American Numismatic Society
American Numismatic Society

ANS E-news, December 2013

Online Year End Appeal

Double the impact of your gift. Every donation made to our Year End Appeal now until December 31st will be matched dollar for dollar. Make you donation go twice as far! Full details available here.

Consignment of Gobrecht Dollars to Heritage

The ANS announces that it has consigned a small group of Gobrecht dollars to Heritage Auctions. The coins are part of the collection of 100 Gobrecht dollars, which were bequeathed in 2009 to the Society by the late Dr. Julius Korein, one of the foremost collectors of this series. The full press release is available here.

ANS Annual Gala Dinner 2014

Join us as we honor Marian Scheuer Sofaer and Abraham D. Sofaer on Thursday, January 9th 2014. Become a Gala Sponsor, Advertise in the 2014 Gala Program, or be included in the Gala Roster of Supporters. Details available here.

ANS at the AIA/APA Joint Colloquium

Dr. Peter van Alfen and Eric P. Newman Graduate Summer Seminar alumni will be taking part in a session at the upcoming joint meetings of the American Philological Association and American Institute of Archaeology, which will take place in Chicago, January 2-5, 2014.

Also, the ANS and the Friends of Numismatics will be hosting a reception at the meetings, which will take place on Saturday evening, January 4, beginning at 6:30 pm. ANS Members and former seminar alumni are warmly invited to join us at the reception. All are also welcome to attend the panel session. For the latter event, one-day registration at the meeting is required.

For details see the press release here.

ANS at the NYINC

The ANS will attend the New York International Numismatic Convention on January 9-14, 2014. Visit us at our booth in the Rotunda. For more information contact or call Viviana Londono-Danailov at 212-571-4470 ext. 117

ANS Job Posting

The ANS is seeking and Assistant Curator of US Collections. More information is available here.

ANS Coin of the Week

Since July, the ANS has been posting on social media about historical events and linking them to objects of the collection.

For example on November 13th, the following image was posted with this message: “On November 13, 1927, the Holland Tunnel, which connects Manhattan, NY, with Jersey City, NJ, was opened to traffic (information source: Port Authority of NY & NJ). The bronze medal in the image commemorates the opening of the tunnel on November 12, 1927 ([16]”

If you’re interested in seeing more, please follow us on Facebook (), Instagram (@americannumismaticsociety) or Twitter ().

Support the ANS through

Just click on the link below or on the ANS website each time you plan on purchasing any product through Amazon will donate a portion of your purchase to American Numismatic Society!

The ANS also now has a new store on with selections of worthwhile books on numismatic and related subjects. Please visit

Library Support Website

The ANS Library has recently updated a section of the ANS library support website. Library staff frequently get inquiries from people wishing to donate their auction catalogs. Because of space limitations here, we cannot accept all donations of every catalog, so we have prepared some listings of specific catalogs and runs of catalogs that we would very much like to acquire. Perhaps our members can help. The lists that are posted are of our MISSING catalogs (i.e. those we would like to acquire): This information will be updated as it becomes necessary.

New ANS Publications

The ANS is pleased to announce three new publications:

Wampum and the Origins of American Money by Marc Shell.

Wampum has become a synonym for money, and is widely assumed that it served the same purposes as money among the Native Algonquians even after coming into contact with European colonists’ money. But to equate wampum with money only matches one slippery term with another, as money itself was quite ill-defined in North America for decades during its colonization. In this stimulating and intriguing book, Mark Shell illuminates the context in which wampum was used by describing how money circulated in the colonial period and the early history of the United States.

Wampum itself, generally tubular beads made from clam or conch shells, was hardly a primitive version of a coin or dollar bill, as it represented to both Native Americans and colonial Europeans a unique medium through with language, art, culture, and even conflict were negotiated. With impressive wit and erudition, Shell interweaves wampum’s multiform functions and reveals wampum’s undeniable influence on the cultural, political, and economic foundations of North America.

Published by University of Illinois Press in association with the American Numismatic Society.

Order here.

New Jersey State Coppers by Roger S. Siboni, John L. Howes, and A. Buell Ish

 As William Sheldon eloquently put it in Penny Whimsy,

Old copper, like beauty, appears to possess a certain intrinsic quality or charm... [with] an almost living warmth and personality not encountered in any other metal.... You see rich shades of green, red, brown, yellow, and even deep ebony: together not elsewhere matched in nature save perhaps in autumn leaves....

Early coppers are rich in die varieties, cracked dies, imperfect and unusual planchets, misstruck coins and other minor variations. ...It is therefore not surprising that to some extent the different die varieties are recognizable by characteristic color and surface texture, as well as by die breaks, peculiarities of the planchet and so on.

New Jersey State Coppers shows that never were these words more true than in the case of the coins struck for New Jersey by Thomas Goasby, Albion Cox, Walter Mould, and Matthias Ogden from 1786 until as late as 1790. By way of introduction, the authors fully discuss the often tumultuous history of the New Jersey copper coinage and its creators alongside the equally compelling story of the men, like Dr. Edward Maris, who first appreciated the “living warmth and personality” of the coins and formed the great collections of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Every known New Jersey die variety is presented in minute detail with lavish enlarged full-color illustrations, condition censuses, as well as commentary on die states and other notable features.

The authors also include such supplementary material as the original documents related to the eighteenth- century coining venture, imitations created for the collector market in the nineteenth century, as well as suggestions for developing a personal collection. New Jersey State Coppers will surely become the primary tool for the study of this coinage and the basis for deepening the understanding and appreciation of its charm as old copper.

Order here.

From Crime to Punishment: Counterfeit and Debased Currencies in Colonial and Pre-Federal America (ANS Numismatic Studies 27) by Philip L. Mossman.

Ever since coinage was developed in ancient Lydia, an element of society has sought to debase the coin of the realm for personal gain not only by counterfeiting, but also by shaving away precious metal. Currency debasement was not confined to the proletariat since throughout history various monarchs increased their royal revenues, or seigniorage, by reducing the quality of the coins’ specie content or its weight standard. The current text follows closely the course of royal English copper coinages whose high potential profit made them an ideal prey for counterfeiters. These forgeries flowed freely into the colonies where they overwhelmed, and eventually collapsed, the small change medium but not before various states sought to correct the evil of this imported copper trash.

Great attention is paid to Great Britain’s mercantilistic policies which shaped the character of the currency in the North American colonies where chronic hard money shortages encouraged counterfeit coinages of all stripes whose actual manufacture and circulation is examined in great detail. Colonists further sought to expand their monetary pool by printing bills of credit to meet the exigencies of the French and Indian Wars. This new paper currency likewise became the target for forgery and a battle royal ensued between the colonial treasurers and bands of counterfeiters as they competed to outsmart each other. But as “the weed of crime bears bitter fruit,” many counterfeiters were apprehended and punished for their evil deeds. Available in the Fall. Pre-order now.

New Sylloge available through ANS

Now available in the ANS Bookstore:

Sylloge Nummorum Graecorum Greece 7, The KIKPE Collection of Bronze Coins by Vasiliki Penna & Yannis Stoyas (Research Centre for Antiquity of the Academy of Athens, 2012).

This volume contains descriptions and excellent photographs of 1,233 bronze coins from Spain to India, the Black Sea to Africa, which date from the fifth century to c. 27-25 BCE.

Ordering details available here.

Advertise in the ANS Magazine

Support the ANS by advertising in the award-winning quarterly ANS Magazine. The ad deadline for the next issue is February 1. For more information about advertising rates and specs, visit the advertising page or contact Joanne Isaac at or 212-571-4470 ext. 112.