The E-Sylum v8#23, June 5, 2005
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Sun Jun 5 19:43:06 PDT 2005
Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 23, June 5, 2005:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2005, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Among our recent subscribers are Mark Ames and Steve Renner.
Welcome aboard! We now have 757 subscribers.
LOVETT GRAVESITE RESTORATION PROJECT
The June 6, 2005 issue of Coin World has a nice article
by Bill Gibbs beginning on page 3 about a project to restore
the gravesite of engraver Robert Lovett Jr. The gravesite
was located by researcher Harold Levi in McConnelsville,
OH in 2004. Levi and George Corell are organizing the
Harold Levi writes: "George Corell and I thank Coin World
and Beth Deisher for publishing the grave restoration article,
and thank Bill Gibbs for a job well done in the writing.
A dedication ceremony is planned to coincide with the annual
Civil War re-enactment held on the second weekend in
July, it will be on Saturday, July 9th. Details of the ceremony
are still in progress. McConnelsville is in Southeastern Ohio
along the Muskingum River.
Everyone is invited! Come see the Union and Confederate
forces have at it again. I have notified the Sons of Union
Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), Sons of Confederate
Veterans (SCV - I am a member), and the United Daughters
of the Confederacy (UDC) of the project. The Union Ladies
have been notified by the Ohio SUVCW.
There are four graves that will be restored. The photo in Coin
World was cropped to fit the space for printing. In the CW
image, the left headstone is Robert Lovett, Jr., on the right is
Amanda Morgan Lovett, his wife. The left side of the photo
was cropped, which removed the headstone of Robert Keating
Lovett, their son. The fourth grave is to the right of Amanda,
it was not in the photo I took. This is Stevenson Guyton, who
we believe is Amanda's nephew. Katie Jaeger, a great great
grandniece of Robert, Jr., has been researching this relationship.
The restoration includes replacement of the individual headstone
foundations with a single concrete foundation that will be 13
feet long, 2 feet wide, and 2 feet deep (to prevent frost heaving).
The four headstones will be cleaned. The engraving is still deep
in the stones and has not suffered much from erosion or pollution
damage. A Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) grave marker
is going to be mounted in the new concrete in front of Robert
K.'s headstone. We are working on getting castings of the
obverse and reverse of the Confederate cent to be mounted in
the concrete in front of Robert, Jr.'s headstone, unfortunately
these may not be ready in time.
I have been working with the monument service people and
have a quote of about $1200 to $1500 for the grave
restoration. The SUVCW is donating the GAR grave marker.
I just talked with George Corell and found the bronze plaques
for the Confederate cent grave markers will cost $700 for
"The donations are being handled by the Morgan County
Historical Society in McConnelsville, Ohio. I am not sure of
the current amount that has been donated, but more is needed.
Some coin dealers have been contacted directly and have
promised to make a donation. There have been some local
donations as well. George Corell and I are people of ordinary
financial means, but thought Robert Lovett, Jr. deserved to
have his grave and that of his family restored. Just think of all
the ink that has been spilled about his little Confederate cent"
[According to the article, "Donations, by check only, should
be made payable to MCHS/Robert Lovett Jr. Account. Send
the donations to the Morgan County Historical Society, P.O.
Box 524, McConnelsville, OH 43756."
I applaud Harold and George for their efforts, and hope many
of you in The E-Sylum community will assist with donations of
all sizes. -Editor]
DUPONT COINS INVOLVED IN OHIO SCANDAL?
Web site visitor Darryl Davidson writes: "I came across an
article that tied the duPont 1967 coin theft to the current
investment scandal in Ohio. Digging further, I came across
this link in your newsletter:
Tracking the DuPont Coins, in
Here's the article that links your coin-tracker, Mr. Gray,
to the Ohio scandal:
It is interesting that this could provide further clues as to
finding the thieves a generation later."
From the Toledo Blade article: "Two gold coins, bought
with money from the Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation
that were lost or stolen from the mail in Colorado in 2003,
could be from the rare-coin stock purloined as the family and
staff of Mr. duPont were bound with silk ties at the home.
Mr. Gray, a Florida attorney who works for Mr. duPont,
said other duPont coins have turned up in the Denver area,
raising his suspicion.
"A lot of our coins have been found in that area," he said.
Mr. Gray said the duPont collection had three 1855 $3 gold
coins, as well as two 1845 $10 gold coins, that generally
match two coins Mike Storeim, the Colorado coin dealer
hired by Tom Noe, reported stolen in October, 2003, from
a package sent from a California coin-grading firm to his office.
Mr. Storeim has said he purchased the two coins with Ohio
money for $250,000.
In an interview with The Blade, Mr. Gray said the coins
are some of the rarest known. He would like to know more
about the coins, including where they originally were purchased.
He is also interested in two other gold coins that Mr. Storeim
purchased with state money at the same time that were not
reported stolen, an 1845 $5 gold coin and an 1845 $2 1/2
gold quarter eagle coin. The duPont collection may be missing
similar coins, he said."
"Mr. Gray has cards describing in exacting detail each missing
coin, some of which were bought more than 80 years ago.
He said one of the missing coins, which was not circulated, is
OHIO COINGATE LEGAL ISSUES
David Gladfelter writes: "Many legal issues arise from this
scandal but the main ones are: What public funds (state and
municipal) may be invested, what standards govern the selection
of the investment vehicles, and is the making of the investments
subject to the public bidding laws? New Jersey has specific
regulations on point and I would assume that most other states
would also. In the case of "Ohiogate," the regulatory scheme
may have been violated, and/or it may have been inadequate
to begin with."
A partial list of suspected criminal violations in the "CoinGate" case:
ANTIQUANOVA MINT: CZECH COIN REPROS
While web surfing I came across the site of a private
maker of coin reproductions based in the Czech Republic.
I hadn't heard of the company, but it has been operating for
five years and is probably well known in the ancient coin
collecting community. Can any of our readers fill us in?
Judging from the images on their web site, their replicas of
ancient and medieval coins appear to be high-quality. Are
they properly marked as replicas? If not, would they fool
anyone? The web site says they target North America and
the European Union. I know about the laws governing the
reproduction of U.S. coinage, but what are the laws
surrounding these types of reproductions?
>From a press release: "The privately-owned Antiquanova
mint and medal maker‘s (www.antiquanova.com), specialising
in coining replicas of rare historic coins and making custom-made
coinages in historical styles, launches 12 new types of coins,
including a silver replica of one of the most beautiful coins of all
time – the Syracusan Dekadrachm. The new comprises of replicas
of ancient Greek, Roman, Celtic, and mediaeval coins as well as
those stamped after 1500 AD.
“On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of starting the on-line
sale of the products of our medal- making workshop we have
decided to present to the public the fruit of our work over the
last six months”, says Pavel Neumann, co-owner of the
Antiquanova medal maker’s. We have compiled and are now
introducing to the market a set of 12 new coinages, mainly
replicas of ancient and mediaeval coins. The most interesting
of these is a replica of the ancient Greek Dekadrachm of the
city of Syracuse from the turn of the 5th and 4th century BC,
or a replica of the ½ Joachimsthaler of 1520 – the very coin
from which the English word dollar is derived."
The company home page:
This page has an interview with the engraver, Petr Sousek:
THIEF OUTWITS CHANGE MACHINES
A thief in Wellsburg, West Virgina uses a novel tool - a small
white card that impersonates a dollar bill and fools change
machines into accepting it as real.
"Although he's only stealing quarters, police say this isn't any
"two-bit" crime. It's a felony case of fraud.
The new ownership at the Twin Palms car wash in Wellsburg
had a problem.... 560 quarters were missing from
their change machine. They installed security cameras and
Surveillance tape shows a man using what police are calling
"an access device" to confuse the machine into giving him
quarter after quarter after quarter; 200 dollars total.
"It looks like a small white card of some kind," says
Wellsburg Police Sergeant Lester Skinner. "He's sliding it
into the bill acceptor and producing change at the bottom"
Timecode on the surveillance tape shows the man spent six
minutes getting change..."
[At two hundred dollars for six minutes, this guy is getting
rich faster than my lawyer. Has anyone heard of this scam
OREGON QUARTER FIRST STRIKE CEREMONY
This article, published Friday, May 27, 2005, describes the
striking ceremony for the new Oregon state quarter:
"Chuck Lundy, Crater Lake National Park's superintendent,
was among the group of Oregonians in Denver Thursday for
the ceremonial strike of the Oregon quarter at the U.S. Mint.
The quarter, which will be released for public distribution
June 6, features an image of Crater Lake, with Wizard Island
and Llao Rock."
"Each Oregon delegation member was allowed to go to a
machine and push a button creating a quarter. After looking
at the special strike quarters, they were given back to Mint
officials, who will mail them to Lundy and others.
State Treasurer Randall Edwards led the group of Oregonians,
which included members of the Oregon Commemorative
"The ceremony included remarks by Edwards and Tim Riley,
the Mint's Denver plant manager, a ceremonial striking of the
Oregon quarter, and tour of the Denver plant.
Along with Edwards and Lundy, other attendees included
some members of the Oregon Commemorative Coin Commission
and state Rep. George Gilman, whose District 55 includes the park.
The official launch of the Oregon quarter will be Wednesday,
June 15, at the Oregon Historical Society in Portland. Formal
ceremonies will run from at 11:45 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. followed by
a block party and quarter exchange will follow from 12:45 to 2:30
p.m. The festivities include free ice cream, entertainment, a free
quarter for kids younger than 18, and an opportunity to buy
uncirculated rolls of Oregon quarters."
To read the full article, see:
COLORADO QUARTER DESIGN CHOSEN
On May 31st, The Gazette of Colorado Springs reported:
"A generic mountain scene was selected Tuesday over a bust
of Pikes Peak and other well-known Colorado landmarks as
the image that will be stamped on state’s commemorative quarter.
Gov. Bill Owens picked the design, captioned with “Colorful
Colorado,” out of five contenders."
"Tuesday’s decision was the culmination of a process that started
in 2004, when a 12-member commission headed by first lady
Frances Owens began traveling the state to solicit ideas.
About 1,500 design suggestions were collected. The committee
whittled them down to five finalists in March."
"The finalists included depictions of Pikes Peak and ruins at Mesa
Verde National Park. One showed a military skier in honor of the
famous 10th Mountain Division. Another had a picture that looked
a lot like the Maroon Bells near Aspen and the words
NEVADA STATE QUARTER DESIGN CHOSEN
The Nevada coin design has been chosen as well. The following
is from a June 3, 2005 article in the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
"Nevadans have chosen a design featuring three wild horses
galloping across a valley with snow-capped mountains in the
background for their state quarter, state Treasurer Brian Krolicki
Krolicki said 32 percent of the 59,000 people who cast ballots
online and by mail during May favored the wild horses theme.
Starting in January, the United States Mint will produce nearly
a half billion of the quarters over a 10-week period."
"A quarter of the votes came from kids," Krolicki said. "It was
literally the kids that made the difference. The little people have
really taken this to heart and I think they delivered the wild horse."
Finishing second was a design of a big horn sheep, which
received 24 percent of the vote. A close third was a design
featuring a miner.
Ironically, the bighorn sheep is the state's official animal, chosen
by the Legislature in 1973."
"Krolicki said Secretary of the Treasury John Snow refused to
allow consideration of a gaming design or depictions of private
businesses, ruling out the Strip as a design possibility. Krolicki
said he opposed Snow's positions, but was overruled.
The wild horse design is called "Morning in Nevada" since it
shows a sun rising over the Sierra Nevada mountain range."
Some raised objections because, with the exception of Stateline
in the Lake Tahoe area, the sun sets over the mountain range
To read the entire article, see:
ORMSBY LAFAYETTE IMAGE SOUGHT
Art Tobias writes: "I continue to enjoy my E-Sylums as they
are buzzed into my laptop. Your readership was extremely
helpful in response to an earlier inquiry regarding the "Sc."
after W.L Ormsby's signature on roll-die engraved images on
Colt percussion revolvers of 1847-51. I am hoping someone
can assist in the following matter.
I am now researching the extent to which W.L. Ormsby, Sr.
was the actual hand at work on some of the images assigned
to him. The Essay-Proof Journal of 1957-58 reprinted
Ormsby's "Bank Note Engraving" at a significantly reduced
size, especially the plates. I would like to be able to examine
or have photographed a particular image at the end of the rare,
original large-format book. The image is of the Marquis de
Lafayette, by the hand of W.L. Ormsby, Jr., age 17. I have
access to another image of the Marquis, apparently engraved
by the hand of either Ormsby, Jr. or Sr. on a Colt Dragoon
currently in a collection in England. If I have a better image
of the book's engraving I can do a fingerprint-like analysis of
the lines. If anyone can aid me with access to, or high-quality
images of Ormsby-produced bank notes that will also be
helpful. I am in Southern California. I have little money to
spend on this venture but am lavish with credits in my
INFO SOUGHT ON CONFEDERATE CENT COPIES
Harold Levi writes: "In the tenth Ford sale held in Atlanta on
May 26th was a set of Confederate cent restrikes, lot 4481.
Technically, these are copies. According to Michael Hodder,
the cataloguer, Bashlow had a new pair of Confederate cent
dies engraved in London, England in 1962. This was,
seemingly, sometime after he made the so-called 2nd restrikes.
The set, housed in a leather case, contains one coin struck in
gold, one in silver, and one over-struck on an 1858 Flying
Eagle cent. Does anyone know of any other examples of
these restrikes? Are the coins in this set the only ones in
Also, Hodder mentioned that the location of the new British
dies is unknown today. Does anyone know where these
dies are, or what happened to them?
If you are the winner of this lot, PLEASE contact me!!!
Any information would be deeply appreciated! I can be
contacted at: haroldlevi at hotmail.com."
BOOK LEADS TO TOKEN FOR $25,000 PRIZE
Larry Dziubek sent us this June 2nd Associated Press story
about a children's book containing clues leading to 12 tokens
redeemable for a total of $1 million:
"A Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, man is the first treasure hunter to
decipher the clues in the book "A Treasure's Trove: A Fairy
Tale About Real Treasure for Parents and Children of All
Ages" to redeem a $25,000 prize.
Jake Polterak, 35, found the clue, hidden as a token, on
May 22 at the Rickets Glen State Park near Red Rock,
Pennsylvania, a 4 1/2-hour drive from his home. The token's
prize is an 18-karat gold dragonfly decorated with diamonds
Polterak, a computer consultant, had been reading "A Treasure's
Trove" with his 4-year-old daughter, Allie.
"Once I found the token, I couldn't believe how easy it was,"
he said in a statement released Thursday. "The clues were so
Author and publisher Michael Stadther personally hid 12
tokens redeemable for one-of-a-kind jewels with a combined
value of $1 million in public places around the country. The
jewels represent the 12 forest creatures featured in the fairy tale."
'The tokens are hidden throughout the continental United States.'
To read the full story, see:
PENNY DROPS AS DEFINITIONS ARE FOUND
Last week I asked, "Can anyone fill us in on just what the
terms "penny drop" and "silver surfer" mean?" The terms
were used in a story about an Australian coin dealer.
Martin Purdy of New Zealand writes: "Silver surfer is
defined in the article itself as "senior citizens who use the
Internet to sell goods and earn extra money".
"The penny dropped" is not confined to Australia - I've
heard this used in the UK, too. It just means "everything
suddenly became clear".
Steve Woodland confirms: "As a Canadian who lives next
to Americans and has spent time in Europe working and
studying with Americans, Australians and Jamaicans, I think
I can shed some light on the idioms in the article:
"the penny drops" is an informal British expression that means
"when someone begins to understand at last". It is like saying
"the light went on!"
"Silver surfers" means "seniors who surf the web" (unless
they're Californians or Hawaiians who might surf the waves
[Bob Lyall, Larry Dziubek, Howard Spindel and others set
me straight as well. Howard included this link to UsingEnglish.com,
which has a definition of the "penny dropped" idiom.
Thanks! The penny has dropped! -Editor]
1913 LIBERTY NICKEL TRADES HANDS
Christopher Rivituso, Arthur Shippee and others pointed
out a June 2nd Associated Press story about the sale of
a 1913 Liberty Nickel.
"Not many people can retire on a nickel unless it's a
rare 1913 Liberty Head like the one that sold Thursday
for $4.15 million."
Legend Numismatics, a coin dealership in Lincroft, N.J.,
bought it from collector Ed Lee of Merrimack, N.H. It
is one of only five such nickels known to exist."
"The nickel will be on display through Saturday at a coin
show in Long Beach, Calif. "We are going to display it
and enjoy the hell out of it," Sperber said.
Lee bought the coin from California sports agent Dwight
Manley two years ago for nearly $3 million. At the time,
he joked that he would be able to retire on the nickel."
Here's a copy of the story in The Washington Post:
On June 3rd the Asbury Park Press published a story as well:
"When Laura Sperber sold a rare 1913 Liberty Head nickel
last year for $3 million, she knew she got a raw deal.
"The day the coin left our possession, we regretted it," said
Sperber, co-president of the coin dealership Legend
Numismatics, based in the township's Lincroft section.
At a Long Beach, Calif., coin show on Thursday, she set
things right, announcing that Legend Numismatics had
purchased the finest of five known 1913 Liberty Head nickels
for $4.15 million. It was one of the highest prices ever paid
for a rare coin, second only to a $7.6 million purchase in
July 2002 of a 1933 U.S. $20 gold piece.
CELTIC COIN HOARD FOUND IN THE NETHERLANDS
Christopher Rivituso forwarded this June 3rd Associated
Press article about a hoard of Celtic coins in The Netherlands:
"Archaeologists have uncovered 17 ancient Celtic coins in
a field in the south of the Netherlands, the first hoard of such
coins found in the country.
Amsterdam's Free University excavated the site in April
and will display the coins, which are made of silver and mixed
with copper and gold, in the Limburgs Museum in the city of
Venlo on Saturday.
They are estimated to date from 20-50 B.C., shortly after
Julius Caesar began the Roman conquest of the region."
BOOKS NOT PASSE YET
Joel Orosz forwarded this article from the June 5, 2005 issue
of the New York Times:
"For the first few centuries after Johann Gutenberg started
churning out Bibles, books had it easy. There were paintings,
songs and sermons, of course, but movable type applied to
paper was the cutting-edge technology for telling stories. Today,
books compete with DVD's, video games, 500 channels of cable
television and a nearly limitless number of pages on the Internet.
The good news is that even in this high-tech age, old-fashioned
books appear to be holding their own."
To read the full article, see:
NUMISMATIC REFERENCES FOR YOUNG NUMISMATISTS
Steve Woodland writes: "I am embarking on the challenge of
starting a coin club for 10-14 year-olds in my daughter's school.
I am now on the hunt for numismatic references suitable for these
kids. I am looking for any audio, photo, video, electronic or
hard-copy references to use in running the club. I would like
to hear from any of the E-Sylum readers who may have
suggestions or contributions to help me get these young folks
interested in the field of numismatics. I can be reached via email
at steve.woodland at ca.inter.net."
MASONIC CHAPTER PENNIES
A visitor to my personal web site wrote: "I was visiting family
and I saw a coin that was about and inch and on one side said
one penny and had some drawings and on the other said Charles
Eginton Chapter No. 111 R.A.M. Beattyville Ky October 17,
1871. Could you tell me anything about it?" I wrote:
"This sounds like what collectors would call a "Masonic Chapter
Penny". Someone in the family belonged to the Masons and
this is a token given to members of that particular lodge.
The primary reference on the subject is a book by E. A. King
called "Masonic Chapter Pennies", published in 1930. It was
reprinted in 1982 and copies are available for sale on the
Internet (see bookfinder.com) It describes 10,000 varieties
with more than 500 illustrations."
Can anyone tell us if King's work has ever been brought up
to date or supplanted?
MORE ON INTERNATIONAL PATTERNS
[My apologies to Jan Moens, whose response to David Cassel's
inquiry about Jan's earlier submission was misplaced last week.
Here it is. -Editor]
Jan Moens writes: "In a recent E-Sylum, David Cassel asks for
some more information about the patterns for international coinage
of 1867-1868. Here are my answers :
1) my statement that only France, Great Britain and the U.S.
struck patterns for international coinage is based in the first place
on the analysis of catalogues for coins of that period, but also on
the fact that, after the conference of 1867, only a handful of
countries had official commissions installed to look into the matter
in more detail, these countries being France, Great Britain and the
U.S., and also Austria, but no patterns are known for this country;
it seems doubtful to me that other countries had patterns made.
2) the details about the patterns of 25 francs = 10 florins or 5
dollars come from a file that is kept at the archives of the Paris Mint.
3) the 1 franc = 10 pence pattern, although present in the
catalogue of V. Guilloteau, was not a French coin, but was
struck at the Royal Mint in London (where also patterns for
gold coins of 5 and 10 francs have been made). I do not
know the actual number of pieces produced, but it is indeed
a very rare pattern. I have a piece in my collection which
was acquired through private treaty from Spink (London)
at a price unfortunately not to be disclosed. I am not aware
of any other recent sale (note that the gold patterns were sold
in the recent sale by Spink of the Samuel King collection;
see their website www.spink.com)."
THE ROBSON LOWE VATTEMARE SALES
An anonymous subscriber writes: "Last week's E-Sylum had
the following passage as part of a submission from Robert J.
'Documents from the original Vattemare collection were sold
by Robson Lowe / Christie's on April 1, 1982 (Part I) and on
September 17, 1982 (Part II) as smaller segments to the firm's
stamp auctions on these dates. Both sales therefore were
outside the mainstream of numismatic and currency auctions,
and this literature accordingly is difficult to locate. Even the
ANA Library recently reported having only one of these two
catalogs. Does anyone know of a source for them? I'd
appreciate any related advice.'
I attended the second of these sales. I believe there are a few
errors in Mr. Galliette's commentary at least in regard to the
second sale (and possibly the first as well). To begin with,
Mr. Galliette seems to imply that the Vattemare material
appeared in sales that were primarily philatelic. The September
17, 1982 catalog with the Vattemare material was not a stamp
sale. It consisted entirely of the Vattemare material and a
collection of Federal paper money. The consignor of the
Federal paper money (an estate) had also consigned a sizable
stamp collection, which as I remember, was listed in a separate
Robson Lowe catalog. I would assume this was done purposely
so that the two catalogs could be sent to different mailing lists.
Mr. Galliette states: "Both sales therefore were outside the
mainstream of numismatic and currency auctions". The
September 17, 1982 sale was definitely in the mainstream of
currency auctions. Robson Lowe had provided virtually zero
lead time for advertising this sale. The only ad I can recall
seeing for the sale appeared in the Bank Note Reporter issue
that arrived on Wednesday September 15th. Despite this,
the currency dealer community had been aware of the sale
for months. It was a hot topic of conversation at both the
International Paper Money Show (Memphis) in June and
the ANA convention in Boston. At the sale, it seemed that
all of the major paper money dealers of the era were in the
room. Some people speculated that the dealers thought it
was going to be a poorly attended sale that would provide
a "bottom fishing" opportunity. It turned out to be just the
Since Robson Lowe was primarily a philatelic auctioneer,
their mailing list for numismatics was probably very paltry.
I suspect the reason these catalogs are "difficult to locate" is
because most of the them were mailed to people who called
up and requested them. I doubt if these catalogs are really
rare. I suspect that they are just modern day anomalies
because they didn't get the sort of distribution that a major
numismatic auctioneer would have provided. Perhaps I'm
naive, but I've always assumed that the ANA library does
not make an effort to get catalogs of this sort. If they did,
they would certainly have these two, as it was no secret
that Robson Lowe was conducting sales of this sort in the
early 1980's. I've always thought that the ANA library
relies on goodwill and donations to stock their shelves.
Am I incorrect in that? If Mr. Galliette is looking to purchase
these catalogs, I'm sure that with a little patience and the help
of Messrs. Kolbe, Lake, and Davis, he will ultimately be
LITTLE WRITTEN ON EARLY FEDERAL NOTES AND BONDS
In a follow-up note regarding early U.S. loan notes, Rob Galiette
writes: "Gene Hessler thought that his book on U.S. Loans had
long been forgotten. However, I told him that if he hadn't written
his book there would have been little context for Stack's to
explain and catalog Part VI of the Ford collection.
I had the opportunity before that auction in October to speak
with Jim O'Neal, whose landmark currency collection was
auctioned a few weeks ago by Heritage. Jim described, and
I agreed with him, that many people believe that there were
few if any emissions of Federal notes and bonds between the
early 1790's and 1861, where the Friedberg catalogs, until
recently, began. Perhaps in their minds they envisioned
emissions of obsolete banknotes, but not much else.
For example, U.S. War of 1812 notes were introduced
into Krause-Lemke catalogs a number of years ago (they
weren't in the early editions), and I don't think that they
entered Friedberg until about three editions ago.
The U.S. Government had about $2.5 billion in funded
debt by 1865 according to a reprint of an 1865 Stock
Exchange manual, but few people are familiar with it.
Conversely, there's a large interest and considerable source
material on Confederate bonds and other instruments --
but that's because they were worthless and survived
unredeemed, while U.S. issues typically traded hands
between and among wealthy individuals, institutional
investors and the Federal Government. Thereafter they
were redeemed and destroyed. The public never saw them.
Without Gene's work, Heath's Bond Detector, the Vattemare
albums, and a few other sources there'd be a near sixty-year
void regarding how the Federal Government financed its
operations, industrial development, military actions and
westward expansion, including the first transcontinental
A five or ten-dollar note is superficially easy to understand,
but the availability of bonds and other instruments, engraved
in larger format by the same companies and engravers, hold
a lot of financial information and capital formation data that
the Internet makes it easier to unlock. The Bank Note
Reporter has been doing a particularly good job of writing
articles to broaden persons' horizons as regards related
information about stocks, bonds and other financial documents
contemporary to the notes used to purchase them. These
documents are the instruments through which property
actually was held."
FORD FRACTIONAL CURRENCY SALE RARITIES
The sales of the John J. Ford. Jr. collection by Stack's
continue to be a source of astounding rarities. The June
13, 2005 sale of United States Fractional Currency has
a number of incredibly rare items, such as an experimental
essay for the fifty cents fractional currency design with a
seated liberty half dollar vignette. Known as the G.W.
Westbrook design, it was initially published in the January
1889 issue of the American Journal of Numismatics. It
was last publicly sold in the 1904 auction of the Charles
Wilcox collection and has been off the market for over
GASPARRO MEDALS & MINT GOLD MARKING POLICY
I've been appraising a small collection for a local attorney,
and in it were two items that had not been properly inventoried
by the estate auctioneer. I recognized them as U.S. Mint
products and rightly suspected they were made of gold,
even though they were not marked as such. With the help of
Don Carlucci and Dick Johnson I confirmed that these were
the work of Frank Gasparro and are known as the "National
Medals for the American Bicentennial."
Dick Johnson wrote: "There were three sizes with the same
Gasparro design (thank you, Janvier die-engraving machine --
he made one model and the Janvier created three sizes!).
The largest was 3-inch and weighed 13.18 troy ounces, the
second was 1 5/16-inch (1.167 ounce) and the smallest was
.906-inch (0.37 ounce). Their respective issue prices were
$4,000, $400 and $100.
If you have back issues of Coin World Almanac in your
library see 1977 edition (page 14) or 1978 edition (p 426)."
Remarking on the lack of information on the pieces themselves,
Dick noted:: "Private industry must obey the "1906 Tiffany
Law" and must mark the fineness on all precious metal items
manufactured in U.S. The U.S. Mint does not honor this law.
It does not mark composition, fineness or maker on its precious
metal items! They should! Joe Levine has written about this
in The Numismatist recently."
I guess I had naively assumed that all non-coin precious metal
products of the Mint would adhere to the common-sense
standard markings used elsewhere. Had I not recognized these
pieces for what they were, they might have been sold without
regard to their gold content, resulting in a loss for the estate.
What other gold products has the mint produced without
proper identifying marks?
NOSE OIL HAS NUMISMATIC NAMES
Dick Johnson writes: "Two years ago in E-Sylum several
writers reported on the use of human nose oil in a number
of ways in our field: (1) lubricate a wax tool, (2) eliminated
scratches on a coin’s surface, and (3) the same for slab
plastic. [E-Sylum vol 5, nos 7, 8 & 16.]
Surfing the Internet this week I found you can buy nose oil.
You don’t have to keep rubbing your proboscis. What’s
more, it comes in three colors – each with a numismatic
name for use on different coin compositions! Copper
penny. Silver. Black gold.
Since you are thinking I made this up, you must click
on the following URL – to prove I don’t make this
It is also used for rubbing a horse’s rear end (okay, I made
that up). Did you click on? (If there are any horsemen among
our readers, how DO you use it?)"
FEATURED WEB SITE
This week's featured web site is Timothy D. Cook's
English Hammered Coins site. "The site has three areas,
each I hope you will find useful. The first is the collection
itself. Each coin will not only have a picture, but also reference
citations and in some cases a few notes. The coins on the site
follow the same basic organization as the collection itself. The
second area that might be of interest will be the listing of the
books in my personal library. ... The last area of the site is a
links page. These links are sites that I have come across in
my web surfing. Those interested in hammered coinage will
probably find something interesting on these sites."
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a
non-profit organization promoting numismatic
literature. For more information please see
our web site at http://www.coinbooks.org/.
There is a membership application available on
the web site at this address:
To join, print the application and return it with
your check to the address printed on the application.
Membership is only $15 to addresses in North America,
$20 elsewhere. For those without web access,
David M. Sundman, Secretary/Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society, P. O. Box 82
Littleton, NH 03561
For Asylum mailing address changes and other
membership questions, contact David at this email
address: dsundman at LittletonCoin.com
To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum,
just Reply to this message, or write to the Editor
at this address: whomren at coinlibrary.com
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