The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 24, Number 27, July 4, 2021, Article 12


Quiz Answer: What's Wrong With These Coins?
History of the United States Mint and Its Coinage book cover
Paul Horner writes:

"Regarding the US Mint & Coinage cover; Whew, These are pretty bad!

1. Lincoln Cents do not have a ring of dots around the edge on either side.

2. Kennedy half dollars do not have a ring of dots either, and genuine K. Halves have reeded edges, not plain.

3. The gold American Eagle does not have a ring of dots, it does have a ring of stars. The real gold American Eagles have a reeded edges. If it it supposed to be a double eagle, it should have stars not dots and a lettered edge."

Dave Lange writes:

History of the United States Mint and Its Coinage book cover "I had to chuckle when I saw Bruce Bartelt's piece about my mint history book. Needless to say, I had no input into the cover design, which is entirely the product of Whitman's art department. I suspect those "coins" in the second row of illustrations may contain chocolate. I've told the story of this book's creation before, and it's been in The E-Sylum already, but I'll include a brief recap here.

"It began as a correspondence course commissioned of me in 1995 or 1996 by the ANA's then education director, James Taylor. The history portion I wrote was to be combined with a section on current minting technology to be written by the late J. T. Stanton. For whatever reason, J. T. never delivered his chapters, and the whole project was abandoned when James left the ANA after being passed over for the executive director position. My manuscript was discovered a few years later by his successor, Gail Baker, who revived the project. The folks at the ANA liked it enough that I was asked to bring it up to date and add a few chapters so that it could be published by the ANA as a book rather than a correspondence course. A graphic designer who had done previous work for the ANA, Mary Jo Meade, was assigned to select images and put the whole thing together. Rudy Bahr of the ANA's staff would oversee its publication.

"The project was nearing completion when the ANA's executive director, Chris Cipoletti, purged a slew of people, Rudy included. At some point he struck a deal with Whitman Publishing to put out the book commercially. I heard about this only indirectly, as I was entirely out of the loop at that point. I first learned it was in print when I saw it for sale at the Whitman booth during a 2005 coin show. It came complete with a greeting from Cipoletti dated April of that year and titled "Discover and Explore the World of Money." The cover design was startling to me, but naturally I bought a copy of the book to inspect the finished product. I discovered a number of minor errors, mostly pertaining to the images, but otherwise it looked pretty good.

"After Chris Cipoletti's employment was terminated by the ANA a couple years later, a new printing was issued without his two pages. The graphic errors were fixed at the same time, though I don't believe this revised printing was labeled a second edition. The book soon became my best selling title, but I have no financial interest in it whatsoever. I had written it pro-bono on behalf of the ANA and have never sought compensation. I don't know how much was remitted to the ANA, but I imagine it must have benefitted in some way."

Interesting. I had no idea there was more than one version of the book. For grins, I'll keep my eye open for the other variant. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JUNE 27, 2021 : Quiz Quiz: What's Wrong With These Coins? (

On Unfolding Coins
Edward III gold coin find
Paul Horner writes:

"I vote to UNFOLD the Edward III gold coin. I would if it were mine!"

Carl Honore, M.A. writes:

"One cannot "unfold" a coin or a piece of sheet metal or bar stock and obtain a close to original representation of the design. When a piece of metal is deformed by folding, the point of deformation undergoes tension on one side and compression on the other. Looking at the edge of a coin and imagining a fold, the top of the coin would be stretched, and the bottom of the coin would be compressed. This would occur whether or not the coin is heated prior to deformation. But the deformation is permanent. One could imagine in unfolding, the bottom of the same coin would be stretched, and the top compressed in this operation. But the point of deformation would be permanently and irrevocably deformed, and show a permanent loss of design at the "line" formed by the unfolding. In fact, at the atomic level, the entire coin deforms when one folds a piece of sheet metal or bar stock. At most, one could see part of the original design hidden by the fold, but that would be the best one could hope for."

Thanks for your comments. My vote remains to leave them as-is. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JUNE 27, 2021 : Getting Bent and Unbent (

Couroc Coin Plate
Dave Hirt writes:

"I seem to find numismatic connected items. The latest is a coin plate. It has eight world coins embedded in a black 10" hard plastic plate. One of them is a British copper coin, with a portrait of a young Elizabeth II. The plate was made by a company in Calif. named COUROC. I have no idea of its age."

Couroc coin plate Couroc products

Online I found an image of a similar plate; separately I found an image of a product label identifying the producer as "Couroc of Monterey California" and stating "Hand inlaid by master craftsmen, shells, coins, woods and metals are fused into Couroc's famous satin black material which is impervious to alcohol, boiling water, and cigarette burns." Is anyone familiar with these? -Editor

Query: Emil Justh Sale Addenda
Emil Justh sale catalog Dave Hirt writes:

"Next is a question that perhaps one of our auction catalog collecting readers can answer. In a copy of H.G. Sampson's 13th sale, the Emil Justh collection, I found a one page separate addenda. I find no mention of this in any of the catalog reference books I have. Does anyone have information on this addenda? "Also I was glad to read the post on dealer Elmer Sears.I think that he is a underrated dealer. He handled many rare coins. I have two of his auction sales, and three fixed price lists. They offer many rare and interesting items."

The American Numismatic Society library copy scanned by the Newman Portal does not include an addenda. Can anyone help? -Editor

To read the catalog on NNP, see:
Executor's sale of a fine collection of American & foreign coins in gold and silver, belonging to the estate of the late Emil Justh ... [04/08/1884] (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Identification of Colonial Medal?
Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger writes:

"A Newman Portal user seeks identification of this medal. A patriotic theme is no doubt intended, featuring a large eagle and a mounted military figure in colonial wear. The highly raised edge seems more contemporary with pieces of relatively recent origin. Can any E-Sylum readers attribute this piece?"

Mystery Colonial-themed medal obverse Mystery Colonial-themed medal reverse

Unusual item. Can anyone help? -Editor

Query: Is it Possible to Remove Anodizing?
Dick Hanscom writes:

"I have an Alaska military token that is supposed to be either red or blue aluminum. It is just plain aluminum.

"Is it possible to remove the anodizing (is that the correct word) from the surface, leaving the plain aluminum pretty much unaffected?

"Inquiring minds want to know ;)"

I'm not sure of the correct terminology either. Can anyone help? -Editor

Query: S.B. Colby Image on U.S. Government Bond
Jerry Fochtman writes:

"Apparently the image of S.B. Colby of registrar fame was used on a government bond. Wonder if any of the E-Sylum followers might know the specific bond/etc.?"

Image of S.B. Colby,

Can anyone help? -Editor

Mudlark Cleans Coins With Electrolysis
Anne Bentley of the Massachusetts Historical Society writes:

"LondonMudlark (@Lara Maiklem Mudlarking (London Mudlark)) Tweeted: I've cleaned up the silver coronation medallion I found on the foreshore a couple of weeks ago with a short burst of electrolysis in a bath of sodium bicarbonate solution then rubbed in a mixture of lanolin and soot added some toning."

Mudlark cleaned coins Mudlark coin cleaning setup

Anne adds:

"When I think of the months we spent removing the soot from our medals (old coal heat)!!!!"

See the article by Gary Beals elsewhere in this issue about a different cleaning method used on shipwreck coins. -Editor

To read the original tweet, see:

Sold! Crumbs of Action Comics #1
Gary Dunaier writes:

"The auction for the pieces that flaked off a copy of Action Comics #1 was real. The name of the auction house that sold it is ComicConnect. Here's how they described it in their auction listing."

action-comic-number-one-pieces Own pieces of history! Pieces of Action #1 that flaked off as the consignor expertly separated an incomplete, brittle copy won in our auction and then CGC'd the pages; these are the first pages certified by CGC - includes a staple!

origin &1st app. of Superman by Siegel and Shuster

The most important comic book in history, Action #1 stands as the introduction of the archetype of all other heroes to come as Superman transcends comics and pop culture as an icon of truth, justice, and the American way!

Created by Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, Superman is quite possibly the most recognizable fictional character in the world. The brainchild of two struggling sci-fi fans from the Rust Belt, the Man of Steel became an instant icon to Depression-era readers and transformed into a symbol of national spirit and spunk during the brutal days of WWII. Since then, he has endured as both a beloved character and an embodiment of hope and vigor, making this first appearance not just a piece of comics' history, but of American history as well.

bag measures 2"x3"
Includes COA

Gary adds:

"As mentioned in the listing, it comes with a certificate of authenticity, which reads: "This certifies that to the best of the knowledge and expertise of the owners and staff of ComicConnect, the ACTION COMICS #1 Fragments Staple [sic] are authentic and genuine."

"The auction ended 12/16/20. There were 26 bids... it sold for $410."

Thanks! Will the future price leap tall buildings in a single bound? -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
LOOSE CHANGE: JUNE 27, 2021 : Selling the Crumbs of Action Comics #1 (

Fricke E-Sylum ad03 Obsolete Paper

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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