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Jan 13 2020

Newman Portal Adds Boston Numismatic Society Archives

One of the oldest numismatic societies in the United States, the Boston Numismatic Society (BNS) for many years (1870-1891) published the American Journal of Numismatics and today continues as an active numismatic organization. BNS member Yale Lansky, working with Newman Portal, has facilitated scanning of the Society archives, and these records are now available on Newman Portal. The series consists of eight volumes of Society proceedings (1860-1992), treasury book (1860-1982), and a two-volume history compiled in 1998 by Thomas P. Rockwell. The earliest records contain well-known names including Jeremiah Colburn, Thomas Appleton, Augustine Shurtleff, and others. Appleton reported in the minutes the launch of the Society on February 11, 1860: “Eight gentlemen met by invitation on Saturday, February 11 at the rooms of the N.E. Historic Genealogical Society, 13 Bromfield St. Mr. Jeremiah Colburn occupied the chair….the secretary read a constitution….” As today, exhibits were an important component of meetings, and the Society proceedings carefully record who exhibited what, so that anyone researching these individuals, or their collections, will find this an important source of information. Moreover, the series as a whole documents a formative period of American numismatic history, when collectors began gathering in a formal way in order to create enduring institutions. Some succeeded and some failed, and we are fortunate that BNS has persevered and faithfully preserved an important part of the historical record.

Link to Boston Numismatic Society archives on Newman Portal:
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Jan 07 2020

Newman Portal Adds Research Paper on California Clam Shell Money

Recently added to Newman Paper is a paper by Joshua Smith, “The California Clam Shell Scrip Currency of 1933: Crescent City and Pismo Beach’s anomaly in an era of Banknote Scrip.” Supported by a Newman Grant from the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society, Smith conducted primary research on this curious scrip that arose in California during the Great Depression. Smith explores the origins of the use of clam shells as money and describes modern reproductions in order to aid authentication of genuine examples. Certain questions in numismatics are eternal – how was an object made, who made it, how was it used – and Smith provides an end-to-end treatment of the subject. 

Link to “The California Clam Shell Scrip Currency of 1933” on Newman Portal:
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Dec 31 2019

Legendary Coin Collector Gene Gardner Remembered

At the August 2019 World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL, Greg Rohan of Heritage Auctions spoke to the Liberty Seated Collectors Club about the life and collecting career of Gene Gardner (1936-2016). The summer ANA convention is a busy event with attendees deciding on the fly which meetings to attend amidst a flurry of commercial activity. Jewels are often missed, and Rohan’s presentation, while well attended, will be of interest to a wider audience. Rohan recounted Gene’s early days in the hobby, which culminated with a significant consignment to Stack’s in 1965. Thereafter Gardner concentrated on family and business, and was reintroduced to the hobby many years later, upon attending one of the Eliasberg sales. Gardner resumed collecting full throttle and eventually sold his collection in a group of four sales conducted by Heritage Auctions in 2014-2015. Rohan talks about the dispersal of the collection and shares many personal recollections about Gardner – this is a truly moving presentation that poignantly reminds us about the human side of the coin business. Newman Portal acknowledges David Lisot for making this video available on NNP.

Link to Greg Rohan’s presentation, Legendary Coin Collector Gene Gardner Remembered  on Newman Portal:
Link to Stack’s February 1965 sale of the Gardner collection:
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