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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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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: 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!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

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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.

  Solidus 111 Lot 007 Monographien. Bibliophile Werke. Banduri, A.

Read more here

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Roberto Jovel submitted this announcement of a new book on siege coins in Latin America. Thank you! -Editor

Siege Coins for Latin America book cover 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.

Siege coin Recife Brazil 1645-1646 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 ( or to the email address of Pedro Cano (

Read more here

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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.

  Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez on Collecting, Investing, and
Writing About American Silver Eagles


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.

Read more here

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Contest Longtime reader and E-Sylum booster Martin Kaplan has donated $100 as a top prize for a new 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


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.

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


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

  Dr. Fuld interview

Read more here

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Last week Chester Sullivan asked:

  • Who is the woman depicted in the drawing?
  • How is she related to American numismatics?
  • What is the astonishing anomaly in the drawing?

  1796 Castorland medal sketch
Photo credit: Bibliothèque National de France

Pete Jones writes:

"Thank you Chester Sullivan for your puzzle! The lady depicted on Duvivier's drawing for the Castorland jeton is presumably Marianne — the French goddess of liberty who started during the French Revolution (1789-1799). Marianne was the French equivalent of the American allegory of Liberty derived from France's Augustin Dupré's 1781 Libertas American medal.

"Thank you Chester Sullivan for your puzzle! However, there is an anomaly on the Castorland jeton: Marianne's attributes should be a Phrygian cap or cockaded hat, not a mural crown, which was for city deities or Tyche (Fortuna in Rome)."

Read more here

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Dan Brown Letter 08-22-96 P. 1 Tom DeLorey writes:

"The mention of the Dan Brown video reminded me of this letter he wrote to me back in 1996, after there had been an exchange of Guest Commentaries in Coin World about 1964 Peace Dollars, and whether or not any had ever gotten out of the Denver Mint back in 1965. In my commentary I had quoted a former Denver Mint employee who had told me, during a visit to ANA Headquarters circa 1980, that the story that the Mint sold dollars to employees but then recalled them the next day was true.

"The subject remains very controversial. The Mint says it never happened. I chose to not believe them. Other people do believe them."

    White spacer bar
  Dan Brown Letter 08-22-96 P.2 address deleted Dan Brown Letter 08-22-96 P. 3

Very interesting. Thank you! -Editor

Read more here

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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:

"I came across a similar case here a few years ago, though with not so much of a happy ending. A chap brought an ancient coin to me that he'd been given in lieu of payment for work, with the assurance it was a valuable old piece and he'd get good money for it. Unfortunately it came from one of those "Authentic Replicas" boards of crude copies made in Hong Kong sometime in the 60s or early 70s.

"For those unfamiliar with them, I wrote up a bit of a story with descriptions of each for a US collector board about 20 years ago - it's still available online:"

Read more here

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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

Ray Czahor writes:

"Neil Shafer put out the first Paper Money Catalog of the Philippine Islands in 1962. Until them there was a big hole in knowledge about the US issues for the Philippines."

Thanks, everyone. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Other topics this week include minding one's p's and q's. -Editor

Read more here

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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

Read more here

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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.

Read more here

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American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on coin dealer J. V. McDermott. Thanks! -Editor

  1913 Liberty Nickel McDermott Specimen
The McDermott 1913 Liberty Nickel

  J. V. McDermott

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.

Read more here

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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:

  • 1864 Safe Deposit Company
  • 1876 Safe Deposit & Trust Company
  • 1884 Mercantile Trust & Deposit Co.
  • 1953 Merger of 2 above companies into Mercantile-Safe Deposit and Trust Co
  • 2006 PNC takeover

Read more here

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Michael A. Kodysz submitted these numismatic thoughts relating to two holiday television specials. Thanks! -Editor

  Chocolate coins, the Jefferson Nickel, and the Star of Bethlehem

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.

Read more here


BIBLE LORE AND THE ETERNAL FLAME— Kenneth Bressett's latest book is a numismatic and archaeological trip through Biblical times, a roadmap of the Old and New Testaments that explores history through coins. Beautifully illustrated and entertainingly written by a master of the craft. Order your copy online at , or call 1-800-546-2995.


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

  Edmonton Hotel Token obverse Edmonton Hotel Token reverse

Read more here

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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 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.

Read more here

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This press release describes the upcoming Noonan's sale of an important collection of coins of the East India Company. -Editor

Noonan's Puddester catalog cover 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.

Read more here

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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

  Coin types from the 1713 hoard
Coin types from the 1713 hoard

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.

Read more here

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Another (timely) American Numismatic Society Pocket Change blog article by Nathan Elkins discusses numismatic research and peer review. -Editor

Edward T. Newell 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.

Read more here

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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

James Bailey holds a comassee, an Islamic coin minted in Yemen in 1693 One tarnished silver coin at a time, the ground is yielding new evidence that in the late 1600s, one of the world's most ruthless pirates wandered the American colonies with impunity.

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.

Read more here

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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.

Read more here

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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

  Canada black toonie

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.

Read more here


David Pickup and Dick Hanscom passed along this article reporting that the new King Charles III coins are entering circulation. -Editor

First Charles III coin held Millions of 50p coins bearing the image of King Charles III will enter circulation from Thursday via post offices across the country.

They are the first mass-produced coins carrying the new King's image, and will be given out in change to customers.

Read more here

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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.

Read more here

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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

Maria Tallchief quarter 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.

Read more here

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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 Gold Medals for January 6th

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.

Read more here

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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

  Yellen signature on dollar bill

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.

Read more here

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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

  Oodi library

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.

Read more here

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

Roman Treasure Stolen While Under Museum Safekeeping

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

Museum in Preston where coins were stolen 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 (
Thieves steal hoard of Roman treasure worth thousands from museum after metal detectorists were forced to hand it over by law 'for safekeeping' (

Other topics this week include an Anglo-Saxon Gold Coin Necklace, -Editor

Read more here


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

  SS Pacific

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.

Read more here

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