The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 28, July 14, 2019, Article 27


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

US Mint Artists Challenged to Think Creatively

Don Scarinci published an article in Numismatic News encouraging U.S. Mint artists to think creatively about their coin designs. -Editor

The new crop of artists from the United States Mint's artist infusion program came together at the Mint's headquarters in Washington DC last week. They participated in a three-day intensive series of workshops that included viewing and studying Krause Publications' Coin of the Year (COTY) award winners for tips about how to create award-winning coins.

Joseph Menna, the new Chief Engraver and David J. Ryder, the new Mint Director, addressed the infusion artists as a group for the first time. Both expressed the importance of coin design and their commitment to support the artists to be the best they can be.

To read the complete article, see:
US Mint Artists Challenged to Think Creatively (

Creative Collections

Another Numismatic News articles, this time by Pat Heller encourages collectors to be creative in setting their goals for a collection. Here's a selection of ideas - see the complete article online for more. Some of these would be a real challenge! -Editor

“Outside the box” collections to consider:

  • World coins issued in your birth year
  • An example of coins of as many different languages as you can find
  • Coins or paper money with all different monetary units (dollar, peso, franc, drachma, dinar, ducat, penny . . .)
  • Coins or paper money depicting religious figures of your faith
  • As many different coins as you can find with the denomination of “2”
  • Coins from as many different nations as possible that depict a queen
  • Coins and paper money that depicts the same person on both the obverse and reverse like a Lincoln Memorial Cent, Series 1976 and later US $2.00 Federal Reserve Note, or a Roman Emperor Nero Gold Solidus
  • National bank notes of banks that were robbed by John Dillinger
  • Issues of a particular coin or currency designer, or perhaps a designer of medals
  • Instead of a type set or a first year of issue type set, how about a last year of issue type set

To read the complete article, see:
Start a Creative Collection (

Focus on Rarity

Never underestimate the power of rarity in coin valuation. Jeff Garrett wrote a great article on the NGC site comparing the price performance from 1982 to date of great U.s. rarities vs. much more common U.s. coins. -Editor

I recently dug through my library and found a copy of the 1982 Greysheet with a cover story on the sale of the Eliasberg gold coins. The article described prices realized as “very, very strong” and fierce bidding in all sessions.

Thirty years later, these prices seem like incredible bargains. Many of these coins would easily sell for $1 million-plus today, and most have increased by at least 10 times. Unfortunately, we cannot go back in a time machine to make these wonderful purchases. We can, however, use the Eliasberg sale as a lesson in collecting.

Below are the wholesale bids for some commonly traded coins in November 1982...

It is hard to believe that these commonly traded issues have performed so poorly as investments. This list is not an aberration or a selection of the worst-performing issues. A careful study reveals that nearly every issue with large numbers of known examples did poorly over a 30-year period. Coins that were very or extremely rare, however, saw tremendous price increases. This probably can be best explained by simple supply and demand.

To read the complete article, see:
Jeff Garrett: Focus on Rarity (

Video: No Small Change

Here's a video put together by the Harrisburg (PA) Coin Club combining footage of Hagerstown researcher Rick Lank and his wife speaking the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists show together with their PowerPoint presentation on "No Small Change - The Impact of the Civil War on our Coins, Currency & Tokens". -Editor

No Small Change title

To watch the complete video, see:
PAN Presentation 2019 (

Why are Nickels Bigger Than Dimes?

Numismatists know the answer to this of course, and it's something I often ask youngsters to see if they're really paying attention to our coins. I give this guy credit for at least noticing. QUICK QUIZ: who can write up a simple, easy-to-understand answer in as few words as possible? -Editor

Last night I stumbled upon a troubling realization about our American currency. But before I get into that, please ignore the fact that yesterday I forgot how much a dime was worth. That is so clearly not an important aspect in this scenario. And while you're forgetting that, humor me and ask yourself something, why are nickels bigger than dimes? Really think about it. Allow logic to take over, and then try to come up with a legitimate answer. Hopefully, you realized how shocking it is that our nation has survived for over 200 years without questioning why our nickels are bigger than our dimes but are somehow worth less?

P.S. The dime is also smaller than the penny.

To read the complete article, see:
Why are nickels bigger than dimes? A first hand account (

What's a Strip Club Without Dollar Bills?

Found via News & Notes July 9, 2019 from the Society of Paper Money Collectors. -Editor

This job exists because of the large, untraceable piles of dollars—which, according to the most adamant financial experts, are not long for this world. Cashlessness is trending around the planet.

A club makes the majority of its profits in credit card charges at the door, the bar, and the private rooms; the cash that flies around has always belonged to the strippers. On the floor, customers hand out hundred dollar bills as liberally as business cards.

But without cash, the club I work at is free to exploit. Cash handed directly to a dancer gets pocketed, but credit card charges are skimmed—and because workers are more or less off the books, we have no recourse to contest absurdly high fees.

To read the complete article, see:
What's a Strip Club Without Dollar Bills? (

The New Gold Prospectors

An article on Topic highlights the latest incarnation of gold prospecting as a modern-day hobby / diversion / obsession / quixotic quest. I pulled a few quotes to set the stage, but read the whole article - it's an interesting story. -Editor

Every year, members of the Gold Prospectors Association of America pack up their RVs in search of adventure, friendship, and a bucketful of pay dirt.

The GPAA was founded in 1968 by prospector George “Buzzard” Massie to “preserve and promote the great heritage of the North American Prospector.” By all accounts, Massie was a gregarious, larger-than-life individual who helped bring gold prospecting back into the public consciousness.

On YouTube, gold-panning tutorials have racked up millions of views, and product-testing clips of new sluices and highbankers have been eyeballed by tens of thousands of people.

To read the complete article, see:
The New Prospectors (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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