The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 21, May 26, 2019, Article 30


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

1959-D Lincoln Cent ‘Mule'

Len Augsburger pointed out this Coin World piece on a controversial 1959-D "Wheat Cent". Thanks. -Editor

1959-D wheat cent A coin that shouldn't exist - a 1959-D Lincoln cent with the Wheat reverse that was retired in 1958 rather than the Lincoln Memorial reverse introduced in 1959 - will be offered at Ira and Larry Goldberg's June 2 Pre-Long Beach Auction in California.

Both Professional Coin Grading Service and Numismatic Guaranty Corp. have given a "No Decision" grade on the mule.

The oddity was discovered in 1986 by Leon Baller, a retired police officer. When he sent the coin for authentication by the U.S. Treasury in 1987, he received a letter signed by Richard M. McDrew, special agent for the Department of the Treasury, stating, "Enclosed is your United States 1¢ coin, dated 1959-D, with wheat reverse. This coin was microscopically examined by our Forensic Services Division in Washington, D.C. and it is their opinion the coin is genuine."

To read the complete article, see:
Controversial 1959-D Lincoln cent ‘mule' heads to auction (

Al Newman's Penny Profits

A Bicycling magazine interview with 73-year-old Al Newman of Ann Arbor, Michigan mentioned his early involvement with numismatics. But it's the rest of the article that's fascinating - Newman spent his New Year's holiday cycling in Antarctica. -Editor

It started with a couple of coins. In 1960, the Denver Mint misprinted a batch of pennies and mistakenly sent them to Michigan, where a crafty young Newman and his brother, Chuck, wrangled up some of the copper pieces and figured out how to flip them for 10 cents each to collectors. Thanks to a well-placed ad in Numismatic News, the Newman brothers-teenagers at the time-turned a nifty profit, the equivalent of $30,000 today. And so began an entrepreneurial streak.

To read the complete article, see:
Meet the Man Taking His Retirement to the Most Remote Place on Earth (

Gold Nugget Found in Australia

Dick Hanscom forwarded this BBC News article about a hefty gold nugget recently found in Australia. Thanks. Nice find! -Editor

Gold Nugget Found in Australia An Australian man has unearthed a 1.4kg (49oz) gold nugget with a metal detector while wandering Western Australia's gold fields, say locals.

A shop in Kalgoorlie shared pictures of the rock online, estimated to be worth A$100,000 (£54,000; $69,000).

The unidentified man was an experienced local hobbyist, shop owner Matt Cook, told the BBC.

Finds of this scale by prospectors are known to happen a few times a year, experts say.

To read the complete article, see:
Australian finds A$100,000 gold nugget using metal detector (

Ram's Horn Wire Gold Specimen Tested

Martin Kaplan forwarded this National Geographic article on a very unusual piece of gold. -Editor

Ram's Horn Wire Gold Specimen In 1887, as Colorado's gold production neared its peak, the Ground Hog mine near the town of Gilman yielded an unexpected treasure: a ropey branch of gold that split into a trio of curling tendrils. Standing just over 4.7 inches tall and weighing roughly half a pound, the yellow curlicues of precious metal represent the rarest form of gold ever found.

"It's truly a unique object-there's nothing even comparable to it," says John Rakovan, a mineralogist at Miami University in Ohio. This rarity, however, has a scientific down side: No one wanted to damage or cut the few known samples of wire gold to do the tests necessary to figure out how they formed. For decades, the tendrils remained a gorgeous enigma.

Now, researchers just got their first peek inside the exquisite sample, known as the Ram's Horn, with the assistance of a half-mile-long particle accelerator at Los Alamos National Laboratory. The results revealed that the bundle, which seems to be dozens of glimmering golden wires, is actually either one massive crystal or only a few crystals growing together.

To read the complete article, see:
This is the world's rarest form of gold. New clues are revealing why. (

To read the Los Alamos press release, see:
World's finest gold specimen probed with Los Alamos neutrons (

Royal Mint Offers 1819 George III Sovereign

The Royal Mint recently entered the business of reselling their old products, competing in the rare coin market. Philip Mernick forwarded this article from BBC News. Thanks. -Editor

1819 George III Sovereign An "extremely rare" 200-year-old gold sovereign is being sold by the Royal Mint for £100,000 - but collectors will hope their luck is in.

The Royal Mint says the George III sovereign was one of 3,574 to be struck in 1819 and there are around only 10 left in the world,

It says the coin is being offered via a ballot on 12 July at the fixed price, reflecting its rarity and high quality.

The Royal Mint said the sovereign - minted in the year Queen Victoria was born - has been sourced and verified by its historic coin experts.

To read the complete article, see:
Royal Mint selling rare gold sovereign for £100,000 (

Princess Diana Statue's Numismatic Connection

A statue of Princess Diana is planned for Kensington Palace, and there's a numismatic connection. -Editor

The statue's sculptor, Ian Rank-Broadley, is most recognised for his depiction of the Queen, which has appeared on all coins in the UK and Commonwealth since 1998. He also designed a gold coin marking the Queen's diamond jubilee in 2012.

Princess Diana died at the age of 36 when the car she was travelling in crashed in a Paris tunnel on August 31, 1997.

Announcing the project in 2017, William and Harry said: ‘It has been 20 years since our mother's death and the time is right to recognise her positive impact in the UK and around the world with a permanent statue.'

To read the complete article, see:
Diana statue set to go on display at Kensington Palace to commemorate 20 years since her death is delayed as William and Harry look to 'get it right' (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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