Sunday, August 7, 2022

JR Newsletter: 7 August 2022 (573)


From the John Reich Journal:

The John Reich Collectors Society will have its annual membership meeting at the ANA’s World’s Fair of Money.  The meeting will be on Wednesday, August 17, 2022 at 8:30 AM in room 12 of the convention center in Rosemont.  The educational presentation will be by Barry Sunshine and Dr. Chuck Link on the joy of collecting Bust Quarters.



Winston Zack wrote with an announcement about his latest book:


Name:            Winston Zack

PayPal:          stoneman101(at)



BAD METAL is Back!

More coins. More history. More characters.

Available for pre-order at $70, individually numbered and signed.



Albuquerque, New Mexico, August 2022.  After more than 8 years of diligent research, study, and documentation, the second book in Winston Zack’s award-winning, four-part Bad Metal book series of circulating contemporary counterfeit U.S. coins, Bad Metal Silver. 3cS to 25c, will be printed this Fall.


Bad Metal Silver. 3cS to 25c covers counterfeit silver denominations including three cent silvers (3cS), half-dimes, dimes, twenty cents, and quarters from the Bust, Seated, Barber, Renaissance, and Presidential series.  This 250+ page, professionally photographed, full-color book documents more than 240 die-struck counterfeit coins along with dozens of cast counterfeits with most varieties having never been previously published.  Counterfeit families of related varieties are carefully assembled with close-up pick-up-point images.  And where larger families of similar looking varieties are concerned, a quick attribution guide was created in order to make identification of varieties easier and faster.


Was coin counterfeiting always viewed by the public negatively?  Who would have guessed that the lowly 3cS denomination was one of the most counterfeited coins of its era!  Were the so-called ‘Soviet Mercury Dimes’, dated 1923-D and 1930-D, really made in the Soviet Union?  Did you know that people were counterfeiting Washington quarters for circulation in the 21st century?  Discover this information and much more in Bad Metal Silver. 3cS to 25c.


This book is far and away the most comprehensive, previously untold, illustrated history covering these counterfeited coins made for circulation.  While bits and pieces of this subject have been published in the past, their scattered nature had never placed them into a historical context, the motivation of counterfeiters over time was never scrutinized, nor did numismatists realize the scope and scale of this largely ignored and forgotten subject.  This book defines circulating contemporary counterfeit coins as known today. The author anticipates more new discoveries and those will be posted on the website.


Pre-order your copy of Bad Metal Silver. 3cS to 25c today for $70-shipped at or at the PayPal address above.  The regular book price will be $100.  All pre-orders will receive an individually numbered and autographed copy in the order in which they were placed.


Winston Zack is an established author of now 4 numismatic books over the last 15 years.  He is best-known for this Bad Metal book series covering the entirety of circulating contemporary counterfeit federal United States coinage from the late 18th through the 21st centuries.  Counterfeit half dollars and silver dollars will be the next book published in this series, and the final book will cover all counterfeit gold denominations.  Anyone wishing to assist in this overall research and publication effort can contact Winston through his website or email.


For more information about this subject, visit



From Sheridan Downey:

To my collecting friends and colleagues,

Mail Bid Sale No. 54 has engendered unusual excitement.  More than half the lots have received bids and are now "in play," their reserves having been met.  From long experience I can tell you this bodes well for the bust half market and, of course, my consignors.  I can almost guarantee that 60% of all bids will be entered during the 24 hours before the auction closes at 6:00 PM CDT, Aug. 17, 2022.  

Certain lots have grabbed the lion's share of activity.  I see one lot with 20 bids already entered, another with 17, a third with 13.  And all this before printed catalogs arrived in the mailboxes of hardcore bidders.  The catalogs went out via first class mail on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week.  The Post Office told me to expect delivery this weekend, Monday at the latest.  Perhaps you downloaded your personal copy from the Latest News section of my web site,

Lot preview by mail is now closed.  The last mailing was today.  It is not too late to order a copy of Steve Herrman's empirical price guide for bust halves, AMBPR.  I have two copies left.  The cost is $32 plus Priority Mail postage.  The 270 page booklet is invaluable to collectors.  You should also subscribe to Dave Rutherford's on-line Bust Half Dollar Auction and Sales Results,

Many of you know Ron Guth.  He is a numismatic researcher and author with 50+ years experience in the coin business.  He is a past president of PCGS (preceding Don Willis' tenure).  In 1999, while associated with PCGS, he created CoinFacts a vital research tool with which we are all familiar.  (Known today as PCGS CoinFacts).  His numerous writings and contributions to the numismatic community earned him the 2014 ANA award as Numismatist of the Year.  They also earned him a place in Coin World's Top 10 Most Influential People in Numismatics.  If you kept your copy of the April 2021 Coin World issue turn to page 82 for more about Ron.  (I'm in there too, but NOT in the Top 10.)

Ron wrote me last week.  He had seen the online version of my catalog and thought it might be worthwhile to review and comment upon the upcoming auction.  Ron has an educational channel on YouTube.  He offers news and personal observations on significant numismatic events.  Trust me, this was a completely unexpected development.  I think you will enjoy his presentation:

From the editor:  Due to my travel schedule, there will likely be no JR Newsletter published on August 14th.


Sunday, July 31, 2022

JR Newsletter: 31 July 2022 (572)

 Brad Karoleff wrote to let us know that the next issue of the John Reich Journal is in the mail!

Sunday, July 24, 2022

JR Newsletter: 24 July 2022 (571)

Greg Cohen wrote: 

Dear Editor,

 Please find linked a press release regarding the upcoming sale of the Perfection Collection of Capped Bust Half Dollars, which will be featured in Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ Regency Auction 54 on September 8, 2022.

 The Perfection Collection is the current #2 and #3 All-Time Finest PCGS Registry Set assembled over the course of decades by a very astute and quality oriented collector. Each coin on its own would be a highlight of any auction sale, but presented together, this collection will join the ranks of the greatest Bust Half collections we have offered, including Konstantine, Chicago, and Friend.

 Thank you for your consideration to these matters. If you have any questions about this world class cabinet, please contact me directly.

Greg Cohen

Senior Numismatist 

PO Box 189 | Lincroft, NJ 07738


Sunday, July 17, 2022

JR Newsletter: 17 July 2022 (570)

Ryan Baker wrote:

As a fellow Capped Bust Half enthusiast, I wanted to provide you, as well as the numismatic community, the news of a census update for a rather rare die variety in this series. I recently attributed & certified an undiscovered 1827 O-137 R.6. Bust Half Dollar specimen. The Overton-137, at one time, referenced as the “Sight Variety,” more commonly as the “Extra Feathers” variety.
     I am somewhat of a fledgling numismatic academic. I started collecting early American coppers a decade ago, cataloging a library devoted to research literature just five years ago. More recently I’ve begun drafting personal attribution guides for various series, with the goal to publish in the future. My maturation in numismatics has begun to prove quite fruitful, yielding the procurements of several rare die variety acquisitions across a limited specific type series.
     PCGS certified my 1827 O-137, XF40 mid-June 2022 (PCGS Cert # 45466504). Regrettably, the PCGS website has yet to upload the TrueView images. Fortunately, before sending my CBH to PCGS, I photographed a few raw images for my records. Attached is the newest addition to the 1827 O-137 population. The attached photo has not been edited in anyway, simply photographed under Axial lighting with my Sony a6000 set to macro.   (Editor:  The PCGS photo has been uploaded since receipt of this contribution, so the PCGS photo has been used as the header to this week's JR Newsletter)
      My 1827 Square Base 2 XF40 PCGS. O-137, R.6. is presently under auction at Great Collections, GC Item ID: 1199055 ending Sunday July 24th 5:50PM Pacific Time 
     Feel Free to pass along some or all of this information to anyone in the numismatic community. Also feel free to contact me anytime, regarding this CBH or anything numismatic. I’m excited to contribute back to the numismatic community, and am excited to see that my Overton-137 finds its way to a new owner that adheres to a similar passion for Die Variety Attribution. Thank you for the time.

Ryan Baker, PhD, ABD    Flychance(at)                                   
GreatCollections Link:
PCGS Cert Link

Sheridan Downey wrote:
To my collecting friends and colleagues,
The 2022 Chicago World’s Fair of Money is but a month away.  The bust half gods were extraordinarily good to me the past few months.  I am anxious to pass along the fruits of good fortune.  Three bourse tables will be needed to display the acquisitions!  You will find me at tables 1416, 1418 and 1420.  (Check out the location of your favorite dealer here:  Are you considering a visit to the Rosemont Convention Center?  I offer 3 good reasons for you to book a flight to O’Hare: 1. Steve Nomura; 2. Mail Bid Sale 54; and 3. Part 2 of the Beaver Falls Collection.
Let me explain.
Many of you remember Steve Nomura’s fabulous Red Book set of capped bust halves, 1807-1836.  In 2013 I had the pleasure of selling his treasures via private treaty and at auction.  Many were featured in Mail Bid Sale No. 37.  I introduced Steve’s coins thusly: If you recall my sales of the Gehring Prouty, Roger Solomon and Dick Graham collections your mouth is already watering.  Eye appeal and first-rate surfaces are touchstones of this group.   Steve was not done collecting.  Far from it.  He set his mind on expanding a budding collection of Draped Bust Large Eagle half-dollars, 1801-1807.  This time he sought quality examples of both Red Book and Overton varieties.  There are 62 die pairs in the series.  Steve found 59 of them!  Only the 1805 O.114, 1806 O.129 (both R.8) and unique 1806 O.130 escaped.  Yes, the collection includes an 1806 Knob 6, No Stem O.108 and the Charlton Meyer 1807 O.115 R.8 (Lot 18 in my upcoming sale).  Thirty-two of the coins sport green CAC stickers.
Mail Bid Sale 54 will close August 17, 2022, during the upcoming WFM.  The catalog should go in the mail and live bidding on my website will begin between August 1 and August 5.  I have attached a Lot List to this message.  You will see that 18 of Steve Nomura’s pre-turbs open the sale, followed by a 42-piece consignment from Tim Osborne, then 40 more delectable goodies from various consignors -- 100 lots in all.  If you have not yet registered to bid in my sales, now is a good time to do so.  Here is the link:
Early this month I picked up Part 2 of the Beaver Falls Collection.  All but 2 of 350 bust halves are “raw.”  Although most grade XF 40 to AU 58, there are a fair number of VFs and UNCs.  The bulk were acquired at auctions and major coin shows between 1977 and 1991.  If your MB 54 catalog arrives a bit late, blame it on the pleasant distraction of sorting these fascinating coins, artifacts of an era when collectors had to do their own grading.  Imagine that!  Things have changed.  Registry sets and professional grading are now integral parts of the collecting landscape.  So far I have sent off more than 100 bust halves to PCGS for grading.  You probably know that PCGS is experiencing grievous delays in processing submissions.  We may have to wait until the Baltimore show in November for results.  I will bring a selection of raw coins from the collection to Rosemont as well as those that make it through the PCGS grading maze before mid-August.  I will tantalize you with a couple of observations.  There are nice AU examples of the 1814 E/A, 1817/3 and 1823 Broken 3.  Overton collectors will be thrilled to see a select uncirculated 1814 O.106a (finest known?) and a choice AU 1828 Curl 2 with Knob, O.106.
Enough for now.  I’ve got to get cracking on the catalog for MB 54.
Happy collecting to all,
The lot list is available to view by clicking this link:

Sunday, June 26, 2022

JR Newsletter: 26 June 2022 (569)

Brad Karoleff wrote:


I am liquidating an extensive collection of Capped Bust half dollars consisting of over 400 die marriages and related die state examples.  Most of the collection grades at the VF level and many have been cleaned but there are still some very desirable pieces.  I have sent over 40 coins for certification but have the remaining pieces available for immediate sale. 


Collectors interested in die states may contact me with their needs/desires and I will send an image of the coins you request.  There are many with interesting provenances including some of the early collectors of the half dollars.  There are also many coins from a Sheridan Downey....I seem to remember when he actually dealt in VF you?


There is also an extensive collection of Capped Bust Dimes in the same grade range and some of the half dimes.  While the dimes are well represented by nearly all the rare marriages the half dimes are more of a Redbook variety set.  


Inquiries are welcome about any of the sets at bkaroleff(at)


Numismatically yours,


Brad Karoleff



Sunday, May 8, 2022

JR Newsletter: 8 May 2022 (568)

Brad Karoleff wrote:


M.J. Sullivan Collection

Pre-Turban Half Dollars

Brad Karoleff of COINS+ sold nearly 50% of the M.J. Sullivan Collection of Pre-Turban Half Dollars at the recent Central States Numismatic Society show in Schaumberg.   We were impressed with the interest in high quality – higher grade major types and late die states.  The M.J. Sullivan Collection of Pre-Turban Half Dollars (1794-1807) was assembled over the last decade with a focus on PCGS certified, original surface, eye appeal, and quality coins.    The collection was developed with two themes:  1) Visually eye catching ultra-late die states; or 2) Premium quality higher grade major type coins.   In addition, some R-5, R-6, and R-7 rarities will appeal to the advanced collector.  The catalogue with coins available can be accessed with the link below.  Coins can be ordered by emailing Brad Karoleff at Bkaroleff(at)   Orders will be accepted by email in the sequence in which they are received.


Link to Catalogue:





The Bust Half Nut Club shared the following announcement:




The Bust Half Nut Club is proud to announce a new work on the die state progressions of the Capped Bust Half Dollars.


The Die State Progressions of the Capped Bust Half Dollar Die Varieties 1807-1836, First Edition is the result of thousands of hours spent studying the series by Overton die marriage. Much additional attention was focused on the order in which the die cracks and other features appear on the obverse and reverse working dies.


For the study of die state progressions, a new numbering system was needed to describe the die states in the order of occurrence. Die states in this new reference are designated by the Year, the Overton variety number, a decimal point, and the BHNC die state number.


The entries are ordered by Overton die variety. Included are the Leaman-Gunnet emission order number, the Overton designators for the obverse and reverse dies, and the die marriage rarity estimate as revised by the BHNC in December 2020. This is followed by the BHNC die state descriptions and links to images which help illustrate the die states. In the PDF format version, the links are active if you also are connected to the internet.


Example entry,

1822 O-110 R2

Emission Order: 152; Obverse 10, Reverse I


110.2   Die crack obv inside S1 to S5 thru S6 and S7 to edge

110.3   Fine die crack rev thru TATES OF, eventually thru AM

110.4   Add'l die crack rev from edge below upper pair of leaves thru top of 50 C, eventually thru arrowheads to CA

Image for 1822 110.4 courtesy of Heritage Auctions


Note that if the die state description mentions a die crack or feature, any trace of it identifies the die state.



·      Printed format (softbound, 5.5" x 8.5", wire binding, 81 pages):  $29.00 plus postage

·      PDF format (searchable, active links):  $20.00 delivered via email

·      Both Printed & PDF formats:  $39.00 plus postage


David Kahn Rare Coins

PO Box 1637

Olney, MD 20830-1637

(301) 570-7070





Sunday, May 1, 2022

JR Newsletter: 1 May 2022 (567)

Greg Cohen wrote

Please find linked a press release regarding the outstanding results of Legend’s Regency Auction 51, an official auction of the Central States Numismatic Convention.


For more information please contact us at


Thank you for your consideration to these materials.




Greg Cohen