Sunday, June 5, 2011

JR Newsletter: 5 June 2011 (39)

Ken Rubin wrote:

Do you know the reason for the low mintage of 1796-1797 Half Dollars? I am the Corresponding Secretary for the Massapequa Coin Club and wanted to add this fact to my newsletter.


Jim Matthews wrote:

A note of apology to all those who attended the EAC/JRCS Convention in Portland. I had my tickets and speech all ready to go. However, once again cataloging deadlines crept into my life, and the June Baltimore auction just refused to wrap up in time. An unexpectedly large crush of great coins required considerable days to catalog for the Stack's-Bowers auction, so I had to stay in Irvine for an additional week, which happened to preclude my attendance.
I truly missed the opportunity to see everyone at this show, and in the past have greatly enjoyed the entire format, displays and most of all the friendships old and new. I particularly like the "cross metal" combination where consistent minting issues are seen in copper, silver and gold coins issued of the same period. With the high price of collecting any series today, it is quite difficult to specialize in more than one denomination, so these types of similarities are a field ripe for study. Bringing together knowledgeable people and wonderful collection coins to view-as well as to purchase, provides a level of scholarship unmatched for numismatists of American coinage.
As my own personal corporate demands settle down in the next year, I expect to be able to make it to all the future EAC/JRCS conventions. With the complexities of the merger of Stack's and Bowers and Merena being worked through, there are times when one must simply perform the work required to get the job done.
To say the least, I am looking forward to next years convention and attending the ANA sale in Chicago!
David Perkins wrote:
Commentary on the Goldberg's The Pre-Long Beach Auction of United States
Coins and Currency Featuring the Dr. Hesselgesser Collection of Bust
Dollars, Part I

It has been a while since a specialized collection of early dollars was
offered for sale at public auction. Perhaps the last major offering of early
dollars was in the April 2008 Heritage sale of the Queller early dollar
collection, over three years ago.

The May 29-30, 2011 Ira and Larry Goldberg's The Pre-Long Beach Auction of
United States Coins and Currency Featuring the Dr. Hesselgesser Collection
of Bust Dollars, Part I was not what could be considered the offering of an
extensive collection, but did include 47 Lots and over 40 different die
marriages of early silver dollars.  Lots included a high grade 1794 silver
, 1795 Flowing Hair Dollars with and without silver plug centers,
Flowing Hair and Draped Bust dollars in grades from Very Fine to MS64 and a
handful of better die marriages for the specialist. 

I did not view the lots in person nor did I attend the sale.  I have seen
most of the Lots in the past when they were displayed at ANA Conventions.  I
have also viewed and studied the Hesselgesser early dollar collection on the
PCGS Registry (most of the specimens in the collection are photographed).
Here is a link to the Hesselgesser Registry Set:

For those of you who did not receive the sale catalog the catalog and prices
realized can be viewed online on the Goldberg website or by clicking on this

First, some general comments regarding the sale.  Most of the Lots offered
(but not all of them) were duplicates from the extensive Hesselgesser
Collection.  This information can be determined by viewing the collection on
the PCGS Registry.  The early dollar Lots were all offered with no reserves.
Most of the dollars were graded by PCGS and a number also had CAC stickers.
Some of the coins were in the new PCGS secure plus holders.  Pedigrees
beyond the Hesselgesser Collection were only occasionally noted by the

The 1794 Dollar, ex. Connecticut Historical Society sold for $575,000 on an
estimate of $500-600,000.  Interestingly, $575,000 was exactly the most
recent Coin World Coin Values price for a 1794 Dollar. 

A 1795 B-9, BB-13 Dollar in PCGS AU55 CAC realized $46,000.  From the photo
it appeared to be a very nice example of this die marriage.  This appears to
me to be a very strong price, especially given the obverse die clashing
(which is visible on most examples of B-9) which might not appeal to a Date
/ Major Type / Redbook collector.  Was this Lot acquired by a die variety

A 1795 B-7, BB-18 Flowing Hair Dollar with silver plug center hammered for
$120,000 (!)  It was graded PCGS AU58 CAC and was housed in a secure plus
holder.  It was described by the cataloger as displaying "tremendous eye

Lot 874 is a coin I used to own, a 1795 B-10, BB-22 Dollar graded VF30, CAC
approved and in a secure plus holder.  This coin has an extensive and
wonderful pedigree - if the new owner would like to learn the pedigree feel
free to contact me at wdperki(at)  If only all 1795 Dollars in
VF looked like this specimen!  It was called R-7 in the catalog but the
cataloger erroneously added that "probably no more than 25 to 50 are known."
I know of 12, maybe 13 specimens (depending upon if one of the known
examples is the same as the specimen Haseltine owned and sold in this 1881
Type Table Sale.  This specimen realized $34,500.  For comparison, two
examples of 1795 B-10 were last sold at public auctions in 2007 and 2008 and
realized in the $22-26K range (one was NGC VF-35 and the other NGC EF-40),
both strong prices at the time. 

Lot 883 was a 1798 Small Eagle 13 Obverse Stars B-1, BB-82 Dollar in PCGS
AU58 CAC and secure plus holder.  This Lot may be the highlight of the sale.
It was estimated at $70-80,000.  Coin World Coin Values shows a price of
$25,000 in AU-50, with no prices listed beyond this grade.  This Lot
hammered for $310,000, thus realized a whopping $365,500!  Needless to say
at least two well healed bidders wanted this coin badly....

A 1798 B-19, BB-106 (R-5) Dollar cleaned with AU Details, PGCS Genuine
hammered for $2,100, or about the value of VF-20.  In my book a nice AU50
should sell for at least $7-10K, thus you can see an example of the severe
discounting for problem coins in today's market.  In contrast, a 1798 B-10,
BB-109, also R-5 in a PCGS AU50 secure plus holder realized a little over

What appears from the photo to be a very nice example the 1800 B-12, BB-184
Dollar in a PCGS AU55 secure plus holder hammered for $12,500. 

Lastly, a nice circulated example of 1803 B-3, BB-256, a Rarity-6 in a PCGS
VF20 secure holder realized $6,900, approximately a 2 ½ - 3X premium over a
common 1803 dollar in VF-20. 

In summary, it appears that choice and rare (including condition rarity)
coins with eye appeal did very well in this sale.  What are your thoughts?

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO
Brad Karoleff wrote:
A belated report on the EAC/JRCS convention in Portland.
The annual convention of the Early American Coppers recently concluded in Portland Oregon.  JRCS has, once again, been invited to join the copper collectors at their annual numismatic event.  We would, again, like to thank our hosts for including us in their convention.  As has been the case for the last few years, we had a great time interacting with our copper "cousins". 
I arrived in Portland Thursday afternoon and took the train from the airport to the hotel.  It was a wonderful sunny day and very efficient and safe.  A real contrast to many convention cities I have attended.  Check in at the hotel was equally efficient.  That was followed by renewing some old friendships before setting up my table at the convention center located across the entrance to the hotel. 
The official reception for the show began at 5:00 that afternoon.  A buffet was provided by sponsors donations.  The setup for the happening rooms soon followed.  If you have not attended any of these conventions in the past, this is the one CAN'T MISS event for the entire weekend.  There are rooms set aside for Colonial coins, Half Cents, Large Cents, and JRCS silver issues.  Each group of collectors has pre-decided on a group of die marriages to be studied during the happenings.  Collectors then bring their coins to the convention to be studied.  You can count on seeing some unbelievable coins on display representing some condition census pieces as well as rare and interesting die states.  If you do not collect coins from some of the series, you should still visit the rooms to get an idea of what is available in the other series.  It is always nice to see neat coins whether they fit into your collection or not!
The JRCS room had decided to study the following coins.  1831 LM1 half dime, 1827 JR1 dime, 1806 B5 and B6 quarters, 1808 O110 and 1817 O105 half dollars and the 1798 B14 dollar.  The quarters were represented with two die marriages as they share a common reverse and we always have two half dollars due to the large number of die marriages in the series and their collecting popularity.
The turnout of coins for the silver room was less than in previous years, but still impressive.  Many of our regular displaying collectors are from the east and did not make the trip to Portland.  We look forward to seeing them, and their coins, next year in Buffalo!  The half dimes were dominated by one collector who displayed three wonderful condition pieces in differing die states.  Many visitors wanted to go home with a couple of his coins.  The dime die marriage was selected due to the discovery of the 1827 JR14 earlier this year which shares the obverse with the JR1.  Only one dime made the trip to Oregon and it did not prove to be the new discovery!  The quarters may have been the highlight of the silver happening.  Two advanced collectors of the quarters are from the Pacific Northwest and came loaded for bear.  Another devoted collector/dealer from the east also brought his coins for inspection.  Many choice specimens were on display for everyone to compare.  The half dollars also had a number of coins available for inspection.  The 1808 O110 is a R5- and were represented by about a half dozen coins.  One was clearly the best on display which belonged to a advanced collector from the west.  He doesn't always get to attend these conventions but made quite an impression with his coin at this one.  The other die marriage, the 1817 O105 a R4 marriage, was chosen due to the number of die states in which it is known.  The table was full of many coins in differing die states and grades.  Many collectors had a good time experiencing the different looks of the coin from early to late state.  Even though there were numerous coins there, we were still missing a couple of the scarcest die states from our study.  It just goes to prove how challenging it is to collect some of the scarce die states of these interesting coins.
The schedule listed the happenings as closing at 10PM, yea right!  We always exceed the limits when looking at these many nice coins.  The happenings were followed by a quick trip to the hotel watering hole and then a much needed night in bed.
The following morning began with our breakfast at the hotel and the quick walk across the entryway to the bourse floor.  The floor was one of the largest in memory for an EAC.  The isles were wide and there was ample room for the educational displays.  The only drawback to the room were the large "picture windows" lining two walls of the hall.  Passersby could look into the bourse floor which made some of us a little uncomfortable.  Thankfully there was to be armed guards on the floor 24 hours a day for security.  The collecting public was admitted soon after setup and the show was on it's way.  The local coin clubs were well represented and some even bussed in a few members from longer distances.  The hosts are to be commended for their efforts in promoting the show to non EAC members.  I'm sure some were welcomed into the fold as a result of their efforts. 
Sales for the show were OK for me, but other copper specialists did much better.  After all, the show is geared to them, right?  There was a lack of JRCS dealers at the show again.  We will all  need to improve our efforts in selling the show to more of our member dealers for the future.  If you deal mainly in the silver issues start thinking about adding the show in Buffalo to your schedule.  You may be in for a nice surprise. 
The show always has hosts an impressive array of educational seminars.  This year was no exception.  Collectors had the opportunity to learn from some of the leading dealers and researchers in the early American series.  The educational displays setup by some of the attendees were also a treasure trove of information for those who took the time to view them. 
Another feature of the EAC conventions is the Friday evening dinner with a featured speakeer.  This year John Wright spoke on his lifelong involvement in the copper collecting community.  John is a noted author and collector of the middle date large cents.  He is one of the most amusing and interesting speakers available in numismatics. 
Saturday evening features the EAC auction.  I was the auctioneer again and had a wonderful time calling the sale.  The atmosphere is not as "stuffy" as a regular commercial auction and we all had a good time.  You do have to be a member of EAC to bid in this particular sale, so if you have interest in participating next year get your membership application in now.  The sale ended a little before 11PM and an obligatory trip to the watering hole to celebrate followed.
The show continues until Sunday at 2PM, but most of the dealers left after the closing on Saturday in order to catch early Sunday flights back home.  I had a great time again at the show.  Sales were a little better than expected but the social events were outstanding- as usual!  I strongly suggest that anyone who has not attended an EAC show before to make plans now to be part of the fun in an upcoming year.  As I said, the next show is in Buffalo NY to be followed by Columbus OH in 2013.  See you there!
We are accepting nominations for the JRCS Hall of Fame voting.

The membership is encouraged to send nominations for the hall.  You can nominate candidates for either the veteran (those who contributed before the advent of JRCS) or the modern (those who have been members of JRCS) categories.  Please include any pertinent information about the nominee that you feel necessary.  Nominees will then be voted on by the HOF committee and the inductees will be announced at the annual meeting at the ANA convention in Chicago this summer.  Nominations will be accepted until June 30th.  We look forward to seeing your nominations!

Please forward your nominations to me at bkaroleff(at) or to any of the members of the board.


Editor's note:  You may also reply to jrnewsletter(at) if you wish to submit a nominee.