Sunday, August 10, 2014

JR Newsletter: 10 August 2014 (201)

Welcome to what I expect to be just the "early post-ANA" edition of the JR Newsletter.  I expect some other weary coin collectors may soon find the time to send something in to the newsletter for publication later this month.

First up, something from Winston Zack:

Coins and chaos!

Yes, by now I'm sure you heard that there were hundreds, maybe thousands of people lined up for half a mile (or thereabouts) to acquire the Gold Kennedy Coins and then flip them for a quick profit; some people even camped out for 17 hours, lining up at 6 PM the previous evening only to be let in and acquire the coins the next day around 10 or 11 AM! This all caused chaos from Tuesday until Thursday, until it was finally shut down...thankfully...but still too late in my opinion!

Now to the REAL coins...the Busties!

It was great to see so many familiar faces at the JRCS meeting, as well as meet some people I only previously knew by name or reputation. David Finkelstein gave a great presentation on early Mint Delivery Warrants. And, among other reported news, it was asked that if anyone from the JRCS organization has the website making skills that our JRCS website be revamped and updated out of the web-stone-age.

For me, this was my first big show I've attended since last year's ANA, so it was fun to look at so many coins. My research/collecting interests have shifted a bit in the last year or so to early American contemporary counterfeits of the Bust and Seated type (including gold) - otherwise known as the first 100 years of Federal coinage (1792 - 1891). I acquired about 40 contemporary counterfeit new purchases at the show, which was quite an unexpected but pleasant surprise. I saw some truly fantastic coins on the bourse floor as well as at lot viewing. I briefly attended the auctions on Thursday night to see a couple coins sell for $1m+. And I had one of my most enjoyable shows in quite a while. This hobby really has some great people in it who just enjoy sharing their knowledge and interest in numismatics.

Winston Zack

Next, a report from the owner of the "Easton Collection"

My ANA experience this past week was one of the best – I really can’t remember a better ANA. I start on the negative side – The distribution of the Kennedy coins were a disaster-  in that a lot of non-collectors were lined up outside the show at 3pm the day before, by 8pm the line was over 100 people long and by the next day it must have been over 1,500 people long – though I never took a head count. Really never felt their presence at the show as they were never “on the bourse Floor” – they entered through a separate entrance.

On a more positive note – David Perkins auctioned off some really special, great looking and rare bust half dimes – I wasn’t able to pass these coins up so I got several for my collection – Thank you and Great Job – David!

The JRCS meeting was very well attended. In the beginning of the meeting, each one of us introduced ourselves, and two very cool things happened worthy of pointing out – John McCloskey was there and stated his resume – Past president of JRCS, one of the authors of the Early US dime book and bust half dime book.... a really WOW experience having him in the room – I did get a chance to speak with him on the bourse floor and boy oh boy he is brilliant! Besides that, in attendance was a 11 year long boy who introduced himself and indicated that he collects busf halves by Overton and he wants to learn as much as possible and hear stories about Julius Reiver.  Afterward, I spoke to him and he has a great knowledge of bust halves – a future hall of famer IMHO! I saw several members speaking with him telling him stories about Reiver and asking questions about Overton die marriages – I think he got all the questions right!

David Finkelstein's lecture was very interesting about learning about the early stages of the US mint.

On the bourse floor- Sheridan Downing conducted one of his sealed bid auctions and it had a lot of great coins and I had to pick one up- I bid somewhat aggressively for a 1819/8 bust half O 102 in AU55. The coin is really great looking and it was worth the bid – great looking coin and happy to get this one.

I attended one forum with David Bowers, Harvey and Larry Stack talking about collecting in the “good Old Days.” They identified several very interesting differences between the newer collectors and “older” collectors:   that collectors tended to collect and hold many different series and sold much later on in the lives – sometimes holding on to their collection for over 30 years and longer – Eliasberg, Norweb and Garrett for example. The newer collectors tend to complete a series to its completion – say 3 to 4 years or so, enjoy it for a year then sell and go on to the next series. One reason is their interest in collecting other series that may interest them.  

A dear collector friend of mine that is a member of the JRCS was able to cherry pick a rare die marriage for my bust dime collection and that was really special! Not many people would do that and I would like to thank him for this – we agreed to keep this die marriage and name quiet at this time.

Lastly, I would like to thank PCGS for presenting to me a 2014 top classic set award for my bust dimes registry set.

Many reasons why we should be attending these great shows  - thank you to everyone that I met and spoke to for making this experience the best!

Easton Collection

Editor's Note:  We will be waiting to hear about that bust dime cherry pick…at least the die marriage and grade!  Thanks for sharing.

Our final contribution for this issue comes from Steve Gupta:

Fred Lake is offering copies of Early United States Dimes:  1796-1837 (Lot C41) and Federal Half Dimes:  1792-1837 (Lot C58) in his 119th mail bid sale (  These books have been invaluable to me as I have begun my studies of this series in particular and early silver coinage in general.

I have had the recent good fortune of acquiring a plate coin from Federal Half Dimes.  With some diligence a plate coin from Early United States Dimes may one day be in my collection.

Steve Gupta
JRCS #1425

Editor's closing note:  I had the pleasure of being in Rosemont from Monday through Saturday of the ANA.  I helped both Rich Uhrich ( and W. David Perkins as a table assistant, plus had a day mostly on my own to wander about the bourse.  I will share more on my experiences in a future issue of the JR Newsletter and will soon begin to write an article for the John Reich Journal about the Perkins Sealed Bid Auction for Capped Bust Half Dimes.  Suffice to say, helping both dealers was a blast!