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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:
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    Mar 30 2021

    Steinberg’s Fixed Price Lists on Newman Portal

    The late William Fox Steinberg (1913-1995), dealer in world gold coins, founded Steinberg's in 1950. The firm is currently headed by Robert L. Steinberg (William’s son) and Michael D. Sottini (Robert's step-son). Steinberg’s has generously made available the historic fixed price lists of this firm, and these have been recently scanned by Newman Portal. The currently posted group covers 1974-2020 and we anticipate adding additional issues going forward. Although not typically illustrated, this material will enable the discovery of “needles in haystacks,” for example the offering here of a pair of 1811 pattern Haitian gourdes depicting Henri Christophe (today thought to be restrikes or fantasy pieces).

    Link to Steinberg’s Fixed Price Lists on Newman Portal:
    Link to search Steinberg’s Fixed Price Lists:[]=creator%3A%22steinberg%27s%22
    Link to 1974 fixed priced offering of Henri Christophe 1811 pattern gourdes (Haiti):
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    Mar 26 2021

    Newman Portal Digitizes International Numismatic Council Publications

    With the permission of the International Numismatic Council (INC), Newman Portal has digitized the publications of this longstanding academic initiative. The first INC Congress was held in 1891 and has been conducted periodically ever since, currently at 6-year intervals. The organization’s charter is “to promote numismatics and related disciplines by facilitating cooperation among individuals and institutions in the field of numismatics and related disciplines.” Publications include the Congress Proceedings and the Survey of Numismatic Research, also published every six years, which serves as a bibliography of the most significant recent numismatic research. INC also issued Compte Rendu beginning in 1951, an annual update with organization news and a number of research articles, such as John Kleeberg’s “Treasure Trove Law in the United States” (2006). 

    An anomaly in the INC Proceedings is the collected papers for the 1967 Congress (no. VII, held in Copenhagen). ANS Librarian David Hill remarked to Len Augsburger on February 11 “By the way, we seem to lack INC #7 (1967) Copenhagen, which I can’t believe.” After considerable investigation, the answer was revealed in the October 4, 1967 issue of Coin World, which reported “Owing to the prohibitive cost of publishing the proceedings in full, it has been decided that the papers will be published by the normal numismatic journals of those countries in whose language the papers were read.” Eric Newman’s paper for this Congress, “Lessons in Modern Day Counterfeiting,” appeared in the November 1967 Numismatist.

    Newman Portal acknowledges Michael Alram (INC President), François de Callataÿ (INC Secretary), Ute Wartenberg Kagan (ANS President), David Hill (ANS Librarian), and Lara Jacobs (Internet Archive) for their assistance with this project. 

    Link to International Numismatic Council (INC) Proceedings on Newman Portal:
    Link to Survey of Numismatic Research on Newman Portal:
    Link to Compte Rendu on Newman Portal:
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    Mar 14 2021

    Coinage of 1888 Designed to Avoid Speculation

    Recently added to Newman Portal is correspondence from the National Archives that reveals the rationale behind certain of the 1888 U.S. coinage. James Kimball, Mint Director, writes to Philadelphia Mint Superintendent Daniel M. Fox, ordering the additional coinage of 10,000 one-dollar gold pieces, 5,000 three-dollar gold pieces, and 10,000 three-cent nickels. Fox was instructed to put the coins directly into general circulation, so as to avoid speculation. Collectors by this time were already seeking out the scarce 1880s denominational silver coinage, as most of the Mint’s attention was diverted toward producing massive quantities of Morgan dollars under the directive of the 1878 Bland-Allison act. The 1888 coinage production, as directed by Kimball, succeeded in avoiding rarities, although the three issues mentioned here remain highly desirable to collectors today.

    Link to Mint Director Kimball correspondence on April 11, 1888 on Newman Portal:
    Link to National Archives content on Newman Portal:
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    Mar 06 2021

    NNP Symposium, March 19-21, 2021

    The NNP Symposium returns March 19-21, with a broad array of presentations. This is a free, three-day online event featuring some of the most compelling personalities in numismatics. Of particular interest to NBS members will be Kellen Hoard’s presentation “Building Your Numismatic Reference Library in 2021,” scheduled for 12PM eastern, Saturday, March 20. Our own Wayne Homren will be leading a panel discussion on “The Early Days of Online Numismatics,” with Jim Halperin, George Cuhaj, and Craig Whitford. 

    Of special note is a four-hour Young Numismatist (YN) block of presentations on Saturday morning, featuring speakers Jonas Denenberg, Garrett Ziss, Kellen Hoard, and Delmar Mineard, Jr. NNP Symposium speakers include Ken Bressett, John Kraljevich, Sarah Miller, John Brush, Shanna Schmidt, and a host of other prominent numismatists. Zoom links for the individual presentations will be forwarded to registrants shortly before the event.

    Note: NNP Symposium videos will be posted a couple weeks following the event.

    Link to NNP Symposium schedule:
    Link to NNP registration:
    Link to videos from the August 2020 Symposium:

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    Feb 27 2021

    Crispus Attucks in Nummis

    Crispus Attucks (c. 1723-1770), per Wikipedia, is “widely regarded as the first person killed in the Boston Massacre and thus the first American killed in the American Revolution. Historians disagree on whether he was a free man or an escaped slave, but most agree that he was of Natick and African descent.”  Within numismatics, Attucks was most notably depicted on the U.S. Mint 1998 Black Revolutionary War Patriots Commemorative Silver Dollar, with the portrait of Attucks engraved by John Mercanti. The Eric P. Newman papers reveal two other examples. Attucks was featured in the American Negro Commemorative Society Series in August 1969, manufactured by the Franklin Mint in a 39mm silver proof format. Attucks also shows up in the American Patriots Series, these pieces were issued by the Beam Distilling Company and attached to Beam bottles. This piece is 32mm, in bronze, with Attucks included in July 1970. Again, these were produced by the Franklin Mint, along with many other Bicentennial-themed issues.

    Link to Newman file on the American Revolutionary Bicentennial Commission, detailing Franklin Mint Bicentennial issues:
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    Feb 17 2021

    Thomas Jefferson Coin Collection

    Readers are likely familiar with the George Washington numismatic collection, which notably contained an 11-piece silver Comitia America medal set (now at the Massachusetts Historical Society), in addition to the massive gold example of the Washington Before Boston medal, today at the Boston Public Library. Thomas Jefferson also collected coins, and in 1994 Beth Deisher of Coin World investigated the situation. Later, she shared the material with Eric P. Newman, and today this is digitized on Newman Portal. Jefferson made a donation to the American Philosophical Society (APS) of “coins and medals,” c. 1806, apparently gathered from travels in Europe. The APS collection was loaned in the 19th century to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and returned much later, with pieces missing. APS ultimately sold its numismatic holdings in 1967. The historic record keeping and museum cataloging was not sufficient to specifically identify the Jefferson pieces, and today these are lost to the winds. 

    While coin collectors would like to think that the Founding Fathers were dedicated numismatists who were intimately involved with the early U.S. Mint, Jefferson, who oversaw the formation of the Mint as the Secretary of State, summed up the situation in an 1825 letter to Mint Director Samuel Moore: “I do not remember a single circumstance respecting the devices on our coins except that someone having proposed to put Genl. Washington’s head on them it was entirely objected to.” In reality, the decisive vote in the House on this question was passed by a narrow margin, 26-22, in favor of a depiction of Liberty on the coinage. Even Jefferson’s single recollection was not quite right.

    Link to Beth Deisher research on Jefferson coin collection on Newman Portal:

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    Feb 12 2021

    Conder Token Journals on Newman Portal

    Conder Tokens, also known as 18th Century Provincial Tokens, are a form of privately minted token coinage struck and used during the latter part of the 18th Century and the early part of the 19th Century in England, Anglesey and Wales, Scotland, and Ireland. The Conder Token Collector’s Club (CTCC), formed in 1996, serves as a central point for the research of these trade tokens. With the assistance of president Jeff Rock and the CTCC board, the “Conder” Token Collector’s Journal has been posted on Newman Portal for the years 1996-2017. Note, an author and token index for issue nos. 1-70 (1996-2015), prepared by Dave Jones,  is posted under the year 2015.

    Link to the “Conder” Token Collector’s Journal on Newman Portal:
    Link to the Conder Token Collector’s Club home page:

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    Feb 02 2021

    Newman Portal Scans Numismatic News

    With the assistance of Cliff Mishler and George Cuhaj, Newman Portal is continuing to scan Numismatic News (1952-date). The reference set of this periodical is held by the Iola (WI) Historical Society, which has kindly loaned the run for scanning and permitted Newman Portal to unbind the volumes prior to scanning. To date, 1,368 issues have been scanned. Illustrated here is the front page of the January 6, 1964 issue, announcing that Congress passed legislation, by an overwhelming margin, for the creation of the Kennedy half dollar. The concept design illustrated is markedly different from the actual coin, with smaller central figures on both sides. 

    While we have not secured permission to display this periodical with full-view on NNP, we will display brief snippets in search results, which will alert researchers and readers to the existence of an article not otherwise known. In addition, Newman Portal is able to fulfill limited requests for copies of selected articles under fair use.

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    Jan 28 2021

    Alexandre Vattemare Addenda Rediscovered

    Wayne Homren recently purchased a DVD compilation of public domain works on numismatics. The description of this offering included a work on American numismatics by Alexandre Vattemare, dated 1864. Vattemare’s 1861 volume, Collection de Monnaies et Médailles de L'Amérique du Nord de 1652 a 1858, is well-known and represents one of the earliest catalogs of U.S. coinage. This 1864 work was completely unknown to Wayne, or Len Augsburger. After receiving the DVD, Wayne discovered, with the help of the numismatist’s friend Google, that the 1864 work was actually an article published by Vattemare in the Revue Numismatique for that year. This article expands upon and reorganizes Vattemare’s chapter on Hard Times tokens from the 1861 book. Vattemare perhaps envisioned a second edition of the 1861 volume, but was able to publish only this revised chapter.

    The most recent English biography of Vattemare is Q. David Bowers’ Alexandre Vattemare and the Numismatic Scene (Stack’s Bowers, 2018), with foreword by David Gladfelter.

    Link to Vattemare’s Revue Numismatique 1864 article on Newman Portal:
    Link to Vattemare’s Collection de Monnaies et Médailles de L'Amérique du Nord de 1652 a 1858

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