The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 2, Number 46:  November 14, 1999: 
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. 


   There are three new subscribers this week:  Nick & Sheri Conklin, 
   B. V. "Vince" Ziesing,  and Anders Frösell of Sweden.  Welcome 
   aboard!  This brings our  subscriber count to 249. 


   NBS Vice-President David Sklow has been able to secure 
   a room at the upcoming Michigan State Numismatic Society 
   coin show in Dearborn, MI.    While the exact time has not 
   yet been reported to us, it we understand it has been set by 
   MSNS and will be published in the club's journal.  

   The meeting will be held Saturday, November 27, 1999, 
   in the auction room (where auctions by Craig Whitford and 
   The Money Tree will be held).   Please contact Dave by 
   email if you'd like to attend the meeting.  His address is 


   In response to last week's "CASE OF THE MISSING 
   SERIAL NUMBERS", Martin Gengerke writes:  

   "A bit of clarification is in order re: the photographic 
   reproduction of U.S. Currency.  

   A few years ago Congress ordered the Treasury Department 
   to come up with regulations that would permit the legitimate 
   use of photos of U.S. Currency.  The Treasury then wrote some 
   horribly restrictive rules and asked for input from the Numismatic 

   I sent the Secret Service a 14 pound package of catalogs and 
   books, explaining why their proposed rules would not work, 
   and enclosed my own rewritten version of the law.  

   My package was never acknowledged, despite the fact that they 
   received only a half dozen responses.  However, when the new 
   law came out, it was virtually a carbon copy of what I had 

   In short, reproduction of U.S. Currency, in black and white or in 
   color, is legal for numismatic, educational or advertising purposes 
   provided that the final illustration is either less than 75% of the 
   original size or more than 150% of the original size.  There is no 
   restriction on the size of the negatives, no restriction on electronic 
   images, and no restriction on film or television use.  There is also 
   specifically nothing in the law that requires that the image be 
   altered in any way, such as removing the serial numbers.  

   I hope this clears up the situation.  I may not be a lawyer, but I 
   did write the law, and probably have a firmer grasp on it than most." 


   John Huffman reported on the condition of retired numismatic 
   literature dealer Frank Katen, who will be 97 in mid-January. 
   When he spoke to Frank's wife Laurese this week, he "learned 
   Frank is doing fine, although getting tired easily.  He recently 
   attended a meeting of the Washington Numismatic Society 
   (Mid-October I think)." 


   A previously featured web site was "Where's George," a site 
   where readers can enter the serial number of a piece of currency 
   passing through their hands, and later track its progress if others 
   report on its whereabouts ( ).  

   A New York woman probably wishes she'd known more 
   about where a certain $100 bill came from before she accepted 
   it from a teller at her local bank before heading to Italy on a 
   business trip.    An article in the November 8th, 1999 Wall 
   Street Journal reported the story.   Laura Kneeland said "Either 
   what happened is a one-in-a-gazillion coincidence, like a 
   "Seinfeld" episode, or maybe it just tells you that this kind of 
    thing could happen to anyone."  

   Kneeland, a Long Island art dealer, gave the note to her friend, 
   Paula Rubino, as part of a payment of a painting.  "When Ms. 
   Rubino tried to exchange the bill for lire, it was immediately 
   traced to the February 1998 ransom paid for the release of a 
   wealthy Italian industrialist kidnapped the year before.  That 
   put Ms. Rubino under suspicion for being an accomplice in 
   the kidnapping."  

   Ms. Rubino was questioned by Italian police for four hours, 
   her apartment was searched, and she was told to hire a lawyer. 
   "It is certainly a serious situation for this woman, but it should 
   all be cleared up soon," said her attorney.  

   Meanwhile, Ms. Kneeland says, "For the next trip, I definitely 
   won't get my cash from the Bank of New York." 


   OK, here are two quick numismatic quiz questions inspired 
   by the tainted $100 bill:  

   1.  What well-known U.S. colonial numismatic items trace 
        their pedigree through the Bank of New York?  

   2.  What famous 1930's crime was solved by tracing serial 
        numbers?   Bonus:  an item of numismatic ephemera 
        which led to the arrest of the suspect was sold in what 
        recent auction? 


   This week's featured web site is the coins, medals and 
   antiquities section at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France. 

  Wayne Homren 
  Numismatic Bibliomania Society 

  The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a 
  non-profit organization promoting numismatic 
  literature.   For more information please see 
  our web site at 
  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.   For those without web access, 
  contact Dave Hirt, NBS Secretary-Treasurer, 
  5911 Quinn Orchard Road, Frederick, MD 21701  

  (To be removed from this mailing list 
   write to me at   

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