Sunday, July 20, 2014

JR Newsletter: 20 July 2014 (198)

Brad Karoleff wrote with some good news for members of the John Reich Collectors Society:

The latest issue of the John Reich Journal was mailed on Saturday, July 19.  Members should receive it this week. Anyone not receiving their journal after 10 days should notify me via email at bkaroleff(at)

I hope to see many of you at the upcoming ANA show. Remember our annual meeting Wednesday morning (August 6th at 8:00 AM in room 22 of the convention center).


Sunday, July 13, 2014

JR Newsletter: 13 July 2014 (197)

This week, we have contributions from Glenn Peterson and Steve Tompkins.  First, Glenn wrote:

Hi JRCS members,
   I am looking forward to ANA this year in Chicago. I am coordinating several of the meetings so I want to announce these meetings. 
BHNC open meeting (everyone invited to participate) will be on Thursday August 7th at 2:00 pm in room 42. After greeting members and guests we will have a program on double struck bust halves. I will be presenting the study of the double profiles and  have found some interesting facts regarding the double profile halves. Please come and engage in the discussion about how the mint came to produce these interesting coins. After the meeting we will have a die state study of 1827 bust halves part 2 O-125 and above. 
Bust Quarter Collector Society will meet on Wednesday August 6 at 2:00 pm in room 40.
John Reich Collector's Society will have it annual meeting Wednesday morning August 6th at 8:00 AM in room 22 of the convention center.  David Finkelstein will be giving an educational presentation at the JRCS meeting.
     Please come to the annual meetings -- I look forward to visiting with everyone. Friendship in the numismatic community is what I value most in the hobby! 
Glenn Peterson MD 
Editor's Note:  The complete schedule, with subject matter, time, and location, for all of the "official events" at the ANA World's Fair of Money is available online at the following link:
Steve Tompkins wrote with an announcement:
Auction Appearances & Prices Realized
for Early United States Quarters 1796 - 1838

By Steve M. Tompkins


The 5th edition of Auction Appearances & Prices Realized for Early United States Quarters 1796 - 1838 or the AAPR is at the printer! They should be ready just prior to the ANA.

This compilation encompasses over 6000 auction listings and almost 200 pages, from over 10 years of study and research, and up to 20 years of statistical information relating to the individual die marriages found in the Bust Quarter series.

Listed on each page you will find much more than just a list of auction appearance and what that particular coin sold for. You will also find a listing of the grading service and the unique serial number given to each coin when available, as well as die stage information and cataloger comments. All grades from all die marriages of the Bust Quarter series from 1796 to 1838 are included in this list.

Some of the benefits include: Tracking pedigrees and price fluctuations. An updated condition census for each marriage. See rarities of both the whole die marriage and grade rarities within each die marriage. Track the price differences of  NGC & PCGS, as well as the addition of a CAC sticker. All for less than a tank of gas!

$35.00 delivered...

To order, please send payments to:

Steve Tompkins
P.O. Box 844
Peculiar, Mo. 64078

Or feel free to e-mail any questions to: smt115(at)

Editor's Note:  Steve sent along some cover artwork and a sample page from the AAPR and I have provided those below.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

JR Newsletter: 6 July 2014 (196)

David Perkins wrote:

Greg Reynolds authored an article in COINWeek dated July 2, 2014 titled, “Dimes of 1809 – A Key in the Capped Bust Dime Series.”  Here is the link to the article:  Greg writes a weekly column for COINWeek covering, “Coin Rarities & Related Topics: News and Analysis regarding scarce coins, coin markets, and the coin collecting community.”  This is Greg’s 230th article for COINWeek.

At the end of the article there are links to other articles that also may be of interest to JRCS members and readers of the JR Newsletter:

W. David Perkins  
Centennial, CO


Greg Reynolds added to David's recommendation with thoughts and recommendations of his own:

I have written other articles about bust dimes, and many articles relating to bust coins. The list that appears below one of my articles on CoinWeek is generated via a computer program and does not necessarily include articles that I wrote or would recommend. Please consider reading some of the articles listed below this message.


Dimes of 1822

Gem Quality, Norweb Family 1833 Dime

U.S. coins for less than $500 each, Part 2; Dimes

Half Dollars of 1811, with emphasis upon two ‘in the news’!

Bust Half Dollars on Platinum Night

The Magnolia Collection of Early U.S. Gold Coins, late 19th century Patterns, Trade Dollars and more!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

JR Newsletter: 29 June 2014 (195)

Bob Stark is the sole contributor this week.  He wrote about a 1798 B-28  BB-118 Bust Dollar, specifically about its reverse die:

Bowers (2012) lists a Die State I as struck from a "perfect reverse" die.  Subsequent Die States II to VI cite the approximately parallel cracks between the left side of the tail feathers and right side of the eagle's right talon.

Recently, a specimen appeared with what appears to be a single line, just left of the tail feathers, without a clear second line crack. An image is below; however, I haven't seen the coin. This "single line" crack was not anticipated by Bowers or by me ( 1992 JRCS Journal article).

I'll value readers who have a B-28  BB-118 to send me its die state, or better, its image. I'll gladly share new information with responders.

Best wishes and thanks

Sunday, June 22, 2014

JR Newsletter: 22 June 2014 (194)

We have one important announcement from Steve Crain:

Balloting for the 2013 Jules Reiver Literary Award remains open until July 1, 2014. This means you have less than two weeks to record your votes for your favorite three (3) articles that appeared in Volume 23, Issues 1-3 of the John Reich Journal. Please take this opportunity to fill out your official ballot, mailed to you in the last issue of the John Reich Journal, and show your appreciation for the hard work and scholarship provided by these talented authors. Give them the recognition they deserve. Mail your completed ballot to:
Stephen A. Crain – Secretary
John Reich Collectors Society
P. O. Box 1680
Windham, ME 04062
Do it now, while you are thinking of it. The winner will be announced in the next issue of the JR Journal, prior to the Summer ANA.


Sunday, June 15, 2014

Sunday, June 8, 2014

JR Newsletter: 8 June 2014 (192)

This week's issue of the JR Newsletter has all sorts of good information.  Nathan Markowitz starts us off:

I would like to reply to Bob Stark and embellish the comments made about the silver happenings a few weeks ago on this forum.  Indeed, early dollars WERE represented in Colorado springs.  We chose the 1798 B-16 die marriage with its wonderful die stage progression.  Three representatives made cameo appearances with two VF mid/late state examples and the latest know example from the Willasch collection in mint state.  For anyone who loves cracks and cuds its hard not to warm up to this die marriage; an especially wonderful experience to view them side by side.

Going forward, we would like to have more early dollars represented at the show; I encourage anyone to attend or send along their example of the chosen die marriage so it too can be shown alongside its brethren; we depend on the collectors to send their examples as this is an entirely voluntary event.  If anyone has an idea for a die marriage to be displayed next year, this is a great place to make the suggestion and its never too early to make a proposal; just remember that we need the coins to "show up" to make it work.  Next year the show is in Dallas at DFW the first weekend of May, and in 2016 its in downtown Charlotte April 6-9 (if memory serves).

Nathan Markowitz

James Higby wrote:

A small typo correction to Denis Loring's R-scale:  R-5 should read 46-60 and R-5- should then be 61-75.

In addition to this, there is the matter of condition rarity.  An R-6 die marriage would be represented by 13-30 examples, but if 29 of them are G5 and only one is F15, then the Fine15 becomes an R-8+ while the other 29 are all R-6-.

Things get complicated once you get past Brown & Dunn!

James Higby

Steve Tompkins sends this, on the same topic (rarity):
I wanted to reply to Mike Sherrill's comments from last week, but forgot to do so until the new issue came today...

When a die marriage is given a particular rarity rating, what exactly does this mean?

I would say that it would mean what each author for every series has stated it means, as different people have different definitions. However, there is a universal consensus as to what each level of rarity consists of as far as quantities go, as was stated by Denis Loring:

I grew up with the dime book - my definition of rarity probably derived
from page 20 and is "estimated number of surviving examples in all
grades, both attributed and not". But to take other examples, the 1836
B5 quarter is widely regarded as R6, in one of the quarter books "15-17
known". In the latest dime census, the 1820 JR12 is listed as R6 with 17
reported. My first thought is, "these are actually R5+ die marriages".

Although I applaud the authors of the dime book, as I believe it is the impetus for raising the level of research and presentation of die marriage attribution reference books and is the starting point for any serious student of early US Mint coinage, I have to disagree with the definition presented above by Mike. If that is what they meant then I don’t agree. Actually, this what it states in the dime book under the heading of "RARITY" on page 20:

“The following table shows the approximate number of dimes in existence for a given rarity:”

It goes on to list the range of coins for each level of rarity from R-8 through R-1. At the time, the addition of a plus or minus was not in general use as it is today to distinguish the separation between the higher and the lower parts of the range.

The issue might be in the statement “in existence”. Perhaps Mike is interpreting this to mean those coins that are both attributed and those not yet attributed.  If so, then I would state that this kind of thinking has the potential for problems down the road.

How can you state with any certainty how many coins of a given die marriage exist if they are not yet all identified? Any rarity rating given using these criteria may be correct, but can be just as incorrect. Attempting to define a rarity rating based on how many you think might exist is fraught with error possibilities.

A case in point is the rarity rating given by Don Parsley in the 4th addition of Overton for the newly discovered 1807 O-115. Parsley stated that it was an R-6, most likely due the fact that he believed that more would surface. He even gives a condition census that includes 5 separate coins (although he states that these are estimates…)!

However, after almost 10 years since it was discovered, only five examples have been identified, making the die marriage an R-7+. That is not to say that more won't be found some day, but to start out with R-6? The population could increase five-fold and still be an R-6. What if no more are ever found? It would have been better to give a rating based on known examples than supposed examples..

This example shows what I believe rarity ratings should represent…the total number of coins known to exist at a given point in time. Things are not static, they change over time, and rarity ratings can and should change over time. They will be updated and changed when a newer reference is published and for the rarest die marriages, will be tracked, in between editions of a series reference. In fact, the rarity rating for the more scarce coins is probably more accurate than for the lower ratings. (Who has the time to actually count examples for R-1, R-2 & R-3?)

As to the rarity ratings listed in the new quarter books, both state that the 1836 B-5 is an R-6+ with 15-17 examples known not R-6. This was accurate at the time, but since has changed. Several more examples have been discovered and the population is now in the lower 20’s making the rarity an R-6 for the die marriage. Will it eventually become an R-5+? Maybe…but to state such now or when the books were published would be irresponsible in my mind. Will another 10 coins be discovered and attributed? Again, I say maybe…but I doubt it.

Anyone who wants to seriously collect a particular series needs to arm themselves with all the information they can. This includes the latest edition of a reference book on the series, and any new information pertaining to examples of the rarest die marriages. I will also state that the census compilations we see in the JRJ need to be taken with a grain of salt, as they are far from all encompassing and only include those examples that the membership reports. Believe that there are more examples than reported, perhaps many more.

Steve M. Tompkins

Finally, a couple of notes from the Editor:

The email address for Pete Mosiondz, Jr. was left off of his listing for books offered for sale.  The address is choochoopete(at)

Also, the email address for Paul Hybert listed in last week's JR Newsletter was incorrect.  The correct email address is jrcsweb(at)