The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. For more information please see our web site at


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David M. Sundman, Secretary/TreasurerNumismatic Bibliomania Society
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You won't regret it!


Wayne Homren Among our recent subscribers is Mark Hartford, courtesy of John and Nancy Wilson. Welcome aboard! We now have 1,208 subscribers.

This week we open with a reminder of Tuesday's closing date for David Fanning's numismatic literature auction, so get those bid sheets in! Next up are some excerpts from Karl Moulton's new fixed price list. Lots of good reading material in this issue. It's getting late and rather than outline the rest of the issue as usual, I thought I'd work in a brief numismatic diary.

This weekend I travelled up to Pittsburgh for the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists show at the Pittsburgh Expo Mart in Monroeville, PA. COIN World editor Beth Deisher was PAN's guest for the show and we had a few minutes to chat. Beth spoke to an enthusiastic audience of over 80 young numismatists on Saturday. PAN's Coins4Kids program is a notable achievement.

Numismatic bibliophile extraordinaire Dave Hirt of Frederick, MD was at the show along with his wife Emi, and we had a nice chat about our libraries and the recent Sklow literature sale.

I also had the pleasure of speaking with Richard Jewell, who had a marvelous exhibit on the Erie Canal Completion medal. Included in the exhibit were examples in bronze, silver and gold, plus two large plaques bearing the design of the medal. Rich had acquired these just recently, and they came from an old building alongside the canal by way of an antique dealer and an alert coin dealer. PAN's exhibit area is another show feature which only keeps getting better and better.

I was making the rounds of the show pedaling duplicates and other items to clean up my safe deposit box and raise some cash. The effort was successful, but tonight I pulled together another pile of recent acquisitions that need to go into that box. At least now I'll have a little more room.

It was great to see so many of my friends, and I regret not having had more time to talk. Among others I ran into were John Paul and Kathy Sarosi, Blaine and Ted Shiff, John Eshbach, Dick Duncan, Jerry Kochel, Ray Dillard, Don Carlucci, Sam Deep, Josh Wadsworth, Larry Dziubek, Richard and Eva Crosby, Dick Gaetano, Skip Culleiton, Corleen Chesonis, Bill Hunter and Paul Schultz. I missed former Asylum editor Tom Fort who had been there Saturday morning.

It was a whirlwind visit, but very satisfying. Thanks again to everyone. To learn what coins President Bush keeps behind the Resolute desk in The White House, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Numismatic Bibliomania Society


David Fanning writes Fanning Auction 01
David F. Fanning Numismatic Literature.s first auction sale closes this Tuesday, October 28, at 8 p.m. Bids are coming in, and a number of the highlights are attracting considerable attention. Bids may be placed by phone at (614) 754-1069 or by e-mail at . The catalogue remains available on our Web site at for anyone who needs it.

The limited hardcover edition has sold out, but copies of the regular edition remain available and will be sent for free to any bidder who didn.t receive one. Following the sale, they will be available with the PRL for $15 postpaid. Thanks to everyone who has submitted bids so far. looking forward to an exciting sale.

Fanning Numismatic Literature
David's first sale includes quite a number of rare and interesting items. Bidders who read the catalog carefully will be rewarded. The sale is a very impressive effort, and I'm not surprised the hardcover version of the catalog has already sold out. Good luck to all bidders in their pursuits. -Editor


Karl Moulton has issued his latest fixed price list of numismatic literature (Winter 2008). Thanks for Karl for forwarded in the following excerpts at my request. Karl's web page is . -Editor

John Pittman Sales 1-3

Among the most desirable catalogues of the latter part of the 20th century. Few complete sets have been offered over the years with a hardbound set realizing over $1,000 at auction. Many notable U.S. and world coins were presented between 1997 and 1999.

I knew I'd regret it at the time, but I declined to purchase the Pittman hardbounds because of the high issue price. I thought I'd have an opportunity to buy them in the aftermarket, but that didn't come to pass. So I'm making do with softbound versions. -Editor

Moulton 2008 Winter
12/16/1880 Charles A. Besson, 40pp., 1175 Lots,

These Haseltine sales, long ignored because of their lack of promotion in the descriptions, are a veritable wealth of information to the serious numismatic researcher. A prime example of this can be found in this sale, which contains an 1838-O Half Dollar. You will not find this offering of an 1838-O Half mentioned in anyone.s pedigrees in any references because no one has taken the time to check. According to Haseltine.s information, at this early juncture, there were six examples known.

The best compilation of 1838-O pedigrees is in David Ganz's new book, Profitable Coin Collecting (p177-178). There is a "Benson" specimen listed from an 1880 Bangs & Co. sale (it realized $23.50. Could this be the Beeson specimen? -Editor

PARAMOUNT 08/08/67 ANA, 68pp., 3139 Lots, Special Autographed Edition signed by James Kelly, the auctioneer, and Aubrey Bebee, the buyer of the 1913 Liberty Nickel At $46,000. A mint condition catalogue that was signed immediately after the sale

Autographed numismatic literature has a special charm of its own. Even a common catalog becomes unique when inscribed or signed by people associated with its production. -Editor


Krause Publications announced the newest edition of Eric Newman's classic work on early American paper money. -Editor
Newman Early Paper Money of America 5th ed The fifth edition of Eric P. Newman's Early Paper Money of America, is now available from the publisher, Krause Publications.

This long-awaited new edition pairs historical content with collector pricing. It includes coverage of paper money issues from Massachusetts Bay in 1696 and expanding south into Georgia.

In addition to extensive background details about development of paper money and information about Revolutionary War State issues, Continental Currency Issues, symbols and abbreviations, this new edition also includes notes from 17 individual states, appendices which address sheet structure, watermarks, emblematic legends, counterfeits and exchange values, and a color notes section.

This 495-page edition of Newman's tome features up-to-date pricing by Stuart Levine in the highest grades currently available.

Early Paper Money of America is KP catalog No. Z0101, and has a list price of $95. Receive free shipping when you order your copy by Nov. 20. Use Coupon Code BN1108 when you order online at or call 800-258-0929 to order.

To read the complete article, see: Newman Classic in 5th Edition (


While The E-Sylum is free to all, only paid members of the Numisamtic Bibliomania Society receive our print journal, The Asylum. Bibliophiles and numismatic researchers are missing out if they're not NBS members. As an example of some of the great content nonmembers are missing, here are short excerpts from two of the feature articles in the latest edition, courtesy of editor David Yoon. -Editor

Here are some excerpts from A Bibliographic Guide to American Content in the National Numismatic Collection by Leonard Augsburger. -Editor

The Asylum v26n3 The National Numismatic Collection (NNC, formerly the Mint Cabinet), housed in the Smithsonian, represents the ne plus ultra of American numismatic collections, yet the cataloguing and documentation surrounding the collection is sadly not commensurate with the breadth and quality of the collection itself. A researcher easily locates the online catalogues of the American Numismatic Society, but is more challenged when searching for similar resources applicable to the NNC.

It is ironic that while two of the earliest American numismatic works (DuBois.s Pledges of History and Snowden.s Description of Ancient and Modern Coins), are focused on the NNC, there is currently no single comprehensive source describing the American content of the collection. Still, a number of researchers have made contributions towards cataloguing the American content of the NNC, and these efforts are herein enumerated.

Located in the National Museum of American History, Behring Center, the National Numismatics Collection (NNC) includes approximately 1.6 million objects, including over 450,000 coins, medals, and decorations and 1.1 million pieces of paper money. It embraces the entire numismatic history of the world.

Just a few of the works cited are listed below. -Editor

William E. DuBois. Pledges of History: A Brief Account of the Collection of Coins Belonging to the Mint, More Especially the Antique Specimens. Philadelphia: C. Sherman, 1846.

O. C. Bosbyshell. An Index to the Coins and Medals of the Cabinet of the Mint of the United States at Philadelphia. Philadelphia: Avil Printing and Lithography Company, 1891.

Peter K Shireman. .Barber Halves at the Smithsonian.. Journal of the Barber Coin Collectors. Society 15 (no. 3): 13.16, 2004.

Next up are some selected passages from How to Succeed in Numismatic Publishing (by Really Trying) by Dennis Tucker.
I recognize that we belong to a rich tradition and a fraternity/ sorority with intellectual and artistic foundations. However, publishing is fundamentally a business endeavor. Books are written, and books are sold. If approaching an established commercial publisher with your well-written, flawlessly researched, and engaging manuscript, at some point you.ll have to convince someone . an acquisitions editor, a sales manager, a publishing director . that it will actually sell. Rarely will a publishing company be willing to simply break even, and more rarely still will it welcome a loss. There are salaries to be paid, paper costs money, and printing presses don.t run for free.

Here are some tips on how to convince a publisher that your manuscript will make a good addition to its sales list. (Note that I didn.t say, .. . . will make a good addition to the canon of numismatic literature.. Often the latter will encourage the former, but remember that the goal is to sell books. )

If I had a Buffalo nickel for every .great new book idea. been pitched, I.d be able to bankroll a small herd. Everyone has a pet topic: countermarked half cents; nineteenthcentury apothecary scrip of the Oswego River; trade dollar chopmarks that look like famous celebrities. (One of my pet topics: portrait medals of the German Kaiserreich.) A commercial publisher will want to know that the market will absorb more than a couple hundred copies.


David Lange, author of Coin Collecting Boards of the 1930s & 1940s: A Complete History, Catalog & Value Guide submitted these thoughts on self-publishing. -Editor
Lange, Coin Collecting Boards I'd like to comment about Dick Johnson's remarks concerning self-publishing. In general I agree with them, though he didn't note the possibility that an author having an obscure subject may not be able to find a publisher. Perhaps this is not the case for books about USA medals, but it certainly was for me when I attempted to have my coin board book published commercially.

It was turned down by the two most likely publishers of hobby books for the reason that they believed there would be insufficient interest to warrant marketing such a book. While they evidently know their business, I believe that such an approach is largely self-fulfilling. I've yet to find anyone who was disappointed with my book, and the only problem has been in getting enough people to learn of it in the first place. This is nearly impossible without an established marketing infrastructure.

As an example of what one is up against, I recently placed a color ad in Coin World which resulted in the sale of just three books. This is about a fifth the number to recover my cost for the ad, so it is not something I can do on a regular basis. Without the built-in marketing network of an established publisher, placing one's book with stores is not an option, aside from having a listing at

The only remaining course of action is to pound the pavement, which I've doing with my book at every coin show I attend. Even then, the biggest sellers of coin books won't touch it without discounts of 60% or more from the list price. That is simply not possible in my case, as I wanted to keep the list price within the range of most hobbyists. We've all seen beautiful books that went begging because only a handful of bibliophiles would pay $300 for such a masterpiece.

Dick observed, too, that self-published books often lack proper editing and graphic design. This is certainly one of my bugaboos, having seen good text ruined by amateurish efforts at desk-top publishing. I was absolutely determined that my book would look good and would seem like a professionally published work. Of course, the extra expense of hiring a talented designer is one of the things preventing me from offering the hefty discounts that retailers demand, but it did result in a work of which I'm quite proud.

I performed all of the scanning of photos, ads and actual coin boards myself, as well as finishing these images in PhotoShop, but it was Mary Jo Meade who assembled the materials per my guidelines and crafted a beautiful book that met all the criteria required by the printer.

As for editing, I do so much of this myself in my career that I was confident of not needing outside assistance. While a handful of minor typos have been found in the year since my book was published, none of these have been significant enough to affect the its utility. I do plan to put out a list of errata and addenda, as well as an updated value guide, later this year.

Kolbe 2008 Jan 06


Regarding Scott Semans' query about the best sites for locating out of print numismatic literature online, Douglas Saville writes:
Since I have been in business on my own, I have had innumerable people contact me after having .Googled. a book title and been directed to my own website where that particular book has been listed for sale - a great facility that my web designer incorporated into my website.

In addition, of course, anyone searching for a particular title might try emailing me direct ( - I have many more books in stock that are not listed on my website. I am talking specifically of numismatic books, of course. It just might be worth the effort!

Jim Duncan writes:
I can offer "" as an excellent source of new and second hand books, and there's a language option. BookFinder will search for books in Dutch, French, German, Italian and Spanish. If you see one you like you can run your cursor over the price shown and it gives book cost plus postage component, which is a cute add-on.

Emil Eusanio of the San Fernando Book Company writes:
I recommend trying and .


Last week R.V. Dewey shared with us an image of an 1856 $1 gold piece, which he believes could be an unlisted pattern. Our readers are quite skeptical.

Tom DeLorey writes:
Speaking as a former ANA authenticator, I see nothing in Mr. Dewey's photograph that would make me believe that the piece is anything other than a contemporary counterfeit meant to be passed at face value in commerce.

Saul Teichman writes:
Any analysis of the date would show that this piece is a rather crude copy.

Last week I also asked: "Take a close look at the upper-right-hand corner of the photo. Do you see anything unusual?"

1856 (GILT-BRASS) $1 Gold Pattern close-up

Bob Neale writes:
Another face, of course. Looks like a wolf's head, to me. This is weird stuff...

Phil Iverson writes:
Regarding the upper right hand corner of the 1856 gold dollar photo, it looks like a bear with his picnic basket!
Tom asked me what I saw in that corner of the picture, and I had to admit that I thought I saw a face, too. And looking at it again, I think I can see a second face, this one a fat man with a Fu Manchu mustache. I am not making this up, but maybe I've spent too many years staring into computer screens. -Editor

Tom DeLorey adds:
If you look at the Moon you can see "a face." That doesn't mean that there is one there.

Well put. The human brain is hardwired to recognize faces, and that could be what's going on here. But it is an eerie feeling to suddenly "see" a hidden face or other feature in an image.


Dick Johnson forwarded these interesting notes on the topic of artist signatures. -Editor
We have been reading about hidden signatures in The E-Sylum for the last couple weeks. I would like to comment about the opposite -- enhanced signatures. About the only area an artist often has any latitude in the design of a medal is his own signature.

Saint-Gaudens never used the same monogram twice in his medallic work. Not so with his large sculpture. But for his medals he would vary his ASG, sometimes including a T, sometimes not. It seems the more prominent an artist, the more they varied their signature. Several of The Society of Medalists medalists took the opportunity to enhance their monogram, probably because they had free reign not only in the design, but also in how they affixed their authorship.

In a study of over 500 monograms of 273 American medallists, here are some of the charming ways I found that these artists signed their works:

  • . In 1915 John Flanagan of 1932 quarter fame placed his JF inside the last O of the Latin legend on the obverse of the Panama-Pacific International Exposition Medal of 1915. It was copied without authority but the replicators omitted the monogram, so the existence of the JF is a diagnostic of authenticity.
  • . In 1957 Anthony de Francisci of Peace dollar fame added a boaster -- a sculptor's tool -- under his monogram on the United Parcel Service 50th Anniversary Medal. A bonus for UPS!
  • . In 1949 famed artist David Smith placed a delta-S on a rock on the reverse of the Art News Amateur Painters Medal as his signature. Was the delta significant? Did it have a hidden meaning?
  • . In 1933 Carl Paul Jennewein added a tiny outline of a self portrait next to his monogram above the date on the reverse of his Society of Medalists Issue Number 7.
  • . In 1937 Robert I. Aitken on his Society of Medalists Issue number 15, which was concordant -- the reverse was the back of the obverse device, a pair of lovers locked in an embrace, as if it was in-the-round -- spelled out his last name in mirror image on the reverse. It amplified the evidence of the concordant theme.
  • . In 1974 Spero Anaygros -- and I have mentioned this before in E-Sylum -- put a cattle brand on the haunch of a horse on the obverse of the Salinas California Centennial Medal, as an "S over A" brand. Now that is charming!
  • . In 1975 Marcel Jovine -- and this is my favorite -- on his United States / Russian Apollo Soyuz Medal put the legend in English on one side and in Russian on the other. His name appeared in English on one side and in Cyrillic letters on the other!
And that is charming!


Fred Reed forwarded this query. Hopefully, our readers will be able to assist. -Editor
Here.s a numismatic bibliographic problem that I hope your readers can help me solve. As you may recall, written extensively in the past about the history of Confederate currency collecting in Bank Note Reporter, and will return to that subject when the current series on counterfeiting of Legal Tender Notes winds down.

My colleagues and I are attempting to determine the relative rarities of early Confederate currency catalogs, namely Lee.s 1875 catalog, Haseltine.s 1876 catalog, Thian.s 1885 catalog, and Massamore.s 1889 catalog, by taking a census of extant copies.

The works of interest are:
  • Lee, William. The currency of the Confederate States of America, a description of the various notes. . . Washington: 1875.
  • Haseltine, John W. Descriptive catalogue of Confederate notes and bonds. Philadelphia: Bavis & Pennypacker, Steam Power Printers, 1876. (note: this publication is sometimes bound with Haseltine.s 1872 pamphlet on Continental currency)
  • Thian, Raphael P. The currency of the Confederate States, arranged by issues, denominations and series. Washington: 1885.
  • Massamore, George W. Descriptive and chronological catalogue of Confederate currency. Baltimore: Massamore, 1889.

If readers of The E-Sylum having copies of these publications would notify me at, I would be most thankful. I can keep correspondents. identities confidential, and Confederate currency collectors and numismatic bibliophiles will have better information available.

I'll be the first to report. Here's an image of my copy of the 1876 Haseltine pamphlet. I could swear I have a copy of the Massamore publication as well, but I couldn't locate it. -Editor

Haseltine catalogue of Confederate notes

While I was digging around for my Massamore (which may well be a Moon-face that exists only in my brain), I came across the following scarce items related to Confederate currency. Who else has examples of these? They are:

  • The Thian Confederate Note Album
  • A Lyman Low fixed price list of Paper Money of the Confederate States
  • Mercer's Price List of Confederate Notes, Etc.

Thian Confederate Note Album

Low Confederate FPL

Mercer Confederate FPL


Max Spiegel writes:
I don't think anyone has mentioned this in a past issue of the E-Sylum, but I wanted to point out that on a recent visit to Washington, D.C. I noticed several Indian Peace Medals on display at the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian in an exhibit Windows on Collections. I was particularly surprised to see a 1792 Washington Peace Medal by Richardson, which they believe was awarded on March 13, 1792 "at a conference in Philadelphia between a delegation of the Seneca, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, Tuscarora, and Stockbridge tribes and President Washington, the secretary of war, the governor of Pennsylvania, and others."

There are a few other medals but that was definitely the most impressive one. In the Our Peoples gallery, there are also several dozen coins (many on loan from the ANS) on display to illustrate European money during colonization. If anyone happens to be in D.C. and is disappointed that the American History Museum is closed for renovation and the Smithsonian Castle no longer has the Legendary coins exhibit, I would suggest that they check out the National Museum of the American Indian. (The museum also has a pretty interesting food court!)


Georges Depeyrot of Paris forwarded the following announcements about upcoming workshops he and Anders Vgren are organizing. -Editor
First I am pleased to inform you of the workshop in International Monetary History here in Paris in December 3 . 5, 2008. The workshop is joining the project on Revisiting Money As A Unified Unit Of Account From A Complementary Viewpoint and the project on Paper Money in Theory and Practice in History. It will take place at the Paris Mint (December 3) and the EHESS (December 4 . 5).

The workshop is hosted by Georges Depeyrot (CNRS and the EHESS) and the first part on Revisiting Money As A Unified Unit Of Account From A Complementary Viewpoint is organized by Professors Kuroda (Tokyo University) and Bruno Thiret (IRISES, CNRS Universiti Paris Dauphine). The second part concerns the project on Paper Money in Theory and Practice in History and is organized by Anders Vgren (EHFF/SSE and EconomiX/Universiti de Paris X) and Patrice Baubeau (IDHE/Universiti de Paris X). More info will be sent out within short.

Also, please find enclosed a call for papers for a three day conference on Paper Money in Theory and Practice in History. This conference will be organized by Anders Vgren, David F. Weiman (Department of Economics, Barnard College, Columbia University) and Carl Wennerlind (Department of History, Barnard College, Columbia University).

The conference will take place at Barnard College, Columbia University in New York City in April 17-19, 2009. The deadlines are December 15, 2008 for the abstract and March 30, 2009 for the full papers.

From the Call for Papers:
Monetary systems based on paper money are standard in most parts of the world today. Yet despite its prevalence, economic theory has not succeeded in providing an explanation for the emergence and continued acceptance of paper money.

While the existence of paper money, credit money, and fiat money systems have not been at the center of modern economic research, there is a long history of prominent thinkers who carefully theorized the emergence and dynamics of such monetary systems. In Europe, thinkers like John Law, Richard Cantillon, David Hume, and Henry Thornton developed elaborate theoretical frameworks, while in the American colonies, Benjamin Franklin famously explored the use of paper money. In addition to the western tradition of using and thinking about paper money, the Chinese economy was based on paper money for many centuries.

The fact that paper money existed in so many different economies and political systems, suggests that a comparative approach to the theory and practice of paper money might be advantageous.

By exploring the common features of various paper money systems, the aim of this conference is to provide a deeper understanding of the nature, function, and dynamics of fiduciary coins, paper money, credit money, and fiat money.

For more information on the conference or anything related to paper money, contact Anders Vgren ( ). For information on the Paris workshop, contact Georges Depeyrot ( ) -Editor


DAVID F. FANNING NUMISMATIC LITERATURE offers auctions and fixed price lists on our Web site at Our first mail-bid auction closes this Tuesday, October 28th. The sale includes a wide variety of material including the 1791-1792 Journal of the Senate including "An Act Establishing a Mint, and Regulating the Coins of the United States".


Harry Waterson writes:
Dora de Pedery-Hunt did a Churchill Memorial Plaque in 1967 that is truly outstanding. If you have J. Eric Engstrom's book, The Medallic Portraits of Sir Winston Churchill, her plaque is catalogued #75. You look at all the pieces catalogued - many fine portraits of Churchill - and de Pedery-Hunt's piece stands out because it is the only one where you don't see Churchill's face. You see him from the back sitting on a wall with the weight of the world on his shoulders. Remarkable.

I have searched for an image of this plaquette but haven't found one other than in the book. There were only 8 struck according to Engstrom, so it's a fairly rare piece.

Engstrom Medal #75 Churchill

I didn't have the Engstrom book in my library, but on a hunch I contacted Joe Levine, and soon an image of the plaquette appeared in my inbox. Thanks, Joe! It is an interesting and powerful piece. -Editor


George W. Bush Challenge Coin Obverse George W. Bush Challenge Coin Reverse

Regarding our earlier article on President George W. Bush's challenge coin, web site visitor Hugh Knaus of Fort Collins, CO writes:
I was presented the exact coin by President Bush in the Oval Office at the White House on Memorial Day, May 29, 2006 at the signing of HR 5037 Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act. The bill is to prohibit certain demonstrations at cemeteries under the control of the National Cemetery Administration and at Arlington National Cemetery

President Bush & Hugh Knaus My coin is now encased in an archival mounted picture frame that I had custom built and includes an autographed photo of President Bush, my wife, and I, and a 1-page card that says "With Compliments of the President". The frame is glass on both sides so that both sides of the coin can be seen. Have you received any information as to where it was minted? Do you have any other details about it?

I remember that behind the Resolute desk is where the President opened a cabinet drawer, inside was a red velvet lined wood case that must have contained about a hundred examples of the Bush challenge coin. I should also mention that everyone in the photo received a coin and that a couple people received two.

Searching Google for "President Bush challenge coin" I found this one for sale ($995.00):

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: PRESIDENT GEORGE W. BUSH'S CHALLENGE COIN (

Actually, no, I don't think we ever learned any more about the challenge coin, and I'm grateful to Hugh for the additional information and photos. Now I'm curious to learn how many of the coins were struck, and how many the President has handed out during his terms in office. Has anyone else ever seen one, or heard of one being offered for sale? Will the next occupant of the Oval Office have a coin struck? -Editor

President Bush signs H.R. 5037

To read the complete article, see: George W. Bush signs H.R. 5037, the Respect for America's Fallen Heroes Act (


CN Journal editor Dan Gosling (an E-Sylum regular) forwarded the following text segments at my request. They appeared in the October 2008 and earlier issues of the journal, the official publication of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association. They're from a reprint of a reprint of a reprint of an article well worth reprinting - R. W. McLachlan's Some Reflections Upon Being Fifty Years a Coin Collector.

Originally published in The Numismatist in 1911 and later in The CN Journal Vol. 6, No. 12 December 1961, Jan., Mar., 1962, the article is a wonderful account of the 19th century numismatic world. The full article is well worth seeking out. It's the kind of first-hand account I relish publishing in The E-Sylum.

About the year 1862 I met J. L. Bronsdon and soon came to regard him as the best of mentors. A true .missionary. numismatist, he gave my early collecting efforts (in the form of some 250 different coppers) his sympathetic attention. Far from seeking to take advantage of my newness, he tried to encourage, or even inspire, this recent aspirant to seek the best. Seeing that I had neglected the commoner coins to be found in Canada at that time, he told me to make a specialty of them. His own collection in that area, I might add, was the most complete then in existence. He went on to counsel obtaining perfect specimens of all our denominations and varieties in current use . most notably, of the Bouquet Sous . since, one day, a majority of these would be rare.

Bronsdon recommended the purchase of a coin cabinet, for he thought that no one could seriously concentrate on a series without some system of classification; in his opinion larger numbers of pieces, varieties included, might scarcely be classified without proper housing. Such wholesome advice, followed to the best of my ability, led me into the truest pleasures of numismatics. His friendship for me initiated that Canadian collection which has continued to grow ever since until now (October 1911) when, including coins, tokens and medals, it numbers well on towards five thousand pieces.

During those early years of the Civil War and Lincoln.s Presidency reciprocal trade went on between our two countries; as prices rose more and more below the border, Canada was bound to benefit from the attentions of United States buyers. This situation also brought in, not only vast quantities of their silver, but much gold as well . among the latter many pieces of territorial gold.

Some days I received three or four slugs, both round and octagonal, exchanged at not more than 548 each. Numerous U.S. 55, $10, and $20 goldpieces arrived, too, including Pike.s Peak Bechtlers, California Assay Office specimens and the like, but I never saw any- Mormon issues, though constantly on the watch for them.

American silver included a fair number of their pre-1837 dates, considered of superior intrinsic value to subsequent ones. These early United States coins did not come to us from their country of origin at that time. however, but were released by French Canadian habitants who had hoarded them, long before, soon after minting and their importation hither; hence, they usually turned up in Extremely Fine condition.

Along with other such items, I secured an unusually beautiful 1796 Half Dollar . but a Vermont collector begged so hard, a few years ago, that he got it from me.

Montreal exchange brokers of the day included a firm known as Weir & Larminie. Now Larminie happened to be in New York City at the time encased postage stamps first made their brief appearance as wartime exchange media. On an impulse, he ordered some bearing his concern.s name on the back; upon arrival at their business destination in Canada, these promptly entered a display window, there to accompany sample greenbacks and other miscellanea.

I well remember the day of their advent in that place, and immediately purchasing one as a curiosity. Throwing the acquisition into a box, I completely forgot about its existence and certainly never considered Weir & Larminie.s encased U.S. stamp to be a coin. When it later commenced selling at prices above two dollars, however, this jogged my memory and out the specimen came from its previous, less dignified hiding-place to repose among rarities.

You have here the Weir & Larminie token.s explanation and an answer to that frequent question, .How did an encased United States postage stamp ever come to he issued in Canada?. Neither issued nor circulated in the normal way, it can only he classified as a freak advertisement put out by two Montreal exchange brokers.

Editor Dan Gosling adds:
I am trying to get a handle on how to define the content that is in The CN Journal. How would you rate this article (beginner, intermediate, advanced, all of these)?

The concept of whom articles are suited for and how many should be in Association publications would make a great thread.

I think this could be enjoyed by all levels of collectors, but I would classify it as advanced, because to be best appreciated it requires a familiarity with many areas of numismatics as well as the history of the U.S., Canada, and the hobby over the course of the period. -Editor


George Fuld submitted these notes on the electronic publication of some of his recent research. -Editor
When I published an article on Waldo Newcomer in the October 2007 Numismatist, I had prepared a lengthy summary of the coins in the Newcomer cabinet. This was to be published in the ANA Journal which is no more. It was decided to publish this summary, some 30 pages in length, on the ANA web site. The November Numismatist announces how to bring up this article on ANA web site. Go to (Click on the magazine cover at the lower left, log on as a member, select "Online Numismatist" and access "A Summary of Rarities from the Newcomer Collection", under "Additional Reading."

You must be an ANA member to access the site. The original article had some 30 photographs of Newcomer coins--hopefully ANA will post some of these photos as an addenda to the typed-script article.

If any of our readers have questions about Newcomer material or specific questions as to where the coins are today, contact me at .


DAVID SKLOW - FINE NUMISMATIC BOOKS Sale #6 is now set for February 7th 2009. A core consignment of over 125 works on Ancient Greek & Roman Numismatics, also a wonderful consignment of memorabilia of B. Max Mehl. We are accepting consignments for all future sales. PH: (719) 302-5686, FAX: (719) 302-4933. Visit our web site


This Associated Press story reminds me of the specie panic during the U.S. Civil War. Coins disappeared, and people had to scramble to make change for ordinary transactions. Nearly a century and a half later a similar story is unfolding, this time in Argentina. -Editor
argentina coin panic A kiosk owner bribes a bank worker with cookies to break bills. Subway workers let commuters ride free because they can't change their cash. Bus companies resell the coins they collect at a steep black market markup.

Argentines are increasingly scrambling to get their hands on pocket change for everyday transactions, as soaring inflation makes the copper and aluminum that coins are made of worth more than their face value. Many suspect profit-seeking hoarders are scooping them up to stow away.

Argentine annual inflation officially hit 8.7 per cent in September, but independent economists say the government is lowballing that rate, which they claim is closer to 25 per cent.

One peso . worth about 31 cents U.S. . now buys so little that it makes more sense to melt down its metal than to save the 20 pesos it would take to buy an average box of chocolates, said economist Diego Giacomini, a consultant at Economia & Regiones in Buenos Aires.

An anonymous central bank hot line has meanwhile received 5,000 complaints about black market coin sales since it opened in February, according to the bank.

Each 50 cent coin contains about 5.3 grams of copper and 0.5 grams of aluminum, together worth about a sixth of the coin's monetary value. But inflation is rising so fast that in a few years, the coins will be worth less than the metal they are made of.

To read the complete article, see: In Argentina, inflation sparks scramble for coins (


Arthur Shippee forwarded this story of finds at an Anglo-Saxon burial site. He writes:
There's a brief mention of coins found there, but interestingly, the coins are from six centuries prior! Hmm!
Sherlock Stephen Exciting archeological finds dating back to the seventh century have been ruled to be treasure during five separate inquests at Teesside Coroners. Court.

Experts have described the finds as .unparallel in the North East. after historians discovered 109 graves near Loftus from around 650AD - one of which is thought to have contained the body of a princess.

Though the acidity in the soil means the remains no longer exist, dozens of high status items have stood the test of time including brooches, pendants, glass beads, pottery, and coins dating as far back as 43AD.

Interesting story, but the photo of the archaeologist creeps me out. -Editor

To read the complete article, see: Rare finds unearth Teesside link with royalty (


New Zealand medals returned Almost a year after the military medals stolen were snatched in a heist from the Waiouru Army Museum in December, they are about to take pride of place again.

Ninety-six medals, including nine Victoria Crosses, were recovered in February but have been kept under lock and key.

Now, there will be a handover ceremony to the museum curators in Waiouru on Tuesday.

The ceremony will involve all three services as well as police and run for about half a day from early morning.

The army says the focus of the ceremony will be the families of those who won the medals, taken in a daring smash and grab which prompted public outrage.

And amongst them is a descendant of a Kiwi hero whose medal was stolen on that fateful December morning.

"His name is Reginald Stanley Judson, he is my great, great grandfather and he got his Victoria Cross for bravery in France," says Tipene O'Brien, army recruit and Judson's great, great grandson.

"I am very proud. It's pretty good that we get the chance to take it back to the museum, bit silly that it got taken but it's awesome."

Security has been upgraded at the museum since the theft and the army says it is confident the medals will be well protected.

To read the complete article, see:



Newspapers in Canada are all over the story of Heritage's recent sale of a rare $500 Canadian banknote. The story goes that the owner had found it among some old books and papers and (rightly) suspected it was valuable. -Editor
A vintage Canadian $500 bill - described as a "classic rarity" and one of only three known to exist from a 1911 printing that featured a picture of Queen Mary, the wife of King George V - has been purchased at a Texas auction of antique currency for a stunning $322,000 U.S. by a Canadian-born businessman living in Dallas.

The bank note - its sale price hailed as an "all-time record for a piece of Canadian paper money" - was first found 20 years ago in an old book by an unnamed Canadian man, and was recently re-discovered among a pile of papers being readied for a shredder.

"Its existence represents a true miracle of survival," announced Heritage Auction Galleries, the Dallas-based collectibles giant that handled the sale.

The Queen Mary note is so rare it's absent even from the Bank of Canada's own currency collection in Ottawa, experts said.

Canada 1911 $500

"It's a remarkable story," said MacDonald. "Someone was sifting through paper on a desk and shredding documents. And just prior to shredding a handful of documents, this $500 note dropped out and was brought in for discussion to see if it had any value. It was a true discovery note - and importantly, it's in better condition than the other two that exist."

MacDonald said the chances of any $500 bill from 1911 or 1925 remaining in private hands through Great Depression and surviving intact until today were extremely slim.

To read the complete article, see: Rare Canadian $500 bill brings in $322,000 at auction (


The Pantagraph of Bloomington, Illinois published this article about a local burglary. The writer has a sense of humor and some knowledge of Catholic saints. But is it true? Wikipedia (OK, OK, I know) and other web sources list Saint Dismas the patron saint of thieves.

Rare silver coins, guns, jewelry and electronics . plus a rare gold Catholic medal . were stolen from a residence northwest of Carlock, McLean County sheriff.s police said.

The stolen medal depicted St. Nicholas, who in addition to being the inspiration for Santa Claus is the patron saint of repentant thieves.

To read the complete article, see: Patron saint of thieves depicted on medal stolen from area home (


This week's featured web page is recommended by Len Augsburger. He writes:
The US Mint has apparently been adding some content to their archives search. In particular I found some press releases from the 1970s containing information which would be hard to locate anywhere else.

From the web page:
The information presented in this section includes a portion of the larger United States Mint Historical Reference Collection. Over time, the information available in the Archives will offer a unique timeline of numismatic history, ranging from the late 18th Century to the present. Some examples of archival materials include legislation, press releases, annual report excerpts, and coin images.

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