The E-Sylum v10#30, August 5, 2007

esylum at esylum at
Sun Aug 5 12:16:53 PDT 2007

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 10, Number 30, August 5, 2007:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2007, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Some anonymous new subscribers this week bring our total to 
1,166. Welcome aboard!  

This week we open with an announcement of a new book on error 
coins and a review of the new Stack's eCatalogue format.  In 
the research department, Peter Huntoon provides some information 
on the 1943 U.S. emergency banknotes, Al Roy provides an example 
of numismatic trading cards in Canada, and readers seek 
information on the 1927-31 U.S. Treasury gold coin offering 
and other topics.

In the news, banknote printer De La Rue is involved in a 
criminal inquiry, U.S. Mint artist Susan Gamble is profiled, 
and a 1794 Chain Cent is uncovered in a woman's garden. 

No London Diary this week - I've been in the U.S. on vacation 
with my family (but I'm heading back tonight).  For those attending 
the American Numismatic Association convention, be sure to attend 
the Numismatic Bibliomania Society events and look for numismatic 
literature exhibits.  Send us some reports for The E-Sylum! 

To learn how ornamental glass sulphides are connected to 
numismatics, read on. Have a great week, everyone.

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


Zyrus Press issued an announcement of a new book this week: 
'World’s Greatest Mint Errors' by Mike Byers.  The retail price 
has not yet been announced.
"Available in November 2007, the World’s Greatest Mint Errors 
is the latest release from Zyrus Press and the first full-length 
book by Mike Byers, a well-known expert on government issued 
error coins. He is the editor and publisher of Mint Error News 
Magazine, and has been a professional numismatist for over two 
decades. Today, he is the largest dealer in the U.S. of mint 
errors, die trials, and other numismatic rarities from around 
the world.

"Available in a “coffee table" format, Mike Byers brings us the 
wealth of all his years of buying, selling, and discovering the 
most dramatic and amazing mint errors and die trials ever found 
in the U.S. and across the world, including new findings and new 
types of errors. Every single mint error published in this book 
is imaged in a high resolution, full color, large-sized photo, 
with information on value, rarity, and grade. 

"Some chapters included are: Bonded Coins, Brockages, Die Caps, 
Double / Multiple Strikes, Double Denomination, Fold-Over Strikes, 
Gold Errors, and the new Presidential Dollar errors, among others. 

"Look for copies of World’s Greatest Mint Errors in November 2007 
in bookstores nationwide,, and your local coin shop. 
For information on wholesale price and our discount programs, 
please contact Zyrus Press, PO Box 17810, Irvine, California 92623.  
Phone: (888) 622-7823.  Web: Stay up-to-date! Visit  
E-mail: info at


Tim L. Shuck of Ames, IA writes: "I just noticed that Stack's is 
offering a new "eCatalogue" for their current J. A. Sherman and 
Roraima Shield Collections auction (August 5). This digital 
catalog is available at, with links to it from their 
Auctions and Current News sections.

"Though I like the idea of digital catalogs, and there are some 
interesting features here, I have mixed feelings about this 
implementation. It duplicates much of the Browse Lots capabilities 
currently available on Stack's online auctions; and you end up in 
that format anyway if you use the "Bid on Lot" function of the 
eCatalogue. There are some fairly robust viewing tools, and image 
quality is good at maximum allowable zoom.

"A more significant issue is the limited viewing area, which is 
not user size-adjustable as far as I can tell. Readability is 
limited for me until I go to maximum zoom. I don't see that a 
downloadable pdf version is available, though I was able to print 
to a pdf from a Windows machine but not from a Mac (not with the 
image clarity of the online version however).

"With additional hands-on experience since the earlier discussion 
on E- Sylum regarding the future of printed catalogs, I more and 
more favor pdf files on a local machine. Benefits include greater 
access speed, more robust view and search options, a minimal 
physical footprint, and easily stored and backed up data formats. 
At the same time I have purchased and will continue to purchase 
hard-bound printed versions of auction classics for my reference 

"But it seems we are in a time of transition. The Internet has 
shifted considerable market focus to digital information delivery, 
companies continue to innovate in that direction, and I think that 
is a good thing. It will be interesting to see how this develops 
in the next few months and years."


Stephen Pradier forwarded an article about the Open Library project, 
which if successful, could become a useful source for numismatic 

"An ambitious project to create an online catalogue of every book 
in every language ever published is under way. Public goodwill is 
not in doubt, but some libraries remain to be convinced.
"A few years ago, the idea of getting random people around the 
world to write their own encyclopaedia would have been madness - 
but that didn't stop the founders of Wikipedia doing just that, 
and it has turned out to be one of the most successful web 
projects of recent years. 

"With that in mind, does it sound mad to want to try and build 
an online catalogue of every book ever published, anywhere in 
the world? 

"The Open Library, newly launched in the USA but global in scope, 
is designed to make that happen. 

"In the words of its creators, the idea is to build a virtual 
library that stores details of not just 'every book on sale, 
or every important book, or even every book in English; but 
simply every book.' 

"Aaron Swartz, leader of the technical team working on Open 
Library, suggests that every book ever published needs a single 
authoritative page on the internet, a bit like a personal 

"'Right now, if you want to link to a book on the web, the main 
place people go is Amazon. It's kind of a bad idea for one commercial 
site to be the definitive source for book information on the internet, 
so we want to have a site that brings together information from 
commercial publishers, reviewers, users, libraries, everywhere. 

"'This site will become the place where you can find interesting 
books and information about them, whether they're in print, out 
of print, out of copyright or whatever.'" 

To read the complete article, see: 

To visit the Open Library web site, see:


Bob Fritsch forwarded a press release of the upcoming TAMS symposium.  
Here are some excerpts: 

"The Token and Medal Society (TAMS) will hold its 2007 Symposium 
during its annual meeting at the ANA World’s Fair of Money® in 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Andy Dickes, coordinator of the 30th Art 
Medal World Congress, and George Cuhaj of Krause Publications, 
will present a program on this event.

"The Fédération Internationale de la Medaille (F.I.D.E.M.), 
(International Medal Federation) holds a World Congress every 
two years in a different location throughout the world. This 
year’s event will be held at ANA Headquarters in Colorado Springs 
in September. These congresses bring together medallic artists, 
collectors and curators of art medals to exchange information in 
seminars, workshops and informal gatherings. Additionally, an 
outstanding exhibition of art medals is held. This is the first 
time the F.I.D.E.M. Congress has been held in the United States 
since 1987."


An anonymous reader writes: "In last week's E-Sylum, you asked 
if anyone can provide additional information on World War II 
Federal Reserve emergency notes.
"As a collector of paper money, I am familiar with these issues, 
but I'm not an authority on the FRBN series.  If any records exist 
which would indicate which Federal Reserve districts, denominations, 
and serial numbers were issued in 1943, I believe Peter Huntoon 
would have located them.  Pete has spent many years poring over 
records at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, the National 
Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian, and the National Archives 
and Records Administration (NARA) looking for this kind of 
documentation.  I e-mailed a copy of your E-Sylum article to 
Pete.  Here's his e-mail response:
  "Here is all the information that seems to be available:
  "'Emergency currency' was also to serve in another critical 
  situation 10 years later.  After the last delivery was made 
  in 1934 there remained on hand 7,317 packages comprising 
  some 29 million of these notes in the vaults of the Bureau.  
  During World War II these stocks were used to help meet the 
  large demands made for currency.  
  "(from page 117 of:  Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 1962, 
  History of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, 1862-1962, 
  Treasury Department, Washington, D. C.: U. S. Government 
  Printing Office, Washington, DC, 199 p.).
  "It appears that the 29 million notes mentioned here had 
  a face value of $450 million as per Jim Downey's article.
"Unfortunately, some of the documents that paper money 
researchers would like to see have been destroyed.  Pete 
told me of a lode of Federal Reserve records from the 1928-1940 
period that were destroyed only weeks before he learned of them 
at the Federal Records Center in Suitland, MD."



Roger Burdette writes: "Do any E-Sylum subscribers have a 
copy of the Treasury Department offering of double eagles 
and other coins that was made from about 1927 to 1931? This 
was the source of some of the 1927-D $20 and other piece not 
considered very rare. The information is for use in a research 
article I am preparing. Thanks to all!"


Pete Smith writes: "I am doing research on a Brazilian 
counterstamp and would like a copy or scan of the catalog 
description for lot 46 of Henry Christensen's 54th sale dated 
December 6, 1974. The coin envelope makes reference to Kurt 
Prober's book, 'Carimbos de Minas', pages 138-140. I would 
also like copies of those pages. Can any E-Sylum reader help?"


Ron Abler writes: "I have a question that I would like to 
pose to the members of the E-Sylum, because I cannot think 
of a more qualified audience to provide a thoughtful and 
definitive answer.  I collect medals and tokens, which makes 
me an exonumist, one who studies exonumia (more than one of 
an exonumium, I presume).  That takes care of the nouns, but 
what about the adjective?  Do I collect objects that are 
exonumic, exonumical, exonumial, or what?"

[Good question, and I'll expand it as follows.  In the U.K., 
the field known in the U.S. as exonumia is paranumismatics.  
So what are the adjectival forms of these two words?  -Editor]


Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing writes: "I read Chick 
Ambrass's request for information on glass coin weights, in 
the latest E-Sylum.

"In the recently released 'Milestone Coins: A Pageant of the 
World's Most Significant and Popular Money', Ken Bressett 
discusses glass coin weights in intriguing detail, and 
illustrates several colorful examples. In total, he explores 
three related classes of items: 1. glass weights; 2. glass 
vessel stamps; and 3. glass tokens.

"Ken gives general valuations and market notes for each class, 
as well as delving into their history and various theories on 
their meaning and function. Here's an excerpt:

  "Egyptian glass weights, vessel stamps, and tokens were most 
  likely made in the period from A.D. 700 to 900, although many 
  other guesses have been proposed. Some speculate they may have 
  continued in use as late as 1170. Others have even proposed 
  that they were made hundreds of years earlier, but that is 
  unlikely because of epigraphic evidence. They are attributed 
  to the Umayyad and Abbasid cultures and were very likely 
  common to many areas beyond Egypt."

"I would direct Mr. Ambrass to pages 77 and 78 ("Glass Coins 
of Egypt") in Chapter Five, 'The World of Islam.'"


Dick Johnson writes: "Chick Ambrass learned about glass coin 
weights on his visit to the Corning Museum of Glass reported 
in last week's E-Sylum. On my last visit there I learned about 
another numismatic sideline: sulphides!  
"Not all that well known to either numismatists or glass 
enthusiasts, sulphides are ornamental glass objects that use 
medals -- yes medals! -- for their copied relief designs. 
Usually portraits, and only seldom incorporating the legends 
or inscriptions found on the medal pattern, sulphides employ 
a technique in their manufacture called 'cameo incrustations.'  
- cameo like the relief on a medal.
"A wide range of glass objects can be found that used medals 
as their patterns. This includes paperweights, glass plaques, 
tumblers, goblets, cups, plates, flasks, vases, obelisks, 
candlesticks, and a wide range of bottles. Even buttons. The 
medallic design on these can be clear, white, silvery or in 
full color depending upon how they are made.
"A lot of famous glass manufacturers made sulphides, including 
the famed French firm of Baccarat, which has made sulphides 
from mid-nineteenth century to the present. Also French firms 
Clichy and Saint Louis, and the John Ford Company in Scotland 
(no relation to the John J. Ford of numismatic fame).
"For numismatists the fun of collecting sulphides is locating 
and matching up the medal from which the relief was taken. 
Because the glass relief must be the same size as the medal 
relief, size is the first clue. The design, obviously, is the 
second and most important clue. This is not only a 'crossover' 
of two collecting topics, but a 'leapover' as one of the many 
uses of medals.
"To make a glass sulphide object, a plaster cast of the medal 
was made. A special clay-glass paste was used to form a positive 
cast from this mold. The clay would then be trimmed around the 
relief desired, and here is where lettering would be eliminated.  
The clay can be slightly bent. That's how you get a flat medal 
design to form the round side of a bottle or cup.
"The surface of the clay is treated for the color and transparency 
of the incrustation. If it was to be clear it would be coated with 
molten glass; if silver was desired it would be coated with silver 
dye. If the glassmaker did nothing, it would take the color of 
the clay.
"If the object was anything but a flat button, paperweight or 
plaque, several parts of a glass mold would be required. Then 
molten glass would be poured into this assembled mold, when 
cooled the parts of the mold disassembled, and the object removed. 
The clay would be broken away and discarded. That is an 
oversimplification, but you get the general idea of sulphides. 
I viewed many of these at Corning.
"If you have a further interest, get a copy of 'Sulphides, The 
Art of Cameo Incrustation' by Paul Jokelson. Page 93 illustrates 
some sulphides made from medals with lettering intact."

[Many thanks to Dick Johnson for a submission on yet another 
fascinating numismatic sideline.  -Editor]

For images and more information on the art of cameo sulphides, see: 



Responding my call for examples of numismatic trading cards, 
Al Roy writes: "I have a few trading cards produced by Jim 
Charlton's company in the early or mid 1960s.  They were promos 
used by Lever Potato chips.  According to Mr. Charlton, this 
series of cards (called series 'A') included 100 numbered cards 
each with a different Canadian coin.  There wasn't a series 
'B'.  Here is an example: 

"I also recently obtained 2 lenticular cards from the Royal 
Canadian Mint.  One features a 2006 'Lucky Loonie'.  As it's 
tilted, you see the reverse, obverse, and the RCM logo, along 
with a figure skater, hockey player, and skier.  The second 
features the 2006 breast cancer quarter (reverse / obverse / 
RCM logo), and a breast cancer survivor / her daughter / 
granddaughter. The women are named on the back of the card.  
The cards are numbered '1' and '2' respectively.  I don't know 
if any more were or will be made."

Mike Paradis noticed the following item (#130137610059)on eBay 
- Les Fox is (or was) selling a set of promotional posters for 
the new Upper Deck card series.  The item has been withdrawn 
from sale. 


Last week's item about a sarcastically proposed 99 pence coin 
noted that it was to be called a 'cornet'.

Martin Purdy writes: "Just in case any non-UK readers are 
scratching their heads, I should mention that 'cornet' is the 
British term for an ice-cream cone, and '99' is a common term 
for a cornet with a chocolate flake in it.  I had to learn to 
stop saying 'cornet' rather than 'cone' when I first moved to 
New Zealand as a child.  It shows how well the '99' ice-cream 
is ingrained in the British psyche for someone to link it with 
a joke 99p coin."

Here's a quick reference for good measure:



Regarding the Sacagawea dollar coins struck in gold, George 
Fitzgerald writes: "I was at a press meeting at the American 
Numismatic Association convention in 1998 or 1999, when the 
director of the Mint said he was authorized to make these and 
sell them to the public. I remembered because I asked them how 
they were going to distinguished them from the regular coins. 
He said they would have a W mint mark. There were a lot of 
questions about his authority to do this. I don't remember 
exactly, but I think he said Congress authorized these. They 
were going to strike these on half ounce Gold Eagle planchets."



Regarding my comment in last week's issue about the value of 
the British penny, Tom DeLorey writes: "With the Pound at approx. 
$2, one penny is worth approximately 2 cents, not half a cent."

[At least six other sharp-eye readers on both sides of the Atlantic 
noticed the blunder, including Phil Mernick, Joe Boling, Charles 
Riley, Jeff Kelley and Steve D'Ippolito.  I can't blame that one 
on beer or a typo - it's a genuine brain-o.  Sorry!]

Charles Riley adds: "Pence is the plural of Penny (you can't 
have one pence - although sometimes you do hear this said, 
incorrectly, in the UK)"

[Mea culpa!  I could have sworn the coins actually said "One Pence", 
probably because I'm so used to the U.S. coins which say "One Cent".  
The coins do indeed state their denomination as "One Penny".  

Pete Smith writes: "There is another error in the last E-Sylum. 
A reference to the "Furst U. S. Mint" should be "First U. S. Mint." 
This was spelled wrong in the copy I sent to you.  Furst came to 
America in 1808 so he was not there at the beginning."

Jeff Kelley writes: "The article on the new Maltese Euro coins 
quoted the original source of the item as saying 'The outside 
edge around the circumference of the EUR2 coins, 10 million of 
which are being produced at the Monnaie De Paris, bears small 
images of the Maltese cross instead of euro stars.'

"This is simply not true - 'euro stars' are not mandated on 
the edge of the 2 euro coin.  Germany, for example, uses text.  
I am not sure about all the others, but I know that Malta 
would not be the first to use something other than stars."

[Again, sorry for the editing lapses on my part.  The last 
issue was assembled and published quickly due to my travel 
schedule, as was this one.  -Editor]


Regarding comments by myself and Dick Johnson on Teletrade's 
auction of the monster Canadian gold coin, Ian Russell of 
Teletrade, Inc. writes:

"I read your e-mail where it mentioned you could buy the $1 
million Canadian Coin direct from the Royal Canadian Mint at 
$1 million (Canadian)."

Please note, that the gold melt value is in excess of $2 million
(U.S.) - of course, the Royal Canadian Mint would not sell for 
$1 million or everyone (with $1 million) would be doubling their 
money and just buying to melt down."

[It is Dick Johnson's submission Ian is referring to.  He wrote 
"... you can buy this from the Canadian Mint direct and pay 
$970,000 U.S. instead of the bid price plus 12 percent."  Of 
course, the $970,000 is simply the $1 million Canadian dollar 
face amount of the coin (in dollars), not the actual bullion 
value or selling price.  I edited that item too quickly and 
let the figure slip in accidentally (sorry!).  

But the point of Dick's post is not the value of the coin but 
the amount of additional sales commission a buyer would pay 
beyond the price of the coin direct from the Royal Canadian 
Mint.  It's doesn't make much sense economically to pay an 
additional fee to a middleman when the same item is available 
directly at a lower cost.  But as Bill Burd points out, the 
offering does have some publicity value to the sellers.  Thanks 
to the others who pointed out the error, including new 
subscriber Jeff Kelley. -Editor]

John Regitko writes: "If Dick Johnson was selling these for 
$970,000 U.S., I would buy as many as he was willing to sell 
me and pay him the additional 12%, because I would have no 
problem convincing the bank to loan me an unlimited amount 
of money. 

"The original selling price was $2.6 million but, because 
of the cost of bullion gold, will probably now sell for 
closer to $3 million. Like with any non-circulating precious 
metal coins, the mints place a face value on them but sell 
them for quite a bit more.

Bill Burd writes: "The Canadian gold coin is 100 kilograms of 
pure gold which is 3215 troy ounces.  At $663.00 US per oz the 
coin contains $2,131,545 worth of gold.  12 percent would be 
about $250,000.  The Canadian Mint would charge a percent 
over to make the coin but it would not be that high of a 
premium.  Teletrade and A-Mark will get a lot of exposure 
on this sale."



News reports this week noted that word of a criminal inquiry 
hit shares of bank note printer De La Rue:

"Shares in De La Rue fell sharply in London this morning after 
it emerged that the world's largest commercial banknote printer 
is being investigated by police over allegations of corruption. 

"On Friday, the City of London Police said that its new 
anti-corruption unit had launched raids on two company 
premises in Hampshire and one in Bedfordshire as part of 
a joint investigation with the Serious Fraud Office (SFO). 

"De La Rue said it believed that the allegations that sparked 
the investigation came from “a former employee against whom 
the company has obtained a judgment for the recovery of monies 
stolen from it.” 

"De La Rue said that it believed the allegations were false 
and it was confident that the matter would be resolved quickly. 

"De La Rue prints more than 150 national currencies as well 
as passports, travellers' checks, stamps and passports, 
through its security paper and print division." 

To read the complete article, see:


"The Reserve Bank of Zimbabwe will on Wednesday unveil a new 
200,000-Zimdollar banknote as runaway inflation continues 
to erode the purchasing power of the local currency. 

"The new bearer cheque begins its circulation from Wednesday, 
becoming the highest denomination in an economy battling world 
record inflation now estimated at more than 5,000 percent. 

"Zimbabwe has not had real banknotes since 2004 and uses 
temporary paper money known as bearer cheques. 

"The original idea was for the cheques to run for a year up 
to 31 December 2004, while the government stabilised the 
economy and reined in inflation. 

"The lifespan of the bearer cheques has repeatedly been 
extended after the government has failed to control inflation." 

To read the complete article, see:


According to news reports, "The city of New York is selling 
500 pounds of foreign coins that found their way into its 
parking meters this year.

"'We have pretty much every denomination from every continent,' 
said Anthony Alfano, the city's deputy chief of meter collections. 
The most common coins are Greek drachmas, he said, which are 
no longer in circulation.

"The Department of Transportation, which makes about $90 million 
from parking meters annually, has collected bids for the 227 
kilograms of foreign coins and planned to announce the best 
offer Monday.

"About a decade ago, the agency decided to sell the foreign 
coins it had collected because it was impractical to exchange 
them for U.S. currency. In previous years, selling the coins 
has netted between $2 and $4 a pound."

To read the complete article, see:

[Dick Johnson comments on the article, and how it also 
turned up in a Chinese publication. -Editor]
Dick Johnson writes: "For sale!  Five hundred pounds of 
foreign coins collected from New York City parking meters.  
Think that's not news? It happens every year. True.
"What is news is that that this news article ran in the Xinhua, 
China newspaper. You see, the Chinese want to buy our coins 
whether they were struck here in America or elsewhere. They 
want the metal. Months ago they had two freighters anchored 
in the Delaware Bay prior to the Treasury order of no coin 
melting ready to buy all the cents returned to the Philadelphia 
"Five hundred pounds won't fill much of that cargo hold in the 
two Chinese freighters if they are still there. They want the 
big haul. They want to buy all our Lincoln cents when the 
government recalls all the cents because they are worth more 
than one cent."
This article is in English:


Bill Burd forwarded a copy of a write up he did on the melting 
of cents in response to many customers talking about melting 
their cents as a way of dissuading them from thinking it’s a 
way to get rich quick.

"Let's assume it is legal to melt cents and lets assume copper 
is $3.00 a pound and the smelter will pay you 80% of the spot 
price of copper.  In order to make it worth while you want 
to receive a check from the smelter for $5,000.00 on your 
first transaction.

"A copper cent weighs 3.11 grams and is 95% pure.  154 cents 
equals one pound of pure copper.  Cents from 1909 thru 1958 
trade in the numismatic community for 2 to 3 cents each which 
is more than their melt value.  Cents from 1959 thru 1981 are 
copper and would be the only candidates for melting.  Coins 
from 1982 to present are not copper and would have to be removed.

"With copper valued at $3.00 a pound one cent contains $.0195 
worth of copper.  At 80% the value is $.0156.  In order to 
receive the $5,000.00 you need to melt 320,000 cents which 
is 2,200 lbs.

"From 1959 thru 1981 approximately 152 trillion cents were 
produced and from 1982 thru 2006 approximately 273 trillion 
cents were produced.  If each year was evenly represented 
36% would be copper and the remaining would be zinc.

"In order to find your 320,000 copper cents you would need 
to sort through 890,000 cents which would be 6,100 lbs.  
If you sorted through 10,000 cents each day it would take 
89 days to accomplish.  Once sorted you need to return the 
3,900 lbs of zinc cents to the bank and deliver the 2,200 
lbs to the smelter.

"Now the $5,000.00 you receive from the smelter is not 
profit.  The 320,000 cents cost you one cent each so your 
initial investment is $3,200.00.  That leaves you with 
$1,800.00 to cover transportation, labor and profit.

"Still want to melt cents?"

Dick Johnson writes: "It may be obvious to some, but there 
are two reasons for rising metal costs driving up the cost to 
manufacture coins, not just for the United States, but for all 
coin-issuing countries. It is just a fact the United States 
has not attacked the problem head on (at least Treasury Department 
officials remain extremely closed-mouthed about any plans they 
may have).
"Major reasons for the rising costs are labor strikes in 
metal producing areas of the world, like Chile, Peru and 
other areas. This is causing a shortage at a time of increasing 
demand. Labor problems can be solved, however.
"Of far more critical influence is China. Their rising economy 
is causing a tremendous demand for products, all kinds of 
products, particularly those with metal components. China is 
the culprit, their demand for metal is unfettered, forcing up 
metal prices.
"With rising world metal prices this is having an effect for 
scrap metal dealers everywhere (they now called themselves 
in the metal recycling business). Copper, for example -- the 
most prominent component in coins worldwide -- has risen in 
cost from 60c a pound as recently as June 1999, to now around 
$3.50 a pound. 
"And this is leading to theft of copper, as in pipes, roofing, 
and appliances, particularly in America. The travails of the 
metal recyclers are increasing. An interesting article was 
published this week in the Asbury Park Press of a New Jersey 
metal dealer. The law against melting cents and nickels is 
prominent in his mind. He refuses to buy coins for their 
metal content."
To read the complete article, see: 


Roger deWardt Lane, Hollywood, Florida writes: "Dick Johnson 
was quoted on the subject of the new American Golden Dollars 
not circulating.  I can confirm this with my actions at our 
Fort Lauderdale Coin Club meetings.  When the new dollars first 
came out, I went to our bank and asked about the new dollars.  
"No we do not have any, but maybe next week".  Finally I 
purchased $100 of the George Washington dollars.  

"At the next Fort Lauderdale Coin Club meeting, where we 
always have a good auction of numismatic items (I'm the 
Treasurer and make change). I stopped using paper dollars 
and put out over $50 of the new coins in change.  I would 
get a few back and immediately put them out again.  At the 
end of the evening the four rolls were all gone.  This 
routine continued for about four meetings, including using 
the new Adams Dollars.  

"Last week (although I still have two rolls in my bank) I 
did not use any of the coin dollars, receiving none and 
passing out none too.  So, where there were close to 100 
members at each of our meetings and I take in about 100 
paper dollars note more than I pass out, none this week 
were coin dollars.  I guess we know the answer by now, - 
even coin collectors do not want the new coin dollars!

"Readers can see pictures, read our newsletters and read 
about our monthly shows by checking our new web site People can read a little 
about me on my new page, "


Granvyl Hulse writes: "I am writing the history of our 
local weekly newspaper, and ran across an item which is 
'hot off the press.' from The Upper Coos Herald for 23 
April 1890: 'The new counterfeit 10 cent piece is getting 
into quite extensive circulation. It is a very deceptive 
dime and bears the date of 1887.'  I thought that The E-Sylum 
readership should be alerted so that they won't get cheated."


Register & Bee of Danville, VA profiled U.S. Mint artist 
Susan Gamble August 4th:

"An artist with Danville ties now proudly works as one of 
seven master designers in the Artistic Infusion Program of 
the U.S. Mint.

"'When my husband and I were living in Oklahoma City, I saw 
a newspaper headline that read ‘U.S. Mint Calls for Artists,’' 
Susan Gamble recalled. 'The headline caught my attention, and 
I decided to apply, never thinking that I could possibly be 
one of the artists that they chose.'

"Gamble, who now lives in Arlington, has been a master designer 
since 2004 - one of the first - and, as such, can take the 
credit for the design of four coins: the 2007 First Spouse 
Martha Washington reverse; the 2007 Washington Quarter reverse; 
the 2007 Jamestown Commemorative silver reverse; and the 2007 
Jamestown Commemorative gold reverse.

"Five more have been chosen for minting in 2008, including 
the Oklahoma and Alaska quarters.

"Her current contract is for five years, assuming her work 
continues to please the judging panels.

"'I am basically representing the nation by doing the nation’s 
coinage,' Gamble said. 'We all see it that way and we are willing 
to knock ourselves dead to do it.

"'It’s the only art that lasts 2,000 years. The appeal of the 
job is partly the competition because you have to go above and 
beyond to do the work, but for all of us, and I’ve talked to 
everyone, it’s the most important work we’ll ever do.'

"Gamble’s full-time job is as a graphic designer and production 
coordinator for the National League of Cities. For her Mint work, 
she works after hours and weekends from home studio only blocks 
from the Washington office of the Mint, and delivers her designs 
in person."

To read the complete article, see:


According to a Sofia News Agency report, "Bulgaria's National 
Museum of History exhibited for the first time on Tuesday 
artefacts unearthed near the Bulgarian towns of Peshtera and 

"The first group includes 14 gold coins from the time of the 
Roman emperors Justinian I and Justin I. The coins, which were 
unearthed in the St. Petka Stronghold near Pesthera, bear record 
of the last days of the stronghold, which was taken in the 6th 
century AD by the Bulgarians, the Slavs and the Avars."

To read the complete article, see: 


Phil Mernick notes that a new Internet scam making the rounds 
involves 1780-dated silver Maria Theresa coins. He writes: "I 
have received copies sent to Bexley Coin club and London Numismatic 
Club. Presumably it is going to all clubs in UK, the World?  I 
suppose they hope to get the 'commission for brokers' fee in 
advance.  With silver in excess of $12 (equivalent to about $10) 
for the 80% alloy their "selling price" will no doubt tempt 
the gullible."

"We are looking for serious buyers for very large following 
- First Quantity: 1000,000,000 (one billion pieces), 
- Type: Silver Coins Maria Theresa manufactured in 1780 year, 
- Weight: 27,5 grams per piece, consisting of 80% silver, 
20% other minerals and metals, 
- Certification: registered and certified by the Higher Court 
in Kingdom Saudi Arabia,
- Price: 13 (net price for seller)+1 (commission for brokers) = 14, 
fourteen Saudi Riyals per piece, which equals around $3,74 USD."


Earlier this week there was a short Associated Press article 
about a 1793 chain cent found by a woman in her garden.  There 
was little of real numismatic use in it, and initially I declined 
to put anything in The E-Sylum.  But there are connections for 
some of our readers, so here it is:

"Cheryl Corbin first thought she had picked up a quarter while 
planting flowers in June. Then she saw the date and thought it 
was a bicentennial coin.

"At work the next day, Corbin said she had the office in an 

"Co-workers searched the Internet and identified the coin as 
a 1793 copper 'chain' cent. The front featured Lady Liberty 
and the back had a circle of 15 chain links representing the 
15 states in the union at that time.

"Though Corbin's coin was heavily corroded, she said a specialist 
told her it still could be worth 15 hundred to three thousand 

To read the original Associated Press article, see:

Chick Ambrass writes: "The 1793 chain cent was found in a 
person's garden in Burnham, PA - that's just a few miles 
down the road from me.  They have talked with the local coin 
dealer, Dave Wilson of 4-star jewelry and coins. Apparently 
the coin is heavily corroded, but identifiable as a 1793 
chain cent. The coin now is at Stack's in NY soaking in some 
oil and will be featured in Stack's auction in September.  
There was a longer article on the front page of the local 
Lewistown paper, The Sentinel.  According to the article an 
extensive search with metal detectors was done after the 
find, but nothing else turned up. Also, it was said that 
before the house was built, the area was used as a dumping 
ground for Freedom Forge."

[Perhaps one of our readers at Stack's can tell us more 
about the coin.  Here are a couple excerpts from the 
Sentinel article. -Editor]

"Wilson said people could find a lot of coins in this area 
if they really looked. He said the most effective way is by 
using one of the new and very expensive metal detectors. 

"Corbin did have two men come to her home with sophisticated 
metal detectors after she found the chain cent to see if 
they could find more. Corbin said all they found were modern 
coins and the top of a Mason jar.

"“We were hoping maybe we’d find a whole Mason jar full of 
those coins,” Corbin said."

To read the complete Lewistown Sentinel article, see:

[As another example of the popular fascination with old coins, 
there was also an article this week in the Hudson Star Observer 
of Hudson Wisconsin about a girl who found an 1889 Indian Head 
cent in the till of her lemonade stand. -Editor]

To read the complete article (registration required), see: 


This week's featured web site is suggested by John and Nancy 
Wilson of Ocala, FL.  They write: "While doing research we 
came across an excellent site for tokens and medals.  It is 
the site of the United Kingdom Token Corresponding 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

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: 

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