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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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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: Bob Cassling, courtesy Doug Winter and Ron Guth; Sarma Pydipally, courtesy John Ferreri; Jake Utz of Amos Media, courtesy John and Nancy Wilson; Eugenio Lucero, and James Williston. Welcome aboard! We now have 6,681 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 updates on NBS events at the upcoming ANA convention, five new books, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, reader comments and more.

Other topics this week include Biblical Numismatics, postwar Allied military money in Germany, Howard Gibbs, Albert Kuner, Edgar Adams, ferrotypes, Olympic medals, auction previews, shipwreck finds, and a museum theft.

To learn more about Carson City coinage, Théodore-Edme Mionnet, the 1887 U.S. Mint coin design circular, coin boards, Summer FUN, rainbow toning, coins in the comics, the Lester Bernstein sale, Bechtler gold, great world banknotes, the World's First United States Space Age Coin and the coin book that survived The Blitz, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum


We're getting closer and closer to the ANA convention. Here's an update on planned events for our sponsor organization, the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. -Editor

Join the NBS at the World's Fair of Money in Rosemont August 9–14

NBS at the ANA convention

NBS at the ANA convention stories wanted

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For those unable to attend this month's American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money in Rosemont, Lianna Spurrier will be livestreaming some show events, including the NBS General Meeting and Symposium. This is a new development for coin shows - watch ANA history being made! -Editor

2021 World's Fair of Money Livestreaming

NBS logo NBS General Meeting

Numismatic Bibliomania Symposium

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A greatly expanded new edition of Mel Wacks' book on Biblical numismatics has been published, Here's the announcement. -Editor

Handbook of Biblical Numismatics 45th ed cover Mel Wacks has published the 45th Anniversary Edition of the Handbook of Biblical Numismatics. It is greatly expanded from the original 1976 book, and features over 150 coins in full color, 20 maps, and over 50 Biblical quotes. Readers will also find enlarged photos of small coins and estimated coin values by Ira Goldberg.

While it is still easily read by the novice, it also contains the latest theories of experts in the field on controversial subjects like the bud (pomegranate or poppy?) appearing in between double cornucopia on Hasmonean coins, the vessel (chalice or pot of manna?) and budding plant (pomegranates or Aaron's rod?) on First Revolt Shekels, the star (Bar Kochba = Son of the Star or the golden candelabrum donated by Queen Helena) above the Temple on the sela'im issued during the Second Revolt, etc. The coins mentioned in the New Testament also receive attention - the Widow's Mite, Tribute Penny and Thirty Pieces of Silver.

Chapters are generally preceded by expert maps, and cover the Hasmoneans, Herodians, Prefects/Procurators, First Revolt, Judaea Capta, Second Revolt, etc. Readers will also learn about the Herodian Kings of Armenia, the Jewish Princess Salome, and the connection between Cleopatra and Judaea. There was so much text that it burst out to seven appendices, including Ancient Hebrew Coin Inscriptions, The Holy of Holies on Ancient Judaean Coins, Roman Tenth Legion Counterstamps, and False Shekels.

Read more here

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A new Oxford University Press book from author Frank Holt is a multi-century view of coins and numismatics. Here's some information from the publisher's site. -Editor

When Money Talks book cover Coinage--it is one of the most successful and consistent technologies ever invented. Nothing else we still use in everyday life has a history quite like it. Look around at all the things that would bewilder a Greek, Roman, or Renaissance ancestor; then, dig into your purse or pocket for that one artifact that they would immediately recognize as part of their world. Historian Frank L. Holt takes us on a lively journey through the history of numismatics, the study of coins--one of the oldest and most important contributions to the arts and humanities.

For 2600 years, poets, economists, philosophers, historians, and theologians have pondered the mysteries of money. Who invented coins, and why? Does coinage function beyond our control as if it had a mind of its own? How has it changed world history and culture? What does numismatics reveal about our past that could never be discovered from any other source? How has numismatics advanced using modern science? Does it still suffer from racist ideas about physiognomy and phrenology? What does its future hold? The approach taken in this richly illustrated book is as multi-faceted as coined money itself. Coins are integral to our economic, social, political, religious, and cultural history. When Money Talks: A History of Coins and Numismatics explores each aspect of coinage, and takes a special interest in how coins have appeared in literature and pop culture, ranging in its analysis from Greek drama and the New Testament to T.V. sitcoms and meme theory.

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


There's a new book in German for collectors of WWII-Era Allied military currency. Here's a Google translation of information in a Geldscheine-Online article by Hans-Ludwig Grabowski. -Editor

Allied military marks from 1944 to 1948 book cover The Allied military marks from 1944 to 1948 in Germany

Operation "Wild Dog"
All Allied editions
Military authority (including coins and post-war stamps)

364 pages, full color,
Format 14.8 cm x 21 cm, paperback,
Pirna 2021, self-published.
ISBN: without.
Price: 44.94 euros.

For three decades, the author, known from many very well researched specialist articles and special catalogs, has done meticulous research, sifted through documents from various archives and gathered a huge amount of information.

Read more here

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Pabitra Saha passed along this article about a new book from the Central Bank of Sri Lanka on the history of the Currency Department. Thanks! -Editor

The 70-Year Journey book cover Numismatics is an art, science, hobby, and profession. Only those who collect, study, and research coins, tokens, symbols, and notes – called numismatists – would know the complexity and difficulty in practising this costly hobby.

To help them, two researchers from the Currency Department of the Central Bank, Shellomi H. Gunawardena and W.M.K. Weerakoon, have laboriously documented the currency notes and coins issued by the Bank in the last 70-year period. The book titled ‘The 70 Year Journey of Currency Issue and Management' has been released marking the Bank's 70th anniversary.

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From time to time we'll see novels with a numismatic theme. These can be good fun even if the numismatic details are off. If anyone reads this one, let us know what you think. Here's an article from the La Crosse Tribune of Wisconsin, where the novel is set. -Editor

Driftless Gold book cover Sue Berg of rural Westby has a love for the beauty of the Driftless Area and a love of mystery novels. Those two loves have come together for her first detective mystery called Driftless Gold.

Released on April 22, the Jim Higgins Driftless Mystery novel is the first in a series of six. The series takes place in and around La Crosse, during the current time. The second book in the series will be released in December of this year.

According to the Driftless Gold synopsis on Berg's website, Down a Drifless Road,: When a migrant worker is discovered partially buried in a shallow grave at a local gravel quarry, Lt. Jim Higgins is called to the scene. But things heat up when an antique gold coin in found in the dead man's pocket. Lt. Jim Higgins begins to unravel a murder that will take him back into Wisconsin's early history. During the investigation, Higgins meets a local archeological savant and treasure hunter who tells him a wild tale about a U.S. Army payroll that was stolen on the way to Fort Crawford in Prairie du Chien in 1866. The payroll has never been recovered. Is the coin on the dead man part of the stolen cache of valuable coins? Higgins hesitates to base his investigation on a wild tale, but he has nothing else to go on. In a race against time, Higgins struggles to identify the killer—and find the elusive gold treasure.

Read more here


In their July 2021 ANS E-News, the American Numismatic Society announced a nice acquisition of archival materials. -Editor

Théodore-Edme Mionnet Papers The ANS Library and Archives has acquired at auction a group of early nineteenth century certificates and letters from the French numismatist Théodore-Edme Mionnet (1770-1842). Mionnet was a deputy curator in what became the numismatic department of the Bibliothèque Nationale, and his publications include the seven-volume Description de Médailles Antiques, Grecques et Romaines (1806-1813). We thank ANS Life Fellow Hadrien Rambach for assisting with this acquisition.

Read more here


Newman Numismatic Portal intern Garrett Ziss provided the following article based on recently added digital content. Thanks! -Editor

On April 9, 1887, Director of the Mint James P. Kimball released a circular inviting artists to submit obverse and reverse coin designs for potential use on United States coinage. According to this correspondence from the National Archives, new designs were solicited for the cent, 5-cent nickel, dime, quarter, half dollar and dollar. Kimball outlined the requirements for participation in the contest and provided the opportunity for artists to study the coins in the Mint Cabinet to gain inspiration for their designs.

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For some time now David Lange has been steadily scanning his reference collection of coin collecting boards and adding them to the Newman Portal. The effort is now complete; here's the announcement. -Editor

coin board C10cA2 - face coin board K1cA2b.1 - Face

The entire collection of vintage coin boards assembled by David W. Lange is now illustrated at the Newman Numismatic Portal under the category of Library/Image Collections/C:

Read more here

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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 from the recent 2021 Summer FUN Convention. -Editor

President Bob Hurst Welcomes Collectors to Summer FUN Convention 2021.
VIDEO: 7:10.

FUN21 SUMMER FUN President Bob Hurst Bob Hurst, President, Florida United Numismatists, David Lisot, Video Producer,

More than a year after the COVID Pandemic the Florida United Numismatists are holding a coin convention. This is the largest summer convention ever held with almost 300 bourse tables of dealers wanting to buy, sell, and trade coins, paper money and collectibles. FUN President Hurst celebrates the opening of the event by giving Presidential Awards to Gary Braisted, Randy Campbell, Kenny Mullins, and Bob Russell.

An excerpt of the video is available for viewing on the Coin Television YouTube Channel at:


See the links for the full program and schedule of the upcoming American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money elsewhere in this issue, along with a few items readers highlighted. First up is my own talk (which includes a numismatic literature component), as described in the July 2021 newsletter No 89 of the International Primitive Money Society. Thanks to Bob Leonard for passing this along. -Editor

Our next meeting will be at the ANA World's Fair of Money in Chicago, Friday, August 13, from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., in Room 24 of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont. An outstanding program has been secured; see below.

Read more here

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Paul Hybert submitted this note about exhibits at the upcoming ANA World's Fair of Money. -Editor

A guide to the Collector Exhibit Area at the 2021 World's Fair of Money is available online at:

Due to the late deadline for Collector Exhibits this year, it was not possible to list the Collector Exhibits in the Show Guide. The listing is only available online this year -- we will have signs with a QR code in the exhibit area.

Read more here

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Bill Eckberg's item last week quoting Ed Frossard about the U.S. Mint's coin-dealing activities kicked off a great email conversation with Craig Sholley, and with their permission I'm publishing it here for our readers. Thanks! -Editor

Craig writes:

"What a neat find. I have always suspected that the turn-in of old coppers included pre-federal coppers, but could not prove it.

"I also strongly suspect they were weight-counting the coins. I cannot imagine them hand counting literally hundreds of thousands of old coppers and worn-out silver."

Read more here

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On Rainbow Toning
1887 Morgan PCGS MS64 Fred Liberatore writes:

"The image of the "Rainbow Toned 1887 Morgan Dollar" quickly reminded me of the work of the coin "doctors" who have perfected this kind of toning and can do it in minutes. That sort of rainbow is characteristic of their work. There was an entire hour-long presentation at the ANA Summer Seminar in 2018 on this subject."

Steve Bishop writes:

"First of all, you can't necessarily judge a coin's toning accurately through a photo. In this case, the color rendition is off. It looks a lot more natural in hand. I've looked at a lot of toned coins over the years, and I can usually tell the difference between natural and artificial toning. When in doubt, I trust the experts at PCGS, who approved the grade and appearance of this piece."

Thanks. Photos get better and better, but nothing beats seeing a coin in person. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
WAYNE'S NUMISMATIC DIARY: JULY 25, 2021 : Rainbow Toned 1887 Morgan Dollar (

Other topics this week include George W. Wyon, Robert Garrett, U.S. Treasury Checks, and the Icy Strait Point Token Exhibit. -Editor

Read more here

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Bob Cassling is a collector and researcher of Pioneer/Territorial gold coins from the California Gold Rush (1849-55). He is currently working with Doug Winter and Ron Guth searching for a very specific book from the California Gold rush era. He provided this background on his project. -Editor

Eckfeldt-Dubois New Varieties

Albert Kuner was a master engraver in San Francisco during the California Gold rush era, engraving numerous now iconic coins, including the 1849 Norris Greg and Norris $5, 1849 Moffat $5 and $10, 1850 Schultz $5 as well as the most iconic coin of that era, the 1850 Baldwin (Horseman) $10 and several others.

Read more here

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Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. I added an image of a Lincoln ferrotype campaign badge. -Editor

Ferrotype. An early photograph contained in a metal frame, always diestruck. The "iron type" photograph was one of several early photographic processes. Where ferrotype gets its name was a photo image on very thin sheet of coated iron, a process called Japanning, but was more popularly called tintype. These photo images became widely used for campaign items, particularly for U.S. presidential candidates. Tiny photos were inset in metal frames most often made into lapel or larger pins for wearing. The diestruck frames, made of white metal, or more commonly of brass, were designed with decorations, occasionally with lettering. All ferrotypes are fragile and the photo images fade when exposed to strong light. Infrequently two photos – as presidential candidate on one side, vice president on the other – were made into a two-sided ferrotype.

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The latest article in Harvey Stack's blog series continues with the year 1986, including the collections of James Walter Carter, Margaret Woolford Carter and Lester Bernstein. Thanks! -Editor

Harvey Stack Numismatic Family 1986

In 1986 the United States Mint decided to expand the scale of their "rare coin business," selling lots of new products at a profit, to both beginning and advanced collectors. This included special issue commemorative coins and bullion issues that were sold above current bullion market prices. This was in addition to the millions of coin sets that the Mint had been issuing since after World War II, prices of which had been driven up by the increase in the cost of silver. The Mint had a prestige place in the system and could sell their products using the advertising slogan: "An Investment for the Future." This marketing appeared in many numismatic and non-numismatic publications and appealed to parents and grandparents. The Mint in 1986 created the Eagle coinage, eventually issued in both gold and silver and bearing no denomination, only weight and fineness. These were also a source of profit for the Mint and were heavily promoted. The mass sales attracted by the Mint took sums of money out of the standard coin market and had a negative effect on the general numismatic marketplace. Old timers became concerned about the influence this would have on the value of their collections, and current collectors saw prices drop somewhat. This led some to bid more conservatively or to just sit back during the year and see what would happen.?

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.


Last week Pete Smith asked, "What member of the ANA Numismatic Hall of Fame won an Olympic medal?" That's a tough one - no one had a guess this time. Here's Pete's article. -Editor

The answer is Edgar Holmes Adams.

Adams was born in Grafton, West Virginia, on April 7, 1868. When he was twelve years old (1880), Adams tripped over a loaded shotgun, the gun went off and Adams was shot in the leg. He was home-schooled and took up the hobby of numismatics as a sedentary activity. In later life, he walked with a cane. Adams married Sarah Sadie Ellen Degnan in 1895. They had no children.

Adams took up swimming for exercise, got to be competitive and joined the New York Athletic club. He competed in the Plunge for the Metropolitan AAU and was the champion for 1902 to 1905.

Read more here

Archives International Sale 69 cover front


Back in December 2019 we discussed the design of the 2020 Summer Olympic medals. Well, things didn't go as planned. The Olympics were not held in 2020 due to the pandemic, and instead the "2020 Olympics" opened in Tokyo in 2021. The medals still say "2020".

Here's an excerpt from a July 22 USA Today piece about the medals. -Editor

2020 Olympic medals back2

It won't be long before the first medals of the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games are handed out, as a total of seven sports will be giving out the honors the day after the opening ceremonies.

In 2016, 973 medals were given out during the Games in Rio de Janeiro, and there will only be more with the addition of new sports like 3x3 basketball, softball and skateboarding. In total, approximately 5,000 medals were made for the games.

While each gold, silver and bronze medal includes some of the same elements as years past, each host city puts its own twist into what the medals look like so no two games look the same, and this year is no different. Here is everything to know about the medals that will be handed out this year.

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The New York Post published a great article on the aftermarket for Olympic medals. Here's an excerpt. Be sure to see the complete article online. -Editor

Olympic medal pricetag At this year's Tokyo Olympics, 339 medals will be awarded — the culmination of the athletes' life's work. Yet winning gold doesn't necessarily guarantee a life of luxury.

After Greg Louganis captured double Olympic gold in Los Angeles in 1984 — a feat he repeated four years later in Seoul — he was acclaimed as possibly the greatest diver in history.

But financial woes, as he wrote in a Vox essay, left the champion facing foreclosure on his Malibu home. By 2012 things were so dire, he turned to Ingrid O'Neil.

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In May we discussed plans for a new "Coin University" program organized by Seth Chandler of Witter Coin Co. in San Francisco. Here's a report from instructor John Brush. This is an excerpt from his David Lawrence Rare Coins blog - see the complete article online for more. -Editor

2021 Coin University class

About four months ago, I was asked by my friend, Seth Chandler, owner of Witter Coin, if I'd like to be involved with Witter Coin U. With the absence of the ANA Summer Seminar the last two years, he wanted to do something for the youth that have missed out on two huge summer numismatic events that have long been the most important aspects of the ANA's educational outreach. For me it was a wholehearted I'm in, though I didn't quite know what to expect.

I joined numismatists from places you may have heard of: PCGS (Steve Feltner), Heritage (Jim Stoutjesdyk), Witter (Seth Chandler), Kagin's (David McCarthy), and two folks that have flown under the retail radar, Devin Hipp and Dr. Kevin Kauffman (yes, a real doctor, not a coin doctor) in teaching a weeklong course on numismatics. The 25 students that joined the event ranged from age 13 to 21 and came from all over the country.

While I was very active in the YN (young numismatists) circuit of activities 20 years ago and 10 years ago, my family and work responsibilities have kept me away in recent years. So, I didn't know any of these students before I walked in. And I walked away so impressed with these folks. While most of the students found out about the program through Instagram, several heard from other more traditional media sources. When we arrived, we learned that many of these kids knew each other for several years, but they had never met! I always knew that the hobby was based on relationships, but I had no idea that social media would bring so many folks together.

Read more here

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Here are some lots that caught my eye this week in the upcoming Holabird sales. -Editor

Lot 4340: Bechtler Carolina Dollar

Bechtler Carolina Dollar

PCGS AU 55; K-4 N Reversed. Obv.: Bechtler / 28 G / ; Rev.: Carolina / Dollar / O N E (N reversed). Christoph Bechtler was born in 1782 in Germany. At the age of fifteen, he was apprenticed to a gold and silver metallurgist and gunsmith. In 1829, he emigrated to the United States and landed in New York, moved to Philadelphia, applied for citizenship, and soon thereafter opened a jewelry and clock repair business. In 1830 the Bechtlers moved to Rutherford County, North Carolina and purchased a tract of land 3 1/2 miles north of Rutherfordton. It is suspected that they had heard of the recent gold strikes in the area. In July, 1830, Bechtler announced in the North Carolina Spectator and Western Advertiser, a regional newspaper, that he had opened a jewelry and watch clock repair business in Rutherfordton.

In 1831, the local miners and merchants petitioned Congress to establish a branch mint in the gold producing region, but the petition was ignored. Shortly thereafter, several miners approached Bechtler and convinced him to assay their gold and convert it into coins. Bechtler advertised in the North Carolina Spectator and Western Advertiser that he was ready to convert raw gold into coins at his home. Bechtler made his own dies, planchets, presses and other equipment. Late in 1831, the Bechtlers produced the first gold dollars struck in the United States. The Bechtlers produced three denominations; $1, $2.50, and $5, and the coins were struck in three finenesses; 20 carats, 21 carats, and 22 carats. The coins were of honest weight and any variation in fineness was due solely to the limited technology at the time.

After the opening of the Charlotte and Dahlonega Mints in 1838, Bechtler's production began to decline. In 1840, Bechtler filed a report with the United States Treasury Department showing that he had coined $2,241, 840 from 1831 to February, 1840. The Bechtlers were the most successful, prolific and long lasting of all the pioneer and territorial minters. The coins were well accepted across the Southeast and some Confederate contracts specified payment in Bechtler gold.

Read more here

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Here's the press release for World Banknote Auctions Sale 13, which closes on August 19, 2021. -Editor

WBNA E-Sylum ad Sale 13 World Banknote Auctions has listed Live Sale 13 on its website, which will feature live online bidding on August 19 at 1 PM EST / 10 AM PST. This sale offers over 500 lots of graded World Paper money, with offerings ranging from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe. Bidding is now open and will continue until the sale date, when the live online auction offers live bidding on the website and through its mobile apps (available for Android and Apple).

Read more here

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Here are some pieces that caught my eye in the Stack's Bowers sale of the Don Allen banknote collection. -Editor

Lot 30011: Australia Bank of Adelaide 1 Pound

Australia Bank of Adelaide 1 Pound

AUSTRALIA. Bank of Adelaide. 1 Pound, 1892-1910. P-Unlisted. PMG Very Fine 25.

Printed by BWC. Dated 1893. Allegorical female at top center with floral design in background. The underprint consists of dark yellow ink while the border is made up of dark black ink. The reverse of the note displays a violet-red/brown-green design, with the bank building at center. Above the building is the bank name with the written-out denomination below, with "1" counters in each corner. Fully issued examples of this 1 Pound note are next to impossible to acquire, and it might be sometime before another example is offered to the public.

Read more here

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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

1796 Middlesex Farthing Conder Token
1796 Middlesex Farthing Conder Token obverse 1796 Middlesex Farthing Conder Token reverse

One piece 1796 Middlesex Farthing Conder Token MS-64 PCGS (BN) Conder Tokens were struck to fill the void from a lack of circulating small change in Great Britain following the completion of the American revolution. This specific example has original surfaces and has been graded by PCGS as MS-64 (Brown).

So who were the Three Thomas's ? -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1796 Middlesex Farthing Conder Token MS-64 PCGS (BN) (

Other topics this week include an 1913 Lincoln Cent, the 1933 Post Office Gold Broadside, and Vietnam gold wafer money. -Editor

Read more here

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Dix, Noonan Webb are offering a rare gold penny of Ecgberht. Here's an excerpt from the press release. -Editor

gold Penny of Ecgberht

A highly important gold Penny of Ecgberht, King of the West Saxons (802-839) is expected to fetch £150,000-200,000 when it is offered in a sale of Coins and Historical Medals on Tuesday, September 7 & Wednesday, September 8, 2021 at international coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists Dix Noonan Webb. This is the only late Anglo-Saxon gold coin in private hands; the other eight specimens are in institutions (the British Museum having seven and another being in Lausanne).

The Gold Penny, or Mancus of 30 Pence, was discovered by a metal detectorist at West Dean, on the Wiltshire/Hampshire border, in March 2020, and is unique. It was struck at a West Saxon mint, possibly Southampton or Winchester, and bears the King's title, ECGBEORHT REX, around a monogram of the word SAXON.

Read more here

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In the news last week was the recent recovery of another gold coin from the wreck of the Atocha. -Editor

Atocha gold coin A local treasure hunter working on the Nuestra de Atocha Spanish galleon shipwreck in the Florida Keys has found an exceedingly rare Atocha gold coin.

Engineer and diver Zach Moore, who is originally from Vero Beach, found the gold coin on July 16 in about 30 feet of water. The last Atocha gold coin was recovered from the site in 2001.

The coin is valued at approximately $98,000 and is the 121st Atocha gold coin found at the site of the shipwreck.

Read more here


This article discusses some new technology for locating shipwrecks. Could it lead to the discovery of more sunken coin hoards? -Editor

Finding shipwrecks with computers

Of these four ocean floor scans, the top two panels clearly show shipwrecks, but the shipwrecks in the bottom two panels, marked by red arrows, could easily be mistaken for natural features.

In collaboration with the United States Navy's Underwater Archaeology Branch, I taught a computer how to recognize shipwrecks on the ocean floor from scans taken by aircraft and ships on the surface. The computer model we created is 92% accurate in finding known shipwrecks. The project focused on the coasts of the mainland U.S. and Puerto Rico. It is now ready to be used to find unknown or unmapped shipwrecks.

The first step in creating the shipwreck model was to teach the computer what a shipwreck looks like. It was also important to teach the computer how to tell the difference between wrecks and the topography of the seafloor. To do this, I needed lots of examples of shipwrecks. I also needed to teach the model what the natural ocean floor looks like.

Conveniently, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration keeps a public database of shipwrecks. It also has a large public database of different types of imagery collected from around the world, including sonar and lidar imagery of the seafloor. The imagery I used extends to a little over 14 miles (23 kilometers) from the coast and to a depth of 279 feet (85 meters). This imagery contains huge areas with no shipwrecks, as well as the occasional shipwreck.

Read more here

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Arthur Shippee and Howard Berlin forwarded this BBC News article about the kerfuffle over planned coins honoring inventor Nikola Tesla. Thanks. -Editor

Nikola Tesla Nikola Tesla, pioneer of alternating current electricity, might have been shocked to know how his legacy would cause a row between European states.

Serbia's central bank has threatened to take action with the EU if its neighbour Croatia puts the late great inventor on its coins.

Croatia wants his face on its euros when it joins the currency in 2023.

Read more here

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This article from today's Sacramento Record discusses a theft of gold artifacts from the Sacramento History Museum. -Editor

The Sacramento History Museum said a thief broke in and stole some of its gold artifacts on Saturday.

Surveillance cameras showed someone broke into the main entrance of the museum around 5 a.m. and went straight for the gold artifacts in a display case, said Traci Rockefeller Cusack, a spokeswoman for the museum.

Police said officers responded to a ringing alarm and the suspect had fled before officers arrived.

Read more here

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