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Numismatic Bibliomania Society
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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 Smithwick, courtesy Tom Mulvaney; and Joe Polito. Welcome aboard! We now have 5,971 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 four new numismatic books, one book review, an exhibit, and an important group of correspondence files on the Newman Numismatic Portal.

Other topics this week include engraving as damage, early strikes, collector Dr. William Dickinson, dealers Geoffrey Bell, Jim Halperin and John Queen, the R.L. "Skinny" Miles sale, summer schools and seminars, and selections from Sovereign Rarities, Stack's Bowers and Numismagram.

To learn more about German and Ukranian banknotes, Napoleonic medals, the gold St. Patrick's pieces, Henning nickels, the Chew Valley Norman penny hoard, the 1663 Silver Pattern "Reddite" Crown, the Ribbit award and the Golden Horse, the Jade Cock, and the pulsating Maple Leaf, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum


The latest edition of the AKS catalog of German coins (named for authors Arnold, Küthmann and Steinhilber) was published earlier this year. Here's a Google-translated description from the publisher's web site. -Editor

grosser-deutscher-muenzkatalog book cover Paul Arnold | Harald Küthmann | Dirk Steinhilber | Dieter Fassbender
Great German coin catalog from 1800 to today (AKS)

Publisher: Battenberg Verlag
ISBN: 978-3-86646-167-3
Edition: 34th edition 2018/2019
Illustrations: numerous black and white illustrations
Paperback: 704 pages
Format: 17 x 24 cm

34th updated edition, completely revised and expanded all new products recorded and currently evaluated with numerous illustrations in original size

A well-founded standard work for the collector of German coins: Insiders call this catalog only "AKS", after the first letters of the authors.

The coins of the German states and cities since 1800 can be found in this standard reference book without gaps over 137 search terms, the market prices are updated for the various degrees of conservation and differentiated individually by vintages and mints. More than 3000 coins are shown in original size with front and back.

This catalog is made especially for the collector, after all, he wants to easily find a coin, find out names, origins and ages, learn the value and also get an overview of what coins there are for a specific area and for a certain period. Each coin is precisely defined by the description of the front and back, the details of the mint, the coin master's mark, the metal used and the minting years.

The 34th edition was again thoroughly revised, expanded and brought up to date. The prices given are based on recent market developments.

For more information, or to order, see:
Großer deutscher Münzkatalog (

CDN Publishing ad10 CAC RCM review


A new book in German by Hans Ludwig Grabowski covers German banknotes from the year 1871. Here's a Google-translated description from the publisher's web site. -Editor

German banknotes from 1871 book cover Hans Ludwig Grabowski
Concordance list of German banknotes from 1871

ISBN: 978-3-86646-186-4
Edition: 1st edition 2019
Paperback: 76 pages
Format: 14.8 x 21 cm

With the current catalog of German banknotes from 1871, a comprehensive revision, numerous extensions and a completely new numbering according to historical epochs went hand in hand. To facilitate the orientation in the jungle of the catalog numbers of various citation works, a concordance list was created. This makes it possible not only to compare old and new catalog numbers in the "Rosenberg / Grabowski", but also to compare them with the concordances in the standard "World Paper Money" catalogs.

The list of concordances, which contains not only all main numbers with denomination and issue date, but also the variants with short descriptions, is sorted according to the catalog references in the old "Rosenberg catalog". Attached is a list of all issues that have been added to the current catalog.

For more information, or to order, see:
Konkordanzliste der deutschen Banknoten ab 1871 (

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Here are a couple new world paper money books discovered via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume V, Number 10 August 27, 2019). First up is one on Ukrainian banknotes. The text is a Google translation. -Editor

Ukrainian Paper money catalog cover Maksim Zagreb:

"Paperowi groschi kinzja XIX - oiwatky XXI ct w obigy Ukrainian catalog (Paper money from the end of the 19th to the beginning of the 21st century - catalog)"

518 pages. Size 16.5 cm x 23.5 cm, perfect binding brochure,

1st edition of the Kiev logo 2019, Ukrainian, throughout in color, price: 48 euros

ISBN: 978-617-7446-93-3

Various Mr. Zagreba's catalogs on coins and banknotes were introduced as early as 2013. A new catalog of 2019, which he created with Mr. Sergi Jazenko, deals exclusively with state-issued paper money of his country. It is likely to be the most comprehensive work on the subject to date. As the title promises, we find here paper money expenses that were on the territory of Ukraine in the given timeframe. History buffs may remember a public television film that chronicles the life of an 80-year-old woman who lived her entire life in one place and owned eight different nationalities. According to many different currencies, state and private emergency money will have used them.

Chronologically, this book is built. Chapter I is called "Pomish dwoch imperii", meaning "between two empires". Here are all the bills of Austria-Hungary and Russia in the subsections. The second chapter deals with "state expenditure", according to the notes of the Ukrainian People's Republic. "Under Occupiers" is the title of the third chapter, which is the most comprehensive with more than 170 pages and begins with the various Russian and Soviet editions. The Polish money signs from 1919 to 1939 are recorded under "Poland - Occupation of Galicia", followed by Romanian notes from 1918-1944, the CSR of 1919-1938 and the Hungarian emissions of 1939-1944.

The German editions form the last part of the subchapter ("German occupation 1941-1944"): Here, however, all notes issued in Germany from 1926-1945 are included, as well as the zloty notes printed by the German administration of the issuing bank for Poland. Chapter IV covers the Soviet bills after 1944 until the end of the USSR, and Chapter V is dedicated to the independent Ukraine.

Just the enumeration of the various sub-areas in the chapters should make it clear to German collectors that there are already excellent catalogs for many areas - let us just think of Poland. Extremely interesting are certain "additions", such as illustrations of ration cards and documents.

For German users on the one hand, the overview might be very impressive, on the other hand, the last chapter is probably of great use for collectors who are interested in Ukraine and not in the "secondary areas". This also affects the prices. They are usually given in three degrees of maintenance in the local currency hryvnia. 1000 hryvnia are about 35 euros, one euro is about 28 hryvnia. Who makes rollover bills, will calculate with 30, but of practical use are usually not the many hryvnia prices listed in the book.

If we look only at Poland here, so many bills are marked with RARE here. Few collectors have ever seen these bills, they are missing in most collections in the world, and often there are no auction results for them due to lack of supply. This also applies to other areas. By contrast, there are certainly surprises on Soviet bills and the latest issues of independent Ukraine. Here is worth a closer look certainly, because in the turmoil of the 1990s, a lot of material has been brought to Germany and sold in part for "pennies" what you are looking for in the East today and paid accordingly.

This excellently designed book is a work of two Ukrainians for Ukraine, it is written in Ukrainian. Anyone who is proficient in the Cyrillic alphabet and has Russian or even Polish language skills will be able to guess a lot. It is very easy to find prices, because here we find the usual English abbreviations VC, VF and UNC. If you want to build or expand a Ukraine collection, this book has an excellent guide. The plant can also be useful for language-savvy "treasure hunters" and traders specialized in Eastern Europe because of the prices and variants.

Unfortunately, literature distribution from Ukraine to Germany does not work as it should and could. Gladly trying to help, without being able to give a guarantee of success: "BMV MEHLHAUSEN", D-13125 Berlin, Florastraße 24A and delivers this for 48 € + 4,50 € shipping costs. E-Mail-Address:

Wolfgang J. Mehlhausen

To read the complete article, see:
Zagreba: "Papiergeld vom Ende des XIX. bis Anfang des XXI. Jahrhunderts" (


The second book discovered via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume V, Number 10 August 27, 2019) is on paper money from Yunnan, China The text is a Google translation. -Editor

Paper money from Yunnan cover Fàn Changmíng / Su Jùn: "Paper money from Yunnan"

In China, more precisely in Kunming, a new book about banknotes has been published. The two authors are called Fàn Chàngmíng and Sū Jùn. The title translates as "paper money from Yunnan", the book covers 508 pages and depicts every note published in the province of Yunnan in color, with very few exceptions in their real size.

Many of the described notes are missing in the SCWPM, other notes listed there prove to be Fantomscheine. The text contains many details about the historical development of paper money in Yunnan.

The collector of Chinese notes knows that on many banknotes of the provincial bank of Yunnan two globes are shown (see cover), on which a bird and a horse stand. There is always something in the Western literature about "Phoenix Bird and Horse." From this book, we learn that it is "The Golden Horse and the Jade Cock," two mythical creatures around which many stories spring up in Yunnan ,

The book also mentions an ISBN: 978-7-222-15050-8. It is sold in China for a fixed price of 800 yuan (just over 100 €).

To read the complete article, see:
Fàn Changmíng/Su Jùn: "Papiergeld von Yunnan" (

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Ken Berger submitted this review of a new book on Philippine Paper Money. Thanks! -Editor

“Tupi 1852 – 1985, Collector’s Guide and Catalog of early Philippine Paper Money from Pesos Fuertes to Piso” by Bayani
Review by Dr. Kenneth J.E. Berger

Tupi book cover I recently learned of this newly published book and, as a collector of Philippine banknotes, I was anxious to obtain it. I found a copy on ebay for U.S. $150.00, including shipping. Based upon further research, this appeared to be the going price. Today the book arrived and I excitedly opened the package. To say that I was disappointed is an understatement!

My first shock was the size of the book. Although it consists of 438 pages, it is only 5.5” x 8”. That is quite small! For comparison, Shafer’s 1974 book (Philippine Emergency and Guerrilla Currency of World War II, 464 pages) & Basso’s 1968 & 1975 book (Coins, Medals and Tokens of the Philippines, 136 and 184 pages) & Legarda’s 1976 book (Piloncitos to Pesos, 84 pages) measure 6.25” x 9.5”; even Beals’ recent 2016 book (El Numiscadero, 354 pages) measures 6.75” x 9.5”. I rechecked the ebay listing and the size of the book was not given. How convenient.

My second shock was that the paper, although glossy, was black rather than white. This, coupled with some poor reproductions, made a number of the pictures in the book difficult to discern (e.g. Seals 5, 8 & 10, Minor Seals 1 & 2, and the seals depicted on pages 45, 52 and 55 are completely undecipherable). Another problem is that many of the left-facing pages are trimmed too short along the outside edge which cuts into the wording. I next observed that a large majority of the pictures are identical to those that appear in the book “Salapi” by Bersales and Apuhin (2014).

I then began to read the book and was disappointed in the large number of grammatical mistakes I found. In too many cases to mention, the subject-verb agreement in a sentence was wrong, words were capitalized for no apparent reason, prepositions were missing, words were misspelled, sentences were incomplete, etc., etc. The book is in desperate need of an editor with a good command of the English language.

The book also uses its own numbering system rather than one of the more commonly known ones.

The only good thing about this book is that it does list all the banknotes and their characteristics (e.g. date, size, printer, color, etc.) and has a hard cover, although it does not have a dust jacket.

My recommendation is that you avoid buying this book and save the $150.00. Instead, I would suggest that you purchase “Salapi” which is well-written, gives much more information (especially historical), has a hard cover and a dust jacket, is 9.25” x 12”, consists of 287 glossy pages, and is even less expensive!

Here is the eBay description. -Editor

Tupi 1852-1985
Collectors Guide and Catalog of Early Philippine Paper Money from Pesos Fuertes to Piso.

Written by Bayani

A new elegant hardbound release with 400+ full color pages. Really a beautifully designed, well written book that covers everything you want to see in a book on this topic. This book covers Spanish, American, Japan Occupation and Philippine Republic issues along with seals, grading standards, rarity scale, cross references to other publications, signature varieties, print varieties, printers, history and so much more.

This is absolutely the best book written on anything related to Philippine Numismatics in the last 40 years and it can be seen that the author did his homework and really executed his project well. This book has combined the information in at least 7 or more books into just this one.

A great reference guide for any collector.

Printed and written in Switzerland by a Filipino who has a great love for this topic

To read the complete item description, see:
NEW BOOK ~ Tupi 1852-1985 ~ Collectors Guide for Philippine Paper Money ~ Bayani (

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At the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont last month, I took photos of exhibits in the numismatic literature category. Last week I published photos of Michael Shutterly's exhibit on the literature of Byzantine numismatics. Another prize-winning exhibit at the show was placed by NBS Past President Marc Ricard. Here are those photos. Please excuse the shadows and glare from the overhead lights, which can be really hard to avoid.

Like Michael, Marc has agreed to provide the text of his exhibit for a page on the NBS web site. Stay tuned for a future announcement on these great 2019 exhibits.

It's not too early to start planning for next year - the 2020 WFOM will be held in Pittsburgh, PA. With a $3,000 donation to the ANA in 1991 our group established and endowed in perpetuity the Aaron Feldman Memorial Exhibit Award for numismatic literature exhibits. Let's have another great showing next year! -Editor

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To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

To view the NBS Numismatic Literature Exhibits page, see:
Numismatic Literature Exhibits : The Aaron Feldman Award (

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The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is a set of correspondence relating to the gold St. Patrick pieces. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

The Gold St. Patrick Pieces

Fake gold St. Patrick Piece obverse Fake gold St. Patrick Piece reverse

In processing Eric P. Newman’s Bowers & Merena archive box we ran across some interesting correspondence related to the gold St. Patrick pieces. Two pieces are known, one authentic and one fake. The unquestioned piece was presented in Ford VII (Stack’s 1/2005, lot 2, realized $184,000) and bears a sterling provenance dating back to the UK in the late 18th century. The fake piece appeared in Norweb II (Bowers & Merena, 3/1988, lot 2386) where it was described as “controversial” and sold “as is.”

John Kleeberg later wrote of the false piece, in Newby’s St. Patrick Coinage (proceedings of the 2006 ANS Coinage of Americas Conference, published in 2009). Kleeberg states that Emery Norweb was upset with John J. Ford, Jr. over his refusal to sell her the genuine piece from the Boyd collection, and speculates that subsequently a gold forgery was manufactured by Paul Franklin and placed in an obscure English auction in an attempt to conceal its true origin. The Norweb’s acquired the piece in 1962 via Spink as intermediary, and the matter remained quiet until the time of the Norweb II sale.

The Newman correspondence now reveals the back story leading up to the March 1988 sale. In November 1987, Newman wrote to Hodder in response to a request for Newman’s opinion on the piece. Newman was certain the piece was fake, in part because it matched dies known to produce false pieces in silver (described by Newman in The Numismatist, May 1963). Hodder’s description in the catalog addressed the points Newman made in 1963, but acknowledged that the piece remained “perplexing and controversial.” Hodder was open about its technical problems, freely stating, for example, that the absence of a reeded edge on the gold piece matched no other known St. Patrick pieces.

Newman’s file goes on to indicate that R. Henry Norweb, Jr. contacted him by phone on March 10, 1988, two weeks prior to the Norweb II sale. The piece was subsequently withdrawn. Newman wrote to Hodder on March 15, “the withdrawal of the piece from sale and the gift by the Norwebs to ANS is in my opinion a good solution.” The Ford VII catalog described the Norweb piece as a “fake from well known fake dies” and today this remains the consensus opinion.

Image: Fake St. Patrick small-format piece in gold, ex. Norweb II, ANS 1988.166.1

Link to Ford VII sale catalog on Newman Portal:

Link to Norweb II sale catalog Newman Portal:

Link to Coinage of Americas Conference proceedings on the St. Patrick pieces (2009):


1878-S Dollar one of first struck close-up

Greg Adams writes:

Perhaps I'm being too literal, but shouldn't the NCG label on the SP-64 Morgan from the Elisaberg collection indicate that it has been damaged by post-mint engraving?

Well, there's only so much room on a slab label, and the "damage" is pretty obvious, but there's probably room for an adjective - "Engraved Presentation Piece" is what I might have called it. I don't know what NGC's criteria are, but I'm not sure I'd call the engraving "post-Mint". It may have indeed been done outside of the Mint at a local jeweler's shop, but it was likely at the order of, or under the supervision of the coiner and superintendent. But who exactly was J. Gus. Burt? A reading of the contemporary newspaper account may shed some light.

A search on the Newman Numismatic Portal reveals a second auction appearance of one of these coins in the May 14, 1915 Henry Chapman sale of the collections of the Hon. W.A.P. Thompson and Rev. Foster Ely, five years after the NGC Eliasberg specimen was sold (for the same price, $1.10, just a dime over face value!) -Editor

Engraved first 1878-S Morgan 5-14-1915 Chapman sale lot 624

Greg adds:

By post-mint damage I meant that the message engraved was certainly not part of the original Mint created die. The phrase must have been added after the minting process (though it may very well have been done on mint premises) ... seems to me that it would be in the same category of “damage” as coins that have been monogramed...

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Guth E-Sylum ad01 German Coins


More on John Queen
Bern Nagengast writes:

Sometime in the late 1980’s the Shelby County Coin Club here in Sidney Ohio invited John Queen to give a program on Canadian coins. He accepted, came up from Englewood, about 45 minutes drive, to one of our meetings and talked for about an hour, emphasizing how underrated uncirculated 19th and early 20th century Canadian coins were in higher grades. He told us about the fantastic Canadian collection Paramount International Coin Corp. had purchased and encouraged us to expand our horizons beyond US coinage.

Our meetings always featured a 25 to 50 lot coin auction (and they still do) and John offered to be the auctioneer for the evenings regular auction. It was quite a change to have a professional coin auctioneer do the calling, and the auction took a lot less time than normal. I recall that John was intense but personable and very willing to share his knowledge.

Tom Mulvaney writes:

John S Queen I worked with John Queen at Paramount International Coin Corporation in the early/mid1970's. John was a great guy who was very knowledgeable in many areas of numismatics but his first love was Canadian coinage. I believe John joined Paramount around/after the passing of Jim Kelly. Prior to working at Paramount, he was Pastor of a local church located in the Dayton area. His work at Paramount revolved around cataloguing auctions where he also served as the firm's auctioneer.

Sometime in the mid-1970's, he left Paramount to start his own coin company, Royal Enterprises located in West Milton, OH. After a few years, he returned very briefly to work again at Paramount. Around 1980, he joined the Peace Corps and served for some time in South America (I believe Ecuador). Later, he returned to Southern Ohio where he went back into the ministry and resumed his coin dealings. I understand the money he earned dealing in coins during this time was used to support his ministry working with the poor in depressed areas of Southeast Ohio.

In February, 2017, I received an email from his wife, Linda advising that they would be traveling through Kentucky and wanted to know if I would meet them along I-75 for lunch? Of course, I accepted the invitation. I had not seen John in at least a quarter century. We had a nice lunch meeting where we discussed all the "old times" at Paramount. He was 93 or 94 at the time and was as sharp as I always remembered him. I have attached a photo I took at that February, 2017 meeting here in Lexington, KY.

Thanks for the great stories! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: SEPTEMBER 1, 2019 : John S. Queen (1922-2019) (

More on the "G. Traebing" Token
G. Traebing token1 reverse

Last week Bill Miller asked for reader assistance with research on the "G. Traebing" tokens. Ron Haller-Williams located some and John Byars located some potentially useful information online in City Directories, the Token Catalog, and the Newman Portal. I passed these along to Bill who sends his thanks. We'll look forward to an update in the future. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Gold Dollar Expiration Date
Regarding Silvio Gesell's "money with an expiration date", Chip Howell writes:

This put me in mind of our (non-) circulating "gold" dollars, Sacagawea & the Presidents. They look good when you first get them, but use them for a short while & they become distinctly shabby. They're the coin equivalent of teenage slang, yo!

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

NLG's Ribbit Award Hops Around
Dave Lange writes:

NLG Ribbit Frog Though I wasn't at the ANA convention, an extension of me was. As the Numismatic Literary Guild's Award Coordinator I was determined to reinstate the ritual of presenting the winner of the Ribbit Award not just a plaque but also the figurine that seems to have disappeared some years ago. This is a Chinese frog with a cash coin in its mouth, and it plays some role in bringing good fortune, so I purchased a replacement on eBay. Ideally, last year's winner of the Ribbit, Don Willis, would then present it to the new recipient, Ron Guth.

I put the boxed figurine in one of NGC's show crates with instructions to our crew that someone from the NLG would come by the booth to pick it up. That person, who shall remain nameless, failed to do so, and the frog was shipped with the rest of NGC's supplies to our next show in Dallas. I then tried to have it continue on to the Long Beach show, where I knew Ron Guth would be in attendance. Sadly, the frog was returned to NGC, arriving here during that show. Good luck is finally shining upon the winner, as it has since been shipped directly to Ron, who will bring it to the Pittsburgh gathering next year.

Great story. We'll look for the Ribbit in Pittsburgh! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Regarding last week's item on the "Republican Senators" overstamp, An E-Sylum writes:

One of the reasons I enjoy The E-Sylum is because of its non-political nature. Unfortunately, this article crossed the line. I am a member of a number of coin clubs and have many friends in them. I have no idea what their political leanings are and, personally, I don't want to know because it could affect our friendship. Coin clubs and newsletters are about coins & paper money & books & exonumia. They should not be used by or for people to promote their political agenda. By including that article & especially Mr. Sheehan's comments you have presented a biased viewpoint! I should also mention that if the article was on the other side of the political spectrum, I would also object. These comments could (should?) have been omitted or reworded without detracting from the story.

Republican Senators overstamp on $1 bill I left out our correspondent's name in deference to our shared preference to leave politics at the coin club door. For the same reason I had initially drafted the earlier article as being from an anonymous E-Sylum subscriber, but Tom Sheehan was willing to use his name so I published it. Trust me, we're not promoting any agenda. This is all about the numismatics and yes, we welcome images and stories of stamped notes from the other side, and have already published images of "Donald Trump Lives Here", "Responsible Gun Owner" and "No Obama" stamped notes.

While I agree that I could have softened or edited out Tom's comments, I decided to leave in the Trump Tower part because it very specifically noted a location where the notes were distributed; also, this this would likely be of particular interest to the collectors of 100 years from now.

I always say the time to collect and research numismatics is in the here and now, when all the players are around, not years after they're all dead. I'm proud to not only have documented the appearance of these overstamped notes, but to have identified one actual person making and distributing them. I'd love to do the same if someone on the other side would like to come forward.

From Hard Times Tokens to "Vote the Land Free" counterstamps to Bryan Money and beyond, politics often leaves a numismatic trail. This is an opportunity to document that history as it's happening, which is why I included Tom's background comments. They were about the distribution of the notes.

I realize that in the heat of the political moment it can be hard to remain objective and keep the discussion on numismatics, but we intend to avoid those rabbit holes. As a reminder, here are some of those earlier-published images. Who's got more? Do you know anyone making or distributing these or similar notes today? How are they putting them in circulation?

Finally, while I could have also edited out the "spend it so 799 more people will get it in change" part, it gives me the opportunity to ask where we can find reliable estimates for the number of hands a dollar bill passes through in its lifetime. Is 800 a reasonable estimate? -Editor

Trump Lives Here on $20 bills
Donald Trump Lives Here

Responsible Gun Owner stamp
Responsible Gun Owner

No Obama graphic stamp
"No Obama" graphic

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:


CURIOUS CURRENCY— The new 2nd edition of Robert D. Leonard Jr.’s Curious Currency: The Story of Money From the Stone Age to the Internet Age is now available, with updated information on e-gold and PayPal, proximity payments, cryptocurrencies, and more. Winner of the Numismatic Literary Guild’s “Best Specialized Book, World Coins” award. Order your copy for $16.95 at , or call 1-800-546-2995.


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

First Strike. The first struck piece produced from a new pair of dies; usually the first circulation strike. Since this piece is from fresh dies it should be sharp and crisp before any die wear has taken place; such first strike pieces are highly prized by collectors. Often a sample piece or two from among the first strikes is selected for the artist or the archives; sometimes these are marked in some manner. See artist’s proof.

First strike ceremonies. A ceremony is often held on the commencement of production of important or famous coins or medals. Such a ceremony was held for the first commemorative coins struck by the United States in 1892. Private mints held first strike ceremonies for gold medals when it became legal again for American citizens to purchase gold, December 31, 1973. The first U.S. Olympic coins were celebrated with a first strike ceremony at West Point, where production was started, September 1983. Numerous inaugural medals have been publicized with first strike ceremonies.

Early Strike. One of the first items struck from fresh dies, usually showing greater sharpness and definition of design before the dies begin to wear. There is no precise limit to the number of pieces classed as early strikes; obviously the first hundred would be so designated, but specimens from the first several thousand could be as sharp and fresh as the first strike. See first strike.

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 collector Dr. William Dickinson of St. Louis, who was mentioned last week in an article from the Newman Numismatic Portal. -Editor

Dr. William Dickinson (1822-1894), was born, the second of eight children on September 22, 1822, at Walpole, Cheshire County, New Hampshire, son of Rev. Pliny Dickinson (1777-1834) and Mary Brown Bellows Dickinson (1800-1885). His ancestors lived in Granby, Connecticut, during 17th century. He is a Son of the American Revolution.

A native of New England. Graduated Dartmouth College (1842), New Hampshire. Historically, Dartmouth taught Greek and Latin with the use of coins. Apparently, Dr. Dickinson acquired the coin collecting hobby while a schoolboy. He collected U.S. coins, except U. S. dollars, and kept a modest collection of Greek and Roman coins. He had a complete set of U. S. Cents and all Half Cents except the 1793 and 1796, and none of the proof issues in the 1840's and 1850's. In all his collection comprised about 1,500 specimens at the beginning of 1890.

He served several years as President of the University of Mississippi. Later graduated Harvard Medical School (1851). He was a Fellow of the Massachusetts State Medical Association.

He traveled in Europe staying at Paris and Berlin. At Berlin he studied ophthalmology at the Virchow and Graefe clinics.

dr. William Dickinson ad St. Louis Globe-Democrat 7_4_1865_2 In 1857 he moved to 82 Locust Street, St. Louis, Missouri, opening an oculist and ophthalmologist practice there. He was an ophthalmologist pioneer and author of important ophthalmological studies.

On June 2, 1857, he married Evelina Crane (1821-1878). They had three children : William Crane Dickinson (1858-1858), and Mary Crane Dickinson (1859-1862), and Evelina Laura Dickinson (1862-).

During the Civil War he was a surgeon for the government and placed in charge of the Good Samaritan Hospital on Jefferson Avenue in St. Louis.

In 1866, he was one of the early ophthalmologists who restored eyesight to patients blind by cataracts.

A frequent buyer from the Chapman Brothers in the second half of the 1880’s beginning with the Collier/McDonald sale until the early 1890’s. There are several pieces of correspondence in the Lupia Numismatic Library. Only a few shown here and 10 more at the ANS website. The ANS has 10 letters which I have examined : 1 postal card, 9 covers, 5 of which the letters are removed and lost; with post office received marking and varying degrees of annotations on the back of the envelopes : clients' surname written by one of the Chapman's we find also the amount spent, sometimes a breakdown of the money into categories (see December 24, 1890) : cash, check, and receipted, also notations if any coins were sent on approval (as that dated September 27 with note dated September 29th), and date of their reply

In 1881, he bought a home at 1322 Olive Street, St. Louis, Missouri. He lived at this address until he moved to his daughter's home in California in January 1894.

In January 1892, he expressed the notion that coin prices were seasonal and asked when they were high and low to the coin firm of the Chapman Brothers.

Dickinson’s missive of March 12, 1892, complaining to the Chapman Brothers about their consignment rates :

“…in regard to the sale my Coins, I am appalled by the fact that at your terms proposed for disposing of them every half dollar must realize 67 cents in order for me to obtain its face value, whatever the cost to me may have been….shall I not better dispose of them here at private sale….many of the pieces I took of you paying you 10%. Now if by you sold I must pay 25%, making 35% for me, more than one third this cost to me. I shall lose less by selling them here…..I feel I am paying pretty dear for a defunct whistle to pay 35% for indulgence in this fad….you can appreciate the occasion of my hesitation to sell at auction….”

Apparently, dismayed he was adamant not to sell through the Chapman Brothers. O, but what do heirs know about our will? His estate handed the entirety over to the Chapman Brothers after his demise.

Dr. William Dickinson grave monument He retired in winter of 1893 and moved to California on January 24, 1894 to live with his daughter there. Nine days later on February 2, 1894, he died a sudden death while at Stanford University, where his daughter was on faculty. He is buried at Forest Hills Cemetery and Crematory, Jamaica Plains, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

His collection was sold posthumously combined with Louis F. Lindsay of 1197 lots through the Chapman brothers on March 6,1894.

To read the complete article, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum 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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Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez of CDN Publishing interviewed Jim Halperin of Heritage Auctions in an article published September 5, 2019. here's an excerpt - be sureto read the complete version online. -Editor

Jim Halperin Josh: Thinking back over the years, is there a favorite memory you wish to share from one of the big coin auctions?

Jim: I’m always going to have a soft spot for our first Platinum Night at FUN in January 2005. Branding a Platinum Night as a session with our best coins was an idea I’d been pitching to Steve Ivy and Greg Rohan for over a year before they finally agreed to it. Then, fortunately for us, our friend Al Adams immediately consigned an incredible collection. Until that night, we had never sold a 7-figure coin at auction. That was probably our biggest frustration about our auction business then, because at that point we were outselling all the other auction companies combined. Yet we had never sold a million-dollar coin, while I think at least two or maybe three of our competitors had. Al’s consignment included two Brasher Doubloons—one brought $2.99 million, and the other brought $2.415 million. At the same time we sold a Lima-style Brasher doubloon from a different consignor for $690,000—so three lots in a row brought $690,000, $2.415 million, and $2.99 million, boom, boom, boom! Ever since Platinum Night was launched, Heritage has sold almost 70% of the 7-figure U.S. coins sold at auction. Platinum became a great brand, an event that serious collectors and dealers never want to miss. Interestingly enough, though, we just auctioned a piece of comic book art in May for more than we’ve ever sold a coin for at auction … $5.4 million. Of course that piece was sold in a Comics & Comic Art Platinum Session.

Josh: And now you’ve handled several 1804 dollars, 1913 Liberty nickels…

Jim: Yes, and over 50 other U.S. coins that Heritage has auctioned for over $1 million each since 2005. I think it all largely traces back to that first Platinum Night.

Josh: What do you like about being an auctioneer?

Jim: I wouldn’t know because I’m not an auctioneer. Believe it or not, Heritage actually owns a state-chartered auctioneering school, which we founded ourselves. We train our auctioneers in-house and we sure have some great ones as I’m sure you’ve witnessed. I tried auctioning once myself, though, and was a complete failure at it.

Josh: Is there any wisdom you’ve learned from incorporating computer technology into numismatics?

Jim: In 1975, when I owned New England Rare Coin Galleries, we bought an IBM mainframe computer, the very first one in the coin business. I still remember sitting in meetings with my very few colleagues at the time, and the programmer, over a couple of months, and we outlined everything we wanted to do. Then we tested and tweaked until it did almost everything we needed to keep track of every coin we ever bought or sold. It revolutionized our business—a huge boon. The only problem was before that computer, I could somehow remember every coin I ever bought or sold, and after it, I didn’t have to memorize every coin anymore, so very quickly I lost that ability. Of course, today, online bidding is the most distinguishing part of our business. One of our big advantages was that we were the first auction house to offer a free, online, permanent, searchable auction archive with full photos, descriptions and prices realized, way back in 1998. That was revolutionary… and scary at the time, because we were making millions of dollars a year on wholesale trading based on having this proprietary information that only our own buyers had. Giving that away free to anybody who joined our website was an enormous business risk. Again, we were lucky because that decision helped us become the world’s most popular auction house web site. 20-plus years later, we still get more traffic than or And even though our total sales volume is a fraction of theirs, our dollar volume auctioned online is much higher than either of their online dollar volume is.

Josh: And now you’re one of the biggest firms around and are poised for more success ahead.

Jim: I hope so, because I can’t imagine anything else I’d rather do.

Josh: Is there anything else you wanted to share with the readers on the wisdom you’ve gleaned in your years at Heritage?

Jim: The wisdom I’ve gleaned…[LAUGHING]? Wisdom is not what I’m known for. Maybe thinking outside the box, but definitely not wisdom per se.

To read the complete article, see:
Jim Halperin Bids Good Fortunes For Heritage Auctions (

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The latest article in Harvey Stack's blog series focuses on the R.L. Miles Collection. Thanks, Harvey. -Editor

Stack Numismatic Family 1964

Stack' s started their 1969 auction season with a January offering of United States, gold, silver and copper coins, perfect for the general collector as there were over 1,100 lots featuring a wide variety of grades and rarity. There were also smaller specialized collections, including one featuring Encased Postage Stamps.

In March we auctioned the James Dines Collection of United States gold and silver coins. For those who do not recognize the name, James Dines was a prominent financial advisor in the 1950s and 1960s and his opinions were followed by many. He ran a successful brokerage silver business and he was quoted in newspapers and on the radio. It was his interest in precious metals that got him started after his father left him a collection. This sale had 1,119 lots, of consisting of some 469 lots of foreign and ancient gold and silver, which he used to trace monetary history.

He personally liked U.S. coins, and he had started by assembling a U.S. type set, so he could be familiar with the various designs, and study American monetary history and issues. He also amassed collections of dates and mints of some series from the half cent to the double eagle, usually in Mint State or Proof. His United States coins made up 650 lots in the sale.

In April Stack's was pleased to present the major sale of the year, in conjunction with the Metropolitan New York Numismatic Convention. This was the R.L. Miles Collection of United States Copper and Silver Coins. In my discussion of 1968 I told the story of R.L. Miles, (Skinny, to his friends) and of the sale of his extensive collection of U.S. Gold coins, a landmark sale held that year.

Collectors who knew Skinny, had seen his collection on display, and had competed against him in many auctions knew that this portion of his collection offered a great opportunity to acquire choice and rare coins, which had eluded them in the past.

Realizing that many would attend the sale, we decided to hold it in the largest ballroom in the Park Sheraton Hotel. The Main Ballroom, located on the lower level of the hotel could readily sit 400 to 500 people. Considering our pre-sale exhibit attracted hundreds of viewers, and the sale was part of the largest regional convention in the East, we set up some 400 chairs. The collection attracted so many bidders that we had to set up 100 more and as the sale progressed, for most of the time we had standing room only.

What attracted so many bidders?

It was a virtually complete set of United States copper and silver coins in outstanding condition, many of which were pedigreed to collections of decades before. This offered collectors a rare opportunity to add to their collections and thus brought in a crowd of bidders.

Some of the highlights that were sold:

Half cents 1793 - 1857: A comprehensive date set, with the following highlights in mostly Mint State: 1793, 1796 Pole to Cap, and most of the Proofs from 1831 to 1857, both Originals and Restrikes

Large cents 1793 – 1857: A date run in very high grades, highlighted by all three designs of 1793, 1794 and other issues in very nice grade including Mint State and later Proof examples.

Small cents: 1856 - 1947, with mostly Proofs, featuring 1856, 1857, 1858, 1864 "L", and 1877 to mention a few.

Two cents, nickel and silver three cents and five cents, with the early issues in Brilliant Proof and others in choice Mint State

Half dimes 1794 - 1873: Virtually a full set with many in Mint State or beautiful condition, which included early Proofs and one of the finest assemblages of New Orleans (O Mint) half dimes. He also had the 1859 type of 1860.

Dimes 1796 - 1946: All dates and mints, mostly Mint State or glittering Proof. Again the early types were extremely choice, the New Orleans examples were Gem quality and the Proofs were complete from 1855. Only one was missing from the Miles Collection, the 1894-S rarity.

Twenty-cent pieces 1875 - 1878: These were in brilliant Proof or superb Mint State and included the very rare 1876-CC.

Quarter dollars 1796 - 1947: Another almost complete set, mostly Mint State and highlighted by such rarities as 1796, 1804, 1823/2, 1827 (both an original and restrike), 1842-O small date in Proof, a Mint State 1853/2 no arrows, 1878-S, Proofs from 1854 to date, and exceptional Proof and Mint State examples in the Barber and Liberty Standing series.

Half dollars 1794 – 1947: Virtually all dates and mints and one of R.L. Miles' favorite series. The rarities included Mint State 1794, 1795 , 1796 (both varieties), 1797, 1801, and an extensive run of dates and sub varieties of the Bust series. The Liberty Seated series was complete with Proofs starting with 1855 and including the great rarity 1878-S, a superb collection of Carson City coins, and a full run of both the Barber and Liberty Walking halves in outstanding Proof and Mint State.

Silver dollars 1794-1935, and trade dollars 1873-1883: This was an outstanding offering with highlights like 1794, and many of the early varieties, There were eight different dates and varieties of Gobrecht dollars and among the Liberty Seated issues there was 1851, 1852, 1858, and the rare 1870-S. Complete collections of Morgan and Peace dollars were followed by an outstanding collection of trade dollars, one of the finest to be offered on the market in decades.

The New York Convention had a record crowd attending, many of whom had traveled from all over to attend the convention and bid in this important auction. Record prices were realized, and publicity about the sale influenced others to start collecting rare coins or upgrade and add to the collections they already had. It was considered a real landmark sale that had a very positive effect on the market.

To read the complete article, see:
Harvey Stack Remembers: Growing up in a Numismatic Family, Part 52 (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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We're all about numismatic education, but I missed the announcement for the British Museum Numismatics summer school this year - it took place in July. Sorry! But potential students should be mindful and check in with them for more details in March/April next year. -Editor

British Museum Numismatics summer school The Department of Coins and Medals will host a two week summer school which will cover Classical numismatics in the first week and Medieval numismatics in the second week. This course is for newcomers to numismatics, or for those with a basic knowledge as it aims to give students the tools to apply numismatics to their studies.

The Classical week will give a thorough introduction to Greek and Roman numismatics from the archaic to late Roman periods. The Medieval week will cover early Medieval Europe and the successors of the Roman Empire through to the High and later Middle Ages (c. 600-1550). Both weeks offer lectures and practical sessions, a visit to another institution and the chance to see the British Museum’s special exhibition. These activities allow students to both handle objects and gain insight into how the Museum looks after and displays its collection. Links to the 2017 summer school timetable can be found on this page, and summer school 2018 will follow a similar format.

The Summer School is open to all undergraduate and graduate students and each week has a capacity for 10 students, so places are limited. There are no fees for this course and free accommodation and breakfast is provided at a local UCL hall of residence. Applicants are responsible for organising their own travel arrangements and any documentation (e.g. visa), but will be entitled to claim a bursary of up to £100 for these expenses.

To read the complete article, see:
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I missed this announcement earlier this year as well, but it's not too late. Two California groups are getting together to host the Northern California Numismatic Seminar on September 14, 2019. I noticed this in the Canadian Coin News. -Editor

Geoffrey Bell
Geoffrey Bell

The upcoming Northern California Numismatic Seminar, which will feature long-time Canadian numismatist and auctioneer Geoffrey Bell as one of its four speakers, recently rebranded the one-day event slated for Sept. 14.

Organizers from the California State Numismatic Association (CSNA) will now be joined by another regional group, the Northern California Numismatic Association (NCNA), to jointly host the free event, which has been renamed the Northern California Numismatic Forum.

This year’s theme is “Transportation Numismatics,” something each of the four speakers will highlight in their talks.

A New Brunswick resident and the founder of Geoffrey Bell Auctions, Bell will open the forum with a presentation entitled “Banks on Wheels.” This will be followed by dealer Jeff Shevlin, of Carson City, Nevada, who will talk on “So-called Dollars with Transportation Themes.”

That afternoon, Kyle Lubke, a 24-year-old numismatic dealer from Palo Alto, Calif., and Matthew Malvini, a 19-year-old coin enthusiast from San Jose, Calif., will speak on the “Transit of Ancient Coins” and “San Francisco Transit Tokens in 1906,” respectively.

“We are quite proud that two stalwarts of our hobby are being matched with two future numismatic enthusiasts, creating an interesting balance and perspective,” said NCNA President Lloyd Chan, who’s also a director with the Canadian Association for Numismatic Education.

To be held at the Vallejo Naval and Historical Museum in downtown Vallejo, Calif., the forum is free to attend.

To read the complete article, see:
Second California group joins educational forum (

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There are some interesting British coins pedigreed to major U.S. collections in the Sovereign Rarities Auction 2 closing September 24, 2019. -Editor

Steve Hill of Sovereign Rarities writes: writes:

We have just over 300 lots of British coins, nearly 60 world coins and finishing with 45 ancient pieces. The British is our strength, and the sale includes more than a few highlights that have once been in famous American collections of the past such as J.P. Morgan, Louis Eliasberg, John Jay Pittman and Mrs Norweb.

Lot 94: 1642 Gold Triple-Unite

1642 Gold Triple-Unite

Charles I (1625-49), gold Triple-Unite of Three Pounds, dated 1642, Oxford Mint, half-length crowned armoured figure of King left, holding sword and palm branch, Oxford plumes in field behind, all within beaded circle, legend and outer toothed border surrounding, initial mark Oxford plumes, CAROLVS: D: G: MAG: BRIT: FRAN: ET: HI: REX, rev. Declaration inscription in three wavy lines at centre, RELIG: PROT / LEG: ANG / LIBER: PAR, date below, three Oxford plumes over .III. value above, legend commences upper left within beaded and toothed border surrounding, initial mark five pellets, :EXVRGAT: DEVS: DISSIPENTVR: INIMICI:, weight 27.05g (Beresford-Jones dies III / S2; Schneider 286; N.2381; Brooker 832; S.2724). Struck on a full broad flan, toned, a little weak on elbow hands and crown, otherwise good very fine.

The gold Triple Unite represents the largest hammered gold denomination ever produced in the English series of coinage at a face value of Three Pounds. Such coins were produced at a time of duress, when the King had moved his Capital from London after the Battle of Edgehill, to the Royalist Universities of the City of Oxford, where he made a state entrance on 29th October 1642. The King lived at Christ Church, with the Queen installed at Merton; the Royalist Parliament met in the Upper Schools and Great Convocation House; the Privy Council at Oriel; and the Mint worked at New Inn Hall from the 3rd January 1642/3. These magnificent gold coins were struck for only three dates, 1642, 1643 and 1644 with some variation as there are 24 different varieties of obverse and reverse across these three dates, plus an extremely rare 1642 piece struck in Shrewsbury. Today, it is estimated the 25 different combinations exist in a mere surviving sample of some 250 pieces.

When the Triple Unite was introduced as currency it was more than double the value of any previous English coin produced, and would have been seen as a magnificent piece of propaganda against the Puritan cause, to show that though the King had moved from London, Oxford was a rich alternative City. Perhaps the King was inspired by similar large extremely rare Scottish coins produced some 70 years earlier by his father, King James VI of Scotland in 1575-6. The King had introduced the first regular newspaper printed in Oxford the "Mercurius Aulicus" from the 1st January 1642/3 (1642 old calendar style), and the introduction of the new Triple Unite as currency is featured in the edition produced around the 18th February 1642/3, and features a woodcut illustration of the new denomination (dies 1/S1 combination). This is thought to be the first ever illustration of a current coin of the realm in contemporary print. As the new year in the old calendar style commenced on the 25th March this means all the 1642 dated coins were produced in only a very limited time from mid-February to probably April at latest when 1643 dated pieces were no doubt produced. It seems the issue of this great coin ceased with the great fire of Oxford as reported in the same newspaper of 6th October 1644, as there are only three reverse types known of 1644.

Ex Louis Eliasberg Sr., American Numismatic Rarities, New Hampshire, USA, 18-19 April 2005, lot 367.
Ex Spink Numismatic Circular, April 2008, item HS3351.

Impressive coin. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 101: 1644 Oxford Mint Silver Pound

1644 Oxford Mint Silver Pound

Charles I (1625-49), silver Pound of Twenty Shillings, dated 1644, Oxford Mint, King on horseback left with raised sword and flowing scarf, spirited horse trampling over arms and armour, Oxford plume in field behind, all within beaded circle, legend and outer beaded circle surrounding, initial mark Oxford plume, CAROLVS D: G: MAG: BRIT: FRA: ET HIBER: REX, rev. Declaration in three lines in lion headed cartouche, RELIG: PROT / :LEG: ANG: / LIBER: PAR:, value and Oxford plumes above, date and OX below, beaded circles and legend surrounding, .EXVRGAT. DEVS. DISSIPENTVR. INIMICI, smaller lettering than obverse side, weight 117.81g (Brooker 865; Morrieson A-1; N.2402; S.2943). Triple struck on obverse side with associated weaknesses, but consequently giving a very well-defined strike of the cartouche side, a few light rim nicks and bruises, metal impurity flaw in obverse field with pleasing dark tone and a good provenance, good very fine but practically as struck, very rare, has been graded and slabbed by PCGS as XF40.

PCGS certification 868426.40/35764244 with "Ex J.J. Pittman Coll." cited on label.

This silver Twenty Shillings or silver Pound was struck at the Oxford Mint where Charles I had moved his capital from London after the Battle of Edgehill, to the Royalist Universities of the City of Oxford; where he made a state entrance on 29th October 1642. The King lived at Christ Church, with the Queen installed at Merton; the Royalist Parliament met in the Upper Schools and Great Convocation House; the Privy Council at Oriel; and the Mint worked at New Inn Hall from the 3rd January 1642/3.

These coins are the largest British hammered coin ever made weighing in at near 120 grams and were made from donated silver plate from the colleges and silver mined at Aberystwyth. This large denomination, and its smaller companion denominations were used to pay the Army to boost morale, with certain denominations being given to the various ranks within the army hierarchy. Regular soldiers would have received a Halfcrown, their superiors a silver Crown, the next rank up a silver Half-Pound and finally the highest ranks of the army the silver Pound. The costs of war were huge and Charles let it be known that the pay for his army was greater than that of the Parliamentarians, as cavalrymen for Parliament received two shillings a day, whereas Royalist cavalrymen received a Halfcrown, (Maurice Bull, Charles I Halfcrowns volume III, page 5).

As a further morale booster, if the viewer of the coin was literate and knew their Latin, the abbreviated legends translate as on obverse "Charles by the grace of God, King of Great Britain, France and Ireland," and on the reverse the cartouche Declaration, as Charles I gave to the Privy Council at Wellington, Shropshire on 19th September 1642 as "The Religion of the Protestants, the Laws of England, the Liberty of Parliament" which when shown in full Latin should read "Religio Protestantium Leges Angliae Libertas Parliamenti," the outer legend translates as "Let God arise and let his enemies be scattered," a Psalm from the Bible. OX for the City of Oxford is shown below the date.

Another impressive coins - great history. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 163: 1691 William and Mary Half Guinea

1691 William and Mary Half Guinea

William and Mary (1688-94), gold Half Guinea, 1691, second conjoined busts right, legend surrounding, GVLIELMVS. ET. MARIA. DEI. GRATIA, toothed border around rim both sides, rev. second crowned quartered shield of arms, date either side of crown, MAG. BR. FR. ET. HIB. REX. ET. REGINA. weight 4.19g (Schneider 476; MCE 163; S.3430). Lightly toned with underlying brilliance, has been slabbed and graded by NGC as MS62.

NGC certification 4862558-006

The year 1691 represents the second lowest calendar year output of gold coin across all the denominations that year and was perhaps a result of a fluctuating gold and silver price level as war had broken out with France in 1689. The total output for the year was £54,497. The Roettier brothers James and Norbert, were responsible for the engraving of the coin dies and the joint portrait of William III and Mary II facing right together.

Ex Mrs E. M. H. Norweb Collection, part 2, Spink Coin Auction 48, 13th November 1985, lot 463.
Ex Samuel King Collection, Spink Auction 173, 5th May 2005, lot 133.

Beautiful coin. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

Lot 198: 1663 Silver Pattern "Reddite" Crown

1663 Silver Pattern Reddite Crown

Charles II (1660-85), silver Pattern "Reddite" crown, 1663, engraved and signed by Thomas Simon, struck from the same dies as the famed "Petition" crown, "fine work" laureate and draped bust right, Simon italic below, legend and toothed border surrounding, CAROLVS II. DEI. GRA, rev. struck en medaille, crowned cruciform emblematic shields, interlinked Cs in angles, St. George and dragon in ruled Garter in centre, French inscription in garter, HONI. SOIT. QVI. MAL. Y. PENSE, date either side of top crown, legend and toothed border surrounding, .MAG BRI. FR ET. HIB REX. edge inscribed in raised letters, last two words half size font, REDDITE . QVÆ . CÆSARIS . CÆSARI & CT. POST, followed by depiction of the sun appearing out of a cloud, weight 31.39g (L&S 7; Bull 431 R5; ESC 73 R5; S.3354B).

This is the actual coin illustrated in the 1974 edition of 'English Silver Coinage'. PCGS certification 34313450.

The Latin legends translate as on the obverse "Charles the second by the grace of God" and on the reverse "King of Great Britain, France and Ireland. The French words on the garter translate as "Evil to him who evil thinks."

The Latin inscription on the edge is what gives this pattern its name and translates as "Render to Caesar, the things which are Caesar's," with the smaller font abbreviation for "POST NUBILA PHOEBUS" meaning "After the storm, the sun shines" alluding to the Restoration of the monarchy after the Commonwealth period.

Celebrated Victorian numismatist J. B. Bergne published the whereabouts of ten examples of the Reddite crown in silver in his 1854 article in the Numismatic Chronicle, three of which were institutionalised and seven in theory still privately held if they all survive till today. Four examples of these seven have appeared in the last forty years for sale whether privately or through auction. The other three have either not surfaced since Victorian times, or may have been last offered over 90 years ago, and are all examples that are apparently in lower grade. The choices of Reddite Crowns available to the market are few and far between, and the finest one from the Glenister collection, hammered at auction for £330,000 in March 2014, representing a total price including premium of £399,000.

It is interesting to note that Bergne recorded the whereabouts of fifteen examples of the companion "Petition" Crown piece in 1854, and at least one though perhaps as many as three may have emerged since then of this more highly coveted piece. In summary these "Reddite" Crowns are much rarer than the "Petition" crown with only ten examples known as of 1854 and seemingly less known today.

Steve adds:

This coin was once owned by Sir John Evans from whence it passed to J. P. Morgan then from 1915 on to a number of famous English collectors like R.C. Lockett, winding up in American ownership once again from 1962-85 with the Norwebs. In 1996 it found its way to Australia in the custodianship of Rowley Butters, so this is truly a well travelled coin.

The full Provenance is listed online. Great coin! -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

For more information on the sale, see:

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Jeremy Bostwick of Stack's Bowers published a blog article this week on the firm's upcoming sale of two important gold guineas. -Editor

Birth of the Gold Guinea

Following the turbulent times of the brief English Republic and the restoration of the monarchy in 1660, the House of Stuart undertook to increase the supply of gold coinage in use, as there was a distinct lack of it within the kingdom. Accordingly, a royal charter was established, granting to the "Company of Royal Adventurers Trading to Africa" a monopoly over trade on the west coast of Africa. The rich deposits of natural resources, including gold, made this area a hotbed for colonial pursuit by other European powers as well, such as the Dutch Republic. In less than five years, the company found itself at odds with its Dutch rival, ultimately engaging the latter in a conflict that was part of the Second Anglo-Dutch War, a contest that would also plunge the company into severe debt.

Rising again in 1672, the company restructured with a new, narrower name—the Royal African Company—and a new, broader focus—adding the slave trade into its enterprise. This ignominious addition allowed the company to recover prior losses and prove profitable by supplying the triangular trade between the West Indies and the Americas. After the Glorious Revolution in 1688 and the installation of Anglican Mary Stuart with her Dutch husband William—and the toppling of Catholic James II, Mary's father—the company lost its monopoly, though it continued to increase its presence in and profitability from the slave trade. This continued until 1731, when it was abandoned and there was a refocus upon other local resources.

Returning to the company's initial objective, the mining of gold was a success, as the supply of the precious metal began to flow into the kingdom in the 1660s, allowing the mint to increase the supply of hard currency at the same time that it was adopting more modern manufacturing in the form of milled, rather than hammered, coinage. This new thicker gold issue would eventually be known as the "guinea," along with its multiples thereof, with the name deriving from one of the areas in which the precious metal was sourced—Guinea being the regional name for the southern coast of West Africa. In a nod to the source of the gold, a portion of the company's logo, an elephant, was placed below the truncation of the monarch's neck. In order to further reinforce the role that the crown held in the company's affairs, later issues featured a castle atop the elephant. These charming notations can be seen on issues from Charles II, James II, and William and Mary, all of which are enthusiastically collected today and are rather rare due to many having been melted down for recoinage in the 18th century.

Two such 5 Guinea issues, a 1688 of James II (NGC AU-58) and a 1692 of William and Mary (NGC MS-62), will be among the many exceptional rarities in our upcoming auction held in conjunction with the New York International Numismatic Convention (NYINC) in January 2020. These two pieces, both emanating from the prestigious Marlborough-Blenheim Collection, display radiant luster along with the iconic "elephant & castle" below the busts. Look for these along with numerous other highlights as we approach this tremendous sale.

To read the complete article, see:
The “Elephant & Castle” and the Birth of the Gold Guinea (

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Jeremy Bostwick also continues to run his Numismagram business, and he passed along these intricate medals from his most recent upload of new material to his website. This grouping is entirely comprised of architectural medals, many of which are by the famous and avidly-collected Wiener brothers. In addition to these numerous cathedral types, there are pieces which feature a prison, a bourse, a restaurant, a museum, a palace, and exhibition halls. All of these medals offer tremendously detailed engraving and are a real feat of numismatic artistry. See for all of the new items. -Editor

Tretyakov Gallery Medal

Tretyakov Gallery Medal

100617 | RUSSIA. Tretyakov Gallery bronze Medal. Issued 1956. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the gallery's establishment (75mm, 219.09 g, 12h). By Margachev & Kozlov at the Leningrad Mint. Conjoined busts left of Tretyakov, Stasov, Kramskoy, Repin, and Surikov; П. М. ТРЕТЬЯКОВ, В. В. СТАСОВ, / И. Н. КРАМСКОЙ, И. Е. РЕПИН, / В.И. СУРИКОВ in three lines below; all within wreath / ИСКУССТВО ПРИНАДЛЕЖИТ НАРОДУ / ΛЕНИН /, façade of the gallery; СТО ΛЕТ ГОСУДАРСТВЕННОЙ / ТРЕТЬЯКОВСКОЙ ГАΛΛЕРЕИ / 1856–1956 in three lines in exergue. Edge: Plain. Shkurko & Salikov 118. Gem Mint State. Pleasing light brown surfaces, with a good deal of underlying luster. Attractive Soviet architectural type. $225.

The State Tretyakov Gallery was conceived in 1856 when Pavel Mikhaylovich Tretyakov began collecting contemporary works of art around which he could eventually build a museum. In 1892, he presented his collection of over 2,000 pieces to the Russian Empire, with the façade of the museum eventually being designed by Viktor Mikhaylovich Vasnetsov in what can only be described as a Russian "fairy-tale" style. Now, the museum is home to over 130,000 pieces of art.

To read the complete item description, see:
100617 | RUSSIA. Tretyakov Gallery bronze Medal. (

Holborn Restaurant Medal

Holborn Restaurant Medal

100682 | GREAT BRITAIN. Holborn Restaurant bronzed pewter Medal. Issued circa 1894 (engraved 1898). Issued and presented to Vincent Sidney Allpress on 7 July 1898 (68mm, 200.87 g, 12h). HOLBORN / RESTAURANT ESTd 1874, interior view of the restaurant with guests standing between columns; decorative plants and sculptures around / Elaborate interior view of the restaurant with guests dancing; decorative plants and friezes around; on ribbon below, PRESENTED BY THE PROPRIETORS "To Vincent Sidney Allpress July 7th 1898." Edge: «hallmark». Taylor 207a; BHM 2990; Eimer 1640. Mint State. Dark chocolate brown surfaces. $195.

Established in 1874, the Holborn Restaurant, billed as adding a “spice of poetry to the dull prose of every day life,” was located near the corner of Little Queen Street and, rather appropriately, Holborn. Gradual expansions led to more additions to the restaurant, which were fully connected in 1894. Of note, the British Chess Federation was founded there in 1904, and, in 1908, during the London Olympic games, numerous banquets for the participating athletes were held there. In 1955, the entire group of buildings was demolished.

During the late 1890’s, medals were engraved and presented to various patrons for their business. Such is the case with the above medal, which was presented to Vincent Sidney Allpress on 8 July 1898. Allpress, as of January 1893, was a member of the Institute of Electrical Engineers, and resided at 55 Victoria St, a little over a mile and a half from the location of the Holborn Restaurant.

While the structure was demolished long before I had a chance to see it, I'm glad this medal is here to record its existence. -Editor

To read the complete item description, see:
100682 | GREAT BRITAIN. Holborn Restaurant bronzed pewter Medal (

Göteborg Aluminum Medal

Gothenburg Industrial Exposition medal

100750 | SWEDEN. Göteborg aluminum Medal. Issued 1891. Commemorating the Industrial Exposition in Gothenburg (52mm, 50.53, 12h). By G. Ekvall. TILL MINNE AF UTSTÄLLNINGARNE I GÖTEBORG, façade of the exhibition hall / KUNSKAP OCH ARBETE, personification of Sweden standing slightly left, resting hand upon shield and holding wreath; around, pile of implements representing industry, commerce, and the arts. Edge: Plain. Includes original roundelle. Choice Gem Mint State. Exceedingly lustrous and prooflike, with a wondrous cameo nature. Rare, especially this attractive and with roundelle. $265.

The Industrial Exposition held in Gothenburg (Göteborgsutställningen) opened on 1 July 1891, lasting until 15 September and featuring over 1,100 exhibitors in the fields of industry and various crafts. The main exposition building, featured on this medal, measured 138 feet in width and 328 feet in length, and took up, along with a few other smaller structures, roughly 50,000 square feet.

The reverse design is a little busy, as is common with these industrial expo medals. Nicely executed. -Editor

To read the complete item description, see:
100750 | SWEDEN. Göteborg aluminum Medal. (

Westminster Abbey Medal

Westminster Abbey Medal

100728 | GREAT BRITAIN. Westminster Abbey in London bronze Medal. Issued 1856. Ecclesiastical Architectural series: The Church in London (59mm, 94.15 g, 12h). By J. Wiener & Elkington and Co. WESTMINSTER ABBEY, perspective view of the cathedral; in three lines in exergue, ST. PETER'S CHURCH FOUNDED ABOUT 612 / REBUILT AND ERECTED AN ABBEY / 958 AND 1049-1066 / THE PRESENT CHURCH CONSTRUCTED 1220-1285 RESTORED END OF THE XVII CENTURY / WESTMINSTER HALL BUILT 1397 THE CHAPEL OF HENRY VII COMMENCED 1503 RESTORED 1809, ornate perspective interior view of the Chapel of Henry VII; in three lines in exergue, St PETER'S CHURCH FOUNDED ABOUT 612 REBUILT AND ERECTED AN ABBEY 958 AND 1049-1066. Edge: A few light stress marks, otherwise plain. Van Hoydonck 142; Reinecke 35; Taylor 8b; BHM 2592; Eimer 1506. Gem Mint State. Exceedingly lustrous, with rich red-brown surfaces; an incredible piece. A light green spec near the tower on the right is noted merely for completeness. Compare to a similar example, though far less lustrous, in Stack's Coin Galleries 18 August 2009 auction, lot 6104 (which realized a hammer of $425 [plus buyer's fee]). $495.

From what is today eastern Netherlands and western Germany, the Wieners were a Jewish family of exceptional medalists, especially known for numerous numismatic works throughout the Kingdom of Belgium. Eldest brother Jacob, along with younger brothers Leopold and Charles, created some of the finest works of medallic art of the 19th century, and all are particularly noted for their work in the highly detailed and intricate work of architectural renderings.

In 1845, Jacob, along with brother Leopold, set out to issue a series of 10 medals focusing upon both the exteriors and interiors of famous Belgian churches. These medals—all measuring 50mm in diameter—featured a level of artistry and precision that had not yet been seen, and were a game changer in the degree of difficulty attempted in engraving. Once this series was completed, Jacob, this time partly in conjunction with brother Charles, focused upon a new task—a much larger series (50 in total) in a larger module than before (59mm) of the most iconic edifices in Europe, mostly comprising of places of worship. While attempting to see this goal to completion, other architectural pieces were issued, such as one celebrating, of all things, the prisons of Belgium, complete with ground plans of the structures on the reverses of the respective medals. Sadly, the amount of intricate work through which Jacob pushed himself was no help to his eyesight, which began to fail, ultimately leaving the aforementioned series of 50 medals for the iconic edifices of Europe to be left at 41, nine shy of the goal. Nevertheless, the effect which these various architectural Wiener medals had upon the community was monumental, showing the bounds which could be explored by other talented artists.

Fascinating story of an incredibly ambitious goal. -Editor

To read the complete item description, see:
100728 | GREAT BRITAIN. Westminster Abbey in London bronze Medal (

Cathédrale Saint-Aubain de Namur bronze Medal.

Cathedral in Namur medal

100775 | BELGIUM. Cathédrale Saint-Aubain de Namur bronze Medal. Issued 1846. Ecclesiastical Architectural series: The Cathedral in Namur (50mm, 51.76 g, 12h). By J. Wiener. ÉGLISE CATHÉDRALE DE St AUBAIN A NAMUR, perspective view of the cathedral; in three lines in exergue, RECONSTRUITE 1750 ACHEVÉE 1767 / RENFERME LE MAUSOLÉE DE / DON JUAN D'AUTRICHE / INTÉRIEUR DE LÉGLISE / St AUBAIN, interior view of the nave and choir. Edge: Plain. Van Hoydonck 22; Reinecke 13. Gem Mint State. Rich chocolate brown surfaces, with a rather intense luster. Compare to a similar, yet inferior, example in Stack's Coin Galleries 18 August 2009 auction, lot 6017 (which realized a hammer of $285 [plus buyer's fee]). $295.

Beautiful medal - great depth on the interior. -Editor

To read the complete item description, see:
100775 | BELGIUM. Cathédrale Saint-Aubain de Namur bronze Medal. (

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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

A Siculo-Punic Silver Tetradrachm

Siculo-Punic Silver Tetradrachm

Sicily, Siculo-Punic.

Silver Tetradrachm, uncertain mint, c. 320-300 BC.

Obverse: Head of Tanit-Perseophone facing left. Reverse: Horse prancing right, palm tree behind.

(Jenkins 79; SNG Copenhagen 969).

This tetradrachm from the Baldwin's site stuck out because it looks so much like a carousel horse with the tree centered behind it. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

China 50 Tael Silver bar

China 50 Tael Silver bar

Bars and Weights
Silver bar in the weight of 50 tael n.d. (Republic).
Extremely rare. Very fine-extremely fine.

These bars are a fascinating numismatic sideline. This one is Lot 50 in the upcoming Künker e-Live auction September 18, 2019. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Silberbarren zu 50 Tael, o.J. (Republik). (

1791 Washington Cent, Small Eagle

1791 Washington Cent, Small Eagle obverse 1791 Washington Cent, Small Eagle reverse

A lovely, totally choice, completely original example of this impressive Washington issue.

I met David Kahn at last month's ANA show and signed up for his email newsletter. Here are a couple coins that caught my eye. First is this nice Washington Cent. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1791 W-10630 Washington Cent, Small Eagle, PCGS AU58 (

1873-CC No Arrows Seated Half

1873-CC No Arrows Seated Half obverse 1873-CC No Arrows Seated Half reverse

A second item found in David Kahn's inventory. A beautiful coin, and a scarce Carson City variety to boot. Nice. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1873-CC WB-2 R5 No Arrows Liberty Seated Half Dollar PCGS AU58 (CAC) (

William Henry Harrison Inauguration Medal

William Henry Harrison Inauguration Medal obverse William Henry Harrison Inauguration Medal reverse

William Henry Harrison: Extremely Rare Inauguration Medal. WHH-1840-22, 38 mm white metal. Harrison appears on horseback on the obverse, captioned "9th President of the United States". The reverse shows the Capitol and reads "Inauguration Medal March 4 1841". The obverse displays very well. The central device on the reverse has wear and the application of some silver substance or paint. The example here is distinctly superior to those in the famed Charles McSorley and Merrill Berman collections. A singular opportunity to acquire what is considered the "Holy Grail" of Harrison medals.

This one really stopped me in my tracks. I've never seen this striking medal before. A great rarity. Offered in the Heritage Auctions September 14, 2019 sale. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
William Henry Harrison: Extremely Rare Inauguration Medal.. (

American Bank Note Paper Money Collection

ABNCO American Bank Note Collection binder

ABNCO American Bank Note Collection Cumberland bank note

The American Paper Money Collection, American Bank Note Company, 1993, 8 pages of frontmatter and 36 proof reprints of obsolete banknotes of the United States with facing information pages, each proof mounted on dark green paper and protected in a plastic sleeve in a ring binder, 8"h x 13.5"w (binder)

I wasn't aware of this album. Interesting product. How much did it sell for originally? Are these prints showing up in the numimatic market as originals? -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
American Bank Note Company, Obsolete Paper Mone (

$5 Havana National Bank Note

$5 Havana National Bank Note front

Havana, NY - $5 1875 Fr. 401 The Havana NB Ch. # 343 PMG Choice Very Fine 35.
Havana is certainly right up there with the rarest multi-bank communities in New York State, as the two banks chartered here enjoyed little success, with both failing after issuing First Charter notes only. One bank is unreported, while this institution, which issued under two titles during its brief lifespan, is represented only by this note, which remains unique to this day. Its survival can likely be explained by its serial number, as it comes from the last sheet issued and was almost certainly held as a keepsake by one of the officers. Indeed, Havana itself has vanished, being absorbed by nearby Montour Falls in 1895. This beautiful note affords one fortunate collector the opportunity to obtain a new town, and a fantastic rarity that may well prove to be unique forever. It is an irreplaceable New York trophy item fit for the very finest of collections and worth whatever it goes for tonight.

I'd never even heard of this town, let alone seen this note. A real rarity. From the Heritage Long Beach Currency Auction. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Havana, NY - $5 1875 Fr. 401 The Havana NB Ch. # 343 PMG Choice Very Fine 35.. .. (

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Last week we discussed the large hoard of Norman coins recently discovered in a field near Chew Valley, England. Pablo Hoffman of New York City forwarded this article on the hoard from Atlas Obscura. This one has some better images of sthe coins and plays up the tax-evasion angle. Thanks. -Editor

Chew Valley hoard silver pennies

IT’S OFTEN SAID THAT LIFE’S only certainties are death and taxes, but people have spent centuries figuring out ways to evade the latter. Look no further than a hoard of 2,528 11th-century coins recently discovered in England, which together bear witness to regime change, domestic unrest, and, amid it all, fraud.

The coins were found in January 2019, by metal detectorists in southwestern England’s Chew Valley. This week, the British Museum released details: 1,236 coins date to the brief reign of King Harold II (which started and ended in 1066) and 1,310 to the first years of William I’s reign, following the Norman Conquest and the Battle of Hastings. Three of the coins represent types known to numismatists as “mules,” or illegitimate blends of different coin faces cast by moneyers in hopes of avoiding taxes on new coin dies.

If William had seen these counterfeits, they may have hit his ego harder than they hit his purse. Two of the mules depict William on one side of the coin and Harold on the other, indicating that the moneyers reused old dies to mint the coins so they wouldn’t have to pony up for more of the updated variety. (The third mule splits its sides between William and Edward the Confessor, Harold II’s predecessor.) According to the British Museum, these are the first known examples of William/Harold mules, and they surely would have been two too many for William the Conqueror. After all, you don’t go to the trouble of leading a massive military conquest just to split coin space with your dethroned rival.

Chew Valley hoard pennies of Edward, Harold and William
Chew Valley hoard pennies of Edward, Harold and William

Gareth Williams, the British Museum’s curator for Early Medieval Coinage, says that this find represents an exceptionally large haul for the time period. The coin hoard adds greatly to the known examples of each type, and offers a new opportunity to study the evolution of English coinage in a period of massive social and political upheaval. Already, thanks to information on the coins, the researchers have learned of mints not previously known to exist.

The British Museum suspects, but cannot confirm, that the coins were buried in an attempt to preserve wealth in 1067 or 1068, when skirmishes and uprisings were still bubbling up in the aftermath of the Norman Conquest.

To read the complete article, see:
Found: 2,500 Medieval Coins, and Evidence of Tax Evasion (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Arthur Shippee passed along this article found via The Explorator newsletter about a hoard of fourth and fifth century Roman coins and hacksilver. Thanks. -Editor

Wem Hoard

A hoard of fourth and fifth century silver including coins and plates hacked up after a Roman-era "Brexit" has been unearthed in a farmer's field by three metal detectorists, a treasure inquest has heard.

The "significant" discovery, made in the Wem area of Shropshire last year, included a brooch thought to have been used to pin together a cloth or leather bag when the hoard was buried during the Dark Ages.

Shropshire coroner John Ellery was told the haul - only the sixth hoard of Roman hacksilver found in Britain - was located by Steve Lord, Steve King and Andy Bijsterbosch after they detected a handful of coins in a ploughed field.

Mr Ellery ruled that the original find, and more silver objects identified during a follow-up dig last week, constituted a single hoard of treasure.

The coins and the other items should be known as the Wem Hoard, said Mr Ellery, who was told that experts at the British Museum were involved in assessing and examining the items.

Peter Reavill, finds liaison officer for Shropshire and Herefordshire with the British Museum's Portable Antiquities Scheme, told the inquest it was hoped the items could be acquired for display in Shropshire.

He told the hearing some of the coins had been chiselled into halves and quarters, as the collapse of the monetary system following "the Roman Brexit" meant they only retained value as silver bullion. Astonishing hoard of chopped-up Roman era silver discovered in Shropshire field - Birmingham Live Pieces of silver cups and plates were found cut into smaller pieces, also of apparent use as a form of payment.

Wem hoard coins

To read the complete article, see:
Astonishing hoard of chopped-up Roman era silver discovered in Shropshire field (


On September 5, 2019 Mike Markowitz published the latest installment in his CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series on coins of the Kushan Empire. See the complete article online. -Editor

Vima-Kadphises coin of the Kushan Empire

EXOTIC, OBSCURE, BEAUTIFUL, AND UNDER-APPRECIATED, Kushan coins are gaining increasing visibility in the ancients market. For centuries, international trade in silk and spices sent a stream of gold flowing through this kingdom, and much of that precious metal became high-value circulating coinage.

“Kushan” seems to be the family name of the dynasty, rather than the name of an ethnic group. The origin of the Kushans is debated, but many scholars believe they were related to a nomadic tribe known to the Chinese as the Yuezhi (or Yueh-chi). The heartland of their empire included the valleys of the Oxus (Amu Darya) and Jaxartes (Syr Darya) rivers, which flow from the Hindu Kush mountains to the Aral Sea in Central Asia. There were about 13 Kushan rulers; their chronology has only recently been untangled, some are only known because they issued coins that survive.

To read the complete article, see:
CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Coins of the Kushan Empire (

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The march of new minting technologies continues. Among the latest innovations is the mirrored surface of Canada's new "Pulsating Maple Leaf". -Editor

Pulsating Maple Leaf reverse To create this unique take on the classic Silver Maple Leaf design, the Royal Canadian Mint Research and Development Team collaborated with the University of Ottawa’s Centre for Research in Photonics. Together, these innovators created a new technology that generates dynamic optical effects on coins. The technology works by creating sub-millimeter-scale mirrors on the coins. These mirrors are engineered to exact dimensions and orientations, then engraved on the coining dies used to strike the mirror array into the pure silver blanks. The result: the Silver Maple Leaf on the coin’s reverse appears to expand and contract when you tilt the coin, giving the impression that the maple leaf is pulsating.

Brand new technology and a classic design—all in one beautiful coin. Order today!

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RE-CREATED USING ENGINEERED SURFACE MIRROR TECHNOLOGY! The latest coin in our popular series of 2-ounce fine silver collector coins based on the iconic Silver Maple Leaf design found on our sought-after bullion coins, re-created using engineered surface mirror technology. LOW MINTAGE! Limited to 3,000 coins worldwide. 2 OZ. PURE SILVER! Your coin is crafted from two ounces of 99.99% pure silver. NO GST/HST!

The reverse image features the Silver Maple Leaf design from the Royal Canadian Mint’s bullion coinage, rendered using newly developed technology developed in collaboration with the Centre for Research in Photonics at the University of Ottawa. The reverse and obverse field pattern reproduces an expanded, non-pulsating version of the pulsating pattern on the maple leaf. The obverse features the effigy of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II by Susanna Blunt.

To read the complete article, see:
2 oz. Pure Silver Coin - Pulsating Maple Leaf - Mintage: 3,000 (2020) (

For a more creative headline, see:
Is that the new maple leaf coin pulsating in your pocket or… (

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Over on the CoinTalk discussion board there's a thread on the Henning counterfeit nickels, including some in slabs. Here's an excerpt. -Editor

1939 Henning nickel obverse 1939 Henning nickel reverse

"I have four 1944 "No P" Henning Nickels, but I finally got one with one of the other dates after a couple years of searching. It is a pretty decent 1939, and it even has the "Looped R." Weighs 5.3 grams.

"People just don't want to let these other dates go, and they are seldom up for sale. I am very lucky I found it. In a few days it will be off to ICG for slabbing as they slab counterfeits. (I use them as educational pieces at shows.) Here are 2 of the 4 1944s I already had slabbed."

Slabbed 1944 Henning Nickel obverse Slabbed 1944 Henning Nickel reverse

For more information, see Winston Zack's new book on circulating contemporary counterfeit coins: Bad Metal: Copper and Nickel Circulating Contemporary Counterfeit United States Coins . -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
Finally Found a 1939 Henning Nickel (

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

For information on Zack Winston's book, see:


AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS: Are your books carried by Wizard Coin Supply? If not, contact us via with details.

"Content removed at the request of the article's subject. It has also been removed from the original publisher's website.:"

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In his Fall 2019 Coin Board News Dave Lange published images of a very scarce pair of Colonial Coin & Stamp Company publisher-bound coin albums. At my request he shared those images with us. Thank you! -Editor

Colonial Album 1 Colonial Album 2

The past quarter was relatively quiet in comparison to the first half of 2019. The usual line-up of common Whitman and Oberwise boards was presented, but most of these offerings were not particularly choice or valuable. One standout entry was a wonderful pair of Colonial Coin & Stamp Company publisher-bound albums comprising Volumes I and II. It’s rare to find either album offered publicly, but this eBay seller had both for sale as a single lot. I spotted this opportunity just an hour or so after it was posted, and I spent no more than two or three minutes before pulling the trigger. The Liberty Head Dime board was lacking, always a possibility with these loose leaf albums, but both volumes were otherwise complete as issued. This pair of albums has since been placed with a happy customer.

Colonial Album 1 detail
Cover detail

To vist Dave's web site, see:


This is non-numismatic, but it describes a heart-wrenching close call that anyone who's handled rare numismatic items can appreciate. -Editor

Close call meme Initially, the assignment for the National Archives seemed simple enough: transport the cargo from one institution to another along the highway. For peace of mind, he had double-checked with the museum that there were no artifacts onboard. The institution told him no. He and his coworkers hit the highway north toward New York. Along the way, they stopped at a Wawa roadside convenience store for a snack. Brannock returned to the truck’s passenger compartment with a large Mountain Dew.

It was a relaxing break until someone accidentally tipped over the soda, which spilled across the truck’s passenger compartment. Seeing the laptop bag and thinking there was a computer inside of it, Brannock rushed to save it from the encroaching drink. He was successful. But upon closer inspection, he realized that this wasn’t an ordinary satchel but a specialty document bag; inside it was a copy of the Emancipation Proclamation signed by President Abraham Lincoln.

The article is part of a series on the hazards and low pay of working in the art handling world. But this near-miss is an opportunity to ask - what near-misses have readers had with rare numismatic items? Submit your Tales of Horror for next week's issue. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
The Art Handler Who Saved the Emancipation Proclamation From Drowning in Mountain Dew (


Last week we discussed the Great Book Scare from the end of the 19th century. Back at the beginning of the century there was opposite phenomena: a great swelling of interest in rare books. Lapham's Quarterly newsletter published an article September 3, 2019 on the good form of Book Disease: Bibliomania. Thanks to Anne Bentley of the Massachusetts Historical Society for passing this along. -Editor

Thomas Frognall Dibdin The early nineteenth-century cult of bibliomania was a bizarre episode, but one with long-lasting consequences. It culminated in the famous sale of the library of the 3rd Duke of Roxburghe, conducted by the auctioneer Robert Harding Evans, which took place in the dining room of Roxburghe’s house in St. James’ Square in June 1812. By then the duke had been dead for the best part of a decade. Contemporary gossip believed him to have been a shy and retiring man who had turned to book collecting having been disappointed in love.

Antiquarian book prices had climbed to unprecedented levels over the previous twenty years, but spectators nonetheless gaped as assorted aristocratic collectors and their agents pushed the bidding ever higher, and Roxburghe’s books sold one after another for astonishing prices. The fifteen Caxtons attracted special attention, and were pursued with particular determination by the 2nd Earl Spencer, well known as the greatest British book collector of the age. The climactic moment was reached with the sale of the so-called Valdarfer Boccaccio, Roxburghe’s copy of the editio princeps of the Decameron printed in Venice by Christoph Valdarfer in 1471, a copy then believed to be unique. It was routed by Spencer’s librarian the Reverend Thomas Frognall Dibdin with slovenly (but characteristic) illogicality as “the very scarcest book that existed.” Those present were nor disappointed by the spectacle which followed.

Blandford’s successful bid of £2,260 was by the standards of the day a gigantic sum of money. Three months after the Roxburghe sale, Jane Austen sold the copyright of Pride and Prejudice for £110, and Mr. Darcy had an income of £10,000 a year. The morning after the sale, advertisements in the Times included one for a secondhand pianoforte (24 guineas) and another for the lease on a twenty-bedroom coffeehouse in the City of London (annual rent: £1,900). But ironically Earl Spencer was to have the last laugh. When the finances of the perennially extravagant Blandford collapsed in 1819, the earl was able to secure the Boccaccio for £918, less than half what Blandford had paid for it in 1812. The bubble had burst.

To read the complete article, see:
The Book Disease (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:


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

The Shroud of Turin and Byzantine coins

Arthur Shippee passed along this article found via The Explorator newsletter about researchers looking for a connection between the Shroud of Turin and Byzantine coinage. Thanks. -Editor

Traces of possible Byzantine coins have been found on the Holy Shroud of Turin pushing back a 1988 carbon dating of the relic to the fourteenth century, according to Padua university and US researchers in a new study published in the Journal of Cultural Heritage.

The date-changing discovery was presented at the Conference on the Holy Shroud in Canada.

The study led by Giulio Fanti and Claudio Furlan detected electron, a rare and ancient alloy of gold and silver with traces of copper.

At the same time, the study examined the percentage of these elements in Byzantine coins of the eleventh and twelfth centuries and found a "full correlation", the researchers said.

To read the complete article, see:
Traces of possible Byzantine coins found on Holy Shroud (

Kurt Cobain Royalty Check

Here's an interesting money find: an uncashed Kurt Cobain royalty check. -Editor

Kurt Cobain Royalty Check Dated March 6, 1991—six months before the singer, songwriter, and guitarist became a global icon with the release of Nirvana’s Nevermind—the uncashed check was worth $26.57 (or about $50 today, when adjusted for inflation). Nirvana had released only one album at the time—Bleach, recorded for $600 in 1989—and its modest sales figures had offered no hint of the megastardom on Cobain’s horizon.

Though no one knows exactly how it got there, the check fittingly ended up at Easy Street. The record store has been a mainstay of Seattle’s music scene since 1988, before the city became synonymous with the so-called grunge movement headlined by local acts Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains.

In an email, Easy Street owner Matt Vaughan says that the store purchased the record collection in 1993 or 1994, and that it came with some Nirvana tour itineraries that were promptly placed in the “storage basement for years until recently we saw em again (kinda spaced that we still had em) and went through em more closely.”

To read the complete article, see:
Found in a Record Store: Kurt Cobain’s Royalty Check (

What to Do with Inherited Coins

Martin Kaplan passed along this NGC blog article by Jeff Garrett on how the public should go about selling an inherited coin collection. Excellent advice. -Editor

NGC Morgan Dollar price guide When the public brings in coins for an appraisal these days, they often have done at least some research. But working with these folks also reminds me how little the general population knows about the world of rare coin grading.

The temptation for someone who knows little or nothing about grading is to scan to the right on the price charts to determine a coin’s value. They find it hard to believe that their lustrous Morgan Silver Dollar is not an MS 66 or better and worth thousands. I would probably be the same way if I inherited an attractive piece of jewelry and was dealing with a diamond dealer. Like appraising diamonds, the nuances of coin grading are hard to explain to a beginner.

To read the complete article, see:
Jeff Garrett: What to Do with Inherited Coins (


This week's Featured Web Site is the International Society of Antique Scale Collectors (ISASC).

The Society's purpose is to bring together collectors of scales, weights and measures and to promote the exchange of information, foster friendships and encourage preservation, study and exhibition to overall enhance the pleasures of collecting. These goals are achieved by many avenues including the Annual Convention, Regional Meetings and the quarterly journal Equilibrium.

ISASC provides the opportunity for scale enthusiasts to share information and become knowledgeable about the scales, weights and measures they collect while preserving a piece of history.

Coin scale

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