Sunday, May 20, 2018
JR Newsletter: 20 May 2018 (396)
We had a few responses to last week’s comment about a coin advertised as an 1802 half dime in an auction:
James Higby wrote: With regard to Pete Smith's query about the "1802" half dime that sold for $2900, anyone who has studied early U.S. coinage knows that the "2" in the date of the 1802 half cent, half dime, and dime was created with a punch that was grossly undersized compared to the others. You don't need a book or even a magnifying glass to know this one is fake.
My guess is that the buyer of this piece knows that as well, but has a client somewhere who does not. A similar situation occurred in my town some years ago when a local auction sale of a fake "1799" large cent was won by a coin dealer who actually had a storefront in town. I was sitting right next to him and, before he started bidding, I asked him if he had taken a "good look" at the 1799. He said, "Sure, but it doesn't matter, because I'm going to ship it to South America." I presume he profited handsomely from his $650 purchase of the altered 1798. I happened to have my copy of Noyes with me and showed it to the owner of the auction house, who pointed to a sign that read, "All items sold as is, where is."
Dave Wnuck wrote: Hi All, It looks like that "1802 Half Dime" in that auction was actually an 1802 Half dollar. Sincerely, Dave Wnuck
Mark Verbeck wrote: I'm sure you will agree that the "1802 half dime" listing posted by Pete Smith bears no resemblance to the real thing. My first reaction was that it looked quite a bit like a half dollar, and it seemed a reasonably close match to the 1802 dies. I checked the Silver City Auctions website, and the archived description for Lot 147 in their March 21 sale now reads: "1802 Half Dollar XF." Best regards, Mark Verbeck
As I read the original contribution by Pete Smith and the above comments (plus a few more that writers did not prefer be published), I got to thinking that “back in the day” without the denomination on the coins, it was incumbent upon users of the coins to be familiar with the design and sizes of their coins if they wished to be able to decipher the difference between denominations…else they suffer financial loss. Sort of like how we must differentiate between half dimes, dimes, quarters, and half dollars via the internet where all coins can be presented in the same size format. Editor
Brad Karoleff wrote regarding the “JRCS Bid or Buy Sale” (in the latest issue of the John Reich Journal). Brad advised that the Ed Price catalog has been sold. Check out the sale to see what might interest you!
Rick A. wrote:
I cherry picked an 1835 B-3 R4+ quarter and received it in the mail today (photo below). The obverse was easy but I contacted the seller about if the reverse had a tongue to confirm variety, which it did. 1835 B-3 PCGS 25 purchased at nearly grey sheet price. I would like to hear comments from small size bust quarter collectors. Have accumulated around 20 different pieces. Started with red book varieties then cherry picking key varieties but put aside until recently to work on red book varieties of Bust Halves 1807-1839-O. Small size quarters appear to be dead money as there appears to be not much premium on R4 and R5 varieties except in higher grades as many rarity ratings have been downgraded from Browning's book to the more recent census and Steve Tompkins book which I use. I did cherry pick an 1834 B-5 PCGS VF35 back in March for a little more what slabbed VF35s have been selling for in auctions.