The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 14, Number 38, September 11, 2011, Article 19


The '5 Dec' Notation on the Type II Quint
Regarding the engraved notation on the Type II Nova Constellatio pattern Quint, Joe Boling writes:

Tom Delorey reports "5 Dec" and you report "Dec 5." The former is a lot more likely to mean "5 decimes" than the latter.

My comment was written in haste from memory, so I'll trust that Tom's "5 Dec" reading is correct, and we'll fix the web archive. Didn't anyone else spot this notation? The "5 decimes" interpretation is intriguing. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see: MORE ON THE TYPE II QUINT (

Colonial African Coins Reference Sought
J Briscoe writes:

I'm searching for a good reference book on German East African coins (or Colonial African coins). I've done some searching online and I've come up empty handed. If anyone has any recommendations, it would be greatly appreciated.

New Zealand Mint at the 2011 ANA Convention
New Zealand Star Wars coins Regarding the Star Wars characters at the New Zealand Mint booth at the 2011 Chicago ANA show, Dick Doty writes:

Actually, I thought the guys in the Star Wars costumes were just ordinary members of the EAC.

Joe Boling adds:

I was surprised to learn a couple of conventions ago that this mint has no connection with the New Zealand government. It is a private mint that happens to have contracts to produce legal tender coinage for some Pacific region nations, but is not a government entity. I don't understand why the government of NZ allows its name to be used in this commercial manner.

A Half Dollar With A Secret Compartment
Web site visitor Robert V. Gonzalez writes:

I have a Liberty 1942 half dollar that my father gave me. He found it 50 years ago on the street in NYC. When he pick it up the coin opened and it had a Queen Isabella of Spain copper cover inside, and looks like it was a secret compartment. Do you know anything about this coin, where it came from, what it was used for and what it could be worth?

Compartmented 1945 Liberty Half dollar Compartmented 1945 Liberty Half dollar back

Robert provided these images. At first I thought this might be a magician's coin, but it does look like something that was hollowed out for some other reason. That looks like Queen Elizabeth to me, but I'm not sure if that's a coin. Ideas, readers? Thanks. -Editor

On Treasure Trove Laws

Alan Luedeking sent this link to an article in The Economist about Britain's Tresure Trove laws and how they encourage the private sector to seek and report archeological finds, supplementing the efforts of professionals. -Editor

Finding treasure is rarely as romantic or swashbucklingly exciting as Robert Louis Stevenson would have it. But that does not deter amateur prospectors in Britain. Detectorists, often affiliated with local clubs, are known to comb the sceptred isle in search of buried booty, assisted by beeping gadgets. In recent weeks, they have helped to uncover significant hoards of Roman coins in Wales and Devon, which are expected to yield valuable insights into the society of our erstwhile be-togaed conquistadors.

Encouraging and exploiting these chance discoveries requires good policy. With spending cuts set to trim the budgets of state-funded archaeological expeditions, it seems sensible to allow enthusiasts to bolster the work of professionals. But amateurs must be convinced to report their finds, and sometimes to relinquish them to the state.

Britain has tried to strike a balance between respecting detectoristsí enterprising spirit and protecting the nationís cultural patrimony. Scouring the ground for antiquities is perfectly legal here, provided you have the permission of the landowner. If you find prehistoric metal artefacts or anything gold or silver over 300 years old, the delightfully-titled Treasure Act requires you to report itóbut you will be rewarded with a tidy payment of the full market value of the stash, in the event that the state decides to buy it.

To read the complete article, see: X marks the spot (

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address:

To subscribe go to:



Copyright © 1998 - 2020 The Numismatic Bibliomania Society (NBS)
All Rights Reserved.

NBS Home Page
Contact the NBS webmaster