The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 2, January 8, 2012, Article 14


Alan Weinberg on the 2012 FUN Show
Alan V. Weinberg writes:

I returned late Sat evening from the annual January Orlando FUN show. Here are my impressions:

I simply cannot remember, in easily 2+ decades of attendance, when I was not impressed with the January FUN show. It attracts most serious numismatists across the country, despite the directly conflicting NYC International Show which, I'm told, many dealers and collectors choose not to attend due to the costs involved.

The FUN bourse was huge, reportedly something like 575 bourse tables sold, considerably more than last year's Tampa show (which itself was nothing to sneeze at despite prior woeful predictions). Despite the mediocre attendance and somewhat depressed atmosphere ( the economy ) of other recent major shows I've attended, this was NOT the case for this FUN show. Collector attendance was HUGE, there was an exciting and enthusiastic "buzz" in the air, and there was not the often-seen massive departure of dealers from Sat noon on - few dealers left when I departed at 5 PM Sat. The show ran thru Sunday. Roaming the aisles constantly since 2 PM Wed setup started, I did not overhear one single negative or even mediocre comment relating to sales or attendance. This was simply a convention from the past when things were great in the hobby and the economy was vibrant.

Ironically, Orlando itself does not reflect this optimism. When I arrived early Wed morning, my driver commented the city was "dead" ( nice hotel rooms near the convention center were avail for $45-50 via discount websites ). I learned that the massive Orange County Convention Center - always completely full in past years to the point that FUN was forced to move to Tampa last year (which itself was quite successful despite prior woeful predictions) due to the Orlando Convention Center being sold out - was completely empty and unbooked except for FUN. Whadda contrast with prior years !

The directly conflicting NYC International Coin Show did not seem to have any impact on FUN's success. In fact, I overheard more than a few times that many dealers and collectors chose FUN over NYC due to the high bourse and hotel expenses connected with the latter show.

There were many exquisite buying opportunities on the bourse floor. I personally acquired a gem proof silver Thomas Elder portrait medal DeLorey 1, a choice Ft Sill Indian Territory Post Canteen 25c, a full gilt Unc Ft Quitman Texas Post Trader 10c shellcard. a choice Uncirculated advertising encased 1912 Barber dime - only the 2nd encased Barber dime I've seen in many decades, a silver and gold Cincinnati assay company's celluloid advert turtle, etc. Items that simply do not turn up and are 1000x rarer than 99.9% of rare coins. I did not acquire any rare coins - the Loring 1793's either sold too high or did not meet my expectations. CRO had a really choice Noe 1 Pine Tree shilling that sold quickly to another serious Southern California collector.

Simply put, the FUN people really know how to please bourse dealers and collectors - from the cost of bourse tables (on average 1/2 or less the cost of ANA tables), great complimentary transportation to and from area hotels, excellent law enforcement security , daily breakfast for dealers, outstanding exhibits (I exhibit something special every January because of the show's quality and attendance) , a superb convention facility and the ability to attract collectors from all over the country. The hobby is again "oldtime enjoyable".

Titanic artifacts
Gary Niditch writes:

I had a chance to see the Titanic artifacts several years ago while they were on display in Chicago. I would encourage anyone who has a chance to see the exhibit to do so. It is both very interesting and very moving.

Besides paper money there are numerous things to see. I found myself most moved by passengers tickets, especially those originally scheduled for a different ship but then changed to the Titanic.

Reaching through a plexiglass opening one was allowed to touch the metal hull, an exciting experience after having heard so much about the Titanic over the years.

Titanic hull exhibit
This image shows the 17-ton section of the RMS Titanic that was recovered from the ocean floor during an expeditions to the site of the tragedy, on display. The piece along with 5,000 other artifacts will be auctioned as a single collection on April 11, 2012 100 years after the sinking of the ship. AP Photo/RMS Titanic, Inc.

For more information on the exhibit and sale, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: TITANIC ARTIFACTS TO BE AUCTIONED IN 2012 (

Mystery Coin: Colombia 200 Pesos

Regarding Ed Krivoniak's mystery coin from The Epic History of Everyday Things , Rich Hartzog writes:

I am not sure, but this looks like one of the Japanese arcade tokens (pachislo). There are a huge number of varieties, mostly nickel-silver and about quarter-size. In my multi-ton hoards of vending and arcade bags I constantly find these, generally without inscriptions.

Nicolás Santerini writes:

Unknown Coin The coin unidentified from "The epic history..." is from Colombia, KM # 287, 200 pesos years 1994, 95 and 96. Greetings from Uruguay, your newest subscriber.

Thanks! -Editor


DAMIN Silver Monetary Depreciation and International Relations
Georges Depeyrot writes:

With the beginning of our program of study DAMIN Silver Monetary Depreciation and International Relations a web site is now in construction, .

You will find the main links to the project, the main participants, to the program of the first round-table at Paris, January 13-14 and to the first volumes published.

Baldwin's Prospero Collection Sets Records

Caroline Newton of Baldwin's forwarded a press release about the results of their auction of the Prospero Collection of ancient Greek coinage. -Editor

The much anticipated sale of the spectacular Prospero Collection concluded at 03.30 EST this morning and, after a phenomenal eight hour ‘white glove' auction, the team at Baldwin's had a lot to smile about. Although results are still in the process of being confirmed initial figures released by the company state that the sale total for all 642 lots is approximately US$25,000,000 (including buyer's premium at 17%), more than double the pre-sale estimate.

Gold Stater from Pantikapaion Lot 213, the catalogue cover coin, broke all previous world records for an ancient Greek coin, selling for a phenomenal US$3,250,000 (hammer). This beautiful example of a Gold Stater from Pantikapaion depicts the head of a satyr, a character widely used in Greek mythology. The coin is one of the most spectacular numismatic objects to have survived from the classical world and is one of the greatest and admired of all the ancient Greek coins. This miniature work of art is an incredibly rare artistic masterpiece and it was no surprise when bidding soared past the pre-sale estimate of US$650,000.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: BALDWIN'S PROSPERO COLLECTION OF GREEK COINAGE SALE (

Washington Before Boston Medal Question
Ron Ward writes:

Please check out eBay lot#130623237677, a silver-plated copper version of the Washington Before Boston medal (the seller also lists a number of other military medals silver-plated). I asked him if there were any edge markings since he said it came from the Paris mint. He replied there were none - which should have been present. I think something is wrong - could these be new Chinese imports? As readers may recall, there were some very nice EF-Unc Lafayette dollars floating around several years ago. What are your thoughts?

Washington before Boston medal George Washington Before Boston Medal

I asked Joe Levine about this. With no Paris Mint edge markings, the piece would be from the U.S. Mint. Joe also says "This cannot be reverse "C" as described because the reverse clearly has 4 not 3 hooves under Washington's horse." -Editor

Click here to view the eBay lot description: 1776 George Washington Before Boston Medal Silvered-Bronze

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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