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This week we open with two new books, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, notes from readers and more.
Other topics this week include American Silver Eagles, banknotes from shipwrecks, the Columbia Shield, a comedy show coin episode, magnification and magnifiers, intact 1888 and 1889 proof sets, Washingtonia, auction previews, Chinese auto dollars, the Perth Mint, Elton John's new medal, the People's Money, and nautical numismatics.
To learn more about early 20th century numismatics in Pittsburgh, old-mismatists, new team members at FUN, Indian Peace Medal provenance, James Jarvis and Walter Mould, cowrie on Ghana's coins, Arthur Henry Frazier, Joseph Saxton, the 1792 Getz Pattern Half Dollar, Sansom medals, Cuban banknotes, the Battle of Fair Oaks, Bogus Busties, U.S. Large Cent ephemera, and the Doovis erasure, read on. Have a great week, everyone!
Editor, The E-Sylum
Spink is promoting their online stock of used and out-of-print numismatic titles. -Editor
Spink Books has a wide selection of second hand stock newly available for purchase.
From out-of-print Seaby classics to numismatic titles in both English and other languages, please browse our collection
This press release announces the new Whitman book by Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez on American Silver Eagles. -Editor
Whitman Publishing announces the upcoming release of A Guide Book of
American Silver Eagles, a new reference and history by Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez. The 384-page book is volume 27 in Whitman's
Bowers Series of numismatic references. It will debut in
November 2022, available from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide for $29.95. In the
meantime, it is available for preorder (including at www.Whitman.com and online bookstores).
The United States Mint has sold more than 600 million American Silver Eagles since 1986. As a
collectible coin widely admired by hobbyists, the American Silver Eagle has been called
modern Morgan silver dollar. It is also the world's most popular silver bullion coin for
investors. Its weight, content, and purity are guaranteed by the government of the United States.
Each American Silver Eagle contains one full ounce of .999 fine silver.
Roland Rollins has published a new book. Congratulations! Here's the backstory. -Editor
My son Travis and I attended the International Paper Money Show in Kansas City. Travis came back with a banknote paper with the watermark
CSA for use by the Confederate States of America. The information the dealer passed on was quite compelling. I started researching similar instances of salvaged, looted, confiscated, and lost banknote consignments from the sea.
The work was too large for The Numismatist or the IBNS Journal. The ANA offered to run a 3500 word count version, but I've put too much work to offer only part of the information. After this offer, I made one last look for new findings and found one - the 36th loss. AND, it's the oldest loss recorded - 1822. Yup, exactly 200 years ago and so I had an epiphany and a title. I published the work as a book with the title, "200 Years of Banknotes Salvaged, Looted or Lost from Shipwrecks".
The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is a collection of minutes from the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor
Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society Archives
Housed in five large bins, the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society (WPNS) archives are a treasure trove of numismatic history, reflecting the activities of this longstanding organization. Newman Portal has recently scanned one of the minute books, which covers the period 1912-1950. Well-known names such as A. C. Gies and Ben Green appear in the early pages.
Ken Berger writes:
"I've been communicating with a fellow collector (Alan Peterson) of Philippine CSI notes. Anyway, he sent me a scan of the cover of Barrilla Vol. I, No. 2. I look at it & I email him & tell him that "his" Barrilla has the same markings on the cover (initials & the #2 circled) as mine & that I found it strange. He then tells me that the scan was not of a Barrilla that he owned but rather from the Newman Numismatic Portal & that obviously the scan was of my original Barrilla. He also told me that he does not have a complete hard copy set but, because of the NNP, he is able to have a complete digital set. (I think that there are only 3 complete hard copy sets extant & one of them is held by the Central Bank of the Philippines.)
"I feel good that all our effort to get my complete set of Barrillas uploaded into the NNP is serving a useful purpose & helping to advance the study of Philippine numismatics."
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 new team members at FUN. -Editor
New Team Members on Florida United Numismatists Board Offer Fresh Vision.
David Lisot, Interviewer, CoinTelevision.com. July 8, 2022.
The FUN organization has two bright and vibrant personalities in its ranks. Meet the upcoming new FUN Coin Convention Coordinator, Katie Williams. She will replace Cindy Wibker who will be retiring soon. Another addition is the youngest new Board Member ever elected, Abbie Zechman. Hear what these two young ladies have in store for the Florida United Numismatists organization.
"The Florida United Numismatists organization is one of the most successful coin groups in America. Their convention is world class and one of the largest any group. Katie Williams is being groomed to take over as FUN Convention when Cindy Wibker retires. Abbie Zechman is a young numismatist who was recently elected by the FUN membership to the Board of Directors. At 20 years old she is the youngest person to ever hold this title. Hear what these young ladies hope to do for FUN and the hobby of numismatics."
An excerpt of the video is available for viewing on the Coin Television YouTube Channel at:
In a June 7, 2015 article a website visitor provided great background information on the magnificent Heeren Brothers Columbia Shields including this first-hand account from family member Alfred Demmler. The earlier article included a photo of a shield provided by Joe Levine. -Editor
Elizabeth II Coronation Medals: Where Struck?
Martin Purdy of New Zealand writes:
"I'm intrigued by the note that the item illustrated last week was struck in Canada. A New Zealand item with a slightly smaller version of the same effigy was issued for the 1953-54 visit by the Queen and Prince Philip to NZ and was presented to every schoolchild in the country. We don't have any information on who made it, or where, to my knowledge, so it would be great to have more details on its Canadian origin if at all possible. There's also a British coronation medal with the same obverse."
Above is the Canadian-struck Elizabeth II coronation medallion pictured in last week's article by David Pickup. Below is a New Zealand-struck medal (images provided by Martin). Can anyone provide more information? -Editor
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
COINS OF QUEEN ELIZABETH II (https://www.coinbooks.org/v25/esylum_v25n38a22.html)
Other topics this week include Indian Peace Medal Provenance, Nova Constellatio Coppers, Money Cowrie on Ghana's Coins, and Tipping With Twos. -Editor
Justin Perrault submitted this description of an old Dick Van Dyke Show episode involving coins. Thanks! -Editor
I recall in some past issues discussion of television shows and sitcoms that featured coins, and came across one that doesn't seem to have previously been mentioned in The E-Sylum. I was recently watching an episode of The Dick Van Dyke Show, Episode 133 (Season 5, Episode 7, aired in 1965) entitled "The Great Petrie Fortune". This episode can be watched in its entirety by searching for it on YouTube or at the link provided below.
Wayne Pearson poses an interesting solution to the problem of making space for women on U.S. coins and paper money. -Editor
Women on paper money and coins: two heads are better than one
The new quarters using women on the reverse side have their depictions rather small. Here is a thought to make the reverse of the quarter look like the obverse and making the woman's depiction bigger. I realize it will end up being a two headed coin-but I can live with that.
Here's the press release for the October 2022 New England Numismatic Association convention, which will include a Young Numismatist program and a book signing with several of New England's numismatic authors. -Editor
NENA 78th Conference and Convention Meets October 15th
On Saturday, October 15, 2022, the New England Numismatic Association will hold its 78th annual Conference and Convention in conjunction with the New Hampshire Coin and Currency Expo at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 700 Elm Street, Manchester, New Hampshire. Ample parking is available at the Center of New Hampshire Parking Garage, with entrances off Elm Street and Granite Street.
Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor
Magnification. An optical lens or system to magnify the image of the surface of a die, a numismatic or medallic item. Unless an engraver has very good eyes, some form of magnification is used when engraving a die by hand engraving. He has a choice of optical systems to use, ranging from a hand-held lens to a compound microscope. The same is true for anyone who wishes to examine the surface of an existing coin or medal. See chart.
American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on author Arthur Henry Frazier. Thanks! -Editor
This week I discovered another numismatic author who lived for more than a hundred years. He has the additional distinction of living in three centuries. His contribution to numismatics is a little off the main path, but still relevant.
I somehow missed the news of this offering, but SPINK has just sold a complete original 1888 U.S. proof set, the last intact one in private hands. Wow! It brought $560,000. -Editor
NGC PF64-PF66 CAC | United States of America, An Original "Full Proof Set" of 1888 (13), Twenty-Dollars to Gold Dollar (6), Morgan Dollar to Dime (4), Nickel, Three Cent Nickel and Cent, Philadelphia Mint , of the highest rarity as a complete original set, the last known intact set in private hands and matched only by the 'mint fresh' sets held by the American Numismatic Society and Smithsonian Museum, our set unconserved and in beautifully honest original state, further accompanied by contemporary custom fitted case (as at time of issue) embossed in gold Gothic script "John Robert Fletcher", latterly incorporated in a Spink and Son custom case to house the soon-to-be-legendary NGC 'Fletcher' holders.
Here's a great set of lots in the upcoming MDC Monaco sale - an 1889 French proof set complete with the original box. -Editor
Lot 786: Gold 100 Francs
Third Republic (1870-1940). 100 francs Génie, Flan bruni (PROOF) 1889, A, Paris [UNDER FACULTY OF REUNION].
Av. FRENCH REPUBLIC. Winged genius of the Republic standing right, carving word CONSTITUTION on table, flanked by fasces left and rooster right; in the exergue: signatures AB and Dupré. Rev. LIBERTY EQUALITY FRATERNITY. In an oak wreath: 100 FRANCS (date); below (different) (workshop) (different). G.1137 - F.552 - Fr.590; Gold - 32.25 g - 35 mm - 6 h
Top Pop: this is the most beautiful graded example!
NGC PF 66 CAMEO (5790014-014). Burnished blank (PROOF) and cameo effect (CAMEO) with icy fields and matt reliefs. Corner flower.
For the 1889 strikes, the archives are missing and the only information available is given by E. Dewamin (vol. 2, p.327 and note 4). Dewamin is the only one to give a figure of 20 copies for the 5 franc coin. The participation of the Monnaie de Paris in the 1889 exhibition made it possible to strike under the eyes of the public, thanks to a steam pendulum, monetary tokens by A. Borrel. Another monetary press was presented but the coins of 1889 were certainly minted at the Monnaie de Paris and not at the Exhibition.
Stack's Bowers published this item about Washingtonia in their upcoming sale of the second part of the collection of Syd Martin. Amazing pieces - what a collection! -Editor
Part II of the landmark Sydney F. Martin Collection will feature some of the areas that Syd was most passionate about, including his front line set of 1785 and 1786 Connecticut coppers, French Colonial coinage, Rosa Americana coinage and Washingtonia. The sale will be held during the 2022 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Winter Expo in association with the C4 annual gathering.
The Washingtonia in the Martin Collection is world class, starting with the circa 1777
Voltaire medal and continuing through the 19th century with many significant highlights. A few are imaged here, but others include a complete set of Seasons medals, numerous funeral medals in silver, copper and white metal, choice Success medals, a fine offering of 1832 issues, exceptional 1889 Inaugural Centennial medals in silver and bronze (the latter a pattern issue), and many more exciting items!
Here's the press release for the first part of Heritage's offering of the Harry W. Bass Jr. Collection. Images courtesy Heritage Auctions, HA.com. -Editor
After more than a half a century away from the public eye, one of the finest collections of U.S. gold coins and related patterns finally will be made available during Heritage Auctions' Harry W. Bass Jr. Core Collection Part I US Coins Signature® Auction – Long Beach Sept. 29.
Heritage was announced July 13 as the auction destination for this magnificent assemblage, one of the most revered and valuable collections in numismatic history. The collection boasts an estimated value of more than $60 million, and proceeds from its sale will benefit the dozens of Dallas-based nonprofits supported by the Harry W. Bass Jr. Foundation with a particular emphasis on early childhood education and literacy in Dallas.
Here's a selection of Cuban banknotes in the upcoming October 9, 2022 Heritage sale. Many great rarities here. Images courtesy Heritage Auctions, HA.com. -Editor
Cuba El Banco Espanol de la Habana 300 Pesos 24.9.1859 Pick 2 PMG Choice Fine 15.
The Spanish Bank of Havana was created in 1855 and banknotes from the first series are extremely rare today. This large format 300 Pesos was a middle denomination of the series. All notes issued from this first series in the 1850s were withdrawn in or around 1860, making them virtually impossible to obtain today. All details are clearly legible despite circulation and cancellations. The overprint at front translates to "unusable". Hole punches are mentioned for accuracy. Of the highest degree of rarity, and the first example graded by PMG. An exciting offering and part of a tremendous Cuban collection offered in today's sale.
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
Roman Republic, Cn. Lentulus, silver Denarius, Spanish mint (?) 76-75 BC, bust of the Genius Populi Romani right, sceptre over shoulder, [GPR above],rev.wreathed sceptre, globe and rudder, EX left, S[C] right, CN LEN Q below, 3.89g (Cr. 393/1a; Syd. 752; RBW 1433). Extremely fine.
The type associates Rome with domination abroad, over land and sea.
From the online stock of Sovereign Rarities. -Editor
To read the complete item description, see:
Cornelius Lentulus, silver Denarius (https://www.sovr.co.uk/products/cornelius-lentulus-silver-denarius-gm27243)
Other topics this week include the U.S.S. Enterprise Medal and a Baseball Game Mechanical Bank. -Editor
Wayne Herndon was the host for the September 20, 2022 meeting of my northern Virginia numismatic social group, Nummis Nova. He chose the Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar at Fair Oaks Mall in Fairfax. I arrived around 6pm and several folks were already seated, including Wayne, Eric Schena, Jon Radel, Chris Neuzil and Mike Packard. I took a seat at the far end of the table near Eric and Jon, saving a seat for my guest Kellen Hoard who'd arrived in D.C. from the Seattle area to begin his freshman year at George Washington University.
Austin Andrews of the American Numismatic Society published a Pocket Change article about the Roman emperor Julian. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online for much more. -Editor
Historians and poets alike have all had their say about the quirks of the personality, reign, and life of the Roman emperor Julian (331–363 CE). To the late eighteenth-century historian Edward Gibbon, in his much-cited Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, Julian was a doomed tragic hero; to the early twentieth-century poet C. P. Cavafy, he was snide, sharp, and cowardly; today, many contemporary scholars note how Julian snubbed what he saw as newfangled
takes on conventional wisdom. Julian's life is one that is at once well documented and widely studied, but, interestingly, poorly known to the general public.
A Stack's Bowers blog article by Jeremy Bostwick takes a look at the famed Chinese
Among the many iconic and enigmatic designs found on world coins of the 20th century, it is hard to look past the famed Chinese
Auto Dollar. Dated to year 17 of the founding of the Republic (1928) and emanating from the province of Kweichow (an otherwise scant producer of coins), this design is a classic and offers seemingly timeless appeal. While the reverse merely conveys its denomination, metal, date, and issuing authority, the obverse features the main collecting objective—its automotive motif. According to Eduard Kann, author of the
Illustrated Catalog of Chinese Coins (Gold, Silver, Nickel & Aluminum), the type was struck to commemorate the completion of the Kweichow Provincial Highway, the first road for automobiles in the province.
Don Cleveland passed along this article about Australia's financial crimes watchdog's investigation of the Perth Mint. Thanks. -Editor
Australia's financial crimes authority, AUSTRAC, is investigating the state-owned Perth Mint in a move that could have wide-reaching ramifications, not only for the WA government, but also for taxpayers.
So what is the gold refiner suspected of doing wrong, and what's the possible fallout?
Don Cleveland also passed along this article about risks to Australian coin and banknote production. Thank you. -Editor
"Since the Queen's passing, there has been a flood of articles in the press about changes to Australia's coins and currency. Some interesting insights into minting and printing money in this article."
By way of Donegal, Ireland comes this story of a U.S. sailor's lost (and found) Purple Heart. -Editor
The mystery of a fallen US sailor's war medal has been traced all the way to Inishowen in Donegal, 80 years after it was lost.
Hugh Farren, the owner of Farren's Bar in Malin, is reeling with the news today that his grand-uncle's military honour has been found through the power of social media.
Hugh's namesake, Hugh Farren, was killed in action while serving with the US Navy during WWII. Farren had immigrated to Boston as a young man and worked as a city firefighter. When the war broke out, he enlisted with the Navy and was serving as a water tender on the aircraft carrier, the USS Liscome Bay, when it was sunk by a Japanese torpedo on Thanksgiving 1943. He was 39 years old.
Singer Elton John was awarded a national humanities medal this week. -Editor
British singer Elton John was left teary-eyed and
flabbergasted after being awarded a surprise national humanities medal by President Biden, following a concert at the White House on Friday night.
John, 75, who was born Reginald Kenneth Dwight, is a world-renowned singer, pianist and songwriter. He has also championed numerous charities and humanitarian causes, especially those tackling HIV/AIDS.
This book will inspire you to begin a richly satisfying lifelong journey.160 pages, coffee-table, fully illustrated. Order your copy online at Whitman.com , or call 1-800-546-2995.
An article in the September 24, 2022 MPC Gram (Series 23 No. 2541) by Larry Smulczenski discusses altered North Africa silver certificates. It is republished here with permission. Thanks! -Editor
An Altered North Africa Note
Just like the Hawaii notes that were issued after the Japanese raid on Pearl Harbor in case a ground attack followed and U.S. currency needed to be declared invalid should it fall into the hands of the invaders, a similar issue of silver certificates was issued for Operation Torch, the invasion of North Africa. These notes were also used for the invasion of Sicily. The only identifying feature of these notes was that the blue seal of a silver certificate was changed to a yellow seal. As is common in any conflict on foreign shores that involve American troops, U.S. currency finds its way into the local economy.
Here are a couple interesting satire notes in the October 15, 2022 Holabird sale. I don't believe we've discussed these before. -Editor
Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor
100% Undetectable Counterfeit Money Online
I was too chicken to click on this Google Alert - Lord knows what kinds of ads would stalk me around the web. But hey, why not get some and deposit it at an ATM? It's undetectable, so it wouldn't matter that I'm using my own card and account and my face is on a security camera video... -Editor
Other topics this week include a valuable estate sale find. -Editor
This week's Featured Web Site is Nautical Numismatics - watercraft depicted on banknotes, coins, and other fiscal materials.
Welcome to Nautical Numismatics ... a museum and marketplace honoring the importance of watercraft in the development of North America, as depicted in the art of currency and coin. Before there were roads, before there were rails, there were oceans, rivers, lakes, canals and locks. Watercraft of all kinds — clipper ships, paddle-wheelers, canal barges, canoes paddled by Native Americans and French voyageurs, and even Huck Finn rafts, sailed these waters to open the continent. From 1804 to 1806, Lewis and Clark sailed upstream the Missouri, then downstream the Snake and the Columbia – and a dozen other rivers in between – opening the West.
Then the Erie Canal (1825) opened the Atlantic to the Great Lakes and beyond. Many of the vignettes in our collection show Native Americans watching with consternation while a ship or a railroad penetrated their lands. With the coming of the railroads the importance of waterways was slowly eclipsed.
We tend to think the 21st century is changing everything, faster than ever. But just imagine yourself back in those early days of our country – the times they were a-changin', faster than ever. The aesthetic beauty and romantic legacy of the watercraft that brought those fast changes is preserved in these historical artifacts. Enjoy!
Found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume VIII, Number 14, September 20, 2022) -Editor