The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 36, September 6, 2020, Article 32


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

U.S. and Royal Mints Mayflower Anniversary Sets

As discussed earlier, the U.S. and Royal Mints have issued joint anniversary coinage sets commemorating the voyage of the Mayflower. -Editor


The United States Mint and The Royal Mint (United Kingdom) have collaborated to create two limited-edition sets marking the 400th anniversary of the Mayflower voyage.

The story of the Mayflower is one that connects multiple communities, cultures, and countries. This transatlantic voyage brought 102 Pilgrims and migrants from Europe across the Atlantic and established a new foundation for governance in the New World.

The United States Mint and The Royal Mint have produced a joint two-coin gold proof set and a silver coin and medal proof set that will be released for sale this fall.

The coin and medal designs come together to tell the story of the Pilgrims, the Mayflower‘s journey, and the impact the Pilgrims’ arrival had on the native Wampanoag people.

The reverse of the U.K. coins and the U.S. coin and medal contained in the sets were designed by Chris Costello, who used multiple stylistic elements to tie them together. These include the choice of font and North Star on the U.K. coin, which connects to the image of the sun in the U.S. coin, symbolizing a new day. That symbolism is also a reference to the Wampanoag people who inhabited the region, and were known as the "People of the Dawn."

To read the complete article, see:
U.S. and Royal Mints Announce 2020 Mayflower Anniversary Sets (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
LOOSE CHANGE: APRIL 28, 2019 : The Mint's Legal Authorities (

Peter van Alfen Appointed to CCAC

Over on CoinWeek Lou Golino published a nice interview with Peter van Alfen of the ANS following his appointment to the CCAC. Check it out. -Editor

Peter van Alfen CCAC Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin appointed numismatic curator, scholar, and award-winning author and researcher Peter van Alfen to serve on the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) on August 11. Van Alfen will serve in the position previously held by Robert Hoge as a numismatic curator. Mr. Hoge’s second term ended on June 14 of this year though he was serving during the holdover period until recently. The CCAC advises the Treasury Secretary on the designs that appear on all U.S. coins and medals.

Peter is an economic historian, nautical anthropologist, numismatic curator, and expert on ancient coinage as well as medals issued since the 15th century. He is currently Chief Curator at the American Numismatic Society (ANS) where he was hired initially as Curator of Ancient Greek Coinage. He has also served as the editor of the Society’s ANS Magazine for the last 15 years. The ANS is dedicated to the study of coins, medals, tokens, and related objects from all cultures and time periods.

Van Alfen has curated exhibits of medals of topics from the Olympics to World Fairs, WWI, and many others.

To read the complete article, see:
The Coin Analyst: Peter van Alfen Appointed to Fill Numismatic Curator Position on CCAC (

Dickin Medal For Afghanistan Military Dog

The BBC News reported that a military dog who worked alongside British soldiers in Afghanistan will be awarded a Dickin medal in November. -Editor

Dickin Medal dog Kuno A military dog who charged through enemy gunfire to save the lives of British soldiers fighting al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is to be awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross.

During a raid, the Belgian Malinois named Kuno tackled a gunman and was hit by bullets in both back legs.

After losing one of his paws as a result, he became the first UK military dog to get custom-made prosthetics.

The four-year-old will receive the Dickin Medal from vet charity the PDSA.

Defence Secretary Ben Wallace said: "Without Kuno, the course of this operation could have been very different, and it's clear he saved the lives of British personnel that day.

"This particular raid was one of the most significant achievements against al Qaeda in several years.

The prestigious award was first introduced by the charity's founder, Maria Dickin CBE, in 1943. It is the highest award any animal can achieve while serving in military conflict.

To read the complete article, see:
Medal for hero dog Kuno which saved soldiers' lives in Afghanistan (

A History of Punctuation

We at The E-Sylum love words, and hand-in-hand with words comes punctuation. Here's a great article on the history of punctuation. Long live the Apostrophe Protection Society! -Editor

first-known-semi-colon Are prescribed grammar rules necessary, though, or a relic of some fussy conservatism and elitist era? Do we really need apostrophes (or any other mark of punctuation for that matter) or could we get rid of them for the sake of brevity? Is Princes Street rather than Prince’s or even the formidable Princes’ Street really a sign of our careless inattention to detail today? If punctuation can fall away and the words still make sense, why did we need it in the first place? Punctuation, like any other cultural production, has a tumultuous history full of public good and personal interest.

In the broad sense, punctuation is any glyph or sign in a text that isn’t an alphabet letter. This includes spaces, whose inclusion wasn’t always a given: in classical times stone inscriptions as well as handwritten texts WOULDLOOKLIKETHIS – written on scrolls, potentially unrolling forever. Reasons for continuous script aren’t entirely clear, but might be connected to a conception of writing as record of speech rather than a practice in itself, and since we’re hardly aware of the minuscule pauses we make between words when speaking, it isn’t obvious to register something we do and perceive unconsciously with a designated sign that is a non-sign: blank space.

What about the history pf punctuation in numismatics? Has anyone specifically written about this? Punctuation marks (and abbreviation) in coin legends has a longstanding tradition. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
A history of punctuation (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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