocks and

"He became an astronomer, mathematician, instrument maker
and one of the leading American scientists of the eighteenth
century, second only to Benjamin Franklin.

Self-taught, he early showed mathematical and mechanical ability,
and mastered Newton's Principia in an English translation. As a
young boy Rittenhouse constructed a model of a watermill, and
by the age of seventeen he had built a wooden clock, but having
little opportunity to attend school, he largely educated himself
from books and a box of tools inherited from his uncle David
Williams, a furniture maker. At the age of nineteen he began
making clocks and other mechanical and scientific devices.

Over the next thirty or forty years he made many highly-prized
and innovative mathematical and astronomical instruments,
most famous of which were two orreries he constructed for
the Colleges of New Jersey (now Princeton University) and
Philadelphia (now the University of Pennsylvania). These
orreries show the solar and lunar eclipses and other phenomena
for a period of 5,000 years either forward or backward."


Rittenhouse Clock
Rittenhouse Orrery
  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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