The E-Sylum v9#25, June 18, 2006

esylum at esylum at
Sun Jun 18 20:36:19 PDT 2006

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 9, Number 25, June 18, 2006:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers is Gerald Buckmaster.  Welcome aboard!  
We now have 928 subscribers.

Jeff Reichenberger writes: "Happy Father's Day to all E-Sylum 
fathers. I wanted to relate one of the favorite gifts I received 
this year from my 5 year old daughter. It's a card actually, a 
five inch embossed replica of the obverse of a Washington Quarter. 
However the motto reads "In DAD We Trust". On the inside it says, 
"Don't ever change". Apparently the designer of the card assumes 
the obverse of the Washington Quarter will never change. My first 
numismatic Father's Day gift!"

This week brings news of some more new numismatic publications.  
2006 should be a great year for bibliophiles.  But don't think 
we're ever likely to run out of good ideas for numismatic books - 
Dick Johnson provides a list of ten titles that have yet to be 
written, and they aren't all in jest.  

In the feedback category, Dave Perkins chimes in with a response 
to George Fuld's query on collecting city directories, and Bob 
Evans discusses the recent Forbes article on the Central America 
treasure investors.  

>From the popular press we have some nice articles on topics as 
diverse as the U.S. Institute of Heraldry, the private manufacture 
of U.S. cent planchets, and coins found in New York City parking 
meters.  To learn the numismatic connections to Ball jar lids and 
Zamboni machines, read on.  Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


John and Nancy Wilson, Ocala, FL write: "While looking for various 
things on the ANA  and while looking at the Staff 
page we found that David J. Sklow has evidently replaced Nancy Green 
as the Director, Library and Research for the ANA.  

David is a very skilled and competent researcher in the numismatic 
field.  Back in the 1980's David owned a company in Michigan that 
sold numismatic references through mail bid auctions and fixed price 
lists.  In the early 1990's David had a company in Florida that held 
auctions via mail bid sales.  On a few occasions he also took tables 
at coin shows and sold numismatic literature.  We purchased books 
from David and were always treated very fairly.  Some of these 
references are still in our library.   David worked for the Money 
Tree for their last few auctions and currently serves on the Board 
of Directors of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

Several years ago he went to work for the ANA as a Numismatic Researcher.  
We have known David for many years and find him very knowledgeable 
and competent as a numismatic researcher and bibliophile.  We want 
to congratulate David and wish him the very best in what appears to 
be his new job with ANA as the Director of the Library.  

We want to commend the ANA Executive Director Chris Cipoletti for 
making this appointment.  We are sure he will do an excellent job 
for ANA in this very important position.    It will be nice to 
congratulate David in person at the Denver ANA this coming August.  
Please go to the ANA web site ( to see a listing of 
all the Staff at ANA, which includes David as the ANA Library 
Director.  You can E-mail David at and congratulate him on his 
new position.  His ANA E-mail is sklow at"


Karl Moulton writes: "I wanted to let all E-Sylum readers know 
about a new Modern Marvels show on the History Channel about 
American Money.  It is scheduled to air for the first time on 
Monday, June 19 at 11pm EST. I was fortunate to be able to 
contribute some information and images from my post card and 
stereoview collection.  The producer told me that it will re-air 
throughout the summer, so please check your local listings."

The following description is from the History Channel's web site:
"How does America make money--literally? We visit the United 
States Mint and the Bureau of Printing and Engraving to see the 
secretive government facilities where our legal tender is generated. 
With a storied past as tantalizing as the wealth they create, 
these mints can spit out fortunes in an hour and keep our economy 

For a schedule of upcoming episodes, see:


George Fuld writes: "The fifth edition of Patriotic Civil War 
Tokens by George and Melvin Fuld has now been released.  The 
64-page 1960 pamphlet has grown to 433 pages and a fold out 
plate.  Just shows what can be accomplished when a committee 
(not yours truly) revises something!!  Cost is $35 and can be 
ordered from Jud Petrie, P O Box 10553, Portland, ME 04104 or 
exonumist at"

Jud Petrie, CWTS Book Manager adds: "All prices include shipping, 
handling and insurance.  The retail price is $35.00, member price 
$30.00 but members may obtain it for $25.00 for orders received 
by July 31. Also, any new member joining the CWTS at the ANA 
convention in Denver may also get it for $25.00. A dealer/volume 
discount is also available.

To reduce the inventory of the 4th Edition of the Patriotic book 
a steep dealer discount has been offered - a case of 12 books 
for $120, while supplies last.

We have also just received the latest reprinting of the Storecard 
book. There are a number of 'cosmetic' changes to the book, the 
text remains the same. This time it will have a dust jacket 
(printed in copper ink), the highest quality cloth cover, gold 
ink over black background on the spine, and a 'round' binding...
and according to Al Hoch, it is the highest quality book Quarterman 
has ever produced. The retail cost is $100, CWTS member price 
remains $85. However due to the limited quantity, there will be 
no dealer/volume discount this time.

Hamm's book on the issuers of Indiana Merchant Civil War tokens 
is now out of print with no plans on reprinting it. I have 16 
unbound copies that will be offered for free to CWTS members at 
the ANA convention. These have the front and back covers, and 
all pages, but no spine or binding. First come, first served, 
and again, only while supplies last."


George Fuld adds: "ANS Notes and Monographs 167 on John Law by 
John Adams has been released.  I don't know the cost, but whatever 
it is, it's well  worth it.  Truly an amazing research job on a 
little known series.  Simply subperb!!"


Kerry Rodgers and Martin Purdy note that a new history of The 
Reserve Bank of New Zealand has just been published.  "Innovation 
and Independence: The Reserve Bank of New Zealand 1973-2004" was 
authored by Dr John Singleton   with Arthur Grimes, Gary Hawke, 
and Sir Frank Holmes, published by the Auckland University Press.

For more information, see:  


Last week we broached the topic of making back issues of The 
E-Sylum available on CD-ROM.  Martin Purdy writes: "Count me in!"

Dan Breen writes: "I would be interested in a CD of the E-Sylum 
archive.  Since I subscribed, I have been reading the past issues 
starting from the beginning and I've just completed volume five.  
Thank you for all your efforts on The E-Sylum, I enjoy reading it 
every Monday morning."

Kerry Rodgers writes: "I would love the whole of Bibliomania on 
CD but ONLY if it had a decent searchable index by author, topic 
and date. Not too familiar with this stuff but life it too short 
to scroll through page upon page."

[At least Google does a fair job of making content findable, but 
that would be lost on a CD.  I'd love a good E-Sylum index myself, 
but I'm too busy creating it to have time to index it.  Kerry 
adds: "I note that editors NEVER index their own creations.  
Some dedicated soul pops out of the woodwork and tells you they 
have been working away at it for the past ten years and do you 
think anyone would like it?"


Dave Perkins writes: "This is in reply to George Fuld's posting 
in last week's E-Sylum "Does anyone collect city directories of 
the Nineteenth Century?"

I collect Detroit, Michigan City Directories which I use for 
researching the Detroit Civil War Store Card tokens, other tokens 
and counterstamped coins.  They are a great source to "discover 
the issuer behind the token."  In addition, quite a few of the 
merchants and businesses that issued the tokens placed advertisements 
in these same city directories.  This often yields additional 
information about their business.  I have published numerous 
articles in the Civil War Token Journal and the TAMS Journal 
using this information (and with information from other sources 
I have acquired).

Despite advertising to buy Detroit city directories for many years 
it took me almost 10 years to acquire my first ones.  If I remember 
correctly, I eventually got the following years: 1837 (reprint); 
1856-57; 1861; 1872-73; 1875-76; 1876-77; 1882; 1884 and about one 
per decade through the 1940s.  My favorite and the best for my Civil 
War Token research was the 1861 directory.  I was never able to 
locate original copies of the 1862-64 directories, key directories 
for the tokens issued during the Civil War.

My great-great grandfather, Wm. Perkins, Jr. issued two Detroit Civil 
War Tokens.  One was for the Perkins Hotel and the other the Perkins 
Grocery & Provision Store.  I once went through the 1861 city directory 
line by line and located many employees of the two businesses.  Later 
while doing genealogical research on my family it turned out that two 
of these employees were relatives, having married daughters of Wm. 
Perkins, Jr.  

About a year ago I purchased a CD on E-Bay with directories from the 
1860s and eventually acquired many other years from the same source.  
I printed the 1862-1866 Directories on archive type paper and had 
them nicely bound.  I now have a pretty complete library of Nineteenth 
Century Detroit city directories."


Dick Johnson writes: "Here is a list of ten numismatic books 
I would purchase and love to read if they existed:

10. Confessions of an Illicit Coin Slabber.
 9. How To Design a Modern Coin.
 8. The Western Gold Bar Controversy – The 24 Karat Truth.
 7. Coin Grading By Ouija Board: A More Accurate System.
 6. Coin Con Catalog – A Comprehensive List of Criminals in Numismatics.
 5. The Secret History of Walter H. Breen. 
 4. The Red Book of Numismatic Literature.
 3. ANA Politics, Scandal and Rumor – The Truth Revealed.
 2. The Official History of the United States Mint.
 1. Coin Engraving Through The Ages."

[Number 6 is a topic I've been curious about for some time.  We've 
discussed some "Numismatic Ne'er-Do-Well's" in the past - murderers, 
thieves, adulterers, pedophiles, plagiarists, etc.  It would make 
for an interesting read.

[Number 4 is another interesting one, and right on target for 
bibliophiles.  Charlie Davis' book on American Numismatic Literature 
is a great reference, but long outdated as far as pricing goes.  
Denis Kroh's book on ancient coin literature is also long out of print.  
A compact, up-to-date reference to numismatic literature would 
be most welcome.  As with any such book, the hard part would be 
deciding what to include in the limited available space, and by what

What are your thoughts, readers?  Are any such books already in 
the works?  Anyone willing to tackle a new project?   Other ideas 
(serious or otherwise) for books that aren't but ought to be?  


According to press reports, "A Sacramento federal judge on Monday 
tossed out atheist Michael Newdow's challenge to the phrase "In God 
We Trust" as the national motto and its inscription on coins and 
currency.  Newdow argued that the slogan violates the establishment 
clause of the U.S. Constitution, which keeps government out of religion.

But U.S. District Judge Frank C. Damrell Jr. points out in an 18-page 
order that the federal appellate court with jurisdiction over California 
held in a 1970 opinion that the motto "has nothing whatsoever to do 
with the establishment of religion."

"The same appellate opinion disposes of Newdow's claim that the use 
of the motto on coins and currency amounts to government coercion to
proselytize or evangelize on behalf of monotheism, Damrell wrote.

Newdow said Monday he is optimistic about his chances on appeal to 
the 9th Circuit."

To read the complete article, see: 


Last week we published a link to a Forbes magazine article about 
the investors who backed the recovery of the S.S. Central America 
Treasure.  The gist of the article was that the investors hadn't 
yet recovered their money.  Bob Evans was a key member of the 
project team, and he was interviewed for the article.  He writes: 
"I would like to respond to this article, but it is hard to know 
where to begin. It is such a slanted piece, and one where I believe 
the writers had the conclusions in their minds before they even 
began the research. I was interviewed at length, but I notice that 
my commentary was completely absent from the article, probably 
because I had mostly flattering things to say about our accomplishments, 
and about Tommy Thompson: stuff that did not fit their pre-conceived 
notions. Such is journalism."


According to the June 2006 newsletter of the Carnegie Hero Fund 
Commission, "After 72 years of inactivity, Andrew Carnegie’s German 
hero fund, which was taken over by the Nazis in 1934, has been 
resurrected, thanks to the efforts of a private citizen in Mannheim.

The “Carnegie Stiftung fuer Lebensretter” (CSL), or Carnegie 
Foundation for Rescuers, was re-established April 15 on receiving 
recognition from the German courts as the only heir of the 
original fund. Andreas Huber, 36, the visionary behind the effort, 
said the reconstruction of CSL was a “painful” process and that it 
took hard work to get permission from the authorities to rebuild."

[The article pictures a prewar German Carnegie Hero Fund medal.  
With the resurrection of the German Fund, perhaps a new medal is 
in the offing.  Walter Rutkowski of the U.S. commission will be 
going to Germany in July to participate in a ceremony for the new 
German fund.  -Editor]

To read the newsletter, see: 


Ron Abler writes; "I've run into a snag gathering data for my 
book on 1876 Centennial medals. Published literature on the 
subject is scarce, with relevant medals mostly being included 
piecemeal under other categories, such as Washingtonia, so-called 
dollars, and Mint medals.  I recognize that a treasure trove of 
information lies hidden in auction catalogs, especially those 
from the late 19th and early 20th century, but I am at a loss 
as to how to proceed.

Simply collecting catalogs willy-nilly seems wasteful of money, 
time, and shelving space, and older catalogs can be unaffordable.  
Does anyone have any suggestions as to how I might conduct a 
targeted search for auction catalogs that actually contain 
offerings of 1876 medals and ways to collect the information 
without going broke in the process?  My collection strains the 
budget too much as it is."


On June 15 the Denver Post reported on the rollout of the new 
Colorado quarter: "The new Colorado commemorative quarter received 
rock-star treatment Wednesday during a launch ceremony at the state 

More than a thousand people - mostly coin collectors, children and 
their parents - braved the heat to be among the first in the country 
to palm shiny "Colorful Colorado" coins, some delivered by a 
horse-drawn Wells Fargo coach to the west steps of the Capitol." 

"Country music blared, two F-16 fighter jets from the Colorado Air 
National Guard buzzed the crowd, and volunteers with the Colorado 
Historical Society, in period costume, handed out bottles of water 
to folks sweltering in the heat." 

"The Colorado quarters feature a mountain scene, trees and the 
phrase "Colorful Colorado." They should start turning up as change 
in regular transactions sometime in July. Some 650 million Colorado 
quarters will be minted over a 10-week period in Denver and 

To read the complete Denver Post article, see: 

More color on the event was provided by the Durango Herald:

"As the opening chords of Pink Floyd's "Money" played over 
loudspeakers, Gov. Bill Owens pasted a replica of the quarter on 
a large map of the 50 states, joining 37 other quarters that have 
been released since 1999. Treasury Department officials say 140 
million people are collecting the quarters.

"There has been an enormous surge of interest in coin collecting 
in the United States the last few years, and much of the credit 
goes to the 50 State Quarters program," said Sandra Pack, 
assistant secretary of the treasury.

Despite temperatures in the upper 90s, people queued up to trade 
$10 for a roll of some of the first Colorado quarters, while 
volunteers from the Colorado Historical Society handed out free 
coins to children in the crowd."

To read the complete article, see:


Bruce Perdue forwarded the following query from Karel Langenaken 
about the coin collection of Philippe de Ferrari:

"For more than 30 years I have researched the all-time greatest
philatelist: Philippe de Ferrari or Ferrary or Ferrari-La Renotière.
His stamp collections were sold by the French government from 1921 
to 1925.  He was also a major numismatic collector. I believe this 
collection was also to be auctioned, but I can not find anything 
about these sales. I was told that in Clain-Stefanelli's Numismatic 
bibliography there are some references to Ferrari.  Would you be 
so kind to provide me some more information in this regard?"


Last week Leon Worden asked for a copy of John J. Ford's signature 
to verify an inscription in a book he owns.  Jim Spilman writes: 
"JJF and I did a considerable amount of cooperative numismatic 
research together in the late 1960s through mid-1970s era  and I 
have a considerable correspondence file with numerous examples of 
his signature.

John normally signed his letters and notes with only his initials 
JJF.  When he used his "full" signature it was JJFordJr - a 
continuous but legible scrawl."

Jim attached scans of two letters with examples of John's signature.  
I forwarded them to Leon.  He writes: "What great service -- thanks 
to which I can say that the name written inside the cover of my 
book is absolutely NOT the signature of J.J. Ford!"


Michael Schmidt writes: "If there was a second case for the 1913 
Liberty nickels it must have come before the coins were purchased 
by Col. Green.  Eric Newman does own the case that came with the 
nickels from the Green estate and it has slots for eight nickels 
not six.  It held the five nickels, two pattern buffaloes (one in 
copper and one with out the designer's initial.)  The eighth coin 
was also a buffalo but I don't remember if it was a pattern or a 
regular issue.  

Eric was involved with the break up of the Green collection and 
he acquired the set directly from the estate so that was the holder 
that Green had.  So the only other possibility for a second holder 
would have to be if Samuel Brown had one made.   I have never heard 
of Brown displaying the set in a case."


Arthur Shippee alerted us to a great article published Tuesday 
in the New York Times about the Institute of Heraldry, the U.S. 
government's "chief guardian of insignia and heraldic tradition."

"According to legend, the eagle in the seal faced the arrow-holding 
talon in times of war and switched its stern gaze toward the olive 
branch in times of peace. 

The eagle's glare did indeed get reversed — just once, by President 
Harry S. Truman in 1945. But only, it turns out, to correct the 
grievous heraldic error that President Rutherford B. Hayes had made 
65 years before, when he designed the first seal to adorn White House 

"In point of fact, the viewer's left is the dexter side, the honorable 
side on any shield," said Joe Spollen, head sculptor at the heraldry 
institute, which among its other duties nurtures rules and terminology 
from the Middle Ages. "The sinister side, on the viewer's right, is 
the less honorable." 

And so Truman, after learning the truth from the director of the 
heraldry office at the time, switched the gaze from sinister to 
dexter, where it remains today." 

"The institute, conjoining modern images with ancient traditions, 
designs the shoulder insignia unique to every military unit and 
supervises their production. It designs military medals, with the 
Iraq Campaign Medal being one of the latest. It also, together with 
the captains, designs a custom coat of arms for every new ship in 
the Navy." 

"The founding fathers wasted no time in devising a distinctly 
American seal. In 1782, years before the Constitution, Congress 
adopted the same two-sided Great Seal visible on every dollar bill 
today, describing it in full-fledged heraldic argot. On the front 
side is the familiar eagle, "holding in its dexter talon an olive 
branch, and in his sinister a bundle of 13 arrows," and in his beak 
a scroll inscribed "E pluribus unum." On the reverse side, "a pyramid 
unfinished" and "in the zenith an eye in a triangle, surrounded by 
a glory, proper." 

>From the beginning, the Great Seal's eagle faced the dexter talon; 
why President Hayes switched directions for his similar-looking 
presidential emblem is lost to the ages." 

To read the complete article, see: 


Regarding the Art Union of London, Scott Miller writes: "A total 
of 30 different medals were issued, the last being by Alfred Gilbert 
for Queen Victoria's Golden Jubilee in 1887.  For more information, 
see "The Medals of the Art Union of London" by G. K. Beaulah, BNJ 


Web site visitor Alexa Foreman of Atlanta, GA writes: "I was 
researching the Washroom Medal since I have one that belonged 
to my great great Uncle, and found the E-Sylum mention of it. 
Can you give me a basic history of the medal?"

I knew there was some basic information on the American Numismatic 
Rarities web site (because my example of the medal is in their 
upcoming sale), so I directed her to the lot listing: 

She wrote back asking, "How many medals do you think exist?"  
The auction listing and earlier E-Sylum articles have a good bit 
of information on the medal and list sources for more, but do 
not cite the number of bronze examples struck.  Anyone know?




Dick Johnson writes: "If you collect odd denominations you must 
get R. M. Smythe’s catalog of their July auction sale. Their 
major consignor had the specialty of this fascinating numismatic 
challenge – how many different denominations can you acquire? The 
New York auction house, specializing in financial history, is 
claiming that number is over one hundred!

There are some gems in this sale: Notes of British penny and 
multiples, even of mills – that was Thomas Jefferson’s creation 
of one tenth of a cent – and of cent multiples and fractions galore. 
I had seen 12 ½ cent before, but never 12 1/4 cent – there’s one 
in this sale. Pick any odd number, 16, 87, 90, for instance, or 
odd amount ($1.25) and you are likely to find an obsolete notes 
of that denomination represented.

Colorful cover, some great material from a great auction house. 
All lots, nearly 2,500, are on line at the firm’s website, or you can order the printed catalog for $25.

I found this sale's pre-auction publicity notice on the web. It 
is one of the worst I have ever seen. Part of the first paragraph 
is missing. The rest is crammed into a box of gray text that is 
very poorly written – and very difficult to read! The culprit is Click on this only if you insist: "


The Appalachian Journal published a nice article on June 13 
about the manufacture of cent planchets in Eastern Tennessee:

"Jarden Zinc Products has produced in the neighborhood of 4 billion 
(yes, that is a B) copper-plated penny blanks this year, which the 
U.S. Mint then casts into pennies."

"Since 1982, every penny in your pocket, gathered in jars, chest 
of drawers, on the floor of your car, beneath the couch cushions, 
has been produced by Jarden. 

Jarden is a division of the Rye, N.Y.-based Jarden Corp. Originally, 
Jarden was the Ball Zinc Products Co., which arrived in Greene County 
in 1968. The 350,000-square-foot plant opened in 1970. 

About 24 years ago, Jarden morphed from producing Ball jar lids to 
the penny blank when Congress decided that manufacturing a penny 
that was 97 percent copper was too expensive. That year, Congress 
switched the penny from copper to zinc." 

"Jarden is North America's largest zinc user." 

"Jarden makes coin blanks for 20 diverse nations, reaching from 
New Guinea to Malawi, from Lebanon to the Fiji Islands. And our 
north-of-the-border friends, Canada. 

Published reports say Jarden just signed a multi-million-dollar 
contract with Canada and the Royal Canadian Mint to turn out 
nickel-plated blank coins for that nation to transform into its 
own denominations and jingle." 

To read the complete article, see:  


Last's week's item about the archives of Riggs Bank stated: "The 
records show how Riggs collected $7.2 billion in gold for the 
federal government's purchase of Alaska..."

Bob Leonard writes: "Little mistake in the original source here
--that was million, not "billion" as given in the Post-Gazette."


Barry Jablon writes: "What I have been thinking about lately was 
the impact which people like Ernie Kraus and others had on me. 
After all, my coin career lasted for only five years. By the time 
I was twenty years old, I was already in the air force heading for 
a new career in signals intelligence in England. At twenty-four I 
was at Temple University on the G.I. bill and at twenty-eight, I 
was teaching in a Bucks County suburb of Philadelphia, and was 

What I think about often is how the young kids of today are going 
to get started in coin collecting. If a parent or another relative 
doesn't give an already started collection to a child, how else 
will they know the fun of coin collecting?  It didn't take a lot 
of money to get started in coin collecting in the "olden days". 
Rolls of dimes were about half Mercuries and half Roosevelts with 
a couple of Morgans thrown in every now and then. There were plenty 
of early S and D cents in most rolls. And, if you didn't want to 
be a "hole filler" as Ernie Kraus used to call them, then you could 
always obtain quantities of foreign coins for a small amount of 
money and start trying to complete a coin from every country in 
the world. 

I recall with great pleasure the memories of Saturday afternoons, 
walking up and down the back streets of old Philadelphia near the 
old Reading Terminal, stopping in the coin stores or the antique 
stores and asking to look through their accumulations of coins 
trying to find that special coin which you could buy for the price 
of the $5.00 which you had in you pocket. 

Today, everything is encapsulated or priced so high that only the 
very wealthy can afford the hobby. Where are the young collectors 
of tomorrow going to come from? I'm almost sixty-five now and 
still dream about the days, fifty years ago, when numismatics was 
truly a hobby for everyone."

[While it's true that the days of finding Barber coins in circulation 
or uncovering hoards of Flying Eagle cents are over, I'm not so sure 
the outlook for the hobby is so bleak.  Things are different to be 
sure, but the hobby marches on.  

One of the most satisfying things I do with my hobby today (aside 
from editing The E-Sylum, of course) is organizing the Coins4Kids 
meetings for the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists.  Looking 
out over a room filled with 100 or more interested and appreciative 
kids and parents, one can't help but feel that there is promise for 
the future.

The Fifty States Quarter program and other modern commemoratives 
have certainly driven a resurgence in interest in coinage, and the 
Internet and cheap color imaging have done a lot to spread awareness 
and knowledge of numismatics far beyond the pre-Internet realm.  But 
I wouldn't despair that nothing affordable is left to collect.

I remember getting the same sort of feeling two decades ago when I 
first got seriously interested numismatics.  I had read a lot and 
researched coin prices, and concluded that yes, I had indeed been 
born too late.  The Lou Eliasbergs, John Fords and John Pittmans 
of the world had already bought everything up.  Pity poor me who 
had nothing affordable left to collect.  

But after I thought about it for a while and put things in historical 
perspective, I realized that when those collectors were my age, they 
probably thought the same about the generation that preceded THEM.  
Damn, the Byron Reeds and Col. Greens of the world had gotten there 
first and bought everything up.  And prices were so high, how could 
anyone afford to collect real coins anymore?

Well, I found the right way to look at things is like this: I may 
have been born too late, but I'm twenty or forty years ahead of 
everyone who comes along after me.  And regardless of how much money 
I have to spend, there are bargains to be had that will only become 
obvious in hindsight.  When Pittman was buying rare early proof 
coinage, and Ford was buying rare tokens, medals and Colonial coins 
and paper money, few other collectors were interested in doing so. 

But collecting isn't all about rarity or price - it's about just 
having some fun collecting. And there is no shortage of affordable 
numismatic items to collect, from circulating and non-circulating 
commemorative coins, paper money, tokens, medals, world coins and 
paper, etc.  Those kids leave the Coins4Kids meetings and hit the 
bourse floor, adding to their collections without spending a ton 
of money.  -Editor]


"Ever since the first New York City parking meter was installed, 
on Sept. 19, 1951, there have been those who have grumbled about it."

"There have also been those who have tried to avoid paying, 
inserting razor blades, metal slugs, paper clips and other 
materials into the slot in an attempt to trick the meter. 

And finally there have been those who, whether because they were 
confused, curious, mischievous or cheap, have dropped foreign coins 
into the meters.

So numerous are the foreign coins that the city, for the past decade 
or so, has taken to selling them annually to the highest bidder. The 
latest batch — 700 pounds of foreign coins — is now on sale by the 
city's Department of Transportation, which is accepting bids until 
11 a.m. on Wednesday."

"Although Canadian quarters, Dominican pesos and Greek drachmas 
have traditionally been quite common, a quick survey of coins from 
a 50-pound canvas bag that is part of the sale revealed money from 
at least 50 countries, with both current and obsolete coins of many 
sizes, metals and even shapes." 

To read the complete article, see:


This week the Houston Chronicle published an article about Heritage,
the Texas coin and collectible behemoth: 

"Employees at Heritage Auction Galleries search out treasures 
forgotten in attics or secreted away in bank vaults. They have sold 
the very first G.I. Joe action figure, the watch Buddy Holly wore 
when he died and letters from Abraham Lincoln.

The Dallas company, which bills itself as the world's largest 
collectibles auction house, built its success on the pop culture 
of coins, comics and memorabilia, carving out a populist niche in 
a field dominated by lofty institutions like Sotheby's and Christie's.

"Every piece has a story," said John Petty, a Heritage collectibles 
and comics expert. "That is what makes them so valuable. You are 
buying a piece of history, whether it is a big important piece 
like JFK's rocking chair or a smaller piece."

"The risks have paid off for Heritage, which was founded in 1983 
as a specialty coin dealer with several dozen staffers. The company 
has since grown to about 300 employees and $500 million in yearly 

"... Doug Norwine examined James Dean's pants from "Rebel Without 
a Cause" — a consignment he finagled from the shuttered Dean museum 
in Fairmount, Ind.

Another find were original Duke Ellington scores that no one knew 
existed. A New York trombone-player called Norwine, hoping for a 
few hundred dollars to cure his sick dog. The jazz musician got 
about $4,000 each for the scores at auction."

To read the complete article, see:  


Tom Govers writes: "I just noted (somewhat late..) your September 
2002 article concerning the "euro allergy hogwash". You may wish 
to draw your readers' attention to the following article published 
in the journal of the European Physical Society: 
Related information can be found on this "euro coins" page 
of this website: "


Kerry Rodgers writes: "Indeed it was Ralph Waldo on hobgoblins.  
I feel flattered that someone was intrigued enough to research 
the author and full quote.  For 20+ years I offended colleagues 
at my University by having it on the wall above my desk."


Last week I asked about fictional winners of the Medal of Honor,
specifically a TV series character.  The series?  F-Troop.

"The quirky show, which originally aired on ABC from 1965-67, 
stars Ken Berry as Capt. Wilton Parmenter, a gallant yet completely 
incompetent officer who won the Medal of Honor by accidentally 
ordering a charge during the final battle at Appomattox. For his 
"heroism," he is awarded command of Fort Courage, an infamously 
dangerous frontier fort in Kansas. What he doesn't know is that 
the battles between the local soldiers and the hostile Hekawi 
tribe (derived from "where the heck are we") are staged, a mere 
simulation intended to help the Indians sell cheap souvenirs 
to tourists."

To read the complete review of the series, see:


According to a Press Release issued Friday: "The United States 
Mint today unveiled the designs that will be featured on two 
commemorative coins that will be issued in 2007 to commemorate 
the 400th anniversary of the first permanent English settlement 
in America, at Jamestown, Virginia.

The unveiling was part of a ceremony, hosted by Jamestown 2007, 
which saw the arrival in Philadelphia of a full-sized replica 
of the ship, Godspeed, one of the three vessels which carried 
the original Jamestown settlers from England to the mouth of the 
Chesapeake Bay in 1607. 

The obverse of the $5 gold coin, designed by United States Mint 
Sculptor-Engraver John Mercanti, depicts Captain John Smith conversing 
with an American Indian; and the $5 gold reverse, by United States 
Mint Artistic Infusion Program Master Designer Susan Gamble, pictures 
the Jamestown Memorial Church – the only remaining structure from the 
original settlement.

The obverse of the silver dollar, designed by recently retired 
United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Donna Weaver, depicts ‘Three 
Faces of Diversity,’ representing the three cultures that came 
together in Jamestown, and the reverse of the silver dollar, also 
by Susan Gamble, depicts the three ships that brought the first 
settlers to Jamestown: the Godspeed, the Susan Constant and the 


The UK's Romford Recorder reports that "The Essex County FA 
have a fantastic piece of historical football memorabilia for 
the Association archive after a donation from an American coin 

Howard Strong's two 19th century Senior Cup medals from 1889 
and 1892 feature in the latest edition of ECFA Magazine and 
the Washington State resident was so pleased to make contact 
with the Essex County FA recently that he has asked for the 
oldest medal to be put on display in the county's trophy cabinet."

"Both of Strong's medals feature Vaughtons of Birmingham on the 
box and the famous Midland silverware company later replaced the 
old FA Cup after it was stolen from Aston Villa in 1895.

Vaughtons sold the new trophy to The FA for £25 and Birmingham 
City owner, David Gold, bought it at auction for £475,000 last 

To read the complete article, see:


John Kraljevich forwarded this June 14 article from ESPN about 
lucky coins, hockey rinks and Zamboni operators:

"Hours before Wednesday's Game 5, a do-or-die game for the Edmonton 
Oilers, there was a bit of intrigue after the team's morning skate.

Forward Ryan Smyth started chipping away at center ice and removed 
something from the ice.

"I don't know what it was, obviously it was a coin," Smyth told 
reporters after practice. "I guess it was an American loonie or 
an American dollar. I don't know if it was good luck for them or 
what, but it wasn't in very deep so I was scared the boys were 
going to trip over it. So 
 got it out."

"But when word got out that the coin was removed from the ice, 
RBC equipment workers went out to center ice, drilled a hole 
and placed the coin back into the ice."

"The coin karma began at the 2002 Salt Lake Olympics, where 
Canadian icemaker Trent Evans planted a one-dollar coin at center 
ice of the E-Center. Both the men's and women's Canadian hockey 
teams went on to win the gold medal. The loonie is now displayed 
at the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

The Tampa Bay Lightning created their own version of the good luck 
charm as then-Zamboni operator Ryan Welty took a miniature pewter 
Zamboni key chain charm and buried it at center ice in the St. 
Pete Times Forum in January 2004. The Lightning went on to win 
the Stanley Cup."

To read the complete article, see: 


John and Nancy Wilson of Ocala, FL write: "Here is a great site from
Political Graveyard that has information on all politicians portrayed on
paper money.  This is very valuable information for researchers."

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Numismatic Bibliomania Society, 
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