The Numismatic Bibliomania Society

Visit our NBS Sponsors

E-Sylum Sponsor Banner CDN banner03 Banknote Book E-Sylum Sponsor Banner Shanna Schmidt E-Sylum Sponsor Banner AUDITORIUM banner01 E-Sylum Sponsor Banner KEUNKER banner01 E-Sylum Sponsor Banner Numismatica Ars Classica E-Sylum Sponsor Banner NORTH banner02

PREV       NEXT        v27 2024 INDEX         E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

About Us

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


Those wishing to become new E-Sylum subscribers (or wishing to Unsubscribe) can go to the following web page link


There is a membership application available on the web site Membership Application

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:

Jeff Dickerson, Treasurer
Numismatic Bibliomania Society
P. O. Box 578,
Weatherford, TX 76086


For Asylum mailing address changes and other membership questions, contact Jeff at this email address:


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


Sale Calendar

Watch here for updates!


Content presented in The E-Sylum is not necessarily researched or independently fact-checked, and views expressed do not necessarily represent those of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.


Wayne Homren 2017-03-15 full New subscribers this week include: Rick Melamed. Welcome aboard! We now have 7,447 subscribers.

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

This week we open with a new issue of The Asylum, and offering of Eric Newman's research files, four new books and a journal, an obituary, updates from the Newman Numismatic Portal, and more.

Other topics this week include J. L. Riddell's Monograph of the Silver Dollar, the Essex Institute, the American Numismatic Society, the American Bank Note Company, Virgil Brand, Bettye Klauss, fixed price and auction offerings, the four chaplains, the Santa Clause robbery, short snorters, and Walter Johnson's silver dollar throw.

To learn more about the Kentucky Token, the Great Numismatic Library Conflagration, the 1913 Liberty Nickel, Elie Gervais, Comparette's 1906 Monograph, University of Trier collection, Daniel W. Valentine, the Cyrus Field medal, the Savernake Wheel, Evidence notes, and the alligator who collected coins, read on. Have a great week, everyone!

Wayne Homren
Editor, The E-Sylum

    White spacer bar

  1931 French Indo-China Piastre
Image of the week

    White spacer bar


The Spring 2024 issue of the print journal The Asylum is on the way from our sponsor, the Numismatic Bibliomania Society.

Have you ever had an amazing numismatic literature find at a flea market, a garage sale, or an estate auction? Have you ever come across a book that seemed worthless only to discover it had value beyond its initial impression? Read all about it in this issue featuring some articles about serendipitous finds! -Editor

Welcome to The Asylum's Spring 2024 edition.

In this issue: Asylum Spring 2024 cover

  • My 1981 Bicentennial Bookstore Blow-out
    By Joel J. Orosz
  • On a Quasi Coin Reported Found in a Boring in Illinois by William E. Dubois
    By Thomas D. Harrison
  • The Kentucky Token and the Pyramid of the Fifteen American States
    By Julia H. Casey
  • The Great Numismatic Library Conflagration and Other Perils Averted
    By George F. Kolbe
  • Betts Library Siblings Reunited By Jeff Dickerson NBS Quiz
    By David F. Fanning
  • More about Ard Browning
    By Pete Smith
  • The Short Life of the Whitman Numismatic Journal
    By Mike Costanzo
  • Released at Border: New Book about Borderland Numismatics
    By Jason Elwell
  • BiblioFiles: Justin Hinh, The Dansco Dude

Message from NBS President Len Augsburger

Greeting to all NBSers, and welcome to the current issue of The Asylum, which you now have in your hands. This quarter we welcome the ever-resourceful Julia H. Casey, who joins the ranks of Asylum authors with her first contribution. Julia is an expert at extricating numismatic information from the Internet, which has its own way of hiding needles in haystacks. Search capabilities improve over time, but there remains an art to thinking like a computer, and Julia is clearly advanced in such knowledge.

Planning for the summer ANA convention in Rosemont, IL is underway, with a visit to the Dan Hamelberg library in Champaign, Illinois targeted for Saturday, August 10, 2024. Further details will be announced in the E-Sylum as we get closer.

Q. David Bowers, one of my favorite numismatic writers, was fond of imagining an overstuffed chair, surrounded by piles of unread numismatic books, and accompanied by several hours of leisure time. Here's hoping this installment of The Asylum represents a springboard to such an experience, and I will see you again next issue.

New NBS mailing address

With a new treasurer comes a new mailing address! Please use the mailing address for membership or other mailed correspondence.

NBS c/o Jeff Dickerson
P.O. Box 578
Weatherford, TX 76086

NBS logo NBS Membership Renewal Time! Please renew your membership in the NBS to continue receiving The Asylum. Go to to pay by PayPal or download a membership form today. Your current expiration date is printed to the right of your name on your subscription envelope, which should be arriving soon.

  Steinbergs E-Sylum ad 2024-02-25


Here are some highlights of the Eric P. Newman Correspondence Files being offered by Heritage. -Editor

  A Lifetime of Numismatic Research and Writing
Selections from the Eric P. Newman Correspondence Files
Now Open for Bidding

Heritage Auctions is offering important documents from the Eric P. Newman Collection in a U.S. Coins Showcase Auction. Commencing in 2013, a series of sales of material from the Collection of Eric P. Newman has enthralled the collecting community. Featuring 97 lots, this auction comprises the balance of his documents: research, working, and publication files including drafts, unpublished articles, correspondence, handwritten notes, memoranda, photographs, article clippings, and offprints.

Some of the highlights are listed below:

  EPN Papers 1804 dollar

Lot 52033: The 1804 Dollar: The Fantastic 1804 Dollar, by Eric P. Newman and Ken Bressett, was at the printer's when the display of the King of Siam proof set upended their conclusions in the chapter titled, "The Diplomatic Gift Delusion." Bressett recalls telephoning the publisher from the 1962 Detroit ANA convention and shouting, "Stop the press!" This is one of the most important archival groups remaining in the EPNNES Library.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Various Sources. Research Files on the 1804 Dollar. Eric P. Newman's massive archive on this famous coin, the subject... (

  EPN Papers Missouri Banking

Lot 52042: Banking History and Paper Money Issues of Missouri: Eric's research and correspondence on the matter – the first he investigated in a formal way – spans the years 1934 to 2007. Since no reference work for Missouri Obsolete Currency exists, this three-box group of material will be invaluable for the specialist.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Various Sources. Research Files on Banking History and Paper Money Issues of Missouri. A large archive of three boxes... (

  EPN Papers 1913 Liberty Nickel

Lot 52032: The 1913 Liberty Nickel: At one time, Eric and B.G. Johnson owned all five 1913-dated Liberty nickels. This material will appeal to anyone with an interest in those famous coins. As with the Missouri research files, correspondence extends over many years, from 1939 to 2011.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Various Sources. Research Files on the 1913 Liberty Nickel. Files include: correspondence (1939-1972) related to the ... (

  EPN Papers Continental Currency Dollar

Lot 52013: The Continental Currency Dollar: Discussions about the maker, origin, and the very nature of the Continental Currency coinage continue. Read all about Eric's seven decades of investigation into this most interesting and timely topic.

To read the complete lot description, see:
Various Sources. Research Files on the Continental Currency Dollars. File includes: extensive correspondence (1952-19... (

Other subjects from this wide-ranging collection include the Nova Constellatio coinage, Connecticut coppers, Massachusetts silver, Machin's Mills coinage, counterfeit halfpence, large cents, and the spurious USAOG $20 pieces and western gold bars.

Inspired by his grandfather's gift of a coin during his childhood and mentored by the venerable B.G. Johnson, Eric rose to become the premier American numismatic researcher and writer of our time. This sale has something for everyone, from budding bibliophiles to seasoned researchers. The auction closes on Monday, March 25, at 7:00 PM CT. Please log onto to view lots and bid.

These files may not look like much, but to researchers they're gold, and the secret sauce that made Eric Newman one of the top numismatists of his time. -Editor

For more information, or to bid, see:

Stacks-Bowers E-Sylum ad 2024-02-25 Spring Expo


Here's David Fanning's report of results of the first Kolbe & Fanning sale of the BCD Library, which closed on February 17, 2024. -Editor

BCD sale catalog cover BCD Library Results

Kolbe & Fanning's recent sale of the BCD Library on the coinage of antiquity was an extraordinary success. The auction lasted a little over nine hours, as over 250 registered bidders from around the world fought to win some of the 600 lots being offered. In the end, the sale realized 171% of its total pre-sale estimate, with a 96% sell rate. Record prices were the order of the day as both long-established and relatively new collectors took advantage of the unparalleled opportunity presented. A number of lots realized multiples of the estimate, with half a dozen lots bringing at least ten times estimate. The nine hours did not drag.

A few highlights (all prices are hammer and do not include the 20% premium):

  K-F BCD Sale Lot 107-1
Lot 107

Lot 107, the complete set of the Zeitschrift für Numismatik, sold for $42,500

  K-F BCD Sale Lot 518-3 K-F BCD Sale Lot 515-1
Lots 518 and 515

Lot 518, a fine original copy of J.N. Svoronos's important work on Crete, bound with a rare supplement, sold for $19,000 on an estimate of $2500

Lot 515, Charles Seltman's personal copy of his landmark The Temple Coins of Olympia, with accompanying supplementary materials including original correspondence and handwritten notes, sold for $12,000 on a $750 estimate

  K-F BCD Sale Lot 168-2
Lot 168

Lot 168, a complete set of John Jacob Gessner's rare 1735–1738 Specimen rei nummariae with 338 finely engraved plates of ancient coins, sold for $10,000 on a $1500 estimate

  K-F BCD Sale Lot 165-1 K-F BCD Sale Lot 497-1
Lots 165 and 497

Lot 165, a finely bound set of the first edition of Joseph Eckhel's monumental Doctrina numorum veterum, brought $8000 on a $1500 estimate.

The most incredible result was with lot 497, a rare offprint of Svoronos's study of the coinage of Delphi, in a charming hand-etched binding. Originally from the library of Kurt Regling, this unique copy of a rarely encountered and interesting work, modestly estimated at just $300, became the subject of a fierce bidding war that surpassed everyone's expectations. After several minutes of sustained bidding, the volume hammered for an amazing $22,500, a truly stunning result of 75 times the original estimate.

Kolbe & Fanning hope to hold our next sale in June, featuring a variety of books on ancient, world and U.S. coins. Part II of the BCD Library is tentatively scheduled for October. Thank you to everyone who participated in the first BCD Library sale. We look forward to the second sale in the autumn.

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

  CNG E-Sylum Ad 2024-02-18 Consign


Author Winston Zack is creating a tribute edition of J. L. Riddell's classic 1845 Monograph of the Silver Dollar by collecting modern color images of the coins pictured within. What a great idea! The book is an extensive listing of genuine and contemporary counterfeit silver dollars and silver half dollars of the United States and Mexico. The new publication is a work in progress that can be viewed online, and readers are encouraged to help complete the project by supplying any needed images. Here's the project description. -Editor


monograph of the Silver Dollar in Color book cover In 2015, I started a project to document as many contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half dollar varieties, as documented by Riddell in his 1845 Monograph, that still exist today. By 2019, that project expanded to all counterfeit 8 reales varieties Riddell documented. Currently, over 50% of the Riddell counterfeit varieties have been documented as still existing today.

The goal of this project is to photographically document as many Riddell counterfeit varieties that still exist today and create a modernized version of his 1845 publication. In order to effectively and efficiently complete this project (to the greatest extent possible), I am requesting participation from the wider numismatic community to provide me with images of Riddell counterfeit varieties. This project is meant to be collaborative and fun, while also challenging, but ultimately worth the effort to complete.

In order to efficiently, effectively and accurately complete this project, participants will need to accurately attribute varieties to Riddell #s and provide me with images of any of the missing counterfeit Riddell varieties; inaccurate attributions will be refused.

Images should be the highest-quality possible; I encourage having pieces professionally photographed.

I am willing to photograph pieces. The only expense to the owner would be mailing costs both ways. Please contact me via email to discuss further.

Please note, as this project evolves, higher-grade examples and higher-quality images may gradually replace lesser examples.

  Riddell Color sample page 1 Riddell Color sample page 2

If you'd like to participate, collaborate, and contribute to this project, please contact me, Winston Zack, at A digitized version of the original Riddell Monograph from 1845 can be found on the Newman Portal (and elsewhere) at the following link:

This project is located on my website at Anyone can download it for FREE. If you're feeling generous, please consider a PayPal donation by clicking the following link All donations go towards project improvements, especially improving photographs, and will be recognized in the Riddell publication. Updated versions of this publication will replace older versions. Most of the color images will be 50% larger than those Riddell published.

Thanks for your collaboration in completing this project.

To read the book, see:

For more information, see:

Charles Davis ad02

Kahn E-Sylum ad03 banner


A new American Numismatic Society Pocket Change blog article announces the imminent publication of a new book by Lucia Carbone based on coins in the Rick Witschonke collection. -Editor

Local Coinages in a Roman World book cover Over the course of the second and first centuries BC, Rome conquered most of the Mediterranean world in a whirlwind of military campaigns. The lavish triumphal parades celebrated by Roman generals after their victories leave no doubt that Rome financially benefited from these victories and acquired an enormous quantity of bullion and foreign coinage on those occasions.

However, despite the unrivaled military power achieved in the course of the second and first centuries BC, one of the most surprising factors in the development of Roman domination of the Mediterranean world is that the Romans conquered and ruled most of it without imposing their own coinage on the conquered. In their pragmatic attitude to imperialism, the Romans typically retained any form of effective organization as they acquired new territories.

It is thus all the more important to research how local coinages converged—at least partly—to create compatible monetary systems across the Roman Empire. The Roman Provincial Coinage (RPC) series offers an incomparable tool for studying the coinages issued in the Roman provinces and client-kingdoms from the age of the civil wars onward. However, this series does not include the coinages issued in the Roman provinces in the second century and in the first half of the first century BC, when most of the Mediterranean regions came under Roman dominion or established commercial relationships with the Roman power.

Local Coinages in a Roman World. The Catalogue of the Richard B. Witschonke Collection of Coins in the Early Roman Provinces, now at the printer, represents a sort of RPC Zero, the historical and numismatic prologue to the study of Roman provincial coinage, as it addresses the coinage issued in the provinces of the Roman Empire in the second and first centuries BC.

The 3,726 coins included in this catalogue are all part of the Richard B. Witschonke Collection, acquired by the American Numismatic Society in 2015. Most of the specimens are of great historical and numismatic value, as argued in the historical introductions preceding each of the 36 sections of this catalogue. The 36 sections of the catalogue, encompassing the Mediterranean basin from West to East, adopt a progressive numbering comparable to the one adopted in RPC. The reason for adopting this progressive numbering is, again, the underlying idea that despite their diversity in media, types, and denominations, all the coinages included in the catalogue represent an answer to the shared need to operate in a world controlled by the Romans. Rather than providing only an overview of the monetary production in a specific area, each section is organized around a research question always related to changes brought in by Roman dominion to the monetary systems of the conquered areas.

While most of the sections are authored by Lucia Carbone, scholars of international acclaim contributed to specific sections, offering ground-breaking insights on previously understudied coinages. In Section 6, dedicated to Non-State Coinages of Central Italy, Clive Stannard offers a new chronological and typological organization for the complex materials encompassing imitative and special-purpose coinages issued in the region. In Section 9, Suzanne Frey-Kupper hugely revises the chronology for the Romano-Sicilian coinage, showing how Roman quaestores were signing these coinages in the early second century BC. Sophia Kremydi (Section 16) provides an updated overview of the coinage produced in Roman Macedonia right after the defeat of Perseus, the last of the Antigonids, in Pydna in 168 BC. Oliver Hoover (Sections 20, 30–36) addresses the coinages issued in Bithynia, Cappadocia, Cilicia, Syria, Coele Syria, Judaea, and Egypt and discusses the most updated bibliography on this subject. Moreover, Federico Carbone (Sections 7 and 13), Liv M. Yarrow (Section 4), and Oliver Hoover (Sections 28 and 29) wrote introductions for specific sections. Together with Lucia Carbone and Oliver Hoover, David Hendin contributed to the catalogue of the Decapolis, Idumaea, and Judaea (Section 35).

To read the complete article, see:
Local Coinages in a Roman World is at the printer! (

For more information, or to order, watch:


A new chapter of The Banknote Book has been published by Whitman-CDN. Written by Tristan Williams and Owen Linzmayer, the 3-page catalog covers 27 varieties of notes from the Bank of Crete (Greece) from 1901 – 1917. -Editor

  Cretan State book cover

To read the complete article, see:
Cretan State chapter now available (

Numismagram E-Sylum ad96 Set Sail


Ursula Kampmann has published a new book illuminating the state of numismatics in 1600s Germany via the letters of Hans von Schellenberg. Here's the announcement. -Editor

Hans von Schellenberg letters book cover Collecting Coins Around 1600

In January 2024, the first volume of Ursula Kampmann's three-part work on the letters of Hans von Schellenberg was published. The author presents one of the most insightful sources on collecting coins in the early modern period in its historical context.

What does an imperial knight do when a lack of financial resources prevents him from affording the splendour that he believes he is entitled to by virtue of his rank? What does he do when he is unable to secure a well-paying position in the service of a prince, and the Little Ice Age drastically reduces his income? Well, he will try to gain prestige in another way. The letters of Hans von Schellenberg (1552-1609) tell us about the possibilities of an imperial knight in such a situation.

Was Collecting Coins a Matter of Prestige?
The south German imperial knight Hans von Schellenberg and the Schaffhausen pastor Johann Jakob Rüeger exchanged monthly letters in the years between 1587 and 1606. They talked about everything that mattered to them: politics, religion, music, health, their relatives, history, archaeology and, of course, numismatics – after all, they were both passionate coin collectors.

150 of their letters have survived to this day. They tell us about the role of coin collecting in the early modern period and give us an insight into how antiquarian books came about. But they also teach us about the small, subtle differences that existed in their world. Even the relatively impoverished Hans von Schellenberg was an important patron, and numerous authors sought his support. This support could take many forms: lending a book or a document, or providing information about its content; Schellenberg granted an antiquarian access to his home and his collection; when he received small gifts he answered them with valuable counter-gifts and – in some cases – Schellenberg presented the author of a scholarly work with a significant gift of money in return for a dedication. Schellenberg's letters provide an intimate view of the so-called Republic of Letters. They reveal how closely patronage was linked to reputation and posthumous fame.

The Daily Life of a Coin Collector
Moreover, the letters answer countless questions about the everyday life of a coin collector in the early modern period. Hans von Schellenberg talks about matters of daily life that coin collectors still deal with today: Where can I get the most beautiful pieces at the most favourable price? Is a coin real or fake, and how can I tell? How do I identify a coin, and who can help me if I cannot do it myself? Schellenberg's letters are unique as they provide us with detailed knowledge of the everyday life of an early modern coin collector. They are incredibly valuable precisely because Hans von Schellenberg was not a powerful prince who could rely on his well-connected agents. Instead, he was a financially weak imperial knight who built up his collection with limited resources.

The Project of Schellenberg's Letters
Ursula Kampmann has been working on the analysis and the publication of these letters for more than a decade. She took the effort to meticulously transcribe the 150 pieces of writing and to translate them from Early New High German into modern German. Thanks to her work, lay readers who understand German will also be able to enjoy the letters of eloquent Hans von Schellenberg, who – as was customary in his time – never minced his words.

This book is the first of a total of three volumes. The complete work is part of the NOMISMATA series, edited by Johannes Nollé and Hertha Schwarz, and published by the renowned Habelt publishing house in Bonn. While the first part of 555 pages contains the historical sources themselves, the author is already working on the two subsequent volumes. The second volume will present the historical context of the letters and the third will contain commentaries on their contents.

Kampmann, Ursula: Die Briefe des Herrn von Schellenberg an Johann Jakob Rüeger. Ein entlarvendes Selbstzeugnis vom Niedergang eines gebildeten Reichsritters und Münzsammlers. Vol. I: Die Briefe. (Nomismata, 13.1), Habelt Publishing House 2023. 576 p., 29 cm. ISBN 978-3-7749-4378-0. Price: 89 €

The first volume can be purchased from the Habelt publishing house at a price of 89 euros.

For more information, or to order, see:

Holabird E-Sylum ad 2024-02-25 March Madness


The latest issue of JEAN, the Journal of Early American Numismatics has been published by the American Numismatic Society. Here is the table of contents and an excerpt from the Editor's Preface by Christopher R. McDowell. The image on the cover is of a proposed South Carolina coinage that was to be struck at the Soho Mint. -Editor

Table of Contents

JEAN-6-2-cover Editor's Preface

Elie Gervais and the Fantastic Historiography of EG FECIT

The Story of South Carolina's Ill-Fated Coinage and the Soho Mint's Involvement in America's Early Coins

Eighteenth-Century Provisional Copper Coins and Paper Money in Cuba and Puerto Rico

Discovery of Fractional Paper Money in Use in Puerto Rico at the End of the Eighteenth Century

1652 Willow Tree Coinage Census

I keep saying "Wow!" every time I see the contents of a new issue. Looking forward to my issue! -Editor

Editor's Preface

This year's World's Fair of Money in Pittsburgh was a milestone for the Journal of Early American Numismatics. Either directly or indirectly, JEAN or members of our editorial committee received five Numismatic Literary Guild Awards, including the Best Club/Non-Profit Periodical award. This is the second time in four years that JEAN has received this coveted award. Our success is due entirely to the quality of articles we attract and our editorial committee's hard work and diligence. JEAN's staff is comprised entirely of volunteer experts in various fields of early American numismatics, working together as a team to bring our subscribers each issue.

Two of 2022's top articles appeared in JEAN. Julia Casey received the Best Column or Article: Numismatic History or Personalities for her monograph appearing in JEAN 5:1 (June 2022) titled Benjamin Dudley: Maker of the Nova Constellatio Patterns. Another editorial committee member, Dr. Jesse Kraft, received the prestigious James L Miller Award for the Article or Story of the Year for The ‘Wild Scheme' of Sydney P. Noe: The 1942 Exhibition of Massachusetts Bay Silver Coinage at the American Numismatic Society, which appeared in JEAN 5:2 (Dec. 2022). This is the top award an author can receive for a numismatic article, and it is an award that has been bestowed on multiple JEAN authors in recent years. Julia's and Jesse's awards are open to articles on any numismatic topic, not just articles on colonial numismatics. If you did not read one of these articles, do yourself a favor and go back and do so now.

Over the past five years, almost every top numismatic literary award has gone to an article dealing with American colonial numismatics. We are living in the Golden Age of colonial numismatics. In my decidedly biased and undeniably accurate opinion, the most boisterous and convivial group in all numismatics are those involved in colonial coins, medals, and paper money.

  2023 ANA JEAN awards McDowell, Casey, Musante, Kraft

Christopher McDowell, Julia Casey, Neil Musante, and Jesse Kraft hold their plaques at the ANA convention in Pittsburgh.

In addition to the above, the Best Book: Token and Medals went to The Early Betts Medal Companion: Medals of America's Discovery and Colonization (1492-1737), written by Ye Editor and published by ANS, and the Best Column or Article: U.S. Paper Money was received by Neil Musante for his article on early bank note engraving that appeared in the ANS Magazine in 2023 titled Vitriolic acid, geometry, and the early technology of bank note engraving. As well as being a crackerjack numismatic whiz kid and star of stage and screen, Neil is a good friend, and his two-volume series on Medallic Washington will be the standard reference on George Washington medals for generations to come. Neil has all the attributes we look for in a JEAN editor: deep numismatic knowledge honed over decades of working in the trenches at coin shows, a strong background in award-winning numismatic writing, plus design and editorial experience. With this in mind, I asked Neil to join JEAN's editorial team, and he accepted. I am thrilled by this prospect—if for no other reason than because, on top of all his other attributes, Neil is the most gracious and fun to work with person in numismatics.

Since most of you read this preface to see a summary of the issue's contents, I will cut short the celebratory preliminaries and get down to brass tacks. This issue of JEAN is a diamond in the rough, as each article is a gem to be mined by those readers who are high-level, serious researchers and scholars of numismatics. Herein is solid primary research material that will be widely sought after in the years to come. If I were to put one issue in a time capsule to be read by future generations of numismatic collectors and scholars, this would be it. I am confident that the material contained within these pages will be as valuable one hundred years from now as it is today.

Ye Editor and Julia Casey have gained full access to a treasure trove of original colonial numismatic documentation at the Birmingham Library, namely Matthew Boulton's correspondence, private handwritten notes on coining, and the overall records of the Soho mint. These records have been known to numismatists for a long time. However, the depths of these papers have yet to be fully plumbed from an American perspective. Over JEAN's next few issues, we will bring this information to our readers in various formats, including verbatim transcripts and monographs.

Matthew Boulton was the central figure of numismatics for decades. He would eventually come to dominate the global coining industry, crushing his competitors at home and abroad and putting many counterfeiters out of business. Boulton, along with his partner, James Watt, applied steam engine technology to the coin press, ushering in the Industrial Revolution. He also transformed die production and the coin-making process. Boulton closely monitored events in America, hoping to one day nab the fabled American federal coining contract should the opportunity ever present itself. To this end, he regularly corresponded with many influential and aspiring American minters. Thus, his private correspondence provides excellent insights into not only pre-industrial and early-industrial English coining but also American colonial numismatics. We are excited to begin this journey of exploration with two articles in this issue.

A year ago, in JEAN 5:2 (Dec. 2022), we brought you the catalogue raisonné for the 1652 New England NE Coinage. That was a dry run for our larger and more comprehensive Willow Tree project that appears in this issue. Over a year in the making, the greatest numismatic minds in Massachusetts silver have banded together to bring you this monograph. From first-hand knowledge, I can attest that no stone or numismatic collection has been left undisturbed in the quest to find and document every solitary Willow Tree coin. I believe this Massachusetts silver coinage project is the most significant undertaking in colonial numismatics. When they crack open the time capsule, this article will attract the most attention. Publication of material like the Boulton papers and the Willow Tree census is why JEAN exists. If it were not for JEAN, these critical works would not have a home and remain the intellectual property of a few individuals. Most of us will never own a Willow Tree coin. Nonetheless, I strongly encourage you to read this article. Please be aware that we are not stopping here; next year, we hope to publish an even more ambitious census on the Oak Tree coinage, eventually capping everything off with a Pine Tree coinage census.

As I teased in my last Editor's Preface, this issue presents something new on the ever-popular Continental dollar topic. Dr. Jesse Kraft has been hiking across Europe, searching for the smoking gun that will put to rest all questions pertaining to the Continental dollar. He returned with a mysteriously nice suntan, a longer but well-trimmed beard, and an incredible story for our readers on Elie Gervais, a man perhaps better known by his initials EG. Scholarship and writing like this can only be found on these pages. Slowly, the tumblers click into place one by one, and the door behind which rests all the answers to the Continental dollar is about to spring open.

Our final offerings come from our dear friend Ángel Navarro Zayas, the Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs at the Centro de Estudios Avanzados de Puerto Rico y el Caribe (the Center of Advanced Studies of Puerto Rico and the Caribbean). Once again, we are indebted to Ángel for bringing us articles related to Caribbean topics. Large or small, the Caribbean islands were often more valuable to Spain, France, and England than all of Canada and the American colonies. The riches from these islands filled the coffers of Europe. Naturally, the numismatic past of this region is diverse, rich, and essential to our study of American coins and medals. As the corpus of Ángel's work continues to build and develop, we hope he will continue to bless us with these offerings.

In closing, I want to thank you, our subscribers, without whom this past year of numismatic excellence would not have been possible. I also want to congratulate Julia, Neil, and Jesse on receiving their NLG awards and thank the entire team of JEAN editors for their contributions. Finally, I want to thank Andrew Reinhard for his many years of support and hard work as the publisher of the Colonial Newsletter (CNL) and JEAN. When I took over CNL, it was on death's door—days, if not hours, from being discontinued. Andrew worked tirelessly with me to revive and improve it into the superior publication you hold in your hands. Andrew had faith in the potential of this publication and in a neophyte Appalachian editor, for which I shall be forever grateful. I wish him the very best in all his future endeavors. And I wish all of you a Happy and healthy New Year.

Christopher R. McDowell
Cincinnati, Ohio
November 26, 2023

For more information on the American Numismatic Society, see:

For more information on the Journal of Early American Numismatics, see:

Sullivan E-Sylum ad02

Album E-Sylum ad Internet Auction 25


Gerald "Jerry" Fochtman died Friday, Feb. 16, 2024, after complications due to heart failure. Thanks to Benny Bolin for passing the word. A fractional currency specialist and editor of the Fractional Currency Collectors Board (FCCB) newsletter, Jerry was a contributor to both The E-Sylum and the Newman Numismatic Portal. -Editor

jerry Fochtman 2 Jerry was born and grew up in Charlevoix, Michigan, and was one of four sons to Bonnie and Richard Fochtman.

He went to school at Western Michigan University and met the love of his life in Kalamazoo. He married Donna Armstrong in Traverse City, Michigan, on October 11, 1981. A marriage that lasted more than 40 years.

The couple moved from Michigan to Houston, Texas, in 1982 and in 1986 they became parents to triplets Lindsey, Jason and Krystal. Three years later, they added another son, Joseph.

In his personal time, Jerry was an avid collector of fractional currency. A passion he began when he was younger collecting coins. He later won several awards for his knowledgeable presentations on various fractional and historical topics.

As his sons grew up, Jerry picked up his involvement in Boy Scouts of America, which he had earned the rank of Eagle Scout as a young man. He saw both Jason and Joseph obtain the rank of Eagle Scout and remained involved in various leadership roles well past his sons' involvement.

Jerry is survived by his wife, Donna, children: Lindsey, Jason (Sarah), Krystal (Thomas) and Joseph, grandchildren: Emma, Julia and Abigail and brothers: David Fochtman and Mike Fochtman.

Bill Brandimore writes:

"Jerry was an excellent exhibiter and we got to visit a lot at shows, when we were able to get together at shows like Memphis and Kansas city. Jerry was originally from Michigan so whenever we visited over the internet he would always ask me how the weather was in Michigan. I know he was active in Scouting, as he told me several times about his involvement in Camping trips with the Boy Scouts. We always enjoyed our conversations and he did a terrific job putting together our Newsletters. I will miss our contacts and his terrific Newsletters."

Rick Melamed writes:

"It's with a sad heart that I write this memorial for Jerry Fochtman. He was a diligent editor and took great pride in the Newsletter. I was proud of my contributions and his stewardship. Jerry and I were friends for 20 years. His enthusiasm for the hobby had no bounds – it was contagious, and I was glad to be along for the ride. We had countless conversations about Fractionals – he was the first person I'd reach out if I had a question. And you know what, 95% of the time he had the answer. I know there were many things he wanted to accomplish in the hobby, and I'm dismayed he never got to finish them. I learned much about the Fractional Currency through him - especially on the more esoteric aspects like Negative Essays, Experimentals and Specimen notes.

Jerry always strived to educate and make us all better writers and better people. A few years ago, Jerry phoned me and spent 2 hours teaching me the finer points on editing, the use of Photoshop and how to manipulate images in articles. His lesson had a profound impact on my writing and I'm forever appreciative for his guidance.

One of the proudest achievements we accomplished together was an article we co-wrote for the SPMC Paper Money magazine on the 4th issue seal plates on the 10¢ Liberty Fractional. When the BEP sent all of its archives to the Smithsonian, if was Jerry who spent countless hours cataloguing all the Fractional plates after the Smithsonian scanned them onto their website. Unfortunately, the Smithsonian had no index, so Jerry went through thousands of plates to put together a cohesive, organized list with images. We used that information for an important article last year that finally gave us clarity on all the 4th issue seal plate numbers (10¢ Liberty, 15¢ Columbia, 25¢ Washington and 50¢ Lincoln). It also gave us a clearer picture of the sheet layout for the different types. We learned that the Fr. 1257 plain paper Fractional was issued in sheets of 25. The blue end Fr. 1259 was laid out in a tete-beche format of 16 (2x8). This information was unknown and it was through Jerry's efforts that we gained a bit more knowledge of our beloved hobby of Fractionals.

For all of us lucky to call Jerry a friend, we will miss you very much. We are working to keep the FCCB going and to continue the newsletter – it's the least we can do to honor his memory.

We love you Jerry…"

Thanks, everyone. See also Pete Smith's article elsewhere in this issue about Jerry's research on author Daniel W. Valentine. -Editor

To read the complete online obituary, see:
Gerald William Fochtman (

To watch Jerry's ANA Money Talks presentation on Dr. Daniel Valentine, see:
Money Talks - Dr. Daniel Valentine: A Numismatic Pioneer by Jerry Fochtman (

  Whitman E-Sylum ad 2024-02-04 Cherrypickers


The latest addition to the Newman Numismatic Portal is correspondence between ANS Curator Howland Wood and the Essex Institute. Project Coordinator Len Augsburger provided the following report. -Editor

  New England Shilling obverse New England Shilling reverse

The Essex Institute in Numismatics

The Essex Institute, located in Salem Massachusetts from 1848 to 1992, was, per Wikipedia, a literary, historical and scientific society. It maintained a museum, library, historic houses; arranged educational programs; and issued numerous scholarly publications. In 1992 the institute merged with the Peabody Museum of Salem to form the Peabody Essex Museum.

Recently scanned at the American Numismatic Society is the correspondence file between ANS Curator Howland Wood and the Essex Institute. The correspondence speaks to the eternal dilemma of institutional collections: access vs. security. On October 12, 1925, Henry W. Belknap, Essex Institute Secretary, wrote to Howland Wood As a matter of fact our collection might as well be buried as far as any practical value is concerned. No one knows a bit about it here; it is too valuable to display it in any place we have; we cannot afford to provide a special custodian and it is secreted in our fire-proof stack and never shown at all. Very few know of it and hardly anyone even asks to see it. If they did it would mean that someone would have to neglect other work and stand guard as long as the visitor stayed and I am always embarrassed when once in a while someone does ask to see it. If we ever are able to rebuild we should provide a proper room for it, but that seems a far cry.

  1975 Stack;s Essex sale cataloh cover 2015 Kolbe Essex sale catalog cover

In the mid-1970s, Essex determined to deaccession its coin collection. Harvey Stack, in Harvey Stack Remembers, Part 66, wrote of the Essex sale The year [1975] started with over 1,200 coins from the Essex Institute in Salem, Massachusetts, which had been chartered in 1821 to preserve and store valuable documents and colonial items from Essex County in that state. Because of limited space at the Institute, all the coins that had been contributed could not be adequately displayed. The Essex Institute decided to keep representative coinage of the early days of the country and sell the balance to raise funds for the expansion of its archives. The sale included a New England shilling, an AU Chain cent, a 1792 half disme, a 1796 quarter, and runs of later 19th century proof coinage (not including gold), with 1,282 lots total. The NE shilling took top honors at $12,500. This piece more recently appeared in the Heritage August 2022 sale of the Chris Salmon collection, lot 3240, where it realized $69,000.

The Essex followed up in 1981 with a consignment to Geroge F. Kolbe's sale no. 9 (there represented as a prominent historical institution). This June sale represented an inflection point in the numismatic literature market. Jack Collins reported in the Summer 1981 Asylum While the first session may have seemed subdued, by comparison the final session on Saturday afternoon was full of fireworks. All of the competitors that I feared were there in full force: Harry Bass, Armand Champa, John Adams, Del Bland, and a number of other faces that were both known and unfamiliar. Everyone knew that this was going to be a bloodbath….. From any standpoint, the sale was a phenomenal success, having grossed $271,765, which is the highest total ever recorded for a numismatic book auction. Along with the formation of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society in 1979 and the publication of Adams' United States Numismatic Literature in 1982, the recognition of numismatic literature achieved significant advances in the early 1980s.

The Essex continues to bear numismatic fruit, with the recent discovery of the Matthew Stickney (1805-1894) correspondence in the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum. Stickney famously traded, in 1843, an Immune Columbia gold piece to the Mint Cabinet in exchange for an 1804 dollar. Stickney's collection was ultimately sold in a now famous name sale by Henry Chapman in 1907. David Stone, Roger Burdette, and others have worked with this important archive of Stickney material.

Image: New England Shilling, Salmon 3-B, NGC XF Details, the Essex Institute example, images courtesy of Heritage Auctions (Chris Salmon sale, August 22, 2022), lot 3240.

Link to Howland Wood / Essex Institute correspondence:

Link to Harvey G. Stack Remembers (part 66):

Link to Stack's sale of the Essex Collection:

Link to George F. Kolbe's sale of the Essex Collection:

Atlas E-Sylum ad02


The David Lisot Video Library on the Newman Numismatic Portal can be found at:

We highlight one of his videos each week in The E-Sylum. Here's one from the 2005 Early American Coppers convention in Annapolis, MD with a series of top experts discussing the state of the field. -Editor

  2005 EAC Update panel session title card

Hear these advanced collectors and dealers share their expertise about the state of the early American coppers market. Find out the trends in the hobby, the latest discoveries, and ways to learn more about the field.

Speaker(s): Tom Rinaldo, Ed Masuoka, Red Henry, John Wright, Bob Grellman, Jon Lusk.

To watch the complete video, see:
EAC Early Coppers Update 2005 (

Davisson E-Sylum ad Sale 43 2024-02-18


This press release recounts a recent event by the Metropolitan Coin Club of Atlanta celebrating the 90th birthday of author Bill Fivaz. Great idea - happy birthday! -Editor

  Iconic Numismatist Bill Fivaz Honored on his 90th Birthday by MCCA

mcca-iconic-fivaz-rjozefiak-1 The Metropolitan Coin Club of Atlanta is delighted to announce the successful celebration of esteemed numismatist Bill Fivaz's 90th birthday at their recent club meeting on February 17. The event, organized by the club where Bill serves as a member and on its board of directors, was a memorable occasion filled with camaraderie, reflections, and heartfelt tributes.

The celebration, which took place during the club meeting, deviated from the usual agenda to mark this significant milestone in Fivaz's life. Attendees were treated to a delightful spread of refreshments provided by club newsletter editor David Crenshaw and club secretary Marvin Dudek, ensuring a festive atmosphere for all.

Among the highlights of the celebration was a sumptuous vanilla sheet cake with fudge icing, complemented by other snacks and sodas. Plastic champagne glasses filled with non-alcoholic sparkling white grape juice cocktail were raised in a special toast to honor Fivaz.

Dudek enhanced the culinary experience with a selection of savory treats including turkey, ham, and roast beef, along with a fresh fruit platter and a cheese party tray. Other members also contributed additional snacks, and several contributed monies to help cover the expenses. The venue was adorned with birthday decorations, creating a joyous ambiance fitting for the occasion.

The evening's program included heartfelt remarks about Fivaz, delivered by Crenshaw, followed by a toast to honor him.

I was deeply honored last night at our coin club (MCCA) meeting to have the members participate in celebrating the 50th anniversary of my 40th birthday, complete with a (non-alcoholic) toast, a food spread that was absolutely 5-star, and a delicious birthday cake. It was so nice to see everyone, even several that came from over a hundred miles away, join in the festivities. I thank everyone involved in the party and shall have very fond memories of it forever, commented Fivaz.

A special surprise organized by board of directors member and YN director, John Phipps, added to the excitement of the celebration.

Attendees had the opportunity to join in the festivities by raising their glasses in a collective toast to Fivaz, expressing gratitude for his immense contributions to the numismatic community.

The celebration culminated in a group picture capturing the moment before the lighting of the 90 candles on the cake and a rendition of Happy Birthday to commemorate this milestone.

  mcca-iconic-fivaz-binman-1 600w

Cheers to 90 Years! Metropolitan Coin Club members gather around Bill and Marilyn Fivaz, joined by their loving family, to celebrate Bill's remarkable milestone birthday (Photo by Barry Inman).

Fivaz's wife, Marilyn, daughter Diane and her husband John, and daughter-in-law Jeanne, and grandson Jake were also in attendance, adding to the warmth and joy of the celebration.

Crenshaw, in his remarks to the club members, highlighted the significance of Fivaz's contributions to the world of numismatics, emphasizing his dedication, expertise, and enduring impact on the hobby. Crenshaw led a heartfelt toast, celebrating Fivaz's achievements and wishing him continued joy and fulfillment in his 90th year.

I am proud to see our members come together to honor Bill Fivaz on his 90th birthday. His dedication to numismatics has left an indelible mark on our club and the entire numismatic community, said Tom Youngblood, president of the Metropolitan Coin Club of Atlanta.

The Metropolitan Coin Club of Atlanta extends its sincere thanks to all who attended and contributed to making Fivaz's 90th birthday celebration a memorable success. Let us continue to celebrate the life and legacy of a true icon in the world of coins.

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


This press release announces a change of leadership at the ANS. -Editor

  Dr. Ute Wartenberg Kagan Dr. Gilles Bransbourg
Kagan and Bransbourg

The American Numismatic Society has announced that Dr. Gilles Bransbourg will be stepping down from his position as Executive Director in September 2024. Bransbourg has received an eight-month fellowship at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, NJ, where he will be working on his book, Roman Imperial Economics. Upon his return to the ANS in April of 2025, Bransbourg will become a Research Curator.

Dr. Ute Wartenberg Kagan, currently President of the ANS, has agreed to take over the position of Executive Director, which she previously held from 1999 through 2019. The ANS Board of Trustees considered it important to ensure continuity while the Society is engaged in locating a new headquarters.

Bransbourg expressed his gratitude to the ANS Board of Trustees by saying, I am humbled by the unique opportunity presented by the Institute of Advanced Study to advance my research in the field of economic history. Concurrently, I wish to thank the entire Board of Trustees of the American Numismatic Society, and its President, Ute Wartenberg Kagan, for letting me step down from my duties as Executive Director.

Regarding her return to the Executive Director position, Wartenberg Kagan commented, I was not expecting to have to come back to active duty, so to speak, but, of course, the American Numismatic Society with its staff and members means much to me. The Society can do so much to teach others about money and coinage, and this is what my passion is.

The ANS, founded in 1858, is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization based in New York City dedicated to the study of coins, medals, and all other numismatic objects. The ANS holds one of the largest collections of numismatic objects in the world and a research library.

For more information about the American Numismatic Society, visit or contact

To read the complete article, see:
Change Of Leadership at the American Numismatic Society (

E-Sylum Northeast ad02 buying


Author Roland Rollins submitted these comments and images relating to the 1929 10 Dollar advertising/specimen note issued by the American Bank Note Company of New York. -Editor

  1929 ABNCO Specimen 10 Dollar Note face

This advertising banknote is rather plain compared to the allegorical type notes they produced, but they were attempting to market their product to what was being produced at the time. There are MANY variations of this note I have attributed in my test note catalogs - holographs, security strips, watermarks, Tyvek substrate (predecessor of polymer), and different backgrounds.


Here's another with a hologram (ABNC-107a).


Here's one attempting use by the U.S. (ABNC-114). A bit pricey - $12,000 last sale.


This Liberty with Phrygian Cap 1929 series was printed in 1960s-70s. The portrait was used on Brazil P73 200 Mil Reis of1892 and Banque de Indo-Chine 500 Rubles of 1919. It was engraved by Alfred Jones in 1894.

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NUMISMATIC NUGGETS: FEBRUARY 18, 2024 : 1929 ABNCO Specimen 10 Dollar Note (

NA E-Sylum ad Sale 68 2024-02-18


R.W. Julian submitted this reply regarding Alexander Hamilton, the Gold/Silver Ratio, and the recoinage of Spanish silver. Thank you. -Editor

Holed 1763 Mexico Silver 8 Reales obverse In the E-Sylum of February 18, 2024, Messrs Sholley & Salyards asked for proof that the Bank of the United States was restricted in sending Spanish silver coins to the Mint for recoinage. The following excerpt is taken from a document drawn up by Treasury Secretary Oliver Wolcott in 1797:

  1797 Treasury Secretary Oliver Wolcott declaration

By the Secretary of the Treasury of the United States

In pursuance of the Authority to me committed by the Act of Congress passed on the second Day of April 1792 entitled an Act establishing a Mint & regulating the coins of the United States and the Act passed on the ninth Day of Feby 1793 entitled an Act regulating foreign Coins & for other purposes I do hereby authorise & empower The President & Directors of the Bank of the United States, in manner following, to wit:

That the said President & Directors advance to the Treasurer of the Mint of the United States, pursuant to Requisitions in his favor to be made by the Director of said Mint, any sum not exceeding ten thousand Dollars in foreign Gold & Silver Coins, except Spanish milled Dollars & parts of such dollars.

On the repayment of the whole or any part of the said advance of ten thousand Dollars, not being less than three thousand Dollars in Coins of the United States, the said President & Directors may advance a further Sum, equal to the said repayment, on Requisitions of the Director of the Mint as aforesaid.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Garrett Mid-American E-Sylum ad08c


John "JD" Dannreuther submitted these notes on the vast numismatic holdings of Virgil Brand. Thanks! -Editor

Virgil M Brand I didn't submit Virgil Brand as having the largest coin collection, as I figured there would be plenty of emails noting his collection.

He had over 130,000 entries in his journals (I believe there were 18 or more. Tony Terranova donated some to the ANS that Tony had purchased, I believe at auction).

Probably had over a million coins, as he had thousands of Civil War tokens and Cal Fractionals. I think the tokens were stored in beer barrels.

He had several bags of 1923-D double eagles (1 entry per bag).

I just recently saw that someone had purchased the last of his collection. Crates of medals.

He stored the boxes (often cigar boxes) in custom made leather satchels that weighed up to 250 pounds each.

I bought so many 1923-D double eagles from MTB in 1983 (they bought the "bullion" from the Jand Brand Allen estate) that Gerry Bauman gave me a Brand cigar box with dozens of brown "kraft like" envelopes used to store the 1923-D double eagles (each was marked with the inventory number and a unique number for each coin). These envelopes were approx. 2 by 3 inches.

I still have them and the cigar box. The box is labeled "Rarities 1-150" although I would have to look at it to see the exact number it held - it was 161 or some other number, not 150. One can only imagine what it contained. He owned 12 1827 quarters, 5 or 6 1884 Trade dollars, a couple of 1885 Trade dollars, two Brasher doubloons, and countless other rarities.

Greatest private coin collection of all time!

Pete's Smith's original article did list Brand, but he wasn't counting duplicates, so a bag of the same coin only counts as one for this list. -Editor

Virgil Brand (1862-1926) was reported to have a collection of 350,000 coins. However, he had a lot of duplicates. His estate was passed to his two brothers, Armin and Horace.

So getting a complete count sans duplicates is difficult. But Brand is tough to beat no matter how you slice it. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

E-Sylum Leidman ad02new portrait


A minor mistake?
Steve Shupe writes:

New Orleans Mint Gold Book "In the February 18th edition of The E-Sylum there was Tom Hoke's article about the mislabeling of a book and his comment: That made me curious. Why would someone create a first page with an incorrect date of 1860, then in a book containing every single hand-written detail which was flawless and beautifully presented, make such an obvious error which failed to show the "Gold Book" really covered January 1, 1861 up to January, 14, 1861?

"I believe the date on the first page of the book was a simple common mistake humans make. For those who still write checks (and I have done it myself), mistakenly write the previous year from habit in the first few weeks of a new year, after all you have been writing that date for a year and it becomes rote! It takes a while to imprint the new year in your memory. I have seen other items like this when doing research in the archives. It was probably not even noticed at the time of the writing and I can see how an archivist would have turned to the first page and used that date for their cataloging. They were sorting thousands of documents and were not necessarily reading every document."

Good point. The simplest explanation that fits the facts is usually correct. Thanks. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

1906 Comparette Monograph Sought
Roger Burdette writes:

"I'm searching for a copy of a 1906 monograph (13 pages) written by T. Louis Comparette, "The Utility of a Collection of Historic Coins." This was published in an edition of 250 copies by the US Mint Bureau and is mentioned in Vol 357, RG104 Entry-235, #245 Jan. 29, 1906. Len Augsburger checked NNP, HathiTrust, and Library of Congress, but found no reference. There is no listing on If anyone has a paper or digital copy, please let me know. "

Interesting - I don't think I've ever come across this publication. Can anyone help? -Editor


RENAISSANCE OF AMERICAN COINAGE: Wizard Coin Supply is the official distributor for Roger Burdette's three volume series that won NLG Book of the Year awards for 2006, 2007 and 2008. Contact us for dealer or distributor pricing at


Coins in the collection of the University of Trier have been digitized. -Editor

  University-of-Trier coin image

The University of Trier has had a collection of mainly ancient coins for several years. The more than 500 copies have now been digitized and made accessible in portals.

The digitization of coin collections is a great benefit for science. Integration into databases and permanent access to a large number of coins opens up new options for research, but also for teaching, explains Prof. Dr. Frank Daubner, the ancient historian responsible for the collection at Trier University.

There are some very beautiful coins, for example, one with a portrait of Emperor Constantine, explains Professor Frank Daubner.


However, ancient historians are more interested in coins as a source of data and information than aesthetics. A special feature of the Trier collection is that the place where most of the objects were found – predominantly in Trier and the region – is known. The comparison between the place of origin of the coin, the mint, and the place of discovery can reveal information about trade relationships and travel routes at the respective time.

The collection is represented on three online platforms under the name Digital Coin Cabinet of the University of Trier. At, those interested can only find objects from the Trier collection.

The University of Trier is also a partner in the Network of University Coin Collections in Germany (NUMID), which was founded in 2015. To date, 34 universities with 42 coin collections belong to this research and digitization network. NUMID uses the Interactive Catalogs of Coin Cabinets database provided by the Münzkabinett Staatliche Museums zu Berlin.

To read the complete article, see:
Trier University's Digital Coin Cabinet is Now Accessible (

Guth E-Sylum ad03 Expert Provenance Research


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

Permanent Mold Casting. A mold which can be used repeatedly. It is in contrast to sand casting (in which the mold is broken apart to remove the cast object) and die casting (in which the metal is applied under pressure). Although preparing the mold can be expensive, permanent mold casting is ideal for edition casting of art medals, say a dozen or more upwards. After the mold is cleaned (by compressed air) molten metal is poured in the mold, allowed to cool, opened to eject the casting; the mold can then be used to repeat the process. Permanent molds are often called dies, but what they produce is "gravity-die casting" (in contrast to die casting's "pressure-die castings"). Permanent molds do not have the restrictions that die castings have (limited to light metal compositions) and can be cast in any ferrous or nonferrous metals.

To read the complete entry on the Newman Numismatic Portal, see:
Permanent Mold Casting (

NumisPlace E-Sylum ad01


E-Sylum Feature Writer and American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on Jerry Fochtman's research on author Daniel W. Valentine. Thanks! -Editor

  Fochtman, Valentine and Me

The June 13, 2010, issue of the E-Sylum had Quick Quiz: Mystery Numismatist in 1885 with the photo of a man in a softball uniform. Jerry Fochtman wrote, I've attached a picture of a young man who later in life wrote a couple of milestone books on numismatics. The Editor added, No fair if you attended a recent presentation by Benny Bolin.

My response was published the following week, The photo gives no clue to the identity of the mystery numismatist. So I ask, where do the interests of Jerry Fochtman and Benny Bolin intersect? The answer I come up with is … That's where the Editor cut off my answer until the following week. A second photo of the mystery numismatist was then provided.

Two weeks later I still had the only correct answer. The two photos were of Daniel W. Valentine.

  Mystery Numismatist Young Man - 1885 Mystery Numismatist circa 1905-1910

Jerry Fochtman and Benny Bolin were both interested in Valentine because of their mutual interest in fractional currency, My interest came from the direction of the Valentine half dime book and the New York Numismatic Club medals. My interaction with Fochtman came through our mutual interest in Valentine.

At the ANA Fall National Money Show in Dallas in October of 2012, Fochtman received the Radford Stearns Best-in-Show Exhibit Award for Laban Heath's Counterfeit Detector Microscopes.

  Valentine Fractional Currency D. W. Valentine Medal

In 2013, the ANA World's Fair of Money returned to Rosemont, Illinois. I was a judge for the numismatic literature exhibits. I was very impressed with Dr. Daniel W. Valentine: Profile of a Numismatic Pioneer. It included a bronze Valentine medal, a silver medal and photographs from the Valentine family. It was very deserving of first place in the class and the Aaron Feldman Memorial Award.

I asked Steve Crain about it thinking he might have been the exhibitor. He was also impressed but could not identify the exhibitor. When the awards were announced, we both learned it was Jerry Fochtman. Daniel Valentine had no grandchildren but Fochtman was able to locate family photographs through a more distant family member.

The E-Sylum carried an article on November 3, 2013, Daniel W. Valentine Medal Census Information Sought, reporting on an article in The E-Gobrecht. Jerry Fochtman reported that he was attempting to determine how many of the Valentine medals issued for the New York Numismatic Club are surviving. The medal is key to the series of NYNC medals as it is collected by members of the club, fractional currency collectors, half dime collectors or, like me, people who collect medals of numismatists. A year ago, Jerry reported to me that he had tracked thirteen of the fifty bronze medals produced and just two of the eight silver medals.

He was also attempting to track copies of Fractional Currency of the United States. He was able to locate 37 copies of the 225 original regular editions and four copies of the leather-bound issues.

He made a Money Talks presentation about Valentine at the ANA National Money Show in Irving, Texas, on March 8, 2018. His topic was familiar, Dr. Daniel W. Valentine: A Numismatic Pioneer.

In June of 2018, Fochtman spoke at the forum for the International Paper Money Society (IPMS). His topic was Dr. Daniel W. Valentine – Postage and Fractional Currency & Half Dime Pioneer.

Last year for Valentine's Day, I submitted an article on Valentine to The E-Sylum. I sent a draft to Fochtman for his review. He provided information on the Valentine medals and also on the fractional currency books.

I hope his Valentine medals and photographs find a new home with an equally appreciative collector.

Indeed! Great collection and exhibit material. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:

Harker E-Sylum ad 01


E-Sylum Feature Writer and American Numismatic Biographies author Pete Smith submitted this article on Bettye Klauss and her 'numismatic bug'. Thanks! -Editor

  Bettye Snow / Klauss / Roberts (1927-2013)

Some weeks I write about a numismatist who is famous or important. This week I will report on an obscure woman who caught the numismatic bug.

  Family Life

Bettye Juanita Snow was born on October 10, 1927, in Evansville, Indiana. Her parents were William Lampton Snow Jr. (1902-1966) and Amelia Winonah Lindlay (1906-1995). William was manager of the International Correspondence Schools in Evansville.

She graduated from Central High School and the Deaconess School of Nursing. She began working as a surgical nurse at Welborn Baptist Hospital. She received a Master's degree from Indiana University in Bloomington.

On July 18, 1946, she was married to John Randolph Klauss (1926-2007) in Morganfield, Kentucky. They were the parents of John Randolph Klause, Jr. (1947-2006) and William Klauss (1952-2008). John remarried in 1958. His hobbies did not include numismatics.

An article in The Evansville Press for May 24, 1961, described her, She's a little bitty thing but every ounce of her seems eminently endowed with bounce… This talented and intellectually animated little creature is also an artist, college student, historian, numismatist, choir singer, photographer. mother, author and homemaker.

She was a teacher of nursing at Rockford Community College in Rockford, Illinois. She later moved to Wausau, Wisconsin, where she met her second husband, Richard Roberts. They were married in 1973. He was the administrator of Northcentral Technical College in Wausau and died in 1985.

She died on January 6, 2013, in Kaukauna, Wisconsin.

  Bettye.Klauss with Bug

  Numismatic Interests

In 1960 she presented a program for more than a hundred members of the Evansville Coin Club. Her topic was Paper Money of the United States, 1861-1923 using an ANA slide set. Making a presentation from the slide set would not have required advance knowledge.

In 1961 she was secretary of the Evansville Coin Club. She was one of four club members honored as Numismatists of the Year for 1961. She served until 1964.

On October 26-27, 1963, she presented an exhibit on the numismatic bug. It took the award for Best-of-Show exhibit. A picture of her was shown in the Evansville Press for October 26, 1963.

The numismatic bug was put on display at the Evansville Museum of Arts and Sciences.

  Numismatic Bug

The October 1963 issue of The Numismatist carried this story:

So much has been said and written about the bite of the numismatic bug that the Evansville Coin Club persuaded Secretary Bettye J. Klauss to study the source of this disease. After months of intensive study, research, travelling far and wide, and with the help of Dr. C. W. Robertson and Leslie Miley, Jr., of Evansville College, Mrs. Klauss has located and classified the bug. Harmful only to man, there is no cure for its insidious and deadly sting. The disease transmitted by the insect is so contagious that it's been known to infect entire families. A pair of the bugs (the female is distinguished by a green-back) and much more data about them will be the site of fine exhibits …

Her membership in the ANA was announced in the August 1964 issue of The Numismatist as member R52835. This was the last time her name was mentioned in the magazine.

She was mentioned in Coin World twenty times during 1961-64. She was described as an artist. author, and Civil War scholar. Several of the articles mention the numismatic bug. After 1964, she returned to numismatic obscurity.

She was mentioned in the February 18, 2024, issue of The E-Sylum for her November 18, 1964, copyright of the numismatic bug. I hope our mention here does not violate copyright rules.

Follow-up Question: Who was behind Tri-State Coin Supply Co., Inc. distributor of the numismatic bug jewelry? They were out of business by 1968.

Thanks, Pete - great hobby history. And research often uncovers further research questions - can anyone tell us about Tri-State Coin Supply Co.? -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

DWN E-Sylum ad07 Dahlonega book


Atlas Numismatics has updated their website with 837 new coins, medals, and tokens at fixed prices. Selections include the following items. -Editor

  Popular Agathocles Tetradrachm

  Syracuse Agathocles Tetradrachm

1077646 | GREEK. SICILY. Syracuse. Agathocles (Agathokles). (Tyrant, 317-289 BC).Struck 305-295 BC. AR Tetradrachm. NGC AU (About Uncirculated) Strike 5/5 Surface 4/5 Fine Style. 16.84gm. Wreathed head of Arethusa facing left with three dolphins around, monogram below truncation / Charioteer holding kentron and reins driving a fast quadriga left, triskeles above, ethnic and monogram in exergue. Ierardi 46.

Ex Lefèvre/Parsy, Paris 13 (December 2005) Lot 9.

To read the complete item description, see:

  Choice Mint State Julia Domna Aureus

  Julia Domna Aureus

1077648 | ROMAN IMPERIAL. Julia Domna. (Wife of Septimus Severus, 193-217 AD).Struck 193-194 AD. AV Aureus. NGC Ch. MS (Choice Mint State) Strike 5/5 Surface 4/5. Rome. 7.29gm. Draped bust, right / Venus standing and holding a palm branch holding out an apple to right. BMC 47; Calicó 2641; Cohen 193; RIC 536.

Ex Sotheby's, Zürich 26 (October 1993) Lot 105. Includes original collector's ticket.

To read the complete item description, see:

  Salvator Mundi Medal of 24 Ducats

  Salvator Mundi 24 Ducats Medal

1077323 | AUSTRIA. Vienna. (Post-1843) AV Medallic 24 Ducats. PCGS Genuine - UNC Details. Edge damaged. By Konrad Lange. Edge: (A). 42mm. 83.73gm. SALVATOR MVNDI. Nimbate half-length bust of Christ, left; signed K.L. below truncation / SVB VMBRA ALARVM TVARVM. City view of Vienna, small crowned double-headed eagle above, MVNVS REIPVBLICAE VIENNENSIS on cartouche below flanked by Arms. Unger 23; cf. Forrer 298.

Very rare in this large format; a highly attractive piece with one unobtrusive edge bump at 7 o'clock on the obverse which is the described "edge damage".

To read the complete item description, see:

  Exceptional Proof 1850-A 20 Francs

  1850-A 20 Francs Proof

1076867 | FRANCE. 2nd Republic. (1848-1852). 1850-A (hand) and (lamp) AV 20 Francs. NGC PR68 Cameo. By L. Merley. Paris. REPUBLIQUE FRANÇAISE. Liberty head with oak leaf wreath, right / LIBERTE EGALITE FRATERNITE. Denomination within wreath. KM 762; Friedberg 566; Gadoury 1059; F.-529.

To read the complete item description, see:

  Beautifully Toned French Indo-China Piastre

  1931 French Indo-China Piastre

1078278 | FRENCH INDO-CHINA. 1931-(a) AR Piastre. PCGS MS63. Paris. Laureate head left / Denomination and date within keyhole shape wreath. KM 19; Lecompte 312.

Ex Howard A. Daniel III Collection.

To read the complete item description, see:

  Medallic Marriage Ducat

  Nürnberg Marriage Ducat medal

1076825 | GERMAN STATES. Nürnberg. (1716-46) AV Medallic Marriage Ducat. PCGS MS63. By P. G. Nürnberger. 22mm. 3.50gm. Bride and groom kneeling before an altar with radiant crucifix and Bible / Christ blesses a bride and groom who are shaking hands. Erlanger 2260; Goppel 4004.

To read the complete item description, see:

  Elegant Elizabeth I Half Pound

  Elizabeth I Half Pound

1077165 | GREAT BRITAIN. England. Elizabeth I. (Queen, 1558-1603). (1592-95)- (tun) AV Half Pound. NGC AU55. By Charles Anthony. Tower Mint, London. 5.62gm. ELIZAB.' D.' G.' ANG.' FRA.' ET. HIB.' REGIN.'. Larger crowned and decorated bust left, wearing elaborate bodice / SCVTVM • FIDEI • PROTEGE • EAM •. Crowned shield of arms divides E - R to either side. SCBC 2535A; North 2009; Brown & Comber [1989], G23; Ryan 329; Raynes 152; Lockett 1989 same dies; Hird I, 51; Spink 6, 10-11 October 1979, lot 593* same dies; King 52 same dies; Schneider I, 809 same obverse die.

Sharply struck and attractively toned.

Ex Dr Paul Broughton, Spink 235, (22 March 2016), Lot 443; Seaby Coin & Medal Bulletin February 1975, G79* - "extremely fine"; Spink-Glendining, 27-28 November 1974, lot 567 - "extremely fine and scarce". Includes old auction ticket.

To read the complete item description, see:

  Pedigreed Oxford "Declaration" Pound

  1643 Oxford Declaration Pound

1076410 | GREAT BRITAIN. England. Charles I. 1643-(plumes) AR Pound. PCGS XF45. Oxford. Large horseman over weapons, holding sword; plumes in upper right field / Three Oxford plumes near denomination, •XX•; declaration and date below. KM 258; SCBC-2938; North 2397 (VR); Brooker-863; Morrison dies-A/2.

Declaration type.

Ex George Hamilton-Smith Collection (Sotheby's, July 1913) Lot 81; Ex Sir Kenyon Vaughan Morgan (Sotheby's 1935). Housed in an oversized holder and includes original collector's envelope.

To read the complete item description, see:

  Gem Peace of Breda Medal

  Peace of Breda Medal

1077441 | GREAT BRITAIN. Netherlands. Peace of Breda. 1667 AR Medal. PCGS MS65. By C. Adolphi . Amsterdam. Edge: Plain. 43mm. 29.59gm. English and Dutch admiral ship brotherly alongside to the right (Amsterdam city coat of arms, flag with lion Generaliteit) /Coats of arms England and the Republic hanging from a laurel wreath interwoven with a garland; inscribed scroll below, BRITAN: BATAV: PAX. Eimer 242; van Loon 559.4; Pax 267. For the signing of the Treaty of Breda.

Includes old Jacques Schulman (Amsterdam) auction envelope.

To read the complete item description, see:

  Mayoralty of the City of London Medal

  ayoralty of the City of London Medal

1077406 | GREAT BRITAIN. Victoria. (Queen, 1837-1901). 1889 Bronzed AE Medal. PCGS SP65. By A. Kirkwood & Son. 77mm. 267.78gm. Victoria and Richard I crowned and draped busts facing towards each other, St George and Dragon below / Londinia seated right, receives symbols of Mayoralty from St Michael. Eimer 1752; BHM 3377; Welch 23.

Mayoralty of the City of London, 700th Anniversary, 1189-1889.

Includes original case.

To read the complete item description, see:

  Morbiducci Pattern Penny

  Irish Free State Morbiducci Pattern Penny

1078211 | IRELAND REPUBLIC. Irish Free State. (1922-1937). 1927 Copper Pattern or Prova Penny. NGC PR64. By P. Morbiducci. Edge: Plain. 10.31gm. SAORSTAT EIREANN. Irish harp, PROVA to right / PINGIN. Hen and chickens, left; denomination above. KM Pattern 3 (variant).

Patterns entered by the Roman sculptor Publio Morbiducci (1889-1963) for the competition to design Ireland's new money in 1928, in which he was ultimately unsuccessful were struck by the Milanese medallists Lorioli Castelli (now Lorioli Fratelli). Precise numbers of pieces which exist are uncertain, although the best previously published estimates were by Brady in 1976, who thought that three pieces existed in bronze (his numbers 41-3).

To read the complete item description, see:

  Delightful Geneva Shooting Medal

  1875 Geneva Shooting Medal

1077141 | SWITZERLAND. Geneva. 1875 AR Shooting Medal. PCGS SP65. By Samuel Mognetti. Edge: Plain. 43mm. 37.47gm. Radiant cross above boating scene / Coat of arms of Geneva over crossed rifles and anchor. Richter 601b; Martin 305.

Struck to commemorate the 400th Anniversary of the Foundation for the Geneva Shooting Festival. From a mintage of just 320 pieces.

To read the complete item description, see:

  Platinum United Nations Essai Ducaton, Reportedly Ex. King Farouk

  1946 UNITED NATIONS Platinum Monetary Pattern

1077139 | UNITED NATIONS. 1946 Platinum Monetary Pattern (Essai) Ducaton (SC$1). NGC MS61. Edge: Plain. 38mm. 52.72gm. MONETARY UNITY / WORLD PEACE. Five flags on a hemisphere representing France, England, USA, U.S.S.R. and China / FREEDOM - RELIGION · FEAR · SPEECH · WANT ·. Five figures symbolizing peace around an inner circular legend. KM X-1B; Hibler/Kappan 873D.

Extremely rare, with only 3 pieces struck in this weight. Struck by the "Medallic Art Co.", upon the initiative of A. Kosoff and Hans F. Schulman in 1945.

Reportedly Ex. King Farouk (The Palace Collection of Egypt), Sotheby's, February/March 1954, Lot 1566 (slightly different note weighted in catalogue).

To read the complete item description, see:

  Exceptional No Motto Eagle

  1907 No Motto Eagle

1077135 | UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. 1907 AV $10, Eagle. PCGS MS67. By Augustus Saint-Gaudens. U.S. Mint, Philadelphia. New-style head, left, within circle of stars /UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. Eagle standing to left; without motto. KM 102; Fr.-164.

To read the complete item description, see:

Updates to their online inventory are issued monthly.

For more information and to sign up for the firm's monthly newsletter, visit:

Auditorium E-Sylum ad02


Here's the announcement for the March 2024 internet auction from Stephen Album Rare Coins. -Editor

SARC Internet auction 25 cover Stephen Album Rare Coins will hold its Internet Auction 25 on March 4-5, 2024 at their offices in Santa Rosa, California. The auction is made up of 2000 lots of Ancient, Islamic, Indian, Chinese, and World Coins. Starting prices range from just $15 up through $475.

Category highlights include:

  • 46 Lots of Mexican Coins and Tokens (46 Lots)
  • A Fantastic Selection of Danish India Coins (58 Lots)
  • An Assortment of British India Coins (96 Lots)
  • Numerous Coins of the Mughal Empire (79 Lots)
  • A Collection of Coins With Chinese Chopmarks (69 Lots)
  • Umayyad of Spain Coins All With Different Dates (23 Lots)
  • PCGS Graded Bulgarian Coins (19 Lots)

Some single highlights from the sale follow:

  SARC Internet Sale 25 Lot 1012_1

LOT 1012: WORLD: JAPAN: Keio, 1865-1868, lead 200 mon (133.46g), Yonezawa, Dewa Province, H-6.38, JNDA-139.13, 46x54mm, atai ni hyaku (value two hundred), sei san kyoko (Production Bureau) at right // sanju shi momme (thirty-four momme), a superb quality example! VF-EF. These lead coins were minted in Yonezawa in Dewa Province, probably around 1866. At this time, the Samurai class found their occupation gone, and in many cases were in great distress. A society was formed under local government supervision to give them aid, and these coins were issued to them.
Estimated at $550 to $650

  SARC Internet Sale 25 Lot 1168_1

LOT 1168: WORLD: BULGARIA: Boris III, 1918-1943, 1 lev, 1925, KM-35, an incredible mint state example! PCGS graded MS67
Estimated at $150 to $250

  SARC Internet Sale 25 Lot 489_1

LOT 489: WORLD: IRAN: ZAND: Karim Khan, 1753-1779, AV ½ mohur (5.41g), Rasht, AH1191, A-2788, type C, nice strike for this type, choice VF, S.
Estimated at $350 to $400.

  SARC Internet Sale 25 Lot 550_1

LOT 550: INDIA: KUNTALA: Punchmarked ca. 600-450 BC, AR ½ karshapana (6.90g), Rajgor-502/509, "pulley" with simplified swastika above, VF-EF
Estimated at $250 to $300

  SARC Internet Sale 25 Lot 1277_1

LOT 1277: PRUSSIA: Wilhelm II, 1888-1918, gilt AE 3 mark, 1913, KM-X3ag, Schaaf-113/G1, N-284890, 33mm pattern in gilt bronze by Karl Goetz, a wonderful specimen quality example! PCGS graded Specimen 64, ex Leigh Park Collection
Estimated at $250 to $350

  SARC Internet Sale 25 Lot 1469_1

LOT 1469: WORLD: POLAND: Republic, AR zloty, 1925, Y-16, struck at the London Mint, dot after date, a lovely lustrous example! PCGS graded MS63
Estimated at $150 to $250

  SARC Internet Sale 25 Lot 1467_1

LOT 1467: WORLD: POLAND: Stanislaw II Augustus, 1764-1795, AE trojak (3 grosze), Warsaw, 1787, KM-205, an attractive nearly mint state example, PCGS graded AU58
Estimated at $125 to $175

The firm is currently accepting consignments through March 1 for its Auction 49, which will take place on June 13-16, an is always seeking coins for later sales.

Please see for more information.

Schmidt E-Sylum ad 2017-06-18


Tuesday, February 20, 2024 was the meeting night of Nummis Nova, my Northern Virginia numismatic social group. Steve Bishop was our host - he picked Akasaka Japanese Restaurant in Manassas. Other attendees included Jon Radel, Eric Schena, Dave Schenkman, Mike Packard, Mike Markowitz, Lorne LaVertu, my guest Jonas Denenberg.

  Nummis Nova 2024-02 Dave Schenkman, Mike Packard, Jon Radel, Jonas Denenberg
Dave Schenkman, Mike Packard, Jon Radel, Jonas Denenberg

  Nummis Nova 2024-02 Mike Markowitz, Lorne Lavertu, Eric Schena, Dave Schenkman
Mike Markowitz, Lorne Lavertu, Eric Schena, Dave Schenkman checking out coins

  Nummis Nova 2024-02 flame
Flame on!

  Nobel Medals book cover Jovita Idar quarter

I brought along my newly acquired 2001 book Nobel Medals, The Royal Coin Cabinet by Lars O. Lagerqvist, which had been mentioned earlier by John Sallay. I also passed around a new Jovita Idar quarter that I'd found in circulation. Interesting and unusual design.

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

  Nummis Nova 2024-02 Lorne looks at coin
Lorne looks at my Jovita Idar quarter

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
LOOSE CHANGE: OCTOBER 1, 2023 : Jovita Idar, Methodist Social Reformer (

  Nummis Nova 2024-02 coins and food
Finding room to look at coins

Aluminum Cyrus Field Medal
Dave Schenkman brought an amazing item that was too delicate to pass around, and he provided these images afterwards - a Cyrus Field medal in aluminum. While Field's name is little known today, he was responsible for the greatest technological success of his day, the laying of the transatlantic telegraph cable. Field crossed the ocean over 50 times, working past failure after failure in accomplishing the crowning achievement of his life. He recieved a Congressional gold medal, and multiple countries around the world honored him as well.

  aluminum Cyrus Field medal-obv aluminum Cyrus Field medal-rev

Dave writes:

"It was engraved by William Barber and according to the Mint correspondence that Roger Burdette was kind enough to send me, it was struck in November 1868; only six aluminum medals were struck."

aluminum medal case-1 Remember, while aluminum is an inexpensive coining material today, it was still exotic and expensive in the 1860s. These aluminum pieces were quite large and valuable. As noted in recent discussions, the original case is an important part of the complete package.

Communications which once traveled as letters aboard slow-moving ships now crossed the ocean at he speed of a telegraph operator's fingers, and a major part of today's internet follows Field's path. I live in Northern Virginia, the data center capital of the world, connected by fiber optic cables that run underground past my neighborhood, along old railroad rights of way past Baltimore, New York, Boston and on to where they cross the ocean between Nova Scotia and Ireland, the closest landing points between the two continents.

  aluminum medal case-2

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

Steve's Beauties
Steve Bishop showed off a number of U.S. coins, including some nice proofs and toners. He supplied this selection of photos. Thanks!

  1825 Draped Bust Half Dollar
1825 Draped Bust Half Dollar

  1871 Liberty Seated Half Dollar
1871 Liberty Seated Half Dollar

  1882 Liberty Seated Quarter
1882 Liberty Seated Quarter

  1885 Liberty Seated Quarter
1885 Liberty Seated Quarter

  1892 Barber Dime
1892 Barber Dime

  1893 Morgan Dollar
1893 Morgan Dollar

  1895 Barber Quarter
1895 Barber Quarter

  1900 Lafayette Dollar
1900 Lafayette Dollar

  1901 Barber Half Dollar
1901 Barber Half Dollar

  1906 Barber Quarter
1906 Barber Quarter

1931 Gold 50 Lira
Mike Markowitz showed off this nice 1931 gold 50 Lira piece.

  1931 gold 50 Lira

Civil War Scrip
Eric Schena brought a familiar Civil War scrip note.

Eric writes:

"In a previous E-Sylum, Wayne showed some images from a scrapbook a library shared and it included a rare, privately issued note from Winchester, VA, issued by Charles Broadway Rouss. I had been looking for one for 25 some-odd years and they always seemed to elude me when they showed up for sale. Well, that scrapbook post must have been good luck because I was finally able to get a Rouss note and I brought that to the dinner. This particular example was previously in some Heritage sales that I had missed - here's an image of this note from one of those sales."

  Charles Broadway Rous 5 cents scrip Winchester, VA

Congratulations on a great purchase! Nice piece.

I also had nice conversations with Jonas Denenberg about his cross-country coin-buying jaunts and other business ventures. It was another great evening of numismatic fellowship.

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
NOTES FROM E-SYLUM READERS: JANUARY 7, 2024 : Charles Broadway Rouss of Winchester, VA (


Arthur Shippee passed along this article about a Celtic gold coin discovered by metal detectorists. Thank you. -Editor

  Celtic Savernake Wheel gold coin obverse

A rare Celtic gold coin discovered by metal detectorists in a field has sold for £4,400 at auction - double its guide price.

The coin, known as a Savernake Wheel, is more than 2,000 years old and is one of only seven known examples.

It was uncovered close to Royal Wootton Bassett in Wiltshire and auctioned off at RWB Auctions in Swindon on Wednesday.

Bought by a local buyer, the coin will be donated to a Wiltshire museum.

Experts believe the coin was minted by a small tribe who lived in the Savernake Forest, and it may not have travelled more than 10 miles (16km) since then.

Weighing just 1.22g (0.04oz) and measuring 1cm in diameter, it is smaller than a five pence piece.

"When we see Celtic coins, we know there are only a few hundred made. Then only a few of those survive," said coin expert Kimberly Day, who sold the piece at RWB Auctions.

"So holding that sort of coin in your hand, you know you're holding something that was rare in its time and even rarer now," she added.

One side of the coin depicts a Celtic-style horse and a six-spoked chariot wheel, or "sun-wheel", which could represent changes in the seasons. While difficult to decipher, experts believe the other side illustrates a wreath with abstract hair and crescents pictured below.

To read the complete article, see:
Rare Celtic coin found in Wiltshire field sells for £4,400 (


Last week I mentioned learning about Chief Pitalesharu's 'Peace Medal' in a video of Dr. Ute Wartenberg Kagan presentation on American collections at the American Numismatic Society. Here's some more information. -Editor

  Chief Pitalesharu Peace Medal obverse

Obverse: TO THE BRAVEST OF THE BRAVE - Male Skidi Pawnee (Petalesharo), wearing feathered headdress, leading female Comanche right toward two horses beneath pine and palm trees; trees and mountains in background.

  Chief Pitalesharu Peace Medal reverse

Reverse: Four male Skidi Pawnees, wearing feathered headdresses, standing and one seated right beneath palm tree; seated Pawnee holding arrows and two standing Pawnees holding bows and arrows; the leading standing Pawnee extending arms toward an empty wooden frame with smoke rising to right, beneath; pine trees and mountains in background.

Also found via the Newman Numismatic Portal was this entry in the ANS publication Numismatic Literature (1952-1953), pp373-374. -Editor

HODGE, F. W. Pitalesharu and His Medal. In: The Masterkey, Vol. 24, No. 4
(July-Aug. 1950), pp. 111-119, illus.

For a century (1789-1889) it had been the custom of the United States Government to award medals to prominent Indians, especially to the delegates of tribes who had come to Washington for the purpose of negotiating treaties with the federal government. These were the well known Indian peace medals. There are, however, other medals which have been bestowed upon Indians by individuals and associations. This article discusses such a medal.

Pitalesharu was an outstanding leader among the Skidi, a division of the Pawnee confederacy, who lived along the banks of the Loup River in Nebraska. This tribe practiced human sacrifice in the spring of the year with elaborate rites in the hope that good crops might ensue. Pitalesharu owed his reputation to his rescue of an intended victim. In the spring of 1818 the Skidi had arranged to sacrifice a Comanche girl. This Indian chief, then twenty years of age, cut the girl from the stake, placed her upon a horse, gave her back to her own people, and then returned. Somewhat later he succeeded in ransoming a Spanish boy who was being reserved for this sacrifice. News of these exploits spread throughout the country.

Pitalesharu with a group of Pawnees visited the Great White Father at Washington in 1821. On this occasion the young ladies of Miss White's Seminary in that city presented the young chief with a medal in commemoration of rescuing one of their sex, an innocent victim, from a cruel death. This medal was buried with the chief at his death in 1841 and recovered from his grave in 1884. After various vicissitudes it now rests in the cabinet of the American Numismatic Society. On the obverse is a crude engraving of the hero leading the captive Comanche toward two horses tethered between two trees in the background, above which may be read the inscription: to the bravest of the brave. The reverse depicts the wooden framework to which the intended victim had been tied; to the left stand four Indians looking at the empty framework.

19th century collectors were voracious consumers of native American artifacts, and people of the time rarely gave a second thought to excavating burial mounds and other archeological sites to "recover" treasures for their collections and museums. It's a different world today. Here's an update from Dr. Kagan. -Editor

In the light of the planned publication of the Indian Peace Medals of the American Numismatic Society, the Society's staff undertook a comprehensive provenance review of over 300 Native American affiliated objects. ANS Fellow Oliver Hoover has been working on this catalogue and it is expected that this will appear some time in 2025.

As the Society has been receiving occasional federal funding, it is required to comply with NAGPRA (Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act of 1990). This law requires that such organizations return human remains, funerary objects, and sacred objects of Indian Tribes and Native Hawaiian Organizations to the tribes or lineal descendants that have filed claims.

After a months-long search in 2021 and 2022, the ANS found three unassociated funerary objects, with primary evidence in the ANS archives attesting their association with graves. One was returned to the lineal descendant and the other two were returned to the tribes. See here:

One of the medals returned was the one given to Chief Petalesharo.

Thank you for that update. We'll look forward to the new publication. -Editor

To read the complete article, see:
Numismatic Literature (1952-1953) (

To watch the video (medal discussed at 21:36), see:
American Coin Collections at the ANS (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:


A metal detectorist uncovered a WWI service medal and returned it to the soldier's family. -Editor

  Nicholas Farnworth WWI service medal

A metal detectorist who uncovered a First World War service medal has managed to track down the soldier's great niece and reunite her with the sentimental item.

Stephen Brame discovered the silver medal while detecting in a field in Accrington, Lancashire, on Armistice day 2023.

At first, he thought it was a George V silver coin, but it was not until he cleaned it up and did some research that he discovered it was a service medal.

Nicholas Farnworth WWI service medal card After some research, Stephen and an archaeologist discovered the medal belonged to Private Nicholas Farnworth, a soldier who served with the East Lancashire Regiment during the First World War.

Stephen continued: "I suspect what happened is that he was attending a Remembrance Sunday service.

"I think he was walking through the field with his medal on and he's either tripped or fell because the medal itself is not complete. It's only the circular part of the medal and not the holder."

There is still no picture of Nicholas, but after weeks of searching, Stephen managed to track down his great niece Lisa and return the medal to her.

To read the complete article, see:
Metal detectorist reunites World War One medal with family of East Lancashire regiment soldier (


Earlier this month Jim Haas passed along an article written by his friend Paul A. Tambrino about a 1943 event commemorated by a special Congressional medal. Thanks. -Editor

Four Chaplains Stamp At 12:55 a.m., a German U-boat caught the Dorchester in its cross hairs. The Dorchester was torpedoed. Men poured up out of the gangways, stunned and disoriented. The wound to the Dorchester was mortal; the ship took on water rapidly and began listing to starboard.

The men milled around the deck. Many had come up from the hold without life jackets; others wearing nothing but underwear, felt the arctic blasts and knew they had only minutes to live.

The testimonies of the survivors tell us that the sole order in that ferment of struggling men, that the only fragment of hope, came from the four chaplains who suddenly appeared on the sloping starboard side. Calmly they guided men to their boat stations, opened a storage locker and distributed life jackets. They coaxed men, frozen with fear, over the side.

Of the 904 men aboard the troop carrier, 605 were lost. Those who lived will never forget the chaplains' heroism. By vote of Congress on Jan. 18, 1961, a Special Medal of Heroism, the only one ever given, was posthumously given to the four chaplains. Feb. 3 became Four Chaplains Observance Day and that is why this day is most significant.

To read the complete article, see:

Jim also passed along the image of the Four Chaplains Commemorative U.S. Postage Stamp. Here's an excerpt from the Wikipedia article about the medal. -Editor

Four Chaplains' Medal In 1957, The American Legion, at their 39th National Convention in Atlantic City, passed a resolution asking Congress to award the Medal of Honor to the Four Chaplains; however, criteria for the Medal of Honor included "combat with the enemy." The special medal — intended to have the same weight and importance as the Medal of Honor — was approved by the Senate in 1958, and by the House in 1960. In 2006, The American Legion, at their 88th National Convention in Salt Lake City, passed a new resolution in support of awarding the Medal of Honor to the Four Chaplains.

Here are better images of the medal. But why is the wing clipped? -Editor


To read the complete articles, see:
Four Chaplains' Medal (
Four Chaplains Commemorative U.S. Postage Stamp (
The Four Chaplains of the U.S.A.T. Dorchester (


Switching from four good guys to four bad guys, here's a story of the famous 1927 Santa Claus Bank Robbery of the First National Bank in Cisco, Texas. Found via News & Notes from the Society of Paper Money Collectors (Volume IX, Number 33, January 30, 2024). -Editor

santa claus bank robbery book cover It all began on December 23, 1927, around noon when Marshall Ratliff, Henry Helms, Robert Hill, all ex-cons, and Louis Davis, a relative of Helms, held up the First National Bank in Cisco.

As the group neared the bank, Ratliff donned a Santa Claus suit he had borrowed from Mrs. Midge Tellet, who ran the boarding house where they had been staying in Wichita Falls. They let Ratliff out several blocks from the bank. Followed by children attracted to "Santa," Ratliff joined the other three in an alley and led the way into the bank. He did not respond to the greetings directed at Santa, and the other three drew their guns, indicating that it was a holdup. While the others covered the customers and employees, Ratliff grabbed money from the tellers and forced one to open the vault.

To read the complete article, see:
Santa Claus Bank Robbery (

The following summary is from an auction listing purporting to offer a handgun used in the robbery. I was more interested in the bank bag included to spice up the lot. -Editor

Bankbag First National Bank Cisco, Texas

"The Santa Claus bank robbery occurred on Dec. 23 1927 in the central Texas town of Cisco. Marshall Ratliff, Henry Helms, and Robert Hill, and Lewis Davis, held up the First National Bank in Cisco. It evoked one of the biggest man-hunts ever seen in the state of Texas. An eye witness was quoted The most spectacular crime in the history of the Southwest, surpassing any crime Billy the Kid of the James boys had ever figured.Basically, Ratliff was the ringleader and donned a Santa suit and masqueraded as Santa two days before Christmas when everyone was in the spirit. Ratliff entered the First National Bank where he was greeted by the tellers with a cheerful Hello, Santa. Ratliff and his gang pulled guns and held up the bank. A customer ran out and sounded the alarm to police chief G.E. Bit Bedford. He and his officers rushed to the bank. Gunfire ensued with a full blown gunfight. The robbers took hostages and used two little girls as shields to make their getaway. Chief Bedford and Deputy George Carmichael were mortally wounded. Bedford was shot five times trying to block the escape."

To read the complete lot description, see:
Colt Single Action Army, used in the famous Santa Claus Bank Robbery circa 1927. The Santa Claus (

Speaking of bank bags, two interesting ones were illustrated in the February Mint Master from the Utah Numismatic Society. Republished here with permission. Thanks to Editor Doug Nyholm! -Editor

  Deseret National Bank bag $5,000 gold white background First National Bank Santa Cruz, California
Deseret (Salt Lake City, UT) and Santa Cruz, CA National Bank Bags


Tom Sparks of the The Short Snorter Project submitted this sad story of a signed note from the WWII 100th Bombardment Group. Thank you! -Editor

The Short Snorter Project will be exhibiting at the ANA National Money Show in Colorado Springs March 14-16. The ANA is graciously providing 5 tables for the exhibit and, for ease of setup and directions, I have been assigned Table 100.

I woke up in the middle of the night and thought to dedicate the exhibit to the 100th Bombardment Group which coincides with the release of The Masters of the Air on Apple TV+ last month. Masters of the Air is based upon characters who flew B-17s with the 100th Bomb Group ("The Bloody Hundredth") which operated out of Thorpe Abbotts airfield in England. (My uncle was a B-17 navigator in the 384th Bomb Group which operated out of Grafton-Underwood.)

Donn Pearlman wrote a press release for the ANA which I forwarded to the 100th Bomb Group Foundation and I received an email back from Director Chris Barrett who shared the attached short snorter that belonged to his wife's great uncle, Flight Officer Harry Edeburn, who was a co-pilot with the 100th BG and succumbed to his wounds on September 6, 1943. We are putting together another new exhibit that will be on display in Colorado Springs. If you have been watching Masters of the Air, so far they have mentioned the names of 5 men who signed the Edeburn snorter: Marasco, Barnhill, Adams, Schmalenbach, and Van Noy. There was 100% casualty rate for the men who signed this snorter. Amazing stuff!

  100th Bomb Group Snorter FINAL

This is the verbiage from the exhibit panel:

Flight Officer Harry E. Edeburn entered service in July, 1941, and completed his advanced pilot training at Moody Field, Valdosta, Georgia, Class of 43-B. He went overseas to England in May, 1943, and was stationed at Thorpe Abbots assigned to the 349th Bombardment Squadron. He flew thirteen bombing missions and was awarded the Air Medal with Oak Leaf Clusters and (posthumously) the Distinguished Service Cross and the Purple Heart. He was the co-pilot for Sumner Reeder in B-17F # 42-30088 named SQUAWKIN' HAWK. Flying a temporarily assigned plane that was damaged by German fighters over Stuttgart, Germany, on September 6, 1943, they returned and landed at an RCAF base. Edeburn died of his wounds and is buried in the Cambridge American Cemetery in England.

Short Snorter Harry Edeburn 100th BG

  • Short Snorter Harry (Harry Edeburn – KIA on September 6, 1943) Russell W. Engel - WIA (unable to fly after September 6, 1943) – Navigator of SQUAWKIN' HAWK.
  • Peter F. Delao - WIA (unable to fly after September 6, 1943) – Bombardier of SQUAWKIN' HAWK.
  • S. H. Reeder (Sumner Reeder) - WIA (unable to fly for 3 months after September 6, 1943) – Pilot of SQUAWKIN' HAWK. (Died in a stateside crash after completing his combat missions.)
  • J. M. Odegaard – KIS (training flight) – Sumner Reeder's original co-pilot (before all 100th's original co-pilots were transferred out en masse).
  • James Marasco – POW – Original tail gunner of SQUAWKIN' HAWK. Shot down on November 5, 1943.
  • Francis G. Dolsen – POW – Ball turret gunner of SQUAWKIN' HAWK. Shot down on November 5, 1943.
  • George Z. Krech – KIA on 100th's 1st mission, June 25, 1943. – George was Harry's Class of 43-B classmate and co-pilot for Pelt Adams.
  • W. B. Barnhill (Woodrow B. Barnhill) – KIA July 16, 1943, in takeoff accident at Thorpe Abbotts during local formation practice mission.
  • Geo. W. Cox - KIA on 100th's 1st mission, June 25, 1943. – George was Harry's Class of 43-B classmate and co-pilot for Paul Schmalenbach.
  • Pelt Adams (Alonzo Pelton Adams) – KIA on 100th's 1st mission, June 25, 1943. Pelt was the pilot of B-17 named ANGEL'S TIT.
  • Paul J. Schmalenbach – KIA on 100th's 1st mission, June 25, 1943. Paul piloted B-17 named BAR FLY.
  • James. B. Evans – POW – Jim was Harry's Class of 43-B classmate and co-pilot for Glen Van Noy.
  • Glen S. Van Noy – POW – Glen piloted B-17 OH NAUSEA which ditched in the Mediterranean Sea on the August 17, 1943 (Regensberg mission).

As part of that Colorado Springs trip, I am giving a lecture about the short snorter tradition at the U.S. Air Force Academy on March 14th to a History of the Second World War class of cadets.

I sure enjoy reading the E-Sylum newsletter. What a wealth of information!


Gerry Tebben passed along a New York Times article with a numismatic connection - it's about the New York Police Department's Property and Evidence vault. -Editor

  NYC dollar perforated EVIDENCE

The office of the Manhattan Property Clerk, as it is known, is a subterranean repository for lost objects and the tangible aftermath of crime and misadventure. Ms. Carryl has been a police evidence and property specialist there for more than a decade. Thousands of people walk through One Police Plaza each day not knowing an archive that allows the criminal justice system to run is just one story below their feet.

Almost every item that passes through the borough's 22 precincts must go to the basement to be numbered and cataloged to be held as evidence for a trial or wait for its rightful owner. Some objects come from crime scenes. Others were turned in after they were left behind on a park bench or a sidewalk.

But the Police Department faces the same problem that many New Yorkers do: a lack of storage space. Even this cavernous basement is only so big.

Before Ms. Carryl's time, the basement took in the .38 caliber-revolver that in 1980 was used to assassinate John Lennon and the bullets that took down mob boss Paul Castellano five years later.

Some items have been in the basement for decades. Many can never leave.

Gerry writes:

NYC dollar perforated EVIDENCE "The story says, "Cash used to commit crimes flows through here too. To render the bills unusable, every one has been perforated with a number and the word 'EVIDENCE.'

"The story even has a photo of the perforating machine and a punched bill.

"I've seen 19th century bills punch canceled COUNTERFEIT, but never an EVIDENCE bill."

I've never seen a bill with that EVIDENCE perforation either, but that's the whole idea - render the money useless outside.

These folks are thorough - here's a single lost transit token. Find any Brasher Doubloons? -Editor

  lost NYC transportation token

To read the complete article, see:
A Plush Dog, Samurai Sword and 42,439 Guns: Inside an N.Y.P.D. Basement (


The Washington Post revisited the 1936 story of Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson throwing a silver dollar across the Rappahannock River in a reenactment of the old George Washington story. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor

  Walter Johnson throwing silver dollar across Rappahannock River

On Feb. 22, 1936, a crowd of thousands gathered at George Washington's boyhood home near Fredericksburg, Va., to celebrate the 204th anniversary of his birth.

The main attraction of the day's festivities at Ferry Farm, which included the dedication of 200 cherry trees to be planted along the boulevard leading to Fredericksburg, took place at 2:30 that afternoon, when former Washington Senators pitching great Walter Johnson attempted to throw a silver dollar across the Rappahannock River. Legend had it Washington accomplished the feat as a young boy.

He threw it over with the same easy grace he once used in fanning Ty Cobb, Tris Speaker and Ping Bodie, and so doing he brought to Fredericksburg something of that joy that was denied to Mudville when the mighty Casey struck out, Edward T. Folliard, staff correspondent for The Washington Post, reported from the scene.

Thanks to a politician's bold wager and Johnson's participation, the stunt — while doing little to clear up the veracity of the legend — sparked controversy and attracted national interest.

The apocryphal tale of Washington throwing a silver dollar across the Rappahannock can be traced to Washington's original biographer, Parson Weems, who attributed the story to one of Washington's first cousins. In an 1826 essay, George Washington Parke Custis, Washington's step-grandson, recounted the tale of Washington throwing a piece of slate roughly the size and shape of a dollar across the Rappahannock. In the legend's retellings, the river was often changed to the Potomac.

Johnson spent the day practicing on the Potomac River in D.C., and he reportedly tossed a silver dollar 300 feet. Bloom, who wouldn't make the trip to Fredericksburg for Washington's birthday celebration, sent Johnson a silver dollar coined in 1796 to use for the occasion.

Johnson had left Bloom's coin at home. Instead, he tossed a Roosevelt dollar inscribed with Walter Johnson threw this dollar across the Rappahannock River, February 22, 1936.

Some historical facts are unknowable, but that doesn't stop believers from trying. And what's the harm in reenacting an event that may or may not have actually taken place? It's a bit of fun and could at least prove whether the feat is possible.

Facts seem just as hard to come by for the 1936 event. Johnson used multiple objects to practice and had a couple of test tries before the main event. Earlier reports mentioned "a silver dollar minted in 1779." This was the first time I saw a 1796 dollar mentioned in connection with the event. But what the heck is a "Roosevelt dollar"? And what became of Johnson's engraved piece? I reached out to a couple local friends for their thoughts. -Editor

Eric Schena writes:

"I have heard the story of the silver dollar for many years now, including that attempt to recreate it. As for a Roosevelt dollar, that I would imagine would be a Peace dollar but what a weird thing to call it."

Tom Kays writes:

"Hobbies Magazine in 1936 picked up the story that Walter Johnson's (and George Washington's) throwing a dollar across the river at Ferry Farm was possible, but faced some skepticism from readers about whether young Washington could have a dollar at all since they had not been minted at the Philadelphia Mint until 1794, when Washington was in his 60's.

"Hobbies Magazine pointed out that a dollar back when Washington was a boy would have been a Spanish Milled Dollar or rather a Spanish Colonial piece-of-eight. Spanish Milled Dollars were produced throughout Washington's lifetime and would have been known to wealthy folks who might have had a couple to spend, spare, or risk in a tossing game. Young Washington would have used a Pillar Dollar minted in Mexico City under King Philip V, in lieu of pieces of slate, in his final attempt.

"For Walter Johnson, a 1779 or 1796 Spanish-Milled Portrait Dollar would be easy to find in 1936 and would have been worth about eighty-five cents for bullion value. A Roosevelt Dollar in 1936 might refer to Hibler-Kappen HK-308, a 1904 Teddy Roosevelt So-Called Dollar that showed the 26th president facing forward with much blank space for added engraving on the obverse, and the Hall of Festivals and Central Cascades at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition on the reverse. This is a very rare so-called dollar, but in 1936 might have been cheap enough for a stunt with a big leaguer like Walter Johnson, who played for the Washington Senators from 1907 to 1927, and was managing major league ball teams in 1935.

"Also scarce would be a 1796 U.S. Flowing Hair or Draped Bust, Small Eagle silver dollar that would have cost about $20.00 in Fine condition according to my Norman Shultz Illustrated Catalog and Price List No.18 (circa 1939). The Director of the George Washington Bicentennial Commission and New York Representative Sol Bloom sent a 1796 U.S. dollar to Johnson for the attempt and quipped After you have warmed up and have two strikes and three balls on the other fellow, use this dollar, because I believe that as the eagle on this dollar is in flight it might bring to you the good luck that millions of people throughout the country are wishing you and the eagle in flight might assist in carrying this across the Rappahannock.

"Johnson palmed the 1796 U.S. dollar and instead threw the engraved Roosevelt Dollar. It was reported this dollar hit a gas tank across the river about 317 feet away. It was immediately picked up but its whereabouts today are unknown. So my question is whether Johnson threw high and inside, or a grounder, skipping across the water. Stone-skipping records of more than 360 feet are known. Lots of practice throws were made with large washers that may still be found on the far shore of the Rappahannock River across from Ferry Farm at the exact spot of this magnificent feat. Among the washers who knows what other coins might be present."

To read the complete article, see:
Walter Johnson put George Washington myth to the test with 1936 silver dollar (

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:


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

Sensational Clickbait

Last week I wrote about those ubiquitous clickbait headlines with ridiculous claims of coin values. I'd missed it, but Charles Morgan of CoinWeek covered the topic earlier in the month. Here's an excerpt - see the complete article online. -Editor

Bicentennial quarter fish story If you use Google's mobile app and you have an active interest in coin collecting, you've probably seen a few articles online recently claiming that Bicentennial quarters still in circulation are worth millions–sometimes hundreds of millions of dollars–and that other circulating coins are worth nearly as much.

Sometimes, the feature image of these articles shows the correct coin, but often they present unrelated coins. In one article suggested by Google, the publisher used a stock photo of ancient gold coins. Finding a Roman solidus in change would be a newsworthy, once-in-a-lifetime event, but the Romans didn't strike Bicentennial quarters. The United States Mint did.

Bicentennial quarters have not exploded in value in recent years, nor has the U.S. dollar suffered the fate of Zimbabwe's hyperinflated currency. Instead, these articles are complete fabrications, likely the work of unethical Search Engine Optimization (SEO) companies or tabloid publishers looking to divert the public's interest in finding life-altering treasure in change to some utterly unrelated offer of a good or service.

To read the complete article, see:
Sensational Claims About the Bicentennial Quarter Proliferate Online (

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

King Charles III Banknotes

Kavan Ratnatunga passed along this De La Rue press release about the new King Charles III banknotes. Thanks. -Editor

  King Charles III banknotes

De La Rue has been the sole manufacturer of Sterling banknotes for over twenty years. We worked closely with the Bank of England to introduce the original polymer banknotes featuring Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and continued this collaboration for the new King Charles III polymer banknotes, which will enter circulation on the 5th June 2024.

The King Charles III banknotes are based on the existing polymer series, designed in partnership between the Bank of England and De La Rue. The King's image will appear as a portrait on the front of the banknotes, as well as in the see-through security window.

The new banknotes will co-circulate with the original notes featuring Her late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, which will remain legal tender. They will also continue to be printed on De La Rue's durable SAFEGUARD® polymer substrate as part of the Bank of England's dual supply banknote substrate strategy.

To read the complete article, see:
King Charles III banknotes to enter circulation on 5 June 2024 (

Coins Removed from Alligator's Stomach

In the who-knew-alligators-liked-coins-too? department, Mark Vitunic, Aaron Oppenheim and Len Augsburger passed along this story of the Nebraska zoo gator who swallowed 70 coins. Thanks. -Editor

coins from alligator's stomach An alligator at a zoo in Omaha, Nebraska, needed an emergency procedure late last week to remove dozens of coins from its stomach, zoo officials said.

A total of 70 metal coins were found inside Thibodaux, a 36-year-old alligator, according to the Henry Doorly Zoo and Aquarium.

A plastic pipe was placed to protect his mouth and safely pass the tools used to access the coins, such as a camera that helped us guide the retrieval of these objects, veterinarian Christina Ploog said in a statement from the zoo.

The coins were found during a routine examination on the animal. All were successfully removed.

Guests should not throw coins into any bodies of water at the Zoo, the facility said in a statement.

To read the complete articles, see:
70 coins removed from stomach of alligator at Nebraska zoo (
70 coins found in white alligator's stomach in Nebraska ZOO (,6997805738470368a)
Nebraska Zoo Removes 70 Coins from Alligator's Stomach, Asks Visitors Not to Toss Money into Water (

PREV       NEXT        v27 2024 INDEX         E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

Back to top

Numismatic Bibliomania Societh Masthead logo

The E-Sylum is an electronic publication of the Numismatic Bibliomania Society