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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit association devoted to the study and enjoyment of numismatic literature. For more information please see our web site at


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Charles Heck, Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
P. O. Box 2058,
Bluffton, SC


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Sale Calendar

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.


Wayne Homren 2017-03-15 full New subscribers this week include: Kevin Dailey. Welcome aboard! We now have 6,639 subscribers.

Thank you for reading The E-Sylum. If you enjoy it, please send me the email addresses of friends you think may enjoy it as well and I'll send them a subscription. Contact me at anytime regarding your subscription, or questions, comments or suggestions about our content.

This week we open with a new issue of our print journal The Asylum, three new books, one review, one obituary, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and more.

Other topics this week include commemorative $5 gold, Phillipine numismatics, the largest silver coin in the world, edge lettering, Coin University, auction highlights, Anglo-Saxon gold shillings, an 1883 proof set, the Farouk 1933 double eagle, pogs, and banknote engraver Willian Rollinson.

To learn more about Minting, Printing & Counterfeiting in the U.S. Civil War, Carson City coinage, the Mionnet scale, trisegmented collars, coins from the SS Central America, the Springfield Antiquarians Medal, modern "pieces of eight" and the "trucker's friend", er, tinkling cone" money, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum


The 2021 Summer issue of The Asylum is on the way from our sponsor, the Numismatic Bibliomania Society. Maria Fanning edits our print journal, and she submitted these society updates from the latest issue. Thanks! -Editor

The Asylum Summer 2021 Issue

The Summer 2021 issue of The Asylum will be arriving in your inbox and mail box soon.

Asylumv39n2cover In this issue:

  • NBS 2021–2023 NBS Board of Trustees Slate of Candidates Bios and Ballots
  • The Asylum Awards Ballots
  • NBS Benefit Auction Donations
  • Bibliomaniac? Nah. Well, Maybe By George F. Kolbe
  • Update from the Man Cave: Santa Leaves Delightful Numismatic Gimcracks By Joel J. Orosz
  • Two Versions of the Levick Plate of 1793 Cents By Jim Neiswinter
  • Meet Me in St. Louie By Cole Hendrickson
  • Writing in Coin Books… Recommended Especially to Young Collectors By David Pickup
  • The Largest Coin Dealer in the U.S. By Pete Smith

Message from the NBS President, Tom Harrison

Tom Harrison As we plan for this summer's ANA World's Fair of Money in Rosemont, we remain optimistic the convention will be held. The NBS will be conducting our annual charity auction in conjunction with the ANA Convention. David Fanning has graciously agreed to accept and catalog items for the auction. The auction will be held at the NBS General Meeting, or by mail bid if the convention is cancelled. Again this year we truly appreciate the members' continued support of this all important event. While we are grateful for all donations, we especially need items valued over $100. Please contact David at before sending your donations. Donations can be sent to: David Fanning, 141 W. Johnstown Road, Gahanna, Ohio 43230 and should be received by June 30. Please watch for convention updates in The E-Sylum as plans are confirmed.

This being an election year I would like to recognize the many dedicated members who continue to step up in leadership roles and serve the NBS. The efforts of your officers, treasurer, NBS editor, E-Sylum editor, website host, webmaster and others work diligently to ensure the NBS runs smoothly year after year. The NBS has a 40 year track record of devoted members who carry the torch and keep the numismatic literature flame alive. On behalf of the NBS membership, I want to share a sincere word of gratitude to both the past and present friends of the NBS for your commitment that has enriched our collecting experience.

May your numismatic library provide investigation, discovery and, most of all, enjoyment.

NBS Board of Trustees Election 2021-2023
2021 is an election year for the Numismatic Bibliomania Society's Board of Trustees. Current NBS members can vote online at for the NBS members who have volunteered to serve for the 2021–2023 term. Ballots will be included in the Summer 2021 print and digital editions of The Asylum. Please vote or return ballots by June 30, 2021.

NBS Membership Renewal
Please renew your membership in the NBS to continue receiving The Asylum and to vote in the election. Go to to pay by PayPal or download a membership form today.


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Becky Rush "Talisman" and Rick Lank "The Coiner" of Hagerstown Maryland have published the second book in their planned series on the numismatics of the U.S. Civil War. Here's the announcement. Thanks! -Editor

Ex Uno Plures

How Money, Mayhem & Might went from being a Single Title to becoming a Saga

Minting Printing Counterfeiting book cover Before the Pandemic and the Lockdowns of 2020, the duo of Talisman & Coiner were working on what at the time was a single title: Money, Mayhem & Might and the theme of this volume was How the Civil War changed our Money (and how Money changed the War). The Pandemic – by suspending a lot of trade shows and group activities nation-wide – forced the T&C team to drill down further into several topics – especially No Small Change (a double-entendre dealing with the coin shortages of the Civil War AND the shortages of 2020 – and the fact that the changes that the Civil War wrought were disruptive and long-lasting, which will be the central theme of the third book).

Many of the changes were meant to be war time measures, intended (though not mandated) to be rescinded after the Civil War was over. That included paper money (fiat currency) and even the IRS. Obviously, many of these war-time measures became a permanent part of the US economy.

The research that Talisman & Coiner delved into was deeper than originally planned, in part because of the lockdowns. One original chapter alone – about the fall of Richmond, Virginia, the flight of wealth and the leadership of the South and the end of the line for the Confederate Treasure Train – became its own full-length book (at nearly 200 pages). It is a combination of political intrigue, the allure of immense wealth hastily piled into fleeing trains during the fall of the Queen City of the South on April 2nd of 1865 and the collapse of the Confederacy as the money (and the Rebel leaders of the day) trundled into the Deep South. There is an examination and identification of the types of coin and currency that were in circulation in the era (mostly gold and silver, with an intriguing reference to copper coins, all put on board waiting trains on the Danville and Richmond line).

Talisman & Coiner's concerted effort to determine Where did all the Southern Dough Go? is also partly a kind of travelogue – following the route and the places that the fleeing trains and wagon trains stopped, fled and doubled- back around to from April 2nd until early May when they were finally captured by the Federals.

Book Number Two: Minting, Printing & Counterfeiting released

Then the second book, released in May of 2021, focused on the trifecta of making money in the Civil War eraMinting, Printing & Counterfeiting. Here the main theme is on how the Civil War profoundly changed the production of currency in both the North and the South, as paper money – untethered to either gold or silver – became the mainstay of paying for the massive expenditures of war. Many other diverse topics are covered, including:

  • The Legal Tender Act of 1862: Conjuring Money out of Nothing
  • The Birth of Federal Paper Currency: the Greenback is Born
  • The Case of the Green Tint Ink: Battling the Scourge of Counterfeiting
  • Women hired by both US and CSA Treasury Departments (and the Lasting Legacy of Francis Spinner of New York)
  • Three US Mints taken Hostage in the South: 2 become Casualties of War
  • Three Mints OKed in the Far West – including in The Dalles, Oregon
  • Counterfeit Coins and the finds of metal detectorist Brad Martin of Vermont

Again, the Talisman & Coiner approach to this second book (in the Saga) is consistent with the first book about the Flight of the Confederate Treasure Train – it is illustrated liberally in full color. Both books are spiral-bound, making them very easy to share with friends and family. They are both 8 1/2 x 11 inches, making them easy to read and the many illustrations make them an adventure for those who are casually interested in coins, money and the US Civil War.

A third book is in the works – its working title is No Small Change.

For more information, or to order, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Stacks-Bowers E-Sylum ad 2021-05-16 June sale


A new book has been published on the U.S. modern commemorative five dollar gold coins. Here's the announcement. -Editor

US Modern Commemorative Five-Dollar Gold Coins book cover A new book titled United States Modern Commemorative Five-Dollar Gold Coins has recently been authored by Kevin Dailey. Published by RoseDog Books the reference book details all five-dollar gold coins minted since 1986. Colored photography along with dozens of other illustrations adorn the book. A chapter is also devoted to Ten Dollar Gold Commemoratives.

Each chapter is devoted to one gold coin and describes the design, theme, mintage data, auction records, and history. Material and statistical information is provided in such quantity readers are enabled to make better choices when considering the purchasing of gold commemoratives. The 365 page softcover book has a retail price of $49. An ebook version is also available. The book can be ordered by calling 800 788 7654 and speaking with Alessandra Biondo.

Here's some additional information from Amazon. -Editor

First steps are often the hardest, but with first steps we begin our journeys of discovery and destiny. United States Modern Commemorative Five-Dollar Gold Coins is a first-step book. It is the first, and to date, only book detailing modern gold commemoratives. Unlike some other coin programs offered by the United States Mint, these coins will be collected by future numismatists because they maintain a tradition of collecting that began in the nineteenth century and endures to this day. Gold commemoratives are like compelling snap shots of this nation's history. Each piece is unique with an enduring story to tell, enduring as the metal they are made of. They tell us stories of not only our past but who we are today. Filled with facts and figures, this book will help you decide which path you want to take when collecting these coins and establishing fair market prices so you are never left with the unpleasant sense of feeling like you overspent for a coin. Beyond the how best to buy is the "why" to buy. Yes, this book will make you a smarter buyer. but it will also make you a smarter numismatist and a more satisfied collector.

About the Author

Kevin Dailey is a retired high school agri-science teacher. His non-curricular teaching responsibilities included coaching successful wrestling, golf, and chess teams. The chess team, under his direction, completed many seasons undefeated and won numerous tournaments, including two class 4A (large school) Illinois state championship titles. He received the Illinois Chess Coach of the Year award in 2011. He is a tree-hugging part-time professional arborist that still gives advice and climbs trees for monetary gain but mostly for the fun of it. He also enjoys working with wood, mostly making projects from the wood of trees he has trimmed or removed. His sole professional numismatic resume consisted of eight years of meaningful employment at Harlan J Berk, U.S. Coin and Bullion.

His avocational numismatic involvements include life memberships in the following coin hobby organizations: The Will County Coin Club, The Chicago Coin Club, The Illinois Numismatic Association, The Central States Numismatic Society, and the American Numismatic Association. He has held various offices at the local and state levels. He enjoys exhibiting his coins at small shows and national conventions. He is a certified ANA exhibit judge. But like so many people that love the lore of coins, he began collecting as a youth. For him, the day he became a collector was when a dear aunt from Montana placed in his hand a worn 1885 silver dollar. For Dailey, it is more than a cherished coin; it represents the first step of the wondrous, lifelong journey that is numismatics.

For more information, or to order, see:
United States Modern Commemorative Five Dollar Gold Coins (

HLRC E-Sylum ad Generic Centerpieces


We recently discussed books on the Manilla Mint. Here's a new title on the larger story of Philippine numismatics. -Editor

Yaman_cover_closeup The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has unveiled its latest publication on cultural heritage titled, Yaman: History and Heritage in Philippine Money.

The coffee table book highlights the numismatic collection of the BSP and feature stories from piloncitos—considered the earliest form of coinage in the Philippines—all the way to the present-day New Generation Currency.

Isinasapuso ng Yaman ang kasabihang ‘ang hindi lumingon sa pinanggalingan, hindi makakarating sa paroroonan.' As we move more and more toward a cash-lite society, the banknotes and coins that we feature in Yaman will remain curators of our history and custodians of our national identity, said BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno.

Distinguished historian Ambeth Ocampo authored the book in collaboration with renowned photographer Wig Tysmans who captured the curated pieces that highlight the country's rich numismatic heritage.

Consistent with BSP's advocacy to promote cultural awareness and bring it closer to the people, complimentary copies will be given to libraries all over the country. The 400-page hardbound book is sold at P6,500.

For details, visit or e-mail

Book cover with slipcase

For more information, or to order, see:
BSP Releases Yaman Numismatic Book (

Here's some more information on the book's production from the design firm's site. -Editor

yaman-book Macuquinas

YAMAN (History and Heritage in Philippine Money) is a regaling tale of Philippine history as told by the evolution of Philippine money. A numismatic scholar-writer divided the book content into several eras and developed the story thus: barter, gold, silver, paper and paper-less currency. Box stories included the Boxer Codex, the first known 18th century colored illustrations of gold adornments worn by Filipino royalty before the arrival of the Spaniards, and a visit to the BSP Security Plant where coinage is minted and bank notes monetized, minted and printed.

It was, however, the dynamic duo of design and photography that led the story telling. The former allowed the latter's dramatic photography of coins on rough surfaces (stone, slate, leather, sand, among others) to highlight the beauty of the engraving on the obverse and reverse sides. Two-page spreads with unusual photographic treatment were strategically positioned within the 400-page tome as a breather to break the scholarly dissertation. Close-ups gave serious numismatics the opportunity and delight to identify individual characteristics, security marks and intricate designs on coins and bank notes.

Cover of the book features a pair of rough hands belonging to a blue-collar worker gently cupping different rare coins from different periods. The message conveyed is that no matter what one's economic station in life is, due respect must be given to these legal tender at all times, as they are bearers of vignettes of the Philippines' quest for freedom, and represent our nation's identity.

Overall design treatment was for the book to be a visual feast that combines the glint of gold, silver and copper with the quiet elegance of paper on which are printed portraits of heroes and important Filipinos, historic scenes, beautiful scenery, tribal weaves, endemic flora and fauna, and even symbols from an ancient Filipino alphabet that spells the word "Filipino."

BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno was highly impressed that a major publication such as YAMAN (History and Heritage in Philippine Money) was completed in record time (8 months) and during a challenging time in the country. From start to completion, the book team worked from home, weathered the difficulties caused by the lock-downs, and met regularly via Zoom, a digital platform for virtual meetings in real time via computers or mobile phones. The team also gamely abided by the BSP precautionary protocol of submitting to swab tests every 10 days for photo shoots in the Money Museum and the BSP Security Plant.

When Yaman was posted on social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter) to announce its availability, the BSP Money Museum was beset with a deluge of orders from institutions and schools, numismatists, book collectors and lovers of history.

YAMAN (History and Heritage in Philippine Money) was launched in May 2021 in an event hosted by the BSP governor. Because of the pandemic, it was a blended affair with top officers of the BSP in attendance at the actual venue; all other guests witnessed the launch program virtually via live streaming.

A reprint is already being discussed in anticipation of the clamor for the book, and a new book on the BSP painting collection is in the offing.

To read the complete article, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:


Over on CoinWeek Charles Morgan published a review of Rusty Goe's new work on Carson City coinage. Here's an excerpt - be sure to see the complete article online. -Editor

Review Confident Carson City Coin Collector

The Confident Carson City Coin Collector is the most significant numismatic magnum opus published on the topic of American coinage since the 1987 publication of Walter Breen's Complete Encyclopedia of U.S and Colonial Coins. It is a detail-rich, engrossing, epic work that presents history, commentary, and market data at such a high level that it will not only prove to be the definitive reference on the topic of collecting Carson City coins but also provides a successful formula that should be employed by other writers seeking to flesh out the story of American coinage at the other branch mints.

The Confident Carson City Coin Collector draws upon a trove of primary documents to tell the story of a mint so directly tied to the Old West that the GSA advertised the sale of its hoard of CC-Mint Morgan dollars as the coins that Jesse James didn't steal. It also provides collectors with a road map of how to collect the series confidently. In constructing the books, author Rusty Goe explains that he was trying to accomplish five things: 1) to present each year of the Carson City Mint's coinmaking era chronologically; 2) to incorporate as many primary sources as possible; 3) to attempt to answer questions concerning the Carson City Mint and its coins that are of the most interest; 4) to focus on what makes the Carson City Mint and its coins so engrossing, and 5) to open doors for further study of the Carson City Mint and its coins.

It's not as if others couldn't have tried to execute this formula, but it becomes quickly apparent upon reading that nobody outside of Goe speaks of the Carson City Mint and its coinage as fluently and has such a great eye for the market insights that collectors need before actually purchasing the coins themselves.

This is especially important since the Carson City Mint is one of the most commercially traded mints in the American coin market. In the book's introduction, Goe describes a collector who walked into his coin shop with choice uncirculated Carson City Morgan dollars struck from 1882 to 1884, all in certified holders, that he purchased after seeing an ad in a magazine. Asking whether he got a good deal on the coins, Goe informed the collector that he had not and advised the collector to return them as the company's return window had not yet expired. Goe, sensing that the collector had a real interest in learning about and collecting Carson City coins, began to work with him and before long the collector's interest blossomed.

This anecdote can be writ large across a multitude of series specialties and speaks to the special relationship collectors should foster with the right dealers.

To read the complete article, see:
First Read: The Confident Carson City Coin Collector, Volumes 1-3 (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:


Dale Seppa submitted this obituary of author Michael Anderson. Thank you. -Editor

Michael John Anderson, Dec 1, 1938 - Apr 9, 2021

Michael Anderson Michael was interested in coins from a very early age and studied them intensively for virtually his entire life. He was a member of many numismatic organizations and was also a life member of the Essex Numismatic Society. During his lifetime he served on the Council of the British Numismatic Society, as Secretary and President of the London Numismatic Club and as Treasurer of the British Association of Numismatic Societies.

He contributed dozens of articles to the numismatic press; from "The Coins of the Grand Princes of Kiev" in Seaby's Coin and Medal Bulletin in 1963 to his article "Aristobulos of Chalcis and Salome" in Coins & Antiquities in 1999 the final year that periodical was published. After that his writing was curtailed due to failing vision and other health problems but he still managed to finish one major work and several articles in Caesaromagus.

His final article The Mint at Corbridge was not published prior to his death but I believe it will appear posthumously in Caesaromagus the official publication of the Essex Numismatic Society. He had also continued to work on the update of the Standard Catalog of Ecuadorian Coins until his death. Due to his death a new edition may not be published.

Michael was a meticulous researcher of historical and numismatic subjects. He held a Bachelor's degree in Languages, specializing in Russian, Spanish, German and French and also held a Master's degree from Cambridge. Those studies naturally pointed him to a career where his multi-lingual abilities would be of use.

He joined the Foreign and Colonial Office in 1958 and served as British Vice-Consul in Ecuador from 1965 to 1968, whence his interest in the coinage of Ecuador. His principal work, A Numismatic History of Ecuador, was a detailed, scholarly masterpiece with 394 pages that included dozens of official Ecuadorian documents translated into English. Previously he had co-authored the second edition of "The Coins of Ecuador";, published by Almanzar's Coins of the World in 1973. His own extensive collection of Ecuadorian coins, sold by Glendenning's in February of 1977 is generally recognized as one of the more important reference works for the serious collector of Ecuadorian coins.

As mentioned above his first major posting at the FCO was to Quito as the British Vice-Consul which was followed by similar postings to Beirut and Athens. Subsequently he was posted as the British Consul to the Philippines and later to Spain and also served as Relieving Consul in Zimbabwe, Venezuela and France at various times. Throughout his decades of service he also spent time in various positions at the FCO in London.

His step siblings, Keith and Shirley, knew Michael all their lives as the families were neighbors and close friends. After the sibling's father died followed by the death of Michael's mother, the surviving parents eventually married. Michael enjoyed having a new combined family.

He visited his step brother Keith in Australia on several occasions and his travels took him to various countries visiting relatives and friends where he was much welcomed and respected. In Australia Michael accompanied Keith and other family to various places including New South Wales and the Great Dividing Range, Queensland and the Great Barrier Reef. He also revisited Ecuador on several occasions including at least one trip to the Galapagos Islands where he took great pleasure in visiting with Margret Wittmer the author of Floreana: A Woman's Pilgrimage to the Galapagos.

After his foreign service Michael lived in Westminster for many years and enjoyed the advantages of living in London. After his retirement, when his health became a problem, he moved from his flat in Westminster to The Hawthorns Residential Home in Eastbourne, East Sussex. Due to various infirmities his ability to travel was greatly reduced but he continued to meet family and friends in Eastbourne as well as in London when his health permitted.

He lived at The Hawthorns for several years until he died, keeping busy with various societies, including the Anglo-Ecuadorian Society, as well as several Numismatic and Philatelic Societies.

Michael is sorely missed by his many friends and correspondents as well as by the residents and management of The Hawthorns in Eastbourne.

Archives International Sale 67 cover front


The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is a letter to the U.S. Mint inquiring about a proof 1887 three dollar gold piece. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

Collector Seeks 1887 $3 Proof Gold

1887 Proof Three Dollar gold closeup Set completion is a timeless urge among collectors, as demonstrated by an 1888 letter to the U.S. Mint, recently digitized and transcribed by Newman Portal. The 1888 inquiry to Daniel Fox, Superintendent of the Philadelphia Mint, asks if the 1887 $3 proof gold piece is available, the collection being one short for '87. The 1887 $3 proof is one of the more curious pieces in the U.S. proof gold series. John Dannreuther's recently published work on U.S. proof gold describes no less than four variants, all struck from the same dies: (1) normal die alignment, (2) medal alignment, (3) normal die alignment struck over medal alignment, and (4) dies rotated with 160 degrees clockwise rotation. An example of (3), vividly depicting the overstrike, is illustrated here courtesy of Heritage Auctions.

wants1887threedolproof18881211_0000 (2)

Image: Letter to Daniel Fox, December 11, 1888, asking about 1887 $3 proof gold.

Image: 1887 $3 NGC PR65 Cameo, ex. Heritage Auctions 1/2015, lot 4268, realized $29,375.

Link to request for 1887 $3 proof gold piece:


These are selections from the David Lisot Video Library that feature news and personalities from the world of coin collecting. David has been attending coin conventions since 1972 and began videotaping in 1985. The Newman Numismatic Portal now lists all David's videos on their website at:

Here's one on a massive silver coin in the denomination of 1 million Francs. -Editor

Largest Silver Coin in the World Features African Elephant
World Money Fair Berlin February 2016.

Largest Silver Coin This coin contains 1,750 ounces of silver valued at 1,000,000 francs issued by the Ivory Coast in Africa. Hear the fascinating story of this coin's creation from the man responsible for its creation.

Speaker: Dr. Rolf Müller-Syring, Geiger Edelmetalle GmbH, Germany.
Running time: 5:15.

An excerpt of the video is available for viewing on NNP at:


Regarding Roger Burdette's question about "M. Mionet, Curator of the French National Museum", David Powell writes:

"The name is usually spelt Mionnet, with the middle consonant doubled. There are one or two brief biographical references to him online, e.g. the following, but they do not seem to contain much more than a few sentences"

David adds:

"These days Mionnet is best known for his scale {see }, used for describing coin diameters before the use of millimetres for the purpose became the norm. It is widely used in 19th and early 20th cent listing, with Mionnet.nn {nn in range 1-20} used to describe the size of each piece. "

Hadrien Rambach writes:

"The French Wikipedia entry is actually rather detailed."

Here's a Google-translated excerpt from the entry. -Editor

He is the son of Jean Antoine Edme, ordinary court usher of the king and his wife, Marie Elizabeth Théodore, domiciled in the former rue de la Mortellerie, in the Saint-Gervais district (Paris). He was baptized in the parish of Saint-Jean-en-Grève Church on September 2, 1770. He studied law at the College of Cardinal Lemoine then worked for a while as a lawyer, before stopping for health reasons. He then became deputy curator of the cabinet of antiques of the king's library, which has become the current Department of Coins, Medals and Antiques of the National Library of France. He brought together a collection of Greek and Roman coins, of which he established the catalog. His best-known works are the Description of ancient Greek and Roman medals with their degree of rarity and their estimate (1806-13, 7 vols.) And On the rarity and price of Roman medals (1815, reed. 1847). Traveling in Italy, he made many valuable numismatic discoveries which earned him being elected in 1830 to the Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Letters. He is domiciled at 14 rue des Francs-Bourgeois, in Paris.

He was made a Knight of the Legion of Honor on October 19, 1814, during the reign of King Louis XVIII. The appointment decree was signed by François Guizot, then Secretary General at the Ministry of the Interior, under Father de Montesquiou.

He is the designer of the Mionnet scale, which has 19 circles and makes it possible to precisely indicate the diameter or modulus of a part.

He is buried in the Père-Lachaise cemetery (41st division).

Andy Singer and George Kolbe also responded. Thanks, everyone! Below is an image of the Mionnet scale from the January 1877 issue of the American Journal of Numismatics, -Editor

Mionnet scale

Roger Burdette writes:

"Thanks to all for their help. That 'extra' N adds a lot!"

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MAY 16, 2021 : Query: M. Mionet, Curator of the French National Museum (


More on BEP Note Frames
Treasury Secretary Office Currency Displays

Regarding the framed Bureau of Engraving note collections seen in the office of the Treasury Secretary and the ANA headquarters, Richard Miranda writes:

"Here is a video showing that particular item @ 5:53 on the video. They have another very beautiful and impressive gold framed currency display @ 5:46 in the video and close up of both @ around 6:46 in the video."

To watch the video, see:
American Artifacts: History of Treasury Sec. Tim Geithner's Office - Curator Richard Cote (

Richard adds:

"Another nice video of the restoration of the Treasury Bldg."

To watch the video, see:
American Artifacts: Treasury Building Restoration - Curator Richard Cote (

American Numismatic Association Curator Douglas Mudd writes:

"You asked about the BEP note frames - Yes, the ANA still has two of them hanging in our Conference room! The Smithsonian's National Numismatic Collection has a set of them as well - two were hanging in the library atrium for many years. The BEP should be able to say how many there are on long-term loan to various organizations. The set in the ANA has been there since the just after the building opened in the 1960s."

Thanks, everyone! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Crow Tribe Currency
Julia Casey writes:

"I was reading posts on and came across this one. The E-Sylum article was referenced to help to identify this coin/token dug in western Montana. Looking around I have not seen any other images of the actual coins. I thought that E-Sylum readers may find this interesting and perhaps someone out there knows more about the mintage of these pieces. I tried to make the images better -- but I don't think they can be much helped---"

Crowcurrency Crowcurrency2

Thanks for trying! It's nicer to know our earlier articles and being found and used by the public. That's why each and every one is archived on our website and made available to all. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
Thread: silver coin/token id (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

More on Bitcoin ATMs
BitCoin ATM John Regittko of Toronto, Canada writes:

"Regarding the write-up on Bitcoins in the last E-Sylum, I tried to buy one the other day but the machine wouldn't accept my $57,000 in cash. Then I tried my credit card and Visa wouldn't accept it. And the clerk at the gas station didn't have change for my $100,000 note. What to do now?"

I hate when that happens... -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Fuld Die 122/123 Silver Restrike Token
Fuld Die 122 Restrike 2 Fuld Die 122 Restrike 4

Bill Groom writes:

"Here's an acquisition from the recent Dalton, GA show. In 1992, Rulau listed this issue as Baker # 363x, noting they were modern restrikes. I suspect these restrikes were created in the 1960's; perhaps, during the Civil War centennial years.

Fuld Die 122 Restrike "In researching this issue, I can find only scant info online. I'm wondering if any readers can provide insight or point to literature that details their origin? It occurs to me that the records of Capital Plastics who created the custom holders might provide insight.

"Who created and/or marketed this uni-face, silver restrike? Were pieces struck in metals other than silver? (Note that this die is similar to or possibly the same one used to create tokens for the 1864 Philadelphia Sanitary Fair.) From where did this die originate, and does it still exist? Has it as yet been determined if this Fuld Die # 122 is, in actuality, Die # 123? At what price were these originally sold? Does any marketing ad copy still exist?

"Any help or leads would be much appreciated! "

Can anyone help? -Editor

Trump 2020 Graffiti Note
Dennis Tucker writes:

"This might be a bit too politically charged for The E-Sylum, but it stood out in my pocket change this afternoon and it's the first time I've seen anything like it. It's a Series 2013 $20 Federal Reserve Note; no markings on the face, but the back bears the handwritten message TRUMP 2020, with the numerals of the denomination used to spell the year. I thought it was a clever use of the canvas and design elements of a $20 bill. I don't think there's a Where's George? equivalent for twenties, but for the record this was found in Roswell, Georgia, on May 21, 2021."


Once in a while a reader will get their knickers in twist over something like this, but most know that we're only in this for the numismatics. I enjoy the opportunity to document the contemporary use of overstamps and graffiti regarding any political party or issue. I hadn't seen anything like this either. This sure has the look of a one-off, but perhaps there are copycats or more from the same source. Has anyone seen one of these in the wild? -Editor

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A new database of coins in German and Austrian public collections has gone live. (Interaktive Kataloge der Münzkabinette) is a partnership spanning 29 institutions. -Editor

IKMK logo A new database with information on approximately 90,000 coins in German and Austrian public collections is due to go live at 6pm central European time today, the fruit of seven years of planning and preparation by 29 institutions.

The portal will offer free access to the biggest coin database in the German-speaking world, comprising parts of the collections of the Münzkabinett in Berlin and its counterpart at Vienna's Kunsthistorisches Museum as well as thousands of coins in smaller museums and university collections.

The searchable database offers high-resolution images and detailed descriptions of the coins, including provenance information and research. Images and text are free to use for academic and private purposes, according to a press release from the Berlin State Museums.

The 90,000 items listed on the new database represent in many ways just the beginning of a sustainable and methodical publication of the collections, the statement said. The institutions involved hold 1.4 million objects in total, and will add to the database. Collections digitised on other platforms will be added to, the release said. The digital transformation of our numismatic cultural heritage is a task for generations, it added.

The listings on the database will also be added to other international platforms such as OCRE (Online Coins of the Roman Empire), CRRO (Coinage of the Roman Republic Online) and PELLA, which lists the coins of the Macedonian kings of the Argead dynasty.

To read the complete article, see:
Calling all numismatists! Biggest coin database in German-speaking world to go live today (

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Here's more from the entry on Edge Lettering and Numbering from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor

Raised lettering. Lettering can be either incised – cut into the metal – or raised from the edge. An example of raised lettering is the American Academy of Arts and Letters Gold Medal. First introduced in 1915 and sculpted by James Earle Fraser, this medal – believed to be the first American medal with raised edge lettering – has the recipient's name, award and date around the full circumference. One of the earliest reads: AWARDED TO CHARLES WILLIAM ELIOT FOR DISTINCTION IN LITERATURE . NOVEMBER . 18 . 1915.

Few medals with raised letters on the edge have been produced because they are difficult to make and quite expensive. It requires a collar made of three or more parts, a segmented collar – each of which has its portion of the lettering engraved on its inside surface – and all of which fits into a retaining ring. Before the final blow on the medal press, the medal to be edge lettered with raised letters is trimmed and placed within the special collar, and struck its final blow.

The medal must be extracted by hand, the retaining ring and trisegmented collar must be broken apart, the medal removed, and the collar reassembled for striking the next piece. Long production runs are thus impractical due to the involved production and high costs. A small raised hairline usually appears on the edge at the three points where the trisegmented collar parts butt against each other; this is known as collar gap.

Incised lettering. Since raised lettering is so expensive, edge lettering is usually incised. This can be accomplished by any of five methods: hand engraving, by punches, by roller dies, by acid etching, or by mechanical means. Award medals – where each medal customarily goes to a different person or recipient – are usually hand engraved. European orders and decorations of award are considered "unissued" unless they have the recipient's name hand engraved into the edge.

Often a military person's rank and organization are also engraved along with the name. Some hand engravers achieved so high a proficiency of edgelettering, their work can be distinguished from all others (by unique mannerisms), although today they remain anonymous.

British terms for incised edge lettering is impressed or indented.

The roller die has long been used to produce incised lettering on the edge of round medals, particularly on production runs. It is a flat disk of hardened steel with a double-beveled edge. At the outermost edge are the letters, raised from the die. When it is placed in a roller press the die impresses into a rotating medal the same lettering appearing on the die.

The roller press is adjustable to any diameter medal, but a new die is required for any change of lettering. Figures, letters and symbols can all be made into a roller die. A uniform base line and spaces between lettering is a diagnostic of roller press lettering. Improper use of the roller die, which results in missing or overlapping letters, is an operator mistake called slippage.

Punches, or groups of punches banded together (called a logotype) are often used for edge lettering. Some serial numbering of collector medals is sometimes done with individual figure punches: a separate punch and blow is applied for each digit of the number. Often irregular spacing between the letters or figures – and uneven base line – are diagnostics of hand punching (but not of a logotype punch).

Mechanical improvements for edge numbering have included such innovations as the numbering head which, with a single blow, can stamp all the digits of a number and advance the figure wheels for the next number in sequence. Uniform figures, base line and spacing are a diagnostic of the use of a numbering head. These generally have a lighter impression and are not sunk as deeply into the metal as are hand punched figures.

The logotype is used most often by a maker to impart their name – maker's mark – and is one of the most used tools because it can be used on every object made by that firm.

Some incised lettering is accomplished by acid etching. The medal is coated with wax, lettering is inscribed where intended, acid applied to etch the lettering, washed, and the protective wax is removed. Diagnostics of acid etching is deep or steep walls of the figures or letters (and sometimes undercutting of these walls).

With this brief introduction of how the lettering is produced on medallic items, let us turn to what is stamped on the edges. Perhaps the most universal is the hallmark or maker's mark of the producer. Like a mintmark on a coin, the hallmark on a medal tells where it came from – who made it, often where and when it was made.

To read the complete entry on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see:
Edge Lettering and Numbering (

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Here's more from the David Proskey entry from the online draft of John Lupia's book of numismatic biographies. This is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. -Editor

The first great collection catalogued by Proskey was of the Robert Coulton Davis Collection auctioned from January 20-24, 1890. [Davis 783] This was followed six months later June 25-27, 1890, with that of Lorin Gilbert Parmelee, the Boston Baked Bean Baron. [Davis 784]. A third noteworthy catalogue was produced nearly two years later for the sale of the collection of George Woodside on April 23, 1892. [Davis 785].

David Proskey and his brothers company known as the "Proskey Brothers" earlier established in the lumber business now became noted as hoteliers in the newly established summer resort in the 1880's with the Breslin Hotel at Lake Hopatcong, Sussex County, New Jersey. Though known as the "Proskey Brothers" the company also included their sister Margueritta Alexander Proskey. By September 1900 the New York Tribune, Thursday, September 27, on page 8, reported that they expanded their hotel business by leasing the Parker House at Broadway and 39th Street, New York City.

MAY 27, 1892 Proskey sale Proskey's name appeared in the March 1892 issue of The Numismatist, in list no. 15, as number 437, residing at 853 Broadway, New York. This is the same address as the New York Coin & Stamp Co., and also of the coin dealer Samuel Proskey, David's ten year younger brother, whose name appears in August 1908 issue of The Numismatist, on page 237.

In 1892, he sold a portion of his stamp collection through Scott Stamp & Coin Company, Limited, Sale No. 113, May 4-5, 1892, David Proskey philatelic collection of U. S. Envelopes, Locals, and Confederate stamps.

In the January 1895 issue of The Numismatist, Augustus G. Heaton's Tour Among the Coin Dealers, tells of a visit to the New York Coin and Stamp Company, reporting that on Union Square a large room in the second floor of an imposing building was the office, managed by forty-one year old David Proskey, who was noted as being "still a young man but one of the best numismatic judges of coins in the trade, and very just in valuation." Proskey ran the business, employing his brother Samuel Proskey to assist preparing auction catalogues and in the day-today retail stock of coins, stamps, fractional currency, minerals, curiosities, and other antiquities.

To read the complete article, see:

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The latest article in Harvey Stack's blog series opens the year 1985 with the creation of PCGS and NGC, and the Salomon Brothers numismatic market index. -Editor

Harvey Stack Numismatic Family 1984

1985 was another major year for the numismatic hobby, as it changed and adopted some new guidelines, moved by collector and dealer activity.

First of all, the markets for precious metals, especially silver, calmed down, recovering from the speculation precipitated by the Hunt Brothers at the beginning of the decade. Collectors had come back to the market as silver prices returned to their pre-speculation prices.

The hobby was finding more ways to deal with the ongoing problems of counterfeiting and inconsistent grading. The American Numismatic Association had earlier launched ANACS, which provided authentication for items as well as grading opinions. In addition, they had published a set of grading standards that could be used across numismatics. However, the certificates that ANACS issued to the owners of the pieces they authenticated and/or graded were in no way attached to a specific coin, and could be used to swindle collectors. The certificates were created to give buyers a sense of confidence that they were getting what they paid for, but instead sometimes resulted in the purchase of inferior, doctored or damaged coins.

In 1985 a group of coin experts got together to try to build a more dependable way for coins to be graded. This new company, Professional Coin Grading Services (PCGS), would begin accepting submissions in 1986, and would be followed not long after by the Numismatic Guaranty Corporation (NGC). These new companies would change numismatics forever and move the hobby even more from adjectival to numerical grading. By encasing coins in plastic holders with information and a grade imprinted on the sealed slab, they found a way to be sure that the grading opinion and authenticity guaranty would remain attached to the correct coin. These services would turn out to be quite efficient and provide collectors with greater confidence in the items they were purchasing.

On another front, the stock brokerage house Salomon Brothers got interested in learning more about various collectible markets. They engaged some expert firms in providing a market index for collectibles that was published for 11 years, starting in the early 1980s. Stack's was asked to develop a portfolio and submit any growth or drop in value that occurred each year. Norman and I, who were the major partners during that time, accepted the proposal, and we decided to create a type set with about 20 coins at its core to use for this purpose. We selected a date and grade to represent the type, without revealing this information to anyone. We researched each type and then added up its value at the end of each year, submitting our results to Salomon Brothers to be included in their annual index. They thought this would be a valuable and needed service for many of their clients who had ventured into the tangible markets. Among the items covered in their index were: Stocks. Bonds, Gold, Silver, Classical Art, Antiques. Coins, Stamps, and even Chinese Porcelain. It was a pleasant surprise to us and the coin industry that for eight of the 11 years this index was published, the coins that Stack's selected led the growth market. In the other years, coins were in the top three areas in the index. We felt that the type and rarity of the pieces we had selected, as well as keeping the contents secret, provided an accurate growth indication -- the information Salomon Brothers wanted to reflect.

However, due to a revelation by a staff member at Salomon Brothers, the contents of the portfolio was revealed. We felt that they had compromised the secrecy of the portfolio and the value that provided, and we asked to have our yearly contribution to the index removed. We were concerned that if the contents of the portfolio were known, certain promoters and dealers might misuse the information and try to accumulate and hoard those pieces and manipulate the results. Salomon Brothers agreed that this could happen in the field of rare coins and thanked us for our contributions. At Stack's, we felt that this experiment showed how collectible coins could increase in value if they were gathered with care and knowledge as we had when we built this particular portfolio.?

To read the complete article, see:
Harvey Stack Remembers: Growing Up in a Numismatic Family, Part 96 (

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Harvey Stack submitted these thoughts on Coin World's discussion of influence in numismatics. Thanks. -Editor

How are the Most Influential I have written to Bill Gibbs of Coin World complementing his dedication in answering your readers about his feature article "Influential People In Numismatics"

Yes, many of the people, some 60, were professional dealers, who have contributed immensely to numismatics and its growth. We professional dealers have shops and offices about the USA, all will open doors for the public to see our displays and at the same time answer their questions. "What is coin I found worth... What do the grades mean, I have an earlier date of one in your showcase, is it rarer, How do I start a collection for myself or my children, How do I store coins, Is there a series we could start with coins in circulation, or must we always have to buy them from dealers like you, Are there books to read to get started," and probably a thousand more general questions, all usually answered with courtesy and information, all provided free", and usually with a smile.

Yes, I am duly proud and honored to be considered among the "top ten influential people in numismatics" !!!

Many of the professional dealers help start collections and also service the more advanced collector, to try to finish or complete a series of coins they start out assembling. They issue price lists, auction catalogs, both public and mail bid, write in various publications, lecture at coin shows and conventions, and also attend with part of the inventory they have to show and sell at the same shows and conventions, many times a month, nationwide, and also overseas.

The professional dealer buys and sells, and helps create a market to accommodate the collector, and general public. He spends most of his mature life providing a service to the collector, while endeavoring to make a living from his avocation.

So because they spend most of their time serving their hobby, as they contribute to the growth and interest in numismatics, they become known for their "influence" in the hobby.

I have been a professional numismatist over 70 years and knowing the hobby and numismatics like I do feel capable of making the evaluations I have just made. As I am 93 years old in June, I have observed those around me and admire virtually all of them. I work mostly at home these days and enjoy trying to help each day as best that I can, interest in my beloved hobby, Numismatics !!

That to me is why the most influential people are termed "influential" and that is why we are honored by the recent "Coin World Monthly" as we have been selected.

I hope this answers the numerous questions "why" so many professional dealers are considered "the Most Influential."

We'll close with a comment from Pete Smith, whose remarks set off this chain of discussion. -Editor

Pete writes:

"I got this discussion started with my opinion published in the May 2 issue of The E-Sylum. I mentioned that I have now written about 3000 bios for people who have made a contribution to numismatics. That list is published on the Newman Numismatic Portal.

"There are three people on the Coin World list of most influential numismatists who have not made contributions worthy of inclusion on my list. I admit that they may have accomplishments that have just not come to my attention.

"It was not my intention to say there were too many dealers on the list. It was my intention to question if some of those selections were justified."

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A shining example of dealer outreach is shown in this press release for a new "Coin University" program organized by Seth Chandler of Witter Coin Co. in San Francisco. -Editor

YN Scholarships Available for First
Coin University Program in San Francisco

Young Numismatist Scholarship applications are now being accepted from young numismatists, ages 13 to 21, for the first Coin University program in San Francisco, California, July 24-31, 2021. As many as 25 all-expense scholarships will be awarded by the Witter Coin Scholarship Fund and will include expenses for a parent or guardian to accompany any winners under the age of 18.

The past year of the pandemic has kept many young collectors' hobby activities limited to social media and other online resources. The Coin University project will give them hands-on experience and expand their knowledge in grading and authentication of U.S., world and ancient coins and other topics from an all-star team of veteran numismatists, explained Seth Chandler, the owner and chief numismatist at Witter Coin Co. in San Francisco.

The YNs will be able to meet other young collectors in person, have classroom instruction, enjoy a numismatic field trip of San Francisco and also get the experience of actually being behind the counter in a major coin store. We want to encourage them along with their coin collecting journey, Chandler added.

Classes and accommodations will be at the Marriott Hotel at the famous Fisherman's Wharf and the internship experience will be at the nearby Witter Coin Co. store at 2299 Lombard St.

In addition to Chandler, the five days of Coin University classes will be taught by:

  • John Brush, president of David Lawrence Rare Coins in Virginia Beach, Virginia, chairman of the National Coin & Bullion Association (formerly the Industry Council for Tangible Assets), and a member of the Professional Numismatists Guild Board of Directors;
  • Numismatist Steve Feltner, director of Numismatic Education and Outreach at Professional Coin Grading Service in Santa Ana, California;
  • Dr. Kevin Kaufman co-founder of Choice Numismatics in Clovis, California;
  • Devin Hipp of Devin Hipp Enterprises LLC in Virginia Beach, Virginia;
  • David McCarthy, senior numismatist and researcher at Kagin's in Tiburon, California; and
  • Jim Stoutjesdyk, vice president of Heritage Auctions in Dallas, Texas and recipient of a Doctor of Numismatics honorary degree from the American Numismatic Association.

The planned 25 scholarships are being funded by donations to the Witter Coin Scholarship Fund, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.

Information about the Coin University program and how to apply for consideration of a scholarship can be found at The website also has information about how to donate to the scholarship program. Prospective applicants and donors can also call Witter Coin at (415) 781-5690.

For more information, or to donate, see:

The Witter Instagram feed is worth subscribing to. It's quite active and fun, including video applications and conversations with jazzed scholarship applicants. This is how hobby outreach is done in 2021 and hopefully other organizations will learn from their example. -Editor

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This press release details the upcoming sale of world gold coins found among the treasure recovered from the wreck of the SS Central America in 2014. -Editor

S.S. Central America Sunken Treasure
World Gold Coins in Goldberg Auction

1855 Australia Sovereign obv. 1855 Australia Sovereign reverse

Two of the finest known, very rare 1855 and 1856 Australian sovereigns as well as an interesting mix of 74 other sunken treasure gold coins from Europe and South America that were also recovered from the fabled Ship of Gold, the S.S. Central America, will be offered in an auction by Goldberg Coins & Collectibles ( The auction will be conducted in Los Angeles and online, June 13-16, 2021.

These 76 gold pieces were among 82 world gold coins retrieved during the 2014 recovery expedition to the Atlantic Ocean site where the legendary ship sank during a hurricane while sailing to New York City in 1857, said Larry Goldberg, co-owner of the auction company. This is the first time these recovered sunken treasure coins from Australia, Bolivia, Costa Rica, France, Great, Britain, Netherlands, Peru, and Spain have been offered.

The Australian 1855 Sydney Mint gold Sovereign, Fr-9; KM-2, now graded PCGS MS-62+, was made during the first year of that mint's operations. An 1856 Sydney Mint Sovereign, Fr-9; KM-2, now graded PCGS AU-58, also was incredibly recovered.

It is fascinating to think how these coins got to San Francisco where their journey to New York began. Were they carried by an Aussie miner seeking his fortune during the California Gold Rush or acquired as winnings in a gold camp poker game? Those two coins were onboard when the SS Central America went down 164 years ago, said Dwight Manley, managing partner of the California Gold Marketing Group which consigned the 76 recovered world gold coins to the Goldberg auction.

Among the other especially notable world coins recovered in 2014 and in the auction are:

  • Great Britain 1852 Queen Victoria Sovereign, S.3852D; Fr-387e; KM-736.1, PCGS MS-63+;
  • Great Britain 1855 Queen Victoria Sovereign, S.3852D; Fr-387e; KM-736.1, PCGS MS-62;
  • Costa Rica 1855 JB 1/2 Escudo, Fr-10; KM-97, PCGS MS-63;
  • France 1855-A Napoleon III 20 Francs, Fr-573; KM-781.1, PCGS MS-61;
  • Netherlands 1840 (Utrecht) King Willem I 10 Gulden, Fr-327; KM-56, PCGS MS=63+; and
  • Spain King Ferdinand VII 1809 (Seville) Draped Bust 2 Escudos, Fr-304a; KM-456.1, PCGS AU=50, the oldest-dated gold piece recovered from the famous ship.

Front of a special PCGS SSCA holder Each of the PCGS-certified world coins is encapsulated in a specially-produced and labeled holder that contains a pinch of recovered S.S. Central America gold dust in a separate compartment. The insert labels include a statement of authenticity hand-signed by Bob Evans, the chief scientist on the 1988-1991 missions that first located and recovered portions of the fabulous treasure and assisted with the 2014 recovery. Evans wrote the introduction to the auction catalog's section on these coins.

The S.S. Central America treasure is a remarkable time capsule of economic practices in 1857, representing a specific, important moment in United States and world history: the outflow of wealth from Gold Rush California along the commercial artery that was the Panama Route… The treasure illustrates that world gold coins were an integral part of California and international trade during this exciting decade of burgeoning commerce in the 1850s, explained Evans.

The S.S. Central America was a 280-foot long, three-masted side-wheel steamship carrying tons of California gold that had been shipped from San Francisco to Panama when she sank on September 12, 1857 hurricane during the final leg of a voyage from Aspinwall (now Colón), Panama to New York City. The tragedy took the lives of 420 of the ship's 578 passengers and crew members, and the loss of the gold cargo was a major factor in the economically devastating financial panic of 1857 in the United States.

The treasure was recovered from the seafloor of the Atlantic, 7200 feet down about 150 miles off the North Carolina coast.

For additional information about the auction, contact Goldberg Coins and Collectibles by phone at (310) 551-2646, by email at and online at

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This press release describes some of the highlights in this week's Dix Noonan Webb auction of British, Irish and World Banknotes. -Editor

DNW 2021-05 Banknote sale cover A £5 banknote with serial number A01 000003 that was originally presented to the recently elected Prime Minister, Harold Macmillan, in 1957 is expected to fetch £18,000-22,000 at Dix Noonan Webb in their auction of British, Irish and World Banknotes on Thursday, May 27, 2021 at 10am at their Mayfair saleroom (16 Bolton Street, London W1J 8BQ). This is the first time that a serial number three note, for a new design, has ever been offered on the open market. The Bank of England £5 note is housed in a blue leather presentation wallet dated 21 February 1957, and shows Britannia at left, Saint George slaying the dragon at low centre, reverse blue, lion and key at centre.

As Thomasina Smith, Head of Numismatics (Associate Director) at Dix Noonan Webb, explained: This important note is the lowest serial number note available to commerce and arguably the finest post-war Bank of England note in the public domain. Serial numbers one and two are held in the Royal Collection, having been presented to The Queen and the late Duke of Edinburgh.

DNW 2021-May sale Banknote 1 3

She continues: This spectacular and timeless design, known by many collectors as either the the ‘lion and key fiver' or the ‘Britannia fiver', was the first significant change of design for the £5 note since the introduction of the denomination in the late 1700s. The design, conceived by Stephen Gooden, was issued for only six years, although it remained legal tender for a further four.

The subsequent lot in this auction – also a Bank of England £5, housed in a blue leather presentation wallet, dates from 21 February 1963 and also has serial number A01 000003 is estimated at £12,000-£16,000. This note was presented to Harold Macmillan, shortly before the premature end of his second term as Prime Minister in 1963.

DNW 2021-May sale Lot 341

Elsewhere in the sale is a strong selection of Irish Banknotes including an absolutely spectacular example of an extremely rare note £100 note from the Irish Free State, dated 10 September 1928, which is estimated at £12,000-16,000, while a £50 note from the same date carries an estimate of £8,000-10,000.

As Andrew Pattison, Head of Department, Banknotes, Dix Noonan Webb, comments: These two notes are some of the first issued by the independent Ireland in 1928, and are also the first to feature the iconic image of Lady Lavery leaning on harp. There are now thought to be less than ten of each of these denominations still in existence from this early date.

DNW 2021-May sale Lot 415

Among the Scottish notes is an attractive unissued £12 Scots/20 Shillings, dating from circa 1772 from Bannockburn, which is expected to fetch £1,800-£2,200. As Andrew Pattison, notes: This note, printed for issue in Bannockburn in around 1772, shows the huge disparity in the values of the English and Scottish pound at the time, with one pound sterling being worth 12 pound Scots!

DNW 2021-May sale Lot 403

Elsewhere a group of Scottish banknotes with errors will be offered – the errors range from misprints to extra paper flaps to crumples. Included is Bank of Scotland, £1, dating from 9 November 1984, which has an extra flap of paper and is estimated at £200-260, while a £10 from 24 January 1990 with paper crumpling at top left resulting in a misprint and flap of extra paper is estimated at £150-200.

Andrew Pattison explains: All Scottish errors are very unusual, partly because of good quality control, and partly because of quite small print runs. This group represents more Scottish errors than I have seen in total, in the last decade of doing this job.

DNW 2021-May sale Lot 96 - Leyburn

Among the English notes is the David Muscott Collection of Northern County Provincial Banknotes. A fine £5 from the York City & County Banking Company Limited, Leyburn Bank dating from 26 April 1899, with a beautiful vignette of York Minster at top centre is estimated at £700-900, while from Pease's Old Bank in Hull is an extremely rare early example of a high denomination - a £10 dating from 23 January 1772 which carries an estimate of £800-1,000.

As Andrew Pattison explains: This beautiful note, issued in Leyburn in 1899, is one of the latest dates possible for an English provincial banknote. It features a stunning vignette of York Minster in the upper centre, while the £10 note was issued in Hull in 1772 is one of the earliest dated notes in the sale. It was a huge sum of money at the time, and in today's money, was the equivalent of having a £1,500 note in your pocket!

For more information, see:


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Here's a selection of interesting or unusual items I came across in the marketplace this week. Tell us what you think of some of these. -Editor

Australie, Victoria (1837-1901).
1852 Australia 5 pound gold assay

Australie, Victoria (1837-1901).

5 pounds essai, by Joshua Payne 1852 (1921), Melbourne. Gold - 44,09 g - 33 mm - 12 h. It is the only one graded! PCGS SP66+. Fleur de coin. An exceptional coin, the rarest type of 5 pounds! Work by Joshua Payne. Special strike of 7 minted only, by the Melbourne mint in 1921 on the original die. This is the finest known specimen

Great coin! From the MDC Monaco June Auction No. 7. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

1896 Proof Double Eagle
1896 Proof Double Eagle

If Proof Gold is the Caviar of Numismatics, then Liberty Head double eagles are the Grade-A Beluga of the Proof Gold market. From both a rarity and visual standpoint, it's pretty hard to surpass a high quality Proof of this design.

A total of 128 Proofs of this date were made, giving it the second highest figure of any date of this design. This figure is misleading as a number were melted due to the seemingly overzealous production run (the previous three years saw mintages of 59, 50, and 51, respectively) and today this issue is quite rare with an estimated three to four dozen known.

This piece stopped me in my tracks when I saw it in Doug Winter's email blast this week. What a beauty! -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
ON HOLD - $20.00 - 1896 PCGS PR64DCAM CAC (

Bolen Springfield Antiquarians Medal
Bolen Springfield Antiquarians Medal obverse Bolen Springfield Antiquarians Medal reverse

"1866" (ca. 1872) Springfield Antiquarians Medal. By John Adams Bolen. Kline Restrike. Musante JAB-23. Copper. MS-66 BN (NGC).

28 mm.

Provenance: From the Robert Adam Collection of Tokens and Medals. Earlier ex Charles Litman; Donald M. Miller; Q. David Bowers; our (Stack's) sale of the Q. David Bowers Collection, January 2011 New York Americana Sale, lot 6610. Clipped lot tag included.

To read the complete lot description, see:
"1866" (ca. 1872) Springfield Antiquarians Medal. By John Adams Bolen. Kline Restrike. Musante JAB-23. Copper. MS-66 BN (NGC). (

1933 Century of Progress Medal
1933 Century of Progress Medal obverse 1933 Century of Progress Medal reverse

1933 Century of Progress Exposition. Official Medal. HK-463. Rarity-2. Bronze. MS-65 (NGC).

I generally like Art Deco medals, but this design is just ... awkward. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1933 Century of Progress Exposition. Official Medal. HK-463. Rarity-2. Bronze. MS-65 (NGC). (

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I recently discovered the blog of Julian Ticehurst at A post from March covered a topic I was unfamiliar with - early gold Anglo-Saxon shillings. It has some great photos courtesy of SPINK. Here's an excerpt. -Editor

The Gold Coinage c. 600–70
Britain was unusual among the former provinces of the Western Roman Empire in not maintaining a substantial coinage after the end of central imperial rule in the early fifth century. A small trickle of coins issued by the Franks, Visigoths and the Eastern Roman Empire still made their way to Britain across the fifth and sixth centuries. That trickle became a stronger flow late in the sixth century, and from some point in the early seventh century the Anglo-Saxons started to issue their own gold pieces, modelled in format on those of the Merovingian Franks. These coins, usually referred to as shillings (from the Old English scilling, scillingas), circulated in eastern and southern England for about fifty or sixty years, and gradually declined in fineness over time. The last specimens contain hardly any gold and are effectively silver.

Crondall type Gold Shilling
Crondall type, Gold Shilling

Anglo-Saxon England, Crondall Types (c. 630-650), Gold Shilling, ‘Substantive Gold' Phase, London derived, crude bust right, with large features and hair swept back, striated halo forms border, rev. +ZUOONUUPLUV^. blundered legends, cross in beaded circle, 1.26g, 270° (SCBI 69, 1 this coin; T&S 22-31, pp. 41 and 59-60; A&W xi; Gannon 30, Figs. 2.9a and c, and 5.5g; North 22; Spink 754), a most attractive and provocative example of Anglo-Saxon portraiture, a small scuff on cheek and trace double-striking to reverse, otherwise good very fine, extremely rare, a truly superb centrepiece and the finest to appear in public commerce

M Vosper, March 2012
~ Found by Mike O'Bee ‘north of Horncastle' (Essex), 28 November 2011 ~

[EMC 2011.0275]
Sutherland has discussed the derivation of this type from the forward-facing portrait type with a clear reverse inscription of LONDVNIV. The influence of this type on the subsequent ‘London-derived' group ‘is to be seen most clearly in their conspicuously linear technique, in the adoption of a cross-hatching border for the obverse in the use of a plain cross as the central reverse type, and in the employment of a reverse legend which, enclosing the cross, strongly suggests by its blundered lettering that some form of the name ‘Londinium' or ‘Lundonia' served as a basis for imitation.' (ASGC, no. 43)

Academic debate as to further attribution and dating has raged for more than a century. In 1915, Baldwin Brown opined: ‘if struck in London with [its] ecclesiastical significance, the piece might conceivably be the work of Mellitus during his tenure of the See [604-c.617], and the head [depicts] that of an Archbishop'. More recently Anna Gannon has regarded this attribution as anachronistic as she reopened the discussion at the Cambridge Symposium (March 2015). It was suggested that this Shilling, if of Bishop Mellitus (d. 624), could be twinned with those shillings of York, possibly by Edwin (d. 633) or Paulinus. In the context of the celebrated issue of Eadbald of Kent (616-640) imply a date earlier than c. 630 for the reintroduction of this native coinage to England, and possibly as far back as the Kentish kingdoms conversion to Christianity in AD 619.

To read the complete article, see:

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A couple weeks ago we discussed the Charles I shilling found at a dig in St. Mary's, MD. Readers passed along a number of new articles on the topic. Here's an excerpt from the Smithsonian piece found by Arthur Shippee and Larry Korchnak. -Editor

Shilling found in St. MArys MD

In late 2019, archaeologists unearthed the remains of a key landmark in American history: St. Mary's Fort. A football field–sized plot of land in southern Maryland, the defensive outpost—established by English colonists in 1634—housed the first permanent European settlement in the state and the fourth such settlement in British North America.

Historic St. Mary's City publicly announced the discovery in March 2021 to much fanfare. In the months since, researchers led by Travis Parno have carefully examined additional evidence found at the site in hopes of further solidifying their claims about the fort's historic roots.

Now, Parno and his colleagues have once again struck gold—or, more accurately, silver. In late April, archaeologists announced that they'd found a rare silver coin at the fort. The shilling bears inscriptions indicating that it was minted in London between 1633 and 1634, reports Colleen Grablick for DCist.

As Michael E. Ruane writes for the Washington Post, the coin's discovery allows researchers to confidently date the dig site to 1634, the year that English settlers first arrived in Maryland.

St. Mary's Fort
It's a key dating tool that suggests this is a very early 17th-century site, Parno tells Live Science's Tom Metcalfe. We've got a lot of artifacts that are really pointing us to an early 17th-century date, so finding a coin that nails that down to a very early period is really helpful.

The team also discovered a tinkling cone, or small piece of copper with a leather cord used in trade between Indigenous people and colonists, and a five saints medallion. The religious object is a remnant of early Jesuit missionary efforts in the Maryland colony. Together with the coin, notes DCist, these three diagnostic artifacts give the researchers a high degree of confidence that they have indeed discovered the correct location of St. Mary's Fort.

I'd never heard of "tinkling cone" money. Thanks also to Mike Nixon for the CNN version. -Editor

To read the complete articles, see:
Rare 17th-Century Coin Featuring Charles I's Likeness Found in Maryland (
Rare English coin found after almost 400 years at early Maryland settlement (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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I wasn't able to work this into earlier issues but wanted to mention this great original item of 19th-century numismatics - an 1883 proof set and presentation box. -Editor

1883 Proof Set in presentation box

Numismatic Guaranty Corporation® (NGC®) has certified a fascinating 1883 US Proof Set that was submitted for grading with a vintage presentation box designed to showcase the coins. The ten coins are in similar condition, earning grades of NGC PF 63, NGC PF 64 and NGC PF 64 BN.

The 1883 Proof Set is notable for several reasons. Three types of nickels were issued that year, and 1883 was the final year that the Shield Nickel design and Trade Dollar were available to collectors. Other coins in the set include an Indian Head Cent, a Three-Cent Piece, a Seated Liberty Dime, a Seated Liberty Quarter, a Seated Liberty Half Dollar and a Morgan Dollar.

Three nickel designs in one year is certainly unusual. The final issue of Shield Nickels was circulated in the beginning of the year, alongside a new Liberty Head design. However, there was a major design issue in the new nickel: While it was printed with a V on the reverse, it lacked the word Cents. A design change corrected the issue and was circulated later that year.

The Trade Dollar was first struck in 1873 in a bid to compete with other nations' large silver trade coins, primarily in East Asia. While the US Trade Dollar was quickly demonetized in 1876, the Mint continued to strike Proofs for public sale until 1883.

At the time this set was produced, the US Mint did not offer display options for coins. However, decorative boxes like the one submitted with this set could be purchased from outside vendors, some of whom likely sold the coins not far from where they were struck at the Philadelphia Mint.

Though the coins in the set have a face value of only $3.04, the numismatic value is much higher.

To read the complete article, see:
NGC Certifies Fascinating 1883 US Proof Set Submitted with a Presentation Box Designed for the Coins (


The catalog for Sotheby's June New York sale including the Farouk 1933 Double Eagle is now online. -Editor

Three Treasures

Sotheby's New York is pleased to present Three Treasures – Collected by Stuart Weitzman, a dedicated live auction of three legendary treasures from the personal collection of the renowned fashion designer and collector. On 8 June 2021 Sotheby's will offer the fabled and elusive 1933 Double Eagle Coin, which set a world record when it last sold at auction in 2002, and the only example that is legally sanctioned by the United States government for private ownership; the sole-surviving example of the British Guiana One-Cent Magenta, the most famous and valuable stamp in the world; and The Inverted Jenny Plate Block, the most well-known and sought-after American stamp rarity. Iconic as they are rare, the Double Eagle and the British Guiana will be offered with estimates of $10/15 million each and are poised to set new world auction records in their respective categories, and the Inverted Jenny will carry an estimate of $5/7 million, set to eclipse its own record for an American philatelic item.

The three treasures will be on public view by appointment in Sotheby's York Avenue Galleries during New York Asia Week from 11 – 17 March as well as this May alongside the Contemporary and Impressionist Art exhibitions for our marquee spring auctions, and 4 – 7 June in the lead up to the auction on Tuesday, 8 June.


Farouk 1933 Double Eagle obverse Farouk 1933 Double Eagle reverse

One of the most coveted coins in the world, the 1933 Double Eagle (a twenty dollar gold coin) is unique in that it is the only example that may be legally owned by an individual. Stuart Weitzman purchased the coin at a Sotheby's/Stack's auction in 2002 for a world record price, nearly doubling the previous record. That auction was conducted on behalf of the United States Government, following a landmark legal settlement which authorized the private ownership of this 1933 Double Eagle alone. At the conclusion of the sale, in an historic moment, the Director of the United States Mint signed a Certificate of Monetization that, in return for twenty dollars, authorized the issuance of this single example.

The 1933 Double Eagle has a richly captivating history which encapsulates large swathes of United States history and has been at the center of intrigue for more than 80 years. It is America's last gold coin struck for circulation, ending a tradition begun in 1795. Designed by renowned sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens at the behest of President Theodore Roosevelt, its imagery of Liberty striding forward on the obverse, with the American eagle in flight on the reverse is lauded as America's most beautiful coin design. In 1933, President Franklin Roosevelt, as part of his effort to lift America's tattered economy out of the Great Depression took the country off the gold standard. Struck but never issued for use, all 1933 Double Eagles were ordered destroyed with the exception of two examples sent to the Smithsonian Institution. In 1937, in the same month the 1933 Double Eagles were melted, several examples appeared on the market, which ultimately led to a Secret Service investigation in 1944 that determined all 1933 Double Eagles in collectors' hands had been stolen from the United States Mint, and therefore illegal to own.

However, only weeks before the Secret Service investigation began in 1944, one of the 1933 Double Eagles was purchased and erroneously granted an export license. It entered the famed coin collection of King Farouk where it remained diplomatically untouchable until 1954 when his collection was offered at auction by Sotheby's, acting on behalf of the new Republic of Egypt. Upon learning of its presence in the sale, the United States government successfully requested that the coin be withdrawn. But it was not returned and the coin's whereabouts remained a mystery until 1996 when it was seized by the Secret Service in a sting operation at the Waldorf Astoria in New York. Following a five-year legal battle, which unearthed the improvidently issued export license, the case was settled and the government permitted this single 1933 Double Eagle to be privately owned.

Farouk 1933 Double Eagle Certificate of Monetization

In 2005, ten more 1933 Double Eagles surfaced in the possession of the family of one of the prime suspects in the 1944 Secret Service investigation and another legal battle ensued. More than a decade later, after a jury trial and appeals (to as high as the Supreme Court) the 1933 Double Eagles were ruled the property of United States (another example was voluntarily surrendered following the litigation), and confirmed the government's statement in 2002 that Stuart Weitzman's 1933 Double Eagle is the only example the United States Government has ever authorized, or ever intends to authorize, for private ownership.

To read the complete article, see:

See the complete online lot description for much, much more background on the fabled coin, including its connections to personalities including Henry Chapman, William H. Woodin, John Work Garrett, Col. James W. Flanagan, James G. Macallister, Izzy Switt, Louis E. Eliasberg, B. Max Mehl, Fred Baldwin, Harry Forman, Roy E. Naftzger, Jay Parrino, Stephen Fenton, the Red-Headed Philadelphia Sucker, the Crooked Cashier, and more. -Editor

Provenance of the 1933 Double Eagles

To read the complete lot description, see:
The 1933 Double Eagle (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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An article by Bill Myers in the 22 May 2021 MPC Gram (Series 22 No. 2475 22) alerted me to this piece about the phaseout of POGs as military bases close in Afghanistan. -Editor

AAFES POGS The paper coins, or pogs, that troops have used at stores and collected as souvenirs on overseas bases for the last 20 years are being phased out as the U.S. military leaves Afghanistan.

Some stores have already stopped using pogs, which were given as change instead of nickels, dimes and quarters since 2001 at Army and Air Force Exchange Service stores.

Signs at the seven AAFES stores that are still open on bases in Afghanistan encouraged people to turn in or use their pogs before they are no longer accepted, spokesman Chris Ward said.

"As closure of operations in Afghanistan continues, Exchange facilities in the country are transitioning to a cashless system," Ward said.

The exact day when pogs will no longer be used anywhere in the country was unknown, he said.

The end of the pog in Afghanistan comes as U.S. and coalition troops continue to withdraw after nearly 20 years of war.

President Joe Biden said last month the U.S. military would be out of Afghanistan by Sept. 11.

Troops and contractors still in Afghanistan have been discussing what to do with their paper coins, they said.

Pogs can continue to be used at locations outside of Afghanistan, but "I think the majority are just calling it a loss and throwing them out," said one soldier, who asked to remain anonymous because she was not authorized to speak to the press.

AAFES began issuing the cardboard coins at exchange stores in Afghanistan in November 2001, saying at the time that pogs are lighter than metal coins and cheaper to ship overseas.

POG 02J101 POG 04C251

At first, pogs were intended to be temporary and simply carried information saying how much they were worth. But they evolved over the years to feature photos of troops or aircraft, pictures of NASCAR drivers and comic book characters.

Collectors now buy and sell pogs. This week, a set of 13 pogs from 2005 was offered on eBay for $450, and a single 5-cent pog from 2003 with the image of a dolphin was going for $13.

To read the complete article, see:
End of an Era: Base Stores in Afghanistan to Stop Accepting 'Pogs' (

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

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I'm a sucker for art medals. Stack's Bowers Senior Numismatist and Cataloger Jeremy Bostwick wrote a blog article about a great medal from the 1878 Paris Expo. -Editor

1878 International Exposition Award Medal

Anglo-Trinidadian Botanist Henry Prestoe & the 1878 Paris Expo

As mentioned in a previous blog post, award medals often combine the elegant and artistic elements of numismatics with interesting aspects of material culture, often relating an individual to a particular event in time. Such is the case with a fascinating silver medal in our June Ancient & World Coins Collectors Choice Online (CCO) auction. Emanating from the 1878 International Exposition (World's Fair) held in Paris, this award medal was designed by the refined hand of Jules-Clément Chaplain, a key figure in the founding of the Art Nouveau movement.

The obverse features the head of Ceres wearing a laurel wreath, while the reverse depicts Fama announcing winners with her trumpet and victory wreath and a cherub holding up a plaque meant to host the winner's name. In the case of this medal, the recipient was "Docteur H. Prestoe." A search of the "Report of Her Majesty's Commissioners for the Paris Universal Exhibition of 1878, to the Queen's Most Excellent Majesty, Vol. II" uncovers that an "H. Prestoe" from Port of Spain in Trinidad received a silver award in class 44 on the topic of wood. Undoubtedly relating to the same individual, the medal in question is our piece in the upcoming June auction.

Delving further into the career of Prestoe, one realizes the important role he played in botany in the second half of the 19th century. Born in Hampshire, England, Prestoe contributed greatly to the field while based in Trinidad (then a crown colony of the British Empire), writing the "Catalog of Plants Cultivated in the Royal Botanic Gardens, Trinidad, from 1865-1870," and served as curator of the Trinidad Botanic Gardens. He was instrumental in the introduction of coffee growing to Trinidad, as is made evident by letters to the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew such as the following:

(Director's Correspondence 213/478, 10 October 1876)

"Prestoe acknowledges letters he has received dated from August and September and sends his thanks for the acknowledgment therein of the service provide by the Trinidad Botanic Garden to colonists. Prestoe reports that the Coffee plants he received from RBG Kew are thriving. He laments the fact that there are no Coffee plantations on Trinidad despite conditions being ideal. Prestoe particularly notes the absence of mild forms of diseases, such as the coffee 'worm' which caused great damage in Dominica. He attributes the relatively disease-free environment in Trinidad to the abundance of ants and he has observed that in years when the ant population is reduced by forest fires other insects greatly increase. Furthermore he thinks that the extremes of wet and dry in Trinidad prevent harmful fungoid growth. Prestoe relates how best he thinks the question of coffee diseases elsewhere should be tackled. He concludes that he considers fire to be the best means of destroying the damaging insects and various destructive washes the best measure in cases of mildew. Where fire cannot be used as a purgative Prestoe suggests that close pruning, cleaning the trees and burning the refuse would lessen the chance if not prevent attacks of disease. He notes that a major advantage of his suggested approach is its cheapness."

Cementing Prestoe's status in the world of botany is the fact that, within taxonomy, his Latinized name is even utilized for the three different species of plants: "annona prestoei"—a type of edible fruit and medicinal plant; "desmoncus prestoei"—a type of climbing palm, and "arundinaria prestoei"—a type of bamboo.

To read the complete article, see:
Anglo-Trinidadian Botanist Henry Prestoe & the 1878 Paris Expo (


The Medal of Honor tradition continues at the White House. This Washington Post article cover the latest award ceremony. Also linked below is an Army News Service article with more background. -Editor

Ralph Puckett Medal of Honor A retired Army officer became one of the most decorated soldiers in U.S. military history on Friday, receiving the Medal of Honor from President Biden at the White House more than 70 years after leading soldiers through a fierce attack during the Korean War.

Col. Ralph Puckett Jr., 94, stood in a dress uniform as Biden draped the medal around his neck. He had entered the ceremony in a wheelchair, and a walker was nearby, but set both aside to receive the nation's highest award for valor in combat.

Biden, awarding his first Medal of Honor as president, recounted how Puckett braved enemy fire repeatedly as his soldiers took control of Hill 205, frozen high ground about 60 miles from the Chinese border.

As Chinese soldiers launched swarming attacks afterward for hours in bitterly cold temperatures, then-1st Lt. Puckett checked on his men and redistributed ammunition, even after he was wounded.

Korea is sometimes called the ‘Forgotten War,' but those men who were there under Lieutenant Puckett's command, they will never forget his bravery, Biden said. They will never forget that he was right by their side for every minute of it.

Puckett was long ago awarded the Distinguished Service Cross, the nation's second-highest award for valor in combat, for his actions in the battle on Nov. 25-26, 1950. The clash came near the outset of the Battle of the Chongchon River, and senior U.S. commanders were caught by surprise by China's full-scale entry into the Korean War.

Puckett now moves into a rarefied air, even for Medal of Honor recipients recognized for valor. He also has a Distinguished Service Cross, two Silver Stars, and two Bronze Stars with V device for valor in the Vietnam War, and five Purple Hearts for injuries suffered in combat.

To read the complete articles, see:
Retired Army officer receives Medal of Honor, becomes one of most decorated soldiers in U.S. history (
Biden Awards Medal of Honor to Retired Ranger for Korean War Heroism (

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David Gladfelter published a guest post on the American Numismatic Society Pocket Change blog about banknote engraver William Rollinson. Here's an excerpt. See the complete article online for more. -Editor

William Rollinson First came the biography, a 1931 account of the life of the British-born engraver William Rollinson (1762–1842), written by Robert W. Reid and Rollinson's great-grandson Charles Rollinson.

Their monograph tells of the engraver's coming to New York in 1789, finding work in the shops of various silversmiths, and soon turning to copper-plate engraving which occupied him for the rest of his life. At the end appears a sampling of 18 of Rollinson's engravings—calligraphic, ornamental, glyphic and scenic—plus a printed circular which Rollinson had sent to various banks in 1811, soliciting orders for bank notes produced by a ruling machine he had invented. Several of these exhibits came from the personal collection of Charles Rollinson, but the source of the circular was the collection of the New York Public Library.

Next came Robert A. Vlack's short-titled Catalogue of Early North American Advertising Notes in 2001. Item 4640 in the catalog is a specimen bank note dated March 1, 1811 with the imprint Leney and Rollinson Sculpt. N. York. The description notes a pink tint, a quite early use of a tint on a bank note. Item 4645 is the same design with a light blue tint. These tints consist of straight parallel ruled lines. The dates on this pair of specimens are the earliest of all of the notes listed in the Vlack catalogue.

An unlisted variety of Vlack 4640 has a waved-line pink tint (fig. 4) similar to the tint appearing on the Middle District Bank note. It didn't take long for me to identify this specimen variety as the specimen of work that Rollinson had sent out with his circular. Notice that the date on the specimen is the same month (although not to the day) as the date on the circular.

Rollinson Fifty Fish advertising note
Fifty Fish advertising note with imprint of Leney & Rollinson

Rollinson evidently sent his circular and specimen far and wide. Among the respondents was the newly chartered Planters' Bank of the State of Georgia, which ordered notes in seven denominations ranging from $1.00 to $100.00, listed in Haxby as GA-320 G2, G12, G22, G32, G42, G52 and G62, all designated as surviving example not confirmed, a term equivalent to extinct in the biological world. Later-discovered examples of the two highest denominations are seen to have been produced on the model of Rollinson's specimen (figs. 5 and 6), both with similar waved-line pink tints and geometrically-ruled end designs. Despite Rollinson's optimism, the $50.00 note was counterfeited! Notice of this phony note, having plate letter C, appeared in Bicknell's Reporter of March 5, 1832, and other counterfeit detecters of the 1830s to 1860s.

1817 Planters' Bank of the State of Georgia

But the best was yet to come.

A copy of Rollinson's circular appeared in Heritage's October 20, 2020 auction (lot 83078).

This circular is printed on bond paper with a faint powder horn watermark. Rollinson's signature is manually written, not printed.

As for its provenance, all we know is what Dustin Johnston, Heritage's cataloguer, can tell us: That it was discovered by a book dealer on the East Coast who consigned it to the auction.

To read the complete article, see:


1946–2021: CELEBRATING 75 YEARS of the RED BOOK. The 75th edition of the Guide Book of United States Coins will release next week, April 7, 2021. Preorder now to reserve your copy—online at , or call 1-800-546-2995.


French police have broken up a mafia counterfeiting ring. -Editor

Examining a Fake-Euro-Banknote French police have arrested a group of 10 people for their suspected role in a fake euro banknote trafficking network in which they sold at least €300,000 of counterfeit bills.

The six men and four women were arrested in Marseille, Alençon, Rennes and Argenteuil, after more than two years of investigation.

The investigators stated that the group received their supply of counterfeit notes from the Camorra mafia clan based in Naples, Italy, France Bleu reported.

The alleged head of the network in France is a 65-year-old man from Marseille. During police searches, nearly €200,000 in fake notes was discovered, mostly made up of €100 bills.

The group would use the fake notes to buy up large quantities of hydroalcoholic gel in pharmacies as pharmacies are rarely equipped with counterfeit money detectors.

They also reportedly sold fake €20 notes for between €6 to €7 each, counterfeit €50 notes for between €16 to €20 each, and fake €100 bills for between €25 to €30 each.

The head of France's central office for the repression of counterfeiting currency stated that a highly organised mafia-type network has been dismantled.

To read the complete article, see:
Network of fake euro banknote traffickers discovered by French police (

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Here are some additional items in the media this week that may be of interest. -Editor

To Slab, or Not to Slab

The folks at Baldwin's in London have been debating the issue of slabbing coins. See their latest blog article for their thoughts. -Editor

To Slab, or Not to Slab

Our friends across the pond have been slabbing items for years, from Topps rookie cards for Mickey Mantle and Michael Jordan to limited edition sweet wrappers and unopened Pokemon packs. In the world of rare coins, it is still quite a new practice -especially when you consider the age of the artefact- and not one that has been readily adopted worldwide.

Is there a reason for this? Is there a correct answer to our opening gambit? We spoke to members of the AH Baldwin specialist coin team to get their take…

To read the complete article, see:

Videos: The Bank of England

Kavan Ratnatunga recommends this collection of online talks about the Bank of England. Thanks! -Editor

Online talks about the Bank of England

To read the complete article, see:
Online talks about the Bank of England (

Coins of the Lombard Kings

Mike Markowitz published an article on CoinWeek about coins of the Lombard Kings. -Editor

lombard coin

THE LOMBARDS, A tribe that traced their origin to Scandinavia, migrated into Eastern Europe in the fifth century CE, earning a reputation for ferocity in that war-torn land. Under their king Alboin (reigned c. 560-572), they invaded northern Italy around 568, where their name endures today in the region known as Lombardy. In Latin, Lombards were known as Langobardi, and the kingdom was called Langobardia, a reference to the long beards of the men.

To read the complete article, see:
Crown of Iron: Coins of the Lombard Kings (

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Pieces of eight are back! The Shire Mint is selling scored U.S. coins which can be broken into bits by hand. -Editor

Breakable US coins 3 USA Breakable Coins Set of Four

For when you owe someone a fraction of a cent.

Your favorite once-currency, but made non-spendable for your breaking pleasure! These coins are sold as a novelty and are not intended for circulation. Ships in the US only.


  • Four hand-breakable coins: a penny, nickel, quarter and half-dollar
  • One small nail file to dull sharp points

Breakable US coins 2 Breakable US coins 1

To read the complete item description, see:
USA Breakable Coins Set of Four (

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