The E-Sylum v11#19, May 11, 2008

esylum at esylum at
Sun May 11 20:11:58 PDT 2008

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 11, Number 19, May 11, 2008:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2008, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers are Peyton Smith, Emily Sewell and 
Amanda DeWees of Whitman Publications, Robert Ronus, Dave Welsh, 
Dick Dunn, Robert Kanterman and Larry Schuffman. Welcome aboard!  
We now have 1,140 subscribers.

This week we open with news of what I hope will be a welcome change 
in the format of The E-Sylum newsletter.  In other NBS news, ballots 
for the greatest American numismatic literature survey have been 
distributed.  Book announcements and reviews this week include 
Canadian municipal trade tokens, a guidebook of Mexican Numismatic 
Literature and the Guide to Vintage Coin Folders and Albums.  
[And speaking of coin folders, the June issue of COINage has a 
nice article about David Lange and the collecting of coin boards, 
folders and albums, written by Dom Yanchunas.]

In responses from last week's issue, Daniel Carr and Dick Johnson 
review computer sculpting programs for coin and medal designers, 
Tim Shuck discusses platinum coins, and Larry Gaye discusses 
Byzantine coins used for tossing at soccer matches.

In the news, an editorial writer blasts the design choices for 
Washington D.C's quarter, under-banked inhabitances of the Alaskan 
bush resort to cash substitutes, and counterfeit-fueled inflation 
in Somalia sparks rioting.

To learn how many people it takes to create a one-hundred dollar 
bill, read on. Have a great week, everyone.

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


Four months away from our tenth anniversary, The E-Sylum is 
getting a facelift.  It's not Botox but HTML.  Hypertext markup 
language (or HTML) is the stuff behind the scenes that tells 
your computer how to display web pages.  Beginning this week 
The E-Sylum will be published in both plain-text format and HTML, 
which allows for a much more appealing design incorporating links, 
color, images, and other formatting features.  

This week only you will receive TWO separate copies of your 
E-Sylum: the first one in the text format you're used to, and 
the second one in the new HTML format.  It may appear in your 
Junk folder; if so, add us to your "safe senders" list.  You may 
also have to tell your mail reader to download the images in the 
message. But these should be one-time configuration changes on 
your part, and barring any major problems, you'll receive The 
E-Sylum in glorious color from now on.  Users of Blackberries 
and other small devices which don’t display HTML should continue 
to see a plain text version.

Many thanks to the Numismatic Bibliomania Society board for their 
financial support in hiring a design firm (Grove Marketing, Inc.) 
which has been working with us on a redesign of our web site as 
well as The E-Sylum.  NBS also purchased some new services from 
Capalon Internet Solutions, the folks who run which 
hosts our mailing list.  We're excited about the improvements and 
hope you find the new format both useful and enjoyable.


Len Augsburger writes: "The ballots for the Numismatic Bibliomania 
Society survey of the greatest American numismatic literature 
(announced in the Fall 2007 issue of The Asylum) have been mailed 
to the membership.  President John Adams has taken the lead by 
completing and returning the first ballot.  I'll issue updates in 
this space over the next few weeks as ballots are submitted."

Alan Weinberg writes: "The list neglects to list Joe Levine's 
Presidential Coin and Antique Company's auction catalogs from 
approximately 1970 to date (which I'd rate in the top 25), 
DeWitt/Sullivan American Political Badges and Medalets which lists 
and pictures many hundreds of tokens and medals (which I'd rate 
in the top 30) and Frent/Schlesinger which pictures its share of 
tokens and medals (which I'd rate in the top 75).

"The Frent/Schlesinger reference is a massive two-volume set that 
is titled 'Running for President'. And yes, the co-author 
Schlesinger is THE Arthur Schlesinger, Harvard Professor and 
noted advisor to JFK.
"These are expensive books - Sullivan ($200) and F/S ($200 or so) 
- and are more widely known among political ephemera collectors- 
- but have considerable plates and listings of tokens and medals 
- in the case of Sullivan (DeWitt is an earlier less complete 
version of Sullivan) literally multi-hundreds of rare tokens 
and medals are pictured, described in detail, etc.
"But Joe Levine's PCAC catalogues, which go back to the early 
70's, have had extensive sales of great tokens and medals with 
plates and historical descriptions. How his auction sales 
catalogues escaped the list sent out is a mystery. The PCAC 
catalogues have a prominent place in my library. They are much 
more prominent in the numismatic hobby than perhaps 1/3rd of 
the references listed."

["Top 100" projects such as this always stir controversy, 
but that's part of the appeal and fun of them.  I'm sure 
many worthy publications didn't make the first cut, but let 
us have your thoughts.  I'm a bit perplexed myself on how 
I'll cast my votes for despite my long association with 
American Numismatic Literature, there are quite a number 
of items on the list (particularly auction catalogs) that 
I do not have in my library and would have a difficult 
time evaluating. -Editor]


Ian Stevens of the David Brown Book Company writes: "E-Sylum 
readers may be interested in a number of numismatic titles 
we're currently offering at a discount."   
A number of titles on Greek, Roman, British, Scottish, and 
U.S. numismatics are included. Two examples are: 'Sylloge 
of Coins in the British Isles 55: Hermitage Museum, St 
Petersburg Part IV. English, Irish and Scottish Coins, 
1066-1485' (list price $108.00, now $29.98, and 'Imprimatur: 
The Art of the Bank Note' (list price $90, now $39.98).  
For more information, see the firm's web site:

To read the complete article, see: 


[Author Serge Pelletier forwarded this following press 
release about his newest book. -Editor]

The fifth edition of “A Compendium of Canadian Municipal 
Trade Tokens” by Serge Pelletier, is now available from 
the publisher.
“For the most part, prices are strong with some rather 
spectacular increases in the collector pieces with low 
mintage.  There is also a renewed interest in varieties 
and silver pieces” said Ray Desjardins, the editor, whose 
work concentrates mainly on determining the market values.  

“We have also noticed an increase in popularity of Canadian 
municipal trade tokens with overseas collectors.  Initially 
attracted by the bimetallic pieces, more and more of them 
now collect all circulating issues.  All this bodes well 
for the hobby” concluded Desjardins.

The 160-page publication is half-letter size, spiral bound, 
with a card cover and a transparent plastic protector.  It 
list the more than 1,700 Canadian municipal trade tokens 
know to date, in all metal (except pure gold and platinum) 
and provides reference number, denomination, year, succinct 
description of obverse and reverse, metal, mintage and 
value for each.

The tokens are presented by province and territory, the 
municipalities in alphabetical order within, and the tokens 
are listed chronologically.

Its built-in checklist makes it a must for any Canadian 
municipal trade token collector.

It is available for $14.95 from the publisher, Eligi 
Consultants Inc., which can reached at: Box 11447, Station 
H, Nepean, ON  K2H 7V1 CANADA, tel: +1-613-823-3844, fax: 
+1-613-825-3092, Email: info at  S&H is extra.  
Canadian resident must add the applicable taxes.  

Formerly known as “Canadian Trade Dollars”, Canadian municipal 
trade tokens are community “coins” sponsored by a local 
non-profit organization and given legal monetary value in 
a specific area, for a limited time, by the appropriate 
local authority.  They are used as money in normal commercial 
transaction during the period of validity.  These tokens 
have been issued, however, for commemorative and fund 
raising purposes since 1958.


[David Lange submitted this review of the print-on-demand 
book "Guide to Vintage Coin Folders and Albums" by Thomas 
Moll. -Editor]

I learned of this book by sheer chance, with Dennis Tucker 
of Whitman announcing his discovery of it on a popular coin 
message forum. Perhaps it is meaningful that the only response 
to this posting was my own, but I was determined to get a 
copy of the book nonetheless. Certainly the reason that this 
book, published last year, went unnoticed until now is that 
it comes from the print-on-demand service, A person 
has to be looking for a particular title to find it there, 
and it never occurred to me that anyone else was studying 
this subject besides me. 

I’ve never heard of Thomas Mall, which is unusual, given my 
many writings about coin albums, folders and boards; we folks 
have a way of finding one another. I suspect that Mr. Moll 
does not follow mainstream numismatics or our paths would 
have crossed at some point. A search of his other Lulu titles 
reveals that his main interest seems to be German-American 
genealogy in Pennsylvania, as he has written a four-volume 
series on this subject. There is no biographical information 
to be found within this particular book.

Now that I have a copy of his coin album book in hand, 
here’s the scoop: This is a perfect-bound volume measuring 
6” x 9” and including 117 pages in all. It has a number of 
black-and-white illustrations of so-so quality, but these 
have been selected and placed quite usefully. Following a 
brief overview of the subject, including Moll’s introduction 
to coin collecting as a child, Part I features a listing of 
available brands and titles. These are arranged not by 
publishers, but rather alphabetically by country. For example, 
under the heading of Australia Moll briefly describes the 
four companies that produced coin folders and albums for 
this nation and includes a roster of the titles each one 
offered. A price range is given for whichever entries he 
has acquired for his own collection, while the ones that 
have eluded him are marked simply as “not seen.”

There are several omissions of both brands and titles 
(prominent among the USA publishers not mentioned at all 
are Harris, Shore Line and Hobbies Unlimited). On the other 
hand, I learned from this book of several Whitman titles 
never even suspected by me. These include the eight folders 
Whitman produced for Ireland having green covers in place 
of the usual blue (Moll confirmed six of these in his own 
collection) and a line of Whitman folders for Jersey and 
Guernsey that the company announced but neither Moll nor 
I have seen.

Part II is quite unusual in its theme: The author lists 
all the options for storing coins in folders and albums 
not made for those specific issues. For example, if one 
wants to house of collection of Luxembourg one-franc pieces 
from the years 1952-87, the author advises using Whitman 
folder No. 9042, which is titled simply NICKELS. This almost 
borders on the surreal for me, as my interest in coin folders 
and albums is solely in their appeal as collectable items, 
whereas Moll’s focus seems to be on their utility in storing 
and displaying coins. This section occupies 20 pages by 
itself and includes some very obscure country references 
(Zambian collectors—never fear! There are folder options 
for you).

Part III brings Moll’s book to a conclusion with a complete 
roster of Dansco folders by catalog number and Whitman 
folders and albums by catalog number. This can be quite 
useful as a checklist of available titles. Though I published 
most of this information in a series of articles in The Asylum 
some years ago, it is not generally available at this time 
with the exception of Moll’s book.

Per the author’s own mission statement, this book does not 
address folders produced before the 1950s nor after the 
mid-1980s, his focus being on what he considers to be (and 
I concur) the heyday of folder and album production—the 1950s 
and ‘60s. One weakness of this book is that it does not address 
the various editions of each publisher’s coin folders and 
albums (to date there are ten distinctive editions of the 
Whitman blue folders alone), nor does it provide any specific 
chronology. For example, a nearly complete listing is given 
of the Whitman line, yet there is no way to know when a 
particular title was introduced and, in many cases, discontinued. 
It is implied that most of the world and obsolete USA titles 
date from decades ago, but there is nothing here to help the 
serious collector. Given that the author’s focus seems to be 
more on the usefulness of folders and albums in housing coins 
than on their rarity and value as collectable objects, this 
is perhaps excusable.

While this book will be a helpful reference to anyone not 
already familiar with the subject, it will have no impact 
on my plans to push ahead with a comprehensive history and 
catalog of coin folders and albums in two separate volumes. 
This is an area of numismatics that deserves a fuller treatment, 
but Moll’s book fills a useful void in the interim. Priced 
at just $14.95 plus shipping, the curious reader is risking 
little to add this fun title to his library.


[Two E-Sylum readers have submitted reviews of the new book 
"Numismática Mexicana – Una Guía de su Literatura" (Mexican 
Numismatics – A Guidebook of its Literature) by Christopher 
Martin Bolton Morgan.  First up: Adrián González Salinas. 

Numismática Mexicana – Una Guía de su Literatura
(Mexican Numismatics – A Guidebook of its Literature)
Author: Christopher Martin Bolton Morgan

First Edition, Mexico, D.F. 2008
Black Card Cover with Gold Stamped Titles
(1), 108 pages, no illustrations.
Language: Spanish
Length: 23.1 cms
Width: 18.8 cms
Thickness: 0.7 cms
Weight: 234 grams

After reading the book “Mexican Numismatics – A Guidebook 
of its Literature” cover to cover and I consider that this 
book fills a great hollow within Mexican Numismatics.

The content of the book follows a strict classification by 
epoch or period in Mexican History since Aztecs (Pre-Columbian), 
Spanish Kings through Republic, Empires and Modern Coins 
(including the Revolutionary Period).

The periods can be summarized as follows: Introduction, 
Pre-Columbian Epoch (
-1535) : 13 | Charles & Johanna Kings 
(1536-1556) :29 1 Cobs Coinage (1556-1732) : 54, Pillars & 
Busts (1732-1810) : 35 | Insurgency/Independence/Counter-Stamps 
(1810-1822) : 61 | First Empire (Iturbide, 1822-1823) : 8 | 
Republican Period (1823-1864, 1867-1897) : 46 | Second Empire 
(Maximilian, 1864-1867) : 24 | Modern Coinage (1905-To Date) 
: 30 | Coins and Bills of Mexican Revolution (1913-1917) : 56 
| Banknotes : 57 | Medals & Proclamations : 72 | Tokens of 
Mexico and Copper Coinage : 60 | History of Mexican Mints & 
Banks : 145 | Dictionaries/ Encyclopedias/References : 7 | 
Economic/Monetary/Political Mexican History : 58 |  Books 
and Catalogues for the Aficionado: 53 | Notable Auction 
Catalogues : 49 | Numismatic Collections/Expositions/ 
Exhibitions : 17 | General Works : 41

In summary, the book contains 915 Mexican Numismatic references 
mainly from books, magazines, numismatic societies & associations 
publications from Mexico, USA, Canada among others. Examples 
of these publications are: The Numismatist, The Numismatic 
Scrapbook Magazine, The Centinel, Plus Ultra, Plus Ultra Newsletter, 
El Boletín (Numismático), Monedas (Puebla), The Coin Collector’s 
Journal, The Canadian Antiquarian & Numismatic Journal, The 
American Journal of Numismatics, International Bank Note Society 
Journal, ANS’ Museum Notes, Numisma (Spain), USMexNA’s Journal 
of Mexican Numismatics, Calcoin News, Memorias de la Academia 
Mexicana de Estudios Numismáticos, Philippine Numismatic 
Monographs, Numismatic Circular, Journal of International 
Numismatics, Numismatic International Bulletin, Gaceta Numismática 
(Spain), Barrilla, The Whitman Numismatic Journal, World Coin 
News, The Asylum, COINage, Money Trend, TNA News, Mexican 
Revolution Reporter, Berliner Blätter, The British Numismatic 
Journal, Acta Numismática, TAMS Journal, The Medal Collector, 
Coin & Medals News, The Canadian Numismatic Journal, LANSA, 
Numismatické Listy, Coins Magazine, Numismática (Peru), The 
Hispanic American Historical Review.

This guidebook follows the format of Elvira Clain-Stefanelli’s 
book “Select Numismatic Bibliography” (1965) which only contains 
33 Mexican publications. The Index details an astounding 127 
different authors!  

In some cases, this guidebook contains biographical information 
about some famous authors; this valuable information is not 
easy to obtain. Also, the guidebook details the editions of 
the books when applies and, personal comments about rarity, 
availability and anecdotes of specific books. Again, this 
information is very rich to the reader.

In the introduction, Mr. Bolton recognizes that he omitted 
other publications but I think that he included the main core 
of all Mexican numismatic references.  I am completely certain 
that Mr. Bolton invested a lot of time to complete this 

Finally, I'd like to congratulate Mr. Bolton for his 
extraordinary effort to publish a great, great book 
about books.

[Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publications also submitted a 
review. -Editor]

Christopher Bolton’s Numismatica Mexicana: Una Guia de su 
Literatura (“Mexican Numismatics: A Guide to its Literature”; 
copyright 2008) is an impressive and very useful work of 
scholarship. Bolton opens the book with Aaron Feldman’s 
famous quote: “Compra el libro antes de la moneda”—good 
advice for anyone interested in Mexico’s nearly 500 years 
of coinage. A guide such as this one, which documents more 
than 900 resources, is valuable for both newcomer and 
seasoned numismatist.

Bolton admits in his introduction that, Feldman notwithstanding, 
his passion for books started some 10 years after he bought 
his first Mexican coins. Guide books and catalogs expanded 
his outlook beyond coinage of the 20th century, to earlier 
eras, as well as to paper money, tokens, and medals. 

After being bitten by the bibliophile bug, Bolton’s passion 
was “incurable”—his rule became to buy at least one book 
for every five coins. He writes, “The 915 references cited 
in this bibliography represent, in my opinion, a good start 
to organizing the available written material [on Mexican 

Numismatica Mexicana is perfectbound with an attractive 
faux-leather softcover, with the title and author’s name 
stamped in gold foil—reminiscent of Whitman’s line of “black 
books” from the 1960s. Two versions are available: octavo 
(7-1/2 x 9-1/8 inches) and quarto (8-3/8 x 10-3/4 inches). 
The former is printed on both sides of each leaf, the latter 
on recto only (“to allow collectors to make notes or add 
any additional references I may have omitted,” says the 

What Bolton has compiled is more than just an alphabetical 
listing of books and articles. He categorizes the 900-plus 
works by numismatic epoch from pre-Conquest to the modern 
day, each book according to its main focus (or to the first 
epoch it covers). Dictionaries, auction catalogs, political 
histories, and similar references are categorized in their 
own sections, by content. 

Bolton does not simply list authors, titles, and places and 
dates of publication — for many of the works, he provides a 
summary and analysis of their substance. This kind of annotated 
bibliography offers valuable information for the researcher. 

For example, recently in The E-Sylum editor Wayne Homren posed
the question, “So what are ‘Arras Tokens’?” In Numismatica 
Mexicana Bolton lists several articles on arras, and synopsizes 
their contents (i.e., “A list of 12 arras, but without substantial 
information about their origins”; “Five more arras, but only 
one is illustrated”; “Interesting article about the ‘coins’ 
used in Mexican weddings, with a list of 13 arras”). 

Other helpful notes include whether the work is illustrated, 
if it has an English translation, and if it was republished 
elsewhere in whole or in part. Also, most sections conclude 
with an “Also see,” directing the reader to related works in 
other sections. (For example, researchers in the “Carlos y 
Juana, 1536–1556” section are also referred to the auction 
catalog section, No. 828, The Paul Karon Collection of 8 
Escudos and Other Classic Latin American Coinage.) The book 
concludes with a five-page index of authors linked to their 
works within the bibliography.

Sections include: pre-Columbian to the Conquest; Charles and 
Joanna, 1536–1556; cob coinage, 1556–1732; Pillar and Bust 
coinage, 1732–1810; insurgency, independence, and countermarks, 
1810–1822; First Empire (Iturbide), 1822–1833; Republic, 1823–
1864 and 1867–1897; Second Empire (Maximilian), 1864–1867; 
modern money, 1905 to date; coins and bills of the Revolution, 
1913–1917; paper money; proclamation and oath medals; fichas, 
tlacos, pilones, and monedas de cobra; history of the Casas 
de Moneda and Banca Mexicana; dictionaries, encyclopedias, 
and reference works; economic, monetary, and political 
histories of Mexico; books and catalogs for the aficionado; 
catalogs of significant auctions; numismatic collections, 
expositions, and exhibitions; and general works.

I should note that Numismatica Mexicana is written in Spanish, 
and my citations in this review are translations of Bolton’s 
text. English-language books and articles are listed by their 
English titles, which in most cases offers sufficient guidance 
to monolingual readers. On top of that, if you have a few years 
of high-school or college Spanish, and a working knowledge of 
“coin Spanish,” you’ll find the prose easy to follow.

With careful organization, thoughtful analysis, and considerable 
scope, Christopher Bolton has done the numismatic community a 
great service in this highly recommended book.

I would, however, offer several professional opinions on how 
to improve the book for its next edition. One minor complaint 
concerns the binding: the spine has no copy! When the book is 
sitting spine-out on a shelf, you don’t know its title or 
author’s name. It should be possible to fit at least the 
title on both formats (definitely on the thicker-spined quarto). 

Another observation: there are occasional stray marks, about 
the size and shape of a hyphen, scattered about two or three 
on every other page, sometimes within the text. This “chatter” 
can be distracting. It’s hard to tell if the marks are from 
the printing process (not likely, since the books were 
published digitally), or perhaps artifacts from the Quark 
(or other) software used for layout; either way, the glitches
are probably easily fixed. 

On a nitpicky note, what Bolton calls an “introduction” is 
technically a preface—its purpose is not to introduce the 
subject matter of the book, but to explain the book’s mechanics 
(why and how it was written), which it does engagingly and 
very well. 

>From a typographical perspective, the book exhibits the 
occasional technical errors and inconsistencies often seen 
in self-published (and sometimes in commercially published!) 
works; in this case, they’re minor and don’t affect the 
reader’s experience. 

More serious (but not major flaws at all) are some 
navigation-related weaknesses in the design: the layout 
would benefit from navigational aids such as running heads 
or feet that indicate the section (and possibly the book 
numbers covered on that page); and the verso folios (page 
numbers on left-hand pages) should be set flush outside, 
not flush inside, so they’re easier to read while flipping 
through the book. (The latter applies only to the octavo 
format; in the quarto, the folios are centered at page 

Again, these comments are meant to improve the first edition, 
not condemn it. This is a book that deserves to be published 
again and again in future editions, as its talented author 
continues to add to it, to the benefit of numismatists 

Author Christopher Bolton adds: "The cost of the book 
(Quarto sized) is USD $45.00 plus USD $25.00 express 
shipping (five days) to the US and Canada. However if 
Asylum or E-Sylum members request the book I will ship 
out copies at USD $55.00. 

Orders in Mexico will cost USD $50.00 two day shipping 
included. Other countries would have to be quoted on an 
individual basis.

Copies may be ordered vía my E-mail: cbolton at 
and I can accept payment by international money order, 
Paypal or cheque (US or Pound Sterling funds)."

[Many thanks to our reviewers for their efforts and to 
the author for providing copies.  Congratulations on what 
sounds like a very welcome work. -Editor]



[W. David Perkins of Centennial, CO submitted the following 
item relating to the Jack Collins manuscript on 1794 dollars. 

I enjoyed your review in last week's E-Sylum of the Jack 
Collins and Walter Breen manuscript for "1794: The History 
and Genealogy of the First United States Dollar."  

At this time I cannot find the file with my correspondence 
with Jack Collins (three moves will cause this problem
but as I recall I first contacted Jack in the late 1980s 
or early 1990s.  I had acquired a "special" copy of the 
September 18, 1968 Lester Merkin Public Auction Sale 
catalog from the late Art Rubino, a numismatic (and other) 
literature dealer from Santa Fe, NM.  Art had set up at a 
Denver coin show, and in a box of catalogs (under a table 
in his booth) was a copy of this sale with "Mr. Ostheimer" 
at the top of the cover, and "My Estimate / Realized" in 
the bottom right corner.  

When I opened it I found a three page auction settlement 
from Merkin to the Ostheimers laid in.   As it turns out 
(from the auction settlement statement) the 1794 silver 
dollar in this sale was not consigned by the Ostheimers.  
All but two of the over 100 early dollars had been consigned 
to this sale were the property of the Ostheimers.  [For more 
information on this discovery and sale catalog, see The Asylum, 
Volume 25, No. 2 Spring 2007, pages 16-19.  The cover page 
of the Ostheimer's copy of the sale catalog is also illustrated 
on the cover of this Spring 2007 issue.]

I was aware of the book on 1794 Dollars that Jack Collins 
was working on, I believe from Q. David Bowers having mentioned 
this off and on in the Bowers & Merena Rare Coin Review.  I 
wrote Jack Collins to let him know the 1794 Dollar was not 
the Ostheimers.  As it turns out, Jack already knew this (I 
was impressed!).  Over the years we corresponded on occasion 
about other 1794 Dollars.

I was able to meet Jack for the first time at the 1995 
Anaheim ANA Convention.  This was the first chance I had 
to see and study a copy of his manuscript.  

I added notes of 1794 Dollar appearances sporadically to 
my copy over the years.  One day J.P. Martin called me from 
ICG and said he had a 1794 Dollar that he thought may have 
been repaired on the obverse, and would I be able to stop by 
and take a look at it and give him my opinion.  J.P. described 
the specimen over the phone.  I told him I could stop by the 
next day over the lunch hour (ICG was conveniently located 
only a couple hundred yards from my office).  

J.P. was not aware of the Collins manuscript nor that I had 
a copy of it at the time of his call.  Nor did I tell him
That night I did my homework and marked three pages as 
possible matches based on the description J.P. had given 
me.  When I arrived J.P. gave me the coin to look at.  I 
had the Collins manuscript on my lap and under the table, 
and sure enough it was the one of the specimens I had 
thought it might be.  

I told J.P. that I thought he was right, and described where 
and what I thought had been done.  He was impressed, as was 
Keith Love and the others in the room.  I then showed him 
the "Before and After" pictures of this specimen in the 
manuscript and we all had a good laugh!  In reality, it was 
me who was impressed with J.P. in that he caught this repair 
as it was done pretty well.  

I also purchased a copy of the new Collins manuscript book 
from George Kolbe at the NBS Meeting during the 2007 ANA 


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[Dick Johnson submitted the following item relating to today's 
U.S. holiday, Mother's Day. Happy Mother's Day, Moms! -Editor]

Senator Rockefeller is way too late, since he just introduced 
legislation to issue a Mother's Day Centennial coin.  The 
centennial date was today (May 11, 2008). It would be like 
trying to sell month-old newspapers.
Doesn't he realize it takes six months for the Mint to create 
and strike such a coin?  Not to mention that the Mint is already 
overwhelmed with new issues from a new-coin-and-medal happy 
issuing Congress.
Heads up, private medal-issuing industry!  If Congress keeps 
up this pace the U.S. Mint is going to have to sub-contract 
some of the medal issues to private medal makers in America.
Here's the news story:


[In response to Dick Johnson's article last week about 
computers and sculpting, Daniel Carr submitted the following 
comments on computer sculpting programs. -Editor]

In some ways I find it a bit odd that many mint's artists 
are still called "Sculptors/Engravers" when, in this day and 
age, most coins and medals are created by sculpting a model 
(the "sculptor" part), but the engraving is no longer done 
by hand, but by machine (a reducing lathe or similar).
And these engraving machines are often run by someone other 
than the sculpting artist.

I agree that computerized engraving is the way things are
headed. I noted in particular one paragraph from the article:

  "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 are several reasons why many major mints have not 
successfully utilized computerized engraving for portraits, 
most notably:

1. Most of the programs were not written or constructed in 
such a way that allows real-time sculpting to be performed 
when a very large quantity of data is involved. It takes 
less than one-one-thousandth of an inch (<0.001") to make 
a huge difference in a facial portrait or facial expression.   
And to have that kind of resolution covering the entire 
medal surface requires several million data points.

2. Most artists are not yet accustomed to using this 
type of tool.

As you may know, I wrote my own computer sculpting program 
several years ago and I've been using it for all my design, 
sculpting, and engraving work.   It is the only such program 
in existence that was designed and programmed by a single 
person - that person being an artist who uses the program 

I believe that I have been able to achieve results with my 
program that can equal the quality of work done using any 
other techniques.   My program does provide sufficient 
resolution to do quality life-like portraits.

A major benefit of computerized sculpting not mentioned 
in your article is that designs can be reviewed by clients 
in digital form and then approved before any patterns, molds, 
or dies are cut.   At many mints around the world, designs 
are reviewed and approved as pencil sketches.    But 
subsequent to the approval, there can sometimes be undesirable
deviations between the original concept drawing and the final 
product.   This is due to the inevitable changes that occur 
when transforming a 2-D drawing into a 3-D clay model by hand.

But with the computerized method, there are no deviations 
because the approved rendering and the mold/die engraving 
are both generated by computer from the same source data !

Below is an example of a medal that I was recently 
commissioned to do.

Here is the original rendering I made from my digital 
sculpture:  This rendering was prepared and approved by 
the client before any other work was done.

And here is a photo of an actual medal struck from the 
dies I engraved:

The original photograph used as a guide for the design is here:

Last year I put together a side-by-side comparison of 
the two different approaches to creating a coin/medal:

I have personally experienced a strong resistance to my 
techniques and tools by some people in engraving and 
sculpting fields.   If the discussion linked below is any 
indication, it may take a while before these new tools 
get any respect:

In the discussion above, I offered a challenge to any hand 
engravers.   The challenge would be to have a hand 
engraver/sculptor produce a portrait medal.   I would do 
the same using my techniques.   The results would be posted 
on the internet for everyone to view and comment on.   
Nobody in that engraving forum accepted my challenge.

[Daniel adds: I am currently working on setting up a new 
workshop.   When I get everything in order, I would be happy 
to host visitors and show computerized sculpting and engraving 
in action and in person.]



[Daniel Carr's response in the previous item prompted Dick 
Johnson to follow up with a new set of comments on computer 
sculpting programs. -Editor]

(1)  Calling mint artists "engravers" or even "sculptor-engravers" 
does indeed seem out of place with modern technology. Perhaps 
a new term should  be created to cover more accurately their 
creative position, something better than my first thought: 
"coin progenitor."

(2)  You mentioned engraving machines run by nonartists. 
When the medal firm in Milan Italy, Stefano Johnson, first 
placed their Janvier in production they had so much respect 
for the technician that they placed his name on a medal for 
the Columbian Exposition with the designer of the medal and 
the artist that created the model.  Three names!  That is 
the only recognition I know of that gave credit to the 
reducing machine operator.

(3)  You are amazingly insightful to recognize why major 
mints have not successfully utilized computer engraving for 
portraits. I still observed recent examples similar to items 
made by the old manual Gorton tracer-controlled technology 
as "stiff, frozen, lifeless."

Your portrait of Aaron Russo, on the other hand, prepared 
on your proprietary program, is exceedingly lifelike. There 
is a real person staring back at the viewer. It is realistic 
in how you treated the fullness of the cheeks and the 
prominence of the jowls. I observe you opened the eyes slightly, 
and reduced the prominence of the teeth -- both good choices. 
(An open mouth is difficult to keep from having the teeth 
dominate the portrait. Most medallic artists won't even 
attempt such portraits for that reason.)

The texture of the subject's clothing is excellent for the 
contrast with the smoothness of the skin and  background. 
Your treatment of the hair is in good style. Can you do 
texture easily on your program?

(4) The reverse of this medal exhibits excellent design. 
Here again, the texture of the document is similar to the 
clothing on the obverse. That is a mark of an excellent 
designer to tie the two sides together with the artistic 
device of repetition. The treatment of the globe is one 
of the best I have seen with the relief for Alaska and 
the United States.

I like the three lines of lettering with uniform arc base 
lines. The subsidiary device of the sun and rays may be a 
tad too large, however, it is extremely effective. [The 
obverse could have used a small subsidiary device as well 
to add interest. What would you have done with the sun or 
rays or such on the obverse for that concept of repetition 
again to tie the two sides together?]  Sorry, I didn't 
mean to do a critique, but your design is so exceptional 
it was an inspiration!

(5)  Your proprietary computer sculpting program sounds 
incredible. It should be marketed.  If the best software the 
U.S. Mint has costs $30,000 you should price yours at $50,000. 
[Government officials are only impressed by big numbers.] Then 
have someone suggest the Mint needs your program. Stress the 
medallic portrait feature of your software description.

(6)  There is often a discrepancy between drawing and the 
ultimate model. In fact, some medallists are terrible 
draftsmen whose drawings are horrible, but whose models are 
outstanding. In one case Joseph Di Lorenzo was weak in 
drawing. However he was one of the best modelers in the post 
WWII era. He was frequently paired with Paul Calle, a top 
artist whose designs and drawings were outstanding. The 
combination of the two created some stunning medals!

(7)  I like your idea of a challenge for a hand engraver 
to pit his handiwork up against your computer generated 
portrait. That would certainly be enlightening!


[On Tuesday an article in Washington Post critiqued the 
proposed designs for the Washington, D.C. quarter, noting 
that none of the people chosen for depiction on the quarter 
has really close ties to the city.  -Editor]

First, the U.S. Mint nixed "Taxation Without Representation" 
as the slogan for the D.C. quarter. Now, the Mint has 
narrowed the choices for the design of the coin's reverse 
to three figures from the city's history: Benjamin Banneker, 
Duke Ellington and Frederick Douglass. 

Each has his merits, of course, but this is a weak field. 
The problem is not any lack of achievement on the part of 
the candidates. No, it's the tenuousness of their connections 
to the District, which are important but way too brief 
(Banneker); an accident of birth that had little meaning 
in his ultimate accomplishments (Ellington); and almost 
irrelevant to his greatness (Douglass). 

Just as almost every state in the union decided that no 
one person captured the essence of its history and identity, 
the District should have chosen an inanimate symbol to put 
on the coin, which so many people fought so hard to get 
added to the Mint's state quarters program. 

The District, in contrast, settled on three men who, despite 
their good works, say little about Washington except that 
it is more than its federal, monumental core. The D.C. 
government's desire to avoid obvious choices such as the 
Washington Monument or Lincoln Memorial is reasonable: This 
is the chance to show that the District is not merely the 
seat of government but a distinct community. The "Taxation 
Without Representation" slogan would have made that gesture. 
But the feds found that way too radical. So now the District 
is trying to make a statement through the face of one man. 

But here's the problem: Benjamin Banneker, an accomplished 
mathematician and astronomer ... was born, lived most of his 
life and died in the Baltimore area. 

Duke Ellington ... was not merely a hugely popular performer, 
but, far more important, a composer who turned the blues and 
early jazz into America's classical music form. But while 
Ellington grew up in Washington and got his early education 
in the nightspots of the Black Broadway, as U Street was known 
in the early 20th century, he left town at 23 and never lived 
here again. 

Which brings us to Frederick Douglass. Born on Maryland's 
Eastern Shore, Douglass spent most of his career in Rochester, 
N.Y., ... But his time in Washington came at the end of an 
illustrious life. 

To read the complete article, see:


[Dick Johnson forwarded this article from the Columbus 
(Ohio) Dispatch. -Editor]

Coins worth nearly $100,000 that had been stolen from a 
Hilliard resident in December were recovered this week 
with the help of a coin-shop owner in Pensacola, Fla.

Burglars stole a safe containing more than $1 million 
in coins and other valuables from the home of Robert C. 

"Usually when coins are stolen, recovery is never made," 
said Bob Bruce, owner of the All-American Coin & Jewelry Co. 
in Pensacola. "I know what (Talbott's) going through. I had 
coins stolen from the shop April 7."

Bruce doesn't expect to see those coins again.  But when 
a man came into his shop Saturday with a 1903S Morgan 
silver dollar, Bruce said, he recognized the coin -- which 
he appraised at $20,000 -- as one stolen in the Talbott 

"I keep a database of stolen coins," Bruce said. "I talked 
to the individual on the phone three or four more times. 
He presented us with seven more coins Saturday, and I told 
him I'd make him an offer Monday."

Bruce then contacted Hilliard police.

Larry Shepherd, a Cincinnati coin dealer who had sold 
Talbott most of the coins and is now executive director 
of the American Numismatic Association, verified that the 
coin was stolen, Bruce said.


Tim Shuck of Ames, IA writes: "You had a note in the April 27 
E-Sylum about the proof platinum coin you viewed having surfaces 
that were 'flat-out dull and ugly'. That hasn't been my 
impression, at least based on the few platinum proofs I own.

"But, to look again and compare, I just put a platinum Statue 
of Liberty (or Eagle as some label them) next to a Jefferson 
nickel and a silver state-series quarter, all graded proof 
69. The silver and platinum coins look very similar to me, 
but both are fairly 'cold' in comparison to the nickel which 
has more of a warm reflectivity; from the copper content I 
presume. I think there might be more of a difference in 
appearance between the metals in a non-proof coin but don't 
own any of those in platinum to do a comparison.

"I've always assumed that the reason we don't see many 
circulating platinum coins is the relative scarcity of the 
metal, which would translate into a higher cost for coinage. 
Silver and gold (and copper) adequately provided for the coins 
needed for most commerce. A platinum coin probably would have 
been pushed to a denomination higher than the double eagle, 
which likely was not needed or wanted.

"Since I first started looking at bullion prices in 2004 
platinum has always been about two times the price of gold 
per once, more or less, even though the ratio of the two in 
native state is much higher (meaning platinum should be even 
more expensive). In any case that's a fairly steep price of 
admission, so to speak. Given the storied political history 
between gold and silver factions perhaps there's just never 
been room for another noble metal advocacy."



Wayne Schroll writes: "Do our readers have any information 
on the publication dates of any of remaining volumes of The 
Fitzwilliam Museum's Medieval European Coinage Project?   
The project web page lists the seventeen volumes (1 and 14 
published so far), but nothing about estimated publication 


[Steve Fellers, who authored with his daughter Ray a book 
about concentration camp money, spoke on the topic recently.  
Here are excerpts from an article about the event in the 
Shreveport Times. -Editor]

A professor passionate about numismatics shared some of the 
stories tattered pieces of paper tell about the Holocaust.

Steve Fellers, a physics professor at Coe College in Cedar 
Rapids, spoke at the Shreveport-Bossier City Holocaust 
Memorial Commemoration on Sunday about the money circulated 
through ghettos and concentration camps before and during 
World War II.

Sunday's commemoration in Shreveport marked the 25th year 
community members have put on the interfaith event. Rose Van 
Thyn, who survived the concentration camp at Auschwitz, 
spoke briefly about the legacy of the Holocaust, in which 6 
million Jews and 5 million other people died.

Fellers visited Shreveport's Holocaust commemoration Sunday 
because of his friendship with the late Charlton E. Meyer Jr. 
and Meyer's wife, Gloria Meyer, of Shreveport. Charlton Meyer 
assembled an extensive collection of concentration camp 
currency that he donated to the Holocaust Museum Houston 
in 2002.

"Even at Auschwitz, there was money," Fellers said. "We know 
of money from over 50 camps."

Read the complete article




[A U.K. news account mentions a medal given by the Pope.  
According to one web article, "the Benemerenti Medal, meaning 
“good merit” medal, was created in 1791 by Pope Pius VI".  
I've not been able to locate a definitive description of the 
history of the medal on the web.  Apparently there have been 
are many different designs over the years. -Editor]

A rare medal awarded by the Pope has been bestowed on two 
Colchester women.

Olive Hewitt and Peggy Wilding both received the Benemerenti 
Medal during the Sunday service at St Theodore's Roman Catholic 
Church in Monkwick from the parish priest, Father Joseph 

Church committee member Christine Brown said the medals were 
rare and she had only heard of one other being given out in 
recent memory in the Colchester area.

The Benemerenti Medal is a papal honour given in recognition 
of Christian work carried out over a number of years.

To read the complete article, see:

Read a 2006 article on the medal

To view Benemerenti medal images from the OMSA photo database, see:


[An E-Sylum reader forwarded a link to an article written 
by a high school junior about a recent class trip to Carson 
City, where the group viewed the striking of a medal at the 
Nevada State Museum.  Here are some excerpts. -Editor]

Early last Friday morning my senior government class at 
Lahontan Valley High School and I set off for Carson City. 
Our agenda was to go to the State Legislature, the Supreme 
Court building and then on to the Fallon Centennial coin 
minting at the Nevada State Museum. 

When we arrived at the museum, there were 18 students, Mayor 
Ken Tedford, City Councilmen John Tewell and Willis Swan, 
Anne Pershing, Nancy Balash, Michon Mackdon, Valerie Serpa, 
Capt. Mike Glaser, photographers and many more who came to 
see the pressing of Fallon's 100th anniversary coin. We all 
waited patiently as all of us inched our way closer to the 
six-ton machine to get a good look.

Once we all quieted down, Ken Hopple, who does the minting, 
began to explain the mint and its history. He said the mint 
weighed six tons and had been moved 10 times throughout its 
existence and that it had been re-purchased for $225.

Following the brief lesson about this wonderful machine, he 
finally began to do what we all were waiting for.

He turned the machine on and we all watched in awe as it 
pressed a design into the nickel that he had been holding. 
After about five coins had been minted followed by multiple 
questions about the process, a ceremony was held commemorating 
the new Fallon Centennial coin.

To read the complete article, see:


[Inspired by last week's report on dolphin teeth money in 
the Solomon Islands, NBS Member & Alaska collector Richard 
Jozefiak writes: "This is an interesting story about currency 
use today in the Alaska bush."  Below are excerpts from the 
article in the Anchorage Daily News. -Editor]

At the general store in Noorvik, an Inupiaq village on the 
banks of the Kobuk River, Pauline Morris and her customers 
are on a constant quest for dollars and coins.

It's not unusual for a local customer to walk into the Morris 
Trading Post with a $500 or $1,000 paycheck and use it to buy 
$20 in groceries, she says.

Typically, Morris hands them whatever cash she can spare and 
writes them a check for the balance. A stamp on the check 
identifies it as change -- it becomes a sort of "faux currency" 
that some will use as cash elsewhere in town.

Like most remote villages, Noorvik has no bank and no ATM. 
And when the trading post runs out of dollars and coins, "I 
have to go out and get them," Morris says.

That means a bank run to Kotzebue -- 37 miles away by plane 
at a cost of $170 or more round trip -- to get stacks of 
bills and hundreds of dollars' worth of pennies and quarters.

"I get the cash wherever I travel," Morris says.

This Bush banking method has kept small village stores running 
for decades. Despite communication advances like high-speed 
Internet that have begun to penetrate remote villages, plenty 
of people still lack bank accounts, Morris said.

While the cash economy has crept into most of Alaska's most 
remote places, its foundation -- cash, itself -- is often 

"In communities so small that there aren't ways to send 
funds electronically, the merchants and the post offices 
are the ones making the economy go," said Jennifer Imus, 
a senior manager for Wells Fargo Bank in Fairbanks.

To read the complete article, see:


[Medals are great for commemorating interesting events 
of all sorts.  This newspaper article describes one medal 
and recounts the tale behind it - the cross-country 
adventures of two young boys a hundred years ago. 

The other Sunday, Harry Abernathy came up to me before 
church. “Here’s a little souvenir for you,” he said, 
and handed me a gold-colored commemorative coin.

The coin was from the Frederick, Okla., Chamber of Commerce. 
It featured the figure of two horses with riders on the 
front, and an old-timey car on the back.

 “If your eyes are good enough, look at the small line 
under the horses,” Harry said. Well, the type was pretty 
small, but I squinted and made out “The Abernathy Boys.” 
I asked him if they were any relation or if the name was 
just coincidence. “No, no relation - except that we’re 
all God’s children,” Harry replied.

Harry then told the basics of the story of the Abernathy 
Boys and the adventure that earned their remembrance on 
a commemorative coin. I was intrigued and have fleshed 
out those details a little bit with some supplemental 

The year was 1910, and Frederick, Okla., was still frontier 
“Wild West.” Louis “Bud” Abernathy was 10, and his brother 
Temple was 6. Their father was a rancher and a U.S. marshal 
nicknamed “Catch-em-alive Jack,” a nickname bestowed on him 
by his friend President Theodore Roosevelt after Roosevelt 
saw him catch a wolf with his bare hands.

At this point, I need to mention that Jack Abernathy was a 
widower. His wife - the boys’ mother - had died some time 
before their adventures. I daresay if she had been alive, 
there likely wouldn’t have been any commemorative coin today.

But, back to the story.

President Roosevelt was returning to New York from an overseas 
vacation. The boys convinced their father to let them ride 
horseback from Frederick to New York to participate in the 
parade welcoming Roosevelt back.

They had already had one adventure, riding from Frederick 
to Santa Fe, N.M., to visit the home of Gov. George Curry. 
They had carefully planned all the details of the trip and 
when they showed Jack how thorough their plan was, he 
allowed them to go.

That trip took two weeks, and the boys encountered no major 
problems. At one point along the way, they met several men 
who escorted them for many miles to make sure they were safe. 
It turned out that the men were outlaws, who later wrote 
Jack to tell him that although they didn’t think much of 
him, they liked the stuff his boys were made of.

Having made that trip successfully, the boys were able, with 
Roosevelt’s help, to convince their father to let them ride 
to New York. With Roosevelt’s publicity, the boys were given 
heroes’ welcomes along the way, and well-wishers’ donations 
funded the trip.

After reaching New York and riding in the parade, the boys 
used some of the money that they had been given along the 
way to purchase an automobile. They then shipped their horses 
back to Oklahoma and drove home.

Remember, they were only 10 and 6!

[There's more to the story, so check out the complete 
article!  There have been complete books (both fiction 
and nonfiction) written based on the brothers' exploits.  
I ordered one to share with my sons: The Abernathy Boys 
by L. J. Hunt. -Editor]

To read the complete article, see:


[Michael Sullivan writes: "This is an amazing news story 
on the impact of counterfeiting in Somalia - people die 
over counterfeits."  Here are excerpts from the BBC news 
Michael forwarded. -Editor]

Somali troops killed at least two people in the capital, 
Mogadishu, when they opened fire to halt riots over rising 
costs and counterfeit money. 

Thousands of people rioted, burning tyres and throwing 
stones after traders refused to accept local notes and 
demanded US dollars instead. 

The recent printing of local shilling notes on illegal 
presses has led to spiralling inflation, reporters say. 

The demonstrators shouted slogans about the traders such 
as "down with those refusing the old money and down with 
the dollar-receivers". 

Over the last three months, the value of Somali shilling 
has fallen dramatically from 17,000 shillings for $1 (50 
pence) to 30,000 shillings for $1. 

This has been blamed on the printing of vast quantities 
of the local currency on illegal presses. 

Most people have limited access to US dollar notes, 
the only currency shopkeepers will accept. 

Our correspondent says both the transitional government 
and the leaders of the insurgents have ordered traders 
to accept both the old and new local notes. 

But businesses argue that most of the old Somali shilling 
notes are worn out - they date back to before 1991 - and 
worth very little, and they blame the spiralling inflation 
on the counterfeit ones. 

To read the complete article, see:


Len Augsburger writes: "I had to check a couple other 
sources when I first saw this because I assumed it was some 
sort of crank or Onion-type article.  Is nothing sacred 
anymore?  Somehow sitting in that splendiferous reading 
room at 42nd and 5th won't be the same.  Sigh..... "


"A quincunx is the arrangement of five units in the pattern 
corresponding to the five-spot on dice, playing cards, or 
dominoes. The quincunx was originally the symbol of the Roman 
coin of the same name, whose value was five twelfths (quinque 
+ uncia) of an as. Typically, a quincunx consists of five 
objects arranged in a square, with one object at each of 
the square’s four corners and the fifth in the square’s 

To read the complete article, see:


It's non-numismatic, but readers may wish to try their 
hands on the following brain teaser Dave Bowers forwarded 
to me this week:

"I am only sending this to my smart friends. I could not 
figure it out and had to look at the answer. If you can 
figure out what these words have in common, you are a lot 
smarter than I am.


I managed to get it, and on Tuesday I put the question to 
my wife and our two sons at breakfast.  Christopher figured 
it out.  So ... are you smarter than a nine-year-old?


[Some businesses don't bother with cash registers, and do 
just fine, thank you.  This bakery takes self-service to the 
limit (and doesn't price in cent increments).  But don't 
expect major retailers to follow. -Editor]

Here's an article about the City Café Bakery in Kitchener, 
Ontario, which uses an honor payment system and almost 
never gets cheated.

Customers add up how much they owe themselves and drop 
their money into a fare box from an old bus. 

“I liked the idea of simplifying things and ... the honour 
system made a whole lot of sense,” [owner John] Bergen says. 
“What irritated me about going into Tim Hortons, for example, 
was waiting in line for something as simple as getting a 
donut and a coffee. So the thought was, someone can pour 
his own coffee, grab his own bagel, cut it himself, throw 
the money in, and walk out. We don’t touch 60 per cent 
of the transaction.”

Because it is up to the customers to total their purchases, 
Bergen has simplified the cost structure.

“Everything is rounded off to the nearest quarter with 
taxes included where applicable,” he says. “So every desert 
is $1.50 (tarts, brownies, and date squares), every pizza 
lunch is $5, every beverage is $1.25, every loaf of bread 
is $2.75 (Italian sourdough, multi-grain, and raisin bread 
on weekends), croissants are $1 each, and bagels are three 
for $2 (plain, sesame, and multi-grain).”

The bakery conducts audits every six months and Bergen 
says only once did things come up short.

To read the complete article, see:


Last week I wrote:

  [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]

Larry Gaye writes: “I have a Byzantine coin client who 
purchases Byzantine Anonymous folles (10th Century pieces) 
to use for the coin toss in the soccer (football) games he 
officiates.  He then gives them away to foster the hobby, 
a very neat way to focus interest.”



This week's featured web site is suggested by Dick Johnson.  
He writes: "Here's an interesting art project that may be of 
interest to E-Sylum readers.  I came across it in Monica Noelle 
Voigt's recent blog post."

Artists Aaron Koblin and Takashi Kawashima created a digital 
image of the one hundred dollar bill. Comprising images of 
drawings made by 10,000 people from Mechanical Turk which is 
an online business site. They were asked to reproduce an 
abstract piece and received one cent for their contribution. 
The final product resembles a mosaic-like image of the one 
hundred dollar bill.

These Artists are not the first to work with money in art. 
However the way that they did it was a great trick, almost. 
These people who they "hired" did not know why they were asked 
to created a drawing they just knew that they were being paid 
for it. I'm not sure if they knew how much they were going to 
get paid for before they did it. Because I'm not sure that 
one cent is worth much anymore.

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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