The E-Sylum v8#51, December 4, 2005
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Sun Dec 4 20:39:42 PST 2005
Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 51, December 4, 2005:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2005, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Among our recent subscribers is Patrick MacAuley.
Welcome aboard! We now have 823 subscribers.
We have two new book announcements this week, and
the latest issue of our print journal, The Asylum,
is at the printers. It is only available to members
of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society, so please
consider joining. Membership information is included
at the bottom of every E-Sylum issue.
We resurrect the topic of library care and preservation,
and invite readers to share their experience and tips.
Several readers responded with information on the
Philippine bank note error. Speaking of errors,
Russ Rulau reported a mistake in last week's E-Sylum:
"There was a confusing typo in my recollections of
Bill Spengler. Our 3-week trip to the Soviet Union
was in June, 1973, not 1993 as reported. The Soviet
Union, of course, had ceased to exist in 1991."
Off topic: What happens when people go a teensy bit
overboard with holiday light displays (video file):
Quiz question: A striking image of the veins of the
human body is the central theme of which upcoming
banknote? To find the answer, and to see what happens
when someone takes the term "laundering money" a bit
too literally, read on. Enjoy!
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
BUST HALF FEVER SECOND EDITION PUBLISHED
Myron Xenos writes: "I recently published the 2d
edition of Bust Half Fever, 530 pages, everything
you ever wondered about bust halves. It is selling
for $79.95 plus $5 postage from the Money Tree,
1260 Smith Ct. Rocky River, Oh. 44116. We just
printed 150 copies and it is already 1/2 spoken for."
BOWERS' EXPERT'S GUIDE HITS THE JOURNAL
Dave Perkins writes: "Expanding coin collecting (and
investing?) beyond Coin World and Numismatic News?
Last weeks Wall Street Journal had an advertisement
for Whitman Publishing and Q. David Bowers new book
The Experts Guide to Collecting and Investing in Rare
Coins. The ad highlighted that Coin-collecting, the
Hobby of Kings, pays rich dividends in fun and enjoyment.
But it can also pay the old-fashioned way: with a huge
return on your investment.
[It's great to see Whitman investing in marketing to a
general audience. This is good for the book and the
hobby in general. -Editor]
NUMISMATIC LITERATURE EXHIBITS AT MSNS SHOW
NBS President Pete Smith writes: "Last week I attended
the Michigan State Numismatic Society show in Dearborn,
Michigan. The show has an excellent exhibits area
including a classification for numismatic literature.
This show had two exhibits in that class.
Laurence Sekulich took first place for The Provenance
of Tudeer 99A. That coin is a Tetradrachm of Syracuse
listed in a book (in German) by Lauro O. Tudeer,
published in 1913. The exhibit included several books
and catalogs that illustrated his coin.
Steven Bieda took second place for A Complete Library
of Books on Official U.S.A. Presidential Inaugural Medals.
The title pretty well describes the exhibit.
This leads to a numismatic trivia question. In addition
to being legal counsel for the MSNS, what is Biedas
[Congratulations to the exhibitors, and thanks to
MSNS for making them possible. It's never too early
to start thinking of putting together a numismatic
literature exhibit for a future show. Our Featured
Web Page this week is a record of a very nice exhibit
from the 2002 American Numismatic Association convention.
I'd also like to note that Pete Smith's great exhibit on
"The Challenging Literature of A. M. Smith" is also
online at the NBS web site.
REDBOOK TALK PLANNED FOR 2006 FUN SHOW
Fred Lake writes: "David Crenshaw, Director of
Numismatic Research at Whitman Publishing will
give a talk at the Numismatic Bibliomania Society
meeting at the Florida United Numismatists annual
convention in Orlando, Florida on Saturday,
January 7, 2006 at 11:00 AM.
His presentation is titled "What is black and
white and read all over?" The Power Point talk
will highlight the 60th Anniversary of the
ubiquitous "Redbook." Ken Bressett will also be
in attendance to answer questions from the audience."
UPDATE FROM DAVID GINSBURG
David Ginsburg, who's researching the circulation of
gold coins in the pre-Civil War era, writes: "First
of all, my thanks to the subscribers who responded
to my request for suggestions for books to read.
I'm having some very good luck finding books on
economic and financial history. Our local library
is a member of a county-wide cooperative of public
libraries; their entire catalog is online (so it's
easy to search) and the books I request get delivered
to my local library. So far I've got a list of
nine books that I want to read. I've skimmed "Banks
and Politics in America from the Revolution to the
Civil War" by Bray Hammond (Princeton University Press,
1957) and tomorrow I'll be picking up "A History of
Currency in the United States" by A. Barton Hepburn
(MacMillan Company, 1915).
Since I only get the books for a few weeks, I take
notes and copy the sections that I'm really interested
in, including the bibliography. The best part is that
I get to give the books back after I'm done with them,
so they won't further overload my already crowded
After I've gone through the county-wide cooperative,
I'll see if I can get more titles through their other
inter-library loan facilities, and, I've also discovered
an electronic repository of academic journals, so perhaps
in the summer I'll go to our local state university to
see if I can get them to print out some articles for me.
Finally, if there's anything I really want to own, I can
almost always find it on the Internet - I love
NUMISWIKI: A COLLABORATIVE NUMISMATICS PROJECT
Arthur Shippee forwarded a link to NumisWiki, a
"Collaborative Numismatics Project." From the site's
home page: "It is a collection of numismatics and
history references and articles that YOU can read,
edit, correct or update right now. The online format
includes edit features that allows all FORVM members
to add new documents or to modify the existing ones.
Any member can edit any page including this page
you are reading right now.... Numiswiki has titles
at this time."
The site is devoted to ancient coins.
Here's a link to the index:
LIBRARY CARE AND CONSERVATION
Ken Schultz writes: "Did you ever publish any
beginner pointers/guidelines on how beginning
bibliophiles can best take care of their holdings,
that is, library care and conservation?"
[We have discussed this topic in the past, but
it's high time we revisited it. I'll start, but
I'll admit that I'm no shining example. Given that,
perhaps it would be best to start with a couple
basic things NOT to do.
DON'T stuff your shelves to the gills. Get more
shelves or start thinning your library. I know
it's hard for a bibliophile to part with a single
book, but for every book you love, there is one you
may love just a little bit less. Bite the bullet,
and set one free. Ken Lowe told me one time about
John Ford's philosophy in this regard, and it sums
up the matter succinctly: "Whenever you buy
something cute, sell something less cute."
DON'T let your books lean this way and that as a
consequence of having too FEW books on a given
shelf. That's what bookends are for! Letting them
lean or sag too long is an invitation to trouble.
What other advice do our readers have to offer?
ANOTHER THING NOT TO DO WITH BOOKS
Bill Malkmus writes: "The note from Gerry Anaszewicz
regarding his copy of the 1876 second edition of Hawkins'
"Silver Coins of England" obtained from an unpromising
source reminded me of one of my earliest acquisitions.
Almost 50 years ago, when I was in grad school in
Oregon, my wife came home from an end-of-the-month
sale at the local Bon Marche, saying she'd come across
a table of leather-bound books and hoped that what
she had picked up was something worthwhile. It was a
copy of Hawkins' first edition of 1841! It is still
my all-time favorite bibliofind. (Not trying to one-up
This was at a time when leather-bound books were in
as a fashion statement (contents irrelevant!) and I
still remember seeing a lovely creation consisting
of a half-dozen or so leather-bound books glued
together and drilled through to provide a base for
a lamp!! I still cringe!"
NEW U.S. $10 NOTES COMING MARCH SECOND
According to a December 2 press release from the
Bureau of Engraving and Printing Information Office,
"The U.S. Department of the Treasury and Federal
Reserve Board announced today that redesigned $10
notes will be issued beginning on March 2, 2006.
On this day of issue, Federal Reserve banks will
begin distributing the new notes to the public
through commercial banks.
The notes will begin circulating immediately in
the United States, and then be introduced in other
countries in the days and weeks following, as
international banks place orders for $10 notes
from the Federal Reserve."
"If you would like to learn more about today's
announcement and new U.S. currency designs,
please visit www.moneyfactory.gov/newmoney.
[The following is from a lengthier press rerlease
On the BEP web site. -Editor]
"Highlighted by images of the Statue of Liberty's
torch and the words "We the People" from the U.S.
Constitution, the new $10 note incorporates
easy-to-use security features for people to check
their money and subtle background colors in shades
of orange, yellow and red.
"As always, you don't have to trade in your old
$10 notes for new ones. Both new notes and old
notes maintain their full face value," said Federal
Reserve Board Assistant Director of Reserve Bank
Operations and Payment Systems Michael Lambert."
" "We expect to update currency every seven to
ten years in order to stay ahead of the latest
digital technology available to would-be
counterfeiters," said BEP Director Tom Ferguson.
"Each time we introduce a redesigned note into
circulation, our objective is its seamless transition
into daily commerce, both in the United States
and around the world."
To read the full press release, see:
BUS DRIVER REFUSES BOY'S LEGAL TENDER
The Bury Free Press of Bury St. Edmonds, Suffolk,
England reported on December 2 that " A teenager
was thrown off a bus for trying to pay his fare
with a Scottish banknote.
Distraught Adam Telford-Dinsmore, 13, of Bury St
Edmunds, was told the Royal Bank of Scotland £5
note was not acceptable and was turned off the
bus he catches every day to King Edward VI School
in the town.
His mother, former bank worker Sonia, said the
whole family was distressed by the incident."
"She phoned bus company First Eastern Counties
and was told that while Scottish notes were
acceptable, drivers had to manually key them in.
"We were fuming," added her husband, Paul.
A spokeswoman for First said: "It is our policy
to accept Scottish pound notes and we would like
to apologise for the inconvenience caused to
Mrs Telford-Dinsmore, who worked at Lloyds TSB
in Bury for more than a decade, added: "I dread
to think what could have happened in slightly
different circumstances if it had been a young
girl trying to get home in the dark with no means
"Scottish notes have been accepted as currency
in the UK since 1727 though curiously they are
not legal 'tender', in strict law, even in Scotland."
To read the complete article, see:
THE "LIBERTY DOLLAR"
Speaking of "Legal Tender", Andrew W. Pollock III
writes: "I found this website that you may be interested
in telling your readers about. It seems sort of like the
Lesher dollar idea c. 1900-1901. My guess is that the
feds will probably shut them down pretty promptly because
the inscriptions and denomination values appear to be
similar to actual coins. Have you heard about them before?"
[No, this was a new one on me. Readers? To me, it looked
like a new wrinkle in marketing overpriced pseudo-coins.
Here are some amusing excerpts from the web page:
"My name is Bernard von NotHaus and I was so concerned about
what is happening to our money that I designed and developed
the Liberty Dollar. For 25 years, I was the Mintmaster at the
Royal Hawaiian Mint and have devoted my life work to the study
of money, why it is valuable, and how we use it to fulfill
our dreams. Like you, I am paying a lot higher gas prices,
but I am also saving a lot of money because of a simple
change I have made to my money."
"While I was the Mintmaster in Hawaii I harbored a secret
project. For over 23 years I worked on developing a value
backed paper currency to complement the Mint's commemorative
coin business. Not satisfied with just copying the paper
money from the Kingdom of Hawaii of the 1800's, I wanted to
create a totally new free market currency that met the
demands of the current free market in precious metals and
would represent real gold and silver stored in an
"Here's what people who use the Liberty Dollar are saying:
"I now pay for my lunch in real money."
V. Callaway, Tacoma WA
"I simply hand them the currency and 95% of the
businesses accept it."
C. Athanas, Austin TX"
A web search found a number of references to this
operation, including this:
"The Militia Watchdog has learned of a new organization
which, as described, carries considerable potential for
fraud or misuse. The Militia Watchdog urges all law enforcement
officers, journalists, activists and others to scrutinize
this organization and its activities carefully."
"In the early 1980s tax protester Tupper Saussy created
a stir with his "Public Office Money Certificates," which
were a sort of bogus promissory note. In the late 1980s,
various conmen created illegitimate "sight drafts" that
were alleged to be as valid as federal reserve notes. And
in the mid-1990s a host of groups including USA First,
Family Farm Preservation, the Republic of Texas and, most
famously, the Montana Freemen, created billions of dollars
worth of bogus money orders and checks. This last resurgence
resulted in scores of successful prosecutions around the
"American Liberty Currency." This consists of "silver
certificates" in $1, $5, and $10 amounts. The $10 certificate
is allegedly backed by one ounce of .999 pure Troy silver,
and the other certificates backed proportionately. However,
the silver itself is kept in a "warehouse" run by
The current price of silver is only about $5.10 per
"NORFED is an abbreviation for a group calling itself the National
Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act."
[and run by "Hawaiian Mintmaster" NotHaus. www.norfed.org is
synonymous with www.libertydollar.org]
"NORFED is also engaged in the creation of "a National Network
of Redemption Centers." The function of these centers is "to
exchange Federal Reserve Notes for American Liberty Currency
(warehouse receipts)." In other words, to take people's
dollars and give them this new "currency." Redemption Centers
can buy certificates from NORFED at a 10% discount, then
provide them to others. Ostensibly, these centers will also
exchange silver certificates for silver coins. The centers
are also urged to recruit "members" and will get a portion
of the membership fee."
MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY ONLINE CATALOG
Anne E. Bentley, Curator of Art, Massachusetts Historical
Society writes: "This is in reply to Dave Perkins
who has discovered our online catalog...eventually
we hope to have everything in our collection described
online, including numismatics, but that section of
the holdings is far in the future. Until then, I'm
afraid, researchers will have to contact me directly
to find out if we have what they're looking for and
to make arrangements to consult the collection.
I would like to tell him that I have Chester Harding's
copy of Gilbert Stuart's portrait of Gov. Caleb Strong
hanging above my desk, and he's welcome to come see
that if he pleases. Gov. Strong was elected a member
of the Massachusetts Historical Society in 1800 and
remained active in the Society until his death in 1819.
As was customary, his "memoir" appeared in our official
transactions: Proceedings of the Massachusetts Historical
Society (series I, vol. 1: pp. 290-316) written by
Henry Cabot Lodge, Ph.D. (1850-1924). The printed
version of our Proceedings began in 1859. Volume I
for 1791-1835 wasn't published until 1879, which is
how Sen. Lodge came to write a "memoir" of a man who
died before Lodge was ever born..."
SPANISH DOLLARS: GOLD OR SILVER?
In our last issue, we quoted a catalog entry from
the Massachusetts Historical Society online catalog:
Documents regarding the shipment of $40,000
Spanish-milled gold dollars to Batavia (Jakarta)
aboard ship Rebecca, by James and T. H. Perkins.
Includes justice of the peace certificate for
William Stevenson signed by Mass. Gov. Caleb Strong,
declaration, invoice, and bill of lading.
Bob Leonard writes: "I think the Massachusetts
Historical Society cataloger must have misunderstood
the source here; the Spanish milled dollar was a silver
coin, not a gold coin. While the gold half escudo was
roughly equivalent to a gold dollar, I don't believe
it was ever referred to as one. If gold was to be
exported, it would have most likely been in the form
of full doubloons of 8 escudos. I have a bill of
lading documenting the shipment of "Eight hundred &
thirty one Doubloons and one eighth part of a Doubloon"
from Bristol, Rhode Island, to Mantanzas, Cuba,
January 31, 1823, on the brig Maria. An accompanying
letter gives the rate of exchange for a doubloon as
$17. Shipments to Batavia at this time would most
likely have preferred doubloons or full dollars also."
I forwarded Bob's comments to Anne Bentley, who writes:
"I've forwarded your e-mail to our cataloging staff
who will be able to amend the catalog record. Thanks
also to your correspondent for the useful data."
LEVICK'S PLATE AND JOURNAL
Jim Neiswinter has a great article on the famous
Levick plate in the November 2005 issue of Penny-Wise,
the official publication of Early American Coppers,
Inc. The Levick plate of 1793 cents was published in
the April 1869 issue of the American Journal of
Numismatics, the first photographic plate in American
numismatic literature. The article illustrates obverse
and reverse plates owned by Eric Newman, with inscriptions
in Levick's handwriting, which likely were his working
"Levick kept a journal during this project that is
called Levick's Book of Rubbings. The first 11
pages contain pencil rubbings and notes on some of
the submitted cents, followed by 12 pages of
hand-written text that include descriptions of the
different varieties as well as the names of their
A TYPO OF PRESIDENTIAL PROPORTIONS
Steven Bellin and Roger deWardt Lane sent an article
with details on the Philippine bank note error:
"A press statement issued by the Bangko Sentral ng
Pilipinas Sunday advised the public it had received
"a batch of P100 banknotes bearing the misspelled
surname of the President, a small number of which
had been released."
The central bank said it has apologized to the
President for the mistake.
The statement did not say was the typographical
error was but The Times learned from a central bank
insider that Arroyo appears as "Arrovo" in the bill.
The source also said a few thousand bills had been
printed before the mistake was spotted.
The central bank gave the assurance that the
misprinted banknotes are "considered legal tender
and should be accepted as genuine currency."
I also asked if anyone was able to view the associated
News video. Roger adds: "Try this link. It plays with
Microsoft Windows Player: http://tinyurl.com/7zdsj "
Finally, I asked if anyone could point us to an image
of the note. David Klinger writes: "This URL is from
an eBay listing. There are many of these available there.
They are selling at about $15 right now.
VIETNAMESE BANKNOTE MISTAKES AND COUNTERFEITS
Howard A. Daniel III writes: "I am sitting in my home
office here in Ho Chi Minh City with the latest edition
of your "The E-Sylum" and saw your request for information
about other recalled bank notes.
The one that immediately comes to mind here in Viet Nam
is the 10,000 Dong 1990 Pick-109 note that was issued
in mid-1992. The image of Ho Chi Minh on the right
makes him appear to be sick, but it took several months
for anyone high enough in the government to notice and
A new 10,000 Dong note was ordered with the same exact
design except for a date of 1993 and Ho's image. It
was issued in late 1994 and the 1990-dated notes were
pulled from circulation and became scarce, especially
in Uncirculated condition, before most of the dealers
and collectors here realized what was happening.
This was also a time when counterfeiting in South China
of Vietnamese notes started rolling and they were being
smuggled into northern Viet Nam, so counterfeits of both
notes exist. For those of you who collect counterfeits,
these two notes are very, very difficult to acquire as
counterfeits, as my old friend and collector of
counterfeits, Joe Boling, can confirm.
I buy all counterfeits presented to me and I have
purchased none in more than a year. The government
is doing a much better job of grabbing the smugglers
just after crossing the border and destroying all of
them. And the banks and money exchanges are getting
better at detecting them and turning them in to the
police. I can hear Joe complaining now."
[Can anyone locate an image of this note for us?
DESIGN FLUB ON AN ISREALI COIN
Howard Spindel writes: "Not a banknote, but a coin -
Israeli Jacob and Rachel gold coin with "Israel"
misspelled in Arabic. A number of them escaped into
SWEDISH 1,000 KRONER NOTE IMAGE
In response for my request last week, David Klinger,
Jeff Starck and Adrián González Salinas all found
this page with an image and description of the Swedish
AMERICAN BANKNOTE'S DEMISE
>From a recent "list of scoundrels who populate the upper
tiers of our democracy's political and business worlds.."
"Morris "Mickey" Weissman (CEO of American Banknote convicted
of fraud in 2003; artificially pumped up company's earnings so
a 1998 IPO would succeed; based on false 1996 and 1997 numbers,
the 1998 public offering of the company's subsidiary, American
Banknote Holographics, was a success, netting the company $115
million. When the accounting fraud was uncovered in early 1999,
the spinoff's shares dropped from about $16 a share to $1.80 a
share. The stock was delisted in August 1999.)"
[It was a sad end to a firm that traced its roots to 1795.
Here a link to an article on the firm's history, from
Financial History, published by the Museum of American Finance:
THE E-SYLUM LINE BREAK SURVEY
Last week I asked for opinions on the use of line
breaks in E-Sylum messages. Before publishing
each issue, I insert line breaks to keep each line
to about 70 characters or less. This is meant to
ensure readability on the widest range of devices.
Is it still necessary? Here's what some readers
had to say:
NO LINE BREAKS: Ray Williams, Bob Neale and
others wrote against keeping the line breaks.
John Isles writes: "Just a note to let you know
my slight preference for E-Sylum paragraphs to
have no line breaks. I print it to read it, and
this would save some paper. I have no problem
with the 70-character lines though."
Dave Kellogg writes: "The format with NO line breaks
works well at my end. It fills about 2/3 of my screen.
(Your paragraph with line breaks at about 70 characters
fills about1/2 my screen and results in an approximate
55 character line.) I continue to enjoy your weekly
editions and appreciate greatly the effort you take
to publish them."
Howard Spindel writes: "All modern email clients
perform wrapping to fit their viewing windows.
When you provide hard line breaks in emails you
send, you interfere with the email client's wrapping.
This can cause undesirable effects - for example,
the email client can wrap a line and then encounter
your hard line break shortly thereafter on the next
line which creates a long/short repeating pattern
Best practice is to avoid hard line breaks in email.
This allows the email client to format the lines to
match the viewing window the end user has selected."
YES, KEEP THE LINE BREAKS: Adrián González Salinas,
Gary Dunaier and others wrote for keeping the line
Ralf Boepple writes: "Please stick to the 70 characters
line break. While it doesn't really make any difference
on screen, I've had unpleasant results printing it out.
And I do print it out, despite the fact that it is an
electronic publication, because I don't always have the
time to read it immediately!"
Ken Schultz writes: "This week's edition prompts me to
write you and request a 70 character line limit. Your
2nd test paragraph is irritatingly hard to read with
every other line containing only a few characters on
my Yahoo mail account."
BOTTOM LINE: Status Quo.
While I agree with Howard Spindel that most email
programs handle (or at least are *supposed* to handle)
text without line breaks, it seems that web-based email
isn't there yet. While keeping the line breaks would
be preferable to some, eliminating them would be a
bigger problem for others. So for the time being at
least, I'll continue to insert the line breaks.
ON OUR AOL PROBLEMS
A reader writes: "Concerning AOL, I had a problem
sending my brother(an AOL ISP customer) Yahoo News
e-mails. The links for the news articles didn't work.
I suspect that AOL doesn't like their customers using
competitor's services and thus the links were purposely
disabled. If you remember AOL's advertising during
the early days of the web, they asserted that AOL's
customers could obtain most(if not all) of what they
were seeking within AOL's site, without actually using
the web. Initially, this 'value added' approach helped
AOL to become the largest ISP. In the intervening
years, AOL's customers have realized that the same
information is readily available on the web. Today's
sophisticated web user only cares about fast access
to the web at the cheapest price possible. Consequently,
AOL has been hemorrhaging customers for years.
Perhaps my problem with hot links to Yahoo! News
Articles has something to do with your situation."
J. E. BASS INFORMATION SOUGHT
On the Colonial Coins mailing list, Roger Moore
writes: "I would ask for some help researching a
past collector of New Jersey colonials from the
late 1800's to the early 1900's. His name was J. E.
Bass and he had a number of written communications
with Dr. Maris, as well as Chas. Stergerwald. I
was VERY fortunate to obtain some of these written
communications last weekend and would like to look
into the life of Mr. Bass. I do not think he had
a major named auction of his coins but one of Maris'
letters would indicate he had most of the varieties.
Anyone with ANY knowledge of this gentleman - no
matter how obscure or unrelated to numismatics -
I would appreciate in learning what you know.
Thank you in advance!!"
ABOLISH THE CENT? PRO AND CON VIEWS
Dick Johnson writes: "It is amazing where you find articles
of numismatic interest. Thanks to Googles power to pull
in data from around the world the same day it is published,
I found an article of interest published this week in, of
all places, a college newspaper, The Calvin College
"Chimes" of Grand Rapids Michigan.
Subject: Should America eliminate the penny (read "cent")?
The format was a debate -- point, counterpoint. Whether
the writers were students or faculty is not material. It
was a good debate with salient points on both sides with
evidence of some good library research.
Neither writer, however, mentioned the strongest factor
to force such a decision. That force is the American
economy. It is expanding faster than the gases escaping
from the Crab nebula. Our economy will change -- much
like it has changed in the last 225 years -- and the
value or purchasing power of the dollar (and the cent)
will continue to change as it has in the past.
Thomas Jefferson devised our monetary system and chose
the denominations, even named them. (Americans accepted
all these terms after Noah Webster included them in his
first American dictionary, all except the $100 "Unite").
Jeffersons ideal coins were based on the decimal system
brilliant idea! most countries in the world have
copied this decimal concept. (Even England succumbed
two centuries later, converting their pound-shilling-pence
nightmare to 100 pence to the pound.)
Jefferson invented the "cent." He also created the dime
as the tenth of a dollar, and the cent as a tenth of dime;
he also included a tenth of a cent the "mill." The mill
was a money of account, no need for a mill coin even in
1792 when the first coins were minted. America coined a
half cent, but this became unnecessary in 1857 when the
cost of copper in the half cent coin rose above its face
value as a result of the expanded economy.
It is inevitable in the future that the cent is destined
to be a money of account like the mill too small for
an expanding economy. When will this happen? The 2010s?
Or by 2050? Only the American economy will dictate this.
But the ideal plan will be to abolish both the cent and
the nickel at the same time. Our dime will be the smallest
coin when the average worker earns perhaps $50 an hour. (You
read it first here in E-Sylum!) Paper transactions can be
for less than a dime (as they are now, less than a cent, even
to four and five decimal places). But CASH transactions will
indeed be rounded off to the nearest dime. (Its bunk that
buyers will lose because sellers will always round up it
will be an insignificant amount for individual sales and it
will all even out in the end!)
Coin collectors should not despair. As we eliminate two coin
denominations, we should add several new coins for our
circulating media. At the time we abolish the cent and nickel,
$5 and $10 coins will become common coins in circulation.
There is an ideal number of coin denominations for any countrys
active circulation. That ideal number is between five and seven.
(How do I know? I did my research. I counted the number of
partitions in a cash register!)
Are you penny pro or no penny con? You might find some
evidence or at least some good debate in this site:
DEAD PRESIDENTS? BAH, HUMBUG
Howard Spindel forwarded a copy of a letter he
"sent to Coin World and my CongressCritters" about
the Coin legislation we discussed last week.
Here's an except:
"Instead of dead Presidents, why not have a series
of truly American symbols? The Statue of Liberty,
Mt. Rushmore, Old Faithful, the Golden Gate Bridge,
the Space Needle, an Apollo rocket launch, the World
Trade Center - I could go on and on, but you get
the idea. Another idea would be to revive the
classic U.S. coinage designs - relive the history
of our country's coinage from its inception on our
modern day coinage.
More dead Presidents? Bah, humbug!"
NATURE PRINTING RETURNS, IN A FASHION
The Times of London reported on November 29 that
"A striking image of the veins of the human body
is the central theme of a proposed 20 Swiss franc
banknote which won first prize in a competition
organised by Switzerlands central bank to design
a series of notes.
Like euro notes, launched by the European Central
Bank in 2002, the designs by Manuel Krebs, a
Zurich-based artist, are already controversial
but for different reasons. While the euro notes
were attacked by single currency enthusiasts and
opponents as a bland compromise, Krebss images
have sparked controversy for their challenging
subjects such as Aids, death and a foetus."
Designs submitted to the Swiss National Bank for
the banknote design competition are found on this
11TH CENTURY NORWEGIAN COINS FOUND IN ICELAND
Arthur Shippee forwarded the following item, which
was mentioned in The Explorator newsletter.
Iceland Review reports " two coins from the 11th
century reign of Norwegian King Haraldur which
were found in the ruins of three houses which
were discovered last year at Háls at Kárahnjúkar
have now been examined.
The house ruins are almost 600 metres above sea
level. Páll Pálsson, farmer at Adalból, found
them, and Landsvirkjun (the National Power department)
decided to have them examined, a process that
was only completed this year.
According to Anton Holt, a coin expert at the
Sedlabanki Íslands coin collection, these coins
are very rare. He says that today there are only
33 other known specimens of this coin."
TOLL TAKER ARRESTED IN COUNTERFEIT SCHEME
A November 29 Associated Press story reported that
"A San Francisco-Oakland Bay Bridge toll taker was
arrested on suspicion he accepted dozens of
counterfeit $100 bills and provided real change
to an accomplice, authorities said.
Maurice Grays, of San Francisco, was arrested earlier
this month after toll supervisors noticed he was
turning in an unusually large number of counterfeit
bills after his shifts, according to a U. S. Secret
Service arrest affidavit.
On average, toll takers accidentally take about two
counterfeit bills per year, but Grays had a total
of 24 fake bills in his collection deposits during
the period from June to October, the affidavit said."
MONEY LAUNDERING FOR DUMMIES
The Vanguard of Nigeria published an amusing story
about a young man who didn't quite understand the
concept of laundering money. It reads like an
Abbott and Costello script. Here's an excerpt:
"The young man obviously didnt know what he was
talking about. He wanted to know if he could get
stinking rich by going to London to launder money.
Worse than that, he asked me to tell him how to go about it.
You have come to the wrong person, I told him.
The only time I was involved in money laundering
was when I forgot to empty the pockets of my agbada
before sending it to the washerwoman. The two
hundred naira banknote I had left in one of the
pockets came back washed and starched. I dont
think thats the kind of money laundering you
are talking about.
Did the washing and starching of the two hundred
naira note make you rich? the young man asked,
still not getting the point.
No, it didnt, I replied, but it did make
the banknote look much cleaner.
So why do people bother to launder their money?
Thats what I have just been telling you, I
said. When people make plenty of money from dirty
deals, and want to make the money less filthy,
they launder it. Money laundering is simply a
process of making illegally obtained money appear
legally obtained by passing it through a foreign bank.
You mean, the young man said, struggling to
understand, they take their dirty money to a
foreign bank, the bank washes it and then returns
it to them clean and without blemish?
Something like that."
FEATURED WEB PAGE
This week's featured web page is Jim Neiswinter's
exhibit, "First Photographic Plate in American
Numismatics" from the 2002 ANA.
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