The E-Sylum v25n42 October 16, 2022

The E-Sylum esylum at
Sun Oct 16 19:00:16 PDT 2022

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

Volume 25, Number 42, October 16, 2022
** LARRY D. ADAMS (1947-2022) <#a10>
** LOOSE CHANGE: OCTOBER 16, 2022 <#a33>


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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.


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 three numismatic literature sales, five new books, an obituary, an update from the Newman Numismatic Portal, a 1792 half disme, and more.

Other topics this week include error half cents, Roman Provincial Coinage, J.S.G. Boggs, Ghandi, Ruth Gruber, Larry Adams, the Higgins National Bank Note Museum, The Casement, early numismatic photography, auction results and previews, and proto-money.

To learn more about the R.C.Lockett Collection, Portuguese African Paper Money, An Ordinance for the Establishment of the Mint of the United States of America, Paine's Remarks on the Early Paper Currency of Massachusetts,  Sylvester Sage Crosby's final resting place, numismatic NFTs, master patterns, North Carolina National Bank Notes, 
 The Widows Medal, and full steps Jefferson nickels, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren 
Editor, The E-Sylum





Stephen Album Rare Coins is holding their first numismatic literature auction on October 17, 2022. Here are some additional lot selections.


Lots 25 and 26

 Lot 25: Bernardi, Giulio, Primo tentativo di un corpus delle monete cufiche d’oro. I. 
Dagli inizi (65H = 684 D) all’avvento dei Buwayhidi (334 H = 946 D), Trieste, 2008, 254 pages, 70 plates, softcover. Title translates as "First attempt at a corpus of Kufic gold coins. I. From the beginnings (65AH = 684AD) to the coming of the Buwayhid (334AH = 946AD)." A very useful work, ex Libris Norman D. Nicol.

 Lot 26: Bitkin, Vladimir. Svodnyy katalog monet Imperatorskoy Rossii 
First Edition, Juno Coin Publishing, Kiev, 2000, 621 pages, hardcover. Title translates as "Consolidated Catalog of Coins of Imperial Russia." Variety catalog of Russian Imperial coins, lavishly illustrated, with rarity ratings, edge information, and valuations for up to 4 grades of preservation, with many extra notes and information, including occasional prices realized information. Russian text.


Lots 50 and 67

 Lot 50: Dù, Jianyi. Xinjiang hóng qián dàquán túshuo (Xinjiang Red Money Encyclopedia Illustrated) 
Edited by Gù Pèiyù, published by Zhonghua Book Company, Beijing, 1996, 437 pages, hardcover with dust jacket. Hundreds of rubbings of Xinjiang (Sinkiang) 'red cash' (hóng qián) copper cash coins from Qian Long to Xuan Tong including issues of the Islamists rebels during the Qing dynasty, text in Chinese, ex Dr. Allan Pacela Numismatic Library.

 Lot 67: Glendining & Co. The R.C.Lockett Collection, English Series parts I-V, Greek Series parts I-IV, Roma 
Roman, Continental, Scottish and Irish Coins, London, 1955, 7 softcover auction catalogs all hardcover bound together. Richard Cyril Lockett's (1873-1950) large and fine numismatic collection was sold at auction in the 1950s-1960s.


Lots 68 and 73

 Lot 68: Gnyatovich, Dragana. Dobri i Zli Dinar 
Yugoslovenski Pregled, Beograd, 1998, 151 pages, hardcover, in Serbian with English Summary and title translates as "Good and Evil Dinars." This is not a catalog but a study of the functions of money and the monetary system of medieval Serbia. The term "evil dinars" refers to underweight coins or coins of inferior al. There are a few nice illustrations of coins, medieval manuscripts, and woodcuts, ex James Farr Collection Library.

 Lot 73: Gumowski, Marian. Handbuch der polnischen Numismatik 
Akademische Druck- u. Verlagsanstalt, Graz, 1960, 226 pages, 56 plates, hardcover. Covers Polish coins from the earliest times.

To view the lot descriptions or bid, see: 

Stephen Album Rare Coins | Literature Auction 1 



To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 






Here are some additional selections from Alan Workman's latest numismatic literature sale, closing on October 22, 2022.


Selections from the Holland Wallace Library Part III

Workman's Books Fifth Sale and Part III of Selections from the library of long-time dealer, collector, and author, Holland Wallace has ONE WEEK LEFT! The 622 lots start closing at 10:00 AM on October 22, 2022 and include rare, vintage, and out-of-print numismatic books, auction sale catalogs, dealer fixed price lists, and numismatic journals with subject matter focusing on the United States, Canada, Mexico, Central & South America, Europe, Portugal, Spain, Spanish colonial, Islamic, and Asian numismatics. The selections for this sale include important works and sales by Album, Bailey, Breton, Bruns, Burzio, Calbeto, Calico, Cayon, Chapman, Christie's, Christensen, Douglas, Elder, Ferrari, Gadoury, Glendining, Grove, Leroux, Low, Medina, Ponterio, Pradeau, Pridmore, Prober, Schulman, Sellschopp, Sotheby's, Stack's, Superior, and many others. Accompanying the Wallace library is a sizeable consignment of books, catalogs, magazines, maps, and ephemera on shipwrecks, sunken treasu
 re, lost treasure, treasure hunting, lost mines, and treasure in the American West.

This bid sale is being held through the online venue iCollector, and all registrations, approvals, and bids will be handled there. For this bid sale the lots will be closing on a timed interval with extensions of 1 minute for any bids placed within 1 minute of closing. If you already have an iCollector account, you still must "GET APPROVED" to bid for each sale by entering and confirming your information for this bid sale, like reviewing your shipping information and choosing your preferred way of payment. Remember, tie bids go to the earliest bidders, so don't wait for the lots to close to bid on anything for which you have a strict number in mind.

With only ONE WEEK LEFT, don't delay registering for the bid sale, as any registration issues can certainly be accommodated more easily in advance. Do not wait to register on the last day. Registration and bidding online are always FREE (no extra fees or percentages for bidding online). Once you are registered and automatically approved, first be sure to bookmark the items that interest you.

Sale Order:

Session 1: (Lots 1 to 622)

Books: Lots 1-329

Auction Catalogs & FPLs: Lots 330-527

Numismatic Journals: Lots 528-591

Magazines: Lots 592-610

Maps: Lots 611-619

Shipwreck Memorabilia: Lot 620

Newspapers: Lot 621

Original Manuscripts: Lot 622


Some Featured Items

Lot 523 Swiss Bank Corporation: Coins of Peru

Lot 125 I. Bru: El Medio Duro - Espana Provincias de America e Imperio

Lot 491 Spink Coin Auctions: No. 52. Coins of Brazil

Lot 260 Sellschopp: Las Acunaciones de la Cecas de Lima, La Plata y Potosi, 1568-1651

Lot 41 Burzio: Diccionario De La Moneda Hispanoamericana

Lot 115 Heiss: Monedas Hispano-Cristianas

Lot 437 Renaissance: The Siegfried von Schuckmann Collection of Latin American Colonial 8 Reales

Lot 225 Proctor: The Forgotten Mint of Colonial Panama

Lot 224 Prober: Historia Numismatica de Guatemala (signed by author)

Lot 37 Burnett: Bolivian Proclamation Coinage

Lot 87 Ferrari: Bibliografia Argentina Numismatica y Medallistica

Lot 43 Calbeto de Grau: Compendio de las Piezas de Ocho Reales

Lot 248 Ross: From a Thankful Nation: Latin American Medals & Orders in the Robert L. Ross Collection

Lot 138 Lazaro: Los Redondos de Lima, Mejico y Potosi y otras acunaciones especiales

Lot 331 Bailey: Presenting The Don Bailey Collection of Maximilian Era Coins, Medals, Orders & Decorations

For more information, or to bid, see: 

Selections from the Holland Wallace Library Part III and other Consignments Sale 5



To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 




The Solidus Literature Auction 107 closes October 26, 2022.
Here are some selections.



With 423 lots, our literature auction offers an excellent opportunity to supplement one's own numismatic library. The focus is on special literature on Ancient Numismatics, supplemented by some works on General Numismatics. Among the books offered are some rarities as well as complete, multi-volume series, including standard reference works and rarely offered collections.


Lots 43 and 47

Lot 43:Alföldi, M.R.
Antike Numismatik. Teil I: Theorie und Praxis. Teil II: Bibliographie. Mainz 1978. XLVI, 218 S., 25 Tfn., 7 Karten; XXX, 114 S., 20 Tfn. 2 Bände. Pappband, Rücken bei Band 1 eingerissen.

Lot 47:
Anokhin, VA
The Coinage of the Chersonesus IV Century BC - XII Century AD (BAR International Series 69). Oxford 1980. In English, translated by H. Bartlett Wells. 182 p., 32 half-page tfn. Brocaded, spine slightly torn.


Lots 66 and 67

Lot 666:
Bani, S. / Benci, M. / Vanni, A.
I Medaglioni Romani del Monetiere del Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Firenze Vol. I. Firenze 2011. 191 S. mit zahlreichen Abb., 40 Tfn. Pappband.

Lot 67:
Banti, A.
Corpus Nummorum Romanorum Monetazione Repubblicana. Florenz 1980 - 1982. Vol. 1 Aburia to Atilia, 330 S.; Vol. 2 Aufidia to Calpurnia, 400 S.; Vol. 3 Canidia to Cornelia, 364 S.; Vol. 4 Comuficia to Gallia, 335 S.; Vol. 5 Gargilia to Mamilia, 325 S.; Vol. 6 Manlia to Oppia, 329 S.; Vol. 7 Papia to Quintilia, 317 S.; Vol. 8 Renia to Tullia, 325 S.; Vol. 9 Valeria to Volteia, 305 S. Jeweils mit zahlreichen Abb. 9 Bände. Ganzleinen mit Schutzumschlag.


Lots 76 and 82

Lot 76:
Berger, F.
The coins of the Roman Republic in the Kestner Museum in Hanover. Hanover 1989. 539 p. with numerous tfn. cardboard tape.

Lot 82:
Bland, R. / Burnett, A.
The Normanby Hoard and other Roman coin hoards. London 1988. 238 S., 40 Tfn. Ganzleinen mit Schutzumschlag.

For more information, or to bid, see: 

Literature Auction 107 on Auex

Literature Auction 107 on sixbid

Literature Auction 107 on biddr


To download a .pdf (without images), see:


Author Ed Fuhrman shared this information about his new volume on U.S. Half Cents errors and oddities. Thanks.  Great topic.

"The Half Cent Handbook - Errors and Oddities" 

It is the fourth book in a series I have written on U.S. Half Cents.

This book is over 180 pages and covers all types of Half Cent mint errors. Everything from minor planchet errors to major striking errors are covered in great detail. Examples of some of the most spectacular mint errors are shown. There are even some surprises in store as a number of these coins have never been seen before by the public. Each mint error is broken down by category and full explanations are given describing how each error occurs. There is even a new type of mint error that will make its debut in this book!

Everything is laid out in a clear and concise manner with full color photos. The book is hard cover, full color, smyth sewn binding, and top quality in every way. To my knowledge, this is the first book ever written and dedicated exclusively to the study of Half Cent mint errors. A must have for novice, advanced, and expert level collectors.


The books are only available directly from me, the author!
The books are $115 (shipping included)

Email the author directly to obtain copies: 

Guitarman68 at

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see: 











SPINK has published an e-book on Portuguese African Paper Money.

Portuguese African Paper Money of the Banco Nacional Ultramarino

Regular price £45.00

Laurence Pope with Parcídio Campos E Matos and Andrew Pattison

This meticulously researched and fully illustrated catalogue details all of the paper money of the Banco Nacional Ultramarino used in the five Portuguese African colonies of Angola, Cape Verde, Mozambique,  Portuguese Guinea and Saint Thomas & Prince, between 1865 and 1975.

Lavishly illustrated to include images of unique and ultra-rare notes obtained from museums and major private collections, it contains up-to-date pricing in three grades of condition and fills a major gap in the numismatic literature relating to this fascinating field of collecting.


For more information, or to order, see:

Portuguese African Paper Money






SPINK has also published a new volume in the Roman Provincial Coinage series. Here's the announcement.

Roman Provincial Coinage VII.2 Part I: 
>From Gordian I to Gordian III (AD 238–244)

Spink Books are delighted to announce the release of the  latest volume in this highly regarded series, cataloguing over 25,000 coins classified into 3,750 main varieties from the world’s principal collections, including the British Museum and Bibliothèque nationale de France.

This volume presents for the first time an authoritative and systematic account of the coins minted in the Roman provinces between AD 238 and 244 (except the province of Asia, previously covered in volume VII.1), and shows how these coins can be regarded as an integral part of the coinage minted under the Roman emperors. The book gives a complete picture of the material, thereby not only meeting the needs of numismatists but also providing an essential reference for historians, archaeologists and other students of the Roman empire.

Jerome Mairat is curator of the Heberden Coin Room in the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. He is director of Roman Provincial Coinage online and general editor of Roman Provincial Coinage.

Marguerite Spoerri Butcher is Research Fellow on the Coin Hoards of the Roman Empire project, based at the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford. She is also Associate Fellow of the University of Warwick and a scientific member of the Swiss School of Archaeology in Greece.

Contact Spink Books

books at

Visit our website




A new book has been published on the numismatics of Mahatma Gandhi.

Global Collectibles of Mahatma Gandhi: Through Banknotes, Coins & Stamps

Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi is a man with simple attire and great deeds. He was the face of Indian freedom struggle and leader of India during the post-independence period. Many revolutionary across the globe have followed the teaching of truth and non-violence to fight the colonization and slavery. The world respects and bows to his extra ordinary approach against oppression. In recent century, many countries and organisations have tried to commemorate and honour Mahatma through Stamps, Coins and Banknotes. In this book an amalgamation is created to compile all this token of honour and appreciation.

The book "Global Collectibles of Mahatma Gandhi Through Banknotes, Coins & Stamps" is an informative and valuable encyclopedia for all Mahatma Gandhi's admirers. It gives detailed information about the coins, banknotes, and stamps issued to commemorate Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi throughout the globe. It consists of the images and details of the miniature sheets and souvenir sheets issued on Bapu across the globe.

To celebrate the 75th Independence and be a part of ‘Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav’, Mintage World launched this book as a tribute to Mahatma Gandhi. Mintage World is the World’s 1st Online Museum for Ancient and Current Coins, Stamps, and Currency Notes.

Title: Global Collectibles of Mahatma Gandhi: Through Banknotes, Coins & Stamps

Author: Sushilkumar Agrawal

Format: Hardcover

Date published: 09.10.2022

Edition: 1st ed.

Publisher: Ultra Mintage World Ltd.

Language: English

ISBN: 9788195605002

Length: 188p., Plates, Illus.

For more information, or to order, see: 

Global Collectibles of Mahatma Gandhi: Through Banknotes, Coins & Stamps




And here's another new Indian publication on the punch-marked silver coins of the Godavari Valley.

Archaic Coinage of Godavari Valley and the Deccan

In this Volume, it presents us with a rare gift, the detailed and fascinating story of a Hitherto-poorly understood series of locak punch-marked silver coins, those of the godavari valley and neighboring regions.

This book encapsulates the outcome of a very large and very detailed study project into the many sources of this local PMC series, made available through official channels as well as by the very active numismatic fraternity of the Godavari Region. A number of chapters catch the eye, such as the exploration of the origins of the symbols struck on the coins, which dr Kulkarni Demonstates can be traced back to the megalithic culture.

Title: Archaic Coinage of Godavari Valley and the Deccan

Author: Dr Prashant Kulkarni

Format: Hardcover

Date published: 13.09.2022

Edition: 1st ed.

Publisher: IIRNS Publications

ISBN: 978935526685

Length: 440p.

For more information, or to order, see: 

Archaic Coinage of Godavari Valley and the Deccan




LARRY D. ADAMS (1947-2022)

Central States President Mitch Ernst notified us this week that Larry Adams (the curator of the Higgins National Bank note museum in Okoboji, IA) was killed in a car accident Monday morning.  He was 75.  Very sorry to hear the news.  Rick Hickman confirmed his first name and birth year.
Pete Smith kindly located this recent photo of him from the Iowa Great Lakes Rotary club. 


 Larry Adams, Curator at  The Higgins Museum of Money  

A nice number of Rotarians attended this week's meeting which was held in Okoboji at the Higgins Museum. Curator Larry Adams, was the  speaker.  He is originally from Boone  but has been a resident here since 2007. 
The museum has two Libraries and holds the largest collection of National Bank Notes on display anywhere. 

The Des Moines Register published a nice article.  Here's an excerpt.

When Larry Adams shared Boone County or presidential history with tourists or Iowa residents, he shared parts of himself, his friends said after the Boone County historian died in a car crash Monday near Granger.

Adams, 75, served as the director of the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace Museum from 1980 until his retirement in 2006. Adams outlived his father and brother, so he relied on a close group of friends in the central Iowa city of 12,500 residents for support. 


Larry Adams demonstrates a vintage telephone in the kitchen of Mamie Doud Eisenhower's birthplace.

“His life was this stuff,” said his friend of more than 30 years Mel Pins. “Larry was the nicest, most affable person anyone would want to be, but he was also probably one of the more eclectic, eccentric individuals you'd ever meet as well."

Adams grew up in Boone. His father Larry managed a local Fareway store and was on Fareway’s board of directors. Adams' brother Jon managed several Fareway stores in the area. Jon Adams died in 2005 at age 55.

“He really didn’t have a family,” Pins said. “His family was the care about the community.”

Neil Goeppinger, a Boone farm manager, met Adams drinking beer in the back of Duffy’s Appliance Store at 822 Story Street in Boone around 1977. At that time Adams worked as a private investigator. Adams lived in a second-floor apartment of a downtown Boone building owned by his family.

“He did not live high,” Goeppinger said. “He always dressed with a tie, always walked where he went.”

He collected so many documents and books in his apartment that people worried the floor may collapse, Goeppinger said.

“When you went up to his apartment you walked in corridors between stacks of periodicals,” Goeppinger said. “They were stacked on steps going up to his apartment."

In 1980 Adams became the curator and director at the Mamie Doud Eisenhower Birthplace Museum. The museum houses many artifacts from her life in her childhood home.

Adams struck up friendships with their grandson David Eisenhower and his wife Julie Nixon Eisenhower, daughter of former President Richard Nixon.

“He just loved history,” Goeppinger said. “He knew everything there was to know about the Eisenhower family.”

During summers after his 2006 retirement from the Doud Eisenhower Museum, Adams served as the curator of the Higgins Museum of National Bank Notes in Okoboji. The museum preserves and displays banknotes, which were legal currency printed and issued by banks.

“That was Larry Adams,” Pins said with a laugh. “He knew a whole lot of stuff about a whole lot of things that were fascinating, but most people probably didn’t care."

To read the complete article, see: 

Friends remember longtime Mamie Doud Eisenhower Museum director's love of history



Peter Huntoon passed along the above photo of Adams at the Iowa Numismatic Convention, October 12-13, 1973 when he was 26 years old.  Benny Bolin penned the below notice for the Society of Paper Money Collectors (SPMC).

We were very saddened as a Society to hear of the recent passing of Larry Adams. Mr. Adams of
Boone, IA was member number 2278, having joined in 1967. He started collecting stamps in
1955 and then coins in 1960 and moved to paper money in the mid-1960s. At the time of his
death, he was the curator of the Higgins Museum in Okoboji, IA and was curator and director of
the Mamie Doud Eisenhower museum in Boone. He served the Society in many different roles.

He was on the Board of Governors from 1976-1984; Vice-President from 1979-1983 and
President from 1983-1987. He also served as awards chair from 1976-1979 and publicity chair
from 1979-1983 and 1987-1988. He published 30+ articles in Paper Money and in 1985 he
recruited 49 new members for which he was awarded the Vice-President’s Recruitment Award.
He joined the ANA in 1965 and was a co-founder of the Check Collectors Round Table (now the
American Society of Check Collectors).

Mark Anderson writes:

"Larry was indeed a long term fixture in the US paper money world, and basically lived on premises in Okoboji during the Higgins Museum’s annual Memorial Day to Labor Day season. Truly a one man band, opening, closing, caretaking, curating, tourguiding, and handling so much of the day to day activity at Higgins. 

"I did not know him well personally. He had already been SPMC President at the time I started to become involved with the Society, so most of my exposure was in his role at the Museum. And that role was perfect for Larry. He enjoyed the museum and the people it attracted. He understood serious, sophisticated collectors and what they were about, particularly those who had made “the great Hejira to National Bank Note Mecca.” He also understood first time visitors without any serious grounding in bank history, collecting, or the National Banking Act.

"A very nice guy, eager to accommodate. The Museum will not be the same without him, and he will be much missed. "

Thanks, everyone!

To read the  Rotary article, see: 

August 9, Meeting at HIggins Museum of Money 



American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this 
updated biography based on these and other sources.  


Larry Don Adams (1947-2022)


By coincidence, this week Len Augsburger was processing a box of Eric Newman papers this week for the Newman Portal and came across this c2005 brochure on the Higgins Museum. Thanks.



For more information on the Higgins Museum, see:





The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is The Casement. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report.

Newman Portal Adds The Casement 

Produced by the Associated Collectors of Encased (ACE) from 1995-2003, The Casement documented the efforts of collectors searching for encased coins, tokens, and medals. Encased coins are in some ways 20th century analogs of 19th century counterstamped coins, often serving in advertising or promotional capacities. These also took the shape of commemorative issues, such as an encased 1921 Morgan dollar produced by Consolidated Foods Corporation as a 25th anniversary piece in 1964. The Casement included lists of encased issues (typically on a state-by-state basis), examples for auction, and notices of club meetings. Newman Portal acknowledges Bruce Perdue for his assistance with this title.

Link to The Casement on Newman Portal:

Here I thought I knew just about every U.S. specialty club periodical.  But I'd never heard of this organization or publication.  Thanks!




ANA and ANS life member 
Rob Luton passed along this lot from an upcoming Bonham's New York sale.  Thanks!  It generated some additional investigation into the coin framed alongside the document.


CONTINENTAL CONGRESS BOARD OF TREASURY. An Ordinance for the Establishment of the Mint of the United States of America; and for Regulating the Value and Alloy of Coin. [New York: 1786.]

Printed broadside, bifolium leaf, 324 x 190 mm. Framed with small coin.

Rare broadside announcing the establishment of the United States Mint. The act, dated October 16, 1786, declares that establishes the offices of Assay Master to certify value, Master Coiner "to execute the business of coinage," and Paymaster "who shall be the Treasurer of the United States for the time being."

The Articles of Confederation granted states the right to mint their own coinage, which undermined the new nation's financial abilities. Alexander Hamilton's vision to rescue the young country's finances included establishing public credit and a national bank—and establishing a national mint. In the fall of 1786 the Board of Treasury submitted the present ordinance to Congress, where it was immediately approved. However, Hamilton could not complete the project until 1792, during his term as Secretary of the Treasury, when Congress passed the Coinage Act—establishing both the mint and the U.S. Dollar.

Most bibliographers assume this broadside was printed in New York during the brief period (1785-1790) when the U.S. Capitol was located there, though there is some question whether it might not have been printed at John Dunlap's press in Philadelphia. Evans 20074; Sabin 57509; Streeter Sale 1042.

Rob adds:

"In the lot description it only includes "Framed with small coin." in reference to the framed coin that accompanies the famous document.  Upon initial inspection it appears to be none other than a relatively rare 1792 half disme.  While it can't be confirmed without closer inspection, it would seem that the value of the small coin may be equal to that of its neighboring artifact."

Important document, and great for any numismatic library. As for the coin, since everything is in a frame, Bonham's only photographed the displayed side of the coin.  Here's an enlargement.


I reached out to Pete Smith, co-author of the book 1792: Birth of a Nation's Coinage, the definitive study of the regular issue and pattern coinage of 1792. I also contacted Bonhams, asking for a photo of the reverse and the weight of the coin, to help determine whether it's a known reproduction.  

Bonhams Fine Books and Manuscripts Junior Specialist Tim Tezer  writes:

"The coin, as it turned out, is a  1792 half-disme slabbed and graded VF 35 by NGC.  Because it was mounted in the frame, there is adhesive on the back that partially obscures the view of the reverse, so getting a photo may not be possible."

Tim initially provided these photos of the front of the slab.  The certification number is 551258-001.


Tim added:

"The adhesive has not been kind to the plastic on the back of the slab.  I fear the buyer may have to consider having it re-slabbed.  I am attaching fresh photos of the obverse and reverse (what we book geeks like to call the recto and verso)."


I cropped the slab images to get closer looks at both sides of the coin.


Bonhams revised the lot description thusly.  

Saleroom notices
The coin included with this lot is a 1792 half disme, the first coin issued as United States coinage in 1792. It is slabbed and graded by NGC as VF 35 condition. The estimate for this lot should read $20,000 to $30,000.

Here are Pete Smith's comments on the coin.

Wayne alerted me to this item on Monday, October 10. My quick reaction was that it was a
replica and didn’t look right. I compared this to the known fakes illustrated in 1792: Birth of a
Nation’s Coinage. It did not match any known fake or any genuine coin in the census.

On Tuesday morning I sent Wayne my reaction for publication in The E-Sylum. I declared that it
was a copy and that the lettering was too thick. Later in the day Wayne informed me that it was
in an NGC holder as a VF-35. That made my original opinion look very foolish. I asked Wayne
if he could get the certification number.

On Wednesday, I got the number, 551258-001. That is a valid number verified by NGC. I also
got a better photo for the obverse. I made a composite of the October 12 photo next to the October 11
photo. I was amazed at the different appearance on two photos of the same coin. The thickness of
the letters on the October 12 photo looked right for a legitimate coin.


On Thursday, October 13, I got a new set of photos including the back. The image quality was
very poor. Again, I tried to match that to a coin in the census. There were coins that were similar
but I couldn’t find diagnostic marks for a match.

Eventually I realized that I had another resource. We had gotten a list of NGC certification
numbers for 1792 half dismes prior to publication. Cert number 551258-001 was issued on July
31, 1998. Thus, it could not be any coin with a different number sold since then. The coin was
not previously in the census and brings the number known up to 192. Actually, there are still
other pieces known but we have not seen photos to establish unique identifications.

Initially I told Wayne that I thought staff at the auction company would know what the coin was
and their brief comment showed that it had no value. A comment on Wednesday indicated that
the cataloguer ran out of time to check.

A 1792 half disme in an NGC VF-35 holder realized $92,000 in 2008. [Heritage 9/18/2008, lot
1555] The initial estimate from the auction company for the document was $10,000 to $20,000.
They have now raised that to $20,000 to $30,000.

What owner would consign a coin worth $90,000 for an auction with an estimate of $10,000?
One possibility is that the consignor is an heir with no understanding of the value. It is a
reminder that we should all let our heirs know the value of our holdings.

I will be very interested to see the result of the sale.

Me, too!  I shared this article with Pete's co-author Joel Orosz who added these notes about the historical context of the document.  

It reads as if Alexander Hamilton was involved with the Congress of the Confederation’s Mint Ordinance of 1786.  He was not, and didn’t put his ideas on the Mint comprehensively into writing until his famous Report on the Establishment of a Mint some five years later.

The description also says that “Hamilton could not complete the project until 1792.”  The only things wrong with this statement are:

1.  Hamilton did not at any time work on the 1786 Mint Ordinance, or its failed implementation.

2.  The Mint Act of 1792 was passed by a new Congress, created by the new Constitution,  which completely superseded the old 1786 Mint Ordinance.

3. Hamilton did very little to establish the Mint beyond writing his famous report in 1791. Thomas Jefferson took the lead on the Mint’s establishment, and Washington formalized the structure in October 1792, in which  the Mint Director reported to the Secretary of State.

This is a neat framed collection, but it conflates two very different historical events. The Ordinance headline and broadside belong to the Confederation  in 1786.  Washington, Jefferson, and the half disme belong to the Constitution in 1792. 

Thanks, everyone! Two great pieces of history in one nice frame.

To read the complete lot description, see: 





Gary Greenbaum submitted this detailed discussion of British coins issued within a year of the monarch assuming the throne.  Thank you!  I added an image of an 1820 Anchor Money coin from Museums Victoria.


One of your correspondents mentions the 1820 half crown as the last time a British monarch appeared on a coin dated in the year of accession. Let me offer a little further information.

The half crown (two shillings and sixpence, or an eighth of a pound) was not struck in the first 56 years of George III’s reign, when little silver was issued, but with the Great Recoinage of 1816, it appeared again. It was apparently quite popular at the time: Almost 16 million were struck  between 1816 and 1819. Nearly 32 million shillings were struck over the same span, and the sixpence was also heavily struck, but the greatest amount of silver was used for half crowns. Only about 800,000 crowns were struck in the same period. The half crown was therefore the largest silver coin with wide circulation. It was also close in size and value to the three-shilling token issued by the Bank of England between 1811 and 1816 because of the coin shortage.

King George III died on January 20, 1820. The Royal Mint kept working with whatever dies it had as Benedetto Pistrucci and others began preparations for the new reign’s coinage. Silver shillings and sixpences were struck with George III’s head, as were the Maundy denominations of one through four pence.

Except possibly with an 1819 date (the using up of old dies in a later year was not unknown in an era when dies required considerable labor), no George III half crowns were struck in 1820. Howard Linecar’s “British Coin Designs and Designers” (p. 97) tells us “By September 1820 the design of the Half Crown of that year was ready for consideration, Pistrucci being responsible for the obverse, so much objected to by George IV, and Merlen for the reverse.” We find in "Annals Of The Coinage Of Great Britain And Its Dependencies”, Volume 2, by Rogers Ruding (1840 edition, available on Google Books) the following entry under 1820:

"October 10. A half-crown was executed by an order in council of this date. The obverse by Pistrucci, has the head of the king, with the inscription GEORGIUS. IIII. D. G. BRITANNIAR. REX. F.D. The reverse by [Jean-Baptiste] Merlen, bears the arms of the United Kingdom, surmounted by the royal crown,—the rose, thistle, and shamrock being placed round the shield, with the word ANNO, and the date of the year.”

No matching entry for the other silver coins appears until February 23, 1821.

On October 20, 1820, George IV issued a proclamation (printed in the following day’s London Gazette) reciting the authority for issuing the coins, describing them, and stating that the issue "has been delivered from Our Mint to the Bank of England, and will be issued therefrom for the use of Our subjects” and that the new half crown be “current and lawful money of Our Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland, and shall pass and be received as current and lawful money of Our said Kingdom, that is to say, such half crown pieces as of the value of two shillings and sixpence in all payments and transactions of money.”

These were not the first George IV coins struck by the Royal Mint: Ruding tells us that in April, coins were authorized for Mauritius. These, known as “Anchor Money”, bear George IV’s name and titles but not his portrait.

The question is, why were the 1820 half crowns struck? I don’t find a written answer but most likely because commerce would not wait until 1821 for these important coins to be issued.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 





David Fanning provided these comments and images on early numismatic photography.  -Editor


Paine and d’Angers

"In last week’s E-Sylum, Pete Smith described Sylvester Crosby’s 1875 Early Coins of America as being the first photographically illustrated numismatic book to be published. This is incorrect. Even if we use 1873 as the date of Crosby’s book (as that is when the first fascicule was published), there are a few numismatic books illustrated photographically from before then:

1866: Nathaniel Paine, Remarks on the Early Paper Currency of Massachusetts

1867: Robert David d’Angers, Les médaillons de David d’Angers

1869: Charles Clay, Currency of the Isle of Man

1871: Alfred Sandham, Medals Commemorative of the Visit of H.R.H. the Prince of Wales to Montreal

1872: Alfred Sandham, McGill College and Its Medals


Clay and Sandham McGill

"This is not including things like Naramore’s Photographic National Bank Note Detector (1866) or things like proceedings volumes (the 1864 volume of the Proceedings of the Manchester Numismatic Society is the earliest I know of). 

"I am currently working on a survey of early numismatic photography, and hope to complete it in the next few months (though it may not be published for a while after that)."


Sandham Prince of Wales

 I was thinking only of U.S. books, but I wasn't aware of the others and had forgotten about Paine.   However, Pete did say "coin book", not "numismatic book," and these photos are of medals and paper money. So Crosby's Early Coins of America was "the first coin book illustrated with photos." 

We'll look forward to your survey!

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 





 Sylvester Sage Crosby's Resting Place 
Mark Vitunic writes:

"After reading in last week's E-Sylum Pete Smith's article on S.S. Crosby that Crosby is buried in "Monroe Cemetery in Lexington, Massachusetts" I realized "Wow, there's a Munroe Cemetery ("u" not "o") like one mile from my house!".  Adding more to the confusion, Crosby's grave is curiously not listed in the directories at nor on the town website. Today being a beautiful fall day warranted a walk-through just to find out for sure - and I located it. Crosby is buried with his 2nd wife right next to the grave of his pre-deceased first wife, who is the only one listed in any directory."


Wow - thank you! Great photo.  Nice to see the marker is in good shape.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 




 On "Sleepers" in Large Auction Lots 
Gil Parsons writes:

"In response to your question about the Peter Tillou sale, I, like Hedley Betts, purchased only one lot of numismatic books and one lot of medals.  I do not fully understand why some of the lots went as high as they did, but the results illustrated both the problems and the potential  of sales of  this sort.  Unless one is present it is difficult to consider "job lots", which almost inevitably contain "sleepers" when the auction house is of a general, rather than specialist type.  I only wanted a small part of the lots I bought, but scored in realizing that the most worthy medal was one not even mentioned in the catalog!  

"With regard to the profusion of general books on offer, what is one to make of descriptions like "fifteen leather bound books on history" or some such when the catalog cites only one or two titles?  Unsurprisingly, of the books, I bid on little and bought nothing.

"As a minor sidelight, I exhibited with the Tillous on multiple occasions at a rather fine provincial show in Connecticut.  The business continues and features the very finest of early American furniture and arts.  Were I possessed of a house and setting appropriate to such pieces there would be imminent danger of extreme damage to the exchequer!!"

Thank you.  I've rarely purchased bulk lots, unless you count the times I've purchased whole libraries.  There are often surprises within, and usually pleasant ones.

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see: 



NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: OCTOBER 9, 2022 : Bidding in the Peter Tillou Sale


 Altered Fractional Currency Portrait
Michael Merrill writes:

"Perhaps of interest as an artful currency alteration, young man/old man, like some of us aging coin dealers."


Cool.  I can't decide if he looks more like Larry Adams or Mike Markowitz.

 On Dent's Run Gold Tales 
Tom DeLorey writes:

"I hope that the PAN attendees slap their knees and have fun at the Dent's Run Gold fandango during their Civil War Money & Memorabilia Exposition. That hog laundromat is one of the least credible of many a story made up over the years to sell treasure hunting magazines.

"This one is part of the genre wherein vast treasures were lost whilst being transported in wooden wagons.... decades after any such freight would have automatically been moved by train. Most versions of the story do not say where the gold was coming from, though some say that it was mined in Ohio, which is not exactly known for its gold mining output. Most versions say that the gold was intended to pay Union soldiers, though how you could do that with large gold bars nobody ever says."

The speakers will "share some local lore about the Treasure..."
Facts are something else entirely, and in short supply regarding any local lore or conspiracy theory.  "Why don't you ever see a hippopotamus hiding in a tree?"  "Because they're really GOOD at it!"

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



 Collection Display Trays 
Jeff Rock writes:

"In the Aug 21 issue, Ron Guth's video on the 1942 ANS exhibition of Massachusetts silver was most interesting.  Eons ago I had asked Richard Doty about it when he was curator (and it was still at 155th Street!), but he couldn't locate any information.  The reason for my interest was that I own T. James Clarke's original display trays for his coins in that exhibit - complete with the printed information on the first tray!  One of those weird things that collectors seem to acquire and hang on to, even though they will never be used and take up space on the shelves! 

"The individual coin boxes from his company didn't come with this group, and the coins would likely have stayed in those until they were sold.  There are four trays in the group, two with the black waxy paper still there, one with the underlying cotton felt, and one just blank.  I also find I have a couple of Colonel Green's storage cases, and some of the original wooden boxes that Virgil Brand's US Coin Co. stored their inventory in...and I am sure there are other things lurking on the shelves too!"





Cool. Thanks.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



 Coin Collector QEII Commemorative Issue 

Matthew Hill of Warners Group Publications reminds us that the next issue of Coin Collector will be a special commemorative issue following the passing of Queen Elizabeth II.

Queen Elizabeth II: 1926 - 2022 • Commemorative issue

Following the sad news of the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, issue 17 of Coin Collector will be a special commemorative issue, reflecting on her remarkable reign and the many thousands of coins issued since 1952.

Solely dedicated to the ‘Elizabethan coin era’, the souvenir magazine will chart the story of QEII coins and banknotes, and reflect on the new coins of King Charles III.

Plus, expert collecting guides including:

A beginner's guide to groats
Coins of the Commonwealth - the coin history of Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and more
The first Irish coin? The origins of Irish coinage explored
Price guide to Queen Victoria 'Bun Penny'

For more information, or to order, see: 

Coin Collector, QEII Commemorative Issue


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


J.S.G. Boggs Lives!  My old friend Money Artist J.S. G. Boggs is active again from beyond the grave.  His estate is  launching an NFT project -  non-fungible tokens confirming ownership of unique electronic artworks together with limited edition physical prints and a receipt recording the transaction.  Boggs would be delighted with the concept.  As this press release notes, his philosophical explorations of the nature of money and value led him to the emerging world of electronic money, and many today consider him an intellectual Founding Father of today's cryptocurrencies.

As noted in earlier E-Sylum articles, the artist Damien Hirst's NFT project "The Currency" gave buyers the option of receiving an NFT or a physical artwork.  Collectors came in with a 50-50 split decision.  With this  Boggs project, collectors receive both.  As a longtime Boggs collector I'll attempt to add one of more of these offerings to my collection.  Good luck to readers who participate in the sales.  

Marking the 5th anniversary of the artist’s death, the Estate of J.S.G. Boggs and
laCollection are launching the first NFT project continuing Boggs’ legacy of
experimenting with the fundamental value of money



The Estate of J.S.G. Boggs and laCollection are proud to announce the exhibition “J.S.G. Boggs: Money
Talks” consisting of 5 limited digital editions based on original currency artworks by J.S.G. Boggs.
Featuring European and US currency, the sale will launch with 50 editions of an iconic British £50 note
similar to the works shown in the London exhibition that led to Boggs’ arrest and subsequent acquittal
for forgery. The note features a beautiful hand-drawn portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II as a
young woman.

Deemed by some the “Patron Saint of Cryptocurrency,” the late J.S.G. Boggs was a bold, provocative
artist who questioned the value of money as an object. Famous for using his own hand-drawn bank
notes in everyday transactions, Boggs was also visionary in his early exploration of digital currency. As
early as the 1990's, Boggs advised the creators of an "encrypted on-line currency," prompting many to
regard him as a philosophical forefather of Bitcoin. He also famously took on the Bank of England and
won in a case that led to all their future banknotes adopting a ‘copyright’ logo. To mark the 5th
anniversary of the artist’s death, the Estate of J.S.G. Boggs is launching the first NFT project that
continues Boggs’ legacy of experimenting with values of exchange and challenging the very
fundamentals of money.

“It’s all an act of faith. Nobody knows what a dollar is, what the word means, what holds the thing
up, what it stands in for.” —from Boggs: A Comedy of Values (1999) by Lawrence Weschler

In addition to their NFT, collectors will receive a limited edition printed bank note and a personalised
J.S.G. Boggs 3.0 receipt issued by the Estate. The receipt honours the pivotal role of transactions in
the artist’s process and how it currently manifests in Web3.

Other benefits will include an exclusive online private viewing of several treasures in the archive by the
Estate Curator and close friend of the artist, Craig Whitford. They also include a Q&A session with Craig
and the Estate’s Advisor and NFT aficionado, Jeff Koyen. Collectors will be granted access to rare
artworks by J.S.G. Boggs and will enter the behind-the-scenes of the Estate.

“J.S.G. Boggs: Money Talks” is part of a larger exploration of “Art & Currency” on the laCollection
platform and will be shown alongside a group show of contemporary crypto artists on view from
October 24th, 2022. For decades, artists have conceptually challenged the idea of money, interpreting
what it means for society and for humanity as a whole. This has been especially prevalent in the past
70 years with the rise of consumerism and now cryptocurrencies. “Art & Currency” presents a dialog
between key historical artworks including J.S.G. Boggs’ and newly created crypto-art including
Obvious, and others to understand the theme’s continuity in art history.

 Jean-Sébastien Beaucamps, CEO and Co-Founder of, says: 

“We’re excited to launch our first artist’s estate partnership. We believe NFTs are an incredible way
for estates to share with a global audience the richness of their archives and develop knowledge
about the artist. Proceeds from NFT sales will enable estates to finance conservation and research

“As early as the 1990’s, Boggs already advised the creators of an ‘encrypted digital currency’. It
seems only fitting to create NFTs of his artworks.”

 Edward Keebler, Estate Director, says: 

“We are both honoured and thrilled to partner with laCollection on this debut edition of digital works.
Under the careful guidance of our historian and archivist, Craig A. Whitford, laCollection has produced
a series of NFTs that honour Boggs’s legacy while also placing his work squarely in the world of
cryptocurrency, blockchain art and tokenized assets — right where it belongs.

“Working with La Collection’s team has been exciting and enormously educational, and we’re grateful
for this opportunity.

“Proceeds from this sale will be used by the Estate to further preserve J.S.G. Boggs’s lifetime of art,
with the ultimate goal of making these archives available to the public.”


NFT - J.S.G. Boggs, $5000 (Five Thousand Dollars) with Self-Portrait, 2001, digital artwork, 6.6 x 15.6 cm © 2022 JSG Boggs Art,


NFT - J.S.G. Boggs, 100 F (One Hundred French Francs), 1989, colored pencil on paper, 41.9 x 76.8 cm © 2022 JSG Boggs Art, LLC


J.S.G. Boggs: Money Talks (2022)

Project by

In partnership with the Estate of J.S.G. Boggs

The NFT collection will be made available on beginning on October 17th, with one new
bank note added to the sale each week. The sale begins with the £50 (Fifty Pound Note), 1990;
followed by 100 ₣ (One Hundred French Francs), 1989; 100 CHF (One Hundred Swiss Francs), 1988;
€1 (One Euro) with Self-Portrait, 2002; and $5000 (Five Thousand Dollars) with Self-Portrait, 2001.


About J.S.G. Boggs

James Stephen George Boggs (1955-2017), commonly known as J.S.G. Boggs — or simply “Boggs” to his
friends — was an American artist renowned for his renderings of currency that, as works of art, became more
valuable than the actual bills they represented. Decades ahead of his time, Boggs the prankster and
provocateur gleefully challenged the government’s authority to dictate what forms of money were valid as legal
tender. Though he acknowledged the government’s right to issue fiat, he questioned the political and
philosophical bases of its monopoly. Until his death in 2017, Boggs travelled the world drawing local banknotes
— “Boggs Bills” — and exchanging them in what he called “Transactions.”

 The artist was always clear that
these were not counterfeits, but rather works of art with a proposed face value. A complete Transaction
included the original artwork, a receipt for the goods purchased, whatever change Boggs received, and, in
several instances, the items purchased. Typically, it was a gallery owner who (working on a tip from the artist
himself) tracked down the various components and collected them into a completed transaction. Today,
Boggs’s Transactions are held by museums and private collectors around the world.

About offers collectors new ways to discover, experience and own exceptional art on the
blockchain from the world’s best museums, and leading digital artists. Each NFT is authenticated,
approved by the relevant museum, gallery or artist, and secured on the blockchain. Collectors will be
able to create their own cross-museum galleries of digital art, forging a new community of people with
a passion for art and innovation. has joined forces with sustainable forestry tech
company to launch a 60-year nature-based climate-positive plan., and tracks its
carbon footprint with Green Element, a B-Corp climate and sustainability audit firm offering net-zero
solutions to major international brands, in alignment with the STBi criteria (Science Target Based
Initiative) as defined by the United Nations.

About the Estate of J.S.G. Boggs

When JSG Boggs passed away in 2017 he left no descendants, thus the responsibility to protect,
preserve and extend his legacy fell to members of his family. It is a task that they have taken up with
great pride.

In the past five years, the Estate has worked tirelessly to collect, catalogue and preserve Boggs’s
enormous body of work, which spanned several continents, formats and media. Digging deep into
basements and storage units, they have rescued thousands of works — many, long-forgotten. They
found youthful drawings that reveal Boggs’ early obsession with numbers; enormous works that once
toured the U.S.; and hard drives that may still hold original Photoshop files of artworks. With luck, they
may even learn more about the “encrypted online currency” that presciently occupied Boggs in the
late 90s long before it became a technological reality.
In the words of the Estate’s Director, Edward Keebler, their work has only just begun.

To view the Boggs collection on and order, see: 




Estate of J.S.G. Boggs:


Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. 

 Master Pattern. 
A working copy of a coin or medal model, in hard material from which hubs or dies will be made. A master pattern in metal is made from the artist’s original model (usually plaster) – it must be the exact same diameter as the model with the same height of relief. After the original model has been edited, all final touchup completed on the model, and all approvals obtained, the plaster bas-relief model is then cast into some permanent hard form. This can be a foundry cast in bronze or other metal, or more often, an electrogalvanic cast in copper. The later would be a galvano that would be either positive (being a hubshell) or negative (being a dieshell). If a less permanent form is required it can be made of epoxy.

This master pattern then could be used to make one or more hubs or dies by pantographic reduction; a hub would be cut from a hubshell, or a die from a dieshell. The master pattern would then be sent to storage should it be needed for cutting hubs or dies in the future. The advantage of the master pattern is that any number of hubs or dies can be made from it, and, of course, in several sizes if so required. Also it provides a permanent repository of the original three-dimensional design. There are instances of a century old electrogalvanic pattern being used to make a new medallic item on its centennial. The British term is former.  See electroform, electroforming.

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

Master Pattern



Here's the schedule of talks at the Civil War Money & Memorabilia Showcase at next week's Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN) show.




Three Days... EIGHT PROGRAMS and multiple EXHIBITS Featuring
Storytellers/Authors and Living History Characters “President Abe Lincoln”
and “General William T. Sherman”

Hosted jointly by two non-profit organizations, the Pennsylvania
Association of Numismatists Foundation (501c3) and No Small Change
Programs, are offering EIGHT CIVIL WAR MONEY Stories along with
Displays & Exhibits. See complete show schedule at

Suitable for all ages and the “casually curious.” Presentations include
Intrigue (the Dents Run Lost Union Gold), Conjecture (What Money Was
In Your Pockets, President Lincoln?), Personalities (Banker Before the
War: William T. Sherman’s Gold Rush Days & Treasury Girls) and
Memorabilia: (Confederate Currency, WRC and GAR Medals).


When: October 20, 21 and 22 – Storyteller Schedule below

Location: Monroeville Convention Center, 209 Mall Blvd, Monroeville PA

Cost: There is no cost to attend

Parking/Accessibility: Parking is free and the facility is fully accessible.


1:00 PM “ Sumptuous Southern Stories of Missing Confederate Money”

2:00 PM “Confiscated Confederate Currency and CSA Note Signers”

2:30 PM “Money Mysteries: Update on Union Gold Lost in 1863 at Dents
Run, PA”

3:00 PM “William T. Sherman and the SS Central America Gold: Uncle
Billy Was a Banker”


11:00 AM “Civil War Medals and Memorabilia: GAR, WRC, Sanitary Fairs”


10:30 AM “William T. Sherman and the SS Central America Gold: Uncle
Billy Was a Banker”

11:00 AM “Civil War’s Loyal Women: Treasury Girls North & South

12:00 NOON: “Money Matters of the Civil War: Interviews with “President
Lincoln” and “General William T. Sherman”

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 






John Albanese is changing the coin business yet again - his fourth-party grader Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC) is transforming to become a third-party grader in direct competition with NGC and PCGS.

In a coin sale between you and me, we are the first and second parties to the transaction.  Ask someone else to grade the coin?  That's a third-party grader.  When CAC first came along, their business model was to review grades assigned by third-party graders (the slabbing companies) and add their seal of approval "CAC sticker" to slabs they felt passed muster - a fourth-party grader.

John Feigenbaum of CDN Publishing interviewed Albanese about the switch.  Here's a Greysheet article excerpt.

The transition is a huge leap from their formal business model of adding stickers to PCGS and NGC certified coins. But it is also huge news reverberating in the coin industry. It is true there are multiple third party authentication and grading companies, but they have far and away been led by the two dominant services... until now. 

For the first time since 1987 a major player has entered the coin certification business. As someone who played a large role in the creation of both PCGS and NGC, John Albanese may well be the only person who could launch a new service into this market with the credibility needed to take an important position overnight.

There are many questions to be asked and Albanese pledges to do so in the coming months, via a dedicated message board on the CAC web site. 

In the meantime, CDN President, John Feigenbaum, asked a lot of them and in an exclusive conversation with Mr. Albanese earlier this week.

Here's an excerpt from the CAC press release.

There have been many rumors swirling about the possibility of CAC becoming a traditional grading service and I believe it is time to address them. Technically speaking, the transaction has not been completed yet. However, I am extremely confident that the transaction will close by the end of 2022. If everything goes according to plan, we anticipate a “soft opening“ in the first quarter of 2023. The new company, CAC Grading, will have the same logo and will be located in a 29,000 square ft. facility in Virginia Beach.

We will keep our Bedminster, NJ office for stickering and customer service. Your CAC member number will remain the same but there will be a new application and submitter agreement as it will be a different corporation. We will also be adding approximately 100 new partners, many you are familiar with. I will be heavily involved as the president and CEO, signing a 10-year contract and spending at least one week per month in Virginia Beach until our team of 3 world class graders morphs into an interchangeable unit. In addition, I will be available 24/7 for tiebreakers if our team can’t come to a consensus.

We’ve already spent weeks collaborating with our grading team and I’m happy to report that we have slight differences of opinion in less than 2% of the coins. CAC stickering will continue through 2023, but our goal is to drastically reduce demand with a new pricing structure. 

To watch the video interview, see: 

Exclusive Interview with John Albanese on CAC Grading Launch * Oct 2022


To read the complete article, see: 

CAC Makes Formal Announcement about Switch to Grading Company. Exclusive interview with John Albanese




Here are some results from the recent Stephen Album Rare Coins Auction 44. 

Stephen Album Rare Coins held its Auction 44 on September 15-18, 2022, at its offices in Santa Rosa,
California. The prices realized continue the trend of the firm’s successful 2022 auctions, coming in at a
strong $2.2 million (including buyer’s fees) with a sell-through rate of 95.2%. Many items sold for well in
excess of their estimates, including some world record results. The Joe Sedillot Collection of World
Coins, Part III was instrumental in achieving these results.

A selection of highlights follows (prices include buyer’s fees):


CHINA: LOT 945: FUKIEN: Tao Kuang, 1820-1850, AR dollar, ND (1844), Kann-5, L&M-290, Changchow
Military Ration issue, character tong with open head variety, with single Chinese chopmark as usual for
this rare type, NGC graded AU details, RRR
Realized $45,000


INDIA: LOT 730: MUGHAL: Jahangir, 1605-1628, AR rupee (11.44g), Mandu, AH1026 year 12, KM-
149.19, "fath-e dekkan" ("victory over the Deccan") commemorative, with the special couplet that
translates as "the coin of the victory over the Deccan, struck at Mandu by the Shah of the Land and the
Sea // the emperor of the time, Shah Jahangir, son of Shah Akbar"; wonderful example, without any
testmarks, bold strike, NGC graded AU55, RRR
Realized $33,600


CHINA: LOT 978: KIRIN: Kuang Hsu, 1875-1908, AR dollar, CD1905, Y-183a.3, L& M-558, an attractive
lustrous example! PCGS graded MS61
Realized $33,600


WORLD: LOT 1090: IRAN: Nasir al-Din Shah, 1848-1896, AR 5000 dinars (22.85g), AH1294, Kian-90,
Opening of the New Tehran Mint Commemorative, with dies engraved by Franz Pechan (FP), an official
from the Vienna mint, PCGS graded SP-58, RRR, ex Durham Collection, #755
Realized $14,400


INDIA: LOT 342: FATIMID: al-Mansur, 946-953, AV 1/4 dinar (1.03g), Madinat Nabl, AH342, A-695, Nicol-
204, month of al-Muharram; exceedingly rare mint, now called Nabeul in north-eastern Tunisia (ancient
Greek city founded in the 5th century BC as Neapolis, "new city"), coastal port closest to Sicily, appealing
Realized $11,400

ETHNOGRAPHIC: LOT 1705: MICRONESIA: Yap, rai stone money (12010g), ca. 1871-1931, Opitz p.316-
321, Opitz (2011) p.533 (plate example), 34 x 28.5 x 9cm (13.4" x 11.2" x 3.5", 26.48 lbs.), made from
crystalline calcite (aragonite per Opitz), holed in the center, a very nice example of this famous
ethnographic currency, VF, RR, ex Charles Opitz Collection
Realized $9,000


WORLD: LOT 1556: ESSEQUIBO & DEMARARY: George III, 1760-1820, AR 3 guilders, 1809, KM-8, Prid-4,
edge grained left, nicely detailed despite the shallow-strike that is standard for this type, much original
mint bloom present, PCGS graded MS62, R
Realized $7,200


INDIA: LOT 813: BRITISH INDIA: Victoria, Empress, 1876-1901, AR 1/2 rupee, 1889-C, KM-491, S&W-
6.202, a superb lustrous example! PCGS graded MS65
Realized $6,600


ANCIENT: LOT 27: ARMENIA: Tigranes II "the Great", 95-56 BC, AR tetradrachm (15.96g), Antioch on
Orontes, Nercessian-34, Kovacs-71.2, diademed and draped bust right, wearing tiara decorated with star
between two eagles // Tyche of Antioch seated right on rock, holding palm frond, river-god Orontes
swimming right below, smoothing on obverse, nice reverse, VF
Realized $2,640


ETHNOGRAPHIC: LOT 1073: BRUNEI: brass cannon money (637g), 19th to early 20th century, Opitz
p.100 (plate example), cf. SS-60, 179mm, lovely old example, VF-EF
Realized $1,320

Company COO Mike Barry noted “Our top three auctions of all time were all held in 2022. When we first
started our auctions over a decade ago we were happy if we could achieve a sell through rate of over
80% but now we routinely sell around 95% of the lots in our sales. All indications are that the coin
market is healthy.”

The firm is preparing for its Literature Auction 1 on October 17, 2022, and a 2000 lot coin auction
(Internet Auction 18) on November 7-8, 2022. They are also taking consignments for their next Premier
Auction, Number 45, which will take place January 19-22, 2023.

Please visit for more information.



Here's a press release with results from the latest Classical Numismatic Group sale, along with previews of upcoming sales.

A rare Greek gold stater from the Black Sea city of Pantikapion drew frenzied bidding
and reached $134,750, nearly double the presale estimate, in Classical Numismatic Group LLC’s Feature
Auction 121, highlighting strong prices overall for ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, World and British coins.

The auction, held over three days October 6-8 at the firm’s headquarters in Lancaster, PA, and webcast
live via, realized a total of $5.38 million in sales, a record for any Fall auction held by CNG
over its 46-year history, said Mike Gasvoda, Managing Director. All prices quoted are inclusive of the 22.5%
buyer’s premium.

“Our tally was about 60% over the presale estimate of $3.3 million,” Gasvoda said, “which shows a
continuation of the strong market for rare and historic collectible coins, despite recent turmoil in the financial
marks and currency exchanges.”


The highest price reached was for lot 283, a spectacular gold stater of Pantikapaion, a Greek trading
post on the Black Sea coast, struck circa 340-323 BC. The obverse bears a striking portrait of the demigod Pan,
while the reverse depicts a griffin, legendary guardian of gold treasure. Graded Mint State, the coin was
estimated $75,000 and was quickly bid up to the final tally of $134,750 all in.
Other ancient highlight results include:

$85,750 for lot 129, a beautiful silver decadrachm of Syracuse, signed by the die-engraver

$79,625 for lot 696, an impressive silver tetradrachm of Cleopatra VII of Egypt and the Roman
general Mark Antony, with a detailed portrait of the famous queen.

$42,875 for lot 804, a Roman gold aureus of the short-lived emperor Galba.

$36,750 for lot 65, a beautiful Greek silver stater of Metapontion in southern Italy.

$36,750 for lot 152, a large gold trihemistater of Carthage, struck 272-264 BC.

$24,500 for lot 935, a Roman gold “heavy aureus” of the Emperor Aurelian.


The extensive British coin offering saw a strong performance for silver milled crowns from the
Gainsborough Collection, including lot 1365, a rare Charles II crown of 1663, which soared past its $5,000
estimate to reach $20,825. Other British and World results included $24,500 for lot 1254, a silver penny of the
Anglo-Saxon Queen Cynethryth, wife of Offa of Mercia, and $23,275 for lot 1229, a gold 5 Dukat of
Transylvania depicting Holy Roman Emperor Francis I (1745-1765).


Some of the most impressive results versus presale estimate were obtained by coins from the
collection of Paul DiMarzio, focused on late Roman bronze coins from the mint of Londinium, modern London.
These included lot 969, a rare bronze follis of Constantine, estimated $300 and achieving more than 10 times
that with a final all-in price of $3,675. Altogether the 28-lot DiMarzio collection brought just over $26,000,
nearly quadrupling the presale estimate. “CNG stands alone in bringing wonderful specialized collections like
this to the market,” Gasvoda said.

Two more sessions of exemplary Ancient, World and British coinage come to the block in CNG’s
Electronic Auction 525, closing Wednesday and Thursday, Oct. 19 and 20, starting at 10 am EDT.

The results of Feature Auction 121 bode well CNG’s marquis auction Triton XXVI, scheduled for January
10 and 11 2023 in conjunction with the New York International Numismatic Convention at the International
Barclay Hotel in New York City, Gasvoda said. “If you’d like to take advantage of this strong market, consign to
Triton 26 soon! We already have a very impressive lineup of coins assigned to this sale and the catalog is in
production, but there is still time to include choice material.”

To consign to Triton XXVI, or to receive a printed copy of the full-color catalog, contact Classical
Numismatic Group LLC at 

CNG at, or call (717) 390-9194.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 




Heritage is offering  Colonial and Early U.S. Coins from the Mike Coltrane Estate.  Here are some highlights in an article submitted by Maureen Levine and Bruce Hagan.  Thanks.


The Estate of Mike Coltrane Collection of U.S. Coins

Unreserved November Signature Sale

On November 2, 2022, Heritage Auctions will offer Mike Coltrane's U.S. coin collection at an
unreserved Signature Sale. Mike enjoyed a variety of numismatic pursuits including currency (to
be sold in a Showcase auction on October 30), coins, and related financial documents. He was a
student of history, always seeking to learn something new as his boyhood hobby progressed into
an avocation. His interests encompassed Colonial issues, Federal coppers, and early half cents, as
well as early, branch mint, and Territorial gold. Mike was a lifelong resident of Concord, North
Carolina, and included Charlotte Mint gold bullion deposit records and other related documents
in his collection; they are also being offered in this sale. Mike was committed to his hometown
and was generous with both his time and money. Proceeds from this auction will be donated to
charity, through the Foundation for the Carolinas, to assist individuals in need as well as for
community betterment.

Some notable lots are listed below:


1788 CONNCT Connecticut Copper, Mailed Bust Right, M. 3-B.1, W-4410, High R.5,
MS64 Brown NGC.

Lot 3025.

This is the finest known Miller 3-B.1. As on most examples of this variety, the Nova Constellatio
undertype is visible on the obverse effigy's portrait. Only the AU Robert Martin coin is close to
the quality of this remarkable piece.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1788 CONNCT Connecticut Copper, Mailed Bust Right, M. 3-B.1, W-4410, High R.5, MS64 Brown NGC....



1788 CONNCT Connecticut Copper, Mailed Bust Left, M. 12.2-C, W-4525, R.5, MS62
Brown NGC.

Lot 3031.

The illustrious provenance of this beautiful copper commences with Sylvester Sage Crosby, who
used it for his plate coin. A stunning example—also struck over a Nova Constellatio—with
traces of faded mint red, lustrous surfaces, and chestnut-brown color.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1788 CONNCT Connecticut Copper, Mailed Bust Left, M. 12.2-C, W-4525, R.5, MS62 Brown NGC....



1786 New Jersey Copper, Bridle, Wide Shield, M. 18-M, W-4890, R.2, MS66 Red and
Brown NGC.


A breathtaking coin whose eye appeal is difficult to overstate. Wholesome in appearance, elegant
in design, and exhibiting blazing mint red, this is the single finest New Jersey copper. The
present auction is only the third time in a century that this piece has been offered publicly.

I'd seen this piece in an earlier Heritage mailing and thought, "Holy Crap!" - an amazing condition piece.  Wow.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1786 New Jersey Copper, Bridle, Wide Shield, M. 18-M, W-4890, R.2, MS66 Red and Brown NGC....



1794 1/2 C High Relief Head, C-9, B-9, R.2, MS64 Red and Brown NGC. CAC.


Substantial mint red remains on the flawless light brown surfaces of this lovely high-condition
census example. Recent research has determined this coin has a continuous provenance back to
the time of its striking.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1794 1/2 C High Relief Head, C-9, B-9, R.2, MS64 Red and Brown NGC. CAC....



1861-D G$1 AU50 PCGS. Gold CAC. Variety 12-Q.


The circumstances of the 1861-D gold dollar's production under Confederate authority,
presumably scant mintage, and modern-day rarity make it the most sought-after gold dollar of
any date and mint, with perhaps the sole exception of the 1849-C Open Wreath, which is
essentially uncollectible. Housed in a first-generation PCGS holder graded AU50 with a gold
CAC sticker.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1861-D G$1 AU50 PCGS. Gold CAC. Variety 12-Q....



1800 $10 BD-1, High R.3, AU58 NGC. CAC.


The aesthetics of this piece surpass those of many Uncirculated coins that we have seen. A
lustrous and fully original eagle.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

1800 $10 BD-1, High R.3, AU58 NGC. CAC....



This exciting collection will be auctioned on Wednesday, November 2, 2022, starting at 6:00 PM
Central Time (7:00 P.M. Eastern). Lot viewing is available by appointment at Heritage’s Office
in Dallas. Please contact Client Services at 214-409-1150. Additionally, most or all of the 86
Coltrane lots will be on display at Heritage Auction's table at the Baltimore Convention Center
during the Baltimore Winter Expo, October 27-29, 2022. All lots are currently on view and open
for bidding at


debuting December 2022, Q. David Bowers’s Guide Book of Morgan Silver Dollars is updated with a thorough market analysis for each date and mint, coin values in multiple grades, certification data, more and larger illustrations, new image galleries, updated appendices, and more. Expanded to 336 pages. Order your copy online 
, or call 1-800-546-2995.


Heritage is also offering North Carolina National Bank Notes from the Mike Coltrane Estate.  Here are some highlights in another article submitted by Maureen Levine and Bruce Hagan.  Thanks.


Important Mike Coltrane Estate North Carolina

Nationals Offered in an Unreserved Special Online Auction

A comprehensive and important offering of North Carolina National Banknotes, from early First
Charters to 1929 Small Size, will be featured October 30, 2022, in an unreserved online
Showcase auction by Heritage Auctions. These Nationals were collected by the late Mike
Coltrane for decades and include several examples accumulated by his banker father. Many elite
types, locations, serial number 1 notes, and varieties from this popularly collected genre are
represented. They mirror the post-Civil War banking history from Mike’s native state. He
retained this collection and continued to augment it after auctioning his Federal type notes, War
of 1812 examples, and other North Carolina currency in 2020 and 2021. Noteworthy from the
collection are eight Original Series and eight 1875 notes—the earliest National types from the
state—most of which are in superior condition. There are also plenty of rare and attractive 1882
Brown, Date, and Value Backs, as well as Red Seals, and Small Size rarities to appeal to a wide
range of collectors. Some of those notes, from the Coltranes' hometown of Concord, North
Carolina, are offered in this sale. Many pieces are new to the census and being auctioned for the
first time. Proceeds from this currency Showcase sale and upcoming U.S. Coins Signature
auction will be donated to charity, through the Foundation for the Carolinas, to assist individuals
in need as well as for community betterment. We hope you will take the time to peruse this
important offering exemplifying North Carolina’s rich banking history.

Some highlights are listed below:


Charlotte, NC - $2 1875 Fr. 390 The Traders National Bank Ch. # 2314 PMG Choice Fine

Lot 96034.

This epic early note from North Carolina is one nine “Lazy Deuces” recorded from the entire
state. It is also one of only three notes known from the bank.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

Charlotte, NC - $2 1875 Fr. 390 The Traders National Bank Ch. # 2314 PMG Choice Fine 15.. ...



High Point, NC - $5 1882 Brown Back Fr. 469 The National Bank of High Point Ch. # 3490
PMG Extremely Fine 40.

Lot 96131.

A rare and beautiful quality 1882 Brown Back $5 with the interesting serial number of 1000.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

High Point, NC - $5 1882 Brown Back Fr. 469 The National Bank of High Point Ch. # 3490 PMG Extremely Fine 40.. ...



Monroe, NC - $10 1902 Red Seal Fr. 615 The First National Bank Ch. # (S)8712 PMG
Choice Fine 15.

Lot 96169.

All North Carolina 1902 Red Seals are uncommon, but this is a significant rarity. It is one of two
recorded and was last sold in 1989. The other example known auctioned for $46,000 in 2007.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

Monroe, NC - $10 1902 Red Seal Fr. 615 The First National Bank Ch. # (S)8712 PMG Choice Fine 15.. ...



Raleigh, NC - $10 Original Fr. 413 The State National Bank Ch. # 1682 PMG Very Fine 20.

Lot 96192.

This note is one of a kind, making it an extremely important early North Carolina National. It is
also a unique Friedberg number type and essential for a comprehensive set of Large Size
currency types.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

Raleigh, NC - $10 Original Fr. 413 The State National Bank Ch. # 1682 PMG Very Fine 20.. ...



Serial Number 1 - Rocky Mount, NC - $20 1929 Ty. 1 The Planters National Bank Ch. #
10608 PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ.

Lot 96203.

All notes from this short-lived title are rare, but this serial number 1 is a Gem and one of the
most desirable Small Size notes from the state.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

Serial Number 1 Rocky Mount, NC - $20 1929 Ty. 1 The Planters National Bank Ch. # 10608 PMG Gem Uncirculated 65 EPQ.



This important collection, featuring 259 lots, will be auctioned online on Sunday, October 30,
2022, commencing at 6:00 PM Central Time (7:00 P.M. Eastern). For further sale information
contact Susan Bremer at SusanB at Lot viewing is available by appointment at
Heritage’s Office in Dallas. There will also be special viewing of all lots at the Tampa Paper
Money Expo from October 20 to 22, 2022. Contact Jose Berumen at JBerumen at or 214-
409-1299. All lots are currently on view and open for bidding now at



Daniel Frank Sedwick's Auction 32 has been announced.  Some great material here, including U.S.

 Our Auction 32 is now Online and bidding is open to everybody, so please register now! For this Floor Auction we have secured the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Winter Park Hotel in Winter Park, FL for November 3-4, 2022 (with lot viewing and guest speakers on Wednesday, November 2). Please let us know now if you plan to attend, so that we can make a preliminary head count and expand the room-block reservation if necessary.

This catalog contains some great worldwide numismatic rarities - a perfect appeal to this robust and enthusiastic market.

With Session I, we have a variety of Gold Cobs - both from Spain as well as the New World. Spain sees the finest and only graded 1690 (M) Seville-minted gold cob 8 escudos in NGC MS 64 (lot 22). The New World selection holds some high grade and rarer 1715 Fleet gold including a discovery piece Bogotá 1712/1 gold cob 2 escudos graded NGC MS 66 (lot 60), a Mexico City gold cob 8 escudos 1713 J graded NGC MS 64 (lot 26), a Lima gold cob 8 escudos 1708 H graded NGC MS 63 pedigreed to the John Pullin Collection (lot 44) and two different varieties of Cuzco gold cob 2 escudos 1698 M both in NGC MS 63 holders (lots 41 and 42). Among non-shipwreck gold cobs, there is the “top pop” Lima gold cob 8 escudos 1729 N graded NGC MS 62 (lot 47) plus the substantially difficult Lima gold cob 8 escudos 1748 R graded by NGC as MS 63.


A wide variety of Shipwreck Ingots includes two hefty gold “finger” bars from the Atocha (1622) from the J.P. Silberman Estate (lots 71 and 72), a fascinating 28.75 kilogram silver ingot from the Maravillas (1656) with original uncleaned coral encrustation (lot 79), and a rectangular gold bar weighing 915 grams from the Corrigan's wreck site of the 1715 Fleet with ties to Florida salvage history (lot 73). In addition, we have three lustrous gold disk ingots recovered from the Luz (1752) (lots 74-76) whose origins are analyzed by Daniel Frank Sedwick in this catalog's feature article.

Our popular Shipwreck Coins section features an assortment of high grade Atocha coins (lots 94-183) - this year marks the 400th anniversary of its sinking off the Key West. Many of these also come with vintage Mel Fisher certificates of interest to the salvage history collector. Notable coins include a very rare French gold louis d'or 1723-Z from the Chameau (1725) (lot 279), a Santiago gold bust 8 escudos 1751 J from the Luz (1752) graded NGC MS 62 (lot 298), and a clump of seven US Seated Liberty silver half dollars from the SS Republic (1865) - the first time we have offered a clump from this wreck (lot 316).

We'll begin Session II with our second offering of selections from the Clyde Hubbard Collection of Charles-Joanna Coinage (lots 323-393) in Mexico Silver Cobs with notable rarities like the “Early Series” 4 reales with assayer P to right (lot 323) and the very difficult “Late Series” 4 reales of assayer S unlisted in Nesmith (lot 332). The finest known NGC-graded Lima 8 reales 1684 V in an NGC AU 53 holder (lot 422) stands out in our Lima Silver Cobs section. Watch for some well-struck Royals in Potosí Silver Cobs like the very rare Louis I 8 reales Royal of 1727 Y (lot 485) or the impressively defined 8 reales Royal of 1680 V with pomegranate above the pillars (lot 465).

We're pleased to host the Gansu Collection of Chinese Panda Coinage in Session III representing 250 lots of very high grade and rare examples from 1982 to 2005 of the iconic Chinese flagship coin series. Some of the series' greatest rarities make appearances - the 1995 large and small date gold 50 yuans graded NGC MS 69 (lot 646 and 641), the “top pop” 1998 large date 50 yuan graded MS 69 (lot 693), and a gorgeous denomination set of the 1992-P proof gold Pandas (lot 603).

The second day of our auction begins with World Coins in Session IV. Desirable coins from across the globe will be sold - from the finest NGC-graded Seville, Spain, gold 8 escudos 1701 M graded NGC MS 65 (lot 1080) to the extremely rare and finest Lima, Peru, gold 4 escudos 1838 M graded NGC AU 53 and pedigreed to the Hammel and Goodman Collections (lot 1040). A pair of key Venezuelan rarities are being offered for the first time publicly in this sale: a gold essai 5 venezolanos 1875-A graded NGC PF 62 Cameo (lot 1115) and a silver essai 1/2 real 1863 E graded NGC SP 61 (lot 1114).


In Session V's Medals and Decorations, we'll host our third offering of Admiral Vernon medals from the John Adams Collection (lots 1127-1201). Several very rare silver Bolívar medals are also available such as the Colombia 1828-dated “Bolívar saved from assassination” medal graded NGC AU 58 (lot 1120) and the Bolivia 1825 “Potosí Gratitude to Bolívar” medal (lot 1118). One of the top lots in the entire auction resides in US Coins and Medals: the unique proof silver Declaration of Independence medal crafted by Charles Cushing Wright in the 1850s and based on John Trumbull's famous 1818 painting (lot 1238). This special medal bears a pedigree chain going back to the original owner, Charles Ira Bushnell, and continuing on to notable collectors such as John Work Garrett and the aforementioned John Adams.


US Paper Money holds the tough South Carolina 7 shillings 6 pence note of 1778 (lot 1241) along with Continental Congress half dollar note of 1776 designed by Benjamin Franklin (lot 1242). In World Paper Money, rare Cuban revolutionary notes like the Junta Central Republicana 10 pesos of 1869 graded PMG VF 25 (lot 1269) and the high-denomination República de Cuba 1000 pesos note of 1869 signed by Carlos Manuel de Céspedes graded PMG XF 40 (lot 1268) are on display.

The Coin Jewelry selection in Session VI hosts some beautiful Spanish colonial coins in jewelry mounts ready for wearing like a Lima gold cob 8 escudos of Philip V in an 18-karat pendant setting (lot 1292) as well as a Bogotá gold cob 2 escudos from the 1715 Fleet in a 14-karat gold anchor pendant (lot 1293). For the ultimate 1715 Fleet collector, we have an impressive conserved iron signal cannon from the Fleet, still possessing much original detail like the full yoke and lifting handle “dolphins” (lot 1340) in Shipwreck Artifacts. Within Non-Wreck Artifacts, there is a “duel-ready” pair of European flintlock pistols from the 1700s (lot 1344).

Our Express session features some 400 lots of more cost-efficient coins, paper money, and artifacts. We aptly end this auction on lot 1622, the year of the Atocha and Santa Margarita's sinking.

We wish you the best of luck in this auction!

For more information, or to bid, see: 

Treasure, World & U.S. Coin Auction 32





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.

 Cometallic Pattern 

Undated (1885) Cometallic Pattern. Plain Edge. Choice Very Fine.

23 mm. 7.64 grams. A very rare pattern, produced with the standards set Forth in Nicholas Veeder's 1885 publication Cometallism, Gold, Silver and Paper Money. Made from a fine silver base weighing 109.68 grains and enclosing a thin gold disc marked 6.856 grains. Using the metal values of 1885, the piece contains 29 1/2 cents worth of silver and 29 1/2 cents worth of gold, making a "coin" worth 59 cents at the time, roughly equivalent to Veeder's half dollar proposal. This lot is accompanied by an original copy of Eric Von Klinger's December 15, 2003 Coin World article, "Cometallic Piece a Mystery". The present coin is the subject of the article and is pictured therein.

Provenance: Ex Lester Merkin's sale of June 1971, lot 896; our (Bowers and Merena's) sale of the Harry Einstein Collection, June 1986, lot 1365; and our Baltimore Auction of November 2011, lot 9111; our Americana Sale of February 2015, lot 218. Select lot tags and a Coin World article are included.

In the upcoming Stack's Bowers Winter 2022 Auction.
Interesting item - I'd never seen this before.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

Undated (1885) Cometallic Pattern. Plain Edge. Choice Very Fine.


 1919 The Widows Medal 

1919 France Art Medal, "The Widows" by Georges Prud'homme.


Bronze. 69mm x 76mm. 143.6g. Cornucopia and BRONZE on edge (Paris Mint). “Les Veuves” (The Widows), alternately called “Les Veuves des Marins” (The Mariners’ Widows) depicts on one side a sailor’s wife watching from the shore as her husband’s ship founders at sea. On the other, it displays three widows in the foreground and others in the background on their way to church.

     This example enjoys natural bronze-gold patina and clean rims. A single spot of verdigris occurs at the lower obverse. Rarely offered and of the highest artistic quality.

>From the stock of Jacob Lipson. Great medal!  I'd never seen this one before.

To read the complete item description, see: 

1919 France Art Medal, "The Widows" by Georges Prud'homme.


 Poultry Club Medal 


The auctioneer only shows one side of the medal; I assume the other side is engraved with the name of winner Hobbs.  There's wear on the high points of the design; since there's a loop I imagine this was proudly worn at one time.  Great barnyard design.

To read the complete lot description, see: 



 Emancipation Dog Tag 

[Civil War Era] George Washington: Exceedingly Rare Emancipation Dog Tag. Excessively rare circa 1861 Union soldiers' dog tag in gilt brass measuring 31mm. The obverse has a raised portrait of George Washington surrounded by thirty-four stars and inscribed "Union" below. The reverse is counterstamped, "P KING/ EMAN/ CIPATION/ BILL PASSED/ APRIL 16 1862/WASHINGTON/ DC."

Great item sold recently by Heritage for $15,625.00.

To read the complete lot description, see: 

[Civil War Era] George Washington: Exceedingly Rare Emancipation Dog Tag....



The latest CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series article by Mike Markowitz is "Money Before Coinage," or "Proto-Money".  Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. Discussed are hacksilber, cowrie shells, ring money, Harappan gold discs, and more.


Monetary objects used before coinage are not usually considered a regular part of numismatics. Relevant information is scattered across the vast literature of archaeology and anthropology. Alison Hingston Quiggen’s pioneering book, A Survey of Primitive Money (1949, reprinted 2018) is still a useful reference. Quiggen (1874-1971) was a British anthropologist. The term “proto-money” is preferable to “primitive” or “traditional” since many of the societies that used these things were quite advanced, with sophisticated economies.

Collectors of proto-money will encounter thorny problems of authenticity and provenance. In many cases, it is impossible to determine whether an object was used as money rather than as an ornament, ritual offering, or ceremonial gift. Nevertheless, examples of proto-money appear from time to time in numismatic auctions and dealer inventories, and they offer us a fascinating glimpse into the pre-history of coinage.

To read the complete article, see: 

CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series: Money Before Coinage




Lymington's St Barbe Museum is displaying a hoard of Celtic coins found in 2018.


A HOARD of Celtic coins found buried in the New Forest by three metal detectorists is now on display at Lymington's St Barbe Museum.

The unique, 2,000-year-old cache of 269 coins, which includes some never before been seen by historians, was secured by the museum following a fundraising appeal backed by TV historian Dan Snow.

Having been declared a treasure trove by the British Museum – meaning it was buried deliberately – the find effectively belonged to the people who found it in 2018, and the landowner.

St Barbe launched a public campaign – dubbed the Celtic Countdown – to raise a total of £37,500 to buy, display and interpret the coins, which bear charming and detailed designs relating to myths.

"The coins look like jewellery, with their beautiful designs," said a museum spokesperson. "They vary in size from smaller than the rubber on the end of a pencil to roughly the size of a 1p piece.

"This is more incredible if you consider they are Iron Age, before magnifying glasses were invented!"

St Barbe trustee Professor Tony King said the coins display mythical scenes, one a horse and sun depicting the belief that the horse carries the sun under the sea at sunset and emerges at sunrise.

The hoard is believed to have been buried as part of a ritual activity, along with other items of this period. Their exact location has not – and will not – be divulged for fear of others "trying their luck" on the private land.

Museum director Maria Ragan said the collection is "totally unique".

“There are 36 coins that the British Museum does not even have in its collection – they have not been seen by historians before.

“That makes the collection totally unique. Historically and archaeologically, it is really important as it is starting to build on our knowledge of how people began to live in the New Forest.

Found via The Explorator newsletter. To subscribe to Explorator, send a blank email message to: 
explorator+subscribe at 

To read the complete article, see: 

St Barbe Mueseum in Lymington displays hoard of Celtic coins found buried in New Forest




David Pickup passed along this notice of the Royal Mint's new coin commemorating the BBC Centenary. Thanks.

The world’s leading public service broadcaster marks its centenary in 2022. As the Corporation continues to thrive and innovate, we have struck a coin to celebrate this special anniversary.

In 2022, the BBC marks 100 years of broadcasting to the British public and beyond. To celebrate this magnificent achievement, we have created a beautiful commemorative coin that honours a century of award-winning creativity and innovation.

Since its inception in 1922, the BBC has dedicated itself to originality and ingenuity whilst striving for the highest quality service. From the dawn of radio to the advent of the internet, the Corporation has adapted to technology’s evolution and remained at the forefront of British programming for all. Values we share at The Royal Mint.

The special 50p features a design by Henry Gray and pays tribute to the BBC’s astonishing global reach. It is available as a gold Proof, silver Proof, silver Proof Piedfort and Brilliant Uncirculated edition to offer collectors flexibility of choice.

David adds:

"Another new coin - the last with the Queen’s head on it.
The press are now saying the 50 p with the King’s head will be released into circulation in December and the coronation will be 6th May 2023."

To read the complete article, see: 

100 Years of Our BBC






The 53rd Jewish-American Hall of Fame medal has been announced.  Here's the press release, and a discount for E-Sylum readers.

Mel Wacks, Director of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame, has announced that its 53rd annual inductee ― photojournalist, author and public servant Ruth Gruber ― whose portrait will appear on high relief medals designed by sculptor Eugene Daub. The medal’s reverse, designed by Mel Wacks, features the issuer’s name.

The Ruth Gruber 2-inch, 3-oz. medal in this popular series will be produced in very limited quantities of no more than 150 bronze (available for contribution of $50), 75 pure silver ($200) and 35 gold plated pure silver ($250) medals. Each art medal is serial numbered on the edge and is accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. Add $10 per order for shipping and insurance. Mention that you read about this in E-Sylum and take 10% discount. Medals can be ordered using a credit card by calling 818-225-1348 or with paypal using email 

directorjahf at

Ruth Gruber graduated from New York University at eighteen and two years later, she became the youngest Ph.D. in the world. Gruber was appointed by U.S. Secretary of the Interior Harold L. Ickes in 1941 to report on conditions in the Alaska Territory. She captured pictures of the lives and customs of the native population. An iconic photo taken of Gruber in Alaska inspired the medal design by Eugene Daub.

Gruber continued her career as a journalist following the war, working for various U.S. publications as a correspondent in the Middle East and Europe. She authored 18 books. She authored 18 books, including Destination Palestine: The Story of the Haganah Ship Exodus 1947, Haven: The Dramatic Story of 1000 World War II Refugees and How They Came to America, and Raquela: A Woman of Israel.

When President Roosevelt decided to accept about a thousand European immigrants in the midst of World War II, Secretary of the Interior Harold Ickes chose Ruth Gruber to go on a secret mission to escort the refugees to the United States. Ickes made her "a simulated general" so in case the military aircraft she flew in was shot down and she was caught by the Nazis, she would be kept alive according to the Geneva Convention.

The journey culminated in the arrival of 984 refugees in the New York harbor on August 3, 1944 and their being given sanctuary on an old army base in Oswego, New York. In a touching moment in Haven, Gruber recalls a rabbi conducting a service as the boat passed the Statue of Liberty, and her pride in telling the Jewish refugees of the Holocaust that the poem within the pedestal was written by Emma Lazarus, an American Jew.

While Roosevelt planned to allow the refugees to reside in the United States only until the end of hostilities, when peace came, Gruber lobbied the President and Congress—with the help of Catholic, Jewish and Protestant clergy — and convinced the officials to let the refugees stay.

Ruth Gruber died in 2016, at the age of 105 — enough time to allow her all of her adventures and accomplishments.

The Jewish-American Hall of Fame was founded in 1969 to fight antisemitism, and has raised over $300,000 for various non-profit educational organizations through the sale of limited edition commemorative medals. All of the medals can be seen at, and the Jewish-American Hall of Fame plaques are on permanent display at the Virginia Holocaust Museum in Richmond.


E-Sylum readers are invited to attend Ruth Gruber's Zoom Jewish-American Hall of Fame induction ceremony (free) Nov. 13th starting 12:30 ET (9:30 PT).  Please register at




This press release describes new privately-issued commemorative banknotes honoring Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee.


After months of preparation, new Platinum Jubilee '70' banknotes were ready for release on the
morning of 1 October. This set of two limited series honours and commemorates the 70th anniversary
of Queen Elizabeth II’s accession to the throne.  One Banknote, producers of the exclusive collectors’
banknote brand Britannia Pound, now release the currency in respectful memory of Her Late Majesty.

These collectible “ Fun “ banknotes were printed on genuine banknote paper, not commercially
available to printers, and contain a number of security features, usually found in currency, to
guarantee authenticity. The banknotes were printed by 300 year old banknote printer Royal Joh
Enschede, Haarlem Netherlands, with the approval of the Bank of England. The banknotes depict
Queen Elizabeth II and incorporate all the standard security features such as UV inks, unique serial
numbers, microtext, holographic foil, and banknote engraving.

The notes will be graded by Paper Money Guaranty (PMG) and the serial number 000070 will be
auctioned by Stack’s Bowers in January 2023. According to Aris Maragoudakis, Director of World
Paper Money at Stack’s Bowers,

“These notes will be treasured pieces, commemorating the life and service of one of the most
paramount figures in recent history. HM Queen Elizabeth II forged paths and broke down barriers in a
male-dominated world. She modernised the monarchy, transformed the Commonwealth, and has
been a shining example of true leadership for an astounding 70 years. It is a great honour to offer
these notes to the world in our upcoming international auction in New York with the hope they fall into
the hands of passionate collectors.”

Each of the two series will be limited to 70,000 of the '70' Jubilee banknotes. More information and
other purchasing options are available on the One Banknote website,


Bob Bednar adds:

"The note was printed on genuine banknote paper, not commercially available, using the intaglio & offset processes. Security features, usually found in money, were utilized to insure authenticity of a Limited Edition of 70,000 notes. Royal Joh Enschede, of the Netherlands, a 300 year old printer of banknotes received permission from the Bank of England to issue notes of the former Queen Elizabeth II.  A companion note, with folder, memorizing Queen Elizabeth II will be available in December."

They look great.  Bob is a consultant to Royal Joh Enschede.  For more information, he can be reached at

Bobbednar28 at



For bibliophiles, here's a review of a new book on the history of that indispensable and occasionally snarky component, the Index.


A Bookish Adventure From Medieval Manuscripts to the Digital Age

By Dennis Duncan

Over the last quarter-century, the book as physical organism has been increasingly anatomized, and there has been no better medium for displaying anatomists’ findings than the book itself. As they illuminate long-overlooked corners of bibliography, volumes like Anthony Grafton’s “The Footnote” and H. J. Jackson’s “Marginalia” have charted the contrapuntal dance among writer, publisher, reader and material object.

Consider, for example, the 2019 anthology “Book Parts,” edited by Dennis Duncan and Adam Smyth. Its table of contents includes, satisfyingly, “Tables of Contents,” along with “Dust Jackets,” “Frontispieces” and “Indexes” — a chapter by Duncan himself. Now, Duncan, a lecturer in English at University College London, has expanded that chapter into the erudite, eminently readable and wittily titled “Index, A History of the.” Fittingly, the book comes equipped with not one but two official indexes — one stellar, the other unabashedly less so — as well as a third and perhaps even a fourth. (More on Indexes: Duncan’s multiplicity of, below.)

An index, Duncan explains, is simply a map: a set of signposts pointing to — indicating — where to find what in the text’s vast terrain. This map has three constituent parts: rubrics (generally subjects or personal names); locaters (typically page numbers, at least before the e-reader era); and an internal ordering principle (usually alphabetical).

>From its inception, the index has provided a window onto the history of the book, for it took the advent of a particular type of book — the codex, a sheaf of pages fastened along one edge — to make an index a practical possibility. The progenitor of the modern bound book, the codex gradually supplanted the scroll, a medium inimical to the indexer’s art. (An index in which every entry runs along the lines of “Socrates, death of: Take down 11th scroll from set of 12, unroll 37 inches and run a clean finger — perchance an index finger — 21 lines down the right-hand edge” will in short order outbulk the text itself.)

The document that today’s readers would recognize as an index arose simultaneously in Oxford and Paris in the 13th century, a consequence of the voluminous reading practiced in two newly formed institutions: the universities and the mendicant orders of Franciscan and Dominican friars. With so much reading, Duncan says, came the corresponding need “for the contents of books to be divisible, discrete, extractable units of knowledge.”

In the mid-15th century, the mass production born of Gutenberg’s press began to make the index a regular feature of the bound book. But its very ubiquity — and very utility — would make it an intellectual flash point. “As the index becomes more prevalent,” Duncan writes, “so too does the chance that readers will use it first. Rather than an aide-mémoire the index might be used as the way into a book.”

That, by some scholars’ lights, was a sacrilege. The 16th-century Swiss bibliographer Conrad Gessner, a meticulous indexer of his own work, admonished:

“Because of the carelessness of some who rely only on the indexes … the quality of those books is in no way being impaired … because they have been misused by ignorant or dishonest men.”

(Gessner’s anxiety, Duncan points out, prefigures by half a millennium modern fears that the seduction of instant Google searches is polluting readers’ faculties for immersive engagement.)

In the end, convenience trumped peril, and the index endured. By the Victorian era, compilers had realized that indexes could be far more than mere finding aids — in particular, as Duncan deliciously shows, they made splendid vehicles for settling scores.

The reviewer beat me to my own planned interjection - Google and other modern search engines are at heart simply gigantic automated indexs, immensely useful while devoid of human playfulness: “Bootless errand see fool’s errand,” “fool’s errand see fruitless endeavor,” “fruitless endeavor see hopeless quest,” “hopeless quest see lost cause,” “lost cause see merry dance,”  and merrily onward.

To read the complete article, see: 

Look It Up? Only if You’re Dishonest and Ignorant



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

 On Full Steps Jefferson Nickels 

A Coin Update article by Michael Bugeja examines full steps on Jefferson nickels.

Full-step designations focus on the reverse of Jefferson nickels (1938-present), with the two major holdering companies having slightly different criteria, which most lots on Proxibid, HiBid, and eBay muddle, hyping inferior coins.

Full-step designations bring higher prices, in some cases, dramatically higher ones. Consider the common 1961-D nickel. It has a mintage of 229,342,760. In gem condition without full steps, its PCGS retail value is $28. With full steps, the price rises to $20,000.

Yes, that’s a dramatic case. But in general, any FS designation will increase business strike values substantially in any Jefferson nickel year.

To read the complete article, see: 

The myth of full steps in online auctions


 Parachuting Dog's Medals Bring Record Price 

We recently discussed the upcoming sale of one of the most important Dickin Medals, awarded to Rob the Parachuting Dog.  They brought a record price at the sale.

Bravery medals awarded to a collie called Rob that made 20 parachute jumps during the second world war and is credited with frequently saving his human colleagues have sold at auction for a record £140,000.

He was the only dog ever to be awarded both the PDSA Dickin Medal for Gallantry, considered the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross, and the RSPCA Red Collar for Valour – as well as a lifetime supply of biscuits.

His owner’s son, Basil Bayne, who grew up with Rob in Shropshire, has sold the medals, alongside his collar, a portrait and photographs, at auctioneers Noonans Mayfair in London.

It smashed the previous record for a Dickin Medal, which stood at £22,000 for one awarded to a homing pigeon called Duke of Normandy, who brought news of the D-day landings back to the UK from France.

To read the complete article, see: 

Medals for dog that parachuted during second world war sell for £140,000


To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: 



 National Heroes on Coins and Bills 

Pablo Hoffman passed along this article by Harcourt Fuller on diverse national heroes on coins and bills.  Thanks.

Many marginalized groups, such as American women, African Americans, Black people in Canada and Black and Asian groups in Britain, want predominantly white male symbols replaced with a more diverse repertoire of people, places, events and movements that pay homage to addressing past injustices.

That is already happening, albeit slowly. Queen Elizabeth II is depicted on one side of the current Eastern Caribbean $100 banknote. The reverse side, however, depicts Sir Arthur Lewis, the noted 20th-century economist, the first Black person to earn the title of full professor at Princeton University and a Nobel Prize winner.

In 2018, social justice icon Viola Desmond became the first Canadian woman to appear on a bank note, the $10 bill. In August 2022, the Royal Canadian Mint began circulating a $1 coin featuring the iconic Black jazz pianist Oscar Peterson.

In Australia, where the queen is depicted on the $5 bill, spirited debate continues about whether or not to keep her image, replace it with King Charles or break with tradition and use an image of an indigenous Australian instead.

To read the complete article, see: 

Putting King Charles III on British currency bucks a global trend to honor diverse national heroes on coins and bills


 Bandits Losing Interest in Robbing Banks 

In the you-just-can't-make-a-good-living-anymore department comes this study on the steady decline in bank robberies.


It might surprise you – as it did me – to learn that the number of bank robberies is the lowest it’s been in half a century.

That’s what I discovered while researching a book about the shift to a cashless economy. With people using less cash, I had expected fewer bank robberies. But I was startled to see that the downward trend started well before the cashless economy started springing up in the 2000s.

A more compelling reason for me is that robbing banks has become far less lucrative – after adjusting for inflation, anyway. The typical robber made away with about $5,200 in the late 1960s. That’s over $38,000 in 2019 dollars. But in 2019, the average was just $4,200. As a 2007 U.K. study on the topic noted, “The return on an average bank robbery is, frankly, rubbish.”

As it turns out, cyber heists are much more lucrative, with even fewer penalties. A government report showed that in 2016, convicted credit card offenders took in over $60,000 on average and were given a prison sentence of just a little over two years.

Willie Sutton was an infamous U.S. bank robber during the 1920s and 1930s. When asked why he robbed banks, Sutton supposedly replied, “Because that’s where the money is.” While in Sutton’s time that may have been true, it may not be the case today.

To read the complete article, see: 

Bandits are losing interest in robbing banks, as some crimes no longer pay



And in the some-crimes-really-do-pay-well department, here's the story of a prison inmate's adventure with a contraband cellphone.

Contraband cellphones are invaluable to inmates, but in the hands of Arthur Lee Cofield, who is serving a 14-year sentence for armed robbery at a Georgia state prison, a mobile phone turned out to be worth $11 million, federal prosecutors said.

>From the prison in Butts County, about 45 miles south of Atlanta, Mr. Cofield called the Charles Schwab Corporation in June 2020 and impersonated a billionaire named S.K., who was later identified as Sidney Kimmel, according to a federal indictment.

Mr. Cofield spoke with a company representative about opening a checking account. After Mr. Cofield was told he needed a form of identification and a utility bill, a co-conspirator texted him a picture of Mr. Kimmel’s driver’s license and a utility bill, prosecutors said.

Mr. Cofield was so convincing that he persuaded the financial-services giant to transfer $11 million from Mr. Kimmel’s bank account to a precious metals dealer in Idaho to buy 6,106 American Eagle gold coins, prosecutors said.

>From there, Mr. Cofield used his contraband phone to hire a private security company to take the coins from Boise, Idaho, to Atlanta on a chartered plane. After the coins had been delivered, he contacted the owner of a six-bedroom house on 1.4 wooded acres in Atlanta and offered $4.4 million for the property, prosecutors said.

With the help of accomplices, Mr. Cofield paid $720,000 cash as a down payment and later the full balance, also in cash, according to a federal indictment filed in December 2020.

The bank account that prosecutors said Mr. Cofield stole from belonged to Mr. Kimmel, a 94-year-old fashion mogul who has bankrolled box-office hits like “Moneyball,” “United 93” and “Crazy Rich Asians...”

Mr. Kimmel could not be reached. A spokeswoman for Charles Schwab said that the client in the case had been fully reimbursed.

To read the complete article, see: 

Inmate Stole $11 Million in Gold Coin Scheme While in Prison, Officials Say


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