The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 35, August 14, 2005:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2005, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers is Dave Provost of North Carolina.
Welcome aboard! We now have 775 subscribers.

Quick quiz: Who was Israel Switt? You'll know soon enough
when you read our lead story. If you haven't heard the news
yet, prepare to have your socks knocked off.

Congratulations to the American Numismatic Society, whose
ANS Magazine is now published in full color. The Summer 2005
issue (Vol 4, No. 2) includes some very interesting and nicely
laid out articles, including the cover piece on posters and medals
of the birth of the Cold War, illustrated with some marvelous
posters uncovered in a basement room at the old ANS building
on Audubon Terrace. The old building was sold on March 11
to the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Of special interest
to bibliophiles and researchers are articles on the ANS Photo file
(268,000 cards) and the photographic negative collection.

The August 2005 issue of the ANA's Numismatist magazine is
out as well, and this full-color publication features three articles
on another unusual topic, canine collectibles. Alan Stahl writes
that "Cornelius Vermeule's passion for puppies and numismatic art
inspired his longstanding collection of canine commemoratives,"
now part of the Princeton University Numismatic Collection.

While on the subject of August 2005 numismatic publications,
The Colonial Newsletter (vol 45, no. 2) deserves special mention.
The issue features two articles in which numismatic literature is
a key element. Roger Moore and Ray Williams write about their
observations on the Maris Plate of new Jersey copper coinage,
and Mark A. Sportack examines the "what we knew and when
and how we knew it" of the Somer Islands Hogge Money.

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


On August 11, 2005, the U.S. Mint revealed that in September
2004 it recovered ten more of the missing 1933 double eagles.
The following is from the press release published on the Mint's
web site:

"The United States Mint has recovered ten more of the fabled
1933 Double Eagle gold pieces. These numismatic artifacts
were illegally removed from the United States Mint at Philadelphia
more than 70 years ago."

"To ensure that they are properly secured, the recovered 1933
Double Eagles will be held in the United States Bullion Depository
at Fort Knox. The United States Department of the Treasury does
not intend to monetize, issue or auction them. The United States
Mint will assess the best way to use these historical artifacts,
including possible public exhibits, to educate the American people.

With the assistance of the U.S. Secret Service and the Department
of Justice, the United States Mint recovered the 10 gold pieces in
Philadelphia in September 2004, after being approached by an
attorney whose client allegedly possessed the Double Eagles. With
the help of the Smithsonian Institution, the United States Mint
authenticated the gold pieces on June 21, 2005, as genuine 1933
gold Double Eagles."

"About 445,500 Double Eagle gold pieces were minted in 1933.
However, President Franklin Roosevelt took the United States
off the gold standard in an effort to help the struggling American
economy recover from the Great Depression. As a result, none
of the Double Eagles was ever issued at that time; instead, all but
two of the 1933 Double Eagles were ordered destroyed.

However, in addition to these two, which were transferred to the
Smithsonian Institution, the Government has now recovered a total
of 20 specimens that were stolen from the United States Mint at
Philadelphia. Nine of the 20 Double Eagles were seized by, or
relinquished to, the U.S. Secret Service in the 1940s and 1950s,
and were subsequently returned to the United States Mint and

"One 1933 Double Eagle surfaced in 1996 and was seized
by the U.S. Secret Service. The gold piece was returned to
the United States Mint, and following a legal settlement, was
issued and auctioned in New York City for $7 million on
July 30, 2002.

“The 2002 auction was the result of a legal settlement. At
the time, the United States Mint declared that it would not
monetize or sell future 1933 Double Eagles that might be
recovered,” said Acting Director Lebryk. “We do not intend
to monetize, issue, or auction the recovered Double Eagles.”

To read the full press release, see: Full Story

David Tripp, author of "Illegal Tender: Gold, Greed, and the
Mystery of the Lost 1933 Double Eagle" writes: "As it happens
I was at Sotheby's on something else when the news broke.

It's the story that won't stop; the gift that keeps on giving.
(I've already been on to my editor!).

The coins are clearly Israel Switt's hoard that he spoke of
to James Macallister (who related it to the Secret Service in
1944: Switt said he had 25 and had only sold 14.....which
would have left him with eleven....and ten are now in this

The Secret Service doesn't appear to have ever followed
up on this lead (which was mentioned in both the 2002
auction catalogue...and repeatedly in my book).

Even better, these don't even appear to be the one (from
the 1980 snapshot) illustrated in the back of my book as
the Mystery Coin!

And the controversy will continue!"

On Friday, August 12, the New York Times published a
story confirming that the Switt family returned the coins.

"The lawyer, Barry H. Berke of Manhattan, said the gold
pieces were "voluntarily" revealed to the government by Joan
Langbord, the daughter of the jeweler, Israel Switt, who died
in the early 1980's. He added: "The Mint has responded to
their good-faith efforts to amicably resolve any issues relating
to their coins by seeking to keep the coins. The Langbord
family fully expects that their coins will be returned to them so
they can be freely traded like every other numismatic treasure
with a colorful history. I expect that if they are not returned
there will be litigation."

The article quotes COIN World editor Beth Deisher and Dr.
Wartenberg Kagan of the ANS. In a bizarre touch, the article
includes a photo of the ten coins (attributed to the U.S. Mint)
which shows only the reverse of the coins - the dates are not

To read the full article (registration required): Full Story


Bill Luebke (an E-Sylum subscriber) writes: "I am creating a
newsletter for collectors of 1794-1839 U.S. federal coinage
in silver and gold called the JR Newsletter. It is not affiliated
with any numismatic organization, though subscribers are
encouraged to join the John Reich Collectors Society (JRCS),
a club dedicated to these series. JRCS can be contacted at

I invite all to subscribe to the JR Newsletter. There are no dues
or other fees of any type. I plan to pattern JR News after your
fine work with The E-Sylum and Mark Switzer's fine work with
Region 8 of the Early American Coppers Society. Imitation is the
greatest form of flattery, after all.

To subscribe, simply send an email to JRNews at
Please also include any newsworthy item pertaining to U.S.
federal silver and gold coinage of 1794-1839. I do need some
news to publish. Comments re conventions, auctions, cherries,
questions to members, new die states, interesting items on the
web including eBay, etc. (Just like E-Sylum)."

[Actually, we don't publish eBay links in The E-Sylum,
since we have a general policy against publishing individual
wanted or for-sale items. This is to keep the focus on
research and information rather than commerce. We do
however, publish web links to numismatic literature dealer
web sites, fixed price lists and auctions.

As far as imitation goes, flatter away. One of the goals in
the back of my head when I started The E-Sylum was to
provide an example of what an electronic publication on
numismatic topics could become. I'm actually surprised
that it took so long for similar publications to appear. I
don't know how many actually model themselves on
The E-Sylum, but I've been told a number did. None is
exactly like The E-Sylum, and I wouldn't expect them to be.
But I would encourage all prospective e-newsletter editors
to read my article on the creation of The E-Sylum in the
25th Anniversary issue of The Asylum. There's a method
to the madness - many aspects of this publication were
carefully planned, and there are good reasons for doing
things the way we do them. Not that we can't be improved
upon - The E-Sylum finished second in the Electronic
Newsletters category in the American Numismatic
Association's Outstanding Club Publications Contest for
2005. Congratulations to a fellow Swede, Nels P. Olsen,
editor of the Ozaukee Coin Club Newsletter, from the
Ozaukee (Wisconsin) Coin Club. -Editor]


Douglas Saville writes: "We (Spink) are about to publish
David Sear’s "Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume III.
Here are the details…..

"Roman Coins and Their Values, Volume III - The Third
Century Crisis and Recovery, A.D. 235-285

To be published in late September by Spink, London
Orders now being taken.

528 pages, fully illustrated with new photographs
throughout the text

Valuations in three grades of preservation

Price: £45 plus carriage

Volume I covered a period of approximately 375 years,
from the origins of the Roman coinage in the Republican
period in the opening decades of the 3rd century BC down
to the violent end of the second Imperial dynasty, the
Flavian, in AD 96.

Volume II extended coverage of the Imperial series from
the accession of Nerva down to the overthrow of the
Severan dynasty in 235.

This third volume continues the comprehensive revision and
covers in detail the following half century, a very different
period during which the Empire came perilously close to
total disintegration under the pressure of foreign invasions
and seemingly interminable civil war. The economy also
collapsed and with it the Imperial coinage, a desperate situation
which was only partially alleviated by the currency reform of
Aurelian undertaken late in his reign.

The complexities of the mint attributions in this chaotic period
- lacking as they do in almost every instance the name or initial
of the responsible mint - have been dealt with in light of recent
scholarship. Also included are detailed listings of the Antoninianus
coinage not covered in the “Roman Silver Coins” series.

To place your order:
E-mail: books at

Tel: 0207 563 4056 / 4046 / 4045 Fax: 0207 563 4068"


The following is taken from an August 10, 2005 press release:
"The Gallery Mint Museum Foundation continues towards its
goal of establishing the premier minting museum in the United
States with the selection of its first Board of Directors. Agreeing
to serve on the twelve-member Board are historians, minting
scholars and museum professionals whose names are already
familiar in the numismatic world.

The new GMM Board includes Erik Goldstein, Curator of
Mechanical Arts and Numismatics at Colonial Williamsburg;
John Kraljevich, numismatic researcher; Dick Johnson, founding
editor of Coin World and widely published author on medals
and minting; U.S. Mint historian Robert Julian; Greg Lambousy,
Director of Collections at the Louisiana State Museum; Ron
Landis, noted die engraver and visionary founder of Gallery Mint,
Inc.; Chris Madden, intaglio engraver with the Bureau of Printing
and Engraving; John Nebel, computer guru and numismatic
photographer; Edward C. Rochette, Executive Director emeritus
of the American Numismatic Association and founder of the
ANA’s Summer Seminars; Bob Evans, Chief Scientist, Conservator
and Exhibitor of the S. S. Central America “Ship of Gold,”
Timothy Grat, Chief Coiner and long time employee of the Gallery
Mint and Mike Ellis, Editor of the “Cherrypickers’ Guide to Rare
Die Varieties, Fourth Edition, Volume I,” current president of
CONECA and error coin authenticator for ICG.

Board President Ron Landis noted that the new, non-profit
numismatic museum was careful to select individuals with
impeccable academic reputations and a passion for minting
technology to serve on the Board. “This is a ‘Dream Team’
with a clear understanding of museums, numismatics and minting.
We are going to move very fast in reaching our goals,” he said.

For more information about Gallery Mint Museum Foundation,
contact Mike Ellis at POB 101, Eureka Springs, AR 72632;
telephone 888-558-MINT; FAX 479-253-5056; or via
e-mail at gmmmike at"


Regarding the recent ANA convention in San Francisco,
numismatic literature dealer Charles Davis writes: "The Union
situation was not a problem as those who brought in a "normal"
amount (in my case 14 boxes of books that I had UPS'd to my
hotel) found the free porter service quite convenient. The
biggest negative was sitting in a taxi with the meter running while
the queue of cars and vans moved slowly to the loading dock.
But once in, the UPS charge, taxi and tip to the porter did not
represent an excessive amount. The main problem was that
someone forgot to invite the public. It seemed that the number of
people in the hall at a given moment numbered in the hundreds
instead of the thousands we have been accustomed to. I have
not seen the official numbers, but an unconfirmed rumor had it
that 3,600 people had registered through Friday. Extrapolation
through Saturday would make the total 5,000, a pathetic number
for any convention, more especially so for a major city like San
Francisco. Most of the dealers in the middle to the back of the
hall said they had never seen a smaller crowd. Only the fact that
the hall was small (going only to row 900 instead of the usual
1200-1300) and thus compacting the public, stopped dealers
from the proverbial bowling in the aisles. The big boys in front
did their wholesale millions I am sure, and will put a positive
spin on the whole affair, but wow, where was everybody?
Certainly a West Coast convention suffers from being 2,500
miles from the population center of the country, and Europeans,
not wanting to spend 11 hours in a plane, were nowhere to be
seen. Denver in '06 and Milwaukee in '07 will probably not be
much better, attendance not improving until Baltimore in '08.
In sum, it was more like drudging for a week in the office than
an A.N.A. Convention. No spark; no buzz. The highlight was
the banquet, Wendall Wolka as the M/C in black tie and one
very large tux kept the program moving smartly and sharply,
and Arthur Fitts eloquently installed the new board including
the candidate that had defeated him. Arthur may have lost the
election, but he won the admiration of those who saw him
perform this difficult task with grace. "


Dave Lange forwarded a link to an article on his firm's web
site, about a previously unknown 1854-S $2.50 gold piece
certified by his firm at the convention:

"A prized rarity was revealed to the numismatic community
when NGC certified an 1854-S Quarter Eagle on July 27,
during the ANA World’s Fair of Money.

A scant 246 of these $2.50 gold pieces were struck during
the San Francisco Mint’s first year of operation in 1854.
Today, approximately a dozen 1854-S Quarter Eagles are
known, and most show heavy wear from circulation. Most
intriguing about this particular example’s history, however,
is the story of its discovery by the numismatic community.

Earlier in the year, on Saturday, April 2, at the Santa Clara
Coin & Collectibles Expo, a woman and her family arrived
at the show toting an heirloom gold coin. They believed that
it had been in their family’s possession since 1858, being
the first gold coin acquired by a long-ago ancestor who
immigrated to California during the Gold Rush. They approached
NGC Director of Research, David Lange, for his evaluation,
recounting the coin’s story and explaining that they believed
they had something valuable. “Though I hear such claims at
every coin show, she seemed to speak with more confidence
than most visitors,” recalls Lange. “I was shocked to see that
the coin she took out of her bag was the extremely rare
1854-S Quarter Eagle.”

As she had arrived late in the show, on-site grading was no
longer available. The coin would need to be sent to NGC’s
office in Sarasota for certification. Having just been told that
she did, in fact, have a very valuable coin, she was not ready
to let it out of her sight for so long. Lange then mentioned that
he would be returning to with NGC to the area in three months
for the ANA’s World’s Fair of Money. “I didn’t expect I
would ever see her or the coin again,” recounts Lange.

She did return, however, and this time on the opening day of
the show. The coin was promptly submitted to NGC for
certification, and was graded XF-45, making it the third finest
known example."

To read the full press release, see: Full Story

[Included is a photo of David, NGC's Director of Research,
holding the coin. -Editor]


A front-page article by Paul Gilkes in the August 22 issue of
Coin World outlines the U.S. Mint's plans to make more
archival research material available on the Mint's web site.
This could be a real boon to numismatic researchers.

"During the American Numismatic Association's World's
Fair of Money July 27 to 31 in San Francisco, the Mint's
booth showcased an exhibit from the Office of the Historian
featuring a collection of unique historical artifacts, many of
them on public display for the first time."

The exhibit included daily coinage ledgers from the
Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco mints 1925-1935,
a New Orleans Mint ledger for 1838 to 1893, and a
Jefferson galvano. The mint's web address is
U.S. Mint

Does anyone know the name of the Mint's chief historian?
Could we encourage them to become and E-Sylum


J. A. McNerney writes: "The subject of the motto "In God We
Trust" has always been one of particular interest to me. I agree
with Theodore Roosevelt that God's name on money is
sacrilegious,not to mention a violation of the First Amendment
of our Constitution.

The subject deserves a deeper study than a few lines in QDBs
article about the Two Cent piece. A more complete understanding
of the subject can be found here:

and More


Kerry Wetterstrom writes: "I read Tom Fort's recap in the latest
E-Sylum about the NLG award given to David Fanning for the
25th Anniversary issue of The Asylum. Unfortunately, there is a
major misconception that either an officer of the NLG or a close
perusal of the submission rules could have cleared up. A NLG
member must submit the piece/work being nominated, but the
actual recipient of the award does not have to be a member of
the NLG.

I can personally attest to this as editor of The Celator. Every
year I submit various articles or columns from The Celator that
I deem worthy, and rarely is the author also a member of the
NLG. (This year three individuals received awards from the
NLG for articles/columns in The Celator, and none of them
were/are NLG members.)

On the original nomination form, it should have been stated
that the NLG member making the nomination on behalf of
NBS was David Fanning, but that the actual recipient would
be Tom Fort. I also believe that NLG award rules stipulate
that an individual (Fort) must be an nominee and not an
organization (NBS), hence the reason that David Fanning's
name ended up on the plaque.

In the end, the scapegoat should not be the NLG as their rules
are printed every year in the NLG Newsletter that announces
the competition, and I find them to be clear if not redundantly

Ed Reiter writes: "I'd like to set the record straight regarding
the Numismatic Literary Guild Writers' Competition. As
executive director of the Guild, I was concerned by the
misconceptions contained in a report in the latest edition of
The E-Sylum.

Anyone can enter the NLG Writers' Competition. We do not
prohibit entries from non-members, and we judge all entries,
determine all winners and inscribe all award plaques without
regard to whether an entrant is a member of the Guild.

Strictly speaking, "Best Issue" awards do indeed honor the
winning publications, not their editors. However, it has been
our long-standing practice to recognize the editor in presenting
each "Best Issue" award, since he or she is pivotal to the
publication's success. In determining whose name should appear
on a plaque, we rely on the information furnished to us with the
entry. The special issue of The Asylum submitted for consideration
in this year's contest -- and judged to have Extraordinary Merit
-- was accompanied by a letter from Pete Smith stating that
David Fanning, the Editor-in-Chief, was the entrant. Accordingly,
we placed Mr. Fanning's name on the award plaque. The letter
made no mention of E. Tomlinson Fort.

We certainly want to give credit where credit is due, so we'll
modify our list to reflect Mr. Fort's role as Editor of the award-
winning issue. We'll also send him a plaque with our hearty
congratulations for a job well done.

I can appreciate Mr. Fort's distress at not being recognized for
what obviously was a real labor of love. I cannot agree, however,
that the NLG is somehow to "blame" for not recognizing his work.
We simply acknowledged the person named in the entry. This
may have been Mr. Fort's "baby," as he says, but until now we
never got a birth announcement."

Tom DeLorey writes: "Regarding the NLG award given to the
25th anniversary issue, I was one of the judges in this category,
and considered the issue to be wonderful. As to the naming on
the plaque, all I can say is that we conscientiously attempt to
correctly reflect the entries as presented to us, and if Pete Smith
erred with the best of intentions by telling us that the entrant in
this case was David Fanning, there was no way that we could
know this."

Tom Fort writes: "Regarding the NLG award being open to
non-members, a couple of NLG members have written me and
also said that this was the case. However, if you look at the rules
on the NLG web site, they state for the 2005 NLG Writers
Competition: "1. All NLG members are eligible to participate
if their dues have been paid." It nowhere states that NLG members
may submit the work of non-members. From the published rules,
both David Fanning and Pete Smith assumed (wrongly as it may
seem) that the competition was only open to NLG members.
Since I am not an NLG member they felt that they could not submit
The Asylum in my name, since from the text on the web it would
appear that I was not eligible.

The best award that I can receive for the issue is that people
thought it was pretty good."

[Hopefully this exchange sheds enough light on the matter that
future nominations and awards will not be subject to the same
confusion. Clearly the 25th Anniversary Asylum issue was a
deserving winner, and the recognition by our sister organization
is welcome and appreciated. -Editor]


"A rare medal awarded for service in the Battle of Trafalgar
has been secured for a Manx Museum exhibition."

"It belongs to Charles Barkler, of Kelso, Scotland, who is the
great, great, great grandson of the recipient, John Cowle, who
served on the HMS Temeraire.

The medals were issued in 1848, more than 43 years after the
battle, to men who submitted a claim. However, due to the
lengthy interlude only a handful of sailors collected them.

The medal will go on display this October when the museum
will host an exhibition to commemorate 200 years since Lord
Nelson's famous victory in the battle, which involved 60 Manxmen.

John Cowle lost his arm at Trafalgar and was known ever
afterwards as 'Hook' Cowle."

"The medal will go on display alongside Lieutenant John Quilliam's
uniform and sword. He was first lieutenant on board the Victory
and was an MHK in the Island.

The True Glory: Manxmen at Sea in the Age of Trafalgar will
run until March 2006.

To read the full article, see: Full Story

An image of one of the medals appears here: Image of Medal


Dick Johnson writes: "I ordered a book from a collector
whose address was a nearby town here in Connecticut.
Could I, I requested of the seller, visit him to pick up the
book and view other numismatic items he might have for sale?
Sure, he said, but the books are in another state. He was
using a false address!

Reminds me of the time when we conducted the official
auction for the New England Numismatic Association annual
convention. Of course, we wanted to mail an auction catalog
to each NENA member. Sorry, they would not turn over the
mailing list to us. We had to put the catalogs in and postage
on blank envelopes and ship these to the secretary who put
on the address labels.

Why are New Englanders terrified someone might find where
they live? Maybe it was these same New Englanders who
influenced the ANA. I see the ANA board just declined for
the umpteenth time not to publish an ANA roster."

[Why a bookseller would want to hide is hard to fathom,
but any coin collector who's ever been robbed has a good
reason to keep their address confidential. No one who's
ever been in this situation, or knows someone who has,
wants to risk it. Sure, there are plenty of other ways
crooks can locate their marks. But why make it easy?


The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette today published a report on
thefts of rare maps from libraries across the country:

"An X-acto blade can slit a page from a book in less than
a second, and police say that's how a well-known rare-
documents dealer stole maps worth hundreds of thousands
of dollars from Yale University.

The Philadelphia-based FBI art crime team issued an alert
this month to institutions that hold rare maps in their collections,
advising them to determine whether they were missing any,
and soon libraries from Chicago to London were reporting
that they were. No rare maps in local collections are missing,
but those in charge of reading rooms say that such major
thefts always prompt reviews of inventory and security

E. Forbes Smiley III, a Massachusetts-based dealer in antique
maps, has been charged with stealing rare maps by cutting them
from books in Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and
Manuscript Library."

"Maps tucked into books are especially vulnerable, said Tony
Campbell, former map librarian at the British Library who also
worked as an antiquarian map dealer.

"If you take a page out of a rare book, you've got a worthless
piece of paper. But if you take a map, you haven't destroyed
its worth. It's likely to have fair amount of value, and it's virtually
untraceable. That's the joy of it for the thief."

The theft can be hard to detect. "That book is handed to
someone, then handed back with one folded map removed,"
Campbell said.

Unless the librarian is aware that there are maps inside the
book, and knows how many, a theft can easily go undetected."

Full Story


On this week in 1933, lawmen accidentally captured "Old Harve"
Bailey, who was implicated, but never tried, for a robbing the U.S.
Mint in Denver in 1922. Bailey, a notorious bank robber, was
hiding at the same Paradise, Texas ranch as "Machine Gun" Kelly
and his gang, who had kidnapped businessman Charles Urschel.

Although it is now believed that Bailey had nothing to do with
the kidnapping, he spent more than 30 years in Leavenworth for
the crime. Also of interest is the fact that it was not coin or bullion
stolen from the Mint, but U.S. paper currency!

The following excerpt is from an article on the U.S. Coin
Values Advisor web site. References include:
Eitemiller, David J. Historic Tours: The Denver Mint.
Frederic, CO: Jende-Hagan Corporation, 1983, and
Helmers, Dow. "The Denver Mint Robbery, 1922."
Denver Post, December 7, 1975.

"The nearby undersized Federal Reserve Bank frequently
utilized the Mint's vaults to store overflow currency. On the
morning of December 18, 1922, a total of $200,000 in new
five dollar bills was ready for transfer from the Mint to the
Federal Reserve. Just as the bank's truck was loaded with
the bundles of cash, a car pulled up and out jumped three men
with guns blazing. A bank guard was mortally wounded before
Mint security could return fire. Under a withering rain of bullets,
one of the thieves grabbed the loot and hopped into the getaway
car where he was joined by his companions.

A massive dragnet ensued, but it took 18 days to find the
bandit's shot up vehicle inside a rented Denver garage. Sitting
in the front seat was the frozen body of one of the men, who
apparently died of gunshot wounds inflicted during the robbery.

The investigation linked the dead man to several gangsters who
had been on a terrifying rampage throughout the central region
of the nation."

More on the Story and More

The following excerpt about Bailey was found on the Amazon
web site, in the book "Conquering Deception" by Jef Nance,
a former police interrogator.

"Considered the dean of American bank robbers by crime
historians, Bailey had a reputation for meticulously planning
the jobs his group undertook. In selecting his prospective
targets, he would assess the financial worth of a town,
determine the locations of traffic policemen, calculate the
precise time allowable inside the bank, and make certain
to strike when the stores of money were at their maximum.
In his book "John Dillinger Slept Here", crime historian
Paul Maccabee writes, "Who else but Harvey Bailey would
think to obtain road maps from the county surveyor's office
to ensure that the roads were adequate for a perfect getaway?"


An article today from The Associated Press describes a new
coin sorter its maker thinks will set a new standard:

"He calls it the Verifier, which sounds faintly ominous, like
something from a Stephen King novel.

But what this new machine does, according to inventor Gregory
F. String, 49, is to relentlessly and efficiently sort coins - any
coin in the world. He says it will do a better job than all similar
machines on the market today. It can handle huge volumes of
coins, upwards of 8,000 per minute."

"This new coin machine will be huge. This can go around the
world," he noted.

"Wilson said her brother built the Verifier because "he got tired
of hearing me scream and whine and complain" about the
coin-sorting machines she was then using.

Since the mid-1990s, she said, the problem of "dirty" coin-sorting
has burgeoned. Bags that are supposed to contain 10,000 dimes
might have 9,500 dimes along with 500 pennies. They gummed
up the old-style coin-sorting machines and had to be pulled out
manually, reducing production by 50 percent.

"We dump a bag of coins into Greg's machine and it counts the
dimes and spits out the wrong ones into a reject bin," she said.
"It works great."

Coin Sorting Story


Following another tip from The Explorator e-newsletter,
Arthur Shippee writes: "A large coin hoard was found in the
heart of Athens."

"Scores of silver coins dating back well over two millennia
have been unearthed in the heart of Athens, officials announced.

More than five kilos (11 pounds) of silver pieces dating
primarily from the 4th century BC were discovered in an
excavation project of the American School of Archeology,
a statement from the ministry of culture said.

Some 45 of the silver pieces are believed to date back
to the 5th century BC.

The discovery at the Athens Agora -- the chief marketplace
and ancient center of the city's civic life -- is of "considerable
importance" because it represents one of the most sizable
finds of its kind, the statement said."

To read the full story, see: Greek Coin Hoard Story


Dick Johnson writes: "Google was well into its project of
scanning millions of books in three American libraries, Harvard,
Michigan and Stanford, but received strong objections from the
publishing industry to stop scanning books still under copyright.

When Google received its first objections it offered publishers
a "negative option." It offered publishers a form to submit if
they wanted to option out of the program. This infuriated the
publishers even more (instead of the right to option in). Google
has now ceased scanning books still under copyright.

E-Sylum first reported on this December 19, 2004 (vol 7 no 51)
and again when it offered the reform request January 16, 2005
(vol 8 no 3).

To read Google’s August 13, 2005 announcement, go to: Google's Announcement


The following report is from a Philadelphia-area TV station
(August 10, 2005):

"An off-duty letter carrier accused of trying to pawn a stolen
gold coin worth $275,000 was arrested with the help of an
alert coin dealer, but investigators still can’t find the rare 1907

Police initially thought suspect Ernest Wilson might have
swallowed the coin as they closed in, and took him to a
hospital for X-rays, to no avail.

“I could see him literally throwing it, just to be rid of it,” said
dealer Robert Higgins of Wilmington, Del. “Unfortunately, it’s
an incredible coin that is now lost, possibly forever.”

"The coin was one of just 42 “rolled-edge” $10 gold coins
made at the Philadelphia Mint in 1907, but never circulated
because of an intricate, raised design that proved troublesome
both to produce and to stack."

"The missing coin had a pristine rating; only two of the surviving
1907 rolled-edge Indians had a higher grading, Higgins said. "

To read the complete story, see: Full Story


In response to Andy Lustig's question, Saul Teichman writes:
"Lots 1987-9 in the Farouk Sale were purchased by "Randall".
I always assumed it was James P. Randall who is listed in

This is per Gaston DiBello's Farouk catalog of which I have
a Xerox of the pattern sections."


A Russian news site announced that "The Central Bank of
Russia has officially announced that a 5000-ruble banknote
will be produced in 2006. This is not surprising, since the
most used banknote in Russia in recent months has been the
1000-ruble note. Statistics show that the issue of a larger-
denomination banknote is directly related to the rapid growth
of the money mass and inflation. The 1000-ruble note was
introduced at the beginning of 2001. In the course of that year,
it rose from 1 percent of all banknotes in use to 3 percent,
reaching 7 percent the next year and 25 percent at present."

"The largest Russian banknote will now be worth more than
the largest in the United States and Great Britain."

To read the full story, see: Full Story


Tom Fort forwarded this story: "A man ticketed for
speeding thought he’d get even by paying his fine with
12,000 pennies.

But the judge had the final word by making him wait for
the change to be counted."

Rather than count the small garbage can full of pennies by
hand, Court Administrator Jan Cosette took them to the
bank, where they were put in a counting machine. She
returned with $120 in cash and some extra pennies, which
were given to the Seattle man, who waited in the courthouse."

To read the full story, see Full Story


Dick Johnson writes: "Here's some numismatic humor for the
day. I had a good line of my own Saturday, while I was in the
barber shop with my wife. I went to pay and was $10 short.
I called to my wife in the waiting room filled with unshorn men.

"Shirley, bring me a stack of twenties!" Everyone in the shop
laughed, including both barbers."

Full Story


This week's featured web page is from the Coin World site,
describing the record-breaking 2002 Sotheby's sale of a
1933 Double Eagle for $7.59 million. The article is illustrated
with images of the coin and the official bill of sale and
transfer of title documents.

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.

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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