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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


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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:

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Numismatic Bibliomania Society
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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: Dean Birge and Sophie B. 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.

Happy Guy Fawkes Day to our British friends. The short version of our email seems to reaching everyone now. My new problem is a broken shift key that has me typing like e. e. cummings.

This week we open with two numismatic literature sales, five new books, the acquisition of Whitman Publishing, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, notes from readers, and more, including the Mercantile Money Museum.

Other topics this week include David Schenkman, John Jacob Astor, David Lawrence Feigenbaum, Joseph Saxton, fixed price and auction listings, ancient coin finds, physical cryptocurrency, and CIA medals.

To learn more about Potosi cobs, Lincoln Cents, Canadian coins, the Netherlands Trading Society, the Bank of England, the Kill Huerta peso, chronograms, clearinghouses, miniature numismatic literature, trench art, California fractional gold, Augustus Saint-Gaudens and the Ames Monument, Treaty of Hubertusburg, the Oliver Cromwell crown, Numistamps and physical bitcoins and cryptocurrency, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

  Sinking of the Lusitania Medal
Image of the week

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Alan Workman has a numismatic literature sale closing November 11-12, 2023. Here's some final selected lots. -Editor

Workman's Books is conducting its Sixth sale, "Sale 6 - Selections from A Latin American Numismatic Library and other Consignments.". Accompanying the Latin American Numismatic Library is a sizeable consignment of books, catalogs, magazines, journals, and dealer fixed price lists on numismatics, orders & decorations, militaria, shipwrecks, sunken treasure, lost treasure, treasure hunting, lost mines, and treasure in the American West.

workman's books sale 6 cover SESSION 1:

  • Books: 1 to 467
  • Auction Catalogs & Dealer Fixed Pricelists: 468 to 734


  • Auction Catalogs & Dealer Fixed Pricelists: 735 to 1267
  • Journals & Magazines: 1268 to 1345
  • Posters: 1346
  • Newspapers: Lot 1347
  • Photos: 1348 to 1349
  • Postcards: 1350 to 1351
  • VHS Tapes: 1352 to 1354
  • DVDs: 1355

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  Workman Sale 6 Lot 310 8 Reales Cobs of Potosi Workman Sale 6 Lot 311 Re-engraving Assayer's Initials in Potosi Cobs
Lots 310 and 311

Lot 310: Paoletti, Emilio. 8 REALES COBS OF POTOSI. Emilio Paoletti, Buenos Aires. 2006. 4to. (4), 402, (2) pages. Original blue cloth, lettered in silver, jacket, slipcase. b&w coin and detail photos throughout. Spanish text. Some minor highlighting of text. Slip case has closed tear along the flap. Jacket/Book Fine. This book is the second edition to Paoletti's original esteemed work on Potosi cob 8 Reales of all periods. All of the coins are assigned consecutive numbers and arranged under pertinent categories and subheadings. The coin photographs for each entry are excellent, and include many enlargements of details mentioned in the discussion of the dies. While not a technical die study, the author clearly delineates all known important features and characteristics of the recorded varieties for every year of issue, with a detailed discussion of the progressions of stylistic changes and assayers' tenures. This work is of utmost importance to anyone who is interested in the early Potosi coinages whether it be collectors, dealers, scholars, treasure hunters or salvors. Lot weight: 4 lbs 10oz. Subject(s): Spanish American Coinage.

Lot 311: Paoletti, Emilio & Maria Alessandra Woolson. RE-ENGRAVING ASSAYER'S INITIALS IN POTOSI COBS. Editorial Dunken, Buenos Aires. 2014. 4to. 206 pages. Original oversized pictorial card covers. b&w coin and coin detail photos throughout. Spanish and English text. Fine. This book examines the coinage minted in Potosi between 1576-1773, to trace the overlap and transitions between assayers. Few assayers minted coins without reusing previous dies. The resulting re-engraved pieces are here described in minute detail while also treated as historic artifacts, thus revealing both the socioeconomic and political context of its time. An excellent reference for the collector of Potosi cobs from the author of 8 Reales Cobs of Potosi. Lot weight: 1 lbs 9oz. Subject(s): Spanish American Coinage.

  Workman Sale 6 Lot 325 Pridmore West Indies Workman Sale 6 Lot 326 Catalogo das Moedas Brasileiras
Lots 325 and 326

Lot 325: Pridmore, F. THE COINS OF THE BRITISH COMMONWEALTH OF NATIONS PART III. WEST INDIES. Spink and Son, Ltd, London. 1965. 4to. (4), 364, (4) pages. Original pictorial boards. Foldout-map. Bibliography. b&w coin photos throughout. Fine. This book is a history and guide to the coins of the British Commonwealth nations of the West Indies. It is organized by country, ruler, denomination, and date and includes photo plates of the coin types and other descriptive information. It is considered one of the standard references for this region. Lot weight: 2 lbs 5oz. Subject(s): West Indies Coinage.

Lot 326: Prober, Kurt. CATALOGO DAS MOEDAS BRASILEIRAS. Kurt Prober, Rio de Janeiro. 1960. 4to. 189 pages. Original oversized printed card covers. Signed by the author. Limited edition #744 of 1500 copies. Monografias Numismaticas Volume X. Tables. Fold-out table. 61 b&w coin and coin details plates. 5 line-drawn countermark plates. Prices pamphlet laid in. Ex Libris of Katen Numismatic Library. Portuguese text. Cover edges worn, chipped. Very Good. This book is a catalog and price guide to the coinage of Brazil. It contains very detailed information on monarchs, dates, varieties, mintmarks, assayers, counterstamps and other descriptive features that are presented through detailed photos and illustrations. It is one of the first most in-depth references on Brazilian coinage. Lot weight: 1 lbs 4oz. Subject(s): Brazilian Coinage.

  Workman Sale 6 Lot 336 Standards and Colors of the American Revolution Workman Sale 6 Lot 337 Die Schutzentaler und Schutzenmedaillen der Schweiz
Lots 336 and 337

Lot 336: Richardson, Edward W. STANDARDS AND COLORS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION. University of Pennsylvania Press, Philadelphia. 1982. 4to. xvii, (1), 341, (1) pages. Original gray cloth, lettered in silver, protected jacket. color illustrations throughout. Fine. This book, based on original sources, fills a long-standing need for clear information on a fascinating area of American military art, bringing before us an extraordinary array of military and naval flags of the Revolution. Over two hundred brightly emblemed silk and bunting standards, colors, and ensigns are illustrated and described here, reflecting the individualism of a people seeking independence and national identity. The color photographs of all known surviving original flags together with the artist's reconstructions from fragments illuminate the thoughtful artistry and meticulous craftsmanship found in the era's flag design and fabrication.

The book encompasses colonial flag design and symbols, Liberty and Union colors, the standards and ensigns of continental and state armies and navies, as well as the standards and colors of the French, Loyalist, British, and German units that fought on American soil. Included also are versions of the Liberty and Union flags, along with army regimental, battalion, company, and troop standards and navy and marine ensigns. Appendices provide quotations from letters, orders, and journals of Washington, Congress, and other sources concerning the design and supply of flags and on Philadelphia flag makers. A glossary of flag terminology and a summary of the organization of the armed forces are also included.

A scholarly guide and dependable reference for historians and organizations concerned with the Revolution and military history in general, the book concentrates on describing, authenticating, identifying, and illustrating each flag in detail, while avoiding digressions on personalities, battles, and regimental history. Lot weight: 2 lbs 15oz. Subject(s): United States Antiquities.

Lot 337: Richter, Jurg. DIE SCHUTZENTALER UND SCHUTZENMEDAILLEN DER SCHWEIZ. H. Gietal Verlag & Publikationservice GMBH, Regenstauf. 2005. 4to. 408 pages. Original pictoral boards. b&w and color plates throughout. Fine. This book deals with both the history and the historical background of the Schutzentaler and rifle medals in Switzerland. More than 2100 talers and medals from the early 17th century to 1960 are described and largely illustrated. Details of the rarity and value of each individual piece are included in two grades of preservation. Several hundred medals are shown in this catalog for the first time.

The highlights of this high-quality volume range from embossing from the middle of the 19th century through to magnificently designed medals from the Art Nouveau period. Extremely rare pieces, often even unique pieces, especially from the early years of the marksmen' festival can be seen. Towards the end of the 19th century, different commemorative coinages were often issued for the same rifle festival on important occasions. These wonderfully designed contemporary witnesses are still an expression of this sport and its patriotic ideas. With this publication, a new standard work is presented to the reader interested in numismatics. Lot weight: 4 lbs 9oz. Subject(s): Swiss Coinage, Medals.

  Workman Sale 6 Lot 349 Latin American Medals & Orders Workman Sale 6 Lot 394 Coinage and Paper Money of Honduras
Lots 349 and 394

Lot 349: Ross, Robert L. & Alan M. Stahl. FROM A THANKFUL NATION. LATIN AMERICAN MEDALS & ORDERS IN THE ROBERT L. ROSS COLLECTION, PRINCETON UNIVERSITY. Princeton University Library, Prineton. 2014. 4to. xxvii, (1), 706, (2) pages. Original pictorial card covers. Color medal photos throughout. English text. Fine. This book is a catalog of the Latin American medals and orders in the Robert L. Ross Collection. Countries represented in the collection are Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, and Venezuela. Lot weight: 4 lbs 15oz. Subject(s): Spanish American Medals.

Lot 394: Stickney, Brian R. & Alcedo F. Almanzar. THE COINAGE AND PAPER MONEY OF HONDURAS. Almanzar's Coins of the World, San Antonio. 1981. 12mo. 62 pages. Original printed card covers. Signed by the author. b&w coin and currency photos throughout. English text. rubbing along spine. Very Good. This book is a guide to the gold, silver and copper coins and the paper money of Honduras. The book is organized by numismatic history before 1879, numismatic history 1879-1919, gold coinage, colonial coinage, State of Honduras coinage, Provisional issues, Republic coinage, Lempira system, Patterns and proofs, Medals, tokens, counterstamps and oddities and Paper money. Each coin/note listed has a catalog number, mintage and pricing in three or four grades. Lot weight: 0 lbs 4oz. Subject(s): Honduran Coinage, Paper Money.

To go to the sale, see:
Selections from A Latin American Numismatic Library and other Consignments Sale 6 (

To visit the website:

To read the complete catalog, see:

Shevlin E-Sylum ad 2023-03-26 So-Called Dollars Vol 1


The Künker eLive Premium Auction 399 is dedicated to the Alois Wenninger Library. Here is the press release followed by a number of selected lots. -Editor

Auction 399
00_00_Katalogtitel_A4.indd This is already the second time for a library of the outstanding coin dealer Alois Wenninger to be on sale. He sold his first library at the end of his career. It is hard to believe that he assembled this impressive specialist library, which will be on sale at Künker's eLive Premium Auction 399, in a single decade.

Alois Wenninger is an internationally renowned specialist for ancient coinage. As the long-term leader of the numismatic department of the Aufhäuser bank, he made a name for himself with his discoveries in research history. At the Aufhäuser bank, coins of Themistocles from cities ceded to him by the Persian ruler were first offered with accurate descriptions. Moreover, in the spring of 1991, Wenninger discovered a coin from the Roman Emperor Proculus, whose existence had been doubted previously, when offering a collection for sale. Today, the State Coin Collection in Munich is the proud owner of the piece.

In 2011, the Hauck & Aufhäuser bank spun off its numismatic department due to a strategic repositioning, but the department continues to operate to this date in its former premises as the newly founded and independent company Künker Numismatik AG. Alois Wenninger retired, but he did not abandon his passion for numismatics. His newly assembled specialist library testifies to his commitment.

It mainly contains all major works on ancient numismatics, but those interested in modern times and / or medals will also discover fascinating literature. Particularly attractive are the series of festschriften and magazines.

  Kuenker 399 Lot 6003 Biographical Dictionary of Medallists

Lot 6003: FORRER, L. Biographical Dictionary of Medallists. Coin-, Gem-, and Seal-Engravers, Mint-Masters, &c. Ancient and Modern. With References to their Works B.C. 500- A.D. 1900. Nachdruck London/Maastricht o. J. der Bände I-VIII, London 1904-1930.

  Kuenker 399 Lot 6006 Nomenclator Kuenker 399 Lot 6016 Mitchner Oriental Coins and their Values
Lots 6006 and 6016

Lot 6006: IUNIUS, H. (latinisiert für: DE JONGHE, A.).

De re numaria, in: Nomenclator, omnium rerum propia nomina, septem diversis linguis explicata indicans; Multo quam antea emendiator ac locupletior; omnibus literaturae Studiosis necessarius: Auctore Hadriano Iunio Medico, cum indice locupletissimo. Frankfurt/Main (Drucker: Egnolph Emmel, auf Kosten der Witwe von Jonas Rosa) 1620

Lot 6016: MITCHINER, M.

Oriental Coins and their Values. The Ancient & Classical World 600 B.C.-A.D. 650. London 1978.

  Kuenker 399 Lot 6050 Silver Coins of Samos Kuenker 399 Lot 6066 Neokoroi. Greek Cities and Roman Emperors
Lots 6050 and 6066

Lot 6050: BARRON, J.P.

The Silver Coins of Samos. London 1966. XII, 242 S., 32 Tfn. Orig.-Ganzleineneinband.

Lot 6066: BURRELL, B.

Neokoroi. Greek Cities and Roman Emperors. (Cincinnati Classical Studies New Series Volume IX) Leiden/Boston 2004.

  Kuenker 399 Lot 6070 Cahn Naxos Kuenker 399 Lot 6089 The coinage of Deultum
Lots 6070 and 6089

Lot 6070: CAHN, H.A.

Die Münzen der sizilischen Stadt Naxos. Ein Beitrag zur Kunstgeschichte des griechischen Westens. (Basler Studien zur Kunstgeschichte 2) Basel 1944. 168 S., 12 Tfn. Halbledereinband, wohl des letzten Viertels des 20. Jahrhunderts, mit goldgeprägtem Rücken, die Deckel außen bezogen mit gedrucktem mehrfarbigem Stein-/Wellenmarmorpapier.

Lot 6089: DRAGANOV, D.

The coinage of Deultum. Sofia 2007. 475 S., inklusive 136 Tfn. Orig.-laminierter Pappband.

  Kuenker 399 Lot 6098 Coins, Artists and Tyrants. Syracuse Kuenker 399 Lot 6205 Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus
Lots 6098 and 6205


Coins, Artists and Tyrants. Syracuse in the Time of the Pelopponesian War, ... with selected passages from L. O. Tudeer, Die Tetradrachmenprägung von Syrakus in der Periode der signierenden Künstler, translated by Orla Mulholland, and a biographical sketch about Tudeer by Tuukka Talvio. (The American Numismatic Society, Numismatic Studies, No. 33) New York 2017.

Lot 6205: PRICE, M.J.

The Coinage in the Name of Alexander the Great and Philip Arrhidaeus. A British Museum Catalogue. 2 Bände, Zürich/London 1991. S. 1-514 ; (anknüpfend an die Paginierung von Band 1:) S. 515-637, 159 Tfn. Orig.-Ganzleineneinbände. (2)

  Kuenker 399 Lot 6725 REVUE NUMISMATIQUE
Lot 6725


Schöne, einheitlich eingebundene, fast lückenlose Folge der Jahrgänge 1907-1956 (hier lediglich fehlend: der Jahrgang 1940) und 1958-1995. Beinhaltend: Serie 4, Band 12-39 (1907-1936); Serie 5 (1937-1956; hier fehlend: Band 4, 1940); Serie 6 (1958-1995) sowie die in einem Band vereinten Register der Jahrgänge 1838-195, Paris 1908; 1906-1915, Paris 1919; 1916-1956, Paris 1957. Dunkelgraue Ganzleineneinbände, wohl des letzten Drittels des 20. Jahrhunderts, mit je 2 goldgeprägten Rückenschildern aus rot eingefärbtem Leder. (42)

To order a catalog contact Künker, Nobbenburger Straße 4a, 49076 Osnabrück; phone: +49 541 / 962020; fax: +49 541 / 9620222; or via e-mail: You can access the auction catalogs online at If you want to submit your bid from your computer at home, please remember to register for this service in good time.

Guth E-Sylum ad03 Expert Provenance Research

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Whitman has released a new edition of the Dave Bowers book on Lincoln Cents. Here's the announcement. -Editor

GB-Lincoln-Cents-4th-edition_cover Whitman Publishing has released an expanded and revised fourth edition of its best-selling Guide Book of Lincoln Cents. It continues in the popular tradition of the Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars and other Bowers Series numismatic guides, which number more than two dozen volumes. The 328-page full-color book is available online (including at and from booksellers nationwide.

The new edition includes a thorough market analysis for each date and mintmark of Lincoln cent produced through 2023, with pricing in up to nine circulated and Mint State grades, plus Proofs. It features hundreds of photographs, and insight on U.S. Mint designers and sculptors, error coins, patterns, proposed Bicentennial designs, and more.

Appendices explore the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee's review of the 2010 Union Shield reverse, a snapshot of the Lincoln cent market in 1946, and how to get a new die variety listed in collector publications such as the Red Book. An illustrated appendix on Abraham Lincoln tokens and medals, by the late Fred L. Reed, shows the president's broader influence on American numismatics.

Generations of coin collectors have grown up with the Lincoln cent, first minted in 1909 and today the nation's longest-running coin series. Author Q. David Bowers, America's most widely published numismatic writer, provides a detailed study of this classic coin, including history, grading, market values, and more. Each Lincoln cent is illustrated in full color, with high-resolution enlargements for important doubled dies and other varieties. Mintages, specifications, and retail values in multiple grades (including Brown, Red/Brown, and Red Mint State) add to the book's reference value. More than 750 photographs illustrate the text.

In the book's preface Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker calls the coins an evergreen series. Many active hobbyists collect Lincoln cents, he writes. So do people who don't consider themselves numismatists, but enjoy saving interesting coins. Among other currently circulating coinage only Washington quarters—specifically, the 1999 to 2008 State quarters—have matched their broad popularity.

On the technical and production side, A Guide Book of Lincoln Cents covers die preparation, the coining process, distribution, design modifications, Proofs, mintmarks, and other specialized topics. An appendix by professional numismatist Fred Weinberg discusses errors and misstruck cents.

On the market side, the book explains how to specialize in Lincoln cents, and gives advice on determining authenticity, analyzing color and strike, being a smart buyer, realities of the marketplace, comparative rarities, Full Details, certification, establishing fair market prices, and more.

The late David W. Lange, Director of Research for Numismatic Guaranty Corporation, wrote the fourth edition's foreword. No one captures the appeal of collecting coins like Bowers, he said. To read A Guide Book of Lincoln Cents is to learn this series in depth and to fully appreciate the changing face of the Lincoln cent over more than a century.

Professional coin dealer Fred Weinberg:

Fascinating reading—Bowers has done an excellent job of putting all of the early minting information in one book, and is to be congratulated for the concise, interesting, yet easy-to-understand information that will be eagerly read by collectors of all coins.

A Guide Book of Lincoln Cents, 4th edition
ISBN 0794849970
328 pages, full color
By Q. David Bowers; foreword by David W. Lange
$24.95 retail

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  Workman E-Sylum ad06 2023-09-17 sale 6


The new edition of Coins of Canada is now available. -Editor

2024 Coins of Canada – 42nd Edition
by J.A. Haxby & R.C. Willey

2024 Coins of Canada The 42ND edition of The Coins of Canada is a complete, one-volume library of Canadian coins, tokens and paper money, including major varieties.


  • Complete Canadian decimal coinage
  • Pre-Confederation Provincial issues
  • All Canadian Mint silver and gold collector's issues
  • Canadian colonial tokens
  • Dominion of Canada banknotes 1867-1935
  • Bank of Canada paper money 1935 to date
  • Latest retail market values by grade
  • Detailed mintage figures and statistics
  • Much historical background and pertinent information
  • Condition Grading Guides for Canadian coins
  • Includes a glossary of numismatic terms

For more information, or to order, see:

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Ad Lansen and P. Plomp have published a new book on the monetary documents of the Netherlands Trading Society. -Editor

Netherlands Trading Society book In this issue an overview of these cash orders and bank notes with extensive background information and provided with illustrations in color. A most complete, fascinating missing piece of monetary history of the Netherlands Trading Society.

This book, annex catalog depicts the intriguing monetary history of the Netherlands Trading Society from 1888 to 1946. It is a unique publication that for the first time provides the most complete overview of the Dutch East Indies cash orders issued by them and the banknotes issued by the Shanghai agency.

  • Size: A4
  • 141 pages full colour
  • In Dutch and English

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  Netherlands Trading Society book sample page 1 Netherlands Trading Society book sample page 2

Ad Lansen Ad Lansen has been an avid collector of coins and paper money since 1957, his main interest being the Dutch East Indies. His interest is not only in collecting objects but espe-cially in the numismatic and historical history that goes with it. As a result, in the past decades, numerous publications, lectures and books about his collecting area: VOC, plantation tokens and paper money Sumatra. And now a joint publication on the NHM.

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Patrick Plomp Patrick Plomp is a passionate paper money collector since 1979. During his extensive research for his cata-logues 'Nederlands Papiergeld 1573-2002' with all the paper money from the Netherlands from the 80-year War onwards in 2015 and his 'Catalogue Paper money of the Netherlands - Part 2' which also includes all the former overseas parts of the Kingdom in 2020, he discovered previously unpublished information from the NHM. This gave rise to the idea to jointly compile a book annex catalogue on these monetary documents.

How to order:

Via mail: or

Via mailing address:

A.J. Lansen,
Haanderik 94,
3401 ET IJsselstein,

Via website:

Price: € 32,50 excluding shipping

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Pam West has published a new 10th edition of her book English Paper Money. -Editor

English Paper Money 10th edition book cover ENGLISH PAPER MONEY 10th Edition Including Polymer - Essential guide for every collector of Bank of England banknotes 1694 to date - Up to date information on all grades and values - Treasury notes from 1914 to 1928 - White £5 to £1000 - Branch rarity. The indispensable award winning Price Guide for English Paper Money.

Within the book, Jennifer Adam, curator of the Bank of England Museum has written an article: The design and production of Bank of England notes, 1694 to 1928.

416 full colour pages with price guide and a new addition of research on all the white branch notes recorded in private hands.

PRICE: £25.00 plus postage

  20 pounds error note

Here's some background from the book's Preface. GCHQ is the U.K. counterpart of the U.S. National Security Agency. -Editor

I would like to thank Vincent Duggleby for, once again, trusting us with his original work. There have been some exciting finds since EPM 9th edition. Some establishments asked for Specimens of the then, new Bailey £20 B405. None had been ordered as specimens had ceased being supplied by De La Rue for the Bank. The last known to have been issued was B393s £5 Lowther. The Bank pulled some LL prefix £20's from issued stock and overprinted ‘SPECIMEN' in house. When first offered for sale they were believed to have been created fraudulently, but were eventually confirmed by the Bank to be genuine.

The issue of the £50 polymer was promoted heavily by the Bank with a series of twelve problem solving puzzles, put together by GCHQ for the public to seek the answers, perhaps, the most engaging aspect of a banknote ever issued by the Bank of England. Research into the new polymer £20 banknotes featuring Turner ascertained that the Bank of England had allowed for two types of polymer substrate to be used. Interestingly, at the point of going to press no BE prefix has been issued on any modern banknote. Polymer banknote collecting has become a collecting area in its own right, ensuring that our Bank of England banknotes are collected Internationally.

Whilst in the process of preparing this edition, we were about to de-list the £500 Peppiatt London as being ‘none in private hands', however, a regional auction house put one up for sale, which is understood to have come from the Hoare Banking family.

  B208bb Bristol 5

Due to the diligent ongoing research by Peter we can now state estimates of recorded issued Branch white banknotes in private hands detailing scarcity. Many major English collections have been auctioned since the last edition: Brian Ascroft, Laurie Butters, Drs. J and E Dauer, Lou Manzi, Mark Ray and Tony Simms, thus providing a further rich source for pricing.

  1  B358 extra paper pair

With the sad passing of Queen Elizabeth II, we can look forward to the issuance of King Charles III polymer banknotes. The Bank will continue with the current series and we expect the banknotes to be issued early 2024. It is likely that all denominations will come out either all at once, or close to each other and I suspect that the first prefix for each denomination will be AA01. Logically, the Bank will put the low serials up for auction, raising funds for their chosen charities. Although rumours abound about the demise of cash, we hope, as collectors that banknotes continue to out survive us.

For more information, or to order, see:

DWN E-Sylum ad07 Dahlonega book


Princeton University Press has published a book by Anne L. Murphy on the Bank of England in the 18th century. -Editor

Virtuous Bankers book cover Virtuous Bankers: A Day in the Life of the Eighteenth-Century Bank of England
Anne L. Murphy

An intimate account of the eighteenth-century Bank of England that shows how a private institution became a great engine of state

The eighteenth-century Bank of England was an institution that operated for the benefit of its shareholders—and yet came to be considered, as Adam Smith described it, a great engine of state. In Virtuous Bankers, Anne Murphy explores how this private organization became the guardian of the public credit upon which Britain's economic and geopolitical power was based. Drawing on the voluminous and detailed minute books of a Committee of Inspection that examined the Bank's workings in 1783–84, Murphy frames her account as a day in the life of the Bank of England, looking at a day's worth of banking activities that ranged from the issuing of bank notes to the management of public funds.

Murphy discusses the bank as a domestic environment, a working environment, and a space to be protected against theft, fire, and revolt. She offers new insights into the skills of the Bank's clerks and the ways in which their work was organized, and she positions the Bank as part of the physical and cultural landscape of the City: an aggressive property developer, a vulnerable institution seeking to secure its buildings, and an enterprise necessarily accessible to the public. She considers the aesthetics of its headquarters—one of London's finest buildings—and the messages of creditworthiness embedded in that architecture and in the very visible actions of the Bank's clerks. Murphy's uniquely intimate account shows how the eighteenth-century Bank was able to deliver a set of services that were essential to the state and commanded the confidence of the public.

Anne L. Murphy is professor of history and executive dean of the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of Portsmouth. Before joining academia, she worked for twelve years in the City of London trading interest rate and foreign exchange derivatives. She is the author of The Origins of the English Financial Markets.

Extremely well-written and engaging. Rarely does one read an account of an historical institution that is this compelling. Murphy's descriptions are so vivid that one leaves the book feeling almost like one has actually visited the eighteenth-century Bank oneself.—Carl Wennerlind, Barnard College, Columbia University

Anne Murphy draws on a unique cache of documents to provide an unusually detailed glimpse into the day-to-day functioning of the Bank of England from its cleaners and clerks to its directors. This thoroughly engaging volume enriches our understanding of both social and financial history of the eighteenth century."—Catherine Schenk, University of Oxford

Price: $35.00/£30.00
ISBN: 9780691194745
Published: May 9, 2023
Copyright: 2023
Pages: 288
Size: 6.13 x 9.25 in.

For more information, or to order, see:
Virtuous Bankers: A Day in the Life of the Eighteenth-Century Bank of England (

WBNA E-Sylum ad 2023-11-03 Sale 51


CDN Publishing has acquired Whitman Publishing - here's the announcement. From left: John Feigenbaum, Charles Anderson, and Mary Burleson, with a presentation copy of the 1947 Guide Book of United States Coins—the original Red Book edition—by R.S. Yeoman. -Editor

  CDN Publishing Acquires Whitman Publishing From Anderson Press,
Plans Digital Expansion and Other Innovations

Whitman-CDN-Publishing_John-Feigenbaum_Charles-Anderson_Mary-Burleson_2023-10-31_copyrighted_web CDN Publishing, LLC, the prominent numismatic data company that publishes the wholesale-pricing Greysheet and other resources, is pleased to announce it has acquired Whitman Publishing, the leading firm in numismatic book-publishing. Included in the acquisition are storied Whitman brands including H.E. Harris & Co. (stamps), Cowens (supplies), and the Whitman Coin and Collectibles Expo. The deal was inked at Anderson Press headquarters in Florence, Alabama, on October 31, 2023. Management and staffing of both companies will remain in place, with main offices in Alabama and Virginia.

The acquisition is expected to bring fast growth to Whitman's expansion in the digital arena. The combined companies will deliver even more data-driven resources to coin and paper-money collectors, dealers, and researchers.

CDN has established the Monthly Greysheet and CDN Exchange as the industry standards in wholesale pricing and dealer-to-dealer buying, bidding, and selling rare coins and currency, said president and CEO John Feigenbaum. Since 2015 we've expanded our business in monthly and quarterly publications and other print and online resources. As we continue to grow, it makes perfect sense to move into the world of numismatic book-publishing and there's no company in that field that compares to Whitman.

Whitman Publishing president Mary Burleson said, Anderson Press has nurtured and grown Whitman since 2003, building on the Official Red Book brand and creating hundreds of new books and products with leading authors and experts. We're proud of the growth our team has encouraged in the collecting community. Now Whitman is in good hands with CDN Publishing, and we foresee continuing to thrive and innovate.

CDN Publishing, previously branded as Coin Dealer Newsletter, has published Greysheet coin pricing continuously since 1963. Today its products cover colonial, U.S. federal, and world numismatics with print and digital access.

Whitman Publishing is the world's leading producer of numismatic reference books and supplies to display and store coins and paper money. Whitman is the Official Supplier of the congressionally chartered American Numismatic Association.

Feigenbaum and Burleson and their associates will be available to answer questions at the Winter 2023 Whitman Baltimore Coin and Collectibles Expo in November.

Great news of a great match. Many thanks to Anderson Press for its deft stewardship of an iconic brand, and identifying a worthy successor to take the business to the next level. These transitions can go horribly wrong when those outside of the numismatic hobby and business get involved.

The acquisition seems like a great match - CDN and Whitman are both longstanding, quality brands born in and dedicated to the numismatic hobby and business. Congratulations to all involved, and best of luck going forward. -Editor

To visit the company websites, see:

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The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is a set of images of founder Eric Newman's Mercantile Money Museum in St. Louis. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

  Women in the Money exhibit case from the Mercantile Money Museum
Women in the Money exhibit case from the Mercantile Money Museum

Mercantile Money Museum (1981-1996)

Recently digitized by Newman Portal are a set of color transparencies from the Mercantile Money Museum, which operated in downtown St. Louis at the Mercantile Bank from 1981 to 1996 under the direction of Eric P. Newman. The Mercantile Money Museum was closed in 1996 and revived in 2006 as the Newman Money Museum, which then operated in the Kemper Art building at Washington University from 2006-2018. Prior to closure of the Newman Money Museum, an extensive series of videos documented the Money Museum and individual cases for posterity.

What did other museums, such as the Chase Manhattan Bank Money Museum, or Money Museum at the National Bank of Detroit look like? What was included in these important collections? In many cases, documentary evidence is scattered. Today's technologies enable better answers for future historians, with the American Numismatic Association's Virtual Museum being a good case study of what is now possible.

  Mercantile Museum brochure
Mercantile Museum brochure

The links are well worth following. The slide set shows a number of great numismatic exhibit items, including a coin press and this view of the numismatic library. -Editor

  1981 mercantile money musem numismatic library
Eric Newman in the Mercantile Money Museum Library

Link to Mercantile Money Museum slide set on Newman Portal:

Link to Mercantile Money Museum archives on Newman Portal:

Link to Newman Money Museum videos:

Link to ANA Virtual Museum exhibits


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 2017 with Jay Chamberlain speaking about Mexican silver pesos on behalf of Dr. Bart Bartanowicz. -Editor

  Mexican silver pesos

Mexican Silver Peso Coins title card Dr. Bartanowicz has presented several different options over the years for the collector working on a budget. This time he?ll focus on the beautiful Mexican peso series from 1920-1945. Find out why this expert believes this series is a tremendous opportunity! Speaker: Bart Bartanowicz. Running time: 23:32.

  1914 UN Peso

The "Kill Huerta" is an interesting item I wasn't familiar with. -Editor

To watch the complete video, see: Mexican Silver Peso Coins

Hayden E-Sylum ad 2023-11-03 Auction 50


Greg Bennick's latest interview for the Newman Numismatic Portal is with token expert David Schenkman. Here's the first of six parts, where Dave discusses getting started as a collector and dealer. -Editor

Greg Bennick: Hi everybody, this is Greg Bennick with the Newman Numismatic Portal. I've been doing a series of interviews with numismatists, collectors and dealers from around the world, and this is yet another installment in that series. And I'm really excited today because today with me, I have David Schenkman. We're going to be talking about tokens and medals, we're going to be talking about his extensive numismatic history, and I'm really excited for this interview. So David, thank you so much for being here today.

David Schenkman: It's my pleasure.

Greg Bennick: Well, I wanted to dive right in just with some origins. And I think that my intention with interviewing you is going to take a couple of different paths. One is the basic path, meaning for folks who maybe haven't encountered tokens and medals and other things you've specialized in. And then the other path will be for more of the specialists, like we'll talk about some specific pieces and some more details about those avenues that you've explored, but let's start with your origins. What was your origin story in terms of coins and tokens and collecting? How did that all come about?

David Schenkman David Schenkman: I started collecting stamps at a very early age. When I was nine years old, my mother gave me a box of Indian head pennies that she'd had since she was a girl, and immediately I liked them better than I did stamps. They were tangible items that could actually be spent. I never did. So I became interested in those, and then shortly after that, one of my aunts who lived in Colorado sent me a silver dollar, a Morgan dollar. That was really meaningful to me, so that was my introduction. And it wasn't long before I got one of the blue books and then a Red Book. I think my first Red Book was not until about 1955, but I started looking at them and started collecting.

Greg Bennick: You know, it's interesting. I actually started with a blue book and a Red Book as well. And for those unfamiliar with the blue book, the blue book was wholesale pricing for coins in the United States. The Red Book, of course, was retail pricing. And I remember taking my blue book and going to see some coin dealers and sort of criticizing them as a ten year old saying that their coins were overpriced because I was reading wholesale pricing out of the blue book rather than retail out of the Red Book. I don't know if you had a similar experience or if you were using yours a little more wisely than I was using mine.

David Schenkman: I just remembered that it gave me a guideline as to what potentially was out there.

Greg Bennick: Ultimately, that's what the Red Book did, I think for a lot of people, was just let people know what was there and if there was a Red Book variety that was listed and all of a sudden made that a valid coin to pursue and to attempt to collect. So, when you started with coins, I'm assuming probably late forties, early fifties, and you got these first pieces and that silver dollar, then what happened to make tokens come about in your field of vision, as it were?

David Schenkman: Well that was a lot later. By the time I was probably 15 years old, I was collecting fairly seriously coins. As a matter of fact, the man that lived across the street from me introduced me to antique cars and I helped him build them. I learned about them, but he was the manager of a bank and he let me come up and back then you could look at bags of silver dollars if they had them. And when I was 15 years old, I found a 1903-O, which means very little to people today because a big hoard of them came out when the government released silver dollars. But it was very rare then and I sold it for enough money to buy my first car when I was 15. And so, I was buying coins rather seriously by the time I was out of high school.

And when I was 17, I joined the Navy, much to the dismay of my parents who wanted me to go to Juilliard or someplace like that. I put all my coins in my dad's safe deposit box, and when I got out, I got them back out and they had gone up a lot. I had a lot of coins that had gone up, things like I had rolls of 1931 pennies uncirculated. I had some 55 double dies that I had bought for very little money back then. So, I started selling coins part time.

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:
David Schenkman Interview (

To read the complete transcript, see:
David Schenkman Interview (Transcript) (

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Last week I asked, "Oh, and who can spot the chronogram in this issue?" Dave Schenkman was the first to respond, correctly identifying the 1755 Augsburg medal in the Atlas Numismatics article. Bingo! -Editor

  Augsburg Medal by Loos

  Augsburg Religious Peace Medal

1076053 | GERMAN STATES. Augsburg. 1755 AR Medal. PCGS SP63. By G. F. Loos. 14.69mm. 37.7gm. Allegorical figure of Religion steering a boat and holding open a book and flag with ChiRho; a dove of peace to left and city fortifications to right / Legend on seven-lines; date below. Whiting 506; Erlanger 2215; Plato 180.

1907 double eagle_1 Ron Dayton writes:

"My guess for the chronogram in this issue is the Roman numeral 1907 $20 St. Gauden's gold coin photo."

Good guess because of the Roman numerals, but a chronogram is a little more involved.

But first, a digression about the lightning-fast spread of AI-generated content online. Looking for a decent definition to reference, I found a page at But instead of a clear, authoritative answer I found a bizarre, incomplete computer-generated page that perhaps I was the first human to actually set eyes on. A disclaimer reads "These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'chronogram.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors."

I appreciate the disclaimer, and understand what they're doing. And it probably does have some incremental value-add for the world, particularly in keeping up with rapidly-changing language and terminology from offbeat communities and specialties (such as numismatics, I guess). But not what I'd expect from a mainstream publisher. Software really is eating the world.

Far, far, light-years better was the definition found on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For all the pooh-poohing of the quality of the crowdsourced site in its earlier days, it has actually proven quite resilient and despite fears, is reasonably free of misinformation. The human-edited platform pretty effectively polices the zealots and nut cases, leading to content that most interested parties can, at least grudgingly, agree on. Here's an excerpt. -Editor

A chronogram is a sentence or inscription in which specific letters, interpreted as numerals (such as Roman numerals), stand for a particular date when rearranged. The word, meaning "time writing", derives from the Greek words chronos (χρόνος "time") and gramma (γράμμα, "letter"). In the pure chronogram, each word contains a numeral; the natural chronogram shows all numerals in the correct numerical order, e.g. AMORE MATVRITAS = MMVI = 2006.

To read the complete article, see:
chronogram noun (

Pete Smith writes:

"I was working on the chronogram puzzle this week and was late for Monday coffee with my condominium group.

The chronogram is on the German States Augsburg medal of 1755. There are seven lines on the reverse:

    CVLI = 156
    CDI = 601
    CILII = 153
    CVDVIC = 711
    XVII = 17
    XVCI = 116
    I = 1

    MDCCLV (shortened form) = 1755"

Ken Spindler of San Diego writes:

"This medal bears a chronogram - DDCCCCCCLLXXVVVVVIIIIIIIIII - not necessarily in that order, which adds up to 1,755. Year of medal 1755."

Thanks, everyone! I would encourage a reader to contribute to Wikipedia a section on chronograms in numismatics. The most thorough treatment I recall is in volume one of one of my favorite numismatic books, Tempus In Nummis - The History and Fundamentals of Dating in Numismatics by James Sweeney and Robert Turfboer. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
ATLAS NUMISMATICS SELECTIONS: OCTOBER 29, 2023 : Augsburg Medal by Loos (
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: OCTOBER 29, 2023 : Saint-Gaudens' Study Head of Hettie Anderson (


JOSHUA McMORROW-HERNANDEZ has written A Guide Book of American Silver Eagles, volume 27 in Whitman Publishing's Bowers Series. It's a history-packed reference for both investors and collectors of the popular bullion series. Foreword by Q. David Bowers. 384 pages. Order your copy online at , or call 1-800-546-2995.


Last week Barry Tatum asked if anything was known about the denominations of the money found in the pockets of John Jacob Astor, who died on the Titanic. Pete Smith submitted this great response. Thank you! The image is from an earlier article about other cash recovered from the shipwreck. -Editor

  What was in Astor's Pocket?

Cash Salvaged from Titanic There are a couple of references that list the personal effects found with the body of John Jacob Astor including Encyclopedia Titanica. As each of the recovered bodies was examined, there was an inventory made of the personal effects. Astor was number 124 out of 330 bodies listed.

Gold watch, cuff links gold and diamond, diamond ring with three stones, £225 in English notes, $2440 in notes, £5 in gold, 7s. in silver; 5 ten franc pieces, and gold pencil; and pocket book.

The value of the notes is given but not the denominations. If not recorded here, it is likely the denominations were not recorded.

  John Jacob Astor Inventory.01

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: OCTOBER 29, 2023 : Query: The Astor Cash Stash (

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On Missing Birth Certificates
Harry Salyards writes:

Ard W. Browning Headstone.01 "Just a cautionary note, with regard to no birth certificate having been found for Ard Browning (neé Bolenbaugh)--The legal requirement for birth (and death) certificates was imposed state by state, over a period of many decades. I don't know what the situation was in Illinois, but I do know that my late mother-in-law, who was born in Kentucky in 1905, had no birth certificate--a fact which caused her considerable grief when she first applied for a passport. I also know that death certificates were not yet required in Nebraska when my great grandmother died in 1901, because I have looked in vain for such a record."

Good point. Unfortunate, but true. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

On the Value of Union and Confederate Currency

Last month Heidi Dehn asked for reference data on the value of currency in the Union and Confederacy for a story she is writing set in December of 1864 in Texas. -Editor

1865 wagon journey cost Economist JP Koning writes:

"None of the papers I am familiar with had that specific data. But I did find this page, which may help out: ."

Thank you. Worth bookmarking. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: OCTOBER 15, 2023 : On the Value of Union and Confederate Currency (

The Banknote Settlement Process
Joe Polito writes:

"I have a question that is somewhat related to my enjoyment of this article: 1838 PROPOSED NATIONAL CURRENCY NOTE

"I was thinking about the very confusing element of reserves, settlement balances, CBDC etc. I assume that before there was a national currency, and many banks had their own banknotes, their must have been a settlement process. The banks would need to keep track of their notes, they would need to be exchanges of notes. There might even have been an exchange rate given the different quality of different banks.

"Has your fine website ever done a post, or edition exploring that dynamic?

"Thanks and keep up the great work!"

Thanks for your note - great question. Indeed, such settlements are a key part of the banking business, and still are as more and more transactions are done electronically. The industry has long established common clearinghouses to handle these settlements among multiple institutions. Here's one definition from the Encyclopaedia Britannica. -Editor

Bank clearinghouses are generally voluntary associations of local banks set up for the purpose of simplifying and facilitating the exchange of such items as checks, drafts, bills, and notes, as well as settling balances among banks. They also may serve as a medium for discussion and group action on matters of mutual interest, such as fixing service charges, exchanging credit information, gathering credit data, and regulating advertising.

The first modern bank clearinghouse was established in London in 1773, although the clearinghouse idea had been applied to various forms of trade in such places as Tokyo, Florence, and Lyon many centuries earlier. The first bank clearinghouse in the United States was established in New York in 1853.

To read the complete article, see:
clearinghouse (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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Adrián González-Salinas writes:

"Last 12 September 2023 I gave a lecture on Miniature Numismatic Literature at the monthly meeting of the Numismatic Society of Monterrey (Mexico). My starting point was the ANS article "Small Wonders: Miniature and Pocket-Sized Numismatic Literature".

"In Mexico, the smallest numismatic book I have been able to locate is Neil S. Utberg's "The Coins of Estados Unidos Mexicanos 1905-1965" from 1965 [24 pages, 7.6 x 10.9 cms (82.84 square cms)]."

According to the Miniature Book Society, a miniature book in the United States is usually considered to be one which is no more than three inches in height, width, or thickness. Some aficionados collect slightly larger books while others specialize in even smaller sizes. Outside of the United States, books up to four inches (about 10 cm) are often considered miniature. Although the miniaturization of literature dates back to ca. 2000 BC in the form of a Babylonian tablet, the process was especially popular in the Middle Ages in Europe for prayer books to be easily carried and concealed from prying eyes. Examples of nearly all genres of literature can be found in miniature form today. The ANS Library contains 7 books that are no larger than four inches and can thus be considered miniature (by international standards). There are a larger number of pocket-sized examples of numismatic literature, which were still rather portable to the user. This exhibit will display some of those examples while exploring the novelty and practicality of such a small size. Because of their small size, such small items are often kept in the rare book room for added security.

To read the complete ANS article, see:
Small Wonders: Miniature and Pocket-Sized Numismatic Literature (

Adrián passed along parts of his presentation, including a nice quote from an earlier E-Sylum issue. Thank you! Interesting topic. -Editor

  Miniature - 1
  Miniature - 2
  Miniature - 3
  Miniature - 4
  Miniature - 5
  Miniature - 6

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

TCNC 2023-11 Extravaganza II Sale cover


Carol Bastable submitted these notes on an interesting recent purchase. Thanks! -Editor

  WWII Australian soldier coin and cowrie  trench art

I found this on eBay complete with written text and I thought that bibliophiles might be the right group to share it with. It is a fairly ordinary WWII coin bracelet along with a cowrie shell necklace, but what is interesting is the backer board that these items are stitched onto.

The coin bracelet was made in Lae New Guinea by a soldier. The soldier explains that he got the coins for payday but could not spend them, so he played with them to create the bracelet. I am not certain if his not being able to spend the coins was because he could not spend Australian coins in New Guinea and he would have to wait until a leave to Australia or if there was nowhere to shop nearby. Also of note, is that the bracelet's catch and the links between the coins were probably made from coins. I just purchased this and will have to wait until it arrives to fully inspect it. However, jeweler supplies were not a thing that one would find on the front, so soldiers were inventive.

About Lae: Lae had an airstrip and cargo port prior to WWII so it was a strategic foothold and Japan occupied it from March 1942 until September 1943 when it fell to the allies. Lae just also happens to be the last airstrip that Amelia Airhart flew from before her disappearance at sea in 1937.

The cowrie shells were made on Morotai Island. Morotai is rugged and forested. The Japanese held it from early 1942 until surrender in September 1945. One Japanese holdout soldier was found on the island as late as 1974. While cowrie shells are not as interesting for a numismatic trench art collector, they perhaps might be interesting to a primitive money collector where shells were at one time used as money.

The star player without a doubt is the board that the jewelry is affixed on. The text gives tangible information behind the making of these items. So often there is a disconnect between the items we collect and their specific history. I have heard it said, if coins could only talk. For regular coin collectors that would mean what hands they passed through and what they might have been used to purchase but for the coin arts collectors, usually all information on why a coin was crafted into something else is generally lost. This hand penned board answers those questions for us.

For bibliophiles, text is of utmost importance. While that usually means a published book, this is special as the text is hand formed. It is certainly not a manuscript, but it is worthy to be included in a reference book. I also like that it is not written on a typewriter or by pencil. With close examination, irregularities can be detected in the ink with dark and light areas. I expect this was written with a nib, probably a fountain pen rather than pen and ink. While the ballpoint pen was being developed and refined during WWII, it was not available in stores in this country until October 1945. This also contributes to the nostalgia of this item, marking a very specific and important time period.

To read the complete lot description, see:


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

Organic Coating. A painted surface. Medallic items can be painted to give color to their surface, but this is a less satisfactory finish than other types of patina finishes, as say, a chemical patina. A painted medallic surface has a tendency to wear through, or chip, or break away, particularly on the high points of a medallic item. A 20th century example is the Fairmont Park Art Association Medal of Honor, 1937, which has a black paint finish. The Iron Cross decoration of Germany in lower grades is painted black. The Theodore Roosevelt Plaque (illustrating the entry quotation) has a brown organic coating. Anyone who has played with toy soldiers quickly learns the effect of paint on metal; the coated paint easily chips off exposing the bare metal underneath. All such organic coatings applied to metal are thus susceptible to chipping away their color coatings. See also colorize.

Images were part of Dick's ultimate plan, but were not added. While I would ordinarily look for an image to include here, not knowing which particular Roosevelt plaque he had in mind, I'm at a loss. Can anyone suggest a Roosevelt plaque (or other numismatic item) with a brown organic coating? -Editor

To read the complete entry on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see:
Organic Coating (

  Stacks-Bowers E-Sylum ad 2023-10-15 Whitman Expo


E-Sylum Feature Writer and American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on David Lawrence Feigenbaum and his numismatic publishing and business legacy. Thanks! -Editor

  David Lawrence Feigenbaum (1941-2002)

David Feigenbaum.01 David was born in New York City on August 4, 1941, the son of Philip Feigenbaum and Madeline Goodfriend. He graduated from Cornell University with a degree in mechanical engineering. He received an M.S. and Ph.D. in oceanography from the University of Miami. In 1963, he was married to Lynn Friedhoff. They had a son, John, and a daughter.

He was a high school teacher prior to 1980. Then he was on the faculty at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, after 1980.

Feignbaum established David Lawrence Rare Coins (DLRC) in 1979 with a specialty in Barber coinage. In 1989 he was one of the co-founders of the Barber Coin Collectors Society.

He died of ALS on May 25, 2002.

  Company Changes

David Lawrence Rare Coins was established by David Feigenbaum in 1979. Initially he worked at it part time while teaching at Old Dominion.

John Feigenbaum became president and owner of David Lawrence Rare Coins in 1991. In 2015, Feigenbaum sold DLRC to John Brush and Dell Loy Hansen.

  David Lawrence, Author and Publisher

  Lawrence Complete-Guide-to-Barber-Dimes Lawrence Barber Halves

DLRC Press began book publication in 1989 with The Complete Guide series.

  • Comprehensive Catalogue & Encyclopedia of Morgan & Peace Dollars by Leroy Van Allen
  • The Complete Guide to Barber Dimes by David Lawrence (1991)
  • The Complete Guide to Barber Halves by David Lawrence (1991)
  • The Complete Guide to Barber Quarters by David Lawrence (1989)
  • The Complete Guide to Buffalo Nickels by David W. Lange (1992)
  • The Complete Guide to Certified Barber Coinage by David and John Feigenbaum (1999)
  • The Complete Guide to Franklin Half Dollars by Rick Tomaska (2002)
  • The Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Dimes by Brian Greer (1992)
  • The Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Half Dimes by Al Blythe (1992)
  • The Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Half Dollars by Bill Bugert and Randy Wiley (1993)
  • The Complete Guide to Mercury Dimes by David W. Lange (1993)
  • The Complete Guide to Shield and Liberty Head Nickels by Gloria Peters and Cynthia Mohan (1995)
  • The Complete Guide to Walking Liberty Half Dollars by Bruce Fox (1993)
  • The Complete Guide to Washington Quarters by John Feigenbaum (1994)
  • Tales from the Bourse by David Lawrence Feigenbaum (2001)

  Lange  Mercury Dimes Bugert Liberty Seated Half Dollars


Greg Bennick's latest interview for the Newman Numismatic Portal is with longtime dealer Ron Gillio. Here's the fifth and final part, where Ron discusses working for Stack's Bowers and his favorite coin, the 1894 S-Dime. -Editor

Greg Bennick: Pretty interesting. I like that. Now, tell me, you mentioned earlier working for a couple of times, working for Stacks Bowers. Can you tell me how you got connected to Stacks Bowers and what that experience has been like?

Ron Gillio RON GILLIO: Well, Stacks Bowers, I mean, what happened was, as I mentioned earlier also, I sold the Long Beach Coin Show to David Hall in 2005. At the same period of time, I was doing a lot of business with Greg Roberts, who's the CEO of Stacks Bowers and who started The Spectrum Group, which is still part of Stacks Bowers. And I've been friends with him for 35 years, and we were doing a lot of business. And he just said to me, so you sold the Long Beach Coin Show, you got time on your hands, why don't you become a consultant for us? And you can do what you do, go to Europe, buy, and sell coins, and you'll just be doing it for Stacks Bowers, so on and so forth. So that was 16 years ago now. It all started by he wanted to maybe get something started in the Orient. So, we planned a trip. He hired me, I think in March, there was the Tokyo International Coin Show every May time period. So that was my first venture out. We got a table at the Tokyo show and he went there with a couple of other employees and myself from Stacks Bowers and got things rolling.

Greg Bennick: Fantastic. And I'm assuming you worked and were connected to Dave Bowers as well. I was just curious what it was like to work with Dave. I've had very, very little interaction with him over the years, so I'm just always curious to ask.

RON GILLIO: Oh, yeah. Naturally, I worked with Dave before my time with Stacks Bowers, but during the Stacks Bowers time, I've worked with Dave. Of course, we're on two different sides of the United States, but he was very instrumental. Dave Bowers was very instrumental. And my second edition, this is just before I joined Stacks Bowers, second edition of my California Fractional gold book, get me to do that. And I think it was 2002, 2003. So, he was very helpful with that. And there were many other things that I've done in my career, but I didn't really work hand in hand with him because I'm in California and he's in New Hampshire.

Greg Bennick: Now, you mentioned the Fractional gold book a couple times and I completely would have forgotten to ask you about it. Tell us more about the Fractional gold book. I think that's important as well, obviously.

RON GILLIO: Yeah, it's important. Actually, I will say that we're working on the Stacks Bowers, we're working on the third edition. The person - how the second edition happened is it was at an ANA show and Dave Bowers brings over Bob Leonard and says, you got to meet Bob Leonard, he can help you do the second edition. And Bob Leonard was instrumental in doing a lot of the work, research and getting that second edition done. And I met Bob at the Pittsburgh ANA and he's agreed to also spearhead doing the third edition, which Stacks Bowers will publish sometime probably next year. And how that got started is I collected California fractional gold mostly during my time in the 60s and 70s going to San Francisco. And in San Francisco, I wouldn't only go to coin dealers, I'd go to bookstores, I'd go to I'd go to antique stores, I'd go to pawn stores and I'd have these, especially the pawn dealers for some reason in San Francisco in those days would get coins, but they'd get California fractional coins. So, a period of time, and I was buying them for $10, $15, $18 apiece in the 70s and the 80s. And so, I was very interested in the California fractional gold. And I thought there should be a book on it. And then Paul Copenhaver sold me his collection of California fractional gold. And then he also told me he's going to get Kenny Lee's collection of fractional gold. So, I said, Let's do something. So, he gave it to me. I got it on consignment. At the time, I had Pacific Coast Auction Galleries in 1980-82. And we were going to do an auction on Kenny Lee's collection of California fractional gold. During that time, Walter Breen would come down to the store. I had a little office in the back that Walter would work at cataloging coins. So, I hired Walter to catalog the Kenny Lee collection. And then all of a sudden, the heirs didn't want to sell the collection and one thing and another. To make a long story short, I won't go into the whole story, but I ended up buying the collection and selling the collection intact. And we said, well, what are we going to do with this manuscript that Walter's worked, you know, for a long time? Let's do a book. Well, it was actually Walter's idea. It was both of our idea. So, we did the California fractional gold book at the time. I think it was ‘82 or ‘83. And so originally it started out as going to be an auction catalog and made it into the reference book.

Greg Bennick: Great. That's actually a great story. I love hearing that. I love hearing that. Now, this last summer you received a pretty significant award, the PNG Award. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

RON GILLIO: Yes, it was very nice of the PNG to agree to present it. They presented it to me at the ANA at the Stacks Bowers table. I couldn't make the, how it happened was, is I sent an email to Tina at the PNG saying, I'm going to be at the ANA this summer. And this was the beginning of the year. And I've been a member of 50 years, do I get a plaque? She wrote me back and told me that we don't, that they don't do presentations or a banquet at the ANA anymore. They do it at the Central States. I said, Well, I can't make it to Central States. They said, Well, we'll mail you your plaque. I said, After being the president, the vice president, the treasurer, the secretary, and being on the board for 17 years and being a supporter of the organization, I think that I would like to get it actually handed to me by the executive director. So, she said, Let me find out. So, then I had talked to, and she had contacted John Feigenbaum, the new executive director of the PNG, and he agreed. He said it'd be his pleasure to present it to me at the ANA convention in Pittsburgh, along with Kevin Lipton, the other person who presented it to me, who's an old, longtime friend, coin dealer friend that I've known since he was 16 now. Of course, he's very successful and much older like I am. We all get older, but it was exciting to get the plaque after, I mean, I still believe the PNG is a very important organization and will continue to be, and with John spearheading, and not that Bob didn't do a good job, but John's got, John took over the Coin Dealer Newsletter, and he just brought it to another level, and he'll do the same thing, in my opinion, with the PNG. And it was just exciting to get it and have it, and Stacks Bowers was very cooperative, and I received it at the table, and I put it on display there, and they made little signs for me, so it was great. Yeah, it was very exciting to get it after being a member and being involved in the PNG. And how I got into the PNG is another interesting story, because I talked to Harry Jones at the Pittsburgh ANA. Harry Jones, I noticed, was also got his 50-year plaque, so at the ANA, I talked to him, and he says, yeah, they just mailed it to him, and he says, You know, in 1973, when we joined, it was very difficult to get in. I said, I remember, I said, I remember, I think I got in, I mean, because of my credentials and always, you know, being an upright person, but also my sponsors were Bob Johnson of San Francisco and Abe Kosoff, so that probably helped somewhat too, but it was good to see Harry Jones. I haven't seen him in a while. He's told me he was 88. I couldn't believe he was 88. I told him that I hope I look like he does when I'm 88, but he's doing good, but it was an exciting event for me, and I appreciate them doing it there.

Greg Bennick: I'm really glad for that, and I'm glad that they didn't just mail it to you, because your experience was very different than if you had just opened your front door and there was an award resting on your doorstep, so I'm really glad that you got to experience the full experience.

RON GILLIO: Yeah, so am I. Thank you very much, Greg.

Greg Bennick: Absolutely, absolutely. So, you know, I had mentioned, just, you know, obviously we've mentioned quite a bit throughout your career and your history, and I just wanted to ask just one more question that just came to mind, which was, do you have favorite coins that you've handled throughout the course of your career? Any specific coins that come to mind that were just wow coins for you, I mean, you got to handle something historic and important, or a wow coin, just something you always, you know, coveted, or wanted, or liked, or just simply enjoyed when it came across your desk. Are there any coins that come to mind that you've handled over the years that you find memorable?

RON GILLIO: Well, yes. My favorite coin, is coins struck at the San Francisco Mint. I just had a love for San Francisco Mint coins all my career, and back in the 80s, I wanted to own an 1894 S-Dime. So, the coin dealer I was dealing with in Oakland, Gary Young, who was Leo Young's son, had his father, Leo Young's 1894 S-Dime. I tried to buy it from him, and I couldn't buy it from him, and it ended up in an auction, one of the Fossby auctions in the 80s, and I bought that 1894 S-Dime, you know, because it had such a fantastic history, and especially owning the one that Leo Young, because I knew Leo very well, and we did a lot of business, and I owned it. I owned it for two or three years, and couldn't afford to keep it, and then I sold it, but that was one of the coins. And then recently, I sold a 1913 nickel, which I always wanted to handle for a customer, and I didn't buy it and sell it. I just was an intermediary, but I got to handle it. So, I've handled a lot of rare coins. I've handled the several 1794 dollars uncirculated condition, and just various coins over the years, but I think my favorite coin was the 1894 S-Dime.

Greg Bennick: That's wonderful. I like hearing that. That's fantastic. Thanks for sharing that. Well, those are the questions that I had for you. Is there anything that I missed? Is there anything we didn't cover from your history? You know, I want to make sure that we cover anything that you want to share. Is there anything that we didn't cover today that people would like to hear about?

RON GILLIO: I think we covered pretty much everything that we talked about, and we covered every aspect of my career. There's a lot of little, you know, more stories that are interesting, but I think that the basics and the most important things we've covered. I mean, like I said, I had a lot of interesting experiences with a lot of the old-time dealers, and we've shared those together, and I think that's really pretty much about it.

Greg Bennick: Good. Well, I'm glad. And for those watching, as Ron and I continue to talk and see one another at coin shows, if more stories come up, we can definitely do a part two anytime. That's very easy to do, especially now that my laptop is working again. We can definitely do a part two anytime, but if people are interested in seeing more of the interviews and the series of interviewsthat I'm doing, you can search my name. And of course, there's an interview page on the Newman Numismatic Portal, so you can find out more about the interviews and learn more about other people from the coin hobby there. And if you have ideas about other people, you'd like me to interview, feel free to email me anytime, I'd be happy to consider that. And Ron, thank you so much for your time today. It's been amazing talking to you. I really appreciate it.

RON GILLIO: It's been an amazing time for me, and going through some of my history, it brings back great memories. I'm glad to share them and help people enjoy them, and it's easy to get a hold of me if somebody has some questions of me. Just look up Gillio and you'll find me, and I'll be glad to talk to you. But it was fun doing this, and thanks very much.

Greg Bennick: Thank you.

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 Gillio Interview (

To read the complete transcript, see:
Ron Gillio Interview (Transcript) (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

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Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens, whom numismatists know as the designer of iconic U.S. coins and medals, was primarily known for statues and sculptural work found all over major cities. But did you know about his two nine-foot tall portraits near a ghost town in rural Wyoming? On the side of a freakin' pyramid? Me neither. Wikipedia tells the tale... -Editor

Ames_Monument The Ames Monument is a large pyramid in Albany County, Wyoming, designed by Henry Hobson Richardson and dedicated to brothers Oakes Ames and Oliver Ames Jr., Union Pacific Railroad financiers. It marked the highest point on the first transcontinental railroad, at 8,247 feet (2,514 m).

The town of Sherman rose up around it, but then Union Pacific moved its tracks to the south, leaving Sherman to become a ghost town.

The Ames Monument is located about 20 miles (32 km) east of Laramie, Wyoming, on a wind-blown, treeless summit south of Interstate 80 at the Vedauwoo exit. The monument is a four-sided, random ashlar pyramid, 60 feet (18 m) square at the base and 60 feet (18 m) high, constructed of light-colored native granite. The pyramid features an interior passage, now sealed, alongside the perimeter of the structure's base.

Noted American architect H. H. Richardson designed the pyramid, which includes two 9 feet (2.7 m) tall bas-relief portraits of the Ames brothers by sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens on the east and west sides of the pyramid's top. Saint-Gaudens chiseled the bas-reliefs from Quincy, Massachusetts, granite.[5] The north side, which at one time faced the railroad tracks, displays one-foot-high letters grouted in the granite noting: "In Memory of Oakes Ames and Oliver Ames". The monument is one of a half-dozen or more projects that Richardson did for the Ames family.

  saint-Gaudens Ames relief 1 SWY000010_3b.jpg
From the Smithsonian Art Inventories Catalog

The audacity of building a transcontinental railroad in the 1860s was "today's equivalent of the mission to Mars: Big, expensive and impossible," wrote University of Wyoming historian Phil Roberts. President Abraham Lincoln reportedly told Oakes Ames that if he could get the transcontinental railroad built, he would be "the most remembered man of the century."

However, in 1873 charges of financial fraud were leveled at Oakes, tarnishing his reputation and that of the Union Pacific Railroad Company's.

In 1875, the Union Pacific Railroad board of directors voted to erect the grand Ames Monument, in part to burnish the company's tarnished reputation.

Union Pacific donated the railroad monument to the state of Wyoming in 1983. The structure is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and is maintained as a Wyoming state historic site. Time and possible vandalism have destroyed some of the features of the bas-relief portraits of the Ames brothers on the monument. The Ames Monument is open year-round, weather permitting.

Work took place in 2010 and 2011 to restore the monument. On October 31, 2016, the site received National Historic Landmark status. The designation was made in recognition of the unique collaboration between Richardson and Saint-Gaudens, two of the era's leading creative figures.

Are there better images of the works anywhere? Those were the best I could find online.

See the complete articles linked below for much more of the interesting history of this monument. Thanks to historian Annette Laing for her Non-Boring History blog article, "The Great Pyramid of Grifters," where I first learned of this. A much more colorful read.


  Ames_Monument today
The Ames Monument. Image: Annette Laing, 2023

To read the complete Wikipedia article, see:
Ames Monument (

See also:
The Great Pyramid of Grifters (
Ames Monument, (sculpture).
Ames Monument State Historic Site (

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The earliest known photograph taken in the U.S. has a connection to numismatics. We've discussed this before, and a new article from Philadelphia highlights the pioneering photography of U.S. Mint engineer Joseph Saxton. The historic artifact is in the collection of the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. -Editor

  Joseph Saxton's 1839 daguerreotype

The photo was taken in 1839 by Joseph Saxton, an engineer and watchmaker with an inventing process with ties to Philadelphia.

Among his inventions include a device for measuring ship velocity, another for measuring water in a steam boiler, a prototype for the foundation pen, and a tide gauge believed to be the first device to register an earthquake.

While working for the U.S. Mint in Philadelphia, Saxton took a cigar box and glass lens in his office and created an early version of a camera.

That image is widely considered the oldest surviving photo in the United States.

To read the complete article, see:
Philadelphia is Home to the Oldest Photo Still in Existence (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:


Jeremy Bostwick with Numismagram sent along these four medals (and a chalice with medal) from his most recent upload of new material to his site. For all of the new items, please visit -Editor

  Treaty of Hubertusburg medal

102394 | UNITED STATES & GERMANY. Colonial America and Preußen (Prussia) silver Medal. Issued 1763. The Treaty of Hubertusburg and the end of the Seven Years' War (French and Indian War in America) (44mm, 21.94 g, 12h). By J. L. Oexlein. IAM REDIRE AVDET (now she dares to return...), Germania standing facing, head right, holding scepter and grain ear; mountains and plowman in background; in two lines in exergue, GERMANIA / PACATA (...with Germany being at peace) // NVNCIA PACIS (the messenger of Peace), view of the Hubertusburg Palace; above, Fama (Rumor) flying right, blowing in one trumpet and holding another; D 15 FEBR MDCCLXIII in exergue. Edge: Plain. Betts 446; Pax in Nummis 595; Olding 931; Henckel 1658. PCGS AU-58. Lightly toned and highly brilliant; a great overall example of the type. Compare to an NGC AU-58 that realized a total of $504 in Heritage's March 2023 World Medals and Tokens Showcase Auction #61312, lot 22180 (and for which its current owner now wants at least $756), and a PCGS SP-61 (severely hairlined as well) that realized a total of $1,320 in the Stack's Bowers February 2022 CCO Auction, lot 73771. $565.

Sometimes referred to as 'World War Zero,' given its scale overall number of belligerent powers, the Seven Years' War began primarily with Austria's desire to recover Silesia from the Kingdom of Prussia. Since Great Britain had been aiming to increase her colonial possessions in the New World at the expense of France, the strife in the American theater began to merge with that in Europe, resulting in a legitimate global conflict, with every major European power taking the side of either Great Britain/Prussia or France/Austria. In addition to North America and Europe, skirmishes also played out in Central America, the western coast of Africa, India, and the Philippines. Ultimately, a peace was achieved through the Treaty of Paris, formally ending all conflicts save for the Silesian question; the Treaty of Hubertusburg, signed five days later, ended the issue between Prussia and Austria, formally ending the war.

Hubertusburg Palace was begun in 1721 at the behest of August II ‘the Strong,' the Elector of Sachsen (Saxony) and King of Poland, and completed just three years later in 1724. The naming for the new palace emanated from the fact that August commissioned its construction on 3 November during the feast of St. Hubertus. What was originally a baroque castle—one of the largest in Europe at the time—was rebuilt in the decades following August's death by his son and successor, August III—this time in rococo fashion. Used a great deal as a hunting lodge, the palace was left virtually unoccupied at the outbreak of the Seven Years' War in 1756. Upon the conclusion of the war in that theater, a peace treaty was ratified there, though furniture from nearby venues needed to be retrieved in order to furnish the mostly empty palace, as it had been wholly plundered during the war. Shortly thereafter, its use as a leisure residence was over, as it served as a military hospital during the Napoleonic Wars and a penitentiary during the second half of the 19th century.

To read the complete item description, see:
102394 | UNITED STATES & GERMANY. Colonial America and Prussia silver Medal. (

  The Zeppelin and its Uses Medal

102326 | GERMANY. Ferdinand Adolf Heinrich August Graf von Zeppelin silver Medal. Issued 1914. The use of the Zeppelin during warfare (33mm, 14.61 g, 12h). By Mayer & Wilhelm in Stuttgart. GRAF FERD V ZEPPELIN, bust facing slightly right // UNSER ZEPPELIN IN TÄTIGKEIT IM FELDZUG 1914, airship flying right, bombing various fortifications below. Edge: 950 SILBER. Zetzmann 4010 var. (plain edge); Hans Kaiser 406.1; Bernd Kaiser IV 16a; Bernd Kaiser V 716a. PCGS SP-64. Pleasingly frosted devices, with a good deal of prooflike brilliance in the fields; some enchanting toning is in the peripheries. Surpassed in the PCGS census by just a single example. $495.

Zeppelin was a German general and aircraft manufacturer, who later founded the airship company Luftschiffbau Zeppelin. During World War I, many of his airships were utilized in scouting missions and bombing campaigns, most notably in Britain where their bombings killed over 500 citizens.

To read the complete item description, see:
102326 | GERMANY. The Zeppelin and its Uses silver Medal. (

  Sinking of the Lusitania Medal

101965 | UNITED STATES & FRANCE. Sinking of the Lusitania Bronze Medal. Issued circa 1920. The Sinking of the RMS Lusitania (54mm, 72.20 g, 12h). By R. Baudichon in Paris. VLTRIX AMERICA JVRIS (America, the defender of the just) / 1917 USA 1918, upper part of the Statue of Liberty rising from the Atlantic Ocean, holding sword in place of torch // LVSITANIA MAY 7 1915, stern of the Lusitania above the ocean, in the process of sinking; capsized lifeboat in foreground; above, vignette containing a drowning child. Edge: «cornucopia» BRONZE. Jones, Dance of Death, 27; The Art of Devastation, p. 310, 99. Choice Mint State. Tan-brown surfaces, with a delightful matte nature; some minor spotting is noted on the reverse. A powerful and historically interesting piece relating to America's build up to World War I. Compare to similar examples that realized totals of $780 (in Stack's Bowers April 2020 World CCO) and, more recently, $960 (in Stack's Bowers December 2021 Tokens & Medals CCO). $645.

Not long after the German warning against sea travel into her 'war zone' declared upon Great Britain, a popular liner—the RMS Lusitania—was torpedoed 11 miles off the coast of Ireland, where over 60% of her passengers, some of whom were American, were killed. Serving as a rallying cry against the German Empire, this action solidified the U.S. involvement in World War I.

To read the complete item description, see:
101965 | UNITED STATES & FRANCE. Sinking of the "Lusitania" Bronze Medal. (

  Göteborg Tercentenary Exhibition Medal

102578 | SWEDEN. Göteborg Tercentenary Anniversary Exhibition bronze Medal. Issued 1923. Commemorating the expo and the 300th anniversary of the city's founding (56mm, 80.95 g, 12h). By C. Milles for Sporrong & Co. JVBILEVMS VT STÄLLNINGEN GÖTEBORG, coat-of-arms of Göteborg (stylized lion rampant right, holding sword and shield; crown above) // Four gods (Minerva/Athena, Vulcan/Hephaistos, Mercury/Hermes, and Neptune/Poseidon advancing left, torsos and heads facing, and each holding attributes: book, gear, caduceus, and trident, respectively; in exergue, dolphin left. Edge: C C SPORRONG & Co. MKD 99 (type IIIa). Mintage: 1,800. Mint State. Olive-brown surfaces; great relief and texture. $175.

Known for figurative sculptures and large-scale fountains, Carl Milles was one of Sweden's most prominent artists. In addition to his other media, Milles also designed a number of medals capturing his sculpted, very modern style. On this medal, his distinctive style comes through clearly. Of note, the city of Göteborg celebrated its 400th anniversary this year, being exactly 100 years since this tercentenary medal was issued.

To read the complete item description, see:
102578 | SWEDEN. Göteborg Tercentenary Anniversary Exhibition bronze Medal. (

Swedish Kennel Club Chalice 102577 | SWEDEN. Swedish Kennel Club silver award Chalice. Engraved and awarded to J. P. Åhlén as an honorary prize on 29 May 1916 (150mm [height], 133.61 g). By W. A. Bolen (silversmith) & A. Lindberg (medalist). Lindberg's rendition for the club's medal affixed to the front of an elaborate chalice, adorned with splays of oak leaves near the base and at the bottom of the upper bowl; inscription in six lines in script on the back: "Till J. P. Åhlén som / Hederspris i uppfödareklass / för Knekt, Tia, Spej II och Tosca / vid Svenska Kennelklubbens / jubileumsutställning / 19–29/5–26." (presented to J. P. Åhlén as an honorary prize in the breeder's class for the dogs "Knekt", "Tia", "Spej II" and "Tosca" at the Swedish Kennel Club's anniversary show). Base: W. A. BOLIN «crowned head» «three crowns» «S» «Z7». Extremely Fine. Deeply toned, with a great carnival glass nature to the iridescence. Highly impressive and an extremely rare prize. $295.

It is quite likely that the J. P. Åhlén to whom this chalice was awarded is the same Johan Petter Åhlén who founded Åhléns, a chain of Swedish department stores. In addition to his business exploits, he was an accomplished curler, even winning a silver medal at the 1924 Winter Olympics in Chamonix, France.

To read the complete item description, see:
102577 | SWEDEN. Swedish Kennel Club silver award Chalice. (

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Here's the announcement for the upcoming Sovereign Rarities Auction 11. -Editor

Sovereign Rarities concludes their auction offerings for 2023 with a superb and varied sale. The sale will be published online for bidding on 7th November and the lots will begin close on 16th November at 10am. The auction contains some important pieces and collections, including an interesting group of Iranian gold of Reza Shah, in the form of both coins and commemorative medals. Also on offer is a superb collection of Chinese, Nepalese and Tibetan coins, which will be located at the end of the catalogue in its own section.

  Sovereign Rarities Sale 11 Lot 008
Lot 8
  Sovereign Rarities Sale 11 Lot 015
Lot 15
  Sovereign Rarities Sale 11 Lot 016
Lot 16
  Sovereign Rarities Sale 11 Lot 017
Lot 17

The auction commences with a good group of ancient coins, including a gold Aureus of Hadrian, which is graded by NGC as Very Fine (lot 8 estimate £5,000-8,000), and some silver denarii from the Republic period through to the Severan Dynasty. In the hammered British coins section, there are three silver pennies of particular note. One of which is an Alfred the Great London mint penny (c.880-899), which boasts an impressive provenance including the Thomas Bliss Collection of 1916 and the Spink Circular of 1927 (lot 15, est. £17,000-20,000). Following this, the auction features two silver pennies of Stephen, both of which are pleasing examples of rare coins (lots 16 & 17 ests. £2,000-2,500 and £1,500-2,000 respectively). The milled British section coins a good selection of various sovereigns from George IV to Elizabeth II, as well as a George IV silver crown dated 1821 which is certified by NGC as Mint State 62 (lot 24 est. £1,900-2,000). Further sovereigns can be found in the world section for the mint marks in Canada, Australia and South Africa.

  Sovereign Rarities Sale 11 Lot 024
Lot 24

The Modern section of the catalogue features a near complete date run of gold proof Five Pounds from 1980 to 2017, all of which are graded by NGC or PCGS as Proof 70. Also featured are two examples of coins issued to celebrate the centenary of the Entente Cordiale, and the coins feature Britannia and her French counterpart, Marianne. One example is the piedfort reverse proof platinum Five Pounds, which is scarce, with an issue limit of just 501 coins. It is graded by NGC as Reverse Proof 70 (lot 41 est. £2,700-3,000), and it is the single highest graded example. Also on offer is the gold proof Five Pounds issue, also graded Proof 70 by NGC, which had an issue limit of just 926 (lot 42 £2,000-2,200). As we approach 2024, the Entente Cordiale will celebrate its 120th Anniversary, making these coins particularly relevant.

  Sovereign Rarities Sale 11 Lot 041
Lot 41
  Sovereign Rarities Sale 11 Lot 042
Lot 42

Interestingly, on offer in the World section is a date run of gold proof $200 Australian coins, issued as part of the Pride of Australia Collection, with the coins designed to showcase the unique animals of Australia (lots 105-111 ests. £400-460 per lot). Another showcase of a country's talents is found in the Monnaie De Paris Haute Couture issues, commemorating the Iconic French fashion houses of Jean-Paul Gaultier and Dior (lots 124-126).

  Sovereign Rarities Sale 11 Lot 126
Lot 126

The aforementioned Iranian section features some impressive 10-Pahlavi pieces which weigh a significant 81.36 grammes each. The items in the collection date from the era of Muhammad Reza Pahlavi Shah of 1941-1979, and it consists of both coins and medals (lots 138-173). From the United States, there is a good group of gold Twenty dollars, Ten dollars and Five dollars (from lot 187). The sale also offers a selection of British and World medals, including many issues in gold.

The medal section commences with a superb Accession of George I medal, which features the popular Leo constellation reverse. The medal depicts the constellation of Leo as George I became king in August, and so it represents him entering the kingdom of the British lion at the time of his Accession (lot 201 est. £2,000-2,500). The medal section also features gold medals issued for the coronation of George IV, Victoria, Edward VII, and George VI.

  Sovereign Rarities Sale 11 Lot 201
Lot 201

The sale concludes with a superb collection of coins from China, Nepal, and Tibet (lot 236-end). The group features many interesting issues, some of which are provenanced back to the George Blaine Collection, the Wayte Raymond Estate Sales by Bowers and Merena, and some back to the famous Kahn Collection Sales. The group of coins have been selected for their eye appeal and for their rarity, forming a very interesting group. One example from the collection is the excessively rare Nepalese silver Mohur, NS885 (1765) which is graded by NGC as MS62, and it is the single highest graded example across both NGC and PCGS (lot 283 est. £5,000-6,000). Also included is a Chinese silver Yuan, year 40 (1903), which is provenanced to the aforementioned Blaine Collection, which is another scarcity (lot 245 est. £5,800-6,200). In the Tibetan section, there is a superb gold 20 Srang, year 53 (1919) which features the popular snow-lion obverse, the coin is graded by NGC and has significant eye appeal and canary yellow surfaces (lot 263 est. £5,000-5,400).

  Sovereign Rarities Sale 11 Lot 283
Lot 283
  Sovereign Rarities Sale 11 Lot 263
Lot 263
  Sovereign Rarities Sale 11 Lot 245
Lot 245

The 2024 auction calendar will commence with Sovereign Rarities in February, which will be another interesting and varied auction.

For more information, see:

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Künker will hold five auction sales in November. Here's the press release detailing highlights of sale 398. -Editor

On 17 and 18 November, Künker will hold their eLive Premium Auctions 398 and 399. Auction 398 contains about 1100 lots with world coins and medals, focusing on the German states. Auction 399 is dedicated to the Alois Wenninger Library.

For one more time this year, Künker offers an opportunity to acquire high-quality and rare coins and medals from all over the world. In eLive Premium Auction 398, collectors once again have the chance to bid for coins with multiple portraits from the Westphalian private collection, a part of which already went under the hammer in the Fall Auction Sales. Künker's eLive Premium Auction 399 is dedicated to the Alois Wenninger Library. The well-known Munich coin dealer assembled an outstanding working library, especially regarding ancient coinage.

Auction 398 – World Issues and the Habsburg Empire
Almost 400 lots with world coins and medals including a large series of issues from the Habsburg hereditary lands will kick off the eLive Premium Auction 398, starting on Friday, 17 November 2023 at 10:00 a.m. CET at

It is worth taking a close look at the offer as it includes numerous interesting pieces. The price range goes from 50 euros, for example for a Saxon half reichstaler of 1592, up to 20,000 euros for an 1839 quadruple ducat from Sweden.

No. 4030: France. Philippe VI, 1328-1350. Double royal d'or n.d. (1340). Rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 7,500 euros

No. 4085: Great Britain. Oliver Cromwell, 1653-1658. Crown 1658. Very rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 4,000 euros

  04222a00 04222r00

No. 4222: Sweden. Charles XIV John, 1818-1844. 4 ducats 1839, Stockholm. Very rare, only 2000 specimens minted. About FDC. Estimate: 20,000 euros

  04284a00 04284r00

No. 4284: Habsburg hereditary lands – Austria. Maximilian I, 1490-1519. 1509 double representative guldiner, Hall, commemorating him accepting the title of emperor. Very rare. Very fine to extremely fine. Estimate: 4,000 euros

  04364a00 04364r00

No. 4364: Austria. Francis I, 1804-1835. 1816 gold medal of 11 ducats, commemorating the imperial visit to the Milan mint. Extremely rare. About FDC. Estimate: 5,000 euros

Auction 398 – German States and Germany after 1871
Of course, as is typical of Künker, the focal point is on the German states and Germany after 1871. At this point, we want to draw attention to a small series of Bavarian coins focusing on the rulers Maximilian III Joseph, Charles Theodore, Maximilian (I) IV Joseph and Ludwig I. Particularly impressive is a perfectly preserved threefold ducat of 1792 commemorating the vicariate of Max III Joseph. But also the various lines of Brandenburg, Hesse and Saxony have plenty of representatives in this sale.

This is followed by an attractive offer of coins from the German Empire, the Weimar Republic and the FRG.

  04429a00 04429r00

No. 4429: Bavaria. Charles Theodore, 1777-1799. 3 ducats 1792, Munich, on the vicariate. NGC MS63. Very rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 25,000 euros

  04503a00 04503r00

No. 4503: Brandenburg-Prussia. Frederick II, 1740-1786. 1777 medal commemorating the reconstruction of the shooting house in Breslau. Very rare. Extremely fine to FDC. Estimate: 4,000 euros

  04507a00 04507r00

No. 4507: Brandenburg-Prussia. Frederick William II, 1786-1797. Gold medal of 12 ducats 1796. Medal of honor of the Prussian dragoon regiment VI for Lieutenant General Philipp August Wilhelm von Werther (1729-1802). Extremely rare. Extremely fine. Estimate: 6,000 euros

  04612a00 04612r00

No. 4612: Hesse-Kassel. William IV the Wise, 1567-1592. Reichstaler 1592, Kassel, to mark his passing. Extremely rare. Very fine. Estimate: 20,000 euros

  04835a00 04835r00

No. 4835: Saxony. Frederick Augustus I, 1694-1733. Silver medal 1717 commemorating the 200th anniversary of the Reformation. Very rare. About FDC. Estimate: 3,000 euros

  05185a00 05185r00

No. 5185: FRG. 5 DM 1597 G. 100th birthday of Otto Hahn. Silver. Extremely rare. About FDC. Estimate: 10,000 euros

Due to the speculations of the Hunt brothers, the silver price per ounce jumped from $6.08 on 1 January 1979 to $49.45 on 18 January 1980. This meant that the silver commemorative coins for the 100th birthday of Otto Hahn, which had already been produced, turned into a loss-making deal. The Ministry of Finance called it quits and had the coins be melted down again. Then the coins were issued as base metal versions. A few pieces of the silver issue seem to have survived. As the national center for analysis for Germany's central bank announced, the coins were officially put into circulation via the diplomatic corps.

To order a catalog contact Künker, Nobbenburger Straße 4a, 49076 Osnabrück; phone: +49 541 / 962020; fax: +49 541 / 9620222; or via e-mail: You can access the auction catalogs online at If you want to submit your bid from your computer at home, please remember to register for this service in good time.

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

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Here's a selection of interesting or unusual items I came across in the marketplace this week. Tell us what you think of some of these. -Editor

Ostrogoths, Theoderic AV Solidus

Ostrogoths, Theoderic AV Solidus

Ostrogoths, Theoderic AV Solidus. In the name of Anastasius I. Rome, AD 493-518. D N ANASTASIVS P F AVG, pearl-diademed, helmeted and cuirassed bust facing slightly to right, holding spear and shield decorated with horseman and fallen enemy motif / VICTORIA AVGGG ?, Victory standing facing, head to left, holding long jewelled cross; star in right field, COMOB in exergue. Metlich 4; Ladich 31; Lacam pl. 58, 86; MEC 1, 13; BMC Vandals 62; NAC 25, 643; Roma XXVII, 828; Roma XXV, 1134; Roma XXIII, 1155 (hammer: 7,000 GBP). 4.42g, 20mm, 6h.

Mint State; some minor scratches on rev., highly lustrous. Extremely Rare; Arslan & Metlich cited the existence of only five specimens of this type.

From the Roma Numismatics Auction XXIX. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Ostrogoths, Theoderic AV Solidus. (

1658/7 Oliver Cromwell Silver Crown

Oliver Cromwell Silver Crown obverse Oliver Cromwell Silver Crown reverse

1658/7 Silver Crown Oliver Cromwell S# 3226 good EF

Obverse: Laureate bust of Cromwell to left, legend around

Obverse Legend: OLIVAR DG RP ANG SCO HIB & PRO. [Oliver, by the Grace of God, of the Republic of England Scotland Ireland etc, Protector]

Reverse: Ornate crowned shield quartered with the cross of St George, cross of St. Andrew and Irish harp; with the Protector's family arms, a lion rampant, at the centre.

Reverse Legend: PAX QVAERITVR BELLO 1658 [Peace is sought by war].

Diameter: 39.50mm | Weight: 29.65g | Purity: 92.50%

This is the largest coin struck for one of Britain's most important historical figures.

Oliver Cromwell is one of the most remarkable and controversial figures in British history - some historians describe him as nothing more than as a king-killer, Winston Churchill regarded him as a military dictator, while yet others celebrate him as a hero of liberty.Oliver Cromwell by Samuel Cooper

Cromwell rose to prominence during the British Civil War (1642 - 1651) - a military conflict over the way in which England was governed. Cromwell demonstrated his ability as an effective commander of men in the military and was quickly promoted from leading a single cavalry troop to being one of the principal commanders of the army that defeated the Royalist troops. Finally, Cromwell played a fundamental role in the defeat of the royalist forces in two decisive engagements - at the Battle of Naseby, and also at the Battle of Langport.

In the months and years that followed the end of the Civil War, Cromwell signed the death warrant for King Charles I; he dominated the short-lived "Commonwealth of England", and was finally sworn in as "Lord Protector of England" on December 16th, 1653.

This title meant that Cromwell was effectively England's head of state for life, he assumed all the powers and trappings such a position might endow.

From Andrew Crellin's Sterling & Currency website. See the complete item description for more historical background. -Editor

To read the complete item description, see:
1658/7 Silver Crown Oliver Cromwell S# 3226 Good EF (

1941 Walking Liberty Half

1941 Walking Liberty Half obverse 1941 Walking Liberty Half reverse

Gem 68 Walker with intense golden rim toning. Last trade non CAC @8813 and CAC @ 16,450. A lone 68+ sold for 50,400. None of the 3 are any nicer than this beauty.

A modern coin with an uncommon grade and nice eye appeal. From the website of Harry Laibstain Rare Coins. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1941 50C PCGS MS68 (

1936 Berwick PA Sesquicentennial Wooden Quarter

1936 Berwick PA Sesquicentennial Wooden Dime front
1936 Berwick PA Sesquicentennial Wooden Dime back

1936 Berwick PA Sesquicentennial Wooden Dime. A wooden nickel is a wooden token coin or flat note, usually issued by a merchant or bank as a promotion, sometimes redeemable for a specific item such as a drink. Scrip and tokens have often been issued locally in times of severe economic distress such as financial crises and the Civil War. During the Great Depression, after the failure of the Citizens Bank of Tenino in Tenino, Washington, the local Chamber of Commerce teamed up with the local newspaper to issue scrip equivalent to 25% of people's bank deposits that could be spent at local merchants. Blaine, Washington, soon did the same with both flat scrip and, in response to requests generated by news and word of mouth, coins that included a 5-cent piece. The Chicago World's Fair in 1933 issued wooden nickels as souvenirs, and the tradition of wooden nickels as tokens and souvenirs continues to the present day.

We've all been told not to take any wooden nickels. What about a wooden Quarter? [Yeah, the lot desciption says dime..] -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1936 Berwick PA Sesquicentennial Wooden Dime (

United States Numistamps

Numistamps 01 Small Cents

United States Numistamps Collection from the 1970's. Numistamps are 1,25" x 3/4" stamp shaped medals designed by noted coins enthusiast Mort Reed. The front of the medals are imprinted with the obverse and reverse of coins. Numistamps are manufactured by Art Medals and there are (65) in this binder collection. Note, many medals are detached from pages. The condition of medals are excellent.

I never acquired one of these for my numismatic ephemera collection. Interesting 1970s merchandising concept. This set is from an upcoming Dana J. Tharp sale. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
#123: United States Numistamps Collection (

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Howard Berlin passed along this article about a find of ancient coins off Sardinia's coast. Thanks. -Editor

sardinia coin find A diver who spotted something metallic not far from Sardinia's coast has led to the discovery of tens of thousands of ancient bronze coins.

Italy's culture ministry said Saturday that the diver alerted authorities, who sent divers assigned to an art protection squad along with others from the ministry's undersea archaeology department.

The coins dating from the first half of the fourth century were found in sea grass, not far from the northeast shore of the Mediterranean island. The ministry didn't say exactly when the first diver caught a glimpse of something metallic just off shore Sardinia, not far from the town of Arzachena.

Exactly how many coins have been retrieved hasn't been determined yet, as they are being sorted. A ministry statement estimated that there are at least about 30,000 and possibly as many as 50,000, given their collective weight.

The coins were mainly found in a wide area of sand between the underwater seagrass and the beach, the ministry said. Given the location and shape of the seabed, there could be remains of ship wreckage nearby, the ministry said.

To read the complete article, see:
Tens of thousands of ancient coins have been found off Sardinia. They may be spoils of a shipwreck (

Leon Saryan submitted this article with a different image of the find. Thanks. -Editor

  sardinia coin find2

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
Tens of thousands of ancient coins have been found off Sardinia. They may be spoils of a shipwreck (

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This Barnaby's Magazine article discusses the recent repatriation of coins to Greece. There's not much substance and no links, reference or actual photos. There's a byline, but with the advent of AI-written articles it's hard to tell anymore. -Editor

Tetradrachm of Athens An unusual online advertisement caught the eye of the authorities when it offered five Ancient Greek coins for sale for just 1,500 euros. These coins were identified, as part of careful checks aimed at combating illegal trafficking of archaeological finds, by the Carabinieri of the Cultural Heritage Protection Unit of Monza. The coins were later returned to the Greek Ambassador to Italy, Eleni Sourani, in a handover ceremony in Rome.

Their discovery has once again brought to light the widespread presence of illicit sales of historical artifacts online. It is a sad reality that looms over cultural heritage in the virtual market.

The coins (tetradrachms) date from the period between the 5th and 1st centuries BC and feature depictions of Athena, Zeus, Dionysus, Heracles and Alexander the Great. Their intricate details and rich symbolism reveal the politics, religion, art, commerce, and inter-regional economic dynamics of Ancient Greece.

This story highlights the importance of ensuring the legitimate provenance of ancient objects, especially when purchasing online. Enthusiasts and collectors should always rely on websites that operate with accredited and legal dealers and auction houses, in order to preserve the historical and cultural integrity of antiquities.

To read the complete article, see:
An Illegal Ad for Ancient Greek Coins Led to Their Recovery in Italy (

I did find another article that might picture the actual coins. -Editor

  Monete antica Grecia in vendita per 1500 euro sul web, restituite dai CC a Ambasciatore

To read the complete article, see:
Monza art cops recover Greek coins on sale on Web (

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We've been covering physical cryptocurrency for years. Stack's Bowers has held a number of sales, and Heritage is in the game, too. Andrew Crellin of Australia's Sterling & Currency published an article on the recent Heritage Otoh sale. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor

Heritage Otoh physical cryptocurrency sale An interesting auction catalogue landed on my desk a few weeks back - it was for "The OTOH Collection of Physical Cryptocurrency", a pioneering sale in the world of numismatics.

If you're anything like me, your brain may have gotten caught on a few of the words in that description - PHYSICAL CRYPTOCURRENCY!

Yes, if you didn't already know, physical cryptocurrency is not just a paradox, it is a real thing that exists in the world.

The "coins" in this auction were a series of Casascius tokens that had been purchased by a collector just after they were minted back in 2013.

The Casascius token was a project conceived by an American software engineer whereby tokens were embedded with a Bitcoin value - the digital access key is hidden beneath a hologram and remains intact for as long as the hologram remains unpeeled.

I remember seeing something about them in a numismatic periodical or blog when they were first publicized around 2011 - I thought: "Gee that's a pretty neat idea, I should get some of them." Sadly I didn't actually buy one (let alone some), and Bitcoin has of course blossomed in our consciousness ever since then. Keep in mind that the highest price for Bitcoin in 2011 was $31 (dollars, not tens of thousands of dollars!), so it was an expensive oversight.

The appeal of the project lives on however, so when I saw the catalogue for the Otoh Collection, I jumped online and bookmarked a few lots. It's a delicious irony that I was so busy this past week appraising a large collection (of physical coins) we're looking to acquire that I missed the cutoff for the auction, so missed out on buying one again!

Reviewing the prices realised for the sale is an interesting exercise.

Andrew states the situation very clearly. Hindsight is 20/20 and now all of us wish we'd ordered a few mint rolls of these babies back in the day. Today's bitcoin price is near $35,000. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
Up for Sale - The Paradox of Physical Cryptocurrency (


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Stack's Bowers Director of Consignments and Numismatics James McCartney published a timely article about physical bitcoins and cryptocurrency. -Editor

  SBG Crypto

In this article and others in upcoming blogs, I will be focusing on the emerging numismatic category of Physical Bitcoin and Cryptocurrency. Included will be observations and updates aimed at spreading awareness and creating discussion around these innovative collectibles. We have seen a growing collector interest in this category over the past two years and are very excited to see what is in store over the next two years and beyond.

We are just about two weeks away from the first of two physical crypto sessions in our November 2023 Showcase Auction. This event celebrates a full decade since the end of production for the Casascius series in 2013. New bidders in our November sale can also request a complimentary copy of the standard reference for the category, the Encyclopedia of Physical Bitcoins and Crypto-Currencies by Elias Ahonen—while supplies last.

We have several rarities from the final 2013 Casascius issue in the sale including two varieties of silver 1 Bitcoin as well as many additional offerings from earlier in the series. In last week's U.S. Coin Blog, we discussed the significance of the Series 1 2011 Casascius 1 Bitcoin, of which we are featuring two in our upcoming November sale. Only after publishing did we notice a parallel to another iconic first-year type—the 1907 High Relief Saint-Gaudens double eagle.

Excluding the Ultra High Relief patterns, the 1907 High Relief $20 is considered to be the practical prototype for the Saint-Gaudens $20 issue. Much like the 2011 Casascius 1 Bitcoin, modifications were later made to the High Relief format to make it more practical for circulation, but the first incarnation remains the most highly prized by collectors. The two issues also exhibit a similar attrition ratio. The 1907 $20 boasts a mintage of 12,367 coins and only about 10,000 surviving, versus just over 6,000 struck for the Series 1 2011 1 Bitcoin and only about 4,000 loaded examples remaining. While traditional numismatics and physical crypto may initially seem like disparate categories, many parallels and commonalities are easily uncovered.

Stepping back from the physicals category for a moment, it is also prudent to mention recent growth in the digital Bitcoin currency itself. Leading up to last year's November sale, Bitcoin was trading at roughly $17,000. It now sits at just around $34,000 and is joined by a strong gold price nearing $2,000 per ounce. With several Bitcoin ETFs currently under consideration by the Securities and Exchange Commission, there are indications of wider acceptance for Bitcoin among traditional investors which could have positive implications on the collectible physicals category, as well. It will be interesting to reflect on this a year from now leading up to our November 2024 sale!

To read the complete articles, see:

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Fascinating history behind these two rare, issued CIA medals. -Editor

  Richard C. Spicer CIA medals obverse


Ultra rare set of Agency otherwise known as the CIA Central Intelligence Agency Non Portable Awards to include 1) Cased Exceptional Service Medallion For the death resulting from service in an area of hazard. This medal is named to the reverse Richard C. Spicer and dated 1985. Edge of the medal is engraved MACO-NY. FINE SILVER-.999+ 2) Cased Intelligence Star For a voluntary act or acts of courage performed under hazardous conditions or for outstanding achievements or services rendered with distinction under conditions of grave risk.

  Richard C. Spicer CIA medals reverse

Medal is engraved to the reverse Richard C. Spicer and dated 1985. Also in the lot is a Remembrance of Service letter signed by Ronald Reagan. Before he died in a plane crash on a mission in support of Nicaragua's contra rebels, on October 18, 1984, Spicer was a proficient pilot working for a public utility in Houston in the early 1980s.

'I Am Going on a Trip'
It rained on the October day in 1984 when they lowered Richard Spicer's mangled body into the grave. It was a sloppy rain that carried off the fresh dirt and swept everything clean. By the time the sod was replaced, there was no evidence a grave had even been dug. Nor did the gravediggers lay their usual temporary aluminum marker to locate the grave while they waited for a permanent marker. "The government man who came here told me not to mark the grave," at least for a time, recalls funeral director Donald McKinney of Youngsville, Pa. The local obituary noted that Spicer was 53 and had died in "southern Florida."

McKinney remembers being told by "the government man" that Spicer had died in a car accident in Miami. Notwithstanding the CIA's efforts, Spicer's death made front page news around the nation. He and the three men who died with him in a plane crash over El Salvador were the first known U.S. casualties in Central America since the Reagan administration began funding a secret war there in the early 1980s. Within days, newspaper reporters found Spicer's grave and began trying to reconstruct the circumstances of his death. Spicer had been part of the shadowy but publicly acknowledged U.S. government support for Nicaragua's contra rebels, who mounted violent resistance to Managua's Soviet-backed, leftist Sandinista government.

To read the complete lot description, see:


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

Gold Coins Filled With Platinum

Roger Burdette published a CoinWeek article on the practice of stealing gold by hollowing out gold coins. Here's a short excerpt - see the complete article online for more. -Editor

Platinum_Filled_Gold_Coins In 19th-century America and parts of Europe, a more sophisticated and deceptive method came into use along with the large influx of new gold from California and Australia. This used a real coin, such as a $10 eagle or a $20 double eagle, and preserved the faces and most of the edge in original condition. The counterfeiter did not attempt to copy the coin; rather, gold was removed from inside. Visually, the coin appeared genuine, but in reality it had been hollowed out, the gold removed, and the cavity filled with a cheap heavy metal such as platinum.

Pure platinum, at 21.45 grams per cubic centimeter, was noticeably denser than pure gold's 19.3 g/cc, but native platinum contained impurities (including palladium) that reduced its density enough to make it a good replacement for gold in counterfeiting.

Notice that until 1890 it was only one-fifth or less per ounce than the price of gold. It was not until about 1901 that platinum equaled, and then exceeded, gold's price.

To read the complete article, see:
Counterfeit Gold Coins Filled With Platinum: Hollow Gold (

Red Book Recollections: Meeting Richard Yeoman

The Red Book Recollections column on Coin Update featured a great story by Richard Schwary on meeting Richard Yeoman. See the complete article online for more. -Editor

1947 redbook cover But the really fortunate part of this numismatic fun happened at the 1987 ANA convention. Concurrently, each year, the Professional Numismatists Guild held its annual banquet. After a round of drinks and the usual conversation, we all settled down to a table for dinner and the usual festivities. The seat next to me was vacant, and soon, a dignified older fellow sat down and began a polite conversation. His dress was a conservative suit and tie, and we talked quietly about the banquet and the number of people attending. After a few minutes, it dawned on me that this was Richard S. Yeoman. I excused myself and said, You must be Richard Yeoman, of Red Book fame. I had never met him in person, so I introduced myself.

To read the complete article, see:
Red Book Recollections: Richard Schwary (

British Library Suffers Cyber Attack

Bibliophiles may have already heard about the crippling cyber attack on the British Library. There has also been an incident at the Toronto Library. That's a frightening thought for researchers around the world. Let's hope for a swift recovery. -Editor

British Library The British Library is suffering a technology outage after it was hit by a cyber-attack, which is affecting services online and its sites in London and Yorkshire.

Access to the website, as well as the catalogue and digital collections, is temporarily unavailable. The collection of items ordered on or after 27 October, new collection item orders via digital catalogues and reading room PCs are also inaccessible, it said. Reader registration is also unavailable.

To read the complete article, see:
British Library suffering major technology outage after cyber-attack (

Also see:
An Apparent Cyberattack Hushes the British Library ( (

Silver Dollar Road

In the past we've discussed street names with a numismatic connection. There a new film out called "Silver Dollar Road". -Editor

For the descendants of Elijah Reels, an area of coastal North Carolina in Carteret County has been their sanctuary – where they could raise their families, earn a living, and enjoy the bounty and the pleasures of the waterways.

But in recent decades, those descendants — Gertrude Reels, her children, and their children — have been trying to hold onto the family land, caught up in a legal system that historically advantages white interests over those of African Americans like the Reels.

The family's long struggle — which has seen two members of the family, Melvin Davis and Licurtis Reels, jailed for years for defying a court order — is told in the documentary Silver Dollar Road. The film directed by Oscar nominee Raoul Peck (I Am Not Your Negro) is now streaming on Prime Video.

To read the complete article, see:
Welcome To ‘Silver Dollar Road,' Where Prime Black Land Becomes Target Of White Control (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
LOOSE CHANGE: NOVEMBER 29, 2020 : Moneyed Street Names (

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