The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

PREV        NEXT        V10 2007 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 10, Number 42, October 21, 2007:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2007, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


This issue was published Monday morning because well, I just
couldn't stay up late enough to get it all done - sorry!

Among our recent subscribers are Al Adams of Gold Rush Gallery,
Inc., courtesy of Alan Weinberg and Fred Holabird; Alan Stahl
of Princeton University, and John Sallay.  Welcome aboard!
After purging some inactive email accounts we now have 1,072

This week we open with information on the latest issue of The
Asylum (our print journal) and Roger deWardt Lane's 'Modern
Dime Size Silver Coins of the World'.  Next, Alan Weinberg
fills us in on action at this week's John J. Ford auctions
at Stack's, and the U.S. numismatic world is buzzing over
the ANA's anticlimactic firing of Executive Director Chris

In news from the old Mints, the New Orleans Mint museum reopens
with an exhibit on gold, and archaeologists working on the
grounds of the old Carson City Mint building report on
artifacts they've uncovered.

In responses from last week's issue, Saul Teichman writes
about Brand, Farouk, Newcomer, Woodin and Breen pedigrees,
and Warner Talso opens a new discussion on the aftermarket for
numismatic literature.  Thanks also to W. David Perkins of
Centennial, CO for responding to Jonathan Brecher's request
for medals needed to illustrate the new edition of the
Hibler-Kappen So-Called Dollars book.

I've penned a short numismatic diary for this week covering
a number of events that may be of interest to some of you.
In the news are reports on the Utah quarter striking ceremony,
problems with the new sheqalim copper-nickel coins in Israel,
and Spain gets up close and personal with the Odyssey Explorer.
To learn about the elongated pig coins from the 'Pork BBQ
Capital', read on.  Have a great week, everyone.

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


David Yoon, editor of our print journal, The Asylum writes:
"I've sent another issue of The Asylum (vol. 25 no. 3) to the
printers.  The contents are:

Howard Spindel - Revolutionizing the Numismatic Reference
John W. Adams - The Legend of Storelli
Leonard Augsburger and Joel Orosz - An Evening with Harry Forman
Report on the Meetings in Milwaukee "

[Back issues of The Asylum have become quite valuable as
references.  While The E-Sylum is free to all, only paid-up
members of NBS receive The Asylum.  As always, information
on joining the Numismatic Bibliomania Society can be found
at the end of every E-Sylum issue.  -Editor]


Roger deWardt Lane writes: "Nearly forty years ago, I
started my interest in Modern Dime Size Silver Coins of
the World, and put together a type set of 18 mm silver coins
from countries around the world.  The dates started with the
issues of Queen Victoria and ended with the last circulating
silver coins of this size - 1970 Netherlands Antilles, minted
in Holland.

Several years later, I enlarged the series to include 17mm -
19mm, all dates, mintmarks, assay initials and fineness
arranged by date order within mints. The collection will
never be completed, unless taken over by an institution or
individual with unlimited time plus some wealth and great

The manuscript was reworked many times: hand-printed,
AppleWriter, WordStar, MSword, Adobe PageMaker and finally
Acrobat. A laser printed copy was donated to The American
Numismatic Society Library and I have the other copy. In
2002 a CD-ROM was burned with a few copies to numismatic
friends and a few sold at my local coin clubs.

In 2003 an improved disc was created and copies were presented
to the American Numismatic Association, Numismatic International,
Numismatic Literary Guild and others. Since the subject is
extremely specialized, I have, with this final update, presented
it to the numismatic community.

This 2007 Third Edition in Adobe Acrobat is posted on
TheDimeMan's web site, with each country a separate chapter.
Files can be copied to your hard drive. The full works is
copyrighted 2001 by Roger deWardt Lane. There are over one
hundred files. Excluded are countries outside this series."

To read 'Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?' see:
Brother, Can You Spare a Dime

[Many thanks to Roger for making his effort available to all
numismatists.  More than "just" a catalog, the work includes
a lot of interesting stories and anecdotes about some of the
coins.  I encourage readers with interest in world coins to
review the files and let us know their thoughts.  -Editor]


Pete Smith writes: "I was amused by the quote from John
Ford, 'I have a monetary assay ingot that I think is a
fabulous piece.' I looked up the definition of 'fabulous'
in my dictionary: Fabulous 1. of or like a fable, imaginary,
fictitious or legendary. Was Ford admitting that the piece
was fictitious?"

[Last week in my comments following John Kleeberg's review
of the John J. Ford sale XXI catalog I noted the unusually
wide estimate ranges for Ford's Western Assay Bars and was
curious to see how the numismatic market would react to the
sale.  Alan Weinberg's attended the auction and the answer
is in his report below.  -Editor]



Alan V. Weinberg writes: "Wow! I've just last night
returned from the final two catalogued and scheduled
John J Ford, Jr. Stack's auctions in New York in the
penthouse of the Le Parker-Meridien Hotel across 57th
Street from Stack's offices.

"These sales have continued since October 2003. It seems
like just yesterday that an enthusiastic Larry Stack called
me and others to announce the coup. Ford had personally
told me many times that his collection would not come up
for auction for 20 years after he died. So much for the
plans of mice and men.

"These two final sales were a fitting close to this
historic four-year offering. The audience in the penthouse,
with a full view of Central Park and the New York skyline,
was enthusiastic and largely filled. For the first time,
everyone had a table top. Some of the active attendees
and bidders were Bill Anton, Tony Terranova, Russell
Augustin, Don Kagin, Fred Holabird, John Kraljevich, Ron
Karp, John Dannreuther, Martin Paul, Scott Rubin and
private collectors unknown to me. And of course master
cataloguer Mike Hodder, one of the two men singularly
responsible for the Ford sales being so successful and
historic - the other being Larry Stack.

"The phone bank was very active with many phone bidders
being quite successful in their pursuits. A phone bidder
may be at some distance or may be nearby in his hotel room,
not wishing his prospective competitors to know who's
bidding. Additionally, Larry Stack and Bruce Hagen handled
a dozen or more selected clients' "floor bids" and cell
phone bids which were bid aggressively and successfully.

"There was some pre-sale speculation about part XXI (the
Ingot sale) not being successful due to the controversial
nature of many ingots and their Paul Franklin provenance.
So it was something of a surprise to watch this vigorously
contested auction succeed with every lot selling for record
prices. A dated Wiegand $20 gold ingot for $87,500 hammer
to Don Kagin, a unique Meyers gold $18 ingot for $75K hammer
to bidder 890 underbid by Tony Terranova, and so many
others in the $20K- $30K range.

"I know little of obsolete paper currency but there were
certainly more than a few knowledgeable bidders for this
group with the California Salt Lake Mail Line $50 at $32,500
hammer to agent Bruce Hagan bidding for phone bidder 174, a
Utah Territory currency copper plate hammering for $24K to
phone bidder 429 and an interesting Brother Jonathan Steamship
cabin ticket for $3,500 hammer to Fred Holabird underbid by
John Kraljevich. Bill Anton, Kagin-Holabird, Ron Karp and
Tony Terranova dominated the obsolete currency and paper
ephemera among physically present floor bidders but the
phone bidders were hugely successful too.

"The tokens, medals and Pioneer gold patterns really opened
one's eyes. Standing out as undoubtedly the most unusual
and aesthetically-pleasing item in the entire Ford collection
was the gold nugget -encrusted hand-constructed 1850 San
Francisco gold Alderman's medal which sold for a total
$316,250 to Tony Terranova for a client, Larry Stack for
himself, the underbidder. (JJF's favorite two medals were
his silver John Jacob Astor Indian Peace Medal and this
Alderman's medal )

This was the third highest auction price ever realized
for an American medal, surpassed only by the Stack's-sold
gold Zachary Taylor Congressional gold medal at $460K
total two years ago and the Saint-Gaudens 1889 Centennial
George Washington Inauguration medal in gold at $391K.
The three 1850's Committee of Vigilance silver medals all
sold to Don Kagin for $31,625 and $25,300 for the last
two medals. It was only a few years ago that Kagin sold
one for $7,500 to a California dealer!

"But there were some literally laughable auction results
too - in a 'what were they thinking?' fashion : a set of
three 1969-struck Empire City Mine fantasy tokens for $1,300
hammer, a set of three J.J. Conway restrike denominations,
struck in 1956 and quite common on eBay, for (gasp!) $4,000
hammer. And to cap this off, how about two Unc specimens
of the extremely common  1849 Liberty Head / kneeling miner
brass game counters (I've seen 500 if I've seen 1) for $650
and $750 hammer to Kagin and Karp. What were the bidders

"Mid-way, Stack's set up a sumptuous Greek food buffet,
thoughtful since the auction commenced at 5 PM and would
go on into the late night. Could the influence of Christine
Karstadt and American Numismatic Rarities have something
to do with this? Yup.

"At the conclusion of the two Ford sales parts XX and XXI,
Larry Stack and Mike Hodder bear-hugged each other in the
auction room, clearly overjoyed that all their blood,
sweat and tears resulted in magnificent results. It was
more than just a higher gross. It was a vindication of
the cataloguing effort, the sales and publicity effort,
and a fitting final salute to a man they both knew very
well - John Ford. Ford would have been proud.

[I understand that four members of the Ford family attended
the sale.  So it seems the market has spoken - the assay
ingots, several of which had been in question, sold for
record amounts.   Skeptics may well note that it only takes
two fools to create a record price, but that can be said
of any auction.  The high prices paid for relatively common
pieces described by Alan could be cited as evidence of the
presence of fools among the bidders, yet this phenomenon
is not uncommon in big-name collection sales, where bidders
have been known to overpay as a premium for the name.

Since the beginning of The Great Debate over assay bars it's
been clear that the controversy has long legs.  The questions
initially raised many years ago will continue to be debated
into the future; this sale is only the latest episode in a
long saga.   It will be interesting to see how events unfold
from here.

I look forward to purchasing the remaining hardbound
versions of the Ford sale catalogs to complete my set.
Despite the controversies and mysteriously missing items
the sales remain a landmark record of a legendary
never-to-be-seen again collection.  They are a core holding
of an American numismatic library and I expect the set will
remain in high demand for generations.  Congratulations to
Mike Hodder and Stack's for a job well done.  -Editor]

Alan adds: "Steve Tanenbaum advises me that the remaining
unsold Ford collection segments detailed in last week's
E-Sylum should also include one of the finest collections
of early Canadian Breton tokens and Donald C. Miller-listed
storecard tokens.

"Additionally, there was an error last week splitting a
paragraph and leaving it open to interpretation. Accurately,
it should list as still unsold the finest collection of
pseudo-Low Hard Times tokens (documented Hard Times tokens
but unlisted in the original Lyman Low listing) which
surpasses in value Ford's Hard Times tokens which were
auctioned in Chicago."


[It's old news by now, but because of our coverage of the
various goings-on surrounding the ANA, here is the complete
text of the organization's press release following the
recent Board of Governors meeting.  -Editor]

The American Numismatic Association Board of Governors,
on Tuesday, announced that Executive Director Chris Cipoletti
has been terminated with cause, effective 5:01 p.m. Oct. 16.

The Board, meeting at ANA headquarters, voted 8-0, with
Governor Edward C. Rochette abstaining, to end Cipoletti's
tenure as the Association's Executive Director and General
Counsel. The Board also voted 8-0, with Governor Chester
Krause absent, to terminate all financial and trustee
relationships including the position of corporate agent
held by Cipoletti by virtue of his employment as executive
director and general counsel. The action refers specifically
to removing Cipoletti's name as a signature authority on
all ANA credit card, investment, pension and banking accounts.

ANA President Barry Stuppler said he could not give specifics
about the decision because it was a personnel matter but
added, "We felt there was adequate cause to fire him."

The Board also authorized a search for a new executive
director. The Executive Review and Compensation Committee,
comprised of Stuppler, Vice President Patricia Jagger Finner,
Governor Clifford Mishler and General Counsel Ron Sirna,
were charged with setting up a procedure to implement the
search. Applications for the position will not be accepted
until the procedure is established.

Kenneth Hallenbeck will continue as acting executive director
until a new executive director is hired, with Kim Kiick
serving as chief operating officer. Sirna, an attorney from
Flint, Mich., was transferred from his appointment as
Counsel to the President to General Counsel.

Cipoletti, who replaced Rochette as executive director in
2003, was placed on administrative leave in August. He began
working for the ANA in 1997 and was named its general
counsel in 1998.

The ANA Board of Governors met in executive session on Oct.
15 and 16, and held an open session beginning at noon on
Oct. 16. An audio tape of the open session can be heard in
streaming audio on the ANA website at
ANA Board Meeting Tape .

[The Colorado Springs Gazette published an article about
the board's move.  Here are some excerpts.  -Editor]

Christopher Cipoletti has been fired as executive director
and legal counsel of the Colorado Springs-based American
Numismatic Association, the nation’s largest coin collector
organization, effective 5 p.m. Tuesday.

"The association’s nine-member board of governors voted to
'terminate with cause' Cipoletti’s employment in a closed
executive session Monday evening and announced the decision
Tuesday during a public meeting broadcast to the organization’s
35 staff members.

"The move by the board, voted in by the organization’s
32,000 members a few months ago, caps years of turmoil for
the association, which was federally chartered by Congress
in 1891 as an educational, historical and scientific
nonprofit organization. Questions about finances, claims
of secrecy, staff turnover and a pending lawsuit have
plagued the organization.

"'It may be fall outside, but to us it’s bright spring —
this board and staff are paving the way for the association
to move up and beyond where it’s been,' said Ed Rochette
after Tuesday’s announcements. Rochette served as association
executive director before Cipoletti’s term and is now a
board member. The local money museum is named after him.

"An arbitrator will help settle Cipoletti’s employment
contract with the association, which runs through Dec. 31,
2008, with an option for a five-year renewal, Stuppler said.
The organization’s projected $800,000 operating budget
deficit for this fiscal year could be affected by the
outcome of the arbitration, he said.

"Cipoletti gave a presentation of an undisclosed nature
to the board for more than an hour during a working dinner
Monday, Stuppler said.

"'After his presentation, we decided to terminate him,'
Stuppler said.

"Board members also in August raised questions about
the organization’s operating budget deficit, which for
the past five years under Cipoletti’s leadership has
ranged annually from $266,000 to more than $1 million.

"The board hired an independent certified public accounting
firm to determine whether an audit is needed. Stuppler said
Tuesday that the board had not received the report.

"'We have a new management change, a new structure and a
new culture,' he said. 'In the past, there hasn’t been an
open line of communication, and we’re trying to remedy that.'"



Kerry K. Wetterstrom writes: "I was told that the American
Numismatic Association Board has voted to change the name
of the Numismatist back to The Numismatist."

[What's next, restoring the Lamp of Knowledge to the
organization's logo?  8-)   Actually, there's been no
official communication on the name of the club's journal,
the logo, or anything else of more substance.  But I await
further coverage of events in the hobby press and from
the ANA itself.  -Editor]


The October 2007 ANS E-News reports that "Previous issues
of 'American Numismatic Society Magazine' are now online.
The initial release of features our Spring
2007 issue, with past issues including Spring 2002 through
Winter 2006 also available on the web. We are currently
looking for corporate sponsorship of and
the development of additional features for this new ANS
website. At this time, the most current issue of ANS
Magazine will continue to be exclusively available, only
in hard copy format to ANS members and subscribers."

[As with the printed versions of ANS Magazine, the photography
is stunning.  The articles are well illustrated with many
beautiful photos.  Below are direct links to a few selected
articles.  This online archive is a great resource - many
thanks to the ANS for making it available. -Editor]

A Doctor for All Seasons: David Hosack of New York
by Robert Wilson Hoge
David Hosack of New York

The Meaning of a Memory: The Case of Edith Cavell and the Lusitania in
Post-World War I Belgium
by Peter van Alfen

A New Birth of Freedom: The American Civil War Collection at the ANS
by Robert W. Hoge

Monuments, Medals, and Metropolis, part III: The Machine Age
by Peter van Alfen

The ANS Bids Washington Heights Farewell
by Joseph Ciccone
ANS Bids Washington Heights Farewell

To view all back issues of ANS magazine, see:
ANS magazine


Local newspapers are report on the reopening of the old
New Orleans Mint building:

"The Old U.S. Mint in New Orleans is reopening for the
first time since Hurricane Katrina with an exhibit this
weekend on a subject that couldn't be more fitting -- Gold.

"The Old U.S. Mint made millions of silver and gold coins
while in operation in the French Quarter between 1838 and
1909. On Tuesday, curators were working to prepare the
hundreds of gold nuggets, coins and jewelry pieces that
will be showcased in the old building beginning Saturday.

"The gold exhibit will run through Jan. 2 at the Old Mint,
which has been under repair since Hurricane Katrina ripped
off much of the building's roof two years ago.

"The exhibit will include more than 400 natural gold
specimens, cultural objects, gold bars and coins. Among
the items is an 1887 Mardi Gras Rex pin in the shape of
a crown and a gold treasure box recovered from a 1715
shipwreck off the coast of Florida."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Yesterday the Nevada Appeal published a lengthy article
on artifacts recently recorded by archaeologists working
on the grounds of the old Carson City mint building:

"It came as no surprise to anthropologist Gene Hattori
when construction crews working on the Nevada State
Museum project turned up signs of buried artifacts in
the courtyard next to the historic old mint.

"In fact, he anticipated it, making arrangements with
Reyman Brothers Construction of Sparks before they
even started digging.

"Less than a week into the project to connect the old
mint building with the museum annex, Hattori, curator
of anthropology at the museum, and his assistant, Cindy
Southerland, found themselves in a four-foot-deep trench,
carefully outlining the walls of an old pit where
workers at the mint long ago buried some trash.

"The pit was next to where the old steam boiler that
powered the coin presses and other machinery in the
mint once sat.

"'When they shut down at the end of the federal fiscal
year, they'd replace the old boiler tubes, replace the coin
dies and bury the trash,' he said. 'We haven't found any
assay crucibles, what I'm hoping to find is old coin dies.'

"A project seven years ago turned up several old coin dies,
all deliberately damaged by mint officials so they couldn't
be used to make counterfeits. Hattori said those were found
just a few yards from the new dig.

"After five days of careful probing - and with Southerland
running every bit of dirt through a fine screen to make
sure nothing is missed - they found a number of items for
future study, including a piece of a crockery ale bottle
and a glass stopper for a chemical bottle. There were also
fragments of other liquor bottles.

"'And we did find a cast-iron rectangle, we do not know
what it is,' he said.

"In the pit Friday, he pointed to a collection of steel
barrel hoops. The wooden stays had long since rotted away.
On the other side, he pointed to a thick layer of charcoal,
evidence of the fires that powered the steam engine, which
powered the coin presses through a series of leather belts.

"'In fact, there was an article in the Appeal at the time
complaining about the cord wood piled too high on Curry
Street,' he said."

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Regarding some text I contributed to Col. Bill Murray's
Coin World column, Allan Davisson writes: "Your paragraphs
on why to read books are great. Thanks for running them.
I hope you don't mind if I quote a bit from them in my
upcoming catalog.

"A collector whose name sometimes appears in
letters-to-the-editor  columns has sent me placards which
I have on display in my office.  I particularly like the
following two:

"A numismatist is a consummate scholar, with a keen
mind and a  discerning eye, a keeper of art and history
for future generations.  In Europe, numismatists are
considered scholars, and as numismatists,  we are a part
of a fraternity that transcends nations and time.
(Steven Roach, Attorney)

"A coin collector is a relic hunter, patient and persistent:
a  searching soul seeking completions, but never achieving
perfection-- just simple satisfaction--from the journey
into the shadows of the  past.  (Henry R. Dittmer)"



[A web article describes the recent renovations at the
Athens Numismatic Museum, and it sounds like a wonderful
setting for coinage displays.  The article also mentions
some numismatic publishing efforts by the museum. -Editor]

"The revamp of the Numismatic Museum has revealed the
grandeur of an earlier era. As well as thousands of coins,
visitors can admire the wall paintings in the style of
Pompeii and mosaic floors made by Italian master craftsmen.

"The three-story building with a large courtyard built
in a mix of neoclassical and Renaissance styles is a sight
to admire on Panepistimiou Street. It was designed by Ernst
Ziller, who was responsible for such fine buildings in
Athens as the National Theater, the Stathatos Mansion,
and the Church of Aghios Loukas on Patission Street. The
former was the home of the archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann.

"When the last pieces of scaffolding were removed, the
revamp was deemed a success. The balconies with their
terracotta railings and the marble on the facade are bright
again, while the metal railings have been gilded in the
style of the era when the gate used to open every Thursday
to admit the cream of Athens society.

"The work has revealed the building’s impressive decor.
The frescoes by Slovenian painter Yuri Subic were done
according to the owners’ wishes, with subjects taken
from the villas of Pompeii. The mosaic floors were made
by Italian master craftsmen, with decorative motifs
inspired by or copied from finds excavated by Schliemann.

"Conservators have worked wonders on the second floor,
which had suffered damage when rented out to state services.
What used to be the home of Heinrich and Sophia Schliemann
and their children is painted ocher, deep green, sweet
red and blue and houses the museum’s collection of 500,000
items. There is an elevator for people of limited mobility,
and a modern cafe is an added attraction.

"Yiorka Nikolaou, Panayiotis Tselegas and their assistants
have created a period atmosphere with scales, lead seals,
stamps and coins that have been made into jewelry and amulets.

"Denarii, dirhams, ducats and even modern Greek drachmas
are among the exhibits that trace the history of money.
The six ground-floor rooms present the evolution of ancient
Greek coins, from the turtles of Aegina and owls of Athens,
to coins used throughout the ancient world, such as the
Athenian tetradrachm and the gold coin of Alexander the
Great. On the same floor, which is associated with the
social life of the Schliemann family, visitors can learn
about the history of the museum and its major donors.

"On the second floor, the journey into the world of coins
starts with the Roman era. Visitors can see how coins were
minted, what the images on them represent, bronze coins
minted for local use, and a banner portraying the system
of coins and their fluctuations in value. You can see how
much a meal at a hotel or a haircut cost, and what happens
when coins go out of circulation and are used as amulets
or jewelry.

"The library will be used for the Museum’s temporary
exhibitions, and currently holds old studies of numismatics,
while the last room tells everything you might want to know
about forgery and counterfeiting in the 19th century, when
the forgery of ancient coins became common, as the Museum’s
Director Despina Evgenidou explained.

"The next goal is to produce publications. The museum has
500,000 coins, of which visitors see only 10,8666, and the
collection is constantly enriched with new acquisitions.
Gradually some of them will appear in exhibitions related
either to the history of the building or to the coins. The
Numismatic Museum is the only one of its kind in the Balkans
and one of the few independent numismatic Museums."

Numismatic Museum, 12 Panepistimiou Street, Athens, tel
210 3643774, 210 3612190, 210 3612519

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

For more information on the Athens Numismatic Museum, see: Full Story


Sam Pennington, publisher of the Maine Antique Digest writes:
"We had an excellent response to our query about the Edward B.
Wickes baby medal of 1917. Scott Miller sold the medal to John
Marqusee.  Karl Kabelac and Michael Reed did some Internet
and genealogical survey work that led us right to a 90-year-old
Edward B. Wickes. Thanks to all and to The E-sylum!"

 Full Story

[Wow - I know that E-Sylum readers are rarely stumped by a
question, yet they continually amaze me with what they come
up with.  And I'll be Mr. Wickes was just as amazed to be
tracked down because of a 90-year of metal with his name on
it.  -Editor]


Ginger Rapsus writes: "How about the sale of the 1804 $10
gold coin, a coin in the same league as the 1804 dollar and
the 1913 Liberty nickel...not only because of their million-
dollar price tags, but also because they were not really
coins made for circulation?  One of my favorite coins in
the U.S. series is the 1802 half dime.  It's a real coin,
struck to do what a coin does, circulate as money.  Last
year I wrote an article for The Numismatic Sun on this coin."



On the same topic Saul Teichman writes: "With regard to
the 1804 and 1838 eagles that were just sold, the pedigree
of the 1838 eagle is fouled up.

"Parmelee's probably did go to Woodin where it was purchased
by Virgil Brand for $200 in the Elder's 1911 sale of Woodin's
non half eagle gold. It was entered into the Brand journal
as number 57063.

"It is unclear if this piece is in fact the Farouk coin.
In any event, to my knowledge, no coin went from the Brand
hoard into the Colonel Green collection as the timing was
off.  Breen has pedigreed the Brand coin to the Cardinal
Spellman and Paramount's Davies sale.  If that is correct
then the Pittman coin is ex Col Green and Farouk but the
earlier part of the pedigree is wrong.

"Regarding gold pedigrees, Breen placed Newcomer, Col.
Green pedigrees on many items of Woodin's gold coins.
The only problem with that is that those pedigrees are
only valid as a whole for Woodin's half eagles which
Woodin kept since he was doing die studies on them
until finally sold
to Newcomer in the mid 1920s.

"Many of Woodin's proofs like the 1854, 1856-1858 gold
dollars, the 1848 quarter eagle, and the 1848 and 1844-O
eagles for example were purchased by Brand  and were never
in the Newcomer or Col Green collections.  By the way,
Brand already had two 1855 proof gold dollars which is
why Brand did not buy that one!!

"This is one area of pedigrees need to be 'un-Breened' ".

"It is rather obvious that the Pittman proof 1854 gold dollar,
and the 1848 $10 for example ex Woodin, Brand.   It is not
as clear if the Pittman's 1856-8 gold dollars are also the
Woodin, Brand examples !!

"Brand's more significant purchases from Elder's 1911
Woodin sale are below.

1827 quarter restrike lot 416 $180 57014
1854 proof gold dollar lot 851 $65 57033 – later to Pittman
1856 proof gold dollar lot 856 $30 57034
1857 proof gold dollar lot 859 $25 57035
1821 proof $2.50 lot 939 $63.50 57041
1834 $2.50 with motto lot ??? $300
1843 proof $2.50 lot 966 $94 57049
1848 proof $2.50 lot 973 $95 57050
1857 and 1858 proof $2.50 were also purchased
1838 proof $10 lot 1201 $200 57063
1839 UNC $10 lot 1202 57064 - later to Pittman as this
  specimen is described as having the die cracks
1843 proof $10 lot 1203 $100 57065
1848 proof $10 lot 1213 $100 57066 – later to Pittman
1858 proof $10 lot 1223 $102.50 57067 same price as
  Jewett coin (is it the same coin? - if so, then there
  are only 3 of these and this is Amon Carter's)
1844-O proof $10 lot 1263 $50 57068
1858 proof $20 lot 1359 57069 "



Last week I wrote: "The Burke book Larry mentions is
Bryan Burke's ‘Nazi Counterfeiting of British Currency
During World War II’ (San Bernardino, CA, 1987).   It's
a short book, but very well illustrated and a great
starting point for collectors interested in the story
of the Operation Bernhard notes."

Warner Talso writes: "That comment is a little misleading.
One can certainly 'start there' but one must be willing to
pay something like $250 for the Burke book.  I would suggest
checking a copy out of the American Numismatic Association
library to see if you think it is worthwhile before
buying a copy."

[Holy cow – I'm a bibliophile, but I wasn’t aware that
the book was that valuable these days.  I have a copy
sitting here that’s been in my library for years.

I must be getting old.  I used to marvel at how little
the old timers in my club knew about the current value
of their own coins – they could remember to the penny what
they paid for something, but didn’t really have a clue about
what things would sell for today.    When I helped a friend’s
widow sell his collection, I estimated it at $100,000 and
eventually it sold for $110,000.   She said later that her
husband, a knowledgeable numismatist, thought it would
bring about $10,000.   From his price codes I could see
there were lots of coins he’d paid $20 for that were now
worth $200 or more. -Editor]



Regarding my "sticker shock" on hearing a $250 pricetag
for a 1987 numismatic book (see the previous item on the
Bryan Burke "Operation Bernhard" book), Warner Talso writes:
"I do believe you have identified an interesting phenomenon
worthy of some discussion.  The first time I experienced
this type of 'sticker shock' was when I attempted to buy
a copy of Neil Shafer's book on depression scrip.  On-line
book sellers' prices started at $300 - this for a book
that initially sold for $28.00.  Since then I have seen
this price inflation several times.

"I asked Fred Schwan about it.  His theory, which seems
logical, is that this happens to specialty books fitting
a narrow niche that had a limited initial printing and
are now out of print (and little or no prospects of a
re-printing).  Booksellers run the price up knowing that
there is a very limited supply and expecting anyone who
really wants a copy will have to come to them.

"Interestingly, there is potential alternative - eBay.
I stumbled across Shafer's book on eBay and won it for
$25.  That was pure serendipity, but it sure beats paying
hundreds of dollars.  In the end, it is the buyer's

[I’m still amazed at what the Haxby paper money catalog
and Bowers’ Silver Dollar encyclopedia bring these days.
The Hibler-Kappen So-Called Dollars book was another
high-flying wonder, at least until a new edition was
finally announced.  What other relatively recent books
are bringing high multiples of their issue price?
Again, I'm showing my age here, because 1987 seems like
yesterday to me, when in fact (gasp!) it's been 20 years
already. -Editor]


Due to the high interest in U.S. paper money these days,
another item of numismatic literature bringing strong
prices are the Heath counterfeit detectors.  I was speaking
to numismatic literature dealer John Burns about these on
the phone this week.  A couple weeks ago I'd been offered
a decent copy of the 1866 second edition and had ordered it.
After talking with John the book arrived and I was pleased
with its condition despite a spine chip.  It's one I didn't
already have in my library, so on the shelf it went.

Another acquisition this week came from the Stack's John J.
Ford sale XX. Via Internet bidding I purchased lot 3086,
a pair of two different Denver CO. Labor Exchange notes.
I've gotten interested in Labor Exchange notes since I
purchased some 1833 Robert Owen Labour Exchange notes from
Simon Narberth in London.  The Ford Denver notes are the
first U.S. labor exchange notes I've bought.  There are
others, and I hope to build an exhibit of them someday.
Here's a link to the auction lot on the Stack's site:
1833 Robert Owen Labour Exchange notes
Also during the week I corresponded with a currency dealer
who was offering what he called a rare J.S.G. Boggs note on
eBay.  It may well have been an early genuine piece, but
I was not able to convince myself that the offered note
was genuine.  It lacked Boggs' typical authentication
devices on the reverse, which on this piece was blank.
It was similar to a large acrylic work pictured in a book
about a 1990s Boggs museum exhibit, but the book did not
mention any smaller size versions of the piece.  The dealer
who responded quickly to my first query didn't answer my
question about the provenance of the piece and later I
noticed that the lot had been withdrawn from eBay.

I received multiple emails from several sources about the
ANA's sacking of its Executive Director.  On Wednesday
afternoon I got a phone call from my friend Sam Deep, who
had been in Colorado Springs for the public portion of the
ANA Board's meeting.  We talked mostly about our preparations
for next weekend's Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists
coin show.

Wednesday night I had my first numismatic outing since
returning from London.  I met Roger Burdette and coin dealer
Wayne Herndon for dinner at a restaurant in Herndon, VA.
I'd never met Wayne before and three of us had a fine evening
getting to know one another.  I'd organized the dinner as
a way to kick off the creation of a numismatic social
organization modeled after The Sphinx Society, a great
club I'd belong to along with Sam Deep in Pittsburgh.
With no officers, no duties and no projects, the club is
purely a social gathering for numismatists.   We're
recruiting additional members and we would love to hear
from E-Sylum readers in or near Northern Virginia who
might be interested in becoming either regular members
or occasional guests for our gatherings.  Email me for
more information.

Finally this week, I made a deal with Terry Flaherty to
sell him my copy of the S.Q. Lapius 'Current Coins' book
I'd written about in The E-Sylum.  Flaherty is researching
the life of physician James Ball Naylor, who wrote the
book under the Lapius pseudonym.  I'll get it in the mail
later this week.

Whew - it's been a far busier week for numismatics than
I'd expected.  No wonder I ran out of time to finish this
darned issue of The E-Sylum.  I should also take a moment to
apologize to the many authors of new numismatic books I've
recently purchased, or to the publishers who've sent me
review copies.  My pile of to-be-reviewed literature was
threatening to topple over and I had to put it in a box.
I will eventually get to most books, but it's going to
take a time.



Yossi Dotan writes: "Maariv, the daily Hebrew-language
newspaper, reported this week about a problem related to
the two new sheqalim copper-nickel circulation coins to
be issued later this year here in Israel. Their diameter
is 21.6 mm, compared to 22 mm for the 10 agorot
aluminum-bronze coins.

"The problem is that the banks' automatic coin counting
machines sort and count coins according to their size and
will be unable to differentiate between the two coins.
When the banks raised the problem with the Bank of Israel
it was already too late to make changes. They will now
have to replace all automatic machines, at a cost of $ 2.5
million. The new machines will sort the coins not only by
size but also by metal composition."


There were several newspaper reports this week on the
Denver Mint striking ceremonies for the new Utah quarter:

"Dozens of Utahns were all smiles Monday at the U.S. Mint
as the official Utah quarter was available for public viewing
for the first time. Lawmakers and state officials handled
the still-warm quarters as they poured out of the coining
press and each person, with a quick push of a button,
ceremonially struck their own piece of history.

"'Can you believe it?' Rep. Sheryl Allen, R-Bountiful,
asked happily. 'I got to make a quarter.'

"Unfortunately, Mint officials retrieved the coins as
quickly as they were made, as the quarter won't be officially
launched into circulation until Nov. 5. Production of the
quarter began a week before today's ceremonial striking.

"Bruce Griggs, president of the Utah Numismatic Society,
was also on hand in Denver to take part in the ceremony.

"'I just can't believe I'm here,' Griggs said. 'It's a
once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for someone to witness a
first strike of any coin,' let alone one that celebrates
your own home state, he said.

"The demand for Utah quarters is definitely there, said
state Sen. Kevin Van Tassell, R-Vernal, who drove from
Vernal to attend the Monday event. Van Tassell is manager
of the Vernal Zions Bank office, and said he's been getting
inquiries about the state coin for some time.

"'I've never seen people so excited about something,' he
said. 'I took calls last week, 'Are the Utah quarters in yet?' "

To read the complete Deseret News article, see: Full Story

To read a related Denver Post article, see: Full Story


Spain has turned up the heat on the Odyssey group, which
it suspects may have recovered rare coins from a shipwreck
that country may hold claim to.  The Guardian reported
Wednesday that "A Spanish warship forced a US treasure
hunting vessel back into port at gunpoint yesterday as
it tried to leave Gibraltar in the latest episode in a
battle over what is claimed to be the world's largest
recovery of treasure from the sea.

"The Odyssey Explorer, a 250ft salvage vessel, was trying
to leave Gibraltar, where it had been effectively blockaded
for three months after Spain claimed a share of millions of
dollars worth of gold and silver coins it had recovered.
After setting sail, it was approached by a Spanish navy
gunboat and civil guard patrol ship once it passed the
three-mile "buffer zone" that surrounds Gibraltar and forced
to turn round and head for the Spanish port of Algeciras.

"Following a stand-off, the boat was boarded and searched
for information that Spanish authorities hope could lead
to the site of the treasure.

"The captain of the Odyssey Explorer, Sterling Vorus, was
arrested last night for disobeying orders and was facing
the night in jail.

"The row centres around Odyssey Marine Exploration, run
by Greg Stemm, the world's leading underwater treasure
hunter. His company trawls the ocean's floors, looking
for sunken treasure, which it then sells to collectors.
Founded in 1994, its first major success came with the
recovery of $75m worth of booty from the SS Republic,
which sank off the coast of Florida in 1865. But now it
has come up against the Spanish government in a diplomatic
tussle that is costing the company millions of dollars
in lost revenue.

"In May Odyssey spirited away what it subsequently claimed
were $500m worth of silver and gold coins that it found in
international waters in the Atlantic Ocean. The coins were
flown out of Gibraltar airport and are now sitting in an
undisclosed location in Tampa, Florida, where Odyssey is
based. The Spanish government believes they were transported
with the complicity of the British and that the coins may
belong to Spain. Odyssey and the governments of Britain and
Gibraltar deny any foul play, saying that Odyssey flew the
treasure out from the airport in full compliance with customs

"Spain has filed a suit in Tampa against Odyssey to clarify
the details of its discovery, to prevent future recovery
efforts and to claim back what has already been discovered.
But the company refuses to reveal specific information about
the treasure, admitting only that it was found around 180
nautical miles west of Gibraltar. Mr Stemm argues that as
'custodians' of the site - which Odyssey has named the Black
Swan - they have a responsibility to protect it from other
interested parties, including potential treasure hunters."

"The battle is unlikely to be resolved on the high seas, but
in the Tampa courtroom. Odyssey describes its work as 'commercial
archaeology' and says that, as the treasure was found in
international waters, it should keep 90% of the proceeds.
Spain's lawyer, James Goold, counters that 'Spain has not
abandoned its sunken property and it does not permit
unauthorised salvage'. "

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


On October 16th The Independent published a long and
well-written article on the history of money.  Here are
a few excerpts, with a focus on the future on money.

"Primitive Banks

"At this stage there were no coins. Instead, the value of
metal was judged by its weight. The legacy of this can be
seen in words such as the English 'spend', which is derived
from the Latin verb expendere, meaning 'to weigh'.

"The launch of the Barclaycard in 1966 (and its now defunct
but long-running rival Access in 1972) was the start of
"plastic" – the discovery that a small rectangle of
polyvinylchloride (always measuring 85.60 by 53.98mm)
could transform your life.

"E-money: the future of cash

"We may not be that far away from a world where cash
follows the chequebook into oblivion and few transactions
are conducted face to face. There are in excess of 20
billion payments of less than £10 made every year; they
could all go cashless.

"E-money comes in three forms, two of them specifically
creations of the internet. First, there is the "card not
present" phenomenon, where you have sufficient faith in
the online retailer – nowadays, anyone from Tesco to
Amazon and – that you feel happy to tap
your payment card details on to a web page. You and the
"shopkeeper" never actually meet, and you never leave
your home or office.

"Money thus moves from being a physical commodity – a gold
coin, a paper banknote or a plastic card – to being a purely
virtual commodity (though of course banks themselves have
long held your current account in virtual form, as a series
of binary codes in a computer file).

"Second, we have seen the growth of outfits specifically
set up to facilitate payments on the web. Perhaps the most
high-profile of these is PayPal, as featured, and trusted,
on eBay. Barclays Bank can chart its origins back to 1685,
the Royal Bank of Scotland to 1727 and Lloyds to 1765;
PayPal dates back only to 2000, yet it now operates in 103
markets, manages more than 133 million accounts and allows
customers to send, receive and hold funds in currencies
from the US dollar to the Polish zloty.

"The real revolution, though, may be the abolition of cash,
cheques, credit cards and debit cards and their replacement
by one single means of payment which you just wave, possibly
nonchalantly, at the shop assistant. This is what the
'contactless' card promises, so called because you don't
even have to put it into a reader to buy something.

"The Barclaycard OnePulse card, for example, was launched
only a month ago, with 4,000 guinea-pig customers in London.
It will combine the functions of an Oyster card (Transport
for London's existing "cashless" method of prepaying for
bus and Tube journeys), a Barclaycard, and a "One Touch "
contactless technology card.

"This is the novel bit. It allows cardholders to make
purchases of £10 or under more quickly and conveniently
with a single touch of their card against a reader instead
of entering a PIN or signature, thus reducing the need to
use and carry cash.

"The first six sections of this article are from Minted:
the story of the world's money by Johnny Acton, published
by Think Books on 31 October. To order a copy (free P&P),
call Independent Books Direct on 0870 079 8897 or visit "

To read the complete article, see: Full Story

[I used an Oyster card daily on the London tube last summer.
It was very convenient to use. As the article states, it worked
on both the subway and bus systems.  It did not work on other
trains, which are owned and run by a different organization.

That's always the rub with new currency solutions - interoperability
and acceptance by other organizations.  The Barclays OnePulse
card takes that next logical step.  By marrying the ATM card
with touchless micropayments, it could well be the true future
of money for the rest of this century.

In the U.S., there are relatively few uses of touchless
monetary transactions.  One example is the "Speedpass"
available to Exxon gas station customers.  Being able to
use a single card for such transactions would allow the
technology to become ubiquitous.  Stay tuned - I think this
is one idea that has legs.  -Editor]


Dick Johnson writes: "A journalism senior at Penn State
wrote an opinion piece for his university's Daily Collegian
this week on abolishing the cent. He went so far as to
criticize one of his professors who opposes elimination
of the cent.

"The student, Jim Tuttle, reports such support for the
cent as the State of Illinois. It still accepts cents at
its tollbooths undoubtedly because of Lincoln's close ties
with the state. (Illinois was not the birthplace of Lincoln
as stated in his article)

"However he does list several factors for the cent elimination
including the cost greater than its value and the stench of
handling a large quantity of the coins. 'You can't count and
roll 50 cents in pennies,' he states, 'without getting that
greasy residue all over your fingers. It's disgusting.'

"The professor he disagrees with is against rounding off
odd cent purchases. 'If the penny was eliminated, cash
purchases would be rounded to the nearest nickel. This is
probably the most controversial part of the whole issue,
and Raymond Lombra, a Penn State economics professor, is
one major proponent for keeping the penny.

"'Lombra argues that since convenience stores commonly
price items ending in 99 cents, prices would usually be
rounded up, resulting in a loss to the consumer more often
than not.' The writer contends this would even out in
multiple item purchases.

"The writer foresees in the future we might obverse at
store checkouts 'take a nickel, leave a nickel' trays."

To read his full article, see: Full Story

[I've already seen these "penny" trays stocked with some
nickels as well as cents.  -Editor]


South Africa is one country that has recently eliminated its
lowest coin denomination and is already having to deal with
the issue.  As one example, here is an article published in
Cape Town about one couple's adventure in rounding:

"There it was, in black and white, on the Edgars account.
Fanie and Susan Bosman owed the chain store a princely R0.01.

"But the clothing group had not bargained for the twinkle in
the eyes of the Bosmans from Stellenberg in Cape Town: she is
70, and he is 75 years old. They set off to pay the account and
in the process had the entire store in an uproar.

"Susan said it all began when she went to pay an account for
R53.41 at an Edgars branch.

"'I asked the man at the cash register to round it off, meaning
to 40c. But he rounded it off to 45c. I flatly refused and said
no ways, I'm not paying 4c more than I should, so I paid R53.40.

"'At the end of the month I got an account from Edgars for the
outstanding amount of R0.01.'

"'Armed with the one cent, we set off'

"But Edgars had not reckoned with 'my mischievous husband'.

"He scratched around and found a 1c coin from 1961, the year
South Africa first went decimal.

"'Armed with this old cent we set off to Edgars. The girls
behind the counter weren't even born when the coin was issued
and they had no idea what to do with it. They eventually called
in the manager's help.

"'He took us off to his office, because people were starting
to gather round us. He looked at the vintage coin from this
angle and that and summarily declared it to be an official
collector's item.

"'My husband and I glanced at each other and Fanie said the
man could keep the collector's item. At first he didn't want
to, but later he did. And so we left there.'"

To read the complete article, see: Full Story


Here's a quick quiz question for readers: what coin bears
the denomination "Uni Keneta", and who designed it?  Hint:
it's not from South Africa.  -Editor


Dick Johnson writes: "Three different elongated cents which
show a pig are being rolled in Lexington North Carolina.
The unusual motif was chosen to honor Lexington-style barbeque,
a noted local delicacy. The city claims to be -- as stated
on the elongated cents -- the 'Pork BBQ Capital.'

"The souvenir coins are the inspiration of Dwayne Padron,
who is attempting to get as many restaurants in the area to
have their own pig pennies. Padon choose the first two
restaurants because he is familiar with the owners. David
Guest, who owns Southern Barbecue near high Rock Lake with
his wife, Darlynn, is Padon's cousin, and he eats almost
daily at Smiley's where Steve and Tena Yountz are the owners.

"The pig was from a drawing by Pardon's mother, Don Rea
Padon. 'Pork BBQ Capital'  appears above the pig and
'Lexington, N.C.' below on the rolled cents. Padon began
his project four months ago, when he bought a machine that
smashed the pennies. He operates out of his home and usually
spends 30 minutes to three hours every other day cranking
the machine. One hundred pennies can be made in about an
hour. Nothing would have been possible without Padon's
father, Mel Padon, girlfriend Pam Nunnery and his mother,
whom he described as the driving force behind everything.

"Out-of-town collectors can obtain the pig pennies from
Merle Norman Cosmetics (owned by Dwayne's mother) at 16 W.
Second Ave, Lexington, NC 27292. Prices range from $1 to $3
depending upon how they are mounted. Better add postage."

Or, you can read the complete article at
Full Story


This week's featured web page is the news page of The Gold
Rush Gallery, a commercial site.  The page features links
to a dozen good articles relating to private and pioneer
gold coinage in the U.S.

Featured Website

  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.

PREV        NEXT        V10 2007 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

NBS Home Page    Back to top

NBS ( Web