Sunday, October 4, 2015

JR Newsletter: 4 October 2015 (261)

We have a few contributions this week.

David Finkelstein provided an original contribution:  "Dr. Nicholas Way's Surety Bond" 
A link to David's article is provided here:

John Okerson asked if the JRCS plans an activity at the Whitman Baltimore Expo in November.  A quick inquiry to the JRCS officers provided the answer:  the JRCS does not have an activity planned at the show.

Finally for this week:  A reader sent in a link to an excellent article by Greg Reynolds on 1795 dollars:

Sunday, September 27, 2015

JR Newsletter: 27 September 2015 (260)

The above photo is courtesy of Rory Rea.  He created this image in 2007 when he was photographing the Eric Newman quarter collection.

We have one contribution today.  Dick Johnson sent an announcement about his new book:

"For sixty years I was a writer. Now I am an author."  Click this link to read about his book:

Sunday, September 20, 2015

JR Newsletter: 20 September 2015 (259)

This week, we have another excellent, original contribution from David Finkelstein.  He has written "Tristram Dalton’s Surety Bond" for readers to enjoy.

The link to open David's article is here:

Sunday, September 13, 2015

JR Newsletter: 13 September 2015 (258)

Gene Bruder ( wrote to tell us about his move:

I will be moving on Sep 28th, 2015 from PO Box 246, Chico, CA 95927 to: PO Box 22920, Lincoln, NE 68542-2920.

My contact phone number will be 530-864-0922.
My email will be: gene(at) 


Monday, September 7, 2015

JR Newsletter: 7 September 2015 (257)

David Finkelstein starts this week's JR Newsletter off with an original contribution, "Albion Cox’s Surety Bond"


David Perkins wrote with news and a photo:

1799 B-10, BB-163 Dollar with Shattered Reverse

 On Wednesday of this week I had the opportunity to view an “old time” Type Collection of 18th through 20 th Century U.S. Coins.  Most of the coins in this collection were raw, and all were very nice.  The collection was started by the collector’s father, probably between 1920 and 1940.  His father had a great eye.

The early U.S. silver dollar type coins consisted simply of a 1795 Flowing Hair Dollar and a 1799 Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle Dollar, and were both raw and stored in old Kraft type 2X2 envelopes.  

 As I turned over the 1799 Dollar to view the reverse my immediate reaction was “WOW!” This specimen was struck from a shattered reverse die, Bowers Die State IV or slightly later.  The photo does not do the coin justice – the myriad of die cracks literally jumped out at me, even without a glass.  Here is the description of Bowers Die State IV (from the QDB  silver dollar book):

 Die State IV.  Obverse crack extends to outside ray of star 10.  On reverse, additional cracks develop: Vertically from border through O, between clouds 7 and 8, toward eagle’s head, splits, and branch goes left through a star.  Crack from wing, through right ribbon end, into field to left of branch end.  Crack from branch to eagle’s let to tail.  Crack from interior of branch upward to below ER.  Crack from top of A, down through TES, to cloud 5, splits, two cracks go down and to the left, and one goes to right. The die could not have survived long beyond this point.  Rare die state.

I love late die states!  This one is spectacular.

The reverse die for 1799 B-10, BB-163 was only used once, to create this die marriage.  On the other hand, this was the fifth use of the obverse die, which was used in creating a total of six 1799 dated die marriages! 
I was also reminded of the pleasure of viewing and handling a large 200 plus year old coin outside of holder.  In this case, I enjoyed viewing many coins not in holders in this old time collection. 

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO

(if you click on this photo, it will open a larger version)


Finally, Dick Kurtz wrote:

Mention was made at the JRCS meeting at the recent ANA show that future census surveys will revert to the "15 top collections" format. Apparently someone (more than one?) was so incensed at Steve Crain's approach that he/she threatened to quit our organization. Wow! For me, I thought Steve's change, that is listing the totals in multiple grades, was a step in the right direction. Am I alone in my approval of the new approach? I can live with either format, but like the new one best.

Also, a word about the 1815 half dollar article. I believed for a long time that the overdate was actually a 15 over an inverted 5, but the authors proved that not to be the case. I'm looking forward to the follow-on article.

Dick Kurtz, 049

Sunday, August 30, 2015

JR Newsletter: 30 August 2015 (256)

We have some fairly diverse contributions this week.   

Our first contributor is David Finkelstein.  David wrote, "Henry Voigt’s Surety Bond" for us.  A tip from the editor for readers of the JR Newsletter:  you really do want to read this article, for it contains information that will surprise you (I was pleased to be one of the first people to read this excellent work!).


Winston Zack wrote with a report about his ANA show experience:

It has taken me a week to get settled in from the 3 days I spent in Rosemont at the ANA World's Fair of Money. I grew up in the Chicago area and it was great to return, see my family, see my geeky numismatic friends, and look at some excellent coins.

My adventure began on Tuesday, August 11th.  I had an 11 AM flight out of California, which meant leaving my home at 8 taking an hour train, 20-minute bus, and finally getting to my gate at 10 AM...only to learn my flight was delayed 45 minutes. This was cutting it close since I had a modest layover in Vegas. Luckily I get to Vegas with about 30 minutes to spare. I hustled to my next gate, which actually was nearly on the other side of the airport...which took 15-minutes to walk there. When I got to the gate my flight stated there was another 30-minute delay. Ugh! I ended up arriving in Chicago around 9:30, got my bags at 10:15, and home around eat some Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza...which IS pretty much the best pizza around...I digress.

The next morning I woke at around 6:00 (which is like 4 AM in Cali), gathered breakfast items for the JRCS meeting (coffee, OJ, bagels, cream cheese, coffee cake, and other stuff (I think)). I got to the show at 7:15, and met Louis Scuderi and Mike Sherrill (who I had never met in person before), and Barry Sunshine and Brad Karoleff right outside the convention center. They helped transport the food to the JRCS meeting room, and I had enough time to settle in and rest a little bit before the meeting.

The JRCS meeting was PACKED! Wow, we were all eager to hear Mr. Garrett Ziss' presentation on Bust coins depicted on paper money. Like everyone else said, the presentation was excellent and the standing ovation for this 12-year-old wonder-numismatist was well deserved. Steve Tompkins presented his new, 575-page book on Flowing Hair and Draped Bust half looks superb! And on behalf of my other co-authors I introduced the newest Bust dime book - Bust Dime Variety Identification Guide; proceeds from the sale of this book went to the JRCS breakfast spread...but I think the JRCS should host more breakfasts...everyone loves to eat!

At 10 AM David Kahn invited the Bust Dime authors to a book signing at his table...which was a lot of fun! Much to our amazement our book sold like hotcakes...and I saw a lot of other people with Steve's new book too. If you would like a copy of the new Bust Dime book, please contact one of these four distributors - David Kahn, Rich Uhrich, Glenn Holsonbake, or Dave Wnuck. That's the last plug for new books in this show report.

By 1 PM I was finally able to look at coins...if there was anything good left on the floor! And it turns out the first table I visited made my show...and maybe my year! I picked up two awesome contemporary counterfeit half eagles for my collection as well as for my current and future research project (Encyclopedia of contemporary counterfeit U.S. Federal coins 1792-1891).

Speaking of this research project, I plan on working on this project for about 10 years because there's a lot of data to gather and counterfeits to study. If you have any contemporary counterfeits, any denomination, from this time period that you would like included in this research project please feel free to contact me at stoneman101(at) One of the components of this research is to identify the alloy of each counterfeit. As such, XRF Analyzers are a machine I hope to use for this research. If anyone knows where I might be able to use an XRF Analyzer in Southern California (for little or no cost) I would be most appreciative...buying one is essentially out of my budget at this time. I have a few leads already to use an XRF Analyzer, but those are not local, and as such less convenient for this project.

The remaining 2.5 days of the show were a blur. I was constantly running into people, networking, talking coins, life, etc and having a blast. I also picked up a few more pieces for my collection(s). This really was my favorite coin show I've ever been to.

I also wanted to mention to the JR Newsletter readers that some of the proceeds from the sale of the new Bust Dime book ($2/copy) will be going back to the JRCS so that we can continue the Club's mission of advancing the study and education of early U.S. Federal coins (primarily silver and gold).


Finally, Len Augsburger, Project Coordinator for the Newman Numismatic Portal, published an introductory letter concerning the project:

The Newman Numismatic Portal seeks to unite the world’s numismatic information into a single, searchable database, accessible to all on a free and forever basis. Administered through Washington University in St. Louis, the Portal is funded by a grant from the Eric P. Newman Numismatic Education Society and began development in December 2014.

This summer has been busy with the establishment of our scanning center, located in Olin Library on the Washington University campus. Since June, we’ve scanned several hundred documents, representing over 30,000 pages, and these are visible through Internet Archive at We’ve partnered with Internet Archive to upload and host our scanned material, and this collection will increase on a daily basis as items are added.

While Internet Archive acts as a warehouse for our scanned documents, we are in parallel developing the website that will be known as the Newman Numismatic Portal. The Portal will be able to search across the scanned documents as well as a store of electronic content acquired from other sources such as auction companies. The Portal will go online in 2016. In the meantime, our scanned material, via Internet Archive, is freely available to all for scholarly purposes.

We are especially interested in acquiring in-copyright content for the Portal. If you represent an organization that wishes to digitize its publications at no cost to you, we are an ideal candidate to offload the scanning effort. Already several specialty clubs within American numismatics have given us permission to digitize and present back issues of their journals. We also seek unique materials such as manuscripts, archives, bid books, and the like. Finally, several collectors have loaned us rare items such as early U.S. Mint Reports. It is through such collaboration that the Portal will achieve its objective of sharing numismatic information with all.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

JR Newsletter: 23 August 2015 (255)

Welcome to this week's JR Newsletter.  We have some news trickling in related to happenings at the ANA in Rosemont.  I am sure that readers would like to hear more!

Some JRCS members in the news:

Paul Gilkes posted three video excerpts from the presentation that JRCS member Garrett Ziss gave at the JRCS annual meeting at the ANA show in Rosemont.  The videos are on the Coin World Facebook page:

Also from Paul Gilkes of Coin World, an excellent article, " Fake United States Bust dimes rare and collectible: Readers Ask.  Bogus coins contemporarily co-circulate with genuine counterparts."  The Gilkes article mentions JRCS member Winston Zack and the John Reich Journal.  You can read the article online at the following link:

When Winston heard about and then read the article, he responded, "During the show I was told of several other bust dime counterfeits which exist, including dates I have not recorded (not too surprised about that). But in general my article, and this CW article are pretty spot on."

Steve Gupta wrote:

I understand the JRCS board approved funds to move the current website to a commercially hosted server at the 2015 annual meeting.  While I was not in attendance, I am interested in forming a small group to discuss content management systems (CMS) such as Wordpress, Wix, Weebly, etc and hosting options such as Bluehost, GoDaddy, Google Domains, etc.

The latest update looks really clean, but I am also seeking input on relatively static content that would complement the John Reich Journal and JR Newsletter.  With a few administrators and content managers, we should be able to build and maintain an attractive, engaging website.  Some ideas I have are expanding the reference books, adding significant catalogs and web references to the ANA and other organizations that align with the By-Laws Section 2:  The purpose of the Society is to encourage the study of numismatics, particularly United States silver and gold coins minted before 1840, and to provide technical and educational information concerning such coins.

I am not a web developer, but have dabbled with a personal blog and have periodically updated a Wordpress site for another organization.  The current webmaster has already offered to help in transferring contents.  If you are interested in helping out, please contact me at sanjiv_gupta(at)

Thanks for your consideration,
Steve Gupta