The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 27, July 4, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Asylum Editor E. Tomlinson Fort writes: "As has been
  mentioned here before there will be a strong NBS presence
  at this year's American Numismatic Association Convention
  in Pittsburgh:

  First and foremost is The Great Numismatic Libraries of
  Pittsburgh Tour. This will be your chance to see the libraries
  of Wayne Homren (The E-Sylum editor) - a treasure trove
  of American numismatic literature, and Tom Fort (The Asylum
  editor) - a hoard of literature on the history and coinages of
  pre-modern Europe. Space is limited. There will be no second
  bus. Remember, you are going to people's houses and there is
  not room for a large crowd.  So get your ticket now before the
  tour sells out.  The tour is only open to NBS members
  (exceptions can be made in the cases of spouses etc...) and is
  $20 per person. Remember all proceeds benefit the NBS.
  Tickets are sold on a first come, first served basis. Send your
  payment NBS via:

  W. David Perkins
  NBS Secretary-Treasurer
  P.O. Box 3888
  Littleton, CO  80161-3888
  email: wdperki at

  [The Libraries Tour immediately follows the NBS meeting,
  which Tom describes next. -Editor]

  Secondly, there is the NBS 25th anniversary meeting, which
  will be held on Friday, August 20, at 11.30 am in Meeting
  Room 327. Among the activities will be the auctioning of many
  of the signed original manuscripts of the articles which will be
  appearing in our special Summer issue. Likewise we will auction
  the corrected proofs of the monograph.  Each proof signed by
  the person who read it, along with the back up CDs and emails
  and letters regarding the making of the issue. This will be your
  chance to own a piece of numismatic literary history.

  Also at the meeting will be the annual auction to benefit the
  NBS; more on this in a later issue of The E-Sylum.

  Finally, three prominent members of the NBS will be presenting
  Numismatic Theater lectures this year.  Primary among these is
  NBS board member P. Scott Rubin, with his talk: "50 Years of
  Collecting Coins and Numismatic Literature." on Thursday
  August 19, at 1 p.m., in Room 330. Likewise, NBS board
  member Joel Orosz will be presenting a very interesting lecture
  entitled "Did George Washington Provide Silver to Make the
  1792 Half-Dimes?"  on Saturday August 21 at 5 p.m. in Room
  330. Finally, the latest cure for insomnia many be experienced
  at Asylum editor E. Tomlinson Fort's "Barbarians Within the
  Gates: David I of Scotland and the Mints of Northern  England."
  on Wednesday August 18th in Room 330."


  Charles Davis writes: "Our current Mail Bid Sale of
  Numismatic Literature representing a consignment from
  Harvard University Art Museums with a closing date of
  July 31 has been mailed to those on our mailing list. Our
  crack printer printed a number of catalogues with one page
  blank and we hopefully found all those and pasted a
  replacement in place.  Any reader who received a defective
  one may of course request a copy of the missing page.  As
  we have done in the past, the catalogue is also hosted on the
  web site of The Maine Antiques Digest and may be viewed

  I am currently at the American Numismatic Association
  Summer Seminar where I am co-instructing a class
  "Numismatics in the 19th Century" with John Kraljevich and
  then going directly to Baltimore where I have my usual table."


  Literature dealer Richard Stockley of Quebec, Canada
  writes: "If any bibliophiles are in the Toronto area during the
  Canadian Numismatic Association Convention, 8-11 July,
  drop by to visit me there. I will have a table with a selection
  of my stock. I am always looking to buy in case there are
  some goodies you might want to part with."


  Jean Elsen of Brussels, Belgium writes: "We have decided
  to relaunch our book catalogue on the website. The complete
  catalogue - featuring more than 1000 references - will be
  ready on our website as of 10th July."
  [The web address is  -Editor]


  The following note from Dave Bowers arrived last Sunday,
  but did not make it in to the last E-Sylum.  Here it is:

  "I just returned from the Chicago coin show. I had the
  opportunity to address the 1,000th-something meeting of
  the Chicago Coin Club, a fine honor. A very nice group was
  on hand, perhaps 50 people, and no one fell asleep or left!"

  [The meeting was held June 26, 2004 at 3pm in the Mr.
  Lincoln Room of the Double Tree Hotel, across the street
  from the 23rd Annual MidAmerica Coin Expo.  From the
  Chicago Coin Club web site:

  "Featured program: Face to Face with Famous Numismatists -
  Recollections by Q. David Bowers.  Bowers is the author 40+
  numismatic books and is the recipient of numerous literary
  awards. He served as president of the American Numismatic
  Association and the Professional Numismatists Guild and was
  bestowed with their highest awards. He has lectured at Harvard
  University and appeared on numerous television networks
  discussing his lifelong interest in rare coins."

  The club was founded in 1919, and many members are
  E-Sylum subscribers and contributors.  For more information,
  see their web site: Chicago Coin Club


  Dave Bowers adds: "If you need a filler for The E-Sylum, you
  might attach the following stuff from Leonard Hartmann, dealer
  in PHILATELIC books, but with lots of stuff that is cross-over
  into numismatic areas.  For example, I just bought a full run of
  the Essay-Proof Journal from him, superb copies), books on
  Gold Rush steamers (they carried letters with stamps as well
  as coins), etc.  I have never met LHH in person, but he deals
  in a first-class manner.]

  Dave attached a copy of the June 23, 2004 issue of Hartmann's
  email newsletter, Friends of the Bibliopole, which listed several
  new items for sale.  While we don't publish individual buy and
  sell listings in The E-Sylum, we always feature new publications
  of interest as well as announcements of literature sales, fixed
  price lists, and web sites.

  The literature of the stamp collecting hobby is an interesting
  parallel universe to numismatics, and as Dave mentioned,
  there are a number of areas where the two fields cross.  The
  most obvious area is that of Encased Postage Stamps, which
  I collect, but also, for example, in the histories of bank note
  printing companies, many of which also printed stamps.  I
  also have a set of The Essay-Proof Journal, and it's a great
  resource for this sort of information.  Other crossover areas
  include the Sanitary Fairs of the U.S. Civil War, which
  generated both philatelic and numismatic items (tokens).
  In the 19th century, many periodicals and dealer organs
  discussed BOTH stamps and coins, so many of these
  publications are of interest to bibliophiles in both fields.

  The Philatelic Bibliopole web site is: Philatelic Bibliopole


  One new book offered by The Philatelic Bibliopole is
  "The Queen's Stamps, The Authorised History of the Royal
  Philatelic Collection,"  by Nicholas Courtney.  It may be
  interesting reading for numismatic researchers as an insight
  into that parallel world of philately.  We call numismatics
  "the hobby of kings," but this one collection has more
  royalty associated with it than most coin collections can

  "Housed in St James's Palace, London, the Royal Philatelic
  Collection contains some of the rarest stamps in the world.
  This history describes how the Collection grew from the
  inauguration of the Penny Postage under Queen Victoria,
  through six successive monarchs to the present day.

  The first Royal collector was Prince Alfred, Duke of
  Edinburgh, second son of Queen Victoria, whose career
  in the Royal Navy, from the age of fourteen, enabled him to
  collect foreign issues from all parts of the world.  However in
  1900, after years of extravagant living, he was forced to sell
  the collection to this brother, Prince of Wales (Edward VII)
  who passed it on to his son Prince George (later George V),
  already a passionate collector. At the same time, Edward VII
  arranged for his son to be sent the corner blocks of four,
  essays and proofs of all subsequent new issues from the
  Post Office and the Crown Agents for the Colonies.

  The story of the formation and continuation of The World's
  Greatest Stamp Collection. A beautiful book, color illustrations,
  but it is in no way just a "picture book" as it has much
  background information on both the collection and the actual
  stamp production. The text is well worth reading, enjoyable,
  informative and scholarly.

  2004, 337+14 pages, cloth with dj, published £25 plus transit,

  [QUIZ QUESTION:  who can list some of the famous
  royal numismatists of history?]


  "Superstition, Urban Legends and Our Money" by Richard
  Giedroyc has just been published, according to an item in the
  June 29, 2004 issue of Numismatic News (p29).  The book
  "takes readers into the tales and customs accompanying
  money, especially U.S. British and Oriental money."  The book
  costs $16.95 plus shipping from the publisher, Publish America.
  Their web site is


  Congratulations to longtime E-Sylum subscriber and frequent
  contributor Howard A. Daniel, who was presented with the
  Numismatic Ambassador Award June 12 during the
  International Bank Note Society meeting during the
  International Paper Money Show in Memphis, TN.  The
  award was created by Numismatic News and Howard's
  award was publicized in the July 6th issue of that newspaper.


  The MPCGram is an email newsletter covering all
  areas of military numismatics.  MPCGram 1148
  (Sunday, June 27, 2004) had the following good news/
  bad news item about the American Bank Note Company
  (reprinted with permission):

  "American Bank Note Company plates are being
  donated to the American Numismatic Association and the
  Smithsonian Institution Numismatic collection by the
  American Bank Note Company. This important donation
  was announced today by Peter Huntoon at a special
  lecture on Sunday evening in Colorado Springs.
  Huntoon who coordinated this donation, explained the
  entire operation to a large, spellbound audience. He
  reported that the ABNC has retired (destroyed)
  hundreds of thousand of plates and proofs over the
  past few years. Huntoon was able to persuade the
  company to donate plates to the two mentioned
  educational numismatic institutions. He even selected
  the materials to be donated. He selected materials
  that would demonstrate the intaglio process rather
  than any particular note, vignette, or certificate.
  Of particular interest to many Gramsters is the
  plate and materials used to print Republic of Vietnam
  10 dong notes

  [The Colorado Springs locations is of course, the
  headquarters of the American Numismatic Association,
  where their Summer Seminar is underway.  The
  following is a continuation fro the MPCGram, an
  Editorial/opinion from MPCGram editor Fred Schwan:

  As exciting as the ABNC donation is, it is even more
  tragic to think of the plates (and other materials)
  that have been lost forever. It is difficult to imagine the
  quantity of the destroyed materials. Pete stated that a
  squad of people at one plant was given the job of
  destroying accumulated proofs. It took the people three
  YEARS to complete the destruction. Three years. Oh my
  The plates were measured in hundred of tons. In spite
  of the tragedy of the loss, even if the materials could have
  been saved, there probably was no way to do it


  Three readers responded to Dick Johnson's note of last
  week on the proper pronunciation of the word "fecit".  Their
  comments relate to the way the word is pronounced in the
  Latin tongue, and how this translates into modern English.

  Ron Ambler writes; "I take exception to the statement
  'Unknowing collectors say something like""fek-it" or "fac-it."
  The correct pronunciation is "FEE-sit."'

  "FEE-sit" is only one correct pronunciation of "fecit."  "FEE-sit"
  is the classical pronunciation, but "FAY-chit" is the ecclesiastical
  pronunciation.  There are those who look down their classically
  educated noses at ecclesiastical pronunciation, but the Roman
  Catholic Church spoke Latin contemporaneously with the
  Romans, and they preserved Latin through the Middle Ages to
  the present time.  Their pronunciation is accepted as AT LEAST
  as correct as the Johnny-come-lately classicists."

  In a similar vein, Ken Berger  writes: "I must disagree!
  Fecit is not pronounced FEE-sit.  Latin had two
  pronunciations: classical & vulgate. The classical was
  spoken by the upper class while the vulgate was spoken
  by the masses.  In classical pronunciation, fecit is
  pronounced FAY-kit; in vulgate pronunciation, it would
  be FAY-chit.  The pronunciation FEE-sit is the
  pronunciation of fecit as if it was an English language word.

  This is similar to the pronunciation of the word, fungi.
  Most people say FUN-ji or FUN-gee (w/ a soft g). In
  classical Latin, it's FUN-gee (w/ a hard g).  Anyway, as I
  said, fecit is never pronounced FEE-sit in the Latin language.

  Another example is the word Caesar.  In English, it's See-sar;
  in vulgate Latin, it's Chay-sar, in classical Latin, it's Ky-sar
  (hence the word Kaiser).  Interesting, wouldn't you say?"

  Martin Purdy's writes: "Sorry, but I beg to differ.  The letter c
  in Latin was hard, regardless of what letter followed, so
  "FAKE it"  is quite a good approximation.  I could cope with
  " FAYtchit" as well, given the development of the sound into
  Italian over the centuries, but "FEE-sit" is dreadful.  English
  pronunciation habits do not apply to Latin when used
  *as Latin*.    Latin words that have been borrowed into
  English are a different matter, however - does anyone
  remember the British comedy sketch in which the lawyer
  insisted on fastidious Latin pronunciation, asking the court,
  "Where is the aLEEbee?"


  On June 20, The Wall Street Journal published an article
  about the money art collection of the U.S. Federal Reserve,
  titled,  "The Fed Boosts the Interest Rate in Art".  Here
  are a few excerpts:

  "Mary Anne Goley does not have barrels of money to spend
  on art. She does have "Barrels of Money" by Victor Dubreuil,
  an obscure American painter active in the late 1880s and 1890s.
  Call it her icon. "The decision to buy that one was easy," Ms.
  Goley says. "This genre, trompe-l'oeil currency, should be here.
  It was the second painting to enter the collection. I would like
  more!"  [The painting shows wooden barrels overflowing with
  U.S. currency of the late 1800s. -Editor]

  With just a secretary by way of support, the enterprising Ms.
  Goley directs the Fed's Fine Arts Program, building the
  institution's permanent collection and mounting three special
  exhibitions each year."

  "Her exhibit "MoneyMaking, the Fine Art of Currency at the
  Millennium" (including works composed of shredded bills) was
  so popular that a modified version toured the country as
  "$how Me the Money: The Dollar as Art."

  Doing a web search to learn more about the Fed's Victor
  Dubreuil painting illustrated in the article, I found the following
  page on the Littleton Coin Company web site:

  Littleton's page includes an undated article noting that "Barrels
  of Money" is (or at least was) owned by the Brandywine
  Museum of Chadd's Ford, PA.  From the illustrations, the two
  paintings appear to be very similar yet different, leading me to
  believe that there are at least two "Barrels of Money" paintings
  out there.  Did the artist paint a series of them?  Would anyone
  know the location of any others?  An email query to the
  Brandywine Museum curator has not yet been answered.

  Here's is how the Brandywine museum describes the genre on
  its web site:

  "Still life painting also has strong roots in the Brandywine
  region, particularly trompe l'oeil or "fool the eye" painting
  that was popular in the late 19th century. The museum's
  collection includes examples by such painters as William
  Michael Harnett, the acknowledged leader in this type of
  painting, John F. Peto, George Cope, John Haberle and
  Alexander Pope. Many of these works were created for
  gentleman's clubs, pubs and other "masculine" interiors,
  hence the decidedly male subject matter: often hunting and
  fishing equipment, dead game, mugs and pipes."


  Jørgen Sømod sends this link to a web page featuring
  Food Stamp Tokens of the US Virgin Islands:

  Ron Benice writes: "Regarding food stamp change catalogs:
  My catalog of Alaska Food Stamp Tokens appeared in the
  Token and Medal Society Journal, April 1988.  It listed 284
  plastic or metal tokens and 29 paper change chits from 43

  Hal V. Dunn writes: "California and Nevada food stamp tokens
  have been cataloged by Jerry F. Schimmel in Catalogue of
  California Food Stamp Credit Tokens 1939-1979, Including
  Nevada Food Stamp Credit Tokens, layout and typography
  by Duane H. Feisel.  Published in 1998, Mr. Schimmel was
  awarded the Silver Mishler Exonumia Cataloging Award for
  this work.  I am unaware of any additional catalogs on the
  subject covering other states, although Schimmel?s work
  contains a number of periodical references that perhaps touch
  on additional states."

  Duane H. Feisel writes: "With respect to your inquiry in just-out
  The E-Sylum concerning food stamp token catalogs, you may
  be interested in a catalog published a few years back by Jerry
  Schimmel.  I was intimately involved with manuscript
  preparation, formatting, listings, etc., and probably should
  have been accorded co-authorship.  My copy is inscribed by
  Jerry as "To Duane who did all the work."

  "Catalog of California Food Stamp Credit Tokens, 1939 - 1979,
  Including Nevada Food Stamp Credit Tokens," Compiled by
  Jerry F. Schimmel, Layout and Typography by Duane H. Feisel,
  Sponsored and Underwritten by Western States Token Society

  The catalog is 119 pages, 81/2 x 11", soft cover, wire comb
  binding.  I do have a few copies still available from a very limited
  printing of 100 copies.  Price $15 plus shipping.  The catalog is
  profusely illustrated, and the listings are in detail (unlike so many
  "catalogs" that contain only partial information about the actual
  tokens - I call those listings "skeleton" catalogs).

  The catalog is arranged alphabetically by the listing locality, and
  alphabetically by issuer within locality.  Since the catalog was
  published I am not aware of any new discoveries.  Incidentally,
  there is just one page of NV listings accompanied by one page
  of illustrations.  There is a significant amount of information
  presented concerning the tokens and manufacturers, and a
  brief section dealing with types of paper food stamp change

  Neil Shafer writes: "With regard to your question about whether
  there has been a catalog effort for food stamp change, I can
  tell you that another individual and I have made some progress
  listing all the various kinds of food stamp change issued from
  1939 through the end of 1978.  The collector working with me
  is Jim Downey, a top-notch numismatist who lives in Sturgeon
  Bay, WI.  He has taken some of the material and is putting it
  all on computer (he's good at it- I'm not!).  Though we have
  not been able to work on the project much during the past
  few months, we do hope to get back to it as soon as

  As to whether any major numismatic institution has collected
  any food stamp change, possibly the American Numismatic
  Association has some since I generally send them an
  assortment of paper items at year's end.  I would not be
  surprised if there was some now in their collection, but I'll tell
  you that there will certainly be some there by January of 2005!
  I have no definite knowledge of any holding at any other

  I was able to gather some quantity of these pieces during the
  late 1960s and early 1970s.  If anyone would like a few
  examples just send me a self-addressed stamped envelope
  and I'll be delighted to share some with you.  My address:
  P.O. Box 170138, Milwaukee WI 53217  I think you would
  be surprised at the variety- and remember that the stores were
  literally forced to participate or else not accept food stamp
  customers- the main reason I like them so much."

  Jim Downey writes: "I just want to clarify that we are
  cataloguing the paper scrip and not tokens at this time.  The
  3,000 different pieces of scrip were enough for now.  The
  number of tokens far exceeds the scrip.  There are over 250
  different tokens from Puerto Rico alone!  We may get around
  to tokens but want to finish the scrip first."


  Chick Ambrass submitted the following information about the
  use of Food Stamps in Pennsylvania:

   "From 1973 to 1976 I was in Pharmacy School, was married,
  and had a baby. My wife and I hadn't one nickel to rub against
  another, and I was told to apply for food stamps. So I did, and
  they helped our lives immensely, and I've paid the Gov't back
  many times. But at that time, they were actually paper coupons.
  The booklet contained several denominations, $1, $5, $10's...etc
  ....I'm not for certain exactly.  I'm sure that the booklet varied
  depending upon family size, and need category.

  At that time, if you needed change and it was less than a dollar,
  vendors would give you regular U.S. coinage. If you needed
  dollars in your change, most vendors (especially the larger
  retailers...local Mom and Pop was different)  had a stack of
  food stamps, in the lower denominations ($1's and $5's) and
  that's what you would receive. I never received any hard cash
  for my stamps. But then again, I was not trying to do anything

  Since that time, I have become more attuned to the workings
  of the "real" world, and  I realize, that many food stamps were
  sold at a discount rate, to family members, friends, and to
  retailers in exchange for cash.

  Here in Pennsylvania, paper food stamps have not been
  around for some time (at least 5 years, perhaps longer). They
  have been replaced by an "ACCESS" debit card.  If a retailer
  wishes to participate in the food stamp program, the retailer
  is required to have the necessary electronic equipment to
  process the cards. These cards have virtually eliminated the
  selling at discount "food stamps". I believe that is the real
  reason why most of the people that say they don't like cards."


  Gary Dunaier writes; "Regarding your article on what to do
  with the Lincoln cent in 2009 (E-Sylum v7#26, June 28, 2004),
  I e-mailed my suggestions to the Lincoln Bicentennial
  Commission, and I thought our readers might be interested in
  seeing them as well, so here's my two cents on the Lincoln cent:

  "I think the best thing would be to resurrect the original
  wheat ears reverse, and restore the VDB to its original
  location at 6:00 on the reverse.

  "Since the obverse will probably be the last (not to mention
  the only) U.S. coin design to persevere for 100 years,
  I think bringing it back home, as it were, is the only right
  thing.  Other commemorative cents can be issued
  concurrently, but we've got to bring back the wheat ears.

  "Besides, collectors will finally be able to get an affordable
  09-S VDB for their collections (even if it's 2009 and not
  1909, it would still an '09-S VDB!)"

  Mark Borckardt submitted the following suggestion: "As a
  change is planned for the bi-centennial of Lincoln's birth, it
  seems to me that a logical concept would involve some
  representation of Lincoln's birthplace."


  Allan Davisson writes: "Numismatics, politics and history are
  so intertwined that leaving out these latter two elements would
  remove a huge amount of the excitement and joy that
  numismatics and its sense of immediacy with other times and
  events provides.

  Like most people, I tend to like the political comments that
  reflect my views and dislike those that do not. And we are
  in a particularly polarized time in the U.S.

  Not talk politics when we talk coins?  There goes the
  Roman series.   There goes the English series. There goes the
  Greek series.  So also most of the token series in England and

  These are the series I follow most closely in this profession
  that happens to be my passion. I am certain the same can be
  said about most numismatic venues.

  I for one believe it only fair that you published both sides of
  the Reagan issue."

  David Gladfelter writes: "As for Reagan, why not put his
  picture on the $50 bill? Because some of our readers object
  to political expressions I will not say what I think of President
  Grant, except that I hold Alexander Hamilton in much greater
  esteem notwithstanding what Grant did for collectors of U. S.
  Treasury vignette and portrait books. As for rushing him to a
  place of honor on our coins and currency, we did the same
  for Roosevelt and Kennedy, and no one regrets having done
  so after decades of hindsight.

  Thanks for all your time and effort on behalf of NBS. It is
  appreciated by us Indians."

  [The politics of long-ago seems to be fair game for discussion;
  it's the current day which generates heat.  Roosevelt's
  portrait on the dime seems like an reasonable parallel,
  although both Roosevelt and Kennedy died in office, making
  for a more emotional situation.  There must have been some
  opposition voices at the time, but I don't recall reading any.
  Is anyone aware of contemporary arguments against placing
  Roosevelt and Kennedy on coinage? -Editor]


  To learn how non-numismatists feel about the issue of who
  to honor on U.S. currency, see the Coinstar company's
  annual national currency poll, which was published June 21.
  Abraham Lincoln won the popularity contest (although I
  wonder how that vote breaks down on Northern/Southern
  lines...)    A majority of those polled profess no opinion on
  portraits vs. other devices.  While a slight majority favors
  adding Reagan's portrait to our money, the numbers drop
  under 50% if adding Reagan means dropping a portrait
  already on our money.

  "The 7th annual Coinstar National Currency Poll, a consumer
  study that provides a look at Americans and their money,
  recently polled Americans on currency design-related topics
  and found that when considering all U.S. currency including
  both bills and coin, Americans named Abraham Lincoln
  (27.9%) as their favorite president currently featured on U.S.
  currency, followed by George Washington (25.2%) and
  John F. Kennedy (5.6%)."

  "Overall, 53.6% of respondents revealed that they have no
  opinion about featuring people versus moments in history or
  other types of images on currency, followed by 36.5% who
  are generally in favor of having people on U.S. currency.
  While 40% of respondents said they prefer presidential figures
  (vs. non-presidential figures), a statistically close 42.7% report
  they have no preference one-way or the other."

  To read the full press release, see: Press Release

  An article referring to the Coinstar poll appeared in the
  Bucks County (Pennsylvania) Courier Times.  Based on
  another section of the poll, "More than 60 percent of U.S.
  consumers say electronic payment options such as debit
  and credit cards will replace coins and paper bills in the
  next two decades..."

  "It's a reality we all do face, and it's something that has been
  addressed, especially more recently," said Joyce Harris, a
  spokeswoman for the U.S. Mint. "It's a definite challenge,
  and we're trying very hard now to invigorate people's
  excitement in coins - using them as well as collecting them."

  To keep money relevant to the public, the mint is banking
  on history.  There is simply too great a link between coins,
  currency and the country's past for them to suddenly cease
  to exist, according to Harris."

  "Along with a sense of history, mint representatives and coin
  collectors argue, real cash offers a convenience and
  practicality that debit and credit cards simply can't match."
  "Debit cards just aren't needed for those countless tiny
  purchases we make everyday."

  "Along with the practical, coins and currency also have a
  tactile advantage, according to U.S. Mint Public Affairs
  Director Michael White.

  "People still like the tangible aspect of coinage and currency
   - the crisp dollar pulled out of a wallet or the spare change
   clinking in a pocket,"  White said. "It gives them a sense of

  To read the full article, see: Full Article


  Ron Thompson writes: "Many clubs have life memberships
  that are calculated at 20 times the regular yearly membership
  dues.  While the NBS has that calculation as part of the
  constitution, as the current and former treasurer of a number
  of numismatic associations, clubs and societies, I think that is
  a bad idea.

  First, most people who sign up are people who anticipate
  more than 20 years with the association.  For example, one
  group to which I belong has a number of life members that
  paid $50 in the middle to late 1970's.  There is another clump
  of life members at $100 from the 1980's.  These two groups
  represent about 50% of our members.  To be competitive
  with other related groups, today dues are only at $10 a year.
  As a result, inflation eats up that life membership payment.

  Second, most organizations do not charge enough dues to
  cover membership costs.  As a result, they have other fund
  raising activities - club shows, auctions of members materials
  (like NBS is having at the ANA), sell anniversary medals,
  etc.  If you can't cover the costs of the membership activities
  with your dues, life memberships will be a drain on the group
  in the future.

  Third, technically an organization has to live off of the
  interest/investment income from the life membership fees until
  the member dies.  You really can't eat into the membership
  reserve as it is called. For example, if you have 20 life members
  at $300 you would have to have a life member reserve of
  $6,000 that you could invest and live off of the interest.  At
  3% per year that is only $180 for all the membership
  activities for the 20 members or $9 each versus regular dues
  of $15. Obviously, interest rates go up and down but costs
  generally just go up.

  Fourth, life members tend to be members who want to fully
  utilize their member privileges.  As a result, they will cost more
  than your average member's cost.

  To avoid the above, I would charge 30 to 40 times the regular
  membership costs.  This will discourage all but the most
  dedicated members who truly want to invest their money and
  time in the organization.


  Regarding the idea of a medal for the NBS Silver Anniversary
  this year, Ron Thompson writes: "As a medal collector, I am
  all for it.  If you don't like Adrian Salinas' suggestions for the
  designs of the obverse and reverse, we could have an electronic
  suggestion box or a contest.  If a contest, winners could have
  their initials on the their winning design sort of like VBD on
  the 1909-S cent.  I would recommend a silver medal with an
  antique finish, possibly with serial numbers on the third side.

  Brad Karoleff  writes: "In regards to a possible anniversary
  medal for NBS.  If we are to explore this suggestion I would
  hope that the Gallery Mint would be given the chance to bid
  on the project.  What better way to have an interesting medal
  than to have it made on a screw press?"


  Last week, we published the following quote as part of a
  newspaper article: "I have a counterfeit quarter. I don't know
  where I picked it up, but it is obviously fake."

  Kavan Ratnatunga writes: "Not everyone may know there is a
  state quarter series or all of the new designs. Or maybe
  someone got one of the political Clinton/Bush quarters
  legally struck on a real quarter.  So it would have been nice to
  see a image of this "fake" quarter to see if it is actually fake.
  I just met someone who found a new "nickel" and thought it
  was fake till I told her the U.S. mint was issuing a new type."


  This week both Reuters and the Associated Press reported
  a story about "A California man who collected 1 million pennies
  for a bet is having a hard time cashing in on his $10,000 fortune."  Full Article

  Dick Johnson forwarded an Associated Press story on the topic:
  "Ron England bet his brother 30 years ago that he could save a
  million pennies in exchange for a dinner in Paris. And he did,
  eventually stacking up 20,000 rolls that fill 13 boxes in his garage.

  Now that he's moving, England wants to cash in the $10,000 in
  coppers, which weigh 3.6 tons, but is having a tough time
  finding someone who will take them without a price."

  "But his bank, Washington Mutual, is charging extra fees and
  won't take all the rolls at once. The best he's found is a branch
  that will take 200 rolls, or $100 per week. That's 20 months
  of deposits.

  Tim McGarry, spokesman for Washington Mutual in Los
  Angeles, said that until recently, the bank charged 10 cents a
  roll for more than eight rolls. Now, each bank manager
  determines how many pennies it can accept and charges
  accordingly. Business rates differ.

  "This is a very rare case,'' McGarry said. `"Some of the
  practicalities are daunting - 3.6 tons is more than most vaults
  can handle."

  "England refuses to pay extra.

  "I'm stubborn,'' he said. ``If I have to haul all these pennies
  to Oregon, I will, 'cause I'm not gonna pay.''

  "I should have saved dimes. I'd have a lot more money, and
  it would weigh a lot less.''


  This week's featured web site is COINage magazine, which
  is celebrating its 40th anniversary with the August 2004 issue.
  Happy birthday, and congratulations!

  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.

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