Copyright © 2011-2016 John N. Lupia III

Dr. Aurelius De Yoanna (1861-1952), was born in Avelino, Italy, on December 21, 1861. His father was the owner of Banca Avillinese, which suffered difficulties in April 1888. 

In 1880 he immigrated to America. 

Following in his father's footsteps he worked at Martin & Runyon, Bankers & Brokers, 100 Broadway, New York, New York.

In 1884 he married Teresa. 

Since 1885, he was a frequent correspondent with the Chapman Brothers buying many ancient Greek and Roman, Medieval, and Foreign coins over the years evidenced in the Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence.  Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence.

He graduated from the University of the State of New York (AB). He then studied in Polytechnical Schools in Italy, Switzerland and France. He was employed at the Chemist, Bacteriology, and Hygienic Bureau, Paris, France, from 1891-1893. 

He graduated from Bellevue Hospital Medical College in 1898 (MD). 

In 1916 he patented a foolproof identification film to place on X-Rays to legally identify the person. He worked lifelong as a physician and surgeon.

He was a collector of rare books, documents, letters, and ancient Greek and Roman, Medieval, and Foreign coins from his youth. He was active in historical societies and museums and frequently is cited as a donor.

De Yoanna correspondence with Henry Chapman, Jr., May 1920. Courtesy Lupia Numismatic Library, Special Collection, The Chapman Family Correspondence.

He purchased a valuable collection of Italian letters from the Maggs Brothers, London, and donated them to Columbia University, Library, New York, together with a collection of rare Italian books valued over $10,000.

He lived at 111 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn, New York.


He was a member of the New York Numismatic Club. His suggestion to exhibit coins unknown and unclassified was taken up by the NY Numismatic Club and the ANA in 1922.

On December 12, 1922, B. Max Mehl auctioned off his coins in Sale #64, together with H. E. Rawson, and David Strasser Collections.

He owned a rare gold Aureus of Antoninus Pius, a rare gold 1-1/2 Solidi of Constantine the Great of which only about seven were known.

His coin collection combined with that of the late James K. Shoffner of Norristown, together comprising 621 lots that were sold through Henry Chapman, in his 43rd  sale held on Wednesday, April 25, 1923, Davis & Harvey Auctioneers, Philadelphia. Adams rating B-.

He died on September 14, 1952, and is buried in Greenwood Cemetery, Kings, New York.

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Bibliography :

“The Italian Banker’s Creditors,” The New York Times, Wednesday, April 9, 1888, front page

Catalogue Egger (1912) : Plate III, No. 1390, gold 1-1/2 Solidi of Constantine the Great in the Dr. de Yoanna Collection

“X-Rays and the Law,” Popular Science Monthly, Volume 88, No. 6, June (1916) : 879

Agnes Baldwin, “Five Gold Medallions or Multiple Solidi of the Late Roman Empire,” Numismatic Notes and Monographs, No. 6 (1921) : 2, 29

“A Suggestion for ANA Convention Exhibits,” The Numismatist November (1922) : 559-560

Romanic Review, Volume 18 (1927) : 288

Howard R. Marraro, “Unpublished Letters of Italian Patriots of the Risorgimento,” Italica, Volume 20, No. 4, December (1943) : 180-188

Gengerke, Martin, American Numismatic Auctions, 8th edition (1990) : 34;

Adams, Vol. 1, 97