Sunday, March 29, 2020

JR Newsletter: 29 March 2020 (491)

Winston Zack wrote:

In my pursuit of documenting the history of circulating contemporary counterfeit U.S. coins, I've tasked my dad (retired, and bored with self-isolation) with sleuthing some information for this project.  He found this interesting clip from the 'Coming Nation' dated August 26, 1911.  While it only indirectly talks about counterfeit half-dimes, I found it interesting and peculiar that half-dimes were still in discussion into the 20th century; I would have thought by the turn of the new century they would be out of 'pop culture' and almost certainly out of circulation.  I'm sure our friend Steve Crain would have appreciated this clipping, and maybe could have shed some additional light on the impact of half-dimes in U.S. culture after they finished being minted in 1873.  And for David Perkins, do you know the year that 'Half Dime Lunch Room' menu was from which you shared in last week’s JR Newsletter?

Finally, if anyone has interesting circulating contemporary counterfeit Bust coins that may help my current research project, I would be interested in talking with you.  You can reach me at my email, Winston.S.Zack(at)  Specifically, I'm looking for the following contemporary counterfeits to document in this project:

1) Capped Bust half-dimes - cast and struck
2) Capped Bust dimes - struck
3) Capped Bust quarters - struck
4) Flowing Hair and Draped Bust halves - cast and struck
5) Capped Bust halves - only need a few documented varieties; and any and all undocumented varieties
6) FH/Draped Bust dollars - any that may exist.



Richard Meaney wrote:

I am sure nearly all collectors who collect coins by die marriage have played this game before.  I received some photos of a nearly-slick lettered edge half dollar from a collector.  He asked if we might be able to determine what the date is (was?) on this coin.  Good luck!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

JR Newsletter: 22 March 2020 (490)

David Perkins wrote:

Every menu item a Half Dime!  

This menu from the Half Dime Lunch Room offered “5C each for all Dishes Served.”  This menu is from the collection of the late Stephen Crain, known to many of us as “Mr. Half Dime.”  Stephen collected, studied, and wrote about the Early, Capped Bust, and Liberty Seated Half Dimes from 1982 to around 2018 and was a long time Secretary of JRCS.

The 1834 Capped Bust Half Dime cutout is also from his collection.  

I hope everyone is staying safe.  

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO


Steve Herrman wrote:  

I am hopeful that all JRCS members are following the health guidelines and taking extra care of themselves and their loved ones during the COVID-19 outbreak. These are trying times. However, if you are at home and have access to your coins, now is a great opportunity to spend more time studying and organizing your collection.

As a passionate collector of the Bust half dollars attributed to Overton and as a recorder of auction information for the Bust halves and the early silver dollars, I continue unabated.

new publication is now available, the 2020 Complete Edition of the AMBPR for Bust half dollars, shall become available at the end of March. The last Complete Edition was published in 2015. This edition lists the 66,000+ auction records in the AMBPR database from major auctions and mail bid sales held during the past 35+ years. First, the records are presented in order by die variety, grade, and date. A second section presents the records in order by auction and lot number. The only reasonable way to distribute this massive volume is in searchable PDF format on CD-ROM via the US Mail to your provided address. The PDF file may be copied to your smartphone, iPad, or desktop computer. In all, there are 2297 pages of searchable information. The price is $50 postpaid to JRCS and BHNC members ($60 to others).

This past week (late March 2020), over 85 copies of the Spring 2020 revision of Auction & Mail Bid Prices Realized for Bust Half Dollars 1794-1839 were distributed to collectors and dealers all over the country. 272 pages, $24 PDF, $34 printed, $40 both.

In late December 2019, the inaugural edition of Auction Prices Realized for Early Silver Dollars 1794-1803 was published. 61 pages, $25 PDF, $35 printed, $40 both.

In late June 2020, the 8th revision of Auction Prices Realized for Certified & Graded Bust Half Dollars 1794-1839 shall be published. Approx. 150 pages, $20 PDF, $30 printed, $35 both.

All the above publications are available in searchable PDF format. The availability of printed copies is limited. Please contact me at herrman102(at)

P.S. For recording your collection by die marriage, I maintain an MS Excel spreadsheet which includes worksheets for the early half dimes, dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars. Rarity ratings and designations are taken from the census surveys published regularly in the John Reich Journal. Totals and averages are calculated automatically. I would be glad to provide a copy to anyone who wants one via email.

Best Regards,

Steve Herrman

Patrick Bain wrote:

JRCS has a new Facebook group for it's members.
Here is a link for any interested members to join:

This Facebook group is intended for education and communication for dues-paying members in good standing. It is a forum for people to ask questions, post pictures, inquire for opinions, and share information. It isn’t intended to be a buy and sell site, but members can certainly communicate directly between themselves with private messages. In addition to direct postings by group members, the JRCS will also post information on upcoming events, and serves as a supplement to our website,


A final thought from Richard Meaney:

Anyone experiencing banks closing down and not allowing access to safe deposit boxes?  Was wondering about that today and figuring most will reason, “it is just a temporary thing.”  Anyone else considering how the hobby and the recent events intertwine?


Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sunday, March 8, 2020

JR Newsletter: 8 March 2020 (488)

In response to John Okerson, Gary Rosner wrote:

Please pass along the linked file to John Okerson, it is on the Classis Head Quarter Eagle Varieties and is available from the Heritage website. They usually have a link to it under any Classis Head Quarter Eagle listing in their auctions. Look it about in their auction archives probably.

For Classis Head Half Eagles there is the John McCloskey varieties in the ANS Coinage of the Americas Conference “America’s Gold Coinage” book from November 4-5. 1989 which can be borrowed from the ANA library. That’s what I did. Maybe a copy can be found for sale used or from the ANS?

Mostly I just collect the Classic Head Gold varieties of 1835, but I may expand to the other dates in the future.

Enjoy collect them!
Anyone interested is welcome to contact me about this.

Gary Rosner

Another response, this one from Brad Karoleff:

In response to John Okerson's inquiry on the literature available for the Classic Head Gold series.  JRCS member, Daryl Haynor, has written a book on the subject with the input of John McCloskey's research which will be issued SOON.  Keep your eye out for an announcement on how to order your copy.

Brad Karoleff

Rich Uhrich wrote:

I have four Bust coins in the upcoming Stacks Bowers auction, all of which go up for sale on March 24.  Since the descriptions are very brief, I would like to add some additional information.

Lot 21313 - - 1833 Capped Bust Half Dime LM-3.4 R2 AU58 PCGS.  This coin has very attractive toning, especially on a capped bust half dime.

Lot 21314 - - 1835 Capped Bust Half Dime LM-5.1 R3 AU55 PCGS.  This is a legitimate LM-5.1 as verified by Capped Bust Half Dime expert Richard Meaney.  Some coins certified as LM-5.1 are in fact LM-5.2 as they have the die crack on the reverse, but this coin shows no trace of the die crack.

Lot 21538 - - 1818 Bust Quarter B-6 R4+ VG10 PCGS.  This is an early die stage (1/1) described by Tompkins as "The earliest die stage with no reverse cracks seems to be the rarest one to acquire."

Lot 21539 - - 1818 Bust Quarter B-9 R5- VG8 PCGS.  This is an early die state without the clashed arrowheads.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

JR Newsletter: 1 March 2020 (487)

John Okerson wrote:

I am looking for guidance before embarking on a multi-year purchase plan of USA Gold Classic Head coins – 1834-1839.   So far, I have not found any numismatic literature or guidance on this short series.  My intention is to acquire both the ¼ and the ½ eagle coins most likely without the mintmarks for the next few years.  I am looking in the XF45-AU55 range but eye appeal is quite important to me.

 Suggestions appreciated.

John Okerson
Arlington, TN

David Perkins wrote:

I was looking at the new threads posted on the PCGS Forum on Friday afternoon, February 28 and came across one titled, “Heads Up Bust Half Collectors.”  This turned out to be a fun one if you enjoy early silver.  It was posted under the PCGS Forum name “Topdollarpaid.”  A link is provided below to this Forum posting.

The post was and is basically a photo of four rolls (!!!) of Capped Bust and Reeded Edge half dollars all laid out on a black background.  There was also a photo of the four rolls (coin tubes) where you could see the edges of the half dollars.  A quick count yielded at least four RE half dollars.  All are “raw” and none were in plastic holders, the “old fashioned way.”  I didn’t count the number of coins total….

If you’ve never done or seen this, laying out 100 or more early silver coins at once is quite a sight.  The last time I did this was when Andy Lustig and I were in the process of purchasing the Warren Miller Collection of Early U.S. Silver Dollars 1794 to 1803, a total of 169 PCGS slabbed early dollars.  All 169 early dollars were laid out on Warren’s dining room table!   

Here are the two photos of the half dollars courtesy of Randy Conway of Sun City Coin in California.  

Here is a link to the posting on the PCGS Forum: .  

Hope you enjoy. 

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO


Correspondence with Patrick Bain clarified that the links he provided on the most popular ebay items in the categories of bust coinage (16 February JR Newsletter, #485: can be used as bookmarks, as they will always take you to the current, most popular auctions on ebay.  Patrick wrote that he also uses a link for coin books, which he collects:

“Coin publication auctions --> CoinBooks

Most of the time it's just Whitman and Dansco albums, but there's always at least 2 really good books I find at auction every week from it!! really!! Usually rare and out of print coin books.

Note these are auctions, not buy it now items, as auctions can usually be gotten for less than buy it now prices.”

Patrick can customize searches to eliminate albums.  He can modify coin searches for PCGS only or NGC only or a host of other combinations.  He volunteered that if anyone is interested in other searches, just let him know!

Greg Cohen wrote:

Please find linked a Press Release regarding the consignment and upcoming sale of the BigMo Collection of Civil War era coinage. This is a world class specialized collection that features many of the finest known examples of their respective issues. They will be sold on day one of our two-day Regency Auction May 16 and 17, 2020 in New Orleans.

For further information about the collection, please email info(at) For high resolution images, contact the firm’s art director, Patrick Braswell via email at Patrick(at)

Thank you very much for your consideration to these matters.

Greg Cohen
Senior Numismatist
Legend Rare Coin Auctions
Office: 732-935-1168

Sunday, February 23, 2020

JR Newsletter: 23 February 2020 (486)

David Perkins wrote:

Yesterday I was going through a box of early dollar items and came across this clipping, likely originally from Coin World or Numismatic News.  The clipping / photo is undated. It was found in a group of items given to me by the late Bob Stark, an early dollar collector, researcher, and author.

The photo is of a 1795 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar with 3 Leaves under the eagle’s wings, “transformed into a badge for some unknown reason” as captioned.  

The coin appears to grade Extra Fine, “plus or minus.”  This would roughly be a $15-20,000 coin today if graded and in a holder!

It appears to be struck from the relatively common BB-27, B-5 die marriage.  Thank goodness it is not struck from an extremely rare die marriage….  

If anyone has seen this item “in person” or knows anything about it please contact me at my e-mail address below.  Thanks.

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO

Sunday, February 16, 2020

JR Newsletter: 16 February 2020 (485)

Patrick Bain wrote:

For members who buy Bust coins on eBay here are some report links to a website that sorts coin auctions by watch count.
Basically it lists the most popular auctions in order first.
Each auction on eBay has a watch count which this website uses to sort the results.

An example of how it can help from a while back:
I had seen an 1824 dime in my regular searches but didn't think anything of it and didn't put it on my watch list.
Then it showed on this report and had something like 20 watchers.
So I thought why does this have 20 watchers??  I clicked on it and looked at the reverse and realized it 
was a JR-2 dime variety and much rarer.
These ensure you don't miss any good auctions!
You are seeing what all of eBay says are the most popular Bust coin auctions.

Most Popular Bust Silver Coin Auctions on Ebay 

Bust Half Dimes -->  HalfDimes

Bust Dimes -->  Dimes

Bust Quarters --> Quarters

Bust Half Dollars --> HalfDollars

Bust Dollars -->  Dollars