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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.
New subscribers this week include: Michael Gunner of the Central Ohio Numismatic Association (CONA), courtesy Gerry Tebben; José Miguel Gallego, courtesy Bob Fritsch; Mike Smith, and Taylor Ratliff. Welcome aboard!
Subscriber Li Tiesheng of Inner Mongolia, China wrote this week to wish me a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Happy holidays to you, too!
Don't forget - our new subscriber contest deadline is December 15, 2022.
This week we open with a numismatic literature sale, two new books, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, notes from readers, and more.
Other topics this week include siege coins, George Fuld, Dan Brown, J. V. McDermott, coins in Christmas television specials, fixed price and auction selections, the last Croatian kunas, January 6th Congressional gold medals, and new signatures on U.S. banknotes,
To learn more about American Silver Eagles, the Roman Great Mother of the Gods, 1964-D Peace Dollars, chatbots, chocolate coins, the 1765 Bombay gold mohur, the 1754 Franco-American Jeton, the Most Hopeful Coin of the Year, and the coin with a rose, a thistle, a shamrock and a leek, read on. Have a great week, everyone!
Editor, The E-Sylum
Solidus Numismatik e.K of Munich, Germany is holding a numismatic literature sale December 18, 2022. Here's their announcement and some selected lots. -Editor
With this small but fine Auction 111, Solidus is offering a high-quality range of 148 lots of selected numismatic literature with many rarities and bibliophilic treasures from the 16th to 19th centuries. All areas of numismatics, from antiquity to modern times, are covered.
Roberto Jovel submitted this announcement of a new book on siege coins in Latin America. Thank you! -Editor
A book on Siege Coins in Latin America has just been published by the Union Americana de Numismática (UNAN), an association of more than 650 individuals residing in the American Continent and Europe and whose common interest is the free exchange of numismatic information.
The new book focuses on a little-known subject: coins minted during the siege or blockade of a city or port, to pay salaries for the defending armies. By extension, coins minted by that attacking forces to pay salaries of their armies. To produce such coins – whose fineness do not necessarily conform to prevailing legal standards – these enemy forces have resorted to utilize metals taken from jewels of the Church or metals of lower quality available locally. The original intent was to issue such coins over a limited time period, after which these siege pieces would be collected and demonetized.
This bilingual – Spanish and English – book is the result of a 5-year research undertaken by several individual numismatists residing in the countries where the siege coins were minted, and has been put together by UNAN. It constitutes the first such collective undertaking made by this association, and is presently available, free-of-charge, in electronic form only. To obtain a copy, interested parties should send an email to my electronic address (email@example.com) or to the email address of Pedro Cano (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In this article from Whitman Publishing, Josh McMorrow-Hernandez discusses collecting and writing about American Silver Eagles. The book debuts this month. -Editor
A Guide Book of American Silver Eagles, volume 27 in Whitman Publishing's best-selling
Bowers Series of numismatic references, debuts in December 2022, available from
booksellers and hobby shops nationwide. Here, author Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez
discusses his own introduction to American Silver Eagles, why the coins are so popular, and
writing his newest book.
MY FIRST AMERICAN SILVER EAGLE
My introduction to American Silver Eagles came about in a most interesting way. My cousin, who also collected coins at the time, visited from out of town for a short summer vacation during 1993. So, there we were—along with my sister, herself a collector back then—three kids talking about coins as a shared interest during much of our cousin's visit. My mom and dad, who encouraged my numismatic pursuits by purchasing hobby books and magazines, had heard about a fairly large local coin show that was happening during the week of my cousin's visit. It was to occur over the course of four days, ending on a Sunday.
Send me ONE email at email@example.com 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.
The latest additions to the Newman Numismatic Portal auction catalogs of World Banknote Auctions. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor
World Banknote Auctions Catalogs on Newman Portal
Newman Portal welcomes World Banknote Auctions as a contributor to NNP. Per the company website,
World Banknote Auctions was founded by Dennis Hengeveld and is the only auction company in the United States solely dedicated to world paper money. One of the highlights of their current El Central Real collection sale, closing December 13, is this 1879 Peruvian 500-soles note. Hengeveld writes
This is the highest denomination issued in the 1879 series of the Republica del Peru, which was denominated in Soles. The number of pieces printed of this denomination was minimal compared to the lower denominations, with a total of 44,000 pieces believed issued. This note represented quite a large sum of money at the time of issue, and most were redeemed, with surviving examples rare.
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 George Fuld. -Editor
Last week Chester Sullivan asked:
Pete Jones writes:
Very interesting. Thank you! -Editor
Martin Purdy comments on our recent story about a man who paid a bill with an ancient coin. -Editor
Martin of Upper Hutt, New Zealand writes:
Early World Paper Money Publications Roundup
Last week I put out a call for early paper money publications, particularly the price lists and journals published in the 1950s and 60s by Dwight Musser prior to the formation of the Society of Paper Money Collectors and the International Bank Note Society. Howard Daniel is sending me one Musser product, -Editor
Thanks, everyone. -Editor
To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
EARLY WORLD PAPER MONEY PUBLICATIONS SOUGHT (https://www.coinbooks.org/v25/esylum_v25n49a14.html)
Other topics this week include minding one's p's and q's. -Editor
Recently I tried out using an artificial intelligence-powered image generator to create some interesting coin images. In the we-welcome-our-robot-overlords department, here's what the AI chatbot ChatGPT from the tech company OpenAI spit out on the first try when I asked it, "Write a poem about The E-Sylum." -Editor
Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor
Medalist, Medallist. A designer, engraver, maker or collector of medals; one knowledgeable in medals; also a recipient of a medal. As a creator of medallic art, the medalist must not only be a highly creative artist but also know the many techniques in the field. This talented person must be proficient in producing the patterns required for any medallic item and the working knowledge must include design, relief, the capabilities and limitations of die striking and art casting, and, certainly, patina finishes.
American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on coin dealer J. V. McDermott. Thanks! -Editor
Two weeks ago I wrote that "James V. McDermott never owned a 1913 Liberty Nickel". I will start the story with the listing for McDermott as it appeared in American Numismatic Biographies (ANB) on the morning of Friday, November 25, 2022.
Michael Merrill submitted these notes on B. F. Newcomer and the Safe Deposit Company of Baltimore. Thank you! -Editor
In numismatics, Baltimore is known for the #1 and #2 and #3 best ever collectors and collections: Louis Eliasburg, Sr. ,John Work Garrett, and Waldo Newcomer.
Baltimore was also home to two of the earliest safe deposit companies in the US. Their 158 year history:
Michael A. Kodysz submitted these numismatic thoughts relating to two holiday television specials. Thanks! -Editor
Two Rankin/Bass Christmas specials, The Little Drummer Boy (1968) and Nestor the Long-Eared Christmas Donkey (1977), were favorites of mine as a child. While re- watching them again last Christmas season, several anachronisms stood out. With the benefit of childhood ignorance back in the 70s, I enjoyed these shows unperturbed by inaccuracies of historical detail. But now as a 50-something adult possessing a basic knowledge of history, these inexactitudes irritate me perhaps more than they should — after all, Rankin/Bass productions exist not for the purpose of teaching history, but as quasi-religious fantasy entertainment for children.
Nick Graver passed along an emailing from Jacob Lipson Rare Coins offering "a selection of Canadian rarities from the collection of a long-time enthusiast." Thanks. Interesting material, and great rarities. I don't believe I've ever seen any of these. -Editor
This article from World Banknote Auctions describes their current sale of the El Central Real Collection. -Editor
On December 13 at 1 PM EST / 10 AM EST World Banknote Auctions will sell the El Central Real Collection of World Paper at www.worldbanknoteauctions.com. The El Central Real Collection offers 380 lots offered in a single session. This advanced collection was assembled more than ten years ago by an enthusiastic collector with the assistance of a world paper money specialist. Initially not a collector of paper money, once the beauty, artistry, and scarcity of world paper money was understood this collector set about acquiring notes systematically.
This press release describes the upcoming Noonan's sale of an important collection of coins of the East India Company. -Editor
A phenomenal single-owner collection of coins of the East India Company will be offered by Noonans on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 8 and 9, 2023. Comprising 1,246 coins, the legendary Robert P. Puddester Collection has been amassed over the past 45 years and will be sold in 907 lots. Described as a
once in a lifetime opportunity, it is expected to fetch in the region of £2million.
The spectacular collection comprises coins dating from the inception of the East India Company in London by a group of merchant venturers in 1600, from the Madras, Bombay and Bengal presidencies; the uniform series from 1835 to 1858 and the regal coinages issued by British India down to independence in 1947.
As Peter Preston-Morley, Special Projects Director in the Coins department at Noonans commented:
This is undoubtedly the finest and most complete group of coins of the English East India Company, and British India, ever assembled.
An American Numismatic Society Pocket Change blog article by Alice Sharpless pushes back on last week's announcement from the Hunterian Museum. Here's an excerpt- see the complete article online. -Editor
A new study, published by Paul N. Pearson et al. last week in Plos One, has made a sensation in global news by claiming to have authenticated several unusual gold coins in the Hunterian Museum collection in Glasgow which seem to feature an otherwise unknown Roman emperor Sponsianus. The coins, which numismatists have long believed to be early 18th-century forgeries, include two gold coins naming the Roman emperor Philip I or II, another naming Gordian III, and a fourth naming a Sponsianus, who is known only from a few examples of this coin type.
All of these coins are ostensibly the exceedingly rare double aureus, though the weights are much higher than was typical. These coins are of uncertain origin but seem to have been part of a hoard discovered in 1713 in Transylvania. This hoard was recorded in a note by Carl Gustav Heraeus as including the same three coin types in Glasgow as well as three other types.
Another (timely) American Numismatic Society Pocket Change blog article by Nathan Elkins discusses numismatic research and peer review. -Editor
Numismatics is a rich and diverse topic, which attracts both popular interest and that of historians seeking to understand the past. The number of numismatic periodicals is multitude and ranges from blogs, collector newsletters, print and online magazines, and to academic journals. Each venue has different sets of standards for publication and serves different functions. A key factor that sets well-respected academic numismatic journals apart is the peer-review process, which journals in the sciences and humanities also employ. The reason that scholarly presses and periodicals use peer review is because such venues seek to advance knowledge and conversation in the field. The presentation of information or the simple collection of facts is insufficient; it is how the information and research are put together and analyzed to advance knowledge and understanding that is of critical importance.
On December 8, 2022 the Associated Press published a story we've discussed earlier here in The E-Sylum - English buccaneer Henry Every and potentially connected Yemeni coins unearthed in New England and along the East coast. I added an image from our earlier articles. -Editor
Newly surfaced documents also strengthen the case that English buccaneer Henry Every — the target of the first worldwide manhunt — hid out in New England before sailing for Ireland and vanishing into the wind.
At this point, the amount of evidence is overwhelming and indisputable, historian and metal detectorist Jim Bailey, who's devoted years to solving the mystery, told The Associated Press.
Every was undoubtedly on the run in the colonies.
A Coin Update article by Michael Alexander illustrates the new commemorative coins issued by Ukraine to celebrate the EU's acceptance of its membership application. That's not a non-event, and still worth celebrating despite the years-long long road ahead to actual membership that will be fraught with many obstacles and delays and no guarantees. Is there a category for Most Hopeful Coin of the Year? -Editor
The National Bank of Ukraine has released new collector coins which mark the granting of candidate status of the country to begin negotiations for membership to the European Union. This status became official on the 23rd June of this year. Substantial territories in the Eastern provinces of Ukraine are under some degree of occupation. However, the army of Ukraine has made impressive gains in an effort to defend the nation and has recovered territory in recent weeks. Ukraine declared their independence in August 1991, almost six months before the collapse of the former USSR. The referendum was passed on the 1st December of that year, and since then, the country has sought to charter a course of westernisation and closer economic, cultural, and trade relations with the European Union and further afield. Ukraine's interest in pursuing membership in the European Union was expressed as early as 2002, and at the time, it was believed membership might be possible in two decades, provided Ukraine met specific political and economic reform criteria.
The Royal Canadian Mint has issued a commemorative two dollar coin ringed in black to mourn the loss of Queen Elizabeth II. Nicely done. -Editor
he Royal Canadian Mint has produced a special, black-ringed C$2 coin to commemorate Queen Elizabeth, whose death in September triggered a huge outpouring of affection in Canada and sent collectors scrambling to secure rare coins and bills bearing her portrait.
The C$2 coin, Canada's highest denomination coin, which would go into circulation later in December, features Susanna Blunt's portrait of Elizabeth on one side and the traditional Brent Townsend polar bear design on the other, the mint said in a statement on Wednesday.
David Pickup and Dick Hanscom passed along this article reporting that the new King Charles III coins are entering circulation. -Editor
They are the first mass-produced coins carrying the new King's image, and will be given out in change to customers.
Here's the press release for the Croatian Mint's newest coins. Is one of them the world's smallest? -Editor
A Spectacular Farewell to the Kuna: Croatia Mints the World's Smallest Coin
On 1 January 2023, Croatia will introduce the euro. To mark the occasion, the Croatian Mint came up with something very special for the last kuna commemorative issue: it will set a new record for the world's smallest coin. The record coin is only available in a set, together with a commemorative issue for the Višnjan Observatory.
This is old news, since the U.S. Mint announcement came out last month, But I look for articles about new coins and medals in regional publications hoping to find interviews with local artists who worked on the pieces. Alas, this article just repeats the press release, but I've added more on the artist from the U.S. Mint website. -Editor
The United States Mint (Mint) today officially announced the reverse design for the 2023 Native American $1 Coin. The 2023 Native American $1 Coin honors American ballerina Maria Tallchief and American Indians in ballet. Considered to be America's first prima ballerina, Maria Tallchief broke barriers as a Native American ballerina (Osage Nation) exhibiting strength and resilience both on and off the stage. In addition to Tallchief, four other American Indian ballerinas from Oklahoma achieved international recognition in the 20th century, including her younger sister Marjorie Tallchief, Yvonne Chouteau, Rosella Hightower, and Moscelyne Larkin. Celebrated as the
Five Moons, their legacy of achievement and inclusion continues to influence ballet today.
At a ceremony at the U.S. Capitol Tuesday, law enforcement officers were awarded Congressional Gold Medals for their actions on January 6. 2021. The medals are will be placed at the U.S. Capitol Police headquarters, the Metropolitan Police Department, the Capitol and the Smithsonian Institution. -Editor
Congressional leaders have bestowed their highest honor — the Congressional Gold Medal — to the United States Capitol Police and Washington, D.C.'s Metropolitan Police Department for defending the U.S. Capitol from a violent attack on Jan. 6, 2021.
At an award ceremony in the Capitol Rotunda on Tuesday, leaders from both parties described vivid memories of the riot that day and the bravery of officers who responded to the chaos.
"Thank you for having our backs. Thank you for saving our country. Thank you for being not just our friends but our heroes," Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said.
The New York Times reported on the appearance of new signatures on U.S. paper money - Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen and Treasurer Marilynn Malerba. -Editor
During a recent appearance on
The Late Show With Stephen Colbert, Treasury Secretary Janet L. Yellen faced an awkward question: After nearly two years in the job, why was the signature of her predecessor, Steven T. Mnuchin, still scrawled across the nation's currency?
The answer, she explained, was a quirk of currency design that required a new treasurer of the United States to be in place before the money could be remade with both of their signatures.
Recently, we discussed Shanghai's newest library, where 80% of the square footage is non-book spaces—reading tables and study rooms, performance venues and lecture halls, cafes and gardens. Here's an article about a similar library in Helsinki, Finland. -Editor
Two steel arches span over 100 meters to create a fully enclosed, column-free public entrance space; the timber facade is clad with 33-millimeter-thick Finnish spruce planks. There are all manner of curious, Alice in Wonderland-esque places to sit — or indeed, lie down — while leafing through a book.
Among the vast number of amenities, what caught Johansen's attention were the library's 3D printers, laser cutters and equipment to digitally sculpt wood. But over time, he realized that there was a more radical and increasingly rare service that the library provides: a free and egalitarian public space.
Students can sit and study and just hang out, he explains.
Or you can have your kid walking around, playing around. I always spend time there with my daughter. It's more of a cultural space. You don't need to consume anything.
Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor
Despite the headline "Roman Treasure Stolen from British Museum...", the coins were stolen from a regional museum in Preston where they had been deposited before being shipped to the British Museum for review. -Editor
Thousands of dollars worth of historical artifacts are suspected of being stolen in England, according to a report Thursday by the Daily Mail. The lost Roman era treasures were slated to be examined by the British Museum.
The trove includes 28 Roman silver coins and a silver ingot unearthed earlier this year in Rutland. The artifacts were given to the museum by the two metal detectorists who found them as required by law.
To read the complete articles, see:
Roman Treasure Stolen from British Museum After Metal Detectorists Forfeited it by Law For Safekeeping (https://www.artnews.com/art-news/news/roman-treasure-stolen-from-british-museum-after-being-forfeited-by-law-for-safekeeping-1234649821/)
Thieves steal hoard of Roman treasure worth thousands from museum after metal detectorists were forced to hand it over by law 'for safekeeping' (https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-11516671/Thieves-steal-hoard-Roman-treasure-worth-thousands-museum.html)
Other topics this week include an Anglo-Saxon Gold Coin Necklace, -Editor
With the auctions of material salvaged from the SS Central America behind us, another gold rush ship recovery effort may be on the horizon. -Editor
The famous gold-rush steamer SS Pacific which sank as it traveled from British Columbia to San Francisco in 1875 with nearly $5 million worth of gold on board, killing 325 people, has been found at the bottom of the ocean.
SS Pacific, which was carrying $180,000 of gold - around $4.8m in today's money - had collided with the sailing ship Orpheus south of Cape Flattery in Washington. It was the deadliest maritime disaster in the history of the western US.
Two experts from the Northwest Shipwreck Alliance, Matthew McCauley and Jeff Hummel, now believe they have found the lost ship.