The E-Sylum v17#14 April 1, 2014

The E-Sylum esylum at
Tue Apr 1 03:26:18 PDT 2014

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

Volume 17, Number 14, April 1, 2014

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This special issue of The E-Sylum is an important follow-up to my last numismatic diary, which discussed the opening of the safe in the home of the late numismatic literature dealer John H. Burns.   While I was writing my diary Sunday night, Pat McBride was inventorying the contents of the safe.  

I already mentioned John's collection of German porcelain coins; Pat counted 575 of them, many very nice large-size examples.   He had large collections of Brazilian and early Canadian coins as well.

Last night we got together to review the U.S. coins.  There was a good bit of junk silver, probably left over from his days running a coin shop.   Just one Bust Half.  When I saw a bright Gallery Mint 1804 Dollar, I joked that it was a real one, saying "maybe he palmed it that day when they were taking down the exhibit at the ANA."

I didn't laugh when I saw the next coin.  This one was a "Hmmmmm".   If it was a fake 1913 Liberty head nickel, it was a damn good one.  We got out our magnifiers and a copy of the Million Dollar Nickels book.    It still looked good.

We decided we'd get additional opinions on it, but knew it had to be just a very good fake.   Then we got to the last box.  In among some nice Morgan Dollars were a 1974 aluminum cent and TWO 1933 double eagles.    I'd never seen or heard of these being copied, and they all looked VERY good.  Out came the magnifiers again, and we also weighted the pieces and checked their specs against the Redbook.   Everything matched.

We're submitting the cent, nickel and double eagles to a grading service, and are seeking numismatic legal counsel for the estate, just in case...

John Burns holding the 1804 dollar and the 1913 nickel

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:



Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum


Meanwhile, David Pickup writes: "I thought your readers might be interested in this. It is only available today."

A Guide to Chocolate Coins - A Preliminary Study 

This new work builds on earlier studies including the German coin book Ein Yarbuch die Chockiekoiningmitderwrappenon, and the French work on feudal chocolate coins La Chocolate, la Monnaye et l ‘Amour. 

It covers the history from invention in Greece to modern plastic chocolate. Includes the Brussels Hoard and the Colonial Chocolate Coins emptied in the bay at Boston Harbour during the now famous Boston Chocolate and Tea Party. The very rare Australian Holey Chocolate Dollar, Siege or Obsidonal issues from the English Civil War when Bourneville was besieged by Roundheads and the recent undated 20 pence chocolate coin minted in error.
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