The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 12, March 20, 2011, Article 17


Still No Word From Numismatic Museum of Athens
Bob Knepper writes:

A little more follow-up on my still-unsuccessful search for pictures of modern Greek pattern coins:

The same issue of The E-Sylum that reported my lack of success had some info about the Bank of Greece. I followed that trail to a lady who writes a blog about life in Athens. She advised me that the Numismatic Museum of Athens is still open but she added "some Greek institutions are terrible about replying to emails". She gave me another email address but it has not responded.

I also tried an email to a coin dealer in Athens but, again, with no response.

Believe I must drop the subject till I encounter someone who is or will be in Athens.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MARCH 13, 2011 (

The Nobel Museum
Regarding the chocolate Nobel medal, Howard Berlin writes:

You mention the Nobel Museum in Stockholm in last week's E-Sylum, Here are two pictures I took when I was at the museum in Stockholm in 2008.

Nobel museum Stockholm2

Nobel museum Stockholm1

More on Clinton's Vietnam Challenge Coin
Responding to Ken Berger's comment, Howard Daniel writes:

President Clinton Challenge coin Ken Berger is right about the man's shirt on President Clinton's Vietnam Visit commemorative medal. The man's shirt is not uniquely Filipino but it is sold all over Southeast Asia, and I own a couple myself. But the hats and the ladies dress are definitely not Vietnamese. I disagree with Ken that the people on the medal could be an acceptable composite of Southeast Asians. When visiting a particular country and commemorating your visit, you pick designs that represent it, and especially when it is a diplomatic event.

Before I became interested in Southeast Asian numismatics, I was propagandized by a man by the name of John Novak back in 1964. He was a collector and researcher of East Asian numismatics and he was very disappointed that more Americans were not collecting this part of the world. He needed someone to collect Viet Nam and he eventually convinced me I should be that person. At that time outside of East Asia, I was about the sixth person in the rest of the world to specialize in that country. His hope was that Americans who researched and wrote about East Asian numismatics could also teach Americans more about the region, and if they learned more, they would make less mistakes concerning it.

When I started my six years of service in Viet Nam in 1966, I was one of a VERY few who actually knew some of the history and culture of the country. Many operations were planned and executed like they were done in World War II and the Korean War. Most did not work. Other operations were conducted like those by the British in Malaya. They also did not work. Each country and people are unique and react to actions in different ways. T

he Vietnamese people are very proud of their culture, and dress is part of it. Not using the proper conical-shaped hat and clothes on a medal for a visit to their country is a big deal and they probably did not laugh in front of President Clinton and his accompanying officials, but they surely did behind their backs! But they were also likely very disappointed that enough research and thought was not put into the design.

San Francisco Numismatic Connections
Davie Lange writes:

Color photo San Francisco earthquake I'm glad you included the color photograph of San Francisco after the 1906 earthquake, but you were incorrect in stating that the recently discovered photos did not include anything of numismatic interest.

The triangular structure shown at the left of the photo is the Flood Building, which still stands today at the corner of Powell and Market Streets. It was named in honor silver baron James C. Flood, whose fortune was based on the Comstock Load silver which went into so many of the Gilded Age coins we now collect. From 1952 until the chain closed in this country, San Francisco's branch of the F. W. Woolworth Company was located on the ground floor and basement of this building.

It was in that store's coin and stamp department that I made some of my first numismatic purchases 40+ years ago. The coin and stamp sales took place in a large, square booth somewhat akin to that of a carnival game. It was located not far from the ubiquitous Woolworth lunch counter, and to this day I still equate the smell of greasy burgers with the childhood thrill of coin buying.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: HERBERT IVES AND THE AMERICAN NUMISMATIC SOCIETY (

How Lobbyists Protect the Paper Dollar
On the GAO study mentioned last week, David Lange writes:

Dollar Coin Regarding the latest "discovery" of the dollar coin's superiority to the dollar bill, I suspect that this will just result in yet another expensive government feasibility study the results of which will once again be disregarded by Congress and the Treasury.

Lobbying by the supplier of bank note paper and the desire to protect federal jobs will, as always, shoot this idea down. These interests always publish surveys whose questions are slanted to result in positive public support for the paper dollar over a dollar coin.

It's unfortunate that no one in a position to change matters is willing to acknowledge the obsolescence of both the cent and the paper dollar. As Dick Johnson has remarked several times, our coinage system needs a comprehensive overhaul, but even small steps toward improvement seem impossible in the face of vested interests.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: GAO RECOMMENDS REPLACING DOLLAR NOTE WITH COINS (


Pay $0.00 shipping on your entire purchase when you preorder your 2012 edition (65th-Anniversary) Red Book. Four formats are available: spiralbound ($14.95), hardcover ($16.95), spiralbound hardcover ($19.95), and Large Print ($29.95). Offer good until April 5, 2011. Order at , or call 1-800-546-2995.

Wayne Homren, Editor

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