The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 12, March 21, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Among recent new subscribers are Chris Karstedt of
  American Numismatic Rarities and Lawrence J. Lee of
  Numismatic Museum Services of Colorado Springs, CO.
  Welcome aboard (and welcome back)!   We now  have
  639 subscribers.

  Larry Lee, the former curator of the American Numismatic
  Association museum, writes: "To paraphrase Dire Straits,
  I want my E-Sy-lum!"


  Gail Baker, ANA Education Director, writes: "The American
  Numismatic Association (ANA) presents a 3-day numismatic
  tour of the American Civil War. This is a once-in-a-lifetime
  opportunity to be immersed in the turmoil of the single greatest
  event that shaped America and in the official and non-official
  money spawned by the conflict. Learn from specialist David
  Schenkman about encased postage stamps, Civil War tokens,
  Confederate money, and sutler tokens ? how and why they
  were made and used.   Tour six Civil War Battlefield sites:
  Harpers Ferry, Antietam, Manassas I & II, Fredericksburg,
  Chancellorsville, lead by professional numismatist and battlefield
  tour guide Colonel Steven Ellsworth, a graduate of the National
  War College in Washington D.C., and the National Defense
  University and a direct descendant of Colonel Elmer Ellsworth,
  the first Union officer killed in the War. Steve's broad
  perspective offers valuable insights into tactical, strategic, and
  political aspects of the Civil War.

  Students begin their journey back to the 19th century on Sunday,
  August 22 in Shepherdstown, West Virginia with a two-night
  stay at the beautiful and historic Bavarian Inn on the Potomac
  River, and continue on for one night in Fairfax, Virginia.  The
  package also includes 3 breakfasts, daily box lunches, and
  travel in a deluxe air-conditioned bus.  The journey concludes
  at Dulles Airport on Wednesday, August 25 at 3:30 p.m.
  Tuition, meals and accommodations: $895 single/$695 double.
  Tuition only: $595. For more information, contact Gail Baker
  at education at"


  Dave Bowers writes: "Thank you for your nice mention of The
  Numismatic Sun. If any subscribers (United States addresses
  only) would like to have a sample copy of the The Numismatic
  Sun, I invite them to contact American Numismatic Rarities at
  (603) 569-0823 or P.O. Box 1804, Wolfeboro, NH 03894.
  A simple request with "Please send me the Numismatic Sun
  per the note in the E-Sylum, my mailing is: XXX" would be


  Eric Holcomb writes: "The Pacific Northwest Numismatic
  Association (PNNA) has published a 16-page convention
  special edition of the association's quarterly newsletter, The
  Nor'wester. The special edition, with a press run of 750, is
  the first Nor'wester in recent memory to be printed in
  magazine format on a web-offset press, rather than a
  photocopier. Lots of extra copies will be available at the
  ANA National Money Show(TM) in Portland and the
  PNNA's own convention in April. In addition to information
  about the conventions, there are stories entitled "Our Persian
  Heritage," "Who were the original Nor'westers?" and
  "Numismatic Exhibiting" (by ANA Chief Judge Joseph


  From The Hill, "The Newspaper for and about the U.S.
  Congress," comes this note: "The International Monetary
  Fund(IMF) Center is teaming up with the Smithsonian?s
  Museum of American History for a new exhibit, ?Money
  and Sovereignty: Selections from the National Numismatics

  The show traces currency from its earliest use and opens,
  coincidentally, on April 15, IRS deadline day. ...  It's an
  invitation-only reception and should draw plenty of
  political, financial and diplomatic swells."


  From the Web India online newspaper, March 17, 2004:

  "India's first museum dedicated to numismatics, the study of
  coins, was  recently opened in Nasik.

  The museum set up by Indian Institute of Research in
  Numismatics, has a collection of ancient coins and also
  showcases badges that were driving licenses issued in 1903
  by southern Nizam ruler's police department. Coin moulds in
  ancient Brahmi script dating back to the seventh century, seals
  of British Governors General, Mughal emperor Akbar's gold
  half-mohur (seal) that depicts Lord God Rama and his consort
  Sita and Mughal ruler Jehangir's zodiac coins are some of the
  rare coins on display. The research centre-cum-museum also
  contains other fascinating objects such as beads, wampum,
  dentalia and other commodities, once used as money. The
  museum also houses photo cardexes of coins numbering
  approximately 150,000.

  Amiteshwar Jha, head of the museum, said their library with
  a collection of 1,500 books on coins dating back to 6th
  century B.C, will be useful for  researchers."

  To read the full article, see: Full Article


  Ferdinando Bassoli writes (from Italy): "Don't you have
  European associates and subscribers as I am? The vast
  majority (99%) of your contributions to the Bulletin and the
  weekly newsletter is dedicated, as it is only correct, to
  USA and American contributions, but I cannot often find
  a single item dedicated to European and classic argument.
  Cannot you give an eye to this side of Atlantic bibliomania
  and satisfy your readers (I don't know how many, but they
  could increase.). Is this a lack of interest?  Do you wish
  correspondence from our (and my) part?  Best regards."

  [My reply:
  "Thank you for your note.  Many of our subscribers are
  from outside of the U.S., and we do hear from them on
  occasion, but as you note, the majority of our submissions
  do tend to be  U.S.-centric.  I  publish nearly every submission
  received.    There is no intention to focus only on U.S.
  numismatics, but that is the tendency of our submitters.
  When I write items of my own, these are usually on U.S.
  matters since this is what I am most familiar with.  But
  submissions on other areas of numismatic literature and
  research are welcome and encouraged."   As it happens,
  we do have several items on non-U.S. topics this week.
  Time will tell which way our future submissions will lead.
  -Editor ]


  Henry Bergos writes: "I was extremely saddened to read
  about Jules Reiver's passing.  We were only Friends for
  about 15 years.   He was a sharing, generous, caring, giving
  GENTLEMAN SCHOLAR. We have lost one of our greatest
  people.  He will be SORELY missed. Whenever I am asked
  for the few best people I have known in this Hobby his name
  always is among them."

  [Jules was absolutely one of a kind, and a true gem.


  Arthur Shippee forwarded the following link from
  Explorator, the newsletter on ancient history:

  "A man unearthed a priceless hoard of 20,000 Roman
  coins as he dug a new fishpond in his back garden.

  Experts say the money may date from the 4th Century
  and could be the biggest find of its kind in Britain.

  The coins were crammed into a ceramic pot which broke
  up as it was dug out of the ground at Thornbury, South

  "Mr. Allen said: "It was a great surprise and at first I
  didn't realise what we had found.

  "The pot was perfectly upright; I can't believe that this
  discovery was only 20ft from our house."

  Kurt Adams, the Finds Liaison Officer for Gloucestershire
  and Avon, said: "The coins identified so far can be
  attributed to Constantine the Great."

  To read the full article (with illustrations): Full article

  The home page of The Explorator is: The Explorator


  On the web, pages are referenced by their URL, or
  "Universal Resource Locator."  Dick Johnson writes: "Here's
  a list of sources of information by numismatic URLs:

  URA -  Universal Resources A.N.A.
  URB -  Universal Resources Breen
  URC -  Universal Resources Campbell (Frank)
  URD -  Universal Resources Deisher
  URE -  Universal Resources E-Sylum
  URF -  Universal Resources Forrer
  URG -  Universal Resources Green (Nancy)
  URH -  Universal Resources Homren
  URI -  Universal Resources Institute of Heraldry
  URJ -  Universal Resources Julian
  URK -  Universal Resources Ken (Bressett)
  URM -  Universal Resources MCA website
  URN -  Universal Resources Newman (Eric)
  URO -  Universal Resources Orosz (Joel)
  URP -  Universal Resources Pete Smith
  URQ -  Universal Resources Q. David
  URR -  Universal Resources Rulau
  URS -  Universal Resources Society (Am Num)
  URT -  Universal Resources Taxay (Don)
  URU -  Universal Resources U.S. Mint
  URV -  Universal Resources Vermeule
  URW -  Universal Resources White (Michael)
  URX -  Universal Resources Xenos (Myron)
  URY -  Universal Resources Yeo[man]
  URZ -  Universal Resources Zerbe (Farran)."


  Christopher Eimer writes: "With regard to the current
  correspondence relating to Janvier and his reducing machine,
  readers may like to note that a bronze plaque engraved by
  the medallist Alexander Charpentier was struck to
  commemorate the process.  An image of the plaque may
  be found on the Archive page of my website
  (, under the year c.1900."

  [The direct URL for this page is: Plaque Image  -Editor]

  He adds: "It really was remiss of me not to have taken the
  opportunity of saying what a wonderful job and service to
  the numismatic community you are doing with the weekly
  e-mailed bulletins.  It really does provide an ideal forum for
  numismatists, whatever their particular interest, and will, I
  believe, come to bear an increasing influence on the hobby
  and its direction.  With many congratulations, Christopher."


  Noble Numismatics of Australia will auction "a unique volume of
  monetary documents that straddle the change of administration
  of Tasmania from New South Wales 179-years ago.

  The documents, known as Bills of Exchange, were issued in
  Hobart between 1823 and 1842.

  Bills of Exchange were written orders by an individual or an
  authority to pay a specific sum to another person or bearer.

  The auction will be conducted in Sydney on April 1...

  "Individually these Bills of Exchange have sold for up to
  $10,000 each and there are some 217 in total in this album."

  Bills of Exchange Article


  Gar Travis writes: "Some several years ago, I purchased from
  an antique store (while on vacation in Minnesota) a copy of
  Mehl's "The Star" (1925). In the middle of the book was an
  envelope (unopened) posted marked Dec. 1, 1934 from
  Harry T. Wilson (American Numismatic Association
  Secretary) with contents - upon which speculation has been
  is an ANA dues notice. I cannot seem to come up with an
  appropriate "reason" or "time to commemorate" to open
  it, but thought since there was mention in the recent edition
  of Adam Pietz - that I would share this with our readers.":


  CBC/Radio-Canada, Canada's national public broadcaster,
  published an item about the country's new $100 bill:

  "Canada's new $100 bills were put into public circulation
  Wednesday - the latest of the country's currency notes to
  face a redesign to make them more difficult to counterfeit.

  The back of the $100 note will no longer feature a Canada
  goose. It has been replaced with a new theme - "innovation
  and exploration" through mapping. Former prime minister Sir
  Robert Borden is still featured on the note, although with a
  different portrait.

  The brown note gets several new anti-counterfeiting features,
  including a metallic holographic stripe, a watermarked portrait
  and a see-through number."

  "Many retailers now routinely refuse to accept $100 bank
   notes because of worries they might be counterfeit.

  The Bank of Canada plans to introduce new $20 and $50
  notes later this year. The $5 and $10 notes have already been
  revamped with new security features.

  To read the full story, with an illustration of the 
  new note, see: Full Story


  Dick Johnson writes; "I got a catalog in the mail today
  (March 17th, 2004) from Lighthouse Publications with a
  covering letter signed by Florian M. Frank, Executive General
  Manager.  Great coin products -- cases, albums, supplies!
  Lousy letter.

  It's addressed "Dear Fellow ANA member" under a headline
  "From ANA member to ANA members."  But in the second
  paragraph it mentions a special promotion "only available to
  members of the American Numismatic SOCIETY"!   I can
  overlook that goof but in the fourth paragraph the promotion
  closes "December 20th 2003," and another in the fifth
  paragraph the offer "expires December 31st, 2003."!  Almost
  three months past!

  Hey, Florian, don't you read this stuff before you send it out?"


  Paul DiMarzio offers a comment in response to David Fanning's
  note on the word "numismatology" in our previous issue.  He
  writes: "I would agree that this word is not well known.
  Consider this: when I was looking for an e-Bay handle that
  somehow expressed the numismatic spirit, virtually every word
  that I could think of containing "numis" was taken.  But
  numismatology was available!  The dictionary definition that I
  found was "The science which treats of coins and medals, in
  their relation to history; numismatics."

  [His note was signed "Paul DiMarzio, numismatology on e-Bay
  :-)"  -Editor]


  The following story comes from Massachusetts, dated
  Wednesday, March 17, 2004:

  "Police are charging a 42-year-old Foxboro man with using
  counterfeit money to buy items at Victoria's Secret and
  Filene's at the Hanover Mall Thursday."

  "Detective Robert Colby was working a paid detail at the
  Hanover Mall," said Sweeney. "He was called to the
  Victoria's Secret store with a report that an individual had
  been at the store with some counterfeit money to make a
  purchase. Detective Colby was given a description of the
  individual that made the transaction."  Full Story

  QUICK QUIZ:  Now for some numismatic trivia.  Which
  U.S. coin designer's daughter is a Victoria's Secret model?
  Bonus question: the model married what other famous
  entertainer?   And just what do they all talk about around
  the Thanksgiving table, anyway?


  Chick Ambrass writes: "After reading the recent E-Sylum
  item, I was talking with my son about the so-called tracking
  devices in $20 bills.  The first note I put in the microwave was
  a 2000-series note;  it "popped" almost immediately, and
  popped again 10-15 seconds later.  After careful examination,
  there was no hole in either of the eyes of Jackson.  I then tried
  two 2004-series notes and not one single pop, no holes in
  Jackson's eyes. Nothing happened folks."

  Bob Shippee writes: "I tried it with a new $20 and with a UK
  5 Pound note.  Nothing happened after 60 seconds, except I
  got a very strange look from my wife..."

  From Line56, a site for business-to-business commerce,
  comes this confirmation that the whole thing about RFID
  tags in U.S. money is a hoax:

  "Along with some reasonable privacy questions being raised
  around RFID are new urban legends that suggest vast
  conspiracies are afoot to misuse personal information. The
  latest apparently is a myth that RFID chips have been
  embedded in $20 bills behind Andrew Jackson's right eye.
  The story goes that if one places a $20 bill in a microwave
  oven, the tag in the bill will explode and burn the money.

  The rumor was enough for global trading association AIM
  to issue a release debunking the myth, especially after noting
  that some people had begun wrapping their money in
  aluminum foil to thwart the conspiracy. "

  For the doubtful, AIM repeated the experiment by warming
  a new $20 bill in a microwave set to "high" for one minute
  with no deleterious effect.  The group went an extra step by
  placing a RFID tag of the type used by commercial laundries
  near Andrew Jackson's image on the bill.  The chip did indeed
  begin to spark and burned the bill but revealed no hidden
  tracking mechanism in the currency. AIM says casual
  examination under light would reveal the presence of any
  embedded chip and antenna."  Full Story


  While web surfing, subscriber Kavan Ratnatunga came
  across a section of the U.S. code dealing with the
  counterfeiting of U.S. and foreign coins. Counterfeiting Laws

  CITE  18 USC Sec. 489

  Sec. 489. Making or possessing likeness of coins
  Whoever, within the United States, makes or brings therein
  from any foreign country, or possesses with intent to sell, give
  away, or in any other manner uses the same, except under
  authority of the Secretary of the Treasury or other proper
  officer of the United States, any token, disk, or device in the
  likeness or similitude as to design, color, or the inscription
  thereon of any of the coins of the United States or of any
  foreign country issued as money, either under the authority
  of the United States or under the authority of any foreign
  government shall be fined under this title.
  SOURCE    (June 25, 1948, ch. 645, 62 Stat. 709; July
  16, 1951, ch. 226, Sec.3, 65 Stat. 122; Sept. 13, 1994,
  Pub. L. 103-322, title XXXIII..."

  He found some other interesting links:

  [Counterfeiting of paper currency is an everyday occurrence,
  but when was the last time circulating coins were counterfeited?
  Contemporary counterfeits of Bust half dollars are well known,
  and even into the W.W.II era there were counterfeits of
  current coins.  Could any of our readers in the legal profession
  find out the last time anyone was actually prosecuted for passing
  counterfeits of U.S. coins?   Do any of our world readers
  know of examples in their own countries?  -Editor]


  Chick Ambrass writes: "My wife made a comment about an
  article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette concerning the use of
  "real" currency on television.  Her comment was that it was
  forbidden to use real currency on TV.  She stated that it was
  probably a month or so ago, and can't remember any more
  of the details. Does any one know anything that could
  corroborate or disprove what she remembers reading?"

  ["Stage money" has long been used in theatre and film to
  stand in for the real thing, which keeps costs and security
  expenses down, especially for scenes involving large sums.
  But I don't recall ever seeing that the use of such substitutes
  is mandatory.  For many years there were laws in the U.S.
  about reproducing money in certain sizes and formats, and
  many of these restrictions have been lifted.   I tried searching
  the online archives of the Post-Gazette, and couldn't locate
  an article on the topic.  Can any of our readers enlighten us?


  While searching for other things on the web recently, I came
  across a mention of the Salisbury Food Riot:  "By 1863 the
  falling value of currency was already causing southern tempers
  to flare. In Salisbury, N.C., a mob composed largely of soldiers'
  wives confronted a store owner over what they perceived as
  excessive profiteering. When the owner closed his storehouse,
  the hatchet-wielding ladies simply chopped down the door.
  The owner quickly agreed to sell them 10 barrels of flour at
  reduced prices."

  That's one mean crowd of unruly shoppers.  In this case the
  riot was an outgrowth of economic problems which were
  having effects on the currency - the disappearance of specie,
  inflation, and the appearance of money substitutes such as
  scrip.  But it brings to mind another question - what numismatic
  items are the result of, or commemorate riots?  I can think of
  one example, and rather than list it here I'll make it a quiz
  question for our readers.  Let's see how different many
  examples you folks can think of.


  Len Augsberger writes: "The Amon Carter 1794 $1 has been
  "remarketed" and actually made the front page of""

  [The article refers to the American Numismatic Association's
  opinion on the coin, which the organization published in a
  press release March 15th.  Here's an excerpt:

  "Independent examinations by a dozen well-known experts the
  past year confirm what some have believed for decades: the
  Neil/Carter specimen is the finest known surviving 1794
  Flowing Hair silver dollar, is the only known 1794 dollar with
  a silver plug, and according to some authorities, probably was
  the first United States silver dollar struck.

  "Of all the rarities I have seen or heard of, there is no doubt in
  my mind that this is the single most important of all, the very
  first silver dollar," stated Martin Logies, numismatic researcher
  and author of the new book, The Flowing Hair Silver Dollar
  of 1794.

  Other experts say they can not pinpoint the precise order of
  striking at the Philadelphia Mint on October 15, 1794 but still
  agree the coin is a unique presentation piece that obviously
  was carefully handled for generations because it is something
  very special and has tremendous historical  importance."

  To read the full release, with images of the coin, see:


  This week's featured web site features "illustrations of
  ancient Syracusan coins featuring the image of Arethusa,
  the patron nymph of Syracuse. Arethusa was a naiad (a
  water nymph) who frolicked in the vicinity of Olympia and
  who was desired and pursued by the river-god Alpheios."" target="_blank">
  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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