The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 24, Number 28, July 11, 2021, Article 8


Philadelphia Mint Restriking Research Project

Dear Fellow Numismatists,

A current research project is to understand the restriking and distribution of circulation coins and pattern pieces by the Philadelphia Mint from about 1834 to 1897. Substantial progress has been made in identifying persons responsible and many of the coins involved; however, much remains to be discovered.

I would appreciate hearing from anyone with new or unpublished information, including private family papers, diaries and notebooks, that relate to this subject. While final analysis and publication of results remains in the future, the results are expected to wipe away many decades of speculation and innuendo.

Interested collectors may contact me at Seneca Mill Press LLC, P.O. Box 1423, Great Falls, VA 22066-1423.

Thank you!
Roger W. Burdette


In my introduction to last week's article about Irv Ratcliffe I referred to the National Association of Token Collectors as "NATCA". -Editor

Duane Feisel writes:

"When I started the National Association of Token Collectors I used the abbreviation NATCA. However, it didn't take long for the National Air Traffic Controllers Association to let me know that their organization had a copyright on NATCA – so I changed the abbreviation for the National Token Collectors Association to NTCA."

Irv Ratcliffe collection

I had seen "NATCA" in the ad for the sale of Ratcliffe's collection, which I used as an illustration for the article (click to enlarge). So the original abbreviation lives on in some quarters.

When I created the Numismatic Bibliomania Society website back in 1997 I naturally thought of as our domain name. Alas, it was already taken (and is still used by) the National Brotherhood of Skiers. We went instead with, which is probably a better choice anyway. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

National Token Collectors' Association Trial Membership
Coincidentally, Bill Groom writes:

"The National Token Collectors' Association is offering a free, two month trial membership. This allows access to their monthly journal, Talkin' Tokens. The July edition contains an article about a hoard of South Carolina tokens; this, in addition to a historical backstory that's connected to an abolitionist's counterstamp.

"Any collector who loves Americana will relish an NTCA membership! "

See Bill Groom's article elsewhere in this issue for a taste of the great content awaiting. Give it a try! Here's the club's website. -Editor

For more information, see:

Our 2021 ANA Award
Greg Burns writes:

"Congratulations on the ANA literary award accolade! Very well deserved, and a treasured resource for the hobby in general and each reader individually…"

Thank you. Our intrepid webmaster Bruce Perdue has added the award to our E-Sylum home page. If you know people you think would enjoy The E-Sylum, send them to . -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Mystery Medallion: Napoleon Legion of Honour Eagle?

Last week Len Augsburger passed along a Newman Numismatic Portal user's query about the origins of this medal. -Editor

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

Pete Smith writes:

"I am sorry that I can't identify the mystery medal mentioned in the July 4 issue of The E-Sylum. I do have some observations. I think it is more appropriate to call it a medallion rather than a medal.

I wrote to Len Augsburger and he reported that the size is about 2 7/8 inch diameter. The piece has an integrated tab and hole indicating that it was intended for suspension. I suspect it is a jewelry piece. It might have been a generic award presented at a horse show.

There is no lettering on the piece. If it was intended to honor some person or event, it should identify that person or event. If it was an order or decoration, it should be identified.

I see no evidence that it can be considered Colonial. The rider on the horse is wearing armor and a cape. He might be intended to represent a hero or knight but I see nothing specific for identification.

The eagle does not look like American iconography. The eagle is clutching a bundle of about six arrows pointing in both directions. The American eagle is typically shown with thirteen arrows and an olive branch. Also, the American eagle is typically shown with a shield.

The eagle looks more to me like a Roman eagle. Old iconography is often resurrected for more modern pieces and the Roman eagle does show up on some American items.

The workmanship is crude and more likely from cheap jewelry rather than a quality medallion. Without more identification, in my opinion, the value is minimal."

Chip Howell writes:

"Once I thought of "Napoleon crossing the Alps" I got fixated. Most of his eagles seem to have faced right, but I did find this one... There are some differences in his uniform, e.g. boot length; maybe this source served as a model for a different commemoration."

Napoleon Legion of Honour Eagle

Interesting connection! Thanks. What do readers make of this? -Editor

Pete Smith adds:

"Yes, the Roman eagle evolved into the French Imperial Eagle and this might be the intended image on the medallion.

"I don't see Napoleon as the rider on the horse and the quality of the medallion is not up to what would be seen on a Legion of Honour medal."

For more information, see:
Legion of Honour (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JULY 4, 2021 : Identification of Colonial Medal? (

More On Unfolding Coins
Edward III gold coin find Alan Luedeking writes:

"In light of Carl Honore's excellent explanation, which makes perfect sense and opened my eyes to the mechanics of the thing, I have changed my mind and would now vote to leave the folded coins exactly as they are."

Ron Guth writes:

"Regarding unfolding coins, here's a pretty remarkable YouTube video of the unrolling of a slave tag."

To watch the video, see:
Finding 2 Slave Tags in 2 days? The Big Reveal!! (

unrolled slave tag1 unrolled slave tag2
unrolled slave tag3 unrolled slave tag5

Great find. Very interesting. Check it out. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JUNE 27, 2021 : Getting Bent and Unbent (
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JULY 4, 2021 : On Unfolding Coins (

The Recipe for Electrolysis
Ted Puls writes:

" I would like the recipe for electrolysis especially the electron delivering part. Being a cheapskate I didnt want to buy a car battery charger for experimenting."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JULY 4, 2021 : Mudlark Cleans Coins With Electrolysis (

Coin Dealers as Entertainers
Ted Puls adds:

"Finally I note that famous coin dealers who handle expensive coins are frequently mentioned but not the real hobby pillars. Captain Lee taught me and entertained me with coins throughout high school and college. I bet not one of your readers has heard of this unique rarity. He gave me a lifelong love of numismatics. How about Uncle Max, called VRUM by locals: very rich uncle Max I doubt that he was rich after running a local diner all his life. He did offer to sell BU silver dollars to me for about 10 dollars because nobody was buying them before the Redfield hoard. Ken Hallenbeck educated me: coin dealers are entertainers - without that, what good are they? Without the entertainment we hold only small bits of a commodity."

Quite true - you've got to be able to tell the story of a numismatic item. Just don't make it up and pass it off as the truth. -Editor

More on the Emil Justh Sale Addenda
George Kolbe writes:

"K & F listed one in Auction 83 (Harry Bass 5), March 10, 2001:"

1028 (Sampson, H. G.). ADDENDA TO JUSTH COLLECTION OF COINS. (New York: Geo. A. Leavitt & Co., Auctioneers), April 8, 1884. Single sheet: 22 x 14 cm. Lots 201a-201u. A trifle browned but very fine. (50.00)

Not in Adams or Gengerke. Non-numismatic except for 201j: "1 $10 Gold Piece, empty [?]. Apparently rare.

Thanks. Dave Hirt was not the buyer - he's owned the catalog and accompanying addenda for many years. So at least one other example of the addenda exists somewhere. Who has it? Any of our readers? -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JULY 4, 2021 : Query: Emil Justh Sale Addenda (

Liberty Dollar: Caveat Emptor
Liberty Dollar Financial Association logo Scott Semans writes:

"Regarding Mr. VonHaus's latest hard money venture, neither the full article nor the website (as far as I can see) mentions whether monies invested are insured against confiscation. The article mentions "insured" and the website's FAQ page repeatedly assures that it is "legal" but what does that mean? There's nothing in the FAQs about insurance of any kind, nor does a site-search on "insure" return results. The last time I ordered silver "coins" - a decade or more ago - they were confiscated by the US government, and buyers who had prepaid got nothing. Caveat emptor!"

There are umpteen earlier articles in our archive; I've linked a few below. It's not the first time Von Nothaus has rebranded his operation. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Winter 2020 Civil War Token Society Journal Free
CWTS Journal Winter 2020 Bill Groom writes:

"Given a SNAFU by the USPS last December, the winter edition of the Civil War Token Society journal was published online. So, anyone can presently view it. Here's a link ....

"Coincidentally, this issue contains one of my counterstamp articles. Anyone interested in the Civil War should enjoy this typically members-only journal.

"Here's a link to the fine CWTS website ...."

Thanks! Have a look, everyone, and please do consider joining the Society. -Editor

Query: Custom Book Slipcase Maker Sought
Doug Nyholm writes:

"Have you ever heard of a company manufacturing custom unprinted book slipcovers? I have several books and multiple volume editions that I would like to be able to house in a slipcover. I have searched the internet to no avail and wondered if you have ever heard of a source for these."

Custom Book Slipcases

Many years ago I did have someone build a custom clamshell box for me, and I'm sure there are people making slipcovers, which are similar. I don't have any current contacts, but perhaps our E-Sylum readers can help. Does anyone have a recommendation for Doug? Thanks.

The more common term is "slipcase", and I was able to find sources using the search phrase "Custom Book Slipcase Maker". -Editor

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Wayne Homren, Editor

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