The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 26, Number 4, January 22, 2023, Article 27


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

Museum Director SwappedFake Coins for Real Ones

Mike Markowitz passed along this story of museum director convicted of swapping fake coins for real ones. Thanks. -Editor

he Court of Cassation upheld a decision by the Amman Court of Appeals to imprison a former Department of Public Antiquities museum director for five years. He was convicted of replacing 5,972 antique coins with fake ones.

Of the coins, 1,249 were gold, 4,478 were silver, and 245 were bronze, Al-Ghad News reported.

The value of the original coins was estimated at $1 million. The court fined the defendant a sum equaling the value of coins, in addition to trial expenses and any other expenses.

The former official was charged with a felony of embezzlement, and a misdemeanor of counterfeiting and falsifying antiquities.

The committee made an inventory of the artifacts, and it was found that some of the missing coins from the Jordan Antiquities Museum were sold outside the country.

To read the complete article, see:
Ex-museum director sentenced to prison for counterfeiting antique coins (

Massachusetts Counterfeiter Sentenced

Paul Horner passed along this article about a Massachusetts counterfeiter. Thanks, -Editor

Counterfeit $100 bill A Massachusetts man minted nearly half $1 million in counterfeit bills, federal officials said. He's just been sentenced to prison.

The man, a 34-year-old resident of Quincy, a Boston suburb, admitted to participating in an illicit manufacturing operation that was based in his home, according to a Jan. 19 news release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for Massachusetts.

An attorney for the man could not immediately be reached for comment by McClatchy News.

On a weekly basis, he admitted to bringing other individuals into his home to produce the fake bills, officials said.

In sum, 4,000 counterfeit $100 bills were traced back to his residence using serial numbers, according to the release.

To read the complete article, see:
Man manufactured thousands of counterfeit $100 bills in his MA home, feds say (

Repurposing Red Tape

Bibliophiles and collectors of all stripes might get a kick out of this - literal "red tape" can now be yours. -Editor

Red Tape For 25 years, the National Archives has been working to rid itself of government red tape β€” through its gift shop.

We're talking about actual, physical tape: the red-dyed lengths of fabric that were used from the 1780s to the 1980s to bundle many of the nation's documents, and that, according to the Archives, gave rise to red tape as shorthand for bureaucratic entanglements.

The tape the agency is selling off isn't adhesive tape; it's a soft, flat and narrow woven cotton that's snipped from a spool. Red tape eventually was abandoned for white or undyed tape because of its tendency to bleed, but in its heyday, the government used vast amounts of the red stuff. For instance, in 1864, the War Department headquarters purchased 154 miles of red tape, according to the Archives. And even in 1943, the Treasury Department bought nearly 123 miles, a Washington Post article from the time noted. Quite a bit of that mileage landed at the National Archives among its billions of paper records.

A volunteer in the 1990s, Robert E. Denney, was unbundling Civil War service records to be microfilmed when he saw an opportunity with a curio that had outlasted its usefulness. In 1997, the store began selling clippings for $5, and its red-tape business is bigger than ever. It has expanded into a line of items, such as shadow boxes with tape tied around a Confederate war bond, as well as inches of fabric encased in acrylic paperweights and pieces bottled in jewelry, including earrings, cuff links and pendants.

To read the complete article, see:
They're getting rid of β€˜red tape' in Washington. Literally. (

Linebacker Pivots to Pokémon

In the collecting-other-collectibles department, here's an interesting story about an NFL linebacker who retired to trade Pokémon cards. He sold this "Illustrator" card for $672,000, just 11 days before announcing his retirement. -Editor

Pokemon Illustrator card When I started collecting again about two years ago, I found streamers on Twitch and different platforms doing box breaks.

A box break is where you take a sealed product of Pokémon with 36 packs β€” 11 cards in each pack β€” and people bid to win a certain pack hoping it's one of the 12 that have holo foil cards in them, which are the expensive cards.

It was exciting to watch, and I thought: Why don't I do this?

One of my connections from Stanford University, Jeff Jordan, who works at Andreessen Horowitz, recommended I get involved with a company they'd just backed called Whatnot, a retail-entertainment app, which offers a livestream-shopping platform where you can buy or sell a crazy range of items.

To read the complete article, see:
I quit the NFL to trade Pokémon cards. I was making just as much as playing football, so I decided to do something I love. (

You knew the "box break" gambling angle was coming to numismatics, didn't you? I'm surprised it took so long. A full-page ad in the February 2023 COIN World announces "a new and exciting way to collect coins.... VaultBox was inspired by the thrill of opening sports and trading card packs, and the excitement of chasing the biggest hits."

My guess is that early buyers will have much better odds of "winning" some valuable finds, because news of their "good fortune" will help attract future buyers. Kind of like the poor slob who "wins" the giant teddy bear early in the day at the carnival, and has to carry it around the park the rest of the day. Whether he knows it or not, he's shilling advertising for the house that will not be giving away any more giant bears that day. -Editor

  Vault Box coming soon

To register for VaultBox Series 1 Notifications, see:

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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