Sunday, August 30, 2015

JR Newsletter: 30 August 2015 (256)

We have some fairly diverse contributions this week.   

Our first contributor is David Finkelstein.  David wrote, "Henry Voigt’s Surety Bond" for us.  A tip from the editor for readers of the JR Newsletter:  you really do want to read this article, for it contains information that will surprise you (I was pleased to be one of the first people to read this excellent work!).


Winston Zack wrote with a report about his ANA show experience:

It has taken me a week to get settled in from the 3 days I spent in Rosemont at the ANA World's Fair of Money. I grew up in the Chicago area and it was great to return, see my family, see my geeky numismatic friends, and look at some excellent coins.

My adventure began on Tuesday, August 11th.  I had an 11 AM flight out of California, which meant leaving my home at 8 taking an hour train, 20-minute bus, and finally getting to my gate at 10 AM...only to learn my flight was delayed 45 minutes. This was cutting it close since I had a modest layover in Vegas. Luckily I get to Vegas with about 30 minutes to spare. I hustled to my next gate, which actually was nearly on the other side of the airport...which took 15-minutes to walk there. When I got to the gate my flight stated there was another 30-minute delay. Ugh! I ended up arriving in Chicago around 9:30, got my bags at 10:15, and home around eat some Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza...which IS pretty much the best pizza around...I digress.

The next morning I woke at around 6:00 (which is like 4 AM in Cali), gathered breakfast items for the JRCS meeting (coffee, OJ, bagels, cream cheese, coffee cake, and other stuff (I think)). I got to the show at 7:15, and met Louis Scuderi and Mike Sherrill (who I had never met in person before), and Barry Sunshine and Brad Karoleff right outside the convention center. They helped transport the food to the JRCS meeting room, and I had enough time to settle in and rest a little bit before the meeting.

The JRCS meeting was PACKED! Wow, we were all eager to hear Mr. Garrett Ziss' presentation on Bust coins depicted on paper money. Like everyone else said, the presentation was excellent and the standing ovation for this 12-year-old wonder-numismatist was well deserved. Steve Tompkins presented his new, 575-page book on Flowing Hair and Draped Bust half looks superb! And on behalf of my other co-authors I introduced the newest Bust dime book - Bust Dime Variety Identification Guide; proceeds from the sale of this book went to the JRCS breakfast spread...but I think the JRCS should host more breakfasts...everyone loves to eat!

At 10 AM David Kahn invited the Bust Dime authors to a book signing at his table...which was a lot of fun! Much to our amazement our book sold like hotcakes...and I saw a lot of other people with Steve's new book too. If you would like a copy of the new Bust Dime book, please contact one of these four distributors - David Kahn, Rich Uhrich, Glenn Holsonbake, or Dave Wnuck. That's the last plug for new books in this show report.

By 1 PM I was finally able to look at coins...if there was anything good left on the floor! And it turns out the first table I visited made my show...and maybe my year! I picked up two awesome contemporary counterfeit half eagles for my collection as well as for my current and future research project (Encyclopedia of contemporary counterfeit U.S. Federal coins 1792-1891).

Speaking of this research project, I plan on working on this project for about 10 years because there's a lot of data to gather and counterfeits to study. If you have any contemporary counterfeits, any denomination, from this time period that you would like included in this research project please feel free to contact me at stoneman101(at) One of the components of this research is to identify the alloy of each counterfeit. As such, XRF Analyzers are a machine I hope to use for this research. If anyone knows where I might be able to use an XRF Analyzer in Southern California (for little or no cost) I would be most appreciative...buying one is essentially out of my budget at this time. I have a few leads already to use an XRF Analyzer, but those are not local, and as such less convenient for this project.

The remaining 2.5 days of the show were a blur. I was constantly running into people, networking, talking coins, life, etc and having a blast. I also picked up a few more pieces for my collection(s). This really was my favorite coin show I've ever been to.

I also wanted to mention to the JR Newsletter readers that some of the proceeds from the sale of the new Bust Dime book ($2/copy) will be going back to the JRCS so that we can continue the Club's mission of advancing the study and education of early U.S. Federal coins (primarily silver and gold).


Finally, Len Augsburger, Project Coordinator for the Newman Numismatic Portal, published an introductory letter concerning the project:

The Newman Numismatic Portal seeks to unite the world’s numismatic information into a single, searchable database, accessible to all on a free and forever basis. Administered through Washington University in St. Louis, the Portal is funded by a grant from the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society and began development in December 2014.

This summer has been busy with the establishment of our scanning center, located in Olin Library on the Washington University campus. Since June, we’ve scanned several hundred documents, representing over 30,000 pages, and these are visible through Internet Archive at We’ve partnered with Internet Archive to upload and host our scanned material, and this collection will increase on a daily basis as items are added.

While Internet Archive acts as a warehouse for our scanned documents, we are in parallel developing the website that will be known as the Newman Numismatic Portal. The Portal will be able to search across the scanned documents as well as a store of electronic content acquired from other sources such as auction companies. The Portal will go online in 2016. In the meantime, our scanned material, via Internet Archive, is freely available to all for scholarly purposes.

We are especially interested in acquiring in-copyright content for the Portal. If you represent an organization that wishes to digitize its publications at no cost to you, we are an ideal candidate to offload the scanning effort. Already several specialty clubs within American numismatics have given us permission to digitize and present back issues of their journals. We also seek unique materials such as manuscripts, archives, bid books, and the like. Finally, several collectors have loaned us rare items such as early U.S. Mint Reports. It is through such collaboration that the Portal will achieve its objective of sharing numismatic information with all.