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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit association devoted to the study and enjoyment of numismatic literature. For more information please see our web site at


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Sale Calendar

Content presented in The E-Sylum is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Wayne Homren 2017-03-15 full New subscribers this week include: Aaron Curry. Welcome aboard! We now have 6,638 subscribers.

Thank you for reading The E-Sylum. If you enjoy it, please send me the email addresses of friends you think may enjoy it as well and I'll send them a subscription. Contact me at anytime regarding your subscription, or questions, comments or suggestions about our content.

This week we open with two numismatic literature sales offerings, one new book, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and more.

Other topics this week include the Continental Dollar, process medal sets, cladding, translation and photography tips, record coin prices, upcoming auction sales, errors, refugee camp scrip, the Alan Turing banknote, new virtual markets, Mickey Marcus and Paul Manship.

To learn more about colonial coinage and paper money, the International Numismatic Council, Medallic Art Co., Neziah Wright, Richard Driehaus, a mudlark find, the Louvre numismatic holdings, FIDEM, gold obans, Oily American Coppers, and explosion bonding, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum


The Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4) has rolled out a nice update to the Publications page on their website. It's a great one-stop shop for many of the best works published on the topic of U.S. colonial-era coinage. Check it out. -Editor

Read more here


Kenny Sammut writes:

"I am having a 10 day sale on all numismatic books (very eclectic group of books) and five hundred of my coin, currency, and exonumia listings. Up to 25% off! You are also welcome to make fair offers on any listing you see. I do combine ship to save you money.

"International buyers - I do ship internationally using eBay's Global Shipping Program.

"Please use the category links on the left side of the store to more easily navigate the listings. I also welcome you to save me as a seller as I continually purchase collections and add new listings frequently.

"I recently purchased approximately 100 non-numismatic collecting books on a number of topics. Those books are also on sale."

Read more here


Whitman has published a new edition of their Check List and Record Book of United States and Canadian Coins. -Editor

Checklist-RecordBook_US-Canadian_cover Whitman Publishing announces the release of the newly updated and expanded Check List and Record Book of United States and Canadian Coins, a resource to help hobbyists keep track of their collections. The 304-page softcover book is available from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide, as well as online (including at, for $9.95.

The Check List and Record Book of United States and Canadian Coins is a convenient way to keep track of a coin collection. Its 6 x 9–inch size packs a large amount of information into a handy resource that can be carried in a bag or briefcase, or stored in a safe deposit box. Collectors take the book to coin shops and conventions while they're on the hunt for new numismatic acquisitions, checking each box as they add a coin or upgrade to a better specimen. The book also has room to write notes on when and where specific coins were bought, their grades, pricing, and any other information the collector wants to record.

Read more here


Here's another article by Dave Bowers, this time on the new edition of his book on gold eagles. -Editor

GB-GoldEagles-2nd-edition_Cover The second edition of the Guide Book of Gold Eagle Coins, by Q. David Bowers, debuted this month (March 2021). The 448-page book is available from bookstores and hobby shops and online (including at for $29.95. Here, Bowers discusses the book and his research in American gold coins.

Highways and Side Journeys With America's $10 Gold Coins
by Q. David Bowers

My research for the Guide Book of Gold Eagle Coins began in the 1950s—although I did not know it at the time. As a young teenager I studied and read all I could about rare coins. By 1954 I had a good working library and was keeping notes of interesting things I learned.

Fast-forward to adulthood, a highly successful rare-coin business, and other activities and pleasures. One of my greatest satisfactions continues to be research followed by writing on subjects from esoteric to popular.

Read more here

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The latest additions to the Newman Numismatic Portal are the publications of the International Numismatic Council (INC). Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

Newman Portal Digitizes International Numismatic Council Publications

International Numismatic Council logo With the permission of the International Numismatic Council (INC), Newman Portal has digitized the publications of this longstanding academic initiative. The first INC Congress was held in 1891 and has been conducted periodically ever since, currently at 6-year intervals. The organization's charter is “to promote numismatics and related disciplines by facilitating cooperation among individuals and institutions in the field of numismatics and related disciplines.” Publications include the Congress Proceedings and the Survey of Numismatic Research, also published every six years, which serves as a bibliography of the most significant recent numismatic research. INC also issued Compte Rendu beginning in 1951, an annual update with organization news and a number of research articles, such as John Kleeberg's “Treasure Trove Law in the United States” (2006).

Read more here


Here's a VERY interesting addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal which relates to our recent discussions of the Continental dollar. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

New Continental Dollar Evidence Emerges

Extract from Solomon Drowne letter of July 13, 1776 Nothing brings out new evidence more effectively than publishing one's research, and a flurry of publications in the last few years is no doubt responsible for recent discoveries regarding the Continental Dollar, heretofore mostly unpublished. Recent writers on the subject include John Kleeberg (Journal of American Numismatics, June 2018), Catherine Eagleton (Numismatic Chronicle, 2014), Erik Goldstein and David McCarthy (The Numismatist, January and July 2018), and Maureen Levine and Eric Newman (The Numismatist, July 2014), with authors variously positing American or European origins. Lianna Spurrier has capably compiled the latest findings, drawn from historical and archaeological methods, into a video entitled King to Coins: New Origins of Continental Currency.

Image: Extract from Solomon Drowne letter of July 13, 1776, apparently referencing the Continental Dollar

Link to King to Coins: New Origins of Continental Currency on Newman Portal:

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Last week Julia Casey described some early mentions of U.S. colonial paper money and a Continental Dollar coin in German publications. She asked for reader assistance with translation. -Editor

1785 German Continental Dollar offering

Ralf Böpple writes:

"With regard to the listing of the Continental dollar, the Google translation is correct, unfortunately I have no clue what "pr. 5 fl." could refer to. "fl." of course is usually the abbreviation of Gulden, but this makes little sense here. Maybe it's a description, known to the contemporary readers, stating that the coin is not made of pure tin, but an alloy (i.e., pewter)?"

Martin Purdy of New Zealand writes:

"Here's my best shot at this, though mileage may vary, as they say:

Fl is an abbreviation for florin, which was an alternative name for the Gulden, a unit of account in Bavaria. Wikipedia says the gulden was worth 5/12 of a Conventionsthaler from the 1750s to 1837, which covers the date of the catalogue. 5 gulden would thus be 25/12 or just over 2 Conventionsthaler. So I read this as meaning the Continental dollar was struck in tin (could cover other similar alloys, e.g. pewter), with a unit value of 2 thalers. At a pinch it could mean they were struck at a cost of 2 thalers each, but that sounds expensive, plus what would that imply? That they were made in Germany? It probably raises more questions than it answers but hopefully it will add at least something to the story.

I also thought "geschlagen" might have doubled as an older variant of "angeschlagen" (estimated), and that 5 fl. was the estimated sale price, but a text search of the whole catalogue doesn't bring up any comparable references, so at this stage I'd rule that out."

Read more here

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Readers also had comments about Julia's find of illustrations of Continental paper money in a 1777 German publication. Ralf Böpple provided these translations. Thank you! -Editor

1777 German illustration of Half Dollar colonial note Deutsches Museum:

Quoting a letter dated January 1st, 1777, from a camp next to Fort Knyphausen, pp. 171, second paragraph:

“Herewith I add for you – as compensation for the postal charges – a piece of paper money. In Philadelphia and all provinces, which are not occupied by us, it is worth 1/2 Spanish dollar. I also own a 7-thaler-piece, on which the United American States are not mentioned.”

Personal note: no idea if there was an issue of this paper money denominated “7 dollars”. I haven't investigated into the source of this printing, but if it is a hand written letter, could it be that the original read “1/7”, and that the writer was referring to a piece of paper money reading “one seventh of a dollar”?

Deutsche Zeitung:

It's the paragraph above the pictures (I will do my best to follow the somewhat flowery original tone of this publication):

“Look now! We reprint here two little pictures because it has been becoming a trend lately; Those who have frequent contact with the colonies may find it a useful curiosity. They represent the two sides of a piece of paper money which is now circulating in America, which is worth about 21 kreutzer in our money. The number 73387 and the signature are written in red ink, everything else is printed the way you see it here. You will realize that the pieces are not really easy to copy, and since you do not need a balance for this kind of money, this is twice as important to make falsification difficult.”

Read more here


1946–2021: CELEBRATING 75 YEARS of the RED BOOK. The 75th edition of the Guide Book of United States Coins will release next week, April 7, 2021. Preorder now to reserve your copy—online at , or call 1-800-546-2995.


1964 NYWF medal info pamphlet Harry Waterson writes:

"As to the 1964 NYWF medal, may I direct you to The MCA Advisory?

"New York City - A Tercentennial of Medals; The MCA Advisory, Quarterly Journal of The Medal Collectors of America Vol. 23, Nos. 1&2, Medal Collectors of America, Boston, MA March/June Issue, Spring/Summer 2020 pp57-58." "Additionally I have attached the little leaflet that accompanied each boxed medal. While there is no mention of process series for sale, process was on the mind of the leaflet writer as he went into it in some detail."

Harry also included links to Dick Johnson's databank entry on Anthony de Francisci, the medal's designer, and an earlier E-Sylum article on the topic. Thanks! -Editor

Harry adds:

"Dick Johnson's entry for de Francisci catalogs at least 6 different reverses for the medal. All are pictured.

"While I have never seen a process set for this medal something keeps nagging at me that there is a reference to one that I have read but, alas, alack, the memory has faded."

Read more here

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Neziah Wright Painting
Pete Smith writes:

Portrait Unknown Gentleman - Neziah Wright "On September 16. 2016, Quinn's Auction Galleries of Chadds Ford, Virginia, sold a “Portrait of an Unknown Gentleman” as lot 144. The painting was done in 1834 by the firm of Samuel Waldo and William Jewett. The painting, done in oil on board, is 36 x 28 inches with the Waldo and Jewett stencil on the back.

"After the sale, the buyer was told that it is a portrait of Neziah Wright. He was born in Lyman, New Hampshire, on August 10, 1804, the son of Lockhart and Abigail Bliss Wright. He was married to Lauretta with a daughter. He died in Manhattan on February 25, 1879.

"The painting shows him, not as an engraver and tradesman, but rather as a gentleman and partner in the successful firm of Rawdon, Wright, Hatch and Edson."

Thanks. Great portrait. So far, no one has been able to answer Pete's earlier questions - a) who previously owned the painting? and b) are there any other known portraits of Neziah Wright? Can anyone help? -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MARCH 21, 2021 : Seeking Picture of Neziah Wright (

Other topics this week include a mystery medal maker, and an East India Company mudlark find. -Editor

Read more here

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Scott Miller passed along this CNN article about the new online galleries from the Louvre museum. Thanks. -Editor

Minerva medal There is nothing like spending a rainy afternoon at a museum, soaking in the beauty and wonder of art and history. Now the Louvre, the world's most visited museum, is letting you do that right from home.

The French museum has released an online platform featuring all of the museum's artworks, consisting of more than 480,000 pieces, the Louvre announced Friday in a press release.

Art lovers and researchers alike will now be able to view the entire Louvre collection online for free.

Read more here

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Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor

Clad, Cladding. Bonding together thin layers of metal of differing alloys to form a sandwich construction. Technically the outer or exposed layers are termed the clad layer, or lamina, the internal layer is the core. This is done in every instance for the physical characteristics of the outer or clad composition, as for the color, hardness, appearance, and electric sensitivity of this surface. The use of the core is generally one of lower cost than the clad metal. The line separating the core from the clad metal, called the boundry, it can be observed on the edge of U.S. coins minted after 1965 (but not those of some European coins, as Sweden, where upsetting is designed to cover the core on the edge).

Medals were first clad as early as 1789. In that year Barton's metal was used for the George III Recovery Medal by J.P. Droz (Brown 311) struck at Matthew Boulton's factory. Barton's metal was formed by rolling strips of silver (or gold) on a copper core with adhesion by fusion.

Read more here

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Here's another entry from the online draft of John Lupia's book of numismatic biographies. Thanks! This is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is collector and ANA member Harry J. Lelande. -Editor

Harry J. Lelande Lelande, Harry Jason (1871-1965), in 1911: 257 South Spring, Los Angeles, Room 22 Court House, Los Angeles, California.

He was born October 28, 1871 in Sonora, California, son of Peter Jason Lelande and Adele St. Cyr Leland.


He attended Los Angeles public schools from 1877-1885. He studied at St. Vincent's College 1885-1886 and matriculated into Phillips' Academy, Andover, Massachusetts 1887-1888. He then studied at Sheffield Scientific Department at Yale University in 1889. He returned to California and began studying at Santa Clara College 1889-1890.

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The latest article in Harvey Stack's blog series discusses the opening of a new era in the coin business following the silver boom and bust of the early 1980s. Thanks! -Editor

Harvey Stack Numismatic Family 1983

The year of 1984 showed continued growth of interest in numismatics. Serious collectors returned to the hobby, just when some major collections were being marketed, providing a wonderful opportunity for buyers. The availability of coins that had resided in many old timer collections stimulated a rise in coin values that continued to recover from the damage done by the run up and crash of the silver market a few years earlier. While the first few years of the 1980s had been a little slow, the market by the end of 1983 showed that there did not seem to be a long term effect on coin collecting, especially for more traditional hobbyists.

As mentioned earlier, there was also movement in the industry to reduce the detrimental effects of counterfeit and doctored coins. Many of those who tried to deal in these items were detected and revealed, increasing confidence in professional dealers of good standing. The ANA and the PNG both took steps to assist with this. The PNG grew in numbers and maintained strict enforcement of the hobby. In 1984 I was a member of the Board of PNG and we worked tirelessly to regain and retain the appreciation of collectors for the reliability of numismatic professionals. The ANA started to examine all advertising in the Numismatist and stopped accepting misleading, false and improper ads. Trade publications such as Coin World, Numismatic News and others followed, and confidence quickly returned to the marketplace.

Read more here


Readers: please consider contributing something to this fundraiser for numismatic education efforts at this year's ANA World's Fair of Money in Rosemont. Here's the press release. -Editor

Get Abe Lincoln & Ben Franklin to Rosemont

Get Abe and Ben to Rosemont The Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists and PAN Secretary, Patrick McBride (Benjamin Franklin re-enactor) have created a GoFundMe page to raise money to bring renowned Abraham Lincoln actor, Dennis Boggs, to the American Numismatic Association's World's Fair of Money to be held at the Stephens Convention Center, in Rosemont (Chicago), IL on August 10 – 14, 2021. The money generated will cover Dennis' fee, airfare, hotel stay, etc. This fund drive was originally created for the 2020 Pittsburgh ANA-WFM that was canceled due to Covid-19. The money raised was rolled over to this new “Get Abe to Rosemont” fund drive. Between GoFundMe and private donations, we have raised $1,900. Our goal this time is to raise more than $4,000 so that we can also help old Ben Franklin to get to Rosemont.

Lincoln and Franklin have appeared together previously charming the young and old alike with their wit, humor and historical tales. They have together attended the Florida United Numismatists (FUN) convention in January of 2020 and the last ANA World's Fair of Money, Chicago IL, in August of 2019. Many dealers, vendors, and attendees enjoyed posing for photos with these grand historical figures, but most importantly, the children whose eyes lit up and tongues tied in the presence of Mr. Lincoln or Dr. Franklin was priceless. Imagine being 10 years old and able to tell your teacher that you met President Lincoln or Dr. Franklin or BOTH! What is a more wonderful gift than giving to our children the desire to learn through living history? Young collectors are the future of the coin business, and we encourage you make a donation.

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San Diego Numismatic Society President Greg Knox passed along this announcement of two upcoming presentations that may be of interest to E-Sylum readers. Thanks! -Editor

On Tuesday, April 6th, at 6pm PDT, ANA member Dr. Lawrence Korchnak will speak to SDNS about siege coins and his new book: Obsidional Coins of the World, 1453 – 1902, being published this summer by CNG. Larry's talk can be accessed by the link: .

On Tuesday, May 4th, at 6pm PDT, David Fanning of numismatic book dealers Kolbe & Fanning will speak on books, auctions, and numismatics – title TBA. To access this site via GoToMeeting, please use: .

Read more here


Franky Leeuwerck's Scripophily blog has an interesting article about combining scanning, Google Translate and a cellphone camera to do some numismatic research. Very clever! -Editor

Hitachi stock certificate There is always a possibility that one can't detect a printer name on a certificate. The reason why may be simple. Sometimes the design did not include a printer name. Or, speaking for myself in this case, the name can not be identified because you don't know how to read the language.

The illustrated Hitachi share shows the name of its printer at the bottom. It's in Japanese. That's out of my depth but there is a work-around.

I once wrote about What you can do with Google Translate on your smartphone. In that article, I showed you how to deal with scripophily catalogs in an unknown language. I tried that same approach, this time on the printer name of the Hitachi share. It did not work.

Read more here


Check out the American Numismatic Society's Pocket Change blog for another useful set of tech tips, this time for photographing coins for sale on eBay. Here's an excerpt from the article by John Thomassen. -Editor

ANS eBay photography setup As the ANS continues to make duplicates from its collection available on eBay, it may be of interest to Society members and eBay browsers alike to learn how our listings are photographed, as this is one of several important steps in ensuring that objects offered on eBay are described accurately. Detailed text descriptions are of course important, but in our current digital age, many buyers immediately gravitate towards listings with consistent, high-quality photos. This is true for both eBay and almost any other online auction platform.

While the photographic process associated with cataloging the American Numismatic Society's various holdings is more rigorous and precise than what is required for eBay, the steps for both are generally similar. Once the individual objects and lots have been selected, they are taken to an area separate from the equipment used to photograph collection objects. This photography setup is comparatively low-tech, and relies on an LED light box, a larger professional studio light, a tripod, and staging platforms and props where individual objects and lots can be quickly arranged, photographed, and placed back into protective flips, archival bags, and tubes. The setup is a balance between speed and efficiency coupled with taking sharp, clear, and well-lit photos that require minimal editing.

Read more here

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We don't typically cover the topics of grading and pricing, but there was a notable event this week with the Stack's Bowers sale of the Pogue 1822 Half Eagle. Plus I feel bad that I was unable to find time to pull together a preview article for the sale last week. Anyway, here's the press release. -Editor

SBG_1822_HalfEagleObv SBG_1822_HalfEagleRev

The finest known 1822 half eagle sold for $8.4 million in the Stack's Bowers Galleries March 2021 Las Vegas Auction, setting a new world record in the process. Graded AU-50 by PCGS, this historic $5 coin from the D. Brent Pogue Collection was offered March 25 in the firm's Rarities Night session. It is now the most valuable U.S. Mint gold coin that has ever sold at auction, and has surpassed even the highest prices paid for a 1913 Liberty nickel, 1804 silver dollar, or 1933 double eagle.

Read more here


Here's another notable sale of a rare and superbly pedigreed coin. -Editor

SBG_1797HalfDollar_MS66_Rev SBG_1797HalfDollar_MS66_Obv

The finest known 1797 Draped Bust half dollar sold for $1.68 million in the Stack's Bowers Galleries March 2021 Las Vegas Auction, setting a new record as the most valuable United States half dollar. Graded MS-66 by PCGS with provenance to the magnificent Pogue Collection, it was offered on March 25th in the firm's Rarities Night session which will be remembered as an historic evening for American numismatics.

Read more here


Heritage is setting records as well. Here's their press release on their sale of the 1937 Edward VIII 5 Pounds pattern. -Editor

1937 Edward VIII 5 Pounds pattern obverse 1937 Edward VIII 5 Pounds pattern reverse

A 1937 Edward VIII 5 Pounds Pattern coin – one of only a small number of commemorative British gold coins produced for the would-be coronation of Edward VIII – set a world record as the most expensive British coin when it sold for $2,280,000 during a public auction of rare world coins held by Heritage Auctions on Friday, March 26.

Both rarity and condition contributed to its record setting auction price, according to Cristiano Bierrenbach, Executive Vice President of International Numismatics at Heritage Auctions.

Read more here

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Big week for press releases. Here's the announcement for the Stack's Bowers and Ponterio April 2021 Hong Kong Auction featuring a standout collection of Japanese obans. -Editor

The Stack's Bowers and Ponterio April Hong Kong Auction to Feature an
Outstanding Array of Samurai-Era Gold Plate Money from Feudal Japan

Within the incredible Pinnacle Collection, a featured cabinet in the Stack's Bowers and Ponterio April 2021 Hong Kong auction, a group of massive gold Obans and Kobans certainly stands out. Quite large in size, these fit within the aspect of "odd and curious" money, as they are such a departure from the typically encountered types of coinage. A variety of stampings is present on the obverse and reverse of each, indicating the type and time period of manufacture. Additionally, the obverses display rather skillfully and elegantly inked calligraphy—enhancing their beauty, artistry, and sense of uniqueness. These issues served as large multiples of the more transactional denominations like the Shu and Bu, also somewhat odd and curious in that they were rectangular rather than round, but at least their overall dimensions were more typical. These interesting pieces also serve as a direct link to the fabled pre-Meiji era of Japan, dominated by feudalism and the legendary backdrop of samurai and ninjas. With the opening up of Japan to the west, a currency reform took place under the Meiji Emperor in 1870, replacing the fanciful denominations of yore with a system and designs that mirrored those of the western world.

Read more here

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This Heritage press release announces an interesting collection of U.S. error coins. Some great pieces here. -Editor

1981 1C Lincoln Cent -- Die Cap on 5C Planchet -- MS62 PCGS_Heritage_Auctions_1 1981 1C Lincoln Cent -- Die Cap on 5C Planchet -- MS62 PCGS_Heritage_Auctions_2

Errorpalooza Collection Turns Heads at Heritage Auctions – NOW open for bidding

A fabulous collection of error coins is coming up for bid soon at Heritage Auctions, featuring an error coin that could sell for $25,000+ on its own! The Errorpalooza Collection, under C#3945814, has not been entered yet but will be a highlight of both the Special Monthly Error Coin Auction #60197 and Signature Sale 1329.

The top lot from this collection is a 1981 Cent struck on a Nickel Planchet. It is common knowledge that error coins on the wrong planchet are usually only struck on SMALLER planchets, not bigger ones. Since a nickel planchet is bigger in diameter than those used for Lincoln Cents, this is a virtually impossible error that seems to have never been sold at Heritage before (or perhaps at auction at all.) It is anyone's guess what this one-of-a-kind coin may sell for, but there is a solid consensus that this is a 5-figure item.

Read more here

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On a related note, this week I came across a 2015 article on the ALL ENGLEHARD site about silver bars with stamping errors. -Editor

Error Englehard silver bars


Both, actually. Any type of “collectible” that exhibits a visible production error or malfunction, particularly a oneof-a-kind example, has a varied and unpredictable level of collector appeal. One's mind might immediately go to the 1969-S double die obverse Lincoln Cent where circulated examples bring tens of thousands of dollars for what would have otherwise been worth, well, just a penny. Several examples of this double die have been located, and it is believed that a brief flawed production run caused this error. Engelhard silver bars and ingots experienced similar production run flaws over their retail bullion tenure, although the most notable examples are predominantly the early hand stamped varieties. In fact, early varieties had frequent error examples, whether it was a double serial stamp, repeat serial number, reverse die stamp, or upside down stamp.

The ingot in the above lower left photo was taken from the AllEngelhard 5oz Definitive Page, and the entry displayed the caption “One too many.” I'm not sure if they are referring to the production error itself, or the inebriation of the person then in charge! Either way, the refinery worker unknowingly produced a collectible gem that is truly one-of-a-kind!

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AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS: Are your books carried by Wizard Coin Supply? If not, contact us via with details.


In the Make-Makedonon-Great-Again department is this reminder that political slogans are nothing new. -Editor

Makedonon first Greek coin found in Romania Dozens of ancient Greek coins were discovered recently by a retired policeman in a village in southern Romania.

The haul of 68 coins was found with a metal detector near the village of Radomiresti, 140 kilometers (87 miles) west of Bucharest and and about 70 kilometers (44 miles) north of Bulgaria.

Police say the find could be “a real treasure” and the coins appear to be very old, minted in the 2nd century according to the retired officer who found them.

Read more here

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In 2019 the American-Israeli Numismatic Association (AINA) produced a great medal honoring Col. David "Mickey" Marcus. Here's some additional background from the designer Joel Iskowitz that I came across this week on Facebook. -Editor

Mickey Marcus medal obverse Mickey Marcus medal reverse

I didn't know anything about this American and Israeli hero before conducting research in preparation for designing this medal in honor of Col. David Daniel "Mickey" Marcus, commissioned by the American-Israeli Numismatic Association.

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Here's a Google-translated article from Geldschiene-Online by Hans-Ludwig Grabowski about the "Jewish transit camp" Westerbork and its paper money. Found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume VI, Number 40 March 23, 2021). -Editor

Westerbork voucher for 50 cents face

In mid-December 1938, the Netherlands closed its borders to refugees from the German Reich in the interests of friendly relations with its German neighbors. From this point on, they were neither welcome nor should they be integrated. In February 1939, the Dutch government decided to build a reception center near Westerbork to accommodate the mainly Jewish refugees. A first group arrived here on October 9, 1939.

When German troops marched into the Netherlands on May 10, 1940 to “protect Dutch neutrality” and to prevent British forces from landing on the continent, around 700 people were in the “Central Refugee Camp Westerbork”.

The "Kamp Westerbork" was taken over by the German occupation and continued utilized. German Jews arrested or volunteered in the Netherlands were arrested.

After the decision was made at the end of 1941 to use Westerbork as the central transit camp for the mass deportation of Dutch Jews, the camp was placed under the command of the Security Police and the Security Service (BdS) on July 1, 1942, and became the "Police Jewish Transit Camp"

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Howard Berlin passed along this article about the new banknote honoring mathematician Alan Turing. Thanks! A giant we all owe a debt of gratitude to today. -Editor

Bank of England 50 pound Alan Turing note

Alan Turing's image, along with a landmark mathematical formula he developed, will be featured on Britain's highest-value bank note.

The new bank note carries a mathematical formula that Turning wrote in a 1936 paper that laid the groundwork for modern computer science.

The note also features a quote by Turing about the rise of machine intelligence: "This is only a foretaste of what is to come, and only the shadow of what is going to be."

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This item from the Mirror describes an interesting note discovered at an ATM machine. Is it a legitimate error, or some post-printing shenanigans? Unusual item either way. Also found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume VI, Number 40 March 23, 2021). -Editor

Peter Coleman, 72, was surprised when he took the £10 from an ATM and spotted that the Queen was missing.

The grandfather-of-three then tried to use the note in a shop, where a worker said she could not accept it as it was not legitimate.

But when she scanned the money she conceded that it was 'real' - giving Peter, from Littleborough, Greater Manchester, a bright idea.

Read more here

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The new £50 Bank of England note includes textured features for the blind. -Editor

Bank of England textured £50 notes The Bank of England said it will add four clusters of raised dots to the top-left corner of its new £50 note, meaning all the notes in circulation in the U.K. will be distinguishable to people who are blind or partially sighted.

The £50 note—worth roughly $69—is the highest-value bill in circulation in the U.K. and was the last denomination to be redesigned for printing onto plastic polymer material.

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We've earlier discussed how third-party grading and authentication services for numismatics later moved to the sports collectibles field, where much frenzied trading and innovation is happening today. This story discusses a new trading platform for purely virtual assets - could something like this enter the numismatic marketplace as well? -Editor

Fans have been flocking by the thousands to the Top Shot online platform to buy short videos of dramatic sequences from professional basketball games, as a new virtual market enjoys astonishing success among collectors, sports fans and art lovers.

To the untrained observer, one video clip showed NBA superstar LeBron James in one of his more spectacular moves; but it lasted no more than a few dozen seconds. On Top Shot, however, it instantly became a collector's item that sold on Monday for an eye-popping $208,000.

The video sequence is an "NFT" -- a Non-Fungible Token -- a virtual object whose identity, authenticity and traceability are theoretically indisputable and tamper-proof, thanks to the same "blockchain" technology used to ensure the security of cryptocurrencies like the hugely popular bitcoin.

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At last week's NNP Symposium panel session on the early days of online numismatics we talked a bit about the evolution of technology and how it changed the hobby and the profession. This New Yorker article describes one growing profession you may not have thought of, but which is now a real thing. -Editor

Personal photo organizer Elevator operator became a job sometime in the latter half of the eighteenth century, first appearing as its own category on the U.S. Census in 1910. It is the only job since 1950, according to a recent study, to have been fully eliminated by automation. Occupations come and go, their life spans following trend and technology. Town criers, soda jerks, lamplighters, clock winders, pinsetters, and ice cutters give way to air-traffic controllers, genetic counsellors, drone operators, influencers, and social-media managers. The other day, a journalist was scrolling through Instagram and spotted an interesting-sounding gig in another user's bio: personal-photo organizer.

A call to Fort Greene (no operator necessary) confirmed that personal-photo organizing is, indeed, an emerging profession, and that people who spend their days swiping and saving in the name of posterity are also known as family-photo curators. “Photo managers can help organize and curate collections, digitize prints, suggest backup systems, re-house in archival storage, and help you tell your story through photo book design, videos, websites, and countless other ways,” reads the Web site of the Photo Managers (formerly the Association of Personal Photo Curators), est. 2009.

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John Mellman noticed this Wall Street Journal article about an exhibit of the work of sculptor Paul Manship. Thanks. It didn't mention his numismatic work, which included both coins and medals. Worth a look though, for great images of his amazing artwork. -Editor

Paul Manship sculptures

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It's been a while since we've seen a pile-of-revenge-pennies story. Dave Schenkman passed along this article. -Editor

greasy penny pile Revenge is a dish best served cold—or greasy, perhaps. A Fayetteville, Georgia, man tells CBS 46 that he gave his two weeks' notice at A OK Walker Autoworks in November 2020 but hadn't been sent his last paycheck in January as promised, a fact that prodded him to reach out to the Georgia Department of Labor. Andreas Flaten did end up getting the $915 he was expecting, just in a most unexpected format. Flaten says a 500-pound pile of oil- or grease-covered pennies was left on his driveway. He tells Fox 5 Atlanta the pile of more than 90,000 coins was accompanied by an envelope with f--- you written on the outside and his final paystub within.

Fox 5 says the autoshop owner would only confirm that Flaten was paid what he was owed in US currency. As for Flaten, he says he now spends time each night working to rid the 91,515 pennies of their slick coating using a mix of dish soap, vinegar, and water. It's apparently quite the effort: He says working his way through several hundred took 90 minutes, and that he won't be able to cash them until they're clean.

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This week's Featured Web Site is FIDEM, the Fédération Internationale de la Médaille d'Art (International Art Medal Federation).

FIDEM brings together publicly recognised national organisations concerned with medallic art. It works for the creation of such organisations in countries where none exists. It also brings together other organisations and private individuals interested in medallic art.


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