The E-Sylum v21n32 August 12, 2018

The E-Sylum esylum at
Sun Aug 12 18:25:24 PDT 2018

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

Volume 21, Number 32, August 12, 2018

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Content presented in The E-Sylum  is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


New subscribers this week include: 
Jerry Cavanaugh, courtesy Jim Contursi; 
Isaiah Hageman, 
Lori Hoover,
Robert M Odulio, and
Andrew Vandegriff.
Welcome aboard! We now have 5,781 subscribers.

Thank you for reading The E-Sylum. If you enjoy it, please send me the email addresses of friends you think may enjoy it as well and I'll send them a subscription (but let me know if they are located in the European Union). Contact me at whomren at anytime regarding your subscription, or questions, comments or suggestions about our content. 

This week we open with a final review of events at this week's ANA gathering in Philadelphia, PA, a classic book on coin scales and counterfeit detecting scales, three new books, and background on Breen's Encyclopedia.

Other topics this week include the ANA Literary Awards, Whitman book authors, 1933 Double Eagles, dies striations, die trails and die adjustment strikes, William K. Miller, John Herzog, Ted Binion, Empress Nur Jahan, and the Peterloo Massacre medal.

To learn more about Civil War tokens, Confederate numismatica,   the 1869 Mint Cabinet inventory, flow marks, St. Louis Post Office tokens, the Mary Portrait Testoon, the Daniel Morgan at Cowpens splashers, witness lines, error coins, glass coins and the Royal Mint's shield reverses, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren 
Editor, The E-Sylum


LAST CALL! Here's our final reminder of Numismatic Bibliomania Society events at this week's American Numismatic Association convention.  

Schedule of NBS events at this year’s ANA Convention

Please visit us at Table 1414 on the bourse near the Kolbe & Fanning and Charles Davis Numismatic Literature tables.

11:30 to 1:00 NBS Board Meeting (open to members), Room 120C

1:00 to 2:30 NBS Symposium, Room 120C
Speaker: Roger Burdette on research at the National Archives.

11:30 to 1:30 NBS General Meeting and Fundraising Auction, Room 117
Speaker: David Fanning on current state of numismatic literature market.
The Asylum Award winners will be announced.

All events take place in the Philadelphia Convention Center.

Send your photos (JPGs with captions) of NBS members and events from the ANA to 

nbsasylum at
 by September 1 to be included in The Asylum Fall issue.

Dan Hamelberg adds:

I am going to bring my M.A. Brown sale and plates to the ANA for NBS display.  This was an SH & H Chapman sale on April 16-17, 1897 and was originally intended to be a large format plated catalog with four photographic plates of large cents.  At the time, the Treasury Department was somewhat concerned about any U.S. coins or currencies being reproduced by a photographic process.  Treasury agents gained information about the pending Chapman  M.A. Brown Sale with photographic plates (could it be that some competitor was upset?) and they seized the original glass negatives and destroyed them before the catalogue could be completed.  

However, two sets of proof prints were produced before the glass negatives were taken. One of the sets was cut horizontally through the center so it could fit into the smaller size catalogue.  The other set survived intact in its original full-size format.  I can bring both sets of plates along with the firm's bid book containing prices and names.  I also have a second copy with prices and names along with interesting notations. 

The Chapmans produced 46 total regular plated catalogs.  The M.A. Brown sale plates are unique.  Without U. S. Treasury glass negatives confiscation, the number of Chapman plated sales would have increased by one.  Perhaps more plated catalogs might have been produced as well without the expectation of possible seizures of photographic plate negatives.  In any event, the Chapman plated catalogs are considered a high point of late 19th and early 20th century plated coin auction catalogs produced in the United States, and a high point of any numismatic literature collection. 


Each year at the ANA World’s Fair of Money, the Numismatic Bibliomania Society conducts a benefit auction to raise funds for the organization. All items sold are donated to the NBS by members and 100% of the proceeds go to the NBS treasury. 

This year, we are trying to increase participation in the auction by distributing a catalogue of the sale to all NBS members so that members unable to attend in person can participate. You can 

download a PDF of the catalogue here

Absentee bids should be sent to David Fanning at 
df at
 by the end of Thursday, August 16. The sale will take place on Friday, August 17 as part of the NBS General Meeting, to be held in Room 117 of the Philadelphia Convention Center from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Please read the terms of sale before bidding.

Thank you for your support of the NBS!

To download the catalogue, see:


I'll arrive at the show mid-day Wednesday and stay through Saturday morning.  I'm looking forward to the NBS meetings and all the other educational and social events of the show.  I hope to see many of our E-Sylum readers there.

And while you're at the show please visit our many current and past supporters who will have tables at the show.  Here they are in numerical order (apologies if I've missed anyone!).

 E-Sylum Supporters With Tables At the Show

155 Central States Numismatic Society

236 Whitman Publishing

246 Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN)

313 Archives International Auctions, LLC

425 Northeast Numismatics

429 Douglas Winter Numismatics

440 Steve Hayden Tokens & Medals

510 Mid-American Rare Coin Galleries

523 Legend Numismatics

556 Cunningham Exonumia

611 Stack's Bowers Galleries

632 Harry Laibstain Rare Coins

711 Heritage Numismatic Auctions, Inc.

728 Julian M. Leidman / Bonanza Coins

733 David Lawrence Rare Coins

740 John Kraljevich Americana

825 Kagin's Auctions

840 Gerry Fortin Rare Coins

923 CDN Publishing, LLC

947 Wayne Herndon Rare Coins Inc

1043 John Dannreuther Rare Coins

1125 Littleton Coin Company

1132 Fred Weinberg & Co. 

1215 Kolbe & Fanning

1314 Charles Davis

1333 Daniel Frank Sedwick LLC

1337 Dix Noonan Web

1414 Numismatic Biblomania Society (don't forget our club table!)

1428 Shanna Schmidt Numismatics Inc.

1451 Classical Numismatic Group

THANK YOU!  Please do stop by and let them know you appreciate their support for The E-Sylum, and encourage others to consider doing the same.  It's a great way to get in front of thousands of the most active and engaged collectors in the U.S. and the world, and to support a great platform for numismatic information exchange.  Don't forget to mention we also have an ANA Edition, which further reaches thousands of members of the American Numismatic Association.


Numismatic Booksellers Kolbe & Fanning are offering an important but scarce book on U.S. Coin scales and counterfeit coin detectors. Here's the announcement.

In 1999, Eric P. Newman and A. George Mallis published a nearly 400-page encyclopedia on U.S. Coin Scales and Mechanical Counterfeit Coin Detectors. For years, this work has been difficult to find, bringing upwards of $200 when offered at auction.

A small quantity of copies of this volume—the most comprehensive work yet published on the subject—has been discovered and copies are available for a limited time for $50 plus $5 shipping.*

Kolbe & Fanning will have this title available at Table 1215 at the ANA World's Fair of Money in Philadelphia, August 14–18. It can also be ordered now from our website at

Only one copy may be ordered per customer at this special price. 

The collection of coin scales, weights, coin banks, counters and devices, and mechanical counterfeit coin detectors owned by the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society will be sold 
in Heritage's November 7–9, 2018 sale in Dallas. The discovery of these copies of Newman & Mallis comes at the perfect time to learn about these ingenious mechanical devices, so important to merchants and bankers of the 18th and 19th centuries in sorting the good from the bad. 

Order your copy today!

* $5 shipping offer is domestic only via USPS Media Mail. Priority mail and foreign shipping available at actual cost. 

I was lucky to purchase a copy of this great book for my library early on and have had it ever since.  With the upcoming sale of Eric's landmark collection, I think these will sell out fast.  If you have any interest, act quickly.

To order online, see:


The updated and revised third edition of the Guide Book of Civil War Tokens will debut in October 2018.  Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing submitted this article.  Thanks!

Once Obscure, American Civil War Tokens Now Take the Spotlight

In the early 1940s, young George J. Fuld was first bitten by the coin-collecting bug (as were many other
Americans, during a boom in hobby interest that started in the Great Depression). His conversations with
two collectors at the 1947 American Numismatic Association convention sparked a lifelong interest in an
unusual and intriguing field: that of Civil War tokens.

At the time, these tokens were mentioned—but just barely—in 
the Guide Book of United States Coins,
Whitman Publishing’s retail price catalog and numismatic history book. First published in 1946, the
Guide Book quickly became the most popular annual reference in the hobby, and its contents carried great
weight. Inclusion in the so-called “Red Book” meant a die variety or a series was part of the established
numismatic world. Civil War tokens made the grade, but without much fanfare, being tucked into a few
sentences on page 250 (of 256).

“During the Civil War small coin was . . . hoarded by the public and millions of privately coined tokens
were placed in circulation,” the Red Book informed its readers. “These are . . . either of political or
advertising nature. Some 15,000 different varieties have been discovered, all of which are more or less
common. A large majority of the Civil War tokens are about the same size as the present day one-cent

That was the extent of the overview in the earliest editions of the Red Book.

By the 1960s, with a new boom of interest in all things numismatic, that coverage would be expanded
with more narrative and a type-table list of values by metallic composition.

In the meantime, in the 1950s, when Q. David Bowers was just getting started as a numismatic force of
nature, the hobby’s literature on Civil War tokens was still thinner than Abraham Lincoln, and nowhere
near as tall—though just as fascinating. Bowers recalls how his education in the field came from a single
volume published more than 30 years earlier (Civil War Tokens and Tradesmen’s Cards, by George
Hetrich and Julius Guttag, 1924), plus the occasional article 
in The Numismatist and other periodicals,
auction-lot descriptions, and, importantly, the personal guidance of hobby mentors.

Title page; George Fuld

Among the latter Bowers counted the research team of Fuld and Fuld—son George J. and his father
Melvin, by that time well established as experts in the field. Young George had grown up from student to
teacher, and he and his father researched and wrote about Civil War tokens through the 1950s. In the early
1960s the Fulds brought into the world the books Patriotic Civil War Tokens and U.S. Civil War Store
Cards, produced by Whitman Publishing.

Fred Reinfeld’s 93-page The Story of Civil War Money (Sterling Publishing Co., 1959), although not
comprehensive, piqued further interest among history buffs. Civil War numismatic historian Fred L. Reed
would later credit Reinfeld’s book for capturing his imagination. (Beyond numismatics, Reinfeld was a
brilliant chess player who introduced generations of players to the game through his beginner-level
instruction books.)

Research into Civil War tokens continued, along with the study of encased postage stamps, Confederate
currency, and other aspects of wartime money. Numismatists published articles in Numismatic News,
Coin World, and other popular periodicals. Over the years the standard references by the Fulds were
updated and revised in various new editions.

Bowers wrote his first book, Coins and Collectors, in 1964. It would be the first of many dozens—most
of them best-sellers and standard references.

The Civil War Token Society was chartered in 1967. With it, researchers such as Fred L. Reed gained a
new “headquarters” for their work in the field, in particular in the publication of the society’s Journal.
Bowers continued to be a major contributor to research and writing, for the Society and in other venues,
while building a huge personal collection of Civil War tokens and buying and selling for his coin-
dealership retail customers.

A Dynamic New Publishing Era for Civil War Tokens
I started my work as publisher at Whitman Publishing in 2004. Civil War tokens were always close to the
front burner. Bowers was by then Whitman’s numismatic director, and on the cusp of helping launch a
modern renaissance in numismatic research and publishing. Still, the Red Book’s coverage of Civil War
tokens (less than a full page) was not much more extensive than it had been in the 1960s, although with
new color photography and more in-depth pricing.

We worked quickly to expand this coverage. By 2006, with the 60th edition (cover date of 2007), we had
three pages including nearly a full page of history, some three dozen color photographs, and pricing for
types (by metal), plus a sampling of patriotic and store card tokens (the latter priced by state, plus a dozen
representative varieties) in four grades from Very Good to Mint State.

In October 2007 we published 100 Greatest American Medals and Tokens (by Bowers and Katherine
Jaeger), a book that featured Civil War tokens prominently. And in June 2008 we published the Guide
Book of United States Tokens and Medals, by Jaeger, which included an entire chapter on Civil War

It was in the fall and winter of 2008 that we first started seriously discussing a full-length book devoted
entirely to Civil War tokens. We knew this would be a massive undertaking, but we were inspired by
exciting developments within the Civil War Token Society.

“I talked with Steve Tanenbaum this afternoon,” I emailed to Bowers on December 17, 2008. “He’s one
of a 10-person committee, part of the Civil War Token Society, that’s spearheading an encyclopedia of
Civil War tokens—an update/combination/expansion of information previously only found in Fuld’s 1970
guide, the 1975 CWTS update, and Kanzinger’s 2001 price guide. They seem to have a very solid and
serious committee, headed by a strong organizer (John Ostendorf), everyone is committed to getting it
right, they meet regularly online to work and plan, and their academic and genealogical research is

Dave saw a Whitman book on Civil War tokens as “a magnificent idea” and he would later recall how he
“jumped at the chance” to be its author.

Earnest work on the Whitman book would not begin until June of 2012—but once it began, it barreled
ahead in full Bowers style, with the Sage of Wolfeboro pulling together his impressive personal archives,
marshalling assistance from across the hobby community, and writing, writing, writing. He delivered the
fully written manuscript, with thousands of photographs, before the end of that October—a herculean
accomplishment in four months. After editing, layout, and printing, the book debuted at the American
Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money in August 2013. It was an immediate hit.

A Modern-Day Classic in American Numismatics
The praise earned by the Guide Book of Civil War Tokens is well deserved. In the foreword to the first
edition, Fred Reed said, “Not only is Bowers’s coverage of this series broader than heretofore undertaken
by any other author, it is also deeper in both its historical and economic references.” The venerable Dr.
George J. Fuld, too, weighed in, nearly 70 years after he first learned of Civil War tokens: “No book on
how to collect Civil War tokens has ever been as thorough. I expect that it will be a standard reference for
years to come.”

The first print run of the first edition sold out within four months, and was followed by additional
printings. We released an expanded and updated second edition in December 2014. Now, in 2018, the
book has again been updated and improved, in a third edition that will be available in October.

The words of Susan Trask, longtime treasurer (and current president) of the Civil War Token Society,
writing in the foreword of the second edition, still ring true: “Whether you are new to the hobby, a
seasoned collector, or someone just looking for a comprehensive reference on Civil War tokens, this book
deserves a prominent place on your library shelf.”

Our hope is that it will inspire another generation of collectors and researchers.


Author Peter Bertram has published Supplement One in his
Confederate Numismatica book series.

Side 1 / Side 2

Welcome to another installment in the ongoing CONFEDERATE NUMISMATICA series.
Each new release will add a little bit more to the body of published information for collectors of
Confederate numismatic memorabilia.

This release is a two-sided book – on one side is the section “More Forerunners Through 1889” which continues with the listings started in Confederate Numismatica Part 1. Here are a few highlights……………

•  A new heading – “Anti-Confederate” Medalets”

•  An extremely rare, crudely made “Bull’s Run” medal (three known!)

•  Raphael Thian’s personal Master Album of Confederate notes

• Three more Davis Flight Medals, two with images (total known now 13)

•  A superb condition iron Merrimac armor plate token

• Full color images of the extremely rare ACSTD Membership badge (Association of
Confederate Soldiers Tennessee Division)

Then flip the book over and the other side offers the feature article “The Confederate Chemicograph Backs Revisited – and here’s a few highlights…………………

•  The first detailed study illustrating the 38 known Chemicograph backs and their reverse
varieties, grouped in four separate printings as originally produced 1880 to 1958

•  Three of Straker’s Developmental Essay proofs

•  All six of the original Chemicograph printing plates collected by Philip H. Chase

Soft cover, spiral bound, 83 pages.
Price $22.00 plus $2.50 shipping : order at,
or directly from the author at - Peter Bertram : PO Box 924391 : Norcross, GA 30010-4391

Peter will be glad to sign your copy if desired – just request it with your order please…….

Every bit as well done as his groundbreaking Part One, this supplement provides a great deal of information and photos on this long-neglected but historically important area of American numismatics.  Included are three more Davis Flight medals, more on the Stonewall Jackson medals, and for bibliophiles, some information on the Thian and Bechtel albums for Confederate notes.  

Peter’s first-ever article cataloging the Chemicograph backs by their four printings is thorough and well illustrated (in color).
Some of the related numismatic literature is discussed and pictured as well.    An important addition to any library on U.S. numismatics.

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see: 







George Cuhaj writes:

FW Media has licensed a printing of the 2013 edition 
of Collecting World Coins to Bejing GW Culture Communications, Ltd. a Chinese firm known for their technical publications and they have translated the text and printed a large (2-3/4 inch spine) but light in weight hardbound edition with dust jacket. 

For the collectors of KP editions of the SCWC, this will probably be very hard to acquire in the US market.
It comes in at 1055 numbered pages and is priced at 360 yuan ($52.57USD), ISBN 978-7-5478-3671-2.

Interesting!  George kindly supplied a number of images.  Thanks!


OVER 500 NUMISMATIC TITLES: Wizard Coin Supply has over 500 numismatic titles in stock, competitively discounted, and
available for immediate shipment. See our selection at


Dick Johnson submitted these recollections about Walter Breen’s Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins.
Thank you!


Stanley Afelbaum was the driving force behind the publication of the greatest American numismatic book. Walter Breen was on his staff as cataloger for his numismatic auctions. Stanley was well aware of Walter’s vast knowledge of American coins of every denomination.

Stanley recognized he could capitalize on Walter’s knowledge and what better way than a catalog of U.S. coins. But Walter needed direction and oversight, as Walter was easily distracted.

My knowledge of how he wrote the manuscript may be supplemented by others who recall these events as well.

Stanley established Walter in an empty office in midtown New York City with the essentials to compile the manuscript, including a secretary to do the typing. Walter had a box of notes, but the text mostly came from his experience and extensive knowledge in handling the rarer pieces plus knowing where to find the data on all else.

Walter had a remarkable memory, what some call a “photographic memory.” He remembered everything he read, being able to recall this at will. He was a voracious reader. I once asked him what his IQ was. He replied it is impossible to measure it but he estimated it was 180 or more, perhaps over 200 on the Benet scale, where 140 and above is considered a genus.

I don’t know how many months he worked on the manuscript, but I can imagine Stanley’s persuasion to complete it. My office at the time at Medallic Art Co on East 45th was a few blocks from the unknown location of where Waster was working but I was unable to reach him. I would have been a distraction.

The manuscript was completed, index, appendences and all, by late 1987, and published the following year. The book was relatively free of typos attesting to excellent proofreading.  Since publication the most major criticism was mintage figures of some early Mint issues. Where the data was unavailable, it was claimed Walter made it up.

Stanley was a master marketer and Walter Breen’s Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins sold well. At a New Jersey coin show Walter was seated at a table near the entrance to the bourse room signing copies. A truck outside contained boxes of the book as sales of the book were brisk and a large supply was needed. I was there early the second day. Walter numbered the copies sold at the show. Mine was number 97.

The team of Walter Breen and Stanley Afelbaum created a book unequalled in American numismatics. In 2009 the Numismatic Bibliomania Society conducted a survey among members to name the greatest American numismatic books. The number one choice was Breen’s Encyclopedia.  

For all the thirty years since its publication it had remained supreme in American numismatics.

To read an earlier E-Sylum article, see: 





The ANA has announced their literary awards for 2018.  Congratulations to the winners!  Some familiar E-Sylum names here.

ANA Presents Literary Awards to Exceptional Writers

2018 Adult Numismatist Literary Award Winners

The American Numismatic Association’s 2018 literary awards – recognizing articles published in the 2017 volume of its official magazine, The Numismatist – will be presented on August 16 at the ANA World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia. The Numismatist was launched by ANA founder and first editor Dr. George F. Heath in 1888, and this year marks its 131st volume.

The Heath Literary Award acknowledges outstanding articles published in the preceding 12 months.

First place goes to Pete Smith, Joel J. Orosz and Leonard Augsburger for “A More Accurate History of the 1792 Half Disme” (August 2017), in which they described Thomas Jefferson’s connection with the coin’s production. The authors will receive $250 and engraved nickel-silver medals designed in 2013 by artist and ANA member Jamie Franki.

Roger Burdette earned second place ($100 and an engraved bronze medal) for his feature article, “Rescued Rarities” (June 2017), in which he explained how valuable items were recovered and preserved for posterity following the U.S. government recall of gold coinage in the early 1930s.

Allan Schein received third place (an engraved bronze medal) for “The Identity of Pratt’s Indian” (November 2017), which postulated that a prominent Brulé Sioux chief was the model for the obverse of Bela Lyon Pratt’s early-20th-century gold coins.

The Wayte and Olga Raymond Memorial Literary Award, endowed in 1978 by the late John J. Ford Jr., is presented for articles that display original and comprehensive research in U.S. numismatics.

The August 2017 study by Smith, Orosz and Augsburger received first place ($400), and Burdette’s June 2017 work earned second place ($200). David McCarthy garnered third place for “Nova Constellatio: Identifying the First American Coin” (August 2017), in which he demonstrated how die states and historical documents helped identify a prototypical U.S. issue.

Funded by an anonymous donor, the Catherine Sheehan Literary Award for U.S. Paper Money Studies includes $50 for first place.

David Schenkman took the top prize for “Numismatic Mementos of the Glass Industry” (March 2017), in which he spotlighted firms that manufactured and distributed paper scrip or tokens in the 19th and 20th centuries.

Second place (certificate) goes to Ray Williams for “An Evening with Uncle Ray” (September 2017), in which he shared the history and stories behind Early American notes in his collection.

Introduced this year, the Prue and Arthur Fitts Literary Award for Ancient and Medieval Coinage Studies recognizes literary excellence in those fields.

First place ($250) was presented to John Nebel for “Head-to-Head” (August 2017), which illustrated how politics played a big part in ancient numismatics.

Michael Shutterly received second place (certificate) for “In the Beginning” (December 2017), in which he traced the spread of metallic coins throughout the Mediterranean around 650 B.C.

All feature articles published in The Numismatist automatically are considered for the Heath Literary Award; likewise, all qualifying articles are evaluated for the Raymond, Sheehan and Fitts awards. For information about submitting manuscripts for review and possible publication, email Editor-in-Chief Barbara Gregory at gregory at

2018 Young Numismatist Literary Award Winners

The ANA also presents annual awards to encourage young writers and ensure a corps of future numismatic authors and researchers. The Young Numismatist Literary Award categories are named in honor of Whitman authors dedicated to educating the next generation of numismatists. YN Literary Awards were announced at the ANA's Summer Seminar in June.

First place in each category received a $500 cash prize, plus a $500 voucher to help build a personal library of numismatic books produced by Whitman Publishing. Second place received a $200 book voucher and third place received a $100 book voucher. The prizes were provided by Whitman Publishing.

The Bill Fivaz Young Numismatist Literary Award recognizes numismatist writers for ages 8 to 12. First place this year was Caleb Audette for “Confederate Obsolete Banknotes.” Second place was Matthew Daum with “The Buffalo Nickel” and the third place recipient was Nikhil Rath with “American Dollar Coins: 1969, 1976 and 2026.”

The Q. David Bowers Young Numismatist Literary Award honors numismatist writers that are aged 13 to 17. This year’s first place recipient was Paige Price for “Disney Dollars.” Benjamin Mous placed second with “Five Reforms, Eight Years: The Coinage of China’s Emperor Wang,” and Alexander Mous took third with his paper on “The Revival of Local Currency in Japan.”

The Kenneth E. Bressett Young Numismatist Literary Award is given to writers between the ages of 18 and 22. This year, first place was won by Cole Hendrickson for “Frontier Forts: Sutlers and Their Tokens.” In second place was Jared Lake for his work “Artificial vs. Natural Toning in Silver Coins.” Third place was received by Matt Draiss for “Resorts and Melting Pots: The Men & Women Behind the Formation of the Mountains National Bank of Tannersville.”

For more information, see:



In the spirit of bottom-line-up-front, here's the schedule for author signings at the Whitman booth in this week's ANA show in Philadelphia.  Mark your calendars and stop by.

Arranged by day, the autograph sessions are:

Wednesday afternoon — Bowers and Burdette.
Thursday morning — Bowers, Bressett, and Tucker.
Thursday afternoon — Berk, Burdette, Leonard, and Moy.
Friday morning — Bowers, Bressett, and Burdette.
Friday afternoon — Bowers, Bressett, Leonard, and Standish.
Saturday morning — Bressett and Garrett.

Whitman authors who will participate in book signings include the following. A schedule with specific times will be available at the Whitman booth.

Harlan Berk (100 Greatest Ancient Coins) — Thursday afternoon.

David Bowers (A Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars; Obsolete Paper Money; etc.) — Wednesday afternoon; Thursday morning; Friday morning and afternoon.

Ken Bressett (Money of the Bible; Whitman Guide to Coin Collecting; etc.) — Thursday morning; Friday morning and afternoon; Saturday morning.

Roger W. Burdette (A Guide Book of Peace Dollars) — Wednesday afternoon; Thursday afternoon; Friday morning.

Jeff Garrett (Encyclopedia of U.S. Gold Coins, 1795–1933; 100 Greatest U.S. Coins; etc.) — Saturday morning.

Robert D. Leonard (Curious Currency: The Story of Money From the Stone Age to the Internet Age) — Thursday afternoon; Friday afternoon.

Edmund C. Moy (American Gold and Platinum Eagles) — Thursday afternoon.

Michael “Miles” Standish (American Silver Eagles; Morgan Dollar) — Friday afternoon.

• Dennis Tucker (American Gold and Silver: U.S. Mint Collector and Investor Coins and Medals, Bicentennial to Date) — Thursday morning.

Now here's an excerpt from the August 6, 2018 Coin Update article with images from past events.  See the complete article online for more.

Whitman Publishing authors will meet and greet collectors and sign copies of their books at the Whitman booth, #236 (next to the U.S. Treasury Department display), at the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of Money, August 15–18, 2017. The show is held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center at 1101 Arch Street in Philadelphia.

Left: Kenneth Bressett autographs a copy of the 1,504-page Mega Red for Caleb Noel, then news editor (and now managing editor) of the ANA’s Numismatist magazine.

Right: Whitman authors Q. David Bowers and Bob Shippee at the 2017 World’s Fair of Money in Denver.

Robert D. Leonard, author of Curious Currency, visits with Q. David Bowers at the 2017 World’s Fair of Money. (Longtime Red Book editor Ken Bressett is in the background.)

I'll probably be a frequent visitor myself.
Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker and author Dave Bowers will be on hand at the Whitman display and would be delighted to discuss books—new and old—with any E-Sylum readers.

To read the complete article, see: 

Meet your favorite Whitman Publishing authors at the 2018 ANA World’s Fair of Money



This is old news now, but the on-again, off-again U.S. Mint exhibit of 1933 Double Eagles is on again for this week's ANA event in Philadelphia.  Here's the Mint press release, to which I've added an image (which may not be of one of the pieces to be exhibited).

Mint to Display Three 1933 Double Eagles at ANA World’s Fair of Money

Display will Include Previously Unknown Piece

The United States Mint announced today that it will display three of the nation’s 1933 Double Eagle Gold Coins in booth 218 at the American Numismatic Association’s World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia from August 14 to August 18.

The display will feature two of the ten pieces recovered by the government in 2004. Those coins were the subject of 11 years of litigation, which was resolved last year in favor of the government.  The Mint will also display the previously undisclosed specimen that was voluntarily and unconditionally given over to the government by a private citizen who requested to remain anonymous.

In March of 1933, as one of the many measures designed to reverse the Great Depression, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt issued a proclamation prohibiting payment of gold coin.  This resulted in the melting of 445,500 1933-dated Double Eagles previously struck at the Philadelphia Mint. Mint records clearly establish that no 1933 $20 Double Eagles were ever issued or released to the public as legal tender. The only specimens to leave the Mint lawfully were two 1933 Double Eagles provided to the Smithsonian Institution for preservation in the National Numismatics collection. Subsequently, one specimen recovered in 1996 became the subject of a unique settlement. The coin was monetized, issued by the United States Mint, and sold at auction in 2002 for $7.6 million.  

Unlike nine specimens that were recovered during the 1940s and 50s, none of the specimens in Mint custody will be melted. United States Mint Director David J. Ryder said, “The United States Mint recognizes all of the country’s recovered 1933 Double Eagles as national numismatic treasures.”

David Gladfelter writes:

What the story doesn’t tell us is what will happen to the coins after the exhibit ends.
The coins now belong to the people. Shouldn’t the people have a say in what’s to be done with them?

One idea would be to put nine of them on permanent display at different public locations where security is adequate. (The Smithsonian Institution already has two specimens, so should not receive additional coins.) How about one each at the U. S. Mints in Philadelphia, Denver and San Francisco, and six more at Federal Reserve banks in New York and other locations throughout the country? The tenth one could be kept as a traveling exhibit, at coin shows and the like.

What do you think? What do E-Sylum readers think?
Perish the thought of melting them!

Do you know what Federal agency is in charge of them? Maybe that agency would be willing to run a poll.

What is this hocus-pocus about “monetizing” the specimen, ex-Farouk, in private hands? Does the Mint have a negative $20 ledger entry for this specimen that’s been carried on the books all these years that has to be balanced out? I’m not an accountant – but curious.

I believe the Mint has already committed to not melting the coins.  The Mint is part of the U.S. Treasury department, so Treasury would have the final say over them.

To read the complete press release, see: 

Mint to Display Three 1933 Double Eagles at ANA World’s Fair of Money



The latest additions to the Newman Numismatic Portal are 19th century records of the National Numismatic Collection. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report.

Page from the 1869 Mint Cabinet inventory listing the 1804 dollars

Newman Portal users Saul Teichman and Roger Burdette recently contributed a pair of documents to Newman Portal that provide information on the U.S. Mint Cabinet (today the National Numismatic Collection in the Smithsonian) from the 19th century. Both documents originate from the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA). Thanks to the efforts of Bob Julian, John Graffeo, Roger Burdette, Craig Sholley, and others, the Newman Portal currently contains over 200,000 pages of material scanned at various NARA facilities, including Philadelphia, College Park (MD), and Denver.

The document “Collection of United States and Foregin Coins in the Mint Cabinet at Philadelphia” (from NARA record group 104, entry 160) is a handwritten record, “prepared by the Curators of the Cabinet” in 1869.  Interestingly, the catalog provides numismatic valuations of each piece, stating “The…value is an average of two principal and recent sales – the Seavey and Liliendahl collections at auction; with occasional reference to the Haines and Mickley sales.” The curators were thus somewhat familiar with the commercial conditions of the day. Two 1804 dollars are listed (a third was added to the collection later), valued at $500 and $100. The entire collection of several thousand pieces is appraised at “near $20,000.” Needless to say today’s statistics are substantially increased, on the order of a million pieces and a valuation of a  billion dollars.

A second document, from 1887, represents correspondence from Philadelphia Mint Superintendent Daniel M. Fox to U.S. Mint Director James P. Kimball (NARA record group 104, entry 229). Fox writes to Kimball, transmitting a list of U.S. pattern coins from 1794 to date. Although not explicitly stated, this likely represents an inventory of the Mint Cabinet at the time. Fox was clearly aware the list was not comprehensive, stating that he identified 341 pieces, while the Robert Coulton Davis list (published about the same time in Coin Collector’s Journal) listed 479 examples. Today, all of this information is available with a quick glance at Whitman’s United States Pattern Coins, ably championed by Q. David Bowers and Saul Teichman. Numismatics builds on itself, and today’s knowledge is built on these early sources, which represented the best information available at the time.

Link to “Collection of United States and Foregin Coins in the Mint Cabinet at Philadeplhia” (1869) on Newman Portal:

Link to 1887 listing of U.S. pattern coinage on Newman Portal:

Link to NARA materials on Newman Portal



John Regitko submitted these notes in response to last week's question about unusual marks seen on a Kentucky State Quarter.

In the last E-Sylum, you mentioned the term "Planchet Striations" with reference to a 2001-P Kentucky State quarter.

A planchet is generally a blank that went through the milling machine to make the blank just a bit smaller and add a high rim around the perimeter. This is also called turning the Type 1 blank into a Type 2 blank planchet. So by using the word "planchet," it implies that the striations were on the blank before it was struck. However, that does not account for the striations to be on the struck coin, since the 200-plus tons of pressure of the dies would flatten any high points on the planchet.

As well, it could not be a planchet problem, since planchet defects are one-of-a-kind (just like double-strikes, off-centers, clips, etc.) and there are a number of these known.

The only answer, therefore, has to involve either from the flow of metal when the planchet was struck, or it was on the die.

How the metal would flow that far is beyond possibility in the split-second that a coin takes to be struck.

That leaves the die as the culprit, in my opinion.

Attached is an image of a coin that Canadian dealer Nick Cowan of The Coin Collector submitted for my column on errors and die varieties in Canadian Coin News, it is the result of buffing of the dies after they are chromium plated. This extends their life even more, although buffing his hardly ever used any more today (unlike in 2001) because the repairing of a used die still gives you a used die and the cost of running off a few more new dies from the master is not that costly.

You can see lines running in one direction, the direction of the buffing. It is hardly as obvious as the U.S. quarter, so that must have been a heck of a buffing (maybe the worker was really angry that day and took it out on the die?). I am surprised that the good folks at the U.S. Mint would knowingly buff it so much and then actually install it on a minting press, however the Philadelphia Mint was churning out a lot of coins as fast as they could.

Since the presses, technology and procedures are the same in both Canada and the U.S. it would make no difference if it is produced in Winnipeg or at one of the U.S. plants.

Let's see if other subscribers challenge my conclusion!

John Regitko

Columnist, Errors & Varieties, CCN (in my 10th year)

Author, Error & Variety Educational Manual (in my 5th reprint

Sean Moffatt offers these notes. 

I would like to offer some additional information on the die trails and the origin of these lines. For a long time minting "armchair minters" have decided that these lines come from the hobbing process. That is incorrect. 

I have been in the minting trade for 30 years. I started out in a die room making and polishing dies, and I still make and polish dies among many other things I have to do on a daily basis. As a young die polisher I put plenty of these trails on dies that I had to fix before sending the die to the press. I now train new die polishers to avoid this mistake, and how to fix it. 

The die trails come from inexperienced or over zealous die polishers. The direction of the trails are typically same direction on a coin and typically in random directions between coins made from another die. The hobbing process is just like coining a new coin die. The metal flow is roughly the same, but not as fast as striking a coin. The pressure generated flow lines, if any, will run radially towards the outside diameter of the die. So if these die trails came from hobbing the lines would always be going towards the outer edge of the coin. Again I point out the trail lines go in random directions between different dies.

 With this being said, I was a technical advisor to Will Brooks who wrote an article about a year ago (for 
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