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This week we open with a small literature sale, one new book, two obituaries, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, thoughts on denominations, and more.
Other topics this week include trench art, flow marks, the NYINC coin show, Jordan banknotes, auction previews, American Woman Quarter designs, and America's first shopping mall.
To learn more about Numismatic Chronicle, the remnants of the Confederate Treasury, the Richmond Bank trove, Tom Fort, Dale Friend, Anna May Wong, David Ryder, the 1974 aluminum Lincoln cent, the not-counterfeit banknote, the Gold Cas and Lealana physical bitcoins, Canada's oldest coin dealer, gold halfpennies, Bolen medals, Perescopic Glasses, and the $1.56-1/4 bill, read on. Have a great week, everyone!
Editor, The E-Sylum
Bibliophiles take note: there are a number of lots of numismatic literature and related material in this month's Dix Noonan Webb sales. Here are some selections. -Editor
Lot 1577: Numismatic Chronicle
Becky Rush "Talisman" and Rick Lank "The Coiner" of Hagerstown Maryland have published the third book in their planned series on the numismatics of the U.S. Civil War. Here's the announcement. Thanks! -Editor
Sumptuous Southern Stories of Missing Confederate Money
Racing against time – and doubling-down on their odds of escaping the pursuing
federal cavalry – the
Confederate Treasure Train raced south from Richmond
until it literally ran out of track and options in a north-eastern Georgia town called
Washington. On board this ill-fated train (which ultimately had to resort to
becoming an unwieldy wagon train) was money – a strange brew of northern gold
coins, Mexican silver coins,
slugs of Georgia and Carolinian gold sweepings,
and bales of Confederate (CSA) paper currency. There were also barrels of
copper coins, probably old US large cents (obsolete, but still valuable).
There was plenty of cunning and internal deal-making, as well as good and bad
intentions afoot, as the last days of the Confederacy played out and the money that
was left in the CSA Treasury was hurriedly put on board steam trains that dashed
south out of Richmond, Virginia when
the Queen City fell to Union forces led by
U.S. Grant. Wealth of every description was part of the exodus – the remnants of
the Confederate Treasury, the gold (and other private treasure) of the principal
Richmond banks and unlisted stores of money from wealthy individuals (which no
doubt could have included the infamous and influential Knights of the Golden
Circle – KGC). Private wealth included in this mix of coins were every
denomination from $50 hexagonal gold pieces to older
small change, including
half-dimes struck in New Orleans.
I was quite saddened this week to learn of the sudden passing of my good friend Tom Fort - numismatic researcher, bibliophile, and former editor of our print journal, The Asylum. American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith pulled together this bio and remembrance. Tom's wife Gosia supplied Tom's photo. -Editor
Tom Fort was born on September 14. 1961, the son of James Tomlinson Fort and Judith A. Davis. James was an attorney and senior partner with the Pittsburgh law firm of Reed Smith Shaw and McClay for more than fifty years.
Tom attended Penn State University 1980 to 1985 and received a B.A. in European History. He went to Scotland and University of St. Andrews during 1985-1987 where he earned a Master's degree in Medieval History and Numismatics. Later at St. Andrews he was a tutor in Medieval History 1988 to 1990.
Last week Doug Winter published this blog remembrance of collector Dale Friend. -Editor
The first time I can recall interacting with Dale Friend was around 15 years or so ago. I was setting-up at a coin show, and he came up to my table asking to see a Proof 1864 gold dollar that I owned. He introduced himself and told me that he was working on assembling a complete 1864 Proof gold set (a challenge which seems impossible today!) and that he needed just the gold dollar to be complete. I remember laughing and telling him,
I'd have thought the gold dollar would have been the first coin you bought for the set not the last coin.
There was one caveat: the coin I owned was in an NGC holder and Dale would only buy PCGS graded coins. I told him this wasn't a problem and that I would try and cross the coin for him. I submitted the coin to PCGS and 24 hours later, I had it back; I now in a PCGS holder. I paged Dale to the table and showed him the coin. Dale asked me the price and I told him I would honor what I quoted him when the coin was in its original holder, even though I could have easily raised the price by $2,500. He wrote me a check and went away happy. In fact, in every deal I did with Dale, we both went away happy.
The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is correspondence relating to the firing of a Mint employee. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor
Mint Employee Does Double Duty
Launched in August 2020, the Newman Numismatic Portal (NNP) Symposium brings together a diverse selection of numismatic presentations into a concentrated, three-day, Zoom-based format. The third NNP Symposium takes place later this month. Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor
Newman Portal Symposium Takes Place October 15-17, 2021
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 the tolling of the SS Central America Ship's bell at the 2021 ANA World's Fair of Money. -Editor
A $25 Harriet Tubman banknote design by Wayne Pearson led to my earlier question "Why do we have a $20 bill and a 25-cent piece, anyway?" John Phipps submitted a response last week. Here are some reader comments. -Editor
Wayne Pearson writes:
On Changing the World of Numismatics
Regarding my recent interview in The Centinel, former American Numismatic Association Executive Director Bob Leuver writes:
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: OCTOBER 3, 2021 : The Centinel Interview (https://www.coinbooks.org/v24/esylum_v24n40a14.html)
Other topics this week include Fake Money and Fake Products, and the Most Not Counterfeit Note Ever. -Editor
Last week we discussed pocket change brought home by returning soldiers. Carol Bastable submitted these images of trench art made from coins by soldiers in WWI and WWII. Thanks! -Editor
GreatCollections submitted a $48 Million Gold 1,000 Bitcoin Physical Coin for grading. Here's the press release. -Editor
Not seen for a decade, a one-ounce gold coin with a denomination of 1,000 Bitcoins (BTC) is the world's most valuable numismatic item. Purchased in December 2011 for $4,905, it is now worth $48 million at the BTC value as of Monday morning, October 4, 2021. On behalf of its anonymous owner, GreatCollections Coin Auctions of Irvine, California (www.GreatCollections.com) submitted the gold 1,000 Bitcoin physical coin under armed guard for certification to Professional Coin Grading Service. It has been certified PCGS Proof-70 DCAM.
Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor
Flow marks on a silver denarius of Antoninus Pius, from Forum Ancient Coins.
See: Flow Marks and Halos on Roman Coins.
Flow Marks. Minute striations or corrugations on the surface of a freshly struck coin or medal. Flow marks are caused by the surface displacement of metal as the piece is struck, generally forming a microscopic pattern of ridges and channels – appearing to the naked eye as radial lines – which tend to form from the center outward toward the rim. They are best viewed in the field where no relief is present.
The latest article in Harvey Stack's blog series covers the first half of the banner auction year of 1989. Thanks, Harvey! -Editor
Stack's auction program for 1989 was large and important. This was the second year since the 20% drop of the Stock Market on "Black Monday," October 19, 1987. While things were recovering, it was a slow process. and the effects were felt for two years. This drop had been caused by the failure of the bond market to make promised payments and interest to many investors, leading to a wild sell off. During this period hobbies slowed down, but the numismatic market seemed to stay basically stable, as many collectors continued to enjoy the hobby and see coins as a store of value. The 13 auctions we conducted in this year reflected some clients who were ready to stop collecting, some who had passed away, and others who were interested in new specialties. A large majority of our sales in 1989 were "name" collections, and these always attracted great attention and active bidding.
An article headlined "Canada's oldest coin dealer" discusses the Montreal firm of Carsley Whetstone. Here's an excerpt. See the complete article online. -Editor
For more than 90 years, the professionals behind Carsley Whetstone have spearheaded specialized dealing in coins as well as other unique precious items such as jewellery in Montreal. Started in 1928, the company has a storied past of professionalism and expertise that has culminated in what Carsley Whetstone is today.
A couple named Mr. and Mrs. Carsley had a shop on Ste. Catherine Street that sold all kinds of things, including coins, and coins became a bigger part of their business, explained current owner Michael Joffre.
In the 1980s, another company, Thompson & Whetstone, who were antique dealers that also dealt with coins, bought Carsleys, bringing together two older Montreal institutions.
The New York International Numismatic Convention is moving to a new venue for 2022. Here's the announcement. -Editor
The 50th Annual New York International Numismatic Convention is moving to a
new site according to Bourse Chairman Kevin Foley, who said:
event has for several years been under contract at the Grand Hyatt New York, that
hotel remains closed due to the impact of the Covid pandemic. Because of the
uncertainty this closure presented for our attendees, as well as the Grand Hyatt, we
reached an amicable agreement with the Grand Hyatt management for the
NYINC to relocate. Our new site will be the InterContinental Barclay hotel,
located at 111 East 48th Street at Lexington Avenue, just one block south of our site
from 2001 until 2017, the Waldorf-Astoria.
Here's the announcement for the latest World Banknote Auctions sale, a specialized collection of the banknotes of Jordan. -Editor
World Banknote Auctions presents the Raqmu Collection of Jordan, which has now been posted to its website, www.worldbanknoteauctions.com. This collection, put together over several decades by a dedicated collector, contains both issued notes, specimens and proofs. It is highlighted by a complete specimen book of the second issue, prepared by Thomas de La Rue as a presentation piece in 1955. The entire collection contains 182 lots, ranging from the first issue dated 1949 to the series introduced in 2002.
This week's Dix Noonan Webb sale of the Ian Sawden Collection of British Coins includes some top material related to Matthew Boulton's Soho Mint. Here's the press release. -Editor
Two gold halfpennies dating from the late 18th century from the important Soho Mint, which was created by Matthew Boulton in 1788 in his Manufactory in Handsworth, West Midlands are both expected to fetch £20,000-26,000 when sold by international coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists Dix Noonan Webb on Tuesday, October 12, 2012. From the Ian Sawden Collection of British Coins, the Collection is expected to fetch more than £200,000. Comprising 208 coins spanning eight monarchs from George I to George VI (1727-1952), the majority of the coins are from the reigns of George III and Queen Victoria.
Here's the announcement for November's Daniel Frank Sedwick sale. -Editor
Treasure, World, U.S. Coin and Paper Money Auction 30
We're excited to host our first live floor auction since the beginning of the pandemic over a year and a half ago. While our past three online-only sales were immensely successful and record-breaking, we missed visiting with the many bidders that attend our live floor auctions. There's something to be said about bidding on and seeing these treasures in person, which is why we're grateful to be at this point.
Session I begins with Gold Cobs, which hosts a number of choice 1715 Fleet coins including a 1711 J Mexico cob 8 escudo Royal (lot 16), an extremely rare 1714 Mexico cob 8 escudos struck with a Royal obverse die (lot 18), one of the nicest 1712 Lima 8 escudos we've ever handled (lot 29), and a fascinating 1702 Bogotá cob 2 escudos with the date rendered as
2071 reading outward (lot 63). Notable non-wreck gold cobs in this section include a 1698/7 M Seville 8 escudos plated in both Calicó and Tauler reference works (lot 14), plus a rare and unlisted 1751 S Bogotá cob 8 escudos (lot 58). The latter is pedigreed to the featured Fernandina Collection, a curated group of some very high grade and rare gold cobs, both wreck and non-wreck, that will no doubt attract much attention.
This Stack's Bowers emailed an announcement about a collection of Bolen medals in their November sales. -Editor
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
ISLES OF FRANCE & OF BOURBON. French Administration. 5 Livres, 1795. P-Unlisted. PMG Very Fine 20.
(UNL5a). Isle de la Reunion. Troisieme Emission. An incredibly scarce & early 5 Livres note. Three of the four margins offer plentiful paper. The penned signature and serial number remain dark & legible. A historical offering for Reunion & French paper money collectors. PMG comments "Insect Damage".
From the October 2021 Stack's Bowers World Collectors Choice Online Auction -Editor
To read the complete lot description, see:
ISLES OF FRANCE & OF BOURBON. French Administration. 5 Livres, 1795. P-Unlisted. PMG Very Fine 20. (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-TSNVD/isles-of-france-of-bourbon-french-administration-5-livres-1795-p-unlisted-pmg-very-fine-20)
Other topics this week include a Perescopic Glasses Counterstamp, the Morgan Dime, and a gorgeous 1899 Proof Morgan Dollar. -Editor
This week the U.S. Mint announced design choices for the 2022 American Women quarters. Here's the press release. -Editor
The United States Mint (Mint) is pleased to announce the official designs for the first five coins in the American Women Quarters Program. Authorized by Public Law 116-330, this four-year program features coins with reverse (tails) designs emblematic of the accomplishments and contributions of trailblazing American women. Beginning in 2022 and continuing through 2025, the Mint will issue five quarters in each of these years. The ethnically, racially, and geographically diverse group of individuals honored through this program reflects a wide range of accomplishments and fields, including suffrage, civil rights, abolition, government, humanities, science, space, and the arts. The 2022 coins recognize the achievements of Maya Angelou, Dr. Sally Ride, Wilma Mankiller, Nina Otero-Warren, and Anna May Wong.
Discovering a new variety in a long-studied series is always an exciting development in numismatics. This press release from Stack's Bowers describes an interesting new die pairing in the California fractional gold series. "BG" stands for Breen-Gillio, California Pioneer Fractional Gold, the standard reference for Fractional Gold by Walter Breen and Ron Gillio. -Editor
New 1854 Period 1 California Fractional Gold Dollar Variety Discovered
A new die variety of California Fractional Gold Dollar has been discovered by Ken Glickman, an avid collector and researcher of California Fractional Gold for more than two decades. The new variety has been confirmed by California Fractional Gold specialists Ronald J. Gillio, Robert D. Leonard, Jr. and John Pack. The new variety designation for this unique specimen will be listed as BG-526a, as that comes between BG-526 (1853) and BG-527 (1854) in the BG reference book.
The new specimen's obverse is the same as that of BG-526, and is easy to match, as follows: There are three prominent die cracks (one above the portrait, connecting the head to the rim, and two near 3 o'clock, connecting the upper and lower portions of the hair bun to the rim). The bold nature of these breaks makes them easy to identify. Since they are heavier in this pairing than seen in the BG-526 usage, they must always be present in this marriage.
Modern minting technologies can produce some stunning products. One that caught my eye recently is the colorful Eclectic Nature - Fighting Fish from CIT. Here's the press release. -Editor
Cook Islands. 5 Dollars. 2021. Silver .999. 1 oz. Proof. 38.61 mm. Mintage: 1,500. Special technology: colour; black silk finish; smartminting® (Ultra High Relief). B. H. Mayer's Kunstprägeanstalt, Munich.
Description of the Coin
One side features a Siamese fighting fish, below ECLECTIC NATURE; the field is divided into two unequal parts, one of them has a shiny proof finish, the other a black finish.
The other side features the portrait of Queen Elizabeth II by Ian Rank-Broadley (initials: IRB); around it the name of the ruler, the issuing nation and the denomination.
Earl Honeycutt and Sandy Lichauco submitted this article on the 1937 Manila Eucharistic Conference medals. Thanks! -Editor
1937 Manila Eucharistic Conference Medals
Earl Honeycutt and Sandy Lichauco
Against the backdrop of the rise of communism in the world and 56 years after the first Eucharistic Congress held in Lille, France, the 33rd International Eucharistic Congress took place in Manila, Philippines, from February 3-7, 1937 with great significance. The Congress was notable as it was the first Eucharistic gathering in the Philippines and more importantly, in Asia. The event was attended by 1.5 million from around the world, and events were held in Rizal Park, with hundreds of thousands present at each gathering. It will also be remembered as having the largest religious procession of more than 600,000 Catholic devotees. At that time, it was considered the largest gathering held in what remains the only predominantly Catholic country in Asia. To memorialize this event, two medals were minted and presented/sold to attendees. This article seeks to highlight these medals as it coincides this year with the 500th anniversary of Christianity in the Philippines:
The New England Numismatic Association's official publication is NENA News. John Ferreri offered to share some articles with E-Sylum readers. Last week we republished John's own article on the Elm City Bank of New Haven. Here's another one of these, this time on the first shopping mall in America and its appearance on paper money. John kindly provided image files. Thanks! -Editor
America's First Shopping Mall: The Arcade Building, Providence, RI
This new and exciting shopping mall was the center vignette of at least two different Rhode Island State Bank Notes. Circa 1850.
Did your Great-Great-Great-Grandmother shop here? If she lived in the Providence, R.I. area during the mid-1800s and was able to drive her horse and buggy to shop downtown she might have visited this new and exciting type of retail business place, a mall! The Westminster Arcade Building was built in 1828, primarily of granite and housed three levels of mercantile businesses. The building helped revitalize a neglected part of downtown Providence during the mid-1800s. The building has endured close to two centuries of use, many internal renovations and is still in use, today. Great Granny could have shopped here for millinery goods, fresh foods, East India goods and perhaps furniture. The Arcade Bank opened in this building in 1831 and remained here until it became a national bank in 1865. Great-Great-Great Granny could easily have spent money issued by this bank. It would be decades before federally issued paper money replaced the issues of state chartered banks.
Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor
On CoinWeek. Louis Golino examines the impact of the tenure of U.S. Mint Director David Ryder. See the complete article online. -Editor
In the aftermath of the resignation October 1 of David J. Ryder as Director of the United States Mint, which was announced late on Friday, September 24, comments from many collectors in online forums and letters to editors of coin publications have been strongly critical of Ryder's tenure.
The popular sport of Mint bashing had become more popular than usual over the past couple of years, which makes this a good time to take a step back from knee-jerk reactions–mostly driven by collectors who couldn't order all the coins they wanted from the Mint–and assess what actually happened during the three years Ryder was in charge at the Mint and what his longer-term impact may be on the hobby.
To read the complete article, see:
The Coin Analyst: What Will Mint Director Ryder's Long-Term Impact Be on the Numismatic Hobby? (https://coinweek.com/modern-coins/the-coin-analyst-what-will-mint-director-ryders-long-term-impact-be-on-the-numismatic-hobby/)
Other topics this week include a Large Cent found at a dig in Williamsburg, VA, and a numismatic Jekyll and Hyde connection. -Editor