Sunday, February 7, 2016

JR Newsletter: 7 February 2016 (279)

We have two contributions for this week's JR Newsletter.  First, Gary Rosner wrote:

Has a list of all the 10c 1829 Curl Base 2 JR-10’s ever been attempted?  Maybe the authors of the new dime attribution guide did some of this?  If not, wouldn’t it be interesting to do that and get pictures of each?  Also any past provenance on these coins would be good information.

Maybe something could be done similar to what Bill Noyes has done in his books for Large Cents. For the rare varieties, all the known coins are attempted to be included.

What do others think?  Is this worthwhile and would others be interested in getting involved?

If successful then it may be expanded to some of the other rare varieties in any of the series.

A list of the known 1823 quarters comes to mind as another interesting project.

Gary Rosner


Next, something from Brad Karoleff:

I am looking to purchase a complete set (or as complete as possible) of Sheridan Downey auction catalogs. Some of mine have become damaged and lost. I am currently working on a project and would like a reference set on hand.  If anyone has a set they would be willing to part with please contact me with an offer to sell.

In lieu of purchasing a set (if no one wants to sell) I would consider a photocopy set.

I look forward to helping someone "downsize" their library.

Please contact me either by email at bkaroleff(at) or by phone at 513.290.7888.

Brad Karoleff

Sunday, January 31, 2016

JR Newsletter: 31 January 2016 (278)

We have a couple of contributions this week.  First, from Eric Hildebrant:

I have been collecting cents, half dimes, dimes, and half dollars by die combination for about 35 years, now. I believe that I have found a good method of attributing any coin (emphasis on any), and that is to compare the denticles’ high points and valleys to design elements on the edge of the coin.  One example is to compare where the stars, nearest the edge,  “point” to  the nearest denticle, and if it is at the top of the hump of that denticle, or nearer the valley of the denticle.  Another example is on the reverse, how the top of the letter “A” (in America) points to the closest denticle, again is it near the top of the hump, or is it in the valley?

This method allows the comparison of about 20 design features to the denticles, and is very effective to eliminate or confirm a given die variety.  I haven’t seen this method in print explained before, so I am writing this to inform the collectors of die varieties what I think is a very easy to use method of die attribution.

I welcome any comments from the society, and perhaps this method has been used before.

Thanks for the great journal, and on-line letters…

Eric Hildebrant


In response to Gawain O'Connor's inquiry last week, David Perkins wrote to David Sklow to see if he could provide an answer/more information.  David Sklow's response is here:

The small circular yellow sticker is from Frank Katen, used to catalog his vast holdings. The Kosoff label I have seen on many books that passed through my auction company, as Kosoff was a dealer, he did sell books over many years. Neither stick or label indicates the book was donated to the ANA.  I will do some more research and let you know if I uncover anything else.


David Sklow
Library Manager
Dwight N. Manley Numismatic Library
American Numismatic Association


In receipt of this response, Gawain O'Connor wrote:

Thanks to everyone. Looks like my guess was wrong, but the book now has an interesting provenance.


Sunday, January 24, 2016

JR Newsletter: 24 January 2016 (277)

David Finkelstein wrote with a correction from last week:

A few astute readers noticed that I mentioned the charter year for the Bank of Massachusetts at two locations within my article.  At the first location, I stated that the bank was chartered in 1784.  At the second location, I stated that the bank was chartered in 1790.  The Bank of Massachusetts was chartered in 1784.  Here is a revised article that contains the correct information:


Jeff Tryka wrote:

Regarding Brad's note a few weeks ago, "Has rarity lost it's luster," it seems that some folks have a somewhat binary view of collectors, e.g. you either collect for completeness by variety, or you collect for high-grade certified coins.  My sense is that as collectors we each collect for a variety of reasons that may not fall strictly into one category or another.  For me, I collect bust halves in a way that other collectors might approach fine art.  I look at lots of coins and end up going after the ones that speak to me in one way or another.  In some cases it's an interesting die marriage (which may also be a rarity) or perhaps a variety with interesting clash marks.  I also love beautifully toned coins, particularly those with a halo of album toning that could only come from years of storage of what was most likely a cleaned coin.  Sometimes it's an interesting counterstamp that adds to the historical aspects of the coin's story.

As for looking for rare varieties, I love to do it!  That's part of the treasure hunt aspect of collecting such an interesting series.  For me, that means that I'm not likely to be the one at auction bidding up the price of an R-5 variety, but I will certainly be one scouring the bourse floor for those undiscovered gems lying in a dealer case.  Is that a sign that rarity has lost its luster?  I suppose, but only if by luster you mean a willingness to pay for rarity.  I think there are many of us still out there looking for interesting die marriages that are still inclined to buy a variety of grades and conditions, whether VF or F, cleaned, damaged, etc.

Rarity still has it's place, but it's just not as simple as an all-or-none proposition as some might think.

Jeff Tryka

Gawain O'Connor wrote:

I enjoyed W. David Perkins' Quick Trip through the ANA's new "The Numismatist" Archives in the December John Reich Journal. After seeing Nos. 4 and 5 about the Beistle book, I thought I would check my copy which I bought from an ANA library sale years ago.

It has a label from A. Kosoff inside the front cover and a sticker on the inside back cover. Does the sticker indicate it was donated? My guess is that he still had the Beistle book in stock and donated leftovers to the ANA after the Overton book came out.

Gawain O'Connor


Nathan Markowitz wrote:

The Early American Copper convention will be held at the downtown Westin Hotel in Charlotte, NC April 7-10, 2016.  All members of JRCS are welcome to attend.  There is no charge for the show.  This is the weekend after the spring Baltimore show.

I serve as educational coordinator and this year we will have a wide range of topics, ranging from federal copper to colonials to general numismatic topics.  The final program will be published soon.

Last year there was a small silver "happenings" where early federal silver was displayed.  This year's convention chairman, John Kraljevich, has specifically invited and encouraged a return to a broader display of early silver at the traditional Thursday evening happenings.  I have volunteered to coordinate this effort.  Two foci of display have already been suggested:

- Quarters:  1819 B-4 with its myriad of die states/stages
- Early counterstamps

If you have any suggestions in the other silver denominations please contact me via email at  cascades1787(at)

The main criteria for a die marriage is to ensure that several will show up for comparison; grade is not important.

Nathan Markowitz

Rich Uhrich wrote:

We had a great FUN show, and we now have a very rare coin for sale:  an 1803 JR-5 dime.  This die variety was discovered by Ed Price, and there are currently 4 known specimens of 1803 JR-5.  Our coin (the discovery specimen) is XF details, environmental damage, and is pictured in the Bust Dime Variety Identification Guide, page 29.

Best wishes,

(Editor's note:  Ed Price is a member of the JRCS Hall of Fame.  Also, you can view the 1803 JR-5 dime here: .  Rich Uhrich's image of the coin is below)

Sunday, January 17, 2016

JR Newsletter: 17 January 2016 (276)

This week's newsletter has all sorts of entertainment!

First, David Finkelstein has an excellent original article, "The First Depositors of Silver & Gold – Part 1."  After you read the article, you will likely try to learn more about the American Philosophical Society (I know I did).  You may view David's work by clicking this link:


In response to our "empty newsletter" of last week, we received this from the originator of the JR News, Bill Luebke:

Sunday, January 10, 2016

JR Newsletter: 10 January 2016 (275)

No contributions this week. 

Perhaps we will receive some reports from FUN Show attendees for next week's newsletter?

Sunday, January 3, 2016

JR Newsletter: 3 January 2016 (274)

We have two contributions this week.  First, Jeff Reichenberger wrote:
Congrats to the John Reich Journal editor and authors for wrapping up the 25th volume with another great issue of interesting, engaging, and educational articles!

Jeff Reichenberger

W. David Perkins wrote:

W. David Perkins and Gerry Fortin will have Tables 1034 and 1036 at the FUN Convention next week.
Dave will be holding the Gorman Capped Bust Dime Sale Part I, and will have over 100 early U.S. silver dollars from 1794 to 1803 from the Warren Miller Collection on display and for sale along with selections from my regular inventory of early Bust and Seated coins.  This includes a beautifully toned 1805 B-3 Quarter in PCGS MS63 and a lovely 1792 Half Disme in PCGS AU50 (OGH).  Both have been off the market for some time.  I will also be offering for sale the Extremely Rare ex. Jules Reiver 1803 JR-1, R-7 Draped Bust Dime, and a fresh consignment of Capped Bust Half Dollars in XF and AU grades, including many earlier dates.  
Details on the Gorman Sale will be out this week to everyone on my early dime distribution list.  To be added, simply send me an e-mail at wdperki(at) and I will add you to the list. 
Gerry will have a large selection (six cases!) of quality Bust and Seated Coins for sale.  Please stop and see us at Tables 1034 and 1036 in Tampa! 
W. David Perkins, Numismatist Centennial, CO

Thursday, December 24, 2015

JR Newsletter: 24 December 2015 (273) - Special "Early Edition"

With the upcoming weekend dedicated to holiday activities, I've decided to publish the JR Newsletter a few days early -- Editor.

We have one contribution, from Brad Karoleff:
The latest edition of the John Reich Journal was mailed today!  Merry Christmas to all our subscribers.
Please note that there is a dues notice included with this edition.  Please send $25 to Steve Crain (checks payable to JRCS) ASAP to continue your membership.  On the back of the dues notice is the ballot for voting on the Jules Reiver Award for volume 25.  Be sure to vote as you renew your membership.  The winner will be announced at the annual meeting at the ANA in Anaheim this August.
I've included the Editor's Notes from the John Reich Journal here to announce the meeting at the FUN show in January along with other important information:
Welcome to the final edition of The John Reich Journal for 2015.  It marks the end of the 25th volume of our publication, a milestone not expected by many of the charter members of the club.  We, as an organization, have persevered and have shepherded the club through decades of numismatic changes to get to today’s edition.  I would like to personally thank all the authors, officers and members who have helped make the JRCS what it is today.  Without all your help this journal would not be a reality.

We are having a meeting at the upcoming FUN show in TAMPA on Friday morning, January 8 at 9 AM.  David Finkelstein will be our speaker and his talk is “The First Depositors of Silver and Gold”.  We look forward to seeing you there for this interesting talk about the actual depositors as individuals.

You will also see an insert in the envelope with your journal.  Everyone is receiving a ballot for voting on the Jules Reiver Literary Award for volume 25.  The winner will be recognized at the ANA in Anaheim this August.  Please take time to vote!  Many of you will also see on the back of the ballot your dues renewal notice.  Please send your check for $25 to continue your membership while voting.

The officers decided at the last meeting during the ANA in Chicago to limit the number of censuses offered each year to two.  The dime census, originally expected in this issue, will be in the Spring edition.  The Quarter census will follow next year in the Winter edition.  The census is the most difficult and time consuming part of the journal and the census keepers were unanimous in their decision to begin the new format.

I would like to pose a question to the membership and, hopefully, publish the results in the next issue.  Has rarity lost its luster?  Everyone is focusing on quality, which is a great thing, but what happened to completion?  If you are collecting AU coins and a major rarity comes available in VF, would you be interested?  What if it has minor problems?  What if it has major problems?  I would like to hear from interested collectors about their feelings and I will put together an article on the results if enough of you respond.

Until the next issue in the Spring, I hope everyone has a very happy holiday season and a wonderful, safe and prosperous new year!
Happy Holidays,