Sunday, September 14, 2014

JR Newsletter: 14 September 2014 (206)

We have another week of excellent contributions for this issue of the JR Newsletter.  First, I want to correct the source of the contribution from last week about the National Battlefield Coin Show.  The information came from Paul Kluth, not Paul Hybert.

With that lead-in, we have something THIS WEEK from Paul Hybert:

The Pennsylvania announcement attributed to me in the last issue reminded me of some announcements I should have made last week.  The autumn Illinois club meeting was held late this past week in south suburban Chicago, and Wednesday night's meeting of the Chicago Coin Club featured a presentation by Lawrence J. Lee on coins recovered in archaeological digs at the site of Fort Atkinson (1820-1827).  The site is at the northern edge of the modern greater-Omaha urban area, west of the Missouri River.  During the presentation we saw some of the few
complete and cut Bust Halves that were found -- examples of complete and cut Spanish Colonial were much more common.  We were told that a soldier's pay was $5 per month, paid as ten half dollars; hundreds of soldiers were stationed at the fort, so many nice halves entered the local economy, either whole or in pieces.  I believe 130 coins have been found so far.

Look for a book by Lawrence J Lee, titled The Coins of Fort Atkinson, later in 2014.  It should cover details from the recent digs, photos from a reconstructed fort, as well as original records that were referenced (I think he mentioned that one year of records from the fort's sutler are known).  From the photos shown in the presentation, I attribute two 1817 halves as O-111 and O-112, which are common R1 and R2.  I do not have the dime book handy, so the one found dime, dated 1821, remains unattributed -- also, only the obverse was pictured, probably making attribution more difficult.

Paul Hybert

Editor's note:  To save many the trouble of looking it up, here's a definition of sutler:  a civilian provisioner to an army post often with a shop on the post
Next, a timely contribution from Garrett Ziss that you will enjoy:

On November 10, 2013, I visited Ft. McHenry after attending the Baltimore Whitman show the day before.  During our tour, they mentioned that the cannon fire from the September 13/14, 1814 Battle of Ft. McHenry, could be heard all the way to Philadelphia.  Of course, I immediately thought of the Mint striking Bust Halves while the employees wondered if our country would survive.  I did not yet own an 1814 Capped Bust half dollar, but made it a goal to purchase one sometime in 2014 during the 200th Anniversary of the coin and the Star-Spangled Banner.  I looked high and low for one in my price range, especially at the ANA in Chicago.  I really liked a couple of the 1814's that Mr. Downey had in his Mail Bid auction, but they were out of my league.  Today (September 13), the day before the 200th Anniversary of the Star-Spangled Banner, I purchased an 1814 Bust Half at a coin show in Lancaster, PA. It is only a VF O-103 (R1), but it's a nice looking coin. 

As soon as I got home with the coin, I looked up the emission sequence for 1814 Bust Halves. The O-103 is the next to last die marriage listed for 1814 out of a total of 9 die marriages.  So, I think it's possible that it could have been struck during the time of the Battle of Ft. McHenry.  September 14, 1814 was a Wednesday, so the Mint was in operation that day.  My question to Bust Half experts is, if the information on the Mint delivery warrants is known for that year, is it possible to definitively tell what die marriage was being made on September 13/14, 1814? 

Visiting Ft. McHenry is very patriotic and moving, so I hope that anyone who visits Baltimore will stop by at Ft. McHenry.  Also, if you have a chance today, take a few minutes to sing the Star-Spangled Banner to celebrate it's 200th Anniversary.

Garrett Ziss (JRCS 1465)

Winston Zack made the following inquiry:

I am trying to remember the term/phrase used to describe the idea, or practice, whereby the Mint would produce an initial set number of dies for each year's anticipated coin production.

I hope my description is helpful enough to get the correct response.

I remember, or at least am 98% certain, that, David Finkelstein gave a presentation a couple years back conveying such a term, and he might know the answer to my question.


Peter Mosiondz, Jr. wrote to offer these items to readers of the JR Newsletter:

The Expert’s Guide to Collecting and Investing in Rare Coins, Q. David Bowers. Hardbound. DJ in Mylar®. New. $12.00

 Coins and Collectors, Q. David Bowers. Softbound. New. $8.00

 Abe Kosoff: Dean of Numismatics, Q. David Bowers. Softbound. New. $12.00

 Whitman Blue Slab Storage Box. The dividers secure each slab snuggly in the allotted space. Top and bottom interior flocking keeps the slabs from rattling. Holds 20 slabs. Retail Price: $12.95 each. I have one lot of 10 new slab boxes to offer at $49.00

 Payment by check. Add $3.00 postage on all orders.

Peter Mosiondz, Jr.
26 Cameron Circle
Laurel Springs, NJ 08021-4861
Phone: 856-627-6865
E-Mail: choochoopete(at)
Please call or e-mail to confirm availability prior to mailing your check.