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Jul 09 2020

NNP Symposium Adds Third Day

In response to strong demand, the NNP Symposium has added a third day with additional presentations. Now scheduled for August 28 – 30, the NNP Symposium is a Zoom-based online numismatic gathering featuring presentations on a wide variety of numismatic subjects. Scheduled speakers include John Brush, speaking on the D. L. Hansen collection, Greg Rohan, who will discuss the current state of the numismatic market, and a host of others. Participants may also present virtual exhibits on any topic through submitted images and text. 

In the last few weeks we’ve seen strong uptake in the use of Zoom and other conferencing platforms for numismatic meetings. Coin clubs are generally seeing larger audiences than with in-person meetings, as the logistics of attending are greatly simplified. Hosts and attendees are learning Zoom, and, anecdotally, meetings are running more smoothly as users become comfortable with the technology. While many industries have been negatively impacted by the epidemic, numismatics seems to be holding its own – the demand for interesting items hasn’t changed, even while the ways we interact with each other are evolving quickly. The NNP Symposium is part of this evolution, freely providing facilitated meeting services. 

NNP Symposium attendees should register at the link below, in order to receive the specific meeting notices. There are a small number of presentation timeslots still open, and those wishing to present or host a club meeting may apply on the same page.

Link to NNP Symposium registration: https://nnpsymposium.org/register
Link to NNP Symposium speaker list: https://nnpsymposium.org/schedule
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Jul 29 2020

The Hawaiian Coinage That Wasn’t

While the National Archives remain closed for onsite visits, Newman Portal continues its development of this content with transcription activities. Currently, selected letters from the general correspondence series (Record Group 104, Entry 1) are being transcribed and made available via Newman Portal. An 1890 letter from Mint Director Edward O. Leech to Philadelphia Mint Superintendent Oliver C. Bosbyshell, for example, asks if the hubs for the 1883 Hawaiian coinage are on hand, and further asks for a cost estimate to strike a number of 10-cent and 5-cent pieces. The U.S. government had struck 1883-dated Hawaiian coinage at the San Francisco Mint in 1883 and 1884. No response to Leech is recorded, but an article in the February 1960 Numismatist notes that the Hawaiian obverse dies, then in the Archives of Hawaii, were defaced in 1888. This explains why Leech asked about the hubs and not the dies– whoever initially inquired on behalf of Hawaii likely knew the dies were defaced. In any case, no response to Leech is recorded, and no additional Hawaii coinage beyond the 1883-1884 strikings is known today. Newman Portal acknowledges Roger Burdette and Nicole Fry for assistance with transcriptions of National Archives documents.

Link to National Archives Record Group 104, Entry 1 (U.S. Mint general correspondence) on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/archivedetail/515202
Link to the Numismatist on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/510969
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Jul 20 2020

Getting to Know Eric P. Newman, Part 3: A Vermont Numismatic Enigma

Lianna Spurrier continues her video series on numismatic publications of Eric P. Newman, with the latest installment focusing on his 1958 publication “A Recently Discovered Coin Solves a Vermont Numismatic Enigma.” In this article, Newman sought to explain why Vermont coppers minted during the Confederation period bore British insignia. With an assist from Walter Breen, Newman uncovered a punch interlock between certain 1786 Vermont coppers and Machin’s Mills counterfeit halfpence of the same period, demonstrating that the British Union was intentionally reused on the Vermont reverse die, most likely as a cost saving measure. Today, about a dozen examples of the “Vermont Enigma” die pairing are known, with the finest piece selling in the Newman IV sale in 2014.

Link to A Vermont Numismatic Enigma on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/586143
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