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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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Numismatic Bibliomania Society
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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: Norman Agran. Welcome aboard! We now have 6,634 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 Journal of Early American Numismatics issue, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and the Brenner 150 exhibition.

Other topics this week include the Tyrant Collection U.S. type coins, numismatic books for children, Postal Notes, the Coltrane collection Part 2, temples on ancient coins, the gold aureus of Diocletian, communion tokens, the Colored Heroes medal, and a cent charred in the Tulsa Race Massacre fires.

To learn more about a family of counterfeiters, Evasion coppers, Biblical numismatics, brittle nickels, the King of Siam set, Nils Lofgren's coin collection, edge mintmarks and symbols, Norman Stack's type set, dealer Addison Smith, the Four Horsemen medal, Max the Wonderdog, Chubbuck's Morse Code token, the Temple of Jupiter, the bronze roundel of Venus, jigsaw coin designs, money artist John Haberle and Ella Quinn's barrel of gold, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

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The latest issue of JEAN, the Journal of Early American Numismatics has been published by the American Numismatic Society. Here is the table of contents and an excerpt from the Editor's Preface by Christopher R. McDowell. Thanks. -Editor

Journal of Early American Numismatics JEAN 2021 June issue cover Table of Contents

Editor's Preface

The Coins Made for the Islands and Mainland of America by the French West India Company (1670)
Jérôme Jambu

The Letter from the Officer of the 64th Regiment was not About the 1776 Continental Dollar
Julia H. Casey

The Crane Ring of Rupert, Vermont: A Family of Counterfeiters at Reuben Harmon's Mint
Julia H. Casey

The Most Persistent Patent Farthing Counterfeiter
Mark A. Sportack

Evasion Coppers: A Rose by any other Name
Jeff Rock

Editor's Preface

I am very proud of the issue you are holding. It has a great mixture of topics from various authors and brings new insight to a host of numismatic subjects. This is the finest and most nuanced issue we have yet produced! My sole compensation as ‘Ye Editor is that I have the joy of reading great articles months before anyone else. This may seem a small benefit compared to the work involved; however, every once in a while an article comes along that makes it all worthwhile. In this issue there is an article by Jérôme Jambu, the former curator in charge of foreign coins, département des Monnaies, Bibliothèque nationale de France. It is, in my humble opinion, one of the finest pieces to ever appear in CNL or JEAN. It blew me away! Jérôme dedicates his article to Sydney Martin. As the article touches on Syd's prior published research and overturns centuries of numismatic conventional wisdom and lore, I immediately sent it to him for his review and opinion. The primary topic of my last conversation with Syd was this article's merits, which we both agreed is an extraordinary achievement. However, like a discussion of the movie The Sixth Sense, it is difficult for me to impart the importance of Monsieur Jambu's monograph to people who have not yet seen it without spoiling the ending. I strongly encourage our subscribers to read this article.

There are two articles in this issue penned by my friend Julia Casey—a short piece that touches on the Continental Dollar controversy and another that uncovers a major early American counterfeiting ring. With respect to the more concise article on the Continental Dollar, I previously stated that JEAN would not publish on this topic again unless something new came along. Well, Julia has found something new, something that knocks out one of the major underpinnings of the argument that these pieces were struck in America, and proves the importance of actually reading primary source material as opposed to relying on secondary sources. Julia's second monograph deals with the Crane counterfeit ring that operated, in part, out of Rupert, Vermont, using the same equipment employed to strike many of the Vermont coppers. No one has delved into the coincidental appearance of this major counterfeiting organization in the same small town as the Vermont mint before, and it is about time someone looked into it. This article puts a new spin on the Vermont mint that is sure to have a lasting impact on how that operation is viewed from this day forth. I know that I will never view it the same.

Two of the articles in this issue are long-time labors of love. Jeff Rock and Mark Sportack have spent their adult lives dedicated to numismatic topics that touch on the American Colonial experience. First, Jeff Rock presents us with what I call the anchor article for this issue. A piece that takes up half of these pages on the topic of Evasion coppers. Jeff had wished to write a book on Evasions but converted it to an article for our readers, and we are very glad he did. As Jeff points out, Evasions have historically been misunderstood by collectors and researchers. At one time, there were widely collected and sold here in America as Pennsylvania Bungtown Coppers. This, under the mistaken belief that they were manufactured in the Backwoods of Pennsylvania for distribution in this country. Many noted numismatists, with the willing participation of famous dealers, promulgated this falsehood. Jeff uncovers the true history of these fascinating pieces in what is sure to be the definitive work in the area of Evasion coppers for our lifetime. I informed JEAN's editors that they would learn a great deal by reading Jeff's article, and all of them came back saying that I was correct. There is a lot of information to unpack in this article, but those you set aside the time to do so will be richly rewarded.

Mark Sportack ventures into the relatively unexplored area of Patent farthings. Mr. Sportack is to Patent farthings as Mr. Rock is to Evasion coppers, i.e., the undisputed American expert on the topic. Mark has conducted tremendous research on Patent farthings, and his article, like Jeff's, will be the last word for many years to come. Mark helps unlock centuries of mystery surrounding these enigmatic pieces. The depths of his knowledge is expressed by his astounding research and writing ability. Even if you have no current interest in Patent farthings, this article is worth a peek because after you read it, you shall have a new appreciation for them.

For more information on the American Numismatic Society, see:

For more information on the Journal of Early American Numismatics, see:
Journal of Early American Numismatics (was Colonial Newsletter) (


Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report on a new addition to the site. Thanks. -Editor

Mel Wacks Updates Handbook of Biblical Numismatics

Handbook of Biblical Numismatics book cover Mel Wacks has updated his Handbook of Biblical Numismatics, which is now available on Newman Portal. Lianna Spurrier supplied graphics and layout work under sponsorship of Newman Portal.

Abraham Sofaer contributed an overview that is featured on the back cover: This Handbook is just what it sets out to be, and what is needed in the field of Jewish Coinage. Mel Wacks has contributed mightily to this field. And this Handbook - replacing his first version with an entirely new revision - is among his most important gifts. Somehow, Mel has managed to provide a work that is succinct without being superficial; that summarizes all the important material rather than limiting coverage through exclusion; and that simplifies complicated issues without compromising their difficulties.

In pulling off this achievement, Mel has provided a practical, take-along, guide. Every important period is covered, and every significant coin type illustrated. Rather than attempting to supersede other types of books, Mel gives us all - collectors, scholars, and intelligent observers alike - something to use anywhere to identify coin types and context, read inscriptions, and even have some idea of value. Even a novice will be able quickly to learn and appreciate this aspect of Jewish history, and the history of other cultures with whom the Jewish People have interacted. The Handbook is thus a must have for the tutored and beginner alike.

The price of the printed Handbook of Biblical Numismatics 45th Anniversary Edition has not been set yet, For more information contact Mel Wacks at or 818-225-1348.

Link to Handbook of Biblical Numismatics on Newman Portal:


Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger reports a new addition to the NNP staff. -Editor

Garrett Ziss Joins Newman Portal as Summer Intern

Garrett Ziss Garrett Ziss, American Numismatic Association Young Numismatist of the Year for 2020, will be working for the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society (EPNNES) as a summer intern for 2021. Ziss is well-known in numismatic circles and has contributed original research to the John Reich Journal and other publications. Garrett has conducted oral history interviews for the John Reich Collectors Society and Liberty Seated Collectors Club, and has delivered presentations at many events including the recent Newman Numismatic Portal Symposium.

Ziss will be involved in a number of Newman Portal tasks, including transcriptions of numismatic content drawn from the National Archives and historic newspaper articles.

Link to Garrett Ziss presentation, From the War of 1812 to the Civil War: A Chronology of a Numismatic Marriage, from the March 2021 Newman Numismatic Portal Symposium:


Newman Numismatic Portal intern Garrett Ziss provided this report on some interesting correspondence recently added to the site. Thanks! I was unaware of this problem. -Editor

Cracked Planchet LHN Obv Cracked Planchet LHN Rev

Even though we're moving towards a cashless society, there are times when we need to grab a few coins to complete a transaction. However, this task was not always straightforward during the late 1800s. According to correspondence from the National Archives, recently transcribed by the Newman Portal, brittle five-cent nickels (commonly referred to today as Liberty Head Nickels) were returned to the Mint from banks in various states, including Iowa, Florida, Kentucky, Texas, New Jersey and Massachusetts. Their composition was 25% nickel and 75% copper and the main complaint was that these coins were chipping and breaking, even when very little pressure was applied, and could not be used in commerce.

The institutions that returned these flawed five-cent nickels to the Mint were quite candid with their assessment of the coins in their correspondence. For example, the Assistant Cashier of The Citizens Bank of Mount Ayr, Iowa told the Mint that he would have considered them counterfeit if we had not gotten them directly from you. Another recipient of the compromised nickels bluntly stated, tis very evident that if the Nickel will not stand transportation from the Mint to this city [Jacksonville, FL], it will certainly not be equal to the rough usage it will receive from the general public.

NNP E-Sylum Post 2021.06.06 flawed Liberty HEad nickels

According to this contemporary correspondence, the issue was reported at various times from late 1887 until early 1896. A Mint investigation determined that they were not at fault for the brittle five-cent nickels, but rather that their suppliers provided them with blanks that had not been properly annealed. Even though they were not responsible for the subpar condition of these coins, the Mint promptly sent replacement pieces to those who returned them.

Image: 5c PCGS MS64, ex. Heritage Auctions 2/17/2007, lot 3764, realized $253.

Image: Letter to the Superintendent of the Mint from Ambler, Marvin & Stockton of Jacksonville, FL

Link to Mount Ayr, IA return letter:

Link to Jacksonville, FL return letter:

Link to 12 pieces of correspondence regarding brittle five-cent Nickels:

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It's a members-only event, but a great reason to join the American Numismatic Society. On June 12th ANS will host a video conference about their upcoming exhibit of the works of coin and medal artist Victor David Brenner. -Editor

Brenner 150 Exhibition

By the time of the Hahlo Exhibition in 1912, Victor David Brenner was a globally-acclaimed sculptor and was still receiving accolades for his famed Lincoln cent of 1909. The exhibition effectively served as a survey of his life's work up to that point, showcasing pieces he produced early in his career alongside others that were freshly struck. The Brenner 150 Exhibition is a new digital recreation of the famous original display.

In addition to the 1912 Hahlo Exhibition having displayed 150 pieces of his work, the year 2021 marks the 150th anniversary of his birth—June 12, 1871. Join Assistant Curator of American Numismatics Jesse Kraft, ANS Fellow Scott H. Miller, and MFA Boston Director of Exhibitions Patrick McMahon on June 12, 2021 at 1:00 pm ET for the official launch of the digital exhibition, a tour through the website, and a discussion on the sculptor and his body of work.

ANS Members only. This Money Talks will be held live on Zoom. A link will be sent to members the morning of the event. This lecture will be recorded and uploaded to YouTube for later viewing.

Money Talks: Numismatic Conversations is supported by an ANS endowment fund generously given in honor of Mr. Vladimir Clain-Stefanelli and Mrs. Elvira Clain-Stefanelli.

To read the complete article, see:


The ANA will have a blockbuster exhibit at this year's convention in Rosemont. Here's the press release. -Editor

$100 Million Exhibit of U.S. Type Coins from The Tyrant Collection to be Displayed at the Chicago World's Fair of Money®

The never-before-seen exhibit will showcase hundreds of superb condition coins, including the famous King of Siam proof set

2021 ANA Worlds Fair of Money For the first time ever, the public will be able to see the superb quality type set of more than 400 U.S. coins from the acclaimed Tyrant Collection ( at the Chicago World's Fair of Money (, August 10-14. Ranging from 1793 to 1964, many of these historic coins are the finest known of their kind.

The centerpiece of the extraordinary exhibit will be the legendary King of Siam proof set which was originally presented in 1836 by the U.S. State Department to the King of Siam (now Thailand) as a gift on behalf of President Andrew Jackson.

Hosted by the nonprofit American Numismatic Association (ANA), the World's Fair of Money is considered the biggest week of the year for collectors of coins, paper money, tokens and medals. The event traditionally features expansive educational forums led by notable speakers sharing their numismatic expertise, exhibits of rare treasures from private collectors, hundreds of coin dealers buying and selling numismatic items in all price ranges, and major auctions.

"This is the first time in over a decade that the full, fabled King of Siam set will be publicly displayed, and we're delighted the set – in addition to the superb U.S. type coins – will be at the World's Fair of Money," said Kim Kiick, executive director of the ANA. "The unique King of Siam set will be accompanied by the leather-covered wood box that contained the presentation coins given 185 years ago to Rama III, the King of Siam. The ship's log from the USS Peacock on that important diplomatic mission will also be displayed."

The legendary set's coins range in denomination from an 1834 Classic Head copper half cent to an 1804 "Plain 4" Heraldic Eagle gold $10. A renowned Class I 1804 Draped Bust silver dollar graded PCGS PR67 is also included.

"The entire, incomparable exhibit, entitled 'U.S. Type Coins from The Tyrant Collection,' is insured for $100 million," said Ira Goldberg, CEO of Goldberg Coins and Collectibles, Inc. in Los Angeles, California. He is among those who have assisted the coins' owner in building the collection of U.S. world and ancient coins that is often described as the world's most valuable rare coin collection in private hands.

Tyrant 1793 Chain Cent Tyrant King of Siam 1804 Dollar

"The display will cover all U.S. types and sub-types, circulation strikes and proofs, from 1793 Liberty Cap half cents through the 1907 Saint-Gaudens Ultra High Relief $20 and everything in between to 1964. This undoubtedly will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see all these historic coins together," explained Goldberg.

Although The Tyrant Collection owner wants to remain anonymous, he has been displaying portions of his ancient, world and U.S. coins for their educational value, one segment at a time, in a continuing series of themed exhibits that began in 2018 in California. Those exhibitions were suspended in early 2020 until now because of the pandemic.

In addition to the King of Siam set, a few of the many other highlights of the exhibit include:

  • 1793 S-1 Flowing Hair "Chain AMERI" large cent, graded PCGS SP65;
  • 1796 JR-1 Draped Bust, Small Eagle dime, PCGS SP67 CAC ex. Simpson Collection;
  • 1797 O-101a Draped Bust, Small Eagle half dollar, PCGS MS66 CAC ex. Pogue Collection;
  • 1795 Draped Bust, Small Eagle dollar, PCGS SP66, ex. Garrett, Hayes and Pogue Collections;
  • 1796 BD-2 Draped Bust, No Star quarter eagle, PCGS MS65 ex. Jung Collection; and
  • 1907 Ultra High Relief double eagle, PCGS PR68, ex. Augustus Saint-Gaudens estate.

Special display cases with LED lighting were constructed for The Tyrant Collection exhibits, and each coin's obverse and reverse is shown with enlarged, color photographs for easy viewing. Detailed catalogs with information and superb illustrations about each coin in the exhibit will be available at the convention.

The World's Fair of Money will be held in Hall A of the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, 5555 N. River Road, in Rosemont, a suburb of Chicago, Ill. Public hours are Tuesday, August 10, from 1 to 5:30 pm; Wednesday through Friday, August 11-13, from 10 am to 5:30 pm; and Saturday, August 14, from 10 am to 3:30 pm. Health and safety protocols will be in effect.

Admission for ANA members is free. Admission Tuesday through Friday is $10 daily or $25 for a three-day pass for non-members. Children 12 and under are admitted free daily and admission is free for everyone on Saturday. Additional information can be found online at

Bibliophiles should take note of the opportunity to add a copy of the exhibit catalog to their libraries. -Editor

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Dennis Tucker, publisher at Whitman Publishing, penned a blog article for CoinUpdate on numismatic books for children. -Editor

Childrens numismatic books Collectors and dealers are always asking, How can we get more kids interested in the hobby? The idea of creating popular children's books about coins comes up pretty frequently. I ponder this from time to time, and I've yet to hit on a surefire approach. Here are some thoughts, so you can be pondering it, too.

From a sales viewpoint: A commercial publishing firm (like Whitman) will always want to know that a book a) has an audience and b) will sell. Part of the challenge with a kids' book about coins is how to define and predict the audience. It's tempting to think, There are 75 million children in the United States; even if I sell a book to just 1 out of every 5,000 kids, that's 15,000 books. A more realistic approach might be, There are 300,000 active coin collectors in the United States; if I can sell a book to 1% of them, that's 3,000 books. And an even more realistic understanding of markets is that selling anything to 1% of any given audience is a major accomplishment.

This applies to potential sales of any coin book about subject X or coin book appealing to audience Y. The reality of numismatic publishing today is that publishers slice portions from a fairly small specialized market, rather than slicing from a large mass-market audience. 50 million Americans might watch basketball on TV, but did the United States Mint sell 50 million of its 2020 Basketball Hall of Fame commemorative silver dollars? No slam dunk. So far, sales have reached 100,000 coins but not much more. Basketball fans have many other souvenirs competing for their disposable income, and many other ways to celebrate their love of the sport. If coins aren't already on their radar, the U.S. Mint has to work very hard to sell to them. A book on basketball coins would face the same challenges.

Of course, a financial profit isn't the only reason for writing and publishing a coin book for kids. Forget about sales and profits for a moment, and do it for the good of the hobby. Now you can focus on all the normal considerations that go into a book: Who am I writing for? (Those 75 million kids in America are split pretty evenly: One-third age 0 to 5; one-third age 6 to 11; and one-third age 12 to 17—very different audiences.) Who is my typical reader? What will most appeal to them? What will they find useful or entertaining? What level of vocabulary should I use? Should I write a guide book (how to assemble and display a collection of coins)? or a history book (how coins started, what they embody, etc.)? or an art book? or? Would its contents and/or approach be different from a coin book targeted toward a beginning adult collector? Should it be a picture book? A textbook? And so on.

There are numismatic books that have mass-market appeal and sell in the tens (and even hundreds) of thousands of copies every year. Catching that lightning in a bottle for children is a worthy goal. I have more thoughts on the subject, to share another time. Now that you're pondering it, maybe you do, too.

To read the complete article, see:
Notes Published: The perfect numismatic children's book (

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Keith Scott on Military Medals
Keith Scott writes:

"I've come to believe in Curator DNA and I'm a carrier.

"It's a shame when family history is lost and an item such as a medal becomes mundane. I consider myself to not be an owner, but a Custodian.

"In 1978 a former neighbor died and his 2 Sons sold everything at a garage sale including the 4 medals in the left top. They were $3.00 for the group and I felt obligated to do something else other than treat them as collectibles. I documented his name and what little else I knew. All I need now is a bit of time and some internet research to fill in the details.

"Below that are 5 coins that also have a story. I built a desk drawer for a WW2 veteran in 2007 and came upon the coins in a box. He had served in North Africa in an aircraft repair facility and had kept the coins together probably because they couldn't be spent easily. He said I could have them.

"A few notes were made of his stories and experiences that made him become a Minister and a proponent for peace and social justice. A nicer holder is needed.

"The last medal and MPC's belonged to my father (Korea 1952 to 1953). There is also paperwork that supports all promotions, assignments, dates and places.

"Over 200 photos were condensed to the top 40 that had captions added. These were shown on Monday at a open house of the USS Hornet in Alameda CA. Collections of this type need to be shared so history won't be lost."

Military medals and items

Thank you! -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

More on The Banknote Book
Steve McConnell writes:

The Banknote Book covers "It may be of interest to the E-Sylum readers, particularly those who are current subscribers to Owen's The Banknote Book, that CDN's acquisition of this work will result in one significant change that in my view is not being fully and clearly outlined in the recent news release.

"In the past, current Banknote Book (BNB) subscribers have been able to freely download copies of BNB's newly added and/or revised country chapters from the ContentShelf website as they wished. Everyone should be aware that this ability to download desired chapters will no longer be allowed by CDN going forward.

"I noted this when I signed on to the CDN site and found the downloading ability was gone. This fact was confirmed to me yesterday in an e-mail exchange with CDN's Patrick Perez who stated that "in the future we will not allow the downloading of PDF chapters because everything will be in database format".

"I think that this change was hinted at previously by Owen when he first advised BNB subscribers that this acquisition by CDN had taken place. He had mentioned that if anyone wanted or needed to download any chapters, that they should go to the ContentShelf website (where BNB currently resides) and do so before July 1st, when subscriber access to BNB on ContentShelf will end."

The move to a database format is definitely a big change, but ultimately one for the better, I think. But it will take some getting used to, especially in the interim. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

An Unlikely Pocket Piece
1835 dime 1835 dime rev
Ken Spindler writes:

"The first coin that got me really interested was an 1835 dime that my father received in change while I was shopping with him at around 9-10 years old, in 1961. He noticed it only because it was physically larger than contemporary dimes. I still own it and consider it to be a family heirloom, like whatever is left of my Polish grandfather's large foreign coins accumulation, integrated into my 20K coin world 1837-to-date type collection. The 1835 dime was (and still is) in AG, due to very uneven but partly heavy wear. Not 126 years of wear. Obviously, someone had recently spent it out of an inheritance, or out of their family member's coin collection, or a collector was trying to recruit a new collector, and I guess succeeded.

slick 200x-D dime  6-5-2021 Well, yesterday in change I noticed a coin in my hand that immediately reminded me of the slick "Mercury" dimes from the teens and '20s, that I used to get in circulation frequently, when I checked my parents' change every night. It also reminded me of the 1835. It's a 200?-D U.S. dime that is worn almost slick, mostly peripherally, on both sides. It doesn't look like a pocket piece and would be a very unlikely one anyway."

Great story. I think the earliest coin I ever found in circulation was a 1909-S Lincoln Cent (sadly, not a VDB). -Editor

Nils Lofgren, Coin Collector
NIls Lofgren logo
Ken Spindler adds:

"I grew up in Bethesda, MD and attended Walter Johnson High School. Also attending was Nils Lofgren, who later came to fame as a rock guitarist. He had a great coin collection, inherited from his grandfather. Like, complete, very high-grade sets of Indians and Lincoln cents. He dropped out after 11th grade, but to focus on his guitar, not his coins."

Still, another name for our list of celebrity numismatists! -Editor

See also:


Aidan Work writes:

"I am proposing the creation of an online catalogue & gallery website to showcase & educate the numismatic community about the postal notes & postal orders of the world, as the collection & study of postal notes & postal orders are very well-known among the philatelic community, but less well-known among the numismatic community.

"One of my aims is to rectify this - & it should be a collaborative project by postal order collectors themselves to help in creating an educational resource, considering some countries never had banknotes or coins, but did have their own postal orders.

"A gallery program that could be used can be downloaded from onto a server of some sort.

"I don't have the technical ability or skills to be able to build a website myself.

"Catalogues about postal orders have been published in printed form, but there is more information that is coming to light since these books have been published."

Howard A. Daniel III writes:

"I will forward all of the pages in my catalogs with postal orders and postal orders to whomever will import them into the website. I also have some files of extra pieces not in my catalogs which are duplicates and more of what are in my catalogs."

Good luck! This would be a useful site. Aidan can be contacted at . -Editor


To view a gallery of Postal Order images Aidan provided for this article, see:
World Postal Orders and Notes (

For more information, see:
List of countries that have used postal orders (

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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

Edge Mintmarks and Symbols Most of what has been discussed will help the observer decipher what is found on the edges of medals. Another practice needs to be discussed: the use of symbols as mintmarks or hallmarks, predominantly that of the official mint of the French government – the "Paris mintmark."

What originated as a mintmaster's mark evolved into a charming custom of a symbol for the Paris Mint. Since the 1830s symbols have appeared on French medals. Currently this is a cornucopia for medals produced since January 1880. And, since 1959, the date has been added in addition to the cornucopia mark. Previously the symbols were:

A bee for those medals produced November 1860 to December 1879.

A pointing hand for those medals produced June 1845 to October 1860.

The prow of a galley for medals produced September 1842 to June 1945.

An anchor and C interlaced for all medals produced October 1841 to September 1842.

An antique lamp for gold and silver medals only from March 1832 to October 1841.

In 1994 a French commemorative coin struck at the Paris Mint had a dolphin (for the engraver) in addition to the cornucopia mintmark punched on the edge.

Another common symbol appearing on recent American medals is the copyright mark, the c within a circle, ©. Or sometimes the sponsor of a medal appears in symbol form. On the Collegiate Football Centennial Medal of 1968 appeared the edge stamp of NCAA, for the National Collegiate Athletic Association, and the symbol for Chevrolet, the corporate sponsor. The copyright mark indicates a private issue, as national mints never copyright their designs.

A star symbol on the edge created two varieties of the Vermont Centennial Medal issued in 1927; a star was punched on the edge to indicate it was a second edition.

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

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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ELLA QUINN (1832-1900)

Here's another entry from the online draft of John Lupia's book of numismatic biographies. Thanks! This is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is Ella Quinn and her barrel of gold. I added an image of one version of the newspaper article found via -Editor

Ella Quinn (1832-1900), was born in Ireland and moved to America circa 1859. She married Dennis Quinn (1833-1889). Mr. Quinn was a saloon owner at Philadelphia. She died April 3, 1900, at her home 614 South 7th Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The Ella Quinn Hoard of Gold Coins.
Philadelphia Woman Worth $500,000 Secreted Her Money for Years.

Ella Quinn gold hoard Bridgeton, N.J. April 19, 1919 – For several years a barrel containing $40,000 nearly all in gold, was hidden in the cellar of the home of Mrs. Ella Quinn, of Philadelphia. After her death, two days ago, the fortune-laden barrel was discovered. Mrs. Quinn's estate, valued at $500,000 was divided between her heirs. Six-year-old John Quinn, of this city, inherited $60,000. For two years previous to her death Mrs. Quinn hinted at a fortune. "If all the rest is swept away, I'll still have enough to keep me." She said. This led to a thorough search of the house. In one corner of the cellar, amid old hoops and refuse, was found the barrel. It was broken open, and gold coins in denominations from $1 to $50 rolled in a heap on the cellar floor. Some paper money of large denomination was packed in the bottom. The gold was packed tightly between layers of cotton. The barrel was lined with asbestos. For how many years the barrel remained in the cellar is a mystery.

To read the complete article, see:


The latest article in Harvey Stack's blog series continues with the year 1985 and Norman Stack's United States Type Coins: An illustrated History of the Federal Coinage, First published in 1977, later revised in 1986. -Editor

Harvey Stack Numismatic Family 1984

After rejoining the firm at the end of his military service in 1955, Norman, a dedicated and knowledgeable collector, decided to build a high quality type set that Stack's could use to show a good way to start collecting. A type set offered a chance to learn about and own various denominations and designs, and explore how coin motifs at the U.S. Mint evolved over the years. This method of collecting included major and minor changes to a motif, or even adjustments in weight or composition that altered a coin's design in some way. By 1977 Norman, with help from me and my son, Larry, finished what he felt was a good example of a Type Set of United States Coinage. We decided to issue a book explaining the coins that would enhance such a collection. First, we showed all the obverse designs needed to build an introductory set. Second we featured the various reverse designs that were used, some of which shared an obverse design, further expanding the set. Third, we discussed where the coinage of the various mints could fit into the set and provided a list of major additions to each design (if changes were made) that could further expand the set.

Stack U.S. Type Coins book cover Norman Stack's type set was exhibited as an example of collecting to many beginning numismatists, as well as those who were more advanced. It was admired by many, often duplicated or imitated, and became a model for developing collectors of United States coins. The book that was created, though copyrighted in 1977, featured color photographs and by the mid 1980s had become an outline for this popular way of collecting. This panoramic approach to acquiring U.S. coins provided a goal in and of itself, but also led many to develop an interest in a specific denomination, series or design that took them on an entirely new numismatic journey. This textbook for building a type set was one more thing that added to the growth of the hobby during the 1980s, and some of the collectors who used it built fine pedigreed collections.

The continued growth in coin collecting and the publicity about the hobby attracted promoters, who entered the field not because of interest but specifically to make money. Some were unscrupulous which resulted in sales of polished, doctored and counterfeit coins being advertised and sold as high quality collector items. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sent out the few people they could to investigate and stop these fraudulent activities, with the goal of arresting the offenders and punishing them with fines and/or jail. While they tried the larger dealers, they found that most offenders were smaller general store merchants or fraudulent mail order houses, not those whose businesses had staffs of knowledgeable professional numismatists. This situation led to the FTC wanting to start a licensing requirement that would be similar to that which governed pawn brokers and second-hand dealers. The problem was that this might require a coin dealer to hold for a minimum of 30 days before selling anything bought from a private individual or business. For those who dealt in precious metals that could mean losing a fortune. And for those with limited capital, holding items for a month without reselling was an impossibility. This would be considered over the next few years, protested by numismatic organizations, and would not be resolved until 1989, when Barry Cutler debated Luis Vigdor and myself in a forum. (But that is a story for a later chapter.)

As the interest in numismatics grew, some well known collectors became dealers, issued price lists and auction catalogs, opened retail stores and attended many coin shows held nationwide. The Professional Numismatists Guild (PNG) expanded its membership to attract as many professional dealers as it could, and as a leading dealer organization, it worked to provide stability in the fast growing hobby.

As for Stack's, having held our first auction in 1935, we were poised to celebrate our 50th anniversary of presenting public auction sales, almost 400 in all. While the founders, Joseph B. and Morton had passed away (as well as my cousin Ben who died in 1983), the Stack family members who remained – myself, my cousin Norman, my son Larry, and my daughter Susan – felt this was a very special year, and that we should be sure to honor it appropriately. We planned for a 50th Anniversary Sale to feature coins and paper money of all eras from all over the world, and made a great effort to attract as many consignments as we could for it, in all fields of numismatics. Assisting us in this were the great numismatists who made up our staff.

But even before that important auction, set for October 1985, we had many other sales to prepare for and present earlier in the year, as well as continuing to be leaders in the retail side of the hobby, both in our New York City store and at shows and conventions across the nation.?

To read the complete article, see:
Harvey Stack Remembers: Growing Up in a Numismatic Family, Part 97 (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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With permission we're publishing this excerpt from a nice article by dealer Jim McGuigan. Reproduced from the June 2021 issue of The Numismatist, official publication of the American Numismatic Association ( Thanks! -Editor

Jim McGuigan Sometimes an event or encounter with another person can have a significant impact on one's career path. This is the story of how a coin purchase altered the direction of my life.

As a young boy growing up in Pittsburgh, I was bitten by the collecting bug early in life. In addition to coins, I collected stamps, comic books, baseball cards and toy soldiers. I began acquiring coins when I was about 10 years old. Like many beginning collectors in this era, I started filling holes in Whitman folders with Lincoln cents my parents received in change. Later, my father brought home a few rolls of cents from the bank each week so I could look for dates I was missing. I also expanded my collection to include other denominations— nickels, dimes, quarters, half dollars and silver dollars.

I found it difficult to locate certain dates (and mintmarks) in change, so I started visiting local coin shops. After buying a copy of A Guide Book of United States Coins (the Red Book) and learning how scarce and valuable many of the key dates were in each denomination, I started saving my allowance to purchase some of these coins. My interest in early U.S. coins was sparked in 1957 when I purchased several half cents, including the 1797 1 Above 1 and 1804 Spiked Chin varieties from Addison Smith—a Pittsburgh dealer.

As a collector younger than Jim also growing up in Pittsburgh, I too found my way to the shop of Addison Smith. It was a sparse and colorless office on an upper floor of the Jenkins Arcade, an old-style shopping arcade (now demolished and the site of an office building). Smith wore a rumpled suit with suspenders and looked to be older than dirt. But he was quite nice to me and I bought a decent Large Cent for $20 and kept it for decades. -Editor

The Acquisition
1808 over 7 Half Cent Since local dealers did not have many early coppers in stock, I started acquiring more pieces from auctions. One that caught my attention was the June 1970 Stack's James C. Rawls sale, which had a number of mid-grade half cents and large cents that I needed for my collection. I was a successful mail bidder on six lots, including an 1808/7 Gilbert-1 half cent (Lot 1123) for $100, graded Fine to Very Fine. I did not know the significance of this coin until I met Roger Cohen at the ANA's 1973 Boston Convention and purchased a copy of his reference American Half Cents (1971).

I learned from the book that my 1808/7 half cent was the finest-known of the extremely rare Cohen-1 die variety—a Rarity-8 with only 1-3 examples known at the time. Since this die variety was not discovered by Cohen until 1962, it was not listed in Ebenezer Gilbert's The United States Half Cents (1916), which had been the standard reference on the series until Cohen's work was published.

See the complete article in The Numismatist - it's a great story. Jim decides to trade the coin for other pieces he would sell to raise money for his collection. He ended up making so much money he decided to become a fulltime coin dealer. That chance purchase had led to a whole new career for Jim. And many decades later he managed to reacquire that same coin. Congratulations! -Editor

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Bruce Hagen and Maureen Levine cataloged the Mike Coltrane Collection Part 2 for Heritage, with assistance from Bob Moon and Frank Clark. They submitted this selection of highlights. Thanks! More next week... -Editor

Significant Opportunities in
The Mike Coltrane Collection Part 2 Sale

Heritage Coltrane Part 2 catalog cover Last fall's Mike Coltrane Part 1 sale was enthusiastically received by the numismatic community. A new auction record for a War of 1812 Treasury Note was achieved when the 1815 $3 triple-signature issued note realized $168,000. Hundreds of other notes in all value windows were also won by eager bidders. Currency collectors will not want to miss The Mike Coltrane Collection Part 2, to be sold unreserved by Heritage Auctions on June 24-25, 2021. This event offers outstanding opportunities for bidders to obtain many choice and interesting United States and related currency notes, most of which have been off the market for decades and are offered certified for the first time.

Mike Coltrane's continuing and engaging narrative of American currency issues unfolds within this presentation ranging from Colonial issues to the small size currency we currently use. Two assemblages within this sale are notable: the second and final group of Mike Coltrane's War of 1812 Treasury Notes — the most comprehensive ever assembled and cataloged for sale — and the most extensive selection of large size Federal Reserve Bank Notes to appear in a single auction. Numerous Federal currency rarities from all series are featured alongside hundreds of other large, fractional, and small size type notes in attractive, collector-quality grades. There is something to suit every budget, whether large or small, in this sale.

Some highlights include:

1815 $10 Treasury Note

Act of February 24, 1815 $10 Treasury Note. Hessler X83C, Fr. TN-14b. Triple-Signature Fully Issued. PMG Choice Very Fine 35. – Unique, and cataloged with further historical background research and insights. Perhaps the first Federal currency note issued. Lot 20015.

To read the complete lot description, see:
United States - Act of February 24, 1815 $10 Treasury Note. Hessler X83C, Fr. TN-14b. Triple-Signature Fully Issued. PMG Choi... (

1863 Legal Tender $50

Fr. 150 $50 1863 Legal Tender PMG Very Fine 20. – Extremely rare and one of a dozen known. The only mid-grade range note in collector's hands. Lot 20075.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Fr. 150 $50 1863 Legal Tender PMG Very Fine 20.. ... (

1864 Three-Year 6% Compound Interest Treasury Note $100

Fr. 193b $100 Act of June 30, 1864 Three-Year 6% Compound Interest Treasury Note. Hessler X140D. PMG Very Fine 20. – One of a dozen known and without auction records over the past half century. Lot 20084.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Fr. 193b $100 Act of June 30, 1864 Three-Year 6% Compound Interest Treasury Note. Hessler X140D. PMG Very Fine 20. (

1861 Two-Year 6% Interest Bearing Note $50

Fr. 202as $50 Act of March 2, 1861 Two-Year 6% Interest Bearing Note Hessler X126F (old 945b). Specimen. PMG Choice About Uncirculated 58. – This important specimen note rarity originated in the Vattemare Albums and was later part of the O'Neal and Anderson Collections. Lot 20086.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Fr. 202as $50 Act of March 2, 1861 Two-Year 6% Interest Bearing Note Hessler X126F (old 945b). Specimen. PMG Choice About Unc... (

First National Gold Bank of Petaluma $20

Petaluma, CA - $20 1875 Fr. 1157 The First National Gold Bank of Petaluma Ch. # 2193 PMG Choice Extremely Fine 45. – Not only the finest of the two known, but also the finest known of the design type. Lot 20190.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Petaluma, CA - $20 1875 Fr. 1157 The First National Gold Bank of Petaluma Ch. # 2193 PMG Choice Extreme... (

All lots are currently on Heritage Auctions preview at The sale will be held in Dallas with Session 1 (floor) on June 24 and Session 2 (HERITAGELive, Internet, Fax, and Mail only) on June 25. Lot viewing will be available by appointment only at Heritage's Office in Dallas (June 21-25, 2021); contact Jose Berumen at or 214-409-1299.

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Jeremy Bostwick at Numismagram passed along these highlights from his most recent addition of new tokens and art medals to his website. In particular, the refined elegance of Art Nouveau and Neoclassicism is in opposition to the powerful and moving—and sometimes haunting—imagery created during the chaos of World War I. To view all of these new items, please visit -Editor

101585 | FRANCE. Generals Joffre, Maunoury & Gallieni bronze Medal.
Generals Joffre, Maunoury & Gallieni bronze Medal

Issued 1916. The First Battle of the Marne (68mm, 159.05 g, 12h). By J. P. Legastelois at the Paris mint. BATAILLE DE LA MARNE, jugate capped and uniformed busts right of the generals: Joseph Joffre, Michel-Joseph Maunoury, and Joseph Gallieni; on tablet below in two lines, SEPTEMBRE / 1914 / Marianne-Victory flying right, holding sword; battle scene below, with French and British forces repelling their German enemies. Edge: «cornucopia» BRONZE. Maier 231. Choice Mint State. Attractive olive-brown woodgrain surfaces, with a slight matte nature. $365.

A turning point in WWI, the Battle of the Marne halted the German advance further into France, with British and French allied forces repelling their German counterparts to the northwest and saving Paris, but ultimately leading to prolonged trench warfare along the western front, a stalemate that was to last for the remainder of the conflict.

Nicely done. It's hard to render so much detail into a medal, and the artist pulls it off well. Excellent medal. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
101585 | FRANCE. Generals Joffre, Maunoury & Gallieni bronze Medal. (

101584 | GERMANY. Four Horsemen/Propaganda bronze Medal.
Four Horsemen Propaganda bronze Medal

Issued 1915. World War I series: The Ravages of War (60mm, 92.76 g, 12h). By B. H. Mayer's mint in Pforzheim. The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse—holding bomb, torch, sword, and scythe, respectively—riding left over the globe (focused upon the eastern hemisphere) plunging into the clouds; a bomb explodes over Eastern Europe / ZUR ERINNERUNG / AN DEN / WELTKRIEG / 1914/15 in five lines; all within wreath, with crossed sword and torch at ties. Edge: Plain. Cf. Zetzmann 2132 (silver; smaller module). Choice Mint State. Alluring brown-bronze surfaces. $275.

As both sides of this first global war began to dig in, the immense scale and tremendous toll began to emerge, as advancements in technology allowed for far greater devastation and ravages to unfold. This medal quite appropriately portrays the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, plunging the entire globe into chaos and destruction, with grenades—a new aspect to contemporary warfare—being hurled by one of the riders.

A classic theme. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
101584 | GERMANY. Four Horsemen/Propaganda bronze Medal. (

101561 | FRANCE & SCOTLAND. John Boyd Dunlop bronze Plaque.
John Boyd Dunlop bronze Plaque

Issued 1928. Celebrating the 40th anniversary of his pneumatic tire patent (60x51mm, 100.34 g, 12h). By R. Baudichon at Arthus-Bertrand in Paris. J. B. DUNLOP, bust of Dunlop facing; to left, biplane, motorcycle, automobile, and bicycle; in three lines in exergue, 1888 40e ANNIVERSAIRE 1928 / DE LA FOUNDATION / DE L'INDUSTRIE DU PNEUMATIQUE / Workers in a forest tapping rubber trees; in panel below, factory view between laurel branches, with legend above and below: VISITE • DES • USINES • DUNLOP • A • MONTLUCON • ALLIER / SOCIETE • ANONYME • DES • PNEUMATIQUES • DUNLOP (factory tour of the Dunlop facilities at Montluçon, Allier). Edge: BRONZE «triangle». Joos 565; Hans Kaiser –. Mint State. Olive-brown surfaces, with some underlying brilliance. A great type featuring multiple modes of transportation. $325.

A Scottish inventor who spent most of his life in Ireland, John Boyd Dunlop became famous for his eponymous tire company—Dunlop. Though he patented the pneumatic tire for bicycles in 1888, he later found out that a patent had previously been awarded for the concept in 1847, coincidentally to another Scot—Robert William Thomson. Nevertheless, Dunlop's tires were well marketed and promoted, with the company emerging at a crucial point, growing along with the invention of the automobile and, shortly thereafter, aircraft. All of these forms of transportation are shown on this commemorative plaque, with the cultivation and collection of latex from rubber trees shown on the reverse.

Nice. I'd never seen this one before. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
101561 | FRANCE & SCOTLAND. John Boyd Dunlop large bronze Plaque. (

101677 | MEXICO. Empire. Maximiliano I silver Medal.
Maximiliano I silver Medal

Issued 1865. The restoration of the Imperial Order of Our Lady of Guadalupe (28mm, 8.08 g, 6h). By C. Ocampo. MAXIMILIANO EMPERADOR, bare head left / NON FECIT TALITER OMNI NATIONI, Our Lady of Guadalupe, as represented on the venerated cloak enshrined with the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City. Edge: Plain. Grove 117a. Choice About Uncirculated. Deeply toned. A scarce medal from the brief Empire of Maximilian. $295.

Emanating from five Marian apparitions in December 1531 and a subsequent venerated image upon a cloak, the Virgin of Guadalupe is a Catholic title associated with the Virgin Mary in Mexico. The cloak resides in the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe in Mexico City, and is the world's third-most visited sacred site—and the first in the Catholic World. During the brief Empire of Maximiliano, an imperial order was restored in the Virgin's honor, it having been first created under Mexico's first empire and emperor, Agustín I Iturbide. Maximiliano was of Austrian descent from the mighty Habsburg ruling family (he was a younger brother of Austro-Hungarian emperor Franz Joseph), installed as emperor under the auspices of the French, the latter hoping to extend their influence in Mexico. The empire was short lived, however, as Maximiliano was dethroned a little after three years, being captured and executed by Republican forces.

Apropos of nothing, I came up with the name for our puppy - Maximilian, thinking "Emperor". My wife brought him back from the vet with his paperwork filled out as "Maximillion". Of course, nobody calls him either of those - usually it's just Max, but also Max the Dog, Maxwell Dog, Max the Wonderdog, Maxipoo, Maxipad, you name it. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
101677 | MEXICO. Empire. Maximiliano I silver Medal. (

101669 | UNITED STATES & FRANCE. Sinking of the Lusitania Bronze Medal.
Sinking of the Lusitania Bronze Medal

Issued circa 1920. The Sinking of the RMS Lusitania (54mm, 72.96 g, 12h). By R. Baudichon in Paris. VLTRIX AMERICA JVRIS (America, the defender of the just) / 1917 USA 1918, upper part of the Statue of Liberty rising from the Atlantic Ocean, holding sword in place of torch / LVSITANIA MAY 7 1915, stern of the Lusitania above the ocean, in the process of sinking; capsized lifeboat in foreground; above, vignette containing a drowning child. Edge: «cornucopia» BRONZE. Jones, Dance of Death, 27; The Art of Devastation, p. 310, 99. Gem Mint State. Light yellow-brown surfaces, with a pleasing matte nature. A powerful and historically interesting piece relating to America's build up to World War I. Compare to a similar medal in Stack's Bowers April 2020 CCO (lot 30039), which realized a total of $780. $645.

Not long after the German warning against sea travel into her 'war zone' declared upon Great Britain, a popular liner—the RMS Lusitania—was torpedoed 11 miles off the coast of Ireland, where over 60% of her passengers, some of whom were Americans, were killed. Serving as a rallying cry against the German Empire, this action solidified American involvement in World War I.

A classic medal. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
101669 | UNITED STATES & FRANCE. Sinking of the Lusitania bronze Medal. (

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A new article on the World Banknote Auctions Blog discusses a rare German East Africa note in the firm's current sale. -Editor

1912 German East Africa 500 Rupien
The 1912 500 Rupien issued by the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Bank

In the first installment of our blog, we take a closer look at the 1912 500 Rupien from German East Africa, one of the classic rarities in German and African banknotes.

German East Africa 1885-1918
German East Africa was one of the most important German colonies prior to World War I, covering a large part of East Africa near Lake Victoria, including the modern countries of Tanzania, Rwanda and Burundi. Starting around 1885 the area gradually came under German control. However, the German population remained small throughout the colony's history, making up just a fraction of the population. Initial settlement was under auspices of the German East Africa Company, which focused on the cultivation of Sisal trees (used primarily in the production of rope and twine), coffee and other miscellaneous crops. It was this company which issued the first coinage for the colony in 1890. Up to that point money circulation in the region consisted primarily of Indian Rupees. The Indian Rupees were supplemented by various other European coins, such as Maria-Theresa Thalers which were minted primarily for export purposes in Europe and used throughout most of Africa.

Banknotes Introduced
The 1890 coinage series was supplemented in 1905 by a banknote series issued by the Deutsch-Ostafrikanische Bank (German East African Bank) headquartered in Dar es Salaam. The series was denominated in Rupien, the German word for Rupees. Printed by the German printer Giesecke & Devrient at their plant in Leipzig, the series initially consisted of a 5 Rupien, 10 Rupien, 50 Rupien and 100 Rupien, all dated June 15, 1905. In 1912 the series was expanded to include a 500 Rupien, dated September 2nd, 1912. The two lower denominations of this series feature local scenes, while the 50, 100 and 500 Rupien showcase two different portraits of Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany in military uniform.

Mombo train station in German East Africa
The Mombo train station in German East Africa in the early 20th century.

This banknote series saw most of its use along the coast, where most economic activities in the colony took place. The usage of the 500 Rupien was very limited, as it represented a large sum of money there was little actual need for it in circulation. As a result, official records indicate that just 696 pieces were in circulation on the eve of World War I. The series continued to be valid for circulation during the War, although they saw very limited use after the outbreak of the war. During World War I both paper money and coinage were hoarded, and most of the money in circulation during this time was emergency issues printed locally on crude paper.

Technical Details
As the largest denomination in the series, the 500 Rupien is also the largest size, measuring approximately 178 x 108 mm. This paper is what was typically used by Giesecke & Devrient at the time, and is also used for many German banknotes of this era. The watermark is a cross-star pattern. The primary design element is the portrait of Wilhelm II, with various nautical instruments and seashells placed below the portrait. The color of the note is primarily brown with a turquoise underprint. The serial numbers are found on the front in red, and on the back in black. Most of the note was printed by letterpress, while the denomination in the corners and printers imprint (found on the lower right of the front) are in intaglio.

Final Thoughts
At the end of World War I, Germany lost all of their colonies as a result of the Treaty of Versailles. German East Africa became British, with small parts of the former German colony going to Belgium and Portugal. In 1918, all currency from German East Africa was declared invalid. Today, the emergency money printed during World War II is relatively common (and a fascinating collecting area consisting of hundreds of different varieties) while the 1905-1912 issue is much more difficult to find, especially in higher grades. The 500 Rupien is the key to the series and is generally only available at auction. The majority of 500 Rupien can trace their pedigree back to a find in a German safety deposit box in the late 1980s. Most examples seen on the marketplace today have 4 digit serial numbers. While records indicate only 696 pieces were issued, it is possible more were printed, although the number must have been very small. The 500 Rupien is a classic rarity and appeals to collectors of African and European Colonial banknotes as well as historically important notes. This note should be included in every serious world paper money collection.

To view a high grade example of this issue in our next live sale, please see here: Lot 10089: German East Africa 2.9.1912 P-5 PCGS Extremely Fine 40 500 Rupien .

To read the complete article, see:
World Banknote Auctions Blog: German East Africa (

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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

1700 William III Shilling
1700 William III Shilling

William III (1694-1702), Shilling, 1700, taller 0s in date line, fifth bust right, legend surrounding, GVLIELMVS III DEI GRA. Rev, crowned cruciform shields, five strings to Irish harp, Lion of Nassau at centre, date flanking top crown, reads MAG BR FRA ET HIB REX (S.3516; Bull. 1150 ESC 1121).

William III (1694-1702), Shilling, 1700, taller 0s in date line, fifth bust right, legend surrounding, GVLIELMVS III DEI GRA. Rev, crowned cruciform shields, five strings to Irish harp, Lion of Nassau at centre, date flanking top crown, reads MAG BR FRA ET HIB REX (S.3516; Bull. 1150 ESC. 1121). Attractive lustrous toning with mint bloom, some haymarking on both sides, common for the type. Free from any surface markings with a balanced and detailed portrait. Reverse, equally impressive, other than a few hairlines, superb. Near extremely fine.

Found on the Baldwin's site. Nice coin. -Editor

To read the complete item description, see:

1809/'6' Classic Head Half Cent
1809 over inverted 9 Half Cent obverse 1809 over inverted 9 Half Cent reverse

1809/'6' Classic Head Half Cent. C-5. Rarity-1. 9/Inverted 9. MS-64 BN (PCGS). CAC.

A popular variety of the first year 1809 Classic Head half cent that was long thought to be an overdate, Cohen-5 has since been reclassified as having the primary digit 9 in the date punched over an inverted 9. Remnants of the underdigit are clearly evident with the aid of a loupe. This variety barely edges our C-6 as the most readily obtainable of the issue with William R. Eckberg accounting for approximately 4,500 survivors in all grades in his 2019 reference The Half Cent, 1793-1857: The Story of America's Greatest Little Coin. The author further asserts, "UNCs are plentiful; probably at least 60 exist." Technically sound and visually appealing, the PCGS/CAC MS-64 BN example offered here will appeal to discerning numismatists, be they type collectors or early copper enthusiasts.

From the upcoming Stack's Bowers sale of the collection of Silas Stanley Roberts. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1809/'6' Classic Head Half Cent. C-5. Rarity-1. 9/Inverted 9. MS-64 BN (PCGS). CAC. (

Chubbuck Morse Code Telegraph Token
Chubbuck Morse Code Telegraph Token obverse Chubbuck Morse Code Telegraph Token reverse

Pre Civil War 1850's token Miller / Rulau NY 1062 NGC MS63. S.W. Chubbuck Manufacturer Of And Dealer In Telegraph Chemical & Philosophical Apparatus Utica, N.Y. with Morse code alphabet on reverse (400-450).

From the eBay offerings of Steve Hayden. One of the best condition examples of this token I've ever seen, We discussed these before - see the earlier articles for more information. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
1850 Utica New York Merchant Token Chubbuck Telegraph Morse Code NGC MS63 (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MAY 19, 2013 : Morse Code on S.W. Chubbuck Tokens (

Bryan's Ladies Shoes Charge Coin
Bryan's Ladies Shoes Charge Coin obverse Bryan's Ladies Shoes Charge Coin reverse

Philadelphia Pennsylvania Credit Charge Coin. Bryan's Ladies Shoes And Hosiery 1345.

Another item that caught my eye in Steve Hayden's eBay inventory is this nice pictorial charge coin from Philadelphia. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Philadelphia Pennsylvania Credit Charge Coin Bryan's Ladies Shoes & Hosiery (


OVER 500 NUMISMATIC TITLES: Wizard Coin Supply has over 500 numismatic titles in stock, competitively discounted, and available for immediate shipment. See our selection at

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In his CoinWeek Ancient Coin Series Mike Markowitz published a nice piece about temples on ancient coins. Here's an excerpt. Be sure to read the complete version online. -Editor

temples on ancient coins

Two of the most common circulating American coins depict buildings modeled on Greco-Roman temples: the Lincoln Memorial on the cent, and Monticello, Thomas Jefferson's elegant domed residence, on the nickel. Coinage is conservative! Temples of many different deities adorn the reverses of hundreds of ancient coin types, and collectors have eagerly sought the finest and most historic specimens for centuries. By one estimate, over a thousand different ancient buildings are depicted on coins, and, in many cases, the coins are the only evidence for how the structures appeared (Price and Trell, 11).

To understand descriptions of ancient temples found in coin catalogs, it's helpful to know some terminology.

Temples are categorized by the number of columns visible on the front. A tetrastyle temple has four columns, a hexastyle has six, a decastyle has 10, and so on. The pediment is the triangular panel, often filled with sculpture, above the columns. An architrave is the main beam that rests across the top of the columns. A lintel is the beam above a doorway.


Petillius Capitolinus Denarius Temple of Jupiter

The Temple of Jupiter Optimus Maximus (Jupiter Best and Greatest) on Rome's Capitoline Hill was one of the oldest and most important structures in the city. Over the centuries, it was repeatedly destroyed by fire and rebuilt. The temple appears on the reverse of a denarius issued in 41 BCE by the moneyer Petilius Capitolinus. The obverse bears Jupiter's emblem: an eagle grasping a thunderbolt.

Vespasian Sestertius  temple of Jupiter

More than a century later (76 CE), this temple appears in greater detail on the reverse of a large bronze sestertius of the emperor Vespasian. Between the central columns, we see a statue of Jupiter enthroned, flanked by standing figures of goddesses Juno and Minerva.

To read the complete article, see:
Temples on Ancient Coins (

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I came across this nicely illustrated piece on the gold aureus of Diocletian on the Baldwin's blog. -Editor

gold aureus of Diocletian

Revolutionary, formidable and feared, Diocletian is without a doubt one of the most important rulers in the history of the Roman Empire. After decades of turmoil across the Roman world during what is now known as the Crisis of the Third Century, Diocletian rose to prominence after the murder of Numerian. He would rule from AD 284 until 305. His reign was characterized by the creation of what is now known as the ‘Dominate'. This institution essentially lifted the emperor to a god among men – with the emperor donning robes and regalia more befitting of an eastern king than a Roman Emperor, and only accepting visits from a select few individuals.

Diocletian did, however, share his power. He needed a method of smoothing out the nightmarish scenario which had plagued the 3rd Century AD – succession. Time and again a leading military commander had been declared emperor by his troops (Diocletian was no exception), and rose to victory over the current emperor. He would, more often than not, meet his demise under similar circumstances, after a short reign.

The Tetrarchy was conceived as a way to avoid this. The empire would be split in two – east and west. Both would be ruled by an emperor, an ‘Augustus', as well as a junior emperor, known as a ‘Caesar'. The Caesar's role was to learn from his Augustus, ready to fill his shoes. The Tetrarchy worked smoothly at first, with Diocletian and his co-emperor in the west, Maximian, abdicating in AD 305 – the first emperors to do so. Their Caesars, Galerius and Constantius Chlorus, stepped up as Augusti. The system was, eventually, doomed to failure with the rise of the Emperor Constantine, but the principle was, in theory, sound.

Another of Diocletian's many reforms was that of the Roman Empire's currency. For years, the purity of Rome's silver coinage had been reduced and reduced until, by the time of Gallienus (AD 253-268) it contained barely any precious metal at all. Attempts had been made by the renowned Emperor Aurelian to restore the coinage, but the people of Rome still had no high-grade silver coins in their pockets, as their ancestors had before them. With Diocletian's reforms, this would change. Diocletian set an edict on the maximum prices goods could be sold for, with severe punishments for those who broke the rules. He revalued the currency, creating a new silver coin: the Argenteus, and he increased the weight of the gold aureus. Diocletian also introduced a new, large, billon coin: the follis. These were, however, issued in far too great numbers in relation to the silver – affecting the reforms and limiting their success.

This gold aureus was minted in the eastern city of Cyzicus, in AD 290. The style in which it depicts the emperor is a product of the shifting appearance of artistry we begin to see in this period. There is a distinctive move away from the ‘warts and all' styles of the soldier emperors before him. This move towards a more symbolic ‘emperor figure' would become much more apparent into the 4th Century AD. The short inscription; Diocletianus Augustus, leaves us no doubt as to the emperor depicted.

To read the complete article, see:

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A minister brought his church's communion tokens to the Antiques Roadshow for an evaluation. -Editor


I've never seen these in England, which is communion tokens, and you're obviously a man of the cloth. Is this from your church?"

This is from our church, the guest replied. The first lot of communion tokens from 1777, and the box is the later version 1840.

What's the story with them? John asked and the minister replied: To have one of these tokens meant that whoever you were, you were allowed into the church, to be able to go to Communion, which in the 18th century was hugely important for the local people.

The antique expert questioned: How often would these have been used?

Quite rarely, because within the Church of Scotland tradition it was only maybe once or twice a year, that communion took place, the guest explained.

And sometimes in the Western Isles, even today, people have the tradition of only one time in their life, taking communion.

How long before communion took place would you have been given this? John remarked.

Probably what would happen would be the month before, the elders in the kirk would go around their districts, and give the communion tokens to people in their homes, he answered.

And it becomes a real treasure, you know to get one of those.

John interjected: But would it been taken away if you were bad or what was what was going on?

People in the kirk session of the church at that time were quite disciplinary, the guest shared.

So if you played golf on a Sunday, you could be reprimanded or if you played football or things like that.

And that was really quite a life or death thing for the people then, if they weren't allowed to share the bread and wine it was a lasting thing on their soul.

When you look at them, you see there you have the date 1777, made simply out of pewter, John explained referring to one-half of the coins.

And then these ones which are 1847, again later and not so interesting because that's like the birth of your church, pretty much.

To read the complete article, see:
Antiques Roadshow guest stunned by 'never seen before' communion tokens valuation 'Whoa!' (

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Nice New Orleans gold coins are scarce. Counterstamped gold coins are rare. Counterstamped New Orleans gold coins brought up from the wreck of the SS Central America are amazing, rare survivors. This press release from M.S. Rau illustrates the rarity, which is on display in their New Orleans gallery. -Editor

Front of unique 1854 New Orleans  Quarter Eagle gold coin Back of unique 1854 New Orleans Quarter Eagle gold coin

A unique, sunken treasure gold coin that made its way from New Orleans to the California Gold Rush and then to the Panama railroad before going down with a famous ship has now come home to The Big Easy for the public to see.

It left the United States Mint branch in New Orleans 167 years ago, and for 157 of those years it was submerged on the floor of the Atlanta Ocean as part of America's greatest lost treasure.

This historic coin is an 1854 Liberty Head Quarter Eagle struck at the New Orleans Mint and was later counterstamped by California merchant J.L. Polhemus. It was among the sunken treasure recovered in 2014 from the fabled ‘Ship of Gold,' the S.S. Central America, that sank in a hurricane in 1857 while sailing to New York, explained Bruce Smith, Director of Numismatics at M.S. Rau Fine Art, Antiques and Jewels.

It is the only gold coin of this denomination known with the advertising counterstamp mark of Polhemus, a Gold Rush-era pharmacist in Sacramento, California. He made so-called store cards with various other coins in circulation at the time. When this particular gold coin was made in 1854 its face value was $2.50. Today, it's a New Orleans treasure and insured for $65,000 for its first visit home in over a century and a half, said Smith.

The coin, graded PCGS XF45, is on public display at the Rau gallery, 630 Royal St. in New Orleans, Monday through Saturday from 9 am to 5:15 pm. Admission is free.

Scientist Bob Evans, who was on the successful S.S. Central America recovery missions, told PCGS Rare Coin Market Report Price Guide Magazine, the counterstamped 1854-O Quarter Eagle he discovered while examining treasure retrieved in 2014, is one of his favorite coins.

That coin was made in New Orleans at a time when the New Orleans Mint may well have been using California gold to mint coins. Gold Rush gold got around back then! So, then this coin made its way all the way to Sacramento, where a shopkeeper hammered his name on it. And then, somehow, it made it on to the S.S. Central America, and then, somehow, we brought it back up 150 years later, a couple of hundred miles from North Carolina. That's just a great story! An example of a great, full-circle journey, Evans stated.

The S.S. Central America was a 280-foot long, three-masted side-wheel steamship carrying tons of California gold when she sank on September 12, 1857 hurricane during the cargo's final leg of the 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.

When the S.S. Central America site was discovered in 1988 on the seafloor of the Atlantic, 7200 feet down about 150 miles off the North Carolina coast, Life magazine proclaimed it America's greatest treasure.

For additional information, contact M.S. Rau at 888-557-2406 or visit online at

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Web site visitor Dennis Byrne found us while researching a medal his daughter found. Here's the story. -Editor

We left Oklahoma City to visit our daughter Sarah and her family in Holly Springs MS. Although short, it was a great trip! They bought 30 acres in Holly Springs and have been excavating it to build a new home. Last week she found this medallion from WWI. (how appropriate for Memorial Day!)

Colored Heroes medal obverse Colored Heroes medal reverse

While searching, found your article and another with some history:

"It is a commemorative medal struck privately to honor the black units whole served in the armed forces during WWI. The reason they gave it to them was because many black soldiers were not allowed to march in the victory day parades due to segregation so they received that instead..."

To read the complete article, see:
WWI "Our Colored Heroes" Medal (

Thanks for reaching out! We're glad to know our article helped. Nice find. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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This article discusses an amazing 15th century bronze roundel depicting the goddess Venus. -Editor

15th century bronze roundel of Venus

The richly decorated roundel, valued at £17 million, has been expertly crafted from bronze and is in exemplary condition despite its significant age with vibrant silvered features and mercury gilding. Although the artist is not known, experts reviewing the artefact believe it was created by at least two sculptors of significant talent.

Venus, the Roman goddess of Love, is depicted on the roundel surrounded by her lover Mars, husband Vulcan and son Cupid. The mythological references in the design, and the quality of the relief, reveal the sophistication of the patron and the artist's understanding of the classical past.

The roundel is larger, more complex and more refined than other examples produced in Mantua at the same time which are currently in British collections. The decision to defer the export will give a UK buyer the opportunity to acquire the exceptional piece.

Caroline Dinenage, Culture Minister, said: This piece is a stunning combination of myth and mystery. I hope a UK buyer can be found so that researchers can reveal its secrets and the public can see this striking design on display.

The Minister's decision follows the advice of the Reviewing Committee on the Export of Works of Art and Objects of Cultural Interest (RCEWA). The committee noted that the size and unique composition made roundel extremely technically interesting, as well as an object of outstanding beauty.

Stuart Lochead, RCEWA Committee member, said: Of an exceptional size and of the highest possible quality this beguiling gilt and silvered bronze roundel represents the best of a highly sophisticated and intellectual humanist circle of artists and patrons active in Northern Italy in the late 15th to early 16th century.

Yet many of its secrets are still to be revealed. While it shows clear links to Mantegna and Donatello, it is hoped that further study might reveal who designed and produced it and for whom and therefore contribute to advancing knowledge of the period.

The remarkable craftmanship, aesthetics and mystery of this sculpture is captivating and its export from the United Kingdom and subsequent loss to the nation would be a misfortune.

To read the complete article, see:
A temporary export bar has been placed on a late 15th century bronze roundel valued at £17 million (

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Ultramodern numismatist Pabitra Saha has published an article on the trend of "jigsaw" coinage designs. With permission, here's an excerpt. Thank you. -Editor

One of the recent trends in design of coin series is use of jigsaw design. It was first used in series of collector coins issued by France on centenary of Tour de France in 2003. The face value of each coin was 1.5 Euro, a non standard denomination. Tour de France is a several days long, nation wide cycling race, held annually. A cycle chain was the unifying item across the reverse.

This was taken in to circulation coins by Mathew Dent, who made jigsaw design in UK design, in 2008. The Royal Coat of Arms, shown in full on reverse of 1 Pound coin, was used a jigsaw design on reverse of 6 denominations. Incidentally, the 2 Pounds circulation coin was not included in the series.

Jigsaw design France Tour de France Jigsaw design UK Dent
LEFT: Tour de France; RIGHT: Dent's U.K. Design

Later, in 2013, another series of collector coins, again from France, formed a jigsaw image of "RF" ( for Republic of France ) .

Jigsaw design France RF

Other examples of the ensemble motif hail from Moldova, and in some commemorative Royal Mint designs. -Editor

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Last week's video from David Lisot discussed a thousand ounce bar of silver. Pete Smith submitted these thoughts on dealing with thousand ounce bars of bullion. Thanks! -Editor

About that Thousand Ounce Bar

a thousand ounce bar of silver When I worked for a Minneapolis bullion dealer, we had a garage where clients could drive in to make a secure pick-up or delivery. I recall the day when a client backed his pick-up into the garage and I helped unload seven thousand-ounce bars from the back. They don't weigh 80 pounds and I couldn't lift one in one hand. Later, working for another firm, it was my responsibility to ship those bars. A thousand-ounce bar will fit cross-wise in a large postal flat-rate box with a maximum weight of 70 pounds. We got good value from the post office with those typically weighing in at around 69 pounds, 4 ounces.

A thousand-ounce bar of silver weighs 83 1/3 Troy pounds. The postal weight at 69.25 pounds would be about 1108 ounces avoirdupois. The conversion rate would be about 1097 ounces plus the packaging.

Then I recall when the firm was contacted by an attorney representing a client who wanted to liquidate a thousand-ounce gold bar. I never handled one of those since management declined to buy it. We would not risk that it might be drilled and plugged with tungsten.

If we would act as a broker on that deal, we would have sent it to our refiner to have it melted and assayed. Payment from our refiner would take about six weeks.

Thus a thousand-ounce bar of gold may have a high theoretical value, but it is not a liquid asset that can be easily converted to cash.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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The Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force assisted law enforcement in the recent seizure of over 40,000 fake coins. Here's the press release. Great photos! This is a big problem requiring and equally big response from the industry. -Editor

ACEF logo Representatives of the Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation ( and its Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force (ACTF) on the request of the Secret Service provided on-site numismatic expertise to federal law enforcement agents in the Los Angeles area who seized more than 40,000 fake Morgan and Peace dollars, American Eagle silver bullion coins and $2 1/2 Indian Head gold coins.

The counterfeits were intercepted from overseas shipments and seized during a two-month joint investigation by the Secret Service and U.S. Customs and Border Protection, explained ACEF Anti-Counterfeiting Director Doug Davis who flew from Dallas, Texas to California to assist investigators.

Hundreds of seized packages He and task force volunteer Lee Minshull of Palos Verdes, California, a long-time member of the Professional Numismatists Guild (, met with federal investigators at the International Mail Facility in the Los Angeles suburb of Torrance, California. That is where approximately 1,700 packages of seized counterfeit coin shipments were stored.

There were numerous wheeled carts filled with packages that contained coins seized during the eight-week targeting operation. We were told that each package contained an average of 27 to 32 coins, all of them counterfeits, said Davis.

The quality of the hundreds of counterfeits we personally examined varied from good to very good, especially the counterfeit silver American Eagles, stated Minshull.

Intercepted fake Peace dollars Intercepted fake gold coins

It appears that the fakes we saw probably were made by three different counterfeit manufacturers. If they were genuine, the retail value of these 40,000-plus coins would be over $2 million, added Minshull.

Davis said the coordination between ACEF/ACTF, Secret Service, and Customs and Border protection provided valuable intelligence information that supports our work in exposing the widespread proliferation of counterfeit coinage and precious metals into the U.S. marketplace. Most importantly the success of this operation provides us with evidence to continue educating the higher-up administration within Secret Service, Customs and Border Protection and other law enforcement agencies about the growing problem of counterfeits.

He added: We will be providing Secret Service with a report of our evaluation. Secret Service was very appreciative of our assistance and willingness to travel at short notice to assist in the investigation. We could not say anything publicly about this operation earlier until federal agents finished part of their investigation.

This is only one of many cases during the past 12 months in which ACTF has provided numismatic experts to assist Secret Service and other Federal law enforcement agencies on counterfeit cases stretching across the United States.

ACEF is playing an important role in aggressively identifying counterfeit manufacturers, organized groups, individuals, e-commerce, and social platforms selling counterfeit coins and precious metals. Most importantly, is the resources and experts ACEF has at its disposal to assist local, state, and federal agencies during the investigative process and enhances expeditious indictments and prosecution, Davis emphasized.

The Anti-Counterfeiting Educational Foundation and its volunteer task force depend entirely on the support of the numismatic profession and the hobby community. ACEF is a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation.

Monetary contributions can be made online at or by check sent to ACEF, 28441 Rancho California Rd., Ste 106, Temecula, CA 92590.

For additional information, contact ACEF Executive Director Brueggeman at

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Earlier this year, Len Augsburger alerted us to the existence of a numismatic connection to the Tulsa Race Massacre. Anne Bentley passed along a May 24, 2021 Smithsonian article which illustrates the piece. Thanks! -Editor

66FA372981652_5001.tif Tulsa Race Massacre charred cent reverse

George Monroe was 5 years old when he collected this penny in the aftermath of the deadliest racial massacre in U.S. history. Lincoln's likeness is marred; the word liberty is barely legible. The back of the penny is so melted that nothing is visible.

Monroe survived the Tulsa Race Massacre, which began May 31, 1921, in a thriving African American community in Tulsa, Oklahoma. No one knows exactly how many people died, and no one was convicted. For nearly a century, the story was rarely told.

The Greenwood area of Tulsa was known as Black Wall Street. It had one of the largest concentrations of Black-owned businesses in the country at the time—a neighborhood full of stores, schools, churches, a hospital and a library.

Then Dick Rowland—a Black 19-year-old—was imprisoned, falsely accused of assaulting a white woman. A lynch mob gathered to hang Rowland. Black Tulsans hurried to the courthouse to protect him.

For two days, white mobs ransacked, razed and burned over a thousand properties across almost 40 blocks. They murdered as many as 300 African American residents, with significantly more missing and wounded. The Oklahoma National Guard rounded up Black residents of Greenwood and forced thousands into detention centers at the Convention Hall, the Tulsa County Fairgrounds and the baseball stadium, where they were held for up to eight days. The violence left about 10,000 people without homes.

Black Wall Street was destroyed.

In the decades that followed, the massacre was rarely discussed or acknowledged. Now, 100 years later, the Smithsonian is sharing reflections and resources for learning more about the event.

The pennies picked up by Monroe are on display at the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History and Culture. It's great to hear these artifacts are properly identified, cataloged and preserved. I'm still curious to learn more about the gold-plated medals presented by the state to the Tulsa event survivors. Have any of our readers seen one? -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
100 years ago, this penny was charred in the Tulsa Race Massacre (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JANUARY 31, 2021 : Tulsa Race Massacre Numismatic Survivors (

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Kellen Hoard passed along this Washington Post article about planning for a Harriet Tubman portrait on the U.S. $20 bill. -Editor

Treasury Secretary Jack Lew with rendering of Harriet Tubman

Kellen notes that the article...

"[included a] memo from Treasury Staff to Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon suggesting people to be featured on the new currency designs. Interestingly, Mellon in pencil reversed the positions of Cleveland and Jackson."

President Biden's White House basked in praise from allies in its early days when it pledged to look for ways to speed up the process of putting abolitionist Harriet Tubman on the front of the $20 bill, replacing President Andrew Jackson, who owned enslaved people and forcibly relocated Native Americans.

But four months after taking office, there is little evidence that the administration has taken any steps to accelerate the schedule set out years ago by a small agency within the Treasury Department.

Despite the growing national push to honor the contributions of women and people of color — and Biden's personal promise to do so — Tubman is still not set to appear on the $20 by the end of Biden's first term, or even a hypothetical second term. If the current timeline holds, it will have taken a full 16 years to realize the suggestion of a 9-year-old girl whose 2014 letter to then-President Barack Obama publicly launched the process.

Biden has made other efforts to update the nation's imagery. He recently became the first president to visit Tulsa in commemoration of a race massacre there. He ordered that the Oval Office be cleared of a portrait of Jackson, who oversaw the Indian Removal Act that led to the Trail of Tears. President Donald Trump had installed the portrait of the seventh president, who is admired by some traditionalists for his populism and frontier image.

But removing the portrait has proven much easier than accelerating the actions of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, a unit of the Treasury Department, which critics say displays scant interest in transforming the currency.

Treasury officials say changing the portrait on the $20 is not as simple as it sounds, largely because of the need for sophisticated anti-counterfeiting features.

We are committed to the goal of redesigning U.S. currency to better reflect the history and diversity of our country, Len Olijar, director of the Bureau of Engraving and Printing, said in a statement. But the security of our currency remains paramount.

Olijar said the schedule for new currency is recommended by a group called the Advanced Counterfeit Deterrence committee, which advises the treasury secretary on anti-counterfeiting issues. Under that schedule, both the $10 and the $50 notes are set to be released ahead of the $20.

The primary reason currency is redesigned is for security against current and potential counterfeiting threats, Olijar said. The redesign timeline is driven by security feature development.

Changing America's money has long been a glacial process. One Treasury aide said the blue thread that appears in the recently released $100 bill took the government a decade to develop.

Complicating matters further, the effort to change the Jackson portrait is caught up in a 2008 court order that any new currency must include some kind of tactile signifier, similar to Braille, so those who are blind or visually impaired can distinguish between various denominations.

Like supporters of the Tubman portrait, representatives of the blind are still waiting.

It doesn't cost very much to change the portraiture — it's just the everything else that they're trying to do at the same time, said Ruth Anne Robbins, a Rutgers law professor who co-wrote a paper on changes to the currency. People have been asking now for just about a century to please put some women on the money.

Her research shows how much easier it was to put Jackson on the currency than it's proving to get him off it.

1927 memo on US currency portraits

When the modern currency was first designed nearly a century ago, then-Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon received a typed memo from his staff suggesting individuals to be honored on the new bills, a copy of which was unearthed in the National Archives by Robbins and her colleague Genevieve Tung.

The October 1927 memo listed former president Grover Cleveland as the proposed face of the $20 and Jackson for the $1,000. Mellon crossed their names out and, with his pencil, ordered their positions reversed.

To read the complete article, see:
When will Harriet Tubman adorn the $20 bill? (


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.

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Arthur Shippee passed along a nice article about trompe l'oeil painter John Haberle. Thanks! See the complete article online and follow the links to view more Haberle works. -Editor

Haberle USA

The Art Institute was yesterday afternoon the scene of a delicate and interesting experiment, upon the result of which a personal reputation may be said to have rested and certainly upon which the merit of a work of presumptive art did depend, the Chicago Daily News reported loquaciously on July 3, 1889. The personal reputation at stake was that of New Haven artist, John Haberle. At the time, Haberle's painting U.S.A. was hanging in the main gallery of the Art Institute of Chicago, attracting much scrutiny and speculation.

The small oil on canvas depicts several familiar objects including coins, paper currency and postage stamps, exactingly rendered in the then-fashionable trompe l'oeil (fool the eye) style. The bills and stamps quickly created a tempest in the Chicago art world's teapot, with one prominent critic deeming them too realistic to have been painted and publicly denouncing the piece as a fraud. As a result, Haberle was reached in far distant New Haven, where he was roused by the critical critique and he made a hasty journey hither. Once Haberle arrived, the work was removed from its frame in the presence of art experts and the press who watched as the [magnifying] lens was used, the paint was rubbed off, and the whole ingenious design proved really an imitative work of art, and most excellent one. In other words, both Haberle and his painting were vindicated.

Haberle then spent a year working as an engraver in Montreal, returning to New Haven in 1875 to set up his own studio on Winthrop Avenue. Soon he was doing illustrations for paleontologist Othniel Charles Marsh who, at the time, was preparing to open Yale's Peabody Museum as one of its original curators. Haberle was also enlisted by Marsh to repair fossils, arrange specimens and paint scenery for displays.

In his spare time, Haberle began the pursuit of a fine art career. His early watercolor, Yellow Canary (1883), now held at the Yale University Art Gallery, portrays a lifeless bird suspended in front of a cigar box top and evidences his budding interest in trompe l'oeil, a style the Philadelphia artist William Harnett had introduced to Americans in the previous decade. In 1883, Haberle became a founding member of the New Haven Sketch Club, where he taught regularly, and he applied for admission to the National Academy of Design in New York, which he attended the following year. By 1885, he was back in New Haven with a portfolio of paintings that employed what he then called his imitative technique.

Haberle Imitation

His reputation quickly grew. In 1887, he submitted Imitation to the National Academy's fall exhibition. The painting, depicting bills, coins, stamps and a tintype of Haberle, soon prompted Harnett himself to declare that no artist has yet equaled Haberle in the imitation of bills and stamps. Although he offered Fresh Roasted (Peanuts) that year for the Sketch Club's December exhibition, he soon returned to depicting currency with Can You Break a Five? and Reproduction. Both include representations of newspaper clippings, one proclaiming Haberle to be a Counter[feiter].

By the 1890s, Haberle's paintings were so realistic that he was admonished by federal authorities to cease and desist from painting American currency. He did not. In 1890, along with the nostalgic Grandma's Hearthstone, he completed Twenty Dollar Bill, One Dollar Bill and A Deception: Ben Franklin and Five Dollars. In the latter, he chose to depict the reverse side of the bill, which, at the time, included a lengthy warning about the consequences of reproducing federal currency. A small clipping portrayed in the upper corner declares J. Haberle—New Haven, Conn, doubtlessly copied from his own newspaper advertisements.

The financial success Haberle's work brought allowed him to purchase a parcel of land overlooking the harbor in Morris Cove, where he built a house and studio.

To read the complete article, see:
That's Him! (

For more information on the works, see:
U.S.A. (
Imitation, 1887 (

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For some time we've been following the explosive growth in collectible fields including numismatics and sports cards. The frenzy for third party grading of trading cards has gotten so out of hand that another major grader is suspending submissions so it can work through its backlog. -Editor

Beckett-Grading logo Overwhelmed with orders, Beckett Grading Services will temporarily stop accepting most trading card submissions next week.

Like its competitor, PSA, Dallas-based Beckett has a backlog of ungraded cards that's so large that collectors and dealers have been waiting months for orders that used to be completed in weeks.

Beckett Collectibles President Jeromy Murray says all grading submissions other than the Premium Level service will be suspended after Monday, June 7.

All orders that are submitted under the Express, Standard, and Economy level will be returned to the customer, ungraded, he told customers Tuesday in a statement tucked inside the company's plans for the 2021 National Sports Collectors Convention. The reason behind this decision is simply to allow us to focus on the growing backlog we have and to get as many cards back to customers as possible, before the National. This is not ideal for anyone but something our competition has done.

Beckett's Premium Level service costs $250 per card or $150 without subgrades being assigned.

Grading companies have been inundated with orders—mostly consisting of modern era trading cards—for more than a year as collectors and sellers look to take advantage of a robust market for cards. COVID-19 exacerbated the problem.

In late March, PSA suspended all but its higher end services and while the company has indicated it is caught up on processing submissions, it has yet to resume accepting orders beyond the highest service level. Graders have been working to catch up, but the backlog of ungraded cards totaled well into the millions prior to the shutdown.

SGC raised its prices to $75 for regular submissions, hoping to slow the tide of orders, then reduced it to $30 not long ago after catching up.

Beckett's backlog means customers are currently waiting eight months or more for Standard level submissions to be processed and returned and 11 months or more for Economy level orders.

Last fall, the company lost grading directors Andy Broome and Westin Reeves to Certified Collectibles Group, which launched its CSG trading card division.

To read the complete article, see:
Beckett Suspends Most Grading Services as of June 7 (

"It PAINS us to be FORCED to RAISE OUR PRICES to the MOON..." Meanwhile, CSG and its parent Certified Collectibles Group (home of Numismatic Guaranty Corporation) has been hiring. -Editor

CCG Hiring The Certified Collectibles Group® (CCG®), one of the largest private employers in the Sarasota-Manatee area, is excited to announce its goal of employing 500 people at its headquarters in Sarasota's Lakewood Ranch community by the end of summer. To hit this target, CCG is offering a $2,500 sign-on bonus for new employees who start by September 30, 2021.

The CCG companies include the world's leading and largest providers of expert, impartial and tech-enabled services that add value and liquidity to collectibles such as coins, paper money, comic books, trading cards, sports cards, stamps and more. Since 1987, CCG has certified more than 60 million collectibles and continues to grow at a rapid pace as a result of the incredible demand for its best-in-class services.

The collectibles markets are booming and show no signs of slowing down. Many coins, banknotes, comic books, trading cards and sports cards have all recently sold for record prices — some for millions of dollars — making headlines and drawing more people to collectibles. Only a few companies in the world provide third-party certification services for collectibles, with CCG offering the most comprehensive services right in the beautiful Sarasota-Manatee area.

We are looking to immediately add at least 100 more people to our phenomenal team of employees, says Steven R. Eichenbaum, CEO of CCG. They will join a dynamic, growing company with a significant presence in Sarasota and around the world.

To read the complete article, see:
CCG Continues Hiring Push; Targets 500 Sarasota Employees by Summer's End (

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

Six Years, Six Designs, Three Alloys

Mark Benvenuto published a nice article in Numismatic News about the rapid changes in design and composition as the U.S. Mint switched over from large to small cents. -Editor

1857 Flying Eagle Cent

To read the complete article, see:
Six Years, Six Designs, Three Alloys – When We Changed Cents (

China's Digital Currency
Kavan Ratnatunga writes: Cashless book cover

"I found this YouTube interview on CBDC educational."

Thanks. -Editor

To watch the video, see:
hina's Digital Yuan will Change the World | Real Talk China Ep6 (

Magawa the Rat Retires

The Dickin Medal winning rat has retired, according to a BBC News article. -Editor

Dickin Medal winning Cambodian Landmine-detecting Rat Magawa the rat, who was awarded a gold medal for his heroism, is retiring from his job detecting landmines.

In a five-year career, the rodent sniffed out 71 landmines and dozens more unexploded items in Cambodia.

But his handler Malen says the seven-year-old African giant pouched rat is "slowing down" as he reaches old age, and she wants to "respect his needs".

Magawa was trained by the Belgium-registered charity Apopo, which is based in Tanzania and has been raising the animals - known as HeroRATs - to detect landmines since the 1990s. The animals are certified after a year of training.

Last week, Apopo said a new batch of young rats had been assessed by the Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) and passed "with flying colours".

Last September, Magawa was awarded the PDSA Gold Medal - sometimes described as the George Cross for animals - for his "life-saving devotion to duty". He was the first rat to be given the medal in the charity's 77-year history.

To read the complete article, see:
Magawa the hero rat retires from job detecting landmines (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

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