The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 9, Number 42, October 15, 2006:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers are Bob Gilbert, Henry Hurley, and
Mitch Ernst, courtesy of Samuel Ernst. Welcome aboard!  We now
have 988 subscribers.

This week's issue brings another new book announcement, this time
on the coins and paper money of Israel.  A scarce book on Belgian
World War I medals has been identified, and another rare set of
Hugo Semmler's numismatic postcards has been reported.  In the
rumor department, we address some of the flurry this week regarding
the fate of The Gallery Mint.

Queries this week include a question on the Whipple Dollar, a request
for photos of seasonal metallic baseball passes, and information on
J. Hewitt Judd.

Since the Halloween season is upon us, we have a couple items
relating to numismatics and gravestones.  Finally, in the "you don't
see that every day" department, a Colorado man pays his taxes in gold
coin and a very heavily corroded cent helps a man win a case in court.
To learn about the Case of the Sulfurous Sewer, read on.  Have a
great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


Fred Lake writes: "The 86th mail-bid sale of numismatic literature
is now available for viewing on the Lake Books website at:
Lake Books 86th mail-bid sale

Highlights of the 516-lot sale include: a complete set of original
"Roman Imperial Coinage (RIC)", a set of the "John Reich Journal",
a long run of the Civil War Token Society's "Journal", a number of
books relating to sunken treasure, a set of Akers' six books on U. S.
Gold coins, and a two-volume set of J. F. Loubat's "Medallic History
of the United States."

The sale has a closing date of November 14, 2006 and bids are
welcome via email, telephone, fax or regular mail."


According to an October 11 article in the Jerusalem Post, "The
Bank of Israel has published a new book presenting banknotes and
coins of the State of Israel and the British Mandate from 1927 to
the present day by researcher and collector Yigal Arkin and edited
by Bank of Israel numismatic curator Dr. Rachel Barkay.

Available in Hebrew and English editions, the book includes pictures
of each note and coin issued, the origin of design motifs - generally
based on ancient Hebrew coins - and technical details such as anti-
counterfeiting measures.

While the book is expected to appear in stores soon, it may now be
bought directly from the Bank of Israel's publications unit for NIS 98."

To read the original article and view an image of the book's cover, see:
Full Story

[I was unable to locate a specific listing for the book on the
bank's web site.  Perhaps others will have better luck.  The URL is:   -Editor]


Regarding Steve Pellegrini's search for the author and title of a
rare book on Belgian World War I medals, Joe Levine writes: "The
reference that Steve is looking for is a two volume set with the
short title of LA FRAPPE EN BELGIQUE OCCUPEE by  Charles Lefebure
printed in 1923.  It has one volume of text and one volume of plates."

Scott Miller writes: "The book is "Expose Sucinct et Chronologique
de La Frappe Patriotique, de Necessite, de Bienfaisance et Commemorative
en Belgique Occupee" by Charles Lefebure, 1923, (usually referred to as
La Frappe en Belgique Occupee), 105 examples on Arches paper, and 575
copies on "papier pur fil lafuma" (my French is a bit weak so will
leave this untranslated) 329 pages + erratas and table des matieres,
105 plates."

J. Moens of Dilbeek, Belgium adds: "This title could be translated
as follows "Medals Struck in Occupied Belgium".  It was produced in
1923 in only 575 copies, making it indeed scarce, but not impossible
to find."

Howard Daniel adds: "Several years ago, I was in Brussels to visit a
niece and nephew whose parents were temporarily working there.  I had
been dealing with Jean Elsen in the same city for many years, so I
emailed him and made an appointment to visit his firm.  It was a cold
and rainy day as I rode one of the city's many trolley cars.  The
nearest station was about three or four blocks from a nice old townhouse
where the firm is located.  Once I was inside, the staff was very
friendly and provided me with a hot cup of tea and pointed me to a
nearby heater to warm up.

Jean Elsen & Ses Fils S.A. is primarily an auction house but they
also have price lists.  And they have a large library too.  I would
suggest Steve contact the firm at and ask them
if they have the reference he needs, and if not in their library,
where one is located.

This firm has also recently acquired a large collection of Russian
gold coins and will be auctioning it in Auction 90 on December 9,
2006.  I would not be surprised to see several excellent references
from the owner's library also in the auction.  It is very easy to
subscribe to their auctions and price lists, and often tens of
excellent old European references are in them."

[Many thanks to everyone for their information. -Editor]


Last week I noted that a new listing on the World Exonumia literature
fixed price list is one of my favorite numismatic books, TEMPUS IN
NUMMIS, by Sweeny and Turfboer, a two-volume set on numeral and
calendar systems.  The 425-page 1993 book is offered at $24.95.

Joe Boling writes: "I believe Numismatics International, the
publisher, is clearing them out at a considerably lower price.
They have been putting new copies in their auctions with no
apparent reserve."

[The official NI price as listed on their web site is $25 plus
$8 shipping.  The list includes a number of great books on
international numismatics published by NI.

One title of particular interest to bibliophiles is "Numismatic
Bibliography and Libraries" by Francis Campbell (only $5.00!)

"A comprehensive discussion by the Head Librarian of the American
Numismatic Society. The article appeared originally in Volume 37,
Supplement 2(1984) of the Encyclopedia of Library and Information
Science. The card-bound 39-page illustrated pamphlet traces the
development of numismatic literature and provides data on some
60 major numismatic libraries in the USA and abroad." -Editor]

To view the Numismatics International literature price list, see:


A web site visitor writes: "I was reading an article in The E-Sylum
archive and recognized the red coin book that was mentioned. I have
a copy of this book; actually it was my grandfather's and he passed
it to my father and finally to me. It contains all 48 coin postcards
from different countries. In my book, there is only one (Russia)
that has the word "souvenir" stamped in blue ink on it.

I was really surprised that this is such a rare item. Since I have
the full set, I would be happy to provide the names of the countries
of all the cards if you are interested so that your reader could
find out which one he is missing."

[A link to the original E-Sylum article is below.  Dick Johnson was
the reader missing one of the cards.  I put Dick in contact with the
person.  I also put them in touch with David Gladfelter, who wrote
a wonderful article on these in our print journal, The Asylum.  His
article was titled "Coinage on Postcards: The Cambist's Glorious Last

Although The E-Sylum is free to all, The Asylum is sent only to paid
members of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.   If you're not already
a member you're missing out on many great well-researched and illustrated
articles of interest.  Information on joining NBS appears at the end
of each E-Sylum issue.

There is a membership application available on our web site
at this address:  nbs_member_app.html
To join, print the application and return it with your check
to the address printed on the application. Membership is only
$15 to addresses in the U.S., $20 elsewhere.  -Editor]



To paraphrase Mark Twain, rumors of the demise of Gallery Mint have
been exaggerated, although I understand a change of name and control
is indeed underway.  The wildfire of rumors that an unanswered
telephone sparked ("No answer? They must be out of business?") is a
perfect example of the old game "telephone", where a message gets
progressively distorted the more it is told.   We have been informed
that while some changes are in the works and will be announced soon,
the mission to preserve the art and technology of minting is alive
and well.  The Gallery Mint product line, all the dies and Ron Landis'
participation will continue.  Stay tuned for further developments.


Joe Levine writes: "I am interested in information on the Whipple
Dollar (HK 832) and the  C. M. Whipple Co. of Westfield, Mass.
Although H&K muse about the various theories concerning this piece,
I have yet to find anything written about it in any other source.
Any help would be appreciated."


Jim Urbaniak writes: "I'm wondering if E-Sylum readers might be able
to assist me with a problem.  For several years now I have been
working on completing a book concerning seasonal metallic baseball
passes issued between 1896 and 1931.  While I have compiled a huge
database of historical and sale information on these passes, as well
as a large photo archive and first/second hand accounts of the use
of these passes, I have struggled to find high quality photos to
reproduce in the book without paying exorbitantly for the privilege.

This book is a labor of love and NOT something I expect will ever
be a money maker for me.  If anyone knows of anyone who is willing
to provide me copyright usage of their own photos, I would appreciate
any help I can get.  It's been frustrating to come this close to
completion of the book, only to be stopped by this.


Samuel Ernst writes: "I was inspired by the recent ANA Numismatist
article on the final resting places of famous numismatic figures,
and for Halloween I'm doing a report about the graves of famous
numismatists in Omaha.  I found both Byron Reed's and Dr. Judd's
graves and my dad and I are going to go out and take pictures, but
I wanted to have stories about them to go with the pictures.  Has
anything has ever been written about J. Hewitt Judd and how he
started collecting and how and why he wrote his first pattern book?
I talked to a couple of the really old members of the Omaha Coin
Club that knew him, but no one was able to provide much information.
I also contacted Saul Teichman."

Saul writes: "With regard to the Judd book itself, I believe Dr.
Judd was more involved in the financing of the book, not its
content. I believe the actual content/writing for the first edition
was done by Walter Breen and William Guild, a pattern collector whose
name has been mostly forgotten today but he was a contemporary of
Judd and Lohr collecting patterns in the 1940-50s.

As for Dr. Judd himself, believe it or not, I know very little.
His U.S. collection was offered by Abe Kosoff in the early 1960s as
the "Illustrated History of U.S. Coins".  He collected first year of
type as well as patterns.   I believe he was also a past president
of the ANA."

Pete Smith adds: "He served on the ANA board of governors from 1945
to 1951; as first vice president 1951 to 1953 and as president from
August 26, 1953, to August 27, 1955.  He was life member 65 of the
ANA, received the ANA Medal of Merit in 1948, and the Farran Zerbe
Award in 1955. His exhibit of pattern coins in 1952 won the Howland
Wood award for best-in-show. Judd served on the U.S. Assay commission
in 1965. He was listed in Who's Who in America in 1974.

An article on Judd (with photo) is in the October 1953 issue of
The Numismatist, pages 1034-1035."

[I've already learned a lot about Dr. Judd from these submissions.
Can anyone offer additional information on Judd?  -Editor]


Pete Smith writes: "Frank Passic has written about finding graves
of numismatists. He also has shown an excellent exhibit on the topic
at Michigan State shows in Dearborn. I hope other NBS members get to
see and enjoy this exhibit.

Lakewood Cemetery in Minneapolis is the final resting place for
Vice President Hubert H. Humphrey and a few state governors. I have
gone there to visit the graves of author A. M. Smith and Civil War
era engraver William Lanphere. An interesting fact is that neither
grave is marked with a headstone. From cemetery records, it appears
that these headstones were not damaged or stolen but rather, were
never placed. Are there other numismatists without headstones?

In discussing this, someone suggested to me that a family might be
too poor to afford a headstone. Another suggestion is that the wife
hated the husband and refused to mark the grave. Do any of our
readers have better suggestions?"


In other grave-related numismatic news, Swaziland has enacted
legislation designed to stop "spiritual prophets" from defacing
coins and banknotes and depositing them on tombs and gravesites:

"The Central Bank of Swaziland urges spiritual prophets to stop
prophesying against the law that establishes the bank as the fine
for contravening such legislation has increased to E10 000."

"There are people who put coins on top of tombs and others throw
them into rivers in response to demands of the so-called sacred
snakes that could cause havoc in the Kingdom in the event they are
not respected. The prophets are yet to explain how the snakes trade
because money is used for such purpose.

Others claim to have been visited by their dead relatives who
instructed them to put some money on top of their graves. In some
religious establishments, they use it as necklaces after they had
bore them."

[The article also notes that coin collectors who take coins out
of circulation could be fined unless they first register with the
government. -Editor]

"He said the bank recognised coin collectors in line with
international practice but wanted proof that one was a registered
coin collector. He said a formal application for some coins would
have to be submitted to the Central Bank of Swaziland.

There are people who use coins for display or advertisement in
their home countries but indications are that Swaziland is likely
to have a few or no coin collectors altogether who could be granted
permission to use the coins for legal and promotional purposes."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Dave Perkins of Centennial, CO writes: "I came across an article
originally published in Coinage magazine (issue date unknown as
Coinage did not include the publication date on the individual pages)
while putting the information on the Guttag Brothers from The E-Sylum
the last two weeks into a manila folder I keep (marked "Guttag
Brothers").  The article likely dates from late 2002 to early 2003
based on an advertisement for the Santa Clara Coin, Stamp &
Collectibles Expo (the next show was scheduled Nov. 21-23, 2003.).

The article was authored by David T. Alexander and was titled "Julius
Guttag / He Influenced Civil War Numismatics and Founded National
Coin Week".  The article mentions Julius Guttag's brother Henry who
together "were directors of Guttag Brothers, an investment and foreign-
exchange house in lower Manhattan." A number of their tokens are
illustrated in color in the article.  There is a lot of information
on the Guttag Brothers in this 4-5 page article.

My personal interest in the Guttag Brothers and my reason for keeping
a folder on them was because of an extremely rare 1795 Bolender-10
silver dollar in my collection that was once owned by Milferd H.
Bolender.  As many E-Sylum readers know, Bolender was both a coin
dealer and a specialist collector of the early silver dollars 1794-1803
by die variety.  The 1795 B-10 Dollar was lot 12 in M. H. Bolender's
183rd Sale, February 23, 1952, the sale of his personal reference
collection of silver dollars.  The reverse of this specimen was the
plate coin in Bolender's reference, "The United States Early Silver
Dollars From 1794 to 1803".  Bolender had acquired this specimen
from the Guttag Brothers per the sale catalog lot description.
Per Bolender's obituary as published in Coin World, Wednesday,
November 30, 1977 Julius Guttag sponsored Bolender for membership
in the ANA in January 1925."

Karl Kabelac writes: "For Bob Rightmire's research on individual
members of the Guttag family, perhaps the Social Security Death
Index or White Pages would be helpful.  The former website lists
over 78,000,000 now-deceased people who were under Social Security
and gives birth and death dates as well as a little other information.
The latter gives current phone numbers and addresses for individuals.
Both have entries for the uncommon surname Guttag."


Leon Worden writes: "The first gold pieces ever coined from metal
discovered in California" were not 1848 CAL. $2.50 quarter eagles
*OR* anything from the Carter deposit that was discussed in the
last E-Sylum -- or from any other Gold Rush-era deposit.

The "the first gold pieces ever coined from metal discovered in
California" were struck in Mexico, from gold that was discovered
in my neck of the woods here in Southern California. While there
may have been even earlier discoveries in this same locale, the
first *documented* discovery was made in 1842 in Placerita Canyon
(northern Los Angeles County) -- a full six years before James
Marshall's more famous discovery in the tailrace of John Sutter's
sawmill in northern California.

In 1842, of course, California was still a part of Mexico. Documentation
of the subsequent establishment of the first gold mining district in
California (1842), signed by the Mexican governor of California, can
be found in the U.S. National Archives. Some 2,000 gold miners from
the state of Sonora, Mex., came to Southern California in the 1840s to
mine the gold. They sent much of it home, where some was transformed
into escudos. By the end of the war (1848), most of the local deposit
had played out. For more information, I refer you to my story on this
subject in the October 2005 issue of COINage magazine.

Incidentally, contrary to rumor, the 1842 discovery *was* reported
in the United States. Here's a permanent link to a little write-up
in the New York Observer of Oct. 1, 1842:
New York Observer of Oct. 1, 1842

I don't pretend to know the first coins minted *UNDER U.S. AUTHORITY*
from gold found in California -- but those key words must be added to
the phrase, "the first gold pieces ever coined from metal discovered
in California," to make it correct.

Sorry if I've come on a little strong; this is a provincial thing to me."


Dick Johnson writes: "I can readily understand Tom DeLorey's comments
last week in response to "reproductions" in the numismatic field. He
probably has to field inquiries from the public about copies of rare
coins constantly working in his coin shop. This must get tiresome
rather quickly. And this is probably typical of every coin shop in
America. But it is a cost of dealing with the public. If you are a
coin dealer open for business to the public you must expect to deal
with copies the public may have.

However, there are good copies and bad copies. In fact, I've identified
twelve classes of copies and reproductions of coins (and medals). You
might even be surprised there are some copies that are worth more
than the originals.

But to dump all copies under one umbrella and disparage all is unfair
and fallible. Tom is an experienced and knowledgeable numismatist. I
admire his expertise and have complimented his writings in the field.
He, perhaps like others, may be a little short-sided on the subject
of numismatic copies however.

The bad copies are, of course, (1) counterfeits and (2) forgeries -
both illegal and made to deceive collectors and the public. These are
the "bane" of the field to use Tom's term. (3) Restrikes are a gray
area, it depends on who has the dies and what is their intent.

(4) Imitations have no bad intent and are not illegal, like childrens'
play money. (5) Facsimiles, also called "stage money" and "costume
jewelry copies," are for use in the theater and film industries.

(6) Reproductions, (7) private copies, (8) collectors' copies, and
(9) replicas are made for collectors and are called "study copies."
When these are made from new dies they are called "struck copies."
When cast by electrolysis they are called "electrotypes." All are
completely legal and of interest to and for collectors.

There is perhaps a 150-year heritage of these items. The British
Museum made electrotypes for other museums and collectors. Struck
copies of American coins have been made by a who's who of American
numismatists (Bolen, Dickeson, Idler, Robinson, Wyatt names come to
mind).  Dick Kenney compiled a pamphlet on these in 1952, published
by Wayte Raymond. Struck copies are certainly collectible.

(10) Revisions are a slight change from the original, collectors
call these "type I" and "type II."

(11) Custom copies are those made exactly like the original, by
the same maker, often of decorations and medals. Examples;
"replacement medal" (for one lost) or "jeweler's copy" for perhaps
a second uniform.

(12) Deluxe copies are made for recipients (if the recipient was
awarded one in silver a deluxe copy could be made in gold at his
own expense).

Obviously the last class are worth more than originals. This also
has occurred for the Paduan copies of ancient coins. They were of
such excellent craftsmanship and rarity they often bring higher
prices than their ancient coin originals.

Please, Tom, tar the bad copies as you should. But not all copies."

[It seems to me that Tom's point was that even copies that Dick
would categorize as "good" can and are used by unscrupulous people
to cheat collectors.  If I could paraphrase Dick's arguments, it
would be, "Copies don't cheat people, people cheat people."   Both
points are equally valid. -Editor]

Bob Neale adds: "I'd like to weigh in strongly opposed to Tom
DeLorey's apparent wish to outlaw repros. In many cases, yes,
they can be and are a problem, such as in Gallery Mint pieces
based on rare but collectible issues. But when deliberate attempts
to defraud are made using modified repros, they are almost always
found out. Buyers of stuff on eBay take lots of chances. Buyers in
face to face transactions take less. As always, dealer and personal
ethics and reputations become known over time and the bad ones can
be identified and avoided (if not subjected to the penalties called
for in some of the early counterfeiting legislation).

When it comes to items that are just not available to collectors, no
matter how deep their pockets, I believe that reproductions are a
really great idea and when done well, such as at Gallery Mint, put
more than just a picture or drawing in the hands of we who wish such
things as the silver Novas had once been made and circulated. Robert
Morris tried to bring his system of a new coinage into effect and had
a few patterns made, but Thomas Jefferson had a more rational plan
for America's new coinage that proved the basis of the mint act of
1792 [see my article, "Mr. Jefferson's Money" in the November 2005
Numismatist]. I think that anyone who has not seen the Gallery Mint
1796 type sets, for example, is missing something truly exceptional
in terms of beauty, interest, and value."


I didn't have enough time for detailed reviews of any books or
articles this week, but did want to mention some interesting articles
in recent monthly publications, specifically Coins magazine (by F+W
Publications, purchaser of Krause Publications) and COINage Magazine.

In the November 2006 issue of COINage, Leon Worden has a great
interview with John Mercanti - "No Small Change at the Mint" As
discussed in earlier E-Sylum articles, "Mercanti is bringing the
sculpting and engraving division into the future one baby step at
a time.  He is transitioning it from plaster and clay to virtual
reality, in which models are made from ones and zeros by digital
artists using touch-enabled computer interfaces that make it seem
they're sculpting in the physical world."

Also in the November COINage issue is David T. Alexender's latest
installment in The Great Collector Series, "Lester Merkin: Numismatic
and Gentleman - He Jazzed Up the Coin Auction World."  Despite the
botched headline, the article is great reading and includes an
interesting story of an encounter between Merkin, Walter Breen and
First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy, when Breen ("the barefoot guru")
"cast a horoscope for Jackie Kennedy despite the all-too-obvious
discomfort of her Secret Service escort."

In the December 2006 issue of Coins magazine, David Ganz' "Future
of Currency Foretold" article discusses the recent hearings on
numismatic topics in the U.S. House of Representatives, and Fred
Reed's "Warrior King Robert" honors the 700th anniversary of the
ascension of Robert the Bruce to the throne in Scotland.


Dick Johnson writes: "Speaking of replicas it seems Los Angeles'
Skid Row is plagued with fake coin rarities. Coins such as a 1796 U.S.
silver dollar are being sold for $20. Buyers think they are getting
a deal from someone down on their luck. No -- they are buying fakes.

The police tracked down the U.S. source, L.A. novelty shops, where
the "coins" are sold in an envelope marked "replica." But the
envelopes are being discarded and the coins peddled as possible

Numismatist Ron Guth is quoted in an article in the Mercury News,
published this week. The Associated Press article was written by
John Rogers.

"It looked like the "deal of the century," said police Detective
Michael Montoya, a couple of guys down on their luck on Skid Row,
selling priceless old silver coins for 20 bucks apiece.

It was a pretty good deal, too, but only for the sellers. The coins
they were peddling turned out to be as worthless as three-dollar bills.

"They're such blatant counterfeits that all you have to do is give
them a once over with your eyeballs to know they're fakes," said
Ron Guth, president of Professional Coin Grading Service in Irvine.

In the case of the rare 1796 silver dollar - worth perhaps $3.5
million if it was real - there were 13 stars around Lady Liberty's
head, representing the 13 original U.S. colonies. Only problem was,
the real coin contains 15 stars.

Then there was the 1832 George Washington quarter, a rare find
indeed, seeing as how Washington didn't start appearing on the
quarter until 1932."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Stephen P. Woodland writes: "The five names available for people
to vote on in the "Name Our Polar Bear" contest were: Churchill,
Makwa, Plouf, Sacha, and Wilbert."

[So - the contest was for naming the bear depicted ON the coin,
not for naming the coin itself.  -Editor]

John Regitko adds: "Since the voting is now over, the specific
webpage might no longer be up and running.  When the two-dollar
coin was first introduced in Canada, a number of nicknames were
suggested before "Toonie" was popularized. Some examples include
Bearly, Deuce, Doubloonie and Polar.

There is no longer a $5 coin in the works. It was voted down in
a survey commissioned by, I believe, the Royal Canadian Mint and
the Bank of Canada."


"The French company that misspelled the name of President Gloria
Macapagal Arroyo in 100-peso notes has reached an agreement with
the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to shoulder a fourth of the printing
cost of the erroneous bills.

Documents show that the central bank and Francois Charles Oberthur
Fiduciare (Oberthur) negotiated the settlement on Feb. 2 this year.
The company printed Arrovo on the notes instead of Arroyo.

Oberthur agreed to recognize losses on the printing cost of 19.477
million pieces of 100-peso notes, or 25 percent of the total 77.9
million defective notes."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Ron Thompson writes: "For those who find paper money or printed
money as unsatisfactory descriptors why not refer to it as
non-metallic currency and scrip?  The currency would the legal
issued kind by a government and the scrip would represent all
the rest.  Similarly you could have metallic currency and tokens
for coins etc."


"A reader Tuesday supplied to Thanh Nien newspaper a VND500,000
polymer bill with serial number of KL 04200188 that had inconsistent
coloration.... A bank employee remarked that this was a printing

Also on the same day, a reader in Ho Chi Minh City's Tan Binh
district brought to the newspaper a VND500,000 polymer note with
serial number of BL 03164712 that had a crack in the middle."

"Another reader, Huynh Van No in District 10, showed some VND500,000
polymer notes with many mistakes on, including differences in size
and in distance between the print characters and images and the edges
of the notes.

"Talking with Thanh Nien Tuesday a source from the State Bank of
Vietnam (SBV) said the errors recently discovered on the polymer
banknotes were not "a particular but a common phenomenon" to
polymer currency.

A source close to the newspaper revealed last year an SBV's division
warned the bank governor of the shortcomings of the Vietnamese polymer
bills after nearly two years of circulation."

Vietnam issued polymer banknotes for the first time on December 17,
2003, with denomination of VND500,000 and VND50,000. The VND100,000
polymer banknotes were put into circulation on September 1, 2004.

This year, three more kinds of polymer banknotes, with face values
of VND20,000, VND10,000 and VND200,000 were issued on May 17 and
August 30.

However, just several months after the first polymer banknotes
appeared in the market, problems emerged."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Kavan Ratnatunga writes: "I found a very interesting document on
the long history and current state of counterfeits.  It makes
interesting reading as one ponders the effectiveness of sanctions
on North Korea for their Nuclear test. They will just print more US$!"

"Pyongyang may have reached new heights of perfection in producing
fake $100 bills. The North Koreans have acquired equipment from
Europe that can detect counterfeit notes, according to Western
intelligence officials . Using this state-of-the-art equipment, the
North Koreans will soon be able to produce notes that are even
harder to detect than their $100 "Supernotes" now in circulation."

To read the complete paper, see: Full Story

[Actually, we've mentioned this paper before in The E-Sylum (see
the link below).  But it is topical now that North Korea is in the
news.  -Editor]



Web site visitor M. Poorman writes: "I just finished reading your
piece on holed cents and wanted to add a bit I heard from a friend
who got some coins from his grandfather who lived in Boston around
the turn of the century. It seems that sailors on wooden sailing
ships would tack a penny on the bulkhead over their bunk for luck,
hence the hole. Quite a tale - it convinced me to purchase one very
nice 1851 large cent for $2.00. Just another theory to add to the mix."



"Recently, Boulder County Treasurer Bob Hullinghorst found there was
still gold in "them thar hills!"

When Lafayette resident, Scott Valentine, came in to pay his taxes
in gold, the folks at the County Treasurer's office found themselves
in a predicament ... how do you make change for gold coins?

On Wednesday, Oct. 4, Mr. Valentine walked into the Boulder County
office with four gold coins and intentions of paying his taxes. The
gold coins, worth about $1,100, are not a common or generally
acceptable form of payment in the Treasurer's office, as the office
is not equipped to weigh or value gold.

Not wanting to disappoint a taxpayer, Treasurer Bob Hullinghorst
did some research. According to Article 1, Section 10 of the United
States Constitution, gold and silver are allowed as acceptable tender
for the payment of debt, although Colorado Law limits the amount that
can be used for property tax payments with coins to their face value.
So, the question of accepting gold coins for payment of taxes was

Hullinghorst solved this problem by calling on another Boulder
County taxpayer and local businessman, Stephen Tebo, for help. As
a collector of rare coins, Tebo agreed to come to the aid of Mr.
Valentine and purchase the gold at current market price, which was
approximately $570 per ounce, according to Monex Deposit Company."

"Says Hullinghorst, "It's not every day we get the opportunity to
see a taxpayer leave our office with such a smile on his face.
Today we did."

"Tebo felt it ironic the four gold coins, which could have paid
property taxes on a home when minted in 1907, were valuable enough
to pay taxes on the same home 100 years later.

Hullinghorst stated that while he was pleased to be able to handle
this transaction, he hoped it would be a one time event. "

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Dick Johnson writes: "I'll bet you have heard of some weird uses
for cents, but this is a first to me. A recent article describes
how a corroded copper-zinc cent was used to win a lawsuit.

The plaintiff was a electrical utility worker who was sent into a
salt water canal 40 feet below ground level. While cleaning up the
muck a pocket of hydrogen sulfide gas (rotten egg smell) was released,
a causing the crew to lose consciousness. The plaintiff tried to
escape but only made it up half way before he, too, lost consciousness
and fell twenty feet. He sued. But he had to prove it was caused by
the release of the hydrogen sulfide.

The article's author was a chemical consultant to the plaintiff's
lawyer. All he had were three coins that were in the worker's pocket.
He did an analysis of the cent -- badly corroded and black color.
His conclusion, after an electron probe and literature search, were
that this corrosion could only come from sulfur contained in that
sewer gas.  The penny won the case."

To read the Case of the Sulfurous Sewer, just published, click on:
Full Story


This week's featured web site is recommended by Dick Johnson.  He
writes: "There are lots of good tips on this website. I like the
first statement in bold face type:  Not every coin needs to be cleaned!
How true. It discusses methods, tools and the concept of Patina.
Incrusted patina can be both good and bad. Learn the differences and
how to remove the bad. Worth a visit."

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.

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