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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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To join, print the application and return it with your check to the address printed on the application. Print/Digital membership is $40 to addresses in the U.S., and $60 elsewhere. A digital-only membership is available for $25. For those without web access, write to:

Charles Heck, Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
P. O. Box 2058,
Bluffton, SC


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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: Ian Jull of CoinCraft, courtesy of Richard Lobel; Josep Yañez Debasa from Barcelona, Catalonia; Kyle Knapp, Bill OBrien, and Zach Filis. Welcome aboard!

Welcome to our newest advertisers! Charmy Harker ("The Penny Lady") will have ads twice a month, and Kyle Knapp's Auditorium Books is our newest Sponsor. Be sure to click on their ads and explore their website offerings. Thank you for your support!

This week we open with a new subscriber contest, a new Asylum issue, Kolbe & Fanning numismatic literature sale highlights, three new books, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and more.

Other topics this week include coins of Canada, American silver eagles, Aubrey Bebee, the Carnegie Museum coin collection sales, mystery collections, Forrest Fenn's treasure chest, the Fugio Cents, East African banknotes, coins in medicine, and the rarest Victoria Cross.

To learn more about Charles Bushnell, Daniel E. Groux, Mehl's Numismatic Monthly, special Redbooks, altered Meredith fractional currency notes, Bookaholics Anonymous, the Boston School Medal, the Treaty of Paris medal, Grand Duke Georgii Mikhailovich, Silver Tickets, coin-sound and cracked-pot resonance, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

  Mayflower medal

Holabird E-Sylum ad 2022-12-03 SSCA sale Part I


Contest And now for something completely different - a new subscriber contest! Longtime reader and supporter Martin Kaplan has donated $100 as a top prize for a new E-Sylum subscriber contest. I'll give 2nd and 3rd prizes of $50 and $25. Here's how it'll work:

Send me ONE email at with ALL the email addresses of people you think might like to become subscribers. List each address on a separate line. DEADLINE: DECEMBER 15, 2022. Put "E-SYLUM CONTEST" in the subject line and be sure to include your full name.

Read more here

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The Winter 2022 issue of The Asylum is on the way from our sponsor, the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. Maria Fanning edits our print journal, and she submitted this report. -Editor

Asylumv40n4cover The Asylum's Winter 2022 issue is on its way to NBS members now. Thanks to all who contributed to our publication last year and I look forward to hearing from many of you next year. Please send all article contributions to

The Asylum Winter 2022
Vol. 40 No. 4

Table of Contents:

Charles Bushnell, New York Tokens, and Crumbs for Antiquarians
by David Fanning, with Joel J. Orosz and Len Augsburger

Trivia Quiz
By Charles Davis

A Catalog of Modern World Coins: R.S. Yeoman's Other Book
By Mike Costanzo

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Here are some additional highlights of the next Kolbe & Fanning numismatic literature sale. See an article elsewhere in this issue for more information on one of the lots. -Editor

Kolbe & Fanning December 3 Sale Highlights

Kolbe-Fanning sale 165 cover Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers are holding our next auction sale on Saturday, December 3, 2022. The sale includes consignments from around the world, resulting in a wide variety of rare and out-of-print works on coins, medals, and paper money from antiquity to the present. Some highlights of the sale include:

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The new edition of Coins of Canada is now available. -Editor

by J.A. Haxby & R.C. Willey

CoinsCanada-2023 The 41ST edition of The Coins of Canada is a complete, one-volume library of Canadian coins, tokens and paper money, including major varieties.


  • Complete Canadian decimal coinage
  • Pre-Confederation Provincial issues
  • All Canadian Mint silver and gold collector's issues
  • Canadian colonial tokens
  • Dominion of Canada banknotes 1867-1935
  • Bank of Canada paper money 1935 to date
  • Latest retail market values by grade
  • Detailed mintage figures and statistics
  • Much historical background and pertinent information
  • Condition Grading Guides for Canadian coins
  • Includes a glossary of numismatic terms

Read more here

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Bagchee, a book store in New Delhi, India is offering a new book on the Republic coins of India. -Editor

Republic Coins of India Vol 1 book cover Republic Coins of India Vol. 1:
Definitive & Commemorative Coins
Catalogue & Valuation 1947 to 2022

Author: Dilip Rajgor

Format Hardcover

Date published: 06.11.2022

Edition: 1st ed.

Publisher: Rajgors


ISBN: 9788195627202

Length: 154p.

Read more here


Here's another recent book on Indian numismatics - it was published last year but we haven't discussed it before. -Editor

Chitresvara-Siva Type Coins: Classification and Attribution

Devendra Handa

Chitresvara-Siva Type Coins book cover Copper coins bearing the figure of Siva holding trident with battle-axe in his right hand and leopard skin hanging from his left arm with early Brahmi legend around on the obverse and a deer facing an arched symbol with a railed tree at the back and some subsidiary symbols in the field on the reverse have a long history of their first discovery while digging a canal at Behat near Saharanpur in Uttar Pradesh in 1834.

It was in 1891 that Alexander Cunningham deciphered the legend as Bhagavato Chatreswara Mahatana and because of the resemblance of their reverse device to the silver coins which he identified as those of the Kuninda people, Cunningham listed them as the Kuninda coins. John Allan, J.N. Banerjea, K.K. Dasgupta, M.C. Joshi and Ajay Mitra Shastri have attempted to modify the legend which has now been generally accepted to be Bhagavata(/o) Ch(i)tresvara Mahatmana(h). Chitresvara is the name under which Siva is still worshipped in Uttarakhand. Shastri brought to light four new specimens of these coins bearing on the obverse three-headed Siva sitting on Apasmara-purusha removing all doubts that the word Chitresvara stood for Siva.

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In this article from Whitman Publishing, Dennis Tucker discusses the backstory of their upcoming book on American Silver Eagles. -Editor

Whitman Publishing's new Guide Book of American Silver Eagles, by Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez, will debut in December 2022, available from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide. It is volume no. 27 in the best-selling Bowers Series of numismatic references. Here, Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker discusses the book and the popularity of American Silver Eagle coins.

Read more here

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Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report on this week's Symposium. -Editor

NNP Symposium 5 Concludes

2022 NNP Symposium logo The NNP Symposium was held online, November 17-19. This was our fifth biannual event and brought together speakers on a wide array of topics including ancient, world and U.S. numismatics. Our feature presentation was an overview of the U.S. coins in the American Numismatic Society collection and included follow up comments from Jesse Kraft, the Resolute Americana Chair of American Numismatics at ANS.

Video from all sessions will be made available in 2-3 weeks. All event registrants will receive a notification when videos are available. Past videos of all NNP Symposium presentations are freely available on Newman Portal. We look forward to our next Symposium, a hybrid event to be held in conjunction with the Central States Numismatic Society convention in April 2023.

Read more here

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The David Lisot Video Library on the Newman Numismatic Portal can be found at:

We highlight one of his videos each week in The E-Sylum. Here's one from 1986 with dealer Aubrey Bebee of Omaha, Nebraska. -Editor

  Aubree Bebee

Read more here


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


Last week Kavan Ratnatunga asked for more information on the 1980s Carnegie Museum of Natural History coin sales. -Editor

  Carnegie Sales SPINK ad Coin World 06-16-1982 pg. 30

Read more here

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Notes from Alan V Weinberg
Alan writes:

"Fast approaching 80, I've long firmly believed that attaining old age is influenced greatly by having a engrossing, long-lasting hobby. Al Johnbrier and Ed Kuszmar ‘s passing at, respectively, 87 and 81 are the most recent proofs. Harvey Stack lived well into his 90's as well as Henry Beckwith at 100 and Henderschott to 104. Absent bad habits like tobacco and excessive alcohol, there's little doubt a long life is significantly due to long involvement in numismatics.

1793 Chain Cent S-3 reverse "Re the Clapp large cent collection being retained in its entirety by the Carnegie. Not true. Carnegie Curator Ray Byrne had engaged in trading or selling important large cents. I owned a superb AU 1793 S-3 Chain cent pedigreed to the Carnegie Clapp collection. Won out of a Heritage auction in the 1980's, and pedigreed to the Clapp collection only by an obverse photograph in their files, Heritage held it undelivered for several months until researcher Del Bland cleared it on paper as not proven to have been illegally deaccessioned by the Carnegie. It was the finest S-3 in the Clapp cent collection. Heritage auctioned it again out of my collection in Jan 2019. I do miss all my 1792-93's.

"Re the Rothschild numismatic background, there is a superb 1934 movie on the beginnings of the Family Rothschild history starring George Arliss and Robert Young ( of TV's Father Knows Best) and Boris Karloff as an antisemitic banker, appearing infrequently on TCM.

"On QDB's comments on series completion and the satisfaction/ depression on finishing it, there's another school of thought. I have long treasured collecting a numismatic subject that eludes completion, leaving the hunt wide open and the lure of finding and acquiring that missing link. Much more rewarding in my opinion."

Thanks on all counts. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1793 1C Chain, AMERICA, S-3, B-4, Low R.3, AU58+ PCGS Secure.... (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
EDWARD KUSZMAR (1941-2022) (
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: NOVEMBER 13, 2022 : Carnegie Museum Coin Sales Question (
LOOSE CHANGE: NOVEMBER 13, 2022 : Evelyn de Rothschild Passes (
LOOSE CHANGE: NOVEMBER 13, 2022 : The Joys of Completion (

Other topics this week include a silver coin roll find, altered Meredith fractional currency notes, and engraver George Mills. -Editor

Read more here

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Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. Well written. I added an image from an earlier E-Sylum article. -Editor

Medal Award Program. A plan for the administration of the bestowal of medals for some beneficial purpose to mankind or some field of endeavor. Such a plan includes how often the medal will be awarded, the criteria for selection of the recipients and the ceremony for the presentation. Often a fund is established (occasionally specified in a will) for the long-range bestowal of the medal on a periodic basis. The medal frequently takes on a memorial to either the benefactor or to some notable person in the field who is often chosen to be portrayed on the medal. Depending upon the amount of funds in the endowment, quite elaborate and handsome medals can be created, (designed and sculpted by prominent sculptors) or, if the funds are sparse, a stock design is chosen from the inventory of the medalmaker and customized only by adding the name of the award and the sponsor. This class of numismatic items, called award medals, serve the purpose of recognizing talent or achievement in some field of human activity.

Read more here

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American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on lost, unknown or unpublicized mystery collections. Thanks! Can readers add anything about these collectors or their collections? -Editor

  Unpublicized Mystery Collections

In his book, The Rare Silver Dollars Dated 1804, Q. David Bowers describes two mysterious owners of the Davis 1804 silver dollar.

In his era of the 1870's and 1880's, George Marion Klein of Vicksburg, Mississippi, was somewhat of a mystery man. He amassed a large cabinet of fine and rare coins, but was relatively unknown in numismatic circles.

James H. T. McConnell, Jr. a specialist in security and investment analysis, has collected coins without publicizing his efforts.

There is still another mystery that Bowers did not mention.

Read more here

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In the more-people-you-didn't-know-were-coin-collectors department is this release from Stack's Bowers about their upcoming sale of the collection of T. Boone Pickens. -Editor

Stack's Bowers Galleries is honored to have been selected to auction the coin collection of the late T. Boone Pickens, influential businessman and financier. Pickens gained recognition in the 1980s through his impact on the oil industry and eventually earned the nickname Oracle of Oil. He went on to apply his expertise in many other areas of the energy industry, advocating for natural gas, wind power, nuclear power and other alternative energies. 1n 1997, he founded the hedge fund BP Capital Management (originally BP Energy Fund), which he chaired for over two decades before he closed the company in 2018. In his later years, he became respected for his generous philanthropy and even signed on to the Giving Pledge in 2010 at the behest of his friends Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. Pickens was quoted as saying I enjoy making money, and I enjoy giving it away.

Pickens was also a passionate collector in many areas and his art collection was sold by Christie's in 2020 for over $20 million, a portion of which was donated to charity. Pickens' interest in numismatics was borne out of practicality and began with collecting unusual coins out of his pocket change, including such popular issues as Buffalo nickels and Morgan and Peace silver dollars. This fascination grew into a purposeful acquisition of Proof sets and Mint sets for himself and his family. Pickens' mother, Grace, also collected coins which he eventually inherited.

Read more here

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One of the highlights of the upcoming Kolbe & Fanning December 2022 numismatic literature sale is an album commemorating the National Numismatic Collection's acquisition of the Mikhailovich collection. -Editor

Deluxe Georgii Mikhailovich Album with Photographs, Letters, &c.

Mikhailovitch album cover 159 Kosoff, A. [editor]. THE MIKHAILOVITCH COLLECTION: RUSSIAN COINS AND MEDALS. Cincinnati: (Sol Kaplan), 1958. 4to, original padded black full morocco, gilt; DR. V. CLAIN-STEFANELLI impressed in gilt on front cover; red moiré doublures; original printed card covers bound in. Cover letter bound in, signed by 15 attendees of the June 28, 1960 opening of the exhibition accompanying the acquisition of the remaining collection of Grand Duke Georgii Mikhailovich of Russia through its donation by Willis H. duPont. 24 pages; illustrated throughout. Laid in are eleven 8 by 10 inch photographs taken at the opening, depicting Willis and Margaret duPont, Vladimir Clain-Stefanelli, Sol Kaplan, Rebecca Pollard Guggenheim, and others. Also laid in are letters to Dr. Clain-Stefanelli from Arthur A. Houghton III and J. Paul Getty (see comments). Spine worn; internally fine. $1000

Dr. Vladimir Clain-Stefanelli's copy of the Deluxe Presentation Edition. Bound in at the beginning of the volume is a printed letter to the Smithsonian Institution from Willis H. duPont, dated 6/28/60 in ink, and featuring 15 original ink autographs, including those of Willis H. du Pont, Margaret F. du Pont, Rebecca Pollard Guggenheim, and other notables attending the gala event celebrating the presentation of the Georgii Mikhailovich collection of Russian coins and medals to the Smithsonian Institution.

Read more here

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Numismagram's Jeremy Bostwick sent these four highlights from his recent addition of new material to his website. For all of the new items, including a great George Washington portrait medal, a few Christopher Columbus medals, a silver medal relating to colonial Delaware, and token with a cute cat on it, please visit -Editor

  Treaty of Paris medal

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Heritage will be selling the contents of author Forrest Fenn's famed "Treasure Chest" that sent so many treasure hunters into the Rocky Mountains in search of it. Here's the press release. -Editor


Heritage Auctions Opens Forrest Fenn's Treasure Chest to Collectors

This time, at least, the hunt for Forrest Fenn's treasure won't be so challenging. What remains from that famed chest hidden in the Rocky Mountains – for a decade, the stuff of dreams and countless news stories – is now available with the simple click of a button.

Read more here

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Forrest Fenn's Treasure Chest is real, but it was conceived in a work of fiction. But the December 3, 2022 Holabird sale offers a true-life California Gold Rush gold chest found and recovered from a real-life shipwreck. Pictured below with the artifact are Bob Evans and Fred Holabird. -Editor

  Wells Fargo Treasure box lid
Lot 1267. Wells, Fargo & Co. Engraved Treasure Box Lid, 1857

This is the only known piece or otherwise of an original Wells, Fargo gold treasure box from the California Gold Rush of the 1850s. With this box lid, it is very apparent that Wells, Fargo did not want anyone to mistake the ultimate destination of New York in a shipment of California gold. It is made in the same style as the Alsop & Co. and Sather & Church treasure boxes found within the S.S. Central America artifact group from the confines of the gold room. When the box was harvested, the lid was upside down and the wording on this unique and greatly historical item was not known until the first phase of artifact examination.

Read more here


MORE THAN 600 MILLION COINS SOLD! The new Guide Book of American Silver Eagles shines a bright light on the world's most popular modern bullion program. Volume 27 in Whitman Publishing's Bowers Series was written by award-winning author Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez, who presents these silver coins to both collectors and investors. 384 pages. Order your copy online at , or call 1-800-546-2995.


World Banknote Auctions offers several East African Rarities in their upcoming Auction 35. Here's a blog post by owner Dennis Hengeveld with more details. -Editor

  1921 East Africa 200 Shillings banknote

Offered in World Banknote Auctions sale 35 as lot number 35136 is a major African rarity from the British colony of East Africa. Dated 15th December 1921 and issued at Mombasa (in present-day Kenya) this 200 Shillings or 10 Pounds is listed in the Pick catalog of World paper Money as Pick-17. It is the third highest denomination of the 1921 series issued for East Africa. It is preceded by a series issued under the East Africa protectorate and a rare series issued in 1920 which was quickly replaced by this series denominated in Shillings in 1921. A classic African colonial banknote, this example is one of just three in the PMG population report and the only example certified by PMG as having Exceptional Paper Quality, confirming its status as an original piece. While two examples grade finer in the PMG population report (finest at 64) neither of those are graded with the EPQ status.

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

Canute Helmet Type Penny
Canute Helmet Type Penny

Canute (1016-35), Penny, Helmet type (c.1024-1030), Lincoln mint, moneyer Swartbrand, pointed helmet bust left, sceptre in front, legend surrounding, +CNVT RECX ?. Rev, short voided cross with pellet and annulet centre, pellet in annulet in each angle, all within linear circle, reads +SPPE?RT?BR?D O LI, 1.11g (S.1158; N.787; BMC XIV; SCBI 14 [Copenhagen], Part IIIb, 1877-78).

Toned, a fully centred strike with underlying mint lustre, some obverse doubling, reverse strong with a quickly recognisable moneyer mint script. Good very fine, eye appeal.

From the Baldwin's website offerings. Alas, it's already been sold. -Editor

To read the complete item description, see:

Other topics this week include the New York World's Fair Medal, Motion Picture Currency, and an error Red Book. -Editor

Read more here

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On the afternoon of Tuesday November 15, 2022 it got "end of days" dark outside, and the rain began. It rained throughout my evening commute. But rather than going home, my GPS routed me toward J. Gilbert's steakhouse in McLean, where the monthly dinner of my Northern Virginia numismatic social group Nummis Nova would be held.

The rain was relentless, and the traffic and darkness didn't help, but I did reach my destination safely and found a parking place near the door. I still needed an umbrella against the downpour. I was early, and our table wasn't ready yet. I found some of our members waiting in the bar. Wayne Herndon, Jon Radel, Daryl Haynor and our host Roger Burdette were seated on barstools. I ordered a glass of wine and chatted with Jon and Wayne before greeting my guests Jonas Denenberg and Kellen Hoard. Both had been guests in the past. Jonas is in 11th grade, a Fairfax Coin Club member and a budding coin dealer with a booming business; Kellen is a freshman at George Washington University and writes a column for The Numismatist. They'd made it here on public transportation.

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Dick Hanscomb passed along this article about the Fugio cent. Thanks. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor

Fugio cent Perhaps the United States of America would not have become so politicized had we all followed a good piece of advice from Benjamin Franklin.

In Benjamin Franklin's 1737 book, Poor Richard's Almanac, he stated what would be his literal and figurative idea behind money, A penny saved is two pence clear. Contrary to popular belief, Franklin, who was known for his invaluable maxims, never wrote the phrase, A penny saved is a penny earned.

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An unusual medal recovered from the wreck of the SS Central America is part of the upcoming December 3, 2022 Holabird SSCA artifact sale. A passenger receipt is included with the lot. -Editor

SS Central America Knight's Order of Saint Maurice and Saint Lazarus Among the interesting and enigmatic artifacts recovered from the S.S. Central America is a medal of the Knight's Order of Saint Maurice and Saint Lazarus found in the first cabin area. The history of the order transitioned over time from the separate Order of Saint Lazarus, the Patron Saint of Lepers, established pre-1100 in Palestine and the Order of Saint Maurice, the Patron Saint of Savoy, established in the 1400s.

Both monastic brotherhoods evolved into hereditary military institutions of the nobility within the Catholic Church. The orders were combined in 1572 in the face of challenges from the Protestant Reformation and Muslim military activities in the Mediterranean region. Badges of the two orders were combined to form a white-enameled cross bottony of the Order of Saint Maurice, with a green-enameled Maltese Cross, the Cross of the Order of Saint Lazarus, placed in saltire between the arms of the cross bottony.

Read more here

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While a number of Victoria Cross medals have been awarded to Canadians over the decades, many are lamenting the fact that none have been awarded the purely Canadian version of the medal created in 1993. -Editor

canadian-victoria-cross The military says that while it handed out more bravery medals per capita than Canada's allies did during the Afghan mission, no single act by a Canadian soldier unquestionably met the "extremely rare standard" needed for the highest honour.

Canada is alone among its major allies in not having honoured any military member with its most prestigious medal. Many with ties to the military community — including former Conservative leader Erin O'Toole — wonder if the VC has been put out of reach for soldiers, sailors and aircrew today.

It's a personal matter for some former soldiers.

Read more here

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Don Cleveland passed along this story about Japan's paper money. Thanks. -Editor

For nearly 40 years, people in Japan have been happy when they see Yukichi Fukuzawa's face. Not necessarily because of any personal affection for the esteemed educator, linguist, and entrepreneur, but because since 1984, Fukuzawa has appeared on the 10,000-yen bill, the highest-value piece of paper currency in Japan.

Fukuzawa's stint as the poster/bill boy for monetary gains is going to be coming to a close, though. As of this month the Japanese government has stopped printing new Fukuzawa bills. That fate is also shared by the other current Series E banknotes, the 5,000-yen bill with author Ichiyo Higuchi and 1,000-yen bill with scientist Hideyo Noguchi.

Read more here

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An American Numismatic Society Pocket Change blog by Jesse Kraft discusses an unusual use of coins in medicine. -Editor

  Kerokan Session coin-sound
Sudarso, Kerokan Session, 1992, oil on canvas.

Figure 1. Kerokan (Indonesian for scraping) is repeated downward, linear, and pressured strokes over lubricated skin using a hard object with a smooth edge, usually a coin. The process is repeated until ecchymoses appear—the discoloration of the skin resulting from bleeding underneath (different from a bruise). The more ecchymoses that appear (translated into heat escaping the body), the better it is believed to remedy a variety of symptoms that are related to the common cold. In English, coining is often used as a synonym to kerokan.

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

Exotic and Intentional U.S. Error Coins

An article on CoinWeek by Mike Byers discusses exotic and intentional U.S. error coins. -Editor

Mint errors One of the most controversial categories of U.S. coins is Mint Errors. Many dealers and collectors, as well as coin auction houses, buy, sell, and trade many rare, exotic, and unique major mint errors. Obviously, some of these defy logic and were intentionally created and taken out of the Mint.

In the early 2000s, a group of several hundred U.S. error coins was found in a safe-deposit box. Dealer Fred Weinberg purchased this group, which included coins struck for Proof Sets and also coins struck for circulation. This group was auctioned by the California State Controller's Office of Unclaimed Property. The United States Secret Service inspected and released this collection to the State of California determining that it was legal to own. The State of California then auctioned the collection and the rest is history.

Another example of U.S. error coins escaping the United States Mint occurred in the 1970s. A hoard of Proof error coins were smuggled out of the San Francisco Mint inside the oil pans of forklifts that were being serviced outside of the Mint. This topic was discussed in the June 6, 2022 issue of Coin World, which covered Fred Weinberg's account of this story.

To read the complete article, see:
Exotic and Intentional U.S. Error Coins in the Marketplace (

Other topics this week include Submitting Rare Coins for Grading and the Coin of the Years awards. -Editor

Read more here

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Libraries have always been about more than books. They are at the core of their mission, but like The E-Sylum it's also about bringing people together, expanding knowledge, and making the world a better place for everyone. As a Pittsburgh native, I think of the young Scottish immigrant who found welcome at a free library provided by a wealthy neighborhood resident; when he later came into wealth himself, Andrew Carnegie "paid it forward" by endowing large libraries all across the country.

Here's an article about a new library housing 5 million books, but with most of its floorspace devoted to community space. -Editor

  Shanghai Library East

Popping up on the edge of the largest park in Shanghai, the city's newest library looks a bit like a towering cruise ship sailing through the canopy of trees below. Covering more than 1.2 million square feet across seven stories and two additional pavilions below, the Shanghai East Library is a giant vessel in its own right. It carries not only books and the kinds of study spaces libraries have always had, but a variety of community, social, and cultural spaces that show how the library as an institution is evolving.

Designed by Schmidt Hammer Lassen Architects, the library is one of the largest in the world, and expects 10,000 visitors a day. Chris Hardie, the firm's design director, says both the city and the design team wanted to ensure the project wasn't just a warehouse for the 4.8 million books in the library's collection, which is essentially what the city's current central library is.

For Shanghai Library East, the designers flipped that balance, making more than 80% of the square footage into non-book spaces—reading tables and study rooms, performance venues and lecture halls, cafes and gardens. Hardie says the design is intended to celebrate the library as a space of knowledge sharing and community. It was much more about what a library is becoming and how important it is in society, he says.

To read the complete article, see:
It's got 1.2 million square feet, but most of this giant library has no books at all (

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