The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 19, Number 21, May 22, 2016, Article 12


"Mega Red" Spotted at Barnes and Noble

2016 and 2017 Mega Red Books on the shelf at Barnes and Noble, Union Square - 2016-05-06 - IMG_3005

Gary Dunaier writes:

I saw the new 2017 "Mega Red" on the shelves at the Barnes and Noble in Union Square, New York City a couple of weeks ago. Interestingly, they also had a couple of copies of the 2016 Deluxe Edition (not yet Mega, but still of course red) next to it. So I decided to take a couple of pictures for comparison's sake.

Interesting to note that whereas the first edition had COINS in huge letters on the cover, the 2017 book de-emphasizes it in favor of its nickname, "MEGA RED 2017" being the most prominent text. Also, 2017 has "Kenneth Bressett, Senior Editor" (2016: "Senior Editor, Kenneth Bressett"), and adds the editorial functions to Q. David Bowers' and Jeff Garrett's names (2016 just had an umbrella "With"). It's also interesting to see the difference in the spine.

On a side note, will there be a new edition of A Guide Book of the Official Red Book of United States Coins? It's been 10 years since it came out, and I wouldn't mind seeing an updated edition.

Frank Colletti's book is an interesting and useful guide for bibliophiles and con collectors alike. -Editor

More Grover Criswell Stories
Dave Bowers writes:

I could tell many stories about Grover—probably one of the most fun-loving and unconventional of all dealers. Once he had some pieces of paper money the size of a $5 bill printed, with on 25% of the surface of one side he reproduced the corner of a real current $5 bill. The rest of the face was blank. On the back was an ad for himself. He folded these into quarters so that only the $5 bill part was visible, then strew these on sidewalks and on a convention floor. They looked 100% like a real $5 bill that had been folded.

In another instance he had a submachine gun, and with someone else driving his convertible, on the Tamiami highway across the Everglades he peppered lots of roadside signs.

I won't mention the week that John J. Pittman went to Florida to spend a week with Grover!

This note from Dave came last week, but I didn't manage to get it in the last issue. I never had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Criswell, but he was quite a character. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MAY 8, 2016 : Grover Criswell's Two-Dollar Bills (

Numimatic Kataloging 101
Alan Weinberg writes:

Saturday I received the Goldbergs' pre-Long Beach auction catalogue. One lot has a sentence which bears repeating in The E-Sylum. Lot 1211 1876 U.S. Mint C. Barber copy of the original A. Dupre Diplomatic medal described in part:

"Liberally [sic] as struck and definately [sic] the finest example the cataloguer ever encountered."

One hopes the cataloguer's numismatic expertise far surpasses his knowledge of the English language. But it doesn't as this moderately scarce Julian CM 15 always comes choice mint state, having been struck strictly for collectors.

Query: NGC Liberty Nickel Sample Slabs Sought
Burton Strauss III writes:

NGC sample slab 1899 Liberty Nickel If you have an NGC Liberty Nickel Sample Slab (Schwager# NGC-005-4-1) that you did not obtain in the last couple years off eBay, I would like some information about it - I'm working on a study of the population of this unusual sample and maybe an article for The Numismatist.

(If you did buy from the eBay, I have the data from eBay, but would love to match people to sales)

Instead of a grade, these list "CIRC. 5C" and are "SAMPLE FA 00 NGC" which is also used for several dime samples.

What I'm interested in:

Cert#, e.g. 199998-025
Coin Date, e.g 1905
Label Color - known are "brown", "green" and "grey"
Where you obtained it
When you obtained it
Price paid if you care to disclose it

I know of the example from Sample Slabs.

If you have any information about their history or are willing to own up to having had them made, etc. I'd love to hear from you.

So far these are known with all dates from 1898 to 1912 (a 1913 being HIGHLY unlikely :-) and the coins are pretty uniformly G4 grade.

Can anyone help? Burton's email address is: . -Editor

To read a related earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Explaining Encapsulated Coins
Gary Beals of Segovia, Spain writes:

Explaining encapsulated coins is sometimes complicated here in Spain where they are a rarity. I told a friend recently that these items in slabs are absolutely authentic and precisely graded. The company doing this work is honor-bound and fully trustworthy. We put our complete confidence in these 3 or 4 major certifying firms just as we do, say, with Volkswagen. Well, wait a moment, Juan, let me re-phrase that.

ANA Spain Postage I think I owe the American Numismatic Association a slab-related favor. I renewed my membership for an additional three years last month for $78, during a promotion that included being given a slabbed 2016 silver eagle one ounce ‘dollar.' The piece arrived here in central Spain about 15 days after it was mailed first class from Colorado. The $20 silver NCLT coin cost ANA $27.45 to mail, so more than half of my three year membership has gone up in postage smoke. Clearly, ANA can afford to ship items but it is frustrating to see that the high cost of mailing (and UPS and FedEx) from one continent to another is outrageous.

What is interesting is that ANA used NGC for encasing these pieces — not the American Numismatic Association Certification Service (now called just ANACS) to do this certifying. ANACS promotes itself as the oldest third party service in numismatics now, but obviously that long-ago divorce is final now. ANACS still uses its maiden name. Clearly, ANA clearly is dating others now. Poor ole ANACS has to tell people who ask, “Well, that was my married name. I just decided to keep it.”

I find myself explaining the ANA/ANACS situation a few times every year. We need an "It's complicated" button... -Editor
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Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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