Sunday, September 21, 2014

JR Newsletter: 21 September 2014 (207)

A number of interesting contributions this week…  we start with Steve Tompkins, who responded to last week's contributions from both Garrett Ziss and Winston Zack.

Steve Tompkins wrote:

This is in response to Garrett's question:

The Mint delivery records show two deliveries of bust halves in September 1814.

Delivery #725 - 9/12/1814 - 60,164

Delivery #727 - 9/19/1814 - 31,800

Let's look at some facts and statistics to see if we can determine if your coin was indeed struck during the battle at Fort McHenry...

Other than two R-4 die marriages, the other seven for the year are currently R-1 to R-3.

The total number of bust halves delivered for 1814 is 1,039,075.

If we just take this number and divide it by nine (the number of die marriages for the year), we get 115,453 coins struck per die marriage.

There is no way to determine exactly how many actual coins were struck with each die marriage due to the unknown amount of attrition for each marriage.

Even based on rarity we can not narrow it down to a more accurate number, as an R-1 can only be stated as containing more than 1250 coins still in existence and this is open ended.

But we can certainly state that the R-4 die marriages should contain 81-200 coins still remaining out of the original amount struck.

The most often stated survival rate for early bust coinage is about 3%, however for the bust halves, I would state that it could be as high as 5-10%, due to the banks keeping a large amount in their vaults.

If we take the 10% number, then for the R-4 die marriages there should have been at least 810 - 2000 coins originally struck. Even if this number is lowered to 5%, we are looking at 1620-4000 coins originally struck.

According to the Leman-Gunnett emission sequence, the last two die marriage struck in 1814 were O-103 & O-106. O-106 is currently an R-4 die marriage.

Only those coins produced and delivered in the last delivery of bust halves for the year could have possibly been struck during the battle.

The last delivery (#727) on 9/19/1814 contained 31,800 bust halves. If we subtract the possible amount of coins struck utilizing the dies of the O-106 die marriage, we still have at least 27,800 coins left over that could have been struck by the dies of the O-103 die marriage. As the O-103 is currently an R-1, most likely all of those remaining coins and some of the prior delivery were of the O-103 die marriage.

 So, the answer to the question is most likely yes...your coin could have been struck during the battle, but there were O-103's struck before and probably after the battle as well.

This is a neat way to connect a coin to a specific point in history!

Steve M. Tompkins
(JRCS 726)

This is in response to Winston Zack:

It is called the "Group Die Theory" and was originally proposed by Robert P. Hilt II in his 1980 book, Die Varieties of Early United States Coins.

Steve M. Tompkins
(JRCS 726)

H Craig Hamling also wrote in response to Winston Zack:

At my factory we would call that a pre-production plan.
Perhaps that is what you recall.

H Craig Hamling

Sheridan Downey wrote with a request for me to reveal something about one of our newer contributors (Garrett Ziss).  Sheridan wrote:

Richard, be sure to tell your readers that Garrett is all of 11 years old.  In another 11 years I suspect that he will be the world's foremost expert on bust half-dollars and, perhaps, other early US coinage.


Winston Zack wrote with a request for assistance from readers of the JR Newsletter:

I am putting the finishing 'writing' touches (edits will still be required) on a future JRJ article, but I am still missing some information I would like to add in order to make the article more complete. What I need are images of a few specific half-dime and dime cuds; the images will not be used in the article. If you can please help me by sending me images of the cuds I am looking for I would be most grateful, and your assistance would be noted in the article. Feel free to email me the images at: stoneman101(at)

1) 1836 LM-3/V-4, reverse cud over A in AMERICA
2) 1829 JR-4, reverse cud over ER and retained cud over NITE
3) 1830 JR-4, reverse cud from Rim to M
4) 1831 JR-4, reverse cud above ED and later CA to arrowhead
5) 1831 JR-6, obverse cud from Rim to Star's 1-2-3
6) 1832 JR-2, obverse cud from Rim left of date
7) 1835 JR-4, reverse cud from A3 to Arrowheads

In addition, although I may be wrong, I recall that there is now a second Bust Dollar cud discovered/known in addition to the 1798 B-20/BB-1. I am not a Bust Dollar collector, but if there are any other Bust Dollar cuds known besides this 1798 B-20 I would be interested in adding that information to my article.

Winston Zack

Sunday, September 14, 2014

JR Newsletter: 14 September 2014 (206)

We have another week of excellent contributions for this issue of the JR Newsletter.  First, I want to correct the source of the contribution from last week about the National Battlefield Coin Show.  The information came from Paul Kluth, not Paul Hybert.

With that lead-in, we have something THIS WEEK from Paul Hybert:

The Pennsylvania announcement attributed to me in the last issue reminded me of some announcements I should have made last week.  The autumn Illinois club meeting was held late this past week in south suburban Chicago, and Wednesday night's meeting of the Chicago Coin Club featured a presentation by Lawrence J. Lee on coins recovered in archaeological digs at the site of Fort Atkinson (1820-1827).  The site is at the northern edge of the modern greater-Omaha urban area, west of the Missouri River.  During the presentation we saw some of the few
complete and cut Bust Halves that were found -- examples of complete and cut Spanish Colonial were much more common.  We were told that a soldier's pay was $5 per month, paid as ten half dollars; hundreds of soldiers were stationed at the fort, so many nice halves entered the local economy, either whole or in pieces.  I believe 130 coins have been found so far.

Look for a book by Lawrence J Lee, titled The Coins of Fort Atkinson, later in 2014.  It should cover details from the recent digs, photos from a reconstructed fort, as well as original records that were referenced (I think he mentioned that one year of records from the fort's sutler are known).  From the photos shown in the presentation, I attribute two 1817 halves as O-111 and O-112, which are common R1 and R2.  I do not have the dime book handy, so the one found dime, dated 1821, remains unattributed -- also, only the obverse was pictured, probably making attribution more difficult.

Paul Hybert

Editor's note:  To save many the trouble of looking it up, here's a definition of sutler:  a civilian provisioner to an army post often with a shop on the post
Next, a timely contribution from Garrett Ziss that you will enjoy:

On November 10, 2013, I visited Ft. McHenry after attending the Baltimore Whitman show the day before.  During our tour, they mentioned that the cannon fire from the September 13/14, 1814 Battle of Ft. McHenry, could be heard all the way to Philadelphia.  Of course, I immediately thought of the Mint striking Bust Halves while the employees wondered if our country would survive.  I did not yet own an 1814 Capped Bust half dollar, but made it a goal to purchase one sometime in 2014 during the 200th Anniversary of the coin and the Star-Spangled Banner.  I looked high and low for one in my price range, especially at the ANA in Chicago.  I really liked a couple of the 1814's that Mr. Downey had in his Mail Bid auction, but they were out of my league.  Today (September 13), the day before the 200th Anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner, I purchased an 1814 Bust Half at a coin show in Lancaster, PA. It is only a VF O-103 (R1), but it's a nice looking coin. 

As soon as I got home with the coin, I looked up the emission sequence for 1814 Bust Halves. The O-103 is the next to last die marriage listed for 1814 out of a total of 9 die marriages.  So, I think it's possible that it could have been struck during the time of the Battle of Ft. McHenry.  September 14, 1814 was a Wednesday, so the Mint was in operation that day.  My question to Bust Half experts is, if the information on the Mint delivery warrants is known for that year, is it possible to definitively tell what die marriage was being made on September 13/14, 1814? 

Visiting Ft. McHenry is very patriotic and moving, so I hope that anyone who visits Baltimore will stop by at Ft. McHenry.  Also, if you have a chance today, take a few minutes to sing the Star-Spangled Banner to celebrate it's 200th Anniversary.

Garrett Ziss (JRCS 1465)

Winston Zack made the following inquiry:

I am trying to remember the term/phrase used to describe the idea, or practice, whereby the Mint would produce an initial set number of dies for each year's anticipated coin production.

I hope my description is helpful enough to get the correct response.

I remember, or at least am 98% certain, that, David Finkelstein gave a presentation a couple years back conveying such a term, and he might know the answer to my question.


Peter Mosiondz, Jr. wrote to offer these items to readers of the JR Newsletter:

The Expert’s Guide to Collecting and Investing in Rare Coins, Q. David Bowers. Hardbound. DJ in Mylar®. New. $12.00

 Coins and Collectors, Q. David Bowers. Softbound. New. $8.00

 Abe Kosoff: Dean of Numismatics, Q. David Bowers. Softbound. New. $12.00

 Whitman Blue Slab Storage Box. The dividers secure each slab snuggly in the allotted space. Top and bottom interior flocking keeps the slabs from rattling. Holds 20 slabs. Retail Price: $12.95 each. I have one lot of 10 new slab boxes to offer at $49.00

 Payment by check. Add $3.00 postage on all orders.

Peter Mosiondz, Jr.
26 Cameron Circle
Laurel Springs, NJ 08021-4861
Phone: 856-627-6865
E-Mail: choochoopete(at)
Please call or e-mail to confirm availability prior to mailing your check.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

JR Newsletter: 7 September 2014 (205)

There are a number of contributions to this week's newsletter.  The first from Kay Olson Freeman:

I have a question about a Seal cut by John Reich:  Has anyone seen the seal of the United States Military Philosophical Society engraved by John Reich?  Reich received payment of $65.00 from the Society on May 30. 1806 for cutting the seal.

The seal is 2-in. diameter.
Central standing figure of Athena/Minerva wearing plumed helmet.
Shield with Medusa head held in left hand.
Spear in right hand, pointing down to base of laurel or olive tree.
"Scientia in Bello Pax"  - motto at top. "1805" - at bottom.

The seal is pictured in an article in the magazine ANTIQUES, January 1974, p. 176.  The article is "Louis Simond, amateur artist" by Wendy J. Shadwell, curator Middendorf Collection.  Louis Simond designed the Society's membership diploma and the seal.  The membership diploma is shown in the article and can be seen online.  The membership diploma was engraved and printed by William Satchwell Leney - paid $476.  I have not seen the seal anyplace but in the article.
It is not clear if the seal is attached to the membership diploma and if both are in the Middendorf Collection in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NYC.  The records of the US Military Philosophical Society are held at the New-York Historical Society, according to the article.

The seal is a very nice example of Reich's work!

Kay Olson Freeman

Editor's Note:  I've been working on a project for the past couple of weeks.  The JRCS Board of Directors decided that a biographical sketch for each member of the JRCS Hall of Fame would make a good addition to the Hall of Fame page on the JRCS website.  I volunteered to write the biographical sketch of Stew Witham.  My research on Witham took me to a few different sources and I am awaiting one or two more sources as I write this.  One of the sources was a book written by Witham himself.  Stewart Witham was the author of "JOHANN MATTHÄUS REICH, Also known as John Reich."  On the cover of the only Reich biography (that I know of) is a photo of the United States Military Philosophical Society Seal.  On the inside of the front cover, the Seal is described as "2 inches in diameter on paper" and provided courtesy of the New York Historical Society.  I scanned a copy of the seal from the cover of my book.  I think readers will appreciate seeing the image of the Seal along with Kay Olson Freeman's contribution to the newsletter – Richard Meaney.



Steve Gupta wrote: is offering the entire series of the John Reich Journal complete as issued from 1986-2013 (70 issues) in their Mail Bid Sale #23.  They are described to be in Fine+ condition and would be a great reference for collectors of early silver.

I have often perused the journal index on the JRCS website and then tried to track down a back issue only to find that they are not available.  Even when available, I have seen single issues priced as high as $45 each.

Steve Gupta 

Editor's Note:  I think David Sklow's catalog underestimates the value of this complete (or nearly complete) compilation of John Reich Journals.  The auctioneer's estimate of $400 for lot #556 will likely be exceeded by fifty percent or more, especially after the publicity it receives in this newsletter.  I think I recall a near-complete set selling a few years ago at a JRCS annual meeting for upwards of $800.  Also, for those of you looking for single issues to fill holes in a collection, recall that you can order them from the JRCS official source:  professional book dealer Bryce Brown of Avon, CT. To view the extensive inventory of back issues and pricing, go to Bryce's website and scroll down to JR Journals. The website is

Paul Hybert wrote with an announcement about a coin show:

On Saturday and Sunday, September 20-21, 2014, the inaugural Battlefield Coin Show will take place in Gettysburg, PA.  This Show is intended to replace the Whitman Philadelphia Show that took place the last couple of years in September.

To-date, about 200 dealer tables have been sold and several dealers who specialize in Bust coins will be present.  Five educational seminars are planned for Saturday.

What I like about this Show in particular is that it is easy to get to, hotel rates are much more affordable, there is free parking, and there is much to see and do in historic Gettysburg.  A good place to take the family.

The official press release for the show is shown here:

Battlefield Coin Shows™, a division of Hobbies Unlimited LLC is proud to sponsor The National Battlefield Coin Show™ in Gettysburg, PA on September 20th and 21st, 2014.  This inaugural show will be hosted at the Eisenhower Hotel’s All Star Event Complex with room for 600 dealer tables.  Show hours are from 9:30 am until 5:30 pm on both days.    
Free appraisal service will be offered by Battlefield Coin Shows™ and will be staffed by knowledgeable numismatists from several local and national coin clubs.  Several educational sessions will be taught by some of the leading experts in their fields.  The educational sessions will be on Saturday, September 20th.  The sessions are as follows:

Time                Presenter                              Session Title

11-12            George Slade                     Food Stamp Coupon Change Tokens
12-1              Don Cann                          Bryan Money from the Election of 1896
1-2                Paul Joseph (ANACS)      Young Numismatics Presentation
2-3                Bill Bugert                         1861 O Half Dollars
3-4                John Frost                         Double Dimes & the Amazing Discovery at the CC Mint

For information, call Michael Dixon at (301) 788-6232 or email at:  mike(at)  You can visit us on the web at: and can like us on facebook at:

We look forward to meeting each and every one of those who attend.

Editor's Note:  On a related topic, I participated in a "test run" of a video conference over the internet along with members of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club.  I agreed to participate to see if it was an effective means of "broadcasting" club meetings to members who were unable to be present at the meetings.  I enjoyed the format and think it holds promise for us.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

JR Newsletter: 31 August 2014 (204)

We have one contribution this week.  I am sure you will enjoy it!

Kay Olson Freeman wrote:

You can add this information to what David Perkins wrote:

JOSEPH COLVIN RANDALL was born June 17, 1832, in Philadelphia, PA.
Died June 2, 1901, age 69, at his residence 1905 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia.
At his death, from chronic intestinal nephritis, he was retired and married.  He was baptized Roman Catholic.
Buried Laurel Hill Cemetery, Philadelphia.
1880 US Census for Philadelphia - occupation listed as "numismatist."
Randall did other things such as real estate investment.
I think he married twice. 
He had only 1 surviving child, a son, Washington West Randall.
That son born August 19, 1861, Philadelphia.
Son in real estate.  Married late - between 1910 and 1920.
Son moved to Los Angeles, CA by 1920 Census and may die there Dec. 27, 1931 -  his wife died there 1924.

There is an advertisement in NY Tribune, Saturday, October 16, 1869:
"A. Merwin, Auctioneer.  By Bangs, Merwin & Co., Broadway corner 4th.
Monday and Tuesday, October 18 & 19, 6 PM.
A valuable collection of coins and medals, the property of J. Colvin Randall of Philadelphia,
consisting of American gold, silver and copper Colonial and Washington pieces.  Also,
a fine assortment rare and valuable pattern pieces, with a few miscellaneous coins and medals."

There is an article in a Utica, NY newspaper, Feb. 22, 1898 on 1804 dollars. 
It quotes Randall, calling him "one of the most noted numismatists in the country."

I hope you find this information helpful.  It comes from genealogical sites and newspapers online now.

Kay Olson Freeman

I live in Philadelphia, 2 blocks from where JC Randall lived. 
WW Randall, his son, lived in an apt. building "The Belgravia" which still stands on Chestnut St., 1-1/2 blocks from me.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

JR Newsletter: 24 August 2014 (203)

We have two contributions this week.  The first is from David Perkins.  A bit of explanation is in order before sharing what David wrote.  The JRCS Hall of Fame ( currently lists honorees by name only.  The Board of Directors of the JRCS decided that we would provide biographical sketches of each honoree so that fellow collectors and other members of the public would be able to read about each member of our Hall of Fame.  David Perkins wrote the first biographical sketch and this information on JRCS Hall of Fame member (in the Veteran category) J. Colvin Randall will be published on our JRCS website.  Here's what David Perkins wrote:

J. Colvin Randall

Relatively little has been published over the last century pertaining to J. Colvin Randall.  Randall was a Philadelphia rare coin dealer and collector, starting as best we can tell in the late 1850s to early 1860s. Rather than host his own sales he typically consigned coins to other auction houses of the time; his name appeared on numerous sales from the 1860s until approximately 1885 when W. Elliot Woodward cataloged the Randall Collection of gold and silver coins for sale at public auction by Bangs & Co. of New York City, NY.

Woodward noted in the Preface to the Randall sale catalog, “Handling vast quantities of coins, he has for the last twenty-five or thirty years been a most earnest and persistent collector, and has make it a constant practice to reserve the finest and rarest pieces which have fallen into his hands during all this period, until his collection is now unrivalled in those specialties to which he has given particular attention,-notably the gold coins and the larger coinage of silver.  The collection now offered for sale is remarkable in these particulars:- First, for variety…Second, for condition….Third, Rarity.” 

Randall was one of the first numismatists to classify and collect the early U. S. silver dollars, half dollars and quarters by die variety.  In fact, many researchers today believe Randall was responsible for much of the research that was published as the Haseltine Type Table Catalog for early silver dollars, half dollars and quarters.  There is ample evidence of this, with R (Randall Numbers) and HR (Haseltine-Randall Numbers) having been used in auction catalogs prior to the 1881 Haseltine Type Table, along with publications stating that Haseltine and Randall were “engaged in a descriptive list of the United States Silver Dollars, Half Dollars and Quarters, a work and thorough knowledge of the subject eminently qualifies them.” 

Randall passed away in 1901. The December  1901 issue (Volume 14, page 341) of The Numismatist under the heading “Obituary Notes” states,

The old veterans are passing away.  From The Curio, published by Chas. Steigerwalt, we extract the following:  “J. Colvin Randall, the old-time dealer, passed away during last summer.  Mason died in September.  Both had reached a good old age.  Through Randall’s hands in bygone years passed many of the finest gems that now grace the older collections.”

The second contribution is from Peter Mosiondz, Jr.

Please list these in the next available JR Newsletter

History of the First United States Mint, Frank Stewart. 1974 Quarterman reprint of the 1924 original, 209 pp. Hardbound. DJ in Mylar®.  New.  $15.00

Walter Breen’s Complete Encyclopedia of U.S. and Colonial Coins, Walter Breen. New York: FCI/Doubleday (1988). Ex-Library but clean and no markings. Tight and clean. Hardbound.  DJ in Mylar®. Very Fine. $125.00

The United States Half Dimes, David W. Valentine. 1975 Quarterman reprint of the 1931 original incorporating additional works by Newlin, Breen Davis, and Ahwash, 273 pp. Hardbound. DJ in Mylar®.  New. $15.00

United States Early Half Dollar Die Varieties: 1794-1836, Donald L. Parsley. The new 5th edition (March 2014). 702 pages. Hardbound. DJ in Mylar®.  New. $50.00

The Expert’s Guide to Collecting and Investing in Rare Coins, Q. David Bowers. Hardbound. DJ in Mylar®. New. $12.00

Coins and Collectors, Q. David Bowers. Softbound. New. $10.00

Abe Kosoff: Dean of Numismatics, Q. David Bowers. Softbound. New. $15.00

The 1933 Double Eagle. Stack's/Sotheby's Auction Catalog  New York July 30, 2002. Original blue leatherette decoratively blind stamped, upper cover and spine lettered in gilt; faux marbled end sheets; original printed card covers bound in. One lot. 56 pages. Illustrated  throughout, largely in color. Special Hardbound edition of this famous sale. New. $19.00

Illegal Tender: Gold, Greed and the Mystery of the Lost 1933 Double Eagle. David Tripp. 363 pages. Softbound. New. $10.00

Payment by check. Add $3.00 Media Mail postage on all orders.

Peter Mosiondz, Jr.
26 Cameron Circle
Laurel Springs, NJ 08021-4861
Phone: 856-627-6865
E-Mail: choochoopete(at)

Please call or e-mail to confirm availability prior to mailing your check.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

JR Newsletter: 17 August 2014 (202)

We have a number of interesting contributions this week.  You will want to read every single one of them.  I guarantee you will not be disappointed!  Perhaps the variety of contributions will encourage a few more contributions for next week?

First, from JRCS President Brad Karoleff:

Nominations for the JRCS Hall of Fame class of 2015 are now OPEN

The membership is encouraged to send nominations for the Hall of Fame at any time. 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. We look forward to seeing your nominations!

Please forward your nominations to bkaroleff(at) or to jrnewsletter(at) or to any of the other members of the JRCS board of officers.

Brad Karoleff

Dave Shirlen wrote:
I enjoyed reading the account by the "Easton Collection" owner of the ANA show and JRCS meeting, especially the account of the 11 year old attendee who collects bust halves by Overton.  I had a similar experience at a show last weekend in Statesville, NC.  I observed a boy aged 12 purchase a VF capped bust half dime from a dealer.  The dealer was very gracious with the boy, asked him some questions, and told him to always make sure to ask for the "YD"?  When the puzzled boy asked "what is that," the dealer said that is the "youth discount" and that many dealers will give it.  He sold the coin for a nicely discounted price to the boy.  I then asked the boy why he chose that coin.  He gave a great answer about wanting something old, wanting history, and wanting something with good quality.  He then showed me the coin and started describing its detail attributes.  I asked what else he has collected, and he had a number of bust coins.  And, by the way, he buys the coins using money he earns from summer jobs such as lawn mowing. 

The story made my day.  Since I collect dimes, quarters, and halves, I was able to show him a few interesting coins I had with me.  And I made the boy a deal.  I told him to keep doing what he is doing - that he will love it for life - and in exchange for that promise I gave him a duplicate half dime, in fine, that I had with me.  I could have sold it to a dealer for $50, but giving it to this boy was the best expenditure I've made at a show in a long time.  With that said, I issue this challenge to the readers.  Just once in the next couple of years, if you see a kid at a show, take the same opportunity.  You will leave the show happy.  The hobby will be much better for it.  And it will be something infinitely better to discuss, and infinitely more healthy for a hobby that has morphed from collecting coins to collecting pieces of plastic that describe coins, than something about how "on the 37th attempt [insert grading service name here] upgraded a coin from an AU55 to an AU58 (and its really neither) and isn't that grand...."

Dave Shirlen

David Sunshine wrote to share a link to a COIN WORLD article on the recently completed W. David Perkins sealed bid auction for half dimes.  The article highlights the unique 1800 LM-2 half dime with obverse cud and its sale price of more than $19,600.  The link to the article is here:


Winston Zack wrote:

Hi all,

I am finishing up an analysis on Cuds on early U.S. silver Bust coinage, and I would like to add some more relevant background information...if possible.

I am looking for information and/or references which talk about the dies used at the U.S. Mint from 1793-1840 (or thereabouts). More specifically, and if possible, I am looking for information related to die hardness and frequency of die breakage.

Feel free to contact me at my email: stoneman101(at)

Thanks in advance,
Winston Zack

Garrett Ziss contributed the following, based on his experience at the ANA show:

I am a new Capped Bust half dollar collector and was happy to be able to attend the ANA convention last week in Chicago.  I was a bit nervous about attending my first JRCS meeting, but found out right away that there was no reason to be nervous because everyone was very friendly and helpful.  Something that might be useful for new collectors to know, is that even if you do not qualify to belong to the Bust Half Nut Club, you are welcome to attend their afternoon meeting at the convention. The same goes for the Bust Quarter Collector Society Meeting, so if you go to the ANA convention, you can actually attend 3 meetings on Bust coinage.  I thought that all 3 meetings were very educational (even though I do not collect Bust quarters).

My Bust coinage education did not only happen at the JRCS-related meetings in Chicago.  It also happened on the bourse floor. There were several Bust coin dealers who were selling coins on the bourse floor.  Every time I walked past one of their tables, there was at least one (and usually more) JRCS member either helping the dealer, buying coins, or just hanging out and chatting.  Just listening to the conversations was educational and it also showed that JRCS members are collectors AND friends.  

I would like to thank all of the JRCS members who shared their time, information and resources with me at the convention. I learned so much from attending the convention and talking with other JRCS members, so I would encourage other new collectors to attend a future convention as well. 

Garrett Ziss

Sunday, August 10, 2014

JR Newsletter: 10 August 2014 (201)

Welcome to what I expect to be just the "early post-ANA" edition of the JR Newsletter.  I expect some other weary coin collectors may soon find the time to send something in to the newsletter for publication later this month.

First up, something from Winston Zack:

Coins and chaos!

Yes, by now I'm sure you heard that there were hundreds, maybe thousands of people lined up for half a mile (or thereabouts) to acquire the Gold Kennedy Coins and then flip them for a quick profit; some people even camped out for 17 hours, lining up at 6 PM the previous evening only to be let in and acquire the coins the next day around 10 or 11 AM! This all caused chaos from Tuesday until Thursday, until it was finally shut down...thankfully...but still too late in my opinion!

Now to the REAL coins...the Busties!

It was great to see so many familiar faces at the JRCS meeting, as well as meet some people I only previously knew by name or reputation. David Finkelstein gave a great presentation on early Mint Delivery Warrants. And, among other reported news, it was asked that if anyone from the JRCS organization has the website making skills that our JRCS website be revamped and updated out of the web-stone-age.

For me, this was my first big show I've attended since last year's ANA, so it was fun to look at so many coins. My research/collecting interests have shifted a bit in the last year or so to early American contemporary counterfeits of the Bust and Seated type (including gold) - otherwise known as the first 100 years of Federal coinage (1792 - 1891). I acquired about 40 contemporary counterfeit new purchases at the show, which was quite an unexpected but pleasant surprise. I saw some truly fantastic coins on the bourse floor as well as at lot viewing. I briefly attended the auctions on Thursday night to see a couple coins sell for $1m+. And I had one of my most enjoyable shows in quite a while. This hobby really has some great people in it who just enjoy sharing their knowledge and interest in numismatics.

Winston Zack

Next, a report from the owner of the "Easton Collection"

My ANA experience this past week was one of the best – I really can’t remember a better ANA. I start on the negative side – The distribution of the Kennedy coins were a disaster-  in that a lot of non-collectors were lined up outside the show at 3pm the day before, by 8pm the line was over 100 people long and by the next day it must have been over 1,500 people long – though I never took a head count. Really never felt their presence at the show as they were never “on the bourse Floor” – they entered through a separate entrance.

On a more positive note – David Perkins auctioned off some really special, great looking and rare bust half dimes – I wasn’t able to pass these coins up so I got several for my collection – Thank you and Great Job – David!

The JRCS meeting was very well attended. In the beginning of the meeting, each one of us introduced ourselves, and two very cool things happened worthy of pointing out – John McCloskey was there and stated his resume – Past president of JRCS, one of the authors of the Early US dime book and bust half dime book.... a really WOW experience having him in the room – I did get a chance to speak with him on the bourse floor and boy oh boy he is brilliant! Besides that, in attendance was a 11 year long boy who introduced himself and indicated that he collects busf halves by Overton and he wants to learn as much as possible and hear stories about Julius Reiver.  Afterward, I spoke to him and he has a great knowledge of bust halves – a future hall of famer IMHO! I saw several members speaking with him telling him stories about Reiver and asking questions about Overton die marriages – I think he got all the questions right!

David Finkelstein's lecture was very interesting about learning about the early stages of the US mint.

On the bourse floor- Sheridan Downing conducted one of his sealed bid auctions and it had a lot of great coins and I had to pick one up- I bid somewhat aggressively for a 1819/8 bust half O 102 in AU55. The coin is really great looking and it was worth the bid – great looking coin and happy to get this one.

I attended one forum with David Bowers, Harvey and Larry Stack talking about collecting in the “good Old Days.” They identified several very interesting differences between the newer collectors and “older” collectors:   that collectors tended to collect and hold many different series and sold much later on in the lives – sometimes holding on to their collection for over 30 years and longer – Eliasberg, Norweb and Garrett for example. The newer collectors tend to complete a series to its completion – say 3 to 4 years or so, enjoy it for a year then sell and go on to the next series. One reason is their interest in collecting other series that may interest them.  

A dear collector friend of mine that is a member of the JRCS was able to cherry pick a rare die marriage for my bust dime collection and that was really special! Not many people would do that and I would like to thank him for this – we agreed to keep this die marriage and name quiet at this time.

Lastly, I would like to thank PCGS for presenting to me a 2014 top classic set award for my bust dimes registry set.

Many reasons why we should be attending these great shows  - thank you to everyone that I met and spoke to for making this experience the best!

Easton Collection

Editor's Note:  We will be waiting to hear about that bust dime cherry pick…at least the die marriage and grade!  Thanks for sharing.

Our final contribution for this issue comes from Steve Gupta:

Fred Lake is offering copies of Early United States Dimes:  1796-1837 (Lot C41) and Federal Half Dimes:  1792-1837 (Lot C58) in his 119th mail bid sale (  These books have been invaluable to me as I have begun my studies of this series in particular and early silver coinage in general.

I have had the recent good fortune of acquiring a plate coin from Federal Half Dimes.  With some diligence a plate coin from Early United States Dimes may one day be in my collection.

Steve Gupta
JRCS #1425

Editor's closing note:  I had the pleasure of being in Rosemont from Monday through Saturday of the ANA.  I helped both Rich Uhrich ( and W. David Perkins as a table assistant, plus had a day mostly on my own to wander about the bourse.  I will share more on my experiences in a future issue of the JR Newsletter and will soon begin to write an article for the John Reich Journal about the Perkins Sealed Bid Auction for Capped Bust Half Dimes.  Suffice to say, helping both dealers was a blast!