Sunday, February 26, 2017

JR Newsletter: 26 February 2017 (333)

One contribution this week from David Perkins:

Upcoming Auction, Old Time Collections, and Pedigrees 

Yesterday I reviewed lots online for the upcoming Stack’s Bowers Galleries Blue Moon Collection Part 1 Sale.  It appears that many of the coins offered in this sale are from previous Stacks auction sales in the 1970s. For collectors of early U.S. Silver it appears that there are early silver dollars 1794 to 1803, but no half dimes, dimes, quarters, or half dollars in “Part 1.”  At least I didn’t find any of these denominations listed online at this time. 

Lot 2538, a 1797 B-3, BB-71 10X6 Stars Dollar caught my eye.  This coin was last sold in the December 9, 10, 1974 Stack’s sale of The W. Earl Spies Collection of U.S. SILVER DOLLARS 1794-1803.  Spies had an extensive collection of early dollars by die marriage and die state.  This 1797 Dollar has been off the market since this time. 

The Stack’s cataloger for this lot did not include the original lot number from the 1974 sale.  This 1797 Dollar was Lot 36 in the 1974 Spies sale where cataloged as, “Uncirculated, full frosty mint lustre.  Natural sea green, golden, and iridescent toning.  Just a touch of friction on the cheek (which really is only missing tarnish) from the gem category. A beautiful and rare coin.”

I have a copy of W. Earl Spies’ copy of M. H. Bolender’s The Early United States Silver Dollars from 1794 to 1803 (1950 edition) that I got from Spies’ son.  In the book, Spies noted that he paid $90.00 for this coin, graded it “Unc.,” and that it came from someone named “Norman.”  I don’t know if this is a first or last name.  Dealer Norman Schultz comes to mind, but this is only a guess on my part.  [Per my research, Schultz handled a number of very nice, high grade early dollars over the years.]  

Spies also noted in his book that he had a theory that 1797 B-3 Dollars were known on both “Normal Planchet Size” and “Small Planchet.”  This theory proved to be true – the Warren Miller Collection of early dollars 1794 to 1803 (that dealer Andy Lustig and I purchased) had two examples of the 1797 B-3, BB-71 die marriage, one graded PCGS AU58 and struck on Large Planchet, and another example in PCGS XF45, struck on a small planchet.  Both of these coins have been sold.  

The Spies 1797 Dollar is now graded PCGS AU-55 CAC (image below), where described in the sale catalog in part as, “This lovely original 1797 BB-71 silver dollar offers premium quality and superior eye appeal for a Draped Bust, Small Eagle dollar. Both sides are warmly and evenly toned in olive-gray with iridescent pale gold undertones evident. The strike is nicely centered with overall bold definition.” In addition, the catalog description notes the pedigree as, “Provenance: From our (Stack's) W. Earl Spies Collection sale, December 1974. Lot tag, collector tag and paper envelope included.”  Many collectors such as myself love the old flips and envelopes that sometimes accompany coins that we purchase. 

Lot 2537, a 1796 B-4, BB-61 Small Date, Large Letters Dollar in PCGS XF5 CAC in the Blue Moon Collection Part 1 sale is also ex. Spies.  

There is also what looks like a pretty nice 1794 Dollar in the sale, “Ex Herbert W. Taffs Collection; Glendining & Co.'s sale of the Herbert W. Taffs, Esq. Collection, November 1956, lot 425; Stack's to R.L. Miles, Jr.; Stack's sale of the R.L. Miles, Jr. Collection, April 1969, lot 1525; Joseph Spray Collection; Stack's sale of September 1978, lot 287.  

I can’t wait to view these and other lots in this sale next month in Baltimore. For those attending the Baltimore show I will have three tables (along with Gerry Fortin), all under Table 818.  Please note this table number and stop by and say hello.

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO

Sunday, February 19, 2017

JR Newsletter: 19 February 2017 (332)

We have just one contribution this week:

Vern Porter wrote:

Other than the recently reported find by Louis Scuderi (an 1833 LM-5 cherry picked from eBay), have there been any good finds for capped half dimes?  I enjoy the series and look forward to stories about good finds or buys.  I have not seen much in auctions lately worth too much attention.


Sunday, February 12, 2017

JR Newsletter: 12 February 2017 (331)

Steve Herrman wrote:

Your Pre-Turban Half Dollar Census information is needed ASAP for inclusion in the next Issue of the John Reich Journal. Please email the complete inventory listing (including ALL duplicates and die states) of your Pre-Turban halves to Steve Herrman at herrman102(at)



Sunday, February 5, 2017

JR Newsletter: 5 February 2017 (330)

Gregg Silvis wrote:

While I am not a member, I wanted to let the members of the John Reich Collectors Society know that Iona Peterson Reiver, widow of Julius “Jules" Reiver, died earlier this month.  Here is a link to her obituary:

She sounded like a wonderful woman.  I had the opportunity to meet Jules several years ago at a meeting of the Wilmington Coin club.  He was quite a character and a real gentleman.

Gregg Silvis

David Finkelstein wrote:

Since publishing my article titled “The First 1794 Dollar Released From The Mint” in the January 29, 2017 JR Newsletter, I had the opportunity to correspond with Robert Julian, and archivists from the National Archives and Library of Congress.  Robert Julian mentioned and quoted from the October 16, 1794 Edmund Randolph letter in an April, 2016 Coins Magazine article, therefore I am not the first to reference it.  I have also obtained digital access to George Washington’s diaries and Secretary of State Edmund Randolph’s outgoing letter book.  As a result, I have revised my article to include a reference to Robert Julian’s Coins Magazine article and have added images of 2 documents.  The only text changes to my article are in the section titled “October 16, 1794” and the paragraph preceding it.


Sunday, January 29, 2017

JR Newsletter: 29 January 2017 (329)

David Finkelstein wrote with an article for the JR Newsletter, which you may access by clicking this link: 

David advised, "the majority of this article was part of my JRCS presentation at the 2017 FUN Show.  A letter from Secretary of State Edmund Randolph to President Washington, dated October 16, 1794, has shed additional light on the release of the 1794 dollars and who received them."  The title of the article is The First 1794 Dollar Released From The Mint.


Fellow collectors who pursue "complete sets" by die marriage will appreciate this contribution from Louis Scuderi:

I guess that when it comes to finding rare half dimes I have to be up at 3 in the morning. That is the time of day I found my 1835 LM12 some years ago. Well, 3 AM was good for me again. I was up late working and decided to take one more look around eBay before I closed down for the night (actually morning!). An 1833 half dime with a small and very, very, very fuzzy image popped up just as I was about to sign off. At first I thought- "been looking at the computer screen too long"- but damn if it didn't look like it could be an 1833 LM5. I spent 20 minutes appraising the coin and give it better than 75/25 chance of being the 1833 LM5 - the last variety that I needed for my capped bust half dime set. A Buy It Now to boot!

Bought it and then the waiting began, -my apprehension growing with each day as I tracked its path across the country. I thought “hopefully the guy was not using some stock photo, and “was my brain so fuzzy and addled at 3AM that I screwed up the attribution?” Even with the fuzzy pictures in hand and studying them over and over again I still couldn’t tell. Eventually I got to the point of convincing myself that I had misattributed the variety. Oh well, just some intense nervous anticipation for a few days!
For once I was blessed with an early arrival of a package. Tore it open and there it was! Capped bust half dimes by variety complete! See image. This coin is apparently number seven known. A solid R7.

So after 17 years of chasing this elusive variety, a near miss at auction, and a few purchases of low grade poorly imaged 1833 LM10’s on eBay, this variety finally was accounted for. I guess persistence pays off.

One final note- Of course some of my fellow collectors will remember the last time in 2010 that I did this for my second "complete" set of capped bust dimes. Sure enough someone went and found that 1827 JR14 a few months later. This raises an interesting question. Will lightning strike again and does this mean that we will soon be hearing of a new half dime variety?


(editor's note:  you may click on this image provided by Louis to open a larger version)


Gawain O'Connor sent this to us:

I found these passages in a general British book on coin collecting from 50 years ago. While not exactly flattering, it seems to aptly describe my collecting preferences - and perhaps the preferences of other members of JRCS.

Collins Nutshell Books:  Coin Collecting,  by T. Hanson, 1967, Collins, London and Glasgow

Chapter 4 Modern Coins

United States and Canada

As in most other series, the value of an American coin is arrived at mostly by its rarity; the condition is naturally important and so, too, is supply and demand. Sometimes one denomination is particularly popular and it is possible to obtain more than catalogue price for these specimens, whilst at a later date interest has turned to something else.

Apart from the perhaps astonishing values that are placed on some coins, the American series has little to recommend it to the numismatist. As with most other countries, the artistry in the nineteenth- and twentieth-century issues is generally poor. In the writer’s view, only the issues of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century, say to 1840, are worth collecting. Unfortunately, they are the most expensive!
Since the collector of American coins is considerably restricted in the number of coins he can collect, he is naturally concerned with slight variations in design. These variations, or die varieties as they are called, consist of such peculiarities as the addition of another stop in the legend, part of a letter being filled up on the die, a different expression on the face of Liberty, or the date being engraved over a preceding one, etc. Whilst this may be construed as more in keeping with pure numismatics than the ignoring of such varieties, and the collecting of coins simply for the sake of it, it has perhaps been carried too far in some instances.

Gawain O'Connor

Monday, January 23, 2017

Special Edition: Stolen Coins

For Immediate Release


On Friday January 6, 2017, during the FUN Show, the hotel room of a collector was burglarized, resulting in the loss of 19 coins, mostly US Bust Half-Dollars.  An itemized list appears below.  The total value exceeds $40,000.

Fort Lauderdale police and Doug Davis of the Numismatic Crime Information Center are investigating the crime.  Should you have any information regarding the crime or the stolen items, please contact Davis, of the NCIC, at (817) 723-7231 or Doug(at)

The victim is a member of the Bust Half Nut Club, “BHNC.”  Through the efforts of BHNC secretary Steve Herrman and PNG dealers Sheridan Downey and David Kahn, a reward fund has been assembled, currently totaling more than $16,000.  The reward, administered by BHNC, is offered to any person that provides information leading to recovery of the stolen coins.  Questions regarding the reward may be directed to Steve Herrman at

Collectors and dealers are urged to print a copy of the list of stolen coins and to keep an eye out for the items while examining Internet coin auctions, attending coin shows or visiting coin shops.

Coin # Denom Year       Variety  Grading Serv     Grade   Cert #               Pic       Pedigree
1          01C      1864     Judd-335          NGC     MS65    185472-005       Y
 2         50C      1795     O-103a             NGC     VF30    3809196-015      Y          Hilt Collection
 3         50C      1808     O-110               PCGS   XF45    33543154          Y          Link
 4         50C      1809     O-110               PCGS   XF40    33543155          N
 5         50C      1809     O-111               PCGS   AU55    33543156          N
 6         50C      1812     O-104a             PCGS   AU58    81469525          N
 7         50C      1814     O-103               PCGS   AU58                             N
 8         50C      1817     O-108a              PCGS   VF35    33543158          N
 9         50C      1818     O-113               PCGS   AU55    33543159          N
 10        50C      1822     O-105               PCGS   AU58    29293087          Y          Frederick-Link
 11        50C      1822     O-113               PCGS   AU53                             N
 12        50C      1823     O-110         NGC CAC   AU58   3809010-016       Y
 13        50C      1824     O-117               PCGS   AU55    33543160          N
 14        50C      1827     O-132               PCGS   AU58    81612459          N
 15        50C      1827     O-144               PCGS   AU53    82237716          Y
 16        50C      1829     O-102               PCGS   AU58    82139155          N
 17        50C      1829     O-105       PCGS CAC   AU58    32177593 ?       N
 18        50C      1830     O-112               PCGS   AU55    81318215          Y          Link
 19        50C      1836     O-121               PCGS   VF20    31445403          Y

Sunday, January 22, 2017

JR Newsletter: 22 January 2017 (328)

Our first contribution this week comes from David Finkelstein. 

David wrote, "Here is an article for the JR Newsletter.  An interesting document was recently processed from the National Archives regarding the Bank of Maryland’s silver bullion deposit of July 18, 1794.  This document has resulted in a revision to the workflow of the first United States Mint."

David Finkelstein

Nathan Markowitz wrote:

Philadelphia EAC and Silver

The fiftieth anniversary EAC show will be held at the Doubletree Hotel in Philadelphia, PA from Thursday April 20 to Sunday April 23, 2017.  We have again been invited to display silver coins at the "happenings" event with a dedicated room for display.  Last year was a big success for silver with David Lisot even videotaping one of our prominent collectors during the event. 
The happenings occurs Thursday evening after the opening reception.  We generally choose one die marriage in each denomination.  We aim for a die marriage with interesting features/breaks that is common enough that at least several will show up at the show.  Please submit to me your nominations for die marriages to be studied. 

 There is no charge to attend the show or bourse.  Please send me your suggestions at cascades1787(at)

Nathan Markowitz

Pete Mosiondz, Jr. wrote with literature for sale:

Numismatic literature for sale. All books are brand new. Add $4.00 Media Mail postage to all orders.

Abe Kosoff: Dean of Numismatics, Q. David Bowers. SB. $25.00
Adventures with Rare Coins, Q. David Bowers. HB. $15.00
Coins and Collectors, Q. David Bowers. SB. $9.00
Virgil Brand: The Man and His Era, Q. David Bowers. HB. $25.00
The Complete Guide to Shield and Liberty Head Nickels, Gloria Peters and Cynthia Mohon. SB. $35.00
The Complete Guide to Barber Dimes, David Lawrence. HB. DJ protected in Brodart Mylar. Signed by the author on the title page. $35.00
Encyclopedia of United States Dimes 1837-1891, Kamal Ahwash. HB. DJ protected in Brodart Mylar. $35.00
Illegal Tender: Gold, Greed and the Mystery of the Lost 1933 Double Eagle, David Tripp. HB. DJ protected in Brodart Mylar. $20.00
The 1933 Double Eagle, Stacks/Sotheby's Auction Sale July 30, 2002. HB. $20.00
The Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Dimes, Brian Greer. SB. $20.00
The Coin Collector’s Survival Manual (6th edition), Scott Travers. SB. $9.00
The Expert’s Guide to Collecting and Investing in Rare Coins, Q. David Bowers. HB. DJ protected in Brodart Mylar. $20.00
The History of United States Coinage as Illustrated by the Garrett Collection, Q. David Bowers. HB. $35.00
The Numismatist’s Lakeside Companion, Q. David Bowers. SB. $9.00
The Numismatist’s Topside Companion, Q. David Bowers. SB. $9.00
The Numismatist’s Weekend Companion, Q. David Bowers. SB. $9.00
The Lovett Cent: A Confederate Story, Harold Levi and George Corell. SB. $20.00
United States Copper Cents 1816-1857, Howard R. Newcomb. HB. DJ protected in Brodart Mylar. $25.00

Peter Mosiondz, Jr.
26 Cameron Circle
Laurel Springs, NJ 08021-4861
Phone: 856-627-6865
Email: choochoopete(at)
JRCS #867