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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:

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:


Sale Calendar

Watch here for updates!


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


Wayne Homren 2017-03-15 full New subscribers this week include: Freeman Craig, courtesy Jeff Zarit; and Dusan, courtesy Josef K. Welcome aboard! We now have 7,257 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 final selections from the June 15 Kolbe & Fanning numismatic literature sale, three new books, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, DANSCO albums, and more.

Other topics this week include collector Louis Eliasberg, So-Called Dollars, Dennis Tucker, John Kraljevich, Gloria Farley, Victor David Brenner, Tommy Thompson, an auction preview, the new King Charles III banknotes, magnet fishing, and Rhode Island currency.

To learn more about the “Loco Foco Juggernaut” shinplaster, Mehl’s Numismatic Monthly, the Royal gold coins of France, early numismatic photography, Farley coins, Calvin Westley Franklin, Don Miller, a rare numismatic auction broadside, the 1906 Olympics in Athens, and a Janus Copper button, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

  uncashed 1947 U.S. Treasury check to Morgan Steel
Image of the week

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Kolbe-Fanning Sale 170 catalog cover

Here are additional selections from the next Kolbe & Fanning numismatic literature sale, featuring books on ancient, world and U.S. numismatics. which closes next Saturday. Get your bids in - some nice material here. -Editor

We are getting close to Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers’ next auction of rare and out-of-print numismatic literature from around the world, which will be held on Saturday, June 15. The sale includes a wide variety of books and other publications on ancient, world and U.S. numismatics, featuring material from the libraries of Wayne Homren and other consignors. Some highlights of this first sale include:

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Read more here

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Here's the Whitman press release about the new edition of the Guide Book of United States Paper Money. -Editor

Currency is King: A Guide Book of United States Paper Money
Returns to Market in New Eighth Edition

Guide Book of US Paper Money 8th Ed Book Cover Whitman® announces the upcoming release of the newest edition of A Guide Book of United States Paper Money, by Arthur L. and Ira S. Friedberg. Paper-money collectors and American history buffs alike will appreciate the depth of the research, the fascinating narrative, and the wealth of data provided. The fully updated eighth edition builds on the critically acclaimed first through seventh editions, which have firmly established this book’s reputation as a best-selling collector’s price guide and history of U.S. federal paper currency from the Civil War era to date.

New features in this edition include the “Top 100 U.S. Paper Money Prices Realized at Auction, 2022 and 2023.” Coauthor Ira Friedberg notes that this appendix “shows how the upward movement of United States currency prices, especially for rarities and pieces in top condition, is continuing unabated—fueled not only by the entry of new collectors at all levels, but also by the realization that compared to United States coins, currency remains a relative bargain.”

The 420-page softcover A Guide Book of United States Paper Money, eighth edition, can be pre-ordered now for $24.95 online at and, and will be available July 2024 at bookstores, hobby shops, Whitman’s eBay Store, and other online retailers nationwide.

Read more here

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


Editions V. Gadoury have published a two-volume work on the Royal gold coins of France. Here's the announcement. -Editor



Author: Jean-Yves Kind
Publisher: BnF - Editions V. Gadoury
Year: 2024
€ 95.00

We are delighted to announce a wonderful surprise for all great enthusiasts of French numismatics.

We are honored and extremely happy to announce an exceptional collaboration with the Bibliothèque nationale de France (BnF) for the publication of the masterful work "CATALOGUE DES MONNAIES ROYALES FRANÇAISES" by Jean-Yves Kind, divided into two precious volumes.

Read more here

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Volume 3 in a series of books on the Mughal Coins of India has been published. -Editor

Corpus of Mughal Coins of India, Volume 3: Silver & Gold Coins in the names of Dawar Bakhsh, Shah Jahan I, Murad Bakhsh and Shah Shuja (1627-1659)

Nilesh Gada
Dilip Rajgor

Read more here

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The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is an interesting piece of numismatic ephemera found in the Stan Kesselman papers. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

  Louis Eliasberg’s 70th Birthday Party invitation front
  Louis Eliasberg’s 70th Birthday Party invitation back

Louis Eliasberg’s 70th Birthday Party

From the Stan Kesselman papers, currently being processed by Newman Portal, comes this invitation to Louis Eliasberg’s 70th birthday party in 1966. Eliasberg, Sr. (1896-1976) is well-known as the only collector to complete the United States coin series, less a couple asterisks that nit pickers breathlessly recall at a moment’s notice. Nevertheless, the effort to recreate the legendary achievement of this Baltimore collector is now simply known as “the Eliasberg quest.”

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 Jeff Shevlin speaking about So-Called dollars. -Editor

  So-CAlled Dollars title card

Read more here

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James Higby of Dixon, Illinois writes:

"Some time ago I ordered two Dansco 7171 albums for a date set of Morgans.

"One has the usual format, titled "Morgan Dollars Date Set" on cover and spine, the front pastedown having a lengthy discussion of the series, and the rear pastedown having a complete listing of all Morgans by date-and-mint, with mintages of each. The company name and address in Los Angeles are below that. This one was bought from a coin supply dealer years ago.

"The other reads "Morgan Dollar [sic] Date Set", with the same on the spine. The front pastedown is completely blank, and the rear pastedown has only the company name and address, again in Los Angeles. This one was bought recently in brand-new condition off eBay.

"Both have "7171" at the bottom of the spine.

"I'm wondering what is going on here."

Read more here

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James Risk's Orders and Decorations Identified
Marc Ricard writes:

"As a collector of medals, badges, orders, and decorations, I was able to use my reference library to identify the rest of James C. List's Orders and Decorations. I hope this helps our readers and fellow collectors to appreciate the skill required to create such beautiful masterpieces."

Thank you! Here's the image again followed by Marc's identifications. E-Sylum readers are the best. -Editor

  James Risk Ordersand Decorations

Miniature Medals in Display Box – left to right

  1. U.S. American Defense Service Medal
  2. U.S. American Campaign Medal
  3. U.S. European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal
  4. U.S. Victory Medal – WWII
  5. U.S. Army of Occupation Medal of Germany and Japan – WWII
  6. U.S. Naval Reserve Medal (pre-1958)
  7. Italy – Knight of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus
  8. Italy – Commander of the Order of the Crown of Italy
  9. Italy – Knight Commander of Grace of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George of Italy
  10. Vatican – Papal Lateran Cross (pre-1977)

Large Decorations on the Rectangular Blue Pad

  1. Top Left – Italy - Knight Commander of Grace of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George. Neck Badge (missing light blue ribbon)
  2. Top Right – Italy – Commander of the Crown of Italy. Neck Badge (missing red and white neck ribbon)
  3. Middle Right – Italy - Knight Commander of Grace of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George. (Informal Jacket Breast Pin)
  4. Bottom Center – Italy - Knight Commander of Grace of the Sacred Military Constantinian Order of St. George. Knight Commander Breast Star (worn on light blue Knight Sash)

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JUNE 2, 2024 : On James Risk's Orders and Decorations (

Other topics this week include an uncashed one cent U.S. Treasury Check, Early Numismatic Photography, and Bank Tokens of Canada. -Editor

Read more here

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An article on Worthpoint interviews numismatic publisher and author Dennis Tucker, who recently retired from Whitman Publishing. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor

Dennis Tucker In 2004, Tucker joined Whitman Publishing and helped lead the “modern renaissance” in numismatic publishing by issuing many titles on the coin market, banking, and US financial history. Most importantly, he helped publish twenty editions of the Red Book, known by those in the hobby as the “single most important reference work for US coinage.”

Now, two decades later, Tucker’s recent retirement from that longtime role has made waves among coin collectors and dealers everywhere. Although he is no longer a publisher by title, Tucker remains very involved in the field. In addition to finishing his term aboard the Treasury Department’s Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee, Tucker is still regularly attending coin-related events, like the Central States Numismatic Society’s Convention in April, where he received the organization’s Q. David Bowers Lifetime Achievement Award. Tucker is also spending his time leading the board of directors of the nonprofit Brayhope Farm, which provides programs for autistic children and others in need.

In a recent interview with WorthPoint, Tucker reflected on his career, how he got started, and what he’s looking forward to in the numismatics hobby.

Read more here

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John Kraljevich is a good friend and prolific numismatic researcher, author and cataloguer. Long associated with Dave Bowers and Stack’s Bowers Galleries, he's now joining the firm fulltime. Here's the announcement. -Editor

Stack’s Bowers Galleries Appoints John Kraljevich Director of Numismatic Americana
Veteran Consultant to Take Full Time Role

Stack’s Bowers Galleries proudly announces the appointment of John Kraljevich to the newly created position of Director of Numismatic Americana. Kraljevich, proprietor of John Kraljevich Americana since 2007, has been recognized as one of the most influential figures in numismatics. Coin World honored him in their inaugural list of Most Influential People in Numismatics, and he was distinguished as one of the “Top 14 Numismatists of the Century” by CoinAge magazine. In his new role, Kraljevich will devote his numismatic talents to cataloging noteworthy consignments across a wide range of specialties for Stack’s Bowers Galleries auctions. In addition, he will maintain an inventory of historical American numismatic items for retail sale and work with the firm’s collector and dealer clients.

Kraljevich embarked on his full-time career in numismatics in 2000 as a cataloger and professional numismatist at Bowers and Merena Galleries of Wolfeboro, New Hampshire. His tenure at Bowers and Merena, American Numismatic Rarities, and Stack’s (where he specialized in early American coins and numismatic Americana), laid the foundation for his illustrious career. Since establishing John Kraljevich Americana, he has continued to collaborate with Stack’s Bowers Galleries as a consultant, earning acclaim for his cataloging prowess and subject matter expertise.

Read more here

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

Plastics. A wide class of materials made of chemical polymers and other components, both natural and synthetic (including resins, caseins and such). Medallic items have been made of plastics – often in color (by adding a dye to the plastic) – and formed by molding or casting. The composition is more suitable for such items as sales tax tokens; these were made of plastics in America shortly after World War II. Plastics was infrequently considered as a coin or medal composition substitution in wartime.

Read more here

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E-Sylum Feature Writer and American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted a group of three articles on "Epigraphic Explorer" Gloria Farley and the enigmatic "Farley Coins". Thanks! -Editor

This article was inspired by Julia Casey who reported on “Farley coins” found in America and attributed to Carthaginians who visited America before Columbus. Thanks also to William E. Daehn who helped with the description of Greek coinage.

Gloria Stewart Farley (1916-2006)

Read more here

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Here's the second of Pete Smith's three articles on "Epigraphic Explorer" Gloria Farley. This one focuses on the "coins" themselves. -Editor

In her 1993 book, In Plain Sight: Old World Records in Ancient America, Gloria Farley wrote about seven similar coins believed to be evidence of ancient visits to America before Columbus. They are named for the states where they were found.

Farley Coin: Arkansas

Jessie Ray Kelley found the coin with a metal detector in 1973 in a field near Cauthron, Arkansas, about 19 miles east of Heavenor, Oklahoma. It was sent to Boston for examination by Dr. Norman Totten, He wrote: “The coin is bronze, imperfectly round, measuring 29.5 by 25.0 millimeters in diameter, and weighing 7.63 grams. It has suffered from corrosion. There is no question of its antiquity or its authenticity. The patina on the coin and in the hole has several colors: green, oxblood, yellow and tan. Indications are that it has been buried for centuries.”

Farley Coins 1

Read more here


Here's the last of Pete Smith's three articles on "Epigraphic Explorer" Gloria Farley. This one focuses on the nature and origin of the Farley "coins". -Editor

Farley Coins Real or Fake 1
Siculo-Punic AR Obverse head of Arethusa with four dolphins around. Pearl necklace and earring with three drops. Reverse horse head and palm tree with dates. Punic legend “m mhnt” meaning “People of the Camp” indicating these were struck as payment for soldiers.
Farley Coins Real or Fake 2
Bronze. Obverse head of Arethusa with four dolphins around. No earring. Legend: S?????S?O?. Reverse horse head and palm tree with five roots. Nonsense legend.

Read more here

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Here's another enigmatic piece. -Editor

Website visitor Tim Heller writes:

"I stumbled across the article you wrote about the Janus Copper. I was recently metal detecting and found what appears to be one of these coins, however it was made into a button. If you could help in any way to help me see if this could be real?"

  Janus copper button front Janus copper button back
  Janus copper button side

It does look like this was made as (or made into) a button. The earlier E-Sylum article is linked below. Here is it side-by-side with the earlier Heritage auction lot image. -Editor

Read more here

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We all know Victor David Brenner as the designer of the iconic Lincoln Cent, and for his multiple medals and plaques. But his sculptures are less common and less known. One of his sculptural works is up for sale, and it's a lovely work. -Editor

  Brenner 1911 seated nude sulpture 1 Brenner 1911 seated nude sulpture 2

Victor David Brenner (Lithuanian/American, 1871-1924) bronze sculpture depicting a nude woman or nymph, seated on a rocky bank and looking down at a turtle, while holding the stem of a pond lily in her left hand. Signed "VD Brenner" and dated 1911, with inscription "Cast by Tiffany Studios NY" to side of base. Overall height: 16". Diameter: 11".

Biography: Victor Brenner was best known as a medallion and coin sculptor. His most famous work was the 1909 Lincoln head penny. Born in Lithuania, he trained at the Academie Julian in Paris and came to New York in 1890. He was a member of the National Sculpture Society, the National Arts Club, and the Architectural League. His work is in the collections of the Architectural League in New York, the Metropolitan Museum, the Paris Mint, and the Vienna Numismatic Society. Sources: Donald Martin Reynolds, "Masters of American Sculpture, and Peter Falk, "Who Was Who in American Art".

Read more here


Here's the press release for Stephen Album Rare Coins upcoming Auction 49. -Editor

Album E-Sylum ad Sale 49 Stephen Album Rare Coins will hold its Auction 49 from June 13-16, 2024, at their offices in Santa Rosa, California. The auction is made up of 4075 lots of Ancient, Islamic, Indian, Chinese, and World Coins. The first two days will be in-person bidding as well as on the internet, while the third and fourth days will be internet-only sessions.

Featured in the auction will be the Dr. Dirk Löer Collection of Chinese Coins, the Almer H. Orr III Collection of World Coins, the Roland Dauwe Collection of the Mint of Qumm, the Howard A. Daniel III Collection of Asian Coins, the Jürgen M. Wilmes Collection of Openwork Charms, the Professor Richard Haiman Collection of World Gold, and the Charles W. Lueders III Collection of Indian and Asian Coins.

Some highlights from the sale follow:

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Read more here

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I often have a Numismatic Diary article in this space, but with the second part of my library in Saturday's Kolbe & Fanning numismatic literature auction, I thought I'd comment on some of my consigned items. I'll miss them but here's hoping they all find good new homes. -Editor

Lot 303: Armand Champa Library Materials [Champa, Armand]. MATERIALS RELATING TO THE 1994–1995 SALES OF THE ARMAND CHAMPA LIBRARY.

K-F Sale 170 Lot 303 Yost Champa book draft Two three-ring binders including the following: a postcard from George F. Kolbe announcing that he will be offering the Champa Library at auction; promotional materials for the November 1994 Baltimore show at which the first Champa sale was held by Bowers & Merena; the Bowers & Merena announcement of the Champa Library sale; Wayne Homren’s invoice for sets of both the softcover and hardcover catalogues; Homren’s annotated copies of the first two Champa sales, hand-priced and generally recording buyer numbers, some of which are identified; a copy of the Herman Halpern sale held March 24–25, 1995 alongside the second Champa sale; printed emails and other correspondence regarding the sales, between Homren and John J. Ford, Jr., Chris Karstedt and others; Homren’s bid card, handwritten notes, additional printed emails (Wayne was a trend-setter), Champa bookplates, lists of bidders, and so on.

Also included is Bill Yost’s third draft and preliminary layout of his unpublished Index and Account of the Numismatic Books & Manuscripts of the Armand Champa Library (dated November 2, 1996). Materials generally fine or nearly so. A fascinating group of ephemeral items relating to the Armand Champa Library sales, accompanied by annotated catalogues and Homren’s notes made in preparation for, and immediately after, the sales. Included in the more ephemeral items are printed 1995 emails from the new BiblioNumis-L list being promoted by Harry Bass and Wayne Homren. Yost’s never-published work was envisioned to include a history of the collection, provenances, author and dealer index, consignor index, title index, index of illustrations, and a master index. Ex Wayne Homren Library.

Read more here

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In the news-from-down-under department, this article reports on a fun "coin swap" sponsored by the Royal Australian Mint. -Editor

Royal Australian Mint Coin Swap 2024

This weekend, it's the Royal Australian Mint's Canberra Coin Swap which is drawing collectors, known as numismatists, to the national capital.

Attendees bring along cash and coins and swap them for circulating coloured and commemorative coins which have, until now, been uncirculated.

And with this being first time the event has been held since the pandemic, there's plenty of pent up demand.

CEO of the Royal Australian Mint Leigh Gordon said this coin swap was focused on recently-produced coins from the "last few years".

That includes those with the effigy of King Charles as well as coins commemorating the hard work of first responders including firefighters.

Read more here

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This article from the Künker auction house discusses some little-known Olympic history - a medal from Olympic games held but no longer recognizes. -Editor

In 1906, the IOC and the country of Greece invited athletes from all over the world to the Olympic Games in Athens. The Games had a lasting impact on the ceremonies surrounding the sporting showdown, even though the IOC no longer recognizes these Olympics today. A winner’s medal from the Games will be auctioned by Künker on 18 June 2024.

On 18 June 2024, the Künker auction house in Osnabrück will offer a ‘gold’ medal from the 1906 Olympics in Athens, of which probably only 78 specimens were produced. As was customary at the time, the medal is of course not made of pure gold, but gilded silver. Interestingly enough, the 1906 Olympics do not appear on the IOC’s list of Games. We explain why these Olympic Games are no longer recognized as such.

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Stack's Bowers Director of Consignments & Senior Numismatist Dennis Hengeveld published an article on the earliest paper money of Venezuela. -Editor

  first paper money of Venezuela

The notaphilic history of Venezuela starts in 1811, shortly after seven (out of ten) provinces of the Spanish colonial Captaincy General of Venezuela declared their independence in July of that year. Despite being very short-lived (the First Republic of Venezuela ceased to exist in late July of 1812, just over a year after it was declared), the first independent government still managed to issue its own banknotes. These banknotes were the first printed paper money in South America and are historically extremely significant.

When it comes to the paper money issued by the First Republic of Venezuela the Pick catalog is incomplete. There were three separate emissions of paper money in 1811 and 1812. These different emissions (as listed in the Marcano catalog), can be identified by their signatures. The first was issued pursuant to the law of 27 August 1811, and consisted of 1 Peso, 2 Pesos, 4 Pesos, 8 Pesos and 16 Pesos notes (these are Pick-4 to Pick-8). Just a few months later, there was a shortage of small change, and a 2 Reales or 1/4 Peso note was introduced, which is Pick-2, issued pursuant to the law of 29 November 1811. Then, another series of 1 Peso to 16 Pesos notes were issued according to the decree of February 7, 1812. These are not separated in Pick except for the 1 Peso, which had a minor design change, and is listed as Pick-4A.

Read more here

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A number of readers forwarded articles on the new King Charles III banknotes. Kavan Ratnatunga passed along these images from the Bank of England. People began queuing up at 7am. -Editor

  queuing for the new Charles III banknotes
  new Charles III banknotes 1 new Charles III banknotes 2

  first member of the public to get the new Charles III banknotes
First member of the public to get the new notes

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For those who've lost track, this article discusses the unusual case of S.S. Central America figure Tommy Thompson. -Editor

Tommy Thompson holding coin Imagine spending more than eight years in a federal prison with no right to a jury trial or a court-appointed attorney, serving an indefinite sentence. This is how the judicial civil contempt power works, and deep-sea explorer Tommy Thompson — who has been held on civil contempt charges since 2015 — has brought the issue to light.

Thompson’s story dates back to 1989, when he made the greatest treasure find of the century: locating the SS Central America. The sunken ship was carrying the spoils of California’s gold rush when it sank in 1857, yielding a treasure worth upward of $765 million in 2024 dollars. Even more amazing than finding the wreck was Thompson’s ability to precisely salvage items in nearly 8,000 feet of water.

Read more here


Everyone likes finding treasure. These New York magnet fishers pulled up a small safe with stacks of hundred dollar bills. Thanks to Paul Horner for passing this along. -Editor

magnet fishing safe money

James Kane has used a powerful magnet to fish all manner of junk from New York City waterways, but he says the stacks of $100 bills he pulled from a safe were something else entirely.

The couple estimates that the safe contained as much as $100,000, though the bills were partly decomposed and stuck together.

The bills featured the 3D security ribbon that indicates recent vintage, but the safe bore no clues to a rightful owner.

Read more here


This week's Featured Website is Rhode Island Currency. Found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume IX, Number 51, June 4, 2024).

Thank you for visiting this website. It contains various types of banknotes and other pieces of ephemera from the state of Rhode Island, from colonial days to modern times. Please do not take any banknote images for your own use. If you have any questions, please contact me at and I will try to help.

This website consists of two different types of pages: displays of single pieces of currency and longer form profiles of banks and other types of institutions.

For the pages where a single piece of currency is displayed, the first number is the date of issue or when it was likely printed. For obsolete notes (from 1800 to the 1860s), this will be followed by a classification number starting with “RI” from James A. Haxby’s Standard Catalog Of United States Obsolete Bank Notes (1782-1866). In most cases, this will be followed by a Durand number. Roger H. Durand’s Obsolete Notes And Scrip of Rhode Island and The Providence Plantations is a definitive and instrumental work for the study of the state’s paper issues.

For banknotes from the national banking era (1863-1935), the date of the series will be followed by the Friedberg number and then the official bank charter number.

For profile pages, I have used the original name that the institution was organized under. If such enterprises were reorganized as national banks, I will note this fact in the description but not use a separate page for the bank’s currency unless that name is completely different, ie. Rocky Point Bank becoming the National Exchange Bank of Conimicut (by the way, these names are both made up).

The value of such banknotes varies wildly. Some pieces are very common and will fetch only a few dollars on eBay.

Featured Website RI Currency

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