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This week we open with a great numismatic literature sale, two new books, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, notes from readers, and more.
Other topics this week include test notes, the Baltimore Expo, zip code notes, Byzantine coins, auction previews, the coinage of Claudius, medals for Ukrainians, and coins and the coin hobby in 2022.
To learn more about the Thomas Warner, Dell Loy Hansen, and Princeton University Library collections, the Republic of San Serriffe, Old Copper Nose, impressed designs, James A. Stack, Sr., Waitangi Crowns, the Erie Canal Completion Medal, the She Slave medal, Andy Warhol's $, and the 2023 honorees for the American Women Quarters Program, read on. Have a great week, everyone!
Editor, The E-Sylum
Later this month Kolbe & Fanning will be auctioning the numismatic library of researcher and author Syd Martin. Here are some highlights. -Editor
Roland Rollins has just published a new book on American Bank Note Company test notes. -Editor
American Bank Note Company Test Notes
This catalog attributes all test notes of printers American Bank Note Company and its predecessors and firms bought out.
A new book by Robert Parkinson called Ecoinomics gives an explanation of the global numismatic market and how coins perform as stores of value. Here's the press release. -Editor
Ecoinomics - the ultimate guide to investing in real-life coins
As the crypto-currency sector continues to grow, author Robert Parkinson makes a very strong case for real-life coins as an exciting investment opportunity.
Billions of dollars change hands for rare coins each year, even in the hardest of times, said Parkinson.
During the global pandemic the coin market remained extremely buoyant - even when the FTSE 100 and Dow Jones were both down by 20 per cent.
Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report on the upcoming NNP Symposium. Thanks. -Editor
Dell Loy Hansen Speaks About His Collection
We'll be featuring an interview with Dell Loy Hansen during the upcoming Newman Portal Symposium, April 8-10. Following the interview we will have a live Q&A with John Brush, who has been instrumental in building the Hansen collection. In only a few short years, Hansen has nearly duplicated the Eliasberg collection, and in many ways surpassed what was billed as the only complete collection of United States coins ever formed.
Other presenters at the Symposium include Wayne Homren, speaking on Civil War numismatics, and Steve and Ray Feller, who will present an overview of Holocaust money. Doug Mudd will also be on hand, speaking about the new ANA exhibit, which is anchored by the Baker/Manley collection of Washingtonia. This event is held virtually via Zoom and begins this Friday. Free registration is required.
Image: Dell Loy Hansen, holding Louis Eliasberg's smoking pipe
Link to Newman Portal Symposium registration:
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 Whitman Baltimore Expo. -Editor
Whitman Expo Celebrates 50 Years of Bringing Coin Collectors Together.
The Whitman Expo in Baltimore is 50 years old. Hear the story of one of America's oldest coin conventions and what collectors may hope to find when they attend.
An excerpt of the video is available for viewing on the Coin Television YouTube Channel at:
Front-Facing Portraits Lose By A Nose
Regarding front-facing portraits vs. profile views on coins, Pabitra Saha writes:
Indeed. Thanks. For an example, look no farther than the debased silver groats of Henry VIII. -Editor
Henry issued a secret indenture to start reducing the amount of silver in pennies and groats. To keep the weight the same and to hide the debasement Henry created copper coins and gave them the thinnest covering of silver possible. These coins were minted for 2 years before they were released into general circulation.
The fun thing about these silver coated copper coins was that Henry's nose was the bit that stuck out the most on the coins. As the coins rubbed against each other in people's pockets the silver on the nose was the first to rub off, leaving Henry with a reddish nose and earning him the nickname ‘Old Copper Nose'.
To read the complete article, see:
Old Copper Nose (https://thewealthgap.substack.com/p/old-copper-nose?)
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
FRONT-FACING VS. PROFILE VIEWS (https://www.coinbooks.org/v25/esylum_v25n13a15.html)
Other topics this week include Dealer David Gotkin, and Countermarks. -Editor
Tom Kays submitted this piece on a hot new paper money specialty - zip code notes. Thanks. -Editor
Hot Collectible Delivers Zippy Fun from Philately to Notaphily
Mr. ZIP (a.k.a.
Zippy) was introduced to America in 1963 with the Zone Improvement Plan of the United States Post Office. According to Wikipedia
Mr. ZIP featured prominently alongside the musical group
The Swingin Six in a variety show that the Post Office used to explain the importance of using ZIP Codes. There are more than 40,000 ZIP codes in use today. Rather than using just the name of a city and state, Zip Codes added five digits to mail addresses of which the first three digits specify a particular Sectional Center Facility for mail processing while the last two digits specify a postal zone within a city. According to Reader's Digest, besides Beverly Hills, CA 90210, the most famous ZIP codes include ‘60606' for Chicago, ‘70130' for New Orleans, and ‘33162' for Miami.
This press release discusses the new PCGS practice of certifying Japanese fantasy coins. -Editor
PCGS BEGINS CERTIFYING JAPANESE FANTASY COINS WITH KAGIN'S AUCTION OF THE HESSELGESSER COLLECTION TO BE THE FIRST AVAILABLE FOR COLLECTORS
These rare and intriguing issues will make their certified debut as part of the Robert Hesselgesser Collection of Japanese and Provincial Coinage being auctioned by Kagin's Auctions April 16, 2022.
Princeton University has made another major acquisition for its numismatic collection. Here's the announcement. Thanks to Alan M. Stahl, Curator of Numismatics for passing along the news. Congratulations. -Editor
Byzantium, Heraclius, 610-641, gold solidus struck in Constantinople, 632-641, depicting the emperor Heraclius and his two sons.
Princeton University Library's (PUL) Numismatic Collection nearly tripled its Byzantine coin collection when it acquired 11,256 Byzantine coins from the estate of Dr. Chris B. Theodotou on March 8, 2022. The acquisition adds to the 5,280 Byzantine coins of the Peter Donald collection, acquired in 2016. Both collections were acquired with support from the Friends of Princeton University Library, while the Seeger Center for Hellenic Studies provided half the funding for these two acquisitions. Together with previous holdings, Princeton now has the largest Byzantine coin collection in the world.
The coins, which are primarily issues of the Byzantine Empire between C.E. 500 and 1453, were collected by Theodotou between 1979 and 1987. According to Curator of Numismatics Alan Stahl, Theodotou was both a friend and collecting rival of Donald.
E-Sylum readers are a smart, curious, sharing group of numismatists - perfect for speaking about their areas of expertise. Those of you who are members of the ANA should consider speaking at this summer's convention. Here's the press release. -Editor
Money Talks Speakers Wanted for Chicago World's Fair of Money
American Numismatic Association (ANA) members are encouraged to share their ideas and research with fellow hobbyists by delivering a Money Talks presentation at the 2021 World's Fair of Money® in the Chicago suburb of Rosemont, Aug. 16-20 at the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center.
Those interested in giving a Money Talks presentation should submit an online proposal at money.org/numismatic-events/money-talks. Proposals are due no later than Saturday, April 30. The talks will take place Thursday Aug. 18 and Friday Aug. 19.
Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor
Impressed Design. An added piece of metal or other very hard substance which by intent is laid on the surface of a blank or partially struck medal and is pushed into its surface by the blow of the press and the striking of the dies. Impressed objects are much like an inlay – appearing below the surface – by placing it there before the final blow (this is easy to do with open face dies, but difficult in coining). Impressed objects are subject to flaking off, so care must be taken in their handling. When such an object is not inlaid by design it is an anomaly called impressed error (see next entry).
American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted
Query: Who is Bruce Smith?
The first to respond was John Mutch:
Stack's Bowers has a backlog of the late Harvey Stack's numismatic memoir articles and will continue publishing them. In this one Harvey completes his discussion of the auction sales of 1994, beginning with the James A. Stack collection. -Editor
In October 1994, Stack's was pleased to offer a major part of the famous collection formed by James A. Stack, Sr. (no relation to our family). As explained when telling of earlier offerings by Stack's in 1975, 1989 and 1990, Stack's was privileged to offer for sale portions of this important collection. After his father's death, James Stack, Jr. took over the collection and decided that it should be offered in sections because the total value at the time would exceed any other collection he researched, and this might limit in the "spending power" of collectors and dealers.
Great coin shows and numismatic events don't happen by themselves. Numismatists and numismatic organizations must chip in and provide support. For a planned event at next month's PAN show, funds are being sought to cover the expenses to bring the superb Abraham Lincoln impersonator Dennis Boggs to town for the show. -Editor
Bring Honest Abe to PAN Fund-raising Event
Atlas Numismatics has updated their website with 164 new coins, medals, and tokens at fixed prices. Selections include the following items. -Editor
Simmons Gallery is holding an auction of tokens and coin weights this week. Here's a summary from their emailed announcement, followed by some items that caught my eye. Check it out. -Editor
Token & Coin Weight Auction
Our current auction starts online this Tuesday 5 April from 12 noon. So still time to bid and to check how you're doing if you've already bid. If you bid yesterday, Saturday, you need to check your bids as there was an interruption of service on the website.
Apart from tokens tickets and passes we also have a couple of collections of coin weights, rocker balances and scales.
Here are some items that caught my eye in the Spring 2022 Stack's Bowers sale catalogs. -Editor
Lot 1118: 1825 Erie Canal Completion Medal
Dix Noonan Webb will offer a selection of coins of the Emperor Hadrian in their upcoming April 13, 2022 sale. Here's the press release. -Editor
1900 years ago, in AD122, Emperor Hadrian began to build his impressive wall in Northern England to protect his territory from the Caledonians and others. Therefore it seems fitting in this anniversary year that Mayfair-based Auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb will offer 75 coins from his reign in their auction of Ancient and Islamic Coins and Antiquities on Wednesday, April 13, 2022.
The highlight of the group is an Aureus (gold coin), dating from AD 133-5, portraying a bare headed draped bust on one side, and on the other: Roma in military attire with left foot on a helmet and holding a spear. The fine coin is expected to fetch £4,000-5,000.
Here's the press release for World Banknote Auctions upcoming Live Sale 24. Some beautiful, unusual and scarce notes here. -Editor
This week World Banknote Auctions has now listed Live Sale 24, which closes in two different segments. The first segment, the traditional live sale, closes on April 14, 2022, with live bidding that day at 1 PM Eastern / 10 AM Pacific. The following day, on April 15 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 24 offers a total of 834 lots from around the world, with highlights including an advanced selection of Middle Eastern notes from a singe consignor, classic type notes and modern issues that are among the finest known for their respective grades in the population reports. Some highlights are selected below, the entire catalog can be viewed on the company's website, www.worldbanknoteauctions.com
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
British Indien 1870
British India 5 Rupees 1870. Neuprägung. 3.89 g. Schl. 911. Fr. 1603a. Prachtexemplar PCGS PR 63.
Nice proof! -Editor
To read the complete lot description, see:
Lot 137. British Indien 1870 (https://www.sixbid.com/en/muenzenonline/9351/indien/7961947/british-indien-1870)
Other topics this week include the Bursting the Bounds Medal, and Andy Warhol's $. -Editor
Mike Markowitz published the latest article in his CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series on the coinage of Claudius. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online for much more. -Editor
FOLLOWING THE MURDER of demented emperor Gaius (nicknamed
Caligula) on January 24, 41 CE, soldiers found the emperor's 50-year-old uncle, the aforementioned Claudius, hiding behind a curtain in the palace. Escorted to the fortified camp of the Praetorian Guard, the only surviving male of the Julio-Claudian dynasty was proclaimed as Rome's fourth emperor. To ensure their continued loyalty, every man in the elite Guard received a bonus of 15,000 sestertii–equivalent to over 16 years' pay for an ordinary soldier. For English-speaking viewers, the 1976 BBC TV series based on Robert Graves's 1934 novel, I Claudius, is the classic retelling of this story.
This Numiscorner.com blog article discusses a rare French silver écu that never entered circulation, and the subsequent écus designed by envraver Jean-Pierre Droz. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online for more. -Editor
In the series of great reforms which he had in mind, the minister envisioned a project for a silver écu worth 6 livres that he hoped to use to make the currency circulate.
Tom Koolick recently published a Coin World article about the "Elongated Third Ray" on the 2007-P Washington Dollar. He submitted this report for readers of The E-Sylum, Thanks. -Editor
The 2007-P Washington $ Elongated Third Ray Shines
Originally I had zero interest in the small dollar coins. That was until the nationwide coin shortage occurred and my search for the "W" Washington quarters had proven unproductive. A friend suggested that I start searching through the small Presidential dollars and he sent me a link to his website, "United States Small Dollar Coins and Related Items".
One variety that caught my eye and intrigued me the most was the speculation and possible existence of an "Elongated Third Ray" of the tiara on the 2007-P George Washington issue. This coin was believed to have been found/reported in 2007, the first year of issue. I searched for information on this coin for months on-line and elsewhere for any documentation of a confirmed or attributed example, but nothing was found.
Mel Wacks commissioned a new medal designed by Jim Licaretz to be sold to raise funds to help Ukrainians. Great idea - nice medal to boot! Please consider adding one to your collection, or purchasing some as gifts. -Editor
100% of Profits from Sale of Zelensky Medals will be Contributed to Help Ukrainians in Their Homeland and as Refugees
100% of the profits from the sale of art medals honoring Ukraine's President Volodymyr Zelensky will be contributed to organizations helping Ukrainians in their homeland and as refugees.
And here's a medal from the Ukrainian government for a colorful sailor. -Editor
Hero seaman Roman Hrybov received the award
For Merits to Cherkasy Region from Regional Gov. Ihor Taburets.
Hrybov was one of a handful of sailors manning the defenses of Snake Island in the Black Sea during the early hours of Russia's invasion of Ukraine last month.
I enjoyed Scott Barman's Coin Collector's Blog article about his recent grocery store coin adventure. -Editor
I made a late evening run to the grocery store earlier this week. After picking up a few necessities, I went to the cash register, and three people were huddled around the open draw looking at the coins.
After putting my items on the belt, I asked why there were looking at the coins. One looked up and said they were looking for the Maya Angelou quarter, and another said that they were reading about Angelou in high school when their teacher talked about the quarter.
The new women's quarters are getting a great reception, and there are more on the way. Mary Lannin passed along this announcement of the next batch of honorees. Thanks! -Editor
The United States Mint is pleased to announce the following 2023 honorees for the American Women Quarters™ Program:
The changing of the guard is proceeding apace on the dealing sides as well as on the making and collecting sides of numismatics. -Editor
Augustus Caesar, the first emperor of Rome, was the first known coin collector. Contemporary coin collecting began during the Renaissance with Italian scholar Petrarch. It quickly became known as the hobby of kings — as only the very wealthy could afford it.
Nowadays, the collectible coin market has gained popularity during the pandemic. A number of young hobbyists are turning the recent coin boom into a business.
Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor
The Washington Post publishes a Sunday cartoon by Patrick Reynolds called "Flashbacks" that tell local history stories. Today's comic addressed shinplasters and the Postal Currency Act of 1862. I was unable to find a site online to reference. -Editor
Other topics this week include Drying Banknotes in 1908. -Editor