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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:



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: Carlos Andrade Pernas of Portugal. Welcome aboard! We now have 8,026 subscribers.

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.

Due to my ANA show travel this week and the lengthy post-ANA reports, we have a number of submissions and articles still waiting in the backlog. We hope to get caught up again in the next week or two. Thank you for your patience.

This week we open with results of the NBS charity auction, three new books, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and more.

Other topics this week include private and pioneer gold coinage, the Mexican silver coin riots, the NSC USA numismatic library, the 2023 Pittsburgh ANA, Eric Newman. Ron Gillio, the Edward VIII halfcrown, and the 1874 Indian Treaty medal.

To learn more about Utah Dairy Tokens, the Luís Pinto Garcia library, the "Living Fossil", A View of the Coinage of Ireland, Noncirculating Legal Tender, the Tyrant Collection, numismatic artist Robert Julian, and a group of 1906 Morgan dollars, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh city view from convention center
Image of the week

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Numismatic Bibliomania Society President Len Augsburger provided this report of Friday's fundraising auction. It was a great event! -Editor

NBS Charity Auction Raises Record Amount

The Numismatist, July 1892 The NBS charity auction, held at the ANA convention in Pittsburgh on Friday, August 11, raised a record $13,460 to support the club. Kicking off the sale was a copy of The Numismatist, volume 5, donated by Dan Hamelberg, which realized $350. Carl Würtzbach's annotated and plated copy of Henry Chapman's Bement sale (1916), donated by David Steine, realized $3,000, while a bound volume of eight Henry Chapman sales, also donated by David Steine, realized $1,700.

In all, a total of 15 successful bidders won at least one lot each. NBS expresses gratitude to David Fanning for cataloging the lots, transporting the literature to the convention, and for calling the sale. A huge thanks to all those who donated material and participated with generous bids!

Image: cover of The Numismatist, vol. 5, no. 1, July 1892.

Here's one of my photos of the event. -Editor

  20230811 ANA NBS auction Dan Hamelberg

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A new book by Don Kagin and David McCarthy on pioneer gold has been published. Here's the announcement. -Editor

Kagins-Americas-Golden-Age book cover America's Golden Age: Private & Pioneer Gold Coins of the United States 1786-1862
By Donald H. Kagin, Ph. D. and David J. McCarthy

An entirely new presentation and treatment of all privately struck gold coinage types and varieties issued during the most romantic period in our nation's history.

This large format, 240 page hard-bound coffee table book is replete with large color images, insightful new analysis, updated rarities, and striking analytics.

Private or Pioneer gold coins are for the first time dealt with from a chronological perspective beginning with the Brasher Doubloon issues. They are followed by the Templeton Reid and Christopher Sr., August and Christopher Bechtler Jr. mints of Southern Appalachia.

A brief recounting of the California Gold Rush precedes the detailing of the first privately issued gold coins from the California Gold Rush — the coinage of The Mormons and the Oregon Exchange Company.

Eighteen California based gold issuers and their coinage are then offered over three series. The 49er companies are covered in the First Series. The second series covers the 1850 Issues struck as a consequence of controversy and by State government intervention. The issues of the federal government's U.S. Assay Office and occasional emergency issues struck from 1851 through 1855 are reviewed in detail in the third series.

The book concludes with the three private companies which issued gold coins as a result of the Colorado Gold Rush of 1860–1861.

Order Your Hard-Bound Copy Now!
($89.50 + $10.50 shipping and handling)

I picked up a copy at the Kagin's table at the 2023 Pittsburgh ANA this week, where the authors kindly signed it for me. These seemed to be selling fast - I wasn't the only book buyer at the table. While catalogs are great for looking things up, the chronological presentation is better for putting events in historical perspective, and I think it will be easier for both new and old collectors to learn from. I'm looking forward to reading it. -Editor

For more information, or to order, see:

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In July the Newman Numismatic Portal announced the new book on the varieties of the 1909 and 1910 Lincoln cents. A hardcover print version is now available. -Editor

The Rabbit Hole of the 1909 Lincoln Wheat Cent book cover The Rabbit Hole of the 1909 Lincoln Wheat Cent
by Shawn Tew (Author), Blaine Neupert (Author), Jay Painter (Author), Pete Apple (Editor)

For over a century the transition of the 1909 United States minor coinage has been studied and written about. Most all written publications base their writing on the documents stored at one of the National Archive locations. Theories and speculations have come and gone, some proven, some not, but in the end, they are all about the same information. The ideas contained in this publication started as theories but then were explored with science and facts. A few individuals helped with this exploration that led to the information presented in these pages. Many publications provide a summary of the story that unfolded in 1909 between the mint, the sculptors, and the public opinion. The intent of this book is to explore the anomalies that are not normally, if ever, explored.

Here's more from the earlier NNP announcement. -Editor

Rabbit Hole1909 Cent VDB initials The interplay between Victor D. Brenner and Charles Barber is fascinating, as the efforts to bring artistry to the nation's coinage come into conflict with the quotidian concerns of day-to-day coinage production. Tew summarizes the known varieties for the 1909 and 1910 cents, one of which reuses a reverse from 1909. Tew leaves no stone unturned and integrates test results from the Center for Advanced Microscopy at Michigan State University, in order to analyze the relief profiles of the reverse dies. The work concludes with analysis of a remarkable hoard of Lincoln cents put away in 1909 and not fully examined until today.

Image: The infamous VDB initials on the reverse of the 1909 Lincoln cent, engraved by Victor D. Brenner and reworked by Charles Barber

For more information, or to order, see:
The Rabbit Hole of the 1909 Lincoln Wheat Cent [Print Replica] (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Adrián González-Salinas "I believe this book has not been described in The E-Sylum." He's correct - so here's one for the not-really-new-but-new-to-us department. Thanks! -Editor

The Illustrated Guide to Utah Dairy Tokens by Dalley Book: The Illustrated Guide to Utah Dairy Tokens (Udderly Utah)
Author: Robert J, Dalley
Publisher: ? Robert J. Dalley Publications;
First Edition (June 21, 2016)
Paperback: ? 44 pages
Item Weight: ? 5.9 ounces
Dimensions: ? 8.5 x 0.11 x 11 inches

The Illustrated Guide to Utah Dairy Tokens is the result of more than 25 years of extensive research, collecting, scanning, contacting Utah dairy collectors and interviewing families who once owned or worked in the dairy industry in Utah. There have been other publications listing Utah tokens but this is the first publication that has been dedicated to strictly Utah dairy tokens. It is in full color and features all known Utah dairy tokens, information on each one and scans for most of them. Author Robert J. Dalley, who is currently the curator of the West Jordan (Utah) Historical Museum, has worked hard to preserve the history of Utah dairies.

At time present, Robert J. Dalley has published three books on Utah dairies: The Illustrated Guide to Utah Dairy Tokens, The Illustrated Guide to Utah Milk Caps and The Illustrated Guide to Utah Milk Bottles.

For more information, or to order, see:
The Illustrated Guide to Utah Dairy Tokens Paperback – June 21, 2016 (

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Angel Navarro published an article this summer in the Bulletin of the Royal Academy of History in Madrid, Spain about currency reform in Puerto Rico and the riots over Mexican silver coin revaluation. Here's a Google-translated excerpt, with my additional edits. The research was made possible by a grant from the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (EPNNES). -Editor


  Puerto Rico quarter dollar, fleur-de-lis countermark

Daniel Frank Sedwick, LLC Treasure Auction 17 - Auction date: 29-30 April 2015 - Lot: 1398 Puerto Rico (under Spain), 1/4 dollar, fleur-de-lis countermark (1884) on a Guanajuato, Mexico, cap-and-rays 2R, 1842PM, very rare combination. KM-unl. 6.03 grams. Full and bold countermark, rather worn host (Good) yet with clear date and other peripheral detail on that side, holed at edge.

The Overseas Minister, under the Law of June 29, 1888, article 6, According to the Treasury and before the serious monetary crisis in Puerto Rico, decided that it would proceed to supply currency of all kinds to the markets in Puerto Rico, in the amount deemed necessary for commercial transactions. It would apply to the expenses that said service required or could be of the coinage in the Casa de Moneda de Madrid on behalf of the Treasury of the island, thus being understood, of course, granted the indispensable credit, if these were not enough, or would opt for remittances of the currency that circulated in that time in Spain.

The General Government of the island of Puerto Rico, in a letter dated June 9 of 1889, number 366, negotiated 5th., wrote to the Overseas Minister so that adopt a convenient resolution regarding the Mexican pesos, since the Telegraphic Company, Limited of the West Indies and Panama, would admit the Mexican peso at 75 cents. He further informed her that this did not alter the Company's rates (approved in American gold), given the depreciation of the Mexican silver (which was the only currency that circulated in Puerto Rico), was not possible that the government would oppose such resolution respecting the contract and established with said Company.

The letter reminded the Overseas Minister of the repeated claims of the Chamber of Commerce, the Bank, all the Puerto Rican press, the excitement and the prevailing restlessness before the justified fear of the drop, each day greater, of the mexican silver. In addition, they reminded him of the unfounded fear that the exchange would be delayed indefinitely or not carried out, fearing that the resolution of the Telegraphic Company gave rise to the beginning of a conflict and to the Comercio de Puerto Rico were to adopt an identical resolution which would undoubtedly have of bringing a consequent disturbance due to the multiple interests that would be seen hurt. The interest group that would be hurt the most would be, above all, everything, that of the town, since, however peaceful it was, it was obvious that they would have to resist losing, from one moment to another, 25% of their money's value.

The Government was concerned that this situation would cause local disruptions of public order, which would be manifested in the working classes, which would be considered affected. In addition to the above, the situation would worsen with business stoppage. This would be a forcible consequence of the lack of stability of the value of the currency and would also make credit and commerce suffer, by decreasing public revenues

  Angel Navarro Bulletin issue cover Angel NAvarro article sample page

To read the complete article (in Spanish), see:

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New subscriber Carlos Pernas of Portugal writes:

"I am currently coordinating a Numismatics library, established to honor Luís Pinto Garcia (a renowned Portuguese numismatist), open to all those who wish to consult it, here in Vila Viçosa, Portugal. In less than two years of existence, we have managed to gather more than 400 titles, which has been quite rewarding.

If you would like to learn more about this project, please follow us at"

  Luís Pinto Garcia library project

Great project! I'm following now, and look forward to future updates. Carlos sent along these photos. -Editor

  Luís Pinto Garcia Library 1
  Luís Pinto Garcia Library 2

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The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is a video tour of the NAC USA numismatic library. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

Newman Portal Adds Video Tour of the Numismatic Library at the Offices of NAC USA

  Shanna Schmidt library 2

Opened this year in Chicago, the offices of NAC USA host an important and rapidly growing library maintained by Shanna Schmidt and NAC employee Tyler Rossi. Overlooking Michigan Avenue, Millenium Park and Lake Michigan in Chicago, the views may well be the most dramatic of any such library in the country. Newman Portal has recently produced a video of the library, which debuted at the Numismatic Bibliomania Society meeting held at the ANA convention in Pittsburgh.

The library focuses on ancient numismatics but includes substantial American content, such as the Harry W. Bass copy of The Numismatist (1888), which is easily among the finest known examples. Other items featured in the video include Haeberlin's Aes Grave (1910), Dattari's Monette Imperiali Greche (1901), and bid books from Felix Schlesinger's sales (1933-1935) of material from the Hermitage. Newman Portal acknowledges Shanna Schmidt for facilitating our visit and Lianna Spurrier for producing this video.

Link to video tour of the numismatic library at the NAC USA office:

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

We highlight one of his videos each week in The E-Sylum. Here's one from 2007 with Eric P. Newman speaking at the Central States Numismatic Society Awards Breakfast. -Editor

  CSNS Awards 2007 Eric Newman

CSNS Awards 2007 Eric Newman title card All the work of putting a coin convention together results in rewards being given for the effort. These awards include exhibits and other responsibilities worthy of acknowledgement. This year's Awards Breakfast include a keynote address by one of the coin hobby's most famous personalities, Eric Newman. See and hear the remarks of 96 year old Mr. Newman as well as see other CSNS members rewarded for their hard work.

Speaker(s): Eric Newman, Special Guest.

It's a treat to see and hear Eric again. He passed away in November 2017 at the age of 106. Born in 1911, he was a link to numismatics in the early part of the last century, building a massive collection that could never be duplicated today. He once owned all five 1913 Liberty Nickels, and wrote over 100 important books and articles including The Early Paper Money of America and The Fantastic 1804 Dollar (co-written with Ken Bressett). For newer collectors not familiar with Eric and his work, I've included links to some earlier articles.

Eric introduced himself as a "Living Fossil" and recounted memories of the founding of CSNS and attending its first conventions. He recognized his numismatic mentor Burdette Johnson, calling him the greatest professional numismatist in the U.S. Eric had visited Henry Chapman at his store in Philadelphia, and knew dealers Wayte Raymond and B. Max Mehl, who once asked him to be a shill in one of his mail bid auctions. Collector Fred Boyd once sent Eric four 1792 silver center cents, telling him to pick one and return the others. It was a test - one coin was real and the other three were electrotypes. Eric passed the test and chose the real one. -Editor

To watch the complete video, see:

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
ERIC P. NEWMAN (1911-2017) (


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Coins Lost in Maui Fire
Gerry Tebben writes:

Maui fire sifting thru ruins "With 80 dead and counting and some 1,900 buildings destroyed, the Lahaina fire is an overwhelming tragedy. But life goes on. Survivors are salvaging what they can and getting on with their lives.

"As a collector, I was struck by this sentence in a report in Saturday's New York Times:

"'She had raced to drive one family car out of the range of the flames, escaping in the second car without stopping to grab (her late dog) Grimace's ashes or the $10,000 worth of gold coins in her home.'

"It also makes you think about what you would lose if your home caught fire. Above my desk is a framed portrait (a print) of colonial printer John Dunlap and a 1777 Pennsylvania four-pence note he printed. That would probably be the first to be destroyed."

My wife and I went to Maui on our honeymoon. Such as shame to see the devastation and loss of life.

If these were bullion coins, the owner may be in luck - the melted mass could be sold to a refiner for the value of the metal. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
Hawaii Wildfires At Least 80 Dead in Maui Inferno as Survivors Survey Damage (

New Coin Collector Grading System
Ted Puls writes:

"I was observing a new collector's Technique of coin grading. First one must carefully examine the coin for visual attractiveness and surface flaws and wear. The new sure-fire addition is to add tooth to the grade. For those of us more mature I wanted to give fair warning of this new inscrutable technique that is sure to catch on. It surely will transcend green stickers and other current systems and it doesn't use AI systems.

"I thought you needed to know although this isn't yet in book form."

  Baby coin grading 1 Baby coin grading 2

I could really sink my teeth into that... Thanks. -Editor

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Ronan Fitzpatrick submitted these notes on John Lindsay's 1839 book, A View of the Coinage of Ireland, etc., etc.,. He's compiling a census of presentation copies of this important work. Can anyone assist? -Editor


  Irish Collectors volume

On Valentine's Day 1839, John Lindsay a barrister from Cork published, A View of the Coinage of Ireland, etc., etc., which is still an important book on the history of Irish Coinage. In the remainder of his very long title he explains that this covers the period from the invasion of the Danes to the reign of George IV and includes some accounts of the ring money; also, copious tables, lists, and descriptions of Hiberno-Danish and Irish coins; and an account of some of the principal hoards or parcels of coins, discovered in Ireland. Illustrated with engravings of upwards of one hundred and fifty unpublished coins.

In order to compile this work, Lindsay relied on a number of collectors of the day to supply him with details of coins and drawings. He describes them as ‘Distinguished collectors of coins & antiquities'. Principal amongst them is the Very Rev. Dawson, Dean of St Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin and the book has a printed dedication to "Very Rev. R. H. Dawson", Dean of St Patrick's, immediately following the title page. Lindsay acknowledges that he relied very heavily on the cabinet of Rev. Dawson during the compilation of the book. Together with the other individuals he is named and acknowledged in the Preface pages ii, iii & iv, the Supplement pages 65-70. Appendix 7 pages 133 – 137, and in the Advertisement pages 138 & 139. The following is a listing of those Distinguished collectors that are mentioned in the pages of the book.

  Irish Collectors table

Once Lindsay received copies from the printer, he set about sending them (with compliments and best regards) to each of those he acknowledged. He added a handwritten personal dedication on the flyleaf of each copy and by including the recipient's name and a date, Lindsay gave each book a provenance and age. It's like saying that the book was born on 14 February 1839, that it was baptised on whatever day Lindsay dated the dedication, and its first owner was the named distinguished collector who received it.

  Irish Collectors dedication

All of this suggests a research project along the lines of 'Where are the copies now' - a project to find out what became of those distinguished books. There are 31 named individuals acknowledged in the book – so, 31 distinguished copies. Other copies have been seen which also have a dedication, are dated, and have a named recipient (as illustrated), but that recipient is not one of those Distinguished collectors listed in the book. Just five of the distinguished copies have been found so far. Two are in public collections and are available to the public for viewing, and three are in private collections.

A second aspect to the research is concerned with the individuals themselves. These were the numismatic and antiquarian collectors who collected Irish coins and in the main they were local to Ireland in the early to mid-1800s (although some were based in England). A simple study of them would add further to our understanding of the state of numismatics in Ireland at that period. Some of them have already been written about (Dawson, Lindsay, Sainthill) but over the past fifty years there would be new information available and technology would make access easier.

So, if you have any knowledge of the whereabouts of any of the distinguished copies (in your own library, a fellow collector's, a university collection, or in a museum) or have any knowledge about the recipients themselves then you might like to make contact. One member is completing an article on Rev. John A. Malet which will be printed in one of our publications. And, since some of the recipients are British based perhaps some of your UK readers might be able to share something too.


The 2023 Pittsburgh ANA convention will be history by the time you read this, but here's a taste of some of the local press coverage from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. -Editor

Slabbed 1927-D double eagle Mr. Sourel, from Indiana, was among hundreds of coin collectors and vendors to travel to Pittsburgh Tuesday for the World's Fair of Money, hosted by the American Numismatic Association. It runs through Saturday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

More than 1,200 dealers will be buying and selling rare coins, vintage paper money, medals and tokens in all price ranges as well as gold and silver, said Kim Kiick, executive director of the association. Many of the experts will provide free, informal evaluations of the public's old money.

Mr. Sourel has been going to coin conventions for over 60 years.

Matthew Brotherton was introduced to collecting in the 1980s when his father took him to the World's Fair of Money in Cincinnati. Now the owner of Vintage Collectibles Group, he is a regular vendor at the events.

It's like being a modern-day treasure hunter, Mr. Brotherton said.

Melissa Khan, originally from Maryland, was introduced to the coin business six years ago when she joined her father's coin collection company. Ms. Khan did not collect before working with her dad, but quickly fell in love with the industry.

I like that everything is really tied to history, she said. It's cool when you can tie a coin to a specific person or event.

Sydney Engel, a vendor from Nebraska, studied historical preservation in college, then saw a job listing on Craigslist to work in the coin business. Six years and 50 conventions later, she hopes to always be involved with coin collections.

There's something new I learn every day, she said.

To read the complete article, see:
'A treasure': Coin collectors converge in Pittsburgh (

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

Noncirculating Legal Tender. A coin bearing all characteristics of a circulating coin, but intended to be sold to collectors and the public instead. Usually such a coin is sold at a premium over the face value and frequently in sets of two or more. The design is often commemorative and in a composition not usual for circulating coin. Such coins in precious metals are popular. The quantity struck is often small but the size is sometimes larger than typical circulating coin. Bullion coins bearing a denomination fall in this class of mint-struck objects. Caribbean island countries and third world countries were first to issue these coins, now many countries do. The term is abbreviated NCLT.

NE42 {1982} Doty, p 228-229.

To read the complete entry on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see:
Noncirculating Legal Tender (

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Here's the fourth and final part of Greg Bennick's CONECA interview with collector and writer Mike Diamond, covering products of the new coin presses introduced in the early 2000s. Thanks again to Greg, ErrorScope Editor Allan Anderson, and CONECA for making this available here. -Editor

Greg Bennick: I was going to ask you about how the switch to the new coin presses in the early 2000s affected the output of errors. We all heard in the early 2000s that there were going to be no more major errors. That was going to be it. I think that I went into panic mode thinking, What's going to happen to the hobby? Did you find that that was true? What could you say about that period of time and the time since in terms of the errors that have been produced, and which errors have become scarcer?

Mike Diamond: Well, the range of errors definitely contracted. You're not going to get any foldover strikes anymore. You do get some dramatic multistrikes. The range of errors is reduced because the Schuler press is more reliable and because the mint tightened up on allowing these things to escape. They cracked down on the coin wrapping facilities and they told them, You better not let any errors that have escaped get out. They wanted them returned. A lot of errors that are produced, don't really escape. It's been reduced quite a bit from the halcyon days of 1988, 1999, and 2000. It's unfortunate, but certainly there are plenty of errors to satisfy the collector, including a lot of older ones. But, for instance, we have design creep and that's an error that's never been seen before or since, where the die face expands and kind of mushrooms out. I don't think that has anything to do with the Schuler press per se. It just happened to be a one-time flaw in the metal.

Greg Bennick: Interesting. So that's an error that's been discovered in the last handful of years?

Mike Diamond: Yes exactly.

Greg Bennick: Amazing. Well, we've covered a number of things. I'd like to know, what are your own areas of interest in terms of your own collection? And do you have special pieces in your collection that you appreciate and that are your favorites?

Mike Diamond: Well, anything and everything interests me. I'm always interested in the novel and the confounding. I can't really pick any particular error type. I certainly have favorites among the errors that I collect. I like injection impact doubling which is something I discovered. Injection impact doubling is post-strike die contact, leaving small spots of design. With most of the so-called discoveries, other people find them and then they come to me and ask, What's going on? So, injection impact doubling appears on 2000 Sac dollars and some of the America the Beautiful quarter dollars, where it appears that during ejection, the coin is thrust or propelled into the retreating hammer die face, leaving lightly impressed, often wildly offset, highly incomplete design elements.

Greg Bennick: And these are things you have examples of?

Mike Diamond: Oh, yes.

Greg Bennick: That's great. Any other errors from your collection that you appreciate?

Mike Diamond: Well, I have what might be an intentional error. It's a proof dime planchet with a tiny little circular brockage stuck in the center. And an equally tiny area of die struck design on the reverse. It might be an illicitly applied die impression. That's my suspicion. But the strike is pretty strong. The die struck reverse island is not a proof, but it's certainly early die state. I think everybody thought it was a fake because I picked it up on eBay for like $35. But as soon as I saw it, I said, This is probably real!

Greg Bennick: What inspires you and drives you to be so prolific in your writing? You are possibly the most prolific writer on errors and varieties, certainly on errors. Actually, do you focus more on errors or on varieties or both?

Mike Diamond: Well, it depends how you define a variety. You know, people have different definitions of it. I don't do much with double dies, repunched dates, repunched mintmarks, but I do a lot with die errors, which some people would call die varieties. But, you know, any defect involving the die, or the collar, or the strike, or the planchet, it all adds grist to my mill.

Greg Bennick: Absolutely. And that makes sense. And so back to being prolific, you're certainly the most consistent, longest running and highest output writer on errors. What inspires you to do that work?

Mike Diamond: I enjoy making new discoveries and when I write a column, I always want it to contain something that's never been discussed before. I can't always have a brand new error type for every column. But I always like to bring in some angle that hasn't been bandied about before. I'm fascinated by discovering new things. I love discovering new things. I love analyzing them, understanding them, and communicating them. And I'm never at a loss for a topic for a column. In twelve plus years, I've never had a problem coming up with a topic. Occasionally I revisit a topic, but it's always with some kind of new perspective based on either new information or a new understanding of a phenomenon. Plus, I also get paid. (laughs) So that's an inducement to jump into being prolific.

Greg Bennick: (laughs) Well, regardless of the impetus and inspiration, I know that I thank you and everybody involved with errors who reads your columns and who is involved in the hobby thanks you for your output too, because it's incredibly helpful.

Mike Diamond: Oddly enough, I don't get that much feedback on my columns. It's very rare that somebody will write in either asking for more information or questioning what I have to say. It does appear that the grading services completely ignore or, 95% of the time ignore, what I write. They seem to be stuck in the past. A lot of error folks seem to me, that their knowledge seems to have ossified in and around 1990, which seems odd to me.

Greg Bennick: Meaning that the research available at the time is the limit of their knowledge base?

Mike Diamond: Pretty much. Like I say, the grading services don't recognize stutter strikes or design ablation errors or rim restricted design duplication or any of the other things that I've come up with. They have a limited array of diagnoses that they stick with. And if an error kind of resembles it, that's the label they'll plop on it.

Greg Bennick: (Sarcastically) Struck by capped die, for example.

Mike Diamond: (Laughs) Oh my god. That is one of the most abused descriptions! Everything and anything seems to be a die cap or a capped die strike! Multi strikes that aren't multi strikes, and single strikes that ARE multi strikes. I could go on and on. Some people sometimes ask me, How come you don't start your own grading service for errors? And I tell them that the startup costs are formidable. And it's a lot of work for sure, for probably not a lot of money at the rate I would go, because I don't like making mistakes. Sometimes a complex error might take me a while to figure out.

Greg Bennick: Do people send you errors from time to time?

Mike Diamond: Oh, yes. A lot of the time it's damaged coins or real common stuff. But occasionally something really interesting. A fellow, I guess two years ago, sent me a partial flip over counterbrockage, a secondary counterbrockage, which I wrote up in Coin World. I'd never seen that before.

Greg Bennick: I'm glad that you're still making new discoveries. That bodes well for all of us who read your articles.

Mike Diamond: Another example is this woman who came up with the 1999 cent with the mule clash. She didn't know what she had. She presented it to Joe Cronin's Facebook group. As soon as I saw it, I knew what it was, even though I'd never seen one before. But it was the only thing it could be. She was thrilled, and she sold it for a goodly amount of money.

Mike Diamond at microscope Greg Bennick: So, it was a clash between a cent and maybe a dime die, I'm assuming?

Mike Diamond: The 1999 cent mule clash was a clash between a cent reverse die and another cent reverse die.

Greg Bennick: Oh, I see! Well, you've been most generous with your time. Is there anything that I missed that is quite obvious that maybe I've failed as an interviewer by missing? (laughs)

Mike Diamond: I think you've been pretty thorough.

Greg Bennick: That's good to hear!

Mike Diamond: You know, the discoveries never end. Thank you for the interview. It was a pleasure.

More of Greg's error interviews can be found in previous issues of Errorscope magazine. For more information on the Combined Organization of Error Collectors of America (CONECA), see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:


I didn't arrive at the Pittsburgh show this week in time for this event, but here's the press release on PNG's presentation of their 50-year membership award to their past President Ron Gillio. Congratulations! -Editor

  Kevin Lipton, Ron Gillio, John Feigenbaum
Kevin Lipton, Ron Gillio, and John Feigenbaum

The Professional Numismatists Guild ( has presented a 50-year membership plaque award to dealer Ronald J. Gillio of Santa Barbara, California. Gillio served as the organization's President from 1991 to 1993, and earlier served as its Vice President, Treasurer, and Secretary.

The plaque was jointly presented by new PNG Executive Director John Feigenbaum and long-time PNG member-dealer Kevin Lipton of Beverly Hills, California at the American Numismatic Association Pittsburgh World's Fair of Money® on August 8, 2023.

According to Feigenbaum, It is an amazing honor and a cornerstone of my new tenure as Executive Director to have the opportunity to present Ron with his 50-year plaque. Ron's participation in the PNG for six decades represents the perfect example of the enduring value and legacy of this vital organization. The PNG stands for ‘knowledge, integrity, and responsibility' of its members, and nobody encapsulates these virtues better than Mr. Gillio.

Gillio is immensely proud of his career-long membership in the PNG and said it has been an honor to be a member-dealer for 50 years.

I joined in May 1973 at the young age of 27 as member number 204. A few years later I was elected to the Board of Directors and served continuously for 17 years, never missing a meeting. During my tenure as President, I formed many consumer protection committees and organized various meetings with the ANA and other groups to discuss ways to help collectors and dealers. After my years on the Board, I was still very active in the 1990s on different committees, doing whatever I could for the PNG, Gillio explained.

In 1995, he received the organization's Abe Kosoff Founders Award, a distinctive honor that is named after the PNG's 1955 Founding President.

Plain and simple Ron Gillio is one of the greatest coin dealers in modern history! I have known Ron for almost 50 years. He has taught me a tremendous amount of life and business lessons along the way. When it comes to maintaining long-term relationships Ron is second to none. Honest and loyal he has been the unofficial ‘diplomat' of our profession for years and years, declared Lipton.

He has done more mega deals than almost anyone in numismatic history. This is a fact very few people know as he does these deals uber discreetly behind the scenes. Ron is well known as a dealmaker all throughout the world. He is at home doing business in Switzerland, New York, Hong Kong, or the Long Beach coin show, a true man of the coin world, Lipton emphasized.

The Professional Numismatists Guild is a nonprofit trade association composed of the country's top rare coin and paper money dealers who must adhere to a strict Code of Ethics ( in the buying and selling of numismatic merchandise.

For additional information about the PNG, email or visit

WBNA E-Sylum ad 2023-08-13 Navy Commander Part 2


Allan Davisson published this note about his firm's upcoming E-Auction 47. -Editor

Davissons E-Auction 47 cover - front Ending is a key aspect of this summer's end catalog. Over the past few auctions we have offered two major collections, a handful of smaller consignments, and have been dispersing a large collection of United States coins. Now we are at the end point for our work with much of this and we have come to the final pieces from the groups. For most collectors, acquisition is driven by the pieces themselves—denominations, dates, types, condition. Cost is a factor but it is an instrument of means, not an intrinsic aspect of the actual material in the collection.

Some of the individual pieces from these collections are offered in the first 294 lots in this sale. But the back of this catalog—the end of the sale— offers nineteen large lots. The lots contain very collectible and often important pieces that are of collecting interest, historic significance but modest value. Because of our policy of issuing a print catalog for every sale, every lot we offer carries the related cost of print publication. The cost of offering less valuable pieces as single lots outweighs the extra return the individual pieces might bring.

Every group lot was designed and estimated to offer good value. The savings on preparation and print is effectively passed on to the buyer. In short, expect to find some great coins at bargain prices in the groups. Four of the earlier lots are from the carefully built collection of ancient coins that has provided some of the better Greek and Roman coins in our recent sales. The pieces in the individual lots are internally related: lot 295 contains five coins of Macedon; lot 296 has 13 Thessalian pieces; lot 297 is mostly silver Greek fractionals; lot 300 is a group of seven Roman pieces.

Thirteen of the bulk lots come from the extensive and carefully built Zabel collection. Like many collectors, he had wide-ranging interests. His first love—and strongest investment—was his Anglo-Saxon collection, the centerpiece of our first auction of 2023. His enthusiasm for coins resulted in a huge collection of coins, thousands of which were modern coins of face value or little more that we did not handle.

Davissons E-Auction 47 cover - back We have constructed the Zabel lots so that the pieces they contain are related, specific to a particular aspect of his collection. These are the less expensive pieces from areas other than Anglo-Saxon that he pursued in detail. (The more valuable pieces from all these areas have been offered in our last three auctions.) There are three lots of ancient coins: 298, Parthian issues, 299, issues from Asia Minor, and 301, coins of the Severans. The uniformly high quality of the Severan denarii demonstrate the care and skill he brought to his collection. Two additional lots, 302 and 303 include attractive later Roman issues.

The Medieval to Renaissance lot combines a smattering of Eastern and Western issues from that era where the world was expanding but exploration across the oceans was yet to come. Pat's fondness for Spanish American coins provides coins for the next four lots, 305 to 308. He lived in the San Antonio area and travelled in Mexico—not that many miles away. And he visited relatives living in Costa Rica in the 1940's and 50's. Lot 310 is a trio of larger silver pieces that did not make the cut as individual lots. And the final pair of lots from Pat are American greenback currency—National Bank notes, a gold certificate, and a group of large format silver certificates.

From the same collection that included the 600 silver crowns we offered in our last sale is the substantial lot (312) of the over 6000 minor coins that went with the crowns. These are described in detail in the online listing (and estimated very conservatively). The choice 195 Isle of Man crowns in lot 310 came from the same collection.

Lots of lots of fascinating and highly collectible coins—and a more standard form catalog including many special pieces—it all made this hot summer more interesting putting together this catalog.

I think from time to time about the privilege of working with so many different things in the field of numismatics. It is a part of the job description but that does not make it any less satisfying. But this is exactly what collectors experience. The collections people build offer both satisfaction and an expansion of their knowledge and experience.

Thank you for your interest.

To read the complete text of this article, see:
Welcome to E-Auction 47 (

Auditorium E-Sylum ad01



My first day was relaxed and enjoyable without much time on the bourse floor. The morning drive to Pittsburgh was uneventful but interesting, thanks to a GPS detour that routed me through farm country in Maryland and Pennsylvania on the way to catch the turnpike in Somerset, PA. Traveling thru small-town America past hill-hugging old houses, railroad tracks, and sagging old barns, the only things I passed on the two-lane roads were a farmer on a slow-moving tractor and a buzzard having a meal in the middle of the road. The only notable event (to me anyway) was the realization that I'd just passed the last available rest stop for 20 miles and had to improvise at a big tree in the woods.

I met an old friend and had a good baked Italian hoagie for lunch in another small town across the river from Pittsburgh - Aspinwall, PA - where the parking meters still take dimes (but NO NICKELS allowed). Afterward I made my way downtown and checked into my hotel, the Hampton Inn across from the Pittsburgh History Center a couple blocks from the convention center.

  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Convention center roof
Convention Center seen from Hampton Inn parking lot
  20230811 ANA Pittsburgh Convention Center bridge view
River view from the Pittsburgh Convention Center
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh city view from convention center
City view seen from the convention center entrance
  20230809 Dave Schenkman, Wayne Homren
Dave Schenkman, Wayne Homren. Photo courstey Eric Schena

20230809 Eric Schena Dave Schenkman On the way in I ran into friends from my northern Virginia numismatic social group Nummis Nova - Eric Schena and Dave Schenkman. We discussed convention plans and some Newman Numismatic Portal business. Dave would be giving a talk with Fred Holabird at 1pm, and he told me the Token and Medal Society has several old educational slide sets to give NNP for digitization, along with slides and text for some of his own presentations, such as one featuring his extensive sutler token collection. At right is my photo of Eric and Dave.

Nate McAlister of the ANA helped me at the registration desk. Once I got my ribbons straightened out I headed into the bourse around 2pm. It was buzzing with activity. On my way to find the NBS and book dealer tables I ran into Mary Burleson of Whitman Publishing. I told her she'd won a prize as the first out-of-town numismatic friend I'd come aross at the convention (I see Eric and Dave locally every month). I gave her a 1942-D wheat cent I'd found in change that morning. She graciously accepted, then handed it back with instructions to gift it to a young numismatist. Will do!

I made a beeline to the NBS table where I found Pam Harrison of Indiana, wife of our previous president Tom Harrison. She was there to recruit members and show auction lots. We didn't talk long and that was unfortunate - I learned later that she broke a bone in a sidewalk fall and Tom had to rush her home for treatment - Pittsburgh surgeons were booked solid for a few days.

I next spoke to David Fanning at the Kolbe & Fanning table, then visited with Len Augsburger and Neil Musante at the neighboring table of Charlie Davis. Nearby was Gary Groll with a great display of Conder tokens at his table.

I also ran into a number of my old Pittsburgh numismatic friends including Larry Dziubek, Richard Crosby, Rich Jewell and Paul Schultz (now of Johnstown, PA). Later I spoke at length with Jacob Lipson of Canada about The E-Sylum and discussed the St. Gaudens Victory statue with Mark Ferguson. He told me the Carnegie Museum of Pittsburgh also has one of the copies. On my way out of the building I ran into dealer and E-Sylum supporter Doug Winter on his way in.

I left the show mid-afternoon so I could meet my sister to visit a family cemetery plot and have dinner at a renovated old family haunt from our childhood. My Pittsburgh trip was already a success.


LIBERTY SEATED SILVER COINS. The new 2nd edition of Q. David Bowers's Guide Book of Liberty Seated Silver Coins is available now. 608 pages of fascinating Bowers-style coverage of half dimes, dimes, twenty-cent pieces, quarters, half dollars, Gobrecht dollars, silver dollars, and trade dollars. Order your copy online at , or call 1-800-546-2995.



Wednesday morning I woke up at 4am and after tossing and turning for a bit briefly considered getting up and working for a while. It was not to be - I finally slept and didn't get up until nearly 9am. After breakfast and a shower I worked on The E-Sylum for a bit before heading over to the show.

Ursula Kaupmann of CoinsWeekly in Germany was the first person I spoke to on Wednesday. It was great to see her, but I was sorry to hear her colleague had difficulty flying in from Switzerland and wouldn't be able to make the show. He was bringing most of the material for their booth, which stood empty. Ursula was awaiting a shipment of booklets which did arrive and later decorated their table.

  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Keunker table display
Künker  auction highlights

20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Keunker table Ulrich Keunker Next I visited the Künker  table, where I got to meet Ulrich Künker  and thank him for the firm's sponsorship of NBS via their banner atop The E-Sylum and ads on the NBS website. They were displaying highlights from their upcoming summer sales.

Over at the NBS table Len Augsburger was leading a bookbinding lesson.

  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh NBS bookbinding demo2
Two happy apprentice bookbinders
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Convention SARC table
Crowded Stephen Album Rare Coins table

My goal was to visit with our E-Sylum sponsors. As usual at shows, oftentimes they were busy with customers. I spotted Ron Gillio and Larry Korchnak among the crowd at the Stephen Album Rare Coins table.

20230809 ANA Pittsburgh St. Gaudens Victory I enjoyed viewing the scaled-down copy of the St. Gaudens Victory statue. Even at the smaller scale it remains quite impressive. I got down on a knee to photograph it from below, as pedestrians view the original on its pedestal in New York City. The photographs in the earlier press release didn't do the work justice. Without a background showing some perspective, the statue looked dinky.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

I caught up with John Kraljevich at his table, where I also spoke for a bit with David Menchell. On display was artwork for a 1757 medal trumpeting French settlements in North America - PARAT ULTIMA TERRA TRIUMPHOS (The remotest land prepares triumphs).

  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh John Kralvevich
John Kraljevich speaks with a customer
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh John Kralvevich display
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Wayne Herndon
Wayne Herndon with a customer
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Sovereigh Rarities Steve Hill
Steve Hill of Sovereign Rarities with customers
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh MDC Table
MDC Monaco table
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh MDC Table catalogs
Upcoming MDC sale catalogs

20230809 ANA Pittsburgh MDC Table 5 Francs gold I was pleased to hold in my hand one of the highlights of the upcoming MDC Monaco sale.

Next I visited the American Numismatic Society table where ANA Executive Director Kim Kiick was visiting with Ute Wartenberg-Kagan and ANS Executive Director Gilles Bransbourg.

  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh ANS Table Ute wartenberg Kim Kiick
Ute Wartenberg-Kagan and Kim Kiick
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh ANS Table Ute Wartenberg Wayne Homren  Kim Kiick 20230809 ANA Pittsburgh ANS Table Gilles Bransbourg Wayne Homren Ute Wartenberg
LEFT: a thorn between two roses
RIGHT: Gilles Bransbourg with Wayne and Ute
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh ANS Table MACO galvano and plasters
Medallic Art Company galvano and plasters at ANS table
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Tyrant Collection1
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Tyrant Collection2
The amazing Tyrant Collection display

Taking a break for lunch I was dismayed to see that the food vendor at the COIN convention turned their nose up at accepting cash. I'm no cash curmugeon, but that and the long line led me to head outside for lunch. I'm glad I did. Just a block away I discovered a great taco place that captured my lunch business for three days in a row.

  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh NO CASH 20230810 ANA Pittsburgh Condado taco restaurant sign

This coin-themed mural near the restaurant caught my eye, and figured in a later conversation with Bob Leonard about the use of nails as money in colonial America.

  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Ten Penny sign
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Sedwick table Augi Garcia Daniel Frank Sedwick 20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Sedwick table Charles Joanna book cover

At the Daniel Frank Sedwick table I learned about a new book: The Charles & Joanna Silver Coinage of Santo Domingo, 1542-1552: A study by Cori Sedwick Downing and Isaac Rudman. Here Augi Garcia and Dan Sedwick are having a look.

For more information, or to order, see:

  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Bruce Hagan table
Paper money at Bruce Hagen's table
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Bruce Hagan table humbug Glory Bank note
Humbug Glory Bank satirical Hard Times note
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Kagins table David McCarthy Don Kagin
David McCarthy and Don Kagin at the Kagin's table
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Kagins table Don Kagin signing book
Don Kagin signing my copy of the new America's Golden Age book
  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Bob Rhue table Coins of the Golden West

I had a nice conversation with Dave Wnuck about "Money Artist" J.S.G. Boggs and other topics at the table he shared with Bob Rhue. Bob displayed a great ANA "railroad" convention badge and a complete "Coins of the Golden West" fractional souvenir gold set.

Along my travels I also spoke with Mark Borchardt of Heritage, Chris Karstedt of Stack's Bowers Galleries, David Tripp of Sotheby's, Shanna Schmidt, Jeff Rock, Lianna and Sharon Spurrier, Jeff Shevlin and many others.

Mid-afternoon I led a walking tour of downtown Pittsburgh with Garrett Ziss, Kellen Hoard and NBS treasurer Jeff Dickerson. See the article elsewhere in this issue for photos.

By evening I was tired and limping a bit from all the day's walking. I grabbed dinner at a nearby restaurant and on my way back I snapped this shot of a classic old Heinz ketchup sign mounted atop the Senator John Heinz History Center. It's animated, and the tipped bottle pours red ketchup to fill the letters of the Heinz logo.

  20230809 ANA Pittsburgh Heinz sign on History Center

Archives International Sale 86B cover front


Thursday was packed with meetings and I took far fewer photos. The NBS Board meeting began at 11:30, and it was great to see everyone. Outgoing treasurer Chuck Heck gave a report on our finances, and we're in good shape assuming our charity auctions and website partnerships continue to augment dues income.

The NBS Symposium was next with speaker Harry Salyards discussing his new book, Eagle Poised On A Bank Of Clouds : The United States Silver Dollars Of 1795-1798. Here are some photos of the audience and speaker.

  20230810 ANA Pittsburgh NBS Symposium audience2
  20230810 ANA Pittsburgh NBS Symposium audience
  20230810 ANA Pittsburgh NBS Symposium Salyards

Here are photos of the two sides of the massive bourse floor taken from the skybridge. Impressive. That's the exhibit area with the yellow tablecloths in the upper-left part of the first photo.

  20230810 ANA Pittsburgh bourse view 1
  20230810 ANA Pittsburgh bourse view 2

Here's some more Heinz artwork in a pop art Warhol/Haring style.

  20230810 ANA Pittsburgh Heinz ketchup artwork

Near the end of the afternoon I visited numismatic artist Robert Julian (not to be confused with the numismatic researcher and author of the same name). He creates excellent work.

  20230810 ANA Pittsburgh Robert Julian at table

To visit Robert's website, see:

Thursday night I attended a wonderful dinner of the Attinelli Society, a group of fellow bibliophiles. My guest was Gosia Fort, whose husband Tom once edited our print journal, The Asylum.

Heritage E-Sylum ad 2023-08-13


I had fewer meetings to attend on Friday but was still quite busy. In the morning I met Dana Linett of Early American History Auctions who recently announced his firm's relocation from San Diego, CA to Winchester, VA, a town about 45 miles from me here in the Washington D.C. suburbs. As it happens my good friend Eric Schena lives in Winchester and I introduced the two of them before heading off to the NBS General Meeting.

We had a nice crowd for the charity auction at our NBS General Meeting Friday. David Fanning called the sale while Len Augsburger recorded bids. Dan Hamelberg showed the lots while ANA Librarian Akio Lis and I shuttled books from the display tables in the back of the room to chairs in front where Dan could reach them.

  20230811 ANA NBS auction Danning Augsburger
David Fanning and Len Augsburger
  20230811 ANA NBS auction bidders
Auction bidders
  20230811 ANA NBS auction Dan Hamelberg
Dan displaying a lot
  20230811 ANA NBS auction David Steine settling wioth Len Augsburger 20230811 ANA NBS auction Jeff Dickerson winnings
LEFT: David Steine settling with Len Augsburger
RIGHT: Jeff Dickerson getting a grip on his auction winnings
  20230811 ANA NBS auction Maria Fanning Kellen Hoard Garret Ziss 20230811 ANA NBS auction Chuck Heck David Alexander
LEFT: Maria Fanning, Kellen Hoard, and Garret Ziss
RIGHT: Chuck Heck sharing a laugh with David Alexander

Later in the day NBS Board Member Shanna Schmidt introduced me to the folks at Gorny & Mosch, enjoying a laugh about the nearly matching green dresses.

  20230811 ANA Pittsburgh Gorny Mosch table green dresses Shanna Schmidt, Mosch

There were great pickings for numismatic ephemera collectors at tables in the lobby. Some well-produced and interesting pieces here. Print is not dead - there is still room for hardcopy advertising at in-person shows.

  20230811 ANA Pittsburgh ephemera CAC
New grading firm CAC made a big splash
  20230811 ANA Pittsburgh ephemera Workman's Books
Don't miss Alan Workman's November literature sale
  20230811 ANA Pittsburgh ephemera Wheat Cent rolls
Wanna buy some wheaties?

Friday night I attended a great dinner at the invitation of Len Augsburger. A group of about 20 numismatists and family members attended a fun evening of food, drink and conversation.

Saturday morning brought the annual Rittenhouse Society breakfast. A fitting capstone to every convention, it's an honor to be a member of this august group of numismatists. It was great to see all of these old friends and learn something about the goings-on in their personal and numismatic lives.

Following breakfast it was time to head home, but I wasn't in a huge hurry. So I took a more scenic route back to my hotel, following the waterfall trail at the convention center that I hadn't even realized was there. Most conventiongoers walked right past it. It passes between the two street level sections and takes pedestrians down to the river.

  20230811 ANA Pittsburgh Convention Center city and bridge view
  20230811 ANA Pittsburgh Convention Center waterfall walk2
  20230811 ANA Pittsburgh Convention Center feeding fowl

Here a man was feeding a flock of waterfowl. The scene was a great way to end my visit to the show. Before long I was on the road back to my home in Virginia.

Rosa E-Sylum FPL 25 Ad 3

Schmidt E-Sylum ad 2017-06-18


At about 2pm Wednesday a few hardy souls met at the NBS table to muster for my homegrown downtown Pittsburgh walking tour. Garrett Ziss, Kellen Hoard, Jeff Dickerson and I headed out on a sunny afternoon. This was an informal event, not advertised on the convention schedule. I'd led a similar tour back in 2004 and was curious to retrace my steps and revisit local landmarks.

This was not a purely numismatic tour - it was mostly interesting sites with a smattering of numismatic connections. Many thanks for Garrett Ziss for the photos.

Penn Station
AMTRAK trains still roll to Pittsburgh's old Pennsylvania Station, although the landmark building has long been converted to other uses. Designed and built circa 1898–1904, The building and its massive terra cotta rotunda has been called "one of the great pieces of Beaux-Arts architecture in America."

  Pittsburgh Penn Station rotunda 1
  Pittsburgh Penn Station rotunda 2

For more information, see:
Union Station (Pittsburgh) (

Courthouse and Jail
The Allegheny County Courthouse and Jail was designed Boston architect Henry Hobson Richardson, and built between 1884-1888. The jail was closed in 1995 and converted to new uses. I took a guided tour of the jail between its closing and renovation.

  Pittsburgh Courthouse courtyard 2 Pittsburgh Old Courthouse courtyard 1
  Pittsburgh Courthouse Murals 2
  Pittsburgh Courthouse Murals 3
  Pittsburgh Courthouse Murals 4
  Pittsburgh Courthouse stairway
  Pittsburgh Courthouse and Jail Bridge of Sighs
The "Bridge of Sighs" modeled after a bridge in Venice, Italy

When the courthouse and Frick Building across the way were built, Grant Street was 15 feet higher than it is today. Horses had a hard time getting up that hill. In 1913, the street was lowered and what had once been the basements of the buildings were now at street level, explaining the oddly high placement of various architectural features.

For more information, see:

Frick Building
Built by and named for industrialist Henry Clay Frick, the Frick Building opened in 1902 with 20 floors, the tallest building in the city at that time. When the street was lowered in 1913 it gained a 21st floor.

  Pittsburgh Frick Building Lobby 3
  Pittsburgh Frick Building Lobby 1
  20230809 Frick Building Lobby
Wikipedia photo

The lobby features a stained-glass window by John LaFarge, depicting "Fortune and Her Wheel".

For more information, see:
Frick Building (
This is John La Farge's 1902 "Fortune on Her Wheel" opalescent-glass window design in the lobby of the Frick Building (
History of the Frick Building (

Union Trust Building
Walk all the way in to the lobby of the Union Trust Building (built 1915-17) and look up the atrium.

  Pittsburgh Union Trust skylight

I'm having a hard time finding references online, but I remember an old Christmas fundraising tradition where officeworkers would drop coins from the upper floors onto a net in the lobby.

For more information, see:

Old Union National Bank
The former Union National Bank Building has been converted to condos with some first floor retail businesses. I used to have a safe deposit box there when it was still a bank. Walk into the men's clothing store on the corner and look up to see 1906 Morgan dollar reliefs.

  Pittsburgh Union NAtional Bank 1906 Dollar medallion
  Pittsburgh Union NAtional Bank 1906 Dollar medallion

For more information, see:
The Carlyle (

Dollar Bank
My personal favorite is the 1870 Dollar Bank building. Today it is the oldest surviving bank structure on Fourth Avenue and has been continuously owned and operated by Dollar Bank since its inception. The building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976. The interior is little changed since the main section and its additions were built, with all the original teller cages and offices.

  Pittsburgh Dollar Bank

For more information, see:
Fourth Avenue Building and Lions (

The Original Oyster House
A few blocks away is another institition in continuous operation since 1870 - the Original Oyster House is Pittsburgh's oldest bar and restaurant. We purchased a couple soft drinks to go for our walk back to the convention center.

I would be sore later in the day, but the stroll was well worth it.

For more information, see:
The Original Oyster House (
A Pittsburgh Tradition Since 1870 (


A rare Edward VIII halfcrown pattern is being offered by Noonan's. Here's the press release. -Editor

  Edward VIII Pattern halfcrown

An extremely rare Edward VIII halfcrown that was never issued and is one of only six known to exist and the only one ever to be sold at auction will be offered at Noonans in an auction of British Coins, Tokens and Historical Medals on Tuesday & Wednesday, September 19-20, 2023. It is being sold by a private collector and expected to fetch £150,000-200,000.

As Tim Wilkes, Head of the Coin Department at Noonans explained: Edward VIII abdicated in 1936 before any coins in his name were released into circulation in Britain. Patterns of each denomination had been prepared (all dated 1937) but at the time of the abdication they had not yet received royal approval. After the abdication the few coins which had been struck were locked away, and work began on the coinage of the new king, George VI. It is not known how the coins in private hands came to be in the public domain so opportunities to acquire any of these coins are very rare and we expect this coin to be keenly contested.

This particular example is one of only two that are believed to be in private hands – this was originally sold at auction in the USA in 1978. The other four are in the Royal Collection, British Museum and two are in the Royal Mint Collection.

This halfcrown was designed by British designers T.H. Paget & G. Kruger Gray and inscribed EDWARDVS VIII D : G : BR : OMN : REX, while on the reverse, the Royal Standard is flanked by two crowned monograms, FID : DEF : IND : IMP.

For more information, see: s

  Stacks-Bowers E-Sylum ad 2023-07-23 ANA Sales


This press release came out a week or two ago and I've been wanting to publish it for the coin bag illustrations, as a follow-on to some earlier articles on the topic. Interesting find. The Franklin Half pictured is a stock image. -Editor

Denver Mint sealed bag of 1963 half dollars A canvas bag containing 2,000 silver half-dollars struck in 1963 at the Denver Mint and sewn shut there 60 years ago will bring a pretty penny for an elderly northeast Oklahoma woman who received the coins as a gift from her father a half-century ago.

This original, mint-sealed bag contains $1,000 face value of fifty-cent denomination coins, but each 1963 half-dollar depicting Benjamin Franklin contains about $9 worth of silver. Also, mint condition 1963 Denver Mint half-dollars usually sell today for about $50 each, so I would not be surprised if this bag sold for $100,000 or more, stated Rick Tomaska, co-founder of Rare Collectibles TV ( of Los Angeles, California.

The firm will offer the bag of half-dollars at auction on national television on July 27, 2023 with bidding starting at $69,000.

The owner of the coins, an elderly woman who wants to remain anonymous, received the bag in the 1970s as a gift from her father, a Denver dentist, who purchased bags of silver half-dollars for each of his four children. The woman's siblings eventually sold their coins over the years, but she kept hers for five decades, explained Tomaska.

Printing on the bag reads in part: U.S. MINT DENVER HALF DOLLAR $1,000 1963. In addition to the mint's original stitching to seal the bag, there is an American Airlines tag dated April 20, 1967 when it was shipped to Oklahoma where the retired father then lived.

This is undoubtedly one of the last if not the very last known surviving, mint-sealed bag of 1963 Denver Mint Franklin half-dollars. The woman told me she kept it all these years because she loves silver, said Tomaska.

Example of a 1963 Denver Mint half dollar This is the first time I've seen an original, mint-sealed bag of Franklin silver half-dollars in almost 40 years in the rare coin business, he added. The person who wins this auction will be a custodian of a super rare numismatic artifact. I hope the next owner never opens it to maintain the bag's Mint-sealed heritage.

The United States Mint began producing half-dollar denomination coins in 1794. The 90-percent silver half-dollars depicting early American patriot Benjamin Franklin were struck from 1948 to 1963, and the design was changed in 1964 to honor assassinated President John F. Kennedy.

So what will become of the bag itself? Will the new owner leave it intact? It's an interesting and fun but expensive souvenir. -Editor

The live auction will be on DirectTV channel 222, Dish channels 85 and 224, as well as online at at 8 PM Eastern/ 5 PM Pacific on Thursday, July 27, 2023.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Shevlin E-Sylum ad 2023-06-11 Continental Dollars


An article in the Geldscheine Online newsletter pictures an interesting mechanical interest rate calcluator medal issue by a German bank in 1927. Here's a Google-translated excerpt of the description. -Editor

  DANAT Bank interest rate calculator obverse DANAT Bank interest rate calculator reverse

The interest calculator, which was certainly given to customers as a promotional gift, comes from the happier days of the Danat Bank. It consists of two embossed aluminum discs with a diameter of 60 mm, riveted together in the middle and can be turned. The edges are slightly notched to improve handling.

The obverse shows the imperial eagle in a pearl circle, above it in a semicircle in two lines "DARMSTAEDTER UND NATIONALBANK / KOMMANDITGESELLSCHAFT auf AKTIEN" and at the bottom "EigenkAPITAL 120 MILLIONEN RM". The marginal writing on the back reads "THE WAY TO PROSPERITY" at the top and "DAS BANKSPARBUCH DER DANATBANK" at the bottom.

In the middle then the seven-line text of the interest calculator: "RM 10,000- / SAVE / IN O YEARS AND O MONTHS / IF YOU PER WEEK / O RM AT O % / ON COMPOUND INTEREST / INVEST", including the company logo. The individual values ??can then be read in the recesses. To do this, only one of the discs needs to be turned.

There must be similar pieces from around the world, but I'd never seen one quite like this. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
Aus privaten Sammlungen: Zinsrechner der DANAT-Bank um 1927 (

Kahn E-Sylum ad03 banner


A buyer has returned a rare Canadian Indian Treaty Medal. -Editor

  1874 Indian Treaty Medal No. 4

The much rarer 1874 Indian Treaty Medal No. 4, sold at the recent Royal Canadian Numismatic Association convention auction, is returning home to the Pasqua First Nation in Saskatchewan.

Having possession of the Treaty 4 medal is important for the Nation, the successful bidder writes in a news release from The Canadian Numismatic Company (TCNC), who presented the three-day auction in Halifax in July. It is symbolic of the sacred Treaty relationship and is a part of our heritage. It will be available for all to see and will help us teach our youth about the historical event.

TCNC's Marc Verret calls it a great story.

A genuinely surprising item with a great story was Lot 1, the Indian Treaty Medal No. 4 selling for over $100,000, with what we believe is a world record for such an item, he says. The purchaser of this historical piece was kind enough to share his story and reasoning for the purchase of this lot.

With a pre-sale estimate of $25,000-plus, the medal sold for $113,525, which includes the buyer's premium.

Being a member of the Pasqua First Nation, I was the auction bidder on behalf the Nation, states the news release. The Pasqua First Nation is located approximately 65 kilometres east of Regina, Sask., located on the south side of Pasqua Lake a few kilometres west of Fort Qu'Appelle.

To read the complete article, see:
Pasqua First Nation repatriates treaty medal at RCNA auction (


Paul Horner passed along this article about fake cash enticing hikers to reach for it. -Editor

  Multnomah Falls fakes 100s

An Oregon sheriff is warning of fake $100 bills that were thrown over Multnomah Falls and led some curious hikers to risk their lives by going to dangerous areas off-trail for the phony money.

The fake $100 bills were found Friday about 30 feet over the edge of the falls after deputies received reports of hikers attempting to retrieve what they thought was real cash, the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office said.

"Because it was causing quite a stir, and fearing that someone might make a fatal mistake, the Forest Service posted signs and staffed a ranger at the upper viewing platform," the agency said in a statement.

On Saturday, Portland Mountain Rescue (PMR) climbers rappelled from the crest of the falls and collected the remaining 15 bills, officials said.

Multnomah Falls fakes 100s sign "Some yahoo tossed a bunch of fake money off the falls yesterday and then posted in [sic] on social media," PMR said in a Facebook post.

The agencies shared photos showing that the bills all bore the marking "For Motion Picture Purposes."

The sheriff's office said that while authorities don't know if the movie prop money is related, officials are aware of a potentially dangerous social media trend in which influencers stash money or other items somewhere outdoors and leave their followers clues to recover the troves.

"If you subscribe to this trend, remember to use common sense, stay on the trail and know the money or prize might not be legit," the sheriff's office said. "Your life is more valuable than a couple hundred bucks, or even nothing at all.

To read the complete article, see:
Oregon sheriff warns of fake $100 bills tossed over waterfall after hikers risk lives (

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