Sunday, November 22, 2015

JR Newsletter: 22 November 2015 (268)

Our first contribution this week comes from David Finkelstein in the form of an original work: "Charles Gilchrist," By David Finkelstein.  Click the following link to access the article:

Ron Guth wrote:

Thank you to Lance Keigwin for his kind words in the Nov 15 JRCS Newsletter and for helping us make sure the information on PCGS CoinFacts is accurate and reflective of current information.  For those of you who have not been on the site, it is worth it just for the images alone of all the early Half Dollars from the Pogue, Link, Friend, and other collections, plus images in all the other series.  Less well known is that we are developing pictorial Condition Census listings for most US coins based on a synthesis of auction prices realized, which are often rife with duplication because of repeat appearances and upgrades.  For some series, this is the first time that a useful Condition Census listing has been attempted.  This is a work-in-progress, which is why input from our friends like Lance is so valued and appreciated.

Ron Guth
PCGS CoinFacts - the Internet Encyclopedia of U.S. Coins


Next, Peter Mosiondz, Jr. wrote with some books for sale:

The Cent Book: 1816-1839, John D. Wright (1992). 335 pp. 27 plates. Rarity table. HB. White Leatherette. Signed. New. $45.00

United States Gold Coins: An Illustrated History, Q. David Bowers. 425 pp. HB. Red Leatherette. As New. $20.00

The United States Half Dimes, David W. Valentine (1975 Quarterman Reprint). Incorporates additional works by Newlin, Breen, Davis, and Ahwash, 273 pp. HB. DJ protected in Brodart Mylar. New. $10.00

Million Dollar Nickels: Mysteries of the Illicit 1913 Liberty Head Nickels Revealed, Paul Montgomery, Mark Borckardt and Ray Knight. HB. DJ protected in Brodart Mylar. New. $9.00.

Standing Liberty Quarters (4th Edition), J.H. Cline. 237 pp. B&W photos. SB. New. $6.00

Illegal Tender: Gold, Greed and the Mystery of the Lost 1933 Double Eagle, David Tripp. SB. New. $6.00

The Numismatist's Bedside Companion, Q. David Bowers. 224 pp. SB. As New. $7.00

The Other Side of the Coin, Edward C. Rochette. 151 pp. SB. New. $7.00

Plus $4.00 Media Mail postage. Subject unsold.

Peter Mosiondz, Jr.
26 Cameron Circle
Laurel Springs, NJ 08021-4861
Life Member ANA 4786
EAC 1486
JRCS 867

Sunday, November 15, 2015

JR Newsletter: 15 November 2015 (267)

One contribution this week.  Lance Keigwin wrote:

I encourage anyone who finds a flaw in PCGS's Coinfacts to email Ron Guth (RGuth[at] directly. Same for problems with pop reports or the PCGS price guide.

I have reported several errors and each has been corrected. For example, the 1806 O.105 half dollar was incorrectly listed as a large stars variety instead of small stars. Fixing that was not trivial but Ron saw it through. He has also made corrections to smaller issues like obvious price guide errors and incorrect coin photos.

Ron was very receptive to my messages.

Lance Keigwin

Sunday, November 8, 2015

JR Newsletter: 8 November 2015 (266)

Lots of input for this week's newsletter.  First, we have an original contribution from David Finkelstein:

Click this link to read, "Dr. David Rittenhouse – Part 3."

Brad Karoleff wrote:

The next issue of the JR Journal is coming up and we could use a couple submissions to fill out the issue.

Please send your article, letter to the editor or anything else you would like to see published for consideration to the editor at

Thanks and happy upcoming holidays to all.

Please note that we have a room reserved for the upcoming FUN show in TAMPA this year on Friday.  Please stay tuned for more information and plan on joining us in sunny Florida this January.

We also have continued discussion over early dollars:

Robert Stark wrote:

Thanks to John Kroon for the early dollar information and links.  I wasn't aware of the rankings; usually paying little attention to them.

I have the Hesselgesser PCGS AU50 PQ CAC as described in the Goldberg Sale in May 2012. I also have the Spies Specimen from the December 1974 Stack's Sale cited as "Fine to Very Fine. A Rarity 7 item and well worth a premium bid."

Clearly, there is value in collectors of early dollars communicating among themselves. I'm at

David Perkins wrote:

John Kroon wrote in last week’s JR News:

There is a mistake in the PCGS population data which is shown in the Miller Collection of Early Dollars.  For the 1800 Wide Date, Low Eight, Americai (BB-191) variety, the PCGS data shows the total pop as 1.  That coin would be the Miller PCGS MS 62 +.

I own an 1800 Wide Date, Low Eight, Americai PCGS XF 45, CAC.  The PCGS insert for my coin states BB-191, which clearly establishes my XF 45 as an 1800 Wide Date, Low Eight, Americai.  The Cardinal Collection has a BB 191 in PCGS AU 58, and the Hesselgesser shows an AU 50.   The total PCGS pop data for this variety BB-191 should be at least 4, (not 1, as listed in the Miller Collection PCGS total pop column).   The 4 coins are the Miller MS 62+, the Cardinal AU 58, the Hesselgesser AU 50, and my XF 45.

I too have been puzzled by PCGS listing the Total Pop as 1 for the 1800 Wide Date, Low 8 AMERICAI Dollar in the Miller Registry Set.  The Miller 1800 “Wide Date, Low 8 AMERICAI” dollar in PCGS MS62+ is listed to the right of the photos and entry for this dollar in this category as having a total pop of 1 and none finer.  In fact, this is the finest known and only Mint State example of this type, but not the only example of this type graded by PCGS.  This coin is numbered as “PCGS # 40081” in the Registry Set.

 Looking in PCGS Coin Facts, I located PCGS coin # 86888 (which is also noted as coin # 40081, which also is confusing to me).

John listed 4 coins of this type known to him.  Coin Facts shows that PCGS has graded 14 coins in their population report for their coin # 86888, the “1800 $1 Wide Dt, Low 8, AMERICAI (Regular Strike)” type.  Here is the link to this pop report: .

Here is the pop report, in the format, “Grade (Quantity Graded)”: 12 (1) / 15(1) / 20 (1) / 30 (1) / 35 (2) / 40 (2) / 45 (2) / 50 (2) / 53 (1) / 58 (1) / 62 – None.  The PCGS Pop Report in the Registry Set shows only one coin graded, the PCGS MS62+.  This PCGS Coin Facts pop report includes the 14 coins graded F-12 to AU-58, with none higher than AU-58 and none in MS62 or higher (no P62+!).  This is an obvious contradiction.

If you click on “Images for PCGS coin # 86888 you get a photo of the Miller P62+, along with two 50s, two 45s, one 35, one 15, and one 12.

If you go to the PCGS Price Guide you find only two choices that fit this type with prices listed on the main page, neither of which are exactly right for this type – 1800 AMERICAI, coin # 6892, and 1800 Wide Date, Low 8.  There is no pricing given for the 1800 Wide Date, Low 8 AMERICAI type.

John stated that he owns an example of the 1800 B-11, BB-191 AMERICAI, which the equivalent die marriage for the PCGS Registry type officially called 1800 Wide Date, Low 8 AMERICAI (Regular Strike). 

There exists an 1800 B-19, BB-192 AMERICAI die marriage which is still another PCGS type, called the 1800 AMERICAI by PCGS (and others).  The same reverse die was used to strike these two AMERICAI die marriages, with BB-191, B-11 probably having been struck first.  An 1800 B-11, BB-191 die marriage falls under this type also, but is a more valuable coin if classified as the correct die marriage or correct type rather than “just an 1800 AMERICAI.”

One other die marriage should be mentioned.  This is 1800 B-10, BB-190.  This mates the obverse of 1800 B-11, BB-191 with the previously used reverse die 1800 B-5, BB-189.  This as a type coin is called the 1800 Wide Date, Low 8 by PCGS (and 1800 Very Wide Date, Low 8) in the Red Book.

In conclusion, John observations are correct.  The PCGS Pop Report as listed in the PCGS Registry for the early dollar type set is wrong unless PCGS intended it to mean “one in Mint State, none finer” as discussed earlier.  This makes no sense to me as they say Total Pop of 1 also. 

The Coin Facts Pop Report for coin # 86888 (and #40081) is more accurate as it shows a number of coins in different grades for this PCGS type.  And all dollars of this type if correctly noted will be examples of the 1800 B-11, BB-191 die marriage.

The 1800 B-11, BB-191 die marriage is R-5 and is Conditionally Rare in grades of XF45 and higher, with only one Mint State example known, the Miller-Amon Carter coin graded PCGS MS62+.   Less than 10 examples are known to me in AU grades.  The 1800 B-19, BB-190 die marriage is R-2, with multiple examples known in Mint State.  1800 B-11, BB-191 dollars if correctly attributed to die marriage and / or type realize much higher prices in the market.

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO

John Kroon also wrote:

In reviewing the PCGS pop reports for the various registry sets, one finds other discrepancies.  The Hesselgesser set PCGS total pop for BB-191 shows 2.  The Cardinal set PCGS total pop for BB-191 shows 0.  Yet the comments box immediately to the right of the 0 discuss the AU-58 coin.  How can the total pop be 0, when the comments reference an AU-58 coin?  Other registry sets state 1 for the total pop of BB-191.

For your reference, my 1800 PCGS XF-45 CAC BB-191 is certificate 25536867

John Kroon

Sunday, November 1, 2015

JR Newsletter: 1 November 2015 (265)

John Kroon wrote:
There is a mistake in the PCGS population data which is shown in the Miller Collection of Early Dollars.  For the 1800 Wide Date, Low Eight, Americai (BB-191) variety, the PCGS data shows the total pop as 1.  That coin would be the Miller PCGS MS 62 +.
I own an 1800 Wide Date, Low Eight, Americai PCGS XF 45, CAC.  The PCGS insert for my coin states BB-191, which clearly establishes my XF 45 as an 1800 Wide Date, Low Eight, Americai.  The Cardinal Collection has a BB 191 in PCGS AU 58, and the Hesselgesser shows an AU 50.   The total PCGS pop data for this variety BB-191 should be at least 4, (not 1, as listed in the Miller Collection PCGS total pop column).   The 4 coins are the Miller MS 62+, the Cardinal AU 58, the Hesselgesser AU 50, and my XF 45

John Kroon

Sunday, October 25, 2015

JR Newsletter: 25 October 2015 (264)

To lead this week's JR Newsletter, David Finkelstein provided an original contribution:  Dr. David Rittenhouse – Part 2.  You can access the article by clicking this link:

In response to last week's question and comments about half dime die remarriages, John Okerson wrote:

From my perspective, the remarriages are different varieties.  I feel that collectors look at Federal Half Dimes 1792-1837 as containing a list of coins to shoot for.  To me, that means the varieties and remarriages AND those coins with cuds.  I find it humorous that I have specific varieties with cuds of a considerably higher rarity than the standard coin, but don’t have the plain coin just yet.  Why pay so much for the remarriage?  They have distinctly different rarity and from my perspective, that drives the prices.

As for other Bust series coins, examining Early United States Dimes 1796-1837, remarriages do not appear within the book.  I am still committed to collecting varieties with cuds separate from the standard pieces.

In both of the modern bust quarter books, remarriages are not portrayed, but my comment about coins with cuds remains accurate.

Bust halves presents an unusual situation, not due to remarriages as much as to the breadth of the “varieties” available.  Steve Herrman’s publications list over 700 different coins within the series including coins like the 1810 O-101’ (Prime), 1810 O-101, O-101a series.  The first coin being an R7 and the other two being R1s.  I see NO way that a complete collection can be fulfilled by just one of those three – just my addiction I suppose.

My collecting of bust dollars is quite limited – just type pieces at this point.  I await the web book from Dick Osburn and Brian Cushing, parts of which are already available.  Likewise, bust gold collecting is not something I am involved with.


Steve Gupta also responded with his thoughts on half dime die remarriages:

As one of the under-bidders on two of the lots in question, I was impressed by the “VERY STRONG” bids as well.  I felt my bids were strong and had to consider the availability of funds with other exciting offerings in the market place.

The capped bust half dime series is the more affordable series to collect.  Personally, I have a better shot at putting together a substantially complete capped bust half dime series by marriage and re-marriage than putting together a die variety set of dollars, half dollars, or quarters (I am still holding out hope of putting together a capped bust dime set).  I think relative affordability limits collectors’ ability to pursue re-marriages in other series.

In terms of bid strength, I feel that re-marriages add to the cachet of a coin as does pedigree, plating, early or late die state, originality or attractive toning.  If I were seeking a single example of a coin, I would pay a premium for an interesting re-marriage or late die state.  Obviously I wasn’t willing to pay the premium that two of the lots garnered.
Ultimately a collection is purely in the mind of the collector.  As long as at least two people have the means and interest to pursue any given coin, a numismatic premium will be present.

Steve Gupta

Richard Meaney added his thoughts on the attractiveness of half dime remarriages:

When I began collecting capped bust half dimes, I started with the intention of collecting one coin of each date in choice AU grades.  Not even a few months into the journey, I learned about die marriages and the existence of a book on the series (Federal Half Dimes 1792-1837).  I got a copy of the book and began to read about the various die marriages.  The book helped me to change my collection strategy from a "one coin per year" strategy to a "get every die marriage approach."  At first, I did not understand the concept of die remarriages, so I didn't pay too much attention to them.  Through reading the John Reich Journal and discussion with fellow half dime enthusiasts, I gained an appreciation for the die remarriages.  In fact, die remarriages of capped bust half dimes have become my favorite focus for the series.  I've written a few articles for the John Reich Journal on remarriages.  In writing the articles, my purposes were to educate readers on what constitutes a remarriage; to explain the processes used to differentiate between various remarriages; to assess rarity of various remarriages; and to encourage readers to further explore the study and collection of remarriages.

To specifically address the questions raised last week, I can first say that I agree with what Steve Gupta and John Okerson have said.  To me, remarriages are part of the complete collection.  It is not enough to seek 92 die marriages.  Without an example of each remarriage, a collection is incomplete.  In fact, the biggest challenges in the series are remarriages, in my opinion.  As new discoveries are made, most of the die marriages have "become less rare."  For example, the 1833 LM-5 used to be R-8.  The die marriage is now R-7.  Same for the 1835 LM-12.  It used to be R-8, but is now R-7.  Most of the original R-5 die marriages are now considered R-4.  Die remarriages present a different story.  Logan and McCloskey did not differentiate between die marriages' and remarriages' Sheldon Rarity Scale ratings.  At first, the JRCS census followed suit and also did not differentiate between die marriages and remarriages with rarity estimates.  Now, however, with significant study of remarriages being shared between collectors, the JRCS census does provide estimates for rarity for many remarriages.  And guess what?  Some of the remarriages are proving to be very difficult to find.  Essentially, we have discovered new rarities to chase! 

That's one of the attractions for me:  chasing rarities.  If collecting a complete set (marriages plus remarriages) was an easy task, I don't think I would be interested.  With so many challenges in the series, especially with better knowledge of how difficult the remarriages are, my interest in completing a set has been heightened.

As for prices, once again I agree with John Okerson and Steve Gupta.  The rare remarriages are part of the set, so specialists feel a NEED to own an example.  Finding ANY example of some remarriages (1832 LM-9.2, 1832 LM-10.2 and LM-10.3, just to name a few) is extremely difficult to do.  Then, getting a NICE example of a rare remarriage is true challenge.  When you combine rarity with quality in one coin, one must expect competitive pricing.  I encourage collectors to look also at the prices realized in the Perkins auctions of 2014.  There is a clear trend:  rarer capped bust half dime remarriages will bring strong money!



David Perkins wrote with an announcement:

W. David Perkins and Andy Lustig Purchase the Miller Collection of Early Dollars 1794-1803

 W. David Perkins and Andy Lustig are excited to announce that they have purchased the extensive Miller early U.S. silver dollar collection and will begin offering it for sale.  The coins will be available for viewing and sale at the upcoming Whitman Baltimore Show Wednesday through Saturday, November 4-7, 2015 at Table 818 (The table is listed under W. David Perkins, Numismatist).  

 Background and the Collection

Imagine collecting the early United States Silver Dollars 1794-1803 for over 30 years, and being the first and only person to complete a set of the business strike early dollars by die marriage with every Bolender (B) and Bowers Borckardt (BB) number.  Warren Miller accomplished this feat approximately a decade ago, completing the set by die marriage in 2005.  From 2005 to the present, selected coins were upgraded and die states were added.  Miller branched out and added errors, including numerous double and triple struck early dollars.  Today the collection consists of over 160 early dollars total.  

 The collection was started in 1983 with the purchase of three different dates of Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle Dollars from a local coin shop.  On the next visit to the shop, Miller was given a copy of the Bolender book on early dollars 1794-1803 and as they say, the “rest is history!”  Miller went on to acquire all of the 118 known die marriages over the next 22 years.  Perkins was able to purchase the Unique 1795 B-19, BB-19 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar from the grandson of Frank M. Stirling, and sold it to Miller, enabling Miller to complete the die variety set in 2005.  In the last year, two new die marriages have been discovered bringing the number of total known business strike die marriages to 120.  

 All of the coins are graded by PCGS, and the set overall averages “Almost Uncirculated” in grade, with specimens ranging from Good (a Double Struck Flowing Hair Dollar) to MS63. The majority of the coins are graded in the XF-AU range of, with many unique die marriages, Finest Known and Condition Census Specimens, Plate Coins, and Late Die States.  Many of these coins resided at one time in the great collections of the past – Atwater, Eliasberg, Stickney, Amon Carter, Bolender, Ostheimer, Frank Stirling, K. P. Austin, W. G. Baldenhofer, Spies, Reiver, James Matthews, and others.   PCGS photos are available for all but a few of the coins in the collection.

The Miller Collection has been listed as the #1 Collection in the JRCS Census for many years.  The “Date and Major Type” portion of the Miller Collection was the top collection in the PCGS Registry for early dollars for 2014 and 2015, the only two years it was listed.  You can find it under EARLY DOLLARS WITH MAJOR VARIETIES AND SILVER PLUG, CIRCULATION STRIKES (1794-1803), or click on the following link:

For additional information, please contact Dave Perkins at wdperki(at) or cell phone 303-902-5366.  Images of three of the coins from the collection are below.

W. David Perkins, Numismatist
Centennial, CO

Sunday, October 18, 2015

JR Newsletter: 18 October 2015 (263)

Just one contribution this week:

James Hauser wrote:

I noted that in the most recent half dime auction, there were three remarriage half dimes that sold for quite a sum:

1831 LM-1.1 PCGS AU58+ sold for almost $2500
1832 LM-8.2 PCGS AU53 sold for more than $750
1832 LM-10.3 PCGS VF35 sold for more than $2,000

Some questions/observations:

1.  Why have half dime remarriages been recognized by collectors of the series as worth VERY STRONG bids, when remarriages in the other bust series haven't really attracted much attention?

2.  What drives collectors of half dime remarriages to collect the remarriages?  Isn't having the die marriage enough?  And why pay so much for a remarriage?


Sunday, October 11, 2015

JR Newsletter: 11 October 2015 (262)

David Finkelstein wrote:

A number of myths have been published about David Rittenhouse.  It was incorrectly documented that he posted Henry Voigt’s surety bond.  We now know that he did not.  It was incorrectly documented that he was incarcerated in debtors’ prison.  We now know that he was not. Please read "Dr. David Rittenhouse - Part 1:

Tom Little wrote with a link to a Coin World article on the sale of the Lord St. Oswald 1794 dollar at the Stack's Pogue auction:

David Sunshine wrote:
Presenting The Juniper Collection of Early US Silver!
The Juniper Collection is an important offering of Draped and Capped Bust US Silver coins consigned to me by a long time JRCS member. It includes many investment grade coins that are infrequently seen in today's market.  Many coins are also very affordable for the early silver enthusiast. Please feel free to contact me with any of your questions.
I also have many other coins on my website including many desirable collector grade bust and seated coins. Many are CAC approved. Feel free to email me at davidbsunshine[at] if you have any questions.
David Sunshine