The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 19, May 10, 2020, Article 15


Here's the latest compilation of coronavirus updates from readers, organizations and companies. -Editor

Summer Torex Cancelled (April 29, 2020)

I missed this announcement when it first came out. -Editor

TOREX coin show sign

"This summer’s Torex show, slated for June 27-28 in Toronto, is cancelled due to the uncertainty surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the easing of social-distancing restrictions in the coming months.

"The move was announced on April 18 by Torex executive director and owner Brian Smith, who said it’s “imperative that I follow the lead and advice of Toronto Mayor John Tory’s office and not host any events in June 2020.”

“Health and safety are paramount at Torex,” said Smith, who added the June 2020 Torex Auction “will still go on as scheduled but online only.”"

To read the complete article, see:
Summer Torex cancelled due to COVID-19 (

Oxford Numismatic Society (May 2, 2020)
'Social distancing' medal

David Pickup sent along this report from the Oxford Numismatic Society. Thanks. -Editor

Oxford Numismatic Society had its first “virtual” meeting on Saturday. One theme for discussion was, “Is there light at the end of the tunnel?” The technology courtesy of Zoom worked well although the reception was better from a member temporarily in Vienna than someone a few miles away.

1933 St Anna Tunnel opening medal 1962 Trans-Andean Water Tunnel medal

Medallions from Belgium Antwerp, Opening of the St Anna Tunnel under the River Schelde 1933, bronze medal by Pivanand Peru. Peru, Trans-Andean Water Tunnel Completed 1962, bronze medal by Huguenin

Bottom two Images kind permission of Charles Riley and taken from his website of medals for sale.

MPC E-Fest (May 3, 2020)

In the May 4, 2020 MPC Gram for collectors of Military Payment Certificates and other military numismatics, editor Fred Schwan reported on the group's first online gathering, held in lieu of their cancelled 2020 MPC Fest. -Editor

MPC Fest 2020 chsllrngr coin design "On Sunday, 3 May, 2020, many of us enjoyed the first ever e-Fest. There were over 40 attendees, plus one very enthusiastic dog, and twelve staff briefings were given. As is usual for Fest, attendees represented many states, and signed in from at least three countries other than the US – Denmark, Canada, and Japan. We began with a coin challenge, moment of silence to remember David Seelye and others of our comrades who are no longer with us, and introductions.

"MANY thanks to Ray Feller for organizing this and coaching us through it, with assistance from Steve Feller, and following up the brilliant suggestion of Jim Downey that this event happen. "

Fred adds:

"The 2020 medals are being manufactured in limited quantities. The silver are over subscribed, but a limited number of bronze (as shown) are available at $6 postpaid. Interested collectors can reserve one (limit 2) at $6 postpaid by writing"

High Premiums for Gold (May 3, 2020)

Len Augsburger forwarded this Bloomberg report on the high premiums being paid for retail gold. Thanks. -Editor

"Retail investors can’t seem to get enough of gold during the coronavirus crisis, and they are willing to pay staggering amounts to get their hands on it.

Gold premiums "Consumers who want to buy gold coins typically have to pay more than the per-ounce prices quoted on financial markets in London and New York. That premium has jumped to $135, more than tripling from two months ago, said Robert Higgins, chief executive officer at Argent Asset Group LLC in Wilmington, Delaware.

“There has never been a time for American Gold Eagles at this premium level,” Higgins said in an interview, referring to the popular U.S. bullion coin.

"The surge is being exacerbated by coronavirus-related lockdowns, which have led to a squeeze in the supply of coins and bars available for shipment around the globe. At the same time, bullion’s status as a haven is luring investors rattled by worldwide market and economic turmoil.

“Until the world catches up with the imbalance and gets back to a normal balance of supply and demand, the premiums will stay,” Higgins said."

To read the complete article, see:
Gold Buyers Are Forking Over Lofty $135 Premiums for U.S. Coins (

PCGS Members Only Shows Eyed (May 5, 2020)

On May 5th the Professional Coin Grading Service (PCGS) announced a series of potential “substitute” PCGS Members Only coin shows should upcoming major shows be cancelled due to coronavirus restrictions. Here's an excerpt from the press release. -Editor

2020 PCGS Members Only Show Schedule

The numismatic hobby, like seemingly every other part of our lives, finds itself at a crossroads. How and when will it be safe to go back to everyday normal life? Is what we consider “normal” going to be normal at all? The world is on edge, and it’s no different in the world of numismatics. How will the events of the last few months shape numismatics for years to come? We all know there's a light at the end of the tunnel, but at this moment we simply don't know what the future holds, and our hobby is currently held hostage by the uncertainty of the ongoing crisis.

In response to this uncertainty, PCGS is announcing the potential addition of three “substitute” PCGS Members Only Shows to the 2020 numismatic show calendar in the event major numismatic trade shows are not able to occur as originally planned. If the August ANA World’s Fair of Money in Pittsburgh, the September Long Beach Expo, and/or the November Whitman Winter Expo in Baltimore are cancelled, PCGS will plan to host smaller, substitute PCGS Members Only Shows during their originally scheduled dates. These shows would likely occur in either Las Vegas, Nevada, or Southern California, depending on local and federal safety restrictions and guidelines in place at that time. Our longstanding relationships with venues in these locations puts PCGS in the unique position of hosting fit-to-scale trade shows on short notice.

Should these much smaller “substitute” shows occur, PCGS is committed to strictly following state and CDC guidelines to ensure the health and safety of all attendees. Whatever guidelines we need to follow, temperature checks at the door from a licensed professional, social distancing, greater space between tables, limited numbers of people on the bourse floor at one time – we will make it happen. We’ll build an event that safely fits within guidelines laid out by the respective venue as well as state and federal government regulations.

Social distancing sign with coins

Last week's article on "Coronavirus coin shows" discussed the tough options facing show promoters in an era of social distancing. These smaller “substitute” shows are one option, but aren't much help to the finances of state and national clubs losing revenue to state-mandated closings. In cases where local officials will allow smaller socially-distanced gatherings the traditional show sponsor may be able to pull together an event that obviates the need for a “substitute” show elsewhere. -Editor

To read the complete press release, see:
PCGS Considers Additional Members Only Shows to Offset COVID-19 Effects (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Slow Mail Around the World (May 5, 2020)
Howard Daniel writes:

"I got the below from There have been many complaints in the numismatic world about very slow mail. Here is the reason"

Turtle delivering mail Owing to the drastic 95% reduction in passenger flights, which are typically used to transport mail, and a 25-30% increase in demand for e-commerce as customers and businesses resort to online purchasing in response to social distancing restrictions, postal administrations face a challenge in sending and delivering international mail, in particular, cross-continental mail.

“Posts are trusted partners in the delivery of goods, vital medical supplies and essential information on the pandemic,” said UPU Director General Bishar A. Hussein. “The cancellation of more than 4.5 million passenger flights – the primary means of transporting post - has meant that capacity is scarce, costs more and takes longer. Action needs to be swiftly taken to address the shortfall in air cargo capacity and to keep the mail moving.”

Thanks. I excerpted the text and added the image. -Editor

Numismatic News: COVID Business Landscape (May 7, 2020)

Tom Michael at Numismatic News published a great article on the hobby business landscape. Check it out! -Editor

Numismatic news logo

“Our office is now closed to the public, and for the last 5-6 weeks my employees have been working from home,” said Garrett. We are trying to catch up on long put-off chores – sorting coins, filing, marketing, etc. My wife and I have been coming to the office throughout to answer the phones and receive shipping.”

"Those whose primary source of supply that came from shows are experiencing the most severe downturns in business. They have strong customer demand, but do not have the coins to sell them.

"Longtime gold dealer Robert Steinberg, owner of Steinberg’s, Inc., related that, “we do 90 percent of our buying at coin shows and since all of the shows have been cancelled since the Atlanta ANA in February it’s been difficult to find new material. If we could find fresh material we could easily sell it on our website – as people have more time to check out coin dealer websites during the quarantine!”

"Steinberg is one of the best world gold coin dealers around, and shortly after hearing from him I saw that he had circulated a list of newly acquired coins for sale. Goes to show, you can’t keep a good man down!"

To read the complete article, see:
Industry Insider: COVID Business Landscape (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

E-Sylum Ad CNG Sale 114

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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