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About Us

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


Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link


There is a membership application available on the web site Membership Application

To join, print the application and return it with your check to the address printed on the application. Print/Digital membership is $40 to addresses in the U.S., and $60 elsewhere. A digital-only membership is available for $25. For those without web access, write to:

Charles Heck, Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
P. O. Box 2058,
Bluffton, SC


For Asylum mailing address changes and other membership questions, contact Chuck at this email address:


To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:


Sale Calendar

Watch here for updates!


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 New subscribers this week include: Dan Marrin. Welcome aboard!

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 no new books. What gives? But of course we have updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, notes from readers, and more.

Other topics this week include Don Taxay, Charles Bushnell, C. Wyllys Betts, ISIS coins, the U.S. Mint archives, fixed price and auction offerings, multiple coin hoards, siege coins, coronation medals, error notes, and panning for gold.

To learn more about Jere L. Bacharach, Rhonda Guess, Pierre Flandin, the NNP Symposium, the Future of Money, the Philadelphia dime heist, Ku Klux Klan tokens, molds, the Scarcity of Living Space medal, the Carson City Mint payroll, Nummis Nova, the American Plantations token, the John Chalmers threepence, and flood gold, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

Image of the week

WBNA E-Sylum ad 2023-04-23 Sale 42

JERE L. BACHARACH (1938-2023)

The ANS published this announcement of the passing of Dr. Jere L. Bacharach. -Editor

  Jere L. Bacharach

The ANS Mourns the Loss of Jere L. Bacharach

The American Numismatic Society is deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Dr. Jere L. Bacharach on April 9, 2023. Dr. Bacharach was a long-time member of the Board of Trustees, and an invaluable scholar of the numismatic community and Middle Eastern studies.

Dr. Bacharach was born in 1938 in New York. He received his B.A. from Trinity College in 1960, his M.A. from Harvard University in 1962, and his Ph.D. at the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor in 1967. As one of the most renowned academics in medieval Islamic history, he taught at the University of Washington for forty years, during which he became Professor Emeritus in the Department of History and the Stanley D. Golub Professor Emeritus of International Studies before his retirement in 2007. He divided his time between Cairo, Egypt, and Seattle, Washington. In addition to the University of Washington, Dr. Bacharach served as the Director of the American Research Center in Egypt from 2002–2003, and was involved in other projects with the American Research Institute in Syria, the International Society for Iranian Studies, the Historians of Islamic Art and the Middle East Medievalists. He was motivated to connect people and cultivate relationships – as the 2004 recipient and namesake of the Jere L. Bacharach Service Award by the Middle East Studies Association, he was lauded for forging partnerships with many institutions worldwide, making it a priority to engage and publish with scholars in Egypt. Dr. Bacharach cared deeply for his colleagues and students, as he was honored with the 2015 Mentoring Award by the Middle East Studies Association.

Dr. Bacharach joined the Board of Trustees of the American Numismatic Society in 1993, then called the Council, and was active until his death with only a brief hiatus from 2001-2005. With his distinguished academic career and passion for supporting the Society, he was a Fellow since 1980 and a member of the Society for over fifty-six years. Among many acts of service for the Society, Dr. Bacharach was active as the Chair of the Personnel Committee and the Archer M. Huntington Award Committee, and on the editorial board of the American Journal of Numismatics. He inspired many students through his lectures for several ANS Graduate Summer Seminars and ANS Money Talks.

In collaboration with the ANS and Dr. Sherif Anwar of Cairo University, Dr. Bacharach oversaw the debut of Dar al-Kutub, a digital publication and database of the non-hoard numismatic collection of the Egyptian National Library of more than 6,500 objects, to which he brought his extensive experience on Medieval Islamic coinage. He published prolifically on Islamic numismatics and history, with more than sixty volumes including Islamic History through Coins: An Analysis and Catalogue of Tenth Century Ikhshidid Coins (2006), The Restoration and Conservation of Islamic Monuments in Egypt (1995), and A Middle East Studies Handbook (1984).

Dr. Bacharach was a tireless advocate of the ANS, and supported the Society through his time as a preeminent numismatic scholar, donations to the collection, and his thoughtful expertise. As ANS President Ute Wartenberg Kagan recounts, Jere was fully committed to our organization, and his service and hard work were exemplary. He was always ready to help students, colleagues, at times total strangers. Most importantly, he was a dear friend of many of us at the ANS. His death leaves a huge void.

Between his commitment to the numismatic community through his research and the bridges that he built between so many institutions and individuals, Dr. Bacharach leaves behind a profound legacy. He will be greatly missed by his family, friends, and all those who had the opportunity to know and work with him.

Sedwick E-Sylum ad Auction 33b


The April 2023 NNP Symposium is nearly upon us. The schedule has been finalized. -Editor

  NNP Symposium logo with coins

Sponsored by the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (EPNNES), the entire event remains free and virtual, open to anyone to attend. New this spring, you can also attend in person at Central States.

Whether virtual or in person, join us on April 27-29 for a great group of numismatic presentations.

If you won't be attending the Central States show in Schaumburg, IL, nothing will change! Every presentation will be livestreamed on Zoom, and you'll be able to ask questions during the Q&A portion. We won't have any overlapping presentations this time, but nothing else will be different from past Symposia.

We have three special presentations this year that we're excited to highlight.

The Harry W. Bass, Jr. Collection by Greg Rohan

Greg Rohan, President of Heritage Auctions, speaks on the Texas collector Harry W. Bass, Jr. and his numismatic endeavors. Bass collected widely, with specialties in U.S. gold, pattern pieces, and numismatic literature. A World War II veteran, Bass was active in oil and real estate and worked within the hobby to promote scholarship within American numismatics. He was influential in the computerization of the American Numismatic Society collection, one of the earliest such efforts in the formative days of the Internet. The Bass collection continues to draw headlines today, with the recent offering of the Bass reference sets by Heritage Auctions.

2:30 PM Central / 3:30 PM Eastern on Thursday, April 27

U.S. Mint Coin Designs and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee by Lawrence S. Brown Jr., MD

Dr. Lawrence Brown was appointed to the Citizens Coin Advisory Committee (CCAC) by the Treasury Secretary in 2019 and was appointed in 2022 and reappointed in 2023 by the Treasury Secretary to serve as CCAC Chairperson. A lifelong coin collector since the age of 12, Dr. Brown is a physician specializing in Addiction Medicine and Public Health. Brown will speak on his experiences as CCAC Chairperson and the role of the public, the numismatic community, and the CCAC in guiding the design of American coinage.

1:00 PM Central / 2:00 PM Eastern on Thursday, April 27

Crypto, Criminals, and the Future of Money with Q&A with Rob Rodriguez & James Passin

Beginning in Fall 2021, each NNP Symposium has included a 20-30 minute feature video on an important collection, followed by a Q&A with someone associated to it. This NNP Symposium's feature video will instead focus on cryptocurrency - what it is, how it works, and what its impact has been. Feel free to view past feature videos at the bottom of the page here.

2:30 PM Central / 3:30 PM Eastern on Friday, April 28

To download the complete schedule, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Auditorium E-Sylum ad01


The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is correspondence of author Don Taxay. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

Don Taxay Correspondence on Newman Portal

The Newman papers are ever stimulating, and the latest addition to the Newman Portal is the Don Taxay correspondence file, running over 200 pages. The file opens in 1961 as Taxay is working on Counterfeit Mis-Struck and Unofficial U.S. Coins (published in 1963), and the two numismatists get into it quickly, discussing the origin of the Continental dollar and the sixth 1913 Liberty nickel. Newman must have liked Taxay's work, as he wrote an enthusiastic review of the book that appeared in the November 1963 Numismatist.

  Eric Newman, John J. Ford, Jr., and Taxay at the 1965 Chicago PNG show

In 1964, Taxay moved from New Netherlands to the Curator position at the nearby Chase Manhattan Money Museum. The following year discussion turns toward Taxay's magnum opus, The U.S. Mint and Coinage (1966) with Newman commenting on October 11, 1965 What a pleasure it was to read….I enjoyed all the new material which you dug up. Taxay delivered the work in sections to Newman, who clearly contributed edits to the project. It was no accident that Taxay dedicated the work to Newman. Attention then shifts to the Standard Catalogue (1970), and, although Newman reviewed the colonial portion of this work, his overall involvement with the project was less than for Taxay's previous book.

  Taxay, The U.S. Mint and Coinage Taxay Counterfeit

Taxay's later disappearance is one of the great mysteries of modern numismatics, and the file here does not shed much light on the subject. Newman's last letter, September 17, 1975, notes that the two had recently spoken on the phone, and that Newman had apparently consulted his records of the Brand collection as a result of the call. Three letters from 1962 refer to Taxay's travel to India, where it is thought he eventually moved.

Image: Newman, John J. Ford, Jr., and Taxay at the 1965 Chicago PNG show.

Link to Newman/Taxay correspondence:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Kenny Sammut ANA Election 2023


BIBLE LORE AND THE ETERNAL FLAME —Kenneth Bressett's latest book is a numismatic and archaeological trip through Biblical times, a roadmap of the Old and New Testaments that explores history through coins. Beautifully illustrated and entertainingly written by a master of the craft. Order your copy online at , or call 1-800-546-2995.


The David Lisot Video Library on the Newman Numismatic Portal can be found at:

Rhonda Guess captioned We highlight one of his videos each week in The E-Sylum. Here's one from 1988 with segments on multiple topics, most hosted by Rhonda Guess who sat in for David. Where is she today? Did she stay in broadcasting? -Editor

Reports on Jacques Luben, Ronald Gillio, Christen Winterstein, Diane Wolf, Art Fields, Murray Church, Brian Williams, Richard Lubbock, David Owen, Singapore International Coin Convention, ANA.

  Rhonda Guess reportoing on US mint

Topics include platinum as an inflation hedge, and American Eagle bullion coins. The U.S. Mint's International Marketing Representative Christy Bidstrup noted in an interview how some beer drinkers in Germany enjoyed flipping an American Silver Eagle to determine who buys the next round. Guess also interviewed Diane Wolf, the U.S. Commissioner of Fine Arts.

When Lisot returned to the show, one auction lot he highlighted was a Chinese paper money printing plate from 1264 A.D. sold at a SPINK Singapore sale. It sold for $86,000 to a Taiwanese buyer. Where is this plate today?

To watch the complete video, see:

Archives International Sale 84b cover front


The next article in this issue opens a new multi-part series with an interesting and remarkable backstory. It started out as a series of articles by Joel Orosz in our print journal, The Asylum. That's interesting to many of us and worth remarking on, but the really interesting part is the journey from there to here.

I initially suggested the idea to Joel as an excerpt from the articles, in order to give readers of The E-Sylum a taste of the great product they're missing out on if they're not members of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. Joel was on board, but there was a parallel effort that would eventually combine with this one.

Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger had been experimenting with ChatGPT to summarize NNP content. He'd generated a summary of Q. David Bowers' book on dealer Abe Kosoff. He commented, "It's not the most trenchant analysis (there is no discussion of Kosoff's appraisal of the Lilly collection for example), but it is accurate and publication-ready. Really amazing." Here are the first few paragraphs:

"This volume by Q. David Bowers provides a comprehensive biography of Abe Kosoff, a prominent American numismatist who made significant contributions to the coin collecting community. The book is divided into eight chapters that cover Kosoff's life and career, including his upbringing, early career, and founding of several coin companies.

In the first chapter, Bowers provides an overview of Kosoff's family history and upbringing. Kosoff was born in Russia in 1913 and immigrated to the United States in 1918. Bowers describes Kosoff's early years in New York City and his love for collecting coins and stamps. He also discusses Kosoff's early career, which included working for several coin dealers and eventually founding his own company, Numismatic Gallery.

The second chapter focuses on Kosoff's founding of Numismatic Gallery in 1935. Bowers describes how Kosoff used his knowledge and connections in the coin collecting community to build a successful business. He also discusses some of the notable coins that Kosoff sold through Numismatic Gallery, including the 1913 Liberty Head nickel.

The third chapter covers Kosoff's role in the coin market during World War II. Bowers explains how Kosoff's business suffered during the war but how he continued to collect and sell coins to fellow collectors. He also describes how Kosoff's experience during the war led him to become involved in fundraising for Jewish causes."

I responded with a link to an amazing post about what can be done with these tools already (linked below). I took a few minutes to reflect and wrote this, which I later dreamed up a headline for.

I Was a Teenage AI Programmer

Wayne Homren Business Card A. I. Programmer Long ago in my second job after college, I had a business card that read, "A I Programmer". Everyone would ask, "What's an A I Programmer?" I had to explain that "AI" stood for "Artificial Intelligence" and that we wrote computer code to do cool stuff so people don't have to. We built what were then called "expert systems" using rule-based algorithms, and got paid to play with language understanding and neural networks. We had some minor successes, but it was hard to live up to the hype surrounding the field. In hindsight, the algorithms were good but not yet good enough, and we didn't realize the role big data could play - and the era of big data was still decades away.

I stayed with the company as the "AI Winter" descended and we had to find contracts in other areas. Along the way I discovered and taught myself to use some early internet tools, long before browsers and the World Wide Web. One day I found some code on a server in Switzerland that would do some task I needed. I downloaded it, ran it and saved myself a month of work. Millions of people download apps every hour today, but then it was like magic. I grabbed our sales guy Steve. I'm sure he thought I was goofy, but I excitedly told him, "This will change the world."

I had the same feeling when I first saw ChatGPT. It's an orders-of-magnitude improvement over all that went before, and a milestone on the way to artificial general intelligence. Our company was an early casualty in the war, but in another hindsight revelation I see us now as well-paid cannon fodder, fighting for territory inch by inch, not knowing our fate but faithful that our cause was just. The future we dreamed of is now on the horizon - and it's scary and exciting as hell.

To put this event into perspective, consider this chart posted by Kyle Hailey on Twitter. It shows the number of days it took popular internet platforms to reach their first million users, and their first 100 million users. ChatGPT leapfrogged to 100 million in practically no time at all.

  ChatGPT adoption chart

Joel responded:

This is astonishing.

Could a team of humans have done a better job? Without question, across the board. The AI output is highly competent, but since, as I understand it, AI is essentially a super-duper autofill application (given this word, what would be the highest probability for the next word?), competence is to be expected. What AI output lacks is sparkle--there is nothing like wit, no jolt of unexpected insights, or twists of unforeseen interpretation.

But, when it comes to speed and output, AI beats us humans all hollow. In the example, it churned out in 30 minutes a competent set of eight documents and electronic outputs that would have taken a team of humans days, if not weeks, to do. You would have created a better website, Lianna would have created a better video, etc., but each individual component would have taken more like 30 hours than 30 minutes--and then there would have been the task of coordinating them so that they spoke consistently, accurately, and authoritatively.

For most businesses, the comparison between the two would result in an easy decision: do I want one guy plus AI to produce a suite of B-graded projects in 30 minutes, or do I want a team of people to produce a similar suite of A-graded projects in 30 days? The cost savings of the first option alone would make it the obvious choice. Even better, if you want A-graded work, would be to have one guy plus AI churn all of the B-graded projects out in 30 minutes, then assign a team to improve it to A-graded output. That would add time and costs, of course, but you would end up with more creative and better quality outputs at a fraction of the time and costs that would be required to build them from scratch in the ancient fashion. It's sort of like a machine that can build the basic framework of a house in 30 minutes, and turn a team loose to add embellishments and paint it.

So, this raises an interesting question. We have been discussing the possibility of my writing, for The E-Sylum, a concise summary of the seven "Associations" columns that I have written for The Asylum on Charles Ira Bushnell's Flandin / Groux / Howard compendium catalog. This seems to me like a job that AI could do in--well, 30 minutes, and that I could then edit to interject creative insight, and choose which of the photos should accompany it. Would this be a good numismatic test of the technology--or am I smoking dope?

Of course, I would need a basic tutorial on how to use such tech (I assume that I would have to feed it the seven columns, and then phrase the instructions so that the AI would summarize them within some parameters, but I haven't a clue how to make all this happen, and which AI I should/could use). What do you think?

I thought it was well worth a try, and Len offered to run Joel's articles through ChatGPT for summarization. Joel was on board, but wrote "My nagging fear is that the summary will come out much more creative and witty than the originals!"

It took a few tries to wrangle the logistics and Len's effort succeeded, although Joel needn't have worried about the machine's originality and wit. Here's an excerpt.


The article is a review of Charles Ira Bushnell's Flandin's Catalogue of Coins and Medals. The book is a collection of three rare numismatic sales from the mid-19th century, curated by Bushnell, and contains detailed descriptions and prices of each item, as well as the names of the buyers. The article notes that the book is unique and contains one-of-a-kind ephemera, including a bookplate, an ALS from Bushnell to Flandin, and newspaper clippings. The author, Joel J. Orosz, considers the book to be his most prized possession and an essential document for American numismatics.


Charles Ira Bushnell was a New York City-based attorney who became an advanced coin collector in the late 1840s. He actively gathered a vast collection of coins, medals, and tokens, although he kept a low profile. He built a comprehensive library of catalogs and articles on American coinage and published An Arrangement of Tradesmen's Cards, Political Tokens, Also Election Medals, Medalets & c. Current in the United States of America, for the Last 60 Years in 1858, which became the first substantive work on American tokens. He also wrote An Historical Account of the First Three Business Tokens Issued in the City of New York in 1859. Bushnell was known for his extensive knowledge and was highly regarded in the numismatic community. He participated in coin auctions, and his dedication to collecting led him to become a leading figure in the hobby.

I wrote:

Still lengthy at seven pages, but we could split it into two or three E-Sylum articles depending on where natural breaks fall. With images that could work well. It summarizes at the writing level of a 10th-grader, but still impressive.

Joel replied:

First, many thanks to you, Len, for your persistence and creativity in getting ChatGPT to do its job.

It is absolutely fascinating to see what it summarized and what it did not. It glommed onto a lot of detail, and left out a lot of connective tissue (lots of prices realized, nothing about the scandal that led to the creation of the only known portraits of Pierre Flandin, as one example).

The writing is, as you say, Wayne, at about the 10th grade level; it's more a recitation of facts than an essay; and occasional errors creep in; but overall, I am astonished by how much complex detail it got right. It would serve the purpose of summary quite well, and as you have noted, Wayne, may intrigue a few E-Sylum subscribers sufficiently to take a closer look at NBS membership.

So I am inclined to proceed as follows. First, I would edit the output lightly to correct half a dozen errors of fact. Second, I would write a couple of introductory paragraphs defining this as an experiment in using ChatGPT to create a summary of a series of articles in The Asylum, and then briefly sketch out the significance of the Bushnell compendium catalog. I would think that it would take three installments to do it all—I would choose 4-5 pictures to illustrate each installment.

And a big shout-out to you, Len, who can now add ChatGPT Meister to your many other accolades!

Well, the World Wide Web begat the job description of "Webmaster", but the term I'm seeing for today's Large Language Model Wranglers is "Prompt Engineer." Maybe it soon won't even be necessary to 'splain it to people. And someday, maybe just a few years from now, someone will say, "You know, you young people don't know how good you have it. Back in my day, we had to write prompts by hand. Here's my old email signature that says 'Prompt Engineer.' Remember e-mail?"

  Wayne Homren Business Card Artificial Intelligence Engineer

  I Was a Teenage Prompt Engineer

For grins, I asked ChatGPT to "Please make me a poster for a movie called "I Was a Teenage Prompt Engineer", in the style of a 1950's horror film poster." Here's what it came back with, almost instantly:

Title: I Was a Teenage Prompt Engineer

Subtitle: They thought they had the perfect computer program...until it started to think for itself!

DALL·E 2023-04-22 19.11.33 - a poster for a movie called _I Was a Teenage prompt Engineer_, in the style of a 1950's horror film poster Title_ I Was a Teenage Prompt Engineer Subt The poster features a menacing robot looming over a terrified teenager who is cowering in fear. The robot's eyes are glowing red, and its metal arms are reaching out menacingly towards the boy.

The background is a dark and ominous sky with lightning bolts striking in the distance. The title is written in bold, red letters that appear to be dripping with blood. The subtitle is written in smaller white letters beneath the title.

At the bottom of the poster, there are a few quotes from movie critics:

"A terrifying tale of technology gone awry!" - The New York Times

"Edge-of-your-seat suspense!" - Variety

"Don't miss this thrilling ride!" - Rolling Stone

Finally, the release date is listed at the bottom of the poster in bold, white letters: "Coming Soon to Theaters!"

Amazing! ChatGPT itself only produces text, but that was marvelous. Another OpenAI product, Dall-E produces images. As you can see, that's got a ways to go yet. Maybe I need to hire a Prompt Engineer...

To read some articles on ChatGPT's power and promise, see:
Superhuman: What can AI do in 30 minutes? (
Attention is All You Need (
ChatGPT sets record for fastest-growing user base - analyst note (
chatGPT : something different is happening. (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Schmidt E-Sylum ad 2017-06-18


Here's the first of three summaries of articles by Joel Orosz on Bushnell's Compendium Catalog, originally published in our print journal, The Asylum. While The E-Sylum is free to all, only paid members of NBS receive The Asylum. To join, see .

This one opens with Joel's introduction. -Editor


  ChatGPT Summary of Associations Columns
On Bushnell's Compendium Catalog
Published in The Asylum

Bushnell-FlandinSpine and Boards (2) Beginning with the Winter, 2021 issue of The Asylum, I dedicated my occasional Associations column to an examination of one of the more intriguing literary survivors of the cradle days of American numismatics. During the 1850s, as numismatics in the U.S. was emerging as a national hobby, New Yorker Charles Ira Bushnell was the leader of the pack: a voracious collector, a scholarly author, and one of the first American collectors of numismatic literature. He tried to save every auction sale featuring coins, priced and named, if possible, and bound them together in his distinctive Bushnell Bindings. These octavo-sized volumes boasted spines and corners of gold-tooled red morocco leather, with sides embellished with red and blue marbled paper. One of the first such volumes he put together was labeled Flandin's Catalogue on its spine, but in fact contained priced and named copies of three auction sales: those of Pierre Flandin (June 6, 1855); Daniel E. Groux (February 15, 1856), and Winslow Howard (May 17, 1856).

Any one of these sales is a rarity in itself, but to have all three together, along with pertinent ephemera (handwritten notes, newspaper clippings, bookplates), truly makes this Compendium Catalog a one-of-a-kind. Flandin's was the first public auction held in New York City that consisted exclusively of coins. Groux's, printed on a broadside folded several times to fit into the catalog, is so rare that Emmanuel J. Attinelli, in Numisgraphics, could only guess that the collection belonged to Groux. Howard's was heretofore known only from a passing mention made by Bushnell in one of his books, but had never been spotted in the wild. The Bushnell Compendium Catalog containing all three was sold as lot 2939 of the Chapman Brothers sale of the Bushnell Collection, June 20-24, 1882, but its contents were not appreciated until it became part of the John Lupia II numismatic library during the current century.

My Associations columns in The Asylum have followed a format consisting of a biographical treatment of the collector (Bushnell, Flandin, Groux, and Howard), followed by an examination of the sale associated with each. This has resulted in six columns published in as many issues, with the seventh and final to appear in the Summer 2023 number. In all, 70 pages are already in print, with the final column to add about 15 more. All are well-illustrated from the Compendium Catalog and from kindred resources. The biographical installments present consignors who varied from a pioneering dealer in the fine arts; to a con-artist and convicted bigamist; to a Western path-finding lepidopterist. Their collections likewise ranged widely from coveted coppers; to Mexican rarities; to trashy tin-foil rubbings.

Since the majority of E-Sylum subscribers are not members of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society, and thus have not had access to these Associations columns, Wayne Homren asked me to write a pithy summary. Even a bare-bones summary, however, felt like starting a marathon just after completing an Iron Man Triathlon, so initially I demurred. Wayne then hinted that the latest Artificial Intelligence sensation, ChatGPT, might be up to the job of summarizing this imposing mass of verbiage. Alas, my technical skills only slightly outpace those of Fred Flintstone; but I was saved by my old friend and writing partner, Len Augsburger, Coordinator of the Newman Numismatic Portal. Even Len's formidable skills were put to the test in properly feeding all seven columns into ChatGPT's portal, but in the end, real intelligence triumphed over the artificial sort.

The Associations series on the Bushnell compendium Catalog (including the last installment not yet published in The Asylum), was summarized by Chat GPT in a seven page document (reduced from the approximately 85 pages of the original). It has done a workmanlike job of summarizing the columns, albeit at a 10th grade level of writing. I have elected to edit the output only in those places where ChatGPT produced actual errors of summarization. This resulted in a total of seven minor changes spread about evenly through the document. While none of the writers for The Asylum or The E-Sylum should fear for their jobs, ChatGPT produced a competent précis of the originals. I hope that reading these summaries, which I have illustrated with a selection of photos that accompanied the original Associations columns, might tempt some of those who have not yet joined the Numismatic Bibliomania Society to sign up and thus subscribe to our quarterly journal, The Asylum.

The article is a review of Charles Ira Bushnell's Flandin's Catalogue of Coins and Medals. The book is a collection of three rare numismatic sales from the mid-19th century, curated by Bushnell, and contains detailed descriptions and prices of each item, as well as the names of the buyers. The article notes that the book is unique and contains one-of-a-kind ephemera, including a bookplate, an ALS from Bushnell to Flandin, and newspaper clippings. The author, Joel J. Orosz, considers the book to be an essential document for American numismatics.

Bushnell,CharlesI,Portrait Charles Ira Bushnell was a New York City-based attorney who became an advanced coin collector starting in the late 1840s. He actively gathered a vast collection of coins, medals, and tokens, although he kept a low profile. He built a comprehensive library of catalogs and articles on American coinage and published An Arrangement of Tradesmen's Cards, Political Tokens, Also Election Medals, Medalets & c. Current in the United States of America, for the Last 60 Years in 1858, which became the first substantive work on American tokens. He also wrote An Historical Account of the First Three Business Tokens Issued in the City of New York in 1859. Bushnell was known for his extensive knowledge and was highly regarded in the numismatic community. He participated in coin auctions, and his dedication to collecting led him to become a leading figure in the hobby.

Pierre Flandin was a French-born art dealer who set up the first art gallery in New York City in 1811, dealing mainly in old master paintings. He was known for his sharp dealings with his customers, who complained that he over-attributed paintings when he was selling them, only to downgrade them when he bought them back. Among his clients was Robert Gilmor Jr., a Baltimore financier and collector of old master paintings, who distrusted Flandin for much of their long relationship, but continued to patronize him. Flandin's success was partly due to his careful control of costs and his diversification of sources of income.

  Vive la France, Marchands de "Tableaux" se Preparant pour la Vente Publique / Picture "Dealers" Preparing for "Auction"

The Merchandise Tableaux caricatures Flandin's business practices as an art dealer. Flandin is the man in the background applying varnish to a painting with a huge brush. It is one of only two known surviving images of Flandin.

The article discusses the history of numismatic auctions in the United States, with a particular focus on the sale of Pierre Flandin's collection in 1855. Numismatic auctions were not common in the early days, with coins often sold as a part of a larger auction. The first auction to feature numismatic items exclusively was the sale of Philip Price, Jr.'s collection in 1813 in Philadelphia. The numismatic scene was active in the mid-19th century, and the Flandin sale was the first primarily numismatic auction sale in New York City and the third in the United States. The article notes that there were discrepancies in the catalog of the Flandin sale regarding the total realized amount, which was identified as $733.52 by Emmanuel J. Attinelli.

  Bushnell-FGH-FlandinSaleCover Bushnell-FGH-FlandinPage1ofSale
The Flandin Sale Catalog

PIERRE FLANDIN SALE (part 2, buyers)
The text discusses Bushnell's Flandin's Catalogue, which records twenty-one different buyers at an auction in 1855, using surnames only. These buyers can be divided into four categories: Numismatic Notables, Known Numismatists, Usual 1850s Suspects, and Eternal Mysteries. The Numismatic Notables category includes Charles Ira Bushnell, Dr. James R. Chilton, John K. Curtis, and Winslow Howard. The Known Numismatists category includes Louis Borg, P.F. (probably Pierre Flandin), Michael Moore, and Thomas Riley. The Usual 1850s Suspects category includes Burtus, Carlisle, and Gsell. The Eternal Mysteries category includes unidentified participants or possibly pseudonyms for bidders wishing to remain anonymous.

Flandin Sale Clippings

Charles Ira Bushnell's catalog of Pierre Flandin's coin collection includes various items besides the catalog, such as an autograph letter from Flandin, his bookplate, and newspaper clippings. Bushnell was pleased with his purchases from the Flandin sale and documented his catalog with notes and underlining. One of the newspaper clippings was a detailed report on the Flandin sale, with prices realized for many lots. Finally, Bushnell priced and named the lots in the catalog, and embellished the cover and pages with ruling in red ink.

The article discusses the history of numismatic societies in America, with a particular focus on the New York Numismatic Society. The author presented evidence that the society was in existence prior to the Numismatic Society of Philadelphia and the American Numismatic Society, which were previously believed to be the first two organized numismatic associations in the United States. The article describes the formation and dissolution of the second New York Numismatic Society, and the subsequent revival of the American Numismatic and Archaeological Society. The author presented evidence of the New York Numismatic Society's existence in a classified ad placed in 1853 and in John Livingston's Law Register in 1854.

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Michael S. Fey writes:

"You never know what a day brings.

"A friend asked me to stop over to the unveiling of a 102 year old time capsule cemented into a cornerstone of the Little Falls, NJ National Bank. They were having an opening ceremony to unveil its contents.

"With nothing better to do on a beautiful sunny Sunday, I took a ride to the Little Falls Civic Center. There, I met an old collectible friend, who introduced me to the President of the Little Falls Historical Society. There were about 50 residents of Little Falls in attendance, half a dozen NJ police, and the local news.

"Next thing I know, I was given a pair of latex gloves, and a microphone and was asked to be MC in unveiling the contents of the time capsule along with my appraisal of the value of the nearly 100 old coins unveiled (U.S. half cents, large cents, half dimes, dimes, bust quarters and bust halves), some dating back to 350 BC!

"Coins, paper money, medals and tokens and rare old original documents with signatures from 1920-1921 about Little Falls were brought to light after 102 years!

What fun!"

  Little Falls NJ National Bank time capsule opening

The latex gloves part I'm sure was way better than a first day at proctology school. Very cool. We'll look forward to learning more about the contents! -Editor

  Stacks-Bowers E-Sylum ad 2023-04-23 Consign


This week Ray Czahor published additional remembrances of our friend Howard A. Daniel III. Thank you. -Editor

Ray writes:

Howard Daniel speaking at PNNA 2014 "Wow, this is getting scary! David Lange and now Howard Daniel, both friends of Philippine Collectors.

"Howard and I both served in Vietnam at Tan Son Nhut AB at the same time in 1968-1969 but didn't know each other then. Met back in the States at a coin show somewhere in the 1990's. Howard was a good guy to young collectors and gave away hundreds of pounds of coins and paper money to them at show across the country.

"Howard had some Philippine coins which he consigned to me years ago and I included in my Mailbids over the years. As John says below he studied coins and paper money of Southeast Asia countries and published books about them. He was the expert!

"He was married to a Vietnamese woman and half the year lived in Vietnam and half the year here in the US. I will miss Howard like David."

John Riley writes:

"Sad to hear news of friend Howard Daniel passing away on Wednesday. I believe it was from a very fast-moving cancer.

"Howard was a retired Army master sergeant and a great ambassador for Asian numismatics. He was a serious collector and writer particularly about Vietnam numismatics. In the 1990s he had a regular monthly column in World Coin News and it was there that I became acquainted with Ray and with the WWII Remembered crew. Howard joined us at several Philippine Collectors Forum sessions over the years."

In Saturday's issue of MPC Gram, Joe Usibelli writes:

"I was saddened, when I read of Howard Daniel passing in the Gram. He was an energetic and giving person, who contributed greatly to our group and the numismatic community. I last saw Howard at the 2022 FUN Show. My family and I were in Florida to attend a wedding of a friend of my daughter. Of course, I slipped away, to Orlando, to attend FUN. My real reason for traveling from Alaska to Florida! The first people I saw were Kathy Freeland and Howard Daniel. We ended up talking for more than an hour. He talked about his travels and new projects in Southeast Asia. He asked if I had his book on coins and currency of Vietnam. I did not. He walked to the booth, pulled a copy out his bag and gave it to me. He wouldn't accept payment. I had him sign it. The book is a fine resource, as well as a trigger for a fond memory of Howard."

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
HOWARD A DANIEL III (1941-2023) (



Discovering the Inspiration for the Baldwin Vaquero $10

  Vaquero & Horse 1850 $10 Baldwin obverse
In response to Cary Bown's question on who discovered the connection between the "Californians Throwing the Lasso" print and the Baldwin Vaquero $10 coin design, John Kraljevich writes:

"I wrote the article on the Horseman $10 design and I made that initial discovery.

"Coins have always just been a part of a bigger picture for me, and I've always loved rare books and manuscripts (and followed those markets carefully).

"I encountered Beechey in a rare book catalogue, emitted an expletive, showed it to others in the ANR office (John Pack and Frank Van Valen were probably first), then to Dave Bowers, then wrote the article.

"The "30 points of congruence" bit doesn't sound like me and I don't recognize it. But I definitely wrote several descriptions for auction catalogues that incorporated that information after the excitement of the discovery."

Congratulations on the discovery. Thanks for the confirmation! This is one of the things I love about The E-Sylum - interactions among many great people and authoritative answers from those in the know on so many interesting and varied topics. Great question, great answer. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

On the Philadelphia Dime Heist
Pete Smith writes:

Stolen dimes "The theft of dimes from a truck in Philadelphia brings me back to my recent article on ballistic bags. A bag of dimes would contain 500,000 pieces with a value of $50,000. A $750,000 shipment would have been in fifteen of the ballistic bags, each weighing more than 2500 pounds.

"Without a forklift, thieves could not have lifted the pallets and bags. They must have cut through the bulletproof bags to get at the contents. Then they had to transfer the loot into more manageable containers. Apparently, they also stole garbage cans to fill with coins. The dimes scattered about the parking lot suggest they did not have an easy job making the transfer.

"My article mentioned the use of armored car delivery services who provide coins to banks. I was not aware that coins in transit are left unguarded in a parking lot overnight. However, security cameras at Walmart should provide clues. As many as six suspects were involved.

"Now, what are thieves going to do with two million loose dimes? What quantity could you spend in one transaction without arousing suspicions? If there was a way to spend a dime every minute, your return would be less than minimum wage.

"I will be watching for future developments with this story. As of Friday, April 21, no arrests had been reported."

I was curious about those buckets seen in the photo - they did not match Pete's descriptions of Mint shipping containers, and their use by the thieves makes sense. The photo in our earlier article about a 2018 crash of a tractor-trailer load of dimes shows the pallets and bags.

"Quick - ride back to town and get a whole ________ of dimes!" -Editor

  Wrecked trucklod of dimes

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

David and Bruce Banner Hulking Up
David Lisot as David Banner Regarding our Hulk discussion, Gary Dunaier writes:

"You and Chip Howell are both correct.

It's Bruce Banner in the comics, but on the TV show it was David Banner."

Ah, vindication! Thanks. Now nobody get mad at Gary. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: APRIL 16, 2023 : Bruce Banner Hulking Up (

Fractional Currency Playing-Card Style King Alteration

  Fractional Currency Playing-Card Style King Alteration

Ken Spindler shared this eBay listing of an unusual altered U.S. Fractional Currency note with the San Diego Paper Money Club (and now us, too). Thanks! Very cool. -Editor

1874 10c Fractional Currency note, with the portrait of William M. Meredith altered to a playing card King!

Scarce and unusual, and likely unique!

The note is worn, and has edge wear and small edge tears. (See photos for condition).

Ken adds:

"I got a few questions about my opinion of it and remarked that it appears to have been carried around in someone's wallet for at least a few years."

To read the complete lot description, see:
1874 10c Fractional Currency ALTERED to PLAYING CARD KING PORTRAIT - Unusual!! (

On Comb and Spiral Bindings
Pete Smith writes:

Numisma reprint Spiral Bound cover "I have had a copy of Remy Bourne's reprint of Numisma since it was issued 40 years ago. My copy is marked #26 of 100. That binding is called a comb binding, not a spiral binding.

"My first job out of college was with a city planning consulting firm. We had an in-house printing and binding shop. We used comb bindings for all of our reports. The equipment to punch the rectangular holes and tool to open the comb to insert pages was relatively cheap and convenient for publications with small print runs.

"Comb bindings are plastic. Spiral bindings use a piece of coiled wire. I have no experience installing a spiral binding and we did not have the equipment to do that.

"With hundreds of books on my bookshelf, I see only four with comb bindings. One of these is Numismatics in the News: Gleanings from Contemporary Newspapers published by Wayne Homren in August, 1993. My copy is #15 of an edition of 20."

Pete's quite correct. Thanks for pointing out the distinction between comb and spiral bindings.

Those Gleanings were draft copies of a book I never got around to completing. I was too much of a perfectionist to consider it done (a common problem with first-time authors). I wanted to add commentary and images for every article, and those were the pre-internet days when finding and preparing images for print was a big chore. A few years later I was married with children and never returned to the project. Instead I started The E-Sylum, with its weekly deadline serving as a forcing function to bypass perfectionism - perfect or not, out it goes. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: APRIL 16, 2023 : The Spiral-Bound Numisma Reprint (

Bell E-Sylum ad 2023-04-16 May 2023 Sale


  ISIS Copper 25 Fils
Copper 25 Fils

Website visitor Nick Holdsworth writes:

"I came across a couple of links to the coinage produced by ISIS when it controlled large areas of Syria and Iraq; your links are the most authoritative I have found.

"Certainly the images shown in the second link correspond to what I know as the genuine issue, rather than the coins purporting to be trials (or more likely fantasies) as shown in this Wiki link:

"I have four examples of the 25 fils copper coin; these are struck on both thick and thin planchets. I obtained these a few years ago. Although I have attempted to complete the series and was briefly in touch by email with a contact claiming to have served in the US military in Iraq who said he had several coins, I have been unsuccessful.

"While I am aware of the controversy of collecting coins of a terrorist organisation such as ISIS, as historical numismatic artefacts I believe there is considerable value in recording and retaining examples for posterity.

"I'd be interested to know if you are aware of the two planchet types for the 25 fils coin."

I'm not aware of different planchet types. Do readers have any information about this?

In working on my consignment Stephen Album Rare Coins contacted the State Department and was given a green light to offer them. I know some people have been concerned about the terrorist connection, but those fears were just conjecture.

Nick added the following comments and images. Thank you! It's great to discover and document new varieties. This is how coin catalogs get written and updated. -Editor

ISIS 25 fils varieties 1 "The types I have for the 25 fils are:

  • Type I dated 1438 (2016/2017) weighing 20 grams. 2mm thick
  • Type II dated 1438 (2016/2017) weighing 15 grams. 1.5 mm thick

"Both marked with their weight.

"I suspect Type I is a first issue, and Type II an economic second striking to save copper. Type I seems to have more wear than Type II. Both types were obtained in 2018."

  ISIS 25 fils varieties 8
  ISIS 25 fils varieties 7
  ISIS 25 fils varieties 3 ISIS 25 fils varieties 2

To read the earlier E-Sylum article about my consignment, see:

Kahn E-Sylum ad03 banner


Adrian Gonzalez Salinas writes to ask about copies of the first printing of the 2nd edition of Ku Klux Klan Tokens by D. E. Birdsell (1981). -Editor

  Birdsell KKK Token  - 2nd Edition

Last 28 February 2023 was auctioned on eBay the "Ku Klux Klan Tokens" 2nd Edition (1981) by D. E. Birdsell (1920-1998). but the eBay's lot also contained a letter signed by D. E. Birdsell requesting his buyers of the second edition of his catalog to destroy the first printing of his publication. Here is a portion of D. E. Birdsell's letter to his customers:

TO: ALL RECIPIENTS OF Ku Kux Klan Tokens 1981.

Birdsell KKK Token  - 2nd Edition - Letter Transmitted herewith, gratis, is a reprint of our most recent catalog.

Last month, on the same day of delivery by the printer and realizing everyone was in a state of anxiety to receive the 2nd edition, we hastily inserted and mailed to you. Immediately after, my dissatisfaction with the fact our new printer had far from equalled the quality of our 1977 edition of Tokens led me to a 'sit down' with that gentleman. Once a number of printing flaws were pointed out and aired so did said printer agree to adjust with a new printing.

I have destroyed all copies here. I look to you with the expectation that you will loyally honor my request that you forthwith (right now) rip up that copy which you received last month. . .in favor of this new copy herewith.

In order to afford this printer and his press better/easier conditions, we reshot several illustrations which had not reproduced well. I now invite your inspection, and hope you find improvement, on KK-101, KT-202, KM-201-A,KM-203-A, KM-311, KK-2004, kk-1030, KK-2030 (and a couple of others). The first printing last month marred literally every illustration with either caked ink or too much water for a washed-out effect. I believe we now have an overall improvement via a different, more experienced press foreman. Again, please destroy your first received copy of Tokens, 2nd edition. [...]

Finally, the work of an editor seems never-ending; there is always left the empty feeling that more might have been written. See, data now with KK-203; note following KK-203.5; added, KK-215-1; corrected typographical/proofreaders error in copyright number on KK-217 and KK-218; Km-1031, where a typesetter thought to rewrite my copy. Corrected I misspelled word, "activating."

Again, please destroy your first received copy of Tokens, 2nd edition.

D. E. Birdsell (signature)

Are there any copies of the first printing of the second edition of D. E. Birdsell's KKK Tokens catalog that escaped the destruction requested by the catalog's author?

Great question! Can anyone help? My copy is the 1977 First Edition. -Editor

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Researcher Roger Burdette does what everyone researching the history of U.S. coinage OUGHT to do, but rarely actually does - look for primary documentation in the records of the U.S. Mint. The National Archives holds a gold mine of information, but few expend the considerable time and effort required to get it. Roger's two-part series on CoinWeek explores why the chore is so difficult and how he goes about tackling the problem. Here's an excerpt - see the complete articles online. -Editor


The National Archives and Records Administration – NARA for short – holds millions of pages of letters, accounts, orders, design information and daily records, yet out of this mass of material, modern books only scrape the surface.

To read them, one has to visit a NARA facility, identify what is to be examined, wait for staff to pull the volumes or file boxes, and then read thousands of individual pages that are, at best, in chronological order. At worst, the pages resemble something swept off a desk and dumped in a box.

A simple solution is to scan (digitize) everything and then make files available over the internet. The Newman Numismatic Portal (NNP) has been supporting document scanning for several years and posts the results on its website for free access and download. This project is funded entirely by the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society, which, by-the-way, is where proceeds of the auction of Mr. Newman's coin collection ended up. An exceptionally benevolent use of a lifetime collection.

Despite its excellence and years of work, NNP has barely tapped the true mass of archival U.S. Mint documents. Every time I look at a volume or file box, I find something new and interesting – often never before seen by any living person. It's an amazing feeling to realize that I might be the first person to read that letter since it was sent 150 or 200 years ago!

The second problem is deciphering handwriting - a task that computers (and increasingly more and more humans) have a hard time with. -Editor

During all of the 18th century and most of the 19th, all routine documents and letters were written in longhand (cursive) manuscript. Printing presses turned out official documents in type-set versions, but everything started in handwritten text. Flowing, or longhand, writing is much faster than block printing words. For generations it was the standard of literate communication and part of the standard public school curriculum beginning in third grade. Now, few children learn cursive or longhand writing.

With few modern users able to read and understand longhand, the content of original and digital documents remains hidden. It is as if there were a code substituting arbitrary symbols for English language letters and numbers. Without some sort of magic decoder ring from a box of corn flakes, documents were nothing but gibberish and squiggles.

The most reliable solution is transcription.

To get a good transcription, we rely on people who can read longhand manuscript and convert handwriting into standard alphanumeric characters to display on a computer screen or print. The converted words and numbers also give us the ability to use software to search documents for desirable content. If the search-and-find program is good enough, then we can quickly locate any word, combination of words, quoted phrase, or topic of interest.

Thus, it is not enough to digitize old U.S. Mint documents. That's just the first step. The content, and the information hidden therein, is revealed only when we have someone transcribe handwritten text into modern human- and machine-readable characters.

Roger's efforts are heroic, and will pay dividends for the hobby and science of numismatics for generations to come. It's the one major element of the Newman Numismatic Portal I've not had even a minor part in. Thanks, Roger! But one person can only make so much of a dent in the massive Mint archives. Who will come along to roll up their sleeves and tackle what Roger cannot? -Editor

To read the complete articles, see:
Why Is Early Mint Information so Hard to Find? Part 1 (
Why Is Early Mint Information so Hard to Find? Part 2 (

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Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor

Mold, Molding. The matrix containing the cavities to form a cast piece, and the process of producing that piece. The material to form the casting must be molten, the mold must be capable of sustaining heat and holding the form until the molten material solidifies. There are several kinds of molds, they differ in what they are made of and what they produce. Also molds can be used for only a single cast, these differ from production run casting, where a permanent mold is made often of two or more metal parts for repeated use. The use of molds for medallic production is rather limited, many types of molds have little concern to this field.

Types of molds. Molds can be made of a variety of material – called the investment – these can be metal, ceramic, rubber, plaster, epoxy, gelatin, silicone, and, or other. Since numismatic items are concerned with sharp, fine, minute detail, several of these investments, like sand, are not suitable for casting of numismatic or medallic items.

Lost wax, (cire-perdue) is a waste wax or waste mold type and is suitable for medallic castings. flexible mold, made of gelatin, rubber or silicon are suitable for casts with undercuts; ideal for medallic plaques. Others – like piece mold – which are used for sculpture in the round – have no application in the numismatic field.

The pattern from which the mold is made can be a variety of materials. Often it is wax, plaster, or wood. Some wood patterns for coins were made in Germany in the 15th century. England made coin patterns of iron, these were cast for use on early die-cutting pantographs (which more typically would use an electroform copper pattern.)

Molds were used for the cash coins of China for centuries. These formed cash trees with sprues still intact from which coins were broken off. Several of these molds still exist in museums today.

See also foundry cast.

To read the complete entry on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see:
Mold, Molding (


Here's the second of two articles on C. Wyllys Betts by E-Sylum Feature Writer and American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith. Thanks! -Editor

  Charles Wyllys Betts -The Last Twenty Years

When he graduated from Yale in 1867, Charles Wyllys Betts had no way of knowing that his productive life would be cut short in less than twenty years. His unfinished works were left for others to complete. Such efforts are continuing in 2023.

While at Yale, Betts was a member of Skull and Key, a society so secret I can't mention it. After graduating with a B.A. from Yale College, he went on to law school at Columbia in New York, graduating with LL.B. in 1869 and was admitted to the bar. He then did post-graduate study at Yale College until receiving an M.A. in 1871.

  Yale Expedition of 1870..01

During 1870, Betts joined a group of Yale students on an expedition looking for fossils. They marched across Nebraska with Buffalo Bill as a guide and a party of cavalry as protection from hostile Indians. Betts reported with The Yale College Expedition of 1870 published in Harper's New Monthly Magazine in October 1871. A photo of the expedition shows Betts as second from the left. Sixth from the left is Betts' classmate Charles McCormick Reeve.

Charles joined his older brother Frederick Henry Betts with the firm of Whitney & Betts. In 1875 the brothers formed the firm of F. H. & C. W. Betts. In 1878 this became Betts, Atterbury & Betts. For most of his adult life, Charles lived with his brother and Frederick's wife Louise at 78 Irving Place near Gramercy Park in New York City.

Although he lived frugally with his brother, they each needed a summer cottage to get away from the city. They purchased land on Good Ground for a summer colony in Southampton, New York. Then needing a little extra space, Charles bought a windmill and had it moved to attach to his cottage.

  Good Ground Windmill House

The windmill was originally built in 1807 on Shelter Island. It was moved to the Good Ground neighborhood in the 1860's and later to the Betts property on Gin Lane in 1880. The machinery was removed and windows installed. The cottage was then built next to the windmill.

Charles travelled to England to buy old English furniture to furnish his cottage. Eventually he had enough to furnish six cottages in the area.

The Betts brothers, with three others, also bought a U. S. Life Saving Service station, built in 1851 between Agawan Lake and the Atlantic Ocean. This was expanded and converted into the Saint Andrews Dune Church which is still standing and operating during sixteen weeks each summer.

Contrary to what appears in some biographies, Charles never married. This was the subject of a ten-page article by Christopher McDowell published January 5, 2021. This was funded by a Newman Grant and published on the Newman Numismatic Portal.

Betts was active in New York society and was a member of The University Club, Union Club, Century Club, Country Club, Knickerbocker Club and Riding Club. He was a regular member of the Trinity Church Choir.

After time away from the hobby, Betts began collecting again. He purchased his first American medal in 1879. He joined the ANS and was a generous worker and donor. He presented papers on counterfeit halfpence and the Admiral Vernon medals.

In a few years, Betts assembled a large collection of American Colonial medals, probably the largest at the time. It was his goal to write a reference book on the topic. His scope included all of the western hemisphere and well beyond what would become the original thirteen American states. In 1886 he went to Europe to do research at the British Museum and at the Paris Mint to gather material for his book.

Betts contracted pneumonia and died at his home on Irving Place in New York City on April 27, 1887. He is buried in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx in the family plot with his parents and brother. He gave 1100 items including his collection of American medals to Yale college, doubling the size of their collection. His hand carved dies were donated to the American Numismatic Society.

Betts compiled a family genealogy, Thomas Betts and his Descendants, that was unfinished at the time of his death. It was completed by Frederick.

His work on American Colonial Medals also remained unfinished. The project was taken on by his brother with assistance from dealer Lyman H. Low and publisher and editor of the American Journal of Numismatics, William T. R. Marvin. The book was completed and published in 1894.

The book was well respected and the standard reference on the topic. The series of medals covered are now known as Betts Medals. As good as it was, there were problems with the book. Some medals that might have qualified were omitted and some medals described are not confirmed to exist.

Christopher McDowell took on the huge task of revising and updating the series. The first of three planned volumes, The Early Betts Medal Companion: Medals of America's Discovery and Colonization (1492-1737) was published by the American Numismatic Society in 2022. Work on later medals continues.

At one time I thought the Good Grounds windmill house was bought in 2017 by Robert Downey Jr, and his wife Susan. Downey actually bought a different Long Island house with a mock windmill. There were a lot of windmills on Long Island and they can be confusing.

Smarty-Pants question of the week: Who was Charles McCormick Reeve mentioned earlier?

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Greg Bennick's latest interview for the Newman Numismatic Portal is with author, researcher and Numismatic Detective Ron Guth. Here's the third part, where Ron talks abotu his numismatic detective work. -Editor

  Ron Guth interviewed for NNP title card

Greg Bennick: Have there been any specific coins that you've been most excited about finding or connecting to their history? And the reason I ask that is because about ten years ago or so, I was thumbing through a Heritage catalog and I found an error coin in a Heritage catalog, a photo of it, and my mind immediately jumped to a book on error coins, which had come out in the early seventies and a photo in that book of a coin that I'd coveted when I was a kid. And I went, Wait a minute, that's not only like the coin, that is the coin from the early seventies in that book, and I ended up bidding on and buying the coin. And whether anyone else in the world would care, I'm not sure, but I was so excited about it that that's the coin…can't you see this everybody?! (laughs) So are there any victories like that along the way that you've experienced and made connections that you're really excited about?

Ron Guth Ron Guth: Yeah, one of my favorite names, big names in coin collecting is the Louis Eliasberg collection. He put together a complete collection of U.S. coins, but many of his pedigrees have been stripped intentionally or unintentionally, whatever. So, for me, it's a wonderful experience to be able to reattach Eliasberg name to a coin. And it happens more frequently than you would think, I would say about once a month, I'm able to reattach an Eliasberg name to the coin. Here's another illustration of the value of this image database. Several years ago, Stack's Bowers sold the Henry Kendall collection of colonial U.S. coins, and he had a 1792 disme pattern in silver. And I read a description, I'm not sure whether they wrote it or somebody else wrote it, but they were talking about an artifact in the 2 of the date. And I gathered all the images that I could find of 1792 dismes, both silver and copper. And I said there is no artifact in any of these coins, so what is going on? Why is there such an artifact? Plus, the coin had this really weird alloy of like 60% silver to 40% copper, which back in 1792, they did experiment with different alloys. You know, they had the fusion alloys cent, but it would be odd for a silver coin to have a 60/40 split in the alloy, so I said, Something is wrong here.

When I went through all the images of the 1792 disme, I found out that this silver version was a copy of I believe it was the Norweb coin. And this is a coin that was about to be certified by PCGS, who graded all the coins before the sale. And I said stop the presses, hold your horses, we don't want to certify this coin because that would be like a $750,000 mistake. So that was one of the really coups that I enjoyed because of the image database that I built. So, there's a lot of value in this kind of research. When I do the provenance research for collectors who have high end coins, obviously they want to make sure that it's a legitimate coin, it's authentic, it's not stolen, it's not out of say a major theft like Yale University or the DuPont collection, which coins are still showing up from those. So again, that detective part of it, you have to have the information, you have to have the catalogs, you have to have access to the Newman Numismatic Portal. You have to have the images. So it's just a wonderful building of this massive content database that makes this sort of thing very useful and valuable.

Greg Bennick: Now, you'd mentioned that sometimes, I think you said, intentionally or unintentionally, the Eliasberg pedigree is stripped from a coin. Now, if I owned an Eliasberg pedigreed coin, I can't imagine resubmitting it and saying please PCGS stripped this famous name from my holder next time. Why would people intentionally strip the pedigree from a coin, specifically with the Eliasberg pedigree? Why would that happen?

Ron Guth: Well, I said intentionally or unintentionally. Intentionally is when someone buys a coin and they don't want the new customer to find out where it came from primarily because it has a higher grade and a higher value. You know, if you buy a coin and whether it's from Eliasberg or somebody else, if you buy a coin for $1,000 and you get it upgraded, it's worth ten times what you paid for it. Which happens fairly frequently. You know, you don't want to sort of hide that information so that's what happens. And when I reattach the provenance to a coin, it reveals all these issues that are present in the coin industry. And grade-flation is one that is like the dirty little secret of numismatics, but everybody knows it exists. And I can give you countless examples of where coins have gone from. You know, AU55 to 58 to 60 or 62 to 63 to 64, so economics is a primary reason for ignoring a prior pedigree.

Greg Bennick: And just as an aside, grade-flation has to stop somewhere, right? Meaning that we've seen this slow creep over the last couple of decades as grading standards have changed and a coin that was once this, is now considered that. But there has to be a limit, right, because we've got a ceiling of MS70, for example, and an AU 58 coin isn't going to miraculously, 30 years from now, be declared MS70 because there's a whole realm of grades beyond that to consider. Where does grade-flation stop, in your opinion? We've got to be reaching the end, right, or maybe not?

Ron Guth: Yeah, I think we're reaching the end. And you're right, there is a ceiling, you know, 70 is the ceiling, but coins also maxed out. I mean there's a point where it becomes ridiculous to call a coin a 66 when it's not a 66. And people can see it and it's just too obvious. The grading services have to maintain their reputation, I mean, the reputation is all they have. So the quality of their grading doesn't necessarily have to be on a continuum, but if you're having grade.flation, it's one thing for a coin to leapfrog another, but if the rising tide lifts all the boats together, then it's okay. If you look at the condition census of a coin, which is the list of the top ten finest examples. And let's say you compare it to the Early American Coppers Club, they have a very conservative grading standard and they have a traditional old time list of the condition Census coins, the top ten coins. While PCGS and NGC, they have the market grading, the commercial grading, so to speak. And so if you look at it like a Goldberg's catalog, where they were working with Chris McCawley and Bob Grellman, they'll have an EAC grade, they'll have a PCGS grade, and sometimes they'll have the cataloger's opinion. So there could be three different grades on a coin, and that's okay, as long as people understand that the PCGS grade is not equal to an EAC grade. And that the PCGS grade or NGC grade, as long as they're all ranked the same rank as they are in the EAC condition census, then it's okay. But it's important for people to understand that these are separate grading systems and there will be a much greater disparity between an EAC and a PCGS than there will be between a PCGS grade from today and one from five years ago on the same coin. So grade-flation is an issue in our industry, but we've all moved up along with it as it's progressed.

Greg Bennick: Switching subjects, tell me about the Pick My Brain series that you do on YouTube, maybe you could tell us a little bit about that.

Ron Guth: Yeah, I used to do meet the expert for PCGS when we were at shows and basically it's sitting down and answering people's questions. A lot of people are afraid to ask questions because they don't want to appear stupid. And I tell everybody the only stupid question in Numismatics is the one that you don't ask. You know, we all started at zero, I started at zero, you started at zero and we learn things along the way. And unfortunately, in the coin business, mistakes are expensive or they can be expensive. So to be able to offer somebody some mentorship or some education or information that can help them avoid those pitfalls that we've all experienced, I just think that's a great way to get back to the hobby. So I do these Pick My Brain episodes on Wednesday nights at 6 p.m. California time, and it's a live stream on YouTube and anybody can jump in and out. So, I really enjoy doing those, it's a lot of fun and I get some great questions.

Greg Bennick: It's great. On my schedule. I'll definitely be adding that because I think that it'd be really fun. Even just to ask some basic questions, that I'm sure in my mind, are things that I think I know, but maybe I don't, and you probably do. So, I'll look forward to that. I was going to ask on a personal level, what are your favorite coins and why? Do you have personal favorites over the years, whether they're ones you've researched or just personal ones from your own collection? Just personal favorites.

GREG BENNICK - 2023 headshot About the Interviewer
Greg Bennick ( is a keynote speaker and long time coin collector with a focus on major mint error coins. Have ideas for other interviewees? Contact him anytime on the web or via instagram @minterrors.

To watch the complete video, see:
Ron Guth Interview (

To read the complete transcript, see:
RON GUTH Interviewed for the Newman Numismatic Portal (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

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Atlas Numismatics has updated their website with 251 new coins, medals, and tokens at fixed prices. Selections include the following items. -Editor

Unusual Brockage and Partial Collar Error

  German States Brockage and Partial Collar Error

1073022 | GERMAN STATES. Frankfurt Am Main. (1846-1856) AR 3 Kreuzer. NGC MS67 Mint Error. 1.42gm. Crowned eagle with wings spread / Denomination and date within oak wreath. KM 313; AKS-23; Jaeger 24.

Partial collar with obverse brockage

Insert misspells "collar" as "coolar"; hence a meta-error.

To read the complete item description, see:

Gem Lombard Imitation in the Name of Maurice Tiberius

  Lombard Tremissis in the Name of Maurice Tiberius

1072991 | ITALY. LOMBARDY. Ticinum. In The Name Of Maurice Tiberius. (582- 602).(568-690) ND AV Tremissis. NGC MS65. 1.36gm. Pearl-diademed, draped and cuirassed bust, right / (Legend); IONOI in exergue. Victory standing facing, holding globus cruciger in left hand and wreath in right. cf. Bernareggi 1.

To read the complete item description, see:

1798 Draped Bust Dollar, Bowers Plate Coin

  1798 Draped Bust Dollar

1073922 | UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 1798 AR Dollar. PCGS AU55. U.S. Mint, Philadelphia. LIBERTY. Draped bust right, flanked by stars, date below / UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Large heraldic eagle. KM 32. 13 arrows; BB-122; B-14. Rarity-3. Pointed 9, Wide Date.

Q. David Bowers' plate coin for the variety in The Encyclopedia of United States Silver Dollars, 1794-1804 (2013); Ex Stack's Bowers & Ponterio (9 August, 2016) Lot 3162.

To read the complete item description, see:

Updates to their online inventory are issued monthly.

For more information and to sign up for the firm's monthly newsletter, visit: .

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Numismagram's Jeremy Bostwick sent these four medals that were among his recent addition of new material to his site. For all of the new items, please visit -Editor

  Pope Leo XIII medal

102218 | ITALY & BRITISH EAST INDIES. Pope Leo XIII silver Medal. Issued Year XVII (1894/5). On the founding of the Papal Seminary in British India at Kandy (43mm, 36.04 g, 12h). By F. Bianchi in Rome. LEO XIII PONT MAX AN XVII, bust left, wearing zucchetto, mantum, and pallium / FILII TVI INDIA ADMINISTRI TIBI SALVTIS (your own sons, India, will be the heralds of your salvation), female personification of the Catholic Church seated right, holding cross and observing St. Francis Xavier (Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta), who instructs two natives; façade of the seminary in background; in two lines in exergue, XAVERIO • AVSPICE / ET • PATRONO. Edge: Some scattered marks, otherwise plain. Bartolotti E894; Rinaldi 88. Mint State. Extremely brilliant and prooflike, with some deeper iridescence nearer the peripheries; some scattered hairlines are noted for completeness. An interesting papal issue with a strong East Asian connection. $395.

With the papal encyclical "Ad extremis Orientis oras," Pope Leo XIII wished to build upon the work of the 16th century missionary in early colonial India, St. Francis Xavier (Francisco de Jasso y Azpilicueta). In 1893, a papal seminary was announced for the region of the British East Indies (India, Burma, and Ceylon), with it being established in Kandy on the island of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). The seminary would continue in this location until 1955, when it moved to Pune, India

To read the complete lot description, see:
102218 | ITALY & BRITISH EAST INDIES. Pope Leo XIII silver Medal. (

  Germany Scarcity of Living Space medal

102079 | GERMANY. Scarcity of Living Space cast bronze Medal. Dated 1921. "Wohnungsnot 1921"—on the scarcity of living space following World War I (58mm, 64.19 g, 12h). By K. Goetz in München. WAS–AUCH HIER NOCH EIN / WOHNRAUM? ("what, yet another living room?"), housing inspector standing facing, opening the door to a bathroom; disgruntled family to right / View of the typical living conditions: triple bunk bed, with each lower bunk shared by two individuals; small child sleeps in the drawers of a chest; a baby is sleeping in a wicker basket under the table; the child standing in the center of the room is urinating into a chamber pot. Edge: Plain. Kienast 280. Mint State. Olive-brown surfaces, with some slight rub upon the high points. $495.

Following the ravages of World War I, the scarcity of living space allowed for a very small amount of square footage per person, and was enforced by inspectors who would record and utilize any surplus space. During this time, three to four families could be crammed into just one apartment, leading to obvious poor conditions and public outcry.

To read the complete lot description, see:
102079 | GERMANY. Scarcity of Living Space cast bronze Medal. (

  France Finance & Economics medal

102361 | FRANCE. Finance & Economics gilt copper Medal. Issued 1972. Club Français de la Médaille series (112mm, 12h). By A. Decaris at the Paris mint. Half-length bust of female seated facing slightly right, wearing elaborate, ruffled collar and holding numerous coins; perspective architectural views in background / Implements of science and the arts in the foreground, with representations of industry and energy in the background. Edge: «cornucopia» CUIVRE 1972 ? 254/1000. CG vol. 4, 571. Essentially as Made. A few lightly scattered marks. A powerful and impressive piece indicative of Decaris's pseudo-engraved/etched styling. One of just 750 issued in gilt copper (? 251–1000), with the first 250 struck in silver. $285.

To read the complete lot description, see:
102361 | FRANCE. Finance & Economics gilt copper Medal. (

  Celebration of Felines medal

102360 | FRANCE. Celebration of Felines bronze Medal. Issued 1977 (61mm, 128.66 g, 12h). By J. Joachim at the Paris mint. Facing head of cat / AMI DU SOLEIL VENU DE LA NUIT DES TEMPS (a friend of the sun since the dawn of time), cat seated left atop a hissing cobra; in background, shining sun to left, pyramids with stars and crescent moon to right. Edge: 1977 «cornucopia» BRONZE. Gem Mint State. Brassy-orange/light brown surfaces. A great animal type, especially for the lover of felines. $185.

Bastet was a goddess within the Egyptian pantheon, being the daughter of Ra and serving as a goddess of protection, good health, and the home. She was represented as having the head of a cat, hence her affiliation with the domesticated animal.

To read the complete lot description, see:
102360 | FRANCE. Celebration of Felines bronze Medal. (

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Here's the press release for Classical Numismatic Group's Auction 123, closing May 23-24, 2023. -Editor

A rare silver stater from the birthplace of the Olympic Games in Greece, a spectacular bronze medallion of the Roman Emperor Maximian, an extremely rare silver piece struck by the last Byzantine Emperor, and a high-grade gold sovereign of Queen Elizabeth I highlight a star-studded offering of more than 1,100 exceptional ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, World and British coins in Classical Numismatic Group's Feature Auction 123, to be held live an online May 23-34.

  CNG Sale 123 Lot 099 Olympia stater

Lot 99, the Olympia stater, was struck between 268 and 252 BC at the ancient site of the Olympic games in Elis, a region of central Greece, depicts a bold portrait of Zeus, king of the Greek pantheon of deities, on the obverse and an eagle clutching a serpent in its talons on the reverse. This wonderful coin is one of only three known specimens of its type, and has an outstanding pedigree to the famous Robert Jameson and Clarence Bement collections, with an original auction sale date in 1910, said Gasvoda.

  CNG Sale 123 Lot 214 Timarchos tetradrachm

Lot 214 is an impressive silver tetradrachm with the portrait and name of Timarchos, a usurper who tried to seize the throne of the Greek-ruled Seleukid Kingdom of the east in circa 164 BC. Unusually, the king wears a broad-brimmed helmet reminiscent of British campaigners of the Victorian era.

  CNG Sale 123 Lot 679 Maximian bronze medallion

Lot 679, the Maximian bronze medallion, 40 millimeters in diameter and weighing an ounce and a half, depicts an amazing portrait of the emperor in full armor, holding the bridle of his horse.

  CNG Sale 123 Lot 823 Constantine XI stavraton

Lot 823, a silver stavraton of the last Byzantine Emperor, Constantine XI, was struck during the Turkish siege of Constantinople in 1453. It's an amazing survival from this pivotal moment in history, when the heir to the Roman Empire finally fell to the overwhelming might of the Ottomans, Gasvoda said. It's also testament to a very brave man, Constantine XI, and one of the favorite coins in my Byzantine collection.

  CNG Sale 123 Lot 482 Sextus Pompey Denarius
Lot 482
  CNG Sale 123 Lot 516 C. Cassius Longinus Aureus
Lot 516

The run of Roman Imperatorial coins, lots 480 to 576, is one of the most extensive offerings covering this period that CNG has ever brought to the block. It includes lot 482, an amazing denarius depicting the head of Pompey the Great with a reverse depicting a Roman war galley; lot 506, the first portrait silver denarius of Julius Caesar struck in 44 BC, the first of nine portrait coins of the great dictator; lot 516, a gold aureus of Caesar's assassin Cassius Longinus; and lot 531, a gold aureus of Mark Antony and his wife Octavia, whom he later divorced to marry Cleopatra of Egypt. The section concludes with 32 of Antony's famous and popular Legionary denarii, including lot 565, the exceptionally rare LEG XVIIII.

The World section features a special collection of coins and medals relating to Madagascar formed by an English collector, highlighted by Lot 880, an extremely rare and important silver medal by Jean Warin for Louis XIV commemorating the French colonization of Madagascar.

British Highlights include an excellent run of Celtic coins, including many rare types, and a group of three superb Cunobelin Staters from the Borden Hoard, lots 918, 919 and 920.

Further British highlights include:

  CNG Sale 123 Lot 978 Elizabeth I Sovereign

Lot 978, a high grade gold Sovereign of Elizabeth I, depicting the Tudor queen enthroned facing, holding the globe and scepter.

  CNG Sale 123 Lot 1076 William IV pattern Crown 1831

Lot 1076, an extremely rare pattern Crown of William IV struck in sterling silver on a heavy weight flan, graded PF 61 by Numismatic Guaranty Corporation.

This section also includes selections from the Malthouse Collection of English hammered and milled coins, formed by two generations of an old English family in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. These coins were housed in a fine mahogany cabinet, lying undisturbed for the past eighty-three years, said David Guest, CNG's British coin specialist. Consequently, a very high proportion have rich cabinet tones.

CNG Feature Auction 123 will conclude Tuesday and Wednesday, May 23 and 24, starting at 9 am EDT each day. The sessions will be conducted live and online via the firm's website,

Classical Numismatic Group LLC is the foremost U.S. numismatic firm dealing in Ancient, World and British coinage. It's recent Triton XXVI auction, held January 10-11, 2022 in New Work City, generated more than $14 million in prices realized and set a world record for the highest auction price ever paid for a Roman Imperial coin, $2.3 million for a magnificent 10-aureus medallion of the Emperor Diocletian (AD 284-305).

For more information about Feature Auction 123, to receive a printed catalog of the sale, or to inquire about consigning to this sale and future Classical Numismatic Group auctions, write to, or call (717) 390-9194

For more information, see:

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A number of Carson City Mint coins are in the upcoming Holabird auction. In an email to clients this week, the company highlighted some interesting CC mint ephemera from earlier sales. Did any of these end up in your collection? -Editor

  Carson City Mint 1866
Carson City Mint, 1866, Courtesy of Library of Congress
  Carson City Mint Payroll for July 1866

Carson City Mint Payroll for July 1866 for Building the Mint (Sold by Our Company in 2018)

  Carson City Mint letter Carson City Mint Bag

LEFT: CC Gold Coins Being Sent in Exchange for Gold from the Savage Mine (Sold By Us in 2021)

RIGHT: An Original Carson City Mint Bag Sold By Our Company in 2022

For also those collecting coins (which are great mind you, but much less rare), here are a couple selections from the upcoming sale. -Editor

  1890-CC Double Eagle

1890-CC US $20, NGC AU58, one of the scarce Carson City $20s with a total mintage of only 91,209 coins. Akers noted in 1982 that hundreds of uncirculated 1890-CC coins came over from Europe in the 1960s, all of which have long since found good homes.

To read the complete lot description, see:
1890-CC US $20, AU58 [166156] (

  1900-O over CC Morgan dollar

1900-O/CC PCGS graded MS63. PCGS Population 2,121; Pop Higher: 3,629. Several die varieties. Five CC reverse dies left over from the Carson City mint when it closed in 1893 were modified in 1900 by punching the O mint mark over the CC mint mark. Various amounts of the CC show. All O/CC coins command a premium. There is no doubling of the mint mark, so this is not one of the R7 varieties. 12,590,050 mintage.

I wasn't aware of thie interesting variety. Neat coin. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1900-O/CC Morgan Dollar MS63 [166248] (

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Davisson's is holding a sale closing May 17th 2023. Here's a short sale summary by Allan Davisson. -Editor

Davisson E-Sylum ad E-Auction-46 Most collections have odds-and-ends that have been acquired along the way—early acquisitions, impulse buys, exploring different collecting directions. One of the great appeals of coin collecting is the almost limitless variety that is available. There are many different reasons why most coin collections include runs or groups of less expensive material after all the main items have been accounted for.

Some of this catalog reflects this. Nearly a third of the sale is from the Pat Zabel collection that anchored our major March sale. Several gold pieces, Greek and Roman coins, Saxon material along with more Spanish American material, coins of Guatemala, a few scarce Mexican Revolutionary pieces and more. All of these are coins that he chose carefully acquiring high quality examples of pieces that have moderate catalog values. There are condition rarities here—low value coins can be particularly difficult for collectors to find simply because they don't command the attention that major rarities enjoy.

Greek coins from several well put-together collections that we introduced in the March sale anchor the ancient section of the sale. Day-to-day base metal coins of the ancient eras are also represented with appealing examples from other consignments, most notably the special Roman Republic denarii.

The British section offers a variety of hammered and milled coins including something a bit unusual—a partial date run of Jubilee Head crowns of Victoria, something that happened by chance as we assembled this catalog from different consignors.

The D&H tokens are mostly high-quality examples from the collection of tokens created for actual commercial use that we began in our March auction. I have added references to the beautifully produced 2014 book by Jon Lusk, British and Irish Tradesmen and their Copper Tokens of 1787-1804. The other two references that identify and comment on the real commercial use tokens are the works by Waters (1954) and Bell (1963).

I have also included the source names and dates of purchase for all the tokens from this collection. It provides a fascinating look at token activity in the last decades of the 20th century.

The sale continues with the Zabel Spanish American material, other foreign coins and some groups of high-quality United States silver dollars from a crown collection we have been handling as well as an encased postage stamp, a necessity coinage that also carried an advertisement.

Then, almost as a postscript, check out the eight large lots, estimated at wholesale levels. Photos are online. The huge collection of world crowns consists of fully catalogued pieces with the description, KM number and actual silver weight noted on each. The complete list is online but we can send a print copy—just ask.

Pat Zabel's wide-ranging interests covered Eastern areas including Ancient India, Scythian and Indo-Bactrian kingdoms, Cilician Armenia, and Judaea, and some of those collections are included here. (Look for the balance of his collection in our August sale.)

Every large lot in this section has substantially more value than the estimate suggests.

Best wishes for the coming spring and summer. For many of us in the USA this year, winter has been particularly challenging. The coming spring seems all the sweeter.

For more information, see:

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Library Mini-Fest
April's been a busy month. Last Saturday I hosted Jonas Denenberg and Kellen Hoard for a visit to see my numismatic library. In preparation I'd worked to organize a few last boxes of unsorted ephemera. The pair arrived at the recently opened Metro station after 11am and we went to a local Indian restaurant for a nice lunch.

Here's a photo taken prior to the visit, before we started pulling books and binders from the shelves for show-and-tell.

  Homren Numismatic Library 2023-04

Kellen came prepared to shoot video of the event, and did a great job of handling the camera and interview. The footage is in the hands of the Newman Numismatic Portal for editing. Stay tuned for that. In the meantime, here's a shot of the three of us after a long afternoon of biblio fun.

  Homren Numismatic Library vist 2023-04 Kellen Hoard Jonas Denenberg Wayne Homren

Kellen was unable to attend our dinner because of a conflicting event - he'd been at the U.S. Mint headquarters downtown for meetings after getting sworn in as a new member of the Citizen's Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC). Congratulations, Kellen!

Love, Andrea
One evening this week I drove to a nearby carwash to get the spring pollen off my vehicle. The attendant returned this dollar to me when it wouldn't go thru the bill acceptor.

  Love Andrea dollar

No idea who Andrea is or where I got this, but I'll have to spend it elsewhere before I have some 'splaining to do to my wife.

Nummis Nova
Thursday April 18th brought the monthly dinner of my Northern Virginia numismatic social group Nummis Nova. Robert Hoppensteadt was our host, and he'd chosen Clyde's at Mark Center in Alexandria. It's a beautiful venue with a leafy parking lot with a great canopy of old trees. Here are Tom Kays' notes on the evening, opening with his composite group photo.

Tom's Take

  Nummis Nova 2023-04 group 1
Here you see all the usual Nummis Nova suspects of numismatic funny business. From left to right are Steve Bishop, my guest Lorne LaVertu, Dave Schenkman, Robert, Mike Packard, Wayne Herndon, Wayne's guest Jonas Denenberg, Chris Neuzil, Wayne Homren, and Julian Leidman with me behind the camera. These images fail to show the safe distance this group was allotted by restaurant staff, since we have dined at Clyde's at Mark Center before, and they no doubt remembered what happened last time. We were wisely seated as far back out of view of normal patrons as possible, exiled into our own rumpus room way out back. That was a smart move. Let the coins fly.

  Nummis Nova 2023-04 group 2

I saw many nice coins that I don't own. We rely on those who do own them to supply adequate portraiture using good lighting to share images with you all. Floating along before appetizers were many high grade items including a bronze Neapolitan medallion of Antonius Pius showing temple, altar, shrine, steps, and colonnade of Mount Gerizim, the place where the Israelites celebrated blessings in Canaan as told in the Book of Deuteronomy; an eight reales of the Central American Republic with New Guatemala mint mark from 1826 showing the sun rising over five volcanos; an Attica Athens silver tetradrachm, circa 430 BC, with Owl and Helmeted head of Athena, a scarce Chalmers 1783 Three Pence made in Annapolis that was sold as part of the Sydney F. Martin collection, an original 1688 American Plantation Token of James II, valued at 1/24 of a Real, an 1863 Yankee Robinson Big Show token of rare composition, attributed to Peoria, Illinois, a J.S.G. Boggs 1994 elongated cent, along with obscure numismatic ephemera, recent newsletters, and a relic frame stuffed with random old coins of no particular relationship.

  Nummis Nova 2023-04 Toast to Howard Daniel
A Toast to the Late, Great Howard A. Daniel III. Photo by Wayne Homren

First order of business - we gave a toast to Howard Daniel III, (ex-Nummis Nova Sargent-at-Arms) who will be missed. Talk topics revolved around the health of other, missing Nummis Nova regulars, the Syd Martin sales, 19th century magic coins, the C4 Newsletter, differences between relic shows versus coin shows, English coronation medals, the long fabled Wayne Homren Numismatic Ephemera collection of rare pamphlets about numismatics with some published way back in the 1700s, a future book release about Congressional gold medals, and officially joining this never ending, Nummis Nova juggernaut. Remember, don't simply be at the party – Be the party! Oh, and no dancing on the tables as Clyde's management sincerely wishes to remind us and maybe next time, we can be seated closer to the grown-ups out front.


  Star Coin Book J.S.G. Boggs Elongated Cent
I was greeted with some nice gifts on my arrival - a Star Coin Book and an elongated cent issue by my friend "Money Artist" J.S.G. Boggs. Many thanks to Lorne and Tom for their thoughtfulness. I once had a shelffull of the B. Max Mehl Star books, but had sold them off to regain shelf space. Maybe it's time to start a new collection.

Coins, Coins, and More Coins
Nummis Nova 2023-04 Atheneian Owl With the spring evening sunshine coming through the windows the lighting was better than many of our dinners, although the glare from overhead lighting provided the usual difficulty in capturing good coin photos. But here are some of the goodies that came my way during the meeting.

  Nummis Nova 2023-04 coin display box
  Nummis Nova 2023-04 Yankee Robinson token C4 Newsletter Spring 2023

Syd Martin Sale Lots

  Nummis Nova 2023-04 Syd Martin sale lots
Dave Schenkman told me at last month's dinner that he'd won a few lots in the Stack's Bowers Syd Martin sale. He brought them this month, and above are my photos of the colonials in slabs. He also purchased a rare Civil War token. Here are better images from the website.
  American Plantations Token obverse American Plantations Token reverse
Lot 1231 American Plantations Token

To read the complete lot description, see:
Undated (1688) American Plantations Token. Original. Newman 1-A, W-1130. Rarity-6+. ET. HB. REX. AU-55 (PCGS). (

  1783 John Chalmers Threepence obverse 1783 John Chalmers Threepence reverse
Lot 1182: 1783 John Chalmers Threepence

To read the complete lot description, see:
1783 John Chalmers Threepence. W-1760, Breen-1018. Rarity-5. EF-40 (PCGS). (

  1863 Yankee Robinson R8 token obverse 1863 Yankee Robinson R8 token reverse
Lot 9181: 1863 Yankee Robinson R8

To read the complete lot description, see:
Illinois--Peoria. 1863 Yankee Robinson. Fuld-692A-3b. Rarity-8. Brass. Reeded Edge. MS-64 (NGC). (

All great pieces!

Judean Coin of Antoninus Pius

  Neopolis coin obverse Neopolis coin reverse
The Judean coin of Antoninus Pius was Robert's score from the CNG Triton XXVI sale (Lot 575). Here are the images and description from the company website.
  Judean coin of Antoninus Pius

JUDAEA, Neapolis. Antoninus Pius. 138-161 CE. Æ (32mm, 21.88 g, 12h). Dated CY 88 (159/60 CE). AYTOK KAICAP [ANT]?NINOC C?BAC ?VC?, laureate, draped, and cuirassed bust right, seen from behind / F? N?AC ?O???C CYIAC ?A??CT, Mount Gerizim with two peaks; between, ravine with sloping roadway; left peak with temple in perspective; to right, another building and steep stairway with shrines attached; right peak with shrine on top and trees at base; colonnade before with open gateway; ET ?H (date) in exergue. Rosenberger 9; RPC IV.3 Online 10934.2 (this coin, one of 2 catalogued) cf. Sofaer 21-2 (date unclear). Dark green patina with earthen highlights. Good VF. Very attractive.

From the Kenneth S. Abramowitz Collection.

The modern day city of Nablus in the northern West Bank, Neapolis was located in a strategic position between Mts. Ebal and Gerizim, the latter of which figured prominently on its coinage. This mountain, sacred to the Samaritans, was believed to have been the location chosen by Yahweh for a holy temple rather than the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, some 40 miles south. The Samaritan shrine on Gerizim can be clearly seen on this appealing bronze of Antoninus, together with the staircases leading up to it. However, the original temple was destroyed by the Hasmonean king John Hyrcanus in 112-111 BCE, so the shrine seen here seems to be a retrospective view, like that of the Jerusalem temple facade seen on coins of the Bar Kochba Revolt.

Central American Republic 8 Reales

  Nummis Nova 2023-04 Central American Republic 8 Reales Nummis Nova 2023-04 Central American Republic 8 Reales reverse
Lorne brought this great Central American Republic 8 Reales piece. Nice coin.

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Paul Horner passed along this story of a nice hoard of Roman denarii found in Italy. Thanks. -Editor

Roman denarii found in Italy 1 A hoard of 175 silver coins unearthed in a forest in Italy may have been buried for safe keeping during a Roman civil war.

The coins seem to date from 82 B.C., the year the Roman general Lucius Cornelius Sulla fought a bloody war across Italy against his enemies among the leaders of the Roman Republic, which resulted in Sulla's victory and his ascension as dictator of the Roman state.

The archaeologists who investigated the hoard of 175 silver Roman denarii — the equivalent of tens of thousands of dollars in today's money — suggested it may have been buried by a Roman soldier who was then killed in battle.

The chronologies of such coin hoards show that many were buried during wars and upheavals. "A number of people at times of crisis buried their stash of money and for whatever reason were prevented from retrieving it," Santangelo said.

Researchers discovered the coin hoard buried in a terracotta pot in 2021 but kept it secret so that the site could be completely investigated.

  Roman denarii found in Italy

Lorella Alderighi, an archaeologist with the provincial office for archaeology, told Live Science the coins were discovered by a member of an archaeological group in a newly-cut area of forest northeast of the city of Livorno in Tuscany. Archaeological investigations revealed the earliest coins dated from 157 or 156 B.C., while the most recent were from 83 or 82 B.C., she said.

To read the complete article, see:
2,000-year-old hoard of Roman coins may have been hidden by a soldier during a bloody civil war in Italy (

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An interesting Roman gold coin found near Pompeii made headlines after an auction recently. The piece has a remarkable history and provenance. -Editor

Claudius Gold Aurius found near Pompeii A perfectly-preserved Roman coin celebrating Emperor Claudius's conquest of Britain has sold at auction for £18,000 after being discovered from the ashes of Pompeii. The gold aureus celebrating the conquest in AD 43 was uncovered among the ruins of a suburb five kilometres north of the archaeological site in southern Italy's Campania region.

Experts say they are hardly surprised the coin, born from two of the most dramatic events of the Ancient World, fetched such an eye-watering price at auction. The breathtaking history of the small coin saw it contested over by collectors and museums across Europe.

It is made all the more valuable due to treasure-hunting now being strictly prohibited in the UNESCO-protected areas surrounding Pompeii. The coin was first found by antiquarians in 1895, beneath mounds of volcanic ash inside the Roman villa ravaged and preserved by the eruption of the volcano Vesuvius in 79 AD.

The coin was discovered as part of a hoard alongside the body of a servant in the wine-pressing room of the Villa della Pisanella in the suburbs of the town of Boscoréale. The unimaginable volcanic temperatures of the eruption toned the coin with a distinctive reddish hue.

But, this particular coin was buried deep enough under the ash that it preserved its golden glow. From the position of the human remains found near the horde, alongside silver tableware inscribed to the lady of the house, Maxima, it was determined that the unidentified man perished while dutifully guarding the treasures.

The coin is estimated to have been worth the equivalent of around six to eight weeks' wages for the average Roman soldier. One face of the coin depicts the triumphal arch of Claudius on the Via Flaminia road out of Rome, topped by an equestrian statue of Emperor Claudius flanked by British battle shields and inscribed DE [VICTIS] BRITANN[IS] - ‘Triumph over the Britons'.

The first recorded sale of the coin came in 1898 when, ironically, the coin celebrating British defeat at the hands of Romans was bought by Englishman Sir Samuel Bagster Boulton, a vice chairman of the London Chamber of Commerce. The coin was passed down through generations of the Boulton family through Sir Samuel's children - one of whom survived the sinking of the RMS Lusitania in May 1915.

The family sold their collection of Boscoréale coins in 1942 to London coin dealers Spink, and the coin in question was sold for £12 (around £450 today) to the present vendor's family, where it has remained ever since. But the coin was finally sold at another Spink auction for the first time in more than 80 years to a private collector, for the price of £18,000.

To read the complete article, see:
Roman coin plucked from the ashes of Pompeii eruption sells at auction for £18,000 (


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Dennis Tucker writes:

"I just read this article and saw its mention of a coin being used to tentatively identify the sitter of this bust."

  Roman bust of Sextus Pompey

Very cool. Thanks. Here's an excerpt from the article. Love the photo of the bust riding in a passenger seat. -Editor

From its time in Germany during World War II to the shelves of a Texas Goodwill, a 2,000-year-old Roman bust is making its way back home.

In 2018, Laura Young purchased the bust for just $34.99 at an Austin-area Goodwill, unaware of its ancient history. "I was just looking for anything that looked interesting," Young told CNN last May.

The bust was lent out from Munich's Glyptothek to the San Antonio Museum of Art for the past year and next month it will be returned to Germany.

"It's been really bittersweet," Young told CNN on Thursday. "I'm a little in denial, but I do plan on visiting him in Germany."

When researching where the bust came from last year, Young was put in contact with Sotheby's, which confirmed that the bust was estimated to be about 2,000 years old.

The identity of the bust is not certain yet, but the team at SAMA told CNN they believe it resembles the Roman military leader Sextus Pompey.

"I, along with some other scholars who worked from photographs of the German example after its disappearance, have suggested Sextus Pompey, based on similarities to portraits of his father, Pompey the Great, and to the coin that was included on the label in SAMA's exhibition of the portrait, which has a portrait of Sextus on it." Lynley McAlpine, a postdoctoral curatorial fellow at SAMA, said.

Sextus Pompey bust in transit The bust was originally housed in a replica of a Pompeii home, also known as Pompejanum, and was moved to storage just before the building was destroyed during the war.

It is then believed that around the 1950s a US soldier stole the bust and brought it to the US, which is how it eventually ended up at the thrift store and in the hands of Young.

SAMA says the bust will join two other Roman sculptures from the museum and will travel back to Germany to be together again for the first time in years.

To read the complete article, see:
An ancient Roman bust purchased for $34.99 at Texas Goodwill is headed back to Germany (

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This week's viral coin story was this find near a Viking fortress site in Denmark. Paul Horner was the first to pass it along. Thanks also to Michael Kodysz, Ken Spindler, Arthur Shippee, Howard Berlin, Pablo Hoffman, and John Lupia. -Editor

  Viking coins found in Denmark

Nearly 300 silver coins believed to be more than 1,000 years old have been discovered near a Viking fortress site in northwestern Denmark, a museum said Thursday.

The rare trove -- lying in two spots not far apart -- was unearthed by a young girl who was metal detecting in a cornfield last autumn.

"A hoard like this is very rare," Lars Christian Norbach, director of the North Jutland museum where the artefacts will go on display, told AFP.

The silver coins were found about five miles from the Fyrkat Viking ringfort near the town of Hobro. Notably, because they both have cross inscriptions, they are believed to date back to the 980s, the museum said.

The trove includes Danish, Arab and Germanic coins as well as pieces of jewellery originating from Scotland or Ireland, according to archaeologists.

Norbach said the finds were from the same period as the fort, built by King Harald Bluetooth, and would offer more insight into the history of the Vikings.

"The two silver treasures in themselves represent an absolutely fantastic story, but to find them buried in a settlement just eight kilometers from Harald Bluetooth's Viking castle Fyrkat is incredibly exciting," museum archaeologist and curator Torben Trier Christiansen said in a statement.

Viking coin found in Denmark King Harald's earlier coins did not feature a cross, so he likely introduced the cross coins as propaganda in connection with his Christianization of the Danes, the museum said.

Archaeologists have said they will continue digging next autumn after the harvest.

They hope to find the burial sites and homes of the troves' one-time owners.

The Vikings believed that burying their treasure allowed them to find it again after death.

The artefacts will go on public display from July at the Aalborg Historical Museum.

To read the complete article, see:
1,000-year-old Viking coins unearthed by young girl with metal detector (

To read other articles on the topic, see:
"Very rare" 1,000-year-old Viking coins unearthed by young girl who was metal detecting in a Danish cornfield (
Amateur Archaeologist Finds Ancient Silver Coins Near Viking Castle in Denmark (
Girl finds Viking coins from over 1,000 years ago in Danish field: 'Incredibly exciting' (
'Dream' hoard of 1000-year-old Viking coins discovered by amateurs on a metal-detector vacation (
Hoard of 1,000-year-old Viking coins unearthed in Denmark (

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Mike Markowitz published an article on the history of siege coins for CoinWeek. Here are a couple of coins that caught my eye. See the complete article online. -Editor

THE LATIN WORD for siege is obsidium, so numismatists use the term obsidional to describe emergency coins improvised by authorities in cities under siege. Cut off from normal monetary circulation, these towns needed to pay the troops manning the walls, as they struggled to maintain normal commercial activity. Siege coins are highly collectible pieces of the past, although they present many challenges to collectors.

Sack of Rome

Papal States. Clement VII (Giulio di Giuliano de' Medici). 1523-1534. AR ducato ossidionale (38 mm, 35.95 g, 2 h). VAuctions, Triskeles Sale 31, 27 March 2020, Lot: 583, realized: Unsold.

Vienna 1529

AUSTRIA. Klippe Ducat, 1529. Vienna Mint. Ferdinand I (1521-1564). Stack's Bowers Galleries (& Ponterio), August 2018 ANA Auction, 14 August 2018, Lot: 20163, realized: $3,200.

To read the complete article, see:
Emergency Money: A Short History of Siege Coins (

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Dick Hanscom passed along this Daily Mail article about a controversy over some special commemorative Coronation medals. Thanks. -Editor

King Charles is said to be furious that some members of the Armed Forces and the police may miss out on special commemorative Coronation medals.

Details of the medal were expected to have been announced by now, but a row over Government funding is said to be holding up plans.

There are fears that the cost of decorating hundreds of thousands of uniformed personnel could run to £35million – and that there is not enough metal to do it.

Elizabeth II coronation medal However, sources close to the King said that he wanted all serving frontline members of the police, fire, emergency services, prison services and the Armed Forces to be given a medal – just as they were during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee last year. They said: ‘The King is furious about it. He believes that all service personnel who take part in the Coronation should receive a medal for doing so, along the lines of previous celebrations.'

While about 120,000 medals were issued at the Queen's Coronation in 1953, only 10,000 are expected this time – though sources dispute this figure.

These are expected to go to key people involved in the big day, as well as members of the Royal household.

Home Office sources said that while they supported the plans, they had raised concerns about how they would be funded amid fears that the money would have to come out of existing budgets.

One said: ‘We support giving Coronation medals to Armed Forces personnel and other uniformed officers. Along with other departments, we've asked for a cross-Government approach to provide the funding for these medals.'

  Charles III coronation medal mockup

The medal is not expected to be ready in time for May 6, but will be handed out at a later date. Its design is yet to be unveiled, but the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has said it is still considering options.

To read the complete article, see:
Row over bid to limit Coronation medals: King Charles 'furious' that some members of the Armed Forces and police may miss out on commemorative honours (

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How about this announcement about a never-produced medal of Charles from the time of his mother's coronation in 1953? -Editor

Coronation Medal of Charles – but 1953

Prince Charles 1953 Ahead of the King's Coronation on 6th May, the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum has purchased from numismatic consultant Daniel Fearon, a bronzed galvano of a medal of the King that was intended to be a speculative issue by Messrs John Pinches at the time of his mother's Coronation in 1953. The company used several portraits of the Queen on the various medals they had been commissioned to strike but, it would seem, there was little commercial interest in a medal of Prince Charles.

The sensitive and well-modelled child portrait is not signed but almost certainly the work of Leslie Ernest Pinches (1903-1980). Whilst no actual medals were struck a couple of trial pieces came on the market in 1987-88, when the Pinches Archive was sold in two auctions at Messrs. Glendining & Co.. The Museum also acquired galvanos of The Duke of Edinburgh and Princess Margaret produced at the same time.

  Duke of Edinburgh 1953 Pincess Margaret 1953

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PMG published an interesting article about multiple impression errors. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor

Paper Money Guaranty® (PMG®) is the world's leading authority on banknote errors, a popular segment of numismatics. In Error Note Chronicles, we take an in-depth look at different errors. This month's topic is the Multiple Impression Error. Banknotes are printed in sheets in several stages, with ink being applied to one side at a time. Sometimes, more than one print is applied to a particular side of a sheet; for instance, the serial numbers on US currency are printed on the sheet separately from the main design.

  1985 $10 Multiple Impression Error

When a banknote unexpectedly gets an extra print, then a Multiple Impression Error occurs, such as the one on this 1985 $10 Federal Reserve Note (Richmond). The front of the note contains the expected front design that features Alexander Hamilton but it also includes the Treasury Building and other elements from the back design. It is interesting that the plate number on the back of the note (536) doesn't match the one associated with the one with the back design that appears on the front of the note (534). This note realized $6,000 in a Heritage Auctions sale in January 2022.

  1977A $5 Multiple Impression Error

This 1977A $5 Federal Reserve Note (San Francisco) has a Non-Standard Multiple Impression Error: The extra impression is on the wrong side of the note, it is inverted and it is at an angle (actually showing portions of the back design from several notes). This note is being offered in a May 2023 Heritage Auctions sale, with an estimate of at least $5,000.

Great errors. While I'm glad someone documented where they found the $10 note, I'm not sure what to think about the handwritten note at the bottom right. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
Error Note Chronicles: Multiple Impression Error (


This year's heavy winter storms sent water blasting through rocks and rivers in the Sierra Nevada, making a banner spring for California gold seekers. Here's an excerpt from a New York Times article. -Editor

Gold flecks in pan An amateur gold seeker, Mr. Fausel used his gloved fingers to sweep aside the sand and gravel at the bottom of the creek and then, still under water, let out a cry that was audible through the tube of his snorkel: Woooo-hoo-hoooo!

He emerged with what gold seekers call a picker — not quite a nugget, but big enough to pinch in your fingers — and he delicately handed the glinting object to his fellow prospector, a friend with a long white beard who goes by Uncle Fuzzy. In just 20 minutes of rooting around the creek bed, Mr. Fausel had found about $100 worth of gold.

There's a fever in California's gold country these days, the kind that comes with the realization that nature is unlocking another stash of precious metal. California's prodigious winter rainfall blasted torrents of water through mountain streams and rivers. And as the warmer weather melts the massive banks of snow — one research station in the Sierra recorded 60 feet for the season — the rushing waters are detaching and carrying gold deposits along the way. The immense wildfires of recent years also loosened the soil, helping to push downstream what some here are calling flood gold.

  Gold flakes

It has been nearly 175 years since the Gold Rush that drew countless wagons and ships filled with prospectors, but the foothills of the Sierra Nevada are still home to a quirky group of gold seekers, heavy on beards and flannel, who pore over old maps for the site of a now-vanished saloon or walk the back country searching for nuggets and other artifacts.

Placerville is a 15-minute drive from the valley where James Marshall, a carpenter from New Jersey, was building a sawmill in January 1848 along the American River when something shiny in the water caught his eye. Some kind of mettle, wrote one of his workers in his diary in the quirky spellings of the time, that looks like goald.

The big chunks of the easy-to-find gold that had been lolling around in rivers for millenniums were gone after the first years of the Gold Rush, and Marshall himself died penniless. But miners resorted to spraying powerful jets of water onto hillsides and sorting through what flowed down, leaving giant piles of mining residue still visible today.

That kind of extraction is now heavily restricted in California, yet gold seekers say the recent battering of successive winter storms has produced a similar effect. It is as if Mother Nature had aimed a pressure washer onto the hills and delivered some of the precious minerals still embedded in the rock and dirt.

Anytime you can stand next to a river, and you hear the boulders tumbling, you know the gold is moving, too, said Jim Eakin, the owner of a local firewood business who tells the story of finding a nugget so big four years ago that he bought a brand-new Ford F-150 pickup truck with cash. Like many of his gold-seeking friends, Mr. Eakin, who often wears a nugget around his neck, is cagey when asked about exactly where he unearthed the chunk of gold that got him the truck.

Somewhere north of Los Angeles, south of Seattle and west of Denver, he said.

  Gold flecks in vial

With the price of gold hovering near highs of $2,000 an ounce, Mr. Eakin counts himself among a group of gold seekers who can read the ground and profit from the fortuitous winter weather.

It's going to be a magnificent year, said Tony Watley, president of the Gold Country Treasure Seekers club, which meets at the American Legion hall the third Monday of every month. Everywhere we are seeing new erosion.

To read the complete article, see:
Eureka! After California's Heavy Rains, Gold Seekers Are Giddy. (

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