The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 17, Number 9, March 2, 2014, Article 11


Inside The E-Sylum Subscriber Count
Fred Michaelson writes:

According to "Wayne's Words," in the 2/2 issue there were 1,691 members. In the 2/9 issue we added 5 members for a total of 1,697. In the 2/16 issue we added 7 members for a total of 1,704. In the 2/23 issue we added 1 member for a total of 1,706. Is something wrong here?

Well, it's not as simple as you might think. Fred's adding apples to oranges and getting pears. The only meaningful number is the member count, which comes from our mailing list administration page. That tells us how many active email addresses are on the mailing list as of our publication date. But the difference between these numbers is the NET change in subscribers for the week, and that includes addresses ADDED and REMOVED from the list.

I publish names of new subscribers when I can, but all I see is their email address. If that includes their full name, then I've got something to publish. If their address is I've got nothing to publish. So those lists of new subscribers are rarely all-inclusive. Also, I don't publish anything when an email address drops off the list. Usually that's because someone moves to a new email address and issues sent to the old one start bouncing. The system purges these bad addresses periodically. -Editor

The 3rd Printing Softbound Taxay
In a follow-up to our earlier discussion of George Kolbe's article about the dust jacket sticker on Taxay's Counterfeit, Mis-Struck, and Unofficial U.S. Coins, Fred Michaelson writes:

Taxay 3rd printing The Taxay book came. No Pittman. No sticker. It's the third printing (paperback---1975). I think I mis-understood what George Kolbe said. He referred to the first two hard cover issues and the last two soft cover printings. My elementary-school brain took this to mean that there were more than two hardbound issues and more than two softbound issues. Now I guess he meant there are only the two hardbounds and only the two softbounds. Is that right?

I put the question to George, who succinctly answered "Yes". -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: FEBRUARY 16, 2014 : The Sticky Sticker Situation (

On Reading Arabic numbers
$20 bill with Arabic stamp In The E-Sylum of 2/23/2014, Chip Howell wrote:

"While Arabic reads right-to-left, their numbers read left-to-right, like ours. Not sure why!"

Yossi Dotan has an answer! See below. -Editor

I found the answer to Chip's comment in Richard Plant's Arabic Coins and How to Read Them (London: Seaby, 1980), p .7:

All Arabic is written from right to left, but in the case of numbers this is cancelled out by the fact that Arabs speak of them the opposite way round from the way we do. 754 is to them "Four and fifty and seven hundred", ٤ and ٥٠ and ٧٠٠, which is put together and written in their usual way from right to left as ٧٥٤. This means that for practical purposes Arabic numerals are "the right way round" as far as we are concerned.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: MORE CHOPMARKS ON MODERN U.S. PAPER MONEY (

Translating Latin Coin Terms
Paul Cunningham writes:

The article on numismatics terms made me think of an interesting book from my library: Alexander Wenzel's Auflosungen lateinischer Legended auf Munzen und Medaillen (1974, Klinkhardt & Biermann, Braunsch Weig). What it does for the reader is translate the Latin on your old coins and medals to German and English. I've had to turn down several offers for the book!

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: FORUM ANCIENT COINS TRANSLATION PAGES (

Wass, Molitor $20 Photo Found
Dave Stone writes:

Thanks for running my question about the Wass, Molitor Large Head twenty. Dan Hamelberg got in touch with me and gave me the information I needed. Thanks for everything!

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: FEBRUARY 16, 2014 : Photo Of Yale Specimen of Wass, Molitor $20 Sought (

Dave Alexander on Slabbing Medals
Dave Alexander writes:

Slabbing of medals proved to be even more of a mixed "blessing" than it has been for coins. The first wave a few years ago saw slabbing of innumerable So-Called Dollars, including World's Columbian Exposition material in White Metal and Aluminum going, however briefly, for amazing amounts. This wave soon reached the beach and evaporated among more widely experienced numismatists.

The massive slabs for large diameter medals (60 to 100mm) soon were dubbed "slabs on steroids" and were fascinating even if the presented a challenge for storage. I believe we may say the jury is still out on medal slabbing!

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: DICK JOHNSON ON SLABBING HISTORICAL MEDALS (

More on Brad Troemel's eBay Project
Regarding Brad Troemel's eBay art project, Ralf Böpple writes:

I think the confusion comes from the different approach to the deed that the coin artist has from that of your everyday eBay con artist (nice word play, by the way - might it be more than just coincidence?)

A con artist does it to trick people out of their money. The coin artist sees the whole process as an art performance that is not done with the purpose of earning money. Some might call it art, others a criminal act; I would settle for utterly naive...

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: EDWIN JOHNSTON ON BRAD TROEMEL'S EBAY ART PROJECT (

Aruba's 2014 Carnaval Coin
Pabitra Saha writes:

The Centrale Bank van Aruba have announced a new coin which marks the 60th year of Carnival in this Caribbean island country. It has been said by carnival aficionados that you have not lived until you have experienced the spirit of Carnival as it is celebrated in Aruba.

Aruba Carnival coin

I don't often care for colorized coins, but this explosion of color seems to work well in the context of Carnaval. Bon Ton Roulet! -Editor

Query: Tonan Maru Medal Edge Inscription Translation Sought

Tonan Maru medal obverse Tonan Maru medal reverse

Dick Hanscom writes:

I bought a medal on eBay and could use some help from E-Sylum readers in translating the edge description. The Tonan Maru was originally a Whaling Factory Ship but was pressed into service by the Imperial Japanese Navy as an oil tanker. It was torpedoed 4 times during WWII, and finally sunk on the 4th time.

A local guy (an American Japanese with no knowledge of Japanese characters) got the obverse and reverse translated for me. He is a local historian who I see maybe once a year, but he stopped in the other day. Unfortunately, I forgot to have him look at the edge.

I am pretty sure that it is a makers mark.

tonan edge2

To view a web page of Japanese Ship Launching Medals, see: Japan Ship Launching Commemorative Medals (

Franklin-Monthyon Medal
Howard Daniel forwarded another interesting Franklin medal found on eBay. Thanks! The seller describes it as a "Benjamin Franklin & Monthyon - Medal - 1833 by Barre".

1833 Barre Benjamin Franklin medal obverse 1833 Barre Benjamin Franklin medal reverse

To view the eBay lot description, see: United States - Benjamin Franklin & Monthyon - Medal - 1833 by Barre (

Pricing the Kew Gardens 50 Pence
David Pickup writes:

Kew Gardens coin Just how much is a Kew 50 pence piece worth? There has been a lot of media interest this week. I remembered seeing one of these in my local dealer’s stock so I had a look to see if he still had it.

He still had one and I asked what he wanted. It was not for sale, he said. He had been offered one by a member of the public for £50.00 pounds last week. Another customer who overheard the conversation who I think must work in a bank had got their trainees to search through bags of 50 pence coins and had not found one.

What are worth? Time will tell. The last one the dealer sold was £7.00. My guess is the price will settle back to less than ten pounds. Media interest or hype?

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: BRITONS SEARCH FOR RARE KEW GARDENS 50P COIN (

Archives International logo

Archives International Auctions, Part XVII

Rare U.S. & Worldwide Banknotes, Scripophily, Security Printing Ephemera, Further Selections From the Hamtramck Collection & Part 1 of the Scarsdale Collection of Modern African Banknotes

March 11th 2014 at our offices in Fort Lee, NJ

Highlights include:

  • Lot 102 Banco de Quito. 5 Pesos. 1880. Pick #S242 Unlisted as issued note
  • Lot 704 Essay Proof of Merchants National Bank of Chicago - a rare essay proof of original issue national banknote
  • Lot 394 Central African Republic, 5000 Francs, P-11
  • Lot 837 Crescent Mutual Insurance Co., ca.1850's Specimen Stock Certificate

Lot 56 Shanghai, China $10

1580 Lemoine Avenue, Suite #7
Fort Lee, NJ 07024
Phone: 201-944-4800

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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