The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 22, Number 30, July 28, 2019, Article 28


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

Great Synagogue of Vilna Coin Find

Arthur Shippee passed along this story from The Jerusalem Post about a find of coins from the 16th to 20th centuries in the ruins of a destroyed synagogue (scroll to end). -Editor

Archeologists working at Great Synagogue of Vilna For the first time since the beginning of the excavation project of the Great Synagogue of Vilna, which was burned down in the Holocaust and destroyed by the Soviets, Hebrew inscriptions were discovered there from 200 years ago.

According to the researchers, Dr. Jon Seligman of the Israel Antiquities Authority and Justinas Racas of the Lithuanian Excavation Company who have conducted excavations in Lithuania every summer for the last four years, "the large and significant inscription, dated to 1796, was part of a stone Torah reading table that stood on the magnificent bimah of the synagogue in Vilnius."

"Below the Bimah, and also unknown to the researchers was a large cellar. Among the finds recovered during the excavation were a prayer book that survived the Holocaust, hundreds of coins from the 16th to 20th centuries and buttons of Napoleon's army, which passed through Vilnius on its way to defeat in Moscow in 1812.

To read the complete article, see:
Archaeologists find inscriptions in destroyed Vilna synagogue - watch (

Five Favorite Numismatic Reads

In an article on the PCGS site, Mike Sherman discusses some favorite numismatic books. Good choices! -Editor

Coins in History At the outset, it should be clear that this is a highly personalized list. It's not a list of the most important or influential books in numismatics. The venerable Redbook would probably top that list. It's simply a list of some of the coin books I've enjoyed for many years, and never tire of occasionally picking up and browsing again. For the most part, they are generalist works as my interests lie in the broader picture of numismatics as opposed to the specific. So, with that, here are a few of my all-time favorites.

To read the complete article, see:
My Five Favorite Numismatic Reads (

Thomas Uram’s Numismatic Journey

Lou Golino published a nice Coin Update article interviewing former ANA Governor Tom Uram of PAN and the CCAC. -Editor

Tom said that he is attracted to foreign coins because of the “interesting topics, nice designs, and the scarcity of low mintage issues.” He mentioned the U.S. Mint-Royal Australian Mint two-coin domed Apollo 11 set as an example of a recent item that appeals to him. He added that as for the growing number of curved coins, of which he is trying to assemble a complete set, it has reached the point where he is feeling overwhelmed. As for older U.S. coins, his philosophy is quality over quantity, and he has specialized in the two-cent series over the years, focusing on high-grade examples. He has also picked up some ancient coins.

To read the complete article, see:
Thomas Uram’s numismatic journey: From young Lincoln cent collector to the “Super Bowl of numismatics” (

Fake Presidential Seal Sneaks By

I've mentioned before that I have multiple books in my library about the Great Seal of the United States, which is used numismatically on paper money and medals. The Presidential seal is similar. This article won't lead to a new edition or even be much of a footnote to history, but it's an amusing story of how a satirical version of the seal somehow wound up alongside the President during a speech. -Editor

"He substituted the arrows in the eagle’s claw for a set of golf clubs — a nod to the new president’s favorite pastime. In the other set of talons, he swapped the olive branch for a wad of cash and replaced the United States’ Latin motto with a Spanish insult. Then, his coup de grace: a two-headed imperial bird lifted straight from the Russian coat of arms, an homage to the president’s checkered history with the adversarial country."

To read the complete article, see:
Meet the man who created the fake presidential seal — a former Republican fed up with Trump (

Why Your Stuff is Worthless

In the if-Muhammad-Ali-and-Johnny-Cochran-wrote-headlines department is this article plainly telling members of the public why their stuff is just stuff and not a ticket to Easy Street. -Editor

Just being old won’t get stuff sold
A common thought is that because something is old, it must be valuable. That simply isn’t true.

If it was mass-produced, it’s no golden goose
A simple concept but one that many people have a tough time comprehending. Sure, the comic book you have was super-popular in the ’70s; made a big comeback in the 2010s; and has been slid into a plastic sleeve that screams “valuable!” to you.

But just keep in mind: If millions of them were produced — and it’s likely there were — then literally millions of folks just like you have one and are thinking the same thing.

According to Miller, “Rarity and scarcity are two factors that can make an item valuable. Mass production is completely counter to this.”

The price online can be false by design
Please remember that the internet isn’t always the most accurate or truthful source when discerning value. According to Miller, “I am often faced with people who say, ‘I saw it listed on eBay for $5,000.’ It is important to note that someone selling an item can ask whatever price they want; that does not mean the item will sell for that price.”

To read the complete article, see:
9 collectibles that are actually worthless (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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