The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 13, March 28, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Longtime NBS member Leroy Kaczor of Illinois died
  March 1 in Urbana, IL, according to an item published in
  the March 30 issue of Numismatic News (p4).  Kaczor
  also belonged to the American Numismatic Association,
  American Numismatic Society, Central States Numismatic
  Society and the Society of Paper Money Collectors.
  "Collecting specialties ranged from U.S. paper money to
  world coinage, tokens, and a vast numismatic literature
  library.  He loved his books."


  Ray Williams writes: "Great E-Sylum, as usual!  I just felt that
  I should say so every once in a while.  I should say it every

  Rick Bagg writes: "I thoroughly enjoy receiving The E-sylum!
  I congratulate you on your fine efforts at producing an
  interesting, well written, educational and informative "news
  journal".  For 30 years, I have been telling collectors who
  have been buying and selling coins through Bowers & Ruddy,
  Bowers & Merena and now American Numismatic Rarities
  that the real joy in numismatics is to be had from owning a
  Bushnell, Parmelee or Stickney catalogue.  And, much can
  be learned about coins from reading the great periodicals from
  the past such as Frossard's Numisma or Mehl's Numismatic
  Monthly.  There is real pride of ownership in having these
  wonderful relics from the past on your bookshelf at home that
  far surpasses owning an MS-67 PQ coin kept at the local


  Dr. Ute Wartenberg Kagan, Executive Director of
  The American Numismatic Society, forwarded the
  following press release regarding the dedication for
  the John J. Ford Jr. Reading Room of the American
  Numismatic Society Library:

  "A reception in honor of the new John J. Ford Jr. Reading
  Room will be held on Thursday, May 13 at 6:00 pm.

  John J. Ford Jr. is one of the nation's best-known coin dealers
  and an expert on all aspects of US numismatics.  Ford's career
  began in the late 1930s when he was just fifteen years old,
  working for J.B. and Morton Stack. In 1950 he joined Charles
  Wormser at New Netherlands Coin Co., and with the help of
  Walter Breen, he built it into the premier auction house of the
  1950s.  When he left New Netherlands in 1971, Ford flourished
  as an independent dealer. Ford's interests are wide-ranging and
  include Colonials, Hard Times tokens, Merchant tokens,
  Colonial currency and Confederate bonds. Over the past sixty
  years, he has assembled the most complete collections in
  several of these areas as well as a superb library. Ford currently
  lives in Arizona.

  The dedication will take place at our new building at 140
  William St. (at Fulton). Parking is available at William St./
  Beekman St. (two blocks north of Fulton).  By subway, take
  the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, C to the Broadway-Nassau St./Fulton stop.

  RSVP by May 7, 2004
  Please contact Juliette Pelletier at (212) 234-3130 ext.230 or
  pelletier at"


  Hadrien Rambach of Spink writes: "As in every issue of the
  Numismatic Circular, the oldest fixed-price list in the numismatic
  world, founded in 1892, and now published every two months,
  the April issue of Spink's Circular will offer many rare and
  out-of-print numismatic books. There are almost 250 items in
  this interesting issue, on many different aspects of the subject
  from Ancient Greek coins (with for example 3 scarce titles by
  T.S. Bayer, 1734-1738), the Royal Mint (the important work
  by G.F. Ansell, 1870), also books on Cufic coins (the two
  volume catalogue of the Borgia collection, 1782-1795), and
  other Islamic coins (including an extremely rare 1794 publication
  of O.G. Tychsen), - The section including books on Islamic
  coinages is larger than usual. As always there are a few books
  with interesting provenances (the Farouk catalogue with a letter
  from Douglas  Liddell, a 1st edition of Historia Numorum with
  letters from E.S.G. Robinson, C. Seltman and G.F. Hill, etc.).
  However the ¾ morocco-bound copy of E. Babelon's almost
  complete Traité des monnaies grecques et romaines (1901-
  1933), and a nice copy of Adam Berg's New Munzbuech
  (1604, the most attractive 'coin-book' of the 16th and 17th
  centuries) undoubtedly are the most notable. A large selection
  of coins is, as usual, also included."


  The numismatically-connected Victoria's Secret model?
  Gar Travis was the first to report the answer.  The model is
  Jill Goodacre, daughter of Sacajewea dollar designer Glenna
  Goodacre, the sculptor who also created the Vietnam Women's
  Memorial statue for the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial in
  Washington, D.C.  Her husband is entertainer Harry Connick,

  Jeff Starck writes: "Goodacre, of the Sacagawea dollar fame,
  and Harry Connick, Jr.  What they talk about on Thanksgiving?
  Probably football, or the Christmas sales the next day!"
  When I asked how he knew the answer, he replied: "Oddly
  enough, Paul Gilkes (my co-worker) and I were discussing it
  last week.  That's right, I work at Coin World, which may
  very well disqualify me!"

  [Well, you're not disqualified.  Over 640 subscribers, and
  only three had the answer.  Chris Fuccione was the third, and
  he included several links to Jill's photos.   We don't get many
  opportunities for cheescake in numismatic publications, so
  here goes. -Editor]

  Jill's photo
  Jill's photo

  [By the way, Jeff Starck's article on the backyard Roman
  coin hoard found in the U.K. recently appears on the front
  page of Coin World's April 5 issue.

  Some more information on Jill Goodacre follows.

  "Goodacre was the first model to become a celebrity simply
  by appearing in the Victoria's Secret catalog. Her auburn-haired
  good looks made her a favorite with readers in the early 1990s.
  That led to appearances on the David Letterman show and
  elsewhere, including a 1994 guest spot on the sitcom Friends in
  which she was trapped with Chandler (Matthew Perry) in an
  ATM vestibule. She married the singer and actor Harry
  Connick, Jr. in 1994.

  Ron Haller-Williams didn't have the quiz answer, but
  offered this: "Regarding the gentleman caught passing counterfeit
  bills at Victoria's Secret,  I note from the referenced page that
  "He is being held on $7,500 cash bail ..."   Am I alone in
  hoping that, if this sum is paid, the authorities will check the bills
  VERY carefully?  My offering for the third question,  "And just
  what do they all talk about around the Thanksgiving table,
  anyway?"  - is that of course they'll be "talking turkey".  I guess
  I'd better reach for my asbestos suit ..."


  Ron Haller-Williams adds:  "Meanwhile, the location of the
  Victoria's Secret incident leads to this on-topic question:
  Why was Hanover very much in the news almost 290 years


  Last Sunday, March 21, The Miami Herald published a
  story about the lawyer for the du Pont family working to
  track down the coins stolen in the famous 1967 robbery.
  It's lengthy, and I'll only print a few excerpts here, but it's
  a very interesting article that I encourage our subscribers
  to read.

  "For 36 years, Harold Gray has been on an extraordinary
  mission -- to recover what may be the most famous stolen coin
  collection in the United States.

  The hunt has taken him from England to Uruguay to Switzerland,
  through the doors of countless coin shops and at times deep into
  a shadowy underworld populated by thieves and swindlers. The
  Palm Beach lawyer and former insurance investigator has followed
  every clue, every thread, every whiff of possibility that might lead
  to one of the purloined coins.

  Since October 1967, when five hooded gunmen invaded the
  Coconut Grove estate of chemical empire heir Willis Harrington
  duPont, binding the family with silk neckties and stealing the
  valuable coin collection from duPont's safe, Gray has been on
  the case.

  ''We remain,'' he says today, "in hot pursuit.''

  [I assume this is lawyer-speak for "the client hasn't run out of
  money yet."   They may still be in hot pursuit of the coins, but
  after 36 years it's pretty safe to say the thieves got away with
  their caper.   No one has ever been prosecuted for the original
  theft.  The story goes on to describe the recent return of
  the 1866 ''no motto'' silver dollar, and the Linderman 1804
  silver dollar that someone walked into the offices of the
  American Numismatic Association in 1982.  The article
  describes the robbery and some earlier coin recoveries as
  well.  -Editor]

  "A Herald story at the time showed an aerial photo of the
  estate at 3500 St. Gaudens Rd., dubbing it the scene of the
  ''great coin robbery.'' The story said gunmen burst into the
  duPonts' bedroom shortly after midnight, tying up the couple,
  their 4-year-old son, the maid and the butler while their other
  son slept through the ordeal.

  The robbers were described as courteous one minute,
  dangerous the next -- fetching a bathrobe for the maid when
  she became cold but threatening to put a bullet in the head of
  duPont's wife, Miren, when she momentarily forgot the
  combination to the safe.

  The men escaped in the duPonts' red Cadillac convertible with
  coins and jewelry worth a total of $1.5 million at the time.
  Between 7,000 and 8,000 coins were reported stolen, many
  collected by duPont's father, including 257 rubles and ducats
  from the Prince Mikhailovitch collection of Russia, according
  to the FBI. The Mikhailovitch collection had been slated for
  the Smithsonian."

  "For Gray, who has worked with Willis duPont for 42 years,
  the hunt is partly about righting a wrong, partly about the mental
  challenge. He is a wily character on his own, made even more
  formidable by the vast duPont resources."

  "The very first coins recovered -- in 1968,  just four months
  after the robbery -- were ransomed back by the duPonts for
  $50,000. Private investigator Edward Stanton and his wife,
  Barbara, who stuffed her purse with the cash, made the trade
  in Philadelphia. Recovered: 13 pioneer gold coins, minted
  mostly by mining companies during the 1849 gold rush.

  Later that year, a 1787 gold doubloon was recovered at the
  Towne Motel on Brickell Avenue when a 29-year-old
  ex-convict named William Metzler tried to sell the coin to
  undercover FBI agents. Metzler received a five-year sentence.
  He said he stole the coin from one of the original robbers.

  More coins popped up. In 1969, a ''Stickney'' 1804 silver
  dollar was recovered. A portion of the Mikhailovitch collection
  turned up.

  In 1993, Gray heard about two duPont coins offered for sale
  by an unnamed Israeli collector -- an 1804 ''draped bust''
  dollar, one of only 15 known, and a unique 1850 $5 gold

  Gray flew to Zurich, where the Swiss police and other law
  enforcement agents arranged a fake buy.

  When the operation was aborted, the couriers tried to fly out
  of the country. Swiss police nabbed them at the airport.

  The couriers were arrested, then released. The coins went back
  to duPont."

  To read the full story, see: Full Story


  A 1789 George Washington inaugural button and other
  artifacts were recently unearthed in Maryland.

  "Archeologists at the site of the Blue Ball road project off
  U.S. 202 have found memorabilia related to George Washington
  and Abraham Lincoln.

  The Delaware Department of Transportation said Wednesday
  the dig at the old Weldin farmhouse off Foulk Road turned up
  a brass button that commemorated the 1789 inauguration of
  George Washington as the nation's first president."

  "The button, about an inch and a half in diameter, has the
  initials of the original 13 Colonies and the words "Long Live
  the President" in a circle around the initials "GW."

  "Barbara Shaffer, lead archeologist, said the button likely was
  sewn to a coat and probably fell off and dropped between the
  kitchen floorboards, where it remained until her team found it
  on March 3. Researchers believe tenant farmers were living in
  the house in the late 1700s.

  Shaffer said there are only about 50 other buttons like it. The
  buttons were handed out to delegates at the inauguration and
  were also available for purchase by people who attended, said
  Richard White, field director for the project."
Complete Story


  In response to my question about recent instances of the
  counterfeiting of circulating coins, Ray Flanigan writes: "Yes,
  people do counterfeit coins - even minor coins.  The most
  famous example was Francis Henning of Erial, NJ, just outside
  Camden, who was caught in 1954 counterfeiting hundreds of
  thousands of 1944 nickels without the P mintmark (that reverse
  die had apparently broken).  Henning has been written up in
  Collector's Clearinghouse and even Rare Coin Review (No. 72
  page 60). Today his nickels sell for upwards of $20 - $30 each.
  Henning was convicted of counterfeiting in Cleveland, Ohio in
  1955 sentenced to 3 years in jail and fined $5,000.  He had
  bought his metal from the same source as the mint paying
  approximately 3 1/2 cents per blank.  Add the cost of the
  press, the cost of engraving and labor to produce each coin
  and you can quickly see why there are not a lot of minor coin
  counterfeiters, but it has been done."

  [But aren't Henning counterfeits technically illegal to own?

  Bob Leonard writes: "You need to add Dwight H. Stuckey's
  booklet, The Counterfeit 1944 Jefferson Nickel  (Published
  by the author, 1982), to your library.  Stuckey's
  well-researched monograph tells the story of Francis Leroy
  Henning, who pled guilty to counterfeiting nickels, of all things,
  on December 29, 1955, and was sentenced to three years in
  prison for this on January 20, 1956 (he received an additional
  three years for counterfeiting $5 bills). I'm not sure whether
  he was the last person convicted for counterfeiting circulating
  coins, but he is certainly the most famous.

  Henning made the notorious 1944 no-mintmark nickel, plus
  five other obverses including 1939, 1946, 1947, and 1953
  (the last date remains to be discovered).  He claimed to have
  cut the dies directly from coins (yes, by reversing positive and
  negative, to make an incuse die directly from a struck coin)
  using a machine he invented himself, but Jorgen Somod (a
  subscriber to this list, I believe) told me that he believed that
  the dies were simply cast, and that Henning's story was an
  attempt to obtain a reduced sentence.  Henning's nickels
  were struck from Monel metal, 79.1% copper, 20.5%
  nickel, 0.4% iron.  Leftover blanks seized from him were
  actually coined into legal nickels at the Philadelphia Mint in
  1956, after adding the required amount of nickel.  Henning's
  blunder in omitting the mintmark was detected by coin collector
  Harmon K. Rodgers and others, but it took some doing to
  convince the Mint and Secret Service at first."

  [I was aware of the Henning story, but not the book, so I took
  Bob's advice and ordered a copy after finding one for sale
  online. -Editor]

  Joe Boling adds: "There was a case within the past four years
  of large-scale counterfeiting of quarters in or near New Jersey.
  I remember articles reporting the case in the numismatic press."

  [The quarter case Joe Boling mentions is the most recent coin
  counterfeiting case I've heard of in the U.S.  Can anyone supply
  most details?  -Editor]


  Dick Johnson writes: "Thanks to Chris Eimer for the link to the
  Duval-Janvier octagonal medal in last week's E-Sylum.  I have
  the smallest variety of this medal in my collection and always
  wondered who Duval was.  In writing on Victor Janvier and his
  contribution to minting equipment technology I mention the
  Duval-Janvier firm without identifying Duval's contribution.

  I had surmised (never do this in writing, inevitably you are
  wrong!) that Duval was the money partner for Janvier's
  metalworking enterprise.  After all, his name came first.
 Could he have been Janvier's backer?

  Two years ago, IBM sent one of their vice presidents for an
  extended stay to Paris. His wife, who is a member of my
  genealogical club, accompanied him. "Nancy," I said,  "would
  you check out a name while you are in Paris?" She agreed and
  I gave her the details.  This was not a burdensome chore, I
  thought. We frequently do this for each other in our club. In
  America this is a two-minute search in a business directory or
  a city directory.  She searched THREE Paris libraries and
  came back empty handed!

  Duval is not mentioned with Janvier other than the 1892
  period when their business commenced and the Duval-Janvier
  medal was issued.  The firm's name was Janvier's alone in the
  early 20th century until he died in 1911. Later the firm was
  Berchot-Janvier, and still later Le Medaillier (at 64 Rue du
  Faubourg Saint-Denis, Paris). Medallic Art Company, for
  whom I worked for a decade, was the American distributor
  for Janvier's machines. (We even sold Janvier machines to
  competitors, like the Franklin Mint, until they bought the Janvier

  There was not much in the Janvier file at Medallic Art. The
  Paris firm's sales literature never mentioned Duval. I believe he
  had little to do with the actual development of the world's
  foremost die-engraving pantograph.  But I remained curious.

  Could one of our E-Sylum readers (particularly in France)
  learn who Duval was?  I would still like to know his full name
  and what was his relationship with Victor Janvier?    Ahh!
  Numismatic research never ends!"


  A reader's letter published in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on
  Friday, March 26, 2004 addressed the topic of gasoline
  pricing in the U.S., and the answer touched on coins (or
  lack thereof), politics, taxes, and tradition:

  "Q: I was wondering if you could address the issue of
   gasoline pricing. No other businesses that I know about
  charge by the tenth of a penny. Doesn't it seem deceitful to
  charge an amount for a gallon of gas that is impossible to
  pay?  I can buy a gallon of milk or ice cream, but not gas!
  It just rubs me the wrong way. Can you look into this
  practice?  -Paula Hrabos, North Fayette"

  A: Wow, Paula. They say it's the little things in life that
  matter most, but I don't think the person who coined that
  phrase had anything quite this little in mind.

  Still, your disdain for the way gasoline is priced was shared
  by at least one prominent person -- the late Sen. Joe Coleman
  from Iowa.

  He thought the practice was deceptive, too. So in 1985, he
  pushed through legislation that barred stations in Iowa from
  pricing gas in fractional cents. That meant that gas selling for
  $1.199 a gallon -- the approximate price at the time -- had
  to be rounded up to $1.20, or rounded down to $1.19.

  Violators were threatened with a $100 fine and a month in jail.
  "We don't have a one-tenth of a coin," Coleman explained at
  the time. "It just bugged me for years."

  Four years later, however, the law was repealed -- some say
  deceptively because the amendment was never discussed in
  the Iowa Senate -- and the sneaky little nine sneaked back in."

  "Still, as Paula pointed out, an argument can be made that
  fractional-cent pricing is false advertising. There's no way to
  pay or get change for a fraction of a penny, so customers
  can't buy exactly one gallon of gas at the advertised price."

  "For its part, the gasoline industry seemed stumped.

  "That's an interesting point that I don't have an answer to,"
  Dan Gilligan, executive director of the Petroleum Marketers
  Association of America, said of the false advertising charge.

  Fractional pricing "has never been an issue that's garnered
  much attention," he said.

  He said the most credible theory he's heard explaining why
  gas stations started using fractional cents is because it reflects
  the way federal and many state gasoline taxes are levied.
  Currently, for example, the federal gas tax is 18.4 cents a
  gallon. (When the tax was first imposed in 1932, it started
  out as a flat 1 cent per gallon and rose to 1.5 cents a year

  "But don't count on any changes in the way gas is priced any
  time soon, Gilligan said. The idea has never even come up at
  any of the many industry meetings he's attended.

  "Maybe your story will generate some debate," he said.

  In case that doesn't work, Paula, I have an idea.

  According to the fine print, manufacturers' coupons typically
  have a cash value of 1/100th of a penny.

  Maybe someone could collect 90 of them and try using them
  as exact change for a gallon of gas."

  To read the full story, see: Full Story


  A March 24, 2004 article in the San Francisco Chronicle
  reported on a recent visit by dignitaries to the "new" San
  Francisco Mint, which is closed to run-of-the-mill tourists
  like us.

  "An international group of money experts and a handful of news
  media folks got a rare look Tuesday inside the U.S. Mint,
  where the product is what dreams are made of -- money that
  sells for more than its face value.

  The San Francisco mint on Hermann Street produces proof
  sets -- coins so perfect nobody ever spends them, works of art,
  "like paintings, high quality treasures,'' said U.S. Mint Director
  Henrietta Holsman Fore.

  They are produced in a building that looks like a fort, where
  security is so tight that ordinary citizens have been admitted
  only twice in the last 32 years. The San Francisco mint is a
  $100 million-a-year business, and it makes money making

  The visitors Tuesday were delegates to the XXIII Mint
  Directors conference, which has been meeting in San
  Francisco. Delegates from 46 national mints and other bodies
  interested in coins and their manufacture elected Fore as their
  next president."

  "The mint building -- called the New Mint to distinguish it from
  the shuttered Old Mint at Fifth and Mission streets -- is located
  atop a bare, windswept hill just off Market Street near Duboce

  The U.S. Mint is celebrating its 150th anniversary in San
  Francisco. It is the second-oldest manufacturing operation in
  the city; only the Boudin Bakery, which has been producing
  sourdough bread since 1849, is older."

  "Director Fore and San Francisco mint manager Larry
  Eckerman conducted a tour, past a whole series of mysterious
  devices that turn blanks into mint- condition coins. The blanks,
  the tour guides explained, were annealed, upset and burnished,
  then dried with a material that includes ground corn cobs.

  After that, they are pressed; there are 18 coin presses, and
  each proof coin is struck twice with 100 metric tons of force.
  The coins are then packaged by robots and put in cartons."

  To the layperson, which meant nearly all of the media people,
  the process seemed purposeful but baffling. The experts, mint
  directors and others, seemed impressed. "The quality is
  excellent,'' said Barry Richardson, sales manager for Group
  Rhodes, an English coin dealer."

  "One of the employees, Garfield Kinross, explained how the
  robots did the packaging. He was dressed in two-tone shoes,
  a bow tie, colored suspenders and a golf cap.  He looked like
  a million dollars.

  [To view Garfield's get-up and read the full story, see: Full Atory


  Contemporary press accounts of mint operations are key
  historical records, often sources of information available no
  where else to later researchers.  Recently, I purchased a copy
  of an 1850s issue of Gleason's Pictorical Drawing Room
  Companion containing a one-page article about the second
  United States Mint in Philadelphia, accompanied by six
  engravings by Devereaux:

  Exterior View
  Adjusting Room
  Main Steam Engine
  Coin Press
  Pressing and Milling Room
  General Pressing and Cutting Room

  "We have more than ordinary satisfaction in presenting so
  fine a series of engravings as those we give of the U.S.
  Mint in the present number.  They are critically correct,
  and our readers may rely upon their truthfulness, as our
  artist, Mr. Devereaux, passed no inconsiderable period of
  time in making the necessary drawings for the series,
  within the walls of the Mint, assisted by the gentlemanly
  and urbane director and officers of that institution."

  "The rapidity with which the pieces are executed is
  surprising -- being at the rate of from seventy-five to
  two hundred per minute."

  The mint was turning out some three million coins per
  month at that point.  Today that many are produced
  in a day.  What would the mint employees of that day
  make of the "robots" manning today's mint facilities?


  Alan Luedeking writes: "I'm pleased to announce the release
  of another of Carlos Jara's works on Chilean numismatics,
  "The Chiloé Peso - An Important Obsidional Coin of Chile".
  This work is the definitive study on what is in all probability the
  very last crown ever issued under official Spanish authority (in
  1826) in the New World. It is a very rare cast coin whose
  history has always been shrouded in mystery, and of which
  numerous dangerous forgeries have been concocted for ]
  collectors since the time of its circulation (note that all public
  offerings of these coins, some by very prestigious numismatists
  dealing in Latin American coinage, have been modern forgeries.)

  This book unveils for the first time the full historical background
  of this enigmatic coin, based entirely on contemporary and other
  historical documentation, which Carlos studied in depth, often
  being the first to break the seals on the dusty packets since the
  time the Chilean government first archived them in the 19th
  Century. A detailed cataloguing of the forgeries, both
  contemporary and modern, and how to distinguish them, with
  numerous illustrations and a detailed history of the coin's
  appearances at auction, are woven into the presentation of its
  historical context.

  The Spanish Commander Antonio Quintanilla was the last
  royal (and loyal) governor to hold out against republican forces
  anywhere in South America, and defended his island almost to
  the last man. Severe coin shortages forced him to finally issue
  cast coins with silver captured by privateers he had commissioned
  with letters of marque to prey up and down the coast.  He was
  already then concerned with the potential ease of counterfeiting,
  and so devised a unique way of identifying his original obsidional
  issue, built into the manufacturing process.

  It should be noted that I had some involvement with the creation
  of this work, and Carlos has honored me with a co-authorship
  of it, though I hasten to emphasize that all the merit of the research
  and its conclusions belong to Carlos. Being so specialized, he has
  produced this work in a very limited edition of only 40 hand-
  numbered copies, hardbound in black linen with a pictorial
  dustjacket, quarto in size. He has so far only presold a dozen or
  so, I believe, at $47 apiece, postpaid to the United States.

  Interested readers may apply for their copy directly to Carlos
  Jara at  clejara at  For those who would rather
  borrow it, I will be donating a copy each to the Numismatics
  International and American Numismatic Societies libraries."


  Bill Murray writes: "The term numismatology has had some
  recent mention in The E-Sylum, and I thought the following
  taken from the Oxford English Dictionary might be of interest.

  "Numismatology ... The science of numismatics ... 1815
  Southey in Q. Rev. XXII, 519, 'At a very early age Barre
  had found a taste for numismatology' ... 1839 Gent''l Mag,
  Sep, 316, 'The General turned his attention to numismatology'
  ... 1856 Smith, Roman Fam. Coins, 276, 'The numismatology
  of Europe has been so bitterly degraded.'  "

  Presumably all you erudite perusers of The E-Sylum will be
  familiar with the quoted sources and in all likelihood have
  them on shelves within reach."


  Joe Boling writes: "I can't give you citations, but I believe it was
  formerly (say up until the '60s) illegal to photograph US money
  in movies; thus the plethora of stage notes, many based on
  Mexican models. This may be the origin of your correspondent's
  comment about money on TV. "

  Michael Schmidt writes: "It used to be mandatory for film and
  TV because the law forbid the color reproduction of the
  currency in any form whatsoever. It didn't matter what the
  form or size of the reproductions was.  That was true even
  for the electronic images only seen on the TV screen.  Since
  then the laws have been changed and it is no longer mandatory."

  Martin Gengerke of R.M. Smythe & Co. writes:
  "For the record, I wrote the law regarding the photographic/
  print/media reproductions on U.S. Currency!

  Some years ago you may remember that Congress directed
  the Treasury to rewrite the law regarding the photography
  (etc.) of U.S. Currency.  The Treasury (with the help of the
  Secret Service) came up with a proposed law and published
  it in the numismatic (and other) press asking for comments
  from the public.

  Their proposal was so restrictive it was useless, so I put
  together a 14-pound package with lots of suggestions plus
  a completely rewritten law.  As I remember, the Treasury
  got comments from only a small handful of people.

  To cut to the chase - when the law was finally submitted to
  Congress it was exactly the way I wrote it, with about a
  half dozen words changed.  They never gave me credit for
  it, and I don't even know if they will verify this.

  In any event, the restrictions are as follows:

  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).

  These rumors from uninformed sources crop up all the time -
  I've written dozens of letters trying to straighten out
  misconceptions, including some to lawyers who misinterpret
  the law!   Hope this helps!"


  On Friday, March 19, 2004, The Dallas Morning News
  published a profile of E-Sylum subscriber Jim Halperin
  of Heritage.

  "How does a 15-year-old end up with a secretary, 30
  part-time employees and $100,000 in the bank?

  For the answer, go to James Halperin, co-chairman of the
  board of Dallas-based Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers.
  Thirty-six years ago, as a teenager growing up in
  Massachusetts, Mr. Halperin had his own mail-order business.
  A very successful mail-order business.

  I had ads in magazines like Popular Mechanics and Popular
  Science," Mr. Halperin says. "They weren't original ideas. I
  just targeted people trying to make money at home. Eventually,
  I hit on an idea that worked."

  Told they could join a sales network for a small fee - between
  $4 and $10 - people began sending in money.

  "Jim was the post office's largest customer in our town," says his
  father, Edward Halperin, 78, now of Atlantis, Fla. "They would
  have sacks and sacks of mail for him."

  Jim needed help with the workload, so he hired neighborhood
  kids to open envelopes and fill orders. A secretary kept things
  organized and drove Jim around town. He was, after all, still too
  young for a driver's license. At one point, Jim's bank account
  contained more than $100,000.

  Then a postal inspector knocked on the family's door.

  Jim's ad was misleading. His "sales partners" weren't making
  any money. But Jim still had all of theirs. A deal was struck. If
  Jim refunded his customers' money, charges would not be

  "Now 51, James Halperin sells stuff. Incredibly collectible
  stuff. Rare coins, currency, movie posters, comic books,
  comic book art, illustrations, and entertainment, music and
  political memorabilia.

  Heritage Galleries & Auctioneers is the world's largest
  auctioneer of coins and collectibles. Annual sales at the
  company are past the $200 million mark. Mr. Halperin deals
  with some of the world's most famous artists and most serious
  collectors - such as actor Nicolas Cage, whose comics the
  company auctioned in 2002."

  During a coin show in 1968, Mr. Halperin met Mr. Ivy, a
  Fort Worth native with his own coin company, Steve Ivy
  Rare Coin Co., in downtown Dallas.

  "At that point he was 15 or 16 years old," recalls Mr. Ivy.
  "He was clearly very bright. We just hit it off."

  When the coin business nose-dived in the early 1980s, both
  men were in similar situations, trying to survive in a business
  they both loved. Their friendship turned into a business
  proposition, and their companies merged.

  "I told Jim that Dallas was an attractive city for a business,"
  says Mr. Ivy, "and the weather was a lot better than back
  East. He agreed."

  Mr. Halperin's University Park home is practically a pop art
  museum. Walls are covered with original art from some of the
  world's most famous cartoonists and illustrators.

  There's work by legendary Mad magazine artists Bill Elder,
  Don Martin and Jack Davis. There's original art by comic-
  book masters Robert Crumb and Al Williamson. And
  original comic-book covers from Spider-Man, Mad,
  American Splendor and the classic 1950s EC comic Weird

  "Mr. Halperin doesn't mind being surrounded by his work.
  A job, he says, is something you should enjoy. It's a lesson
 he hopes to impart on his children.

  "It's important to find a vocation where you don't trudge to
  work every day," he says. "I wake up and go, 'Oh, boy! I
  can't wait,' and that's how I want them to feel."
Full Story


  Eric Newman writes: "Gene Anderson in the 1/11/04  E-Sylum
  asked for information about Bay Area Counterfeits. I responded
  that there was litigation on the subject but could not remember
  the names involved in order to look it up. Serendipity just
  stepped in.  In the 2nd edition of Official Guide to Coin Grading
  and Counterfeit Detection by John Dannreuther which I just
  received, pages 298 and 299 describe the Bay Area Forged
  1835 half cent. Then bells began to ring and I recalled my
  article in the April 1979 The Numismatist entitled "Superb
  Numismatic Forgeries are upon Us." In that file I found
  reference to the case of Joe Ferris vs, Thomas L. Reuben dba
  Western Rare Coins and Stamps filed in the District Court of
  Douglas County Nebraska with respect to 8 different Colonial
  and Confederation alleged forged coins.  Our extensive file
  shows that ANACS also participated in the problem. This
  should help anyone researching the matter at this time.

  I recognize that many have already identified the US Cents
  in the Bay Area forgery category as detailed in Anderson's
  article in the March 2004 Penny-Wise pages 78 & 79, but
  the above mentioned forgeries seem a little earlier."


  A web site visitor writes:  "Greetings;  I'm Reg MacAusland,
  and I'm asking for help. You may have noticed that my surname
  is a close approximation of McAuslane, in fact the marriage
  licence of my grandfather was written as McAuslane. I am not,
  unfortunately, a coin collector but I am now in the process of
  compiling my family genealogy.  That direct genealogy involves
  the two geographical locations mentioned in the identified 'article',

  Newfoundland and Prince Edward island; involves both the
  McAuslane and McAusland spellings contained in the article;
  and includes a Peter McAuslane, a merchant, associated with
  both Newfoundland and Prince Edward Island in the period
  1800 to 1840's .

  That said, a recent Internet search led me to your site,
  introduced me to the existence of the McAuslane token for the
  first time , and triggers this request for help on its background .
  Could one of your subscribers provide me with the details of
  this token - and the PEI McAusland token -  as to their history,
  purpose, issuer, time frame and any other relevant data?  In
  turn, I would be willing to exchange genealogical data which
  might expand the historical background for both of the tokens

  [If anyone can help, please contact me and I'll put you in
  touch with Mr. MacAusland.  -Editor]


  This week's featured web page is about Leonard Charles Wyon.
  "Leonard Charles Wyon, eldest son of William Wyon, was born
  in one of the houses in the Royal Mint in 1826. "

  "His father taught him art and Leonard inherited great skill in die
  engraving. By the age of 16 he had already made several medals
  and some of his early work can be seen in the British Museum
  collection. In 1844 he became Second Engraver at the Mint on
  the retirement of Merlen.  He was still only 18 and at the age of
  24 he succeeded his father with the title of Modeller and
  Engraver in 1851.  At this time de Saulles was Engraver to the
  Mint. A title 'Engraver to the Royal Mint' seems to have
  continued until the reign of Edward VII (1901-10)."


  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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