Pocket Change Blog

Pocket Change is the official blog of the American Numismatic Society.

Laban Heath’s Improved Adjustable Compound Microscope
   ANS    
Laban Heath’s Improved Adjustable Compound Microscope
By David Hill

Heath’s microscope and one of his counterfeit detectors.

The ANS Library and Archives recently acquired an interesting little gadget—one of Laban Heath’s Improved Adjustable Compound Microscopes. Patented by Heath in 1877, he sold it primarily as a tool for examining bank notes—“enabling you beyond a doubt to form a correct judgement of the genuineness of the work.” Ideally, it would be used in conjunction with his Infallible Counterfeit Detector, just one of a number of similar print publications that proliferated in the nineteenth century, helping people determine the real value and authenticity of bank notes.

These publications—bank note reporters and counterfeit detectors—arose at a…

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Antiochus IV in Illinois
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Antiochus IV in Illinois
By Oliver Hoover

Everyone loves to find coins in unexpected places. There is always a certain thrill that comes from discovering those dropped…

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Fame (and Infamy) Represented in the MACO Die Shells
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Fame (and Infamy) Represented in the MACO Die Shells
By Jesse Kraft

Since repatriating the die shells of the Medallic Art Co. (MACO), organizing and cataloguing these pieces has become a curatorial…

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John Halhed Inscribed William Shakespeare Medal Reunited With Family
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John Halhed Inscribed William Shakespeare Medal Reunited With Family
By John Thomassen

One of the more fascinating aspects of the American Numismatic Society’s eBay store are the numismatic stories that come with…

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Medialia Rack and Hamper Gallery: A Sad Farewell
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Medialia Rack and Hamper Gallery: A Sad Farewell
By Peter van Alfen

Figure 1. Mashiko and the American Medalists in Paris exhibit.

One of the joys of living in New York City is…

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Revising Crawford’s Roman Republican Coinage  from RRDP: The case...
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Revising Crawford’s Roman Republican Coinage from RRDP: The case of RRC 367
By The American Numismatic Society

by Alice Sharpless

This blog post is a preliminary version of an article to be submitted for peer review. Comments and…

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Third RRDP Data Release
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Third RRDP Data Release
By The American Numismatic Society

by Liv M. Yarrow and Alice Sharpless

This post announces the third data release from the Roman Republican Die Project (RRDP)….

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New Years and Old Years
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New Years and Old Years
By David Yoon

This essay is being written on December 31, 2021, to be posted on January 4, 2022. It seems like a…

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Coins and Target Audiences in the Roman Empire
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Coins and Target Audiences in the Roman Empire
By Nathan Elkins

December 28, 2021. I spend a lot of time thinking about the significance and intent behind certain images on ancient…

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New Candidate for Oldest U.S. Numismatic Society Discovered
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New Candidate for Oldest U.S. Numismatic Society Discovered
By David Hill

Charles Ira Bushnell

A couple of months ago, friend and fellow numismatic researcher Joel Orosz sent me a news clipping containing…

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A Correction to “Treasure (Rhode) Island”
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A Correction to “Treasure (Rhode) Island”
By Oliver Hoover

On April 9, 2021, Pocket Change hosted a post of mine that took issue with the popularization of a theory…

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Cartagena MMXXI: The International Convention of Historians and Numismatists
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Cartagena MMXXI: The International Convention of Historians and Numismatists
By Jesse Kraft

This past week, between December 1 and 5, the Third International Convention of Historians and Numismatists (Cartagena MMXXI) gathered in…

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