Sunday, May 31, 2020

JR Newsletter: 31 May 2020 (500)

Although we received no contributions this week, I can tell you to expect the latest copy of the John Reich Journal soon ...if you are a member of the John Reich Collectors Society.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

JR Newsletter: 24 May 2020 (499)

Greg Cohen wrote

Please find linked a press release regarding the results of Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ Regency Auction 38, which was held on May 14, 2020.

For additional information, please contact Greg Cohen at greg(at) For high resolution images, please contact Patrick Braswell at Patrick(at)

Best regards,

Greg Cohen

Senior Numismatist

Legend Rare Coin Auctions
PO Box 189 | Lincroft, NJ 07738
Office: 732-935-1168
Cell:   914-882-9592

Sunday, May 17, 2020

JR Newsletter: 17 May 2020 (498)

Glenn Marx wrote:

I'm reaching out to fellow collectors for help on a research project.  If you happen to own one or more counterstamped bust quarters, it would be great to hear from you.  In particular, I'm interested in hearing from those who have counterstamps other than the E's and L's.  To touch base and find out more, please send me an email at gmari(at)

I appreciate any assistance and look forward to hearing from you.  

Thank you, Glenn Marx

Sunday, May 10, 2020

JR Newsletter: 10 May 2020 (497)

  • In response to Bob Conrad, Pete Smith wrote:

    In the JR Newsletter last week, Bob Conrad wrote, “One thing has always bothered me. Jefferson dropped off $75 in silver July 11, 1792 and went back and got 1500 half dimes on the 13th, then off to Virginia. How could the mint, in a temporary basement, process this and cut planchets and make this happen so quickly?”

    In my earlier article on “Two Weeks in July,” I commented on the remarkable accomplishments in such a short period of time. Now I will offer some suggestion how this may have happened.
    Rittenhouse wrote to President Washington on July 9, 1792, and included this comment, “I have likewise engaged Mr Voight to act as Coiner, and he has several workmen now employed in making the necessary Engines, and preparing the dies.” Rittenhouse was not just asking for approval to strike coins but also for approval of actions already taken. Thus it is clear that dies were prepared in anticipation of that approval.

    Eric Newman corresponded with Joel Orosz for his article published in 2004, ‘George Washington and America’s ‘Small Beginning in Coinage: The Fabled 1792 Half Disme.” In a message dated January 30, 2004, Newman wrote to Orosz, “A silversmith would have been a maximum of a couple of blocks away from Harper’s shop in Philadelphia in 1792. A silversmith had to have a roller for making flat sheets of silver of various thickness as he needed such a roller for trays, containers. Tableware, boxes, etc. Why would a temporary Mint project do it elsewhere? Cutting out shaped pieces like silver buttons, cufflinks, etc. would be standard work for a silversmith and half disme planchets would be very simple to make because the sheet would be so thin. The possibility that $100 is silver was turned over to the silversmith to make the planchets is reasonable because there would be leftovers from scissile, etc. and the silversmith would have the material for his labor.”

    Newman’s message covers a couple of important concepts. It is foolish to assume that the $75 in silver that Jefferson delivered, probably in the form of Spanish silver coins, was then converted into a form used to strike half dismes. It would be more practical for a silversmith to make up planchets in anticipation of Jefferson’s deposit and the approval to strike coins.
    It is also foolish, as frequently stated, to believe that the Mint was operating exclusively in Harper’s cellar. We don’t know where Voight had workers in his employment. There are several options including the Seventh Street building that was purchased for Mint use on July 18. As Jefferson’s Memorandum Book states that he took $75 “to the Mint.” He was probably referring to the Seventh Street building.

    Stewart list warrants written in 1792. Entry #2 was written on July 30 for Henry Voight to pay workmen in the amount of $170.21. This could have paid a half dozen workers for the month of July, whatever they were doing.

    Warrant #7, dated August 29, was to John Harper “for cutting, presses, castings” in the amount of $217.85. Thus whatever he did was worth more than Mint workers could produce in a month.

    Harper had a coin press. Rittenhouse had little silver disks. Somehow they got together in Harper’s cellar to strike the coins. The payment suggests that Harper also provided other services.

    The Smith / Orosz / Augsburger book on 1792: Birth of a Nation’s Coinage, covers the story of “Mint Activities July 1-18, 1792” in more detail on pages 95-98. This story, published in 2017, evolved from the Orosz / Herkowitz article published in 2004. When the story is told again, it may have evolved again. The authors hope that some of the old foolishness may be abandoned by then.

    Pete Smith

Sunday, May 3, 2020

JR Newsletter: 3 May 2020 (496)

Bob Conrad wrote:

Thanks for sending out the e-journal! I am fascinated by the 1792 half dimes and all the research going into it. One thing has always bothered me. Jefferson dropped off $75 in silver July 11, 1792 and went back and got 1500 half dimes on the 13th, then went to Virginia. 

How could the mint, in a temporary basement, process this and cut planchets and make this happen so quickly? 

My other (unrelated) question is regarding overdates. Why would the mint bother? Considering what seems to be a a lack of concern as to what die was used in what year, typically. Is it because the current  customer wanted current dated coins? Did anyone care? Just wondering if it's ever been researched.   

Bob Conrad # 194


Reminder from editor:  Here is a link to the most recent issue of the John Reich Journal:  JR Journal

Sunday, April 26, 2020

JR Newsletter: 26 April 2020 (495)

As a reminder, you can view the latest issue of the John Reich Journal by clicking this link:

Steve Herrman added:  The latest issue of the JR Journal is also available as a link on the JRCS website home page under Latest News.

Nathan Markowitz wrote:

For provenance geeks some real news.  While perusing an email from HLRC I noted an example of the rare 1823/2 quarter that I did not recognize.  After consulting the excellent image gallery in the book by Rea, Peterson, Karoleff, and Kovach the “new” example was indeed the coin plated in the 1925 Browning reference.  We have been looking for this XF example!  It last appeared 85 years ago in 1935 on the Louis Hemmer premium list. From the Great Depression to the great pandemic its whereabouts have been shrouded in mystery.  If anyone can fill in the missing provenance that would be great!  Stay safe all.

Nathan Markowitz

Friday, April 17, 2020

JR Newsletter: 19 April 2020 (494)

(Sunday's issue of the JR Newsletter is getting published to this page a few days in advance due to a scheduling conflict by the page's editor)

A couple of weeks ago, JRCS President and Editor of The John Reich Journal consulted with the JRCS Board of Directors to address the next issue of the JR Journal.  Brad wrote, “I have the next journal almost print-ready, but will be unable to print it until the crisis is over.  I propose to offer it to the membership as well as non-members as an electronic file now. It will be printed and distributed when possible.”

This week, the following link to the latest issue of the JR Journal is available to readers of the JR Newsletter and whomever else readers or JRCS members wish to share it with.  The “cover page” of this JRJ is a membership form in hopes that when shared, others may choose to become members in the John Reich Collectors Society.  Feel free to share on coin message boards, coin clubs, and other “social media” with your friends who share an interest in the hobby.

Brad added, “I believe we will only produce two printed journals this year but they will both be larger than the normal 40 pages so we will only be short about a half journals-worth of information.”