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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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To join, print the application and return it with your check to the address printed on the application. Print/Digital membership is $40 to addresses in the U.S., and $60 elsewhere. A digital-only membership is available for $25. For those without web access, write to:

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


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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

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.

Our email provider was doing maintenance on our server Sunday, so this issue is coming out a bit late this week.

This week we open with six new books, the IAPN book prizes, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal and the PAN show, and more.

Other topics this week include Marcel Jovine, Bela Lyon Pratt, widows of the U.S. Mint, The Coin Collector, the cartwheel effect, numismatists on Instagram and YouTube, Witter Coin University, auction previews, the Gothic Crown, and the Pride coin.

To learn more about Canadian coins and tokens, engraver Robert Scot, elongated coins, Croatian banknotes, hands depicted on coins, the medallion of John Brown, iridescence, Couch Collectibles, early Anglo-Saxon coins, the Westminster Abbey medal, Indiana Jones, and W. B. Yeats and the Lady Gregory medal, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

WBNA E-Sylum ad Sale 27


Whitman has published a new "100 Greatest" book on Canadian coins and tokens. here's the announcement. -Editor

A new Whitman Publishing book, 100 Greatest Canadian Coins and Tokens, by Dr. Harvey B. Richer, will debut in July 2022 at the annual convention of the Royal Canadian Numismatic Association, in Ottawa. The 160-page hardcover coffee-table volume will be available from bookstores and hobby shops and online (including at Here, Whitman publisher Dennis Tucker discusses how the book came to be, and its context within Whitman's focus on Canadian numismatics.

Collectors in Ottawa, Ontario, will be among the first to see Dr. Harvey Richer's new book, 100 Greatest Canadian Coins and Tokens, as it takes its place among nearly 75 years of related Whitman Publishing books and hobby supplies.

100Greatest_Canadian_Coins_and_Tokens_794849830_cover The publishing company, while headquartered in Racine, Wisconsin, began an extensive lineup of Canadian coin folders in 1950. Meanwhile, up in Toronto, James E. Charlton was self-publishing his Catalogue of Canadian Coins, Tokens & Fractional Currency. In 1959 R.S. Yeoman, father of Whitman's popular Guide Book of United States Coins (the Red Book), approached Charlton to publish his book and distribute it in the United States. Yeoman tripled the page count and expanded the content, and sales reached 100,000 copies per year in the 1960s. In the same era Whitman also published the Standard Grading Guide to Canadian Decimal Coins, distributed a Canadian Coin Hobby Starter Kit, and offered hobbyists a checklist and record book to keep track of their collections.

In the 1970s Robert C. Willey and James A. Haxby pioneered the modern study of Canadian coins in a new Whitman book, Coins of Canada. Willey (1927–1993), of Saskatchewan, was well established as a numismatic researcher and writer. Haxby was known for his authoritative papers on die-making and his scholarship in Canada's decimal coinage. Their book was groundbreaking. Whitman published it into the early 1980s.

In 2003 Q. David Bowers joined Whitman as the company's numismatic director, and in 2004 I took the role of publisher. Clifford Mishler, former president of Krause Publications (and a Whitman author himself), introduced me to James Haxby in 2007. From this renewed partnership came a modern era of Whitman activity in Canadian coinage. We planned a brand-new, 464-page Guide Book of Canadian Coins and Tokens—a full-color illustrated history, price guide, and reference book that was published in 2012. Whitman also updated its Canadian coin folders, for large cents through modern dollars and Toonies.

1_100Greatest_Canadian_Coins_and_Tokens_pg0_vi In 2017 Boulder Publications released Harvey B. Richer's excellent Gold Coins of Newfoundland, 1865–1888, subtitled How Newfoundland Came to Possess a Spectacular Mintage of Gold Coins. Part of what made Gold Coins of Newfoundland such a remarkable book was Dr. Richer's talent as a writer and a teacher, as well as his approach to numismatics. He began his study with the formation of the solar system, moved into continental drift and a theory of geographical connection between Britain and Canada, and then a summary of 9,000 years of Newfoundland history! With this fascinating background Richer led up to the minting of Newfoundland's gold coins.

One aspect I was particularly interested in, he later told me, was the effect such a magnificent issue of coinage had on the Newfoundland population 150 years ago. Recall that this was a very poor society largely driven by fishing and seal hunting. What was the impact of the coinage on commerce, on how the Newfoundlanders viewed themselves?

I met Dr. Richer in 2017 at the American Numismatic Association show in Denver, and we discussed the potential of a new volume in Whitman's library of 100 Greatest books. We immersed ourselves in the best way to present a subject as far-reaching as the best of Canadian coins. Dr. Richer's development of the manuscript included consultation with the Canadian Numismatic Research Society. In 2021 we began its final editorial work.

Harvey Richer brought the same intellectual curiosity to 100 Greatest Canadian Coins and Tokens that he gave to Gold Coins of Newfoundland—asking questions, laying the groundwork, and always looking for the human element. His writing is embellished with personal asides (the connections that make numismatics an art as well as a science). And he's not afraid to push boundaries in his exploration of what defines a coin or token. Among the 100 Greatest you'll find playing cards, wampum belts, and encased postage. While clearly not coins, are these forms of token money? Such questions always enliven the conversations around Whitman's 100 Greatest books—not to mention how to define greatness, and what constitutes the greatest of the great.

  1_100Greatest_Canadian_Coins_and_Tokens_pg008 1_100Greatest_Canadian_Coins_and_Tokens_pg031

Accompanying his narrative are outstanding pictures of the coins and tokens themselves. Photographs shared by Heritage Auctions make up the majority of the coin images—not surprising, given Heritage's status as the largest collectibles auctioneer and third-largest auction house in the world. Many of the Canadian rarities find their homes through the Dallas-based firm's sales. PCGS and Stack's Bowers Galleries also contributed photographs, as did numerous museums, archives, and libraries. The result is a gorgeous numismatic panorama, a virtual coin cabinet that can be opened and enjoyed any time.

As a professor of astronomy, Harvey Richer has used the Hubble Space Telescope and major terrestrial telescopes to gaze into the heavens. The numismatic community is fortunate to have his attention turned to the richly interesting field of Canadian coins and tokens. And at Whitman Publishing we're proud to add him to our roster of Yeoman, Charlton, Willey, and Haxby in the exploration of Canadian numismatics.

  # # #

100 Greatest Canadian Coins and Tokens
By Harvey B. Richer; forewords by Kenneth Bressett and Emily S. Damstra.
ISBN 794849830. Hardcover, 10 x 12 inches, 160 pages, full color.
Retail $34.95 U.S.


Bill Nyberg submitted this note about a new printing of his book on engraver Robert Scot. Thanks! -Editor

Robert Scot cover The first printing of the biography of the U.S. Mint's first appointed engraver, Robert Scot: Engraving Liberty, has been sold out, and an additional printing is now available at the publisher American History Press along with other internet retailers. The first printing can be distinguished by glossy covers, and the new printing added a last page with printing information. A full review by historian Martin Clagett is now online in the archives of the academic newsletter Eighteenth-Century Scotland (Spring 2016 issue, page 29);

To read the complete review, see:

For more information, or to order, see:
Robert Scot: Engraving Liberty (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Kenny E-Sylum ad01 eBay store


The new 2022 edition of Renniks Australian Coin & Banknote guide is available. Here's information from the publisher's site. -Editor

Rennicks Australian Coin 31st book cover Renniks Australian Coin & Banknote Values
31st Edition, Hardcover
Australia's leading numismatic guide.
Hardcover ISBN 9780987105790

This comprehensive guide to Australian Coin & Banknote Values contains over 3,850 images and countless thousands of valuations.

A must for all collectors, whether you are just beginning or an advanced collector.

Latest information compiled using weighted averages where possible to ensure the accuracy of pricing.

  Rennicks Australian Coin 31st sample page 1

Quality reproduction of photos makes it easy to identify items. Covered are copper, silver, gold, nickel and allow coins and notes used in Australia from 1800 to present.

Subjects include Pre-Decimal and Decimal currency, as well as privately issued banknotes, war issues, and privately issued tokens.

Also included are latest Royal Australian Mint, Perth Mint & Australia Post Numismatic Covers.

  Rennicks Australian Coin 31st sample page 7


  • 1800-2022
  • General Information
  • Coin Terms
  • Grading Commonwealth coins
  • Adjectival Grading System
  • Hands on Grading
  • Pictorial reference to major grades
  • Proclamation Coins United Netherlands – Great Britain – Spain & Colonies – Brazil (Portugal) – East India Company
  • Holey Dollars and Dumps 1813 NSW Fifteen Pence Dump & Five Shillings Holey Dollar
  • Bullion Act 1852 1852 Adelaide Assay Office Ingots – Adelaide Pounds Port Phillip Gold Pattern Taylor Patterns
  • Australian Gold Coinage 1855-1931 Half Sovereigns Sovereigns
  • Major Commonwealth coin types Crowns and Commemorative issues Pre-Decimal Coins
  • A History of Australian Pre-Decimal Coinage
  • Pre-Decimal Pattern Pieces Kookaburra Penny & Halfpenny Square Patterns 1919-1921 – 1918-1920 Patterns – 1927 Patterns – 1937 Patterns
  • Pre Decimal Proofs and Patterns
  • PreDecimal Varieties
  • Decimal Coins
  • One cent – Two Cent – Five Cent – Ten Cent – Twenty Cent – Twenty Cent Non-Circulating Legal Tender – Fifty Cents (Circulation Coins) – Fifty Cents Non Circulating Legal Tender – One Dollar Circulating Coins – One Dollar Non Circulating Legal Tender – Two Dollars – Decimal Varieties – Decimal Patterns – Decimal Errors – Unofficial Patterns
  • Royal Australian Mint NCLT
  • Kangaroo at Sunset Silver Dollars – Silver Commemorative Dollars – Five Dollar Commemoratives – Ten Dollar Commemoratives – Various Commemoratives – Kangaroo Gold Proof Series – Fifty Dollars – One Hundred Dollars – One Hundred and Fifty Dollars – Two Hundred Dollars – Various Commemoratives – Masterpieces in Silver – Royal Australian Mint Sets – Commemorative & Circulating Currency Gold Proof Sets – Sydney 2000 Olympic Coin Program
  • The Perth Mint NCLT
  • Holey Dollar and Dump Series – Gold Nugget Proof Coins – Prospector Series – Kangaroo Gold Proofs – Kangaroo Platinum Bullion – Platinum Koala Proof Coins – Gold & Silver Koala Collector Coins – Palladium Emu Proof 1995-1997 – Silver Kookaburras – Lunar Series – Discover Australia – The Perth Mint Annual Edition Collector Coins – The Perth Mint Collector Coins – The Perth Mint Collector Coins – Young Collectors Annual Editions – Baby Annual Editions – Privy Marks and Host Coins
  • Philatelic Numismatic Covers RAM & Australia Post PNCs – Perth Mint & Australia Post PNCs

  Rennicks Australian Coin 31st sample page 5

  • Tokens
  • Private Issue 19th Century Coins
  • Internment Camps
  • Cocos Keeling Islands
  • 1788 – 1829 Currency Notes
  • Cheques, Promissory Notes & IOUs
  • Bills of Exchange
  • New South Wales Colonial Police Fund Notes
  • Private Issue Banknotes
  • Australia Postal Notes
  • Superscribed Banknotes 1910-1914
  • Government Issue Banknotes 1913-
  • Pre-Decimal Banknotes 1913-1966
  • Pre-Decimal Glossary – Banknote Condition Grading – Ten Shillings – One Pound – Five Pounds – Ten Pounds – Twenty Pounds – Fifty Pounds – One Hundred Pounds – One Thousand Pounds – Specimen & Trial Notes – Unissued BankNotes
  • Decimal Banknotes
  • Decimal Glossary – Banknote Signature Identification Chart: – Portrait identification guide-Decimal – One Dollar – Two Dollars – Five Dollars – Ten Dollars – Twenty Dollars – Fifty Dollars – One Hundred Dollars – Decimal Specimen Notes – Plate Identification Letters – Special Serial Numbers – Banknotes Designs – Decimal Banknote Collector Issues – Commemorative Folders – Special N.P.A Collections – Joint Issue Portfolios – Dated Annual Collector Folders – Annually Dated Sets – Last & First Portfolios-Two Notes – Miscellaneous Note Printing Australia Issues – Uncut Notes – Printing Faults

  Rennicks Australian Coin 31st sample page 3

This publication is a simpli?ed guide showing current values, at date of publication General information on each issue is given but not specialised details such as variations & errors, including multiple modern packaging variations.

Edited by Michael T Pitt

For more information, or to order, see:
Renniks Australian Coin & Banknote Values 31st Ed. Hardcover (


A PENNY SAVED, Kenneth Bressett's memoir of R.S. Yeoman and His Remarkable Red Book, also tells the history of Whitman Publishing as well as his own unique life story in and out of numismatics. Enjoy more than 100 years of fascinating numismatic history in 352 richly illustrated pages, 8.5 x 11 inches, hardcover. Order your copy online at , or call 1-800-546-2995.


Rich Bottles Jr. has published two new spiral-bound books on the elongated coins of West Virginia and Allegheny County, PA. -Editor

  Bottles Elongated Coins book cover

Since my teens, I've collected Allegheny County/Pittsburgh-area elongated coins; and when I moved to West Virginia about 30 years ago, I also started collecting WV elongateds. Eventually, I felt that I had enough knowledge to put together two catalogues. I knew that demand would be low for these specialized references, so I decided to simply sell them at cost. I printed 20 copies of each catalogue, and will sell them to anyone who is interested, for $10 apiece, plus $5 for shipping. Each catalogue is about 50 pages and lists hundreds of different elongated coins. If you're interested, just send me an email at and let me know whether you want "Elongated Coins Relating to Allegheny County Pennsylvania" or "Elongated Coins of West Virginia."

  Bottles Elongated Coins book sample pages


A new book has been published on Croatian banknotes. -Editor

Croatian Banknotes book cover A new book on Croatian banknotes provides a fascinating look at Croatia's rich numismatic history, but also gives an interesting insight into Croatia's rich ancient history and remarkable achievements.

Croatian Banknotes: A Standard Reference is written by Australian-based numismatist Dusty Dragicevic. The book is fully illustrated and covers all Croatian banknote issues from WW2 to the present day, including all fantasy issues, proposals and a section on the currency that Croatia almost had until the last minute, when they changed their minds.

A numismatist with a keen interest in Croatian history, Dragicevic was born in Derby, a small town in the Kimberley Region of northern Western Australia, who grew up on Koolan Island in Australia's north west where his father was employed as a machinist on an iron ore mine.

My mother was born and raised in Split and my father is from a village called Donji Humac on the island of Brac. I was made in Croatia but born in Australia. I obtained Croatian citizenship in 2008, Dragicevic tells us.

The idea to write this book first came to Dragicevic when he visited Croatia in 2001.

  Croatian Banknotes sample page 1 Croatian Banknotes sample page 2

Looking at the kuna banknotes, I saw the images of famous people and wanted to know more about them and what contribution they have made to Croatia throughout history. Given that their faces are on banknotes, these people must have been great Croatians, he says, before adding, If you want to learn about the history of any nation just take a look at their national currency and look up the figures and landmarks that appear on them. I think that it is a fascinating history lesson in researching a nation's currency.

The inspiration gathered momentum when he started to collect Croatian banknotes.

My collection began when I met a collector who was selling old Croatian banknotes. I picked up a few old notes from the Independent State of Croatia. The banknotes featured interesting patterns and designs and I thought that this would now be my hobby. I was hooked. Over the years, I amassed a decent collection, eventually obtaining every single issue that existed, he says.

It took seven years to write the book and I would describe it as a labour of love. I was writing about my hobby and learning so much about Croatia while doing it.. I thought that every Croatian should know their historical figures and cultural landmarks and they can also learn about their national currency too.

The information that helped with his research was sourced from numerous books and publications. Information on historic patterns and monuments came from a visit to the Museum of Croatian Archeological Monuments in Split, whilst he also got information from various publications from the Croatian National Bank, from fellow numismatists, friends in Zagreb and Rijeka and from biographies and books.

  Croatian Banknotes sample page 3 Croatian Banknotes sample page 4

Dragicevic says he will be sad to see the kuna go when it is replaced by the euro in 2023.

A national currency is a powerful and symbolic projection of national identity and this will now be consigned to history. I hope that the people in power in Croatia have thought about this move to adopt the euro thoroughly, to make sure that this is the right decision for Croatia. I quite like the look of the kuna banknotes and I personally find the design of the Euros to be quite bland. Very boring in fact, he concludes.

The book is available as a hardcopy or as a pdf file. The book weighs just under 2 pounds.

For more information, or to order, see:
Velered Publishing presents....... Croatian Banknotes A Standard Reference (

To read the complete article, see:
The currency Croatia almost had and more in new book on Croatian banknotes (

Sovereign Rarities E-Sylum ad 2022-05-26 English Doctor II sale


International Association of Professional Numismatists (IAPN) Publication Committee chairman Peter Preston-Morley submitted the following report on the IAPN Book Prizes for 2021 and 2022. Thank you, and congratulations to the winners and nominees. -Editor

After a gap of three years, the IAPN was able to meet in person for its recent annual General Assembly in Palma Mallorca, Spain, at the end of last week.

At the Assembly members voted for two book prizes, 2021 (for books published in 2020) and 2022 (for books published in 2021).

  IAPN Book Prize 2020 presentation

Roberto Delzanno being presented with the 2020 IAPN Book Prize by Daniel Sedwick, President of the IAPN, at a function held in Mallorca on 29 May.

  COINS FROM SWEDEN 995-2022 volume 1 cover White Gold book cover

The winner of the 2021 Prize, with 54 points, was Roberto Delzanno:

DELZANNO, Roberto.
Sveriges Myntbok/Münzen aus Schweden/Coins from Sweden 995-2022.
Roberto Delzanno, Stockholm, 2020
ISBN 978-91-639-9468-5
Price: SEK 795. Order from

In second place, with 41 points, was Peter van Alfen and Ute Wartenberg:

VAN ALFEN, Peter, and WARTENBERG, Ute (eds).
White Gold: Studies in early Electrum Coinage.
American Numismatic Society, New York, USA/Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel, 2020
ISBN 978-0-89722-349-2
Price: US $160. Order from

In third place, with 33 points, was Paul and Bente Withers:

WITHERS, Paul and Bente.
Irish Gunmoney and the Emergency Issues of 1689-1691: A Corpus and Die Study.
Galata, Llanfyllin, Wales, 2020
ISBN 978-1-908715-15-9
Price: GBP 60. Order from

  Withers gunmoney book cover The Gold Sovereign Series book cover

The winner of the 2022 Prize, with 67 points, was Steve Hill:

HILL, Steve.
The Gold Sovereign Series. 2nd revised edition.
Token Publishing, Exeter, England, 2021
ISBN 978-1-908828-55-2
Price: GBP 39.95. Order from

In second place, with 54 points, was Brad Yonaka:

A Variety Guide to the Silver and Copper Coinage of the Mexico City Mint, 1732-1771
Agorucu Consulting Inc, Long Beach, USA, 2021
ISBN 978-0-99868-2549
Price: US $125. Order from

In third place, with 47 points, was Robert Mastalir:

The Great Transition at the Potosí Mint, 1649-1653: The 1649-1652 Crowned Shield Coinage and the Countermarks of 1652 - Part A: The 1649-1652 Crowned Shield Coinage and Part B: The Countermarks of 1652.
Daniel Frank Sedwick, Winter Park, USA, 2021
ISBN 978-0-98208-1884 and 978-0-98208-1891
Price: US $200. Order from

  Mexico Cirty Mint to 1771 book cover Potosi book

For more information on the International Association of Professional Numismatists (IAPN), see:

To read earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Schmidt E-Sylum ad 2017-06-18


Newman Numismatic Portal Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report note about Ned Barnsley's family connection to the first U.S. Mint. -Editor

  1793 Strawberry Leaf cent obverse 1793 Strawberry Leaf cent reverse

First Mint Genealogy

Edward Ned Barnsley and Eric P. Newman conducted an active correspondence for many years, focused on colonial numismatics and including early paper money and Connecticut coppers. In a letter dated January 8, 1961, Barnsley related that a cousin of his great-grandfather, Isaac Hough, served as chief clerk in the U.S. Mint from 1792 until his death in 1801. Pete Smith accepted our challenge to validate (or refute) Barnsley's claim and provided the following analysis. Barnsley's line is:

  • Edward Barnsley (1906-1989)
  • [Father] John Herman Barnsley (1854-1932)
  • [Grandmother] Mary Hough Barnsley (1814-1895)
  • [1gr-grandfather] Benjamin Hough (1770-1848)
  • [2gr-grandfather] Joseph Hough, Jr. (1730-1818)
  • [3gr-grandfather] Joseph Hough, Sr. (1695-1773)
  • [4gr-grandfather] Richard Hough (1654-1705)

Isaac Hough's line is:

  • Isaac Hough, Jr. (1759-1801)
  • [Father] Isaac Hough, Sr. (1726-1786)
  • [Grandfather] John Hough (1693-1761)
  • [1gr-grandfather] Richard Hough (?-?)

Ned Barnsley was close but not quite – his great-grandfather was more precisely a second cousin, not first cousin, of the Mint clerk Isaac Hough. Barnsley added that Unfortunately, my branch of the Hough's acquired little of the product of their place of employment. They were all nice people though, and left perhaps some form of numismatics in their transmitted genes, even if they did forget to put aside a roll or two of Strawberry leaf coppers for posterity.

Images: 1793 Strawberry Leaf 1c, NC-3, ex. Stack's Bowers August 2020 Rarities Night, lot 1006, realized $660,000.

Link to Newman/Barnsley correspondence on NNP:


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

Here's one on an unusual but interesting topic: hands depicted on coins. -Editor

Hands Depicted on Coins
Speaker(s): William Myers

Hands Depicted on Coins Myers demonstrates how hands have been used to convey messages and ideas on money since ancient times. There have been examples of hands on coins since ancient times. You will see and learn about:

  • clasped hands as they began on ancient coins
  • examples of modern clasped hands
  • linked hands
  • dove hands
  • religious hands
  • hands and food
  • caring hands
  • clenched fists and more

David adds:

"This video features an unusual category of collecting."

To watch the video on NNP, see:

  Stacks-Bowers E-Sylum ad 2022-05-22 Consign


Rebecca Rush and Rick Lank provided these photos from their recent Civil War Showcase at the Pennsylvania Association of Numismatists show in Monroeville, PA. Thanks! Great event. -Editor

  Civil War Showcase banner

Uncle Billy Gold Bar Everyone knows about the military exploits of General Sherman (Uncle Billy) and his notorious March to the Sea. But very few people realize that he set aside his military career in the brand-new State of California to pursue his fortune in San Francisco as a speculator and a banker. He had dealings with the private assayers who produced the gold ingots that were routinely shipped to New York through Panama to bolster the Wall Street economy; these shipments went aboard massive paddle-wheelers, such as the S.S. Central America.

Uncle Billy Saddlebags Sherman also had dealings with the newly opened San Francisco Branch Mint, which produced its first gold coins in 1854. During the California bank panic in 1855, Sherman collected on a construction loan and toted $40,000 in freshly minted gold double- eagles (equal to 1 million dollars today) from the Mint and hauled the money in his saddle-bags solo – through bustling San Francisco. That move helped the bank (Lucas, Turner & Co.) survive a run on its deposits. But the western branch of Lucas folded and Sherman was re-located to New York… where the sinking of the S.S. Central America ended Lucas & Co. and Sherman's banking career.

The Saga of the S.S. Central America – She sinks on September 12, 1857 and scuttles Sherman's career in banking – $50 million (in today's money) goes to the bottom of the Atlantic – Ship of Gold found in 1988.

  Uncle Billy SS Central American foundering Uncle Billy gold coin stacks

Above is an artist's vision of the SS Central America foundering in a hurricane that took her down in 1857. Above (right) are dozens of double-eagles from the San Francisco mint, neatly stacked and packed in boxes each holding $3,000. The wooden boxes have long ago disintegrated, leaving the coins undisturbed at the bottom of the sea.

Bob Evans – lead researcher and curator – presented two sides of the SS Central America story, joined by Rick Lank for the Uncle Billy was a Banker portions of the story.

  Uncle Billy Lank, Sherman, Evans

Rick (at left) leads discussion with Uncle Billy and Bob Evans talking about Sherman's life in pre-War San Francisco. At the Civil War Showcase on Saturday the 21st of May.

Uncle Billy Bob Evans On Saturday the 21st, Bob Evans spoke extensively about the human side of the Central America tragedy – and how dozens of small coin spills and other relics revealed how the ship was a time capsule. In a discussion dubbed 9,000 dimes and bags of Gold Dust, Bob revealed the contents of the Purser's Safe and other findings, such as the 9,000 Liberty Seated dimes used for petty cash and the remains of Money Vests that contained San Francisco-minted coins.

Uncle Billy Lank speaking Rick (Of No Small Change and author of Uncle Billy was a Banker) discusses how Sherman – by pure chance – met the Captain of the Swedish Bark who saved some 50 survivors of the Central America, while in a hotel lobby in New York. The story is that the captain was harassed by a frigate bird – and as a result, he changed the course by 1 degree east. This premonition sent his Bark directly into the wreckage of the Central America and 50 or so people were saved who otherwise didn't have a chance.

Uncle Billy Sherman-Grant 15 cent fractional currency After the War – Sherman (and Grant) were supposed to be on a 15 Cent Fractional Note – to celebrate their Victory for the Union. However, due to a law passed by the US Congress that same year(1866) – which outlawed the likeness of any living person – this fractional note was not issued.

  2022-05 PAN Showcase 01 Coin Shows Bring History to Life!!

"President Lincoln and General Sherman bringing Ben Franklin up to speed on the war he missed. Ben, I was gratified to learn from these fine men that our Republic was preserved. Keeping it, at times through history, has proven to be as difficult as it was to create it.

General William T. Sherman, President Abe Lincoln and Founding Father Ben Franklin share a rare moment together in the "President's Office" at the Civil War Showcase at the PAN Coin Show, May 2022. "PAN Coin Show Brings History To Life" photo. General William T Sherman (Kris Gulvansen), President Lincoln (Dennis Boggs) and Ben Franklin (Patrick McBride) May 21, 2022.

  2022-05 PAN Showcase 02 Terry Carver Collection

EXHIBIT/showcase by Terry Carver which is part of his collection of badges & ribbons from Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) Reunion events and a badge & ribbon from a Woman's Relief Corp (WRC) Event.

  2022-05 PAN Showcase 03 Terry Carver discussing WRC and GAR Memorabilia Displayed with Rebecca Rush

Photo of Terry Carver being interviewed by Rebecca Rush (No Small Change Programs) discussing parts of his Civil War Memorabilia Collection of GAR/WRC Medals and Ribbons. GAR poster in back.

According to Dennis Boggs portraying President Lincoln, "I have been to many coin shows but I've never previously seen such as impressive collection of GAR and WRC badges."

  2022-05 PAN Showcase 04 Lincoln's Pockets 2022-05 PAN Showcase 05 Sherman's Saddlebags
  2022-05 PAN Showcase 06 Rush Lincoln Sherman and Lank

Photo of the four of us chatting about which Coins, Confederate and US currency, sutler tokens, 1860 Election Token, Dog Tags and fractional notes were possibly in each of their " saddlebags" & "pockets"!

  2022-05 PAN Showcase 11 Bob Evans and Rick  Lank

Bob Evans and Rick Lank

  2022-05 PAN Showcase 12  Rick Lank, Gen. Sherman and Bob Evans

Rick Lank, Gen. Sherman and Bob Evans

  2022-05 PAN Showcase 13 Bob Evans and Lincoln

Bob Evans chatting with President Lincoln.

  2022-05 PAN Showcase 14 500 dollar lincoln gold cert 1862

For more information, contact Rick or Rebecca at: or

Here are a few shots from the greater PAN show submitted Pat McBride. Thanks! The next show will be held October 20-22, 2022. Make your plans today! -Editor

  2022-05 PAN Show Lincoln Franklin Gen. Sherman

Lincoln, Franklin, and Gen. Sherman

  2022-05 PAN Show panorama 1
  2022-05 PAN Show panorama 2

Panoramic shots of the bourse floor

  2022-05 PAN Show Wayne Homren NNP talk

Wayne Homren speaking on "Hidden Gems of the Newman Numismatic Portal".

For more information on PAN, see:

Early American E-Sylum ad 2022-05-27


Jerome Nashorn submitted this piece with more background on the early women of the U.S. Mint. Thank you! -Editor

adjusting-room-san-francisco-1856 In response to Len Augsberger's thoughts regarding the marriage bar at the Mint during the 19th century, I looked at records for twenty three women who worked at the San Francisco Mint at the start of the 1880s. I got the names from both the Official Register of the U.S. for 1881 and from the 1880 Census, as made available on Heritage Quest. According to the Register, sixty three women worked at the San Francisco Mint in 1881, and thirty seven were listed with the title Mrs. For my sample, I selected fifteen names from the thirty seven making sure to include some names where the Official Register only provided their first and middle initials. If there was bias in my selection procedure, it was a reluctance to include women with very common surnames.

I then developed a second list by going into the 1880 Census using Heritage Quest to run a search for women who lived in San Francisco and adjacent counties in 1880 whose records included the word Mint as a keyword. My query resulted in fifty seven hits. However, when I looked at the transcribed summary records, I found a large number of the women (twenty two) had no connection with the Mint but lived on a street named Mint Avenue. Also, about seventeen of the women who actually worked at the Mint were described as single so they were eliminated as well. Eight of the remaining women drawn from the Census were also in the sample drawn from the Official Register so the final sample consisted of twenty three women. I then checked the twenty three names against early 1880s San Francisco City Directories, particularly Langley's 1882 San Francisco Directory (readily available on the Internet Archive) and I examined the scanned images of their 1880 Census records if I could locate them.

I concluded that twenty of the twenty three women were widowed. These women were described that way in the Census and/or were described as widows in the Directory. In a couple of cases, when I couldn't find a woman in the Census and her directory entry did not describe her as a widow, I concluded a women was widowed if she had a Directory entry describing her simply as Mrs. AND the entry did not include an entry for a male with the same surname living at the same address, other than in one or two cases an adult son.

Three women in the sample appear to have been married when they were initially hired by the Mint:

Eunice Hughes - Hughes was in the Census sample and identified as a Mint employee. She was described as married and her household included her husband Samuel, who was a mine owner. She was listed as an adjuster in the 1879 and 1880 directories, However, the only Samuel Hughes in the Directory was a seaman who lived at a different address. In the 1881 Directory, Eunice was listed as a widow. She had apparently left the Mint by 1883 as she was not listed as an adjuster in the 1883 edition of the Official Register.

Sarah Hoffman - The 1880 Census shows Sarah Hoffman at the Mint while her husband William worked as a shipping clerk. The 1879 Directory shows her at the Mint, while it includes a listing for a William Hoffman living at the same address. The same is true for the 1881 Directory but is no longer the case by 1882. Mrs. Hoffman was among the adjusters let go in the Fall of 1885 when the Mint fired a group of employees soon after the Democrats regained control of Federal patronage with Grover Cleveland's inauguration as President (see Daily Alta California for October 1, 1885)..

Cornelia Bowman - In the 1880 Census, Bowman was married to James Bowman, a clerk with the railroad, but was listed as keeping house, rather than working at the Mint. However, she was listed as a mint adjuster in the 1880 Directory and in the 1881 Directory, there was an entry for a James Bowman at the same address as hers who worked for the railroad. However, she also had an adult son named James. The 1882 Directory did not include an entry for a James Bowman at Mrs. Bowman's address. Like Mrs. Hoffman, Mrs. Bowman was among the employees removed by the Mint's new management in 1885.

Interestingly, all three of these women's husbands were in their 60s when they were hired so perhaps when the wives were hired, their husbands were in poor health and unable to work or no longer able to earn a decent living even if they still were working. Or perhaps, the directory listings were carryovers from earlier editions.

In sum, it is very likely that at least twenty of the twenty three women in the sample were widows when they worked at the Mint. Only three women may have been married when they were hired as adjusters. However, their husbands didn't show up in directories for very long after 1880, Thus, even if there were a few exceptions to the bar on married women, they do not appear to be common. This is consistent with the findings presented by historian Cindy Aron in her study of Federal clerical workers of both genders in the period from about 1865 to 1900 (Ladies and Gentlemen of the Civil Service, Oxford University Press, 1987).

Aron shows how agency leaders felt Federal jobs should generally be reserved for those who really needed them and that did not include women who had a husband to support them. She concludes, "The government did not, however, specifically exclude married women from its work force. Instead, the judgment, or whim, of a particular department head or bureau chief determined whether or not a married woman could be hired." Aron also notes how in many Federal offices married women were the first employees let go when staff reductions were needed and that single woman might face removal if and when they married (see pages 51-52). Thus, it's safe to say there were exceptions to the marriage bar at the San Francisco Mint in the early 1880s, but they were uncommon and it may be that even in those cases, the rationale for the marriage bar my have applied in that the three married women may have needed a job to support themselves.

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:


A number of readers had additional information on sculptor Marcel Jovine. -Editor

Planned Book on Jovine
Beth Deisher writes:

"Near the end of his submission about Marcel Jovine published in the May 29, 2022, E-Sylum Pete Smith states that A book on Jovine was proposed but not completed. Perhaps it would be more accurate to say, not yet completed.

Marcel Jovine "I was approached by Jovine's daughters about the possibility of writing a book about their father. At the time I told them I had committed to several projects and that it would be at least two years before I could devote fulltime to research for an authorized biography. They wanted me to write the book and said they were willing to wait. At that time, I had no idea it would be four years -- two years with the Anti-Counterfeiting Task Force plus two years of the COVID pandemic preventing travel – until I could devote fulltime to the project. However, with the cooperation of the Jovine Family, I am now researching fulltime for a book about Marcel Jovine, which will include his life story as well as a catalog of his medals and coins.

"Most of Jovine's numismatic designs (medals and coins) beginning in the mid 1970s through 2003 are well documented. However, not well documented are his earlier creations in the toy industry beginning in 1949-50 through the late 1960s and his miniature sculptures of famous racehorses in the early 1970s. If anyone has primary source material about toys he designed or his racehorse sculptures, please contact me at Also, if you have a favorite memory or first-hand account of working with Marcel, please consider sharing it."

Jovine's Society of Medalists Work
David Thomason Alexander writes:

"In Pete Smith's excellent review of the work of medallic sculptor Marcel Jovine, there is one statement with which I take issue, his assertion that Jovine's 1976 Bicentennial medal is not part of the Society of Medalists series. It was in fact one of five Special Issues of the Society and one of the best, see my "American Art Medals 1909-1995, Circle of Friends and Society of Medalists 1909-1995," published by ANS in 2011. Others include SOM's 40th Anniversary (1970), and two medals for the group's 50th Anniversary in 1980."

More Visibles
A Nameless reader writes:

Marcel Jovine Visible Man "In regards to the article on MARCEL JOVINE and the Visible Man: I still have mine and also there were a few other Visible items. I owned the Visible Heart and Visible Engine; but no longer have them. I seem to recall that there were other ‘Visible' items, but can't seem to remember what they were and did not own them.

"The ‘chest plate' comes off and you are able to remove each individual part of the anatomy. The entire model is able to be taken apart, front and back, and then you can remove the skeleton. The ‘Engine' was able to be turned and you could watch the various parts move. The ‘Heart' was able to be taken apart in sections just like the Visible Man."

It's unclear whether Jovine had a role in designing the other models in the series, but all are interesting and educational.

Thanks, everyone. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
MARCEL JOVINE (1921-2003) (

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World Paper Money Publications Sought
Dennis Hengeveld writes:

World Banknote Auctions WBNA logo World Banknote Auctions is looking to expand its library of rare and out of print publications on World Paper Money. We are not looking for annual catalogs, but primarily for self-published and long out of print reference material. We are also looking for pre-2010 auction catalogs of advanced collections of world paper money that are not available online. We can be reached at

I'm sure some of our readers can help. Please contact Dennis if you can supply any such works. -Editor

Medallion of John Brown Information Sought

  Medallion of John Brown newspaper clipping
Ernie Nagy writes:

"I continue to enjoy and learn from The E-Sylum each week!

"I recently came across an advertisement published in The Liberator for Medallions of John Brown completed by M. Edmonia Lewis. I have located these ads in four editions, the first published February 19, 1864, the last May 20, 1864.

"Edmonia Lewis was born in 1844, a child of a Black father and Native American mother, at Greenbush New York. She rose to prominence as a sculptor artist. Her work is today found at universities and museums, including Tufts, whose holdings include her 46 millimeter marble medallion of abolitionist Wendell Phillips. Tufts hypothesizes that the John Brown medallions Lewis made may have appeared similar. Would anyone know of the survival or further description of the Edmonia Lewis John Brown Medallion?"

Thanks. Can anyone help? Below is the Wendell Phillips Medallion. -Editor

  Wendell Phillips Medallion

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
Wendell Phillips Medallion, 1871 (

More on the Classic Commem Coin Collapse
Tom DeLorey writes:

"Over the years I have been wrong more often than right when predicting the future, but here is a (slightly edited) excerpt from a CU Forum thread about the classic commemorative coin market collapse in 1989 when for once I hit the jackpot!"

Capt Henway replied...

Fred, you are confusing the 1980 collapse at Central States in Lincoln, NE, allegedly caused by (a large New England coin firm) dumping coins they had just bought at Garrett to pay their tax bill, with the 1989 collapse at the ANA in Pittsburgh.

The 1980 collapse lasted for years, and then the market took off in the late 80's as slabs became accepted and there was talk of a mutual fund or something that was going to be buying tens of millions of dollars worth of coins, but they had to be slabbed. Slabbed coins skyrocketed to stupid levels, and on the second day of the show word broke that the fund was not going to launch. Everything, slabbed or raw, fell to pre-bubble levels.

And now a story for the OP. I had married a lady from Chicago in 1986. During the Hunt Brothers silver bubble her father had sold a bunch of junk silver for good money, but then invested the money in classic commem halves that of course went down when that bubble collapsed. In 1989, as prices were skyrocketing, I told my father-in-law that now would be a good time to get out. I got the coins in fresh holders, prepared a list and had the coins and copies of the list in my briefcase on the flight from Chicago to Pittsburgh.

It so happened that I sat next to another dealer from Chicago that I knew. He asked if I had anything to sell and I said yes. I pulled the coins out and gave him a copy of the list. He pulled out a loupe and a Greysheet and started looking at the coins. He named a number that was very close to what I had in mind so I said yes, shook his hand and gave him the coins. The next day on the floor he paid me for them. The next day the market died.

About a year later I found a copy of the list and did some figuring, and figured that I could buy back the list for about one-fourth of what I had gotten for my father-in-law. He always thought that I was all right for his only daughter."

For perspective, the deal sold for roughly $40K, and the replacement cost would have been just over $10K!

Great story! Thanks. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: MAY 29, 2022 : More on U.S. Classic Commemoratives (

George and God

  George Washington Turning His Back
Tom Bridgeman writes:

"Regarding George Washington turning his back on 'in God we trust"....I believe that since God has his back, ol'George is looking ahead to the future!"

2021 Washington crossing the Delaware quarter, Wayne Pearson writes:

"With the initials BS and MG on the 2021 Washington crossing the Delaware quarter, how many people do you think you can get to believe that Bernie Sanders and Mel Gibson designed it?"

QUICK QUIZ: Whose initials are they? -Editor

Wayne continues:

"On the Joseph Stalin bit, note that two years later John Sinnock used his middle initial, 'R' on the Franklin half.

"Look at the positioning of IN GOD WE TRUST on the State quarter. And the Sacagawea dollar."

  2019-america-the-beautiful-quarters-W 2000 Sacagawea dollar obverse

Thanks, everyone. True, George and other portraits have "turned their back" on the In God We Trust motto before. The Snopes website has a good fact-checking article on the topic. -Editor

In sum, it was true that quarters released in 2022 showed Washington facing right, while the common quarter had depicted his profile looking left. However, there wasn't any evidence that the design of the new quarters had anything to do with religion. Fraser's right-facing design was chosen, in part, because the series of coins honored the contributions of women to American society and Fraser was a well-known female sculptor. Furthermore, this isn't the first time that Washington has faced away from the phrase In God We Trust.

To read the complete article, see:
Does Washington Face Opposite Direction on 2022 US Quarter? (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:


Dave Lange submitted these thoughts on a rare issue of The Coin Collector newspaper. -Editor

The Coin Collector 1964 Typically, I don't acquire issues of The Coin Collector, the long-running newspaper published by the Lawrence Brothers of Anamosa, Iowa for decades until their passing. In one instance, however, I spotted an issue on eBay that just seemed to packed full of interesting stories that are of lasting value. It's dated February 25, 1964, which is just about the pinnacle of coin collecting's broad popularity in the United States.

Produced in a tabloid format similar to Coin World newspapers of the period, this particular issue of The Coin Collector is 48 pages long. Many of these pages are occupied by classified ads, as was the fashion in pre-internet days, but there are a lot of local and national stories that make for interesting reading. Here's a list of some stories from the cover alone:

"Kennedy Coins in Production" - It's revealed that the first pieces struck by the Philadelphia and Denver Mints were produced February 11. Photos of both sides of a 1964(P) half are included, and for many collectors this was their first view of the actual coin as struck. Until that time eager coin publications had been using mock-ups of what might be expected, typically featuring a Franklin Half Dollar with a Kennedy Head in Place of old Ben or the Kennedy Inaugural Medal with a 1964 date superimposed over it. Even the first printing of the Library of Coins album for this series had a fanciful illustration, so great was the pressure to beat competing products to the market. The new coins were finally released to the public on March 24.

"Silver Dollar Stock Dwindles" - Since the late summer of 1962, when several previously rare O-Mint Morgan Dollars had surfaced in bag quantities, dealers and speculators had been buying up millions of silver dollars at face value from the U. S. Treasury in Washington, DC. Right around the time that this issue was published, the draw-down finally reached the highly desirable Carson City coins that were immediately worth multiples of face. Within a month of its cover date the Treasury halted the payment of silver dollars in exchange for silver certificates, providing only silver ingots or granules in their place. The numbers reveal why: It's reported that 27,886,146 silver dollars remained as of January 30, 1964, but when exchanges for dollar coins were halted in March just over three million remained. These are the coins that would be auctioned by the GSA during the 1970s.

"Earl Parker Dies" - This San Francisco coin dealer was very prominent during the 1940s-60s, being best remembered today for buying two 1894-S dimes from an old woman in the early 1950s and placing them with new owners. I won't repeat the old "Ice Cream" story, since so little of it can be confirmed, but this was certainly the highlight of his career. After Parker died, his widow married one of his customers who'd worked closely with Earl. I knew them both during my youth in the San Francisco area, though I was too young to have met Earl himself.

"Town to Build Huge Replica of Nickel" - The town of Sudbury in Ontario promoted its claim as "the nickel capital of the world" by building a 30-foot tall sculpture of the 1951 Canadian five-cent piece produced for the bicentennial of nickel's isolation as an element. So far as I know this still stands, and the actual coins are collector favorites.

Some time ago I searched for The Coin Collector at the Newman Numismatic Portal, but the only entries that come up under that title are the Bowers & Merena Galleries newspaper of that same name produced during the 1990s. It would be great to have the Lawrence Brothers publication available in its entirety, as it's likely no longer under copyright. The real obstacle is that a complete set may not exist. The single copy I have is slightly brittle from age, and small pieces fall off every time I handle it. I'm attaching an image of its cover.

So - does anyone have some of these issues tucked away in their library? -Editor

  Jewell E-Sylum ad 2021-10-24


Here's another entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor

Iridescence. The reflective colors which appear on certain struck numismatic items. The rainbowlike play of interference colors appears like that of soap bubbles, or mother-of-pearl. It is due to a diffraction of light from closely ribbed or corrugated surfaces, as the striations of a struck metallic piece – flow marks. The iridescence appears to change colors with the point of view or the variation of the angle of the source of illumination. This is highly prized by collectors as the effect disappears rapidly with any wear, handling or tarnish. It is one diagnostic element of a truly uncirculated specimen. This is a form of mint luster and in certain specimens forms a cartwheel effect where the flow marks form spokes from the center outward to the rim. See cartwheel effect, flow marks, mint luster.

To read the complete entry on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see:
Iridescence (


Here's a related entry from Dick Johnson's Encyclopedia of Coin and Medal Terminology. -Editor

Cartwheel Effect. A type of mint luster on a struck piece in which the flow marks appear as "spokes" from the center out to the rim; when the piece is tilted slightly the "spokes" appear to rotate as a wagon wheel, hence the name. Not all mint luster creates this effect, only that with strong striations (created by metal flow ) where the flow marks from the center outwards on the surface of the struck piece towards the rim.

The effect is an optical illusion, but it is particularly desirable on coins and struck pieces because it is undeniable evidence that the piece is in original pristine mint condition. It is impossible to replace mint luster or the cartwheel effect after it has disappeared. Mint luster diminishes due to wear or tarnish as minute particles – dirt and grime, perspiration from hands, contact with any oily substance – fill the minute striations during the briefest handling. Thus it is an excellent test for true uncirculatedness.

The cartwheel effect is never seen on full proof coins (which are polished to eliminate any flow marks). Thus it is a phenomenon of production run coins only. (Obviously it is not a characteristic of medals that are given a finish also eliminating flow marks.)

See luster, reflectiveness.

To read the complete entry on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see:
Cartwheel Effect (

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BELA LYON PRATT II (1867-1917)

American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on sculptor Bela Lyon Pratt. Thanks! -Editor

Bela Lyon Pratt Last week The E-Sylum had an article and photos of the Bela Lyon Pratt Gallery at Yale. The article did not explain who was Bela Lyon Pratt? I can take a hint. Here is a biography of him.

Bela Lyon Pratt II was born in Norwich, Connecticut on December 11. 1867, and named after his grandfather. His father was a Yale educated lawyer, George Pratt (1832-1875). His Mother, Sarah Victoria Whittlesey Pratt (1831- 1923), came from a musical family. Sarah was the daughter of Oramel Whittlesey (1801-1876), a piano maker who founded Music Vale Seminary in Salem, Connecticut, in 1835. Bela would learn to play guitar, cello and oboe.

There is a story about Pratt in the November 2013 issue of The Numismatist:

One day shortly after Bela celebrated his 5th birthday, the family physician was at the Pratt home. On the stand were small models of a cat, dog, horse, a deer and some other animals. Noticing them, the doctor picked them up and exclaimed, Who made these? Bela's mother immediately blurted out, Bela pinches them out of beeswax, I can't keep a bit of wax in my work basket. He always plays with it. Why don't you realize that child is a genius? He is a born sculptor! declared the doctor to Pratt's astonished mother.

Following the legacy of his father, Bela enrolled at Yale University School of Fine Arts in 1883. His education continued at Art Students League in 1887. There he studied under Augustus Saint-Gaudens and he worked at the Saint-Gaudens studio. He studied in Paris and won awards for sculpture at Ecole de Beaux Arts.

He returned to the United States in 1892 to create two large sculptural groupings, the Genius of Navigation and the Genius of Discovery, for the 1893 Worlds Columbia Exposition. There were two examples of each with one at either entrance to the Peristyle. Many fair buildings, constructed of wood covered with plaster, were destroyed in a fire that started on January 7, 1894. The Peristyle and sculptures were destroyed in that fire.

  Pratt Bela by Helen.01 Pratt Helen by Bela

In 1893 he joined the faculty of the Boston Museum of Fine Arts as instructor of modelling and remained there until his death. He married Helen Lugarda Pray on August 11, 1897. They had two sons and two daughters. The couple were preserved in art with an oil painting of Helen by Bela and a plaster bust of Bela by Helen.

Pratt was a very skilled and prolific artist creating public monuments, medals, plaques, busts and individual pieces. He is credited with more than 180 works during his too brief life and died before he was fifty.

The Thomas Jefferson Building for the Library of Congress was constructed during 1890 to 1897. In 1895-96, Pratt produced a number of sculptures for the new building. At the entrance are granite sculptures representing Science, Literature and Art. The second floor has a series of four circular reliefs representing Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring. In the main reading room is his sculpture representing Philosophy.

  1908 Quarter Eagle

President Theodore Roosevelt wanted a new design for United States gold coins. Sculptor Augustus Saint-Gaudens did the design for the new $10 and $20 gold pieces introduced in 1907. In 1908, Dr. William Sturgis Bigelow suggested a new concept for the $2.5 and $5 gold coins. Bela Lyon Pratt was selected to execute these incuse Indian Head designs that came to be known as the Bigelow-Pratt designs. They were incuse or more correctly, recessed relief. They were in production from 1908 through 1929.

He created the New Theater Medal for the American Numismatic Society, their 25th medal. It was dated 1909 but not issued until 1916.

He died of heart disease at Jamaica Plain, Boston, Massachusetts, on May 18, 1917. At the time he was working on Alexander Hamilton for Grant Park in Chicago. Pratt is buried with his parents at Mosswood Glen Cemetery in Salem, Connecticut. Hamilton may be seen on Broadway in New York but the Grant Park statue has been hidden in storage for twenty-five years.

Pratt had an extended relationship after attending Yale. He created the medal for Yale University Bicentennial in 1901. He also sculpted a statue of Nathan Hale that stands next to Connecticut Hall at Yale. Copies of this statue are also at Fort Nathan Hale, The Chicago Tribune Building and at C.I.A. Headquarters.

The Bela Lyon Pratt Coin Room was established at Yale University in 2012. The Yale University Art Gallery announced the opening of the Bela Lyon Pratt Gallery of Numismatics on May13, 2022. It features numismatic art from the University collection.

I remember a coin meeting many years ago where one member dealer remarked that Bela Lyon Pratt was a woman coin designer. John Burns and I rolled our eyes at each other thinking, "Should we tell him...?" -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:


Indian numismatist Umair Shah promoted history through walking tours and Instagram. -Editor

  Umair Shah

Shah, 27, is the co-founder of a digital marketing agency, a numismatist, an Instagram influencer, and a self-confessed ‘history nerd'. My profile is deceptive, I work for fashion brands, reads his Instagram bio, rather correctly, given Shah's expansive and exhaustive documentation of history through coins from across eras and monuments forgotten, abandoned, and buried.

Umair Shah showing coin Shah says he was all of six years old when his tryst with history started, courtesy of his grandfather who would tuck him in for afternoon naps with historical stories of rulers. When I was that age, I used to know which ruler ruled where. Shah's knowledge in numismatics also took seed at a young age when he was admitted to a coin collectors' club by his father, the only nine-year-old amid senior citizens. The reason I was interested in history was because I was interested in coins. By the age of 14-15, I was reading coins and was an unsaid expert of the coins from the British rule of Bengal. Till the time I was in school, I was exhibiting Mughal coins in Kolkata, Delhi, and Jamshedpur.

And even though his introduction to history began in his hometown Kolkata, it was when he moved to Delhi that things started shaping up. On weekends, I used to travel to historical places in and around Delhi, like Orchha, Agra, Lucknow. And on holidays, I used to take longer trips, like to Goa, Hyderabad, Kashmir, etc. I also took a trip to Uzbekistan. I only travel for the monuments, history or stories. I don't travel to see the mountains or a waterfall, says Shah.

But to feed his love of history, Shah didn't have to travel far and wide. His explorations in Delhi led to him discovering that which found little to no place in collective memory or the city's history. That is, until he decided to document it and share on social media.

Shah's Instagram feed is, for many, a window to Delhi's glorious past. I used to think that people know all of this already. It's only when I started posting these stories on IG that I realised that people have very little idea of Delhi's history.

  Umair Shah tour group
Umair Shah with attendees of his heritage walk

Shah, who is now known for his heritage walks in Delhi NCR, did his first walk in Mehrauli Archaeological Park to raise funds for those affected by the floods in Odisha in 2019. It was a huge hit, says Shah. Even people who have been brought up in Delhi and have lived here don't know that Mehrauli Archaeological park is bigger than the Qutub Minar Complex and it has so many interesting monuments. My walks are to make people fall in love with Delhi.

But Shah's love for history doesn't cloud the realities of the present. Before our walks in Old Delhi, I always tell people that when you are coming here, don't romanticise it, because for the people who live there, it is ghettoized. They don't get the basic amenities of water and electricity half the time.

To read the complete article, see:
Umair Shah wants you to fall in love with Delhi's history: ‘My focus is on the stories' (

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Michael Kodysz writes:

"I just wanted to pass this article to share with E-Sylum readers. It's about a young adult (31 is still young adult?) who uses social media to teach people about the basics of coin collecting. One thing I find interesting is that he has more than 400,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel. I've read various estimates of the number of coin collectors in the United States, one which placed the number of serious collectors at around a million. In no way am I suggesting that most of the subscribers to his channel might have more than just a casual interest in coin collecting, but when just one person discussing coins on YouTube has a following that large, it makes me wonder if the true numbers of casual and serious collectors are underestimated."

Thanks. Here's an excerpt from the Cincinnati Enquirer piece. -Editor

  Justin Couch

Surrounded by a camera, a computer and a ring light in the upstairs office of his self-proclaimed "bachelor pad," Justin Couch's face lights up and he becomes full of energy. He begins his YouTube videos by getting straight to the point, showing different coins that are worth hundreds, even thousands of dollars, and explaining why to his 419,000-plus subscribers. Most of the videos are under 10 minutes long and leave you wanting to pick your pocket to see if your spare change might lead to instant fortune.

The 31-year-old's interest in currency was piqued by his grandmother when he was a child. Couch, who grew up in Ludlow and now lives in Florence, later became fascinated by YouTube in college and it inspired him to study electronic media and broadcasting at Northern Kentucky University. After graduating, he thought he would end up using his degree to help someone else behind the scenes, but when that didn't pan out, Couch thought he might as well try it all on his own.

I'm like, man, I could really make good coin videos with much better editing skills than some of the other people had. And it was a very non-competitive niche on YouTube at the time, Couch said. And while there are more content creators these days, Couch Collectibles – as he's known on YouTube – has found his following. He has hundreds of thousands of subscribers on YouTube and Facebook and is steadily growing his audiences on Instagram and TikTok.

History is what really fascinates Couch about coin collecting. The fact that someone held this coin 100 years ago when times were completely different, it's interesting to think about that. Especially silver dollars, someone was using this as a dollar, and now it's worth at least $30 or $40 just in silver value. So that's kind of what intrigues me.

Couch's parents had a hard time making sense of his career choice when he first began: When my mom talked to my dad, she was like, ‘I think you need to tell your son to get a real job.' " But he says that didn't last very long. The first month, he made around $100 creating his own content, and then that increased to $300 and then $800 and within six months he was making a few grand a month with it consistently increasing.

  Justin Couch book
Justin's book, written in 2017

Recently, Couch was in his local FedEx store and was caught off guard when a guy approached him. He was like, ‘Oh my God, you're Couch Collectibles!' and he went on to tell me that he, his wife and son watch my videos and search through coins, Couch stated proudly. It shocked me, I was thrown off.

With a following that grows more every day, he might just have to get used to that.

To read the complete article, see:
Florence man collects coins, becomes YouTube sensation with Couch Collectibles (

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A PCGS article by Joshua McMorrow-Hernandez highlights the firm's sponsorship of next month's Witter Coin University event in San Francisco. Great news! -Editor

Young Numismatist PCGS, long a leader in numismatic education, is supporting a cause led by Seth Chandler of Witter Coin in San Francisco, California, to help dozens of young numismatists learn the ropes of the hobby and discover the boundless opportunities in the hobby. Witter Coin University is a weeklong educational camp for young numismatists that, now in its second year, will bring together 40 collectors aged 13 through 21 for eight days of numismatic enrichment and camaraderie from July 23 through July 31, 2022. A sponsor of the program, PCGS is contributing to the cause through financial donations to the Witter Coin Scholarship Fund and by sending key personnel to join a roster of instructors who will educate the YNs about the hobby.

We've been fortunate enough to put together a team of leaders who don't see this as work but as a responsibility to the young people in our hobby, says Chandler. We enjoy doing this. PCGS Director of Numismatic Education and Grading Team Leader Steve Feltner will join an esteemed panel of instructors who also include Legend Rare Coin Auctions President Jessica Berkman and gold coin expert Doug Winter.

Witter Coin University instills lessons on everything from coin grading to leading coin auctions with an emphasis on knowing how the business side of the hobby works and ensuring the young numismatists build friendships with those around them. Along with the educational lessons comes team building by way of pizza nights and trips to the famous San Francisco Mint building endearingly dubbed The Old Granite Lady.

Chandler hopes the YNs, who are geographically diverse and mostly coming from small towns throughout the United States, will realize the many opportunities in the hobby to turn their love for coins into lucrative careers. To that point, Chandler notes that, about half of the YNs in this year's group want to become coin dealers.

One of the many goals Chandler has with Witter Coin University is to capitalize on the passion the YNs have for the hobby while helping them know how to avoid misinformation and learn good practices and dealer ethics. He believes that, whether young or old, knowledge is the key to success in numismatics.

There's an important shift happening in the hobby, Chandler explains. Fellow dealers are noticing it, too… There are more and more young collectors on the bourse floor these days who are highly knowledgeable about coins. Many of them are branching into world coins, which is something rarely seen among YNs when I was growing up in the hobby in the 1980s

Chandler's innovative university program is an endeavor that PCGS wholeheartedly backs. I'm grateful for the financial support and educational resources PCGS provides, among them the incredible talents of Steve Feltner. Chandler laughs, don't tell the other instructors this, but Steve is my favorite.

Equally enthusiastic about Witter Coin's YN program is Steve Feltner, who says he is, blessed with some incredible and memorable experiences, in his numismatic career and shares why the Witter Coin University course is so impactful to him.

Since I can remember, likely starting when I was 13 or so, all I have ever heard from older dealers and collectors regarding the future was something like, ‘there aren't enough young people getting into the industry. There will come a time when numismatics will dwindle if something isn't done about it.' I would hear this over and over and, from what I could tell, the people who were saying it weren't doing anything to change their perceived outcome. I am here to tell you, based upon my experiences, that the hobby and future of numismatics is alive and well. There are simply different places that the youth of today are hanging out, not just at coin club meetings and coin shows.

To read the complete article, see:
PCGS Sponsors Witter Coin University to Teach and Inspire Young Numismatists (

In a related note, E-Sylum supporter Harry Laibstain remarked on the younger generation of numismatists in his May 31, 2022 email to customers. -Editor

The Roaring Twenties.

The market continues to be upbeat. Reports from regional shows demonstrate strong demand from retailers and their customers. It's clear the strength of the market is broad-based. This is true with virtually all equities. But I believe coins have crossed a special line and become more mainstream. After 35 years of certification and a strong grassroots following in the coin market, we've hit a perfect storm of growth. An early indicator was an entire class of new young dealers starting about 6-7 years ago. For a long time, the main group of dealers was those that came into the business on the heels of the 1979-1980 metals run-up. Today's growing crop of young dealers is a clear sign of a renaissance in our demographic. New blood in the coin market. The pandemic would show up during the maturation of this influx to supercharge the cycle. The creation of a larger and more vibrant market for numismatists of every stripe is the new normal. I believe this market will continue to surprise on the upside with new innovations and record pricing across the board.

To visit the website of Harry Laibstain Rare Coins, see:

  Garrett Mid-American E-Sylum ad07c


Sovereign Rarities in London is offering a collection of early Anglo-Saxon coins at fixed prices. Here's the rest of the press release for Part Two, passed along by Steve Hill. Thanks. -Editor


Edward the Confessor (1042-66), silver Penny, small flan type (1048-50), Tamworth Mint, Moneyer Bruninc, diademed bust left, bust to bottom of coin, legend commences at top with toothed border surrounding, +EDPE RD RE, rev. pellet at centre of voided cross, legend and toothed border surrounding, +BRVNINC ON TMI., the INC ligatured, weight 1.05g (SCBI -; BMC type II; N.818; S.1175). Toned, good very fine and of the highest rarity being one of only two known the other being in the Birmingham Museum which was the first ever found in 1993 from a neighbouring field to this piece. £ 5,000


Edward the Confessor (1042-66), silver Penny, radiate/small cross type (1044-46), Watchet/Bedwyn Mint, moneyer Godcild, radiate crowned and draped bust left, legend and outer beaded circle surrounding, commences at top, +EDPER D REX A, rev. small cross pattee, inner circle and legend surrounding, +GODCILD ON PECED struck over BEDPI, re-utilising a die originally intended for Bedwyn, weight 1.10g (SCBI -; BMC type I; N.816; S.1173). Toned a little weak on top prong of crown, otherwise good very fine and of the highest rarity with only three known examples, the other two being housed in museum collections, and an extremely rare reuse of a die meant originally for a different location. £ 7,500


William I (1066-87), silver Penny, mule of two sceptre type (1071-74?) and two stars type (1074- 77?), Lincoln Mint, moneyer Sigaerith, facing crowned bust with sceptre each side above shoulder, all within linear circle, legend commences at top with outer beaded circle surrounding both sides, +PILEM REX ANG, rev. annulet at centre of cross bottonnée, over quadrilateral with incurved sides, +SIGIIERIÐ OII LIIIC, weight 1.29g (Mossop plate LXXXI, 1, 20; BMC type IV/V -/330; N.844/845; S.1253/1254). Toned, weak in parts, very fine and one of only two known examples of this extremely rare mule that was unknown at the time the British Museum Catalogue of Norman Kings was published. £ 6,500


William I (1066-87), silver Bonnet type Penny (1068-70?), "Maint" Mint, Moneyer Brihtwine, facing crowned and diademed bust with two fillets to edge of coin, legend and beaded circles surrounding both sides, +PILLELMIII REX A, rev. pellet in annulet at centre of voided cross, terminals of pellet with crescent each sides, pellet topped piles in angle, legend and beaded border surrounding, , +BRHTPI ON MAINT, weight 1.11g (SCBI 20:1359 this coin; BMC type II 130; N.842; S.1251). Toned weak in parts, about very fine, reverse better, with a good clear reverse reading for this extremely rare enigmatic Mint.£ 3,500


Henry I (1100-35), silver Penny, full face / cross fleury type (c.1117), Pevensey Mint, Moneyer Alfred, facing crowned and diademed head within beaded circle, legend and outer beaded circle surrounding, commences at top, +hENRICVS EX A, the S prone, rev. cross fleury within beaded circle, legend and outer beaded circle surrounding, +ALFRED ON PEVE, weight 1.37g (BMC type X; Allen, BNJ 2012, p.97, note 425; N.861; S.1266). Toned, a little weak at two corresponding parts of legend both sides, otherwise very fine and extremely rare being one of four coins known of this mint for the entire reign.


Henry I (1100-35), silver Round Halfpenny (c.1107), Wilton Mint, moneyer Ailward, facing uncrowned head, hair made up of nine rosette like ringlets, inner and outer beaded circles and legend surrounding, initial mark cross pattee, commences at top, +HENRIC-- REX:, rev. cross potent with groups of four pellets in each angle, AILPARD ON P--, weight 0.50g (N 872; S 1277). Toned with a clear face, a little uneven in shape, flat parts to some legend, otherwise very fine and extremely rare, currently the only one of this mint and moneyer outside of an institutional collection. £ 9,500


Stephen (1135-54), silver Penny, voided cross and mullets type (c.1145-50), Castle Rising Mint, Moneyer Robert, crowned facing bust with sceptre at left, legend and beaded border surrounding, commencing lower left, +STIEFNE:, rev. voided cross at centre, pierced mullet in each angle, legend and beaded border surrounding, +RODB—T: ON: RIS, weight 1.24g (BMC type II; SCBI 26, 1459; Allen, BNJ 2012, p.108; N.878; S.1280). Toned, a little off-centre on obverse with short flat spot in reverse legend, hairline surface crack on reverse, otherwise good very fine for issue and extremely rare. £ 5,750


Stephen (1135-54), silver Penny, PERERIC M legend, cross moline Watford style (1141-54), Lincoln Mint, Moneyer Siward, crowned bust with sceptre right, legend and beaded border surrounding, +-- RERIC M:, rev. cross moline, lis in each angle, legend and beaded border surrounding, +--PARD: ON: N--, weight 1.22g (BMC cf.233; SCBI Lincolnshire 27:950 and Williams 716, same dies; Allen BNJ 2012, p.112; Mack 46b, this coin; Mossop 13-14, and pl. lxxxvii; N.928; S.1279). Toned, a little uneven in shape, with partially flat legends, but the important identifying elements clear, nice portrait, a bold very fine and very rare. £ 3,750


Earl Henry of Northumbria (1136-52), heir to the Scottish throne, silver Penny, Carlisle Mint, Moneyer Ricard, crude crowned bust with sceptre right to bottom of coin, beaded inner and outer circles and legend surrounding, commences lower left with reversed letters, +hENRI-- h. ) CITI, some lower case h or curves amongst lettering, rev. cross fleury within beaded inner circle, legend and outer beaded circles surrounding, +RICARDI: (DE: C)ARLEL:, weight 1.26g (BMC p.397; BNJ 83, pages 108-109; cf.N.913; cf.S.1310; S.5012). One tiny rim split, weakly struck in one part both sides, otherwise good fine for issue with clear design elements and parts of legend and found in the local vicinity of Carlisle, extremely rare, no example matches in Mack and only other example known. £ 7,750


Angevin Party, Earl Robert of Gloucester, silver Baronial Penny, style of Watford type (c.1141-45), Shaftesbury Mint, Moneyer Sagrim, crowned bust with sceptre right, legend and beaded border surrounding, commencing lower left, +ROB COM gLO, rev. quadrilateral over cross fleury within beaded circle, legend and beaded border surrounding, +SAGRIM: ON : SA:, the first S prone, weight 0.89g (BMC p.395; Allen, BNJ 2012, p.114; N.-; S.1334A). Dark tone, coin a little dished with some rim chips, otherwise very fine for issue with clear design elements and visible readings, unique, the only example known and available. £ 14,500

For more information, or to order, see:

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Kolbe-Fanning E-Sylum ad 2020-05-17


Numismagram's Jeremy Bostwick recently updated his site with a number of architecturally-themed medals and tokens, and forwarded along these highlights. Another new aspect is that, starting with this upload, new material will also feature in-hand videos, further aiding in the buying experience. For all of June's items, please visit -Editor

102013 | FRANCE. Cathedral of the Holy Cross of Orléans bronze Medal.

  Cathedral of the Holy Cross of Orléans medal
Issued 1829. Commemorating the 400th anniversary of the liberation of Orléans by Saint Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc) (63mm, 89.70 g, 12h). By A. A. Caqué. ACHEVEMENT DE Ste CROIX, frontal view of the cathedral, from a vantage point just to the right of center; in two lines in exergue, LA PROCESSION DE LA PUCELLE SORT / PAR LE PORTAIL / A / LA MÉMOIRE / DE JEANNE D'ARC / 400 ANS / APRÈS LA DÉLIVERANCE / D'ORLÉANS / Vme ANNÉE DU REGNE / DE / CHARLES X in nine lines; all within garlanded oak wreath. Edge: Plain. Gem Mint State. Charming olive-brown surfaces, with a pleasing glossy brilliance in the fields. Quite scarce and fairly impressive. $295.

A popular heroine from the latter years of the Hundred Years' War, Jeanne d'Arc (Joan of Arc) served as a rallying figure on the French side, factoring in breaking the siege of Orléans and helping to see Charles VII crowned as king in France. A very influential spiritual leader, she was captured just a few years later, whereupon she was handed over to the English, tried as a heretic, and burned at the stake. The Roman Catholic Church posthumously overturned her conviction, elevating her to a saint in 1920 by Pope Benedict XV. This medal features the Cathedral of the Holy Cross of Orléans, issued 400 years after her arrival in the city to aid in the siege's lifting.

To read the complete item description, see:
102013 | FRANCE. Cathedral of the Holy Cross of Orléans bronze Medal. (

101907 | FRANCE. Empress Eugénie/Palace of Industry tin Medal.

  Paris Expo Palace of Industry medal
Issued 1855 for the international exposition in Paris (50mm, 43.73 g, 12h). By A. A. Caqué for Massonnet. EUGÉNIE IMPÉRATRICE, head left / PALAIS DE L'INDUSTRIE, façade of the Palace of Industry; in five lines in exergue, MÉDAILLES DE L'EXPOSITION UNIVERSELLE / FRAPPÈES DANS LE PALAIS DE L'INDUSTRIE / AU MOYEN D'UNE PRESSE MONÉTAIRE / DE LA MAISON CAIL & Cie / PARIS 1855. Edge: Plain. Choice Mint State. Deeper charcoal gray surfaces, with a good deal of alluring iridescence and underlying brilliance; great pull away effect to the peripheral toning. Ex Elsen 96 (14 June 2008), lot 1905 (part of). Ex Collection of Félix Bonnet, 1872. $245.

Visited by over five million attendees, the Paris expo in 1855 was focused upon agriculture, industry, and the arts. Of note, Napoleon III, still somewhat new as Emperor of the French at the time of the expo, called for a classification of France's best Bordeaux, whereby they would be ranked by the reputation of the producing château and trading price of the wine—aspects which don't exactly comport today.

To read the complete item description, see:
101907 | FRANCE. Empress Eugénie/Palace of Industry tin Medal. (

102014 | GREAT BRITAIN. Westminster Abbey bronze Medal.

  Westminster Abbey medal
Issued 1855. Most Remarkable Edifices of Europe series (59mm, 94.72 g, 12h). By J. Wiener in Brussels & Elkington and Co., and struck at the Geerts mint in Ixelles. WESTMINSTER ABBEY, exterior view of the abbey building from the west-northwest / Interior view of the Henry VII chapel from just to the right of the center aisle centerline looking toward the altar; in three lines in exergue, ST. PETER'S CHURCH FOUNDED ABOUT 612 / REBUILT AND ERECTED AN ABBEY / 958 AND 1049-1066; in four lines to left, THE PRESENT CHURCH CONSTRUCTED / 1220-1285 / RESTORED END OF THE / XVII CENTURY; in four lines to right, WESTMINSTER HALL BUILT 1397 / THE CHAPEL OF HENRY VII / COMMENCED 1503 / RESTORED 1809. Edge: Plain. Ross M189; van Hoydonck 142; Reinecke 35; Taylor 8b; BHM 2592; Eimer 1506. Choice Mint State. Rich red-brown surfaces, with a great glossy nature and only a few light marks; a few spots of minor corrosion on the obverse are noted for completeness, but not distracting Undoubtedly one of the most attractive and intricate—if not the most intricate—medals in this ambitious series. Compare to a similar example, though far less lustrous, in Stack's Coin Galleries 18 August 2009 auction, lot 6104 (which realized a hammer of $425 [plus buyer's fee]). $575.

From what is today eastern Netherlands and western Germany, the Wieners were a Jewish family of exceptional medalists, especially known for numerous numismatic works throughout the Kingdom of Belgium. Eldest brother Jacob, along with younger brothers Leopold and Charles, created some of the finest works of medallic art of the 19th century, and all are particularly noted for their work in the highly detailed and intricate work of architectural renderings.

To read the complete item description, see:
102014 | GREAT BRITAIN. Westminster Abbey bronze Medal. (

101959 | ITALY. Interment of King Vittorio Emanuele II in the Pantheon bronze Medal.

  Interment of King Vittorio Emanuele II
Issued 1878 (68mm, 139.20 g, 12h). By F. Speranza. VITTORIO EMANUELE II RE D'ITALIA, head right, wearing oak wreath / L'OPERA A CUI CONSACRAMMO LA NOSTRA VITA È COMPIUTA, frontal view of the Pantheon; in two lines in exergue, XVII GENNAIO / MDCCCLXXVIII. Edge: Plain. Forrer V, 599. Mint State details. Orange-brown surfaces, with a good deal of brilliance, though some minor spots of corrosion are noted on the reverse. $375.

Vittorio Emanuele II served as the first king of a unified Italy, hailing from Sardegna (Sardinia) and taking advantage of surging nationalism throughout Europe in the mid-19th century. He was crowned as the King of Italy in 1861, with the Papal States remaining as an outlier in the central portion of the peninsula and, most notably, the city of Rome. Following the capture of Rome in 1870, the unification was territorially complete, with a standoff between the kingdom and the papacy over the status of the Holy See lasting another six decades. Upon his death in 1878 (coincidentally, the same year as his ruling colleague, Pope Pius IX), he was buried in the Pantheon in Rome—the ancient edifice constructed during the reigns of Roman emperors Trajan and Hadrian. The Pantheon was intended to be the final resting place of all Kings of Italy from the House of Savoy, and includes Vittorio Emanuele's son and successor, Umberto I, but does not house the remains of subsequent kings, Vittorio Emanueele III and Umberto II, as they died in exile, and the Republican government has blocked their interment there.

To read the complete item description, see:
101959 | ITALY. Vittorio Emanuele II Burial in the Pantheon bronze Medal. (

102093 | UNITED STATES. "Island Mansion" silver Love Token

  Island Mansion Love Token
(24mm, 5.55 g, 12h). 1856 Philadelphia, New Orleans, or San Francisco mint Seated Liberty quarter, with engraving upon host coin's reverse: Isolated mansion, with central tower and various wings at different levels, placed upon island; stonebridge in foreground; hills in background; sailboats upon the water, birds in the sky. Edge: Reeded; loop attached at the top. KM A64.2 (for host coin). Engraving: About Uncirculated. Host Coin: Choice Very Fine. Lightly toned. Extremely well refined engraving, with enchanting depth; the manner in which the light reflects from the windows gives the appearance of lights being on within the mansion itself. $325.

This piece opts for a rather elegant and impressive architectural depiction set alone upon an island rather than employing any of the more commonly-encountered monograms.

To read the complete item description, see:
102093 | UNITED STATES. "Island Mansion" silver Love Token. (

Fricke E-Sylum ad02 Coppers


Here's another selection of highlights from the Heritage LII Collection sale. The first item is a great piece of numismatic ephemera for bibliophiles. -Editor

  The LII Collection Currency
Offers a Broad Range of Items in Showcase Auction

An important offering of rare currency, related certificates and financial documents, and numismatic literature will be presented June 12, 2022, in an unreserved, 285-lot, special online Showcase Sale by Heritage Auctions. The diversity of the items in The LII Collection will capture the attention of collectors from multiple interest areas. Obsolete banknotes from many states, often featuring unusual vignettes or nuances, form the primary sale focus. Also cataloged are larger size engraved share certificates by the same firms who printed Obsolete notes exemplifying unusual titles, imprints, and topics. A few examples of numismatic literature directly relating to paper money, security printing, or vignettes is also included.

Some highlights are below:

  Heritage LII Sale Lot 94034 Valentine Fractional Book 1924 Copyright Card front
  Heritage LII Sale Lot 94034 Valentine Fractional Book 1924 Copyright Card back

Original 1924 Copyright Card for D. W. Valentine's Fractional Book Issued to F. C. C. Boyd – The Valentine U. S. Fractional Currency book broke the ground for listings of this series. Unique and desirable, this piece of numismatic literature will appeal to both fractional currency collectors and bibliophiles. Lot 94034.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Fractional Currency of the United States by D.W. Valentine - Original Copyright Card Issued to F. C. C. Boyd 1924 Very Fine. ... (

  Heritage LII Sale Lot 94047 Casa Grande Improvement Company 1889 Certificate

Casa Grande Improvement Company, Territory of Arizona 1889 Certificate of Shares Issued to and Signed by J. Peralta Reavis, The Baron of Arizona – An exceptionally ornate, extremely rare, and historic western certificate. It features intaglio engraved vignettes used on banknotes plus a custom view of the Casa Grande ruins. Most importantly, it was issued to and signed by land fraudster J. Peralta Reavis, who laid claim to much of Arizona using fake Spanish land grants. The story was legendary enough to be made into a 1950 Vincent Price movie, The Baron of Arizona. Lot 94047.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Casa Grande, AZ - Casa Grande Improvement Company Limited, Territory of Arizona. Issued Certificate for Fifty Shares at $100 ... (

  Heritage LII Sale Lot 94088 1870 Promissory Note Topeka, KS

Topeka, KS – 1870 Promissory Note for $400.00 Issued and Signed by George Armstrong Custer. – The field of checks and drafts is broad, but relatively few are as historic as this piece. Custer was investing in—and loaning money on—lands along potential railroad extensions, even while in the Army. This blue pen-signed promissory note traces its provenance all the back to his widow, Elizabeth Libby Bacon Custer. Lot 94088.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Topeka, KS - Handwritten $400.00 10% Interest Bearing Three Months Promissory Note Signed by "G. A. Custer" Nov. 1, 1870. Fin... (

  Heritage LII Sale Lot 94143 Bank of Albany $20

Albany, NY – Bank of Albany $20 18__ Haxby NY-30 G108 SENC, Newman page 296 Proof PMG Choice Uncirculated 63. – There are 69 New York Obsolete notes in the sale. This Newman-listed proof was printed circa 1800 using a two-color process and is one of only three known. Lot 94143.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Albany, NY - Bank of Albany $20 18__ NY-30 G108 SENC, Newman page 296 Proof PMG Choice Uncirculated 63.. ... (

  Heritage LII Sale Lot 94281 North Western Bank $1

Stevens Point, WI – North Western Bank $1 June 10, 1860 Haxby WI-430 G12a PMG Very Fine 25.– Several arctic-themed notes are featured in the Collection. This example depicts a conceptual view of Dr. Elisha Kent Kane and his party during the Second Grinnell Expedition. It is one of a few Wisconsin-issued rarities originally from the Chet Krause Collection and boasts excellent condition. Lot 94281.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Stevens Point, WI - North Western Bank $1 June 10, 1860 WI-430 G12a PMG Very Fine 25.. ... (

This important sale, featuring 285 lots, will be auctioned online on Sunday, June 12, 2022, commencing at 6:00 PM Central Time (7:00 P.M. Eastern). For further sale information contact Susan Bremer at Lot viewing is available by appointment only at Heritage's Office in Dallas; contact Jose Berumen at or 214-409-1299. All lots are currently on view and open for bidding now at

Michael Sullivan pointed out an additional important item, and I concur. -Editor

Very Rare and Important 1819 British Security Printing Reference

[Great Britain] - "Report of the Committee of the SOCIETY OF ARTS, c.......together with the approved communications, and evidence upon the same relative to the mode of Preventing the Forgery of BANK NOTES" London, 1819. Bound in Half-Morocco Leather and a Superb Example.

Report of the Committee binding As a bound volume, immaculate and attractive. The contents are of great historical importance with its textual content and engraved plates mirroring the emerging security printing technology of the period. Octavo. 26.0 cm by 17.0 cm. Bound in reddish-brown half-Morocco with multicolored marbled boards, matching marbled endpapers, gilt titled spine "PREVENTING THE FORGERY OF BANKNOTES" and gilt raised bands by Sam Ellenport. The internal contents complete, [4], 72pp, with three numbered 57*, 58*, 59*. Six plates (one folding). Half title and full title page (named upper right).Printed by the order of the Society, with imprint T.C. Hansard, Printer. Etc... on title page verso. Page 26, illustrated with Hansard's Bank of England typographical protective micro-letter devices.

Plate I, opposite p32 : "T.C. Hansard's Plan for a Typographic Bank Note". Printed on bond paper with embossed central coat of arms. Plate II, opposite p38. Wide margin intaglio proof impression plate on card. Bank of England sample note, vignette of seated female center, various devices and text. Signed vignettes and imprint of Lambert, Newcastle-on-Tyne. Plate III, opposite p50. Vertical plate on card stock dated June 4, 1818 and titled. Central vignette of helmeted warrior (style of Heath, Perkins, Fairman) and enclosed in security lathe bands. Plate II, opposite p56. Folding plate of improved printing press. Plate V, opposite p58* intense lathe same for signature area of note by Richard Williamson (without interleave). Stunning. Plate VI, also opposite p58* consecutive to last. Steel engraving on card for back of notes by Williamson. Cursive "ONE" center.

A fascinating work, complete and desirable thus. Minor shelf scuff on front cover. The interior condition is vibrant, well printed and deeply embossed text pages. Some scattered, petty page toning and occasional plate offset "ghosting." Plates are choice overall with barest minimum of prior library soiling or pinpoint foxing specks. Very rare. Stack's Bowers sold a similarly bound, but not identical, example in January 2015 for $3,815.75. An important opportunity for British banknote collectors and numismatic literature specialists. Ex: Charles Davis, October 1, 2011 Sale, lot 493.

Michael adds:

"I'd be a buyer had I not sold my counterfeit detector collection."

To read the complete lot description, see:
[Great Britain] - "Report of the Committee of the SOCIETY OF ARTS, c.......together with the approved communications, and evi... (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Davisson E-Sylum ad E-Auction-43


Here's the press release for World Banknote Auctions upcoming Live Sale 27. Some especially colorful notes here. -Editor -Editor

  WBNA Sale 27 montage

World Banknote Auctions has now listed Live Sale 27 on its website, which is divided in three sessions. Session contains notes from countries A to I, and will be sold on June 16, 2022, with live bidding that day at 1 PM Eastern / 10 AM Pacific. The following day, on June 17th at 1 PM Eastern / 10 AM Pacific we will offer countries J to Z. Finally, session 3 is a timed session that starts to end on Sunday, June 19 at 6 PM Eastern / 3 PM Pacific, with lots ending every 20 seconds (unless extended, please see the website for details). World Banknote Auctions Sale 27 offers a total of 1310 lots of paper money from around the world. Some highlights are selected below but the entire catalog can be viewed on the company's website,

  WBNA Sale 27 Lot 27009 Argentina 1 Peso

Lot 27009 is a very rare test issue on polymer for a 1 Peso from Argentina dating back to the 1990s (Pick-339pd) graded Gem Uncirculated 66 EPQ by PMG. Polymer, now used in many countries, has never been used for Argentinean banknotes but it was at least briefly considered, as this trial piece shows. So far it is the only Argentinean polymer banknote produced and while never in circulation it belongs in any advanced polymer collection. This test issue carries a pre-auction estimate of $1,250-$1,500.

  WBNA Sale 27 Lot 27169 Czechoslovakia 50 Korun dated 1922

Lot 27169 is a difficult type from Czechoslovakia graded Choice Very Fine 35 by PMG. Surpassed by just a single finer example in the PMG Population report, this 50 Korun dated 1922 (Pick-16) is a challenging type that is seldom offered for sale in any grade. It carries a pre-auction estimate of $1,500-$2,000.

  WBNA Sale 27 Lot 27184 Danzig 500 Gulden from 1924

The Polish city of Gdansk (or Danzig in German) operated as a semi-autonomous State after World War I and as such issued its own coins and paper money. Lot 27184 in this sale is a challenging type from this city, a PMG Choice UNC 64 graded 500 Gulden from 1924 (Pick-56), and is surely missing from many advanced collections. A high denomination, few were saved in uncirculated grades, and this is quite a special offering for the specialist. This note carries a pre-auction estimate of $2,000-$3,000

  WBNA Sale 27 Lot 27218 El Salvador 1 Colon dated 1922

Lot 27218 is often seen in specimen format but very seldom in issued form. This is a private bank issue from El Salvador, a 1 Colon dated 1922 from the Banco Agricola Comercial (Pick-S108a) graded Choice Very Fine 35 by PMG. A type that was not saved in quantity, most offerings today from this bank come from the archives of the American Banknote Company that were sold in the early 1990s. Issued notes are few and far between, and a survey of auction records shows no offerings of this type in issued form at public auction in recent years. This challenging note carries a pre-auction estimate of $800-$1,000.

  WBNA Sale 27 Lot 27387 Italian East Africa 500 Lire 1938

Lot 27387 comes from a very limited series of banknotes issued in Italian East Africa, an Italian colony that today is part of the countries of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia, Somaliland. This lot offers the second highest denomination of the series (500 Lire 1938, Pick-3a) in PMG Choice Very Fine 35. Not only tied for the finest grade in the population report, this is also the nicest example we have been able to locate for this issue. The note makes claims to a full XF, is bright and fully original, with some pinholes (as typical) preventing an EPQ grade. A special offering for the African specialist, this note is estimated at $2,000-$3,000.

  WBNA Sale 27 Lot 27486 Mongolia 5 Dollar 1924

The 5 Dollar denomination from the unissued 1924 series of Mongolia (Pick-4r), offered in lot 27486 in PMG About UNC 55 is one of the classic banknote designs of the 1920s. Extremely colorful, the design is a radical departure from the designs typically used on banknotes at the time. A popular series with collectors worldwide, this note carries a pre-auction estimate of $2,000-$3,000.

  WBNA Sale 27 Lot 27632 Singapore $500 note

High denomination notes remain popular with collectors, and one such note is offered in lot 27632. This is a $500 note from the first series of banknotes for Singapore (Pick-7), issue circa 1972 and graded About Uncirculated 50 EPQ by PMG. While not the highest denomination in the series (there was a $1,000 note and even a $10,000 note issued) $500 represented a large sum of money at the time of issue and as a result this note saw limited issuance and is scarce today. It carries a pre-auction estimate of $1,000-$1,500.

  WBNA Sale 27 Lot 27706 United Arab Emirates 20 Dirhams test piece

Lot 27706 either a printing remnant or test piece for a 20 Dirhams dated 1997 from the United Arab Emirates (Pick-21). Highly unusual, it grades AU and features no serial numbers, although a partial signature is seen. An interesting piece worthy of more research, it carries a pre-auction estimate of $1,000-$1,250.

  WBNA Sale 27 Lot 27730 Uruguay 100 Pesos trial banknote

Lot 27730 is a possibly unique and unpublished pair of trials for Uruguay, these are separate front and back with selvage for a 100 Pesos prepared for the El Departamento de Emision del Banco de la Republica Oriental Del Uruguay. Evidently unpublished and the first we have seen with this particular bank name. This design would ultimately be issued by the Banco Central del Uruguay, which issued its first banknotes for Uruguay in 1966 and continues to do so until this day. The various denominations of the 1966 series for the Banco Central were printed by Thomas de la Rue, while the trial pieces in this lot were printed by the United States Banknote Corporation, possibly in an attempt to win the contract to print the new series. It is possible that the bank name had not been decided on yet, as other trial pieces exist of this design printed for the Banco Central de la Republica Oriental del Uruguay, which was considered too similar to the name of a commercial bank operating in Uruguay at the time. Highly unusual and possibly unique, this lot offers an exciting opportunity for the South American specialist, and carries a modest pre-auction estimate of $800-$1,000.

  WBNA Sale 27 Lot 27741 Viet Nam 1981 5 Dollars Foreign Exchange Certificate

Foreign Exchange Certificates are issued in (predominantly) communist countries, typically as a way to control money circulation. Lot 27741 offers one of the rarest of such issues, a 1981 5 Dollars Foreign Exchange Certificate from Viet Nam (Pick-FX9) graded Very Fine 25 EPQ by PMG. A high denomination type that is very rare, few of these have found their way into the collector's market, as most were exchanged at local banks and they were not allowed to be exported. This relatively modern but extremely rare note carries a pre-auction estimate of $1,200-$1,500.


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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

Discovery of Florida Medal
Discovery of Florida Medal obverse Discovery of Florida Medal reverse

Not a bad medal design. Love the aligator! Can anyone tell us more about this piece? How often does the Fountain of Youth appear on numismatic items? -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

Paper is Poverty Silver Round
Paper is Poverty Silver Round obverse Paper is Poverty Silver Round back

Paper is Poverty
1 Troy Oz.
.999 Fine Silver

Interesting satirical piece. Is anyone familiar with its origins? -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
2013 Deluminati Paper is Poverty 1 Troy Oz. .999 Fine Silver-FREE USA SHIP! (

1863 Civil War Scrip
1863 Civil War Scrip Lewiston

An unsexy generic Civil War scrip note, but I've always had a soft spot for Civil War scrip of all kinds. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:

W. T. Sherman Banknote at Lucas, Turner & Co.
William T. Sherman banknote

This bank note for $150 from the Lucas, Turner & Co. Bank of San Francisco dated April 14, 1855 written by the Manager William Tecumseh Sherman to Elisa P. Colston. The check printed by Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edison , New-York. W.T. Sherman listed on the sidebar. 4 in. X 8 in. some foxing. W. T. Sherman was indeed a partner in this bank as outlined in his memoirs (Personal Memoirs of Gen'l. W.T. Sherman, vol. 1, 1890). He managed the bank from 1853-1857 and it is still standing in Jackson Square, S.F., on the corner of Jackson and Montgomery Streets.

This one's been sold. I'd hoped to mention it earlier, but the image hadn't been posted online yet. From the recent Holabird sale. -Editor

To read the complete lot description, see:
Bank Note written by W. T. Sherman at Lucas, Turner & Co. San Francisco [150521] (

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Everyone loves the idea of finding treasure - it drives the plot behind a vast number of books, films, and crackpot theories. This BBC News article goes straight to that primal urge, playing up a recent hoard finders's lifetime love of Indiana Jones. -Editor

  Suffolk Claudius I hoard

Hundreds of ancient coins unearthed by a metal detectorist could be what experts say is the largest precious metal hoard found in Britain dating from the reign of Claudius I.

Lifelong fan of fictional film archaeologist and adventurer Indiana Jones, George Ridgway, 31, found 748 Roman and Iron Age gold and silver coins near Ipswich in 2019.

He said he was "stunned" by the find.

The hoard is still being valued by the British Museum in London.

George Ridgway as a child Indy Jones Mr Ridgway, a butcher, from Ashbocking, in Suffolk, caught the treasure-hunting bug as a toddler, and was obsessed with Harrison Ford's film character, Indiana Jones.

As a child he dressed as "Indy", and on many occasions, still does, sporting the fedora hat and the occasional whip.

He was "passionate" both about Indiana Jones and metal detecting - "and I still am", he said.

In September 2019, he came across an unusual crop marking in a Suffolk field, while tracing Roman roads on Google Earth.

"I found two Roman brooches, then a Julius Caesar silver denarius dating from 46-47BC," he said.

"After about two hours, I had found 180 coins - I was stunned, really."

It took about three months, working with archaeologists, to uncover the rest - a total of 748 coins - although Mr Ridgway said he had found others, since.

Suffolk Claudius I gold piece Dr Eleanor Ghey, the British Museum's curator of Iron Age and Roman coin hoards, said: "I would say that it is the currently the largest precious metal hoard found in Britain that dates from the reign of Claudius I (AD41-54).

"It is unusual because it combines Iron Age coins of Cunobelin (who ruled in the North Thames area and had a power base at Colchester) with Roman coinage.

"Most other mixed hoards found in East Anglia usually combine Roman coins with the local East Anglian Iron Age coins from Norfolk and Suffolk (which are associated with the Iceni, the tribe of Boudicca)."

Of particular note within the hoard is a gold coin of Claudius dated just prior to the Roman conquest of Britain in AD43, she said.

  George Ridgway today

To read the complete article, see:
Indiana Jones fan's Suffolk treasure find 'largest' Claudius reign hoard (

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Allan Davisson published this article on the Gothic Crown in an email to customers on June 1, 2022. With permission, we're republishing it here. -Editor

  The Gothic Crown
The Royal Mint struck them with great care

E-Auction 43 closes on Wednesday, June 8th 2022! Read on for a brief history of the dramatic Gothic crown (lot 137).

A trip to a bank outlet in mid-1847 must have been a popular adventure for many British citizens. A dramatic new silver coin, struck to proof standards, was available. And the people who got them seem to have set them aside and cared for them. Very few show up worn. At the same time, very few show up with the same pristine surfaces they had when they came from the Mint. Over the years I have handled many and seen many and the great majority of them show signs of the kind of care a diligent owner took with the family silver. They wiped off any bits of dust and dirt and detritus that showed up on the surface assuming that this was the proper way to care for this marvelous bit of medallic art. And so, now many of the examples of this beautiful piece show what 21st century collectors call hairlines in the obverse fields.

The Royal Mint minted them with great care—double-struck so that all the fine details in the design would be bold and clear on the finished piece. Then the 8000 proof crowns were each placed in an envelope and delivered to the Bank of England. And in July 1847 the public was able to get an example of a silver crown generally acknowledged to be among the most beautiful coins ever struck.

It is called the Gothic crown because in the middle of the 19th century a period that came to be known as Gothic Revival was a particularly influential style in the arts and architecture. And one of the greatest medal designer/engravers in English history, William Wyon, was a fan of this ornate architecture. The young queen, not yet 30 years old, had been queen for ten years when this pattern coin was issued. Wyon designed this elegant coin with Gothic script around a crowned bust of Victoria wearing a richly ornamented bodice and a hair braid that has come to be a symbol that still persists as a particularly recognizable part of her image.

The reverse was designed by one of the prominent painters of the era, William Dyce. Wyon and Dyce may well have cooperated on the reverse design with its display of the arms of England, Scotland and Ireland in a cross-shaped pattern. Wyon did take credit for the die, placing his initials on the sides of the top crown on the reverse. The angles of the cross are filled with a shamrock, a thistle, and two roses. Like the obverse, the lettering is all Gothic type. The text translates as May God guard these United (Kingdoms) followed by the date, either mdcccxlvi or mdcccxlvii.

For more information on the sale, see:

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The Royal Mint has produced a colorful coin commemorating the Pride movement. -Editor

  Pride coin in hand

The British Royal Mint has partnered with not-for-profit organisation Pride in London to commemorate 50 years of the LGBT+ movement Pride with a 50p coin designed by Dominique Holmes.

The word pride is embossed in capital letters in the middle of the coin underneath an engraved heart and swirling lines, referencing the movement that celebrates and campaigns for the rights of the LGBT+ community.

"My aim with this design was to evoke images of the original Pride marches – the hand-made placards and protest signs calling out the demands of the brave LGBT+ people who were taking to the streets to fight for their rights," Holmes told Dezeen.

The seven-sided coin's eye-catching rainbows are coloured in the same hues as seen on the Rainbow Flag, which was designed by artist Gilbert Baker in 1978 and is widely recognised as the symbol of LGBT+ communities.

On the bottom of the coin, which will not be circulated as currency, is an arrow coloured in shades of black, brown, pink, light blue and white stripes.

Pride coin These colours were added to the Rainbow Flag by graphic designer Daniel Quasar to represent LGBT+ individuals of colour and transgender individuals, in an effort to emphasise "inclusion and progression". Quasar's Progress Pride Flag has since become routinely used around the world.

The coin marks the first time Britain's LGBT+ community has been celebrated on official UK coinage. As part of the coin's launch, the Royal Mint will make a donation to Pride in London.

The coin will be available in special edition gold and silver from The Royal Mint's website in the summer.

To read the complete article, see:
The Royal Mint releases rainbow 50p to mark 50th anniversary of Pride UK (


This piece from The Baltimore Sun describes, but does not illustrate a controversial challenge coin of currently unknown origin including the insignia of the Maryland State Police. Other stories online discuss their wording and sale of the pieces on eBay. -Editor

A challenge coin with graphic imagery and offensive language, emblazoned with the Maryland State Police logo, is prompting concerns from troopers who see it as a potential response to allegations of racial discrimination within the agency.

Photos of the coin obtained by The Baltimore Sun show two images of female anatomy with slogans referencing people being offended, or not being able to take a joke. One side of the coin, with an image of a woman's rear end, depicts underwear with the message, I'm Offended.

Both sides of the coin appear to include the insignia for the state police.

Maryland State Police spokeswoman Elena Russo said in an emailed statement Thursday that the agency was investigating the coin's creation, including to determine whether someone in the department was involved with the design, manufacturing/purchase or sale of the coins. Russo's statement said the agency became aware of it Jan. 19, but has been unable to identify the individual responsible for this violation of Department policy.

Challenge coins are tokens that people in organizations such as law enforcement agencies or the military collect to commemorate events or membership. They have led to controversies in other police departments, including a coin circulated among Phoenix police officers that appeared to mock an injured protester and coins depicting civil unrest connected to agencies in Milwaukee and Louisville, Kentucky.

The coin also prompted concern from the National Association of Women Law Enforcement Executives, an organization that helped cofound the 30x30 initiative to boost the number of women in police recruit classes to 30% by 2030.

In a statement, NAWLEE executive director Kym Craven called the coins offensive and said the association was available to agencies to assist with understanding the impact of police culture on the recruitment and retention of women in law enforcement.

The coins are offensive and, no matter who the target audience, the coins undermine women in general, not just in policing, Craven said in a statement. NAWLEE trusts the Maryland State Police will continue to seek out who is responsible for both producing and distributing the coin, and deal appropriately with the offenders.

Last year, the agency investigated a challenge coin created to commemorate a traffic enforcement campaign dubbed Make Waldorf Great Again that prompted concerns from Black troopers, NBC Washington reported.

Another, in the shape of male genitalia, was investigated in 2020 and led to disciplinary action against the individual found responsible for the creation of the coin, Russo said Thursday.

To read the complete articles, see:
Explicit challenge coin with Maryland State Police logo prompts outcry from Black, female troopers who see ‘complete disrespect' (
Maryland State Police investigate vulgar challenge coins (
Maryland State Police troopers made a challenge coin in retaliation against complaints about racism (


An auction lot listing described an interesting rare medal with a bibliophilic bent that I hadn't seen before. -Editor

  Lady Gregory Medal

Maurice Lambert RA (1901-1964)
cast bronze art medal; (from a limited edition of 17)
signed in monogram "ML" lower right; with 'Irish Academy of Letters' on reverse
h:3 w:3 in.

'Maurice Lambert', Lefevre Gallery, London, May 1934

Commissioned by W. B. Yeats on behalf of the Irish Academy of Letters, February 1934.

W. B. Yeats commissioned this medal to be awarded at rare intervals to the best Irish book of the year [1]. He sought to raise the necessary funds for the commission whilst on a North American lecture tour in 1933 and by December of that year had been promised £200 for the project, mostly from Judge R. Campbell and Patrick McCartan. After canvassing a number of artists of international reputation, he selected the English sculptor Maurice Lambert to carry out the commission; he is exactly what I wanted and he is still inexpensive.[2] Letters between Yeats and Lambert in the National Library of Ireland reveal that Lambert chose the subject Aengus and the Birds, but that Yeats interpreted the image as being symbolic of Inspiration and Genius. Yeats was very pleased with the final work, deeming it a beautiful design.

In November 1934 he wrote to tell McCartan:

Lambert has now finished the Academy Medal. (Fifteen medals are in the charge of the Bank of Ireland placed there by the Academy). It is an admirable thing. It is to be presented once every three years, irrespective of age... Owing to the fact that it is cast like the old medals, not struck from a die, no more copies can be made than these 15, and one given to me by the sculptor, and one purchased from the Mint (a great compliment)[3].

The award became known as the Lady Gregory Medal. The first three were awarded to George Russell ‘AE', George Bernard Shaw, and to Yeats himself.

With sincere thanks to Dr. Declan Kiely of the Berg Collection, New York Public Library, and to Prof. Roy Foster, Oxford University, for their generous assistance in cataloguing this item.

1 W. B. Yeats to Judge R. Campbell, circa 20 January 1933 (NLI)
2 W. B. Yeats to Patrick McCartan, 16 February 1934 (NLI)
3 W. B. Yeats to Patrick McCartan, 30 November 1934 (NLI)

Dimensions h:3 w:3in.

To read the complete lot description, see:


The Royal Family have been wearing their new medals for Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee. -Editor

  Royal Family Wearing Platinum Jubilee medals

The Queen's Platinum Jubilee medal was on full display at St. Paul's Cathedral Friday when the male members of the Royal Family were spotted wearing them on their morning suits.

All senior male royals were sporting the Platinum Jubilee medal, as were non-working members like Prince Harry, Edoardo Mapelli Mozzi and Jack Brooksbank.

The design, unveiled last September, was created by Timothy Noad of the College of Arms and features The Queen's portrait with the inscription Elizabeth II Dei Gratia Regina Fid Def, which means Elizabeth II, By the Grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith.

Its reverse features the royal coat of arms of the United Kingdom outside of Scotland. The medal itself is nickel silver, and the ribbon attached to it has edges of silver, blue and red to represent the medals issued for the Silver Jubilee in 1977, the Golden Jubilee in 2002, and the Diamond Jubilee in 2012.

In addition to the Royal Family, others entitled to wear the Platinum Jubilee medal include serving frontline members of the police, fire, emergency services, prison services and Armed Forces, according to the UK Government website. Individual George and Victoria Cross recipients have also received the Platinum Jubilee medal.

The female members of the Royal Family will have also received The Queen's Platinum Jubilee medal; however, there are fewer dress occasions where they will wear theirs in public.

To read the complete article, see:
The Royal Family proudly wears their Platinum Jubilee medals (


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

2022 Falklands Islands Coin

Dick Hanscom passed along this story about a coin commemorating the liberation of the Falklands. Thanks. The coins are a Pobjoy Mint product, I added an image from their website. -Editor

  2022 Falklands Islands coin obverse 2022 Falklands Islands coin reverse

The Falkland Islands Commissioners of Currency and the 40th Anniversary Committee are delighted to announce the issue of a Crown Coin to commemorate the 40th Anniversary of the liberation of the Falkland Islands.

The 40th Anniversary Committee will be gifting a coin to every child under 16 in the Falkland Islands or who are in full time education. Children will be presented their coins on Friday 10 June at the Infant and Junior School and Falkland Islands Community School and coins will be given to all the children at Mount Pleasant. Parents of children living in Camp or who have not yet started school should contact to arrange for these to be sent to you.

A limited number of coins will be available to purchase locally from the Post Office in Stanley from Wednesday 1 June at the retail value of £12.46 per coin.

To read the complete article, see:
Crown coin commemorating the Liberation of the Falklands for every child in the Islands (

For more information, or to order, see:

British Museum J.S.G. Boggs Video

Mary Lannin passed along this article and British Museum video with curator Tom Hockenhull about money artist J.S.G. Boggs. Thanks! -Editor

  British Museum Boggs note

Is paying with hand-drawn banknotes artistry or forgery? The knotty case of J S G Boggs

In the 1980s, the American artist J S G Boggs (1955-2017), who was then living in London, began drawing his own banknotes and attempting to pay with them. If that sounds more like forgery than artistry, it's worth mentioning that his drawings, while skilful, were obviously not the real thing, and nor did he try to pass them off as such. Instead, Boggs's project to blur the boundary between art, money and functionality meant that, if his hand-drawn banknote was accepted, he would later attempt to track it down, buy it back, and display it alongside his change and receipt. In this entertaining account of Boggs's audacious art experiment, Tom Hockenhull, curator of medals and modern money at the British Museum, details how the work ran afoul of the Bank of England, Scotland Yard and even the British Museum itself, before Boggs forever altered the look of English banknotes.

To read the complete article, see:
The Man Who Drew His Own Money (

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