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    Dec 02 2022

    Newman Portal Symposium Video Available

    Video from the recent Newman Portal Symposium, held November 17-19, 2022 is now available. The Newman Portal Symposium brings together speakers on a wide variety of numismatic topics, including U.S., world, and ancient numismatics. Our feature presentation examined U.S. coins in the collection of the American Numismatic Society (ANS), which included comments from the ANS Resolute Americana chair of American numismatics, Jesse Kraft. Our next Symposium will be held in spring 2023, in conjunction with the Central States Numismatic Society convention.

    Videos from all Newman Portal Symposia are posted at
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    Nov 11 2022

    Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society Papers on Newman Portal

    Newman Portal has scanned the presented papers of the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society (WPNS), beginning with the year 1937. Many of these were published nowhere else, and a large number of topics are covered. Sample subjects from the first volume include European cathedral medals, Bryan money, Continental currency, and Washington medals. The accumulation of member papers was unusual for most coin clubs during this period and speaks to the level of numismatic practice operative in the WPNS.

    Link to Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society papers on Newman Portal:
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    Nov 02 2022

    U.S. Mint Fixed Price Lists on Newman Portal

    The U.S. Mint has been issuing fixed price lists since at least 1859, when a set of proof “master-coins” (face value $41.50) was offered at $43.00. As current U.S. Mint customers are well aware, a single order from the present-day Mint will result not only in coins, but also a long string of print solicitations offering yet more product. The coins are nearly all saved; the print pieces not so much. At Newman Portal we’ve been accumulating a “virtual” collection of U.S. Mint fixed price lists, and currently have 24 examples in our collection, dating from 1859 to 2017. We are sure many more exist and would welcome any such accumulations for scanning purposes.

    Link to U.S. Mint fixed price lists on Newman Portal:
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    Oct 27 2022

    Skull & Crossbones Small Change Note

    A Halloween-themed 1-penny small change note originates from Elizabeth, New Jersey, where it was printed by “S. KOLLOCK” in 1790. Wikipedia identifies the printer (“S. KOLLOCK”) as most likely Shephard Kollock, Jr. (1750-1839). Kollock published the New Jersey Journal during the Revolutionary War and later published proceedings of the New Jersey State legislature. Kollock also produced the 3, 4, and 6-penny notes of this date, although these do not depict the skull on the reverse. These notes served as “paper coins,” and were suitably thick to allow for some degree of circulation. The use of a skull on paper money is uncommon, and perhaps acted as reminder of the fleeting nature of life (and money too, in this context).

    Link to Early Paper Money of America (Newman Portal online edition):

    Link to March 25, 1790 Borough of Elizabeth issue:

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    Oct 21 2022

    Newman Portal Adds Jim Koenings’ Reeded Edge Half Newsletter

    Jim Koenings’ continues to archive the Reeded Edge (1836-1839) half dollar issues, publishing installments on a monthly basis, each of which is dedicated to a single die marriage within the series. The latest issue, #42, covers the 1839 GR-8 variety, referencing the die marriages as published by Dick Graham in A Registry of Die Varieties of Reeded Edge Half Dollars (2012). In total, Graham identified a total of 55 marriages in this short-lived series. Koenings’ work serves as a useful companion to the Graham reference, adding data on market appearances, rarity, and censes of individual marriages. The Koenings’ work is issued electronically, which more easily supports the expanded content that might not be included in typical die marriage references.

    Link to Koenings’ Reeded Edge Half Newsletter on Newman Portal:
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    Oct 16 2022

    Newman Portal Adds The Casement

    Produced by the Associated Collectors of Encased (ACE) from 1995-2003, The Casement documented the efforts of collectors searching for encased coins, tokens, and medals. Encased coins are in some ways 20th century analogs of 19th century counterstamped coins, often serving in advertising or promotional capacities. These also took the shape of commemorative issues, such as an encased 1921 Morgan dollar produced by Consolidated Foods Corporation as a 25th anniversary piece in 1964. The Casement included lists of encased issues (typically on a state-by-state basis), examples for auction, and notices of club meetings. Newman Portal acknowledges Bruce Perdue for his assistance with this title.

    Link to The Casement on Newman Portal:
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    Oct 07 2022

    Newman Portal Adds The Emergency Money Collector

    Produced by Arlie Slabaugh shortly after World War II, The Emergency Money Collector sought to gather information on the host of emergency issues that were created in response to the war effort. The modest periodical featured Slabaugh’s lists of known items, in addition to related dealer advertisements. Volume I (1948-1949) was commercially printed, and, after a gap of several years, Slabaugh resorted to the mimeograph for Volume II (1953). Slabaugh explains in the summer 1953 issue “‘The Emergency Money Collector’ has been erratic in publication and this I much regret. The fault lies mainly with the printing.” 

    Numismatists constantly try to restore order to the chaos, and this journal represents one of the first attempts to document all of the World War II issues in one place. Today, this field is of course well treated by Joe Boling and Fred Schwan in World War II Remembered, a massive labor of love that is clearly the standard reference on the subject. Thanks to Clifford Mishler, who loaned these periodicals to Newman Portal for scanning.

    Link to The Emergency Money Collector on Newman Portal:
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    Sep 30 2022

    Newman Portal Adds U.S Coin Scales and Counterfeit Coin Detectors

    In 1999, Eric P. Newman and George Mallis teamed up to publish U.S Coin Scales and Counterfeit Coin Detectors. The authors begin with a history of scales for coins stretching back to the second millennium before Christ. The book comprehensively covers all scales and counterfeit coin detectors for which United States patents were issued, and many that never received patents. The authors focus on the experience of one inventor, John Allender, who, after many tries, was finally able to secure a patent for his machine, which combined high accuracy with a low price, and thus became successful in the marketplace. This work has recently been scanned by Newman Portal and is now available online.

    Unlike most other Newman publications, this title was self-published. Newman had four hundred copies of the book printed in early 1999 by Creative Printing Services in St. Louis; these were marketed at $39.50 per copy beginning in March of that year. Newman noted in correspondence to Mallis on September 29, 1998, “The pages will be printed on 2 sides because the bulk of the book if printed on one side would be too heavy and difficult to read. Illegal photocopying of our pages will be much more difficult if printed on two sides.” Sales were slow, with just over a hundred copies sold by the end of the following year. Newman’s remainders were ultimately distributed by numismatic booksellers Kolbe & Fanning.

    Link to U.S Coin Scales and Counterfeit Coin Detectors:
    Link to Eric P. Newman video “American Counterfeit Coin Detector Devices,” from the 1990 ANA convention:
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    Sep 25 2022

    Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society Archives

    Housed in five large bins, the Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society (WPNS) archives are a treasure trove of numismatic history, reflecting the activities of this longstanding organization. Newman Portal has recently scanned one of the minute books, which covers the period 1912-1950. Well known names such as A. C. Gies and Ben Green appear in the early pages. The minutes are detailed as to who owned what, and anyone interested in the holdings of particular members during this period will find ample data. Newman Portal continues to process this important archive, which will appear piecemeal on the site as documents come through the scanning queue.

    Link to Western Pennsylvania Numismatic Society minute book, 1912-1950:

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    Sep 17 2022

    Newman Portal Adds Food Stamp Change Newsletter

    With food stamps denominated in dollars, how did stores make change for odd amounts? Simple – they issued privately produced tokens.  The number of variants ran into the thousands, and the collector urge to create order from the disparate issues took root. Jerry Schimmel led the way and began producing the quarterly Food Stamp Change Newsletter in 1980. Collectors interest was not ultimately sufficient to sustain the publication, and Schimmel wrapped up the Newsletter in 1984, with the last two issues serving as an index to the series. Wikipedia notes that states began moving from paper stamps to debit cards in the late 1990s, and today this is a non-issue. Newman Portal acknowledges Michael Wehner for his assistance with this title.

    Link to Food Stamp Change Newsletter on Newman Portal:

    Image: Inaugural cover of the Food Stamp Change Newsletter
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