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Sep 12 2020

Newman Numismatic Portal Symposium Videos

Videos of the 2020 Newman Numismatic Portal Symposium presentations are now available at https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/multimediadetail/539070. This event was held via Zoom, August 28-30, and includes forty-one sessions.
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Nov 25 2020

U.S. Mint Sweats Gold

An old (and fraudulent) trick in the gold business is to vigorously shake a bag of gold coins together, in an effort to free a few bits of the previous metal in the form of dust, which can be sold to the benefit of the owner. The devalued coins still retain their face value, so there is no loss in that regard. This is known as “sweating” gold. The U.S. Treasury engaged in the same practice, though to be sure not on a deliberate basis. 

An 1893 letter from the U.S. Treasurer to the Superintendent of the Philadelphia Mint notes that bags used to store gold coins contained measurable amount of gold dust. Two bags are noted in this correspondence, one yielding 2.87 grains of gold and the other 2.16 grains (worth 12.3 cents and 9.3 cents respectively). Enos H. Nebecker, the U.S. Treasurer, notes a number of coin bags from the New York assay office had been forwarded to the Mint for harvesting the remaining gold. Presumably the number of bags was large, as the shipping costs from New York to Philadelphia would have offset any profit.

What the government took with one hand it gave back with the other. Congress made appropriations to make the country’s circulating coinage whole, so that if underweight gold pieces were returned to the Mint, they could be melted and recoined at full weight.

Link to February 27, 1893 correspondence: https://archive.org/details/extractgolddustfromoldcoinbags18930227/mode/2up
Link to U.S. Mint general correspondence on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/archivedetail/515202


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Nov 12 2020

Bowers & Merena’s Coin Collector on Newman Portal

The 1990s represented heady times for the numismatic firm of Bowers & Merena, with the Eliasberg and Bass sales leading the way. Bibiliophiles were richly treated as well, with a steady stream of books from Q. David Bowers in addition to the house organs Rare Coin Review and The Coin Collector. Newman Portal has recently digitized The Coin Collector, a 144-issue run published from 1994 to 2003. This tabloid-sized emission was primarily a vehicle for fixed price sales but also included research articles and other features. Few runs seem to have survived, as most collectors discarded copies after checking for items of interest. 

Newman Portal acknowledges Joel Orosz for loaning his run for scanning, as well as Jennifer Meers at Stack’s Bowers who provided several missing issues. We are also grateful to Collector’s Universe, the copyright holder, for making this content available for full-view.

Link to The Coin Collector on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/539529

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