The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 15, Number 15, April 8, 2012, Article 6


Last week's April Fool's item caught a lot of people off guard, but most managed to get the joke. Here are some of the reader comments.

Donn Pearlman writes:

Funny stuff, but you realize, of course, that some percentage of your readers will actually think the "ANA Executive Director" story is factual and not realize it is contained in The E-Sylum edition of April first.......

Phil Iversen writes:

Has the ANA board been smoking medicinal marijuana in their closed door board meetings?

I had to write back "April Fool!", and Phil responded, "You got me good this time! Let's hope that others did not take it as seriously as I did. " Alan Weinberg said he and Harvey Stack also swallowed the bait, but most of the readers I heard from were amused - even lawyers!

David Ganz writes:

Two hours after I read it, it occurred to me that April 1st got me. Nice job!

Another reader writes:

Good joke! You almost had me there!

Bob Neale writes:

Hmmm. Dated 1 April. Look forward to next year's announcement! Hope you had fun.

Don Erlenkotter writes:

Bruce MacNall as the new ANA Executive Director?? Unbelievable! We know him all too well out here in Los Angeles. Oh, then I noticed the date of your issue giving this announcement. April Fool!!

At least one person at ANA headquarters got the joke - this was posted on their Facebook page Monday:

Ha ha ha ha. Very funny little April Fool's joke you played on us there, e-sylum

Kerry Wetterstrom replied:

What, and here I was getting ready to send Bruce a congratulations letter!

Kerry adds:

Nice April Fool's joke on Bruce McNall's (correct spelling!) selection as the new ANA Executive Director. Hey, you're right, he's not a lawyer!

The misspelling of McNall's name was one of the clues to the dicey nature of the article. But his "I haven't felt stigmatized by my past yet" quote is real. That together with the fact that he wrote a book about the experiences that landed him in jail led me to believe McNall would be a good sport about it. He's paid his debt to society and that chapter is behind him.

Be sure to check out his book - it's well written and an interesting read with a lot of numismatic connections as well as background on his ownership of the Los Angeles Kings hockey team. "Fun While it Lasted: My Rise and Fall in the Land of Fame and Fortune".

Craig Eberhart writes:

Can we count on Wayne Gretzky manning the front desk and signing autographs?

Dan Demeo writes:

I've known Bruce for maybe 35 years, and had some very pleasant experiences. I never went to Numismatic Fine Arts without stopping to see his mother, Shirley, who ran the book department. Bruce just has this way of getting people excited about something; they lose all sensibilities, and before you know it, he's financing this and that, and this again.

NBS Vice President Marc C. Ricard writes:

Thanks for the wonderful April Fool's Day surprise! I nearly fell out of my chair, but I then realized that the ANA couldn't possibly repeat the sins of the past. I had a much needed belly laugh, and, as always, many thanks for the terrific job you do with The E-Sylum!

Ron Ward and Denis Loring also wrote in about the article. Check out these other numismatic April Fool's articles. -Editor

Loren Gatch writes:

For a second I didn't realize that the idea of issuing a "Branson Currency" was an April Fool's joke. However, I wouldn't put it past a meglomaniacal CEO to try.

Richard Branson and Virgin Holidays have reacted to holidaymakers' frustrations over exchange rates and poor value by launching a new currency today.

The 'Branson' will be accepted as legal tender at all Virgin Holidays destinations from April 2nd and can be bought through one of the company's 100 retail outlets in the UK as well as in resorts upon arrival. The 'Branson' launch follows research commissioned by Virgin Holidays and think tank Gray HL Division which found poor exchange rates polled highest in reasons for not traveling to a holiday hotspot, followed by bad weather, having to take vaccinations and deadly insects.

To read the complete article, see: Richard Branson and Virgin Holidays launch new Branson currency (

Of course, I read this weekend that Branson is getting into the banking business in England, so maybe "Branson Bucks" aren't so far off...

This item from Scott Barman's Coin Collector's Blog describes a change in the composition of U.S. coins. Well thought-out! -Editor

In a rare Sunday announcement, Secretary of the Treasury Tim Geithner announced that beginning in 2013, the U.S. Mint will change the size and composition of U.S. coinage in an effort to the government additional money.

Beginning in 2013, all coins struck by the U.S. Mint will be made of a inox (stainless steel) and will have its diameter reduced in size by 25-percent. The thickness of the coins will not change.

For colored coins, the one-cent coin will be plated with copper to maintain its traditional color. For the dollar coins, the inox planchettes will be treated with titanium nitride (TiN) to add hardness to the coin and give it a golden color. Titanium will be used as a coating on the silver-colored coins.

To read the complete article, see: Treasury Overhauls Circulating Coins (

Ya gotta like this one about a salvage from a vessel mired in about two feet of water. -Editor

Early this morning, Coronado's Bruce Johnson was able to recover roughly $410,00 in silver slot-machine coins from the S.S. Monte Carlo from it's partially, sand-submerged position on Coronado Beach near the Coronado Shores. Yes, you read that correctly, $410,000 in silver coins from a ship that has been beached for over 75 years - completely out in the open. A combination of heavy winter storms, extremely low tides and a Florida-based scavenger service proved to be a perfect storm for one very pleased Coronado local.

Bruce said, "Being born here in Coronado, I grew up listening to stories about all the rumored loot that was trapped inside the Monte Carlo after it sank back in 1936. About two years ago, I made contact with a Florida Keys scavenger crew and we planned the 'attack'. Once we were able to pinpoint the strongest 'metal/silver signal' using a customized LOL (Low Oceanic Locator), it was as easy as cracking a concrete egg!".

To read the complete article, see: Lifetime Local Bruce Johnson Finds $410,000 in Silver Coins from S.S. Monte Carlo Wreckage (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: ANA TO NAME NEW EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster