The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 51, December 20, 2009, Article 15


Pittsburg & Mexican Tin Mining Co. Medal obverse Pittsburg & Mexican Tin Mining Co. Medal reverse

Jonathan Brecher writes:

I have a database of over 20,000 auction appearances of So-Called Dollars, and it includes 8 appearances of HK-149 (the most recent pair in the 12/2008 Holabird-Kagin sale).

John Raymond has a different list of auction appearances and also has 8 appearances of HK-149. Since our two databases cover slightly different sources, I'd guess there are 10-12 distinct appearances recorded between us. John Raymond's list is on the web at Mine is not published.

FWIW, 8 appearances is about 50th percentile in terms of rarity in my database. That is, about half of the So-Called Dollars (listed by HK number) have fewer than 8 appearances in my database, and about half have more than 8 appearances.

Dave Perkins writes:

I have a specimen of this medal. My specimen was once owned by Harold E. Hibler, one of the authors of the Hibler & Kappen book, So-Called Dollars. Hal Hibler sold it to Mr. and Mrs. Alfred J. Ostheimer in the 1960s. It remained in the Ostheimer Collection until 2005 when I purchased their collection of over 700 So-Called Dollars, including this piece, from Mrs. Ostheimer.

The collection is kept in the bank so I don't have this specimen available as I write. I graded this specimen MS 60 (per my notes).

John Raymond hosts a wonderful website titled "So-Called Dollars." Included on the website is a study noting all of the specimens he has "tallied" or tracked over the years for each H&K number. Per the website, the original tally included So-Called Dollars "sold through various token and medal mail bid dealers and auctioneers from 1975 through the year 2000 (around the advent of e-bay).including Presidential Coin and Antique catalogs after the year 2000, Stack's, B&M, e-bay, ANS listings, Tony Swicer's 1992 sale [one of the most complete if not the most complete collections ever sold per my research], a pile of Christian and Stone sales catalogs, a number of published book references, and other sources." More details can be found on the website: Perhaps you can make this website your "Featured Web Page" in the next issue of The E-Sylum.

For H&K 149 Raymond notes only 8 appearances in the last 35 years or so: 3 in VF or lower grades; 3 in EF grades; 2 in AU grades and none in Uncirculated condition. One of the 8 is noted as being "holed," most likely at 12:00. Three of these appearances were in Presidential Coin & Antique sales per his tally - the holed specimen and 2 others graded EF.

Ed Krivoniak noted in the last issue of The E-Sylum that he has "located six specimens in Pittsburgh." I've shared what I've learned over the last 4-5 years. I am curious as to how and where Ed located his six specimens, and the grades.

Ed Krivoniak writes:

The pictured specimen is my own which I graded as AU. It was purchased from the Don Miller estate in the 1990's. The other five specimens are in private hands in Pittsburgh. I have seen three of the five. The grades are 1- AU and 2-XF/AU. The two that I haven't seen are supposed to be better than VF. I have not been able to check with the Carnegie Museum since we have lost communication with them. One of the owners just told me he acquired a second specimen, bringing the known population to 18-20 pieces. I'm still going with an estimate that there were only 25-50 made originally.

Dave Perkins of Centennial, CO writes:

I mentioned The E-Sylum piece on H&K 149 to Jeff Shevlin, a specialist collector and dealer in the So-Called Dollars. I also forwarded the copy of The E-Sylum to him.

Jeff wrote in an e-mail to me dated December 15, 2009, "Regarding HK 149, I have one in VF condition. I cataloged the Weber piece and had it was slabbed by NGC as MS 64 PL." The Weber piece was sold with Weber's collection in the Holabird-Kagin Americana Bill Weber So Called Dollars Auction, December 2, 2008, Lot 1006 where it realized $920.00. Jeff cataloged this lot, noting "This is the finest known piece, graded by NGC MS64 Prooflike. Certainly one the nicest examples in existence, this piece exhibits Prooflike reflective surfaces." The Weber Specimen was plated in the sale catalog, both obverse and reverse.

Many thanks for everyone's great input on this interesting (and enigmatic) piece. I'll look forward to Ed's published article. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: QUERY: PITTSBURG AND MEXICAN TIN MINING COMPANY MEDAL (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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