The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 9, Number 36, September 3, 2006:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers are Dan Freeland and Dave Hayes.
Welcome aboard!  We now have 959 subscribers.

This week's issue has several reports from the recent American
Numismatic Association (ANA) convention in Denver, including accounts
from Howard Daniel, Nancy Green, Alison Frankel and Alan Weinberg.
In news from the American Numismatic Society (ANS), librarian Frank
Campbell has hired a new cataloguer to assist with the monumental
task of keeping the library and its catalogue current.

>From the paper money world we note an increase in sales of counterfeit
detecting equipment in Vietnam, and report that India is adopting the
standard "star" designation for replacement notes.  And where in the
world is the Halfpenny bridge?  Read on to find out.  Have a great
week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


George Kolbe writes: "On October 19, 2006, George Frederick Kolbe/Fine
Numismatic Books will conduct their 101st sale of rare and out of print
numismatic literature. Featured are 902 lots on a great variety of
topics. The sale is particularly rich in “Numismatica Americana,”
including important works, original manuscripts and correspondence on
large cents from the Del Bland Library; classic auction sales from the
Bob Vail Library; and Part Two of John W. Adams’ Collection of 19th
century sale catalogues and works listed in Attinelli’s classic 1876
bibliography. Catalogues may be ordered by sending $15.00 to Kolbe at
P. O. Drawer 3100, Crestline, CA 92325 or the catalogue is accessible
free of charge at the firm’s web site (

Some sale highlights include: The Numismatic Archives of Del Bland;
Antiquarian Numismatic Books; B. Max Mehl’s Specially Bound 1922 James
Ten Eyck Catalogue; Two Sets of Haxby’s Standard Catalog of Obsolete
Bank Notes; An Exceptional Example of Crosby’s 1875 Early Coins of
America; Several Classic Russian Numismatic works, Including Two
Original Georgii Mikhailovich Volumes; Schroeder’s Indispensable 1905
Work on the Coins of Vietnam; Ted Craige’s 1907 Plated Stickney Sale;
Standard Works on Ancient Coins;

The Extremely Rare 1859 Second Edition of Bushnell’s New York Business
Tokens; An Extensive Run of Early Stack’s Auction Sale Catalogues; The
First Plated American Auction Catalogue; A Long Run of Ed. Frossard
Catalogues; The 1873 Descriptive Seavey-Parmelee Catalogue; Original
Auction Sale Write-Ups by Del Bland Featuring Large Cents; An Original
Annotated Typescript of Part Two of Sheldon’s Penny Whimsy; The First
Q. David Bowers Numismatic Publication; Heath Counterfeit Detectors;
Key Works on Medieval and Modern Coins and Medals; Wyon’s 1887 Great
Seals of England; A Near Mint Example of Eidlitz’s Medals and Medallions
relating to Architects; Trifet’s 1867-1871 Complete American Stamp
Mercury and Numismatist; A Reprint Set of Greek Coins in the British
Museum; Two Sets of Burnett’s Roman Provincial Coinage; Two Hardbound
Sets of John J. Pittman Sales; An Original Set of Papadopoli on the
Coins of Venice; Huszár & Procopius’s 1932 Medaillen- und Plakettenkunst
in Ungarn; Part II of John W. Adams’ Attinelliana; Original Photographs
of the Large Cent Collection of Harold Bareford; and many other
interesting and important works.

In late October or early November 2006, George Frederick Kolbe/Fine
Numismatic Books will issue an extensive fixed price list featuring
numismatic books, auction catalogues and periodicals at bargain
prices. Although the firm will only be moving one mile away, so much
material has been accumulated at their present location since 1983
that it has been deemed necessary to “lighten the load.” Prices have
been reduced, sometimes drastically, and only actual shipping costs
will be charged. Most items offered are one-of-a-kind. Certain George
Frederick Kolbe Publications will also be included in the sale.
Catalogues may be ordered by sending $5.00 to Kolbe at P. O. Drawer
3100, Crestline, CA 92325 or the catalogue is accessible free of charge
at the firm’s web site ( Prices are good only until
December 31, 2006. Those ordering the October 19th auction sale
catalogue will receive the fixed price catalogue free of charge.


Dan Gosling kindly provided us with some photos of the NBS Symposium
at the recent ANA convention in Denver.  NBS webmaster Bruce Perdue
has placed them on our web site.  Many thanks!

Photo#1: Joel Orosz, David Sundman, George Kolbe
Photo#2: Jerry Platt, Phil Carrigan, Jenny Moulton, Karl Moulton,
Nancy Green

To view the photos, see: ana2006_index.html


Howard A. Daniel III writes: "I drove from the DC Beltway on I-270
and I-70 to Terre Haute and Kansas City to visit two collectors, then
to Colorado with a shortcut on CO-24 to Colorado Springs.  After
visiting some friends there for the weekend, I dropped off two boxes
of catalogs and references for the Library and another box for the
Museum on Monday.  There is a HUGE stack of previous donations needing
to be processed.  They could use some volunteers to process them but
they have to be knowledgeable, and be willing to do other work too.

After driving up I-25, I checked into the Holiday Inn near the Colorado
Convention Center.  Almost immediately, I received a call from Joe
Boling that he was not going to be there that day because he was driving
on to Colorado Springs to make his own donation to the ANA Library.  The
next morning, I went to the convention center and assisted several people
with setting up their booths before setting up my own for NBS, NI, IBNS
and the Philippine Collectors Forum, which was located on the bourse and
just inside the entrance!

Most of the first two days were spent stuffing baggies with coins from
NI members and a note from IBNS members along with a form I created to
tell new and young collectors the source of the pieces.  This form was
also used in the references donated by NBS and others.  Over 200
references were given to collectors in the name of the NBS!  The form
also included the information on how to join all four organizations in
hopes some people will be signing up.

I brought some of the better donated references to the NBS Meeting and
some ANA Convention memorabilia from Wayne Homren for the auction.
There was also an interesting talk by David Sklow about his new job
(Director, Library and Research) at the ANA and some future actions
that will be taken there.  David can be reached at

I showed up at the ANA Club Representative breakfast to pick up a
club award for The E-Sylum but another NBS member was there to get it.
That person later turned it over to me and I will give it to Wayne
Homren, the editor of The E-Sylum, at a future date.

There were no NBS volunteers to assist me but two NI members and one
IBNS member showed up!  This is a new record of volunteers and they
were greatly appreciated.

I drove back on I-70 to I-35 and I-20 to NE Texas where I visited a
collector, then on to Atlanta to visit another collector and a sister
before driving back home to Virginia on I-95 and arriving twelve days
after leaving.  I thoroughly enjoyed the convention and am looking
forward to Charlotte in the spring and Milwaukee in the summer."


Pete Smith writes: "The last issue of The E-Sylum mentioned exhibits
in the literature class. I would also like to mention another exhibit
in the “General or Specialized” class. Former ANA librarian Nancy
Green exhibited “Libraries and Numismatics.” For this she won the
award as “Best First Time Exhibitor.”

Nancy writes: "I was thrilled to be named "Best New Exhibitor" in
Denver. I figured if I got any ribbon that would be great (I got a
second in the class) but this was very exciting. I have never
collected numismatic literature since it was a conflict of interest
while I was Librarian; but Glenn Smedley gave me the idea of
collecting library items when he showed me a medal honoring Carl
Sandburg and the Chicago Public Library. I have had a great time
with the collection. The full title of the exhibit was, "Libraries
and Numismatics, Or How One Collector Found a Niche."


Alison Frankel writes: "Here's a short take on the ANA convention
in Denver, where I gave a lecture on the evidence that the Fenton
1933 Double Eagle is the Farouk coin:

I had the pleasure of meeting a few of the devoted members of the
NBS at the ANA convention in Denver, which reminded me once again
what a boon you all are to American numismatics. Your scholarship --
and delight in the scholarship of other coin researchers--is one
of the forces that keeps coin collecting from becoming mere commerce.

I brought my family (husband, two daughters, brother- and
sister-in-law, niece, and nephew) to the convention to introduce them
to the alternative universe of numismatics. The adults were duly
respectful. My brother-in-law said that if he weren't about to send
two kids to college he could see himself beginning a collection of
Roman coins. My husband, who purchased our family's one and only rare
coin, a 1908 no-motto Saint that he gave me to celebrate the publication
of Double Eagle, was gratified to see the interest in double eagles.

But for me, the big shock was the kids' enthusiasm. All four of them
were smitten, particularly with the bourse floor displays of ancient
Greek, Roman, and Hebrew coins; with the Goldbergs' exhibit of 100
Coins that Changed the World; and with the Brasher Doubloon and the
first-strike silver dollar. I could see on their faces the sense of
wonder at holding (or at least seeing) objects that connected them to
history they'd studied in school. That's the power of coins—strong
enough to crack even a quartet of teenagers."


Alan V. Weinberg writes: "The exhibit viewing area was at the entrance
to the bourse room and was both heavily guarded with uniformed US Mint
security and blue-jacketed private security and heavily traveled by
viewers. It was well-lighted, not requiring separate lamps and covered
a large amount of floor space. There were literally dozens of exhibits,
many quite impressive & informative, even to this 50 year hobby veteran.
In short, I was impressed. Mark Lighterman along with two assistants
ably and proficiently handled the many exhibit demands and logistics.
Gene Hynds who assisted Mark in previous ANA & FUN exhibits was ill
and could not attend the show.

There were some unprecedented exhibits such as the confiscated Israel
Switt family's ten 1933 double eagles, all mounted in a single
plexiglass sheet so both sides could be examined. Personally, I was
a bit offended by the exhibit notations identifying the ownership as
the U.S. government since I neither agree with the seizure nor consider
the matter legally resolved.

The Smithsonian Institution exhibits were impressive if a bit more
difficult to view due to lighting and the low  viewer eye level. The
BEP $5000 and $10,000 currency printer's plates were impressive and
were exhibited "just right" - good lighting and good viewing level.
It was interesting to see that standing at the side of the glass case
and angling your head just right in the light, you could see how the
paper currency notes would appear.

There were two 1913 Liberty Head nickels on exhibit by the ANA. The
Bebee specimen was raw and flat and easily seen. Whomever was
responsible for placing the other 1913 nickel (Norweb?) upright in
the case shadow in a plastic holder was a boob - you simply could
not see the coin!

Monaco of Irvine had a great exhibit of Pioneer gold and Steve
Contursi's Dana Point CA firm exhibited the Uncirculated prooflike
Carter 1794 dollar as they have all over the country. I recall being
offered this dollar at ANA by coin partners Ed Milas and Marvin
Browder for $375,000 a couple of decades ago. And, later, former
owner Andy Lustig turning down approx $1.2 million.  Now, it is
touted as worth $10 million.

There was a fascinating exhibit of a believed-unique Nelson Omaha
Nebraska Lesher dollar with an interesting story about it's being
found, stolen, located again and the parties involved.

A nice exhibit of one of the finest known beaver gold Oregon Territory
$5's which one sharp observer noted was about to slip off its glass
support and be perhaps scratched.

Bob Rhue non-competitively exhibited a marvelous group of Hawaiian
plantation and railroad tokens including some finest knowns and,
also -  I believe these were his -  a multiple case exhibit of superb
Georgia colonial type notes, most all crisp mint. Finally, Bob
exhibited his complete and finest known set of American horsecar
transportation tokens.

Your author had a three-case non-competitive exhibit of Coloradoiana
including the largest and finest collection of Colorado Good-For
Trade mirrors. Interestingly, many of these mirrors had advertising
graphics which today would be outrageous and verboten today, but circa
1900 were regarded as cute - the result of changing times and news
crime headlines, no doubt.

The [unclothed figures] and reclining and posing [ladies of ill repute]
are pictured in color on the center pages of Hal Dunn's Western Good
for Mirror book on the mirror type pages.  [I edited some words here
to prevent possible spam filter problems. -Editor]

I can say I was impressed by the exhibits' overall quality, the lack
of monotony in seeing the same stuff in each case (as opposed to the
plethora of slabbed silver dollars & gold coins on the bourse floor),
the apparent dedication of Mark Lighterman & his crew in tending to
demands from inception to finish, the readily apparent interest &
attention given to the exhibits by so many people spending time to
actually read & view the exhibits and the laudatory comments made by
collectors and dealers approaching exhibitors on the bourse floor and
thanking them for exhibiting. That, in itself, is enough to cause
exhibitors to repeat and expand their efforts.

I have always said the most valuable thing a collector can walk away
with in attending a major regional or national show like the ANA or
FUN or Central States is the increased knowledge one gains and the
renewed friendships. In no small part, both viewing & exhibiting at
these shows is part of that increased knowledge. And, frankly, the
only enjoyable aspect of collecting, after you acquire something
notable, is to exhibit it...a manner of boasting "Look what I did!
[..or got]". Not to speak of the interest in the subject you might
engender among viewers so when it comes time to sell, there are
others waiting in the wings to buy your collection."


W. David Perkins of Centennial, Colorado writes: "At the 2006 ANA
Convention I attended the Sundman lecture series session on James V.
Dexter (of 1804 Dollar fame), presented by Mark Ferguson (of Coin
World fame).

In today's Denver Post there is an article titled "A last resort /
Abandoned decades ago, the historic Dexter cottage in Lake County
is finding a second life."  The article is about the restoration of
the Dexter cottage, built by one of Colorado's early mining investors,
James V. Dexter.  There is a photo of Dexter and his family along
with other photos of the cottage and lake property.

It goes on to say "Dexter, who died in 1899, owned banks, shares in
nearly 30 mining companies, ranchland in Castle Rock [just south of
Denver] and Conejos County, a home at 1306 Champa St. in Denver [If
I recall correctly from Mark's talk, this is located today under the
Convention Center where the 2006 ANA Convention was held.  Mark, you
can correct this next week if I recalled incorrectly.], and was an
avid art, gem and coin collector.  Some say he was Colorado's first
millionaire."  The restoration work appears to be going well, and
the resort will be available for special events when reopened.

This link will take you to the story and photos: Full Story

[Great photos of a neat and unusual old building in a grand natural
setting!  -Editor]


Don Cleveland writes: "Here is a page I ran across while surfing
in the "Million Book Project" under "Art".  It appears to reproduce
every page (nearly 400) of the 1902 edition of "The Numismatic
Chronicle."  It's pretty interesting, especially the articles on
Celtic Coins.

To read it, over on the left side of the page is a box titled "Read
Text."  It then gives you a choice of "Download" or "Applet".  Either
of those will download the entire text." 
1902 edition of "The Numismatic

[It's a whopper of a download, over 16meg. -Editor]

Don adds: "I found two more of the Journals under "Art" on the MBP
site and two others under "Numismatics."  Personally, I believe we
should encourage such sources.   Journals of the ANA, IBNS, SPMC,
and others from around the world, such as the Australian Numismatic
Society, should, in my opinion, all be available somewhere.  It
would revolutionize the hobby."


American Numismatic Society librarian Frank Campbell has some new
help.  An abbreviated version of the following announcement appeared
in the August 2006 ANS E-News; here it is in its entirety:

"The Librarian is pleased to announce that the position of Cataloger
has been filled with the hiring of Oleg Medvedev. Oleg, who received
a Master's degree from the State University for History and Archives
(Moscow), also received an advanced degree in Anthropology from the
Professional School of Advanced Studies (Paris). While living in France,
he also attended the University of Nanterre, where he began his
professional training as a Librarian and has most recently obtained
a Master's degree in Library Science from the Graduate School of
Library and Information Science, University of Illinois (Urbana).

Oleg has worked previously as a cataloger in the Library of Musee
Guimet (Paris) and the Interuniversity Library of Oriental Languages
(Paris), specializing in the cataloging of Tibetan materials. He has
also performed cataloging and indexing at the Center for Research
Libraries (Chicago), and the American Theological Library Association
(Chicago). His languages included native Russian and French, as well
as Spanish and Italian."


Also from the August 2006 American Numismatic Society E-News: "The
Numismatic Literary Guild presented its 2006 awards on August 17th
in Denver.  In the category for small organization publications, the
Winter 2005 ANS Magazine, Winter 2005, edited by Director Ute Wartenberg
Kagan, was recognized as best single issue, and Curator of North
American Coins and Currency Robert Hoge received awards for best article
("A New Birth of Freedom: The American Civil War Collection at the ANS")
and best column ("Current Cabinet Activities").

"The Medals Concerning John Law and the Mississippi System" written
by ANS trustee John W. Adams and published by the Society, received
the award for the year's best book on medals and tokens.

In addition, the catalog for the ANS foreign orders and decorations
sale--produced by Morton and Eden with introduction by Development
Director Geoff Giglierano--was given an "extraordinary merit" award.

More information about the 2006 NLG awards may be found at:
Full Story


Dick Johnson writes: "A very attractive color catalog arrived from
Heritage Auction Galleries this week. Their core business is, of
course, coin and currency auctions. From that Heritage has branched
out into a widening circle of collectibles: comics, sports
collectibles, jewelry, timepieces, other fields.

This auction sale is Heritage’s first foray into tokens and medals
exclusively. It features the Troy Wiseman collection of Hard Times
tokens. The color photographs of the items, mostly in top condition,
are superb. But the descriptions leave something to be desired.

Auction house executives who believe their catalogers are omnipotent
and can catalog anything numismatic may be doing their consigner and
potential buyers a disservice. Cataloging in this field requires
specialized knowledge. It is obvious this cataloging was done by
coin experts. Collectors of tokens and medals are topical collectors
and this information is more important than, say, one of perhaps
three hundred colors of toning, typical of uncirculated coins.

The Wiseman collection, it appears, was third party graded. While
it does not state this, any token and medal that could fit a 2x2
envelope was slabbed and certified. The catalogers accepted this
grading without question. Example: A well worn token, Low 1 early
in the sale (lot 5750) was stated as "AU50" by NGC. Perhaps VF grade
at best (from the photograph). In contrast, when the catalogers had
to grade oversize medals themselves, a mint state Woodrow Wilson
Medal from the Paris Mint was graded XF (lot 6787).

A real test of medal expertise is if catalogers can keep the three
American Ellis engravers straight. Sure enough, lot 6110, the Lincoln
Rail Splitter Campaign Medal, does not even mention this was engraved
by Darwin Ellis (father of Jarvis Ellis, no relation to Salathiel
Ellis, all three engraved 19th century tokens and medals). The
catalogers didn’t mention the Ellis name on truncation of Lincoln’s
bust. Weren’t they curious?

A word to both grading services and auction houses: if you are going
to work with tokens and medals you need some knowledgeable people. A
word to collectors: ease up on slabbing tokens and medals, it is the
uninformed collector who needs the assurance of slabbed items. You’ll
find the buyers of tokens and medals are highly specialized,
knowledgeable, and very well informed. They know what they want
and like their specimens raw."


The Sreepadam Palace in southern India is set to host a new
numismatic museum:

"It’s a much-awaited rebirth for Sreepadam Palace in the city.
After three years of uncertainty, the takeover of the palace is now
in the final lap. The palace is all set for a makeover as the city’s
first exclusive museum for coins."

“The idea was born three years ago and ever since, the takeover
proceedings have been underway. For many reasons it didn’t take
off as expected but now it is in the final stages,” Archaeology
Director V Manmadhan Nair said.

Built in the 19th century, the Victorian structure at East Fort was
meant to be the royal residence of the sister of the Travancore king
or the senior princess. It was declared a protected monument as part
of a project of the city administration to preserve monuments in
the Fort area."

"Though the Folklore Museum at Nedumangad has a gallery devoted to
coins, the city still lacks an exclusive museum for coins. The
Department of Archaeology, however, does not want it to end there.

“The museum we plan to have will exhibit gold coins, which by itself
will prove to be one of its kind in south India. The gold coins in
possession of the Department are now being kept in various treasuries.
This will be brought under the same roof to enable public viewing,”
Manmadhan Nair said.

"A museum of this kind requires the most stringent of security
measures possible — security alarms, bulletproof shelves and the
ultra-modern scanning facilities."

To read the complete article (registration required) see: Full Story


Former U.S. Mint Director Phillip Diehl is now with the public
relations firm Fleishman-Hillard, working in Cairo. He was interviewed
last year for an article which appeared online just recently.  Here
are a few excerpts:

"As anyone who has failed to empty his or her pockets at the end of
the day knows, Egyptian banknotes will not survive a trip through
the wash. In an effort to increase the availability of small change,
the government is promising to make us all hear our pocket change
jingling, instead of tearing, by next summer.

Many problems plague Egyptian currency in circulation, including
the quality and abuse of banknotes. In keeping with the trend in
many Western countries to turn smaller denomination bills into coins,
the Ministry of Finance and the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) have held
lengthy talks over the last year to hammer out an agreement on issuing
brand new LE 1 and 50 piastre coins, scheduled to be released into
circulation sometime in the middle of next year."

"After the introduction of the new coins, the Ministry of Finance
and the CBE will take old, unfit banknotes out of circulation to be
shredded or burned.

“We are continuing, however, with the production of banknotes
[including those in small denominations] for a while to come — until
the market accepts the idea of coins — at which point we will switch
to coins,” explains Afifi. “This will happen gradually by taking the
old notes out and putting the new coins in, and so on.”

Philip Diehl, senior vice-president and partner at Fleishman-Hillard
Cairo, the firm responsible for aiding the General Authority for Free
Zones and Investment in promoting Egypt as an investment destination,
is also a former director of the US mint under President Clinton.

“One crucial way to break people from using bills is to remove bills
from the market and, in a sense, they will have to be forced into it,”
Diehl says. “Also it’s very important to educate the public about the
new coins.”

It will probably not be an easy task to persuade paper-oriented Egyptians
to let go of their familiar currency for the more burdensome, heavy coins.
Diehl says it’s a necessary step as coins have a circulation life of 20
to 25 years, as opposed to the short-lived six-to-12-month life of a

"In light of these changes, the Ministry of Finance is also rethinking
the circulation of five and 10 piastre banknotes. Inflation has made them
of relatively little use, but they remain expensive to make. While those
still in circulation will remain valid, five and 10 piastre notes are no
longer being printed. The 25-piastre bill will still be in circulation
alongside the 25-piastre coins and follow a similar process of coin
integration and gradual banknote retrieval."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Arthur Shippee forwarded the following item from The Exploraror
newsletter about "Ancient" gold coins found in a Kyrgyz mountain

"Possibly the world's most ancient gold coin has been discovered
in a high mountain lake in Kyrgyzstan, the chief of an archeological
expedition said Wednesday.

Academic Vladimir Ploskikh said an expedition from the Kyrgyz-Russian
Slavic University found a 70-gram octagonal gold artifact on the
northern side of Lake Issuk-Kul.

"This is probably the earliest form of metal money found in Central
Asia, and may have served as an archetype for later gold coins,"
he said. "If this [hypothesis] is confirmed, the find will have a
unique worldwide historical and cultural significance as a prototype
for gold money."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


The above headline is from the Bismarck Tribune, which covered
the introduction ceremonies for the new North Dakota state quarter:

"The Bismarck Civic Center might have been the hardest place to ask
a bystander for change for a dollar on Wednesday, even though there
were enough quarters there to overflow several vending machines.

Some of the only people swapping quarters for cash were workers helping
the U.S. Mint sell thousands of shiny new North Dakota quarters adorned
with two grazing bison, the Badlands and a sunset.

Officials estimated that 3,400 people came to the event, which
included music, appearances by dignitaries and a history lesson."

“What an energetic crowd,” Medora Musical singer Levi Andrist said.
“Those kids screaming was just like at a Class B basketball tournament.”

Many schoolchildren took field trips to the event, including Erik
Hruby, an eighth-grader at St. Mary’s Elementary School in Bismarck."

"There also was an appearance by the 26th president, Teddy Roosevelt,
who was played by interpreter Clay Jenkinson.

Speaking as Roosevelt, Jenkinson said he spent a lot of time in the
Badlands between 1883 and 1887 and even shot a buffalo in the Badlands.

“It was here that the romance of my life began,” Jenkinson said.

Gov. John Hoeven told the audience that Wednesday would be a day they
will always remember and will tell their kids about."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

To view photos and a video of the event, see: Full Story

[Don't miss the picture of the person in a Buffalo suit! -Editor]


Another article about the new quarter notes "Theodore Roosevelt
would have endorsed the design of North Dakota's new quarter,
although he wouldn't have included the motto "In God We Trust,"
says a historian who will play Roosevelt at the coin's unveiling

"During his presidency, Roosevelt hired a renowned sculptor, Augustus
Saint-Gaudens, to fashion new coins. Roosevelt believed the nation's
coin designs at the time "lacked sufficient imagination," said David
Lebryk, the U.S. Mint's acting director.

Saint-Gaudens designed new $10 "eagle" and $20 "double eagle" gold
coins with raised images of an eagle and Lady Liberty. The words "In
God We Trust," which had been put on coins since the Civil War,
were deliberately omitted.

In one letter to a New York minister, Roosevelt said he believed to
put those words on coins amounted to "irreverence, which comes
dangerously close to sacrilege."

"It seems to me eminently unwise to cheapen such a motto by use
on coins, just as it would cheapen it by use on postage stamps, or
in advertisements," Roosevelt said in the letter, which he wrote
in November 1907.

Saint-Gaudens thought the motto was ridiculous, said Clay Jenkinson,
a visiting Roosevelt scholar at Dickinson State University scheduled
to speak at Wednesday's ceremony in the character of Roosevelt.

"Roosevelt felt that money is money, and God is God, and that they
don't belong on the same thing," Jenkinson said. "Saint-Gaudens
objected because he thought it was just kind of a knuckleheaded motto.
He wanted a more dignified coinage."

"Eric Hardmeyer, president of the Bank of North Dakota, said the bank
has an initial supply of 200,000 quarters for the ceremony. He said
he would like to have at least 1.2 million of the coins, and he is
expecting another shipment after Labor Day.

"There's tremendous interest in all of the state quarters that have
been rolled out. We've never had enough to go around," Hardmeyer said.
"Of course, we expect ... the demand for the North Dakota quarter to
be great. We're trying to get as much of the supply as we can."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


American Numismatic Association Chief Judge Joe Boling is moving
from his longtime Seattle home, and a local newspaper bid him farewell
with a nice article:

"Joseph E. Boling keeps a large, white safe — large enough to double
as a sarcophagus — in his basement, a 40-minute drive south of Seattle
if the traffic is light. He tells the movers, who are packing his
things to move to Indianapolis, that it weighs 4,000 pounds when empty.
Currently, the safe is full of rare coins, medals, bills, and bonds.
Boling is a numismatist, a student of money, author of two books on
the subject and editor of four. He began his avocation in numismatics
during his army career..."

"Boling became interested in theater during his last army tour, in
Heidelberg, Germany, where he worked with an amateur American theater
company and "got the monkey on my back." He moved to Seattle in 1993,
after his army discharge. In 1994, Boling saw 22 plays. In 1996, he
saw 29. Then, in 1998, the number grew to 135. "I discovered Capitol
Hill," he said. "I had been going to the opera, ACT. I went to the TPS
[Theatre Puget Sound] conference in the fall of 1998 and found all
these little companies. I realized I could go to theater seven days
a week."

But why? Why would he — why would anyone — want to sit in a theater
seven nights a week? "I have the collector's personality, obsessive-
compulsive," he said. "I've never been diagnosed. But I'm a pack rat."
He gestured around his basement, neat but cramped: his library of
books on Japan, theater, and numismatics; shelves of DVDs and
laserdiscs; filing cabinets, one of them devoted to theater programs
and clippings of reviews of productions he's seen; and the enormous
white safe. "I don't just collect coins and bills; I collect
theatrical experiences."

"After a farewell party on September 3, Boling will head east. His
wife — to whom he was married for 20 years, then divorced for 20 years,
and has recently remarried — lives in Ohio and bought a house for them
in Indianapolis, close to their children. He is already feeling
theater withdrawal. "My wife has season tickets to the Toledo Rep,"
he said, smiling. "But she doesn't have the obsession that I do."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Granvyl Hulse writes: "I realize that this might not be the best
place to put my question, but the nine hundred plus subscribers of
The E-Sylum represent about the finest collection of numismatic
knowledge there is that I know of.

My immigrant ancestor came to America from Sluys, Holland in 1684.
He borrowed "300 Carolus guilden at 20 stuivers per guilden" to get
here. (I have the agreement and also copies of where it was paid
back at 5 percent.) I realize that the reference to Carolus guilden
at 20 stuivers per guilden in 1684 was only an agreed bench mark.
What I would like to know is what would have been the equivalent sum
either in modern money or in English currency at the time."

[I thought last week's Featured Web Site may come in handy here:
"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."
Full Story

But Granvyl visited the site and writes: "I tried about every
combination I could with no luck."  So - any other suggestions,
good readers?  -Editor]


According to a report published August 28, "Electronic and
household electric goods kiosks in Hanoi’s Dong Xuan market are
selling money checkers quickly as some cases of false polymer
banknotes have been reported recently in the media."

“Those machines can quickly detect counterfeit money, both polymer
and cotton-paper types of Vietnamese, Chinese and even US and
euro banknotes,” she said.

Walking around Dong Xuan market, reporters were invited to buy
many kinds of money checkers everywhere, ranging from money-checking
torches to pens, all of which were made in China.

The money-checking pen is no longer favoured by customers although
its price is only VND7,000-10,000 ($0.4 - $0.6) per unit because of
its poor quality, especially its incapacity to detect fake polymer

To read the complete story, see: Full Story


According to an article published this week, "The Reserve Bank of
India will soon issue Star series banknotes... The star series
banknotes will look exactly like the existing bank notes of Rs .10,
Rs 20 and Rs 50 but will have an additional character, viz., *(star)
in the number panel between the prefix and the serial number."

"The star series banknotes will be legal tender and members of
public may freely accept and use these banknotes. The fresh banknote
packets issued by the RBI at present are serially numbered from 1 to 100.

Each banknote bears a distinctive serial number along with a prefix.
Currently defectively printed banknotes in any packet are replaced at
the note printing presses with a good note bearing the same number as
the one with defect in order to maintain the sequential numbering of
banknotes in the packet. This procedure involves additional time/cost
and manual intervention.

As part of the ongoing efforts to benchmark its procedures to global
best practices, as also, for cost effectiveness and operational
efficient at note printing presses, the RBI has adopted the Star
series numbering system for replacement of defectively printed

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Regarding last week's question, Barbara Gregory, Editor-in-Chief of
the American Numismatic Association's NUMISMATIST Magazine writes:
"The position of publisher of NUMISMATIST, did not exist until 1991,
when Executive Director Robert J. Leuver created the title of
Editor/Publisher. I served in that dual capacity until 2003, when
the ANA Board of Governors determined that the Executive Director
should represent the magazine as Publisher."


Kerry Rodgers writes: "Bob Knepper asks about using other people's
images.  No doubt others will write in on this topic.  Images, be
they photos or drawings and like the words of others are covered by
international copyright. They are the intellectual property of the
person who brought them into being.

Copyright laws vary from country to country but essentially they all
boil down to the use of the creative effort of others without their
permission is theft. This includes those appearing on the World Wide
Web. If Bob has a look at 99% of web pages he will find the copyright
holder's name appears on at least the home page along with the
international copyright symbol. It also occurs in auction catalogs
and in the front of books and magazines.  It is there for a damn
good reason: to protect the copyright holder.

I regularly use images of others in my writing but I always ask first.
Not only does that clear me legally but often the image owner sends me
a much better image than that in the auction catalog or on the web.
In all cases I must acknowledge the person who holds the copyright.

Editors and publishers, such as those at f+w, refuse to use any image
unless the person supplying them can assure the editor that it is
unencumbered by copyright.  They do not want any legal grief. Any
author who puts a publishing house in court can expect to be blacklisted
for ever and a day.

Of course, an image of a new coin is a bit of a hassle. Not only is
the image covered by copyright, but the design of the coin itself
is copyrighted.  So two releases could be required: that of the
photographer and that of the artist.  Of course, the Mint involved
may have paid for both to be done and hence be the sole copyright

Eventually the copyright on items will lapse.  In most, but not all
countries, the period involved is defined as two generations from
the death of the creator of the property.  A legal generation used
to be 25 years so two generations was 50 years.  In the EU a
generation was redefined a few years back.  I think it is now 30
years.  Some items that had emerged from copyright were popped back
in for another ten years.

And even when an item has come out of copyright, like a medieval
taler with a cute wildman, if an auction catalog photographs it,
then the new image is subject to copyright.

Good luck Bob - just avoid earning the reputation enjoyed by one
author who produced a self-published history of money a few years
back stealing images hither and yon.  Curiously, the book bears
the author's copyright in its front.

PS:  I heard recently of one gentleman who goes through numismatic
magazines looking for what he considers to be copyright breaches.
He then writes to the editor complaining.  His copyright is never
involved - it is just that he has too much time on his hands and
his life is not as short as mine."

[Bob has a specific project in mind, a book he's compiling on
Wildman Talers.  One reader offered to provide Bob with images
of high-grade specimens for the project.   Obtaining permissions
to use images is always a chore, but this offer may help Bob
eliminate some of the work that would otherwise be required to
ensure clear use of others' images.  -Editor]


Regarding his query about publishing copyrighted photos of coins
for his planned book on Wildman coins, Bob Knepper writes: "Thank
you for giving Steve Huber my email address.  That is why I included
it in my message asking about getting permission, etc. to use printed
pictures in a book. Steve sent me three pictures and I have thanked

Because I have purchased many of my coins from Künker in Germany,
I intend to ask if I can use pictures from their auction catalogs.
I have almost a complete set (about six feet of shelf space).  Also
have a partial computer index of Wildman coins versus auction lot

It will be a long time (a year or more) 'til I'm ready to actually
use the pictures in a publication.  Many Wildman collectibles will
be described in addition to coins."


Regarding the question on U.S. coin mutilation laws, Katie Jaeger
writes: "I researched the topic recently - and came up with the
following quotation from Title 18 at the website

 Title 18, Section 331 states, “Whoever fraudulently alters,
defaces, mutilates, impairs, diminishes, falsifies, scales, or
lightens any of the coins coined at the mints of the United States,
or any foreign coins which are by law made current or are in actual
use or circulation as money within the United States, shall be fined
under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.”
This law enacted in 1909 was strictly enforced at first, bringing an
abrupt end to countermarking, elongating, carving, cutting away blank
fields, and pushing out reliefs on coins.

The Treasury Department, however, has come to view the decree as
hinging on its second word: fraudulently. Examples of fraudulent
tampering are the ancient practice of shaving metal off the edges
of solid gold coins, or the 1883 practice of making “racketeer
nickels.” (When the Mint issued a nickel design which did not bear
the words FIVE CENTS on the reverse, but instead employed a Roman
numeral V just like the one on the $5 gold piece, some miscreants
plated gold on their nickels and passed them as $5 pieces.)

Section 331 takes aim at these types of deceptions, but not at the
creation of coin novelties. The law was probably responsible for
the practice of stickering and capping coins, which enabled
advertising on coins without altering them.  Elongated roller
machines did disappear for a while, but the law never stopped
kids from putting pennies on the railroad tracks!"

John and Nancy Wilson write: "Here is information from the
Wikipedia on the legality of making elongated coins in the U.S.
and Great Britain:

"The process of creating elongated coins is legal in the United
States, Japan, South Africa and parts of Europe. In the United
States, U.S. Code Title 18, Chapter 17, Section 331 prohibits
"the mutilation, diminution and falsification of United States
coinage." The foregoing statute, however, does not prohibit the
mutilation of coins if the mutilated coins are not used fraudulently,
i.e., with the intention of creating counterfeit coinage. Because
elongated coins are made mainly as souvenirs, mutilation for this
purpose is legal.

It is no longer illegal in Great Britain to mutilate the image
of the Queen, It is still illegal in Canada and blank planchets,
slugs or U.S. pennies are occasionally used, though this law is
often ignored both by the users of the machine and law enforcement.
Full Story

Kerry Rodgers writes: "I have an article on elongated coins in
the September issue of Coin News. (That's the UK fella).  I have
specific quotes from the Royal Mint and UK Treasury folk as to its
legality.  These quotes came from bureaucrats and lawyers - need
I say more?  They neatly avoid saying making stretchies is illegal
- in so many words - but make it clear they don't approve. They
have never prosecuted for it and thereby tested the law as they
understand it.

In the EU it is a whole different ball game and even though
stretched EU cents are offered on eBay and elsewhere, it is a
no-no.  As the UK is part of the EU it could be illegal to squish
EU cents in the UK, where they have no currency, whereas doing it
to UK money itself may not be illegal if you have a smart lawyer.
What was that about the law being an ass?

The elongation issue in the US has been discussed at length in
several places and I defer to my North American colleagues. It is
not illegal from what I can gather. Nor is it in New Zealand since
a change in the law sometime back overlooked deforming coins although
it has some harsh things to say about melting them.  A similar
situation exists in Australia."


Dave Lange writes: "I have a quick question for the readers. In
acquiring a Meghrig Brand (Raymond clone) album for half cents,
it came with the lot tag for Lot 719 in Stack's sale of the Samuel
Wolfson Collection, Part II, May 3-4, 1963. I used to have this
catalog as part of a complete run of Stack's catalogs back to the
late 1940s, but I sold them before moving to Florida. I imagine
that several of the readers have this catalog, and I'm hoping that
someone will reveal what this lot was."


Barry Jablon writes: "I haven't written in a while because my tales
of managing coin departments in Baltimore and Philadelphia were limited
in terms of their appeal to the average collector and numismatic
researcher. However, they certainly paid dividends when I received
several E-mails from Russ Sears who saw my name on this site.

Way back in 1961, when I opened the coin department in Hutzler's
for the Friedbergs in Baltimore, I had occasion to hire two assistants
from within the store, one being Russ Sears. He was eighteen at the
time and was nice enough to talk about the impact I had on him insofar
as numismatics was concerned. The fact that he is still active in the
hobby means that his experience working with me and the Hutzler
coin department was a very positive one.

In the end, having such a positive influence on someone like Russ
kind of ranks up there with my 1913 liberty nickel story and my 1793
Liberty Cap cent story. Maybe, in thinking about it, it really ranks
above those other stories."

[Russ Sears' name is familiar to me - he has been active in the Civil
War Token Society, served as Vice President and President of the
Maryland Token and Maryland Society, and Editor of the Maryland TAMS
Journal.  -Editor]


Doug Andrews writes: "I must respectfully disagree with my good
friend Serge Pelletier regarding the "Victory" Canadian five cent
piece, who counted four languages on the coin, including "the Morse
one," referring to the Morse code words appearing just inside the rim.
The Morse code legend, intended to motivate the country at the height
of World War II, says, "We win when we work willingly." The five cent
60th anniversary commemorative issued in 2005 dropped the Morse code

I am not an expert in linguistics, but I doubt that Morse code can
be labeled as a language. More accurately, it is a binary medium
for electronic communication using a system of dots and dashes. The
motto on the five cent piece is expressed unilingually in English.
At the height of its popularity, Morse code was used extensively for
communication in many languages other than English, notably by the
German and French navies.

An example of a Canadian coin that DOES bear four languages is the
1999 $2 commemorative marking the formation of Nunavut Territory in
the Arctic. It has legends in Latin, French, English, and the
language of Canada's Inuit aboriginal population, Inuktitut."

[Morse Code is certainly not a natural language, and neither is
Braille.  I put the term "language" in "quotes" since I knew there
would be some "questions" about this...  -"Editor"]


According to a report in the August 28 St. Augustine (Florida)
Record, "A replica of a rare bronze medallion from the mid-1600s
that pictures St. Augustine of Hippo will be presented to city and
church officials today.

Its owner, John Walter Fraser, whose family owns the Fountain of
Youth attraction on Magnolia Avenue, said he'd commissioned silver
replicas of the medal and will present them to Bishop Victor Galeone,
St. Augustine Mayor George Gardner and other dignitaries during the
Augustinian Day celebration at the Bishop Baker Center.

"I've never seen anything like this before," Fraser said of the

The front displays a relief of St. Augustine, the city's patron saint,
in close profile holding a bishop's crook and wearing a miter and robes.
On the reverse side stands a full figure of Saint Mary wearing an
embroidered dress, the words "S. Maria" on the left and -- mysteriously
-- the word "Cell" on the right.

Fraser said the object came from an archaeological dig in 1998
overseen by City Archaeologist Carl Halbirt at 5 St. George St.,
a property owned by Fraser's father."

"One of the artifacts was the medallion. Initially, the medal had a
thick crust from years of immersion in what was probably a trash pit.

Metz telephoned John Powell, a former university conservator now
living in St. Augustine, who worked on the restoration in his garage

"I placed it in the mid-17th century by its style and manufacture,"
he said Friday. "It was prior to 1675 but after 1625. There was about
50 years when this style of medallion was in fashion." His determination
was based on how the medallion was made rather than what was pictured
on it, he said."

"St. Augustine of Hippo became the patron saint of the city named after
him because Don Pedro Menendez spotted land on Aug. 28, 1565, the feast
day of St. Augustine. He came ashore on Sept. 8, 1565 and named the
area for St. Augustine."

To read the complete article (and view an image of the "medallion", see:
Full Story


Michael E. Marotta writes: "Every E-Sylum reader should have a copy
of THE COIN WORLD ALMANAC.  That highly-important reference contains
relevant sections of U.S. Code Chapter 25 on counterfeit currency.
Every E-Sylum reader should read the original citations and decide
what the law says.  Anyone who is unclear on this should check with
an attorney.

Basically, it is not illegal to hold counterfeit currency, only to
buy or sell it.  Contraband includes ALL forms of money from current
issue U.S. Federal Reserve Bank notes to Budapest bus tokens.  If "it"
is money, then you break the law when you buy or sell counterfeits of
"it."  Among the exceptions are obvious replicas commonly enjoyed by
the numismatic community.

Rather than argue the details second hand, I encourage everyone to
know the laws and obey them.  Ignorance of the law is no excuse --
certainly not for anyone who subscribes to The E-Sylum.  Bottom line:
Contraband can be seized without a search warrant."


Andrew Kimmel of Paragon Numismatics in Mequon, WI was interviewed
for an article published in the Ozaukee County News Graphic on August
29.  It's a good short introduction to numismatics for the general
public, but what I especially liked was Kimmel's way of disabusing
people of the notion that just because a coin is old, that it MUST
be very valuable:

"Though people may have valuable coins at home, Kimmel cautions
against those who think a coin is valuable just because it is old.

"What determines the value of a coin is not the age," he said. "If
age determined value, rocks would be valuable. What determines value
is the condition and the rarity of the coin."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


It's not exactly numismatic, but something I stumbled across
while searching the net is the Ha'penny bridge, a landmark pedestrian
bridge and popular tourist attraction in Dublin, Ireland.

"Now one of the oldest cast-iron bridges in the world it was
originally named Wellington Bridge, after the Dublin born duke who
had trounced Napoleon. Now called Liffey Bridge it is more commonly
known as the Halfpenny or Ha'penny Bridge."

"Up to 1816, the year the Ha'penny Bridge was erected, no other
bridge existed between Essex (Grattan or Capel Street) Bridge and
Carlisle (O'Connell) Bridge.

There was a ferry from the Bagnio Slip (at the bottom of Fownes
Street) operated by one William Walsh. He owned seven leaky ferries
and was under pressure from Dublin Corporation to repair them or
replace them. He baulked at that idea, preferring instead to build
a bridge. His proposal to Dublin Corporation was adopted and he was
allowed in a hundred year lease to charge a halfpenny toll."

[Is anyone familiar with the history of this span?  Was the
halfpenny toll charged throughout its first hundred years?

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

For several modern photos of the bridge, see: Full Story


On August 29 Reuters reported that "Japanese banks have long had
a reputation for poor service but at least one is trying something
new -- wooing customers with an opportunity to try their hand at
Lady Luck.

A roulette wheel pops onto the screen of automatic teller machines
when customers of Ogaki Kyoritsu Bank Ltd finish transferring funds.
A lucky spin and the customer wins 1,000 yen ($8.50)."

"Our customers enjoy it very much," the spokesman said. "

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


This one has no numismatic content either, but we just can't
resist curious tales of bank robber exploits.  This one comes
from my hometown of Pittsburgh:

"Two men having coffee on Forbes Avenue in Squirrel Hill are
accredited with foiling an alleged bank robbery Tuesday afternoon.

Authorities said Chris Hoffman, 28, of Sheraden, entered the Fifth
Third Bank branch on Tuesday dressed as a woman with a blond wig,
green sunglasses, blouse, skirt, pantyhose and purse.

Hoffman approached a teller, handed her a demand note, and fled
after receiving an undetermined amount of money, said authorities.

Employees followed Hoffman out of the bank and alerted two men
having coffee at a nearby shop that the bank had been robbed.

The two men restrained Hoffman until police officers arrived."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


This week's featured web page is a nice illustrated article from
the Journal of Antiques & Collectibles on thalers:

"Long before I fell in love with any other types of coins, I loved
thalers. Thalers are those huge silver coins first minted in 1484
in the Tyrol, which was part of the Holy Roman Empire..."

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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