The E-Sylum v11#18, May 4, 2008

esylum at esylum at
Sun May 4 19:46:39 PDT 2008

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 11, Number 18, May 4, 2008:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2008, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers are Bruce Smith, courtesy of 
John and Nancy Wilson, Penny Russell, Eric Knapp, and George 
A. Bilodeau, Jr.  Welcome aboard!  We now have 1,132 subscribers.

This week we open with updates from numismatic literature 
dealers Fred Lake and Douglas Saville, and word that Coin 
World is opening its online edition to all print subscribers.  
Next, we have the nominees for the 2008 IAPN book award and a 
review of the "new" book on 1794 dollars by Jack Collins and 
Walter Breen.  Then, Rich Mantia and Dennis Tucker confirm 
that indeed there is a "Guide Book of the Guide Book" in the 

Next, Dick Johnson discusses the role of computer tools in 
coin and medal engraving today.  Topics inspired by earlier 
E-Sylum articles include "Thou Art the Man", Chinese coin 
and paper money fakes, and Asylum editor Carling Gresham.  

In the news we have a good deal of information from overseas.  
Numismatic researchers may be interested in the new online 
records of the Old Bailey.  Other topics include a new fifteenth 
century treasure ship discovery, a distillery on a banknote, 
and the destruction of an entire issue of new coins due to 
design copyright issues.  

To learn what numismatic item is shaped like miniature ivory 
jalapeños and has a real bite to it, read on. Have a great 
week, everyone.

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


Many thanks to Howard Daniel who contacted Krause Publications 
on behalf of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS) to 
request a listing in the next edition of their Numismatic 
Industry Directory.  The 2008 edition didn't have an entry 
for us.  Howard also supplied new entries for Numismatics 
International and the Philippines Collectors Forum, and an 
updated entry for the International Bank Note Society (IBNS).


Fred Lake of Lake Books writes: "The 93rd mail-bid sale of 
numismatic literature is now available for viewing on Lake 
Books' web site at
"The 350-lot sale features selections from the library of Dr. 
Garth R. Drewry and contains many of the most desirable reference 
books in the classical numismatic tradition. A 29-volume set of 
the Forni reprint of the BMC Greek is posted along with SNG 
Copenhagen, von Aulock, Lindgren, Cohen and many others. As 
usual, the catalog contains reference works on United States 
and World Coins plus material on Tokens and Medals, Paper 
Money, Guides, etc.
"Bids may be placed by email, telephone, fax, or regular 
mail until the closing time of Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 
5:00 PM (EDT)."


While in London last summer I was treated like royalty by 
our numismatic bibliophile brethren, and I'm especially 
grateful to Douglas Saville and his wife Sue.  Douglas is 
the former head of Spink's numismatic literature department 
and is now in business for himself.  One day he showed me 
around Oxford and he and Sue treated me to a wonderful 
home-cooked meal at their lovely house.  I checked in with 
him recently.

Douglas writes: "I just finished my first full year of trading 
on my own. I had a very successful (and contented) year. I 
bought lots of new stock - and sold lots of books, not only 
directly from my website, but also to clients who tell me what 
they are looking for. I solicit, and try my utmost to take care, 
of “Wants Lists”. 

"So, I would ask that anyone interested in numismatic 
literature to let me have a list of items they are specifically 
looking for – but not the more obscure American titles, since 
I find that market “confusing” to say the least, and I rarely 
see such material (and you have good people in the US specializing 
in such things), but lists of most other things are welcomed. 
I always try hard to find books that people tell me they need.

"Last year I put something like 1200 books for sale onto my 
website. Currently I have something over 700 listed for sale 
there. Yes, I guess I have sold something like 500 books from 
the website!

"Since I always need to refresh my stock, I am always interested 
in buying outright good collections of books or individual 
important items (I don’t organize auctions myself, but I am 
thinking of possibly holding a Mail Bid sale sometime later 
this year). I would welcome offers of books for sale. I am 
pleased to travel to see collections, with a view to making an 
offer to purchase outright."

[Douglas plans to attend the 2008 ANA convention in Baltimore 
this summer, so look for him at our NBS events!  His web site 
address is -Editor]




In the April 28th issue of Coin World, an article on p10 
notes that "Subscribers to the print edition of Coin World 
now have complete access to the online edition, effective 
with the April 28th issue.  The digital edition of Coin World 
is generally published by 3pm Eastern Time Monday at

"Under the new policy, all subscribers will have full access 
to all articles in the online edition.  Also effective with 
this issue, Coin World has upgraded the software for its 
digital edition to allow faster and easier access to all 

[To register, go to the following page and enter the first 
15 digits of your account number (which is on your Coin World 
mailing label).  For assistance, contact customer service at 
(800) 253-4555 or cwcustomerservice at

This is a welcome development, although I find Coin World's 
"pictures of the printed pages" model difficult to use online.  
It doesn't lend itself to easily viewing and printing single 
articles, nor does it enable keyword searching - the articles 
cannot be indexed by Google, for example.  It's quite unlike 
what is now standard elsewhere in online newspaper publishing.  
Still, the new access is quite welcome and I encourage 
subscribers to take zadvantage of it. -Editor]


Allan Davisson writes: "I am the (outgoing) chair of the IAPN 
Book Committee. Each year the International Association of 
Professional Numismatists awards a cash prize and medal to the 
numismatic reference judged best by the members at their annual 
meeting. I am attaching a list of the submissions for the award 
this year. The submissions often include important references 
that receive little publicity in the U.S. The IAPN meeting this 
year will be in early June in Naples."

[Congratulations to the authors and publishers on their books' 
nominations (some are E-Sylum subscribers!)  -Editor]

Carradice, I. and Buttrey, T. The Roman Imperial Coinage, 
Volume II, Part I. From AD 69-96, Vespasian to Domitian. Spink. 
London. 2007. Hardcover with dust jacket. 404 pages. 160 plates. 
Text in English. ISBN 978-1-902040-84-4.

Füeg, Franz. Italy Vecchi, editor. Corpus or the Nomismata from 
Anastasius II to John I In Constantintinople, 713-976. Structure 
of the Issues. Corpus of Coin Finds. Contributions to the 
Iconographic and Monetary History. CNG. Lancaster, PA. 2007. 
Hardcover with dust jacket. 196 pages. CD-ROM illustrating the 
7780 nomismata listed in the text. 352 coins illustrated in text.  
Text in English. ISBN 0-9709268-7-1.

JOHNSTON, Ann. Greek Imperial Denominations, ca. 200-275. A 
Study of the Roman Provincial Bronze Coinages of Asia Minor. 
RNS SP 43. London, 2007.  Hardcover with dust jacket. 294 pages. 
26 plates. Text in English. ISBN 0-901405-34-5. 

KLUGE, Bernd. Numismatik des Mittelalters. Berlin/Wien, 2007. 
Hardcover with dust jacket. 512 pages with 88 plates in color 
at the end of the book. Text in German. ISBN 978-3-88609-603-9

LABOURET, Marc. Les Métaux et la mémoire. Maison Platt Editeur. 
Paris, 2007. Tokens and medals of French Freemasonry. Hardcover. 
400 pages, color photos in text. Describes over 860 tokens or 
medals. Text in French. ISBN 978-2-9510-3557-7

McAlee, Richard. The Coins of Roman Antioch. CNG. Lancaster, 
PA. 2007.   Hardcover with dust jacket. 406 pages. In-text 
illustrations, charts and tables.  Four Appendeces. Text in 
English. ISBN 0-9709268-9-8 .

NUMI . AUGG. ALEXANDRINI Catalogo della collezione DATTARI. 
Giulio Bernardi Editore. Trieste, 2007. The second edition, 250 
numbered copies, revised and enlarged with 700 coins and new 
bibliography. Hardcover. 77 pages and 327 + 55 plates in 
color. Text in Italian and in English. ISBN 978-88-85873-32-2

van’t Haaff, P.A. Catalogue of Elymaean Coinage, ca. 147 B.C. 
– A.D. 228. CNG. Lancaster, PA. 2007. Harcover with dust jacket. 
167 pages including illustrations, charts and tables in text. 
Two Appendeces.  Text in English. ISBN 0-9709268-8-3.

WARREN, Jennifer A.W.  The Bronze Coinage of the Achaian 
Koinon. The Currency of a Federal Ideal. RNS SP 42. London, 2007. 
Hardcover with dust jacket. 212 pages. 39 plates. Text in English. 
ISBN 0-901405-98-1. 

Withers, P. and Withers, B. The Galata Guide to The Farthing 
Tokens of James I & Charles I, A history and reclassification. 
Galata. Llanfyllin. 2007. Card covers, A4 format. 78 pages. 
Photos in text. Text in English.  ISBN 0-9543162-6-6.

Withers, P. and Withers, B. The Galata Guide to The Pennies 
of Edward I and II and the coins of the mint of Berwick-upon-Tweed. 
Galata. Llanfyllin. 2007. Card covers, A4 format. 62 pages. 
Photos in text. Text in English.  ISBN 0-9543612-5-8.


Ever since the passing of Jack Collins I'd been curious to 
learn the fate of his manuscript for a book on the 1794 dollar.  
It would have been a shame for the project to come to naught.  
While in the end no author or publisher took over the task of 
completing the unfinished book, last year Jack's fellow 
Californians George Kolbe and Alan Meghrig published a copy 
of Jack's last working draft: "1794: The History and Genealogy 
of the First United States Dollar" by Jack Collins and Walter 
Breen. Their two-paragraph introduction sets the stage well 
and I'll reprint it here:

  "Over a decade has passed since Jack Collins left us and, 
  finally, his numismatic magmum opus is in print.  Given Jack's 
  penchant for procrastination, perhaps he will forgive us for 
  taking so long.  Plans to edit Walter Breen's contribution to 
  the work, to gather the relatively little data needed for the 
  census and, as time went on, to bring the census up to date, 
  never reached fruition.  The volume in your hands is as Jack 
  left it in 1996.  Some of the assertions and concepts in the 
  History chapters may not be entirely reliable; little in the 
  Genealogy portion of the book - truly its heart - needs revision.

  "In 1996, the valuable numismatic information contained herein 
  was largely unpublished and even today Jack's work is of 
  considerable merit.  In the intervening years, much of the 
  groundbreaking research present here has found its way into 
  auction catalogues and other works, via the small number of 
  working copies of the book that Jack sent to numismatic students 
  for review.  The present volume sets the record straight."

The spiral-bound 8 1/2 by 11" publication has 269 numbered 
pages plus a five page bibliography and several pages of 
"Extras" such as lists of Acknowledgements, Illustrations, 
Notes, and needed illustrations and priced realized lists.  
The meat of the book for many would be the Condition Census 
(chapter VI).  This is the Genealogy section, where the bulk 
of Collins' illustrations appear as intended - they had been 
pasted into an early mockup of the book.  The compilation was 
the result of some twenty years of effort by Collins to piece 
together information about the coins from long ago collections 
and auction sales.  While not numbered, I counted approximately 
125 pieces.  Each is described individually along with its 
ownership and price history.

Particularly fascinating when viewed through the lens of 
history are the various "improvements" prior owners imparted 
on the coins.  "Many of these were counterstamped, all of 
which have apparently been subsequently repaired.  Several 
of the counterstamps were recorded long ago... Perhaps the 
most famous of these counterstamped 1794 dollars was the one 
that first appeared at the 1883 auction of the John Marr 
collection, which displayed script letters G W within an oval 
frame, leading some to speculate that this was originally 
owned by George Washington ... but the point is now moot, 
as the counterstamp was removed in recent years at the 
direction of some idiotic dealer in a misguided attempt to 
"improve" the coin; both sides have been reengraved, the 
obverse crudely enough so that the portrait now has the 
appearance of a cartoon!"   A number of pieces are illustrated 
with before and after photos showing how the coins have been 
cleaned, toned, filled, reengraved or otherwise doctored.

So why call this a Genealogy?  Well, I suspect this is Breen's 
contribution and it's a metaphor also used in the first five 
history chapters covering the development and history of the 
dollar.  For example, Chapter 4 is titled "Alexander Hamilton, 
Grandfather of the 1794 Dollar" and Chapter 5 is "Parents and 
Obstetricians of the Federal Dollar."  A similar idiosyncrasy 
was threaded throughout the 1981 Swiatek-Breen Encyclopedia 
of U.S. Silver & Gold Commemorative Coins, where a crime-solving 
theme was used.  Section headings included The Corpus Delicti, 
Clues, Opportunity, Motive, Suspects, etc.  Used once in a 
short article it's clever, but in a book level treatment I 
find it tiresome.  I hope not to turn a page in the Collins 
book and learn who or what was the "Second Cousin Twice Removed"
of the 1794 dollar.

These first five chapters encompass some 65 pages and seem 
to be a fine overview of the history of the dollar coin, 
beginning with the fifteenth century silver trade thaler coins 
of Archduke Sigismund of Austria. These chapters have no 
illustrations, although placeholder graphics are sprinkled 
throughout.  It's unfortunate, for I'll bet the final book 
would have been a visual delight for numismatists and anyone 
else with an abiding interest in the history of world trade.

The bibliography is extensive and not to be overlooked.  
A number of important and interesting publications are 
referenced.  One I'd be curious to read is an article by 
Curtis Nettels published by the University of Wisconsin in 
1934 titled "The Money Supply of the American Colonies before 

It's quite a shame that Collins' 1794 book never came to full 
fruition, but as Kolbe and Meghrig noted, his work already 
lives in the many articles, books and auction catalog 
descriptions based on his pioneering work on the topic.  
Congratulations, Jack!


[Rich Mantia, an E-Sylum subscriber and major collector of 
"A Guide Book of United States Coins" submitted the following 
in response to last week's query by Gary Dunaier about an 
upcoming Whitman publication. -Editor]

Regarding the question about the "Guide Book" being published 
on the "Red Books", it is true that one has been in the works 
for some time and is being produced. I was very briefly 
interviewed about my collection and a specific one that I own. 
I expect that other collectors have also been interviewed as 
well. I haven't seen a draft of the book, but I hope that the 
facts and information are accurate so that it maintains the 
respect for Mr. Yeoman that he richly deserves. 

As many collectors of Red Books know, there are regular 
production books, unbound copies, proof sheets, interleaved 
copies, and special presentation copies that are all "Official" 
Whitman products. In addition, Whitman has begun since 1987 
marketing "Official" special occasion "Guide Books" with 
different covers and stampings. When adding in all the other 
"Un-Official" Guide Books to the mix there becomes quite an 
assortment of possible books to own. This is a topic that is 
far deeper than most people realize and is extremely challenging 
to collect in nice condition. 

The "Blue Books" on the other hand are given less respect 
because they have had traditionally less content and are 
thinner overall, along with being self-covered paper bindings 
for many issues. The first 10 issues have value based on their 
age and cover varieties. Unfortunately they are considered 
disposable and not worth collecting, which is the pity because 
their survival rate in "New" condition is far less than for 
the "Guide Book". As the esteemed Mr. Q. David Bowers has 
stated often "Buy the book before you buy the coin!" Perhaps 
now one should also "Buy the book before you buy the book!" 

Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing adds: "Informally within 
Whitman we refer to it as "The GBGB"! The author of the Guide 
Book of the Official Red Book of United States Coins is Frank 
Colletti, a passionate collector of the series. Frank has done 
a yeoman job compiling an in-depth, year-by-year, edition-by-
edition study of the Red Book, and has also written an engaging 
history of earlier coin valuation guides, including the 
Blue Book. 

As you can imagine, the GBGB is rich with human-interest 
stories about all the great names of recent numismatic history. 
We're lucky to have Kenneth Bressett, Q. David Bowers, and other 
longtime contributors who can share their memories and paint 
a picture of the Yeoman days (and beyond). The fur-covered 
edition, the Braille edition, the one-millionth book, letters 
from Yeoman to distributors --- it's all going to be in there. 
We're still adding to the manuscript, and in the near future 
Frank will be submitting a call for Red Book recollections, 
stories, tall tales, anecdotes, and other feedback from 
E-Sylum readers."

[No pun intended I'm sure, when Dennis said Frank is doing a 
"yeoman job".  The shoes of founding author R.S. Yeoman were 
big ones to fill, and Whitman was lucky to find Ken Bressett 
to take over the job.  Frank has a big job, too - there will 
be a lot to write about in covering the history and evolution 
of the classic Guide Book.  I hope the book gives a good nod 
to predecessors from Wayte Raymond and Stack's.  I collected 
these for a number of years myself; some of these are just 
as rare to find in top condition.  -Editor]


[Inspired by a recent article Dick Johnson submitted the 
following thoughts on computers and engraving. -Editor]

Sculptor-medallist Jim Licaretz, president of the American 
Medallic Sculpture Association) wrote in AMSA's newsletter, 
received this week, a review of his use of the new technology, 
computer engraving. He was enthusiastic about the time it 
saved, but more so about how he could modify a design, to 
test a new concept, to alter the design, to hone the image 
until he had a satisfactory relief. He could even save it 
digitally at any stage to come back to rework it again from 
that point forward.
I am reminded how St-Gaudens and his assistants did the same 
thing a century ago, but in clay, quickly forming the mass 
of the design and the position of the lettering on clay discs. 
The mass would be a lump of clay formed to the outline of the 
device, say, a portrait, and the lettering quickly incised 
in the clay with the end of a sculptor's boaster. Both student 
and master would make these, modifying, perfecting, moving on 
until St-Gaudens was satisfied it could be improved no further. 
They may have processed a dozen such stages of clay images 
before his acceptance was expressed.
"That's it!" he would exclaim. The student-assistant then 
had his work cut out, knowing exactly what to do next. He 
would spend a week or more adding detail, developing the 
design, forming crisp-edge relief with finely crafted lettering, 
some areas with significant texture. Jim does the same thing 
in hours (what took days before) on his computer with ZBrush 
Computer engraving is the latest attempt to alleviate the 
tedium of engraving, by hand at first (2,600 years ago) and 
still in use today, by machine with the development  of the 
transfer lathe throughout the 19th century -- culminating in 
Janvier's perfected version of the die-engraving pantograph 
patented in 1899 -- still in use today. Another innovation 
was developed a century ago, the tracer-controlled pantograph 
(notably the Gorton) with manual, hand controlled milling 
from a pattern to cut a die, also still in use today.
Will computer engraving replace all this? I doubt it. The 
computer cannot design a coin or medal. It cannot create a 
concept. An artist still must do this. The new computer 
technology is simply a tool in the hand of the artist, to 
be used by the sculptor-medallist much like the burin is a 
tool for hand engraving dies by the engraver.
An outline of the intended design is entered on the computer. 
At every point in the design the computer automatically 
determines the X and Y co-ordinates. The operator determines 
how deep the relief should be in the negative -- or how high 
in the positive -- this is called the Z co-ordinate (where 
ZBrush gets its name). The technology is a spinoff from 
computer games, developed to add more realism to their images.
The operator fixes every sculptural or dimensional point 
(called a "pixol"), in effect creating a "bitmap" which can 
be stored in the software. A visual image is shown on the 
computer screen as the operator moves through the design 
indicating the form, the modulated relief and the lettering.
The advantages of computer engraving, as noted by Jim Licaretz, 
are its speed and versatility. As such it is ideal for simple 
images, as graphic designs, most trademarks or logos, and 
images of buildings. Where it falls short are very complex or 
highly detailed designs, but most notably, with portraits!
There is one word that describes what a sculptor working in 
clay or wax can accomplish that a computer cannot: VIVIFY, 
"to animate or make lifelike." A sculptor can give life to a 
portrait, make an image of a person seem so real, that it 
looks like an actual person staring back at the viewer. In 
contrast, computer-generated portraits are stiff, frozen 
and lifeless.
Mints and medalmakers around the world were eager to accept 
the new computer technology. They embraced the technology 
but have come to learn its limitations. Can it aid in creating 
coin and medal models?
Yes, it can create coin and medal designs faster, cheaper in 
a form that can be manipulated. But not necessarily better. 
We still need coin and medal artists. And they must definitely 
retain some age-old modeling technology. The computer can 
never replace the artist.

[Dick adds: "I know pixel is spelled PIXEL, but in this 
technology it is spelled PIXOL."  I think he's spot-on in 
noting that that computer is merely another tool in the hands 
of the artist.  The artist's eye and creativity are indispensible. 
I’d love to visit someday and see the software in action. 

<************************** BOOK BAZARRE **************************>

DAVID F. FANNING NUMISMATIC LITERATURE offers fixed price lists on 
our Web site at <>. In stock: American Journal of 
Numismatics, Vol. 32 (1897-8) complete in four issues. 4to., wraps. 
124 pages, 7 plates. First a bit bumped, else fine. $85 postpaid. 
e-mail dfanning at>



Debbie Bradley, Editorial Director for Numismatics at Krause 
Publications submitted the following about Coin Chat Radio, 
the internet radio launched by Krause Publications. 

We haven't written about this forum yet, but it's a great idea 
and I'm glad Krause created it.  Have any E-Sylum readers been 
listening in? -Editor]

We air a new show every Thursday at 11 a.m. At 
It is repeated each hour on the hour for the next week. All 
shows are also archived and can be downloaded as a podcast or 
to I-Tunes.

Since launching March 15, we've interviewed top names in 
numismatics. Here's a list of some earlier shows:

"Collecting Money" included an "In the News" report
by Bob Van Ryzin on the sale of the Queller 1804 Draped Bust 
silver dollar.

Interviews by Dave Harper with Jim Halperin, Laura Sperber, 
David and Howard Queller, Leo Frese, and Stephen Contursi about 
the sale of the Queller collection by at the Central States 
convention in Rosemont, Ill. 

Interview by Bob Van Ryzin of David Lange, author of the book, 
"Coin Collecting Boards of the 1930s and 1940s: A Complete 
History, Catalog and Value Guide" 

Maggie Pahl and Lisa Bellavin with a Freshly Minted segment on 
new U.S. and world coins. 

Dave Harper with dealer Stephen Contursi about the naming of 
Former ANA Executive Director Chris Cipoletti as president 
of Rare Coin Consultants of America. 

"To Coin a Phrase" with Debbie Bradley on the term 
"short snorter"; 

and a Who's Who interview with Debbie Bradley of dealer 
Ken Pines of Coast to Coast Coins.

We cover a wide range of topics of interest to beginners 
and experts. And we're having a lot of fun. Check us out.  
Here is the lineup for the May 1 show:

Features of this week's "Collecting Money" include an 
"In the News" report by Coins magazine editor Bob Van Ryzin 
on a new reverse variety of the 2008-W silver American Eagle; 

An interview by World Coin News editor Maggie Pahl with 
Kevin Foley about the Chicago International Coin Fair; 

An interview by Bob Van Ryzin of dealer Rick Snow on the 
market for Flying Eagle and Indian Head cents; 

An "Industry Insider" profile by Numismatics Editorial 
Director Debbie Bradley with Ron Guth, president of the 
Professional Coin Grading Service, talking about coin grading; 

An interview by Numismatic News editor Dave Harper of 
David Sundman, president of Littleton Coin Co.; 

"Talking Type and Beyond" with Bob Van Ryzin about the U.S. 
20-cent piece; 

"Going Once," auction news with Bank Note Reporter editor 
Dave Kranz; 

Maggie Pahl with "On the Club Scene" about the Every 
Country Collectors Club; 

Lisa Bellavin, online editor, with an interview of Wayne 
Sayles of the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild.


Carl Honore writes: "The Item on the 'Thou Art the Man' medal 
is right on (or 'write' on if you appreciate puns.)
"In one sense, theologically David was deserving of nothing 
but death.  Psalm 51 serves as a continuation for the II 
Samuel narrative.  Though he deserved death, God was merciful 
to him, and granted him his life.  
"In other words, God was in complete control of David's fate.  
David himself controlled his failings, God controlled everything 
else.  In a sense, the same thing could be said of Lincoln.  
Abraham Lincoln knew he was unworthy of the office of President, 
yet God gave him the wherewithal to do the best job in the 
office that he could.  Like David, Lincoln failed many times 
(although, of curse, not as drastically as David did viz Uriah, 
and Bathsheba).  The point is, that no matter our failings, 
our faith in God's ability to grant mercy is a powerful concept.
"The contrast is that David pled for mercy for his own life, 
and Lincoln prayed not only for sustenance for the armies 
under his own command, but also for his enemies as well.  
"The point I think the medalist was making is that we are all 
deserving of nothing but death, and Lincoln knew that.  Like 
David, Lincoln in a powerful position knew that he was still 
only a man.  I am not sure how strong his theological background 
was from a Christian standpoint, but he certainly was aware of 
the power of prayer."



Dick Doty writes: "Fascinating stuff about the Chinese 
counterfeiting.  I once bought an 1882 Mexican eight-real 
piece from Hermosillo that was a Chinese fake, and I bought 
it precisely because it WAS a fake, and an awful one that 
that.  Since when did Mexican eights of that era have reeded 
edges?  I got it for twelve bucks and consider it money 
well spent."

Don Cleveland writes: "Coins are not the only fakes coming 
out of China. When I was in China in September, I paid a 
visit on the large, famous, 'Dirt Market', so called because 
80 percent of the merchants have stalls on the ground.  The 
other 20 percent, however, have small, regular places of 
business in a very large two-story shed.  Collectables, coins, 
stamps, Mao memorabilia, and banknotes tend to be concentrated 
on the upper floor.  Among these shops, it is possible to buy 
nearly complete sets of the early Peoples' Bank of China issues 
P-800 to P-859.  These are extremely well made reproductions, 
the only flaw seeming to be the paper, which is just a tad bit 
different than the originals.  (Comparisons are fairly easy to 
make, because the same shops usually had genuine notes in used 
condition for sale.  The fakes are perfect uncirculated.)  
"On my first visit to the Dirt Market to look around, I did 
not realize some of the banknotes displayed were fake.  I saw 
a set of about ten notes and asked the price.  The lady running 
the shop said 3000 renminbi -- reasonable for the condition 
and issues represented.  I told her I only had 300 on me.  
Without hesitation, she said 'Okay'.  At that, bells started 
to go off.  I told her I would be back later, but looked at 
some of the used notes of the period she had on display.  Only 
then, did I see the paper was slightly different. 
"This series of banknotes often appears on Ebay.  They might 
be genuine, but I can't help but be suspicious about them.  I 
also note some Ebay sellers make statements like 'These are 
genuine banknotes, not the counterfeit banknotes made in the 
mountains,' or visa versa.  Can anyone tell us what they are 
talking about?  Is this a reference to contemporary or modern 
reproductions or counterfeits?"



The upcoming May 21-22 2008 Stack's sale of the Minot collection 
includes some interesting art related to numismatics.  Lot 
3033 is an original drazwing submitted by artist Charles 
Schlecht for the 1896 Educational Series $2 bill.  Lots 3138 
and 3139 at Trompe L'oeil paintings incorporating numismatic 
themes.  Lot 3139 is an importance Otis Kaye work titled "Otis 
Kaye's Coin Collection.

"Otis Kaye (1885-1974), was born in Neemah, Michigan. He 
produced relatively few paintings previous to 1929, but then 
suddenly became far more prolific. Kaye was one of the countless 
victims of the Great Stock Market Crash, losing his family's 
entire fortune consisting of over $150,000. He began painting 
pictures of money, and his paintings reflect Kaye's deep 
feelings of anger and loss. 
"At a time when wealthy coin collectors were keeping their 
numismatic treasures in ornate, stained and varnished wooden 
'cabinets,' Otis Kaye's 'Coin Collection' is shown residing 
in a battered wooden kitchen cabinet, protected by a lock that 
might easily be opened with a skeleton key. Most of the coins 
are well circulated, having been pulled from everyday pocket 
change. The name of Kaye's collection isn't set in gold leaf. 
Instead, the title has been typed on to a tattered scrap of 
paper, and thumb-tacked into place. Kaye's frustration is 
further echoed by the scrap of paper pasted to the bottom of 
the cabinet which states 'MONEY COSTS.' "

  To view Stack's Minot Sale lot 3033, see: 

  To view Stack's Minot Sale lot 3038, see: 

  To view Stack's Minot Sale lot 3039, see:


Web site visitor W. L. Esposito writes: "The article describing 
the Springarn Medal was in error with respect to identifying 
Marian Anderson in a photo holding the medal. The first photo 
which included Eleanor Roosevelt with Ms. Anderson was correct; 
however, the second photo was not her.  It was clearly Leontyne 
Price, the opera singer, who was a recipient of the medal in 
the 1960's."

[Many thanks for the correction. Here's the updated caption. 

  "An image of Leontyne Price with the medal" 



An eagle-eyed E-Sylum reader pointed out a typo in last 
week's numismatic diary, where I mentioned that "Julian 
also had a proof 2009 platinum coin."

He writes: "Just curious - what was on the design of the 
Proof platinum 2009 coin?  How'd you get a sneak peek?  
Seriously, was that a 2008 coin?"

I told him the design was a picture of a gas pump with the 
words "Good for one gallon."  Actually, it was a 2007 coin 
according to my notes.  Sorry!



[E-Sylum contributor David Ganz published a Numismatic News 
article yesterday detailing his long search for pedigree 
information on the 1838-O half dollar.  Kudos to David for 
his persistence and ultimate success.  -Editor]

The 1838-O half dollar is a genuine rarity, with only 20 
pieces struck and the fate, 170 years after striking, of just 
about a dozen known pieces in existence  leaves some unaccounted 
for. I’ve liked this coin for many years and made it a centerpiece 
of my new book that Krause is publishing in July, “Profitable 
Coin Collecting.”

More than 50 public auction sales of this coin are of record, 
some over a hundred years ago. The Mickley sale in 1867 by 
Woodward saw the coin offered as Lot 1782 and the selling 
price of $2.75. The same coin was acquired by J. P. Clemens 
and when Edward Coogan sold his collection in 1878.  Lot 159 
contained the same coin and brought $15.

Frossard sold his own collection Oct. 2, 1884 and Lot 400 in 
that sale featured an 1838 New Orleans half dollar which 
brought the “enormous” price of $63 only to find an early 
case of economic recession in the coin field so that by the 
time Lorin Parmalee sold his collection in 1890, the coin 
stepped back to $23.50.

Thomas Elder sold the Wilson collection in October 1908, 
and Lot 346 featured the very same 1838-O half dollar. It 
resounded to a $570 mark. In the span of 40 years, the coin 
rose in value from $2.75 to almost $600 – weekly wages in 
the United States at the time averaged about $6.

In the 1950s, the Anderson-Dupont sale by Stacks yielded a 
$3,500 price realized for an impaired proof specimen. That 
coin would be resold nine times in the succeeding half 
century and form the basis of the mystery that has existed 
for almost 20 years. 

The unknown answer: an August 1989 sale as Lot 202. What 
was the price realized?

This seemed like a fairly easy answer since at least seven 
different sales since 1989 offered other coins, or even 
this one, and referred to the auction sale, the lot, and 
its pedigree. None of them, however, listed the price – 
though they did for many other items.

I was beginning to think that this could be no sale or one 
where no prices realized were printed or possibly both. Larry 
Hanks then saved the day. “I was a partner with Vintage 
Auctions at that time. I’ll see if I can find a copy of the 
prices realized. I do know the coin did sell,” he e-mailed. 
Now we’re cooking with gas.

He recalled that “A collector from the Northeastern part of 
the United States was the buyer. If my memory serves me 
correctly, the coin either sold for $45,000 or $50,000. I’ll 
also check and see if I can find out who consigned the piece.”

[The article goes on to describe in detail Ganz' efforts to 
locate and verify the needed information.  His trail led 
him all the way to Ted Buttrey at the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge, 
here to the E-Sylum, and back again to Julian Leidman.  All 
this for a footnote to a chart!  Dave's book is due out in 
July. Look for it!  -Editor]

To read the complete article, see:


[In his April 27 blog, Ed Snible discusses the numismatics 
activity underway at Wikipedia. -Editor]

"Wikipedia has always had articles on numismatic topics. 
It now has a Numismatics WikiProject and a Numismatics Portal. 
The portal is a 'face' that presents Wikipedia content 
organized for numismatic purposes. The project is an effort 
to coordinate folks improving numismatic articles and the 
portal. The 'current collaboration' is to improve the Ancient 
Greek Coinage article.

"Wikipedia has almost no coverage of numismatic literature. 
There is a Numismatics Journals category with just seven 
entries. A few books, like The Red Book have Wikipedia entries 
but there is no 'Numismatic Book' category to gather them 

To access the Wikipedia Numismatics WikiProject, see:

To access the Wikipedia Numismatics Portal, see: 

To read Ed's complete blog post, see: 


[A May 1st article by Fred Schwan on NumisMaster provides 
more background on Carling Gresham, a onetime editor of 
our print journal, The Asylum.  Carling was also a founding 
editor of Krasue Publications' Bank Note Reporter newspaper. 

Carling Gresham, the first editor of the Bank Note Reporter, 
died in January in Palatka, Fla., after a short illness. 
He was 81. 

Of course this is a sad milestone for the paper. It is also 
personal for me. Carling was also my first editor. Carling 
himself in his final editorial at the paper stated that 
helping to "give birth" to a newspaper can be frightfully 
frustrating and also, very rewarding.

Within a few months of the founding of Bank Note Reporter, 
I was recruited by Grover Criswell to write for the paper 
and here I am 35 years and quite a few editors later.

Grover recruited me, but then I worked with Carling for the 
July 1973 issue, my first with a byline and his last as editor. 
I only met him face to face a few times. I think that the 
meetings were all at American Numismatic Association conventions. 
In spite of working with him on the paper, I never got to know 
him very well - a fact that I now regret.

The early months (and years) in the history of the Bank Note 
Reporter were chaotic at best. It was an idea whose time had 
come, but its survival was far from assured and much of the 
credit for getting the early issues out surely belongs to 
Carling. Without him I am sure that the paper would have failed, 
and it is hard to imagine what we would have today as a regular 
commercial paper money publication.

My recollection is that Carling was a bit cantankerous and 
eccentric in at least some ways. I think that he liked that 
image. He made comments to provoke discussion and to test 
the knowledge and convictions of the other party. I think 
that he was a bit (or more) eccentric in several ways, too.

The July 1973 BNR was the last under Carling's leadership. 
His editorial describes some of the victories, failures, and 
difficulties of the birth of our paper. 

Carling Gresham will be missed, but his legacy remains.

To read the complete article, see: 


An E-Sylum reader forwarded an article from The Economist 
about the opening of an online archive of London's criminal 
court proceedings from the Old Bailey Courthouse.

He writes: "Old Bailey is properly known as Justice Hall or 
Sessions House. Surely you walked right by it during your 
time in London.  Anyway, the web site has court records from 
some of the cases adjudicated therein, including counterfeiting."

[This looks like a great trove of potential information for 
numismatic researchers.  Poke around and see what you can 
find relating to your specialty.  Here are some excerpts 
from The Economist article. -Editor]

The free archive is a goldmine for family-tree growers, who 
may discover they are related to such unfortunates as Henry 
Williams, who in 1886 was sentenced to four months' hard 
labour for “attempting an abominable crime with a mare”. 
And the website's search facility throws up new research 
possibilities: Clive Emsley of Open University has spotted 
that an inspector from the Royal Mint gave evidence dozens 
of times during the 1840s, for example, which throws new 
light on the true scale of counterfeiting at that time.

The archive ends in 1913, when the City of London could no 
longer afford to publish the court's proceedings: people 
were buying newspapers instead, which offered more salacious 

To read the complete article, see: 

[As Dick Johnson has aptly pointed out in his advice to 
researchers, don't take what you find at face value - think 
about whether it makes sense.  I did a quick search for the 
famous coiner "Matthew Boulton" and found this listing from 
the year 1776:

  MATTHEW BOULTON was indicted for stealing eight hempen sacks, 
  value nine shillings , the property of Abraham Cowley , 
  February 7th .

Born in 1728, the numismatic Boulton was nearly fifty years 
old in 1776 and at the height of his career, and probably 
living away from London.  So this reference is probably to 
another Englishman of the same name.  

In the late 1830s-1840s John Field of the Royal Mint was 
often called upon as an expert witness in counterfeiting 
cases.  Here's one transcript from a hearing on 3rd February 
1840, -Editor]

SUSAN PANTRY . I am the prosecutor's wife. On Monday, the 6th 
of January, the prisoner came for two penny-worth of rum—he 
gave me a six-pence—I examined it, and saw it was bad—I handed 
it to my husband—he walked out with it, and fetched a policeman—
I had not given the prisoner his change—he asked me afterwards 
for half a pint of porter, and told me to warm it—while I was 
doing so he walked out, without his change—my husband was then 
at the door—the prisoner had seen me hand the sixpence to my 
husband, and my husband go out.

WILLIAM ROBERT BLACK . I am a police inspector of the D 
division. I took the prisoner, and received these three 
sixpences from the prosecutor—I asked the prisoner how he 
came to pass them—he said he was not aware they were bad, 
and he had taken them from his customers in selling oranges—
he had a carpenter's basket with him, but no oranges—I found 
on him a good shilling and 10d. in coppers, three pieces of 
silk, and a small piece of wood—I never saw him before.

MR. JOHN FIELD . I am inspector of coin to the Royal Mint. 
These three sixpences are all counterfeit, but all of coin 
of different dates.

To access the Old Bailey web site, see: 


[On Wednesday April 30, the Wall Street Journal published 
a front-page article about the resurgence of traditional 
dolphin teeth money on the Solomon Islands. -Editor]

Forget the euro and the yen. In this South Pacific archipelago, 
people are pouring their savings into another appreciating 
currency: dolphin teeth.

Shaped like miniature ivory jalapeños, the teeth of spinner 
dolphins have facilitated commerce in parts of the Solomon 
Islands for centuries. This traditional currency is gaining 
in prominence now after years of ethnic strife that have 
undermined the country's economy and rekindled attachment 
to ancient customs.
Over the past year, one spinner tooth has soared in price 
to about two Solomon Islands dollars (26 U.S. cents), from 
as little as 50 Solomon Islands cents. The official currency, 
pegged to a global currency basket dominated by the U.S. 
dollar, has remained relatively stable in the period.

Even Rick Houenipwela, the governor of the Central Bank 
of the Solomon Islands, says he is an investor in teeth, 
having purchased a "huge amount" a few years ago. "Dolphin 
teeth are like gold," Mr. Houenipwela says. "You keep them 
as a store of wealth -- just as if you'd put money in a bank."

Few Solomon Islanders share Western humane sensibilities 
about the dolphins. Hundreds of animals are killed at a time 
in regular hunts, usually off the large island of Malaita. 
Dolphin flesh provides protein for the villagers. The teeth 
are used like cash to buy local produce. Fifty teeth will 
purchase a pig; a handful are enough for some yams and cassava.

The rising value of dolphin teeth, Mr. Houenipwela says, is 
explained in part by the need to heal the wounds of the 
country's ethnic conflict. According to local custom, tribal 
disputes over lost lives or property can often be settled 
by paying compensation -- in teeth rather than dollars.

Another reason, Mr. Houenipwela says, is the rapidly growing 
population of young men who need dolphin teeth for buying 
brides -- the biggest financial transaction in many Malaita 
islanders' lives. Teeth are the currency of choice for this 
payment: one healthy bride costs at least 1,000 teeth. That 
necessitates the killing of dozens of dolphins. Local spinner 
dolphins yield more than 20 teeth, each about an inch long.

While originally restricted to Malaita, the tooth frenzy 
has spread all over this former British protectorate of 
500,000 people, Mr. Houenipwela says. 

As the demand for dolphin teeth has increased, the supply 
can't keep up, he laments: "People want more teeth, and 
it's not that easy to get dolphins. It's a very tiring job."

The tradition has deep roots. Dolphin teeth and other animal 
products were used as currency in the Solomon Islands and 
other parts of Melanesia long before European colonizers 
arrived here in the late 19th century.

An exhibit of traditional money in the central bank's lobby 
displays the now-worthless garlands of dog teeth. Curled pig 
tusks have played a similar role in the neighboring nation 
of Vanuatu and parts of Papua New Guinea. Whale, rather than 
dolphin, teeth were collected in Fiji. While the use of these 
traditional currencies is dying off elsewhere in the region, 
there is no sign of the boom in dolphin teeth abating here. 
Mr. Houenipwela, the central bank governor, says that some 
entrepreneurs have recently asked him for permission to 
establish a bank that would take deposits in teeth.

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


De Beers, the world's biggest undersea diamond miner, said 
its geologists in Namibia found the wreckage of an ancient 
sailing ship still laden with treasure, including six bronze 
cannons, thousands of Spanish and Portuguese gold coins and 
more than 50 elephant tusks.

The wreckage was discovered in the area behind a sea wall used 
to push back the Atlantic Ocean in order to search for diamonds 
in Namibia's Sperrgebiet or "Forbidden Zone."

"If the experts' assessments are correct, the shipwreck could 
date back to the late 1400s or early 1500s, making it a 
discovery of global significance," Namdeb Diamond Corp., a 
joint venture between De Beers and the Namibian government, 
said in an e-mailed statement from the capital, Windhoek, 

The site yielded a wealth of objects, including several tons 
of copper, more than 50 elephant tusks, pewter tableware, 
navigational instruments, weapons and the gold coins, which 
were minted in the late 1400s and early 1500s, according to 
the statement.

Diamonds have been mined along the south-western coast of 
Namibia and in its coastal waters for the last 100 years. 
De Beers, the world's largest diamond company, is 45% owned 
by Anglo American Plc, 40% held by the Oppenheimer family 
and 15% owned by the government of Botswana.

To read the complete article, see:

[Some of the recovered coins are pictured in this BBC article 
forwarded by Dick Hanscomb. -Editor]

To read the complete article, see: 


[The fever for collecting sports-related medals continues 
unabated, as this report from Ireland shows. -Editor]

An original All-Ireland medal from Kilkenny's first-ever 
hurling victory in 1914 and a rare Leinster football medal 
from Kilkenny's last title win in 1911 are among a valuable 
cache of sporting memorabilia which will be auctioned at a 
collectors' sale in two weeks.

Castlecomer-based Mealy's Auctioneers is hosting the auction 
of rare artefacts from Irish sporting history, which includes 
GAA, rugby, football, gold and other unique mementoes.

The collection, which comprises 800 lots, is expected to 
generate intense interest from local and national collectors 
keen to get their hands on a piece of genuine Irish 
sporting history.

One of the most valuable single lots in the auction is the 
1904 medal, which is expected to reach between 12,500 euro 
and 17,500 euro on the day.  The medal was presented to 
Jack Hoyne of Tullaroan, the parish which represented Kilkenny 
in the All-Ireland competition that year. In the early stages 
of the GAA competition, each county was represented by the 
club which won the local title.

The infamous match took place against Cork (St Finbar's) in 
Carrick-on-Suir on June 24, 1904 with Kilkenny winning by a 
point - 1-9 to 1-8.

Last year, a football medal of the same year sold for 7000 
euro, but Mr Mealy said he expected the hurling medal to go 
even higher, because it was such an important artefact of 
Kilkenny's GAA history

"It's a very unique item and it would be the Holy Grail 
for any collector from Kilkenny," he said.

Another rare item in the sale is a Gaelic football medal 
awarded to Kilkenny in 1911 when the county won its third 
and most recent All-Ireland football title. The medal is 
expected to fetch between 600 euro and 800 euro in the auction.

To read the complete article, see:


[Early U.S. Mint workers were paid, in part, with liquor.  
Now the Bank of Ireland is putting an image of a distillery 
right on a banknote.  Here are excerpts from an April 23rd 
article in the Belfast Telegraph. -Editor]

Amid glitz and the glamour Bushmills Distillery was put on 
the world stage yesterday - by the Bank of Ireland. 

In case anyone was unaware of the world famous Bushmills, 
the Bank of Ireland's Governor came to Belfast to honour 
his favourite whiskey. 

>From yesterday a new Bank of Ireland £5 note bears a picture 
of the famous distillery with new £10 and £20 notes to 
follow next month. 

Yesterday — in scenes reminiscent of Hollywood — the Bank 
of Ireland unveiled its series of new notes with a blaze of 

Huge outdoor screens beamed the launch onto the bank's HQ 
stopping hundreds of shoppers in their tracks. 

The Bank of Ireland's governor Richard Burrows said it was 
a special moment for him as back in 1972 he spent four years 
as the managing director of Bushmills Distillery. 

He said: "I spent some very happy years on the North coast 
of Antrim and today we are celebrating the 400th anniversary 
of Bushmills Distillery."

"But we never dreamed our whiskey would feature on the back 
of a Bank of Ireland bank note — a singular honour and a 
special recognition of our distillery and its 500 employees," 
he said. 

The £5 note went into circulation yesterday with the new 
£10 and £20 notes joining as legal tender next month. 

To read the complete article, see: 

[An editorial in the Belfast Telegraph noted the design 
change but lamented that the front of the note was not 
redesigned as well.  -Editor]

"How disappointing it was to see the Bank of Ireland only 
changing the reverse of their banknote series from Queen's 
University, Belfast, to Bushmills Distillery. 

"A worthy change, but all the glitter and large screen TV 
presentations at the launch does not disguise how extremely 
boring the front of the banknotes currently are. 

"Were current finances so drastically low that the Bank of 
Ireland could only afford to do half a job right?"

To read the complete article, see:


An April 30 article in The Sun describes a banknote-like 
voucher good at shops in Heathrow Airport's new $8.6 billion 
terminal 5 (the one plagued with luggage handling delays 
and other startup problems).

"Rugby ace Jonny Wilkinson may not be able to get a place 
in the England rugby team but he found himself a place on 
a new banknote.  The World Cup winner is appearing on an 
limited edition voucher - which features Jonny’s face - 
has a value of 5 Sterling. 

However the note called the Tfiver is only redeemable at 
shops within Heathrow’s Terminal 5. Jonny Wilkinson, an 
official Travelex ambassador, said: "I’m really honoured 
to be the face of the Tfiver.

To read the complete article, see:


[An E-Sylum reader forwarded this extensive article from 
a Vietnamese newspaper about local collectors of Vietnamese 
coins and paper money.  -Editor]

In a silent house in Giap Nhat, a village in Ha Noi’s Thanh 
Xuan District, a white-haired octogenarian pores over his 
set of ancient coins with a magnifying glass.

He is Nguyen Ba Dam, 86, locally known as "Mr Ancient Money" 
for his extensive collection of Vietnamese currency. In more 
than 70 years of collecting, he has accumulated over 400 
kinds of ancient Vietnamese money, as well as currency from 
more than 150 countries.

[Not surprisingly, Howard Daniel adds: "I met him once and 
should go see him the next time I am in Viet Nam at the end 
of this year!" -Editor]

His oldest coin is a Thai Binh Hung Bao coin issued in 968 
during the Dinh dynasty, recognised by researchers as the 
oldest Vietnamese coin.

As he painstakingly prepares a pot of tea, Dam describes the 
three-quarters of a century he has spent collecting money, 
beginning when he was eight years old.

In 1960, he began connecting with like-minded hobbyists 
through an international association of stamp and money 
collectors, which allowed him to enrich his collection with 
ancient Chinese coins dating from the Qin to the Qing dynasties.

In 1976, Dam spent VND100,000 – a veritable fortune at the 
time – to buy a treasure trove of ancient money from Nguyen 
Dinh Duong, a famous antique dealer on Hang Bong Street.

A collector must also be a researcher, Dam says.

"Money is not only for buying and exchanging in the business 
world; it also reflects history, including power struggles and 
technological development, and can serve as the hallmark of 
an era or a royal dynasty," he says. "Therefore, the collector 
must have vast knowledge and understanding of history and 
culture and a passion for such studies."

A former history teacher, Dam has considerable knowledge 
of ancient Chinese scripts, which has enriched his study 
of ancient coins. But Dam believes that what makes him a 
true collector is his personal attachment to the coins and 
the stories they tell.

"A collector must ‘feel’ the coins, comparing and classifying 
them, to recognise their real value. Only then can the collector 
see all the interesting and beautiful aspects of ancient money."

Professor Do Van Ninh from the Institute of Historical Studies, 
who has written many books on ancient money, appreciates 
collectors for serving a national need.

"Thanks to them, the nation can preserve some of its historical 
and cultural treasures," Ninh says. "They collect money for 
preservation; they aren’t just dealers, thinking only of profits."

To read the complete article, see:


[The following article discusses difficulties Japan ran 
into when it discovered that an element of a planned coin 
design was a copyrighted image.  In this case, the planned 
issue is being destroyed.  What other coins have had copyright 
troubles?  I know the U.S. Mint now files for explicit 
copyright protection on all of its designs.  The recent 
"Ocean in View" nickel reverse brought complaints from a 
photographer who claimed his copyrighted image had been 
used without his permission.  -Editor]

After minting 4.8 million commemorative coins, Japan said 
Wednesday it must change the design due to copyright 

The original design of the coin, celebrating the centenary 
of Japanese emigration to Brazil, showed bronze sculptures 
of parents and a child standing in Santos, Brazil, where 
the first batch of immigrants landed in 1908.

But the Brazilian sculptor of the work refused to let the 
design be used for the 500-yen (five dollar) coin, the 
Japanese finance ministry said.

Japan originally announced the creation of the coin in April 
2007, with an aim to distribute it by the end of March 2008, 
believing that an immigrants association in Brazil owned the 
bronze memorial.

But the association later found that the artist also held 
the right to his work.

The new design will feature the ship that took the first 
Japanese immigrants to Brazil, placed over the shape of the 
Latin American nation.

The ministry will spend five to 10 million yen (50,000 to 
100,000 dollars) redesigning the coin.

The coin will be distributed from June 18, when Brazil will 
also distribute its own commemorative coin related to Japanese 

More than 1.2 million Brazilians have Japanese ancestry, a 
higher number than in any country other than Japan. The 
immigrants left Japan seeking better lives at a time when 
Asia's future economic giant suffered widespread poverty.

To read the complete article, see:


According to a Hungarian web site, "The face on the Ft 200 
banknote is not a likeness of 14th century ruler Károly Róbert 
but of Ferenc Koltai, some dude from a company that worked on 
the 1998 currency update. Károly Vagyóczky, who designed Hungary's 
greenest money, denied any funny business and said Koltai was 
chosen simply because he had a 'good head for money' - literally 
rather than figuratively. Although it can't be denied that as 
head of Jura Trade Kft., the company that came up with digital 
watermarks and other security patents used the world over, Koltai 
is clearly pretty darn good with money.

"As for the nitty gritty of the controversy, it turned out 
that the facial features of the Hungarian king are barely 
documented, so just about any bearded face would do."

To read the complete article, see:


[According to the Waverly Leader of Melbourne, Australia, an 
ancient Roman coin was recently used in a coin toss before a 
sporting match.  Is that a first?  Has an ancient coin ever 
been used this way before? -Editor]

History was on display when a 2000-year-old Roman coin was 
used for the toss before Clayton's centenary match against 
St Kilda City on Saturday.

The coin dates back to 27BC, when Emperor Augustus, better 
known as Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, ruled the Roman Empire.

One side features the profile of Emperor Augustus's head and 
the letters 'SC', the Roman Senate's seal of approval, are 
inscribed on the other.

"The reason we're using it is because it's been donated by 
our major sponsor, Universal Coin Company," Clayton treasurer 
Neil Daly said.

"On the back of the coin it's got 'SC', which is the Roman 
Senate's mark, but our sponsor thought the S could stand for 
St Kilda City and the C for Clayton.

"We thought it would be a novel idea to celebrate the centenary 
rather than a standard coin, as it's never been done before."

[The coin was protected in a Kointain-style plastic shell. 

To read the complete article, see:


This week's featured web page is a Wikipedia page on the 
History of Chatham Islands numismatics:  "The history of 
Chatham Islands numismatics begins in 1999, when the Reserve 
Bank of New Zealand authorized a private organization, the 
Chatham Islands Note Corporation, to issue banknotes to 
celebrate that the Chatham Islands would have been the first 
land to enter the third millennium of the common era (although 
this is not actually true - this honour belongs to Antarctica. 
The first island to enter the third millennium would be 
Millennium Island).

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand gave this authorization under 
the condition that such notes cannot be declared legal tender. 
In other words, these notes were to be used for payment, but 
only if the seller accepted them: there was no obligation for 
anyone to accept the notes issued by the Chatham Islands, 
contrarily to the notes issued by the Reserve Bank of New 
Zealand. These Chatham Islands notes were generally accepted 
by merchants on the Chatham Islands."

See also: 

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 for First Class mail, and
$25 elsewhere.  For those without web access, write to:

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

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

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