The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 20, Number 7, February 12, 2017, Article 8


Laban Heath's Grave
Speaking of counterfeit detecting, Numismatic bibliophiles know Laban Heath as the prolific publisher of countless 19th century paper money counterfeit detector books. Pete Smith writes:

While researching revisions to my book American Numismatic Biographies, I came across photos of the memorial to Laban Heath at Evergreen Cemetery at Kennebunk, Maine. I thought it was impressive.

I frequently use the "Find A Grave" site in my research. It is not just good to find a grave location. If I know the name of someone and the city where they lived, I can often use "Find A Grave" to learn dates of birth and death. In the case of Heath, it also provides an extensive obituary.

HeathMemorial01 HeathMemorial02

Thanks - this is impressive. -Editor

Query: Washington Temperance Benevolent Society Medal

Temperance medal reverse Temperance medal obverse

Web site visitor Charles Reina writes:

I recently came across a George Washington Temperance Benevolent Society medal. It's a silver piece with Washington and the laurel wreath on one side with the words We Serve the Tyrant Alcohol No Longer on the other. Any info on this medal would be helpful as I can find little online. Thank you.

I found this listed on p158 of the 2nd edition of Rulau's Medallic Portraits of Washington (#333) and on p236 of Neil Musante's new Medallic Washington, where it is given #GW-164 with the note, "This is an extremely rare variety. Possibly other die varieties exist, as the medal was distributed for several years, and it would not be surprising if more were to surface." The die were created by James Bale.

Reader thoughts are welcome. It is common for such pieces to be holed, as they were typically worn as a badge. This one's seen a lot of wear, but is an interesting and rare piece. -Editor

Neil Musante writes:

I think this is like the third example of this variety that I have seen. The problem with this one obviously, is the condition. It was probably struck circa 1840 to 1841 as the temperance movement began to gain traction in the US. The bust punch of Washington is the same as the one used on the Par Nobile Fratrum medalet (GW-142 Washington & Lafayertte), which was struck while Bale was still in partnership with C.C. Wright. This leaves room for the possibility, probability? that the Washington bust was actually cut by Wright.

More on the Internet and Numismatics
Chris Bower writes:

I just wanted to comment on Joel Orosz's article "ON THE INTERNET AND NUMISMATICS" from the last issue of The E-sylum. I know from personal experience that I would not be nearly as involved in numismatics today if not for the internet. Taking the typical path I was pretty much out of the hobby for 20+ years because of family priorities. Now in my 40's I have jumped back in with both feet.

Having recently moved to Indianapolis I joined my first actual coin club, "Indianapolis Coin Club". How did I find them? The internet of course. Going to local coin shops I asked about clubs and was given vague, useless information on local clubs. At least they could tell me there was a monthly coin show in town. So I googled coin clubs and there was all the information I needed.

I have attended a number of auctions because of the information found online. This past summer I attended the ANA World's Fair of Money in large part because there were some coins that were listed by one of the large auction houses that I want to "see" before I bid. It's a good thing I did. No matter how well the pictures are done they always look different in person. My whole strategy changed after actually viewing the items. This would have never happened without the internet.

I use the websites of most of the larger numismatic book sellers and make a point of purchasing from them. My knowledge isn't where I want it to be. I need them to tell me what literature is out there on my collecting specialties. Digital copies of any research material aren't for me. I insist on hard copies, preferably originals.

The internet has actually made me a more social numismatist. I attend more shows, meetings and auctions than I never did before simply because the information about them is more easily accessible on line than anywhere else.

Thanks for your thoughts! Great examples of how "clicks and bricks" complement each other. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

More On The First 1794 Dollars
Alan Meghrig writes:

There is a retelling of the travels within the Philadelphia mint of the deposited Silver for the 1794 dollar thru its dispensing to the silver depositor. See the Jack Collins/ Walter Breen, book on 1794 dollars. The information is from a microfilm of a Mint ledger in the National archives.

Thanks! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: FEBRUARY 5, 2017 : First 1794 Dollar Article Updated (

William Weimer
Web site visitor Raven Sinclaire writes:

I recently found a post on your website where someone asked about William Weimer. I know Bill quite well and was friends with him and his wife, Julie. Julie died last year and Bill has terminal cancer. I see him about every two weeks for lunch. He still gets around well, but doesn't drive. I pick him up from a retirement community that he moved into with Julie a few years ago. He has already outlived the longest date that his doctor gave him and doesn't seem any worse. He is such a great guy.

If anyone would like to contact Bill, I can forward a note to him. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: SEPTEMBER 14, 2014 : Query: William Weimer Information Sought (

Whitman Coin Folders in the 1950s
Gawain O'Connor writes:

When doing some other research, I found this on one of the Internet photo archives. It shows a group of blue Whitman folders in the background and possibly an unnamed coin book.

1956 photo with Whitman coin folders

The 1956 photo is from the Shorpy Historic Picture Archive. I shared it with coin folder expert Dave Lange. -Editor

David Lange writes:

I've followed Shorpy daily for years, and I saw that photo when it was published. The folders are likely from the Third Series (1953-59) within Whitman's Second Edition (1942-59).

To read the complete article, see:
And Now the News: 1956 (

Query: Coin Galleries September 2008 Sought
Larry Korchnak writes:

I have an inquiry regarding a siege coin that I purchased some time ago. The tag indicates that it is from the Coin Galleries (Stack's) Lot 1185 mail/internet bid sale of September 2008. Can anyone provide the lot description from that sale for me? I would appreciate a scan or the text in any form.

Coin Galleries sales are not yet on the Newman Numismatic Portal. Can anyone help? Thanks. -Editor

Definition: Nimbate

Last week I asked about the definition of the word "nimbate" seen in a catalog description of a coin. Chip Howell forwarded the related definition of "nimbus" from Wiktionary: "A circle of light; a halo." and " In heraldry and art, a nimbus may be considered distinct from a halo. The term halo can refer to an open ring of light or of gold behind the head of a saint, while nimbus refers to a solid disk of light or gold." -Editor
John Lupia writes:

India Kushan Empire obverse This is an art historical term for haloed figure in art, hence, nimbate, i.e., a figure such as a saint, or emperor with a halo or nimbus. From the Latin, nimbus (singular), or nimbum (plural) cloud or clouds, generally storm or rain clouds, as in stratus-nimbus clouds; but also in the transfigurative sense means a head-band or frontlet, which became transferred diachronically to mean a halo of light or glory surrounding the head of a deity or saint signifying divinity and sacredness. In art typically rendered in gold, hence also called aureole, which by the way is taken from Ol French or Anglo-Norman. The Italian for this form is mandorla, but coming from the word for "almond" refers to the almond-shaped glory surrounding not just the head but the whole body. The Greek is φωτοστέφανος, a compund noun comprising "photo(s)" = light and "stephanos" a crown, hence a crown of light or glory = halo or nimbus.

Thanks, folks! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NUMISMATIC NUGGETS: FEBRUARY 5, 2017 : India Kushan Empire Gold Dinar (

Frank Lapa Death Date
Paul Schultz writes:

There are four Frank Lapas in the Social Security Death Index. If someone knows his age or birth date, it should be easy to pick him out,

Pete Smith writes:

Newspaper accounts report that Frank Albert Lapa was 44 in 1975 and 45 in 1976. I believe he was born October 24, 1931 and died August 28, 1995.

Thanks, guys! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: FEBRUARY 5, 2017 : Frank Lapa Question (

HLRC E-Sylum ad03 Grading Submissions

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

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

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster