The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 14, April 5, 2020, Article 16


Here's another compilation of updates from readers and companies. Some of these came to me before our last issue and I didn't get a chance to include them last time. The situation changes rapidly, so some of these may be outdated by the time you see them, but they provide a great snapshot of where things are in the hobby today. -Editor

Canadian Coin News (March 24, 2020)
Mike Walsh of Trajan Publishing Corporation writes:

Canadian Coin News logo "As long as the printing presses remain operating and Canada Post continues delivering mail, we will continue to publish Canadian Coin News and Canadian Stamp News. This is possible in large part to our employees, who are working from home in accordance with recommendations from public health officials. I want to thank Laury, Penny, Jim and Jesse for all their hard work and commitment during this challenging time. I also want to give a huge thank you to our columnists and advertisers for their support.

Because Canada Post has shortened post office hours for cleaning and restocking, you may experience delays in receiving your print editions of CCN or CSN. To minimize these potential delays, we're offering all print subscribers complimentary access to our digital editions throughout the COVID-19 outbreak"

Pobjoy Mint, England (March 25, 2020)
The Pobjoy Team writes:

British Pobjoy Mint logo "Following on from recent Government Announcements, our office is now completely closed!

"This, unfortunately, means we will no longer be able to process or send any orders out until the office is open again. We will still be responding to emails and Facebook messages, however, please be aware, that this will be more delayed than usual whilst our staff remain home during these tough times.

"Any orders currently on a pre-order release date are now unfortunately delayed until further notice. We can only apologise this has happened but unfortunately this is outside of our control and we must follow in line with the Government's advice."

Ira & Larry Goldberg Coins and Collectibles (March 25, 2020)
Ira and Larry Goldberg write:

Ira and Larry Goldbrrg logo "The numismatic and bullion markets remain consistent and strong. Should you need to transfer into bullion or cash, we are here to serve you.

"On March 21-23 we concluded our semi-annual Collectibles Auction, and by adapting to a last minute e-mail and phone bidding platform, we had one of our most successful auctions. People have more time to spend on their hobbies which was proven by the record number of on-line and phone bidders setting solid prices realized for jewelry, historic manuscripts, space related items, high end collectibles, and stamps.

"We will therefore gladly help clients buy or sell gold and silver bullion, appraise rare coins and currency and accept consignments for our upcoming June 1-3, 2020 Pre Long Beach Expo (with or without the expo)"

Kagin's, Tiburon, CA (March 26, 2020)
Don & Candace Kagin and the Kagin's Staff write:

Kagins logo "We recognize that numismatics is not "essential", but commerce is and we wish to do our small part in keeping our economy functioning.

"Today, former Soviet prisoner (nine years - with half in solitary confinement for "Zionist activities") and Israeli politician, Natan Sharansky offered five tips to get through this quarantine situation. Number four was "don't give up your hobby."

"Indeed, our non-essential endeavor may seem inconsequential during these difficult times, but it can be therapeutic to focus on something that gives each of us some degree of purpose, challenge and satisfaction.

"To the extent that we can, Kagin's will be providing new coins and currency inventory on our web site and answering our telephones concerning your needs. We look forward to hearing from you."

Spink, London
The Spink Banknotes Team writes:

Spink logo "Spink still intend to hold closed door auctions for the Professor Hsu, World Banknotes and Bank of England Charity Auction. COVID-19 has affected us all and the global state of affairs is changing daily but we believe it is important that life carries on wherever possible and collectors will, I am sure, welcome a form of escape from the situation. Spink has recently held philatelic and numismatic auctions behind closed doors and the response has been amazing. This clearly shows that collectors appreciate and welcome the opportunity to participate in the hobbies they love.

"Spink will be constantly monitoring the situation and Government advice; the safety of our staff is of paramount importance and updates will be forthcoming. In the meantime, keep well and safe and let us hope for an exciting series of auctions.

"We have every confidence in our online auction platform, Spink Live, which is widely and rightly acclaimed by collectors worldwide. Bidders are also welcome, as always, to leave bids with us prior to the auction or to arrange a phone-bid."

Douglas Saville, Reading, England

Douglas Saville Numismatic Books logo

Douglas Saville writes:

"We are doing ok- my office is 5 minutes drive from our home- I go in there a couple of times a week to check on post etc- basically it is quiet- and I am dealing with a few emails each day. "

To visit Doug's website of numismatic literature, see:

Dix Noonan Webb, London (March 30, 2020)
Dix Noonan Webb writes (in a press release):

Dix Noonan Webb logo "As Chairman & CEO, Pierce Noonan explains: "In the last three weeks we have noted unprecedented levels of activity on our website, a trend we expect to continue over the months ahead. We anticipate that during this period many collectors will have more time to spend on their hobbies than usual, and it is therefore our intention, with the aid of our tried and tested online technology to step things up a gear and host more auctions than ever before. DNW's auctions will continue to be run in the conventional manner with one of our expert auctioneers controlling the sale and we hope these will prove a source of interest and pleasure to our clients throughout this difficult period."

"All of DNW's online capabilities have been developed in-house and are therefore completely within their control. However, what is not within their control is the production of printed catalogues and their subsequent delivery across the world. For this reason they will temporarily cease production of printed catalogues for the majority of their auctions. Their electronic catalogues will all be presented to the highest standard and available free of charge - downloadable and printable by anyone in an instant, with high definition images of every lot offered being available on our website as usual.

"Contingencies have been put in place to deal with a variety of scenarios and all staff are equipped with laptops to enable them to work remotely from any location. In line with government advice their Mayfair office is currently staffed by essential workers only. In all eventualities the vast majority of DNW staff will be working and fully contactable by phone and email during normal office hours. Phone calls made to a member of staff's direct landline will seamlessly divert to their mobile phones when they are not in the London office and the main telephone switchboard will continue to operate as usual."

Jeff Rock, San Diego, CA (March 31, 2020)
Jeff writes:

"It's definitely a weird time to live through - hopefully as close as we come to knowing what the Spanish flu pandemic was like a century ago (though with far, far fewer deaths, fingers crossed). But I think we are all getting used to a new norm. More time at home means more time with the hobby - I'm finishing up a 100 page article for the Journal of Early American Numismatics, going through my Conder token collection and adding edge information to every photograph (finding misattributions and a couple new varieties along the way), working on evasion copper die pairing and really spending more time studying the things in my collections a lot more, some of them pieces i hadn't looked at once since acquiring them. It seems odd that something that used to be normal - running to the Post Office, bank, a couple of grocery stores - is now fraught with danger and instead of doing them at leisure, enjoying the day, now one rushes through them to get back to the safety of home. This self isolation might get unbearable as the weather warms up and all we do is gaze out the windows at the sunny day outside!

"Stay safe - and thanks again for providing something wonderful to read each week, even though I am a couple weeks behind. Right now we all need things to occupy our brains, and this email is looked for to more than ever."

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, Sarasota, FL (March 30, 2020)
David Lange of NGC writes:

NGC logo "NGC and the other companies of Certified Collectibles Group are still fully operational. Florida has not issued a stay-at-home order, and business goes on as usual, with just a few adjustments. My job was judged to be one that does not require a daily presence at the office, so I'm working from home three days a week. I still go into the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays to perform my authentication and variety attribution chores which, not surprisingly, can't be done without actually seeing the coins!"

Dave adds (April 2, 2020):

"Florida's governor has declared a stay-at-home order to be effective at midnight. CCG management is keeping the company open until further notice, citing an exclusion clause in the executive order."

To read the complete press release, see:
NGC and PMG Remain Open and Fully Operational (

Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC), Far Hills, NJ (April 1, 2020)
The CAC Team writes:

caccoin_logo "To slow the community spread of COVID-19 and for the welfare of our employees, Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC) has decided to close its operation effective April 1, 2020. We will tentatively re-open on Wednesday, April 15 subject to current conditions. Customers are asked not to send submissions to our office until further notice. If you have already sent submissions to our office, your packages will be accepted and stored securely in our office. If your submissions are currently at our office, they will be held at the office and stored securely. We are sorry for this inconvenience. This is an ever-changing situation and we will provide updates on our CAC website at

"Our thoughts are with everyone at this difficult time and we hope that we can soon provide our valuable services to our members."

Legend Rare Coin Auctions, Lincroft, NJ (April 1, 2020)
Legend writes (in a Press Release):

Legend logo2 "With the uncertainty and chaos that the current Covid-19 global pandemic is bringing to the markets and people's everyday lives, numismatics seems to be providing a safe haven and comfort to collectors all over. Legend Rare Coin Auctions' 37th Regency Auction was scheduled to take place at Le Meridien in Philadelphia. Two weeks prior to the sale, with various orders from different entities, federal, state, and local, Legend made the decision to hold the auction in the firm's New Jersey offices, as a live, webcast only auction, with no floor bidders. Unsure how the situation would play out, email reminders were sent out daily to bidders. Every effort was made to ensure that people who could not come to the office to view to see the coins as close to in hand as possible. Thanks to modern technology, text messaging videos or utilizing Facetime, this is easier now than ever before. In the end, these efforts paid off, as a record number of online bidders registered to participate in the auction. This proved, yet again, that the demand for rare coins from collectors is deep, and despite the uncertain times, this demand can be insatiable when the coins are fresh and high quality.

"Anchoring the auction was the extensive Seattle Collection. Assembled by a very dedicated collector over the course of the last two decades, the Seattle Collection featured complete sets of Mint State two-cent, three-cent silvers, three-cent nickels, Liberty and Shield nickels, and related patterns. From the outset, bidding for these coins was intense, actively bid on by hundreds of different bidders from across the country. Strong prices were realized across the board, with the 1884 three-cent nickel graded PCGS MS66 CAC (lot 58) realizing a world record price of $42,300 and the 1870 Shield nickel, also graded PCGS MS66 CAC (lot 69), realizing a world record price of $10,281. All told, the Seattle Collection realized over $504,000.

"Numismatics is the world's greatest hobby!" exclaimed Legend Rare Coin Auctions' founder, Laura Sperber after the auction. "Even in times of global crisis, collectors find comfort in collecting. Paper assets, are just that," she continued, "but tangible assets offer something more than just a store of value. From collector oriented series like the Seattle Collection to Pan-Pac $50 slugs, every area saw quite a bit of action!""

Holabird Western Americana, Reno, NV
Regarding their upcoming sale, Holabird writes:

Holabird Americana logo "Due to the global Covid-19 situation, this sale will be unique in that it will be conducted online only. Our Reno office will not be open for in-person attendees. However, we've noticed the same trend as other auction houses that the vast majority of the bidding action is taking place online/over-the-phone anyway, so we are expecting a huge online turnout for this auction. Login and join us remotely for a fabulous 4 days!

"As usual, we will be streaming live video and audio across the platforms and have phone operators standing by to assist with bidding and/or technical issues.

"For this sale, phone or video previews are strongly encouraged. Our staff is tech savvy and ready to use Skype/Facetime/Zoom etc. to video preview with you. Please provide a list of items and minimum of 24 hours notice so that we may pull your lots and schedule a private viewing. Office preview by special private appointment only. Call (775) 851-1859 to schedule."

Hong Kong May Coin Show Cancelled (April 2, 2020)
Hong Kong Coin Show Team writes:

Hong Kong May 2020 show postponement "As a valued exhibitor/visitor of Hong Kong Coin Show, you are at the heart of our team. In the hope of the alleviation of the Coronavirus situation, we had postponed the event till May, meanwhile closely monitoring the situation as it evolved. At this stage, the effects of Coronavirus are evident across the world, with burgeoning travel restrictions.

As per the announcement of Hong Kong SAR government on 17 March 2020, compulsory quarantine is required to people arriving in Hong Kong who have been to all overseas countries in the past 14 days. We also received a letter from Centre for Health Protection of Department of Health that organizers should cancel or defer mass event until the pandemic is settled. Consequently, we have made the incredibly difficult decision to cancel the May show. It is our full intention to host our August Show, currently scheduled for 21 - 23 August 2020. We will keep you informed of any new developments of the legal measures as we receive them.

"The team wishes that you and your family stay well and take very good care. We look forward to having travel return to normal and welcoming you again in our next show."

Heritage Auctions, Dallas, Texas (April 3, 2020)
Heritage writes:

Heritage Auctions logo "We have heard from so many of our partners, clients and friends. Many are wondering how our company is faring during this turbulent time, and we want to assure all of you that Heritage Auctions remains open for business.

"All departments of Heritage's 40+ auction categories remain fully operational, and eager to accept quality collectibles, art and other valuable objects for upcoming auctions. Every Heritage specialist and consignment director is available by phone, email or video conference call.

"We have also seen a significant uptick in bidding activity, website visitors and prices realized in recent weeks. Heritage conducts 10-15 auctions every week. Even before 2020, virtually 100% of all winning bids had come from our registered online bidder-members. All of our auctions since mid-March have been conducted entirely online, and each has seen unusually strong results, significantly exceeding expectations that were set before this troubled present.

"Heritage has weathered many storms in the past and has always helped our clients weather them as well. Each time, we've emerged on the other side with strengthened relationships, serving more clients in new and better ways than ever before. We pledge and sincerely believe that this moment will be no different."

Ron Guth, San Diego, CA (April 2, 2020)
Ron writes:

"I've been working at home since 2008, so this is nothing new for me. Same with online sales...for the past two decades people have asked me where I've been doing most of my they know and are experiencing it for themselves. I suspect this COVID-19 thing will change the numismatic market forever, even for the better."

CDN Publishing (Greysheet, Greensheet, and CPG Market Review)
In an email to readers, publisher John Feigenbaum writes:

CDN Publishing logo "As a life-long entrepreneur and small business operator, I have faced down numerous existential challenges like the terrorist attacks on 9-11-2001 and the market crash of October 2008. Both events caused precipitous changes in business and we had to react quickly. Neither was like the COVID-19 attack of 2020, and we still do not know how the economy and our basic way of life will be affected by the current state of events.

"The good news for us is CDN Publishing is OPEN for business. Our staff is safely working from home and one of us comes in daily to make sure orders are packed and shipped. We are working tirelessly to make sure prices are updated in this wild bullion market and to answer your phone calls for support and we are offering special discounts to help our subscribers stay on.

"Here at CDN Publishing, we are finding that the numismatic marketplace is resilient. Ironically, the characteristics of the dealers and collectors in our community are well suited to today's challenges. For example, most dealers only employ themselves and a few staff (or family) members. Collectors have become well accustomed to shopping online and bidding in internet-based auctions and the most successful companies have built their businesses around this model. With almost no lead time to prepare, Stack's Bowers was able to move their live auction across the country, protect their employees from unnecessary travel, and hold a very successful sale in their private offices. Heritage has already shifted their Central States Auction from Chicago to their office in Texas, and they likely will not see any negative effects from the transition because they have been building tremendous bidding software for decades now. Smaller firms like Great Collections, David Lawrence Rare Coins and Legend Auctions are equally prepared and all welcome your phone calls or emails to do business, as are the thousands of other dealers you will find in the CDN Dealer Directory.

"It's not all rosy, though. Small dealers will be hurt, to be sure. Most brick-and-mortar stores are now closed down until the virus passes and nearly all coin shows have been forced to cancel, or postpone. It's uncertain how they will fare under a prolonged shutdown.

"My advice to those who have built their businesses around shows is to use this time to embrace the internet and build your online presence."

As noted last week, crises have a way of accelerating the inevitable. The Wall Street Journal aptly summarized the situation. -Editor

The new coronavirus pandemic is deepening a national digital divide, amplifying gains for businesses that cater to customers online, while businesses reliant on more traditional models fight for survival.

The process is accelerating shifts already underway in parts of the U.S. economy in ways that could last long after the health crisis has passed, some analysts say.

"What we're in right now is a sudden and extreme version of what had been a much longer, slower-moving trend," said Jed Kolko, chief economist at job site Indeed.

The big question, economists say, is whether the changes created by this sudden, forced experiment will prove permanent after the coronavirus pandemic eases. If so, that could transform the U.S. economy and open the way to new types of businesses and providers.

The pandemic is also fueling a shift to e-commerce in corners of the retail universe in which consumers have historically resisted going online, such as beauty products and groceries.

And the numismatic business? -Editor

To read the complete article (subscription required), see:
Coronavirus Pandemic Widens Divide Between Online, Traditional Businesses (

When No One is There to See the Art

I enjoyed this night-at-the-museum piece from the Washington Post (published March 25, 2020). -Editor

Mona Lisa with her feet up

As art memes circulating in the age of coronavirus go, it is more whimsical than ominous. It shows the Mona Lisa, perhaps the most famous painting in the world, edited to present its subject at ease, reclining with her feet up. Her smile is unmistakably happy rather than enigmatic, and her feet are thrust out of the picture plane and right into our faces.

Although the image was created well before the current pandemic, as it bounces around again on Twitter, it seems as if she is having her "first vacation in 500 years," as one user captioned it in a tweet.

The Louvre, like museums all around the world, is closed. The humor of the meme is its suggestion that the great, iconic works shuttered therein are letting us know how exhausted they were with our usual attention.

To read the complete article, see:
What Mona Lisa with her feet up says about art after coronavirus (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

E-Sylum Northeast ad01

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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