Cobs, Pieces of Eight and Treasure Coins: The Early Spanish-American Mints and their Coinages 1536–1773

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by Sewall Menzel (2004)

Hardcover, 484 pp.
ISBN-13: 978-0-89722-284-6
ISBN-10: 0-89722-284-9
List Price: US$125.00

In the 1520s the Spanish crown began to realise through expanded explorations of the likes of Hernando Cortez and Francisco Pizarro that it was in charge of an enormous empire requiring extensive settlement and systems of control. Royal mints were founded to control, evaluate and tax gold and silver coming from the mines, as well as to produce the coins needed for everyday commercial transactions. For some 250 years the mints churned out millions of cob-style coins, many of which found their way into the treasure galleons of the day. Soon mints such as Mexico and Potosi became known as the financial ‘pillars of empire’ and enabled Spain to engage in seemingly endless wars of conquest and plunder. Geography, crown intransigence, bureaucratic incompetence, royal intrigues and outright scandal all had an impact on the mints and their productions. In this comprehensive and fully referenced study, Sewall Menzel brings out the critical detail and information needed to understand the ten early Spanish mints of Mexico, Santo Domingo, Peru, Potosi, Panama, Santa Fe de Nuevo Reino (Bogota), Cartagena, Cuzco, Guatemala and Cuba and their respective coinages. Through the use of some two thousand photos and diagrams the coins are identified by mint, king, denomination, mint assayer and type.

Contents:

Kings, Coin Designs, Anomalies and Special Issues
The Mexico Mint (1536–1734)
The Santo Domingo Mint (1542–1634)
The Lima Mint (1568–1588, 1659–1660, 1684–1752)
The Potosí Mint (1573–1773)
The Panama Mint (1580–1583)
The Santa Fe de Bogotá Mint (1622–1756)
The Cartagena Mint (1622–1635, 1655)
The Cuzco Mint (1698)
The Guatemala Mint (1733–1754)
The Cuba Mint (1741)
Bibliography

Newby’s St. Patrick Coinage

COAC_NewbysPicture (Coinage of the Americas Conference Proceedings 16, 2009)

edited by Oliver D. Hoover

Hardcover, 345 pp.
ISBN: 978-0-89722-306-5
List price: US$125

OUT OF PRINT

This volume collects together the papers presented at the Coinage of the Americas Conference on Mark Newby and the St. Patrick coinage, held in 2007. The papers address a wide variety of questions that have dogged the study of the St. Patrick series since the eighteenth century. Included here are new approaches to the major problems of metrology, iconography, and chronology, as well as the divisive issue of who was actually responsible for the production of this enigmatic Irish coinage. An important survey of the various forms of money used in America in the seventeenth century serves as a background for the circulation of the St. Patrick coinage in West Jersey, while the final paper offers a reassessment of Mark Newby and his importation of the coinage to America. An appendix presents all of the St. Patrick coins in the collection of the American Numismatic Society.

Contents:

The Denominations of the St. Patrick Coinages (Philip L. Mossman)

Ye King and I: King David and King Charles II on the St. Patrick Coinage (Oliver Hoover)

Old and New Takes on the St. Patrick Coinage (William Nipper)

Ormond and Blondeau: In Search of an Irish Coinage (Brian J. Danforth)

Coinage in the English Colonies of North America to 1660 (Louis E. Jordan)

Mark Newby and his St. Patrick Halfpence (Roger S. Siboni and Vicken Yegparian)

Appendix: St. Patrick Coinage in the Collection of the American Numismatic Society (Robert Wilson Hoge)

The Coinage of the Americas Conference is an annual meeting that provides a forum for exchange of knowledge on a selected theme in the numismatics of the western hemisphere.

Numismatic Finds of the Americas

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(Numismatic Notes and Monographs 169, 2009)

by John M. Kleeberg

Hardcover
ISBN 978-0-89722-311-9
List price $125

An inventory, modeled on the Inventory of Greek Coin Hoards, enumerates approximately 900 coin finds, chiefly from the United States, but also from Canada and most other countries in the Americas. Also included are about 150 finds of American coins found outside the Americas. Each entry contains the find spot, date of finding, date of deposit, detailed description of the contents, and a bibliography. The inventory exploits the numismatic, shipwreck, and archaeological literatures, newspapers, and law reports of treasure trove cases more thoroughly than has ever been done before.

Contents:

Part I: Numismatic Finds in the Americas
Part II: Treasury Accumulation and Release of U.S. Silver Dollars
Part III: Finds of American Coins outside the Americas
References
Index of Find Spots
Index to Special Types of Finds and to Named Hoards
Index to Contents of Finds

The Silver Coins of Massachusetts

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by Christopher J. Salmon (2010)

Hardcover, full color
ISBN-13: 978-0-89722-316-0
ISBN-10: 0-89722-316
Price: US$24.98 plus shipping and handling (no Member discount)

The silver coins of Massachusetts hold a special place in early American numismatics. They were the first coins struck in British North America, a mere generation after the establishment of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. Because of their historical importance and charming style, they have prompted rich inquiry among scholars and an intense interest and desire among collectors.

The Silver Coins of Massachusetts is a splendidly illustrated review of these coins, employing the latest historical and numismatic evidence as well as novel scientific analysis. Minting technique is explored in detail. All varieties of the coinage are newly classified with a consistent yet flexible taxonomic system that lists the varieties in chronological order and can readily accommodate potential future discoveries. The system allows an appreciation for how varieties evolved and the relative degree of change that occurred at each step. It is designed to be as simple as possible without oversimplifying, with all varieties named according to their obverse and reverse dies. The book includes a fully illustrated atlas that details important characteristic features. The last part of the atlas displays each variety at actual size to aid in attribution.

Contents:

Part One: Classification
A Revised Taxonomy of the Massachusetts Silver Coinage with Concordance to Noe and Crosby
Advantages of the Original Crosby Classification
Intermediate Types with Interpolative Designations: Problems with the Noe Classification
Advantages of the New System: The Crosby Model
Subseries Numbered Separately
Chronology and Method of Attribution
New England and Willow Tree Series
Oak Tree Series
The Spiny Tree Coins and the Evidence of the Overstrikes
The Large Planchet Pine Tree Shillings
The Small Planchet Pine Tree Shillings
The Pine Tree Sixpence Varieties
Counterfeits and Questionable Varieties
Die Links of the Small Planchet Pine Tree Shillings
Concordance Tables
Part Two: Minting Technique
The Problem of the Willow Tree Coins
Comparison of Minting Techniques of the Massachusetts Silver Coinage: Hand Hammering and the Rocker Press
Rocker Press Phenomena
Acquired Damage from Flattening
The Inner Circle Index: A Measure of Distortion and Evidence of Rocker Press Manufacture
Inner Circle Indices for Willow, Oak and Pine Tree Shillings
Characteristics of the Willow Tree Coinage: Weak and Discordant Multiple Strikes
A Graphical Method of Determining Strike Multiplicity and Die Rotation and Translation Between Strikes
New Composite Reconstructions of the Willow Tree Shilling Dies
Apparent Die Axis of the Willow Tree Coinage
Multiple Strikes of Similar Energy: The Effects of Die Angulation
A Physical Explanation for the Weak Strikes of the Willow Tree Coinage
The Acquisition of a Coining Press
Fabric of the Willow Tree Coinage
Quality of Execution of the Willow Tree Coinage Dies: Mannerist Style
Conclusion
Part Three: Atlas
Bibliography

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The Feel of Steel: The Art and History of Bank-Note Engraving in the United States

tomaskocoverThe Feel of Steel: The Art and History of Bank-Note Engraving in the United States

by Mark D. Tomasko (2012)

Hardcover, 180 pp.
ISBN-13: 978 089722 321 8

OUT OF PRINT

The Feel of Steel provides an unusual look into the two-hundred-year history and the process of bank-note engraving in the United States, a beautiful art brought to its peak in America in the nineteenth century. Part I traces the history, with particular attention to the American Bank Note Company, the small bank-note firms founded after the Civil War, and the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. The decline of the industry in the late twentieth century closes the history.

Part II lays out the process of designing, engraving, and printing bank-note-engraved documents. Part II also contains an extended discussion of the artwork origins of the picture engraving, information found in few other places. Part III introduces the members of American Bank Note’s picture-engraving department at thirty-year intervals in the twentieth century, shown in group photographs and with an illustration of each man’s work.

This revised edition has 50% more illustrations than the original Bird and Bull fine press limited edition published in 2009. Besides the numerous illustrations (many in color), there are copious notes, a bibliography, and an extensive index, all adding to the volume’s research value. As no book on bank-note engraving would be complete without at least one sample of actual engraving, the frontispiece of the ANS edition of The Feel of Steel is the reprinted title and vignette from a nineteenth-century stock certificate. The reader can therefore actually experience the “feel of steel,” the tactile quality of intaglio printing.

Mark D. Tomasko is a collector, writer, and researcher on bank-note engraving, who has written more than thirty articles on the subject, in addition to giving many talks and mounting several museum exhibits.

Contents:

Part I: A Brief History of the Bank-Note-Engraving Industry in the United States
Origin of American Security Engraving: The State Bank Notes
Consolidation of the Bank Note Firms
Another Consolidation
New Companies Arise
American Bank Note’s Acquisitions Result in More New Companies
The Bureau Comes of Age
American Bank Note Company’s International Expansion
Other Small Firms and Continued Consolidation
The Beginning of the End
Part II: The Process: Engraving, Printing, Vignettes, Design, Training
Basic Printing Concepts
Cutting vs. Etching
Lathework
Transferring
Printing the Document
Tints
Letter Engraving
Vignettes and Portraits: The Heart of the Security Document
Signing Vignettes
Vignette Sources and Styles
Portraits
Nonfigurative Vignettes
Document Design
Types of Documents
Training Engravers
Late Twentieth-Century Changes
Part III: American Bank Note’s Picture-Engraving Department in the Twentieth Century
The American Bank Note Picture-Engraving Department, ca. 1910
The American Bank Note Picture-Engraving Department, 1941
The American Bank Note Picture-Engraving Department, 1970
Notes
Bibliography



New Jersey State Coppers

NJCoppers

New Jersey State Coppers

by Roger S. Siboni, John L. Howes, and A. Buell Ish

Hardcover: 592 pp.

ISBN-13: 978-0-89722-328-7
List price: $235 (plus S&H)
Member price: $165 (plus S&H)

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, mis-struck 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 Goadsby, 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.

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America’s Currency, 1789–1866

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(Coinage of the Americas Conference Proceedings 2, 1986)

Hardcover, 142 pp.
ISBN-13: 978-0-89722-214-3
ISBN-10: 0-89722-214-8

Price: US$9.98 (no Member discount)

A record of the Coinage of the Americas Conference (COAC) held in 1985.

Contents:

The Confederate Currency Reform of 1862 (Douglas B. Ball)

The CSA Banking Convention of 1861 and its Delegates (Carl W. A. Carlson)

An Historian’s View of the State Bank Notes (Elvira Clain-Stefanelli)

Collecting Trends in Obsolete American Currency (Grover C. Criswell)

An Introduction to Obsolete American Currency (Roger H. Durand)

The Financial Concerns of a Government Employee in the 1840s (Cory Gillilland)

The History of Development of ‘America’ as Symbolized by an American Indian Female (Gene Hessler)

The Smillie Family: Banknote Artists (Glenn E. Jackson)

New York City Small Change Bills of 1814–1816 (Eric P. Newman)

Currency in Crisis: America’s Money 1840–1845 (Robert Vlack)

Lynchburg (VA) City Paper Money of 1862 (Raymond H. Williamson)

The Coinage of the Americas Conference is an annual meeting that provides a forum for exchange of knowledge on a selected theme in the numismatics of the western hemisphere.