The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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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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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:

Terry White, Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
P. O. Box 634,
Canal Winchester, Ohio


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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: John Fransch, courtesy of John Sheckherd; and Betty Haisten. Welcome aboard! We now have 5,816 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 (but let me know if they are located in the European Union). Contact me at anytime regarding your subscription, or questions, comments or suggestions about our content.

This week we open with two new books and one review, an updated online database, and multiple losses in the numismatic world. Next up are updates from ANS and the Newman Numismatic Portal.

Other topics this week include Whitman's Canadian Numismatic Advisory Board, the Chicago Coin Club Hall of Fame, collectors C. P. Nichols, Alan Weinberg and Lianna Spurrier, Holabird sale highlights, Strategic Stockpile silver, and a wedding coin.

To learn more about William E. Metcalf, the Silver Damma, medals from the Molinari collection, the Viola Desmond exhibit, the Samuel W. Wolfson Collection, dies from the Northwest Territorial Mint, the Empress of India medal, the Banknote Character Advisory Committee, and the 2007 Australian Double Header 5 cent, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum


The Metcalf Festschrift will arrive next month. Information has been posted on the American Numismatic Society web site about this book of essays in honor of William E.Metcalf. -Editor

Concordia Disciplinarum book cover Concordia Disciplinarum

Essays on Ancient Coinage, History, and Archaeology in Honor of William E. MetcalfConcordia-Cover

(Numismatic Studies 38)

Edited by Nathan T. Elkins and Jane DeRose Evans

List price: $75 plus shipping & handling Member price: $52.50 plus shipping & handling

ISSN 051-7404-x
ISBN 978-0-89722-357-7
Hardcover, 283 pages, b/w images, color frontispiece


William E. Metcalf is a prominent name in numismatics, but is also universally recognized among those who study Roman history and archaeology. Known especially for his many contributions to Roman and Byzantine coinage, it is difficult to find a book or article that does not cite his work. A generous scholar, one can see his name in the acknowledgements in works by numismatists and scholars in adjacent disciplines who incorporate numismatic evidence. It is thus appropriate— and overdue—that his former students and colleagues present this Festschrift in recognition of Metcalf ’s impact on our discipline. It would be impossible to incorporate contributions from all of his colleagues and friends; the contributors herein represent but a fraction of those who would honor him.

His articles and reviews number in the hundreds, and he is author and editor of several books. Some of his best-known research centers on the cistophori. In 1980, he published his doctoral dissertation as his first monograph: The Cistophori of Hadrian (New York: American Numismatic Society, Numismatic Studies 15). Continuing this work is his recent The Later Republican Cistophori (New York: American Numismatic Society, Numismatic Notes and Monographs 170, 2017). A mark of his place in the entire field of numismatics is his editorship of The Oxford Handbook of Greek and Roman Coinage (Oxford and New York: Oxford University Press, 2012). Although retired from teaching and curating, he continues his research, and is currently completing Roman Provincial Coinage X (Valerian to Diocletian).

Bill, as he is called by friends and colleagues, received his degrees from the University of Michigan. He was awarded his A.B. in Latin, with distinction and highest honors, in 1969, his A.M. in Classical Studies in 1970, and his Ph.D. in Classical Studies in 1973. That same year, he came to New York to begin his long association with the American Numismatic Society, where he would work until 2000. From 1973 to 1975, he served as Assistant Curator of Roman and Byzantine Coins; in 1975, he was promoted to Associate Curator, and in 1978, to Deputy Chief Curator. He succeeded Margaret Thompson as Chief Curator in 1979, and remained in this position until his departure in 2000. Presently, he is Honorary Curator and Life Fellow at the ANS.

While serving at the ANS, Bill was appointed Visiting Professor or Adjunct Professor at several institutions, including Columbia University, Princeton University, Università degli Studi di Padova, Bryn Mawr College, Rutgers University, and New York University. In 2002, he was hired as the Curator of Coins and Medals at the Yale University Art Gallery and as Professor of Classics (adj.) at Yale University. In 2007, with the endowment of his curatorial position, he was named Ben Lee Damsky Curator of Coins and Medals, a title that he held until his retirement from Yale in 2014. Prof. Metcalf holds many distinguished honors and awards that recognize his research. Some key highlights are his membership at the Institute for Advanced Study in 1988–1989, his election as a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 1998, and his receipt of the Jeton de Vermeil of the Société Française de Numismatique in 2008. He is also the honorand of the annual William E. Metcalf Lecture Series of the Archaeological Institute of America, established in 2000 by Anna Maguerite McCann.

Among the people who influenced Bill’s professional development, two stand out. The first is Theodore “Ted” V. Buttrey (1929–2018), his mentor and advisor for his Ph.D. It was Ted who introduced him to the discipline of numismatics, involving him in the publication of the coins from the University of Michigan’s excavations at Carthage. These initial studies led to Bill’s interest and expertise in Roman Provincial coins (see also Metcalf 1977, 1979a, 1982b, 1987a, 1989, 2000, 2002a, 2007, 2008a, 2014, 2017) and the publication of hoards and excavation coins (Metcalf 1974a, 1974b 1975a, 1975b, 1976, 1977, 1978, 1979b, 1979c, 1980, 1981a, 1981b, 1982a, 1987b, 1988, 19912, 1994, 1995/6, 1997, 1998, 2001, 2002b). Ted’s ability to question received knowledge is clearly reflected in Bill’s careful arguments and fresh insights.

At the American Numismatic Society, he met his supervisor, mentor, and friend, the redoubtable Margaret Thompson (1911–1992). She exemplified for him unstinting work on behalf of the American Numismatic Society, the conduct of scholarly discourse, and the interest in bodies of material beyond the cataloging of particular coin types.

Teaching the next generation of numismatic scholars has been part of Bill’s life, as the two editors of this volume can attest. He has promoted the work of numismatics by introducing younger scholars to established scholars and collectors, and to dig directors who need numismatists for their excavations. His careful reading of forthcoming manuscripts has saved many an error or half-baked idea from going to readers or editors. His service to the field is reflected in his reviews of manuscripts and books, and service on the editorial boards for Lexicon Mythologiae Classicae, American Journal of Archaeology, Journal of Roman Archaeology, American Journal of Numismatics, Schweizerische Numismatische Rundschau, and Bryn Mawr Classical Review, and on various committees for the American Philological Association (now the Society for Classical Studies) and the Archaeological Institute of America.

We offer this book in gratitude, as a reflection of Bill’s interests and deep scholarship, and an homage to his friendship and teaching.

Nathan T. Elkins and Jane DeRose Evans, May 2018

For more information, or to order, see:


Alex Fishman of Toronto, Canada and Ian Todd, Canberra, Australia have published a new book on Indian coins. -Editor

The SIlver Damma book cover The Silver Damma: On the mashas, daniqs, qanhari dirhams and other diminutive coins of India, 600-1100 CE
by A. M. Fishman and I. J. Todd

Paperback: 423 pages
Publisher: IIRNS Publications LLP. (November 25, 2018)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 8193829107
ISBN-13: 978-8193829103
Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 1 x 11 inches

The result of over a decade of study, this work presents in 423 pages a vast range of new material on a super-series of coins which uniquely bridges Hindu and Islamic India from the 7th century CE onwards; its interpretations open a whole new horizon in the numismatic history of early medieval India. The book comprehensively examines the nature and historical context of the earliest native tiny silver dammas as well as all their various Islamic and Hindu descendants, traversing the early coinages of Sindh, Punjab and ancient Gandhara, as well as the later Sindhi, Multani and Ghaznavid types, and subsequent coins from north-western and central India, covering the period from about 600 to 1100 CE.

A survey of later coins from western, central and south India is included in the Addendum to the main work for the sake of completeness and to demonstrate the pervasiveness of the tiny silver damma over time and throughout India. Comprehensive descriptions, translations and historical notes are provided for every one of the hundreds of coin types, together with illustrations of one or more specimens of each, including line drawings where appropriate.

The Silver Damma sample page 2 The Silver Damma sample page 1

Selected reviews:

"This book opens up a whole new horizon in early medieval monetary history... a key resource, of interest to a wide range of numismatic, historical and economic researchers and writers... It offers a wealth of new information, a most impressive corpus that will serve to guide and inform us for many years."
– John S. Deyell, author of "Living Without Silver"

"Fishman and Todd lead us along the difficult trail of the silver damma of western India, an important coinage series that brought together the worlds of India and the Middle East in the medieval period. In thirteen dense chapters, they offer a significant description and understanding of the complex numismatics, especially the three dot coinage of Multan, but their study also raises important issues concerning the socioeconomic foundations of this critical period when major portions of India participated as equal partners in the maritime and overland commerce of the Caliphates. The book is highly recommended for professional numismatists, collectors, and scholars of the medieval period."
– Derryl N. MacLean, author of "Religion and Society in Arab Sind", Simon Fraser University

"Fishman and Todd have produced an analysis and catalog of silver dammas that would have been unthinkable just a decade or two ago. These once obscure and poorly understood gems have a wealth of meaningful history attached, sure to entice the interest of coin collectors and historians."
– Stephen Album, author of "Checklist of Islamic Coins"

For more information, or to order, see:
The Silver Damma: On the mashas, daniqs, qanhari dirhams and other diminutive coins of India, 600-1100 CE (

Kolbe-Fanning E-Sylum ad 2016-10-16 Free Priority Shipping


Serge Pelletier submitted this review of Christian Houle's new book on Canadian coin errors and varieties. Thanks! -Editor

Guide to Errors and Varieties on Canadian Coins book cover Houle, Christian. Guide to Errors and Varieties on Canadian Coins, Vol. 1 – 1 Cent (Elizabeth II). Sherbrooke, QC: Christian Houle, 2018. 274 pp. Illustrated with colour photographs.

Paper version [ISBN 978-2-9817740-0-2]:
8.5” x 11”, glossy paper, spiral bound, 64.95 CAD*
Electronic formats (PDF) [ISBN 978-2-9817740-1-9]:
CD-ROM, 34.95 CAD*
USB stick, 39.95 CAD*

* Prices exclude taxes, shipping and handling

For decades, Christian Houle has been collecting Canadian coins with errors and varieties and has become quite passionate about them. He plans to share the knowledge he has accumulated over those years in a series of guides.

The first volume of this series, this book covers the varieties and errors found 1-cent coins issued during the reign of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II (1953-2012).

To better keep track of the pieces in his collection, he developed three-letter codes to describe the type of error and its location.

In the first part of the book, he introduces the reader to his three-letter codes as well as to what he has called the “interest index”.

Indeed, rather than give a value for the various pieces listed, he has provided an “interest index,” which reflects the appeal an error may have for a collector.

In the second part of the book, Houle presents non-die-related errors, those that are the result of faulty procedures during the production of the coin (during blanking, plating, and striking), and therefore affect the physical aspects of the coin.

Guide to Errors and Varieties on Canadian Coins sample pages

Since coins resulting from those types of errors are usually quite obvious, they rarely make it out of the mint and are therefore quite rare. For this reason, he chose not to list the known pieces.

Finally, the last part of the book deals with die-related errors, those errors that are reproduced on every coin struck by the faulty die. In these cases, it is the motif of the coin rather than its physical aspect that is affected.

In this section, Houle presents tables of the known errors for every year of issue.

The book is profusely illustrated with clear, colour images, most being enlargements of the areas affected on the coin.

This guide is for equally for the collector who is just starting to collect coins with errors and for the collector who has been collecting them for a while.

A Guide to Errors and Varieties on Canadian Coins, Vol. 1 – 1 Cent (Elizabeth II) is available directly from the author. For more information, contact Christian Houle at .

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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A new version of Seleucid Coins Online (SCO) has been released by the ANS. Here's the press release. -Editor

Seleucid Coins Online SCO banner

The American Numismatic Society (ANS) is pleased to announce the release of version 2 (v.2) of the web-based research tool: Seleucid Coins Online (SCO). As a component of the National Endowment for the Humanities-funded Hellenistic Royal Coinages (HRC) project, SCO aims to provide a comprehensive overview of the coinages struck by the Seleucid kings between ca. 320 BC and 64 BC, from Seleucus I to Antiochus XIII.

In January, 2018, the American Numismatic Society initially launched SCO. At the time it was announced that the development of SCO would take place in two parts in imitation of the print volumes, Seleucid Coins: A Comprehensive Catalogue by Arthur Houghton, Catharine Lorber, and Oliver Hoover, published in two parts in 2002 and 2008 by the American Numismatic Society and Classical Numismatic Group, Inc. The first part, by Houghton and Lorber, presented and interpreted all the numismatic material for Seleucus I to Antiochus III known up to 2002. The second part, by Houghton, Lorber, and Hoover, did the same for the Seleucid kings from Seleucus IV to Antiochus XIII. In total, more than 2,491 primary coin types were published in these volumes.

The newly unveiled version of SCO (v.2), launched in November, 2018, completes the type corpus incorporating material related to Seleucid Coins, Part I, covering the reigns from Seleucus I to Antiochus III (c. 320–187 BC), and the material in Part II covering the reigns from Seleucus IV to Antiochus XIII (187–64 BC) as well as the posthumous Roman imitations (63–14/13 BC).

Ultimately, SCO will provide wide access to the coins listed in the print volumes of Seleucid Coins. While the Seleucid coins in the ANS collection (some 5,129 pieces) serve as the core of the searchable catalogue, ultimately links to coins (many of which are unique) in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, the British Museum, the Münzkabinett der Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, and many other public and private collections currently are and will be included. SCO will also stand at the cutting edge of the discipline through the inclusion of new coin types and varieties that have been recorded since 2008. SCO will be the only place where researchers can keep track of such new coins comprehensively and the expanding picture of Seleucid economic, political, and art history that they reveal. Frequent updates to the website will permit users to find and learn about new material almost at the rate at which it is discovered, thereby making SCO the most up-to-date catalogue available to students of Seleucid coinage.

To access the SCO database, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Dealer and author Richard Margolis has died at the age of 87. -Editor

Bill Rosenblum writes:

Benjamin Franklin in Terra Cotta Dick Margolis passed away recently. Among many other achievements he was one of the three founders of the New York International Numismatic Convention (along with Fritz Weber and Bill Selfridge), authored perhaps one of the most important numismatic works of the 21st century, Benjamin Franklin in Terra Cotta, and was one of the most prominent dealers of French and early US medals as well as other world coins and medals. When Dick set up his table at a show everyone would flock to his table to see what goodies he would bring.

Here is a New York Times obituary published December 1, 2018. -Editor

MARGOLIS--Richard, a native New Yorker and eminent numismatist who lived in New Jersey for many years, died on November 24. He was 87 years old. He was born on the Upper West Side of Manhattan on April 21, 1931 to Benjamin Margolis, a manufacturer of women's coats and suits and Norma (Germain) Margolis, a housewife. He leaves behind his adored wife Sara, their beloved cockapoo Cookie, his sister Maxine Margolis, brother-in-law Jerald Milanich, and nieces Nara Milanich, Nina Shea, and Sally Roberts.

A graduate of the Horace Mann School, he attended Tulane University and graduated from New York University. Richard was a principal of the N. T. Hegeman Company, a Paramus, New Jersey commercial real estate firm, founded by his maternal grandfather in 1910.

Richard caught the coin collecting bug from a friend at the age of twelve and the resulting fever raged unabated ever since. In 1952 he became interested in the numismatics of the French Revolution and Napoleon, building a collection during the next sixty-two years numbering some 3000 pieces, along with the relevant literature. He has published more than thirty articles on this specialty. In 1973 he published The Silver Crowns of France, 1641-1973 which remains a work regularly consulted by specialists in this series.

A second collection, begun years later, consists of medal and medallions of the late 18th Century, a period which includes medallic works by Jean-Baptiste Nini and Jean Martin Renaud. His magnum opus, Benjamin Franklin in Terra Cotta: Portrait Medallions by Jean-Baptiste Nini at the Chateau of Chaumont was published in 2015. In a review in the Journal of Early American Literature, the volume was called "the most original, scholarly treatment... of this complex subject." The reviewer wrote that the work "will likely stand for the next several hundred years as the definitive study of the masterworks of the Nini pottery at Chateau-sur-Loire. The volume is just an amazing achievement."

Richard, who became a professional coin dealer in 1958, specialized in foreign numismatics of the period from about 1500 to 1960. He carried out extensive research in the Boulton Papers at the Birmingham Reference Library (England), resulting in articles on Matthew Boulton and the Soho Mint in The British Numismatic Journal, the Colonial Newsletter, Spink's Numismatic Circular, and other publications.

Richard and his wife Sara were two of the founders in 1972, and subsequently the organizers for many years, of the New York International Numismatic Convention, an annual gathering of important numismatists which continues to this day.

To read the complete article, see:

Kevin Foley of the New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC) writes:

"The world and ancient numismatic community owe a considerable debt to Richard Margolis. He was the founder of the New York International Numismatic Convention and made it into the leading event that it became. He participated as a booth holder at our first 44 annual conventions and leaves a legacy of good will and respect."

Kerry Wetterstrom of Classical Numismatics Group writes:

"I had the pleasure of working with him over the years in my role as the Educational Chairman for the NYINC. Richard ran the Societé de l’étude Numismatique Française meetings at the NYINC until a few years ago, when his health started to decline. He was a gentleman and a consummate professional."

On the bibliophile angle, David Fanning writes:

"He issued a number of printed fixed price lists in the 1960s and 1970s and possibly at other times, and he held at least one auction, in 1960."

Bill Rosenblum adds:

"Dick and his wife Sara, Jim and Ann King and my wife Rita and myself ate too many huge Corned Beef and Pastrami sandwiches from the Carnegie Deli when the NYC shows were held in mid-town. It was Sara who finally convinced the the countermen to throw in extra bread so we could eat them behind our bourse tables and make a minimum of mess. In the evenings Dick became the gourmand that he was and seemed to know fantastic restaurants in every large city in the world. He and Sara recommended a restaurant to us when we were going to visit Venice. It may have been the best meal we've ever had. And not to be forgotten Dick was a fellow Yankee fan!"

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

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Joel Orosz writes:

I have long respected the scholarship and writing of Nancy Oliver and Richard Kelly, as expressed in their "Numismatic Chronicles" monthly column in The Numismatist, and books such as A Mighty Fortress, about the Second San Francisco Mint. I did not realize, however, that they were residents of Paradise, California, the town that was utterly destroyed by the Camp Wildfire.

Rich and Nancy have asked me to share with fellow numismatic researchers that they both escaped, along with their two dogs, in the nick of time. Their home, sadly, was totally consumed by the fire. Tragically, Nancy's mother, who was fleeing separately, was overtaken by the blaze, and did not survive.

Nancy's and Richard's material losses are covered by insurance, but since the order to flee arrived only shortly before the fast-moving flames, they could not save many irreplaceable possessions, including their numismatic research files. Their column in The Numismatist will have to go on hiatus while they focus on recovery and rebuilding. They are temporarily living in Roseville, California, and are considering relocating to Sacramento.

Despite the profundity of their losses, Nancy and Richard are stoically focusing on the future. It would boost their morale to receive a note of sympathy and encouragement from their numismatic friends. The best way to reach them is via Nancy's email: .

Joel addressed his note to a number of bibliophiles and E-Sylum regulars, and a call was made by Dave Bowers to start a crowd funding effort to rebuild their numismatic library. Several people came forward immediately to offer books and other assistance. -Editor

Dave Lange writes:

Rich and Nancy have been friends of mine for years, going back, I believe, as far as my years in California. We've shared much information and assisted one another whenever possible. I really hope that they can restore what they've lost, with exception, of course, of a beloved mother.

Paradise is a fairly small town, but the fire there devastated the lives of several persons I know.

Kevin Flynn created a GoFundMe page for Rich and Nancy and posted about it on CoinZip. Here's an excerpt. -Editor

The objective of this gofundme is to raise money for Rich and Nancy, so when they get back on their feet and ready to get back into writing books, they have the tools, such as computers, scanners, printers, cameras, and such in order to continue their passion in our great hobby and to help them as they see fit.

In a heartbeat without question or hesitation, I know they would do for any of us in our time of need.

E-Sylum Readers: please do chip in and help out any way you can. See the links below. -Editor

Rich and Nancy Oliver add:

"No words can express the amount of gratitude we feel right now for our friends in the numismatic community. In fact, we are quite in shock with the response. It has brought some needed happiness and support after our loss. We wish we could thank everyone individually. Because of all this, we are now infused with the desire to continue our research when we resettle. We are moving into a temporary apartment Tuesday, and will continue from there to eventual permanency."

To read Kevin's CoinZip article, see:
Rich and Nancy lost their house in Paradise CA fires (

To visit the GoFundMe page, see:
Fund raiser for Rich Kelly and Nancy Oliver (

In 2003 another California fire threatened the home and office of numismatic literature dealer George Kolbe. We published two rare special issues of The E-Sylum to update readers on the situation. Thankfully in that case, the Kolbes and the John J. Ford numismatic library (being cataloged at that time) were ultimately spared. But what a harrowing experience. Here are links to the earlier story and follow-up, plus another scare from 2007. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

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Newman Numismatic Portal Len Augsburger provided the following report. Thanks. -Editor

American Numismatic Society Library Catalog Linked to Internet Archive Scans

valuablecollecti00thom_0_0011 The Newman Portal has maintained a scanning operation at the ANS since December 2015, and in that time Internet Archive associates Lara Jacobs (and previously John Graffeo) have scanned 6,000 documents from the ANS library. Periodically, these scans are linked to the ANS library catalog (DONUM) so that DONUM users may access ANS library materials directly through the online library catalog. A recent update was performed in November, so that all documents scanned to date are available through DONUM.

Illustrated is the DONUM record for the Lewis Roper auction sale catalog (M. Thomas & Sons, 1851). Users may view the scanned document via the links “LINK TO INTERNET ARCHIVE (copy 1)” or “LINK TO INTERNET ARCHIVE (copy 2).” Note, for many auction sale catalogs, ANS has multiple copies, and these often contain varying annotations captured no other place. Thanks to ANS librarian David Hill and programmer Tomàs Cohen Arazi for their assistance with this project.


Link to ANS library catalog::

Link to Roper entry in the ANS library catalog:


We recently profiled new subscriber Lianna Spurrier, the Morehead State University student who wowed the numismatic world with her excellent video on the Nova Contellatio pattern coinage. Yesterday her school paper The Trail Blazer published an article about her experience with the coin community. Here's an excerpt. See the complete article online. -Editor

Lianna Spurrier The convergent media major at Morehead State and coin collector was recently featured in Coin Week after she produced a short documentary on the first coins in America, which led to a series of other job offers.

Spurrier has a collection consisting of an estimated 200 foreign coins and well-over 1,000 domestic.

One of her favorite coins is a replica of the Plan Obverse Quint, which is the first coin that was minted under the U.S. Government. She won the replica through an Instagram contest ran by David McCarthy, who identified the Plan Obverse Quint’s title.

“I started doing some research and that one single coin led to producing a video that led to accidentally getting jobs,” said Spurrier.

Publishing isn’t new for the 21-year-old, who has a self-published novel titled, “Life in Polaroids,” but these articles and videos were centered around something much older, The Nova Constellatio coin series.

Spurrier said that it all happened very suddenly and “snowballed” into getting hired on as a freelance creator by two other publications, the Newman Numismatic Portal and the Colonial Coin Collectors Club.

The publications have requested six videos a piece, over a variety of coin related topics from collecting tips for those on a budget, non-circular foreign coins and the history of the penny.

To read the complete article, see:
Numismatics, it's worth some coin (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: NOVEMBER 25, 2018 : Kudos for Lianna Spurrier (

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Buying Coins From Joe Mitula
Martin Kaplan writes:

When I was a youngster, in the mid to late 1950s, my mother would take me to the Mitula Coin and Stamp Company in downtown Houston. My parents generously funded my early collecting. We were waited on by Mr. Bingham who I believe was Mr. Mitula’s son in law. We built, a few coins at a time, uncirculated short sets of Mercury dimes, Washington quarters and Liberty Walking halves, and complete sets of Jefferson nickels, Roosevelt dimes and Franklin halves. I still have all but the Washington quarter set. As I remember, we never looked at earlier coins. I occasionally think...what if I’d collected earlier coins by type? Seated and Barber coinage. Oh well..

If I hit the lotto I'll hire a Mad Scientist to build us that Time Machine to go back and scoop up all the numismatic bargains we passed by over the years. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
ALBIN JOSEPH MITULA, JR. (1896-1972) (

Another End of Pitt Token

Thomas Paine's Head Michael Wehner passed along this token which has a design relating to the "End of Pitt" pieces discussed earlier. Thanks. It is in the upcoming December 4, 2018 Dix Noonan Webb sale. Thank you. -Editor

London Corresponding Society token

London, Piccadilly, London Corresponding Society, Skidmore’s mule Halfpenny, man hanging from gallows, cap of Liberty and obelisk, rev. lcs cypher, edge grained, 11.62g/6h (DH 290).

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: NOVEMBER 25, 2018 : More on the End of Pitt Token (

On the Warhol-Signed Two Dollar Bill
andy warhol postmark Bruce Perdue writes:

The post mark is Columbus, OH Livingston STA...

Marc Ricard writes:

The 1976 postmark is from the Livingston Station USPS office in Franklin, Ohio, just outside of Columbus. The postmark states "Columbus Ohio Livingston Station" 1976. There is a passport office at that location as well. So if Andy signed it on-site, perhaps a visit into the deep, dark closets of that location would produce a long-lost Warhol original??

Thanks to Ken Spindler of San Diego, CA who also identified Livingston Station. Bruce Perdue supplied the above close-up image.

OK - we have a consensus. As an exercise for the reader or a future art historian, what event could have brought Andy Warhol to that place on that date? As a Pittsburgh native I know he grew up there and had close relatives in Pittsburgh; was there a branch of the Warhola family over in Ohio?

Or was this note signed after the fact? The dollar sign to the left of the signature covers the postage stamp and cancellation. Interesting mystery... -Editor

Two Dollar Bill With Andy Warhol Signature

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NUMISMATIC NUGGETS: NOVEMBER 25, 2018 : Two Dollar Bill With Andy Warhol Signature (

George H.W. Bush
Bush, G.H.W.-1988-02-13 in Wolfeboro, NH, w Andrew Bowers age 8 Dave Bowers writes:

May George H.W. Bush rest in peace. This picture is of Bush on the campaign trail in Wolfeboro, New Hampshire on February 13, 1988, with Andrew Bowers, age 8 (today you can find Andrew at Stack’s Bowers Galleries at 123 West 57th Street, New York City).

Great photo! -Editor

Coming to Your Coin Club: The Queen
Ken Spindler writes:

As a gag, I circulated this e-mail to the membership of San Diego's International Numismatic Society, of which I am president, after I spotted the book about QE II's numismatic collection in last week's E-Sylum.

I've got a great idea who to ask to be our January 2019 banquet speaker!

Monarchy Money and medals book cover Monarchy, Money & Medals: Coins Banknotes and Medals From the Collection of Her Majesty The Queen by Jeremy Cheek

The Royal Collection is famous as one of the finest art collections in the world, but less well known are its coins, medals and banknotes, which include many extremely rare pieces. This book, published by Spink in association with Royal Collection Trust...

I'm going to ask Queen Elizabeth II to come and show us her numismatic collection! Who knew? I'm sure she'll be impressed when I tell her we'll pay not only for her dinner, at Marie Callendar's in La Mesa, but also that of her date. Presumably, the Duke of Edinburgh. They can't eat that much, at their ages (92 and 97).

Great idea! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing submitted this press release seeking applicants for the firm's Canadian Numismatic Advisory Board. -Editor

Canadian Numismatic Advisory Board is Accepting Applications
Collectors, Dealers, and Researchers Invited to Apply

Whitman Publishing is accepting applications for appointment to its Canadian Numismatic Advisory Board (CNAB).

The CNAB was established to advise the publisher and editors of Whitman Publishing on topics relating to Canadian coins and tokens, medals, paper currency, and related numismatic items. These include colonial and provincial coinage; bank and trade tokens; money of the French regime; private and semiregal tokens; pre-decimal and decimal coinage of the 1800s; British colonial items, circulating and otherwise; patterns; bullion coins; error coins; coinage sets; and circulating issues of the Dominion of Canada, 1867 to date. The board also advises on grading, auction records, photography, authentication, third-party certification, the Royal Mint, and other hobby-related topics.

Board members are appointed for a term of two years. Membership is open to professional numismatists as well as hobbyists, and anyone with an interest in Canadian numismatics—collectors, dealers, historians, researchers, students, museum curators, coin designers, etc.

Candidates should have an interest in Canadian history and have demonstrable experience in the study of Canadian numismatics; a history of honorable professional and personal conduct; and successful standing in their communities. Candidates must be free of professional, political, or financial interests that could negatively affect their ability to provide impartial advice.

Board candidates are invited to submit a description of the skills, abilities, talents, and credentials that support their applications.

Application Deadline: Friday, February 1, 2019.

Receipt of Applications: Those wishing to be considered for participation on the CNAB should submit a resume and cover letter describing their reasons for seeking and qualifications for membership, by email to or by mail to Dennis Tucker, Publisher; Whitman Publishing; PO Box 191884; Atlanta GA 31119. Submissions must be postmarked no later than Friday, February 1, 2019.


This press release from the Chicago Coin Club announces its new Hall of Fame. Great idea - the club has had so many illustrious members over the years. NOTE: the web page list is currently empty, but look for updates and announcements throughout the coming year. -Editor

Chicago Coin Club Initiates Hall of Fame
In Honor of its Centennial, 1919-2019

Chicago Coin Club logo In honor of the centennial of the Chicago Coin Club, 1919-2019, the club has initiated a Hall of Fame to recognize some of the prominent numismatists among its ranks over the past century. Twelve inductees have been selected. One will be announced each month during its centennial year.

The Hall of Fame can be found on the club’s web page, .

The Chicago Coin Club was organized in 1912 as American Numismatic Association Branch No. 1, and reorganized under its present name in 1919. All are invited to join. To become a member you must attend a meeting and submit an application along with a membership fee of $20 ($10 for Junior membership). A first reading of your application will be held at this meeting, and a second reading at the next monthly meeting, following publication of your name in the club newsletter. (You are not required to be present for the second reading.) Upon membership approval, you will become a member.

The Chicago Coin Club holds monthly meetings in downtown Chicago, plus at major numismatic conventions such as Central States, with a speaker featured at every meeting except the annual auction, held at the November meeting.

For mroe information about the Chicago Coin Club, see:

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A new exhibit of medals from the Molinari Collection has opened at Bowdoin College. -Editor

Molinari Collection exhibit logo

EXHIBITION: A Handheld History: Five Centuries of Medals from the Molinari Collection at Bowdoin College

Dates: July 26, 2018 - January 6, 2019
Location: Markell Gallery

A Handheld History marks the first time since 1976 that the Bowdoin College Museum of Art’s prestigious Molinari Medals Collection has been the subject of a dedicated exhibition. Organized by Bowdoin students Amber Orosco ’19, Stephen Pastoriza ’19, and Benjamin Wu ’18, this installation allows viewers to experience the intimacy and poignancy of portrait medals spanning nearly five centuries and to consider the lessons they have to impart to contemporary audiences.

Donated to the Bowdoin College Museum of Art over fifty years ago, the collection reflects the generosity of Cesare and Amanda Molinari, who also provided an exceptional library to support study of these works. Highlights of these related bibliographic materials are included, reflecting the evolution of numismatics scholarship from the sixteenth century up to the present day.

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The show unfolds around three central themes: Portraiture and the Representation of Identity, Political Ideologies and Propaganda, and Collecting a Handheld History, which show the development of the medal as an artistic, social, and political statement. Related prints and paintings demonstrate the remarkable power of these objects to convey erudition, intellectual achievement, personal virtue, and political power. In short, this selection from Bowdoin’s Molinari Collection makes clear the power of a handheld history from the early fifteenth century to the present: a compact, durable, and compelling representation of the long sway of cultural authority and leadership.

Major support for this exhibition has been provided by an anonymous donor. Additional support was received from the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, the Becker Fund for the Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and by a matching gift from the Lunder Foundation for conservation work at the Williamstown Art Conservation Center.

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Three nice articles about the development of the exhibition are linked at the end of the announcement. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
A Handheld History: Five Centuries of Medals from the Molinari Collection at Bowdoin College (


The Bank of Canada has mounted an exhibit about the subject of their new $10 banknote. -Editor

Bank of Canada notes / Billets de banque canadiens

The Bank of Canada Museum is inviting Canadians of all ages to visit the new exhibition A Noteworthy Woman, which depicts the life of Viola Desmond, an icon of the human rights and social justice movement in Canada and the first Canadian woman to appear on a regular bank note. The exhibition opens to the public on November 30 and will feature rare and never-before-displayed artifacts from Viola Desmond’s life. The exhibition also explores the imagery on the newly circulating $10 bank note.

“Soon, many Canadians will carry a Viola Desmond note with them in their wallets. But the lessons of her life must continue to be told,” said Senior Deputy Governor Carolyn A. Wilkins at an event marking the launch of the new exhibition. “That’s why I’m glad that, through this exhibition, people will be able to learn more about her history, and Canada’s history.”

Desmond, a successful black Nova Scotia businesswoman, defiantly refused to leave a whites-only area of a movie theatre in 1946 and was subsequently jailed, convicted and fined. Her case is one of the first known legal challenges against racial segregation brought forth by a black woman in Canada. Highlights of the exhibition include the following:

•Seats from the Roseland Theatre in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, where Desmond took her historic stand against injustice

•Desmond’s free pardon, granted by the government of Nova Scotia in 2010

•Her notebook, in which she jotted down business tips, recipes for beauty products and price lists

•A compact of sepia face powder from her line of cosmetics

"The new banknote featuring Viola Desmond recognizes the impact of this trailblazing woman, whose strength, courage and conviction in the face of racism brought her to the forefront of equal rights in Canada," said Minister of Status of Women Maryam Monsef. "This bill, and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights which is featured on its back, ensures we keep these stories top of mind. We will always stand up for human rights at home and abroad, and on behalf of our government, I am proud to open this important exhibition that shares the story behind the design of the note, and the choice of Viola Desmond for this well-deserved honour."

Museum visitors will have the opportunity to buy new vertical $10 bank notes featuring Viola Desmond on December 1 and 2. The exhibition will run until May 12, 2019.

To read the complete article, see:
New exhibition on Viola Desmond opens at Bank of Canada Museum (

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Dick Johnson submitted these entries from his Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. Thanks. -Editor

Base Metal An alloy or metal usually of low value to which plating is applied; or the chief constituent of an alloy, not a precious or noble metal. Base metals include copper, iron, lead, tin, zinc, and other, or their alloys: bronze, brass and white metals. For plated objects these compositions are used because of their lower cost, yet the outer coating can be a desired metal (gold, silver, copper, nickel or such) and exhibit all the qualities of color, sheen and surface appearance. For plated items the base metal is also called the under composition and in metalworking it is called substrate. Some trial pieces are struck in base metals; medals intended to be struck in precious metals are sometimes proved in base metals. (All the metals mentioned above have entries in this encyclopedia, also see chart, bronze.)

Base Medal A fully struck up medal upon which another process is yet to be performed, as a medal upon which a jewel, inlay, insert or appliqué is to be applied; the principal component of a fabricated medal. A base medal differs from a raw medal (which is completely struck up and ready for processing in the finishing department) in that the base medal is often – but not always – already oxidized and buffed before the additional process are performed.

Book lovers should be word lovers as well.

Looking for the meaning of a numismatic word, or the description of a term?  Try the Newman Numismatic Portal's Numismatic Dictionary at:

Or if you would like a printed copy of the complete Encyclopedia, it is available. There are 1,854 terms, on 678 pages, in The Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology. Even running two a week would require more than 19 years to publish them all. If you would like an advance draft of this vital reference work it may be obtained from the author for your check of $50 sent postpaid. Dick Johnson, 139 Thompson Drive, Torrington, CT 06790.


John Lupia submitted the following information from the online draft of his book of numismatic biographies for this week's installment of his series. Thanks! As always, this is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is Massachusetts collector C. P. Nichols. -Editor

Masons Photographic Gallery C. P. Nichols C. P. Nichols is best known for his comprehensive collections of Hard Times Tokens and Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century English Tokens.

Charles Porter Nichols (1822-1905), was born on July 20, 1822, at Oxford, Massachusetts, son of Charles Porter Nichols (1792-1869) and Irena Hartwell Porter (1791-1876). He was the fifth generation of Nichols born at Oxford, Massachusetts. His grandfather was Captain John Nichols (1734-1812), who fought in the American Revolution. His great-grandfather was Lieutenant John Nichols (1704-1801), also fought during the American Revolution. He was affectionately called Major Charles P. Nichols by his peers.

No later than 1840 Charles P. Nichols was working as an agent for the railroads in Springfield, Massachusetts.

On January 3, 1853, he married Mary Ann Sullivan (1833-). They had two children : George B. Nichols (1855-1857), and Carrie B. Nichols (1859-1877).

On June 13, 1867, he was elected a corresponding member of the ANS.

Cogan 1860 letter to C.P. Nichols
Edward Cogan correspondence with C. P. Nichols postmarked September 25, 1860

A little over two weeks prior to his death he sold a portion of his collection and medals at auction through Geoffrey Charlton Adams, on Wednesday, September 27, 1905, "The Ezekiel-Nichols Collections of Coins and Medals".

He died of heart disease on November 12, 1905 at Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts. He is buried in Springfield Cemetery, Springfield, Hampden County, Massachusetts.

To read the complete article, see:

* * * * *

The entire inventory of the Lupia Numismatic Library is for sale. Individual items will be available before the remaining archives are broken up into parcels sold at philatelic auctions in the U. S. and Hong Kong. Check frequently as dozens of new items with estimates will be posted daily until everything is sold.

All inquiries will be given prompt and courteous attention. Write to: .

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Harvey Stack's blog series focuses on growing up in a numismatic family. Here is part 32. Nothing beats a report on numismatic events and personalities direct from someone who was there to witness them in person. Thanks, Harvey! -Editor

Stack Numismatic Family Teens

The year 1962 continued to be a good one for Stack's and the hobby. In late spring we offered the Tice Family Collection, a valuable and comprehensive offering of U.S. coins. Then, in the summer, we got word that Mr. Samuel W. Wolfson desired to sell his collection, which he had devoted about a decade to building. His interest in collecting began in the late 1940s, after he came to Stack's to add a few coins to his son's collection. He was attracted by the displays in the store and Norman and I spent some time talking with him, reviewing what comprised an important collection. With his son already a collector, Sam considered this an opportunity for them to share a common interest and develop something for the future. Stack's gained an important new customer, who continued to work with us building his collection. We were somewhat surprised to learn in 1962 that Mr. Wolfson was ready to sell.

Unfortunately Samuel W. Wolfson had developed an incurable disease and expected to have about a year to live. He desired to put his house in order and decided that his collection was so personally important that he wanted it cataloged and sold while he was alive, He wanted to be able to attend the sales himself and his doctors and family felt that it would be beneficial for him to have this to look forward to.

The Samuel W. Wolfson Collection would be offered in two catalogs, the first in the fall of 1962 and the second in the spring of 1963. Following Mr. Wolfson's wishes, we offered his vast collection of United States gold coins, from the gold dollar to the double eagle in fall 1962.

The Wolfson Collection was very close to complete in all series. It contained virtually every date and mint in all gold series. Many of the early dated $5 and $10 pieces originally came from the famous Col. E.H.R. Green Collection, as we had maintained in our stock coins from the "hoard" we purchased from that estate in 1943. In addition we had repurchased rarities from the Green Collection from those who had acquired them in the 1940s and had later put them up for sale. Stack's also had the additional resources needed to help Mr. Wolfson assemble such a fine collection.

The sale of this noteworthy collection attracted many of the great names in the hobby. Those I remember attending the sale were Harold. Bareford, George Walton, Dr. Bolt, R.L. Miles, Jr., the Norwebs, Gaston DiBello, and John J. Pitman to name but a few. In addition, many dealers from all over the country came, representing collectors from all over America. This was an important chance for others to add to their collections and acquire many dates of quarter eagles, half eagles and eagles struck before 1834. We were happy that the results of the sale rewarded Sam Wolfson for the effort he had made to get his collection close to completion.

The auction year ended with Stack's offering of the Salomon Collection, a general cabinet with many items for collectors seeking scarce dates. As we at Stack's often said, collectors with the patience to wait for the right coin to fill an empty hole can usually find the right piece.

The year of 1962 was indeed a very rewarding year. With the second part of the Wolfson Collection and other offerings coming up in 1963, we were looking forward to another good year.

To read the complete article, see:
Harvey Stack Remembers: Growing up in a Numismatic Family, Part 32 (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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E-Sylum regular Alan Weinberg is profiled in a story by David Stone on the Winter 2018-2019 issue of The Intelligent Collector. -Editor



Story by David Stone
Photographs by Axel Koester

Alan Weinberg Over nearly six decades, Alan Weinberg has formed one of the most fascinating collections of American coins and medals, a collection known across the hobby for its rare and quality pieces. “Alan is arguably one of the most impressive rare coin collectors of all time,” says Heritage Auctions’ Executive Vice President Todd Imhof. “He is a passionate connoisseur but at the same time he tempers his desire to acquire items with intelligence and research.”

This approach has made Weinberg a top collector and authority on early coppers, Colonials, 1792 patterns and medals of many series. “Alan has long understood the importance of acquiring items that strike a balance between historical significance, popularity, quality and true rarity,” Imhof adds. “He has always focused his interest in ‘true rarity,’ such as early Americana issues, rather than ‘conditional rarities,’ such as modern issues that are only rare in the very highest grades.”

As Weinberg prepares to sell Part I of his collection through Heritage Auctions at January’s Florida United Numismatists Convention in Orlando (with Part II going to auction at the 2020 show), Weinberg took time to discuss his numismatic journey and the colorful personalities he has encountered along the way.

Like most great collectors, Weinberg came to the hobby at an early age. His collecting habits back then were innovative and somewhat unorthodox. “I started collecting Lincoln cents in junior high,” he recalls, “influenced by a good friend who was a collector and used to ask to check my change in the lunch cafeteria every day. I dipped my pennies in vinegar and taped them to shirt cardboard.”

Weinberg soon adopted more conventional means of preserving his coins. He also developed a remarkable eye for quality at an early date, establishing an ironclad principle of personally inspecting every item he purchased for his collection. “I quickly learned in 1960 never to buy or bid on an item that I couldn’t examine in-hand,” he says. “At that time, I bought at auction from a major dealer a ‘Proof’ 1829 half dime for $50 that was actually a polished circulated coin. I never returned it and considered it a good lesson, which I’ve followed all these years. Either attend the auction or arrange to examine the piece beforehand.”

Weinberg’s interests quickly progressed to more advanced numismatic series and he graduated to collecting 1793 large cents by variety within a year after he started collecting. By the time he finished high school, he was an advanced student of Colonial coinage, making large purchases from some of the most prominent collectors and dealers of the time.

“I met [prominent collector/dealers] Dick Picker and Bill Anton Jr. in high school and started spending up to $3,000 for individual rare Colonials,” he says. “I recall Billy taking me to dinner in the early ’60s and laying out seven genuine 1737 Colonial Higleys on the table in the candlelight, my pick at $3,750. I bought a nice 1737 Axe Higley. I also recall talking to Dave Bowers on the frat house payphone and buying two mint red 1804 half cents from him for $125 each following his return from a European buying trip.”

Weinberg experienced one outstanding disappointment in his early years in the hobby. In June 1962, the summer he graduated from high school, he received a call from Picker, who offered him the Virgil Brand specimen of the 1787 Brasher Doubloon for $14,000. Weinberg did not have the money to purchase the coin at that time, so he regretfully passed on the opportunity. Shortly thereafter, Picker sold the coin to Jack Friedberg, president of Capitol Coin Company. “That was the greatest disappointment of my 58 years in numismatics and it has haunted me all these years.”

Similar Brasher Doubloons today can fetch more than $3 million.

Weinberg established a strong work ethic as a young man, working behind the counter at the snack bar of the neighborhood pool when he was 14. He later pursued a variety of summer jobs, including working for the construction company of noted coin collector and dealer William Anton Sr. He still has his “Anton scar” on his wrist from that experience. He enrolled in law school after college, but he was drafted into the Army at the height of the Vietnam War. Fortunately, he was stationed in Germany, serving for two years of active duty at the Frankfurt 97th General Hospital. He was able to keep in touch with numismatics from there, having his father represent him at a New Netherlands auction where he acquired handsome specimens of the 1793 and 1802 half cents.

Dealers continued to send him valuable coins to examine while he was overseas. Chicago dealer Ed Milas actually mailed him a Choice AU 1793 Chain cent on approval at $20,000 while he was serving in Germany.

When his military service was completed, Weinberg drove cross-country to California and joined the Los Angeles Police Department in December 1970. His plan was to approach criminal law from both directions – school and the street. As it turned out, he had a real affinity for police work and made that his career. Weinberg says he never returned to law school because he felt he was more effective in the field. Police work afforded him the opportunity to earn extra time off, which he used to attend coin shows across the country. He retired from the LAPD in 1991 at 46 years old, after 20 years on the street.

One of Weinberg’s early mentors was numismatic book specialist Aaron Feldman, and Weinberg took his dictum “buy the book before the coin” to heart. He completed a full set of plated large format Chapman catalogs in superb condition, paying no more than $175 for the most expensive items. Feldman later assisted Weinberg in selling his library to a young Harry Bass, who was a relative newcomer to the hobby at the time. A later mentor was John Jay Ford Jr., one of the most knowledgeable dealers of the time, but Weinberg’s buying philosophy was much different from Ford’s.

“In all my years of serious collecting, and I was never casual about it,” Weinberg says, “I am proud to say I never once bought a numismatic item for investment and that, in fact, investment was the last objective of any acquisition. I bought an item for its challenge to acquire, its absolute rarity, its aesthetics, top condition and historical importance. To sum it up, pride of ownership.”

Ford was a canny businessman and always tried to buy low and trade in his favor. When they competed, as they sometimes did because their collecting interests were similar, Weinberg’s willingness to pay a fair price for his acquisitions often made the difference. He won several rare medals that Ford bowed out on, or was not even offered.

Weinberg’s collecting philosophy also leaves him with mixed feelings about third-party grading. He understands the virtues of the system and acknowledges that it has prevented many abuses, like his experience with the 1829 “Proof” half dime. However, he prefers to collect “raw” coins that can be viewed and appreciated without the interference of the holder. Because investment is not his objective, he has little interest in crossing over grading services and upgrading coins in his collection. Most of his best pieces will be certified for the first time for the upcoming Heritage auctions.

Weinberg married his wife Linda in 1976 in New Jersey. The first stop they made on their honeymoon trip down the East Coast was the 1976 ANA Convention in New York. Linda collects designer shoes, purses, clothing and high-end costume jewelry. They have been happily married for 41 years and enthusiastically support each other’s collecting activities. “She has never once questioned my purchases,” Weinberg says.

In 1983, Weinberg scored one of his greatest numismatic triumphs when he purchased his 1792 Silver Center cent. The coin is considered the fifth finest of 12 known examples, with remarkably clean surfaces and outstanding eye appeal. The coin was in the estate of Loye Lauder, a reported heir to the Lauder cosmetics fortune and one of the few female collectors to pursue early coppers and Colonial coins. Lauder kept her collecting activities very much under the radar before her death in 1964.

Few collectors knew of Loye Lauder, Weinberg says, and eyebrows were raised when her estate consigned her collection to an antique dealer that at the time rarely, if ever, handled rare coins. “Her auction was held three days after Stack’s remarkable John Roper Colonial auction,” Weinberg says. “Unbelievably, the format was a ‘Dutch auction’ – where the coin up for sale is offered at a high start price and, if no takers, keeps dropping until someone raises their arm.”

The Judd-1 Silver Center cent opened at $70,000 and dropped incrementally to $40,000, at which point Weinberg’s agent, Bill Anton, raised his hand and it was quickly hammered to him, with other dealers sitting there astonished. “There was a 10 percent buyer’s fee, so I paid $44,000 for a coin I’d authorized Bill to pay up to $77,000 for,” Weinberg says. “A week later, a prominent dealer at the Lauder sale called to offer me a $10,000 profit. I declined.”

Weinberg continues collecting passionately, but his collecting emphasis is steadily evolving. Currently, he feels he has limited opportunities in his pursuit of Colonials and early coppers. Quoting his friend, noted coin collector Walter Husak, Weinberg remarks, “I’ve hit a brick wall.” He feels anything he still needs in numismatics is so rare and expensive that it is beyond his scope now, with his old-time memories of what was once available and at what price. Hence his decision to sell his main collection. A long-time friendship and trusted business relationship with Imhof and Heritage Co-chairman Jim Halperin convinced Weinberg to choose Heritage as his auction firm.

But make no mistake. Weinberg’s passion for collecting remains strong, and he is pursuing new areas of interest with great enthusiasm. “I have found a new field that satisfies all my collecting needs – early, rare, top-quality American political brooches, ambrotypes, ferrotypes and pewter rims, the crème-dela-crème of politicals. I firmly believe this field is where rare coin collecting was back in the 1960s.”

Reprinted with permission from The Intelligent Collector magazine (

Great article. Thanks to Heritage and David Stone for their assistance. We'll look forward to the catalog of Alan's collection. -Editor

to read the complete article (with many more illustrations), see: Passionate Connoisseur (


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 .


Here is the press release for this month's massive Holabird Western Americana sale; there's something for just about everyone here - coins, tokens, medals, dies, coins, books, counterfeit directories, scales, artwork and much more. -Editor


The auction will be held online and in Holabird’s gallery, at 3555 Airway Dr. (Ste. 308) in Reno.

Holabird E-Sylum ad 2018-11-18 December 2018 sale Holabird Western Americana Collections has planned a sale “to die for” that spans five days – from December 5th thru the 9th – featuring a massive offering of token dies (hence the name) from the Northwest Territorial Mint Liquidation, plus other items in a wide array of collecting categories, a staggering 3,500 lots in all, at 8 am Pacific time all five days.

The auction will be held online and in Holabird’s gallery located at 3555 Airway Drive (Suite 308) in Reno. For those unable to attend the sale in person, online bidding will be facilitated by and “This is the second sale in what promises to be an exciting fall and winter season for us,” said Fred Holabird of Holabird Western Americana Collections.

In addition to the token dies, the auction will also feature more of the Ken Prag American stock certificate collection, with categories such as railroads, mining and imprinted revenue stamps; a Texas token collection; the Joe Elcano Nevada History Collection; the Ben-Tchahvtchavadze Collection (Native Americana, rugs, weavings and art); and the Daniel Manassillian Collection.

Day 1, on Wednesday, December 5th , will be packed with minerals, vintage and antique bottles, tokens from Alabama to Oregon, and a wide selection of numismatics, to include banks, books, catalogs, coins, counterfeit directories, currency, medals, scales and “so-called” dollars – a total of 582 lots for the day. In the mix will also be 67 lots of tantalizing bargains and dealer specials.

An expected top lot on Day 1 is a circa 1873-1881 Phil Caduc Napa Soda Botte (Sacramento, Calif.) mineral water bottle, seven inches tall (est. $1,000-$1,200). The blob top bottle has a very deep teal green color, an extremely rare color variant and one of fewer than five known in good condition. The bottle, one of four Phil Caducs in the sale, is clean, shiny and in like-new shape.

Other star lots of Day 1 will include a collection of turquoise specimens from the Pilot Mountain Turquoise Mine in western Nevada, in a vast array of colors and quality, plus some spiderweb stones (est. $400-$1,000); and a Columbia Club (Pioneer, Nevada) token (“Good for 12 ½ cents in Trade”), round in shape and 21 mm across, in almost uncirculated condition (est. $300-$500).

Holabird 2018-12 sale lot 2660
Lot 2660: 5-point star dies hubs from the Northwest Territorial Mint

Day 2, Thursday, December 6th , will contain 663 lots of tokens (from Texas on) and dies. One lot worthy of mention is the group of about 49 5-point star dies hubs from the Northwest Territorial Mint Historical Token Die Collection, circa 1903-1950. The group should sell for $500-$1,000.

Day 3, on Friday, December 7th , will be a collector’s field day, bursting with 654 lots of general Americana, militaria, political items, postal history items, Wells Fargo & Express memorabilia, cowboy collectibles, firearms, weaponry, saloon, gaming and lots pertaining to Alaska mining.

The general Americana is a virtual entire category unto itself, with autographs, badges, checks, circus memorabilia, firemen collectibles, music items, navigation material, automobilia, outlaw and lawman memorabilia, silverware and flatware, World’s Fair & Expos collectibles and more.

The headliner of Day 3, in terms of high pre-sale estimate, is a completely restored 1929 DeSoto Model K Roadster “Espanol” with double side mounts and trunk (est. $25,000-$30,000). The car, shown at the National DeSoto Club convention in Reno in 2011, has been garaged and covered for the past 31 years and features Chrysler disc brakes, which later became an industry standard.

Also sold on Day 3 will be a unique shaving mug from one of the West’s most famous sheriffs – Seth Bullock of Deadwood, S.D. – porcelain, with the body showing Bullock’s worn gilt name (est. $2,000-$5,000); and an archive pertaining to Bill Pettite, the Reno judge, writer, historian and boxing aficionado, comprising five notebooks and over 1,000 pieces (est. $2,000-$4,000).

Other Day 3 offerings will include a spectacular Seven Troughs (Nev.) hotel brass key tag for room 16, with a postage return insignia on the bottom and superb patina (est. $1,200-$2,500); and a hand-colored 1746 map of the Americas, written entirely in Latin and rendered by August Gottlieb Boehemius, with ‘Quivera’ written about where Comstock is today (est. $1,000-$2,500).

Holabird 2018-12 sale lot 4058
Lot 4058: Stock certificate from The Gold Mining Company

Holabird 2018-12 sale lot 5494
Lot 5494: 1863 Pacific Rail Road $500 Bond

Day 4, on Saturday, December 8th , will be jam-packed with 746 lots of mining material, to include artifacts, books, explosives, spoons and geographic sort from Arizona on. One of the top lots is a stock certificate #949, from The Gold Mining Company (Muni Mountain District, Ariz.), dated 1895 for 75 shares, signed by the company president and secretary (est. $4,000-$7,000).

Also sold on Day 4 will be an original three-page handwritten letter from a California Gold Rush miner, Benjamin P. Dunning, datelined Panama, to his mother in Maine, dated Dec. 21, 1851, in which he tells of his travels and travails (est. $1,000-$1,500); and a choice old wood ore car from a mine in Utah, 3 feet long by 2 feet wide, showing character and eye appeal (est. $800-$1,700).

Day 5, on Sunday, December 9th , will feature 752 lots of textiles, Native Americana, jewelry and watches, entertainment industry items, furnishings, sculptures, art, railroadiana (to include passes and other items) and imprinted revenue stamps. A Pacific Rail Road (Sacramento, Calif.) bond #446 for $500, issued in 1863, with redemption coupons attached, should realize $500-$1,500.

Holabird 2018-12 sale lot 5161
Lot 5161: Frederic Remington bronze Coming Through the Rye

Holabird 2018-12 sale lot 5143
Lot 5143

Top lots of the day figure to be a Frederic Remington bronze titled Coming Through the Rye, one of Remington’s all-time classic sculptures, 20 inches tall, #22 of 100 (est. $4,000-$6,000); and an early 20th century half-round early casting from a wood original of what may be an aftcastle for a clipper ship, the Lady Liberty, correlating to the California Gold Rush (est. $3,000-$5,000).

In addition to in-person and online bidding, telephone and absentee bids will also be accepted.

Color catalogs are available by calling 1-844-492-2766, or 775-851-1859. Also, anyone owning a collection that might fit into an upcoming Holabird Western Americana Collections auction is encouraged to get in touch. The firm travels extensively throughout the U.S., to see and pick up collections. Last year it visited Boston, Florida, Seattle and New York, among other destinations.

Numismatists rarely collect only one thing; interests often spill over into other collectibles. Who wouldn't want a Remington bronze for their desk? Be sure to review the sale thoroughly - there are a lot of opportunities here. -Editor

For more information, or to bid, see:

E-Sylum Leidman ad02new portrait


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

1801 Bank of England Note

1801 Bank of England note

Here's a great early Bank of England note from the stock of Pam West. -Editor

To visit Pam's web site, see:

One Cent Circular Chit on Wallpaper

One Cent Circular Chit on Wallpaper obverse One Cent Circular Chit on Wallpaper reverse

New York, NY. Union Bank, $0.01 (One Cent), 29mm Circular Chit on Wallpaper (Coin Shaped), Choice Very Fine.

Haxby NY-1946 Not listed. A very uniquely styled scrip piece from the Schingoethe Collection from this New York Bank. Circular. 29mm diameter, Printed on the verso of Wallpaper. This “Coin” was likely used in the War of 1812 as emergency change guaranteed by the Union Bank by some local. This and just Two Other Denominations are the only examples seen and known to exist by this cataloger. Black printing “U.B. / ($0.01) / N.Y.” in mixed fonts. Unique and thus difficult to estimate, as an extremely interesting and exceedingly rare historic type of paper money.

A very unusual item I don't recall seeing before. From the December 15, 2018 Early American History Auctions sale. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Enigmatic Wallpaper “Coin” likely used in the War of 1812 Likely Unique 29mm One Cent Circular Chit on Wallpaper (

1877 Empress of India Medal

1877 Empress of India Medal obverse 1877 Empress of India Medal reverse

The Empress of India Medal, the obverse detailed Victoria 1st January 1877, un-named as issued, with the original fitted case, detailed C.C.Adams, F.S A. Sculptor, London. Illustrated.

I don't think I've ever seen one of these before. Impressive medal. Below is more information on the medal from Wikipedia. -Editor

The Empress of India Medal, also referred to as KIH Medal, was a commemorative medal awarded to mark the occasion of the proclamation of Queen Victoria as Empress of India in 1877. It was the first wearable medal issued to mark a commemorative occasion within the British Empire. The medal was awarded in gold to Indian princes or senior officials and in silver to select British and Indian military officers and civilians, as well as one soldier from each British and Indian regiments serving in India at the time of the proclamation celebrations of the 1877 Delhi Durbar.

To read the complete Wikipedia article, see:

To read the complete lot description, see:
The Empress of India Medal (

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A November 27, 2018 Bank Note Reporter article highlighted Confederate notes sold in the October 2018 Spink's New York sale. Here are a couple that caught my eye. -Editor

Confederate $10 contemporary counterfeit note

A bid of $33,600 vaulted a $10 Confederate Note to the top of the prices realized list in Spink’s New York sale Oct. 30-31. Price includes a 20 percent buyer’s fee.

Now called a fantasy issue because it was likely a contemporary counterfeit, the note carries an incorrect issue date of September 2, 1862, and misspelled printer name “Keatings [sic] & Ball.”

But it is hugely collectible because it was included as T-48 in Grover Criswell’s Confederate catalog. It was graded PMG 55 About Uncirculated.

Confederate $50 Montgomery note

A $50 (P-1, Cr-4, PF-2) was the last note type issued out of Montgomery prior to the capital of the Confederacy being moved to Richmond. Dated May 22, 1861, its face vignette shows slaves hoeing cotton.

This note was endorsed on the back, “N. Orleans June 10, 1861 A. J. Guirot Asst Trs CS [Assistant Treasurer of the Confederate States].” In a most collectable PMG Very Fine 25, it was bid up to $8,400 on a $7,500-$12,500 estimate.

To read the complete article, see:
Fantasy note wows at Spink sale (


Found via The Explorator newsletter is this aticle about a Celtic coin hoard found in Slovakia. -Editor

Celtic coin hoard found in Slovakia Archaeologists found a treasure of Celtic coins in Mošovce near Turčianske Teplice. The finding of 40 coins contains the most precious coins that Celts minted in this era, so-called tetradrachms.

“The Celts had highly-developed coin system; tetradrachms have four times the higher value of other nominals,” explains Karol Pieta, deputy of director from Archaeological Institute of Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) in Nitra, as quoted by the SITA newswire.

Tetradrachms are about nine to ten grams in weight, as if they have four drachms inside, which were the smallest coins in that time, Pieta explains.

It is highly probable that they are minted from silver originating from a Carpathian (Slovak) deposit. The economic power of Celts in the Slovak area was to a considerable extent based on using natural resources, especially gold, silver and iron. The Turiec region belonged among the key economic and cultural centres of Celts in Slovakia, Pieta added.

To read the complete article, see:
Archaeologists found treasure of silver Celtic coins (

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In his Stack's Bowers blog post published November 29, 2018 Chris Chatigny writes about a rare Genoese coin. -Editor

1600 Genoa 5 Doppie

In this week's preview for the January New York International Auction we feature an astounding Italian gold rarity. Hailing from Genoa, a historically important city on the Italian Riviera, this spectacular coin is from the 'Biennial Doges' period of governance. The first doges of Genoa were not restrained by term limits, but rather by the entrenched oligarchy of merchant families. In 1528 the Doge drafted a new constitution embedding Genoa as a satellite of the Spanish empire and establishing two year term limits. This union led to a revitalization of Genoa thanks to its maritime explorers, including Christopher Columbus.

Genoa obtained the right to mint its own coinage in 1138 from the elected "Rex Romanorum" (King of the Romans) King Conrad III. He was slated to become the next Holy Roman Emperor though he never achieved this position. As the issuing authority, Conrad's titles appear on the Genoese coinage, even five centuries later when this piece was struck. The obverse design displays a castle gate (also known as a door in the city's walls) flanked by six-pointed stars, with the date of 1600 just below and the anonymous title for the current Doge: "Duke and Governor of the Genoese Republic."

The gate or door design is a callback to the Latin word for the city, which also means "door." The reverse design features the aforementioned titles of King Conrad around a large flat-ended cross (cross license or patent) with six-pointed stars in the angles. This massive gold piece is heavier than the two examples of the denomination that are listed in Corpus Nummorum Italicorum, Vol. III, Liguria, Isole de Corsica, indicating that no identical specimen was in the definitive Royal Collection of King Vittorio Emanuele III when the volume was published in 1912.

To read the complete article, see:
The Stack's Bowers Official Auction of the January 2019 NYINC to Feature Genoese 5 Doppie Dated 1600 (


Kavan Ratnatunga published an article today in The Sunday Times of Sri Lanka about that country's new small coins. Here's an excerpt. See the complete article online, where Kavan performs an analysis of the cost of minting. -Editor

New smaller Sri Lankan coins

A new series of smaller circulation coins released by the Central Bank (CB) will be issued to the public, on December 3 after a presentation box was given to Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mahinda Rajapaksa on November 27.

The Rs.10 and Rs. 5 coins have been made thinner and the Rs. 2 coin has been made 30 per cent smaller. Seven notches have been cut into the side of the Rs. 2 coin to make it more easily identified by the visually impaired people. The Rs. 2 coin diameter has been reduced from 28.3 mm to 22 mm, something that should have been done back in 2005 with the Rs. 1 coin, which reduced then from 25.4 mm to 20 mm. All are cost-cutting measures which are being marketed with the weight of coins is reduced to give more portability.

The basic design layout of these standard circulation coins has been changed significantly. For the first time since the circulation standard, the one Rupee coin was introduced in 1963 in the Sinhala only era, the name of the country appears on it in Tamil and English.

The design has on the obverse the Armorial Ensign of Sri Lanka with the short name of the country SRI LANKA in English, in Sinhala, and in Tamil, on left, top and right of ensign. The year 2017 is at the bottom, all within a plain circle inside a raised rim. On the reverse large numeric value on top with the value in Sinhala, Tamil, and English, in three lines below with decreasing font size – all within a border of traditional lotus petals around the periphery.

The last time the sizes of coins were changed in 2005 the CB did a lot of publicity about the fact to educate the public. This time there has been hardly any notice to the public. The CB press release has not even mentioned the new weights of coins as they always do when the circulation standard weight is changed. That was always part of the Gazette notices of the past at least since 1870. When I phoned and asked the CB for the weights, I was told it was not part of the specification given to the Kremnica mint. I hope banks and coin machines will handle the change.

To read the complete article, see:
New smaller coins into circulation (

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I don't believe I've encountered this piece before. I came across it while compiling this week's Numismatic Nuggets article. It's not a U.S. government product despite the large "U.S. ASSAY OFFICE" lettering. It's "minted from U.S. strategic stockpile silver formerly stored at U.S. Assay Office San Francisco." -Editor

Strategic Stockpile Silver Round obverse Strategic Stockpile Silver Round reverse


To read the complete lot description, see:

I found two types listed on the Numista site. On type 2 the flag carried by the eagle waves in a different direction. -Editor

Strategic Stockpile Silver Round reverse type 1 Strategic Stockpile Silver Round reverse type 2
Type 1 and Type 2 reverses

To read the complete item descriptions, see:
1 oz Silver US Strategic Stockpile Type 1 (
1 oz Silver US Strategic Stockpile Type 2 (

More online digging found references to a related 10oz bar. The Token Catalog has a little more information: "CC is the mint mark for Continental Coin Corp., the firm that actually made these silver rounds, and they may (or may not) have been in California.*** USA X #126 in the 2005 edition of "Unusual World Coins" by Michael & Cuhaj."

Interesting souvenirs of the early 1980s silver boom and bust. The silver was sold off from the Defense Logistics Agency's stock to drive down prices after the Hunt brothers tried to corner the silver market. -Editor

To read the complete item description, see:


To research a rare Sherlock Holmes medal, one must do some numismatic sleuthing. And that journey often includes a stop at the American Numismatic Society library. Greg Ruby publishes The Fouth Garrideb blog on the numismatics of Sherlock Holmes, and his December 1, 2018 post discussed such a visit. Here's an excerpt. -Editor

In the Spring 1979 issue of The Sherlock Holmes Journal (Volume 4, Number 1, Whole Number 52), Editor Nicholas Utechin has this nugget in his Editorial Notes feature:

New Objects

Pride of place-just-goes to the newly available Sir Arthur Conan Doyle medal produced by the French Mint. Members may perhaps have seen it reproduced in the Sunday Telegraph on 18 February, under the heading `Elémentaire’! On one side of the medallion is a likeness of Conan Doyle; on the other five police helmets interweaved with smoke from a familiar pipe. Two versions are available, depending upon the state of your pocket: £48 in silver, £7 in bronze. With no more information at this stage, I can only assume the French are, firstly, preparing for the Fiftieth Anniversary celebrations next year (A.C.D. died in 1930) and, secondly, atoning for Mutrux.

978 Arthur Conan Doyle Medal by the Monnaie de Paris

OBVERSE: 1859 / 1930 / (facing bust of Conan Doyle, from waist up and wearing a sweater, in front of two stacks of books) / SIR A. CONAN DOYLE

REVERSE: (five British Police Officer “Bobby” helmets, with smoke from a single pipe interwining among the helmets)

We have held off posting about these medals for over three years due to the fact that we cannot confirm the existence of the silver medals. We have not seen any examples ourselves and are not aware of any Sherlockians or numismatists that can confirm they physically have seen the silver version of the medal.


Leygue-Catalog cover On a recent trip to New York, I had the opportunity to visit the library of the American Numismatic Society and peruse their copy of the Catalogue Général Illustré Des Éditions De La Monnaie De Paris. This 6-volume set consists of over 2,500 pages and is the “official” record of all items made by the Monnaie De Paris. The silver medal is not mentioned, while the bronze and copper specimens are listed.

Likewise, the catalog Leygue A La Monnaie De Paris, with all of Leygue’s works listed, does not list the silver medal either.

Efforts are being made to locate a copy of February 18, 1979 issue of The Sunday Telegraph, to determine if we can gather any additional information. We believe the silver medal does exist, as it was specifically mentioned with a quoted price for purchasers. Catalogs have been known to miss items, although we are troubled by the fact that a 1985 catalog would be missing an item from 1978-1979.

Can anyone help? Are you aware of a silver version of this medal? Thanks. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
The 1978 Arthur Conan Doyle Medal by the Monnaie de Paris (

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In his Stack's Bowers blog post published November 29, 2018 Aris Maragoudakis writes about some rare Paraguayan notes. -Editor

Rare Paraguayan Notes

In our January 11, 2019, New York International Auction we are offering a few very rare pieces from Paraguay. One is a rare tramway ticket for the old Paraguayan Tramway Company belonging to Dr. Francisco Morra. The Tramway was purchased by Morra for the sum of 10,000 Argentine Pesos from Mr. Guillermo Wodgat, who originally purchased the company from Diego Harroks. The Central Railway Station was the starting point for the transport lines. Banknotes and chips of the Company served as fare in lieu of circulated currency.

This esoteric rarity is Uncirculated and pristine with the original stub still attached. Its value, 10 Centavos, was substituted for 10 Centavos in coin, as well as a tram ticket. This piece was printed Guillermo Kraft in Buenos Aires. The piece is so obscure that it wasn't available even in the famous "Money of the People" sale of Neil Shafer's rare, one-off pieces. The vignette at center shows the tram led by horse. Included in this lot, is a printed picture of the Tramway which shows the horse led cabin on the tracks in Belvedere, Asuncion.?

Other Paraguayan rarities being offered in this sale include a quartette of notes, selling individually, from the Mennonite Colony in Chaco Central. Denominations of 1, 5, 10, and 50 Guarani will be represented. The German Mennonite refugees fled to Paraguay in 1929 escaping persecution by the Soviet Union, and established the Colonizadora Fernheim in July 1, 1930. The notes being offered are from the first series ca. 1960s. Banco Central de Paraguay converted these into official issued currency notes, resulting in their present-day rarity. While the colony still exists today, they only use current Paraguayan banknotes.

To read the complete article, see:
Rare Paraguayan Treasures to be Offered at NYINC Auction (


Arthur Shippee forwarded this BBC News article on the shortlist of candidates for the new Bank of England £50 note. Thanks. -Editor

Scientists nominated for new £50 note
Rosalind Franklin, Stephen Hawking and Ada Lovelace

On the list are computing pioneers Alan Turing and Ada Lovelace, telephone inventor Alexander Graham Bell and astronomer Patrick Moore.

The Bank received 174,112 nominations, of which 114,000 met the eligibility criteria.

To be on the list, the individual must be real, deceased and have contributed to the field of science in the UK.

The list, which includes more than 600 men and almost 200 women, includes black holes expert Stephen Hawking, penicillin discoverer Alexander Fleming, father of modern epidemiology John Snow, naturalist and zookeeper Gerald Durrell, fossil pioneer Mary Anning, British-Jamaican business woman and nursing pioneer Mary Seacole and Margaret Thatcher, who was a scientist before becoming prime minister.

Bookmakers William Hill have Stephen Hawking as the current favourite, with odds of 7/4, followed by Nobel-prize winning chemist Dorothy Hodgkin 4/1.

Ada Lovelace, Alan Turing and Alexander Fleming have odds of 5/1 and Rosalind Franklin, who made important contributions to the understanding of DNA, is at 6/1.

Further names will be considered up until nominations close on 14 December.

After that the decision will be considered by the Bank's Banknote Character Advisory Committee.

As an old software guy I'm glad to see Lovelace and Turing near the top of the list. Hawking is a giant and probably a sentimental favorite as well. He died just this year so apparently there is no minimum number of years following their death in the selection criteria. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
New £50 note scientist nominations released (


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In September we discussed a stamp collection formed by Beatle John Lennon. We missed another music icon who formed a stamp collection as a child - Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. -Editor

Freddie Mercury’s stamp collection.
Freddie Mercury’s stamp collection

Freddie Mercury’s sense of style is visible as far back as his childhood stamp collection.

Mercury, born on this day in 1946 with the name Farrokh Bulsara, was the iconic frontman of Queen. His unique singing voice and flamboyant stage presence helped to make him a historic figure in rock before his tragic death of complications from AIDS in 1991. One of the things that has come to light since his death is that he was also a stamp collector whose childhood album is one of his few remaining personal effects.

Mercury’s stamp album can be seen in The Postal Museum in London. It was purchased by the museum in 1993, in a sale whose proceeds went to the Mercury Phoenix Trust, the HIV/AIDS organization that was set up in Mercury’s memory.

The album contains stamps from Great Britain, Monaco, Aden (now part of Yemen) and Zanzibar (part of Tanzania), where Mercury grew up, writes Simon Garfield in The Error World: An Affair With Stamps. He mostly collected them between the ages of nine and 12.

“His collecting level can best be described as ‘artistic,’” writes Garfield, “for he collected on unusual black album pages and designed his displays with great care for symmetry and color. On one page he used [Great Britain] stamps to spell out the letter ‘F.’”

“Freddie” was Mercury’s childhood nickname, while the “Mercury” was added about when Queen was formed. In his rock career, Mercury’s artistic interests were displayed in hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Somebody to Love” as well as his intricate stage outfits. Mercury stopped collecting years before he became famous, Garfield writes, but his father Bomi Bulsara held on to the evidence of his son’s youthful dalliance with philately.

The album recently made headlines in 2016, when it was part of a major British stamp exhibition along with Beatles frontman John Lennon’s childhood stamp album.

Fittingly, Mercury was posthumously remembered on one of a series of stamps that Britain’s Royal Mail produced to mark the millennium. His music continues to influence musicians today, and his stamp album remains a treasured part of his life history.

“As pop memorabilia and for cultural reference, Freddie Mercury’s collection is priceless,” the British postal museum writes.

A couple weeks ago I saw the new biopic about Freddie Mercury - Bohemian Rhapsody. It's all at once predictable, exhilarating and disturbing, just like the flamboyant and enigmatic Mercury. -Editor

To read the complete articles, see:
Freddie Mercury, Musical Genius and Stamp Collector (

Freddie Mercury’s Hidden Hobby Offers Unique Glimpse Into his Childhood (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Here are some additional items I came across in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor

Five Rare Australian Coins


Number 1 on our list of Australian Coins that are worth real money is the Double Header 2007 5 Cent. They are the product of a mint worker deliberately pairing two 2007 heads (obverse) dies and then running the press to mint several hundred or possibly even several thousand coins. Worth $1500+ it’s worth anyone’s time to look at all 2007 dated 5 cent coins and spin them between your fingers and see if they’ve got two heads showing and if those Queen’s heads are rotated 180 degrees. If so, get yourself off to a good coin dealer and get that bad boy authenticated!

To read the complete article, see:
Five Rare Australian Coins that are Worth Money (

Pittsburgh's German National Bank

Larry Korchnak forwarded this interesting Pittsburgh Magazine article on the city's German National Bank. -Editor


Standing like a slender castle with its parapets and rough-hewn arches, the structure at the corner of Wood Street and Sixth Avenue looks built to survive stormy weather. A good thing too, since it has been the scene of three separate bank failures.

German immigrant Christopher Groetzinger opened a leather tannery on the North Side in 1851. His son, Adolph, bought and expanded the business, which made high-end shoe soles; the younger Groetzinger also became president of the German National Bank of Pittsburgh, one of the first federally chartered banks in the city.

To read the complete article, see:
MultiStories: Three Times a Bust – The German National Bank (

Has Sweden gone too far in DITCHING cash?

Dick Hanscom suggested this Daily Mail article about Sweden's move to a cashless society. -Editor

Sweden is heading towards becoming a completely cash-free society but the country is being urged to keep producing physical cash by financial authorities.

Half the nation's retailers are expected to completely reject cash by 2025.

Financial authorities in the country are lobbying for the continued production of notes and coins until the government fully understands the ramifications of going completely cash-free.

To read the complete article, see:
Has Sweden gone too far in DITCHING cash? Financial authorities ask banks to keep creating notes and coins until the government can work out the long term consequences of the move (

ATM Spits Out $100 Bills

In the why-can't-MY-machine-do-that department is this story from texas about a generous automated teller machine. -Editor

There was a line at the bank in north Harris County when word spread about the faulty machine, Houston's ABC 13 reported. Authorities said when a customer attempted to withdraw $20 on Sunday at around 11 p.m., the machine spit out a $100 bill, Houston's KPRC-TV reported. When the man posted about it on social media, a crowd rushed to the location, deputies said.

A few fights ensued when people waited in line to make money from the ATM glitch, the station reported. The commotion occurred over a roughly two-hour period before authorities arrived, officials said. Deputies dispersed the crowd and shut down the transfer machine, ABC 13 reported.

"This was an incident at a single ATM in Houston caused when a vendor incorrectly loaded $100 bills in place of $10 bills. We have resolved the matter. Customers will be able to keep the additional money dispensed," the company said.

To read the complete article, see:
Bank of America ATM in Texas mistakenly spits out $100 bills, customers can keep it (

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International celebs Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas are issuing a wedding coin for their nuptials this week in India. -Editor

Nick Jonas and Priyanka Chopra Wedding Coin

fans are curiously awaiting Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’ wedding. The international sensations, PeeCee and Nick will tie the knot on December 2-3, 2018 at the palatial Umaid Bhawan Palace, Jodhpur, Rajasthan. It is going to be one dreamy wedding of the decade and all Nickyanka (as their fans fondly call them) fans are eagerly waiting to see their real-life wedding looks.

And now as per the latest report by Filmfare, Priyanka and Nick will gift a silver coin to every guest of theirs. To let you all know, the coin is going to have their initials on one side and Lord Ganesha and Goddess Lakshmi on the other side. A source close to the couple had revealed, "They both liked the design very much and the coin soon went into the making. Not much back and forth was involved”.

To read the complete article, see:
Priyanka Chopra And Nick Jonas Will Give Expensive Silver Coins With A Thoughtful Design To Guests (

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