The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 11, Number 17, April 27, 2008:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2008, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


We have no new subscribers this week.  I've been travelling
unexpectedly this weekend and have been unable to stay on top
of all my email.  My apologies to those whose submissions or
ads didn't make this week's issue.  I was tapping away at the
keyboard in a dark hotel room last night while my family slept.
The recalcitrant hotel wireless network prevented me from
publishing until today (Monday the 28th) We attended a funeral
this morning. The bright side of our trip is that we were able
to visit my Mom this afternoon and had a nice dinner Sunday
with former Asylum editor Tom Fort, his wife Gosia and their
daughter Anna Maria.  No more Wayne's Words today - see you
next week, everyone.

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


[Serge Pelletier submitted this review of a new book on banks
in Quebec. -Editor]

Paré, Jean-Pierre. Les banques au Québec. Les Éditions GID,
Québec, 2008. 8 ¼" x 8 7/8" (21 x 22.6 cm), 413 pages,
illustrated. ISBN 978-2-89634-006-4

After some 40 years of extensive research into Canadian banks,
Quebec numismatist Jean-Pierre Paré, FCNRS, is offering us Les
banques au Québec (Banks in Quebec). This wonderful work by the
one known as "Mr. Chartered Banks", in the Canadian numismatic
milieu, offers an interesting look at the banks that have done
and are doing business in the Province of Quebec. A brief history
is given for every bank, more than a hundred of them, and is
nicely illustrated with images of banknotes, calendars, deposit
books, cheques and other bank paraphernalia from the author's

Written in his native French, Paré truly conveys his passion
for the subject in an easy to read approach. The book is divided
into six chapters: banks whose head office was in Quebec,
Canadian banks that had branches in Quebec, the savings banks
of Quebec, bank projects in Quebec, spurious banks in Quebec
and governmental banks in Quebec. In closing, the author also
offers a list of Canadian banks that have not had any branches
in Quebec.

The book is available from the author through Bonavita,  Box
11447, Station H, Nepean, ON  K2H 7V1 CANADA, fax: +1-613-599-7630,
Email:, at US$55.00 post-paid. An English
edition is being considered.


Rich Hartzog forwarded word of a new book by Bill Swoger.  Has
anyone seen it?  Here's the description from Rich's web site:

Swoger. Covering all medals since 1873, with the authority by
which they were struck, the stories behind their issuance, the
saga of the events for which they were issued and the history
they represent. Includes about 135 So-Called Dollars, including
many previously unlisted varieties and metals. Includes all
Congress and US Mint authorized medals struck at the US Mint.

"Includes the original legislation wording, history of the event
and the medal, detailed description of each variety, and pictures
the original documentation sent with the medals. Each description
includes obverse and reverse full-color photos of each size issued,
with the original issue price, mintages, sizes, weights and
metals. Hundreds of listed varieties, with over 800 color photos
and color cover. An impressive and comprehensive work detailing
national medals. $225/postpaid. Hard-Bound 2008, 300p. Detailed
descriptions, Historical Notes."

To order the book, see


John Regitko writes: "With reference to Serge Pelletier's
list of people attending the C.N.A. Convention with books,
please note that I will be manning the Charlton Press table
in the bourse room on Friday through Sunday. Charlton Press
is Canada's largest publisher of numismatic catalogues.

"On hand will be numerous catalogues. The 2009 editions of the
Charlton Standard Guide to Canadian Coins and the Charlton
Standard Guide to Canadian Government Paper Money will be on
sale, as well as the recently-released catalogues on C.N.A.
medals (that also includes medals issued by the O.N.A and
A.P.N.A.) and Canadian Merchant Scrip.

"Further, catalogues covering Cents and Half Cents Die Varieties,
Large Cents Die Varieties, Copper Coinage of Canada (Batty Reprint),
Distinguished Flying Medal (1939-1945), Canadian Colonial Tokens,
Canadian Communion Tokens, Red River Campaign Medals of 1870,
Canadian Bank Notes and others will also be available."



David Lange writes: "Dennis Tucker came across a
item that startled both of us. I've already ordered this
book, about which I know absolutely nothing."

As E-Sylum readers know, Dave is the author of the book "Coin
Collecting Boards of the 1930s & 1940s".  It was the first
book either of us knew of that discussed the history of U.S.
coin boards, the forerunner of coin folders.  What Dennis
discovered was a print-on-demand book by Thomas Moll on vintage
coin folders and albums of the world, including the United

"Guide to Vintage Coin Folders and Albums discusses the many
specialty coin folders and albums that were produced worldwide
from the 1950s through the 1980s. Fully illustrated, this
guide describes the folders and albums produced to house the
coins of Australia, Canada, Denmark, Fiji, Great Britain,
Hong Kong, Ireland, Japan, Mexico, New Guinea, New Zealand,
Norway, Panama, the Philippines, Sweden, Switzerland, the
United States, and many more. The only work of its type,
Guide to Vintage Coin Folders and Albums is a unique and
interesting addition to any numismatic library."

The 120 page perfect-bound paperback sells for $14.95.  Have
any other E-Sylum readers come across this book?

Dave Lange adds: "I intend to prepare two companion volumes
to my board book on folders and albums, respectively. These
will be done with the same care as I put into my board book
and will thus take some time to write and design. I already
have all of the raw data from my own collecting of folders
and albums."

To order the book, see:

For more information on Dave Lange's Coin Collecting Boards book, see
More Information


Gary Dunaier writes: "On page 409 of the 2009 Red Book,
in the article "The Red Book As A Collectible," there's
this statement:

 For a more detailed history and edition-by-edition study
 of the Red Book, see A Guide Book of the Official Red Book
 of United States Coins (Whitman, 2008).

"Is this a joke, or did I miss something?  Not that I think
such a book is silly -- if this is really coming out I want
one -- but if memory serves me right this is the first I've
heard of it.

"Incidentally, as you know, for the first time the 2009 Red
Book also includes listings of back volumes of Blue Books.
What you may not know is that while every edition of the Red
Book is listed, only the first twelve editions of the Blue
Book are listed (1942-1953), and according to the list only
the first ten have any kind of collector's value.  (This may
be common knowledge to you but it's news to me.)

"Finally, while on the topic of Red Books, are there any
indications on how the 1947 Tribute Edition has been doing
in the stores?  I occasionally see copies on the shelves at
Borders and Barnes and Noble, and I wonder if people have
been buying it."

<************************** BOOK BAZARRE **************************>

DAVID SKLOW – FINE NUMISMATIC BOOKS now accepting consignments
for our October 4th mail bid auction.
             (719) 302-5686       , visit our web site



Regarding the Lincoln "Thou Art The Man" medal mentioned
last week, Arthur Shippee writes: "It's hard to believe that
this line, and especially its context, is so little known.
It's the climactic phrase in one of the best written and most
important biblical stories, that of David, Bathsheba, and
Uriah. David's deed is the worst reported of any basically
good character in the bible. This story is key to understanding
the critical view taken of Israelite kingship by the authors
of the books of Samuel & Kings.

"When Nathan -- who is loyal to David -- says this phrase, it
is to accuse David of seducing Uriah's wife and of having Uriah
killed to hide Bathsheba's pregnancy. To use this phrase in a
good sense is unimaginable, unless one is wholly ignorant of
the context.

"Its presence on that medal is very strange. Any biblically
literate person would assume it meant to implicate Lincoln
of some crime comparable to David's. Perhaps an ignoramus
placed it on the medal, thinking it complimentary, but is
there any chance that this (if it's original and old) being
a piece of anti-Lincoln propaganda? If it is negative, it's
a very interesting comment on how some saw his rule; if it
is positive, well, with friends like that, who needs enemies?
Very embarrassing.

"Perhaps (a possibility to check) this phrase had currency
under the misapprehension that it was positive.  I would
not, however, yell this phrase on a golf course, unless an
arrest warrant were being served.

"Is the medal real? What did it signify or celebrate?
Very strange."

[I was hoping someone would explain the line's significance.
I did look up the reference and also thought it odd.  Arthur
may be right – perhaps the medal was made by Lincoln detractors.
Can anyone confirm this? -Editor]



David Lisot writes: "It may be of interest to readers to
see the interviews with Larry Shepherd, Barry Stuppler,
Cliff Mishler and others involved in the selection of the
new American Numismatic Association Executive Director. We
have updated with their video clips
from the recent ANA Convention in Phoenix."

To visit the Coin Television site, see:
Full Story

For the whereabouts of the former ANA Executive Director, see:
Full Story


Doug Andrews writes: "I am responding to the comments of
the author of that appeared in
last week's E-Sylum under the heading, 'Philippine Numismatic
and Antiquarian Society Feud Reported.' "

"My fellow PNAS members and the numismatic community can
rest assured that while a dispute regarding the December
2007 elections exists, sincere efforts are being made to
address the issues involved by a number of dedicated individuals.
These issues are complex, and they cannot be adequately covered
either in this brief email, nor in the post to that was quoted in E-Sylum.

"I am convinced, however, that progress can and will be made
toward resolution with patience and diligence on all sides.
The PNAS is the preeminent numismatic organization for those
interested in the coins, tokens, and paper money of the
Philippines from the pre-Spanish era to the present. It is
an institution that can have a bright future as well as a
proud history. A copy of my 'Open Letter to PNAS Members'
can be viewed at Ray Czahor's Cookie Jar Collectibles website at
Full Story. "



At lunchtime on Friday I ventured out of my office to visit
the Dulles Coin and Currency show at the nearby Dulles Expo
and Conference Center in Chantilly, VA.  It was the first
time I'd been able to attend the show and right off the bat
I was pleased with the location.  There was easy access from
the highway and plenty of fast food nearby.  The hall was
large and well-lit, with a snack stand at the back of the
room.  The numismatic world runs on junk food, you know.

After signing in I went straight to the table of Wayne Herndon,
the show's promoter.  I took a look at some of the modern
commemoratives in his case - it was the first time I'd seen
some of these coins in person.  Included were the 1994 Vietnam
$1, 1995 Civil War $5, and two 1995 Olympic $5 coins, the
Torchrunner and Stadium designs.  I also looked at what I
first thought were two different 2000 bimetallic coins, but
both turned out to be the $10 Library of Congress.  One of
them had been mislabeled as "Statue of Liberty" by PCGS.

Wayne introduced me to his employee Traci Poole, a longtime
collector who previously worked for ANACS.  He also introduced
me to his wife Karin, and we had a nice talk.

Next I floated over to the table of Julian Leidman and admired
a number of items in his cases.  I remember a nice proof 1859
silver dollar. Julian also had a proof 2009 platinum coin.
I'd never seen one before (I don't get out much anymore).
Frankly, I thought the platinum surfaces were flat-out dull
and ugly - perhaps that's why gold and silver are preferred
metals for coinage.  Or am I being too harsh? - what do others
think of platinum as a coinage metal?

The show's Educational Exhibits were borrowed from the American
Numismatic Association: Benjamin Franklin's Influence on
Numismatics and Money of World War II.  While viewing the
exhibits I met Jim Shipley, a onetime ANA exhibit judge himself
who told me his exhibit on Latin American coinage won first
place in 1972.  Jim remembered old timers like Ralph Goldstone
and Clyde Hubbard.  Unfortunately I had to get back to the
office and couldn't stay long.  I enjoyed by brief visit and
hope to return for other shows.

For more on the Dulles Coin and Currency Shows, see:
Full Story


[An article in the New York Times last week (April 13)
discusses the 1970s donation that provided funds for
Princeton's University's recent Sarmas collection purchase.

"When Stanley J. Seeger gave Princeton $2 million for Hellenic
studies nearly three decades ago, the gift's income paid for
two courses in modern Greek and trips to Greece for five.

"But the Seeger money, which must be spent only on matters Greek,
is now worth $33 million, multiplying through aggressive investing
like the rest of Princeton's endowment. So the university offers
Greek, Greek and more Greek — 13 courses this semester, including
"The Image of Greece in European Cinema" and "Problems in Greek
History: Greek Democracy," as well as trips to Greece and nearby
areas for more than 90 students and faculty members last year.
The history department recently hired its second Byzantine
specialist. And the fund paid half the cost of a collection of
800 rare coins from medieval Greece."

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story



Dick Johnson writes: "Since the days of Napoleon, veteran
servicemen returned from the war zone attend a ceremony in
which medals are bestowed to those for valor, heroism, and
participation. After all it was Napoleon who said 'A soldier
will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon' which
has been passed down as 'Give me enough medals and crimson
ribbon and I can conquer the world.' "

"A unit of the South Carolina National Guard just returned
after a year's tour of duty in Afghanistan held such a ceremony
this week. For their service to our country over 1,000 medals
were bestowed to members of the 218th Brigade Combat Team from
the Newberry area.

"Among those 1,000 medals were five for the Bronze Stars for
Valor, 264 recipients of the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service,
47 have been given or will receive the Purple Heart, 400 will
receive a Combat Badge (despite the fact they were not in a
combat zone). All will receive the Afghanistan Campaign Medal.

"How well I recall such a ceremony. One of my best buddies
received such a decoration for a previous tour of duty (unlike
my tour of duty along the banks of the Potomac River in
Washington DC). His comments were you never know how you will
react until it actually happens. A milquetoast personality might
become a gung-ho aggressor under fire or a macho tough guy might
cower in fear.

"Be that as it may, all service personnel deserve our praise
and respect for all military duty combat or not. They also
deserve every medal they receive.

"To read the South Carolina story click on:
Full Story "


[The Watertown Daily Times of Watertown, NY discussed another
instance of military challenge coins inspiring similar coins
in civilian life. -Editor]

A piece of military distinction that has crept its way into
civilian life is now a part of Franklin D. Cean's collection
of honors.

The retiring owner of Knowlton Technologies, Engineered
Composites & Media received the first coin minted by the city
of Watertown and now being given to people who have demonstrated
outstanding commitment to the community.

After watching military brass hand out the personalized coins
to worthy recipients, Watertown City Manager Mary M. Corriveau
and Mayor Jeffrey E. Graham decided to have 300 coins minted
to be distributed as a token of the city's appreciation.

The face of the coin is embossed with the city seal. The back
is a statue of Hebe, the goddess of hospitality, a replica of
the one scheduled to be erected in Public Square when the
reconstruction project winds down in the fall.

"It's another way to say thank you," Mrs. Corriveau said.

The coins took hold in the U.S. military in World War I and
are now widely used as a form of recognition. Also known as
challenge coins, they were given to members of a unit as a
symbol of allegiance and loyalty.

Two U.S. War College coins hang on the city manager's office
wall, gifts she received in 2001 for attending a seminar that
involves civilian guests in face-to-face discussions with
senior military officers at the Carlisle Barracks, Pa., school.

"They'll be handed out very sparingly," Mr. Graham said. "We're
keeping a book, or ledger, of who we're giving them out to and
when and why."

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story


[The Brisbane Times published an article April 23 about
interest in military numismatics. -Editor]

Interest in our military history is booming and this is
reflected in the gentle art of numismatics, where some
collectors are now specialising in the banknotes and other
forms of paper currency produced in times of war. The
fascination is obvious. What stories these pieces of paper
have to tell.

Among the most desirable are the British banknotes that
were overprinted in Arabic script especially for use by
colonial forces during the Gallipoli campaign. Also of
interest are the Japanese notes, some with ironic scenes
of tropical beaches, used by invasion forces in the latter
period of World War II. And rarest of all are the limited
series of notes (soon confiscated by the Australian Government)
produced for use by prisoners at an Australian internment
camp. Some of these are virtual museum pieces and the prices
fetched at auction are fast increasing. A single note from
the internment camp at Hay can be worth more than $5000. At
least one "specimen" note (a test printing) is known to exist
and is worth about $20,000.

Included in this niche area are "chits", the small tickets
resembling those used at cinemas, designed to be exchanged
for goods and services at army canteens and the like. These
are also increasing in value, up to $500 each in the case
of the ones used by the 4th Australian Light Anti-Aircraft
Regiment in Palestine. Another one in demand is the 20 cent
chit used by the Australian Surgical Team in Vietnam. These
can fetch about $300 each at auction.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story


[The BBC published a story about a contested sale of a
military medal at Spink. -Editor]

Medals won in Afghanistan and Egypt in the 19th Century by
a piper from the Highlands have been offered for sale.

Sandy Corbett, from Avoch in the Black Isle, was one of two
pipers to play the 72nd Highlands into Kandahar following
the regiment's march from Kabul.

His grandson Douglas Corbett, of Annan, Dumfries, said the
auction was arranged without the family's knowledge.

London auctioneers Spink would not comment on the claim
when contacted by BBC Scotland.

Thursday's sale of the rare collection of four decorations
was expected to raise between £6,000 and £7,000.

Mr Corbett was made aware of the auction by Inverness
genealogist Graeme Mackenzie, who had read a Press report
that said the piper's descendants were not known.

Mr Mackenzie said it had been relatively easy to trace the
soldier's family.

He said: "He married in Edinburgh after he left the army
in 1884. He had a fairly large family which means there
must have been some descendants.

"Because Corbett is a relatively unusual name, it was that
much easier to trace forward and eventually I got in touch
with his grandson and he knew nothing about the sale of
these medals."

Mr Corbett said the medals were handed down to his sister,
but they disappeared following her death.

He said: "I am not interested about the money at all. It's
part of my heritage, this is what I thought would become
mine and then my son's.

"I thought I had lost them forever, it was quite a shock
to learn they are in somebody else's hands."

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story


Dick Johnson writes: "Flint Michigan humor columnist David
Smith brings down the cent in his Flint Journal column this
week. Here's a nickel's worth of his comments (that's three
at the going rate) on the cent.

 1. 'Pennies cause global warming. Pennies prevent us from
 competing in a global economy. Pennies are why there's nothing
 good on TV.  Pennies cause attention deficit hyperactivity
 disorder in laboratory rats, excessive plaque and restless
 leg syndrome.

 'While some of these statements may not be true, there is
 no reason we can't apply them metaphorically to make a point.'

 2. 'Pennies are not copper; they are mostly zinc.  Nickels
 are mostly copper. Dollars are mostly yuan.'

 3. 'Parenthetically, I just did some calculations, and it
 actually costs more to create this column than it is worth.'

For a few more laughs click on:
Full Story


This week's featured web site is suggested by Rich Hartzog.
It's from the web site, and it has a number of
pictures of operation in China producing reproductions of
U.S. coin.

"The photos in this gallery were taken inside a Chinese coin
counterfeiting operation. This counterfeiting ring is suspected
of putting thousands of fake coins onto the world and U.S. coin
markets every month.

"The sheer size, scope, and professionalism of this counterfeiting
ring will astonish you. Although the working conditions often
appear dirty and the minting equipment is old, this is obviously
a well-funded enterprise that is run like a legal business in
China. There is no law in China against making these "replicas"
as long as they are sold as such."

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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