The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 5, February 3, 2013, Article 18


Alan Herbert, Olin Brass and a Mint Security Breach
Bruce W. Smith writes:

I saw Alan Herbert from time to time when he passed through the Krause Publications office when I worked there (1974-77). Not long after I started working there, when the company was in the old building downtown by the lake, Alan was talking to someone at the desk next to mine. I overheard him say something about how he couldn't understand why there were so many U.S. error coins, including blank planchets for all denominations, coming on the market at that time.

Though I did not collect U.S. coins, nor error coins, I interrupted to say I knew the answer to that question. At that time Olin Brass in Alton, Illlinois, across the river from my hometown of St. Louis, was making all the planchets (or perhaps the coinage strip) for the U.S. mints. All the error coins detected at the mint, apparently including blank planchets, were shipped back to Olin for remelting. When the bins left the mint, they were under guard, but when they arrived at Olin, they were just scrap metal. Employees would grab a handful when they passed by the bins and take them home.

I learned this from a collector/dealer who lived in Alton, when he offered me a set of blank planchets -- penny through half dollar. When I mentioned this to Alan, he was shocked. He immediately grabbed a telephone and called the mint to alert them to this security breach

Dave Hirt's Hobo Nickel
Dave Hirt writes:

I was sorry to read of the passing of Alan Herbert. He seems to have had a wonderful life. He was a great numismatist!

Reading in the last couple of issues about the Hobo nickel reminded me that I have owned one for years. I received it in circulation sometime in the late 1940's or early 1950's while making my weekly collections for the newspaper on my paper route. I had no idea what it was, but kept it. Someone that I showed it to told me it was a "Jew nickel". It was not until years later after I subscribed to Coin World that I found out what it really was.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: ARTICLE PROFILES $24,000 HOBO NICKEL BUYER CHRIS DEMPSEY (

January 2013 Issue of Moneta Published
Serge Pelletier writes:

Happy New Year on behalf of the Ottawa Numismatic Society! The January 2013 issue of moneta, the journal of the Ottawa Numismatic Society in now available at

Moneta Jan 2013 In this issue:
- A type collection of Canadian 10-cent pieces (Part 1) [Steve Woodland]
- - 2012: An unparalleled year for Canadian numismatics [Serge Pelletier]
- - Topical Collecting: Winter [Serge Pelletier]
- - When was a York shilling? [Dr. Chris Faulkner]

And more. Happy reading!

To read the current issue, see:

2x2 holder with the square window sought
John Mutch writes:

2x2 with square hole I am in need of a supply of this type of 2x2 holder with the square window. Over the years I have received an assortment of tokens in this type of holder, but have been unable to determine what company made them and when. "Before my time" is the usual answer I get. Presumably they are no longer made, but if one of our readers has a supply of the ones with the Dollar-size window that they would be willing to sell, I'd be most grateful.

John's email address is . Can anyone help? -Editor

Postcard of the Traveling Liberty Bell
Tom Casper writes:

The article in last week's E-Sylum about the Traveling Liberty Bell mentioned this event was recorded on postcards. I have one of those postcards from when the Liberty Bell visited Milwaukee, WI. The postcard is undated but it is undoubtedly from 1915 while it was en route to the Pan-Pac Expo in San Francisco.

RPPC Liberty Bell front

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JANUARY 27, 2013: The Traveling Liberty Bell (

Article Discusses Costs and Quantities of Royal Mint Coins
Philip Mernick writes:

On pages 14 & 15 of Thursday’s Metro Newspaper there is a good article on the cost of making coins and the quantities in circulation.

Royal Mint coins and costs

To read the complete issue, see:

California gold in the Mendes I. Cohen Sale
Dave Stone writes:

Roberts Cal  Small Gold Attached is a scan of the California gold in the Mendes I. Cohen Sale (Edward Cogan, 10/1875). I hope this helps Bob Leonard in his research. The update of the Breen-Gillio book was great.

It was very instructive to see the account of the sale in the Coin Collector’s Journal that Rick Stroman sent in. It looks like they just covered the copper 1792 disme pattern in lot 378, skipping the silver disme in lot 379, which sold to “Roberts” (Fonrobert). They probably considered the coin damaged, and therefore less interesting, because the date was effaced.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: COIN COLLECTOR'S JOURNAL ARTICLE ON 1875 COHEN SALE (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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