The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Numismatic Bibliomania Society
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Sale Calendar

Content presented in The E-Sylum is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Wayne Homren 2017-03-15 full New subscribers this week include: Elva Martínez-Rivera, courtesy of Adrián González-Salinas; and Jim Hartman. Welcome aboard! We now have 6,604 subscribers.

Thank you for reading The E-Sylum. If you enjoy it, please send me the email addresses of friends you think may enjoy it as well and I'll send them a subscription. Contact me at anytime regarding your subscription, or questions, comments or suggestions about our content.

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This week we open with sad news of the loss of another hobby great, five new books and a review, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and more.

Other topics this week include Peter, the Mint Eagle, the National Numismatic Collection, counterstamps, queries from readers, the Tulsa Race Riot survivor medals, coin photography, coin silver, Margie Sheaffer, M. H. Bolender, online forums, upcoming auctions, and bronze ring money.

To learn more about Annam zinc coin varieties, Breen's Breen, Walter H. Childs, Czech emergency money, numismatics of the Isle of Man, grading using artificial intelligence, the Two-Holed Pie Crimper token, the Oxford Millenary Medal, the collection of A. M. Smith, the First Pacific Rim Banknote Conference, and Tenino's OTHER wooden money, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

SYDNEY F. MARTIN (1945-2021)

Former ANS President and Numismatic Bibliomania Society Governor Syd Martin has passed. -Editor

Syd Martin

The American Numismatic Society announces with great sadness the death of its Trustee and former President, Sydney F. Martin.

The family has provided the following obituary. The Society will publish a longer obituary and appreciation of his numismatic life and work in the upcoming ANS Magazine.

Sydney Furman Martin, of Amelia Island, FL, passed away peacefully on Jan. 19, 2021, after a protracted battle with cancer. An entrepreneur, philanthropist, and world-renown collector, he was born in December 1945, at the Smoky Hill (Kansas) Air Force Base to Furman C. Martin Jr. and Naomi Louise (Stevens) Martin. He moved with his family throughout the United States until his father retired in 1959, when the family put roots down in Warsaw, IN. After graduating from Warsaw High School in 1963, he attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he earned in five years both SB and SM degrees. It was there that he began his long career in the defense industry.

After a stint with Auerbach Corporation, he joined Analytics, where he worked for nearly 20 years, gradually rising to become its Chief Operation Officer. Looking to challenge himself, in 1988, he and his wife, Sharon, founded Sytex, Inc., which, under his leadership grew into The Sytex Group, Inc., a company supporting Army, Air Force, Navy and National Intelligence clients, that employed more than 3,000. During that time, he was awarded the Order of St. Barbara (for work advancing Army artillery) and the Knowlton Medal (for exceptional work in advancing the Intelligence community).

Meticulous about business, he was also passionate about art, numismatics, and philanthropy. He lived for more than 30 years in Doylestown, PA, and became involved in a number of local and national boards. He became the President of the American Numismatic Society, and the Chair of the Michener Museum of Art, the Executive Vice President of the Doylestown Historical Society, and the Vice President of the Central Bucks Chamber of Commerce. He also served on the Board of the Heritage Conservancy, the Washington Crossing Council of the Boy Scouts of America (he was proud to earn his own Eagle Scout distinction), and the National Bibliographic Society. He was the editor of the award-winning Colonial Coin Collectors Society Newsletter, the author of numerous articles and five books that have become basic references dealing with specialty topics of Colonial and Pre-Federal numismatics. He earned election to the Rittenhouse Society, The Attinelli Fellowship, and the prestigious Archer Huntington Award from ANS. In addition, the Colonial Coin Collectors Society created the Sydney F. Martin Numismatic Publication Award. Syd and Sharon are known for their vast and varied philanthropic efforts and contributions, most notably the creation of the Philadelphia Prostate Cancer Biome Project at Jefferson Hospital.

He is survived by his loving wife, Sharon (nee Athy), of 47 years, as well as his sister, Martha Moore of Springfield, MO; and brother, Timothy, of Denver, CO. His brother Wayne predeceased him. His children, of whom he was extremely proud, are: son Daniel S. Martin (Bria) of Mill Valley, CA, the founder and president of AMPED, Inc., daughter Jessica Thompson (Mark) of Lynchburg, VA, CEO of the Martin Foundation; son Dr. James F. Martin (Amy-Beth) of Rumson, NJ, emergency physician; and stepson Kevin M. Sylvester of Attica, OH, builder and musician. He was equally proud of his grandchildren: Landis, Turner, Graeme, Nyla, Asher, Wyatt, and Cody.

A private service will be held; a Celebration of Life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Sydney Martin may be directed to the Sidney Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson Health. Please donate online at or make checks payable to Jefferson, note "Memorial-Sydney Martin" in the memo, and mail to: Jefferson Office of Institutional Advancement, 125 S. 9th St., Suite 600, Philadelphia, PA 19107.

To read the complete article, see:
Press Release: The ANS Mourns of the Loss of Sydney F. Martin (

Kolbe-Fanning E-Sylum ad Machins Mills book


Roger Siboni of the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4) submitted this great remembrance of the late Syd Martin. -Editor

Syd Martin Sydney F Martin [1945-2021]
Amelia Island, Florida
Nothing But A Kind Word…….
Roger S. Siboni

How many people have you run across in life that you can truly say, with unwavering conviction, now there goes a person who EVERYONE has nothing but a kind, appreciative, warm hearted word to say about them?

Syd Martin standing Syd Martin with coin tray

I have known a lot of people over the years, numismatically and otherwise. And across the many endeavors I ventured out upon with Syd Martin, I found him amazingly unique in that way. There truly wasn't anyone that did not have a kind word to say about him. One of the most decent, intelligent, generous, funny, warm hearted people I have had the good fortune to know and consider a close friend in all my days.

Syd was an MIT graduate. One of the ways Syd worked his way through school was scouring flea markets for antique pocket watches and reselling them to antique and watch dealers in nearby cities. Up until this last year, Syd still scoured flea markets (finding things like his R-7+ Vermont Copper Ryder 37). He remained one of the largest pocket watch collectors and top authorities on the subject until his last day.

He and his son put together an extensive collection of Coin Silver. He collected maps, paintings, books, early American Silver and on and on. Syd was not just a serious author, but first and foremost a bibliophile and we built our libraries together and often in deep consultation with one another. Frequently we traded to supplement one another's collection.

And at the ANS Huntington Award Ceremony in November 2020, the rest of the world found out his passion for 1932 Washingtonia. I still remember the ANA convention we zig zagged an afternoon and evening chasing down original 1932 Washington Quarter Cast Molds.

I knew Syd since the early days of C-4, but we started to become closer friends just before the Stack's O'Donnell Sale ( early 2001). We quickly found out that we shared business and investment interests, similar family challenges, shared so many likes and dislikes. But most interestingly, had this peculiar fit with one another in collecting.

We both applied a lot of analytics to our collecting. We were both playing a long game. And both felt that we were in this for the enjoyment, passion and accomplishment. And if we overspent, or never fully recovered some of our purchases, in the words of Sheldon, never spend more than you can good naturedly afford to lose. Or as Syd used to say, think of it as "green fees".

But all this instructed a collecting journey we travelled together. Syd always envisioned completeness. And sought out advice on building his library to completeness -- what might that entail -- from Evelyn to the latest Machin's Mills publication by Howes, Rosen and Trudgen. We would talk endlessly about what it would take for each of us to achieve our goals and speak in terms of decades. I must say, I felt some sense of shared accomplishment when Syd crossed the incredible, never to be equaled, 350 Connecticut Copper Variety/Mule mark recently and the 10 Higley Copper variety mark a short while ago. I shared that journey with him, even bidding on a few for him over the years (as he did for me).

Syd Martin Connecticut varieties
The Last Three R-8's from November 2020 Bringing Syd to Over 350 Varieties/Mules

We also knew that no matter what we spent, there were always more coins to be had than we could ever acquire. All said, we enjoyed the hobby immensely together and collaborated far more than competed. We purchased several collections together large and small. We pursued things like the granular detail of Washington Inauguration button manufacturing. Which ones were period and true varieties and which were not? I am not sure with whom I will ever again get to discuss the inner workings of Albert on early American uniform buttons.

Syd was a key member of our Colonial field trip posse. We went on too many to recount. But some favorites were a few days up to New Hampshire to visit Stacks/Bowers and QDB and team to leisurely lot view and study Norweb's Washingtonia. Or several days in Colonial Williamsburg to see everything no one sees behind the scenes with Eric Goldstein, Leo Shane, and Ray Williams. If not for Covid, we had planned a field trip to South Carolina early last year to see the location and ground works for our favorite Battle and General in the American Revolution. The Battle of Cowpens and Daniel Morgan (the movie The Patriot), that we each own a rare bronze Comita Americana Medal for that we respectively purchased in the 2019 Adams Sale. A sale we both attended and discovered as we were bidding that we had been both ejected from our Baltimore convention hotel rooms and had to scramble for a place to stay in a sold out city after the auction that night!

Syd Martin house Syd Martin with tools
Stack's Bowers New Hampshire office; Colonial Williamsburg Print Shop

To meet Syd, one would never know of his incredible accomplishments. His genuineness and modesty were his most endearing traits. And he always had a sense of gratitude for his good fortune which gave him a passion for giving back. He did so financially in so many ways, but more so with his personal time. Something that is far more difficult to give. I certainly remember that in some of the most challenging times for the ANS, there were few people willing to undertake bold initiatives to turn the fate and fortune of that Institution around. But Syd stepped in with both feet and helped us get through some very choppy times up to and through the financial crisis of 2008. And when my tour of duty was done, there was no better champion to guide the ANS through its next decade at Hudson Square than Syd. A decade culminating not only with his successful Presidency, but receipt of the prestigious Huntington Award.

Syd was a force of nature when it came to numismatic writing. While we obviously cheered, aided, supplemented each other's research over the years, my contributions are small compared to Syd's. I can remember so clearly how he approached each book and project. It had to be incredibly vast and complex and honestly, a subject given up for lost. But interestingly, every book actually started with Syd ruminating about purchasing a major collection in the area in which each of his books was eventually written. He would come across vast variety collections in one area or another, and that was really the draw for that collection purchase. A new book! That was always the starting point to examine every variety so that something could be written to bring order to chaos.

Syd MArtin book covers

In addition to everything else, Syd has assembled one of the finest numismatic libraries in the country. He was on the Board of NBS and a member of the Attinelli Fellowship. I sold Syd his first set of AJNs and CNLs. I had a bit of a head start, but Syd got the bug and soon we were building together and pursued very similar holdings. We shared bookbinders and bookplate makers. But I can remember one biblio moment in particular. Syd's brother Tim, through some numismatic coincidence, through Tim's law firm in Denver, somehow ended up handling Walter Breen's widow's estate. The estate included Walter's numismatic library that Syd purchased and had shipped to his office in Doylestown. There were about five large three by three boxes. I was there when they arrived. They had been packed away since Walter's days in Berkeley and not opened since. Well, upon opening the boxes, it unleashed an overpowering leafy odor. By the time all five boxes were opened in the office, it was like being at a Grateful Dead concert.

Breen's Breen's Encyclopedia cover Breen's Breen's Encyclopedia inscription
Breen's Breen

But of all the things I will miss about Syd, I will miss my "old school" collecting best friend. Numismatics is an old school hobby at its finest. Filled with ritual, traditions, friendship, scholarship, education, community and philanthropy. Syd considered himself lucky to be able to enjoy numismatics as he did. And we really indulged and immersed ourselves in the hobby together. We studied collectors of the past and saw what they did. From bookbinders, to two by two flip engravers, field trips, ANS and C-4 leadership work, coin photography and photographers, sponsoring things like digitizing the colonial coin images at the ANS for MANTIS or the Robert Martin Notebooks at the ANS and on the Newman Portal (along with Anthony Terranova). Negotiating collection acquisitions. And doing coin shows the old school way.

Syd Martin and Roger Siboni
Baltimore 2018

There were so many coin shows and auctions. But I think one of our favorite rituals were coin shows in Philadelphia. Coin shows in Philadelphia always have a colonial flavor. It was an easy drive for Syd from Doylestown and me from New Jersey. We would always stay at Syd's very elegant and Mainline Philadelphia Union League Club. We would need to bring suits and ties for dinner and evening drinks while there. We would come mid-week and stay through the weekend. Maybe plan a side field trip to visit the Ben Franklin Museum to do some research on maybe Nini plaques. We would enjoy every minute of the show spending time with all the collectors and dealers present that we knew. Sometimes together, sometimes on our own. Usually attend whatever auction is going on and usually each go home with something we were proud of. Then go back to the club, dress, have dinner and meet a few more collector friends at the Club cigar bar and dissect the happenings of the day. I will greatly miss my good friend Syd Martin.

I feel some sense of goodness and peace in Syd's passing though. I know that he moved on feeling a great deal of personal accomplishment in achieving his major collecting goals, particularly 350 Connecticut varieties/mules. His writing goals with his four books, the C-4 Newsletter, and the Huntington Award. That he was genuinely respected by his collecting friends for his hard work and knowledge that was earned, not bought. But most importantly, that he was truly liked in numismatics as a friend and peer. He was so touched at the very end that all his friends in C-4 saw fit to name their Numismatic Author's Publication Award after him. He was awake and in good spirits the last few days before passing and left with a smile.

Syd, you were always too modest to fully understand how we will all miss you.

C4 Summer Barbecue 2015
Summer Colonial Barbecue 2015

Right-to-left Roger Siboni, Syd Martin, Jack Howes, XXX, Ray WIlliams, others at Baltimore coin auction

Right-to-left: Roger Siboni, Syd Martin, Jack Howes, Buell Ish, Ray Williams, and Mitch Mitchell at 2019 Baltimore coin auction

See also:
Press Release: The ANS Mourns of the Loss of Sydney F. Martin (
The 2020 Archer M. Huntington Award Ceremony and Silvia Mani Hurter Memorial Lecture: Syd Martin. (
C4 Announces Creation of The Sydney F. Martin Memorial Numismatic Publication Award (


Syd Martin Numismatic Bibliomania Society President Tom Harrison writes:

"I was saddened to hear of the passing of our friend Syd Martin who served on the NBS Board since 2009. On behalf of the NBS I want to share a word of appreciation and gratitude for the years of dedicated service Syd provided to the NBS. Syd was a staunch enthusiast supporter of the NBS and will be missed by the many people he touched throughout the numismatic community."

Craig McDonald writes:

"Since bursting on the scene, Syd was a true force of nature in our little collecting community. His knowledge and willingness to share information on just about any Colonial series was just one of his many strong suits. He will be sorely missed."

Mike Wierzba writes:

"Syd was a very close friend and a major influence in my life. We had a very close relationship, both in business and personally. I have so many fond memories of my time spent with Syd, talking coins, cigars, bourbon, family, etc. It has been such a crappy year I know for many, but I personally am struggling to comprehend friends that have been taken away far too early the last few months. I will never forget what Syd has done to shape me in so many ways, and his loss is a major one, not just for our hobby, but his amazing family and friends."

Eric Li Cheung writes:

"One of the last times I had seen Syd in person was in summer 2017, when my wife and I hosted him in our new apartment as he was photographing the remainder of my St. Patrick's collection for what turned out to be a real masterpiece of numismatic literature. That was 17 years after I had first met Syd, when he offered me a carpool to my first C-4 Convention as I was a senior in high school. My parents were initially skeptical of my going to a coin convention without their "adult supervision" for a few days, but I guess they became "fast friends" with Syd, and so off I went to the convention where I also met a number of colonial collectors for the first time.

"Syd was always a gentleman, and was perennially so generous with his time and knowledge of the hobby. The C-4 numismatic publication award in his name is a great tribute, and a real honor to the future recipients of the award."

Jeff Rock writes:

"I've known Syd for 30 years or so and I cannot think of a single person I respected more than he. Syd has done so much for our little part of the hobby, and everything he signed up for he did with integrity and passion. Syd was the consummate collector, an intrepid researcher who brought order and understanding to areas that were nothing but chaos for centuries - and he was a friend to all who knew him. RIP, Syd. "I shall never look upon his like again."

David Menchell writes:

"Syd was truly a titan in the pantheon of Colonial numismatic researchers and writers, up there with Crosby, Maris, Miller and Newman. A significant portion of our library shelves are occupied with the books that were the result of his scholarship and labors. Always a gentleman and generous with his time, I always valued his opinions on a wide range of topics. Our hobby has lost one of its greatest contributors and supporters. RIP, Syd."

Craig McDonald writes:

"While I don't recall the exact date, it was most likely in the very early 90s that I was introduced to Syd, while I was still living in PA.

"There was a monthly coin show (3rd Sunday if I recall) held at the Holiday Inn in Montgomeryville PA, about half way between Allentown and Philadelphia. At this show was an old time coin dealer named Byron Hoke. While Byron didn't specialize in Colonials, occasionally he would have a decent coin or two. I still have four VTs, and a similar number of CTs, all purchased from Byron.

"Byron's was always the first table I would visit upon arriving at the show. So one Sunday, after I had already visited his table, I was walking around the rest of the show and walked up the aisle where Byron was, when he called me over to his table. Standing there was a gentleman in (if I recall correctly) a plaid shirt and a leather vest. Byron then proceeded to say, "Craig, let me introduce you to Syd Martin. Syd is thinking about starting to collect Colonials. What books or catalogs can you recommend he start with?"

"At that time, the two main references I carried with me to shows were the 1975 Pinetree EAC Sale and Taylor Sale catalogs (hence my belief that it was probably the early 90s). So I got them out and showed them to Syd.

"We talked for a few minutes and then parted ways. Little did I know the force of nature that was about to be unleashed! And to this day I like to think that perhaps I played just some minuscule part in it."

Ray Williams writes:

"Shortly after becoming C4 president, Angel Pietri was the C4 Newsletter editor and was ready to retire. Under the gun to find a replacement in the window Angel gave me, I was able to recruit Brian Danforth to be editor under the condition I find him someone to help with the technical aspects of publishing. Enter Syd Martin... He agreed to be an editorial assistant. Shortly later, Brian left for Thailand and hasn't been seen since. Dropped into Syd's lap was the entire job of producing our newsletter, which is more of a journal for those unfamiliar with C4. Syd remained the editor of our award winning publication for more than a decade. Syd was one of those friends who would take on a task and you could forget about it - consider it done - no need to follow up. He was one of those that made my presidency so easy."

Anthony Terranova of New York City writes:

"My family and I wish to extend our condolences to his family and to the family of the world of early American numismatic collectors. His loss is immeasurable to me on a personal level. The world has lost one terrific human being."

Numismatic literature dealer Charlie Davis is offering a complete set of Syd's books. -Editor

Four Colonial Coin titles by Syd Martin A complete set of the 4 volumes by Sydney Martin. The Hibernia Coinage of William Wood 1722-1724, 2007, 492 pages [and] The Rosa Americana Coinage of William Wood, 2011, 504 pages [and] French Coinage Specifically for Colonial America by Sydney Martin, 2015, 460 pages [and] Saint Patrick Coinage (for Ireland and New Jersey), 2018, 506 pages, published the Colonial Coin Collector's Club (C4), all in the similar black cloth with dust jackets, well illustrated. All new copies.

For more information, or to order, see:
A Complete Set of the 4 titles published by C4 on Colonial Numismatics (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Fricke E-Sylum ad01 Civil War Coins


Dave Lange submitted this note on a great new book by Dave Bowers. Thanks! -Editor

Coin Collecting Those Who Led the Way book cover I recently received a great little book purchased on eBay. It's an octavo volume by Q. David Bowers that was published by Stack's Bowers in 2020, but somehow had escaped my codex radar completely. I don't remember seeing anything about this in The E-Sylum or any other publication. Perhaps, it's mentioned at the SB website or in its mailings, but in this age of pandemic it's been a long time since I received more than a few publications that are shipped to my company address. For example, I've received just three hard copies of The Numismatist since March! Where did they all go?

The title is Coin Collecting: Those Who Led the Way. It's an anthology of biographies dealing with the dozen individuals depicted on the cover. I haven't had a chance to sit down and read this book, but it certainly tops my stack of publications awaiting that quiet moment.

There's an interesting aside that illustrates the dire situation of the U. S. Postal Service during the month of December. The tracking history reveals that this book was shipped to me from Lake Allen, Texas on the 8th, arriving in Dallas two days later. It was in Jackson, Mississippi on the 11th and Jacksonville, Florida, my regional distribution center, on the 12th. It stalled there for eight days until arriving at my local Florida post office on the 20th. Three days later it was processed through Jersey City, New Jersey, only to arrive back in Jacksonville on the 26th. The seller initiated a "package research case" that was posted the following day, only to see the USPS abruptly close it on the 28th without explanation. On the 30th my package had gotten to Sarasota, which is closer than Jacksonville but still not where I have my box. It finally was placed into a locker at my station the following day, more than three weeks after mailing.

Don't even ask me about all the packages I've shipped that are still transiting the nation almost a month later.

The twelve chapters (presented in alphabetical order) are: Harry W. Bass, Jr., Virgil Brand, The Chapman Brothers, Walter H. Childs & the Childs Family, Louis E. Eliasberg, Sr., John J. Ford, Jr., The Garrett Family, Col. E.H.R. Green, B. Max Mehl, Eric P. Newman, Emery May Holden Norweb, and Joseph & Morton Stack.

The book was produced by the firm as a holiday gift for clients and consignors. Nicely illustrated in color, the Newman chapter was contributed by Len Augsburger. It's not available for sale, but I'm glad we had a chance to document its existence. As Darryl Atchison noted in an earlier issue, 2020 turned out to be a great year for numismatic book publishing. -Editor


The American Numismatic Association has published a new book compilation of the columns of Rod Gillis. -Editor

Past Tense cover Coin collectors and history buffs alike are sure to love this entertaining, large-format book of author Rod Gillis' colorful "Past Tense" monthly column, which appeared in The Numismatist magazine from July 2011 through March 2020.

The beautifully rendered, 112-page softcover volume provides snapshots in time – beginning with Continental Currency in 1776 and concluding with the Westward Journey nickel in 2004. In addition to sharing obscure information about select coinage, each page includes fascinating historical information from that year. "Past Tense is a wonderful example of how coins help illustrate history and how history provides context to coin collecting," says Doug Mudd, curator of the American Numismatic Association's Money Museum.

Past Tense Sample Page With a foreword by Kenneth E. Bressett, editor emeritus of A Guide Book of United States Coins (the ubiquitous "Red Book"), Past Tense presents Gillis' columns chronologically by subject date and alphabetically by denomination. A coin index at the back of the book helps readers quickly find their favorite denomination.

Past Tense: History through the Lens of American Coinage – a perfect gift for collectors and history buffs alike – is available from the American Numismatic Association for $21.95 plus $4.50 postage and handling.

Cover: American Numismatic Association/Robert B. Kelley
Sample Page: American Numismatic Association/The Numismatist

For more information, or to order, see:

HLRC E-Sylum Generic ad02


Ted Puls writes:

Annam Zinc Coin Varieties book cover "I have completed a pamphlet in spreadsheet format of my collection of 320 varieties of zinc coinage from Annam. Many varieties are not in website nor Historical Coinages of Vietnam of Mr. Barker. I would like to share this spreadsheet information with collectors of this area.

"The pamphlet assumes that the collector understands the terminology of cash coins to identify the coinage in the Barker book. The varieties are arranged first by the reign title, then by the marks on the reverse. From this start, I group by variations in the obverse characters and the coin's outer and inner diameter (diameter from inner rim to inner rim). I have taken photos of the coins but the internet limits of sending this amount of data."

Ted can be reached at . Here is an excerpt from the pamphlet's Introduction. -Editor

Annam Zinc Coin1 The zinc coinages of Vietnam seems to be an area of numismatics with little written in Western literature about the myriad varieties. To help me arrange types in my collection, I arranged coins in a spreadsheet format. To help communicate varieties some standard measurements were made and some standard descriptions of the calligraphy in my language attempted.

The fairly recent book, The Historical Cash Coins of Viet Nam, by Mr. Barker was a benefit to give general numbering of each era but omitted many coin varieties. The website has very few of these types also.

Annam Zinc Coin2 The Barker book is used for a start in numbering, but when a coin isn't found in the Barker book the helpful Vietnamese coin finding book A Working Aid for Collectors of Annamese Coins by John A. Novak is useful for his numbers. This is my attempt to help other collectors to organize a collection, and maybe start a communication to add varieties that I haven't seen to this knowledge base.

The actual dating of the beginning of zinc coinage is unclear. Annam started minting coins in its own right in the tenth century A.D., but zinc coins started probably in the 17th century. The isolation of zinc metal from the European point of view was ca. 1728 in England but the complex process used, probably was adopted from an Asian source from earlier. Coins' reign titles also imply eras a century before this 18 th century date. The Annamese minters usually used the reign title of a known era to give a hint of the date, but may have minted coins after the era. Another date enigma is that a few coins exist with an unknown reign title. This adds some numismatic excitement to the study of these coins.

The varieties of zinc coinage extend beyond just the different reign titles and requires close looking at the actual calligraphy for variations. Some observations of this coinage that I will make must be viewed through the eyes of a non-writer of oriental calligraphy.


While it was published in 2005, here's a Google-translated excerpt of a new article by Hans-Ludwig Grabowski on the Geldscheine-Online blog about a book on Czech emergency money. -Editor

Czech emergency money book cover Ludek Vostal / Jirí Vostal:

Nouzové Penežní Poukázy v ceských zemích v letech 1848 - 1850

Emergency notes in the Czech lands in the years 1848-1850

408 pages, illustrated in black and white throughout with eight pages of color plates in the appendix, format 21 cm x 29.7 cm, paperback, 1st edition, Brno 2005, ISBN 80-903662-2-8

Price: 990 CZK (reduced 695 CZK, equivalent to around 26.50 EUR)

The catalog presented here was published in 2005, but is still of interest to German collectors today, as there are always questions about German-language emergency money issues from the revolutionary period from 1848 to 1850, which are in cruisers and come from Bohemia and Moravia.

After the short part on the Austrian paper money of those years, a very extensive cataloging of the Bohemian and Moravian emergency banknotes of this time follows alphabetically from A for Abertham to Z for Žitenice.

Approximately 2400 issues by 757 private companies and institutions in 315 locations are listed.

The catalog, written in Czech, is richly illustrated and structured in tabular form by location and issuing point (issuer) with their editions and variants. Both official and private editions are listed (with variants), whereby these were usually written in German in the so-called Sudeten areas inhabited by German. The evaluations were made in two degrees of conservation in Czech crowns.

In the appendix there are several color tables with pictures of emergency money and summaries of the historical background in German and English.

The catalog can be obtained from Aurea Numismatika in Prague

To read the complete article, see:
Katalog zum tschechischen Notgeld 1848 bis 1850 (

For more information, or to order, see:
Nouzové penežní poukázky v ceských zemích v letech 1848 - 1850 (

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Owen Linzmayer publishes The Banknote Book, a useful, constantly updated electronic reference. The chapter on the banknotes of Yugoslavia is now available for $9.99. -Editor

Banknote Book Yugoslavia The Yugoslavia chapter of The Banknote Book is now available for individual sale and as a free download to subscribers.

This 64-page catalog covers notes issued by the Narodna Banka Kraljevine Jugoslavije (National Bank of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia) from 1929 to 1943, the Democratic Federative Yugoslavia from 1944 to 1945, the Banca per l'Economia per l'Istria, Fiume e il Littorale Sloveno (Bank for the Economy of Istria, Rijeka and the Littoral of Slovene) in 1945, the Narodna Banka Federativne Narodne Republike Jugoslavije (National Bank of the Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia) from 1946 to 1955, and the Narodna Banka Jugoslavije (National Bank of Yugoslavia) from 1963 to 2002. Published 21.01.2021.

Each chapter of The Banknote Book includes detailed descriptions and backgound information, full-color images, and accurate valuations. The Banknote Book also features:

  • Sharp color images of note's front and back without overlap
  • Face value or date of demonetization if no longer legal tender
  • Specific identification of all vignette elements
  • Security features described in full
  • Printer imprint reproduced exactly as on note
  • Each date/signature variety assigned an individual letter
  • Variety checkboxes for tracking your collection and want list
  • Date reproduced exactly as on note
  • Precise date of introduction noted when known
  • Replacement note information
  • Signature tables, often with names and terms of service
  • Background information for historical and cultural context
  • Details magnified to distinguish between note varieties
  • Bibliographic sources listed for further research

For more information, or to order, see:
Yugoslavia chapter of The Banknote Book is now available (


AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS: Are your books carried by Wizard Coin Supply? If not, contact us via with details.


John Lupia passed along this book review of a new collection of essays, some of which touch on numismatics of the Isle of Man. Thanks. From The Medieval Review. -Editor

Medieval Cultures of the Irish Sea book cover MacQuarrie, Charles W., and Joseph Falaky Nagy, eds. The Medieval Cultures of the Irish Sea and the North Sea: Manannán and his Neighbors. The Early Medieval North Atlantic.

Amsterdam, Netherlands: Amsterdam University Press, 2019. pp. 212. ISBN: 978-9-46298-939-9 (hardback).

Reviewed by:
Elizabeth Boyle
Maynooth University

The vital role of the Isle of Man in the political, economic, and cultural history of the North Atlantic world during the Middle Ages has been championed recently in a range of significant publications. These studies show how the Isle of Man acted as a central node in the networks of communication, trade, diplomacy, and warfare throughout the period. The significance of its intermediary location between Gaelic-, English-, Welsh-, and Old Norse-speaking polities is increasingly being explored and recognised by historians, archaeologists, and literary scholars. Whether one speaks of the "Insular Viking Zone" or the "North Atlantic Archipelago" or, as in this case, the "Irish Sea Cultural Province," this conception of the Isle of Man as sitting at the heart of a broader, multilingual, cultural sphere is ripe for further study, which at first glance appears to be what is offered here, though the volume in reality is not so focused.

The Medieval Cultures of the Irish Sea and the North Sea emerges from an NEH-funded summer seminar on the "Irish Sea Cultural Province," which involved participants spending just over a month in 2015 in Belfast, Glasgow, and the Isle of Man. It is as contributions and responses to this seminar that the essays are gathered in this volume, without any shared thematic, disciplinary, or conceptual underpinning. As such, it lacks cohesion, and most readers will only be interested in one or two of the articles, depending on whether their research lies, say, in numismatics, Old English literature, reception studies or sociolinguistics.

The first chapter comprises Helen Davies's clear and useful discussion of Manx coinage during the so-called late Viking Age. She argues that the diverse nature of the abundant foreign and domestic coin evidence surviving from the Isle of Man reflects its position as a centre for international markets and commerce. Davies also observes that coins represent a particularly useful case study in the phenomenon of cultural contact, since the first Manx coins were cast using a die from Dublin, whose own dies were modelled on those used in early medieval England. The use of a Dublin die to cast Manx coins is further evidence, Davies notes, of the ways in which Man was drawn into the political ambit of Dublin in the eleventh century.

To read the complete article, see:
21.01.07 MacQuarrie/Nagy (eds.), Medieval Cultures of the Irish Sea and the North Sea (

For more information, or to order, see:
The Medieval Cultures of the Irish Sea and the North Sea (

E-Sylum Leidman ad03 coin

MARGIE S. SHEAFFER (1949-2021)

On their Northeast Numismatics blog this week, Tom Caldwell, Chris Clements and Brian Alty remember their late friend and colleague Margie Sheaffer. -Editor

Margie Sheaffer We are very sad to announce the recent passing of our friend and colleague, Margie Sheaffer. She passed away at the age of 71, with her husband Gary by her side. Margie started working the coin shows with us back in 2011. Based out of Pennsylvania, she would fly out and meet us at all of the major shows. She primarily took our coins around the bourse floor to show other dealers, but she also provided invaluable assistance behind the table.

Margie's time in the coin business started well before she started working with us, however. In fact, she started in the biz almost 50 years ago. To this day many still knew her by the name of Margie Sharp from her single days. Over a 50-year span, Margie has worked for Worldwide Numismatics, Britt Simons, Bob Hughes, Dennis Steinmetz, Frank Greenburg, John Maben, Modern Coin Mart, us here at Northeast Numismatics, as well as others. She was known by almost every dealer in the show circuit and was well-liked by all.

It was always a joy hearing the stories about the pre-coin circuit days when Margie had a minor rock and roll hit, cutting a record in the late 60's or early 70's. If only she could have traded in her cheery bourse floor voice and personality for rock & roll fame! In recent years Margie retraced bits of this glory performing in senior music competitions.

From Tom:

Smiling & friendly. Reading the many tributes & remembrances from Margie's many friends & dealer colleagues from across the country, I am really struck by these overriding comments. Margie was always known as someone that would greet you within a nice big smile on her face. She was funny & cheerful, would remember a birthday or special event, & was very easy to talk to.

Margie's tremendous energy & hard work will be missed for sure, but more we will miss the Margie that would bring a thoughtful gift to a dealer friend, remember & comment on your grandkids, or some other thoughtful event. We were honored to be Margie's friend & she will be missed immensely.

From Chris:

Margie was such a lovely and fun person to be around. Some of my favorite moments with her was when she would recount the coin stories of old, well before my time in the business. The 70's and 80's were some crazy times in this industry, and she knew most everyone in the biz back then. I never tired of hearing the old school scoop.

It was always a treat to see Margie at each show. A fond memory I will always have will be the actual "treats" she would sometimes bring me. Her husband Gary is an avid hunter, and occasionally Margie would show up to the show with a bag of homemade deer jerky for me. (Thank you, Gary!)

While we didn't go out to dinner too much together while on the road (Margie usually preferred calling it a night early and would enjoy some room service... probably because she was sick and tired of working with me and Tom all day!), we would occasionally enjoy an after-show cocktail in the hotel lounge. Tequila was her beverage of choice. You could always tell if Margie had had one or two tequila drinks. The color of her cheeks and her stories were the giveaway. She normally retired to her room after her second, but not after we had a bunch of great laughs.

Margie always asked about my daughter, wanted to know how she was doing, and see any updated pictures I might have. She was a kind and caring person. I will miss her so much, both as a colleague on the road, and as a friend.

From Brian:

I first met Margie when she was visiting Boston and came into the office at our old place. We were introduced but before I could put my hand out to shake hers, she gave me a big hug. That really says it all about Margie; a wonderful, cheerful, loving, funny and welcoming lady. Though she never met my son Lukas, she would always ask me about him and tell me how adorable he is. It was always so nice to see her at the shows and we immediately had a musical bond that would keep us talking music the whole time. Gone way too soon, I will miss her greatly.

To read the complete article, see:
The passing of a friend (

For Margie's obituary, see:
Margie S. Sheaffer (


John W. Adams passed along links to additional tributes to author Fernando Chau. Thanks. Here's a Google-translated excerpt. -Editor

IN MEMORIAM Fernando Chao

Fernando was a biochemist, received 50 years ago, later he studied Political Science and was a professor at the Faculty of Agrarian Sciences in his hometown. From a young age he was interested in coins and medals, he joined the Numismatic and History Institute of San Nicolás at the hand of his teacher and dear friend Dr. José Eduardo de Cara, and in 1969 he published an article of his authorship in his bulletin "An unpublished Spanish essay." He could not fail to belong in his Rosary to the Numismatic Center of that city, which in its 1970 magazine published the note "Ventures and misadventures of a classical head" with Luís María Novelli. That was the beginning of more than 140 articles on his specialty, not counting some unpublished or notes that will be found among his papers, those that a decade later led him to join the Argentine Academy of Numismatics and Medalistics as a correspondent. Already in 1982, at the request of Eduardo de Cara and Eduardo de Oliveira Cézar, dear friends, he arrived at the Buenos Aires Institute of Numismatics and Antiquities as a correspondent and in 1995 as a numerary.

His work in numismatics led him to join the Federation of Argentine Numismatic and Medalist Entities, he was a jury for the First Prize for Numismatic and Medalistic Literature "Alberto Coco Derman" his great friend, instituted for the year 2008.

The National Academy of History appointed him a corresponding member in the Province of Santa Fe in 2011 and the Argentine Academy of Arts and Sciences of Communication in the same category in 2015. He was a member of the Editorial Board of Histopia.

To read the complete articles, see:
IN MEMORIAM Fernando Chao (h) (
El covid se llevó a otro destacado intelectual argentino (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JANUARY 10, 2021 : Author Fernando Chao Has Passed (

NumisPlace E-Sylum ad01


The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is a letter about Peter, The Mint Eagle. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor


An 1896 letter from the Mint correspondence in the National Archives, recently transcribed by Newman Portal, asks about Peter, the Mint eagle. The letter writer asks for more specifics regarding the oral tradition of this national bird, who was said to have inhabited the Mint, broke a wing on the machinery, died, and was thereafter stuffed for posterity. The missive is addressed to the Philadelphia Mint Superintendent and the response is recorded as follows.

"We have no record of the history of the eagle, Peter; except by tradition. He was the property of Mr. Adam Eckfeldt, the Chief Coiner of the Mint; The Mint was his home. He would fly all around the city, and always return to the Mint. His life in the Mint was between 1830 and 1836. He was the model for several pattern coins, and the nickel cent of 1857, and 1858 of the regular issue. The first was the pattern dollar of 1836."

Left unexplained is how the bird navigated to the new Mint building that was put into operation c. 1833. The earliest mention of Peter appears to be in Elizabeth Johnston's A Visit to the Cabinet of the United States Mint (1876), where "an old citizen of Philadelphia" is cited as the authority for the story. Peter is today comfortably ensconced in the visitor's area at the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia

Link to "Peter the Mint Bird" letter:

Link to U.S. Mint general correspondence on Newman Portal:

Link to Elizabeth Johnston's A Visit to the Cabinet of the United States Mint on Newman Portal:


These are selections from the David Lisot Video Library that feature news and personalities from the world of coin collecting. David has been attending coin conventions since 1972 and began videotaping in 1985. The Newman Numismatic Portal now lists all David's videos on their website at:

Here's a talk by Elvira Clain-Stefanelli on highlights of the National Numismatic Collection. -Editor

Star Coins of History from the Smithsonian
Speaker: Elvira Clain-Stefanelli.

Elvira Clain-Stefanelli Elvira Clain-Stefanelli, Executive Director of the National Numismatic Collection (NNC), presents a brief history of the Smithsonian Institute and its founder, James Smithson, followed by the history of the NNC since its inception in the 1840's. Using a series of slides, Dr. Clain-Stefanelli shows some of the treasures of the NNC collected over a century and a half. Among them will be familiar pieces from the U.S. Mint and Chase Manhattan collections, from Josiah K. Lily, the Norwebs and many other generous donors. Lecture with slides.

An excerpt of the video is available for viewing on NNP at:

WBA E-Sylum ad Sale 3


Active Interest Media, which in 2019 purchased the bulk of Krause Publications (including Numismatic News and other periodicals but not the printed Standard Catalogs) has teamed up with NGC and PMG to make pricing data available online. -Editor

AIM logo Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) and Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®) have entered into a license agreement with Active Interest Media. The Standard Catalog of World Coins and the Standard Catalog of World Paper Money license will support the popular NGC World Coin Price Guide and PMG World Paper Money Price Guide .

Active Interest Media is one of the world's leading enthusiast media companies, with a presence in 85 countries. They provide millions of readers, fans and attendees with consumer and trade events, websites and magazines, as well as films and TV shows.

The World Price Guides were created with and independently compiled by Active Interest Media's NumisMaster, an online pricing and information catalog offered by Active Interest Media. The guides are the most comprehensive online valuation guides available and are free to NGC, PMG and NumisMaster members.

The World Price Guides have long been useful resources for collectors and dealers to assess coin and paper money fair market values. This helps consumers avoid overpaying, underselling or underinsuring their collectibles.

"We are thrilled to work more closely with Active Interest Media to better serve the collectibles community," said Steven R. Eichenbaum, CEO of NGC, NCS, and PMG. "Our price guides provide essential information for collectors and dealers as the industry becomes even more oriented toward online transactions."

To access the NGC World Coin Price Guide, go to

To access the PMG World Paper Money Price Guide, go to

Penguin Random House acquired the printed book titles, but nothing has been heard from them about new editions of the Standard Catalog series. The only releases since the sale were of editions already in the publication pipeline. -Editor

2020 SCWC 1901-2000 book cover 2020 SCWC 2001-Date book cover

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

DWN E-Sylum ad03


The earlier-reported sale price for Collector's Universe has been bumped up almost 20% to $92 per share, a $825 million valuation. -Editor

Collectors Universe logo Memorabilia authenticator Collectors Universe (CLCT) jumped nearly 20% Wednesday after the company announced that the investment group led by collector Nat Turner, D1 Partners and Cohen Private Ventures has increased its acquisition offer to $92 per share in cash.

The new offer represents an 18% premium over the company's closing price on Tuesday, and a 32% premium over its share price on Nov. 25, the last day of trading before Collectors Universe announced the original offer.

"This enhanced, ‘best and final' offer recognizes the strong momentum in our business and provides certainty of value in an uncertain economic environment," said Collectors Universe board chairman, A.J. Moyer. "While the Board has a high degree of confidence in management's plan, it also believes that there is a significant risk that the Company's recent growth rate will decline over time."

The announcement came in the same release as the company's preliminary second quarter results.

The Newport Beach, Calif.-based company expects revenues for the quarter ended Dec. 31 of $35.4 million, with a gross margin of 64% and operating income of approximately $10 million.

Collectors says the second quarter performance is attributable to an increase in "top-tier services" performed by its PSA division, which provides trading card grading and professional sports memorabilia authentication.

But some shareholders are resisting even the raised offer. -Editor

The ante has been upped but at least two of the larger shareholders of Collectors Universe stock still don't believe it's enough to support acceptance of a buyout deal.

Sean Berger, President of Adirondack Retirement Specialists, which owns over 271,000 shares representing an approximate 2.9% equity interest in CU, is telling his clients he believes the parent company of grading and authentication giant PSA is worth more than the current proposal. Seeking Alpha reported that Pembroke Management, which owns a slightly larger number of shares, also planned not to tender its shares.

"We felt quite strong about the situation, which is why we find ourselves doing this," partner Stephen Hui was quoted as saying.

To read the complete articles, see:
Collectors Universe Jumps on New, Higher Acquisition Offer (
Collectors Universe and Investor Group Led by Entrepreneur and Collector Nat Turner Amend and Restate Merger Agreement to Increase Offer Price to $92.00 Per Share in Cash (
2 Collectors Universe Shareholder Groups Opposed to Revised Deal (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Charles Davis ad01


Competition is heating up in the sports card grading space - NGC parent Certified Collectibles Group announced it will "make use of artificial intelligence to automate many of the more time-consuming aspects of grading." Is AI coming to numismatic grading as well?

Found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume VI, Number 30, January 12, 2021). -Editor

CSG-graded sports card Certified Collectibles Group will launch its sports card grading division next month.

Last year, the company announced its intention to launch CSG in the wake of unprecedented backlogs at established graders PSA, SGC and Beckett Grading Services. A large, global company with nearly 400 employees and headquartered in Sarasota, FL, CCG is already well-known for grading comic books, magazines, concert posters, coins and paper money.

CSG says it will make use of artificial intelligence to automate many of the more time-consuming aspects of grading, such as measuring its centering and attribution. CGS graders will be equipped with forensic devices that reveal alterations and hidden details through infrared and UV lighting, ultra-microscopic inspections and non-destructive ink and paper analysis.

The CSG holder and labels include a detailed description of the card, its grade, its unique CSG certification number and a QR code to facilitate verification. CSG says its holder and label "feature extensive security elements to prevent against tampering and counterfeiting."

To read the complete article, see:
CSG to Begin Sports Card Grading in February; Releases Fee Structure (

NNP Symposium 2021 Logo Young numismatist Jonas Denenberg of the Fairfax Coin Club published two articles recently addressing the topic of AI-based coin grading - in the Fall 2020 issue of The Virginia Numismatist and a longer version in the December 2020 International Association of Young Numismatists Club Newsletter. Jonas will speak on "AI Coin Grading: In the Past, Now, and in the Future" at the Spring 2021 NNP Symposium. -Editor

To speak at or register for the Spring 2021 NNP Symposium, see:

Pomexport E-Sylum ad 2021-01-24 Qiwain+Comoros


U.S. Young Numismatist Scrip Sought
Jonas Denenberg writes:

"I'm now working on a book of Young Numismatist scrip from everywhere in the US. If I can compile enough information to make the book, I'll send contributors a free PDF copy.

Young Numismatist scrip

Jonas is a fellow member of the Fairfax Coin Club. He participates in the YN events held at the Annandale coin shows. He can be reached at . If your club runs YN auctions or other events using some sort of YN scrip or "auction dollars", please let him know and send images if possible. Thanks. -Editor

So What Was That Kid's "Rare" Coin?
Jue Petrie writes:

Poop coin "I read with interest the article about the toddler who swallowed a 'rare' 1¢ coin. All I could see from the photo is that it's an Australian (or British Empire) coin. Nowhere does it state the date or why it is rare. Just wondering."

Me, too. I thought it was odd that they'd talk about the "rare" coin but never mention what it was or how much it would have been worth undamaged. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
LOOSE CHANGE: JANUARY 17, 2021 : Dad Gives Kid Rare Coin; Kid Swallows It (

Numismatic Stereoview Cards
Tom Casper writes:

"In a recent back issue of The E-Sylum you pictured a stereo view card picturing a coin. While I have never found one with a coin, I have two in my collection picturing currency. One shows a piece of Continental Currency from the Revolutionary War. It is a Sixty Dollar note dated September 26, 1778. It pictures the earth with the phrase in Latin from Psalm 97, Deus Regnat Exultet Terra which translates (God reigns, let the earth rejoice). Catalog number Fr.-86.

"The second card shows a fanned-out pile of 19 National Currency Notes, all from the Cheshire National Bank of Keene, NH, Charter No. 559. The notes are dated, 1864, the First Charter period."

Stereoview - Continental Currency (2)

Stereoview - National Currency Notes (5)

Thanks! Nice photo cards. Cool pile of cash. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NUMISMATIC NUGGETS: JANUARY 3, 2021 : Stereoview Coin Photo (

Miss Banks' Continental Dollars

Miss_Banks_ContinentalDollar_caption Miss_Banks_ContinentalDollar

Michael Wehner writes:

"Here are pictures I took of the Continental Dollars on display in the 18th century room at the British Museum in London back in 2018. Both sides are shown along with a caption describing the donation as from Sir Joseph Banks, Miss Banks' brother.

"The caption states that the issue is from 1776 and does not reflect the work of Catharine Eagleton, David McCarthy and Erik Goldstein. It goes on to describe the medals as struck in silver although the two coins looked more more like white metal to me (and in fantastic condition!)

"Presumably, one or both of these very coins had belonged to Miss Banks and were part of the estate left to her brother and subsequently donated to the Museum."

Thanks! Great numismatic history. -Editor

Merriam Token Two-Holed Pie Crimper

Merriam Token Two-Holder Pie Crimper obverse Merriam Token Two-Holder Pie Crimper reverse

Lev Linkner writes:

Merriam Token Two-Holder Pie Crimper edge "Here is something to add to the "Crimpers" story. This is made from a rare Merriam Token, The Apollo Gardens. It is an R6 (21-75) with probably less than 50 known. What is strange is that it has 2 holes. It was advertised as a "button" when I bought it. I had no idea what it was. A Meriam token expert, Dennis Wells (owner of Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia) told me it was a crimper. I wonder if it was used in a machine? Has anyone else seen a two-holed crimper or have any ideas? Thanks!"

Interesting. Can anyone help? -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NUMISMATIC NUGGETS: JANUARY 3, 2021 : Large Cent Pie Crimper Wheel (

Video: PDSA Gold Medal for Magawa the Rat

Frank Draskovic passed along this video of the presentation of the PWSA Gold Medal to Magawa, the mine-detecting rat. Thanks. -Editor

Gold Medal for rat Landmine detection rat Magawa received the PDSA Gold Medal for his life-saving work in Cambodia, making him the first rat to receive a PDSA award. Magawa, whose official job title is HeroRAT, was awarded his medal by PDSA's Director General in a special virtual presentation.

To watch the video, see:
HeroRAT Magawa is awarded the PDSA Gold Medal (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Steinbergs E-Sylum ad01 Buying 300


Bob Rhue submitted these notes on a fascinating multiply-counterstamped Hard Times Token. Thanks! -Editor

TEST Counterstamped Hard Times Token Counterstamped Hard Times Token reverse

Because of its multiple countermarks I find this to be one of the more interesting ones I've recently come across. The host coin is a Hard Times Token 158, Low 84.

It has the following seven Countermarks on one side, each in a cartouche: Boston, Lowell (stamped twice), Merrimack, House, F. Lamson, and Nashua.

On the opposite side the F. Lamson countermark appears eight separate times, again each in a cartouche.

In his definitive work on countermarks Brunk lists an F. Lamson countermark on a Hard Times Token, with additional Countermarks of Merrimack and House; and he indicates that Francis Lampson along with a J. M. Tarr were jewelers at 98 Merrimack St. in Lowell Massachusetts. (Brunk L-77).

In another listing Brunk shows another Hard Times token, by chance also a Low 84, countermarked Merrimack House and F. Lamson. (Brunk M-610). Brunk shows Merrimack House to be a business located in Lowell Massachusetts, with that piece containing two additional countermarks of the cities of Nashua and Boston.

So mystery solved. The only name of an individual on my piece is F. Lamson, who made sure his name stood out by punching it in a total of nine different times. All the other names on my piece are the names of three relevant cities- Boston, Lowell, and Nashua, and the name of a business - Merrimack House.

Great piece! -Editor

To read an earlier article on a multiply-counterstamped piece, see:
PARTRICK U.S. MERCHANT COUNTERSTAMP SELECTIONS : Lot 44100: Silversmith Bar Punches on Large Cent (

Album E-Sylum ad Sale 39


Louis Golido writes:

"I thought readers might like to see these images of some recent acquisitions that may also be of interest. One is the Biden inaugural medal, and the other is a gorgeous restrike of the Libertas Americana medal made by Intaglio Mint and sold by Limited Mintage, its retail division. They make a lot of tributes to famous coins, and this one is especially well done in high relief with a 39-mm diameter and made from 2 ounces of silver. Very reasonable at only about $10 over the silver value. I got one regular finish and one in antique finish as you can see from the pics. They are sold out but may get more."

Biden medal obv Biden medal rev

Libertas Americana obverse regular silver 2 oz Libertas Americana revese antique silver 2 oz

Thanks - a nicely done Libertas. Such a classic design - it never gets old. The inaugural medals were struck by the Medalcraft Mint in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Not a bad obverse, but the reverse is atrocious. -Editor

To read a Coin World article on the Biden medals, see:
Biden silver and bronze inaugural medals being offered (

For more information, or to order, see:

Archives International Sale 64 cover front


David Pickup submitted this request for assistance in researching a medallion that may (or may not) have a connection to the U.S. -Editor

Andrew Wager, co-editor of the UK Historical Medal Journal, is researching a medallion by the sculptor and medallist H. W Page for an article in the 2021 edition. The silver medal is 52mm in diameter and uniface.

1912 medal of H. W Page obverse 1912 medal of H. W Page reverse

The medal is similar to the Oxford Millenary Medal produced in the same year, 1912.

1912 Oxford Millenary Medal obverse 1912 Oxford Millenary Medal reverse

The Oxford medal was struck to celebrate the millenary of Oxford celebrations in July 1912. Lawrence Brown states:

"These medals were sold by Messrs Payne and Son Silversmiths of 131 High Street, Oxford at the following prices: WM 1/-, in case 1/6d Ae 4/6d,in case 5/-: AR in case £1/1/-. Forrer, vol VIII, p.108 notes that this piece is by H. W Page; this is incorrect."

Brown attributes the piece to C. W Thomas, a view supported by an article by David Pickup published in the Spring 2008 volume of The Medal which included a contemporary flyer for the medal which cites Cecil Thomas as the designer and does not mention Page.

H. W Page has an entry in Forrer and is listed as being active 1892-1930. Forrer records that Page was living in the USA by 1917 but no further details of this or his future career have as yet come to light. Do any readers have information about Page working in America or have a copy of the London medallion?

Can anyone help? -Editor


In a Martin Luther King Day Washington Post article I noticed a short mention of a gold-plated medal given by the Oklahoma state legislature to survivors of the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot. -Editor

"Reparations to survivors and their descendants were never paid. Instead, the Oklahoma legislature passed a law to "facilitate the redevelopment of the Greenwood area" and presented each survivor with a gold-plated medal bearing the state seal."

Online sources say the medals were awarded to 118 people. -Editor

"In search of the administration of justice, the Oklahoma legislature created the 1921 Tulsa Race Riot Commission in 1997. The eleven-member committee identified survivors, created a historical account of the riot, and favored recommendations for reparations. In 2001, although the state government rejected the recommendation and only issued each of the survivors with a gold-plated medal with the state seal, several legislators privately donated $15,000 toward a private reparations fund for survivors."

From Wikipedia:

"In March 2001, each of the 118 known survivors of the riot still alive at the time, the youngest of whom was 85, was given a gold-plated medal bearing the state seal, as had been approved by bi-partisan state leaders"

So can anyone locate an image of one of these medals? Do we have any numismatic information about them? Who was the artist? Where were they made? Have any made their way to museums or the numismatic market? -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
The ‘whitewashing' of Black Wall Street (

To read the other referenced articles, see:
Tulsa Race Riot 1921 (;jsessionid=f8301182021610948181388?migration=8&topic=8&id=465287&type=image&bhcp=1)
Tulsa race massacre (

For information on the 1921 Tulsa Race Massacre Centennial Commission, see:

DLRC E-Sylum ad 2021-01 Super Sunday Sale


In a blog post this week, John Brush of David Lawrence Rare Coins discusses a topic broached last week by Doug Winter - photography in today's coin market. -Editor

John Brush A few years ago we shifted away from scanning images of coins and switched to exclusively using cameras. While this slowed down our imaging productivity, it improved the quality of our images dramatically. Because of this shift, it's difficult to produce the quantity of images that we'd like, but with our focus on showing you what we'd want to see when buying a coin, we definitely feel the change was worthwhile.

As a coin buyer during the pandemic, I find myself checking out photos of coins on MANY websites and I also get photographs of coins sent to me via text message, Facebook, email, and other venues. I've become more and more analytical in viewing these photos in past months and as a collector, I know the importance of an accurate photograph. While it will never be as good as holding the coin in-hand, we knew we had to make improvements to further the hobby and instill trust in our customers. The technologies are there to be had (that's exactly why we jumped on nuTilt), but I find myself frustrated that our industry is still lagging behind in this very important regard. I don't know how to encourage growth along these lines, but I think that it's an essential step in numismatics nonetheless.

While we all love coin shows, the better we get with this technology the faster growth will be in the hobby. Perhaps that's why modern coins have become all the rage recently. It could be due to their availability, but it must be noted that they are much easier to image as opposed to classic coins. As a historian, I value the classics and really want to encourage the hobby's overall interest in rare US coins. In that spirit, DLRC is doing everything we can to get accurate, high quality images in front of our collectors and the hobby can only benefit from others doing the same.

To read the complete article, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:


Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor

Coin Silver. A fineness of 900 fine; 9 parts silver to one of alloy, usually copper; silver United States coins have been struck in this fineness from 1837 to 1964. This formula provides a metal that is easy to strike yet has excellent wearing qualities. In America when silver bullion was otherwise unavailable, some manufacturers, including those producing tableware, would melt silver coins, hence would use this term for their product. Also called coin, pure coin, dollar standard, premium or C. The practice of melting coins for the silver metal declined by 1870 when silver became more readily available from western mines. By law coin silver has been marked (on all items except those produced by national mints) in Great Britain (since 1904) and in the United States (since 1906) with a variety of figures or words: coin, .900, or 900/1000. Coin silver has a specific gravity of 10.31 and a melting point of 869° centigrade (1614° Fahrenheit). See SILVER.


Cash In Your Coins: Selling the Rare Coins You've Inherited: The expanded 4th edition of Beth Deisher's award-winning book includes a new chapter on counterfeit coins, updated coverage of state and federal tax laws, and more. This book belongs in every collector's safe or bank box. Protect your heirs! Order online for $19.95 at , or call 1-800-546-2995.


Here's another entry from the online draft of John Lupia's book of numismatic biographies. This is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is dealer and author M. H. Bolender. I added the image of Bolender's classic book on early U.S. dollars. -Editor

Bolender, The U.S. Early Silver Dollars Bolender, Milford Henry, Orangeville, Stephenson County, Illinois, Coin dealer who held 197 mail coin auction sales from 1925 to 1960, and published at least 55 special fixed price lists by April 1934.

He was born on August 23, 1894, at Orangeville, Illinois, the son of Stewart E. (1861-) and Clara A. (1865-) Bolender. He was the third of six children. His father was born in Illinois and worked as a stone-mason. His mother was born in Wisconsin.

He began collecting coins as a schoolboy receiving collectible coins as a reward for good grades and good schoolwork.

He served in the U.S. Army 14th Infantry 19th Division during WWI and enlisted on May 20, 1918 at Freeport, Illinois, where he was made Corporal. He was discharged on January 27, 1919 at Camp Dodge, Iowa.

In 1922, he was a high school principal at Rock City, Stephenson County, Illinois, with an annual salary of $1,800 per year.

His application for ANA membership is dated October 16, 1924 and gives his occupation as school principal. He is ANA member No. 2776.

His first commercial advertisement as a coin dealer that ran in The Numismatist was in the November 1924 issue. He announced "Public Mail Auctions Held Every Month".

According to the 1930 U.S. Census, Bolender was a bachelor still living with his parents and was a self-employed numismatist. His father was now the proprietor of a hotel.

His mail coin auction business thrived and was highly successful attracting several important numismatic collections.

On October 15, 1935, for example, he ran Part III of the Famous Collection Formed by A. M. Smith of Minneapolis, Minnesota.

In 1937, he married Lily Hillquist, a Nebraska schoolteacher, whom he had met on a trip to Europe.

In November 1939, Bolender and his wife moved into their new home which they had built at 1126 Benson Boulevard, Freeport, Illinois, and conducted there Sale No. 127.

On July 28, 1950 he was issued his copyright and published The United States Early Silver Dollars From 1794 to 1803 (Freeport, Illinois, 1950), hardbound in blue cloth with gilt lettering, contains 9 collotype plates.

On Christmas-Eve 1951, Bolender suffered a heart attack.

About March 1952, he moved to San Marino, California as a semi-retired dealer after Sale No. 183 held that February.

His 197th Sale was held in the Fall of 1960.

From 1961 to 1963 he contributed a column in Numismatic News, titled, "M/ H. Bolender Writes".

In 1969 at the 78th ANA Anniversary Convention he was nominated as a candidate for election to the ANA Hall of Fame.

In 1975, he was awarded the ANA 50-year gold membership at the ANA Los Angeles Convention.

He died at age 83 on November 15, 1977, at Mount Miguel Covenant Village, Spring Valley, where he moved since late 1970.

To read the complete article, see:


The ANA has announced the cancellation of the 2021 Summer Seminar. -Editor

2021 ANA Summer Seminar Cancelled

The American Numismatic Association (ANA) announced that the 2021 Summer Seminar, scheduled for June 19-24 (Session 1) and June 26-July 1 (Session 2), has been officially cancelled.

Traditionally held on the Colorado College campus adjacent to ANA headquarters, Summer Seminar is a once-a-year opportunity for numismatic learning and camaraderie that offers hundreds of collectors from around the world a varied selection of week-long courses designed for discovery and continued study.

Colorado College notified the ANA in late 2020 that it would not be hosting events on its campus in 2021 because of COVID-19. The Association looked at an alternative location in Colorado Springs, but the $128,000 deficit that would be incurred to host the event there was rejected by the ANA Board of Governors. The University of Denver (DU) campus also was considered, but previous Summer Seminar students and instructors indicated that without access to the Association's museum and library, Summer Seminar would not be as engaging. Additionally, many previous participants noted they were uncomfortable traveling during the pandemic.

ANA Executive Director Kim Kiick indicated that the Association will offer free virtual courses through its eLearning Academy during the 2021 Summer Seminar dates of June 19-July 1. Although the online classes will not replicate the Summer Seminar event, it will give participants a taste of the popular program. Topics will appeal to a broad range of collectors – from beginners to advanced numismatists. Details will be available in the weeks ahead.

COVID-19 also caused the cancellation of the 2020 Summer Seminar, the event's first cancellation in its 50-plus-year history.

Scholarships that were awarded for the 2020 Summer Seminar will be honored for the 2022 event.

It's such a shame that this great event has been a double casualty of the pandemic. It's one of the best things ANA does for the hobby, and it's impossible to replicate online the experience of being at headquarters in-person to visit the museum, browse through the library and socialize with numismatic friends new and old. But we'll look forward to the virtual courses. -Editor

To read the complete press release, see:
American Numismatic Association 2021 Summer Seminar Cancelled (

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Ray Czahor submitted this report on the January 16, 2021 virtual Philippine Collectors Forum. Thanks! Earl Honeycutt, Neil Shafer, Allen Menke and John Riley kindly provided image assistance. -Editor

Philippine Collectors Forum
January 16,2021

Virtual 'Zoom' meeting Notes by John Riley and Dennis Tucker

The Philippine Collectors Forum met for the second time virtually on Saturday, January 16, 2021 as a mid-winter 'escape' from home lockdown during the COVID-19 pandemic. Using the 'Zoom' platform, 54 collectors came together for the most diverse range of Philippine numismatic topics to date. The meeting was timed to begin at 7 PM Eastern time so that fellow enthusiasts in the Philippines could join (8 AM on Sunday morning in Manila). It was however a challenge for a European participant to join at 1 AM in Germany! Our most far-flung group of interested participants ever, a collector in Canada was also online.

John Riley hosted the interactive meeting and welcomed the participants - glad to see such interest. John briefly restated the PCF's educational mission as an ANA member club and spoke on the hopes to re-engage personally at shows once the virus clears. The Worlds Fair of Money (American Numismatic Association's summer show in Chicago/Rosemont) is on the calendar for August 10-14 with a PCF gathering tentatively scheduled for Friday afternoon, August 13. Fingers crossed. John discussed Cookie Jar Collectible's upcoming mailbid featuring some 500 medal lots and over 150 tokens. Ray Czahor operates Cookie Jar Collectibles and advises he will have still have lots for books and other related Philippine items. No date yet set for publishing the mailbid, Ray has had a few scheduling setbacks.

The first speaker slot was a free-form discussion around the 2021 marketplace, trends seen and interesting items crossing the auction block. Stacks-Bowers is hosting several auctions this month and all areas of high-grade early USPI coinage continue to perform extremely well. Kelly Norris pointed out a 1909-S U.S. Philippines Peso coin in PCGS MS-62 sold for $900 this week (Heritage) - roughly three times the amount we were seeing on the convention floor one year ago. While this may be an extreme example, it is worth noting. Another coin that has seen considerable interest and recent price increases is the 1905-S Peso coin (straight serif), a scarcer late-stage die, with high end AU and low Uncirculated specimens bringing $8000-$10,000 and upwards at auction. Ken Seymore pointed out the astronomical "real estate footage" difference for this subtle variety in the first digit of the coin's date! Ken elaborated about several other early, high grade examples showing extreme interest and rising prices - among them, the 1912-S Peso. Sandy Lichauco in Manila commented also on current conditions seen in the Philippines and it is apparent in both countries that one can't go wrong at this time blending quality and scarcity: it is recognized now more than at any previous time and pricing is only going UP.

Ken reports that USPI coins are being scooped up on the bourse, with red coppers particularly "crazy." However, Ken warns that collectors should beware because Red coppers can turn red/brown over time. His advice is to be happy with Red/Brown or else figure out some way to keep Red coins red (with dessicants, environmental control, etc) because the grading firms don't guarantee their slabs to be 100% protective. Ken referred to Bill Elwell, who years ago encouraged him to collect high-grade circulation strikes instead of following the crowd and being overly enamored with Proofs. He described his personal approach to building a well-balanced "matched set" of grades, color and eye appeal within a collection.

1861 Philippines Mint Opening Silver Medallic Proclamation 2 Reales obverse 1861 Philippines Mint Opening Silver Medallic Proclamation 2 Reales reverse
Lot 20436 PHILIPPINES. Mint Opening Silver Medallic Proclamation 2 Reales, 1861. Isabella II

Earl Honeycutt then discussed an 1861 medal, H-16, that sold for $5,300 in MS-62 (Stack's Bowers, 1/15/21) against a catalog value of $400-$500. The medal is a rarity, identified by Earl as being the only one Ray Czahor has ever seen.

1945 Philippines pattern 100-peso note front

Next to present was Joe Boling, American Numismatic Association's Chief Exhibits Judge. Normally tied up with official duties during the ANA summer convention, the PCF was glad to welcome Joe for a powerpoint presentation on the rare 1945 pattern 100-peso note (Block letters 'PV') of the Japanese Occupation period. Printed in Baguio in northern Luzon, examples are exceeding rare with only three examples known. Similar in appearance and design to the familiar 1000-Peso (Pick-115) with block letters 'PU' issued during the final months of WWII (thin paper notes usually seen with purple ink on the front of the notes bleeding through to the back), the backstory of the PV 100-Peso remains a bit of a mystery in terms of authorization and circulation intentions: the Japanese wartime economy was in fatal decline at this point in the war. Obscure enough to have not yet drawn counterfeiters, Joe has been called upon to authenticate examples on the few occasions they have come to auction. Joe spent some time going over the diagnostics shared by known notes; not surprisingly, the same note has been referred on different occasions. Their provenance can now be tracked thanks to this detailed research and authentication is available for any specimens that emerge in the future.

Marines Post Exchsnge Mex. scrip notes Neil Shafer then provided a fascinating look at Philippines "exographica" (as in exonumia, exographica describes all things paper with monetary value) - some of these items never before displayed. This richly illustrated discussion was wide-ranging and included various pieces of prisoner-of-war material from the Spanish-American War and World War II, plus other items. Loan notes; a paper Puente Colgante bridge token; commisary ration cards; canteen checks; emergency small-change scrip issued by restaurants; Santo Tomas internment-camp meal tickets; a Japanese rail ticket, in Tagalog; Japanese internment cmap postcards and correspondence; a U.S. base club ticket ("821 Club" on the small bill font of a 10-centavos JIM note); PI begin WW2 back a Manila Electric & Light Company first-class fare ticket; a mysterious and disputed Canlubang Sugar Estate "Emergency BIll Money" 1-centavos note dated June 1, 1942 (possibly a fantasy note as the sugar plantation's published formation date is in 1948). Finally, Neil showed us military 5- and 10-cent "Mex" paper U.S. Marine Exchange - Cavite tokens and another for the 14th U.S. Infantry (10 cents). The Infantry company chit was handwritten "This is what we by (sic) beer with!" Wonderful material and a most enjoyable presentation.

PI coin shortage

PI Postcd camp face

Jeff Shevlin, the "So-Called (Dollar) Guy" was to join us following Neil but was held up by technical problems, John Riley instead described Jeff's project in concert with the Moonlight Mint to market 100th anniversary commemorations of the (1920) opening of the Manila Mint - true in design to the Wilson Dollar. The obverse die is, in actuality, the original as rescued from the rubble of the Manila Mint in late 1945 by U.S. Army Warrant Officer Lloyd Spriggle and spirited to the United States where it sat unrecognized for 60+ years. The reverse carries a 2020 date and is marked "To Commemorate the Anniversary of the Opening of the Mint." Jeff can be reached via for more information or to purchase an example of this handsome 100th year commemoration.

Philippine Medals and Tokens 3rd Edition Cover Next presenters were Earl Honeycutt and Sandy Lichauco - separated by 7000+ miles, they were able to partner well! The 3rd edition of Earl's book PHILIPPINE MEDALS & TOKENS, out since July 2020, is selling well, through eBay and elsewhere. Sandy reported that the book has caused a boom in interest in Philippine medals and tokens, with more coming on the market and more being slabbed. NGC has certified approximately 250 medals, and PCGS about 50. Since the book was published in July 2020, collectors have reported about 150 previously uncataloged medals. Earl asks anyone who has a relevant Philippine medal or token that isn't included in the 3rd edition to contact him at

Dennis Tucker, Publisher at Whitman, was next introduced and shared some of the going-ons with his company including comments on the updated U.S. Philippines section of the classic Red Book and plans to expand the Philippines section of the Cherrypickers' Guide, Dennis has asked our group for information on the more popular varieties in the USPI series that aren't published else in mainstream numismatic references. Dennis touched also some of the new U.S. mint commemorative medal issues (including unfortunate materials pricing increases). An exciting potential development under consideration is a new coin storage album for the Philippine series - possibly a limited edition "reprint" similar to the classic 1964 Whitman Bookshelf album that housed type coins from the Spanish period, through the U.S. issues and also modern issues up to the 1960's. Stay tuned on that! Dennis' interest in the Philippines Collectors Forum from his desk at Whitman is greatly appreciated.

For an aspect of Philippine numismatics that we haven't previously visited at the PCF, Allen Menke - a long time Order and Medals Society (OMSA) member - gave us a talk on a unique military medal awarded to a sailor for bravery during the battle of Manila Bay in 1898. The Specially Meritorius Service Medal for enlisted sailors and marines during the campaign off Cuba are known, although very rare. Only some 100 medals are known for live-saving actions in the West Indies campaign, reconaisance work ashore and the cutting of communication cables at Cienfuegos. But a special version was prepared, with a silver ring encircling the obverse motif and presented in 1912 to Paymaster W.W. Galt for intrepidity under fire in delivering a critical ship's pump to the U.S.S. Raleigh to effect emergency repairs. Allen's talk was illustrated with color photographs of the regular and special-issue medals. Allen has a book on the topic that is available for sale: he can be reached at He is normally involved with OMSA functions elsewhere during the Worlds Fair of Money and it was a delight to include him in our Saturday virtual meeting.

500 peso VICTORY note

Fred Schwan then held the floor to speak of his group, M.P.C. Fest (gathering at the A.N.A. convention as Military Money Collectors Group) and our shared interests in numismatics of the World War II period. Fred spoke on 'Fun with Victory Notes,' a thought-provoking way of looking at different collecting 'angles' of these readily available and inexpensive USPI series 66 overprinted Treasury Certificates. Fred took us through a type collection 1-Peso to 500-Pesos, overprinted stamps, 'short snorters,' replacement 'star' notes and exotic errors (inverted overprints and the like). But the educational aspect often overlooked is collecting by plate identification number and position markers and what they mean. A valuable open forum ensued concerning the number of notes to a sheet and related production "mechanics." We hope to develop a separate high-detail article in the near future on paper money printing and preparation.

After a most enthusiastic 2.5 hours, the floor was opened for general discussion - our member in Germany, Matthias Voigt, spoke on his collaboration efforts with Neil Shafer in anticipation of a revision in the not-too-distant future for the guide to Philippines Emergency Guerrilla issues of WWII. Matt is a serious collector and researcher in this specialty area and desires all input, suggestions, and especially new 'discoveries.' Matt can be reached at

Thanks to all participants and speakers - wonderful participation and conversations. This is a great time to pursue your interests in this unique, historic and meaningful specialty area. Depending on the pandemic's duration and if topics and speakers will offer themselves, perhaps we can do this again in the coming months. Hope to see you, in person, in Chicago in August!

Ray adds:

"The number of collectors who signed in (54) really surprised us, particularly from "around the world."

I've said before that the pandemic hastened the arrival of the future by a number of years. It was always inevitable that this technology would someday be cheap, easy and ubiquitous, and that day has arrived. Birds of a numismatic feather can flock together now no matter where they're sitting on the planet. The quantity and quality of conference speakers and attendees has ratcheted up a number of notches. There's no going back. -Editor

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

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Fabrizio Raponi, Education Programs Manager of the International Bank Note Society submitted this report on the group's new offerings. Thanks! -Editor

IBNS logo 2 I would like to let readers know about the new IBNS Educational Program started last July.

The Society runs an online lecture and presentation once a month to share the passion and knowledge on anything related to banknotes.

While the live session where you can interact with the presenters is available only to the IBNS members, a recording of the presentation, available to all, can be found on the IBNS YouTube channel here:

The following is the upcoming program for the next few months:

06 February:

starting at 13:00 UTC
"Collecto.AI - Your Collection Smart Assistance
by Dmytro Durach

A presentation of an idea of a mobile app for coin and banknotes collectors and discussion of pain points that could be solved by technology.

Starting at 13:45 UTC
The Escudo Paper Money of Portugal Part I 1911-1928
by Laurence Pope

The first of a three lecture series, this lecture covers the introduction of the escudo after the 1910 revolution, and no less than four complete series of notes, known as Chapas 1 - 4, in a period of only 17 years. Profusely illustrated with a total of 100 PowerPoint slides, extensive coverage is given to specimens, proofs, progressive proofs, colour trials and archival photographs as well as issued notes. During this period Bradbury Wilkinson competed with Waterlows for the business of the Bank of Portugal, but the Alves Reis scandal of 1925 meant that Bradbury Wilkinson had gained the upper hand by the end of the 1920s.

06 March - starting at 13:00 UTC
The History of Paper Money of India
by Rezwan Razack

Dictated by the triumphs, struggles and crises in India's rich and diverse history, the story of paper money of India is elaborate as it is captivating. Rezwan Razack's comprehensive representation of this story, realised from over five decades of unwavering dedication to researching, collecting and collating historic bank notes and related material. The presentation will be a great source of information and intrigue for those who wish to look back in time to see the history of Indian paper money.A presentation like no other, for a one-of-a-kind journey through history. This presentation is outstanding for its diversity and its depth, comprising of Early Notes of the Private and Presidency Banks to the Uniface Notes of Colonial India and Portrait Notes of British monarchs, Queen Victoria, King George V and King George VI. India's colonial history is evidenced in the notes from French India and Portuguese India. Money from the Princely States of Hyderabad, Jammu and Kashmir and Saurashtra States as well as Cash Coupons and Prisoners of War Coupons are other highlights. In addition, Indian notes used in Burma and Pakistan and rare notes used in the Persian Gulf States and by Haj pilgrims are valuable additions.

03 April - starting at 13:00 UTC
Ceylon Banknotes from 1785 to 1884
by Dr. Kavan Ratnatunga

From the first introduction of Paper currency for Ceylon, by the Dutch, in 1785, to 1884 when the Colonial Government of Ceylon took over the issue of Currency, is a 100-year history, that are poorly documented in Standard Banknote Catalogs. The language on the notes changed from Dutch to English with the British takeover in 1796. Only the denomination was in Sinhala and Tamil. Early notes in Rix Dollars were redeemable in Copper. British Sterling Pounds was introduced in 1825. Watermarks were introduced around the 1840s and are hardly documented. Private Banks such as The Chartered Mercantile Bank of India, London & China - Ceylon Branch, Oriental Bank Corporation issued notes from 1844. These are not "Specialized" Issues as cataloged. They were the only issuer of Banknotes in Ceylon from 1856 till the Private Banks crashed in early 1880 due to the Coffee blight. Decimal Currency in Rupees was adopted in 1870. Dr. Kavan Ratnatunga has now compiled all available images of Ceylon Banknotes from Auction Catalogs, HSBC Archives, British Museum, and the National Museum Colombo, in his website on which this lecture is based.

01 May - starting at 13:00 UTC
The Escudo Paper Money of Portugal Part II 1929-1959
by Laurence Pope

The second of a three lecture series, this lecture covers the development of Portugal's escudo currency through the world depression of the 1930s, a banking crisis and the second world war. During this period, Antonio Oliveira de Salazar came to power and stabilised the currency under the Estado Novo inaugurated in 1933. Profusely illustrated with 100 PowerPoint slides, coverage is given to the next four series of notes, known as Chapas 5 - 8, with a particular emphasis given to proofs, archival photographs, unused designs, specimens and colour trials.

People interested to participate live to the program can join the society via its website here:

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Here's a selection of items that caught my eye in the World Banknote Auctions Sale 3, which closes on February 4, 2021. -Editor

Lot 3016: 2019 Aruba 10 Florins

2019 Aruba 10 Florin banknote

Aruba 1.1.2019 PMG Superb Gem UNC 67 EPQ 10 Florins

Very colorful note! -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Aruba 1.1.2019 PMG Superb Gem UNC 67 EPQ 10 Florins (

Lot 3048: 1903 British North Borneo 25 Cents

1903 British North Borneo 25 Cent note

British North Borneo 1903 P-7a PMG Fine 12 25 Cents

Very scarce small-change note from British North Borneo. This particularly example is dated 1903, and is seen here in typical condition for this issue. However, unlike many others, this one does not come with negative remarks. Problem-free notes from this time period in this grade are very difficult to find.

Having collected U.S. Civil War scrip, I have a soft spot for small change notes of all kinds. This one saw a good bit of service. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
British North Borneo 1903 P-7a PMG Fine 12 25 Cents (

Lot 3053: 1954 Canada Devil's Face $100

1954 Canada Devil's Face $100 banknote

Canada 1954 BC-35a PMG Gem UNC 65 EPQ 100 Dollars "Devil's Face"

Coyne-Towers signature combination. Devil's Face variety, so-called because of what appears to be a devil in the Queen's hair. This variety was printed for a relative short period of time before the engraving was altered to remove the "devil" image. Higher denominations are scarce, particularly in Gem Uncirculated condition as seen here.

A classic note. Good story, always popular. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Canada 1954 BC-35a PMG Gem UNC 65 EPQ 100 Dollars "Devil's Face" (

Lot 3129: 2002 European Union - Germany 200 Euro

2002 European Union - Germany 200 Euro

European Union / Germany 2002 P-19x PMG Gem UNC 66 EPQ 200 Euro

Final signature for the 200 Euro and a type that has already become very difficult to find.

To read the complete lot description, see:
European Union / Germany 2002 P-19x PMG Gem UNC 66 EPQ 200 Euro (

Lot 3228: 1877 Japan 1 Yen

1877 Japan 1 Yen banknote

Japan / Constitutional Monarchy ND (1877) P-20 PMG Very Fine 20 1 Yen

One of the earlier Japanese banknotes one can collect. A type that is typically found repaired, original, problem-free examples are surprisingly difficult to find.

I don't believe I've ever seen one of these before. Great note. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Japan / Constitutional Monarchy ND (1877) P-20 PMG Very Fine 20 1 Yen (

Lot 3248: Madagascar 50 Francs

Madagascar 50 Francs

Madagascar ND (1937-47) P-38 PMG Choice UNC 64 50 Francs

Popular type note from Madagascar. A small group of these turned up in Europe years ago, and all known uncirculated examples come from this group. Light foxing was visible on all notes, including this one, which deemed PMG to exclude it from the EPQ designation. However, it is fully original and a pleasing type example with a unique design.

Great note - nice design. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

For more information, see:

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Here's a selection of items that caught my eye in the January 2021 Archives International Auction 64. -Editor

Lot 929: Columbia Turnpike Road Stock Certificate

Columbia Turnpike Road Stock Certificate

Maryland. February 1, 1814, 1 Share, I/U stock certificate, S/N 151, black on light beige paper, Issued to John Ellicott and signed by Samuel Godfrey as President and Samuel Heston as Treasurer. Embossed corporate seal at the left next to the small ornate counterfoil. S/N 151. On January 10, 1810, the Columbia Turnpike Road Company was chartered by the General Assembly of Maryland to "make a turnpike road from where the road leading from Montgomery courthouse to Baltimore intersects the Baltimore and Frederick turnpike road near Ellicott's lower mills, in a direction towards Georgetown, until it intersects the line of the district of Columbia, and so that it shall cross Rock creek at not less than three miles above Georgetown". XF condition. Printed by J. Robinson, 96 Market Street, Baltimore, MD. Rare and early Maryland Turnpike certificate.

Great history! -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Columbia Turnpike Road, 1814 I/U Stock Certificate. (

People's Gas Light and Coke Co. Bond Electric Corp. Stock and Bond
Lots 936 and 937

Lot 936: People's Gas Light and Coke Co. Bond
Illinois, 1895. $1000 Specimen 6% First Consolidated Mortgage Gold Bond, Black text with green border and undertint, Eagle on rock at top center. Red specimen overprints, 00000 serial numbers, and POCs. Fine condition, ABNC.

Great eagle. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
People's Gas Light and Coke Co. 1895 Specimen Bond (

Lot 937: Electric Corp. Stock and Bond
Maine. Lot includes 2 pieces: 10 Shares I/U Capital Stock Certificate in brown; $1000 Specimen 7% Registered Cumulative Gold Debenture Bond in green. Both are in Fine condition. 2 items.

Elaborately done. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Electric Corp. Issued Stock and Bond Pair, ca.1909-1911. (

Lot 955: Society of the Cincinnati Invitation

Society of the Cincinnati Invitation

New York. 1899 Issued invitation to the 100th Anniversary of General George Washington's death, to be observed at Saint Paul's Chapel in New York City. Black text with colorful Society of the Cincinnati and Sons of the Revolution badges depicted at left. The Society of the Cincinnati is the nation's oldest patriotic organization, founded in 1783 by officers of the Continental Army and their French counterparts who served together in the American Revolution. Sons of the Revolution is a hereditary society which was founded in 1876 and educates the public about the American Revolution. VF condition. Printed on a vellum or parchment type of paper.

Great Washingtoniana. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
General Society of the Cincinnati and the Sons of the Revolution 1899 Washington Death Centennial In (

Lot 990: Columbian Bank Note Co. Stock Certificate

Columbian Bank Note Co. Stock Certificate

Chicago, Illinois. 50 Shares, I/C, Stock Certificate, Black on green underprint, S/N 11, VF condition with the counterfoil attached to the left side. Scarce security printer stock certificate. Columbian Bank Note Co. - Columbian started up in Chicago in 1904 after ABN bought Western Bank Note. Western's former president decided to start a new company.

Nice banknote printing association item. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Columbian Bank Note Co., 1905 I/C Stock Certificate. (

Lot 1023: 1973 First Pacific Rim Banknote Conference Commemorative Book

1973 First Pacific Rim Banknote Conference Commemorative Book

Washington, D.C., 10.5 x 8.5 inch commemorative and embossed leather book from the Department of the Treasury, Bureau of Engraving and Printing. Dated October 1973, when opened, displays several illustrated vignettes at left, as well as a page of appreciation to all participating nations within the First Pacific Rim Banknote Conference. Uncirculated condition, with interior pages protected by plastic held in by ribbons. First time offered by us. BEP.

Unusual BEP item. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Department of the Treasury, 1973 First Pacific Rim Banknote Conference Commemorative Book With 2 Pag (

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Heritage will soon be offering the Hunter collection of U.S. colonial notes. Cataloger Bruce Hagen submitted this selection of highlights. Thanks! Great notes. -Editor

Hunter Collection Auction Features
Over 400 Different Colonial Note Types

The Hunter Collection, carefully collected across three decades, contains notes from all thirteen colonies plus Continental Currency types; most are in choice condition.  Notes for all interest areas and budgets will be featured in this diverse presentation. Iconic rarities from the Maryland Allegorical series and Massachusetts Revere "Sword in Hand" issues (there are 18 examples) are cataloged alongside affordable favorites from Delaware, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. All will be offered unreserved at auction on Thursday, February 11, 2021.

PCGS Gem New 65PPQ $2/3 Fugio Note

Continental Currency February 17, 1776 $2-3 front Continental Currency February 17, 1776 $2-3 back

Continental Currency February 17, 1776 $2/3 Fr. CC-22 PCGS Gem New 65PPQ.
The highest of the four-denomination Fugio types, with the sundial motif and mottoes at the left side. Gem examples of this iconic type have been in strong demand for many years. This Hunter Collection note is broadly margined and beautifully centered. The face-to-back registration is precise. Blue threads are readily visible on both sides. Certain to elicit enthusiastic bidding from discerning collectors. Lot 94007 .

To read the complete lot description, see:
Continental Currency February 17, 1776 $2/3 Fr. CC-22 PCGS Gem New 65PPQ.. ... (

Exceptional June 8, 1777 $8 "Thirteen Links-C Congress" Note

Georgia June 8, 1777 $8 Red front Georgia June 8, 1777 $8 Red back

Georgia June 8, 1777 $8 Red "in" Fr. GA-110a PMG About Uncirculated 50 EPQ.
A rare type and the highest denomination from this Continental Currency-payable series. This is the key seal type in the series and the first Georgia appearance of the Thirteen Links motif with motto "C / Congress" in the center. The seal is deep blue and well detailed. Wood, Langworthy and Wylly signed at bottom left, with O'Bryen and Wade signing perpendicularly. This stunning example of the iconic, patriotic emblem type is superior to the Newman Collection note sold in October 2018. When we offered the top population note from either service (PCGS Choice About New 58PPQ) in September 2016, it realized $4,935. However, the present example has greater eye appeal and stronger colors. One of the finest known, a prize Georgia note in this Hunter Collection offering. Lot 94139 .

To read the complete lot description, see:
Georgia June 8, 1777 $8 Red "in" Fr. GA-110a PMG About Uncirculated 50 EPQ.. ... (

Stunning July 26, 1775 $2 2/3 Allegorical Series Note
Among the Finest Known from the Entire Issue

Maryland July 26, 1775 $2 2-3 Allegorical Series front

Maryland July 26, 1775 $2 2-3 Allegorical Series back

Maryland July 26, 1775 $2 2/3 Allegorical Series Fr. MD-75 PMG Choice Very Fine 35.
A mesmerizing example from this elite, intricately engraved series and among the finest known from the entire issue. The only note we know of that exceeds the condition of this example is the $1 1/3 piece from the Boyd Collection ("Choice Extremely Fine") sold in Ford Part III for $14,950 in October 2004.

The face design for the issue, adapted from a woodcut by Thomas Sparrow, shows standing Britannia receiving the petition (Cong / Peti) of the Continental Congress from America, who tramples the named scroll of Slavery. George III is shown stomping on the M[agna] Charta as he holds the torch to burn an American port being attacked by the British fleet. At each end (in the border cuts) are mottoes: at left, An appeal to HEAVEN and at right, Pro Aris et Focis (For altars and the hearth). The back allegory represents a future peace between America and Britannia; the motto on the scroll below is PAX TRIUMPHIS POTIOR (Peace is preferable to victory). In the corners, deftly placed in the borders, are clockwise from the upper left, the signature of T.Sparrow, LIBERTY, 1775 and F.G. (for printer Frederick Green).

The note has immaculate surfaces and is lightly quarter folded. The margins excel with the ends being slightly "short," but well balanced. The signatures of William Perry and James Hindman are boldly penned. This is in the finest condition of any Allegorical Series note we have cataloged for sale, and that includes all seven from the Newman Collection. Ex: Stack's Keusch, Snow, Del Zorro Collections Sale, November 18-19, 2008, lot 5620 (realized $12,650); Minot Collection. Lot 94172 .

To read the complete lot description, see:
Maryland July 26, 1775 $2 2/3 Allegorical Series Fr. MD-75 PMG Choice Very Fine 35.. ... (

Outstanding Revere-Engraved August 18, 1775
20 Shillings "Sword in Hand" Note
Among the Finest Known of This Iconic Design

Massachusetts August 18, 1775 20 Shillings front Massachusetts August 18, 1775 20 Shillings back

Massachusetts August 18, 1775 20 Shillings Fr. MA-170 PMG About Uncirculated 55 EPQ.
An outstanding "Sword in Hand" note and one of the finest known of the design type. Not surprisingly, this is the census topper on Track & Price by far. When last sold, it was eagerly pursued during the important offering of Minot notes in 2008. This back design was featured on the front cover of the auction catalog. Off the market now for over a dozen years, we expect this stellar example to elicit spirited interest. None of the "Swords" in our historic Newman Collection sales could compare with the present note. Collectors will be wise to seize the moment and obtain a numismatic treasure.

This is truly a museum-caliber note: just as it was in 1775 aside from a light horizontal fold and some handling. The edges are fully deckled, margins are wide, and the printing clarity is extraordinary on the clean-surfaced paper. The central signature is faint compared to the other two, diagnostic to many notes from the issue. Ex: Stack's Keusch, Snow, Del Zorro Collections Sale, November 18-19, 2008, lot 5639 (realized $20,700); Minot Collection; Stack's 2001 Americana Sale, January 16-18, 2001, lot 2167. A stunning American paper currency rarity. Lot 94189.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Massachusetts August 18, 1775 20 Shillings Fr. MA-170 PMG About Uncirculated 55 EPQ.. ... (

Exceedingly Rare June 1780 20 Shillings Note

Rhode Island June 1780 20 Shillings front Rhode Island June 1780 20 Shillings back

Rhode Island June 1780 20 Shillings Fr. RI-281b PMG Very Fine 20.
This is an epic late Rhode Island Colonial note rarity from a series not represented in the Newman Collection. It is the first individual note from the issue we have cataloged for sale. Examples were virtually unknown, except for the paltry two denominations in the F. C.C. Boyd Collection. Each of those has been the Newman plate note over the course of five editions. Serendipitously, a compact cache of this issue appeared as a group lot in our September 2007 Currency Auction #448; included with the six notes was an 1859 pedigree documentation. That amazing find sold for $46,000 attesting to its immense desirability. This serial number 297 (or 299 as reported on Track & Price) was part of that sextet, and is one of the finer examples of the size. Printed by B. Wheeler with the imprint in a cartouche on the back. The issue's legal tender status was brief, and we would assume those notes issued were rapidly withdrawn. Apparently, the lesser denominations were not emitted, and their existence is unconfirmed. A solid note, broadly margined, with a cluster of pinholes in the center. PMG noted "Splits," observed at sides of the horizontal crease. There is a crossed-out, lengthy annotation on the back underneath the printed area. The Boyd Collection 20 shillings (Newman plate note in the first through fourth editions) realized $12,650 in October 2006. That example is superior to this note, but rim mounted in light cardboard. An important opportunity to acquire one of the great rarities from Rhode Island and the entire late-Colonial currency genre. Lot 94386.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Rhode Island June 1780 20 Shillings Fr. RI-281b PMG Very Fine 20.. ... (

This important collection, featuring over 400 different Colonial note types, will be auctioned online on February 11, 2021, commencing at 6:00 PM Central Time (7:00 P.M. Eastern). Lot viewing is available by appointment only at Heritage's Office in Dallas; contact Jose Berumen at or 214-409-1299. Please click here to visit the online catalog. All lots are currently on view and open for bidding now

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In March Dix Noonan Webb will offer coins from the collection of author Rev. Richard Plant. Here's the press release. -Editor

Richard Plant More than 300 lots of British, Greek, Roman, Byzantine and Islamic Coins from the Collection of the late Richard Plant will be offered in a live/online auction of Coins and Historical Medals on Tuesday March 2, 2021 by International coins, medals, banknotes and jewellery specialists Dix Noonan Webb via their website Comprising thousands of individual coins, the collection is expected to fetch more than £100,000.

The Reverend Richard J. Plant (1928-2020), who died peacefully at his home in Bawtry, South Yorkshire, on 2 August 2020, had a distinctive approach to writing about coins which arose from a life-long quest to make them accessible to collectors who lacked his own classical education. His articles and books, typically illustrated by his own meticulous hand-drawn illustrations brought coins to life - he focused on making connections to the history, myths, places, objects and people on them.

Plant was born in Wandsworth, London, on 6 July 1928. His first coin, acquired at the age of six, was a 1916 zinc issue from the German occupation of Belgium; he subsequently explored the Caledonian (Tower Bridge) and Portobello Road markets for coins. A keen student of Latin and Greek, he built his collection up by identifying coins for dealers on the Portobello road in London in exchange for a few coins.

His writing career began in 1965, with an article for Seaby's Coin & Medal Bulletin on the coat of arms of Lorraine. But it was in 1973, with Arabic Coins and How to Read Them, that he really broke through. The book won him the Royal Numismatic Society's Lhotka Memorial Prize in 1975. This was followed in 1979 by Greek Semitic Asiatic Coins and How to Read Them (reissued in 2013), followed by guides to Roman Base Metal Coins (2000) and Roman Silver Coins (2005), both of which proved popular and became standard tools for identification for collector and specialist alike. The last substantial book was A Numismatic Journey Through the Bible (2007), which originated as a series of illustrated talks for church groups.

As his son Stephen commented: "My Father always thought that clergy without a hobby tended to be over earnest and a bit too intense for their own good. Coin collecting and writing nearly always played second or third fiddle to his long and faithful Christian ministry, served in the West Midlands, London and Yorkshire, and to his family – wife Ann, sons Peter and Stephen and his five grandchildren. But his hobby kept him sane; through it he made friends around the world with whom he enjoyed emailed conversations, especially as his physical world contracted. His unconventional writing will be missed by many, as will his extensive knowledge, his winsome charm and his defining modesty."

DNW 2021-03 Plant sale Greek Phillip III
Philip III

Among the British coins is a fine coin from the reign of Henry VIII (1509-1547), which is estimated at £800-£1,000, while within the Greek section is a very fine example from the reign of Philip III (323-17) which is estimated at £800-£1,000.

DNW 2021-03 Plant sale Julian II 1
Solidus of Julian II

DNW 2021-03 Plant sale Michael VII
Byzantine coin of Michael VII

Roman coins include a rare solidus from the reign of Julian II (as Cæsar), dating from 355-7 which is expected to fetch £300-£400, while Byzantine Coinage includes a very fine coin from the reign of Michael VII, which is estimated at £200-£300 and among the Byzantine coins is a group of four fine Ottoman examples from the reigns of Suleyman I, Murad III, Ahmed I, and Ahmed III that are estimated at £500-£700.

DNW 2021-03 Plant sale Suleyman
Ottoman coins from the reigns of Suleyman I, Murad III, Ahmed I, and Ahmed III

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
RICHARD J. PLANT (1928-2020) (

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Here's a selection of interesting or unusual items I came across in the marketplace this week. Tell us what you think of some of these. -Editor

Bruttium, Caulonia. Silver Nomos

Bruttium, Caulonia. Silver Nomos

Bruttium, Caulonia.

Silver Nomos, c. 475-425 BC.

Obverse: ??V? (retrograde), Apollo, nude, advancing right, holding a laurel branch, small daimon running on his left arm. Stag in right field. Reverse: ??V (retrograde), stag standing right, laurel branch to right.

(HN Italy 2046).

From Baldwin's online Virtual New York Show List 2021. A nice spare and stylized design. -Editor

To read the complete item description, see:

St. Paul Minnesota Steamboat Note

St. Paul Minnesota Steamboat Note

St. Paul, MN- Treasurer of Ramsey County $5 18__ Remainder Hewitt C320-D5-2 PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ.

The $5 is your cataloger's favorite note from this series with great visual appeal created by the red design elements as well as a spectacular steamboat vignette.

Great steamboat vignette. From Heritage. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
St. Paul, MN- Treasurer of Ramsey County $5 18__ Remainder Hewitt C320-D5-2 PMG Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ. (

1879 British North Borneo Pattern Cent

1879 British North Borneo Pattern Cent obverse 1879 British North Borneo Pattern Cent reverse

British North Borneo - Sulu - Brunei, 1 cent, superb toned PATTERN PROOF, 1879, NGC PF 64 BN, unlisted by Pridmore, obverse: "Al Sultan Muhammad Jamala'l-a'zam, tahun ba hijra sanat 1295" (Sultan Muhammad Jamala'l-a'zam year 2 from 1295h = 1878).

reverse: "Misraf bernaja (belanja) suga (suku) harga hinglis (English) humbak (habuk) perak" (Petty money current at 100 to the silver dollar).

Unknown to Major Pridmore at the time he researched and released his volume on Asia in 1962 was the preparation of three pattern coins for the newly established territory.

These were denominated in cents, half cents, and quarter cents of a silver dollar.

When Major Pridmore learned of the planned issue he researched and published them in the Spink Numismatic Circular.

Offered by SPINK. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

Tenino Wooden Sales Tax Chit

Tenino Wooden Sales Tax Chit Penny's Garage obverse Tenino Wooden Sales Tax Chit Penny's Garage reverse

Tenino, WA- Penny's Garage 1/5th Cent Sales Tax Chit ND (ca. 1930s) Mint (as made). This sales tax token could be used to pay sales tax on small purchases and is made out of wood. It would have been in use during the Great Depression. Tenino was known for its wooden money issues in the 1930s. We have offered one other similar piece from a different business in Tenino (Jiffy Lunch) that sold for $176 in 2015.

The OTHER Tenino wooden money. Cool - I wasn't aware of these private issues. From Heritage's 24-JAN sale. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
CURRENT BID: $21 Tenino, WA- Penny's Garage 1/5th Cent Sales Tax Chit ND (ca. 1930s) Mint (as made).. ... (

Churchill Navy Medal

Churchill Navy Medal obverse Churchill Navy Medal reverse

France WINSTON CHURCHILL bronze 68mm by Turin

Fron the Hedley Betts eBay store. I'd never seen a coin or medal depicting Churchill with a military cap. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
France WINSTON CHURCHILL bronze 68mm by Turin (

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Arthur Shippee passed along this New York Times article about the Bronze-Age use of metal rings as a medium of exchange. Thanks. -Editor

Bronze age rings The modern world runs on a constant flow of money that has its roots in simpler proto-currencies pioneered on regional levels by ancient peoples.

A pair of archaeologists believe they have identified a very early example of commodity money in Europe, used some 3,500 years ago during the Bronze Age, with denominations that took the form of bronze rings, ribs and ax blades. People at this time frequently buried collections of these ubiquitous items, leaving a wealth of scattered "hoards" across the European continent.

In a study published on Wednesday in PLOS ONE, Maikel Kuijpers, an assistant professor in European prehistory at Leiden University in the Netherlands, and Catalin N. Popa, who was a postdoctoral researcher there, compared the weights of more than 5,000 Bronze Age rings, ribs and blades, sourced from over 100 hoards that contained five or more items.

The results revealed that 70 percent of the rings were so close in mass — averaging about 7 ounces — that they would have been indistinguishable if weighed by hand. While the ribs and ax blades are not quite as uniform, the study concludes that the artifacts are similar enough to collectively demonstrate "the earliest development of commodity money in prehistoric Central Europe."

"It is a very clear standardization," Dr. Kuijpers said.

While other researchers questioned some of their conclusions, they agreed that the study added to our knowledge of the economic activities of ancient peoples.

Bronze Age ribs

Bronze Age ribs. A central innovation of bronze is the ability to make duplicates by casting the metal in molds, and the study speculates these copies gave rise, over time, to an abstract concept of weight.

To read the complete article, see:
An Ancient Form of European Money: Bronze Rings, Ribs and Blades (

To read a Daily Mail article forwarded by Dick Hanscom, see:
Europe's first common currency: Early Bronze Age people used rings, bangles and even axe blades as an early form of money 5,000 years ago (

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Rau $10,000 bill face

Sydney Masters writes:

"I thought you might be interested in a 1934 $10,000 bill that was just obtained by M.S. Rau in New Orleans, Louisiana.

"I found out from Bill Rau, the owner, that they procured the bill from a partner and there is an interesting twist to the story. There were 100 $10,00 bills in the gold arch and they were all glued to the glass. When they were removed, 80 or so of them were damaged and had to be restored because they'd gotten torn. The one that M.S. Rau has was one of the 10 bills that did not have to be restored, which is part of the reason it has a higher grade.

"Additionally, on a side note, Johnny Cash had a lot of these specific bills but not sure if Johnny Cash owned this particular bill but it is likely."

Rau $10,000 bill back

Here's an excerpt from the Rau site, with a photo from Wikipedia. -Editor

Benny_Becky_Binion_One_Million_Display The highest denomination currency ever to publicly circulate, this 1934 $10,000 bill is one of only a handful still known to exist. The extraordinarily rare bill features the portrait of President Lincoln's Secretary of the Treasury, Salmon P. Chase. A true collector's item, almost all $10,000 notes have been removed from circulation and destroyed by the Federal Reserve, though some are still held in museum collections such as the Museum of American Finance in New York.

This particular bill was once a part of the famed Binion Hoard, a collection of one hundred $10,000 bills totaling $1 million that were displayed in Binion's Horseshoe Casino, the most famous Las Vegas casino of its day. Its owner, Benny Binion, erected the much-publicized display of bills in 1964, embedding them in bulletproof glass beneath a gigantic horseshoe. The publicity stunt paid off, as Binion's Hoard became one of the most visited tourist attractions in Las Vegas.

The rare bill is marked with serial number "B00003066A" and has earned a coveted "Choice Uncirculated" quality grade.

To read the complete item description, see:

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: FEBRUARY 22, 2015 : Binion's Horseshoe Casino $10,000 Notes (

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Public radio's Marketplace addressed a question for curious bibliophiles - why do modern books have prices printed on them? -Editor

Book barcode Charles Robinson, a bookshop owner from Atlanta, asked Marketplace this question:

"Why are books actually marked with a price on them? Music isn't. Movies aren't. Most retail items that I could think of that you would find at resellers aren't in fact."

You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you will know how much it costs.

Pick up any book on your shelf that was published in modern times and you'll see a suggested retail price, often printed on the back, near or inside the bar code.

Like Robinson observed, it's a feature that's not commonly seen on other retail products. Potato chips and books are extremely odd in this regard. Other commodities might be labeled with a tag or a sticker, but the cost is not usually printed on the product itself, giving stores more power to set their own pricing.

Some scholars also have a theory that they think encouraged the uniform printing of prices: the existence of book cartels.

Jonathan Senchyne and Michael Winship say price fixing could have helped influence this practice's popularity.

"So publishers and booksellers kind of form an agreement around 1900 — both in England and in the United States — to not discount books," Senchyne said. "And the big and powerful publishers essentially all agree to not stock booksellers who discount prices."

In the U.K. and Ireland, it was known as the Net Book Agreement, which operated up until 1990, according to Senchyne.

Winship said that in America, this practice was specifically aimed at Macy's. "The department stores were buying in huge quantities at great discounts, and selling them to customers below the price," he said.

Senchyne said while he doesn't have hard evidence that price fixing systems are exactly why prices are published on the covers of books, he'd wager it's a reason given the mix of developments occurring at the turn of the 20th century — like the rise of publishers' bindings and retail as we know it today.

Bambi novel 25 cents BAtman comic 10 cents

The role of paperback novels and comics Price listing on the front cover of books has also been a mainstay of mass paperback novels, which Kilmarx calls "the common person's book, so to speak."

In the 1860s, the American publisher Irwin P. Beadle & Company began printing mass paperback novels and labeled them as "Beadle's Dime Novels" on their covers, which sold for, obviously, 10 cents. In effect, price and branding became intertwined.

"The Dime Novel was born in an attempt by the publishers Erastus and Irwin Beadle to make money on inexpensive, ephemeral literature," wrote the librarian and historian Marc Carlson.

To read the complete article, see:
Why do books have prices printed on them? (


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

Minting Technology

Ursula Kampmann has a nice article in the latest CoinsWeekly about the latest state of the art in minting technology. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
State-of-the-Art Minting Technology (

1656 Cromwell 50 Shilling Gold Coin Sells

BBC News published an article about the results of the Dix Noonan Webb sale of the final part of Marvin Lessen's North Yorkshire Moors collection of British coins. -Editor

DNW 2021-01-21 LOT 1142 - Oliver Cromwell 50 shilling gold coin 1

A rare gold coin depicting a portrait of Oliver Cromwell has sold for a world record £471,200 at auction.

The 50 shilling piece, dating back to 1656, is one of only 12 in existence, auctioneers Dix Noonan Webb said.

It was described as "extremely fine and rare" and had an estimate of £100,000 to £150,000 before going under the hammer.

The coin was part of the collection of American-born Marvin Lessen, who later moved to Scarborough.

Peter Preston-Morley, of Dix Noonan Webb, said the price was a record for a Cromwellian coin.

To read the complete article, see:
Oliver Cromwell gold coin sells for world record £471k at auction (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Brasher Doubloon Sets Record

The mainstream media picked up the story of the record-setting sale of the Partrick Brasher Doubloon. Leon Saryan sent this Associated Press story. Thanks! -Editor

1787 New York-Style Brasher Doubloon EB on Wing reverse A rare gold coin made by a noted craftsman in New York in 1787 has sold at auction in Dallas for $9.36 million.

Heritage Auctions offered the New York-style Brasher Doubloon on Thursday evening as part of an auction of U.S. coins. Heritage said the sale is the most ever paid for a gold coin at auction and the buyer wished to remain anonymous.

"The Brasher Doubloons, for coin collectors, coin connoisseurs, this is sort of a holy grail ... the one piece that is the most famous and the most desired coin," said Todd Imhof, Heritage's executive vice president.

To read the complete article, see:
Rare gold coin sells for $9.36 million at Texas auction (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Del Monte $20 error note closeup In other auction news, bidders went bananas over the Del Monte banana sticker note - it sold for nearly $400,000. Yes, there are 5 zeros in that rounded price ($396,000, actually). -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Lösers in Death Rituals

The Künker auction house published a lengthy article inspired by an unusual coin in their upcoming sale. -Editor

John Frederick death coin The death of John Frederick is commemorated by an impressive lösers, which will be auctioned off as part of the Friedrich Popken Collection on 28 January 2021 by the Osnabrück auction house Künker with an estimate of 75,000 euros. The löser depicts a skeleton tearing off the leaves from a palm tree. The image had been designed with great care. As the heir of John Frederick of Brunswick-Calenberg gave a detailed account of his funeral in a comprehensive publication, we can understand the role these coins played in the death ritual. And this gives us a clear indication of why Brunswick dukes had lösers minted in the first place.

To read the complete article, see:
Lösers in Death Rituals: The Funeral of John Frederick of Brunswick-Calenberg (

Framed Displays of Japanese Money

This Chinese Money Matters blog guest post by Emily Pearce Seigerman of the Yale University Art Gallery's Department of Numismatics discusses a large framed display containing 33 replicas of Edo (Tokugawa)-period (1603-1868) Japanese coins. -Editor

Framed replica Japanese coins The object's precise history is uncertain. At the bottom of the frame is a title label "Japanese Old Gold and Silver Coins 大日本古金銀貨幣”" in Japanese and English.

In addition to the title label, the 33 replica coins have individual or group labels, printed on paper, in both Japanese and English, identifying them by type, date, metal and weight (in grammes).

It is obvious when looking at these objects that they are replicas, made for display, and never intended to be handled outside of the frame. In 2018, gallery conservation staff captured X-ray fluorescence (XRF) data for all coins within this frame, and found copper and zinc to be the predominant metal throughout rather than gold and silver. The differences in metal composition imply that the objects—though adhered to the backing and as of yet not individually weighed—do not weigh what the labels describe. In other words, they are replicas made with a cheaper metal core that has been coated. The physical differences between these replica coins and authentic Edo (Tokugawa) coinage hints that the objects were not made for recipients familiar with authentic Japanese coins, let alone the large oval pieces of the Edo (Tokugawa) period.

To read the complete article, see:

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