The E-Sylum v9#12, March 19, 2006

esylum at esylum at
Sun Mar 19 21:08:04 PST 2006

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 9, Number 12, March 19, 2006:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


We now have 866 subscribers.  Your Editor had nice evening 
Wednesday at the American Numismatic Rarities auction in Baltimore.  
At the invitation of Richard Jewell, a consignor to the sale, I 
had dinner with Rich and his wife Fran, and was delighted to be 
joined at our table by Q. David Bowers, John Pack and others from 
the ANR staff.  I also got to talk briefly with John Kraljevich 
and Doug Winter, who was busily bidding on coins all evening.  
I don't get out much, but it's always nice to see our E-Sylum 
subscribers in person once in a while.  

Another interesting issue this week.   Leading off is a report 
by John Kleeburg with some new information about Paul Franklin of 
"Franklin Hoard" fame.  Next, George Fuld fills us in on his 
famous visits to the Scovill Manufacturing Company.  

Also in this issue, several readers discuss the pros and cons 
of the loose-leaf format for numismatic publications, and Roger 
Moore reviews a book with a great deal of information on Irish 
numismatics.  For paper money collectors we have a few new items 
relating to fancy serial numbers and fancy denominations: your 
collection isn't complete without a billion dollar bill.  And 
if you're just dying to be falsely arrested for passing 
counterfeit currency, learn how to fool the counterfeit-detecting 
pens into thinking a real note is a fake.   Have a great week, 

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


John Kleeberg writes: "As many of readers of the E-Sylum will 
know, Professor Ted Buttrey and I have long been researching 
western gold bars and related numismatic items that emerged 
onto the numismatic market in the 1950s.  

Recently I obtained the capacity to search the New York Times' 
article database, and I decided to look for the name of Paul 
Franklin, the source of the "Franklin Hoard" of U.S. Assay Office 
of Gold items that led to a major contretemps in 1967.  Paul Gerow 
Franklin, Sr. was born on May 24, 1919, and died on March 13, 2000.
Franklin originally used Gerow as his first name, but later 
reversed the order of the names. 

Only one article came up as a result.  Entitled, "Evader of Draft, 
Long Sought, Held; Small Arsenal Found in His Room, Including 2,000
Ammunition Rounds; Fake 4F Cards also Seized; Prisoner Says He 
Avoided His Board Fearing Arrest as Parole Violator," it ran in 
the New York Times of July 11, 1943, on page 26. 

The article states that Gerow Paul Franklin, aged 24, was arrested 
at the apartment in which he had been hiding out on West 74th Street, 
New York City.  When arrested the FBI found in his room nine pistols,
four rifles, 2,000 rounds of ammunition, black powder, and smokeless 
powder, plus knives, bayonets, and brass knuckles.  One pistol had 
a home made-silencer.  A German luger was mounted on a stock, with 
a canister of thirty rounds of ammunition.  The weapons are depicted 
in a photograph that accompanies the article.

The FBI also found forged draft registration and classification 
cards that classified the holder as 4F.

The arresting FBI agent stated that Franklin was a gunsmith 
"of no mean ability", who had been able to construct some unique 
weapons.  It also states that in 1941, Franklin had been arrested 
for "possession of counterfeit molds which he used in the manufacture 
of half-dollars."

He had been given probation because of his youth, but violated 
his parole by not keeping in touch with his parole officer.  
Franklin said that he had not reported for the draft because he 
feared punishment as a parole violator.  He said he had so many 
weapons in his apartment because he liked to collect them.

This article is quite enlightening.  It tells us that he was a 
brilliant self taught mechanic, who knew how to do complex metal 
work.  It tells us that Franklin was faking coins as early as 1941. 
It tells us that he had faked documents.

It was news to me that Franklin had an actual criminal record.  
I look forward to tracking down more details about his criminal 

[I reviewed a copy of the original article, and edited John's 
summary to include verbatim quotes.  Small excerpts such as these 
are well within the Fair Use guidelines.  The article does not 
actually state that Franklin forged documents, only that he was 
found to be in possession of such documents.  It says he was 
arrested for possession of counterfeit half dollar molds, but 
also says he used them in the manufacture of fake coins.  

John adds: "I have also now tracked down (on microfilm) the 
same story about Franklin in the Sunday edition of the New York 
Daily News, July 11, 1943, Four Star Final Edition, title, 
"Draft Dodger with 'Arsenal' Seized."  This article also includes 
a photograph of Franklin.  The New York Daily News at this period 
printed about half a dozen editions a day, and the Franklin story 
is only in the Four Star Final Edition (the last one)."


Per last week's request, George Fuld has submitted a wonderful 
account of his visits to Scovill Manufacturing Company, 
sometimes with his father Melvin:

He writes: "In the summer of 1957 (as I recall) we wrote to 
Scovill in Waterbury, CT to see if they had any collections of 
tokens or medals that they archived.  We received a nice reply 
from E. H. Davis, the acting curator of the Scovill archives.  
Davis was retired, serving as a volunteer on the collections. 
I quickly learned that he was also an MIT graduate from the 
class of 1900.  One can guess his age quite easily.  I made an 
appointment to go to Waterbury during the summer from my house 
in Wakefield, MA.

I spent two days there, staying at Davis’ home.  His wife had 
recently passed away.  His home was a sight to behold.  He was 
an avid book collector, and the house was full, to the rafters 
with books and magazines.  Even in the bathroom there were books 
stacked to the ceiling.

I visited the room where the collections were housed.  Perhaps 
there were a 1000 pieces in all with some obvious minor holdings 
that were not Scovill products.  There were no Hard Times pieces 
as I recall, and only about three dozen Civil War cents.  Believe 
me, there was nothing approaching any rumors of thousands of Hard 
Times or Civil War cents.  

They had about half a dozen encased postage stamps that were 
obvious trials!  This was perhaps the most exciting find.  I 
mentioned this to John Ford and a special trade was arranged.  
Ford supplied me with twelve to fifteen different regular encased 
postage issues and Davis was happy to trade the patterns for a
representative collection of the regular issue to complement 
their collection.  These patterns were sold with the Ford encased 
postage section of the Ford auction.

In regard to Civil War issues, they had a small representative 
group of their issues.  The noteworthy thing is that had five or 
six completely unlisted mules of patriotic dies.  Davis allowed us 
to access these mules, which are listed in our Civil War patriotic 
book, but I can recall several numbers they represent.   Two are 
listed as patriotic combinations, Fuld 174/189 and 174/233.  Both 
are nonsense combinations!  They are all still probably unique and 
listed as R-10’s.  A lead hub die trial of the obverse of Fuld die 
number 233 was acquired.  This was sold as lot 67 of Dorges Third 
Mail auction on June 1, 1972 (Civil War Token Journal, vol 6, pages 

There were many fully uncirculated Adams type merchant tokens.  
Most of these are what we recall as restrikes in fully gilt brass 
and copper.  There were no notable rarities among them with one 
exception.  We obtained 15 or 20 pieces from this group.  The one 
notable rarity which Davis allowed us to acquire was the John Low 
token of Boston.   This was in white metal and was eventually traded 
to John Ford where it remains in his collection.

In summary we did obtain some nice material from the archives, but 
it was not a stupendous lot of material in total.  They had large
collections of dies, mostly button types.  We did obtain one die, 
the Civil War die of Washington on horseback, patriotic die 174.  
We retained it for some years, but for some reason we could never 
locate it after some time.

We made two trips to Waterbury and I think my father accompanied 
me on one.  Davis helped us write two articles that appeared in 
the Numismatic Scrapbook.  One was and index of Adams’ store card 
book and the other an index of patriotic tokens by type from 
Hetrich and Guttag  (this was prior to our first patriotic book 
published in 1959).  

Davis lived for a few years into the early sixties and we had 
minor correspondence with him.  After his death we had no idea 
what happened to the Scovill archive collection since all medals 
and token production ceased in the 1920’s.  We did know that the 
dies that they had were sold as scrap medal.  What has happened 
to the archive collection is unknown—we have no idea if they 
were retained.  To my knowledge Scovill ceased operations in 
the 1980’s."


Last week Katie Jaeger asked about loose-leaf coin books as 
another way to update numismatic books after publication.

Anne Bentley of the Massachusetts Historical Society writes: 
"The late Rob Heath used that format in his Commemorative Medals 
of Massachusetts Cities & Towns.  Every year we'd get another set 
of pages to replace when he found new data or an image for the entry.  
It was extremely convenient and just took a half hour, maximum, to 
update the volumes."

Leon Worden writes: "This is in response to your query about 
loose-leaf numismatic book publishing. While there may be others, 
I know of one person who is doing it. Lincoln cent specialist 
Charles "Chuck" Daughtrey, whose artwork I featured in the March 
2006 issue of COINage magazine, is publishing a loose-leaf book 
of Lincoln cent varieties.

Much like Wexler, Fivaz-Stanton and other systems, Daughtrey 
operates an "attribution service" where he identifies, photographs 
and publishes diagnostic information about new Lincoln cent varieties 
as they're discovered. He publishes the photos and information online 
at, and then, every few months, he mails a couple of 
hundred loose-leaf pages (one coin per page, I believe) to subscribers.

While the standard, year-by-year Lincoln cent references (including
Daughtrey's own "Looking Through Lincoln Cents") probably satisfy 99 
percent of all Lincoln cent collectors, those who want to delve deeper 
into die varieties benefit from a flexible format, when you consider 
how many new varieties are being identified all the time. Daughtrey 
said that at the rate he's going (about 500 pages per year), he 
expects his "Complete Attribution Guide" to live up to its name in 
a few years.

The loose-leaf approach might lend itself well to the Shield nickel 
project recently discussed."


Dick Johnson writes: My friend Katie Jaeger mentions loose-leaf 
as a format for coin books in last week’s E-Sylum. I have had 
experience with three such publications.

In the 1960s I subscribed to an Interpol (yes, that Interpol!) 
publication. Intended for counterfeit currency preventions it 
published all new currency issued in the world. It updated it 
often by sending out new loose-leaf pages. Because it was sent 
airmail it was printed on very thin light weight paper. Sometimes 
it replaced a previous page, often it was new pages. Inserting 
these and keeping it up to date was a hassle. Despite its 
subscription cost of several hundred dollars a year (?) I ended 
up just adding new pages at the end, ultimately dropping my 

Second example: Robert Ray Heath, who died last December 11th, 
published all his works on New England city medals by loose-leaf. 
I was a great admirer of Bob’s work and reported on this in the 
E-Sylum (vol 5, no 20, article 11, May 12, 2002) where I listed 
the number of editions of his works by state: Connecticut (5), 
Maine (3), Massachusetts (8), New Hampshire (5), Rhode Island (4), 
Vermont (4). 

Here is what I wrote: "He devotes a page to each medal. The 
shortcoming, however, is that his catalogs are looseleaf. The 
pages are half lettersize (8 ½ x 5 1/2) and he punches them for 
your 3-ring binders. Unfortunately I had only two binders that 
size, so all the other state catalogs are in boxes." [They are 
still in boxes years later!]

Third example: John J. Gabriel published a book in 1983 on the 
medallic work on the Statue of Liberty by loose-leaf. He self 
published this and chose this format for its low cost. He reproduced 
it by photocopy but blundered the page numbering [pages 23-25 follow 
202] in addition to numerous textual errors.

In summary, loose-leaf is great for compiling and organizing data. 
I have some fifty plus notebooks in my office today. But NOT for
publication. How much better any of these would have been in pamphlet 
format?  When the amount of new material justifies updating - put 
out a new bound edition. Don’t make me insert random pages, it’s a 

Howard Spindel writes: "I considered the looseleaf format for my 
shield nickel reference, and discarded the idea because of a number 
of limitations.  Ms. Jaeger notes that updates to her Mechanical 
Engineering book were distributed quarterly. I can distribute 
updates daily, if needed. 

There is a cost associated with mailing updates. I distribute 
updates electronically, at no cost other than my time.  Perhaps 
most importantly, my reference contains five to eight high resolution 
photos of each variety. The cost of printing photo quality pages 
would be very high. There are now about 2100 high resolution photos 
in the shield nickel reference!

The cost issues alone make a numismatic reference with a limited 
audience infeasible unless the per copy cost is raised to some 
large amount to pro-rate the costs over the size of the audience. 
Producing the reference in computerized form allows me to keep the 
costs down so that it is reasonable for all of world's shield nickel 
variety collectors (who could probably fit in a single small hotel 

It's not just distribution of updates that a computerized reference
addresses.   Cost is an even greater driver.  And I haven't even
mentioned the inherent advantages of a properly designed computerized
reference, such as easy searching."


The following is excerpted from a Random House press release 
on March 15:

"The Coin Collector’s Survival Manual, Fifth Edition, authored
by Scott A. Travers and published by Random House, is now 
available as an interactive CD-ROM software program."

“But the most extraordinary aspect, aside from bringing this
landmark work to personal computer users, is the use of over 
260 digital color and black & white images,” Bilotta added. The 
software program will allow the user to zoom in on images for 
close inspection of grade-sensitive areas—and to carefully 
examine the surfaces of coins that are counterfeit, doctored 
or altered."

"The Coin Collector’s Survival Manual, Fifth Edition, CD-ROM 
Software is available at coin dealers, over the Internet, and 
through the mail. It is priced at $34.95 and attractively packaged. 
For more information, contact: Carlisle Development Corporation, 
P.O. Box 291, Carlisle, MA 01741, Internet: "

To read the complete press release, see:  


Leslie Wigington, Creative Services Director of the American 
Numismatic Association writes: "I am hoping you might be able 
to help us track down a print-quality portrait of Armand Champa 
for an upcoming academic journal we are publishing. Numerous 
searches for his image have produced just a few ... the best 
being one printed in an auction catalog, and not of good quality.

Our librarian Nancy Green thought you might have a lead on a 
good image of Mr. Champa. We will be using it in a black-and-white 
format, as a “head shot”  ... about 1.5 x 2 inches. It will 
accompany an article by Q. David Bowers discussing great 
numismatic collectors in our first issue of the ANA Journal: 
Advanced Studies in Numismatics."

[My own photos of Armand are mostly group shots.  Does anyone
have a portrait photo?  I'll look forward to ANA's new 
publication. -Editor]


Steve Woodland writes: "Readers of the Article in E-Sylum v9#11 
"THE GREAT 1982 CENT WEIGHT PROBLEM" may have difficulty finding 
the complete original news article because the E-Sylum formatting 
split the link over two lines, with only part of it functioning 
as a hyperlink.  Clicking on this partial hyperlink results in 
an error message from saying  "The article link is 
not valid or the article has expired from the system."
To correct this, readers must piece together the two parts of 
the link and then paste it into their browser.  The complete 
link should read:
[Sorry for publishing such a long link.  In my haste to get 
the issue out, I didn't shorten it.  This link should also do 
the trick:   -Editor]


Leon Worden writes: "I publish Sol Taylor's weekly columns in 
our daily newspaper here in northern L.A. County (The Signal 
of Santa Clarita, Calif.), and I added an E-Sylum search, per 
your suggestion, to the website I run for him at

[Many thanks to Leon for making The E-Sylum archive accessible 
to his website visitors.   It's very easy to do, and we'd be 
glad to assist anyone who would like to add this feature to 
their own web sites. -Editor]

Leon adds: "And that reminds me: I know Sol would like to see 
his columns in more newspapers ... They're entry-level, general 
interest-type stuff, geared toward the average newspaper reader. 
They're free for pickup if anyone with a newspaper or magazine 
or even a coin club newsletter is interested!"


Taylor's web site has information about his book, "The Standard 
Guide to the Lincoln Cent".  

In response to my query about the book, Dr. Taylor writes: "The 
current 4th edition published in 1999 contains 300 pages and 
several chapters covering:

my biography,  the origins of the Lincoln Cent including newspaper 
clippings from August, 1909, the pricing history of the Lincoln 
cent from 1934 to the 1980s, and a date-by-date analysis of each 
year of issue in Chapter 5. This chapter includes recent auction 
data, die features, varieties, and stories related to the year of 
issue.  Later chapters deal with stories related to the cent in 
I am collaborating with Lincoln Cent expert Chuck Daughtrey on 
a 5th edition--which should be released by mid-year. To date, we 
do not have a final page count or retail price.  The cover will 
remain close to the 1999 cover. Much of the content will be unchanged, 
but updated information will fill out the book. Each chapter will 
be reviewed and revised as needed to be as current as possible. 
The photos will be digitized and all illustrations will be 
considerably sharper than the 4th edition--plus many new photos 
will be included.  Since we are in the early stages of the new 
edition, no publicity has been sent to the media.  For a copy of 
the current edition, send $15 to SLCC, 13515 Magnolia Blvd, Sherman 
Oaks, CA 91423.  We will cover the S&H cost.  Any questions, please 
e-mail me at slcc3 at"


A Heritage press release states: "We're very proud to announce 
that, as of March 7, 2006, now displays more 
than 1 million results in the numismatic portion of its Permanent 
Auction Archives," said Jim Halperin, Co-Chairman of Heritage 
Auction Galleries. On that date, there were 841,966 coin lots, and 
158,965 currency lots in the Archive, for a total of over one 
million numismatic items.

"The Permanent Auction Archives is an invaluable research tool," 
Halperin explained, "that is provided free of charge to all of 
Heritage's registered bidder-members. By using the archives, 
collectors can research the results from all of Heritage's 
previous auctions. Each lot is presented with enlargeable, 
full-color photos, its complete catalog description, the date 
of the auction, and, if applicable, the price realized. In short, 
everything the savvy collector needs in order to make smart 
bidding and buying decisions for future auctions and purchases."

"Heritage is the only auction firm in the world to make this 
much information quickly and easily available to its clients," 
Halperin said. "It's part of our commitment to providing the 
most information possible to our clients, in order to make them 
smarter and more confident collectors."

To read the full press release, see: 

[The site is a wonderful source of numismatic images and 
information. Congratulations to Heritage on reaching this 
milestone.  -Editor]


An article by Samuel Pennington in the Maine Antique Digest 
reviewed a recent sale of medals:

"In today's often overhyped world of collecting, where a 
painted box may bring three-quarters of a million dollars, 
million-dollar coins are not unheard of, and an iron escutcheon 
sells for over $40,000, there seem to be few, if any, undervalued 
fields. Collectible medals (sometimes called table medals), both 
art and commemorative, may be one of those fields, as evidenced 
by the December 10, 2005, floor and mail-bid auction held in 
Baltimore, Maryland, by Presidential Coin & Antique Company of 
Clifton, Virginia, whose president and chief is Joe Levine. 

It was not always so. Until the end of the 19th century, 
commemorative medals were preferred over coins. According to 
a recent catalog issued by another company-Stack's, New York 
City-dealers switched their emphasis to coins because there 
were more of them and more chances for profit. 

"Nineteenth-century American collectors considered medals to 
be the true numismatic desideratum, relegating federal coins 
to dry lists of types whose only distinctions were the superficial 
ones of dates. This changed after 1893, when Augustus G. Heaton 
published his Treatise on the Coinage of the United States Branch 
Mints, generally referred to as 'Mint Marks.' By the time of the 
First World War, and particularly in the period following the 
dispersal of the W.W.C. Wilson collection in the mid 1920's, 
American collectors of the 1930's and later focused on coins 
and lost sight of the medals that had excited the generations 
before them."

"Top price in the auction was $28,750 for an official inauguration 
medal of Theodore Roosevelt by noted sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens 
made by Tiffany. This same medal was bought by a collector for 
$8722.03 at a MastroNet Internet auction in August 2005 and quickly
consigned to Presidential."

Second-highest price was $27,025 for a New Orleans hard times 
token issued in white metal by Henderson & Gaines. These tokens 
were issued by businesses during the years 1832-44 when U.S. 
currency was problematic."

"Subscriptions are $10 for three catalogs with prices realized; 
order from Presidential Coin & Antique Company, PO Box 277, 
Clifton, VA 20124, or call (571) 321-2121."

To read the complete article, see: 


Frederick S. W. Mayers’ "The Literature of American Numismatics" 
is widely regarded as the first such article published in the U. S.
A piece by David T. Haberly of the University of Virginia includes 
some interesting biographical information on Mayers.  Haberly cites 
Joel Orosz's 2001 article on Mayers' groundbreaking work in The 
Asylum (v19n2), as well as Pete Smith's 2004 Asylum article, 
"William Frederick Mayers: A Flashing Star." (v23n3):

Haberly writes: "The author of "The Gaucho" can be firmly 
identified as William S. Frederick Mayers, who published two 
other articles in the Atlantic: 

"El Llanero," in February of 1859, and "In the Pines" in May of that 
year. The first is a biography of José Antonio Páez, the hero of 
Venezuelan Independence, while the second—an account of the author's 
visit to the New Jersey Pine Barrens—is frequently cited as the first
appearance in print of the "Jersey Devil," the legendary monster 
who is said to haunt the area. 

Mayers was born in Tasmania in January of 1831, the son of a 
colonial chaplain, and was educated in Marseilles (Pollard); he 
may have spent time in Spain. There are a few spelling errors in 
his summary of Facundo, but it is obvious that Mayers read Spanish
accurately and easily. Both "The Gaucho" and "El Llanero" make it 
clear that Mayer was eager to show off his Spanish. 

It is unclear when Mayers arrived in New York, but by 1858, when 
he was twenty-seven years old, he had formed ties to important 
members of the North American establishment. Over the next months, 
he placed his three articles in the Atlantic—no mean feat for an 
unknown young writer. Another of Mayers's interests was numismatics, 
and in 1858 he was one of the founders and the first treasurer of 
the American Numismatic Society (Adelson 25-30, 314; Orosz). 

Mayers resigned as treasurer in February of 1859, sailing shortly 
thereafter for China; the British Foreign Office had contracted 
him as an interpreter of Chinese—yet another of his languages. 
Mayers rose quickly in the British diplomatic service in China, 
and eventually became Secretary of Legation in Peking and one of 
the most distinguished British sinologists of his time. In 1878, 
when Mayers died of typhoid fever in Shanghai, he was only 
forty-seven years old (Pollard, Smith)."

To read the complete article, see: 


On March 14 Roger Moore published a nice book review on the 
Colonial Numismatics Yahoo group sponsored by the Colonial 
Coin Collectors Club (C-4).  With permission I'm reprinting 
an edited version here:
Roger writes: "Well, I have spent the last week reading another 
numismatic book that was suggested to this group months ago.  
The book is called “FOR WANT OF GOOD MONEY” by Edward Colgan.  
The book is a must for collectors of Irish coins and world coins.
It gives a complete accounting of coins minted in or for Ireland 
dating from about 997 AD to the twentieth century.

However, unlike most numismatic books which provide long lists 
of the types, varieties, denominations and years for coins, this 
is a concise history of Ireland based on the coinage production 
at each key turn of Irish history.  To be honest, I think it is 
one of the clearest and most concise histories of Ireland I have 
seen with a discussion of what transpired to cause each coinage 
to evolve.  My main criticism is it did not go into enough detail 
and left me wanting to know more about each age.  Because it is 
crammed full of facts, it is not an easy read.  I did go cover 
to cover but not with a lot of ease.  I think it is better as a 
quick referral book.

In regard to the Saint Patrick coinage, which is the reason I 
bought the book in the first place, it turns out that a number 
of the earlier Irish coinages had Saint Patrick on the coins.  
Specifically, between 1185 and 1205 Lord John de Courcy, who had 
a personal devotion to Saint Patrick, had a series of silver 
farthings and halfpence coined with the image of Saint Patrick 
on one side.  Therefore, the use of Saint Patrick’s image on 
Irish coins was not outlandish in the 1600s since it had been 
done prior to that time.  

Fast forward to the mid 1600s after the great rebellion, we 
find that Ireland was severely restricted in the amount of 
circulating coins.  This lead to a huge outpouring of trade 
tokens (some 800 different varieties minted in 170 cities).  
It is in this environment that any coinage, even light weight 
counterfeits, were welcome.  A description of the Newby Saint 
Patrick coinage is placed in this context without definitive 
definition of the exact timing or place of its production.  

I am glad I have this book in my library.  I will probably 
forget the huge numbers of historic facts given in the book 
by early next week.  However, I now have an easy reference to 
all Irish coinages should I want to look something up!!"


The BBC news reported on March 13 that China may remove 
Mao Zedong's image from a range of banknotes to make room 
for other portraits:

"Delegates to the parliament's advisory body proposed that 
Deng Xiaoping, architect of China's economic reforms, should 
grace the new bills. 

They also want to see the inclusion of Sun Yat-sen, father 
of the revolution that toppled the last emperor in 1911." 

"But the banknotes proposal is a long way from becoming law 
and it is also unlikely that Deng Xiaoping would have approved. 

He ended the mass production of Mao badges and watches and 
was strongly against any cult of personality."

To read the complete article, see: 

[Shades of George Washington's modesty.  George didn't want 
his portrait (or any other leader's) on U.S. coins.  -Editor]


Larry Gaye writes: "Just a note, pun fully intended, I did 
indeed find my first new $10.00 on Saturday, March 11th while
attending a modeling show (planes, trains, and that sort of 
modeling) in Vancouver, Washington.  I swiftly descended on 
it and made it mine.  Nice looking note, much better than I 
expected though I too would like to see the little car at 
the Treasury go round and round."


In response to Patrick McMahon's query Dan Freidus writes: 
"Cooper-Prichard is referred to on the second page of a book 

Alas, it's only to note that the book being reviewed refers 
to Cooper-Prichard in a footnote but not in the bibliography 
so the lead may not actually lead anywhere."


"With reference to Dick Johnson's article on the mid 19th 
century thermoplastics industry and its influence on tokens 
and medals, Robert Hawes writes: 
"Scovill Mfg was not the only Waterbury firm engaged in numismatic 
material. My Father-in-law, Carl E. Woodward was Director of Sales 
Promotion and Advertising for American Brass Company of Waterbury
Connecticut in the early 1960's. One day he handed me two pieces 
of cupro-nickel metal sandwiching a solid copper core and said 
"This is what our new coins will be made of".  That information 
was followed later by a tour of the ABC rolling mill where I 
watched bars of metal prepared by Olin Mathisen of Texas be rolled 
into thin coils of clad metal to be shipped to the mint for coining.
After coining, the mint returned all the scrap to be melted down 
and the process repeated. 

As a result of the tour I managed to acquire several specimens 
of web metal in the various stages of rolling and the final 
stage of scrap. To celebrate the contract with the government, 
ABC had made 50 small clad metal bars serially numbered to mark 
the occasion. There were 3 extra produced without numbers, one 
of which was given to me by my father-in-law. I have searched for 
over 40 years to find another without luck. ABC also made other 
items out of the clad metal to see if it had commercial possibilities, 
one of which being a wine tasting cup (which I have). Fred Weinberg 
has seen these and I also have won several awards for exhibits of 
this material through the years."


Leon Worden writes: "You asked about references to a mint at 
The Dalles, Oregaon. The one I remember -- because it's accompanied 
by a photo of the Mint building under construction in 1868 -- is 
in Don Kagin's "Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States," 
pp. 204-205."

Dave Bowers writes: "There is a bunch of stuff about the Dalles Mint 
in my "The Treasure Ship S.S. Brother Jonathan" book."


Dave Bowers adds: "As to presidential visits, Karl Moulton, in 
the front line of modern researchers, wrote me that George Washington 
was NOT at the cornerstone laying ceremony in 1792, and along the 
way cited a couple of later presidential occasions--fodder for an 
upcoming follow-up in my Coin World column."


Doug Andrews writes: "History records that President Bill 
Clinton's planned trip to the Philadelphia Mint was suddenly 
It seems he was supposed to officiate at the first striking 
of the Monica Lewinsky commemorative double eagle. His visit 
was cancelled when it was discovered that the ceremonial 
gold-plated planchet had a stain on the obverse."


Tom DeLorey writes: "The discussion of Presidential visits to 
the U.S. Mint makes me wonder what the protocol was when it 
came time for a new president to "sit" for his inaugural medal 
or any later presidential medals done by the Mint. In the days 
when the President of the United States did not have a world to 
run, did he journey to Philadelphia and visit the Chief Engraver, 
or did the Chief Engraver journey to Washington, D.C. and make 

[My money is on the artist visiting Washington or working from 
other artists' sketches or drawings.  Can anyone fill us in?  


Last week Martin Purdy noted that "Lady Frances Stuart was 
alive when the figure of Britannia first appeared on Charles II's 
copper coinage."  Curious, I did an Internet search and found 
this information about her:

"Her blue eyes flashed as she tossed her golden brown curls. It 
was hard to sit still for her portrait. Frances' thoughts were 
racing with the excitement and honour of knowing her likeness 
would be engraved on a special medal. And all because she had 
captured the heart of King Charles II. 

Immortality would follow for Frances Teresa Stuart, a Scots 
woman, whose profile was to depict Britannia, the stirring 
symbol of Great Britain, on the nation's coinage. (Her portrait 
appeared on British pennies until 1971 when the decimal system 
was introduced.) 

Celebrated diarist Samuel Pepys, a keen observer of women, 
wrote of Frances' striking looks, "But it was the finest sight 
to me". . . . . .that ever I did see in all my life. . . . . .
Miss Stuart. . . . . .is now the greatest beauty I ever saw, I 
think, in my life. . . . . .". She became known at court as 
"La Belle Stuart". 

"In 1664, England, at war with the Dutch, won several naval 
victories. Charles II decided to celebrate by having several 
medals struck. A figure of Britannia contemplating her victories 
was to adorn the medals, and the King chose Frances for the model. 
Thus she secured her place in history by posing for this 
famous engraving. 

Pepys wrote in his diary, "At my goldsmith's did observe the 
King's new medal, where, in little, there is Mrs. Stewart's 
face as well done as ever I saw anything in my whole life, I 
think: and a pretty thing it is, that he should choose her face 
to represent Britannia by." 

To read the complete article, see: 


Pete Smith writes: "I am a big fan of Laetitia Casta, an 
indication that I have other interests besides numismatics. 
However, I believe it is incorrect to refer to her as a living 
person portrayed on coins. She is a professional model and is 
not named on the French coins.

In America we might look to the example of Randy’L Teton, the 
model for the Sacagawea dollar. No one mentions her as a living 
person on an American coin. I suspect there may be many other 
examples of models used to create the image on coins and paper 

Dr. Kerry Rodgers writes: "Dear fellow inmates - I don’t think 
you are really trying hard enough when it comes to living non-heads 
of state (HoS) on money.  I had regarded the first E-Sylum article 
as a gently ironic comment, but was prompted by the second to 
treat the subject for real.

Can we just stick to coins for the moment, and leave aside those 
who are clearly alive and not an HoS, but are related to or married 
to a one, such as Prince Charles, along with his siblings, children, 
nieces and nephews? If you agree, then the name Neil Armstrong might 
strike a chord.  You can find him on numerous coins, as you can 
Young, Crippen, Schirra, Eisele, Cunningham, Cernan, Stafford, 
Kerwin, Weitz and others from the NASA team. 

I don’t have time to check who are still alive of this lot but 
Neil certainly was when I last caught him on telly.

Living film actors proliferate as subjects and are rapidly becoming 
passé. Lord of the Rings and the Big Ape were mentioned by earlier
correspondents. You can now add the cast of Narnia.  But the 
films-on-coins thing was kicked off some years back by Harry Potter 
while most of the main officers and some of the crew of the USS 
Enterprise Mk I & II have been around for many years, although one 
or two have now beamed-up for the last time. Anything that will 
make money for the mints is the name of the game these days.

To this end, there are numerous sports stars.  I am not a 
sports-jock and wouldn’t recognise many faces, let alone most of 
the names.  However, when it comes to coins, I am aware the living 
legends of tennis feature as well as Formula One stars. And I 
believe a guy called Pele who once played the beautiful game may 
be out there somewhere.  Is Greg Louganis still alive? 
He was on a couple of coins back in 1988.

And does the Dali Lama count as an HoS these days?  If not, 
does Christ qualify?  Are we talking temporal or spiritual HoS 

I have only an hour to spare and don’t have the latest SCWC to 
hand, but a more careful reading should produce many more 
examples. I would expect this to prove to be the case among 
readers who have a detailed knowledge of cultures that are not 
of European origin and/or do not have an English-speaking heritage.

I have avoided citing the coins of the countries involved in my 
quick survey. I prefer to challenge readers to locate these items 
by way of a quiz of my own. You don’t have to confine your research 
to the coins of Liberia, Marshall Islands, Isle of Man, Cook 
Islands, Gibraltar and Niue, Congo but they are a good place 
to start.

I would respectfully suggest the author of the original Forbes 
article was a little short on research.  Perhaps the question 
would have been better confined to paper money but even that 
is beginning to lose its edge when it comes to non HOSs.  
It is sad to see old traditions die."


The Sidney Morning Herald reported on the offering of an 
Australian note with a special serial number and history:

"It's a bank note that has a lot of noughts, though its face 
value is a mere 10 shillings. It's Australia's first 10 bob note, 
issued in 1913, bearing the serial number M000001. For that reason, 
it's expected to sell for a sum with just as many noughts, perhaps 
as much as $1.2 million, when it's offered at a Noble Numismatics 
auction on Thursday at the Intercontinental Hotel. It's the same 
note that made headlines in the Herald back in 2000 when it sold 
privately for $1 million.

It seems the PM of the day, Andrew Fisher, gathered with various 
dignitaries at Melbourne's King's Warehouse on May 1, 1913 to 
witness the first Commonwealth of Australia notes being printed. 
Judith Denman, daughter of the governor-general, Lord (Thomas) 
Denman, was given the honour of pulling the lever and impressing 
the red serial number on the first note, and was presented with 
the note by Fisher as a souvenir.

The note returned to England with her, and was later acquired 
by an Australian dealer and sold to a Sydney businessman. It is 
being offered together with the Government House, Melbourne, 
envelope in which it had been kept, bearing an ink inscription 
"Judith's 10/-".

To read the complete article, see: 

[The article adds, interestingly, that the new notes were 
feared to be a carrier of disease: "...wealthy Australians 
tut-tutted over this because it would be much handled by the 
lower classes, which would lead to diseases like smallpox."


Joe Boling writes: "You inquired about other banknote 
agencies selling special numbers (following the story about 
the Bank of Korea): every sale from Mavin International in 
Singapore includes a section of lots consigned by the Monetary 
Authority of Singapore. Their 31 March sale has 200 lots of 
fancy serial number notes." 


Craig Eberhart writes: "I couldn't resist writing this week.  
I am sure that many of E-Sylum readers are aware of the capability 
of the "anti-counterfeiting pen" to detect starch.  Any paper 
containing starch, which apparently is used to size cheaper paper, 
should be detected by the color change.  Therefore counterfeit 
currency made with high quality starch-free paper will pass as 
genuine and genuine currency sprayed with Niagara spray starch 
(or your other favorite currency processing starch) will appear 
to be counterfeit.  There are even some people that claim to 
spray good notes with Niagara for their vicarious "pleasure"!"

[There are always jokers, like the folks who pull out uncut 
sheets and cut them in front of their waiters...  -Editor]


[An article published March 15 by Investor's Business Daily 
takes note of the boom in numismatics and suggests hedge fund 
interest in the sector could be on the horizon.  The article 
cites high-profile auction prices and notes that that some fund 
managers, seeing good profits from numismatic investments on 
their own accounts might begin investing some of their clients 
assets as well.  -Editor]

"Maybe it's the fact that silver and gold prices have zoomed. 
Or maybe it's the fact that the Internet provides a higher degree 
of transparency so people know a market exists for them to buy 
and sell. Whatever the case, coins and currency collectibles are 
garnering lots of interest and seeing big sales."

"A report The Journal of Financial Planning several months ago 
put the coin and collectible market (excluding gold and silver) 
at $40 billion. An analysis of returns for the past 62 years 
shows the market only underperformed the stock market by about 

[The article mentions the Merrill Lynch and Kidder Peabody funds 
set up in the heady days of the 1980s and 1990s.  It touches on 
Bruce McNall as well. -Editor]

"But that's all sordid past. Since then, the Internet has 
come along and markets, even those considered somewhat illiquid 
like coins and collectibles, have benefited from transparency." 

To read the complete article, see: 

[Given the high publicity around the state of Ohio's foray 
into rare coin investing on top of the similar fates of the 
earlier funds, I really doubt that many investment managers 
would be willing to take the plunge.  But history has a way 
of repeating itself, so stay tuned.  -Editor]


This week reporter Mark Waite of the Pahrump Valley Times 
(Nevada) wrote about a trip to Bolivia which included an 
interesting numismatic side tour: 

"I took the tour of the Casa de la Moneda, paying the 20 
Bolivianos, less than $3, for the obligatory two-hour tour. 
I expected a boring tour of a coin collection but found a 
fascinating glimpse into Bolivian history. The mine was opened 
in 1572, less than 30 years after Indian Diego Huallpa discovered 
the rich silver ore on the Cerro Rico towering over Potosi. In 
the late 1600s Potosi was the largest city in South America with 
200,000 inhabitants and 86 churches, about double the population 
today. Potosi was also declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987.

Our tour guide led us into a large, cellar-like room with religious
paintings, explaining an anonymous, indigenous artist painted them, 
which was a way of converting local Indians to the Christian faith. 
She focused on a painting of the Virgin of the Mountain, the detail 
showed Indian miners working and Spaniards relaxing nearby. 

By 1773 machines were imported for flattening silver ingots to one
millimeter thick by huge grinders turned by mules on the floor below. 
The early coins were 95 percent silver, she said, it didn't matter 
if they weren't perfectly round.

A ship inside a glass represented the Atocha, the ship that sank off 
the coast of Florida with a $400 million cargo in 1622, of which half 
was silver from Potosi. There were other exhibits to occupy our two 
hours: armaments from Bolivia's three wars against its neighbors in 
the 19th and early 20th century; a display of 300 minerals; 
steam-powered machines imported from Philadelphia to stamp coins 
from 1869-1909 and a trick treasure chest to confound pirates. 

Tourists were allowed to stamp their own coin, but a Taiwanese 
coin collector turned down the offer when they didn't have any 
silver left in the souvenir shop. Ironically, while Bolivia minted 
Spain's coins for 300 years, the guide explained Bolivia's coins 
are now minted in Spain."

To read the complete article, see: 


The Forbes magazine web site published an article March 15 titled "Attention
Messrs Gates, Buffett: $1B Bank Notes Discovered"

"One shouldn't scrutinize a billion-dollar bill's paper composition and ink
formula for evidence of authenticity, for common sense would tell you it's a
fake. Plus, if you were trying to pass it off as legal tender, it's pretty
unlikely your average supermarket or vending machine would be stocked up
with millions of dollars in change." 

"Now U.S. authorities have seized 250 counterfeit bank notes in
billion-dollar denominations from a man who smuggled money into the country.
The 250 bogus Federal Reserve notes had dates and were stained to make them
look old, but no such currency exists, according to a U.S. Immigration and
Customs Enforcement spokeswoman."

To read the complete article, see:

The original Associated press report stated:

"The 250 bogus Federal Reserve notes had 1934 issue dates and were stained
to make them look old, but no such currency exists, said U.S. Immigration
and Customs Enforcement spokeswoman Virginia Kice." 

"Federal authorities warned that the sale or transfer of fake securities has
increased in recent years. Scam artists typically sell phony government bank
notes at a discounted value or use them as collateral to secure loans or
make purchases. 

"A billion is a substantial number. We want to ensure that no one was duped
or fleeced by the passing of these documents," Kice said. "

To read the complete article, see: 

To read a Reuters report, see: 


This week's featured web site is "The Origins of the American Numismatic
Society", excerpted from the first chapter of "The American Numismatic
Society, 1858-1958" by Howard L. Adelson, 1958.

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization 
promoting numismatic literature. For more information please 
see our web site at

There is a membership application available on the web site 
at this address:

To join, print the application and return it with your check 
to the address printed on the application. Membership is only 
$15 to addresses in the U.S., $20 elsewhere.  For those without 
web access, write to:

David M. Sundman, Secretary/Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society, 
P. O. Box 82 Littleton, NH 03561

For Asylum mailing address changes and other membership 
questions, contact David at this email address: 
dsundman at

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