Volume 17, Number 32, August 3, 2014
New subscribers this week include: Douglas Wright, Ryan Lepine, Shane Rivett and James Tomlinson. Welcome aboard! We now have 1,750 subscribers.
This week we open with NBS events at this week's ANA convention, a new numismatic literature fixed price list, the sale of the Dave Surber numismatic library, and two book reviews.
Other topics include the Canadian Numismatic Bibliography, the Eckfeldt Family Archives, coin production at the West Point Mint, early Massachusetts paper money, and the Orders & Medal Society convention.
To learn more about The Big Nickel, Adam Eckfeldt's farewell tribute medal, an 1869-O Barber half-dollar, Robert Brock, Ralf Böpple, J.S.G. Boggs, Dutch jetons, Renaissance medals, faleristic topics, a piece of numismatic genius and the $50 gold slugfest, read on. Have a great week, everyone!
Here's the schedule of NBS events at the 2014 Chicago World's Fair of Money in Rosemont, Ill. I hope to see many of you there! -Editor
Thursday, Aug. 7
Numismatic Bibliomania Society's Symposium
The annual Symposium of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS) will feature the presentation What it Takes to Get your Numismatic Book or Article in Print: HOW TO RESEARCH, WRITE, AND HAVE IT PUBLISHED by distinguished NBS members, Q. David Bowers and Dennis Tucker. This NBS event will be held on Thursday, Aug. 7, from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in Room 42 of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, Illinois, as part of the American Numismatic Association’s “World’s Fair of Money.” A question and answer session will follow immediately. The NBS Symposium is open to all ANA convention goers.
Attendees will learn the keys to producing successful books and articles from two noted experts.
Q. David Bowers
Numismatic Bibliomania Society Board Meeting
Friday, Aug. 8
Numismatic Bibliomania Society General Meeting
NBS Past President Dan Hamelberg is a longtime U.S. coin collector and numismatic bibliophile, whose personal library of some 15,000 volumes includes some of the rarest specimens of U.S. numismatic literature. He will discuss and display a few highlights of his library, including Thomas Jefferson’s work on weights, measures, and coins, the Congressional Act creating the Mint, and papers appointing Henry Voigt as the first coiner to the U.S. Mint. The latter two documents are both signed by Thomas Jefferson.
Wayne Homren is founder and editor of The E-Sylum, the weekly NBS electronic newsletter for numismatic bibliophiles, researchers and “just plain collectors”. Covering topics all over the numismatic map from book reviews, hobby history and recent coin designs, its readership spans an engaged and influential global audience, including top authors, collectors and dealers on six continents. For his work Homren won the 2008 Burnett Anderson Memorial Award for numismatic writing.
Having worked in the technology field his entire career, Homren has been in the vanguard of applying new technologies to his numismatic hobby. “He was writing a blog before the word was coined,” said NBS Historian Joel Orosz. He created NBS’ first web site by hand in the mid-1990s, and led its upgrade in 2008. The site includes a free archive of all E-Sylum issues, encompassing over 17,000 articles to date.
His talk will summarize the history of numismatics on the Internet from the early days of dialup through today’s mobile app-driven world, and looks beyond today to a world where ever more numismatic information is instantly findable and seamlessly usable online.
The Symposium may have some musical competition. According to the ANA web site, at 11:45 that morning, conventiongoers will be treated to "Autograph Singing by U.S. Mint Deputy Director Richard A. Peterson" -Editor
For the full convention schedule, see: http://worldsfairofmoney.com/schedule.aspx
David Fanning forwarded this announcement about the new Kolbe & Fanning fixed price catalog. -Editor
Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers have just published a catalogue of rare and select numismatic books for sale at fixed prices. Items offered cover the span of numismatic study from the 16th century onwards, with books included on ancient, foreign and U.S. coins and medals. Regular clients of the firm will receive a printed copy. The full catalogue can also be downloaded from their website at www.numislit.com.
A few highlights include:
Items listed are available for immediate purchase at the prices indicated. Orders may be placed by post, email, phone or fax. Email or phone are recommended, as orders are being filled on a first-come, first-served basis. Please see the Terms of Sale in catalogue for complete purchasing instructions.
For more information or to receive a catalogue, please contact David Fanning at (614) 414-0855 or by email at email@example.com.
Kolbe & Fanning will be attending this year’s American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, held in Chicago, Illinois, August 5 through 9. The firm will have Booths 1048 and 1049 and will have hundreds of titles available for purchase. Stop by, browse our stock and say hello!
It's a beautiful, well-illustrated catalog with lots of interesting information and many tempting treats for the numismatic bibliophile. -Editor
Agora Auctions announced that its upcoming sales will feature the ancient coin collection and numismatic library of Dave Surber, the founder of WildWinds.com. -Editor
Agora Auctions announces the sale of the ancient coin collection and numismatic library of Dave Surber, the founder of WildWinds.com the first and most prominent ancient coin research website. The Surber collection includes a wonderful selection of Lindgren plate coins, South Italian Greek coins and a variety of Greek, Roman Imperial and Provincial coins.
“Dave was an avid collector and it is a great honor to be trusted with the sale of his collection. What makes this collection incredibly special are not just the rarities it contains, but their incredible pedigree--these coins were owned and treasured by a very important figure in ancient numismatics in the 20th and 21st Century,” says Alfredo De La Fé, Director of Marketing at Agora Auctions. “Thanks to Dave’s work, hundreds, if not thousamds, of new collectors got their start and tens of thousands of enthusiasts continue to use WildWinds on a regular basis.”
A graduate from MIT, Dave was a chemical engineer and software programmer by trade, Dave Surber began his fascination with ancient coins in 1996. After attempting to research an ancient coin he had purchased on the internet without success he took on the personal project of creating the first research website dedicated to ancient coins. In his own words he wrote to a friend in a private email: “I got an ancient coin as a gift for Christmas in 1996… my next step was to do a web search... and amazing as it is to say today, there was nothing, not one hit! Try it today of course and you'll get hundreds or thousands of hits, but then there was a glaring need for an online catalog of ancient coins. There are hundreds of ancient coins [for sale via various] venues every day, the images flowing through and disappearing like the wind. My idea for WildWinds was to create the equivalent of a windmill to capture some of this boundless energy...”
Sadly, Dave passed away suddenly on February 20, 2009, at the age of 49. His passion and commitment to his hobby has fueled the growth of the field of ancient numismatics and has inspired dozens of research websites as well as thousands of collectors worldwide.
The dedicated sale of the Surber collection began on Tuesday July 29th, at 3:00pm EST which closes on Tuesday August 19th at 12:00pm (noon) EST, with lots closing every 30 seconds. Additional lots will be included in the following three sales.
To visit the Agora web site, see: http://agoraauctions.com
Jon Radel writes:
The Canadian Numismatic Bibliography Project has announced that the CD intended to supplement the Canadian Numismatic Bibliography is now available to owners of the printed volumes. Publication was delayed until now, given concerns that possible inappropriate redistribution of the CD, which contains the full text without illustrations, would undercut sales of the printed volumes.
If you purchased the volumes directly from the Project and they have your current contact information, you should have heard directly, or will shortly, with the required request form. If you've moved or acquired your copy of the paper volumes on the secondary market, and you're interested in a copy of the CD, you can contact Ronald Greene at firstname.lastname@example.org or in person during the RCNA convention August 13 - 16.
As a purchaser of the book, I also got one of these announcements. I dropped my signed agreement in the mail Saturday morning. If you've purchased the book from the project (or indirectly through a third party), please contact Ron to get your copy of the CD. And if you haven't purchased a copy, what are you waiting for? This two-volume book is a virtual encyclopedia of Canadian numismatics, a trove of information that's even easier to use with the accompanying CD. -Editor
To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
And speaking of Canada, Jeff Fournier submitted this review of a book on a fun and unusual numismatic topic that we've covered before in The E-Sylum - The Big Nickel, a giant sculpture of a Canadian five-cent piece. -Editor
The Big Nickel - a giant 30 foot replica of the Canadian 1951 commemorative 5 cent piece, towers over the City of Greater Sudbury from its home at Dynamic Earth. It is truly a sight to behold.
The iconic giant recently turned 50 and as part of the celebrations, Ted Szilva – the creator of the Big Nickel, has released a book - “The Big Nickel: The Untold Story”. It is a complete account of his dream and the obstacles he overcame to create the Big Nickel and the world’s first and only numismatic park. It is a story that - like the Big Nickel itself - is larger than life. The book covers the conception, construction and operation of The Big Nickel in the world’s first Numismatic Park.
The Big Penny and The Big Nickel
Ted’s son, Jim, co-authored the book, which was released in Sudbury on June 26 at an impressive book launch held at Dynamic Earth’s Atlas Copco Theatre.
The first part of the book covers Ted’s life as he grows up in Sudbury during the 1930’s and 1940’s.
Following Ted’s stories from his choice of careers, his marriage to wife Betty and the birth of their five children, the book moves on to discuss the obstacles Ted had to overcome to finally get the Big Nickel project off the ground until the eventual sale of the Big Nickel in the early 80’s.
Ted takes over at this point after the story of the opening of the Big Nickel on July 22, 1964. The story becomes very personal as Ted talks about the many individuals who worked with and inspired him and of the many projects and community organizations that Ted initiated and worked on throughout the years.
The book contains dozens of photos of Ted’s family and friends and offers a pictorial timeline of the construction and operation of the Canadian Centennial Numismatic Park – home of the Big Nickel.
Medallions Help Fund Park
One of the more fascinating stories in the book takes place shortly after Ted had signed the papers for the 17 acres of land where he would build his park. He met up with a travelling salesman named Rod Smith who was a shoe salesman who also represented the Wellings Manufacturing Company in Toronto. The company had begun making a name for itself by designing and producing commemorative medallions which they’d sold to collectors who had caught the coin collecting bug (which was quite the contagion in the 1960’s!)
Rod agreed to pay for the dies to be used for a medal that would commemorate what was soon to be the Canadian Centennial Numismatic Park. He even agreed to advance Ted the money for the first 500 medallions.
Ted set up the Nickel Monument Development Corporation so that he could begin selling the medallions. The first 500 medallions that had been financed by Smith were easily pre-sold. Silva ordered another 1000. These were displayed at a local store and sold out within an hour.
Souvenir Big Penny and Big Nickel medals
As a result of publicity from numerous coin publications, orders poured in from around the world and thousands of dollars in revenue from the medallion sales were generated.
“As Smith had predicted, (the medallion sales were) very profitable. The medallions cost 35 cents to produce and they sold for $1.25. Ted then realized why Smith was more than happy to front the money for the dies.”
Kennedy Medal and Big Kennedy Half
Anyone interested in reading a unique part of Canada’s history, or who is interested in learning more about the Canadian Centennial Numismatic Park and the world famous Big Nickel, should definitely pick up this book – it is a fascinating read.
Books may be purchased in Sudbury at Science North, Dynamic Earth (home of the Big Nickel) or at A&J Home Hardware on Bouchard Street. Copies may also be purchased on-line through the website which contains more history, photos and newspaper clippings of the Big Nickel. Visit www.thebignickelbook.com.
Also at this website, visitors are given the opportunity to download my 1995 book about the medals and tokens of Sudbury entitled “Sudbury Numismatics” – free to all - in pdf format.
I will also be bringing some signed copies of the Szilva’s new book to the RCNA convention for anyone interested in purchasing a copy there.
To read the complete article, see: www.thebignickelbook.com
Ursula Kampmann published a review of a new book on Roman republican coins in the July 31, 2014 issue of CoinsWeekly. With permission, we're republishing it here. -Editor
Yes, I know that the term ‘picture book’ is usually not linked to science, but due to the splendor of illustrations of the extraordinarily well preserved and carefully selected coins from the Roman Republic, spanning the time from the 4th cent. B. C. until the Battle of Actium, compiled in this volume it is the eye that prevails over the intellect. Before reading even one line, you will get lost in the plates, looking at denarii, quinarii, gold coins and, most of all, coins made of bronze some which you did not even know to exist.
It took the collector more than 50 years to assemble this collection which, with its 1,860 numbers, probably is the most comprehensive collection of coins from the Roman Republic that came on the market, in the era of fully illustrated auction sale catalogs. Upon doing so, he has become one of the leading experts in this era. The catalog presented here, therefore, is a magnificent synopsis of knowledge we currently possess on this field.
Like a Sylloge volume, the text is located on the left-hand side while on the right the pictures are given, superb pictures. Equally superb is the written text that not only provides a description and quotations from the literature, but additionally provenance, starting price and results achieved. Distinguished numismatists had already taken account of the then most recent scholarly findings in the first publication of the auction sale catalogs; after the catalogs had been published, a number of corrections were made according to current academic research since numerous numismatists had raised their hand to call attention to one or another new insight. This is why the dates, mint attributions and interpretation of figural depictions are up to date scientifically and make a valuable addition to the standard works of reference.
What is more, well-known numismatic author David Vagi has written elaborate numismatic commentaries on some outstanding coins, therewith classifying interesting illustrations and historical relationships.
There is, however, one thing one might ask for in regard to this genuinely important publication: detailed indices of coin legends, images on coins, and mint masters. If such indices were given, chances would be good for this catalog on the RBW Collection to replace the old Crawford as the most favorite reference work of all catalog writers because it can instantly be checked with the illustrations if the coin found is in fact the correct one.
It is a pity that this opportunity was overlooked when the catalog was published, but perhaps somebody will get round to compile the indices as a separate supplement after all. Every collector of coins from the Roman Republic will be indebted to him.
A copy of the catalog can be ordered for $150 at Numismatica Ars Classica.
To read the complete article, see: A scientific picture book on the Roman Republic (www.coinsweekly.com/en/News/4?&id=2929)
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NEW BOOK: RBW COLLECTION OF ROMAN REPUBLICAN COINS (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v17n29a04.html)
Hubert Walker had an article in CoinWeek on July 25, 2014 about a new approach to funding the publication of a numismatic books - a Kickstarter campaign. Good luck! -Editor
Rick Snow, numismatic author and owner of Eagle Eye Rare Coins in Tucson, AZ, is offering readers a special pre-publication deal on the upcoming 3rd edition of the Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Attribution Guide.
Fans of the Flying Eagle and Indian Head cent series know Rick Snow as one of the leading experts in the field and are well-acquainted with his book A Guide Book of Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents (2nd ed., 2009), part of Whitman’s Official Red Book series. The Attribution Guide is the epitome of 26 years of research and dedication.
The printing and publishing of the 3rd edition, however, is no small feat.
In order to fund this expensive endeavour, Mr. Snow has turned to Kickstarter.com to “crowdfund” its publication. For those of you not familiar with Kickstarter or crowdfunding, Kickstarter (and various websites like it) lets people donate various amounts to projects they deem worthy. In return, the project’s creator offers special gifts and benefits of increasing value to his or her donors (according to the amount of each contribution) that are available nowhere else and only for the duration of the kickstarter campaign.
The Kickstarter campaign started July 23 and runs through August 29, 2014. The project will be funded if it receives $42,500 in donations. As of July 25, it has 39 backers, who together have pledged $8,688 (or approx. 20% of the total). So act fast!
You can see a small preview of the book if you visit Mr. Snow’s website.
To read the complete article, see: Kickstarter Campaign for 3rd Edition Flying Eagle and Indian Cent Attribution Guide (www.coinweek.com/books-2/indian-cent-specialist-rick-snow-launches-kickstarter-program/)
Wow! And double wow! Some great artifacts from the U.S. Mint's First Family, the Eckfeldts, will be exhibited by NGC at this week's ANA convention. Here's an excerpt from a July 31, 2014 CoinWeek article, with added illustrations from the NGC site. -Editor
President Chester Arthur Appointing
Jacob B. Eckfeldt As Assayer of the US Mint
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) will display three medals and an 1803 Eagle certified by NGC as well as several Presidentially signed appointments from the Eckfeldt Family Archives at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Chicago, August 5-9, 2014.
The Eckfeldts are well known to numismatists for their extensive history of employment with the US Mint during its first 100 years. The three large, gold US Mint medals and an 1803 Eagle graded NGC MS 61 are labeled Eckfeldt Family Archives in recognition of their historic provenance. NGC will display three medals, an 1803 dollar, and several Presidentially signed appointments from the Eckfeldt Family Archives at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Chicago, August 5-9, 2014.
The name Eckfeldt is synonymous with the first century of the United States Mint. Indeed, Eckfeldts were employed at the Philadelphia Mint as late as 1930. Blacksmith John Jacob Eckfeldt (1733-1818), a native of Nuremberg in Bavaria, immigrated to Philadelphia in the 1760s and operated a machine shop. There he furnished dies to Robert Morris for the Nova Constellation coppers in 1783 and also provided the US Mint with its first screw press.
The first of three gold medals certified by NGC is an 1839-dated issue honoring Adam Eckfeldt upon his retirement (Julian MT-18a). The splendid profile bust of Mr. Eckfeldt was engraved by Moritz Furst, and researcher R. W. Julian attributed the inscription-only reverse to Chief Coiner Franklin Peale. The extremely rare gold impression measures 51mm and has been graded by NGC as PF 62 Cameo.
Adam Eckfeldt Farewell Tribute Medal
Among the successive generations of Eckfeldt Family members employed by the Mint was Adam’s grandson Jacob Bausch Eckfeldt (1846-1938). He served the Philadelphia Mint from 1865 to 1930, and his 60th anniversary in 1925 was recognized with a handsome, 51mm gold medal certified by NGC as PF 66. It features an eagle in profile that George T. Morgan first used on the reverse of the US Assay Commission medal in 1906. This is most appropriate, as Eckfeldt had served as the Mint’s assayer since 1881. So esteemed was Jacob B. Eckfeldt that yet another gold medal was prepared for him upon his retirement in 1930. Graded PF 67 by NGC, this medal is rectangular with an arched top and measures 57mm x 42mm. It features a handsome profile bust of J. B. Eckfeldt that was sculpted by US Mint Sculptor/Engraver Adam Pietz in 1928. Its reverse includes an inscription of tribute from Eckfeldt’s fellow employees. Like the 1925 medal, it does not appear within the US Mint’s own catalog and may be unique.
Jacob B. Eckfeldt Retirement medal
To read the complete article, see: Coin Show Exhibits: NGC to Display Eckfeldt Family Archive Selections at ANA (www.coinweek.com/education/coin-show-exhibit-ngc-display-eckfeldt-family-archive-selections-ana/)
To read the NGC press release, see: NGC TO DISPLAY ECKFELDT FAMILY ARCHIVE SELECTIONS AT ANA (www.ngccoin.com/news/viewarticle.aspx?IDArticle=4148&)
THE BOOK BAZARRE
There are far too many great American Numismatic Association convention events to mention here, but be sure to check out the monkey business at table 1617 Wednesday. -Editor
Numismatic authors Len Augsburger and Joel Orosz will be holding forth at table #1617 next Wednesday at the ANA. The ANA offers a one-day table option which is ideal for those who cannot commit to a whole week. Len offers a preview - "This monkey is asking himself, what might be in the collection of 19th century Mint Director? Remarkably, we can answer that. Even more remarkably, we will have the collection on display, at table #1617 on Wednesday, August 6."
Rich Hartzog writes:
Actually, it is "A. M. Ford.", not "N". Odd font, too. There is a A.M. Ford c/m listed in Brunk on a 1827 half-dollar, but it is not pictured, so I am not sure if it is the same mark or not. The Rutlader mark is not listed.
Dusty Royer writes:
I went to Rutlader's shop or rather his office, as he didn't do much retail selling at that time, with the late Mike Payton. His office was on a lower level of a strip mall. I don't remember the address but it was on Wornell Road in Kansas City. I don't know if that area is still called Waldo but it was then (this would have been sometime in the 90s). I bought several World War II notes from him as I remember. We went back about a year later but could never make contact again as the office seemed to be unoccupied. A very mysterious guy!
Rich Hartzog adds:
I sent the information on Rutlader to Dr. Gregory Brunk, who replies, and gives his updated listing for his book on Counterstamped Coins. I checked on-line and found some probably living relatives, for further research.
The Rutlader Outpost is still a tourist attraction. I emailed them the below and asked if they have any more information.
Kansas and Missouri
James Rutlader was born in Texas in 1921. and was the author of Allied Military Currency from World War II (1968). He was a Kansas City, MO, coin dealer in the 1960s to the 1980s, eventually running Rutlader Coins & Stamps. A longer inscription from a rubber stamp on paper script reads "JAMES RUTLADER / KANSAS CITY, MO." He also issued brass five and ten cent tokens and a uniface silver medal imitating a Morgan silver dollar (Bruce Smith).
By the 1990s he had opened the Rutlader Outpost in Louisburg, KS. It is a tourist attraction that consists of a recreated Old West town, opera house, RV park, antique mall, etc. It is located next to the Rutlader Wildlife Area on highway 69, half an hour south of Kansas City. The countermaked coins with "KANSAS" probably are associated with it. Many more pieces than those listed below probably exist. They were either advertising give-a-ways or were sold as souvenirs at the Outpost. They are relatively recent, but the two reales also has what seems to be a 19th century merchant stamp.
Nickel: Buffalo (UK)
RUTLADER / KANSAS
Silver Dollar: UK (this may be the medal)
RUTLADER / KANSAS with A. M. FORD
Two Reales: 1794
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: MORE ON JOSEPH RUTLADER (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v17n31a06.html)
Whose Parody of What? Regarding last week's item on "Weird Al" Yankovic's Word Crimes, Dave Ginsburg writes:
It’s nice to know I’m not the only (coin) dork out there, but even I know that Weird Al’s “Word Crimes” is a parody of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and his “Tacky” is a parody of Pharrell’s “Happy”.
Hey, all I know about it is what I cut and paste from the Internet... -Editor
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JULY 27, 2014 : "Weird Al" Yankovic - Word Crimes (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v17n31a07.html)
On The Legality of Cut-Out Coins Speaking of cutting, Paul Torongo writes:
The articles in the last newsletter about cut and altered coins were very interesting.
I am fairly sure the following is correct:
What is not legal is to alter money with the intent to defraud or alter the currency in such a way as to attempt to change its face value.
What is not legal is to alter money with the intent to defraud or alter the currency in such a way as to attempt to change its face value.
At the end of a blog post quoted in last week's issue, the author wrote:
"Incredibly, that wasn’t the only find he made. In one of his last rolls of JFK half-dollars, the collector discovered an 1869-O Barber half-dollar! Unfortunately, this piece was far more damaged and not as rare, making it less valuable. Still, it’s a pretty good score for the price of a roll of half-dollars."
The bolded information was spotted by Steve Tompkins, who writes:
Just wondered how rare this coin might be...? Gee, and I thought the Barber series started in 1892...but...this is a bit too new for the stuff I collect...perhaps I'm mistaken...
Good catch. This is probably a typo for 1896-O. But that’s not the only funny thing about this article. -Editor
An E-Sylum reader writes:
Great issue! The referenced story on the 1861-O "Confederate" Seated half dollar being found in a roll appears to have been lifted from a Coin World story published a few weeks ago, with a general picture added.
To read the complete original Coin World article, see: Collector expecting Kennedy halves discovers 1861-O Seated Liberty half dollar in 20-coin Kennedy 50¢ roll (www.coinworld.com/insights/collector-discovers-1861-o-half-dollar-in-roll.all.html)
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: "CONFEDERATE" 1861-O HALF FOUND IN KENNEDY ROLL (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v17n31a16.html)
David Pickup forwarded this article from the Daily Mail about the upcoming sale of an off-metal error coin discovered in circulation. Thanks. -Editor
The coin was struck in cupronickel, the blend of copper and nickel formerly used for 10p and 5p coins, when it should have been bronze.
The errant coin, thought to be unique, was discovered in 1988, by the owner of a petrol station in a roll of new coins.
It is thought that a cupronickel blank had been left in the barrel during the minting process by mistake.
Richard Brommell, from Charterhouse Auctions, believes the coin could fetch up to £1,000 when it is auctioned in Sherborne, Dorset, on Friday.
He said: ‘It’s a conversation piece and a curio. The Royal Mint can produce the odd anomaly but this takes the biscuit. It’s a very difficult thing to value because there are no comparables.
To read the complete article, see: The silver-coloured 2p freak coin that was accidentally made in the wrong metal is set to sell for £1,000 at auction (www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2706918/The-silver-coloured-2p-freak-coin-accidentally-wrong-metal-set-sell-1-000-auction.html)
Here's a post-sale follow-up article from the Daily Mail. -Editor
To read the complete article, see: World's only silver 2p piece sells for £1,357: Rare coin former petrol station owner found among change in 1988 sells for 67,850 times its face value (www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2715045/World-s-silver-2p-piece-sells-1-357-Rare-coin-former-petrol-station-owner-change-1988-sells-67-850-times-value.html)
Michael Zielinski published a great illustrated article in Coin Update August 1. 2014. Be sure to see the complete version online. It's a fantastic view into the modern minting process. Here's a short excerpt. -Editor
Precision, attention to quality and detail, pride in craftsmanship, and careful accountability are qualities that shine through in the coin production activities at the West Point Mint. Under plant manager Ellen McCullom, the facility strikes millions of precious metals coins each year for investors and collectors around the world in addition to its duties safeguarding billions in precious metals assets.
Due to the high security of the facility, it is not open to public tours, but this article will provide an inside look at how coins are produced at the West Point Mint.
Current production responsibilities include striking the American Eagle coins in gold, platinum, and silver, the 24 karat gold American Buffalo coins, and various annual commemorative coins. Recent special issues have included last year’s enhanced uncirculated American Silver Eagle, this year’s immensely popular curved Baseball Hall of Fame Gold Coins, and the upcoming reverse proof silver and 24 karat gold Kennedy Half Dollars issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the series.
The production process for many gold coins begins with the 400 ounce gold bars which the facility safeguards. Some of the bars are sent to contractors where they will be alloyed and manufactured into planchets. The planchets for silver coins are typically sourced directly from contractors.
The burnishing room
The burnished planchets are washed and then receive an ultra sonic drying.
The unfinished dies are polished using hand tools and diamond paste.
Striking the 24 karat gold Kennedy Half Dollars
To read the complete article, see: Coin Production at the West Point Mint (news.coinupdate.com/coin-production-at-the-west-point-mint-4406/)
Another excellent Coin Update article by Michael Zielinski was published July 29, 2014. It's about the restoration of the original portrait on the Kennedy Half Dollar. Here's an excerpt, and some images of other restored designs. Check them out in the complete online article. Down with spaghetti hair! -Editor
The Kennedy Half Dollar has been produced for 50 years, but a series of tweaks and modifications have left the current design with a very different appearance than the original. The original portrait design will be making a comeback within three different numismatic products created by the United States Mint to mark the 50th anniversary of the series.
1964 and 2013 Kennedy Half Dollars
The idea to restore the original portrait came from San Francisco Mint employee Michael Levin. After a brief discussion with Deputy Director Richard Peterson on a proposed Kennedy Half Dollar 50th Anniversary Set, he had sent Peterson an email noting the significant differences in the current portrait design compared to the original design from 1964. He mentioned the changes in the details of the hair and face as well as a reduction in the size of the entire portrait.
His email said, “However well intentioned was the change, it doesn’t depict the real JFK as well as the original portrait.”
964 Kennedy Half Dollar bronze galvano and coin die
The original plaster sculpt of Robert’s design could not be located, but a bronze galvano for the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar was recovered from archives. An original die for the 1964 Kennedy Half Dollar dated December 28, 1963 was also located. Both the galvano and die were scanned and digitized. After a new basin was created using the 1964 hub basin curvature, the scan data was converted to match the approximate relief height of the 1964 hub portrait.
The restored portrait design will be used on seven different coins specially issued for the 50th Anniversary of the Kennedy Half Dollar.
To read the complete article, see: Restoring the JFK Portrait for the 50th Anniversary Kennedy Half Dollars (news.coinupdate.com/restoring-the-jfk-portrait-for-the-fiftieth-anniversary-kennedy-half-dollars-3399/)
Harvey Stack's July 30, 2014 blog article is part of a long series on the Carter family collection sold by Stack's in 1984. In it is a great story of a unique numismatic event I never heard of before; I'll call it the "$50 gold slugfest." Amazing. -Editor
As written in the early parts of this story of a family collection, the collection sold by Stack's in January 1984 was quite comprehensive. As Texans, dedicated to collecting and preserving items that related to western American culture, the Carter family assembled a wonderful collection of private and territorial gold coins, issued by the United States government as well as by private assayers who served the growing need for money in our western states. As miners retrieved gold from streams and mines, they wanted "hard money" to use in commerce.
Early in 1849 a few assayers, who were among the first settlers in California, established local Assay offices to convert the nuggets and gold flakes found in the streams, to ingots and later to coins. This, of course, was before the federal government established the San Francisco Mint in 1854.
The Carters collected coins and ingots of this era, for it was foundational to the growth of the West.
What made this portion of the collection so special was the quantity of $50 gold coins offered at one time -- 31 examples in one sale. These included, Augustus Humbert $50 gold octagonals: six lettered edges and 11 reeded edges; U.S. Assay Office of Gold, nine octagonals; Wass Molitor & Co. $50 gold, four round, and Kellogg & Co. $50 gold, one round.
Before this collection came to auction, the main source for early private and territorial coins was old time collections that had been formed in the late 19th and early 20th century. These collections had, at best, one or two of each of the $50 gold pieces. To accumulate the number offered in the Carter Family sale was considered an unheard of task.
The competition to acquire $50 gold slugs was quite keen indeed. Prior to 1962 when these were on display at various conventions, the Carters had one great competitor for exhibition -- George O. Walton. During a convention in the late 1950s, there was a competition between Walton and Carter to see who had the most $50 slugs. When the items in their displays were counted, each showed 31 various specimens -- making 62 on view at one time. Both competitors laughed about it and said that at the next national convention they would show more. Neither of them told how many they could have or assemble.
The next year, either 1959 or 1960 (before George Walton had his fatal auto accident in 1962), they both accepted the challenge to see who could display the most $50 "slugs." So at the summer ANA they began to lay out their displays. It may sound unreal, but each had 51 gold "slugs" -- to see that many in one area was mind-boggling. Two ANA judges went to rule which collector had shown more than the other. As both displayed 51, the judges ruled that Amon G. Carter had more than George O. Walton. How could this be? Walton had 49 “Pioneer Slugs" and a pair of Panama Pacific ones. Carter had 51 “Pioneer Slugs." Since the bet was on Pioneer pieces, George lost. They both had a great laugh, shook hands and enjoyed showing the slugs off to everyone who came to see. Amon, being a good sport, took George out for a few drinks and a big dinner "Texas style."
This “competition” displays the warmth and friendship that can be found when collectors with similar interests get together and enjoy their coins and each other. It was fun to kid each other, admire such wonderful coins and relate stories about their collections. That was what conventions were about more than a half a century ago.
Do any of our readers recall these great exhibits? What year was it? Wouldn't it be fun to create a modern version someday? At this week's convention, I'll be happy to raise a toast to these great collectors and their achievement. -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
The Amon G. Carter. Jr. Family Collection, Part 7
THE BOOK BAZARRE
Ron Guth has been researching the Col. Robert C.H. Brock collection, and could use some help. Can anyone assist? -Editor
I started poking around in the ANS Mantis database for the J.P. Morgan proof coins, many of which reportedly came from the Col. Robert C.H. Brock collection. This led to a side trip down the road to the Brock collection, the University of Pennsylvania, and the various purchasers of the Brock collection.
I’ve Googled just about every possible iteration of Brock, Morgan and everyone and everything else associated with the collection, but this just led to more questions. I hope someone with more knowledge can help answer some of them. Perhaps some of the old-timer with first-hand experience have insight that has not been captured yet on the Web or in publications.
When did Brock donate his collection to the University of Pennsylvania? This would put a terminal date on his collecting, after which Morgan would have been on his own. Conversely, Brock died in 1906 and the last full Proof set in the Morgan donation is from 1901.
Is there any confirmation that Brock actually obtained Proof coins directly from the Mint, or is this an assumption? According to the Mantis database, many of the 1859 and later Proof sets are incomplete. If they were purchased from the Mint, where are the missing coins. Or, were the sets “put-together?”
Did J.P. Morgan buy coins directly from Brock or directly from the Penn Museum?
When did J.P. Morgan purchase the Brock coins?
If B. Max Mehl was the successful bidder after the University of Pennsylvania deaccessioned the Brock coins in 1952 (after beating out John Ford), how did Philip Ward’s name get added to the pedigree of so many of the best coins? This suggests that the advisor to the collection (Ward) ended up with better coins than the purchaser of the collection (Mehl).
The Philip Ward Collection, sold by Stack’s in 1964 has a couple of highlights and lots of widgets, but none of the big “stars” that carry his pedigree. Did he sell the big coins privately, or is he being given credit for coins he never handled? Does documentation exist to confirm his association with the big coins?
How about Dochkus and Saab, whose names are appended to many of the Ward pedigrees? They seem to have purchased many of the big coins, as well. Anyone with information about them or whether their association with the pedigrees is legitimate?
Thanks in advance for any and all help.
To access the ANA Mantis database, see: MANTIS: A Numismatic Technologies Integration Service (numismatics.org/search/)
Eric Schena passed along this piece from Slate that has some decent illustrations of some of the early Massachusetts currency (based on a Tumblr post from Harvard University's Houghton Library). Thanks! -Editor
These notes, printed by the Province of Massachusetts Bay in 1713, 1717, and 1744, are part of the first generation of paper currency in the United States. Massachusetts first printed folding bills in 1690 to pay for military expenses incurred during King William’s War. Other colonies followed suit.
To thwart counterfeiters, Massachusetts issued bills whose top edge was an indented line. Since this cut was made freehand with a blade, rather than mechanically, each indentation was slightly different. The treasury kept a stub, which could be used to verify a genuine bill.
The colonial experiment in paper currency sometimes caused chaos. Louis Jordan, of the University of Notre Dame’s Colonial Currency project, writes that the mid-18th-century was a time of currency confusion in Massachusetts, when Spanish silver “dollars” and two separate types of printed currency were all legal tender, and inflation ran out of control. “As individuals might make a purchase using all three varieties,” Jordan writes, “it was essential for merchants to know the current inflation rates and to keep a conversion chart handy.”
Between 1751 and 1773, the British Parliament made a series of attempts to fix the currency problem in the colonies. In 1751, Parliament acted to circumscribe colonial power to print money and use it for private purchases, while still allowing people to pay public debts (or taxes) in paper currency. (Colonial governments could still produce paper money to pay for specific projects, so long as they made plans to redeem the currency within a few years.)
Enforcement was uneven, and the rules were confusing. British creditors rebelled, angry at being repaid in less-valuable paper money. In 1764, Parliament restricted use of paper money for any payments, public or private.
The next currency printed in Massachusetts, Jordan writes, were the “Soldier Notes,” printed by Paul Revere and given to the soldiers mustered to fight before the Battle of Bunker Hill in 1775.
I don't know about anyone else, but I was HORRIFIED to see what looks like an inkstamp on the notes. What curator would DO that to an item in their collection? Maybe it was a librarian. Times have changed, so hopefully an institution wouldn't inflict such indignities on their collection today. -Editor
To read the complete article, see:
The First Generations of Paper Currency, Printed in Colonial Massachusetts
To read the Houghton Library Tumblr blog, see: On this day in 1690, Massachusetts issued the first paper currency in what would become the United States. (houghtonlib.tumblr.com/post/75505216596/on-this-day-in-1690-massachusetts-issued-the)
Frank Draskovic, President of the Southern California Orders & Medals Society forward this press release about the upcoming convention of the Orders & Medals Society of America (OMSA). Thanks. -Editor
ORDERS & MEDALS SOCIETY OF AMERICA ANNUAL CONVENTION IN IRVINE, CA AUGUST 14-17, 2014
The annual convention of the Orders & Medals Society of America is coming to Irvine, California in about four weeks. Commonly known as OMSA, members of the numismatic specialty group collect, research and preserve USA and worldwide award medals of all kinds, military and civilian, including Orders of Knighthood, decorations for bravery and medals for various types of service, the vast majority being award medals of the portable variety, that is, medals meant to be worn by the recipient. Accounts of the circumstances surrounding their award related books on Orders, Decorations & Medals (ODMs) are also an important part of the hobby and are well represented at the convention.
OMSA’s annual meeting moves around the country and is sponsored by local medal collectors. This year the sponsoring organization is the Southern California Orders & Medals Society, one of the oldest, at well over half a century, regularly meeting medal collector groups in the world, conducting well attended monthly meetings in the Los Angeles area.
The OMSA convention may be unique among specialist collector conclaves insofar as it is a collector financed affair, the costs of the convention being paid by registered attendees, rather than primarily bourse table holders, the latter method most common in the numismatic community. OMSA attendees pay a registration fee, this year $165. For that amount, they have access to the convention floor for the four day bourse and exhibits, two days of seminars on faleristic topics, a donation auction, several meals and cocktail parties, including a lavish annual banquet. As members subsidize the event, inexpensive bourse tables are available to any OMSA member registrant at only $60 (compare that to the cost of an ANA or commercial show table!), enabling members of all means to participate as a seller.
The convention will be held at the Hotel Irvine Jamboree Center, 17900 Jamboree Road, Irvine, CA 92614, (949) 225-6750, from August 14 through 17, 2014 for OMSA member registrants. The convention bourse floor and always fascinating exhibits will also be open to non-registered OMSA members and the general public one day only, Saturday, August 16, 2014 from 9am to 5pm, for a $6 admission fee. Those presently, or potentially, interested in learning about medal collecting are enthusiastically invited.
QUICK QUIZ: Who can identify any or all of the three mystery medals illustrating this article? -Editor
Medals are among the items shown at a new World War I exhibit at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, England. -Editor
The horrors of the Western Front have long dominated our understanding of those years, and yet the war at sea was fought on an epic scale and with terrible human loss.
Forgotten Fighters foregrounds the personal stories of those who participated through a wide range of objects including weaponry, photographs, medals and ship models. The gallery takes visitors from the heroism of merchant mariners to the shattering realities of naval battle, and from the Falkland Islands and the Mediterranean to the Atlantic and the North Sea.
The exhibition uncovers the individual stories of reservists, WRENs, pilots and submariners involved, illustrating the importance and impact of the Royal and Merchant Navy throughout the First World War on our nation. Despite their activities often being unseen or unreported, the men and women of the Royal Navy and merchant fleet were intrinsic to Britain’s contribution to WWI. Their war raged on the sea, beneath the waves, in the air and also on land.
To read the complete article, see: 'Forgotten Fighters: the First World War at Sea' opens at the National Maritime Museum (artdaily.com/news/71787/-Forgotten-Fighters--the-First-World-War-at-Sea--opens-at-the-National-Maritime-Museum#.U9zj5_mzG5U)
For more information, see: Forgotten Fighters: the First World War and the Sea (www.rmg.co.uk/whats-on/exhibitions/forgotten-fighters/about)
I enjoy reading specialty numismatic publications of all types, and one of my favorites is Chopmark News edited by Colin Gullberg for The Chopmark Collectors Club. The December 2013 issue (Volume 17, Issue 4) has a nice "Meet Our Members" article by E-Sylum contributor Ralf Böpple. It's been ages since we've done a reader profile, so with permission, here is an excerpt.
Nothing surprises me in numismatics anymore, but I have always wondered how an English-speaking collector of Mexican coins chopmarked in Asia ended up in Stuttgart, Germany. Easy - he started there! To learn about Ralf's numismatic journey, read on. -Editor
I was born in 1969 in Stuttgart, Germany, where I grew up, attended university and where I live with my wife and two kids, working as an international relationship manager for a larger regional bank. If you read reminiscences of U.S. collectors growing up in the 1950s and 60s, there is almost always the story of how they were drawn into the hobby of coin collecting by pulling pennies or silver coins from pocket change.
For a kid growing up in the Federal Republic of Germany in the 1980s, it was the 5 deutschmark commemorative coin series that did the trick. At the time of their issue, they could be obtained at face value at bank counters. It was a very comfortable way of getting into coin collecting, even though 5 deutschmarks were a considerable amount of money for a young kid. Beyond that, the pre-euro situation of Europe of the 70s and 80s ensured that many different currencies could find their way into one’s collection – coins brought home from vacations in neighboring countries, through relatives and friends, and through swapping coins with schoolmates.
Although my interest in coins never ceased completely in my teenage years, it was not until I entered university that I became a more serious collector – a numismatist, if you like. In an old world coin catalog I came across pictures of the U.S. half dollar commemoratives of the early 20th century - coins with Indians on them, with covered wagons, bears, trappers and generals. Quite a contrast to the rather boring coins of the German Reich, which almost exclusively featured busts of bearded old men!
By the time my university studies had led me to the U.S., I was already heavily collecting its coinage and had become a member of the ANA. While in the States, I came into contact with the coins of Mexico. The real coins, I mean, not the modern silver and soccer world cup issues that can be found everywhere. Right away, I was hooked by the fact that these coins reflected much more the rough path of history the country had travelled than any U.S. coin could ever do for U.S. history.
Colonial issues, treasure coins, emperors, insurgent leaders, revolutionaries, countermarks from all over the world, extremely crude necessity issues and some of the most beautiful designs that were ever created – it was all there! From the first coin on - a Caballito peso in bright uncirculated condition for which I dipped into my university funds - my passion to collect the money of a country I had never been to and had absolutely no connection with at that time steadily increased.
When I first set foot on Mexican soil in 1999 for a one-month vacation to study Spanish (and, although in a much less planned way, to meet my future wife), my collecting interests had already expanded to Latin American crowns, necessity coinage and the use of Mexican silver world-wide. The global use of silver coins had always been of special interest to me (after all, I was majoring in International Economics). When I added a trade dollar to my U.S. type collection, I deliberately bought one with Chinese chops.
Ultimately, I chose to concentrate my collecting interest almost exclusively on Mexico. As the readers of this journal will already be aware of, chopmarks play a prominent role in Mexican numismatics as a proof of the use of its silver coins worldwide. Of course, this means that I am most probably the “least Asian” chopmarks collector around. I have to admit that I am unable to read a single word (or sign, if you will) in Chinese, Japanese, or Korean. I am more interested in the host coins than the chops themselves. But it does not prevent me from asking the usual questions of the field: why, when, where, by whom which coins were chopped in Asia.
Living in Germany and being rather removed from the collecting circles of the U.S. and Mexico, it was very important for me from early on to build an extensive numismatic library. As mentioned, I joined the ANA, and subsequently a number of other associations as well, as this is a great way to gather the information along with the coins and to get an idea of how the collectors and researchers in these fields think and work. So it should come as no surprise that I became a member of the Chopmark Collectors Club as soon as I learned of its existence back in the early 2000s. I read all of its newsletters from page to page when Everett Jones kindly provided me with copies of the back issues. Of course, I bought a copy of the Rose book as quickly as I could get a hold of it, and I did not hesitate for a second to renew my membership in the CCC when Colin Gullberg announced his intention to revive the club two years ago.
The issue also has a nice interview with Dr. Ted Buttrey, Professor and Honorary Keeper of Ancient Coins, Department of Coins and Medals at Fitzwilliam Museum at Cambridge University in England. Look for an excerpt in an upcoming E-Sylum issue. -Editor
For more information about the Chopmark Collectors Club, see: http://chopmarks.org
Several prominent hobbyists have been given awards by the American Numismatic Association. Many are E-Sylum readers and contributors, including Ron Guth, Gene Hessler and Neil Shafer. Congratulations! -Editor
Guth has authored numerous books furthering the hobby. Some of his most notable publications are: "Auction Prices Realized for Certified German Coins, 2nd Edition," 2013; "Auction Prices Realized for PCGS-graded German Coins, 2nd Edition," 2011; "100 Greatest U.S. Coins, 3rd Edition" (with Jeff Garrett), 2008; "Coin Collecting for Dummies, 2nd Edition" (with Neil S. Berman) 2008; "Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins 1795-1933, 2nd Edition" (with Jeff Garrett), 2008.
"Numismatics is a school where one can learn about people, history, geography, economics, politics and related subjects simply by studying the coins themselves," Guth said. "I am particularly fascinated by this educational component of coin collecting because it brings these subjects to life."
Guth has also received the ANA's Presidential Award (2006), Glenn Smedley Award (2006), Olga & Wayte Raymond Award (1982) and Heath Literary Award (1982).
More about Guth's lengthy and much-honored career can be read in the August issue of The Numismatist.
Hessler's many numismatic accomplishments include Curator of the Chase Manhattan Bank Money Museum, 1967-1977 and Curator of the Mercantile Bank Money Museum (Eric Newman Collection), 1986-1989. He discovered and published several previously unknown designs for U.S. currency through research at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing and the Smithsonian Institution. Hessler also won the Howland Wood Award at the ANA's Centennial Convention in 1991, for his exhibit of the complete works of Czech banknote designer Max Svabinsky.
Throughout his numismatic career Hessler has won numerous ANA awards including the Heath Literary Award (1983), Glen Smedley Memorial Award (1993), Medal of Merit (1995), Presidential Award (1998), ANA Honorary Life Member (1990). Other awards include Professional Numismatists Guild Outstanding Achievement Award (1994), International Bank Note Society Silver Medal for Service (2001), Middle Atlantic Numismatic Association Numismatist of the Year (2001), and Numismatic Literary Guild Clemy (2007).
More about Hessler's remarkable career can be read in the August issue of The Numismatist.
"I am very pleased and honored to be given this prestigious award," Shafer said. "Having been an ANA member for over 60 years, I have tried to contribute to the numismatic hobby in a meaningful way, and it is gratifying to know that my work has been appreciated."
Shafer's tireless dedication to the hobby includes being an instructor at Summer Seminar and authoring numismatic articles for major publications. He has also been a coin club officer and exhibited and judged at numerous conventions, including ANA shows, Central States and FUN. Shafer's work with Young Numismatist and Scout programs has helped to ensure the hobby is passed on to new generations.
Shafer has won many awards for his contributions to the hobby, some of which include the ANA's Medal of Merit (1990), Adult Advisor of the Year (1993), Presidential Award (1996), Lifetime Achievement Award (2007). Other awards he has won are the Numismatic Literary Guild Clemmy Award (2004), and the Central States Numismatic Society Elston G. Bradfield Writer's Award (1989). In 2008, he was enshrined in the Numismatic Hall of Fame.
Read more about Neil Shafer in the August issue of The Numismatist.
For more information, visit the ANA website at: www.money.org
To read more on CoinWeek, see: American Numismatic Association Announces 2014 Honorees (www.coinweek.com/coin-clubs/american-numismatic-association/american-numismatic-association-announces-2014-honorees/)
THE BOOK BAZARRE
Nick Graver forwarded this article (first noticed by Frank Calandra) about a mistaken description of a mountain pictured on a Canadian $10 bill. Thanks! -Editor
The central bank had claimed that its new plastic $10 bank notes included an image of majestic Mount Edith Cavell, a prominent peak in the Canadian Rockies south of Jasper, Alta.
But a sharp-eyed professor in Toronto, who had hiked the mountain with his family, thought something was amiss when the image matched neither his memory nor his photos.
Hitesh Doshi contacted the Bank of Canada by email last November, shortly after the new $10 notes were released, to say something was amiss. He kept getting the runaround until last week.
That’s when the central bank quietly changed its website, removing Mount Edith Cavell and several other peaks from its official description of the back of the $10 bank note, replacing them with some other peaks.
It also sent Doshi a short email, finally acknowledging the error.
“One of the memorable things for me in Alberta was visiting (Mount) Edith Cavell,” he said of a visit with his family. “To us, it was a very memorable trip.”
But when he later examined the $10 bank note, “the peak was not there,” said Doshi, a professor of architecture at Ryerson University and a new Canadian. “That’s where the whole thing started.”
Doshi contacted a mountaineer based in Edmonton, Eric Coulthard, who noticed some other discrepancies in the images of peaks on the bank note. For one, there was a misidentified image of Mount Zengel, which the bank claimed was the Palisade and Pyramid mountains.
“He recognized Zengel right off the bat,” said Doshi, who sent the bank some more unanswered emails in November and December.
Eight months after Doshi’s original inquiries, the Bank of Canada finally removed Mount Edith Cavell and Mount Marmot from its website description of the upper left image of the mountains, saying they’re actually Lectern Peak and Aquila Mountain. Mount Zengel is also properly identified, along with some other changes.
“I can confirm that we changed the description of the $10,” bank spokesman Alexandre Deslongchamps said Monday.
Officials blamed "a misunderstanding about information provided to the Bank of Canada by Canadian Bank Note Co. Ltd.” -Editor
To read the complete article, see: University professor spots error with mountain on $10 bill (globalnews.ca/news/1478480/university-professor-spots-error-with-mountain-on-10-bill/)
Len Augsburger forwarded this CNN story about President Obama's position on placing women on U.S. banknotes. -Editor
A young girl's letter to President Obama sparked a discussion about the possibility of adding women's faces on American currency. Obama mentioned the letter at an appearance Wednesday in Kansas City, Mo.
"And then she gave me like a long list of possible women to put on our dollar bills and quarters and stuff, which I thought was a pretty good idea," Obama said. So did the Internet.
Soon, there was Oprah on a $20 bill thanks to New York Magazine, Harriet Tubman on a $100 bill from The New Republic and questions across the Twitterverse on why Beyoncé doesn't have her own bill (she is, after all, called Queen Bey).
Though there isn't currently a woman on a paper note, there was once, in 1886. Martha Washington appeared on the $1 silver certificate, which could be redeemed for silver coins.
Women have graced two dollar coins made mostly of copper. Susan B. Anthony is on one that looks something like a quarter, and Sacagawea is on what's known as the "golden dollar." Those coins remain in circulation, but are not currently in production.
As the article notes, it wouldn't be the first time women (real or allegorical) have appeared on U.S. paper money, but it would be a step away from the standard theme of dead Presidents and Founding Fathers. -Editor
To read the complete article, see: Women on U.S. currency? 'A pretty good idea,' says Obama (money.cnn.com/2014/07/31/news/economy/women-on-currency/index.html)
The article on Women on Currency reminded me of the "Women's Series" produced by "Money Artist" J.S.G. Boggs in the 1990s. I knew him at the time, and bought a complete set in frames. While searching the web I discovered a Discovery Channel video about him from March of last year. He was up to his old Boggs-bill-spending tricks, and wouldn't you know it - he was trying to spend one of his Women's series notes. The $100 bill featuring Harriet Tubman as a young girl was illustrated in Worth magazine. Be sure to watch the video - it's short. -Editor
To view the complete video, see: Secret Life of Money: Boggs' Bills- Money as Art (on.aol.com/video/secret-life-of-money--boggs-bills--money-as-art-517709632)
David Pickup forwarded an image of a new Royal Mint commemorative of the outbreak of World War I. Thanks! -Editor
The combination of Britannia and the British Lion is pleasing. The faces of both lion and Britannia lack charm or grace. The choice of the denomination of Twenty Pounds is interesting. The coin is similar to the South Africa medal for The Boer War.
The Daily Mail has an article about the coin. Here's an excerpt. -Editor
A silver £20 coin has been produced to mark 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War.
Designed by sculptor John Bergdahl, it depicts the figure of Britannia watching over the first troops leaving for France in 1914.
Created in the art deco style prevalent at the time, the coin depicts the figure of Britannia watching over the first troops leaving for France then the war started in 1914.
It bears the current portrait of the Queen on its obverse by Ian Rank-Broadley.
Mr Bergdahl said: 'I decided to use the figure of Britannia in order to represent all of the allies who took part, most of whom were British or drawn from the British Empire.
'I combined inspiration from two sources: the South African medal for war services and the First World War memorial plaque awarded to those who died, using an art deco style which I felt best reflected the period.'
To read the complete article, see: Silver £20 coin produced to mark 100 years since the outbreak of the First World War (www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2712981/COIN-COMMEMORATES-FIRST-WORLD-WAR.html)
For more information, or to order see: Outbreak 2014 UK £20 Fine Silver Coin (www.royalmint.com/shop/Outbreak_2014_UK_20_Fine_Silver_Coin?tab=detail#productdetails)
Will Bennett of Dix Noonan Webb submitted this information about another one of the highlights of the London firm's September sales. Thanks. -Editor
The unique Type 2 Augustus Caesar heifer-reverse aureus which is expected to fetch £300,000 to £350,000 A unique version of a rare gold coin minted during the reign of Augustus Caesar, the first and greatest of Rome’s emperors, is expected to sell for £300,000 to £350,000 ($508,000 to $593,000) at the auction of Ancient and World Coins to be held by Dix Noonan Webb, the international coins and medals specialists, in London on 22 September 2014.
The gold aureus, which was struck c27-18BC, depicts the new portrait of Augustus transformed into an ageless Apollo-like classical beauty on one side and an image of a heifer based on a long-lost masterpiece by a Greek sculptor on its reverse. The coin is a piece of numismatic genius celebrating the power of the man who founded the Roman Empire and laid the foundations of a regime that lasted for centuries.
Only 22 examples of the heifer-reverse aureus minted during the reign of Augustus are known to have survived of which 15 are in museums, leaving just seven potentially available to buyers. They are sub-divided into five types which vary according to whether Augustus is depicted with a bare head or a laureate head and which way the emperor and the heifer are facing. The aureus to be auctioned at Dix Noonan Webb is the unique Type 2 coin with the laureate head of Augustus facing right and the heifer looking to the left. Its condition is described as “extremely fine with lustre”.
“This is a truly extraordinary coin,” says Christopher Webb, head of the coins department at Dix Noonan Webb. “Not only is it a unique type of an already very rare coin but its condition after more than 2,000 years is extremely fine and visually it is a beautiful work of art. It also represents an epic period when Augustus built an empire that changed the course of human history.”
The exact date of the coin and where it was minted remain unknown and the subject of much scholarly debate but it is believed to have been struck c27-18BC. In 27BC Octavian, as he was then called, the great nephew of Julius Caesar, founded the Principate, the first phase of the Roman Empire. He took the name of Augustus, meaning ‘stately’ or ‘dignified’ and began to stamp his authority on Rome and its territories.
Dix Noonan Webb
An article in the July 31, 2014 issue of CoinsWeekly highlights an exhibit of Renaissance medals at the Winterthur museum in northern Switzerland. Here's an excerpt. -Editor
Until April 19, 2015 the new temporary exhibition offered by the Winterthur Coin Cabinet presents some 60 objects combining an outstanding Swiss private collection with in-house exhibits.
On display are creations by the leading medal artists of the Italian Renaissance, including Pisanello, Fiorentino, Matteo de’ Pasti, Sperandio, Lysippus and Giovanni Boldù. In addition to eye-catching portraits, there are also figures derived from antiquity and mythological scenes, which all draw upon Christian and ancient traditions. The exhibition Moments of Eternity considers diverse fascinating aspects that led to a golden age for art medals in the Italian Renaissance.
It is no coincidence that at this time of transition, the medal emerged as a new art form – a portable miniature artwork commemorating key intellectual and social trends, which being cast in metal was durable. Produced in limited quantities, and nestling in the palm of the viewer’s hand, a medal fulfilled the need to eternally capture fleeting moments in best manner. In their illustrations, passing events met the immortal. The medal affirmed fama (fame) and memoria (memory). Since they weren’t used for commerce, art medals made ideal presents, being distributed amongst friends and family, dedicated to guests, and assembled by collectors. Others were deposited within the cornerstones of buildings as gifts for ‘eternity’.
The Renaissance art medal by virtue of its size allowed sophisticated imagery to be crafted. Assertive and informed artists such as Pisanello and Fiorentino realised the potential, and championed the medal along with other arts such as painting and poetry. The medal should be seen as an artistic and emblematically superior art form.
To read the complete article, see: Moments of Eternity: Italian Medals from the Renaissance in Winterthur (www.coinsweekly.com/en/News/4?&id=2928)
Some new items in the stock of Baldwin's caught my eye this week. Here are three interesting Dutch jetons. -Editor
1609 Jeton on the 12 Year Truce
Netherlands, Copper Dutch Jeton or Token with French Interest, dated 1609, the 12 Year Truce, obverse: a sleeping soldier wearing collar ruff, helm to left, breastplate armour to right, QVIESCO around, reverse: a man wearing a hat is sitting on a chair asleep at a table, Mercury is behind him pulling his ear, PLVS VIGILA around, diam. 29mm (Dugniolle, “Le Jeton Historique des 17 Provinces des Pays Bas”, 3651; van Loon “Histoire Metallique des XVII Provinces des Pays-Bas Depuis l’Abdication de Charles-Quint Jusq’ a la Pays de Bade en MDCCXVI”, volume II, 56).
For more information, or to order, see: Dutch Jeton, 12 Year Truce, 1609 (www.baldwin.co.uk/dutch-jeton-12-year-truce-1609.html)
1610 Jeton on the Assassination of King Henri IV
Netherlands, Copper Dutch Jeton or Token with French Interest, dated 1610, for the Assassination of King Henri IV, obverse: two doves perched upon an open bible, S to left, C to right, ELIGIO AMOREM around, reverse: a wolf waring a Jesuit cap attacking a lamb, NON CÆDES FOVET around, diam. 29mm (Dugniolle, “Le Jeton Historique des 17 Provinces des Pays Bas”, 3665; van Loon “Histoire Metallique des XVII Provinces des Pays-Bas Depuis l’Abdication de Charles-Quint Jusq’ a la Pays de Bade en MDCCXVI”, volume II, 67).
For more information, or to order, see: Dutch Jeton with French interest, 1610, rare (www.baldwin.co.uk/dutch-jeton-with-french-interest-1610-rare.html)
1616 Jeton, Batavia/East Indies
Netherlands, Copper Dutch Jeton or Token for the Naval and Military Successes and Prosperity of the Dutch Trading in Batavia (Dutch East Indies), dated 1616, obverse: a large tree laden with fruit at water’s edge, NON SIC IMPY NON SIC around, reverse: the crowned shield of Utrect with rampant lions, CALCVLVS RATI ORDINVM TRAIET around, diam. 29mm. The Dutch had captured a Portuguese fleet destined for the Philippines and also took the island of Ternate from the Spanish and Portuguese (Dugniolle, “Le Jeton Historique des 17 Provinces des Pays Bas”, 3722; van Loon “Histoire Metallique des XVII Provinces des Pays-Bas Depuis l’Abdication de Charles-Quint Jusq’ a la Pays de Bade en MDCCXVI”, volume II, 95; MH 509).
For more information, or to order, see: Dutch Jeton, Batavia/East Indies, 1616 (www.baldwin.co.uk/dutch-jeton-batavia-east-indies-1616.html)
Bruce Smith submitted these thoughts on Philippines WWII gold medallions. Thanks! Can anyone help? -Editor
I believe there are a number of E-Sylum readers interested in World War II and the Philippines. I ran across something they may be interested in and which I had not heard of. In the book, Formosa Betrayed, by George H. Kerr (1965) there is a curious account of some gold "bars" made in Japan for Japanese officers in the Philippines (pages 91-92):
"In November  it began to be rumored that gold bars worth more than a half million U.S. dollars had disappeared while in transit from the Japanese military offices to the Chinese headquarters. They were part of a gold shipment which had been sent from Tokyo to pay the Japanese forces in the Philippines, but had moved no farther than Formosa. Each gold medallion, wrapped separately, had its own serial number. They had been double checked carefully before witnesses as they were handed to an American officer. But when they were delivered to the Chinese and again checked carefully, they were no longer in serial order and quite a number were missing. The Chinese promptly lodged charges and prepared to sue for recovery. The American officer who had carried them from one headquarters to another suddenly disappeared, secured an emergency "hardship" discharge from the services at Shanghai and left China."
Though they are at first called bars, the description refers to them as medallions, suggesting they were round. What were these pieces? Could these be the gold bullion pieces attributed to Manchukuo, which have only a single Chinese character on the obverse and the fineness on the reverse? Kann claims the Manchukuo pieces were made in 1932, but correspondence in the 1950's from the Osaka Mint says they were actually made there in 1944. Perhaps these pieces were really made for the Japanese military in the Philippines, but the stolen ones ended up in China with a cover story about Manchukuo? Does anyone have any further information?
If you google "Manchukuo gold coin" using Google Images, a few of the Manchukuo gold bullion pieces will come up. Interestingly, one of the pieces which came up is engraved with the name of a U.S. POW in the Philippines, and dated 1946. Could this be more evidence that these pieces were really intended for the Philippines and not Manchukuo? Or just a coincidence. The engraved piece turned up in an auction two years ago. As far as I know, it is the only engraved piece ever seen. Oh yes, the obverse (with one big character) is upside down; the reverse is correct.
Heritage Auctions, Inc. | Heritage 2012 September 6-11 Signature World & Ancient Coin Auction - Long Beach #3020 | 6 - 11 September 2012
Manchukuo. Gold Tael ND (1932), KMX-1.1, L&M-1067, cleaned XF with numerous small surface marks, engraved on the reverse as "CPL. Duane Sterling, Feb 28, 1946, Leyte, POW, P.I. (Philippines). Sold as is, no return lot. AGW 1.0047 oz.
THE BOOK BAZARRE
I was recently asked to participate in a survey by Gainsville Coins. For an article, they were asking a number of coin experts what their top three coins would be, if they could have any three silver or gold coins they wanted. I was delighted to see such a wide range of responses. Here are a few examples, but check out the whole article online. -Editor
We wanted to know what the most coveted coins on the market are right now. So we asked 26 coin experts and dealers a simple question.
“If you could ONLY have 3 gold coins or silver coins, which would they be, and why?”
There are a large array of subfields within the coin industry: American numismatics, bullion, world coins, and ancients. So we wanted to compile a diverse sampling of what experts like to collect, and why.
Paul Gilkes - Senior Editor Coin World
1894-S Barber dime – first series I started to collect seriously after joining the staff of Coin World in 1988 was Barber dimes. Sold my assemblage a few years ago.
1817/4 Capped Bust half dollar – Love the series, love writing about them and the people who collect them. Have gotten to know many of the well-known collectors and researchers.
1652 New England shilling – for the history
1933 Saint-Gaudens gold double eagle – Intrigued by the story behind their production and destruction. Covered the story of the only example legal to own and another 10 that surfaced subsequent and are sitting in Fort Knox.
Gold Proof 2000-W Sacagawea dollar – Only 12 remain from 39 struck. All 12 went up on the space shuttle Columbia in 1999, and secured at Fort Knox. Got to see one of the 12.
1877 $50 gold Proof pattern – in Smithsonian, so it’s unlikely I’d get the chance even if I owned Fort Knox.
Ron Guth - Numismatist
1907 $20 Saint-Gaudens Gold Pattern - Judd-1776 - coolest coin ever made!
Germany 1905-F 1 Mark - one of the rarest, regular-issue German coins.
1964-D Peace Dollar - if it exists...
Jake Sherlock - ANA Blog Editor
My top three coins:
The Brasher Doubloon. I mean, who wouldn't want to own this one?
The 1792 half disme. I like the idea of having a coin that once could have been Martha Washington's silverware.
The EID MAR denarius. I just love the story behind Caesar and Brutus with this coin.
Dr. Ursula Kampmann - Coins Weekly
If I had only three coins, which I could have in my collection without thinking about what I could afford, these were the three:
The Acragas decadrachm featuring the two eagles tearing the hare into pieces.
The Naxos tetradrachm featuring the archaic Dionysos
The Syracusan tetradrachm made by Kimon showing the facing Arethusa surrounded by dolphins
Regular E-Sylum readers might be able to guess some of my picks. -Editor
To read the complete article, see: Coin Experts Reveal Which Coins They Covet Most of All (www.gainesvillecoins.com/article/the-most-coveted-gold-and-silver-coins)
Ya gotta love the inventiveness of some crooks. Recently we reported on a cross-dressing counterfeiter; here's comes the story of one dressed as a nun. Perhaps the next counterfeiter we'll read about will be cleverly disguised as a Viking! -Editor
The woman reportedly used a counterfeit $50 bill on July 22 at Abby’s Tourist Trap, which is operated by The Dutton Family Theater next door. She quickly aroused suspicion, said Duttons group manager Diane Barnes.
“The woman in the gift shop just thought something was funny - a gut feeling,” Barnes said today. “After she walked out, the clerk rechecked the cash and realized is was fake.” “Everyone thought she was suspicious.”
The theater’s security camera caught an image of the woman, but it was poor quality, she said. A quick-thinking ticket seller was able to get a better photo of the woman walking away from the business.
She wore a long black skirt and top, simple shoes and a headpiece similar to that of many modern nuns’ habits. She used the $50 bill to buy a $10 bag and took her change in cash from the gift shop till, Barnes said.
To read the complete article, see: Phony Nun Passes Phony Money in Branson, MO (www.ozarksfirst.com/story/d/story/phony-nun-passes-phony-money-in-branson-mo/67148/OlPmU-AA70mJFXulnurGHA)
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: CROSS-DRESSER PAYS WITH COUNTERFEIT MONEY (www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v17n27a29.html)
Artists are an indispensable part of the coin production team at the United States Mint. Meet the talented artists who design and engrave the coins and medals of the United States of America.
Sculptor-engravers create designs and sculptural models for the production of coins and medals. They are based at the Philadelphia facility.
Artistic Infusion Program Artists
Beginning in 2003, the United States Mint began developing a pool of talented, diverse American artists called the Artistic Infusion Program (AIP).