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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:

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Numismatic Bibliomania Society
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Sale Calendar

  • Kolbe & Fanning February 25, 2023

Watch here for updates!


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: Bob Dolle, courtesy Steve Hill; Ron Hight , courtesy of Wayne Davis; and Gene Goodine of the Pine Tree Coin Club in Bangor, Maine. Welcome aboard!

Thank you for reading The E-Sylum. If you enjoy it, please send me the email addresses of friends you think may enjoy it as well and I'll send them a subscription. Contact me at anytime regarding your subscription, or questions, comments or suggestions about our content.

Happy Birthday, Hermon Atkins MacNeil!

This week we open with a new Asylum issue, one new book (in three languages), updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, world coin bags and more.

Other topics this week include the Comitia Americana medals, Bob Leuver, Jeff Garrett, Ralph Ross, William Sharp, Syd Martin, St. Eligius, coin postcards, the first U.S. Mint, the Compton Dundon hoard, and counterfeit Canadian toonies.

To learn more about gold coins of Switzerland, U.S. Congressional documents related to coinage, "rainbow" currency rumors, a complete set of Templeton Reid gold coins, buying a the 1913 Liberty nickel, the SCAMS grading system, Thomas P. Rockwell, John Saunders, Allen Nystrom, the Pat Zabel collection of Anglo-Saxon coins, Albany Church Pennies and camel toe coins, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

Image of the week


The Spring 2023 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

The Asylum Spring 2023 Issue

Contents: Asylumv41n1cover-1

  • ASSOCIATIONS: Autographs • Annotations • Inscriptions Charles Ira Bushnell's Flandin's Catalogue of Coins and Medals: Part IV, Installment 1: The Winslow J. Howard Sale, May 17, 1856 By Joel J. Orosz
  • A Rose by Any Other Name: Jack Collins versus Martin Logies By David D. Gladfelter
  • A Fist Full of Halfcrowns: Margaret Amstell and An Early Check your Change By David Pickup
  • Fake Names in Numismatics By Pete Smith
  • Trivia Quiz: 1990s style, Answers to last issue's quiz By Charles Davis

Read more here

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A new book on the gold coins of Switzerland is available in French, English and German. -Editor

  Gold coins of Switzerland book covers

Gold coins of Switzerland 1851-2022

Swiss Gold Coins is a new kind of quotation catalog.

The numismatic market is evolving and NGC and PCGS certifications have become essential for coins of great rarity or high quality.

Read more here

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Editor Max Hensley passed along the contents of the latest issue of Scripophily magazine from the International Bond and Share Society (IBSS). Thanks! -Editor

Scripophily 2022-12 cover NEWS AND REVIEWS
• Bits • Bang-Up Scripophily at Bonhams New York • Errata
• Banks In Transition: From Counters To Apps
... and more besides




Deutsche Bank Part III: Shares in Deutsche Bank as a Mirror of German Currency History
by Dagmar Schönig, (c) HIWEPA AG

Read more here

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The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is Thomas Jefferson's 1787 Comitia Americana medal list. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

  Silver Libertas Americana medal

Thomas Jefferson's Comitia Americana List Available on NNP

Thomas Jefferson's 1787 Comitia Americana medal list Courtesy of Roger Burdette, we have added a 1787 Jefferson memorandum that details the Comitia Americana medal set. Located in the Jefferson papers at the Library of Congress, the document appears new to this writer; although a sharp-eyed E-Sylum reader may likely note otherwise. In any case, Jefferson's Memorandum summarizes congressional resolutions for individual medals and describes the designs and mottos. Two medals from the Adams-Bentley list are unnoted, namely the Henry Lee and Diplomatic medals. The description for the FRANKLIN NATUS BOSTON medal indicates that COMITIA AMERICANA resides in the reverse exergue; on known examples it does not. Jefferson refers to the Libertas Americana as the Declaration of Independence medal and does not identify Libertas Americana as the obverse legend. Other discrepancies likely exist, and this document is worthy of further study.

Read more here

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Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report on the "Trillion-Dollar Coin" and NNP's collection of congressional documents. -Editor

The Trillion-Dollar Platinum Coin Sneaks Through

Trillion_Dollar_Coin In 1996, the U.S. Congress passed Public Law 104-208, which states in part The Secretary may mint and issue bullion and proof platinum coins in accordance with such specifications, designs, varieties, quantities, denominations, and inscriptions as the Secretary, in the Secretary's discretion, may prescribe from time to time. The inclusion of the single word denomination has given rise to all manner of speculation as to whether the Treasury department can legally strike a trillion-dollar coin. Congressional coin legislation is usually quite specific about denominations to be struck, and one can go all the way back to the Mint Act of 1792 on this point. Whether or not intended, the language of the 1996 statute leaves this question open.

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 where David interviews ANA Executive Director Bob Leuver. -Editor


Read more here


A GUIDE BOOK OF UNITED STATES COINS. Preorder your copy of the hobby's Red Book, now in its 77th year, and keep your collection of classic hardcovers current. Visit to reserve your copy.


Here's the third and final part of Greg Bennick's interview with dealer and Redbook Editor Jeff Garrett, where the topic turns to great coins. -Editor

  Jeff Garrett Interview title card

Greg Bennick: Tell me this, just shifting gears just slightly because I could talk about grading all day long. I'm always in a process of learning myself. But what are some of your favorite coins that you've handled out of the millions of coins or hundreds of thousands or whatever it is that pass through your hands every year? I mean, over time, what are some of your favorite coins that you've handled throughout your career?

Jeff Garrett interview screenshot Jeff Garrett:  You know, probably the most important collection that I ever had a chance to handle that was just amazing from start to finish, I think it was about 15 years ago or maybe a little bit longer, I lose track, it goes by so fast. But Bob Harwell in Atlanta, Georgia had a client who had put together the finest collection of Dahlonega Gold and it was called the Duke's Creek Collection. So, we bought a complete set of gold dollars, two and a halves, threes and fives and he had a complete set of Templeton Reid gold coins. And I think it was around $5 million, but probably three quarters of the coins were finest known for what they are for the coin. So, it was an amazing collection of coins and we bought it and broke it up and sold it to different people. Mark Salzberg actually still owns the set of $5 gold pieces. It was sold to an investor at the time, and then somebody that Mark Salzberg knew and when he had a chance to buy it about four or five years ago, he bought it intact. So the ones and two and a halves got broken up and you still see the pedigrees occasionally. Don Kagan bought the Templeton Reid gold, which is a two and a half, a five and a 10 and those are mega rare and placed them with a client. But across the board, that was probably the neatest collection I ever handled as far as being the finest known. And also I love US gold coins, it was just really a distinct pleasure to own and have a chance to be involved in it.

Greg Bennick: Are there any coins that you wish you handled? Meaning the one that got away, those sorts of things? I know that I've got a few of my own certainly, but I'm really curious to know about yours.

Jeff Garrett:  Yeah, you know what's funny, it's like this 1919 penny kind of brings it to mind. If I had to go back in time and tell my younger self, I would've said how many times did I own like a 1945 dime in MS-68 that I probably sold for $30? If I'd had any idea or an inkling that thirty years later people would pay insane money for relatively modern coins, like a set of Lincoln pennies or Jefferson nickels and things like that. So they might not have been the most interesting, but I wish I'd have had the foresight to understand superb gems. And there's been some people who have done that back in the day, we all thought they were almost kind of crazy. They would pay like crazy money for a coin because it was like, oh, it had unbelievable toning , they pay $300 for Morgan dollars. Like, oh, that's crazy and now those are $30-40,000. So probably going back in time, I'd let a lot of really great superb coins slip through my fingers that I sold that probably, if I had any foresight at all, I probably would've kept them.

Greg Bennick: So here's an interesting question that just came to mind. What are those coins now? Meaning that certainly thirty years from now, people will be sitting around, maybe 50 years from now, they are going to be sitting around thinking, Man in 2022, 2023, we had the chance to buy…. blank….and we just let it go cause we thought it was overpriced then. There's always that situation, like if you asked my dad, he'd say sure, an 1856 Flying Eagle was cheap when he was coming up collecting, but who had the money to buy that? Regardless of how cheap it was compared to modern standards. What do you think those coins are now? I know that's speculative and I know you're not giving investment advice….

Jeff Garrett: Yeah, well I had a conversation like this just recently with a friend and I told him about…it goes back to what I told you originally about the coin business, it is about supply and demand. So, if somebody came in and said I really want to buy coins…but I want to learn about them. I always tell people don't buy anything for an investment. You know, try to learn about it and become a collector because you have a much better chance. But the idea that if you buy the keys for almost every series and I talked to someone the day, a good friend of mine, Rollo Fox, up in Louisville. He put together a complete set of Double Eagles. He started putting it together and he realized that, you know, you get to this must- have mentality and you gotta pay a lot of money to get a certain date or whatever. But he said that now he collects coins by what he calls The Box of 20. So, he'll buy like a really nice coin and that's how he collects now. He doesn't collect by series. He collects one really nice grade coin. 

So, I think in the long run, 40, 50 years from now, you know, an 1881-S Morgan Dollar, I don't care how good you think it is, it's still going to be a common coin because there's tens of thousands of them out there. But an 1889 CC dollar in MS-63, that's a good coin. And if the numbers of collectors grow,  theoretically there's going to be more people collecting Morgan dollars and they're going to need those key dates. So, I think the supply and demand factor, if you think about it, the focus on key coins regardless of the series or regardless of the country or ancient coin, modern coin, whatever it is, I think that you have the leverage of demand that'll always be in your favor. And that's what I would think is a good idea.

Greg Bennick: Speaking of, what did it feel like when you bought the 1913 Liberty nickel. I've seen the video and you were very, what's the word, understated in that moment? If it was me, I would've done a backflip off the chair and I would've been screaming and yelling. You were very understated, very calm. What did it feel like to buy the 1913 Liberty nickel?

Jeff Garrett:  Well, it was more of like a shock moment because…I've written a couple articles about it, but I didn't know I was going to buy that coin earlier in the day. I called my good friend Larry Lee, who I knew had a couple of big clients. I said, Larry, there's a 1913 nickel coming up, but it might sell reasonably. That coin is kind of funny. It's such a great classic coin, but now it's not even close as far as the most valuable coin. That's because so many other coins have shot up above it, but it still has the best story. It's still iconic. I said, Larry, this might slip through the cracks. So, an hour or two before the sale, he didn't return the call all day and then eventually he called me an hour or two before the sale and he says, What do you think it'll bring? I think I said, It'll bring under 4 million. I think it'll be probably a little over three. And we just talked about it for a while and he said, Well let's bid this…. And so I said I'll take a certain percentage…you do that. And then we went to the sale and then all of a sudden, you know as you've seen the video, it was sold. And it was kind of shocking, it was like, Oh my gosh, I can't believe this happened and we bought it.

I did tell someone, it's interesting lately we've been talking about, it's kind of sad that because of the pandemic, auctions now have been driven all online. And that was probably one of the last…well there's been a few instances lately, you know, The Bass sale they did live and had some clapping, but still not like this was. There were hundreds of people in the room. Hundreds. And when the coin went off, it was a roar of applause. I go outside, the press was there, I get interviewed. Now a coin sells for $8 million, and it's like, Okay. You know, a little bit like that…then the next lot. The drama of the grand auction room is really lost to us. And that's really kind of a sad thing because it really was exciting. And you know, it wasn't the biggest deal I've ever done in my career, but it was probably one of the more exciting deals I've done. And it was one that I'll always kind of cherish the evening. My son was sitting next to me when we did it, and it was a lot of fun. He had no idea I was even bidding. He was like, What? What are you doing? And it was something I'll always remember. And I can't even believe how fast time goes by, but this year, the Central State's show that's coming up, it'll be 10 years now. It'll be 10 years ago that we did that, so I know it went by pretty quickly.

Greg Bennick: Yeah, time just flies. That's amazing. And there is something about the live auction room that just can't be replicated. I mean, there's just an energy. I remember years ago, I flew to Baltimore. I'm from Seattle, and I flew to Baltimore to bid on an error coin. It was a counterbrockage Liberty, nickel, and I had wanted this coin forever. And I flew there and my dad met me. We went to the auction. To make a long story, very short, I bid on the coin and I think my palms are sweating even now, remembering how much my palms were sweating and the energy of it and the entire experience was just transformative. So that's why I had to ask, having seen that video of you.

Jeff Garrett:  Yeah. And it's such a shame that it's not really how it works anymore. It's so much more transactional now than it is or is like an experience, you know, something that you would remember and have fun doing it. One of my favorite auction stories of all time was John Jay Pittman when there was an 1854 Gold dollar in proof that he knew how rare it was. He was famous for being really knowledgeable back in the sixties and it came up for auction. It's famously called the Statue of Liberty coin. And he went to the front of the room and stood there with his hand up, like the Statue of Liberty facing down on anybody who was bidding against him, and he bought the coin. And that coin was famous always for that, the Statue of Liberty coin, he wasn't going to let anybody outbid him, but that's how he did. And I had the privilege of handling that coin about 10 years ago, I sold it to, well maybe less than that, to Del Loy Hansen, the billionaire collector. So, I got to sell that coin; it was a lot of fun.

Greg Bennick: That's amazing. That must have been a very intimidating moment if somebody had flown to proverbially Baltimore to bid on the coin and then Pittman standing in the front of the room like the Statue of Liberty. That's an amazing moment.

Jeff Garrett:  Yes facing the audience. It was pretty funny.

Greg Bennick: Now last question, and you've been really generous with your time, and I don't want, as I ask this, to make it sound like you've been in the business so long that I need to ask a historical question. Don't take it that way, you're certainly not a dinosaur and I'm excited that you're here just answering all these questions with me today, it's just amazing. But when you started, there were some of the old timers…were certainly were still around. Who were the characters that you remember? I'm always fascinated by numismatic history and who were some of the old timers that you remember who maybe aren't with us anymore, who were real characters? You know, just a story that pops into your head about like the Pittman story, for example.

Jeff Garrett: Well, it's funny. So I mentioned to you earlier: I grew up in Clearwater, Florida, so I had the luck. In 1974, when I was 16, the ANA convention was in Miami. And I'd never been to Miami. I hadn't really traveled much. And one of the coin dealers volunteered to take me down there and escort me down there. And I went down to the 1974 ANA and it was at the Fountainbleu. I recently stayed there with my wife. And it was kind of fun to see the old hotel, the site of the 1974 ANA and one of the vivid memories I have was…Abe Kosoff was there and that was very late. I'm not sure he lived a whole lot longer after that, but he was there and he had two showcases. He had a showcase on the right and one on the left. And in one showcase he had an ultra high relief Double Eagle, 1907 Ultra High Relief. It had recently sold for around a hundred thousand dollars, it kind of broke a new price record. And in the other case he had a mint condition Syracuse Dekadrachm, which I don't know what it was at the time. Those are both crazy coins to me at the time. But it was funny, he was dressed in a white summer suit and he was such a striking character. And I just remember seeing Abe Kosoff at his table and I was like wow, that was pretty cool to see and I still remember that. And that was my first ANA show in 1974 and luckily I've had the chance to go to every ANA convention since. I haven't missed one since 1974. So I've got a string going.

I'll tell you a funny story, it's not about a character, but the 1975 ANA was in Los Angeles, which for a 17 year old kid in Florida, it could have been on Mars. It was like forever. That was a long ways away. I didn't have any money at the time and I was like gosh, I'd really like to go to that show. And I went to my local Clearwater Coin Club and there was one of the great characters at the time, was a guy named Colonel Jeffries, which people who grew up in that area probably know him. He was a really crazy character and he had an 1839 half dollar for sale and he sold it to me and it was mint condition, but he didn't realize it was a No Drapery and it was like something I'd studied. I realized it and I bought it. I think I made like $500 on it. And that gave me the money to go to the 1975 ANA in Los Angeles. So, it was really funny, my little pickoff of a variety helped me go to that next coin show. And over the years I've really been lucky, I've got to know so many of the great characters in the business. I mean, there have been so many colorful people. I remember in my area there was Robert Hendershot, he was a great character. I'm not sure if you knew him back in the day. 

Greg Bennick: I know the name, yeah.

Jeff Garrett: Yeah, he lived to…I think he was 106 or so…kind of like Eric Newman did. And he went to the 1904 Louisiana World's Fair and he wrote a book about that later on because he was a big collector of those. And I remember buying great coins from him and some of the characters. Some of the guys that I really miss the most that became mentors was David Akers, was a really wonderful guy. He had an unbelievable memory buying coins, telling me stories from the fifties and sixties. He was always sharing with me. He was a mentor and I learned a lot from him and it really great. Even now, I consider Dave Bowers one of the great characters of all time. I consider myself lucky to call him a friend. The things he shared with me and some of the stories. But I'd have to make a list. I've really been lucky because I've done coins at the level where I got to know a lot of the great people. And it's been a lot of fun, but I'll never forget Abe Kosoff in his white suit, that's probably the most vivid one from my early years.

Greg Bennick: That's fantastic. Well, I know that we've been on for near nearly an hour, so I just want to thank you for your time and those are the questions that I'd prepared. I'm sure I could come up with a hundred more, but I really appreciate you taking the time to answer them. I appreciate Newman Numismatic Portal being willing to support what's going to be a series of interviews that I'm going to do with folks. And of course, I appreciate everybody watching. This has been really fantastic. Thank you so much.

Jeff Garrett: Oh, happy to do it. And I'm really happy with Newman Numismatic Portal because as we talked about it, numismatic education is the key to being a successful collector. So, people should utilize it as much as they can.

Greg Bennick: Awesome. Well, thank you so much.

GREG BENNICK - 2023 headshot About the Interviewer
Greg Bennick ( is a keynote speaker and long time coin collector with a focus on major mint error coins. Have ideas for other interviewees? Contact him anytime on the web or via instagram @minterrors.

To watch the complete interview on NNP, see:
Jeff Garrett, Interviewed by Greg Bennick (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:



Editor Judy Blackman published an article in the March 2023 issue of the Nashua Coin Club's publication the Nashua Numismatist about ANA President Ralph Ross and his family titled "Did you know a St. Eligius Knight leads the ANA?" With permission, we're publishing an excerpt here. Thank you! -Editor

This is a personal story of Ralph W. Ross, PhD, President of the American Numismatic Association (ANA) and a Knight of St. Eligius. To be a Knight, you must be a kind, generous, caring person focused on advancing the studies of numismatics, growing the hobby, and building fellowship. Dr. Ross is a role model in this regard. I hope you will feel the same pride that I do, when you are done reading, knowing that such as person is leading one of the largest numismatic organizations in the world! I am thankful to Dr. Ross and his family, for affording me time in the fall of 2022, to complete this story.

Ralph Ross PhD With the recent induction of Dr. Ralph W. Ross, PhD, as a Knight of St. Eligius, as a fellow Knight, I want to celebrate his glory. Also 2022 is a special anniversary for Ralph in terms of numismatics! Unlike, most articles published about Ralph W. Ross, PhD, this story of Dr. Ross will lean towards a more personal insight to the man — whose family lovingly calls him the genius — a devoted spiritualist, loving father, devoted husband, outstanding educator, renowned professional, fully-engaged hobbyist, and all-around nice person. Ralph's daughter Jillian notes, Our summer vacations were planned around ANA National Conventions in cities around the United States, at times bringing along my father's siblings and their families, and this included attending the ANA banquets too.

Let's first get the résumé covered that most articles are focused on. It's convenient where Ralph and his lovely wife Phyllis A. Ross live in Sugar Land, Texas. Ralph spent nearly two years in the National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA) —Occupational Health and Human Test Support. This came after his work with GTE as Assistant Engineer and GSI as a Seismologist. These three roles were in conjunction with his teaching career and advancing his own education. First came his Bachelor of Science (Mathematics, Chemistry), then his Master's degree (Mathematics), and over the course of 32 years, Ralph completed his Doctorate (Environmental Toxicology). It's important to remember Ralph and Phyllis started a family going on to raise three children during this period (Jason, Jeremy, and Jillian).

Read more here

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Inspired by last week's Newman Numismatic Portal report by Len Augsburger, NBS President Tom Harrison passed along an additional important book authored by William S. Baker. Thank you! -Editor

William Sharp Engraver portrait An additional William S. Baker's authored work is titled "William Sharp Engraver With A Descriptive Catalogue Of His Works". Sharp was born in London January 29th, 1749 and died at Chiswick July 25th, 1824. The rather obscure book has red pebbled cloth, 231 pages and a frontispiece portrait of Sharp dated 1817. In the first part of the book Baker presents a 30 page brief overview of Sharp's life and then highlights a number of his engravings. The second part gives a descriptive list of his 231 engravings. While the book's major numismatic connection is the author, it should be noted he engraved portraits of George Washington, Commander in Chief and Matthew Boulton. Baker praised Sharp's talent saying, "William Sharp stands unrivalled in the English, and the equal of the best portrait engravers of any school." This particular volume is inscribed on the half-title page "Clarence S. Bement from W.S. Baker". Today Bement is remembered for the quality and scope of his collection that was sold at auction by Henry Chapman.

Read more here

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E-Sylum advertiser writes:

"Being in the wholesale collectibles business for 55 or so years, we kept many bags, boxes, bands, wrappers etc. Here pictured, are some examples."

Thanks - these are great! -Editor

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BS and SCAMS Grading Systems
Pete Smith's article on Coin Bags had a humorous take on the topic of grading. Fred Schwan writes:

"I wrote a trilogy of articles for Numismatic News in the 1980s regarding grading. I cannot remember the name of the first one, but the idea was that since every coin is different, every one should be assigned a different grade which would be the equivalent of a serial number. The owner would be issued a certificate and the coin deposited under Cheyenne Mountain. The certificates could then trade. An updated article would propose images on the internet allowing a collector to actually see the coin.

"The second article was the BS grading system. I remember one line from the article of which I was particularly proud. I suggest that a VG bag may have been laundered and if it had not been, it probably should be.

Scam alert "The third article was intended to be the culmination of the series. It was about SCAMS--Scientific Coin Analysis and Marketing System. The heart of this was vending machines. Of course these machines were capable of grading coins on the spot. Furthermore, franchises were available for sale.

"I doubt if anyone remembers these stories. That is of course because it was a long time ago, but also because the SCAMS article was never published. Political correctness seems to have existed even then!"

You were always ahead of your time, Fred. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Other topics this week include the Milholland Collection, and the Warren Harding Inaugural Medal. -Editor

Read more here

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Sally T Davies of the UK writes:

"I recently came by this album of coin postcards and thought you or your readers might be interested to see some images. Together with the 45 postcards, which I believe is a complete set, was a contemporary guide to using the postcards as a reference source for exchange rates.

"The cards appear to have been collected from different sources and have various identifying marks such as Printed in Bavaria, Printed at works in Saxony, and Made in Germany. I've yet to examine them all ."

Thank you. We've published examples of the postcards before, but I don't believe we've seen this text. -Editor

Read more here


John Ferreri passed along this announcement for the next Boston-area lecture in honor of Thomas P. Rockwell. -Editor

  Thomas P. Rockwell Memorial Lecture
Tuesday, April 11, 2023 at 7:30 p.m.

Sponsored by:
Boston Numismatic Society, Currency Club of New England, and Collectors Club of Boston.

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The ANS has announced Hanna Antonina Jelonek as its latest J. Sanford Saltus Awardee. -Editor

Hanna Antonina Jelonek receives the American Numismatic Society's 2022 J. Sanford Saltus Award for Excellence in Medallic Art

Hanna Jelonek Biennale Plakatu medal The American Numismatic Society is pleased to announce that Polish sculptor Hanna Antonina Jelonek is the recipient of the Society's prestigious 2022 J. Sanford Saltus Award for Signal Achievement in the Art of the Medal.

A lifelong student of the arts, Jelonek studied at the Faculty of Painting, Graphics and Sculpture at the State High School of Fine Arts in Wroclaw before completing her MA at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw. She graduated with honors in 1981 with a specialty in medallic art under the supervision of Prof. Zofia Demkowska.

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John Saunders is the newest member of the U.S. Mint's Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). -Editor

The United States Mint today announced the appointment of John Saunders to the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) for a statutory four-year term. Mr. Saunders was appointed by Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen based on the recommendation of the Minority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives. He replaces Mary Lannin, who served on the CCAC since 2014, including two terms as chairperson. His term started on December 5, 2022, and he was sworn in on January 24, 2023.

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U.S. Mint Director Ventris Gibson presented a Bessie Coleman quarter to the Federal Aviation Administration. -Editor

Bessie Coleman quarter FAA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., was the site of a truly special moment on Tuesday when the U.S. Mint presented a new quarter honoring aviator Bessie Coleman to FAA officials.

The coin, presented by Ventris Gibson, former FAA chief human capital officer and now director of the U.S. Mint, occurred in the most fitting of places — The Bessie Coleman Room — and at the most fitting of times, Black History Month.

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Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor

Mintmaster. A chief official of a mint; the person held responsible for production and quality of coins and medals from a producing location. Originally this title, like that of, say a beer brewmaster, implied a tremendous amount of knowledge and technical skill to satisfactorily produce coins, all this in addition to administrative ability to direct and control a workforce. Later the term fell from active use as mint functions became more specialized, like coiner or chief coiner, assayer, engraver or chief engraver and such.

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ALLEN NYSTROM (1909-2009)

E-Sylum Feature Writer and American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on Seattle area numismatist Allen Nystrom. Thanks! -Editor


Another Hundred-Year-Old Numismatist

Allen Nystrom (1909-2009)

Allen Nystrom never rose to prominence in numismatics on a national level. Service at the local level resulted in Allen and his wife, Nina, being named Numismatic News Numismatic Ambassadors in 1979.

I started my research with his obituary published by the funeral home. It gave his name as Allen Richard Nystrom and his life dates as January 17, 1909 – April 30, 2009. This was followed by a summary of his hundred-year life.

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Roger Burdette published an insightful article for CoinWeek on why the U.S. Mint never moved from Philadelphia to the new capital city, Washington, D.C. The mint headquarters is there, but Philadelphia remains to this day the home of the nation's largest and most important minting facility. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online for more information. -Editor

The First Philadelphioa Mint In 1792, when the first U.S. Mint was getting started, the nation's capital was in Philadelphia. Congress met in Congress Hall, and government offices were scattered nearby in rented space. Our new national mint could not operate in rented buildings–the equipment was too heavy and bulky, plus there were horses to accommodate, and the security of precious metals and struck coins was important. The solution was to purchase a site somewhat outside the city center.

The history of the first United States Mint has been the subject of several numismatic books and articles, the definitive one being a 2011 book: The Secret History of the First U.S. Mint: How Frank H. Stewart Destroyed – And Then Saved – A National Treasure, by Joel Orosz and Leonard Augsburger. All of these explain the Philadelphia Mint and its problems dealing with poor equipment, insufficient and irregular bullion, and the overall decrepit conditions for man and beast.

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The St. James auction coming up on March 1st features a hoard of late Roman coins. Here's the press release. -Editor

St. James's Auctions is pleased to present the Compton Dundon Hoard of Late Roman Coins for auction on 1st March 2023.

St, James Compton Dundon Hoard sale Lot 29 In 2017 an important hoard of Roman coins was found in the village of Compton Dundon in Somerset, the exact location has been kept secret, but the hoard is known as The Compton Dundon Hoard. The hoard consisted of 564 base metal coins of the denomination Nummus, previously termed Centenionalis. Importantly a large part of the hoard consisted of coins of the usurper Emperor Magnentius and his brother Decentius (AD 350-53). The hoard was recorded as GLO-574C93 and declared as treasure and a selection was acquired by the Museum of Somerset after being recorded and partially cleaned by the British Museum. The Christogram coins of the usurper Emperors are one of the most demonstrative of the Christian faith within Roman coinage.

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In an email to customers last week, Allan Davisson previewed Anglo-Saxon coins in the upcoming March 1st 2023 Davissons Ltd. Auction 42. -Editor

Some things come around just once in a generation. Or even more rarely.

Pat Zabel's Collection of Anglo-Saxon Coins of the British Isles is one such shiny thing — an opportunity here for just a few more days. Then, on March 1, gone over the course of a few hours.

The vast array of rare Anglo-Saxon sceats and pennies that Pat found over many years of searching is the centerpiece of our auction this time, and a significant event in British numismatics. The quality and variety is breathtaking.

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A Stack's Bowers blog article by John Kraljevich announces part three of the Syd Martin collection. Syd was a great guy - a member of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society board, and most importantly, a significant researcher, author and collector of U.S. Colonial coinage. -Editor

  Syd Martin Colelction Part Three banner


1788 Connecticut Coppers • New York & Related Coinages • Immune Columbia, Confederatio & Related Issues Maryland Coinages • Virginia & Related Coinages • Elephant Tokens, American Plantations Tokens, & c.

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Another Stack's Bowers blog article by Chris Bulfinch discusses the overstriking of U.S. Half Cents on Talbot, Alum & Lee cents - several examples are included in the Syd Martin collection. -Editor

  Talbot, Alum & Lee cents

In the 1790s the fledgling United States Mint was casting about for the metal it desperately needed. One source of copper was Talbot, Alum & Lee, a New York-based East India trading company partnership established in 1794 that contracted with Peter Kempson's mint in Birmingham, England to produce thousands of copper one cent tokens, roughly the size and weight of a British halfpenny. These tokens were used to strike cents and half cents from 1795 to 1797. The Sydney F. Martin Collection included many of these issues, which will be offered for sale in Part III of our sale of this legendary collection, which will take place March 20, 2023, the first session our Official Auction of the Whitman Coin & Collectibles Spring Expo.

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Here's the second part of a press release for Künker's Spring Auctions, covering sales 385-386. -Editor

Catalog 385: Absolutism, Enlightenment and the French Revolution as Reflected by Coins and Medals – The Bader Collection

Every collector creates their own universe based on coins, medals, orders, decorations and other items. Nothing but their interpretation determines why these objects belong together. The Bader Collection, for example, deals with the question of how the absolutism of the early modern period developed into Napoleon's military dictatorship. With his collection, Frank Bader illustrates how various monarchs depicted their appreciation for the Enlightenment on coins. In this way, he pursued an interesting and demanding question, which led to a second collection: awards and insignia of the French Revolution.

What can we expect from the Bader Collection? Well, for one, there is a rich offer of German coins, mainly from Prussia with a focal point on the philosophical king Frederick II. But you can also discover a great selection of Habsburg coins, especially by Frederick's rival, Maria Theresa; of course, her Enlightened son Joseph II is also represented. There is also a large run of European coins and medals, for example a selection of Russian pieces and, of course, more than 150 lots of French coins and medals from Louis XV to Napoleon.

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This press release describes highlights from the upcoming Gadoury sale, featuring gold from Portugal, France and Italy. -Editor

Gold from Portugal, France and Italy

On 25 March 2023, Gadoury will auction off the collection of Monsieur B. de Z. It contains a rich selection of rare Portuguese medals, as well as French and Genoese gold coins including numerous rare pieces. The highlight is another part of the royal collection Casa Savoia with great rarities.

If you collect pieces from Portugal, France, Genoa, Casa Savoia or USA, be sure to save the date: on Saturday, 25 March 2023, Éditions Victor Gadoury in Monaco will offer important special collections on all five topics. Francesco and Federico Pastrone invite you to the elegant Hôtel Méridien Beach Plaza. A splendid opportunity to combine your passion for numismatics with a short break from the daily business.

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OVER 500 NUMISMATIC TITLES: Wizard Coin Supply has over 500 numismatic titles in stock, competitively discounted, and available for immediate shipment. See our selection at


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

Perseus Tetradrachm

Perseus Tetradrachm

MACEDONIA. Perseus. Under Zoilos. 179-168 BC. Pella or Amphipolis. AR Tetradrachm, 17.03g (35mm, 12h). Laureate head right with stubble beard / Eagle with wings back standing on a thunderbolt; ??S???OS ????SOS above and at eagle's legs. Monogram E to r.; wreath surrounding. Pedigree: Ex Sotheby & Co., London, Auction 22. April 1970, Lot 98 (Fritz Collection)

From the online offerings of Shanna Schmidt. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Macedonia. Perseus. Under Zoilos. 179-168 BC. (

Other topics this week include an 1813 Half Eagle, and a Vercelli Synagogue Medal. -Editor

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Bessie Coleman quarter Tuesday, February 21, 2023 was the date of the monthly dinner of my northern Virginia numismatic social group Nummis Nova. I had a brand new Bessie Coleman quarter in my pocket and passed it around the table. Steve Bishop was our host and we met at one of our regular haunts, Esposito's Italian Restaurant in Fairfax. A number of folks were already seated when I arrived. Tom's guest was Lorne LaVertu of the Fairfax Coin Club. I invited local high school student (and FCC member) Jonas Denenberg and Kellen Hoard, currently studying at George Washington University, both who'd joined us before. Here's a group shot.

  Nummis Nova 2023-02 group

Clockwise from left: Roger Burdette, Kellen Hoard, Lorne LaVertu, Tom Kays, Mike Packard, Steve Bishop, Jon Radel, Dave Schenkman, Eric Schena, and Jonas Denenberg.

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James Haas and Hermon Atkins MacNeil
The following day (Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2023) I had another fun numismatic encounter, for the first time meeting James Haas, author of Hermon Atkins MacNeil: American Sculptor in the Broad, Bright Daylight , creator of the Standing Liberty Quarter and multiple medals. Jim lives in Maryland, and I was able to arrange for him to speak at a lunch with some collecting friends in Odenton.

We met at a local place called The Hideaway. Suggested by Jim and seconded by me (I love the pulled chicken BBQ sandwich), it's definitely hidden away. Jim had literally gotten lost looking for it back in the 1970s. Today's it's larger and a little easier to find, but only if you've been there before or use GPS directions. You get off the main road, pass a Ruth's Chris steakhouse, an old church with a spooky cemetery, and a waterproofing factory before arriving at the parking lot. Definitely an old-time local place feel.

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Allan Behul submitted this article on the counterfeit Canadian two-dollar coin, also known as the "camel toe toonie". Thank you. -Editor

  Counterfeit Coins in Canada: The Story of the Camel Toe Toonie
A.J. Behul

  1996 Genuine Toonie2 1996 Counterfeit - Camel Toe Toonie2
Genuine and Counterfeit "Toonies"

If you stopped an average Canadian on the street, and asked about counterfeiting in Canada, (s)he would probably think of $50 or $100 dollar bills; the thought of the toonie (or Canadian two-dollar coin) probably not the first thing to come to mind, yet it is this particular denomination, that has made its way into news headlines for the last two to three years.

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The Lewiston Tribune published an article about a local coin dealer who purchased an 1849 Oregon Five Dollar Gold Beaver pioneer gold coin. -Editor

David Nelkin displays 1849 Oregon Five Dollar Gold Beaver coin Owning rare, expensive coins is nothing new for David Nelkin, who regularly buys and sells them for a living.

But Nelkin, the owner of Eugene Coin and Jewelry, is particularly proud these days about his purchase last year of a high-priced, rare coin from Oregon's era before statehood.

Now, he's about to show the 165-year-old "Beaver Coin" for the first time since he bought it.

"I'm just really ecstatic to own it," Nelkin said. "It's like owning a fabled piece of art. I look at it that way. And because I'm from Oregon, it has that extra pull."

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Here's a great story from Vancouver, Canada about the replacement of two stolen Olympic gold medals. -Editor

  Percy Williams Olympic gold medals replaced

Tracey and Brian Mead place the replica gold medals into a case, where they'll be on display at the BC Sports Hall of Fame in Vancouver, B.C. on Friday, Feb. 24, 2023.

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Ukraine has issued a commemorative banknote marking the one year anniversary of the Russian invasion. -Editor

  Ukraine War anniversary banknote collage

Ukraine's central bank unveiled a commemorative banknote on Thursday to mark one year since the start of Russia's full-scale invasion, with one side depicting three soldiers raising the national flag.

The other side of the 20-hryvnia ($0.54) note features an image of two hands tied with tape, an apparent allusion to alleged war crimes Kyiv has accused Russian forces of committing in Ukraine.

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

Podcast with Dennis Hengeveld

The Greysheet published a podcast with Dennis Hengeveld of World Banknote Auctions. -Editor

  Dennis Hengeveld

Patrick Perez sits down with the president and founder of the well-established auction house of paper money as the firm expands in to U.S. currency auctions as well.

The collectible currency field is growing rapidly and Dennis Hengeveld's auction house has been on of the hobby's best resources for fresh material for buying and selling world bank notes. Now the firm is expanding into the U.S. market with an auction. Patrick sits down with Dennis to dive in about his background, interests, and goals for his growing company.

To watch the video or listen to the podcast, see:
Exclusive Podcast with World Banknote Auctions' Dennis Hengeveld [Video] (

Other topics this week include another YouTube video with Dennis Hengeveld, and a Ron Guth Interview. -Editor

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This week's Featured Web Site is the counterfeit toonies catalogue discussed by .Allan Behul in another article in this issue.

"Since their introduction to Canadian circulation in 1996, our $2 coins, or "toonies" as we affectionately know them have been subject to two major series of counterfeit coins with a third series that got a lot of media attention."

Counterfeit Toonies Catalogue banner

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