The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 20, Number 22, May 28, 2017, Article 10


The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is an 1862 letter from Joseph Mickley to Francis Lepire. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

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Mickley, Joseph In organizing the Eric P. Newman papers, we located an original letter from the important Philadelphia collector Joseph Mickley to Francis Lepire, dated March 19, 1862. Mickley offers a variety of coins at varying prices but more importantly comments on the growth of the coin market following the disappearance of large cents, in addition to the Coinage Act of 1853, which reduced the silver content of U.S. coinage. Mickley suggests that medals and foreign coins might be easier to pursue than American coins, and does nothing to mask his interest in selling the former. Newman published this letter in Coin World, 10/29/1969, but, to our knowledge, it has not been seen since then.

Transcription is as follows:

Your letter of the 13th was received and contents noted. I have made inquiry of a Coin dealer, what he would sell the coins you inquire about, at. He gave me the following. 1793 Cent 75 Cts to $2 and as high as $10 if in fine preservation, 1795 ½ Cent, 50 Ct, $1 upwards, 1797 do. 25 cts, - 1831, $6 to $8, 1836 $4 to $6, 1852 $4.50 to $6 – Dollars 1796, $2 – 1797 $1.25, - 1801 & 1802 1.50 each.

A young man left the Cents of 1793 & 1794 with me to sell for him for which he wants $2. The 1793 has the 13 links on the Reverse, which is a rare Type, it is in a fair condition, all legible, I think you would do well to procure these.

I don’t deal in coins any further than that frequently some are left with me by persons, for sale. I have a lot now, sent to me from England, to be disposed of, they consist of Coins and medals relating to this Country, among which are Massachusetts Silver Shillings, from $1.50 to $10 each, - Sixpences – Threepences & twopences. – The Chalmers Annapolis Silver Shilling, Sixpence & Threepence, the price of this is 17 pounds 17 shillings, this is rather high, though the last two pieces are extremely rare, a number of Copper pieces: Washington, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, several Cents & Halves of the U.S. Mint, etc., etc., - The rare U.S.A. Bar Cent Reverse 13 bars. The price of this is five pounds.

There are also some Silver & Bronze Medals in the lot, viz: Lafayette 5th – Louisburg taken, 2 varieties, - Quebec taken 8/6 each (copper.) Two in Silver, 2 pounds 2 shillings each, these medals are in remarkable fine condition. These, as well as the coins, are very desirable to one who collects pieces relating to this country. I have them all in my cabinet.

The price of American coins has gone up very high within several years past, owing to there being a great many Collectors and to our old coins being recoined, the old Copper Cents and Halves disappearing from circulation rapidly.

If you‘ve a collection of foreign Coins, I would assist you a great deal, for they are more frequently offered to me than American, they are also cheaper in proportion, it will give me pleasure to assist you in anything in my power, if you would inform me more particularly of what you wish to collect.

In hopes of hearing from you at your leisure, I remain
Yours Resply.
Jos. J. Mickley.

Link to Mickley letter on Newman Portal:

What a marvelous find! It's gratifying to learn that this letter still exists, and is now preserved on the Newman Numismatic Portal. For more information on collector Francis Lepire, see John Lupia's article elsewhere in this issue. -Editor

Wayne Homren, Editor

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