Sunday, March 29, 2020

JR Newsletter: 29 March 2020 (491)

Winston Zack wrote:

In my pursuit of documenting the history of circulating contemporary counterfeit U.S. coins, I've tasked my dad (retired, and bored with self-isolation) with sleuthing some information for this project.  He found this interesting clip from the 'Coming Nation' dated August 26, 1911.  While it only indirectly talks about counterfeit half-dimes, I found it interesting and peculiar that half-dimes were still in discussion into the 20th century; I would have thought by the turn of the new century they would be out of 'pop culture' and almost certainly out of circulation.  I'm sure our friend Steve Crain would have appreciated this clipping, and maybe could have shed some additional light on the impact of half-dimes in U.S. culture after they finished being minted in 1873.  And for David Perkins, do you know the year that 'Half Dime Lunch Room' menu was from which you shared in last week’s JR Newsletter?

Finally, if anyone has interesting circulating contemporary counterfeit Bust coins that may help my current research project, I would be interested in talking with you.  You can reach me at my email, Winston.S.Zack(at)  Specifically, I'm looking for the following contemporary counterfeits to document in this project:

1) Capped Bust half-dimes - cast and struck
2) Capped Bust dimes - struck
3) Capped Bust quarters - struck
4) Flowing Hair and Draped Bust halves - cast and struck
5) Capped Bust halves - only need a few documented varieties; and any and all undocumented varieties
6) FH/Draped Bust dollars - any that may exist.



Richard Meaney wrote:

I am sure nearly all collectors who collect coins by die marriage have played this game before.  I received some photos of a nearly-slick lettered edge half dollar from a collector.  He asked if we might be able to determine what the date is (was?) on this coin.  Good luck!

Sunday, March 22, 2020

JR Newsletter: 22 March 2020 (490)

David Perkins wrote:

Every menu item a Half Dime!  

This menu from the Half Dime Lunch Room offered “5C each for all Dishes Served.”  This menu is from the collection of the late Stephen Crain, known to many of us as “Mr. Half Dime.”  Stephen collected, studied, and wrote about the Early, Capped Bust, and Liberty Seated Half Dimes from 1982 to around 2018 and was a long time Secretary of JRCS.

The 1834 Capped Bust Half Dime cutout is also from his collection.  

I hope everyone is staying safe.  

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO


Steve Herrman wrote:  

I am hopeful that all JRCS members are following the health guidelines and taking extra care of themselves and their loved ones during the COVID-19 outbreak. These are trying times. However, if you are at home and have access to your coins, now is a great opportunity to spend more time studying and organizing your collection.

As a passionate collector of the Bust half dollars attributed to Overton and as a recorder of auction information for the Bust halves and the early silver dollars, I continue unabated.

new publication is now available, the 2020 Complete Edition of the AMBPR for Bust half dollars, shall become available at the end of March. The last Complete Edition was published in 2015. This edition lists the 66,000+ auction records in the AMBPR database from major auctions and mail bid sales held during the past 35+ years. First, the records are presented in order by die variety, grade, and date. A second section presents the records in order by auction and lot number. The only reasonable way to distribute this massive volume is in searchable PDF format on CD-ROM via the US Mail to your provided address. The PDF file may be copied to your smartphone, iPad, or desktop computer. In all, there are 2297 pages of searchable information. The price is $50 postpaid to JRCS and BHNC members ($60 to others).

This past week (late March 2020), over 85 copies of the Spring 2020 revision of Auction & Mail Bid Prices Realized for Bust Half Dollars 1794-1839 were distributed to collectors and dealers all over the country. 272 pages, $24 PDF, $34 printed, $40 both.

In late December 2019, the inaugural edition of Auction Prices Realized for Early Silver Dollars 1794-1803 was published. 61 pages, $25 PDF, $35 printed, $40 both.

In late June 2020, the 8th revision of Auction Prices Realized for Certified & Graded Bust Half Dollars 1794-1839 shall be published. Approx. 150 pages, $20 PDF, $30 printed, $35 both.

All the above publications are available in searchable PDF format. The availability of printed copies is limited. Please contact me at herrman102(at)

P.S. For recording your collection by die marriage, I maintain an MS Excel spreadsheet which includes worksheets for the early half dimes, dimes, quarters, half dollars, and dollars. Rarity ratings and designations are taken from the census surveys published regularly in the John Reich Journal. Totals and averages are calculated automatically. I would be glad to provide a copy to anyone who wants one via email.

Best Regards,

Steve Herrman

Patrick Bain wrote:

JRCS has a new Facebook group for it's members.
Here is a link for any interested members to join:

This Facebook group is intended for education and communication for dues-paying members in good standing. It is a forum for people to ask questions, post pictures, inquire for opinions, and share information. It isn’t intended to be a buy and sell site, but members can certainly communicate directly between themselves with private messages. In addition to direct postings by group members, the JRCS will also post information on upcoming events, and serves as a supplement to our website,


A final thought from Richard Meaney:

Anyone experiencing banks closing down and not allowing access to safe deposit boxes?  Was wondering about that today and figuring most will reason, “it is just a temporary thing.”  Anyone else considering how the hobby and the recent events intertwine?


Sunday, March 15, 2020

Sunday, March 8, 2020

JR Newsletter: 8 March 2020 (488)

In response to John Okerson, Gary Rosner wrote:

Please pass along the linked file to John Okerson, it is on the Classis Head Quarter Eagle Varieties and is available from the Heritage website. They usually have a link to it under any Classis Head Quarter Eagle listing in their auctions. Look it about in their auction archives probably.

For Classis Head Half Eagles there is the John McCloskey varieties in the ANS Coinage of the Americas Conference “America’s Gold Coinage” book from November 4-5. 1989 which can be borrowed from the ANA library. That’s what I did. Maybe a copy can be found for sale used or from the ANS?

Mostly I just collect the Classic Head Gold varieties of 1835, but I may expand to the other dates in the future.

Enjoy collect them!
Anyone interested is welcome to contact me about this.

Gary Rosner

Another response, this one from Brad Karoleff:

In response to John Okerson's inquiry on the literature available for the Classic Head Gold series.  JRCS member, Daryl Haynor, has written a book on the subject with the input of John McCloskey's research which will be issued SOON.  Keep your eye out for an announcement on how to order your copy.

Brad Karoleff

Rich Uhrich wrote:

I have four Bust coins in the upcoming Stacks Bowers auction, all of which go up for sale on March 24.  Since the descriptions are very brief, I would like to add some additional information.

Lot 21313 - - 1833 Capped Bust Half Dime LM-3.4 R2 AU58 PCGS.  This coin has very attractive toning, especially on a capped bust half dime.

Lot 21314 - - 1835 Capped Bust Half Dime LM-5.1 R3 AU55 PCGS.  This is a legitimate LM-5.1 as verified by Capped Bust Half Dime expert Richard Meaney.  Some coins certified as LM-5.1 are in fact LM-5.2 as they have the die crack on the reverse, but this coin shows no trace of the die crack.

Lot 21538 - - 1818 Bust Quarter B-6 R4+ VG10 PCGS.  This is an early die stage (1/1) described by Tompkins as "The earliest die stage with no reverse cracks seems to be the rarest one to acquire."

Lot 21539 - - 1818 Bust Quarter B-9 R5- VG8 PCGS.  This is an early die state without the clashed arrowheads.

Sunday, March 1, 2020

JR Newsletter: 1 March 2020 (487)

John Okerson wrote:

I am looking for guidance before embarking on a multi-year purchase plan of USA Gold Classic Head coins – 1834-1839.   So far, I have not found any numismatic literature or guidance on this short series.  My intention is to acquire both the ¼ and the ½ eagle coins most likely without the mintmarks for the next few years.  I am looking in the XF45-AU55 range but eye appeal is quite important to me.

 Suggestions appreciated.

John Okerson
Arlington, TN

David Perkins wrote:

I was looking at the new threads posted on the PCGS Forum on Friday afternoon, February 28 and came across one titled, “Heads Up Bust Half Collectors.”  This turned out to be a fun one if you enjoy early silver.  It was posted under the PCGS Forum name “Topdollarpaid.”  A link is provided below to this Forum posting.

The post was and is basically a photo of four rolls (!!!) of Capped Bust and Reeded Edge half dollars all laid out on a black background.  There was also a photo of the four rolls (coin tubes) where you could see the edges of the half dollars.  A quick count yielded at least four RE half dollars.  All are “raw” and none were in plastic holders, the “old fashioned way.”  I didn’t count the number of coins total….

If you’ve never done or seen this, laying out 100 or more early silver coins at once is quite a sight.  The last time I did this was when Andy Lustig and I were in the process of purchasing the Warren Miller Collection of Early U.S. Silver Dollars 1794 to 1803, a total of 169 PCGS slabbed early dollars.  All 169 early dollars were laid out on Warren’s dining room table!   

Here are the two photos of the half dollars courtesy of Randy Conway of Sun City Coin in California.  

Here is a link to the posting on the PCGS Forum: .  

Hope you enjoy. 

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO


Correspondence with Patrick Bain clarified that the links he provided on the most popular ebay items in the categories of bust coinage (16 February JR Newsletter, #485: can be used as bookmarks, as they will always take you to the current, most popular auctions on ebay.  Patrick wrote that he also uses a link for coin books, which he collects:

“Coin publication auctions --> CoinBooks

Most of the time it's just Whitman and Dansco albums, but there's always at least 2 really good books I find at auction every week from it!! really!! Usually rare and out of print coin books.

Note these are auctions, not buy it now items, as auctions can usually be gotten for less than buy it now prices.”

Patrick can customize searches to eliminate albums.  He can modify coin searches for PCGS only or NGC only or a host of other combinations.  He volunteered that if anyone is interested in other searches, just let him know!

Greg Cohen wrote:

Please find linked a Press Release regarding the consignment and upcoming sale of the BigMo Collection of Civil War era coinage. This is a world class specialized collection that features many of the finest known examples of their respective issues. They will be sold on day one of our two-day Regency Auction May 16 and 17, 2020 in New Orleans.

For further information about the collection, please email info(at) For high resolution images, contact the firm’s art director, Patrick Braswell via email at Patrick(at)

Thank you very much for your consideration to these matters.

Greg Cohen
Senior Numismatist
Legend Rare Coin Auctions
Office: 732-935-1168

Sunday, February 23, 2020

JR Newsletter: 23 February 2020 (486)

David Perkins wrote:

Yesterday I was going through a box of early dollar items and came across this clipping, likely originally from Coin World or Numismatic News.  The clipping / photo is undated. It was found in a group of items given to me by the late Bob Stark, an early dollar collector, researcher, and author.

The photo is of a 1795 Flowing Hair Silver Dollar with 3 Leaves under the eagle’s wings, “transformed into a badge for some unknown reason” as captioned.  

The coin appears to grade Extra Fine, “plus or minus.”  This would roughly be a $15-20,000 coin today if graded and in a holder!

It appears to be struck from the relatively common BB-27, B-5 die marriage.  Thank goodness it is not struck from an extremely rare die marriage….  

If anyone has seen this item “in person” or knows anything about it please contact me at my e-mail address below.  Thanks.

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO

Sunday, February 16, 2020

JR Newsletter: 16 February 2020 (485)

Patrick Bain wrote:

For members who buy Bust coins on eBay here are some report links to a website that sorts coin auctions by watch count.
Basically it lists the most popular auctions in order first.
Each auction on eBay has a watch count which this website uses to sort the results.

An example of how it can help from a while back:
I had seen an 1824 dime in my regular searches but didn't think anything of it and didn't put it on my watch list.
Then it showed on this report and had something like 20 watchers.
So I thought why does this have 20 watchers??  I clicked on it and looked at the reverse and realized it 
was a JR-2 dime variety and much rarer.
These ensure you don't miss any good auctions!
You are seeing what all of eBay says are the most popular Bust coin auctions.

Most Popular Bust Silver Coin Auctions on Ebay 

Bust Half Dimes -->  HalfDimes

Bust Dimes -->  Dimes

Bust Quarters --> Quarters

Bust Half Dollars --> HalfDollars

Bust Dollars -->  Dollars

Sunday, February 9, 2020

JR Newsletter: 9 February 2020 (484)

We had a number of responses to Rick A’s input last week of an odd half dime.

James Rosen wrote:

You have probably heard from a number of people that your 1833 half dime is no good.  Star 1 is in a position related to the bust that is not present in any obverse dies of 1833, not even close.  The date numerals look very suspicious in their engraving, especially the 3s. Without going into too much detail about the reverse, the 2nd  S in States is way too far left of the s in Pluribus to match any of the known 33 reverses.  The shape of the letters is not right, especially the last A in America. The position of the 2nd C is wrong, as none of the 1833 reverses have this C touching the stem. I can’t comment about some of the other letters in the coin as the photo is not all that great, but you have enough bad things going on with this coin to make a definitive diagnosis.

Sorry you got burned…but hopefully the seller has a return policy. 

Jim Rosen
JRCS # 1510

Alan Bricker wrote:

In response to Rick A.'s post in the February 2nd issue, I can affirm from the pictures that this 1833 half dime is a fairly obvious counterfeit: zero circulation indicators, mushy numerals and letters, non-compliant date punches, and so forth. The reverse resembles Reverse V, which was used only with one die marriage of 1834-dated half dimes. In the November 24th issue of JRNewsletter, I reported on a counterfeit 1832-dated half dime having the same counterfeit reverse paired with a counterfeit obverse not matching any genuine obverse die. The current case is very similar, having a known counterfeit reverse and a non-compliant 1833-dated obverse. This piece is very likely to be significantly underweight, and I conclude that both counterfeits likely originated from one source.

Alan Bricker

Randall Snyder wrote:

Definitely a counterfeit half dime. The seller also has an 1835 and 1837 for sale. All 3 share the same diagnostic points.

And Rick A wrote back (after corresponding with the seller):

See below for the seller’s response. Yesterday he listed an 1835 & 1837 bust half dime. These two also have the same reverse & condition of the 1833 and also don’t match any known variety!!! The seller is from Newport News, VA. He also sold a 1967 3C silver on Saturday that went for around $200 which I believe was also counterfeit and the “8” is much smaller than usual.

 Rick A.

Sunday, February 2, 2020

JR Newsletter: 2 February 2020 (483)

Rick A wrote:

Can you help identify this variety or know a contact who can? I have basically completed bust dimes by variety and bust halves by Red Book variety and decided to start bust half dimes by Red Book variety. I won this last night on eBay just needing a nice 1833 bust half dime. My local coin dealer is open Tuesday-Saturday and has the Bust Half Dime book on varieties. However looking at pictures of all the 1833 half dimes either in the Jules Reiver Collection and/or on Heritage today to determine the variety I believe this could be a counterfeit!! At first, I thought it might be an LM-1 but the period is large and position of S2 is questionable. The obverse has star 1 near the bust which I cannot find on any 1833 bust half dime!??  It is item 193321083632 from seller “shieler123”. I would appreciate any advice or info you can provide.

Editor adds:  This link takes you to the coin on ebay  Click to see coin on Ebay


Rick A

Sunday, January 26, 2020

JR Newsletter: 26 January 2020 (482)

Brad Karoleff wrote:

I am looking for submissions to be included in the next issue of The John Reich Journal. If you are working on anything that you would like to see published in our journal please get in touch with me. I look forward to seeing what everyone is up to!  Contact me at bkaroleff(at) 



David Perkins wrote:

I found this article (click on the images below) and update the other day in a box of Numismatic items I have in my basement.  I often tear out or clip items like this.  But I usually would have tucked something like in my Overton / Parsley book for Capped Bust Half Dollars.  On the other hand, this made it easy to find as it was on the "top of the stack."

I thought it would be a fun item for JR News readers and collectors of the CBHs who hadn't seen this or long ago forgot they had (!).  This article was published in Numismatic News March 6, 2001 after the 3rd Edition of the Overton / Parsley book had been first published in 1990.  I found interesting that these rarity rating changes had been researched and discussed for a decade or so. 

David Finkelstein was listed as the contact "for additional information."  David is still active and busy - he gave the JRCS Meeting presentation at the 2020 FUN show earlier this month (along with Chris Pilliod).

Hope you enjoy this!  

Lastly, I've posted a fair number of new items on my website.  The link is below.

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO

Sunday, January 19, 2020

JR Newsletter: 19 January 2020 (481)

Joseph Lamonte wrote:

This is my first try with a show report.

I arrived in Orlando this year on Tuesday evening. Spent Wednesday morning viewing auction lots.  Took a break at noon and went back to hotel.  Dealer setup started at 2 o’clock and all of the dealers were waiting outside for the doors to open.  I helped a dealer friend set up and turned in some coins at PCGS for grading.  I then visited with a few dealers that were already finished with their setup process.  

Hit the bourse floor just after 8:30 am on Thursday.  Most of the dealers were at their tables by 9. The doors opened to the public at 10 am and the people poured in non stop all day Thursday.  There appeared to be serious buying and selling at every dealers table in the show.  Back to hotel by 5pm.

Friday was the JRCS meeting and then back on the bourse floor to catch a few dealers before the crowd arrived at 10.  Friday morning was also quite busy, maybe slightly less than Thursday.  There was still business being conducted throughout the hall.  Left the show at noon on Friday to start the drive home.

The highlight of the show for me is getting to visit with several dealer and collector friends and of course viewing many fantastic coins.  There were two original 1827/3 Quarters offered for sale and many finest known Draped Bust Dimes to mention just a few.  The FUN show is a great show that all collectors should try to attend.

Joseph Lamonte

Jim Matthews wrote:

The Winter 2020 FUN show was once again fantastic. Always well organized a pleasure to attend for both dealers and collectors. Most dealers arrive on Tuesday, the day before set up, in order to be ready for the set up rush at 2 pm on Wednesday. After catching up with many friends with the belated Happy New Years greetings, the throngs of dealers file through the doors passed security and begin to get set up. Early birds and dealers were soon circulating around and deals started happening even before most of us got inside the convention center. This show definitely had a good buzz, and dealers and collectors were there to buy coins. The early bird/set up day was even busier than usual, and my table mate Dave Perkins didn't leave the floor until closing time at 8 pm as people kept on coming by. Another late dinner!

Thursday was opening day for the public, and again, dealer set up was at 8 am, and those two hours flew by with people stopping and buying at every table, both dealers and early bird folks. By 10 when the main show opened to the public, it was busy, and stayed busy all day. Some collectors needed to trade coins in for items they wanted, others had capital to spend. The show was filled with coin buyers, not just public observers our business. 

Friday was similar, more dealing and everyone was trying to get around and walk the floor, but it was nearly impossible to get away from the table, someone was always coming by to buy! I had want lists to work on but never got away to do so as I needed to be attending to the selling side of business. The size of the FUN show makes it nearly impossible to get to see everyone, its absolutely immense and would take at least two full days to stop by every table and get more than a glance at what is available. If you couldn't find it at this show, its probably not out there!

Saturday is the day that most dealers pack up and leave, which is always a time of caution for security purposes. From all I heard from dealer and collector friends, the show was great. The auctions at Heritage had more than the usual abundance of great coins, but it always seems the ones I really like go for strong money. Before we all knew it, we were back home and finally getting some rest in the old Lay-Z-Boy chair after a long but productive week on the road.


Sunday, January 12, 2020

JR Newsletter: 12 January 2020 (480)

No contributions this week.  How about some reports from FUN for next week?

Sunday, January 5, 2020

JR Newsletter: 5 January 2020 (479)

David Perkins wrote:

W. David Perkins Numismatics, James Matthews, and Gerry Fortin Rare Coins will have Tables 535 and 634 at the FUN Show in Orlando next week.  We will have our usual large selection of early U.S. Silver along with some Copper and Gold. 

 I will have 10 Capped Bust Half Dime Sealed Bid Sale Lots from the Stephen Crain Reference Collection available for Lot Viewing at my table (images of two of the coins posted below).  Part I of this sale was held at the 2019 ANA Convention in Rosemount and Part II will be held at the 2020 ANA in Pittsburgh, PA.  If you are unable to attend FUN next week and view the lots you are welcome to have a collector or dealer friend look at them for you.

JRCS Membership Dues payments and Reiver voting forms may be dropped off to me (W. David Perkins, Treasurer) at the FUN Show. 

Please stop by, say hello, and take a look!   Thanks.

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO