The Numismatic Bibliomania Society


The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 23, June 5, 2022, Article 13


World Paper Money Publications Sought
Dennis Hengeveld writes:

World Banknote Auctions WBNA logo World Banknote Auctions is looking to expand its library of rare and out of print publications on World Paper Money. We are not looking for annual catalogs, but primarily for self-published and long out of print reference material. We are also looking for pre-2010 auction catalogs of advanced collections of world paper money that are not available online. We can be reached at

I'm sure some of our readers can help. Please contact Dennis if you can supply any such works. -Editor

Medallion of John Brown Information Sought

  Medallion of John Brown newspaper clipping
Ernie Nagy writes:

"I continue to enjoy and learn from The E-Sylum each week!

"I recently came across an advertisement published in The Liberator for Medallions of John Brown completed by M. Edmonia Lewis. I have located these ads in four editions, the first published February 19, 1864, the last May 20, 1864.

"Edmonia Lewis was born in 1844, a child of a Black father and Native American mother, at Greenbush New York. She rose to prominence as a sculptor artist. Her work is today found at universities and museums, including Tufts, whose holdings include her 46 millimeter marble medallion of abolitionist Wendell Phillips. Tufts hypothesizes that the John Brown medallions Lewis made may have appeared similar. Would anyone know of the survival or further description of the Edmonia Lewis John Brown Medallion?"

Thanks. Can anyone help? Below is the Wendell Phillips Medallion. -Editor

  Wendell Phillips Medallion

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
Wendell Phillips Medallion, 1871 (

More on the Classic Commem Coin Collapse
Tom DeLorey writes:

"Over the years I have been wrong more often than right when predicting the future, but here is a (slightly edited) excerpt from a CU Forum thread about the classic commemorative coin market collapse in 1989 when for once I hit the jackpot!"

Capt Henway replied...

Fred, you are confusing the 1980 collapse at Central States in Lincoln, NE, allegedly caused by (a large New England coin firm) dumping coins they had just bought at Garrett to pay their tax bill, with the 1989 collapse at the ANA in Pittsburgh.

The 1980 collapse lasted for years, and then the market took off in the late 80's as slabs became accepted and there was talk of a mutual fund or something that was going to be buying tens of millions of dollars worth of coins, but they had to be slabbed. Slabbed coins skyrocketed to stupid levels, and on the second day of the show word broke that the fund was not going to launch. Everything, slabbed or raw, fell to pre-bubble levels.

And now a story for the OP. I had married a lady from Chicago in 1986. During the Hunt Brothers silver bubble her father had sold a bunch of junk silver for good money, but then invested the money in classic commem halves that of course went down when that bubble collapsed. In 1989, as prices were skyrocketing, I told my father-in-law that now would be a good time to get out. I got the coins in fresh holders, prepared a list and had the coins and copies of the list in my briefcase on the flight from Chicago to Pittsburgh.

It so happened that I sat next to another dealer from Chicago that I knew. He asked if I had anything to sell and I said yes. I pulled the coins out and gave him a copy of the list. He pulled out a loupe and a Greysheet and started looking at the coins. He named a number that was very close to what I had in mind so I said yes, shook his hand and gave him the coins. The next day on the floor he paid me for them. The next day the market died.

About a year later I found a copy of the list and did some figuring, and figured that I could buy back the list for about one-fourth of what I had gotten for my father-in-law. He always thought that I was all right for his only daughter."

For perspective, the deal sold for roughly $40K, and the replacement cost would have been just over $10K!

Great story! Thanks. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MAY 29, 2022 : More on U.S. Classic Commemoratives (

George and God

  George Washington Turning His Back
Tom Bridgeman writes:

"Regarding George Washington turning his back on 'in God we trust"....I believe that since God has his back, ol'George is looking ahead to the future!"

2021 Washington crossing the Delaware quarter, Wayne Pearson writes:

"With the initials BS and MG on the 2021 Washington crossing the Delaware quarter, how many people do you think you can get to believe that Bernie Sanders and Mel Gibson designed it?"

QUICK QUIZ: Whose initials are they? -Editor

Wayne continues:

"On the Joseph Stalin bit, note that two years later John Sinnock used his middle initial, 'R' on the Franklin half.

"Look at the positioning of IN GOD WE TRUST on the State quarter. And the Sacagawea dollar."

  2019-america-the-beautiful-quarters-W 2000 Sacagawea dollar obverse

Thanks, everyone. True, George and other portraits have "turned their back" on the In God We Trust motto before. The Snopes website has a good fact-checking article on the topic. -Editor

In sum, it was true that quarters released in 2022 showed Washington facing right, while the common quarter had depicted his profile looking left. However, there wasn't any evidence that the design of the new quarters had anything to do with religion. Fraser's right-facing design was chosen, in part, because the series of coins honored the contributions of women to American society and Fraser was a well-known female sculptor. Furthermore, this isn't the first time that Washington has faced away from the phrase In God We Trust.

To read the complete article, see:
Does Washington Face Opposite Direction on 2022 US Quarter? (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Wayne Homren, Editor

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