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Nov 04 2018

Mormon Currency, 1837-1937 and Updates & Short Stories Added to Newman Portal

Author Douglas Nyholm Nyholm has released two volumes related to Mormon numismatics for publication on Newman Portal. Mormon Currency, 1837-1937 (2nd edition, 2015) begins with the 1837 Joseph Smith-signed notes of the Kirtland (OH) Safety Society Bank. Interestingly, the Smith signature is desirable even though many examples are thought to have been signed by Smith’s “scribes” and not Smith personally. Notes are also signed by other Mormon church dignitaries. Mormon paper money follows the migration of the church from east to west, including bank notes of Monroe, MI and scrip from Nauvoo, IL. From here Nyholm moves to the more well-known gold coinage of the Gold Rush era. To complement the gold pieces, a host of scrip and small-denomination currency continued to be issued. This portion of the catalog is the most valuable contribution of the book, illustrating and detailing hundreds of emissions. The overall work is indispensable for collectors of Mormon numismatics, and will be the standard reference for some time. The NLG named this work the Best Book on U.S. Currency for 2010.

Doug Nyholm has also released a companion volume, Updates & Short Stroies About Mormon Currency (2018). This work contains a variety of supplementary material including historical essays, grading, trial strikes, and a review of the Eric P. Newman collection of Mormon scrip, several examples of which sold at the 5-figure level. The Bishop’s General Storehouse $10, pictured here, sold for an astounding $25,850 (Newman VII, 10/2015, lot 18616). Prior to the Newman sale, Nyholm speculated the Bob & Carol Campbell example was the only such piece held privately.

Link to Mormon Currency (2nd edition, 2015) on Newman Portal:
Link to Updates & Short Stories About Mormon Currency (2018) on Newman Portal:
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Oct 23 2018

Book About 50 Years of Jewish-American Hall of Fame Medals 
Published on the Newman Numismatic Portal

Medal collectors, American history buffs and those interested in Judaica can now read Jewish-American Hall of Fame Medals 1969-2019 by Mel Wacks, newly published on the Newman Numismatic Portal at Mel is uniquely qualified to write this compendium of what currently is the longest continuing series of art medals in America, since he initiated the project and has overseen it for its 50 year history.

Mel says in the Introduction, “The goal [of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame medals] was not only to raise funds for the Magnes Museum, but to raise awareness in Jews and non-Jews alike in the substantial contributions made to America—and the world—by American Jews.” The project was under the auspices of the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley from 1969 through 2001, when it became a division of the American Jewish Historical Society in New York. The sale of the medals has raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars for these two educational organizations, along with the American Numismatic Society, and other non-profits.

The new book features biographies of more than 50 Jewish-American Hall of Fame inductees, taken from their web site; back stories about the creation of the medal designs; medal specifications (size, mintages and mints); and short biographies of the more than dozen medalists and calligraphers who created the medals. In addition, there are two appendices—one describing the Wooden Shekels issued by the Jewish-American Hall of Fame intermittently from 1968-2009, and the other listing, for the first time, all 35 Special Commemorative Medals Issued by the Jewish-American Hall of Fame--from the counterstamped Camp David Peace Dollar in 1978 through the Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award (for the American Jewish Historical Society) in 2018.

Jewish-American Hall of Fame Medals 1969-2019 is an indispensable guide to a series that offers collectors a real challenge. As Mel Wacks concludes in the Preface: “It is not easy [to assemble a complete collection], since mintages are very low—as few as 100 bronze, 55 pure silver, and a minuscule 11 gold.  Remember—the fun is in the hunt!” And the fun is also in reading this book, offered free to all on the Newman Numismatic Portal. 

To learn more about the Jewish-American Hall of Fame, visit

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Oct 14 2018

Seaby’s Coin and Medal Bulletin on Newman Portal

With the kind permission of Michael Gasvoda and Victor England of the Classical Numismatic Group (CNG), Seaby’s Coin and Medal Bulletin has been added to Newman Portal. A house organ of the first rank, Seaby’s contained useful articles on British and ancient numismatics, news updates, society announcements, and, naturally, a monthly list of items for sale. Published in London (readers were advised to use the Oxford Circus underground station), Seaby’s was focused on English collectors, but occasionally featured important American content. R. W. Julian’s articles in the October and November 1962 issues, for example, established the English (Birmingham) origin of the 1791 Washington cents. Seaby’s was acquired by the Classical Numismatic Group in 1991, which continues operations today, specializing in Greek, Roman, and British coins.

Link to Seaby’s Coin and Medal Bulletin on Newman Portal:
Link to Classical Numismatic Group:
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