The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 20, May 16, 2010, Article 22


Numismatic literature dealer John Burns will be setting up shop at the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Nashville Expo May 20-22. Stop by, say hello, and buy a book or two.

On the release schedule for the new $100 bill, Joe adds:

I agree with Dick Hanscom. With all the security that the government imposed on the design of the new $100 note (with green tarps all over the Ft Worth plant when the ANA tour went through in March), allegedly to limit the amount of time that counterfeiters would have to work on the new design before it gets into the public's hands, I am amazed that the notes will not be released until February 2011.

I have already heard one numismatic writer opine that there will be a stack of garden-variety fakes in the coming months, pushed by folks with the line "this is the new hundred - don't you remember hearing about it?"

Dave Lange writes:

A few observations relating to the most recent issue:

Adding to Bob Neale's comments on the subject of President Cleveland's replacement of the Carson City Mint Staff and suspension of coining there 1885-89, Cleveland had the final word when he again became president in 1893. He saw to it that coining there was terminated permanently, and all it took was to eliminate funding for coining operations in the Fiscal Year 1894 budget.

As for the politics of U. S. Mint staffing, it has been the norm for more than 150 years for the director and superintendents to be replaced by members of the victorious presidential party. In the Victorian period this purging was extended to even lower level employees, as is revealed in the Daggett book, but today these people are long term civil servants whose skills and experience are not lost with every sway of the political winds.

Regarding the possible elimination of the cent in Canada: If properly informed of the economic facts, Americans, too, would likely choose to live without pennies, but this is never the case. Every survey on the subject has been sponsored by some organization that has a vested interest in maintaining cent production, and the questions are always slanted to suggest that the outcome would be inflationary.

Lobbying by the zinc industry is behind most such activity, but the reluctance of our government to accept downsizing at the various U. S. Mints is also a factor. The current reduced demand for coinage is a trend which is likely to continue as long as Congress fails to cease production of one-dollar notes, while simultaneously failing to authorize higher denomination coins and eliminate the obsolete lower denomination coins.

Our coinage system is in an absolute shambles, and both businesses and taxpayers are absorbing the loss that results from so many useless coins and so few denominations that actually circulate effectively.

On the subject of Virginia's state seal, I was surprised that it carries the same inscription as shouted out by assassin John Wilkes Booth as he leaped from the balcony of President Lincoln's theater box: "Sic Semper Tyrannis." Booth was from Maryland, but it is perhaps ironic that he died in Virginia.

Alan V. Weinberg writes:

Sarah (not Sally) Freeman was the curator of the Johns Hopkins Garrett Library. I met her in 1967 when I spent a splendid day at Evergreen House examining the American coins in old fashioned coin cabinet trays while I sat at the Evergreen House's John Work Garrett massive desk. Sarah would bring two or three trays to me at a time. Everything was raw, to be lifted by one's fingertips out of the tiny tray "cubicles".

The late Carl Carlson, later of Stack's, was the Evergreen numismatic curator shortly before the Garrett collection came to Bowers & Ruddy for sale. I believe it was his ill-advised private trades to Dick Picker and a few others that resulted, at least in part, in his Evergreen dismissal and ultimately the sale of the remaining collection.

Regarding the earlier BBC News numismatic quiz, Jim Duncan of New Zealand writes:

I ran your recent quiz by the members of the Numismatic Society of Auckland at their last meeting - one member, Glyn Tunley of Wales via South Africa - scored the perfect 7. He said he had just been given a 20 note.

Congratulations! That last question was tough! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: WHO PASSED THE BBC NEWS NUMISMATIC QUIZ? (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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