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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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To join, print the application and return it with your check to the address printed on the application. Print/Digital membership is $40 to addresses in the U.S., and $60 elsewhere. A digital-only membership is available for $25. For those without web access, write to:

Charles Heck, Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
P. O. Box 2058,
Bluffton, SC


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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: Amanda Hale, Geoff Hobson, James Jameson, and Tristan Tang. Welcome aboard! We now have 6,730 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 a new NBS podcast, numismatic literature sales, two new books, a new resource on heraldry, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and more.

Other topics this week include Half Cents, Napoleonic medals, the Atocha treasure, Glenda Koppenhaver, Jerry Schimmel, Pat McBride, an auction preview, the Queen's platinum Jubilee, colonial banknotes, counterfeiting around the world, and the Grove Minting Company.

To learn more about the U.S. Mint and Coinage, Britain's "Decimal Day", why we have a $20 bill and a 25-cent coin, the Amos newsstand magazines, the perpetual calendar coin, counseling for numismatist's spouses, flexible molds, a Treaty of Paris medal, Sage's Numismatic Books Raffle, and the wacky trillion-dollar coin idea, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

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The latest episode of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society podcast is now available for listening. It's on the NBS web site but also available elsewhere. Vice-President/Secretary Len Augsburger provided this report. -Editor

NBS Podcast Napoleonic Medals, with Marc Charles Ricard

NBS Bibliotalk podcast logo The latest episode of the NBS Bibliotalk podcast, Napoleonic Medals, with Marc Charles Ricard, is now available on the NBS website and other popular podcasting platforms such as Buzzsprout. In this installment, Lianna Spurrier, Bibliotalk producer, interviews Marc Ricard, longtime NBS member and former president. Marc has a broad numismatic library, with one specialty being literature related to Napoleonic medals.

Ricard has a special relationship with these medallic tributes as a descendant of the French engraver Benjamin Duvivier (1730-1819). Duvivier is best known in the American series for the Washington Before Boston medal, while on the other side of the pond he commemorated Napoleon in 1797 with the Treaty of Campoformio medal.

Read more here


The American Numismatic Society has an ongoing sale of duplicates on eBay, and numismatic literature is included along with some great coins, tokens and medals. Here's a selection of some current book offerings. -Editor

  Coins of The Decapolis and Provincia Arabia Coinages of Alexander the Great 

Read more here

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  Bryce Brown banner 

Bryce Brown writes:

"I've updated my pricelist of coin auction catalogs and related numismatic literature on my website

"Please take a look at my new inventory! Also, E-Sylum readers who place a $100 order by October 15th will receive a 15% discount.

"I can be contacted via email at or through the website."

Read more here


Author Ed Fuhrman shared this information about the second book in his series on U.S. Half Cents. Thanks! -Editor

Half Cent Handbook - Classic Head book cover I am delighted to announce the launch of my second book "The Half Cent Handbook - Classic Head and Braided Hair Varieties." It is the second in a series of four planned books on U.S. Half Cents. (My first book "Draped Bust Varieties 1800-1808" was released in January).

The book contains updated and valuable information on Classic Head & Braided Hair die varieties, die states, grading, attribution, rarity, prices, cherry picking tips, and a whole lot more. Everything is laid out in a clear and concise manner with full color photos. The book is 157 pages, hard cover, full color, smyth sewn binding, and top quality in every way.

This book is a must have for novice and advanced collectors alike. Copies are $100 (shipping included) and are only available directly from the author.

Read more here


We've talked before about Britain's "Decimal Day", when the country switched to decimal coinage over the centuries-old standard of pounds, shillings and pence. A new book by Mark Stocker has been published by SPINK. -Editor

When Britain Went Decimal book cover When Britain Went Decimal: The Coinage of 1971

Tax included. Shipping calculated at checkout.

ISBN: 81912667567
RRP: £30.00
284mm X 215mm

Fifty years have now passed since D-Day – the bloodless decimalisation of British currency in 1971. Pounds, shillings and pence, operative for over a millennium, finally yielded to a far simpler system.

The United Kingdom was the last major nation-state in the world to adopt decimal currency, but why was it so slow to do so? What changed politicians' and peoples' minds about it in the 1960s? Were Britain's plans to join the EEC influential? What was the impact of India, South Africa, Australia and New Zealand going decimal several years earlier? Or did it simply happen because of common sense, with a decimal system so much easier to learn?

Read more here

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The August 2021 issue of Scripophily (number 116) has been published by the International Bond & Share Society (IBSS). Here are the contents. Thanks to Editor Max Hensley for forwarding the information. -Editor

Scripophily 2021-08 Sony Stock Explained

Prodigal Stock Returns

Standard Oil Discovery: £33,750

Bob Greenawalt

Tickers on Stocks

Scripophily Anonymity

Worldwide Auctions

Read more here

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A new Coin World article by Steve Roach highlights a new online resource for numismatists. -Editor


The Frick Collection has a new online resource for those who are curious about the symbolism of heraldry, illustrated with medals from the Stephen K. and Janie Woo Scher collection of medals.

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.


John Ostendorf passed along word of the recent passing of author Jerry Schimmel. Sorry to hear this news. This obituary appeared in the September-October 2021 issue of The TAMS Journal, the official publication of the Token and Medal Society. Editor Greg Burns kindly provided the text and John obtained the image for publication here. Thank you. I added some images of his books. -Editor

Jerry Schimmel 3 Jerry Francis Schimmel
(May 10, 1933 - August 20, 2021, Pacifica, CA)

Jerry passed away in his sleep after being hospitalized with septicemia following surgeries for which his sister had been caring for him. Jerry was a broadly recognized authority on tokens relating to his city of residence, San Francisco, and wrote a number of award-winning articles on such, some published in the Pacific Coast Numismatic Society's Annual Papers Contest as well as elsewhere.

Read more here

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The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is the Bramsen Series on Napoleonic Medals. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

  Napoleon and Marie-Louise medal Bramsen-952 Napoleon and Marie-Louise medal Bramsen-952 image

Bramsen Series on Napoleonic Medals

Collectors of Napoleonic medals immediately recognize Bramsen as referring to Ludvig Ernst Bramsen's multi-volume series (Médaillier Napoléon le Grand) on Napoleonic medals published from 1904 to 1913. Bramsen divided the work into three parts, with the first (1799-1809) providing coverage up to the end of the Napoleonic Wars, which represented the peak of the French empire. The second period (1810-1815) covers its subsequent decline, from the ill-fated Russian invasion to the battle of Waterloo. The final installment (1815-1869) includes the Napoleonic exile period and posthumous medallic tributes.

Although not illustrated, the text describes over 2,300 Napoleonic medals and remains the foundational guide for the series. Illustrated here is Bramsen-952, featuring jugate busts of Napoleon and Marie-Louise of Austria, on the occasion of their marriage in 1810 (image courtesy of Marc Ricard), along with a medal-ruled adaptation that appeared in Atkinson's Casket, February 1834.

Link to Bramsen volumes on Napoleonic medals on NNP:


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 Atocha Treasure Diver Captain Curtis White. -Editor

Captain Curtis White Recounts Atocha Treasure Find.
VIDEO: 2:59.

Captain Curtis White July 9, 2021. Curtis White, Treasure Diver, David Lisot, Interviewer,

When Mel Fisher discovered the Atocha shipwreck Curtis White was one of his divers. Curtis continued a long career in treasure salvaging many wrecks. He shares the story of the day the Atoche was found and talks about how to be part of the treasure diving experience.

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

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OK, so we have a one cent coin and a one dollar bill. We have a five cent coin and a five dollar bill. Likewise, we have a ten cent coin and a ten dollar bill, a fifty cent coin and fifty dollar bill, and a "hundred cent" coin (the dollar) and a hundred dollar bill. A nice mathematical progression. So why the heck do we have a twenty-five cent coin and a twenty dollar bill? Why haven't we ever had a $25 bill?

John Phipps submitted this thoughtful answer. Thank you! -Editor

  Pearson $25 face 

You asked the question Why do we have a $20 bill and a 25-cent piece, anyway? That is a question I have heard many times and only got the answer because of the pandemic! Like many, with in-person activities cancelled, I turned to online opportunities.

I learned the answer in a Zoom meeting presented by the Hobby Club in New Delhi, India. The simple answer is our culture. Explaining it is much more complicated. The culture that I am referring to is not high culture like old paintings, the symphony or opera. This culture is created by a blend of tradition, politics, convenience, superstition, religion, science, mathematics, anatomy, language, humor and many more factors. I think of culture as those things that everybody knows but nobody is taught. One example is the expression Women and children first. We all know it and we all believe it, but it is not taught in school.

Read more here

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Retired Coin World Editor Beth Deisher kindly submitted these notes in response to my question last week about the Worldwide Coins magazine. Thank you! -Editor

WorldWide Coins was one of four newsstand magazines published by Amos Press Inc. during the first decade of the 21st century.

Coin-Values-Magazine-Dec-2007-Presidential-Dollars-Dog The first of the newsstand magazines was Coin Values. Beth Deisher was founding editor and Eric Martin later served as editor. Published monthly, it was launched in December 2003. Coin World subscribers received an edition with a cover different from the newsstand edition, but the interior contents were identical. The magazine featured values of U.S. coins and included feature articles as well as the popular column, Making the Grade, later published in book form. Coin Values was published monthly as a stand-alone magazine through February 2011 and was then incorporated into the monthly Coin World magazine.

Read more here

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Chocolate 1932 Olympic Medal
Larry Korchnak writes:

"I ran across a small group of 1932 and 1936 Olympic collectibles from the estate of a Nova Scotia athlete. I know that there are collectors of chocolate coins. Perhaps an E-Sylum reader can shed light on this 1932 Olympic chocolate medal so that I can inform the owner."

  chocolate 1932 Olympic medal reverse chocolate 1932 Olympic medal obverse 

Interesting. I can't say I've ever seen one of these. I can make out "Rockwood & Co." on the reverse. Can anyone help? -Editor

Other topics this week include Glenda Koppenhaver, Fred Reed, and a Perpetual Calendar Coin. -Editor

Read more here

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This article about building a happy marriage uses a great numismatic example that may hit home for many of us collectors. -Editor

1909-S_VDB_Lincoln_cent_obverse Dr. John Brown, a Notre Dame history professor, is in the process of moving into a new office. After removing stacks of papers from his closet, he spied a penny lodged in a floor crack. He plucked the Lincoln penny up and his eyes popped out – it was dated 1909. Being a numismatist – a coin collector – his heart thundered when he saw the lettering VDB, S. He had found a very rare coin.

Like a puppy with a new chew toy, he dashed off to tell his wife, Mary, who is an attorney. Mary, reading a complex legal brief, heard her husband enter the office. Mary, I found a 1909 VDB, S Lincoln penny!

Read more here

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

Flexible Mold. A special mold for casting a replica of sculpture in-the-round or bas-relief with undercuts. More than 100 years ago flexible molds were only made of gelatin; in the 20th century they were made of rubber or air-curing latex, but more recently of pvc, silicone or polyurethane rubber. Their versatility in metalcasting is to form casts that cannot be made in any other kinds of molds, as casts can be made with extensive undercuts and full dimensional sculpture. After the cast has hardened the flexible mold is peeled off like a second skin. In the medallic field highly detailed and intricate plaques are made by this method containing undercuts and high relief, as casts can be made from flexible molds that create objects that cannot be diestruck.

Read more here


American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this report following up on an earlier question. -Editor

In the August 15 issue of The E-Sylum, we posed the question, What living numismatist makes his living as a paperhanger. There was no answer and we moved on to other subjects. This week we circle back with the answer. The numismatic paper hanger is Pat McBride. We sat down to interview Pat during the 2021 World's Fair of Money in Rosemont.

   John Eshbach and Pat McBride.1998
Pre-Franklin Pat McBride (right) in 1998

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This press release describes highlights from the November 2021 Heidelberger Münzhandlung Grün sale. -Editor

  Gruen Auction 83 Lot 02188a00 Gruen Auction 83 Lot 02188r00

((1 - No. 2188. Teutonic Order. Maximilian I, 1590-1618. Taler 1603, Hall. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 1,000 euros.))

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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

Alexander III the Great Drachm
Alexander III the Great Drachm

Lot 007. Macedonian Kingdom. Alexander III the Great. 336-323 B.C. AR drachm. Struck by Philip III in the name of Alexander III. Magnesia ad Maendrum mint, struck ca. 323-317 B.C. From the Don Hays Collection; Ex Bradley Bowlin.

Macedonian Kingdom. Alexander III the Great. 336-323 B.C. AR drachm (17.2 mm, 4.07 g, 11 h). Struck by Philip III in the name of Alexander III. Magnesia ad Maendrum mint, struck ca. 323-317 B.C. Head of Alexander as Herakles right, wearing lionskin headdress, paws tied at throat / ??????????, Zeus Aetophoros seated left, right leg drawn back, holding eagle and scepter; A beneath throne. Price 2968; Muller 1665. Superb EF, toned

A nice looking piece. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Lot 007. Macedonian Kingdom. Alexander III the Great. (

Other topics this week include the Rhode Island Five Pounds "Tall Note", a Church-Money One Penny Note, and the Sage Numismatic Books Raffle Token. -Editor

Read more here

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Ron Guth posted another Eliasberg Project progress report, this time on the 1858-S dime. -Editor

  Eliasberg 1858-S Dime 

Collectors have long regarded the 1858-S Dime as a scarce date and one of the most difficult to locate in Mint State. When Bowers and Merena sold the Dime portion of the Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr. collection in 1996, they offered a single 1858-S Dime graded MS64 (raw) described by them as Believed to be the finest known example, and quite possibly by a long distance. Presumably, the cataloger based this conclusion on the fact that, by the time of the sale, neither PCGS nor NGC had ever graded a Mint State 1858-S Dime.

Read more here

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A new medal is being struck for Queen Elizabeth II's platinum Jubilee - the 70th anniversary of her reign. -Editor

  Platinum Jubilee Medal 

The design of a special medal marking The Queen's Platinum Jubilee has been revealed.

The medal will be presented to frontline emergency workers and members of the military who have been in post for five years or longer in 2022 as a token of gratitude from the nation as part of celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of The Queen's reign. It will also be given to all living recipients of the Victoria Cross and George Cross.

Read more here

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There are may ways that collectors assemble collections of U.S. colonial paper money - by state, denomination, town, etc. James from Best Price Coins suggests an alternative. -Editor

Another favorite way to collect Colonial/Continental paper is by the names on the notes, such notables as (from Number1MoneyMan listings on ebay)....

  Colonel Loammi Baldwin colonial note 

Read more here

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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 one from the March 2020 issue - John's own article about the notes of the Elm City Bank of New Haven, CT. -Editor

Steamship, Elm City: A Workhorse for the Union.
By: C. John Ferreri

  Elm City Bank Five Dollar note

Read more here

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Regarding the recurring theme of a billion or trillion dollar coin, Len Augsburger writes:

"We hear about this whenever the federal government approaches the debt ceiling. Perhaps a capable entrepreneur could produce a satirically related concept coin. The Zimbabwe trillion-dollar note comes to mind, though to be sure that issue was strictly related to inflation and not deficit spending."

Len passed along a recent CNN opinion article. -Editor

Due to a technicality in the law, the Treasury Department can print a platinum coin and assign a huge value to it -- say, $1 trillion -- and sell it to the Federal Reserve Board. This would get around the need to borrow.

Such a move would be ridiculous, of course, but the whole standoff on the debt is ridiculous. If Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and the Republicans insist on pushing it, Biden could well decide to get out the platinum coin.

To read the complete article, see:
Joe Biden could be tempted to reach for the platinum coin (

Dan Carr made this great satirical piece in 2013 (sorry, they're sold out). I'm sure there are others. Is anyone aware of any new ones? -Editor

Read more here


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


Michael Garofalo entered the coin business as a professional dealer in 1979. His "How the Rare Coin Business has Changed" article for the Greysheet recounts the evolution of the industry as third-party grading and the Internet changed the dynamics of the market. Here are some excerpts. -Editor

1980-01-04 Greysheet I started setting up at regional and major coin shows. Life was good—coin shows were well attended and were very active. I never regretted my decision.

At the shows, most dealers had a certain area(s) of the U.S. rare coin market that they liked and understood very well. They knew the tough dates, the better struck issues, the coins that typically had great luster. They knew which coins were the most undervalued and they knew how to grade those coins well. And that is exactly where their inventory was centered. Dealers specialized in Colonials, early Copper and maybe early Type coins. Other dealers specialized in different denominations and their cases might be full of Barber coinage, Standing Liberty Quarters, or Classic Commemoratives. They had lots of the coins in which they specialized.

You would rarely see dealers that had all types of United States coins and, in addition, had all types of Foreign or Ancient coins as well as U.S. or World Currency in their stock. Coin shows had special areas exclusively for dealers selling Foreign or Ancient coins or Currency.

Read more here

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Roger Siboni passed along this Wall Street Journal article about the latest seismic changes in the trading card industry. No, it's not numismatics, but we've seen the creep of sports card firms into control of third-party grading firms that started out handling coins and paper money but later creeped into certifying comic books, sports cards and other collectibles. What goes around, comes around, I guess. -Editor

Baseball card signs The new trading card venture launched by Fanatics Inc., which just last month upended the industry with a series of surprise deals, has received $350 million in Series A funding that values the firm at $10.4 billion, according to people familiar with the matter.

The investments, which account for approximately 3.4% of the entity called Fanatics Trading Cards, come from a trio of investors: private-equity firm Silver Lake, entertainment giant Endeavor Group Holdings Inc., and Insight Partners, a private-equity and venture-capital firm.

Read more here

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Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor

Bank of New York Hoard of Fugio Coppers

In his Stack's Bowers blog Dave Bowers discusses the famous Bank of New York Hoard of Fugios. -Editor

  Bank of New York Hoard of Fugio Coppers 

The Bank of New York, founded in 1784, came into possession of a keg of original 1787 Fugio copper cents sometime around the time they were manufactured. Over many years, beginning at least by 1859, bank officials passed these out to favored clients and employees and made some available to numismatists. Included were some of the scarce type with UNITED above and STATES below on the label across the reverse (in contrast, most other varieties have these words to the left and right sides).

The keg of coins deposited at the Bank of New York, 44 Wall Street, remained unopened until 1856. After this time the hoard became widely known and, among other citations, was mentioned as follows by W.C. Prime in his book, Coins, Medals, and Seals (copyright 1860, published in 1861): "Within the past year a keg of these [Fugio] coppers was found in the vault of a New York City bank, in fresh proof condition. This statement has been doubted; but we are indebted to the cashier for fine specimens of the contents of the keg, which abundantly prove the truth of the story. A recent discovery of the old dies, and possibly a manufacture of new dies, or repairing and retouching the old, has made these coins very common in various metals."

By about 1948 some 1,641 pieces remained in possession of the bank and were numismatically analyzed by Damon G. Douglas. It was learned that the pieces were made from two batches of planchets weighing on average 143 grains and 155 grains respectively.

To read the complete article, see:
The Bank of New York Hoard of Fugio Coppers (

Other topics this week include Eagles of the Classic Commemoratives and a Christa McAuliffe Coin Promotion. -Editor

Read more here


Not all the fake "Motion Picture Money" is coming from China. Customs officials in Philadelphia intercepted a big shipment from Russia. -Editor

  seized Motion Picture notes 

Millions of dollars worth of fake currency in U.S. dollars and euros were intercepted in Philadelphia by customs officials who say the counterfeit money arrived in the country via international air cargo from Russia.

The currency was seized on Tuesday and was destined for Chicago before Customs & Border Protection officers in Philadelphia found the money in a series of five parcels over a period of several weeks, officials said.

Read more here


In the "counterfeiting karma" and "you just can't make this stuff up" departments, a Turkish man died from drinking fake alcohol bought with fake money. -Editor

counterfeit bills made in Turkey C. D. would be chalked off to the death toll from fake booze if it were not for his background. D., who passed away earlier this month in Istanbul, was identified by the police as one of the leaders of a gang churning out counterfeit money. Sabah newspaper reported that the man bought fake alcohol with the money his gang manufactured and ended up dead. Members of his gang were nabbed by Turkish security forces last week in Operation Benjamin, which was held in the capital Ankara and other cities.

Read more here


This week's Featured Web Site is the Grove Minting Company of Ardmore, PA.

The Grove Minting Company, founded in 2011, specializes in the production of investment metal bullion commemoratives, released annually, showcasing some of the lesser known coinage designs throughout American and European history.

Our mission defined bringing to life representations of coins which were once created as patterns but never slated for circulation. As the company has evolved, scarce and rare historic coin representations have also contributed to new creations within our product line. Rich in numismatic insight, the Grove Minting Company continues in the footsteps of tradition, utilizing artists, historians, and skilled designers to create distinct centerpieces unique to your coin collection.

All of our Grove Minting commemorative products are envisioned and manufactured in the United States of America.

Grove Minting 1955 Lincoln Cent replica obverse Grove Minting 1955 Lincoln Cent replica reverse

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