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The E-Sylum: Volume 20, Number 39, September 24, 2017, Article 10

NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: SEPTEMBER 24, 2017

On the Origin of the Continental Dollars
Tony Terranova writes:

Does Eckberg have definitive proof that Continental dollars were not made in the US ?

I asked Bill Eckberg, who writes:

With all respect to my friend Tony, the burden of proof is on those who want to claim the Continental Currency coins were made in 1776 under the authority of Congress. Extraordinary claims like that require extraordinary evidence. I am only pointing out that I have never seen any evidence that these things have any connection to Congress or that they were made in 1776. Records DO say that a 1783 piece, likely the plain obverse quint, is "the first that has been made as an American coin."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: SEPTEMBER 17, 2017 : On 'Continental Dollar' Origins (http://www.coinbooks.org/v20/esylum_v20n38a16.html)

Moe Berg Medal At Spy Museum
Last week's item about the "Suicide Silver Dollar" prompted Mel Wacks to write:

I am very familiar with the International Spy Museum in Washington. In 2005 they generously hosted a seminar in honor of the induction of baseball player and American spy Moe Berg into the Jewish-American Hall of Fame. I gave them a Moe Berg medal, which is on display there, and which was used in an episode of Mysteries at the Museum.

Moe Berg Bronze medal obverse Moe Berg Bronze medal reverse

The International Spy Museum is one of those places I haven't managed to visit yet. I'll look forward to seeing the coin and medal there someday. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
SPY MUSEUM ACQUIRES SUICIDE SILVER DOLLAR (http://www.coinbooks.org/v20/esylum_v20n38a25.html)

March-April 1973 Rag Picker Issue Sought
ragpicker08n1pape Regarding The Rag Picker, the official publication of the Paper Money Collectors of Michigan, Newman Numismatic Portal project coordinator Len Augsburger writes:

The only missing issue is March-April 1973, vol. 8, no. 2

Pictured is the January-February 1973 issue. Can anyone lend the missing Rag Picker issue for scanning to complete the set? -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NEWMAN NUMISMATIC PORTAL ADDS THE RAG PICKER (http://www.coinbooks.org/v20/esylum_v20n34a12.html)

The Problem With Modern Coin Replicas
An E-Sylum reader writes:

Modern coin copies 3 Regarding the comment last week about museums having children strike their own coins as an educational exercise, there is a bigger issue out there. A medieval re-enactment society has a number of adult members striking imitation medieval "coins" that would not fool a present day expert, but could still cause issues. The designs are frequently based on actual coins, real silver is sometimes used, and a beginner could easily be deceived.

The future is also a problem. The Good Samaritan Shilling listed in old Red Books was likely an obvious fantasy piece when struck (now thought to be the mid 1800s), but by the 1950s was often accepted as a genuine colonial. To this day there is not 100% agreement whether it was a genuine colonial or a whim from 200 years later. Other examples of debate about fantasy pieces vs. genuine also exist. The same thing could happen 200 years from now with coins like those pictured here.

Modern coin copies 1 Modern coin copies 2

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: SEPTEMBER 10, 2017 : Teaching Young Rascals to Become Amateur Counterfeiters (http://www.coinbooks.org/v20/esylum_v20n37a14.html)

The Pope Quarter
Pope quarter John Phipps of Atlanta, GA writes:

In the August 27, 2017, & September 3, 2017, issues of The E-Sylum there was mention of JFK/Papal satirical items. You asked "...Would anyone have an image of the papal Washington quarter?" I bought this one last Saturday. This item has been around the Atlanta area for sometime. I know four of the previous owners. I have no idea who carved and painted the obverse. I am adding it to my hobo nickels.

Thanks to Dick Johnson for noting the existence of this piece, and John for providing an illustration. I'd never seen one of these before. Has anyone else come across one, and perhaps not realized what it was? -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NUMISMATIC NUGGETS: AUGUST 27, 2017 : Bashlow Kennedy Pope Satire Medal (http://www.coinbooks.org/v20/esylum_v20n35a23.html)
MORE ON THE BASHLOW KENNEDY POPE SATIRE MEDAL (http://www.coinbooks.org/v20/esylum_v20n36a11.html)

Harassment of the Numismatist

I felt certain E-Sylum readers would come up with the background on that "Governmental Harassment of the Numismatist" die, but the only response to date doesn't feel right to me. -Editor

A Rotten Situation medal die mirror image

Ron Haller-Williams writes:

My guess is that this refers to Franklin D. Roosevelt's signed Executive Order 6102 of April 5, 1933. See e.g. https://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2013/04/05/governments-still-heavy-handed-80-years-after-fdrs-gold-confiscation/

Roosevelt's order carved out exceptions for numismatic gold coins and I don't recall a big outcry. There was much more bashing of coin collectors in the silver shortage of the 1960s. But we have no smoking gun. Would anyone have an example of the token or medal struck from this die (shown here in a mirror image)? Any clues on what Executive Order is referenced? -Editor

Ron adds:

The thing is, one would need to PROVE that the numismatic value was SUBSTANTIALLY more than the gold value, not merely double. And this would take time and effort (which some people maybe could ill afford) - and services of a lawyer!

It later became clear that they wanted to immediately devalue the dollar which they used to pay for the items, but of course there WASN'T even the option of paying a levy equivalent to (say) 50% of the pre-devaluation metal value.

And, let's face it, a charge under the 1917 Trading with the Enemy Act, with a fine of up to $10000 and/or up to 10 years inside, would seem a bit harsh for somebody who might have (say) one "double eagle" of each of the 3 mints and both dates 1906 and 1908 ((different types).

See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_6102 .

You will see that things didn't get properly relaxed until 1974, and the die mentions the E.O. as just ONE of several things, including "inconsistent enforcement" and "obsolete coinage laws". As for enforcement, I wonder if anybody was prosecuted for the fact that the first Saint-Gaudens double eagles and the first Indian Head eagles were in breach of the 1864 Coinage Act, in not bearing the motto "IN GOD WE TRUST"?

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
QUERY: HARASSMENT OF THE NUMISMATIST MEDAL (http://www.coinbooks.org/v20/esylum_v20n37a27.html)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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