Sunday, October 16, 2011

JR Newsletter: 16 October 2011 (58)

I received no other contributions this week other than the one I planned to submit, so here are my comments:

First, I was surprised there was no input on Jeff Tryka's 1809 bust half dollar.  Surely, there is at least one half dollar collector out there with some information or an opinion?

Second, I wanted to add to the discussion concerning attribution of die remarriages for capped bust half dimes.  In addition to studying capped bust half dimes extensively, I have focused on attribution methods for die marriages more so than most fellow collectors.  I firmly believe that Russell Logan and John McCloskey gave us a generally-simple and almost-foolproof formula to attribute half dime remarriages, yet many collectors do not take advantage of the formula offered in "Federal Half Dimes 1792-1837."

Far too often, in my opinion, instead of using the remarriage charts created by Logan and McCloskey (pages 65- 77 of "Federal Half Dimes") when determining a specific coin's remarriage, collectors try to decipher die remarriage by examining pictures and reading obverse and reverse die state descriptions offered throughout the book for each die marriage.  I believe it is a better choice (that results in greater accuracy) to use the die remarriage charts on pages 65-77 when trying to attribute a are three reasons why:

1.  The remarriage charts were specifically designed for the purpose of quick identification and attribution of die remarriages.

2.  The remarriage charts contain key/essential pick-up points that focus collectors immediately on the pertinent die state characteristic(s) that must be seen (or not seen) to correctly determine the die remarriage.

3.  The authors tell us specifically how to use the die remarriage charts when they state, "all of the previously noted die deterioration attributes for a specific die marriage should be plainly visible on the coin in question."  This means that when one follows the flow charts of pages 65-77, one has a simple "check list" of characteristics to look for when trying to attribute a specific coin.

Readers may consider an article I wrote for the John Reich Journal (December 2006), entitled "Understanding Capped Bust Half Dime Remarriages," for further information.