The E-Sylum v8#51, December 4, 2005

esylum at esylum at
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!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


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."


Dave Perkins writes: "Expanding coin collecting (and 
investing?) beyond Coin World and Numismatic News?  
Last week’s Wall Street Journal had an advertisement 
for Whitman Publishing and Q. David Bowers’ new book 
The Expert’s 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]


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 Bieda’s 
numismatic claim-to-fame?"

[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.


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."


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!"


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:


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?


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!"


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

[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:


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 
the passenger."

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 
of communication."

"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:


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 
independent warehouse."

"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 
"Sunshine Minting."

The current price of silver is only about $5.10 per 
troy ounce."

"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. is
synonymous with]

"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."


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..."


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." 


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 


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: "

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. "


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 
take action.

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?


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 


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 
1,000-kronor banknote:


>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:


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 
of lines.

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 
breaks in:

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.


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."


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!!"


Dick Johnson writes: "It is amazing where you find articles 
of numismatic interest. Thanks to Google’s 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"). 
Jefferson’s 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. (It’s 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 country’s 
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: "


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!"


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 Switzerland’s 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, Krebs’s images 
have sparked controversy for their challenging 
subjects such as Aids, death and a foetus.",,13509-1895225,00.html

Designs submitted to the Swiss National Bank for 
the banknote design competition are found on this 
web page: 


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."


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."


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 didn’t 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 don’t 
think that’s 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 didn’t,” I replied, “but it did make 
the banknote look much cleaner.”

“So why do people bother to launder their money?”

“That’s 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."


This week's featured web page is Jim Neiswinter's 
exhibit, "First Photographic Plate in American 
Numismatics" from the 2002 ANA.

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
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David M. Sundman, Secretary/Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society, 
P. O. Box 82 Littleton, NH 03561

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