The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

Visit our NBS Sponsors

E-Sylum Sponsor Banner KEUNKER banner01 E-Sylum Sponsor Banner AUDITORIUM banner01 E-Sylum Sponsor Banner CDN banner03 Banknote Book E-Sylum Sponsor Banner NORTH banner02

PREV       NEXT        v26 2023 INDEX         E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

About Us

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


Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link


There is a membership application available on the web site Membership Application

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

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


For Asylum mailing address changes and other membership questions, contact Chuck at this email address:


To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:



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: Joe Wobblie, and Anya M. 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.

This week we open with two numismatic literature sales, two new books, the Shekel Prize, two obituaries, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and more.

Other topics this week include Liberty Seated coinage, the Franklin Commemorative medal, the 2023 Newman Grants, Mexican Coin News, the coinage of Constantine, sculptor Lucy Richards, Leonard S. Forrer, the Great Americans medal, and mortuary medals.

To learn more about Hodges's 1862 American Bank Note Safe-Guard, the Waldo C. Newcomer collection, plantation tokens of Puerto Rico, Play Money, the Confederate Chemicograph Backs, the Lord and Lady Baltimore medal, U.S. Trade Dollars, Canada's niobium coins, a hoard of 17 million British military notes, the Bahrain National Museum exhibit, money disappearance protesters, and paying rent with eels, , read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

Image of the week

Heritage E-Sylum ad 2023-05-21


Here are some more highlights in the upcoming June 10. 2023 Kolbe & Fanning numismatic literature sale. -Editor

Kolbe-Fanning June 2023 sale cover June 10 Kolbe & Fanning Sale

On Saturday, June 10, 2023, Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers will be conducting our next auction sale. Sale 167 includes rare and out-of-print works on coins, medals, and paper money from antiquity to the present, and includes important offerings from the libraries of Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., and Richard A. Eliasberg, among other properties.

Some highlights of the sale include:

Read more here

Rosa E-Sylum FPL 24 Ad 2

Sunshine E-Sylum ad01


Steve Hayden has been handling the dispersal of the numismatic library for the estate of token dealer Steve Tanenbaum. Several new lots are available for bidding on eBay under his seller ID "stevehayden". Here are some selected items. In an email to clients this week, Steve H. wrote: "We have also returned to the Tanenbaum Library which we have been selling off and on for the last four years. For the rest of the summer look for many interesting books, auction catalogs and odd and ends from this extensive collection both at fixed price and auction." -Editor

  Tannenbaum Library Plantation Tokens of Puerto Rico Tannenbaum Library  1862 Satterlee Presidential Medals and Tokens

Read more here

TCNC E-Sylum ad 2023-04-30 Extravaganza Sale


Whitman has released a new edition of the Liberty Seated guide book. Here's the announcement. -Editor

GB-Liberty-Seated-2nd_cover Whitman Publishing announces the upcoming release of the second edition of A Guide Book of Liberty Seated Silver Coins, by Q. David Bowers. The 608-page book will debut at the American Numismatic Association World's Fair of Money in Pittsburgh, August 8, 2023. Before then it can be preordered online (including at and after the show it will be available from booksellers and hobby shops nationwide, for $29.95.

The United States minted coins with the Liberty Seated design from 1836 to 1891. The motif was used on circulating half dimes, dimes, quarters, half dollars, and silver dollars, in addition to twenty-cent pieces, Gobrecht dollars, and, in modified form, U.S. trade dollars. Tens of millions of the coins were produced at the mints in Philadelphia, New Orleans, Carson City, and San Francisco. They were made from the Hard Times Era through the nation's gold and silver rushes, the Civil War and its aftermath, and well into America's Gilded Age.

As collectibles, Liberty Seated coins have been growing in popularity for years, with many enthusiastic collectors and students. The Liberty Seated Collectors Club ( is among the hobby's fastest-growing specialty groups. Leonard Augsburger, president of the club, who wrote the foreword to the first edition, stated that Q. David Bowers offers both beginning and experienced numismatists a fresh perspective on collecting these fascinating silver coins.

Read more here

McBride ad 2023-04-02 ANA Governor


Author Peter Bertram has published a new edition of his work on the Confederate Chemicograph Back banknotes. Congratulations. Here's the announcement. -Editor

Chemicograph backs book cover Greetings friends - welcome to another release in my Confederate Numismatica series of books. I've been fortunate in my data search and have located a good bit of specialized information and several previously unknown Chemicograph specimens. I therefore felt that an update to my original Chemicograph Backs article (2018 - Supplement One) was called for and offer this Second Edition to fulfill the need. It is, to the best of my knowledge, the only published work on the Confederate Chemicograph Backs in print and thus fills another void in the study of Confederate Numismatica. I hope you'll like it!

    White spacer bar

Read more here

  Stacks-Bowers E-Sylum ad 2023-05-19 June 2023 Showcase


2023 Shekel Prize has been announced - here's the press release. Congratulations! -Editor

  Shekel Prize Medal Obv ShekelPrize Medal Rev
The Shekel Prize medal was designed by Victor Huster.

Mel Wacks, chair of the American Israel Numismatic Association's Shekel Prize Committee, has announced that the unanimous choice of the jurors for the 2023 Shekel Prize are Dr. Yitzhak Magen, Dr. Gabriela Bijovsky and Yoav Tzionit for the book Mount Gerizim Excavations - The Coins. The Shekel Prize is awarded annually to the best book published on the topic of ancient Judaean coins, coins of the Holy Land or Judaic numismatics. The winning volume discusses the History of the Samaritans on Mount Gerizim and includes the corpus of coins discovered on the site dating between the Persian and Byzantine Periods.

Read more here

Shevlin E-Sylum ad 2023-03-26 So-Called Dollars Vol 1


John Mutch passed along this interesting obituary of coin dealer and Idaho token book author Hollis Pincock. -Editor

Hollis Burt Pincock Hollis Burt Pincock, Jr., age 71, of Burley, Idaho, passed away surrounded by family on May 16, 2023.

Hollis was the oldest of seven children born August 23, 1951, in Huntington Park, California to Suzanne Sanders and Hollis Pincock, Sr.

Hollis' parents learned early on that he had a musical gift. When he was 5 years old, he heard a piano performance on the Lawrence Welk show and immediately got up and played it on the family piano. He could play almost anything by ear and soon learned to read music. He could play 3 instruments by age 9 and began playing professionally as early as 10 years old in Los Angeles. He was a member of the Huntington Park Youth Band directed by Phil Moore and toured in an adult symphony with top billing. He also performed on the Ed Sullivan Show, with the New Christy Minstrels, Lawrence Welk, and Herb Alpert, to name just a few.

Read more here

Garrett Mid-American E-Sylum Mary Lynn ANA Election

Kahn E-Sylum ad03 banner


Christopher Bower submitted these thoughts on collector Jeff Paunicka of Indiana, who passed away recently. Thank you. -Editor

Jeffrey R. Paunicka I only knew Jeff a few years and can hardly say that I knew him. In that short time, 5 years or so, it became evident that he was a true advocate for the hobby and truly loved mentoring young numismatists.

Jeff was a new member of the board for the Indiana State Numismatic Association, serving as a district Governor for the northern part of the state. It is an area that we have always struggled to cover, and we were looking forward to him bringing his energy to the position. His last email to the board was an update on the Calumet and Goodfellow clubs in northwest Indiana. His report was more thorough than we are used to seeing but it was not surprising coming from Jeff. Below are some pictures that he shared.

Read more here

  Jewell E-Sylum ad 2021-10-24


The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is correspondence from Homer Saint-Gaudens (son of Augustus) about the the Franklin Commemorative Medal. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

  Franklin Commemorative Medal obverse Franklin Commemorative Medal reverse

Homer Saint-Gaudens Speaks on the Franklin Commemorative Medal

Read more here

Jozefiak E-Sylum ad01 2023 ANA Governor


Len Augsburger provided this announcement of the 2023 Newman Grants on May 25th, the birthday of the late Eric P. Newman. More great projects outlined here -Editor

Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society Announces Newman Grants

EPNNES logo The Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (EPNNES) today announces its fourth set of Newman Grants, created to financially assist numismatic authors and organizations pursuing original research in American numismatics. Newman Grants are awarded annually on the late Eric P. Newman's birthday and assist with direct costs of numismatic research such as travel, photography, and graphic arts services.

Five awards are being made this year, touching on varied aspects of numismatics including United States federal coinage, medals, and Spanish-American paper money. The 2023 Newman Grant awardees are:

Benjamin Gastfriend will research elongated pieces produced at the Panama-California and Panama-Pacific International Expositions in the early 20th century, with a focus on archival materials held by the San Diego History Center.

Read more here

  Whitman Expo E-Sylum ad 2023-05


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 2007 about U.S. Trade Dollars with collector Bill Cowburn. -Editor

  Analysis of US Trade Dollars title card

Read more here

Karoleff E-Sylum ad 2023-04-02 Heinrich Governor


Peter Huntoon submitted these further comments on the fading of digital images. -Editor

I have read with great interest the comments that have been submitted on this topic over the past few weeks. Most have been technically oriented with explanations, rationalizations and speculations on how fading can or cannot occur, with targets for how it can occur being (1) repeated image manipulation and (2) limitations of different file storage formats. The widely used JPG and JPEG compressed file formats have received most of the attention and rightly so because they are heavily used in archival work because of space considerations.

The implication from these comments is that fading does in fact occur; however, virtually missing for our dialog so far is actual acknowledgment that anyone is willing to admit that they have observed fading other than my own blunt statement at the outset that the digital images I have saved are unambiguously fading and the degree of fading is a function of age. My oldest images are about 30 years old.

Read more here

Numismagram E-Sylum ad76 Museum Quality


  MCN 25-May-2023 - 0

Regarding the inquiry from Adrian Gonzalez Salinas about the 1960's publication Mexican Coin News, Allan Schein writes:

Mexican Coin News 1 "I am aware of 10 issues and these were recently scanned for the US Mexican Numismatic Association. Issues #1 thru #3 we only have photocopies of, but #4 thru #10 are originals. These came from the estate of longtime Mexican coin & currency dealer Ken Tabachnick who passed away in August of 2022.

"Please give Adrian my contact info. If we can scan his first three issues, the USMEX will be able to preserve a complete digital set all scanned from originals. And the club will be happy to help Adrian to complete his set by giving him theirs. After all, we have the same interests and are part of the same collecting community."

Read more here

  Nautical E-Sylum ad 2023-04-23


A Bonanza Coins Bonus
Joe Wobblie writes:

"The interview with Julian Leidman reminds me of a little story of my own.

Julian Leidman "About 20 years ago I was in Washington DC on a business trip. I was lucky to have some old friends put me up at their Silver Spring, Maryland home. Between their house and the Metro I noticed Bonanza Coins and found a few hours to stop by. I had a great time going through a decent bit of foreign coins. Where I am from, near the West Virginia - Kentucky border, there is not much interest or inventory of foreign coins around, so this was a treat. I had pulled out a nice little pile but when we added it all up I just didn't have the cash on me and no banks nearby where I could get any. "No problem" said Julian, "Just send me a check."

"I was a bit stunned - here I am a stranger who just walked into the shop and he sent me home with about $150 worth of coins unpaid for. Of course I sent a check as soon as I got home but I will never forget the guy for his kindness and trust."

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Other topics this week include Canada's Niobium Coins, and Anna W. Williams. -Editor

Read more here

E-Sylum Lighterman ad 2023-04-30 ANA Election

  Sullivan E-Sylum ad01


Here are a few short entries from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor

Monogram Filler A crayon-like wax material which when rubbed over sunken relief – monograms, letters, figures particularly – fills the incise relief with its contrasting composition to aid legibility. It is available in a variety of colors and lusters, is especially useful for edge lettering appearing on medallic items, and tenaciously holds within the sunken relief. The application is made at room temperature (in contrast to lacquer stick fill-in where the metal must be heated). See fill-in.

Read more here

Kenny Sammut ANA Election 2023

LEONARD S. FORRER (1869-1953)

E-Sylum Feature Writer and American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on author Leonard Forrer. Thank you. -Editor

This week I looked at my bookshelf to see if there was an author worthy of some promotion. I strayed from my normal course and went outside American numismatics.

  Leonard S. Forrer (1869-1953)

Forrer produced a great reference on numismatic artists. It was an expensive reference when I acquired it. The current value is a fraction of that original cost.

Read more here

Atlas E-Sylum ad02


Greg Bennick's latest interview for the Newman Numismatic Portal is with dealer Julian Leidman. Here's the fourth part, where Julian talks about coin dealing and grading. -Editor

  Julian Leidman Bonanza Coins

Greg Bennick: So, let's shift gears a little bit and talk about Bonanza, and what it's been like owning a coin store over the years. I know you mentioned that the auctions themselves have changed quite a bit over the years, from the dynamic of having people in the room screaming and yelling. What's owning a coin store been like over the years, with the rise of the internet and - I don't want to lead the question too much, but tell me what owning Bonanza has been like over the last half-century or so.

Julian Leidman Julian Leidman: Well, I started dealing coins full-time in 1965. And at the time, Al and his father had started Bonanza, and they moved Bonanza to downtown Silver Springs. And then Al graduated Maryland, and I flunked out at the same time. And so, I would hang around his coin store all the time. Eventually, he let me put a desk in the back room, and telephone and stuff like that. But he didn't retire until 1991, and I then said, well, I can't retire, so I said, let me take over Bonanza. And we made an agreement, and I moved it around the corner to where it was. It was on a main street in Silver Springs, Georgia Avenue, and I moved it around the corner on Wayne Avenue. Right now, it's half a block away from where it was. But Bonanza started back in the 60s, and it's still going into the 20s. So, it's been very enjoyable.

You know, I was not an early proponent of standardized encapsulated grading, because I thought there was more to a coin than just a number. And so, I didn't have very much of that. People would come in the store, they would buy coins. Al was really involved with coins his whole professional life. He's incidentally living in Delaware now, and we're very, very close friends. He would do a lot. At the time, back in the 60s, there were vest pocket dealers coming in, there was a lot of wheeling and dealing all over the place. There were bid boards in places. Bonanza never had a bid board, but he would do a lot of wholesale business and stuff like that. And I tried, but as the standardized grading came more into effect, there were less and less dealers, because there wasn't as much opinion involved anymore in the rarity and the condition.

Of course, I would disagree with grades I saw, and I never really got involved with it until Miles Standish visited me once from PCGS. And he said, ‘Listen, you gotta start doing this.' And this is in the late 90s. So, we took a bunch of coins and got them encapsulated. That's where I started with it. And right now, all of my listings on the internet are all either encapsulated or inexpensive, and don't need to be encapsulated. Things have definitely changed. Bonanza today, I mean, I have the store, and people come in and they occasionally buy coins. I used to have many more showcases than I have now. And as people were bringing stuff in, and I was buying it, I was never selling as much. And so, I had to rearrange things, and put new racks up there so I can store coins. And of course, encapsulated coins take even more room than a coin in a tube.

So, now I have just a few showcases, where I used to have eight or 10. And people come in, and they ask, and I say I don't have a lot on display, but let me find you what you need. And I do that sometimes, but less and less people are coming into the store to buy coins, and more and more people are coming into the store to sell coins. And normally, I would work every day, Monday through Friday like everybody else, and I'd come in Saturday afternoons, and I'd come in Sunday afternoons. Now, I was supposed to talk to you today from my store, but I was at a show last weekend, I just slept late this morning, so I didn't go into the store today. But it's the first in a long time where if I'm healthy, I go into the store.

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 video, see:
Julian Leidman Interview (

To read the complete transcript, see:
Julian Leidman Interview (Transcript) (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Kolbe-Fanning E-Sylum ad 2020-05-17


Greg Bennick's latest interview for the Newman Numismatic Portal is with dealer Julian Leidman. Here's the fifth and final part, where Julian talks about robberies and security. -Editor

  Julian Leidman Bonanza Coins

Greg Bennick: Well, if it's any consolation, I expected to interview you from Seattle, where I've got professional microphones, and I've got a whole setup going on, but I was at the same coin show that you were, and I'm actually at my parents' place on the east coast. So, instead of my background being all professional, I've got a background with a photo of my great-grandmother on the shelf over there, sitting here on my laptop in the basement. And that works for me. I'm happy to talk to you anywhere, anytime. This is fantastic. Originally, I was going to ask you about the theft and partial recovery of your coins, but I've enjoyed all the things that we've talked about so much that I might want to shift that question a bit in case there's something you want to tell about, because the story is well-known.

I was just maybe going to ask, what advice do you have on security for coin collectors and coin dealers, just to keep people safe? And if people don't know the background, Julian went through a theft and partial recovery of some coins. Again, the story is out there if you'd like to find it, and Julian, you're more than welcome to tell us the story if you like. But really, ultimately, at the end of the day, learning how we can keep ourselves safe, or some ideas and thoughts to keep in mind about safety and security would probably be really helpful for people.

Julian Leidman Julian Leidman: One thing I learned over the years was, you don't leave your coins in your car unattended. And we followed that religiously when we went to coin shows. I often traveled with colleagues. I remember traveling all over with my colleagues at Golden Eagle, who's still in business in Laurel. And we would go, and there would be three or four of us in the van, and the van would be loaded. And so, if we stopped someplace, two people would go in and eat, and one person would stay in the car. Well, I made a mistake. In 2009, I was returning home from Connecticut, a coin show there. I had been there two or three times, I guess. My in-laws lived in New Jersey, which is between Connecticut and Maryland. So, they said, ‘Why don't you stop here for dinner?' I was a little hesitant, but...

Now, going back over things, I really think I was followed from there. I don't know for a fact. And when I got to New Jersey, I pulled into their home, and I stayed outside on the porch, with the car. Somebody may have driven by to his house or something like that, and I didn't really pay much attention to it. And then they said, ‘Well, let's go out to dinner.' And that's- I really should have said no. And so, we went to this restaurant on a busy route. I went into the restaurant, I backed into the place where I could see the car right there, and as I was sitting down, the lights are blinking on the car, and I said, well, I must have hit my keys in my pocket. You know, I must have hit the fob or something and it set off the alarm. So, I just clicked it and it went off. I had my dinner, and went outside, and the car had been broken into.

And if I had gone outside at that time, I might have stopped it, I might have gotten shot, I don't know what would have happened. But, in any event, I was horrified. Here's everything I worked my whole life for, and... They got two or three cases, including a suitcase full of clothes. So, we called the local police. I had a friend who's son was with the FBI, I called him, and I never really realized, but the FBI really has to be invited into a case by a local police agency. So, I ended up telling the local policeman what was what. I called some of my friends, I put it out on various numismatic networks that this had happened. The next morning, because I couldn't really drive home that night, I'm driving home with a broken side window in the van. I drove home, and I put out more and more publicity.

And eventually, I got a lead from somebody, and he told me that he's being offered some of these coins, and he mentioned a couple of coins. Very silly coins, but one of which was a valuable, a 1921 Double Eagle that was encapsulated. And also, he mentioned a 1954 S Penny encapsulated in, I don't know, MS65 or 67. Now, this isn't something that somebody would mention to you, but that's what they had told this guy. And so, I called the FBI, who had been involved with it, I told them about this, and they went and talked to the guy, and realized that it probably was the same coins. And they made arrangements to go find out where the coins were, and they were able to go and raid the place where the coins were. And it was on West 47th Street in New York City, the diamond district, where all these guys were buying and selling diamonds, and gold, and coins, and whatever.

And this one guy, who was one that bought, evidently, all these coins, and he had to meet these people in an odd place, and pay them cash or whatever. He made a good buy, but he ended up going to jail because he never would give up who the coins came from. And the FBI, incredibly, recovered a huge amount of the coins, in dollar value too. It could have been 80% or 90% of the value, which was in the millions of dollars. And so, I wasn't dead, although it did take me a long time to get the coins back from the FBI. but they eventually, through the intervention of some of my friends and colleagues- Jimmy Hayes was a former congressman from Louisiana, and Jimmy had obviously befriended other members of Congress, and so he introduced me to Louise Holtzman from New York City, and she was able to write a letter and contact the FBI on my behalf, and I was able to eventually get physical possession.

Even though I had gone and looked at them, and ascertained that these were absolutely the same coins, zero question about it, they were thinking they were going to have to have a trial, and they're going to need to have these coins as evidence, and it didn't really ever happen that way, because they never did find the actual thieves. Because the FBI never- they told me at the time that they never recover more than 5% of what's stolen, and here I had something where they recovered 80+% of the coins. It's absolutely incredible. And so, I was kind of back in business.

Greg Bennick: I'm just glad that you were safe during the robbery, first and foremost, and of course, like you said, that you got such a big percentage back. Are there any tips or ideas you might give to folks just to keep in mind as they're going to coin shows, or as they become a dealer, or as they are dealers, based on your experience, and what you've thought about since then?

Julian Leidman: Well, going to coin shows is less of a problem because nobody knows when you're going, or where you're going to, or anything like that. But, coming home from a coin show is a real problem. I mean, this went back to... for as long as I was in business. Before me, people would leave a coin show, and they'd be followed, and they'd stop, go in to eat, and they come out and their coins are gone, or their car is gone, whatever. So, that's the main thing. If you're going stop to eat, there's got to be more than one of you, and you have got to be in the car. There's just no question about that. So, that's my number one thing. And just watch your surroundings. I remember coming home from coin shows in Florida, I used to go down to Florida for the month of January and do four coin shows in Florida, the FUN show and three other little shows around the state.

And so, we were returning home from one of those trips, and my friend and colleague Don Aft, who I would travel with, he's looking in the back mirror, and he sees somebody following us. So, he pulls into a gas station, and the other car pulled into the gas station. I get out of the car and start walking toward the other car, and the other car backs up down a side road for half a mile, just totally backs up. And we were being followed. So, you have to watch everything. I've been the victim of sneak thieves at coin shows, where people have stolen something out of a showcase or something like that. So, the key is eyes and physical presence. Those are the two main things. And watching who you're talking to. And there's still thieves at coin shows. Just this last weekend in Baltimore, they caught a thief at the coin show.

And I had seen this guy at the Baltimore show for 10 or 15 years, and I never was in a position to lose something to him, but I've lost things to other people because I wasn't really the same eyes and ears, and physical presence that I needed to be. So, those are all very important things. Steve Ellsworth, a retired army colonel, has done a lot with security, and made many presentations to numismatic groups about security. Of course, I understood everything he said, and I made that one mistake. And I made other mistakes too. Mistakes are what cost you, really.

Greg Bennick: I appreciate the story and the insights. It's so important for people. And overall, I appreciate your stories. You've been so generous with your time. We've been speaking close to an hour at this point, and the history and all of it has been just so incredible. I'm just so thankful that you were able to take some time today and speak with me, and share some of your experiences over the course of your career. It's just been wonderful.

Julian Leidman: Well, that's very nice. I'm happy to talk to you. And I can ramble on for- You know, we could do this for another couple of hours too, but I don't think there's anybody that really needs to watch an interview that long. You know more about that than I do. So, I'm appreciative to be able to share the time with you.

Greg Bennick: That's fantastic. Well, if folks are interested in hearing more, you can drop a line to the Newman Numismatic Portal and get in touch with me. My contact information is on the page where you found this interview, and if people are interested in hearing more, we'll do Julian Leidman part 2. But for today, Julian, thank you so much on behalf of myself, and also on behalf of the NNP for taking the time. This has been really fantastic, I really appreciate it.

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 video, see:
Julian Leidman Interview (

To read the complete transcript, see:
Julian Leidman Interview (Transcript) (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

E-Sylum Northeast ad01


Greg Bennick's latest interview for the Newman Numismatic Portal is with London dealer Richard Lobel. Here's the third part, where Richard talks about starting Coincraft. -Editor

  Richard Lobel CoinCraft title card

Greg Bennick: Yep. Exactly. And move to London as this free spirited wild soul. And then how did Coincraft come about once you were in London?

Richard Lobel 2 Richard Lobel: Right. I started my own company, Richard Lobel and Company Limited. And a guy who used to work for me owned the name Coincraft, and he had an account, a bank account in Switzerland, and I think I paid him £500 pounds for the name and the account. And that's how I got the name, Coincraft. I thought it was fine. And so we've used it since then. It's probably -- I could have thought of a better name, but it's fine. It works.

Greg Bennick: It's great. It absolutely works. Now, you're a free spirited youth, you're running around London, you're sleeping past breakfast because you've been out partying all night.

Richard Lobel: Right.

Read more here

Early Cents E-Sylum ad 2023-05-14 Upcoming Sales


Greg Bennick's latest interview for the Newman Numismatic Portal is with London dealer Richard Lobel. Here's the fourth part, where Richard talks about the business Coincraft has become today. -Editor

  Richard Lobel CoinCraft title card

Greg Bennick: What is the scope of Coincraft today? I'm assuming that was sometime around, let's say that, or like you said, the early 70s or so. How did it grow? What did it become?

Richard Lobel 2 Richard Lobel: In 1976, we rented a shop across from the British Museum, and we slowly kicked everyone out, and we -- about 20 odd years ago, we had the chance to buy the building. It was financially a big crush. It was tough. But we bought it. So, we own the building. We're a strange firm -- we don't borrow any money from the bank, which most American coin dealers cannot believe. We're totally self-financing. We own the building outright. We've paid it off and we have two other locations, let's say, 7,000 square feet of space, which they're complaining that I keep buying too much and we might run out of space again. I love buying. I absolutely -- I just don't like selling.

Greg Bennick: Incredible. So, you've got all the space and you've got an entire building across from the British Museum at this point.

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


A new exhibit at the Bahrain National Museum highlights the history of ancient Arab coins. -Editor

  Bahrain Museum Exhibit 1

An exceptional exhibition of numismatic collectors entitled Coins Through Culture and History was unveiled yesterday at the Bahrain National Museum. Present were Minister of Youth and Sports Affairs Eyman bin Tawfeeq Al-Moayed, Bahrain Islamic Bank (BiSB)'s Chief Corporate and Institutional Banking Officer Jawad Humaidan, and numerous other officials.

Read more here

E-Sylum Leidman ad03 coin


Mike Kodysz passed along this interesting article about how "eels essentially became currency" in medieval England. Thanks! -Editor

Conducting business with eels JOHN WYATT GREENLEE, A MEDIEVAL historian focusing on cartography, never intended to become the Surprised Eel Historian, as he dubs himself on Twitter. When he first proposed his Ph.D. project on eels, it was declined. Greenlee went ahead and studied eels anyway, and his passion for these wormlike, elongated fish has now managed to capture the fascination of others. Greenlee specifically looks at the role eels played in medieval English economy and culture—a role far more important than many would think. In medieval England, eels essentially became currency. Medieval peasants would use the fish to pay their rent and make other economic transactions.

Read more here

Guth E-Sylum ad02 Detective Agency


An new CoinWeek article by Mike Markowitz looks at the coinage of Byzantine emperor Constantine. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor

THE FOURTH BYZANTINE emperor of the Macedonian dynasty, Constantine VII is remembered as Porphyrogenitus, meaning Born in the Purple. The term applied to rulers born while their fathers held the throne. The palace in Constantinople even had a Purple Chamber where the empress would give birth, its walls lined with slabs of porphyry, a prized reddish purple marble quarried in Egypt.

Constantine's father Leo VI (Leo the Wise, ruled 886-912), like the future English king Henry VIII, had terrible luck fathering a male heir. Three successive wives died without delivering a son. Leo's mistress, Zoe Karbounopsina (She of the Coal-Black Eyes) bore Constantine on May 17, 905. The Orthodox Church disapproved of third marriages, and absolutely forbade fourth marriages. Defying the Church, Leo married Zoe on January 9, 906, making her his empress. Young Constantine was formally crowned as co-emperor at the age of two.

Read more here

NumisPlace E-Sylum ad01


Here's an interesting numismatic tidbit from a Stack's Bowers blog article by Chris Bulfinch. -Editor

  First common era coin dated 1234

Ancient and earlier medieval coins are often dated by regnal year, not by year-dates of the Julian/Gregorian calendar. The practice of applying Common Era dates to coinage began in the thirteenth century, with the first Common Era date borne by a coin being 1234, applied to a bronze coin struck in Denmark under the reign of Valdemar II. This bronze coin has the date in Roman numerals on the reverse. Seven examples are known, one of which resides in private hands. That the first Common Era date featured on a coin is composed of ascending digits is certainly interesting.

Another coin struck in the early thirteenth century which could plausibly claim the moniker of first Common Era-dated coin, a silver obol struck in Toledo in 1166. It bears the date 1204 of the Hispanic Era, a dating system in use on the Iberian Peninsula in the Middle Ages.

Read more here

Marketing E-Sylum ad02


A PCGS blog article by Jay Turner examines counterfeits of common Kennedy halves. -Editor

After working professionally as a coin grader for over 20 years, I am still surprised by what can cross my desk. Recently while grading coins from a PCGS express submission from Hong Kong, two such surprises were in a single submission. Submitted as a crossover from an alternative service based in China were two counterfeit Kennedy Half Dollars.

The Kennedy Half Dollar is not a coin that many would think as a target for counterfeiters. However, whoever produced these counterfeits must have believed that it was profitable to do so. The pieces submitted were dated 1968-D and 1969-S, which, if authentic, would be made from a 40% silver composition and, at today's melt value at around $25 an ounce, would represent an intrinsic value of around $3.75 a coin. However, neither piece was silver. Yet, regardless of the minimal value, the existence of these two counterfeit Kennedy pieces purporting to be common dates is something that should be noted.

Read more here

Rhue E-Sylum ad05


In an article published on Coin Update, Dave Bowers takes a look at American medals. -Editor

What is a token? What is a medal? Kenneth Bressett, long-time editor of A Guide Book of United States Coins and always a good source for consultation, suggests that, for starters, coins are metal pieces issued by a government or other authority to serve in commerce as money. Tokens are issued by entities other than governments, but have a value in exchange for goods or services.

Medals form a separate challenge, and it seems that in checking around, definitions suggested by well-known experts can vary widely. Medals and their little cousins, medalets, might be — per our thoughts — created for awards, commemoration, recognition, and tradition with no exchange value of any kind. Medals did not circulate. They were usually sold as souvenirs or mementos and are usually seen today in Mint State grade (or close) or in Proof format.

Read more here

WBNA E-Sylum ad 2023-05-14 Sale 44


A blog article by ANS Life Fellow Scott Miller discusses the work of sculptor Lucy Richards. -Editor

Coins, and by extension medals, have long been referred to as a permanent means of conveying history. Generally made of metal, they can survive for thousands of years. Unfortunately, most of the people who created these objects are often forgotten, assuming they were ever known beyond their own, intimate circle. It is a sad fact that most artists seldom achieve any fame, and their work is rarely catalogued. Within the American medallic world, a few artists, such as Augustus Saint-Gaudens and Paul Manship, are subjects of multiple works. Most, however, are relegated to obscurity, little more than a name associated with an item that comes up for sale on occasion. One such figure is the Boston sculptor Lucy Currier Richards-Wilson, creator of many works of art in bronze, ranging from wall fountains to portrait statuettes and portrait relief plaques (Fig. 1).

Read more here

Auditorium E-Sylum ad01


The Royal Canadian Mounted Police have erected a new monument for three Canadian awardees of the Victoria Cross medal. -Editor

  RCMP Victoria Cross Monument

Three former Mounties from long ago were honoured on Tuesday for their heroic military service, which earned them the Victoria Cross, the highest award for valour in the Commonwealth.

A monument to the trio now stands on the grounds of the RCMP Training Academy. The three Mounties all trained at RCMP Depot Division, but took leave from their policing duties here in Canada to join the military and serve in wars overseas.

Read more here


Cellist Yo-Yo Ma received the Smithsonian Institution's Great Americans medal during special ceremonies held May 9 at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History. Here's the press release that was published prior to the event. -Editor

yo-yo- MA The Smithsonian's National Museum of American History will present its Great Americans Medal to Yo-Yo Ma May 9 for his extraordinary impact as a musician and cultural ambassador. The presentation, with a special performance by Ma, is part of the Great Americans Medal Awards Program, the museum's signature honor. Ma will be the ninth honoree and the second musician to receive the award.

Supported by philanthropist and Smithsonian Regent Emeritus David M. Rubenstein, the ceremony will include a conversation between Rubenstein and Ma, preceded by a special performance featuring the cellist alongside the Smithsonian Chamber Music Society's Artistic Director Kenneth Slowik and cellists Kamila Dotta, Francesca McNeeley and Nathaniel Taylor on the museum's 1701 Servais Stradivarius, 1688 Marylebone Stradivarius and 1677 Herbert Amati violoncellos, a Schubert era fortepiano and 1899 Steinway. The evening's performance will be a multisensory telling of American history commemorating the intersection of the music enjoyed and played by President Thomas Jefferson and the family of Fredrick Douglass, including his violinist grandson, Joseph Henry Douglass; composers ranging from J.S. Bach and J. Raff to Henry Thacker Burleigh and Scott Joplin; and the poetry of Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Read more here

Kenny E-Sylum ad01 eBay store


Argentina's inflation has birthed a new large-denomination banknote. -Editor

  Argentina 2,000-peso banknote

Argentina introduced its largest-denomination banknote on Monday as inflation running at more than 100 percent a year forces the population to carry ever growing stacks of cash to pay for everyday purchases.

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.


The Wall Street Journal published an article about protesters from the Keep It Cash movement resisting shops that won't take cash. -Editor

  Paper Money protest

There's another revolt brewing in the English heartlands.

Let's boycott the shops that won't take cash—where are they? Debbie Hicks yelled into a microphone in the town square on a recent Saturday. A few in the 200-strong crowd murmured some names—a coffee shop, a bakery.

OK, we can do this, Hicks said. It's not too late!

Some 200 years after textile workers smashed newfangled looms here during the first stirrings of the industrial revolution, other rebels are worried about a newer technology: tap-and-go bank cards and smartphone payment apps.

Read more here


The Antiques Trade Gazette published an article about an interesting Chinese teapot with a design copied from a Dutch coin. Coin images from the NGC World Coin Price Guide. -Editor

  Chinese teapot with Dutch coin design

This rare Chinese export teapot, cover and stand is painted with the arms and motto of the Dutch Republic and the cypher of the Verenigde Oost Indische Compagnie – better known as the Dutch East India Company

Read more here

PREV       NEXT        v26 2023 INDEX         E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Back to top

Numismatic Bibliomania Societh Masthead logo