The E-Sylum v8#48, November 13, 2005
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Sun Nov 13 20:27:19 PST 2005
Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 48, November 13, 2005:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2005, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Among our recent subscribers are C.L. Collins and Charles Riley.
Welcome aboard! We now have 816 subscribers.
This issue brings sad news. One of our longtime contributors,
Bill Spengler, is gone. He will be missed. On a brighter note,
Whitman Publishing has given NBS a nice publicity plug, and
two new web sites for bibliophiles debut. Two E-Sylum
contributors locate a trove of numismatic data on 19th-century
medals, and we learn more about the recent high-profile stamp
trade from one of our own who was present. Howard Daniel
reports on his numismatic adventures in Bangkok, and from
elsewhere around the world we learn about a new exhibit of Maltese
numismatics, some background information on a book on Panama
numismatics, and more on the distribution of counterfeit currency
by the North Korean and Yemeni governments. Have fun!
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
BILL SPENGLER PASSES AWAY
Bill Rosenblum writes: It's my sad duty to report that
Bill Spengler passed away Tuesday morning about 4:30 Mountain
time. There will be no services. Bill was co-author with
Wayne Sayles of the two volume standard on Turkoman coins
(a third volume is in the works). He was the program chairman
for Numismatics International at the ANA
[Bill Spengler of Colorado Springs, CO was a frequent E-Sylum
contributor. Spengler spent seven years with the Foreign Service
in Pakistan and many years in and out of India. A specialist in
Oriental numismatics, he also volunteered at the American
Numismatic Association Museum. He will be missed. Editor]
John and Nancy Wilson, Ocala, FL write: Bill was a South
Asian Historian and Numismatist who lectured on this subject
in the U.S. and other countries. He also wrote extensively
on the subject and was a contributor to several numismatic
references. His contributions to our hobby in South Asian
Numismatics are numerous. Bill's passing is truly a great
loss for our numismatic hobby.
Bill was not only a numismatic ANA Certified Judge but a
prolific exhibitor. We will never forgot how proud he was
when he won the coveted Howland Wood Best in Show award.
Bill received numerous awards and honors in the numismatic
hobby for his hard work and dedication over many decades.
Our sincere condolences and prayers to his family. Bill
will always remain in our memories and thoughts.
Steve D'Ippolito writes: William F. Spengler passed away this
last Tuesday, 8 November. The Colorado Springs Gazette's
death notice read:
Born Jan. 12 1923. Died Nov 8, 2005.
Consul general, 29-year Colorado Springs resident. Survived
by his wife, Phillis; two sons, Bill and John; and a daughter,
Sarah. [It goes on to name the funeral home--but there were
no services or visitation, at Bill Spengler's request.]
His numismatic accomplishments were unmentioned. William
Spengler was not only a renowned specialist in issues from
Asia, he was also a talented exhibitor, winning the Howland
Wood Memorial Award for best of show in (if memory serves)
1987 and serving as an exhibit judge for many years. I took
up exhibiting in 1998 and found Bill to be eager to give
helpful advice and encouragement. I consider him my mentor.
I went over to ANA headquarters Wednesday and he is remembered
there as a gentleman and a scholar, "and there is no higher
praise" according to Nancy Green, the ANA Librarian.
His light has gone out of the world.
SPENGLER ON MARGINALIA
[The following item is reprinted from the May 11, 2003
issue of The E-Sylum (v6n19). In it, Bill Spengler
recalls his purchase of a numismatic library. Editor]
Gary Dunaier writes: "Regarding handwritten notes in the
margins of books: I, personally, don't care for them. But
I don't think it's something that should be rejected on a
For example, I don't think any self-respecting numismatic
student would turn down the opportunity to acquire a
used coin book solely on the basis of writing in the margins
-- if the notes were written by Q. David Bowers or
someone of his caliber."
Bill Spengler of Colorado Springs writes: "While in general
I abhor the practice of underlining or writing in the margins
of serious books, especially in irremovable ink, this once
worked to my considerable advantage. On a visit to my
favorite Oriental bookseller in England in 1976, I was
fortunate to acquire a 39-volume numismatic library of
original editions of most of the museum catalogues and
other standard references on ancient and medieval coins
of South Asia -- my specialty -- published between 1866
and 1941, including all the Numismatic Supplements to the
"Journal of the Asiatic Society of Bengal" 1904-1937. They
were all beautifully bound in tan leather with gold lettering
and decoration, and were in nice condition.
Several of the volumes, particularly those covering gold coins
of the Gupta Dynasty of ancient India, contained "marginalia"
written in blue pencil -- routinely used by British colonial
administrators in annotating documents and exchanging notes.
What a great find, evidently the personal reference library of
a British collector of Indian coins while stationed in the
I was eager to know who of the rather small group of such
British numismatists had owned and used this important library
long ago. Sadly, however, these volumes did not contain a
single bookplate, owner's signature or other overt indication
of ownership, and the bookseller had had them in stock so
long that he couldn't recall where, how or when he had acquired
them! I took this as a challenge in detection and eventually
discovered the solution in the volume on "The Coinage of the
Early or Imperial Gupta Dynasty of Northern India" by the
famous British Indian numismatist Vincent A. Smith, bearing
on its cover a faint inked note presenting the book to one
H. Rivett-Carnac Esq. "with the author's kind regards". This
was the only such clue in the entire library.
Confirmation came in a notation on one of the plates in this
volume on which someone had written "to BM" in blue pencil
alongside a gold stater of Kumara Gupta. When I looked up
this piece in the British Museum I found on the coin's little
round ticket that it had been donated by none other than
H. Rivett-Carnac. This established ownership of this volume
and, by association, all the others.
NBS PROMOTED IN NEW WHITMAN BOOK
Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing writes: I'm pleased to
let you know that Whitman has promoted the Numismatic Bibliomania
Society in The Whitman Insider Guide to Smart Coin Collecting, as
a numismatic group that collectors can join for education and
camaraderie. The Society is highlighted along with a five-line
description and a link to your web site:
Numismatic Bibliomania Society. www.coinbooks.org. The NBS supports
and promotes the use and collecting of numismatic literature--books,
periodicals, catalogs, and other written or printed material relating
to coins, medals, tokens, or paper money, ancient or modern, U.S. or
The Insider Guide is on the press right now and will be on
bookshelves just before Christmas. It's part of a new series of
inexpensive, small-size books (64 pages, measuring 4.25x6) focusing
on single topics in the hobby (grading, buying, selling, etc.).
Our press run will be in the thousands. My hope is that this kind
of outreach, within the hobby community and also the mass market,
will generate interest and additional membership for the NBS.
[Many thanks to Dennis and Whitman. Every bit of publicity is
a good thing for our organization. Always room for more
NUMISMATIC BOOK REVIEW WEB SITE DEBUTS
Dave Millington of the U.K. writes: I've just set up a
website for people to read about, rate and review numismatic
books. I have added a few books to get it started, and will
continue to add more books every day that I can.
Please feel free to look around. You will need to register
to add books and reviews, and also to receive the planned monthly
newsletter. Any feedback would be gratefully appreciated!
[Chris Fuccione also forwarded a note about the new site.
Visitors can browse the entries without having to register.
Each book is given its own page with an image of the books
cover. Periodicals are included as well. The subjects are
mostly ancient coins, but over time Im sure many others
could be added. Be sure to take a look. Editor]
PERSONAL LIBRARY WEB SITE
Jeff Reichenberger writes: I stumbled onto a web site
that might interest some of our fellow 'philes:
You can catalog your personal library, share it or
keep it private, categorize, tag, and otherwise set it
up just the way you want it. Up to 200 books is free,
Unlimited entries for $10/year, $25/lifetime. Enjoy!
TWO NUMISMATIC RESEARCHERS AT TIFFANYS
Dick Johnson writes: I have collected the medals of Tiffany
& Company for almost forty years. The fact that Tiffany the
famed jewelry firm on Fifth Avenue in New York City and now
with stores all over the world made medals was brought
to my attention by a passage in one of Leon Lindheims
numismatic books. (Another reason was that I had to collect
something after I became curator of the Medallic Art Companys
archives in the 1960s, as I did not want the temptation of
collecting my own companys medals.)
I casually acquired a Tiffany piece now and then. Then I
discovered something astounding. I learned that Medallic Art
Company had struck all of Tiffany & Cos medals since the mid
1930s. I kept record of these but collected only those that
predated this era.
Another discovery: The firm had their own Tiffany Pavilion
at the Buffalo Exposition in 1901. They had exhibited one
of every medal they had made in the 19th century. They even
gold plated every medal in that exhibit! Even better, they
had published a little pamphlet listing all these. I discovered
this rare pamphlet in the vertical files in the library of the
American Numismatic Society.
My cataloging work at Medallic Art Co brought me in contact
with the head of the art department at Tiffanys. One time
I asked him: "Does Tiffany have an archive of all their medals?"
Yes, he said, some but not all. Come by some time and I will
dig them out and show you.
I was at his fourth floor office at the Fifth Avenue Store
in less that a weeks time. He had a couple of trays to show
me. They were all goldplated! These were the 19th century
medals that had been in that 1901 exhibit!
Recently, I learned that writers on silver had access to
Tiffanys archives, writing about famed Tiffany silver designs.
I wondered if they still had records of their medals. I
mentioned this to fellow researcher Katie Jaeger, who said
she would like to visit the Tiffany archives as well.
Katie is a rising star in the field of numismatic literature.
An author of articles in history journals, some of her articles
will appear in numismatic publications shortly. She has worked
with Q. David Bowers for a book or two and currently she is well
into her own major numismatic book project. Watch for her name
on some gem numismatic books upcoming.
Katie is inspired. Her inspiration is the fact her great grandfather
was one of the Lovetts George Hampden Lovett. She had researched
the Lovett family history, learned the lore of engraving and is now
deeply immersed in numismatics.
To access Tiffanys archives a researcher needs extensive credentials,
a letter from their publisher, and has to schedule an appointment
well in advance. Appointments dont come easy. Ours took from May
to November. But we got in this week. Thursday we traveled to
Tiffanys New Jersey headquarters to spend the day pouring over
the documents, papers, card files, photographs, journals, sketch
books, and scrapbooks.
I came with a list of 327 medals I knew Tiffany had made since 1851.
I found perhaps two to five times that number of medals which were
new to me. Katie and I were in our glory pouring over this untapped
source of numismatic treasure. Two heads are far better than one in
research, constantly seeking each others advice - and searching
takes half the time.
One series of boxes had small envelopes containing 3x5 cards (papers,
sketches, and sometimes sample die impressions!). There were also
black crumbs in every one of these envelopes tobacco, I first
thought. No, these records were once held together by rubber bands.
In 70 years the bands had deteriorated to crumbs.
Perhaps we were the first eyes to see these documents in over
TRADITIONAL BOOK SIZE INFORMATION SOUGHT
Martin Purdy writes: The discussion about the most valuable
numismatic book prompted me to do some research about the
oldest book that the Royal Numismatic Society of New Zealand
holds in its library - "Familiae Romanae in Antiquis Numismatibus",
by Charles Patin, 1663. It clearly isn't going to beat any
price records, but it's a nice item nonetheless. It appears
to have been published in various editions and sizes, and
I had some fun trying to work out exactly what "traditional"
page size it corresponds to - at 360 x 240 mm (trimmed page
size), it doesn't really match any of the standard definitions
for the various folio standards! Can anyone offer an old-style
size description with any degree of certainty?
MORE ON THE MOST EXPENSIVE STAMP TRADE
NBS Secretary-Treasurer David Sundman writes: I was
just reading the latest E-Sylum edition at home and
found the mention of the big stamp trade that my brother
Donald Sundman and Bill Gross did last week. You can
point out to your readers that the new owner of the unique
Jenny Airmail invert plate block is my smarter younger
brother. Donald (of Mystic Stamp Company in Camden, New
York), and I (of the Littleton Coin Company in Littleton,
New Hampshire), enjoy working and collecting in our
respective fields. You might also direct readers to the
story on the BBC World News website, which has a photo
of the actual trade. I was in New York for the event,
which was pretty wild, with three TV camera crews, a
dozen or more reporters, and a couple of dozen collectors
in the Charles Shreve Gallery on West 57th Street, about
a hundred yards from Stacks. All this publicity should
be good for stamp collecting.
HOWARD DANIEL REPORTS FROM BANGKOK
The following is an excerpt from an article E-Sylum regular
Howard A. Daniel III published this week in the MPC Gram
(#1369). Its a report on his numismatic adventures, filed
from Bangkok, Thailand:
Howard writes: I sent emails and called everyone I was to
meet in Bangkok after settling into my room. My first meeting
was with Barent Springsted. He is a former Peace Corps volunteer
here during the war and he stayed to work in the investment community.
He is a paper money and map collector, and has MPC in his collection.
We had dinner in the restaurant and talked over it for more than
two hours. His Thai wife is almost a perfect twin of my Vietnamese
My second meeting was with Ron Cristal, who is a former USAF
JAG officer I met over here during the war. He stayed here and
opened his own law firm. It has done very well and he is one
of THE collectors of Thai metal financial instruments. He is
working on a reference that will become THE best one for Thailand,
but he is not into paper so you will not see Thai MPC Coupons in it.
Then Barent, Ron and I met Mr Lee, Bangkok's foremost numismatic
dealer for a lunch at the Sofitel Hotel. It started at 12 Noon
and finished around 3PM. We talked and talked about family and
The next day, I went to see Ron again, and then on to Mr Lee's
shop; L. Kim Guan. He brought me into his office and stacked
up boxes of Vietnamese paper in front of me. And two sets of
plates for the common DRVN Nam Bo 1 Dong note! I bought one
set of the plates to use in a future exhibit. I also bought
several modern Vietnamese notes with higher or lower blocks
than I have in my database. And four Government of Indochina
10 Cent WWII-era notes. Two of them have the same exact
numbers and are replacements! I need to get them to Joe Boling
to update WWII Remembered.
JR NEWSLETTER REACHES SUBSCRIBER MILESTONE
Editor William Luebke writes: With Issue # 12, emailed
Sunday, November 13, the JR Newsletter has achieved a
milestone -- 150 subscribers. This is a significant
achievement since its birth in August 2005.
Dedicated to collectors and students of U.S. Federal silver
and gold coinage of the 1794-1839, the JR Newsletter is
free to all. Simply email JRNews at nyc.rr.com to join.
While JR News is not affiliated with any numismatic
organization, it is recommended that subscribers join the
John Reich Collectors Society (JRCS). JRCS can be contacted
Content for the JR Newsletter is provided by subscribers
and as such is dependent on their input. Published items
have included book reviews, announcements of discoveries
of previously unknown specimens of rare varieties, auction
and coin show reviews, collector profiles, debates and
other items of interest to all numismatic scholars in
general and students of early U.S. coinage in particular.
OCEAN IN VIEW NICKEL PHOTOGRAPHER AT OREGON EVENT
On November 9, 2005 the Newport News Times of Newport, OR
reported that The new "Ocean In View" nickels, featuring
the work of Newport photographer Andrew Cier, will be
available for exchange during the Lewis and Clark signature
event, "Destination: The Pacific," which takes place Friday
through Sunday near Astoria on the north Oregon coast.
The new five-cent piece, released Aug. 5, 2005, was
designed by Joe Fitzgerald of the United States Mint
Artistic Infusion Program. The front features a contemporary
image of President Thomas Jefferson and the back image is
based on a photograph taken by Cier of the windswept Oregon
Cier, an employee at Newport Lazerquick, only became aware
that his photograph was used for the nickel after a colleague
brought the new coin to his attention; he later received
official credit for the image through an unprecedented
settlement reached with the United States Mint.
"It's quite exciting, as a professional photographer,"
Cier said shortly following the settlement.
To read the complete story, and view Ciers photo, see:
BOOK HUNTING IN BRITAIN
Tom Fort forwarded a recent article from Slate on
book hunting in Britain. Here are a few excerpts:
Book collectors are thrill-seekers. It is a vegetarian
hunt to be sure, without much exertion or risk, but the
endorphin rush of the chase and the adrenaline high of
the capture are much the same with first editions as I
imagine they must be in the pursuit of 10-point stags,
largemouth bass, or 20-foot waves at Maverick's.
Speaking only for myself, I can describe four kinds of
book-collecting euphoria. There is, first of all, simply
the kick of a bargain. Despite all the Internet has done
to make prices transparent and bibliographic information
universal, you can still findat book sales and thrift
shops, auctions and even fancy dealersunrecognized or
underpriced rarities. Getting something valuable for
cheap is the basic, greedy thrill of book collecting.
The second pleasure is simply that of making a collectionassembling
objects that are related in some way and then filling in holes
and extending from the edges. Book collecting is a largely
solitary, mostly male, and completely absorbing activity.
Nicholas Basbanes' wonderful study A Gentle Madness explores
what has driven the great book collectors. As his title indicates,
it's not necessarily outstanding mental health. But while
"completism" is clearly a form of nuttiness, it is for the most
part a benign one, causing no harm to others and usually little
Next is appreciation of the physical object. Though you might
not take this point away from the best-seller tables at Barnes
& Noble, the book has historically been a beautiful thing. It
is a repository of various arts and crafts, including
illustration, typography, letterpress printing, paper-making,
and binding (not to mention writing). Raised in a house filled
with old books, I'm drawn to them: the dust jackets that call
out a historical moment, the marbled boards, the words pressed
into the page with movable type.
Fourth and finally, there is something that approaches a
literary sensation. Holding in your hands the original
publication of a book or writer who subsequently became
famous rolls back the veils of time and reputation. It
connects you to the moment of original potential, before
appreciation, recognition, and fame complicated everything.
In this way, the first edition has always felt to me like
the literature of original intent. It is the book as it
went out into the world, the work in its purest (if not
necessarily most perfect) form. Of course, there's a negative
side to all this too, which makes me slightly loathe collecting,
and which I'll get back to later. Once acquired, sought-after
rare books become inert trophies, chloroformed butterflies
pinned to a board. It's a bit deathly.
We chat about the Internet, which Tindley naturally deplores.
His view is that the Web takes the magic and mystery out of
the book business. Using Abebooks.com, which scours listings
for 70 million books from 13,000 dealers around the world,
you can find almost anything you are looking for with
unimaginable ease. But on the Web, you never find what you're
not looking for, which is what invariably happens when you
walk into Tindley and Chapman.
After lunch, we return to the shop and Tindley proves his
point by emerging from the basement with a full runeight
issuesof a magazine called Polemic, which was published
in England between 1945 and 1947. Little intellectual magazines,
such as Partisan Review and Horizon are a special interest of
mine, and Polemic, with covers designed by the British artist
Ben Nicholson, is one I've never seen before. Almost every
issue has the first publication of one of Orwell's essays,
including "The Prevention of Literature" and "Second Thoughts
on James Burnham." This is something I would have never thought
to look for on Abebooks and probably wouldn't have found if I
had. The price? James makes a gesture that indicates he has no
idea and says £40 ($70). I leave with that, an early V.S.
Naipaul first, and the first collected edition of Hart Crane's
"Nature abhors a vacuum," he tells me, apologizing for the
mess of volumes, papers, and junk covering every available
surface in his office, including the floor. "But a bookshop
really abhors a vacuum."
To read the full article, see:
PANAMA PAPER MONEY IMAGES
Regarding Joaquin Gil del Reals request for images of
Panamanian currency, Gar Travis writes: Do you know of
Bejamin Mizarachi? He was president of the Asociación
Numismática De Panamá 1996-1997 and wrote an interesting
text called Catálogo Numismático De Panamá. Many notes
and nearly all the coins and tokens of Panama are pictured
Joaquin writes: Yes, I am familiar with the catalog.
I wrote the paper money part, and many others here in
Panama collaborated to write all the other parts. Mizrachi
was President of the Associacion at the time and did push
for the publication, but he only contributed a few tokens
and never gave anybody else credit for the publication.
What I'm looking for is for anyone holding any of these
paper items to please scan and send them. I have many
large empty spaces that need filling!!!
EXHIBIT OF MALTESE NUMISMATICS
According to The Malta Independent on November 11 , Central
Bank of Malta governor Michael C. Bonello inaugurated a
permanent exhibition of antique coins used in Malta between
350 BC and AD 1855 yesterday. The exhibition, which is mounted
in the foyer of the banks main premises, contains a
representative selection of coins used in Malta from the
Punic-Roman period to the early British era.
The inauguration was preceded by a lecture on coinage in
Malta delivered by Mr Joseph C. Sammut, a leading Maltese
numismatist, who contributed to the setting up of the
exhibition and has published extensively on this subject.
The lecture was held in collaboration with Heritage Malta
and the Farsons Foundation.
The permanent exhibition includes detailed descriptions of
the coins and an overview of the periods during which these
coins circulated. The exhibition is open free-of-charge to
the public during the banks office hours, between 8.30am
and 4pm every weekday.
IRA-KOREAN COUNTERFEITING SCAM DETAILED
Daily Ireland today reveals the full extent of
the Official IRA counterfeit dollar scam of the
late 1980s and early 90s.
We can further disclose details of the sophisticated
operation carried out by experienced Official IRA
volunteers to offload the counterfeit $100 bills for
genuine currency in a blitz on financial institutions
the length and breadth of Ireland.
The story began in 1988 when a number of senior
Official IRA men including a man known as the Devil,
a Belfast businessman and a veteran paramilitary from
the Republic visited North Korea to attend celebrations
to mark the 40th anniversary of the formation of the state.
They travelled first to the North Korean embassy in
Moscow, where officials arranged for them to get into
North Korea without the travel documents that are
usually required. The three men stayed in a guarded
compound in the capital Pyongyang for two weeks.
While there, they met then president Kim Il-sung and
his son Kim Jong-il, who became ruler of North Korea
and chairman of the ruling Workers Party of Korea
after his fathers death.
President Kim and his son promised the Official IRA
team whatever help they needed to carry out the
Irish revolution to which the Irishmen told the
North Koreans they were committed.
The Official IRA men were shown huge amounts of
weapons and ammunition and the high-quality counterfeit
US dollars that the North Koreans were churning out
on state-of-the-art printing presses.
In 1989, the Official IRA collected its first
consignment of US$1 million in cash from the North
Koreans. The money was moved to the North Korean
embassy in Moscow before being transferred to a
popular holiday destination in eastern Europe to
To read the full story, see:
YEMENI COUNTERFEIT DISTRIBUTION
An article published in the Yemeni Times this week enumerated
several criminal activities its government has been accused of
being involved in, including distributing counterfeit money:
Yemeni President Ali Abdullah Saleh is scheduled to visit
the United States in November for a round of meetings with
President Bush and other high ranking US officials. As the
representative of the Yemeni people, Saleh deserves a great
deal of respect and hospitality. Yet it has become increasingly
apparent that the regime, under the total domination of President
Saleh, is engaged in a wide variety of criminal activities to
the detriment of regional stability and the Yemeni people
Counterfeit Money: The Central Bank of Yemen distributed a
substantial amount of forged currency to its clients. Confirmed
as forgeries by the Yemeni police, the bogus currency distributed
by the Taiz branch of the Yemen Central Bank was in both Saudi
and Yemeni denominations, according to al-Wahdawi news.
Counterfeit Saudi riyals are thought to be regularly smuggled
into Saudi Arabia to be exchanged with authentic denominations.
Adel al-Dhahab, the lawyer who had handled counterfeiting cases
for the Reserve Bank of Yemen in 2004, reported that some of
the counterfeit money stored for protection by the Reserve Bank
was stolen (and presumably re-circulated) by a high ranking
official in the Ministry of the Interior, until the prosecutor
was forced to stamp every bill as counterfeit to prevent such
practices. Mr. al-Dhahab also confirmed that the Central Bank
is used as a mechanism of transferring and investing the personal
funds of top officials overseas.
To read the complete article, see:
ANOTHER UNUSUAL GOLD COIN FIND
Fred Schwan writes: Regarding circulating gold coins I
have one good story. A few years after I started collecting,
my father showed me (and later gave me) a coin that he had.
It was a VF 1851 gold dollar. The interesting part is where
he got it.
Dad (and his extended family) was in the dry cleaning business
(both his brother and brother in law also had dry cleaning
establishments; dad learned the trade from the former and
taught it to the latter). He started his own business in
1938 (still run by my brother) and started working in the
business in the late 1920s.
The subject dollar was found in a lint trap of a dry cleaning
machine. If he told me when he found it, I do not recall
specifically, but believe that it was in the early 1930s. A
dry cleaning machine lint filter is much like the lint filter
on a current home dryer--they both have the job of catching
Anyway, that is where he found it and since there was no way
to determine the rightful owner, he kept it until the 1960s
when I got it. Of course I still have and cherish it and I
have more than a little interest in gold dollars.
Now it would be a stretch to say that this dollar was a
circulating coin, but it is also a little hard to imagine
that someone was carrying a $1 gold piece as a pocket piece.
A CASE FOR SPECIAL COLLECTIONS
Joel Orosz forwarded a link to an interesting article on
the future of special collections at libraries:
It is in unique collections
that Neal sees a
bright future for libraries. In fact, at the April 2005
Association of College and Research Libraries annual conference
in Minneapolis, Neal told an audience of librarians that in the
digital age, librarians are poised to enter a new golden age
of special collections, spurred by digitization and greater
online access to primary resources.
Research libraries traditionally have been evaluated by
how many volumes they hold, but the smallest library can
eventually access as many volumes as the largest, Neal
explains, alluding to the advent of digital databases for
contemporary resources. In the future, I believe great
research libraries will be evaluated more and more on
their special collections.
Indeed, digitization, high-speed connections, and suites
of powerful new tools that allow students and researchers
to interact as never before with collections are breaking
them free from their climate-controlled exile and putting
valuable special collections at the center of exciting new
partnerships among librarians, faculty, students, and
technicians. Its still earlybut already the results
To read the complete article, see:
NUMISMATIST MICROFICHE / MICROFILM SET
Regarding Fred Reeds question about The Numismatist in
microfiche or microfilm, Dave Lange writes: I purchased
a microfiche set of The Numismatist 1888-1979 from the ANA
in that latter year. It was of so-so quality, though I did
use it occasionally. I now have a complete run of bound
hardcopies in my office, so I let my microfiche set go
in one of Fred Lake's sales about three years ago. I don't
recall what it brought, but it wasn't much.
George Fitzgerald writes: I purchased the Numismatist in
Microfiche from ANA several years ago. I use it occasionally.
Dan Friedus writes: The ANA actually published a set of
The Numismatist on microfiche. As someone who used to work
for a microfilm publisher and has used a lot of microfilm
and fiche for research, I don't think I'm going overboard
in calling the ANA product mediocre at best. Some, if not
all, of it was in negative which was pretty annoying for
looking at images. But the data is there and it takes up
less space than paper.
Nancy Green, Librarian of the American Numismatic Association
Writes: The ANA does still have microfiche of (in those days)
The Numismatist. The last year filmed was 1996.
Nancy Green adds: A bride puts a six-pence in her shoe for
good luck, not a copper coin, and fuse boxes require copper
coins to make the connection. Nickel does not conduct electricity.
GOOGLE PRINT TRICK
Jim McNerney writes: I enjoyed Ed Snible's article about
Google Print and the links he provided very much.
After paging through some of the books I did find a way
to skip forward, or backward, to the page desired.
If you look at the location bar, while clicking through
the pages, you will see a number in the line changing.
This is the page number. A reader can change this number,
by highlighting it, to the page needed and hit the enter key.
Jack Benedict and Dan Freidus made the same discovery. Dan
writes: I played around with print.google.com and found a
way to go to a specific page. Just take the basic URL and
add &pg=PAxxx where xxx is the page number you want
COMMUNITY EXCHANGE SYSTEMS
Larry Mitchell forwarded a link to a web site devoted
to community exchange systems in Asia, Africa and Latin
Several communities in Asia have been experimenting with
a new means of exchange, called a Community Coupon. It
functions very much like a credit card. Instead, credit
is received in the form of notes that look very different
from the national currency, but are valued in the same
COIN DEALERS ON MEDALS
Regarding our earlier question about coin dealer Fred Merritt,
Nick Graver writes: All presidents of the Rochester Numismatic
Association had medals struck, making it a most interesting series.
I cannot imagine many commercial coin dealers having their likeness
on a large quality medal, or any piece, for that matter.
[A number of coin dealers have been featured on medals, usually
on numismatic society medals such as Merritt. Has anyone ever
compiled a list? -Editor]
INDIAN COIN CONTROVERSY
The following is from a November 7 newspaper article:
Satyam Nagar, proud bearer of a rare pictorial Sikh coin
bearing pictures of the first and the tenth Gurus, has
contradicted the claims made by numismatists regarding
similar coins said to be exhibited only at the British
A law student of Ludhiana Regional Centre of Panjab
University, Chandigarh, Mr Nagar supports his claim with
a rare coin purportedly minted 258 years ago ( Vikrmi 1804 )
by one of the Sikh missals.
"Though some numismatics have claimed that only two coins
of this types were reported at the British Museum, it is
my firm opinion that the coin in my possession is different
from those," claimed Mr Nagar.
Supporting his claim with pictures of the coins he said
the coin exhibited at the said museum carried picture of
Guru Nanak Dev only with one person while the one with him
bears pictures of Bhai Bala and Bhai Mardana. Even the
historians are not sure about the identity of person sitting
in front of Guru. Some view him as Bhai Mardana while others
see him as Bhai Bala, he argued.
To read the full story, see:
FEATURED WEB SITE
This week's featured web site is "Spain and its Coins,"
a virtual exhibit of the National Numismatic Collection
at the Smithsonian Institution, recommended to us by
Roger deWardt Lane of Hollywood, Florida.
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
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