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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.
New subscribers this week include: Jared Stapleton of Metro Coin & Banknote Company, Toronto, ON Canada; and Ed Brozynza and Preston Pratola, courtesy of John Ferreri; Welcome aboard! We now have 6,686 subscribers.
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This week we open with a numismatic literature sale, lots of new books, two reviews, a product roadmap for The Banknote Book, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and more.
Other topics this week include Swedish coins, Dutch medals, coin rubbings, the Eliasberg collection, 1838-O half dollars, Irish communion tokens, eagles on ancient coins, Dadler's medal, and Battle of Mactan quincentennial medals.
To learn more about late Roman bronze coins, National Bank Notes, Van Loon, John G. Humphris, Ted Vaccarella, Philip Henry Ward, Jr., Frank Howard, J.S.G. Boggs, The Coin Collector, bent coins, the 1921 Roman Finish proof Saint-Gaudens double eagle, Cracker Jack Mystery Club tokens, and Camel Toe toonies, read on. Have a great week, everyone!
Editor, The E-Sylum
Kolbe & Fanning have announced the sale of Part Two of the P. Scott Rubin Library. Be sure to read the catalogue carefully - there are many great items offered within, -Editor
Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers are announcing Part Two of our sale of the P. Scott Rubin Library, which will be held as a traditional mail-bid sale on Saturday, July 10, 2021. The 923-lot sale features material from the extraordinary library formed over the course of more than half a century by Scott Rubin, of which highlights were sold in our Sale 157 last year. The present sale includes not only additional auction catalogues, but books, periodicals, and archival and ephemeral items. While most of the offerings focus on U.S. coins, it should be noted that quite a number of items pertain to ancient and world coins, and the sale includes something for everybody.
SPINK has published Shawn Caza's new book on late Roman coins. Here's the information from the SPINK website. -Editor
With more than 260 illustrations, and catalogue entries for each bronze reverse type struck from AD 324 to 395, this catalogue gives detailed information about the late Roman bronze coinage systems, with each entry including details on dates, mints, personalities, weight standard, important variations and the history and meaning of the legend and design.
A new book on the coins of Sweden from 995 to 2021 is now available. Here's Google-translated information from the publisher's website. It is also available in the U.S. through Coin & Currency Institute. -Editor
COIN YEARBOOK 995-2021 - Pocket, A5 in color - Nominated for best coin book in the world by IAPN!
THE COIN YEAR BOOK is printed in color and published as a paperback in A5 format and catalogs all Swedish coins from the Viking Age, the Middle Ages and up to the present day, royal medals and the Riksbank's banknotes from 1666 to today. The pocket version is SWEDISH GOLD COIN 1512-2020 and SWEDEN COIN BOOK 995-2022 compressed and uses the same serial number system to easily identify the coins. In addition, each coin has a specified concordance to older standard reference works. THE COIN YEAR BOOK is published annually with the latest price updates, new variants, misprintings, etc., in addition to the latest scientific findings in terms of attributions and re-attributions of coin masters and coin sites. THE COIN YEAR BOOK will be a living document that handles all changes on an ongoing basis to give you as a customer maximum benefit and insight into changes in the market.
Chris Steenerson's Currency Proof Club has been renamed the Currency Proof Study Group to better reflect the nature of the project. The first set of e-books has been released and made available free online without intrusive watermarks. For those who prefer hardcopies, print-on-demand versions are available for sale via Amazon.
Here's the press release. -Editor
Exploring The Certified Currency Plate Proofs is a reference work indexing the National Bank Note plate proofs by state, bank charter, date period and denomination. The set of handbooks currently consists of 50,945 face and back proofs, divided into 333 volumes, in PDF format, with many more planned to eventually total 500+ titles. Thanks to all of the beta testers for the many suggestions and improvements.
The first alpha set,
NBN-PP Set 1.0, is now posted at
It has been released without watermarks to help future collectors and researchers.
Recently CDN Publishing agreed to acquire the world paper money catalogs edited by Owen Linzmayer and published under the name of The Banknote Book. In this new Greysheet blog article, Patrick Ian Perez lays out the product development roadmap. -Editor
Now that CDN's acquisition of The Banknote Book (BNB) is widely known, there has been much discussion and anticipation by legacy subscribers. We would like to lay out the
roadmap of our future plans and goals so subscribers can get understand the concrete steps we are taking. This discussion is open to feedback so we can publicly discuss the future of BNB and make this the world's greatest "living" catalog of world paper money.
Chris McDowell submitted this review of the new English translation of Van Loon's Medallic History of the Low Countries (1555-1716). Thank you! I'd been hoping someone would give us their thoughts. -Editor
Review of John Saunders and Hugo Vanhoudt's English translation of
Gerard Van Loon: Medallic History of the Low Countries (1555-1716).
I should start this review by stating that I do not know the authors John Saunders and Hugo Vanhoudt and have no financial interest in their Van Loon translation. I am, however, a great admirer of Gerard Van Loon's 1723 four-volume classic Beschryving der Nederlandsche Historipenningen—a book so perfect in its coverage of the subject matter that it is still the preferred reference for early Dutch medals almost three hundred years after its initial publication. During my forced Covid hibernation, I became well-acquainted with Van Loon's masterpiece, which thrilled and frustrated me.
I am preparing a work based on C. Wyllys Betts's book on American medals. In doing so, I quickly realized that I needed a copy of Van Loon's four-volume masterpiece, which Betts relied heavily upon for many of the descriptions of the early medals in his book. After months of searching, I was able to obtain a lovely set from David Fanning, which, by the way, cost me a few thousand dollars. Although Van Loon's original work was published in Dutch, a later 1732 edition was made available in French, neither of which I speak or read. I do, however, read German, a language that, in my hubris, I thought was similar enough to Dutch to allow me to bumble through Van Loon's book. Much to my dismay, Dutch is just close enough to German to make for ridiculous translations. This failed experiment led me to purchase an instrument of torture commonly known as a Dutch/English dictionary, which led to the further revelation that Van Loon wrote in an archaic form of Dutch that, while close to modern Dutch, was not precisely the same.
Forbes magazine recently reviewed two books on the nature of money - Jacob Glodstein's Money: The True Story of a Made-Up Thing and Thomas Levenson's Money for Nothing. Found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume VII, Number 1, June 22, 2021). -Editor
I have a personal blind spot when it comes to the subject of finance. I realize this probably seems an odd thing to publish under the auspices of Forbes, but the whole field of investments and financial economics just doesn't hold my interest, and information about it tends not to stick in my mind. It's not that I don't like money per se— I enjoy having money, and being able to buy things with it. But the various and sundry things people do to turn a little bit of money into a bit more money have never really been interesting to me. I'm happy to put the smallish amount of funds we have available for that sort of thing into index funds, and pretty much just leave it there.
An article in the American Numismatic Society's Pocket Change blog notes that George Watson's recent book, Connections, Communities, and Coinage has won an award from the Royal Numismatic Society. Congratulations. -Editor
The Royal Numismatic Society has awarded its Gilljam Prize for Third-Century Numismatics to George Watson's book, Connections, Communities, and Coinage: The System of Coin Production in Southern Asia Minor, AD 218–276 (Numismatic Studies 39). The prize, awarded every two years, recognizes the book or article that represents the best contribution to the numismatics of the third century before the reform of Diocletian.
I am honoured to receive this prize, Watson said,
which has been awarded to many distinguished scholars of third-century numismatics in the past. I am very grateful to the ANS for producing such a beautiful book that is worthy of this honour.
Connections, Communities, and Coinage addresses the system of coin production in the regions of Pamphylia, Pisidia, and Cilicia during the third century AD, radically reappraising the numismatic evidence of die-sharing between cities in Southern Asia Minor.
Bern Nagengast alerted me to the passing of John G. Humphris. Thanks. Here's an excerpt from his online obituary. -Editor
John G. Humphris, 84, of Sidney passed away Saturday, June 5, 2021 at 9:20 PM at Ohio Living Dorothy Love. He was born on November 24, 1936 in Birmingham, England, the son of the late Jack William and Jesse Mae (Jennings) Humphris. On January 3, 1972, John married the former Margaret E. Owen, who survives.
From 1955 to 1959, John was a member of the British Royal Air Force where he served in the intelligence branch with the secret service. He provided invaluable service as a linguist and distinguished himself as a translator of several languages. After finishing his military service, John worked in administration at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham from 1960 to 1966.
Rochester Numismatic Association past president Ted Vaccarella passed away recently. The club has struck a medal in his honor. Thanks to Nick Graver, Eric Miller and the RNA for passing along this information. First, here's an excerpt from his online obituary. -Editor
Ted passed away peacefully on March 13, 2021, at the age of 81, with his sons by his side. Ted is predeceased by his mother and father, Louis J. and Lois P. Vaccarella; brother, Stephen J. Vaccarella and brother-in-law, Robert Chaffee. Ted is survived by his wife, Bonnie (Burger) Vaccarella...
Born in Rochester NY, Ted was a resident of the 19th ward in his youth and graduated in June of 1957 from West High School. Mr. Vaccarella received his B.A. degree from Kalamazoo College in Michigan. Upon graduation in 1961 Ted attended Officer Candidate School in Newport, Rhode Island and was commissioned an Ensign in the U. S. Navy at the end of his training. He was stationed all over the world including Vietnam during that conflict. Ted served five years in the Navy and became one of the youngest officers ever to become an Executive Officer of a ship (U.S.S. Hissem). After the Navy, Mr. Vaccarella began his civilian career with General Dynamics Corporation, continued at Strong Pediatrics department, and retired from LECESSE Construction in 2005.
Newman Numismatic Portal intern Garrett Ziss provided the following article based on recently added digital content. Thanks! -Editor
In Volume 23, Number 33 of The E-Sylum (August 16, 2020), NNP Project Coordinator Leonard Augsburger discussed an inquiry sent to the United States Mint that included a pencil rubbing of a coin dated 1799. Since his report, four additional letters from the National Archives that include pencil rubbings of coins from that time period have been transcribed by the Newman Portal. While authenticity cannot be determined from these pencil rubbings, they appear to be examples of a 1795 Overton-125 (Tompkins-13) Flowing Hair half dollar, a 1797 Bass-Dannreuther-1 (BD-1) eagle, an 1800 BD-1 eagle, and an 1801 BD-2 eagle.
These are selections from the David Lisot Video Library that feature news and personalities from the world of coin collecting. David has been attending coin conventions since 1972 and began videotaping in 1985. The Newman Numismatic Portal now lists all David's videos on their website at:
Here's one on interesting numismatic material found at the recent Denver Coin Expo. -Editor
Cool Coins & Currency at the Denver Expo May 2021.
You will see one ounce gold Buffalos, Eagles and Philharmonics, 1900 Lesher Dollar PCGS AU53, 1955 Lincoln cent Double Die PCGS MS64RB CAC, rolls of Morgan Dollars with some toned, 1932-S Washington quarter PCGS AU53, 1937 Lincoln cent NGC MS66 RD, 1943-S Lincoln steel cent uncirculated, 1977-S Jefferson nickel proof, 1858 Seated Liberty half dollar XF, various type coins, 1896 $1, $2, & $5 Educational Silver Certificates PMG graded, 1869 $2 & $5 Legal Tender
Rainbow notes VF, 1918 Federal Reserve $2
Battleship PCGS NEW62.
Find out the difference in one ounce gold coins, why proof coins are struck, the reason steel cents were made in 1943, story of the Educational silver certificates, that men like notes with ships on them, and much more!
An excerpt of the video is available for viewing on the Coin Television YouTube Channel at:
In earlier blog posts, Ron Guth discussed his efforts to determine the current whereabouts of Barber Half Dollars once owned by collector Louis Eliasberg. In his latest article, Ron officially launches a larger project to track down all the former Eliasberg coins and bring their provenances and grades up to date. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. I added images and links to the Eliasberg sale catalogs on the Newman Numismatic Portal. -Editor
Louis Eliasberg, Sr. was (and remains) the only person ever to have completed a collection of United States coins. It is important to note that the concept of
completion is constantly evolving as new coins are discovered (the 1870-S Half Dime, for instance), and as new coins are issued each year by the United States Mints. However, based on the standards of completion during his lifetime, Eliasberg succeeded where no one else had.
James Higby writes:
Kin Carmody submitted these notes on the 1838-O Half Dollars. Thanks. -Editor
SOME 1838-O HALF DOLLARS MAY HAVE BEEN MISIDENTIFIED AS COUNTERFEITS
For nearly 100 years, it has been universally accepted by numismatic experts that the 1838-O half dollar was a PROOF ONLY issue, and all specimens had an identifying (GR-1) die crack running through the
half dol. legend on the reverse.
Recent research by Dannreuther and Flynn (ALIGNMENT OF THE STARS published in 2015) has established that there were two different production runs of 1838-0 half dollars in New Orleans in 1839.
Indeed. Often the photo files of newspapers ended up being sold off as the publications converted to digital. I've seen some of these offered as well, but hadn't taken the plunge. I wonder what publication this appeared in and where it was taken. -Editor
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
WAYNE'S NUMISMATIC DIARY: JUNE 20, 2021 : J.S.G Boggs (https://www.coinbooks.org/v24/esylum_v24n25a25.html)
Other topics this week include a coin quiz, and unbending coins. -Editor
Pandemic effects are global and unevenly distributed. While many numismatic organizations in the U.S. are beginning to inch back toward normal operations, other areas are still experiencing lockdowns. As a result of local conditions the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association cannot hold its planned convention in Ottawa this year. Instead, the group is planning a virtual convention and opening it up to participants around the world. Here's the press release. -Editor
Royal Canadian Numismatic Association invites collectors from every corner of the globe to participate in its first virtual convention
Since 1954, members of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) have met annually to share their knowledge, proudly parade their new acquisitions, and for fellowship. Well, that was until last year when the convention was cancelled because of the COVID pandemic. While this situation has prevented the in-person portion of this year's assembly, the RCNA will host its first virtual convention, which will be held via Zoom™ online meetings from July 16 to July 24, 2021.
Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor
Engraver. The person who hand cuts a die; a hand engraver; also the tool to cut metal; a burin, or graver. While the die engraver is often called a diesinker, the same person can often perform any of a large number of engraving tasks. In the art world – and most reference works – engraving means flat engraving or line engraving or surface engraving, that is, cutting lines on a flat metal plate for printing an image as for producing prints or documents, paper money or maps. Cutting dies differs greatly from flat engraving by removing more metal to form the modulated relief of the detail and lettering in a die.
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/dealer Philip H. Ward, Jr. -Editor
Philip H. Ward, Jr., was an Electrical Engineer and a coin, stamp and autograph collector and dealer. Col. Edward Green was one of his principle clients for both stamps and coins.
He graduated George Washington University.
On June 4, 1913, he married Ruth Coke MacNamara (1890-1964), daughter of Patrick MacNamara and Margaret Stuart MacNamara, of Washington, D.C..
He worked for Walker Electric Company, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article with biographies of three men associated with the legendary 1933 Double Eagles. Thanks! -Editor
This week I added F. Leland Howard and George A. McCann to American Numismatic Biographies and updated Israel Switt.
Howard, F(rank) Leland (b. 8/21/1907 d. 6/25/1991)
Born in Hodgenville, Kentucky. Graduated from University of Kentucky. Received Ph.D. from University of Virginia. Economics instructor at the University of Virginia. Married to Edith Owen Sisk with three daughters.
He began working at the mint in 1933. Superintendent of the Silver Unit of the Mint Bureau. Appointed assistant to the Director of the Mint in 1939. Acting Mint Director in 1944. He took an active role in attempts to recover 1933 Double Eagles sold to collectors.
Here's a selection of interesting or unusual items I came across in the marketplace this week. Tell us what you think of some of these. -Editor
Ferdinand VI 8 Reales 1754 LM-JD MS64 PCGS, Lima mint, KM55.1, Cal-457 (prev. Cal-310). An absolute peach of an 8 Reales just shy of Gem Mint State designation, and bathed in an impressive array of color that lends to the coin's superior aesthetic caliber. Struck with exacting precision and lightly obscured luster, this piece finds itself tied for the finest certified with one other.
A beautiful piece in the upcoming Heritage Hong Kong sale. -Editor
To read the complete lot description, see:
Peru: Ferdinand VI 8 Reales 1754 LM-JD MS64 PCGS,... (https://coins.ha.com/itm/peru/peru-ferdinand-vi-8-reales-1754-lm-jd-ms64-pcgs-/a/3092-38458.s)
Other topics this week include a countermarked Large Cent, a Scovill Hard Times Token, and Morgan dollar counterfeiting. -Editor
A great collection of Irish Communion Tokens is being offered by DNW. Here's the press release. -Editor
A great collection of Irish communion tokens, unlikely ever to be equalled for its breadth and scope, will be offered in a sale of Coins, Tokens and Historical Medals on Tuesday, July 6 & Wednesday, July 7, 2021 at international coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists Dix Noonan Webb, based in Mayfair, London.
Amassed over many years by Delmas Parker, the collection comprises 72 lots, totalling 455 pieces. Majoring on pieces from the northern counties such as Antrim, Down and Londonderry, the group includes pieces from the Norweb, Noble and Macmillan collections, as well as that of Lester Burzinski, author of the standard reference. The collection is expected to fetch in the region of £10,000.
In his latest CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series article, Mike Markowitz looks at eagles on ancient coins. Here's a short excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor
Majestic, powerful, swift, and intelligent, the eagle has held a strong grip on human imagination since the earliest times. The bald eagle, native to North America, features prominently on the Great Seal of the United States, and on many classic and modern American coins. The U.S. $10 gold piece was called an
Eagle, and the current one-ounce silver bullion coin bears the same name.
The golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos), native to the Old World, is frequently seen on ancient coins. A search for the term
eagle on the Coin Archives Pro database, which currently lists over 1.8 million auction records, found 128,257 hits.
Tetradrachm (a common collectable ancient) produced 24,099 records. Eagles appear on eight coins listed in Harlan J. Berk's 100 Greatest Ancient Coins.
This press release describes two great U.S. gold rarities to be on display at the upcoming Summer 2021 FUN convention. -Editor
Not known to exist until 2006, the 1921 Roman Finish proof Saint-Gaudens Double Eagle authenticated and graded NGC PF64+ CAC, will be publicly displayed in July for the first time in nearly a decade.
From the collection of Brian Hendelson of New Jersey, it will be exhibited by Heritage Auctions (www.HA.com) at the Florida United Numismatists (www.FunTopics.com) Summer 2021 Convention in Orlando, July 8-10.
The New England Numismatic Association's official publication is NENA News. John Ferreri offered to share some articles with E-Sylum readers; thanks! Here's a token article that caught my eye - it's from the June 2019 issue. Written by Ed Brozynza, it's about the Cracker Jack Mystery Club tokens. -Editor
coin shootingto those involved in the hobby. The hole was punched as a way to cancel the token before sending it back to the owner. The third image is of a pristine example of the same token, uncancelled.
Künker is offering a great medal in their upcoming sale. Here's an article about it by Ursula Kampmann. -Editor
Politics, Religion and Divine Retribution: The Failed Ambitions of William II of Orange
In its anniversary auction sale 350, Künker offers a medal by Sebastian Dadler, which deals with the failed ambitions of the Stadtholder of the Netherlands: he would have liked for the Eighty Years' War to go on for a bit longer.
by Ursula Kampmann on behalf of Künker
If you think that the Thirty Years' War was a German affair, you are wrong. Germany was just the battlefield on which the rulers of Spain, France, Denmark and Sweden pursued their ambitions. An international front was formed at the Rhine. The Protestants and Catholic France stood on one side, and the Catholics around the Habsburg emperor and the Spanish on the other. It was all about the Netherlands. Those who controlled the Rhine were able to use or block the Spanish supply line between northern Italy and the Netherlands. The envoys of the German states were merely tolerated spectators at the negotiations leading to the Peace of Westphalia. The fundamental decisions were made by the French, Swedish, Spanish, Dutch and imperial envoys. And it was they who decided that, after 30 years of war, Germany finally had a prospect of peace, and that the 80 Years' War waged by the Netherlands against Spain was thus over, too.
Earl Honeycutt submitted this information about three new Philippines Battle of Mactan Quincentennial medals. Thanks! Nice medals. -Editor
Battle of Mactan Medals
Earl Honeycutt and Sandy Lichauco
Three new medals are currently available in Manila to commemorate the 500th Anniversary of the Battle of Mactan. The battle occurred on April 27, 1521 and resulted in the death of Ferdinand Magellan and a number of his crew. Magellan and his men were attempting the first circumnavigation of the world while also converting local populations to Catholicism. After baptizing Humabon the Rajah of Sugbo (Cebu) Rajah Humabon sent word to Mactan Island, a short distance across a channel, to provide provisions for the Spanish expedition and to accept Catholicism. Lapulapu, one of two Datus of Mactan, refused to comply and Magellan took his warriors into battle with Lapulapu to force compliance. When the Spaniards arrived, they were met by a large number of Philippine pintados or
painted warriors. After the conclusion of the battle, the Spanish landing was repelled and Magellan was fatally wounded. Because of his defiance of the European invaders, Filipinos view Lapulapu as the first Philippine hero. To commemorate this historic event on the 500th Anniversary, three medals are being offered.
Canadian Coin News published an article this week about a collector who has been cataloging fake coins found in circulation. -Editor
Since March, collector Brent Mackie has searched more than 200 boxes of $2 circulation coins – about 100,000 toonies altogether – to search for counterfeits.
I've seen many of the counterfeits and have noticed a great deal of defects on them including die rotations, die clashes, die cracks, extra die metal and weak strikes. Many coins feature multiple defects, Mackie told CCN.
Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor
Arthur Shippee passed along this NPR article about the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts. Thanks. -Editor
Art and government make prickly bedfellows. When President Harry Truman wanted to add a balcony to the White House, the U.S. Commission of Fine Arts advised against it. Truman built it anyway and let those commissioners' terms expire. When legislators lobbed all kinds of criticism at Maya Lin's contemplative design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Commission (CFA) protected the fundamentals of her concept, albeit agreeing to some concessions to appease the critics.
The U.S. Commission of Fine Arts was established by Congress in 1910 "to advise the federal government on matters pertaining to the arts and national symbols, and to guide the architectural development of Washington, D.C." Commissioners are selected for their expertise in art and architecture.
In a given year, the CFA reviews hundreds of cases that vary widely in scope and scale. The proposals they review run the gamut from the immense coffered barrel vault design for the D.C. Metro's underground stations to small engravings for coins that fit in your pocket. In May, 2021, the commission reviewed coin designs submitted by a number of states. For Mississippi, the choices were Delta blues motifs and images of the world's first lung transplant. The CFA went for the lung transplant, even though one commissioner admitted the images made him squeamish.
To read the complete article, see:
What's Ahead For The Group That Approves U.S. Arts Projects, From Monuments To Coins (https://www.npr.org/2021/06/17/1006231587/president-bidens-new-fine-arts-commissioners-have-their-first-meeting)
Other topics this week include the ancient coin market, and women on U.S. quarters. -Editor