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Apr 04 2021

NNP Symposium Video Posted

Videos from the recently concluded NNP Symposium (March 19-21) are now posted on Newman Portal. Produced by Lianna Spurrier of Numismatic Marketing, this event featured a total of 37 speakers presenting on a wide variety of numismatic topics, including United States, ancient, and world numismatics. Among the presenters was John Brush, who provided a overview of the formation and evolution of the D. L. Hansen collection. This session included a lively question & answer exchange with the audience. Ken Bressett discussed his storied numismatic career, most notably covering the development of the Guide Book over the years. Shanna Schmidt delivered an overview of the ancient coin auction marketplace, noting a number of differences for those us more familiar with the largest U.S. auction firms. These are a just a few of the highlights, with the full list available on Newman Portal.

Link to NNP Symposium videos, March 19-21: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/multimediadetail/539070?Year=2021&take=50
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Jun 12 2021

U.S. Mint Strikes Bolivian Coins

An 1883 letter from Chief of the Secret Service, James J. Brooks, to Superintendent of the Mint, A. Loudon Snowden, mentions government “operatives” and “inquiries set afoot.” Even though it sounds like an excerpt from a Sherlock Holmes novel, this National Archives correspondence, recently transcribed by the Newman Portal, discusses the possibility of the U.S. Mint striking coins for the country of Bolivia. The Mint was authorized to produce coins for foreign countries as specified by an Act of Congress approved on January 29, 1874. However, the correspondence raises questions about the authenticity of Bolivia’s petition and Brooks requests of Snowden that “no action be taken…as to the preparation of dies for the coining of Bolivian money.”

Sixty years later, the outcome was much different when Bolivia was one of more than 20 countries for which the United States produced coins during World War II. Due to the global economic challenges brought on by this War, many countries were unable to make their own coins and the United States helped them maintain their monetary systems. During the War, these foreign coins were produced at cost and did not yield any profit for the Mint. Between July 1, 1942 and June 30, 1944, they produced 30 million Bolivian coins, evenly divided among the denominations of 10, 20, and 50 centavos.

Link to 3 pieces of correspondence regarding Bolivian coins: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/599780
Link to the Mint Report for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 1943: https://archive.org/details/annualreportofte1943unit/page/40/mode/2up?q=Bolivia
Link to the Mint Report for the Fiscal Year ending June 30, 1944: https://archive.org/details/AnnualReportOfTheDirectorOfTheMint1944/page/n55/mode/2up?

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Jun 05 2021

Mel Wacks Updates Handbook of Biblical Numismatics

Mel Wacks has updated his Handbook of Biblical Numismatics, which is now available on Newman Portal. Lianna Spurrier supplied graphics and layout work under sponsorship of Newman Portal. 

Abraham Sofaer contributed an overview that is featured on the back cover: “This Handbook is just what it sets out to be, and what is needed in the field of Jewish Coinage. Mel Wacks has contributed mightily to this field. And this Handbook - replacing his first version with an entirely new revision - is among his most important gifts. Somehow, Mel has managed to provide a work that is succinct without being superficial; that summarizes all the important material rather than limiting coverage through exclusion; and that simplifies complicated issues without compromising their difficulties.

In pulling off this achievement, Mel has provided a practical, take-along, guide. Every important period is covered, and every significant coin type illustrated. Rather than attempting to supersede other types of books, Mel gives us all - collectors, scholars, and intelligent observers alike - something to use anywhere to identify coin types and context, read inscriptions, and even have some idea of value. Even a novice will be able quickly to learn and appreciate this aspect of Jewish history, and the history of other cultures with whom the Jewish People have interacted. The Handbook is thus a must have for the tutored and beginner alike.”

Link to Handbook of Biblical Numismatics on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/booksbyauthor/518323
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