One theory first advanced in the 1860s suggested 1804 dollars had been included in diplomatic presentation sets prepared by the Mint at the request of the State Department circa 1834 (documentation of the request of the sets existed). By the end of the 19th century though, some researchers concluded that no evidence existed proving 1804 dollars were included in any 1830s diplomatic presentation sets that might have been produced.
The Newman-Bressett book in its original form contained a chapter concluding that the diplomatic gift origin of the set was a "delusion."
When David Spink walked into the 1962 American Numismatic Association convention in Detroit, he was carrying with him proof to the contrary - the now-famous "King of Siam" presentation set, complete with an 1804 dollar.
After the unveiling of the set, Bressett contacted Whitman to literally "stop the presses." The presses were printing the original manuscript while he was at the convention.
Copyright 2008 by Amos Press Inc, Oct. 20, 2008, issue of Coin World.
Reprinted by permission.
Coin World created a nice graphic highlighting a key diagnostic, the differences in the Table of Contents of both editions. Great job all around - it's gratifying to see an article about an important piece of numismatic literature featured in a mainstream publication. By the way, the October 20th issue also included a nice column by Col. Bill Murray on "Book Fanatics", The E-Sylum, and the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. Thanks, Coin World!
THE BOOK BAZARRE
Wayne Homren, Editor
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