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The E-Sylum: Volume 23, Number 38, September 20, 2020, Article 31

LOOSE CHANGE: SEPTEMBER 20, 2020

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

Interview: Coin Designer Chris Costello

Over a CoinWeek Lou Golino published an excellent article and interview with coin designer Chris Costello -Editor

Chris Costello interview Chris Costello is a Boston-based artist, graphic designer, illustrator and typographer, and an award-winning coin designer who is always involved in many projects for different clients.

He has been a coin collector since childhood and dreamed for many years of designing his own U.S. coin. Thirty years ago, he entered his first coin design competition and won the grand prize. But when he first applied to design coins for the United States Mint in 2004, he was not accepted, so he kept refining his craft.

In 2010 he was accepted to join the prestigious Artistic Infusion Program (AIP) of the U.S. Mint. The AIP was created in 2003 to contract talented artists from diverse backgrounds to work with the Mint's designing and engraving staff to create designs for U.S. coins and medals. AIP artists have created and sculpted many such designs over the years.

Since he began working for the Mint, Chris has created 24 different designs for U.S. coins and medals and prepared drawings for more than 50-coin programs.

I've been very impressed with Costello's work. Be sure to read the complete article online. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
The Coin Analyst: Coin Designer Chris Costello Documents History and Culture With Numismatic Ar (https://coinweek.com/world-coins/the-coin-analyst-coin-designer-chris-costello-documents-history-and-culture-with-numismatic-art/)

Stolen Books Found in Romania

Good news for bibliophiles - rare books stolen in a 2017 heist have been recovered. -Editor

Recovered stolen rare books Rare books worth more than £2.5m that were stolen from a warehouse in west London in a daring Mission Impossible-style heist have been found buried under the floor of a house in rural Romania.

The recovery of the 200 books, which include first editions of significant works by Galileo and Sir Isaac Newton, is the culmination of a three-year police operation that involved raids on 45 addresses across three countries and led to charges against 13 people.

The books were stolen from a postal transit warehouse in Feltham in January 2017 en route to a specialist book auction in Las Vegas. Two men, Daniel David and Victor Opariuc, broke in by cutting holes into the warehouse roof before abseiling into the building, perching on shelving inside to avoid sensors that would have set off alarms.

The Metropolitan police said the discovery was "a perfect end to this operation" and a tribute to the cooperation between British, Romanian and Italian police.

DI Andy Durham said: "These books are extremely valuable, but more importantly they are irreplaceable and are of great importance to international cultural heritage."

To read the complete article, see:
Rare books stolen in London heist found under floor in Romania (https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2020/sep/18/rare-books-stolen-london-heist-found-floor-romania)

Guardian Article Questions Fenn's Treasure Hunt

The Guardian published an article questioning the late Forrest Fenn's story about his buried treasure box. -Editor

Treasure hunter Reed Randall made one such trip between his home in Houston and Maybell, Colorado, 10 times between 2019 and 2020. He was certain Fenn's clues led to a spot outside of town, but pinpointing the exact location proved difficult.

One evening in late May, he finally saw a tree glowing at sunset which matched the final clue in one of Fenn's poems. The sandy patch was just big enough to hold the treasure chest. Randall began to shovel dirt ferociously, anticipating the plink of steel hitting bronze. But it never came.

After a few hours, Randall eventually realised his hole was too deep for an old man to have dug. And if the treasure wasn't here, he decided, it couldn't be anywhere. He emailed a photo of the scene to Fenn. "I know your secret," he wrote, implying the hunt had been a scam all along.

Then, on 6 June, Fenn announced that "a man from the east" had found the chest. In a short statement posted on a fan's website, Fenn wrote that it had been buried "under a canopy of stars in the lush, forested vegetation of the Rocky Mountains". Ten days later, he posted pictures allegedly sent to him by the man who had found it. Fenn said he would not reveal his name to protect the finder.

Randall found the timing of this announcement – just a week after his email to Fenn – extremely suspicious. Like a substantial number of other searchers, he now believes the hunt may have been a hoax. Another faction believes the treasure is real, but not found – either it's still out there, they argue, or Fenn retrieved it himself. Still, many remain true believers. They accept Fenn's account of events, but feel abandoned, because without more details, they don't know how close they came to striking gold.

To read the complete article, see:
He buried a treasure in the mountains, and someone found it. Or did they? (https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/sep/16/buried-treasure-forrest-fenn-rockies)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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