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Apr 25 2022

Newman Portal Symposium Video Available

Video from the recent Newman Portal Symposium, held April 8-10, 2022 is now available. The Newman Portal Symposium brings together speakers on a wide variety of numismatic topics, including U.S., world, and ancient numismatics. Our feature presentation was a behind-the-scenes look at the Dell Loy Hansen collection, which included comments from Hansen himself. Our next Symposium will be held this fall.

Videos from all Newman Portal Symposia are posted at

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May 13 2022

German Numismatic Musicians

A Newman Portal user asked if we had the volume Musica in Nummis (1907) by Karl Andorfer and Richard Epstein. The answer was no, but we were able to locate it on a public domain site and add it to our collection. The work, in German, is a compilation of 984 medals with musical themes and includes 9 plates. The effort is obviously akin to Jay Galst’s Ophthalmologia in Nummis and other numismatic works that specialize in a single (non-numismatic) subject. In cataloging this item, we learned that Paul Niggl acquired the collection that formed the basis for the 1907 work and expanded it over time. Niggl published an updated version of the catalog in 1965, entitled Musiker-Medaillen and now including 2,349 items. Niggl’s collection was sold in a single lot by Spink and Son (July 14, 1998, lot 403), and appeared again, in multiple lots, in a November 2008 Baldwin sale. 

Link to Musica in Nummis on Internet Archive:
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May 01 2022

The Well-Dressed Numismatist

At the recent Central States show, a show attendee asked about a set of Brooks Brothers tokens in his collection. He had consulted the Brooks Brothers company archivist without success and asked if Newman Portal might be able to solve the problem. Indeed it was, quickly locating a reference to the tokens in the April 1979 issue of TAMS Journal. The Journal reported “Brooks Brothers, purveyors of clothing for men and boys, offered tokens in three denominations, which could be given as gifts and later redeemed by the recipient for merchandise of his choice. The pieces were an antiqued bronze $25, a silver finish $50, and a gold vermeil $100, which could be purchased in a gift box. Unfortunately, the company chose to call the tokens ‘coins’ in their advertising.” 

The “coins” are, of course, more accurately referred to as “good for” tokens. A google search located a contemporary Brooks Brothers catalog with images of these pieces. The tokens were likely redeemed close to the time of purchase and are presumably scarce today. Indeed, even the $25 token, adjusted for inflation, equates to $99 in 2022. Brooks Brothers declared Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2020, and current stores presumably would not honor these tokens.

Link to TAMS Journal on Newman Portal:
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