The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

PREV        NEXT        V9 2006 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 9, Number 43, October 22, 2006:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers are Bob Saylor, courtesy of John
Eshbach, and Paul N. Romano. Welcome aboard!  We now have 991

This week's issue brings great news for numismatists and bibliophiles
- a new numismatic museum and library is opening this week in the U.S.,
and a numismatic exhibit reopens in Berlin.  Our readers have contributed
some good information on collector J. Hewitt Judd, and we have a
query about William Barber, Chief Engraver of the U.S. Mint.  And
speaking of mints, the once high-flying Franklin Mint has been sold

Around the world we learn about change shortages in Moscow, a
politically sensitive banknote spelling mistake in Kazakhstan,
and new honors for the inventor of the polymer banknote.

Next week your editor will be poking around the Pennsylvania
Association of Numismatists show in Monroeville, PA.  I understand
Cliff Mishler will be at the show as well, so it's the numismatic
place to see and be seen.  The fall colors are in full bloom this
time of year, so it's a great time for a drive through Western PA.

While looking for fall colors this afternoon our family took a
random drive around some nearby country roads and stumbled across
the fall harvest festival at Great Country Farms in Bluemont,
Virginia.  Great fun for all, and life just isn't complete until
you've fired a big pumpkin from the Great Emancipator Pumpkin Cannon,
which I understand came in fourth in the 2004 World Championships
with a launch of 3877.68 feet!  Here's a picture of the cannon on
the farm's homepage, and a YouTube video of a similar launch.
Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


George Kolbe writes: "On October 19, 2006, George Frederick Kolbe
/Fine Numismatic Books conducted their 101st sale of rare and out
of print numismatic literature. Featured were 902 lots on a great
variety of topics, particularly rich in "Numismatica Americana."

Some sale highlights include: the numismatic archives of Del Bland,
which were purchased for $40,250 on behalf of the American Numismatic
Society, where they will eventually be available for study (all
prices cited include the 15% buyer premium); Antiquarian numismatic
books sold well, including Vaillant's 1703 two volume Nummi Antiqui
Familiarum Romanorum @ $1,150; B. Max Mehl's specially bound 1922
James Ten Eyck Catalogue experienced spirited bidding and brought
an impressive $9,200; two sets of Haxby's Standard Catalog of
Obsolete Bank Notes brought $805 and $771 respectively; an
exceptional example of Crosby's 1875 Early Coins of America,
depicted on the cover of the sale catalogue, sold for $6,900;
several classic Russian numismatic works, including two original
Georgii Mikhailovich Volumes, generally brought well over estimate;
Ted Craige's 1907 plated Stickney sale realized $4,370; standard
works on ancient coins were avidly sought after; an extensive run
of Stack's auction sale catalogues, invaluable for numismatic
research, realized $3,737; the first photographically-illustrated
American auction catalogue, Cogan's 1869 Mortimer Livingston Mackenzie
sale garnered a winning bid of $1,725; a long run of over 100 Ed.
Frossard catalogues brought $4,715; The 1873 Descriptive Seavey-
Parmelee Catalogue sold for $3,795; Del Bland's original handwritten
condition census for early date large cents brought $6,900; the first
Q. David Bowers numismatic publication, an 8 page paper-covered
pamphlet, sold for $748; Wyon's 1887 Great Seals of England realized
$518; etc. A few catalogues are still available and may be ordered
by sending $15.00 to Kolbe at P. O. Drawer 3100, Crestline, CA 92325."


George Kolbe writes: "In 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 starting as low as $1.00. Certain George Frederick Kolbe
Publications will also be included in the sale. The list of over
1600 items may be obtained by sending $1.00 to the firm and will
eventually be accessible free of charge at the firm's web site
( Prices are good until December 31, 2006."


According to a press release issued by Washington University in
St. Louis, the long-awaited Newman Money Museum will be dedicated
on October 25th:

"The 3,000-square-foot Newman Money Museum, housed within the new
Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, features items drawn from Newman's
renowned collection as well as a numismatics library and workspace
for scholars. Displays survey the history of coins and paper money
from their beginnings and to the present day, as well as the
relationship between money, society, culture and commemoration and
related issues such as production, inflation and counterfeiting.

"Mr. Newman's interests are extremely broad, though his primary area
of focus has been Colonial and early American money," said Tom
Serfass, curator of the Newman collection since 1990.

Several exhibits document the legacy of Benjamin Franklin, a central
figure in the development of American Colonial paper money. For
example, in the 1730s, Franklin helped curb widespread counterfeiting
through his invention of "nature printing," in which bills were
printed with intricate leaf patterns."

"Exhibits also will explore the lasting influence of Spanish specie
coinage, which was widely used until the mid-19th century. For example,
the Spanish peso - also nicknamed the Spanish milled dollar or "piece
of eight" - was comprised of eight reals, which Colonists often
physically cut apart ("made change") using a hatchet."

"Also on view will be displays about the creation of money, from
conception and initial design sketches through coinage and engraving
and final production; as well as an extensive collection of coin
counters and changers; rare examples of printing errors; and a selection
of "Hard Times tokens," a form of non-governmental copper coinage
popular during money shortages accompanying the 1837-44 recession.

Eric P. Newman is perhaps best known for his pioneering study The
Early Paper Money of America (1967), which remains the standard work
on the subject and is now entering its fifth edition. Other written
works include The 1776 Continental Currency Coinage: Varieties of the
Fugio Cent (1952), The Fantastic 1804 Dollar (1962) and U.S. Coin
Scales and Counterfeit Coin Detectors (2000)."

"The Newman Money Museum opens Wednesday, Oct. 25. It is housed within
Washington University's new Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, located
near the intersection of Skinker and Forsyth boulevards. A dedication
ceremony for the complex will begin at 3 p.m. with an open house
following from 4:30 to 8 p.m. All exhibits are free and open to the
public. Hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays;
11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays; and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays.
The museum is closed Tuesdays and university holidays. For more
information, call (314) 935-9595."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

[Eric Newman writes: "Our team is working full time to get the museum
open on time and we are hopeful that it will be of educational benefit
to and enjoyment for the public. It has been an enormous amount of
work to get our museum and its display cases and library office designed
and created, to determine what exhibits and regulations to start with
and to coordinate with the Art and Architecture Department of Washington
University's new large Art Center building.  The recent Coin World
article was generated from the University which is presently handling
the publicity for our money museum section."

I spoke briefly by phone with Tom Serfass, and he will provide us some
more information once the opening is complete.  Until then, there is
much last-minute work to do, but I'm sure all will turn out well.  If
there are any E-Sylum readers in driving distance of St. Louis, you are
hereby duly deputized to attend the opening ceremony and report back to
our readers.  It's not every day one has the opportunity to participate
in such a happy occasion for numismatists and bibliophiles.  We wish
Eric and his team all the best and look forward to the facility's debut.


Regarding last week's request for information about J. Hewitt Judd,
Dick Johnson writes: "J(ohn) Hewitt Judd and Walter Henry Breen did
indeed work together on the pattern book, a classic in its time.
During a coin convention in Omaha I was invited to Dr. Judd's home.
Walter had been there before then.  The number "two" sticks in my mind,
but whether it was two weeks or two months I cannot recall now. The
numismatists worked together for that length of time.  Walter lived
with the Judds during that period, so it was a close collaboration.
The spectacular collection was kept in cabinets on both sides of
the basement family room."

George Kolbe writes: "Joel Malter purchased Judd's notable numismatic
library and much of it was identified as such when Joel's library was
sold this past June. Judd collected ancient Greek coins. I am not sure
about the disposition of the American component, though, years ago, I
bought Dr. Judd's complete set of the American Journal of Numismatics
from Joel."

[Below are links to some E-Sylum articles from earlier this year
about Joel Malter and the sale of his library.  -Editor]



JOEL MALTER 1931-2006

Steve Dippolito writes: "J. Hewitt Judd also won the ANA best-of-show
award in 1949, the first year I can find reference to that award,
although at the time it had not yet been named the Howland Wood award.
(The first year it was so named was 1951, and it was won by R. S. Yeoman
of Red Book fame.)  The ANA has a page on Thomas Law which claims that
he and one other person (not named, but presumably Jean Bullen) were
the only multiple winners of the Howland Wood, apparently leaving out
J. Hewitt Judd.  I would guess that in researching that page, they only
looked at awards since 1951, but to my way of thinking the substance of
the award is more important than its name.  (This page was quoted in
the Coin World obituary for Thomas Law.)"


Sylvana Aicken was referred to us by Rich Hartzog.  She writes: "My
daughter is doing a school project due November 10th on U.S. Trade
Dollars and William Barber as Chief Engraver.  Could anyone provide
us with information on where to obtain a photograph of Barber?"

[For Trade Dollar information I referred them to John Willem's book
"The United States Trade Dollar: America's Only Unwanted, Unhonored
Coin".  Can anyone recommend a place to find a photo or portrait of
William Barber?   -Editor]


This week Dave Perkins sent a copy of the COINage article mentioned
previously in response to Bob Rightmire's request for information
on the Guttag Brothers.  The article by David Alexander was published
in December 2003.  Bob writes: "I continue to be amazed at the level
of support I am receiving from those who read The E-Sylum. By
comparison, four years ago I authored the revised edition of The
Prints of Rockwell Kent. Several in the know withheld information,
even after I asked for assistance, and then criticized the book for
lacking what they had held back. How different this experience has


"The latest addition to Berlin's cultural landscape, the Bode Museum,
is to reopen its doors after a six-year makeover. The museum's domed
building, which juts out into the Spree River, is a work of art in

"... when journalists were invited into the freshly refurbished
neoclassical structure on the tip of Berlin's famous Museum Island,
sunshine poured through the building's windows and skylights - perfect
illumination for the painstaking, 162-million-euro ($203 million)
renovation that has created a new home for Berlin's sculpture
collection, along with treasures of the Byzantine era and coins
from antiquity to the present day.

'After 67 years, after the years of war, evacuation, destruction
and the long years of division, we can finally display the richness
of our treasures,' said Lehmann."

"The numismatics collection has a total of 500,000 objects, recording
a history of coinage from the 6th century BCE to the common European
currency, the euro, of the 21st century. Some 4,000 coins and medals
will be on display."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

[Does anyone know if the Bode museum has a numismatic library in
connection with its collection?  -Editor]


"Restaurants do it. Minibus drivers do it. Even thinly clad strip
dancers do it. But having exact change for customers has yet to
become a habit for many others.

Yekaterina Panteliushina, an investor relations manager, recalled
being handed tubes of toothpaste and two toothbrushes in lieu of
change at the dentist."

"Reluctance to give out change, or an inability to serve customers
due to a lack of it, can be a bewildering or frustrating experience.
Admittedly, the situation has improved since 2000, when breaking a
500-ruble banknote outside a major supermarket was nigh impossible.
But about two-thirds of all banknotes in circulation are 1,000-ruble
bills, and their share grew by 5 percent last year, according to
Central Bank data. In addition, the recent introduction of a 5,000-
ruble note is not promising to make things any easier.

An informal survey of about two dozen people found that larger notes
are usually accepted by major supermarkets, upper-end restaurants,
late-night flower shops and minibuses.

In contrast, kiosks, street stalls, economy-class retailers, fast-
food chains, taxis and regular restaurants tend to insist on the
exact amount, at times turning away customers with larger notes.

"The reason many merchants ask for exact change is simple: to
avoid bank fees.

Banks charge to collect and deliver cash. The cheapest delivery fee
at Promsvyazbank, for example, is 750 rubles -- 450 rubles for the
driver and 300 rubles for the cash.

Banks also can charge for orders of coins and banknotes in
specific denominations and to tally the collected cash.

The whole service -- cash collection and providing change -- is
too expensive for most shopkeepers to order daily, so many order
once or twice a week."

"The fees appear here to stay because they are a cash cow for banks.
"Cash collection is an expensive banking service," said Maria
Davydova, a retail analyst with FIM Securities."

"Seventh Continent said it was seeing a deficit of 50-ruble and
100-ruble notes, while supermarket chain Kopeika bemoaned a lack
of coins of all denominations in its regional stores."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


According to a news report, "The Kazakhstan central bank has
misspelled the word "bank" on its new notes, officials said
on Wednesday.

The bank plans to put the misprinted notes -- worth 2,000 tenge
($15) and 5,000-tenge -- into circulation in November and then
gradually withdraw them to correct the spelling."

"The mistake ... is not just a spelling problem -- it has
political undertones," a letter from members of parliament to
President Nursultan Nazarbayev said."

"Language is a contentious issue in Kazakhstan.

Kazakhs were encouraged to speak Russian, which is written in
Cyrillic script, during Soviet times but since independence in
1991, the country has seen the Kazakh language as a national symbol.

The Kazakh word for bank is the Cyrillic form of "bank." On the
new note, the word was written with an alternate Kazakh form of
the letter K, which has a slightly different pronunciation."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


According to an October 17th Associated Press report, "The Franklin
Mint, once the world's largest collectibles maker but now engaged
in a battle against changing consumer tastes, was sold to a group of
private investors.

A group led by executives from Hicksville, N.Y.-based The Morgan Mint
bought The Franklin Mint from Roll International Corp., a privately
held firm based in Los Angeles. The new ownership group includes
Hollywood producer David Salzman, who describes himself as "at times,
an out-of-control collector of stuff."

"Founded in 1964 by Joseph Segel, who also started QVC Inc., The
Franklin Mint has a well-known brand name whose sales once nearly
reached a billion dollars.

"The new owners are hiring back key personnel and hope to eventually
reopen the museum.

They also hope to restore the Mint to the status it had enjoyed
during its heyday.

"When Franklin Mint was at its peak, it was making the market. It
was defining what the next generation of products would be," Salzman
said. "There's been a leadership void we'd like to take back."

To read the complete article, see:Full Story


Dick Johnson writes: "There are two bridges and two ferries between
Halifax and Dartmouth in Nova Scotia, Canada. They have used tokens
to cross the bridges since 1955. Now the Halifax-Dartmouth Bridge
Commission wants to "ditch their use," according to a news story in
the Halifax Daily News this week.

The action taken by the Nova Scocians is indicative of tollway
administrators across North America. Token use is declining while
systems using drive-by electronic scanning and monthly billing are
on the rise. These Canadians call their system MacPasses that were
introduced in 1998. The commission had issued five different tokens
(for five classes of cars and trucks based on the number of axles)
used for bridge crossings.

But it is interesting to note the reasons given in the public hearing
this week. "Tokens are expensive to handle, slow bridge traffic, but
most importantly, will not work with the new tolling system. Then
there is the cost of collecting, counting and bagging tokens and the
delays created when drivers stop to buy them at the toll booths."

For token manufacturers it is an evolving problem. Several have
turned to casinos for producing their customized gaming chips to
replace a once-lucrative token business. For some it is coming too
late. New England's Roger Williams Mint when out of business this
summer and was bought out by Osborne Coinage Company of Cincinnati.

For token collectors the rate of obsolete tokens is growing. For
token manufacturers they are going to have to be very creative in
finding new markets for their products. As for collectors we could
look forward to any new diestruck items provided they are attractive
and significant.

The story of this Canadian token's intended demise is at: Full Story


Responding to Dick's Johnson's comments in his earlier item on coin
replicas, Tom DeLorey writes: "My opinion on numismatic reproductions
is not just derived from working in a coin shop for 20+ years, but also
from four years in Coin World's Collectors Clearinghouse and 5-1/2 years
at the American Numismatic Association sending out hundreds, if not
thousands, of form letters beginning with a variation on "We regret
to inform you....." I doubt if any of the recipients considered the
letter to be an uplifting educational experience.

One time while working at Coin World I read a story in a Detroit
Newspaper about a family in Michigan that had been torn apart by a
Blake & Co. $20 replica that a girl had found on her uncle's property,
that the uncle had been incorrectly informed was "very valuable" and
was now refusing to share with the girl. The girl's father was suing
his brother, and everybody in the family had chosen one side or the

I called the reporter to tell him that the Blake was very common in
replica form, and he told me somebody else had seen the article and
told the family the same thing, but their response was that they had
already spent so much in legal fees they were going to see the case

The U.S. Treasury used to have a rule that photographic reproductions
of U.S. currency had to be either 75% or less of actual size or 150%
or greater, in order to prevent the reproduction from being confused
with and/or used as actual currency. The same rule would certainly
make numismatic reproductions more easily identifiable, but would
probably never be followed because it would make the reproductions
harder to sell for a profit."

[Tom also noticed a typo in Dick's submission that I he and I both
missed.  Dick wrote: "He, perhaps like others, may be a little
short-sided on the subject of numismatic copies however."  Tom adds:
"My sides, though perhaps a bit wider than I would like, remain of
average height."  -Editor]

Last week I wrote: "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."

David Ganz writes: "Both domestic (U.S.) counterfeiting laws and
the Hobby Protection Act respectfully disagree with the conclusion.
The act applies to study copies placed or acquired in commerce and
those bought or sold. Doubt it? Send one to the Secret Service
for a look-see and see if you get it back."


Bob Lyall writes: "In the article about copies, reference is made to
'When cast by electrolysis they are called "electrotypes." '

Electrotypes are not casts, they were produced by coating a genuine
coin in a thin film of oil, and passing a current from a bar of silver,
thru a bath of a chemical (I am not sure what chemical, maybe silver
nitrate) to transfuse the silver onto the original coin which was the
other terminal in the bath; this coin was protected by the oil.
There formed a silver skin on the genuine coin which was carefully
cut away, making two halves of a coin, these being put together and
filled so they made a near perfect copy of the original, the weight
being one "give away" usually.

Sometimes the surface is "oily", often the edge was countermarked
RR (incuse) for Robert Ready, the British Museum electrotypist in
the mid 19th century who is regarded as the most skilled of such
electrotypists.  They can be exceedingly deceptive but the weight
is often a give away but not necessarily so with hammered and ancient
coins; sometimes traces of the edge join can be seen, but not always.

One of the "commonest" in the UK are electrotypes of the Charles I
Oxford crown.  Many years ago I was told that the British Museum
stopped making them to order when they bought one of their own
electros as a genuine coin!  I don't know if this is a fact or
just a nice story!  But beware; they can be very deceptive indeed."


Regarding my question about numismatic connections to Cripple Creek,
Ken Hallenbeck writes: "The Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining
Company has produced a series of medals for some 8 or 9 years now.
They produce a half ounce gold medal and a one ounce silver medal
with the picture of one of the mining headframes in the area.  They
have also produced other one, two, and five ounce medals in silver
with gold highlighting of some of the designs.  The medals are
manufactured by the Northwest Territorial Mint.  Some of the medals
are of very limited quantities."


Scott Douglas writes: "In reference to Pete Smith's 'Missing
Numismatic Headstones' article, I can offer this instance from
my research: While researching Canadian Numismatist William Robert
McColl for my privately published book 'Traces of a Numismatic Past'
I discovered that although his interment was registered in the
Greenwood Cemetery in Owen Sound, Ontario there was not a headstone
or footstone or anything at all to mark the resting place of this
well-respected citizen. His long time business partner was William
Lee and his wife Lucy was Lee's sister. Both of these fine
individuals predeceased McColl. The McColls did not have children
and so when W.R. McColl died in 1933 he was laid to rest in the
Lee plot, beside his wife, by his nephews. The headstone simply
states LEE."


According to an Australian news report, "A scientist who yesterday
won an award from the Bracks Government for inventing the world's
first plastic banknote will use the same technology to save billions
of litres of water being lost from catchment areas because of

Victorian Minister for Innovation John Brumby yesterday praised
Professor Solomon's research. Mr Brumby said he was "an elite
scientist who had bridged the gap when many others fail".

Professor Solomon's development of the polymer banknote in the early
1970s resulted in greater durability and security for Australia's

The world's first plastic banknote was released to the public in
1988 to commemorate Australia's bicentenary.

"The new plastic banknote put Australia at the forefront of secure
and environmentally friendly currency production, and the technology
has been exported to more than 20 countries around the world," Mr
Brumby said.

While Professor Solomon is best known in Australia for his work on
polymer banknotes, he is acclaimed worldwide for developing a process
that controls the structure and formation of polymer chains, giving
plastics a wider range of applications."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


According to a Massachusetts newspaper account, "Wendy Bordeleau was
stunned to find out that a stroke of a pen had shown a $50 bill in
her husband's possession to be counterfeit.

But surprise has now turned into frustration, as the couple has
unsuccessfully wrangled over a potential reimbursement with the
Tewksbury bank they say gave them the fake bill."

"Although she declined to discuss the specifics of the case,
Sovereign Bank spokeswoman Deborah Pulver said the bank has led an
internal investigation and that Sovereign Bank officials "are
comfortable" with the decision to not reimburse the $50 bill.

"Although Sovereign Bank has "many processes" in place to catch
any counterfeit money -- from training its tellers to using currency
counters with the ability to detect fake bills -- Pulver acknowledged
that the measures are not foolproof.

"The only 100 percent certainty you can get is by calling the
Secret Service to check all the serial numbers," she said."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

[Huh?  The serial numbers?  If that statement is any indication of
the quality of the bank's counterfeit detection education program,
it's no wonder a fake could slip through the cracks.  I've heard
plenty of indicators for telling a real note from a fake, but a
list of serial numbers was never one of them.

I forwarded the story to Bob Leuver, former head of the Bureau of
Engraving and Printing.  He writes: "I suppose that the Secret Service
could check serial numbers to give them an idea whether a given note
was counterfeit, but CSI (Las Vegas, Miami or NYC) certainly would
not make this the thesis or plot for a program.

The Secret Service will be interested in the serial number as they
will use that in conjunction with their case file.  Counterfeiters
most often use the same serial number for a "series" of banknotes.
The Secret Service will use the serial number to establish quantity
and, hopefully, location of the "passing" of notes and the location
of the press or computer operation.

My opinion is that the bank was correct in refusing to reimburse for
the counterfeit $50.  The bank does not really know that they dispensed
it.  If they did know or were eager for a public relations kudo they
could have reimbursed the recipient.  The latter would be cheaper
than losing an account and the adverse publicity.

The Secret Service is as good as the forensic teams at CSI.  They
can quickly establish whether a US banknote is counterfeit.  Virtually
every Secret Service agent can do that, but those in the Counterfeit
Division are more adept.  Most agents can detect a counterfeit by sight.
If the bill looks too good, a microscope and some forensic tests might
be required."  -Editor]


"A man, who authorities linked to the discovery of phony currency
in billion-dollar denominations, was sentenced Wednesday in Los Angeles
to 33 months in prison.

Tekle Zigetta, 45, pleaded guilty in March to three federal counts,
including currency smuggling, for trying to bring $37,000 in real money
into the United States on a flight from South Korea in 2002.

In addition to the $37,000, customs agents at Los Angeles International
Airport found that Zigetta was carrying a total of $200,000 in
counterfeit currency, along with a document mentioning "billion-dollar"
bills, prosecutors allege."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story




This week's featured web site is recommended by Roger deWardt Lane
of Hollywood, Florida.  "All Around Africa: African Coins and Tokens"
illustrates a number of interesting pieces.

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