The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 12, March 18, 2012, Article 12


My numismatic endeavors have been limited lately. Last week I traveled for business to Honolulu and during the long plane rides I caught up on some reading. The first was a quick read - David Ganz' new book, The Essential Guide to Investing in Precious Metals. Requiring much more time was a manuscript by Roger Burdette. Both were enjoyable and I learned a number of things.

Hawaii error quarterI showed some of my colleagues a holed Hawaiian quarter I keep on my keychain. I forget where I got it - it may have been through John Burns many years ago. Speaking of Hawaii, there was a story out this week about a collector who noticed "extra islands" on Hawaii state quarters - probably created by die pits.

A Hawaii coin collector says there may be some Hawaii commemorative quarters out there worth keeping.

Joseph Au-Franz says he's found about ten of Hawaii's commemorative quarters coins with two extra islands on them.

Au-Franz does not know how many quarters were made with the extra islands or how much each coin is worth.

To read the complete article, see: Hawaii coin collector finds errors on commemorative quarters (

Ordinarily, this week's diary would be filled with my tales from Tuesday's meeting of Nummis Nova, but I ended up out of town that day too, this time for a family funeral. But I did the next best thing and asked the attendees to pass along reports of their own, Here they are.

Dave Schenkman writes:

I brought a variety of items to show. The theme was something to do with beasts, so one of the items I brought was a 1695 thaler of Leopold I, the Hogmouth. I also brought a French Napoleon III satirical jeton, and a 42.5mm 14k gold medal marked Tiffany & Co. I wrote a column for The Numismatist about it a few years ago.

Leopold I, the Hogmouth reverse Leopold I, the Hogmouth reverse
Numismatic Bestiary: Leopold I, the Hogmouth (Image courtesy David Schenkman)

Napoleon satirical jeton obverse Napoleon satirical jeton reverse
Napoleon satirical jeton (Image courtesy David Schenkman)

New York Zoological Society medal obverse New York Zoological Society medal Reverse
Numismatic Bestiary: New York zoological Society (Image courtesy David Schenkman)

Dave adds:

I also brought a rare ad note from Baltimore with the 1889 baseball team on it.

Baltimore baseball note front

Baltimore baseball note back

Tom Kays writes:

The best object brought for show and tell was Dave's 1889 National League Baseball advertising note featuring steel engravings of the championship team. George Cash visiting from Richmond had never seen one and said it was remarkable.

Mike Packard brought a Chinese box dollar, Joe Levine brought a VDB plaque of the Gettysburg Address with an embedded 1916 cent. Also seen were a stack of military payment certificates series 591, a Sheldon 221 large cent of 1801, a very high grade Massachusetts cent of 1787, and George Cash brought an original Virginia token book of Dave's found in unbound reams at the printers after 35 years abandonment. Placed in three ring binders they sell for $36 to benefit the VNA.

I brought coin beasts per our theme for March including a 1599 Zeeland sea lion Thaler known here in America as a dog paddle dollar with rampant lion of that Low Country bobbing above the waves seemingly pleading for someone to build a dyke and a 1623 St Galen Thaler with rampant bear of the dancing Swiss variety.

I showed a website that offers one year of the Alexandria Gazette from July 1813 to July 1814 in a bound folio volume in the hopes that Chris Neuzil might buy it and share it with us as a future show and tell.

Bear on coin obverse Bear on coin reverse
Numismatic Bestiary: Bear (Image courtesy Tom Kays)

Sea Lion on coin obverse Sea Lion on coin reverse
Numismatic Bestiary: Sea Lion (Image courtesy Tom Kays)

Tom adds:

A guest brought some nice ancients with various mythological beasts including a nice stater of Carthage with Pegasus. The evening really got out of hand when I gave Gene Brandenburg a signed blank check for coins sight unseen that he thought he would not show me being they had errors and might be bogus and that we were all rather well along with refreshments and conviviality unbecoming the harsh reality of the coin trade but that is another story. What happens at Nummis Nova stays at Nummis Nova.

Eric Schena brought a banknote with an eagle motif from the early 1800s that had a cartoon device whereby the eagle speaks out the side of his beak. Does anyone know of other such cartoon techniques such as thought balloons or emoticons used on early federal or colonial notes? Just how early were such cartoon artifices used and can E-Sylum readers provide more examples of cartoon devices on banknotes and coins that depict actions of the characters? I can think of some already.

Eric hosts next and the theme for April I understand will be death and taxes, two sure things on which we may count and which I invite the readership to suggest what one numismatic object best brings to mind both concepts?

Eric Schena writes:

Etna Iron works note closeup Here's some more background on what I brought. I brought a $1000 bill of exchange from an iron furnace in Botetourt Co., VA, from 1849. Since the eagle illustration with the cartoon balloon was the highlight, here's a photo of the bill plus a detail with the eagle saying he paid the bill of exchange. I thought it was neat that someone from 1849 had a sense of humor like that.

Etna Iron works note

Many thanks for the assistance this week, and the great images. I missed some great stuff!

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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