Sunday, June 26, 2016

JR Newsletter: 26 June 2016 (299)

Denis Loring wrote in response to comments by Dave Wnuck:

I don't disagree at all with what Dave Wnuck says.  Opinion on authenticity and opinion on grade do come as part of the slabbed coin product package.  My point is simply that a raw coin and the same coin slabbed are two different entities, and no one should be surprised that they behave differently in the marketplace.
A couple of comments from the editor:
A reminder:  If you need back issues of the John Reich Journal, you can order them from professional book dealer Bryce Brown of Avon, CT. To view the extensive inventory of back issues and pricing, go to Bryce's website and scroll down to JR Journals. The website is
Nominations for the JRCS Hall of Fame class of 2016 are now CLOSED. An announcement of the 2016 honoree(s) will be made at the JRCS meeting in August at the ANA show in Anaheim, CA.

Sunday, June 19, 2016

JR Newsletter: 19 June 2016 (298)

One contribution this week…In response to Denis Loring, Dave Wnuck wrote:

Respectfully Denis, you are forgetting the 2 most important, most valuable components of buying a graded & slabbed coin.

Specifically, I mean: (1.) An opinion of authenticity, and (2.) An opinion of grade.

Of course, a collector my disagree with one (or both) of those opinions, but nevertheless someone at some point in that coin's existence paid money to purchase those two opinions. As long as the coin remains in its tamper-evident slab, that is part of the "bundle of goods" that a collector purchases when they purchase a slabbed coin.

Dave Wnuck

Sunday, June 12, 2016

JR Newsletter: 12 June 2016 (297)

We have two contributions this week.  First, Denis Loring wrote in response to Louis Scuderi (who wrote, "Is a raw XF-40 coin inherently less valuable to the "collector" community than a holdered XF-40 coin other than the fact that it is in a piece of plastic?")

Here's my take on it:  A raw XF-40 Bust half is just that, a raw XF-40 coin.  A holdered XF-40 Bust half is a product, manufactured by PCGS/NGC/ANACS, out of the raw materials of silver, plastic, paper and ink.  Some people collect and/or invest in such products, some just coins, some both.  The markets for the two overlap, of course, but are not the same, just as the coin and the product are not the same.

Denis Loring

David Finkelstein wrote with an original work:  "The 1794 Congressional Committee Appointed To Examine The Mint – Part 5 (Way)"

You may read this article by clicking the following link:

Sunday, June 5, 2016

JR Newsletter: 5 June 2016 (296)

Regarding census reports, Nathan Markowitz wrote:

I agree with Brian, as I personally use P/N/A for certified coins and R for raw so IF its decided to add TPG data to the census this might be simplest.  P45, R35, etc.

Perhaps more importantly, we need to keep provenance data with our coins.  At EAC this year, there was much discussion about counterfeiting...primarily of copper coins.  A rare coin will be purchased and a real coin will be overstruck with a die made from that example then often worn down and passed off as genuine.  This is a danger to our hobby and its only a matter of time before silver is more widely exploited per the experts.  Our best defense is to keep good pedigree records IMO.

Nathan Markowitz

Louis Scuderi also contributed on the subject:

My ten cents on the holder/census issue for the readership to think about.

Not really certain what designating the grading service does other than taking up room in the census. And then what's next? Ranking based on number of PCGS, NGC or ANACS holdered coins? Ranking PCGS coins higher than NGC coins or vice versa? Is that what is really important? Is a raw XF-40 coin inherently less valuable to the "collector" community than a holdered XF-40 coin other than the fact that it is in a piece of plastic? I can understand the difference from an investment point of view but it is still my understanding that the official name
of our society is the John Reich "Collectors" Society. Has that been changed to John Reich "Investors" Society?

I would suggest that before any change is made to the census format that we also think about the oft quoted "buy the coin, not the holder".  I've seen far too many coins in holders that are excellent examples of grade inflation and some times significantly so. I also see significantly undergraded coins in holders and buy them when I can.

I personally prefer (and it is just my preference) my coins unholdered and trust that my 30+ years of grading experience collecting all of the capped bust silver series trumps the experience of 3rd party graders. In my opinion, and it is only my opinion, if you do not study the early series in depth you often do not get grading of the early US bust coinage right. To do so consistently you must understand strike, die wear and a number of other die marriage specific indicators that impact the appearance of the specimen.

Hopefully this will generate some interesting discussion and perhaps a few comments telling me how wrong I am! So be it. The important point here is to have the discussion.

Louis Scuderi

The final contribution for the week came from Steve Herrman:


The 4th revision of Auction Prices Realized for Certified & Graded Bust Half Dollars 1794-1839 (APRCG) shall be available in mid-June.

The 2016 APRCG contains prices realized for all certified and graded Bust Halves sold in major auctions over the past three years, June 2013 through May 2016.

Softbound, 134 pages, $25.00 postpaid. Also available in PDF format.

Copies will be mailed to JRCS members with an enclosed invoice. Advance payment is not required.

Note: $1.00 shall be donated to each the JRCS and the BHNC for each copy sold.

Please send orders and inquiries to Herrman102(at)


Steve Herrman

Sunday, May 29, 2016

JR Newsletter: 29 May 2016 (295)

Concerning the designation of graded coins in JRCS census reports, Brian Greer wrote:

How about just using P, N, or A next to the grade if it is slabbed by P (PCGS), N (NGC), or A (ANACS)?

David Finkelstein wrote, " The 1794 Congressional Committee Appointed To Examine The Mint – Part 4 (Way)."
You can access this article by clicking this link:

Sunday, May 22, 2016

JR Newsletter: 22 May 2016 (294)

We have one contribution this week.  Winston Zack wrote, responding to a comment about format of future bust coin census reports in the John Reich Journal:

I like Dave's suggestion on just changing the font type (bold, italics, underlined, etc.) for those pieces which are slabbed (PCGS, NGC, ANACS, etc). I don't think we need a different font-type for each grading service, but just one representing that it is slabbed. I would prefer BOLD font for slabbed pieces.

I would also suggest adding a font-type for problem coins. I don't know how consistent the reporting of problem coins are in the census but I imagine some people net-grade pieces (old ANACS style), and some provide details grades. I prefer details grades myself when reporting in the census. Maybe problem coins should be reported in ITALICS.

Finally, if you have a slabbed problem coin, that could be written in BOLD ITALICS.

Just thoughts.


One editor's note:  More than a handful of people contacted me in the last week after seeing the "headline coin" in last week's Newsletter, wondering where it came from.  That half dollar was part of the sale of the Russ Logan collection in 2002 by Bowers and Merena.  A link to the coins in that auction is here:   If you go to the link and click on the camera icon next to the brief description of each coin, you will be able to see photos and the catalog description.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

JR Newsletter: 15 May 2016 (293)

We have two contributions for this week's JR Newsletter.

David Finkelstein wrote, "The 1794 Congressional Committee Appointed To Examine The Mint – Part 3 (Way)."  You may click this link to access the article:

Dave Rutherford wrote:

I have a suggestion for Jim Matthews ( and other census editors). Rather than add a column for slabbing just change the appearance of the text via bold, italic, under line, any combination of these or a change in the font.

For example:

65 could be raw ms 65  
65 could be PCGS ms 65  
65 could be NGC ms 65   etc.

Dave Rutherford