Thursday, 23 April 2015

Ancient gold found in UB library

From top to bottom: a gold aureus of the Roman emperor Otho; a tetradrachm of Athens, showing the bust of the goddess Athena; a tetradrachm of Alexander the Great, showing Alexander dressed as the god Herakles; a silver tetradrachm of Syracuse (Sicily) showing the nymph Arethusa; a gold aureus of the emperor Nero; and a gold octodrachm of Arsinoe II.

Within the collection is a “remarkably rare” coin of Roman emperor Otho, who reigned for a mere three months.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Finding a $20 bill could make your day. Find priceless, 2,500-year-old gold and silver Greek and Roman coins and it's a major discovery.

40 silver Greek coins, three gold Greek coins and a dozen gold Roman coins — one from each era of the first 12 Roman emperors, from Julius Caesar to Domitian. They range in date from the fifth century B.C. to the late first century A.D.

The coins were donated in 1935 to the UB Libraries Special Collections by Thomas B. Lockwood as part of a larger collection of rare books.

Friday, 10 April 2015

Rare Paper Money

The 1890 $1,000 Treasury Note, popularly referred to as the "Grand Watermelon note," became the most valuable banknote in existence when it sold for $3,290,000, Jan. 10, 2014.

It's known as the 'Grand Watermelon' due to the large zeroes on the back of the bill. It was estimated to be worth $2 million. The last time this note was at auction was 1970, when it brought $11,000.
The silver certificate was issued in 1891.

A law passed in 1878 required the government to buy several million dollars' worth of silver bullion and mint it into coins. Because silver was so heavy, the government decided to issue certificates that could be exchanged for the same face value in silver dollar coins. The note is one of 2 known in existence and sold at auction for $2.6 million.

1863 $1,000 Legal Tender. PCGS Fine 15 Apparent. Minor Edge Restorations. $881,250
Hawaiian $500 Currency of 1879. The face of the note bears vignettes of King Kamehameha, sailing vessels, a locomotive, and sugar cane harvesting. The obligation clause reads ‘five hundred dollars in silver coin payable to the bearer on demand.’ This design only exists as proof printings.

First National Bank of Daytona note, one of three in existence
A $20 bill, one of only three pieces of First National Bank of Daytona paper money known to exist, fetched $19,890 at auction. The $20 bill features a picture of Hugh McCullouch, Treasury secretary under Abraham Lincoln and two later presidents.

The First National Bank of Daytona was only in business from 1914 to 1923 and issued $317,550 in paper money.

25-cent denomination Republic of Texas Exchequer Note
This 25-cent denomination Republic of Texas Exchequer Note, dated May 1, 1843 and hand-signed by president of the Republic of Texas, Sam Houston, was found in an old textbook. It sold for $63,250 in an auction in 2011. Probably less than two dozen Texas Exchequer notes are known to survive today.

Most of the notes were destroyed when they were redeemed in the 1840s, the note shows no sign of cancellation meaning it was likely never redeemed for its 25 cents face value.

Saturday, 4 April 2015

Mummy Found Inside Ancient Buddha Statue

During routine restoration, researchers discovered a surprise hidden in an ancient gold-painted Chinese Buddha statue: a mummy hidden inside. The mummy was once the Buddhist monk Liuquan, according to text found with the statue.
The mummy was a respected Buddhist monk who, after death, was worshipped as an enlightened being, one who helped the living end their cycle of suffering and death.
Liuquan is known to have taught during the 11th century, which puts the age of the statue at close to 1,000 years.