The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 9, Number 27, July 2, 2006:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers are Dave Brickard and Jim Urbaniak.
Welcome aboard!  We now have 933 subscribers.

Our West Coast readers who await their weekly E-Sylum issue each
Sunday evening had to wait til morning last week.  No technical
difficulties this time, but due to circumstances I was unable to
publish the issue until the wee hours of Monday morning.  As a
result, a number of submissions that arrived over the weekend
didn't make the cut for last week's issue, including a number
from our most prolific contributor.

Dick Johnson writes: "Last week's issue marks a milestone. It is
the first issue in a year and a half I did not have at least one
article in The E-Sylum (not since January 2, 2005).  I am currently
in the 400s -- number of my articles you have published in E-Sylum
-- and am looking forward to my 500th submission, perhaps later
this year."

Sorry!  This week's extra-long issue puts us back on track, covering
(as usual) a wide range of numismatic topics from across the spectrum.
We lead off with some very happy news about a recent classic work
on numismatic literature, followed by information on a number of new
works on numismatics.  Also recently in the news, Superior Galleries'
Specialty Coin Reference Library is now open to the public.

These items are followed by some recent news events in numismatics,
including a new entry for the "Things that are no longer there" but
pictured on recent coins or banknotes.  In the minting technology
category we have the announcement of an interesting new coin employing
a photographic holography device.

The Chinese food gods must know I'm a bibliophile. From a recent
fortune cookie: "You have at your command the wisdom of the ages."
With folks like Dick Johnson and all of you out there as subscribers
and contributors, that statement is also true when applied to our
little newsletter.   You just never know what interesting topics are
going to pop up, and this week is no exception.

For example, we learn of a Time magazine review of "Corpus Nummorum
Italicorum" and that a design honoring the Pork Chop John sandwich
was proposed for a circulating U.S. coin.  I kid you not ... and to
learn just how many vowels there are in the state motto of Hawaii,
read on...  Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


Thanks to Larry Mitchell to alerting us to the following announcement
from the Antiquarian Booksellers Association.  Larry writes:

"The 2006 winner of the ILAB [International League of Antiquarian
Booksellers] Prize for Bibliography [was] announced at the ABA
[Antiquarian Booksellers Association] Centenary Ball on 10 June
[2006] at the Royal Geographical Society in London."

In a first for this prestigious international prize, TWO co-winners
were announced:

Christian Dekesel's 3-volume BIBLIOTHECA NUMMARIA II:
by George Frederick Kolbe


Arthur & Janet Ing Freeman's 2-volume JOHN PAYNE
published in 2003 by Yale University Press as Vol. 9 in its
Elizabethan Club Series

The ILAB Prize for Bibliography "is the world’s richest prize
for bibliography, worth $10,000, and is awarded every four years
for the most original and significant book about other books
published anywhere in the world.

...The ILAB Prize was established over half a century ago. Its
aim is to draw attention to the best academic work being done in
the field, to honour it in appropriate terms, and to endorse the
trade’s support for the original scholarship on which it so much
depends. Over the years it has been awarded for great works of
original scholarship that have become recognised as indispensable
reference books found in any research library and indeed on
antiquarian booksellers’ own reference shelves."

[The following is from the Official ILAB press release. -Editor]

"’A Bibliography of 17th century Numismatic Books’ by Christian
Dekesel, published by Spink (as you might expect) in London, though
Dr Dekesel is of course a Belgian scholar. It is monumental and
meticulous. The judges were impressed by its erudition - and also
I suspect by its weight. This is just Vol I of 3 - and I won’t need
to explain why the others are not here. But this heavyweight is an
intellectual heavyweight. The author, assisted by Mme Dekesel, has
not just examined every book but every copy of every book he has
located in over 300 libraries and collections. Each entry has all
the data and detail you could possibly want, with a facsimile of
the title thrown in. And remember, numismatic writing occurs in
history, travel, economics and portrait books, and much else too.
This book follows the Dekesel volume on 16th century numismatics
and will itself be followed by 18th century volumes, already well
advanced. The whole will comprise the Dekesel Bibliotheca Nummaria,
covering three centuries, a magnificent achievement."

To read the complete press release, see: Full Story

George Kolbe writes: "Christian Dekesel is extremely pleased,
as well he should be. It is a signal honor. Co-publisher Douglas
Saville of Spink and I are pleased as well that the outstanding
merit of Dekesel's monumental work has been acknowledged in the
wider world of books by the premier organization of international
antiquarian booksellers."


John Adams writes: "George Fuld was kind enough to mention my
book favorably two issues ago. Those interested can purchase
copies as below.

"Medals Concerning John Law and the Mississippi System" by
ANS Trustee John Adams is now available for purchase from the
David Brown Book Company at:


Jon Lusk writes: "I've just OK'd the final draft of the new
1793-1794 Large Cent book and it should be printed, bound, and
ready for shipment by the first part of August. It turned out
quite nice in full color. The printer upped the normal image
resolution and it helped when looking at the pictures under a
three-power glass. 416 pages was a lot of material to go through,
but (as all publishers hope for) all errors have been caught."

Jon forwarded the ad for the book from the latest issue of EAC's
Penny-Wise.  "United States Large Cents 1793-1794" by William C.
Noyes is in 8.5 x 11" hardbound format.

The price after July 1, 2006 is $195 plus $10 mailing
Pre-order by July 1 and save $35 ($25 on the price and $10 postage)

Send your check for $170 to: Jon Lusk, 1111 W. Clark Rd.,
Ypsilanti, MI 48198.  Inquiries to (734-484-4347)

For special half-leather bound copies
Charles Davis –


According to a press release issued by the ANA June 30,
"Commemorative copies of the 2007 edition of Whitman Publishing's
A Guide Book of United States Coins (the "Red Book") are available
for $50 from the American Numismatic Association Money Market.
Each of the 500 copies has the ANA logo on the cover and a special
individually numbered bookplate inside.

"Red Book" editor Kenneth E. Bressett will autograph copies
during Membership Appreciation Day at ANA headquarters in Colorado
Springs on Sunday, August 20, following the World's Fair of Money®
in Denver, August 16-19.

Books can be purchased online at (click on "Shop
at MoneyMarket"), at the ANA booth in Denver or at the ANA Money
Museum store in Colorado Springs. The lowered numbered copies
are reserved for purchase by members who attend Membership
Appreciation Day."


Chris Chapel of Whitman Publishing writes: "Whitman Publishing, LLC
is proud to announce the impending release of the long-awaited latest
edition of one of America's most popular and frequently used coin
books: The Cherrypickers' Guide to Rare Die Varieties-Fourth Edition,
Volume Two. This volume covers all United States series from silver
half dimes through silver and modern dollars, all gold denominations,
and classic commemoratives.

This is the result of many years of cumulative research and finessing
by the lead authors, Bill Fivaz and J.T. Stanton, in cooperation with
many collectors, scholars, dealers, and others in the numismatic
community. The book presents information unavailable in any other
single source.

By means of the Cherrypickers' Guide the reader will be able to
view "ordinary" coins, including those in modern series, and
identify varieties with characteristics that make them rare and
valuable. There are hundreds of instances in which an everyday
Franklin half dollar, Washington quarter, Mercury or Roosevelt
dime, Morgan silver dollar, gold dollar, commemorative, or other
coin can multiply many times in value if it is of an interesting
variety. Examples include repunched dates, doubled lettering,
and other oddities typically distinguished under a low-power
magnifying glass.

Fivaz and Stanton give tips as to the first places to quickly
look on a coin for identification, plus a guide to rarity, and
market values in several levels. Accompanying each coin is a
narrative relating to the significance of the variety.

"New to this edition is a revised numbering system to simplify the
complex system in use earlier. The new system uses digits denoting
the denomination, the date, the mintmark (if applicable), then a
three or four digit number, the last in a logical series. The system
is easy to use. A complete cross reference is given with the old
system, enabling collectors and dealers to bring their listings up
to date."


"Coins in India : Power and Communication" is a new 116-page book
edited by Himanshu Prabha Ray. From the publisher's press release:
"This volume focuses on the socio-cultural connotations of coinage
in terms of power, authority, and rule legitimization, placing
numismatic studies in the context of cultural history.

Coins function as money, because the users share cultural parameters
regarding their value and acceptability. These cultural values form
a continuum and are reflected in adhering to traditional designs in
the old and new denominations, while at the same time introducing
changes and modifications. It is this continuum that marks India’s
coinage tradition of over 2,500 years, with inputs from Greek and
Islamic coinage systems. An important facet of the aesthetic of
Islamic kingship, for example, is evident from the silver coinage
of the Bengal Sultanate, which combined intricate interdependence
of religious expression, personal aggrandizement, and rule legitimacy.

Coins provide insights into political power and authority, while
archaeological excavations, hoards, and stupa deposits provide
contexts that place coin-finds within a larger cultural milieu.
The contributors to this volume discuss this tradition from several
disciplinary perspectives such as history, archaeology, economics,
and numismatic studies."

For more information:
E-mail -
Website -


Taken from a June 28 press release from the Central Bank of
Seychelles: "Entitled The History of Paper Currency in the
Seychelles, the 53-page booklet, in full colour, should prove
useful to not only the bank note collector but also for educational
purposes, as it includes a section which describes the flora &
fauna appearing on the most recent paper currencies of the islands.

The booklet's publication coincides with the 30th Anniversary of
Seychelles Independence, to be celebrated Thursday June 29."

"The booklet costs R160 a copy and is available at the Central

To read the complete release, see: Full Story


According to an article in the June 27 Numismatic News (p34),
"Superior Galleries' Specialty Coin Reference Library is now open
to the public by appointment.  The library, adjacent to Superior's
Beverly Hills, Calif., showroom, features hundreds of numismatic
reference works, including limited-edition and hard-to-find volumes
amassed throughout Superior's 70-year history."

[For more information, contact Gretchen Lueck at (310) 203-9855,
x200.  Are any of our readers familiar with Superior's library?
Can anyone tell us about its history and contents?  For that matter,
the history of coin company libraries would make a great topic for
an article in The Asylum, our print journal.  Anyone care to tackle
the topic?  -Editor]


Add one more thing to the list of landmarks pictured on recent
numismatic items that isn't there anymore - like New Hampshire's
Old Man of the Mountain (depicted on that state's quarter), a
tree at the White House, pictured on the reverse of the U.S.
twenty dollar bill, is now gone.  The tree fell near the front
door on the Pennsylvania Avenue side.  No one was injured.  The
storms and related flooding also threatened the National Archives.

According to news reports on Monday, June 26, "A tree that has
stood in front of the White House came down during heavy storms
last night. The large American Elm was not planted by a president
or first lady but it shares a piece of history in any case.

The NBC White House Bureau reports that the tree is featured
prominently on back of the $20 bill. It can be found in the far
right corner of the image on the back of a $20 bill. The tree is
believed to date back 140 years to the Andrew Johnson White House....
There is no word as to whether the image on the back of the $20 bill
will be changed."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

[On Thursday the Washington Post had a more detailed (and
numismatically accurate) story. -Editor]

"The Bureau of Engraving and Printing, which produces the nation's
currency, couldn't say for sure whether the late tree was the same
one immortalized on the $20. The White House shown on the bill was
an artistic composite based on photos of the building, said Claudia
Dickens, a bureau spokeswoman.

The note's designer, the now-retired V. Jack Ruther, isn't exactly
sure himself. The photos he worked from to produce the bill's 1998
redesign were taken over many decades and he no longer has them, he
said. As a general matter, the engraving isn't photo-realistic. The
grand fountain in front of the White House, for example, was removed
from his final model ("I thought it was cool but someone in charge
didn't"), and such distracting features as the security huts on the
roof were never included.

That raises a philosophical question: If a tree falls at the White
House and it's not the one on the $20 bill, would the news media
still do stories about it?"

"As for the remains of the fallen, no calls for souvenirs or raw
material for dining room tables, please. The Park Service isn't
selling. It plans to mulch the remains and spread them around the

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

The National Geographic magazine put together a nice side-by-side
graphic showing the fallen tree and the corresponding image on the
$20 note: Full Story

According to other reports, "Flooding from a weekend of heavy rain
shut down major federal buildings Monday, and created a nightmare
for commuters with washed-out roads, mud blocking the Capital Beltway
and delays on the area's rail lines."

"The National Archives was closed and will remain closed Tuesday,
although official said its holdings were not at risk. Conservation
staff inspected the Rotunda and stack areas and found no damage to
original records, according to a news release.

The Constitution and the Declaration of Independence are safe and
undamaged, spokeswoman Susan Cooper told Arenstein but the basement
and theater in the building are flooded, and a power outage at the
building has affected the process used to keep the temperature and
humidity of the documents at the proper settings."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


"Honest Abe is going to be more colorful after all. The government
said Wednesday it had reversed course and decided to redesign the
$5 bill with a splash of color to keep counterfeiters at bay.

Originally, the Bureau of Engraving and Printing had planned to
exempt the $5 bill and Abraham Lincoln, the 16th president, from
the design makeovers introduced over the past three years for the
$50, $20 and $10 bills.

But officials said they changed their minds in part so they could
respond to a new scam in which counterfeiters are bleaching the ink
off $5 notes and then printing counterfeit $100 bills on the bleached

"We have to stay ahead of any threats we see evolving," the director
of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, Larry Felix, said in an
interview with The Associated Press."

"Felix said Lincoln's portrait will remain on the $5 bill, as will
the Lincoln Memorial on the other side, but the presentations of both
images may be updated slightly.

Under the timetable, the bureau will settle on a new design for the
$5 bill by the fall of 2007 and hope to begin introducing the new
notes in the first quarter of 2008."

To read the complete Associated Press article, see: Full Story

To read the Bureau of Engraving and Printing's June 29 
press release, see: Full Story


According to a Reuters report Thursday, "U.S. government officials
are bracing for a possible greater need for paper currency and coins
in the event of an influenza pandemic in the United States, a
Treasury Department official said on Thursday.

"In the immediate aftermath of any disaster, there may be some
movement toward a greater use of currency," said Treasury Deputy
Assistant Secretary Scott Parsons. He was testifying before a House
of Representatives financial services panel.

The U.S. Mint, Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the Federal
Reserve are collaborating to ensure that banknote and coin inventories
would be adequate if financial institutions need extra supplies,
Parsons said."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Dick Johnson writes: "In addition to four different Lincoln cent
reverses for 2009 -- the bicentennial of Abraham Lincoln's birth
and the centennial of the Lincoln cent -- Americans may have a
Lincoln commemorative dollar coin if a Senate bill is turned into law.

On Thursday this week (June 29, 2006) the U.S. Senate passed a law
providing for the U.S. Mint to issue a commemorative dollar coin
in the year 2009. This law was offered by Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.,
who is a co-chair of the Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.
The bill was co-sponsored by 71 other Senators.

A similar version needs to be passed by the House. Rep. Ray LaHood,
R-Peoria, also co-chair of the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission,
has proposed such legislation that is pending in the House.

Once it is signed by the president this law would authorize the
Mint to create the new coin design.  The design would be selected
by the treasury secretary after consultation with the Commission
of Fine Arts and the Lincoln Bicentennial Commission.

The sale of the commemorative coin will help fund the bicentennial
celebration and the continued study of Lincoln's life. The
commission hopes the coin sale will generate as much as $3 million,
which is considered critical for its celebration plans.

Issuance of this commemorative dollar coin with the typical
surcharge should raise the necessary revenue for the celebration;
but sales of a minimum of 100,000 coins would be required to meet
the $3 million goal. If such is the case no surcharge should be
necessary for the four 2009 special reverse Lincoln cents. They
should be issued for circulation at face value.

Here is the news story from the Lincoln Courier in Lincoln,
Illinois, which has an obvious interest in the outcome of this
legislation: Full Story "


David Menchell writes: "Here's some more coin-related material
from the popular press."

"Congress has authorized the U.S. Mint to produce a silver dollar
commemorating the 200th anniversary of the birth of Louis Braille,
the creator of the Braille alphabet for the blind.

The legislation, which passed the Senate on Thursday after receiving
approval in the House in February, authorizes the Mint to issue up
to 400,000 silver-dollar commemorative coins in 2009. Braille was
born in France in 1809.

The coins will feature Louis Braille's image and the first Braille
symbol ever minted by the U.S. Treasury, raised dots that will spell
out "Brl," the contraction for Braille."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

[That part about "first Braille symbol" isn't true.  Quick quiz:
which other U.S. coin includes Braille lettering as part of the
design?  -Editor]


According to a press release issued Thursday June 29, the Royal
Canadian Mint has produced a very unusual commemorative coin
incorporating holograms to honor the Canadian Forces Snowbirds,
"one of the world's premier aerial demonstration teams and a
cherished Canadian icon..."

"Produced by the, the 99.99% pure silver five-dollar coin echoes
the designs of the two Snowbirds stamps. The images are superimposed
on the coin using an innovative photographic holography technique,
thus creating a double-hologram of breathtaking beauty. Tilting the
coin whichever way reveals either the pilot or the aircraft in

To read the complete press release, see: Full Story

[If anyone has a chance to view of these new coins in person,
please tell us your thoughts.  I'm curious to see one myself.
Have there been other coins with holographic images?  -Editor]


Steve Pellegrini writes: "Thanks for getting me in touch with
John Adams. As things turned out he'd like to consider including
my Goetz auction review (much revised) in an upcoming issue of
'The MCA Advisory', the organizational newsletter for our medal
collectors club. Have we ever enlightened the 'E-Sylum' readership
by writing outright about MCA?"

We have mentioned MCA, but I asked Barry Tayman for more
information. Barry writes: "The Medal Collectors of America (MCA)
was founded in August 1998 at the ANA in Portland, Oregon, to
serve collectors of world, U.S., art, and historical medals.

Collectors with an interest in medals are urged to look at our
web site, which not only contains helpful guides
and checklists, but some stunning photography as well.  The MCA
publishes a monthly newsletter, The MCA Advisory, that is sent to
all members.

The latest issue contained articles on the recent sale of Part XIV
of the John J. Ford Collection, by John W. Adams, Christopher Eimer,
John Kraljevich, and Allen V. Weinberg, as well as an article
illustrated with color plates on The Astronaut Medals by Frederick
G. Withington.

Dues are $20 per year, of $35 for two years.  An application form
can be found on our web site.  Payment should be sent to Barry Tayman
whose address is on the web site.  He can also be contacted by
e-mail at

Our annual meeting is scheduled for August 17, 2006, at the Denver
ANA @ 3:00 p.m. in Room 706.  We look forward to seeing you at the


NBS President Pete Smith writes: "I probably have 1,000 auction
catalogs that have no value for my research. I have decided that
I would rather have the space than the catalogs. How can I pass
these on to someone who will appreciate them?

The numismatic literature dealers don’t want them. I see catalogs
on E-Bay offered at $.99 each with $3.95 for shipping. I don’t see
anyone being successful selling catalogs at those prices. Just the
cost of shipping 1000 catalogs somewhere would be quite an expense.

I don’t want to throw catalogs in the dumpster but I haven’t figured
out an alternative that makes economic sense. What do E-Sylum readers
have for suggestions?"


Dave Lange writes: "For my ongoing research into coin boards and
their manufacturers, I'm attempting to obtain photographs of the
sites associated with them.  There are two addresses in Portland,
Oregon for which I'd like to get digital photographs. Despite working
15-20 coin shows annually for NGC, my travel over the next year or
so won't take me to Portland. If a reader of the E-Sylum lives in
the Portland area and would be willing to shoot and email me some
digital photos, please contact me at"


According to a report in The Scotsman Friday, "A 14th-century
gold coin found in a field in southern England by a man with a
metal detector fetched £460,000 at auction yesterday - a world
record price for any British coin.

The Edward III "double leopard" - worth six shillings when struck
in 1344 - was bought at Spink's in London for the Isle of Man coin
fund Avarae Global Coins."

"The price eclipsed the previous world auction record, established
in 2004 for Britain's first gold penny, struck for King Coenwulf
of Mercia (796-821). That fetched £230, 000."

The coin, depicting the king and two leopards, was only issued
for a few months and is so rare that only two others are known -
found together by schoolchildren on the River Tyne in 1857."

To read the completer article, see: Full Story

Arthur Shippee forwarded a link to another article on the topic,
this one from the BBC.  It includes an image of the coin.
More Story


Late last Wednesday evening, the night my Encased Postage Stamp
and counterstamp collections were auctioned by American Numismatic
Rarities, Dave Bowers wrote: "Rumor has it that a few minutes ago
an anonymous bidder from New Hampshire sparred on the telephone
with a couple of other bidders and carried off the Homren
specimen of the Sands’ Ale EP for an all-time record price of
$16,000 plus the buyers’ fee."

Dave was teasing, of course - he was the "anonymous" bidder, and
I'm really tickled pink that it found such a good home.  This will
be a marquee piece in years to come.  I bought it from Dr. Wally Lee,
but I can't trace the pedigree back farther than that.  He sent me
TWO to choose from.  I've always wondered where the one I passed on
ended up.  Anyone know?

Post-sale publicity from ANR pictured the Sands piece and noted
"Exonumia was well represented in this event and also showed strength
in the prices realized. An extremely rare Hero of Freedom Medal in
silver graded AU brought $11,500. The rare Sands’ Ale five cent
encased postage stamp astounded the auction gallery as it was bid
to $18,400!"

Dave wasn't the only ANR staffer who couldn't resist bidding.
John Kraljevich writes: "I bought one of your lots (the JA
counterstamped Connecticut for $440) and am pleased as punch
with it."


Regular E-Sylum contributor Howard A. Daniel III is back in Viet Nam
for a visit. He writes: "I will be gone a month and will return in
time to drive to the ANA in Denver, where I will man a club table
for NBS and several other organizations.  While in Viet Nam, I will
spend most of my time in Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon).

I already have two lists of books to search for, three lists of MPC,
and one list for the new polymer 10,000 Dong note that is supposed
to be issued while I am there.  So I hesitate to write and acquire
more tasks, but I am a glutton for punishment.  If anyone wants me
to look for something in Viet Nam, please send me an email at and I will do my best to fulfill their wishes."


Richard Margolis writes: "Concerning the numismatic collections of
the legendary Count Ferrari, I was fortunate in acquiring a nice
copy about a year and a half ago (from Douglas Saville; who else?)
of Ferrari's great modern Belgian holdings. In my experience this
fixed price offering comes on the market much less frequently than
the famous "Nobleman" auction sale of his extraordinary British
and Colonial collection.

Douglas' description of this volume reads, "[FERRARI DE LA RENOTIERE,
Count] Monnaies du Royaume de Belgique 1831-1914. Provenant des
Collections de Feu Mr. Ferrari de la Renotiere. Vente a Prix marques
Chez Louis Ciani, Paris, no date (1920s). Quarto, pp. 30; 1000 items
listed. 8 fine phototype plates. Finely bound in green polished
morocco-backed cloth, raised bands.gilt. Scarce.".

Louis Ciani was one of the leading Paris dealers in the 1920s and
1930s, from his 54 rue Taitbout address, running many auction sales,
both on his own and in collaboration with the Jules Florange firm
(the latter subsequently run by the late, lamented Mme. Nadia Kapamadji,
who usually had such fine things in her stock to tempt visiting
dealers and collectors).

Incidentally, there is an attractive silver portrait medal of the
moneybags who financed Ferrari's fabulous acquisitions, his mother,
the Duchess of Galliera.  I have two examples in stock, but if
anyone would like details it will have to wait until I regain
access to my stock later this summer."


Another titled numismatist is in the news: Victor Emmanuel. Not
the great numismatist King Victor Emmanuel III, but his 69-year-old
son, who has been accused of bribing gaming commission officials
and the recruitment of prostitutes for casino clients.

According to a front-page Wall Street Journal article Tuesday,
"Loyal followers of the Savoy dynasty have campaigned for more
than half a century to restore the fallen monarchy in Italy.
Italy's would-be king isn't helping any.

Victor Emmanuel, the Savoy family's crown prince, just spent
a week in prison in the southern Italian city of Potenza."

"Italian newspapers are brimming with photos of Victor Emmanuel
and his associates purportedly receiving and distributing envelopes
full of cash. Political cartoonists have been caricaturing the
prince in prison stripes."

The family's reign began in 1861, when a military campaign backed
by the Turin-based House of Savoy swept through the peninsula and
eventually unified Italy under one ruler. It ended abruptly in
1946, when a popular referendum abolished the monarchy."

When King Victor Emmanuel III went into exile, it was fellow
numismatist Farouk of Egypt who offered him asylum.  His son,
Victor Emmanuel IV, focus of the article, was eight years old
at the time.  He has spent most of his life in exile, mostly
in Portugal and Switzerland.


As publishers make more historical content searchable on the web,
numismatic researchers have more source material available to them.
For example, the Time magazine online archive includes a short July
30, 1923 article on the publication of Victor Emmanuel III's
"Corpus Nummorum Italicorum":

"In scientific circles Victor Emmanuel III is known, not as the
King of Italy, but as a great numismatist. He has just published
Volume Six of his Corpus Nummorum Italicorum, a monumental study
of Italian coins from the remote ages to the present day. Of this
great work, Volumes 1-5 and 7-8 had already been published.

Volume Six completes the series. It consists of 682 pages, with
35 plates, and deals with the 18 minor mints of the Venetian
Full Story

Other examples: "Fall of the Collector" (November 14, 1994)
chronicles the life of fallen ancient coin dealer Bruce McNall:

"Shirley and Earl McNall knew they had one hot little entrepreneur
on their hands. Son Bruce was only five, and he could wipe everybody
out at the Monopoly board, building hotels on all the expensive
properties, leaving his mom stewing with an empty lot, say, on
low-rent Baltic Avenue. Dazzled, the mother, a lab technician,
and the father, a biochemistry professor at the University of
Southern California, rationed Bruce's television watching and
showered him with intellectual goodies. The pampering paid off.
Bruce became a wealthy coin collector while still in his teens..."
Full Story

"Stuttering Pennies" (Aug. 21, 1972):
Last winter the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia turned out between
20,000 and 100,000 pennies that were lucratively flawed. As Mint
officials now reconstruct the error, workmen on two shifts had
improperly cast a die, and the pennies came out with a shadowy
double impression of the words In God We Trust and Liberty, a
sort of minute stuttering effect.

The mistake, the first such defect in U.S. coinage in 17 years,
is the sort of accident that numismatists love. The Mint in fact
knew nothing of the bad pennies until two of them were sent in
by collectors asking if they were valid coins..."
Full Story


The July 3, 2006 issue of Coin Worlds' Coin Values magazine brings
a number of interesting articles, including another research
tour-de-force by Roger Burdette.  "Philly 1895 Morgan Dollars:
Where are they? Were they really struck?" delves into the story
of the rare and enigmatic issue backed by Roger's usual in-depth
review of the documentary evidence.  I won't be a spoiler and
divulge Roger's conclusions here, but would encourage anyone with
an interest in the coin or the series to get a copy of the issue
and read the article.


Dick Johnson writes: "The Centinel arrived last week.  That's
the Central States Numismatic Society's publication. It is filled
with news, articles, lots of photos and very clean typography.
It seems thicker than usual -- my goodness, it's 64 pages! (Great
job editor Rollie Finner! Take a bow!)

There's a new CSNS president, William Brandimore, a handful of
new board members, but hard-working Jerry Lebo is still secretary-
treasurer. I was most impressed with his report of nearly three
pages listing new member applications! That's an indication of a
hot organization -- hundreds of people wanting in (even with coin
club memberships falling off in other parts of the country).

I liked the article dead center in the magazine, it flips open
to "Tips for Safe Coin Show Travel." It's by Alan V. Weinberg, a
frequent contributor here in E-Sylum. I read the article to the
very end and found it was reprinted from E-Sylum!

There's an article of reminiscences by Cliff Mishler. He's got
time to write these now that he's unemployed. Come to think of it,
he wrote these when he was a major domo (and employed) at Krause
Publications. Keep it up, Cliff!

Central States has an excellent numismatic book program, called
"Library Support Program," where it will match funds up to $250
with local coin clubs to put our hobby books in local libraries.
We praised this program before in E-Sylum. I can't praise this
grant program enough and hope local clubs take advantage of this.

[Click here to read Dick's original post.
esylum_v08n03a09.html -Editor]

The CSNS logo was mentioned at the board meeting (no action taken).
This is a pet gripe of mine since 1957 when I was a CSNS board member
(and college student). I proposed that map logo with incorrect state
abbreviation (guess which one) be replaced with a more artistic
design. I suggested a paddle wheel riverboat indicative of history
of the area (no action taken). Maybe someday!

I haven't been to a CSNS convention in 20 years (curtailed travel),
but I cherish my life membership. And I look forward to every issue
of The Centinel."


Kerry Rodgers writes: "Bibliomaniacs who are also Art Appreciators
may be interested in the Rembrandt coins circulating in Leiden at
an exchange rate of 1 Rembrandt = 1 Euro. A large number of shops,
cafes, bars, restaurants in Leiden happily accept them. The bimetallic
coins clearly have official sanction as they have been struck at
the Royal Dutch Mint.

Sets of both the circulating coins and versions in silver can be
obtained at this web address.  Scroll down through the Dutch and
you will find English.
Full Story

How many other countries have allowed [or would be big enough to
allow] one community to produce and circulate such coinage for
such an anniversary?"


Dick Johnson writes: "One of the nicest business news articles
I have read in a long time was in the Arizona Daily Star Friday
last week. It featured Richard Snow, Tucson coin dealer and
author of "A Guide Book of Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents."
The book was published by Whitman in their Red Book series
earlier this year.

"Snow grew up in New Jersey and moved to Tucson in 1987, becoming
senior numismatist for Allstate Coin Co. He left for Seattle in
1993. The father of two moved his family and Eagle Eye Rare Coins
back to Tucson in 2000, " reports Levi J. Long writer of the news

The article continues with details of his coin dealing, his
numismatic scholarship and quotations from two of his contemporaries
in Tucson -- Chris Ramsey, a competitor coin dealer, and Mark Stubbs,
president of the Tucson Coin Club.

It even reveals the fact his next book project is the Wisconsin
State quarter in all its varieties."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


"Joanne Dauer knew her future husband, Edward, was a collector
when he picked her up for their first date. The year was 1974,
and he arrived in a 1941 Cadillac.

Edward Dauer's collections have gone from stamps to cars to
currency. Eventually, the Dauers amassed the only collection of
every type of U.S. currency note from 1861 to 1923. They even
wrote a book about it -- American History as Seen Through Currency,
published in 2003.

Now, saying they are ready for a new challenge, the Coral Springs
couple is selling part of the collection. And the first sale was
a doozy -- two notes went for more than $2.1 million each."

"One is a $1,000 Treasury note from 1891...  The second is a
$100 gold certificate from 1863, which was used to pay for the
cost of the Civil War, he said...

Many other currency collectors didn't even know one existed until
the Dauers' book -- which has sold about 4,500 copies -- was

In his other life, Edward Dauer is director of radiology at
Florida Medical Center and a professor at his alma mater, the
University of Miami. Joanne Dauer also works in healthcare with

Florida Medical Services."

"The sale doesn't mark the end of the Dauer's collecting. They
plan to hold on to part of their currency collection."

"It's going to take years to sell," Edward Dauer said."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


The Los Angeles Times published an article June 26 about an
autograph and manuscript auction at the Bonhams & Butterfields
auction house in West Hollywood.  The article mentions a rare
city directory (a recent E-Sylum topic) and includes an interview
with coin and currency dealer Dana Linett of San Diego.

"There are some pieces in here that I would be willing to pay 10
times the asking amount for," said George Hollingsworth, a New
York manuscripts dealer, who flew to Los Angeles to preview the
items Sunday.

Hollingsworth spent hours examining a photo album of a sailor
dating to the 1860s. He pulled pictures from the album and
flipped them over in search of handwritten notes."

"He said that book and manuscript collectors are no longer satisfied
with once sought-after autographs of historical figures. They're
looking for full letters and books that "tell a story."

"One of the most valuable pieces in the sale is an 1850 San
Francisco City Directory that Catherine Williamson, an auction
director, dubbed "the Holy Grail" of western Americana collectibles.

Valued at $80,000 to $120,000, it is believed to be the city's
first directory, listing the names of 3,208 early residents.

"It's not a very pretty piece," Williamson said, "but it's one
true rarity of San Francisco history."

Dana Linett, a Colonial-era collector with a penchant for
historical currency, found the directory interesting.

But that's not the reason he drove from San Diego for the preview.
He had his eye on 1850s Gold Rush currency, including four early
California checks for $50, payable in coin or gold dust. They are
now worth an estimated $500 total.

Linett's fascination with old currency began when he was 8 years
old. As his friends collected sports cards and comic books, Linett
collected buffalo nickels and Indian head pennies."

To read the complete article, see Full Story


The Times published a report on the recent ceremony for the
150th anniversary of The Victoria Cross and George Cross medals:

"The service and the reception at St James’s Square were attended
by 8 of the surviving holders of the VC and 22 of the 24 surviving
holders of the GC. They were joined by the Prince of Wales and the
Duchess of Cornwall and families of medal holders who had died or
been killed in action.

Most holders wore suits and some came in wheelchairs, including
Captain Peter Norton, GC, who lost a leg and an arm in an explosion
near Baghdad last year.

“Circumstances may change, technology may change, but the capacity
for some very rare human beings to act in an utterly exceptional
and selfless way remains unchanged by the passage of time,” he said
in an address to the 1,600 guests."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


"A Victoria Cross awarded to a New Zealand soldier for bravery
in Gallipoli will be auctioned by Bonhams & Goodman in Sydney
next month.

The Victoria Cross was awarded to Captain Alfred John Shout
who died fighting for the ANZACS IN Gallipoli.

The world auction record for the sale of a Victoria Cross is
235,250 for a medal awarded to Sergeant Norman C Jackson, a
British Royal Air Force pilot for his role in the Battle of
Britain during World War II in 1944."

"The collection of Shout's medals includes a Victoria Cross;
Military Cross (GVR); Star 1914-15; British War Medal 1914-18;
Victory Medal 1914-19; Queen's South Africa Medal and King's
South Africa Medal.

There has been much private and public interest in Victoria
Crosses in recent times, particularly the VCs' awarded at
Gallipoli. The rare medals are made from bronze obtained from
cannons captured at Sebastopol during the Crimean war."

Taking its name from Queen Victoria, the medal is the highest
award for acts of bravery in wartime, irrespective of rank.
This year is the 150th anniversary of the establishment of the
Victoria Cross."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Dick Johnson writes: "Thanks to eagle-eyed Arthur Shippee for
the eagle-in-the-seal article from the New York Times mentioned in
the July 2nd E-Sylum. The ruling on which way the eagle should face
came down from the Institute of Heraldry, the government’s
authoritative voice in all things heraldic.

It reminded me of the last time I visited the offices of the
Institute of Heraldry. I was with numismatic film guru Michael
Craven (before his untimely death April 30, 2000). We were scouting
possible film locations, before we headed to off to film the U.S.
Mint’s ceremony announcing the 1999 Washington Five Dollar Gold
Commemorative. That ceremony was held at Mount Vernon and the
Institute of Heraldry – now at Fort Belvoir – was on the road
to Mount Vernon.

Decades before, I had had contact with the personnel of the Institute
of Heraldry, both military and civilian. They had visited Medallic
Art Company in New York City often when we were producing, or about
to produce, some medallic item for them. (The firm had been on the
list of military medal suppliers since World War I when it had
prepared the dies for that war’s Victory Medal by James E. Fraser.)

[Medallic Art management thought they had the inside track to strike
those medals in 1919 since it made the dies. It bid 43 cents to
manufacture the millions needed for all those WWI servicemen, but
lost out to a firm in New Jersey, Aronson, that had bid 19 cents each.
They produced them alright, but they were such low quality that the
firm never got a second order. In contrast Medallic Art became a
consistent supplier and produced millions of medals and decorations
long before, during and after through World War II.]

The Institute of Heraldry is headed by an Army officer (it was once
an Army unit) and dates its origin to 1919. In 1924 it was assigned
to the Quartermaster General, but was placed under the command of
the Secretary of the Army in 1957. At that time it was located at
Cameron Station in Alexandria, Virginia then moved to Fort Belvoir
in 1960.

When we visited there it had 33 civilian employees engaged in research
and design with one staff sculptor. At the time it was Donald Alex
Borja. Society of Medalists collectors will recognize him as the creator
of SOM #99. These people create the designs for all military decorations,
medals, insignia, badges, seals, flags and "other items awarded to or
authorized for official wear or display by government personnel." I
learned that any military unit with more than 15 members can apply to
have their own insignia designed - that includes cloth patches, hat
badges, standards and such.

But what I want to mention is its library. I would estimate it had
30,000 or more books on every aspect of heraldry, military history,
orders and decorations, seals and such. This is the untapped resource
I could recommend for any accredited numismatic researcher working on
orders and decorations, military medals and history. Does that fact
stir the blood in any E-Sylum reader?"

[WOW!  Now THAT’S a library!   -Editor]


Larry Mitchell writes about what could be another good source
of information for numismatic researchers:

"The English Short Title Catalogue will become freely accessible
on the British Library's website from autumn 2006."--Juliet McLaren,
Assistant Director, ESTC-North America

"The 'English Short Title Catalogue' (ESTC) is an international
project established at the British Library in 1977. Its aim is to
create a machine-readable bibliography of books, serials, pamphlets
and other ephemeral material printed in English-speaking countries
from 1473 to 1800, based on the collections of over 1,600
institutions world-wide."

See this page for additional details.... Full Story "


Dick Johnson forwarded this article last week - sorry for the
delay.  If anyone is familiar with the results of the sale, or
could comment on the sale catalogue, please let us know.

"One of the most famous collections of Manx coins is set to go
under the hammer and it could fetch almost £50,000. The collection
of coins, tokens and vouchers was gathered by former hotelier
Hilary Guard over 15 years.

It was sold in the mid-1980s and has been in a private collection
in the Island ever since. However, London auction house Spinks has
confirmed the 189-piece collection – still known as the Hilary F.
Guard collection – will go under the hammer next Thursday.

'I think he was one of only two people interested in collecting
Manx coins in the 1960s and he became rather obsessed with it.'

Charles said his father's favourite was a Murray penny, which
was a 'particular prize because it was extremely rare'.

Hilary finished collecting in 1978, when he and wife Nan retired
from a career in tourism that had seen them take the helm of the
Grasmere and Hydro hotels in Douglas."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


On Friday June 30 the Sofia News Agency announced that "Bulgaria
will put into circulation a new banknote with nominal of BGN 50
as of July 3 to add to one of the most widely used banknotes in
the country.

The news emerged during a press conference of the Bulgarian
National Bank (BNB). The new banknote has additional protection
elements including a hidden image of the figure 50.

The image of the famous Bulgarian poet Pencho Slaveykov is
printed on the banknote."

To read the complete press release (and view an image of the note) see:
Full Story


Steve Pellegrini writes: "I don’t know how anyone else is feeling
about the upcoming state and national elections but I for one have
a knot in my stomach just thinking of the rancor, divisiveness and
mudslinging we will be subjected to for the next two years.
Two years!!

I mention this because the other morning over coffee I was
re-visiting my copy of Neil Musante’s beautiful book, ‘The Medallic
Work of John Adams Bolen’. John Bolen was one of 19th century
America’s premiere diesinkers.

>From his Brockton, MA workshop he created a large opus of medals,
tokens and store cards. In 1864 as the Civil War entered the beginning
of its end Bolen created a medal that I found to be as relevant today
as it was in the dark, fratricidal time in which it was created.

This medal, catalogued as JAB-11, is a large silver portrait medal
of George Washington. On the medal's reverse Bolen choose to engrave
a powerful quote of Washington's written during the trying,
politically factional times of the early republic. The quote is
taken from a letter that our first Commander in Chief had written
to his young former aide de camp, Alexander Hamilton. It is an
observation that could have been written yesterday, were we ever
so lucky today to have men of Washington’s character and intelligence
running for public office.

In 11 lines the inscription reads: ‘I HOPE THAT LIBERAL ALLOWANCES
II Musante records the whole of this most perceptive Washington
letter from which Bolan excerpted the inscription on the reverse of
JAB-11. It is well worth the effort to find and read this letter
in its entirety."


Dick Johnson writes: "If you started collecting coins from the
proceeds earned from delivering newspapers (like I and so many
other collectors I know) you might enjoy reminiscing by reading
this article about a Long Beach California newsboy."

"He’s not your typical little boy. While many others his age are
still in slumber land, he’s wide-eyed and working hard to bring
you the latest news. His name is L.J. Darley.

You may have seen him out and about with beads of sweat dripping
from his 12-year-old face, riding his Schwinn Alloy-SS cruiser
he got for Christmas. He gets up early to help spread the hottest
details around his neighborhood."

"Meanwhile, Darley likes the idea of raking in extra dough. He
just spent $19.95 on an 1858 American Flying Eagle penny, his
all-time favorite addition to his coin collection. He said he
puts the remainder of his earnings into a savings account."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

[Yours truly was another collector whose hobby interest got a
boost from a newspaper route.  I carried The Pittsburgh Press,
an afternoon paper now extinct and rolled onto the morning
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.  Nowadays the PG employs only adult
carriers who canvass their neighborhood by car.  In Pittsburgh
at least (and many other major cities), the local newsboy has
gone the way of the do-do bird.

I started when I was 11 years old in 1969.  Theoretically you had
to be at least 12, but they needed someone and looked the other
way.  My dad got a shock when the route manager first stopped by
our house.  He was the same route manager my dad delivered for
in the 1930s, when the income was needed to help his widowed Mom
pay the bills. Dad lived his whole life in that house. The Press
guy retired shortly afterwards.

I found silver coins on occasion, and put all of these aside along
with the interesting foreign coins I received.  One I remember was
an 1899 copper Russian kopeck.  Having the opportunity to review
that many different coins each week was a great experience, one
that has launched many a coin collector.  How many E-Sylum readers
got started this way?  Send us your reminiscences!  -Editor]


According to a BBC News report June 26, "A rare Roman coin has
returned to Greece from Britain after a landmark settlement,
which Athens hopes will bring back more classical treasures."

"A year ago, the London coin dealer Classical Numismatic Group
paid £12,500 ($23,000) for the silver denarius, minted by Brutus
in 42 BC after he participated in the murder of the emperor
Julius Caesar.

Eric McFadden, director of the dealership, said they made the
purchase from two Greeks, in good faith.

But the Greek embassy in London proved that the coin had been
illegally excavated, probably from the Roman city of Philippi,
in the province of Macedonia.

Mr McFadden's dealership handed the coin to the Greek embassy
earlier this month, after Athens successfully invoked a European
Union directive which demands that stolen cultural objects be
returned to the country of origin."

"Mr McFadden argues that confiscating antiquities without a
reward is a prime reason that so many ancient treasures are
either melted down or sold to private dealers.

He says there is no incentive to report important historical
discoveries and has urged the Greek government to start paying
finders the market value, as usually happens in Britain with
treasure trove."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

Arthur Shippee forwarded a link to a related Associated Press
story in The New York Times:

"The tiny coin, a denarius issued in 42 B.C. by Brutus, the
chief assassin of Julius Caesar, is one of only 58 in the world...

The coin was issued by a mobile military mint used by Brutus
to pay his soldiers during the wars that followed Caesar's
assassination in 44 B.C. by a group of his friends and proteges
-- immortalized in Shakespeare's play, ''Julius Caesar.''

Decorated with the head of Brutus on one side and a pair of daggers
flanking a cap on the other, the denarius carries the inscription
Eid Mar -- short for the Ides of March, or March 15, the date of
Caesar's murder."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Arthur Shippee forwarded this link from the Explorator newsletter
to a brief article about a recent Roman coin hoard find:

"A massive hoard of Roman coins has been unearthed by archaeologists
probing the former Shippams factory site in Chichester city centre.
Many have congealed together down the centuries, and an accurate
assessment cannot be given until restoration work is completed but
they run into many hundreds, and estimates are up to 2,500.

They are being X-rayed and examined this week to see how they
are stuck together and how they can be successfully taken apart."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


The Oroville Mercury Register of Northern California published an
Associated Press story noting the opinions of Californians on the
possible phaseout of the cent. Robert Hoge of the American
Numismatic Society was also quoted.

"The idea of phasing out the penny is a good call," said Bill Souza,
proprietor of Souza's Liquors in Oakland. "Pennies are not taken
seriously anymore. They're a pain to deal with. I say that both as
a private citizen and as a retailer.

"I was recently in New York City and all the vendors in Times Square
have all their merchandise rounded out to the nearest dollar, nickel
or quarter," he said. "It's time to get rid of the penny because
it's not valued."

Then there's Adam Lavine, chief executive of FunMobility in Livermore,
who said he didn't "like the idea of the economy done in units of
five. There is something unlucky about that."

"Yesterday I was taking my 5-year-old daughter to the fountain in
San Ramon where she threw in 10 pennies. We have an emotional and
cultural attachment to pennies," Lavine noted."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

An E-Sylum reader forwarded a similar story on the same theme,
also from Associated Press.  This one interviews Dave Harper,
editor of Numismatic News and New York dealer Tony Terranova,
and opens with a quote from a person in Massachusetts.

"Today it's a joke. It's outlived its usefulness," says Tony
Terranova, a New York City coin dealer who paid $437,000 for a
1792 penny prototype in what is believed to be the denomination's
highest auction price.

"Most people find them annoying when they get them in change,"
he adds. "I've seen people get pennies in change and actually
throw them on the floor."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


According to a report published Wednesday by the Daily Racing Form,
"The Jockeys' Guild board of directors voted on Monday to hire Dwight
Manley, a Los Angeles rare-coins dealer and sports agent, and the
Rev. Jesse Jackson, the leader of the politically active Rainbow Push
Coalition, to become the guild's national managers, guild officials
and Manley said on Wednesday."

"Manley, 40, is a self-made millionaire and coin collector. His
initial business was built on the rare-coin trade, but he branched
into sports agency in the 1990's by representing the professional
basketball stars Dennis Rodman and Karl Malone. He has recently
struck several recent real estate deals in the Los Angeles area.

Manley said Jackson, 64, would serve as a co-manager of the guild
but that he would provide most of the guidance for the organization.
Manley and Jackson met in 1995, Manley said, and have worked on
several aid projects together, including one for hurricane victims."

"Manley said that a friend of his who is a horse owner in California
convinced him to seek the guild job. The horse owner flew Manley to
Belmont Park for the Belmont Stakes on June 10, Manley said, and
Manley spent part of the day visiting with riders in the jockeys'
room. At those meetings, Manley told several jockeys that he was
planning on bringing Jackson to the guild meeting this week."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


In response to last week's question about George Massamore,
Gar Travis pointed out a reference was published back in November

"David Fanning, Editor-in-Chief of our print journal, The
Asylum, has a nice article in the November 2004 issue of
the American Numismatic Association's Numismatist magazine
on "Collectors Who Served in the Civil War".  The article
discusses the military service of several early U.S. coin
dealers and collectors, including John Haseltine, Edouard
Frossard, Lyman Low, Ebenezer Locke Mason, Joseph N.T.
Levick, George Massamore, Richard Davids, Mark Collet &
William Bramhall.  Philadelphia physician Mark Collet was
killed in 1863 at the Battle of Chancellorsville; Davids
died the same year on the second day of the Battle of


Arthur Shippee writes: "Of Tuthill's spellings, since the variations
from standard spellings are pretty consistent (generally elimination
of silent letters, including doubles and final "e"), I suggest as a
hypothesis for testing that these are intentional, reflecting some
theory of spelling reform.  From the time of Noah Webster there have
been schemes for spelling reforms.  Mostly they're of no practical
help and remain curiosities.

Given the regularity of the changes and level of English style, my
sense is that Mr. Tuthill generally chose these versions on purpose,
in which case the cause, however much one may deplore it, is not

David Gladfelter writes: "Tuthill advertised paper money in the
Numismatist in the 1890s and 1900s, and wrote an article about
confederate money in that publication. The witch on broomstick
(hobby horse) and the phrase "We all have our hobbies" was copied
from George H. Lovett's 1860 medal, Miller NY 491A, "dedicated to
coin and medal collectors." I've run across that surname among
Southerners and wondered whether it was pronounced as in "King
Tut Hill" or as in "If you bite an olive pit, your tooth'll hurt.

He was apparently a devotee of that 19th century fad, phonetic
spelling. Remy Bourne lists a numismatic periodical from the 1870s
called "De Kuriositi Kabinet" published in that language. It later
converted to English and changed the name to "The Curiosity Cabinet."


An E-Sylum subscriber writes: "Here's an article that mentions
sculpture involving giant coins."

"Big Big Penny" is an outsized coin resting on its side, accompanied
by mini figures: rich people, drinking champagne, balance atop the
penny; poor people, propelling and being crushed by the coin, appear
at its base. "Big Big Penny" rises outside Grand Rapids' Welsh
Auditorium, a '30s structure evoking the Depression's darkest days."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Speaking of Hawaii, the Honolulu Star-Bulletin reported on
Friday that "Unless there's an upset, Hawaii's quarter should
feature King Kamehameha I, the word "Aloha" and the outline of
the Hawaiian Islands.

A commission narrowing down suggestions for the nation's last
state quarter yesterday placed the three icons in most of five
final sketches."

"Rounding off the top eight symbols still in contention are the
state motto (Ua mau ke ea o ka aina i ka pono: The life of the
land is perpetuated in righteousness), surfing, Diamond Head Crater,
a female hula dancer and a lei. All could still earn a spot on the
commemorative coin, which is set to be released in the fall of 2008.

About 40 commissioners, chosen to represent all islands and
different ethnic groups, spent two hours at the state Capitol
yesterday before unveiling their concepts."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Just when you thought there were enough U.S. coin designs featuring
bison, along comes another, of sorts.  "The Montana quarter will
feature a bison skull, first popularized by artist Charlie Russell,
flanked by the image of mountains smoothing into the high plains
and the words “Big Sky Country.”

"The governor's office received hundreds of ideas from throughout
the state, Elliott said. Most dealt with the state's natural beauty
in some way, although a few were funny and some a bit profane.

One featured a knobby-tired, three-wheeled all-terrain vehicle
charging up a mountain. Another featured a Pork Chop John sandwich
- a breaded, fried pork sirloin on a bun invented in Butte by John
Burklund in 1924."

"The other designs included: a scene of a river winding out of the
mountains, a massive bull elk standing on the prairie beneath the
mountains, and the outline of the state of Montana with the sun
rising over the prairie."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


The latest issue of BusinessWeek magazine has an article titled
"Drinking With History", a tour of historic hotel bars around the
U.S.  Numismatists might appreciate the Silver Dollar bar in the
Wort Hotel in Jackson Hole, WY:

"The Historic Hotels of America recognize 21 bars around the country.
Among them are the Menger Hotel bar in San Antonio, which in 1887
was modeled after the bar in the House of Lords pub in London and
where Theodore Roosevelt is said to have recruited many of his Rough
Riders for service in the Spanish-American War. Others with equally
colorful histories include the J-Bar in the Hotel Jerome in Aspen,
Colo.; Oliver's Lounge in the Mayflower Park Hotel in Seattle"

"The centerpiece of the infamous Silver Dollar is the mahogany bar
which is inlaid with 2,032 un-circulated 1921 silver dollars. The
rest of the bar is a throwback to the rough and tumble days of the
Old West, with original western oil paintings hanging on the walls.
For more information, visit "

To read the BusinessWeek article, see: Full Story

[Have any of our readers been to this bar?  Let us know if you
remember ... -Editor]


The Thanh Nien News reports that "Vietnamese police have foiled
three Nigerians in their scams duping thousands of dollars out of
Vietnamese women who lent them money to ostensibly buy chemicals
to restore ‘blackened US banknotes’.  A source said they had been
deported from Vietnam."

"In April, one Nigerian befriended a café owner in southern Vung
Tau resort city and promised to give her a share in a restaurant
he was about to open if she lent him US$20,000 to buy chemicals
to restore blackened banknotes worth an astronomical US$1 billion.

He claimed he had purposefully blackened the notes to dodge
customs screenings and taxation.

He then did an experiment. After rubbing and cleansing in a
‘special solution’, he managed to turn two blackened papers
the size of US$100 banknotes into real cash."

"The gullible woman later lent him $7,000 before being handed a
stack of supposed banknotes wrapped in thick paper. He said the
money had been treated with chemicals but had to wait for eight
hours in cold temperatures before taking effect.

She then put the stack in her fridge and, after eight hours,
opened it only to discover they were just plain paper."

"A policeman told Thanh Nien the tricksters secretly slid real
banknotes underneath the black papers during ‘chemical treatment’
and secretly slipped the black papers out. The ‘chemical solution’
is just plain water, he added."

To read the complete story, see: Full Story


John Kraljevich writes: "As a proud Croatian-American, I was
pleased to see the piece on the new book on the coins of the
modern republic of Croatia. However, I was dismayed to see the
way my American computer rendered the name of the author:

This reminds me of a fake news story once found in The Onion,
a nationally distributed humor newspaper, noting in the mid-1990s
that the UN had authorized "life-giving airlifts of vowels" into
several Croatian towns, such as Vrsar, Rovinj, Krzanici, and Brna.

As for my family, we actually added a consonant when my grandfather
came through Ellis Island -- the h on the end of my last name helps
Americans render the c with an accent as a correct "ch" sound. The
j in the middle of my name is pronounced with a Y sound, so think
of the inferiority complex residents of the town of Krapje must
have when they learn English. It's probably a more difficult process
than most of us had trying to learn French or Latin in high school.

Just to make this vaguely numismatic, Frank Draskovic and I once
discussed forming an organization for Croatian-American collectors.
We decided to have a drink and call it a quorum instead."

[The vowel airlift was classic Onion humor, and had me ROTFLOL the
first time I read it.  I wish I could locate an online copy, but I
came up blank at  In the story the greatest vowel
donors were the citizens of the great state of Hawaii, who have more
vowels in their state motto than a warehouse full of Scrabble tiles.
Were the story true, it would have been the biggest vowel movement
in history. -Editor]


John and Nancy Wilson of Ocala, FL write: "Here is another favorite
site that should be of value to readers of The E-sylum.  It deals
with Pattern Coins and probably everything you wanted to know about
them.  The information on the engravers is also excellent.  It is
on the Harry Bass Foundation site listed below.

  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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