Sunday, November 11, 2012

JR Newsletter: 11 November 2012 (114)

Lots of contributions this week!  Mark Borckardt starts us off:

I read with interest that the misattributed 1796 dollar came from a Heritage auction in 2006 where the incorrect attribution was noted, per our policy at the time. Today, our policy is to contact the consignor to gain permission to reholder the item before cataloging, eliminating these situations.

Mark Borckardt, Senior Cataloger, Heritage Auctions

Glenn Peterson wrote:

CHECK THE PICTURE! I am the happy winner of an 1835 LM-11 MS 63 bust half dime from Heritage. The listing stated that it was Large Date, Large 5C 1835 bust half dime and it was on the "internet only" section of the Heritage auction #1175. It was in fact the Small Date and Small 5C and the more scarce of the two examples (R4). The only other choice UNC example I have encountered of that die marriage was MS 63 and priced at $2000. I was able to capture it for well under half that price. Perhaps the mistaken description help me acquire that piece.  I was also able to acquire a MS 63 example of the second marriage of bust half 1827 O-108 to complement my MS 62 example of the first marriage without F filled. Between these remarriages, the reverse is used to produce 1828 O-101. Happy hunting!

Glenn Peterson

Steve Herrman wrote:

I have a Microsoft Excel document which may be shared with other JRCS members.

The document contains up-to-date census spreadsheets for the Bust half dimes, dimes, quarters and halves (Pre-Turban and Capped Bust). Whenever entries are added or changed, summary totals are computed automatically.


JRCS #474

Editor's Note:  Send an email to me if you wish to receive a copy of Steve Herrman's spreadsheet.

Michael Sullivan wrote:

Thank you for a helpful and lively JR Newsletter on Sunday.    As usual, my friends Jim Mathews and W.D. Perkins were great help in the dialogue and research.   While not included in the article citation last week, my good friend Brad Karoleff helped to inspire my original submission as well.

I applaud the response of Mr. Greg Hansen to take a professional, responsible position to clarify the early dollar marriage error, take the coin off the market, and request NGC to reslab it with the proper marriage designation (BB-61).    Fellow bibliophile and collector David Lange is also thanked for taking quick action on behalf of NGC at no charge to Mr. Hansen.

This is a great example of the numismatic community coming together with information, research, and action via the JR Newsletter.

 Michael J. Sullivan

Joe Brame wrote:

My special interest right now is in the Capped Bust Half Dime series, and I am hoping you can help me with a question.

I have just recently acquired an 1834 Half Dime, LM-4, which has very strong mirrored fields on both sides. I did not purchase it (a raw coin) as a Proof, but I really am wondering if it might be.  Certainly I understand that you could not express any opinion without seeing the coin, but I am wondering if you might be able to tell me what characteristics might suggest that it is or is not a Proof.  There currently is a PCGS PR64+ 1834 Half Dime on eBay (200841547496), which I have tried to compare to my coin, but I really have not had much success.  I would say that the eBay coin does not appear to be any better struck than my coin, and the fields on both certainly appear to be comparable.  When I noted that my coin does not have a wire rim, I felt that might be a clue that it is not a Proof.  But the coin on eBay does not appear to have a wire rim.

I am presently planning on submitting my coin to PCGS in December, but I was hoping you might be able to offer some insight as to what I should look for in helping me decide if it is a Proof.  If my coin is not a Proof, it would probably grade MS63 or better.

Any help would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,
Joe Brame

Editor's note:  At the very least, the subject of Proof half dimes from 1834 is controversial.  From the Logan-McCloskey text ("Federal Half Dimes 1792-1837"), I found this:  "The contents of the Mint collection have been examined three times by the authors since 1985 and no proof 1834 half dimes were identified."  And later in the text, one finds this, "Breen accounts for several proofs of the LM-4 marriage, and claims the year to be the second most common after 1829 for proof half dimes." 

Judging from price guides, anyone who buys a raw coin and then achieves a Proof designation on a PCGS-graded Capped Bust Half Dime will have earned a significant premium.  I would advise Joe to show the coin to a few other specialist collectors or dealers before submitting to PCGS to get additional opinions.  I am sure readers have opinions on the existence and determination of Proof half dimes from 1834…let's hear the opinions!

Brad Karoleff wrote:

The EAC/JRCS annual convention is scheduled for May 2-5 in Newark OH (suburb of Columbus).  The Cherry Valley Lodge is hosting the event.  You can contact them at 888.897.4599, mention EAC to obtain the $129 convention rate.

There are still tables available for the show.  You must be a member of EAC to have a table due to insurance regulations.  You should be a member of that organization anyway!  To obtain membership information contact Rod Burress, 9743 Leacrest, Cincinnati, OH 45215.  If you have any other questions about the show the chairperson is Emily Matuska and she can be reached at rmatuska (at) 

Our own Nathan Markowitz will be the chair of the educational presentations.  If you would like to volunteer to give a presentation at the show please contact Nathan at cascades1787 (at) 

On Thursday evening the happenings will take place.  This is where different rooms are dedicated to the study of specific die marriages for the different series of coins represented at the convention.  The silver room will again have a half dime, dime, quarter, two half dollars, and maybe a dollar die marriage to study.  We are accepting suggestions as to which DM's to study.  Please forward your suggestions to Brad at jrcs19 (at)  I am also looking for volunteers to help in the happening room to show the silver coins.

Currently we have decided to display 1823 O109 for the Capped Bust half dollars.  We have had the 1836 LM1 suggested for the half dime, 1836 B3 for the quarter, and the 1839-O for the reeded edge halves.  Do you have any other nominations?

The bourse will be open Friday through Sunday.  This is more a throwback to earlier conventions with time to chat coins with your favorite dealers without the distraction of multiple modern slabs.  It is an experience that every numismatist should avail themselves of at least once (a year!).  Come have some fun with us in the heartland of Ohio.  I can't promise the same side events as last year's convention in Buffalo (cross dressers of America had their annual ball at the same time as the convention!) but I'm sure you will have a great time!

Brad Karoleff

Last, and certainly not least (especially for collectors of Bust Dollars), Rich Uhrich wrote:

The Stacks - Bowers Baltimore auction this week contains an outstanding collection of Bust dollars, for which I am representing the consignors.  The collection is called the Carl and Josephine Legacy Collection, and each of the 85 Bust dollars is so indicated in the auction catalog.  The consignors inherited this collection, which had been stored in a bank safe deposit box since 1974.  So the coins are fresh to the market.  Fortunately, the collectors had placed the dollars in Capital plastic holders, so none had been damaged by improper storage.  Highlights of the collection include 8 (!) 1798 Small Eagle dollars, 3 of which are 13 star and 5 of which are 15 star, the finest of which is a PCGS EF-40.  There is also a 1796 Small Dare Large Letters in PCGS AU-53, a 1797 9x7 in PCGS AU-53 CAC, a 1799 8x5 in PCGS AU-53 CAC, and an 1800 AMERICAI in PCGS AU-55.  But perhaps my favorite coin in the collection is an 1800 B-17 in PCGS AU-50, because it is the early die state without the "collar" that is on almost all of this variety.  Reiver knew of only one when he wrote his excellent book, one other was sold in an auction, but this coin is by far the finest known of this rare die state.  So here is an opportunity to acquire some fresh Bust dollars for your collection, or one for your type set.

Rich Uhrich