The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 16, Number 27, June 30, 2013, Article 11


Harvey G . Stack submitted the following thoughts on John Ford, Paul Franklin and the franklin Hoard. Thanks. -Editor

Ford Franklin Hoard book cover I enjoyed last week's E-Sylum and the item about John Ford and Paul Franklin.

It was surprising to me , though it was reported earlier, discussed widely for almost 50 years, that the ANA hearing, and testimony received by such as Painter, Merkin and others, in which Ford presented a huge explanation of what he discovered about the series of the Early Assay office pieces in Proof, and the fact that the elite committee who heard the case, could not decide if the coins were genuine, were they counterfeited by someone or was it a discovery that has been dammed.

The case I refer to is the Garland charges that the ANA conducted the hearing for. They finally determined that the Garland Coin, (the one which was the subject of the hearing, was not a 'PROOF' nor a 'SPECIMEN STRIKING" but left the subject of Genuineness UNANSWERED.

The same group of critics who was downing the Assay office pieces, also took shots on items that were not in the Guidebook, or were in, and then removed, and then accused the same perpetrators of making or fabricating these.

To the best of my knowledge, when these were first marketed, they were checked for alloy and composition to be correctly stated as to what they were in quality or fineness.

The tests, which I saw, but do not have in my files, were done by several elite metallurgical laboratories at the time, which included but not limited to the Dupont Laboratory, MIT laboratory, and the U.S . Office of Weights and Measures, and the Department of Minerals .

All felt that the items were if the fineness , quality and had the characteristics of the area the gold was mined or was later assayed and stamped on the pieces.

Ford Franklin Hoard Paper If one is to argue the case, the early Ford presentation, numbering hundreds of pages, (as I remember it ) was not included in the rebuttal, but from what I read John Kleeberg did not do a full condemnation of the pieces, and spent a lot of time on the Mexican bars.

In my opinion , a report as detailed as this book, should have given the Ford information, which was argued , refuted but never determined to be incorrect when discussed in the 1960s, when John was alive and able to explain and refute some of conjectures found in his REPORT AND TESTIMONY.

In my opinion, the book with all its documentation reproduced was an attempt to vindicate Paul Franklin, who was well known to me as an associate of John Ford, in the sense of seeking info for John, and a poor attempt to pin "all foul play" on John.

If John was alive today, I feel he could have and would have refuted or logically explained what the "letters" said (both his and Paul's) and the poor case the opposition prepared against both in the early 1960's and still simmers in today's literature.

For those who would like to know, Werner Amelingminer, was a friend of John Ford, who collected somewhat, but was generous, though shared with John some of the deals that Werner helped John finance . I feel some credit for care and deep numismatic study and examination should be given to some of the alleged clients for the questionable coins and bars, i.e. Wayte Raymond, F.C.C. Boyd Mrs. Norweb, Stack's and the curators of the Smithsonian, who would have had the skill to question , study and determine the origin of these numismatic items.

Fred Werner, was an active Long Island Dealer, and sometimes got coins from John to sell to his clients, take some to shows to try to "make a buck" and was a somewhat well rounded numismatist in his own right. We had many smaller numismatists who made a living from getting merchandise from one source and selling it to another during the 1950's through the present day, in the New York Area.

The reviews you published were good for the matter to be reviewed by skeptics and put to rest. I respect the Harry Riesenberg use of the Mexican items to glorify and make a movie, but is that a source of argument or imagination?

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: BOOK REVIEW: JOHN J. FORD AND THE FRANKLIN HOARD (


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Wayne Homren, Editor

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