The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 17, Number 22, May 25, 2014, Article 11


Buy the book (and Read It)
Fred Michaelson writes:

Shouldn't that slogan be "Buy the book (and read it) before the coin" ?

A 'Grading Set' of Counterstamped Coins
In my earlier review of the Grading Guide for Early American Copper Coins, I wrote: AG counterstamp on 1807 Large Cent

The Guide is not without humor, as exemplified by this illustration from p16 captioned, "While there are many ways to record a coin’s grade, this is definitely not the way to do it."

Fred Michaelson writes:

Do you know who owns the "AG" cent shown? It's really a coincidence that this issue arose, because I've been collecting "grade" counterstamps. I've got a P, an F, and a G. I bought what I thought was a VF, but it turned out to be WF. Every time I think of something wild and crazy, I find out somebody else thought of it, too.

WTF? I've seen a lot of crazy collecting ideas over the years, but I think this one's unique. I checked with the book's co-author Bill Eckberg, but alas, the provider of the AG counterstamp image does not own the coin. Anyone know where it is today? -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: BOOK REVIEW: GRADING GUIDE FOR EARLY AMERICAN COPPER (

Henry Bergos and That Crazy Roman Salute

Summer Seminar 1987 Speaking of crazy ideas, I was struck by last week's picture of Henry Bergos and his classmates in the 1987 Ancient Roman Coinage seminar. I couldn't put my finger on why the image was stuck in my head until I realized how perfectly it expresses Henry's typical effect on people.

It was the most natural thing in the world for him to tell everyone in the picture to do the Roman salute; in his mind it was obvious, and everyone should do it. Some of them thought, "I love it - it's crazy!" The rest of them thought, "I'm not doing that - it's crazy."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: MORE ON HENRY BERGOS (

More On Cataloguing Prison Scrip
Paul Cunningham writes:

Some comments on the prison tokens and chits article. My interest was aroused because I had a close relationship with Jerry Zara and his book. Jerry was a simple man - he tried to catalog the tokens and stuff with a minimum of effort! He wanted his book to straightforward and easy to use. He would not approve of the rather complicated numbering system!

Regarding the pictured tokens - the first set is very scarce, the blue and beige tokens being on an order of ten to twenty times more scarce than those tokens in the second set.

And for the picky - the American VectUrist Association is so named because of the Greek (?) word vecture, standing for a "ride."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: AN APPROACH FOR CATALOGUING PRISON SCRIP (

Engineering Books, Books, Books

Numismatists aren’t the only ones overloaded with books. Alan Meghrig forwarded this item from Today's Engineer about what to do with useful old engineering books. Thanks. -Editor

I like books. Most of the rooms in my home are covered with bookshelves, many of them floor to ceiling. Most of my books are nonfiction—I’m guessing over half of them are STEM-related.

For the edification of the few digital natives (anyone born with a smartphone in his or her crib) who may be reading this, let me briefly explain what a book is. It consists of a number of sheets of paper with writing or printing on them, fastened together along one edge, usually between protective covers. (I am not against “e-books”—I both read them and write them. But they are not books!)

Stephen Kahne, emeritus professor and former vice president of technical activities for IEEE, recently expressed his concern about the fate of “the once outstanding libraries of classic technical texts and reference books” that many of us own. “What are we going to do with them?” he asked.

Professor Kahne’s question, reinforced by a review of my own library, prompted me to search for possible recipients of classic engineering texts. Many public libraries no longer accept technical textbooks as additions to their holdings or even for resale at fundraisers. - See more at:

To read the complete article, see: Books, Books, Books (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster