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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: Sharon Hinkley. Welcome aboard! We now have 6,970 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 numismatic literature mystery, deluxe editions, four new books, a review, two obituaries, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and more.

Other topics this week include middle date large cents, Treasure coins, Oman banknotes, married women working at the Mint, Bruce Smith, Chester Martin, Bruce Smith, Don Everhart, Bruce Smith, Felix Schlag, auction previews, cowrie shell money, numismatic fundraising for Ukraine, and the Money Illusion.

To learn more about Martin Nathaniel Daycius, the Dutch East India Company, West African Manilla Currency, the Brewey Mint, coin collecting boards, Cory and Ali Frampton, the Winchester Mint, front-facing portraits, U.S. Navy Bills of Exchange, a hippocampus, a 1792 Half Disme, and the Ukraine solidarity medal, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

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Numismatic Bibliomania Society Vice President Len Augsburger passed along this provocative report by a new NBS member, Sam E. Coudin of Montreal. -Editor

Numismatics Meets Modern Forensics

M. N, Daycious April Fools flyer One of the most fabled bits of NBS history surrounds the March 1992 offering of a treasure trove of literature presented by the seller Martin Nathaniel Daycius Galleries (aka M. N. Daycius, a malaprop for mendacious), supposedly of Fort Worth, TX. Ken Lowe reported on the event in the July 1992 edition of Out on a Limb and noted that more than a few NBSers were taken in by the April Fools ruse, a sale said to contain many old catalogues on beautiful leathers, lots of old records, and invoices, large pile of old coin sales, a few going back to the 1820s, and so on. The seller's address was 1204 Magnolia, which, upon further investigation, turned out to be the old B. Max Mehl building.

Read more here


OVER 500 NUMISMATIC TITLES: Wizard Coin Supply has over 500 numismatic titles in stock, competitively discounted, and available for immediate shipment. See our selection at


As announced in an email to customers this week, Kolbe & Fanning are offering at fixed prices both regular and deluxe editions of the excellent books written by the late Sydney F. Martin. -Editor

  Kolbe and Fanning logo
  Deluxe Editions by Syd Martin logo

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David Kahn submitted this overview of the new book on Middle Date cents by Robert Powers. Thanks! -Editor

Powers US Large Cents, 1816-1839 cover Robert Powers, a very accomplished, young author is back, with a brand new publication. His Middle Date Large Cent Variety Identification Guide is the follow-on from his first volume, dealing with Early Date LC's, 1794-1814. His new Middle Date guide, a 158 page, full color, soft cover, 8.5x11" up to date attribution guide for all of the Newcomb varieties of the Middle Dates, was just published and arrived here last week.

Powers has been collecting coins for over 30 years, and has had a strong interest in Bust, Seated, and Early American Copper for almost as long. He has recognized the need for updated attribution guides in those series, and has set out to publish a series of easy to understand guides with the highest quality photos available. Currently available are two new publications on Early Date Large Cents as well as Middle Date Large Cents. Robert has future plans for a comprehensive Half Cent guide, as well as a new guide covering Overton varieties of Bust Halves.

Read more here

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Peter Jones has just published a new book on shipwreck coins entitled TREASURE! Congratulations! -Editor

TREASURE! book cover TREASURE! describes the author's personal journey with shipwreck treasure coins.The book is profusely illustrated with color photos, and includes full page pictures of a collection of 88 coins and medals related to shipwrecks.

Intended for treasure and coin collectors, history buffs, nautical enthusiasts and divers, Peter Jones' book TREASURE! puts the fascinating subject of treasure coins into historical perspective. It is a companion book to the First Coins of the Americas, which Bob Hoge wrote about in The E-Sylum. Dan Sedwick wrote the foreword to both books.

Read more here

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From Muscat Daily comes this article about a new book on the banknotes of Oman. -Editor

Oman Banknotes book with author Omani youth to launch a new book – Oman Banknotes (1970 – 2021) which includes images of three different Sultans on Omani currency

Abdulaziz al Kharusi, a young flight engineer, has let his creative pursuit of currencies take flight with an ambitious attempt to launch a chronicle of Omani banknotes.

The hardbound book – Oman Banknotes (1970 – 2021), published with exclusive images of banknotes and cultural symbols, accompanied by relevant text in Arabic and English, provides interesting insights into the design and relevance of various bank notes that had been floated during the past five decades. The book, to be launched on March 17, also serves as a guide into the history and evolution of the Omani currency in a simple, yet effective, manner.

Read more here

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A new book examines graphic satire and paper money in late eighteenth- and early nineteenth-century Britain. -Editor

Money in the Age of Graphic Satire book cover Money and Materiality in the Golden Age of Graphic Satire
by Amanda Lahikainen

August 2022 • ISBN 9781644532690 • $120.00

August 2022 • ISBN 9781644532683 • $34.95

* E-Book Available

Studies in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Art and Culture

Read more here

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The latest issue of the Journal of Early American Numismatics (JEAN) has been published. Editor Chris McDowell shared this summary. Thanks. -Editor

JEAN-4-2-Cover This is the December 2021 issue of the Journal of Early American Numismatics (JEAN). The issue was delayed because of supply chain problems, which have been addressed and will not reoccur. I received my copy this past week, and subscribers should be getting them any day now if they have not already been delivered.

The cover features the Continental dollar along with an image of Eric Newman because this issue starts with an unpublished manuscript by Mr. Newman on the Continental dollar. Even after all these years, Newman still has something to contribute to the topic.

This issue also contains a medley of articles on different topics of interest to those who collect and research items associated with this nation's founding. In fact, it may be our most diverse issue yet, containing articles on a mysterious theft of almost all the money in the New Jersey Treasury to the recovery of West African Manilla Currency from the muck of Philadelphia's harbor during the construction of I-95, which currency was used to buy and sell enslaved people along Africa's Gold Coast.

Read more here

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Dennis Tucker published a nice article on Coin Update about Dave Lange's book on Coin Collecting Boards. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article with more illustrations online. -Editor


David W. Lange is the director of research for Numismatic Guaranty Company (NGC), and well known in the hobby community for his writing

Read more here

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CHESTER Y. MARTIN (1934-2022)

George Cuhaj submitted this obituary of U.S. Mint sculptor/engraver Chester Martin. George provided all the photos and took the one of Chester at his work table with plaster busts in the background. Thanks! -Editor

Chester Y. Martin (November 2, 1934 – March 16, 2022)

Chester Martin If one spent any time with Chester Martin you learned many things. First was that he was a life-long resident of Chattanooga, Tennessee and graduate of Kirkman Technical High School and the University of Chattanooga. He loved the history of his city and could relate stories of particular events with great enthusiasm. A visitor would often be taken to Lookout Mountain or Chickamauga battlefields and informed of the battlefield plan, the state of the art aquarium, art museum, Medal of Honor Museum, TVA facilities or a game of the double-A Chattanooga Lookouts.

A special treat for me was a visit to the Old train station (now hotel) a ride on the incline plane railroad up to Lookout Mountain, a tour of Rock City and a visit to the Chattanooga National Cemetery where the Andrew's Raiders monument is a highlight (The early railroads of the area, highlighted by the raid on the General would be an oft-visited art theme of his).

Read more here

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DAVID R. GOTKIN (1944-2022)

Andy Singer passed along this Washington Post death notice for dealer David Gotkin. Thanks. -Editor

David R. Gotkin David Gotkin, 77, of Fairfax Virginia, passed away peacefully on March 15, 2022. He was born in Washington, DC on May 21, 1944, to Eleanor and Raymond Gotkin. He is survived by his sons Benjamin and Sean; his ex-wife Christine; and his grandchildren Ryan, Adam, Fionn and Cassidy.David served in the US Army stateside during the Vietnam war in the late 1960's.

Read more here

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Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following update on the topic of women working at the U.S. Mint. -Editor

More on Women in the Mint

Following up on Jerome Nashorn's insightful comments in the March 20 issue, the Journal of the Franklin Institute for 1855 reported:

I cannot omit a reference to the very excellent remarks of the chief coiner [Franklin Peale] on the employment of females in some of the operations in his department. This, he informed me, had generally excited the surprise of, and been commented upon, by foreigners, who had visited the Mint. His experience, however, had led him to believe, that in places of trust, where no great physical exertion was called for, but where accuracy and strict integrity were of first importance, the moral perceptions of the female, generally strong and of a higher standard than in the man, would qualify her as his substitute, and thus, while opening a new field of labor for the occupation of females, would strengthen their claims to it by the superior accuracy and economy of their work.

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 another one from the 2021 USMEX Coin Convention, featuring an interview with collectors Cory and Ali Frampton. -Editor

Father and Daughter Team Enjoy Mexican Numismatics
VIDEO: 5:17.

USMEX21 Father & Daughter Cory and Ali Frampton Cory Frampton & Ali Frampton, US Mexican Numismatic Association

David Lisot, Interviewer, October 21-23, 2021.

What a joy when one of your children shares an interest with you! Imagine how delighted the Executive Director of the United States Mexican Numismatic Association is that his daughter has an intrigue with the numismatics of Mexico. Learn the story of how this family developed their fascination of coins and paper money and see examples of actual pieces of history.

David adds:

"More from the annual US Mexican Numismatic Association Convention, a boutique coin convention held in Scottsdale specializing in Mexican and Latin coinage. I can relate to this story of a father/daughter team appreciating numismatics. I have two children of my own both of whom have expressed no interest in the coin hobby whatsoever. Cory and Ali Frampton have a special bond as parent and child embellished by their love of Mexican numismatics. I am sure other numismatic parents will appreciate this video!"

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

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More on Denman Grammar School Medals
Michael Wehner writes:

Jennie Downer school medal "Ever since I wrote a TAMS Journal article back in 2011 about the medals of James Denman, I have been keeping a census of the awardees of the four types of Denman medals. Adding Jennie Downer makes 56 names of San Francisco grammar school female graduates between 1866 and 1915. Undoubtedly, there are many more. A special thanks to Jerome Nashorn as it is exciting to learn the story of one of these young women. "The census can be found here:
"... and my TAMS article, "The Denman Grammar School Medals of San Francisco" by Michael Wehner, TAMS Journal September/October 2011 - Vol. 51, No. 5. pp 131-136 is on the Newman Numismatic Portal at "

Denman Middle School Dave Lange writes:

"When I read the article about a medal awarded by the Denman Grammar School I immediately recognized that name. My mother attended James Denman Junior High School (now called Middle School) in the 1940s. It was named for the man hailed as the "Father of San Francisco's Public Schools." Denman (1829-1909) organized the first free, public school in that city in 1851. This is the school later named for him and that presented the award medal. The one my mother attended was of later construction and was located some distance from the original."

Thanks, everyone. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Other topics this week include M C Lilley's Unmarked Tokens, and The Winchester Mint. -Editor

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.


Wayne Pearson submitted these thoughts on potential new coin designs while discussing the merits of front-facing portraits and profile views. -Editor

Currently, we have a Platinum bullion coin, a dollar coin, and a five cent coin, all three in a front view.

The bullion coin, with the Statue of Liberty design, in a front view looks really nice.

Starting in 1997, it has now reached 25 years, time for a new eagle reverse design. Hopefully, it will be a better eagle design than the ones being used on the gold and silver bullion coins.

Read more here

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

Immersion Finish. A medallic patina applied by placing the item completely submerged in a liquid bath. Immersion time is critical, often the longer the item is left in the liquid the deeper or darker will be the color. Immersion finishes are the most common of all patina finishes.

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American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on multiple numismatists named Bruce Smith. Thanks. It's taken a lot of work to put this together - can anyone help fill in the gaps? Thanks. -Editor

A project this week was to try to sort out various numismatists named Bruce Smith. I found nine or ten and suspect there may be more.

I will mention one area of confusion. Which Bruce Smith has compiled a book on Missouri Trade Tokens? I thought it was Bruce W. Smith who joined the ANA as member R-78328 in 1974. Then I discovered it was Bruce W. Smith who joined the ANA as member 1212253 in 2004. Perhaps his membership lapsed and he rejoined with a new number.

Read more here

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With permission, we've been republishing excerpts of former U.S. Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart series published by CoinWeek beginning in April 2018. Here's the final segment. What great experiences! Thanks for sharing these with the hobby. -Editor

Barack Obama (2009-2017)
During almost the entire Obama Administration, the engravers did not hear any news about a potential Presidential Medal. It is a tradition that goes all the way back to George Washington; would this be a gap in the succession of Presidential Medals?

  Everhart Barack Obama

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Here is the announcement for the March 30-31, 2022 sale by Archives International Auctions. Great material! -Editor


The auction will be held by Archives International Auctions at their offices in River Edge, N.J.

Archives International Sale 75 cover front The March 30th and 31st, 2022 auction by Archives International Auctions will consist of over 1,320 lots of rare and desirable U.S., Chinese & World Banknotes, Scripophily, U.S. Colonial Fiscal Documents, Historic Financial Ephemera, and Security Printing Ephemera over 2 days. The first day will include 673 lots offered in a Live Gallery, Live Internet and Absentee auction with a second day, on March 31st offering 654 lots in a timed auction. The Day 1 Auction is highlighted by 95 lots of rare and desirable Chinese banknotes, a majority of the notes are from old-time collections and estates that are being offered for the first time.

We are privileged to offer another exciting and desirable group of rare banknotes, ephemera and scripophily, including many examples we have never had the pleasure to offer previously, as well as many of the highest graded notes for those varieties, stated Dr. Robert Schwartz, President of Archives International Auctions. Included in the upcoming auction are rare and desirable numismatic items that will enhance the collections of every level of collector and dealer.

Read more here

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The Roma Numismatics Auction XXIV sale closes Monday March 28th. Here are some highlights from the company's recent email release. -Editor

Roma XXIV cover This comprehensive collection of the coinage of Tuscany, assembled by Mike Ballerini of Chicago, covers the period from the first Grand Duke Cosimo I de Medici to the abdication the last Grand Duke Leopoldo II of Lorraine in 1859. Ballerini's family originally came from Tuscany and accounts for his passion for collecting coins from this area.

Noteworthy pieces from this collection include an extremely rare gold ruspone da 3 zecchini in near mint state condition, struck under the provisional government in Tuscany in 1859, a gold 80 fiorini coin of Leopold II di Lorena in the same state of preservation and an extremely rare francescone da 10 paoli of Francesco Stefano di Lorena published in Pucci, Le Monete della Zecca di Firenze.

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

1881 Ceylon Coffee Token
1881 Ceylon Coffee Token reverse 1881 Ceylon Coffee Token obverse

CEYLON: AE token, ND (1881), Prid-96, Lowsley-35, George Steuart & Co. Wekande Mills coffee token, featuring two women at work; one filling a sack inscribed GS&C, a superb quality example! PCGS graded MS65 RB. This token were issued in 1881 for the firm of George Steuart & Co. merchants, bankers, estate and commission agents, which was started in 1835. This type token was designed by the manager, Mr Charles Hendry and circulated at the value of 19 cents at the time. This was probably the last Coffee token issued and the only token recorded that bear inscriptions in native scripts, although neither are correct, in Sinhala and Tamil.

CEYLON: AE token, ND (1881), PCGS MS65 RB This one is from the Stephen Album Internet Auction 15, closing April 11. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

Other topics this week include the Panama-Pacific $2.50 Gold, and the Paul Revere Sesquicentennial Medal. -Editor

Read more here

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Ted Puls shared a copy of the 13 page summary of the talk he gave to the International Primitive Money Society (IPMS) at the ANA show in Colorado Springs this month. Here's an excerpt. For an electronic copy of the complete paper, contact Ted at . -Editor

  The World's First Money,
My Money is Older than Your Money

The oldest money is the humble cowrie. In China, archeologic finds suggest their use as a durable form of storing value. Cowrie experts report that the earliest use of cowrie for money was ca. 2000 B.C. These small shells sometimes are stored in rare and beautiful bronze vessels made for this special use. This practice suggests the high value placed on these shells.(1) The earliest inscription discussing monetary use dates from the time of transition from the Shang Dynasty into the Zhou dynasty ca. 1100 B.C. (2) Bronze vessels of this era often had inscriptions to honor ancestors and report the faithfulness of the person ordering the vessel to the ancestor. One added how much he paid for the vessel in the honorific. The value paid was 120 strings of cowries for the vessel. The string at this time was apparently 10 shells on one string. If this accounting is accurate, it suggests that a pretty high value was placed on these shells.

Read more here

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Bob Van Ryzin published a great amateur Indiana Jones story in Numismatic News, including excerpts from an earlier article, To Watch a Fortune Disappear, by John E. M. Moore in the May 1963 issue of Coins. You can probably guess where this is headed, but be sure to read the complete article online for the full context. -Editor

  silver tetradrachm of Alexander III

A genuine silver tetradrachm of Alexander III the Great. (Images courtesy Heritage Auctions.)

When we camped near the ruins of the old city of Taxila in Northern Pakistan, I went off in the rays of the evening sun to seek my fortune in the dust of the ancient marketplace. Darkness came too quickly, and I realized that I would have to recruit my companions if I was to find anything before we went on to India.

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Here's an excerpt from the Stack's Bowers lot description for a 1792 Half Disme offered in their Spring 2022 Auction. Nice coin with a provenance back to the Empire Coin Co. in 1965. -Editor

  1792 Half Disme obverse 1792 Half Disme reverse

Although 1,500 pieces is generally regarded as the entire mintage for this issue, research published by Pete Smith, Dr. Joel Orosz and Leonard Augsburger in their excellent reference 1792: Birth of a Nation's Coinage (2017) confirms a second striking period in October of 1792. The authors believe that the 1,500 coins from the July strike were made on Harper's press while the October striking utilized the Mint press. A third striking period is also discussed, the dies having been removed from the press after the second striking period to create an interruption in coinage. Exactly how much time elapsed between the second and third striking periods is unknown.

Read more here

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An article on the PCGS site by Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez examines the 1973 Ike dollar. -Editor

  1973 Eisenhower dollar

The Eisenhower Dollar was released in 1971 and became the first circulating dollar coin officially issued by the United States since 1935. Some of the impetus in getting the Eisenhower Dollar rolling was to honor Dwight D. Eisenhower, a highly respected World War II general who went on to serve as the nation's president from 1953 through 1961. Eisenhower died in 1969 at the age of 78, and many in Congress felt it would be a fitting honor to place his likeness on a coin just as the nation did with President John F. Kennedy in the months after his assassination in November 1963.

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Aaron Oppenheim and Paul Horner forwarded this story about a Nobel Peace Prize winner offering to auction his medal to raise funds for Ukraine war refugees. Thanks. -Editor

  Dmitry Muratov accepting Nobel Peace Prize medal

Nobel Peace Prize co-winner Dmitry Muratov announced on Tuesday that he will auction off his medal in order to raise money for the refugees in Ukraine.

Read more here

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George Cuhaj passed along a link to a Paris Mint product raising funds for Ukraine. Thanks. -Editor

  Paris Mint Solidarity with Ukraine Medal obverse Paris Mint Solidarity with Ukraine Medal reverse

In solidarity with the Ukrainian nation, which is courageously fighting to defend its freedom, Monnaie de Paris is launching a mini-medal to support the people suffering from this conflict.

For each 10€ mini-medal purchased, Monnaie de Paris will donate 8€ to the Red Cross for the Ukrainian population. This donation aims to provide humanitarian assistance to protect the life, dignity and provide assistance to victims of this armed conflict.

Read more here

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Stack's Bowers Paper Money Researcher & Cataloger Christopher Dahncke published this article about interesting TDLR overprints in the firm's April Valkenburg auction. I'd seen the "TDLR" description before, but had to scratch my head a bit before realizing that it stands for the Thomas De La Rue banknote printing firm. -Editor

  1991 Gulf War Banknote Overprints

Our April Valkenburg auction is nearly completely cataloged and soon will be posted to for viewing and bidding. We are excited to finally host a show and auction in Europe! One interesting lot that we will be offering are these TDLR-produced overprints for the planned 1991 invasion of Iraq during the Gulf War – a neat piece of history created for that conflict.

Read more here

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Howard Berlin passed along this article about why African countries print their paper money in Europe. Thanks. -Editor

At least 40 African countries print their money in the UK, France and Germany — decades after independence, raising questions about self-sufficiency. DW examines what prompts them to outsource their currency production.

Read more here

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Here's a story from Kathmandu about old banknotes turned into briquettes for use in heating. -Editor

Banknotes out of circulation in Nepal are still benefiting the citizens, now as a heating material for the past months.

Nepal Rastra Bank, the country's central bank, has been converting the old and worn-out banknotes into briquettes used for heating since August last year, instead of just burning them.

Read more here

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What is money? What is art? Age-old questions explored by artist Yves Klein between 1959 and 1962. -Editor

  Yves Klein receipt for nothing

Would you pay $500,000 for a certificate for an invisible artwork? What if it was by Yves Klein?

That's the question bidders will have to ask themselves when Sotheby's auctions off a receipt granting ownership to an invisible artwork by Klein in Paris on April 6. The estimate is €300,000 to €500,000 ($331,000 to $551,000 at current exchange rates).

Read more here

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The late Money Artist J.S.G. Boggs had the last laugh when the world finally understood his message about the root of what makes money valuable. -Editor

Money-Illusion The U.S. economy ceased to function this week after unexpected existential remarks by Federal Reserve chairman Jerome Powell shocked Americans into realizing that money is, in fact, just a meaningless and intangible social construct.

What began as a routine report before the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday ended with Powell passionately disavowing the entire concept of currency, and negating in an instant the very foundation of the world's largest economy.

Read more here

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This week's Featured Web Site is about coin designer Felix Schlag.

This site is intended to honor Felix Schlag, the German / American sculptor responsible for the design of the Jefferson nickel. It provides information about Mr. Schlag, the Jefferson nickel competition of 1938, and seeks to be a registry for the 150 Jefferson Proof Nickel Commemorative Certificates that were created and autographed by Schlag in 1939.

Felix Schlag

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