The Numismatic Bibliomania Society


The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 42, October 16, 2022, Article 33


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

On Full Steps Jefferson Nickels

A Coin Update article by Michael Bugeja examines full steps on Jefferson nickels. -Editor

full steps Jefferson nickel closeups Full-step designations focus on the reverse of Jefferson nickels (1938-present), with the two major holdering companies having slightly different criteria, which most lots on Proxibid, HiBid, and eBay muddle, hyping inferior coins.

Full-step designations bring higher prices, in some cases, dramatically higher ones. Consider the common 1961-D nickel. It has a mintage of 229,342,760. In gem condition without full steps, its PCGS retail value is $28. With full steps, the price rises to $20,000.

Yes, that's a dramatic case. But in general, any FS designation will increase business strike values substantially in any Jefferson nickel year.

To read the complete article, see:
The myth of full steps in online auctions (

Parachuting Dog's Medals Bring Record Price

We recently discussed the upcoming sale of one of the most important Dickin Medals, awarded to Rob the Parachuting Dog. They brought a record price at the sale. -Editor

Rob the Parachuting Dog Dickin medal Bravery medals awarded to a collie called Rob that made 20 parachute jumps during the second world war and is credited with frequently saving his human colleagues have sold at auction for a record £140,000.

He was the only dog ever to be awarded both the PDSA Dickin Medal for Gallantry, considered the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, and the RSPCA Red Collar for Valour – as well as a lifetime supply of biscuits.

His owner's son, Basil Bayne, who grew up with Rob in Shropshire, has sold the medals, alongside his collar, a portrait and photographs, at auctioneers Noonans Mayfair in London.

It smashed the previous record for a Dickin Medal, which stood at £22,000 for one awarded to a homing pigeon called Duke of Normandy, who brought news of the D-day landings back to the UK from France.

To read the complete article, see:
Medals for dog that parachuted during second world war sell for £140,000 (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

National Heroes on Coins and Bills

Pablo Hoffman passed along this article by Harcourt Fuller on diverse national heroes on coins and bills. Thanks. -Editor

Viola Desmond Canada 10 dollar nite Many marginalized groups, such as American women, African Americans, Black people in Canada and Black and Asian groups in Britain, want predominantly white male symbols replaced with a more diverse repertoire of people, places, events and movements that pay homage to addressing past injustices.

That is already happening, albeit slowly. Queen Elizabeth II is depicted on one side of the current Eastern Caribbean $100 banknote. The reverse side, however, depicts Sir Arthur Lewis, the noted 20th-century economist, the first Black person to earn the title of full professor at Princeton University and a Nobel Prize winner.

In 2018, social justice icon Viola Desmond became the first Canadian woman to appear on a bank note, the $10 bill. In August 2022, the Royal Canadian Mint began circulating a $1 coin featuring the iconic Black jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.

In Australia, where the queen is depicted on the $5 bill, spirited debate continues about whether or not to keep her image, replace it with King Charles or break with tradition and use an image of an indigenous Australian instead.

To read the complete article, see:
Putting King Charles III on British currency bucks a global trend to honor diverse national heroes on coins and bills (

Bandits Losing Interest in Robbing Banks

In the you-just-can't-make-a-good-living-anymore department comes this study on the steady decline in bank robberies. -Editor

  bank robbery

It might surprise you – as it did me – to learn that the number of bank robberies is the lowest it's been in half a century.

That's what I discovered while researching a book about the shift to a cashless economy. With people using less cash, I had expected fewer bank robberies. But I was startled to see that the downward trend started well before the cashless economy started springing up in the 2000s.

stick-em-ups-are-going-down A more compelling reason for me is that robbing banks has become far less lucrative – after adjusting for inflation, anyway. The typical robber made away with about $5,200 in the late 1960s. That's over $38,000 in 2019 dollars. But in 2019, the average was just $4,200. As a 2007 U.K. study on the topic noted, The return on an average bank robbery is, frankly, rubbish.

As it turns out, cyber heists are much more lucrative, with even fewer penalties. A government report showed that in 2016, convicted credit card offenders took in over $60,000 on average and were given a prison sentence of just a little over two years.

Willie Sutton was an infamous U.S. bank robber during the 1920s and 1930s. When asked why he robbed banks, Sutton supposedly replied, Because that's where the money is. While in Sutton's time that may have been true, it may not be the case today.

To read the complete article, see:
Bandits are losing interest in robbing banks, as some crimes no longer pay (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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