Irregular Postings on Coin Collecting & Numismatics - Both Canonical & Conanical

A Scion Society of The Baker Street Irregulars

Numismatists Do Not Fear Change

Science As Sleuth (1931)

Science As Sleuth (1931)

“Since I ran down that coiner by the zinc and copper filings in the seam of his cuff …”

– The Adventures of Shoscombe Old Place (SHOS)

This report first appeared in the October 1931 issue of The Numismatist

Sherlock Holmes used to make a minute examination of dust, hairs, tobacco ash, etc., and Dr. Edmond Locard, Director of the Police Laboratories at Lyons, has found this method an invaluable aid to the detection of criminals. An organized study of what he calls “professional dusts” has shown that evidence of a man’s occupation may be retained in his ears, nostrils, and clothes for as long as two years after he has ceased to follow it.

A remarkable instance of the efficacy of this form of scientific investigation occurred when several men, known to be closely associated, were caught with false coins on them. At first there was no evidence to confirm the strong suspicion that they had manufactured them, so their clothes were carefully brushed, and the dust chemically examined.

It turned out to contain pyro-antimoniate of sodium, tin salts, and any amount of lead. Their occupation was thus proved beyond a shadow of doubt, and they were convicted of coining, which is a much more serious crime that passing false money.

– Spink’s Numismatic Circular

This article first appeared in the October 1931 issue of The Numismatist (page 681), official publication of the American Numismatic Association, www.money.org

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