The E-Sylum v9#39, September 24, 2006

esylum at esylum at
Sun Sep 24 18:43:54 PDT 2006

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 9, Number 39, September 24, 2006:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers are Donald G. Tritt, courtesy of 
Dick Johnson, Mike Shofner, Brent Upchurch, Pierre Fricke, 
J. Richard Becker and Robert Rightmire.  Welcome aboard!  
We now have 971 subscribers.

This week's issue is a big one, opening with news of an upcoming 
numismatic literature auction, a new and revised numismatic literature 
fixed price list, and a planned "Numismatic Conversation" on the topic 
of the extensive ANS archives.  In old news that some of you may not 
have heard yet, lawmen seized millions of dollars worth of numismatic 
items on display at the recent Long Beach coin show.  "We were robbed!" 
was the cry.

In the literature review department, we have items on the latest 
Stack's John Ford sale and four other books, new and old.  Next, 
Dick Johnson announces of his dramatic concept for solving the problem 
of what to do with the U.S. cent and nickel coins as the cost of the 
raw materials to manufacture them rises.

In the research department, we have some information on locating the 
"UFO token" images, a TV program on restoring mutilated currency, 
and some background information on wooden medals.  In other topics 
begun last week, Dick Johnson and Tony Swicer discuss Bernard von 
NotHaus and his Liberty Dollars, which have been in the news again 
due the Mint's recent pronouncement.  Also, Alan Luedeking reminds 
us of an important numismatic research role played by counterfeit 
coins.  In new topics, a new subscriber asks about the Guttag 

What coin did Abraham Van Der Dot design, and why did Walter Johnson 
throw a coin across the Rappahannock river?   To find out, read on.  
Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


Charles Davis writes: "Our current mail bid sale of numismatic 
literature, 850 lots largely from the library of colonial and 
world specialist and Massachusetts colleague Jim King, closes 
October 28. The catalogue is posted at our Vcoins website and 
may be accessed by clicking on the scrolling red banner at the 
top of the page.

[The direct URL for the sale catalog is: 

Highlights of the sale include:
 Complete set of Barney Bluestone catalogues
 Harry Bass Catalogues. Deluxe editions
 Frossard 37 with 9 plates
 H. P. Smith catalogues, 2 with plates
 Strobridge Snow sale with plates
 Woodward All the Kingdoms with 7 plates
 Frossard’s Monograph of U.S. Large Cents
 Original Gilbert on half Cents
 Grellman Large Cents, leatherbound edition
 Noyes Large Cents, 3 volumes, leatherbound edition
 Newcomb Large Cents 1802-1802-1803 with both supplemental; plates
 Eliasberg Collection original color photographs
 American Journal of Numismatics, long run
 Long runs of the Numismatist and Numismatic Scrapbook
 First Official A.N.A. Journal - Plain Talk
 Wayte Raymond’s personal 1 edition Standard Catalogue st
 Near Complete Asylum
 Grose McClean Greek Coins, original edition
 Batty on British Copper Coinage
 Long Run of the British Numismatic Journal.
 Burns on the Coins of Scotland
 Medallic Illustrations, bound set
 Milford Haven Naval Medals
 Montagu catalogue - Patterns & Proofs
 Spink Circular - complete
 Le Club Medaille - 94 issues
 Miles Numismatic History of Rayy
 Revue Belge de Numismatique - long run



Karl Moulton's Fall 2006 fixed price list of American Numismatic 
Literature 1855 to Date is now available.  I picked up my copy at 
the post office last week, but I believe it's been available for 
a couple weeks now.  The list has been reorganized and reformatted, 
and now includes color covers and a 14-page color plate section, 
the most ever in any American numismatic literature publication.  

I've noted before that the advent of inexpensive high-quality color 
printing has greatly helped the field of currency collecting, 
allowing mail bidders to see the true beauty of the banknotes 
offered.  Color photos may also help introduce buyers to numismatic 
literature items they may not have seen in person before.

The list includes a new section where every item is available for 
$5 while supplies last.  This is a good way to fill in holes in your 
catalog collections, and for bibliophiles there are a number of good 
numismatic literature sale catalogs available here, including sales 
by John Bergman, Jack Collins, Charles Davis, Sanford Durst, Orville 
Grady, Frank Katen, George Kolbe, Fred Lake and The Money Tree.  
(He has no Remy Bourne catalogs in stock currently).  The list is 
available for free at, or send $10 for a hardcopy.


In his Fall 2006 price list Karl Moulton offers a new preview of 
his upcoming book, "Henry Voigt and Others Involved With America's 
Early Coinage."  He writes: "In the Voigt book, the pictures alone 
will be worth the price, which is expected to be about $75.  Two of 
the previously unseen pictures are presented on the inside covers 
of this list."   In the inside front cover is a copy of "The only 
known photograph of the Original Cabinets of the Mint Collection 
Inside the Second United States Mint - 1876."  Q. David Bowers has 
written the foreword and says that the book will be "one of the 
most valuable in my numismatic library".

Karl adds: "The Henry Voigt book is finished, and is now waiting 
to go to a printer/binder.  It should be ready in about two months." 
Be sure to reserve your copy.  Karl can be reached by email at
numiscats at


According to a September 20 press release, the next ANS 
"Numismatic Conversation" on October 18 will spotlight the 
extensive ANS archives.  This is a topic sure to be of 
particular interest numismatic bibliophiles and researchers.

"The American Numismatic Society's archivist Joe Ciccone will 
present "Treasures in the ANS Archives." This program will relate 
intriguing stories of the early history of coin collecting and 
scholarship, illustrated with rare letters, photographs, reports, 
meeting minutes, and research notes from the Society's archives--
a collection of manuscripts and other materials that document the 
history of the organization and the field of numismatics as far 
back as the 1850's. 

This presentation, the third in the series of programs titled 
"Numismatic Conversations," will be held on Wednesday, October 18, 
2006 at 6:00 PM at the ANS headquarters, 95 Fulton Street in New 
York City, for a live audience as well as participants from 
around the country who will view the program on the internet.

The ANS Archives was formally established in 2004 to preserve 
the institutional records of the Society, as well as the personal 
papers of former staff, such as Edward T. Newell, Howland Wood, 
Agnes Baldwin Brett and Sydney P. Noe who were pioneers in the 
professionalization of numismatics in the early 20th century. 
Ciccone also will discuss the process the ANS undertook to set up 
the archives and use selections from the archives to demonstrate 
the uniqueness and depth of the collection."

"There is no charge to attend, but seating in the live audience 
is limited to thirty individuals and reservations are encouraged. 
To make reservations, or for information on how you can connect 
and view the webcast, please contact Juliette Pelletier at 212 
571-4470, extension 1311."


Alan V. Weinberg writes: "U.S. Marshals seized numerous Central 
America-sourced large gold ingots and, perhaps, coins, on exhibit 
at the Long Beach coin show on Thursday, the show's opening day. 
The seizure totaled many millions of dollars in numismatic value 
and left Monaco's large vertical black-lined display cases virtually 
empty. The same exhibit had been prominent at the Denver ANA and was 
probably featured on Denver television, news of which may have 
reached litigators or the original Central America investors. It 
is unknown if the Marshals went on to make seizures at Monaco's 
corporate office or their bank. 
The seizure may have been triggered by a lawsuit by creditors/
investors in the Central America ocean venture who had not yet 
been paid despite huge sales of the recovered treasure to third 
parties. The story has been addressed in Forbes Magazine and other 
news media with the main topic being the current whereabouts of 
Tommy Thompson who put together the Central America exploration 
and recovery. Apparently, the court that ordered the seizure in 
California believes that the Central America artifacts cannot 
legally change hands if the original investors haven't been paid. 
One interesting side note is that several dealers at the show 
pulled Central America ingots and coins from their showcases 
when word got out of the  Monaco seizure on the bourse floor. 
No reason to give the Marshals an excuse for an expanded seizure. 
Ironically, today's LA Times had an article on Tommy Thompson 
and I emailed the staff writer to advise her to read the Forbes 
magazine piece and gave her background on the Long Beach seizure."

[The L.A. Times story was in the kids' section, playing up the 
little boy grows up to find treasure angle.  
To read the story, see:  

"One wonders about the marketability and "exposure risk" of all 
the Central America ingots and coins in numismatic "circulation" 
until the case is resolved and that could be years down the road.

Thousands, if not tens of thousands of 1857-S, 56-S etc $20's in 
gem slabbed condition have been privately sold and auctioned over 
the past few years. Does that mean the court can subpoena all the 
sales records and advise the owners to surrender their coins? 
This was done in effect with the stolen and switched American 
Numismatic Society large cents where the ANS additionally was 
seeking treble damages from innocent 3rd party buyers.  This 
legal action subsequently resulted in the loss of dozens of 
longtime ANS members.  But, the ANS eventually recovered virtually 
all their large cents, taken or switched decades earlier, through 
contingency-based fees and thus highly motivated NYC attorneys."
[By the time this E-Sylum reaches readers, the numismatic press 
will have published more details on the seizure. Here are links 
to some background articles, one from Coin World and the rest 
from The E-Sylum archive:





Monaco Financial issued a press release on September 19th.  They 
say the seizure was a result of a New York lawsuit filed by a 
creditor of the Columbus-America Discovery group.

"Officials of Monaco Financial of Newport Beach, California say 
they will vigorously fight the seizure of six California gold 
rush ingots and one gold coin from the famous sunken treasure 
of the S.S. Central America. The seven items were taken from the 
Monaco's showcase display at the Long Beach, California Coin, 
Stamp & Collectibles Expo, September 14, 2006, forcibly under 
an ex parte court order.

"This is theft of private property. Monaco is forced and prepared 
to use its resources to rectify the situation, recover these items 
and protect our firm's reputation and the property rights of all 
collectors," said Adam Crum, Vice President of Monaco.

The items were seized as security for damages in connection with 
a lawsuit filed earlier in New York City by International Deep 
Survey, Inc., an underwater research company, against Columbus-America 
Discovery Group, the Ohio-based exploration group that found and 
retrieved the S.S. Central America treasure in the 1990's. 
International Deep Sea Survey and nine current and former employees, 
claim they are still owed nearly $12 million by Columbus-America and 
others, for sonar work performed two decades ago.

"Among the S.S. Central America items taken by a U.S. Marshal and 
private security guards were a 754 ounce, Justh & Hunter gold ingot, 
and a 622 ounce, Kellogg & Humbert gold ingot, both made in the mid 
1850's. The seized coin is an 1857 San Francisco Mint Double Eagle.

"Five of the ingots are privately owned by customers, who are 
likewise not a party to the suit. This was not a garnishment, we 
were robbed!" said Crum."

To read the complete press release, see:



The catalog for the next in the series of Ford sales has already 
been issued.  Sale XVI features the first part of Ford's collection 
of Indian Peace medals. The formal title of the sale, scheduled for 
October 17, 2006 in New York, is "Medals Struck for Presentation to 
First Peoples by Spain, France, Great Britain and the United States 
of America 1680-1890."  The second part, scheduled for sale in May, 
2007, will include duplicates of the U.S. series in silver and the 
bronzed copper medals.  

The centerpiece of this first sale is Ford's collection of silver 
Indian Peace medals struck by the U.S. government:  "There has never 
been a collection of United States Indian Peace Medals struck in 
silver as large, comprehensive, significant or ground-breaking as 
this one.  

The one hundred and more medals that will cross the block in this 
and the second sale represent a very significant percentage of the 
total number of such medals that has ever been available for purchase 
by private and institutional collectors.  In some cases, such as 
Harrison's round medals, the number present here is nearly half of 
the total number believed struck at the time they were ordered from 
the Mint!" (p62).

John Adams writes: "I had the great good fortune of learning from 
John Ford for 25 years. We shared an interest in the early Indian 
peace medals and helped each other to build our collections.

As the catalogue for Ford XVI shows, John did not hesitate to buy 
duplicates. He did this not out of greed but, rather, out of a 
reverence for the material that appeared to be greatly underappreciated. 
His accumulation of the large undated medals of George III makes my 
point more eloquently than my words. These medals are among the very 
few objects of any sort that one can buy and be assured of sharing 
stewardship with a native American owner. Here is a feast in which 
collectors should revel.

The only weak points in John's collection are medals issued by the 
French and the Spanish. These medals are exceptionally rare, to be 
sure, but he did have chances to own them.  I do remember a Spanish 
peace medal in a Bosco sale that was brilliantly catalogued by Paul.  
It was "good", in my opinion, but, lacking easy access to comparables, 
John convinced himself that the piece was "Mickey Mouse" and did not 
pursue it aggressively. So also on other occasions. These small holes 
in the collection are overwhelmed by John's accomplishments in the 
U.S. and English sections - we never have and never will again see 
the like."

Cataloguer Mike Hodder writes in a one-page appreciation of Ford, 
"Indian Peace Medals were Mr. Ford's most favorite collectible.  He 
lavished more study and spent more money on them than anything else 
he collected.  If there was one numismatic project he wanted to start 
more than any other it was an in-depth study of the American medals 
in this series."

"We worked well together, ferreting out information about coins and 
medals or tokens that added to their interest and value.  He could 
talk about Tom Elder and Henry Chapman as if he had been brought up 
at their feet.  His library was unexcelled and he never begrudged 
sharing the information he found in it.  He was proud of his collections 
and very aware of their importance."

"For almost all his career Mr. Ford was a step ahead of the rest.  
He always seemed to already have a mature collection of a numismatic 
area that everyone else was only just beginning to think about...  
His knowledge seemed to be uncanny and his memory for detail unnerving."

The catalogue is issued with an Estimated Values insert sheet.  I 
believe this is the first time Stack's has published pre-sale estimates 
and it's a great idea for the highly esoteric series.  Estimates range 
from as low as $50 (for a related Jeton) to $125,000 (for a large size 
1801 Thomas Jefferson Indian Peace medal).  Are the estimates too 
conservative?  Time will tell. The sale has only 189 total lots, one 
medal per lot, which is the smallest Ford auction offered by Stack's 
in the past three years.  I wonder how the prices realized will stack 
up to the prior fifteen Ford auctions on a per-lot basis?

Every lot is pictured in color.  Included are several photos and 
portraits of Indian awardees wearing their medals.  In addition to 
Hodder's excellent description and commentary of each lot, the 
catalog includes reprints of a 1982 Coin World interview with Ford 
on the Betts-Astor Peace Medal, and a 2001 Coin World article by 
George Fuld titled "Where Are All the Indian Peace Medals?"

I noticed one error in the catalogue - the obverse of one of the 
most important and valuable medals in the sale is not pictured - 
the lot 107 plate shows the same obverse as lot 109. The obverse 
of lot 107 (the large size silver shell 1801 Thomas Jefferson Indian 
Peace medal) is not pictured - oops!  

Although it is not an identical shot of the obverse of lot 109 
(the suspension loop is in a different position), the discoloration 
on some lettering and the "dot" below the letter D in President are 
tell-tale diagnostics.  The reverse photos are different, though - 
look at the length of the extended index finger and positioning of 
the thumb.  It would be helpful if Stack's were to insert a plate 
of the missing medal obverse in the post-sale hardbound catalogs; 
it would be a shame for the omission to go unaddressed.

It will come as no surprise that the latest of the Ford sale catalogs, 
like most (if not all) that have come before it is destined to be a 
classic reference.  The breadth and depth of Ford's numismatic holdings 
are absolutely stunning.  Bibliophiles who haven't been assembling a 
set of these sales should be ashamed of themselves.  I've purchased 
every one in hardcover for my library; this set will be a cornerstone 
of American numismatic libraries for decades to come.


Fred Reed writes: "What became of Ford's opus? In the June 3, 1964, 
issue of Coin World renowned paper money researcher, Illinoisan Fred 
Marckhoff, mentions pending release of a John J. Ford Jr. opus titled 
"Money of the American West."  I don't think Ford ever published this.  
Does anybody know what became of this project or the manuscript?"


Roger Moore writes: "I have been looking forward to reading the 
above mentioned book by Harold Levi and George Corell ever since 
I was approached two years ago by Mr. Levi about the possible use 
of my Maris medal photograph in the manuscript that he was writing.  
He explained that he had recently obtained access to some private 
letters and artifacts from a relative of Robert Lovett, Jr. and 
he was undertaking a study of the controversial Confederate cent.  

My interest in all things related to Dr. Edward Maris was immediately 
stimulated, since Dr. Maris played a small but significant role in 
acquiring the Confederate cents from their maker – Robert Lovett, Jr.  
Alas, the new discovery of the Lovett family archives did not reveal 
anything new about Dr. Maris, but it did send Harold Levi and George 
Corell on a wonderful fact finding trip through history in an attempt 
to right some historic inaccuracies and distortions.  I am very happy 
to be the owner of the very first copy of the book which was sold.  

The Lovett Cent A Confederate Story is a 276-page exploration of the 
times and people cutting dies and dealing in coins, primarily during 
the mid 1800s to the early 1900’s.  Whether or not one has a direct 
and personal interest in the Confederate cents, the book is an easy 
and fascinating read which methodically unravels the mysteries and 
follows the clues in a scientific manner in order to define the truth 
behind the production of these cents.  

Perhaps of greater interest to me than finding out the facts behind 
the production of the Confederate cents, was the way the book opened 
a window upon a time that is now recognized as the origins of coin 
collecting in America.  The die cutters such as Lovett and the 
dealers he interacted with were central to early numismatics in 
the United States.  

Of particular interest were the discussions of the rivalries, the 
jealousies, the intrigues between key early American numismatists, 
such as Edward Cogan, Thomas Elder, John Hazeltine, the Chapman 
brothers, William Idler, Edward Maris and many others.  I learned 
that Hazeltine’s wife was Idler’s daughter!!  Also, Hazeltine 
considered the Chapman brothers to be his most important find.  
What about the professional jealousy of Hazeltine by Mason, being 
a factor in Hazeltine leaving Philadelphia for a period?  I very 
much enjoyed these discussions of the people who were the founders 
of our modern numismatics – warts and all. 

Finally there is an in-depth look at the Confederate cents that 
were produced, their restrikes by Hazeltine, and the copies made 
by Bashlow.  Also a chapter on counterfeit Confederate cents reminds 
us that the scoundrels of numismatics are still walking among us and 
that we need to take care.  The flow of The Lovett Cent A Confederate 
Story makes the read quite enjoyable.  I highly recommend it to 
anyone interested in the numismatic atmosphere of Philadelphia in 
the 1800’s."  

[See a previous E-Sylum article for ordering information:


The long-anticipated new edition of the "Cherrypickers' Guide to 
Rare Die Varieties of United States Coins" by Bill Fivaz and J.T. 
Stanton debuted recently.  The Fourth Edition, Volume II covers 
Half Dimes through modern dollars, plus gold and commemoratives.  

In his Foreword to the book, Dave Bowers neatly sums up where the 
Cherrypickers' Guide fits in the pantheon of U.S. numismatic 
literature.  He writes: "For any numismatic library, some books 
are interesting to have, perhaps for glancing through, setting 
aside, and possible reading at a later time.  Other books are a 
bit more useful, with listings, prices, and historical information 
that are very helpful to collecting endeavors.  Then there are the 
books that are essential (make that absolutely essential) - of which 
this is one.... I cannot imagine collecting or understanding the  
topics covered here ... without a copy of this book at hand."

For bibliophiles, the Preface covers the history of the book itself, 
which began in 1989 with a suggestion by J. Woodside of Scotsman's 
Coins in St. Louis.  Woodside told Bill Fivaz he ought to write a 
book illustrating all the neat coin varieties he collected.  Working 
with friend J. T. Stanton, the pair eventually chose 160 varieties 
to illustrate.  The initial press run of 500 copies sold out at the 
FUN show in January, 1990.  Eventually 3,000 copies were produced 
and sold.  The second edition sold 5,000 copies in six months.  The 
third edition went through six printings totaling 28,000 copies.  
Literature dealer John Burns reports that the new Fourth edition, 
Part II edition is an equally fast seller.  At a recent show in 
Columbus, OH Burns had just 42 copies in stock but sold every last 
one.  I'll bet other dealers are selling them fast as well.

The second edition of the book was offered in spiral binding format, 
which J.T. Stanton believes was the first for a numismatic book.  
While we bibliophiles may have a hard time with this format because 
it just doesn't sit well on a shelf, this book isn't MEANT to sit on 
a damn shelf - it's meant to be USED.   And the spiral format is 
extremely useful - it is easy to open the book flat to a particular 
page to compare a coin to the illustration without having to prop 
the book open.

Still, as much as I understand the utility of the spiral format, 
I could never get past the problem of shelving a spiral-bound book, 
because sans spine, there is nowhere to display the name of the book.  
It bugs me.  But with the latest volume, Whitman has neatly solved 
the problem with a best-of-both-worlds solution called the "Hidden 
Wiro" format - it's a spiral-bound book sandwiched within a glossy 
color hard cover, complete with a labeled spine!  At last, a 
Cherrypickers' Guide I can store neatly on my shelf and still have 
the convenience of laying flat while in use.  To me it was a delight 
to see the new format, and I would recommend converting the spiral-
bound "Redbook" and many other reference works to the hidden wiro 
format as well.  It's the bee's knees!

Time now to quit babbling about the format of the book and move on 
to content.  Since I've never been a variety collector, I'm afraid 
there's little I can add except to say that I must agree with the 
tens of thousands of buyers of the previous editions - this is a very 
useful and valuable book, well worth a multiple of the cover price for 
active coin show goers with an interest in ferreting out scarce 
varieties in dealer stocks.  

I would highly recommend that anyone new to the Cherrypickin' hobby 
skip directly to page 412.  Buried in the back of the book as Appendix 
D is a great two-page article titled, "When Cherrypickin', Use Courtesy 
and Respect!"  The article discusses the social aspects of the game 
and offers some excellent advice on how to conduct oneself while 
poring through coin after coin in someone's stock.  I would recommend 
that this section be moved front and center in future editions.

Lastly, I would like to compliment the authors on their promotion 
of specialty numismatic organizations throughout the book.  Each 
chapter lists Clubs and Educational Information about the coins 
discussed, pointing readers to great organizations like the John 
Reich Collectors Society and the Liberty Seated Collectors Club.

All in all, another great numismatic book, and well worth the wait. 
Congratulations to the authors, their contributors, and Whitman 
Publishing for their efforts in finally making the latest 
Cherrypickers' Guide a reality.


Another Whitman production, the annual Guide Book of United States 
Coins, has sold out its deluxe edition.  Numismatic news reported 
in the September 19 issue (p38) that the leatherbound 2007-dated 
60th anniversary edition has sold out.  

I asked Dennis Tucker of Whitman for some more information on the 
book.  He writes: "Yes, the leatherbound 2007 Limited Edition Red 
Book is sold out. We printed 3,000 copies, and each was autographed 
by longtime editor Kenneth Bressett. The book follows the same 
format as other recent Limited Editions: larger trim, leather binding, 
gilt-edged pages, gold-stamped cover. Beyond that, this year's 
Limited Edition featured an exclusive illustrated history and tribute 
to Ken Bressett and the Red Book's original author, R.S. Yeoman, 
including a specially commissioned dual portrait by Chuck Daughtrey. 
This tribute was part of our 60th-anniversary celebrations honoring 
Ken and the Red Book.
Also in connection with that anniversary, Whitman is offering an 
antique-finish, nickel-silver commemorative medallion --- the first 
we've issued in some time. Its mintage was limited to 500 (individually 
numbered), and each medal is encapsulated by ANACS in a special slab 
and packaging. The medal features the Daughtrey dual portrait of Yeoman 
and Bressett. About 150 of the 500 were reserved for Red Book 
contributors, and the remaining 350 were offered at the World's 
Fair of Money in August. We still have some left, and Red Book 
collectors can order online, or, if they're still available, buy 
one at the Atlanta Show in early October."


Dave Perkins writes: "I recently purchased and read a book titled 
The First Frontier by R. V. Coleman.  It is a history of how America 
began – why the settlers came, what sort of people they were, how 
they made their livings, and how they behaved.  Many details of the 
daily lives of the settlers are covered.  I thoroughly enjoyed the 
book and highly recommend it.

An item of interest to numismatists may be found on pages 351-352.  
It discusses the establishment of the Massachusetts Mint and the 
first coinage of the Pine Tree Shillings, "On October 19 [1652] 
following, the Court further directed that "all pieces of mony 
coined as aforesaid shall have a double ring on either side, with 
this inscription, Massachusetts, and a tree in the center on one 
side, and New England and the yeere of our Lord on the other side, 
according to this draught here in the margent [drawing here in 
the margin]" – and there in the margin was the sketch shown on 
page 352 [illustration in the book].  

Such was the origin of the famous Pine Tree Shillings which for 
many years bought mittens, went into the church contribution plates 
or paid fines in all the towns of Puritan New England.  [The footnote 
reads this is from the Mass. Col. Record, Vol. IV, Pt. I, 84-85, 104.]  
This appears to be the same source / reference that is listed on page 
44 in Sylvester Crosby's The Early Coins of America.  However, I did 
not see this particular quote in the Crosby reference. A drawing 
similar to the one in this book can be found in Crosby, also on 
page 44.  

There is also a photo of the obverse and reverse of a Pine Tree 
Shilling in the book, courtesy of The Chase National Bank Collection 
of Moneys of the World, New York.  This specimen is likely from 
the collection of Farran Zerbe."


Dick Johnson writes: "The fact it costs more than a cent to 
manufacture a cent is causing problems not only in the U.S. but 
in all dollar denominated countries across the world. It calls 
for a dramatic solution.

Here is that dramatic solution! At 11:59 some Saturday evening 
the government should proclaim all cents and nickels are revalued 
at 10 cents. We would all wake up next morning to read in our Sunday 
newspapers that we are all a little richer. All cents, nickels and 
dimes are to be valued at 10 cents at 12:01 that Sunday AM and for 
all time in the future.

Thereafter all final cash transactions are to be priced "rounded 
down" or "rounded up" to multiples of 10 cents. Prices could still 
be quoted in cents, it is just the final price to be rounded off. 
Complaints that goods would cost more would be unsubstantiated. It 
would virtually even out in the end for everyone, buyers and sellers. 
A few cents different perhaps? So what! We all made a profit on 
the increased value of the cents and nickels in our possession at 
the time of reevaluation. 

In a few weeks everything would all straighten out. The government 
would immediately stop its loss in striking these coins. And the 
efficiency to the overall economy would benefit everyone in the 
long term. Millions of dollars in savings!

Our economy has advanced to the point the cent coin is indeed 
unnecessary. It has become obsolete like the "mill" denomination 
(we haven’t used mills since the depression of the 1930s). Our 
economy has advanced many percent since Thomas Jefferson created 
our coinage system and named these denominations in 1784. Yet, 
we are still using 200-year old coin denominations!

But why revalue the nickel? Well, it is inevitable the same thing 
would happen shortly to the nickel that happened to the cent if 
it hasn’t already – the cost of making these coins is more than 
their face value. Let’s get it over with right away! Revalue both 
at the same time. All at once!

Who would it help? Coin collectors for one, savers with all those 
piggy banks full of cents, regular citizens who religiously tossed 
their small change on the top of the dresser every night until the 
pile got so high they had to be scooped off into jars. Also retailers 
who had a stock of coins on hand for their cashiers, banks with their 
stock of coin rolls in their vaults, the Federal Reserve with their 
vast holdings. Who else? Perhaps others.

But who would it hurt? The Japanese for one. They have two ships anchored 
in the Delaware Bay anticipating that they could move in, buy up all 
the U.S. cents at face for the scrap value of the zinc and copper in 
all those coins returned to the Philadelphia Mint. They would have to 
send those ships back to Japan empty of any coin cargo.

Who else? Well the manufacturers of the zinc strip who blank and 
copper-coat those cent blanks would scream loudly – the companies 
themselves, their trade associations, their lobbying group, Americans 
for Common Cents. But they would be crying before they were hurt. If 
they would calmly sit down with mint officials and help devise a new 
coinage system, they could partake in a program that could result in 
far more business than they have now making cent blanks. Would you 
manufacturers be happy making the blanks for a new 50-cent piece?

How about vending machine companies with their millions of vending 
machines? Not too many accept cents or nickels. They are too busy 
retrofitting their machines for dollar coins – or worse yet – paper 

Cashiers could put all cents, nickels and dimes in the same compartment 
in their cash drawers. That would leave a couple compartments open for 
dollar and half dollar coins. There will be more demand for these coins 
than before for an active commerce of the future. The Mint should 
cease manufacturing cents and nickels for circulation that Sunday. 
Monday morning halt striking all cents and nickels. Withdraw all 
cent and nickel dies. They could take their time striking dimes since 
there is already in existence three times the current need for a 
10-cent piece. 

The coins would continue to circulate until they wear out (as intended) 
and save billions and billions of dollars recalling, shipping, scraping, 
melting, recasting, rollowing, blanking and recoining those old coins 
into new coins! There would be NO coin shortage at any time under this 
plan. Put those idle presses that used to strike cents, nickels and 
dimes back to work striking halves and dollar coins.

They could proof polish those existing cent and nickel dies and use 
these to strike proof coins for collectors. They could charge up to 
thirty times face value for these coins – they already do that for 
dollar coins anyway. The fact the dies were worn somewhat doesn’t 
matter either. Regular proof coins look that worn today anyway. That 
should satisfy collectors and halt their complaints.

The Treasury department should immediately form a think tank of the 
best experts for analyzing the future of American coins. Consider: 
what denominations, what size, what compositions, what designs, 
what new innovations, how to cut costs, how to speed the distribution 
system from mint to retail stores, incorporate new anti-counterfeiting 
devices, and put coins to new uses. Give me a call at (860) 482-1103. 
I already have 20 pages of these ideas.

Meanwhile, E-Syluminaries, you read it first here on E-Sylum. Start 
setting aside rolls of cents and nickels. Smart money is on the cents, 
of course, since they will increase in value tenfold, nickels only 
double in value.

It is inevitable. We must abolish the cent AND the nickel -- at 
one-cent and five-cent value! Just don’t abolish the existing coins."


Regarding the "UFO" token article that was no longer at its original 
web address, a subscriber writes: "Google caches many Web pages, and 
one such cache exists depicting the tokens. In this case, a Google 
cache was not required, since the Web site still has the images 
posted. But I've found using the "cache" function very helpful in 
the past. 

For this search, I used the words "UFO token" and most of the 
original URL. Then, I clicked on the word "cached" below the normal 
Google search results.  That's where I found the following link to 
the original article:


Regarding the restoration of mutilated currency, a subscriber 
writes: "Michele Orzano wrote a story about it in the March 25, 
1996 issue of Coin World.  A companion story listed some tips to 
deal with mutilated currency, noting that if the paper was in a 
roll when damaged, it should not be unrolled and "flattened."

Neil Shafer writes: "Just a short comment on redemption of 
mutilated currency.  Recently I saw a program on TV about this 
exact thing.  There is a room at the BEP where highly skilled 
workers take such a brick of currency and with special tools 
pry the notes apart, or piece them together very painstakingly.  

Of course the only thing to do is send the notes to the BEP (they 
usually request that such packages be registered) and let them do 
the work.  I would not try any "home remedies" as one is more 
likely to damage them still further, if that is possible."

[If anyone has seen this show, or can give us any more information, 
let us know.  What network was this on - was it a PBS documentary, 
something for The Discovery Channel?  What was the name of the 
segment?  Perhaps it is available online or as a DVD.  -Editor]


NBS President Pete Smith writes: "I started collecting wooden 
medals earlier this year and gathered information from a couple of 
articles. Although I understand the advice to “buy the book before 
the coin,” I often do the opposite. I buy something that intrigues 
me and then attempt to find the relevant literature. This past 
March I bought a set of the Centennial wood medals and, with the 
help of Nancy Green, searched for the literature.

The best source I have found on wooden medals is a two-part article 
by Henry (Hank) Spangenberger in Numismatic Scrapbook Magazine, March 
and April, 1969. He lists about 38 pieces from the Peace Jubilee 
medals of 1869 to World’s Fair items from 1939.

There are articles by H. W. Holland in the American Journal of 
Numismatics beginning in 1877 that cover all Centennial medals 
including the wooden ones. A couple of articles in The Numismatist 
in 1927 have comments but little information.

I have heard that Arlie Slabaugh was working on an update but I 
don’t believe he published his results. There may be other sources 
that I missed."

Regarding the 1876 wooden U.S. centennial medals, Eric von Klinger 
writes: "These were written about in letters in the January and 
February 1927 issues of The Numismatist. According to these letters, 
the medals were die-struck by Ornamental Wood Co., Philadelphia, on 
walnut or other hard wood, and were sold in decorative cardboard 
boxes at the Centennial Exposition in that city. One writer said 
they were struck with the grain of the wood, not against it, and 
so did not warp with time.

Six medals constituted the set. The two largest (3 inches) show 
the Main Building and Memorial Hall. The others, measured at 
somewhat less than 2.5 inches, depict George Washington; Gen. 
Joseph R. Hawley, president of the exposition; Alfred T. Goshorn, 
director general of the exposition; and Independence Hall.

The common reverse reads: THE 100TH ANNIVERSARY OF AMERICAN 


Dick Johnson writes: "Saturday a week ago (Sept 16, 2006) the 
U.S. Mint issued a statement that the Justice Department declared 
"Liberty Dollars" illegal for commercial transactions in America. 
A little late, perhaps? These have been around since 1998. And tell 
me, how can something be declared illegal that was never intended 
to be legal tender in the first place?"

The news spread rapidly by the Free Market News Network: 

Their feedback was immediate. At last count there were over 32 
responders venting their individual opinions.

E-Sylum has reported on the Liberty Dollars before (vol 8, no 51, 
article 12). The following week carried a brief article "In Defense 
of the Liberty Dollar" (vol 8, no 52, article 20) where one reader, 
Bob Leonard, likened this coin to the Lesher Dollars of 1900.

Boy is there a story here! The Liberty Dollars were the invention of 
Bernard von NotHaus. He built his own mint in Hawaii and has produced 
a wide range of private coins. Believe me, Bernard is not a "nut cake," 
he is very determined man who accomplishes what he sets out to do. 
He has my admiration.

Before Bernard set up his mint, he contacted me. We had a business 
lunch at the Red Lion in Ridgefield, Connecticut -- the kind of lunch 
that lasted for three hours -- it must have been fall 1985. He was on 
a worldwide trip buying coining equipment and seeking information on 
how to operate a private mint. As I recall he mentioned several 
problems, one of which was who to engrave his dies. I gave him the 
best advice I could.

He established the Royal Hawaiian Mint in Honolulu and struck some 
very attractive private coins beginning in 1986. I suspect he sold 
these to tourists who carried these away as souvenirs of the Islands. 
I sold several sets of his issues in my medal auctions and corresponded 
with him over the years. He found most of his coin artists here in 
America, and overcame so many of his problems. There is a lack of tool 
and die shops in Hawaii, for instance, he had to send his dies to the 
mainland just get them "turned" to fit his press!

All the while he was issuing these private coins he was thinking about 
the concept of money, its uses and the fact paper money should be backed 
by precious metal. At first he issued paper money backed by silver 
stored at Sunshine Mining in Idaho. He established an organization, 
National Organization for the Repeal of the Federal Reserve Act 
(NORFED), just for the purpose of issuing such currency.

In 1998 it was NORFED that issued the Liberty Dollar struck in fine 
silver. His coins were just a tad bit over one ounce – his intent was 
full value. Obviously the coins traded at silver bullion value. He 
was encouraged with the success of these early pieces to issued 
private coins in five, ten, twenty and fifty Liberty Dollars in 
subsequent years.

These were not intended to replace U.S. coins (of token metal content), 
but instead were offered to anyone at any transaction to accept them 
or not, recipients’ choice. Supporters and detractors have been vocal 
ever since.

These private coins are listed in the Krause Publication "Unusual 
World Coins" by Colin R. Bruce II. There are ten pages of Bernard’s 
Hawaiian issues and three pages of his Liberty Dollar issues. 
Incidentally, it is my opinion this catalog is misnamed – it should 
be "Private World Coins." The quantity of such issues from around 
the world should scuttle the word "Unusual." You see, every private 
mint wants to issue their own coins. Perhaps just like Bernard von 
NotHaus did so well.

Visit the Liberty Dollar website:  You will 
find illustrations of both his Liberty Dollar paper money and coins."


Tony Swicer writes: "Regarding the Liberty Dollars, several gun 
dealers here in West Palm Beach are distributors of these atrocities. 
When silver was below $10 an ounce, they were passing off the $10 
coins as real coinage at gas stations, restaurants, and grocery stores 
as genuine legal tender. They would flat out tell the store clerk it 
was real money, and they would accept it. They even came in our coin 
shop trying to push them off on us. Now that their new $20 coin is 
out, heaven help the ignorant store clerk.  As you can see from my 
story, these guys are breaking the law."

[Trying to pass off these private issues as legal tender is certainly 
questionable, and I believe it's these third-party shenanigans that the 
Mint is hoping to forestall.  I didn't read anything to indicate that 
making the Liberty Dollars was declared illegal.  I tend to agree with 
the view that these are a modern incarnation of the Lesher Dollar. 


Alan Luedeking writes: "Reid Goldsborough's interesting piece on 
counterfeit collecting ended with a couple of valid justifications 
for collecting fakes, but he missed one that is extremely important, 
perhaps the key justification that legitimizes the collecting of 
counterfeits numismatically: It is often a record of real coins that 
no longer exist. 

A counterfeit by definition imitates a legitimate coin, and if 
contemporary (rather than modern, made just to fool a collector) 
was meant to circulate and fool society at large. As such, it was 
often carefully made to resemble the real thing, and when the real 
thing was by happenstance rare to begin with, it may no longer exist 
today. In this case, the counterfeit becomes a valuable historical 
record keeper, testifying to the former existence of its real muse, 
and providing a basis on which to recognize such, should it ever 
appear; it is thus collectible in its own right. 

A superb source of scholarship in this area is "Circulating Counterfeits 
of the Americas" edited by John M. Kleeberg, Coinage of the Americas 
Conference, American Numismatic Society, New York, November 7, 1998."


Dave Bowers writes: "Here are some of my thoughts concerning 
the American Numismatic Rarities-Stack’s merger.

The new entity is operating under the Stack’s banner in New York 
City and as Stack’s Rarities in other areas, as in Wolfeboro.  
All of the American Numismatic Rarities and Stack’s staff is being 
merged into the new entity.  Chris Karstedt and I, equity partners 
in ANR, are now equity partners in Stack’s.  I never dreamed of 
this way back in 1955 when I first went into Stack’s store at 123 
West 57th Street (same location as today) and bought my first coin 
over the counter, a 1913 Proof Barber half dollar for $25.  Those 
were the days!  Since that time I have done much business with 
Stack’s and its principals, and have been a bidder in many of their 
auction sales.  In the late 1950s I was a regular attendee at 
almost every auction event.

Our Numismatic Sun, a collectors’ favorite, will continue.  In fact, 
I am working on the next issue.  Also our new Paper Money Review, 
which had a recent debut to good notices, will be continued as well.  
We’ll be combining catalogue production as appropriate and continuing 
to provide the collecting community the finest in numismatic 
descriptions, historical data, and photography.

It is expected that the combination will produce even finer outreach 
to the traditional numismatic community, new clients as well as old.  
We will all continue our focus on promoting the traditions and joys 
of numismatics.  This, of course, has been a personal interest of 
mine since day one.  My business address will be the current ANR 
address:  “Q. David Bowers, PO Box 1804, Wolfeboro NH 03894.”  My 
personal private e-mail will remain the same, and numismatists 
are invited to use it:  qdbarchive at"


The Whitman Coin and Collectibles Atlanta Expo will be at the Cobb 
Galleria Centre in Northwest Atlanta, Thursday-Saturday, October 5–7.
Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing forwarded a press release for the 
event, and there are a number of activities that may appeal to 
E-Sylum subscribers. Here are a few excerpts:

“This year we’re fortunate to exhibit one of the world’s finest 
collections of historic Southern business documents and artifacts,” 
said Crenshaw. “The Frank O. Walsh Collection includes Southern 
currency, stocks and bonds, coins, and advertising memorabilia. 
This is part of a complete exhibit called ‘Old Money, New Money: 
The Rise of Southern Capitalism,’ on display at the Atlanta History 
Center, just a few minutes from the show.”

"Numismatic author Q. David Bowers, will also delve “Inside the 
ABNCo. Archives,” telling the fascinating story of surprises and 
treasures he discovered in the company’s recently unveiled holdings."

"In addition to the Frank O. Walsh Collection, this year’s exhibits 
include the famous King of Siam set of Proof copper, silver, and 
gold coins, presented by President Andrew Jackson to the king of 
Siam in 1836. The monarch’s son, Rama IV, was the subject of the 
book Anna and the King of Siam, and the famous Broadway musical, 
“The King and I.” Paper money exhibits include Civil War–era 
“Montgomery” notes, and selections from the ABNCo archives."

Numismatic artist Chuck Daughtrey will be on hand, working on his 
latest pencil portrait—that of coin designer Adolph A. Weinman. 
Noted for its detailed, photorealistic style, Daughtrey’s portraits 
have appeared in recent Whitman books including A Guide Book of 
Flying Eagle and Indian Head Cents and A Guide Book of Washington 
and State Quarters. 

His dual portrait of R.S. Yeoman and Kenneth Bressett was featured 
in the (sold-out) 2007 Limited Edition Red Book, as well as on the 
nickel-silver medal issued to commemorate the Red Book’s 60th year. 
Collectors of Daughtrey’s limited-edition prints can watch the 
artist in action at the show.

The Atlanta Show will also have special programs for young 
collectors, and autograph sessions with Whitman authors including 
the “dean of American numismatics,” Q. David Bowers."


A Reuters story published September 22 provides an update on the 
trial of Edward Smiley, the thief who ruined rare library books 
by stealing valuable old maps.  

"A dealer of antique treasures who admitted stealing more than $3 
million in rare maps was resentful of the world's top libraries and 
acted to finance his rich tastes and rising debt, prosecutors said 
on Thursday."

"In June, Smiley, once one of the country's most respected dealers 
in rare maps, admitted to the thefts from the British Library in 
London, New York and Boston public libraries, the Harvard and Yale 
university libraries and a Chicago library.

He was arrested after a keen-eyed library staffer noticed a dropped 
X-Acto knife blade on the floor.

"He explained that his initial thefts were acting out of resentment 
toward persons at certain institutions that he believed had wronged 
him, individuals who he believed had slighted him or used certain 
of his research without accreditation," prosecutors wrote."

"They added that six of the maps likely never will be recovered, 
while two are in the hands of identified collectors and 90 have 
been or most likely will be recovered."

To read the complete article, see:

To read an earlier E-Sylum item on Smiley's thievery, see:


Martin Purdy has kept us informed about the craze generated in 
New Zealand as a result of that country's changeover to a new 
coinage - see below for links to previous E-Sylum articles on 
the topic.  This week the New Zealand Herald published a story 
about how wild the craze has become.

"A Rotorua coin collector says people paying thousands of dollars 
for coins about to be phased out of circulation are being duped.
With just five weeks before New Zealand's old 5c, 10c, 20c and 
50c coins become obsolete, there has been an upsurge in their 
sale as collector's items.
But Rotorua collector Don Ion warns that most of them are worth 
no more than their face value and people should do their homework 
before they buy. Other coin experts share his concerns.
Mr Ion, who has been trading coins for more than 50 years, said 
there had been a coin buying frenzy since a 2004 5c piece sold 
on a website for $350 after the Reserve Bank introduced new coins.
Since then coins worth only their face value were being listed at 
exorbitant prices, some as high as $5000, he said."
"Wellington Royal Numismatic Society vice president Alistair Robb 
said people who knew little about the value of coins for which they 
were bidding would be best to first check catalogues, available 
from coin collector stores.
"These books only cost about $14 but they could save these people
a lot more," he said."

To read the complete article, see: 

To read previous E-Sylum articles on the topic, see:


Arthur Shippee forwarded the following item from The Explorator 
newsletter: " A rare gold coin from the reign of Charles I is 
expected to fetch £200,000 at auction next week. The historic 
Triple Unite, which is more than 370 years old, was struck prior 
to the English civil war. The £3 coin was stolen in an armed robbery 
in 1974, but it was later recovered. It is believed to have been 
crafted around 1630 by Abraham Van Der Dot, who was the Dutch 
medallist to Charles I.

The coin will go under the hammer at Baldwin's Auctioneers, 
part of Noble Investments, in London on Tuesday September 26."

To read the original article, see:,,1876305,00.html 

[Does anyone know the story of how the coin came to be recovered?  


I learned a couple things about Middle Eastern currency from a 
September 23 article in the Arab News:

"How many people know that Indian currency was in use in Arabian 
Gulf countries (except Saudi Arabia) in the 1950s and the beginning 
of the 1960s? In fact, the use of Indian tender was so widespread 
in Oman, Bahrain and Qatar that specific serial numbers were assigned 
to notes to signify that they were put into circulation in the Gulf 
rather than India. Sageer has a collection of such notes that have 
printed on them a tiny “Z” to indicate they were intended for use 
in the region. Sageer also has some 1,000-rupee notes that were 
withdrawn from circulation in 1977."

"He has Saudi five-riyal notes from 1977 with a grammatical error — 
a missing dot over the Arabic script — which states that the note is 
worth “hassa” (“to lessen, reduce, or diminish in value”) instead 
of “hamsa” (“five”). Another two-riyal note misstates the name of 
the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency. He has rupees from the 1950s 
with similar mistakes in Urdu."

To read the complete article, see: 


According to a September 18 news report, "Governor Jim Risch and 
State Treasurer Ron Crane hosted an unveiling of the new Idaho State 
quarter design today, which is to enter circulation in 2007."

"The U.S. Mint developed three candidate designs that were developed 
from the five original narrative concepts provided by the Governor 
in late September 2005. Former Governor Kempthorne then selected the 
final design that was approved by the Secretary of the Treasury in 
late June 2006."

"Along with the image of the Perrigrine Falcon, the other two final 
designs were a farmland tapestry, and an image depicting Idaho's 
state song with the first two lines written out within the design. 
The decision to move forward with the Peregrine Falcon was made by 
Governor Kempthorne shortly before he left office to take the position 
of US Secretary of the Interior in May.

The Idaho quarter was designed by retired United States Mint 
sculptor-engraver Donna Weaver and sculpted by United States Mint 
sculptor-engraver Don Everhart."

To read the complete article, see: 

[Quiz question: which other U.S. coins were designed by 
Donna Weaver?  -Editor]


Robert Rightmire writes: "I am doing research on the Guttag Brothers 
with the hope of writing at least one article. Have you ever seen an 
article about them?  I just found out about the NBS; my application 
will be in tomorrow's mail."

[I found a few references to Julius Guttag in the NIP index; I 
believe he’s the same Guttag from the Guttag Brothers. 

11 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCHS\ Guttag, Julius \ANA\Vol.66\1953 MAY\Pg.452  
12 MISCELLANEOUS\ Guttag, Julius \ANA\Vol.70\1957 NOV\Pg.1307  
13 OBITUARIES\ Guttag, Julius \ANA\Vol.75\1962 JUN\Pg.756  
14 BOOK REVIEWS\ Julius Guttag Collection Of Latin American Coins 
(Edgar H. Adams) \ANA\Vol.88\1975 FEB\Pg.302  

This article in the Colonial Newsletter may also help:
16 GUTTAG BROTHERS\ Foreign exchange bankers of New York who 
published 'New Jersey Cents' in 1925 
\CNL\1975 JUL\Vol.14\Issue#2\Serial#44\Pg.496  

I have some issues of the Guttag Coin Bulletin from 1928 and 
made them available to Mr. Rightmire.  Does anyone know where to 
find more information on the Guttags?  Did any of our subscribers 
know either of them?  -Editor]


The NIP Index, a project initiated by the late, great Harry Bass, 
is a great resource for researchers seeking references to articles 
in numismatic publications.  I used it to find the above Guttag 
references, and Pete Smith and I both used it to find the above 
wooden medal references.  NIP has been mentioned numerous times 
in The E-Sylum, but one more time can never hurt.  If you haven't 
yet used it to locate some numismatic information, it's worth a try.

To access the Numismatic Index of Periodicals index, go to:  


Alan V. Weinberg writes: "I personally attended the Heritage 
exonumia auction held last Saturday Sept 16 at the Long Beach coin 
show. In 2 sessions with a 10 minute break in between, it ran from 
1:30 PM to 7:30 PM. Exhausting. 
The auction catalogue was dedicated exclusively to tokens and medals 
and was the most sophisticated and attractive exonumia auction 
catalogue ever issued in my 50 year hobby memory. A first time 
project by Heritage's newly formed exonumia department headed up 
by Harv Gamer who hails from Los Angeles and Canada and now resides 
in Dallas with his hotel magnate wife.  
The in -person auction attendance was sparse , numbering perhaps 
1 1/2 dozen people at its peak due to its start as the Long Beach 
coin show was packing up . But the mail and internet and phone 
bidders more than made up for this. Competition was vigorous with  
three phone lines being occupied on the gold University of Va 1860 
medal, and simply outrageous prices.
So-called dollars went through the roof with pieces that a few years 
ago were essentially junk box items, now being slabbed and selling 
for well over $100. A mediocre slab MS-63 Erie Canal HK-1000 so-called 
dollar hammered for $8,500 and this was without the rarer wood round 
box of issue. This medal, as is, was a $1,500 medal three yrs ago.
Western trade tokens went sky-high. A Tucson A.T. token , actually 
1 of 5-6 known, hammered for $3,250. Two Texas tokens hammered for 
$1,300 and $1,100. Civil War tokens, despite the physical presence 
of major buyers Ernie Latter and Steve Tanenbaum, almost all went 
to absentee bidders based on their high (and highly inaccurate) 
slab grades.
It was plainly evident that slab grades, which were grossly unreal 
(i.e VF's being slabbed as MS), and the Internet played a very active 
part in the sale's success and high prices. Every single auction lot 
was offered on eBay and, separately, on Heritage's website.  This is, 
sadly in the writer's view, the wave of the future. For me, there's 
nothing like hands-on lot inspection and show & auction physical 
attendance to educate and reward collectors and dealers.
It looks like this is just the beginning of a major new jump in 
exonumia activity and prices if Heritage & Harv Gamer keep up their 
push to excel."

To read Dick Johnson's review of the sale catalog, see:


The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg, SC published a story September 
19th about the quest of a local man who would dearly love to prove 
that his backyard find is worth a fortune.  

"Nearly three years ago, using the metal detector his wife had given 
him for Christmas, [a local man] discovered something curious in his 

"[He] said he soon saw a “little metal tube sticking up.” The tube 
was broken open, and in it was a document wrapped in heavy yellow 
plastic and an old coin.

"Since then, the pair have been trying to discover the history 
behind what they believe is an original, signed and dated version 
of Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address and a Confederate coin 
dating back to 1861."

"They have taken the document and coin to the Orangeburg County 
Historical Society, a professor at the University of South Carolina, 
a collector in Virginia and the Library of Congress in Washington, 
D.C., receiving mixed reactions along the way.

"When a friend took the find to Virginia, the specialist said he 
couldn’t figure it out, but the Library of Congress said the two 
pieces don’t have any monetary value.

“It seems that everybody’s given us the run-around on it,” [His 
friend] said. “If they made so many of them (the coins), why would 
someone go through the trouble of burying it?”

“We just want somebody to look at it.”"

To read the complete article, see:

[Well, you HAD somebody look at it and they told you it was worthless.  
As for the copy of the Gettysburg Address, buried in a broken tube and 
wrapped in a material that didn't EXIST until decades after the Civil 
War, if the Library of Congress didn't think anything of it, how many 
more experts do you need to tell you it's worthless?   -Editor]


Jeff Starck writes: "This is an interesting story about Washington 
Senators pitcher Walter Johnson's attempt to throw a "silver dollar" 
across the Rappahannock, a la George Washington. There were bets that 
Johnson could re-create the feat, but the promoter indicated he must 
throw it some 1,200 or 1,300 feet! 

[This is a new story published September 22nd by the Richmond Times 
Dispatch about an event that took place in 1936.  As it turns out, we 
did cover this event in an earlier E-Sylum - see the link below.  One 
joke related to the event was this:

"An Englishman wondered whether Washington had ever thrown the 
dollar.  "Of course he did", reported an American diplomat. "To 
throw a dollar across the Rappahannock would be nothing to a
man who had pitched a Sovereign across the Atlantic!"




While some people might throw a dollar away, others would risk their 
life for a $20 bill.  "How far would you go for 20 bucks? Mark 
Giorgio jumped off a 50-foot bridge to retrieve a wayward 20. 

Giorgio was counting his money while walking across a bridge over 
the Manatee River in Florida. A 20-dollar bill blew out of his hand 
and over the rail. He followed. Giorgio plunged into the water 50-feet 
below, then had to swim 100 yards, but he did get his soggy 20.

He was fished from the water by a passing Florida fish-and-game 
officer. Giorgio tells the Sarasota Herald-Tribune "hell, yeah" it 
was worth it. He says 20 bucks is a lot of money when you're broke."

To read the complete article, see: 


This week's featured web site is, Vern 
McCrea's personal web site featuring his collection of Napoleonic 
era medals. 

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

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, just 
Reply to this message, or write to the Editor at this 
address: whomren at

Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers 
(or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page:

All past E-Sylum issues are archived on the NBS web site at this address:

Issues from September 2002 to date are also archived at this address:

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