The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 17, Number 13, March 30, 2014, Article 21


On Tuesday I received a note from Steve Bishop with the results of the numismatic humor contest from the March Nummis Nova meeting. Tom Kays described the contest as follows:

Steve ordered up a side of numismatic humor. Numismatic humor is a tall order since fiscal jocularity and dry / dusty coin collectors are usually very distant relations. Coin collectors may be characters, but usually not comics. Jokes that only a coin collector would get was Steve’s objective, the more arcane the better.

Here are the compiled entries:

From Lenny Goldberg:

Oy! What a group of token Collectors? I think we have a collection of Tokenmen! I think I'll stop here.

From Mike Packard:

True (and funny) story for your consideration:

R Tettenhorst (Tett), whose fabulous collection of half cents was recently sold by the Goldbergs, once traded a very nice and rare half cent to Bill Weber for a coin Tett wanted. Bill traded the coin to Roger Cohen as a part of the Mega-Trade that allowed Roger to complete his collection of circulation strike half cent varieties. At the sale of Roger's collection in 1992, Tett bought the coin back. When asked why, Tett replied that it now had a much more impressive pedigree than when he first owned it.

From Dave Schenkman:

A man walks into an antique shop in New York City and sees a solid gold rat figurine in a case. He asks the price and is told it isn't for sale. When he ask why, the owner says "you don't want the rat; the rat will cause you big problems." The customer persists, and finally the shop owner say "all right, you can buy the rat, but I'm warning you, he's trouble. And, if you buy it I don't want you coming back here again." The man agrees, pays for the rat, and leaves.

After walking a few blocks he gets a funny feeling and looks behind him. There are about a dozen rats following him. A few blocks later he looks again and there are at least a hundred rats. He starts walking faster, and the number of rats keeps increasing. He finally panics and starts running. After about a mile he reaches the East River and, looking back, sees thousands of rats closing in on him. He takes the gold rat and throws it as far into the river as he can. The rats all follow it in and drown.

The man is amazed, and after calming down retraces his steps to the antique shop. The owner says, "I warned you the rat was trouble, and I told you not to come back." The customer says, "there's no problem, but I have to ask, would you happen to have a gold numismatist?"

From Steve Bishop:

Joe: Knock, knock.
John: Who's there?
Joe: Numismatist.
John: Geshundheit!

Q: Why did the numismatist become aroused when looking at three coins graded very fine?
A: Because they were 35-25-35.

Here's a couple Steve found on the web:

"It's a token for the arcade games at Laser Sport Time!" Dan hissed.
"Uncle Alistair doesn't think so," Amy murmured. "He's a numismatist."
"He takes his clothes off in public?" Dan said."
Peter Lerangis, The Sword Thief

A couple decides to go to an old west tourist town as part of their vacation. They see on the list of shows that there will be a public execution scheduled for high noon and they go to check it out. Instead of seeing a man on the gallows with a rope around his neck, they see the "condemned" standing in the middle of the street and the sheriff in front of him holding a shotgun. The sheriff loads a bunch of five and ten cent pieces into the barrel of the shotgun, aims and fires killing the man. The man turns to his wife and says "Boy, they really nickel and dime you to death at these places".
Steven Preston

And a link to a really good story about Penny:

Tom Kays writes:

I think there may be a tie. First is Mike Packard's true and funny story which best meets our stated aim of finding an esoteric and funny coin joke. I like it. But I also like the knock-knock joke which gets to the punch line sooner. I would call these two jokes tied for first place.

Steve Bishop writes:

Tom says it's a tie, but I am going to bow out and give the award to Mike Packard.

Well, Mike's Tettenhorst story gets my top vote, too. Congratulations - we have a winner! Steve created the following certificate for presentation to Mike. The coin pictured is the 1787 Connecticut Cent, Mailed Bust Left, Laughing.

Funniest Numismatist Award 2014

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: TOM KAYS' NUMISMATIC DIARY: MARCH 11, 2014 (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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