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This week we open with three numismatic literature sales, five new books, an obituary, an update from the Newman Numismatic Portal, a 1792 half disme, and more.
Other topics this week include error half cents, Roman Provincial Coinage, J.S.G. Boggs, Ghandi, Ruth Gruber, Larry Adams, the Higgins National Bank Note Museum, The Casement, early numismatic photography, auction results and previews, and proto-money.
To learn more about the R.C.Lockett Collection, Portuguese African Paper Money, An Ordinance for the Establishment of the Mint of the United States of America, Paine's Remarks on the Early Paper Currency of Massachusetts, Sylvester Sage Crosby's final resting place, numismatic NFTs, master patterns, North Carolina National Bank Notes, The Widows Medal, and full steps Jefferson nickels, read on. Have a great week, everyone!
Editor, The E-Sylum
Stephen Album Rare Coins is holding their first numismatic literature auction on October 17, 2022. Here are some additional lot selections. -Editor
Lot 25: Bernardi, Giulio, Primo tentativo di un corpus delle monete cufiche d'oro. I. Dagli inizi (65H = 684 D) all'avvento dei Buwayhidi (334 H = 946 D), Trieste, 2008, 254 pages, 70 plates, softcover. Title translates as "First attempt at a corpus of Kufic gold coins. I. From the beginnings (65AH = 684AD) to the coming of the Buwayhid (334AH = 946AD)." A very useful work, ex Libris Norman D. Nicol.
Lot 26: Bitkin, Vladimir. Svodnyy katalog monet Imperatorskoy Rossii First Edition, Juno Coin Publishing, Kiev, 2000, 621 pages, hardcover. Title translates as "Consolidated Catalog of Coins of Imperial Russia." Variety catalog of Russian Imperial coins, lavishly illustrated, with rarity ratings, edge information, and valuations for up to 4 grades of preservation, with many extra notes and information, including occasional prices realized information. Russian text.
Here are some additional selections from Alan Workman's latest numismatic literature sale, closing on October 22, 2022. -Editor
Selections from the Holland Wallace Library Part III
Workman's Books Fifth Sale and Part III of Selections from the library of long-time dealer, collector, and author, Holland Wallace has ONE WEEK LEFT! The 622 lots start closing at 10:00 AM on October 22, 2022 and include rare, vintage, and out-of-print numismatic books, auction sale catalogs, dealer fixed price lists, and numismatic journals with subject matter focusing on the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central & South America, Europe, Portugal, Spain, Spanish colonial, Islamic, and Asian numismatics. The selections for this sale include important works and sales by Album, Bailey, Breton, Bruns, Burzio, Calbeto, Calico, Cayon, Chapman, Christie's, Christensen, Douglas, Elder, Ferrari, Gadoury, Glendining, Grove, Leroux, Low, Medina, Ponterio, Pradeau, Pridmore, Prober, Schulman, Sellschopp, Sotheby's, Stack's, Superior, and many others. Accompanying the Wallace library is a sizeable consignment of books, catalogs, magazines, maps, and ephemera on shipwrecks, sunken treasure, lost treasure, treasure hunting, lost mines, and treasure in the American West.
The Solidus Literature Auction 107 closes October 26, 2022. Here are some selections. -Editor
With 423 lots, our literature auction offers an excellent opportunity to supplement one's own numismatic library. The focus is on special literature on Ancient Numismatics, supplemented by some works on General Numismatics. Among the books offered are some rarities as well as complete, multi-volume series, including standard reference works and rarely offered collections.
Author Ed Fuhrman shared this information about his new volume on U.S. Half Cents errors and oddities. Thanks. Great topic. -Editor
"The Half Cent Handbook - Errors and Oddities"
It is the fourth book in a series I have written on U.S. Half Cents.
This book is over 180 pages and covers all types of Half Cent mint errors. Everything from minor planchet errors to major striking errors are covered in great detail. Examples of some of the most spectacular mint errors are shown. There are even some surprises in store as a number of these coins have never been seen before by the public. Each mint error is broken down by category and full explanations are given describing how each error occurs. There is even a new type of mint error that will make its debut in this book!
SPINK has published an e-book on Portuguese African Paper Money. -Editor
Portuguese African Paper Money of the Banco Nacional Ultramarino
Regular price £45.00
Laurence Pope with Parcídio Campos E Matos and Andrew Pattison
This meticulously researched and fully illustrated catalogue details all of the paper money of the Banco Nacional Ultramarino used in the five Portuguese African colonies of Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique, Portuguese Guinea and Saint Thomas & Prince, between 1865 and 1975.
SPINK has also published a new volume in the Roman Provincial Coinage series. Here's the announcement. -Editor
Roman Provincial Coinage VII.2 Part I: From Gordian I to Gordian III (AD 238–244)
Spink Books are delighted to announce the release of the latest volume in this highly regarded series, cataloguing over 25,000 coins classified into 3,750 main varieties from the world's principal collections, including the British Museum and Bibliothèque nationale de France.
This volume presents for the first time an authoritative and systematic account of the coins minted in the Roman provinces between AD 238 and 244 (except the province of Asia, previously covered in volume VII.1), and shows how these coins can be regarded as an integral part of the coinage minted under the Roman emperors. The book gives a complete picture of the material, thereby not only meeting the needs of numismatists but also providing an essential reference for historians, archaeologists and other students of the Roman empire.
A new book has been published on the numismatics of Mahatma Gandhi. -Editor
Global Collectibles of Mahatma Gandhi: Through Banknotes, Coins & Stamps
Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is a man with simple attire and great deeds. He was the face of Indian freedom struggle and leader of India during the post-independence period. Many revolutionary across the globe have followed the teaching of truth and non-violence to fight the colonization and slavery. The world respects and bows to his extra ordinary approach against oppression. In recent century, many countries and organisations have tried to commemorate and honour Mahatma through Stamps, Coins and Banknotes. In this book an amalgamation is created to compile all this token of honour and appreciation.
And here's another new Indian publication on the punch-marked silver coins of the Godavari Valley. -Editor
Archaic Coinage of Godavari Valley and the Deccan
In this Volume, it presents us with a rare gift, the detailed and fascinating story of a Hitherto-poorly understood series of locak punch-marked silver coins, those of the godavari valley and neighboring regions.
This book encapsulates the outcome of a very large and very detailed study project into the many sources of this local PMC series, made available through official channels as well as by the very active numismatic fraternity of the Godavari Region. A number of chapters catch the eye, such as the exploration of the origins of the symbols struck on the coins, which dr Kulkarni Demonstates can be traced back to the megalithic culture.
Title: Archaic Coinage of Godavari Valley and the Deccan
Author: Dr Prashant Kulkarni
Central States President Mitch Ernst notified us this week that Larry Adams (the curator of the Higgins National Bank note museum in Okoboji, IA) was killed in a car accident Monday morning. He was 75. Very sorry to hear the news. Rick Hickman confirmed his first name and birth year. Pete Smith kindly located this recent photo of him from the Iowa Great Lakes Rotary club. -Editor
By coincidence, this week Len Augsburger was processing a box of Eric Newman papers this week for the Newman Portal and came across this c2005 brochure on the Higgins Museum. Thanks. -Editor
The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is The Casement. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor
Newman Portal Adds The Casement
Produced by the Associated Collectors of Encased (ACE) from 1995-2003, The Casement documented the efforts of collectors searching for encased coins, tokens, and medals. Encased coins are in some ways 20th century analogs of 19th century counterstamped coins, often serving in advertising or promotional capacities. These also took the shape of commemorative issues, such as an encased 1921 Morgan dollar produced by Consolidated Foods Corporation as a 25th anniversary piece in 1964. The Casement included lists of encased issues (typically on a state-by-state basis), examples for auction, and notices of club meetings. Newman Portal acknowledges Bruce Perdue for his assistance with this title.
Link to The Casement on Newman Portal:
Here I thought I knew just about every U.S. specialty club periodical. But I'd never heard of this organization or publication. Thanks! -Editor
ANA and ANS life member Rob Luton passed along this lot from an upcoming Bonham's New York sale. Thanks! It generated some additional investigation into the coin framed alongside the document. -Editor
HAMILTON AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF THE U.S. MINT. CONTINENTAL CONGRESS BOARD OF TREASURY. An Ordinance for the Establishment of the Mint of the United States of America; and for Regulating the Value and Alloy of Coin. [New York: 1786.]
Printed broadside, bifolium leaf, 324 x 190 mm. Framed with small coin.
Gary Greenbaum submitted this detailed discussion of British coins issued within a year of the monarch assuming the throne. Thank you! I added an image of an 1820 Anchor Money coin from Museums Victoria. -Editor
One of your correspondents mentions the 1820 half crown as the last time a British monarch appeared on a coin dated in the year of accession. Let me offer a little further information.
The half crown (two shillings and sixpence, or an eighth of a pound) was not struck in the first 56 years of George III's reign, when little silver was issued, but with the Great Recoinage of 1816, it appeared again. It was apparently quite popular at the time: Almost 16 million were struck between 1816 and 1819. Nearly 32 million shillings were struck over the same span, and the sixpence was also heavily struck, but the greatest amount of silver was used for half crowns. Only about 800,000 crowns were struck in the same period. The half crown was therefore the largest silver coin with wide circulation. It was also close in size and value to the three-shilling token issued by the Bank of England between 1811 and 1816 because of the coin shortage.
David Fanning provided these comments and images on early numismatic photography. -Editor
"In last week's E-Sylum, Pete Smith described Sylvester Crosby's 1875 Early Coins of America as being the first photographically illustrated numismatic book to be published. This is incorrect. Even if we use 1873 as the date of Crosby's book (as that is when the first fascicule was published), there are a few numismatic books illustrated photographically from before then:
Sylvester Sage Crosby's Resting Place
Mark Vitunic writes:
"After reading in last week's E-Sylum Pete Smith's article on S.S. Crosby that Crosby is buried in "Monroe Cemetery in Lexington, Massachusetts" I realized "Wow, there's a Munroe Cemetery ("u" not "o") like one mile from my house!". Adding more to the confusion, Crosby's grave is curiously not listed in the directories at findagrave.com nor on the town website. Today being a beautiful fall day warranted a walk-through just to find out for sure - and I located it. Crosby is buried with his 2nd wife right next to the grave of his pre-deceased first wife, who is the only one listed in any directory."
Wow - thank you! Great photo. Nice to see the marker is in good shape. -Editor
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
SYLVESTER SAGE CROSBY (1831-1914) (https://www.coinbooks.org/v25/esylum_v25n41a20.html)
Other topics this week include "Sleepers" in Large Auction Lots, and Dent's Run Gold Tales. -Editor
J.S.G. Boggs Lives! My old friend Money Artist J.S. G. Boggs is active again from beyond the grave. His estate is launching an NFT project - non-fungible tokens confirming ownership of unique electronic artworks together with limited edition physical prints and a receipt recording the transaction. Boggs would be delighted with the concept. As this press release notes, his philosophical explorations of the nature of money and value led him to the emerging world of electronic money, and many today consider him an intellectual Founding Father of today's cryptocurrencies.
As noted in earlier E-Sylum articles, the artist Damien Hirst's NFT project "The Currency" gave buyers the option of receiving an NFT or a physical artwork. Collectors came in with a 50-50 split decision. With this Boggs project, collectors receive both. As a longtime Boggs collector I'll attempt to add one of more of these offerings to my collection. Good luck to readers who participate in the sales. -Editor
Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor
Master Pattern. A working copy of a coin or medal model, in hard material from which hubs or dies will be made. A master pattern in metal is made from the artist's original model (usually plaster) – it must be the exact same diameter as the model with the same height of relief. After the original model has been edited, all final touchup completed on the model, and all approvals obtained, the plaster bas-relief model is then cast into some permanent hard form. This can be a foundry cast in bronze or other metal, or more often, an electrogalvanic cast in copper. The later would be a galvano that would be either positive (being a hubshell) or negative (being a dieshell). If a less permanent form is required it can be made of epoxy.
Here's the schedule of talks at the Civil War Money & Memorabilia Showcase at next week's Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN) show. -Editor
Three Days... EIGHT PROGRAMS and multiple EXHIBITS Featuring
Storytellers/Authors and Living History Characters
President Abe Lincoln
General William T. Sherman
Hosted jointly by two non-profit organizations, the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists Foundation (501c3) and No Small Change Programs, are offering EIGHT CIVIL WAR MONEY Stories along with Displays & Exhibits. See complete show schedule at https://www.pancoins.org.
John Albanese is changing the coin business yet again - his fourth-party grader Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC) is transforming to become a third-party grader in direct competition with NGC and PCGS.
In a coin sale between you and me, we are the first and second parties to the transaction. Ask someone else to grade the coin? That's a third-party grader. When CAC first came along, their business model was to review grades assigned by third-party graders (the slabbing companies) and add their seal of approval "CAC sticker" to slabs they felt passed muster - a fourth-party grader.
John Feigenbaum of CDN Publishing interviewed Albanese about the switch. Here's a Greysheet article excerpt. -Editor
Here are some results from the recent Stephen Album Rare Coins Auction 44. -Editor
Stephen Album Rare Coins held its Auction 44 on September 15-18, 2022, at its offices in Santa Rosa, California. The prices realized continue the trend of the firm's successful 2022 auctions, coming in at a strong $2.2 million (including buyer's fees) with a sell-through rate of 95.2%. Many items sold for well in excess of their estimates, including some world record results. The Joe Sedillot Collection of World Coins, Part III was instrumental in achieving these results.
A selection of highlights follows (prices include buyer's fees):
Here's a press release with results from the latest Classical Numismatic Group sale, along with previews of upcoming sales. -Editor
A rare Greek gold stater from the Black Sea city of Pantikapion drew frenzied bidding and reached $134,750, nearly double the presale estimate, in Classical Numismatic Group LLC's Feature Auction 121, highlighting strong prices overall for ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, World and British coins.
The auction, held over three days October 6-8 at the firm's headquarters in Lancaster, PA, and webcast live via www.cngcoins.com, realized a total of $5.38 million in sales, a record for any Fall auction held by CNG over its 46-year history, said Mike Gasvoda, Managing Director. All prices quoted are inclusive of the 22.5% buyer's premium.
Our tally was about 60% over the presale estimate of $3.3 million, Gasvoda said,
which shows a
continuation of the strong market for rare and historic collectible coins, despite recent turmoil in the financial
marks and currency exchanges.
Heritage is offering Colonial and Early U.S. Coins from the Mike Coltrane Estate. Here are some highlights in an article submitted by Maureen Levine and Bruce Hagan. Thanks. -Editor
On November 2, 2022, Heritage Auctions will offer Mike Coltrane's U.S. coin collection at an unreserved Signature Sale. Mike enjoyed a variety of numismatic pursuits including currency (to be sold in a Showcase auction on October 30), coins, and related financial documents. He was a student of history, always seeking to learn something new as his boyhood hobby progressed into an avocation. His interests encompassed Colonial issues, Federal coppers, and early half cents, as well as early, branch mint, and Territorial gold. Mike was a lifelong resident of Concord, North Carolina, and included Charlotte Mint gold bullion deposit records and other related documents in his collection; they are also being offered in this sale. Mike was committed to his hometown and was generous with both his time and money. Proceeds from this auction will be donated to charity, through the Foundation for the Carolinas, to assist individuals in need as well as for community betterment.
Some notable lots are listed below:
Heritage is also offering North Carolina National Bank Notes from the Mike Coltrane Estate. Here are some highlights in another article submitted by Maureen Levine and Bruce Hagan. Thanks. -Editor
A comprehensive and important offering of North Carolina National Banknotes, from early First Charters to 1929 Small Size, will be featured October 30, 2022, in an unreserved online Showcase auction by Heritage Auctions. These Nationals were collected by the late Mike Coltrane for decades and include several examples accumulated by his banker father. Many elite types, locations, serial number 1 notes, and varieties from this popularly collected genre are represented. They mirror the post-Civil War banking history from Mike's native state. He retained this collection and continued to augment it after auctioning his Federal type notes, War of 1812 examples, and other North Carolina currency in 2020 and 2021. Noteworthy from the collection are eight Original Series and eight 1875 notes—the earliest National types from the state—most of which are in superior condition. There are also plenty of rare and attractive 1882 Brown, Date, and Value Backs, as well as Red Seals, and Small Size rarities to appeal to a wide range of collectors. Some of those notes, from the Coltranes' hometown of Concord, North Carolina, are offered in this sale. Many pieces are new to the census and being auctioned for the first time. Proceeds from this currency Showcase sale and upcoming U.S. Coins Signature auction will be donated to charity, through the Foundation for the Carolinas, to assist individuals in need as well as for community betterment. We hope you will take the time to peruse this important offering exemplifying North Carolina's rich banking history.
Some highlights are listed below:
Daniel Frank Sedwick's Auction 32 has been announced. Some great material here, including U.S. -Editor
Our Auction 32 is now Online and bidding is open to everybody, so please register now! For this Floor Auction we have secured the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Winter Park Hotel in Winter Park, FL for November 3-4, 2022 (with lot viewing and guest speakers on Wednesday, November 2). Please let us know now if you plan to attend, so that we can make a preliminary head count and expand the room-block reservation if necessary.
This catalog contains some great worldwide numismatic rarities - a perfect appeal to this robust and enthusiastic market.
With Session I, we have a variety of Gold Cobs - both from Spain as well as the New World. Spain sees the finest and only graded 1690 (M) Seville-minted gold cob 8 escudos in NGC MS 64 (lot 22). The New World selection holds some high grade and rarer 1715 Fleet gold including a discovery piece Bogotá 1712/1 gold cob 2 escudos graded NGC MS 66 (lot 60), a Mexico City gold cob 8 escudos 1713 J graded NGC MS 64 (lot 26), a Lima gold cob 8 escudos 1708 H graded NGC MS 63 pedigreed to the John Pullin Collection (lot 44) and two different varieties of Cuzco gold cob 2 escudos 1698 M both in NGC MS 63 holders (lots 41 and 42). Among non-shipwreck gold cobs, there is the
top pop Lima gold cob 8 escudos 1729 N graded NGC MS 62 (lot 47) plus the substantially difficult Lima gold cob 8 escudos 1748 R graded by NGC as MS 63.
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
Undated (1885) Cometallic Pattern. Plain Edge. Choice Very Fine.
23 mm. 7.64 grams. A very rare pattern, produced with the standards set Forth in Nicholas Veeder's 1885 publication Cometallism, Gold, Silver and Paper Money. Made from a fine silver base weighing 109.68 grains and enclosing a thin gold disc marked 6.856 grains. Using the metal values of 1885, the piece contains 29 1/2 cents worth of silver and 29 1/2 cents worth of gold, making a "coin" worth 59 cents at the time, roughly equivalent to Veeder's half dollar proposal. This lot is accompanied by an original copy of Eric Von Klinger's December 15, 2003 Coin World article, "Cometallic Piece a Mystery". The present coin is the subject of the article and is pictured therein.
Provenance: Ex Lester Merkin's sale of June 1971, lot 896; our (Bowers and Merena's) sale of the Harry Einstein Collection, June 1986, lot 1365; and our Baltimore Auction of November 2011, lot 9111; our Americana Sale of February 2015, lot 218. Select lot tags and a Coin World article are included.
In the upcoming Stack's Bowers Winter 2022 Auction. Interesting item - I'd never seen this before. -Editor
To read the complete lot description, see:
Undated (1885) Cometallic Pattern. Plain Edge. Choice Very Fine. (https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-ZA8VH/undated-1885-cometallic-pattern-plain-edge-choice-very-fine)
Other topics this week include XXX -Editor
The latest CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series article by Mike Markowitz is "Money Before Coinage," or "Proto-Money". Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. Discussed are hacksilber, cowrie shells, ring money, Harappan gold discs, and more. -Editor
Lymington's St Barbe Museum is displaying a hoard of Celtic coins found in 2018. -Editor
A HOARD of Celtic coins found buried in the New Forest by three metal detectorists is now on display at Lymington's St Barbe Museum.
The unique, 2,000-year-old cache of 269 coins, which includes some never before been seen by historians, was secured by the museum following a fundraising appeal backed by TV historian Dan Snow.
Having been declared a treasure trove by the British Museum – meaning it was buried deliberately – the find effectively belonged to the people who found it in 2018, and the landowner.
David Pickup passed along this notice of the Royal Mint's new coin commemorating the BBC Centenary. Thanks. -Editor
The world's leading public service broadcaster marks its centenary in 2022. As the Corporation continues to thrive and innovate, we have struck a coin to celebrate this special anniversary.
In 2022, the BBC marks 100 years of broadcasting to the British public and beyond. To celebrate this magnificent achievement, we have created a beautiful commemorative coin that honours a century of award-winning creativity and innovation.
Since its inception in 1922, the BBC has dedicated itself to originality and ingenuity whilst striving for the highest quality service. From the dawn of radio to the advent of the internet, the Corporation has adapted to technology's evolution and remained at the forefront of British programming for all. Values we share at The Royal Mint.
The 53rd Jewish-American Hall of Fame medal has been announced. Here's the press release, and a discount for E-Sylum readers. -Editor
Mel Wacks, Director of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame, has announced that its 53rd annual inductee - photojournalist, author and public servant Ruth Gruber - whose portrait will appear on high relief medals designed by sculptor Eugene Daub. The medal's reverse, designed by Mel Wacks, features the issuer's name.
The Ruth Gruber 2-inch, 3-oz. medal in this popular series will be produced in very limited quantities of no more than 150 bronze (available for contribution of $50), 75 pure silver ($200) and 35 gold plated pure silver ($250) medals. Each art medal is serial numbered on the edge and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Add $10 per order for shipping and insurance. Mention that you read about this in E-Sylum and take 10% discount. Medals can be ordered using a credit card by calling 818-225-1348 or with paypal using email email@example.com.
This press release describes new privately-issued commemorative banknotes honoring Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee. -Editor
After months of preparation, new Platinum Jubilee '70' banknotes were ready for release on the morning of 1 October. This set of two limited series honours and commemorates the 70th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth II's accession to the throne. One Banknote, producers of the exclusive collectors' banknote brand Britannia Pound, now release the currency in respectful memory of Her Late Majesty.
For bibliophiles, here's a review of a new book on the history of that indispensable and occasionally snarky component, the Index. -Editor
INDEX, A HISTORY OF THE
A Bookish Adventure From Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age
By Dennis Duncan
Over the last quarter-century, the book as physical organism has been increasingly anatomized, and there has been no better medium for displaying anatomists' findings than the book itself. As they illuminate long-overlooked corners of bibliography, volumes like Anthony Grafton's
The Footnote and H. J. Jackson's
Marginalia have charted the contrapuntal dance among writer, publisher, reader and material object.
Consider, for example, the 2019 anthology
Book Parts, edited by Dennis Duncan and Adam Smyth. Its table of contents includes, satisfyingly,
Tables of Contents, along with
Indexes — a chapter by Duncan himself. Now, Duncan, a lecturer in English at University College London, has expanded that chapter into the erudite, eminently readable and wittily titled
Index, A History of the. Fittingly, the book comes equipped with not one but two official indexes — one stellar, the other unabashedly less so — as well as a third and perhaps even a fourth. (More on Indexes: Duncan's multiplicity of, below.)
Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor
A Coin Update article by Michael Bugeja examines full steps on Jefferson nickels. -Editor
Full-step designations focus on the reverse of Jefferson nickels (1938-present), with the two major holdering companies having slightly different criteria, which most lots on Proxibid, HiBid, and eBay muddle, hyping inferior coins.
Full-step designations bring higher prices, in some cases, dramatically higher ones. Consider the common 1961-D nickel. It has a mintage of 229,342,760. In gem condition without full steps, its PCGS retail value is $28. With full steps, the price rises to $20,000.
Yes, that's a dramatic case. But in general, any FS designation will increase business strike values substantially in any Jefferson nickel year.
To read the complete article, see:
The myth of full steps in online auctions (https://news.coinupdate.com/the-myth-of-full-steps-in-online-auctions/)
Other topics this week include Parachuting Dog's Medals, and National Heroes on Coins and Bills. -Editor
And in the some-crimes-really-do-pay-well department, here's the story of a prison inmate's adventure with a contraband cellphone. -Editor
Contraband cellphones are invaluable to inmates, but in the hands of Arthur Lee Cofield, who is serving a 14-year sentence for armed robbery at a Georgia state prison, a mobile phone turned out to be worth $11 million, federal prosecutors said.
From the prison in Butts County, about 45 miles south of Atlanta, Mr. Cofield called the Charles Schwab Corporation in June 2020 and impersonated a billionaire named S.K., who was later identified as Sidney Kimmel, according to a federal indictment.
Mr. Cofield spoke with a company representative about opening a checking account. After Mr. Cofield was told he needed a form of identification and a utility bill, a co-conspirator texted him a picture of Mr. Kimmel's driver's license and a utility bill, prosecutors said.