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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


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:

Jeff Dickerson, Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
P. O. Box 578,
Weatherford, TX 76086


For Asylum mailing address changes and other membership questions, contact Jeff 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: Greg Billman of the Northwest Coin Club, courtesy Pete Smith. Welcome aboard! We now have 7,452 subscribers.

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 a final group of highlights from the Kolbe & Fanning BCD numismatic literature sale, two new books, two new periodical issues, a retirement, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, notes from readers, and more.

Other topics this week include coinage of Telangana, the coin hobby in the 1950s, MacNeil's models, the Appleton collection, publisher Dennis Tucker, author Frank Grove, artist Morgan Asoyuf, auction previews, Alaska tokens, the 2024 Paris Olympics medals, and the Bank of England Museum.

To learn more about engraved gems from the collection of the Vatican, auctioneer Robert Brunk, author Daniel W. Valentine, the 1969 Portland Coin-A-Rama, Scottish coins, Nicholson's Half Dime, the Victoria Cross, a large cent found in a privy, and the GOINTOEM STRONG sale, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

  MacNeil's Dollar
Image of the week

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Here's a final group of highlights of the Kolbe & Fanning sale of the BCD Library, which closes Saturday, February 17, 2024. Don't forget to bid! -Editor

BCD sale catalog cover BCD Library Sale Highlights

Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers are looking forward to our first sale of highlights from the magnificent BCD Library on the coinage of antiquity on Saturday, February 17. The result of half a century of careful collecting, the BCD Library is known for the remarkable breadth and depth of its holdings, which focus most particularly on ancient Greek coinage. Our initial auction, which can be accessed at, includes an extraordinary offering of rare and desirable material.

Some highlights include:

Read more here


Auctioneer Robert Brunk has written a book about his career. With a couple nice coins pictured on the cover, perhaps there are some numismatic stories within. -Editor

A Question of Value book cover In the late 1970s, Robert Brunk discovered the world of auctioneering. Drawn to the unique mountain culture and the history of fine art in and around Asheville, North Carolina, Bob started a business, Brunk Auctions, that became part of a bustling network of commerce. America’s passion for collecting, buying, and selling reached remarkable heights in the following decades. Auction houses and antiques stores thrived; people paid hundreds of dollars for a humble country basket and thousands for a rare piece of folk art.

In this collection of compelling, compassionate essays, Bob considers specific items and remarkable situations he encountered in his long and successful work as an auctioneer and appraiser. He presents objects as invitations to consider personal and collective histories often related to unresolved social inequities. Bob also describes how, as his business grew to offer the finest examples of American and European art, his career often conflicted with his Mennonite background and the complexities of ownership and value. The result is a portrait that reflects the best and worst of us as we search for ways to live with objects—and then decide what to do when it’s time to let them go.

Read more here

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A new book has been published on the coins of the Post-Mauryan and pre-Satavahana eras found in Telangana state of India. -Editor

Post Mauryan and Pre Satavahana Coinage and History of Telangana
Deme Raja Reddy (Author)

Coinage and History of Telangana book cover Though Telangana now happens to be the youngest and 29th state in India, it had been a distinct entity from ancient times.There were Greek references to AsmakaJanapada and Telangana by Megasthenese, Arrian, Pliny the Elder and Ptolemy. Ptolemy’s Triglyphon and Trilinga corresponded to Telangana. First major family to rule this region was Asmakajanapada and it was succeeded successively by Nanda and Maurya dynasties. Most illustrious dynasty to rule this region next was Satavahana and their rule commenced in the later part of first century B.C.

Post-Mauryan and Pre-Satavahana history of the Deccan which lasted about two hundred years is shrouded in darkness. Inscriptions and coins of that period reveal certain facts. After the disintegration of the Mauryan Empire some petty kings or local chieftains seemed to have assumed power in this region.

Read more here

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The January-March 2024 (vol. 59, no. 1) issue of TEC News from The Elongated Collectors has been published. Here's the table of contents. -Editor

TEC News v59n01 cover Jan-Mar 2024 Pennsylvania Penny Pressers meet and greet a success
by Tracy Treibly

Yerxa’s now serves Hoffman House coffee
by Alex Mruk

Finding rolling machines in surprising places in London England,
by Richard Jozefiak

Read more here


Here are the contents of the latest issue of Numismatique Asiatique. -Editor

Numismatique Asiatique n48 cover EDITORIAL
Les sapèques du Grand Nord
The sapeques of the Far North

Offical seals of Western Liao inscribed in the Khitan Large Script
by V. A. Belyaev, S. V. Sidorovich

Read more here

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After a long productive stretch at Whitman Publishing, familiar hobby figure Dennis Tucker is taking a well-deserved break. Here's the press release on his upcoming retirement. Hey - save me a rocking chair on the front porch of the Old Numismatists Home! -Editor

  Dennis Tucker Retiring as Publisher at Whitman

Dennis Tucker Following a nineteen-year career as publisher at Whitman Publishing, Dennis Tucker will retire at the end of February 2024. He plans to spend time with family in the United States and the Philippines while pursuing creative and philanthropic projects.

Tucker has served Whitman as its publisher from December 2004, when the company was owned by Atlanta-based Anderson Press, through its recent acquisition by CDN Publishing. During that time, he has overseen the publication of more than 300 titles ranging from 64-page monographs to 1,504-page references in the fields of numismatics, banking and financial history, the American presidency, U.S. military history, and other nonfiction topics.

Read more here

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Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

  New York Numismatic Club David W. Valentine medal 1985.67.544.obv New York Numismatic Club David W. Valentine medal 1985.67.544.rev

A Numismatic Valentine

Daniel W. Valentine, 1863-1932, is most remembered for his work on the United States half dime series, which culminated in the publication of The United States Half Dimes by the American Numismatic Society in 1931. This work represented the first substantive analysis of Liberty Seated half dime die varieties. Thomas Elder sold Valentine’s collection in 1927, with the exception of the half dimes, which Valentine apparently retained at this point in preparation for publication. Valentine was honored by the New York Numismatic Club with a medal, commemorating his two terms as present of that organization beginning in 1918. Examples are scarce and this piece is among the keys in a set of New York Numismatic Club medals.

Read more here

  Whitman E-Sylum ad 2024-02-04 100 Greatest Ancients


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 a great one from 2005 with a panel of luminaries trading stories of their early days in the hobby. Ron Guth MCs. -Editor

  Early Day in the Coin Hobby title card

Read more here

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R.W. Julian submitted these notes on the fineness of the silver in early U.S. coinage and the exchange of U.S. silver dollars for Spanish dollars in the Caribbean. Thank you! -Editor

  1754 Spanish milled dollar


In the E-Sylum of February 4 Craig Sholley and Harry Salyards (S&S) reported that they were working on an article to refute one that appeared in the ANS Magazine of January 2024. The ANS article claimed that Alexander Hamilton, in his 1791 report on the coinage, had badly misjudged the situation and even the 15 to 1 ratio for silver to gold was wrong.

I also saw the ANS article and sent a note to the editor several weeks ago pointing out serious flaws.

S&S correctly note, using figures published by the 1878 monetary conference, that Hamilton did get the ratio right. The U.S. Mint Reports of later years, on the other hand, used the figures compiled by Dr. Adolph Soetbeer and these generally agree with the S&S report. (Soetbeer: 1789: 14.75 to 1, 1790: 15.04 to 1, 1791: 15.05 to 1, 1792: 15.17 to 1, 1793: 15 to 1, and 1794: 15.37 to 1. After 1794 the ratios were well above 15 to 1.)

Read more here

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Jim Haas is the author of Hermon Atkins MacNeil: American Sculptor In the Broad, Bright Daylight. He submitted these thoughts on MacNeil and his model for the Standing Liberty Quarter. Thank you! -Editor

  MacNeil's Dollar

1916 MacNeil's Dime - Obverse, Plaster MacNeil was indeed a gifted sculptor, producing over 200 works in a career spanning fifty-plus years. But he was also a very competent designer of not only the Quarter, his sole award, but let us not forget he was one of eight sculptors invited to submit models for the Peace Dollar in 1921. Anthony de Francisci was awarded the commission earning him $1,500; the other seven participants $100 for their entries. Bankers complained that the coin would not stack, while others thought the coin to be unartistic. Relatively unknown until a decade prior, MacNeil had also submitted a design for the ten-cent coin, the plaster of its reverse discovered by the family that purchased their College Point home from his widow. This writer directed its owner to Stack’s Bowers resulting in its eventual sale.

Read more here

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William Sumner Appleton.01 There are some nuances to the story of William Sumner Appleton's collection at the Massachusetts Historical Society that Pete Smith and I wanted to point out on further reflection. -Editor

In his initial article Pete wrote:

“The Massachusetts Historical Society did not have adequate resources to provide security for the coins and to make them available for research. Some had gone missing by 1920. Eventually they put the coins in a bank vault where they were not available to anyone. The coins were consigned to Stack’s for a series of six auctions conducted over 1970 to 1976.”

Read more here

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More on Custom Dansco Albums
Regarding custom Dansco albums, Ken Barr writes:

"Phil Iverson beat me to the punch with his report on the California State Numismatic Association (CSNA) albums. I'm also aware of similar short-run productions for the San Jose Coin Club and the Fremont Coin Club, both also facilitated by Harvey Rose in El Cajon.

"I was actually in Harvey's shop while he was packing up the albums to ship to the Fremont club, and noticed a typo on the cover (it said "Organized 1921" instead of the correct 1971). Too late to fix, so they all went out that way. I was hoping to find examples of them to photograph, but have no idea as to where they are at present.

"I also have two examples of albums custom produced for the late L. A. dealer Charlie Rogers (C. T. Coins), titled "Casino Tokens" (or "Casino Chips"?) with Charlie's address label pasted over the DANSCO imprint on the inside back cover."

Thanks for the information! -Editor

Ken adds:

"For the record, the Charlie Rogers chips album just has "Chips" embossed on the cover and the spine, and includes nine pages with nine unlabeled ports each. My camera is currently Missing in Action so I'll send photos after I find it.

"Another FYI is that a similar album was prepared for the Santa Cruz Coin Club ... I've been a member since the 1980's but don't remember them ordering it. I bought one on eBay last week and should have it in hand shortly."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Other topics this week include Pressed Pennies, Portland Coin-A-Rama, and the Year of the Dragon. -Editor

Read more here

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

Pattern. A model from which something is made, usually in hard form. A pattern is required for modern die cutting operations, particularly for the die-engraving pantograph.

The purpose of the pattern is to convey the configuration of the surface, the design and lettering – it's modulated relief – to be cut into a die or formed into a mold. Die patterns used in a pantograph must be in a hard surface to sustain the tracking by the tracing stylus.

Read more here

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E-Sylum Feature Writer and American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on the largest numismatic collections formed in the United States. Thanks! Great topic. -Editor

  Who Had the Largest Coin Collection in the United States?

I want to open a topic for discussion. Who had the largest American coin collection? I don’t know the answer. Perhaps E-Sylum readers can reach a consensus over time.

Start with an obvious distinction, the difference between a collection and a hoard. A collection is a systematic grouping of different items with some common theme. A hoard includes multiple examples of the same things. An accumulation is just a bunch of stuff.

Along the way we should consider that different themes may include ancient coins, colonial coins, American coins, world coins, currency, medals and tokens. Within each of those may be legitimate subsets assembled as important collections worthy of mention.

Read more here


AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS: Are your books carried by Wizard Coin Supply? If not, contact us via with details.


Last week Matt Ruttley shared news of his publication of a new edition of Frank Grove's Medals of Mexico. At my request, he kindly shared this short biography of Grove from the book. Thank you. -Editor

  Francis “Frank” Wayne Grove

Frank Grove was born on April 8, 1909 in Carthage, Missouri. The family moved to California in 1920 where he attended school in the town of Ontario. In 1926 he enlisted in the U.S. Navy, serving for 30 years, including in the Korean War. Although the Navy based him in San Diego, he retired in 1957 to spend most of his time in Guadalajara, Mexico with his wife Josephine.

Read more here

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The Royal Canadian Mint's 2023 Celestial Circle puzzle coin was designed by Vancouver artist Morgan Asoyuf, who is profiled in this Vancouver Sun article. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor

  Celestial Circle coin reverse center Celestial Circle coin obverse center

Ts’msyen artist Morgan Asoyuf’s 2023 Celestial Circle Royal Mint coin is all about the sun and the moon.

Containing both matte black and gold, Asoyuf said the coin represents diverse life cycles and their importance to traditions in the Northwest.

Asoyuf is an acclaimed artist who grew up on the North Coast and now lives in North Vancouver. She won a Mint design contest to put her art on the 2023 “puzzle piece” collectible coin, which is 10 ounces and gold plated.

Read more here

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Author Kevin Flynn is selling a collection of error coins and varieties through Heritage. Here's the press release. -Editor

  A Major Variety and Error Coin Auction: Kevin Flynn Collection
Currently Being Auctioned by Heritage

CONECA, the international error coin and variety club, announces that noted die variety and error specialist Kevin Flynn is selling the majority of his certified die varieties through Heritage Auctions. Included are nearly 580 lots including doubled dies, repunched mint marks, over mint marks, overdates, clashes, off-denomination clashes, repunched dates, misplaced dates, and other rarities.

Many of the coins for auction were used as plate coins for books that Mr. Flynn wrote. The auction listings include complete cross references, description, and where applicable, links to the die variety section of the book in which the variety was listed.

Read more here

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In an email to clients today, Allan Davisson announced his firm's upcoming auction sale. -Editor

Davisson Auction 43 sale cover

Auction 43, closing Wednesday, March 20th 2024, is online now! Print copies will be mailed later this month, if you are not on our mailing list and would like a copy please let us know.

The first high quality, substantially pedigreed collection of Scottish coins to come to the market since the LaRiviere sale in 2006 begins in this, our major annual sale of some of the best coins we have come across in the past year. A beautiful and historic series with a fascinating array of designs typically reflecting the frequently changing winds of Scottish history are chronicled in a series that is a major departure in style and beauty from both the English and Irish coinage series.

Read more here


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

Aburius Geminus Denarius

Aburius Geminus Denarius

C. Aburius Geminus AR Denarius. Rome, 134 BC. Helmeted head of Roma to right; GEM behind, mark of value below chin / Mars driving quadriga to right holding sceptre, shield, reins and trophy; C•ABVRI (partially ligate) below, ROMA in exergue. Crawford 244/1; BMCRR Rome 999; RSC Aburia 1. 3.93g, 18mm, 2h.

Lot 775 in the Roma Numismatics E-Sale 117. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
C. Aburius Geminus AR Denarius. (

Other topics this week include an Admiral Vernon Medal Love Token, and Nicholson's Half Dime. -Editor

Read more here

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In the better-late-than-never department, here's a Noonan's press release that didn't make it into last week's issue - the piece has already been sold. Great find, though. -Editor

  Lot 753 - NEW SOUTH WALES, Fifteen Pence or Dump, 1813

Oxfam Volunteer and coin enthusiast John Turner was looking through a bag of coins that had been donated to Oxfam’s shop in Orpington when he spotted what he thought could be a rare coin. It was taken to Noonans Mayfair for a second opinion where it was confirmed that it was an Australian New South Wales Fifteen Pence or Dump dating from 1813. It is estimated to fetched £5,000-7,000 and will be offered in a two-day sale of Coins and Historical Medals on Tuesday and Wednesday, February 6 and 7, 2024.

John who is in his mid 70s, has volunteered for Oxfam for the past 10 years since he retired from banking. He lives in Bromley area and is based at his local Bromley shop in South East London, however there are 8-9 shops in South London that he visits regularly.

Read more here

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With permission, we're republishing this article on a recent eBay find of a rare Alaska token from the February 2024 issue of The Alaskan Token Collector & Polar Numismatist edited by Dick Hanscom. Artificial intelligence has a hand in this one. -Editor


  Klawock Alaska NPT $1.00 token

Alaska Sentinel, Wrangell, November 26, 1908.

All persons having any of the aluminum checks issued by the North Pacific Trading and Packing Company of Klawock, Alaska, are hereby notified to send or present same to the office of this company at Klawock for redemption before January 1, 1909, as no more of these checks will be issued.
H.F Swift, Supt.

Read more here

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The Victoria Cross and other medals awared to Irish mounted soldier Edmond Jennings will be sold tis week at Noonan's. -Editor

  Edmond Jennings' Victoria Cross medal

A Victoria Cross awarded to Edmond (Edward) Jennings of Ballinrobe, Co Mayo, is going under the hammer at Noonan’s in London on February 14.

The British military medal is awarded “for acts of the greatest heroism or of the most conspicuous courage in circumstances of extreme danger”.

Jennings was a Rough Rider (mounted soldier) in the Bengal Horse Artillery during the Relief of Lucknow, 1857.

The medal is estimated to fetch £20,000 to £30,000 (€23,368 to €35,052).

In recent years, Irish Victoria Crosses have done extraordinarily well at auction.

Read more here

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A relic medal is one made from or with material from the item being commemorated. Medals for the 2024 Paris Olympic will contain a piece of the iconic Eiffel Tower. -Editor

  Paris 2024 Olympic medals2

An Olympic medal inlaid with a piece of the Eiffel Tower. How's that for a monumental prize?

A hexagonal, polished chunk of iron taken from the iconic landmark is being embedded in each gold, silver and bronze medal that will be hung around athletes' necks at the July 26-Aug. 11 Paris Games and Paralympics that follow.

Games organizers revealed their revolutionary design on Thursday.

Read more here


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

British Museum to Display Recovered Items

The British Museum will put on display some of the stolen items it recently recovered for its collection. Although coins are among the stolen items, this exhibit focuses on the related area of Roman gems. -Editor

  gem  with bust of Cupid or Eros gem with the bust of Minerva or Athena

The British Museum will put 10 items stolen from its collection on show later this month.

The Roman gems, to be featured in an exhibition Rediscovering Gems, include a cameo with a bust of Cupid from the 1st or 2nd Century AD.

In August, the museum announced up to 2,000 objects from its storerooms were missing, stolen or damaged.

It has recovered about 350 items to date.

The exhibition will explore the significance of classical gems through history.

The museum has released pictures of two of those gems that have been chosen for display.

Both were returned by Dr Ittai Gradel, the dealer and collector who alerted the British museum to the thefts, and was originally brushed off.

Dr Gradel told the BBC he had been "delighted" to work with the museum on the recovery process.

To read the complete article, see:
British Museum to put stolen items from its collection on show (

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Other topics this week include the Bank of England Museum Future of Money exhibit. -Editor

Read more here


Unfortunately, plans to revamp the Bank of England Museum are now on hold. Found via News &Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume IX, Number 33, January 30, 2024) -Editor

  Bank of England Museum gold bar exhibit

The Bank of England has shelved a £250,000 plan to revamp its museum, adding at least a year to more than five years of debate about how to provide a focal point for financial education in England and Wales.

In the time since officials at the Bank began considering a revamp of the only money museum in England and Wales, a string of museums have opened or been overhauled at a cost of more than £100m.

Read more here

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