The JR Newsletter is the official e-newsletter of the John Reich Collectors Society. The purpose of the John Reich Collectors Society (JRCS) is to encourage the study of numismatics, particularly United States gold and silver coins minted before the introduction of the Seated Liberty design, and to provide technical and educational information concerning such coins.
Upcoming Auction, Old Time Collections, and
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.
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.
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.]
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.
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
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.
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.
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)aol.com
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
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.
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
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.
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)numismaticcrimes.org
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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
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
Mosiondz, Jr. wrote with literature for sale:
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.
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