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!