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About mmarotta

  • Birthday 11/10/1949

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  • Gender
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    Central Texas
  • Interests
    People in society.
    MA in social science (2010); BSc in criminology (2008). Published articles in local and regional business magazines about engineering, trucking, lobbyists, restaurants, theater, and politics.

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  • OmniCoin
  • BanknoteBank

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  1. At the Dallas ANA convention last week, I met the guys from Banknote Central (www.banknotecentral.com). They charge a fair price for their service. If you have a large collection to manage, or if you are a dealer, it can be well worth the cost. Being able to search a full database by image as well as by keywords is especially important for banknotes. The Banknote Central guys - Diego Pamio, Julio Staude, and Alejandro Dutto - seemed pretty much like other collectors. Computer programmers (devops) people themselves with a passion for numismatics, they developed the database management system that they would like to use.
  2. Another fascinating series, Ian. You are indefatigable. I have a silver bank token from Ireland from 1811. I had no idea that there were some many similar series out there. Thanks!
  3. Gold Ducats of the Netherlands, Vol. 1 by Dariusz F. Jasek, Knight Press, 2015. 345 pages, A4 (11.7 x 8.3 inches) €135 from www.goldducats.com. (Book Review by Michael E. Marotta) I saw Gold Ducats of the Netherlands by Dariusz F. Jasek mentioned on the CoinTalk.com discussion board. From the sample material provided in the links, the book looked like a quality presentation. So, I bought it in order to review it. I do not collect the series. I have not independently attributed the coins cited. I did spend a weekend reading the text, and catching typographical errors. They are inevitable. In software, we say that every non-trivial program has at least one bug. So, museum’s for museums was not the end of the world. Whatever numismatic errors are in the sylloge may be revealed when I take the book to the ANA National Money Show in Dallas March 1-5 of this year. In the mean time, it is easy to give this book my vote of satisfaction. In the first place, when opened, the book lays flat. The binding is truly perfect –bound to the highest standards. The illustrations include high quality photographs of every coin (where possible), as well as specially commissioned line art to complement the narrative. Perhaps the most telling hallmark is the fact that this is the book that the author wrote for himself. Fascinated by the long series of gold ducats of the Netherlands, Dariusz Jasek compiled a database of known images and descriptions. He arranged for permission for 3,000 images and supporting text from CoinArchives.com, and he obtain license to another 3,000 from the official database of the recently uncovered Koìice Gold Treasure housed in Krakóv, Poland. To those he added 17,000 from auction houses and other sources. This book rests on a monumental database of over 23,000 known examples. Among those, inevitably, are counterfeits, some of which were slabbed by American grading companies. The Netherlands gold ducat was an imitation – a sibling, not a usurper – of the ducats of Venice and Florence. The closest cousin was the gold ducat of Hungary. The coin was struck for official and commemorative agendas from the 16th through the 21st centuries. Those and others are all illustrated and catalogued in this book. At root, while acknowledging the broad latitudes of issuance, this book is about the historically relevant coins of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries, including piedforts and klippes. The author brings passion and precision to this remarkable series of coins.
  4. Well, if I buy a bulk lot of world coins and find a Nazi coin among them, I throw it in the garbage. That being as it may, this object is not a coin. It is a fantasy.
  5. Thanks for sharing. You have a fascinating array of modern common notes. If you know nothing about them, they still present compelling images from distant places and different times. The more you know, the more they tell you. For most people with the collector's passions, completeness and perfection are the axes of measurement. Some people care a lot about Signatures. Assembling a complete set for each series. With nations such as Brazil or Yugoslavia, that can be a serious challenge - even for the USA which often changes Secretaries of the Treasury at least once every quadrennial administration. Personally, one of my pursuits is Authors (poets, printing, and related). Up above in #3305, you show a block of Hungarian notes. The green 10 (Tiz) Forint shows Sandor Petőfi, the most famous poet of the culture. He was a driving force in the romantic nationalist literary movement of the early 19th century. He died in the 1848 revolutions. In any significant anthology of world literature that offers a survey of poetry, one of his will be included. Similarly, the 1,000 and 10,000 Lei notes of Romania depict their national poet, Mihai Eminescu. If you have any notes from Estonia, you will find their writers on them, also. Estonia is a bit different in that it is the second-most literate nation in the world, as measured by the number of books published per capita in the native language. Back in the Great Depression of the 1930s, when many people were making counterfeit money, Estonians were counterfeiting postage stamps: it is nation of writers.
  6. Thanks for the pictures. I have a few of these myself. I like tokens because they show that anything can be monetized, even (especially!) good will. Just a note, though, to clarify something. It is true that in times and places where coins were scarce, tokens filled the gap. Tokens provide other conveniences, such as letting the seller change the price. Video game parlors are a good example. Tokens might go from four to five to the dollar, or even 3 or 6, without requiring that the machines be reconfigured to accept pennies and nickels. Here and now, bar tokens are mostly good will gestures. If a drink costs $5 and you put down a ten, you do not want five $1 tokens back. But you will accept a $1 token or a free drink token and cash it in later. British East India Company silver rupee (shilling) Mike M.
  7. I am putting this here, rather than under "Books" because of the extremely broad reach of these coins, both in space and in time: they served global trade for hundreds of years. Modern restrikes continue that tradition. And "restrikes" copies, knock-offs, and fakes are also part of the glorious history of these coins, apparently. I mean that in the positive sense. Like any successful trade coin - the Athenian Owl or English Sterling Penny - these were imitated in good metal. Also, I have not yet received the book, hence, no review. It should arrive from Europe in a couple of weeks. However, you can see previews of pages and learn more about the coins and the book here: http://goldducats.com/
  8. This promises to become a complete (and compelling) catalog. Volume 1 (an overview of all of that nation's coins and currency) was released in 2014. Volume 2 ("Modern Coins of Mexico: 1905 to Date") came out late last year. Volume 1 is complete catalog, but not a price guide. Volume 2 continues the narrative format for each coin. However, in addition, Volume 2 includes family Red Book style pricing tables by years and grades. The Foreward for Volume 1 was written by Dr. Manuel Galan Medina, Director General of Currency Issues (retired), Banco de Mexico. The Foreward for Volume 2 comes from Beth Deisher, former editor-in-chief of Coin World. Mexican Money. Whitman Publishing. Volume 1. 490 pages. $39.95); Volume 2. 474 pages. $39.95.
  9. Before the Mafia took over Las Vegas, Nevada, Las Vegas, New Mexico, was the place associated with the name. From the days of the Santa Fe Trail, Las Vegas, New Mexico, was the entrepot to the territory, even after statehood in 1912. Although Santa Fe always was the territorial capital, even in the days of the Spanish and later while Old Mexico held the territory, that town depended on Las Vegas. At that time, Albuquerque was little more than the square called "Old Town" today. It was only after World War II that Albuquerque took off like an A-bomb on a V-Rocket.
  10. The book is actually only $40, not $50. (In included my annual membership by mistake in the tally.) You can only order the book direct from the author. Colin Gullberg <chopmarknews@gmail.com>
  11. Chopmarked Coins: A History; the silver coins used in China 1600-1935 by Colin James Gullberg (iAsure Group JEAN Publications, June 2014, 187 pages, 8-1/2 x 11, color ill., $55 + S&H). For most collectors in most times and places, these were just damaged coins, worth less than unmarked coins in the same grade. For merchant sailor and numismatist, Frank M. Rose, they became a passion. For over 25 years, his 1987 work, Chopmarks, stood alone. Now, it has a worthy companion. This is a narrative about collecting, a history of economics in China, and an overview of a huge, unexplored area of numismatics. It is the tip of the iceberg. Gullberg illustrates the history of western silver coins in China with examples from his own collection, the Rose collection, and several other sources such as the British Museum, and Stacks Bowers. Coins are arranged by their initial year of issue. An example from 1848 stands for the 1825 Cap & Rays; the 1867 Chile Peso is illustrated with a coin from 1877. The running narrative closes with necessary warnings about fakes. This is not a catalog of chopmarks, though many are explained in the text. If you are seeking to identify the chops on your coins against these, you will have to look at a lot of pictures. Some are easy to spot. The number eight is considered lucky and 8 is a chopmark that stands out among the other characters. This book provides our hobby with a much-needed framework for further study. For the new collector–as Gullberg himself was new only a decade ago–this book will introduce a rich, complex, and compelling world.
  12. Chopmarks are Chinese characters and similar symbols punched into silver coins from western nations that circulated in China and East Asia from the 17th through the early 20th centuries. You can find chopmarks on Spanish and Mexican silver dollars easily, but also on large and small Dutch, English, US, and other coins. The chopmarks were added by "shroffs" professional coin testers and money-changers who also provided ad hoc banking services. Recent issue of Chopmark News PDF from 2011 includes my article "The Shroff."
  13. Whitman has issued a pared-down, large format, "bookzine" edition of the Guide Book of United States Coins by Yeoman and Bressett. It is intended for the novice collector, the person newest to American coins, perhaps attracted to the State Parks quarters, or having inherited a collection, needs to start "somewhere." If you are an active collector and have a Red Book - just one? - this is not the book for you. However, this is a great gift. The large 8-1/2 x 11 format allows big pictures and big type. The front matter narrative is essentially the same as the Red Book you know. The large type makes it seem less formidable. The focus here is entirely on US Federal. Pre-federal and colonial issues get only a nod. More attention goes to Nova Constellatio and Fugio coppers, and the Coins of 1792. Merchant tokens, Hard Times Tokens, Civil War Tokens, and Pioneer Gold have been removed. Whitman editor and publisher Dennis Tucker told me that the idea for this edition came from big box retailers who wanted something that they could put in a magazine rack. I have to admit that everyone goes through the checkout lanes. We all pretty much agree that we want to advance and extend the hobby. This is an excellent way to achieve that.
  14. No one replied, so I will hazard this: It is one of a series of medallions struck by the Paris Mint, each to commemorate a famous French building. La Conciergerie was a palace and prison. http://conciergerie.monuments-nationaux.fr I cannot read all of the obverse at 9 o'clock to 6, but it seems to say "... monuments historique..." and that is plain to understand.
  15. I was going to make all the same comments and then some. In this day, glorifying war is the worst of blasphemies against everything that is and of civiilzation. (Plus, as an American, a lot of the tiny iconography is lost on me and the guy on the coin looks like the Kaiser. Maybe the royals are exploring their roots.)
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