Sunday, April 19, 2015

JR Newsletter: 19 April 2015 (237)



This week's issue of the JR Newsletter starts with a reminder for those of you who have one or more early half dimes in your collection.

Steve Crain wrote:

Half dime census information is now being solicited from all JRCS members for inclusion in the July pre-ANA issue of the John Reich Journal.

Please email your complete inventory listing (including all duplicates and die states) of all your 1792 Half Disme, Draped Bust, Flowing Hair and Capped Bust half dimes to Stephen Crain at: mrhalfdime(at)aol.com

Or mail hard copies to:

Stephen A. Crain
P. O. Box 1680
Windham, ME 04062

Please include all of your cud examples, as well, as we are responding to collector demand to include this information.

Please respond before
May 15, 2015 to ensure inclusion of your collection in this census. This is a hard cut-off date – no exceptions, since the completed census must appear in the pre-ANA John Reich Journal.

Thank you,
Steve
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We also received some good news from Brad Karoleff:

The latest issue of the John Reich Journal was mailed today (Saturday)!  I will be attending the Central States show next week at table 1400. Please stop by and say hello.

Anyone not receiving their John Reich Journal by next Friday please let me know at bkaroleff(at)yahoo.com

Happy hunting

Brad Karoleff
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Winston Zack wrote with a research request:

Does anyone have a comprehensive list of pre-seated Mint Delivery Warrants? After searching through old JR Newsletters I see that David Finkelstein was/is compiling a comprehensive/complete list of early Delivery Warrants.

Specifically, I am looking for delivery warrants from 1836 and 1837...the transition years from hand-powered coining operations to steam-powered coinage production.

Please feel free to email me:  stoneman101(at)gmail.com with any information you have and are willing to share. I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks,
Winston
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Speaking of David Finkelstein…

David Finkelstein wrote with an original article, "David Ott’s Account of Gold – Part 1" – which is below:




David Ott’s Account of Gold – Part 1
By David Finkelstein


David Ott first appeared on a Mint warrant when he was paid $24.17 on January 7, 1793 for “assaying coins at the Mint”.  His temporary assaying work was done in response to the following House of Representatives motion of November 29, 1792:

“Resolved, That that the President of the United States be requested to cause assays and other proper experiments to be made, at the Mint of the United States, of the gold and silver coins of France, England, Spain, and Portugal; and a report of the quantity of fine metal, and of alloy, in each of the denominations of the coins, to be laid before this House”.

President George Washington forwarded the request down to Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who forwarded the request down to Director of the Mint David Rittenhouse.  Rittenhouse contracted David Ott to perform the assays of the foreign gold and silver coins.  On January 7, 1793, David Rittenhouse forwarded the assay report up to Thomas Jefferson, who forwarded the report up to George Washington, who forwarded the report to the House of Representatives.  The report was then used as background material for the Act Regulating Foreign Coins of February 9, 1793.

David Ott next appeared on a Mint warrant when he was paid $133.33 on February 20, 1795 as a Mint employee for “53 days work at melting and refining in the Mint” from November 1, 1794 to December 31, 1794.  The Mint & Coinage Act of April 2, 1792 failed to define the position of Melter & Refiner.  As a result, silver and gold deposits could not be “legally” melted and refined into ingots with the precious metal and alloy percentages that were mandated by Congress.  Without melted and refined ingots, the ingots could not be rolled into sheets, the sheets could not be punched into planchets, and the planchets could not be struck into coins.  On March 3, 1795, President Washington signed the Supplementation of the Mint Act.  This act defined the position of Melter & Refiner.  It also allowed the Director of the Mint to employ a Melter & Refiner Pro Tem until one could be nominated by the President and approved by the Senate.  David Ott was the Mint’s first Melter & Refiner Pro Tem.


The First Gold Bullion Deposits

One of the Mint ledgers stored at the National Archives and Records Administration is David Ott’s Account of Gold (see Figure 1).  One part of his ledger identifies when gold bullion deposits were received from the Treasurer of the Mint, and when melted and refined ingots were delivered to the Chief Coiner (see Figures 2 and 3).

Gold bullion (in any shape or form) was first deposited with the Treasurer of the Mint.  After the deposit was assayed and the equivalent value in United States money was calculated, the deposit was provided to the Melter and Refiner Pro Tem or the Melter and Refiner.  [Although not germane to this article, it should be noted that the silver deposits that were melted and refined prior to the Supplementation of the Mint Act were illegally done so by Assayer Albion Cox (and most likely with the help of David Ott) as directed by David Rittenhouse.]

The first gold bullion deposit was received by Treasurer of the Mint Dr. Nicholas Way on February 12, 1795.  The total (or gross weight) of the deposit was 130 Troy ounces 4 pennyweights (or dwt) 9 grains.  After the deposit was assayed, it was determined that after it would be melted and refined, it would weigh (or have a standard weight of) 128 Troy ounces 0 dwt 18 grains, and have a value of $2,276.22.  See Figure 4.

The gross weight of the first 4 gold bullion deposits was 234 Troy ounces 0 dwt 13 grains (see Figure 4).  Note that there are 20 pennyweights per Troy ounce and 24 grains per pennyweight.  The gross weight of the first two entries made in David Ott’s Account of Gold total 234 Troy ounces 5 dwt 0 grains (see Figure 2).  It is therefore logical to conclude that the first 4 gold bullion deposits, that were deposited with Dr. Nicholas Way on February 12th, March 24th, May 18th and May 22nd, 1795, were transferred from Dr. Way to David Ott on July 21st and July 22nd, 1795.

An Experiment Was Conducted

Before gold coins could be struck, the gold bullion had to be melted and the existing alloys and impurities had to be removed.  Then, copper and silver had to be added such that the resultant mixture complied with the Mint & Coinage Act and was 11/12ths gold and 1/12th silver / copper alloy.  Next, the molten mixture had to be poured into ingots.  After the ingots cooled, they were to be transferred to the custody of Chief Coiner Henry Voigt.  He would then be responsible for having the employees in his department roll the ingots into sheets, punch planchets out of the sheets, adjust each planchet to the appropriate weight (if it was too heavy), then strike gold coins.

Prior to July 21, 1795, no gold coins were ever struck by the United State Mint.  On July 21, 1795, shortly after the first transfer of gold bullion took place between Dr. Nicholas Way and David Ott, 16 Troy ounces 10 dwt 12 grains in gold, “before it was melted”, was provided to Chief Coiner Henry Voigt “for an experiment” (see Figure 3).  Note that Moses Brown’s deposit consisted of ingots (see Figure 5).  Most likely, a gold ingot from Moses Brown’s deposit was provided to Henry Voigt to confirm that it could be rolled into a sheet of the desired thickness, and that planchets could be properly punched out of the sheet using the Mint’s existing equipment

The experiment was obviously successful, and gold coinage production began.  The gold bullion from the first four deposits was melted and refined, and 6 ingots, weighing 204 Troy ounces 15 dwt 5 grains, were delivered to Henry Voigt on July 23, 1795 (see Figure 3).  On July 31st, 744 Gold Half Eagles (valued at $3,720) were transferred from Chief Coiner Henry Voigt to Treasurer of the Mint Dr. Nicholas Way via the Mint’s first gold delivery warrant.  See Figure 6.  To be continued…


 
Figure 1 – David Ott’s Account of Gold



Figure 2 – David Ott’s Account of Gold: Page 1




Figure 3 – David Ott’s Account of Gold: Page 2





Figure 4 – Register of Gold Deposits: Deposits 1 - 5







Figure 5 – Register of Gold Bullion: Deposits 1 - 5



Figure 6 – First Gold Coin Delivery Warrant: 31-JUL-1795


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Finally, a reminder from Richard Meaney:

Nominations for the JRCS Hall of Fame class of 2015 are now OPEN. However, the nomination period will close soon to allow the Hall of Fame Committee sufficient time to consider each nominee and select this year's honorees.

The membership is encouraged to send nominations for the Hall of Fame. 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 me at jrnewsletter(at)jrcs.org or to Brad Karoleff at bkaroleff(at)yahoo.com

Thank you,
Richard

Sunday, April 12, 2015

JR Newsletter: 12 April 2015 (236)



Ron Guth wrote with this week's first contribution:

Thank you, David Finkelstein, for the articles you have been contributing to the JR Newsletter.  They are a superb synthesis of early U.S. Mint history.  I look forward to each installment.
Ron Guth
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Next, a JRCS get-together opportunity from Gawain O'Connor:

The JRCS meeting at Portland was a lot of fun. If members in the Northwest would like to meet again, I can arrange a meeting at the Pacific Northwest Numismatic Association convention on May 2 in Tukwila (Seattle area). Perhaps for an informal discussion in the aftermath of the Hilt collection sale.

Gawain O'Connor
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The final contribution for the week is this announcement from Steve Herrman:

Available Now - Complete Edition of Auction & Mail Bid Prices Realized for Bust Half Dollars 1794-1839 (Spring 2015 revision)

Distributed as a searchable PDF format file on CD-ROM. The Complete Edition of the AMBPR includes two complete, sorted and formatted listings of the more than 51,700 records in the AMBPR database.

R3+ to R8 die varieties, overdates & other popular varieties, proofs, mint errors & patterns, countermarks, contemporary counterfeits, and condition census specimens are listed for most major auctions held since 1984!

  -- Full listing in order by Die Variety Number
  -- Full listing in order by Sale & Lot Number

Distributed via CD-ROM, 1,782 pages, $50.00 postpaid.
$5.00 shall be donated to the JRCS for each copy sold.
Please contact Steve at Herrman102(at)aol.com

Note: This is a once in every 5 years publication. Requires Adobe Reader for Windows OS or Mac OS.

Available Soon - Auction Prices Realized for Certified & Graded Bust Half Dollars 1794-1839 (Summer 2015 revision)

Distributed as a softbound copy or in PDF file format, the APRCG contains a listing of all certified and graded Bust half dollars sold in major auctions during the last three years (June 2012 through May 2015).

Softbound copy is $25.00 postpaid. Softbound copy plus PDF file is $30.00 postpaid. PDF file by itself is $20.00.  Regular subscribers and pre-orders (prior to June 6) shall receive a $3.00 discount.  $1.00 shall be donated to both the BHNC and the JRCS for each copy sold.
Please contact Steve at Herrman102(at)aol.com

Note: This is an annual publication. PDF file requires Adobe Reader for Windows OS or Mac OS.

Steve

Sunday, April 5, 2015

JR Newsletter: 5 April 2015 (235)



We have another excellent issue of the JR Newsletter.  Steve Crain starts us off.

Steve Crain wrote:

Half Dime Census:

Your Half dime census information is now being solicited for inclusion in the July pre-ANA issue of the John Reich Journal.

Please email your complete inventory listing (including all duplicates and die states) of all your 1792, Draped Bust, Flowing Hair and Capped Bust half dimes to:

Stephen Crain at:  mrhalfdime(at)aol.com

Or mail hard copies to:

Stephen A. Crain
P. O. Box 1680
Windham, ME 04062

Please include all of your cud examples as well, as we are responding to collector demand to include this information.

Please respond before May 15, 2015 to ensure inclusion of your collection in this census. This is a hard cut-off date – no exceptions.  The completed census must appear in the pre-ANA John Reich Journal.
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Regarding the Mohawk Valley Hoard, Bryce Brown wrote:

In case anyone asks more about the "Mohawk Valley Hoard", a good number of the coins were sold in the Coin Galleries auction sale of 3/11/2009.

Best regards,
Bryce
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David Finkelstein shared his latest research piece, "Treasurer of the Mint Receipts For Copper Coins."  



Treasurer of the Mint Receipts For Copper Coins
By David Finkelstein

Audit trails of the silver and gold coins that were transferred from the custody of the Chief Coiner to the custody of the Treasurer of the Mint were logged in three Mint ledgers;  the Waste Book, the Bullion Journal, and the Gold Account Book.  Although the Silver Account Book has never been located within the Mint holdings at the National Archives and Records Administration, researchers have assumed that this 4th ledger existed and contained audit trails of the silver coin deliveries.

Audit trails of the copper coins that were transferred from the custody of the Chief Coiner to the custody of the Treasurer of the Mint were also logged in three Mint ledgers; the Waste Book, the Bullion Journal, and the Copper Account Book.  Although copper coinage production began in 1793, copper coin deliveries were not logged in these three ledgers until Q1 1796.

The Mint utilized a fourth ledger that logged the copper coins that were transferred from the custody of the Chief Coiner to the custody of the Treasurer of the Mint.  This ledger began with the first copper coin delivery dated March 1, 1793 and is titled “The Treasurer of the Mint Receipts For Copper Coins” (or TRCC).  See Figure 1.  Each entry was written and signed by either the Treasurer of the Mint (see Figure 2) or the Treasurer’s Clerk (see Figure 3).

Copper delivery warrants were issued, as required, by the Director of the Mint.  Beginning in 1796, each warrant was logged in the Waste Book, Bullion Journal and Copper Account Book.  The copper coin deliveries in these three ledgers match each other.  Copper coin deliveries entered in the TRCC were done differently than in the three previously mentioned ledgers.  When an entry was made in the TRCC, it was usually for all copper deliveries that occurred during the respective quarter.  For example: per Figure 4, copper delivery warrant 3 was dated October 14, 1796 and was for 1,390 Half Cents and 16,675 Cents.  Copper delivery warrant 4 was also dated October 14, 1796 and was for 346,700 Cents.  Although there were two entries in the Copper Account Book (as well as the Waste Book and Bullion Journal) because there were two separate delivery warrants issued, there was only one entry in the TRCC.  Per Figure 3, the totals for copper delivery warrants 3 and 4 were entered in the TRCC on December 31, 1796 as “received from Henry Voigt Chief Coiner of the Mint in the quarter ending this day”: 1,390 Half Cents and 363,375 Cents.

Entries in the TRCC provide handwriting examples of Treasurer of the Mint Tristram Dalton, Dr. Nicholas Way, and Dr. Benjamin Rush, as well as Treasurer Clerk Isaac Childs, Nathan Thomas, and George Ehrenzeller.  Combined with the Mint payroll records for the officers and clerks, it may be possible to identify who made the entries in the Waste Book, Bullion Journal, Copper Account Book, Gold Account Book, and by deduction, the Silver Account Book.

To be continued…


Figure 1 – The Treasurer of the Mint Receipts for Copper Coins



Figure 2 – 1-Mar-1793 & 2-Mar-1793 TRCC Entries
Made by Treasurer of the Mint Tristram Dalton



Figure 3 – 31-Dec-1796 TRCC Entry Made by Treasurer’s Clerk
Nathan Thomas on Behalf of Treasurer of the Mint Dr. Nicholas Way



Figure 4 – Copper Account Book – Q4 1796




Sunday, March 29, 2015

JR Newsletter: 29 March 2015 (234)



With the Whitman Baltimore Spring Expo coin show going strong this week, we hope to have a few contributions from the show for the next issue of the JR Newsletter.  For this issue, Frank Colletti offers his thoughts in response to a post from last week:

Regarding the writer’s question about the hoard with a mark, it was called the Mohawk Valley hoard.

They were slabbed by NCS, and they state:

NCS has recently encapsulated the Mohawk Valley Hoard in NCS Genuine holders. This hoard was found near Albany New York buried in the ground. The hoard had existed only in legend until it was recently discovered with the help of metal detectors. The hoard contains bust half dollars as well as a significant number of bust quarters. Spanish Colonial pieces consisting primarily of 2 Real coins were also discovered. While it is not known when the coins were buried, the most recent date on any coin in the hoard is 1842. The coins were discovered in rows and may offer a glimpse into the silver coins in circulation in the first third of the 19th century.

NCS Continues:
The coins appear to be intentionally marked by those who buried the hoard. Notches were punched into the coins either along the top edge of the coins or in the center of the coin often in front of the portrait always on the obverse of the coin. These marks, along with environmental damage to some of the pieces, would prevent the hoard from being certified by a major grading service such as NGC. It is speculated that these marks were made so that the owner would know the hoard was found should coins with such marks begin appearing in circulation.
All coins in the hoard have been encapsulated under NCS Genuine Only service. There is no mention of the grade of the details on the label. Each half dollar is fully attributed with Overton numbers according to Variety Plus standards and the quarters have been attributed according to the Browning reference. The Spanish Colonial pieces have been fully attributed according to date, mint, and assayer initials. All coins have the pedigree "Mohawk Valley Hoard" listed in the coin's description.
 An example of the mark can be seen here:


The story as written can be found here:


Formerly at the web site of http://www.keshequacoins.com/MVHStory.html  But it has apparently been deleted.

Additionally, another search showed that Stack's sold a number of coins form the hoard, but apparently all photos have been deleted.


Frank Colletti

Sunday, March 22, 2015

JR Newsletter: 22 March 2015 (233)



This week's JR Newsletter starts off with a personal invitation to a Pogue auction get-together!

Barry Sunshine wrote:

Wine and cheese reception before the Pogue auction on May 19th in New York City

In honor of the Pogue auction in May, I would like to have a reception for all JRCS members and JR Newsletter readers before the auction.  My New York City office is near Sothebys, so I was thinking about having a JRCS wine and cheese reception at my office before the auction. All JRCS members and guests are invited.  

Time to be determined.  I will be having a lot of JRCS related surprises at this wine and cheese reception! 

Anyone interested please email me at BSunshine(at)optonline.net
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Jeff Tryka wrote regarding E and L counterstamped bust quarters.

I was interested to see Mr. Hamling's reference to bust quarters with E and L counterstamps.  I am not a bust quarter collector, but I do collect bust halves and recently bought an 1830 half dollar with an L counterstamp on the obverse.  I'd be interested to learn a little more about these stamps on both quarters and halves of the period.  I recall reading an article several years ago about a hoard of early coins with counterstamps of the hoard owner's initials done as a way to detect if someone had discovered and absconded with the hoard (i.e. you know your treasure's been stolen if you get a coin in change with your initials stamped on it).  I don't recall the details of the article, just the basic premise.  In any case, below is a photo of the 1830 that I recently bought with the L.

Jeff Tryka


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Next, David Perkins wrote with information on his table assignment at the upcoming Baltimore coin show and an announcement of his next sealed bid and fixed price sale for half dimes:

W. David Perkins – See us at Tables 1054 & 1056 at the Whitman-Baltimore Expo

 We have Table numbers 1054 & 1056 at the Whitman-Baltimore next week.  I am sharing two tables with Gerry Fortin.  We will be set up Thursday-Saturday (mid afternoon), March 26-28, 2015.  If you forget the table numbers, please note that Table 1054 is listed in the directory under “W.” for W. David Perkins, Numismatist (One of the pitfalls of going by your middle name!).  I will have a nice selection of Bust Dollars, FH & CB Half Dollars, early quarters, CB Half Dimes, along with a large number of Gobrecht & Seated Dollars.  Gerry will also have a large selection of Bust Coinage with him at the show.  Table 1056 is listed under Gerry Fortin Rare Coins. 

I plan to hold another Early and Capped Bust Half Dime sale at the ANA Convention in August.  If you are not on my e-mail list for these half dime sales please let me know via e-mail or stop by the table at Baltimore.  As in the previous sales, I will have a combination of Fixed Price List offerings and Sealed Bid Sale lots.  The sealed bid sale lots tend to be the rarer die marriages and die states, plate coins from the LM Book, and half dimes with better pedigrees.  I have a few rarities already consigned….  There is still room for a few select consignments.  

 I believe I have most of the early dollar census data from early dollar collectors for the next issue of the John Reich Journal.  If you have changes or additions, you are welcome to drop them off at the table.

 Please stop by and see us!  Thanks.

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO
 wdperki(at)attglobal.net
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Winston Zack wrote in response to Lance Boiselle's discussion of a counterfeit bust dime.

Lance, thanks for sharing the cast counterfeit bust dime you recently acquired. I was hoping you could provide me/us some more details on this piece if you can. Specifically I would like to know if the piece has a reeded or plain edge, and what is the weight? If you can also provide details on length and thickness measurements I would appreciate that information for my records as well.

Personally, when I saw that piece I was not totally convinced it was a cast counterfeit. It appeared like it was, but it also looked like it could have been post-mint damage which caused the surfaces to look the way they do.

Thanks,
Winston
stoneman101(at)gmail.com
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David Finkelstein wrote with another original contribution.  This one is entitled, "The Copper, Silver & Gold Account Books and Coins Reserved For Assaying."  David's article, including a number of photographs, is below.

 The Copper, Silver & Gold Account Books and Coins Reserved For Assaying
By David Finkelstein

The Waste Book and Bullion Journal were used to log the deposits of silver and gold bullion, the transfer of silver and gold bullion/coins between the officers of the Mint, and the return of coins to depositors. There were three additional ledgers that recorded the transfer of copper, silver and gold coins from the Chief Coiner to the Treasurer of the Mint; the Copper Account Book, the Silver Account Book, and the Gold Account Book.

The Silver Account Book
To date, the Silver Account Book has not been located within the Mint holdings at the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA). It is unclear if the Silver Account Book was ever part of the NARA holdings. We know that it existed because the Copper Account Book (Figure 1) and the Gold Account Book (Figure 3) exist.

The Copper Account Book
The Copper Account Book identifies the number of copper coins, by delivery warrant number, by delivery date, and by denomination, that were delivered from the Chief Coiner to the Treasurer of the Mint. Each page is for a 3 month period. See Figure 2. The Copper Coinage Act of May 8, 1792 gave the Director of the Mint the authority to purchase up to 150 tons of copper and strike Half Cents and Cents. Whereas the Mint & Coinage Act of April 2, 1792 defined a high level workflow for converting silver and gold bullion into money, the Copper Coinage Act did not. The copper workflow, as well as the events that triggered the movement of copper and copper coins within the Mint was left up to the discretion of the Director of the Mint. Mint ledgers indicate that copper and copper coin movement between the officers of the Mint through March, 1796 may not have been triggered by Director warrants. This changed on March 31, 1796, when the first Director copper delivery warrant was issued.
 
The Gold Account Book
The Gold Account Book identifies the number of gold coins, by delivery warrant number, by delivery date, and by denomination, that were delivered from the Chief Coiner to the Treasurer of the Mint. Each page is for a 3 month period. Figures 4, 5, 6 and 7 are pages from the Gold Account Book for 1798 Q1, Q2, Q3 and Q4. Note delivery warrant 6, dated February 12, 1798 in Figure 4. The gold coins delivered per this warrant (1 Quarter Eagle, 3 Half Eagles, and 11 Eagles) are listed after delivery warrant 106 and before delivery warrant 109. This delivery warrant was not for coins to be returned to a depositor, but for coins to be reserved for assaying. In this case, the 6 in the “No” column stands for assay delivery warrant 6.
 
Coins Reserved For Assaying
The Mint and Coinage Act of April 2, 1792 required samples of the silver and gold coins made by the Mint over the preceding 12 months to be assayed on the last Monday in July of each year. The Act Regulating Foreign Coins of February 9, 1793 changed the assay date to the second Monday in February. Coins reserved for assaying were pulled from regular coinage production at various times, as specified on assay warrants issued by the Director. The coins were assayed at the Mint in the presence of the Director of the Mint, the Assayer, and the Chief Coiner, and under the inspection of at least 3 of the following: the Chief Justice of the United States, the Secretary and Comptroller of the Treasury, the Secretary for the department of State, and the Attorney General of the United States. Mint ledgers referred to this group of people as “commissioners appointed by law” or what we refer to today as the Assay Commission.
Since the Gold Account Book recorded the gold assay delivery warrants, it is logical to conclude that the Silver Account Book recorded the silver assay delivery warrants.
 
Director of the Mint Reports
The Director of the Mint issued a yearly report concerning the state of the Mint. This report was presented to Congress. It included the yearly totals of the copper, silver and gold coins issued by the Mint (see Figure 8).
 
Observations
Analysis of the Waste Book, Bullion Journal, Gold Account Book, and Director of the Mint yearly reports has resulted in the following observations:
1. The silver and gold assay warrants were logged in both the Waste Book and Bullion Journal. These entries specified the standard weight (in troy ounces, pennyweights and grains) and value of the coins reserved for assaying. The entries did not specify the number of coins reversed for assaying.
2. The specific number of coins, by denomination, that were reserved for assaying were only logged in the Gold Account Book, and by deduction, the Silver Account Book.
3. When a Director assay delivery warrant was issued, the specified number of silver or gold coins that were to be reserved for assaying were transferred from the custody of the Chief Coiner to the custody of the Treasurer of the Mint.
4. Entries in the Waste Book and Bullion Journal confirm that on the date of the annual assaying (the second Monday in February), two Director’s warrants were issued to transfer the silver and gold coins reserved for assaying from the custody of the Treasurer of the Mint to the custody of the Chief Coiner.
5. The coins reserved for assaying were not included in the coinage figures in the Director of the Mint’s yearly reports. For example: The gold coinage totals for calendar year 1798 in Figure 8 do not include the coins identified in assay warrants 6, 8 and 10 (see Figures 4, 5 and 6). The number of Quarter Eagles delivered from the Chief Coiner to the Treasurer of the Mint during calendar year 1798 were 256 + 1 + 298 + 1 + 60 + 2 or 618. The Director of the Mint’s yearly report for 1798 specified that the Quarter Eagle coinage was 614. The coinage figure did not include the 4 Quarter Eagles that were reserved for assaying.
 
Conclusions
The silver and gold coins reserved for assaying originated from multiple silver and gold bullion deposits that resulted in the minting of hundreds, thousands, and possibly tens of thousands of coins. These bullion deposits were received by the Treasurer of the Mint, assayed by the Assayer, melted and refined into ingots by the Melter & Refiner, then transferred to the custody of the Chief Coiner so they could be rolled into sheets, cut into planchets, and struck into coins. When the Director of the Mint issued an assay delivery warrant, a few coins were transferred to the custody of the Treasurer of the Mint so they could be reserved for assaying. The value of the coins were credited to the Treasurer of the Mint’s silver or gold assay coin account (not to be confused with his silver or gold coin account).
 
On the second Monday in February, the assay coins were transferred from the custody of the Treasurer of the Mint to the custody of the Chief Coiner in preparation of the assaying that would take place at the Mint with the “commissioners appointed by law”. This was done because the Treasurer of the Mint was not a member of the Assay Commission. The value of the silver and gold coins was debited from the Treasurer of the Mint’s silver and gold assay coin accounts and credited to the Chief Coiner’s silver and gold accounts.
 
It seems logical to conclude that if any coins were significantly damaged or destroyed during the assaying, they or their remains would be transferred to the custody of the Melter and Refiner so their precious metal content could be recycled into ingots and reprocessed through the normal channels to be rolled into sheets, cut into 
 planchets, and struck into coins.
 
It also seems logical to conclude that if some of the coins were not assayed, they could be transferred from the custody of the Chief Coiner to the custody of the Treasurer of the Mint as part of a future Director delivery warrant, and eventually returned to depositors.
To be continued…


Figure 1 – Copper Account Book


Figure 2 – Copper Account Book – Q3 1796


Figure 3 – Gold Account Book


Figure 4 – Gold Account Book – Q1 1798



Figure 5 – Gold Account Book – Q2 1798



Figure 6 – Gold Account Book – Q3 1798



Figure 7 – Gold Account Book – Q4 1798



Figure 8 – Extract From Director of the Mint Report For Calendar Year 1798, Attested to by Treasurer of the Mint Dr. Benjamin Rush



Sunday, March 15, 2015

JR Newsletter: 15 March 2015 (232)



The JR Newsletter has an excellent variety of interesting contributions this week!

First, H Craig Hamling wrote with an opportunity for those planning to attend EAC:

Greetings Silver collectors!
I will be coordinating the silver happening on Thursday evening at the EAC convention in Dallas this year.

If you have any particular item you would like to be included please let me know. My email is hcraig@hcraig.com

I don't know of any specific varieties that have been shown in the past so I am starting from scratch.  Bust quarters with E and L counterstamps intrigue me so lets put them out there for starters.

Maybe someone has (another) new theory about why they exist.

I hope to hear from you.

H Craig Hamling
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For collectors of early dollars, here is your chance to contribute to the census:

Input for 2015 Early Silver Dollar Census
I am working on the 2015 JRCS Early Dollar Census which will be published in the next issue of the John Reich Journal.  If you have not sent in your information please do as soon as possible to me at wdperki(at)attglobal.net

In particular, members # 893 and # 716 had early dollar collections included in the last Census but have not yet sent in their current collection information to me.  I would like to get this information if you are still collecting the early silver dollars. 

Thanks.
W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO
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New (to us) contributor Lance Boiselle wrote with some thoughts about collecting and a picture of a cast counterfeit bust dime that he recently acquired (an image of the dime is below):

There has to be more collectors that have an interest in the area. I started a few years ago with bust coin die marriages, now hooked on them. The hunt is what its all about. In my mind's eye I can almost imagine the die sinkers at work. The tedium of art and conditions they were under while accomplishing such is fascinating. A wonderful book on this that I highly recommend is "From Mine to Mint" by Robert W. Burdette. 

Lance

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John Okerson wrote with an inquiry:

I am hoping that someone may have started down a path towards gathering early and bust dime rarity for those issues with cuds like Richard Meaney’s work on half dimes in 2011, Volume 21, Issue 1 pp 12-14.  Hopefully, as David Quint or other authors prepare the next Draped Bust and Bust Dime census, there will be a provision to include the cud coins as separate entries.  Since it appears that such a listing has not been done for dimes yet, it might take several iterations of the census before an accurate estimate of rarity can be made.

John Okerson
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David Kahn wrote about the upcoming Baltimore Coin Expo:

I will be offering the next portion of “selections from an Eastern Collection” of Capped Bust half dollars on my website and at the upcoming Whitman Baltimore Coin Expo, March 26th through 29th.  The Eastern Collection has been formed over a long period by a serious collector who started buying Bust halves in the 1980’s.  Recently, he has asked me to help thin the herd, something that is not unusual…generally.  In this case however, the process has real meaning, since this collector has never, until now, sold a coin!  There are duplicates, triplicates and more!  His focus has always been on early dates.  And, virtually every coin is or has been slabbed. The quality of this first group (yes, it is likely there will be more in the future) is mixed, with wonderfully choice, high end coins sharing company with those resting in Genuine holders.  But all are priced to sell!  Please visit my website when you can, at www.DavidKahnRareCoins.com.   You will find the Eastern Collection coins, noted as such, listed among the Bust Half dollars.  There are many other new items listed for sale as well, including great coins and a small but high quality group of Library of Coins albums.  Plus, please check my Numismatic Literature section for new as well as used books and catalogs.

 
A couple of other items to note as well - the first being a major change in the Baltimore show mentioned above. This show is normally held in Halls A, B and C, but this time around, it will be in Halls F and G.  Thus, the floor plan will be different and dealer’s table locations will be changing.  My table number will be 1030.  At the table, Richard W. Irons will be signing copies of his two recently published books, one on Contemporary Counterfeit Bust half dollars (the 2nd edition of “Davignon”) and - though it doesn’t fit in with the subject matter of JRCS - a completely revised and expanded 2nd edition of David Schenkman’s Civil War Sutler Token book. Please stop by on Friday March 27, when Rick will be at my table.  You can buy a copy of either book there or bring your own…either way Rick will be pleased to sign.
 
I look forward to seeing or hearing from you!
 
David Kahn David(at)DavidKahnRareCoins.com
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JR Newsletter readers are getting spoiled by now, I'm sure of it, because David Finkelstein wrote another article for us!  He wrote, "Coin Deliveries vs. Red Book Mintages." 



Coin Deliveries vs. Red Book Mintages
By David Finkelstein

By reviewing the delivery warrant entries in the Bullion Journals, and entering the number of coins, by denomination, delivered from the Chief Coiner to the Treasurer of the Mint into a spreadsheet, yearly delivery warrant totals, by denomination, can be calculated.  Yearly delivery warrant totals (see the Delivery rows in Table 1) would be irrespective of the date on the coins.  Consider the following:

·       If the Mint struck coins in December, but the delivery of the coins from the Chief Coiner to the Treasurer of the Mint occurred in January, the delivery warrant totals for the year would include coins dated with an earlier year.

·       If the Mint struck coins with a head (or obverse) die dated with an earlier year, the delivery warrant totals for the year would also include coins dated with an earlier year.

Mintages for United States coins first appeared in “A Guide Book Of United States Coins” or The Red Book in the 16th edition dated 1963.  The Red Book’s mintages are an attempt to quantify the number of coins dated with a specific year, regardless as to when they were delivered from the Chief Coiner to the Treasurer of the Mint.  See the Mintage rows in Table 1.  If a specific quantity of coins delivered in one year were believed to have been dated with an earlier year, those coins were subtracted from the delivery totals for the current year and added to the delivery totals for the earlier year.  Consider the following:

·       The Half Dollar delivery warrant total for calendar year 1794 was 5,300 coins.  The Red Book’s 1794 Half Dollar mintage is 23,464 coins.  The contributors to the Red Book assumed that the 18,164 Half Dollars delivered from the Chief Coiner to the Treasurer of the Mint per Delivery Warrant #3 on February 2, 1795 were all dated 1794.  Were they?  We will never know.

·       The $10 Gold Eagle delivery warrant total for calendar year 1795 was 2,795 coins.  The Red Book’s 1795 $10 Gold Eagle mintage is 5,583 coins.  The contributors to the Red Book assumed that 2,788 $10 Gold Eagles delivered from the Chief Coiner to the Treasurer of the Mint in calendar year 1796 were dated 1795.  Were they?  We will never know.

·       There were no deliveries of Half Dimes in 1794.  1794 dated Half Dimes exist, so they were most likely delivered from the Chief Coiner to the Treasurer of the Mint during calendar year 1795.  The Red Book does not specify a 1794 Half Dime mintage.  Instead, it specifies a combined 1794/1795 Half Dime mintage of 86,416 coins.  Were the 7,756 Half Dimes delivered on March 30, 1795 per Delivery Warrant #5 all dated 1794?  We will never know.

All delivery warrants in the Bullion Journals are dated, therefore delivery warrant totals, by denomination, by year can be calculated.  Mintages were subjective because best guesses were made to subtract coins from one year’s deliveries and add them into the prior year’s deliveries.  Since we were not at the Mint to eyeball the dates on every coin delivered from the Chief Coiner to the Treasurer of the Mint, we will never know if the Mintage numbers are correct.  These are some of the issues that the contributors to the Red Book dealt with in the early 1960s, and what I am dealing with 50+ years later.

To be continued…




Table 1 – 1794/1795 Silver & Gold Coin Delivery Warrants / Totals

Year
Warrant Date
DW #
½ D
10C
25C
50C
$1
$2 ½
$5
$10
Value












1794
10/15/94
1




1,758



1,758.000
1794
12/01/94
2



5,300




2,650.000












1794
Delivery

0
0
0
5,300
1,758
0
0
0

1794
Mintage

*
0
0
23,464
1,758
0
0
0





































1795
02/04/95
3



18,164




9,082.000
1795
03/03/95
4



60,660




30,330.000
1795
03/30/95
5
7,756


46,808




23,791.800
1795
04/11/95
6



58,193




29,096.500
1795
04/30/95
7



35,640




17,820.000
1795
05/06/95
8



56,000
3,810



31,810.000
1795
05/16/95
9



39,312
15,268



34,924.000
1795
06/05/95
10




10,917



10,917.000
1795
06/05/95
11



3,067
10,430



11,963.500
1795
06/12/95
12
13,100







655.000
1795
06/17/95
13




10,000



10,000.000
1795
06/20/95
14




5,986



5,986.000
1795
06/26/95
15




6,000



6,000.000
1795
06/29/95
16




4,000



4,000.000
1795
07/02/95
17




5,243



5,243.000
1795
07/09/95
18




5,000



5,000.000
1795
07/13/95
19




7,000



7,000.000
1795
07/17/95
20




4,500



4,500.000
1795
07/21/95
21




6,000



6,000.000
1795
07/21/95
22




4,876



4,876.000
1795
07/30/95
23




1,184



1,184.000
1795
07/30/95
24
5,000







250.000
1795
07/31/95
1






744

3,720.000
1795
08/10/95
25




3,500



3,500.000
1795
08/11/95
26






520

2,600.000
1795
08/14/95
27






1,000

5,000.000
1795
08/18/95
28






105

525.000
1795
08/22/95
29






380

1,900.000
1795
08/22/95
30




4,385



4,385.000
1795
08/29/95
31




6,500



6,500.000
1795
08/31/95
32




1,106



1,106.000
1795
09/01/95
33




830



830.000
1795
09/01/95
34






1,634

8,170.000
1795
09/03/95
35






1,054

5,270.000
1795
09/12/95
36






2,400

12,000.000
1795
09/12/95
37




4,260



4,260.000
1795
09/16/95
38






870

4,350.000
1795
09/22/95
39







1,097
10,970.000
1795
09/24/95
40







200
2,000.000
1795
09/24/95
41




4,000



4,000.000
1795
10/03/95
42




15,000



15,000.000
1795
10/07/95
43




6,000



6,000.000
1795
10/10/95
44
10,000



14,500



15,000.000
1795
10/10/95
45







387
3,870.000
1795
10/17/95
46




23,368



23,368.000
1795
10/22/95
47
16,660







833.000
1795
10/24/95
48







200
2,000.000
1795
10/24/95
49




19,370



19,370.000
1795
11/26/95
50
33,900







1,695.000
1795
11/27/95
51







911
9,110.000















½ D
10C
25C
50C
$1
$2 ½
$5
$10

1795
Delivery

86,416
0
0
317,844
203,033
0
8,707
2,795

1795
Mintage

86,416
0
0
299,680
203,033
0
8,707
5,583





------

Finally, from Richard Meaney:

I promised a report from the ANA Show in Portland, OR and almost was unable to deliver…some sort of nasty cold virus had a hold of me until Saturday morning.  Fortunately, I have recovered enough to piece together my thoughts and recollections of the show.

As many of you know, I live in a near-wasteland for numismatics:  Alaska.  I had heard from a friend that there is a coin store in Anchorage in the mall, but that's too far away for me (an hour in the Spring and Autumn, maybe an hour and fifteen minutes in the Summer when the RVs are all over the roads, and maybe too far to even venture out of the house in the Winter!).  In fact, I checked the Certified Acceptance Corporation (CAC) website to see where the nearest CAC-authorized submitting dealer was and learned that there are zero in the nation's largest state!  So when I heard that the ANA Spring Show was to be in Portland, just a "short" flight away, I looked forward to getting back to some in-person numismatics.

The highlight for me, as with most coin shows, is seeing old friends, making new ones, and really "geeking out" by talking about coins, coins, coins for hours every day, day after day.  And that's pretty much what I got to do.  Sure, we talk about family, life in general, the Superbowl champion New England Patriots, and other topics, but the conversations always work themselves back to coins, since that's what we are all there for.  I enjoyed talking with folks like Bill Bugert.  I would refer to Bill's passion, Seated Liberty Coins, as "modern crap" and he would refer to my Capped Bust Half Dimes as "ancients."  We had good fun in doing so!  I also finally got to meet other people who I have only known through email and internet sources, sometimes for many years!  It is always good to finally put a face with a name.

I had the opportunity to work a little bit behind Rich Uhrich's table.  I let Rich know I would be at the show and available if he needed some help every now and then.  I always enjoy taking some time "on the other side of the table."  I found it interesting that on the first day of the show, very few collectors were wandering the bourse floor, but sales at Rich's table seemed to be doing very well…not very well for a slow day, but very well period.  I recall one collector came and looked at some sort of gold coin (I don't recall details), not something one normally thinks of when considering Rich Uhrich's inventory, and flat out bought the thing, saying something like, "where or when else am I ever going to get this chance again?"  Then the next day, it seemed that sales slowed down, but some really cool coins came in over the table from people who wanted to sell.  And if I recall correctly, the third day was a little bit of each.  I don't know the dealer aspect of coins too well, but it looked like things went as they should:  sell a bunch of coins, buy a bunch of coins. 

I searched the floor for half dimes for my set, but was unable to find any that I liked.  That is probably not a function of lack of quality inventory on the floor, but more a function of where my set is grade-wise and die marriage-wise.  There just aren't a lot of upgrades out there anywhere for my set.  For example, I sat at the table of Mark Emtman for 20 minutes or so and looked at stacks of quality half dimes.  All of the coins were pretty nice, but none would have been an upgrade to my set, which I think grades in the AU range, on average.  I thought for sure I was going to find something nice there.

I enjoyed the show, that's all that really mattered.  Good people, good times, and surprisingly good weather.  I would have brought shorts and t-shirts had I known it was going to be so warm!

Richard