The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 19, Number 3, January 17, 2016, Article 24


On Tuesday January 12, 2016 I arrived about 6pm at the Mon Ami Gabi restaurant in Reston Town Center for the monthly dinner of my Northern Virginia numismatic social group, Nummis Nova. Roger Burdette was already there. Soon we were joined by my guest Robert Hoppensteadt of Alexandria, VA, who had learned about us on He writes:

I collect ancient coins, and I have built and sold a few collections (one generalist and one focused on Republican and Imperatorial silver). For the past 10 years I have been collecting Roman Provincial bronzes with a specific focus on architectural themes. I am a serious collector and have a lot of knowledge built up over the past 25 years concerning most areas of ancient coinage, and I also have an interest in American coins as well, particularly colonials and early federal though I don't collect them.

The reason I chose to collect the provincial coinage is for the historical aspects - most of it is local and city specific, and a lot of the buildings portrayed on the reverses are the only extant images of them and they have actually helped archaeologists reconstruct what they looked like in some cases.

My latest acquisition was an Alexandrian hemidrachm of Hadrian with a reverse picturing the Pharos light house - of special interest to me because I live in Alexandria and the large Washington memorial that overlooks the town is based upon that ancient structure.

Ed Moy and Robert Hoppensteadt Nummis Nova January 2016
Ed Moy and Robert Hoppensteadt

Among the next group of arrivals was former Mint Director Ed Moy, who sat across from me and next to Robert. Above he's examining Robert's coin.

Wayne Herndon was our host, although I didn't get to speak with him much, being kind of trapped in the middle of a bench with no way out. But I enjoyed conversing with my immediate neighbors. Joe Esposito was on the other side of Ed, and to my left and right were Mike Packard and Tom Kays. Other attendees included Eric Schena, Jon Radel, Steve Bishop, Gene Brandenburg and Dave Schenkman. Howard Daniel was still in Viet Nam, Julian Leidman was absent for his wife's birthday, and Joe Levine was feeling under the weather.

The Oreo Triathalon Medal
1988 Oreo Triathalon medal One never, ever knows what one might see at one of these events. A case in point is this 1988 Oreo Triathalon medal brought in by Gene Brandenburg. Thanks to Dave Schenkman for the images. If I had a nickel for every cookie I've eaten I'd be rich by now. Maybe I deserve a medal.

Dave adds:

The overall length is approx. 143mm; the medal itself is 60mm. It appears to be gilt brass.

These turn up for sale periodically online. I came across this information in an eBay lot description:

You’re bidding on a very rare OREO Triathlon 24k gold plated medal and a piece of original advertising from the 1988 “OREO Triathlon Sweepstakes” held during that year’s Summer Olympics in Seoul, South Korea. This was given to me by one of the advertising people who developed the promotion for Nabisco and it has been in his possession since 1988. As he recalls, the piece was made to the dimensions of an Olympic medal by the same firm that produced the actual medals that year. As can be seen in the official rules from the 1988 advertisement, only 5,000 of these 24kt gold plated medals were produced.

To read the complete lot description, see:
24kt Gold Plated 1988 Oreo "Triathlon Sweepstakes" Olympic Style Medal w/ Ad

oreo with ribbon obv oreo with ribbon rev

Here's a May 1, 1988 ad from The Palm Beach Post via

Oreo Triathalon ad

The Nickel Exchange Association

nickel exchange front

nickel exchange back Dave Schenkman also passed around this interesting item which could use some additional research. It appears to be a "coupon" item promoting certain Washington, D.C. businesses, but the front declares it to be from the " Nickel Exchange Association if Philadelphia." Are there more of these out there with different merchants or locations?

Dave adds:

Gene Hynds showed it to me at the Chicago ANA convention last summer, and he ended up sending it to me as a gift. I’ve never seen any others, but would have to think there are others with different advertisements. I haven’t done any research, but I’d guess it to be circa 1900.

Tom Kays’ Numismatic Notes

Tom Kays provided these notes and images. Thanks! -Editor

I arrived in Reston after dark but before the snow flurries and took to the back bench next to Wayne and Steve. Once seated I was locked in for the night. Wayne introduced me to his guest Robert Hoppensteadt, a collector of “architecture” as depicted on ancient coins who sat opposite. Robert showed and told about a nice ancient bronze he brought, showing one of the seven wonders of the ancient world no longer standing, the Lighthouse at Alexandria, Egypt. Show and tells were passing at a furious pace after drinks and before the salad.

George Washington Inauguration Centennial Medal obverse George Washington Inauguration Centennial Medal reverse
George Washington Inauguration Centennial Medal

From stage left (Dave’s direction) came a George Washington Inauguration Centennial Medal by Charles Cushing Wright, in white metal. The reverse is reminiscent of his earlier “Fill the Blessed Sun” reverse, with an original printed article done some years ago, about which I did not fully hear the story, but I did take a neat photo of the medal under fine dining illumination and still in the plastic, which lends rather an “artistic” look, considering the ocular disadvantages to proper iPhone portraiture when shooting by candlelight in a salad dish in such ambiance.

Efficiency In Marksmanship Medal obverse Efficiency In Marksmanship Medal reverse
Efficiency In Marksmanship Medal

Since I was land-locked, Gene who sat far left, opposite Dave, and away off in the distance, later in the evening caught my attention, held up round shiny objects in one hand and then fingers on the other apparently either needing more drink from the waiter or perhaps indicating some sort of price as I found out afterwards. I nodded and just like sneezing during bidding, soon realized I bought a coin lot on faith in a silent auction. As always Gene did not disappoint. One coin was a Morgan dollar from New Orleans that had been shaved on the obverse and engraved with the words “EFFICIENCY IN MARKSMANSHIP – SINK – JAN 24 ’07 – E.M.F.” Another was a holed, 1887 Morgan dollar used as a civilian ID and dated “1917” that needs more research. Dave thought Gene should have held up a different configuration of digits but let’s not go there.

Counterstamped 1550 French Coin of Louis XIII obverse Counterstamped 1550 French Coin of Louis XIII reverse
Counterstamped 1550 French Coin of Louis XIII

In a walnut relic case I brought some colonials and 17th century English trade tokens for Joe to appreciate (whom we thank publicly for speaking so enthusiastically to a room full of the kids at the Annandale Coin Show “event” in December that they asked for his autograph), but he sat beyond Ed and was lost in conversations at his end of the table with Mike who has grown a beard in retirement and sat incognito opposite. The oldest coin in the case was a French silver host, Louis XIII, 1550-dated, douzain aux croissants of Toulouse that became a sol de quinze with lis counter stamp in beaded oval, circa 1640, approved for export to Canada and Louisiana.

The far right end of the table held their own council among Roger, Wayne (with the moustache), Jon, and somehow Ed, who knew enough not to sit in the middle of the couch but to take a normal chair from which he could socialize with both ends of the table (an impressive demonstration of senior executive knowhow). What they said I don’t know having been locked into position by the twenty foot long couch on the far side of Steve.

Evening conversation topics amid-table wandered about among in depth discussion on how to foretell and monetize future events, world mints that make gold coins, ancients with the original “Britannia” figure on sale now, looking at the falling snow, drones, Elon Musk, Birmingham counterfeits, the Newman Numismatic Portal, original gold containers from Fort Knox, silver dollars with killer toning, Massachusetts copper varieties, NSA Challenge Coins, genuine French Berets, and Dutch glass onion bottles of black glass, or in other words a typical night with this crowd. An impressive example of one of these discussion items is sitting on Ed Moy’s desk as he spoke about it, but unless you were there you’ll have to guess which. It all ended way too soon but then again next month’s dinner is not that far away.

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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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