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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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Numismatic Bibliomania Society
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Sale Calendar

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Content presented in The E-Sylum is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Wayne Homren 2017-03-15 full New subscribers this week include: Lianna Spurrier. Welcome aboard! We now have 7,267 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 numismatic literature mail bid sale, three new books, a billionaire obituary, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, notes from readers, and more.

Other topics this week include WWII Philippine Emergency and Guerrilla Currency, the early days of the error collecting hobby, the Root River Mint, the finder of the Great Kentucky Hoard, fixed price and auction selections, Olympic medals for art, and the Presidential Medal of Freedom.

To learn more about Conrad M. Nielsen, Elwin C. Leslie, Cyrus H. Phillips, Amon Carter, Jr., Herbert Hunt, the "damaged" 1792 Judd-9 silver disme, James Cruchett’s Mount Vernon Factory, the March of Dimes, coins of Scotland, a heart-shaped halfpenny, plaques and plaquettes, tablets and stud bolts, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

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Numismatic Booksellers Kolbe & Fanning submitted this announcement of their 24th "Buy or Bid Sale" which closes on May 14, 2024. Good luck, everyone! There are a number of books from my own library here, and I hope they'll find good homes. Topics include paper money and numismatic literature. Many are in copyright and not available online. -Editor

K-F Buy or Bid sale 24 cover Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers have announced our latest “Buy or Bid Sale,” which begins now and will close on Tuesday, May 14, 2024. With hundreds of new additions, the sale focuses on modestly priced books, giving collectors an opportunity to add to their libraries at minimal cost.

The sale includes over 1200 works on ancient, medieval and modern coins, as well as general works, periodicals and sale catalogues. “Buy” prices have been kept low to promote sales. To further encourage participation, the firm is offering free domestic shipping to bidders spending at least $300; there is also no packing and processing fee for this sale. Again, please read the Terms of Sale before participating.

As the name of the sale suggests, customers may bid on items they wish to acquire or buy them outright at the published price. The Terms of Sale will give full instructions on how to participate: please read it carefully.

Read more here

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A greatly expanded and updated second edition of Neil Shafer’s classic book on WWII Philippine Emergency and Guerrilla Currency has been published. -Editor

Ken Berger writes:

"It gives me great pleasure to announce that after 50 years, Neil Shafer's classic text, "Philippine Emergency and Guerrilla Currency of World War II, has finally been updated and is presently available!"

div class="w3-center">  New Book on Philippine Emergency and Guerrilla Currency of World War II

Philippine Emergency Currency 2nd edition book cover Finally, after many years of development and research, Neil Shafer’s classic 1974 book, “Philippine Emergency and Guerrilla Currency of World War II”, has been updated on the 50th anniversary of its publication. This massive undertaking was originally started by Matthias Voigt and, in fact, he had already prepared an initial manuscript. In parallel, Shafer on his own also began updating his book through a series of articles in the Bank Note Reporter. Eventually, the two came together and decided to update the book. Still later Kenneth Berger joined the team.

With their combined knowledge of Philippine numismatics, along with Voigt’s manuscript, organizational skills and dedication to this project, Berger’s attention to detail and knowledge of Philippine history and geography, and Shafer’s pioneering work and ability to locate rare and unknown notes, a better team could not have been assembled. Thus, the project was well on its way to fruition. Unfortunately, Shafer passed away before it could be completed.

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Here's a Google-translated article on a new edition of the German Grabowski/Mehlhausen book “Banknote Collecting Manual”. -Editor

handbuch-geldscheinsammeln Banknote collecting manual book cover Banknote collecting manual

A guide for banknote collectors and those who want to become one - tips, tricks and information from an expert

ISBN: 978-3-86646-249-6
Edition: Updated 2nd edition 2024
Format: 14.8 x 21 cm
Illustrations: Colored illustrations throughout
Cover Type: Brochure
Number of pages: 224
Price: 19.90 euros

The collecting of paper money has increased significantly in Germany in recent decades and has gained enormous momentum worldwide and has more and more followers. More and more young people are finding their way to collecting banknotes, especially via the Internet.

Read more here

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Blake Alma of CoinHub has published a book on selling U.S. coins and silver. -Editor

CoinHub Guide to Selling U.S. Coins and Silver book cover Dive into the lucrative world of numismatics with "The CoinHub: An Ultimate Guide to Selling U.S. Coins and Silver," authored by Blake Alma, renowned numismatist and founder of CoinHub Media. With over 1.8 million followers, Blake has established a leading presence in the coin collecting community, and now he shares his expertise with you in this comprehensive guide.

This book demystifies the process of selling U.S. coins and silver, providing readers with the essential strategies and insights needed to navigate the market successfully. Whether you're a seasoned collector looking to monetize your collection or a newcomer curious about the value of coins, this guide offers practical advice on evaluating, marketing, and negotiating sales effectively.

Blake's straightforward writing style, infused with a touch of humor, makes complex concepts accessible to all readers. "The CoinHub" is more than just a manual; it's a roadmap to turning a passion for coins into a profitable endeavor. Throughout the book, Blake emphasizes the importance of understanding market dynamics, leveraging digital platforms for sales, and building lasting relationships within the numismatic community.

Read more here

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Speaking of silver, the Hunt Brothers of Texas were infamous in numismatic circles for the silver boom and bust that drove the coin market along with it. The last of the siblings has passed - here's an excerpt from a Wall Street Journal article published Saturday. -Editor

All three were sons of H.L. Hunt, a Texas oilman who turned poker winnings into one of the world’s largest fortunes, a bigamist who taught his many children to be skeptical of the government and its paper money. And they all bought silver—lots of silver—which landed them at the center of the biggest commodities-trading scandal of the 20th century.

Bunker and Herbert, the primary drivers of what became known as a scheme to corner the silver market, started buying the precious metal in the early 1970s when the price hovered around $1.50 an ounce. In 1980, when it was trading around $50 and they controlled more than 100 million ounces, they were looking at profits in the billions.

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The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is a paper on a special 1792 Silver Disme. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

Robert Rodriguez and Tony Lopez Release “History Recovered: Saga of the 1792 Silver Disme”

Late in 2015, Rob Rodriguez examined a 1792 Judd-9 silver disme, to be offered by Heritage Auctions in their January 2016 FUN sale. The piece was long dismissed as an impaired example, as early as 1864, when the dealer Edward Cogan noted “It is but right to state, that when I purchased it there were several scratches upon it, which have been very carefully removed...” Rodriguez, at the time a relative newcomer to the world of numismatics, looked at the coin with fresh eyes and somehow sensed there was more to be learned. Nearly a decade later, the circle is complete, and the whole story can now be told.

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In the paper “History Recovered: Saga of the 1792 Silver Disme,” Rodriguez and Tony Lopez put forth a convincing case that this ostensibly damaged example served not only as a ten-cent pattern but also as a design template for the 1793 half cent. Their most powerful evidence derives from the coin itself, which gave up its secrets when subjected to X-ray micro diffraction via the Advanced Photon Source at the Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, IL. Imperfections in the underlying crystalline lattice, imparted long ago by surface tooling, are visually translated, and startlingly so. Even readers who disagree with the conclusion reached by the paper will ignore the groundbreaking methodology at their own academic peril.

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 2005 with Fred Weinberg & Syd Kass speaking about the early days of the error coin hobby in the U.S. -Editor

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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

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David Levy asked about a wooden medallion of George Winckler. William "Trey" Todd submitted these thoughts. -Editor

1536 IORG WINCKLER medal obverse I do not really qualify as an expert, and I hope I may be excused if I repeat what Mr Levy already knows, but this appears to be a boxwood (Buchsbaumholz) medal (Medaille) or model for a medal from the Reformation era. This would be a unique and valuable piece if it could be authenticated. Fine boxwood carving has been continued into the present, and such a piece could be a later copy or an outright fake. Further research is likely to take some serious digging in German language sources.

The name IORG, as has already been pointed out, is a variant of the name George: in German Georg and Jörg are the most common forms, and in older German I and J are interchangeable. The umlaut would likely be left off the O on a medal but would usually be added if searching for the person represented.

Hans Schwartz is the most famous German medallist and boxwood carver of that period, but consulting an extensive monograph on his work in my library (really the only appropriate book I have), I find no mention of Winckler. But there were a number of other boxwood carvers, and it is to these that serious research should be directed. Sorry to say, that's about all I can offer. Best of Luck, and I hope to read of the results in a future E-sylum issue.

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Another Number Coin Gift
Last week we discussed a 25th wedding anniversary gift made with 25 silver dollars. Julian Leidman writes:

"Probably 50 years ago, I purchased from Robert W. Mangels, Sr., the founder of Golden Eagle Coins, Laurel, MD, a felt box with the numbers 2 and 5 filled in with 25 quarters from 1880 and 1905. I do not remember which had 12 and which 13, but it was very interesting. I later found out it had come from Harry Forman in Philadelphia and as the 1905's were Philadelphia coins, my guess is that it showed up in that area. I sold the coins individually and the case was almost certainly discarded."

Thanks. Interesting to see that others have had similar ideas over the years. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: APRIL 28, 2024 : Bakelite Silver Dollar 25th Wedding Anniversary Plaque (

Other topics this week include bracteates, and James Cruchett’s Mount Vernon Factory. -Editor

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Adrian Gonzalez Salinas is looking for a photo of author Elwin Cramer Leslie (1909-1999). Can anyone help? -Editor

I wrote a brief biography of Elwin C. Leslie in the Sociedad Numismática de Monterrey's monthly publication called "Gaceta Numismática" (May 2024) and I tried to obtain a picture of Mr. Leslie but I couldn't find it. Surely, someone from The E-Sylum readership can help me. He was an American numismatist and expert in Latin American tokens.

Elwin Cramer Leslie was born in Rochester, Monroe County, New York on 13 September 1909 and died on 13 July 1999 in Ouray, Colorado.

He married school teacher June Luise Galbraith (Cleveland, Ohio 1910-2013) on 10 August 1936 in Cuyahoga County, Ohio. Her parents were Scott Earl Leslie (1881-1941), a public school teacher, and Anne E. (1877-1959). The marriage record shows that Elwin was a handwriting expert.

All of Elwin's siblings were born in New York: Ruth E. (1905-?), Robert (1908-?), Clement Earl (1907-1999) and Vera Margaret (1912-2008). Elwin and June had two children, Scott W. and Sharon A, both also of New York. Like his father, Elwin belonged to the prestigious American Society of Questioned Document Examiners, founded on 02 September 1942, and was a member since its inception.

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Len Augsburger passed along this note and photos from this week's Central States show. Thanks! The first image is from their website. -Editor

div class="w3-center">  Root River Mint first three dies

Joe Paonessa from the Root River Mint was set up at the Central States Numismatic Society convention, May 2-4, and was coining commemorative New England shillings with a hand-operated rocker press. The press weighed all of 28 pounds and dates to the early 20th century. Joe also operated a planchet press under hand-operated screw power. These punched out pewter blanks for use in the rocker press. It’s a great reminder that the technology required to manufacture our early colonial coins was not terribly advanced.

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The folks at Numismaster are planning a trip, and you can join them! Here's the announcement. -Editor

The Royal Mint Experience Numis News Trip It’s time to dust off your passports and get excited about seeing some of the coins you usually only read about. We are headed to the United Kingdom! Numismatic News , World Coin News , and Bank Note Reporter editors Maggie Pahl and Sophia Mattimiro have teamed up with a seasoned travel agency to bring you a week immersed in world coins in London and Wales.

Our adventure features amazing numismatic attractions, such as the British Museum’s collection of money, Coinex 2024, a VIP tour of the Royal Mint, and more! A week of sensational coin exploration awaits.

To view the full itinerary, check out our travel page.

Your Itinerary at a Glance:

Read more here

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

Plaque. A one-sided medallic item, rectangular, square, or nearly so, with at least one dimension greater than eight inches. Plaques are most often cast – by any method of casting – or galvanos made by electroforming since the 1840s. (By definition plaques are too large to be die struck, as no striking press is capable of striking medallic items larger than eight inches.) Plaques are a form of relief or bas-relief being the artistic expression of this type of sculpture and can range from the lowest to the very highest relief (even with extensive undercutting). As such they are always attached to their background or matrix (in contrast to sculpture-in-the-round which has no background).

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E-Sylum Feature Writer and American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on Cyrus H. Phillips, Sr. and his sons, who all promoted numismatics through exhibiting, speaking and writing. Thanks! -Editor

After the story last week about bank exhibitions, there was strong public demand for another story about one of the exhibitors.

div class="w3-center">  Cyrus Harold Phillips, Sr. (1905-1989)

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While I understand why coin hoard finders may wish to remain anonymous, it always leaves a cloud over the reported story since it could all be just made-up marketing hooey. But the previously unknown (to most of the world, anyway) farmer who discovered some 800 gold and silver Civil War-era coins buried in a cornfield will be interviewed on a local television program this week. -Editor

div class="w3-center">  The Great Kentucky Hoard

In 2023, a Kentucky farmer discovered a cache of more than 800 gold and silver Civil War-era coins buried in a cornfield — a rare find one coin expert said was “hard to comprehend.” The discovery triggered an avalanche of media interest from around the globe, with stories appearing in The New York Times, The Guardian, Smithsonian Magazine and USA Today, among others.

Fearing an onslaught of fortune seekers on his property, the Kentucky farmer went to great lengths to remain anonymous and silent — until now.

“I initially found the 1856 Seated Liberty Half Dollar probably 20 to 30 feet from where the hoard was located,” the farmer told Kentucky Life. “I would have never believed what came next. Things that only happen in dreams.

Read more here

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Numismagram's Jeremy Bostwick sent along these five medals from his most recent upload of new material to his site. For all of the new items, please visit -Editor

div class="w3-center"> Genoa, Italy Andrea Doria cast bronze Medal.

102764 | ITALY. Genoa. Andrea Doria cast bronze Medal. Issued circa early-mid 17th century (after a mid 16th century original) to commemorate the famous Genoese statesman, condottiero, and admiral (41mm, 26.42 g, 12h). After L. Leoni. ANDREAS DORIA P • P, armored and draped bust right; trident to left // Galley, with numerous oarsmen, sailing right. Edge: A few flaws and filing marks as made. Kress 431; Pollard 490. Choice Extremely Fine. Rich brown surfaces, with some slight waviness as made. A great example of one of the earlier aftercasts of the type, which are much more commonly encountered as later castings. $465.

To read the complete item description, see:
102764 | ITALY. Genoa. Andrea Doria cast bronze Medal. (

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Here are some selected Chinese coins in the upcoming Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC auction sale. -Editor

div class="w3-center"> Lot 1190: Year 30 (1904) Wuchang Mint Chinese Tael

div class="w3-center"> Year 30 (1904) Wuchang Mint Chinese Tael Obv Year 30 (1904) Wuchang Mint Chinese Tael Rev

Lot 1190. CHINA, Hupeh, Wuchang mint, tael, Kuang-hsü, Year 30 (1904), small characters variety,????????? PCGS M562. L&M-180; Kann-933; Y-128.2; WS-0878; Wenchao-583 (rarity 1 star) (7#15); Shi Jiagan Collection-360 ?????-360; Chang Foundation-unl ?????•• A beautiful, wholly original example of this very rare small-characters type from a popular series struck to reform Chinese currency based on traditional weights rather than the decimalized dollar system. Significant mint luster shows through the light golden toning; only a minor irregularity on the obverse rim to note. The sharply struck details make the design of two imperial dragons appear prominently. A rare opportunity to acquire one of the key rarities in Chinese numismatics. Estimate: $50,000 and up.

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A collection of Scottish coins is being offered in May by Noonans Mayfair. Here's the press release. -Editor

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Lot 601 - David I

One of the first coins struck in Scotland will be offered within Part II of a large collection of Scottish coins that had been amassed over the last 50 years by an anonymous collector. From the reign of David I (1124-1153), the coin will be offered at Noonans Mayfair on Thursday, May 9, 2024 at 3pm. The very rare coin is estimated at £1,200-1,500 [lot 601].

Comprising 177 lots, the collection is expected to fetch around £50,000-60,000. Jim Brown, Coin Specialist at Noonans commented: “We are very pleased to be offering the second part of this single-owner collection of Scottish Coins. Part I was 100% sold and fetched an overall hammer price of £86,270 when offered at auction in January of this year.”

Read more here

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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

Octavian and Julius Caesar Aureus

div class="w3-center"> Octavian and Julius Caesar Aureus obverse Octavian and Julius Caesar Aureus reverse

Octavian, as Consul (ca. 43 BC), with Julius Caesar, as Dictator Perpetuo and Pontifex Maximus. AV aureus (18mm, 8.16 gm, 5h). NGC Choice XF 3/5 - 4/5. Military mint in Transalpine and Cisalpine Gaul, July-August 43 BC. C•CAESAR•COS•PONT•AVG• (partially ligate), bare head of Octavian right / C•CAESAR•DICT•PERP•PONT•-MAX• (partially ligate), laureate head of Julius Caesar right. Calicó 52b (this coin). Crawford 490/2 (R3). Sydenham 1321. Julia 64. Newman "A Dialogue of Power in the Coinage of Antony and Octavian," ANS AJN 2 (1990), 43.9. Very rare, one of exceedingly few near-contemporary portraits of Julius Caesar in gold. Wonderful central strike of the obverse, with clear and naturalistic details of Caesar on the reverse.

Ex Numismatica Ars Classica, Auction 132 (30 May 2022), lot 463; Münzhandlung Basel, Auction 6 (18 March 1936), lot 1521.

A goal of many collectors of the Roman series is to obtain a portrait set of the first Twelve Caesars in gold aurei. The main impediment to assembling such a set is the difficulty in obtaining the very first portrait, Julius Caesar. While relatively plentiful in silver and bronze, actual portraits of Caesar in gold are surprisingly scant, with likely fewer than 50 of all known types extant. The type struck closest to Caesar's lifetime is the present example, issued by his grand-nephew and adoptive heir Octavian; the coin was likely struck at a military mint in southern Gaul upon his assumption of the Consulship in July 43 BC (since the obverse titles omit any reference to the yet-to-be-formed Second Triumvirate with Marc Antony and Lepidus, the type cannot have been struck in 40 BC as asserted in Calicó). The portrait of Caesar on the reverse makes no reference to his pending deification, but repeats his names and titles as they stood upon his assassination, on 15 March 44 BC. The portrait is accurately realistic and shows the great dictator as a prematurely aged man of 54, with sunken jowls and a long turkey-like neck. All other portrait gold coins depicting Caesar, all excessively rare, were struck much longer after his death and sport more idealized portraits.

Rare piece in the upcoming Heritage CSNS world coins auction. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Ancients: Octavian, as Consul (ca. 43 BC), with Julius Caesar, as Dictator Perpetuo and Pontifex Maximus. AV aureus (1... (

Other topics this week include a heart-shaped halfpenny, a Civil War Cardboard Postage Stamp token and Amon Carter, Jr. letters. -Editor

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In the I-didn't-know-that department is this recent New York Times article discussing Olympic medals awarded to artists. -Editor

div class="w3-center">  1928 Olympic silver medal

For decades, beginning with the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, the Olympics included competitions in painting, sculpture, architecture, music and literature — a “pentathlon of the Muses,” as Pierre de Coubertin, the founder and leader of the modern Olympics, called them.

“From now on they will be part of each Olympiad, on a par with the athletic competitions,” Coubertin said.

Thousands of artists, some of them famous, most of them not, submitted works. More than 150 Olympic arts medals were awarded, the same medals that athletes received. At the 1932 Olympics in Los Angeles, 400,000 people visited the monthlong exhibition of entries.

Read more here

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The Presidential Medal of Freedom was awarded to nineteen recipients at the White House on Friday. -Editor

President Biden on Friday gave the nation’s highest civilian honor, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, to 19 people — with recipients covering nearly every corner of American life, including former House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), Olympic champion Katie Ledecky, Academy Award winner Michelle Yeoh and, posthumously, civil rights leader Medgar Evers.

During a ceremony held at the White House on Friday, Biden said he had the “extraordinary honor to bestow the nation’s highest civilian honor to 19 incredible people whose relentless curiosity, inventiveness, ingenuity and hope have kept faith in a better tomorrow.”

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This article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette discusses inflation currency. -Editor

div class="w3-center">  Zimbabwe $10 trillion note

Move over, Elon. I hate to brag, but I am now a certified trillionaire. Not just once, but ten times over. And I have the document to prove it.

In 2008, the government of Zimbabwe (formerly known as Rhodesia) issued paper currency with face values in the trillions of Zimbabwe dollars.

My own note, which I bought on eBay for $8.50 USD, was issued in the amount of 10 trillion Zimbabwean dollars. There is also a 100 trillion Zimbabwean dollar note for which the eBay seller was asking something closer to $12 USD. However, I felt that such a conspicuous display of wealth would be unseemly. It would also be perilously fragile.

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Hungary has suffered some of the worst inflation in history. Here's an article about its banknotes. -Editor

div class="w3-center">  Hungarian banknotes

Since its creation a hundred years ago, the Central Bank of Hungary has issued two types of currency in the form of banknotes and coins: the pengo, which had a short but memorable life of just twenty years, and the forint, which is still in use today. Both have been repeatedly renewed, sometimes out of necessity, sometimes for security reasons or for modernisation. The 100 years of history are recalled through the banknotes and coins in the Money Museum.

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In the latest banknote kerfuffle, India and Nepal are sparring over a map to be published on Nepal's currency. -Editor

div class="w3-center">  Rs 100 nepal Note

Kathmandu: Nepal on Friday announced the printing of a new Rs 100 currency note with a map that shows the controversial territories of Lipulekh, Limpiyadhura and Kalapani, already termed as “artificial enlargement” and “untenable” by India.

On June 18, 2020, Nepal completed the process to update the country’s political map by incorporating three strategically important areas Lipulekh, Kalapani and Limpiyadhura areas by amending its Constitution, something that India reacted sharply, calling it a "unilateral act" and terming as “untenable” the “artificial enlargement” of the territorial claims by Nepal.

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This week's Featured Website is the Bank of Jamaica. Found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume IX, Number 46, April 30, 2024).

Up until the early 16th century, when the Spaniards colonised Jamaica, there had been little occasion for the use of a regular currency. Although there was a small amount of gold on the island, the Taino Indians, Jamaica’s first inhabitants, used it for decorative purposes rather than for trade, which was conducted by barter.

The first units of exchange used by the Spaniards (who came with Columbus in 1494) in their dealings with the Tainos, were items such as glass beads and trinkets, scissors and mirrors.

Jamaica was not settled by the Spaniards until 1509. Very little attempt was made to develop the country’s natural resources and it remained a poor country used chiefly as an agricultural supplier. It seems that the majority of the circulating coinage on the island at this time was made of copper. These coins, called maravedis, were very thin and light in weight and were apparently brought to Jamaica from Santo Domingo. Sometimes these coins were stamped with different marks such as an anchor or key, which was perhaps intended to vary their value according to the supply of money in the island.

div class="w3-center"> Bank of Jamaica 50 Dollar Specimen

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