The E-Sylum v19n43 October 23, 2016

The E-Sylum esylum at
Sun Oct 23 15:35:45 PDT 2016

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

Volume 19, Number 43, October 23, 2016

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: 
Brian Holland.
Welcome aboard! We now have 2,027 subscribers.
Welcome also to our newest advertiser, Todd Pollock's BluCC Photos. Thank you for your support.

This week we open with an announcement from Lake Books, an update from Alan Workman, four new books, one review, and Newman Numismatic Portal activities at the upcoming Whitman Baltimore Expo.  The NNP Pagecount is up to 441,312!

Other topics this week include slabbed chocolates, dealer Harlan P. Smith, author Joe Cribb, the silver patterns of 1859, unusual Bactrian portrait coins, spotting fake five pound notes and the Amyx collection.

To learn more about the so-called “Bulgarian imitative” trachea, Thai coinage, waffled French Indo-China piastres, Felix Schlag, Eva Adams,  mythological creatures, Bradbury Wilkinson & Company, the elephant scalp hats, Bond Notes and  the Ceremony of Quit Rents, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren 
Editor, The E-Sylum



Fred and Joan Lake of Lake Books submitted this announcement.

To our subscribers, numismatic friends, and  wonderful associates in this exciting and full numismatic experience:

After 27 years and 125 numismatic literature mail-bid sales, over 75,000 packages packed and mailed with countless individual volumes sent to successful bidders………my 87 plus years are showing some wear and tear, not to mention on my wife and partner, Joan.  A very recent diagnosis precludes our continuing to pursue our business, Lake Books,  as it exists now. So, we have made arrangements with our long-time friend and fellow numismatist, Alan Workman, to finish assisting our present consignors and others. You will find all of his information on his web site at:

We thank you for your continued support over these many years.

Fred and Joan
Lake Books
6822 22nd Ave N
St. Petersburg, FL 33710-3918
727-343-8055   fax: 727-381-6822

We're so sorry to hear this news.  Fred has been a fixture in the numismatic literature hobby for as long as I can remember.  I've been a buyer and consignor in countless of his sales.  Lake Books provided a wonderful service to our hobby, connecting buyers and sellers of all numismatic books common and rare.  Best of luck to both Fred and Joan, two of the best folks in any hobby anywhere.


As it happens
Alan Workman's October 2016 email News notes a number of new selections on his web site.

New listings available on my website...

A selection of the better items I have listed since my last newsletter...

New listings on eBay...

I am now offering the following items on eBay:

For more information, see:



Demetrius Siatras of Siatras  International Bookshop announces a new edition of Metcalf's book on coinage in southeastern Europe 820-1396 with a new Introductory Essay and Supplementary Bibliography.  Thanks to Bruce Perdue and David Sundman for forwarding this.

Τhe third augmented edition of "Coinage in South-Eastern Europe 820-1396" just released.

D.M. Metcalf, Coinage in South-Eastern Europe 820-1396
Third augmented edition. Athens, 2016. In English. Hard cover+jacket, 28 cm, 468 pp., 8 plates; 
net weight 1700 gr.  ISBN 978-618-82459-4-5
Retail price EUR 96.00 

Presents a wide range of different coinages used in south-eastern Europe, including Byzantine, Venetian, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Serbian, Bosnian, and Slavonian, the crusader issues of Frankish Greece, and coins from the cities of the Adriatic coasts, such as Kotor, Split, and Dubrovnik (Ragusa). The evidence of archaeological excavation and of several hundred coin-hoards is explored, in an attempt to assess the commercial, military, and other uses of money on pre-Ottoman times.

Τhe author's interest in south-eastern Europe was first aroused in 1954 when, as an undergraduate, he studied  the geography of the area. 

>From the Introduction to the Greek Edition:

How coin hoards and single finds can create
regional perspectives for monetary history

No serious student, it is fair to say, should now for a moment accept MichaelHendy’s interpretation of the so-called “Bulgarian imitative” trachea. The hoard evidence from Bulgaria on which Hendy based his claim was deceptive and misleading: the hoards were later in their dates of deposit than the dates of issue of the three prototypes, his Types A, B, and C. These were exact, but poor-quality, copies of, respectively, Manuel’s fourth type of trachy and the standard issues of Isaac II and Alexius III. 

Because they were so plentiful in the war-zone of central Bulgaria, Hendy concluded that they were issued by the Bulgarians in their military struggle with the Byzantine Empire. But his hypothesis did not explain the fact that the same types are also found in significant numbers far away from central Bulgaria, for example in Athens, Africa, Arcadia, Istanbul, and Asia Minor. Were they carried there from Bulgaria? — No, they are Byzantine coins, which can be found more or less throughout the Empire. The clinching argument comes from a numerically clear contrast. If A + B + C = 100%, B is occasionally as high as 80–85% in the war zone,
 in the plain to the south of the Balkan Mountains, whereas further afield, 10–20%, or even 0%, is normal.

If these coins had been carried to Greece from Bulgaria, they would have preserved more closely their original proportions. Isaac’s type is plentiful in the region where the military struggle was focussed during his reign, but much less so elsewhere.

For more information, see:



As noted in earlier articles, sites like may be able to offer better deals for books published in India, but here's a new title available from Below is their overview for a new book on the coinage of Thailand.

The Evolution of Thai Money: From its Origins in Ancient Kingdoms

Authors (s):	Ronachai Krisadaolarn (Author)
Format:	Hardcover
ISBN-10:	6167339732
ISBN-13:	9786167339733
Pages:	270p., 8.8 x 1.3 x 11.8 inches
Pub. date:	07.06.2016, 1st. ed.
Publisher:	River Books
Language (s):	English
Bagchee ID:	BB102298

A study of the various forms of Thai money from their origins in Funan up to the introduction of the modern decimal system of baht and satang.

Includes a reproduction coin.

This book is the result of over 40 years of study of the various forms of Thai money from their origins in the ancient kingdoms and empires starting with Funan up to the introduction of the modern decimal system of baht and satang. As such it represents a supplement to Krisadaolarn and Vasilijs Mihailovs' award-winning book, Siamese Coins - From Funan to the Fifth Reign, and includes hundreds of additional coins illustrated in various aspects.

This work covers the production of pressed silver coins; the use of metallic ingots known as toks; elongated silver bars commonly known as tiger tongues; bent ingots known as chiang money; metallic alloy, glass and porcelain tokens and most famously pot duang, commonly called bullet money because of their shape. The book ends with the transition to flat coinage similar to that used today. The author personally examined, photographed and weighed thousands of specimens, conducted hundreds of assays and obtained images from national museums, dealers and private collectors.

To read the complete article, see: 

The Evolution of Thai Money: From its Origins in Ancient Kingdoms



Another new  title available from is on Sangam Age Tamil coins.

Sangam Age Tamil Coins and Ancient Foreign Coins Found in Tamilnadu: A Collection of Articles

Authors (s):	R.R. Krishnamurthy (Author)
Format:	Softcover
Pages:	273p., Illustrations; Maps; 25cm.
Pub. date:	29.09.2016, 1st. ed.
Publisher:	R. Krishnamurthy
Language (s):	English
Bagchee ID:	BB104127

For more information, or to order, see: 

Sangam Age Tamil Coins and Ancient Foreign Coins Found in Tamilnadu: A Collection of Articles



While non-numismatic, early lottery tickets are an interesting area of ephemera and are often collected alongside colonial paper money.
Russ and Jane Sears have just published a book on pre-Civil War Maryland lotteries; it's available on eBay.

Pre-Civil War Maryland Lotteries by Russ and Jane Sears

This book of 190 pages documents the history of lotteries in Maryland thru a search of Maryland laws.  The history of lotteries even prior to Maryland lotteries is presented too.

It also shows illustrations of many lottery flyers which were sent soliciting the recipient to purchase lottery tickets and showing the various prizes.  Sometimes the lottery agent's location is pictured, helping to show what a reliable agent one is buying from.

Pictured are over 100 different lottery tickets, all before the U. S. Civil War since lotteries became illegal in Maryland in 1859.  Tickets were issued for the Washington Monument (in Baltimore), the University of Maryland, the Catholic Cathedral, various other churches, and more.  You will enjoy this book.

Shipping will be only to the United States and will be by Media Mail.

For more information, or to purchase, see: 

Pre-Civil War Maryland Lotteries book by Russ & Jane Sears Many illustrations



On October 17, 2016 Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez published a review on CoinWeek of Dave Bowers' new book on the modern U.S. dollar coins.  Here's a short excerpt.

A new era in United States coinage dawned in 1971 with the launch of the Eisenhower dollar. It was the first dollar coin issued since the Peace dollar series ended in 1935. Unfortunately the large-size “Ike” dollars, which had the same diameter as the old-style cartwheels, were too big and heavy for most consumers. By September 1974, numismatic writer Clement F. Bailey had dubbed the Ike dollar a “successful failure”. And over the next five decades, the United States Mint issued four more dollar coin programs that also became “successful failures”.

Each one is chronicled in A Guide Book of Modern United States Dollars, by Q. David Bowers (Whitman, 2016).

Spurned by the American public, the five modern one-dollar coins eventually came to be loved by many collectors–including me. I first noticed them early in my collecting career as a 12-year-old in 1993. Large Ike dollars were pretty novel to a kid who had only ever seen cents, nickels, dimes, quarters and the occasional half dollar. Meanwhile, the saga of the beleaguered Susan B. Anthony dollar, whose misery ended during my birth year of 1981 following a three-year production stint, captivated my burgeoning interests as a young collector.

But as I grew older and became more involved in the hobby as a writer in my twenties, I learned I was far from the only person who enjoys collecting modern dollars.

In this book, Bowers offers his renowned perspective on the one-dollar coins of the last 50 years to all such collectors. He does so with the assistance of several notable modern coin experts, including R.W. Julian, David Lange, David McHenry, Tom DeLorey, Rob Ezerman, Bill Fivaz, Gerald Higgs, Andy Oskam, James Sego, Frank Van Valen, and CoinWeek’s own resident Eisenhower dollar enthusiast, Charles Morgan.

Before Modern Dollars, there were virtually no major publications dedicated to the small-size one-dollar coins that followed Ikes (previous works by John Wexler and Rob Ezerman, among others, had focused on Eisenhower dollars). In this regard, Modern Dollars serves as a comprehensive compendium that fills in critical information gaps.

Be sure to read the complete review online.

To read the complete article, see: 

First Read: A Guide Book of Modern United States Dollar Coins


Archives International Auctions, Sale 36

U.S. & Worldwide Scripophily, Banknotes, 

and Security Printing Ephemera 

October 22nd and 25th, 2016

Click the links! Highlights include:

Lot 244: Government of Canada, 1883 Proof Bond

Lot 314: Marquette Silver Mining Co., 1864 Issued Stock Certificate

Lot 444: Russo-Chinese Bank, 1909 Issue Color Trial Specimen

Lot 536: Allied Military Currency, ND (1946) "A" in under print Note

Lot 585: United Arab Emirates Currency Board, 1973; 1976 Specimen Set 

Lot 611: Diamond State Bank, 1866 Obsolete Note

Lot 693: Bank of New York, 1860 Proof Obsolete Banknote

Lot 804: Bank of Burlington ca.1830's Obsolete Proof

Live Internet Bidding
              View the Virtual Catalog
              Download the Catalog in PDF format
              1580 Lemoine Avenue, Suite #7
              Fort Lee, NJ 07024
              Phone: 201-944-4800
              Email: info at


Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following update on NNP activities at the upcoming Whitman Baltimore Coin Expo.

The Newman Portal is making two presentations next week at the Baltimore show; attendees are welcome to one or both sessions as their schedules allow:

Friday, November 4, 10am, Room 301 (Baltimore Convention Center): This presentation will provide an overview of the Newman Portal with a focus on research resources useful for collectors of early American material, including colonial coins and currency and early federal coinage.

Friday, November 4, 11am-1pm, Pratt Street Ale House (across from the Convention Center).  This session will be more interactive with focus on individual research issues. Free lunch will be provided.  Space is limited so we ask attendees to reserve a spot, please contact Newman Portal project coordinator Len Augsburger at 

leonard.augsburger at

I expect to be there as well, and hope we have a great turnout of NBS members and E-Sylum readers.  The lunch forum is a two-way event; we'll teach how to get the most out of your time on the portal, but it's also a time to gather user problems and suggestions to help guide future development of the software features and new content.

For more information on the Baltimore Winter Expo 2016, see:

To visit the newman Numismatic Portal, see:


 SELECTIONS FROM THE JOHN HUFFMAN LIBRARY: Browse and Shop Approximately 3,000 Numismatic Books from the Respected Library
 of John Huffman—All Books Recently Discounted 40%. Click here or go to click on “All Subjects” and select “John Huffman Collection”


 From the Family of Al Zaika 
Ann Williams writes:

The family of Alexander Zaika would like to extend our gratefulness to David Gladfelter, who wrote the article about my father.

David met with me and we talked about my Dad.

I appreciate you putting this in The E-Sylum. He loved dealing with tokens, medals, scrip and coins. He loved going to the conventions and the shows, meeting with the dealers he has known for years.

When his eyesight was failing him, sadly he was no longer able to attend.

Again, thank you from the family for his recognition of his contribution to the coin world.

He is sadly missed.

Gratefully his daughter,
Ann Williams

I knew Al from the coin shows, though not very well.  But he was knowledgeable, friendly and always eager to help.   The shows weren't the same without him.  We miss him, too.  I was very glad to publish the article.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



 The E-Sylum's Interesting and Varied Numismatic Information
Duane Feisel writes:

I will have to say that I am in complete awe of how you put together such an interesting and varied collection of numismatic information week after week – and done in such a highly professional manner.

Thanks!  It's always fun to put an issue together, despite the work involved.  Our great community of readers and contributors keeps me going.

 Diana Plattner Returns to Whitman 
Diana Plattner writes:

I've been an E-Sylum subscriber since my years as editorial director at Whitman Publishing, and even when my path took me far from the world of numismatics, I enjoyed the newsletters so much I kept my subscription going. Thanks for the wonderful newsletter!   

I shared a room with several other editors, and you could always tell it was E-Sylum day when all the keyboards went quiet. At some point someone would always say, "Hey, has anybody seen that thing in the E-Sylum where -- "

The last month or so I've been restored to the Whitman fold in the role of social-media editor, running the Coin Update, Mint News, and World Mint News blogs. It dawned on me that I should be a member of the NBS properly rather than lurking in the sidelines, and I joined up.

Welcome to NBS and back to the Whitman fold!  Glad to have you aboard. Here are links to the Whitman blogs, which always have some great numismatic content, too.

 U.S. Mint Metal Changes? 
Ginger Rapsus writes:

Enjoyed the latest issue. I must say, The E-Sylum has become bigger & better! Can't believe I forgot John Ross when I wrote of coin shops in downtown Chicago. Spotted many wonderful coins in his shop over the years. 

A the Mint still considering changes to coin metals? Perhaps steel? Haven't heard about this lately

Commodity prices go up and down, and talk of coin composition changes tends to flow in sync.    Studies are ongoing and periodically the results and recommendations are published.  But these changes require an Act of Congress, so don't hold your breath.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



 On Digital Media 
Ken Berger writes:

Back in the 1980s, I worked for a software company which primarily had U.S. Navy contracts. Once a year, the company had a "fire sale" for employees in order to dispose of equipment & furniture which they no longer needed. One year they were disposing of a paper tape reader, since they had not used it in approximately 10 years. A co-worker bought it for $10.00, borrowed a truck, loaded it up & carted it home. 

The next week the company received a contract from the Navy to convert a huge amount of paper tape to another form of media. My co-worker, once again,  borrowed a truck, loaded it up & brought it back for the company to use, free of charge! I would have rented it to them.

As a side note, I sometimes wonder what happened to the punch card machine I used for part of my doctoral research. I doubt if the younger generation could even identify one, let alone know how to use one.

Punch card machines were still around when I started my freshman year of college.  Upperclassmen got to use the terminals, so it was a character-building exercise for me.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



 October 11, 1968 
Last week I noted that the hosts of our monthly Nummis Nova dinner suggested "a space exploration theme, because on Oct 11, 1984, Astronaut Kathryn D. Sullivan, part of the crew of Space Shuttle Challenger, became the first American woman to walk in space AND on the same day in the year 2000 NASA launched its 100th Space Shuttle mission."

Chip Howell writes:

On 11 October, 1968, Apollo VII was launched, the first manned flight of the program which took us to the Moon.

Interesting.  The first step is the often the hardest and most dangerous, but everybody remembers the date of the moon landing and forgets the start of the program.  

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



 Another Waffled French Indo-China Piastre 
Bill Snyder writes:

I have a waffled coin similar to the Howard Daniel you sent in to The E-Sylum.
I had titled the picture "French_Indo-China_Piastre 1931_Y-18._With_official_mint_cancellation_marks_demonetizing_the_coin."   Note that the cancellation marks run in different directions on the 2 coins.

Bill Snyder's coin

Howard Daniel's coin

Howard writes:

I was told by one French source that the waffling on this coin is NOT from the Paris Mint.  One of my sources has only 13,288,273 of these coins being issued, so it is very possible the waffling was done in Hanoi during WWII.  I am sure other coins were also waffled before being melted to make the bullion silver rounds, maybe even coins from outside of Cochinchina/Indochina.

Thanks!  It's great to know others exist.  Still a rare item in this format, though.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 

WAYNE'S NUMISMATIC DIARY: OCTOBER 16, 2016 : Waffled 1931 French Indo-China Piastre


 Images of Dentistry on Paper Money Sought 
Gosia Fort of the University of Pittsburgh Health Sciences Library System writes:

While searching for items for my next mini exhibit, I came across images of paper money portraying dentists. I was wondering if you ever came across something similar or know of someone who did. I am looking for a better image that the one I scanned from a pamphlet we have in the library or for any other dentistry related image on money.

Is this a proper term to call the advertising notes paper money?

Well, advertising notes aren't money but are collected that way.  Robert Vlack published a nice book on them titled Early North American Advertising Notes in 2001.  I'll be able to supply some scans from the book, but higher-resolution color images would be more suitable for Gosia's exhibit.  Can anyone help supply images of dentistry-related paper money?
The pamphlet she has also pictures German WWI Notgeld with images of dentists.

 The Great Australian Poetry Hoax 

It's not April Fools Day yet, but related to last week's item on the art world hoax is this one from the poetry world.

In 1943, fed up with modernist poetry, two Australian army officers invented a fake poet and submitted a collection of deliberately senseless verses to a Melbourne arts magazine. To their delight, the poems were published and their author was hailed as "one of the most remarkable and important poetic figures of this country." In this week's episode of the Futility Closet podcast we'll tell the story of the Ern Malley hoax, its perpetrators, and its surprising legacy in Australian literature.

To read the complete article, see: 

The great Australian poetry hoax, in which deliberate nonsense was hailed as great art


To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 




David Schwager writes:

I was intrigued to hear about the chocolate NGC holder that David Lange described in the last issue. 
Although it sounds improbable, the PCGS holder containing a See’s Candies chocolate Franklin half dollar is real. As described on page 533 of the Sample Slabs reference, my friend Mike Vanyur, a coin shop owner turned PCGS grader, made this unique piece as a joke while working at PCGS in late 2005. I had the opportunity to handle and photograph the slab when Mike consigned his sample slab collection to me in 2014. Search CoinTalk and the Collectors Universe US coin forum for discussion of my failed attempts to sell the chocolate Franklin, which led to over 1,500 views of the eBay listing. Mike sold the holder to California error coin specialist Jim Cauley of Errors and More, who sold the Franklin to a collector whose name I do not know. I heard that it melted in the summer heat and is no longer in mint condition.

In the category of unusual objects in major third party holders, page 534 of the catalog lists a chocolate  Kellogg $50 territorial gold in a PCGS holder that existed in 2006, page 536 details a cricket encapsulated by PCGS in about 2000, and there is a rumor of an orange peel put in an ANACS slab in 1990.

I am very interested in seeing a photo of the circa 1994 chocolate NGC holder. Given collectors’ tendency to preserve interesting items, I would guess that some of these 22-year-old candies still exist. If I ever have the opportunity to add one to my slab collection, I promise not to eat it. 

Good idea.  Neat items, though.  Nothing wrong with a little whimsy in the hobby.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 

NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: OCTOBER 16, 2016 : Notes from David Lange



It's not like E-Sylum readers to be speechless.  Not a single reader wrote in with answers to the October 9, 2016 
“Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me!” style quiz.  Whassamatta, too hard for you sissies?  Let's try this again.  Who can get a perfect score?

Each set of three scenarios has two fictional entries and one real one. See how many you can get correct. Don’t feel bad if you do not score high, as participants in the popular NPR program usually don’t do well either. If you get as many as four right, you should consider teaching a class at the American Numismatic Association’s Summer Seminar or at least writing an article for The Asylum (the print publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society, that is—nothing to do with mental health, or does it?).

No. 1

Eva B. Adams, Director of the Mint from October 1961 until August 1969 was given the Clemy Award by the Numismatic Literary Guild in 1974 because:

A: Her book, A Mint Director’s Viewpoint, gave much new information on coinage operations.

B: Her monthly column in The Numismatist kept readers up-to-date on new commemoratives and other happenings during her directorship.

C: In retrospect, no one knows why. She never wrote a book, the annual Mint Report was written by others, and she had no repertoire of writing except for an article on dimes.

No. 2

A: In 1905 President Theodore Roosevelt viewed the official inaugural medal made for him by Chief Engraver Charles E. Barber, did not like it, and commissioned a New Hampshire artist to make another, which was privately minted.

B: In March 1870 when the Carson City Mint struck its first silver coins, a Proof 1870-CC dollar was made and sent to the Mint Cabinet in Philadelphia where it was on display for many years. At present it is on loan to the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.

C: Victor David Brenner, designer of the 1909 Lincoln cent, was born in Vienna and emigrated to the United States in 1884. He was best known for his sculptures, one of which was shown at the Jamestown Tercentenary Exposition in 1907.

No. 3

A: The first Liberty Head nickels minted in January 1883 lacked the word CENTS. The Treasury Department realized that a mistake had been made, and on February 21 issued a recall notice requesting that citizens turn them in to banks. Instead of doing this, most held on to them. By early 1884 they were selling for up to $2 each in the numismatic market.

B: If you were living in New York City in 1852 you would find that nearly all silver coins in circulation were Spanish-American issues, fully legal tender, and Liberty Seated coins were hardly to be seen. How unusual this seemed to be!

C: At the San Francisco Mint in 1923 during the production of Monroe Doctrine commemorative half dollars, 10,006 were inadvertently made from a die lacking the S mintmark. The error was caught in time by the operator of coining press No. 3, and all were saved and melted. The Numismatist, July 1927, mentioned that one somehow escaped and was displayed at a meeting of the Brooklyn Coin Club. It was later found to be an alteration with the S mintmark removed.

No. 4

A: Many visitors to the World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1892 purchased Columbian souvenir (as they were called) half dollars of that date. These cost $1 each and were sold at over a dozen locations on the fair grounds.

B: In 1921 the state of Alabama issued commemorative half dollars to celebrate the Centennial of statehood, which actually took place in 1919.

C: Liberty Seated silver dollars of 1856 are very rare today because nearly all were shipped to Bombay, India, where they were melted for their silver value.

No. 5

The 1915-S Panama-Pacific commemorative gold $2.50 depicts an eagle on one side and on the other:

A: The figure of Liberty.
B: A mermaid.
C: A hippocampus.


Who is the handsome numismatic gent in the above photo with U.S. Mint Director Eva Adams in 1966?

A. Richard S. Yeoman, founder and editor of A Guide Book of United States Coins.

B. Felix O. Schlag, designer in 1938 of the Jefferson nickel.

C. Vladimir Clain-Stefanelli, curator of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian Institution.

ANSWERS: 1-C (puzzling as well as amusing), 2-A (the commissioned artist was Augustus Saint-Gaudens), 3-B (at the time the international price of silver was such that Liberty Seated coins were worth more in melt-down value than face value, and they disappeared from circulation), 4-B (doesn’t make sense, but that is what happened; the half dollars were not issued until late in 1892; the Exposition opened to the public in 1893), 5-C (The hippocampus signifies the use of the Panama Canal).

EXTRA CREDIT - B. It's Felix Schlag.

Thanks to our anonymous reader for this great quiz.
Here's the definition of hippocampus, and an illustration of the coin from

[hip-uh-kam-puh s] 

noun, plural hippocampi

Classical Mythology. a sea horse with two forefeet, and a body ending in the tail of a dolphin or fish.

Anatomy. an enfolding of cerebral cortex into the lateral fissure of a cerebral hemisphere, having the shape in cross section of a sea horse.

To read the complete articles, see:

This talk of mythological beasts reminds me of some invented by comedian Woody Allen.

The Great Roe. A mythological beast with the head of a lion and the body of a lion, though not the same lion. The Roe is reputed to sleep for 1000 years and then suddenly rise in flames, particularly if it was smoking when it dozed off. Odysseus was said to have awakened a Roe after 600 years but found it listless and grouchy and it begged to remain in bed just 200 more years.

The Nurk. The Nurk is a bird two inches long that has the power of speech but keeps referring to itself in the third person, such as, "He's a great little bird, isn't he?" Persian mythology holds that if a Nurk appears on the windowsill in the morning, a relative will either come into money or break both legs at a raffle. Zoroaster was said to have received a Nurk as a gift on his birthday although what he really needed was some grey slacks. 

To read the complete article, see: 

Fabulous Tales and Mythical Beasts


To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



AUTHORS AND PUBLISHERS: Are your books carried by Wizard Coin Supply? If not, contact us via with details.


An E-Sylum reader writes:

I believe a Tsarina was a competent die engraver, but I can't find out which one.   Surely The E-Sylum will know!

Actually, we had an article earlier this year about Czarina Maria Feodorovna, a talented engraver and full and honorary member of the Prussian Academy of Arts.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



Our readers replies:

Bloody hell.....! I must be getting old...older!

No worries.
With over 20,000 articles in our archive, I forget myself if or when we've touched on any given topic.  Fortunately we have a Google Custom Search Engine (CSE) on the NBS web site, and The E-Sylum is incorporated into the Newman Numismatic Portal as well.  But even with a search engine, finding answers to general queries can be hard.  That search would only be easy if you already knew the woman's name, and "tsarina" came up empty because the article used the spelling "czarina".  I remembered the article and knew it was in there, but even I took several tries before hitting pay dirt.

It's what I call the Pantry Puzzle.  I'm looking for something, poke around a bit, and give up.  Then my wife helpfully interjects, "It's right there, you idiot".  So I open the door again and stare.  "It's right in front of you, moron - what are you, blind?"  This is why we don't keep loaded weapons in the house.

So now I start pulling things off the shelf, checking one by one looking for the thing I want.  Now I hear, "YOU DON'T HAVE TO TEAR THE PLACE APART!!"

Well, yeah I do.  When I started looking I had no idea if what I wanted was in even there, what size or color it is, or what it's next to.  I wasn't the one who went to the store, took it from the shelf, brought it home and put it in the pantry.  I don't have that level of certainty.  So when I couldn't find it, I gave up.  I'm not stupid or lazy, just practical.   I'm not going to spend half an hour looking if I'm not even sure it's there in the first place. In this case I remembered the article came from the Kunker web site, so I looked for that word instead.  BINGO - there she was, right next to "Künker" (thankfully the umlaut didn't impair the search).

Yes, if she'd been a snake she woulda bit me, but unfortunately  groceries and Csarina articles don't jump out at you just because you're looking for them.  They slither to the back of the closet and hide.


Dick Johnson submitted this entry from his Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology.  Thanks.  

A gold-colored glory or halo is emphasized on this medal with multi-colored patina by
sculptor Andrew Pitynski. It shows holy figures of Mother and Child.

Glory. Rays or rings indicating radiant or divine light around the head or body of a sacred
person as a saint, sovereign, holy person or thing; also a halo, aureola, nimbus, or corona. The
glory is symbolic of spiritual light and is expressed on numismatic items as rays for beams of
light, or rings as the circular halo surrounding the head, occasionally PIERCED on medallic items.

History of glory as a device. The halo is said to have developed from the ancients who
believed they saw an aura of light emanating from the body of a holy person, the light being a
mystical form of intellectual energy. Since it had a pagan origin –in Hellenistic and Roman art
the sun-god Helios appeared with a crown of rays – it was avoided in early Christian art.

It was not until the middle of the fourth century that Christian emperors adopted a simple
circle as a nimbus for their official portraits, and at the end of that century that Christ was
depicted with an imperial attribute of a similar circle. Later, saints, the Virgin Mary and angels
were shown with a simple halo.

At first a circle or disk, the nimbus developed into different shapes to express further
symbolism: triangular for the trinity of God, three half circles at right angles
to each other for the same trinity, a circle with a cross for Christ, sometimes a band of stars for
the Virgin Mary, a square nimbus for a living person, and a circle for saints. Sometimes the
entire body was enclosed in an oval or mandorla in a further expression of glory (and is the
reason for the mandorla shape in medallic art – trimmed to oval shape).

Divine light has been represented in a variety of ways in different art forms and at
various periods. Early paintings utilized a solid gold circle as the halo; Florentine artists depicted
it as a solid flat disk affixed to the back of the head. Fifteenth century Flemish painters expressed
it as rays of light.

In early sculpture it was a band or crown placed firmly upon the head, and later, as in
ecclesiastical statues, it was a ring supported by a rod attached to the back of the neck. In reliefs
and early numismatic art, the nimbus was expressed as a simple ring about the head.

Numismatic representation. Coins of the Roman emperors of the first century AD were
the first numismatic items to display the halo or nimbus. These took the form of garlands of rays
like a crown upon the head. Roman medallions were the first to bear the simple circular form
prior to this use by painters, an example of numismatic art at a forefront of fine arts.

Imperial coins of Christian emperors, notably a silver missorium of Theodosius I, issued
in the fourth century, were the first numismatic items to bear the Christian form of the nimbus,
but they did not differ greatly from the pagan halo used earlier. The earliest forms of Christ, on
Byzantine bracteates, bear the circular line of a simple halo. During the Renaissance, the growth
of naturalism proved difficult to display the nimbus, and artists (including Michelangelo) even
rejected its use entirely.

In more modern times the expression of glory is in wide use and has even spread to
inanimate objects, used to add emphasis to design elements such as dates and such. See RAYS.

CLASS 02.2



John Lupia submitted the following information from his   Encyclopedic Dictionary of Numismatic Biographies for this week's installment of his series. Thanks! As always, this is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is 
New York dealer Harlan Page Smith.

Harlan Page Smith (1839-1902), was born on March 18, 1839 in Hamilton, Madison County, New York, son of Adon Smith (1804-1874) and Louisa M. Fuller (1804-1860).   His father Adon inherited a fortune in real estate scattered in several states together with his brother Sidney Smith from their half brother Jonathan Hunt, who died in 1847. Adon sold a portion of the land from that estate in Alabama amounting to $148,470.85, leaving no accounting to other heirs of the estate. Lawsuits ensued after the death of Adon's brother Sidney Smith, who died in 1886 at a lunatic Asylum. The lawsuits from 1888 to 1892, involved Harlan Page Smith regarding the real estate and monies of the estate for over $1,000,000. 

          In Smith's unflattering obituary in the May 1902 issue of The Numismatist his physical appearance is described as repellent. Another writer years later described him more generously as "Hale and Hardy". Though robust he was probably not attractive in visage. Probably for this reason we do not find photographic images of Smith.

            A curious tale is reported about his early career in his obituary by Lyman Haynes Low in American Journal of Numismatics, July (1902) : 31, claiming he was a mariner and fruit dealer who retired in 1876 to study and sell coins, when in actuality he was a real estate tycoon and American Aristocrat.

            In 1852 he married Corneliuett Pudney (1839- 1923), daughter of John Cornelius Pudney (1817-1875) and Mary Harrow (1818-1840). In 1870 and 1880, the U. S. census lists his profession as a Real Estate agent in New York City, New York (nothing fruity about that); and two daughters Ella Grace Smith (1860-1938), and Charlotte Adams Smith (1862-1890). Smith was an affluent landlord and held many properties and certainly helped his father manage their real estate portfolio, selling off some properties for various reasons. Hence, the occupational description of "Real Estate agent."

            It is uncertain when his interest and passion for collecting rare gem coins began, but it more likely than not predated Low's eulogy citing 1876, and probably extended back to his school days in the 1850's, which for most schoolboys consisted in collecting Ancient Greek and Roman coins from their study of ancient languages and history.

            In 1880, he formed a short-lived partnership with Henry Griswold Sampson (1840-1899), in the firm of H. P. Smith and H. G. Sampson. The firm lasted a little over a year and produced four coin auction sale catalogues.

           In the Fall of 1881 Smith fancied himself a coin dealer or at least projected that image of himself and began to produce his own series of at least twenty-four to twenty-six coin auction sale catalogues from 1881 to 1887, at least twenty-two to twenty-four held in New York, and two in London, England. We do not know if they were all actually produced by him, or perhaps, more likely by a ghost writer like Edouard Frossard, Joseph Sabin or George Cogan, well-known catalogers who worked for Bangs & Company. All of Smith's coin auction sales were held at the Bangs Auction House. 

The possibility of Frossard being the ghost writer is strengthened by his signature sardonic witty sarcasm as that found in the coin auction catalogue of the Walter Hubbard sale, for example, held on July 12th through 13th, 1883, at Bangs & Company, New York. Frossard probably authored the catalogues from 1881 to 1884. Moreover, he held two more coin auction sales in London, England, and those catalogues were devised by the catalogers working for Sotheby. Furthermore, David Proskey alleged in Mrs. Smith's lawsuit of 1902 that he was a copartner with Smith for more than fifteen years, which would make him a silent partner in the supposedly sole proprietorship of Harlan Page Smith's coin dealership from about 1885 to 1887. 

LEFT: Smith & Sampson 1-7-1881 Sale
RIGHT: The first coin auction catalogue of the firm of New York Coin & Stamp Company January 27,1888 Clayton Smith Sale

In 1887, he formed a partnership with David U. Proskey (1853-1928) of Wappinger Falls, New York, in the firm of New York Coin and Stamp Company. 

Smith operated out of New York and Proskey usually from New Jersey, where he lived variously in Little Falls, and also at Patterson, and later in life at North Caldwell, New Jersey. However, they did have an office and coin shop in New York located at 853 Broadway, in the Singer Building, and after the dissolution of the partnership from about 1907 to 1926 at 11 West 30th Street, New York City, New York, and finally from 1926 to 1928, at 912 6th Avenue, which were managed by Proskey.

 After Proskey's death his son David V. Proskey continued the company with the same name at the Little Falls, New Jersey address running full page ads in The Numismatist in 1929 and seems to have been bought out by F.C.C. Boyd after Black Thursday, October 24, and Tuesday, October 29, 1929. Smith's role was treasurer, and predominantly the silent partner, i.e., the financier of the company leaving Proskey as the buyer, seller and manager with the corporate title, President. Smith collected by cherry picking the gems Proskey brought in. 

Announcement of the dissolution of Smith's partnership with Proskey

 He died on Sunday, March 2, 1902, just sixteen days short of his sixty-third birthday and ninety-five days after the dissolution of his partnership with David Proskey; at his home, 256 West 52nd Street, Manhattan, New York. Undoubtedly, the dissolution was due to Smith's failing health; wishing to eliminate a loose end in his estate, knowing his end was immanent. He is buried in the family gravesite at Greenwood Cemetery, Brooklyn, New York, together with his parents and daughters. 

Corneliuett Smith lawsuit against David Proskey for losses as administratrix of the estate in 1902. Apparently Proskey kept the four safes filled with coins, medals, accounting ledgers, etc. formerly belonging to the New York Coin and Stamp Company, which were supposed to be given to Smith or his estate. The safes and their contents were estimated to be valued at $15,000. Mrs. Smith sued for that amount plus an additional $1,000 in legal fees. Mrs. Smith won the case. David Proskey appealed to the Supreme Court of Appeals. 

This lawsuit went back and forth filing motion after motion in a long protracted hearing, which always seemed to skirt the real issue of Mrs. Smith is that she had neither any inventory of the safes, nor way of knowing who owed her husband's company money nor how much,  which Proskey had access to the four safes knowing the combinations; and consequently no objective authoritative accounting existed for her peace of mind and was forced to merely take Proskey at his word. Mrs. Smith was keenly aware of the value of rare coins, gold coins, etc., which she knew filled the safes, besides outstanding invoices of buyers who owed the firm money.

Prior to any coin auction sale in America the Ancient Greek and Roman part of his coin collection was sold posthumously by Sotheby, London, England, on June 5, 1905. 

 On January 26, 1906 and February 6, 1906, the remaining  two British held coin auctions took place in London which comprised smaller lots as supplements to those auctions. The January supplement comprised of British war medals. That of February were some remaining Ancient and foreign pieces.

            Other portions of his coin collection were sold by the Chapman Brothers on May 8-11, and another on June 29, 1906, at Davis & Harvey. In the first Chapman sale of May 8-11th, the 2,416 lots realized $22,615.10.  Among the lots, lot 836 a Gem Proof 1856 Quarter Dollar purchased by John H. Clapp, and  lot 951, an 1844 Proof Liberty Seated Dime, and also in another lot, number 210, an 1822 Capped Head Facing Left Half Eagle sold to William Forrester Dunham of Chicago, Illinois for $2,165. At that time it was the highest price ever paid for a U. S. coin.  

See the full article for many more illustrations and notes.

To read the complete article, see: 




The October 20, 2016 issue of CoinsWeekly includes a profile of numismatic author Joe Cribb, the former Keeper of Coins and Medals at the British Museum.

Joe Cribb
Former Keeper of Coins and Medals at the British Museum

Joe Cribb (* 1947) is a numismatist and expert in monetary history and currencies of Asia, particularly of the Kushan Empire (1st-4th cent. AD). His research interests also cover numismatic theory and practice, and twentieth century British artist Eric Gill. 

After graduating in Latin, Greek and Ancient History at Queen Mary College, University of London in 1970, Joe Cribb became Research Assistant at the Department of Coins and Medals at the British Museum. He started to work on the Chinese coin collection, but soon turned his attention to many other aspects of Asian coinage. After working at the British Museum for 40 years, Joe Cribb has retired as its Keeper of Coins and Medals in 2010. At the Heberden Coin Room at the Ashmolean Museum, he continues his studies as Honorary Research Associate.

Joe Cribb was also the one who led the team of curators who created a new gallery entirely devoted to monetary history at the British Museum. Originally named HSBC Money Gallery, it was refurbished in 2012 and rebranded as Citi Bank Money Gallery.

See the complete article online for more information.  

To read the complete article, see: 

Joe Cribb


For a free subscription to CoinsWeekly, see:



This is only tangentially related to numismatics, but there's a haunting set of photos in this Daily Mail article of the  current state of the ship used to recover the first haul of gold coins and other treasure and artifacts from the wreck of the S.S. Central America.

Like most popular press articles, it mangles several facts, particularly those of the subsequent Tommy Thompson matter.  Thompson was the head of the venture who later became a fugitive.

E-Sylum reader Bob Evans worked with Thompson to locate and salvage the original find, and later went back with the company to extract a second haul a couple years ago.  He writes:

The text accompanying the article is full of misinformation and partial truths, which could be misleading. First of all, once again debunking an old "fact" that keeps coming back up, the gold coins Thompson admits he took are $50 commemorative restrikes made from gold extracted from large Kellogg & Humbert ingots, not original treasure as recovered. 
The general public reads about misdeeds involving "gold coins" and imagines all sorts of swashbuckling piracy.
 Sophisticated numismatists, such as E-Sylum readers, will know the difference.

Tommy Thompson was never the "Captain." He was not Jack Sparrow. We had a professional ship captain with a Master's license, and a crew of professional merchant mariners and ship engineers. 

There is no mention in the article that the company was reborn under the current receivership, and that the shipwreck was explored and salvaged successfully once again in 2014.

There are other bits and pieces of misleading information. These "journalists" always seem to draw from previously misinformed articles, and so on and so forth, ad infinitum.

Looking at the photos reminds me of the march of time and entropy, and that the treasure is the one true superlative in the story.

To read the complete article, see: 

Inside the $50million gold-hunting ship: Eerie photos show treasure vessel which salvaged a 19th-century wreck leading to a global court battle




On October 17, 2016 Roger Burdette published a Coin World article asking the question, "Depicting eagles on coins named ‘eagles’ made sense, but did all the coins need an eagle?"  It's an interesting look at alternatives the U.S. Mint Director considered in 1859 to improve strikeablity of circulating silver coins.  Here's an except.  Be sure to read the complete version online, and check out the complete image gallery.

The Mint had long operated with dies that had large masses of obverse and reverse elements opposite each other. The result was persistent difficulty in bringing up the full obverse portrait. Director Snowden noted in a letter of October 25, 1859, to Treasury Secretary Howell Cobb: “The present silver coins are difficult to bring up, not only because of the full figure of Liberty, but because the eagle occupies the field immediately opposite to it.” 

Can you say, "Congruent mass"?   Last week's vocabulary term is applicable here; the designs on opposite sides of the coin were  working at cross purposes, never allowing the coins to be fully struck up.

Congress seemed to support design changes and included supporting language in the Act of February 21, 1853:

“…And the Secretary of the Treasury is hereby authorized to regulate the size and devices of the new silver coin, authorized by an act entitled ‘An act amendatory of existing laws relative to the half dollar, quarter dollar, dime, and half dime,’ passed at the present session; and that, to procure such devices, as also the models, moulds, and matrices or original dies for the coins, disks, or ingots authorized by said act, the director of the mint is empowered, with the approval of the Secretary of the Treasury, to engage temporarily for that purpose the services of one or more artists, distinguished in their respective departments, who shall be paid for such services from the contingent appropriation for the mint. ...”

After taking office as director in June 1853 following the death of Director Thomas Pettit, James Ross Snowden actively sought new designs for the coinage. One of his first acts was to propose a competition among artists for new designs. His authority was based on the congressional action mentioned above. In a letter to Treasury Secretary James Guthrie, he stated: “… I am constrained to say that the evidences before me do not exhibit such artistic skill and experience as our coinage needs, or such as would satisfy the just expectations of the Department and the public.”

But contrary to expectations, Longacre’s gold $3 coin designs came out quite well as did a revised gold dollar using the same models. Complaints about Longacre’s artistic skill largely vanished and seemed to cease altogether with the removal of Coiner Franklin Peale from the Mint in December 1854. Snowden’s plan to engage “artists, engravers, and persons of taste generally” was publicized in early 1854, but produced nothing usable.

Focus turns to silver
Over the next several years attention was diverted from silver coin designs to replacement of large copper cents with smaller, more convenient coins. It was not until spring 1859 that Snowden returned to improving the appearance of silver coins. As soon as the new Liberty cent coin design was complete, Engraver Longacre was directed to produce a half dollar obverse incorporating an “ideal head of Liberty.” He also was told to make several simple, wreath-based reverse designs with the denomination in the center.

To read the complete article, see: 

Depicting eagles on coins named ‘eagles’ made sense, but did all the coins need an eagle?


To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 





Here are some coins that caught my eye in the November 2016 Stack's Bowers Rarities Night sale.
Like many of us, I started out collecting my country's official coins.  These are some beauties that I'd be proud to own.

 Lot 2001: 1793 Liberty Cap Half Cent. Head Left 

The obverse impression is drawn trivially to 3 o'clock and the reverse is rotated approximately 45 degrees clockwise from normal coin alignment, attributes that we have noted in several other 1793 half cents of the C-2 die pairing. A popular and historic issue, this is the United States Mint's premier half cent delivery and the only one of the Head Left Liberty Cap design type. This is one of the finest circulated survivors that we have ever had the privilege of bringing to auction...

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1793 Liberty Cap Half Cent. Head Left. C-2. Rarity-3.


 Lot 2019: 1914-D Lincoln Cent 

Although the 1909-S V.D.B. and 1931-S were produced in smaller numbers, the 1914-D is the rarest Lincoln cent issue (as opposed to variety or error) in Mint State. Despite having a relatively limited mintage (1.1 million pieces) in its own right, the 1914-D seems to have slipped quietly into circulation, with most coins remaining there until worn out or lost. Relatively few Mint State examples have survived, and most of those extant seem to have survived purely as a matter of chance.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1914-D Lincoln Cent. MS-66 RD (PCGS).


 Lot 2037: 1919 Buffalo Nickel 

In the years of peace following the Great War, production of nickels was dramatically increased. Over sixty million pieces were struck at Philadelphia alone, making this one of the most available of the early Buffalo nickels. But, as with some of the other earlier issues, this increase in production did come at a modest price. Die life was extended, and at times the quality of the strike suffered somewhat as a consequence. While not especially challenging to locate in uncirculated condition, specimens with strong strikes and considerable eye appeal are exceedingly challenging to obtain. 

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1919 Buffalo Nickel. MS-67+ (PCGS).


 Lot 2071: 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter 

Mintage for this initial year of issue struggled to 52,000 pieces, a mere fraction of other prized rarities that are so well known today. Apparently the Philadelphia Mint received word that the new Standing Liberty quarter design was being adopted in late 1916 and a set of dies was prepared. Recall that Barber quarters were issued in significant numbers in 1916 from both the Philadelphia and Denver mints. These new 1916 Standing Liberty quarters were struck in the second half of December of that year and, all were released with the first batches of the new 1917 quarters in mid January. Most entered circulation with little fanfare, and stayed there. Thankfully a few were saved by alert collectors as the first of their kind. This exact coin is undoubtedly one of the very finest to survive, with a tiny population of four seen by PCGS with a single coin finer as MS-67+ FH of this key date issue.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1916 Standing Liberty Quarter. MS-67 FH (PCGS). Secure Holder.


 Lot 2086: 1831 Capped Bust Half Dollar. Obverse 2 (O-103)--Full Brockage Obverse 

Offered here is an exceedingly rare and extremely important major early half dollar Mint error. The obverse is properly struck but off center a few degrees at 3 to 4 o'clock with no denticulation along the lower right border. The reverse, on the other hand, displays a full, well centered incuse mirror image from the obverse of another previously struck 1831 half dollar that had remained on the reverse die when the present example was struck. The error, known as a brockage, is rotated 180 degrees from normal coin alignment. The detail to the brockage is excellent, sharper than that seen on the obverse, which displays moderate wear appropriate for the VF grade from PCGS. Lovely golden-gray patina blankets the brockage side, while the obverse is a bit lighter silver gray. A short, thin scratch in the left obverse field before Liberty's nose is noted, as are a few equally trivial marks on Liberty's cheek and behind the portrait on the brockage side. Visually stunning and of the u
 tmost rarity, this phenomenal coin would serve as the centerpiece in the finest collection of early half dollars and/or major Mint errors.

There are only two full obverse brockage errors known for the entire early U.S. half dollar series, 1794 to 1836, and interestingly they are both examples of the 1831 Capped Bust issue.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1831 Capped Bust Half Dollar. Obverse 2 (O-103)--Full Brockage Obverse--VF-25 (PCGS).


 Lot 2188: 1936-S Oregon Trail Half Dollar 

Ezra Meeker formed the Oregon Trail Memorial Association in an effort to raise funds ostensibly to place monuments along the length of the Oregon Trail to commemorate the pioneers who made the arduous and often dangerous journey westward. Meeker petitioned Congress to grant approval for a series of commemorative coins to fund these memorials, who readily agreed and quickly approved a bill on May 17, 1926 permitting no more than the astonishingly huge amount of six million half dollars.

 Married couple James Earle and Laura Gardin Fraser produced a dramatic and very attractive design that the Commission of Fine Arts quickly approved the design. Hubbing was performed by Medallic Arts Company and the first batch of 40,000 1926-dated coins were coined at the Philadelphia Mint in September. 

The coins proved to be an instant success and additional coins were struck at the San Francisco Mint. The initial flurry of sales quickly dwindled and large numbers remained unsold. Despite the Treasury Department's insistence that no more coins were to be struck until the existing coins were sold, the CFA had enough clout to compel additional coins to be struck in 1928, a large percentage of which sat unsold for five years. 

The remaining coins were melted down and a smaller quantity of 1933-dated pieces produced. Even though these proved to be a sales flop, more coins were authorized and more unsold coins ended up in the melting pot, a cycle that repeated in 1934, 1936, 1937, 1938, and finally 1939 when the series at last came to an end. While initially generous in quantities, the mintages dropped off sharply and the later issues are quite scarce. 

5,000 of the half dollars were produced at the San Francisco Mint and were absorbed into the numismatic community at a cost of $1.60 a coin. Ultimately a total of 264,419 coins of all dates and mints were struck, far fewer than the authorized amount. The later dates are far rarer than the first two issues and were recognized as scarce at the time, often fetching decent premiums above the issue price. Even though the 1936-S half dollars were carefully preserved overall, Superb Gem examples pose a challenge for even the most determined classic commemorative specialist. Seldom encountered so fine and an exemplary representative for the issue.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1936-S Oregon Trail Memorial. MS-68 (PCGS). CAC.


 Lot 2192: 1879 Pattern Morgan Dollar. Judd-1616 

Obv: The same design that the Mint used to strike regular issue 1879 Morgan silver dollars. Rev: Eagle with spread wings clutches an olive branch in its right talon and three arrows in its left, both design elements extending behind the eagle's wings. The Latin motto E PLURIBUS UNUM is immediately above the eagle, the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is around the border, and the denomination ONE DOLLAR is below. The surfaces are vivid golden-olive with bright gold, orange, rose and powder blue undertones, most varied on the reverse. Both sides are fully struck with a vibrant finish and outstanding visual appeal. This extremely popular type with both pattern specialists and Morgan dollar enthusiasts is attributed to George T. Morgan and was prepared as a possible alternative to the regular issue reverse; that eagle motif had met with criticism from some segments of the contemporary public. Struck in both silver and copper, examples of which are of equal rarity with more than a
  dozen known in each composition.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1879 Pattern Morgan Dollar. Judd-1616, Pollock-1812. Rarity-7-. Copper. Reeded Edge. Proof-66 RB (PCGS).


 Lot 2193: Broadstruck 1922-S Peace Silver Dollar 

The spread to the planchet caused by the error is quite uniform on both sides and has resulted in only minimal differences between the width of blank planchet around the design. The detail is impressively sharp for most features, particularly in the centers where Liberty's hair tresses and the feathers at the junction of the eagle's wing and leg are very full for a San Francisco Mint Peace dollar. This phenomenon is often noted for broadstruck errors of other types, such as Mercury dimes on which the central crossbands are usually far better defined than those seen on properly struck examples. 

Errors of this type result when coins are struck in the absence of a retaining collar. If the collar becomes jammed on the shaft of the lower die with the top of the collar level with the die face, a broadstruck error will result. Without the collar to retain it, the planchet will spread and distort when struck by the dies. While we have handled a number of broadstruck errors for modern U.S. Mint types, this error is very rare in the Peace dollar series. With approximately six examples known, in fact, the broadstruck 1921 Peace dollar has been ranked #63 in the popular 2010 book 100 Greatest U.S. Error Coins by Nicolas P. Brown, et al. The first year status of the 1921 and its distinct High Relief design explain the inclusion of the 1921 in that reference, although this broadstruck 1922-S certainly emerges as one of the rarest and most significant errors known for the type. 

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1922-S Peace Silver Dollar--Broadstruck Out of Collar--MS-60 (PCGS).


Newman Numismatic Portal Partner of the Week

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

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, just
Reply to this message, or write to the Editor at this
address: whomren at <!-- at>

Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers
(or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page:

All past E-Sylum issues are archived on the NBS web site at this address:

Issues from September 2002 to date are also archived at this address:

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <>

More information about the Esylum mailing list