Sunday, August 4, 2013

JR Newsletter: 4 August 2013 (152)

This will be the last issue of the JR Newsletter until post-ANA.  The next issue will be published on August 18th, 2013.

Jim Matthews wrote:

After considerable consternation and thought I've decided to sell my first line die variety collection of early Draped Bust dimes. This has been a major focus of my collecting energies for many years, but the twists and turns of life have presented me with other opportunities which I believe are important to pursue at this time. Thus my favorite early dime collection will be auctioned off in less than two weeks at the ANA convention by Stacks-Bowers. 

Let me start by saying that the die variety set of early dimes offers considerable challenges, but also great opportunities. Having studied many advanced collections over the generations leads one to the conclusion of just how rare these early dimes are in high grades--major collectors with virtually unlimited resources were often unable to find high grade examples from this series of each of the dates. This fact to me reflects the rarity of many of these issues in high grade. 

The 1796 JR-5 I've owned twice, I purchased it when it appeared in an old time collection back in 1986, then sold it in 1993. This is the rarest obtainable 1796 die variety, and I consider it a strong "third" finest known. The Norweb example at MS-62 is arguably the finest of the variety, but I didn't feel it was the coin for me. I was offered the John Reich plate coin several years ago, but the pin scratches were just too distracting, although that coin is now PCGS AU-55 I believe. I've always felt my particular coin was the most wholesome example of the variety in high grade.

Several years ago the terminal die state of the 1797 JR-1 sixteen star dime came my way, and I was thrilled to obtain it. Only a handful of survivors show this degree of displacement on the obverse die, where the die was so severely cracked the date was a mere shadow--and this is certainly one of the last coins struck from this obverse die. Most examples known of this later die state are a combination of simple wear as well as softness in the date area from strike--with wear being the primary cause. This mid grade coin defines the later die state well. All known 1797 sixteen star dimes show a heavy die crack above the date, probably from the first coin struck--but the latest die states with the date virtually gone are indeed rare and terminal for the die pairing.

One of the greatest rarities is the 1798/7 Thirteen stars reverse dime. I purchased this piece in 2005 and nothing like it has been offered for sale aside from a couple of Mint State examples that are beyond the reach of most collectors. Perhaps 25-30 are known of the variety, and mine is a solid EF-45 coin by PCGS with a CAC sticker. Most of those known from these dies are in much lower grades.

Collectors who pursue these early dimes will notice those of 1802 as well, offered are a pleasing JR-2 example in EF-45 with the shattered reverse die state--one of the most spectacular die states in any denomination series (seen again on the 1803 JR-4 which uses the same reverse die in an even later die state!). The 1802 JR-3 is the Plate coin from the dime book, certainly one of the finest as well of this variety (believed to be second best behind an AU-55 example) that should not be overlooked. Notice in the regular auction session the 1802 JR-4 with the heavy obverse retained cud--this is a very rare die state with fewer than ten known--if indeed that many. 

Opportunities to purchase several condition census early dimes started to appear in 2004 when Ed Price began to sell some of his duplicates from his magnificent early dime variety collection. My purchases came to a crescendo in 2008 when the Price Collection was offered at auction. I decided to focus on the year 1803, where three of the most challenging varieties would be offered, each the finest known of the variety. For me, it was a situation of being able to buy only a few important coins, but I was able to complete my mission. At the Ed Price Auction I was able to secure the 1803 JR-1 in EF-40 which is tied for the finest known, the 1803 JR-2 finest known example and the discovery example of the JR-5 and the finest known, with just four pieces known today from those dies. 1803 has always been a favorite year of mine, known for the Louisiana Purchase as well as a midpoint in Jefferson's presidency. The United States was at a major point of growth as a nation as 1803 unfolded, and the symbolic purchase of land the more than doubled the land mass of this country seems a fitting event to mark the advent of great growth for our country. 

I've always known that an advanced early dime variety collection would take many years to assemble, and my collection represents a decade of opportunities that have come my way and my willingness to jump when the right coins became available. For any collector who understands rarity and condition, or has the desire to own Finest Known specimens and several Condition Census quality coins, this is a group that should not be missed.  

Of course there are many other great coins in the ANA auctions as well--such as both plate coins from the dime book of the great 1804 rarities from another collector are offered. In closing I obviously have a huge personal commitment to these early dimes and want them to go to appreciative homes of collectors who understand just how rare and carefully selected they were for my standards. 

Happy Hunting and I'm looking forward to seeing everyone at the ANA this month,

Jim Matthews


Nathan Markowitz wrote:

I will be presenting a talk entitled:  "The JJ Collection of Early United States Quarters:  Fifty Years of Provenances Revealed" on TUESDAY August 13 at 4:00 PM in Room 13 (Numismatic Theatre, aka "Money Talks").  I invite all JRCS members interested in provenance research to share my story and input on this major collector of early quarters who has remained virtually unknown and who owned many important coins which may fill in your pedigree chains in your collections.


Glenn Peterson wrote:

Hi JRCS members. I am looking forward to ANA. We will be having a meeting of BUST QUARTER COLLECTOR SOCIETY on Wednesday August 4th at 2:00 pm in room 6 (check your directory to confirm room number).  At the meeting I will be giving a presentation on the E and L quarters of 1815 and 1825. I hope you can come to the meeting. Next we will be having an open meeting (everyone invited) of the BUST HALF NUT CLUB on Thursday August 15th at 2:00 pm in room 6. I will be giving a presentation of REMARRIAGES OF CAPPED BUST HALVES including new information about the remarriage of 1828 O-118 and 1829 O-110.

Please join us at the meeting.

Glenn Peterson