The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

PREV        NEXT        V9 2006 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 9, Number 35, August 27, 2006:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers is Debbie Kelley.  Welcome aboard!
We now have 958 subscribers.

This week's issue is being published nearly a day early - not necessarily
to make up for being a day late last week, but because my email access is
only sporadic this weekend.  Lots of good stuff this week, with a number
of items relating to Canadian numismatics and gold.

Research requests include web links for Michael Marotta's "Internet
Connections" column, and the proper use of borrowed coin images in
numismatic publishing.

Regarding an amusing typo in last week's issue, Bob Leonard writes:
"The "Chicano" Coin Club?!  In California?"   Oops!  Sorry I didn't
catch that one.  It's the CHICAGO Coin Club, of course.

Last week's question on coins with inscriptions in multiple languages
drew a number of great responses, including examples of coins with
inscriptions in up to fourteen different languages.

And what does the Poincare conjecture have to do with numismatics?
HINT: the mathematician who may have solved this century-old puzzle
has been awarded a rare and prestigious gold medal by Canadian sculptor
R. Tait McKenzie.  What's the name of the medal?  Read on to find out!
Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


The American Numismatic Association's World's Fair of Money exhibit
winners in Class 22: Numismatic Literature – Aaron Feldman Memorial
(for printed and Manuscript, published or unpublished, literature
dealing with any numismatic subject) are:

First Place – John R. Eshbach for "The Numismatic Publications of
Charles Trissler Steigerwalt."

Second Place – Norman J. Cochrane for "A Numismatic Mystery: How Can
a Coin be in Two Places at the Same Time?"

[Congratulations to both exhibitors. Can anyone who created or viewed
the exhibits give a summary for those of us who were unable to attend
the convention?  -Editor]


I was pleased to see that "Renaissance of American Coinage 1916-1921"
by Roger Burdette was honored with the Numismatic Literary Guild Book
of the Year award last Thursday at the ANA convention in Denver,
Colorado.  Congratulations to Roger on the recognition for his
marvelous research.  Here is a link to a review of the book by Dave
Lange published in the E-Sylum last December, and a link to my recent
review of Roger's companion volume on the 1905-1908 coinage:




Michael E. Marotta writes: "Even before I started writing the monthly
"Internet Connections" column for the ANA's "Numismatist" magazine,
The E-Sylum was always an important resource for me.  Last week's
issue provided me with four links that will appear in future columns:
Scott Balon's South African Currency; the Saudi Arabian Monetary
Agency; Princeton University; and, Dr. Nupam Mahajan's Indian Coins.

Search engine rankings are a popularity contest, and only show where
everyone else has been.  Readers who send me links -- usually to their
own websites -- make all the difference.

When I started the column, ANA editor Barbara Gregory and I informally
talked through some general guidelines.  They are common sense, really.
The column does not mention dealer sites unless the dealer is an ANA
member, though some exceptions have been allowed, such as Wayne Sayles.
ANA member or not, a dealer website must have reliable information for
collectors, not just "great coins for sale."  Archives of articles are
an excellent example, with original works being best, of course.

Collector websites get more latitude.  Obviously, the ANA would like
to have all of the millions of self-defined "coin collectors" be life
members.  Short of that, any collector whose online presentation
delivers some knowledge and passion thereby merits a tip of the hat.

At first, "Internet Connections" modeled a surfing of the web by
following links.  I grouped similar offerings under the arrow ==> bullet.
I still do that.  However, last year, Barbara Gregory and Jerri Raitz
asked me to wrap the column in a unifying theme.  In addition to the
usual conceptualizations -- Medals, Ancients, Celtic --rubrics have
included Astronomy, Vacations, and Making Your Own Money.  The future
column that mentions Scott Balon's South African Currency could be
about tokens, Africa, or the history of Anglo-Dutch wars.

Esylum subscribers with blogs, websites, and webpages can email their
links to me at"

[When I started The E-Sylum I included a Featured Web Site in each
issue.  For a brief time I wondered if I would run out of good sites
to recommend to readers.  But that has never been a problem and I doubt
that it ever will be.  There are many, many great non-commercial sites
with great information for numismatic researchers and collectors alike,
with news ones popping up every week.  -Editor]


Last week I quoted an article about the history of Saudi coinage:
"Another popular currency was the Golden pound, which weighed 8 grams.
It was commonly referred to as "Abu Khayyal" (the knight) as it
pictured King George V."

Martin Purdy writes: "I'm sure this should refer to St. George on
the reverse of the sovereigns rather than the not very knightly-looking
portrait of George V on the obverse!"


Tom Sheehan writes:  “I noticed recently that American Numismatic
Association Executive Director Chris Cipoletti is listed as the
publisher of the Numismatist magazine.  Has anyone compiled an updated
list of publishers throughout the magazine’s history? Cipoletti is
also listed as publisher of the ANA's new Journal publication.

[I believe Dave Bowers’ ANA Centennial History has a list of
publishers through 1991, but that great book is now 15 years out
of date.  Can anyone bring us up to date?  –Editor]


Bob Knepper writes: "Can someone please tell me, or is there a
reference to the legal and practical rules for using pictures
from books and auction catalogs in a new book?

I am very slowly working on a compilation of my specialty: "wildmen"
on coins, medals, notgeld, shooting cups, beer (labels + coasters +
steins), coats-of-arms, statues, postcards, etc.  For my first draft
I just copy from any available source.  The book is not expected to
be a money-making effort but I hope that it doesn't cost "too" much.
What do I need to do when I am closer to having 100 printed?

I could photograph examples from my collection but the published
examples are often in better condition than mine, and they have
some that I do not."


In my comments last week on the Canadian Victory Nickel I asked
whether there are coins that display three languages.

Serge Pelletier writes: "I must make a couple of remarks on the
Victory nickel story.  First, the description of the reverse is
inaccurate as the word "five" is not present.  To use that word
would make a piece English rather than bilingual, thus the use
of Roman numeral "V" rather than the usual "5".  Second, there
are four languages on this piece: the normal bilingual (English/
French) inscription, the Morse one... and Latin used on the obverse!"

[The story quoted stated "... the letter V with a flaming torch
in the middle. And below it, the words Five Cents."  -Editor]

Ken Berger writes: "If I'm not mistaken, the Alabama Quarter has
English, Latin & Braille.  Palestine coins have "Palestine" in three
languages: English, Arabic, and Hebrew.  Sri Lankan coins use Sinhala,
Tamil & English.

The half mohur coin of British East India Company Occupation (1811-16),
Java, Indonesia has script in Javanese, English and Arabic.  This is
getting too easy. Singapore coins have the name "Singapore" in four
languages English, Mandarin Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. Shall we try
for 5?"

Dave Lange writes: "The coins of Palestine just prior to the
establishment of Israel include the name "Palestine" in English,
Arabic and Hebrew. These are illustrated in Howard Berlin's entertaining
book, "The Coins and Banknotes of Palestine Under the British Mandate,
1927-1947." I picked it up at a show about a year or two ago, and it's
an excellent addition to my growing library on world coins."

David Gladfelter writes: "All of the coins of the Palestine Mandate
issued 1927-1946 by the British military administration had inscriptions
in English, Arabic and Hebrew. Reference: F. Pridmore, Coins of the
British Commonwealth of Nations, Part 2 (Asian Territories), pages 14-22.
I can think of many examples of coins with bilingual inscriptions, but
these are the only trilinguals that come to mind right now."

Robert Zavos, Bob Leonard, Bill Rosenblum and others also mentioned the
Palestine coins.  Bill Rosenblum writes: "In addition, most Israel
banknotes have inscriptions in those three languages as well. And the
1958-1960 series of Israel banknotes, which feature various workers
plying their trades, some of the notes have a Morse Code security strip.
The 1 Lira note featuring a fisherman has "Bank of Israel" on the brown
serial number variety (Pick 30c), the 10 Lirot notes with red, blue or
brown serial numbers (Pick 30b, c and d) which show a scientist has
"Zion Jerusalem" in Morse Code on its security strip and the 50 Lirot
note with blue, green or brown serial numbers featuring a boy and girl
says "The People of Israel Live" in Morse Code."

Bob Leonard writes: "The record for the most languages on a single coin
was set by the South Africa 2 Rand series of 1995 (Rugby World Cup, KM
153; 50th Anniversary FAO, KM 154; and 50th Anniversary, United Nations,
KM 155), continued in later years.  These coins have inscriptions in
ELEVEN languages:  Afrikaans, English, Zulu, Xhosa, South Sotho, North
Sotho, Tswana, Swazi, Ndebele, Venda, and Tsangaan.  Because the words
for "South Africa" are the same in Zulu, Swazi, and Ndebele, and in
South and North Sotho, only eight versions are required.  They are
arranged two at the top and three to each side of the South African coat
of arms.  (These are proof-only, non-circulating legal tender coins,
so perhaps it could be argued that they are not true coins.)"

Yossi Dotan writes: "Here is one with 14 languages: The 100-euro gold
coin issued by Belgium in 2004 to mark the enlargement of the European
Union gives the country's name in its three official languages — Dutch,
 French and German; it has a reverse inscription in Latin, AMPLIATA
VNIO EVROPAEA (Enlargement of the European Union); and the map of the
25 countries that make up the enlarged European Union denotes the names
of the ten new member states (Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary,
Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia) in their local


Money artist J.S.G. Boggs has a new exhibit opening September 9th at
the Mary Brogan Museum of Art & Science in Tallahassee, FL.  "CURRENCY:
Art As Money/Money As Art" runs through November 26, 2006.  From the
museum's web site:

"Money has always been fascinating as both subject and object of art.
This exhibition presents an overview of the world of currency and value
through the eyes of many contemporary artists. JSG Boggs, the most well-
known of today's ‘money artists' will be a visiting artist during this

For more information on the exhibit, see: More Info

The Tallahassee Democrat listed the exhibit in its August 25 "Things to
Do" column:  "ACT LIKE YOU'RE MADE OF MONEY: In the cult comedy "Swingers,"
Vince Vaughn's hyper character would boost a buddy's self-image by telling
him: "You are so money." You can use the same catchphrase for The Mary
Brogan Museum of Art & Science when its "Art & Money/Money & Art" group
exhibit opens. One of the big draws is artist J.S.G. Boggs, who
painstakingly paints pictures of U.S. dollars, Swiss francs, English
pounds and other currency. They look exactly like the real deals. So,
is it a post-modern statement on capitalism or is it counterfeiting?
Let the debate begin."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

[I'd be interested in corresponding with other holders or collectors
of Boggs' works.  - I exhibited my own collection at the 2004 ANA
convention in Pittsburgh. -Editor]


According to news reports, "A reclusive Russian won the math world's
highest honour Tuesday for solving a problem that has stumped some of
the discipline's greatest minds for a century — but he refused the

Grigory Perelman, a 40-year-old native of St. Petersburg, won a Fields
Medal — often described as math's equivalent of the Nobel prize — for
a breakthrough in the study of shapes that experts say might help
scientists figure out the shape of the universe."

"If his proof stands the test of time, Mr. Perelman will win all or
part of the $1-million prize money. That prize should be announced in
about two years.

The Poincare conjecture essentially says that in three dimensions you
cannot transform a doughnut shape into a sphere without ripping it,
although any shape without a hole can be stretched or shrunk into a

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

"The Fields Medals are commonly regarded as mathematics' closest analog
to the Nobel Prize (which does not exist in mathematics), and are awarded
every four years by the International Mathematical Union to one or more
outstanding researchers. "Fields Medals" are more properly known by
their official name, "International medals for outstanding discoveries
in mathematics."

The Field Medals were first proposed at the 1924 International Congress
of Mathematicians in Toronto, where a resolution was adopted stating that
at each subsequent conference, two gold medals should be awarded to
recognize outstanding mathematical achievement."

"The Fields Medal is made of gold, and shows the head of Archimedes
(287-212 BC) together with a quotation attributed to him: "Transire suum
pectus mundoque potiri" ("Rise above oneself and grasp the world"). The
reverse side bears the inscription: "Congregati ex toto orbe mathematici
ob scripta insignia tribuere" ("the mathematicians assembled here from
all over the world pay tribute for outstanding work")."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

"Fields specified that the medals should “each contain at least 200
dollars worth of gold and be of a fair size, probably 7.5 centimetres
in diameter. Because of their international character the language to
be employed it would seem should be Latin or Greek”.

The medal does in fact meet these specifications (in 1933 dollars!).
Its monetary value has at least on one occasion been of critical
importance: in the turmoil at the end of World War II, Ahlfors became
separated from his wife, and was allowed to leave Finland with only
10 crowns. He smuggled out his Fields Medal and pawned it, enabling him
to reach his wife in Zürich. (He later retrieved it with the help of
some Swiss friends). The medal, struck every four years in the Royal
Canadian Mint, was designed by the Canadian sculptor R. Tait McKenzie.
For the obverse, he chose a picture of Archimedes from a collection
at Columbia University."

To read the complete article and view images of the medal, see:
Full Story

The Wikipedia notes two references to the Fields medal in popular
culture: "In the 1997 film Good Will Hunting, fictional MIT professor
Gerald Lambeau (played by Stellan Skarsgård) is described as having
been awarded a Fields Medal for his work in combinatorial mathematics.

In the film A Beautiful Mind, John Forbes Nash (played by Russell
Crowe) complains about not winning the Fields Medal."

[So what happens to the awarded but unaccepted medal?  Are any Fields
medals in the hands of collectors?  Has any collector or institution
assembled a collection of medals for science achievement such as the
Fields medal?  Has anyone ever written a book (or decent monograph)
on the subject of such rare and prestigious medals?  Will your editor
ever run out of questions?  -Editor]


Arthur Shippee forwarded a New York Times article commenting on a
new commemorative coin from Jamaica:

"Bob Marley is going gold. And silver. But this time the discs in
question aren¹t recordings; they¹re commemorative coins bearing the
likeness of Marley, the reggae star, who died in 1981, The Associated
Press reported.

Produced by the British Royal Mint and issued by the Bank of Jamaica,
the coins, priced at $100 each, were intended to commemorate the 60th
anniversary of Marley¹s birth in Jamaica, in 1945. The bank offered no
explanation of the delay. Coins were also issued to recognize Marley¹s
50th birthday and ³have totally sold out,² said Jacqueline Morgan, a
spokeswoman for the Bank of Jamaica."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Last week Dick Hanscom asked about a reference to gold certificates
in the 2004 Annual Report of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

An E-Sylum reader writes: "The Series 1934 Gold Certificates were
issued only for internal use by the Treasury and the Federal Reserve
Banks.  As I recall, these certificates were only issued in higher
denominations ($100 and up, I believe).  One interesting feature of
the 1934 Series of gold Certificates is that it contains a $100,000
note.  This denomination was never issued in any other series or type
of US Currency.  The only other Treasury obligations that bore this
denomination were Bonds."


Regarding Bob Leuver's note last week about the collecting of
counterfeit U.S. paper money, an E-Sylum reader writes: "There are
some collections of US Federal paper money that ONLY consist of

Collectors of obsolete currency and National Bank Notes often
collect counterfeits of notes that fit their geographical criteria.
For example, a collector of Maryland obsoletes might collect both
legitimate and counterfeit notes that purport to be obligations of Maryland
Banks from the obsolete era.  A particular fascination for these
'state' collectors is obtaining a legitimate note as well as the
corresponding counterfeit version of that note which has imitations
of the legitimate note's layout,    legends, and vignettes.  Needless
to say, comparing the two notes reveals that the features of the
counterfeit are much more crudely rendered than those on the
legitimate note.

Although many E-Sylum readers probably are aware that Bob Leuver
was once the Director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, I'm
sure there are a few who weren't aware of that.  His story about
showing his credentials at the pharmacy in Florida would have been
more interesting if that information were included."

[Indeed.  I've been rushed editing the recent issues and meant to
note that fact in a preface to the article.  Sorry!

As for collecting counterfeits, obsolete notes are certainly fair
game, but I'd still be leery of holding counterfeits of current U.S.
notes.  Attempting to pass them is certainly illegal, but possession
is a grey area that could be a problem with over-zealous local
officials.  I'm curious to learn more about any collection of U.S.
counterfeits, but for the above reason I could understand why the
collectors would keep quiet. -Editor]


Dick Johnson writes: "Canada is planning for a new coin, a $5 coin.
Even before it is off the drawing board it has a nickname. A foonie!
I love Canadians’ sense of humor. The loonie moniker for the dollar
coin, bearing the bird of the same name, was a natural. A toonie for
their $2 coin followed the same alliteration. Was it obvious what our
neighbors were going to call a five-dollar coin? Or that it will
quickly catch one. Time will tell.

You might want to read this humorous article with lots of Canadian
coin lore: Full Story


Last week David Gladfelter wrote: "Harry X Boosel's articles on the
numismatics of the year 1873 didn't stop with his 1960 book. My copy
(signed and numbered 468) has 4 supplements bound in at the back,
the latest one dated 1967."

Dave Lange writes: "My copy of Harry's book is the same as David
Gladfelter's and is number 493. It has the four supplements bound
in, but it doesn't include the ones he described as being tipped in.
These must have been added by a previous owner, as I got my book
directly from Harry.

We were exchanging correspondence about the 1873 Open 3, No Arrows
half dollar when he mentioned that he had bound copies of his
Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine articles. I bought his book for a
modest price, and he inscribed it all in caps: "BEST WISHES TO DAVID
LANGE, FROM ONE NUMISMATIST TO ANOTHER! HB [in script] 5-22-83" There's
a nice little flourish underneath his initials and the date, and he
signed his name in full just above the hand written number.

The binding is very plain, with black, cloth covers of the type used
by public libraries and the title of the book and his name stamped
in gold on just the front cover."


In last week's item on Harry Boosel, I asked about the Nathan M.
Kaufman collection.  Here's what Boosel's Coin World obituary said
about it:

"He is also remembered for another major contribution to numismatics.
He ``uncovered'' the long-forgotten collection of Nathan M. Kaufman,
labeled the ``find of the century,'' in 1976. Mr. Boosel had first
encountered the collection in 1943 when assigned by the U.S. Army to
Marquette, Mich. The collection was on display in a Marquette bank,
in a special room built specifically for the coins. However, he did
not then have access to two safes containing some of the rarest coins.

More than 30 years later, Mr. Boosel returned to Marquette and was
reintroduced to the collection, which had long been forgotten by most
in the hobby. He was granted access to the two safes and uncovered
one of the most important collections built during the 19th century."

Len Augsberger writes: "The Kaufman sale was by RARCOA on 8/4/1978.
The coins are said to have been mounted on display with tacks; most
of the pieces in the collection thus lost their provenance and rim
marks quickly.  No doubt many are today entombed in plastic.

There is more discussion on the PCGS chat board (rapidly becoming
an indispensible research tool) at: Full Story

[The post notes: "Louis G Kaufman ... and his brother
Nathan built one of the finest privately held coin collections in history.
It was housed in the bank in Marquette mostly ignored by the numismatic
fraternity. It contained great rarities such as 1 of 2 1825/4 $5 gold
and Kellogg $50 gold. Large runs of Proof gold and silver coins were
also there.

Unfortunately most were attached to the display boards by 3 small brass
tacks which left rim marks on most of the coins. The collection was
sold by Rarcoa in 1978 for record prices. Most of the pedigrees were
quickly lost as most of the rim marks rapidly dissapeared."  -Editor]


Bob Lyall writes: "As an Englishman I was intrigued to see that elongated
cents are still being made in the USA.  It is my belief that such action
with British coins would be illegal - is it legal to mutilate US coins?"

[Well, mutilating and coin and attempting to spend it again is illegal -
such laws were enacted to halt the practice of counterstamping coins with
merchant advertising and political slogans.  But mutilating a coin pulled
from circulation is quite legal.  Do any of our readers know more about
the relevant laws in the U.S. and U.K.?  -Editor]


According to an August 23 report in the Molokai Times "Governor Linda
Lingle today accepted five recommended design concepts, themes and
narratives from the Hawai'i Commemorative Quarter Advisory Commission
(HCQAC) for Hawai'i's commemorative quarter.

The Advisory Commission unanimously agreed on the five design concepts,
themes and narratives to submit to the United States Mint. The design
concepts include: 1) Surfing - Hawai'i's Gift to the World; 2) Aloha
Spirit (Hula Dancer); 3) Diamond Head; 4) Hawai'i, The Island State
and 5) Hawai'i - Diverse But Unified.

"The process the public and the Commission went through was a great
opportunity to reflect on what makes our island home special and what
themes are most emblematic of our state," said Governor Lingle. "I am
honored to be able to submit the five design concepts to the United
States Mint on behalf of the people of Hawai'i."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

To read the detailed concepts on the Hawaii News web site, 
see: Full Story


Dick Johnson writes: "Our editor asked last week if any reader was
familiar with the Cape Cod Canal Opening Medal of 1914.  I have
record of six auction sales, two by me and four by Joseph Levine in
his Presidential Coin & Antique auctions. That makes at least eight
people who are familiar with the medal.

It is not "rare" as mentioned in the Cape Cod Times article. "Scarce"
maybe, but not rare. In my research of this medal I learned it was
designed by a factory artist employed by Reed & Barton, the maker.
The designer was Otto E. Uhlman. Unfortunately I was unable to learn
his vita – I would love to learn his dates of birth and death (for
my artist's directory). Perhaps a reader can help.

He worked for Reed and Barton for at least the eight years prior to
issuance of this medal, then retired or left the company. He moved
away from Massachusetts - one source said he relocated to Grand Rapids,
Michigan. But I was unable to locate him there. The trail ran cold. It
was the only medal I have record of by this artist. In the big scheme
of things, he is not that important, but tracking him down makes
researching medallic artists fun.

As for the medal, it is Storer 972 in his Medals of Massachusetts.
The American Numismatic Society has it in their collection (accession
number 1914.157.1). It is in the catalog of the John Marqusee collection
(number 386), donated to the Johnson Art Gallery at Cornell University.
It was illustrated in The Numismatist when it was issued (October 1914,
p 518); also illustrated in the TAMS Journal (May-August 1962, p 79).

The last auction sale in the numismatic field (eschewing eBay) was by
Joe Levine, who sold a bronze specimen for $46, June 2001 (#69, lot
1714). He stated 25 were struck in silver – now that’s a rare medal!

Last week's news article stated the buyer paid $967 for this bronze
medal and would have gone to $1600. I’ll leave for others to comment
on this foolish bid. (But this does point out the disservice eBay is
doing – making a venue for unknowing buyers and sellers!)"


The Independent Scottish Football network published an article on its
web site Wednesday about the recent sale of a 1900 medal.

"A piece of Derby County history was sold today at the Bamfords fine
art auction in Ashbourne. The piece in question being a 9ct gold medal
awarded to Steve Bloomer.

The medal was awarded for the FA League versus the Irish League
representational match in 1900, a very rare item of memorabilia
specifically linked to Derby County’s greatest ever player.

The item was lot 901 and came at the end of a rain soaked but enjoyable
days bidding and the winning bidder was not identified but not thought
to have links with Derby County Football Club."

"The winning bid was a whopping £1,700. This is only the hammer price
and a 15% commission fee plus VAT would have to be added to the final

To read the complete article and view an image of the medal, 
see: Full Story


Alan Roy writes: "I wanted to add more information about Somer James
and his company, the Canadian Numismatic Publishing Institute.

The first edition was published without the authors' names (H.C.
Taylor & Somer James) and was copyrighted 1959 or 1958, depending
on which page you looked at.

In 1961, they published the first edition of "The Guide Book of Great
Britain's Modern Coins".  This was the only edition published
separately. The Second edition was added to the fifth edition of "The
Guide Book of Canadian Coins, Paper Currency and Tokens".

Another section was added to the 7th edition: "The Guide Book of
Australian and New Zealand Coins". The ninth edition of "The Guide
Book of Canadian Coins, Paper Currency and Tokens" was published
separately, and was also part of "The Guide Book and Catalogue of
British Commonwealth Coins", first edition.  This edition lists only
Somer James as author because Taylor died in 1965.  "The Guide Book
of Canadian Coins" was published separately until 1969 (11th edition).

"The Guide Book and Catalogue of British Commonwealth Coins" was
published until 1971 (third edition). All the "Commonwealth" catalogues
list Jerome Remick as the first author. There were various printings and
cover variations along the way. He also reprinted Sandham, LeRoux, Breton,
and Betts' works."


Alan Roy writes: "The discussion about style rule books reminded
me of a book in my collection called "Standard Format & Symbols for
the Listing of Canadian Tokens as Recommended by the Canadian
Numismatic Research Society".  It lists standard abbreviations for
material, colour, and shapes, as well as a standardized rarity scale
("Pricing items is _not_ recommended; a rarity number will handle this
information much better.").  It also has templates for title page,
copyright page, and even recommends that your catalogue should be 6"
X 9".  Alas, the Society could not reach a consensus on a standard
numbering system and recommends the author chooses whatever system
they feel is best.

This book was published by the society in 1968 and is 16 pp.
Another version for listing Canadian medals was published in 1972,
but I don't have a copy.  If anybody has one for sale, I just might
be interested."


Stung by earlier prosecution for false claims in marketing a "coin"
commemorating the September 11, 2001 attack at the World Trade Center
in New York, the National Collectors Mint is describing its latest
product as a "commemorative", according to an August 24th article in
The Arizona Republic:

"Barry Goldwater Jr., son of an Arizona political icon, is continuing
his role as the celebrity face of a New York company forced last year
to refund more than $2 million to customers who bought its Sept.
11-related "Freedom Tower Silver Dollar."

On the eve of the fifth anniversary of the attacks, National Collector's
Mint Inc. has released a new commemorative token, called the "Fifth
Anniversary World Trade Center Commemorative," featuring a pop-up image
of the World Trade Center.

Goldwater said he believes the company is fully complying with the law."

New York State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer disagreed last year when
he sued National Collector's Mint over its advertised claim that the
Freedom Tower coin was a "government issue" silver dollar and a "U.S.
territorial minting" from the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana

The coin was not government issued. The islands use U.S. currency
and are not authorized to mint legal tender.

In October, a New York Supreme Court judge, the equivalent of Arizona's
Superior Court, ordered National Collector's Mint to pay nearly $370,000
in civil penalties."

Now, the company has a new sales pitch. The "Fifth Anniversary" piece,
issued in June, is "non-monetary," according to the company's advertising.

National Collector's Mint also claims that the silver found in the
medallion comes from "a bank vault found under tons of debris at ground
zero," according to its Web site. The company said it can verify that
claim but declined to provide The Arizona Republic with proof."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Arthur Shippee writes: "A pro-Wiki comment - I don't believe Delorey's
comment (seconded by Benice), comparing Wikipedia to a Magic 8 Ball.
Studies have shown Wikipedia on a par with the Britannica in important
respects.  This will be especially true for subjects meeting two
criteria:  those more studied and edited; and those more easily
described as "objective" or "NPOV" ("no point of view").

In low-traffic, off the main line subjects, errors are more likely to
appear and not get corrected.  And that's where people like Delorey
and Benice should come in.  If they come upon errors of fact, especially,
they should edit the articles.

"NPOV" gets harder in various topics:  I've seen some of the editing
tussles over the entries on Jesus, where folks who think themselves
"objective" start and end up at very different places.  These sorts
of debates can be enlightening in themselves, and they teach skills
in critical reading.

Wikipedia must be read critically, of course, as must the Britannica and
the New York Times.  It takes only a little thought to see what types of
articles and information may be more suspect.  And, unlike Britannica, if
a group of experts pool their resources, they can develop solid, important
articles quickly.  You mention the publication of a book on Illinois banks,
its print run being 100 copies.  In a few hours, the author could construct
a reasonable and succinct article (or series of articles), and the
information would be available to millions.

Wikipedia and things like it are important steps, if imperfect.  One
can complain about the imperfections, or, unlike printed books, help
correct some of them quickly."

Gerald Buckmaster agrees: "One of the most interesting aspects of
Wikipedia is that information can be corrected "on-the-spot" and a
history of "corrections" can be viewed by anyone.  If a correction
is backed up with authorative sources, readers can judge what
Wikipedia "facts" are, in fact, correct.  If we fail to correct,
no one learns."


Regarding last week's question about gold coins owned by chess legend
Bobby Fisher, Gar Travis writes: "Look at the UBS document for 22 July
2005 below - there is a list of holdings: Libertys & St. Gaudens. There
may be other documents detailing what the payment was, but this is a
list of his bullion holdings. Full Story


Tom DeLorey writes: "Apropos nothing at all, though it does involve
money, I have a small story to share. Coming home from the ANA
convention, I was waiting at the baggage carousel at O'Hare when I
overheard a fellow passenger complaining to the friend who had come
to pick him up about how much money he had lost on the service charge
for converting some Canadian money into U.S. money.

It seemed that he had placed his ATM card into an ATM machine in
Vancouver, British Columbia, and was shocked, shocked to receive
Canadian money out of the machine! He had thought that because his
bank account was in U.S. dollars, he would automatically receive
U.S. dollars out of the machine."


This week's featured web site is suggested by Larry Mitchell: "The
Medieval and Early Modern Data Bank provides straightforward database
access to five sets of data on European currency exchange and
commodities prices from the 13th through the 18th centuries."

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.

PREV        NEXT        V9 2006 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

NBS Home Page    Back to top

NBS ( Web