The E-Sylum v22n13 March 31, 2019

The E-Sylum esylum at
Sun Mar 31 19:10:22 PDT 2019

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

Volume 22, Number 13, March 31, 2019

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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: 
Prakash Chandra Behera,
Jen Benson, 
Eric Jackson, and
Jean Paul.
Welcome aboard! We now have 5,908 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 an update from our sponsor organization, 
a numismatic literature sale announcement, an overview of Bob Shippee's Pleasure and Profit, one new book, one review and two periodicals.

Other topics this week include early American medals, the Hungarian National Museum's U.S. coin exhibit, some modern U.S. coinage mintage figures, the TAD collection of large cents, collector Virgil Brand, the Koinpanel, the Fogg Museum coin heist, suffragette hunger strike medals, and the PDSA Order of Merit for hero animals.

To learn more about numismatics and Artificial Intelligence,  Shanghai gambling club tokens, the King of Carson City Silver Dollars, centenarian numismatists, the first electronic money identifier for the blind, ANA Charter Member No. 12, a stolen 1894-S dime, Roman military pay, and the vertical banknote that almost was, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren 
Editor, The E-Sylum


The Numismatic Bibliomania Society has a new Treasurer.  Please welcome Chuck Heck!

Please welcome our new NBS Treasurer Chuck Heck! We are so grateful to Chuck for making our new 501(c)(3) tax-deductible status possible and for taking over as Treasurer. Chuck can be reached at treasurer at and at the address below, as well as all membership dues.

Numismatic Bibliomania Society

Chuck Heck, Treasurer

P.O. Box 2058

Bluffton, SC 29910-2058

A big thanks also goes out to outgoing treasurer Terry White for his help over the years.

For more information on our society, see:



Kolbe & Fanning's next numismatic literature sale will close April 27, 2019.  Here's the announcement.

Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers are announcing our Sale 152, which will be held on Saturday, April 27, 2019. The 441-lot sale is entirely devoted to North American numismatics (though a number of important catalogues issued by American dealers offering ancient and foreign coins are also included). Material from the libraries of Doug Robins, Philip J. Carrigan and John P. Donoghue are featured, as are special offerings from the libraries of Reed Hawn, Del Bland and Q. David Bowers. The sale will be of particular interest to collectors of Canadian coins, medals, tokens and paper money.

Some highlights of the sale include:

Lot 263

Lot 263: President Ulysses S. Grant’s set of Loubat's Medallic History of the United States of America, presented by the author to the subject of two of the medals described and depicted therein

Lots 324 and 411

Lot 324: all four of Wayte Raymond’s W.W.C. Wilson sales, including the rare fourth sale (1928)

Lot 411: an unpublished work on the William Wood coinage, written by Robert Vlack and Philip Keller and annotated by Walter Breen.

Lots  111 and 217

Lot 111: an attractive copy of the 1911 Stanislaus Siedlecki catalogue with photographic plates, part of a consignment from legendary collector Reed Hawn featuring nearly every large-format plated Chapman catalogue

Lot 217: over 100 Jeffrey Hoare sale catalogues, many being Doug and Rita Robins’s annotated saleroom copies

Lots 214 and 228

Lot 214: a handsome copy of Hickcox’s 1858 Historical Account of American Coinage

Lot 228: James Hutchings’s illustrated 1856 account of the San Francisco Mint

Lots 341 and 439

Lot 341: a set of Doug Robins’s fixed price list, A Collector's Item, from his own library

Lot 439: Andrew Zabriskie’s rare 1873 catalogue of medals honoring Abraham Lincoln

The printed catalogue of Sale 152 will be mailed to active customers in the near future. A PDF of the printed catalogue has been posted to our main website at for those who prefer that format. Bids placed via post, email, fax or phone must be received by Friday, April 26, the day before the sale, in order for them to be processed. Advance absentee bids may also be placed at any time online at; live internet bidding will be available during the sale itself through the same platform.

Kolbe & Fanning Numismatic Booksellers LLC is a licensed and bonded auction firm in the State of Ohio. For more information, please see the Kolbe & Fanning website at or email David Fanning at df at



Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing submitted these thoughts on Bob Shippee's great book  Pleasure and Profit.  Thanks.

Pleasure and Profit: The Hobby and the Market are Two Sides of the Same Coin for Collector Bob Shippee

by Dennis Tucker

Robert W. Shippee’s book Pleasure and Profit: 100 Lessons for Building and Selling a Collection of Rare Coins was unique in numismatic publishing when it debuted in November 2014. Now in its second edition, it remains unique today—an insightful guide to building a coin collection, intelligently.

What makes Pleasure and Profit so unusual? Shippee tells his story “warts and all,” publicly sharing not only his very profitable purchases, but also the expensive mistakes, with valuable lessons learned from each. His tale is crowned by a successful $1.5 million auction.

Collectors new and old loved the first edition. Pleasure and Profit quickly became one of the most discussed books on collecting and investing in Whitman Publishing’s numismatic lineup. Shippee was invited to build an educational course around it. He and Kenneth Bressett (longtime editor of the Guide Book of United States Coins) taught the class at the American Numismatic Association’s 2015 Summer Seminar. Another indicator of a book’s popularity is how frequently it gets mentioned in related conversations. I’ve been happy to read so many positive comments and unsolicited recommendations in the hobby press, in book reviews, and in online bulletin boards.

Over the course of my publishing career I’ve read hundreds of numismatic guidebooks, references, encyclopedias, and catalogs. Not just browsed them, not just looked at their pictures, but actually read them, word for word, from the title page to the last index entry. It was wonderful to watch Pleasure and Profit grow from a solid early-draft manuscript into a 328-page volume packed with valuable information. This is the kind of book that longtime coin collectors read and say, “I wish I’d had a guide like this when I started collecting.”

In the new second edition, which debuted at the February 2019 Whitman Coin & Collectibles Baltimore Expo, Bob Shippee updates his market reports on most of the coins in his case-study collection. He expands his discussion of rare-coin indexes, and his comparison of coins vs. the stock market. And he makes a new analysis of his collection by denomination, tracking where his coins would be, value-wise, a decade-plus after their 2007 sale.

Shippee talks about acquisition strategies, storage choices, disposition options. This is real-world advice. He shares personal insight on grading services, auction houses, famous dealers, numismatic personalities, market forces, and—with candor that’s rare these days—his laid-bare financial results. His insight is humorous, wise, and unflinching. With the rare-coin market in a state of constant change, Pleasure and Profit remains uniquely valuable for today’s collector and investor.

Bob Shippee holding a golf ball and a coin, two of his favorite hobbies

#    #    #

Pleasure and Profit: 100 Lessons for Building and Selling a Collection of Rare Coins, 2nd edition

By Robert W. Shippee; foreword by Q. David Bowers

ISBN 0794847137

Softcover, 6 x 9 inches, 328 pages, full color

Retail $19.95 U.S.

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see: 







We've had a number of articles about computer vision and other new technologies that are affecting the coin hobby.
Technology correspondent Joe Kerr forwarded information on a new book about numismatics and Artificial Intelligence. Thanks!

 A Guide to Numismatics and Artificial Intelligence

 by Isimov Asaac


Will robots replace coin collectors?
This new book focuses on technology and numismatics and how robots can improve coin collecting. It includes chapters on the first robots in ancient times including Caligula, “the little bot” which was used to sort Julius Caesar’s coin collection and then the renaissance automata which were powered by clockwork and designed by  Leonardo da Vinci for the Medici family who as well as killing people collected a complete year date set of Italian pennies. It also includes a chapter on the Coinzilla series of Oriental robots from the Far East.

A numismatic robot is vital for the modern coin collector. Our tin friends can spend 24/7 on coins and collect work non-stop without the boring needing to rest, eat or breathe. You can programme a robot to search through junk boxes and the robot remembers all the rare dates to look for and most importantly what coins you already have. A special version of the coin robot can clean coin and polish your coins. All of these mechanical coin-collecting friends are magnetic to attract rare coins.

For more information, or to purchase, see: 

A Guide to Numismatics and Artificial Intelligence




The new 2nd edition of Robert D. Leonard Jr.’s Curious Currency: The Story of Money From the Stone Age to the Internet Age is now available, with updated information on e-gold and PayPal, proximity payments, cryptocurrencies, and more. Winner of the Numismatic Literary Guild’s “Best Specialized Book, World Coins” award. Order your copy for $16.95
, or call 1-800-546-2995.



James Contursi submitted this review of a non-numismatic book with a numismatic connection.  Thanks.

City of Devils : The Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old Shanghai.

By Paul French.  New York : Picador, (2018).

ISBN: 978-1-250-19171-7.  Soft cover, 16 + 299 pages, 8 leaves of plates (some color).  

Price: US$16.00

Reviewed by James L. Contursi

Anyone with more than just a cursory interest in the Shanghai tokens of the 1930s and 40s has, doubtlessly, encountered the names of “Dapper” Joe Farren and E.T. “Lucky Jack” Riley.  The Shanghai of that era served as a magnet for refugees, exiles, criminals, AWOL military personnel, drifters, grifters and opportunists, and just about anybody either looking to escape a past, desperately trying to reinvent a present, or daring to imagine a future, a land of dashed hopes and a land of endless dreams, and Joe and Jack came rallying to the call.  

The former, an Austrian dancer extraordinaire with huge dreams, who came to dominate the Shanghai nightlife scene as a dancer, night club impresario, manager and eventual part-owner of Farren’s, the “in-est” of the Shanghai “in” spots.  The latter, an ex-U.S. navy boxing champ, escaped convict, and petty criminal, who graduated to become christened the undisputed “Slots King of Shanghai.”  To be sure, however, neither is a hero, and this is not a story with a Casablanca ending.  Together, Joe and Jack had the Shanghai underworld at their feet, and it took an invasion by the Japanese Imperial Army to bring down their criminal empires. 

Two E.T. Riley tokens, the Domino Café and the 4th Marines Club, share a common reverse

While City of Devils was not intended as a numismatic work, its pages can offer a bountiful harvest of numismatic-related information, regarding the convoluted machinations employed to bring slot machines into Shanghai; the arrival of the first machines in Shanghai (early October, 1933); some backstory on the clubs and club owners that installed them; and the tokens themselves, imprinted with the club’s name on one side, and, on the other side, “stamped ‘E.T.R.’, which every leatherneck, squaddie, driftwood, and civilian knows stands for Edward Thomas ‘Jack’ Riley….”

Although a work of non-fiction, it’s written in a fast-paced, hard-boiled style, much in the vein of a Dashiell Hammett or a Mickey Spillane novel.  An abundance of description paints the vivid landscape of Shanghai’s dark underbelly – you can almost sense the likes of a Peter Lorre, letters of transit clenched tightly in his fist, melting into the nighttime shadows along Blood Alley, trying desperately to avoid his imminent arrest by the Kempeitai. 

There are, however, two things lacking, which, if included, would have greatly augmented City of Devils.  The first is a map.  While naming the streets and districts through which Joe, Jack and others cruised – the Badlands, Blood Alley, Fah Wah Village, Hongkew Park, etc. – lends a sense of exoticism to the work, to the reader without a visual aid, there’s no point of reference; they’re reduced to not-so-meaningful names hanging in mid-air.  It’s clear that Joe and Jack knew the lay of the land, but their knowledge is lost to the reader.

The second is an index, the lack of which greatly diminishes the value of this book as a research tool.  As mentioned above, there is much worthwhile information here, numismatic and non-numismatic, but, without an index, gleaning this data, obviously, becomes a labor-intensive exercise.

Nevertheless, French amply fleshes out some of Shanghai’s many nefarious characters, about whom, previously, we had only bare-bones glimpses, names with no personae.  His research is laudable and his book is heartily recommended on all fronts: as an historical reference, an enhancement of numismatic knowledge, and as a plain, old-fashioned good read.  It would be no surprise if City of Devils wound up becoming the basis of a blockbuster movie.

For more information, or to order, see: 

The Two Men Who Ruled the Underworld of Old Shanghai




The Société de Numismatique Asiatique (The Asian Numismatic Society) has published the December 2018 issue of their journal 


The currencies of the Portuguese Empire of Asia (16th-20th centuries) 
                                                  (Second Part)


Coinage of the Indochinese peninsula according to Portuguese sources (16th and early 17th century), by Alain Escabasse


Indo-Portuguese coinage of copper in the sixteenth and early seventeenth century:sources of supply and flow of metal by João Pedro Vieira


Franco-Portuguese conflict over a gold coin in 1705 by Daniel Cariou


Some Chinese terms relating to the monetary circulation in Macaoat the end of the Qing Dynasty (1894-1911) by François Joyaux

JAPAN                                                        STUDIES 

The gods on Japanese hansatsu, by Jean-Yves Lefevre


The 1935 ½ cent coin by Lindauer by François Joyaux


On the use of cowries in China (J. Klaproth, 1834)

For more information, see: 

The Société de Numismatique Asiatique



Congratulations to Dave Lange on publishing the 50th issue of his Coin Board News newsletter!

CBN Number 1 was a homely,
colorless and unillustrated publication that couldn't quite fill a single page! It has since grown to several pages
featuring full color photos of coin boards and associated ephemera. Many tales have been told, and many new
board varieties have been chronicled within its pages. In celebration of this milestone the current issue is expanded
yet again and includes a feature article about Koinpanels, wooden coin boards produced from the 1950s into the
early 1980s. Several examples are illustrated, courtesy of E & T Kointainer Company President, Bernard A.

I closed the first issue of Coin Board News with the simple statement, "That's what's new in the world of coin board
collecting," and that mission of sharing the hobby continues today.

The Koinpanel article is reproduced with permission elsewhere in this E-Sylum issue.  Thanks Dave!

To read all back issues on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see: 

Coin Board News


For more information on Coin Board News, see:



ANA member clubs should be sure to enter their newsletters and journals into the 2019 Outstanding Club Publications Competition.  Here's the announcement.

Submissions Accepted for ANA’s Club Publications Competition

The American Numismatic Association (ANA) is currently accepting submissions for the 2019 Outstanding Club Publications competition. The contest is open to member clubs that issued newsletters or journals four times or more during the previous calendar year, are current with their ANA dues, and do not have an elected or salaried ANA officer as editor or assistant editor. Completed submissions must be received by April 15.

Submissions must include a complete set of 2018 publications, or three different printed samples of online publications. Also required are the category of submission (local, regional, specialty, electronic), the editor’s name, and the name, address, phone number and e-mail address of the submitter.

All club contestants will be entered in a drawing to receive a one-week Summer Seminar adult scholarship (age 18 or older), which covers tuition, lodging, meals and airfare. The winning club can award the scholarship as it wishes.

Judging criteria
Entries are judged on general appearance, composition, aptness of illustrations, newsiness and relative interest. Whether a newsletter is handwritten, typed or computer-generated is not a factor in judging, nor is the size of the club or the amount of funds expended.

Visit for complete rules, judging criteria and submission guidelines.

Completed electronic entries can be emailed to magazine at All others should be sent to:

Outstanding Club Publications Competition

ANA Publications Department

c/o Caleb Noel

818 N. Cascade Avenue

Colorado Springs, CO 80903

For additional information, contact the Publications Department at magazine at



Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided this note on a novel numismatic presentation by John Kraljevich.

John Kraljevich Opines on Indian Peace Medals in Verse

Is it possible to deliver a numismatic presentation that is at all once authoritative, compelling, entertaining, and rhyming? Indeed it is, and, to prove this is no April Fools farce, the video proof may be seen on the Newman Portal. Captured by David Lisot at the 2013 Early American Coppers convention in Newark, OH, the ten-minute talk is chock-full of couplets such as “My girlfriend objected ‘the whole thing in verse?’ I know, I know, I’ll have to rehearse.” The Q&A portion was not delivered in verse, so there are always additional challenges for Mr. Kraljevich. Such is the spirit of the EAC that the presentation was naturally well-received. The next edition of the annual EAC convention will be held May 2-5 in Dayton, OH, and the educational forum presenters will be hard pressed to sustain the same level of creativity!

Link to Early American Medals from Necessity to Ghent on Newman Portal:


Link to David Lisot Video Library on Newman Portal:


Here's another video produced by David Lisot at a memorial to Carson City Dollar king Selby Ungar.

Selby Ungar Memorial, King of Carson City Dollars, 1937-2018

Selby Ungar was known as the “King of Carson City Silver Dollars. He was Vice-President of the National Silver Dollar Roundtable and friend to many people in the coin industry. He was also a devoted family man. Hear his many friends share their memories of this special numismatic personality.
Donations to the "Selby Ungar Educational Fund" sponsored by by the National Silver Dollar Roundtable are being accepted by Marlene Highfill at: oklahomacoin at

A 32 minute DVD of the entire "Selby Ungar Memorial" is available for every donation received.
The entire video may viewed on the Newman Numismatic Portal at:

Selby Ungar Memorial, The King Of Carson City Silver Dollars


David Lisot, Interviewer,, with Bobby Avena, Dennis Baker, Carl Bombara, Douglas Daniels, Silvano DiGenova, Vince Falcone, Ron Gillio, John & Sandie & Gulde, Brian Hendelson, Robert Higgins, Marlene Highfill, Don Kagin, Kurt Mease Jeff Rayden, Simone Rayden, Doug Sharpe, Dawn Ungar, Bernice Ungar, and Jeff Wuller.

The video is also available on YouTube at:

Selby Ungar Memorial, The King of Carson City Silver Dollars





In a previous article Dave Hirt wrote about the Wass, Molitor & Co. coins given to the Hungarian National Museum by Samuel Wass.   The coins have now gone on exhibit, and a nice video of the opening ceremonies has been published. 

Dave Hirt writes:

Today my friend Balazs Csanady sent me a video of the opening ceremonies of the California gold coin exhibit that I previously wrote to you about.
Balazs is the young man in the white jacket, first seated, later looking at the gold coins. So now you can match his name with his face!

Great crowd!

Great coins!

Many thanks to Dave and Balazs for passing along the news.  It's marvelous that early pioneer U.S. gold coins given to the museum directly  by their maker are still on hand and available for public viewing.  The soundtrack is Pink Floyd's "Money".  Check it out.

To watch the complete video, see: 

Kalifornia aranya


To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 




Dave Lange supplied this great response to last week's inquiry from Jerry Diekmann about some harder-to-find modern branch mint U.S. coin mintage figures, such as the coins struck with no mint marks.  Thanks!

Regarding the letter requesting information about the breakdown by mints of the 1965-67 and other "anonymous" coinages, nearly all of this information is already in print. You illustrated the 1967 Annual Report of the Director of the Mint, and that does include a complete table of the coins produced at each mint bearing the dates 1964, 1965 and 1966. Those of 1964 must be included, too, as coins of this date were struck into early 1966. For 1967 and later years the publication Domestic and Foreign Coins Manufactured by Mints of the United States is quite useful. The latest print edition I've seen is dated 1980. This may or may not be available online, but print copies of this and earlier editions are easily found at a reasonable cost.

I accessed these resources when writing my 1996 book The Complete Guide to Lincoln Cents. For the anonymous San Francisco and West Point coinage dated 1975-84 I also examined the Mint Director's reports for those years, and the information was included. The only wall I hit was in trying to determine the exact breakdown of bronze versus zinc and Large Date versus Small Date cents for 1982's coinage. Even the dates when the production of bronze coins ceased and that of zinc began for each mint was unclear. I found conflicting dates from various sources and ultimately just published what I thought was the most likely to be correct.

Since the 1964-65 dated coins were produced beyond those actual years (nearly all of the 1965-dated coins were struck during 1966), their story makes for interesting reading. I've written a series of columns for The Numismatist that detail both dates' breakdowns by mints and years of production. The 1964 columns were published just recently and are available online to ANA members, but the 1965 columns have already been reproduced at the NGC website:

To read the complete articles, see: 

USA Coin Album: The United States Coins Dated 1965 – Part One


USA Coin Album: The United States Coins Dated 1965 – Part 2


USA Coin Album: The United States Coins Dated 1965 – Conclusion


Tom DeLorey writes:

The mintage of the 1960 Philadelphia Small Date cent is generally accepted as being 2,075,000, that being the Philadelphia mintage of cents for January of 1959. As per custom the Mint struck about 2,000,000 pieces of each denomination in January of each year, and then struck more throughout the year as the Federal Reserve System demanded it. 

As fate would have it the Philadelphia Mint then switched over to foreign coin production for several weeks, striking just under 140 million pieces in January, February and March. Over 100 million of these were in cent bronze, which may explain why cent production was skipped during this period. There may also have been a surplus of leftover 1959 cents, which were overproduced to accommodate the introduction of the Lincoln Memorial reverse design. No U.S. coins were struck at Philadelphia until later in March, by which time the date size apparently had been changed. As the time of the changeover is not known, there is no good guess as to the 1960-D SD mintage figure.


To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 




John Kleeberg writes:

In February 1976 Stack's auctioned the TAD Collection, which had wonderful large cents.  Many of these coins had been purchased by Doris Nelson (some sources [e.g., Breen] give her first name as Dorothy, but a Bland pedigree that I have seen gives her first name as Doris).  I have long wondered what those initials, TAD, stood for.  The same Bland pedigree says that the Ms. Nelson married Toby Szymanski, so the consignors were Toby and Doris Szymanski.  That may be the answer - does TAD stand for "Toby And Doris"?  Perhaps Harvey Stack could confirm this?

Here's the pedigree I saw - it's for an 1809/6 1/2 cent, Cohen 5:

Doris E. Nelson - Toby and Doris E. (Nelson) Szymanski (the "TAD" collection) - Stack's 3/1975:842, $500 - R. Tettenhorst Collection - Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society - Missouri Cabinet (Mocab 09.5.2) - Goldbergs 1/2014:96, $55,200 - D. Brent Pogue Collection - Stack's/Bowers & Sotheby's 3/2017:5062

I reached out to Harvey Stack, and here is his response.  Thanks!

Does TAD stand for "Toby And Doris"?
No. Now that so many years have passed since we served
the lady with the initials "D.N." I can reveal her name, which was Dora Nelson.  She worked for a collector in the Mid West who wanted to remain anonymous, and I cannot, after keeping it secret for all this time, reveal his true name.  The initials
were the ones suggested to me, T A D, which does reflect the name of the collector, but I seemed to remember that the collector had a son, whose "nickname"
was given as "TAD", so the father used those initials to identify the collection.

Bland and Breen never met or talked to D.N., as we always kept her identity confidential, as asked by the collector she represented, but like all good "guessers" they may have heard someone on my staff mention a name,
and projected her identity in conversations with others.

This is not the first time, nor will it be the last, that the original collector wants to remain anonymous, just like in 1949, for example, when we sold the H.R. LEE COLLECTION,
for Louis Eliasberg. He wanted to sell his duplicates and felt it best not to reveal his name.
In that case, the H.R. were the initials of his wife, before marriage, and the L E E was for LOUIS E. ELIASBERG.  

We have used noms de plume a number of times, when the owner, or even the Estate of the collection, did not want it known how much a collection was worth, because
as many told me, "Once they know you have made money, everyone wants a "Piece of the Pie" for themselves.  So as loyal auctioneers, we abided by the consignor's wishes, and used an "identifying name" to identity the collection being sold, and at the same time give the coins in the collection a pedigree for the future, if one wants to attach it to his new purchase.

I just finished a story of the year 1981, which was a hectic year for all who were involved with Numismatics.  During that year, we sold the famous Harold J. Bareford collection, and the 1804 Silver dollar he owned became known after the sale as the Dexter-Bareford specimen.  His estate let us disclose the name. 

However, later in 1981 we sold the "WESTERN COLLECTION OF U. S. GOLD COINS, " which had many great rarities in it.  The bank, who was the executor of the WESTERN COLLECTOR estate,  requested not to use the name of the collector in order to avoid spreading the information about to relatives and 
friends who knew of the collection, but had no idea of value.  Here again, as with other collections sold, we used a nom de plume to conceal the owner's name.

Thanks!  It's fun to explore old mysteries, even if the answers remain shrouded.

To read the TAD sale catalog on the Newman Portal, see: 

United States Gold, Silver & Copper Coins, Paper Money featuring the outstanding Tad Collection of U.S. Large Cents




 Remembering Neil Rothchild 
Dave Hirt writes:

I was sorry to read that Neil Rothchild had passed away. I had not spoken with him for many years, but I have good memories of him. We both attended
the Frank Katen numismatic literature sales. After one evening session had ended, we talked about numismatic literature for over an hour.

He mentioned that his friend Bob Martin was looking for information on C W Betts, because Martin owned a Betts fabrication. He had been told to check Woodward, but he didn't find anything about Betts. I told Neil that the problem was that
the Betts fabrications were not sold as a stand alone sale, but as an addenda to the 1864 McCoy sale. I also told Neil that Bob could find more about Betts in Counterfeit, Mis-Struck,
and Unofficial U.S. Coins, by Don Taxay Pg 139-147. Later Bob Martin telephoned me and thanked me for this information.

Knowing where to find information is half the battle.  I've always been a big fan of the Taxay book, and it would be great if someone tackled bringing it up to date with a new edition or totally new work.  With all the reproductions made in the intervening years it would be a tall order and likely result in a multi-volume work.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



 Coin World - Numismatic News Rivalry 
Tom DeLorey writes:

As to the demise of Numismatic News, it is my understanding that it began as an every other week publication, and only switched to a weekly format after Coin World succeeded as a weekly in 1960. I began working for Coin World in 1973, and heard many stories about our rival. The depth of the rivalry varied considerably depending upon who was telling the story. 

I remember working my first coin show for CW, selling subscriptions at a Penn-Ohio show in (I think) Toledo. Cliff Mishler had a one-man NN booth next to mine, including a fancy display stand that required two people to assemble. I introduced myself to Cliff, helped him assemble his booth, and told him "Don't tell Margo!"

I believe that's correct - Numismatic News was not produced weekly at first.  Great story about the booth.  Nothing wrong with having frenemies.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



 Query: Centenarian Numismatists 
Pete Smith  writes:

The E-Sylum has occasionally had items about numismatists who reach the age of 100. Can any E-Sylum reader confirm that Clyde Hubbard is still living? How about Nora Hussey? It is possible that there are currently three numismatists still living at this advanced age.

Following is a listing of old numismatists:

James E. Charleton  (7/26/1911 – 9/20/2013)  102 years

William S. Dewey  (12/5/1905 – 4/2/2006)  100 years

Edward Gans  (8/30/1887 – 2/13/1991)  103 years

Dr. Jesse C. Green  (12/13/1817 - 7/26/1920)  103 years

Robert L. Hendershott  (8/7/1898 – 3/22/2005)  106 years

Genevieve T. Herdegen  (8/30/1886 – 7/12/1989)  102 years

Clyde Hubbard  (1916

Nora W. Hussey  (3/26/1915  still living in 2017)

Robert Hepworth Lloyd  (5/18/1906 – 10/10/2009)  103 years

George Francis Marlier  (1/12/1868 – 9/1/1967)  99 years, 8 months

Eric P. Newman  (5/25/1911 – 11/15/2017)  106 years

Nellie Tayloe Ross  (11/29/1876 – 12/19/1977)  101 years

Carl Subak  (1/31/2019 – still living)

Is there anyone else that I missed?

Can anyone help?
This is primarily a U.S. list; who are some of the centenarian numismatists from around the world?

I knew Eric Newman fairly well and had the pleasure of meeting Bob Hendershott when he was over 100.   George Marlier was a member of my hometown club, the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society, but passed before my time there.  Numismatics is a lifelong hobby, and some of those lives can quite long.  Here's to all the old timers!

 On U.S. Mint Director David Ryder 
Vic Mason writes:

Thank you for the good interview, in your latest newsletter, conducted by Louis Golino of CoinWeek with David Ryder, Director of the United States Mint.  Mr. Ryder has clearly been thinking hard this past winter about how to make not only the Mint’s typically beautiful (circulating, proof, commemorative and bullion) coins but products relevant to the revival of interest in numismatics for America’s masses, especially for the kids who must be the future of coin collecting.

Mr. Ryder clearly has his heart in the right place in working with the hobby and the industry.  I think he understands the issues.  But, as he says, he needs both the support of the US Congress in passing enabling legislation and the understanding of the Department of the Treasury in making the important changes needed now to move the hobby forward.  I think the United States government can learn a lot from the imaginative programs recently reported in designing new coins in Australia and new bills in the United Kingdom.  

I heard Mr. Ryder speak this week at the Welcome Banquet for the ANA National Money Show in Pittsburgh.  He's definitely bringing new ideas and energy to the position.  He's brought new staff on board and I expect we'll see a number of good and interesting changes during his tenure.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



 U.S. Mint Shenanigans 
Vic Mason writes:

John Lupia’s quotations from immigrant numismatist Siegmund Kohn Harzfeld (1848-1883) -- alluding to the dubious moral caliber of some leaders of the United States Mint in the post-Civil War era – were classics.  I laughed out loud to read Harzfeld’s references to the 150  1879 Stellas ($4 gold pieces), which Harzfeld found were being hidden at the United States Mint and which “were available to concubines but not to collectors.”  Harzfeld’s familiarity with Mint employees, says Lupia, “led [Harzfeld]…to become a strong critic of U.S. Mint practices” and to accuse the Superintendent of the Philadelphia Mint, James R. Snowden, of “illegally selling restrikes of the 1804 dollar.”  

Q. David Bowers has alerted us in recent years to the shenanigans that were often going on at the United States Mint starting in the 1830s but which intensified in the post-Civil War era.  The E-Sylum article in this edition on the $50 Half Unions prompted me to check out the chapter on “Significant U.S. Patterns” (pages 1317-1324) in the First Edition of the Deluxe Edition of The Official Red Book:  A Guide Book of United States Coins by Kenneth Bressett, Q. David Bowers and Jeff Garrett.  The Red Book mentions the survival of “2000-plus distinct varieties“ of patterns, some “made in secret, outside the normal day-to-day work of the Mint…and often against stated policy and law….Not until mid-1885 did an incoming new director of the Mint enforce stringent regulations prohibiting” the sale and distribution of such patterns.   

Ron Chernow’s excellent biography of Ulysses S. Grant – as outstanding as his prior books on Alexander Hamilton and George Washington – makes clear that Grant, president during much of this time, was a scrupulously honest man, with many fine Cabinet Secretaries.  But, in office between 1869 and 1877, Grant could also be excessively, even blindly, loyal to those whom he trusted, some of whom were not deserving of that faith and trust – as he would often discover later, to his chagrin.  As Chernow writes (page 733), “Grant had made a genuine effort at civil service reform and deserves credit as the first president to do so, but he hadn’t produced lasting change.  Only with the 1883 Pendleton Act would competitive exams be required to fill a portion of federal jobs.” 

Great observations. Thanks.

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see: 



KAGIN'S MARCH 2019 ANA AUCTION PREVIEW : 1877 $50 Half Union Pattern 


 Anne Bingham and the Draped Bust Dollar Design 
Dave Lange writes:

Every now and then I find an opportunity to contribute to a non-numismatic publication. A recent article in American History Magazine prompted me to send the editor a letter, and this was printed in the June issue.


John Kleeberg submitted these notes on the Fip and fippenny bit.  Thanks!

Fip and fippenny bit - As Albert Frey explains in his dictionary, the "fip" or a "fippenny bit" is Spanish-American 1/2 real (a "medio" or "picayune"), worth 6 1/4 cents in Federal currency.  The name arose because a 1/2 real was worth fivepence halfpenny plus a half farthing in the Middle Atlantic money of account ($1 = 90 pence) that was used in Pennsylvania, western New Jersey, Maryland and Delaware. (90 divided by 16 =  5.625.)  A related term is the "levy," "elevenpence" for the Spanish-American real, worth 12 1/2 cents in Federal currency, because that coin was worth eleven pence one farthing in the Middle Atlantic money of account.  (90 divided by 8 = 11.25.)

These terms are mentioned in Phil Mossman's Money of the American Colonies and Confederation, pages 57 and 157.

In New York, by contrast, where the dollar was worth 96 pence in the money of account, the "real," which would be called a "levy" in Philadelphia was known as a "shilling," and the "1/2 real," Philadelphia's "fip," was known as a "sixpence."

And in New England, where the dollar was worth 72 pence in the money of account, these coins were known as "ninepence" and "fourpence halfpenny."

Spanish-American coins were legal tender in the United States until 1857; and the evidence of counterstamps tells us that these coins continued to circulate in the United States as late as the 1870s.  So there was a need for these names - hence the persistence of the terms levy, fip, shilling, sixpence, ninepence, and fourpence halfpenny.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 

NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MARCH 24, 2019 : Fippence and Fippenny in England and Canada 




Tom Babinszki is looking for the first electronic money identifier for the blind. Can anyone help?

I am looking for the first electronic money identifier for the blind. 
Here is the information I have: It was developed by NASA in the early 1970's, and produced by Marchak Engineering, which doesn't appear to be in business today.

Here is a description of the device:

"The first reliable paper money identifier to aid blind business persons has been developed from NASA technology.  The device identifies paper money by its sound "signature."  As a bill is passed under a light source, a photo-transistor measures changes in the bill's light patterns.  These changes are converted into "beeping" sounds by an oscillator.  Since each denomination of paper money has a different pattern a different series of tones is given off.  These differences are easily identified after only about three hours of practice.  NASA technology which led to development of the device stems from a technique for the semi-automatic inspection of microfilm records first reported in 1969.  The
Marchak Engineering and Manufacturing Co., Austin, Tex., produces the device commercially."


Also, recently somebody was selling a photo of the device on eBay if it helps to identify the device:


I am looking for further information about the device, practically all I have is the above quote. I would appreciate any information or any contacts. Ideally, I would love to get one of these devices preferably in working condition, but I'm interested in any solutions.

Thank you for your help.

Interesting.  There must be one out there somewhere waiting to be discovered.



Dick Johnson submitted these entries from his Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology.  Thanks.  

An issue of a number of numismatic or medallic items with a common theme or design and a continuity in their issue. When a number of related items are issued at one time, this is considered a set. It is only when similar items are issued over a period time that constitutes a series. The concept of series developed with the early precepts of medal marketing. A collector of medals, an early publisher (James Mudie) reasoned, would want more than one medal to form a collection, or suite of medals. Why not supply this finite number on a subscription basis to form a ready made collection? Thus medals were issued in series periodically with a single continuity of theme.

For the next two centuries the most popular themes for series have been the heads of state, church, numismatic and professional organizations – or art medals for collectors. English kings have been recorded by medal series, the French created a series for their famous Frenchmen, and, while not intended as a series, Papal medals have been issued for a thousand years.

Art series, in contrast, are issued for the sheer pleasure of owning an attractive medallic work of art. The first began in 1889 when the French medalist Roger Marx created the Société des Amis de la Médalile Française. A similar organization was founded in Brussels in 1901 for Dutch and Belgium medalists, Société Hollandaise-Belge des Amis de la Médaille d'Art.

Coin series.  A series of coins is usually a run of similar items of the same denomination and type. These are generally the creation of one or two artists with the design repeated. These are identified by year of issue and the date they bear, and often a mintmark indicating the mint of issue. Thus a series of coins differ only slightly from each other despite the fact they are issued over a period of years.

Medal series.  Medals in series, however, are generally uniform in size, shape and composition – but not necessarily by the same artist. Series medals are usually sold by subscription and issued over a period of time, where maybe one or two medals are released at a time. Also similar medals by the same publisher issued over time may be considered a series by collectors and numismatists where, perhaps, they were not so intended originally; the series of presidential medals issued by the United States Mint is such a series.

History of medal series.  To James Mudie (flourished 1815-20), a London entrepreneur, must be given credit as the first medal publisher to issue medals – by series – on a broad basis. For his Mudie's National Medal Series of forty medals, he hired Edward Thomason (1769-1849) to strike the medals (beginning in 1820) in his Birmingham plant from dies engraved for the most part by French engravers.

Thomason went on (without Mudie) to create a 48-medal series on the Elgin Marbles, a 16-medal series, the Medallic Illustrations of Science and Philosophy, the 36-medal series of the Kings and Queens of England. His most notable medallic undertaking, however, was his famed 60-medal series: the Thomason Medallic Illustrations of the Bible.

The Paris Mint issued their first series of medals in their famous Frenchmen of the 18th century. Here, like the later U.S. Mint, these may not have originally been intended to be a series, but similarity of issue bring to mind this classification by numismatists and that is how they are collected.

U.S. Mint series.  A most interesting early series was the American Art-Union Medals as prize medals to promote a lottery similar to an undertaking in England. Each medal bore a portrait of a contemporary artist: Washington Allison (1847), Gilbert Stuart (1848) and John Trumbull (1849). The medals were struck at the Philadelphia Mint and distributed to member-subscribers.

Following the Civil War the United States Mint gathered together several 3-inch medals bearing portraits of the American presidents already issued. It added the few missing presidents and continued this until the present day for, perhaps, the longest running series (but not the largest number of medals in a series) in America.

The U.S. Mint began a series with three furtive issues in 45mm size: the Union Pacific Railroad Medal, 1869 (CM-39), Emancipation Proclamation Medal, 1871 (CM-16) and the Grant Peace Medal, 1872 (PR-14). The first and third bore Grant's
portrait, the second with Lincoln's. Each medal bore the inscription "Medal Series of The U.S. Mint," but nothing more was issued.

While Congress bestowed medals to heroes of land and naval battles from the War of 1812 onward, these were grouped together into somewhat of an ersatz series when the first List medals were offered for sale to the public after the Civil War. Today the U.S. Mint issues medals in their series of Secretaries of the Treasury, Mint Directors, and Mint Buildings.

Private U.S. series. The Numismatic and Antiquarian Society of Philadelphia began honoring their president in 1884 with a medal of Charles Edward Anthon. They sought out Lea Ahlborn at the Swedish Royal Mint to prepare the dies and strike the medals. She also engraved the second medal in the series in 1890, two more medals were struck before the series closed, the final medal was of Joseph J. Mickley.

The concept of a presidential medal for the head of another numismatic organization appealed to the members of the New York Numismatic Club. They commenced their series in 1911 with the portrait of Frank C. Higgins. Fortunately they had not one, but two medalists within their own membership. So they had Jonathan A. Swanson prepare the portrait obverse, and Victor D. Brenner the symbolic reverse. By the end of the century they had all 40 presidents honored – the longest running such series still in existence. Brenner's reverse has appeared on all.

Other numismatic organizations adopted similar medal programs to honor their leaders. The Rochester Numismatic Association began a series in 1913; their president served for only one year so they had 87 medals in their presidential medal series before the end of the century, for the greatest number of such medals. The Token and Medal Society, founded in 1960, has such a presidential medal series, as does the California State Numismatic Association, and others. In the professional field, the American Institute of Architects have a president medal series.

Private medal series.  Modern private collector medal series in the United States began with the Circle of Friends of the Medallion in 1907, where it lasted for 12 issues within six years. It was modeled after medallic societies in France and Belgium mentioned above. In 1930 the Society of Medalists was born on the same basis of two medals a year by prominent American sculptors. It continued an unbroken 60- year record of two highly artistic medals for 129 issues, until 1995. Every noteworthy American medalist of the twentieth century (with the obvious exceptions of Saint- Gaudens and Victor Brenner who both died before the inception of The Society) are represented in this series.

A small coterie of companies arose in the 1960s for the purpose of issuing medals in series. The most noted, perhaps, was Presidential Art Medals; this firm published series on U.S. presidents, states, signers of the Declaration of Independence, medicine, aviation, great religions of the world, and major events of World War II.

But medals in series experienced a boom in the 1960s with the rise of private mints. Franklin Mint, the first and most productive, issued over 60 different series from 1960 to 1980 when the demand dissipated. The market, it was learned, just could not absorb any more such series at the time.

Aborted Series.  A small number of series are aborted before completion of their announced intentions. Often this is the result of the death of an artist who intended to do the entire series. Examples of this include Ralph J. Menconi (1915-1972) who died before the full compliment of 25 medals in his Great Religions of the World Series were struck. Sixteen medals were issued before his November 1972 death, he had prepared the models in advance for two additional medals and these were issued in due course. Seven of the 25, however, were never issued.

In other cases the result of the cessation was lack of interest or poor sales. The
series of Philip Kraczkowski (1916-1996) were particularly noted for this. Only three of his Executive Branch Series were issued, one of his Musical Hall of Fame Series, and three Living Free Series.

Book lovers should be word lovers as well.

Looking for the meaning of a numismatic word, or the description of a term?   Try the Newman Numismatic Portal's Numismatic Dictionary at:

Or if you would  like a printed copy of the complete Encyclopedia, it is available.
 There are 1,854 terms, on 678 pages, in The Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Technology.  Even running two a week would require more than 19 years to publish them all. 
If you would like an advance draft of this vital reference work it may be obtained from the author for your check of $50 sent postpaid. Dick Johnson, 139 Thompson Drive, Torrington, CT 06790.   


John Lupia submitted the following information from the online draft of his book 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 
George W. Rode of Pittsburgh, PA.

George William Rode (1858-1904), was born the eldest child and son of immigrant parents; his father was from Hanover, Germany, George Christian Rode (1826-1890), a medical cupper and a barber, and his mother Sarah Ann James (1835-1881), from Donegal, Ireland.

In 1863, he worked as a clerk for Mutual Life Insurance Company of New York, Pittsburg Office,  Pittsburg, Pennsylvania. Over time he was promoted to cashier.

Founding member and first Secretary of the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society, George Rode occupied the position for most of the Society's first eleven years. If any one individual deserves special recognition for service to the Society during its formative years, it is George Rode. Then as now, the Secretary is the workhorse of the Society, writing minutes of every meeting and handling correspondence with other collectors and Societies. 

His collection was sold posthumously by Geoffrey Charleton Adams on March 31, 1905.

In 1877, he lived in his family home where his father ran a barber shop at 1933 Carson Street, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Although a cashier, Rode is listed as a clerk [bookkeeper] in the 1878 Pittsburgh City Directory, working at 49 Fifth Avenue.  

He was a corresponding member of the ANS since November 16, 1880.

On March 15, 1881, he married Pittsburgh native Anna Mary Hartman (1861-1937). They had two children : Lillian Rode (1882-1959), and Harry H. Rode (1882-).

Rode became ANA Charter Member No. 12, who was nominated by founder George Heath to serve on the organization's "Board of Temporary Organization." Rode also briefly served as the ANA's Superintendent of Exchange from 1891 to 1892. He served as Secretary at the 1892 ANA Pittsburgh Convention.

He pointed out that coin and stamp dealers Brennan and Mason issued store cards in response to an article published in The Numismatist in 1902. 

He died of typhoid at his home 423 Whitney Street, Wilkinsburg, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, on July 30, 1904. 

To read the complete article, see: 



* * * * *

The entire inventory of the Lupia Numismatic Library is for sale.  Individual items will be available before the remaining archives are broken up into parcels sold at philatelic auctions in the U. S. and Hong Kong.  Check frequently as dozens of new items with estimates will be posted daily until everything is sold.

All inquiries will be given prompt and courteous attention. Write to: 

john at



The Chicago Coin Club has announced the fourth inductee into its Hall of Fame.

Chicago Coin Club

Inducts Virgil Brand Into its Hall of Fame


The Chicago Coin Club announces that the fourth person to be inducted into its Hall of
Fame is noted collector Virgil Michael Brand, 1862-1926, who formed the greatest private
collection of coins in the world. His Hall of Fame citation has been published on the club’s Hall
of Fame web page,

Twelve Hall of Fame inductees have been selected. Each of the remaining eight will be
announced at the rate of one per month, May through December, during the Chicago Coin Club’s
centennial year, 2019.

The Chicago Coin Club was organized in 1912 as American Numismatic Association
Branch No. 1, and reorganized under its present name in 1919. All are invited to join. To become
a member you must attend a meeting and submit an application along with a membership fee of
$20 ($10 for Junior membership). A first reading of your application will be held at this meeting,
and a second reading at the next monthly meeting, following publication of your name in the
club newsletter. (You are not required to be present for the second reading.) Upon membership
approval, you will become a member.

The Chicago Coin Club holds monthly meetings in downtown Chicago, plus at major
numismatic conventions such as Central States, with a speaker featured at every meeting except
the annual auction, held at the November meeting.

Here is the text of the Virgil Brand entry. 

Virgil Michael Brand was a charter member of the predecessor Chicago Numismatic Society and served as its President 1908-1909. He joined the Chicago Coin Club during its first year of existence, becoming member number 55 on Dec. 3, 1919. Mr. Brand retained his membership the rest of his life, though he soon stopped coming to meetings due to failing health. While he never held office in the club, he exhibited rare gold coins at its ninth meeting as a visitor. And the great collector had an impish side: at the January 7, 1920 meeting he amused members by reciting a humorous poem (probably his own composition) entitled “The Quarrel of the Coins,” in which the characters were an Indian Head cent of 1909, an 1883 nickel without cents, an 1802 half dime, an 1804 dollar, and “the villain,” who was a coin collector. This was greatly appreciated, and attendees clamored for more!

Mr. Brand (Jan. 16, 1862 – June 20, 1926)’s father Michael came from Germany in 1848 and later moved to Blue Island, where he found work as a brewer and where Virgil was born. Michael was soon made a partner in the firm, and Busch & Brand’s beer became so popular that they had to make daily trips to supply Chicago’s saloons. After a dispute, the business was divided, with Michael Brand & Company being established in Chicago. This business eventually merged with other brewers, and was later sold, allowing Michael Brand to retire a wealthy man.

Virgil Brand graduated from Bryant and Stratton College in Chicago and went to work as a bookkeeper for his father’s firm. He became secretary and treasurer of the brewery with one tenth ownership, and received a great deal of money when his father cashed out. In 1899 he established his own brewery, the Brand Brewing Company, with an eventual capital of $1,000,000, which operated until shut down by Prohibition in 1920. A lifelong bachelor, he devoted his free time to coin and currency collecting, beginning in 1889. 

Mr. Brand formed the greatest private collection of coins in the world, buying individually, in groups, and entire collections en bloc. He recorded every acquisition in a series of ledgers. At his death the collection included over 350,000 pieces (worth $2,000,000 according to a European dealer with knowledge of the collection), plus a substantial numismatic library. He left no will; his collection was fought over by his heirs and broken up. His paper money collection was largely turned in at face value, but the balance was purchased by B. Max Mehl and offered for sale in 1932; his coins and library formed part of over a dozen auctions, with many being sold directly.

Mr. Brand showed that he was a scholar-collector, and not a mere hoarder, in a paper read at the April 1905 meeting of the Chicago Numismatic Society, “The Objects of Coin Collecting,” published in 
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