Sunday, April 13, 2014

JR Newsletter: 13 April 2014 (184)

Two contributions this week.  The first is from Ralph Munoz:

The recent comment by Winston Zack in the weekly JR Newsletter requesting holed bust dimes reminded me of some recent information I received regarding early coins with holes.  I wrote in February 2014 to Robertson Shinnick, who is the leading authority on holed coins.  I wish to share this information in the newsletter.

Ralph Munoz
JRCS Life Member 20

From Ralph Munoz to Robertson Shinnick:

In my recent travels driving across Arizona, I stopped at a Gun and Coin Shop.  I found a very nice VF 1833 bust half with a hole at about 10 o'clock on the obverse.  Not normally the place where you find a hole; if it was to be used for jewelry it would be at the 12 or 6 o'clock location.  I have seen many holed coins in the past, but did not give it much thought and said to myself "why is the hole off center and it does not look like a jewelry piece."   I asked the shop owner the price of the coin and he said $40.  He also explained that it was a "Civil War Pin Coin".  He went on to say that soldiers on both the North and South were not allowed to carry many personal belongings since their pants and jackets did not have pockets.  Also, any military pouches or packs they had were to only carry munitions and military gear to maximize speed of movement or risk punishment for extra personal items. 

If they were to ever receive money in coin, preferably in larger coins such as half dollars they would have a hole drilled or punched into the coin so that they could pin or sew the coin inside their jacket for safe keeping!  They did not care where the location of the hole was put.  All they wanted to do was attach the coin(s) inside their jacket by whatever means they could.  I guess at that time coins with holes were accepted without reservation?  Also, he said that soldiers would place the coins over their heart to deflect a shot to the chest.  Very nicely and skeptically, I asked where he got this information?  He said this information was documented in a diary of a Civil War solider.  Very interesting?  I passed on the coin and went on my way.

I have never heard anything like this before.  Is it possible?  Has anyone ever heard of this or have any opinions? 
Ralph Munoz munoz1951(at)

Response from Robertson Shinnick to Ralph Munoz:

Yes, I've heard that soldiers would sometimes sew or pin coins into their clothing to avoid jingling while they marched.  (Not to mention their occasional lack of pockets).

It's entirely possible that this was how and why that coin was holed, but of course there are any number of other explanations, too.  People put holes in coins for every reason under the sun.  Some used them as jewelry.  Slaves reportedly used them as talismans.  They were often nailed to beams in a new building or onto a ship's mast for luck.  And so on.  You get the idea.  So there's no way of proving that particular piece was a "Civil War pin coin" unless it came with written provenance from the period. 

It's possible, but so are any number of other scenarios.


Our second contribution this week comes from David Perkins and concerns the "Happenings" event at the EAC-JRCS convention.

I would like to add the early silver dollar that we have selected to the list of early silver die marriages that Dr. Glenn Peterson announced in the last issue of JR News for the 2014 EAC Convention in Colorado Springs, CO.

We will be studying the 1798 B-16, BB-110 Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle silver dollar, a marriage that is known in many interesting die states or stages, from very early to very late (large cud!).  For more information and six photos different die states, please see John Reich Journal, Volume 12 / Issue 1, December, 1998:  "Die State Study for the Very Rare 1798 B-16 Dollar, by W. David Perkins.  The specimen with the cud will be present, a coin once owned by the late Roland Willasch who collected both half dollars and early dollars by die marriage. 
Here is the revised list, with the 1798 B-16, BB-110 added to the list that Glenn submitted last week:

half dime 1829 LM 18 (LDS have a cud)
dimes 1824 JR 1 and JR 2
quarter 1818 B9 ( a die state with clashing of arrows on obverse exists)
halves 1814 O-106 (LDS have massive crack and clashes) and 1827 O -108 (remarriage)
early dollar 1798 B-16, BB-110

Hope to see many JRCS members there!  

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO

Sunday, April 6, 2014

JR Newsletter: 6 April 2014 (183)

Three contributions this week, with the first from Glenn Peterson concerning the upcoming EAC-JRCS convention (

Hi JRCS members,

      We are soon going to have one of our most enjoyable meetings for  collectors of bust coinage. At the EAC/ JRCS meeting in Colorado Springs we will host a happenings event. For anyone who has not  been to a happenings event it is great fun to display, discuss and ponder on the minting of selected bust coin die marriages. Sometimes we can amaze our copper coin numismatic colleagues with interesting die marriages, remarriages and unusual die states of bust silver coinage. Many interesting conversations are struck up teaching each other new insights into early coin production. So please come to the happenings meeting May 1st.

This year we are studying the following die marriages:

half dime 1829 LM 18 (LDS have a cud)
dimes 1824 JR 1 and JR 2
quarters 1818 B9 ( a die state with clashing of arrows on obverse exists)
halves 1814 O-106 (LDS have massive crack and clashes) and 1827 O -108 (remarriage coin)

I have asked David Perkins to announce a selection for  bust dollars. Please come and bring your interesting die states of these coins.  I look forward to seeing you there.

Glenn Peterson

Winston Zack wrote:

Hello all JR Newsletter people. I have decided to embark on a new, fun and different collection focus. Having assembled a nearly complete set of Capped Bust Dimes by die marriage, I have now decided to start a new set of Capped Bust Dimes by die marriage, but this time I'm looking for pieces with holes in them.

I do not believe anyone has ever tried to assemble a set of Capped Bust Dimes by die marriage with holes in them, so I thought this would be a fun challenge. I understand that some die marriages are not known with holes, so getting to 100% complete is not likely, but nevertheless I will try to get as close as possible.

What I ask from you is to help me find holed bust dime examples. I only have about 10 different die marriages so far (I just began at the start of this year), so I have a long way to go, but if I can reach 100 or more different die marriages that would be, in my opinion, a major accomplishment.

Right now I'm primarily looking for examples showing stronger details and/or rare die marriages. Clean holes are preferred, but I'm not too picky at this point in time. Please let me know if you come across examples I might be interested in. Being a fun set of damaged pieces, I'm not looking to spend a lot of money on each piece and cost should be commensurate with rarity and condition.

Thanks again for any and all assistance with this project, it is much appreciated.

Winston Zack

Brad Karoleff wrote:

I picked up a couple of new books the other day and would like to give readers of the JR Newsletter the opportunity to purchase them before the next convention.

Logan/McCloskey half dimes mint $125.
Davis et all Dimes, I have two lightly used copies $350.
Rea et all Quarters $100.

I will include priority postage on orders of multiple books.  Single copies add $10 postage.

You can reach me at bkaroleff(at)


Brad Karoleff

Sunday, March 30, 2014

JR Newsletter: 30 March 2014 (182)

After a longer-than-anticipated four-week hiatus, the JR Newsletter is back!  I shipped my computer some 4,400 miles (road distance) and was quite pleased when it finally showed up this week.  I was even more pleased when I plugged it in and it still worked!

I am now located in the 49th State and our time zone is very different from the one I recently left.  Thus, the "morning edition" of the JR Newsletter will likely become time zone dependent.  To our friends on the East Coast, the JR Newsletter will be an afternoon edition from here on in!

I understand that many people are likely finishing Baltimore coin show related activities, so perhaps we will have some good stories for next week's issue of the JR Newsletter!


Chuck Allen wrote and provided some pictures:

I found this die break almost by accident and would like to know if there are any other members who have an 1833 50c O.101 with this die break thru Star 6 across Field and Across Nose into Face, or if any other member who has info on this Die State as it is not listed in Overton.

This one is in an ANACS 55 holder-straight grade, I would grade it AU 53.     Two pictures are below - I can send them to anyone who requests.
 Contact me directly at DC44A(at)

Chuck Allen


Peter Mosiondz, Jr. wrote with some literature he has available:

Renaissance of American Coinage: 1905-1908, by Roger W. Burdette. Signed. Hardbound. New.
Renaissance of American Coinage: 1909-1915, by Roger W. Burdette. Hardbound. New.
Renaissance of American Coinage: 1916-1921, by Roger W. Burdette. Hardbound. New.
All three volumes $125.00 postpaid.

The Numismatist's Bedside Companion (Volume 1), by Q. David Bowers. Softbound. New.
The Numismatist's Fireside Companion (Volume 2), by Q. David Bowers. Softbound. New.
The Numismatist's Lakeside Companion (Volume 3), by Q. David Bowers. Softbound. New.
The Numismatist's Weekend Companion (Volume 4), by Q. David Bowers. Softbound. New.
The Numismatist's Traveling Companion (Volume 6), by Q. David Bowers. Softbound. New.
The Numismatist's Topside Companion (Volume 8), by Q. David Bowers. Softbound. New.
All six books $70.00 postpaid.

The Lovett Cent: A Confederate Story, Harold Levi and George Correll.
About the Confederate Cent. There are false and misleading stories about the cent and its maker Robert Lovett, Jr. Many of the stories came from inaccurate statements made by 19th century coin dealer John Haseltine. There are many questions about who contacted Lovett, and his Southern connections. Was Bailey & Co. involved? How many coining dies were made? Were coins and dies delivered? These questions and others are answered. Restrikes were made by John Haseltine in 1874. Robert Bashlow made restrikes in 1961/1962. Fake, fantasy, replica, and novelty Confederate cents are presented. Lovett was a talented engraver and die sinker in Philadelphia. He did work for Bailey & Co., and created tokens for them. He made tokens and medals for businesses, organizations, and governments. Numismatists and Civil War buffs will find the book interesting. There are footnotes, sidebar notes, and 141 images. Softbound. New.
$25.00 postpaid.

Peter Mosiondz, Jr.
26 Cameron Circle
Laurel Springs, NJ 08021-4861

Sunday, March 2, 2014

JR Newsletter: 2 March 2014 (181)

One contribution this week.  Jim Matthews wrote in response to Louis Scuderi on the Deluxe Dime Books:

Jules had #3 which I have in my library now. Perhaps the authors drew straws and Jules was certainly involved in getting the book done too and gave them help through the whole process.

I bought one from the original Coin World ad that the authors took out in 1984, I ended up with #32 for my main reference library and still have that copy too.


From the editor:  I may attempt to produce the next issue of the JR Newsletter (issue 182) on Friday, March 7th, so that at least we have one more issue before I have to box up my computer and HOPE that it gets to its destination intact.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

JR Newsletter: 23 February 2014 (180)

In response to Winston Zack, Byron Reed wrote:

Thank you for the picture of the elongate, more because of what it isn't than what it is.  My preconception was that it would be some startling early example of souvenir elongate, rather than just a plain old dime used to test out somebody's set of roller mills.  The humble "squished" dime speaks to me.

I suspect that this happened thousands of times as the local jeweler or watchmaker needed some thin coin-silver stock, or the occasional curiosity. Without much else going for them, most made the melt pot years ago.  I've seen many a "cull" bustie meet the scrap pile.  Yours is a survivor.

As a part of my numismatic adventures I have placed great numbers of silver coin through rolling mills on way to becoming hand-hammered re-enactment coins. I've never had the opportunity or desire to run a dime of this vintage through a mill, but the difference between how this one flattened and retained detail compared to its modern counterparts is substantial.  The modern pieces have no relief; the price of mass production.

Byron L. Reed

David Lange wrote:

In answer to Louis Scuderi's questions about the deluxe JR book, I have Number 30 that was purchased by me at the time of publication. The number was applied in black ink using very neat calligraphy. The book was signed in black ink by Davis, Logan and Lovejoy, one of whom presumably applied the number. It was then signed in blue ink by McCloskey and Subjack.
When I joined NGC a few years later and began attributing varieties on a frequent basis I did not have a copy of the regular edition and could not easily locate one. Thus, my deluxe edition became my working copy, and it is now filled with my scribbled variety notes and updates. I suppose that will hurt its collector value, but then it will probably not be for sale during my lifetime.

David W. Lange
Research Director
Numismatic Guaranty Corporation
Finally, as a reminder, a note from the editor:
JR Newsletter will take a hiatus in March 2014, most likely after the March 2 newsletter.  My family and I will be moving everything out of our house as we move into a new house.  I don't know exactly how long the hiatus will be.  I encourage readers to continue to send in contributions, but be mindful that contributions may not be published for a few weeks.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

JR Newsletter: 16 February 2014 (179)

Before getting to the several contributions for this week, I wanted to provide a summary of a couple of ongoing issues with the JR Newsletter, technical and otherwise.

First, I have received feedback from a number of readers that they are receiving two copies of the weekly email version of the JR Newsletter.  I have no immediate solution, as I am not technically-competent with such issues.  However, I have enlisted the assistance of someone who has knowledge in this area, so if the problem is solvable, it will be solved.  In the meantime, if you receive two copies of the weekly email, feel free to delete at least one of them.

Second, the JR Newsletter will take a hiatus in March 2014, most likely after the March 2 newsletter.  My family and I will be moving everything out of our house as we move into a new house.  That "everything" includes my computer, which is my sole link to the server that allows me to send out the weekly email.  I don't know exactly how long the process will take, but promise that I will get back online as soon as possible and get the JR Newsletter running again once I get my family's life back running again.  I encourage readers to continue to send in contributions, but be mindful that contributions may not be published for a few weeks.

Thank you for your understanding. 

And now the real reason you are reading this…news, comments, questions, and other discourse from the world of bust coinage. 

Tom Little wrote:

Dear JR society;

Any variety guesses?  

This coin is too special to be included in the weekly newsletter....


Winston Zack wrote:

Last Sunday I wrote that I had just purchased an elongated Bust Dime. Having never seen or heard of another before (although I suppose I could place a few on a rail-road track and get a few more!), I thought I would share.  I have provided a photo.

This is an 1820 JR-11 with respectable amounts of detail remaining. It was a little difficult to identify the die marriage due to the distorted details, but a fun challenge all-in-all.

Again, it would be neat to know if anyone else reading these weekly emails has any other elongated Bust Dimes they don't mind sharing.


Louis Scuderi wrote with questions that maybe some of our bibliophiles can answer:

JR Newsletter readers,

For those of us who collect Bust Dimes the book Early United States Dimes (EUSD) is the "bible".  I'm doing some research on the book itself and have a few questions. I'm hoping that one or more of the readership might be able to provide answers.

1) how many of the regular edition were produced?
2) are all of the regular edition identical or are there different "varieties" possibly produced from more than 1 production run?
3) the deluxe edition (with different front and back piece facing pages than the regular edition) is supposedly limited to 100 copies. Did all of them sell?
4) is there any listing of the numbered copies -as in who they sold to? Did #'s 1-5 go to the five authors? Did #6 go to Jules Reiver? Etc.

I will have a few additional questions once I get some answers to these. Will write up the results for the JRJ.

Thanks in advance,
Louis Scuderi

Jesse Gingold has been hard at work assembling a numismatic library and seeks our assistance:

Here's a quick want list of some items I'm having trouble locating. I thought if anyone would have them, it would be the JR Newsletter readers. If you have any of the below items you'd like to sell or know where I may find them, please send me an email at jgingold97(at) 

Early United States Dimes by Davis, et. al. JRCS approved copy 
Edge Mirrors produced by Russ Logan (any denomination) 
Bust Half Bibliomania by Brad Karoleff 
Federal Half Dimes by Logan/McCloskey (deluxe edition)

Thank you,

Finally, we have a number of items from the JRCS President, Brad Karoleff:
This is the last chance to nominate die marriages for study at the upcoming EAC convention. Please forward your suggestions to me at bkaroleff(at) as soon as possible.

The annual meeting of the society at the March/Spring ANA convention is rapidly approaching. If anyone would like to be considered for our educational presentation there please let me know and I will make sure Dr. Peterson knows of your interest.

It is also time to begin thinking about our HOF nominations. You can nominate a person for either/or both the veteran and modern categories. Veteran nominations are for persons involved in bust numismatics before the advent of JRCS. Modern nominees are numismatists that have been a member of our organization. Nominations should be sent to Richard Meaney via the jrnewsletter(at) email address. The nominating committee will then vote on the nominees and inform us of their choices.

In case you have not seen the announcements about current members of the JRCS Hall of Fame, here is the listing.

We have already inducted the following veteran members

Dr Daniel Valentine
Ard Browning
J Colvin Randall
Al C. Overton

And the following modern members

Russell Logan
Jules Reiver
David Davis
Ed Price
John McCloskey

Happy collecting to all.

Brad Karoleff

Sunday, February 9, 2014

JR Newsletter: 9 February 2014 (178)

Brad Karoleff wrote:

The JRCS is having a meeting at the March Whitman Baltimore convention on Friday afternoon March 28,at 4PM. We need a volunteer to host the meeting and someone to give a short presentation. Can anyone help us with either position?  We really do need some help on this, as I can't be there.

Thank you,

Glenn Peterson wrote:

Hello JRCS members,

I am doing the Bust Quarter census and will appreciate your sending me your census to me at gpeters(at) 

I need  to have your census in the next two weeks so I can meet the deadline for the next JR Journal. Thank you for your  participation.

Glenn Peterson

Winston Zack wrote:

Has anyone seen or own any intentionally elongated Bust Dimes or Bust Half-Dimes? I just purchased an example of an elongated Bust Dime on a whim because I had never seen or heard of one. I will post a photo of the elongated Bust Dime when it arrives, hopefully next week.

Also, if anyone has an image of an 1835 JR-4 Bust Dime with reverse cud, I would be interested in seeing what the cud looks like.


Richard Meaney wrote:

The JRCS has entered into an agreement with Bryce Brown of Avon, CT in which Bryce will be the exclusive distributor of JRCS-owned back issues of the John Reich Journal.  As many of you know, previously the JRCS had volunteer members who would store the back issues at their homes and respond to requests for back issues.  Not only was storing thousands of issues quite the task for a volunteer like me, but the process for inventorying, pricing, and shipping was cumbersome.  With Bryce Brown as our distributor, JRCS members and others interested in the research available in our back issues of the Journal can easily find out which issues are available and what the shipped price will be.  All one needs to do is go to Bryce's web site:

You will note that Bryce is a professional book dealer who also has many other books, periodicals, journals, and catalogs.  In fact, I noted this morning that he has one complete set of the John Reich Journal offered for less than $800.  Having seen complete sets sell in the past, I think that's a very good price!

The Board of Directors of the JRCS agreed that this arrangement was the best long-term solution for our membership.  Bryce will offer quick, professional service and members will be able to swiftly and easily determine which back issues are available.  I encourage each of you to visit Bryce's website to see how nicely he has arranged the listing of back issues of the John Reich Journal.

I will put a permanent announcement on the JRCS Blog ( that contains a link to Bryce's website.  If you wish to contact Bryce, he can be reached via email at or just visit his website for more information:

Bryce is offering free shipping this month for all orders of JR Journals.  Also, you will notice that there is extremely low stock of some of the older back issues.  If you think you need one of the early issues to complete your set, I encourage you to order sooner rather than later!