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Dec 02 2019

Christmas Coins

A sadly obsolete tradition is the presentation of gold coins at special events, most often in conjunction with the end-of-year holidays. This was a practice not only for numismatists, as many non-collectors gave gifts of gold coins when these pieces were in circulation. Today these gift coins are widely dispersed, but what has survived are the presentation cards and boxes that once delivered such holiday surprises. A few of these are found in the Eclectic Numismatic Treasure collection and can be viewed on Newman Portal. A few echoes of this tradition appear now and again. Salvation Army buckets, especially in the Chicagoland area, receive gold coins (typically American Gold Eagles) on an annual basis. The writer’s spouse was presented with a Swiss gold coin on the occasion of a service anniversary with a Swiss-owned firm. Readers may also wish to pick up the December/January issue of COINage magazine, which features an article by Tom DeLorey entitled “Holiday Season Money Gifts: Christmas, Hanukkah and the New Year Are Opportune for Giving Money.”

Link to numismatic Christmas cards from the Eclectic Numismatic Treasure collection on Newman Portal:

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Nov 26 2019

Newman Portal Adds Research on Maranville Counterfeit Detection Devices

Given Eric P. Newman’s natural interest in all things mechanical (and numismatic), the publication of U.S. Coin Scales and Counterfeit Coin Detectors (co-authored with A. George Mallis) in 1999 was no surprise. This work focused on 19th century counterfeit detection devices patented and produced in the United States. Malcolm Mathias, an Australian collector, has now driven this work forward with a set of papers on the Harvey Maranville counterfeit detection devices patented in 1857, 1860, and 1878. Supported in part by a grant from the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society, Mathias traveled extensively throughout the United States in search of Maranville examples to add to his census, and in addition visited related archives and institutions in search of background information on Maranville and his inventions. The result is what will be the definitive work on this topic for many years. 

Link to Malcolm Mathias papers on Maranville counterfeit detectors:

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Nov 20 2019

Andrew Pollock’s New Publications on United States National Banks, 1863-1935

Andrew Pollock III continues his research of U.S. National Banks with a five-volume series, Tqbular Guide to United States National Banks. The first three volumes are now available on Newman Portal and will be indispensable to anyone studying the currency emissions of these institutions. The first volume includes a bibliography for the series, to which Peter Huntoon contributed. The term “Bibliography” does not do the content justice, as this is actually a comprehensive and descriptive overview of the related literature. Volumes two (Alabama to Montana) and three (Nebraska to Wyoming) provide a listing of the largest National Banks on a state and year-by-year basis. For each entry, Pollock cites the source, a welcome bit of information for readers who wish to dig more deeply into the subject. Pollock previously contributed datasets containing summary data for over 14,000 National Banks, and his work will no doubt be the standard reference for the foreseeable future.

Link to Andrew Pollock publications on Newman Portal:
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