The E-Sylum v10#53, December 30, 2007

esylum at esylum at
Sun Dec 30 21:12:27 PST 2007

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 10, Number 53, December 30, 2007:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2007, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


We have no new subscribers this week - our count holds at 1,100.

This week we open with two short book reviews by Mike Marotta and 
John and Nancy Wilson.  Much of the rest of this issue has an 
international theme, such as Howard Berlin's note on his recent 
and upcoming world travels to numismatic museums.  

In the news are some interesting articles profiling numismatic 
personalities including moneyer Dave Greenhalgh and Laurie Sperber 
of Legend Numismatics. 

I've been travelling this week and the hour is late, so I'll 
stop here and wish all of my readers a Happy New Year and a 
productive and prosperous 2008.  While you're making your 
Resolutions, don't forget your numismatic friends at The E-Sylum 
- send us your thoughts and opinions on numismatic literature, 
research topics, news items and any other nuggets that might 
interest or amuse your fellow readers.  See you next year!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


Mike Marotta writes: "I just received 'A Guide Book of 
Lincoln Cents' by Q. David Bowers (Whitman, 2008, 300 
pages, $19.95) and this latest addition to the Whitman 
product line continues to meet high standards for production, 
presentation, research and writing.  

"The first 125 pages deliver historical background, starting 
with the pennies of the colonial era.  (What was the first 
American coin to use 'cent' as a denomination?)  Both the 
Wheat Reverse and the Memorial Reverse have separate histories.  
Grading, markets and being a smart buyer also merit their own 
chapters.  Continuing the education there is a chapter on the 
minting process and another on different themes for collecting 
the Lincoln cent.  The price guide includes data for the usual 
circulated grades, but also uncirculated grades 63 through 70 
inclusive in Red, Red Brown and Brown.  For coins of the 
highest state, certified populations are listed as well. 

"Hard as it is to write a book for 'everyone' I was pleasantly 
surprised to read the words of Charles D. Daughtery, author 
of the Foreword.  Regarding the 1922-D/No D error, Daughtrey 
asserts that these are all due to a grease-filled die, not 
some complicated restoration of a damaged die and declares, 
further, that the coin is not worth collecting.  The market 
disagrees, of course. The book closes with a bibliography, 
perhaps of greater interest to readers here.  While Whitman 
now publishes Vermuele's 'Numismatic Art in America,' the 
bibliography of this book cites the original edition from 
Belknap Press."


John and Nancy Wilson of Ocala, FL write: "The "100 Greatest 
American Stamps," written by Donald Sundman and Janet Klug, 
is a richly illustrated 144 page hard cover book showing 
what many people believe are the 100 most interesting American 
stamps.  It covers a good cross-section of stamps from the 
1918 inverted Jenny and the unique 1868 1 cent Z grill to the 
1993 29 cent Elvis Presley stamp. Market values are given for 
the stamps from 1920 to present in both new and used condition.  
This chart allows the reader to review the historic change in 
the stamp's value.  Following the top 100 are four pages of 
honorable mention stamps which include a 1st Issue Postage 
Currency Note.   

"Additional historical information about the stamps and other 
artifacts associated with the stamps is given.  Coins and 
paper money associated with the stamps are also shown and 
described.  The coffee-table-size book appeals to both the 
dedicated stamps collector as well as people just casually 
familiar with stamps.  The authors give tips on grading and 
educated buying in the current marketplace. The book retails 
for $29.95 online at  and bookstores 
and hobby shops nationwide."


Michael Sullivan writes: "I thought our E-Sylum readers 
would be interested in knowing the Beistle collection of 
Philatelic material was sold by H.R. Harmer in October.   
The collection included an impressive array of US stamps.  
I've been a long-time collector of material crossing the 
boundary between numismatics and philately related to bank 
note engraving, bank note engraving history, and 
counterfeiting.   The Beistle collection included a 
number of essays, proofs, and material engraved by 
specific bank note engraving companies."


Richard Margolis writes: "Every year since the founding of 
the New York International Numismatic Convention in 1972 
(2001 excepted) the Societe americaine pour l'Etude de la 
Numismatique francaise has held its annual meeting at the 
Convention. Each year we have had a prominent speaker as 
the centerpiece of our meeting, and this year's speaker 
and topic should be of special interest. 

"John Kraljevich, Jr. will speak on 'Hunting for Eagles: 
Pierre L'Enfant and the Society of the Cincinnati'. The 
recent sale at Sotheby's (for over five million dollars) 
of George Washington's own, custom-made Order of the 
Cincinnati, which his descendants presented to the Marquis 
de Lafayette on the occasion of the latter's triumphal 
return to the United States in 1834, has focused a great 
deal of publicity on this famous Order and the Society 
which spawned it.

"John Kraljevich, Jr. one of the most prominent individuals 
in early American numismatics, known equally for his erudition 
and for the enthusiasm with which he treats any subject he 
turns his attention to, should be familiar to most recipients 
of The E-Sylum. His illustrated talk at the upcoming SAENF 
meeting promises to  be unusually timely and interesting.

"The 36th Annual New York International Numismatic Convention 
will take place at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, Park Avenue 
between 52nd and 53rd Streets in New York City, from January 
9 to 13, 2008. The SAENF meeting is scheduled for Saturday, 
January 12, at 2:00pm, in the Sutton Suite, on the 18th floor. 
(Although there is a ten dollar admission charge to the bourse 
rooms at the Convention, I believe that there should be no 
charge if you want to only attend John's talk)."


Howard Berlin writes: "I was recently in Milan and Venice's 
Correr Museum, having had a chance to photograph some of its 
coin exhibit, then traveled to Monte Carlo and visited the 
Pricipality's Stamp and Coin Museum with an example of 
virtually every known coin minted from Monaco.

"I was in Munich for eight days and had a chance to see the 
exhibit of the Bavarian State Coin Collection at the Residenz, 
and extensive museum complex. Although some web sites have 
described this collection as the world's largest, Dr. Dietrich 
Klose, the collection's director, was a little more modest 
to me -- he instead classified the 300,000 item collection 
of coins, medals, banknotes, and dies as one of the world's 
largest. Obviously not all the items are on display.  The 
permanent display of coins in the highest state of preservation 
covers all periods from 2,600 years ago and all regions of 
the Europe and Asia Minor on the 2nd level. There is also 
a rotating exhibit that changes periodically.

"There is also a numismatic library on the ground level, 
holding approximately 26,000 books, which is open to the 
public from Monday to Thursday (9am-4pm); Friday (9am-2pm). 
Entrance to both the Museum and the library is at 1 Residezstrasse 
is via the Kapplenhof (Chapel Yard) gate.

"I will be in London again in January for 5 days (and at 
least 3 more times in 2008) and Cardiff for a day trip to 
the see the coin collection at the Wales National Museum.   
I plan to stop by the Bank of England Museum and say hello 
again to John Keyworth and see what's new at the British 
Museum. Also, I will make a day trip to Paris via the 
Eurostar from St Pancras through the Chunnel for the first 
time as I have an appointment with the folks at the Monnaie 
de Paris museum.

"All these museum visits with some photos will eventually 
appear in my column in WorldWide Coins."


W. David Perkins of Centennial, CO writes: "The recent November 
1, 2007 George Kolbe Numismatic Literature Sale 104 offered 
the John J. Pittman numismatic literature collection.  Included 
in this sale was Lot 117, a signed copy of the First Edition 
of The United States Early Silver Dollars From 1794 To 1803 
by M. H. Bolender.  I placed a bid on this lot but was not 
the winner.  I also cannot say I was the underbidder, despite 
what I thought was a strong bid.  This lot realized $325, 
which may be a record price for a copy of the Bolender book.  
Prices in this Kolbe sale were very strong indeed!

"What was of primary interest to me as a researcher was not 
the book (I have multiple copies of the book, including 
one signed by Bolender) but a letter that was included with 
the book.  The letter was dated January 1, 1954 and was 
from early dollar specialist Frank M. Stirling to John J. 
Pittman.  Stirling stated that the early dollar varieties 
were a favorite of his, "especially the 1795s."  Stirling 
noted that he had located four 1795 B-13 Dollars (Stirling 
owned the finest known (to me) 1795 B-13 Dollar, ex. Atwater 
and the plate coin on page 211 in the Bowers silver dollar 
book) and that he had not found a specimen of 1795 B-17.  
Stirling asked, "Do you have any information on this one?"  
[To my knowledge, no examples of 1795 B-17 have been confirmed.]

"I have a large volume of Frank Stirling's correspondence, 
including a letter from Pittman to Stirling dated May 20, 
1957.  Interestingly, Pittman states in this 1957 letter that 
he owned a brilliant proof 1803 Dollar.  Pittman wrote, "I 
purchased the 1803 restrike silver dollar to display at 
meetings and conventions so as to point out to collectors 
that it and the 1804 Dollar are all restrikes made at a later 
date.  They are all extremely rare, but none were made in 
the year they were dated, and undoubtedly no 1804s were made 
in that year."  Imagine buying a rare 1803 Dollar, "just to 
display."  [Are there any "old time" dealers or collectors 
out there who recall this 1803 Dollar being displayed?]  
Note also that this letter was written prior to the 
Newman-Bressett Fantastic 1804 Dollar book (which was 
published in 1962).  

"I wonder what happened to this specimen of the 1803 Proof 
Dollar.  It was not offered in the May 20-21, 1998 David Akers 
sale of The John Jay Pittman Collection, Part Two?  Furthermore, 
a quick perusal of the Bowers book on the 1803 Proof Novodel 
Dollar, pages 462-464 does not turn up Pittman's name as part 
of the provenance of the known specimens listed in the book.  
Perhaps Pittman owned the "Milas Specimen" at one time?  Or 
is this specimen "still out there" somewhere..

"Pittman also wrote in this letter, 'I do not collect early 
silver dollar varieties.  I have at the present time 1795-1803 
in uncirculated condition, but have never actually checked 
them for varieties, although I do have Bolender's book.  
Quite a number of my pieces were purchased in England many 
years ago..'   I also wonder what happened to the early 
dollars in this collection.  The May 1998 Pittman sale 
offered only a handful of early dollars.  

"I am very interested to learn if any E-Sylum readers can 
shed light on any of these questions.  


Regarding Pete's Smith's plans to check Philadelphia 
newspapers from 1793 for references to the Mint and early 
coinage, Bob Neale writes: "This  reminds me that two years 
ago I attempted to find Philadelphia newspaper information 
on the yellow fever epidemic of 1793 as it related to 
operations of the mint. It took some doing just to find 
a source of relevant microfilms. However, once borrowed 
via our library, I found nothing whatsoever on the subject! 

"I couldn't believe it. There was also nothing mentioned 
in J.H. Powell's book 'Bring Out Your Dead', probably the 
one best sources of the story of the 1793 yellow fever and 
Benjamin Rush's role therein. Either the newspapers of the 
day weren't interested in the Mint, or what I had to look 
at was just the wrong thing. So I look forward to Pete 
finding Mint information in Philadelphia's newspapers to 
find out what I overlooked and where it was hiding."

[There was also a typo in last week's issue which I need 
to clarify.  I wrote "...Not many old papers are available 
online making the task of finding such articles much easier.  
Is anyone working on or considering such a project?"   What 
I meant to write was "... NOW many old papers are available 
online..."  Lou Jordan's note (below) outlines a couple 
good places to access online newspapers.  -Editor]

Lou Jordan writes: "Readex, which is a division of NewsBank 
offers, on a subscription bases, a fully searchable database 
of thousands of runs of American newspapers dating from 
1690-1922. I suspect the year 1922 is used as the cutoff 
date for reasons related to copyright. The full text of 
the newspapers can be searched, including advertisements; 
also, one can download a PDF file of any individual issue 
in the collection.

"See the webpage then 
click on the Digital Collections link located in the left 
margin. This is a subscription service.  Many University 
libraries subscribe.

"I notice that the New England Historic Genealogical Society, 
subscribes to several of the newspaper databases.  There is 
a link to the databases for use by NEHGS members the under 
the heading Premium Databases at the bottom of their research 
page, which is "


Peter Gaspar writes: "When The E-Sylum broke the news 
that the ANA Journal had ceased publication, I was about 
to write the ANA urging them to do a better job of publicizing 
that journal.  A hefty subscription/single issue price was 
not supported by any discernible promotional material.  I 
recall an ad in the inside of a Numismatist wrapper that 
extolled the quality of the articles and their authors and 
the high standards of the editing, but without any information 
to back those claims.  I was going to suggest a table of 
contents for each forthcoming issue appearing in the 
Numismatist and a review of each issue after publication.  
Offering sample copies at a price that just covered costs 
would have also been helpful."

"One can only agree with your suggestion to revive publication 
of the ANA journal online as a password protected perquisite 
of membership, or with the other suggestion to incorporate 
the material in, once again, The Numismatist.  The current 
format of the Numismatist makes it difficult to distinguish 
ads from articles, but some serious articles might improve 
matters there."

Barbara J. Gregory, Editor-in-Chief of The Numismatist 
writes: "Papers from the ANA's annual Maynard Sundman/Littleton 
Coin Company Lecture Series, which comprised approximately 50 
percent of the JOURNAL'S content, will be printed on the 
ANA's website in the near future and will be reviewed for 
possible publication in THE NUMISMATIST. In addition, we 
will give full consideration to publishing in the magazine 
any scholarly articles that come our way. In some cases, we 
may present an edited, condensed version in THE NUMISMATIST, 
with the complete research offered online. For example, see 
"Silver Peg Leg Ikes" by Rob Ezerman et al in the January 
issue and at (select "The Numismatist" from 
the "Communications" pull-down menu)."



[This week the New York Sun published a review of the 
American Numismatic Society's exhibit on Augustus Saint-Gaudens.  
Here are some excerpts.  -Editor]

The year that is about to close marks two noteworthy and 
related centennials. In 1907, America's greatest sculptor, 
Augustus Saint-Gaudens, died. Also in that year, the federal 
government issued the gold coins - in $10 and $20 denominations 
- that it had commissioned Saint-Gaudens to design. Most 
people know of Saint-Gaudens for his large-scale public 
works that ennoble certain lucky American cities, including 
and especially New York. But as a fine exhibition mounted 
by the American Numismatic Society at the Federal Reserve 
Bank of New York attests, the master sculptor was equally 
adept on a scale as small as a coin.

It should be noted that attending an exhibition at the 
Federal Reserve Bank can be a daunting experience. The 
first time I tried to visit, the Federal Reserve Police 
(yes, they have their very own branch of the federal security 
apparatus) barred my entrance for lack of proper identification. 
I returned - duly equipped with my documents - the next day, 
and got in - only to wait nearly half an hour while the next 
line of security personnel examined my ID and pecked away at 
a computer keyboard. (I almost asked if they were checking to 
see if I had a police record, but you really can't make small 
talk with federal security guys.) By this point, the visitor 
may wonder why the American Numismatic Society would mount 
their show in one of the hardest-to-enter buildings in New 
York. Once I'd been cleared, I saw why. The groin-vaulted 
galleries of York & Sawyer's splendid building, marked off 
by wrought-iron fences by Samuel Yellin, America's greatest 
artist in iron, may well be the most exhilarating exhibition 
spaces in the entire city.

The idea for the new gold coins came from President Theodore 
Roosevelt, who had met Saint-Gaudens and admired his work. 
Which was an important connection: It took presidential 
patronage to get the project through. Saint-Gaudens had 
had a bad experience with the United States Mint and its 
chief engraver, Charles Barber, for whom the design of coins 
was a sort of personal fiefdom. The president's support 
notwithstanding, the 61-year-old Saint-Gaudens struggled 
doggedly to push through his designs, even as he was dying 
from cancer. The exhibition relates it all in stunning 
detail, with letters (including from Roosevelt), drawings, 
successive relief strikings, models of Saint-Gaudens's 
statuary, photographs, and ancient coins that inspired 
Saint-Gaudens. In the end, the $20 "double eagle," as one 
of the most beautiful coins ever minted, crowned a spectacular 
career. Now that I know the drill, I will return to this 
exhibition as often as possible without arousing the 
guards' suspicions.

Saint-Gaudens worked at small scale on the coins and at 
large scale on the public monuments. But New York also 
abounds in his medium-scale work, such as the domestic 
commissions that paid his bills. The American Wing of 
the Metropolitan Museum of Art boasts the stupendous 
fireplace and mantel he designed for the mansion of 
Cornelius Vanderbilt II on Fifth Avenue at 57th Street 
(where Bergdorf Goodman now stands). In the lobby of 
the New York Palace Hotel can be seen a fireplace with 
a superb overmantel by Saint-Gaudens, done originally 
for the dining room of 451 Madison Ave., the home of 
Henry Villard, which now houses a restaurant called 
Gilt. In that restaurant, another Saint-Gaudens fireplace, 
as well as his extraordinary bronze clock with signs of 
the zodiac in marble, can still be seen in situ. And 
another public work merits a look: The monument to Peter 
Cooper, in Cooper Square, is very fine, even as it lacks 
the emotional frisson of the Farragut and Sherman monuments.

Thanks to the American Numismatic Society and the Federal 
Reserve Bank of New York, now is the best time we may ever 
have to enjoy in such abundance the full range of work of 
our greatest sculptor.

Until March 31 (33 Liberty St., between Nassau and William 
streets, 212-720-4470).

To read the complete article, see:


[The Hunts Post of the U.K. profiled a gentleman speaking 
at a local society January 11 about early moneyers.  -Editor]

Dave Greenhalgh, also known as Grunal Moneta, from Lincolnshire 
will be at St Peter's Church Hall, March, at 7.30 pm, to 
talk about his passion for coins.

Richard Munns, the society's vice chairman, said: "Ever 
entertaining, Dave, who has immersed himself in the life 
of a moneyer of the past, is one of the few people around 
the country who actually makes a full-time living pursuing 
what was once, for him, just a hobby.

"Such is his reputation that he is consulted by the British 
Museum on matters of numismatics and is also seen by the 
'moneyers' at the Royal Mint as one of the few people 
outside their closed world that they can converse with 
about 'work'."

"He spends the first few weeks of January at home, but from 
then on he could appear anywhere, including regularly at the 
British Museum and at other museums, castles, heritage sites, 
village fetes, re-enactment events - basically at any kind 
of historical public and educational event."

Mr Munns said Dave has extensive (almost encyclopaedic) 
knowledge of coins from Britain and around the world and 
is in fact the world expert on the medieval 'half-groat'.

"He produces for sale, authentic-style hammered coins, 
starting with Greek through to Celtic (650BC), all the way 
to the English Civil War (1660AD) and everything in between," 
added Mr Munns.

To read the complete article, see:  


Legend Numismatics, a company based in Monmouth County, 
deals in the upper tier of the coin market, the top 2 
percent to 5 percent in terms of rarity and quality.

The company doesn't disclose its address or do business out 
of a storefront for security reasons, instead making a home 
in a nondescript office building. When Legend sells at coin 
shows, the coins are shipped by armored car companies.

Sperber caught the coin bug at age 10 when she found an old 
penny. "I just thought it was the neatest thing, an old 
Lincoln cent, just the fact it was old."

She started going to small coin shows, looking at silver 
dollars from the 1800s that were shiny, and building a small 
collection. "You could buy a really great coin back then for 
$25," Sperber said.

Then came the visit to the American Numismatics Association 
show in New York City, which brought her face-to-face with 
the 1913 Liberty Head nickel. "I was blown away by all the 
cool rarities I saw," Sperber said.

At age 20, she quit Monmouth College, where she was studying 
business administration, to follow her dream of being a coin 
dealer, investing about $9,000 in savings to get started.

She was lucky and made some good contacts, including 
established coin dealers such as John Albanese, who at the 
time had a coin shop in Flemington. He would give her credit 
and Sperber was able to buy and sell coins.

"What I noticed immediately was she had a great eye. I showed 
her inventory, she picked out the best pieces immediately. 
I said, "How does this girl . . . know what coins to pick 
out?' I was amazed by that," Albanese recalled. "I knew she 
had a great eye for coins and she had a passion and she 
wanted to absorb and she wanted to learn."

There are only a few women in the coin business, he added.

Sperber read about rare coins and looked through old auction 
catalogues. "I just read and read everything I could," 
Sperber said. "I listened to what the elder statesmen had 
to say."

"She is a well-known dealer, representing some very important 
collectors," said Harvey Stack of Stack's. "She is usually 
bringing in strong bids on greater rarities and knows exactly 
what she is buying."

This year, Legend bought and sold at least seven coins for 
more than $1 million each.

Sperber said Legend is profitable and has grown steadily 
each year since 1997. "We haven't had any down years."

To read the complete article, see:

Dick Johnson writes: "'Multi-plating' is the new buzzword 
in minting technology and the Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg 
is leading the way. As a result of implementing this new 
technology countries of the world are beating a path to 
this Western Canadian institution to have their coins 
manufactured, some even with mints of their own.
"The innovative use of plating several layers of nickel 
and zinc on steel cores -- invented inside the Winnipeg 
Mint -- is reason why their base composition costs are 
low. The Mint struck 1.2 billion coins in 2007 and have 
multi-million dollar contracts that have booked solid 
the Mint's entire production capacity for 2008.
"Winnipeg mint official Hieu Truong, executive engineer 
who headed up the research team and the multi-ply process's 
inventor, said the mint is clearly a world leader in minting 
technology. Truong developed the multi-ply technology after 
frustrating efforts with the older single-plating technology 
that is still used by many countries. 

Truong praises the coins for resisting tarnishing better 
than others and offering heightened security because of 
unique electromagnetic signatures that prevent vending 
machine fraud.

The Winnipeg facility has produced coins for more than 
60 countries in the last 25 years.
Here are more details in an article published December 27, 2007:
96873c.html "


[The Toronto Star published a short article this week 
on the upcoming Centennial of the Royal Canadian Mint 
in Ottawa.  -Editor]

It opened Jan. 2, 1908, as a branch of the British Mint 
and has been churning out money ever since, although it 
has not made circulation coinage since 1976 (that's made 
in Winnipeg).

The Ottawa operation concentrates on coins for collectors. 
Many of the 8,000 pieces it produces daily are made by hand, 
one at a time. 

"Here we concentrate on quality," said Veronique. 

>From an observation deck, visitors can take in almost 
every step of the process. 

A furnace melts silver at 1,300 C; the liquid is then 
moulded into bars worth about $8,000 each. A saw shaves 
those bars smooth (the scrap is recycled.) A roughing mill 
presses the bars into sheets the thickness of coins, from 
which blanks are punched. Those blanks are scrubbed for 
three hours or more in what looks like an oversized clothes 
washer, with water, soap and stainless steel balls. Then 
workers hand-dry each blank before stamping it with the 
design of the day. That might be a one-ounce gold maple 
leaf coin (retailing at $914.35), a 2008 coin commemorating 
the Chinese Year of the Rat ($508.95), or a loonie emblazoned 
with the logo of a Canadian hockey team.

What strikes one about it all is the silence. Even on the 
shop floor, employees usually don't wear ear protection. 
You're struck, too, by the care that goes into the process. 
Workers wear gloves so they don't smudge the precious 
coins. Six people check each gold coin for imperfections. 

To read the complete article, see:


[British newspapers are taking the government to task over 
what many see as a snub to citizen heroes of the July 7, 
2005 terrorist bombings who were denied George Cross medals.  

Gordon Brown's pledge to honour members of the public for 
heroism during terrorist attacks has been labelled a sham 
after dozens of civilians who went to the rescue of the 7/7 
bombing victims were snubbed for awards. 

Pleas to honour ordinary civilians have been rejected as 
undeserving - even though more than two dozen public sector 
staff, some of whom were doing desk jobs, have been honoured 
for their conduct on 7/7. 

Brown made the pledge last July at the launch of a book he 
wrote on heroism, titled Britain's Everyday Heroes. He said: 
"It is right that we look at how our honours system can 
recognise those in our emergency services and members of 
the public who showed such bravery and heroism in the face 
of the recent terrorist attacks." 

However, Tim Coulson, a teacher who went to the aid of 
the victims of the Edgware Road tube station suicide 
bombing in July 2005, was snubbed after his wife Judy 
applied on his behalf this year. 

Coulson smashed his way into the stricken carriage from 
another train adjacent to it in the tunnel and gave first 
aid to the injured and dying. One man, whose body had been 
severed at the waist by the blast, died in his arms. 

Although her husband's case was backed by testimonies from 
those he helped and witnesses to his heroism, the Cabinet 
Office told Judy Coulson in a letter that "honours are awarded 
to people for meritorious service over a sustained period 
and not specifically for saving someone's life". 

The George Cross, which can be given to either military 
personnel or civilians and is equivalent to the Victoria 
Cross, has been granted 159 times since its creation in 
1940. Its most recent recipient is Corporal Mark Wright, 
who died in Afghanistan in 2006 while leading fellow 
soldiers through a minefield. 

Peter Zimonjic, the author of a new book on the 7/7 bombings 
called Into the Darkness, said he was aware of at least two 
dozen members of the public who had performed similar acts 
of bravery to Coulson yet none had been officially recognised. 

The Cabinet Office declined to comment. 

To read the complete article, see:



A call was made last night for Scottish banknotes to be 
legally protected in England.

Alistair Carmichael, Scottish spokesman for the Liberal 
Democrats, revealed he had received a letter from Mervyn 
King, Governor of the Bank of England, confirming that at 
present there was no requirement for shopkeepers and 
businesses to accept Scottish banknotes.

"Mervyn King has confirmed that Scottish banknotes exist 
in a kind of legal limbo," said Mr Carmichael. "It is ironic 
that many shops and businesses in London have signs indicating 
that they will accept euros but at the same time continue to 
refuse Scottish banknotes."

The Orkney and Shetland MP added: "We live in a country where 
both the Prime Minister and the Chancellor of the Exchequer 
are Scottish. Scots in England have no legal recourse whatsoever 
when their banknotes are refused, leading to embarrassment and 
irritation. This situation is the result of historic accident 
and it is now time to address it."

To read the complete article, see:

Dick Johnson writes: "In a New Year's message to the officers 
of the U.S. Mint, a Jacksonville Florida man wrote in his 
local newspaper the following:
This is a New Year's resolution for the officials of the 
U.S. Mint: 

We resolve that we will no longer waste the taxpayers' 
money and the U.S. Mint's resources by issuing commemorative 
$1 coins. 

We will realize that, like soccer and the metric system, 
dollar coins will never truly catch on in America. 

We agree to agree on their utter impracticality, as vending 
machines don't accept them, retailers and banks loathe them, 
and even fanatic coin collectors know they will always be 
worth no more than their face value. 

We will come to the resolution that most of these dollar 
coins just end up as hokey Christmas gifts, forgotten in 
the bottoms of sock drawers and children's penny jars. 

Eventually, they are sold by the roll in full-page ads on 
the back of the Sunday comics. 

We will patriotically acknowledge that historic figures 
such as Susan B. Anthony, Sacagawea and the early presidents 
do deserve all the recognition grateful Americans can give 
them. But now we officially resolve that putting their 
faces on useless $1 coins is not the way to manifest that 

The complete article in the Jacksonville Times-Union: "


[No, not Numismatic Bibliomania Society President John W. 
Adams - that OTHER President John Adams, the one whose face 
is on the new dollar coin.  -Editor]

In his wildest dreams, John Adams, the second president 
of the United States, couldn't have predicted the fate of 
his 3,700-volume personal library. In two years, it will 
be made available for viewing online for all to see without 
any commercial encumbrances. 

Adams' library is just a small part of an effort by nonprofit 
library and archival organizations to place the historical 
record of the United States online now under way at the 
Boston Public Library. 

"It's full speed ahead," said Maura Marx, manager of digital 
services at the Boston Public Library, in an interview Thursday. 
"We have two shifts [of people working on the project] -- 8 a.m. 
to 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. to midnight." Books and historical documents 
from the 19-member Boston Library Consortium are being scanned 
under the auspices of the project. 

"Unlike corporate backed efforts by Google, Microsoft, Amazon, 
et al, which all impose different, albeit understandable, 
levels of restriction to protect their investment the [Boston 
Library Consortium] has shown libraries all across the country 
the right way to take institutional responsibility and manage 
this historic transition to a universal digital archive that 
serves the needs of scholars, researchers, and the general 
public without compromise," said the Sloan Foundation's Doron 
Weber in a recent statement. 

The Boston Pubic Library's Marx noted that the library has 
many documents of historical value. The Adams library, for 
instance, is unique because it is complete and intact. The 
libraries and writings of other U.S. founding fathers were 
destroyed by fire or dispersed by succeeding family members, 
for instance. 

"There's nothing quite like the Adams library," she said. 
"We're scanning flat pages and objects. Adams made notes in 
the margins of his books, and they will be available for all 
to see." 

To read the complete article, see: 


[E-Sylum regular Howard A. Daniel III penned an article for 
Numismatic News describing his recent experiences after 
being mistakenly listed as dead in a numismatic publication.  
Here are a few excerpts, but be sure to read the complete 
article on Numismaster.  -Editor]

In late October 2007, my wife and I returned to "her" condo 
in McLean after staying in "my" Bay House in Deltaville. 
There was a message on her answering machine from Joe Boling 
inquiring about my demise! My wife considers talking about 
death as unlucky so she was not happy. Joe explained that 
I was in the "In Memoriam" part of the November issue of 
The Numismatist.

When we listened to his message, it was Joe's usual bedtime 
so I typed an e-mail to him that I was alive! I thought 
about it for awhile and determined it must be about my 
reporting the passing on of Forrest Daniel to the ANA's 
Membership Department because I read in The Numismatist 
they were going to give him a 40-year or more membership 
pin. Someone had deleted me and kept Forrest on the rolls.

My e-mail in box has had a steady flow of e-mails from people 
in the United States but then they started coming from Asia. 
Quoc Nguyen from the U.S. and Vietnam was on a trip in 
Singapore and Bangkok and he and everyone else were talking 
about my demise. I replied that I was still here in this 
world and to please tell everyone over there about the mistake. 
I also received an e-mail from Bruce Smith in Shanghai. Then 
the e-mails started coming in from Europe and other parts of 
the world. It was very gratifying to see so many people 
concerned about me, but my e-mail In box, which I could 
usually keep down to 20 or so unanswered e-mails, was hanging 
in there with over 100 unanswered e-mails!

I returned to McLean for the coin and stamp show in Vienna 
and walked onto the bourse. Three or four people came up to 
me and said they were relieved to see I was still alive. When 
I walked up to some of the dealers at their tables, they 
looked at me in disbelief. But there were two people on the 
bourse with grim looks on their faces. Sorry about that, I 
was still alive. The e-mails and telephone calls kept coming 
in over the next week when I was at my Bay House and I 
immediately answered most of them but there were still many 
in my in box. Then I returned to McLean again for the coin 
show in Baltimore. One of the smokers standing outside of 
the entrance pointed at me and told everyone I was supposed 
to be dead. It was fun watching their disbelief.

To read the complete article, see: 

Dick Johnson writes: "Although it is more economic than 
numismatic or artistic, the Canadian loonie dollar has 
been named 'newsmaker of the year' by Time magazine in a 
celebratory article in the magazine's Canadian edition. 
The exchange value of the Canadian dollar has met -- and 
for a time has surpassed -- the value of the mighty 
American dollar.
"Canadian editorial writers are ecstatic. Without knowledge 
of Krause Publication's prior rights to the term 'Coin of 
the Year' some of their editorials are calling their famed 
dollar coin bearing the loonie bird by that term.
"The exchange rate story also had a book connection, as 
the cover prices printed on periodicals and book dust 
jackets of a higher Canadian price than in American 
dollars. We reported this earlier here in The E-Sylum.
"Here is one Canadian article on the Time article garnered from Google: "



[The satirical web site The Spoof ascribes the reason 
for the dollar's fall to the mysterious all-seeing-eye 
on the Great Seal of the United States.  -Editor]

Congressman Barney Frank, chairman of the House Financial 
Services Committee, took the Federal Reserve to task 
yesterday, saying the eyeball atop the pyramid on the US 
dollar was causing it to decline against other world currencies.

"Speaking frankly, as I always do, if I had a choice I 
wouldn't take US dollars either," the Massachusetts Democrat 
said to Benjamin Bernanke as the Fed Chairman appeared before 
Congress for his quarterly scolding by grandstanding 
legislators. "The hairy eyeball is a real problem in 
world financial markets."

Bernanke said the Fed was only playing the hand it was 
dealt by a world-wide conspiracy of Freemasons who plotted 
to include the eyeball in the great seal of the United 
States in the 18th century. "The all-seeing eye is the 
symbol of God, the great architect of the universe" 
Bernanke explained, reading from a prepared text he had 
pulled off the internet shortly before entering the 
hearing room. "Either that or it's an Egyptian god that 
was brought to America in a UFO."

A number of the Founding Fathers including George Washington 
were Freemasons and the eye and the pyramid are commonly-
used symbols in the rites and lore of that secret society. 
"Like most other lodges, the Freemasons are primarily an 
excuse for men to get together and drink," says William 
Thain, an expert on American fraternal societies. "The eye 
is often depicted inside an enclosed pyramid, which translates 
rebus-style into 'I want to get out of the house'."

To read the complete article, see:


This week's featured web site is Dave Greenhalgh's Grunal 

"Grunal Moneta offers an entertaining and informative 
look at money through the ages. Using original techniques, 
he produces authentic-style coins from Celtic to Tudor 
times. He provides dies for the period of the event and 
strikes coins from them in pewter blanks which are hand 
cut in the original fashion."

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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