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    Dec 09 2018

    Idaho Trade Token Newsletter on Newman Portal

    Recently added to the Newman Portal is John Mutch’s Idaho Trade Token Newsletter for the period 1997-1999. Token collectors frequently collect by state, and these pieces offer a historical connection between the collector and the businesses of bygone days. The first issue discusses accounting records of the Midway Bar (Boise) in 1911 – quite profitable, especially during the winter months. Also included is a note from the 1910 Wardner News noting the county crackdown on dance halls and their “gambling, dancing & kindred vices.” Mutch notes related 10-cent tokens from these mining town establishments. The exhaustive reference site,, identifies one such piece, from the J. Farrin & Co. dance hall in Wardner.
    Thanks to John Mutch for granting permission and loaning physical copies for scanning.

    Link to Idaho Trade Token Newsletter on Newman Portal:
    Link to J. Farrin & Co. token on
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    Dec 02 2018

    American Numismatic Society Library Catalog Linked to Internet Archive Scans

    The Newman Portal has maintained a scanning operation at the ANS since December 2015, and in that time Internet Archive associates Lara Jacobs (and previously John Graffeo) have scanned 6,000 documents from the ANS library. Periodically, these scans are linked to the ANS library catalog (DONUM) so that DONUM users may access ANS library materials directly through the online library catalog. A recent update was performed in November, so that all documents scanned to date are available through DONUM. See, for example, the DONUM record for the Lewis Roper auction sale catalog (M. Thomas & Sons, 1851). Users may view the scanned document via the links “LINK TO INTERNET ARCHIVE (copy 1)” or “LINK TO INTERNET ARCHIVE (copy 2).” Note, for many auction sale catalogs, ANS has multiple copies, and these often contain varying annotations captured no other place. Thanks to ANS librarian David Hill and programmer Tomàs Cohen Arazi for their assistance with this project.

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    Nov 04 2018

    Mormon Currency, 1837-1937 and Updates & Short Stories Added to Newman Portal

    Author Douglas Nyholm Nyholm has released two volumes related to Mormon numismatics for publication on Newman Portal. Mormon Currency, 1837-1937 (2nd edition, 2015) begins with the 1837 Joseph Smith-signed notes of the Kirtland (OH) Safety Society Bank. Interestingly, the Smith signature is desirable even though many examples are thought to have been signed by Smith’s “scribes” and not Smith personally. Notes are also signed by other Mormon church dignitaries. Mormon paper money follows the migration of the church from east to west, including bank notes of Monroe, MI and scrip from Nauvoo, IL. From here Nyholm moves to the more well-known gold coinage of the Gold Rush era. To complement the gold pieces, a host of scrip and small-denomination currency continued to be issued. This portion of the catalog is the most valuable contribution of the book, illustrating and detailing hundreds of emissions. The overall work is indispensable for collectors of Mormon numismatics, and will be the standard reference for some time. The NLG named this work the Best Book on U.S. Currency for 2010.

    Doug Nyholm has also released a companion volume, Updates & Short Stroies About Mormon Currency (2018). This work contains a variety of supplementary material including historical essays, grading, trial strikes, and a review of the Eric P. Newman collection of Mormon scrip, several examples of which sold at the 5-figure level. The Bishop’s General Storehouse $10, pictured here, sold for an astounding $25,850 (Newman VII, 10/2015, lot 18616). Prior to the Newman sale, Nyholm speculated the Bob & Carol Campbell example was the only such piece held privately.

    Link to Mormon Currency (2nd edition, 2015) on Newman Portal:
    Link to Updates & Short Stories About Mormon Currency (2018) on Newman Portal:
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    Oct 23 2018

    Book About 50 Years of Jewish-American Hall of Fame Medals 
    Published on the Newman Numismatic Portal

    Medal collectors, American history buffs and those interested in Judaica can now read Jewish-American Hall of Fame Medals 1969-2019 by Mel Wacks, newly published on the Newman Numismatic Portal at Mel is uniquely qualified to write this compendium of what currently is the longest continuing series of art medals in America, since he initiated the project and has overseen it for its 50 year history.

    Mel says in the Introduction, “The goal [of the Jewish-American Hall of Fame medals] was not only to raise funds for the Magnes Museum, but to raise awareness in Jews and non-Jews alike in the substantial contributions made to America—and the world—by American Jews.” The project was under the auspices of the Judah L. Magnes Museum in Berkeley from 1969 through 2001, when it became a division of the American Jewish Historical Society in New York. The sale of the medals has raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars for these two educational organizations, along with the American Numismatic Society, and other non-profits.

    The new book features biographies of more than 50 Jewish-American Hall of Fame inductees, taken from their web site; back stories about the creation of the medal designs; medal specifications (size, mintages and mints); and short biographies of the more than dozen medalists and calligraphers who created the medals. In addition, there are two appendices—one describing the Wooden Shekels issued by the Jewish-American Hall of Fame intermittently from 1968-2009, and the other listing, for the first time, all 35 Special Commemorative Medals Issued by the Jewish-American Hall of Fame--from the counterstamped Camp David Peace Dollar in 1978 through the Emma Lazarus Statue of Liberty Award (for the American Jewish Historical Society) in 2018.

    Jewish-American Hall of Fame Medals 1969-2019 is an indispensable guide to a series that offers collectors a real challenge. As Mel Wacks concludes in the Preface: “It is not easy [to assemble a complete collection], since mintages are very low—as few as 100 bronze, 55 pure silver, and a minuscule 11 gold.  Remember—the fun is in the hunt!” And the fun is also in reading this book, offered free to all on the Newman Numismatic Portal. 

    To learn more about the Jewish-American Hall of Fame, visit

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    Oct 14 2018

    Seaby’s Coin and Medal Bulletin on Newman Portal

    With the kind permission of Michael Gasvoda and Victor England of the Classical Numismatic Group (CNG), Seaby’s Coin and Medal Bulletin has been added to Newman Portal. A house organ of the first rank, Seaby’s contained useful articles on British and ancient numismatics, news updates, society announcements, and, naturally, a monthly list of items for sale. Published in London (readers were advised to use the Oxford Circus underground station), Seaby’s was focused on English collectors, but occasionally featured important American content. R. W. Julian’s articles in the October and November 1962 issues, for example, established the English (Birmingham) origin of the 1791 Washington cents. Seaby’s was acquired by the Classical Numismatic Group in 1991, which continues operations today, specializing in Greek, Roman, and British coins.

    Link to Seaby’s Coin and Medal Bulletin on Newman Portal:
    Link to Classical Numismatic Group:
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    Oct 05 2018

    Heritage Auctions Predecessor Firms on NNP

    Newman Portal has recently added the auction sale catalogs of the Heritage Auctions predecessor firms, New England Rare Coin Auctions and Steve Ivy Numismatic Auctions. Martin Gengerke’s American Numismatic Auctions lists 29 sales for New England between 1975 and 1982, and 53 for Steve Ivy between 1972 and 1983. The earlier New England catalogs evoke the classic Stack’s catalog layout, and include numerous closeups demonstrating variety features, a distinctive feature at this time. Later catalogs begin to feature color plates that are still useful for pedigree purposes. The Steve Ivy catalogs are virtually identical to the (later) Heritage catalogs and clearly were prepared by the same team. These include color plates from the beginning (1976), not an inexpensive proposition at the time, and the very first catalog notes the use of “full color transparencies and four color printing.” Newman Portal acknowledges Jim Halperin and Steve Ivy for extending permission to scan these sale catalogs.

    Link to New England Rare Coin Auctions:
    Link to Steve Ivy Numismatic Auctions:
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    Sep 13 2018

    American Numismatic Society (ANS) Slide Series

    Coincident with the Coinage of the Americas Conference (COAC) events held at the ANS in the 1980s and 1990s, the ANS produced a number of boxed sets that contained color slides along with pamphlets incorporating introductory material and slide descriptions. The material illustrated a number of United States coin series and, in the era of the slide projector, was ideal for meeting presentation purposes.  Each set of slides and accompanying pamphlet illustrate and describe the major types and design evolution within an American series. Newman Portal has digitized the slides and pamphlets for four of these, including America’s Copper Coinage 1783-1857 (1984), Massachusetts Silver Coinage (1994), Die Varieties of the 1794 Large Cent (1984), and America’s Federal Gold Coinage 1795-1933 (1989).  Newman Portal acknowledges the ANS for permission to digitize this material.  Can E-Sylum readers report the existence of any other sets?

    Link to Massachusetts Silver Coinage on Newman Portal:
    Link to Die Varieties of the 1794 Large Cent:
    Link to America’s Copper Coinage:
    Link to America’s Federal Gold Coinage:

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    Sep 13 2018

    Inde Et Lib Fixed Price Lists on Newman Portal

    Kevin Vinton, dealer in colonial and early U.S. coins, has contributed a number of fixed price lists to Newman Portal. The Sun Rays Collection, Part 1 is one recent offering, featuring a notable collection of Fugio cents. Archived on Newman Portal, specialists in the series now have an additional resource for pedigree and price research. Included in this list was a plate coin from Eric P. Newman’s “Varieties of the Fugio Cent,” published in Wayte Raymond’s Coin Collector’s Journal (January-February 1949). Newman’s work identified 25 obverse dies (dated 1787) and 32 reverse dies and represented the first comprehensive die variety analysis of the series. This plate example, Newman 9-P, comes with a rich pedigree including Elder, Ryder, Boyd, and Ford. F.C.C. Boyd loaned many Fugio cents to Newman for study and it is virtually certain this coin was among them.

    Link to Sun Rays Collection fixed price list:
    Link to Inde Et Lib fixed price lists on Newman Portal:
    Link to Eric P. Newman’s “Varieties of the Fugio Cent”:

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    Sep 08 2018

    U.S. Mint General Correspondence Scanning Continues

    Several years ago, Bob Julian directed the scanning of the U.S Mint general correspondence files (record group 104, entry 1) at the National Archives & Records Administration (NARA) in Philadelphia. Operating under a grant from the Central States Numismatic Society (CSNS), Julian coordinated the delivery of the first 45 boxes of this series, covering the years 1792-1857. Comprising over 20,000 pages, this material allows researchers to go directly to the source rather than having to travel to remote locations to study these original working documents from the U.S. Mint. The Newman Portal is extending this work and has added volumes into the 1860s. John Graffeo, who previously worked in the library of the American Numismatic Society, is continuing the scanning effort in Philadelphia. 

    In randomly browsing one of the recently-scanned correspondence volumes, I chanced upon an 1860 letter from William Henry Trescot (Assistant Secretary of State) to U.S. Mint Director James Ross Snowden. The letter orders the striking of a gold model for Frederick S. Rose, a Royal Navy surgeon, acknowledging his efforts in treating an outbreak of yellow fever on the USS Susquehanna while in Jamaica. So, was the medal actually struck? Indeed it was, and a quick check of the Newman Portal finds the medal in the collection of Alan Weinberg. Weinberg notes that this was the first congressional gold medal awarded to a recipient outside the U.S. – a signal honor. The correspondence reads as follows:

    “Congress having noted a medal to be presented to Mr. Frederick S. Rose, Assistant Surgeon, Royal Navy, for kind and humane treatment of the officials of the U.S. Ship Susquehannah, at Kingston Ja[maica] I will thank you to have a gold medal struck for that purpose. The obverse may be struck from the die of the Indian Medal {Julian IP-36], which was sent to you to prepare the Japanese medals from. The reverse of the latter medal would answer, were it not for the lettering thereon. If they could be taken off that die might be used. Otherwise the selection of the reverse will be left to your discretion.”

    Link to U.S. Mint general correspondence group on Newman Portal:
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    Aug 31 2018

    Coin World Available on Newman Portal for Search-Only Access

    The weekly messenger of the numismatic trade since 1960, Coin World represents a substantial store of numismatic information that is often lost to today’s researchers, who have no way of searching or accessing old issues. Complete runs of the periodical are few and far between, as the space required to store over 3,000 issues is considerable. Over the last year, Newman Portal has been scanning Coin World at various locations, and now announces the completion of the project. 

    Although not available for full view, this content can be searched by Newman Portal users. To search Coin World on Newman Portal, use the advanced search page and enter “periodical” as the content type and “Coin World” as the title. An NNP user this week located an extensive article on a numismatic theft from the Historical Society of Pennsylvania in the early 1970s, which was discoverable in no other way. Members of the American Numismatic Society (ANS) may acquire copies of specific articles through ANS librarian David Hill.

    Newman Portal acknowledges the ANS, which shared in the cost of digitization, and Beth Deisher and Ute Wartenberg Kagan for their support. Rick Amos at Amos Media provided the Coin World reference set from 1960-2005, while David Sundman of Littleton Coin loaned his run of Coin World from 2006-2017.

    Link to advanced search page on Newman Portal:
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