The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 7, Number 36, September 5, 2004:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2004, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


  Among recent new subscribers are John Frost, courtesy
  of Wayne Homren, and Christine Gregg, courtesy of Nick
  Graver.  Welcome aboard!  We now have 686 subscribers.


  Eric Holcomb provided some photos of the tour which Bruce
  Perdue has installed on the NBS web site.  Thanks, folks!
  Check them out at: Pictures


  Chiming in with additional information on the recent fundraising
  auction for the American Numismatic Society Library chair
  fund, John W. Adams writes: "On Thursday evening of the
  American Numismatic Association convention, the ANS
  conducted its auction of 50 donated lots of numismatic literature,
  all of which were valuable and many of which were especially
  interesting. The attendance was "dampened" somewhat by the
  heavy rains to which Pittsburgh treated us.  Nonetheless, 40
  hardy bibliophiles gathered for what proved to be a truly
  memorable occasion.  Ye editor Wayne Homren had provided
  us with a simpatico setting at the upstairs of Tambellinis
  Restaurant. George Kolbe had performed his usual world-class
  cataloguing.  And Denis Loring called the auction of his life - we
  were in stitches from start to finish.

  The auction was buttressed by a plethora of generous mailbids
  but nothing could top lot 1, a special edition of Adams on Indian
  peace medals: after a furious floor fight, it hammered down at
  $1,250 whence an unnamed officer of the ANS closed everyone
  out with a bid of $10,000 !!  Matters continued uphill from there.
  The final tally was $89,500, an obviously meaningful gift to the
  Francis D.Campbell Library Chair. Gold stars to Homren, Kolbe
  and Loring.  Many more gold stars to the bibliophiles who
  donated and those who bid."


  On the heels of David Fanning's recent article in the Numismatic
  Sun comes the October 2004 issue of COINage magazine and
  David T. Alexander's article, "Collecting By the Book:
  Numismatic Literature As A Collectible Field." (p40).  David
  has done a wonderful job, so be sure to look for his article.


  Bill Fivaz writes: "It should be noted that Neil Shafer is the new
  winner of the "Clemmy" award from the Numismatic Literary
  Guild (NLG).  As last year's winner, I made the presentation at
  the NLG Bash on the Thursday night of the ANA convention.
  He was surprised and honored, of course, and most in the
  audience, like me, couldn't believe he hadn't been selected

  [I'm glad to hear Neil won - it's a well-deserved award


  Adrián González Salinas writes: "As always, I enjoy reading
  The E-Sylum every Monday.  It has very valuable information
  for me. Please, keep up the good work!   Such as Cantinflas
  (a Mexican comic actor 1911-1993), said, I am being
  "agriculturized" (a mexican joke).

  Answering the Jane L. Colvard question (The E-Sylum v7#35):
  Regrettably, Mexico hasn't any commercial numismatic
  publication at time present. Twelve years ago appeared a
  humble publication called "El Cospel" (The Coin Blank) but
  10 or less issues were printed.  Actually, the only numismatic
  publications in my country are:

  "El Boletín" (a Sociedad Numismática de México's quarterly
  issue in Spanish/English)

  "Gaceta Numismática" (a Sociedad Numismática de
  Monterrey's monthly issue - just in spanish)

  "Hoja de Difusión" (an Asociación Numismática de Toluca's
  monthly issue - just one sheet in spanish)

  "Gaceta LVO" (a Sociedad Numismática de Zacatecas's
  quarterly issue - just in spanish).  LVO means "Labor Vincit

  In the USA, there does exist the "USMexNA Journal" a
  US-Mex Numismatic Association's quarterly publication
  (just in english).

  Please let me know if you need additional information at
  agonzalez at"


  From a September 1st article in an Israeli newspaper:
  "How did hundreds of thousands of bronze coins from the
  reign of Alexander Jannaeus (Yannai) end up on the bottom
  of the Dead Sea?

  For some years now rumors have been circulating among
  antiquities aficionados in Israel about a huge coin hoard
  discovered along the Dead Sea shore. According to Donald
  Zvi Ariel, head of the coin division at the Israel Antiquities
  Authority, an acquaintance from Haifa University approached
  him 15 years ago with an envelope containing 190 ancient
  coins. The contact recounted visiting the Dead Sea, at a
  spot somewhere south of Ein Feshkha, sticking his hand
  down into shallow water and bringing up a handful of coins
  from the bottom. Since the area where the coins were found
  is in the West Bank, Ariel refrained from examining them
  carefully and sent the envelope to the office of archaeological
  affairs at military government headquarters."

  Military officials in charge of archaeological finds looked into
  the matter, and the story also spread among antiquities thieves,
  assorted treasure seekers, and the antiquities dealers of East
  Jerusalem. Word of the discovery of a remarkably large coin
  hoard even appeared in several scholarly papers, but the affair
  was not widely publicized.  An article by Ariel about the
  hoard will appear in coming months in a periodical published
  by the Israel Exploration  Society."

  To read the full story, see: Full Story


  At the Numismatics International meeting at the recent
  ANA convention, the topic of the heavy Russian 5
  Kopeck coins came up, and someone recalled an
  incident where an angry woman threw one of the coins
  across the room at her husband.  She was a good shot -
  it hit him in the head and killed him.

  So in true E-Sylum tradition, I've got to ask - are there
  any other instances of coins used to kill?  The only one
  I can think of is the old Indian method of thugee.  Here's
  a description I found on the web:  "Thugee - A Historical
  Perspective by Rakesh Chaubey.

  Thugee used to be a big problem during the British Raj.
  It went largely unnoticed for centuries because it was not
  only a crime perpetrated on Indians by Indians, but it was
  a crime perpetrated by rogues on elderly who were making
  their final pilgrimage to Varanasi.

  Devout followers of Goddess Kali, the thugs were a highly
  superstitious bunch. They spent part of the year living as
  farmers and for a few months disappeared from home to
  go on their plunderous mission. Thugee was widespread
  all throughout Northern India. The Thugs used to travel in
  groups of five or six persons and would join into a group
  of travelers. "

  "The thugs would penetrate a group disguised as travelers.
  They gained the confidence of the other travelers. Amongst
  themselves, the Thugs communicated in a very elaborately
  coded lexicon. Finally, when they had gained the confidence
  of their intended target, one of them lured him away some
  distance away from where the group was camped. There
  the other thugs met up and strangled the man using a scarf
  in which a silver rupee coin had been rolled.  The victims
  were then robbed, and their bodies buried in shallow graves."

  Full Story


  Dan Gosling writes: "In the Stack's auction catalogue of
  December 1-2, 1993, "United States Coins and Paper
  Money Featuring Additional Selections From The Reed
  Hawn Collection and Important Consignments From The
  T. D. Howe, Jr., Family Trust B, William B. Cowden and
  Dr. Bernard Schaaf", which I purchased at the Library spares
  sale during the ANA Summer Seminar this year, there is a
  list of Bidder Etiquette:

  1. List your lots in ascending numerical order whenever possible.
  2. Bid only in whole dollar amounts.
  3. Please write clearly and be sure to sign your bidsheet.
  4. Keep a copy of your bidsheet for your records.
  5. If you use a fax machine - please type to avoid misreading
      of bids.  We thank your for your support...

  Are there any other rules of etiquette for bidders?  Have other
  auction companies ever included such a list in their catalogues?
  Are there any additional rules for email bids?"


  Steve D'Ippolito writes: "So far as I know, the Russians were
  first with a decimal system.  They certainly claim credit for it.
  It actually was semi-accidental.  The old system (from very
  approximately 1200-1500) was:  6 dengas = 1 Altyn (from the
  Tatar word for six), 33 Altyns, 2 dengas = 1 Ruble.  Don't hold
  me to this, but I believe that none of these denominations had
  any physical existence; all coinage circulating in Russia was
  foreign.  Around 1500, wire money dengas, polushkas (from
  'pol' for half; they were half dengas) and a new unit, the kopek,
  were minted.  ("Kopek" comes from the Russian word "kopie"
  for "spear" since the kopek wire money depicted a horseman
  with a spear.)   A kopek was two dengas.  By the way, the
  Ruble had no physical existence even in this era; it was purely
  a unit of account.

  If you do the arithmetic it turns out that there are 200 dengas
  in a ruble and hence 100 kopeks in a ruble.  At that time the
  denga (and to some extent the altyin) was the more important
  unit, however.  Talking about kopeks and rubles before 1700
  would have been akin to us talking about nickels and dollars.

  Peter the Great's reform starting in 1700 put the focus on
  kopeks and started Russia towards a more modern system
  with a crown sized ruble, silver fractions (50, 25, 10, and 5
  kopeks), and copper minors (5, 1, 1/2 and 1/4 kopeks).
  For a time the 3 kopek altyn continued to be issued.  Many
  of the older names hung around for a while; a half kopek
  was still a denga, and a quarter kopek was a polushka.

  Interestingly the ruble, before the reform, contained far more
  than a crown's worth of silver.  The average taler of Europe
  was worth only 64 kopeks.  So Peter I was able to sneak
  quite a bit of inflation into this reform.

  Anyhow, my knowledge of pre-Petrine numismatics is
  somewhat sketchy so I am sure I got some of the chronology

  Bob Neale writes: "Regarding the question of who first
  developed a decimal coinage system, I believe that the key
  word here is "system." As I understand it, the Russian
  precursor to Jefferson's proposal did include a couple of
  decimally-related coins, but there were nondecimal coins as
  well. The Russians therefore did not have a system as we
  understand the term.

  My reference to the above was from Dick Doty's book,
  America's Money, pp 72-73. I probably should also mention
  Robert Morris' attempt to introduce a decimal coinage
  system in the early 1780s. Morris' plan was impossibly
  unwieldy, however, because it attempted to accommodate,
  in whole number relationships, almost all foreign coinage
  that was then in circulation here. Give Robert and Gouverneur
  Morris some credit, though. Their ideas provided the impetus
  for Jefferson's far superior proposal that was adopted in
  1786. Morris did provide patterns in denominations of 5, 100,
  500 and 1000 units, but of course these Nova Constellatios
  were never produced for official coinage. Nondenominated
  Nova coppers were produced subsequently in some quantity
  in England as a private venture for the two (unrelated)

  Gar Travis submitted the following item about modern
  decimalizations.  It cites France as the first, but does not
  mention Russia, where at item in last week's E-Sylum
  suggested Peter the Great as the first to use a coinage
  system based on 100 units.

  "Decimalization refers to any process of converting from
  traditional units, usually of money, to a decimal system. This
  process has been undergone by all countries except Mauritania
  and Saudi Arabia, but the former has in practice dropped their
  smaller unit since it is worth so little, and the latter is currently

  phasing out their non-decimal unit by not minting any new coins
  in it.  France decimalised first, abandoning the Livre tournois at
  the time of the Revolution, and imposed decimalisation on a n
  umber of countries that it invaded at that time. Many countries
  in the world decimalised on achieving independence from
  Britain, the first to do so being the United States. However
  some Commonwealth countries retained traditional money
  systems (pounds, shillings and pence) after achieving effective
  independence as Dominions, and decimalised more recently.
  For example South Africa decimalised in 1961, introducing
  the rand as the new unit of currency. When Australia decimalised
  in 1966, the currency was renamed the Australian dollar in the
  process, as the size of the basic currency unit was changed (to
  ten of the old shillings, i.e. half the value of the previous pound).

  A similar strategy was followed in New Zealand in 1967, with
  the introduction of the New Zealand dollar.  The United
  Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland decimalised the Pound
  Sterling and the Irish pound on February 15, 1971; see Decimal
  Day. Many other former British colonies, such as Singapore,
  Malaya, Sri Lanka, Mauritius, and the Seychelles used decimal
  currencies, even while under British rule. India changed from the
  Rupee, Anna, Pie system to decimal currency in 1957. Pakistan
  followed in 1961. Sri Lanka already introduced decimal currency
  in 1869. In France, decimalisation of the coinage was
  accompanied by metrication of other measures. However, in
  general the two have not gone hand in hand: the U.S. has never
  metricated, Canada has only recently done so despite having
  long had a decimal coinage, and the U.K. has only metricated
  to a limited extent."

  Taken from:  Source


  David Pogue of the New York Times wrote a recent column
  on "99 cent" pricing, something we discussed in the E-Sylum
  earlier this year.  He noted: "My last e-column, on what I call
  the 99-centing scam (pricing things at $299.99 instead of $300
  in an attempt to fool consumers), generated some of the
  funniest and most pithy reader responses in recent memory.

  [Here are a few samples.  The first may amount to urban
  legends, but if anyone has references to corroborate the
  tales, please let us know. -Editor]

  "I believe that the origin of 99-cent pricing goes back to JC
  Penny to keep his employees honest." (Various other readers
  cited Mr. Macy, Mr. Woolworth and Mr. Sears.) "At 99 cents,
  they would be forced to open the cash register to give change.
  When the price was an even dollar, employees would be more
  tempted simply to pocket the bill."

  "I believe you can trace the origin of these sales to William
  Randolph Hearst. In the days when one cent would buy
  something concrete in a store, newspapers sold for amounts
  like 3 cents. Hearst encouraged advertisements from the major
  department stores, and told his staff to push the concept of
  prices at odd amounts in order to ensure that there was a
  good circulation of small change so that the public would be
  able to buy his papers."

  "I remember working for a bread company. One of our
  deliverymen was having trouble selling brown-and-serve rolls
  in one of his stores. This was back when bread retailed for 33
  cents for a box of 12.  To try to increase his sales, he went to
  the store manager and got permission to price the rolls at three
  [boxes] for $1.00. When customers saw this price on the rolls,
  they brought them as fast as the shelves could be stocked, even
  through they were paying a penny more this way then when
  they were sold at the old rate!"

  "See, that's why the Sacagawea coin never caught on. We
  don't need a one dollar coin - we need a 99 cent coin."


  Dan Gosling writes: "I am looking for articles in coin magazines
  (not newspapers) that relate to the 1911 Canadian pattern
  silver dollar.  I can be reached at dan at  Thanks!"


  Larry Mitchell forwarded the following statement from
  Thomas H. Corey, National President, Vietnam Veterans
  of America:

  "Vietnam Veterans of America has received reports of
  delegates at the Republican National Convention disseminating
  and wearing "Purple Heart" band-aids in mockery of one of
  nation?s most distinctive honors, the Purple Heart medal.

  The Purple Heart is one of the oldest military awards, first
  introduced in 1782 by Gen. George Washington to honor
  the service and sacrifice of the common soldier and recognize
  the spirit of volunteerism and selfless dedication. It was
  reinstated in 1932. The Purple Heart is awarded to members
  of the armed forces who are wounded by the enemy.

  The spirit of the award recognizes the personal sacrifice of
  our troops without regard to the severity or nature of the
  wound. It is the wounding itself that merits the honor. To
  demean the decoration and the sacrifice it symbolizes
  demeans all veterans and the patriots who honor them."

  To read the full release, see:  Full Story

  [Has anyone seen news reports on this?  What issue were
  the people handing out the band-aids trying to publicize?
  This release calls it "a mockery" but that's surely not what
  was intended. -Editor]


  Lost among the blockbuster rare coin exhibits at the recent
  American Numismatic Association convention in Pittsburgh
  was the first public display of the new U.S. $50 bill at the
  Bureau of Engraving and Printing booth.

  From a local news story headlined "The new $50 bill has
  more hidden features than James Bond's watch.":

  "The Treasury plans to begin circulating 140.8 million bills
  Sept. 28, said Antoinette Banks, numismatic coordinator for
  the Bureau of Engraving and Printing.

  This denomination accounts for less than 7 percent of all the
  money in circulation, Banks said.

  Like the latest version of the $20 bill released last year, the
  most striking feature of the new $50 bill is its abandonment
  of the venerable monotone color scheme.

  The bill is colored at both ends in blue, red and purple. The
  center portrait is still Ulysses S. Grant, but the border around
  the 18th president is gone and his shoulders extend to the
  bill's bottom border."

  "With 66 percent of U.S. currency circulating outside the
  nation, American money is the most counterfeited in the
  world, said Edward Arrich, 56, of Houston, Texas, who
  is in town for the gathering.

  Most developed nations have switched to colored ink
  because it's tougher to copy, and it's about time the United
  States caught on, said Arrich, a numismatist since he was

  "There are countries where shopkeepers won't take $50 or
  $100 bills older than 1991" because they've been
  counterfeited so much, he said. On this new $50 bill, there
  are 26 anti-counterfeiting measures, he said, adding
  conspiratorially, "that are known, anyway."

  To read the full article, see: Full Story


  The Treasury department still has work to do on public
  education surrounding currency designs.  This story came
  across the Associated Press wire on Wednesday,
  September 01, 2004.  The incident occurred near
  Greensburg, a town in Western Pennsylvania not far from

  "State police aren't laughing about the person who passed
  some funny money -- a $200 bill with President George W.
  Bush's picture on it -- at a women's clothing store."

  There is no such denomination, even without Bush's picture
  on it.

  Police said they didn't know how the clerk was taken in by
  the ruse, even though several other things about the bill
  should have been a dead giveaway.

  Among other things, the bill had a hokey serial number --
  DUBYA4U2001 -- and didn't bear the signature of the
  secretary of the treasury. Instead, the bill was "signed" by
  Ronald Reagan, whose title was "Political Mentor" and by
  Bush's father, who was listed as "Campaign Advisor and

  The back of the bill was even goofier.

  It depicts the White House with several signs erected on
  the lawn, including those reading "We Like Broccoli" ..."

  To read the the full AP and Reuters accounts, see:
  Full Story
  Full Story


  A September 2 Wall Street Journal article discusses the
  custom-made stamps the U.S. Postal Service allows a
  private firm to produce and sell.  This takes the concept of
  commemoratives to its extreme, basically allowing anyone
  who wants to put anything on a stamp to do it, for a fee.
  The high production costs of coins should ensure it never
  comes to this in numismatics, but it's interesting to think
  about.   You could give your kids and grandkids coins
  with their own pictures on them.  The debasement of the
  medium is a slippery slope that begins with the first
  commemorative coin and ends when the public finally
  gets sick of the proliferation of designs in circulation.
  Someday in the U.S. there may be a backlash that ends
  the parade of new coin designs we've been seeing.
  Here are some excerpts from the article:

  "When launched a service that turns any digital
  photo into a custom postage stamp -- a vanity stamp of sorts
  -- the company anticipated portraits of Spot, the family dog,
  not the spot on Monica Lewinsky's infamous blue dress. But
  the Smoking Gun Web site decided to use the latter to
  prove a point.

  "We thought it was ridiculous -- a way to raise revenue by
  letting anyone put their mug on a stamp," says William Bastone,
  editor of, a site owned by Court TV that
  collects celebrity mug shots, quirky court reports and
  government documents.

  "For the longest time, stamps [were reserved for] statesmen,
  people who helped do incredible things for the country. Now
  it's devolved into Daffy Duck and every manner of dopey thing,"
  he says."

  "So Mr. Bastone and his colleagues decided to push the
  envelope. Some of their more egregious submissions for the
  stamps, like a mug shot of Lee Harvey Oswald, were swiftly
  rejected by But pictures of a high school-aged
  Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, former Serbian leader Slobodan
  Milosevic and Lewinsky confidante Linda Tripp -- along with
  Ms. Lewinsky's dress -- are now legal postage."

  "The Postal Service authorized to conduct a
  two-month test of PhotoStamps, starting Aug. 10. The USPS
  declined to comment on what would happen to the service
  after the trial ends. Instead, a spokesman noted that the
  service's next official stamp will feature John Wayne."

  [So now's your window of opportunity to get your smiling
  face on your own official U.S. postage stamp.  If the one-
  penny black is rare and valuable, how much will collectors
  pay one day for the unique ?


  Peter Gaspar (E-Sylum proud subscriber #1) writes:
  "Alan V. Weinberg's report on the newly reported specimen
  of a plug-less 1792 silver center cent was extremely interesting.
  I wonder whether any of the known specimens has been
  subjected to a form of nondestructive analysis  (e.g. electron
  microprobe or x-ray fluorescence) capable of determining how
  much silver is present.  Eric Newman told me about a
  December 18, 1792 letter from Jefferson to Washington
  conveying two silver-center cents and stating that Mr.
  Rittenhouse was about to make a few pieces from metal in
  which the silver plug was fused with the copper.  But the
  Jefferson letter also stated that cents of the same size as the
  silver-center pieces would be made of copper alone.  Cents
  would also be made four times as large, as ordered by

  The Jefferson letter raises the possibility that there are, or at
  least were, two different small plug-less cents, one containing
  as much silver as the plug, and the other without intentionally
  added silver. (There may still be a small silver impurity in the
  copper of those unalloyed small copper cents.)  Is it known
  whether the extant plug-less cents contain the plugs-worth
  of silver?  Or is it assumed that they do?"

  In a subsequent note Peter added: "    More on my previous
  message.  Touching one's keyboard before consulting Walter
  Breen's writings is always dangerous, and this time was no
  exception.  In his Encyclopedia of U.S. coins, Breen quotes
  the Jefferson 12/18/1792 letter and goes on to list the three
  varieties: #1369 Silver center cent, Judd 1, about 12 known,
  pedigrees for 11 specimens given, plus two perforated blanks
  found by Frank Stewart at a Philadelphia mint site in 1909.
  The weight of one silver center cent (Garrett 2347) is given
  as 70.5 grains = 4.57 grams.   Breen #1370 is a 1792 cent
  from the same dies, billon, no silver plug, 2 known(?), 2
  supposedly authenticated by chemical test, one ex-Harmer
  Rooke 11/69, the other in Bowers Review, pp. 18-20
  (1973-4) and Coin World, 12/4/74, p. 24, 1975 Suburban
  Washington Convention Sale, lot 59. A weight is given for a
  specimen in the ANA collection, 78.2 grains = 4.549 grams,
  but this must be a typo since 78.2 grains = 5.067 grams and
  4.549 grams = 70.2 grains.

  Breen #1371, 1792 cent, same dies, copper, no silver plug,
  Crosby plate 10, #22, Judd 2, figure 16 in Smithsonian
  Bulletin 229, 1970 (V. Clain Stefanelli, History of the
  National Numismatic Collection), Garrett 2448 whose weight
  is given as 63.1 grains = 4.09 grams.

  So the answer to my question with regard to previously
  reported specimens is that the existence of two different
  plug-less small 1792 cents was indeed recognized by Breen
  and he listed all three varieties mentioned by Jefferson.
  Judd 2 (in my sixth edition copy) purposely included both
  plug-less varieties, with the notation that one of the known
  pieces might be billon.  My latest Red Book (2001) lists
  only with- and without-silver center varieties.

  That leaves the new Pittsburgh piece.  Is it billon, made by
  fusing silver and copper, or was it struck on a regular copper
  planchet?  The weight differences noted above are in the
  right direction, but the sample weighed is so small that weight
  would be as dangerous a sole criterion as color for
  distinguishing Breen 1370 and 1371."


  We never had a satisfactory answer to our recent quiz
  question about the names carved in stone on the old
  American Numismatic Society building in New York.
  Lo and behold, the complete answer comes to us in a
  sidebar to an article on the old building by Joseph Ciccone
  in the Summer 2004 (vol 3, no. 2) issue of American
  Numismatic Society Magazine (p23).

  I won't still the beans all at once, but will use the list as
  an opportunity for future quizzes.  The first name is
  someone who lived from 1737 to 1798, and "is
  considered by many to be the founder of the science of
  classical numismatics."  His "major achievement is the
  eight-volume Doctrina Nummorum Veterum..."
  Who is he?


  The August 29, 2004 issue of The New York Times had  an
  interesting article about investing in art and collectibles such
  as coins.  Professor Michael A. Moses, who teaches
  management at New York University, spent four years
  studying the value of artwork, and has created "an index that
  tracks the value of art sold, mainly by the Sotheby's and
  Christie's auction houses in New York. [The] index includes
  more than 13,000 transactions going back to 1875."

  He and his coauthor "published a report on the index in the
  American Economic Review [in 2002]. By their calculations,
  the value of art has kept pace with the Standard & Poor's
  500-stock index over the last 50 years, though art's returns
  have zigzagged more. "For people who have a 20- to 30-
  year horizon, I have no problem talking about art as an
  investment," Professor Moses said.

  His view is not an orthodox one. Other people with knowledge
  of financial matters and collectibles are far less convinced of
  the investment potential of art, antiques, fine wine and rare

  "Stocks and bonds go up in value because they're priced at
  the present value of their future cash flows," Professor Guay
  said. "An antique isn't going to generate any earnings or throw
  off any cash. Stocks and bonds do. The only way you're
  going to make money on an antique is selling it to someone
  who likes it more than you do."

  "There are only so many buyers for a given set of works,
  and they're not all sitting ready to spend money on you,"

  "When dealers sell such a work, they typically get a bigger
  cut than brokers who sell stocks and bonds, said Jeffrey E.
  Daniher, a Cincinnati financial planner and coin collector.
  Markets for collectibles tend to be small and inefficient, he
  said, and dealers have often incurred high costs for storage
  and insurance they want to pass along to buyers."

  On the other hand:  "When my WorldCom stock went sour, I
  didn't have anything but a piece of paper," Dr. Brager said.
  "If the market for wine takes a downturn, I've still got the
  wine to drink."

  To read the full article, see:  Full Stroy
  (Registration required)


  "Most people save their loose change and quite a few use
  automated coin counter machines like the one in the local
  Winn Dixie to change all those coins into dollars. But, when
  store employees noticed two teens changing more than $3000
  in coins Sunday night, they got a little suspicious and called
  police. That one call resulted in their arrest and a burglary
  solved before the homeowner even knew he was a victim.

  The two 17-year-old boys first entered the store at about 9:00
  p.m. with a bucket of coins and placed then in the Coinstar
  machine cashing them in for $1,173.85. They returned about
  45 minutes later with a green duffle bag and cashed more
  coins in for $1,974.82. "

  "When he was searched, officers found $98 in currency,
  numerous old silver dollars and a nickel in a laminated holder.
  Lying in plain view in the motel room were coins in collector
  boxes, a video camera, and two green canvass duffle bags.
  "One of the bags contained so many sets of coins, it took
  two people to pick it up," said Chief Brannan."

  "At this time, the sheriff's office has placed a hold on the coin
  machine in an attempt to locate more of the collection."

  To read the full story, see:
  Full Stroy


  We sometimes highlight failed bank robbery attempts, not
  because there's much of a numismatic connection, but
  because it can be so much fun to see just how stupid thieves
  can be.   The latest report come from the "News of the Weird"

  "Two men were arrested in Dearborn, Mich., in July and
  charged with robbing a Bank One branch, done in by a glitch
  in their getaway plan. They had hopped on mountain bikes to
  make their exit (which bank robbers have used with success
  from time to time), but they were apparently unfamiliar with
  the concept of a gearshift, and both men rode away in first
  gear (or perhaps second), so slowly that one witness followed
  them easily on foot, and a bank guard got close enough to
  shoot one of them in the arm. They were quickly arrested.
  [, 7-15-04] "
  See Full Story


  This week's featured web site is an online version of the book
  "Currency of the Isle of Man" by Charles Clay, M.D.  The
  book was printed for the Manx Society in MDCCCLXIX
  (1869 if I'm reading that date correctly).

  Featured Web Site

  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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