Sunday, June 10, 2012

JR Newsletter: 10 June 2012 (92)

Brad Karoleff wrote:

The latest issue of The John Reich Journal was mailed Friday to the membership.  Volume 22, Issue 1 includes the latest Bust Quarter Census as compiled by Dr. Glenn Peterson as well as an article about a double struck Capped Bust Half by Jeff Reichenberger, a review of the David J. Davis dime collection by John McCloskey, another article about 1796/7 halves by Jon Amato and a pair of articles by David Finkelstein; Heraldic Eagle Die Analysis part 2 and Bust Coin Patterns- Or Lack Thereof.  Wow!

 There were almost 100 members who did not see the dues notice in the last issue of the journal.  We have sent them a current issue with a yellow reminder inside to send their membership dues check to continue their association with the JRCS.  Take an extra second to look to see if you have a notice included with your issue and then renew your membership.

 Anyone not receiving their journal by the 15th of the month should contact me to obtain a substitute issue.  The post office loses an issue or two each mailing.  We are happy to confirm your membership and ship you a replacement if necessary.  I can be reached at bkaroleff (at)

 The information on the annual meeting of the society at the Philadelphia ANA is also included in this issue.  We will have an educational presentation by Dick Graham on his favorite series, the Reeded Edge halves.  Dick is currently working on a book to attribute this underappreciated series and will share some of his insights into the series with us at the meeting.

 There is also a notice for the submission of collectors information on the Pre Turban half dollar series for the next census.  Steve Herrman has again agreed to compile the information for the next issue of our journal.  Please get your information to him as soon as possible at herrman102 (at) 

Anyone wishing to contribute to the next issue of the journal is encouraged to get their information to me as soon as possible.  I hope to get another issue out before the ANA if all goes well.  I almost have enough to fill the issue and need a few filler items.  Hopefully our JRCS Secretary will be able to compile all your information quickly for me.

 I hope to see all of you in Philadelphia at the annual meeting on Wednesday morning August 8 at 8AM.  We will be announcing the winner of the Jules Reiver Literary Award and the newest members of the JRCS Hall of Fame. 


Jason Poe wrote:

The O-107a is a very elusive die state of a fairly common die marriage. I have seen numerous Intermediate Die States, and many of them are labelled 107a according to PCGS or NGC - but how many true 107a's are there, with all of the die cracks listed in Overton? Who is in charge of establishing rarities, and who do we contact to get this rarity revised? It is my impression, based on what I have seen (and a thorough research of Stacks, Scotsman, and Heritage auction archives) that this is probably an R-4 at least, possibly greater. What has been your experience with the O-107a?

With all of these questions - here is my new O-107a.

 editor's note:  Click on the image to open a larger version

This is a true late die state - every crack is present. Note the two cracks from above star 7 - one to the front of the headband, one to the top which continues across to star 10. The crack from star 11 goes all the way down, through the date, across the bust, up through the left stars, and back to the headband. Thus, this coin has 3 distinct die cracks, including the chipping at star 1 that is called out in Overton. This one is graded EF-45 by PCGS.

Jason Poe

Jim Matthews contributed:

 The recent sale of Ira and Larry Goldberg saw a number of significant Bust Dollars offered in May, most of which were previously sold in their September 2011 Auction. Some realized roughly the same amount while others brought less. In my experience the auctions in May and June often bring a bit less as collectors begin saving for the ANA auction or perhaps Summer vacations--also offering the same coins again a mere 8 months later always raises some questions, to which I offer no answer. Some of these were old friends, coins I had owned in my collection and sold over the years, many were a lot better than pieces I acquired and of course a few of the extreme rarities crossed the block and were sold. An old favorite of mine was the 1795 B-10, BB whatever (sorry, I still speak Bolender) that I purchased from Stack's Bareford sale in 1981--that coin hails from the Worlds Greatest Collection and is definitely the finest known of this R-6+ variety. I think it brought $57,000 or so all in. I recall paying $18,000 for it in 1981, and sold it in a weaker market in 1988. The silver plug coins still bring fantastic prices, and having lived through their discovery and rapid assent in price, I still marvel at these. The 1796 B-3 that is an R-8 brought a solid price, what was it $57,500? Perhaps a bit more or less, but about that number, sorry my mind is a bit weary after diving into the ANA cataloging in Irvine for the last dozen days, with the crescendo and deluge of coins just starting to really crush in. There were a few really nice 1798 dollars, the B-22 in MS-61 was purchased and is already being offered on EBay, my old friend the1798 B-32, BB-91 (I think) seemed to waffle and bring something around 28K or about that, a price that seems like a relative bargain for the finest known of a really rare variety. At the time of the auction I wrote down all the prices, then jumped on a plane to California, so my memory is stretching back two weeks and a whole lot of coins later.

I felt on balance this auction represented a good buying opportunity, prices seemed softer than the sale in September, again a function of a couple of unusual factors. The rarities and really premium eye appeal coins did fine, and as always the coins that did not stand out in quality, matched their level in price.

For the upcoming ANA Auction Stack's-Bowers has been getting a vast array of coins, rare copper, silver and gold, early, late, condition and the whole gamut. I'm working on the David Davis Collection of Capped Bust Dimes when time permits, they are just coming back from PCGS. This collection will be an exciting offering, with something for everyone in terms of price and condition, with the rarities undoubtedly the focus of most collectors. Two significant "discoveries" have been consigned to the auction so far that come to mind, a bit afield from the JRCS, but both worthy of note, one is a really sweet 1808/7 C-1 half cent, this is the second finest known, PCGS Fine-12, a solid R-7 variety that is never almost never found on a nice planchet until this one turned up. The rarity of this die pairing is a clear result of misaligned dies, where the dies fields were not level to one another, hence all the striking pressure gets focused on one area of the die, and the misaligned die usually shatters in this area, which it did, accounting for the rarity. Many other examples of misaligned dies are known and I'll have to put together an article soon. This situation is a cud-creator, something near and dear to my heart.

Another amazing coin that came of out a suitcase, is the 4th known 1853 No Arrows Half Dollar, PCGS graded it VG-8, on par with the Eliasberg coin. It literally was nearly melted in an otherwise mundane group of 90 percent silver, but the recent heir thought the better of the $15 dollar offer and started digging around. After searching on the internet the consignor contacted Stack's Bowers. Gene Nesheim of our staff convinced the him to come to Irvine for the coin to be examined, as he was afraid of shipping this potential treasure. Sure enough, all the diagnostics were confirmed, and it will be offered in the upcoming ANA auction. The last example discovered of this rare coin was in 1911, when the Titanic was being built! So you just never know what may turn up.