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May 07 2024

Newman Portal Search Hints

Newman Portal searches from the home page are exact text only. If you enter multiple words, it will search for that entire phrase.

If you wish to search for multiple terms all one page, but not in exact order, use the search form at https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/powersearchform. For example, if you wish to locate pages containing the words "Washington," "medal," "birth," and "centennial," enter the search:

ItemContent:Washington AND ItemContent:medal AND ItemContent:birth AND ItemContent:centennial

You can also use Google to search the Newman Portal site. From Google, enter, for example:

"washington medals" site:nnp.wustl.edu

Finally, you can search the Newman Portal document repository directly (https://archive.org/details/newmannumismatic), which, in some cases, will deliver additional results. On this page, check the box "Select text contents" before searching.

For additional assistance, please email us at NNPCurator@wustl.edu.

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May 16 2024

Eric Brothers on the Sacajawea Dollar

The journal of the Museum of American Finance, Financial History often contains articles of numismatic interest. The recent spring 2024 issue includes a contribution from Eric Brothers on the Sacajawea dollar, first issued by the U.S. Mint in 2000. This coin attracts little attention in the U.S. but is widely circulated in Ecuador, as Brothers explains. This writer can attest to receiving in change a well-worn “golden dollar” during a recent trip to that country.

Brothers covers the legislative history of the coin and the development of the coin design. The “golden” description created confusion among the public, which in some cases truly believed their examples contained gold, while the Cheerios and Walmart promotions created their own controversies.

The Ecaudorian economic crisis in 1998-1999 led to their adoption of the U.S. dollar in 2000, and the overflowing stock of Sacajawea coins in the U.S. Treasury vaults created a natural opportunity for the coins in circulate. Today they are widely used in the “country of four worlds.” As for the U.S., their attitude is best summed up by Marge Simpson, who being asked “What is that? A quarter? A Chuck E. Cheese token?” explained “No! It's a Sacajawea dollar. You can trade it in at the bank for a real dollar!”

Link to Financial History on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/publisherdetail/519588
Link to Simpson’s clip on the Sacajawea dollar, Season 15, Episode 11 (February 8, 2004): https://comb.io/6O77Sw
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May 07 2024

Stan Kesselman Papers on Newman Portal

In between the mass of public advertisements and named auction catalogs, a few dealers operate quietly, facilitating the placement of important numismatic items into equally important collections. One of these dealers was the New York numismatist Stan Kesselman. Among others, Kesselman worked with Harry W. Bass, Jr. to build a historic collection of U.S. gold coinage, which was ultimately featured in auction sales by Bowers & Merena (1999-2000) and Heritage Auctions (2022-2023). Other clients included the large cent collector Roy Naftzger.

Business records of Kesselman, primarily invoices with an emphasis on gold coins, are currently being digitized by Newman Portal. Occasional correspondence is also present, such as a letter from Bass to Kesselman, January 19, 1968, which alludes to the never-ending negotiation between dealer and client: “I agree - once you pay too much, it sets you up for life. With you by now I must have set myself up for a hundred lifetimes. Since I have paid you too much so many times in the past, why shouldn't I continue so doing in the future? My problem with you is that you now know how much you can get away with. I don't need salt for my wounds but rather balm as well as a solution to my problem.”

Newman Portal acknowledges Stan Kesselman for making this material available, and Julian Leidman for coordinating delivery to Newman Portal. Following digitization, the material will be presented to the ANA Library.

Link to Stan Kesselman papers on Newman Portal: https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/archivedetail/552738
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