Sunday, July 23, 2017

JR Newsletter: 23 July 2017 (354)

Welcome to the JR Newsletter, pre-ANA edition.  This will be the last JR Newsletter published before the ANA show begins on the first of August.  The next edition of the JR Newsletter will be published on August 6, 2017 due to the editor's ten day hiatus from his computer!  Please feel free to make contributions to the newsletter in the interim, with the understanding that newsletter readers will not see your contributions until the first weekend in August.

Richard Meaney wrote:

I encourage half dime collectors to bring with them to the ANA any 1829 LM-16 half dimes they may have.  Richard and Mirek Kiec would like to examine as many 1829 LM-16.1 and LM-16.2 half dimes as possible in order to gather sufficient information to write an article for the John Reich Journal on differentiation between these two remarriages.  Richard will be easy to find at the show.  Just go to table #435, where he will be assisting David Perkins.

Thank you,

Glenn Peterson wrote:

Hello members of JRCS,
 We are having exceptional meetings at ANA in Denver this year and I want to invite everyone to attend. 
JRCS will have its annual meeting Wednesday August 2nd at 8:00 AM in room 407 of the Convention Center. Barry Sunshine and Jim Matthews have graciously agreed to give a talk on BUST DIMES, a series we collect that sometimes doesn't get the attention it deserves!

Bust Quarter Collector Society (a sub-specialty club within JRCS) is having its annual meeting Wednesday, August 2nd at 2:00 PM in room 505 of the convention center. David Lange will discuss the new discovery of 1822 B3 Quarter certified by NGC.
Bust Half Nut Club will have its open meeting (everyone invited) Thursday , August 3rd at 2:00 PM in room 505 of the Convention Center. Award Winning Numismatist Chuck Link will discuss his completion of his collection of Bust Half Dollars by die variety and die state and the friends he made along the way. This should be an excellent program. 
We expect the meetings will be well attended. So come, visit your friends in JRCS, and enjoy the programs. 
See you there!
Glenn Peterson MD JRCS BHNC
David Finkelstein wrote:

Len Augsburger, Joel J. Orosz, and David Finkelstein have pooled their research, and have collaborated on a Money Talks presentation regarding the 1794 Dollars.  The presentation will be on Thursday, August 3rd, at 10:00 AM, in Room 501.  David Finkelstein will be presenting images of never before published Mint documents that provide a definitive understanding of:

    1.  Whose silver bullion was used for coining the 1794 Dollars,

    2.  The Mint’s processing of that silver bullion,

    3.  The release of the 1794 Dollars from the Mint’s treasury.

Multiple documents have been rediscovered at both the National Archives and Records Administration, and the Historical Society of Pennsylvania.  These documents provide the contemporary evidence that answer the questions that have plagued numismatists for over 150 years.


Steve Tompkins wrote:

The 6th edition of Auction Appearances & Prices Realized for Early United States Quarters 1796-1838 or the AAPR for Bust Quarters is now at the printer and available for pre-order.

It has been three years since the last edition was published. This was due to time constraints brought on by life & work on a new series of books covering the early United States half dollar series. Of which, the first volume is now available and work is progressing on the second.

This compilation, encompassing over 200 pages, contains over 10,000 auction listings, from over 12 years of study and research, and up to 15+ years of statistical information relating to the die marriages found in the early quarter series. Listed within, you will find much more than just a list of auction appearance and what that particular coin sold for. You will also find listings of the grading service; the unique serial number given to each coin when available; die stage information and cataloger comments. All grades from all die marriages of the bust quarter series from 1796 to 1838 are included in this list.

The complete holdings of the following major collections were also added:

Eliasberg — Norweb — Pittman

Several major collections that included bust quarters have been sold in the last few years, such as Pogue, Gardner and Newman, and these are also included in this edition.

In the recent past (the last 5-10 years or so), each of the major auction houses have begun to keep an online archive of past auctions and the coins sold. These archives are a tremendous source of information to the collector and each firm should be commended for continuing to fund and support this endeavor. Unfortunately these archives may or may not continue to exist into the future, due to mergers and companies being sold. So, at least for the bust quarter series, it is hoped that this compilation can be a permanent record for posterity.

Pre-orders for this issue can be purchased on my web site for $35. This includes free shipping for a limited time on pre-orders only, afterward shipping will be $4:

Or, you can send payment via mail to:

Steve Tompkins, P.O. Box 844, Peculiar, MO 64078

Any questions feel; free to send me an e-mail:  SMT115(at)

Steve M. Tompkins


Finally, an observation from the editor:

I think it was David Kahn who wrote in an email to customers a week or two ago that this ANA promises to be the biggest and best show of the year.  Even from as far away as Alaska, I feel the growing excitement for this show too!  There is not a better opportunity to learn about "our types of coins" than this show.  Presentations by the likes of Finkelstein,  Augsburger, Orosz, Link, Matthews, Sunshine, and ANA's 2017 Numismatist of the Year David Lange are just some of the great opportunities available.  Specialist auctions for half dollars (held by Sheridan Downey) and half Dimes (held by David Perkins) along with extensive auction by Stack's and Heritage will keep collectors busy!  

I encourage JR Newsletter readers who attend the ANA in Denver to share their experiences with other Newsletter readers by writing a paragraph or two for publication.  Send an email to jrnewsletter(at)

Richard Meaney, editor

Sunday, July 16, 2017

JR Newsletter: 16 July 2017 (353)

Barry Sunshine wrote:

At the next JRCS meeting in ANA Denver (8:00 AM on Wednesday, August 2 in room 407 Colorado Convention Center), Barry Sunshine and Jim Matthews will be presenting Developing a Passion for Bust Dimes. They will be sharing over 50 years of knowledge on collecting Bust Dimes. Their presentation will be covering how to grade Bust Dimes, attributing different die marriages, and just plain having fun collecting the series. Hope you will be there to hear the discussion.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

JR Newsletter: 9 July 2017 (352)

Auctions are in the Air!

Sheridan Downey wrote:

Mail Bid Sale No. 45 is less than a month away.  A dazzling array of high grade and rare bust halves may be previewed on my web site,  Thanks to Lance Keigwin, photos of every coin in the sale will be found there.

Part 1 of the sale consists of 49 coins from the renowned collection of Keith Davignon.  Descriptions of Keith’s coins, including their provenance, are already posted.  One highlight of Keith’s consignment is a stunning 1815/2 graded PCGS AU 55, with CAC approval.

Part 2 of the Sale, lots 50 through 107, is an exciting assortment of bust half-dollars from various consignors.  The lead coin, lot 50, is Don Frederick’s 1806 Knob 6, No Stem Thru Claw, O.108a, one of only two known with a massive reverse rim cud.  It is graded PCGS VG 8.  Lot 55 is a beautifully toned 1807 Large Stars O.114 graded PCGS MS 63, a coin that has been off the market for nearly 30 years.

Part 3 of the Sale, lots 108 through 117, consists of contemporary counterfeit capped bust halves from the reference collection of Mark Glazer.

Descriptions of the coins in Parts 2 and 3 of the Sale will be posted over the coming weeks.  Live bidding will commence on or about July 20.

Below, I have provided photos of Davignon’s 1815/2 and the remarkable 1807 Large Stars.  Click on either photo to enlarge the image

All JRCS members are invited to participate in the sale.  Bidder registration is simple.  Just follow the link on the Home Page of my web site.


PS Did I mention the fact that TWO 1823 Ugly 3's are in the Sale, each graded PCGS AU 58!

John Wilson wrote:

These early silver issues have been consigned to Heritage Auctions for auction at the Denver ANA (July 31 - Aug 7). Some pieces have outstanding eye appeal*. All are PCGS encapsulated. I am aware that survey, rarity and condition census ratings may not be considered authoritative and are presented here for information only. There are a few choice lots outside the early silver issues.

You may view and bid on my entire consignment in Heritage auction #1258 at the following link:
Many images are posted now. Internet bidding will begin about July 14.


half dimes

45 CAC
tied #2 JRCS survey
45 CAC
#5 JRCS survey
#3 JRCS survey
64 CAC
tied #1 JRCS survey

45 CAC
#2 JRCS survey
53 CAC
#1 JRCS survey
55 CAC
tied #3 JRCS survey
#2 JRCS survey

#3 JRCS survey
58 CAC
tied #3 JRCS survey
tied #1 JRCS survey
half dollars 

CC#2, #1 JRCS survey
tied #3 JRCS survey
64 CAC

1795 FH
tied #1 JRCS survey
1795 DB


1798 SE

40 CAC

35 CAC

40 CAC

35 CAC

40 CAC

Heritage's images are fantastic. If there is one of these coins which interests you particularly, I will email an image to you. Email jdwilsonmd(at)

John Wilson
JRCS 893

Sunday, July 2, 2017

JR Newsletter: 2 July 2017 (351)


The John Reich Collectors Society General meeting is just one month away!  Members, guests, and prospective members are welcome.  Details of the meeting:  Wednesday, August 2, 2017 at 8:00 AM in room 407 of the Colorado Convention Center.  Plan on up to 90 minutes for the meeting.

David Perkins wrote:

Announcing the 2017 Extraordinary Capped Bust Half Dime Sealed Bid and Fixed Price Auction Sale
Offered by W. David Perkins Numismatics

 We’re pleased to announce that we will be holding our fourth “Extraordinary Capped Bust Half Dime Sealed Bid and Fixed Price Auction Sale.”  This is our 10th Sale overall and our fifth sale featuring early and Capped Bust Half Dimes.

This sale will offer Redbook Type coins, rare to extremely rare die marriages, remarriages, and die states including cuds.  Many of the lots have high eye appeal for the assigned grades.  Plate coins abound from the standard reference “Federal Half Dimes 1792-1837” by Russell Logan and John McCloskey.  There will be lots pedigreed to the Russ Logan Collection which have not been sold publicly since 2002, including many coins that are plated in the half dime book.  Other pedigrees include well known collectors such as Pittman, Bareford, David Davis, and Wayte Raymond.   Some coins are in popular “old style PCGS holders,” some have green CAC stickers, and at least one coin has a gold CAC sticker (for those who like their coins undergraded and in a holder).

We will be offering approximately 25 Sealed Bid auction sale (SBS) lots which will go to the highest bidder.  Bids will be reduced where applicable.   The SBS auction will close at 6:00PM MST on Friday August 4, 2017.

We will offer another 20-30 Lots to be sold at Fixed Prices (FPL) – these are typically available a week or two before the sale by mail order on a first come, first serve basis.

Terms and Conditions will be sent out with the catalogs.

SBS Lots and any unsold FPL Lots can be viewed at the ANA Convention at Table 435 starting on Tuesday August 1, 2017.  You can call or e-mail me if you have questions.

The catalogs are close to being completed, and should be out in the next week or two.  If you are not on our distribution list for our half dimes sales and event, or are not sure if you are, please send an e-mail to wdperki(at) with your name and e-mail address and we will add you to our half dime distribution list.  We will send you the catalogs via e-mail with the catalogs and terms in PDF format attached to the note.  Please note that you do not have to be a JRCS member to receive the catalogs or participate in the sale.  You are also free to forward the catalog to your collecting friends who may not be on our list.

The sale will be cataloged by noted Capped Bust Half Dime specialist Richard Meaney.  Images of two of the sealed bid sale items are below (1829 LM-15.2 Plate Coin and 1833 LM-1 with retained cud).

W. David Perkins Numismatics
Cell 303-902-5366

Sunday, June 25, 2017

JR Newsletter: 25 June 2017 (350)

Recall that Winston Zack asked for information about a counterfeit bust half dollar.  Lance Keigwin wrote in response to Winston:

Hi Winston,

What you have there is a contemporary counterfeit made from an 1834 O.115 obverse and an 1829 O.114 reverse. Each was struck at least twice, as is plain to see. That, however, added some challenge.

OBVERSE: The first strike impressed the upper stars (S4 - S10 and a portion of S11) These line up with the higher portrait of Liberty largely obliterated by the later strike but with a nice defining line at the chest and neck. The lower stars correspond in position to the prominent portrait. Hence the odd spacing between S2 and S3 and the weirdness at S11.

REVERSE: A perfect overlay is not possible because either the coin is not quite round or the picture not square. But it is otherwise an excellent match for the 1829 O.114, including its filled A's. Even denticles are spot on.

I made a couple of overlays for illustration (animated gifs), using a real 1834 O.115 obverse and another using a real 1829 O.114 reverse. But studying just still pictures is convincing enough.

Hope that helps. And good luck with your book. I'm anxious to see it.

Lance Keigwin
Email - lance(at)
Numismatic Photography Services -


Last week's question by David Perkins (what was unique about Volume 1, Issue 1 of the John Reich Journal) spurred numerous responses.  Here are the responses, including a "summary response" by David Perkins:

Harry Salyards wrote:  That would be “J.R.C.S. Auction No. 1,” of “a few abandoned half dimes and dimes [found in] an old shoe box.”

As Member #233, Dave Davis told me that I was one of the last Charter Members.

Garrett Ziss wrote:  I believe that the answer to the question in the JR Newsletter on what the most unusual feature is for Volume 1 / Issue 1 is that it has a larger format than subsequent issues.  Volume 1 / Issue 1 measures 6.5" wide x 8.5" tall and subsequent issues measure 6 3/16" wide x 8.5" tall.

David Quint wrote:  I'm going with the JRCS Auction on the last page. I don't think we saw that again.

Bob Conrad wrote:  In response to the latest e newsletter, how about "The first ever JRCS auction" actually being the "Only" one? Dug out my copy and it was fun to look through. I still have the membership application and paste over "1820 Variety 13" sheet to be used for the Dime Book. It came with my copy of the Dime Book too, so this one stayed in the Journal.

I wonder if I got a copy sent to me free, to drum up business, since I was in BHNC? My thoughts were since I was in that plus EAC, what did I need another club for? Not collecting the other denominations. Boy was I wrong! Probably signed up at a show somewhere, since I still have the application in my Journal. I like that the basic Journal has stayed the same over the years. Same size and black and white. It also has expanded my interest into the other denominations.

Thanks for the good work!

Mike McDaniel wrote:  In regard to Dave's item in the June 18 JR Newsletter, Steve Herrman will surely treasure his pristine copy of JRJ Vol 1 No. 1.  I have a nice copy myself and reviewed it after reading your question in this week's newsletter re: the most unusual feature in the first JRJ issue.

Is the  answer to your question the item about the JRCS Auction #1 to raise funds for the society? I don't recall reading about subsequent JRCS auctions in other issues.

I would like to thank Bryce Brown and Kolbe & Fanning for providing me the opportunities via their websites and auctions to purchase an almost complete set of the JRJ.  The Newman Portal is a great resource to view and search e-copies of the JRJ, but I prefer to hold the journals in my hands when I read the informative articles.

Keep up the great work.

Later in the week, another response from Garrett Ziss:  I just arrived in Colorado Springs for the coin show tomorrow followed by Summer Seminar.  I have information at home to help figure out how many charter members of the JRCS there are.  As soon as I get home, I will get to the bottom of your question.

Regarding your second question, I am positive that there has not been a second JRCS auction.  The upcoming auction to raise money for the website will be the second auction.  It's coincidental that David Davis and Brad Karoleff have been the first and second JRCS presidents as well as the first and second JRCS auctioneers! (Assuming that Mr. Karoleff will be the auctioneer).

Bill Nyberg wrote:  The most unusual feature of Volume 1, Issue 1 of the John Reich Journal is on page 24, the J.R.C.S. Auction No. 1, for two half dimes and six dimes donated by a charter member for promotion and publication of the Journal.

Also, the size of the first issue was slightly wider, at 6 1/2", compared to about 6 1/4" for future issues. There were interesting Editor's Comments by David Davis, including the reason for selecting the name John Reich Collectors Society.

Having received so many responses (readers emailed both the editor of the JR Newsletter and David Perkins), David wrote a summary for us:

In the last issue of JR Newsletter,  I asked the question, “What was the most unusual feature in Issue 1 (of the John Reich Journal)?  One I don’t believe we have seen since.”   I received quite a few replies, and I learned something new.  In fact, I learned a couple of things new.

 The answer I was looking for regarding the most unusual feature in Volume 1 / Issue 1 was, “J.R.C.S. AUCTION No. 1.”  Yes, there was an auction in the first issue of the John Reich Journal.  It was placed on page 24, the last page before the back cover.

 The introduction to this auction sale stated in part, “One of our charter members was looking thru and old shoe box the other day when he discovered a few abandoned half dimes and dimes that needed a new home…. …The coins all grade BA (barely attributable) and command a minimum $2.00 opening bid.  All bear the provenance of being part of the first JRCS auction.”  All of the coins listed were in G-VG grades.  The auction listing was signed “THE MANAGEMENT.”

 Bids were to be sent to a Post Office in Ypsilanti, Michigan.  This likely makes David J. Davis, President of JRCS (at the time), the first (and only) JRCS Auctioneer.

If I had to make a guess, Russ Logan owned the shoe box…

I don’t know how many JRCS Charter Members there were.  In fact, I did not recall there were Charter Members for JRCS (but I was a member and received all three issues of Volume 1).  There appear to have been over 200 as “JRCS Member #233” wrote in a note to me with his answer to my question, “Dave Davis told me that I was one of the last Charter Members.”

I’ll leave our youngest member Garrett Ziss try to figure out how many Charter Members of JRCS there are!  The last count I could find was found under the “Editor’s Comments” in Volume 1 / Issue 3 noted, “JRCS now has 257 paid members and I am going to hold open the Charter membership roles [sic.] until I have heard from the people whose inquiries were received prior to the closing of the fiscal year.”

As I’m JRCS Member #165 I just learned that I am a Charter Member of JRCS.  Thank you #233!

There was another answer received from a number of members, a correct one that I was not aware of.  As one member’s reply simply said, “It was about ¼” wider than subsequent issues.”  I went to my shelf, pulled out the first two issues of Volume 1, and lo and behold he was correct!  To be exact, or to quote from Mr. Ziss, “Volume 1 / Issue 1 measures 6.5” wide x 8.5” tall and subsequent issues measure 6 3/16” wide x 8.5” tall.”   

[In the photo, Volume 1 / Issue 2 is on the top of Volume 1 / Issue 1, and the blue or gray streak on the right side is the difference in the width (approximately ¼”).]

Final Tally:  Five answers of the first auction, two others mentioning the size.  I was looking for the “first JRCS Auction,” but both answers work for me.  I’m grateful to the members who pointed this out, and I’m happy to learn I am a Charter Member of JRCS!

I don’t believe there was ever a second JRCS Auction.  One response that I received stated the same.  Garrett???

I would also like to pass on the following words from a Northern California collector, “I would like to thank Bryce Brown and Kolbe & Fanning for providing me the opportunities via their websites to purchase an almost complete set of the JRJ.”  He also added, “The Newman Portal is a great resource to view and search e-copies of the JRJ, but I prefer to hold the journals in my hands when I read the informative articles.”  I second this.

 Thanks to all who participated. My next question is, “By chance do any JRCS members or others have a Capped Bust Half Dime or Dime that pedigrees to this historic sale?”  And if so, an envelope or paperwork associated with the sale?
W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO

Finally, from Richard Meaney:

I like to do my best to stay in touch with the market for capped bust half dimes.  It is impossible to know the results of all transactions, since so many are private sales, but due diligence is important when attempting to assign rarity and value estimates to half dimes.  I'm sure many of our readers saw that last week, Stack's had an auction that included what I would call the "worst known" 1833 LM-5/V10 half dime.  This die marriage was "The Holy Grail" of capped bust half dimes when Logan and McCloskey published "Federal Half Dimes 1792-1837"

PCGS called the coin "Good details, Damaged" and you can see from the Stack's images, the coin is indeed quite damaged!

My count of known 1833 LM-5 half dimes was seven (before this coin).  I believe the census with this coin included would look something like this, grade-wise.  You will have to pardon the "descriptors" I use for each coin, but I needed something other than the collector's name to sort of describe each coin:

Stack's Damaged coin:  Net PO-01 or FA-02
2015 Auction (Perkins ANA Sale):  PCGS G-6
Private Sale circa 2015-2016:  PCGS VG-8
Ebay Find circa 2016-2017:  Raw F15-F18
Long Term in a Collection:  Raw VF-20
2009 raw eBay find:  PCGS XF-40
Discovery Coin:  AU
Finest, ex-Logan:  NGC MS-61

A link to the Stack's auction web page featuring what I figure is the eighth known example of this die marriage is here:

The coin sold for nearly $1,300!  So, is this the right price?  Did the buyer overpay?  Did the buyer underpay?  All are interesting questions without a definitive answer.  When pricing rarities, one must consider the scarcity of the coin (in this case, solid R-7), the grade of the coin, the grading service, the venue in which the coin is offered, the eye appeal of the coin, and, quite importantly in my mind, how many collectors are there who need one, want one, and are willing to buy the one being offered.

Two of the above factors deserve a bit of clarification.  I think venue matters because publicity matters.  Hard core half dime collectors who scour every source, every day are quite few in number.  Casual collectors who examine major auctions ("named auctions" such as Logan or Reiver; and the annual David Perkins auctions) are more prevalent.  My assessment is that to get the best price, a coin needs targeted exposure to casual collectors, since the hard core collectors are going to find out about it no matter what.  Similarly, I think the "who needs one" set of questions is also quite important.  Certainly, all collectors who seek half dimes by die marriage (and remarriage) would love to own specific rarities.  However, not all are willing to "settle" for a problem piece, a low grade coin, or even a coin below their desired threshold (some collectors don't collect half dimes below choice VF, for example…regardless of rarity!).

Considering these factors, we can conclude that some casual collectors likely did not even know about this 1833 LM-5 half dime at Stack's.  Other collectors possibly chose not to participate because of the coin's grade or damaged condition.  So did it sell for the right price?  We can conclude it did sell for the right price given the grade and venue.  I am confident, however, that this coin could have sold for a higher price had it received targeted publicity.  Of course, that's just one man's opinion.