The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 6, Number 33, August 17, 2003:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2003, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Among recent new subscribers are Chris Faulkner and
  Max Spiegel.  Welcome aboard!  We now have 586


  Len Augsberger writes: "The issue of grave robbery and the
  Central America is a tricky one.  Modern  thought seems to
  have no problem with "recovering" ancient burial sites such
  as the Egyptian pyramids.  More recently, the Titanic
  discovery elicited minimal outcry, while the Edmund Fitzgerald
  (lost in 1975) has evoked strong anti-exploration sentiment
  from surviving family members.  The "statue of limitations" on
  public sentiment relating to shipwreck recovery would seem
  to exist to the extent of perhaps 100 years."


  According to an Associated Press report published in the
  Charlotte Observer and elsewhere today, another shipwreck
  possibly containing millions of dollars worth of gold coins has
  been located 1,700 feet of water in international waters
  southeast of Savannah, GA.

  "The SS Republic was carrying 59 passengers and 20,000
  $20 gold coins from New York to New Orleans when it sank
  in a hurricane off Savannah, Ga., on Oct. 25, 1865, according
  to newspaper accounts and other records.

  All the passengers survived, but the coins -- intended to help
  pay for reconstruction of the South after the Civil War -- went
  to the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. An expert has estimated
  they would be worth $120 million to $180 million today."

  If true, the haul could top the S.S. Central America treasure.
  For the full story, follow this link to the Charlotte Observer
  web site:


  Following up on the discussion of the Justh & Hunter gold
  bar in the Lilly collection at the Smithsonian Institution, Bob
  Leonard writes: "This same bar (Justh & Hunter) was
  condemned four years ago at the 1999 ANA Convention
  numismatic theater ("Great Debate") by Ted Buttrey, and for
  the same reasons, too (markings are wrong), but Prof.
  Buttrey lacked the presentation and publicity skills of Evans,
  Holabird, and Fitch, so he was not taken seriously by many
  present or covered by the Associated Press.  It is good to
  see that the "Great Debate" is not over after all."

  [There was a great deal of commentary in The E-Sylum
  regarding the 1999 "Great Debate".  See our web site for
  archived back issues.  -Editor]


  Many thanks to Eric Holcomb for providing photos of the
  NBS meeting award recipients at the American Numismatic
  Association convention in Baltimore.   Thanks also to
  Bruce Perdue, who added them to our web site.


  Paul Withers writes: "One was amused by the correspondence
  relating to the omission of Canada and I can only quote one of
  the USA's more well-known citizens, Al Capone, who said :
  'I don't even know what street Canada is on.' "


  Speaking of Canada, Darryl Atchison sends this reminder "for
  those people interested in purchasing our Canadian Numismatic
  Bibliography at pre-publication prices.  The deadline of Oct. 15
  is approaching soon enough and Ron tells me that orders are not
  coming in as quickly as we had hoped.

  We had the sample of the text for both volumes as well as a
  binders' mock up of the finished product at the Canadian
  Numismatic Association convention in Windsor in mid-July.
  Some of our members had an opportunity to view the draft
  and proposed volumes while they were there.  Everyone had
  favourable comments to make about our work.  Perhaps some
  of those people who had an opportunity to view our work either
  in Windsor or beforehand could send in some of their comments
  for our readers to get unbiased commentary.

  The price again is:  $98 (US) or $140 (Cdn) for the two volume
  set.  A delivery charge of $14 (the same in both currencies) will
  also apply.  Orders received after mid-October will not be able
  to avail of this pre-publication price.  The new prices for later
  orders will be $140 (US) or $200 (Cdn) plus the $14 delivery

  Cheques should be made payable to:
  Numismatic Education Society of Canada
  nd orders should be sent to:

  Numismatic Education Society of Canada
  C/o Ron Greene
  P.O. Box 1351
  Victoria, BC
  V8W 2W7

  The numbers of copies printed will be strictly limited as we
  intend to sell the majority of the published copies on pre-order
  only.  Thank you once again."

  [I would again encourage E-Sylum readers with even a
  passing interest in Canadian numismatics to order a copy
  of this monumental work.  My order is already in. -Editor]


  Regarding last week's Featured Web Page on the Maria
  Theresia restrikes, Philip Mernick (phil at
  writes: "This originally appeared in Numismatic Chronicle
  which is the journal of the Royal Numismatic Society, not
  the London as on your excellent web site which I got from
  the latest E-Sylum.  It was later reprinted in monograph
  form as number 1 in the series of Doris Stockwell Memorial
  Papers published by the British Association of Numismatic
  Societies (BANS). It is still available at 3 pounds plus
  postage. The link below gives details of our other publications.
  We also offer videotaped lectures but unfortunately not in
  US format."

  [Thanks for setting the record straight, and providing
  the link to the British Association of Numismatic Societies
  publications.  They are:

  * Broome, "The 1780 restrike talers of Maria Theresia"
  * Hawkins, "Four studies of British metallic tickets and
        commercial checks of the 19th and 20th centuries"
  * Kent, "The pattern of bronze coinage under Constantine 1"
  * Woolf, "The Sovereign Remedy: touch pieces and the
       king's evil"
  * Waddell, Co-operative checks: tickets, tokens and coins.
  * Manville, The British Association of Numismatic Societies:
       its first 50 years 1947-1997.



  David Fanning (fanning32 at writes: "I am
  trying to determine whether there were any publications
  issued by Stack's and dated 1935 other than their first
  auction catalogue and a premium-paid (prices-paid-for-)
  list titled "Standard Premium Price List of Rare United
  States Coins." The premium-paid list is listed and illustrated
  in Remy Bourne's volume on the 1930s price lists and is
  marked "Newest Edition," though probably because it was
  taken from a generic template.  Does anyone else know
  of any Stack's publications from 1935? Any earlier?


  While searching for a web site to feature, I came across a
  reference to the following book: "Convict Love Tokens : The
  Leaden Hearts the Convicts Left Behind,"  edited by Michele
  Field and Timothy Millett. Kent Town, S. Aust. : Wakefield
  Press, 1998.

  Interesting topic - a cross between love tokens and prison
  tokens.  Has anyone seen the book?   A subsequent web
  search located a December 1998 story about a British
  Museum exhibit of author Millett's collection:

  "AN EXTRAORDINARY collection of love tokens
  engraved by convicted Britons as farewell mementoes to
  loved ones before they were transported to Australia are to
  be exhibited in London.

  Timothy Millett, a leading numismatist who has built up the
  collection since 1984, is lending it to the British Museum on
  January 13. He described the tokens as "the leaden hearts
  the convicts left behind". Most were sentenced for offences
  as petty as stealing a ribbon.

  The tokens were scratched in prison cells on to the
  smoothed-out surface of copper pennies, just 36mm in
  circumference. Intended for sweethearts and family
  members, they carry poignant messages heavy with despair."


  Chris Faulkner writes: "Does anyone have a copy of the
  May 2, 1903, Geoffrey Adams Sale? I believe lot 263 is
  a Prince Edward Island Holey Dollar and I would like to get
  a photocopy of the page with the lot, along with the  name
  of the consignor, the price realized, and the buyer, if any of
  that information should be known. While I'm at it, if anyone
  out there has a PEI Holey Dollar or Dump that I don't know
  about, please get in touch.  I've been researching these things
  for about twelve years now and want to make sure I inventory
  every known specimen (including counterfeits, fakes and
  replicas). Thanks. Please contact me at:
  ChrisFaulkner at"


  Karl Moulton writes: "In response to Bob Leonard's
  request on the Planter's Bank C/S cut quarters,  I can offer
  the following:

  One of the earliest appearances in any American auction
  catalogue of the Planter's Bank cut and counterstamped 8
  Real quarter pieces can be found in the June 26, 1890
  Lorin Parmelee sale conducted by New York Coin &
  Stamp (Harlan P Smith & David Proskey) lots #290 & #291.
  The first lot is of a genuine piece (which sold for $9.), while
  the second lot contains a piece with an additional stamp
  "Bad" (this lot sold for $4.50).

  Interestingly, Parmelee had 5 different cut Spanish pieces
  with PB counterstamps.  The design, as described in the
  Parmelee catalogue is, heraldic eagle: NOUVELLE
  ORLEANS, P. B. in circle of 16 stars and links.  Although
  they were not considered important enough to include in
  the sale catalogue, there were plates of these five pieces
  taken by Boston photographer Baldwin Coolidge shortly
  before the sale took place.  The one set still extant was
  offered in the March 23, 1995 Armand Champa II sale,
  conducted by Bowers & Merena, lot #1409.

  These pieces were formerly considered tokens, primarily due
  to Lyman Low's incorrect attribution to Puech Bein & Co.,
  approximately 100 years ago.  They are not tokens, but
  rather emergency issued coinage which circulated as "interim"
  American quarter dollars in the Louisiana area between 1811-
  1816.  These unofficial American counterstamped quarter
  pieces were needed to help with the daily commerce and
  exchange of smaller Spanish "bits" which were valued at
  12 1/2 cents.  The reason they stopped circulating was due to
  the arrival of nearly 70,000 pieces of the newly re-instated and
  re-designed 1815 United States quarter dollars from the
  Philadelphia mint aboard the ship Big Free Ocean.

  It was at the insistence of Planter's Bank cashier, Bailey
  Blanchard (as per the board members of the bank), that we
  had the quarter dollar denomination continuing as a circulating
  denomination in the United States.  Production had been
  unofficially discontinued in 1807, after Senator Uriah Tracy
  had re-introduced legislation to make twenty cent and two
  cent pieces.

  There have been various offerings of these Planters Bank pie
  shaped cut and counterstamped pieces scattered throughout
  American coin auction catalogues over the years.  I too,
  would be interested in knowing about the 1863 French book
  which has a reference noting these were American related


  Gail Baker, Director of Education at the American Numismatic
  Association writes: "Thanks for running the comments by David
  Menchell about ANA's very successful 18th Century Numismatics
  Seminar at Colonial Williamsburg.  28 students, 3 instructors and
  12 additional family members participated in the various activities.
  ANA is planning to repeat the experience in 2005, with some
  modifications and additions to the schedule. No date or prices
  are yet available.

  Next year, in conjunction with the ANA Anniversary Convention
  in Pittsburgh, ANA will be hosting a similar Seminar at
  Gettysburg on Civil War Numismatics. Since it is currently still
  in the planning stages, I welcome suggestions from potential

  [Gail may be reached at education at   As the
  General Chairman for the 2004 Pittsburgh ANA Convention,
  your editor is quite keen on having many varied and interesting
  speakers at both the convention and related events such as the
  planned Civil War Numismatics Seminar.    And what better
  place to recruit great numismatic speakers than The E-Sylum?
  If you'll be attending the convention, please consider giving
  a presentation on a interesting topic.

  Gail is the coordinator, and all proposals should go thorough
  her.  Filling out one short form is all it takes to be considered
  for the agenda.  A copy is on the ANA web site at this address:  The form is
  labeled "Baltimore" should soon be updated to read "Pittsburgh"
  Baltimore had a fabulous roster of presentations that will be
  tough to beat.  But we can try!   It's the best time and place of
  the year to get in front of U.S. collectors and researchers.


  Greg Heim writes: "Regarding the article on coinless EZPAY
  and FASTPAY casinos which use tickets:  One of these
  casinos is the newly opened Borgata in Atlantic City, NJ.  It
  should be noted that despite the fact they are coinless, coins
  and tokens are still placed in the hoppers in case of a system
  failure.  In the case of the Borgata, only tokens of $10 and
  above can be purchased from the cashiers.  That makes the
  $1, $2, and $5 tokens quite collectible because you cannot
  feed in money into a slot and cash out.  If you collect these,
  your best bet is to ask at the change booth for any loose
  ones.  Chances are they will say no, but in several instances,
  I have obtained about $12 face value.

  Lastly, as a frequent casino patron, I love the fact that the
  tickets come out.  It saves on down time.  From a numismatic
  standpoint, however it stinks."


  In line with the recurring theme of disappearing uses of coins
  in commerce, Dick Johnson writes: "The Massachusetts
  Turnpike this week began eliminating exact change lanes.
  They were receiving just too many foreign coins and other
  objects in their coin toss-in receptacles.  Turnpike officials
  said they were losing thousands of dollars every month and
  hope to complete the conversion by Labor Day.

  This says something about the honesty of driving Americans,
  who make sport of beating the system for a couple of quarters.
  So drivers in Massachusetts must now go through the lanes
  manned by toll takers, or sign up for their Fast Lane program
  (where a sticker registers the number of times a car passes go).

  An Associated Press article ran with a picture of the debris
  retrieved from one toll booth cash box. Most were foreign
  coins with a few tokens and small medals, but also were casino
  chips, and dollar bills torn in half.  Sorry, Mac, paper doesn't
  work in coin tolls.

  Even when transportation companies sell this flotsam to foreign
  exchange dealers and coin dealers their loses must be significant
  to close the change lanes."

  [I found a copy of the AP article at the following address, but
  no picture.  -Editor

  In response to a query, token dealer Rich Hartzog notes:
  "While I've not gotten any stuff from the Massachusetts
  Turnpike, I hate to see any source of supply disappear!
  Over the years, I've gotten some 18,000+ pounds of tokens
  and world coinage from a guy who got all the non-US stuff
  from a tollway in another state.   In recent years, they decided
  to destroy all non-US coins, as they were afraid the material
  was coming  back to them.  It was fun while it lasted!
  Figuring about 90 coins/tokens per pound, I sold some 1.6
  million pieces (!).  Tons of Chuck-E-Cheese tokens and
  other quarter-sized arcade tokens.  While I didn't have time
  to sort all the tonage, I did find an oversized PA saloon token
  in one lot."


  The following is an excerpt from an ANA Press Release:
  "The first major traveling exhibit of works by the American
  Renaissance sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens will open at
  the American Numismatic Association Money Museum and
  neighboring Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center on August 28
  as part of an 11-city United States tour."

  The tour "features 75 of the sculptor's most famous works --
  including reductions of major outdoor commissions, full-sized
  works cast in bronze, marble and plaster, portrait reliefs,
  decorative objects and coins--an outstanding retrospective
  of the master's work."

  "At the urging of President Theodore Roosevelt, Saint-Gaudens
  created two of the most beautiful U.S. gold coins--the double
  eagle ($20) and eagle ($10). The Liberty design for the $20
  was adapted by the United States Mint in 1987 for its American
  Eagle gold bullion coin."

  "Subsequent venues include:
   Allentown Art Museum
   (Pennsylvania), November 20 - January 18, 2004;

  Memorial Art Gallery, University of Rochester
  (New York), February 12 - April 11;

  Frick Art and Historical Center
  (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania), May 6- July 4;

  Georgia Museum of Art, University of Georgia
  (Athens),  July 29 - September 26;

  Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts
  (Alabama), October 21- January 2, 2005;

  Smith College Museum of Art
  (Northampton, Massachusetts), January 26 - March 20;

  Wichita Art Museum
  (Kansas), April 15 - June 12;

  Center for the Arts
  (Vero Beach, Florida), July 7 - September 5;

  Munson-William Proctor Museum of Art
  (Utica, New York), September 29 - November 27."

  For more information, visit and


  Robert Laviana writes: "Is there a Krause volume covering
  Europe or World Coins for the 17th Century? I know that
  Germany has one issued. Is it merged with a general volume?
  Any specific titles? Is it out of print? The Krause bookstore
  does not indicate one available.  Thanks for any assistance."


  Dick Johnson writes: "The definition for SCISSEL in last week's
  E-Sylum was not entirely accurate. Not only is it the long strips
  of metal from which blanks (not coins, blanks) are cut, but also
  the trimmings from other metal-working operations. Workers
  today are more apt to use the term SKELETON SCRAP for
  the blanked strips rather than the archaic word "scissel."

  The shavings from turning on a lathe is scissel; so are the rings
  trimmed off the edges of medals struck on oversize blanks (like
  those forming an integral loop at the top). Scissel or skeleton
  scrap is useful at a mint because it is the exact alloy formula as
  coins being struck.  It can be melted and rerolled into new
  strips for blanking without being reformulated (tested and
  virgin metal added to give the exact ratio of two or more metal

  Scissel is similar to another term, SHRUFF.  Scissel is clean
  metal scrap, shruff is dirty metal. Shruff comes from the trash
  barrels in metal-working shops in which everything is tossed
  in, plus floor sweepings. It needs to be processed to recover
  useful metal. In contrast, scissel is tossed into the melting pot

  In large operations, skeleton scrap is either cut into small
  pieces or folded onto itself rolling the strips into balls. This
  process is called cabbaging. It is easier to handle the loose
  pieces or the "cabbages" tossing these into the melting pot
  rather than strips.

  I have walked the hallways and docks of metal-working
  plants and seen dozens of large containers overflowing with
  metal scrap, scissel. These await shipment to metal processors.

  The wealthiest families near metal-working centers are not
  the inventors of the metal products, not the manufacturers,
  not the company investors, not the salesmen. The wealthiest
 families are the scrap metal dealers."


  Regarding artist Paul Jackson stickered quarters, David L Ganz
  writes: "I've got two in my collection, both of which Paul gave
  me when he visited my NY law office earlier this year.  None
  seen in circulation, but what a great story."


  A recent Reuters article featured a huge used bookstore in
  out-of-the-way Archer City, Texas.  Should any of our
  readers have a chance to travel there, it might be an interesting
  place to poke around.

 "Dusty streets, a blinking traffic light and churning oil rigs in
  the bone-dry hills are the backdrop for the classic movie
  "The Last Picture Show" -- and for an unlikely oasis for used
  book lovers.

  Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Larry McMurtry, author of
  "Terms of Endearment," "Lonesome Dove" and "The Last
  Picture Show," has turned his hometown of Archer City,
  Texas, into what several book dealers say is one of the
  preeminent places in the United States to search for used

  His store, called Booked Up, fills four buildings in the town
  square and has between 200,000 and 300,000 books on
  the shelves."

  "Explaining the appeal of owning a rare bookshop, McMurtry
  said, "Writing is an imaginative, emotional, emotive effort. The
  process of selling rare and out of print books is much drier.
  For me, it has always been a perfect balance."

  The article makes an interesting read:


  The recently "found" 1913 Liberty Nickel was long thought
  to be an altered piece used as a decoy for potential thieves.
  The Western Morning News, the regional daily newspaper
  serving Devon, Cornwall, West Somerset and West Dorset.,
  UK, reported a theft in which a decoy played a part.

  "Bungling burglars who launched a million-pound raid on a
  popular Cornish tourist attraction escaped with little more
  than "paper money".

  Thieves broke into Cornish Goldsmiths, near Redruth, in the
  early hours of Friday and targeted a new display of a million
  pounds in £5 notes."

  "What the thieves had not realised was that real fivers were
  only bound to the top of the bundles - the rest was only cut
  up pieces of paper."

  "The attraction is full of valuable items including luxury pieces
  of gold, although these are securely locked away every night.
  The centre, which is on the site of the former tin streaming
  works at Portreath which once yielded gold, is also home to
  James Bond's famous Aston Martin DB5."


  On August 7 Reuters reported that "A Florida woman
  thought she was getting a certified check for $85 but her
  bank mistakenly made it out for more than $48.7 million."

  "The Bank of Pensacola said the teller entered the check
  number in the space for the check amount. The check
  could not have been cashed, officials said."


  This week's featured web pages are an introduction to colliery
  checks, coal mining tokens of the U.K.

  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 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.

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