The E-Sylum v8#48, November 13, 2005

esylum at esylum at
Sun Nov 13 20:03:44 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!



Wayne Homren

Numismatic Bibliomania Society





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.”





[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

wholesale basis.


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.”





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. 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 

worldwide. “


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

bibliophiles!  -Editor]





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 book’s

cover.  Periodicals are included as well. The subjects are

mostly ancient coins, but over time I’m sure many others

could be added.   Be sure to take a look.  –Editor]





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!”





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 Lindheim’s 

numismatic books. (Another reason was that I had to collect 

something after I became curator of the Medallic Art Company’s 

archives in the 1960s, as I did not want the temptation of 

collecting my own company’s 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 & Co’s 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 Tiffany’s. 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 week’s 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 

Tiffany’s 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 Tiffany’s archives a researcher needs extensive credentials, 

a letter from their publisher, and has to schedule an appointment 

well in advance. Appointments don’t come easy. Ours took from May 

to November. But we got in this week. Thursday we traveled to 

Tiffany’s 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 other’s 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 

70 years!”





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?”





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 Stack’s.  All this publicity should 

be good for stamp collecting.”





The following is an excerpt from an article E-Sylum regular

Howard A. Daniel III published this week in the MPC Gram

(#1369).  It’s 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.”





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 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.”





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 Cier’s photo, see:





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 find—at book sales and thrift 

shops, auctions and even fancy dealers—unrecognized 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 collection—assembling 

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 

to oneself. 


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, 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 run—eight 

issues—of 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:





Regarding Joaquin Gil del Real’s 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 

and described.”


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!!!”





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 bank’s 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 bank’s office hours, between 8.30am 

and 4pm every weekday.”





“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 father’s 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 

await collection.”


To read the full story, see:





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:





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.”





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. It’s still early—but already the results 

are remarkable.” 


To read the complete article, see:





Regarding Fred Reed’s 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.”





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 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


Have fun!”





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 






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]





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 

Museum, London. 


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:





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.



Wayne Homren

Numismatic Bibliomania Society



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at this address:


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