The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 13, Number 29, July 18, 2010, Article 18


Redbook Prices
Regarding the discussion on how Whitman Publishing derives prices for A Guide Book of United States Coins, James Higby writes:

It has always been a source of irritation to hear people disparage and dismiss the Redbook price listings as "being obsolete the moment they hit the streets." This is no more true of the Redbook than of any other pricing source, particularly with techniques available today. I could cite online price guides that are touted as being up-to-the-minute, but which contain lines that have not been revised for months or even years, in spite of massive market trends upward. That said, I would mortgage everything I own to be able to purchase problem-free examples of certain items at Redbook prices. Dimes dated 1804 and 1874-CC in circulated grades come to mind.

Thoughts from Joe Boling
Joe Boling writes:

Having been tied up in Colorado Springs for fifteen days at the summer seminar, I am two weeks behind in processing email. Thus I am only tonight opening the 4 July E-Sylum.

Regarding Dan Hamelberg's announcement that NBS will again be sponsoring a $1000 summer seminar scholarship for a YN, let me suggest that with all the money that pours into YN pools annually (not to mention last year's $250k donation by Dwight Manley for YN scholarships), maybe the NBS should sponsor a scholarship that an Old Numismatist could also compete for. Make it an open field.

As for voting for the top Asylum articles, I took the ballot to CS with me, but never got a free hour to go to the library and read the 2009 issues. By the time I got home and dug out, the deadline was too close to make it.

Paper Money of Ireland won the IBNS book of the year award for 2009, announced in Memphis last month.

The ANA's "no early-birds" policy for exhibitors applies only to opening day. On subsequent days, exhibitors get to come in with the dealers. The objective, as stated several times, is to allow dealers to set up in peace and quiet.

Now to the 11 July issue.

"A numismatist (at least an American one) will remind the grammarian that there are ten grades of Uncirculated." And a mathematician will remind the numismatist that there are eleven grades of uncirculated.

ANA Numismatic Theatre
Brad Karoleff writes:

Thanks for the plug for the Numismatic Theater early U. S. minting technology panel discussion on Friday, August 13th. You published an incomplete list of the participants for the discussion. The panel will consist of the following noted numismatists:

  • John Dannreuther, noted author and former numismatist of the year award winner
  • Dr. Richard Doty curator of the National Numismatic Collection and famous author
  • Bill Eckberg noted half cent collector and researcher
  • R. W. (Bob) Julian prolific writer and researcher, winner of the Clemy
  • Doug Mudd author and curator of the ANA Money Museum collection
  • Craig Sholley author and researcher famous for his extensive research into the Mint archives in Philadelphia

I will "host" the panel discussion which will consist of introduction questions to the panelists and their responses. The panel and members of the audience will be encouraged to ask questions of the panel. Come prepared to participate and expand your knowledge of the screw press and its use.

We all look forward to seeing you there!

The abbreviated list came from an American Numismatic Association press release. What a high-powered panel! This should be a must-see event for anyone with an interest in the topic. -Editor

Seldom-Seen Denominations
Granvyl Hulse writes:

Merchant Uses Two Dollar Bills Rick Nadig's store is right down the street from me in the old Walker House. One of the oldest houses in town which he completely re-modeled several years ago. That house had the first indoor bathroom which he carefully removed when he remodeled and we have it in our town museum. The Union Leader article is quite true. If you see anyone with either a two dollar bill or a fifty cent piece you know they have been in to his store to get a movie or an ice cream cone.

On a related note, Colin Gullberg writes:

I was amused at the story where Taco Bell is urging increased use of two-dollar bills. Here's another article on using $2 bills. It's a little old [2005] but a classic.

PUT YOURSELF in Mike Bolesta's place. On the morning of Feb. 20, he buys a new radio-CD player for his 17-year-old son Christopher's car. He pays the $114 installation charge with 57 crisp new $2 bills, which, when last observed, were still considered legitimate currency in the United States proper. The $2 bills are Bolesta's idea of payment, and his little comic protest, too.

For this, Bolesta, Baltimore County resident, innocent citizen, owner of Capital City Student Tours, finds himself under arrest.

Finds himself, in front of a store full of customers at the Best Buy on York Road in Lutherville, locked into handcuffs and leg irons.

Bolesta was then taken to the county police lockup in Cockeysville, where he sat handcuffed to a pole and in leg irons while the Secret Service was called in.

"At this point," he says, "I'm a mass murderer."

Finally, Secret Service agent Leigh Turner arrived, examined the bills and said they were legitimate.

To read the complete article, see: A tale of customer service, justice and currency as funny as a $2 bill (


Charities Mail Coins With Donation Pleas
Joel Orosz writes:

Here is an interesting article on the intersection of philanthropy and coinage.

A growing number of charities across the USA are taking a nickel-and-dime approach to encourage donations by mail, despite some evidence that including coins in solicitations turns off potential donors.

Paul Bobnak, director for "Who's Mailing What!" a service that collects data on direct mail operations, says the company's records show the use of coins in charity mailings is increasing this year after several years of decline.

The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society did a mailing in April 2010, some with coins and some without, says Bruny Lynch, the national director of direct response fundraising. The envelopes with nickels earned 75% more than the others, Lynch said.

"Generally speaking, our coin package outperforms things we test against it two to one, " says Nick Ellinger, vice president of strategic outreach for Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Kristi Kirschner, a mother of four from Springfield, Va., remembers being surprised to see a nickel attached to a UNICEF letter. It said 5 cents could save a child's life and asked her to return the coin with a donation.

"I think it's sort of a guilt tactic," Kirschner said. "I don't know how many nickels they send out, but that's got to add up to a lot of money." She said, "It wasn't my nickel, so I sent it back" without a donation.

To read the complete article, see: Charities mail out coins, hope for larger return (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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