Sunday, November 2, 2014

JR Newsletter: 2 November 2014 (213)

John Okerson wrote:

Wanted: Jules Reiver's 1984 edition, "Variety Identification Manual for United States Half Dimes, 1794-1837."  If anyone has a copy and is willing to part with it, please contact me at johnokerson(at) or 901.338.8999

John Okerson from Lakeland, TN

Michael Rocco wrote:

I was looking at the early dime lots for the Gardner collection and on review of lot 98227, the 1804 14 star dime, I noticed two aspects of the coin that I would like to get others to comment on.  On the obverse, the E and R in "Liberty" appear to have a somewhat different shape than what I have seen on other  dimes of this variety. On the coin in question, the bottom horizontal bar of the E seems shorter than the typical E punch (including the Es on the reverse of this coin). The flag on the top of the R seems to point up instead of remain horizontal and the bottom horizontal bar of the R is thinner at the upright crossbar than the typical R punch (including the R on the reverse of the coin).  On the reverse, (which corresponds to the location of the letters ER in "Liberty" on the obverse) the eagle's tail feathers have a very strong and detailed appearance that I have not seen on even mint state dimes of this variety. 


The owner of the Easton Collection wrote with commentary on the Gardner dimes that recently sold in Baltimore:

My review of Gene Gardner’s Bust dimes in Heritage’s November 2014 auction

By Easton Collection

On Monday, October 27, 2014, the second part of Gene Gardner’s magnificent coin collection was sold by Heritage in NYC at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel. The auction started at 1pm and about 50 people were in attendance including Gene and his family with a lot more in attendance via Heritage Live. Included in his collection was a group of some of the finest draped and capped bust dimes available. It’s a rare treat to see so many wonderful coins being offered at one time. Overall, I thought that the draped bust coins sold for prices at my expectation except for the 1804 dimes that sold for less than I expected and the capped bust dimes selling for strong money.
Since the auction was held in NYC several blocks from my office, I had a chance to attend the auction and spend several hours at lot viewing. Below are some observations of the dimes:

1796 JR-3 in NGC63 – The coin has been pedigreed back to 1956 and this coin is very rare with a really triangular die break that has the looks of a really cool cud on the reverse at 11:00. This coin is believed to be the finest known of this die marriage and I thought that NGC graded the coin properly.  I gave this coin a pre-auction estimate of $30k to $35k and the coin sold for $30,550.

1801 JR-1 in NGC65 CAC – This coin has wonderful color and looks very original. This coin was once owned by Norweb and it’s the finest known. This is a rarity 4 coin. One feature of this coin is die rust running throughout the obverse. The reverse has typical weakness in the eagle’s breast and this coin is no different. My pre estimate price was $125k and this coin didn’t disappoint me at $111,625. The winner of this coin should be very proud to acquire such a wonderful coin.

1804 JR-1 in PCGS53 and JR-2 in PCGSAU50 – I can’t remember when both 1804 die marriages were offered in auction since the Price auction; and any time one example is offered it's considered special. Over the past year, there have been several JR-2 offered in auction but Gene’s AU50 was the highest graded offered. Overall, the JR-2 has nice color with great details as its well struck. Both 1804 coins were sold for $125,375 to one collector and in my opinion he got a great deal! My pre-auction estimate had both coins selling for $90k each and I wouldn’t have been surprised if either one sold for as high as $125k.

1811/9 JR-1 in NGC65 – This date is one of my personal favorites but I really didn’t like this coin. The coin had a color that looked very unnatural to me and was slightly over graded by 1 point. This date in gem condition is hardly ever offered at shows or auctions so I really didn’t know what to expect. I had thought a solid gem could sell for about $30k but this coin was short of being a gem. The market place agreed with me and the coin sold for $18,800. This price was fair for the coin.

1821 JR-9 (small date) in PCGS64 – The small date variety is slightly rarer than the large date but this coin I thought had the possibly of achieving a record price. This coin was pedigreed to Alan Lovejoy and when offered in 1990 it was offered as a proof or presentation piece. Back in 1990, the coin sold for $8k. This coin is brilliantly toned in yellow and blue. This coin has fantastic eye appeal and this coin was the best graded 64 that I have ever seen. Some collectors in attendance commented to me that they felt the coin was artificially toned but I disagreed. The coin looked exactly like the plate coin when it was auctioned off in 1990! This coin sold for $15,275 which is double PCGS price guide.

1824/2 JR-1 in NGC66 – What can I say – this is my favorite date in the series and I don’t remember when a 66 was ever offered. This coin is richly toned and has an above average strike for this date. Many believe that this coin could be tied for the finest known. The coin demonstrates multi-colored toning and has very clean surfaces. My pre-auction estimate was $25k and the price realized was a staggering $70,500! I was shocked at the price it realized.

1828 JR-1 in PCGS 65 CACThis coin is pedigreed to the Eliasberg collection and further pedigreed way back to 1899. The coin is very brilliant with the fields very reflective. The devices are fully frosty and this coin is very well struck. The pre-auction estimate was $20k and it realized a very strong $28,200.

1828 JR-2 in NGC64 - The 1828 large date coin is the last year of the large size capped bust dimes and any appearance of this variety is rare. The coin was beautifully toned but I thought that this coin was flat looking. Over the years, I saw only one mint state JR2 offered in over 10 years.  I thought that this coin was going to sell for very strong money. My pre-auction estimate was $20k and the coin sold for $28,200!

 1831 JR-5 in PCGS66 CAC – This wonderfully bluish gold toned coin has very clean surfaces and was extremely well struck. The coin is originally toned and very rare to find a bust dime this nice. My pre-auction estimate was $17k and it realized $20,560.

1834 JR-1 in PCGS 67 CAC- It's hard to believe that a coin over 180 years old can be preserved in such great condition, but in reviewing this coin one can only say that it's magnificent in every way. The surfaces are almost perfect with beautiful amber and lavender toning on both sides. The strike is very strong with the Eagle talons' details very well defined. A special coin and my pre-estimate price was $40k and but it realized a soft $32,900. BTW – PCGS price guide is $37,500.

1837 JR-4 in PCGS65 CAC - This date is very desirable as it’s the last year for the capped bust dimes. The coin is attractively toned in golden brown with shades of green. The surfaces are very clean and I believe that this coin is a possible upgrade. My pre-auction estimate was $15k and it sold for $21,150.

In conclusion, there were many very high grade bust dimes and anyone that acquired one of Gene’s coins should be very proud. Congratulations to all the winners. Gene personally congratulated each winner in attendance and shared a short story about his coins. In the end, I was glad to be in attendance for such a great auction and see these magnificent coins getting sold.