The E-Sylum v16#38 September 15, 2013

The E-Sylum esylum at
Sun Sep 15 18:38:33 PDT 2013

The E-Sylum
  An electronic publication of
  The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

Volume 16, Number 38, September 15, 2013


Click here to read this issue on the web

Click here to access the complete archive
To comment or submit articles, reply to 
whomren at



New subscribers this week include
David Hall and Don Willis, courtesy of Ron Guth, plus
S. Seiler and
Mel Wacks.
Welcome aboard!
We have 1,681 email subscribers, plus 246 followers on Facebook.

This week we open with word of SIX new numismatic books.  What a great time to be a bibliophile!  This is a great batch of titles, and comes on top of several great new books announced in just the past few weeks.

Other topics include the late Eric von Klinger, web sites for searching magazines, coin presses and hub and die making, the Bank of England's polymer note plans, Numismatic Times and Trends and Mehl's Numismatic Monthly.

To learn more about the coinage of Septimius Severus, Cambodian coins and currency, Colorado flooding, the origin of the term "Nova Eborac", horizontal coin minting and the staying power of Yap Stone Money,  read on.   Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum


Scott Goodman forwarded this announcement of a new two-volume reprint of the classic  books by Gunter Kienast on the medals of Karl Goetz.   The books were originally published in 1967 (Vol I) and 1986 (Vol II).   Scott said recent prices for the original hardbound volumes are in the neighborhood of  $400 for Vol I and $650 for Vol II.   I haven't seen them sell quite that high, but they do bring a hefty price.  Regardless, $135 for the pair of softbound reprints is a great deal in comparison.

The Medals of Karl X. Goetz:  Kienast Volumes I & II Redux
Author:  Gunter W. Kienast
ISBN-13: 	Volume I:  978-1492251576, Volume II: 978-1492251620
ISBN-10: 	Volume I:  1492251577, Volume II: 1492251623
Format:  8.5” X 11”, Two Volumes, Black and white, Trade Paper, Softbound
Pages: Volume I:  308,  Volume II: 194
Publisher:  Henry Scott Goodman/
Price:  $135, sold in sets only.

Hello Goetz collectors and enthusiasts!

The continued price increases for original hardbound Kienast Volumes I & II forced our decision to reprint this source material as a set. These reprints can serve to ‘even the playing field’ for potential collectors and others who could not find, and/or, afford copies of Kienast’s original books.  Flying blind while trying to collect anything, especially Goetz material, is not a recommended practice.  Reprint numbers of the set will be determined by actual demand.

These reprints are exact copies of Kienast’s original two volumes and as such do not contain any new information.  For those of you requiring fresh information about Goetz medals, use these volumes as reference while visiting our web site at:  Although a work in progress, our galleries should provide any additional medal types, varieties, sizes, and metal compositions lacking, or not found, in these original books.

We wish to express our continued gratitude to G.W. Kienast for his generosity resulting in our ability to carry the story of Karl Goetz into the 21st Century.

Lastly, a generous portion of the revenue generated from these reprint sales will be contributed to the recurrent maintenance fees for the Goetz Family burial plot located in the Westfriedhof (West Cemetery), Munich, Germany.

Please order the two volume sets directly from the 

www.karlgoetzmedals web site.  Make sure to follow the ordering instructions to ensure you receive free shipping within the contiguous 48 States.

To order, see:


Author Ras Suarez forwarded this information about his new e-book on the coinage of Septimus Severus.  Thanks, and congratulations!

"The Complete Coinage of Septimius Severus", a new eBook by Rasiel Suarez aims to list and describe every known coin issued by this emperor. Each of over 1,400 listings includes mint dates, values and, in a first for ancient numismatics, precise rarity figures drawn from nearly 14,000 auction lots. Also included is a thorough high-resolution photography section to aid identification along with a brief biography and ancillary notes that will prove invaluable to any Severan specialist. Available now as a PDF eBook for $15 from

To order, see:

The Complete Coinage of Septimius Severus



Author Ben Weiss forwarded this information about his new free e-book on Indian Peace Medals.  Check it out!

Medallic History of the War of 1812: Catalyst for Destruction of the American Indian Nations
by: Benjamin Weiss

The European Americans promised Peace and Friendship with the Native American Nations by bestowing upon Indian Chiefs commemorative medals on which this promise was boldly proclaimed.  Little came of man's words and shiny gifts as the battles fought between American and British forces during the War of 1812 led to the practical destruction of the Native American peoples.

Benjamin Weiss, avid collector of historical and commemorative medals, wrote his first eBook titled Medallic History of the War of 1812: Catalyst for Destruction of the American Indian Nations, the first publication in its kind to cover the subject of commemorative medals issued during the War of 1812 that concentrates on the role they and the war played in causing the near demise of the Native American Nations.

This eBook examines the War of 1812, using as a canvas historical and commemorative medals issued to the military commanders who fought so valiantly against the greatest naval power in the world.  By fighting and driving the British from the newly-formed United States, the Americans accomplished their goal.  They also succeeded in devastating the dreams of the Native American Nations, led by their great Shawnee leader Tecumseh.  At the conclusion of the war, Tecumseh was dead and with him went the hopes and dreams of a confederated Indian Nation.

With historical medals serving as a backdrop, this ebook chronicles the causes and major battles fought between Americans and British during the War of 1812, a war which served as a catalyst for the virtual destruction of the Native American peoples.

1814 George III Indian Peace medal

Richly illustrated, Medallic History of the War of 1812: Catalyst for Destruction of the American Indian Nations, is a must read for collectors of historical and commemorative medals.  It should be of great appeal to those interested in American history, particularly in the little-known War of 1812 fought between the European Americans and the British and its enormous consequences to the American Indian Nations.

Published by the Kunstpedia Foundation, the eBook Medallic History of the War of 1812: Catalyst for Destruction of the American Indian Nations can be downloaded free and without any costs.

This eBook examines the War of 1812, using as a canvas historical and commemorative medals issued to the military commanders who fought so valiantly against the greatest naval power in the world.  By fighting and driving the British from the newly-formed United States, the Americans accomplished their goal.  They also succeeded in devastating the dreams of the Native American Nations, led by their great Shawnee leader Tecumseh.  At the conclusion of the war, Tecumseh was dead and with him went the hopes and dreams of a confederated Indian Nation.
With historical medals serving as a backdrop, this ebook chronicles the causes and major battles fought between Americans and British during the War of 1812, a war which served as a catalyst for the virtual destruction of the Native American peoples.

The e-book is very well illustrated, and FREE!  I encourage E-Sylum readers to download and read a copy.  

For more information, see:

eBook Medallic History of the War of 1812: Catalyst for Destruction of the American Indian Nations


To download the 57-page ebook, see:


An article in the September 12, 2013  CoinsWeekly by Ursula Kampmann is titled A Generations’ Work: the Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum and contains a review of the seventh volume in that monumental series.  Here's an excerpt.

>From time to time I am startled to see how much remains to be done in the field of numismatics despite the over 500 years of continuous research. One of the big desiderata was to catalogue and comment the Parthian coinage according to modern methods and thus improving much on Sellwood. A new project of the Austrian Academy of the Sciences (Österreichische Akademie der Wissenschaften) is to present the Parthian coinage in nine volumes. To achieve that goal 17,000 coins were gathered from the most important coin cabinets of the world, among which the National Museum of Iran. In 2012 Fabrizio Sinisi published the first volume of the Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum (SNP) dedicated to the coinage from Vologases I to Pacorus II, i.e. the second half of the first century CE.

By the way, it is quite remarkable that the editors of the SNP – Michael Alram, Vesta Sarkhosh Curtis and Daryoosh Akbarzadeh – decided to publish in English. It is indeed a wise decision since English has become more and more the lingua franca of numismatics.

This book differs from the traditional principle of the Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum since it aims not only at presenting the material itself. Rather it pays equal attention to the contextualisation, the historical, numismatic and art historical interpretation. Therefore it starts with a historical overview comprising nearly 10 pages. A detailed interpretation of the images and legends follows. In some cases you must look very closely in order to distinguish the different bust types. The part focusing on the material concludes with a metrological study.

Then the author discusses the chronology of the types as defined in the previous chapters and their relation to the historical events. Those who regard this rather too complicated can consult the synchronogram that offers the types drawn in chronological order on six pages. Next, all types are listed in detailed manner and described precisely.

For more information on the series, see:

Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum


To order, see:

Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum: Vologases I - II Pacorus


To read the complete article, see:

A generations’ work: the Sylloge Nummorum Parthicorum



Howard Daniel forwarded this note about his new book on Cambodia Coins and Currency.  Congratulations!   See below for ordering information.

Cambodia Coins and Currency
By Howard A. Daniel III

This reference is a comprehensive catalog of all known Cambodian financial instruments.  It would not have been possible without the assistance of almost fifty contributors.  Many of these contributors are not numismatists, but from several other fields.  There were no Cambodian language references available going back to the 16th century, so much research was in the journals and reports of foreigners who visited or resided in Cambodia from the 16th century.

There are no known Cambodian financial instruments prior to the 16th century.  Before that century, everyone used barter for their wants and needs, and all trade with foreigners was conducted by the ruling families and their highest officials.  They bartered Cambodian goods for foreign products and bullion and base metal pieces.   When bartering was an unequal trade for goods, foreign precious and base metal bullion pieces were used to complete the trade.

Many foreign traders, mostly Chinese, started settling in Cambodia, commercial transactions became common with ordinary Cambodians and coins were needed.  The coins were very small but one small silver coin could purchase several chickens.  As time went on, larger coins were created and circulated.  After the country became a French protectorate and then a colony, French Cochin-Chine and Indo-Chine coins, and Banque de l’Indo-Chine bank notes circulated.  After Cambodia regained its independence, it issued its own coins and bank notes, and many other financial instruments and related pieces.

During the French colonial era, tokens were minted for use within the royal palace grounds, and merchant tokens were minted which circulated in Phnom Penh.    The French postal system also had postal money orders, reply coupons, stamp machine tokens, and telephone tokens.  In modern times, the Cambodians issued their own postal financial instruments plus telephone cards.   There were also stocks, bonds, foreign exchange certificates, casino tokens and chips, etc., etc.  This catalog describes over 850 pieces from the 16th century to date.

There is a grading guide in the Introduction to assist collectors in matching the piece with its catalog value.  The Introduction also defines many numismatic and related words and terms, and the Glossary has about fifty more words.  There is also some historical and economic background information, to include numbers of pieces minted and printed.  The research required almost fifty years of collecting the pieces, and reading over one hundred references and fifteen websites, all of which are identified in the Bibliography.  There is also an Index to assist the reader in finding specific pieces within the catalog.

Since this catalog was published in December 2012, there has been an article published in Numismatique Asiatique, the journal of the Societie de Numismatique Asiatique, in which Joe Cribb reports the find of a 7th century Cambodian gold coin.  I believe it is a presentation piece sent to the King Isanavarman possibly by the King of Dvaravati, or from another king as far away as India.  Many kings sent gold and other objects to each other to celebrate an event, increase trade, make an alliance, etc.  Gold was far too valuable to be a circulating coin at that time in Cambodia, and extensive research by archaeologist and historians has shown coins were not issued in Cambodia until the 16th century.    I will correspond with Joe to discuss this piece.  

To purchase a copy, contact me at:

Howard A. Daniel III
P.O. Box 626
Dunn Loring, VA 22027-0626 USA
Email: HADaniel3 at

There are several different mailing charges and choices for customers but the basic retail price is US$25.


Earlier this week I got a note from author Jerome Platt who wrote:

Please join us for the book launch party for The English Civil Wars: Medals, Commentary and Personalities. We look forward to seeing all our friends there, recognizing of course, that all you Yanks will only be able to attend in thought--however, should you decide to jump on a plane, that would be great!

It sounded like a lovely party (at Spink's London headquarters, Friday 20 September), but I wouldn't be able to attend.  I requested more information on the book, which Jerry promptly provided.  Congratulations - this looks like a monumental work!

The English Civil Wars: Medals, Historical Commentary & Personalities
By Jerome J Platt & Arleen Kay Platt

Some three and a half centuries ago, Britain was convulsed by a series of civil wars which are still very much alive in the national consciousness. The names of its leaders, participants and major battles—Oliver Cromwell and Charles I, Cavaliers and Roundheads, Edgehill and Dunbar—are known to every Briton and many of the issues of that time still elicit strong reactions. These wars saw the introduction of medals as rewards for gallantry, campaign service and. This book, through the study of the events and personages for and by whom these medals were created, places them within the historical context of the times. 

These volumes will be a welcome addition to the libraries of all who have an interest in the military rewards, personalities and events of the English Civil Wars. Building on earlier works on the subject, the present effort is a study of English Civil War medals in British museums or which have passed through major London auction houses as well as private collections. It provides detailed information which is indispensible for the collector, numismatist, auction house specialist and Civil War enthusiast as well as for the military or art historian with an interest in the period. 

The detailed information on over 900 individual medals illustrating over 400 sub-types in both private and public collections, accompanied by more than 500 photographs and illustrations of medals, many in color, provides an important archival reference source. A comprehensive bibliography of the subject, including over 400 sources, will provide the reader with access to both antiquarian and contemporary scholarly references which were consulted. 

Assembled from the first author’s findings and observations over thirty years of collecting and studying the medals of the period, this work places these ‘pieces of history’ within the historical context of the Civil War, the Interregnum and the Restoration, and brings alive those persons whose portraits are found on the medals as well as the events of the times. Through historical and biographical commentary on some 100 historical personages, the personalities of the figures of the period come into focus as human beings subject to many of the same views, feelings and motives, both selfless and base, as our contemporaries. Through the use of commentary and over 400 illustrations from the 17th through 19th centuries, we see the personages of the Civil War period as did both their contemporaries and those closer in time to the events of the English Civil War.  

About the Authors:

Jerome J. Platt, Ph.D., before his retirement, was a medical school research director and the author of over a dozen books on drug addiction. Arleen Kay Platt, R.N. was a hospital nursing supervisor and manager of a research clinic for addicted adolescents. They are the authors, with Maurice E. Jones, of the well-received Whitewash Brigade: The Hong Kong Plague of 1984.


By now many of you will have seen news stories about the heavy rains and flooding in Boulder, Colorado.  But you may not realize Boulder's connection to The E-Sylum.  Since its inception the NBS web site and E-Sylum archive have been hosted on servers in the Boulder area, courtesy of John Nebel and his Computer Systems Design company.  John hosts web sites for several other numismatic organizations as well.  Luckily the floodwaters didn't damage the site, although the situation was, shall we say, "fluid", for a while.      Here are some reports from John and Susie Nulty.

Susie Nulty writes:

Some areas are really hit hard by this rain. I live near Fort Carson in the southwest part of Colorado Springs. Fort Carson reports that it has received the normal annual rainfall in the last 3 days and it was still raining Friday afternoon.
Many roads are a mess but I was out earlier this morning and could get around fairly easily. There are some monster puddles.
So far, my home is fine although I go down to the basement every few hours to check - all dry and I am feeling very fortunate.

John Nebel writes:

Along the Front Range, towns are often at the foot of canyons, as an example, Boulder with several.  It doesn't take much rain above a town to cause a spectacular effect, as it's usually collected over an immense mountainous area, then accelerated by gravity and funneled below into a narrow canyon mouth. 

Below the canyon mouth, the water spreads out, slows down and isn't particularly dangerous to persons, but can be to property.  Not too far above the water level, even in the worst places, watching is a sport, unintentionally in the water, certainly no sport.

Wednesday rain was worse than Thursday, but both nights the Boulder creek flow rate was about 30 times normal.  It will be a while before anyone really knows the extent of damage, which I think is now being exaggerated.  Most people have only been inconvenienced, many not even that, which means that there is plenty of capacity to help those who really are in need.

I did spend time in the computer room both nights just in case, and many took some sort of precaution.  If one lives in a canyon near a usually babbling brook, it's dangerous, and there is not a lot one can do, but move uphill, usually in the wet and cold, and at night.

But, it's a University town, and the atmosphere Friday was festive.

Here's an article on the flooding from the New York Times.

Four people have died in the floods, and the authorities said Friday that 80 people had been reported as unreachable or missing. With cellphone service down and the power out, some of the missing may simply be unable to communicate with friends or family.

On Friday, thousands more Colorado residents were forced to evacuate their homes in the face of rivers and streams choked by heavy rains, dirt and debris.

In scenes that have become hauntingly familiar, families packed their cars with pets and suitcases and made their way to the nearest church or school that was offering shelter, left to wonder about the fate of their homes and neighbors. Some made it on their own, or in a neighbor’s car. Others fled on foot.

Up in the mountains, helicopters flown by the National Guard skimmed over ravaged roads to pluck scores of stranded residents from the flooded town of Jamestown.

To read the complete article, see:

Colorado Floodwaters Force Thousands to Flee


John adds:

Thoroughly eccentric; a Boulder creek flood stranded crayfish in the Justice Center parking lot.  It immediately brought to mind the Katane tetradrachm.

Rare U.S. & Worldwide Banknotes, Scripophily and Autographs

“The Copps Collection” of Colonial Stocks, Bonds, Documents & Fiscal Paper to be held 
in conjunction with the 3rd Annual Wall Street Coin, Currency & Collectibles Show.

October 19th and 22nd, 2013 in New York City 

Highlights include:

>From “The Copps Collection”, A 1792 U.S. Federal Bond Issued to and Signed by George Washington, this is one of three known, the other two are in an institutions, this is the first time ever at auction

U.S. Colonial; Obsolete; Fractional; and, Large Type Notes including a high grade “Educational” Set of 3 notes along with dozens of other rare banknotes.

Worldwide Banknotes including an outstanding U.A.E. Specimen Set as well as hundreds of other rare and desirable notes. 

Hundreds of U.S. & Worldwide Stocks and bonds including autographed certificates and autographs by Daniel Drew; Thomas Edison; Buffalo Bill Cody, Robert Morris and many others.

1580 Lemoine Avenue, Suite #7 
Fort Lee, NJ 07024 
Phone: 201-944-4800 

info at




Fred Lake writes:

Eric Von Klinger was a friend and consignor to a number of Lake Books numismatic literature sales. He was a very knowledgeable guy and always eager to share those tidbits whenever we met. He will be sorely missed in the numismatic community.

Harold Levi writes:

It is with great sorrow that I read of Eric von Klinger’s passing. I wondered why he had not answered my last e-mail. He had told me of his cancer and at that time was not sure if the treatments had put it into remission.

I have great memories of the 2004 ANA convention in Pittsburgh. This was when I met E-Sylum Editor Wayne Homren and Eric. We spent some time discussing attributes I needed to include in my forthcoming book on the Confederate cent, among other topics. I found that both Eric and I hated footnotes but disliked endnotes even more, the book has footnotes.

Earlier that day, George Corell and myself had given our Confederate cent presentation. As part of this, we introduced Katie (Yeager) DeSilva to the numismatic community. For those who may not know, Katie is a great-great granddaughter of George H. Lovett, who was Robert Lovett, Jr.’s brother. Beth Deisher, had assigned Eric to cover our presentation and interview Katie. Eric got his interview and liked the work that George and I were doing on Confederate coinage.

Rest in Peace my good friend!

Bob Van Ryzin writes:

My wife, Sharon, and I are saddened to learn of Eric's death. He was a good friend and a former co-worker of mine at Krause Publications. 

He was very knowledgeable about coins, which you could tell just by a short conversation with him. He was also passionate about the hobby and about writing. 

I hadn't seen him since an ANA a number of years ago, but I often corresponded with him by email, in which he would always end his replies, no matter how bleak the news, with a hopeful, "Cheers, Eric."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

ERIC VON KLINGER, 1946 - 2013



Dave Lange's question about the short-lived periodical Numismatic Times and Trends brought a number of great responses from readers.  Thanks, everyone!

Peter Mosiondz, Jr. writes:

In answer to Dave Lange’s query concerning Numismatic Times and Trends it was started to compete the other numismatic newspapers of the day. I believe it ran until sometime in late 1961 or perhaps into 1962. I was one of their charter subscribers and have been looking for copies without success for some years now. Classified ads were either very inexpensive or free to subscribers; I can’t remember which. Many early ads of mine were contained in that back section. I seem to recall that NT&T focused on coin values. I’ll be looking forward to what others remember.

Dan Hamelberg writes:

I have 7 issues starting with Vol. I, #I (1-10-61), Vol. I, #2
 (1-25-61), Vol I, #3 (2-10-61), Vol I, #4 (2-25-61), Vol. I, #5 (3-10-61), Vol. I, #6 (3-25-61), and Vol. I, #9 (5-10-61).  The issues feature a classified ad format along with market prices for rolls, mint and proof sets, etc.  The March, 25, 1961 issue has an interesting cover story on the Kosoff auction of the Edwin Hydeman collection. The sale featured a 1913 Liberty Nickel which reached a high bid of $41,000, but did not sell as it did not hit the reserve of $50,000.  

Mike Paradis forwarded the following from Kolbe's sale 103 (June 7, 2007):

255 NUMISMATIC TIMES AND TRENDS. VOLUME I, NUMBER 1 – VOLUME I, NUMBER 22. New Orleans, January 10 November 25, 1961. 658 pages, illustrated. (bound with) COINS MAGAZINE. VOL. IX, NO. 1. Iola, January 1962. 46, (2) pages, illustrated. Quarto. Black cloth, gilt. Fine. (100.00)

Ex John M.Willem. All issued of the main publication. A printed notice stapled to the issue of Coins Magazine reads in part: "Announcing The Sale of Numismatic Times and Trends to Chester L. Krause, Publisher of Numismatic News and COINS  magazine. Times and Trends suspended publication in December. The subscription obligation is being met by COINS  magazine, formerly Coin Press Magazine.  Starting with the October 25 issue, Clement F. Bailey came on board as Associate Editor, remaining in that position for the last three numbers. The only complete set we recall ever having encountered of this interesting and informative publication, similar in content to Coin World.

Clifford Mishler writes:

I believe I can provide a fairly definitive response to Dave Lange’s inquiry concerning the publishing of “Numismatic Times and Trends” out of New Orleans back in 1961. It happens that I did subscribe to the publication, and somewhere in my unorganized archive there are certainly some copies lurking, if not all of the issues published, but I am presently at a loss as to where I might put my hands on them.

The only issues published were dated in 1961, from January 10 through November 25, the publication appearing twice monthly dated on the 10th and 25th. It can be found listed in Remy Bourne’s two volume compilation “American Numismatic Periodicals” published in 1990, with a claimed circulation of 12,400 as of the second issue dated January 25. The founding publisher was William J. Gruber and the editor Kenneth F. Pierce, two of a team of active New Orleans area collectors and dealers who were initially involved with the publication.

It was announced in the January 1, 1962, edition of “Numismatic News” that the publication had been acquired by Chester L. Krause on December 12, 1961, who in the fall of 1961 had acquired “Coin Press” magazine from Frank G. Spadone, which had been re-flagged as “Coins” magazine effective with the January 1962 dated edition. The subscription obligation of NT&T was assumed by “Coins,” with the announcement indicating the combined “circulation of the two Krause publications (Coins and Numismatic News) now total double that of all existing numismatic publications.”

In discussing the acquisition with Chet, as this was before I moved to Iola and joined the staff (March 1963), his best recollection is that “Numismatic Times and Trends”  was “acquired for a modest financial consideration and assumption of the outstanding subscription obligation.” In addition to assumption of the subscription obligation, some of the publication’s features and contributors were migrated to “Coins” and “Numismatic News.” The “Times” staff and engaged correspondents at the time numbered nine.

When Krause acquired the title, sole ownership was in the hands of Kenneth Pierce. Another of the early owners was Frank Gruber, who held forth at a promotional table during the 1961 FUN convention in Miami at the time the product was being launched. A photo recap page published in the January 1, 1962, edition of the “News” included a picture of Gruber and his wife were pictured at the table.

One interesting point that Dave made reference to concerns a statement, made in a release published on the front page of the first edition of the “Times,” that successive “pilot issues” were distributed to “some of the foremost authorities” in the field prior to the launch of publication. Bourne did not document the existence of the referenced “pilot” offerings, and I have never seen a copy of one. Perhaps someone out there can fill in that detail for us.

What wonderful responses!  Hearing directly from people in a position to know the facts is what makes The E-Sylum such a great publication.  First-hand accounts like these are my favorite  E-Sylum articles.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:




 National Coin Album Books Forthcoming 
Dave Lange writes:

I just heard from my printer that the National Coin Album books will be in my hands on or around October 14. I'm disappointed that I won't have them for the Philadelphia and Long Beach shows, but I will have my own printout of the book at the NGC booth for both shows, and I'll be taking pre-orders at the discounted price of $65.

For more information on Dave's upcoming book, see:



 The Staying Power of Yap Stone Money 
Rudy Valentin writes:

Around the early 1960's, while serving in the U.S. Coast Guard in the Pacific
area, I had the opportunity to visit the Island of Yap on various occasions.
I became friendly with the natives and asked them about their stone money
system and their rationale behind it.  They told me; "The Germans came with
their marks and left, The British came with their pounds and left, The
Spaniards came with their reales and left, The Japanese brought their yens
and are gone. Now the Americans have brought the dollars, and we don't
know how long they are going to be here.  But all the time, our stone money
is still here."

The main principle of the stone money is similar  to the Gold Standard.  As long
as we have lots of it  buried in Fort Knox, our paper money has value.  This
is why the U.S.  exchanged the Puerto Rico peso at .60 cents to the dollar when
we took over that island as a result of the Spanish/American war in 1898,
notwithstanding the fact that the P.R. peso had slightly more silver than the
U.S. silver dollar.

Nevertheless, the Puerto Rican peso in today's market is worth from $300.00
to $10,000.00, depending on the condition.  What goes out, comes back!

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:



 Another Wedgwood portrait of the Vicomte de Noailles 
Richard Margolis writes:

I have an identical Wedgwood portrait of the Vicomte de Noailles in my collection, acquired at a London auction sale six years ago.

 Both the Baldwin's example and mine are correctly described as creamware factory reference models, as they were hung up and used as guides for Wedgwood's factory workers (hence the piercing, which occurs on all of the factory reference models I have seen).

  These reference models (although not the Noailles),  frequently feature a sometimes amusing phonetic rendering of the subject's name inscribed on the back. For example, the Warren Hastings Wedgwood reference model in my collection is identified  as  A.Stain .

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:



 More on the Term Nova Eborac 
Last week's Featured Web Site was about the Nova Eborac tokens, with "Nova Eborac being the Latin for New York". 
Arthur Shippee forwarded this article, noting:

Eborac is an abbreviation -- as noted with the "." following EBORAC.
No Latin word would end in "c".  

Here's an excerpt from the article from the  BBC  about the history of the name of the town of York.

Eboracum is the Roman name for York, but just how did we get from Eboracum to York?

The answer involves boars, mistranslation and the oddities of the Nordic tongue!

One aspect of the Roman legacy which is not as obvious is the city's name, York. Eboracum, the Roman name for York, sounds exotic and Latinised to our ears, and on initial consideration, appears to have little in common with the city's modern-day name. But in fact, the name York is a direct descendent of the name Eboracum.

The Legio IX Hispana believed the name meant 'place of the boar'. Subsequently the boar appears on numerous inscriptions as a symbol of York.

Following the Romans' departure in c400AD, the Anglo-Saxon invaders substituted Eboracum for their own word for boar and town, Evorwic. However, the next set of invaders, the Vikings, couldn't quite get their tongue round Evorwic, so they settled for Jorvik. Pronounced 'Yorvik' the step to York is hardly surprising.

To read the complete article, see:

What the Eboracum's it all about?


To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:




Frederick Liberatore writes:

I cannot thank you enough for publishing Paul Torongo's
comments concerning his problems getting his superb book  Collecting
Medieval Coins: A Beginner's Guide, especially the pricing horror
story. I had ordered the book for $47.50 from Amazon and on discovering
it was being sold DAYS later for about $18 was outraged and let Amazon
know. I received the response below. I am hoping you can alert other
purchasers about this possibility of a rebate from Amazon for overcharging.

Thanks for contacting us about the recent price change on "Collecting
Medieval Coins: A Beginner's Guide". I recognize you have a choice of
retailers and appreciate that you prefer to order from us.

I've reviewed your order and see that your items have already been

Since the price of the item has changed within seven days of the
delivery of the order, I've issued a refund for the price difference in
the amount of $31.64 to your Master Card.

You'll see the refund on your Master Card statement in the next 2-3
business days.

Jon Radel writes:

I ordered a 2nd copy and am returning the more expensive 
copy.  Since I don't pay for shipping to me, this will cost me only the 
return shipping.  Almost as good.  :-)

Ginger Rapsus writes:

I published 6 novels with BookBaby, and am satisfied with the results (although I would like to get royalty statements in a more timely manner). I do not know how it would be if I published a non-fiction coin book with photos.

Greg Burns writes:

I, too, have a book produced by Createspace, and intrigued by the pricing anomaly described by Paul went and ordered his book (a steal at the $16 offering). Within hours it was reported as shipped, and it arrived the next day, less than 24 hours after ordering.   

One of the end pages of the book is marked “Made in the USA / San Bernardino, CA / 08 September 2013”. Amazing - ordered, printed, mailed, and received in less than 24 hours…

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:




Last week  Fred Michaelson asked about web sites for searching old magazines.

David Ganz writes:

The New York Times site has issues from 1854 to date (subscription), but members of the Bergen County Cooperative Library System (BUCKLES) have  free access.

Ron Ward writes:

The reference Fred is seeking is: "Readers' Guide to Periodical Literature", H.W. Wilson Co., which has been published since the early 1900s. It covers articles from about 400 popular magazines which are listed by author and subject matter.  It is published monthly and the issues are combined into a yearly volume.  

In Montgomery Co., MD, a complete set is available at the Montgomery Co. Regional Library in Rockville. I do not think an on-line version is available. Subscriptions are about $500.00 a year. There are other guides such as Index Medicus, Biological Abstracts, Chemical Abstracts, but I think these would be of little use.  I do remember that  Index Medicus had a section on Medical Numismatics.

Dave Ginsburg writes:

As long as "Old Magazines" means 19th century publications, I've found that Google has digitized bound volumes of publications such as Hunt's Merchants Magazine and many others (although given Google Books' "clunky" search mechanism, I usually have an easier time finding the available bound volumes at HathiTrust.

I also like to use the Making of America sections of the Cornell University and the University of Michigan library websites.  They have such magazines as Harper's Monthly and The Democratic Review (Cornell) and DeBow's and Southern Quarterly Reviews (U of Michigan).

The last time I checked, several years ago, Harper's Weekly was still only available via CD, which was available for purchase.

I asked   Dave for the URLs of these sites, and he replied: "I'm shocked and appalled that you don't have these links at your fingertips.  I'll have to ask Roger Burdette to beat you savagely about the head and shoulders the next time he sees you."   Well, Roger was kind to me at dinner Tuesday night.  Dave wrote "I knew I forgot to ask Roger something this week!"   Anyway, below are Dave's links and commentary.  Thanks!

 Making of America - Cornell 
They have Harper's Monthly from June 1850 to May 1899.)

 Making of America - University of Michigan

 Hunt's Merchants' Magazine at HathiTrust 
Click on "Catalog Record" to find additional volumes. Sometimes the quality of the scan varies by university source and some sources have different volumes; one should check all source universities, if necessary.;q1=hunt%27s%20merchants%27%20magazine;a=srchls;lmt=ft

 Niles' Weekly Register at HathiTrust 
(same advice as above);q1=Niles%27%20weekly%20register;a=srchls;lmt=ft

I'm sure that HathiTrust has a lot more periodicals than I've ever looked for.  Finding them is sometimes a chore: for example, searching on "Niles' Register" didn't return the results that "Niles' Weekly Register" did.  (I suppose it's barely possible that I'm as poor an Internet searcher as my wife, a trained researcher, claims.)  Also, it's easy to download a .pdf file of an entire volume from Google Books, while one can only download .pdf files of individual pages from HathiTrust (and only 20 pages or so at a time).

By the way, the current Harper's Magazine website ( has all archives for Harper's Monthly going back to June 1850, which is available to current Harper's subscribers.  I looked very briefly, but didn't find a good source for Harper's Weekly.

I'll bet there are a ton of numismatic articles waiting to be found in these indices.  Happy hunting, researchers!

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:




This week brought the awarding of a Congressional Gold medal to the victims of the 1963 bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama.

At a ceremony held yesterday at the U.S. Capitol Building, a Congressional Gold Medal was awarded posthumously to Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley. These four young black girls lost their lives in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama on September 15, 1963. The bombing and death of the four girls served as a catalyst for the civil rights movement and contributed to support for the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

The Congressional Gold Medal was authorized under Public Law 113-11, which provided only broad guidance on the design for the medal. The medal was to be “of appropriate design to commemorate the lives of Addie Mae Collins, Denise McNair, Carole Robertson, and Cynthia Wesley” and contain “suitable emblems, devices, and inscriptions.” The final designs were selected by the Treasury of the Secretary in consultation with the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the Commission of Fine Arts, and the Citizens Coinage Advisory Committee.

The obverse design features a silhouette of the four girls, with inscriptions of their names around the outer border of the design. Additional inscriptions “Pivotal in the Struggle for Equality” and “September 13 1963″ appear incused across the silhouettes. The obverse was designed by Barbara Fox an engraved by Jim Licaretz.
The reverse depicts a view of the 16th Street Baptist Church. The inscriptions include “Act of Congress 2013″ above, “Killed in the Bombing of the 16th St. Baptist Church” to the left, and “Birmingham, Alabama” beneath. The reverse was designed by Donna Weaver and engraved by Joseph Menna.

The United States Mint will offer bronze reproductions of the Congressional Gold Medal. The 3-inch bronze medal is priced at $39.95 and the 1.5-inch bronze medal is priced at $6.95. These will go on sale today, September 11, 2013 at 12:00 Noon ET.

I'm not sure I like the flat obverse design, but in some ways it is fitting; these girls were never public figures in life, and have been unknown individually in death.  The honor itself  is quite fitting, if belated.  It took decades to bring their killers to justice.  The Congressional Gold Medal is the nation's highest honor, and quite deserved.  There are other martyrs equally deserving who haven't gotten such an honor, but that shouldn't take away from the remembrance of these innocents.

To read the complete article, see:

16th Street Baptist Church Bombing Victims Bronze Medal


I was curious about the actual gold medal - were four struck or just one?  If just one, who actually accepted it?  This article has the answer: one medal was struck and  will be kept at the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.

House and Senate leaders on Tuesday awarded Congress' highest civilian honor to four girls killed in the Alabama church bombing nearly 50 years ago that became a watershed moment in the civil rights movement.

The Congressional Gold Medal went to Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, who were all 14, and Denise McNair, who was 11. The ceremony came five days before the 50th anniversary of their deaths inside the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham.

"Their names remain seared in our hearts," said House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi of California. She was joined at the commemoration by Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid of Nevada, House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, and members of Alabama's congressional delegation.

Along with the many lawmakers in the crowd paying tribute were director Spike Lee, and several relatives of the girls.

The girls were killed in the explosion of a bomb planted outside the church by white supremacists. The attack shocked the nation and helped spur passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Three Ku Klux Klan members were convicted of the bombing years after the attack and sentenced to prison. Two have since died; one remains in prison.

To read the complete article, see:

Congressional Gold Medal awarded to Birmingham church bombing victims


Wizard Coin Supply has over 300 numismatic titles in stock, 
competitively discounted, and available for immediate shipment.  
See our selection at .


In his article in the September 23, 2013 issue of Coin World, Joel Orosz revisits the mystery of the missing large-paper issues of Attinelli’s Numisgraphics.  Here's an excerpt.

Sometimes this writer gets schooled. Such a schooling just happened after last month’s column discussing the mysterious disappearance of all large paper copies of Numisgraphics, Emmanuel Joseph Attinelli’s indispensable bibliography of numismatic auction catalogs.

I correctly wrote that 10 large, paper copies of Numisgraphics were produced in 1876. I also correctly wrote that Attinelli still had four large, paper copies left to sell in 1878 when he cataloged the C.W. Idell sale.

But then I incorrectly wrote that all 10 copies had vanished immediately afterwards. It was John W. Adams who proved me wrong. And there is no better teacher to give you a schooling about numismatic literature.

So what did he know that I didn’t? Not all large, paper copies disappeared from the face of the earth after the Idell sale in 1878, for Adams discovered that, at the height of the Great Depression, coin dealer Thomas Elder sold one.

In Elder’s 242nd Sale (April 1, 1932), Adams discovered lot 1302 offered a copy of Numisgraphics, with a brief, but significant description: “Quarto—Pages Loose.”

All of the regular issue copies of Numisgraphics are octavo in size while a quarto book is considerably larger; about the same height and depth as an encyclopedia volume (and about the same size as the “royal octavo” that Attinelli described in the Idell sale).

So Elder was selling one of those 10 large paper copies. The notation that the pages were loose probably meant that they were unbound. Adams’ find proves that at least one of the large paper copies of Numisgraphics survived 54 years after the Idell auction.

But the great mystery remains: Where are these large paper copies today? How could every example vanish? And who will be the first collector to make headlines by unearthing one?

To read the complete article, see:

Schooled by the best



The fourth article in a series about the Philadelphia Mint by Darrin Lee Unser has been published on CoinNews.Net.   It has LOTS of great pictures - be sure to read the complete article online.  Here's a brief excerpt.

My brother and I were treated to a special tour of the operations at the United States Mint facility in Philadelphia. We had planned this trip for some time so I had many preconceived ideas of what would be most exciting.

I’ll be the first to admit, the procedures related to hub and die making were not high on my list. Our father was a tool-maker so I expected this process would be familiar and, as such, not heart-pounding.

Much to my surprise, I was completely enthralled. It was not the mechanics of it all that was most inspiring. It was the people. Sure, the equipment is impressive. Yet more striking, those in the hub and die making area projected great pride in their work and that really forged a lasting memory for me. Actually, we found high levels of pride and dedication all around the place. But as I had not expected too much from this particular section, their drive turned it into a great time for me.

Everything starts from steel. Bars of the metal arrive at the Philadelphia Mint in 10-12 foot lengths, which are then cut into 42-inch lengths and stored until needed.

A Mikron CNC milling machine is used to cut hubs and dies. If it looks familiar, that’s because it’s the same machine that is used to create Resin templates for U.S. Mint artists who sculpt in clay. It generally takes 15-20 hours to cut a coin hub and 25-30 hours to cut a 3-inch die. These CNC machines are more efficient and can produce a better quality product than the retired Janvier Transfer Engraving Machines.

To read the complete article, see:

How the Philadelphia Mint Makes Hubs and Dies to Produce Coins



Another great article this week comes from the September 12, 2013 issue of CoinsWeekly, where Ursula Kampmann writes about her visit to coin press maker  Schuler Group.  Here's an excerpt, but be sure to read the complete article online.

Did you know that Germany is number one with regard to coin minting? No, it’s not because Germany has so many more Mints than most other countries but because almost every Mint actually uses German technology. Many small as well as big highly-specialized companies produce the machines necessary to manufacture coins. One of the major ‘global players’ is the Schuler Group with headquarters located in Göppingen, and not just since yesterday.

When Gustav Buschick and Theodor Choulant visited the machine works of Louis Schuler in Göppingen in April 1905, they saw as many as 30 minting machines to be delivered to China.

At that time, Schuler was an established company already. It had been founded by Louis Schuler (1814-1890) in 1839. He visited the famous Great Exhibition, the very first World’s Fair, in London in 1851. There he could see how metal was processed, i.e. not time-consumingly by hand, but with the aid of huge presses. Schuler wanted to do the same in Germany, and thus started to construct machine tools for sheet metal processing in 1852. Since around 1870, Schuler has likewise been producing minting machines. That, however, constituted only a small part of the business.

 Horizontal Coin Minting 
Many of the things hidden once the machine is closed can be seen in their rough state, like the blankfeeding for the horizontal coin minting. The blank is placed almost vertically between the punches which are positioned not above and below, but on the right and the left-hand side. The decisive factor is that, thanks to its weight and earth’s gravitational pull, the blank drops quickly to the actual minting place in a way that couldn’t be achieved by the vertical procedure where it must be pushed in the right direction mechanically. This principle allowed the coin output to increase significantly.

 Horizontal coin minting

To read the complete article, see:

Coin minting presses for the entire world



At my request Maria Fanning forwarded a couple more lot descriptions from the firm's upcoming sale #130 (closing September 26th).  Thanks! 

 Lot 459: Fisher's Description of American Medals 
Fisher, J. Francis. DESCRIPTION OF AMERICAN MEDALS. Collections of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Third Series, Vol. VI. Boston: American Stationers’ Company, 1837. 8vo, later blue cloth, gilt. (4), 300 pages. [Fisher’s article comprises pages 286 to 293.] Old library stamp; some light discoloration to extremities. Near fine. 	(2250.00)

One of the landmarks of early U.S. numismatic literature, Joshua Francis Fisher’s work is only the second article published in the United States discussing coins or medals from the point of view of a numismatist. While a number of publications predate this and James Mease’s 1821 “Description of Some of the Medals Struck in Relation to Important Events in North America” (generally regarded as the first truly numismatic article published in this country), those early publications were written for merchants, bankers, lawyers, politicians and other people who dealt with monetary issues on a daily basis. Works had not been written from the point of view of one who studies coins and medals. 

Both Fisher’s and Mease’s articles are extremely rare. The article itself is far from being a rehashing of Mease’s previous work: in fact, they list only one medal in common: the “Washington before Boston” medal of the Comitia Americana series. Fisher describes 14 Washington medals, 5 Franklin medals, one each depicting Jefferson and Benjamin Rush, 3 medals of the Revolution and 14 earlier colonial medals including the very rare Lord and Lady Baltimore medal. Fisher’s article is more concerned with colonial-era medals than Mease’s, which mostly describes the Comitia Americana series and related medals. Attinelli 111.

 Lot 516: Mehl's Numismatic Monthly 
Mehl, B. Max [publisher]. MEHL’S NUMISMATIC MONTHLY. Vols. I–X (1910–19). Fort Worth: B. Max Mehl. Ten volumes, complete. 8vo, original printed card covers; Vol. IV neatly bound in brown cloth, gilt. 1756 pages; numerous halftone text illustrations of coins; portraits of famous American and Canadian numismatists, etc. Some duplicates included. Occasional signs of wear; overall very good to fine.	(1500.00)

An underrated source of information, Mehl’s Numismatic Monthly is especially rich with word sketches of turn of the century American numismatists, often accompanied by individual or group photographs. Also featured are short monographs on many unusual numismatic topics, including a wealth of data on Canadian numismatics.

Of Mehl and his Monthly, John Adams wrote: “The career of B. Max Mehl was an impossibility. He had at least three strikes against him: 1) he was an immigrant Jew in a then-gentile hobby; 2) he was located in Fort Worth, Texas, at a time when 95 percent of the business was done on the East Coast; and 3) Lilliputian in stature and colorless in terms of personality, he adopted a business plan that relied on creativity and promotion. Quite obviously, Mehl did not realize that he was licked before he started. He just knew that it was a lot more fun to sell coins than to sell shoes. From there, he took it one step at a time … in the formative years, what probably made the difference was Mehl’s Numismatic Monthly. Launched in January of 1908, the early volumes of the Monthly are easily the equal of The Numismatist, boasting original articles by such gifted writers as R.W. McLachlan, Edgar Adams, Howland Wood, George Blake, Dr. Eugene Courteau, J.W. Haseltine and Frank Stewart.”

For more information about the sale, see:



Mints cancel dies so they can't be used again, right?  Think again.  Someone has taken a cancelled U.S. Mint die for the 1995 Atlanta Olympic Track & Field Dollar and struck commemorative medals now for sale on eBay.   Thanks to Coin Update for the link.

3 Commemorative medals struck from a cancelled 1995-P Atlanta Olympics Track & Field Commemorative Dollar die.  The reverse is a unique reverse that reads, Around: "ONE OF 100 PIECES STRUCK ON / CANCELLED U.S. MINT DOLLAR DIE".  Center: "1996 Atlanta Centennial Games / Engraved Number / .999 FINE SILVER".  100 Sets of: One Troy Ounce .999 Fine Silver; Bimetallic medal of 1/2 Troy Ounce .999 Fine Silver in Copper Ring; Bimetallic medal of 1/2 Troy Ounce .999 Fine Silver in Brass Ring.   Each set comes with three Certificates of Authenticity for each medal.  Medals and Cards numbered from 001 to 100.  Most set numbers available - submit request of choices and we will do our best to get you one of them.

To view the eBay lot, see:

Atlanta Olympic Track & Field Dollar - Medals Struck from Cancel Die 100 Sets


Recently released! Coins: A Story Behind the Obsession. Check out a

fun and educational infographic.


Darren Burgess writes:

Following on from your request on the Eric the Red Lifesaving Medal on display in Warrnambool in Vol 16, No. 28, Article 27 regarding better pictures and more information on the medal I've finally had the chance to pop down to the Flagstaff Museum yesterday (it's a 4 hour drive from Melbourne, but worth it) and they told me the story of the acquisition (a donation from a relative of one of the crew of the SS Dawn) showed me some stunning digital photos (the medal is currently in a safe, but will go on display soon) and informed me that they've uploaded more information and photos of the medal on to the Collections Victoria Website. The museum were keen to get more information on other medals of this type and a possible valuation.

The earlier E-Sylum article gets a mention in the museum's lengthy writeup on the medal.  There are two nice photos of it, shown below.  Click on the images to see larger versions on our Flickr archive.   Can anyone provide more information on these medals for the Flagstaff Museum in Warrnambool?  Below is an excerpt from their web page.

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
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