Sunday, June 17, 2018

JR Newsletter: 17 June 2018 (399)

We received no contributions for this week's JR Newsletter.

Due to my travel schedule, there will be no newsletter on June 24th.  Contributions are still welcome in the interim!

Sunday, June 3, 2018

JR Newsletter: 3 June 2018 (398)

Before we get to this week's contributions, please note that I will not be able to publish a newsletter next week.  Contributions received between today and June 17th will be published on June 17th.

We have two contributions this week.  First contribution came from Glenn Marx:

In response to Rick A's post in the 5/20/18 JR Newsletter about reduced size bust quarters and his cherry pick of an 1835 B-3 PCGS VF25...
That's great to hear about your recent cherry pick, and the others you have accumulated.  I believe there are good buys in the lower grade reduced size bust quarters for those that want to collect them by year, Red Book variety, or die marriage.  While the higher-grade coins are going to attract the higher prices and increased attention if they are condition census for a die marriage, collectors of the series in the VF/XF or VG/F areas are going to have some good chances at nice prices.

While they may appear to be stagnant, there are some who collect the entire bust quarter series as well as some who collect the reduced size bust quarters exclusively.  I think there are a fair number of collectors of reduced size bust quarters, but maybe most have the majority of the pieces they need and it's leaving the opening for others to enter into collecting the series.

Ricks cherry pick of an 1834 B-5 is a good one with the highest coin graded for the die marriage being two MS62 examples with a census that drops quickly to lower grades.  Considering the low mintages of reduced size bust quarters, which always attracted me, it's nice being able to find the difficult die marriages in lower collector grades.  The reduced size bust quarters are also very interesting to study with all of the die marriages that late die states with many obverse and reverse die cracks along with clashing.

With the exception of 1835, reduced size bust quarters had a lower mintage than all of the other silver denominations.  In 1835 the bust dime had the lowest mintage.  The reported mintages of reduced size bust quarters are below.

Year    Mintage    Die Marriages
1831    398,000      7
1832    320,000      2
1833    156,000      2
1834    286,000      5
1835    1,952,000   8
1836    472,000      5
1837    252,400      6
1838    366,000      1

Glenn Marx

Our second contribution comes from David Perkins:

I’d like to announce that W. David Perkins Numismatics will be holding another Extraordinary Dime and Half Dime Sale at the 2018 ANA World’s Fair of Money in Philadelphia in August.  

As in our past sales, some lots will be offered via Fixed Prices and others through a Sealed Bid Sale.  The sale will offer examples for those collecting by date, type, die marriage, die state, and for those who like to own an example pedigreed to some of the great collectors of the past and/or one plated in one of the reference books.  In this case, this means Eliasberg, Gorman, David Davis, Russ Logan, and others.  Rare die marriages consigned at this time include a fair number of R-4 to R-6 die marriages.

All coins will be photographed in color (a few sample photos below) and described in detail in a catalog that will be sent electronically to all of those who are on my early half dime and dime distribution lists.  If you would like to be added to either or both distribution lists, please send your name and e-mail address to me at wdperki(at)  If you are not sure if you are on one or both of these lists please send me an e-mail and I will verify this for you.  

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO

Cell 303-902-5366

Sunday, May 27, 2018

JR Newsletter: 27 May 2018 (397)

Dave Wnuck wrote:

I recently purchased this coin (image below).  Both sides have hard mirrored surfaces, and the devices are frosty.  The coin is quite hairlined, but in hand the coin looks like a no question proof to the naked eye.  I don't believe this is a proof (they don't exist for 1837), but I am wondering if this was one of the coins that was called a proof by auction catalogers in earlier times. 

The photos are courtesy of the PCGS TrueView service.

I'm wondering if JR Newsletter readers have seen similar fully prooflike exampled of this variety.

Dave Wnuck


Jim Matthews wrote:

I have placed a number of interesting Capped Bust Dimes in the Great Collections auction ( that closes after 8 PM Eastern Time (5 PM Pacific Time) today. There are some tougher die marriages, as well as a few late retained cuds to tempt buyers who have an interest in such things.

I’ve included an 1820 STATESOF JR-1 dime in PCGS XF40, which is a tough die marriage and a lot scarcer than the 1814 STATESOF dime in my experience. Also included is a nice but low grade example of the rare 1820 JR-12, R-5+ in PCGS AG03—PCGS has only graded 7 examples of this variety with the attribution on the holder (there are likely others without the attribution too, but not many).

I sent along a scarce 1827 JR-9 that’s graded PCGS VF25; this is a die marriage that is scarce in grades above fine, with PCGS having graded only 7 of these in all grades. I also consigned an 1827 JR-12 in NGC VG-08 from the Jules Reiver Collection—hard to believe the Reiver auction was over 12 years ago now, but his coins always have a special place in my heart.

In addition, there’s a pleasing 1831 JR-5 with a very late retained cud at UNI in PCGS VG-08, a popular issue when the cud is found this advanced. Check out the image, and you can see where a piece of that reverse die was just about gone from the rim to the tops of UNI.

Next in line is the 1832 JR-3 from the Eric P. Newman Collection, graded NGC AU58 CAC. This coin also shows advanced cracks and a retained cud on the lower right reverse at the arrows. Eric Newman wrote on his coin storage envelope (included with this lot) “Extraordinary die break on reverse which must have destroyed the entire bottom of the die. Very fine.  $3.00” Newman clearly liked this coin too!

Another rarity (R-5+) is of the 1833 JR-3 in PCGS VG08. PCGS has graded 8 examples of this elusive die marriage—most are tied up in long term collections. This example shows the retained cud that has formed from the final A of AMERICA to the top two arrowheads. That cud developed quickly on this reverse and is the reason this die marriage is so hard to find. 

I decided a few years ago to break up my hoard of 1834 JR-6 dimes with the triple die failure on the reverse. Among these, there’s a nice example graded PCGS XF40 with the reverse retained cud at ATES of STATES and another atop the final A of AMERICA through the three arrowheads. 

I hope some of these coins stay within the John Reich family of collectors!

Jim Matthews

Editor’s Note:  Here is a link to all of the Capped Bust Dimes being auctioned at Great Collections:

Sunday, May 20, 2018

JR Newsletter: 20 May 2018 (396)

We had a few responses to last week’s comment about a coin advertised as an 1802 half dime in an auction:

James Higby wrote:  With regard to Pete Smith's query about the "1802" half dime that sold for $2900, anyone who has studied early U.S. coinage knows that the "2" in the date of the 1802 half cent, half dime, and dime was created with a punch that was grossly undersized compared to the others.  You don't need a book or even a magnifying glass to know this one is fake.  

My guess is that the buyer of this piece knows that as well, but has a client somewhere who does not.  A similar situation occurred in my town some years ago when a local auction sale of a fake "1799" large cent was won by a coin dealer who actually had a storefront in town.  I was sitting right next to him and, before he started bidding, I asked him if he had taken a "good look" at the 1799.  He said, "Sure, but it doesn't matter, because I'm going to ship it to South America."  I presume he profited handsomely from his $650 purchase of the altered 1798.  I happened to have my copy of Noyes with me and showed it to the owner of the auction house, who pointed to a sign that read, "All items sold as is, where is."

Dave Wnuck wrote: Hi All, It looks like that "1802 Half Dime" in that auction was actually an 1802 Half dollar.  Sincerely, Dave Wnuck

Mark Verbeck wrote:  I'm sure you will agree that the "1802 half dime" listing posted by Pete Smith bears no resemblance to the real thing.  My first reaction was that it looked quite a bit like a half dollar, and it seemed a reasonably close match to the 1802 dies.  I checked the Silver City Auctions website, and the archived description for Lot 147 in their March 21 sale now reads: "1802 Half Dollar XF."  Best regards, Mark Verbeck 

As I read the original contribution by Pete Smith and the above comments (plus a few more that writers did not prefer be published), I got to thinking that “back in the day” without the denomination on the coins, it was incumbent upon users of the coins to be familiar with the design and sizes of their coins if they wished to be able to decipher the difference between denominations…else they suffer financial loss.  Sort of like how we must differentiate between half dimes, dimes, quarters, and half dollars via the internet where all coins can be presented in the same size format.  Editor

Brad Karoleff wrote regarding the “JRCS Bid or Buy Sale” (in the latest issue of the John Reich Journal). Brad advised that the Ed Price catalog has been sold.  Check out the sale to see what might interest you!

Rick A. wrote:

I cherry picked an 1835 B-3 R4+ quarter and received it in the mail today (photo below).  The obverse was easy but I contacted the seller about if the reverse had a tongue to confirm variety, which it did. 1835 B-3 PCGS 25 purchased at nearly grey sheet price.   I would like to hear comments from small size bust quarter collectors. Have accumulated around 20 different pieces.  Started with red book varieties then cherry picking key varieties but put aside until recently to work on red book varieties of Bust Halves 1807-1839-O. Small size quarters appear to be dead money as there appears to be not much premium on R4 and R5 varieties except in higher grades as many rarity ratings have been downgraded from Browning's book to the more recent census and Steve Tompkins book which I use. I did cherry pick an 1834 B-5 PCGS VF35 back in March for a little more what slabbed VF35s have been selling for in auctions.         

Rick A.

Sunday, May 13, 2018

JR Newsletter: 13 May 2018 (395)

Pete Smith wrote about a recent sale:

I recently became aware of a sale by Silver City Auctions, March 21, 2018, lot 147. The coin was described as an 1802 half dime in uncertified XF and sold for $2900. There are probably many diagnostics but I noticed the position of the first star near the hair curl. This is a very expensive fake.

Did this slip by the numismatic community unnoticed? Does the auction company frequently offer fake coins? I am not aware of any outrage published in the numismatic press.
Can any JRCS member identify the host coin, or is this a new fabrication? Will there be others out there?


John Okerson wrote:

I am a collector and pre-1839 coins are of considerable interest because many have character  - cuds, cracks and such.  I worked on US Silver coins with cuds, cracks and curiosities before 1892 for several years, but there are so many items, it is tough to even collect their pictures, no less the coins themselves.  CBRE halves is a 4 year series and even so, has over 30 coins that strike my interest.  The 1836 RE and 1838-O are difficult and not likely to be added anytime soon.  When I was offered an unattributed 1839-O GR-4, I couldn’t turn it down.  Moving forward is not easy – there are a good number of coins available, but most are pretty, but not cracked pieces.  Hopefully someone will have some and be willing to sell or at least share a copyright-free picture with me.  I have Dick Graham’s book and it shows some of them though often in small size.  I like pictures of 2 to 5 MB in size and high resolution.  My plan includes reviewing Jules Reiver’s Variety Identification Manual for this series.  As of now, I haven’t checked my Breen Encyclopedia for what tidbits may be hidden there.

Please feel free to contact me at johnokerson(at) or leave me a phone message at 901-338-8999.

Looking forward to hearing from you. 

John Okerson

Sunday, May 6, 2018

JR Newsletter: 6 May 2018 (394)

Although we have no specific contributions from readers this week, your editor thought this would be a good time to highlight two items from the most recent issue of the John Reich Journal (April 2018, Volume 28, Issue 1):

1.  The JRCS "Buy or Bid Sale" is on pages 38-40.  The sale is intended to offset the cost of designing the new JRCS web site (which can be seen here: ).  Among items available, one finds a complete set of JR Journals through Volume 22, Issue 1, including the very tough to find Volume 1, Issue 1.  Half dimes, dimes, quarters, and a half dollar are also available for bidding/buying.  Plus there are more items, check it out!

2.  David Perkins is collecting census information for bust dollars (see page 2 of the latest JR Journal).  Send your census information to wdperki(at)

Sunday, April 29, 2018

JR Newsletter: 29 April 2018 (393)

Brad Karoleff wrote to advise that the latest issue of the John Reich Journal has been mailed.  In it you will find the JRCS Buy or Bid Sale.  Your bids and purchases will help to offset the cost of the website construction of the past year.

As a reminder, Nominations for the JRCS Hall of Fame class of 2018 are now OPEN, but only for a short while longer. You can nominate candidates for either the veteran (those who contributed before the advent of JRCS) or the modern (those who have been members of JRCS) categories. Please include any pertinent information about the nominee that you feel necessary. Nominees will then be voted on by the HOF committee and the inductees will be announced at the annual meeting at the ANA convention in the summer. Please forward your nominations to bkaroleff(at) or to jrnewsletter(at)