The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 8, Number 44, October 16, 2005:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2005, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers are Mark M. Schulman, Emil Eusanio,
Rod Charlton, Brian Salinas, Roland W. Finner and Jack Benedict.
Welcome aboard! We now have 810 subscribers.

Counterfeiting is one theme in this week's issue, with news
of recent operations big and small. Master counterfeiter Mark
Hofmann was the subject of a lengthy article on the 20th anniversary
of the Utah murders he committed to cover his tracks. The mystery
of the woman chemist on Scottish banknotes was quickly solved, and
our Featured Web Site is a nice one on U.S. Depression Scrip.

True story:
"Behind the wall, there is a library of old books."
So we ask, "How do you get in?"
"You can’t. It’s completely sealed. Four walls. No door.
It’s been sealed for a long time."
Got your attention, bibliophiles? Read on...

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


Fred Lake writes: "Our sale of numismatic literature #81,
featuring the Clarence Rareshide Library - Part I, closes on
Tuesday, October 18, 2005 at 5:00 PM (EDT). The sale
may be viewed at Lake Books Sale
and bids may be placed via telephone, fax, or email prior
to the closing time. Part Two of the Rareshide Library will
have a closing date of Tuesday, November 29, 2005 and
ill be posted to the Lake Books web site in early November."


Allan Davisson writes: "Our numismatic book sale closes on
October 25th. Bids are coming in but there are many bargains
remaining in the sale. I had an extra hundred printed to be sent
out to any who would like a copy and most of those are still
available and I am happy to send them out at no charge."

[See the September 25, 2005 E-Sylum ( v8#41) for more
information on the sale. Allan can be contacted at Davissons Ltd.,
Cold Spring, MN 56320 (the entire mail address) or email,

I have a copy of the catalog, and it's a very nicely done affair,
with a good deal of interesting annotation. In the preface to the
sale, Davisson writes: "Spending time reading through and checking
one-of-a-kind books that will sell for $15-$20 works out to a
time / energy / printing investment that is not particularly rewarding
financially. It has been a particularly pleasant project for the
summer. ... I have let my own observations and opinions creep
into the commentary -- hopefully you will find it all enjoyable..."

Davisson also devotes a quarter-page to a discussion on the
"Preserve / Repair / Rebind" quandary bibliophiles face with
many books, and a half page to a discussion of the various
editions of the Seaby coin catalogs. There is also a quarter
page discussion of the Spink Numismatic Circular where
Davisson notes: "In the early 90s I felt that $150+ per copy
for catalogs issued between 1940 and 1947 from a Kolbe
sale was too much. I was very wrong about that. Since then
I have spend hundreds trying to complete the 1939 to 1946
series. .... I paid $250 to John Burns for a single volume that
had a number of war time issues bound together. ... the
wartime issues have proven to be a major challenge that I
still have not completed after 17 years of effort.... Now you
know why the numismatic book society calls it "bibliomania".

Bidders should note that there is NO BUYER'S FEE with
this sale, a pleasant change from the chore of subtracting
10-15% from each true bid before marking the bid sheet.


George Kolbe writes: "Our printer unexpectedly delivered over
100 extra copies of our upcoming November 17, 2005 auction
sale catalogue 98 of IMPORTANT NUMISMATIC WORKS.
While supplies last we will be happy to send E-Sylum subscribers
not on our mailing list a complimentary copy of the catalogue
(postage reimbursement will be appreciated: $3.00 for U. S. and
Canada; $7.50 elsewhere)."


George Kolbe writes: "After lo these many months, our binder
informs us that the cloth and leather-bound editions of the 2005
Ford sale catalogue will soon be in our hands. Our apologies to
subscribers for the long wait (both editions are sold out)."


Hearing news reports of flooding in New Hampshire this week,
I contacted New Hampshirites Q. David Bowers (of American
Numismatic Rarities) and David Sundman (of Littleton Coin
Company and NBS Secretary-Treasurer) to see how they and
their businesses fared. The mere thought of flooding brings
chills to a bibliophile's heart....

Dave Bowers wrote: "All is well here. The flooding was mainly
in the SW part of the state. I think things are better there now.
It has been a year for Mother Nature."

David Sundman wrote: "Thanks for thinking of us! We are all
fine, tucked up north about 150 miles from all the bad flooding,
which is centered around the Keene area in southwest New
Hampshire. They had about 12 inches of rain in a very short

[The farther away things are, the closer together they seem.
New Hampshire may be a small state, but that's still a lot
of territory. I'm glad to know our numismatic friends were
unaffected, but empathize with those affected by the flooding
in Keene. As our readers may recall, shortly after the ANA
convention here in Pittsburgh last year (September 17th, to
be exact), we were drenched by the aftermath of Hurricane
Ivan, swelling nearby creeks and streams and flooding
neighborhoods all around us. Asylum Editor Tom Fort
(who lives just a few miles away) and I had just hosted tours
of our numismatic libraries during the convention, and luckily
our families, homes and libraries were safely perched on
hilltops. But communities in the valleys between were
devastated, with water covering streets and flooding homes
and businesses. The towns looked like war zones for weeks,
patrolled by the National Guard and U.S. Army troops as
debris was cleared and basic services restored. Please
keep the victims of recent hurricanes and flooding in mind -
if you haven't already done so, please consider a donation
to the Salvation Army, Red Cross or other relief organization
supporting the recovery efforts. -Editor]


The following is from the American Numismatic Society's
E-News for October 2005: "Numismatic Literature number
146, which lists over one-thousand titles, is in final proofs and
will be sent to the printer this month. In the meantime, we are
actively looking for Contributing Editors who can supply
bibliography for China, Finland, Greece, India, Jordan,
Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia,
Tunisia, and Turkey. Interested parties should contact the
International Editor, Oliver Hoover at"


Regarding the Canadian Numismatic Correspondence Course,
Part 2, Steve Woodland writes: "I recently completed the new
course and would like to publicly thank Paul Johnson and his
team, three of whom are members of my own club, the City of
Ottawa Coin Club. I found the course material so interesting
that not only did I complete all the required chapters of the course,
I went back and did all the remaining chapters too! Fascinating
reading! And for those E-Sylum readers who are interested in
learning more about Canadian Tire Money, there is an entire
chapter dedicated to Canadian Tire Money as a Numismatic
Collectible, where you can even learn the name of the Scotsman
who has graced the front of CTC store coupons since 1961."


Thanks to Chick Ambrass for reminding me about this article
from this morning's Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. It's about a
Pennsylvania paper company hoping to challenge Crane &
Co. as a supplier of paper to the U.S. Bureau of Engraving
& Printing:

"A small Blair County town, known for the sonorous spring
that runs through it, might soon become the new birthplace
of American money.

But it's just as likely that Roaring Spring, tucked in a limestone
valley south of Altoona, will find that history remains on someone
else's side.

Roaring Spring, the locals say, is home to a subterranean lake,
which gives rise to the spring for which the town is named.
Throughout the town's history, the spring has powered mills to
grind grain and to make paper, and there are two paper mills
now, run by Roaring Spring Paper Products and Appleton
Papers Inc.

It's Appleton, headquartered in Wisconsin, that wants to take
a crack at making money -- or at least the paper it's printed on.

"It is something that we would like to explore," said Bill Van
Den Brandt, Appleton spokesman."

"Fulfilling one of the oldest government contracts, Crane & Co.
has been shipping its special mix of nonwood-based paper,
about a quarter linen and three-quarters cotton, to Uncle Sam
since 1879.

Appleton hopes to get in on the action, but to do so, it will have
to rewrite a unique American business story and reverse more
than 230 years of U.S. history."

"While the Crane & Co. federal currency contract dates to only
1879, the company actually has been making money, so to speak,
since 1775, when Stephen Crane, father of company founder
Zenas Crane, sold paper to an engraver named Paul Revere.
On it, according to company lore, Revere printed some of the
earliest paper money in the American colonies."

"Appleton's behind-the-scenes play for the currency job, or for
at least a portion of it, marks a rare challenge to the Crane Co.'s
multigenerational stranglehold on the contract."

"Crane's contract with the feds runs through July 2006. Last
month, the federal government released an RFP -- request
for proposal -- for the next paper manufacturing contract,
which would run through 2012.

The RFP allows the winners a two-year window to install
production equipment. The Roaring Spring Appleton plant
would need to invest $70 million in new equipment to handle
the contract."

To read the complete story, see: Full Story


Steve D'Ippolito writes: "I had no trouble finding the club tables
in San Francisco. They were right off to the side before you
even got to registration--the first thing you saw coming off the
escalator, which faced them. But they were rarely occupied.
The tables need to be visible, true, but they also need to be
occupied! The ANS successfully recruited me in San Francisco
in part because they always had someone at their table."

Larry Gaye writes: "It's good to see that Howard Daniel III
will be back at the ANA. I for one have missed seeing him the
past few shows. I agree that the club tables have been relegated
to the corn field (forgive the Twilight Zone reference) and could
not be easily located. In San Francisco they might have as well
been located in Oakland as in Mosconi West. I do hope the
ANA will place them in a better location."


Last week we discussed the U.S. Mint's new design for the
obverse of the Jefferson nickel, with a portrait of Thomas
Jefferson facing forward.

Larry Gaye writes: "An observation regarding the new design
of the 2006 Jefferson nickel: regarding wear, I am a collector
of Byzantine and related coinages. For a great part of the
history of the coinage the Emperor's and other personages
were imaged face on. This results in a very quick deterioration
of the nose. Sooner or later this will happen on the new "Jeff."
I suspect this will be a grading point as to slight wear being a
dead give away of an AU coin and so forth."

Martin Purdy writes: "The most outstanding (pun intended)
example I can think of would be the forward-facing portrait
of Henry VIII used on base silver coinage toward the end of
his reign. Because the coin had a high copper content, the
silver wore away rather quickly from the highest part of the
design (the royal nose), giving rise to the title "Old Coppernose".
I hope Tom doesn't suffer the same fate ..."

For more information, see this well-illustrated 26-page article
on the Spink web site on the British Kings and Queens and
their Coinage: Full Story


Arthur Shippee forwarded a link from the Explorator newsletter
to a new article on the recently discovered Domitianus coin:

"Forget stone, a discovery of a Roman coin in Britain proves
history is set in bronze and silver.

During the chaos and confusion of the third century A.D., amid
widespread disease, famine, and barbarian invasions, a brazen
upstart seizes control of a breakaway state within the Roman
Empire. He proclaims himself emperor only to disappear days
later, his life and story lost, save for only the briefest of remarks
in two fragmentary and unreliable sources. Then, an amateur
treasure hunter scanning the green fields of Oxfordshire with a
metal detector chances upon a small clay pot filled with more
than 5,000 ancient Roman coins. A British Museum archaeologist
brushing away centuries of corrosion and carefully picking apart
bronze and silver pieces, discovers one exceedingly strange coin.
Among the thousands of unremarkable ones, this coin carries an
unfamiliar bearded face, a perplexing name, Domitianus, and
most strikingly, the three letters IMP, short for imperator, or

Suddenly, the hunt was on for another coin, this one found not
buried in the ground, but buried in the archives of a small provincial
museum in southern France. The French coin, dug up in 1900,
was deemed worthless at the time, a modern counterfeit depicting
what was surely a made up emperor. Amazingly, the portrait on
the supposed fake matches the strange coin in the British Museum,
as does the image on the reverse side. Small characteristic markings
provide the final confirmation; both coins had been struck from the
same die or stamp. The French coin is not a fake, and the bearded
man, not an imposter, but a lost emperor."

"As the story reached the press, the coin became source of
national pride. The British paper The Times printed a picture
of the coin with the caption "Is this Britain's Lost Emperor?"
Archaeologists and historians were quick to temper some of
the sensationalism, noting that it was highly unlikely that
Domitianus, who had probably been confined to a region in
southwest Germany near the Danube, had ever even seen
Britain, and that the coin had made its way to Oxfordshire
via trade routes or troop movements. Even so, the discovery
of the coin created a buzz throughout academic circles in Britain.
Christopher Howgego, the curator of ancient coins at the
Ashmolean, told reporters that, "the coin is one of the most
interesting Roman objects ever found in Britain."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Arthur Shippee also forwarded a link to an article by the
Kuwait News Agency on a discovery of Fatimid-era coins
from Egypt:

"A Polish archaeological team has discovered 13 gold coins
'made more than 1,000 years ago while excavating around
a Coptic monastery outside Cairo, Egyptian antiquities
officials announced yesterday.

The coins were found at the Monastery of Archangel Gabriel
in Fayoum, about 100km southwest of Cairo, and date back
to the era of the Fatimids, who ruled Cairo between 908 and
1187 A.D, according to a statement released by the Supreme
Council of Antiquities.

To read the full article, see: Full Story


The Chilliwack Progress of Chilliwack, British Columbia
reported on October 11 that "Counterfeit money can be
ordered on the Internet for 40 cents on the dollar.

And ordinary young B.C. teenagers are among the biggest
buyers, says Cpl. Mary Kostashuk, with the RCMP "E"
Division commercial crime section.

They get onto Internet teen "chat" rooms, express an interest
and, presto, a counterfeit crook responds and then calls
direct to consummate a deal."

"The counterfeiters are usually drug users and dealers who
recruit children to get rid of counterfeit cash manufactured
using today's sophisticated photocopying machines and
quality copy paper.

Some drug dealers make the fake money themselves, or buy
in bulk from at 10 cents on the dollar from big eastern Canadian
crime rings ... "

To read the complete story, see: Full Story


A Reuters article on October 12th reported that "The United
States is seeking the extradition from Britain of a senior member
of an Irish Republican Army splinter group on charges of conspiring
with North Korea to circulate counterfeit U.S. currency, officials
said on Wednesday.

The indictment of Sean Garland, described in U.S. legal documents
as the leader of Irish Workers' Party and the banned Official Irish
Republican Army, comes as Washington prepares for more nuclear
disarmament talks with Pyongyang in November.

State Department deputy spokesman Adam Ereli said Garland, 71,
has been charged with involvement in counterfeiting hundred-dollar
bills. "We will be requesting his extradition from the United Kingdom,"
he told reporters."

"The U.S. Department of Justice said Garland and six others
were arrested on October 7 in Northern Ireland on charges
pending in the United States. The arrests followed a 16-year
investigation since the counterfeit bills started appearing in 1989."

"The notes "were manufactured in the Democratic People's
Republic of Korea and under auspices of the government and
transported worldwide by North Korean individuals acting as
ostensible government officials," the Justice Department said
in a statement."

The "Supernotes" first appeared in Ireland in the early 1990s
and redesigned after the United States modified its currency
to improve security, the Justice Department said.

Garland and co-conspirators, none of whom are North Koreans,
are accused of trying to buy, transport and sell fake $100 bills
in quantities of up to $1 million."

To read the complete story, see: Full Story


"A mother-of-three has been revealed as the mystery woman
on a banknote that scientists had been trying to identify.

Members of the Royal Society of Chemistry had been trying
to discover the identity of the female lab worker pictured on
the back of the Bank of Scotland £20 note. Their search
began after a visitor to a convention asked them who the
woman was and if she was a scientist.

Now it has been revealed that she is 52-year-old Janet Mullen,
a scientist from Peebles. Mrs Mullen is pictured analysing
samples in a laboratory at the Scottish College of Textiles in
Galashiels - where she worked 17 years ago."

"The picture featuring Mrs Mullen was chosen for the £20
note to illustrate education and research. The notes were
released in May 1995 but Mrs Mullen - who now works as
a scientist for Scottish Water - said she had only realised her
picture was on them when a former colleague phoned her up."

"And she added: "It's quite exciting to be on the note but
although it is my picture on it, it's not as if I was chosen for any
reason, I didn't do anything to deserve it. But in a way it is an
honour and I feel as if I am representing all the scientists who
work in laboratories and all the work they do."

"She said: "After I found out about the notes I went into the
local branch and spoke to the manager about it. Afterwards
the bank presented me with two of the £20 notes in a framed
presentation case, which is nice to have."

To read the full article, see Full Story


Numismatic researchers might want to check out the
digital archive of The Scotsman, which includes every
issue from 1817 through 1950. Searches are free,
but all you get to see is a headline. Access to the
full article is for paid subscribers only. A 24-hour
pass is £7.95, and periods of 48 hours, 1 week, 1 month
or 1 year are available for up to £159.95. A search with
just the term "coin" found a great number of articles, many
of which looked interesting.

Scotsman Archive


Mark Tomasko writes: "I was amazed at the Greater Kashmir
story on arrests of people who simply possessed the "Million
Dollar Bill." That bill was one of the stranger American Bank
Note Company creations, in the early 80s if I recall. I'm still a
little surprised ABN did it and that the U.S. government didn't
stop them. The designer (long retired) who did the back of the
bill is a friend of mine, and I will pass the story along to him.
Reminds me of the Singapore citizen who ran into trouble
carrying into Singapore uncut sheets of U.S. bills. Thanks for
all your work."


Alan V. Weinberg writes: "The Confederate ID discs with
engravings on them (seated Dollar and seated Half Dollar)
are not even on real coins. Even the "coins" are casts as are
the facsimile engravings on the obverse and reverse. I've
examined close to a dozen of each type. They first appeared
perhaps 10 years ago. One was featured and pictured early
on in one of Joe Levine's Presidential Coin & Antique Co.
auction catalogues - I caught it and Joe withdrew it.

At approximately the same time none other than John J. Ford
called me to inquire about one he'd just received on approval
from a prominent coin dealer. John asked me ( ! ) if it was
genuine. I told him no, they'd been turning up and told him to
use a glass then and there on the phone to examine the "coin"
itself. He did and came back incredulously with "the coin is
a cast!".

[My brief review of Peter Bertram's booklet last week didn't
go into the particulars, but yes, these fakes are all cast. At
first glance they may look like U.S. coins with added engraving,
but they are casts. Not only is the weight wrong, but there are
small differences in size and shape as well. The book lists the
proper dimensions and weight of genuine U.S. coins, along with
the dimensions and weight of many of the known fakes. There
is also a table listing the known examples of ID discs for each
soldier. Unless you're Mr. T, just how many dog tags does one
soldier need, anyway? -Editor]


A great article in the Deseret Morning News, Saturday,
October 15, 2005 profiles Mark Hofmann, the notorious
forger and murderer who faked coins, currency, and a great
deal of documents related to the Mormon church (the church
of Latter-Day Saints, or LDS).

"Twenty years ago today, one of the most bizarre chapters in
Utah history began when a nondescript man wearing a high
school letterman's jacket and carrying a package went into the
Judge Building and took the elevator to the sixth floor.

The two murders Mark Hofmann committed that bright October
day were cold-blooded, clumsy attempts to divert attention from
his life's work — hundreds of forgeries and lies that tampered with
LDS and American history. For years, it turned out, Hofmann had
been producing phony signatures and documents and photos and
coins, successfully convincing handwriting experts and forgery
detection machines that all of it was authentic.

The reach of his forgeries — from Emily Dickinson to Mark
Twain, George Washington to Joseph Smith — and the
cunning with which he tricked a nation's document collectors
continue to intrigue authors and investigators. So far, seven
books have been written about him. This weekend, yet another
symposium is being held to analyze his crimes, as forensic
document examiners from 33 states gather in Salt Lake City
to talk about the arcane details of ink and paper.

Meanwhile, Hofmann's forgeries and counterfeiting are still
leaving their mark. His doctored documents continue to surface
and are sometimes sold as originals even when there is proof
that they're "Hofmanns." Two years ago, a penny Hofmann
claims he altered sold for $48,300 at a Beverly Hills auction."

"If I can produce something so correctly, so perfect that the
experts declare it genuine, then for all practical purposes it is
genuine," Hofmann once told his former prison guard, Charles
Larson, author of "Numismatic Forgery." In Hofmann's mind,
if it was a perfect forgery, no one was being deceived.

"He has little or no conscience," his former friend, Shannon
Flynn, said. "He doesn't think about things in moral terms, like
punishment by God. . . . He believes in a sense we just live in
a biological system," where a murder is the equivalent of a lion
killing a water buffalo, simply for survival, Flynn says. "He
killed those people to survive, to get out of it. Things were
closing in on him. His forgeries were very close to being found

"Was he the best forger — or at least the best forger who was
caught — in the past 1,200 years?"

"While most forgers specialize in, say, Abraham Lincoln,
Hofmann could do 86 signatures. He made his own ink,
created his coins and currency, fashioned his own postmarks."

To read the complete story, see: Full Story


The following is from a recent American Numismatic Association
release: "ANA’s National Speakers Bureau is accepting new
applicants who are interested in helping people discover and
explore the world of money.

With the ever-increasing interest in numismatics, the American
Numismatic Association is looking for additional people with
prepared numismatic presentations who would like to be invited
to share their expertise with others in their local community.

The National Speaker’s Bureau ( is
available to assist schools, museums, civic organizations, Scout
leaders, coin clubs and show organizers locate speakers for
educational programs.

Interested presenters can obtain an application from ANA’s
Outreach Department or from the ANA website at
(Select “Education” from the drop-down menu at “Explore the
World of Money.”)"


In the Summer 2005 issue of the Fractional Currency Collectors
Board newsletter, editor Jerry Fochtman writes: "Some may recall
the web site,, which had a large number of
articles, pictures of notes, and information on the history of
fractional notes as well as helpful guides for new collectors.
Unfortunately this web site and its owner left the hobby and
disappeared, and I've not succeeded in finding anyone who had
a copy of the site or even some of the articles that were placed
on the site. However, another FCCB member is looking into
setting-up another site for our hobby."

[This is where the Wayback Machine comes in handy. In the
February 23, 2003 issue of The E-Sylum (v6n8), subscriber
Kavan Ratnatunga introduced us to this great resource:
"A 120 Terabyte archive of the Internet was put online in Oct
2001 in the WayBack Machine."

Bill Malkmus gave us an update on July 31st of this year (v8n33):
"The Wednesday, July 27, 2005 Wall Street Journal had a
fascinating front-page article on a website that should be of
interest to other folks like me who have a library of obsolete
(non-functional) bookmarks: Wayback Machine

The Wayback Machine has archived web pages over the last
nine years; while Google has currently 8 billion pages archived,
the Wayback Machine has a total of 40 billion! I tried this out
on my old lists of bookmarks; whenever I got a response that
the web page could not be found, I put the URL into the Wayback
Machine. Sure enough, the pages were not only archived and
retrievable, but a listing was given of the dates on which they
were archived (perhaps 30 or more), and in addition, notation
was made of whenever the web pages had been changed!"

The Wayback Machine archived
sixty-six times between December 4, 2000 and November 3,
2004. Not all of these archived dates have copies of the
full web site. A random check noted that February 4, 2003
and July 30, 2003 have at least some of the site's pages and
images. I've passed this information on to Jerry to assist the
club in re-establishing the web site. -Editor]


In response to my question last week, Alan V. Weinberg
writes: "There are more than fifteen categories of John J.
Ford, Jr. numismatic collectibles not yet catalogued or
auctioned by Stack's including, but not limited to : Canadian
tokens (one of the finest collections), "pseudo-Low" Hard
Times (one of the finest collections) , Miller merchant
storecard tokens of the 1850-60's, Lincolnia, Franklinia,
Lafayette medals and tokens, political ferrotypes, struck
political tokens and medals, Sutler tokens, tokens of the
old West including territorials and Post & Indian Traders,
Betts medals (two catalogues, foreign and "American" ),
Canadian & American Indian Peace medals (two catalogues),
medals of the Old West, Pioneer gold & ingots, etc. So,
my estimate is at least another two years through 2007,
just as Stack's originally announced. This is based on my
knowledge of what I know Ford collected and owned &
conversations with various close associates of JJF. Based
on what is still unsold, there are going to be some really
interesting & ground-breaking JJF auction catalogues


Dan Hamelberg reports: "Here's another set of the World's
Greatest Collection: Abe Kosoff"s full leather set in covers.
Also, I have the prototype of the hardbound for silver coins."


Recent writers mentioned "webbing", or "skeleton scrap"
left over from the punching out of coin blanks.

Alan Roy writes: "The word you're looking for to describe
coinage scrap is "scissel."

I first heard it at a CNA convention a few years ago. The
registration packs included a piece of scissel from the Royal
Canadian Mint."

[We discussed this word a couple years ago in the volume 6
(2003) issues no. 32, 33 and 34. Dick Johnson provided
us with a definition, and he used "skeleton scrap" very
deliberately in his recent post. In The E-Sylum v6n33
Dick wrote:

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


Last week I quoted an author who referred to "the coin industry".
One reader writes: "Why is the collecting and selling of coins
being called an industry? Nothing is manufactured - by the hobby
or dealers. The only manufacturing is being done by the world
mints and bureaus of printing. If there is any "industry" web site,
such would be for them.

I have been most disturbed by the use of the word "Industry" as
a blanket moniker for the hobby and those of the dealer community.
Nothing is manufactured - those in the "business" are marketeers
of technically second hand goods and hobbyists are just that -
taking a portion of their lives to escape from the realities of the
world around them, to pause if you will, to explore an interest of

[Although not an "industry", there is certainly a booming business
surrounding the numismatic hobby, so I would venture to say it's
safer to use the term "coin business" in this context. Coin dealers
are brokers and resellers, providing a service to the hobby through
their buying, selling and brokering activity. -Editor]


Ken Berger writes: "In the last E-Sylum, you used the word
Phillipino. This is incorrect! First, it should have one L not
two. Second, it should use an F not a Ph. Thus, the word
should be Filipino. Filipino is a general word & is used as
both an adjective and a noun. When speaking specifically
about a female individual, you should use Filipina. You may
see the word Pilipino. This is the name of the official language
of the Philippines which is about 95% + (in my opinion &
many others) based on Tagalog (the main language spoken
around Manila). Pilipino/a would also be an adjective or a
noun in the official language. Philipino, as you used it, is a
spelling which was used by Americans late in the 19th C. &
very early 20th C. It definitely is not used today by either
Filipinos or Americans.

I speak from experience. I collect Phippine coins & am
an advanced collector of Philippine Guerrilla Currency. I've
lived and taught in the Philippines. My M.A. thesis in Asian
Studies examined oil spill impacts in SE Asia, including the
Philippines. Finally, my wife is a Filipina (a Cebuana to be

Nevertheless, you are forgiven."

[Sorry! I wondered about that when I first wrote that sentence,
but didn't have time to check it before publication. Thanks for
keeping us on the straight and narrow. -Editor]


Our Featured Web Site last week was a section of the
Wikipedia, an "open source" web-based encyclopedia
project. I noted that "It is a very useful site, as long as
one remembers that it is maintained by volunteers and
should not be relied upon as the final word on any
research topic."

Arthur Shippee writes: "Yes, it's maintained by volunteers
--such as yourselves. Actually, you folks might want to
think about making the Wikipedia a great numismatic site,
by editing the existing articles & adding new ones. That's
the theory behind the Wiki open-source idea. It's a very
interesting notion, and depends on the general good will
of the mass of users.

And, since lots of folks use & will use Wikipedia, they
might stumble into the numismatics areas by following links
from elsewhere, and become interested in numismatics.
Perhaps a good recruiting tool to the field."

[Well, one thing we could do here at The E-Sylum is to
at least review the numismatic content of the Wikipedia.
Here's one page chosen at random: Irish Coinage.
Let's hear some of your comments!

We love words here at The E-Sylum, and although it's
not numismatic, readers might also want to check out this
amusing Wikipedia entry on Made-up Words in The Simpsons
television series. It's perfectly cromulent...


Dick Johnson writes: "In a previous E-Sylum I wrote of mints
and minting on stamps (when the American Topical Association
published a list of these); this was in E-Sylum’s July 20, 2003
(vol 6, no 29) issue. There are a large number of coins and
medals on stamps of the world. But here is something new –
at least new to me -- a stamp on a coin!

The 50-kronor Swedish coin went on sale Friday this week
(October 14, 2005). It honors the 150th anniversary of Sweden’s
first postage stamp issued in 1855. The composition, called
"Nordic Gold" is copper-aluminum (copper 89, aluminum 5,
zinc 5, tin 1) and was minted by the Swedish Mint in Eskilstuna.

Obverse of the 1 1/2-inch (35mm) coin bears the 4-skilling
stamp, the mintmark E and a mintmaster mark H, initial of the
national bank’s governor (isn't that charming? -- that's a perk
not every bank president can boast!). Reverse bears a winged
letter flying over the Swedish landscape and a French horn,
symbol of the Swedish Post Office.

It’s a limited issue of 100,000 coins and the price is 60
Swedish korona.

Crossover collectors can see a picture of the new stamp-coin
at the Swedish National Bank’s website (the language is in
English, -- but yah! the picture's in Svenska -- haa! that's a
Swedish joke!):

To read the full story, see:


A sidebar article in the October 17, 2005 issue of Fortune
magazine includes an interesting account by business tycoon
Tom Pritzker about his role in discovering a bibliophile's
fantasy in Nepal, a long lost library:

"The guy who rents the horse happens to be the lama for the
temple. With the horse comes the lama, and for the next week,
we’re walking with him and his horse. Finally one night he says,
"I now understand that you’re serious people. Actually, in that
temple you were in? Behind the wall, there is a library of old

So we ask, "How do you get in?"

"You can’t. It’s completely sealed. Four walls. No door.
It’s been sealed for a long time."

We say, "What’s inside?"

"I’m not sure. I just know old books. If you want to come
look, you can."

"So months later we send a team in. I’m sitting at a board
meeting at Royal Caribbean [the family owns a large stake
in the cruise line]... and all of a sudden someone comes in
with a pink note that I have a call from Nepal. So I say,
"We’ve got to take a time-out." I get on the phone, and
they’re yelling, "We’ve discovered a library with 700
volumes from the 14th century!" This is cool stuff to be
able to do. "

Full Story


This week's featured web site on Depression Scrip is
maintained by one of our new subscribers, Rod Charlton.

"The main purpose of this website is to document depression
scrip. The last documentation put together on depression scrip
was a great book written in 1984 by Ralph A. Mitchell and
Neil Shafer. In my opinion, it's the "bible" on depression scrip.
But, it lacks a few things. There aren't as many pics as I would
like to see. Plus, the pictures aren't as detailed as they could be.
I understand the problems with publishing something like that.
It would be 12" thick if there was as much detail as I would like.
Still, it's the best book ever written."

The site has a nice depression scrip picture archive, and includes
sections on the U.S., Canada and Europe, and related items such
as Coupon Books, Cardboard Tokens, Sales Tax Tokens and
Wooden Nickels. Also included is a nice bibliography and
"Depression Scrip: an Annotated Bibliography" by Loren Gatch
of the Department of Political Science at the University of Central

Rod adds: "Come see a forgotten piece of history.... "
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.

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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