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?