The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

PREV       NEXT        v23 2020 INDEX         E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

About Us

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit association devoted to the study and enjoyment of numismatic literature. For more information please see our web site at


Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link


There is a membership application available on the web site Membership Application

To join, print the application and return it with your check to the address printed on the application. Print/Digital membership is $40 to addresses in the U.S., and $60 elsewhere. A digital-only membership is available for $25. For those without web access, write to:

Charles Heck, Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
P. O. Box 2058,
Bluffton, SC


For Asylum mailing address changes and other membership questions, contact Chuck at this email address:


To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:


Sale Calendar

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: Dr Jonas Flueck. Welcome aboard! We now have 6,608 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. Contact me at anytime regarding your subscription, or questions, comments or suggestions about our content.

This week we open with a numismatic literature sale, two new books, a periodical, a book review, three obits and updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal.

Other topics this week include Gerard Van Loon, Elvira Clain-Stefanelli, Matthew Stickney, Harry Bass, Washington Oval Peace medals, Liberia scrip, mottoes on American money, coin provenances, National Bank Notes, and Equal Dollars.

To learn more about money of the Low Countries, coin-operated instruments, Thomas Goadsby. Martin Gengerke, the Fugio restrikes, barter scrip, the first coins of Israel, banknote-themed movies, the 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act, ANS President Robert J. Dodge, the squid banknote, the book heist, the Big Coin heist and the knickers heist, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum


As noted last month, Solidus Numismatik of Munich is holding their Literature Auction 69 on January 3, 2021. Here's a reminder from their December 13, 2020 email. -Editor

Solidus Literature sale 69 lots

we would like to draw your attention to our 6th literature auction, for which you can already submit pre-bids: Literature Auction 69 - live auction on Sunday, January 3rd, 2021 from 10:00 a.m. CET:

Link to Auex:

Link to Sixbid:

All lots among the links are illustrated. You can download a PDF catalog (without images) here: Catalog A69 Literature. A printed catalog will be available for you shortly on request.

At the sixth Solidus Literature Auction 69, the impressive number of 2031 Lots from the years 1604 to 2020 in around 20 languages (German, English, Hebrew, Latin, French, Czech, Russian, Chinese, Swedish, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Lithuanian, Italian, Romanian, Turkish, Norwegian, Danish, Hungarian, Polish) are offered. In addition to bibliophile rarities, there are reference books on Numismatics of Antiquity, the Middle Ages and Modern Times as well as on general Numismatics. There are also Festschrifts, numismatic Journals and numerous Auction Catalogs with many important and interesting collections, including catalogs from before 1945, e.g. by Cahn, Hamburger, Hess, Hirsch, Helbing, Riechmann, Rosenberg, Sotheby's and catalogs after 1945 with partly complete series. Works on Graphics, Archeology and History are also represented. We would also like to draw particular attention to books from the Reinhold Jordan and Ursula Kampmann libraries.

To be able to bid in our auction, you must register on AUEX. You can place your maximum offers before the auction – or participate in the live auction, which allows you to bid on the lots in real time and influence the auction process directly, similar to a floor auction. If you have already registered on AUEX in one of our previous auctions, you can log in directly with your username and password.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.

Bibliophile greetings

Solidus Numismatik e.K.
Dr. Robert Stark
Ottostr. 5
D-80333 München
Tel. +49 (0)89 12 28 62 34

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Charles Davis ad01


Hugo Vanhoudt forwarded this information about a new translation of the classic Van Loon book. Thanks! -Editor


English translation directed by John Saunders and Hugo Vanhoudt

The set of four volumes of our new publication MEDALLIC HISTORY OF THE LOW COUNTRIES tells the history of the Low Countries for the period 1555 – 1716, documented by medals, jetons and coins.

Van Loon book cover The nature of the Van Loon books is iconic. We can think of no other books in the field of Numismatics, or any other discipline or science, where the leading reference books are nearly 300 years old and still in active current use. This is not only unprecedented but actually amazing. These volumes are so remarkable and important to both Numismatists and Historians that the original printing from the 1720's are indeed still in regular use.

Today, we present you the English translation of the original Dutch version in 4 volumes with full respect to all original drawings as they are each a piece of art. In addition we have added separately full color plates with medals, jetons and coins as they appear in the books.

In an effort to make these books available to the largest audience possible, we have deliberately priced them well below other comparable publications in the field. The price for the total set of 4 volumes (1800 pages and full color plates) is only 160 euro or 200 USD (in USA).

In annex you may find an overview of some pages of these books as examples.

Van Loon portrait Information:
Set of 4 volumes ( size A4) with additional illustrations (plates)
      Volume 1: period 1555-1602; introduction + 447 p. + 48 full color plates.
      Volume 2: period 1602-1667; 409 p. + 40 full color plates.
      Volume 3: period 1667-1691; 380 p. + 20 full color plates.
      Volume 4: period 1691-1716; 438 p. + 21 full color plates.
Price: 160 euro for one set of 4 volumes, exclusive costs of packaging & postage.
Language: English
Size: A4 format, 29,7 x 21,0 cm)
Hardcover ( red cloth, white lettering)
ISBN: 978-1-7356598-0-0

White spacer bar
Van Loon sample page 1 Van Loon sample page 2

FREE PRE-SUBSCIPTION: As we will organize the printing by the mid of January 2021 we would appreciate your presubscription to this numismatic publication. As soon as the books are available we will inform you for the payment. Contacts for the pre-subscription by mail are:
Hugo Vanhoudt :
or John Saunders:

Van Loon sample page 3 Van Loon sample page 4

That's a great price for these classic volumes. I expect copies will sell fast. -Editor

Kenny E-Sylum ad02 Books Literature


The Automatic Musical Instrument Collectors' Association (AMICA) is an educational non-profit organization with worldwide appreciation of historic automatic musical instruments. They're publishing a new book co-authored by Dave Bowers. While coins and tokens aren't the primary focus, you can bet they'll be featured and you can count on learning a lot about this fun topic. -Editor

Coin-Operated Encyclopedia cover AMICA is proud to announce this long-awaited publication of The Reblitz Bowers Encyclopedia of American Coin-Operated Pianos and Orchestrions and Related Instruments. The title says it all! Written by the most revered authors of mechanical music, this entirely new hardcover book in 8-1/2" X 11" contains over 900 pages packed with the history of every major American builder of coin pianos and orchestrions, plus pictures of every known model. From cover to cover, in 63 chapters, it is packed with information not found in any other collector's book. This is not an up-date of the 1972 Encyclopedia of Automatic Musical Instruments, by Q. David Bowers. It is a "must have" for every enthusiast, with Foreword by Fred Dahlinger, layout by Terry Smythe, and the help of hundreds of other collectors.

US Dollars (USD) cost including shipping and handling to USA or Canada:

  • $85 to AMICA members in the USA
  • $100 for non-members in the USA
  • $90 to AMICA members in Canada
  • $105 for non-members in Canada
  • For other mailing destinations, contact distribution manager Michael Walter at or (716) 656-9583
Coin-Operated Encyclopedia sample page 1 Coin-Operated Encyclopedia sample page 2


1. Credit card or PayPal: On-line using the AMICA website at Credit card is through PayPal.

2. Check: Use the order form included in this publication or also available on the AMICA website.

3. Questions? Multiple book orders? Outside the US? Contact distribution manager (and AMICA Vice President) Michael Walter at: or (716) 656-9583.

Garrett Mid-American E-Sylum ad04b Buying


The latest issue of JEAN, the Journal of Early American Numismatics has been published by the American Numismatic Society. Here is the table of contents and an excerpt from the Editor's Preface by Christopher R. McDowell. -Editor

JEAN 2020-12 cover Editor's Preface

Thomas Goadsby's Letterbook
Jack Howes, Gary A. Trudgen, Julia H. Casey

S. C. Kingman and the Fugio Restrikes
Julia H. Casey

Evaluation of Lead/Pewter Cast Counterfeit Coins Found in Philadelphia During the Construction of Route I-95
Roger A. Moore, Dan Knight, Peter Douvres, Wayne Shelby, Don Hartman, Craig Bruns

Evaluation of William III Cast Copper Counterfeit Halfpence Found During Construction of Route I-95 through Philadelphia
Roger A. Moore, Dan Knight, Peter Douvres, Wayne Shelby, Don Hartman, Craig Bruns

Coin Finds from the Nickerson Site, Chatham, MA
Alan M. Stahl

Editor's Preface

This issue marks the conclusion of JEAN's third year. Since our last issue, we have received several accolades. The Numismatic Literary Guild (NLG), recently named Q. David Bowers' article "John J. Ford, Jr.: A Life in Three Portraits," which appeared in Vol. 2, No. 1 of JEAN the best article in the area of numismatic history or personalities. In my Editor's Preface to that issue, I stated that it was the best and most heartfelt article Dave had ever written. In preparation for writing this preface, I reread Dave's article—it is still brilliant. If you did not read it, please do yourself a favor and go back and do so now. In addition, the NLG handed out two more awards to JEAN; one for best article on Early American Coins and the second was the James L. Miller Memorial Award for best Article or Story of the Year, both going to my co-author Julia Casey and me for our study on the Fugio restrike dies in Vol. 2, No. 2 of JEAN. The editors and staff of JEAN are pleased to provide our subscribers with top-notch, award-winning articles, and we shall continue to do so.

This issue has a short article building on our study of Fugio restrike dies. Julia has prepared a monograph of S.C. Kingman's potential role in the restrikes. Kingman, a colorful character whom we were unaware of when we drafted our article last year, is a new entrant to the saga. As you shall see, Kingman was Chester Scott's co-worker at the Wheeler & Wilson Mfg. Co. in Bridgeport, Connecticut. Our previous article conclusively tied the Mattatuck Museum's Fugio restrike die to Chester Scott. Julia's current article links a Newman 106 overstrike to Kingman that was struck from the Mattatuck die. We slowly pull back the onion's layers to reveal more clues to the enigmatic Fugio restrike story—a mystery that was once thought impossible to solve is well within our grasp.

What else is in this issue? The short answer is Thomas Goadsby—he is on the cover, and his private business correspondence encompasses half of this issue's pages. Let us start with the front cover. On the cover is the only known portrait of Thomas Goadsby. The drawing is in my collection, and I am glad to share it with our subscribers to help put a face to the name. The portrait tells us information in addition to what is learned from Goadsby's business correspondence. My purchase of the picture was based on low-quality images, and I was fearful at the time that there was a hole in the paper. When it arrived, I was relieved to see there were no holes.

What I mistook for a possible hole was something else entirely. If you look at the portrait, you will see a dark spot on Goadsby's left cheek. It is known as La Mouche in French—what we call a beauty mark in America. These were small black leather patches applied to the face by members of the upper-class. The area of the face to which La Mouche was applied carried symbolic meaning. Around the mouth or lips of a woman, La Mouche had a much different meaning from the same beauty marks placed near the eyes. La Mouche, placed on the cheek, was called La Galante. Thus, the portrait tells us that Goadsby viewed himself as gallant, or at least that is how he wished others to perceive him. The wig and dress are those of a sophisticated English gentleman—as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words.

Goadsby is a historical gadfly, popping in and out of our numismatic story but never landing long enough to be well-defined. The documents presented here only cover 1787 and 1788. Still, fortunately, this is part of the time when he was engaged in New Jersey copper coin production. Those of you who wish to read only the entries relating directly to Goadsby's coinage efforts may turn to Appendix I, starting on page 95. There you will find a summary of, and citation to, the entries discussing coining. Instead of only publishing these numismatics entries, we are publishing transcripts of all of Goadsby's business letters. We made this editorial decision for several reasons: First, we don't know what we don't know. In other words, it is hard to tell if the other letters contain some important hidden link to numismatics of which we are currently unaware. To leave such a letter out would be an extreme disservice to future researchers. Second, the corpus of the letters place the numismatic materials into proper context and help provide a more complete picture of who Goadsby was. Finally, we just found Goadsby to be a pretty darn interesting fellow.

This transcript's preparation was extremely time-consuming, taking the combined efforts of Jack Howes, Gary Trudgen, and Julia Casey nearly a year to complete. If you want to know what it is like to transcribe materials like these, you may turn to page 6 and look at Figure 1. See how long it takes you to read the original letter, and if you can read every word. Having followed the progress of the transcription effort, I can attest that Figure 1 is one of the easier pages to decipher. The trio of transcribers has done an extraordinary job with these materials. We are very proud of the final product, which will provide valuable primary source material to researchers from this day forward.

The next two articles are by a team led by Roger Moore and involve counterfeit coins discovered during the construction of I-95 through the heart of what was once the wharf district of Philadelphia. I have previously stated here that the topic of counterfeit halfpence is not my favorite, but even I was drawn into this story. I must confess that reading these two articles more than tripled my knowledge of the subject and piqued my interest into this esoteric corner of numismatics. The articles are yet another example of the marriage between numismatics and metal detecting, a union we should encourage. In the years to come, many of the great discoveries in numismatics will come from metal detectorist—I am not just talking about finding rare coins, but the window into the past that is opened by studying the assemblage of material recovered. Before I leave this topic, I want to make a prediction. The second article, "Evaluation of William III Cast Copper Counterfeit Halfpence Found During Construction of Route I-95 Through Philadelphia," will receive an award of some type. It is fantastic! The scientific approach and analysis of the coins is a model of how numismatic research should be conducted.

It is not just amateur metal detectorists who make great finds. Professional archeologists still uncover colonial coins from time to time too; and when they do, it is always welcome news. Our final article comes from Alan M. Stahl, the Curator of Numismatics at Princeton, University. Alan explores four coins found during the excavation of an old foundation on Cape Cod. Finds like these are incredibly significant to our understanding of which coins were in circulation in Colonial America. Alan's article is short but important. I am grateful to make Alan's acquaintance. I admire the work he performed during his twenty years at the ANS, particularly on American medals.

For more information on the American Numismatic Society, see:

For more information on the Journal of Early American Numismatics, see:
Journal of Early American Numismatics (was Colonial Newsletter) (

Kolbe-Fanning E-Sylum ad Ancient Coins v3 book


Bill Van Ornum submitted this review of a numismatic literature classic, Elvira Clain-Stefanelli's 1965 Select Numismatic Bibliography, something many bibliophiles and researchers keep handy even today. Thank you! -Editor

Select Numismatic Bibliography book cover Many older numismatic books, especially those of a reference nature, are worth keeping and re-reading. One such book is "Select Numismatic Bibliography" by Elvira Clain-Stefanelli. This 1965 edition (not to be confused by another bibliography she wrote in 1985) book gives us primary source material from major countries from around the world, and much more.

We learn about Clain-Stefanelli in David Bowers' book Coins and Collectors, Second Edition. (Atlanta, Ga., 2014) Her life and work are highlighted in the chapter on the Smithsonian Institution.

Working as a team with her husband, Dr. Vladimir Clain-Stefanelli, in 1960 they created a display of Lewis E. Eliasberg Sr.'s collection at the Smithsonian. It was a great attraction and over 1.5 million viewers attended. In work as curator, she brought numismatic professionalism to the Smithsonian collection and in 1990 was honored with a Festschrift.

Select Numismatic Bibliography offers material on general references and historical periods from around the world. There are sections on paper money, economics, tokens, and decorations. There is even a bibliography of bibliographies! The extensive list of periodicals contains 424 titles, a gold mine for those seeking primary sources.

Let's dip into the book. One geographic area covered in the ancient world is Central Greece. Of the seven references, 5 are in German and 2 are in English. One will find most sources written in this book in the vernacular language of a particular country. When working with primary sources like this, they deserve to be read in the original language—nuances can be lost in translation. I am not sure if doctoral programs are as rigorous in requiring reading and writing knowledge of one (or more) languages. (In my own field of clinical psychology, this requirement was dropped by doctoral programs decades ago.) So in the future, Clain-Stefanelli's book will remain important to serious researchers who can understand these native tongues.

The book is organized in nine parts:

  • General References
  • The Historical Periods in the Evolution of Money
  • Paper Money
  • Economics
  • Tokens
  • Medals
  • Decorations
  • Technical aspects of coinage
  • Special Topics

The second chapter is the longest and most detailed. There are sections on ancient Greek coins, Roman coinage, the Middle Ages, and Modern coinages.

Interestingly, there is a chapter about books on economics. Although I had read in one of Dave Bowers' writings that he was an economics major in college, I hadn't thought of studying this important subject as a way to understand numismatics. Topics in this chapter include production of precious metals; monetary theory before Adam Smith; the gold standard, money; prices and policy; the study of prices and money; history of modern banks; the Canadian system; and history of banking in the United States with reference to particular states. As we head into a realm of virtual money, these books will remain important because they cover the system of exchange between people for millennia.

This book was published by Stack's in 1965. As I now hold it in my hand, it is a beautiful example of bookbinding. The cover features gold colored writing on a green background—two colors important in understanding money. The bindings are sturdy and the book lies flat on the table. Many of us read books this way so it's much easier to study the book and write or type at the same time. The paper is thick and I suspect it is acid-free.

There appears to me to be an important difference between hard lists of references such as this one and popular search engines and The popular engines appear to be customized to the earlier searches of the user so these searches might miss things that you are looking for but aren't caught by the search engine's algorithm. I suspect many numismatic references do not appear on In our field I think that hard copy reference material and libraries will continue to be important.

Another reason this is an important book—it highlights a great woman numismatist.

Dr. Stefanelli's book will continue to be a pillar of numismatic research. While spending some time going through the book I learned many things but this was dwarfed by all the material I don't know about and will probably never learn. But isn't this one feature of a great book?

Fricke E-Sylum ad03 Obsolete Paper

GEORGE L. PODLUSKY (1923-2020)

Pete Smith passed along this obituary of George Podlusky. His 1966 exhibit of orders, decorations and medals of Bavaria received the American Numismatic Association's Howland Wood "Best-of-Show" award. -Editor

George Podlusky George L. Podlusky, age 97 of Chicago passed away October 18 ,2020. Loving father of Dr. Peter Podlusky (Cecilia) M.D., Kum (John P.H.D) Williams; dear grandfather of Isabela, Sofia, Cristinia, and Cassidy; fond uncle to many nieces and nephews. George leaves behind many friends and relatives in Canada, Poland, Ukraine, and throughout the United States.

George was a member of numerous organizations including past Knight Commander of the order of St Lazarus, past Knight Commander of the order of Templars, Radiologist, past President of the Midwestern Orders and Medals Society, many Medical Societies, and internationally known orders and decoration recipient. He was a major benefactor of the Ukrainian Museum in Chicago.

To read the complete article, see:
George L. Podlusky (


Pete Smith also passed along this obituary of political item dealer Al Anderson, who held 55 auction sales up to 1985 (as cataloged in Martin Gengerke's American Numismatic Auctions. -Editor

Al Anderson Al (Elbert Allan) Anderson was born on July 13, 1943 in Cleveland, Ohio and died on October 11, 2020 in Troy Ohio.

He was a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh and The Ohio State University. He had several careers in his life including teaching at Troy High School and working as a stock broker for Salomon Smith Barney. His love of history led him to open and operate Anderson Americana, an online and mail auction selling historical memorabilia.

He was passionate about social justice and spent most of his life seeking equality for all humankind.

Al was a lover of all things FUN, including baseball (especially the Cleveland Indians), travel (he visited all 50 states and many foreign countries), and Amusement Parks (especially roller coasters).

To read the complete article, see:

Kagins E-Sylum ad 2020-12-20 Relocated


I learned on Facebook this weekend that Martin Gengerke passed away on December 18th, 2020. I'm very sorry to hear this news. Pete Smith submitted these remarks and an updated profile from his book American Numismatic Biographies. -Editor

US paper Money Records book cover American Numismatic Auctions book cover

I met Martin Gengerke about thirty years ago through Remy Bourne. Remy was a major contributor to Martin's compilation of catalogs and I also made a minor contribution. It was about that time that Martin came to Minneapolis for a visit and Remy invited me to join them. Logically, much of the conversation was about auction catalogs. My impression is that he was unwilling to keep up with listing new catalogs because he needed to spend more time on activities where he could make a living.

The last time I saw Martin was at the FUN show about fifteen years ago. In those days, Fred Lake hosted an NBS meeting at the show. I recall Martin was sitting in the back. I was not able to speak with him for very long.

When I knew Martin, he lived in New York. I don't recall that he attended the NBS meetings during ANA conventions. I lost touch by the time he moved to Bushkill, Pennsylvania.

I have updated his listing for American Numismatic Biographies on the Newman Numismatic Portal.

Gengerke, Martin Researcher/Writer (b. 8/27/1947 d. 12/18/2020)
Born in New York City. Attended Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn. Married to Beatrice. Employed with the United Parcel Service.

He sold currency under his own name in 1976. Employed as cataloger for Lester Merkin, NASCA in 1979, Herbert I. Melnick, and Stack's.

Gengerke, American Numismatic Auctions Gengerke was a specialist in paper money. Compiler of American Numismatic Auctions. 125 copies of the 8th edition were published in 1990. One hundred were GBC bound and 25 were hardbound with additional pages listing consignors. Author of U. S. Paper Money Records. 100 copies were published. Editor of The Asylum 1995 to 1996.

Gengerke collected fractional currency and credit cards. He claimed to have the only complete collection of regular issue fractional currency ever formed. This was sold at auction by Currency Auctions of America on January 6-7, 1995.

Martin's monumental cataloging efforts still drive the U.S. Paper Money and numismatic literature worlds today. When we first set up the Newman Numismatic Portal, Martin kindly sent me an electronic copy of his American Numismatic Auctions data, and we used this to populate the NNP auction database. He will be greatly missed. -Editor

Here's an uncaptioned photo from Martin's Facebook account. -Editor

Martin and Beatrice Gengerke

Remy Bourne writes:

"A goodbye to a long time friend, gentleman and a professional numismatist who was always attentive and eager to help."

P. Scott Rubin writes:

"I was sad to hear of the passing of Martin Gengerke. This was not the first time I was given this news. The first time was by Martin himself a few years ago. On calling him one day he informed me that he had died and been revived a few weeks before the phone call. He seemed to be feeling good by the time we talked and we had spoken a few times since.

"I do not remember when I met Martin, but we had a lot in common. He kept records of appearances of U.S. Currency and I U.S. Coinage. We both kept lists of U.S. numismatic auction catalogues, however Martin did it in book form. Once I knew of his work we communicated quite a lot. I still find computer discs around the house that Martin sent me with updates of his book.

"I was honored to be asked to write a Foreword to his last printed version of his book, which by the way there is a third version of the bound book - a half leather bound issue of only six copies done by Money Tree.

"Martin and I talked about many numismatic topics over the years, one that I remember was while updating his paper money listing he came across a finest known of one issue. But, to his surprise when checking his listings he realized he had catalogued the same note and it had been 'improved' since he last saw the note and he could not tell it had been done.

"Martin and I were both close friends with Carl Carlson. Martin knew him before I met him and because of this friendship we became even closer. It is very sad for me to realize I will not be able to call Martin when I have a question, which he was always happy to answer if he could."

Joel Orosz writes:

"I'm sorry to learn that another major figure in the history of collecting numismatic literature has left us too soon."

Dave Bowers writes:

"He was a great contributor to the numismatic record and scene, and an all-around nice guy."

John and Nancy Wilson of Ocala, FL write:

"We have known Martin for close to four decades and have always admired him for his dedication to the hobby and his many dozens of contribution. Like us, Martin was a Charter Member of the Fractional Currency Collector Board (the initials of the organization were used from the name of one of the most famous U. S. Postage & Currency luminaries and collectors Frederick Charles Cogswell Boyd (1886 - 1958). That organization is still going strong today. Martin put together a complete set of U. S. Postage and Fractional Currency which was sold by Currency Auctions of America in January, 1995. He published two important references, U. S. Paper Money Records and American Numismatic Auctions. He was also the Editor of Milton Friedberg's Encyclopedia of U. S. Postage and Fractional Currency. He was the author of many articles that appeared in numismatic publications like SPMC's Paper Money, ANA's The Numismatist, The Essay Proof Journal, Bank Note Reporter, Coin World, Friends of Financial History and others. He was also an exhibitor winning awards for his displays.

"Martin was also a a dealer starting in 1956 but his most important job was as a cataloger for several companies which include Stacks-Bowers, Christie's, Sotheby's and others. We recently read that he was also employed by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) in 2015 for his many decades of experience in grading, cataloging and dealing. He also consulted for numerous organizations or agencies such as the Federal Reserve Banks of San Francisco, New York and Philadelphia; as well as the Smithsonian Institution and Colonial Williamsburg.

"He received the ANA President's Medal and the first award ever bestowed by the Numismatic Literary Guild for Excellence in Cataloging. These are just some of Mr. Martin Gengerke's contributions to the numismatic hobby during his many decades of service to our great hobby. We will always remember him for the many times helping us with our questions regarding fractional currency related subjects and also helping us to add notes to our collection which included our purchases from his CAA sale held in 1995.

"Rest in Peace our Friend and all of our prayers and thoughts are with your family during this sad time."

Bruce Hagen writes:

"Martin is remembered by the FCCB (Fractional Currency Collectors Board) and NBS members and others as a researcher and collector. What's forgotten is he brought NASCA and Stack's into the computer age, designing their cataloging systems using XyWrite to print catalogs and interface with accounting software to conduct auction sales. I saw this first-hand working at NASCA-Smythe and Stack's. Though I worked with Martin on the same payroll only briefly at Smythe, this programming helped create the look of hundreds of auction catalogs for both firms including the Ford catalogs."

Harvey Stack writes:

"It is with deep sympathy that I learned of Martin's passing. For a good many years he worked for Stack's and helped with cataloging our paper money for consignments and general inventory. He introduced us to using the computer as a good source of reference, and others followed his technical skills with much interest.

"As a former friend, fellow worker and expert in his field the hobby will use all the information he gathered and wrote about for many generations to come.

"Mourning his loss, I am as always

"Harvey G. Stack"

HLRC E-Sylum Generic ad02


The Newman Numismatic Portal 2020 Annual Report has been published. Here's an excerpt. See the complete report online for more. -Editor

NNP 2020 Annual Report

The Newman Numismatic Portal (NNP, available at, administered by Washington University in St. Louis (WUSTL), is chartered with the mission of making the documents and images of numismatics, especially American numismatics, universally available on a free and forever basis. The Newman Portal site was publicly launched in 2016 and continues to aggressively build its online collections of numismatic books, periodicals, auction sale catalogs, images, and archival materials.

Like everyone else, our major challenge in 2020 has been the COVID epidemic. While much of our activity is virtual and geographically remote, COVID has in particular impacted Newman Portal scanning operations. Newman Portal has previously maintained scanning centers at WUSTL, the American Numismatic Society (ANS) in New York, and at multiple locations of the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). All of these operations have been variously impacted.

WUSTL has managed the epidemic well, with a 7-day positivity rate of 0.16% as of this writing. Safety remains the highest priority of the university, and, for this reason, Newman Portal has operated without student scanning since March. We've been able to outsource some of this work to the Internet Archive satellite scanning center at Allen County Public Library in Ft. Wayne, IN. NARA locations remain closed throughout the country, so we've reallocated resources toward the transcription of previously scanned NARA materials, with over 2,000 pieces of correspondence transcribed to date. The situation at ANS is better, with Newman Portal resuming fulltime scanning as of July. NNP acknowledges ANS Executive Director Gilles Bransbourg and Librarian David Hill for their assistance in restarting scanning at ANS.

NNP 2020 Collections Summary While scanning activity has been reduced in 2020, the NNP user community has continued to propel site growth, with content contributions often coming in electronic form. Newman Portal today counts a growing number of individuals, groups, and dealers who have contributed content ranging from club publications to auction sale catalogs to self-published works. We've processed material from over 150 such contributors, and it is this outpouring of community support that will sustain Newman Portal as we together build a lasting resource for numismatic research.

NNP 2020 Numismatic News NUMISMATIC NEWS
With the assistance of Cliff Mishler and George Cuhaj, Newman Portal is scanning the reference set of Numismatic News held by the Iola Historical Society in Iola, WI. The Numismatic News, launched in 1952, provided weekly coverage of the numismatic field for many years, with current issues published three times monthly. While we do not currently have permission to present this publication with full view, NNP will provide "snippets" in response to search requests, and we are able to share articles with individual users on a fair use basis. Digital preservation is a key part of the NNP mission, and we are thankful to Cliff and George for enabling the scanning of this important record of American numismatics. To date we have scanned 1,177 issues of Numismatic News.

Other topics include the NNP Edition of Eric P. Newman's Early Paper Money of America, Newman's papers, the Steve Crain collection of Half Dimes, S.H. & H. Chapman correspondence, the NNP Symposium, the unsolved murder of a coin dealer, April Fool's Day, and the transition of the NNP web platform to new technology.

The Newman Numismatic Portal's Annual Report for 2020 can be accessed here:
Newman Numismatic Portal 2020 Annual Report ( -Editor


OVER 500 NUMISMATIC TITLES: Wizard Coin Supply has over 500 numismatic titles in stock, competitively discounted, and available for immediate shipment. See our selection at


Another item recently added to the Newman Numismatic Portal is this 1851 newspaper article referencing collector Matthew Stickney discovered by Julia Casey. Thanks! Here's an excerpt. -Editor

Numismatics Abroad and at Home Matthew Sticknet article A few weeks ago I made acquaintance with Mr Matthew A. Stickney, of Salem, Mass., and was permitted to revel amid his numismatical treasures, which, to my astonishment, surpass those of my friend in Jena.- This gentleman, by occupation a grocer, and without more education than he could get in a common school, alone, unaided, nay, ridiculed by the unappreciating masses- has been a magnet, attracting to himself, from the ends of the earth, and from the ends of time, a treasure of which any museum or college in the country might be proud. All the more worthy is he of honor.

To my mind, there is something noble in the disinterestedness, zeal, perseverance and singleness of purpose which Mr. Stickney has exhibited. Dress, equipage, journies, high living, architectural display, are nothing to him. Well may he be parsimonious as to these things- though I know not that he is- that he may be prodigal in a less selfish and ostentatious, but a more permanently useful, indulgence.

I should not omit to mention that, in addition to coins and medals, Mr. Stickney has gathered a library of all the standard works in Christendom relating to numismatics. His gold pieces- or silver specimens, ipsa raritate rarior, that would sell for fifty times their intrinsic value- years ago had become so valuable that he procured a salamander safe for their security against fire and thieves. As burglaries have of late alarmingly increased, he has deposited his jewels, that would most excite cupidity, in the vault of a neighboring bank.

Every Green Mountain Boy would be interested in at least four coins in Mr. Stickney's collection, namely: the copper coinage of Vermont before it was admitted into the Union. The earliest bears the date of 1785. It bears a representation of mountains with the sun rising behind them, and a plough in the foreground. It is inscribed, Vermont's respublica Slella quarla decima. Some critic probably found fault with the Latinity, for the coin of the next year, 1786, shows the word Vermont's superseded by Vermontensium. The coin dated 1787 in inscribed, Inde et libe.; and bears a female figure, seated, holding a flower in one hand and a spear in the other. The coin of 1788 shows a bust, mailed and laureled, with the inscription, Vermon auclori, meaning, I suppose, by the authority of Vermont.

The article is signed "B.D.J." I don't have a guess for B.D.J even after checking Pete Smith's American Numismatic Biographies on NNP, John Lupia's NumismaticMall, and Dave Bowers' American Numismatics Before the Civil War. It's a Vermont collector, perhaps known locally but not nationally. There was a Vermont Numismatic Society founded in 1876, but I don't have a member roster. Can anyone help identify the writer? -Editor

To read the complete article on NNP, see:
[The Salem Register. February 24, 1851] (

E-Sylum Leidman ad02new portrait


JP Koning writes:

"I enjoyed the information about US-issued German barter scrip that you found. You got my curiosity going so I did some digging around. There is plenty more information about this scrip issuer in this paper. It begins on page 342, but the whole thing is interesting."

Barter center shoe exchange

JP attached Rolf F.H. Schroeder,"The Tausch-centers of the 1940s: closed markets as an alternative to the black economy" from the Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, 2015. -Editor

American–German barter-centers in Frankfurt (Main) and Berlin
Generally, the Tausch-centers were supposed to be used by Germans only. The US administration OMGUS set up a barter-center in Berlin, and its regional division in Hesse launched one in Frankfurt. A third center existed in Munich (Bratter, 1947, p. 42; Davis, 1967, p. 153), who mentions one in Heidelberg). These institutions facilitated bartering between Germans and Americans. According to Davis (1967, p. 153), they "were organized according to carefully drawn theater directives". An outline of the "Establishment of OMGUS Barter Center" that was opened in Berlin on August 10, 1946, confirms this impression.

This original design was based on the German model. All items were to be obtained from legitimate sources, transactions were supposed to be properly recorded and German experts were hired to appraise prices as prescribed by the Price Control Authority (Office of the Headquarters Commandant, 1946). This possibility to effectuate transactions between Germans and Americans became quite popular in Berlin, as well as in Frankfurt. The latter swap-shop employed more than 100 people. The Bremen newspaper Weser-Kurier (1947) described it as the "shop of a thousand wishes". There was a wide range in terms of both scope and quality of goods. Germans offered valuable used goods and received in return, among other things, durable packaged food or soap. Davis (1967, p. 153) describes how mail-order companies in the USA quickly reacted to the new demand by military personnel in Germany, and forwarded coffee, sugar, clothing items, etc., "usually in packages of ten cartons". In return, Americans got, for instance, Meißen porcelain or a camera – Leicas, in particular, were high in demand (Der Spiegel, 1947). To cope with the demand, price-fixing departed from the standard used in Tausch-centers and tokens were used to simplify trading.

This success was also due to the fact that Americans could also sell cigarettes at these barter-centers. Because cigarettes had become the major currency on the black market, this was subject to controversial discussions within the US military administration. The issue was also debated by high-profile leaders of the US forces.

Barter center waiting line

Many Germans were quite discontented with these barter-centers. An activist of the Tausch-ring movement in Wuerttemberg-Baden commented critically that they represented "the selling off of German bourgeois affluence and the last residues of ownership to America" (Anon, 1946, "Besichtigung der amerikanischen Tauschzentrale in Frankfurt"). This view was shared by some Americans. In a magazine article published in June 1947, Bratter (1947, p. 42) writes that "the Barter Center has failed as an attack on the black market. Rather it fed the black market". He justifies this with the close parity of values at the barter-center and the black market. "On the black market, 25 cartons of cigarettes will buy a Leica camera; at the Barter Center, 23 cartons"

To read the complete paper (login required), see:
The Tausch-centers of the 1940s: closed markets as an alternative to the black economy (

Loren Gatch writes:

"About ten years ago I wrote an article on that very topic in Paper Money".

Loren's article "From Black Market to Barter Mart in Postwar Germany" was published in the September/October 2011 issue of the journal of the Society of Paper Money Collectors. Here's an excerpt. BUTEs are "Barter Unit Certificates". -Editor

How the Barter Marts Worked

If they did not end the black market, the Berlin and Frankfurt Barter Marts did bring some transactions out into the open and placed some limits on the exploitation of the civilian population. At the very least, the setup of the Barter Marts brought both legality, and perhaps a little dignity, to the black market experience. Of the two, the Frankfurt store became the more important one because of its location in the western sector. Housed in a vacant store space at Kaiserstraße 48-50 (at the corner of Weserstraße) a few blocks from the train station, the Frankfurt Barter Mart operated on two floors. German civilians, who formed long lines outside beginning early in the morning, brought their heirlooms and antiques up to the second floor. There, a team of German appraisers, supervised by American officers, assigned points to each item. These points converted into paper BUTEs that the Germans could use to purchase vital commodities, deposited by the Americans, on the first floor.

BUTE prices at the Frankfurt Barter Mart could not be substantially out of line with the black market generally, since too great of a divergence would drive barter transactions off the premises. In any event, daily turnover was as high as 85%, and the store quickly became the major shopping center in the American and British zones. Special trains were even engaged during the holiday season to bring eager Germans to Frankfurt for shopping at the Barter Mart. The valuation of the items was left to German appraisers, who assigned a value in BUTEs to whatever item their countrymen brought in. Naturally, the suspicion arose that German appraisers favored their own against the Americans. Yet, in this fantastic world where a single carton of cigarettes bartered for many times the weekly wage of a German worker, it would have been hard to object to any particular valuation. Beyond providing some regularity to black market pricing, both Barter Marts served the important purpose of physically separating the Americans and the Germans. Nonetheless, the American authorities were sensitive to the perception that the Barter Marts amounted to official recognition of exploitation by a conquering power, and looked forward to their closure.

In early January 1948, Clay announced the Berlin and Frankfurt barter centers would accept no more goods after April 1, and would close on the first of May. Outstanding scrip would become valueless at that time. The inventories in both locations were liquidated in a vast close-out sale that brought out to the Frankfurt location alone 2,500 customers, mostly army wives, who cleaned out most of the remaining inventory in exchange for military scrip rated at 5 cents a BUTE. Proceeds from these sales, and from a final lottery to dispose of remainders, amounted to some $38,000 and was turned over to the German Youth Activities group.

Types of Barter Scrip

One series is known for the OMGUS Barter Center in Berlin, in the denominations of 1-, 5-, 10-, 25-, 50-, and 100-"Barter Units" (though Schwan and Boling report only the 1- and 5- denominations extant (SB nos. 601-606).

One OMGUS Barter Unit note
1 Barter Unit (SB 601)

Four main varieties of "Barter Unit Certificates" (BUTEs) were printed for the Headquarters Command Barter Center in Frankfurt. The first variety consisted of the series of 1946 and 1947 and differed only by the date, and the color of the 50-BUTE note (SB nos. 611-622). These also appeared in denominations of 1, 5-, 10-, 25-, 50- and 100-BUTEs.

former Frankfurt Barter Center
The former Frankfurt Barter Center as it appears today.

Thanks, everyone! Great information. See Loren's article for more images and information about the notes. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Zack E-Sylum ad Bad Metal NLG 2020


Numismatics with Kenny Literature Sale Reminder
Kenny Sammut sends this reminder:

"There are just two more weeks until my 40% off all numismatic book/literature sale is over. More than 350 titles to choose from covering all numismatic interests."

"Here is a link to take you directly to the book section of the store:

There are still some great titles on world coinage and paper money available. Have a look. -Editor

Presidential Coin & Antique Company Catalog Offer
Heath MacAlpine writes:

presidential catalogs "About 10 years ago, I mentioned in The E-Sylum that I was putting together a collection of Joe Levine's Presidential Coin & Antique Company, Inc. auction catalogs to support my medal collecting interests. It's a decade later, and I've made great progress. I'm still looking (sort of) for the earlier issues, but I've all the ones from the mid 1980's to when Joe ceased issuing them after his 2016 sale. These later ones are to my mind the most useful because Joe expanded his use of detailed lot descriptions and photos during this period. If you're interested in American medals, these catalogs are a great educational resource.

"In assembling the catalogs, I had to buy a couple of lots that included duplicates of ones I already had. The extras consist of 42 catalogs from 1986 to 2016, most with a copy of the prices realized. Overall, they're in decent shape. A few have some cover tears, while others may have been kept in someone's basement, but they're all quite serviceable. Yes, I know that you can find all of these on the Newman Numismatic Portal, but isn't it fun to be able to study a physical copy while eating your breakfast or sitting on your front porch? I think so. I can provide a list by email.

"I would like to send these to a new home where they'll be appreciated, so here's the deal. If you'll offer me what you think they're worth, plus agree to pick up the cost of sending them to you via media mail (about 42 lbs.!), you can have them. My e-mail address is Good luck, and I hope to hear from an E-Sylum reader soon."

Coins in Lucite
Jonathan Callaway writes:

churchill_lucite_crown Chartered Bank - Rockefeller Center "I read with interest the comment from Bruce Perdue about the Churchill crown in a Lucite holder issued by the Chartered Bank Rockefeller Center. In 1980-81 I was Manager of that branch of the bank, enjoying working in the centre of mid-town Manhattan. Our clients were mainly High Net Worth individuals from around the world and I devised a corporate gift for a few of them – this was a framed set of specimen notes issued by the Chartered Bank Hong Kong, where I had worked on a previous assignment. A few of these sets may still be hanging on an office wall or two somewhere in NYC. My next assignment was in Stuttgart, Germany, where I gifted a few more of these sets to deserving clients. I must admit I was not responsible for the Churchill crown in Lucite and I had not seen one before now, but it has certainly triggered a memory or two!"

Susan Sims writes:

"I really enjoy getting The E-Sylum every week. I first look at the new or reviewed books, of course. A nice blurb about Lucite items caught my eye. I have the obligatory cent cube on my sorting desk. I love that thing. All shiny new 1972 P's. It reminds me of my senior year in college. What a glorious time. Thanks for a great e-magazine."

Thanks, everyone - this turned out to be a great topic. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Ordering Uzbekistan Mini Gold Bars
Regarding the Uzbekistan Mini Gold Bars mentioned last week, Paul Neumann writes:

Uzbekistan gold bars "I decided to check the ease of the ordering process, in English.

"The Uzbekistan Central Bank does not have a buy-back price for the gold bars even though this is promised in the website. There are also many banks, in various cities of Uzbekistan, listed as dealers in these bars. When I checked several of their websites, none of them mentioned trading in this item.

"Short of calling the Uzbekistan Central Bank or some of these listed banks myself, I am skeptical that this endeavour is really so much of a success. What is mentioned on the Uzbekistan Central Bank website, however, is that undamaged mini gold wallets may be exported from Uzbekistan. I wonder if other countries will allow these items to be imported without being subject to import duties or other measures."

Thanks. Great investigative reporting! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

More on the First Coins of Israel

1948 Israel 25 mils obverse 1948 Israel 25 mils reverse

David Thomason Alexander (Editor of "The Shekel" 1981-1982) writes:

"I may be able to cast some light to amplify Stephen Olson's contribution regarding the 25 Mils coin struck in aluminum that enjoys the distinction of being Israel's first official coinage. During 1979 I was closely involved in on-the-spot investigation into that coin's creation along with the real instigator of the research, the late Stan Yulish of Cleveland, Ohio, once President of the American Israel Numismatic Association (AINA).

"We carried out an on-the-spot investigation during the 1979 AINA Annual Study Tour. We were given a very friendly reception by the present owners (Mechsav Ltd.) of the building in the Tel Aviv industrial suburb of Holon. Here we were introduced to the aged Yosef Gannoy, who had adapted a venerable cutlery-stamping machine produced in Bridgeport to strike coins in duraluminum, the only metal at hand.

"We met and interviewed Moshe Neudorfer, retired Israel Treasury official who as a young man in 1948-49 worked on innumerable projects of a new-born nation involved in total war. He told us that he was challenged by the coinage assignment, "the only thing I knew about coins was that the ghrush had a hole in it!" The ghrush was the Palestine 10 Mils... His job each morning was to hand-deliver one die to be fitted into the press for a day's coinage and retrieve it in the evening. With only one die on hand, the Treasury reasoned, creative "midnight minting" would be impossible. A small number of one-sided coins exists nonetheless...

"Production was slow and overall quality disappointing since the metal on hand was little better than scrap. Gannoy brought a number of coins with him and seemed aware that he had been a key figure in an historic assignment but had profited little from his involvement. The owners of the historic building manufactured appliances including small refrigerators, hampered by the Labor government's strictures on "luxury goods." The Holon coins are all dated 5709 (1949). Examples dated 5708 are far more scarce and according to somewhat garbled recollections of Israeli numismatists were struck in Jerusalem with dies attributed to one Moshe Munro about whom little is known. The story as published by Sylvia Haffner in "Israel's Money and Medals" is sketchy and by no means definitive."

Thank you! Great information. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Epitaph for Forrest Fenn
Vic Mason of Mamaroneck, NY writes:

Finder Jack Stuef with Forrest Fenn examining treasure "I have a witty New York tennis friend who is also moderately interested in numismatics (and is very linguistically talented). When I sent him your latest newsletter about Jack Stuef finding the recently deceased Forrest Fenn's treasure in Wyoming, his instant reply to me was: "Good Stuef!"

"My friend and I both know how to pronounce this name in the original German. But I'm sure Mr. Stuef's family gives it an anglicized pronunciation that's close enough to "stuff."

"As a one-time Detroiter, I'm pleased a Michigander found Mr. Fenn's buried treasure. It's clear from the photo that Mr. Fenn thought it couldn't have gone to a nicer guy.

"And now America can dispense with the latest conspiratorial nonsense swirling about, with regards to Mr. Fenn's actions, intentions and motives. He was a good man raised during the Great Depression, apparently was a successful businessman, and clearly was happy to "go out" with a bang rather than a whimper. He knew the magic of the term "buried treasure" for people everywhere.

"Mr. Fenn was thoughtful enough to want to share his modest but not inconsiderable fortune during these tough times for many in this country: medically, emotionally, financially and politically. He couldn't take it with him, as the Egyptian pharaohs tried to do. Good for Mr. Fenn. May there be many more Americans like him who leave this great but complex culture with comparable reminiscences. That's a worthy epitaph for an unusual American Everyman.

"Now that we know about Mr. Stuef, perhaps someone in the very active Michigan collector or dealer community could find out (1) what he and Mr. Fenn discussed, (2) what the inventory of the chest was, and (3) what impressions Mr. Stuef came away with about Mr. Fenn. How fortunate the chest was found just before Mr. Fenn passed away – and that Mr. Fenn remained fully in command of his senses right up until the end of his life."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

More on the Second Philadelphia Mint's Neighbor
7th Presbyterian Church 1862 Dave Lange writes:

"The photo of the Seventh Presbyterian Church, neighbor to the Philadelphia Mint, got me looking through my library for another image. The attached photo was reproduced in the book Nineteenth-Century Photography in Philadelphia by Kenneth Finkel, and it shows an interior view of the church's 1862 General Convention attendees. I imagine the war was a pretty hot topic during that event."

Thanks - great photo. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Movies with a Banknote Theme
Richard Miranda writes:

5 fingers movie poster "I saw in your recent newsletter, the comment on the movie "The Million Pound Note". There is a really good movie on You Tube (in case newsletter subscribers want to watch) titled "5 Fingers" with James Mason. Even though the movie is an American Spy Film. It's the ending is really hilarious. Good movie to watch during this COVID-19 lockdowns.

"Another movie on a banknote theme is "The Counterfeiters"

"I wonder what other films are out there that have a banknote as its principal theme."

For more on the movies, see:
5 Fingers 1952 (
5 Fingers (
The Counterfeiters (2007 film) (

Great question - thanks for these. We've mentioned a number of such movies before (linked below), including two on the Bank of England "Knickers Heist". Are there more? -Editor

Mr 880 To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Cash Coins COVID Seminar Recording
Regarding the MDC Webinar on Cash, Coins and COVID, Kavan Ratnatunga writes:

"For those who could not attend, here's a link to the recording of the Webinar. I found it somewhat numismatically interesting but maybe not for the collector community."

Thanks! -Editor

Cash Coins COVID seminar To view the recorded session, see:
MDC-Webinar-15-12-2020 (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Emergency Money Society Membership Card
Phil Mernick writes from London:

"Here's something I literally found behind a cabinet yesterday. It is my membership card from when I joined Richard Upton's Emergency Money Society in 1968. The Emergency Money Society was later merged into Numismatics International of which I remain a member. I am not suggesting that it has been behind the cabinet for quite that long: it was probably at the bottom of a box that fell down some ten years ago."

Emergency Money Society membership card front
Emergency Money Society membership card back

Thanks. Great numismatic ephemera! -Editor

Woodward's 1857 Library Sale
Dave Hirt writes:

"The last thing I need is more books, but Dave Fanning had such good prices in his 50% off sale, I bought a half dozen.

"A note on W. E. Woodward: I was reading some of his lot descriptions in his 96th sale, a sale of books and literature. One statement he made was quite interesting, and a surprise to me.

"WEW stated "At the sale of my library in 1857." I had no idea that he had consigned a library for sale that early in his career. I pulled my copy of the McKay work on American Book Auctions off the shelf, and found two 1857 sales held at Bangs, that could possibly be the sale WEW referred to: March 9, Bibliotheca Americana, 2237 lots, or May 26, Splendid library of richly illustrated books, 2278 lots.

"I wonder if either of these sales mention who the consigner was."

Interesting. Can those sales be found online anywhere? They're not numismatic and wouldn't be on the Newman Portal. Hopefully a library or collector somewhere has digitized them. -Editor

NumisPlace E-Sylum ad01


Dave Fegley submitted these notes on Washington Oval Peace medals. Thanks! -Editor

I recently received an email regarding three George Washington Oval Peace medals coming up for auction including a 1795 dated medal that was given to Cayuga chief "Fish Carrier", a 1793 dated medal attested to Joseph Loring and a 1792 medal of an "unknown" engraver.

Lot 3964 Washington Oval Peace medal obverse Lot 3965 Washington Oval Peace medal obverse Lot 3966 Washington Oval Peace medal obverse
Lots 3964, 3965, 3966

Upon viewing the medals I was surprised to find that they had actually been authenticated by the NGC. It was my understanding that they had never authenticated this type of medal. I was also surprised to find the description of the 1795 medal actually claimed it was the medal given to "Fish Carrier" by George Washington. I thought this was curious as I had done considerable research regarding this (and other) medals of this timeframe and was sure that the "Fish Carrier" medal was a 1792 that was presented by Washington in a group of six that included "Red Jacket", "Cornplanter", Governor "Black Snake" and two others according to General Strong in NY Senate testimony in 1899.

I revisited my research starting with the "Cayuga Land Claim Case VS the State of NY" of which was referenced in the description of the 1795 medal in question with a quotation of the states attorney referring to the medal presented as evidence by Isaac Davis as being a "pretentious affair". This is a somewhat misleading quote used in the dissertation. A better choice may have been all of the witness testimony regarding the 1792 medal of "Fish Carrier".

1792 Washington Oval Peace medal obverse 1792 Washington Oval Peace medal reverse

These pictures are included in the same NY State Senate document after page 26

If you read the entire transcript of NY Senate document of January 10, 1900 you will find the "pretentious affair" statement is in regards to the medal being relevant as evidence in the "Cayuga Land Claim" case. Not the authenticity or provenance of the 1792 medal itself.

The Cayuga response is that it shows they are the original band and original continual lineage of Chiefs and relics that include the 1795 New York treaty that is written on deerskin.

Another reference to the medal of "Fish Carrier" is found in an 1885 Canadian publication "The Dominion Annual Register and Review of 1884" on page 337 in the "Remarkable Occurrences" chapter. It tells of Cayuga Chief Isaac Davis producing the medal presented to "Fish Carrier" by George Washington in 1792 as evidence in a land claim case.

It is also referenced in a May 5 1884 New York Times article as a 1792 medal. There is overwhelming evidence that this is not a typo. The medal is mentioned again in a December 8, 1901 Washington Times article along with other relics in the possession of "Fish Carrier" - (referring to William Henry, grandson of medal recipient also called "Fish Carrier").

The medal and 1795 treaty written on deerskin is said to have been in the same family since 1795 with no reference of the date on the medal. This is most likely where the confusion started. It could be easily assumed that the medal was associated with the treaty. The treaty was with the state of New York, not the US Government. A GW medal was not associated.

This is all in the same timeframe (1901-1905) that "Fish Carrier" (William Henry) attended the Expo in New York and litigation was ongoing over the land claim. It is reasonable to believe the medal was not catalogued correctly in 1905 and ever since by using "provenance of collection" as authentication instead of modern forensics and research (or the findings and test results have been concealed). Just because a certain collector or a coin cataloguer misrepresented a relic over 100 years ago and it is regurgitated over and over, doesn't make it true. It is understandable to a point in time that research was very difficult and little choice was left but to go with prior sale references provided by the owners. We are way past that time and many tools are available that allows forensic testing of the composition that can identify certain elements that would or would not confirm certain time periods. This would be especially effective with the three medals mentioned as they are all silver plated. It would provide many points of study that includes the plating method, the underlying copper/silver/etc alloy and the very surfacing of the underplate itself that includes makers marks and esoterica that as an art form can identify the individual artisans. (A recent E-Sylum article on the 1792 Silver Disme project discusses using super brilliant Xrays in an attempt to decipher the same type of esoterica included in coin dies as an anti counterfeiting method). The alloy of the silver plated sheet is designed to defy specific gravity tests. This was not an uncommon practice of silversmiths of the period in their construction of silver plated wares.

There is a very similar 1795 medal that is a known circa 1884 "reproduction" by the National Numismatic Collection and is pictured in "Coin World" magazine of April 2013. I am not saying the 1795 in question is not an authentic GW medal, but considering the misconception in regards to being "Fish Carriers", a simple XRF test of the weld attaching the ring to the rim for the presence of cadmium specifically should be performed to forensically confirm period construction. Some of the authentic medals I have been able to study firsthand have had repairs to the suspension ring and Cadmium is present in the repair weld, but a patina and remnants of original weld can be found underneath.

An interesting story came to light in the senate testimony that claimed the rim was damaged on the "Fish Carrier" medal and Joseph Monture had made rings from the original rim.

The book "Peace Medals, Negotiating Power In Early America" is heavily referenced as George Fuld and many other leading experts were involved in the publication of the book. In regards to the 1792 small size medal (by unknown engraver) the dissertation lists eight known small size 1792 medals documented by Fuld. This list excluded the Woolaroc 1792 medal that is on the cover of the Gilcrease book and included in a special addendum. That medal in particular has a solid provenance being excavated from the "Fallen Timbers" battlefield in 1933 and a short lineage of ownership. It would be a good candidate for forensic study.

This particular small size 1792 is identified as number 3 on the list of eight. It also speculates that it may be the medal mentioned by Beldon as possibly being the one owned by a New York resident. Myself and a few others would disagree as we have credible reason to believe that we know the whereabouts of that particular 1792 medal and it is still in private hands.

Regardless the 1792 medal offered in the sale by Heritage I consider to be very beautifully engraved and in the "style" of Richardson. Not only in his style, but of his hand. He included a few easily discerned "makers marks" in the engraving. One of which is located on the Indians left arm just above the armband. You will find more of the same JR initials scattered about the entire work. These medals like other types of engraved works were seldom performed by a single engraver, but by a team of engravers. Considering at this time the fledgling US Mint was charged with the creation of these medals. The list of suspect engravers should start there and include the list of assayers that were approved to regulate and correct our early coinage. Daniel Van Voorhis and Peter Getz should be considered as most likely contributors to the creation of these early medals.

Beginning with the Mint engravers at this time it is impossible to exclude Joseph Wright who was the first engraver of the US Mint and responsible for the design of some of our earliest coins. It is very possible some of these 1792 medals are the earliest known US Mint relics extant. Predating any coins yet to be produced.

Joseph (Lovell) Wright and his mother Patience Lovell Wright were well acquainted with Benjamin Franklin and even stayed with him in Paris during the time Franklin was associated with the "Lodge of the Nine Sisters" and had even been elected "Master of the Lodge" in 1779 and 1780. (This lodge was known to include many Jacobite exiles and a source of funding for both the French and American Revolutions). Joseph Wright was associated to the Nine Sisters Lodge through Franklin and was the first American to attend the Royal Academy.

NGC Washington Peace ledal closeup image1 NGC Washington Peace medal closeup image2 NGC Washington Peace medal closeup image3

Our research has led us to believe that some 1792 and a few 1793 GW medals with the date encircled with the extended leg of the number 9 is a veiled reference to the "Lodge of the Nine Sisters" as well as the puffs of smoke from the pipe that often form a number 9. This medal in particular has a supposed comma after WASHINGTON,. This could be considered another number 9 reference. Notice the JW and JR in the puff of smoke just above the pipe. (Pictures slightly enhanced) These are a few subtleties built into the engraving that lead us to believe that Joseph Wright was directly involved in the creation of particular medals that include these or other number 9 references. Also note flaking silver plating above the date. The practice of encircling the date disappeared after 1793. Joseph Wright died in September of 1793 during the Yellow Fever epidemic in Philadelphia. This is another point to include when considering the plausibility of a group of engravers that includes at least Joseph Richardson and Joseph Wright working together to create a single medal such as this one. This is not only among the first creations of the US Mint, but a priceless piece of history.

The condition of the medal would allow for a good forensic study as the silver plating has flaked at several places (I guess this is the "Hints of gold" in the description) that would allow for a better XRF test result of the underlying alloy. The supposed "splash of deep steel" on the obverse is cuprite from the copper alloy that is bleeding through the silver plating. Spots like this are usually associated with an esoteric etching on the underplate that both provides a shaded image (the slight texture captures light a bit differently than the surrounding surface) as well as an anchor for the plating.

This same practice can be found and I have observed the same type of surfacing on silver plated spoons that came from the Richardson shop during this same period.

I strongly urge the next owner to contribute to the much needed furtherment of study of this class of medals and submit it to a modern forensic metallurgical study. The information is invaluable and necessary for the advancement of history as well as the creation of a type of scientific norm that can be used to evaluate other like relics.

The 1793 JL stamped medal in this sale exhibits some of the same type of esoteric etchings on the underplate as on the 1792 medal, but definitely a different hand on this one. If you notice how the medal appears at places to be corroded and plated over. It is likely that the etching process used may have gone a bit too far prior to plating. If you look very closely at the supposed scratches from cleaning you will find that some are actually under the silver plating as part of the surfacing of the alloy. You may also notice that they are not random or consistent with a polishing motion. They are somewhat different than the surfacing done on the Richardson medals mentioned above. Heritage Auction supplied very good photos that allow us to study some of these finer points.

Note that the date is not circled and the puff of smoke is not in the shape of a number 9. You will also find there is a lack of Joseph Richardsons initials included in the engraving.

The JL punch is authenticated to Joseph Loring on the NGC encapsulation.

The Gilcrease Museum describes the punches on known authentic medals like this;

"At least three different silversmiths actually created the medals as three different hallmarks are known. One hallmark reads as "JR" or "IR" and is attributed to Joseph Richardson, Jr. of Philadelphia. A second hallmark, "JL" is either silversmith Joseph Loring of Boston or John Lynch of Baltimore. A third hallmark was identified in 2011 on a 1792 medal at the Woolaroc Museum in Bartlesville, OK. It is marked "JW" which is attributed to silversmith Joseph Wyatt of Philadelphia." (The Joseph Wyatt attestment has since been debunked)

It seems strange that it wasn't considered until recently that the engraving or creation of that particular medal was performed by Joseph Wright, the engraver for the mint at the time. Wyatt was not in America until 1793 and it doesn't take much common sense to realize that it is the punch of Joseph Wright himself. Recent analysis of a JW stamped medal revealed it to be JJLW - Joseph Lovell Wright Junior

Fish Carrier The National Portrait Gallery has recorded a 1795 JL medal, Object # MD990104 that they attest to John Leacock (or Laycock). It has also been speculated that the JL punch may be Jacob Lansing or Joseph Lownes. Leacock did have a history of making Indian trade goods, but was coroner of Philadelphia from 1785 - 1802 and had not actively practiced his trade after 1767. Preferring the farming life prior to returning to the city and becoming coroner.

Joseph Lownes as suggested by Beldon would seem the most logical as he was the only one of the five that was established in Philadelphia at the time as well as the only one that I could find reference to as being associated with the mint through payment and bullion deposit records. Apparently the NGC has found new evidence that positively identifies Loring as the maker and speculation may be irrelevant. It's all these mystery's and associated research that uncover many historically significant facts and interesting stories along the way that enhances the joy of collecting. These early medals should be considered among the most historically significant US Mint relics that are obtainable.


Here are a few links that will provide some interesting reading and a basis for your own research into my findings and observances.

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
LOOSE CHANGE: JULY 5, 2020 : Gary Gianotti Interviewed (

E-Sylum Numismagram ad40 Crappy 2020


Paul Neumann submitted these questions for readers. I know we have quite a few readers who collect world banknotes, but scrip issues can be particularly hard to research. Can anyone help? -Editor

Liberia - Nelson 25 cents front Liberia - Nelson 25 cents back

Some time ago, I acquired an auction lot, as part of my business as a numismatic dealer, containing two examples of se-tenant scrip. On closer perusal, I found that the notes were issued and to be used in Monrovia, Liberia, W.C. Africa.

Over the years, I tried to find more information about these notes. Also, I had them encapsulated and graded by a major "Third Party Grading" company: Paper Money Guaranty of Florida. Unfortunately my endeavors to find more background for the notes was almost entirely unsuccessful and this is the reason why I turn to E-Sylum readers. I would be most obliged for any written assistance you could provide on these unusual items. Namely:

  • Who is W. F. Nelson? The only information I could find is that there was a politician of that name in Monrovia in the 1860s.
  • What available information is there on the companies mentioned in this scrip? A.S & W.G. Lewis & Co. in Boston and Wm. Rowe & Co. of Liverpool
  • When were these items issued and for what period time prior to possible redemption? (1870s) appears to be a hypothesis by PMG. How many were issued and redeemed?
  • Who else has these items in their collection, which may be a possible future source in numismatic inquiries?
  • If you are unable to help, could you refer me to anyone else who would be able to assist me with my inquiry?
Liberia - Nelson 50 cents front Liberia - Nelson 50 cents back

I had to ask: Paul said he borrowed the term "se-tenant" from philately, where it means stamps "joined together side by side as when printed." -Editor

WBA E-Sylum ad 2020-12-20 Sale 1


Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing is working on an interesting project with Dave Bowers, and could use some assistance from E-Sylum readers. Can anyone help? -Editor

Here at Whitman we're working with the ever-fecund Dave Bowers on a book of mottoes and inscriptions on American money. It's a charming and delightful volume, richly illustrated, and it will be published next year.

Here are a few Latin and/or Latinesque mottoes that have raised questions during our editorial process. We'd like to have E-Sylum readers weigh in. Some of the following have already been discussed in rounds of email conversation, but we invite translations and insight from a wider audience. Are the translations included here accurate and precise? Are perfect accuracy and precision even attainable goals? Are there any E-Sylum readers who speak conversational Latin at home, or do we all reserve it for the office and the book club?

South Carolina 10 dollar note
  • SUB CLYPEO – "Under Divine Protection"
  • CLARET AB ICTU – "It shines from use"
  • NUSQUAM SUB MOLE FATISCIT – "Nowhere does it weaken under weight"
  • TUTA PEDAMINE VIRTUS – "Honor safe in its support"
  • DOMINUM GENEROSA RECUSAT – "The well-born refuses a master"
  • NEC ONUS NEC META GRAVÆRT – "Neither burden nor danger will force me down"
  • BONÆ FIDEI SIGNUM – "A good common bond"
  • VISUI PERDUS – "Visualizing danger"

Thanks in advance for any help, and best wishes to all for a wonderful holiday season.

Those of us who don't know Latin can still have a little fun with this. QUICK QUIZ: on which numismatic items do the above mottoes appear? Dennis has given us a head start with the above illustration of a ten dollar South Carolina note with the motto TUTA PEDAMINE VIRTUS. Have fun! -Editor

DWN E-Sylum ad04


It's been a long road but we're now close to the finish line. The 1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act has been passed by both houses of Congress. Thanks to everyone who contacted their representatives. -Editor

Chapman Proof 1921 Morgan dollar obverse Patrick McBride of the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists writes:

"The legislation that CCAC Chairman Tom Uram and CCAC Member Mike Moran have been tirelessly working for has passed the Senate! Tom as president of PAN has spearheaded our association to work with the same vigor to get this accomplished. We are going to have Morgan and Peace dollars in 2021. After the President's signature, it will become law. Here is a C-Span link at the moment it happened."

1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Legislation Braun

To watch the video, see:
User Clip: HR 6192 - Senate (

Here's an excerpt from Coin World's coverage. -Editor

H.R. 6192 authorizes production of Morgan and Peace dollars in not less than .900 fine silver, with the balance of the alloy in copper.

Uram said that, in discussions with U.S. Mint officials, they indicated options would include issues struck at the Denver, Philadelphia and San Francisco Mints.

Privy marks could be added to specific Morgan dollar issues to pay homage to the silver dollar output at the former Carson City Mint in Nevada and New Orleans Mint in Louisiana.

Uram said discussions included details for Proof and Uncirculated releases, with the possibility for special sets to include coins of different finishes from multiple Mints.

To read the complete article, see:
Congress approves design centennial 2021 silver dollars (

1921 Silver Dollar Coin Anniversary Act Last Step

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Groll E-Sylum ad02


Dick Johnson submitted this entry from his Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. Thanks. -Editor

Colorize. Coating by colored pigments. There are three ways to add color to metal as a medallic (or numismatic) item. The oldest method, and with the most successful application of color, is with enamel. A second method is with a patina finish (where metal surfaces are chemically altered). The third method is coating with a pigment on the metal's surface. The first two are not colorizing, the third method is called colorized.

Colorizing is, in effect, painting an object. organic coating, as most paints, have been tried in the past and rejected. Painting numismatic objects is unsatisfactory because of the tendency of any coating to chip on the high points and near the edges of a coin or medal. More recently acrylic coatings have been employed, as they meet the requirements of adhering to the metal surface with a fairly thin coating.

Since metals in which numismatic items are made are one color, monochrome, the preferred method, of course, is a patina finish on the metal surface, which is not only permanent but also impervious to chipping. Or color may be added by enamel, enamelling, as evidenced by orders and decorations. Metal objects can also be plated but this is replacing one metal color for another.

Colorized Coins. A fad created in the 1990s was to colorize coins and medals. This appealed to the public more so than collectors or numismatists and met with some acceptance.

Colorized medallic items. An example of painted medallic items are the Iron Cross of Germany in the lower grades. These were painted black and after some use it is easy to observe that the black paint chips away exposing the under metal. (Higher grades of the Iron Cross use black enamel, which of course, does not damage so easily.)

The Fairmont Park Act Association Medal of Honor, 1937, was issued with a black paint finish; since it is not intended to be worn it is less susceptible to wear but has been observed with a chipped coating. Other examples are painted plaques and plates made by medallic companies, one example of each are the Theodore Roosevelt Plaque painted brown and a Panda Plate made by Medallic Art Company painted black and white.

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.

Steinbergs E-Sylum ad01 Buying 300

HARRY W. BASS, JR. (1927-1998)

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 Harry Bass. I added an image from the ANA website. -Editor

Harry W. Bass Jr. Bass, Harry Wesley, Jr. (January 6, 1927 – April 4, 1998). Tycoon, Philanthropist, Republican Party Chairman, Texas Oil baron, Banker, Collector of United States Pattern Pieces, Gold Coins, and Numismatic Literature.

On January 6, 1927 he was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, son of Harry Wesley Bass (1895-1970) and Wilma Schuessler (1902-1963) Bass. His paternal grandparents were born in Nebraska. His maternal grandparents were born in Kansas.

His father, Harry W. Bass, Sr., was a banker who became an oil driller and producer of gas and oil operating a pipeline through his first company Champlin & Bass in 1925.

In 1930, as a child, Harry Bass, Jr., lived in Holdenville, Oklahoma with his parents and younger brother, Richard D. Bass (1930-).

In 1932 the Bass family moved to Dallas, Texas and Bass, Sr., implemented a new company the Wilcox-Trend Gathering System, a 150 million cubit-feet-per-day pipeline serving southern Texas.

Harry W. Bass, Jr., attended the University of Texas and then Southern Methodist University. In 1944, his college instruction was interrupted during WWII when he served in active duty in the U.S. Navy in the South Pacific. After the War he continued his education and learned the family business.

On March 21, 1947 he married Mary Alice Mathewson at Dallas, Texas. They have five children.

From 1947 to 1950 he moved to Calgary, Canada working for his family oil firm Can-Tex, founded by his father Harry Wesley Bass, Sr., in 1941.

In 1951 he was elected a junior director of Texas Bank, and full director in 1956.

From 1952-1956 he served as the Republican Party Precinct Treasurer in North Dallas, and Republican Party Chairman of the Dallas County Finance Committee.

In 1955 he organized the Dallas Ski Club. Through the late 1950's to 1984 Bass became a heavy investor in several ski resorts.

In 1955, while a bank director an accountant friend asked if he could get him 1955-D Washington Quarters since they were fairly scarce and difficult to obtain. Being affable, Bass got him a U.S. Mint roll at face value. A decade later, in 1966, the same accountant told him a coin dealer offered to buy the roll for $100.00.This eye-opener got Bass interested in numismatics.

By 1957, at the age of 30, Harry was president of two corporations, H.W. Bass & Sons, Inc. and the Harry Bass Drilling Co., and a director of two others, the Great National Life Insurance Co. and the Texas Bank & Trust Co.

In January 1957 he served as Republican Party County Chairman,

In 1963 he was a major donor to the construction of the womens dormitory at the Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, containing the Wilma Bass Memorial Hall.

In 1966, he joined the ANS as an Associate Member.

In 1966, Bass "vividly recalled one of his first purchases – an 1803 Capped Bust U.S. $10 gold eagle, obtained in 1965 from a New Orleans auction on his behalf by a friend. He had obeyed the dictate of the influential numismatist Aaron Feldman to "buy the book before the coin" and had already acquired an impressive general library. Armed with magnifying lenses clipped to his regular glasses and hand-held loupes of varying strengths, he set out to examine his new possession, promptly discovering the "14 star" reverse variety. Harry was later to say that this experience was the catalyst that led him to concentrate on die varieties of U.S. Federal gold coinage and later to advance to the study of die states and die mulings, as a means to gain insights into early U.S. Mint practices."[1]

In 1970 he served on the Assay Commission.

In 1971 he was elected a Fellow of the ANS.

In 1972, he was elected to the ANS governing Council.

On December 18, 1973 he divorced Mary Alice Mathewson.

In 1974, he was elected First Vice-President of the ANS.

From January 1978 he served his first term as the President of the ANS. He immediately implemented an electronic age at the ANS introducing computers in order to build databases of the various collections. That project would take decades and is still ongoing.

In 1979, Bass introduced the ANS Newsletter to help expedite communications between the ANS and its members.

On July 2, 1979 he married Doris L. Wampler at Dallas, Texas.

During his final year as President in 1984, chartered the course for the ANS to hold an annual Coinage of the Americas Conference (COAC). He resigned from office on July 20, 1984.

"The greatest public appreciation of Harry Bass's collecting acumen and the depth and quality of his research on U.S. Federal gold coins took place at the sixth annual Coinage of the Americas Conference at the American Numismatic Society, November 4-5, 1989. For this occasion, Harry displayed over 1,500 prize coins from his collection, accompanied by a preliminary report of his collection by die variety and die state, using a system of his own devise, based on the prior work of Walter Breen."[2]

December 1991 he established the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Research Foundation.

In 1998 he was inducted in the ANA Numismatic Hall of Fame.

He died on April 4, 1998 at Dallas, Texas. After his death the Harry W. Bass Foundation and the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Research Foundation merged to form the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Foundation.

From 1999 to 2000, Bowers & Merena Galleries, New York, New York, published the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection in 4 Parts, comprising 1,301 pages, 6.671 lots.

In 2009 the Numismatic Bibliomania Society conducted a survey of the 100 Greatest Items of United States Numismatic Literature, and the Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection in 4 Parts, ranked No. 27 on the list.

To read the complete article, see:

For more information, see:
Harry W. Bass, Jr. Gallery (

ROBERT J. DODGE (1825-1892)

Pete Smith submitted these notes on ANS President Robert J. Dodge. Thanks! I added the images. -Editor

Robert J. Dodge Sage's Numismatic Gallery medal obverse Robert J. Dodge Sage's Numismatic Gallery medal reverse

Robert J. Dodge tombstone At one time Robert J. Dodge was a mystery at the American Numismatic Society. He served as their second president during the Civil War but dropped from sight after the war. Later attempts to track him were not successful.

I took up the challenge on Friday, December 18, and found results in frequently used biographical sources.

The findagrave site lists Robert Johnson Dodge, born at Long Island City on May 4, 1825, and died in Brooklyn on June 30, 1892. The site also lists his parents, four siblings, wife and son for anyone who wants to look him up.

The Social Security Death Index confirms his dates of birth and death. In addition, it lists his profession as surveyor which matches information from the ANS.

Goldberg E-Sylum ad 2021-01 sale


The latest article in Harvey Stack's blog series discusses the Western Collection sales of 1981. Thanks, Harvey! -Editor

Stack Numismatic Family 1964

As 1981 came to a close the strength of the coin market seemed re-established, fortified by Auction '81, and our Wayman and Bareford sales. To close out the year Stack's had a two-catalog sale in December. One catalog offered 1,100 lots of United States gold, silver and copper coins, while the second featured the Western Collection of United States Gold Coins, comprising an additional 205 lots.

Stacks Western Collection US Gold 1981 The first catalog was a comprehensive offering of U.S. coins in all metals that was really tailored for buyers looking to acquire some "missing links" for their collections – certain dates or mints that were needed. Because the sale offered a great variety of denominations and grades it attracted a good audience as well as a nice quantity of bid sheets. The second catalog of the Western Collection focused on United States gold coins of high quality in both Proof and Mint State condition. This special auction catalog included a complete collection of $3 gold coins in Mint State and Proof and a set of $4 gold Stellas consisting of both the Flowing Hair pieces from 1879 and 1880 and the Coiled Hair pieces of the same years. This set was sold as individual pieces. Following that spectacular offering was a range of gold half eagles from 1795 to 1834 and an almost complete offering of early $10 gold eagles. Then came Liberty Head double eagles, plus a virtually complete offering of Saint-Gaudens $20 gold coins, 1907 to 1932. Included were superb examples of 1920-S, 1924-D, 1924-S, 1925-D, 1925-S, 1926-D, 1926-S, 1927-S, the very rare 1927-D, 1929, 1930-S, 1931-D, and 1932. The sale concluded with the offering of complete silver and gold Proof sets of 1895 and 1903 (we were told that 1903 was the collector's birth year). Each of the brilliant Proofs in these two sets were sold individually.

Though 1981 began with the scare that the bust in the silver market would endanger numismatics, it finished off with a bang. Collectors who had chosen not to become speculators in silver and who avoided all the hype that was found in advertising and promotions on a daily basis continued to enjoy collecting and add to their cabinets. They knew that a coin collection, formed with care and dedication would be more satisfying than "gambling" in the silver market. These traditional numismatists trusted that the run up in silver that started in 1973 would not last, that their collections would survive, hold their value and, eventually, advance in value.

We at Stack's kept an eye on the situation with regard to silver speculation and did what we could to protect our business and our clients. While things were improving greatly by the end of 1981, the following year, 1982, would continue to be a test for all of us.

To read the complete article, see:
Harvey Stack Remembers: Growing up in a Numismatic Family, Part 85 (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

NLG E-Sylum ad01


Jeff Burke submitted this report on researching his latest U.S. type coin acquisition. Thanks! Use the book before buying the coin - always good advice, regardless of the item's price. -Editor

1945 Walking Liberty HAlf Dollar slabbed obverse 1945 Walking Liberty HAlf Dollar slabbed reverse

"Researching and Selecting One Liberty Walking Half Dollar Type Coin"
Jeff Burke

For the past several years, I had fun assembling a small collection of high-grade, well-struck and inexpensive U.S. type coins in my favorite series: Indian Head cents, Lincoln cents, Buffalo nickels, Mercury dimes, Liberty Walking half dollars, Morgan dollars, and Saint-Gaudens double eagles.

I have always admired the design of the Liberty Walking half dollar. In 2006, I purchased a 1938-D Liberty Walking Half Dollar PGGS MS-65 from Don Willis of Premium Numismatics in Huntington Beach, California. I was so excited to own this "Lustrous gem! Tremendous luster swirls around both sides. Silky white surfaces. Nicely struck although no split thumb. In an older green holder" (Premium Numismatics website description).

I cherished this lovely piece for many years before deciding to sell it along with several other coins in order to purchase my high-grade Saint-Gaudens double eagle in 2019. Now it was time to direct my attention to find a representative Liberty Walking half dollar to complete my U.S. type coin collecting goal.

Prior to embarking on the search process, I reread sections of Collecting and Investing Strategies for Walking Liberty Half Dollars, Jeff Ambio, 2008; A Guide Book of Mercury Dimes, Standing Liberty Quarters and Liberty Walking Half Dollars, Q. David Bowers, 2015; Cash in Your Coins: Selling the Rare Coins You've Inherited, Beth Deisher, 2013; Coin Chemistry: Including Preservation and Cleaning, Weimar W. White, 2006; The New York Times Guide to Coin Collecting, Ed Reiter, 2002; Collecting Rare Coins for Pleasure and Profit: An Insider's Guide to Today's Market, Q. David Bowers, 2011; and Collecting Coins in Retirement: An Action Guide and Estate Advice for Hobbyists and Their Families, Tom Bilotta, 2016.

After studying the possibilities, I decided to pursue a high-end 1945-D Liberty Walking half dollar in MS-64, which fit my price range. According to Jeff Ambio, "The 1945-D was struck to a higher standard of quality than any other Denver Mint Walking Liberty Half Dollar from 1941-1945. Examples are rarely encountered with less than bold definition…." (Ambio, Collecting and Investing Strategies, p. 166).

Perhaps the most exciting part of this process was considering various pieces online before making a final choice. For me, the winner was a 1945-D Liberty Walking Half Dollar PCGS MS-64 from Bonanza Coins that I spotted on Collectors Corner. I had such feelings of satisfaction and accomplishment once this coin was selected and ordered! I'm very pleased with the overall look of this Weinman masterpiece.

This magnificent coin arrived in the mail today (December 7). I had to shelter our two cats from the blinding luster! My most-liked U.S. denomination type coin series is now complete.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:


On Tuesday my Northern Virginia Numismatic social group Nummis Nova held a Zoom call in lieu of our usual dinner meeting. Present were host Aaron Packard, Eric Schena, myself, Bill Eckberg and our guest Denis Loring. Discussions covered a range of topics including selling at auctions, new books, and our usual show-and-tell. Eric Schena followed up with this nice write-up of his display items. Thanks! -Editor

Rhodesia SG 83 used on Marshall Hole Currency - 1 Rhodesia SG 83 used on Marshall Hole Currency - 2
Rhodesia SG 83 used on Marshall Hole Currency - 3 Rhodesia SG 83 used on Marshall Hole Currency - 4

I "virtually brought" a couple of interesting items from turn of the last century southern Africa, a wee bit different from my regular Mid-Atlantic based material. First up are a pair of emergency notes issued in Bulawayo, Rhodesia during the second Anglo-Boer War in 1900. These are simple notes printed on cardstock about the size of business cards with Rhodesian postage and revenue stamps on the reverse. They were in use for only a few months. Called Marshall Hole notes from the big signature of the commissioner found on them, they are not as showy as the more famous siege notes from Mafeking, Kimberley, or Koffyfontein, they are pretty neat things regardless.

Kimberley - Gowie Brothers - 1 Kimberley - Gowie Brothers - 2

I also showed a couple of tokens related from the South African diamond mining industry. This one is only tangentially associated with it, but it is from a department store of sorts in the heart of Kimberley issued by Gowie Bros. & Co. and date from the late nineteenth century when Cecil Rhodes was building de Beers into the monopoly it is now. The Gowie Brothers building still stands in the center of the historic district.

E-Sylum Ad CNG Sale Triton XXIV


Big coin show cancellations continue. The latest casualty is the ANA National Money Show, originally planned for March 2021. Here's the press release, which also addresses options for the 2021 Summer Seminar. -Editor

Phoenix 2021 National Money Show Officially Cancelled
Coronavirus also impacts planning for 2021 Summer Seminar

The American Numismatic Association (ANA) Board of Governors voted on Dec. 16 to officially cancel the Phoenix National Money Show®, scheduled for Mar. 11-13, 2021, due to heightened coronavirus concerns. The vote was 7-2, with the majority of the Board expressing concerns about the Association's inability to assure the safety of its members, dealers, staff and visitors.

Because of Arizona's current restrictions on indoor gatherings, the show would have been significantly smaller had the Board voted to move forward. The bourse would have been reduced in size, and educational programming and meetings would have moved online. The Phoenix Convention Center informed the ANA the day after its Board meeting that all events through February 28, 2021, would be cancelled, leaving events such as the Association's National Money Show in mid-March in an uncertain situation.

"Although we share the disappointment of collectors and dealers in cancelling the Phoenix National Money Show, it is the right decision given the wide range of uncertainties we currently face," says ANA Executive Director Kim Kiick. "We're appreciative of Kagin's Auctions, the official convention auctioneer, for their understanding and support of this decision."

Kiick indicated the ANA will explore the feasibility of hosting a virtual conference in May.

Dealers who have reserved tables for the show will be contacted directly by the ANA convention team. "To mitigate the influx of calls and emails, dealers will be contacted by phone within the next week to discuss the option of a future credit towards an ANA show or a refund," says Brianna Victor, ANA events director.

Hotel room reservations within the reserved block in the Hyatt Regency Phoenix (877-803-7534) and Hampton Inn & Suites (602-710-1240), along with reservations made with lodging properties outside the block, will need to be cancelled by collectors directly with the properties.

The Board will explore the possibility of revisiting Phoenix for a future National Money Show – possibly as early as March 2023 – to capitalize on the planning from the staff and local host committee that already was in place, and to avoid a cancellation penalty from the convention center.

2021 Summer Seminar Planning Complicated by Coronavirus

Also discussed at the Dec. 16 ANA Board meeting was the status of the 2021 Summer Seminar, scheduled for June 19-24 (Session 1) and June 26-July 1 (Session 2).

Colorado College – the site of the annual Summer Seminar for decades – informed the ANA recently that it will not be hosting events on its campus in 2021 due to the coronavirus, compelling the ANA to research alternative locations. (The Colorado College campus is adjacent to ANA headquarters.)

Two alternative locations were presented to the Board for consideration: The Antlers (a Wyndham Hotel) in Colorado Springs – located a mere 8 blocks from the ANA, and the University of Denver (DU) – a 35-minute drive from Denver International Airport. The Board recognized the advantage of having the Summer Seminar in close proximity to ANA headquarters to allow students access to its facilities. However, the $128,000 deficit the ANA would incur to host the event at The Antlers was deemed too big of a hit to the Association's budget, which is already challenged due to the cancellation of the 2020 World's Fair of Money® and the 2021 National Money Show. The Board voted 9-0 to eliminate The Antlers from consideration.

According to ANA Executive Director Kiick, in order to plan appropriately for the event, the Board will need to vote at its Jan. 19 meeting whether it prefers to move the event to DU or conduct the event online.

To read the complete press release, see:
Phoenix 2021 National Money Show Officially Cancelled (

NBS Do You Love Coin Book card ad


The sales must go on. Don Kagin of Kagin's, Inc. announced that their March 2021 auction will be moved to their San Francisco Bay area headquarters. There's some great material in the sale. NOTE: Their consignment deadline has been extended to December 30, 2020. -Editor

Kagin 2021-03 sale lots On a disappointing but expected note, the ANA National Money Show scheduled for March in Phoenix has been cancelled. However, like many auctions during Covid-19, the Official ANA auction conducted by Kagin's Auctions will be held as scheduled on March 11th and 12th online and live in the San Francisco Bay area.

As in our past auctions we expect active bidding, especially now that auctions are one of the few ways we can add fresh material to our collection and provide a happiness factor to our lives.

We have several exciting collections in this year's auction which include the Anacortes Collection of Southern D-Mint gold and Bechtlers, the Charles Opitz Reference collection of Primitive/Odd & Curious Money, the William C. O'Connor California Fractional Gold Collection, a Hobo Nickel Collection, U.S. Currency including Colonials, Encased Postage, Nationals, MPCs, Errors and more, World & Ancient Coins and Currency and of course U.S. Colonial, Federal, Patterns, Medals and Pioneer Coinage.

To receive your free on-line catalog or printed catalog by mail contact us by phone at 1-888-852-4467 or by email at

For more information, see:

Guth E-Sylum ad02 Detective Agency


Here's a selection of items that caught my eye in the upcoming Heritage sale of Donald G. Partrick Collection of Merchant Counterstamps -Editor

Lot 44018: C.C. Ashby on Two Reales

C.C. Ashby on Two Reales obverse C.C. Ashby on Two Reales reverse

1773 Spanish American Two Reales, C.C. ASHBY / PHILA., Fine Host; XF Counterstamp. Brunk A-377, Rulau Pa-Ph 2G. Two-line prepared punch. Eight examples known on various host coins. A second example, listed in both Brunk and Rulau.

Nice counterstamp on a circulating foreign coin. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1773 Spanish American Two Reales, C.C. ASHBY / PHILA., Fine Host; XF Counterstamp. Brunk A-377, Rulau Pa-Ph 2G. Two-l... (

Lot 44100: Silversmith Bar Punches on Large Cent

Silversmith Bar Punches on Large Cent obverse Silversmith Bar Punches on Large Cent reverse

1803 Large Cent, Six Different Silversmith Bar Punches Good Host; VF Counterstamps. Brunk (Multiple), Rulau (Multiple) Unique on a single host coin. This multiply punched early large cent features an array of silversmith bar punches, most of which appear individually in the Brunk and Rulau references. Marks include CLARK & ANTHONY; P. MILLER; F. RICHMOND; E.W. MAXEY; G.G. CLARK; F. MIL

Wow - great coin! -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1803 Large Cent, Six Different Silversmith Bar Punches Good Host; VF Counterstamps. Brunk (Multiple), Rulau (Multiple) (

Lot 44173: FASH Triple Links on Large Cent

FASH Triple Links on Large Cent obverse FASH Triple Links on Large Cent obverse

1843 Large Cent, F.A.S.& H. / Three-link Chain, About Good Host; VF Counterstamp. Brunk F-77, Rulau Z82. Pictorial box punch. Unique? This unusual and interesting punch relates to the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and its "Triple Links"--Friendship, Love, and Truth. Purchased on 7/27/1983; 1828 Large Cent, W.D. RAPP, Fine Host; VF Counterstamp. Brunk R-79, Rulau HT-414. Hand-cut letters within a rectangular depression. Many examples survive. Most are on half cents and large cents. William D. Rapp was a silversmith, watch and watchcase maker, jeweler, and metal gilder. In 1828, he was located in Norristown, Pennsylvania, and later moved to the Philadelphia area. In 1837, his firm was located at 256 Race St. Despite the large number of pieces known, this well-known counterstamp is always in demand. Purchased on 7/27/1983.

Unusual stamp - very interesting. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1843 Large Cent, F.A.S.& H. / Three-link Chain, About Good Host; VF Counterstamp. Brunk F-77, Rulau Z82. Pictorial box... (

Lot 44184: Franklin Bust on Bust Dollar

Franklin Bust on Bust Dollar obverse Franklin Bust on Bust Dollar reverse

1799 Draped Bust Silver Dollar, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN around Franklin's bust, VG Host ; AU Counterstamp. Brunk F-431, Rulau Unlisted. Circular pictorial punch. One of a few restrikes, most of which were on large cents. A small number of half dollars and miscellaneous planchets also received the interesting Benjamin Franklin Civil War token die counterstamp (Fuld-153) many years after the Civil War-era tokens were issued. Some suggest Stephen Nagy was involved with the restrikes. These pieces are quite popular today, and none more so than this spectacularly toned Draped Bust dollar with a nearly pristine Franklin counterstamp. The coin is unique on an early dollar, with an important provenance and tremendous eye appeal.

Great piece! -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1799 Draped Bust Silver Dollar, BENJAMIN FRANKLIN around Franklin's bust, VG Host ; AU Counterstamp. Brunk F-431, Rulau Unlis... (

Lot 44217: Houck's Panacea on Bust Dollar

Houck's Panacea on Bust Dollar obverse Houck's Panacea on Bust Dollar reverse

1800 Draped Bust Dollar, HOUCK'S / PANACEA / BALTIMORE. VF Host; XF Counterstamp. Brunk H-779, Rulau HT-142. Loaf-shaped depression with raised letters. Only four early U.S. dollars are known with the mark. Among the four known counterstamped early dollars with Jacob Houck's mark, this near-perfect example ranks among the most famous. Beautifully centered and sharply struck on Liberty's neck, the countermark is deep and reflective. Even the apostrophe in HOUCK'S is sharp. Its full-page image received equal billing with the previous lot (the 1795 Flowing Hair dollar) and garnered an equally high bid. This coin was formerly in the Dr. George Fuld Collection.

Very nice coin with a great pedigree. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1800 Draped Bust Dollar, HOUCK'S / PANACEA / BALTIMORE. VF Host; XF Counterstamp. Brunk H-779, Rulau HT-142. Loaf-sha... (

Lot 44252: Lafayette-Washington on Bust Half

Lafayette-Washington on Bust Half obverse Lafayette-Washington on Bust Half reverse

1824 Bust Half, GENERAL LAFAYETTE / Bust of Lafayette Right / 1824; GEORGE WASHINGTON / Bust of Washington Left, VF Host; VF Counterstamp. Brunk L-46, Rulau Non 101B. Circular pictorial punches. The references report just over two dozen examples known on various host coins; of which five are confirmed on Bust halves. Struck from dies made by Charles Cushing Wright, the Lafayette and Washington bust motifs were originally used for small medals struck in gold, silver, and white metal, made to commemorate Lafayette's visit to the United States. The countermarked versions are scarce on silver host coins. Most examples are known on large cents. As usually seen, the coin is holed for suspension.

A classic numismatic memento of an historic visit. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1824 Bust Half, GENERAL LAFAYETTE / Bust of Lafayette Right / 1824; GEORGE WASHINGTON / Bust of Washington Left, VF Host; VF ... (

Lot 44262: W. Levis on Two Reales

W. Levis on Two Reales obverse W. Levis on Two Reales reverse

1781 Spanish American Two Reales, W. LEVIS in curved ribbon, VG Host; XF Counterstamp. Brunk L-313, Rulau HT-905. The ribbon-type prepared punch. About a dozen of this elaborate, Hard Times silversmith mark are known on two reales pieces. William Levis was a Chester County, Pennsylvania craftsman who came and went from the Philadelphia directories until his death in 1849. This is a particularly attractive example of the ribbon mark, well-struck on a pleasingly worn host coin.

To read the complete lot description, see:
1781 Spanish American Two Reales, W. LEVIS in curved ribbon, VG Host; XF Counterstamp. Brunk L-313, Rulau HT-905. The... (

Lot 44263: W.W. Light on Moffat Five Dollar Gold

W.W. Light on Moffat Five Dollar Gold obverse W.W. Light on Moffat Five Dollar Gold reverse

1850 Moffat & Co. Five Dollar Gold, W.W. LIGHT / DENTIST, VF Host; VF Counterstamp. Brunk L-371, Rulau Calif 110. Curved prepared punch. Sole example on this host coin. Dr. William W. Light was one of the early California Gold Rush pioneers and a colorful character as well. He is known to Territorial gold specialists as the die cutter for J.S. Ormsby during Dr. Light's earliest days in Sacramento. He later tried his hand at the gold fields, but was unsuccessful as a prospector. W.W. Light then returned to his chosen profession as a dentist, chemist, and physician, and he was one of the earliest skilled dentists in the Sacramento area. This is a famous relic of those days, unique on a Moffat & Co. five dollar gold piece and one of the few counterstamps of any kind known on a gold coin. It was formerly the centerpiece of the Frank L. Kovacs Collection, before becoming a highlight of the Donald Groves Partrick Collection.

Wow. Counterstamps on gold are very rare, and I've never seen one on a pioneer gold piece. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1850 Moffat & Co. Five Dollar Gold, W.W. LIGHT / DENTIST, VF Host; VF Counterstamp. Brunk L-371, Rulau Calif 110. Cur... (


Cash In Your Coins: Selling the Rare Coins You've Inherited: The expanded 4th edition of Beth Deisher's award-winning book includes a new chapter on counterfeit coins, updated coverage of state and federal tax laws, and more. This book belongs in every collector's safe or bank box. Protect your heirs! Order online for $19.95 at , or call 1-800-546-2995.


World banknote dealer Dennis Hengeveld has launched a new auction website. Here's the press release from December 12, 2020. Check it out - the first sale is live. -Editor


First Banknote Auctions on New Platform Now Live

Logo World Banknote Auctions launched a new website today at and posted its first auctions on the updated platform. The new auction operation will feature unique personalized customer service, with banknote buyers and sellers able to reach owner Dennis Hengeveld and his team directly via phone and email.

Offering over 400 lots of graded world paper money, the first auction offers a wide variety of items from all over the world in price ranges for both beginning and advanced collectors. All lots are open for viewing, watching and bidding, and registration with the website is a quick and simple process.

World Banknote Auctrions Sale 1 collage

"World Paper Money truly is one of the last frontiers in numismatics" said Mr. Hengeveld. "For the past 15 years we have seen tremendous growth in the world paper money market, especially in the United States and Asia, as collectors discover the wide variety of paper money printed and used by nations from around the world. We are the only auction company based in the United States that specializes in world paper money, making sure we can give collectors a trusted source to buy and sell."

With extensive experience in the world paper money market as both buyers and sellers, Mr. Hengeveld and his team realize that for collectors buying and selling is a very personal experience. It is the company's goal to bring a personal relationship to each transaction.

World Banknote Auctions will host sales with live internet bidding every 2 weeks. Bidding for all items starts at just $10 and there is a buyer's premium of just 15% (with a minimum of $5 per lot), 25% less than the industry average. Shipping rates are flat for most items, with shipping within the United States for just $10 and overseas shipping at $25.

Dealers and collectors interested in consigning world paper money can take advantage of a 0% seller's commission on all items. World Banknote Auctions can also facilitate the submission of notes for grading prior to sale. With continuous listings, the company can settle with consignors in as little as 30 days. It is the company's goal to make sure that every transaction is handled in an efficient, fair, and honest manner for every buyer and seller.

World Banknote Auctions has been in business for more than 5 years and has a proven track record, having hosted millions of dollars' worth of banknote auctions. The company's achievements include the auction of many scarce and rare banknotes, including many of the finest graded examples from around the world. World Banknote Auctions leverages its deep numismatic experience to execute auctions with a high degree of professionalism. To learn more and to register, visit

Schmidt E-Sylum ad 2017-06-18


Dealer Ed Waddell published an article December 17, 2020 on CoinWeek about provenances of ancient coins and famous collectors including Sir Arthur John Evans, Professor Samuel Pozzi, and Sir Hermann Weber. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor

Diva Faustina I bronze sestertius with collector's mark

Rome, bronze sestertius for Diva Faustina I, 141 CE with the silver double eagle inset on the obverse as a collector's mark. Photo courtesy of American Numismatic Society.

The provenance or pedigree of an ancient coin to a former collection adds historical interest and prestige to the ownership of said coin. In the case of important collections of the past, it provides a tangible link to those former numismatists. In some cases, provenance can add considerably to the monetary value of the coin. In today's world of cultural property laws, it may also establish a legal basis for the coin's ownership.

There is a long history of coin collecting.

A series of coins produced at Rome circa 112-114 CE during the reign of Emperor Trajan commemorate an earlier coinage dating back to the late third century BCE under the Roman Republic. The details of these types are sufficiently comparable to their antecedents that the originals had to have been available to the die engraver. Either a State or personal collection, perhaps of a Roman intellectual, must have been consulted.

There were almost certainly earlier collections as well, but the records are scant.

With the revival of the importance of classical antiquity during the Italian Renaissance, noble families started to form collections such as those of the Gonzaga and Este families in the 15th century. Their coins were stamped with a heraldic eagle as an indication of ownership.

Northern humanists of the 16th century, such as Erasmus and Sir Thomas More, exchanged ancient coins as gifts among their circles of fellow scholars.

North Some of the holdings of European nobility became the foundations for the first national museum collections. The British Museum was already consigning its first selection of duplicate coins to an auction in 1774.

To read the complete article, see:
Provenances of Ancient Coins (

Heritage E-Sylum ad 2020-12-20


Speaking of provenances, this week I came across this June 2, 2020 article by Peter K. Tompa on the Cultural Property News site about Dr. Jonas Flueck of Ex-Numis and the use of computer technology to discover images in old auction catalogs. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor

Denarius of Carausius

A Roman coin, Denarius of Carausius, reported to the Portable Antiquities Scheme (PAS) illustrates the irregularities that can most easily enable identification of a specific coin.

On May 30, 2020, Dr. Jonas Flueck of Ex-Numis and Lugdunam International Auction House explained his use of facial recognition technology to rediscover old provenances for ancient coins. United States import restrictions imposed on ancient coins, new regulations in Germany and the EU, and claims that terrorists have been selling ancient coins to fund their activities have all made the rediscovery of old provenances more important than before.

Dr. Flueck prefaced his talk with a discussion of different types of provenances. Provenance is generally comparable to the concept of chain of custody. The International Association of Dealers in Ancient Art has developed useful concepts to explain different forms of provenance. "Hearsay provenance" is the weakest form of provenance. This is a vague provenance, usually restricted to a date or location. An example is "from an old Swiss collection." The only thing that backs up this provenance is the good faith of the dealer in question. "Named provenance" is somewhat stronger. It is a provenance linked to a specific collection or person. The problem is that this kind of provenance cannot always be verified. The strongest form of provenance is "documented provenance" linked to a specific sale or other documentary material like invoices or export licenses. It is this last, strongest type of provenance which Ex-Numis seeks to reestablish.

Until now, dealers and collectors have had to conduct manual searches through hundreds of old auction catalogues to recapture old provenances. Without some suspicion where a coin may have appeared in the past, this is virtually an impossible undertaking. The genius of Dr. Flueck's system is that he has spent considerable time, effort and money scanning thousands of auction catalogues and then applying facial recognition technology to compare coins which are submitted to his service to those in old catalogues in order to recover old provenances. These include some 130,000 coins listed in catalogues pre-dating 1970, the date of the UNESCO Convention.

Still, the system has some serious limitations that help explain why the vast majority of coins without a recoverable provenance are not the products of recent, illicit digs. First, before widespread use of digital photography in the 1990's, it was time consuming and difficult to take photographs of coins. For that reason, the vast majority of coins sold at auction or in fixed price lists were not photographed. Second, although Ex-Numis has recently sought to add fix price lists to its database, many of these lists were only produced in small numbers and are no longer easily available today. Lastly, the system does not capture more recent provenances created during the digital era; however, such coins can be found reviewing commercially available databases, like Coin Archives, AC Search, Sixbid Archives or CNG's Research page.

Notwithstanding these limitations, when a match is found, it can not only detail lost provenances but whether a coin has been altered over time by cleaning or tooling. It can also provide some assurance that a coin was on the market before the advent of highly sophisticated fakes produced with the use of laser cut coin dies. Conversely, it can prompt concerns about authenticity if a coin was previously withdrawn from auction.

To read the complete article, see:
Rediscovering Old Provenances for Ancient Coins (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Stacks-Bowers E-Sylum ad 2020-12-20 Record Year


Leon Saryan and Gary Beals passed along this CNN story about a French man being investigated over an archaeological hoard. Thanks. -Editor

French hoard

French authorities are investigating a man who allegedly found 27,400 archaeological artifacts -- including more than 14,000 Roman coins.

In September 2019, the French national said he had discovered 14,154 coins on land he owns in Belgium, but Belgian authorities questioned the man's story and contacted their French counterparts, according to a press release from French customs authorities published Wednesday.

If the man, whose name has not been released by authorities, had found the coins in Belgium he would have had the right to keep them, but archaeological objects found in France are the property of the state.

Officials searched two properties in eastern France, a French customs spokeswoman told CNN.

The man admitted that the Roman coins had in fact been found on French soil, said customs agent Florent Nourian in a video released by the customs agency.

In addition to the Roman coins, authorities found more than 13,000 other archaeological artifacts of "exceptional quality," according to the press release.

Officials seized a total of 27,400 objects of "inestimable value" in one of the largest recoveries of looted artifacts in French history, the press release said.

To read the complete articles, see:
French man investigated over 27,400 item archaeological hoard (
French customs seize 'priceless haul' of Roman coins and artefacts man claimed he 'found in garden' (

HLRC E-Sylum ad Generic Centerpieces


David Pickup submitted this final article in his series of four for the season of advent, featuring coins or tokens with a link in some ways to the Christmas story. Thanks! This one is about the Star of Bethlehem. -Editor

1562 King Philip II Three Wise Men jeton obverse 1562 King Philip II Three Wise Men jeton reverse

Stars and taxes

Last week we heard about the holy couple going to Bethlehem. Some of the baby's visitors were guided there by a star and this week I am looking at a jeton which features a very pleasant image of a star although it is shaped more like a comet. There were naked eye comets in 1558 and a very short Korean record of a comet in 1567 but nothing in 1562.  The designer of this jeton may have remembered seeing one in the sky or believed the star over Bethlehem was more likely to be a comet.

It was struck in the name of King Philip II of Spain, the Hapsburg ruler of the Netherlands and is dated 1562. It bears the name of the Bureau of Finance or the tax office. The reverse has a scene with the three wise men offering gifts to the baby Jesus. The inscription is, Monstrant Regibus Astra Viam which means "The stars show the way to kings"

I wonder why a tax office would produce a jeton or counter that had a religious design. Perhaps they wanted to do something different or appeal to a higher power.

The 1560s was a time of growing disquiet in Flanders at the Hapsburg rule and religious dispute which led to open revolt in a few years' time. Perhaps the authorities wanted to emphasise the importance being a good citizen which includes paying the taxes. Joseph went to Bethlehem for the census decreed by the Roman emperor – probably so there would be more taxes.

Images used by kind permission of

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Kahn E-Sylum ad02 banner


This press release from PMG describes some of the highlights of the Andrew Shiva collection of National Bank Notes. -Editor

Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®) is thrilled to announce that it recently certified the extraordinary collection of National Bank Notes assembled by Andrew Shiva, one of the hobby's foremost authorities on this fascinating currency. The expansive, museum-quality collection includes the rarest, most intriguing and most valuable National Bank Notes known to exist.

1882_US_5D_Marlow_IndianTerritory_UncutSheet_D294419D_OnWhite National Bank Notes were printed between 1862 and 1935. During this time, a bank could apply to participate in the National Banking System, and, once "chartered" by the Federal government, the bank was allowed to issue and circulate notes under its name.

There are four major categories of National Bank Notes: First Charters (Original Series and Series of 1875); Series of 1882 (Brown Back, Value Back and Date Back); Series of 1902 (Red and Blue Seals); and, finally, Series of 1929 (Type 1 and Type 2 Small Size National Bank Notes). These categories represent major design shifts in the series.

Although earlier paper currencies had been created in the United States, National Bank Notes were extremely successful because they were trusted locally by people who knew the local bank, but they could also circulate nationally.

In all, 12,635 banks participated in the National Banking System and printed their own unique currency. The notes represent the territories, states and cities that comprised a developing nation as well as the enterprising people who drove the country's progress. In the scope of US currency, "Nationals" also served as an influential precursor to today's Federal Reserve-issued currency.

Ironically, Andrew Shiva was not in the US when he became aware of early American banknotes. At a Paris flea market in 1989, he noticed an unusual piece of paper money — something he had never seen before — a two-dollar bill from 1917. He was captivated by the engraving and artwork, but not even sure what it was.

When Shiva asked the proprietor of the stand about the bill, the man retorted, "It is your money." And so began Shiva's pursuit of US paper money issued before the current era.

After starting with a collection of US Type Notes, Shiva decided to move into National Bank Notes because of the numerous collecting options and avenues presented by Nationals. In 1995, Shiva sold his US Type Note collection and turned to the collection of National Bank Notes exclusively.

Many collectors of Nationals focus on a particular state, town, bank, type, denomination or even signature, but Shiva's collection is one without specific limitations. Indeed, he started with the broad goal of collecting 10 great notes from every state, but even that limitation did not hold, as the collection grew to include thousands of notes based on his own criteria for what is a great note.

The result is a collection in which nearly every piece is a highlight — whether because of rarity, a notable signature or distinct combination of attributes. Here is just a sampling:


The only $500 First Charter in private hands – Of the three $500 National Bank Notes in existence today, two of the original series notes issued by the Appleton National Bank of Lowell, Massachusetts are in institutional collections (the Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago). The Shiva note, a Series of 1875 issued by the First National Bank of the City of New York, is the only example in private hands. While a $1,000 First Charter note was issued, none are known to exist.

Uncut Serial Number 1 $5 Brown Back Sheet on Marlow, Indian Territory – There are only six uncut territorial sheets known, and two are in the ANA's Bebee Collection. The Shiva example is the only #1 territorial sheet known to exist. It was issued by the First National Bank of Marlow, Indian Territory, which opened in 1901 and closed in 1909. During that time, the bank issued just over 4,000 notes, but the only four that have survived are found on this uncut sheet.


$10 Brown Back, The First National Bank of Juneau, Territory of Alaska – This is the only Brown Back on Alaska and one of only two notes from the "Territory of Alaska" (versus the "District of Alaska"). And, it's serial number one.

Over the course of amassing his collection, Shiva has contributed notes as well as his research to exhibits at the Smithsonian Institution's National Museum of American History, and even helped to digitize the Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection with the goal of making museum pieces available to the public and expanding awareness of the country's numismatic history.

"Assembling this collection has been a wonderful challenge that has brought me immense joy over the years," said Shiva. "From the first time that I spoke with PMG about its CrossOver service, I could tell that they shared my passion and enthusiasm. The experience of working with PMG through the certification process — from the second-to-none customer service to the graders' expertise to the superior PMG holder and high-resolution imaging — has been fantastic."

"One of the first things that struck me about Andrew is how much he cares about the collecting community," said Mark Salzberg, PMG Chairman. "His collection is without a doubt one of the most impressive that I've ever seen, but I was equally impressed with his knowledge and his willingness to share that knowledge. Andrew, thank you for giving PMG this amazing collection to certify and allowing us to disseminate all of the information that can be learned from your incredible achievement."

Shiva's collection represents a staggering accomplishment that serves as inspiration for current and future collectors. One intriguing note can be the start of a lifelong passion and meaningful contribution to not only the hobby, but also history.

In addition to authenticating, grading and encapsulating each note in Shiva's collection, PMG imaged every note in high-resolution. These images will be made available to the public through a comprehensive online gallery at in the near future. With Shiva's careful attention to detail, the gallery will be organized into collector-friendly categories so that everyone can enjoy the depth and quality of his magnificent collection.

Additional highlights from Shiva's collection will be shared on a regular basis throughout 2021. To receive the latest news and research from PMG, subscribe to the free PMG eNewsletter at

Saville E-Sylum ad02


Last week I came across an eBay offering of Philadelphia "Equal Dollars", an alternative currency I hadn't seen before. -Editor

Philadelphia Equal Dollars alternative currency EQUAL DOLLARS / Philadelphia Alternative Community Currency

Set -- $1, $5, $10

A community currency that operated for nearly 20 years by Resources for Human Development in Philadelphia. Was replaced about 5 years ago by an electronic currency.

These are color printed on slick paper.

$1 note features Maggie Kuhn (1905-1995); $5, $10 feature African American educator Alain LeRoy Locke (1885-1954)

Image on reverse is the Falls Bridge spanning Schuylkill River, connecting East & West River Drives, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (1894-95), George S. Webster, chief engineer, City of Philadelphia and James H. Windrim, director of Public Works

To read the complete lot description, see:
EQUAL DOLLARS / Philadelphia Alternative Community Currency / Set 1, 5, 10 (

The project is obsolete and their internet domain expired. Here's an article about its demise. -Editor

On the first Monday of July, the Equal Dollars Food Market looks much the same as it always has since its founding several years back. A group of people with full tote bags of produce mill about just outside the entrance to the market, which is located inside the Germantown headquarters of Resources for Human Development, the nonprofit that brought the alternative currency into being in 1996. A mix of grocery items—club sodas, lettuce, bread, tomatoes the size of softballs—are being sold, each for just one dollar, with one caveat: Equal Dollars are no longer accepted, which means all customers must pay in U.S. dollars instead.

The reason is that in February notes of Equal Dollars stopped being issued to the roughly 5,000 people who were part of the community currency's membership network in the Greater Philadelphia area.

For 19 years, members of the network exchanged goods, services, and their labor for compensation in Equal Dollars; people who volunteered one to four hours of their time at the Food Market, for instance, would earn 25 Equal Dollars.

The currency itself was the brainchild of Bob Fishman, founder of RHD who stepped down as the nonprofit's CEO last fall. Ten U.S. dollars bought membership to the network and a starting sum of 50 Equal Dollars. As a non-interest bearing currency, RHD's thinking was that Equal Dollars could properly remunerate folks who cleaned streets and vacant lots, helped neighbors by running errands for them, gave tutoring lessons, as well as for a host of other services or goods—like refurbished bikes—that require more sweat equity than anything else.

To read the complete article, see:
Equal Dollars Alternative Currency Out of Circulation After 19 Years Due to High Costs (

DWN E-Sylum ad06 New Orleans Book 2020


In the something-for-that-special-banknote-collector department is this giant package of grilled squid fashioned as a banknote. -Editor

squid banknote

We could all do with more cash in this current economic climate. And we found some at Don Don Donki, the place where we, er, usually part with our money. It's even edible — 'cos it's actually a 30cm by 55cm piece of grilled squid packaged to look like a cartoonishly oversized 100 million yen 'banknote'.

It costs — not a million bucks — but $5.90 for a sheet. The parody money is manufactured by Japanese seafood snackmaker Yotchan Foods, which explains why there's a 'Yotchan Ginzo' (Japanese for Yotchan Bank) emblazoned on one side of the banknote. We also giggled at the authoritative-looking obverse of a man wearing a squid hat. Very clever.

You're meant to share your 'wealth' with other people, since there's so much of it to go around. But we can say from... personal experience that two rabid snackers can demolish this in one sitting.

To read the complete article, see:
You Can Now Buy A Giant 100 Million Yen 'Banknote' Made Of Grilled Squid (

E-Sylum Northeast ad01


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

Coins Found in Iron Age Village

A handful of Roman coins were uncovered in a dig described in this BBC News story passed along by Dick Hanscom. Thanks. -Editor

Roman coin near Braintree in Essex The destruction of a "clearly high status" Iron Age village "may represent reprisals after the Boudiccan revolt", an archaeologist has said.

More than 17 roundhouses were discovered in a defensive enclosure at Cressing, near Braintree in Essex.

The site was burned down and abandoned during the late First Century AD.

The excavation by Oxford Archaeology East ahead of a housing development began during the first lockdown and lasted eight months.

To read the complete article, see:
Boudicca revolt: Essex dig reveals 'evidence of Roman reprisals' (

Rare "Mitchell card" Surfaces

Mark Ferguson published an article this week on the Linn's Stamp News website, Coin World's sister publication. -Editor

Mark writes:

"While the item written about is not a numismatic item, it is the ultimate Long Beach collectible and I thought perhaps a lot of the coin guys who regularly go to Long Beach would be interested in reading about this, also in light of the fact that David Lawrence Rare Coins has been dispersing the large grouping of stamp dies from American Bank Note Company."


Postmarked 100 years ago, on Dec. 16, 1920, the famous "Mitchell card," as this United States postal card has been known, is so rare that, after considerable searching, an image of it cannot be found online for the collecting public to see.

In fact, in 2013, experts from the United Postal Stationery Society only had a poor quality, black-and-white photocopy of the card to use for a scholarly article about it in the society's journal, Postal Stationery.

In 2020, however, this rare card surfaced in an inherited collection.

Mark adds:

"The card was produced for international use at the 2c rate. During WWI the domestic postal card rate was temporarily increased from 1c to 2c to help cover part of the costs of the war. After the war, the domestic postal card rate went back down to 1c. The 3 known (Scott #UX36) cards were mistakenly revalued to 1c along with 2c cards that were produced for domestic use.

"The postmark on the card turned 100 years old on Wednesday. I had a virtual online champagne-style party with the owners. They're really excited to own this piece during its 100th anniversary of the postmark!"

To read the complete article, see:
Century-old postal card rarity surfaces (

Tome Raiders: Solving the Great Book Heist

The Guardian published a nice article about the detective work behind solving that 2017 rare book heist. -Editor

Rare book heist During the investigation, Ward and his colleagues trawled through 50 hours of CCTV footage, eventually identifying two cars used in the burglary, and vehicle insurance records provided the investigation's first lead. "It became apparent that the people we were identifying were Romanian nationals," says Ward. "But they weren't known to our criminal systems." Around two weeks after the burglary, Ward received a phone call from a senior officer with the Romanian national police. Ward listened as the man recounted intelligence that connected the raid to an organised crime gang that operated out of Romania. Following the call, the two forces opened a joint investigation.

Over the subsequent months, officers linked the Feltham raid to a series of other burglaries at commercial warehouses across the UK. Elsewhere, the thieves had stolen high-value electronics rather than books. But the break-ins all carried the hallmarks of a professional team. As the scale of the gang's activities began to emerge, the case was elevated to the Metropolitan police's specialist crime squad, led by detective inspector Andy Durham, and Ward joined the team to assist with the investigation. Their first goal was to try to prevent further offences. "There was an ongoing risk to London and to the UK from this organised group," says Durham. "But the other main objective was recovering these books." That meant grappling with an unprecedented question: what might an organised crime gang want with a trove of rare books?

To read the complete article, see:
Tome raiders: solving the great book heist (

Berlin Police Raids in Big Maple Leaf Theft

Howard Berlin passed along this update on the investigation into the giant gold coin theft from a Berlin museum in 2017. -Editor

Berlin police raided more than a dozen jewelry stores and apartments on Wednesday with suspected links to the 2017 heist from the city's Bode Museum.

Three years ago, thieves stole a €3.75 million ($4.6 million) giant gold coin called "Big Maple Leaf," which has never been recovered.

During Wednesday's raids, police seized suspected counterfeit coins, counterfeiting tools and a five-digit sum of money, according to the police and the Attorney General's Office in Berlin.

Police are still evaluating the evidence, but those targeted are suspected of involvement in commercial receiving of stolen goods and commercial counterfeiting. No arrests have been made.

The eight suspects, aged between 14 and 51 and of different nationalities, are suspected of having procured stolen gold in order to melt it down and use it to produce counterfeit collectors gold coins.

These coins were allegedly then sold through jewelry stores operated by family members in the Berlin districts of Neukölln and Reinickendorf.

Howard adds:

"I saw this coin when in Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Art History Museum Vienna) back in 2009. A few pictures I took below."

Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum Big Maple Leaf exhibit
Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum Big Maple Leaf obverse
Vienna Kunsthistorisches Museum Big Maple Leaf reverse

Thanks - that was a really big coin! -Editor

Putting Time In Perspective

As we approach the end of a Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad year, it can help to have a little perspective. One of my favorite writers is Tim Urban who produces the Wait But Why blog. An August 22, 2013 post I just came across puts time in perspective with a series of excellent graphics marching through weeks, years, centuries, all of recorded history and far beyond. Check it out. Exercise for readers: how would you map the timeline of numismatics? -Editor

Recorded History graphic

To read the complete article, see:
Putting Time In Perspective – UPDATED (

Fred Weinberg ad01.png

PREV       NEXT        v23 2020 INDEX         E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Back to top

Google NBS ( Web
Numismatic Bibliomania Societh Masthead logo