Sunday, December 26, 2010

JR Newsletter: 26 December 2010 (16)

A couple of notes from the editor before I present this week's comments:

1.  If you wish to provide comments/responses for publications, all you need do is respond via email or web comments.

You can reply via web at by simply clicking on the "comments" link at the end of the current week's contributions.  Your editor reads the comments and ensures they are included in the subsequent week's email newsletter.

You can reply via email either by sending a reply to the weekly email newsletter that you receive at jrnewsletter(at) or send an email to jrnewsletter(at)  -- I check each email account at least a couple times per week, including just before sending out the Sunday newsletter.

Each week, I get 10-20 replies to the mass email that I send out.  Many are "out of the office" automatic replies, some are "undeliverable" replies (mailbox full, for example), and some are just replies in which the sender just accidentally sent me back a copy of the newsletter.

If you have submitted comments that you expected to see published and those comments did not get published, please try sending the comments to me via one of the methods that I have listed above.

2.  The weekly email can be seen in easier-to-read format (along with better/larger images) at 


This week's contributions:

Nathan Markowitz wrote:

Springtime in the Pacific Northwest is just around the corner and we are well into the final planning for the EAC/JRCS convention to be held May 12-15 at the Doubletree Lloyd Center hotel in Portland Oregon.  This is not a traditional commercial show(though there are lots of dealers); its sort of like the JRCS room we have at ANA except for three straight days.j

For those who do not know Oregon or the Northwest May is nothing short of stunning.  Portland is blessed with numerous gardens: Chinese, Japanese, Rhododendron, and the massive international Rose Garden.  The Coast and Mt Hood are 1.5 hours away and downhill skiing is still ongoing at Mt Hood.  We are the microbrew capitol of america.  

We will be organizing a Columbia Gorge Waterfall tour on Saturday and a Winery Tour on Thursday.  Finally, for those who might have trouble convincing a non collector but shopping spouse to accompany you....Oregon has NO SALES TAX and the convention is right next door to prime shopping venues and a vibrant downtown.

Some details:

Thursday May 12:  Copper Grading Seminar 10-noon
                                Winery Tour:  Noon-5PM
                                Reception:  Yummy northwest food 5:30
                                Happenings:  Show your coins!  7:30-10PM....see below

Friday May 13:      Bourse open
                               Educational seminars on copper, silver, history
                               Keynote speaker/dinner

Saturday May 14:  Bourse open
                               Educational seminars/waterfall tour
                               Copper auction

Sunday May 15     Bourse closes 3 pm

A comment on the happenings:  This is a multiroom display to show off specific varieties of coins.  There will be a colonial, large cent, half cent, and bust silver room.  After five years we have already seen a wonderful array of early silver and I strongly encourage everyone to bring some examples to display; high grades are NOT necessary!

We need to finalize the listing for die marriages to display.  It is important that we choose ones where a number of examples will be displayed:

Early Quarters:  We have selected 1806 Browning 5 and 1806 Browning 6
Early Half Dimes:  ???
Early Dollars:  ???
Early Halves:  I have seen some discussion:  decision?
Early Dimes:  ???

Lets use this forum to finalize these varieties.  When I first did the quarters in 2006 fully 25% of the examples came from copper collectors so we need to get the word out!

Remember, we are guests at the EAC convention but are warmly welcomed.  The only comment I hear from the "pure copper" folks is that they want to see more of us.  If you can drive here, please attend.  If you are far away, please feel free to contact me if you want to learn more about the area and make this  a destination trip for your family:  cascades1787(at)

See you in May
Rick Beale wrote:

Anyone know where I can get a copy of the book "Early US Dimes 1796 - 1837" by Davis et al ? I'll be at Tampa FUN if that helps.

Ricky B

editor's comment:  When I hear from someone who needs that book, I typically refer them to Rich Uhrich.  Rich typically has a good selection of books, including "EUSD" 

Dennis Villanucci wrote:

This 1835 Bust Half Dollar (O.105) is counterstamped multiple times with "EXCHANGE HOTEL".  At first look, it appeared to me that the letters were punched individually, but the consistency of the mis-matched lettering styles in each stamping suggests that they were imparted with a prepared punch.  Note that the "E's" in the counterstamp are different, and that this difference is identical in each of the stampings.  Also, the letters in "HOTEL" have no serifs while the lettering in "EXCHANGE" has distinct serifs.

The only reference that I can find for the Exchange Hotel is in Brunk (#21920 -  #21950; Jones Exchange Hotel, 77 Dock St. Phila).  For those examples, the counterstamp is in-line rather than arched as on this 1835 half, and most are on foreign hosts.
Does anyone have further information on this counterstamp?

editor's note:  Click on this image to view a much larger version:

Sunday, December 19, 2010

JR Newsletter: 19 December 2010 (15)

Just one contribution this week.
Jim Matthews wrote:
Congratulations to WZ on finding the late retained cud on the 1834 JR-4 dime! I haven't seen one of those yet and will now be looking for an example with the cud. That's a great find.
Russ Logan always said he believed all the reverse dies were used until a cud formed, at least from the period of 1829 on to 1837 from what we've seen, this appears to be true. There were seven reverse dies last used in 1829, but so far JRCS collectors have only found developed cuds on two of those (JR-4 and JR-5 from 1829). By the end of the series in 1837 the last few remaining reverses dies may have been retired for the design chance to the Gobrecht series, but any other dies are fertile grounds for searching to find cuds. There are at least a half dozen dies that were last used in the 1830s with no known cuds on them, so keep on searching!

Sunday, December 12, 2010

JR Newsletter: 12 December 2010 (14)

Not much input this week, but the input we have includes images!

Hunter Wunch wrote:

I wanted to share pictures of my 1834 JR-4 which shows die cracks in the area of the discovery CUD.  The first zoomed image doesn't show the crack above the "T", but after shedding some light on the situation you can faintly see it through the crust.  Hope this helps with the die state progression.



Editor's Note:  You can leave comments here on the blog or send contributions to me at jrnewsletter (at)

Sunday, December 5, 2010

JR Newsletter: 5 December 2010 (13)

From WZ:
Just Discovered 1834 JR-4 Capped Bust Dime with Reverse Cud over IT in UNITED!
While I may not be up to date on this particular R3 die marriage, I was unable to locate any examples with die cracks, let alone a Cud, in the area of interest.  Additionally, the EUSD does not mention any die cracks or Cud on this Die Marriage.
Upon examining the coin more closely, no other die cracks are visible on the Obverse or Reverse.  The EUSD mentions a crack from "Rim to Upper Leaf" on the reverse, but my example does not exhibit it - likely from its low grade and/or foreign material in that location.
This coin joins an extensive list of Capped Bust Dime's with known Cuds.  Per the March 2009 (Vol. 19, Issue 3) JRJ Census, 29 Die Marriages listed the presence of a Cud (Full or Retained), followed shortly thereafter in another JRJ article by the addition of the 1830 JR-2 retained Cud.
I would like to know if anyone else has an example of this Cud, or a die crack in this location?  If so, would you mind sharing in a follow-up JR Newsletter so that we can better understand the die progression of this die marriage - whether the reverse die chipped off instantly or exhibited signs of cracking followed by failure.
Images of the coin (click to enlarge photos slightly):

Mike Camp wrote:

Brad Karoleff wrote on 11-28-10, "I would like to hear suggestions on which die marriages we should present for study at the upcoming EAC/JRCS meeting for the "Happenings" part of the EAC Show..."
A reply to Brad Karoleff from Mike Camp former JRCS member #89.
I would like to nominate the 1827 O-102 half dollar die marriage.
It is a plentiful population marriage, which allows the study of many die stages.
Not only the Obv./Rev. but also it's third edge.
The 1827 O-102 comes in four different edge pairs!
It also falls into an unusually place in the Leaman-Gunnet edge study,
which is very helpful tool in researching die states.

And or maybe answering a question, was 1826 O-114 struck in 1827?
The L/G study shows NO production for O-114 in 1826 using the Edge Order
but it does appear in 1827.
I proposed a question to the Coin Zip membership about the possibility of a remarriage
with the 1826 O-114 and possibly adding more information of the useage of a second
screw press in this year.
1827 the most dies used in a year (62) for the series & largest mintage estimate
up to 1831.
Now 1826 O-114 and 1827 O-102 are said to share a reverse die.
A member posted a picture of an EDS of 1826 O-114, with a sharp unfilled "N" of United.
But 1827 O-102 does comes in a state with minor filling of the "N" (a radiused bottom),
and the LDS state of 1826 O-114 shows a nearly filled "N".
And Brad Higgins stated' "the edge comparison is needed to confirm this.
If the owners of entombed specimens would unshackled theirs.
Further this coin is common enough for many examples to study, whether raw or slabbed.
Thanks Mike

From Jim Matthews:

Recent discussion among the JRCS members includes making available a number of copies of the 1984 Early United States Dimes 1796 - 1837 as there seems to be continuing demand for copies, yet few are available in the marketplace. The copyright of the books lies with the five authors or their estates. I believe this to be a great idea as long as the authors agree, and thankfully am not a lawyer to have to know all the nuances of the law related to these things.
On another thought that has been discussed, a second and revised edition of the dime book could be undertaken, one that includes expanded information on die states, remarriages of certain varieties and of course updated rarity ratings, along with the inclusion of the new 1803 JR-5 die variety. Without a doubt, a major revision like this would take considerable time to accomplish, despite the fact that the information, photographs and knowledge would be forthcoming from the many collectors! 
Richard Meaney wrote:

I read Brad Karoleff's request for coins to study at the EAC "Happenings" and thought it would be neat for half dime collectors to offer a "type set of capped bust half dimes."  Most of us don't think too much about the different design types of half dimes, since we are too busy trying to find out if a certain coin has the desired characteristics for a specific die marriage we need or want.  Consider what a type set of capped bust half dimes might entail and how easy it would be to differentiate between the different types while showing a half dime novice the differences:

-Three Pale Gules
-Two Pale Gules

-Border Dentils
-Beaded Dentils
-Narrow Dentils

-Regular Date
-Small Date

-Regular 5C
-Small 5C

-Regular Arrows
-Modified Arrows of 1834 LM-2 and LM-3

I realize that there could be all sorts of additions to the eleven basic design types I have listed, but I wanted to keep the list manageable for whomever gets to show off the coins.  Anyway, I hope my suggestion generates some other discussion on the topic.  Now that I've written all that, I'm sure some of you are scratching your heads, wondering "what modified arrows of 1834" is he talking about?  I don't know if something has ever been written about it, but I sure see a different design type on the arrowheads of 1834 LM-2 and LM-3 half dimes!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

JR Newsletter: 28 November 2010 (12)

Brad Karoleff wrote:

A few comments concerning the last newsletter:
Per Ricky Beale's question, the JRCS does not keep a condition census for early silver

JRCS does do the early silver coins.  We have a census for each denomination that is reported in order from half dimes through dollars.  All of the dates from the earliest through the end of each series is covered except for the half dollars which have a separate census that is published between the quarters and the Capped Bust series.  We do not keep, in house, a separate updated census.  Some individual collectors do this research on their own.  We would love to see some articles from them on their insights.

Steve's input will give a very good idea of the approximate value of the coin in question.  I think all half dollar collectors should order Steve's AMBR for price research.  He also donates a portion of each sale to the club.  Thanks Steve!

Brad also wrote:

I would like to hear suggestions on which die marriages we should present for study at the upcoming EAC/JRCS meeting for the "Happenings" part of the EAC Show.  Typically, we choose one die marriage from each series collected by JRCS members.  Also, we will need volunteers to staff each table during the happenings part of the show.  Volunteers will answer questions asked about the coins and ensure the coins are secure/accounted for.


David J. Davis wrote:

While filing away a few of my recent auction catalogue purchases today, I came across an early C/S dollar for the people keeping track of same.
The George Farrier sale 5/2/1876 Lot 753 listed an 1801 dollar "Fair, but stamped R. & L."  It would be hard to tell what that grade would be equivalent to today, but if someone should have the coin, they now have an early provenance for it.

Here is a message to all of you who have written an article for the JR Journal or would like to:  Time to fire up your word processors and make a contribution.
I talked to Brad Karoleff yesterday and he needs some more articles for the next issue.  To keep on some kind of schedule Brad needs a steady stream of copy.

David J.

Glenn Peterson wrote:

A reply to Raymond Hale from Glenn Peterson:
      I appreciate your interest in the reeded edge bust halves. There are reasons for me to NOT include those in my book. The CBH form 1794-1836 lettered edge have the letters, stars, numbers and denomination engraved by hand and have idiosyncrasies in their placement. The engraver extensively modified the portrait and eagle as well leaving their unique traces on each coin. To the best of my knowledge the letters, stars and denomination of reeded edge halves are placed in the HUB and the portrait is not modified as is the case in lettered edge halves. I believe the date is entered separately and does provide some clue as to the die used. Also cracks are used in Reiver's VIM to identify die pairs. Attributing the reeded edge halves is a whole level of higher complexity than attributing lettered edge halves and one I have not mastered.
     The degree of modification of the eagle was the topic of a presentation given by me many years ago at the BHNC meeting at ANA years ago. The task I set for myself to identify all the reverses on 1824 by the eagle alone. Not that this is an easy or useful approach to attributing the 1824 reverses as there are many easier features to use to attribute the reverse of that date. But the fact is that it was POSSIBLE to attribute the dies just from the eagle shows the degree of modification the coiner made to the die before production. This is what makes identification of letter edged bust halves so interesting. I have identified my "key points" for identification of obverse and reverse dies of lettered edge CBH but my buddies in BHNC often choose quite different attribution points when they attribute their coins- equally useful points as the one's I chose for my book.
   Glenn Peterson


From Jim Matthews in response to Richard Meaney's contribution showing an 1831 LM-3 half dime with cud:

First off, the 1831 LM-3 with the heavy obverse crack--retained cud must be quite rare, as you say, possibly R-7. I obtained one like your lower grade example 3 years ago, and if I'd seen that die state any time in the prior 20 years at a coin show or auction I'd probably have bought it. Furthermore Logan's wasn't nearly that late--with the die section through stars 2 to 6 stable, but the crack appears well developed. Obviously the example of the very late retained cud photographed in the book would be a true prize! I notice that Jules didn't have an example with the retained cud developed either (not in the main section or the back of the auction section of lower grade duplicates). Therefore, two major specialists did not obtain an example of this late die state, a strong indication of rarity.

I define an "early retained cud" as a coin where a portion of the die shows sinking (movement from the die surface level) in a defined area formed by cracks. A middle retained cud is where part of the devices are considerably weaker on at least one part of the cud area. A late retained cud is where these is little definition in the cud area but the opposing area on the opposite side of the coin is still well struck. A full cud is where the cud area has chipped away from the die, and the area opposite on the coin is also weakly struck (dentils/stars/date etc).

Does anyone else out there have an example of this rare die state of the 1831 LM-3 half dime?

Sunday, November 21, 2010

JR Newsletter: 21 November 2010 (11)

In response to Rick Beale's questions last week:

Ralph Munoz wrote:  

Hello Rick,
Regarding your question about condition census for your 1807 50c O-105a r.4 - PCGS AU58 from the JRCS Newsletter of Nov 14, 2010.  Very interesting question about your coin and condition census.
Your coin is listed as an R4, with 80 to 200 known survivors.  You may want to get addition information or an opinion from Steve Herrman, who publishes the "Auctions & Mail Prices Realized for Bust Half Dollars 1794 - 1839" (AMBPR) at Herrman102 (at)  He has been keeping track of this type of information for many years.  Your coin may be a condition census coin and could be tied with other multiple AU58's until additional higher grade coins become known.
Ralph Munoz JRCS # 30
and Steve Herrman wrote:
Per Ricky Beale's question, the JRCS does not keep a condition census for early silver.

With the caveat that I have not tracked the provenance of every specimen, following is a list in order of approximate overall "perceived value" of the 1807 O.105a half dollars offered in major auctions in the past 10 years or so.

  1. PCGS MS63, Bowers&Merena (Orlando) Jan 2001, Lot 194, not sold
  2. (uncertified) MS63, Stack's Jun 2006, Lot 566, $7475
  3. PCGS(CAC) AU58, D. Lawrence (Picky Collection) Mar 2010, Lot 7041, $7188
  4. NGC(CAC) AU58, Heritage (Long Beach) Jun 2010, Lot 737, $6325
NGC AU58, Stack's (Berngard) July 2008, Lot 4269, $7475
  5. NGC MS61, *slide mark on cheek, B&M (ANA-Los Angeles) Aug 2009, Lot 1284, $6038
NGC MS61, *slide mark on cheek, Heritage (Long Beach) Feb 2009, Lot 1262, $5463
NGC MS61, *slide mark on cheek, Heritage (Long Beach) Feb 2005, Lot 6949, $5175
NGC MS61, *slide mark on cheek, Heritage (ANA-Portland) Mar 2004, Lot 5805, not sold
  6. PCGS AU58, Heritage (FUN-Orlando) Jan 2007, Lot 4340, $5175
  7. PCGS AU58, Superior (Pre-Long Beach) Feb 2007, Lot 1516, $4945
  8. PCGS AU58, *thin scratch obverse, B&M (Baltimore), Jun 2010, Lot 2201, $4602


Steve Herrman
Liz Coggan wrote:

Thank you to all who participated in the sealed bid auction J J Teaparty conducted during the Whitman Baltimore coin show, for the 1800 LM-4 R-7 half dime in F-15+ grade. The coin sold for a strong price of $8,643.00
Please note, we will be conducting another sealed bid auction for another classic rarity in the Draped Bust half dime series at the FUN show in Tampa, FL in January.  We will be selling the 1801 LM-1 Rarity-7 which is VG-8 in condition.  A picture of the piece is below --as you can see the coin is dark, so we encourage you to review the coin in person in Tampa.  The bidding will commence at $6,500.  Please contact me if you have interest in bidding and if you desire further details. 
Best wishes,
Liz Coggan
You can click on this image to view a larger version
Jeff Oertel wrote:
As a follow up on David's counterstamp listing, I am sending out a request. I am trying to compile a list of known counterstamps on bust dollars. I have the two editions of the counterstamp book, the three articles by David in past issues of JRCS, some records I have kept from past auctions and have about 20 examples of my own. If I can figure out how to make an article interesting, I thought that I would write something for a future edition of the Journal. Any assistance would be appreciated. Jeff Oertel
Brad Karoleff wrote:
The JRCS Bust Dollar census will be the next census published in the JR Journal.  Please send your census information to one of the following addresses:

If you would like to send via US Mail:
John Reich Collectors Society
PO Box 135
Harrison, OH 45030-0135 

If you would like to send via e-mail:

Heritage Auctions has a nice variety collection of Capped Bust half dollars in our 2011 FUN auction. At this moment, I have the following three on my desk for cataloging:
1823 O-113 Genuine PCGS (Fine, lightly cleaned)
1827 O-148 Fine 15 PCGS
1831 O-120 AU53 NGC
The collection includes many other desirable pieces and catalog descriptions are now appearing at
I've long wondered why, within the framework of the JRCS, we end our study of Bust-Half coinage in 1836.
The Red Book includes mintages through 1839; various other well-known price guides use the same cutoff date. The design is, from what I have learned so far, basically the same--at least in terms of general motifs.
Yet, Overton ends in 1836. Peterson, et al, use the same apparently accepted and standard cutoff date.
So, wherein lies the answer? I have some thoughts--really they are questions. Is it because of the changes and advancements in minting technology employed beginning in 1837? Does it stem from the difference in coinage-diameter and/or design changes that those advancements wrought? Why do we start with Robert Scot's and continue with William Kneass' designs? And why not include the work of Christian Gobrecht?

Sunday, November 14, 2010

JR Newsletter: 14 November 2010 (10)

This week's contributions:

Van wrote,commenting on tips related to Raymond's question about attributing eBay pictures...

First of all... I pretty much just focus on Early Bust Dimes for my collection and interest. In my eBay experiences, here are a few of the things I practice...

1) I have a "Saved Search" set for very specific dime years that notifies me when certain postings come available

2) I basically only search for the attributes related to very specific Rarity-5 or higher dimes

3) I have a screen magnification program that gives me a 100x - 250x magnification window of everything my cursor passes over, which often compensates for small eBay photos... or at least gives me an improved detail view over what is given to me

I hope this helps...

Van (JRCS #1300) 


David Perkins wrote:
New Attribution for 1800 Silver Dollar with FORCE Counterstamp?
For those early silver dollar and counterstamp collectors who are not a member of the Token and Medal Society (TAMS), there is an article in the July-August 2010 edition of TAMS Magazine by Bruce Mosher titled, "The Bells of Ephraim Force / The author's research leads to a new source of the "Force" countermark on an 1800 U.S. silver dollar."  I have noted in my copy of Merchant and Privately Countermarked coins by Gregory Brunk that the FORCE counterstamp is struck on an 1800 B-14, BB-194 silver dollar.  There is a photo of the obverse of this counterstamped silver dollar on page 381 of the Brunk book. Mosher notes that "past researchers have hinted that Jabez W. Force, a New York City silversmith (1819-41), was responsible for the counterstamped coin."  On the other hand Russell Rulau noted that this was highly unlikely as "the stamp is far too large and crude to be the hallmark of a silversmith."
Mosher writes that while researching an unrelated issue in early New York city directories, he came across the name of "Ephraim Force," a brass and bell founder, and a fire-engine manufacturer in Lower Manhattan.  He presents his research and evidence, concluding that he believes this man was responsible for counterstamping this silver dollar. 
Winston Zack wrote:

Hello Capped Bust Silver Collectors,
I am selling my 1825 B-2 Late Die State, retained reverse Cud through A3 and Arrows, F-12+ (raw, but completely problem-free) Capped Bust Quarter.  If you are interested please see the link below and you may email me at stoneman101 (at)
Editor's note:  Here is an image of Winston's coin:


Raymond Hale wrote (in response to Richard Meaney's post about a newly-purchased half dime with an obverse cud):

That's it. I'm searching for half-dimes from now on!
Rick Beale wrote:

I have come across a very high grade 1807 50c O-105a r.4 - PCGS AU58. A Heritage auction listing (different coin) indicates an O-105a also PCGS AU58 was probably one of the top two or three of this variety.

My question is : do we keep a condition census in JRCS for early silver ? If so, where would my coin rank ?

I haven't imaged it yet. I'll stash a pic on my website and send the URL.

All the best,

Ricky B

Editor's Note:  Rick and his wife deal coins in person and on the internet.  The name of their company is "900fine Coins" and they can be found on the internet at

Sunday, November 7, 2010

JR Newsletter: 7 November 2010 (9)

I guess the posting of a half dime last week with the threats of posting more spurred some people to action.  This week's contributions:

Charles Louie wrote (in response to Richard Meaney's post of an 1836 LM-1.1 Half Dime):

The coin is absolutely beautiful...

Ralph Munoz wrote:

Regarding Steve Hose's request.   I have an original Issue No 11,  (Vol. 4, No. 2/3 of December 1988) that I can copy, sorry no duplicates.  That issue was a dual issue.  FYI, I have a complete set of the JR Journals with the original mailing envelopes.
Ralph Munoz
JRCS LM020 & JRCS 030 
PS  Nice half dime.
Editor's note:  I forwarded Ralph's offer to Steve. 
Raymond Hale wrote:
I've heard of some "great ebay sleuths" out there. Just today, I saw pictures of a half dime cherried by one of that breed.  I've enjoyed scouring ebay's listings for some time; yet, have purchased very few items. After a short break, I recently re-started my ebay hunt. But things are even more difficult: now, coins are listed with what amount to 2 x 2 pictures, that offer little or no detail.  I sit with my books on my desk, and try to attribute the coins in these listings. Usually I can't--So how do you do it???
I don't expect you to give away all your secrets. I just need some pointers. I'm not able to get to many shows; and, the shops around here have little to offer.  Can you please pass on some of the knowledge. This neophyte wants to learn how to id Bust coins, especially halves.  I know it takes time. But I am impatient. Lest I forget: thank you, to every one who helped me with my recent book search!
Raymond Hale

For those who may have missed it, I recommend reading the fine article about Indian treaty payments by Jon Amato in the latest edition of the Numismatist. Imagine stacks upon stacks of Bust Half Dollars.

Richard Meaney wrote:

I wrote back to Raymond Hale with some quick pointers, knowing he is looking for rare bust halves (along with hundreds of other people).  This is what I offered:

1.  Look for just the rare ones.  Learning the common ones will take time and effort away from the rarities.  Strong R5 or better is my advice.
2.  Use the key pickup points in Glenn Peterson's "Ultimate Guide..." as a quick reference.
3.  Check ebay often and be quick about decisions on "Buy it Now" items.  Sometimes someone will put up a coin for a hundred dollars and it will be gone within fifteen minutes because of a Buy It Now listing. 

Interpretation of tiny pictures takes a lot of practice and a little luck.  I try not to waste my time attributing everything...if it is not a rare one, I just move on without ever attributing most coins.

I have another ebay find this week.  This one, in my opinion, is even neater than the last one.  I found an 1831 half dime with a tiny, blurry picture that I thought looked promising.  Here is the picture that was posted on ebay:

The item had a starting price of $80.  I figured it was worth many multiples of that if it was what I thought it was, so I bid on the coin just before the auction closed...and won.  The image below is one I took when the coin arrived (Clicking on the image will open up a much larger image for you, allowing closer inspection).

Needless to say, I was pleasantly surprised that my suspicions were correct.  The coin is an 1831 LM-3 with an obverse retained cud.  I don't know of too many examples of this R-4 half dime that exist in this late die state.  Off hand, I think there are maybe four others that I know about (if you have one, maybe you would like to contribute and let us know about it...images would be cool too).  I don't mind one bit that a third party grading service would not consider this coin to be "problem-free"

Looking forward to more contributions before next week's issue!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

JR Newsletter: 31 October 2010 (8)

One contribution for the week:

Steve Hose wrote:
I have two remaining John Reich Journals that I am looking for:  Issue Number 1 (Vol 1 No 1, January, 1986) and Issue Number 11 (Vol 4 No 3, December, 1989).  I would prefer originals, or at least a copy of the Issue Number 11, as I do have a reprint of the Issue Number 1 without the card stock cover. Thanks for your efforts.  Note from editor:  If you have an issue or two of the JR Journal to satisfy Steve's request, please send a reply to me and I will forward your contact information to Steve.
Editor's Contribution:
We have had more than a dozen new subscribers in the last two weeks.  That's the good news.  With just one contribution coming in this week, I'm going to have to talk about the best bust coinage ever made to try to get some of you who don't collect CAPPED BUST HALF DIMES shamed into making contributions for next week. 

I have attached an image file of a half dime I recently purchased on ebay.  The seller's images were not the best and the ANACS holder had 1836 LM-1.2 as the attribution.  I suspected the attribution was incorrect and that the coin truly was the scarcer 1836 LM-1.1 remarriage.  I was pleased to have my suspicions confirmed when I received the coin.  I used both Photoshop Elements and Photoscape to format the image.  You can click on this image and it will become larger.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

JR Newsletter: 24 October 2010 (7)

Just a reminder:  If you prefer to view this newsletter online, you can do so at
Raymond Hale wrote:
Re David Davis' post.
I just picked up a copy of the EUSD book, for $125 plus 15% buyer's commission, in a post-auction sale with Fred Lake. He had sold another copy, signed by David for $130. I was upset that I had missed the auction. But, happy to still acquire the book. Now, I just need that erratum corrigenda. Thanks for the Latin refresh.
I've thought about purchasing a copy of the "Digital RAG." Does any one know how it works on Windows 7?
Raymond Hale
Dick Kurtz wrote:

To respond to Hamling's question, "preturb" (not "perturb") refers to issues preceeding the capped (turban) bust half dollar series, so any of the halves struck between 1794 ending with 1807 O.112 (and now 115). We sometimes forget that many have not been collecting bust halves for one hundred years, as I have..............Sorry!

Jim Matthews wrote:
Busy times: I've been sifting through my immense library and storage room of duplicate catalogues and references the past few months. I've decided its time to move some of the more interesting tidbits on to more interested parties! Thus I've sent off a considerable number of boxes of early auction sales, reference works, price guides and whatnot to David Sklow for inclusion in his upcoming February 12, 2011 auction and other portions offered at a later date. The highlight of the group so far is an original 1881 edition of the Frank Andrews die variety work on Large Cents. Many other highlights will be available.
I just received the dime reference on the 1824 JR-2 variety by Jim Koenings, which fits perfectly well with his intensive study on the 1827 JR-2 variety--listing all known specimens, an enlarged photo (great work Rory and Jim!) and a condition census. As always a few more specimens are awaiting discovery, but who can resist the appeal of these rarities? Jim has done an outstanding study on these two varieties, and any dime specialist would do well to acquire each. Contact me if you would like to order one of these references and I'll forward it on to Jim Koenings--I am bustdollar (at) for Jim Matthews
News, views and insanity continues in my collecting--still working on the retained or full cuds of course, Flowing, Draped and Capped Bust half dimes--Draped and Capped Bust for dimes. I'll get around to publishing more in the John Reich Journal so photos are more available soon.
New discoveries and advanced die state information are always welcome! Keep on digging, there is always more to be discovered.
Jim Matthews
Richard Meaney wrote:
I am the program chairman for the JRCS meeting in August 2011.  I am interested in what people would like to see for an educational session at the JRCS meeting.  We had a great presentation by Jim Matthews in Boston (Jim talked about one of his favorite topics:  cuds) and I would like to learn what JRCS members think will be appealing for the Chicago meeting.
Also, thanks goes out to David Davis.  I got a new dust jacket for my "Early United States Dimes" book and am quite happy with it.  Thanks, David!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

JR Newsletter: 17 October 2010 (6)

Multiple contributions this week, almost something for everyone here!  Remember, most images in this blog are shown here in reduced size.  If you click on the image, you can view an even larger version of that image (and many images, if you click on them again once they open as larger images, will get even larger still).  

From Jim Koenings:

One hundred copies of Jim Koenings' book "1824 JR-2 The 6th Rarest Capped Bust Dime Die Variety" have been printed. Besides having 37 pages with color photos, there is a foreword by Louis Scuderi, comments by Kirk Gorman on dime edges, comments by Van Walworth on counterfeits and some new information on grade distribution of 1824 dimes.

This book is now available at $24 each, including shipping. If you would like a copy, please send a check or money order to:

Jim Koenings
P.O. Box 2382
Riverside, CA 92516

If you would like your copy sent even sooner, you may send a payment to PAYPAL at Jim's email address:  bustcoin1 (at) 

From Rich Hartzog (response to last week's JRN):

"It included the Tony Terranova collection of counterstamped coins and hands down there has never been anything like it sold at auction." 

Not to toot my own horn too much, but the Terranova collection of counterstamped coins is a distant second to the Brunk collection, which I sold in my World Exonumia auctions 9A, 10 and 11 (1999-2006). Granted, the prices of this 2010 sale are current, while mine are now somewhat dated.  Tony purchased a number of pieces from the Brunk sales, as can be seen in the Stack's notes.  The Brunk sales included a number of very rare pieces, all sold without reserve or minimum bids.  Obviously that gives a much truer report of the real market, vs. selling at the reserve.  Stack's did a decent job, with only a few incorrect photos, and got great money for most items.

I also have the Brunk 2003 book, the newest edition, available on my web site at .  Brunk has severe eye problems and is unable to respond to mail, email or phone calls.  He is working on a new edition, but it is unlikely to be produced in the near future.  I do have copies of the Brunk c/m collection auction catalogs, with prices realized.  Contact me at hartzog (at)

From H. Craig Hamling:

To Dick Kurtz

I have never heard of a perturb.  Can you enlighten me?

From David J. Davis:

A quick follow-up to the EUSD book.  I just checked Rich Uhrich's webpage, and sure enough there were three copies for sale.  For one still in shrinkwrap, how about $400?  For one slightly used he is asking $325.  For another used one with some markings, etc. and no dust cover the price was $195.  Those prices surely surprised me.  I obviously have not been aware of what is happening in the market place.  I thought the price I heard awhile of $250 for a book, was a bit much.  No wonder the book dealers are pestering me to see if more books for sale.  I may have to go digging around in my storage areas to see if I missed one or two.
Interestingly enough the Charlie Davis Mail Bid Sale, October 30, 2010, has an estimate of $150 for the regular edition, and an estimate of $250 for the deluxe edition.  I can hardly wait to see what each book brings.
I would also like to let everyone know that if their dime book doesn't have the errata sheet with the correct pictures for 1821 JR-13, or needs a new cover, I still have both of them available for the cost of postage.  I have more of the errata sheets available than covers.  As we printed enough errata sheets for all of the books, there must be a lot of books stashed away without the correction.  Just to be sure in my own mind I looked up the spelling of errata and learned a new word for the day.  The definition read; "a list of corrigenda or a page bearing such a list.  Then I had to look up corrigendum to find its definition; "an error in a printed work discovered after printing and shown with its correction on a separate sheet bound with the original."  Corrigenda is the plural form indicating more than one error.  You just never realize the discoveries that can be made when referring to the dictionary, instead of just using the spell checker.
Happy collecting,  David J. Davis

From Dennis Villanucci:
I have decided to offer for sale the counterstamped 1806 B-8 R6 quarter that I uncovered in a local shop this past summer, and subsequently reported on in the September JRNews.  That earlier report is as follows:

"Recently, I came across an interesting counterstamped 1806 Bust Quarter.  The counterstamp is partly worn off, but it appears to read "NC US".  Can anyone help in identifying this stamp?  The host coin is B-8, apparently an R6 with 20 or so pieces known.  The die crack at the lower left reverse is light, and has not yet formed the cud that occurs in the late die state."

I offer the additional description that the coin the coin may have been lightly cleaned at some point in its lifetime, but there are no hairlines. It’s a little abraded and unevenly worn from the counterstamp.  In my opinion, the coin has the detail of VG-10. A picture is included here. 

A few collectors have expressed an interest in acquiring this piece, and I have decided to let it go to the highest bidder (without bid reduction).  I have no inclination to use eBay or any of the other auction houses to place the coin. Those interested should send their offers to me at dpvilla (at)  If you would like to discuss the coin before bidding, just send me an email and I’ll forward my phone number to you. The winner will have a 5-day, no hassle return privilege with immediate refund of the full purchase price. I will be accepting offers until midnight on October 23.  Thanks in advance to all.

From Brad Higgins:
Here are 3 images from the Philadelphia archives; the first and third need no explanation. The second is an estimate of the expenses of the engravers department. Each year, the Secretary of the Treasury sent a letter to the mint director asking for an estimate of expenses for the following year. This was Robert Scot's estimate for 1796. Note the salary of the assistant engraver compared to what Reich was offered more than a decade later.
There were a number of the SecTreas inquiries in the archive but no subsequent copies of the mint replies. Perhaps in the DC archive in the Treasury Dept records there is more. 

Sunday, October 10, 2010

JR Newsletter: 10 October 2010 (5)

This week's contributions:

Editor's Note:  I have removed the @ symbol from email addresses to help reduce the amount of spam that gets sent to the email addresses listed in this week's newsletter.

David J. Davis wrote:
 For Raymond Hale,
All of the Deluxe editions of the Early U.S. Dime books have been sold and your only alternative there is the secondary market.  Charlie Davis has one for sale in his upcoming auction.  My guess is that it will probably go for about $200.  For counterstamps you need the Brunk book on counterstamps which is still available from the author or various dealers.  You will also need a copy of the Stack's recently concluded 'Americana Sale.'  It included the Tony Terranova collection of counterstamped coins and hands down there has never been anything like it sold at auction.  Should you decide to collect them, it should give a good idea about what they will cost.  I haven't checked prices realized, yet, but I expect that they went for strong money.  It was an opportunity not to be repeated any time soon.
Good luck in your hunt for the bustie coins we all love.
David J.
 Dick Kurtz wrote:
 Concerning the Overton editions, the 4th expanded the number of die stages (or states, if you prefer) which greatly increased the number of pages. To keep the size & weight of the 4th edition at a more reasonable level (though bigger & heavier than the 3rd edition), the pages are thinner, and in my opinion of lesser quality, with decreased photographic details. The 4th also has the newly discovered die marriages, all of which are preturbs. Unfortunately, errors from the 3rd edition were not corrected in the 4th. As an example, 12-107 is known both with and without the die lump over the left (as viewed) wing, but one wouldn't know that by looking at either edition. My 3rd is loaded with similar observations written on many of its pages, so I continue to use that edition. 
 Dick Kurtz #049
 Keith Davignon wrote:
In response to Raymond Hale’s request for books on bust half dollars, I still have a few copies of the first edition of the Counterfeit Capped bust Half Dollar book available for $35 (postage paid). Also, there will be a second edition available by the FUN show. Anyone interested in a copy can e-mail me at keithdavignon (at) As soon as we know the issue price, we will take orders.
 Keith Davignon
David Perkins wrote:
Input (reply) to Raymond Hale Posting in the October 3, 2010 JR Newsletter
 Raymond Hale wrote last week that he was looking to acquire a copy of Early United States Dimes 1796-1837, Deluxe Edition.  Last night I received a catalog for the Charles Davis Mail Bid Sale of Numismatic Literature, October 30, 2010Lot 296 in this sale is copy number 82 of the deluxe signed edition of the dime book, described as in "New condition."  The previous Lot (Lot 295) is a standard copy of the book, "… blue cloth, dust jacket.  As new as they come in unopened original box."
 Charles can be contacted at P.O. Box 547, Wenham, Massachusetts  01984. Phone 978-468-7893.  E-mail Numislit (at)
Secondly, Raymond asked about sources on or about counterstamped coinage.  The primary source for information on counterstamped coinage is Merchant and Privately Countermarked Coins by Gregory C. Brunk, published by World Exonumia Press, C/o Rich Hartzog, P.O. Box 4143CNW, Rockford, IL  61110-0643, e-mail Hartzog (at)  The most current volume of this book was published in 2003.  I believe I recently saw a notice that Rich still has copies of the book for sale.  This book was available as a regular hardbound copy as well as a deluxe, special edition. 
 The predecessor book on countermarked coins was American and Canadian Countermarked coins by Gregory C. Brunk.  This was also published by World Exonumia Press / Rich Hartzog. 
In addition to the book you may want to acquire selected public auction sale catalogs with offerings of counterstamped coinage.  For example, the recent Stack's Americana Sale held in Philadelphia, October 2, 2010 had over 300 Lots of counterstamp U.S. and foreign coins.  This catalog is a "must" in my book for those interested in counterstamped coins.  These Lots are also available for online viewing at the  website.
Lastly, there have been a number of articles (with photos) of counterstamped U.S. Coinage published over the years in the John Reich Journal.  As a JRCS member you can purchase back issues of the Journal (as available).  There is an index online at the JRCS website at  Richard Meaney, our JR News editor can help you with availability of back issues.  And for those of you who are not aware of this, JRCS member Steve Herrman is working on an index for all issues of the John Reich Journal that will be published in the next year. 
 For example, here are two articles on counterstamped early U.S. silver dollars 1795-1803 that I authored:
 JRJ, Volume 14 / Issue 1, December 2001: “Counterstamped Early Silver Dollars, An Update.”  
JRJ, Volume 16 / Issue 2, February 2005:  “Counterstamps on United States Silver Dollars 1794-1804 as Listed in Merchant and Privately Countermarked Coins, by Gregory Brunk.”
 W. David Perkins
Glenn Marx wrote:
I'm trying to find a few folks that might be willing to consider helping me via a sale or trade of bust quarters.  I'm searching for an 1831 B-1 & B-4 quarter, an 1838 B-1, plus a few other.small-size varieties in AU to low mint state grade (nice for grade with minimal marks).  I'm also looking for some early and middle date bust quarter varieties.  If you are a type or variety collector with coins to sell or trade, I can offer common or rare varieties in a number different grades, some condition census.  I can also offer cuds, retained cuds, and other interesting die states - or a Reiver pedigree.  Please send me an email at gmari (at) if you're interested and let me know what you have.  Thanks - Glenn
 Thanks - Glenn Marx
Richard Meaney wrote:
 For anyone looking for copies of books related to bust coinage (and a few other coin series), I recommend checking out the website of Rich Uhrich.  His website is
Rich typically has the bust dime book, Peterson's half dollar book, Logan-McCloskey half dime book, and the Tompkins quarter book in stock. Rich also sells Bill Bugert's new Seated Half Dollar books. Plus he has lots of other books at fair prices.  In fact, I recently ordered one of Peterson's half dollar guides from Rich.