The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 9, March 3, 2013, Article 12


Comments on South Asian Coins and Paper Money – Indian Edition
Kavan Ratnatunga writes:

I remember objecting to both George Cuhaj and the Indian editors for reusing an old title of a classic catalog published in 1982 of South Asian coins for a catalog of Indian coins excluding the other South Asian countries. I hope the use of the term Indian Edition, implies that someday in the Future there will be Editions for Sri Lanka Pakistan, Nepal, Burma, Afghanistan, Maldives etc.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NEW BOOK: SOUTH ASIAN COINS AND PAPER MONEY – INDIAN EDITION (

Meeting Ruth Hill
Bill Rosenblum writes:

The recent posting about Ruth Hill remind me of a flight my wife Rita and I took 30+ years ago. I believe we were traveling to either the 1980 ANA in Cincinnati, which was among the best shows we ever had, or the 1981 ANA in New Orleans which was among the worst ever although our dining experiences almost made up for the lack of sales and purchases. I believe we had to change planes in St. Louis and while we waited in the boarding area we noticed Mrs. Hill sitting there wearing white gloves and a 1950s style hat.

Traveling was a bit more formal 30 years ago but Mrs. Hill was still the most "proper" looking person in the airport. I'm sure very few people knew that there sat one of the most knowledgeable and influential people in the area of world-wide numismatics. She kind of looked a bit unapproachable but of course we knew her and had a nice conversation while awaiting our flight. By the way, it's also possible that this meeting could have happened while we were returning from one of the show and we may not have even been on the same flight. It was a long time ago.

That reminds me that our hobby or "community" as Cliff Mishler likes to call it attracts all kinds of people. There are people who when you see them you think "I should cross the street, he looks kind of scary (or fill in the word)" but if you have numismatics (using the broad term to include all facets of the hobby) in common it's amazing how much we can enjoy and learn from our conversations. Sometimes the local coin clubs are the best barometer of this bringing together high rolling "pillars of society" such as doctors, lawyers and Indian chiefs as well short-order cooks, minimum wage workers and kids who have a great thirst for knowledge but have little or no money or acquire coins, medals, tokens, banknotes or even books.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: MORE ON THE RUTH HILL WORLD BANKNOTE COLLECTION (

Query: Zabriskie Sale Lot 358 Buyer Sought
Mark Borckardt writes:

Chapman Zabriskie sale 1909 I am searching for someone who owns a named copy of the Chapman 1909 Zabriskie sale. I specifically need to know who purchased Lot 358. It is an 1852 Humbert $10. Perhaps an E-Sylum reader can help.

Can anyone help? The catalog image shown here is taken from the NBS web site Wiki bibliography being assembled by Tom Wetter. Here's the Henry Chapman page: -Editor

Who Created the Distinguished Warfare Medal?
Regarding Howard Daniel's comment on the Distinguished Warfare Medal ("To create a medal for a rear echelon person....."), Gar Travis writes:

These "persons" are in fact pilots and some are government contractors; albeit remote in nature and not so different than Air Force bomber pilots dropping ordinance high and away from the intended target. I am a veteran as well and am no way "offended" enough in this time of modern warfare to consider contacting my Congress representative, as they have more than enough to do, without my having an issue with either the significance or the awarding of such a medal.

Times have changed and sometimes we do not like it, nor do we have control of it. While the administration of President Obama was seemingly blamed in the creation of this award, we must remember that someone in the military services created this honor and when all was said and done from a military and Congressional standpoint; it was finally approved by the Executive Branch. It should not be politicized as the fault of the administration but, as perhaps a poor choice of decided heroism placed by the Pentagon on the awarding of the medal.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: FEBRUARY 24, 2013: More on the Distinguished Warfare Medal (

Commemorative Coins Encyclopedia "Investment Section"
Michael Sanders of Beaverton, OR writes:

I too have always been fascinated by the curiously demeaning tone and the blatant sales promotion found in the Swiatek - Breen "Encyclopedia of United States Silver & Gold Commemorative Coins". The last section titled "The Investment Section" is particularly upsetting. Each Commemorative is listed in 3 grades with the 1985 price and the projected 1990 price. The first series of prices are highly exaggerated and the projected prices are pure fantasy. Today most of these coins are worth a fraction of the prices listed. Yes, I certainly want to sell my MS-65 Fort Vancouver for $17,000.00!

I knew Walter Breen and spoke with him at many California coin shows prior to his arrest and incarceration. I once asked him about this reference and he told me "I was paid for it but I am not in the least proud of it". His research and writing style define this book but he would say no more. Enough said!


The Mystery Cat
Regarding the earlier discussion of the "rolling coin" video, Fred Michaelson writes:

I saw this too late to comment last week, but I did notice that at minute 42 a cat walks by.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: FEBRUARY 24, 2013 : Quiz Answer: The Rolling Coin Was ... (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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