The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

PREV        NEXT        V9 2006 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 9, Number 44, October 29, 2006:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2006, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


WAYNE'S WORDS

We have no new subscribers this week. The issue is a lengthy one,
with another assortment of topics from all over the numismatic map,
including my trip to Pittsburgh for the PAN show this weekend.
I have a short write-up on the show later in this issue.  For those
of you who read their issue late Sunday, outgoing email problems
delayed publication of this issue until Monday morning - sorry.

On Saturday I had the pleasure of meeting longtime E-Sylum subscriber
Paul Landsberg, who had a table at the show, as did Julian Leidman.
Quite a number of E-Sylum readers were in attendance.  The awards
banquet was most enjoyable - at my table were Tom Sebring and his
wife, Cliff Mishler, and longtime PAN supporters and officers Jerry
Kochel, Dick Duncan and John Eshbach.

We open the issue with sad news of the loss of a longtime subscriber
and numismatic author.  Dick Johnson provides us with a fascinating
account of his recent interview with a friend who personally knew
many of the major U.S. mint coin designers of the early 20th century.
Two interesting items in this issue involve the olfactory senses -
one addresses the question of coin smells, and another describes how
dogs are being used to sniff out counterfeit currency!  Read on to
learn more.  Have a great week, everyone!


Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


NUMISMATIC AUTHOR HAL DUNN DIES

Duane H. Feisel writes: "It is with a heavy heart that I report
to you that Hal Dunn suddenly and unexpectedly passed away Thursday
morning, October 26.  His wife, Sharon, called to let me know of
this sad news and asked that I advise friends.  Burial services will
be held on Monday, October 30 beginning at 2:00PM at the First
Presbyterian Church in Elko.  A memorial service will be held on
Wednesday, November 1 beginning at 2:00PM at the First Presbyterian
Church in Carson City.

My own friendship with Hal goes back for more than 40 years.  We
made trips to Omaha together, and shared a bourse table at NTCA and
WESTS shows.  Hal always was a willing hand in providing assistance
to me for the auctions I conducted.  I worked extensively with Hal
on his great catalog of Western States good-for trade mirrors as well
as other projects.  In recent years I don’t think a week went by that
we weren’t on the telephone with one another, and we exchanged frequent
e-mail messages.  On occasion we visited the homes of one another.

Hal attended many of the ANA shows and was well known in numismatics.
He wrote numerous scholarly articles on a variety of topics, and was
involved in various aspects of cataloging tokens and other collectables.
Hal is also well known in the law enforcement community in Nevada.
We all will miss him greatly."

[Hal became an E-Sylum subscriber in May 2001 on the recommendation
of Bill Murray.  Here's his subscriber profile:

  Numismatic interests:  Carson City coins, Carson City Mint
  memorabilia, Nevada tokens and medals, Wyoming tokens.

  Numismatic literature:  I have authored three exonumia
  catalogs and numerous articles on Nevada and California
  exonumia.  I collect published material (numismatic and
  otherwise) on the Carson City Mint.

  I have been a coin collector for over 50 years and involved
  with exonumia since the mid-1960s.  Currently I am president
  of the National Token Collectors Association, past president
  of the Token and Medal Society, the ANA district delegate
  for Nevada, and an officer in our local coin club.
  esylum_v04n19a03.htm

Hal submitted articles to The E-Sylum on several occasions and
also donated books for the annual NBS fund-raising auction.  In
February of this year he attended the launch ceremony for the
Nevada state quarter and filed a report for us.  Links to some
of his E-Sylum submissions are included below.

ON GOING CASHLESS
esylum_v05n38a16.html

NBS DONATION AUCTION
esylum_v06n31a05.html

UNCUT SHEET PRANKS
esylum_v07n24a14.html

FIRST-HAND REPORT: NEVADA STATE QUARTER LAUNCH CEREMONY
esylum_v09n06a17.html

Hal will be missed.  Our thoughts go out to his family. -Editor]


DECEMBER 2006 COLONIAL NEWSLETTER PUBLISHED

CNL Editor Gary Trudgen writes: "The December 2006 issue of The
Colonial Newsletter (CNL) has been published.

First up in this issue is an update on the DK token.  The discovery
of this token and its historical significance was reported in our
last issue by Dr. Louis Jordan.  The update is provided by Paul Berry,
the Chief Curator of the Bank of Canada Currency Museum.  Paul reveals
that some exciting new discoveries have been made concerning the DK
token.  We now know that the token was not cast as reported in our
last issue but rather struck with a hand-held die and hammer.  Also,
to date, three denominations of the DK token have been uncovered
but it is uncertain what their purchasing value was within the
community where they were current.  Archeology is continuing at
the Ferryland site in Newfoundland and perhaps new finds will be
made which will increase our understanding of this early North
American lead token.

Our next paper reports the discovery of a new Atlee halfpenny variety,
Vlack 5-74A, and how the study of two similar dies in this series led
to its discovery.  Authored by Jack Howes, this study of Vlack obverse
dies 5 and 8 not only shows that these are, in fact, the same die
but how today's new digital imaging technology can be used on your
home computer to facilitate such studies.  Jack's paper is an
interesting read as he methodically works his way to a conclusion
with the surprise of a new variety discovery thrown in at the end.

In 1988 the American Numismatic Society, in their Museum Notes 33,
published a paper by Eric Newman titled "Were Counterfeit British
Style Halfpence Dated 1785 Made Specifically for American Use?"
Within this paper, Eric made the first attempt at categorizing the
dies that were used to strike the 1781 and 1785 imitation British
halfpence series. As one might expect, nearly twenty years later,
new dies and die marriages that were unknown to Eric have come to
light for each of these coinages.  The next two papers provide
update information on these coinages along with new die marriage
and attribution plates.  The principal author of the 1781 paper is
Dr. Roger Moore with co-authors Eric Newman and David Palmer.
The 1785 paper is authored by Byron Weston and Dr. Roger Moore.
Byron is the primary author of this paper with Roger providing
the attribution information and plates

CNL is published three times a year by The American Numismatic
Society, 96 Fulton Street, New York, NY 10038.  For inquires
concerning CNL, please contact Juliette Pelletier at the preceding
postal address or e-mail pelletier@amnumsoc.org or telephone
(212) 571-4470 ext. 1311."

[Your Editor welcomes news releases from all hobby publications.
If you're the editor of a national or international numismatic
specialty publication, feel free to follow Gary's lead and send
us regular updates on the contents of each issue.  It will help
spread the word about your hard work and may lead to more readers
and subscribers for your publication.  -Editor]


MINT ENGRAVERS AMONG WILLIAM LOUTH'S RECORDED REMINISCENCES

Dick Johnson writes: "I had a two-day appointment with William T.
Louth, my old boss, who had retired as president of Medallic Art
Company shortly after the 1976 American Bicentennial and its
tremendous outpouring of medals. I had not seen Bill since three
years ago when Donald Scarinci asked me to accompany him to
interview Bill for data for the Society of Medalists book he is
writing.

I had asked Mark Sartori, president of my local coin club, to join
me this time as a driving companion on the long trip to Cape Cod
for some numismatic chitchat along the way. Mark sat in on one of
the recording sessions with Bill.

Well into the first hour Bill mentioned he remembered John Flanagan,
sculptor and coin designer. I saw Mark’s jaw drop. I could almost
read his mind - "Here is someone still alive who knew John Flanagan
in person!" I prompted Bill to tell us everything he remembered
about Flanagan, then mentioned something about other coin designers.

"I remember Adolph Weinman," he said, picking up on our numismatic
interest. He went on: "and the Frasers, Laura and James."

"How about Anthony DeFrancisci?" I asked.  "Tony!" he corrected me.
"I remember Tony." He filled us in on the personality of each of these.
I tossed out John R. Sinnock’s name. "Sure." "Didn’t he do your
portrait?" I said, remembering Sinnock had done the portrait of
Bill’s uncle, the longtime president of Medallic Art, and the firm’s
entire board of directors.

"No, that was Gilroy who did my portrait." Then I remembered that
occurred after Sinnock had died. But I marveled at the first-name
basis he used with all these artists -- he had been that familiar
with them (and probably they were with him!).

Here we were, chatting about 20th century coin engravers, all long
gone. Every one of these sculptors had done private medals which
were produced by Medallic Art – in addition to the work they had
done for the U.S. Mint. Bill had not only known them, but worked
with them, and often socialized and even visited their studios
many times.

Despite fading memories, we "squeezed the orange" to use Don
Scarinci’s term, gleaning as many recollections as we could from
an old-time friend.

It was tough to say goodbye to Bill, now in his 80th year and in
declining health. But I was glad, however, for the opportunity to
have had these conversations and get them on tape."


WILLIAM BARBER'S PICTURE AND PROFESSIONAL IMAGE

In response to last week's request for a picture of William Barber,
Dick Johnson writes: "U.S. Mint Chief Engraver William Barber was a
heavy set man. There is a tiny illustration of him -- but he is not
identified -- in a group photograph of the engraving department on
page 38 (it is Roman numeral "xxxviii" in the Introduction) of Robert
Julian's "Medals of the United States Mint The First Century,
1792-1892."  Barber is shown with mallet raised standing behind a
table of medal dies in the center of the room.

This same image also appeared on a postcard in a set of sixteen
interior photographs within the Third U.S. Mint building in
Philadelphia shortly after the Mint moved into the new building at
16th & Spring Garden Street in 1904. (This is a scarce postcard;
it is missing in my set of interior shots -- I'm a buyer if anyone
has one for sale.) The original photograph is in the National Archives
in College Park, Maryland. Wayne Craven and I saw it when we were
researching this mint building in 2000.

William E. Barber's professional image has become somewhat tarnished
in the minds of numismatists over the years. He was not above taking
credit for others' work. He "adapted" (read "stole") Olin Levi Warner's
bas-relief portrait of Christopher Columbus for the 1892 Columbian
Expo commemorative half dollar (and took full credit, with no mention
of Warner). He even copied his own father's engraved design of the
1881 Assay Medal (Julian AC-24a), added his own C.E.B. initials and
passed it off as his own creation!  He also replicated the work of
Moritz Furst and John Reich (NA-8, -11, -15) without crediting
previous mint engravers.

He ran the engraving department (since 1880 on the death of his
father, William) for far too long a time -- 37 years -- in effect
being Chief Engraver for Life. As the years progressed his ego grew
and he became more feisty. He opposed anyone who he thought was
encroaching on what he insisted was his sovereignty and prerogative.
His conflict with St-Gaudens over the 1907 gold coin designs is well
known. St-Gaudens' critical artistic acumen comments on the Mint's
engravers were aimed directly at Barber.

Observing his life's mediocre engraving work led me to wag  "Charles
Barber would have been better cutting hair than dies."

[Barbara Gregory, Editor-in-Chief of the American Numismatic
Association's NUMISMATIST Magazine was able email a picture of
Barber to Sylvana Aicken for her daughter's project.  Many thanks
for everyone for their assistance.  -Editor]


NEW RESEARCH ON THE FRANKLIN MINT

Katie Jaeger writes: "Last week's E-Sylum carried the story of the
recent sale of the Franklin Mint.  I wanted to let everyone know
that the Coin World issue of Nov. 6, 2006 carries the first half of
my two-part article on the "glory days" of the Franklin Mint, when
medals, casino tokens and coins of the realm were its primary business,
from 1964-1980.

Joe Segel and the late Chuck Andes were at the helm in those days,
and I had the privilege of interviewing both of them in September
2005, while gathering information for a book.  Later Mr. Segel lent
me his entire Franklin Mint archive, and I built my article from the
interviews and from his published and unpublished materials.  I got
to know both men a little bit through my subsequent correspondence
with them, and I have to say, I took a hearty liking to both of them,
and was as shocked as everyone else by the news of Mr. Andes death
in August.

I've managed to amass quite a bit of information on the Franklin
Mint, if anyone has specific questions, feel free to ask."


ZABRISKIE SALE BUYER SOUGHT

Denis Loring writes: "At the Zabriskie sale (Henry Chapman, June 1909),
a few lots were bought by someone named something like 'Podhaiski'.
At least one of these lots reappeared in the Gregory sale (S. H.
Chapman, June 1919).  Does anyone know if 'Podhaiski' was a code
name for Gregory or a real person?  If the latter, does anyone know
anything about him/her?"


SALVADOR RODRIQUEZ MINT SOUGHT

Alan Roy writes: "I'm hoping a reader can help me.  I'm trying
to find out the name of a private mint in Mexico that was owned by
Salvador Rodriguez B (I'm not sure if the "B." is part of his name
or not) in the mid 90s.  I believe he worked for Mexicana de Medallas
at the time.  Thanks."


SCHULMAN PERIODICAL: BOLETIN IBERO-AMERICANO DE NUMISMATICA

Ralf W. Böpple of Stuttgart, Germany writes: "I would like to
approach the combined knowledge of The E-Sylum readership with a
few short questions:

In Clain-Stefanelli's "Numismatic Bibliography", I found a reference
(No. 413) to the following numismatic periodical: Boletín ibero-americano
de numismática. (New York, 1949-1951, issued by Hans Schulman) According
to the entries in the American Numismatic Society database, there seem
to have been nineteen issues in one volume. Can anybody tell me more
about this? Was this indeed the total of bulletins issued, in which
format, and why was it stopped after two years?"

[The Fitzwilliam museum library catalog also lists nineteen issues
in one volume.  Can anyone confirm that this is the entire run?

BOLETIN IBERO-AMERICANO DE NUMISMATICA, New York
{Med. Room Lobby}
1949: vol 1 nos 1- 5; no 7;
1950: vol 1 nos 8-13;
1951: vol 1 nos 14-18;
1953: vol 1 no 19
Full Story


-Editor]


ORDERING BOOK ON COINS AND BANKNOTES OF ISRAEL AND THE BRITISH MANDATE

In our October 15th issue we discussed a new book published by the
Bank of Israel on banknotes and coins of the State of Israel and the
British Mandate from 1927 to the present day.  At the time we did not
have information on how to order the book.  Howard Berlin writes: "I
personally know the author Yigal Arkin and Dr. Barkay. When I was in
Israel in May, I talked with them her office at the Bank of Israel
and they told me that Yigal was finishing up this book. I will be
going back to see them in April.  I found the ordering info for the
book on the BOI site at: ordering info

For those who don't speak Hebrew, be sure to order the ENGLISH
version."

To read the October 15th E-Sylum item, see: esylum_v09n42a03.html


HOWARD BERLIN'S WORLD NUMISMATIC MUSEUM TOUR

Howard Berlin adds: "Since my retirement from teaching electrical
engineering two years ago, I've been doing a lot of traveling.
Often I try to visit museums that have numismatic exhibits. I have
written one article for Coin World and have several others pending
about museums in Berlin, the Kadman Museum in Tel Aviv, etc.  I will
be in Rome in two weeks and will visit the Vatican stamp/coin museum
and the Italian Mint museum. Beyond next month my schedule currently
looks like this:

December 2006:
 St. Louis - Newman Money Museum
January 2007:
 London - Bank of England
 Oxford - Ashmolean Museum
 Cambridge - Fitzwilliam Museum
February 2007:
 Istanbul - Archeological Museum
 Athens - Athens Numismatic Museum, Alpha Bank Collection
March 2007: Ireland: nothing planned yet
April 2007: Jerusalem
Late 2007: Brussels, Dusseldorf, Cologne

These museum visits will be chronicled in a new magazine column
(with some photos) to begin in 2007. I welcome information from
E-Sylum subscribers on numismatic museum exhibits in those cities
where I haven't yet identified a suitable collection to visit.  If
there are none, then I'll just take in the usual tourist sights."

Regarding the Bode museum discussed last week, Howard adds: "I will
be in Berlin again next month. I have been by the Bode several times
in the past two years when it was closed for renovations. I will
check to see about a numismatic library as it is right next to the
Pergamon Museum which was displaying some of the Bode's collection
of ancient coins during the renovation."

Jorgen Somod writes: "Yes, the Bode Museum has a big library and it
is one of the most important coin collections in the world. I visited
the museum in 1977. It was fantastic. However, some of their books
may be missing as I was at the State Historical Museum in Moscow and
saw numismatic books with a rubberstamp from the museum in Berlin.
Many things happened in the years after 1945, when the collection
was deported to the Soviet Union and after some years went back to
Berlin - except some books."


PAN SHOW EDUCATIONAL EXHIBITS AND TALKS

This weekend's Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists (PAN) coin
show had 41 cases of top-notch educational exhibits, including a
number by E-Sylum subscribers.  Several knowledgeable visitors
commented on the high quality and variety of exhibits by adults
and young numismatists alike.  My personal favorite was "Roman Coin
Reverse Designs" by Paul Schultz.  Sam Deep won the People's Choice
award for "101 Ways to Collect Coins".   Other topics included "Fun
With State Quarters" and "U.S. History on State Quarters", "German
Reform Out of the Ashes" (on paper money), "A Carson City Type Set",
"Gold Coins of the Charlotte Mint", "My Favorite Coins", "Our Most
Beautiful Coins", "A Special Roosevelt Inaugural Medal", and "The
Holland Society of New York".

I was unable to attend all of the meetings and presentations, but
Ed Krivoniak did a great job explaining proper coin storage to about
100 kids and parents at the at the Saturday Coins4Kids meeting.  At
the same meeting Tom Sebring spoke on Pirates and shipwreck coins,
and he spoke again at the banquet Saturday evening (on his experiences
as a collector).  Tom's two exhibits at the show were "Shipwreck
Coins and the Sea" and "The 124 Patriots of Ireland Medal".

The recent lifting of the Pennsylvania sales tax on coins contributed
to a large dealer turnout - the show was sold out.  The public also
came out in force, with a crowd of 150 gathered for the opening at
10am Friday. Congratulations to PAN for a great show and continued
emphasis on numismatic education.


COUNTERFEIT DETECTION VIA SERIAL NUMBER

Leon Worden writes: "The line about "100 percent certainty" from the
woman at the bank was amusing, but checking potential counterfeit
notes against a list of serial numbers isn't far-fetched. Years ago
I worked in a bank and grew quite adept at detecting counterfeits.
When I had any doubts, I'd call the local office of the Secret Service,
 which would check the serial number against a hot list or hit list
or whatever they called it.

As noted in the last E-Sylum, counterfeiters often manufacture a
large number of bogus notes from a small number of real ones; thus,
many fakes will have the same serial number. If 100 or 1,000 copies
of the same note exist, odds are you weren't the first person to
find one with that serial number and report it to the Secret Service.

On the off-chance you are the first person to detect a note with
a particular serial number as counterfeit, the Secret Service adds
the serial number to the list when you send it in. (And if you've
tried everything and it doesn't detect as counterfeit and it isn't
on the Secret Service list but you're still unsure about it, you
have the choice of withholding $20 or $100 from the customer's
account and sending it in for verification, or accepting it and
going about your day. Guess what actually happens?)

Now, what if you're the holder of an original note that has been
copied, and its serial number is on the Secret Service list? It
doesn't matter. Either you're the counterfeiter, and the Secret
Service has found it in your possession during a raid, or you're
a law-abiding citizen to whom it was passed -- and because it is
authentic, no checker at the supermarket who swipes it with one
of those pens will think it's fake.

On a somewhat related topic, I love Tom DeLorey's latest idea
about copies of coins, medals and tokens. If they must exist,
make them significantly larger or smaller than the original!
Tom mentions that the Treasury Department "used to" have that
requirement for print reproductions of bank notes. Is that no
longer the case?"

[We've discussed the laws surrounding the illustration of
paper currency in previous E-Sylums.  In the March 28, 2004
issue, Martin Gengerke wrote:

 "For the record, I wrote the law regarding the photographic/
 print/media reproductions on U.S. Currency!

 Black and white photographs and color photographs are legal
 if they are less than 75% or more than 150% of actual size.
 Black and white and color transparencies are legal in any size.
 There are NO restrictions on the appearance of U.S. Currency
 in movies, television or stage performances whatsoever.
 Photos, slides, etc. are supposed to be for numismatic,
 educational, or advertising purposes, and the negatives/slides
 are supposed to be destroyed after use (but this is so hazy an
 area it is not enforced).

  TV MONEY NOW LEGAL
  esylum_v07n13a16.html

-Editor]


A UNIFIED PERSIAN GULF CURRENCY BY 2010?

According to an October 24 news report, there are some plans
for a unified currency in the Persian Gulf region - can any
of our readers provide more background?  Is this a pipe dream
or potential reality?

"... the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) paid attention to
monetary aspects in the implementation of Article 22 of the
Unified Economic Agreement, which stipulates, "Member States
shall seek to coordinate their financial, monetary and banking
policies and enhance cooperation between monetary agencies and
central banks, including the endeavor to establish a joint
currency in order to further their desired economic integration."

The GCC has achieved many accomplishments in this regard,
which were culminated in the agreement on the issuance of
a unified Gulf currency at the beginning of 2010."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

To access the Gulf Cooperation Council homepage (in English), see:
gcc-sg.org


VIETNAM NEWSPAPERS SHUT DOWN FOR REPORTING POLYMER BANKNOTE PROBLEMS

According to a news release, "The Committee to Protect Journalists
condemns the suspension of two newspapers in Vietnam that reported
on corruption and printing problems with the country’s new non-paper
banknotes. The Ministry of Culture and Information slapped a one-month
ban on two small newspapers and was considering disciplinary measures
against other, more widely read newspapers in connection with their
critical reporting on the new notes, according to international
news reports."

"Local media recently ran a series of articles highlighting misprints
and other problems with the new plastic polymer banknotes, which
replaced paper notes. Some published allegations that the son of a
high-level banking official had profited from the printing contract."

To read the complete news release, see: Full Story


COUNTERFEIT COINS CIRCULATING IN THE PHILLIPPINES

On October 27th the Mindanao Daily Mirror reported that counterfeit
coins have been circulating in the Philippines:

"The proliferation of fake coins was brought to the public’s attention
after a Manila businessman turned over the P10 coins which he allegedly
got from Taiwanese men who used to change his peso bills to coins."

"The counterfeit P10 coin is bigger than the genuine. It has a rough
texture unlike the genuine coins which are smooth. Balan said it is
easier to detect fake P10 coins because they stick to magnets while
the real P10 coins do not stick to magnets.

The counterfeit P5 coin is more difficult to detect because one has
to closely examine the coin to notice the differences. One indication
is that real P5 coins have twelve scallop border designs that are
equal in size while the fake P5 coins have unequal designs."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


MONOGRAPH ON NUMISMATIC ELECTROTYPES IN THE WORKS

Dick Johnson writes: "Bob Lyall’s comments in last week’s E-Sylum in
response to my item the previous week on electrotypes is hereby noted.
I stand by my statement that electrotypes are cast. It is just a form
of casting you might not think of. It is a form of "electrogalvanic
casting" from the field of electrometallurgy (in contrast to die
striking). There are a half dozen forms of casting, the most common,
of course, is like foundry casting, and this is perhaps what Bob
thinks I meant. Sorry I wasn’t clear, Bob. But the "cast" term is
correct.

Bob goes on to explain in general the electrotype technology. The
oil he mentions is a "release agent," and not a good one at that
(it is too thick). Let me state my experience with electroforming
and electroplating. This technique is widely used in the manufacture
of medallic art and pattern making for dies. From many hours,
hundreds of hours, leaning over the electrolysis tanks, this
technology became embedded in my mind while I was director of
research at Medallic Art Company. I also had to explain this
technology during many plant tours by visiting VIPs (from local
coin club members to artist Andy Warhol).

First of all, to make a replica of a genuine coin it is best to
make a plaster cast of each side so you do not damage the original
coin. (You need a release agent for this also -- don't let plaster
come in contact with the original coin -- it will get in the
crevices and is next to impossible to remove once it hardens!).
Then you can make an electrotype from those casts (and later
affix the electrotype shells together). Casting changes polarity,
so it is necessary to have the negative plaster to make a positive
anyway.

Instead of using oil, we used bronze powders - the finest, flaky
form available. This is ideal for two reasons: it is electrically
conductive and it acts as a release agent (after the electrolytic
cast is made and to break it away from its pattern). Bronze powder
must cover the entire surface; it can be applied in a very thin
coating (so it does not alter the design as the oil would do
minutely).

Bob Lyall is partly correct in mentioning silver nitrate in the
electrolyte solution, but you must also have a cyanide chemical
(as well as water and one other chemical) to effect the transfer
of ions from the anode (the silver bar) to the pattern. The
coin pattern must be wired to a rectifier which is the source
of a very low voltage direct current.

All this technology will be explained in a monograph John
Kraljevich and I are writing on Numismatic Electrotypes. We just
recently discovered an eight-page manuscript by Elvira Clain-Stefanelli
who translated a small portion of an Italian work on the subject.
The technology therein blew our collective minds! We will reveal
this all in our monograph.

We recognize the vast misunderstanding of this technology in the
numismatic field. A recent example is an article on the Libertas
America medal in the September issue of "Numismatist," page 54,
which states "At least one numismatic expert with whom he spoke
raised the possibility that it is an electrotype (but such pieces
usually are exact duplicates of the original (including depressions,
scratches and other diagnostics) AND MADE OF LEAD."

Impossible! Lead does not conduct electricity. Electrotypes must
be made of a metal that conducts an electric current. The major
coinage metals – copper, silver, gold – are excellent conductors,
thus ideal for coin electrotypes.

I had not heard the story of the British Museum buying back their
own electrotype. I love it! Can anyone document this? We would
like to include it in our monograph."


COLLECTOR GAILLIOT TESTIFIES IN NOE TRIAL

According to an article in the October 27th Pittsburgh Post-Gazette,
"Millions of dollars of rare coins that Tom Noe said were the property
of two state-funded coin funds were actually the property of former
Federated Investors executive Henry Gailliot and former business
partner John Russ, the pair testified yesterday.

Mr. Gailliot and Mr. Russ told jurors in the embezzlement trial of
the former coin dealer and Republican fund-raiser Noe that they
owned coins listed as inventory of the Ohio Bureau of Workers'
Compensation's coin funds, and that sales records produced by Mr.
Noe's business were bogus.

Mr. Gailliot, for years the chief economist at the Downtown-based
mutual fund giant, also said that at times he would sell coins on
consignment with Mr. Noe. When the state seized the company's assets
in May 2005, some of Mr. Gailliot's coins were seized as well."

"Mr. Gailliot said he owns some of the most coveted gold coins in
the United States, worth millions of dollars, and that Mr. Noe helped
him acquire them. He also said he "would never contemplate selling''
two of his rarest coins, from the Trumpeter collection, and had
no explanation why they would be listed in inventories of the
rare coin funds."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

[The article misspelled the name of the Trompeter Collection.
Can anyone tell us which two Trompeter coins Gailliot owns?
-Editor]


PLANS UNDERWAY FOR SOUTH DAKOTA QUARTER LAUNCH CEREMONY

According to an article this week in the Rapid City Journal,
"There will be speeches and music, but the star of the Monday,
Nov. 13, ceremony will be the shiny new coin making its first
public appearance.

The South Dakota commemorative quarter, the 40th coin in the
series honoring all 50 states, will make its debut that day at
Mount Rushmore National Memorial."

"Edmund C. Moy, director of the U.S. Mint, is expected to attend
the event. Gov. Mike Rounds and first lady Jean Rounds will be
there, too."

"The South Dakota commemorative quarter, engraved by John Mercanti,
features an unlikely scene of a pheasant flying over Mount Rushmore
National Memorial. The Chinese ring-necked pheasant is the state
bird, and Mount Rushmore is the state’s most recognizable image."

"On the day of the event, the Mount Rushmore History Association
will be selling commemorative packages featuring two uncirculated
South Dakota quarters. The history association, an arm of the Mount
Rushmore Memorial Society, raises funds for interpretive and
educational programs at the memorial."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


1876 GOLD LIFESAVING MEDAL

In addition to the Zachary Taylor medals mentioned in recent E-Sylums,
the upcoming Stack's Rarities sale includes a number of notable items,
including an 1876 Treasury Department Lifesaving medal in gold.  It's
a magnificent looking piece - be sure to view the lot online.

"The designs are still used for the Coast Guard's Gold Lifesaving
Medal, though in a much smaller and significantly modified form, a
prize last distributed in 1997. They are perhaps Paquet's most
stunning, with sweeping surf sculpted in lifelike form surrounding
two men and a woman in a boat while another is being pulled from
overboard. Their wrecked vessel, sails in the sea, may be seen
behind them. On the reverse, a large area for the engraving of the
name of the lifesaver and the nature of the feat remains blank,
ready for inscription."

"It is amazing to consider that these dies, for which Anthony Paquet
was paid a nearly unheard of $1500 sum in 1875, are known by only
four surviving specimens in all metals, though perhaps another
copper specimen could be tracked down. As a point of contrast, C.C.
Wright was paid $1600 in 1849 for the dies he produced for the
Zachary Taylor medal offered above, but those dies were used by
the Mint for decades. This First Class Lifesaving Medal style was
abandoned just a year after the dies went into production, replaced
by the smaller (and cheaper) Julian LS-7 dies that were used until
1882."

To view the complete lot description and view an image of the medal, see:
lot description


1799 WASHINGTON GOLD SKULL AND CROSSBONES MEDAL

Another interesting item in the Stack's Rarities sale is a 1799
Washington Skull and Crossbones Funeral medal, also in gold.

"Crosby was an avid collector of Washington funeral medals,
collecting them by die variety long before George Fuld was a twinkle
(though Crosby would have loved to have had his research help we
suspect!). He owned 10 different examples, including a gold Urn,
three Silver Urns, the unique copper Urn that reappeared in the
Steinberg Collection, two silver Skull and Crossbones, and a white
metal Skull and Crossbones. He did not own gold Skull and Crossbones,
though one of his silver examples of this type was called "Silver.
Uncirculated. Sharp. Perfect." That piece was struck from the same
dies as this piece and the silver piece in Ford.

Many objects in numismatics are desirable because they're rare,
and there is a certain joy in owning something that few can possess.
Even more special are the objects that are both rare and historic,
the pieces with a connection to an important historical person,
story, or event. But how many pieces that meet those criteria can be
placed in a certain place at a certain time 206 years ago? How many
of that tiny subset has a provenance that is well defined and unbroken
since Lincoln was in the White House?"

To view the complete lot description and view an image of the medal, see:
lot description


SAN FRANCISCO MORGAN DOLLAR REVERSE DIE

One final mention for the Stack's Rarities sale: since we've recently
discussed surviving examples of U.S. Mint dies, it's interesting to
see that an original San Francisco Mint reverse die for a Morgan
silver dollar is available in the sale:

"The die is in excellent condition although has been cancelled with
a large "X" chisel mark at the center. The die surface has patches
of light verdigris and a few nicks and small marks, probably from
post minting handling. No die cracks or other identifying elements
readily present themselves so it is not known when this die was
used, but the "S" mintmark style is that of the 1880s or perhaps
the 1890s. No rim breaks are present in the denticles.

Cancelled dies are seldom offered or found from this period. Most
were apparently destroyed and never found their way into collectors'
hands. Most seen have similar cancelled chisel marks at the center,
and some have identifying numbers on their sides, but not the
present one."

To view the complete lot description and view an image of the die, see:
lot description


REPLICA RUCKUS: BEWARE THE SWITCHEROO ACCUSATION

Following up on our discussion of the pros and cons of numismatic
replicas, Bob Rhue writes: "I'd like to make my fellow E-Sylum
members aware of a remote yet potentially serious risk that can
arise around them.  I understand that perhaps 15 years ago someone
called a major coin firm claiming to have some extremely rare
colonial coin.  The dealer said to mail it insured for whatever
the owner thought it was worth.  Upon receipt the dealer immediately
determined that it was a replica, of "no value", & said so in a
note to the owner, which accompanied the return of the coin.

The dealer's  shipping dept saw that it was of "no value", and
returned it to the owner without insurance or a request for proof
of delivery. Of course it became "lost" in the mail, the customer
insisted in his claim that HIS coin WAS real, and demanded payment
accordingly.  After protracted negotiations the coin company
settled with the owner of this 'rarity' for a large sum of money,
learning a BIG lesson in the process.

After hearing that story, I could see the possibility of the
obvious next extension to that scenario: An unknown person calls
me claiming ownership of a 'rare' whatever.  I tell him there are
a lot of replicas of that particular piece out there, but he's
sure his is genuine since it's been in the family for so long,
or because of whatever other delusion he's operating under. So
I tell him to ship me the piece insured for whatever he thinks
it's worth.  Upon receipt I see it's an obvious replica, return
it to him properly insured with a note to that effect.

The next week I receive a letter from his attorney alleging that
this doesn't even look like the same coin his client sent me,
demands that I immediately return his client's rare "original"
specimen or he will sue me for the $50,000 that the Redbook says
his A.U. coin was worth when I 'switched' it for this worthless
replica.

Nuf Sed?  Don't ever acquiesce in someone sending you one of
these 'rarities'.  Have them send it first to a grading service
or to the ANA or whatever - just not to YOU.  For that matter a
risk always exists that you'll be accused of having 'switched'
his 'superb gem' whatever for the piece of 'nominal value' that
you returned to him. Just be aware."

[This is an age-old problem of dealing by mail; as Bob notes, it
can involve any type of numismatic item, not just replicas.  In
my own experience with examining items, I always do it in person
or not at all.  Like most experienced numismatists, I can usually
tell by the verbal description that the piece in question is likely
a replica.  But I describe to them the procedure I'll use to
confirm my suspicion - I have a scale and books that tells me how
much the genuine piece weighs.  When we get together I let them
put the piece on the scale and show them what the book says.  If
a common fake is listed in the Hancock-Spanbauer book, I show
them that, too.  The scale tells them the bad news, not me.  I
make a point of going through these theatrics even when I can
tell from across the room that the piece is a worthless cast copy.
-Editor]


A HALLOWEEN PENNY PUZZLE

Dick Johnson writes: "Ralph and Terry Kovel have made an industry
of collectibles -- writing dozens of books and price guides, also
newspaper columns, a web site and appearing on TV. They occasionally
mention numismatic items in their activity on collectibles.

For their book on limited editions Mrs. Kovel (Terry) traveled
from their base in Cleveland and spent a day at Medallic Art Company,
where I supplied her with data on all the limited edition medallic
items we had produced. Thus I was impressed by the thoroughness of
their research.

For this Halloween week's column they mention Halloween collectibles.
The puzzle for E-Sylum readers is to click on this URL. Don't use
your Find key, but try to find the word "penny." It is hidden.
Go ahead. Click here and Have a Happy Halloween!
Full Story

[And here's another Halloween quiz, which should be easy for
longtime E-Sylum readers.  Which U.S. numismatic author owned a
business which manufactured paper decorations for Halloween and
other holidays and special occasions?  -Editor]


MEHL NUMISMATIC MONTHLY: A KICKING WIFE'S PROTEST

Dan Gosling writes: "I copied this item from an issue of Mehl’s
Numismatic Monthly (page 35) when I was in the ANA Library during
Member's Appreciation this past summer. But I forgot to note the
volume and issue number.  Are you aware of an index to Mehl's
Numismatic Monthly?"

[I don't know of a MNM index, but one would be welcomed.  It's
an underrated periodical.  I was unable to locate the reference
in my own incomplete set.  Can anyone fill us in on which issue
this piece came from?  -Editor]

A WIFE'S PROTEST
Mr. Mehl:
Dear Sir:
No doubt you will be astonished to receive this letter from me,
but I should like you to know that my husband is not a millionaire
and really he cannot afford to invest so much money in old coins as
he has been doing of late. I simply think he is crazy to buy so many
coins. I call it throwing his money away and goodness knows he has
to work hard enough for it. You may wonder why I should write to
you instead of telling him what I think. I have talked to him until
I am sick and tired of doing so and its no use my trying to reason
with him so I am writing to you. He is simply throwing his money
and has nothing, but a few old coins to show for it. I suppose you
are not the only one selling coins in this country but you seem to
be about the only one he buys any amount from. He receives other
catalogues but just glances over them and throws them aside, but
after one of yours comes he sits reading it evening after evening
and marks it all over with figures of how much he intends to bid.

When he is not looking at your catalogues or paper he is pottering
about his old coins brushing them up and putting into envelopes and
packing them away in boxes, or putting them in little drawers he
has in his cabinet. He is too busy to go out with me to make a visit
or to go to a concert or the movies. In olden times when a man got
married during the ceremony he said to the bride, "This gold and
silver I thee give. With all my worldly goods I thee endow." But
today he does not include his old coins in these gifts and endowments,
he draws a line at them, and is as jealous of me seeing or touching
them as our dog is of a bone he has buried in the back garden.

Things might not be so had if Dad would only handle me differently,
the least he might do is to tell me a little about what he is doing
and why. But I expect he thinks I would make a big kick if I knew
how much his coins cost him, so he treats me as if I were not
capable of understanding his old coins—as if I were only a child.

He is a good man, kind and generous to a fault—especially if it is
his own, but he is too much wrapped up in the old coins. Why can't
he collect old postage stamps, goodness knows there are much cheaper.
My little son buys a whole thousand for a quarter and it takes him
weeks to find out where to paste them in a book. But just because
stamps are so cheap dad doesn't value them, he must have coins.
I'd like to tell you what I think about that article in your January
number. Any man who could make a joke about trading his wife off
for a coin is no man, only an excuse for one. I don't think that
Uncle George ever had a wife. If he had he would show more respect
for womanhood than he did. You should not have printed such a thing.
Perhaps you are surprised at my reading your paper but sometimes
wives read them on the side just to see what it is that interests
their men so much. Dad gets two papers all about coins, but yours
is the only one he reads. He says the other is too highbrow for
him and mostly full of reports of meetings that men go to just
to see their name in print afterwards.

I am writing to you to ask you not to send dad any more coins for
some time, but if you cannot do this only send him a few of what
he asks for. I expect he would be fine and mad if he knew I had
written to you.
A KICKING WIFE.

It seems to us there is some misunderstanding on both sides here.
It might be better if the husband explained how interesting he found
his collection, and the pleasure he took it it. We fancy he would
gain the sympathy of his wife--she shows this in her letter and is
simply a little jealous of his interest in coins. At the same time
we wish to say, the money spent in coins is not money wasted. The
collector who has paid good money for good coins can always rely
on getting the greater part of it back if for any reason he wishes
to turn his collection into cash again. In many cases he would get
even more than he paid for certain coins, as many increase in value
during the years of collecting. The money spent cannot be a total
loss. We are sure that "Uncle George" had no desire or intention
of insulting womanhood in the letter referred to. His remark about
 the value of his wife proves that.—Editor.


LOST COIN RETURNS TO OWNER AFTER OVER FIFTY YEARS

The Regina Leader-Post of Canada reported on October 23rd the
story of a local collector who was recently shocked to discover
at a coin show a numismatic souvenir he'd lost in the early 1950s.

"Coin collector Royce Hall buys and sells numerous rare and hard-to-find
coins. But even he was surprised at the coin that turned up on his
table at the Regina Coin Club's fall show this weekend.

The Dauphin, Man. resident was only eight years old when his mother
took him to a fair around 1950.

"They had a machine there you could put in a dime and you could
print out on an aluminum disc (with) your name and address," he
said. "So I had printed 'Royce Hall, Dauphin Manitoba.' And somewhere
within the next year I lost it."

But upon attending the coin show Saturday -- which he has attended
for the majority of the last 40 years -- he was surprised to see
his old souvenir again."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


WHY DO COINS SMELL?

An article published online October 25th by the journal Nature
asks: "Why does metal smell? Chemists have found a surprising
answer: it doesn't.

After you've grasped an iron railing, a door handle or a piece
of steel cutlery, your hand often gives off what seems to be a
metallic odour. But Dietmar Glindemann of the University of
Leipzig, Germany, and his co-workers say that you're not smelling
the metal at all.

They have found that the musty odour comes from chemical compounds
in your skin, which are transformed in an instant by the touch of
iron."

"Copper has a similar effect, accounting for the metallic smell
created by handling coins made of copper alloys. "When a shopkeeper
hands you a coin," says Glindemann, "you're smelling his body
odour."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


DOES THAT MONEY SMELL FUNNY?  ASK THE COUNTERFEIT-SNIFFING DOG

An article published Saturday on the NewsMax site notes: "According
to a new report released jointly by the U.S. Secret Service, the
Treasury Department and the Federal Reserve Board, Colombia was
revealed as the primary purveyor of counterfeit dollars entering
the United States. In fact, this report estimates that Colombia
is responsible for about 15 percent of all circulating fake currency."

"The Secret Service now has a new weapon in its never-ending fight
against Colombian-based bogus bill manufacturers: the counterfeit
money-detecting canine.

Yes, it's true!

According to a Secret Service press release, these latest doggy
additions to the arsenal of tools used in combating international
counterfeiting graduated from their special training program.

With funding from the Secret Service, Colombian authorities
established a counterfeit detection canine program where teams,
each comprising dog and its handler, undergo a 12-week training
program. The first graduates of this innovative training program
are now being used to discover counterfeit currency.

The special agent in charge stated that just as working dogs
have been trained to detect a variety of items – explosives,
agricultural products, missing people – we have had success in
teaching them to detect many of the commonly produced counterfeit
U.S. notes.

In fact, dog-and-handler teams provided by the Secret Service have
already proven themselves in helping to locate clandestine printing
operations throughout Colombia. "

To read the entire article, see: Full Story


FEATURED WEB SITE: NEW JERSEY PAPER CURRENCY, 1709-1786

This week's featured web site is New Jersey Paper Currency, 1709-1786
by William W. Bradbeer, republished in 1996 by Digital Antiquariea, Inc.

Featured Web Site



  Wayne Homren
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society 

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.

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature.   For more information please see our web site at http://www.coinbooks.org/ There is a membership application available on the web site.  To join, print the application and return it with your check to the address printed on the application.  Visit the Membership page. Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link.

PREV        NEXT        V9 2006 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

NBS Home Page    Back to top

Google
 
NBS (coinbooks.org) Web