The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 9, Number 28, July 9, 2006:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers are Diana Plattner of Whitman
Publishing, George Huber and Frank G. Cornish.  Welcome aboard!
We now have 937 subscribers.

There are a couple "new" books to report this week (new to me,
but maybe not to some of you).  One is a fiction work about an
ancient coin in the news recently, and the other is by a pair
of economists on the historical problem of keeping specie
coinage in circulation.

In the news we have another nominee for director of the U.S.
Mint and a call for speakers on the literature of medals for
next year's FIDEM congress.  And speaking of speakers, the ANA
has released a great schedule of educational talks for this
summer's World's Fair of Money.  Another numismatic get-together
of interest is October's Comstock/Carson Mint Seminar sponsored
by the CCCCOA.

In response to a question I review the differences between The
E-Sylum and our print journal, The Asylum, and ask for thoughts
on a possible addition to The E-Sylum format.

On the topic of coin dealer libraries we have a report on the
Chicago Coin Company library and some background information on
the Superior library from Julian Liedman.

In the research query department we have a question about the
Naramore counterfeit detector photograph sheets, and a pair of
questions on metallurgy and engraving from Dick Hanscom, who has
been using raw Alaska gold to make gold tokens recently.

To learn which one of our subscribers bought an AU Libertas
Americana medal in silver for $50, read on. Have a great week,

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


Fred Lake writes: "The 85th mail-bid sale of numismatic literature
by Lake Books is now available for viewing on their web site at:

The sale features selections from the library of Joseph E. Dinardo
and has 483 lots in the 20-page catalog. In the United States auction
catalogs section of the sale is a copy of the "Taylor Collection
Limited Edition Photographic Plates." In addition, a complete run
of Stack's John J. Ford, Jr. sales from number one through number
fourteen can be found in that section.

There are autographed copies of books relating to United States
coinage and also paper money.  Volume One of the American Bank
Note Company's "Archive Series" has 96 vignettes on its 12-page

Other sections of the catalog feature books on ancient coinage,
European coins, fixed price lists from early dealers, etc.

Bids may be sent by email, fax, or regular post. Telephone bids
may also be made prior to the closing time of 5:00 PM (EDT) on
Tuesday, August 8, 2006."


With the recent news about the return of a rare Ides of March
denarius to Greece, it's timely that a novel incorporating the
coin is going into its second printing.  The 204-page book was
published in hardcover and paperback in February 2006.  According
to the publisher, the first printing sold out due to a targeted
sales campaign geared toward coin dealers and collectors.  Have
any of our readers seen the book?  Here is a review distributed
by the publisher:

"Double Daggers by James R. Clifford is about four men separated
in time but united in their ambitions to possess the Ides of March
coin minted by Brutus in celebration of Julius Caesar's death:
Marcus Brutus himself, a crusading knight of medieval Europe, an
SS lieutenant of Hitler's, and a modern day Wall Street trader.
Creatively presenting the devilish intentions and pursuits of the
four lead characters and their intertwining fates of the four books,
Double Daggers is a riveting historical interpretation of the great
mythical powers of the legendary Roman coin. Benefitting from the
author's historical research and vividly acute concepts drawn from
the rule of the Roman, Crusading, Nazi, and modern eras, Double
Daggers is very strongly recommended as a complex, superbly
crafted, thoroughly entertaining novel from beginning to end."

Here are links to the author's web site and a page on the
history of the coin:


On Friday July 7 USA Today published another article on the
problem of the U.S. cent, but what caught my eye was the mention
of a book on the historical problems of small change:

"When the government loses money on making a coin that for many
people holds little value, it's time to turn off the presses,
argue some prominent economists.

"It's really becoming completely pointless," says Francois Velde,
senior economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and co-author
of The Big Problem of Small Change. He argues that the metal in money
must be worth less than a coin's face value, because otherwise people
will hoard coins, melt them down and sell them for cash, which
happened in the 1960s when quarters were made partly of silver."

To read the complete USA Today article, see: Full Story

"The Big Problem of Small Change" is a 2002 book by Thomas J. Sargent
and François R. Velde.  Published by the Princeton University Press,
a paperback version came out in 2003.

"The Big Problem of Small Change offers the first credible and
analytically sound explanation of how a problem that dogged monetary
authorities for hundreds of years was finally solved... -- the
recurring scarcity and depreciation of small change. Through
penetrating and clearly worded analysis, they tell the story of how
monetary technologies, doctrines, and practices evolved from 1300 to
1850; of how the "standard formula" was devised to address an age-old
dilemma without causing inflation."

"This fascinating new history of money shows that the key ingredients
of a sound currency were identified in Europe hundreds of years ago.
The mystery is why, even today, so many governments fail to put this
knowledge to work."--The Economist"

To read more on the book at the Princeton University Press site:
Full Story

To view the table of contents on Google Book Search: Google Book Search

George Fuld adds: "Nationally syndicated columnist Jay Hancock
(in the Baltimore Sun for Sunday, July 9th) makes a very good case
for the abolition of the penny.  He's undoubtedly right, but odds
are we'll see the 2009 Lincoln and then penny abolition."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Lane J. Brunner, the ANA's Director of Numismatic Outreach writes:
"The American Numismatic Association is excited to host the 2007
FIDEM Congress on September 19-22, 2007 in Colorado Springs, CO.
FIDEM, the International Medal Federation, is dedicated to promoting
the art, history and technology of medals.

The programming of the 2007 FIDEM Congress will focus on educating
artists, collectors and the public about the evolution of medals
as art and stewards of history. The organizers are looking for
speakers interested in delivering a lecture on the role of literature,
 numismatic or otherwise, on the history of medals. Concurrent with
the educational programming will be an extensive medallic exhibit at
the Money Museum. If interested in speaking or for more information,
contact Lane Brunner at the American Numismatic Association
( or 719-482-9872)."

Lane adds: "I don’t believe in any prior FIDEM Congress there has
been a focus on literature and the medal and I thought it would be
a nice addition to the educational programming at the Congress."

[With a year's lead time for preparation, this is a wonderful
opportunity for bibliophiles and medal aficionados to plan a meeting
of the minds on the topic.  Please contact Lane with your suggestions
for speakers and topics, and offers of assistance.  Can any of our
readers provide more background on the organization and its
publications?  Below is some information taken from the group's
web site. -Editor]

"F.I.D.E.M., the International Medal Federation, was established
in 1937. Its aims are to promote and diffuse the art of medals at
 international level, to make the art known and to guarantee
recognition of its place among other arts by increasing awareness
of the art, history and technology or medals, mainly through
publications and the organisation of international events."

"F.I.D.E.M. publishes the magazine Medailles, which contains
information on F.I.D.E.M. activities and the minutes of each
congress. Members receive this free of charge.  F.I.D.E.M. members
also receive The Medal magazine, which is normally published twice
a year."


Last Friday, President George W. Bush nominated Waukesha, WI
native Edmund C. Moy for a five-year term as director of the
United States Mint.

"He currently serves as Special Assistant to the President for
Presidential Personnel at the White House. Prior to this, he
served as Senior Advisor at Welsh, Carson, Anderson and Stowe.
Earlier in his career, he served as the Director of the Office
of Managed Care for the Federal Health Care Financing Administration
at the Department of Health and Human Services. Mr. Moy received
his bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin."

To read the full White House Press Release, see:
White House Press Release

[So here we go again - another politically-connected nominee.
That's how it's been done for centuries, but I still have to ask,
just what else qualifies Mr. Moy for leadership of such a sprawling
manufacturing and retail sales organization?   It's been nearly a
year since Bush nominated the prior candidate, a politically-connected
Oklahoman with no manufacturing or management experience.  Her
nomination was quietly withdrawn a month later, before the Senate
could grill her on her qualifications.  How will this nomination
play out?  Mr. Moy at least seems to have some management experience.
Do any of our subscribers know of him?  Here are links to our earlier
E-Sylum articles on the prior nominee:




Last week a newspaper item noted that "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."

David Ganz writes: "Not correct. The Senate passed S.811, a bill that
would commemorate the bicentennial of the life of Louis Braille, who
invented the raised-dot alphabet used by the blind the world over
as an alternate means of reading.  A similar measure, H.R. 2872,
passed the House of Representatives earlier this year.

Under the established rules, both houses of Congress must pass the
identical bill, right down to the number; the bills are identical,
except for numbering devices.  The Washington Post erroneously
reported that the dual passage meant the measure would become law.
Action by one house, or the other, and signature by the President
is still required."

Regarding my quiz question about the first U.S. coin featuring
Braille lettering, Ken Berger writes: "If I'm not mistaken the
Alabama quarter featuring Helen Keller has some Braille writing
on it."  Correct!  Tom DeLorey was the second to chime in with a
correct answer.  On a different topic, Tom adds: "If a tree falls
at the White House and it has no political affiliation, does it
fall to the right or to the left?"


Ron Abler noticed that the web address reported last week for the
Medal Collectors of America was incorrect.  The correct address is:


Ted Buttrey writes: "Just to clear up something I've never
understood: are the Asylum and the E-Sylum the same, the one
printing out the other?  Or do their contents differ?  If they
differ is there an archive of E-Sylum if one wished to print out
a thousand pages of it? or does this stuff just get taken down
and lost after a while?"

[The two publications are quite different, even though both are
published by the Numismatic Bibliomania Society and both have a
focus on numismatic literature and research.  The Asylum is the
organization's official journal, printed quarterly and mailed
to all NBS members.  It has been published since 1980.  The
E-Sylum is our weekly email newsletter - it is free to all
(no NBS membership required).

The print journal is the home for more in-depth, edited and
illustrated articles.  This newsletter (call it an e-zine or
blog if you like) is for short queries and responses, timely
news and other information not appropriate for the print journal.

What began in 1998 as a simple information channel for NBS members
and friends has grown over time into cover the wider range of
topics of interest to our readers, but the emphasis remains on
numismatic literature and research.

Literature sales, book announcements and reviews take precedence
in The E-Sylum, as do research queries and related discussions.
Numismatic news items are a growing part of The E-Sylum as more
information becomes available on the Internet, but these are included
in the context of numismatic research - these contemporary articles
sometimes lead to new research discussions, and all are potential
fodder for future researchers.

The E-Sylum online archive is stored on the NBS web site:

ALL E-Sylum issues from the very beginning are stored there, and
new issues are added weekly, usually within a few days of initial
publication.  We have programs which automatically split each new
issue into individual web pages and create a table of contents.
This allows anyone to reference past E-Sylum articles using a simple
URL.  There are now THOUSANDS of individual E-Sylum articles in the
Archive.  Here's an example from last week's issue:


Links to the NBS web site and E-Sylum archive are included at the
bottom of each issue.  I encourage all E-Sylum readers to consider
becoming members of NBS - at just $20/year membership is a true
bargain and is the only way to receive the great content found in
the printed pages of The Asylum.  For example, last week an E-Sylum
subscriber submitted a great well-researched item as a result of
some of our discussions.  I've forwarded it for consideration for
The Asylum.  With illustrations it could be a great article for
the print journal, but would only be available to paid NBS members.


Regarding the Superior Coin Company numismatic library, Julian
Leidman writes: "It was built primarily by Ira and Larry Goldberg
who founded the firm.  I remember bidding for them at some Frank
Katen auctions to acquire books for the library.

When I last saw the library, it was on movable steel shelves and
clearly numbered in the hundreds, if not thousands of titles, all
related to numismatics, but there may have been some books on
autographs, as well, as Ira got quite involved with that.  I am
pretty sure that the library should have grown, but the cornerstone
was certainly laid by the Goldberg cousins."

[I hadn't yet seen my copy of Coin World when I wrote up last
week's item about the library. There was a nice illustrated article
with more information than the short Numismatic News piece I quoted.
It is indeed stored on compact, moveable metal shelves, as is the
National Numismatic Collection library.  -Editor]


Bill Burd writes: "I have a fairly extensive numismatic library
which is housed at Chicago Coin Company, Inc.  It consists of
thousands of books, catalogs, pamphlets, ephemera, coin club
medals, etc.  Its main purpose is for research.

It is not open to the public and not available for browsing, but
anyone seriously interested in seeing a particular book or researching
a particular item can call for an appointment.  Several E-Sylum
subscribers have used it and there have been several occasions where
I have answered questions in this forum after referencing the library.

There have also been a couple occasions where we shipped out books
for important projects.  We are currently inventorying the library
on When complete, anyone can reference the inventory
online to see if we have a particular book."


Dick Johnson writes: "Editor Wayne Homren set a record last week
with 51 articles in The E-Sylum. Readers may be surprised to learn
he did this after a week in which he and his family bought a new
house and took a father-in-law to the hospital.

Wayne, how do you accomplish all this?  I get tired just getting
out of bed in the morning. Ahh! The vitality of youth!  If you can
package that, I'm a buyer.

But when you set a record you really hit a new mark! Last week's
issue of 51 articles can only be compared with your previous records
of 40 articles (issue 24, June 11 this year) and 38 (issue 11, March
12th). You only hit 34 as tops the previous year (volume 8, issues 6
and 12).

And to think: You do all this for FREE!  Maybe we appreciative
readers can throw a house party for you and your family."

[My father-in-law is fine now, fortunately. The hospital trip is
what kept me from publishing the June 25 issue on schedule.  I
knew the July 2 issue was a whopper, but hadn't counted the articles.

As for how I do it, besides not wasting time watching television,
I set aside some time each day, usually at bedtime, to edit and
format the issue.  I also cut and paste text into the draft
continually through the day as email arrives.  I try to acknowledge
each submission, even if it has to be with a terse "Thanks" reply.

My constant goal is to keep the in-box empty.  Falling behind can
be a nightmare - it took a few hours to get through the backlog on
the 26th.  Here's the table of contents for that monster issue:

Cut and paste is the key - the vast majority of E-Sylum content
comes from our readers or web sites.  I just stitch it together.
It doesn't take a tremendous amount of time at any one sitting,
but it does take some practice and experience.

On a good day, I feel like a sculptor.  Instead of starting with
a big block of marble, I start with a big block of raw text for
each article.  Then I hack away at it, first with a chainsaw,
then with a chisel, cutting away everything that doesn't seem at
least somewhat useful or interesting.  What's left is hopefully of
interest to enough of our readers to make it worthwhile. -Editor]


Bill Burd writes: "I can relate to Pete Smith's problem with
auction catalogs.  I just threw out two large boxes full of
foreign auction catalogs that seemed to have less reference value
than the value of the space they were taking up.  I have about 500
more foreign catalogs and over 2,000 US auction catalogs that I
have to seriously look at and make some hard decisions.  I will
keep any known name auctions and any with pedigreed coins like
the 1804 dollar, etc.  The problem is with the catalogs that fall
in between - the ones I would rate from a 4 to a 7 on a scale of
1 to 10."

Mike Greenspan writes: "Relative to Pete Smith's query about what
to do with unneeded catalogs, I always take a short stack of them
to my local and regional coin club meetings and leave them for
anyone who wants them -- gratis.  Invariably, they are all gone
by the end of the meeting."

Paul Landsberg writes: "One way that I have used very successfully
is to arbitrarily lot them up into boxes (sometimes the fix rate
priority boxes at the PO work) and then announce to lists of
interest that anyone interested in X catalogs can have them for
$10 apiece.  That covers media or priority fixed rate shipping
and I've gotten rid of 60 pounds at one point."

Richard Goodman Schaefer writes: "I'm running a project which
is producing die studies for all Roman Republican (RR) struck
issues.   This comprises all the issues in Crawford less the
Aes Grave and about 5 others which already have die studies
(BVRSIO, L. PISO FRVGI, et al.), plus the two Antonivs
cistophorus issues.  The results are available to all.

As you can imagine, there are still quite a few catalogs I need.
Most are European, but some are American.  The condition is
unimportant as long the plates containing photos of RR coins
are intact.

I must state that, due to the great labor in this project, I
cut out the RR photos and tape them on pages in binders.  Some
people prefer not to have the catalogs cut, but since die studies
are the proper research end of catalogs, however, I've been able
to convince most that this project is a good use of them.  I don't
cut rare or pre-WWII catalogs since they aren't necessary and I
don't wish to harm the numismatic literature business.

To be complete, let me mention that Ted Buttrey at the Fitzwilliam
Museum in Cambridge, England, loves all catalogs and has built up
a formidable collection.  His list of auction catalogs on the
Fitzwilliam website is the best known to me-- an invaluable
research tool.  He would welcome your catalogs."

[Ted Buttrey and other readers have expressed interest in Pete's
catalogue hoard, and I've forwarded their inquiries to him.

IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: No catalogues or Internet pages have been
harmed in the cutting and pasting of this issue of The E-Sylum.


I'm glad to see one of our subscribers is trying out
(see Bill Burd's article in this issue about the Chicago Coin Company
library).  It's the type of tool I would love to see for numismatic
bibliophiles to catalog their libraries.  Wouldn't it be great to
have a set of links to catalogs of our personal libraries?  And as
long as we're wishing, how about a linkage to an e-commerce site for
buying and selling books?  Abebooks and eBay come to mind - why
reinvent the wheel just for numismatic books?

Anyway, items ensconced in our libraries would be filed in
Librarything (or some other tool) under "not for sale" but with
the click of a mouse could be made available for trade or purchase.
Similarly, entries representing holes in our libraries could become

The problem is always how such a mechanism could pay for itself
given the relatively low value of many items of numismatic literature,
such as the surplus auction catalogs discussed in the previous article
in this issue.  In response to Pete Smith's original query, Bill
Hunter responded with thoughts on setting up a searchable database
of items submitted by dealers and individuals, allowing interested
parties to hook up via email.

He writes: "I am sure that an individual taking on the task of
maintaining the database could come up with an appropriate method
of reimbursement for his services. I can see the database containing
priced and unpriced listings. It would then be available for book
dealer use and also for individuals like myself who cannot price
items, but are happy to email interested individuals to come up with
a mutually satisfactory exchange."

This of course, is an age-old idea in new clothing; most collector
publications through the ages have had an advertising section (a
low-tech database) enabling buyers and sellers to get together.

One of the founding principles of The E-Sylum, however, was to never
carry for sale or want listings.  This was mainly to keep the focus
on numismatic literature and research, partly to not step on the toes
of the dealers who make it their business, but mostly because as an
unpaid editor I had no desire to get in the middle of these exchanges
- I spend too much unpaid time on this already.

I've been hearing recommendations that I should branch out with a
for-profit newsletter that would carry paid advertising and classified-
style for-sale/wanted ads relating to numismatic literature.  What do
our readers think?  Would you pay to have your classified ad published
in The E-Sylum or a similar email newsletter?


A gentleman from London writes: "I have a sheet of photographs of
National Currency notes, nine in total ($1,2,5,10,20.50,100,500,&
1000 denominations) that I beleive are discussed in the Narramore
forgeries book.  Are you familiar with the book enough to know
if my group is a full set? I bought these as photographic rarities
but would be most interested to find out more about the whole
concept and how these came about.  Many thanks for your time and
attention regarding this request."

[I am only somewhat familiar with these – Naramore produced the
photos in several formats – individual cards, sheets, etc.  In
2005 we had a short E-Sylum item about a boxed set of the photos
offered by Stacks:


The item noted Ralph Ellenbogen's article "The Celebrated Naramore
Bank Note Detector Cards" in the Jan/Feb 1997 issue of Paper Money,
the official publication of the Society of Paper Money Collectors.
Can anyone tell us more about the Naramore sheets?

NOTE: I didn't have a ready answer when I first responded, and
offered to write his query up for The E-Sylum.  Apparently he wasn't
quite so interested in its history as he's already resold the sheet.
But it's an interesting topic nevertheless.  -Editor]


Adrián González Salinas writes: "I saw the following book on eBay:
This is the first time I've seen a numismatic book with inserted
gold samples. Do you know if there exists any other book such as
this?"   Full Story

[The buyer got a real bargain - from the illustrations it appears
to be a copy of the 1849 second edition of Jacob Eckfeldt and William
Du Bois' "A Manual of Gold and Silver Coins of All Nations Struck
Within the Past Century."  The spine is lettered "Supplement to 1850"
referring to pages 221-240 which include samples of California gold
behind mica windows pasted to page 235.

The Mormon plate was also added that year and is illustrated by the
seller.  Printed in metallic inks on a bold blue background, the
sheet is the earliest known use of embossed coin illustrations in
the U.S.  Below are some discussions of the book from earlier
E-Sylum issues:




I know of no other book to come with actual gold samples,
but there may be others outside the numismatic realm.  Do
our readers know of any?

I made an educated guess as to the identity of the buyer and wrote
to ask, politely, "Did you buy this, you lucky bastard?"   The buyer,
a knowledgeable bibliophile, answered affirmatively.  They did not
want their name used, but did forward the following for publication:

"I believe this is the Henry Clifford example of the 1849 "Mint
Manual" with the gold samples on p. 235, last sold in 1982, as it
is the only one seen that has marble boards and 3/4 leather.  The
seller did not offer anything about the background when asked,
except that it came from a "flea market" coin dealer (yeah, right...)

There've been four examples sold at auction since 1980.  The one
in the 2004 Ford I sale by George Kolbe, lot 432, realized $8,000
to a phone bidder.

There are numerous examples of the 1850 Eckfeldt/DuBois "New Varieties"
book with the gold samples on p45, as these were sold at the Mint
as souvenirs.  The last one sold, again through George Kolbe in part
3 of his 100th sale, lot 172, this past month, brought $3,200, again
to a phone bidder, who was sitting in a car using his cell phone after
the power went out at his house during a thunderstorm."   -Editor]


Serge Pelletier writes: "To answer Kerry Rodgers' question:
"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?", I need  to first say that these are not
coins but what is referred to as Municipal Trade Tokens (MTTs for
short).  A Municipal Trade Token is defined as a community "coin",
sponsored by a local non-profit organization and given legal
monetary value in a specific area for a limited time by the
appropriate local authority.

MTTs have been issued in The Netherlands since 1935 and have been
issued in other countries such as: Australia, Belgium, Canada,
France, Italy, Sweden and United States.  Canadian MTTs are the
most prevalent these days.  Their tradition go back to 1958 when
the concept was imported from the neighbouring United States.
According to some Secret Service agent, it is illegal to issue
MTTs in the U.S., but I believe it could easily be challenged if
certain rules are followed.  Maui have been issuing their "Trade
Dollars" for years now, without any problems.

The Gazette of Municipal Numismatics covers MTTs as well as medals
issued by various municipalities, mainly in Canada and the U.S.
and sometimes even around the world. (for more info/sample copy:

The Royal Dutch Mint has issued a circulating 5 euro coin to
commemorate the Rembrandt anniversary as well as a gold 10 euro
and a series of silver medals.  An article on all these issues
will be published in the December issue of the ANA's Numismatist."

[We'll look forward to Serge's article. -Editor]


Dick Hanscom of Alaska Rare Coins writes: "For a year or so, I
have been using raw Alaska gold to make gold tokens. I have had
no problems until recently. Perhaps one of your readers with
metallurgical background can help.

Two recent batches of gold (one from the beaches at Nome and one
from the 40 Mile district) when melted and poured into an ingot
will not roll out in my rolling mill. They are brittle and porous.
As I put them through the mill, they crack, or actually split and
comes out of the mill in a "V" (actually quite cool, but useless).
Both of these sources have a fineness in the high .870s to .900.

I am doing nothing different than with previous gold samples. In
fact, the first batch of Nome gold, from the same miner rolled out
fine, down to .6mm with no problem.  Let me add that local jewelers
will not work with raw gold because of this problem, but cannot
explain why it happens.  Also, I have made over 70 - 1 DWT tokens
in this manner before coming upon this problem.

My second question is this:  Does anyone know of a website that
might have some basic information on engraving dies?  My tokens
are crude enough so that I think even I could engrave a die, with
no artistic talent, if had had some basic info on where to start.
My email address is"


As announced in the March 2006 issue of Curry’s Chronicle, the
Carson City Coin Collectors of America (CCCCOA) is sponsoring what
they hope to be the first of many Comstock/Carson Mint Seminars on
October 5-7, 2006.  Coordinating the effort is Dave Jaeger. The
following update is from the June 2006 issue:

"In order to insure that our first seminar runs smoothly we have
decided to limit the number of participants to 25 members: As this
issue of Curry’s Chronicle goes to press, Dave informed us that
there are still a handful of spaces available.  If you wish to
participate, please don’t procrastinate.  If successful, we will
plan future seminars, opening them up to larger group participation."

Events include tours of the Carson City Museum and talks on the
Carson City Mint (including a movie), a lecture on the Museum's
coin collection, a walking tour of historic Carson City, a lecture
on Comstock and Virginia City history, and a ride on the V & T
train to Gold Hill.

The cost is approximately $300 per person excluding hotel and
lunches).  A $150 deposit is required no later than July 30, 2006.
Contact Dave Jaeger for more information.  His email address is   This sounds like a wonderful event for
numismatists, and we wish CCCCOA all the best.


According to the company's press release, the August 11 auction
by American Numismatic Rarities will include "a pair of previously
unpublished dies for territorial coins struck in Colorado. The
obverse die for the J.J. Conway $5, Kagin-2a, has been discovered
and will be offered for the very first time. Coins from this die
are known and recorded, and while the matching reverse die is in
the collection of the Colorado Historical Society, this die has
remained in private hands and has never before been seen by most

Perhaps even more exciting is a previously unknown die for a $5
coin to be struck by “P. & R.R. Smith & Co, Col. Ter.,” a reference
to the Colorado Territory. It apparently matches a maverick 1862-dated
Liberty Head obverse die now in the collection of the Colorado
Historical Society. This unique artifact represents the sole
connection to the apparently ill-fated Smith coining plan and is
one of the most important discoveries ever made in the field of
Colorado numismatics or territorial gold in general"


The August ANR auction also includes the first part of the
American Bank Note archive consignment:  "Comprising a special
section of the Denver auction catalogue by American Numismatic
Rarities will be a presentation of unique items from the archives
of the American Bank Note Company (ABNCo). These date as far back
as the early 19th century and include original printing plates
for bank notes, steel vignette dies with ornate illustrations,
and more."

"Each item will be illustrated, described in detail, and presented
for sale. “This is the tip of the iceberg,” commented Christine
Karstedt, president of ANR. “Later this year and next year we will
be showcasing other treasures. In the entire history of American
numismatics there has never been such an offering. Collectors,
dealers, museums, and historical societies will have a once in a
lifetime opportunity.”

"In addition, there are steel vignette dies, most of sizes ranging
from a playing card to a post card, with engraved scenes, gods and
goddesses, ornate numbers, and other elements that went into bank
note printing. Cylinder dies used to transfer will also be offered,
these being so rare that most numismatists have never even seen one."


Gail Baker of the American Numismatic Association has published
a tentative schedule of educational programs planned for the
ANA's World's Fair of Money® Aug. 16-19 at the Colorado Convention
Center in Denver. Here's a subset to whet your appetites.  See
the convention schedule-at-a-glance for more information:
Full Story

Wednesday, Aug. 16
1 p.m. The ANA Library as Your Resource (David Sklow)
3:00 p.m. The 124 Patriots of Ireland Medal (Tom Sebring)
4:00 p.m. Coins of Crisis during the Reign of George III (1760-1820)
  (Arthur Fitts)

Thursday, August 17
10 a.m. The Pythagorean Coins of Magna Graecia (John Francisco)
3 p.m. Pioneer Gold Coins of Denver, Clark, Gruber & Co. Bank & Mint
  (Jim Atkinson)

Friday, August 18
10 a.m. Central American Cobs: A Reappraisal (Carlos Jara)
2 p.m. Augustus Saint-Gaudens & the World¹s Columbian Exposition Medal
   (Michael Moran)
3 p.m. Strange & Unusual Engravings on Colonial Paper Money
   (Gerald Kochel)
4 p.m. My 34 Years at the Denver Mint (Michael Lantz)

Saturday, August 19
10 a.m. The Effects of the Fourth Crusade on European Gold Coinage
   (Robert Leonard)
10 a.m. Harry W. Bass Jr. Numismatic Collection (Jordan Bell)
1 p.m. From Mint to Museum: Transforming the San Francisco Old Mint
   (Charles A. Fracchia)
2:30 p.m. Double Eagle: The Epic Story of the World’s Most Valuable
   Coin (talk and book signing by Alison Frankel)

On Thursday, August 17, beginning at 10 a.m., ANA presents the
annual Maynard Sundman/Littleton Coin Company Lecture Series.
At 1 p.m., Keynote speaker Robert Hoge will present Coins That
Made History: Power, Abundance & Longevity. Other speakers include:

10 a.m. Visual Rhetoric in the U.S. Bicentennial Quarter
   (James Benjamin)
11 a.m. American Advocates: Changing the Course of National
    Coin Design (Roger Burdette)
12 p.m. Silent Participants in D-Day (Carlton F. Schwan)
2 p.m. Dexter¹s 1804 Rara Avis (Mark Ferguson)
3 p.m. The Coinage of Alexander the Great & Alexander’s Image
    on Currency (Joaquin Montero)


Jim writes: "I recently moved to Pittsburgh from Portland, OR
(actually Vancouver, WA) and my wife and I will be settling into
our new house July 8th. I collect cigar tokens, metallic seasonal
sports/baseball passes, Colonial/Pre-Federal American coinage and
am completing a family birth year set from 1698 - 1971.  I also
have a modest collection of Conder Tokens, Byzantine pieces and
have been phasing out of Roman and Greek over the past several

Larry Gaye writes: "I want to personally welcome Jim Urbaniak as
a new subscriber to The E-Sylum.  He is a good guy and we are sorry
to lose him from the West Coast.  Please join me in welcoming him."

[We're glad to have Jim on board, and for me it was a curious
coincidence that he's moving to Pittsburgh.  Jim emailed me about
joining the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society (WPNS).  As
most of you know, I'm a Pittsburgh native and longtime member of
WPNS, a small group of great numismatists with a tradition dating
back to 1878.

What most of you didn't know is that I'm now in the process of
relocating to Northern Virginia.  I'll miss spending time with all
my Pittsburgh-area coin buddies but it's nice to know that some new
folks are coming in to the area.  Keep my seat warm!   The recent
sales of parts of my collection will seed the kids' college fund as
well as help us get into a house big enough for the family AND my

Once I get settled I hope to get to know some of my fellow numismatists
in the greater Washington, D.C. area.  It was great fun to have a bunch
of folks over for a visit during the 2004 ANA convention.  Maybe we
could have a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the newly relocated Homren
Numismatic Library. -Editor]


Last week I wrote that the son of numismatist King Victor Emmanuel III
was in the news.  Martin Purdy writes: "That should be grandson, as I
understand it.  When people say that VE is the son of the last king,
they are referring to Umberto II, who "reigned" for about a month in


Leon Worden writes: "Interesting to see the reference to Victor Emmanuel
III in the last eSylum.  Emmanuel was the cover boy of the March 1909
edition of The Numismatist, in which publisher Farran Zerbe announced
the Italian monarch's acceptance of an honorary membership in the
American Numismatic Association, calling him "the most distinguished
figure in the numismatic world."

Zerbe, ANA president, had extended the invitation to the king by
letter dated Dec. 15, 1908. Victor Emmanuel "was unable to give it
his immediate attention," Zerbe writes, because the king had his
hands full: On Dec. 28, a 7.2-magnitude earthquake killed at least
100,000 of his subjects. But within weeks, on Jan. 17, a royal
minister dispatched a letter stating that the king "has learned
with lively satisfaction" of Zerbe's invitation and "has accepted
to become an Honorary Member of the American Numismatic Association."

The news trumped what might otherwise have been the lead story of
the March edition, a feature on a Russian immigrant named Victor
David Brenner. Under the headline, "A New Type Cent Soon to be
Issued -- Will Bear Lincoln's Head," the accomplished sculptor was
asked why he chose to submit a design for the nation's (then)
lowest-denominated coin.

"You see the life of a coin is twenty-five years, according to the
law," Brenner replied, "and the time for the cent and the five-cent
piece has expired. It seemed to me that the nickel already had a
very practical design" -- this was the Liberty head -- "and so I
turned my attention to what would be the most fitting for the one-cent
coin. Naturally, the portrait of Lincoln suggested itself, this being
his centennial, and besides, I was going to make an anniversary medal
for my friends and my mind was full of Lincoln."

Brenner had worked for a year on a popular medal of Lincoln's bust
that he modified for the coin. Asked to compare the two, Brenner said,
"The [medal], yes, it is good, but this one [the coin] is more intimate,
deeper, more kind and personal. It is closer to the man; it makes you
feel that you are sitting with him in his library. When it is finished
I shall be nearly satisfied with it."


Regarding last week's submission on the Count Ferrari collection by
Richard Margolis, George Fuld writes: "The mention of Mme Nadia
Kapamadji brought to mind my one meeting with her in 1960.  I bought
from her an About Uncirculated SILVER Libertas Americana medal for
250 NF ($50.00!!) at that time - a bit removed from the $100,000
plus in recent weeks!  I sold my specimen to the late Ted Craige."


Harry Waterson writes: "In addition to Luther Tuthill, there is
another gentleman who made every effort to simplify spelling,
including changing his first name from Melville to Melvil. And for
a short time even changed his last name to Dui. He is acknowledged
to have shortened "catalogue" to "catalog", a boon for this audience.

Fortunately, he was far more successful with his Dewey Decimal
Classification System. So when I go to the library, I may not
be able to spell the title of the book but I can probably find it."

[The extra vowels removed from "catalog" have been airlifted to
Eastern Europe.  For more on Melville Dewey, "the father of
librarianship" see his Wikipedia entry:
Melvil_Dewey  -Editor]


"Courage cannot be measured in money, says the family of late
Captain Umrao Singh who earned the highest military honour of
pre-independence India - the Victoria Cross. A rare medal in
the country now, Umrao Singh's family has just shrugged off a
50 lakh rupee offer for the cross."

"Prakash's family is used to receiving offers for this Victoria
Cross - an art collector's delight - and the latest is an offer
of 50 lakh rupees which is by no means a small amount for a
family of modest means. But as a proud son clarifies, there is
no price for extreme gallantry.

"For most of the country, India's 2 century long connection with
colonial Britain is a relationship that has only negative
connotations. But for Umrao Singh's family and his village, it
is a strong relationship of pride and valour - one that they are
not willing to give up at any price."

Full Story


Dennis M. Gregg writes: "I was wondering if our readers know of
a "Can you ID" forum, where an unknown coin can be identified by
members of the board?  I ask, as I recently picked up an ancient
coin, and have absolutely zero, zip, nadda knowledge on the subject.
As always, thanks for your time.  I've shared many an article with
my friends."

[I keep my nose stuck in The E-Sylum and "don't get out much"
to other Internet coin forums.  Can any of our readers make a
recommendation? -Editor]


Regarding last week's topics of numismatists who got their start
delivering newspapers, Dick Gaetano writes: "I started coin
collecting in 1948,as a paper boy delivering the Pittsburgh Press
in Dormont, PA. I found most of my collection in collecting for
the paper each week and I even introduced a woman customer to
collecting.  What a great time coin collecting has been for me
these last 58 years."

Pete Smith writes: "In my younger days I delivered the local
paper, the New Ulm Daily Journal.  I believe I started collecting
coins before I started my paper route. I recall getting a Barber
half as payment from one of my customers.

I don’t recall getting any interesting foreign coins. I also
never got a Kennedy half or a SBA dollar. (This was the late 50’s.)
All the dimes, quarters and halves were 90% silver. Buffalo nickels
were mixed in with the Jeffersons and a lot of war nickels.

I think in those days I had Whitman folders for cents and nickels.
I didn’t collect the higher denominations because I couldn’t afford
to set aside those coins at face value."

Bill Burd writes: "I started helping my dad in the early 1950s
with a large paper route he did with his van.  By 1956 I had my
own route around the Syracuse University area with over 125
customers.  It was one of the largest routes in New York.

In 1958 or 1959 I won a trip to Italy from Parade Magazine.
They picked a newsboy from each State based on recommendations
from the local newspaper company; customers; points for new
customers; etc.  We went in a 4 engine prop job and one engine
caught fire over the Atlantic. We made an emergency landing on
the Azores. The next day we continued to Italy flying over the
Matterhorn which was the first big mountain I ever saw.

I went through the money I collected each week and filled holes
in albums.  I didn't get too far with it.  Most of my earnings
went to my Mom to help with bills. In 1961 I went in the service
and didn't come back to coins until 1976 when I started selling
at the local flea markets.  Now I own Chicago Coin Co., Inc.,
and collect numismatic books and related material."


This week's featured web page is on "The Coins and Currency of
Newfoundland", an article by C.F. Rowe, from The Book of
Newfoundland, 1967.

"In the late 1700's, with the increase in population, coin became
more common. It consisted mainly of British currency, but coins of
other countries were also in circulation. As well, Notes valued
from five pounds to five shillings were available. Large transactions
between firms were usually covered by Bills of Exchange, transferred
from one firm to another in much the same way as bank Notes are
exchanged today."

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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