The E-Sylum v24n42 October 17, 2021

The E-Sylum esylum at
Sun Oct 17 18:17:24 PDT 2021

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

Volume 24, Number 42, October 17, 2021
** LOOSE CHANGE: OCTOBER 17, 2021 <#a29>

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To comment or submit articles, reply to whomren at

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: 
Alex Brown, 
Hiep Hoaung, 
Lori Kraft,
and Keith Mawhinney of the Numismatic Society of Ireland (Northern Branch). 
Welcome aboard! We now have 6,730 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. Contact me at whomren at anytime regarding your subscription, or questions, comments or suggestions about our content. 

This week we open with a numismatic literature sale, a new catalog and periodical issue, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, physical bitcoins and more.

Other topics this week include vintage coin envelopes, upcoming coin shows, the Chapman Brothers, auction previews, yap stone money, a Lord Baltimore shilling discovery, Space Shuttle medals, and the Lucky Tillicum token.

To learn more about the Jotosen Medallions, Glendining auction sales, the bitcoin pizzas, dollars and bits,  Michael Joffre, numismatic educational programs, the Saint Gaudens National Historic Park, the National Currency Civil War Token, barter on the Galápagos Islands, the Sag Harbor Half Dollar hoard, Javanese Magic Coins, and when the U.S. defaulted on its financial obligations, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren 
Editor, The E-Sylum






Auction 150 of Hartung & Hartung in Munich will take place on November 2, 2021. Over 250 works of numismatic literature from the libraries of Dr. Hubert Lanz and Dr. Walter Grasser are featured in lots 373-604.
Eric Vanhove and Martin Kaplan passed along a note on the sale they saw in the October 14, 2021 CoinsWeekly email. Thanks!  Some great books!






For more information, see:

To read the complete sale catalog, see:


To subscribe to CoinsWeekly, see under "Newsletter":


As noted last week, hardcopies of the WBNA Raqmu Collection of Jordan catalog are available for purchase.  The catalog of this specialized collection will be a useful reference.

World Banknote Auctions has now launched Raqmu Collection of Jordan at This sale is open now and closes on November 4, 2021, with live bidding that day at 1 PM Eastern / 10 AM Pacific.


This collection, put together over several decades by a dedicated collector, contains both issued notes, specimens and proofs. It is highlighted by a complete specimen book of the second issue, prepared by Thomas de La Rue as a presentation piece in 1955. The entire collection contains 182 lots, ranging from the first issue dated 1949 to the series introduced in 2002. 


We have created our first printed catalog for this collection. A limited number of copies will be distributed at the Den Bosch Paper Money Fair in the Netherlands held October 23/24. We will also have select highlights on display at our table, K-8. If you are not attending the show you can purchase a copy of the printed catalog for a minimal cost below. 

To Purchase the Printed Catalog, see: 

Raqmu Collection of Jordan



To Download the Printed Catalog, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 






Here are the contents of the latest issue of Numismatique Asiatique.
Topics include the Japan Mint, the Pondicherry Cache, and Chinese porcelain tokens for Siam.


2021 : Les 150 ans du Japan Mint
2021 : 150 years of the Japan Mint

Pacifique Chardin's Javanese Magic Coins
by Joe Cribb

An Introduction to Jotosen Medallions
by Craig Greenbaum

Une monnaie japonaise découverte à Villemur-sur-Tarn
by Marie-Laure Le Brazidec

L'énigme de la cache de Pondichéry
by Daniel Cariou

La Banque de l'Indochine face aux problèmes de traduction en chinois
by François Joyaux


Collection de jetons chinois en porcelaine pour le Siam (Bibliothèque nationale de France)
by François Thierry

"La monnaie de l'Extrême-Orient" (1884) d'Armand Corre
by Alain Escabasse

  Book Review 

The standard catalog of Japanese Coins 2021
by Craig Greenbaum


A propos des jetons du Kouang Tchéou Wan
by Daniel Cariou

For more information, see:



The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is the series of Glendining numismatic sale catalogs. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report.

Newman Portal Scans Glendining Auction Sale Catalog Series

The Glendining numismatic sales form a near endless series, numbering at least 1,435 catalogs published since 1901. Newman Portal has been processing this group at the American Numismatic Society for several months and has now completed scanning of the comprehensive set held by that library. Many thanks are in order, to David Hill, ANS librarian, Lara Jacobs, Internet Archive scanning associate, Bonham’s, for granting permission to scan this series, and collector and author Eric Hodge for originally facilitating this project.



One interesting catalog in this series is the March 12, 1958 sale featuring a collection of medals related to all aspects of the book – printing, booksellers, authors, even papermakers. This collection included several hundred such pieces, generally 18th and 19th century European, which are featured mostly in group lots. Examples such as 1836 Leipzig gold medal commemorating the opening of the Booksellers Exchange are found, or an 1823 Haarlem gold medal marking the fourth centenary of printing. Sadly none of these pieces are plated, but this catalog will still serve as a reference resource for the genre.

Image: header for the section on printing medals

Link to Glendining series on Newman Portal:



 1946–2021: CELEBRATING 75 YEARS of the RED BOOK. 
The 75th edition of the Guide Book of United States Coins will release next week, April 7, 2021. Preorder now to reserve your copy—online
, or call 1-800-546-2995.


These are selections from the David Lisot Video Library that feature news and personalities from the world of coin collecting. David has been attending coin conventions since 1972 and began videotaping in 1985. The Newman Numismatic Portal now lists all David’s videos on their website at:

Here's one on the upcoming USMEX Coin Convention.

USMEX Coin Convention Returns to Scottsdale October 21-23, 2021.

VIDEO: 2:00.

Max Keech, Partner, World Numismatics LLC, 

David Lisot,

The United States Mexican Numismatic Association 9th Annual Coin Convention will take place October 21-23, 2021. The convention is held at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort located at 6333 N. Scottsdale Road in Scottsdale, AZ. Dealers at the convention specialize in world numismatics with an emphasis in Mexican and Latin American coins. Max Keech tells what collectors and dealers may expect at the gathering.

An excerpt of the video is available for viewing on the Coin Television YouTube Channel at:

For more information on the US Mexican Numismatic Association , see:



 More On Physical Bitcoins 

Jeff Koyen writes:

"I remember these and other physical coin sales during the early days of bitcoin. At the time, they felt like a weird attempt to legitimize a virtual concept through the language of traditional currency.

"It still feels like that, to be honest. But WOW! I had no idea anyone had produced a 1000 BTC version. And I can't believe the owner never redeemed it. (According to a bitcoin wiki, there are three unopened 1000 coins, as well as two unopened 1000 BTC bars.)

"That's the thing about crypto: Every time someone talks about how the "10,000 bitcoin pizza" would be worth $500M today, they're missing the point. A very small handful of early crypto miners have held onto their piles of BTC. For most, it was impossible to resist BTC at $50, $500, or $5000, or $25,000. 

"Imagine holding onto 1000BTC for more than 10 years... It's staggering.

"I have to believe that Boggs would've loved this."

Jeff is a fellow fan of "Money Artist" J.S.G. Boggs; I agree - he would have had a ball with the concept, along with that of "DeFi", or Decentralized Finance - financial products available on a public decentralized blockchain network.

Alex Zaitchik writes:

"It just occurred to me that there is a Boggs echo in the way it was a news story when someone was able to buy a pizza with BTC. It's now infamous for a different reason, but at the time it was more like, "Wow someone accepted our fake internet money as currency for lunch!" ... I'm guessing a lot of those long term holders must have forgotten about it for at least some of those years. 

"To help people do the impossible, one of the aspirants trying to connect traditional finance and DeFi, a company called Alliance Block, just today unveiled a 4-year "no mercy" staking pool, in which you aren't allowed access to your tokens for 4 years, but in return you double your tokens with staking rewards. It's a bet on top of a bet, an increasingly common defi model, like the old certified deposits I guess, but much better returns. "

We all know May 4th as Star Wars Day - as in "May the Fourth Be With You."  May 22 is Bitcoin Pizza Day in the crypto community - the day in 2010 when early adopter Laszlo Hanyecz famously spent 10,000 BTC for two pizzas.

When Jeremy Sturdivant came across a request on an online crypto forum to send two large pizzas to computer programmer Laszlo Hanyecz in May 2010 he did not hesitate.

And in sending Mr Hanyecz the cheese and supreme pizzas from Papa John’s, Mr Sturdivant, then a 19-year-old student in California, earned himself $41 worth of the fledgling digital currency.

It is viewed as the first ever real-world Bitcoin transaction.

And amazingly over the course of 2010, Mr Hanyecz, who is now 39, estimates he spent 100,000 Bitcoin, or a current equivalent of $3.7bn, on pizzas alone.

“I had no idea how huge it would become,” said Mr Sturdivant, who did not hold onto the Bitcoin but quickly spent it on traveling.

And he added that he was “proud to have played a part” in the “global phenomenon” that Bitcoin has become.

Those spending sprees top my wife by a mile - even the time after we remodeled our first floor, and her and our daughter drove around town firing money out of a bazooka hoovering up new rugs, lamps and wallhangings.

See another article elsewhere in this issue on how the giant stone money of Yap may have paved the way for bitcoin.

To read the complete article, see: 



To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 





Before Bitcoin there were just bits.  Not the computer kind - those weren't invented yet.  A "bit" was a "piece of eight" - a Spanish dollar cut into eight equal pieces to make small change.  That's where the quarter got its old nickname - "two bits".  Last week we had a great discussion about denominations, and there are many seemingly odd denominations (in dollars, anyway) that make more sense when seen in terms of bits, such as the common  12 1/2 cent and 6 1/4 cent obsolete banknotes (1 bit and a half bit, respectively.

We discussed the reported note denomination of "$1.56-1/4".  Dave Schenkman  described it as the equivalent of 25 bits and my calculator and I agreed, but I think we were off by a factor of two, as Martin Purdy pointed out.

Martin writes:

"If a bit is 12.5c, then $1.5625 is 12-and-a-half bits rather than 25.  It still seems a little odd to take an eighth of a dollar and then multiply it by another eighth of 100, but if the comment that it was a tenth of a Spanish doubloon is correct, then it makes a little more sense, in the way that sometimes only numismatics can :-)"

Dave agrees:

"I did it in my head, but facts are facts. Actually, I was thinking in terms of half bits (6 1/4¢)"

I guess I divided by two on my calculator one time too many.
I had a little more time available this week and I created a table in Excel to show the translation more explicitly.  I think this format is easier to digest.  

Highlighted in yellow are rows representing exactly one bit and one dollar.  Highlighted in grey are the key denominations of half and quarter dollar.  Also highlighted are the 12 1/2 and 25 bit rows.

The $1.56-1/4 denomination is equivalent to 12 1/2 bits or 1 and 9/16th dollars.  

If that amount is equivalent to 1/10 of a doubloon, then a doubloon would be 125 bits.  Is that correct?

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 







 David Vice Contact Found
Regarding author David Vice, 
Randy Weir writes:

"I have been a dealer in Coins of the British Commonwealth for almost 50 years. I have had quite a few dealings with David and Gary at Format coins. I was around when the first of the Kings Norton mint material came to market and I may be able to help Kavan Ratnatunga with his questions about the KN mint material.
I really do enjoy your newsletter so thank you for that"

Thanks!  I put Randy and Kavan in touch.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 

NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: OCTOBER 10, 2021 : Query: David Vice Contact Sought


 Predominantly Catholic Countries in Asia
Ken Berger writes:

"I read the article by my good friend and fellow Philippine researcher, Earl Honeycutt, about the 1937 Manila Eucharistic Conference Medals. I'd like to point out that, at the present time, there is a second country in Asia, besides the Philippines, which is primarily Catholic - East Timor (Timor-Leste). Its Catholicism is the result of the country having been a former Portuguese colony. Approximately 98% of the people are Catholic."

Thanks for keeping us straight.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



 Michael Joffre of Carsley Whetstone 
John Regitko of
Toronto, Canada writes:

"In the last E-Sylum, you mentioned the firm of Carsley Whetstoe. I have met Michael Joffre on a number of occasions.  Based on my conversations with him, a nicer gentleman you will not find!
Since he also brings his son to coin shows, I predict that the company will be around for at least another generation."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



 The Goebel Coin Collector

Astronomer Kavan Ratnatunga writes:

"When I saw that Coin Collector Porcelain you posted on the last E-sylum, I thought it was cool, and when I visited the Auction site and found it had an estimate of £60-80 and was just coming up for Auction, and had not had any bids, I put in my minimum Bid, only to find it sell for £650+BP. Must be all the publicity you gave it. 

So I searched for it online and found instead The Goebel Coin Collector for sale on eBay for US$30. It was too cute not to buy. I had never seen it before and a nice companion to my Goebel Boy with Telescope, I purchased 25 years ago. Both are from the 1970s. Don't seem to be rare or expensive as I saw another on sale on eBay."

Nice item!

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 

DNW OCTOBER 2021 NUMISMATIC LITERATURE : Lot 1576: Porcelain Coin Collector Figure


 Bach's Fishy Gold Ducat Story 
David Pickup writes:

"I don’t remember if you covered this story about J S Bach finding ducats in fish heads!?"

But by the time Johann was fifteen, his sweet soprano voice had gained him a place in the choir of St. Michael’s School in Luneburg. During this period, the ambitious choir boy often went on long walks to outlying churches so that he could listen to all kinds of organ music.

On one of these tramps he rested for a while outside a country inn. Tired and hungry, he had no money to go inside and enjoy a good meal. One of the diners noticed his plight, opened a window, and threw out two fish-heads to the ravenous boy.

Johann eagerly picked up the leftovers and, to his amazement, found a gold coin inside each of the heads. Immediately he hurried inside and ordered a tasty meal, which he enjoyed.

No, this is a new one on me.  Bizarre!

David adds:

"I have found the story in several places. No explanation of why they were there."

For some references, see: 

Johann Sebastian Bach devoted his peerless creative life to music from childhood


What Maketh the Man?
Composer of the WeekJohann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750)





Dave Lange passed along some interesting numismatic ephemera.  Thanks!

Since my interest in vintage coin holders is well known, I recently was contacted by a longtime coin collector who offered me a large assortment of old coin envelopes issued by Littleton Stamp Company and Littleton Coin Company. I jumped at this chance to add such memorabilia to my collection, and there are about five dozen pieces. All are written up for coins, but the earliest are inscribed for LSC. I believe it was in 1960 that LCC achieved its own identity, but the earlier envelopes reveal that Littleton had been selling coins for some years prior to that time.

I'm attaching images of envelopes from both entities. The prices on the LSC envelopes clearly suggest the late 1950s, while those on the LCC envelopes appear to be from the early-mid 1960s. I remember similar pricing when I began collecting coins in 1965, though I didn't do any business with Littleton in my early years. I don't recall when I first learned of it, but it must have been in the early 1970s when I began getting COINage and COINS Magazines regularly. I received a few of these envelopes then, and I suspect the company still may be using this method of presentation for raw coins.



I bought from Littleton as a young collector but never saved the envelopes.  Anyone else have a group of these?





Ron Guth is offering a new research product for auction bidders.


I've prepared a pre-sale analysis of Legend Rare Coin Auctions 10/28/2021 sale.  The purpose of this product is to identify coins that are of Condition Census (Top Ten Finest) level and to provide additional provenance and price and grade history.  This information is meant to augment the excellent work provided by Legend's catalogers and to give bidders more information on which to formulate their bids.  

If there is enough interest in this product, I will consider performing similar analyses in the future.  Despite the considerable effort that went into producing this analysis, I am offering this edition free of charge.  Naturally, I would appreciate any feedback, constructive criticism, or suggestions for improvements.  To obtain a copy of this report or to ask any questions, please contact me at 

ron at

P.S. Thank you, Wayne Homren, for your useful suggestion on formatting the spreadsheet to make it more user-friendly.

Glad to help.  Contact Ron for a copy.

To visit Ron's website, see:





The Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists shows keep getting bigger and better.  Here's the lineup of speakers during the three-day show.  I'll be attending myself and giving one of the presentations.  I hope to see a number of E-Sylum readers while in town.


Thursday, October 28th

1:00pm - Brett Irick, ANA Judge, CSNS Vice President

Topic: ”ANA Competitive Exhibits Judging Class”

3:00pm - Rick Lank, Becky Rush

Topic: “The Furious Flight of the Confederate Treasure Train - Where Did All the Southern Dough Go?” and a sequel (a new book)

4:30pm - Ben Franklin and Abraham Lincoln - performed by Patrick McBride and Dennis Boggs

Topic: “Two Wars, Two Centuries”

Friday, October 29th

12:00pm - Bill Bierly, author - In God We Trust

Topic: “Creation of the National Motto on Coinage”

1:00pm - Wayne Homren, E-Sylum newsletter editor and Newman Numismatic Portal consultant

Topic: ”Howard Gibbs: Prince of Primitive Money”

2:00pm - John Frost, Liberty Seated Collectors Club, Barber Coin Collectors’ Society

Topic: ”Why You Should Collect Liberty Seated and Barber Coinage”

3:00pm – Dr. Lawrence C. Korchnak, author – Siege Coins of the World 1453-1902

Topic: “Siege Stories: Tales of Courage and Defiance" 

4:00pm – Don Everhart, sculptor engraver US Mint retired

Topic: “Creation of Coins and Medals”

5:00pm - Dennis Boggs, (gather at President Lincoln’s backdrop)

Topic: ”Tales, Stories and the Gettysburg Address”

Saturday, October 30th

11:00am - Rick Lank, Becky Rush, with Guest Abe Lincoln,

Topic: “Abe Lincoln’s Legacy: Money Matters of the Civil War”

12:00pm - Malcolm Johnson, PANKidZone Coordinator

Topic: "Coin Collecting for Beginners"

1:00pm - Dennis Boggs, Meet Mr.

Topic: ”Tales, Stories and the Gettysburg Address”

2:00pm - Robert O. Stakeley, Heinz History Center, Educational Director

PANKidZone Program: short talk, games, prizes, Kid’s auction

For more information, see:





Bibliophiles attending the upcoming Baltimore Whitman Coin Expo have a great reason to join the Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4) - three book-themed educational programs at a members-only event Thursday evening.


Thursday evening, November 18
 (Sheraton Inner Harbor, Harborside Room) 

—  7:30 pm:  Dennis Tucker, 75 Years of Colonials in the Redbook 

—  8:30 pm:  Jack Howes, The Making of the New Machin’s Mills Book 

—  9:30 pm:  Randy Clark, Recent Literature for Attributing Connecticut Coppers (1785-1788)

In addition, there will be two talks open to the public on Friday and Saturday.

Friday, November 19

—  2 pm:  Jim Glickman, Collecting American Colonials 101 (Room 304, Baltimore Convention Center)

Saturday, November 20

— 10:30 am:  Ray Williams, Collecting Colonial Currency (Room 304, Baltimore Convention Center)

To learn about or join the Colonial Coin Collectors Club, see:



Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology.  Quite detailed, it goes into some of the mechanics behind the making of medals.

 Form Mold. 
A holding device made of lead or epoxy to hold large circular medals one at a time in a lathe while they are being trimmed. The form mold acts as a chuck to hold the medal secure while its flash or excess material is turned off on the lathe. Removing the flash is only required from medals struck by open face dies (medals larger than two inches and not struck with a collar). A form mold is a kind of jig and is also called lead form or lead chuck. Workers at the U.S. Mint call these chucks "carriers."

Lead forms.  Form molds are made by taking a sample medal to be trimmed, and using this as a pattern, building a fence around it, then pouring molten lead within the fence; it is then shaped with a shank to fit into the chuck at the head of the lathe. After cooling, the form mold is placed in position on a lathe and trimmed to the diameter of the intended medal, or somewhat less. Untrimmed medals can then be placed into position – by finger positioning – then secured tightly as the tailstock is clamped against it.

The medal used as the pattern should be discarded as the lead discolors one side of it. Normally only one such medal is required to make the form mold, even if several form molds are required (as for use on several lathes simultaneously). After use, of course, the lead form molds may be melted for reuse of the lead.

Epoxy forms.  An epoxy form mold is made much the same method as lead forms. A fence is built around a pattern metal. Epoxy is mixed and poured within the fence. After setting (curring) it forms a much harder and permanent composition. Epoxy forms look like a plastic die (without very distinct detail). Epoxy cannot be used again, as can lead.

To read the complete entry on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see: 

Form Mold



American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on the Chapman brothers of Philadelphia.  Thank you!

The Chapman brothers, Samuel Hudson Chapman and Henry Chapman, were the first career
coin dealers in the United States. They were born in Philadelphia to Irish Quaker immigrants
Henry (1827-1907) and Jane (1827-1891) Hudson Chapman. The senior Henry went broke in the
tea business and went into business as a money or specie broker.

The children collected stamps and went to work as teenagers for coin dealer John W. Hazeltine
in 1876. By 1878, the two were experienced enough to start their own coin company, S. H. & H.
Chapman, Numismatists and Antiquaries.

Samuel Hudson Chapman was born on July 15, 1857, and was educated at Friends School. In
1897 he married Bertha Jayne Bucknell (1870-1938). Their children included Samuel Hudson
Chapman, Jr. (1899-1979), Robert Penrose Chapman (1901-1959), Laura Jayne Chapman (1902-
1903), and Philip Jayne Chapman (1905-1986).

When the American Numismatic Association was established in 1891, S. H. Chapman joined as
charter member 29 and was designated as Librarian and Curator. In 1892 to 1898, he was
designated as ANA “counterfeit detector”. He served on the ANA Board in 1913, 1916 and

S. H. Chapman was an authority on Greek and Roman coins and world coins up to William the
Conqueror. He took extended trips to Europe to participate in archaeological digs and to acquire
coins for his collection and for stock. His library has been described as the finest numismatic
library of its time. The Chapman library was transferred to the Free Library of Philadelphia. S.H.
Chapman served as president of the Archaeological Society, as vice president of the
Pennsylvania Geographical Society and was on the board for the Department of Archaeology at
the University of Pennsylvania.

S. H. Chapman compiled United States Cents of the Year 1794 published in 1923.


Henry Chapman was born on October 18, 1859. On December 2, 1896, he married Helen
Collings (1873-1958). They used little imagination in naming their son Henry Chapman III
(1898-1970), and their daughters Helen, Henrietta and Jane.

Henry was the partner with more knowledge of modern and world coinages issued after William
the Conqueror. He formed an important collection of colonial currency.

Henry was ANA member 28. He was elected to the ANA Board of Trustees for 1899-1901 and
1910-1912. During 1919-1920 he served as first vice president.

The brothers conducted their first auction sale from their stock in October 1879, illustrated with a
photographic plate. Their second sale, named for Samuel Bispham, is noted for the discovery
appearance of the 1794 starred reverse cent. They were innovative with the use of photographic
plates to illustrate their catalogs and surviving plated sales are highly sought. In 1882 they scored
a numismatic coup by acquiring the Charles Ira Bushnell collection which they sold through a large and plated catalog. Bushnell has been described as their uncle. The brothers conducted 83
auctions as partners from 1879 to 1906.

The Chapmans were generous hosts when the 1908 ANA convention was held in Philadelphia.
At that time S. H. Chapman was out of the country, but he had arranged for Farran Zerbe to
preside over a complimentary dinner at the Hotel Stenton. While the men were attending the
ANA auction, Mrs. Henry Chapman hosted a party for the ladies where they saw The Virginian
at the Park Theatre. Following the close of the convention, Henry Chapman led a group of guests
on the electric railway to Atlantic City. After time exploring the Boardwalk, guests were treated
to a luncheon at the Chalfonte Hotel.

Going their separate ways, Samuel Hudson Chapman conducted an additional 28 sales 1907 to
1924, and he retired about 1929. S. H. Chapman died at home of bronchial pneumonia on
September 22, 1931. He is buried at Friends Southwestern Burial Ground at Upper Darby,

Henry Chapman, Jr. had 39 sales 1906 to 1919. His sales included the annual ANA sales in
1908, 1919, 1924 and 1925. The catalog of the John Story Jenks Collection, sold in December 7-
17, 1921, realizing $61,379.42. With 7302 lots and weight of six pounds, it is considered by
some as the finest auction catalog ever published.

After his retirement, the retail business was conducted by his wife Helen. Henry was confined to
his home for two years prior to his death on January 4, 1935. He is also buried at Friends
Southwestern Burial Ground at Upper Darby, Pennsylvania.

The business was continued by former manager Ella B. Wright until 1948. On January 28, 1941,
Helen Chapman and Ella B. Wright were robbed at gunpoint by two men in the shop. An
estimated $15,000 in coins and stamps were taken.

The Chapman brothers and their parents are all buried in the same plot, C147, as well as Annie
Chapman (1840-1902), wife Bertha Jane Chapman, wife Helen C. Chapman, son Henry
Chapman III, infant daughter Laura Jayne Chapman and son Samuel Hudson Chapman Jr.
Robert Penrose Chapman is in the adjacent plot C146. Philip Jayne Chapman is in the same
cemetery as are the wives of Samuel and Robert.

Henry Chapman was inducted into the American Numismatic Association Hall of Fame in 1970.
Samuel Hudson Chapman has not received the same honor. Both were inducted into the PCGS
CoinFacts dealer Hall of Fame in 2010.

Smarty-Pants question of the week.

William Bushnell (1610-1683) married Rebecca Chapman (1616-1703) in Saybrook,
Connecticut, before 1644. There are many Chapmans in the published Bushnell genealogy and
many Bushnells in the published Chapman genealogy. How was Charles Ira Bushnell related to
the Chapman brothers? I have been unable to make the connection.

Great question.  The topic recurs with regularity.  Can anyone help with this?  Thanks. 

Pete did answer for us a question posed back in 2010 by Benny Bolin: "There is a nice line drawing of Samuel H. Chapman on p90 of United States Numismatic Literature, Volume I by John W. Adams (1982). Does anyone have a portrait photo?"  Pete provided the above photo, noting that it appeared in Chapman's obituary in The Numismatist, November 1931, page 793, and again  in The Numismatist, December 1979, page 2658. 
At right is the drawing from the Adams book.

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see: 







The Northeast Numismatics blog has a nice article about the Saint Gaudens National Historic Park in Cornish New Hampshire.

Fall is a wonderful time to travel in New England, especially by car. This is the season that many thousands of ‘leaf peepers’ will descend upon sleepy towns in the northeast to be dazzled by vivid displays of the changing season. Apple orchards, cider donuts, pumpkin-fests, decorative gourds and of course the foliage are among the many wonderful features to enjoy during your stay.

Believe it or not, this isn’t Photoshopped!

Another perhaps lesser known New England attraction can be found in Cornish New Hampshire. Cornish is a pleasant 2 hours 15 minutes drive from Concord, MA (home of Northeast Numismatics) on the New Hampshire-Vermont border. Cornish is also home to the Saint Gaudens National Historic Park. Within the park grounds you will find the home of Augustus Saint Gaudens. St. Gaudens was one of the world’s preeminent sculptors of the 19th and 20th century and he made Cornish his summer residence from 1885-1897 as well as his permanent home from 1900 until his death in 1907. The grounds also feature many of his bronze sculptures, the Blow-Me-Down farm, dance hall, nature trails, monuments, statues, memorials, atriums, flower gardens, ponds and wide open fields that showcase views across the Connecticut River to the Vermont mountains.

Main House and Flower Gardens

Shaw Memorial on the Bowling Green

St. Gaudens was well known for his ‘Beaux-Arts’ generation sculptures and was quite famous during his lifetime. Some of his major achievements include the Civil War Robert Gould Shaw Memorial which still stands on Boston Common, the General John Logan Memorial in Chicago’s Grant Park and a plethora of other works too voluminous to name here.  

Robert Gould Shaw Memorial honoring the 54th Regiment

It is said that St. Gaudens was a good friend of Teddy Roosevelt. Roosevelt, early in his time in office, was unimpressed (to put it lightly) with the designs of US gold coins and he developed a scheme to change that. St. Gaudens was commissioned to lead the way for these advancements and was charged with designing a $20 gold piece, a $10 gold piece and a cent (which was never minted). Many consider his gold $20 Double Eagle to be the most beautiful in all of US coinage. Here is one of the finest known of his $20 designs.


And of course the $10 Gold Indian Head



Perhaps second only to the ’33 Saint is the equally famous and certainly more attainable 1907 $20 High Relief. This important US coin comes in two varieties; the Wire Rim and Flat Rim, although they are not true varieties as the two different strikings were not planned by the mint, but rather a result of a rather tedious striking process (each coin required 5 blows by the equipment in order to bring up the design elements fully).


Beautiful American coins designed by a very talented American artist. If you’re ever in New England you should definitely make this one of your must-see attractions.

To read the complete article, see: 

Oh My Gaudens! New!




Here are some highlights from this week's MDC Monaco sale, from their recent email announcement. Some great coins here!

Do not miss next MDC Monnaies de Collection auction on Wednesday 20th and Thursday 21st October 2021 in Monaco Monte Carlo.

Our expert Nicolas Gimbert will be delighted to welcome you to the auction. Live bidding will take place on BIDDR and the catalogue is also available on our website.


Lot 135 - ROMAN EMPIRE Maximian Herculius. 2 1/2 Aurei medallion, undated (294-305), Rome. 


Lot 136 - ROMAN EMPIRE Maxence. Medallion of 4 aurei (quaternio), commemorating the restoration of the temple of Venus and Rome, undated (c.308), Rome. 


Lot 242 - ARGENTINA Argentine Confederation. 8 escudos 1832/1, RA, Rioja. NGC MS 64 


Lot 299 - BELGIUM Leopold I. Gold Specimen 100 Francs, Duke and Duchess of Brabant wedding,  PROOF DEEP CAMEO 1853, Brussels. PCGS PR62DCAM. 


Lot 356 - COLOMBIA Ferdinand VI. 8 escudos 1755 S, NR, Nuevo Reino (Santa Fé de Bogota). NGC XF 45. 


Lot 452 - FRANCE Louis XIII. Gold Huit Louis d'or 'tête laurée' 1640, A, Paris. NGC MS 61. 


Lot 826 - FRANCE IIe République. Gold 5 Francs Hercule trial strike 1848, Paris. NGC MS 62+. 


Lot 1028 - GREAT BRITAIN William and Mary. 5 Guineas PROOFLIKE 1693, London. NGC MS 64 PL. 


Lot 1030 - GREAT BRITAIN George I. 5 Guineas 1716, London. PCGS MS63. 


Lot 1050 - GREAT BRITAIN Edward VIII. 5 Pounds, pattern, PROOF 1937, London. NGC PF67 ULTRA CAMEO. Milled edge 


Lot 1317 - RUSSIA Nicolas II. 25 roubles ou 2 1/2 impérials (50 francs) 1896, Saint-Pétersbourg. NGC MS 61.  

For more information, see: 





Here's the announcement for the November 2021 Internet Auction 12 sale from Stephen Album Rare Coins.

Stephen Album Rare Coins will hold its Internet Auction 12 at its offices in Santa Rosa, California on
November 1, 2021. Internet pre-bidding has begun and can be accessed through their website.

The Auction is made up of an even 1,250 lots of Ancient, Islamic, Chinese, Indian, and General World
Coins, and Ethnographic Money. Highlighted groups include:

Jess Yockers Collection of Sikh Empire Coins

Charles Opitz Collection of Ethnographic Money

A Large Collection of Anatolian & Ottoman Coins

Shawn Hamilton Collection of Chinese Coins

Dr. Allan Pacela Collection of Chinese Coins

A Selection of Graded VIP Proof of Record Coins

Sample lots from the sale follow:


LOT 1084: WORLD: CANADA: George VI, 1936-1952, AR dollar, 1948, KM-46, hairlined, key date, AU.
Estimated at $900 to $1100.


LOT 471: INDIA: WESTERN GANGAS: Anonymous, ca. 12th-13th century, AV pagodas (3.91g), Mitch-
192/193, elephant right // floral scroll, bold strike, EF. Estimated at $300 to $400.


LOT 212: ISLAMIC: OTTOMAN TURKEY: Abdul Mejid, 1839-1861, AR kurush, Kostantiniye, AH1255 year
15, KM-671, an amazing lightly toned mint state example!! PCGS graded MS67. Estimated at $200 to


LOT 1214: ETHNOGRAPHIC: PACIFIC: INDONESIA: Java, kris dagger (158g), Opitz p.188, also known as
keris, ca. 44cm in total length, with wavy blade, fitted with wooden handle, iconic weapon native to
Malaysia & Indonesia and once used as bride price, VF, ex Charles Opitz Collection. Estimated at $80 to



LOT 615: INDIA: SIKH EMPIRE: AR nanakshahi rupee (11.13g), Amritsar, VS[18]98, KM-22.5, Herrli-
01.11.04, VS1885 series, trisul in obverse center, About Unc, ex Jess A. Yockers Collection. Estimated at $80 to $120.


LOT 1070: WORLD: BRITISH CARRIBEAN TERRIRORIES: 5 cents 1964, KM-4, RARE Proof of Record issue,
NGC graded Proof 63, R. Estimated at $90 to $120.

The firm is now taking consignments for its Auction 42, which will be held January 20-22, 2022.

More information can be found on their website at




Here's a selection of interesting or unusual items I came across in the marketplace this week.  Tell us what you think of some of these.

 1720 French Colonies 1/3 Ecu 

KM455.19 variety, Louis XV type.  Struck at the Amiens mint.

A totally original, suitably crusty, old toned example of this early quarter-sized silver issue often collected as part of the U.S. Colonial series.

Offered by John Agre's Coin Rarities Online.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1720-X French Colonies 1/3 Ecu
Louis XV Type


 1860 Turks and Caicos Islands Five Shillings Banknote Proof 

Government of the Turks and Caicos Islands, a progress proof / experimental trial for a 5/-, ND (type of 1928), blue and pale pink, value in blue tablet at centre, arms top centre, value in left and right field
(Pick 1 for type, TBB B106 for type), the note has been split and rejoined, the right hand side the detail obscured. Presumably an experiment by De la Rue using different colour and paper, the whole note on the correct watermarked paper for issue. In PCGS holder 45 Choice Extremely fine, unusual and extremely rare

>From the SPINK Live sale.

To read the complete lot description, see: 



 1863 National Currency Civil War Token

Civil War token Fuld 71/467 a R9 UNC Details, retoned from old cleaning. The Federal Government A National Currency Free Trade And Human Rights 1863 (900-1100).

I've collected Civil War tokens in the past but don't recall seeing this one, apparently releated to the National Bank Act of 1863.  At R9 it's a great rarity. From the eBay stock of Steve Hayden.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1863 National Currency Human Rights Patriotic Civil War Token R9


 1907 High Relief Wire Edge Double Eagle 

1907 High Relief Wire Edge

Often called "America's Most Beautiful Coin". Choice, satiny surfaces.

One of a bevy of 1907 High Relief Double Eagles available from Northeast Numismatics.

To read the complete lot description, see:;


Arthur Shippee passed along this article found via The Explorator newsletter.  Thanks.  To subscribe to Explorator, send a blank email message to: 
explorator+subscribe at 

Phanagoria was the largest ancient Greek city on the Taman peninsula and was founded by Teian colonists around 543 BC, and developed into a Greek centre of trade between the coast of the Maeotian, and the countries on the southern side of the Caucasus.

The coin hoard was discovered during the third season of excavations, where archaeologists unearthed an amphora containing 80 copper staters (coins), whilst researching evidence of a destruction layer caused by fire from the 6th century AD.

Archaeologists believe that the burying of the hoard could be associated with several raids by the Huns or Turks, resulting in large parts of the city being torched. Residential buildings, wineries, and public buildings perished in the fire, depositing a large amount of ash, soot, fragments of burnt wooden floors of buildings, broken dishes, and the remains of burnt grain in amphorae in the destruction layer.


Vladimir Kuznetsov of the Russian Academy of Sciences said: “According to the composition of the treasure, one can determine what money was in use in the internal market of the Bosporus in the 6th century.”

A closer inspection of the coins reveals that they are mainly copper staters of the Bosporan kings of the late 3rd – early 4th century AD. The last minting of the Bosporan coins was around AD 341, however, a huge mass of staters made of cheap copper-lead alloy continued to circulate in the Bosporus for several centuries, whilst the role of “expensive” money was played by Byzantine gold.

To read the complete article, see: 

Archaeologists discover a 6th-century coin hoard in ancient Phanagoria




Arthur Shippee also passed along this article found via The Explorator newsletter about a study that found similarities between modern bitcoins and the giant stone money of Yap.  Thanks!  Interesting parallels.



In "Banking on Stone Money: Ancient Antecedents to Bitcoin," published in January 2020 in the journal Economic Anthropology, Scott M. Fitzpatrick of the University of Oregon Department of Anthropology teamed with Inman Research Scholar and finance professor Stephen McKeon of the Lundquist College of Business to explore Bitcoin's precedents as "rooted in the ancient past, which involved the production, movement, and use of traditional forms of 'currency,' the most visible and prominent of which were the famous stone money of Yap."

In the paper, the authors discuss Bitcoin's origins and its consequences for global commerce, highlighting what might be learned by studying ancient stone currency. In particular, they note that the underlying technology powering Bitcoin, known as the blockchain, has much in common with the ledgers Yapese islanders used to document ownership of their enormous stone coins.

Those stone coins were so heavy that islanders drilled holes through the center so they could be carried on long poles. The tradition predates European contact with the Yapese in 1783 and formed the basis of their monetary system.

While it might seem like a giant stone coin would have little in common with Bitcoin, which has no physical presence, the sheer weight and difficulty of moving the rai from one holder to another creates a startling similarity.

An owner of a rai might not take physical possession of it. They might leave it on the side of a road or leave it with its original owner who has bartered it for some good or service. So, the Yapese created an oral ledger of ownership for each rai, in effect a precomputer blockchain to detail the origin of each piece of stone money, its transactions and its ultimate holder.

"Given that the actual possession of rai was often infeasible, an owner would deem it to be valuable only if they could trust that all participants in the economic system agreed on the record of ownership," Fitzpatrick and McKeon write. "Effectively, it was not a bearer asset; ownership was established solely through the ledger. 

Other similarities with Bitcoin follow. The difficulty of mining limestone, fashioning it into rai and then transporting the currency helps to limit supply and to create scarcity that prevents inflation. Bitcoin is mined by computers solving complex math problems at great and growing expense.

There are some differences, of course. Bitcoins can be divided into smaller units while the Yapese had no system for spending smaller denominations of rai by breaking them into pieces.

Finally, all Bitcoins are equal. A rai, however, derived specific value from its size and craftsmanship, adding an element of artwork to the currency.

It isn't known if Nakamoto or his collaborators considered the Yapese, or ancient currencies, in their Bitcoin design. But it is known that some of the principles behind Bitcoin have been validated by history and that might offer a clue about the longevity and uses of blockchain based cryptocurrency as an asset class.

To subscribe to Explorator, send a blank email message to: 
explorator+subscribe at 


To read the complete article, see: 

Researchers turn to stones to find the ancient origin of Bitcoin


To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see: 








For years now we've been inching closer and closer to a world where coins and paper money no longer exist in daily commerce, as money goes electronic.  But what would happen if money itself goes away?  Well, the world might start to look like it did before the concept of money was invented.  Here's what happened during the pandemic in the Galápagos Islands, an isolated chain off Ecuador - yes, the same remote place Charles Darwin visited in 1834 and began forming his theory of evolution.

I only came across this March 20, 2021 Outside essay this week.  Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online.  

As traffic and then goods started to slow from the continent, Galápageños turned to each other and a simpler way of life to take care of themselves. 

During the strict 11-week lockdown that began in March, the majority of the 30,000 residents entered into a barter system. Fruit was traded for meat; milk for English lessons. Clothes were handed down, not just within families but through the community. At one point, Solís swapped 50 oranges for some dental work. Elsewhere, Brett and Maria Peters, the affable owners of Galápagos Deli in Puerto Ayora, traded produce they couldn’t use in their restaurant for houseplants to decorate their new home. Nature guide Lola Villacreses, realizing she wasn’t going to be aboard any cruise ships for the foreseeable future, did a crash course online and began growing fruits and vegetables on her smallholding in the fertile Santa Cruz Highlands. During my two-month stay, whenever I bumped into her around Puerto Ayora, she gave me a bucket of tomatoes. 

“Things have been changing very fast. All the money used to be in the town,” said Matias Espinosa, a dive master and naturalist on Santa Cruz whose businesses had been crippled by the pandemic. “Covid froze all our enterprise. Instead, we have this trading now, so these farmers are the kings of the island.”

Cash wasn’t abandoned entirely—even during the strictest lockdown measures from March to June, locals had to use it to pay for fuel for fishing boats that brought in catch on behalf of the community (there was no shortage of fuel, due to an excess created from the lack of ship, taxi, and tour bus usage), among other transactions. Upon returning, the day’s bounty was announced over megaphones, and fish that would ordinarily be exported to Miami at great expense was taken door to door and simply given away, with the understanding that the fisherman and their families would be taken care of with other goods and services in return. 

As of March 2021, Santa Cruz has seen a slight improvement in tourist numbers, reducing its dependency on bartering. Though many local businesses remain closed, supply lines from the mainland are no longer an issue, and with the arrival of vaccines, hope for more of a revival later this year is growing. The same cannot be said on remote Isabela, where the reliance on trading has continued in lieu of visitor dollars. The internet connection on the island is notoriously unreliable, but there is enough bandwidth to coordinate through a huge and sometimes unruly WhatsApp group of 256 members, the maximum allowed by the app.

Valladares explained that this ramshackle marketplace was also being supplemented by hunting feral animals. In the 1800s, buccaneers brought animals like pigs, goats, donkeys, and cattle to the islands, where they quickly broke loose, settled, and started causing havoc for endemic species, trampling on bird nests, eating young tortoises, and spreading seeds of invasive flora. 

For decades, the progeny of these original invaders have been reduced, though they still inhabit the park and roaming freely on Isabela. At the start of the pandemic, residents revived a form of hunting, heading out of town on horseback and returning with feral cattle or pigs. 

... In any case, he expects it will take at least two years for tourism to fully recover here. In the meantime, trading among the islanders will need to continue. “We have to adapt,” he said. “It’s one of the golden rules here on Galápagos.”

To read the complete article, see: 

How the Galápagos Adapted to the Pandemic



Stack's Bowers Director of Consignments and Numismatics James McCartney published a blog article about a great new metal detecting discovery - a 1659 Lord Baltimore Shilling unearthed in  Suffolk, VA.


Stack's Bowers Galleries is proud to offer a newly discovered 1659 Lord Baltimore shilling in our November 2021 Showcase Auction. It will be presented alongside an incredible selection of Early American coins in our official auction for the Colonial Coin Collectors Club, better know as C4. With bold AU definition, this new discovery is certainly one of the sharpest Baltimore shillings known. Generally untoned and dove-grey, it exhibits scattered regions of olive patina on both sides. Significant marks are minimal, with only minor friction noted in the obverse fields. It was virtually brand new when it entered the soil over 400 years ago, and the portrait detail including the eyes, hair, and profile are truly astounding. It is a very pleasing example of an elusive and historic issue, coined for Sir Lord Baltimore Cecil Calvert to circulate in his proprietary colony of Maryland in the early 1660s.

Lord Calvert had shillings, sixpences, groats (four pence), and copper pennies (or denariums) coined bearing his bust and Arms and passed local ordinances in Maryland calling for their mandatory circulation. While sixpences often survive in decent grade (thanks in part to a hoard of about 20 pieces located in England in the last decade), the shillings rarely fared so well. Today, most shillings are in poor condition, often holed and plugged after use in jewelry, badly polished, well-worn, or a combination of the above. This incredibly sharp AU specimen is certainly among the most desirable available to collectors.  It was discovered near Suffolk, Virginia just months ago by a passionate metal detectorist John Lambert, who goes by the moniker Digologist on YouTube. Eager to share the story behind this exciting find, he explained that

"I have been hunting since 2012 and started out on local beaches finding rings and lots of dropped change. On a late summer day, I and a few friends were hunting a farm field in Suffolk, VA that has produced Civil War relics, Barber silver coins, Mercury dimes and even Spanish reales. I was digging everything that sounded promising and soon got a tone on my Minelab Equinox detector. I leaned back and saw a large round silver disc gleaming in the sunlight. My heart jumped and I got on the radio: "Guys, I got silver!" Staring back at me was a bust I had never seen. As I passed the coin around nobody could identify it, so we went to our phones and a couple minutes later we identified it as a 1659 shilling. It was a find of a lifetime and the oldest coin I had ever unearthed in almost 10 years of metal detecting. Our history may be brief in America, but we have an abundance of Colonial Artifacts just below our feet."   

The details of the discovery were also documented in a YouTube video.

This newly discovered 1659 Lord Baltimore shilling will be showcased in the C4 session of our November 2021 Official Auction of the Whitman Coin &  Collectibles Winter Expo, offered alongside important collections of Early American coins including rare Bolen tokens and struck copies from the E. Pluribus Unum Collection, New Jersey coppers from the Norm Peters Collection, and Fugio coppers from the Pierre Fricke Collection. 

The USA is a young country compared to our friends in Europe and elsewhere.  Although metal detecting finds do occur, they are far less common than elsewhere in the world.  Congratulations on a great find.  If only there were a potfull of them...

To watch the YouTube video, see: 

1659 Lord Baltimore Unearthed !!


To read the complete article, see: 

Newly Discovered 1659 Lord Baltimore Shilling Featured in our November 2021 Showcase Auction



Dave Bowers published a Stack's Bowers blog article on the 1880 dispersal of a physician's hoard of 1836 half dollars.


It must have been a free-for-all among collectors on Long Island, New York in 1880, by which time the Capped Bust half dollars (minted 1807-1836) had long since disappeared from circulation. In fact, such pieces had not been generally seen since the early 1850s, when many if not most remaining pieces were melted down for bullion when the price of silver rose on international markets.​

The story is told by this item in the Evening Transcript, August 20, 1880: 

"A gentleman of Southampton, Long Island, writes that a great deal of curiosity has been excited by the sudden appearance in circulation of a large number of silver half dollars, all bearing the date of 1836, and as bright as when they came from the Mint. The mystery is thus explained: An old resident of Sag Harbor, formerly well known as a practicing physician, but who for several years has led a comparatively secluded life, at the time of the panic of 1836 [sic] hoarded 1,500 half dollars of that date. He kept them in total disregard of interest or premium until the present time. He has now put this hoarded treasure into circulation."

Actually it was the Panic of 1837, not the Panic of 1836, but in early 1837 (when financial problems had increased to the point at which most leading eastern banks stopped paying out coins) anyone seeking a large quantity of silver coins might likely have found them to be dated 1836. At the time the half dollar was the largest currently minted silver coin of the country, the silver dollar having been last minted in large numbers in calendar year 1804 (and bearing dates of 1803 and earlier). About 1,600 1836-dated Gobrecht silver dollars were made, but these were primarily placed into circulation in Pennsylvania and would not have been available in quantity to anyone seeking a bag or any other notable quantity of them at a bank in distant Long Island.

Today no 1836-dated half dollars are known with specific pedigrees to the Sag Harbor physician, but probably some of them did reach numismatic channels at the time of their release. The 2021 Guide Book lists the value of the 1836 Capped Bust with lettered edge from $325 to $925 in AU-50 grade and $2,000 to $5,000 in MS-63 grade, while the 1836 Capped Bust with reeded edge half dollar in MS-63 grade is listed at $20,000 and $5,000 in AU-50 grade.

To read the complete article, see: 

A Sag Harbor Physician's Hoard of Capped Bust Half Dollars



RENAISSANCE OF AMERICAN COINAGE: Wizard Coin Supply is the official distributor for Roger Burdette's three volume
series that won NLG Book of the Year awards for 2006, 2007 and 2008. Contact us for dealer or distributor pricing at


This week I came across a token I'd never seen with a mysterious slogan on it: "Lucky Tillicum".



The lot description had no more information, but I found something on CoinTalk.


Now the big question is: What is a "Tillicum"? "Lucky Tillicum" was a popular expression at one time. The New York Times had a short article on the original token, dated October 7, 1932: 

"'Lucky Tillicum' Pocket Pieces To Aid the Roosevelt Campaign Special to the New York Times: The word is from the Indian, signifying good luck. The slogan, it was said, was fashioned by Colonel Edward M. House. "

Colonel House was President Wilson's number one assistant.

Fair dinkum!  The CoinTalk pictures a similar piece issued for the 1933 Chicago Exposition.

To read the complete lot description, see: 



To read the complete CoinTalk discussion, see: 

Franklin Delano Roosevelt 1932 Lucky Tillicum tokens



The August dinner of my Northern Virginia numismatic social group Nummis Nova was hosted up in Maryland by Julian Leidman at Jerry's Seafood.  We had an excellent meal as always, and E-Sylum reader Chip Howell attended as my guest, where he heard Eric Schena recall witnessing early flights of the Space Shuttle in his youth.  Chip passed along a video from the era (linked below) which inspired Eric to discuss his experiences and a numismatic connection.  Thanks! 

My family was stationed at Edwards AFB in Southern California in the late 1970s and early 1980s and was there for some of the Enterprise glide flights and even got up close to the Enterprise a couple of times. I very much remember the 747 carrier plane; it was kept near the giant lifting gantry along the northern part of the dry lake bed near the road heading out towards Boron. Out of the first 12 landings, I can chalk up 9 of them.

I was fortunate as a kid in a way because Dad was tangentially connected to the space program, though not as an astronaut, but were around a number of space flight pioneers. For instance, my babysitter’s father helped suit up the Gemini and Apollo astronauts – his den was covered with autographed photos. I did meet a couple of astronauts, plus an X-15 pilot – (Pete Knight). Dad used to take me to the flight line every once in a while, especially if there was something neat there (like an SR-71 and the Enterprise, of course). 

Among other things, I have a bunch of photos of other experimental aircraft that were being tested at Edwards while we were there, namely the B-1A and the B-1B prototypes. I also have a couple of photos Dad took when he was flight testing B61, B77, and B83 drop-shapes (look ‘em up if you don’t know what those are). And, of course, there were the various Space Shuttle landings. One landing (not sure which), my father took me to the mission control center and the folks there set me up at a radar station and gave me a super quick suitable-for-a-super-nerdy-10yr-old training session on how to use it, so I could “watch” the landing using the radar.

Chip's note reminded me that I still have some of my souvenirs of the landings. As Air Force brats living on base, we schoolchildren got no shortage of interesting swag. Among these things include a 1977 brochure on the Shuttle before it even went to space – I got that at the NASA Dryden visitor center on base – along with two sets of STS (Space Transportation System) 1 stickers. I also have a set of “Going to work in space” posters that I really need to get properly framed. In addition, I have two postal covers, one for STS-6 and the other for STS-9, both obtained via the base post office.

To make this numismatic, I have some bronze medals of the first 5 landings: top row l. to r. are STS-1, STS-2, STS-3 and bottom row l. to r. are STS-4 and STS-5. I also have a World War II era pressed fiber token from Muroc Air Field, which was later renamed Edwards AFB after test pilot Capt. Glen Edwards who was killed in a crash of a YB-49 flying wing in 1948. Not sure the medals – or any of these artifacts for that matter - have much value, but I don’t really care about that with these since they have considerable meaning to me as part of my childhood living at the US Air Force Flight Test Center and are a part of America’s space program.



To watch the video, see: 

How NASA Learned To Fly The Space Shuttle Like A Glider




The latest medal in the Jewish-American Hall of Fame series honors Superman creators Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster.  POW!



Announcing High Relief Art Medals and Zoom Induction Ceremony Honoring Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the Creators of Superman

Large 2-inch limited edition art medals commemorating Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman, the first comic book super-hero, are available from the non-profit Jewish-American Hall of Fame on a first come-first served basis. These high relief 3 oz. art medals, designed by award-winning medallist Eugene Daub, have maximum mintages of only 150 bronze, 75 pure silver and 35 gold-plated pure silver. These are offered for contributions of $50, $200 and $250, respectively. Mention that you read about this in The E-Sylum and you can get a 20% discount. You can order with paypal using email address of 
directorjahf at or by calling 818-225-1348.

Jerry Siegel was born on October 17, 1914, in Cleveland, Ohio; his parents were Jewish immigrants who had fled antisemitism in their native Lithuania in 1900. Joe Shuster was born in Toronto on July 10, 1914; his father was from Rotterdam and his mother had come from Kiev. The family moved to Cleveland in 1924, where he became friends with Siegel in high school. They shared a love of science fiction, adventure fiction, and movies.

After developing the comic strip characters of Superman, Clark Kent, Lois Lane, etc., Siegel and Shuster began a 6-year quest to find a publisher. Eventually they sold their concept to DC comics for just $130. Superman began as one of several anthology features in the National Periodical Publications Action Comics #1 in June 1938. In 2021, a nearly pristine copy of this comic book sold for over 3 million dollars! The strip proved so popular that National launched Superman into his own self-titled comic book, the first for any superhero, premiering in the summer of 1939. And the rest is history.

The induction of Siegel and Shuster into the Jewish-American Hall of Fame will be held on a zoom webinar on Sunday, November 14th, from 11 AM -1 PM Pacific Time (2-4 PM Eastern Time). Featured speakers will include Don Boozer, Manager of the Literature Department, Cleveland Public Library (home of one of the largest Superman memorabilia collections in the country); medallist Eugene Daub; Sam Asher, Executive Director of the Virginia Holocaust Museum (home of the JAHM plaques); and Mel Wacks, Founder and Director of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame. To obtain a free invitation, contact Mel Wacks at 

directorjahf at



This Washington Post missed the cut for last week's issue and is no longer timely, but but it's a perennial topic that will come back in the news as early as December.


Congressional fights over raising the debt limit often result in superlatives. A failure to raise the debt limit would almost certainly shake the financial markets unless, perhaps, it was only a brief, technical breach with a clear resolution in sight.

But one superlative that should be retired is “unprecedented.” The debt limit has only been in effect since 1917 — Congress got tired of having to approve every spending request from the Treasury during World War I — but there are at least four instances in U.S. history when one could argue the United States defaulted on its obligations.

Some of these cases have been lost to mists of history, though one default was recently the subject of an interesting book titled “American Default: The Untold Story of FDR, the Supreme Court, and the Battle over Gold.” It was written by Sebastian Edwards, a professor at the University of California at Los Angeles, who had become involved in litigation over Argentina’s default on its debt in 2001. Argentina argued to investors that its actions were rooted in the precedent set by the United States in the 1930s.

Some might argue these cases are not comparable to a failure to raise the debt limit — and many took place before the world economy was so interconnected. But they are all examples of when the U.S. government reneged on commitments it had made to investors. We were aided in our research by Alex J. Pollock, a former banker and Treasury official who is the author of “Finance and Philosophy: Why We’re Always Surprised.”


The original “greenbacks” were demand notes that Congress authorized when waging the Civil War proved more expensive than expected. Previously, there had been no national currency. These notes, on their face, declared a “promise to pay to the bearer on demand” precious metal coins. But that quickly became untenable as the dollar depreciated and U.S. gold and silver reserves were depleted.

So, Congress in 1862 abandoned the promise and declared the paper notes were legal tenure even though they were no longer backed by the equivalent in gold or silver. This is why U.S. currency to this day has the notation: “This note is legal tender for all debts, public and private.” (A lengthy history on the saga was written in 1869 by E.G. Spaulding, chair of a key House Ways and Means panel during this period.)

I'ver got the Spaulding book in my library.  The article goes on to discuss the 1933 gold order, the 1968 reversal on the redemdion of silver cerificates, and the 1971 closure of the Treasury gold window.

To read the complete article, see: 

Why a debt ceiling breach would not be the first U.S. default



Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest.

 The Coinage of Trebizond

Mike Markowitz published an article in his CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series on the Coinage of Trebizond.


THE SOUTHERN SHORE of the Black Sea is a narrow strip of fertile land–famed for excellent hazelnuts–between the sea and the rugged Anatolian plateau. The coastal fortress of Trebizond (“Trapezus” to the ancient Greeks and Romans, now Trabzon, Turkey) was the capital of a small, but remarkably durable medieval empire, remembered as the last independent outpost of Byzantine Civilization. We know something about the coinage of this lost empire thanks to diligent research by a handful of scholars and collectors during the past century, notably the great British numismatist Simon Bendall (1937-2019).

To read the complete article, see: 

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: The Coinage of Trebizond


 Antiquities Dealer Sells Fakes For Years 

In the buyer-beware department, Arthur Shippee passed along this New York Times article about an antiquities dealer who sold counterfeit items for decades.

For decades customers interested in all manner of rarities — ancient coins, sarcophagus masks, prehistoric fossils — went to Mehrdad Sadigh’s gallery near the Empire State Building in Manhattan. The items came with certificates of authenticity, and the gallery’s website was filled with accolades from customers who appreciated the gracious touch he brought to his business.

“Everything I have acquired from you over the years has more than exceeded my expectations,” one testimonial read.

But Mr. Sadigh acknowledged Tuesday during a plea hearing that much about his antiquities business was an elaborate scam.

“Over the course of three decades I have sold thousands of fraudulent antiquities to countless unsuspecting collectors,” he said, according to the statement he read in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, adding, “I can only say that I was driven by financial greed.”

Many of the objects he was selling were not centuries-old artifacts unearthed overseas and imported to New York, investigators had said, but were, rather, phony specimens, mass-produced in a warren of offices just behind his showroom.

Mr. Sadigh pleaded guilty to seven felony counts that included charges of forgery and grand larceny. 

To read the complete article, see: 

Antiquities Dealer Admits Mass-Producing Fakes He Sold for Years


 Joseph Oliva Patenaude "JOP" Counterstamps 

Jeff Starck of Coin World published an article about a Canadian optometrist who placed his counterstamp on silver dollars for several years.

A silver enthusiast left his mark on Canadian coinage, leading to rarities in the silver dollar series.

The “JOP” countermarked silver dollars produced by Joseph Oliva Patenaude have become one of the most celebrated and collectable instances of “modified” Canadian coins today.

Patenaude was an optometrist and jeweler, born in Quebec in 1871 and educated in Chicago. After brief stops in Alaska and Spokane, he settled in Nelson, British Columbia, becoming a well-respected member of the community. He died in 1956 at the age of 85.

To read the complete article, see: 

Canadian silver dollars with an optometrist’s counterstamp


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