The Numismatic Bibliomania Society



The E-Sylum: Volume 27, Number 2, January 14, 2024, Article 9


Directory of Numismatic Dealers
Terry Freed of the DesMoines, Iowa coin club writes:

"Regarding Pete Smith's "Numismatic Rogues Gallery" article in The E-Sylum 31 Dec 2023 - although this may seem excessive and burdensome to maintain, how come you never see a list of numismatic dealers that have their inventory on the internet? At this point in time it seems like luck to come across ones that do. I have no idea where it would be posted to do the most good for collectors. I do know from experience that Northeast Numismatics must have a genius that designed their website, it is so easy to maneuver. Just an idea that may never come to pass."

MERCER RW 4-1-1881 Numismatical Directory postcard Directories of numismatic dealers are perennially useful, and have appeared regularly in print since the earliest days of collecting. In the early days of the internet (spelled with a capital "I" back then), there were various commercial and crowdsourced directories online. Then improved web searching came along and made them largely obsolete. I say "largely" because searching only works when you know what you're looking for. I don't have to remember the web address for Northeast Numismatics because I can always find it with a search engine, even if the address has changed.

But lists are quite useful for discovering what you DON'T already know about a topic - published lists of dealers enable browsing. For bibliophiles it's the equivalent of being able to walk through the shelves in a library or bookstore, enabling the discovery of books you didn't know you wanted.

As Terry notes, the labor involved in manually creating and maintaining such lists is a problem, which commercial publications solve by charging dealers to advertise, and maintaining a list of said advertisers. This would of course never be an all-encompassing list of all dealers, but the larger publications can support very useful directories of the major and midsize dealers. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum articles, see:
ROBERT WOOD MERCER (1840-1894) (

On the Vermont Pound Theory
Regarding last week's "Vermont pound" narrative, Bob Leonard writes:

"Among the other wildly incorrect assertions in the brief "Vermont pound" posting is:

"A U.S. colonel described a Russian platinum coin that was given to American officers during the war when he donated his officer pay to the Smithsonian to create the coin collection. Under donors and donations the Smithsonian and the Chicago Coin Club 1841. National Institute."

The Chicago Coin Club was not founded until 1919 (still going strong!), and Russian platinum coins weren't introduced until 1828, long after Vermont became a state. I have no idea where this originated."

Bill Eckberg writes:

"Where he got the inflation rate, I can only guess, but it would seem that he conflated Morris' plan for a uniform currency (with 1440 parts, that supposedly made it almost possible to include each state's local valuation of the British coinage) with the known inflation in Continental paper currency.

Imaginative piece, but completely wrong in every respect."

Thanks, everyone. -Editor

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

On Researching Biographical Information
Jim Haas writes:

"I had never heard of KKK tokens, but having just read A Fever in the Heartland by Timothy Eagan and before that G-Man: J. Edgar Hoover and the Making of the American Century by Beverly Gage, I am not surprised. Neither book mentioned tokens.

"As someone who has spent decades researching my ancestral history, I have to agree with the statement that researching biographical information frequently results in having to acknowledge other possibilities. I have a friend whose ancestors are mine as well and based on his research, I had to change one ancestor, a great great, great grandfather who I found pretty much at the beginning of my research back in the 1990s. Frequently, when knowing a name, DOB and other data, one never thinks there could be another person with the same or similar name and data close to the object of your search. Live and learn."

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:

RCNA Convention Programs Sought
Howard R. Engel of Richard Stockley Books writes:

"One of my customers whose identity I shall not disclose to preserve privacy, is mounting an exhibit for the 2025 Royal Canadian Numismatic Association (RCNA) Convention in Calgary, Alberta Canada that features a very cool numismatic literature theme: the convention programs for every year from 1954 to 2025 to mark the RCNA's 75th anniversary in 2025. He is missing only two convention programs of what was then called the Canadian Numismatic Association (CNA), the one from 1958 in Ottawa and the other from 1969 in Toronto. I have attached images of these programs to aid in their identification, compliments of David Bergeron, Curator of the National Currency Collection at the Bank of Canada Museum.

If any of your readers happens to have at least one or the other of these vintage CNA programs and wishes to part with them, please have them contact me directly."

  cna 1958 ottawa convention program cover cna 1969 toronto convention program cover

Great exhibit idea. Ephemera such as convention and show programs is an important record of numismatic history, yet by its nature devilishly hard to collect, particularly when the goal is a complete set. Can anyone help? Howard can be reached at . -Editor

  2023 March Richard Stockley books business card

Howard adds:

"In E-Sylum, you run an invaluable clearinghouse of news and ideas that brings otherwise many disparate interests into a collegial public forum where they hold one thing in common: their relation to numismatic literature. For this tremendous service you provide, I'm in awe and most grateful!"

Where's Trump's Presidential Engraving
Wayne Pearson writes:

"So when will the bureau of engraving and printing release the presidential engraving of Donald Trump? Barack Obama's engraving was released in November of 2009.

"Why are they delaying? Is it political? Has it ever taken this long to get the engraving out?"

Donald Trump portrait by Randy Glass

Good question. Any of our readers have a current contact at the BEP? Maybe it's in the same drawer as the plans for the Harriet Tubman $20.

Meanwhile, illustrator Randy Glass created this pen and ink stipple portrait. -Editor

For more information, see:
Pen and Ink Stipple Portrait (Hedcut) of Donald Trump (

To read the complete article, see:
BEP Issues President Obama Engraved Portrait (

Stacks-Bowers E-Sylum ad 2023-12-17 NYINC SALE

Wayne Homren, Editor

NBS ( Web

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