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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: J.R. Greene, courtesy John Ferreri; Dana Linett, courtesy Ron Guth; Ted Minkinow, courtesy Bob Hurst; Jeff Lewis, and Heath White. Welcome aboard! We now have 6,961 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 five new books, an obituary, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and 1,000 years of die stamping history.

Other topics this week include the State Bank of Iowa, Money Artist J.S.G. Boggs, dies and diesinkers, literary award competitions, auction previews, Numismatic Nuggets, and medals for soldiers, astronauts, service dogs and sailors.

To learn more about Civil War Tokens, half cents, the 2002 New York ANA convention, an old Ferracute coining press, Vernon Jepson, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, Boris Karloff, the Dalai Lama, Stuart Devlin, Jenny Lind, William Wyon, Pikes Peak gold, the siege at Pontefract, Swedish Enskilda banknotes, chronograms, why nickel is worth more than a dime, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Congressional Space Medal of Honor, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

  Garrett Mid-American E-Sylum ad07c


Doug Nyholm edits the UNS Mint Master for the Utah Numismatic Society. In the March 2022 issue, he mentioned a book about Civil War Tokens by dealer Buck Burgess. With permission, we're republishing his note here. Thanks! -Editor

Burgess Civil War Token Book At our recent coin show I purchased a book about Civil War Tokens from Buck Burgess, who is a regular dealer at our Utah coins shows. This book is based on his personal collection and very well documented with a great deal of this personal research. There are a number of references available about Civil War Tokens including Fuld's massive US Civil War Store Cards and Patriotic Civil War Store Cards and Patriotic Civil War Tokens edited by Susan Trask. This book however, documents the author's personal collection and does not cover everything but I found it to be very useful and interesting for anyone desiring a basic set, or beginning to collect these historic tokens.

The author states that Civil War Tokens are divided into three categories, Patriotic Store Card, Sutler tokens, of which over 1,500 merchants had tokens made for them, and finally Patriotic tokens which were struck from over 1,500 dies. Collecting these pieces in order to assemble a complete set is therefore impossible. His collection is comprised of hundreds of different types each having a full page dedicated to it. Also included is historical notes, numismatic comments, and images including full color oversize images of the token itself.

Read more here

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JAMES R. MCGUIGAN (1944-2022)

Dealer and large early copper specialist Jim McGuigan has passed. Here's an excerpt from his online obituary. Thanks to Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society President Corleen Chesonis for passing this along. Sorry to hear the news. -Editor

Jim McGuigan Peacefully passed on March 10, 2022, with his loving wife, Claire by his side. Jim was born in Pittsburgh to the late James and Helen McGuigan. Beloved husband of Claire A. Stitzell-McGuigan. Special dad of Theresa (Ben) Edwards. Coin Pappy of Timothy and Khloe Edwards. Dear brother of David McGuigan of Wilmington, Delaware. Jim was a graduate of Edgewood High School. He then attended Carnegie Mellon University (BS), University of Chicago (MBA), University of Pittsburgh (PhD). He was a Professor at Wayne State University School of Business. Jim was a member of St. John Fisher, Churchill, Pa.

Read more here

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The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is a research article on the State Bank of Iowa. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

  State Bank of Iowa uncut paper money sheet

Paper Money Research Sponsored by Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society

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 on the 2002 New York ANA convention. -Editor

ANA Convention Highlights New York, 2002 July
VIDEO: 32:03

ANA02 Gail Baker Get ready for a blast from the past! This video is from from the American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money held in New York 20 years ago. Ed Rochette was ANA Executive Director, John Wilson, president, Gail Baker, Education Director, Henrietta Holsman Fore, US Mint Director, as well as other characters. Plus you will see shots of the bourse floor and people with more vigor and heads of hair then they now have. One of the best parts of numismatics is the memories and if you are old enough in the hobby this video is sure to provoke them.

David adds:

"I am just back from the ANA Convention in Colorado Springs where I shot new video that will be posted soon. How times have changed! The numismatic characters are different but the core basics of the hobby remain the same; buying and selling, knowledge, and camaraderie. Those of us who have been in numismatics for the long term will know of what I speak."

To watch the video:

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  M. C. Lilley & Company building postcard

In our February 20th issue, Carol Bastable mentioned discovering an eBay seller with "a glut of Masonic penny dies as well as all sorts of dies and stamps for various fraternal organizations, military, medals, advertising, and jewelry making items."

The seller mentioned that one die was "From the archives of MC Lilley". I published some information on the company and asked, "Is anyone aware of the location of their archives? Clearly the old dies and stock have been sold off, but do company records survive in some University or historical society holdings?"

Carol followed up with the eBay seller, who put us in touch with Heath White, from whom he had purchased the material. Thanks! Heath liquidated the stock of an Ohio company called Fraternal Supplies, a successor to M C Lilley and a number of similar firms. Heath kindly provided background information and photos seen here in two articles. Thank you! -Editor

My stepfather, Thom Mezick, owned a small company here in New London, OH called Fraternal Supplies. Fraternal Supplies ceased operations in 2012 and Thom passed away in 2016. Thom acquired the company in 1987 in an attempt to prevent one more manufacturer from closing their doors in our community. Thom hired others to manage the company and it lost money every year he owned it. Before Thom passed away I had never been in the factory and he rarely spoke about it due to his disappointment in the lack of success of the company.

Read more here


RENAISSANCE OF AMERICAN COINAGE: Wizard Coin Supply is the official distributor for Roger Burdette's three volume series that won NLG Book of the Year awards for 2006, 2007 and 2008. Contact us for dealer or distributor pricing at


Heath White added this article with more background on the stamping dies from the Fraternal Supplies vault. See the previous article in this issue for more information on the company lineage.

The first image is of boxes of Masonic Penny dies. The final image shows a die before and after cleaning. -Editor

Masonic Penny Dies The majority of the Stamping Die Collection was originally acquired by the C.E. Ward Company (New London, OH) from The Lilley-Ames Company (Columbus, OH) in 1951. The dies have been stored in what was known as 'the vault' of the C E Ward metal plant in New London, OH . While not really a vault, it was a room in the basement level of a building with cement block walls and a heavy metal door that was normally closed and locked much like a vault. Because of this the company employees affectionately called this room 'the vault'.

Read more here

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David Vagi submitted these additional biographical notes on Vernon Jepson. Thank you! -Editor

  Vernon Jepson Medal obverse Vernon Jepson Medal reverse
Vernon M. Jepson's First American Coin Collector medal

The information in the two previous issues of The E-Sylum was both useful and interesting, offering a peek into the collector's mind of Vernon Jepson. I have some to add.

But before we get there, I can report the number impressed on the edge of the medal issued to Jepson is 121 – so, at least that many were issued in copper.

On the Newman Numismatic Portal I got only one hit for a Jepson with a first name beginning with a V – an endorsement published at the bottom of page 1228 in the December, 1911 edition of The Philatelic West. It's reproduced here:

Read more here

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Treasury Secretary Yellen Visits Denver Mint

Dick Grinolds passed along this tweet from Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen. Thanks. -Editor

  Yellen visits Denver Mint

Dick adds:

"Not much to it but it's nice to see someone higher than an assistant under-secretary setting foot inside a mint facility. It brings back memories from 1989 when the mint hauled a press down from Philadelphia to the east side of the Capitol for a first strike ceremony for the Congressional Bicentennial silver dollar. I sat right behind Senator Robert Byrd of West Virginia who even with his broomstick straight posture still barely came up above my waist.

"After the dignitaries speechified, struck individual coins and left, a number of invited guests also were able to strike (but not keep or buy) a coin. They had torn down the tables and chairs and were starting on the tent when I was the second to last person to push the button to the press and strike a coin. Still, it was one of those numismatic memories that last."

To read the tweet, see:

Other topics this week include more TV Numismatics, and the Daniel Morgan medal. -Editor

Read more here

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Tom Hockenhull of the British Museum published an article in the Spring/Summer 2022 issue of British Museum Magazine. Thanks to Jeff Koyen for passing it along. Here's an excerpt with a photo of the Boggs Bill now on display in the Money Gallery (Room 68). Copyright Trustees of the British Museum. -Editor

  Boogs bill British Museum

Read more here

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Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. We collectors focus on the end product of the manufacturing process, but there's much to be learned about coins and medals by understanding the way they're made. Computer design techniques are changing the modern process, but aspects of the traditional method remain. Here's how designs are duplicated in hard metal. Even a coin initially designed on a computer screen must still be struck from a die to create the end product. -Editor

Hubbing Press. A press of tremendous power, used to duplicate a design in metal from a hard master to a soft steel block. Also called multiplying press, such a press is employed to duplicate dies by forcing two steel blocks into each other, called a squeeze. One steel block contains the design to be reproduced, it is hardened.

Read more here

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American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on the Morin family of diesinkers. Thanks! -Editor

  Alexander / Anthony Morin

Most weeks I write about some name that is well known in numismatics. This week my topic is more obscure.

In his book Who's Who Among American Medalists, D. Wayne Johnson mentions confusion between two diesinkers, Alexander and Anthony Morin. I have new information on both.

My thanks to Julia Casey for assistance with the research.

Read more here

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With permission, we're republishing excerpts of former U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart series published by CoinWeek beginning in April 2018. -Editor

  Everhart My Career in Coins Part 3

During my 13+ years as a sculptor-engraver for the United States Mint, I had the opportunity to work on Congressional Gold Medals for many prominent leaders and heads of state. Additionally, I had the honor to work on two Presidential Medals.

More about them later.

Read more here

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The ANA is accepting submissions for their 2022 Club Publications Competition. Don't forget! - the deadline is coming up April first. -Editor

  ANA Outstanding Club Publications

Submissions Accepted for ANA's Club Publications Competition

The American Numismatic Association (ANA) is currently accepting submissions for the 2022 Barbara J. Gregory Outstanding Club Publications competition. Awards will be presented in four categories: local, regional, specialty and electronic. The contest is open to member clubs that are current with their ANA dues, and do not have an elected or salaried ANA officer as editor or assistant editor. Completed submissions must be received by April 1.

Read more here

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Also coming up April first is the deadline for submissions to the ANA Young Numismatist Literary Awards. -Editor

Submissions Accepted for ANA Young Numismatist Literary Awards

ANA Young Numismatists Submissions for the American Numismatic Association's (ANA) annual Young Numismatist Literary Awards competition are being accepted through April 1. The awards were established to encourage young writers in three age groups, all of whom will compete for cash awards and numismatic books.

Article submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges that includes Bill Fivaz, Mitch Sanders and Kenneth Bressett.

Read more here

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And don't forget the awards from the Numismatic Literary Guild. Here are the rules for their 2022 competition. -Editor

  NLG logo

Numismatic Literary Guild 2022 Award Categories & Rules

Please read the following rules and requirements very carefully. Submissions that do not adhere to the rules may be disqualified.

Read more here

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In an email to clients this week, Lief Davisson discussed Roman coinage in the upcoming Davissons Auction 41. -Editor

Today we move on to the Roman section–55 carefully selected lots.

Read more here

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In a final email to clients this week, Allan Davisson discussed some additional highlights of the upcoming Davissons Auction 41. -Editor

Davisson Auction 41 cover Micro and macro, generalists and specialists, detail or big-picture oriented: the world of numismatics offers challenges and satisfactions for different perspectives, and in many cases the overlap is what makes the field even more exciting.

The effort of finding and filling in elements of a particular series brings the satisfaction of putting something together that not only fulfills a goal, it often leads to new insights and depths of understanding that are elusive until varieties and progressions become more obvious. This is why so much of what is published about coins, tokens and medals is authored by committed collectors, amateurs in the best sense of the term—people whose interest is personal, who love what they are doing.

Read more here


A GUIDE BOOK OF QUARTER EAGLE GOLD COINS, the latest book by Q. David Bowers, will debut soon. Keep abreast of new Whitman Publishing books, folders, and albums online at at , or call 1-800-546-2995.


Here's the announcement for World Banknote Auctions upcoming Live Sale 23. Many rare and interesting items. -Editor

  WBNA Sale 23 montage

This week World Banknote Auctions has listed Live Sale 23, which closes in two different segments. The first segment, the traditional live sale, closes on March 24th, 2022, with live bidding that day at 1 PM Eastern / 10 AM Pacific. The following day, on March 25th at 1 PM Eastern / 10 AM Pacific an additional segment closes in a timed auction (no live bidding, although lots may be extended if a bid is received 10 minutes before closing). Live Sale 23 offers 804 lots from around the world, with select highlights including key notes from around the world, classic type notes and modern issues in high grade. Some highlights are selected below, the entire catalog can be viewed on the company's website,

Read more here

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In a February 18, 2022 email, Künker listed these highlights of their Auction 363, which takes place on March 23rd and 24th. Some more nice coins here. I spy with my little eye ... another chronogram! -Editor

  Künker Auction 363 lot 2015 Flanders Louis of Male half lion d´or

Lot number 2015
Louis of Male, 1346-1384.
1/2 lion d´or n.d. (1365), Gent.
Very rare. Extremely fine to FDC.
Estimate: 7.500,00 euros

Read more here

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St. James Auctions is offering items from the studio of coin and medal designer Stuart Devlin. Here's the press release. -Editor

  Devlin catalog cover 1 Devlin catalog cover 2


The Australian-born Stuart Devlin (1931–2018) was, in the words of the late HRH Prince Philip, probably the most original and creative goldsmith and silversmith of his time, and one of the greats of all time. In the saleroom his creations appear from time to time and today they have a serious following. Devlin is less well known as a medallist, even though it was his designs for the reverses Australia's first decimal coinage in 1966, that brought him to London and opened so many doors for him for his future career. Now, on 30 March, St. James's Auctions are to sell a small but important group of numismatic items from his studio.

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

1678 Transylvania Double Taler
1678 Transylvania Double Taler

Transylvania / Transylvania ? Michael Apafi (1661-1690) 2 Thaler cliffs / Doppeltaler cliffs 1678 ? AI Karlsburg Resch cf. 230 (thalers). dav see 4816 (Taler) RARE 58.14 g extremely fine to uncirculated

A Transylvanian double taler - neat item. From P.Kummer Muenzenonline Live Auction 17. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
LOT.NO:809Transylvania 1678 Extremely rare (

Other topics this week include Jenny Lind, William Wyon, and the Boxer Rebellion. -Editor

Read more here

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I missed getting this one into the last issue. Arthur Shippee forwarded this New York Times piece about gold ingots recently returned to France. -Editor

  Prince de Conty Gold Ingots

The seas were high and the fog was thick in December 1746 when the Prince de Conty, a French frigate returning home from China with tea, ceramics and roughly 100 gold ingots, foundered in the Atlantic, just 10 miles from shore.

Its bounty sank beneath the waves and laid untouched for 228 years until 1974, when treasure hunters located the wreck and illegally scavenged its remains.

Read more here

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Ron Guth posted another Eliasberg Project report, this time on the 1898 Quarter. -Editor

  Eliasberg's 1898 Proof Barber Quarter Dollar obverse Eliasberg's 1898 Proof Barber Quarter Dollar reverse

Coins from the celebrated collection of Louis Eliasberg, Sr. reappear on the market quite frequently, but many of his coins have been quietly squirreled away in collections since the last sale of his US coins in 1997 and have, essentially, disappeared. Sudden reappearances of Eliasberg coins purchased at or near the time of the sale are becoming increasingly rare, especially as time goes on. Such reappearances are the definition of fresh to the market. Undoubtedly, there are collectors who wish they had acquired such-and-such a coin from the Eliasberg Collection, hoping that it might reappear in the market (as so many have), only to be disappointed as the collector ages out of the numismatic game.

Read more here

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We've discussed the Distinguished Flying Cross medal before, a WWI issue. This one is WWII vintage. -Editor

  Distinguished Flying Cross

A SECOND World War fighter ace's rare bravery medal was almost thrown out with the rubbish.

Read more here

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The widow of Challenger commander Dick Scobee has presented his Congressional Space Medal of Honor for display at the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center. -Editor

Scobee Congressional Space Medal of Honor A rare medal of honor bestowed upon the fallen commander of NASA's space shuttle Challenger has been given a new space at a Tennessee museum devoted to the recipients of the United States' highest military award for valor.

The family of the late astronaut Francis Richard "Dick" Scobee presented his Congressional Space Medal of Honor for display at the Charles H. Coolidge National Medal of Honor Heritage Center in Chattanooga on Tuesday (March 8). The medal was awarded posthumously in 2004 for Scobee's "meritorious and dedicated service to the nation and his pioneering contributions to human space flight."

Scobee's widow decided to give the medal a new home after coming across the heritage center on one of her daily walks around downtown Chattanooga. The museum, which was founded in 1987, moved to its current location two years ago.

Read more here

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Last week we discussed the Animals in War and Peace Medal Ceremony, which took place at the U.S. Capitol on March 9, 2022. Here's one of the winners. -Editor

Distinguished Service Medal dog Hurricane One night as the Obamas were in the White House enjoying a movie, a guy jumped the fence and tried crashing their family get-together.

He never made it. He was quickly cornered by a Secret Service Belgian Malinois named Hurricane.

Hurricane met him halfway on the lawn and engaged the individual and he and him got into an intense battle," said Hurricane's handler Marshall Mirarchi.

Mirarchi was standing close by letting his partner do what he was trained to do. In the end, they arrested the man, but Hurricane did suffer some injuries. The kind that forced early retirement.

Read more here

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I like the designs for this new Armed Forces Silver Medal for the U.S. Navy - I'll look forward to seeing one in person. -Editor

  UNITED STATES NAVY Silver Medal obverse UNITED STATES NAVY Silver Medal reverse

The United States Mint (Mint) will open sales for the third release in its United States Armed Forces Silver Medal Program on March 11 at noon EST. The medal honors the U.S. Navy.

Read more here

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Passing along this Guardian article about the SS Central America, Patrick Parkinson wrote, "Turns out you numismatists have it wrong. The real treasure is the daguerreotypes and ambrotypes." -Editor

  Glass plate photos of the wreck of the SS Central America

Glass plate photos strewn among the gold coins and jewellery on the wreck of the SS Central America

It is one of the most famous treasure wrecks ever discovered, a steamer named the ship of gold after it sank in 1857 off the coast of South Carolina with one of the largest cargoes of gold ever lost at sea. Miners who had struck it rich in the California gold rush were among those bringing home to New York their hard-earned wealth, only to lose their lives when the SS Central America was struck by a hurricane, sinking nearly a mile and a half beneath the waves.

When nuggets, ingots and coins were recovered from the seabed in various expeditions between 1988 and 2014, the world was dazzled. But, with reported values of tens of millions of pounds, it sparked a complex legal case that landed its original treasure-hunter in jail.

Read more here

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John Lupia passed along information about another Florida bar decorated with paper money. Thanks - I don't think we've covered this particular place before. -Editor

  Cabbage Key 3

Read more here

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

Mints of the Byzantine Empire

An article by Ben Wallace on the NGC site examines mints of the Byzantine Empire. -Editor

The Byzantine Empire existed for over a thousand years and controlled large tracts of land and a great many people. Many mints were needed to satisfy the monetary needs of this empire. In this article, we'll discuss those mints and enjoy some of the coins they produced.

Sicily: Syracuse

  Syracuse Constans II follis

The above follis features an excellent portrait of the emperor Constans II (A.D. 641-688). Much of the detail on this coin is weak due to it being overstruck on an earlier follis. The reverse has a large M and the mintmark SCL below.

To read the complete article, see:
NGC Ancients: Mints of the Byzantine Empire (

Other topics this week include BiblioLifestyle, why the nickel is worth more than a dime, and the Button King. -Editor

Read more here

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It's not exactly wife-buying money, but Loon Dollar coins ("loonies") helped a Canadian firefighter woo an American woman he met on vacation in Mexico. Here's an excerpt from the New York Times story. See the complete article online. -Editor

  Canadian Loonie dollars

But when their vacations came to a close, reality set in. Ms. Dopp was returning to Buffalo, where she was between jobs at the time, and Mr. MacDonald to Calgary, Alberta, where he lived and worked as a firefighter with the Rocky View County Fire Department.

Read more here

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Finally, for the bibliophiles, here's the coolest final resting place ever. Maybe you can't take your books with you, but you can become one... -Editor

  Library of people

East Lawn is a pretty park in the beautiful surroundings of old East Sacramento, with mature trees and an inviting air, perfect for anyone, except for one thing: It's a park for the dead.

East Lawn is a cemetery.

Decades later, I found out East Lawn contained a surprise the casual passerby could never have anticipated.

Read more here

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This week's Featured Web Page is about Chronograms on coins. From the site.

Chronogram is a phrase of which the roman-numeral letters (C,D,I,L,M,V,X) express a date when added together. (e.g. LorD haVe MerCIe Vpon Vs = 50+500+5+1000+100+1+5+5=1666). The order was irrelevant, the sequence IV stood for 1+5=6 and not for 4. On coins, the numerals are indicated in exaggerated capital Roman letters within the legend. Chronograms were particularly popular in the Baroque Age although counting the numerals was tiresomeone and one had to struggle through obscure statements in scholars' Latin.

Chronogram on 1631 City of Nuremberg 4 ducats

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