The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

PREV        NEXT        V11 2008 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Welcome to The E-Sylum: Volume 11, Number 18, May 4, 2008:
an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.
Copyright (c) 2008, The Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Among our recent subscribers are Bruce Smith, courtesy of
John and Nancy Wilson, Penny Russell, Eric Knapp, and George
A. Bilodeau, Jr.  Welcome aboard!  We now have 1,132 subscribers.

This week we open with updates from numismatic literature
dealers Fred Lake and Douglas Saville, and word that Coin
World is opening its online edition to all print subscribers.
Next, we have the nominees for the 2008 IAPN book award and a
review of the "new" book on 1794 dollars by Jack Collins and
Walter Breen.  Then, Rich Mantia and Dennis Tucker confirm
that indeed there is a "Guide Book of the Guide Book" in the

Next, Dick Johnson discusses the role of computer tools in
coin and medal engraving today.  Topics inspired by earlier
E-Sylum articles include "Thou Art the Man", Chinese coin
and paper money fakes, and Asylum editor Carling Gresham.

In the news we have a good deal of information from overseas.
Numismatic researchers may be interested in the new online
records of the Old Bailey.  Other topics include a new fifteenth
century treasure ship discovery, a distillery on a banknote,
and the destruction of an entire issue of new coins due to
design copyright issues.

To learn what numismatic item is shaped like miniature ivory
jalapeños and has a real bite to it, read on. Have a great
week, everyone.

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


Many thanks to Howard Daniel who contacted Krause Publications
on behalf of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS) to
request a listing in the next edition of their Numismatic
Industry Directory.  The 2008 edition didn't have an entry
for us.  Howard also supplied new entries for Numismatics
International and the Philippines Collectors Forum, and an
updated entry for the International Bank Note Society (IBNS).


Fred Lake of Lake Books writes: "The 93rd mail-bid sale of
numismatic literature is now available for viewing on Lake
Books' web site at

"The 350-lot sale features selections from the library of Dr.
Garth R. Drewry and contains many of the most desirable reference
books in the classical numismatic tradition. A 29-volume set of
the Forni reprint of the BMC Greek is posted along with SNG
Copenhagen, von Aulock, Lindgren, Cohen and many others. As
usual, the catalog contains reference works on United States
and World Coins plus material on Tokens and Medals, Paper
Money, Guides, etc.

"Bids may be placed by email, telephone, fax, or regular
mail until the closing time of Thursday, May 29, 2008 at
5:00 PM (EDT)."


While in London last summer I was treated like royalty by
our numismatic bibliophile brethren, and I'm especially
grateful to Douglas Saville and his wife Sue.  Douglas is
the former head of Spink's numismatic literature department
and is now in business for himself.  One day he showed me
around Oxford and he and Sue treated me to a wonderful
home-cooked meal at their lovely house.  I checked in with
him recently.

Douglas writes: "I just finished my first full year of trading
on my own. I had a very successful (and contented) year. I
bought lots of new stock - and sold lots of books, not only
directly from my website, but also to clients who tell me what
they are looking for. I solicit, and try my utmost to take care,
of “Wants Lists”.

"So, I would ask that anyone interested in numismatic
literature to let me have a list of items they are specifically
looking for – but not the more obscure American titles, since
I find that market “confusing” to say the least, and I rarely
see such material (and you have good people in the US specializing
in such things), but lists of most other things are welcomed.
I always try hard to find books that people tell me they need.

"Last year I put something like 1200 books for sale onto my
website. Currently I have something over 700 listed for sale
there. Yes, I guess I have sold something like 500 books from
the website!

"Since I always need to refresh my stock, I am always interested
in buying outright good collections of books or individual
important items (I don’t organize auctions myself, but I am
thinking of possibly holding a Mail Bid sale sometime later
this year). I would welcome offers of books for sale. I am
pleased to travel to see collections, with a view to making an
offer to purchase outright."

[Douglas plans to attend the 2008 ANA convention in Baltimore
this summer, so look for him at our NBS events!  His web site
address is -Editor]




In the April 28th issue of Coin World, an article on p10
notes that "Subscribers to the print edition of Coin World
now have complete access to the online edition, effective
with the April 28th issue.  The digital edition of Coin World
is generally published by 3pm Eastern Time Monday at

"Under the new policy, all subscribers will have full access
to all articles in the online edition.  Also effective with
this issue, Coin World has upgraded the software for its
digital edition to allow faster and easier access to all

[To register, go to the following page and enter the first
15 digits of your account number (which is on your Coin World
mailing label).  For assistance, contact customer service at
(800) 253-4555 or

Full Story

This is a welcome development, although I find Coin World's
"pictures of the printed pages" model difficult to use online.
It doesn't lend itself to easily viewing and printing single
articles, nor does it enable keyword searching - the articles
cannot be indexed by Google, for example.  It's quite unlike
what is now standard elsewhere in online newspaper publishing.
Still, the new access is quite welcome and I encourage
subscribers to take zadvantage of it. -Editor]


Allan Davisson writes: "I am the (outgoing) chair of the IAPN
Book Committee. Each year the International Association of
Professional Numismatists awards a cash prize and medal to the
numismatic reference judged best by the members at their annual
meeting. I am attaching a list of the submissions for the award
this year. The submissions often include important references
that receive little publicity in the U.S. The IAPN meeting this
year will be in early June in Naples."

[Congratulations to the authors and publishers on their books'
nominations (some are E-Sylum subscribers!)  -Editor]

Carradice, I. and Buttrey, T. The Roman Imperial Coinage,
Volume II, Part I. From AD 69-96, Vespasian to Domitian. Spink.
London. 2007. Hardcover with dust jacket. 404 pages. 160 plates.
Text in English. ISBN 978-1-902040-84-4.

Füeg, Franz. Italy Vecchi, editor. Corpus or the Nomismata from
Anastasius II to John I In Constantintinople, 713-976. Structure
of the Issues. Corpus of Coin Finds. Contributions to the
Iconographic and Monetary History. CNG. Lancaster, PA. 2007.
Hardcover with dust jacket. 196 pages. CD-ROM illustrating the
7780 nomismata listed in the text. 352 coins illustrated in text.
Text in English. ISBN 0-9709268-7-1.

JOHNSTON, Ann. Greek Imperial Denominations, ca. 200-275. A
Study of the Roman Provincial Bronze Coinages of Asia Minor.
RNS SP 43. London, 2007.  Hardcover with dust jacket. 294 pages.
26 plates. Text in English. ISBN 0-901405-34-5.

KLUGE, Bernd. Numismatik des Mittelalters. Berlin/Wien, 2007.
Hardcover with dust jacket. 512 pages with 88 plates in color
at the end of the book. Text in German. ISBN 978-3-88609-603-9

LABOURET, Marc. Les Métaux et la mémoire. Maison Platt Editeur.
Paris, 2007. Tokens and medals of French Freemasonry. Hardcover.
400 pages, color photos in text. Describes over 860 tokens or
medals. Text in French. ISBN 978-2-9510-3557-7

McAlee, Richard. The Coins of Roman Antioch. CNG. Lancaster,
PA. 2007.   Hardcover with dust jacket. 406 pages. In-text
illustrations, charts and tables.  Four Appendeces. Text in
English. ISBN 0-9709268-9-8 .

NUMI . AUGG. ALEXANDRINI Catalogo della collezione DATTARI.
Giulio Bernardi Editore. Trieste, 2007. The second edition, 250
numbered copies, revised and enlarged with 700 coins and new
bibliography. Hardcover. 77 pages and 327 + 55 plates in
color. Text in Italian and in English. ISBN 978-88-85873-32-2

van’t Haaff, P.A. Catalogue of Elymaean Coinage, ca. 147 B.C.
– A.D. 228. CNG. Lancaster, PA. 2007. Harcover with dust jacket.
167 pages including illustrations, charts and tables in text.
Two Appendeces.  Text in English. ISBN 0-9709268-8-3.

WARREN, Jennifer A.W.  The Bronze Coinage of the Achaian
Koinon. The Currency of a Federal Ideal. RNS SP 42. London, 2007.
Hardcover with dust jacket. 212 pages. 39 plates. Text in English.
ISBN 0-901405-98-1.

Withers, P. and Withers, B. The Galata Guide to The Farthing
Tokens of James I & Charles I, A history and reclassification.
Galata. Llanfyllin. 2007. Card covers, A4 format. 78 pages.
Photos in text. Text in English.  ISBN 0-9543162-6-6.

Withers, P. and Withers, B. The Galata Guide to The Pennies
of Edward I and II and the coins of the mint of Berwick-upon-Tweed.
Galata. Llanfyllin. 2007. Card covers, A4 format. 62 pages.
Photos in text. Text in English.  ISBN 0-9543612-5-8.


Ever since the passing of Jack Collins I'd been curious to
learn the fate of his manuscript for a book on the 1794 dollar.
It would have been a shame for the project to come to naught.
While in the end no author or publisher took over the task of
completing the unfinished book, last year Jack's fellow
Californians George Kolbe and Alan Meghrig published a copy
of Jack's last working draft: "1794: The History and Genealogy
of the First United States Dollar" by Jack Collins and Walter
Breen. Their two-paragraph introduction sets the stage well
and I'll reprint it here:

 "Over a decade has passed since Jack Collins left us and,
 finally, his numismatic magmum opus is in print.  Given Jack's
 penchant for procrastination, perhaps he will forgive us for
 taking so long.  Plans to edit Walter Breen's contribution to
 the work, to gather the relatively little data needed for the
 census and, as time went on, to bring the census up to date,
 never reached fruition.  The volume in your hands is as Jack
 left it in 1996.  Some of the assertions and concepts in the
 History chapters may not be entirely reliable; little in the
 Genealogy portion of the book - truly its heart - needs revision.

 "In 1996, the valuable numismatic information contained herein
 was largely unpublished and even today Jack's work is of
 considerable merit.  In the intervening years, much of the
 groundbreaking research present here has found its way into
 auction catalogues and other works, via the small number of
 working copies of the book that Jack sent to numismatic students
 for review.  The present volume sets the record straight."

The spiral-bound 8 1/2 by 11" publication has 269 numbered
pages plus a five page bibliography and several pages of
"Extras" such as lists of Acknowledgements, Illustrations,
Notes, and needed illustrations and priced realized lists.
The meat of the book for many would be the Condition Census
(chapter VI).  This is the Genealogy section, where the bulk
of Collins' illustrations appear as intended - they had been
pasted into an early mockup of the book.  The compilation was
the result of some twenty years of effort by Collins to piece
together information about the coins from long ago collections
and auction sales.  While not numbered, I counted approximately
125 pieces.  Each is described individually along with its
ownership and price history.

Particularly fascinating when viewed through the lens of
history are the various "improvements" prior owners imparted
on the coins.  "Many of these were counterstamped, all of
which have apparently been subsequently repaired.  Several
of the counterstamps were recorded long ago... Perhaps the
most famous of these counterstamped 1794 dollars was the one
that first appeared at the 1883 auction of the John Marr
collection, which displayed script letters G W within an oval
frame, leading some to speculate that this was originally
owned by George Washington ... but the point is now moot,
as the counterstamp was removed in recent years at the
direction of some idiotic dealer in a misguided attempt to
"improve" the coin; both sides have been reengraved, the
obverse crudely enough so that the portrait now has the
appearance of a cartoon!"   A number of pieces are illustrated
with before and after photos showing how the coins have been
cleaned, toned, filled, reengraved or otherwise doctored.

So why call this a Genealogy?  Well, I suspect this is Breen's
contribution and it's a metaphor also used in the first five
history chapters covering the development and history of the
dollar.  For example, Chapter 4 is titled "Alexander Hamilton,
Grandfather of the 1794 Dollar" and Chapter 5 is "Parents and
Obstetricians of the Federal Dollar."  A similar idiosyncrasy
was threaded throughout the 1981 Swiatek-Breen Encyclopedia
of U.S. Silver & Gold Commemorative Coins, where a crime-solving
theme was used.  Section headings included The Corpus Delicti,
Clues, Opportunity, Motive, Suspects, etc.  Used once in a
short article it's clever, but in a book level treatment I
find it tiresome.  I hope not to turn a page in the Collins
book and learn who or what was the "Second Cousin Twice Removed"
of the 1794 dollar.

These first five chapters encompass some 65 pages and seem
to be a fine overview of the history of the dollar coin,
beginning with the fifteenth century silver trade thaler coins
of Archduke Sigismund of Austria. These chapters have no
illustrations, although placeholder graphics are sprinkled
throughout.  It's unfortunate, for I'll bet the final book
would have been a visual delight for numismatists and anyone
else with an abiding interest in the history of world trade.

The bibliography is extensive and not to be overlooked.
A number of important and interesting publications are
referenced.  One I'd be curious to read is an article by
Curtis Nettels published by the University of Wisconsin in
1934 titled "The Money Supply of the American Colonies before

It's quite a shame that Collins' 1794 book never came to full
fruition, but as Kolbe and Meghrig noted, his work already
lives in the many articles, books and auction catalog
descriptions based on his pioneering work on the topic.
Congratulations, Jack!


[Rich Mantia, an E-Sylum subscriber and major collector of
"A Guide Book of United States Coins" submitted the following
in response to last week's query by Gary Dunaier about an
upcoming Whitman publication. -Editor]

Regarding the question about the "Guide Book" being published
on the "Red Books", it is true that one has been in the works
for some time and is being produced. I was very briefly
interviewed about my collection and a specific one that I own.
I expect that other collectors have also been interviewed as
well. I haven't seen a draft of the book, but I hope that the
facts and information are accurate so that it maintains the
respect for Mr. Yeoman that he richly deserves.

As many collectors of Red Books know, there are regular
production books, unbound copies, proof sheets, interleaved
copies, and special presentation copies that are all "Official"
Whitman products. In addition, Whitman has begun since 1987
marketing "Official" special occasion "Guide Books" with
different covers and stampings. When adding in all the other
"Un-Official" Guide Books to the mix there becomes quite an
assortment of possible books to own. This is a topic that is
far deeper than most people realize and is extremely challenging
to collect in nice condition.

The "Blue Books" on the other hand are given less respect
because they have had traditionally less content and are
thinner overall, along with being self-covered paper bindings
for many issues. The first 10 issues have value based on their
age and cover varieties. Unfortunately they are considered
disposable and not worth collecting, which is the pity because
their survival rate in "New" condition is far less than for
the "Guide Book". As the esteemed Mr. Q. David Bowers has
stated often "Buy the book before you buy the coin!" Perhaps
now one should also "Buy the book before you buy the book!"

Dennis Tucker of Whitman Publishing adds: "Informally within
Whitman we refer to it as "The GBGB"! The author of the Guide
Book of the Official Red Book of United States Coins is Frank
Colletti, a passionate collector of the series. Frank has done
a yeoman job compiling an in-depth, year-by-year, edition-by-
edition study of the Red Book, and has also written an engaging
history of earlier coin valuation guides, including the
Blue Book.

As you can imagine, the GBGB is rich with human-interest
stories about all the great names of recent numismatic history.
We're lucky to have Kenneth Bressett, Q. David Bowers, and other
longtime contributors who can share their memories and paint
a picture of the Yeoman days (and beyond). The fur-covered
edition, the Braille edition, the one-millionth book, letters
from Yeoman to distributors --- it's all going to be in there.
We're still adding to the manuscript, and in the near future
Frank will be submitting a call for Red Book recollections,
stories, tall tales, anecdotes, and other feedback from
E-Sylum readers."

[No pun intended I'm sure, when Dennis said Frank is doing a
"yeoman job".  The shoes of founding author R.S. Yeoman were
big ones to fill, and Whitman was lucky to find Ken Bressett
to take over the job.  Frank has a big job, too - there will
be a lot to write about in covering the history and evolution
of the classic Guide Book.  I hope the book gives a good nod
to predecessors from Wayte Raymond and Stack's.  I collected
these for a number of years myself; some of these are just
as rare to find in top condition.  -Editor]



[Inspired by a recent article Dick Johnson submitted the
following thoughts on computers and engraving. -Editor]

Sculptor-medallist Jim Licaretz, president of the American
Medallic Sculpture Association) wrote in AMSA's newsletter,
received this week, a review of his use of the new technology,
computer engraving. He was enthusiastic about the time it
saved, but more so about how he could modify a design, to
test a new concept, to alter the design, to hone the image
until he had a satisfactory relief. He could even save it
digitally at any stage to come back to rework it again from
that point forward.

I am reminded how St-Gaudens and his assistants did the same
thing a century ago, but in clay, quickly forming the mass
of the design and the position of the lettering on clay discs.
The mass would be a lump of clay formed to the outline of the
device, say, a portrait, and the lettering quickly incised
in the clay with the end of a sculptor's boaster. Both student
and master would make these, modifying, perfecting, moving on
until St-Gaudens was satisfied it could be improved no further.
They may have processed a dozen such stages of clay images
before his acceptance was expressed.

"That's it!" he would exclaim. The student-assistant then
had his work cut out, knowing exactly what to do next. He
would spend a week or more adding detail, developing the
design, forming crisp-edge relief with finely crafted lettering,
some areas with significant texture. Jim does the same thing
in hours (what took days before) on his computer with ZBrush

Computer engraving is the latest attempt to alleviate the
tedium of engraving, by hand at first (2,600 years ago) and
still in use today, by machine with the development  of the
transfer lathe throughout the 19th century -- culminating in
Janvier's perfected version of the die-engraving pantograph
patented in 1899 -- still in use today. Another innovation
was developed a century ago, the tracer-controlled pantograph
(notably the Gorton) with manual, hand controlled milling
from a pattern to cut a die, also still in use today.

Will computer engraving replace all this? I doubt it. The
computer cannot design a coin or medal. It cannot create a
concept. An artist still must do this. The new computer
technology is simply a tool in the hand of the artist, to
be used by the sculptor-medallist much like the burin is a
tool for hand engraving dies by the engraver.

An outline of the intended design is entered on the computer.
At every point in the design the computer automatically
determines the X and Y co-ordinates. The operator determines
how deep the relief should be in the negative -- or how high
in the positive -- this is called the Z co-ordinate (where
ZBrush gets its name). The technology is a spinoff from
computer games, developed to add more realism to their images.

The operator fixes every sculptural or dimensional point
(called a "pixol"), in effect creating a "bitmap" which can
be stored in the software. A visual image is shown on the
computer screen as the operator moves through the design
indicating the form, the modulated relief and the lettering.

The advantages of computer engraving, as noted by Jim Licaretz,
are its speed and versatility. As such it is ideal for simple
images, as graphic designs, most trademarks or logos, and
images of buildings. Where it falls short are very complex or
highly detailed designs, but most notably, with portraits!

There is one word that describes what a sculptor working in
clay or wax can accomplish that a computer cannot: VIVIFY,
"to animate or make lifelike." A sculptor can give life to a
portrait, make an image of a person seem so real, that it
looks like an actual person staring back at the viewer. In
contrast, computer-generated portraits are stiff, frozen
and lifeless.

Mints and medalmakers around the world were eager to accept
the new computer technology. They embraced the technology
but have come to learn its limitations. Can it aid in creating
coin and medal models?

Yes, it can create coin and medal designs faster, cheaper in
a form that can be manipulated. But not necessarily better.
We still need coin and medal artists. And they must definitely
retain some age-old modeling technology. The computer can
never replace the artist.

[Dick adds: "I know pixel is spelled PIXEL, but in this
technology it is spelled PIXOL."  I think he's spot-on in
noting that that computer is merely another tool in the hands
of the artist.  The artist's eye and creativity are indispensible.
I’d love to visit someday and see the software in action.

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

DAVID F. FANNING NUMISMATIC LITERATURE offers fixed price lists on
our Web site at . In stock: American Journal of
Numismatics, Vol. 32 (1897-8) complete in four issues. 4to., wraps.
124 pages, 7 plates. First a bit bumped, else fine. $85 postpaid.



Debbie Bradley, Editorial Director for Numismatics at Krause
Publications submitted the following about Coin Chat Radio,
the internet radio launched by Krause Publications.

We haven't written about this forum yet, but it's a great idea
and I'm glad Krause created it.  Have any E-Sylum readers been
listening in? -Editor]

We air a new show every Thursday at 11 a.m. At
It is repeated each hour on the hour for the next week. All
shows are also archived and can be downloaded as a podcast or
to I-Tunes.

Since launching March 15, we've interviewed top names in
numismatics. Here's a list of some earlier shows:

"Collecting Money" included an "In the News" report
by Bob Van Ryzin on the sale of the Queller 1804 Draped Bust
silver dollar.

Interviews by Dave Harper with Jim Halperin, Laura Sperber,
David and Howard Queller, Leo Frese, and Stephen Contursi about
the sale of the Queller collection by at the Central States
convention in Rosemont, Ill.

Interview by Bob Van Ryzin of David Lange, author of the book,
"Coin Collecting Boards of the 1930s and 1940s: A Complete
History, Catalog and Value Guide"

Maggie Pahl and Lisa Bellavin with a Freshly Minted segment on
new U.S. and world coins.

Dave Harper with dealer Stephen Contursi about the naming of
Former ANA Executive Director Chris Cipoletti as president
of Rare Coin Consultants of America.

"To Coin a Phrase" with Debbie Bradley on the term
"short snorter";

and a Who's Who interview with Debbie Bradley of dealer
Ken Pines of Coast to Coast Coins.

We cover a wide range of topics of interest to beginners
and experts. And we're having a lot of fun. Check us out.
Here is the lineup for the May 1 show:

Features of this week's "Collecting Money" include an
"In the News" report by Coins magazine editor Bob Van Ryzin
on a new reverse variety of the 2008-W silver American Eagle;

An interview by World Coin News editor Maggie Pahl with
Kevin Foley about the Chicago International Coin Fair;

An interview by Bob Van Ryzin of dealer Rick Snow on the
market for Flying Eagle and Indian Head cents;

An "Industry Insider" profile by Numismatics Editorial
Director Debbie Bradley with Ron Guth, president of the
Professional Coin Grading Service, talking about coin grading;

An interview by Numismatic News editor Dave Harper of
David Sundman, president of Littleton Coin Co.;

"Talking Type and Beyond" with Bob Van Ryzin about the U.S.
20-cent piece;

"Going Once," auction news with Bank Note Reporter editor
Dave Kranz;

Maggie Pahl with "On the Club Scene" about the Every
Country Collectors Club;

Lisa Bellavin, online editor, with an interview of Wayne
Sayles of the Ancient Coin Collectors Guild.


Carl Honore writes: "The Item on the 'Thou Art the Man' medal
is right on (or 'write' on if you appreciate puns.)

"In one sense, theologically David was deserving of nothing
but death.  Psalm 51 serves as a continuation for the II
Samuel narrative.  Though he deserved death, God was merciful
to him, and granted him his life.

"In other words, God was in complete control of David's fate.
David himself controlled his failings, God controlled everything
else.  In a sense, the same thing could be said of Lincoln.
Abraham Lincoln knew he was unworthy of the office of President,
yet God gave him the wherewithal to do the best job in the
office that he could.  Like David, Lincoln failed many times
(although, of curse, not as drastically as David did viz Uriah,
and Bathsheba).  The point is, that no matter our failings,
our faith in God's ability to grant mercy is a powerful concept.

"The contrast is that David pled for mercy for his own life,
and Lincoln prayed not only for sustenance for the armies
under his own command, but also for his enemies as well.

"The point I think the medalist was making is that we are all
deserving of nothing but death, and Lincoln knew that.  Like
David, Lincoln in a powerful position knew that he was still
only a man.  I am not sure how strong his theological background
was from a Christian standpoint, but he certainly was aware of
the power of prayer."



Dick Doty writes: "Fascinating stuff about the Chinese
counterfeiting.  I once bought an 1882 Mexican eight-real
piece from Hermosillo that was a Chinese fake, and I bought
it precisely because it WAS a fake, and an awful one that
that.  Since when did Mexican eights of that era have reeded
edges?  I got it for twelve bucks and consider it money
well spent."

Don Cleveland writes: "Coins are not the only fakes coming
out of China. When I was in China in September, I paid a
visit on the large, famous, 'Dirt Market', so called because
80 percent of the merchants have stalls on the ground.  The
other 20 percent, however, have small, regular places of
business in a very large two-story shed.  Collectables, coins,
stamps, Mao memorabilia, and banknotes tend to be concentrated
on the upper floor.  Among these shops, it is possible to buy
nearly complete sets of the early Peoples' Bank of China issues
P-800 to P-859.  These are extremely well made reproductions,
the only flaw seeming to be the paper, which is just a tad bit
different than the originals.  (Comparisons are fairly easy to
make, because the same shops usually had genuine notes in used
condition for sale.  The fakes are perfect uncirculated.)

"On my first visit to the Dirt Market to look around, I did
not realize some of the banknotes displayed were fake.  I saw
a set of about ten notes and asked the price.  The lady running
the shop said 3000 renminbi -- reasonable for the condition
and issues represented.  I told her I only had 300 on me.
Without hesitation, she said 'Okay'.  At that, bells started
to go off.  I told her I would be back later, but looked at
some of the used notes of the period she had on display.  Only
then, did I see the paper was slightly different.

"This series of banknotes often appears on Ebay.  They might
be genuine, but I can't help but be suspicious about them.  I
also note some Ebay sellers make statements like 'These are
genuine banknotes, not the counterfeit banknotes made in the
mountains,' or visa versa.  Can anyone tell us what they are
talking about?  Is this a reference to contemporary or modern
reproductions or counterfeits?"



The upcoming May 21-22 2008 Stack's sale of the Minot collection
includes some interesting art related to numismatics.  Lot
3033 is an original drazwing submitted by artist Charles
Schlecht for the 1896 Educational Series $2 bill.  Lots 3138
and 3139 at Trompe L'oeil paintings incorporating numismatic
themes.  Lot 3139 is an importance Otis Kaye work titled "Otis
Kaye's Coin Collection.

"Otis Kaye (1885-1974), was born in Neemah, Michigan. He
produced relatively few paintings previous to 1929, but then
suddenly became far more prolific. Kaye was one of the countless
victims of the Great Stock Market Crash, losing his family's
entire fortune consisting of over $150,000. He began painting
pictures of money, and his paintings reflect Kaye's deep
feelings of anger and loss.

"At a time when wealthy coin collectors were keeping their
numismatic treasures in ornate, stained and varnished wooden
'cabinets,' Otis Kaye's 'Coin Collection' is shown residing
in a battered wooden kitchen cabinet, protected by a lock that
might easily be opened with a skeleton key. Most of the coins
are well circulated, having been pulled from everyday pocket
change. The name of Kaye's collection isn't set in gold leaf.
Instead, the title has been typed on to a tattered scrap of
paper, and thumb-tacked into place. Kaye's frustration is
further echoed by the scrap of paper pasted to the bottom of
the cabinet which states 'MONEY COSTS.' "

 To view Stack's Minot Sale lot 3033, see:
 Stack's Minot Sale lot 3033

 To view Stack's Minot Sale lot 3038, see:
 Stack's Minot Sale lot 3038

 To view Stack's Minot Sale lot 3039, see:
 Stack's Minot Sale lot 3039


Web site visitor W. L. Esposito writes: "The article describing
the Springarn Medal was in error with respect to identifying
Marian Anderson in a photo holding the medal. The first photo
which included Eleanor Roosevelt with Ms. Anderson was correct;
however, the second photo was not her.  It was clearly Leontyne
Price, the opera singer, who was a recipient of the medal in
the 1960's."

[Many thanks for the correction. Here's the updated caption.

 "An image of Leontyne Price with the medal"
 "An image of Leontyne Price with the medal"



An eagle-eyed E-Sylum reader pointed out a typo in last
week's numismatic diary, where I mentioned that "Julian
also had a proof 2009 platinum coin."

He writes: "Just curious - what was on the design of the
Proof platinum 2009 coin?  How'd you get a sneak peek?
Seriously, was that a 2008 coin?"

I told him the design was a picture of a gas pump with the
words "Good for one gallon."  Actually, it was a 2007 coin
according to my notes.  Sorry!



[E-Sylum contributor David Ganz published a Numismatic News
article yesterday detailing his long search for pedigree
information on the 1838-O half dollar.  Kudos to David for
his persistence and ultimate success.  -Editor]

The 1838-O half dollar is a genuine rarity, with only 20
pieces struck and the fate, 170 years after striking, of just
about a dozen known pieces in existence  leaves some unaccounted
for. I’ve liked this coin for many years and made it a centerpiece
of my new book that Krause is publishing in July, “Profitable
Coin Collecting.”

More than 50 public auction sales of this coin are of record,
some over a hundred years ago. The Mickley sale in 1867 by
Woodward saw the coin offered as Lot 1782 and the selling
price of $2.75. The same coin was acquired by J. P. Clemens
and when Edward Coogan sold his collection in 1878.  Lot 159
contained the same coin and brought $15.

Frossard sold his own collection Oct. 2, 1884 and Lot 400 in
that sale featured an 1838 New Orleans half dollar which
brought the “enormous” price of $63 only to find an early
case of economic recession in the coin field so that by the
time Lorin Parmalee sold his collection in 1890, the coin
stepped back to $23.50.

Thomas Elder sold the Wilson collection in October 1908,
and Lot 346 featured the very same 1838-O half dollar. It
resounded to a $570 mark. In the span of 40 years, the coin
rose in value from $2.75 to almost $600 – weekly wages in
the United States at the time averaged about $6.

In the 1950s, the Anderson-Dupont sale by Stacks yielded a
$3,500 price realized for an impaired proof specimen. That
coin would be resold nine times in the succeeding half
century and form the basis of the mystery that has existed
for almost 20 years.

The unknown answer: an August 1989 sale as Lot 202. What
was the price realized?

This seemed like a fairly easy answer since at least seven
different sales since 1989 offered other coins, or even
this one, and referred to the auction sale, the lot, and
its pedigree. None of them, however, listed the price –
though they did for many other items.

I was beginning to think that this could be no sale or one
where no prices realized were printed or possibly both. Larry
Hanks then saved the day. “I was a partner with Vintage
Auctions at that time. I’ll see if I can find a copy of the
prices realized. I do know the coin did sell,” he e-mailed.
Now we’re cooking with gas.

He recalled that “A collector from the Northeastern part of
the United States was the buyer. If my memory serves me
correctly, the coin either sold for $45,000 or $50,000. I’ll
also check and see if I can find out who consigned the piece.”

[The article goes on to describe in detail Ganz' efforts to
locate and verify the needed information.  His trail led
him all the way to Ted Buttrey at the Fitzwilliam in Cambridge,
here to the E-Sylum, and back again to Julian Leidman.  All
this for a footnote to a chart!  Dave's book is due out in
July. Look for it!  -Editor]

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story


[In his April 27 blog, Ed Snible discusses the numismatics
activity underway at Wikipedia. -Editor]

"Wikipedia has always had articles on numismatic topics.
It now has a Numismatics WikiProject and a Numismatics Portal.
The portal is a 'face' that presents Wikipedia content
organized for numismatic purposes. The project is an effort
to coordinate folks improving numismatic articles and the
portal. The 'current collaboration' is to improve the Ancient
Greek Coinage article.

"Wikipedia has almost no coverage of numismatic literature.
There is a Numismatics Journals category with just seven
entries. A few books, like The Red Book have Wikipedia entries
but there is no 'Numismatic Book' category to gather them

To access the Wikipedia Numismatics WikiProject, see:
Wikipedia Numismatics WikiProject

To access the Wikipedia Numismatics Portal, see:
Wikipedia Numismatics Portal

To read Ed's complete blog post, see:
Ed's complete blog


[A May 1st article by Fred Schwan on NumisMaster provides
more background on Carling Gresham, a onetime editor of
our print journal, The Asylum.  Carling was also a founding
editor of Krasue Publications' Bank Note Reporter newspaper.

Carling Gresham, the first editor of the Bank Note Reporter,
died in January in Palatka, Fla., after a short illness.
He was 81.

Of course this is a sad milestone for the paper. It is also
personal for me. Carling was also my first editor. Carling
himself in his final editorial at the paper stated that
helping to "give birth" to a newspaper can be frightfully
frustrating and also, very rewarding.

Within a few months of the founding of Bank Note Reporter,
I was recruited by Grover Criswell to write for the paper
and here I am 35 years and quite a few editors later.

Grover recruited me, but then I worked with Carling for the
July 1973 issue, my first with a byline and his last as editor.
I only met him face to face a few times. I think that the
meetings were all at American Numismatic Association conventions.
In spite of working with him on the paper, I never got to know
him very well - a fact that I now regret.

The early months (and years) in the history of the Bank Note
Reporter were chaotic at best. It was an idea whose time had
come, but its survival was far from assured and much of the
credit for getting the early issues out surely belongs to
Carling. Without him I am sure that the paper would have failed,
and it is hard to imagine what we would have today as a regular
commercial paper money publication.

My recollection is that Carling was a bit cantankerous and
eccentric in at least some ways. I think that he liked that
image. He made comments to provoke discussion and to test
the knowledge and convictions of the other party. I think
that he was a bit (or more) eccentric in several ways, too.

The July 1973 BNR was the last under Carling's leadership.
His editorial describes some of the victories, failures, and
difficulties of the birth of our paper.

Carling Gresham will be missed, but his legacy remains.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story


An E-Sylum reader forwarded an article from The Economist
about the opening of an online archive of London's criminal
court proceedings from the Old Bailey Courthouse.

He writes: "Old Bailey is properly known as Justice Hall or
Sessions House. Surely you walked right by it during your
time in London.  Anyway, the web site has court records from
some of the cases adjudicated therein, including counterfeiting."

[This looks like a great trove of potential information for
numismatic researchers.  Poke around and see what you can
find relating to your specialty.  Here are some excerpts
from The Economist article. -Editor]

The free archive is a goldmine for family-tree growers, who
may discover they are related to such unfortunates as Henry
Williams, who in 1886 was sentenced to four months' hard
labour for “attempting an abominable crime with a mare”.
And the website's search facility throws up new research
possibilities: Clive Emsley of Open University has spotted
that an inspector from the Royal Mint gave evidence dozens
of times during the 1840s, for example, which throws new
light on the true scale of counterfeiting at that time.

The archive ends in 1913, when the City of London could no
longer afford to publish the court's proceedings: people
were buying newspapers instead, which offered more salacious

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

[As Dick Johnson has aptly pointed out in his advice to
researchers, don't take what you find at face value - think
about whether it makes sense.  I did a quick search for the
famous coiner "Matthew Boulton" and found this listing from
the year 1776:

 MATTHEW BOULTON was indicted for stealing eight hempen sacks,
 value nine shillings , the property of Abraham Cowley ,
 February 7th .

Born in 1728, the numismatic Boulton was nearly fifty years
old in 1776 and at the height of his career, and probably
living away from London.  So this reference is probably to
another Englishman of the same name.

In the late 1830s-1840s John Field of the Royal Mint was
often called upon as an expert witness in counterfeiting
cases.  Here's one transcript from a hearing on 3rd February
1840, -Editor]

SUSAN PANTRY . I am the prosecutor's wife. On Monday, the 6th
of January, the prisoner came for two penny-worth of rum—he
gave me a six-pence—I examined it, and saw it was bad—I handed
it to my husband—he walked out with it, and fetched a policeman—
I had not given the prisoner his change—he asked me afterwards
for half a pint of porter, and told me to warm it—while I was
doing so he walked out, without his change—my husband was then
at the door—the prisoner had seen me hand the sixpence to my
husband, and my husband go out.

WILLIAM ROBERT BLACK . I am a police inspector of the D
division. I took the prisoner, and received these three
sixpences from the prosecutor—I asked the prisoner how he
came to pass them—he said he was not aware they were bad,
and he had taken them from his customers in selling oranges—
he had a carpenter's basket with him, but no oranges—I found
on him a good shilling and 10d. in coppers, three pieces of
silk, and a small piece of wood—I never saw him before.

MR. JOHN FIELD . I am inspector of coin to the Royal Mint.
These three sixpences are all counterfeit, but all of coin
of different dates.

To access the Old Bailey web site, see:


[On Wednesday April 30, the Wall Street Journal published
a front-page article about the resurgence of traditional
dolphin teeth money on the Solomon Islands. -Editor]

Forget the euro and the yen. In this South Pacific archipelago,
people are pouring their savings into another appreciating
currency: dolphin teeth.

Shaped like miniature ivory jalapeños, the teeth of spinner
dolphins have facilitated commerce in parts of the Solomon
Islands for centuries. This traditional currency is gaining
in prominence now after years of ethnic strife that have
undermined the country's economy and rekindled attachment
to ancient customs.

Over the past year, one spinner tooth has soared in price
to about two Solomon Islands dollars (26 U.S. cents), from
as little as 50 Solomon Islands cents. The official currency,
pegged to a global currency basket dominated by the U.S.
dollar, has remained relatively stable in the period.

Even Rick Houenipwela, the governor of the Central Bank
of the Solomon Islands, says he is an investor in teeth,
having purchased a "huge amount" a few years ago. "Dolphin
teeth are like gold," Mr. Houenipwela says. "You keep them
as a store of wealth -- just as if you'd put money in a bank."

Few Solomon Islanders share Western humane sensibilities
about the dolphins. Hundreds of animals are killed at a time
in regular hunts, usually off the large island of Malaita.
Dolphin flesh provides protein for the villagers. The teeth
are used like cash to buy local produce. Fifty teeth will
purchase a pig; a handful are enough for some yams and cassava.

The rising value of dolphin teeth, Mr. Houenipwela says, is
explained in part by the need to heal the wounds of the
country's ethnic conflict. According to local custom, tribal
disputes over lost lives or property can often be settled
by paying compensation -- in teeth rather than dollars.

Another reason, Mr. Houenipwela says, is the rapidly growing
population of young men who need dolphin teeth for buying
brides -- the biggest financial transaction in many Malaita
islanders' lives. Teeth are the currency of choice for this
payment: one healthy bride costs at least 1,000 teeth. That
necessitates the killing of dozens of dolphins. Local spinner
dolphins yield more than 20 teeth, each about an inch long.

While originally restricted to Malaita, the tooth frenzy
has spread all over this former British protectorate of
500,000 people, Mr. Houenipwela says.

As the demand for dolphin teeth has increased, the supply
can't keep up, he laments: "People want more teeth, and
it's not that easy to get dolphins. It's a very tiring job."

The tradition has deep roots. Dolphin teeth and other animal
products were used as currency in the Solomon Islands and
other parts of Melanesia long before European colonizers
arrived here in the late 19th century.

An exhibit of traditional money in the central bank's lobby
displays the now-worthless garlands of dog teeth. Curled pig
tusks have played a similar role in the neighboring nation
of Vanuatu and parts of Papua New Guinea. Whale, rather than
dolphin, teeth were collected in Fiji. While the use of these
traditional currencies is dying off elsewhere in the region,
there is no sign of the boom in dolphin teeth abating here.
Mr. Houenipwela, the central bank governor, says that some
entrepreneurs have recently asked him for permission to
establish a bank that would take deposits in teeth.

To read the complete article (subscription required), see:
Full Story


De Beers, the world's biggest undersea diamond miner, said
its geologists in Namibia found the wreckage of an ancient
sailing ship still laden with treasure, including six bronze
cannons, thousands of Spanish and Portuguese gold coins and
more than 50 elephant tusks.

The wreckage was discovered in the area behind a sea wall used
to push back the Atlantic Ocean in order to search for diamonds
in Namibia's Sperrgebiet or "Forbidden Zone."

"If the experts' assessments are correct, the shipwreck could
date back to the late 1400s or early 1500s, making it a
discovery of global significance," Namdeb Diamond Corp., a
joint venture between De Beers and the Namibian government,
said in an e-mailed statement from the capital, Windhoek,

The site yielded a wealth of objects, including several tons
of copper, more than 50 elephant tusks, pewter tableware,
navigational instruments, weapons and the gold coins, which
were minted in the late 1400s and early 1500s, according to
the statement.

Diamonds have been mined along the south-western coast of
Namibia and in its coastal waters for the last 100 years.
De Beers, the world's largest diamond company, is 45% owned
by Anglo American Plc, 40% held by the Oppenheimer family
and 15% owned by the government of Botswana.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

[Some of the recovered coins are pictured in this BBC article
forwarded by Dick Hanscomb. -Editor]

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story


[The fever for collecting sports-related medals continues
unabated, as this report from Ireland shows. -Editor]

An original All-Ireland medal from Kilkenny's first-ever
hurling victory in 1914 and a rare Leinster football medal
from Kilkenny's last title win in 1911 are among a valuable
cache of sporting memorabilia which will be auctioned at a
collectors' sale in two weeks.

Castlecomer-based Mealy's Auctioneers is hosting the auction
of rare artefacts from Irish sporting history, which includes
GAA, rugby, football, gold and other unique mementoes.

The collection, which comprises 800 lots, is expected to
generate intense interest from local and national collectors
keen to get their hands on a piece of genuine Irish
sporting history.

One of the most valuable single lots in the auction is the
1904 medal, which is expected to reach between 12,500 euro
and 17,500 euro on the day.  The medal was presented to
Jack Hoyne of Tullaroan, the parish which represented Kilkenny
in the All-Ireland competition that year. In the early stages
of the GAA competition, each county was represented by the
club which won the local title.

The infamous match took place against Cork (St Finbar's) in
Carrick-on-Suir on June 24, 1904 with Kilkenny winning by a
point - 1-9 to 1-8.

Last year, a football medal of the same year sold for 7000
euro, but Mr Mealy said he expected the hurling medal to go
even higher, because it was such an important artefact of
Kilkenny's GAA history

"It's a very unique item and it would be the Holy Grail
for any collector from Kilkenny," he said.

Another rare item in the sale is a Gaelic football medal
awarded to Kilkenny in 1911 when the county won its third
and most recent All-Ireland football title. The medal is
expected to fetch between 600 euro and 800 euro in the auction.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story


[Early U.S. Mint workers were paid, in part, with liquor.
Now the Bank of Ireland is putting an image of a distillery
right on a banknote.  Here are excerpts from an April 23rd
article in the Belfast Telegraph. -Editor]

Amid glitz and the glamour Bushmills Distillery was put on
the world stage yesterday - by the Bank of Ireland.

In case anyone was unaware of the world famous Bushmills,
the Bank of Ireland's Governor came to Belfast to honour
his favourite whiskey.

>From yesterday a new Bank of Ireland £5 note bears a picture
of the famous distillery with new £10 and £20 notes to
follow next month.

Yesterday — in scenes reminiscent of Hollywood — the Bank
of Ireland unveiled its series of new notes with a blaze of

Huge outdoor screens beamed the launch onto the bank's HQ
stopping hundreds of shoppers in their tracks.

The Bank of Ireland's governor Richard Burrows said it was
a special moment for him as back in 1972 he spent four years
as the managing director of Bushmills Distillery.

He said: "I spent some very happy years on the North coast
of Antrim and today we are celebrating the 400th anniversary
of Bushmills Distillery."

"But we never dreamed our whiskey would feature on the back
of a Bank of Ireland bank note — a singular honour and a
special recognition of our distillery and its 500 employees,"
he said.

The £5 note went into circulation yesterday with the new
£10 and £20 notes joining as legal tender next month.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

[An editorial in the Belfast Telegraph noted the design
change but lamented that the front of the note was not
redesigned as well.  -Editor]

"How disappointing it was to see the Bank of Ireland only
changing the reverse of their banknote series from Queen's
University, Belfast, to Bushmills Distillery.

"A worthy change, but all the glitter and large screen TV
presentations at the launch does not disguise how extremely
boring the front of the banknotes currently are.

"Were current finances so drastically low that the Bank of
Ireland could only afford to do half a job right?"

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story


An April 30 article in The Sun describes a banknote-like
voucher good at shops in Heathrow Airport's new $8.6 billion
terminal 5 (the one plagued with luggage handling delays
and other startup problems).

"Rugby ace Jonny Wilkinson may not be able to get a place
in the England rugby team but he found himself a place on
a new banknote.  The World Cup winner is appearing on an
limited edition voucher - which features Jonny’s face -
has a value of 5 Sterling.

However the note called the Tfiver is only redeemable at
shops within Heathrow’s Terminal 5. Jonny Wilkinson, an
official Travelex ambassador, said: "I’m really honoured
to be the face of the Tfiver.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story


[An E-Sylum reader forwarded this extensive article from
a Vietnamese newspaper about local collectors of Vietnamese
coins and paper money.  -Editor]

In a silent house in Giap Nhat, a village in Ha Noi’s Thanh
Xuan District, a white-haired octogenarian pores over his
set of ancient coins with a magnifying glass.

He is Nguyen Ba Dam, 86, locally known as "Mr Ancient Money"
for his extensive collection of Vietnamese currency. In more
than 70 years of collecting, he has accumulated over 400
kinds of ancient Vietnamese money, as well as currency from
more than 150 countries.

[Not surprisingly, Howard Daniel adds: "I met him once and
should go see him the next time I am in Viet Nam at the end
of this year!" -Editor]

His oldest coin is a Thai Binh Hung Bao coin issued in 968
during the Dinh dynasty, recognised by researchers as the
oldest Vietnamese coin.

As he painstakingly prepares a pot of tea, Dam describes the
three-quarters of a century he has spent collecting money,
beginning when he was eight years old.

In 1960, he began connecting with like-minded hobbyists
through an international association of stamp and money
collectors, which allowed him to enrich his collection with
ancient Chinese coins dating from the Qin to the Qing dynasties.

In 1976, Dam spent VND100,000 – a veritable fortune at the
time – to buy a treasure trove of ancient money from Nguyen
Dinh Duong, a famous antique dealer on Hang Bong Street.

A collector must also be a researcher, Dam says.

"Money is not only for buying and exchanging in the business
world; it also reflects history, including power struggles and
technological development, and can serve as the hallmark of
an era or a royal dynasty," he says. "Therefore, the collector
must have vast knowledge and understanding of history and
culture and a passion for such studies."

A former history teacher, Dam has considerable knowledge
of ancient Chinese scripts, which has enriched his study
of ancient coins. But Dam believes that what makes him a
true collector is his personal attachment to the coins and
the stories they tell.

"A collector must ‘feel’ the coins, comparing and classifying
them, to recognise their real value. Only then can the collector
see all the interesting and beautiful aspects of ancient money."

Professor Do Van Ninh from the Institute of Historical Studies,
who has written many books on ancient money, appreciates
collectors for serving a national need.

"Thanks to them, the nation can preserve some of its historical
and cultural treasures," Ninh says. "They collect money for
preservation; they aren’t just dealers, thinking only of profits."

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story


[The following article discusses difficulties Japan ran
into when it discovered that an element of a planned coin
design was a copyrighted image.  In this case, the planned
issue is being destroyed.  What other coins have had copyright
troubles?  I know the U.S. Mint now files for explicit
copyright protection on all of its designs.  The recent
"Ocean in View" nickel reverse brought complaints from a
photographer who claimed his copyrighted image had been
used without his permission.  -Editor]

After minting 4.8 million commemorative coins, Japan said
Wednesday it must change the design due to copyright

The original design of the coin, celebrating the centenary
of Japanese emigration to Brazil, showed bronze sculptures
of parents and a child standing in Santos, Brazil, where
the first batch of immigrants landed in 1908.

But the Brazilian sculptor of the work refused to let the
design be used for the 500-yen (five dollar) coin, the
Japanese finance ministry said.

Japan originally announced the creation of the coin in April
2007, with an aim to distribute it by the end of March 2008,
believing that an immigrants association in Brazil owned the
bronze memorial.

But the association later found that the artist also held
the right to his work.

The new design will feature the ship that took the first
Japanese immigrants to Brazil, placed over the shape of the
Latin American nation.

The ministry will spend five to 10 million yen (50,000 to
100,000 dollars) redesigning the coin.

The coin will be distributed from June 18, when Brazil will
also distribute its own commemorative coin related to Japanese

More than 1.2 million Brazilians have Japanese ancestry, a
higher number than in any country other than Japan. The
immigrants left Japan seeking better lives at a time when
Asia's future economic giant suffered widespread poverty.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story


According to a Hungarian web site, "The face on the Ft 200
banknote is not a likeness of 14th century ruler Károly Róbert
but of Ferenc Koltai, some dude from a company that worked on
the 1998 currency update. Károly Vagyóczky, who designed Hungary's
greenest money, denied any funny business and said Koltai was
chosen simply because he had a 'good head for money' - literally
rather than figuratively. Although it can't be denied that as
head of Jura Trade Kft., the company that came up with digital
watermarks and other security patents used the world over, Koltai
is clearly pretty darn good with money.

"As for the nitty gritty of the controversy, it turned out
that the facial features of the Hungarian king are barely
documented, so just about any bearded face would do."

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story


[According to the Waverly Leader of Melbourne, Australia, an
ancient Roman coin was recently used in a coin toss before a
sporting match.  Is that a first?  Has an ancient coin ever
been used this way before? -Editor]

History was on display when a 2000-year-old Roman coin was
used for the toss before Clayton's centenary match against
St Kilda City on Saturday.

The coin dates back to 27BC, when Emperor Augustus, better
known as Gaius Julius Caesar Octavianus, ruled the Roman Empire.

One side features the profile of Emperor Augustus's head and
the letters 'SC', the Roman Senate's seal of approval, are
inscribed on the other.

"The reason we're using it is because it's been donated by
our major sponsor, Universal Coin Company," Clayton treasurer
Neil Daly said.

"On the back of the coin it's got 'SC', which is the Roman
Senate's mark, but our sponsor thought the S could stand for
St Kilda City and the C for Clayton.

"We thought it would be a novel idea to celebrate the centenary
rather than a standard coin, as it's never been done before."

[The coin was protected in a Kointain-style plastic shell.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story


This week's featured web page is a Wikipedia page on the
History of Chatham Islands numismatics:  "The history of
Chatham Islands numismatics begins in 1999, when the Reserve
Bank of New Zealand authorized a private organization, the
Chatham Islands Note Corporation, to issue banknotes to
celebrate that the Chatham Islands would have been the first
land to enter the third millennium of the common era (although
this is not actually true - this honour belongs to Antarctica.
The first island to enter the third millennium would be
Millennium Island).

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand gave this authorization under
the condition that such notes cannot be declared legal tender.
In other words, these notes were to be used for payment, but
only if the seller accepted them: there was no obligation for
anyone to accept the notes issued by the Chatham Islands,
contrarily to the notes issued by the Reserve Bank of New
Zealand. These Chatham Islands notes were generally accepted
by merchants on the Chatham Islands."

See also:

  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        V11 2008 INDEX        E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

NBS Home Page    Back to top

NBS ( Web