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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit association devoted to the study and enjoyment of numismatic literature. For more information please see our web site at


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Numismatic Bibliomania Society
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Sale Calendar

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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 No new subscribers this week. We now have 6,721 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.

This week we open with two numismatic literature sales, three new books, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, notes from readers, and more.

Other topics this week include notgeld, trade tokens, coin boards, money artist J.S.G. Boggs, the longest standing member of the ANA, another TON of auction previews, ancient silver coinage, Hobo nickels, error coins, and one massive silver ingot.

To learn more about the coins of Japan and Bolivia, Mint Director reports, a new book on North American colonial coins, Jefferson Nickels, Mother coins, sunken Yap stones, the Florin Street Band, Jimmy Hayes, Sancho IV, the Imperial Bank of China, Hawaiian coinage, pioneer gold controversy and Coinless in Seattle, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

Archives International Sale 72 cover back


Kolbe & Fanning have issued their 2021 Holiday List of numismatic literature. Explore! -Editor

  Kolbe & Fanning logo
  K-F 2021 Holiday list

K-F 2021 Holiday list cover Welcome to Kolbe & Fanning's 2021 Holiday List, a festive gathering including titles familiar to many, seasoned with more obscure volumes that are likely unknown to most. Think of it as the literary equivalent of a fruitcake, only substantially better.

Items within include original manuscripts, annotated volumes, handwritten letters, a medal die, a T-shirt, a folding microscope, and even a slabbed token. Closing it is a small group of stocking stuffers, perfect for when you need a modest present for a certain special numismatist (look in the mirror if you can't find one).

Thank you for your continued business. Happy holidays!

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  K-F 2021 Holiday List item 5 K-F 2021 Holiday List item 16
  K-F 2021 Holiday list item 19 Van Loon K-F 2021 Holiday List item 21
  K-F 2021 Holiday List item 28
  K-F 2021 Holiday List item 24 Coins of Japan K-F 2021 Holiday List item 35

Kolbe & Fanning stock over 1000 retail titles on our website at Users can browse by category or search by title, as well as sign up to receive email notifications when new titles are added to particular categories. We're here to help you find what you need.

To read the complete holiday list, see:

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Alan Workman's fourth literature sale closes December 11, 2021. Here are some additional lot selections. -Editor

  Workmans Book logo

Workman's Books fourth bid sale is underway and there is less than a week left to get registered to bid! The sale includes many rare, vintage, and out-of-print numismatic books, auction catalogs, dealer fixed price lists, and numismatic journals from the collection of long-time dealer, collector, and author, Holland Wallace. The sale closes at 10:00 AM on December 11, 2021 and includes 612 lots of rarely seen items on the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central & South America, Europe, Portugal, Spain, the Middle East, Asia, and Spanish colonial numismatics. Included in this sale are important works and sales by Barriga-Villalba, Bruns, Burzio, Calico, Cayon, Christie's, Christensen, Craig, Douglas, Elder, Gilboy, Glendining, Grove, Herrera, Lazaro, Low, Medina, Ponterio, Pradeau, Pridmore, Prober, Schulman, Sellschopp, Shuhart, Sotheby's, Stack's, Superior, Woodward, and many others.

Sale Order:

Session 1: (Lots 1 to 612)

  • Books: Lots 1-215
  • Auction Catalogs & FPLs: Lots 216-592
  • Coin Plates: Lots 593-595
  • Numismatic Journals: Lots 596-602
  • Original Manuscripts: Lots 603-604
  • Collected Research Documents: Lots 605-612

Some Featured Items:

  Workman Sale 4 Lot 6 Monedas de Bolivia Workman Sale 4 Lot 74 El Duro
Lots 6 and 74

Lot 6 Asburn-Karmy: Monedas Medallas Billétes Acciones y Documentos Bancarios de Bolivia

Lot 74 - Herrera: El Duro. Estudio De Los Reales De a Ocho Españoles y De Las Monedas De Igual Valor Labradas

  Workman Sale 4 Lot 148 Mint Report 1884 Workman Sale 4 Lot 162 Mint Report 1904
Lots 148 and 162

Lots 148 through 200 United States Treasury Department: Annual Report of the Director of the Mint to the Secretary of the Treasury 1884 to 1980

  Workman Sale 4 Lot 324 Pridmore sales Workman Sale 4 Lot 603 Guatemala manuscript
Lots 324 and 603

Lot 324 - Glendining & Co.: Complete Pridmore Collection Sales

Lot 603 - Manuscript and Correspondence. The Coins of Guatemala

To register to bid:

Workman's Books
12472 Lake Underhill Rd #178
Orlando, Florida 32828

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Schmidt E-Sylum ad 2016-11-20


Jerome Jambu is a former curator at the Department of Coins and Medals at France's Biblioteque Nationale. His new book examines coins minted for the Americas. He recently published "The Coins Made "for the Islands and Mainland of America" by the French West India Company (1670)" in the June 2021 issue of The Journal of American Numismatics (JEAN). Here is a Google-translated description from the publisher's website. -Editor


Jerome Jambu

CATALOGUE DES MONNAIES AMÉRICAINES book cover One of the most remarkable numismatic collections in the world is kept in the medallions of the Coins, Medals and Antiques Department of the National Library of France. Of the 450,000 or so coins it counts, nearly 45,000 have been produced in monetary workshops in Europe and the Americas, from the Middle Ages to the present day. This first volume of the Historical Catalog of American Coins of the National Library of France, devoted to North America. Colonial coins, coins from the West Indies reveal to the reader an original and little-known collection.

Established since the end of the 18th century through informed collectors and through acquisitions by curators, it sheds light on essential moments in the history of these regions, from the coins produced by the Compagnie des Indes occidentales for the French Antilles to the first local coins of the English settlers of the thirteen continental colonies. Spanish silver coins cut to make small change, Portuguese gold coins hallmarked to circulate from island to island, coins symbolic of the accession to independence of Haiti or the Dominican Republic produced by the Mint of Paris, adaptations to economic needs and historical changes have given the currencies of these countries multiple and original forms.

A second volume, in preparation, still devoted to North America, will cover the Revolutionary and federal coinages of the United States and Canada.

Softcover, 166 pages, 44 plates, 21 x 29.7 cm

Release date
July 8, 2021

978-2-7177-2878-1 / 9782717728781

For more information, or to order, see:

JEAN Editor Christopher McDowell notes that a full review by Dr. Jesse Kraft will be printed in the December issue. With permission, here's a short excerpt. -Editor

While there is nothing that could ever replace the museum experience or to physically attend an archive for research purposes, a museum collection catalogue offers access to a collection that may otherwise be too remote for interested parties to visit. This is exactly what Jérôme Jambu has offered in a recent volume of BnF Éditions.

In this Édition, Catalogue historique des monnaies américaines de la bibliothèque nationale de France (Historical Catalog of American Coins in the National Library of France), Jambu provides a glimpse into the BnF collection of North American colonial coins and the coinage of the Antilles.

There are several coins in the BnF collection that will be familiar to the traditional readership of the Journal of Early American Numismatics, who largely collect and research the coinage and paper currency of British North America—in particular, the thirteen colonies that later became the United States. For instance, the BnF has five different silver coins from Massachusetts Bay in its collection, as well as a Virginia half penny, and Lord Baltimore shilling that probably deserves a second look (due to a floral design on the reverse that may have been on the planchet prior to striking). Also present throughout the collection are several United States coins that were used as undertypes for various coins, such as an 1838 half dollar that circulated in Puerto Rico beginning in April 1885; an 1802 large cent that circulated in the Swedish and Danish West Indies between 1808 and 1812; an 1806 quarter dollar that likely circulated in Guadeloupe after 1848; and several others that fall into this category. The majority of British American colonial coins entered the BnF through an 1861–donation by Alexandre Vattemare—famed ventriloquist-turned-philanthropist, central to the founding of many key cultural institutions that still exist today—who collected the coins during his travels to the United States between 1847 and 1849.

That said, most of the coins in this portion of the BnF collection are, understandably, from French North America—largely the Caribbean, or the West Indies as the 7,000+ island-region was popularly known when the coins circulated.

Although the French holdings in the Americas were severely reduced after 1763, the area served as a major trading hub for the colonies and, especially, the newly-founded United States—when major trade routes were completely destroyed in the course of the Revolution. One of the few exceptions was trade between the East Coast and the West Indies. This was true particularly of the French West Indies, after France had helped the United States gain its freedom. Even prior to the Revolution, it was through the West Indies that Spanish-American, Portuguese-American, and French coinage entered what is now the United States.

That's where this book comes into play. It can serve as a foundational study for those who are otherwise unaware of this numismatic facet. It is in these pages of the catalogue that Jambu presents the reader with the various types of rare Spanish-American cut coinages that circulated throughout the West Indies on official sanction. Often, the coins were actually fractions of a coin that few would consider money today. Jambu expertly delineates when, where, and by whom most of the coins in the BnF originated and provides succinct historical sketches of each. An incredible contribution to the BnF collection of French-American colonial coinage came from the 1907-donation of Ernest Zay, who gave 235 of the 543 coins (42.3%) listed by Jambu. The individual listings of every single coin in the catalogue is then coupled with 44 black-and-white plates of all 543 coins listed.

American numismatists and bibliophiles should be quite familiar with Vattemare and Zay - I have his 1892 Histoire monétaire des colonies françaises on a shelf right by my desk. I'll look forward to seeing Jambu's book and the upcoming edition as well. -Editor

HLRC E-Sylum Generic ad04 8coins


A new book on notgeld of the Thuringian Forest has been published. Here is a Google-translated version of an article in German by Hans-Ludwig Grabowski in Geldscheine Online. -Editor

Thuringian Forest Notgeld book cover Martin Sommer:
Around the Rennsteig
Part 1: Eisenach to Bermbach

Emergency money made of paper and metal, brands and symbols from the Thuringian Forest

316 pages, illustrated in color throughout, format 21 cm x 29.7 cm, hardcover, Kremmen, 2021.

Price: 28.00 euros + 5.00 euros shipping.

The thought of a kind of numismatic travel guide, a guide for emergency money and home collectors or a regional catalog had not let go of the author for several years. Inspired and motivated by other regional catalogs published in recent years, he decided in summer 2018 to prepare the pieces he had collected over the years. Together with another collector, he brought a real Thuringian on board, from whose collection many of the items shown come from.

It was important for the author to include as much background information as possible and thus make it accessible to readers interested in regional history. The result is an impressive work that is fully illustrated in color and shows the attention to detail. All emergency notes and coins are cataloged and described in detail, but from the large number of company funds in the region, which traditionally was home to an extensive metalworking industry with tool and weapon factories, only what was available can be shown.

After an introduction with interesting facts about the region, emergency money as well as coins, brands and symbols, the catalog section follows, which is structured as follows:

  • Emergency paper money
  • Metal and porcelain emergency money
  • Storage fee
  • Postage stamp and capsule money
  • Paper receipts up to 1945
  • Value and control stamps until 1945
  • Documents from paper 1945 to 1990
  • Value and control stamps 1945 to 1990

The catalog thus includes receipts starting with emergency money issues and prisoner-of-war camp money (Ohrdruf) from the First World War and ending with hotel money and brands and symbols from the time of the GDR.

As the author himself states, his work forms a foundation on which further research can be carried out in the future, which will make further volumes possible.

The items listed were deliberately not rated, but a rough estimate was made of their availability on the market.

The catalog is intended to serve collectors of emergency notes, emergency coins, tokens and other receipts with monetary or non-cash references from the Thuringian Forest and the adjacent Thuringian Slate Mountains mainly for orientation and inspiration.

In addition to the illustration of the numismatic objects, there are numerous illustrations of serial ticket packaging, of historical postcards of the places in the region as well as of company advertising and contemporary company mail as evidence of the local economic history.

The very richly illustrated and lovingly designed book is recommended to every numismatist and home collector who is connected to the Rennsteig region - Germany's oldest high-altitude hiking trail - in the Thuringian Forest or is interested in it.

According to the author, a total of three volumes will probably be produced, with parts 2 and 3, according to his estimate, being a bit thinner with approx. 200 pages each.

The second part is already in progress, with digressions in all directions from Benshausen via Zella-Mehlis, Oberhof and Suhl to Ilmenau or possibly Stützerbach. The emergency paper money from Zella-Mehlis alone is almost 90 pages long.

Please send your orders directly to the author, email:

To read the complete article, see:
Rund um den Rennsteig – ein neuer Katalog zum Notgeld aus dem Thüringer Wald (

Kahn E-Sylum ad02 banner


All politics is local they say. And much of numismatics is local, too. Adrián González-Salinas owns copy # 28 of this new booklet on the trade tokens of Quincy, Washington, and he passed along this information for our readers. Thank you. -Editor

Trade Tokens, Good Fors and Rain Checks of Quincy, Washington
(Little Time Travelers from 120 Years of Small Town History)

Quincy WA Trade Tokens Author: Kevin P. Konen
May, 2020 - Revised July, 2021
Pages: 24 (including covers and without page numbers)
Size: Letter (8.5" x 11")
Number of Printed Copies. 57

Kevin P. Konen born in Quincy and he has been a metal detecting enthusiast since he was 15 years old. Includes a checklist of early tokens mostly circa 1904-1930s (total: 11) and a checklist of more modern era tokens 1950s-1990s (total: 19).

The booklet is profusely illustrated with B&W pictures of Quincy and full-color pictures of Quincy's tokens. The author wrote: "This booklet was never intended or offered for sale at a profit. Only a few copies were made to be given to family, friends or interested fellow collectors as a personal reference or checklist". All printed copies are signed by the author and contain a consecutive number printed in red color.

For more information, or to order, see:
QUINCY WASHINGTON Trade Token booklet WA History (

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A new addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is the latest issue of the Central Ohio Numismatic Association Newsletter. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

Collecting Jefferson Nickels From Circulation in 2019

  1943-D Jefferson nickel

Recently added to Newman Portal is the October 2021 issue of the Central Ohio Numismatic Association (CONA) newsletter. CONA member Bill Kamb contributed an article on collecting Jefferson nickels from pocket change. Kamb sets the scene, I was pleasantly surprised in the summer of 2019 when our daughter, who lives in Atlanta with her family, announced that our grandson, Easton, might be interested in coin collecting. He was 6 years old at the time. When we went there for Thanksgiving, I brought some Whitman penny and nickel books and got a few rolls of each from a bank for us to search. We had a great time and it brought back memories of when I started collecting as a kid in the late ‘50s.

Kamb goes on to describe a search from bank rolls and change jars, and, over a period of 15 months, he was able to complete a full set after searching through $21,100 of nickels, or nearly half a million coins. The stopper was the 1943-D (not the 1950-D, as one might expect), of which only one example was found. The article includes a related image, which we are guessing is not the actual coin found!

CONA Newsletter editor Gerry Tebben confirms the Jefferson Nickel image is courtesy Heritage. -Editor

Link to Central Ohio Numismatic Association (CONA) newsletters on Newman Portal:

Link to Central Ohio Numismatic Association (CONA) presentation slide decks on Newman Portal:

Charles Davis ad01


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 one with Coin World owner Rick Amos about their Coin World+ product. -Editor

Amos Media Company Releases Coin World+ for Coin Collectors.
VIDEO: 9:49.
Rick Amos, CEO, Amos Media Company

Rick Amos and Coin World+ The owner of Coin World, Rick Amos, shares the latest digital development for coin collectors. The new app offers many benefits such as Coin World+ tagged coins being worth a premium due to the tag applied to them and the technology behind them. The value the tags represent makes tagged coins stand apart.

An excerpt of the video is available for viewing on the Coin Television YouTube Channel at:

  Davisson E-Sylum ad E-Auction-42


Q. David Bowers' Numismatist Column Ends
Dave Lange writes:

"I concur that the conclusion of Q. David Bowers' column in The Numismatist is a sad milestone, but I eagerly await publication of his autobiography, My Life in Rare Coins: And Other Adventures. It's been saved on my Amazon Wish List since last year but appears to have been delayed, perhaps by the pandemic."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

More on Nickel Silver
Chip Howell writes:

"The article got me thinking about what I'd always assumed, that the term "German Silver" was disparaging. Apparently it was acknowledgement of German metallurgic acumen. Interesting note about the "Great War" renaming to "Nickel Silver", à la "Hot dog", "Salisbury steak", "Liberty cabbage", "Alsatians", "Windsor", "Mountbatten", et al. Anyone remember "Freedom Fries" on Capitol Hill?"

Well, bless your heart for that observation. -Editor

To read the Wikipedia entry, see:
Nickel silver (

Regarding Mike Markowitz's article, Peter Jones writes:

"Thank you for the interesting article about online resources for ancient coins. I personally use ACsearch, a Swiss-based company that charges only 85€ a year for a premium account which is the one that gives you auction prices and images. This is considerably cheaper than the Coin Archives subscription. I find ACsearch useful for ancient coins and for medals. They also do modern coins, banknotes and orders and decorations as well as having a downloadable numismatic library. Most of the other websites listed in the CoinWeek article do not have pricing information."

  ACSearch screenshot

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

On Mother Coins

China Qing Dynasty Wen Zong 1000 Cash Pattern obverse China Qing Dynasty Wen Zong 1000 Cash Pattern reverse
Ted Puls writes:

"The diameter of the 1000 cash of era of Hsien Feng (reign title means era of origin of abundance) is 65 mm, and weighs in at 75 grams. It was made in Peking at the Board of Works mint in 1854. Maybe 28,000 were made and most were melted for metal recycling. Reference: Cast Chinese Coins, by David Hartill."

Scott Semans writes:

"Auction firms frequently call ordinary cash "mother" or "pattern." This is the case with the Heritage lot 34005 shown in The E-Sylum. The piece shown is absolutely typical of the regular large coinage of this Emperor from one of the Central mints, where the casting quality was excellent, and even a circulated piece like this can appear to have extraordinary depth. The real mother cash - and the factory forgeries thereof - are even sharper than this.

Buyers of Chinese coins at this level are usually well able to distinguish ordinary from mother cash, and bid accordingly regardless of the auction firm's attribution. The description does mention the size, by the way, 64mm. Even as a regular issue this piece will end up at more than the $6500 current bid."

Thanks, everyone. Sorry I missed the size description. The sale runs December 11-13, 2021. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
HERITAGE DECEMBER 2021 HONG KONG SALE : Lot 34005: China Qing Dynasty Wen Zong 1000 Cash Pattern (

On Purging the Numismatic Record

NBS Co-Founder George Kolbe submitted these thoughts upon reading the latest issue of The Numismatist from the American Numismatic Association. -Editor

I was taken aback by the lead-off Letter from the editor on page 13 of the December 2021 issue of The Numismatist, reproduced below.

Righting a Wrong
My October Editor's Note column (Remember to Smile, p.11) features a hobo nickel to illustrate numismatic collectibles with smiling faces. In focusing on hobo nickels' broader appeal as numismatic collectibles (and the seemingly cheerful grin), I neglected to take into account the antisemitic history behind the caricatures on many of these pieces. Trivializing the controversial past of hobo nickels was a mistake bred from ignorance on the topic, and I apologize to the readers of The Numismatist for this oversight.

I'd also like to thank the member who brought this faux pas to my attention. The image has been removed from the digital edition and archives.
Caleb P. Noel, ANA 3172566

Numismatist 2021-10 cover I trust that readers of The E-Sylum and The Numismatist will agree that deleting the image depicted cannot be tolerated. It must be restored. Further, it must be made plain that such censorship is inimical to the mission of the American Numismatic Association.

Must reference works on hobo nickels in the ANA Library be bowdlerized or, worse yet, Fahrenheit 451ed? Should a work on Ku Klux Klan tokens suffer a similar fate? How about coins depicting Adolf Hitler (maybe Benito Mussolini gets a pass?).

I suppose if you just remove all the illustrations you will have plenty of space for disclaimers and condemnations. Pretty silly stuff — not worthy of The Numismatist, a publication I have avidly read for over fifty years.

To read earlier E-Sylum articles on the ethnic slur aspect of some hobo nickels, see:

Underwater Yap Stones
Gerry Tebben writes:

Underwater Yap Stone "Money is where you find it. I was struck by a photo on a book review/essay in Monday's Washington Post. The photo on the article "How Tim Cahill's "Pass the Butterworms' Launched My Travel Writing Career" shows essayist Dina Mishev diving in Micronesia. The essay doesn't mention it, but she's touching a rai stone or stone money of Yap underwater. The "coins" were fashioned on Palau and transported by raft hundreds of miles to Yap. Over the centuries some stones had fallen into the water. A friend who went diving there years ago, told me guides know where some are and take people there. She gave me a piece of hotel soap shaped like one. That's as close as I've ever gotten to owning one."

Yap Stone money

Great photo! I didn't realize any had sunk in depths shallow enough for diving. So one could still go visit their lost fortune. Very cool. -Editor

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Query: Assyrian Medal

  Assyrian Medal
Daniel Fearon writes:

"This medal was sold as lot 3120 in the St. James's Auction No. 52, on 26 October 2021, in London. The buyer has reached out to me to see if I can find out anything at all about it and I write in the hope that one of your 6,722 readers might just know of it and the history behind it. Estimated at £100-120, it sold for £180 hammer (approx. $250)."

The catalogue description was as follows. Can anyone help? -Editor

Iraq, Assyria, Ashurnasirpal II (ruled 883-859 BC), a Victorian 'souvenir' medal, helmeted and bearded bust of the King l., ASSVERVS above, rev. a human headed winged lion, with ornate suspension, 28mm., extremely fine, rare

Ashurnasirpal II was King of Assyria during the first milennium BC, with his palace at Kalhu/Nimrud, present day northern Iraq. It was [Sir] Henry Layard (1817-1894) who excavated the two human headed winged lions that flanked the doorway of the throne room of the North West palace of Ashurnasirpal in Nimrud (now in the British Museum). It has been suggested that the medal might have been connected to the Assyrian Trust Fund that had been established to help the financing of the major archaeological being carried out in the 1850's. Layard's first expedition was made on board the SS Assyria.

Query: Bank of Canada Currency Museum Certification
Currency Museum of Canada slab closeup Alan Roy writes:

"I don't collect slabbed coins but they and the certification services always catch my interest. I found this item on eBay and wondered if any of the readers knew anything about the Bank of Canada Currency Museum offering a certification service. Is this just a one-off or is it a regular thing for them to do?"

  Currency Museum of Canada slab Knife money

Good question. Can any of our readers shed light on this? Thanks. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Ming Dynasty China 1368 to 1644 AD Copper Knife Money Currency with CoA #13346 (

Yours Truly At Eric Newman's Numismatic Library

Len Augsburger of the Newman Numismatic Portal passed along this candid photo of me examining what looks to be a shelf of Large Cent literature at Eric Newman's Mercantile Money Museum library in St. Louis. Thanks! -Editor

  Wayne Homren at Newman Mercantile Money Museum library c1990s
Wayne Homren at Newman Mercantile Money Museum library c1990s

Query: Rare Notes of Ceylon Sought
Kavan Ratnatunga writes:

"This 1946 Ceylon Rs10,000 Colour Trial is the first image I obtained via Right to Information (RTI) from the CBSL. I am now going to start requesting images from the Colombo National Museum on the same RTI Full details and comparison with the Note issued for Interbank transactions between 1947 and 1950 is given in

"I am seeking help from Collectors who have Rare notes of Ceylon to document them in my educational website and request them to contact me at"

  Ceylon 1946-05-07_kgvi_10K_ft
  Ceylon 1946-05-07_kgvi_10K_bt

Beautiful note. Great idea with the RTI! Kavan's building a marvelous web site, one numismatic image at a time. Please contribute if you can. -Editor

Florin Street Band Christmas Song
Gerry Tebben writes:

"The Florin Street Band has written a couple joyful Christmas songs that I'd probably queue up anyway, but the coin connection makes them all the better. Beyond 'Please to put a penny in an old man's hat' I can't think of any other carol with a coin in it."

  Florin Street Band Christmas Song

Thanks, and happy holidays ahead for all. -Editor

To watch the video, see:
Christmas Song - My Favourite Time of Year - The Florin Street Band (

  Workman E-Sylum ad05 2021-12 sale


In the Winter 2022 issue of his Coin Board News, author and researcher Dave Lange published a new discovery in the Whitman coin board series. With permission, here is the article. Thanks. -Editor


Whitman Shield Nickel Coin Board W5cA3a - face s Your eyes do not deceive you—Yes, that's a Third Edition Whitman board for Shield Nickels! This title was unknown in the Third Edition when I published my book in 2007, but it seemed that it should have been produced, so I included place-holder listings for such a board with either clothlike or leatherette paper. Since that time I'd pretty much resigned myself to the fact that it would never be found, but now I am the owner of the only example known to me.

This surfaced in a group lot of Third Edition boards being sold by a small, online auction company I hadn't heard of before, and I was completely unaware of this opportunity until I was tipped off by a fellow board enthusiast. Mike Nixon's interest is primarily in filling boards with coins for the purpose of framing and displaying them, and he's drawn to the Kent and First Edition Whitman boards. Thus, he suggested I'd be a more likely buyer for this lot.

Not having bid with the company before, I was flummoxed by the process and watched helplessly as it sold well below what I was prepared to pay. I reported my failure to Mike in an email the next day only to discover that he had bought the lot solely to prevent the boards from selling too cheaply! Long story short, we struck a deal involving cash and a trade for two of my books.

Though it may appear leatherette in the photo, this board has clothlike paper and is thus W5¢A3a. That suggests it was printed early in the Third Edition, obviously in a very small press run for this poor-selling title. Its back is identical to that of W5¢A2b.

  Whitman Coin Board Lot

Now, here's the second surprise of this story, one that will reveal just why this lot was so amazing: The other boards were all rarities, too—high-grade examples of both Liberty Seated Dime boards, Washington Quarters and—Peace Dollars! The 1837-62 dime board and the Peace Dollar board have already been placed with want-list customers, but the remaining two boards are found on the enclosed price list, which is devoted entirely to Whitman's under-appreciated Third Edition.

SECOND THOUGHTS I mentioned in the last newsletter that I was deleting those Third Edition paper varieties that had not yet surfaced, under the assumption that they never will. Well, this episode has proved that miracles do happen, so the place-holder listings for clothlike and leatherette finishes will remain. I'm sure this news comes as a relief to collectors not wanting to re-label their holdings by dropping the ‘a' and ‘b' suffixes!

Congratulations on the great discovery! -Editor

To visit Dave's website, see:

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Tom Hockenhull of the British Museum kindly provided images of their 5 pound J.S.G. Boggs bill that was an exhibit in his trial at Old Bailey. Thanks! Copyright Trustees of the British Museum. -Editor

  British Museum Boggs 5 Pound Front A red
  British Museum Boggs 5 Pound Front red
  British Museum Boggs 5 Pound Back red

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

  Jewell E-Sylum ad 2021-10-24


Another article in this issue discusses the gilt Non Nobis Solum Washington medal. Here's an entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology about gilding. -Editor

gilt Non Nobis Solum Washington medal obverse Gilding, Gilt. Covered with gold; the application of gold to an object by any process. Gilding must use some form of gold to overlay, it cannot be gold color alone; the purpose is to give an object of any base metal the desirable qualities, allure and color of a gold surface. Obviously goldplating – by electrodeposition – is a major process of applying a fine layer of gold to a surface, but this has been in use only since about 1840s. Previously gold was applied by firegilding and by the use of gold leaf (both since antiquity).

The quantity of gold does not affect the status of being gilded – from a thin layer (flash plate or gold wash) to a heavy goldplate, or even where the gold has started to wear off, as parcelgilt, or where it has been removed (by depletion gilding). If the gilt piece is to be worn, the thickness of the plating is critical – thin gold covering will wear through in time exposing the base metal (bleeding), in contrast to heavy goldplate. Even vermeil – goldplated silver – bearing the characteristic sheen of silver yet the color of gold is a form of gilt.

Gilding must imply some actual gold surface – irrespective of what is underneath. Thus gilt (and pure solid gold) items are susceptible to test cuts where unthinking people cut an edge to determine the base metal. Any other form of gold coloring – as gold lacquer, gold tint or whatever – is not gilt. See goldplate, goldplating.

To read the complete entry on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see:
Gilding, Gilt (

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American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on the Longest Standing Member of the ANA. Thanks! First, here's the reader who correctly answered Pete's question from last week. -Editor

Dave Lange writes:

1891 ANA LOGO "I'll take Pete Smith's challenge in naming the longest standing member of the ANA. I believe it was Robert Lloyd. I had the pleasure of sharing a table with him at the ANA's Centennial Banquet in 1991.

Lloyd wrote a number of articles for The Numismatist, and I believe some of them go as far back as the 1920s, when he joined."

Pete Smith writes:

"Dave Lange is correct. Robert Lloyd was a member for 83 years."

Congrats, Dave! I never would have gotten that one. You're this week's E-Sylum Smarty-Pants winner. How cool to have met him! Here's Pete's biography of Lloyd, with Numismatist photos from the 1935 and 1991 conventions, along with a group of his personal tokens. Thanks! -Editor


Robert Hepworth Lloyd has the distinction of being the longest member of the ANA extending over a period of 83 years. He was born in Buffalo, New York, the son of Morris Dempster Lloyd (1864-1881) and Lillian Mabel Hepworth (1869-1937). His date of birth is unclear.

The Social Security Death Index gives his date of birth as May 18, 1906. gives his date of birth as May 18, 1906. The Findagrave site gives his date of birth as December 18, 1906. His various obituaries did not mention date of birth. He attended the University of Buffalo and graduated from the University of Michigan in 1929. He married Gladys Hepworth (1904-2009) on July 15, 1935. They had a son and a daughter and were married for 74 years.

Gladys Hepworth was the daughter of Charles E. C. Hepworth (1871-1957) and Mabel (1874-1960). Charles was the brother of Lillian Mabel Hepworth. Thus Robert and Gladys were cousins and their marriage was legal in New York.

Lloyd taught business and history at Tonawanda High School from 1936 until retirement in 1966 at age 60. He also served as Principal for Adult Education from 1947 until 1963.

Lloyd.Oct.1935 He joined the ANA in 1926 as member #3024 on August 1, 1926. He soon contributed articles to The Numismatist while he was in college. In 1929 he served as secretary for the Buffalo (NY) Numismatic Association and invited the ANA to hold their 1930 convention in Buffalo. He served on the ANA board in 1930 shortly after graduation. He was elected president for the Buffalo Numismatic Association for 1931-32. After his term, he returned to the position of Secretary for 1934-35. In 1934 he was appointed as an ANA District Secretary. The ANA waited until he was 96 to give him the ANA Medal of Merit in 2001.

Lloyd was interested in paper money and compiled a monograph on National Bank Notes / Federal Reserve Bank Notes / Federal Reserve Notes / 1928-1950 published for Wayte Raymond and the Coin Collectors Journal in 1953.

Lloyd enjoyed model trains and was a member of the Western New York Railway Society.

He died in Elderwood Health Care at Crestwood nursing home in Wheatfield on October 10, 2009, at age 103. He is buried at Acacia Park Cemetery in North Tonawanda, New York.

Robert.Lloyd.Tokens.01 His obituary in The Numismatist included some unfortunate errors. The obituary stated, In August 1926, Lloyd picked up a copy of The Numismatist at his local library. This conflicts with his membership application received prior to June 15, 1926, and published in the July 1926 issue of the magazine. The obituary stated, Lloyd was preceded in death by Gladys, his wife of 74 years. News reports state that his wife died on the following day.

Thanks for correcting the record! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

  Steinbergs E-Sylum ad 2012-12-05 January 2022 shows


The latest article in Harvey Stack's blog series discusses the state of the coin market in 1991. Thanks, Harvey. -Editor

  Harvey Stack Numismatic Family 2021-10

?In 1991 the numismatic hobby really started to grow again, after years recovering from Black Monday in October 1987, when the market dropped about 20%. However, collectibles were able to hold steady in the market, as collectors and investors who had the extra money could purchase such items as a sign of wealth and a store of value.?

At Stack's business remained good, both over-counter and at public auction, and we decided to expand our staff of qualified numismatists in order to have help working the counter, traveling to shows and conventions, visiting clients in their homes or offices, filling our mail bid auctions, and producing catalogs for our public auctions, which were happening almost monthly. The team was a large one, but this allowed Stack's to hold its position as a leading coin dealership.

Over time our crew would include many accomplished numismatists, some who stayed for years and some who remained for decades. Beyond the Stack family members who were managing partners, our crew included John Burnham, Robert Archer, James C. Risk, Jan Blamberg, Robert Erhlich, Scott Mitchell, Tom Panicella, George Weyr, Paul Nugget, Carl Carlson, David Alexander, Michael Battino, Michael Druck, Arthur Blumenthal, Greg Cohen, and Bruce Hagen among others. In addition, we had collectors who could help with specialized series and a full bookkeeping staff, a number of secretaries, a photographer and a layout specialist.

During 1991 we issued nine different auction catalogs that featured a wide range of United States gold silver and copper coins, in addition to Ancient and world coins. The sales had rarities as well as more common coins for the general collector. Our public auction room sat over 300 and there were times that there was standing room only. Conventions and shows started to grow in size, attracting greater attendance. The ANA and local clubs started to gain membership showing that the hobby was on an upward path.

One downer during this period was the issues sold by the U.S. Mint at high premiums against their intrinsic value (and ridiculous low face value). These initially flooded the market, and then were difficult to sell without losing money against the original cost. Dealers and collectors notified the Mint that without a secondary market, many buyers were losing interest and giving up collecting these issues. This was a problem that continued for many years after 1991.

For the most part, however, the year 1991 featured a revival of interest in numismatics and appreciation of the value of scarce and rare coins. It seemed that growth was happening in all series and areas of the hobby.

To read the complete article, see:
Harvey Stack Remembers: Growing up in a Numismatic Family, Part 110 (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Holabird E-Sylum ad 2021-12-17 sale


The Slab Lab video series from PCGS features interviews with prominent collectors and dealers. First up was a three-part series with Jim Halperin of Heritage, and the latest is the first of a series with the legendary Jimmy Hayes. Here's a handy guide to the episodes, hosted by Seth Chandler of Witter Coins. -Editor

  Jimmy Hayes interview

Jim Halperin
Jim Halperin is the co-chairman and co-CEO of Heritage Auctions, one of the largest numismatic auction houses specializing in coins, currency, and comic books, which changed the collectibles industry. Jim shares how he got his start in the hobby and business as a young numismatist - owning his first stamp shop at the age of 16 and quickly gaining traction as a coin dealer due to his entrepreneurial prowess.

In the second installment of Slab Lab, Jim Halperin details how he navigated the coin market in the 1980s, his strategy as a young coin dealer buying and selling inventory, and his creation of the first private grading service to educate the public on how to grade by a set standard (and why it ultimately closed with the arrival of PCGS). Hear how his foresight, and talents aligned with partner Steve Ivy, to create a numismatic powerhouse.

In Part Three of Slab Lab Episode One, we dive into the online age of collectibles, and the expansion of Heritage Auctions from primarily coins and banknotes to comic books, sports and entertainment memorabilia, and more. Plus, hear advice for collectors at all stages and levels.

To watch the videos, see:
Slab Lab Episode 1 | Jim Halperin Part 1
Slab Lab Episode 1 | Jim Halperin Part 2 (
Slab Lab Episode 1 | Jim Halperin Part 3

John Brush
John Brush, who joined David Lawrence Rare Coins in 2006 as a result of his dedication and work ethic, climbed the ranks to become the current president of the firm. He has been instrumental in assisting Dell Loy Hansen in assembling his magnificent collection of U.S coinage inclusive of relatively common high grade coins to a number of the most extreme rarities and collections such as the 1804 Draped Bust Dollar in PCGS PR62, an 1885 Trade Dollar PCGS PR65+CAM, and his 1854-S Half Eagle in PCGS AU58+ as well as the acquisition of the ESM Collection of Proof Half and Large Cents.

To watch the video, see:
Slab Lab Episode 2 | John Brush Part 1

John Noel
Dive into Dr. John Noel's stunning collection of Silver Commemorative Coins from 1892-1954, inclusive of all dates and mint mark specimens. The 144-piece set portrays Presidential commems, politicians, national monuments, statehood anniversaries, and more. Dr. Noel is the owner of the top ranked PCGS Registry Set for the 50-piece Type set, AND 144-piece collection, none rated higher! He makes the case for why collectors should embark on the rich history lessons of U.S. coins, and to not overlook wonderfully toned examples. John and his wife, both long-time collectors started on the journey to complete the set, together, over 40 years ago. Hear the colorful events leading up to their acquisition.

To watch the video, see:
Slab Lab Episode 3 | John Noel

Mark Hagen
Mark Hagen is a diverse collector through and through. He is the architect of six magnificent PCGS Registry sets, one of which ranks #1 current finest: the Dollar Type Set (1794-present). From Mercury Dimes and Morgan Dollars to Continental Currency – hear Mr. Hagen's approach to a number of challenging and exquisite rarities. No matter what size budget you are working with, Mark's advice on how to formulate a wonderful set is prescient.

To watch the videos, see:
Slab Lab Episode 4 | Mark Hagen Part 1

Jimmy Hayes
James (Jimmy) A. Hayes has been a robust collector and scholar of U.S. coins and exonumia (medals and tokens) since a young age. His focus has included early type coins and patterns, and his affinity for history made pursuing rarities that much more exciting to him.

Jimmy graduated from Tulane Law School and practiced law early on in his distinguished career. He served as Congressman for Louisiana District 7, 100th-104th from 1987-1997.

Listen to Mr. Hayes' approach to obtaining a number of his blockbuster acquisitions, and their subsequent inclusion in the Tyrant and Pogue Collections, two of the most formidable collections ever assembled.

To watch the video, see:
Slab Lab Episode 5 | Jimmy Hayes Part 1 (

On the PCGS site you can subscribe to announcements of new episodes and suggest an interviewee (or volunteer yourself! Why not?) -Editor

For more information, see:

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Numismagram's Jeremy Bostwick passed along these highlights from the most recent addition of new material to his website at the beginning of the month. This upload is particularly strong in French and Swedish art medals, with a few seasonally-appropriate items sprinkled in as well. For all of his new medals and tokens, please visit -Editor

  French satirical tin medal

101821 | FRANCE. Revolution/Satirical tin Medal. Issued 1848 (38mm, 37.22 g, 12h). "monnaie des riches / 20 / FRANCS / matière / à / révolutions" (money of rich—20 francs—a cause for revolution) in six lines / "monnaie des gueux / 10ces / ou / 2 sols" (money of the beggars—10 centimes or 2 sols) in four lines; below, spear surrounded by bundle of rods and dividing date. Edge: Plain. Collignon 1054 bis; Paris Musées (Carnavalet), no. ND9109. Choice Mint State. Deep gray surfaces, with sharp, clear detail; great quality for this rare and interesting type. $395.

Part of the wave of revolutions across Europe in 1848, the 1848 French Revolution saw the end of the July Monarchy (1830-1848) and the creation of the short-lived Second French Republic (1848-1852). During this revolution, numerous medals were produced satirizing the various contemporaneous events. In the case of the present specimen, the vast inequality between the rich and poor is stressed, with there being some 200 10 centimes to constitute one 20 francs piece.

To read the complete lot description, see:
101821 | FRANCE. Revolution/Satirical tin Medal. (

  St. Nicholas medal

101610 | FRANCE. St. Nicholas/Christmastime bronze Medal Issued circa 1950. "St. Nicholas and the Three Small Children" (58mm, 92.81 g, 12h). By A. Mouroux at the Paris Mint. SAINT NICOLAS ET LES TROIS PETITS ENFANTS, St. Nicholas standing facing, cradling crozier and holding open book; three small children standing before him / Basket of toys: doll, plane, book, stuffed bear, ship, and parachute. Edge: «cornucopia» BRONZE. Choice Mint State. Deep brown surfaces, with some lighter highlights and a charming matte nature. An alluring yuletide-themed medal. $195.

Saint Nicholas of Myra was an early Christian bishop from the south-eastern coast of what is now Turkey in Asia Minor. Owing to the number of miracles ascribed to him during his lifetime, he became known as "Nicholas the Wonderworker." A much later legend associated to him revolved around the resuscitation of three small children who had been murdered and pickled by a butcher who planned to pass them off as pork during a famine. Later legends such as this, along with his overall piousness, led to allusions of secret gift-giving. As such, the modern tale of Santa Claus derived from this earlier figure of "Saint Nick," as presented on this medal.

To read the complete lot description, see:
101610 | FRANCE. St. Nicholas/Christmastime bronze Medal. (

St. Nicholas plaque 101583 | GERMANY. St. Nicholas/Christmastime cast iron uniface Plaque. Issued 1929 (88mm x 144mm, 237.50 g). By K. Roth for Lauchhammer. St. Nicholas, holding crozier, and small angel, holding Christmas tree over shoulder, standing facing one another among the clouds; stars above; below, bird's eye view of numerous factories / Blank, though a minor hanger is present near the top for suspension. Edge: Plain. Ehling 90. Essentially as made. Deep graphite gray surfaces, with lighter highlights. $185.

Despite the rather industrial and busy scenery presented in the lower portion of this art plaque, the more tranquil nature of the holiday comes through with the appearance of St. Nick as well as the Christmas tree ready to be decorated. Even more busy than the factories, however, would have been the turbulent nature of the times at which this plaque was made, as the post-WWI economic chaos in Germany was leading into the global fallout of the Great Depression, all while being just a few years from the rise of Nazism and then the outbreak of WWII.

To read the complete lot description, see:
101583 | GERMANY. St. Nicholas/Christmastime cast iron uniface Plaque. (

  Maude McGehee Hankins silver Love Token

101888 | UNITED STATES. Maude McGehee Hankins silver Love Token. Engraved on an uncertain date (1824-1897) and mint Mexican 8 Reales (39mm, 25.22 g). "MAR 22, 1875 / G. N. Murphey / TO / Maude S. McGehee / MAR 22, 1896" in five lines in a variety of block, Old English, and cursive scripts; decorations around; all within patterned border / REPUBLICA MEXICANA, eagle, with wings spread, head right, and serpent in beak and talons, standing in cactus over water. Edge: Reeded. Cf. KM 377 (for host coin). Engraving & host coin: Choice Very Fine. Toned. $395.

Oftentimes, a love token will contain mere initials, with just the giver and receiver understanding its true meaning and their place within it. In rare instances, however, enough information will be present whereby the piece can come to life, revealing such details as the actual individuals involved. The love token here in one such example, with enough data points triggering an undoubted attribution. Maude McGehee (named Sophia Maude McGehee, but generally going by her middle name "Maude" and her first name "Sophia" instead as a middle name) was born 22 March 1875 in western Kentucky. She studied at Potter's College in Bowling Green, where she would appear to have crossed paths with a G. N. Murphey, whose lesser-encountered surname spelling enables a more precise search. Indeed, a Murphey with those very initials was in Bowling Green in the 1890's, where she would have been studying as a young woman. Given that the date at the top of the memento is her birthdate, what of the duplication at the bottom some 21 years later? The answer seems obvious—a gift on her 21st birthday. While the meaning may have been even deeper, possibly a proposal, one cannot be certain.

What can be known, however, is that love tokens were generally created using dimes, so one such as this—on a Mexican 8 Reales, the equivalent of a silver dollar—was a sign of someone of means. Dr. Murphey certainly would appear one of means, as he had a sixth-page advertisement for his practice in the 2 February 1897 edition of the Hopkinsville Kentuckian newspaper. If this token were a symbol of romantic affection, it quickly dissipated, as Maude was married the following year to Cornelius Haley Hankins on 20 October 1897. Cornelius had a long career as an artist, painting agrarian southern landscapes as well as posthumous portraits of Confederate generals based upon images of them.

Maude paralleled Cornelius in the arts, becoming, according to the Tennessee Encyclopedia, "an artist who specialized in china painting, miniatures, and watercolors." In addition to this form of art, she wrote poetry and even published a children's book, Daddy Gander, very much in the Art Deco style of its year of publication in 1928. She passed away in Nashville in 1968, just a month shy of her 93rd birthday. Though the actual meaning of why this token was produced some 125 years ago, we can be sure of the individuals involved, giving a fantastic glimpse into the past and all that may be learned from just a few data points from which to search. A unique piece of Kentucky history with great ties to late 19th and early 20th century art in the American south.

To read the complete lot description, see:
101888 | UNITED STATES. Maude McGehee Hankins silver Love Token. (

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Here's the announcement for the December 2021 E-Auction 13 sale from Stephen Album Rare Coins. Some interesting pieces. -Editor

Stephen Album Rare coins will hold its Internet Auction 13 at its offices in Santa Rosa, California on December 6, 2021. Internet pre-bidding has begun and can be accessed through their website. The Auction is made up of an even 500 lots of PCGS-certified world coins.

There are many affordable coins in the sale, and a few notable sections which include:

  • Over 100 Lots From Egypt (Ottoman and Kingdom)
  • A Collection of Tibetan Tangkas
  • A Nice Selection of Crown-Sized Yemeni Riyals
  • 71 Lots of German Coins From Many Time Periods

Estimates range from $30 to $300. Sample lots from the sale follow:

  Album Internet 13 sale Lot 413_1

LOT 413: CHINA: EMPIRE: KIANGSU: Kuang Hsu, 1875-1908, AE 5 cash, ND (1901), Y-158, CL-KS.12, with blundered English legend "EIVE CASH", questionable color, PCGS graded About Unc details. Estimated at $200 to $300.

  Album Internet 13 sale Lot 209_1

LOT 209: GERMANY: Kaiserreich, 5 pfennig, 1905-A, KM-11, J-12, a lovely brilliant proof of the period, PCGS graded Proof 66. Estimated at $150 to $250.

  Album Internet 13 sale Lot 386_1

LOT 386: TURKEY (OTTOMAN): Abdul Hamid II, 1876-1909, AR kurush, Kostantiniye, AH1293 year 28, KM-735, a fantastic mint state example!! PCGS graded MS66. Estimated at $150 to $250.

  Album Internet 13 sale Lot 397_1

LOT 397: YEMEN: Yahya b. Muhammad, 1904-1948, AR riyal, San'a, AH1344, Y-7, an amazing quality example! PCGS graded MS67. Several die varieties exist, and this date was likely struck over a number of years with frozen date. This example is tied for finest graded by PCGS. Estimated at $175 to $275.

  Album Internet 13 sale Lot 344_1

LOT 344: POLAND: August III, 1733-1763, AR ort (18 groszy), Leipzig, 1755, KM-148.2, Kop-2113, mintmaster EC, large bust type, an attractive mint state example! PCGS graded MS62. Estimated at $150 to $200.

  Album Internet 13 sale Lot 353_1

LOT 353: SPAIN: Sancho IV, 1284-1295, BI cornado (0.77g), Burgos, Cayon-1179, star privy mark, a lovely mint state example! PCGS graded MS62. Estimated at $100 to $180.

  Album Internet 13 sale Lot 361_1

LOT 361: SUDAN: Abdullah b. Muhammad, 1885-1898, AE 20 piastres, Omdurman, AH1315 year 8, KM- 15, an amazing example with much original red mint luster! PCGS graded MS63. Estimated at $125 to $175.

The firm is now taking consignments for future internet and premier sales. More information can be found on their website at

  Album E-Sylum ad 2021-12-01 Internet Sale 13


Here's the press release for the Archives International Auction 72, closing on December 7, 2021. Great material, as usual. -Editor


The auction will be held by Archives International Auctions at their offices in River Edge, N.J.

  Archives International Sale 72 cover front Archives International Sale 72 cover back

The December 7, 2021 auction by Archives International Auctions is highlighted by 235 lots of rare and desirable Chinese banknotes, a majority of the notes are from an old-time collection discovered in Lucerne, Switzerland and offered for the first time in our auctions. Also included are over 370 U.S. and Worldwide banknotes, scripophily and historic U.S. Colonial fiscal documents rarely seen at auction. The Auction 72 catalog will consist of 612 lots of rare and desirable U.S., Chinese & World Banknotes, Scripophily, Historic Financial Ephemera, World Coins & Medals and Security Printing Ephemera.

We are excited to offer the Lucerne Collection of Chinese banknotes, which includes many examples we have never had the pleasure to offer previously, as well as many of the highest graded notes for those varieties, stated Dr. Robert Schwartz, President of Archives International Auctions. Included in the upcoming auction are rare and desirable numismatic items that will enhance the collections of every level of collector and dealer.

  AI Sale 72 Lot 1. China.Imperial Bank of China, 1898 Peking Branch Issue Rarity
Imperial Bank of China, 1898 Peking Branch Issue Rarity
  AI Sale 72 Lot 14. Commercial Bank of China, 1920, 10 Taels Issued Banknote
Commercial Bank of China, 1920, 10 Taels Issued Banknote
  1905 International Banking Corporation $100 Note
1905 International Banking Corporation $100 Specimen
  AI Sale 72 Lot 21. Bank of China, 1912 Peking Branch Issue Rarity
1912, Bank of China, Peking Branch Issue
  AI Sale 72 Lot 50. Central Bank of China, 1935 Chungking, P-208 Issue Banknote
1935, 10 Yuan, P-208, Chungking Branch

The auction begins with 235 lots of Chinese banknotes, a majority from the Lucerne Collection. Included are many varieties that have not been offered at auction previously as well as a significant number of highest graded and finest known examples. A few of the many highlights include an 1898, Imperial Bank of China, Peking, 5 Mace example; an issued Commercial Bank of China, 1920, 10 Taels banknote rarity along with 6 additional Commercial Bank issues; a 1912, Bank of China, Peking Branch Issue rarity along with 14 additional desirable Bank of China, ca.1912 to 1942 issues; The Bank of Communications is highlighted by a 1924, 5 Yuan, P-135b, Shanghai Branch Issue rarity, this being the only example we have offered at auction; the Central Bank of China is represented by 28 different lots highlighted by the 1926, $1; $5; and. $10 issues, the 1935, 10 Yuan, P-208, Chungking Branch issue rarity, 4 different essay specimens, as well as numerous high grade and rare notes. Also included are 6 different Ningpo Commercial & Saving Bank, Ltd, issues highlighted by the 1925, $10, P-548A Shanghai Branch Issue rarity with only 4 previously graded in the PMG census; a Bank of Territorial Development, 1915, 5 Dollars Urga Branch issue in Uncirculated condition; the Central Bank of Manchukuo is represented by 10 different notes highlighted by a 100 Yuan, 1933, P-J128a, Issued banknote; foreign banks include a $100, 1905, International Banking Corp., Specimen graded Gem Unc 65; a National Commercial & Savings Bank, Ltd, 1924 Shanghai issue rarity, the first time we have offered an issued example and many other desirable Chinese foreign banks. Provincial banks include 79 different lots with many desirable and rare notes highlighted by Canton Municipal Bank, 1933, highest graded issued banknote grading Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ. Other highlights include a 1907, Sin Chun Bank of China, $1 Remainder banknote and a ca. 1900 Sheng Feng Private banknote with coin vignette. Chinese bonds and scripophily include 38 lots of single and multiple items highlighted by a 1912, Chinese Government, 500 Pounds, 5% Gold loan.

  1936 Mercantile Bank of India Hong Kong Note
  AI Sale 72 Lot 355. Democratic Republic of the Congo. 1963. 5000 Francs, P-3s Specimen Banknote
Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1963, 5000 Francs Specimen

World banknotes include 201 lots with numerous highlights including Hong Kong, 1936, Mercantile Bank of India, $5 rarity; Indonesia feature 5 different 1948 essay specimen banknotes from an unissued Security Bank Note series of notes; a Netherlands-Indies, 1945, 1000 Roepiah, P-127a issued note, the first we have offered in 14 years; an Australia, ND (1949), 10/- Shillings, P-25c grading CU 64; an extremely attractive Democratic Republic of the Congo, 1963, 5000 Francs Specimen, and additional notes too numerous to mention.

  AI Sale 72 Lot 498 1776 Promissory Note Issued to Ezekiel Williams for Prisoners of War
1776 Promissory Note Issued to Ezekiel Williams for Prisoners of War

Included are 31 Colonial and Revolutionary U.S. period fiscal documents from a new find. Additional pre and post-Independence colonial documents include pay warrants for paying for upkeep of P.O.W.'s captured during the war; payments to Company Commanders to pay bounties to men to enlist in their Battalions; Promissory notes signed by Oliver Ellsworth, Oliver Wolcott and other revolutionary war notables as well as Continental Army and State of Connecticut Pay Table warrants signed by Fenn Wadsworth, Revolutionary War General and other early U.S. founding notables.

Also included are hundreds of rare and desirable banknotes with many interesting lots from an old-time dealer's stock as well as items from old estate collections and consignments. The auction ends with 88 lots of Historic and Security Printing Ephemera and U.S. and World Scripophily with many desirable and rare items offered.

Previews will be limited and by appointment only and we will be observing strict safety precautions including the wearing of masks and observing social distancing to protect our team as well as our guests. We will do our best to accommodate anyone who desires additional information and photographs. For questions, please call 201-944-4800 or email

The online catalog for the Tuesday, December 7th , 2021 auction is on Archives International Auctions' website and can be viewed via the Archives International live bidding platform. It can also be viewed as a Virtual Catalog or downloadable Sale 72.pdf on their website. To pre-register for Live Internet Bidding, log on to the Archives International Auctions website, at

Archives International is now working on their Winter and Spring 2022 auctions and are seeking quality consignments for future auctions or outright purchase including U.S. and worldwide banknotes, coins, stocks, bonds, stamps, postal history, historic ephemera, and autographs. To sell or consign one piece or an entire collection, please call AIA at (201) 944-4800; or email them at

You may also write to Archives International Auctions, at 1060 Main Street, River Edge, NJ 07661, U.S.A. To learn more about Archives International Auctions and the auctions planned for December 7th, 2021 auction, log on to

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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In an email to clients on December 3, 2021, Lief Davisson published this overview of British coins and tokens in the Davissons upcoming auction. -Editor

E-Auction 42 closes next week! Bidding closes on Wednesday, December 8th beginning at 10 a.m. U.S. Central Time. Read on as we survey a few of the more notable British coins and tokens we have on offer.

  Davisson E-Auction 42 item 01

Greek coinage, though not always widespread in pop culture, is still recognizable to many through depictions in art and literature, classic statuary, and more. Milled world coinage is also familiar, with many themes and characteristics still visible on coinage minted today. But hammered coinage exists in a fascinating intermediary period of human history, with crude depictions and production techniques being gradually refined as long lost skills and artistry were rediscovered or reinvented, and tailored to the challenges of the era.

Gone are the chunky ancient flans, with art of the highest quality produced for the glory of city and empire, and instead we enter an age of thin flans, with dies that utilized punches to assemble a design rather than being engraved in toto by masters of the craft.

This is not to criticize the beauty of hammered coinage, far from it! I am not sure if Allan ever had a time as a numismatist when he did not appreciate the artistry of early British numismatics (I, on the other hand, have had to nurture my fondness after a rough and lengthy entrance to the coinage spent cataloging boxes of long cross pennies.)

  Davisson E-Auction 42 item 02
  Davisson E-Auction 42 item 03

Our hammered offering in E-Auction 42 is brief, but has some choice pieces. The Commonwealth shilling at the start of this email is a highlight of the sale, well placed with nearly full legends on a full round flan. And my prattling on about the relative artistry of Greek coinage seems rather benighted when you see the beautiful portraits of Henry VI and Elizabeth I above.

  Davisson E-Auction 42 item 04
  Davisson E-Auction 42 item 05

Our milled section is still anchored by the seemingly inexhaustible Frank Robinson collection, but don't be fooled, the end is in sight! Frank's attention to quality while buying over many years has been a pleasure to handle, and who can say when we will see such a comprehensive collection again.

  Davisson E-Auction 42 item 06
  Davisson E-Auction 42 item 07

Our Scottish section features the second half of a consignment of modest but appealing pieces, the sort that are surprisingly hard to come by recently. The small group lots are all fully photographed and cataloged, and based on the success of the first part of the consignment in our last E-Auction, are far more appealing than the term 'large lot' usually suggests.

  Davisson E-Auction 42 item 08
  Davisson E-Auction 42 item 09

The Mike Sussman collection continues to anchor our British token offering, but the end is in sight there as well. Some other high quality consigned pieces fill out the section, do take a look. To my knowledge we are the only U.S. firm who so consistently and prominently features tokens in our auctions. Their beautiful designs and varied motifs, combined with relatively modest prices, explain their enduring appeal to numismatists both new and old. (Also many of the political themes feel as relevant today as ever.)

  Davisson E-Auction 42 item 10
  Davisson E-Auction 42 item 11

There is always more to see, but that is all for now.

To read the complete auction, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Here are some highlights from the December 16-19, 2021 Heritage sale of The Big Island Collection of Hawaiian Coinage and Tokens. I'd never seen some of these pieces. -Editor

Lot 3439: 1847 Hawaii Cent
1847 Hawaii Cent obverse 1847 Hawaii Cent reverse

1847 1C Hawaii Cent MS65 Brown PCGS. CAC. Medcalf 2CC-1. Crosslet 4 in date. This is the second rarest of five varieties for the 1847 cents, which represented the first official coinage for the Kingdom of Hawaii. The obverse features a portrait of King Kamehameha III. The legend includes his name followed by KA MOI ("The King"). The reverse shows the denomination HAPA HANERI ("Hundredth Part") within a wreath that includes nine berries left and nine berries right. AUPUNI HAWAII ("Kingdom of Hawaii") is above.

Glowing copper-orange color illuminates the design recesses of this glossy Gem. The smooth surfaces are largely golden-brown with violet accents. Terrific eye appeal. Listed on page 424 of the 2022 Guide Book.

Wow - a beautiful piece. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1847 1C Hawaii Cent MS65 Brown PCGS. CAC. Medcalf 2CC-1.... (

Lot 3440: 1881 Hawaii Five Cents Pattern
1881 Hawaii Five Cents Pattern obverse 1881 Hawaii Five Cents Pattern reverse

1881 5C Hawaii Five Cents MS62 PCGS. Medcalf-2CN-1, KM-2. Maurice Gould and Kenneth Bressett explain in Hawaiian Coins, Tokens and Paper Money (1961) that officials from the mints of Vienna, Brussels, and Paris all approached King Kalakaua I about a new national coinage for Hawaii during the King's trip around the world. These five keneta patterns came out of those talks, reportedly proposed by the Paris Mint on behalf of a New Caledonian mine owner. However, they were inadvertently struck with the reverse legend beginning with AU instead of UA.

Great coin! -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1881 5C Hawaii Five Cents MS62 PCGS. Medcalf-2CN-1, KM-2.... (

Lot 3443: 1891 Kahului 75 Cents Token
1891 Kahului 75 Cents Token obverse 1891 Kahului 75 Cents Token reverse

1891 Token Kahului 75 Cents AU53 PCGS. Medcalf TL-14. The Kahului Railroad Company operated a 15-mile track between Wailuku and Kauiaha on the island of Maui. The company produced a series of six brass tokens (10, 15, 20, 25, 35, and 75 cents) in 1891. All survivors are extremely rare, with just a couple examples of each of the lower five denominations certified at PCGS plus four of this denomination. Additionally, one 20 cent and one 25 cent are reported at NGC.

Great transportation piece. I've never seen one of these before. The bidding is already over $5,000! -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1891 Token Kahului 75 Cents AU53 PCGS. Medcalf TL-14.... (

Lot 3444: 1887 Grove Ranch Plantation Token
1887 Grove Ranch Plantation Token obverse 1887 Grove Ranch Plantation Token reverse

1887 Token Grove Ranch Plantation, 12 1/2 Cents, MS62 Brown PCGS. Medcalf TE-17. The 3,870-acre Grove Ranch Plantation on the island of Maui had blacksmiths produce crude tokens worth one-eighth of a dollar in 1886 and 1887. The tokens circulated among employees of the sugar concern. This latter type is the rarer of the two. Maurice Gould and Ken Bressett rated it R.7 in 1961 (four to 12 pieces known).

A plain but interesting piece. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1887 Token Grove Ranch Plantation, 12 1/2 Cents, MS62 Brown PCGS. Medcalf TE-17.... (

Lot 3445: 1884 1/8D Hawaii Fantasy
1884 1-8D Hawaii Fantasy obverse 1884 1-8D Hawaii Fantasy reverse

1884 1/8D Hawaii Fantasy Strike Hub Impression 7.5g MS66 PCGS. Sometime around the turn of the century, an unknown die sinker produced a number of fantasy pieces in various metals patterned after the Hawaiian coinage of 1883. It appears he used the original hubs from 1883 to prepare the dies.

This coin is probably one of a set of three gold fantasy pieces that surfaced in the fabulous collection of King Farouk. Those coins were listed in lot 110 of Sotheby's catalog of his collection...

John Dannreuther believes only two sets of fantasy pieces were struck in gold.

For the collector who already has everything else. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1884 1/8D Hawaii Fantasy Strike Hub Impression 7.5g MS66 PCGS.... (

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Here are some rare token highlights from the December 17-19 Holabird Premier Americana Auction. -Editor

  Holabird 2021-12 sale Lot 3448. Copper Block Buffet Gold Nugget Token
Lot 3448. Copper Block Buffet Gold Nugget Token

  Holabird 2021-12 sale Lot 3451. Alcatraz Post Exchange Token
Alcatraz Post Exchange Toke

  Holabird 2021-12 sale Lot 3470. Children's Playground Golden Gate Park Token
Lot 3470. Children's Playground Golden Gate Park Token

  Holabird 2021-12 sale Lot 3520. S. Siri & Co. Token, Palisade, NV
Lot 3520. S. Siri & Co. Token, Palisade, NV

  Holabird 2021-12 sale Lot 3526. Hotel Rawhide Token
Lot 3526. Hotel Rawhide Token

  Holabird 2021-12 sale Lot 3535. The Payteller Token
Lot 3535. The Payteller Token

  Holabird 2021-12 sale Lot 3554. Bonanza Hotel  - M.S. Frett Tokens, Silver City, NV
Lot 3554. Bonanza Hotel - M.S. Frett Tokens, Silver City, NV

  Holabird 2021-12 sale Lot 3577. Virginia City Saloon Tokens
Lot 3577. Virginia City Saloon Tokens

For more information, or to bid, see:

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A great item of numismatic history in the December Holabird sale is this 1851 letter relating to pioneer gold. -Editor

  Mint Letter of Dunbar Gold Deposit

Exceptionally important letter signed by Dunbar & Co., March 31, 1851 noting the receipt of 192 9/16 ounces of gold dust at $17.125 per ounce to be paid in Dunbar & Co.'s (gold) coin on demand, "or if said coin will not pay at par at the time of such demand, the amount shall be redeemed at the office of Dodge & Co. in current silver at the hands of Henry D. Cogswell, and for the time of this deposit, namely from this date there shall be allotted to Henry D, Cogswell the depositor of said dust an interest of three percent per month on said deposit until the same shall be paid him", signed Dunbar & Co. by George J. Howell (?). The reverse of the note is as important as the obverse, as Cogswell notes when and how much he was paid in Dunbar coin. Interestingly, one of the payments is for $22.50, indicating the possibility of four $5 gold coins and one $2.50 for which none are known. On May 8, 1851, Cogswell presented the note to Dodge & Co. who refused payment. Then as of May 12, 1851, Cogswell had been paid $247.50 of $3,297.63. This note was used in suit against Dunbar, where Dunbar settled the judgement for $1650 on Jan 16, 1852. In short, Cogswell settled for half of the gold he deposited after he was paid an initial $247.50.

Five days prior to this note, and just a few days after newspaper publication, James King of William went on the warpath against Dunbar, Baldwin and Schultz & Co. He had submitted gold coins to Humbert at the USAO San Francisco, and the coins were not as represented, all short of value. King sent the copy of the letter to all the San Francisco newspapers causing a sensational stir, not only in San Francisco, but around the country. Numismatic author Edgar Adams stated that Humbert had received 111 Dunbar gold pieces, and they averaged $4.98 each, a difference of only 4/1000. (Adams, E., in Private Gold Coinage in American Journal of Numismatics, January, 1912, p3). This important letter is the direct result of King's published letter, and further follows the failure of Dunbar & Co. after the fact.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Spectacular Dunbar & Co. Mint Letter of Gold Deposit for Return in Dunbar Gold Coin, 1851 [142888] (


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


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

1777 Nini Franklin Terra Cotta Medallion
1777 Nini Franklin Terra Cotta Medallion obverse 1777 Nini Franklin Terra Cotta Medallion reverse

1777-Dated Revolutionary War Period, Benjamin Franklin Portrait Terra Cotta Medallion Plaque, shown wearing his popular American Beaver Fur Hat, by Jean-Baptiste Nini, Choice Near Mint.

Large size 4.5 diameter (113 mm) high-relief Portrait Medallion of Benjamin Franklin in Terra Cotta (a fired ceramic clay). Produced in France by sculptor, Jean-Baptiste Nini during the height of Franklin's popularity with the French nation. Nini made a small variety of Franklin portrait medallions in Terra Cotta for sale in both France and America. This variety shows Franklin wearing his famous Beaver Fur Hat with the inscription B. Franklin - Americain. Nini has signed and dated within the text located on the truncation of Franklin's bust with NINI - 1777. The 2005 John Ford Jr. Collection Auction Sale contained two similar Terra Cotta Plaques by Nini. One in very choice condition sold for $5,750 and one in lower quality sold for $3,220. This current Nini Medallion is of museum quality, having excellent eye appeal for display, near Mint having some minor nicks on the outer rim edge. The top rim has a small metal ring attached to a piece of twine to hang on display. A nice example of this historic, contemporarily produced, Revolutionary War period French tribute to Benjamin Franklin. In France as America's foremost ambassador and statesman to the King and his court.

A classic from the December 11, 2021 Early American auction. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1777 Benjamin Franklin Terra Cotta Medallion By Nini Variety Franklin Wearing His American Beaver Fur Hat (

1898 Proof Double Eagle
1898 Proof Double Eagle

All Proof Liberty Head double eagles are rare. Only seven issues—dating back to 1859—have mintages of more than 100. With survival rates typically around one-third to one-half of the original mintage, most of the more available Type Three Proofs (struck from 1877 through 1907) have around three to four dozen known. And of these limited number of coins, one has to factor in harshly cleaned or impaired coins as well as pieces off the market in institutional or important private collections.

75 Proofs of this date were made. I feel that there are three dozen known, tops.

A beautiful coin from Doug Winter's November 30, 2021 email. Wow. Sorry - this one's already on hold for a client. -Editor

To read the complete item description, see:
ON HOLD - $20.00 - 1898 PCGS PR63+ CAM CAC (

James Buchanan Inaugural Medal
James Buchanan Inaugural Medal obverse James Buchanan Inaugural Medal reverse

James Buchanan: Large DeWitt #1 Inaugural Medal. JB-1856-1, 60 mm gilded white metal. A superlative example with no wear with nicely toned reflective fields. The gilding is worn off in a small area of the side, in the 8 o'clock position, with two "test" scratches, but this is not visible from the front. The nicest example we have seen.

Another gilt piece. This one's already sold - it was in yesterday's Heritage December 4th sale. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
James Buchanan: Large DeWitt #1 Inaugural Medal.... (

Freemason Templar Silver Medal
Freemason Templar Silver Medal obverse Freemason Templar Silver Medal reverse


Featured Refinements: Knights Templar Collectible
Country/Region of Manufacture: United States

Crude but interesting Masonic piece. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

Purple Heart
Purple Heart medal obverse Purple Heart medal reverse

USA purple heart medal for military merit with ribbon

A Purple Heart for sale in a UK auction. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
USA purple heart medal for military merit with ribbon (

Mahogany Coin Cabinet
coin cabinet tray coin cabinet

A coin and medal collection in a Victorian mahogany 12 coin tray collector's case, 30 x 26 x 17cm including UK George III to George VI coins, Napoleon III 5 & 10 centimes, U.S. five cents etc.

Nice coin cabinet. Can anyone spot any sleepers among the collection of circulated and holed coins and tokens? -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
A coin and medal collection in a Victorian mahogany 12 coin ... (

Japan Imperial National Bank 2 Yen Note
Japan Imperial National Bank 2 Yen Note front
Japan Imperial National Bank 2 Yen Note back

Japan Greater Japan Imperial National Bank, Nagahama 2 Yen ND (1873) Pick 11 PMG Very Fine 20.

Although all varieties of this denomination are rarely seen today, this type, issued through the Nagahama branch of the Imperial National Bank, is especially uncommon. Nagahama is located in South-Central Japan, and notes issued there were easily overshadowed by Tokyo or other large city emissions. Only standard circulation is seen on this pretty 19th century banknote. The warriors of the Middle Ages, Kojima Takanori and Nitta Yoshisada, are depicted at front and the Imperial Palace in Tokyo is engraved on the back of this scarce and desirable banknote.

Great note, reminiscent of some U.S. banknotes of the era. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Japan Greater Japan Imperial National Bank, Nagahama 2 Yen ND (1873) Pick 11 PMG Very Fine 20.. ... (

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In a blog post, Stack's Bowers Numismatist Nicholas Fritz discusses the history of the great city behind the classic Athenian Owl coins. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor

  Owl coins of Athens

No ancient Greek city state can capture the modern imagination quite like Athens. Though the whole of the ancient Greek world is known as "the cradle of Western Civilization," it is Athens that has come to symbolize the fullest fruition of reason and democracy in the ancient world. The legacy of the Athenian Polis lives on, in both tangible artifacts like coins, and the intangible heritage of critical reasoning and the questioning of assumptions.

Athens was not always the center of the known world. Archaic Athens, characterized by tacit laws and blood oaths, was little more than an outpost on a rocky hilltop before the 7th century B.C.E. when the citizenry of Athens requested that Draco give a written code of laws to be enforced by a court. Though appointed on popular demand, the citizenry was shocked by the harshness of the laws that Draco had implemented, with the death penalty being common; his name inspired the word draconian. After Draco, a man named Solon came to be chief magistrate of Athens, and his liberalizing reforms gave him an honored status as a reformer and the most famous of Athenian legislators. His legacy is preserved today by a sculpture on the façade of the United States Supreme Court. While Solon spearheaded economic reform, it is likely that Athens had no coinage of their own until well after Solon's reforms. Among the earliest of Athenian coinage was the "Wappenmuzen" Tetradrachm struck starting circa 545 B.C.E. This design features a striking gorgoneion on the obverse.

The new system of governance in Athens, though called democracy, was really a precarious balance between democracy and oligarchy. At best, probably only a quarter of Athens' populace was given political agency, with slaves, women, and foreign-born persons being excluded from governance. Still, this system of government allowed men of non-aristocratic birth to rise to great prominence. Chief among them was Themistocles, a talented politician and soldier. Themistocles played a leading role in repelling the threat of Persian invasion, as the decisive victory at Marathon by Athens over the Achaemenid Empire elevated Athens to the position of one of the most prominent states.

Themistocles demanded a naval buildup, which was crucial to the repulsion of a second Persian invasion 10 years after Marathon at the naval battle of Salamis. The wealth that Athens needed to build such a strong navy arose from silver mining at Laurion, the foundation of Athenian economic strength and the progenitor of most silver used in Athenian coinage. It was during this period that Athens started issuing a newer Tetradrachm. This style of Tetradrachm featured the head of Athena on the obverse, and an owl with an olive sprig and crescent on the reverse; all iconography that was symbolic of Athens and the goddess Athena, namesake of the city.

Athens became and remained the intellectual center of the world for centuries and spawned many imitators. Rome, Thebes, Egypt, and even Sparta all took note and advice from Athens. Even the famed owl Tetradrachm was counterfeited, as shown in the ancient Fourree pictured. After time under Macedonian rule, Athens became a free city in the Roman Empire as it was admired for its schools and culture. During this period of Roman conquest Athens issued its final Tetradrachm), struck on a broad flan, but still featuring Athena and an owl. In addition to the coins pictured here, a large collection of Athenian and many more ancient coinages will be offered at the New York International Numismatic Convention by Stack's Bowers Galleries. The entire sale will be available for viewing and bidding at

To read the complete article, see:
The Wise Owl of Athens (

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In a pair of blog articles Lucia Carbone of the American Numismatic Society presents her studies on "Financing Sulla's Reconquest of Italy." -Editor

Financing Sulla's Reconquest of Italy poster Appian states that Sulla had at his disposal an army of 40,000 men, including five legions of Roman infantry, 6,000 knights, plus Greek and Macedonian auxilia. According to M. Speidel's calculations, this would imply that Sulla needed to have at his disposal the equivalent of almost 10 million denarii. Since Sulla was barred from taking advantage of the enhanced monetary production of the Roman mint, it becomes clear that he must have taken advantage of the bullion supplied by his recent victories in the East.

The monetary production of the collegium of triumviri monetales of 83–82 BCE, composed by P. Crepusius, C. Mamilius Limetanus (RRC 362/1) and L. Marcius Censorinus have been the object of foundational die studies that provided a model for future ones. Back in 1976, T. Buttrey published a fundamental study of Crepusius' issues. Schaefer's archive provided the material for the study of the issues of L. Marcius Censorinus and C.Mamilius Limetanus. The importance of these issues does not only reside in the historical moment they produced in, but also in their technical peculiarities.

  Sulla-1-Fig3 P. Crepusius. ANS 1944.100.557
P. Crepusius. ANS 1944.100.557
  Sulla-1-Fig7  L.Cornelius Sulla.
L.Cornelius Sulla. 3.81 g. Berlin MünzKabinett

  Sullla-1-Fig13  L. Cornelius Sulla. ANS 1944.100.64169
L. Cornelius Sulla. ANS 1944.100.64169
  Sulla-2-Fig2 Athens. New Style tetradrachm with trophies
Athens. New Style tetradrachm with trophies

To read the complete articles, see:

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Chip Howell passed along this article from The Ancient Near East Today. Thanks. -Editor

Tel Dor hoard Hacksilber Why was money invented? The question is seldom asked nowadays because money is all-pervasive in modern developed economies, but this was not always the case.

The traditional answer to why money was invented is based on Aristotle's contention in his Nicomachean Ethics that it was a development from barter, leading to his oft-quoted formulation that ‘money is the measure of everything'. In other words, money was useful because it was a universal denominator but also, it was a virtually imperishable, easily portable, readily exchangeable store of wealth.

A sophisticated ‘commodity exchange' was used in the great Eastern and Egyptian empires in which silver was valued against wheat, dates, figs, olives, copper, gold and other commodities. Silver was extracted in Western Asia from the fourth millennium BCE and used extensively in the form of Hacksilber (lumps of silver, often chopped up jewellery). There is an argument in the literature as to whether this constituted a form of proto money, but thorough investigation of Hacksilber hoards in the southern Levant combined with elemental compositional analysis has shown that the weights and composition of the silver are too variable to have been used as coinage.

The earliest coins were minted in Lydia around the end of the seventh century BCE dated by their find in a foundation deposit under the Temple of Artemis at Ephesos (the so-called ‘Artemision Hoard'). The attribution of the invention to the Lydians comes from Herodotus 1.94, but the use of money was closely followed by local Greek Ionian cities along the coast of western Asia Minor including Miletos, Teos and Phokaia. The coins were minted in electrum which is a mixture of gold and silver. Until recently, electrum was believed to have occurred naturally in the form of nuggets found in the Pactolus River which flowed through Sardis, the Lydian capital, but this has been proved incorrect.

Electrum was manufactured to a recipe from its inception of 55% gold and 45% silver with minor amounts of copper. This regularized the composition of the earliest money and therefore its value, by state fiat. Arguably, when Greek city-states adopted coinage, they turned to pure silver because they lacked access to gold, but also because gold was intrinsically too valuable for everyday purchases. Even electrum coins were usually tiny with the smallest of them weighing only 0.08 g with a diameter of 2.5 mm (1/192 stater).

Silver was mined in modern Turkey and Iran. The Phoenicians developed trade all the way across the Western Mediterranean accessing silver from Sardinia and Spain. Silver ore could be found in many places in the Greek world most famously and extensively in Lavrion (Attica) and Thraco-Macedonia (Northern Greece) and in some of the Greek islands, albeit in lesser quantities.

  Silver Drachma of Athens
Silver Drachma of Athens at the Numismatics Museum in Athens

To read the complete article, see:
The Rise of Silver Coinage in the Ancient Mediterranean (

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Stacks Bowers Director of Consignments and Numismatics James McCartney published a blog article about the gorgeous gilt Non Nobis Solum Washington medal in their December 2021 Tokens & Medals sale. -Editor

  gilt Non Nobis Solum Washington medal

We are excited to offer a beautiful MS-65 (NGC) ca. 1859 Non Nobis Solum Washington medal in gilt white metal in lot 70033 of our December 2021 Tokens and Medals Collectors Choice Online Auction. Sharply struck with beautiful satin surfaces and no significant abrasions, this piece is an important offering for specialists in Washington medals or Masonic pieces.

Taken from a philosophical work by Cicero, who himself was borrowing from Plato, the Latin phrase "non nobis solum sed toto mundo nati" on the reverse of this medal translates to English as "not for ourselves alone, but for the whole world, were we born." This selfless phrase is a favorite among the Freemasons and it is seen on a wide variety of masonic items.

The Non Nobis Solum medal is known in a wide range of varieties, compositions, rim types, and mulings, all of which are prized by collectors. Our historic sale of the Baker Collection in November 2019 included an incredible eight different varieties of this type, led by the unique C.C. Wright muling that sold for $13,200. Remarkably, the Baker cabinet did not include a gilt example, nor have we offered one in the past two decades. This lovely gilt MS-65 (NGC) represents a significant opportunity for the advanced collector.

To read the complete article, see:
Gem Non Nobis Solum Washington Medal Offered in Our December 2021 Tokens and Medals Auction (

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Here are a couple items that caught my eye in the Winter 2021 issue of Bo Tales from the Original Hobo Nickel Society, Inc. Many thanks to Editor Ralph Winter for passing along the text and images. The first is a lot item in the group's annual sale. -Editor

Lot 25 – Man Wearing Hat with Gold Hatband

Hobo Nickel Man Wearing Hat with Gold Hatband Banks/DelFavero: This modern carving depicts a clean shaven man wearing a domed hat and sporting a grin that shows off his bright gold tooth. Both the hatband with decorative vertical lines and the tooth are 24K gold inlays. The hair is composed of neatly engraved lines. A nicely shaped and detailed ear sits just below the hat brim. Modification to the Indian's profile (nose and mouth) adds character to the carving. Nice reduction of neck and decorative work across the collar. Finely brushed fields. Stamped SA on reverse. Eye catching carving.

2021 OHNS Hobo Tokens

2021 OHNS tokens (obverse and reverse by Steve Adams) are ready to be shipped to OHNS members. The member price is $35 per set (copper and silver) including postage or $24 for the silver and $18 for the copper. 2020 & 2019 tokens, also designed by Steve Adams, are the same price.

  2021 OHNS Hobo Token silver obverse 2021 OHNS Hobo Token silver reverse
.999 Silver Obverse & Reverse

Sets of one silver & one copper tokens are priced at $45 to the public & $35 to OHNS members. Individual silver tokens will retail to the public for $30 and $24 for OHNS members. In turn, individual copper tokens will sell to the public for $22 and $18 to club members.

  2021 OHNS Hobo Token copper obverse 2021 OHNS Hobo Token copper reverse
Copper Obverse and Reverse

For more information on the Original Hobo Nickel Society, see:

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An article by Jason Kim in the December 2021 issue of ErrorScope from the Combined Organizations of Numismatic Error Collectors of America (CONECA) discusses a great junkbox find. With permission, we're republishing it here. Thanks to editor Allan Anderson for passing along the text and images. -Editor

Don't Give Up. The Errors Are Still Out There
By Jason Kim

  1942-S Dime inverted S obverse 1942-S Dime inverted S reverse

I was at my local coin shop going through a junk bin of silver dimes. I had a list of dates I needed for my album and began to search. The mint marks on silver dimes appear on the back so I was flipping each coin checking for mintmarks. As I was flipping a Mercury dime, I noticed a peculiar ‘S mint mark. It looked different but I knew immediately what it was.

In 1942, a mint employee took his rod and unknowingly struck an S mint mark upside down into a working die. That very same die went on to strike some Mercury Dimes at the San Francisco Mint. The Mercury dimes went into the hands of the public, and circulated separately for a long period of time. One was pulled out of circulation and somewhere along the line, ended up in a junk bin. That very coin was being held in my hand!

1942-S Dime inverted S closeup If you haven't already guessed, the coin I had found was the 1942-S, 10 cent inverted S mint mark (and for all the cherrypickers guide fans: FS-10-1942S-501). I couldn't believe my luck! I put the coin to the side and continued to look for the dates I needed. I ended up buying 15 dimes including the Inverted S. I was given a great deal as well. After doing the math I paid about $1.66 for the inverted S.

It is times like these that really make coin collecting and error collecting fun! I would like to personally thank the coin shop for that awesome find! Don't give up, the errors are still out there! Thank you for reading and Happy Hunting!

See also an item in this issue's "Loose Change" section about a recent find of an off-metal Kennedy Half dollar. The errors really are out there for those willing to look.

Another great item pictured in the issue is this 1971-D Jefferson Nickel double struck on a dime blank. Thanks again. -Editor

  1971-D NIckel Double Struck on Dime blank obverse 1971-D NIckel Double Struck on Dime blank reverse

For more information on CONECA, see:


1946–2021: CELEBRATING 75 YEARS of the RED BOOK. The 75th edition of the Guide Book of United States Coins will release next week, April 7, 2021. Preorder now to reserve your copy—online at , or call 1-800-546-2995.


This Heritage press release describes an impressive 1949 silver ingot. -Editor

  1949-Dated New York Assay Office MS Silver Ingot. 1016.46 Ounces_Heritage_Auctions_1

Unbelievable Thousand-Ounce Silver Assay Office Ingot Up For Bid

Heritage Auctions will be doing some heavy lifting in the January FUN Auction #1341 when an unbelievable 1949 silver ingot from the New York Assay Office crosses the auction block. This hefty piece of historical silver weighs 1016.46 Ounces and has to be seen to be believed!

The US Assay Office in New York City was once a bustling center for testing gold and silver and turning it into something new. The story behind the building that created fascinating precious metal ingots is almost as interesting as the pieces themselves.

This office operated from the era of the Gold Rush in 1854 until 1982, melting down gold and silver brought into the government and refining it to a clear purity and weight. It originally opened to purchase the gold which was being found in California starting in 1849, its function decreased over the years as gold discoveries dwindled. The location also collected damaged paper money and gold coins--which were in circulation until 1933--to remove these from circulation. According to Samuel Armstrong Nelson in 1900 in his The ABC of Wall Street,

"The building is employed in assaying, parting and refining crude bullion, coin, jewelry, old bars and the precious metals in such other forms as they may be presented. All metal is turned out in the form of bars of various weight, stamped by the Government with letters and figures which certify to the weight and quality of the metal. Most of the work is done for private persons ... "

The New York Assay Office eventually closed in 1982, and shortly thereafter, this historic location set a record as the most valuable piece of government real estate ever sold at auction to date. It realized the then-dizzying sum of $27,000,000 at auction. Having seen the changing nature of the country as well as New York City itself, the property just south of Wall Street sold to a real estate developer with plans to build a skyscraper.

This humble five-story building, which had spent its tenure of over 125 year melting and refining gold into bars such as this one, was to become part of modern New York City and its ever-taller buildings. Despite the many changes to the New York skyline, one can still purchase the historic bars and ingots created by the New York Assay Office upon rare occasion at auction.

  1949-Dated New York Assay Office MS Silver Ingot. 1016.46 Ounces_Heritage_Auctions_3 1949-Dated New York Assay Office MS Silver Ingot. 1016.46 Ounces_Heritage_Auctions_2

While the history of the building itself is known, the story of the actual gold and silver ingots is enigmatic. Relatively little has been studied about these fascinating pieces. As our catalogers explained in a prior listing, "We have stated in the past, and it bears repeating, New York Assay Office ingots are a remarkably understudied area in U.S. numismatics. We have only handled 32 ingots over the past 18 years and we can only draw a couple of generalizations from the bars we have encountered. There appear to be only two hallmark variations, and each ingot is dated (unlike many San Francisco ingots)." The January FUN auction will include a few fascinating assay ingots, but this enormous 1,016.46 ounce ingot dwarfs its more moderately-valued cousins in this auction. We expect significant interest when these ingots come up for bid.

Check out the huge one here:

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Coin shortages are still a thing. Here's an article about the tussle over quarters in Seattle. -Editor

Lunar Laundry change machine In the Before Times, Thorsen's Lunar Laundry, a coin-only laundromat in the Ballard neighborhood, was what's known as quarter positive: Customers brought in so many of their own coins that Thorsen made twice monthly coin deposits at her bank.

But soon after pandemic restrictions hit last year, Thorsen noticed customers relying more often on her change machine. Then noncustomers — apartment tenants and even some small-business owners — began coming in and surreptitiously draining her change machine.

As Lunar went quarter negative, Thorsen went to her bank to replenish her coin supply. But the bank was so short on change, she could only buy a few $10, 40-quarter rolls, and most often there were none at all. Where the heck are they going? says Thorsen, who now spends considerable time moving her shrinking supply of quarters from her washers and dryers back to her change machine. It's not like they disappeared.

It's something I have to think about all the time, says Queen Anne resident Dan White, whose apartment has a coin-operated laundry. Early in the pandemic, White had to frantically group-text friends to secure enough quarters for a weekend's wash.

Another time, after White scored a precious stack from the change machine in a downtown bar, he was followed out and lectured by an employee. He was like, ‘I'll let it slide this time but you can never do that again,' White says.

White is more systematic these days, periodically hitting a handful of businesses to get his rolls for the month. But the routine is time-consuming, with a furtiveness that often feels weirdly like I was doing like a drug deal or something, he says. People that aren't using quarters for a laundry machine have no idea that this is even happening.

Indeed, the Great Quarter Shortage has exposed another social and economic divide as a subset of consumers and businesses must scramble to replace what COVID has made scarce. The result is a kind of two-bit black market, rife with clever workarounds and conspiracy theories, and no small amount of social friction.

It's really difficult, says Denise Eam, owner of PT Laundry in Kent, about having to ask noncustomers not to use her change machine. Sometimes people are really nice and say ‘sorry' [but] some of them are so nasty.

They're worth more than 25 cents right now, that's for sure, adds Alex Singleterry. He runs a network of 83 arcade games at his Ballard tavern, the Ice Box Arcade, and elsewhere in the Seattle area and loses so many quarters to noncustomers that he routinely has to send out an employee to search for more. We had to go to three banks today to get stocked up on coins for the weekend, he said Friday.

Solving the quarter crisis has become a top priority of the Federal Reserve, where a specially empaneled U.S. Coin Task Force is working to persuade Americans to spend those quarters and other coins back into circulation.

Yet despite an exceedingly earnest Get Coin Moving campaign, with public service announcements, a social media hashtag and a YouTube video, the task force reckons that a too-large chunk of the $48.5 billion worth of coins in circulation is still sitting dormant inside America's 128 million households.

Out on the streets of the coin-operated world, that imbalance has manifested as a kind of coinage roller coaster, with jubilant periods when banks and stores seemingly have rolls aplenty, followed by renewed tightening and anxiety.

Quarter-negative businesses, meanwhile, often have nurtured alliances with coin-positive peers, such as carwashes and vending machine operators. Wallace, the laundry association president, says some business owners have exploited the shortage's regional differences by driving hours away to buy quarters from colleagues.

To read the complete article, see:
Quarter shortage creates two-bit black market in coin-operated Seattle (


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

110-Year Overdue Book Returned to Library

Bibliophiles should enjoy this New York Times item sent along by Len Augsburger - someone returned to an Idaho library a book that had been checked out in 1911. -Editor

  New Chronicles of Rebecca book

In 1911, someone checked out a copy of the book New Chronicles of Rebecca from a library in Boise, Idaho.

For the next 110 years, the city's libraries would survive pandemics, recessions and world wars — all without that copy of the 278-page series of stories by Kate Douglas Wiggin about an imaginative girl named Rebecca.

All that's known, she said, is that the book was returned either in late October or early November to a library in nearby Garden City. The librarians there sent the book to the main library in Boise because it still had inserts from an old library in the city that has since closed.

There have been other cases of books being returned decades overdue, but 110 years is an unusually long time. This year, a Wisconsin woman mailed a book that was 63 years overdue to the Queens Public Library in New York. In 2016, a 72-year-old Manhattan woman returned a book that was 57 years overdue.

To read the complete article, see:
After 110 Years, an Overdue Book Is Returned to a Library in Idaho (

1977-D Half Struck on Silver Planchet

Coin finds are out there for those willing to look. Here's a Coin World story of a collector's error coin discovery. -Editor

  1977-D half dollar on silver planchet

It took Maine collector Craig Wildes only 25 years of searching through 20-coin rolls of United States half dollars to discover an example of a 1977-D Kennedy half dollar struck on a silver-copper clad planchet.

The 1977 Kennedy half dollar mintage of 31,449,106 coins was all to have been struck on copper-nickel clad composition blanks. Error coin experts believe an unknown number of the silver-copper clad planchets from the San Francisco Mint were transferred to the Denver Mint mixed with copper-nickel clad planchets.

The San Francisco Mint struck 40% silver 1776–1976 Kennedy, Bicentennial half dollars for collector sets as well a copper-nickel clad issues for circulation.

Error coin dealer Fred Weinberg believes that approximately a dozen examples of the silver-copper clad (40% silver) 1977-D Kennedy half dollars were known to exist before Wildes' discovery.

To read the complete article, see:
Collectors discover 1977-D half dollar on silver planchet (

Free Coin Day December 18, 2021

Why search rolls when you can get a coin for free? -Editor

Free Coin Day Dealers from across the country are getting into the Christmas spirit by dropping silver dollars and gold coins into Salvation Army buckets this December and by marking Saturday, December 18, as Free Coin Day.

Free Coin Day will be a celebration of collecting, said event co-founder Rob Oberth. In 2019, Rob spearheaded the largest coin drop in history with the Great American Coin Hunt.

Free Coin Day will be slightly different. Instead of sending millions of Americans out to hunt unusual and obsolete coins and paper money items in circulation, dealers will cut to the chase and offer members of the collecting public a coin on the house.

To read the complete article, see:
Dealers Mark December 18, 2021 as Free Coin Day & Encourage Collectors to Give This Holiday Season (

The Guy Who Got Away With It

Your mother probably told you that cheaters never win, but out in the real world it does happen. Heists can be hard to pull off and keep quiet, but loners who can keep a secret sometimes succeed. Bank teller Ted Conrad walked away from his job one day in 1969 with a bag filled with $215,000 in cash (roughly $1.5 million today). He got away with it. We only know the story because of his deathbed confession 52 years later. Are one of those fugitive bills in your wallet or collection today? -Editor

Ted Conrad bank robber After walking out of the bank in Cleveland, he disappeared—and he eventually settled in suburban Massachusetts, assuming a new identity: Thomas Randele.

He had a couple of careers—golf pro and car sales—got married and had children.

To read the complete article, see:
On behalf of John K. Elliott (

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