Sunday, December 11, 2011

JR Newsletter: 11 December 2011 (66)

David Quint wrote:

A few thoughts on the mysterious 1833 JR-2 proof dime sold on eBay. The photograph certainly appears to be exactly that; while circulation strikes of the JR-2 bear the familiar lower obverse crack, at least one known proof example, and this coin, do not. The only two 1833 proof dimes to appear at auction (as far as I know) since 1980 were the Pittman/Benson/Turtle Rock specimen in an NGC Proof-66 holder and the Bowers&Merena 6/89:90 (later Heritage 8/08:1605) now in a PCGS  Proof-66 holder. Neither of these coins is the one pictured in the eBay sale (in fact the coin in the eBay sale is one I have never seen). There is another example in the Smithsonian collection (according to the late, great Russ Logan).  NGC claims to have graded two Proof-66 coins and two in 65, and PCGS lists one each in 64, 65, and 66. Some of these (or all) could be re-grades of the same coins. There are no known circulation strikes extant with a grade higher than MS-63.

The eBay seller has only sold 5 coins on the site (plus some stamps), and what I find most interesting is that if you look at his past sales, they include several 19th Century type coins whose photos look to be of very high grade (raw) coins. And in each of those auctions, the seller states in his description "photos are reference photos".  Huh?  Reference photo? The buyer feedback in these deals range from "thanks for the credit" to "had problem and seller resolved" to "A++++"(!).  Could this be a (non-stolen) gem proof, raw, bust dime? Sure. I guess anything is possible. But especially given this seller's proclivity to market coins based on "reference photos", call me suspicious. What is the main mystery to me is where he got this particular reference photo; maybe someone on this board knows of an example for which I am not aware.

David Quint

Alan Bricker wrote:

I am commenting regarding the eBay listing of an 1833 JR-2 dime as reported in the issue dated December 4, 2011. Not even to mention the short sale and no-return, a brief investigation of the seller's feedback history, etc. quickly reveals this listing to be almost certainly fraudulent. Another listing showed a "Gem BU" 1853 NO ARROWS / No Rays quarter, "selling" for a mere $200(!) ... probably an online community discussion arose regarding this listing. Note also that the seller's eBay purchases involved only low-end coins and that most of the limited number of transactions involved low-end stamps. My guess is that the images used in those high-end coin listings had been stolen from a different website. If it sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.

David Lange wrote:

Per the discussion about corrugations on the reverse of O-105 halves, I suspect that these may have been caused by contact with feeder fingers of the press. Adam Eckfeldt devised some sort of feeding mechanism years earlier, but I don't know of any illustration of it. If this is indeed what happened, it likely affected an obverse die, as well. Perhaps the damage to the obverse was so severe that the die was pulled from the press and discarded.
On the other issued raised of a phantom proof dime on eBay, the photos shown of the 1833 Bust Dime were lifted from the NGC archive. I thought these looked suspiciously like very early Photo Proof images, and I found the originals in our database. I'm attaching them, reduced in size, for comparison. The image names include the certification number as it stood in 1995, though the coin may have been resubmitted one or more times since then.
By the way, Photo Proof has come a long way, and our photos are now vastly superior to these. Our staff photographer is Doug Plasencia, formerly with Bowers & Merena and Stack's for many years.

Brad Karoleff wrote:

We need to begin planning for the upcoming EAC/JRCS convention in Buffalo. We need moderators for the silver happening room. Anyone interested in volunteering please contact me at bkaroleff (at) We also need suggestions of die marriages for each denomination to study. Anyone planning on attending the show is welcome to participate. Please give us your suggestions. More information about the convention can be obtained from the EAC website at

We also need your nominations for consideration for the JRCS Hall of Fame. You can nominate as many individuals as you wish for either the veteran category, those contributing to the hobby prior to the advent of JRCS or the modern category, those participating since the club was begun. This is a great way to recognize the collectors and researchers tat have contributed to our hobby. It all begins with your nominations.

The latest issue of the journal, the last for the year, is going to the printers this week. You can expect to see it in your mailbox soon. There will also be a ballot for the voting on the Jules Reiver Literary Award. Please send back your votes.

There will also be a dues notice included in the envelope. Please send your renewal check to secretary Crain as soon as possible to continue receiving the JRJ. 

We will also be having a regional meeting of the JRCS at the upcoming FUN convention in Orlando. Glenn Peterson has arranged the meeting for Friday afternoon. Please check he convention program for the exact time and room number.  We will be having an educational presentation at the meeting on Bust Half patterns and related pieces.  We look forward to seeing you there.  

Richard Meaney's response to Steven Kawalec's inquiry about the "2 and 3 line varieties" for Capped Bust Half Dimes:

If you are interested in Capped Bust Half Dimes, get a copy of "Federal Half Dimes 1792-1837" by Logan and McCloskey.  Check especially page 138 of the book to see that the vertical stripes are called pale gules.  On only three die marriages (the first three struck out of 92 currently known) does one find three pale gules.  The remaining die marriages feature two pale gules in the eagle's shield.  None of the die marriages with three pale gules are rare.  Here are some close up images of the two different types: