The E-Sylum v10#30, July 29, 2007

esylum at esylum at
Sun Jul 29 18:38:48 PDT 2007

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 10, Number 30, July 29, 2007:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2007, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers are Peter Mosiondz, Jr. (a returning 
subscriber) and Richard O. Thomas.  Welcome aboard!  We now have 
1,164 subscribers.

This week we open with a reminder of the NBS activities at the 
upcoming ANA convention, and news of the results of the ANA Board 
of Governors election.  On a sad note, a longtime officer of the 
Civil War Token Society has passed away.

In new books this week we have the release of Ken Bressett's 
'Milestone Coins" book, a revised edition of 'United States Pattern 
Postage Currency Coins' by David Cassel, and a new publication by 
Pierre Fricke on Collecting Confederate Paper Money.  

In the research question department we have a query from Dick Johnson 
on how obsolete U.S. coin denominations are retired, and a call for 
information on an emergency currency prepared for the continental 
United States in World War II.

Other topics this week include glass coin weights, numismatic trading 
cards, and U.S. coins in worldwide numismatic collections.  My London 
Diary focuses on the devastating flooding in England this past week.

In the news are a number of interesting reports, including the return 
of a family's long-lost 1907 High Relief double eagle, the cross-country 
transport of the 1894-S dime, and a profile of Canadian coin designer 
Chris Jordison.  Have a great week, everyone.

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


Outgoing Numismatic Bibliomania Society President Pete Smith writes: 
"This is a reminder for NBS members who will be attending the American 
Numismatic Association convention in Milwaukee. Our numismatic literature 
symposium is scheduled for Thursday, August 9, at 11:30 A.M. Speakers 
will be John Adams and Harold Welch.
"Adams will be speaking on "How Comitia Americana Came To Be - A New 
Way to Make a Book." Welch will talk about "British Token Literature 
- Putting Together the Pieces of the Puzzle."
"The NBS general meeting is the following day, Friday August 10, at 
11:30 A.M. Our speakers will be Len Augsburger and Joel Orosz talking 
about "Frank Stewart and Artwork of the Furst U.S. Mint." We will have 
out annual benefit auction during the NBS meeting. Items for the auction 
may be left with Howard Daniel at the NBS table. Howard will be 
promoting our club throughout the show."

[I've forwarded something to Pete for this year's auction - a set of 
my notes for various E-Sylum London Diary items.  Those with genuine 
English beer stains may cost extra.  -Editor]


As many of you may have heard by now, the results of the American 
Numismatic Association election are in.  New officers will be 
installed during the annual ANA Awards Banquet Saturday, Aug. 11, 
at the World’s Fair of Money in Milwaukee.

In his Wednesday blog, Dave Harper of Numismatic News commented on 
the results which had just been released by the ANA:

"It was a clean sweep for the anti-incumbent slate in a tension-filled 
election campaign to select the 2007-2009 American Numismatic 
Association board of governors.

"Voted into office were seven newcomers led by veteran hobby 
publisher Clifford Mishler, with 4,609 votes; followed by Chester 
L. Krause, 4,518 votes; Edward C. Rochette, 3,541 votes; Joseph E. 
Boling, 3,442 votes; Radford Stearns, 3,073 votes; Walter Ostromecki 
2,882 votes, and Wendell Wolka, 2,850."

[The new board, like every new board, has a lot of work ahead of it.  
Best of luck to everyone, particularly the E-Sylum subscribers!  One 
reader (not a candidate) forwarded the following quote - "As Bette 
Davis said in 'All About Eve', 'Fasten your seat-belts, it's going 
to be a bumpy night'." -Editor]

To read Dave Harper's blog item on the ANA results, see:


Larry Dziubek forwarded an announcement made Thursday by Civil War 
Token Society (CWTS) Treasurer Susan Trask.  She writes: "It is with 
great sadness that I report the death of our colleague and friend, 
Dale Cade this afternoon.  He was indeed a major part of the 
foundation of our group and a mentor to many of us."

[I remember Dale from a long-ago ANA convention meeting of the 
CWTS.  He lived in Rancho Palos Verdes, CA and dutifully handled 
the CWTS token auction year after year.  Stalwarts like Dale are 
the backbone of our hobby organizations, leaving behind big shoes 
to fill.  Our condolences to Dale's wife Ruth and their family.  
Larry forwarded the following note from Sterling A. Rachootin, 
another longtime CWTS stalwart. -Editor]

Sterling A. Rachootin writes: "I have to go outside of the English 
language to find a word to describe Dale Cade and that word is 
“mentsh”, a yiddish word meaning an upright honorable, decent 
person - someone of consequence, someone to emulate; of noble 
character.  A personification of worth and dignity, requiring the 
highest respect and approbation; totally trustworthy.

"Those of us in the “know” realize the many hats Dale wore while 
serving the Civil War Token Society.  He will be sorely missed.  
Thanks for your excellent service, Dale.

“D” Devoted - Whatever needed doing, Dale was Johnny on the spot 
and whatever it was to be done, it was done!

“A” Able - And whatever he did, it was done in the best way possible.

“L” Loyal - Making the Society run well was Dale’s concern and 
it came to pass.

“E” Efficient - Dale took on the major jobs and they were done 
in the best way possible and on time, all the time.

"Take any letter in the alphabet, and there are positive words that 
apply to Dale Cade and the many roles he managed for the Society and 
its members.  It will take many volunteers to step into the shoes 
Dale worked for the Society to make it function as it should, and 
to think one person, Dale did it all in the way it had to be done!  
For example, it might be manning the table at an ANA convention for 
the CWTS, or running the auction, or collecting dues, or aiding 
the publication of the many books, we published, or giving reports 
to our group at the Long Beach coin shows, or writing articles for 
our Journal, or serving on the board of the CWTS, etc.

"A million thanks for being there for us these many years.  We 
memorialized Dale in our CWTS HALL OF FAME MEDAL PROGRAM when he 
was an honoree.  We knew a good thing when we had it!"


Fred Lake of Lake Books writes: "The prices realized list for our 
sale #89 which closed on July 24, 2007 is now available for viewing 
on our web site. Please go to
"Many thanks to our bidders and consignors in making this an 
enjoyable sale and our next mail-bid sale of numismatic literature 
will be held on October 2, 2007."


Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing writes: "I'm pleased to announce 
that Kenneth Bressett's new book, 'Milestone Coins: A Pageant of the 
World's Most Significant and Popular Money', has arrived from the 
printer."  Dennis attached the press release, which I've excerpted below:

"Whitman Publishing will debut a new book by Kenneth Bressett at the 
ANA World’s Fair of Money in Milwaukee, August 8. Milestone Coins: A 
Pageant of the World’s Most Significant and Popular Money (176 pages, 
full color, hardcover) will retail for $29.95.

"Milestone Coins shares the interesting stories behind more than 100 
famous coins and tokens, as told by the award-winning author and 
longtime editor of the Guide Book of United States Coins (the 
best-selling “Red Book”). In ten chapters Ken Bressett covers the 
breadth of civilization as seen in coinage—exploring every time period 
and geographical area from ancient Greece to modern America.

"“Each of these coins has a story that appeals to collectors,” 
said Bressett. “Some are rare ‘keys’ needed to complete a set. 
Others are desirable for their beauty or historical connection. 
In a sense, they are all classics that never go out of style.”

"The book’s chapters include:

The Ancient World — owls of Athens, Aeginean turtles, ancient 
dekadrachms, and other artifacts of antiquity

Biblical Coins — the Widow’s Mite, coins of the Jewish revolts, 
and others from the Old and New Testaments

The Roman World — coins of Julius Caesar, Brutus, Nero, and 
other famous Romans

Money in Medieval Europe — early Christian coins, Byzantine copper, 
coins of Genghis Khan and Richard the Lionhearted, and more

The World of Islam — coins of Saladin, glass money of Egypt, coins 
of the Mamluk slave kings, and others

Merry Olde England — Celtic gold and tin coins, William the 
Conqueror, Henry VIII and his wives, and more from “across the pond”

The Reign in Spain — gold coins of Ferdinand and Isabella, pieces 
of eight, pirate coins, gold doubloons, and other Spanish treasures

Cathay and the Orient — knife money, square - hole cash, Automobile 
dollars, and more from the mystical East

Emerging Concepts in Coinage—beard - tax tokens of Russia, Britain’s 
giant cartwheel twopence, and other unique coins

Money in America — Pine Tree shillings, Civil War tokens, pioneer 
gold of the Old West, Morgan dollars, and other classics."


David Cassel authored 'United States Pattern Postage Currency Coins' 
in 2000.  This month he has updated and improved his publication 
with a revised July 2007 edition.  He writes: 

"The new hardbound 262 page edition with 30 mostly color plate 
pages of Postage Currency coins includes several coin pictures not 
present in the previous edition.  Additionally, the new edition 
includes eleven more SEM-EDX coin elemental analyses (67 in all).

"The Concordance of catalog number entries includes the updated 
8th and 9th Judd numbering system as found in United States Patterns.  
I was a contributor to those editions.  My discoveries were the basis 
of several changes to the previously believed entries.  For example, 
I disproved the existence of J-325a.  Judd-326 as it stood in the 
7th Edition of Judd was disproved and modified in the Judd 8th and 
9th Editions.  Judd-326b was discovered by me and included in the 
updated version, never before known in the Judd 1st thru 7th 
Editions.  Judd-331 was modified as was J-332.  Judd-640 and J-643 
were declassified. Judd-714 was modified.  I also discovered that 
the name associated with J-716, Koulz’s Alloy was in fact incorrectly 
attributed for more than 130 years.  The actual metallurgist was 
Montchal Ruolz.   This is explored in depth.

"The revised edition includes in full Douglas Winter’s 1985 Coin 
World article which is the most historically significant study of 
the Postage Currency coins as it related to the Civil War period.

"The book’s presentation of the coins’ progressive die cracks portrays 
the actual striking of these coins.  Remarkably, it turns out that 
the coins J-644 thru J-646 dated 1868 were actually struck in 1863.  
This is demonstrated visually by obverse die’s cracks’ progression 
as well as knowing from original Mint records that the striking of 
these Dies 1-A (J-325 thru J-330)  coins, over just a nine day 
period, occurred on May 19, 1863, May 20, 1863, and May 27, 1863. 

"A valuable resource is the Bibliography of roughly 700 numismatic 
auction catalogue entries of Postage Currency coins in chronological 
order, many with provenance.  Each coin variety is categorized unto 
itself chronologically by auction appearances.  The groups of 
varieties are then grouped by type. 

"United States Pattern Postage Currency Coins in 2000 was limited 
to just 110 numbered and signed copies.  The new numbered and signed 
edition will be similarly limited. Individuals may request a copy 
at the pre-publication price of $245, ppd. (to US address) thru 
August 17th.   Availability is anticipated in September 2007. 
Please send your check to David Cassel at 5995 S.W. 97th Street, 
Miami, FL 33156 if you are interested in receiving a copy.  Please 
furnish your name and mailing address."


Pierre Fricke forwarded the following press release for his 
latest publication:

"Building on the success of the award-winning Collecting Confederate 
Paper Money - Comprehensive Edition 2005, Pierre Fricke and R.M.
Smythe have collaborated to bring to collectors of Confederate paper 
money Collecting Confederate Paper Money - Type Edition 2007 (called 
Type Edition subsequently) which includes a getting started guide, a 
full color grading guide, and a full color type identification and 
value catalog. The Type Edition enables an easy on-ramp into the 
world of collecting Confederate Paper Money in the 21st century. 
With an introduction to collecting Confederate paper money, types 
of collecting, and some financial history of the Confederacy that 
drove the creation of these notes, the Type Edition provides a 
foundation to understand the Confederate collecting world."

The Type Edition, like the Comprehensive Edition before it, delivers 
critical real-world grading and pricing guidance based on real 
transactions to help collectors make informed purchase and sales 
decisions on the 21st century bourse, on-line and dealer price list 
market places. This is a book written from a collector's view point, 
but one who also has sat behind the table as a dealer. Bringing his 
experience to others, he helps people get started, and now is 
helping type and variety collectors build large scale or more 
focused historically significant Confederate paper money collections.
Additionally, working with R.M. Smythe, he is publishing the Collecting 
Confederate Paper Money family of books and tools including the web 
site - ."

Pierre adds: "The Type Edition 2007 is contained in two Adobe Acrobat 
files for download or on a DVD. Download is Adobe PDF - 13 MB . 1 to 
3 minute download time on typical Cable or DSL.

For the download, people pay $10 through Paypal or by Check/M.O. in 
the mail.  I send them a link to a private page to download.  The 
private page URL will change frequently for security reasons.  
Nevertheless, the honor system on the copyright is employed as I 
want to make it easy to get this e-book.

The DVD is $20 and is created and mailed upon payment as a simple 
DVD in a plastic or paper case with the two files containing the 
front-end and the catalog sections of the eBook.

Pierre Fricke, P.O. Box 52514, Atlanta, GA  30355;  
pfricke at ; "


Dave Lange writes: "My coin board book is finally at the printing 
stage. The first color proofs were not accurate, and I insisted that 
they be tweaked to get the colors correct. This cost me yet another 
week, but the importance of color in identifying the various coin 
board varieties made it necessary.

"It's certain now that I won't have the printed books in time for 
the Milwaukee American Numismatic Association convention, which is 
very disappointing to me, but I will bring along a laser print of 
the book for anyone who wants to see it at the NGC booth."

[As the old advertisement used to say, "The quality goes in before 
the name goes on!"  The book will be well worth waiting a bit 
longer for, I'm sure.  Many thanks for Dave for his attention to 
detail.  -Editor]


When I noted that I'd purchased a copy of Burn's 1853 work on London 
tokens, David Gladfelter wrote: "Have you gotten to pages lxxix-lxxx? 
No fair skipping ahead."

Well, I resisted temptation and didn't skip ahead.  On my previous 
flight home to the U.S. I took the book along and did some reading.  
Here are a few notes.

My copy is a spineless reading copy that coincidentally, had been 
discarded by the coin room of the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.   
The full title is "A Descriptive Catalogue of the London Traders, 
Tavern, and Coffee-House Tokens Current in the Seventeenth Century; 
Presented to the Corporation Library by Henry Benjamin Hanbury 
Beaufoy, Citizen and Distiller, Fellow of the Royal and Linnaean 
Societies, and Corresponding Member of Numerous Continental Literary 
and Scientific Associations.  

The book makes marvelous reading; no mere catalogue, it provides 
an extensive overview of the history and use of tokens in the period, 
highlighted with many interesting anecdotes.  I'll publish a few from 
the extensive preface here.

(page iv) "In 1279, King Edward the First determined on a reformation 
of the coin, and the Jews being found delinquents as clippers, two 
hundred and sixty-seven of them, declared guilty of that offence, 
where executed."

(page v) "Leaden tokens are noticed early in the reign of King Henry 
the Fourth ... at the beginning of the fifteenth century.  In 1402, 
the extreme scarcity of small coins among the poorer people induced 
the Commons to petition King Henry the Fourth in parliament, for 
some remedy for the pressing mischief amongst the poor people, 
occasioned by the want of half-pennies and farthings of silver..."

(page xvii) "... the mint-house, well stored, was locked up until 
his returne.  The sickness being then in London, and poore people 
wanting their coine, some knave or other, in the night, clapped a 
redde crosse upon the dore, and underwritt it thus - 'Lord have 
mercy upon us, for this house is full of tokens.'"

"The mint-house, or office for the issue and change of these 
farthings, was on the north side of Lothbury; hence the name yet 
retained of Tokenhouse yard."   [The name Tokenhouse Yard lives on 
today - the small street, just off Lothbury Street, is in the 
financial district of London. Page 192 of Burn lists a token struck 
for a merchant in Tokenhouse Yard. -Editor]

(page xix) "... to suppresse these farthing tokens that so they may 
advance their owne tokens, stamps, seals, names, signes, and 
superscriptions, if not images, as now appears, though they be 
far inferior to Caesar's."

(page xxi) "... every tavern and tipling-house, in the days of 
late anarchy among us, presumed to stamp and utter for immediate 
exchange, as they were passable thorough the neighbourhood, which, 
though seldom reaching farther than the next street or two, may 
happily, in after times, come to exercise and busie the learned 
critic what they should signifie."

So what about pages lxxix-lxxx?  In my copy, the preface stops 
at page lxvii.  It’s the 1853 first edition.  I wrote to David, 
who responded: "I have the second edition of 1855. I came across 
a reference to it doing a literature search for an article on the 
Carolina Elephant token and others linked to it, for the Colonial 
Newsletter some years ago. That was prompted by having acquired a 
flip-over double strike specimen. Burn discusses these tokens on 
the pages cited and concludes that 'nothing has yet been 
discovered to afford any elucidation' of them. That's still 
true today, by the way."


Inspired by last week's item on spending two dollar bills, incoming 
ANA Governor Joe Boling  writes: "For several years I have declined 
to carry or use paper dollars. I believe the paper single should 
have been retired twenty-five years ago. I carry $2 notes (and higher 
denominations), metallic dollars (now up to four types, with a fifth 
coming shortly), and half dollars. I tailor my tenders so that I 
don't get paper singles in change. (For instance, if I owe $23 and 
change, I hand over a twenty and two deuces; a bill for $18 has me 
paying $20+$2+$1 and getting a fiver back.) All the theaters in town 
know when I've been at a performance - they have weird money in the 
concessions till. I have never had a metallic dollar refused, and 
the new presidential dollars are quite popular."

[In England the smallest paper denomination is 5 GBP.  My pockets 
fill with small change and one-pound coins.  Less often I receive 
two-pound coins in change.  The pound coins are thick and easily 
identifiable by touch.  As I've mentioned before, these are the 
workhorses of daily commerce and are typically found very well worn.  
What does amaze me though is that the one pence coin also circulates.  
It's not that often that I get one in change.  I've not been paying 
close attention, but a number of items I regularly purchase for cash 
are often priced in multiples of ten pence.  At current exchange 
rates the one pence coin is worth less than half a U.S. cent.  



Related to all our recent discussions on coin and paper money 
denominations is this item I came across while looking for other 
things.  According to a 2005 BBC article, a man named Mark Wilkinson 
"invented the 99p coin":

"A Leicestershire man has come up with a novel way to get rid of 
loose change. Mark Wilkinson has invented the 99p coin, saying it 
could help to solve a growing problem. 

"It mirrors an election pledge of the Official Monster Raving Loony 
Party, which included a 99p coin 'to save on change' in its manifesto. 

"Mr Wilkinson has contacted chancellor Gordon Brown and the Royal 
Mint asking them to adopt his new coin - or "the cornet" - as he 
calls it. 

"He said: "Hopefully it will solve a lot of problems with all 
these pennies." 

"Mr Wilkinson said people cannot buy a lot with a penny, but so 
many were given out in change."

To read the complete article, see:  


Dick Johnson writes: "In a communiqué received last week from 
Tim L. Shuck in response to my reply in the previous week's E-Sylum, 
he comments on eliminating small denomination coins in America and 
asks a question I cannot answer. But I would propose the collective 
intelligence of E-Sylum readers would know the correct response.

"Tim writes 'I wouldn’t however revalue the ‘penny,’ but let it 
continue to circulate in commerce at face value until gradually 
withdrawn as returned to banks or put away by the public (is this 
how half, two, and three-cent coins disappeared once the Mint 
stopped producing them?).'

"Good question. I don't know the answer. Too often a non-numismatic 
public (and news account writers) would respond 'the coins were 
recalled.'  Recalling is a serious act ordering the public to turn 
in to a proper authority certain coins. This has happened so 
infrequently in U.S. history, that I wonder why the term 'recall' 
is so widely used. Even the pre-1964 silver coins were not 'recalled.' 
Neither were the gold coins in response to president Roosevelt's 
order 6260 to close the banks in March 1933 and the April 19, 1933 
law to go off the gold standard. The only recall I can think of was 
for the 1933 $20 gold piece.

"But you hear unknowing statements from the public like 'Joseph 
Stalin's initials are on all the Kennedy half dollars and the 
government is going to recall them.'

"Okay, so America's obsolete-denominations coins were not recalled.  
But tell us, E-Syluminaries, how did these coins retire?"


Writing in the Friday July 20, 2007 MPC GRAM, Jim Downey discusses 
some interesting new information on U.S. WW II emergency paper 
money issues.  With permission I'm republishing his article here:

"Most military paper money collectors are familiar with the North 
Africa and Hawaii notes that were printed during WWII. The North 
Africa notes are Federal Reserve Notes and Silver Certificates with 
yellow seals; the Hawaii notes have brown seals and were overprinted 
on face and back with the word Hawaii. The purpose of these notes 
was to create a currency that would be used in the areas of conflict 
that could be segregated from the domestic US currency in case it 
should fall into the hands of the enemy.

"Information from the Bureau of Engraving suggests the United States 
may have issued an emergency currency in the continental United States.

"A Bureau report from 1946 indicates that in fiscal year 1943 (July 1, 
1942-June 30, 1943) $450,800,000.00 in Federal Reserve Bank Notes was 
delivered to the Federal Reserve for circulation. Federal Reserve 
Bank Notes (FRBN) are different from Federal Reserve Notes (FRN). 
FRBN were first issued as large size notes in 1914. The small size 
FRBN were printed in 1933 and 1934. These were printed and issued 
as a result of the Bank Holiday of 1933. The Federal Reserve needed 
to get currency into the banking system quickly. FRBN were printed 
on unfinished stock of sheets for National Currency Notes and are 
titled "National Currency" at the top.

"They have brown seals like Nationals but carry the identification 
of the Federal Reserve Banks and signatures of officers of the 
branches of the Federal Reserve Banks.

"The FRBN notes that were released in 1943 were notes that had been 
printed for the 1933 banking emergency but were unissued during this 
time because the crisis passed and these notes were excess. They 
remained at the BEP awaiting further order for their disposition. 

"The BEP documents indicate that these notes were delivered to the 
Federal Reserve because of the urgent need for new currency and to 
conserve labor and materials. This suggests that they would not 
have been otherwise issued except for the exigency of the wartime 

"This information on these notes is only now coming to light. At 
this point it is unknown whether there are records of the serial 
numbers for the FRBN that were issued in 1943. It is very probable 
that these records exist. If so, it would be possible to distinguish 
between the notes issued for the 1933 banking crisis and those 
issued because of the wartime necessity."

Editor Fred Schwan added: "I knew about this issue of FRBNs. That 
may or may not be a surprise. What I think is surprising (or at 
least interesting) is how I knew about it.

"For many years the Treasury issued a pamphlet titled Know Your 
Money (or something VERY close). It is possible that this same 
pamphlet is still published.

"Anyway, I collect these pamphlets for the war years (no surprise 
there, I am sure). I became interested when I learned that the 1943 
(or was it 1942) version included HAWAII notes. I thought that that 
was wonderful, important, and even interesting so I started looking 
for all of the war years' pamphlets. In doing that I found mention 
of the FRBN use described by Jim. Researching it further was on my 
(growing) list of things to do. Thank you, Jim, for doing it for me!"

[Can any of our readers provide additional information on these 
emergency notes?  -Editor]


Aldor Balazs writes: "I am currently writing an article for the 
local museum about a coin of roman moneyer Publius Crepusius, and 
I was surprised to see that it is very difficult to find any 
information about him or his family, Gens Crepusia. If anybody has 
some old articles, or could point me to the right direction where 
to search for any kind of information about him or his family, I 
would appreciate any help." 


Chick Ambrass writes: "On the way home from our recent annual 
family vacation we stopped and visited the Corning Museum of 
Glass in Corning, NY. I was anticipating spending an hour or so 
there.  We left four hours later, having still not seen everything. 
It was very impressive. They had a chronological history of glass, 
starting about 6000 BC.  Many items reminded me of my ancient 
coin collection, including ancient Greece, the Egyptian, including 
the Ptolemy eras, Roman, Byzantine, and Medieval glass styles.  
Many pieces resembled medals - again, reminding me of coins. 
"I saw something that I never knew coin weights.  
These are molded pieces of glass, with inscriptions denoting the 
correct weights of various coins. The comment was made that the 
glass coin weights may have been more reliable than their metal 
counterparts, because it would be easier to see if someone had 
made an alteration to a glass coin weight.
"I have several coin weights, by far not an extensive collection, 
and I have only one reference, and that is PONDERA MEDICINALIA by 
Daniel Vangroenweghe and Tillo Geldof.  Looking thru their work 
I see no mention of glass coin weights. Can anyone add to the 
story of glass coin weights, and suggest further reading?
"Getting back to the visit to the Corning Museum of Glass, if you 
are in the Finger Lakes region of New York, the time would be a 
great investment, the history, and the experience was well worth 
the $12 admission price."

Dick Johnson writes: "Announcement was made Wednesday this week 
of the latest innovation that unites two collectables: coin 
collecting and trading cards. This is destined to be a sure winner. 
"Sharp, color illustrations of prominent coins, often in top condition, 
are illustrated in the card format similar to sports cards. Since many 
coin collectors -- and coin dealers too -- have an interest in both 
collectables this is a natural marriage. The idea is the creation 
of Les Fox, who partnered with Upper Deck, leading trading card producer.
"The cards will be packaged in foil wrapped packets of ten, randomly 
inserted. In addition each packet will be a BU Lincoln cent (in a 
die-cut card), plus a bonus card where more than 10,000 coins are 
offered in a vast sweepstakes. A handful of the top prizes are PCGS 
coins encapsulated and autographed by past presidents Gerald Ford 
or George Bush, or the American Bicentennial coin artists. 
"The first series will contain cards of 500 different coins. Included 
among these will be all U.S. type coins and every gold and silver 
commemorative coin. The remainder are spread across all American 
coin denominations and periods. We can envision collectors assembling 
the cards much like they do their own coins -- in sets, by artists, 
by composition, by denomination, or by any topic that whets a 
collector's fancy.
"The cards show the coin obverse on the front of the card, and 
obviously, the reverse on the back. The cards will be available 
in coin, hobby, and some mass marketers, as Wal-Mart or CVS. 
Retail price will be $5 to $6. Rollout date is November 1, 2007.
"I talked with Les Fox this week. He told me the startup cost for 
this project is approaching two million dollars. I mentioned he 
should keep the high quality of cards and illustrations, and stress 
the educational aspect. He assured both are high on his list of 
priorities. The first with possible gold printing. For the second 
he has offered half a million cards to the ANA if they would 
oversee the distribution to American school children.
"The cards are reminiscent of the German cigarette cards a century 
ago that depicted world coins, or perhaps the A.J. Blumel postcards 
discussed here in E-Sylum before. [See link below. -Editor]  Will 
sets or albums of the coin trading cards find their way into 
future numismatic libraries? Perhaps so.
"I asked Les about numismatic books. He said he and wife Sue have 
authored six books, the one most known in numismatics is "The U.S. 
Rare Coin Handbook for Collectors and Investors" which hit the New 
York Times best seller list. His name for the card series is 
"Eagles of America Rare Coin Trading Cards." His corporate name 
is West Highland Fine Art & Publishing LLC.
"Do visit his website for more information on the coin trading cards, 
a dozen or more of which are illustrated (but you will not be able 
to download illustrations of the coin cards, I get the point! -- 
you will have to buy those!). Web site:
"I first read about this on the PRWeb Newswire. 
Here is that article: ."

[This is certainly a commendable project that I hope will go a 
long way toward educating the general public and casual collectors 
alike in new aspects of numismatics.  But I wouldn't go so far as 
Dick in calling it innovative or "groundbreaking" as the press 
release describes.   There have been similar projects in the past, 
although probably not marketed to the same extent.  Readers can tell 
us if they know of others, but I can point to two in Pennsylvania 

The Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists introduced "PAN Decks" 
in the 1990s, sets of printed cards picturing various coins that 
were given to young numismatists.  They were a hit with the kids, 
who often wrote in to ask for more.  But this was a non-profit 
educational item, not a commercial venture.

But Wayne J. Decroo of Pittsburgh, PA currently produces and 
sells sets of numismatic trading cards in a similar format, and 
has been doing so for several years.  He provided a large number 
of packs gratis to PAN for distribution to attendees of the 
club's Coins4Kids events.  I forwarded to him the Eagles of 
America Rare Coin Trading Cards press release.

Wayne Decroo writes: "Thank you for sending the release.  It is 
surprisingly similar to my idea that I spent a substantial amount 
of money developing, producing and attempting to legally protect.
"My Coin Trading Cards were intended to educate young collectors 
in the field of Numismatics.  This so-called groundbreaking product 
is extremely similar to my product.  The biggest difference is 
they enlisted Upper Deck who has the marketing capabilities and 
a great reputation.  It is somewhat upsetting to me that this 
happened.  They appear to be producing a great product on a 
much grander scale than my cards.  

"Our cards have been around since the year 2000 and are still 
available in packs, and beginner sets.  Anyone interested can 
still call 724-335-8264 as we still run it as a family operated 
business from my home.

"Our web page is for any dealer interested.  
My thoughts are that once the upper Deck cards hit the market, 
mine will look inferior.  They are also offering a chance to win 
some nice coins which will attract customers.  I hope they help 
the hobby."

To view the Numismaticards, Inc. Coin Trading Cards web page, see:



Regarding his quest for a copy of the November 17, 1969 'Million 
Dollar Sale', Steve Butler writes: "Mr. Rau not only sent me the 
price's realized photocopied, but on a CD as well.  He took the 
time to scan the pages, then burned the CD.  Thanks to Mr. Rau!"



John Kleeberg writes: "About two months ago you forwarded an inquiry 
I had to Dave Ginsburg.  I just want to tell you that I got some 
marvelous data from him in response, and also from Len Augsburger.  
Their responses came very promptly, in only a week - I've just taken 
my own time telling you about it.

"I have also had some very good data sent me from Howard A. Daniel 
III and Merle Pribbenow - I inquired about a hoard of US currency 
($50s) discovered in the Vinh Thanh Mountains of Vietnam in July 
1968 by a platoon, and Pribbenow sent me some translations of 
terrific articles from the Vietnamese press, discussing how US 
currency was smuggled by the Vietcong into the south in order to 
buy weapons and other war materiel.  The Vietcong used some South 
Vietnamese currency, but normally avoided it, preferring US currency 
- they didn't trust the stability of the South Vietnamese government 
and its currency."


In my review of "The Authoritative Reference on Buffalo Nickels" 
last week I wrote: "The second edition has a 2007 copyright date, 
but population totals provided by grading services PCGS and NGC are 
copyrighted 2005 and may be outdated.  Red Book values are shown 
in the date-by-date section.  The copyright date is not mentioned 
and perhaps these are outdated as well.  

Uriah Cho of Zyrus Press writes: "Actually, Kevin did this on purpose. 
He wanted to draw attention away from prices, and focus more on 
varieties and date-by-date analysis."



Regarding Howard Berlin's notes on his travels to worldwide 
numismatic collections, Alan V. Weinberg writes: "In 1966 I 
crossed over into East Berlin and visited a numismatic exhibit 
in a then-Communist museum. It was extensive and I distinctly 
recall being shocked to find a seemingly gold George Washington 
Baker 61 Manly medal on display.
"Also, with respect to the Royal numismatic collection on display 
in Copenhagen...there was in 1966 an extensive public display of 
coinage there, perhaps the most extensive numismatic display of 
any museum I've ever visited. I was invited into the back offices 
to see some US coinage and was shocked to be able to examine 'in 
hand' dozens of utterly exquisite early US coins including a Gem 
Unc 1652 Noe 1 Oak Tree shilling (even then specializing in Mass 
silver, I distinctly recall the variety and condition), a splendid 
Unc 1795 bust dollar, a proof (yes, proof) early Bust quarter, 
most with accompanying tickets revealing very early source donations. 

"It very much reminded me of the Sir Joseph Banks donations and
tickets in the British Museum where, that summer, I'd spent five 
days in the vault rooms, discovering among other things a circulated 
1829 half dime replacing a Jos. Banks-donated presumably Gem Unc 
1792 half disme."


Jim Wiley of McMurray, PA writes: "First off, I want to thank you 
for providing the E-Sylum to us "ordinary" folks. I can appreciate 
in a very small way the amount of time, patience and ---mostly-- 
love that it takes to produce it EVERY WEEK. Yikes!! The more I 
read, the more I realize what I don't know. There are some subjects 
into which I want to delve further; others have only a passing 
interest. Just like everyone else in the world, I guess. 

"Secondly, I want to provide a compliment that I am certain that 
many others would like to provide as well. You are fantastic with 
words. The stories of your various adventures are so well described 
and so very well written that I just can't wait to get to that 
particular part of the E-Sylum to see what you have been investigating, 
where you have been and who you have seen. You are very gifted and 
thank you  for sharing your adventures."

[Thanks, Jim.  I've gotten a number of great compliments on the 
London Diaries.   Once I get back home from this assignment, it 
will be a little less interesting to write things like, "Today I 
had a burrito for lunch and read this week's Coin World".  But we'll 
never run out of interesting topics in numismatics.  That's what 
really drives The E-Sylum - the endless connections between coins, 
money, history, politics, economics, ordinary people and collectors.  


Dave Lange writes: "I enjoyed your London journal, as always. It 
must be nice to be in town long enough to actually see all the many 
hidden places of historic and collector interest. The few times 
I've been there were always mad dashes to hit just the highlights."

Yes, it's been a very enjoyable several weeks.  I've been in London 
long enough to give good directions to strangers, and be unafraid 
to walk for many blocks along unknown streets with only a general 
sense of "it's over this way somewhere."  Navigating the tube and 
rail system has become almost second nature.  But I miss my family 
very much, and will be glad when the project and my long commute is 
over.  I'm looking forward to this week, when I go to Virginia Beach 
with the whole crew for a beach vacation.  This issue is being 
published from U.S. soil.

Regarding last week's visit to the Fitzwilliam, Howard Berlin sent 
the following link to a web page with four pictures he took while 
visiting there in January:

1. outside of the museum
2. the Roman temple coin cabinet
3. a group of coin cabinets atop a bookcase
4. an unusual coin cabinet shaped like a Greek amphora vase

Look for Howard's future WorldWide Coins article about his visits.

Last week I mentioned the Friday downpour in London.  All weekend 
waters rose throughout England, flooding a number of areas, particularly 
in the west and south.  Although the areas I visited were unaffected, 
the disaster continued to spread.  It had already been an inconvenience 
for Doug Saville, who was unable to go into town to buy needed packing 
supplies to ship books to a client.  

By Monday morning hundreds of thousands of people were affected.  
Many were without power and in some areas water treatment plants had 
been inundated.  The armed forces moved in to evacuate people, some 
by helicopter.  As I left the office Monday evening reports stated 
that the Thames could soon overflow its banks - the flooding had 
become the worst in half a century.

By Tuesday morning newspapers were predicting that at many as one 
million people could be affected.  The Thames was "perilously high" 
but had not yet overrun its banks.  One of the areas worst hit was 
the medieval town of Tewkesbury, 110 miles northwest of London, 
where the cathedral and a few blocks of nearby houses where the few 
parts NOT under water - the town was completely cut off.  The flooding 
had now exceeded the previous benchmark,  a snowmelt-fueled flood in 
1947; that flood had been the worst in 200 years.

I emailed some of my local numismatic contacts to see how they were 
faring.  Fortunately, all were well.  John Andrew wrote: "It is the 
worst flooding I have known in this country."

Doug Saville wrote: "We are above any risk (office and home), but if 
the Thames at Caversham breaches its banks, then Reading will in parts 
be under water as well as lower Caversham. The last time Caversham 
was affected was in 2003. In 1947 it was a disaster area like much 
of the rest of the country, I am told. Locally, we are being told 
that it will be about as bad as 2003… Apparently the high risk is 
between midday and late this evening when water from the hills 
between Oxford and Reading seeps through the granite into the Thames..."

Phil Mernick wrote: "We have no problems with flooding as we only 
live about three miles due east from the very centre of London (at 
Bow) and anyway we are about 50 feet above river level!"

Christopher Eimer wrote: "Mercifully, we live on a hill in north 
London and have thus been saved the misery endured by many over 
these very wet summer days."

Caroline Holmes of Baldwin's wrote: "Fortunately nobody here has 
been directly affected, although some relatives have had to be 
relocated.  It does look now as though the water levels are 
receding so hopefully the worst is now over."

By Wednesday morning about 100 houses had become flooded in Oxford 
as rivers peaked.   In areas hit earlier, the water seemed to be 
receding.   Although many were thankfully unaffected, our good 
wishes go out to all of the people and business owners in the 
flooded areas.

That's all to report from London this week, although I did pick up 
two more Robert Owen notes from Simon Narbeth and began reading 
John Adams' new book on the Comitia Americana medals on Thursday's 
flight back to the U.S.  - more in a subsequent issue.  The London 
Diary will go on hiatus for a week while I hit the beach with my 
family on the U.S. side of the Atlantic.


I don't know how they slipped in - perhaps a combination of a wayward 
spell-checker and too much beer and wine on Sunday.  But Ken Berger 
pointed out a glaring typo in last week's E-Sylum - the "Ides of March" 
coin was referenced twice as "Ideas of March"  Sorry!  We've fixed 
this in our online archive.


John P Andrew forwarded the following press release on the Royal 
Mint's new display as part of the Tower of London's 'Hands on History' 
exhibition. Situated in the Arms and Armouries section of the 
exhibition, the Royal Mint display will celebrate its connection 
to the Tower and the role coin design has played in reflecting 
British military life throughout the ages.  

"A fascinating new exhibition, 'Hands on History', celebrating ten 
centuries of the Tower's history and the Royal Armouries' collection, 
which will incorporate a key display on the Royal Mint, its history, 
and the manufacture and symbolism of selected coins. 
"Coin collectors may want to make a point of visiting the Tower 
of London this summer. Starting from 26 July, the Tower plays host 
to a fascinating new exhibition, 'Hands on History' a celebration 
of ten centuries of the Tower's history and the Royal Armouries' 
collection, which will incorporate a key display on the Royal Mint, 
its history, and the manufacture and symbolism of selected coins.
"'Hands on History' encourages visitors to go beyond the usual static 
museum experience by allowing them to touch and feel items including 
bows, swords, muskets and helmets.  Visitors will also have the 
chance to handle enlarged coinage portraits of William I, Edward III, 
Edward VI, Charles I and George II, and also view replicas of the 
coins, while being guided through a 500 year history of the Royal Mint. 

"In addition, the Royal Mint's section of the exhibition will 
demonstrate the role that coin design has played in British military 
history by explaining the symbolism of several coinage designs through 
the ages.  Visitors will also learn about the skills and methods 
involved in the manufacture of coins, from the hammer-struck 
techniques of Norman times to the screw presses of the eighteenth 
"Kevin Clancy, Royal Mint Museum Curator, said: 'Over the centuries 
the Tower of London has enjoyed many different roles ranging from 
record office to observatory, and from a place of execution to a 
zoo. Having spent 500 years at the Tower of London, the Royal Mint 
is very much part of its history. We are delighted to be involved 
in such an innovative and engaging exhibition which highlights 
the Royal Mint's strong links with the Tower.
"The longevity of the Tower of London's role as home to the Royal 
Mint is only surpassed by its relationship with the Royal Armouries. 
The histories of the Royal Mint, the Royal Armouries and the Tower 
of London are inextricably linked which helps to explain why these 
organisations have come together through Hands on History.'" 
"The Royal Mint has a history dating back over 1000 years.  By the 
late thirteenth century the organisation was based in the Tower of 
London, and remained there for over 500 years. In 1810 the Royal 
Mint moved out of the Tower to premises on London's Tower Hill.  
In 1967 the building of a new Mint began on its current site in 
Llantrisant, South Wales."

[Sometimes procrastination is a good thing.  I was at the Tower of 
London in my first week in town, but didn't go in for the tour.  
I'm frantically trying to schedule activities for my final weeks in 
London, and I hope to get into the Tower to see and report on this 
new exhibit.  -Editor]


According to news reports, "A rare gold coin once thought to be lost 
was reunited Thursday with the family of Panama's first president, 
who is believed to have received the $20 piece from former U.S. 
President Theodore Roosevelt.

"Florida state officials returned the 1907 St. Gaudens Double Eagle, 
which found its way into the state's unclaimed property program, to 
Phyllis Childers. Her mother, Terri Claiborne, inherited the 
heirloom valued between $25,000 (€18,218) and $90,000 (€65,588).

"Items abandoned in safe deposit boxes are turned over to Florida's 
unclaimed property program after three years. State officials spend 
up to two years searching for the rightful owners or heirs.

"Childers finally found the missing coin on the state's 
unclaimed property Web site."

To read the complete article, see:

"Phyllis Childers believed the 1907 rare $20 gold coin that has 
been in her family for nearly a century was gone for good after 
her mother died seven years ago without telling anyone where it was.

"It took nearly a year for Childers to track down the coin, a 
beautiful ``high relief" piece designed by famed sculptor Augustus 
Saint-Gaudens at the request of Teddy Roosevelt.

"Childers, a petite woman who drove to the Capital with her son on 
Wednesday and planned to head back to Lake Worth as soon as the 
transaction was completed, grew tearful and trembled as Rick Sweet, 
a bureau chief in the Department of Financial Services Bureau of 
Unclaimed Property, placed the heavy coin in her hand.

"'Oh gosh. Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. Excuse me. I'm speechless. 
That's it,' said Childers."

To read the complete article, see: 


Other news reports recounted the journey of another rare coin:

"John Feigenbaum flew out of San Jose this week in first class, 
with flip-flops on his feet, a T-shirt on his back and a dime 
worth $1.9 million in his pocket. 

'All the way across the country I didn't sleep,'' Feigenbaum said. 
'I didn't eat and I didn't sleep. You wouldn't, either.'' 

Feigenbaum is a rare coin dealer, and the dime he was carrying 
across the country, from San Jose to New York, is an 1894-S dime, 
one of only nine known to exist, and one of only 24 known to be 
coined that year in San Francisco. 

It was his job to pick up the dime from the seller's vault, in 
Oakland, and deliver the dime to the buyer's vault, in midtown 

But the dime's cross-country trip was the stuff of intrigue, of 
that there is no mistake. The logistics of moving a $1.9 million 
dime across the country turn out to be at least as staggering as 
the notion of paying $1.9 million for a dime. 

It was on Monday afternoon that Feigenbaum, a 38-year-old coin 
dealer from Virginia Beach, donned his best grubby clothes to 
meet the seller's representative at an Oakland bank vault. 
Feigenbaum was slumming it so as not to attract attention, he said. 

He was too nervous to sleep, he said. He did not watch the 
in-flight movie, which was 'Firehouse Dog.'' He turned down a 
Reuben sandwich and sensibly declined all offers of alcoholic 

At Newark airport, he was met by another security guard in another 
ordinary sedan. The two men drove to Manhattan, arriving an hour 
before the opening of the buyer's bank vault. 

The buyer was waiting at the curb for Feigenbaum, however. With 
an hour to kill, the two men went into a nearby Starbucks. Neither 
man dared to take out the dime and look at it. They sipped their 
beverages and stared at their watches. 

At 9 a.m., the vault opened. The two men and the guard went inside 
and, for the first time, the buyer got to hold his dime." 

To read the complete article, see: 

Arthur Shippee forwarded a link to a National Public Radio interview 
with Feigenbaum about the dime. It aired on 'All Things Considered' 
July 28, 2007: "Rare coin dealer John Feigenbaum just sold a dime 
for nearly two million dollars. Host Jacki Lyden talks to Feigenbaum 
about why coin collectors are so excited by this particular dime."

To listen to the NPR interview with Feigenbaum, see:


According to firm publicity, "Stack’s August Milwaukee sale will 
include two pieces recently discovered in the soil of Center City 
Philadelphia, including a previously unknown copper die trial for 
a 1798 dollar. Two metal detectorists, working with permission on 
a construction site whose location abutted that of the First 
Philadelphia Mint, discovered the 1798 dollar struck on copper 
scrap along with a 1793 half cent in the spring of 2006. Now, a 
year later, the coins have been authenticated by American Numismatic 
Society curator Robert W. Hoge, among others, and will be offered 
for public sale for the very first time. The pieces will be sold as 
separate lots, slated for sale on August 5 at the Hotel Metro in 
Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

"Hoge called the piece “one of the most exciting items to have been 
brought to my attention” in his column in the Spring 2007 issue of 
ANS Magazine. The cataloguers of the piece described it as “incredible” 
and termed the condition of the piece “sharpness as struck, condition 
as found,” while noting some of the sedimentary buildup the trial 
acquired during 200 years in the Philadelphia soil."

The following is from the lot description: 

"This remarkable and unique trial is a discovery of impressive 
historical importance and dramatic interest. It was found with a 
metal detector on a privately owned lot that adjoined the site of 
the First United States Mint in Center City, Philadelphia, along 
with a 1793 half cent, found on the same site on the same day, 
that is offered elsewhere in the present catalogue. 

"The reason this scrap of copper was struck is clearly subject 
to speculation—as dollars exist from this marriage in an earlier 
state, it is not a "trial" in the proper sense, but is perhaps 
better referred to as an off-metal strike. Of course, these largest 
productions of the First Mint were struck on the largest press 
and apparently fed by hand, thus it is not an error either. Its 
unusual nature and ability to provoke conversation, to our mind, 
add to the attraction of this piece, which must be included among 
the great rarities in both the Bust dollar and U.S. pattern 
coin fields."

To view the complete lot description, see: 


An article about a donation to a local museum describes how a 
coin saved the life of a WW II soldier:

"A single coin may have saved a local soldier's life. Now, more 
than 60 years later, the World War II veteran finds a way to 
give back.

"Fay Anderson turns 85 next week. To mark the occasion he's 
donating his war memorabilia to the Pecatonica Historical Society. 
His Army dog tags and purple heart medal will be on display at the 
library there, as will what he says was the simplest, yet most 
important thing he carried with him while on duty. 

"What sounds like the start of another common war tale is anything 
but for Fay Anderson. His great nephew Jeff Eckburg knows the rest 
of the story by heart. "He was shot in the eyes and at the same 
time was shot in the heart."

"Fay lost his sight that day in 1944, but one thing kept him from 
losing his life. "I don't know how many days I was in the hospital 
and the orderly brought my billfold and personal stuff. I said 
that's not my billfold. It wasn't ripped like that."

"But the wallet had his initials on it. And a bent half-dollar 
coin inside was what blocked Fay's heart from the bullet. "By 
that time I forgot that half dollar was even in that side, but 
it was and I guess it might have saved my life." Jeff says, "It's 
quite amazing to think he was saved you know with that half dollar 
in his chest pocket and to go on and live with this disability. 
To me that's a superhero."

To read the complete article, see: 


The Globe and Mail and other Canadian newspapers are reporting 
on a fuss over the image of a native Inuit on a new $20 coin.

"It was a dark moment in Canadian history: English explorer Martin 
Frobisher lured an Inuit kayaker onto his ship during his 16th-century 
Arctic expedition and abducted him for display back home in England, 
where the unnamed man eventually died of disease.

"Today, a new Canadian silver coin that is an eerie reminder of 
that infamous episode has raised eyebrows among the country's 
Inuit population.

"The Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami in Ottawa is asking that the Royal 
Canadian Mint consult it about any future coins that depict 
their people.

"'We do appreciate the fact that the Mint does depict Inuit in 
coins,' spokesman Stephen Hendrie said in an interview yesterday. 
'But we think the Mint should consult with ITK in the future 
when it depicts Inuit.'

"On one side of the coin is a portrait of the Queen. The other side 
features Frobisher, who in 1576 was the first to attempt to discover 
the Northwest Passage, aboard the Gabriel. A ship appears on the 
coin alongside a 16th-century compass and an Inuit paddling a kayak.

"A Mint spokesman said yesterday that the kayaker on the coin is 
meant to recognize the Inuit people as the first explorers of the 
North, and is in no way meant to represent the unnamed man 
abducted by Frobisher.

"It's about polar exploration and nothing else," Alex Reeves said. 
"It's not about Sir Martin Frobisher's first meeting with Inuit people."

To read the complete article, see: 

[John Regitko, Editor of the C.N.A. E-Bulletin of the Canadian 
Numismatic Association discussed this item in the July 27 issue.  
His comments are excerpted below.  -Editor]

John Regitko writes: "I personally cannot see any relationship 
between any kidnapping and the design depicted on the coin, and 
I find it quite attractive. I am sorry to hear about some Inuit’s 
reaction, but the Mint did consult various groups, including 
archeologists and polar experts.

"I wonder how they would have felt if the Inuit and the kayak 
were completely ignored and only Frobisher and his ship surrounded 
by water and ice floes were shown?"


The Regina Leader-Post published an article Saturday July 21st 
about a local artist and coin designer.

"Regina artist Chris Jordison is making a big splash with his 
design on the colour photographic hologram which graces the 
Royal Canadian Mint's latest series of collector coins.

"Jordison was commissioned by the mint to create a collector 
series coin design for a $30 sterling silver coin and a $300 
14-karat gold version. This is the second time the Regina-based 
illustrator and graphic designer's work has graced the backs of 
mint-issued coins. In 2005 his design of the Western Red Lily 
was selected in competition for use on a limited edition pure 
gold coin.

"'I didn't come up with the hologram to tell you the truth. It 
was the Royal Canadian Mint that had the plan for doing that. 
They came to me with a design problem,'' Jordison said.

"The mint knew it wanted to put the Canadian Rockies on the gold 
coin and the Niagara Falls on the silver coin and then put the 
hologram on, he said.

"'The problem they had is how do you cast a carved coin and then 
put the hologram on it. Generally you look up at the Rockies and 
you usually look down on the Niagara Falls. They had a problem 
with the horizon line,'' Jordison said.

"What he came up with was a pair of hands with a modern panoramic 
camera which allowed for a floating horizon. Looking at the design 
one can't tell whether the hands are pointing up or down.

"The Rocky Mountain Panoramic Camera gold coin will be produced 
in a limited mintage of 1,000, while the Niagara Falls Panoramic 
Camera sterling silver coin has a limited mintage of 15,000. Both 
coins were released for sale earlier this week.

"When asked whether he was paid for his labour in silver and 
gold coins, Jordison laughs and confesses that he had to buy his 
own copies of the collector coins."

To read the complete article, see: 


"Teletrade, an Irvine company is selling the world's largest 
gold coin, a sale that could enter the record books in several 

•At 100 kilograms or about 220 pounds of gold, the coin – the 
first of at least five planned by the Royal Canadian Mint – 
holds a world record for weight. The previous record was 31 
kilos set by the Austrian mint in 1994. 

Teletrade will take a 12 percent commission above the hammer 

"'It will set a record for Teletrade and, to our knowledge, be 
the most expensive coin offered at online auction,' said Ian 
Russell, president of the Irvine-based online coin auction 
house. 'Obviously, this takes things to a new level.'

"A-Mark Precious Metals, a Teletrade affiliate that specializes 
in coin wholesaling, bought three of the five 100-kilo coins 
from the Royal Canadian Mint. 

"The 100-kilo coin is stored at an undisclosed location guarded 
by shotgun-armed Brinks security guards. Earlier this week, a 
group of guards unpacked the coin from a foam-lined strong box 
to display it for photographers. None of the guards, who are 
used to handling lots of money, dared touch the gold, which is 
tough to tarnish but easy to dent.

"'It won't be getting dented,' Roberts said."

To read the complete article, see: 

[Dick Johnson echoed my own sentiment on this.  He writes: "Don't 
you think anyone who has that kind of money is smart enough to know 
you can buy this from the Canadian Mint direct and pay $970,000 U.S. 
instead of the bid price plus 12 percent vigorish?" -Editor]


John Andrew forwarded the latest article about the recent Welsh coin 
hoard find, noting that the finders are waiting to learn how much 
their discovery will be worth.

"A metal detector enthusiast who discovered a treasure trove of 
nearly 600 Roman coins in a field is waiting to hear how much he 
will receive. After four hours' digging near Newport, Brian Stephens 
found 587 silver denarii dating back some 2,000 years. 

"At the treasure trove hearing, Gwent coroner David Bowen described 
it as "a particularly significant find," and the small coins were 
showing little wear. 

"Edward Besly, a numismatist at the museum, said: 'Llanvaches lies 
between the fortress of the second Augustan legion at Caerleon and 
the local tribal capital, Venta Silurum, at Caerwent. 

"'At the time, these coins would have represented about two years' 
wages for a legionary soldier - and would have taken much longer to save.' 

But Mr Stephens will have to wait to discover the value of the coins. 
They will be assessed by experts before he finds out how much reward 
he will receive. 

To read the complete article, see: 


The Malta Independent published an article on Monday headlined "Wily 
Malta leaves unique mark on euro coins."  Here are some excerpts:

"As Malta’s first euro coins rolled off the production lines on 
Friday – with images of the Maltese cross, Malta’s coat of arms 
and the Mnajdra Temple gracing their obverse sides – one minute 
and barely discernable detail of Malta’s EUR2 coin spoke volumes.

"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. Under the 
strict European Central Bank coin design rules, euro coins have 
one common face while only the design of the obverse side of the 
coins minted by individual countries is at the individual 
countries’ discretion.

"Wily Malta, however, found another way to leave Malta’s unique 
stamp on Europe’s coinage, by replacing the euro stars on the 
coins’ outside edge with a succession of Maltese crosses – the 
only country to have deviated from the norms in this respect. 

"The otherwise discerning ECB specifications had only stipulated 
that stars could be placed on the outside edge, without furnishing 
the exact specifications of the stars themselves."

To read the complete article, see: 


"A recent propaganda campaign started by a French group against 
Turkish membership in the EU has begun to raise eyebrows in Ankara. 
The campaign has targeted Euro banknotes, calling on those in 
opposition to Turkish EU membership to cross out the depiction of 
Turkey that exists as a part of the map in the lower right hand 
side of the banknote. 

"The crossing out of Turkey is meant to underscore Turkey's 
different geographical, sociological, historical, cultural and 
religious status from the rest of Europe, according to this group. 
Located at the internet site, the group is 
broadcasting its call for the crossing out of Turkey in 8 
different languages."

To read the complete article, see: 

[The web site referenced within the article ( 
seems to be no longer active. But have any of our readers seen 
these defaced Euro notes, or heard of this protest?  -Editor]


Hadrien Rambach wrote (last Sunday): "I just arrived in Paris 
and I'm going to Sicily in a few days. There is a small (8 lines) 
article on The E-Sylum in the latest issue of "Numismatique & 
Change", a French monthly numismatic magazine. Hope it brings 
some new subscribers!"

[It's always nice to learn we've getting some publicity.  We do 
have a few subscribers in France, and I’d love to pick up some more. 
Perhaps some of them could tell us more about the campaign to use 
Euro notes for anti-Turkey propaganda mentioned in the previous 
item. -Editor]

Dick Johnson writes: "A fellow of the Hudson Institute, Richard 
Miniter, in an editorial in a Buffalo newspaper this week relates 
that Americans are too intrenched with using the dollar bill that 
the use of a dollar coin circulating widely has little chance. 
"He sites, of course, the failure of the Sacagawea dollar coin 
between 1998 and 2001 when the Treasury department spent $67 
million in promoting it. The public just did not accept it.
"He also sites an interesting point. Americans tend to toss coins 
aside and not return them to circulation immediately. "This may 
sound innocuous until you consider that the money in your piggy bank 
doesn’t accrue interest. Some argue that switching to coins could 
allow Uncle Sam to “find” an extra $8 billion while avoiding around 
$400 million worth of interest. When the government borrows money, 
it pays 5 percent interest. So wouldn’t it be better to just create 
money [read coins] without that interest expense? Well, not really.
"He gives three reasons why the taxpayer always gets it in the end. 
In this case it is the cost of striking dollar coins, promoting 
them and lost interest."
To read this editorial in the Buffalo News:


Regarding last week's item on numismatic boiler-room sales tactics, 
Ginger Rapsus writes: "I had a bad time with a certain firm, a few 
years back.  I filled out a coupon from a numismatic publication to 
receive a free catalog.  Under the space for phone number, I 
carefully printed "unlisted--do not phone."  You guessed it... over 
the next five months, they called me and called me, no matter how 
many times I asked them to stop. I never did get the free catalog. 

"One guy from this firm wouldn't give up.  When he called one day, 
I hung up.  He called right back.  This went on a few times, till 
I finally asked him, "What do I have to do to get you to stop calling?"  
He growled at me, "Pay your bills!  Trying paying your bills!"  And 
hung up.  After some doing on my part, they did stop calling me.  
I still don't get the "pay your bills" part.  Someone told me they 
may have checked my credit rating, for ordering a free catalog, 
but I have never had any problem with bills.  I wonder if they 
looked up the credit rating for a person who does not 
last name is constantly misspelled, and Ginger is a nickname 
(not a nickname for Virginia)."



On July 22 published an article about the case for 
investing in U.S. cents as production costs rise.

"A penny saved may still be a penny earned, but the real question 
for investors is whether a penny purchased is actually worth a 
nickel when it comes time to figure their return on investment.

"Plenty of small-time investors are betting that the penny will 
someday be valued like its larger cousin, and so they are snapping 
up pennies. Taking pennies out of circulation and collecting them 
is one thing, but paying a premium to buy pre-1982 pennies for 
their copper value is another and, for most investors, it would 
be a Stupid Investment of the Week.

"The case of the penny is compelling, because everyone has pennies 
and can relate to the most common of coins. Moreover, the math 
behind the move to buy pennies looks compelling. The real question 
is one of practicality. 
The case for buying pennies goes like this: 

"The rising price of copper has made it so that the metal content 
of pre-1982 one-cent pieces is now worth more than the one cent 
the coin represents, falling somewhere around 1.2 cents. You need 
roughly 155 of the pre-1982 coins to make a pound of copper. And 
with copper trading for more than $2 a pound -- and as much as $4 
a pound a little over a year ago -- there's definitely some 
economic merit in hoarding the coins if every $1.55 is worth $2 
or more. 

"But there's a difference between taking pre-1982 pennies out of 
circulation and putting them in a special place -- the way some 
people, myself included, have saved the so-called "wheat ear" 
pennies from the early 1900s for decades -- and plunking down 
investment dollars to buy pennies at a premium in order to cash 
in on their value as a commodity.
"Then there's the problem of storing all of those pennies. A $50 
bag of pennies weighs a bit more than 30 pounds. So a $10,000 
investment in pennies -- even if it buys just $5,000 worth of 
coins -- weighs north of 1.5 tons.
"Having four or five shoeboxes of 'wheaties' is one thing, but 
the cumbersome nature of really investing in pennies for their 
melt value makes this idea just insane on any larger scale," 
says Bret Leifer of Bret Leifer Numismatics in Wayland, Mass. 

To read the complete article, see:


Dick Johnson forwarded this new item about the specially struck 
gold Sacagawea dollars to be exhibited at the upcoming ANA 

"Six months before the U.S. Mint issued the first Sacagawea dollar 
coins on January 27, 2000, 12 specially-minted 22 karat gold 
Sacagaweas made a launch of a very different type. 

"The dozen dollars were carried in to orbit aboard the space 
shuttle Columbia to commemorate the flight of Eileen Collins, 
the first female U.S. astronaut to command a spaceflight.

"Originally, the Mint had planned to exhibit the gold coins 
at museums to promote the release of the Sacagawea dollar and 
potentially the sale of similar gold versions to the public. 
The gold coins' creation however, hadn't been to regulation, 
and the marketing program was canceled.

"Instead, the 12 space flown coins were moved to the Fort Knox 
Bullion Depository in 2001, where they have been in storage since.

"That is, until August 10, 2007, when the U.S. Mint plans to 
publicly display the dozen doubloons for the first time. The 
12 gold versions of the circulating golden dollars will be 
unveiled at the American Numismatic Association's World's Fair 
of Money in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, the largest coin show in the 

"Unlike the 12 gold coins, which were minted from 9167 (half-ounce) 
fine gold, the Sacagawea circulating dollars are only golden-color. 
The issued coins are comprised of a three-layer clad construction: 
pure copper sandwiched between and bonded to outer layers of 
manganese brass."

To read the complete article, see: 

[I thought the whole gold striking from the beginning was too much 
of a gimmick.  The Mint should have known the striking was illegal, 
but I wonder what makes it OK to exhibit them now?  If they’re 
illegal why were they kept and not destroyed?  If the Mint sent 
the Secret Service to fetch the ‘illegal’ 1933 Double Eagles, why 
shouldn’t the Secret Service seize and destroy these fantasies?  


This week's featured web page is recommended by John and Nancy 
Wilson of Ocala, FL.  They write: "While doing research on 
counterfeiting in America we came across an excellent University 
of Utah web page.  It is somehow connected to the Hinckley Journal 
of Politics.  The story is in the Utah University Autumn 1998, Vol 1, 
No. 1, pp. 13-20 issue.  The author of the article is:  Anissa 
Beecroft, and the title is 'Combating Counterfeiting: The Treasury's 
Perpetual Partnership with the Public'.  Though the copyright is 
1999, we think the information is still useful and informative."    

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:

More information about the Esylum mailing list