The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 21, May 24, 2020, Article 34


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

Medallic Artist and Sculptor Chiara Principe

Lou Golino published a nice article and interview on CoinWeek about Italian medallic artist and sculptor Chiara Principe. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor

coin designer Chiara Principe Italian artist Chiara Principe has been designing and sculpting coins and medals for over a decade and has extensive training as an artist and sculptor using traditional and modern methods. Best known for her work on Vatican commemorative coins, she has received international recognition for her many accomplishments.

In November 2019, she was one of a select group of coin designers invited to address the first annual Shanghai Coin Design Forum organized by the Chinese Mint. During that gathering, she spoke about the large challenge coin designers face in choosing just the right motifs to express their ideas and values on a very small space.

After graduating from an art-focused high school in Rome, she studied at the renowned School of the Art of Medal Making, which is located within the Italian Mint in the eternal city of Rome. This specialized postgraduate school was founded in 1907 to train artists in all the artistic and technological aspects related to designing and sculpting numismatic works and is the only such facility in the world. Many famous Italian artists have taught at the school.

While studying there from 2006 to 2009, Chiara took courses in everything from art history to numismatic technology, drawing, three-dimensional design, computer-assisted modeling, bas relief modeling, high relief, and three-dimensional casting and molding and others.

To read the complete article, see:
The Coin Analyst Talks to Chiara Principe, Italian Medallic Artist and Sculptor (

Boys Find Grandmother's Gold Bars

In the all-I-ever-find-are-dust-bunnies department, two boys in France made a great accidental discovery. Thanks to Dick Hanscom for passing this along. -Editor

The boys, both aged about 10, asked to build a makeshift hut in the garden using branches, leaves and sheets.

Their father, a businessman in his 60s, told them that they could use their late grandmother's sheets, which were in a spare room.

When they went to collect them "two fairly heavy objects" fell out, Philippe Rouillac, a local auctioneer, told BFMTV. "They didn't pay attention to them and put them back."

But the boys soon told their father about the discovery.

The objects were ... two gold bars weighing 1kg (2.2lb) each.

Both bars are now listed on the auctioneer's website with an estimated value of 40,000 euros (£35,800; $43,800) apiece.

It turned out that the bars were purchased by the grandmother in 1967 and even come with a proof of purchase.

To read the complete article, see:
Coronavirus: French brothers strike gold under lockdown (

Collector Discovers Comitia Americana Medals

Over on the Coin Talk site a collector started a thread on the Comitia Americana series. Someone had already beaten me to mention the Comitia Americana and Related Medal book by John Adams and Anne Bentley. -Editor

Daniel Morgan Comitia Americana medal obverse Daniel Morgan Comitia Americana medal reverse
The Daniel Morgan medal

During the Covid 19 quarantine I was looking around for something new to research, study, and collect. For some reason I hit on the Comitia Americana series, and in particular the Washington Before Boston Medal and the Diplomatic Medal. I made one acquisition of a PCGS medal and have a number of others in at PCGS for grading.

To read the complete discussion, see:

National Health Service Coin Popular
National Health Service 50p coin reverse Popularity has soared for the 'N' 10p piece, one of 26 special coins first issued in 2018 to celebrate aspects of British life, as the Coronavirus pandemic has put the national health service under the spotlight.

According to the latest Scarcity Index, issued by ChangeChecker, the 'N' 10p has knocked the 'B' for James Bond off the top spot.

Examples of the NHS 10p are selling for around £4 on eBay, forty times the face value of the coin, whilst the NHS 50p issued by The Royal Mint in 1998 to mark the organisation's fiftieth anniversary is also proving popular.

To read the complete article, see:
Demand increases for 'N for NHS' 10p (

Zimbabwe Rolls Out Larger Banknote Denominations

Zimbabwe 2020 $20 note front

In the here-we-go-again department is this story that Zimbabwe is introducing larger denomination banknotes. I'd seen this a week or two ago but hadn't had found time to put it in. It's a tiresome topic, but one that drives new banknote issues. It was worth waiting for this nice summary by Michael Alexander of Coin Update. See the complete article online. -Editor

The new $10 and $20 denominations will circulate alongside smaller value notes of $2 and $5, which were introduced late last year and replaced so-called "bond notes" of the same design and face value at an equal exchange rate.

After one of the world's highest levels of inflation ever recorded, the country finally abandoned its national currency. A year later, they introduced a structure of payments based on a basket of foreign currencies but predominantly based on the U.S. dollar. To alleviate the chronic shortage of currency in circulation and to prop up a fragile economy, a system of bond notes and coins were gradually introduced. In February 2019, and with immediate effect, the Reserve Bank declared that bond notes and all electronic payments would be merged into a new currency which they referred to as the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) dollar.

However, with the introduction of this "standalone" currency in November, high levels of inflation have been experienced in the country once again. Year on year, levels of price increases are now at 676%. At the current RBZ exchange rate of 25 new Zimbabwean dollars (ZML) to the U.S. dollar, the new $10 notes have a value of U.S. $0.40.

To read the complete article, see:
Zimbabwe: Reserve Bank announces introduction of larger denomination dollar banknotes into circulation (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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