Sunday, January 18, 2015

JR Newsletter: 18 January 2015 (224)

This "post-FUN" edition of the JR Newsletter is chock-full of interesting stories, revelations, and opinions about coins.  I'm sure you will find it enjoyable!

Matt Lenore wrote:

I was speaking with Lance Keigwin recently about the 1809 O108a half. It has a series of "embossed segments" as he notes them on the reverse, caused by something damaging the die during the minting process. Apparently it's unknown what the culprit was, but it's thought to be some sort of tool. The coin is seen here:

When I saw it, it reminded me of some strange marks on the reverse of the 1806 B7 quarter, seen here:

Both sets of marks have the same basic shape, and radiate in a gentle semicircle. I see particular similarity between the small marks at the base of the eagle's wing on the 1809 half and the marks on the 1806 quarter.

The coins were only struck 3 years apart, and so presumably whatever damaged the quarter was still part of the minting process when the half was produced. Does anyone have a guess as to what made these marks? Are there other coins with these "embossed segments"? Or is this just coincidental and similar marking, with different causes?

Photo credits to Lance Keigwin.


Editor's Note:  The photos that Matt discussed have been placed below for ease of viewing.  The links above, however, will provide obverse pictures also.


Steve Crain wrote:

As the Secretary of the JRCS, I wish to thank those members who have dutifully mailed their 2015 annual dues payments, to ensure that they will continue to receive their copies of the John Reich Journal. The dues notice, which was included in Volume 24, Issue 3 of the John Reich Journal, was mailed to you in December, and all current members should have received one. We requested that dues be paid before January 31, which is just two weeks away. Many of you have already mailed your dues payment, and to those members I offer my sincere thank you, but several have procrastinated, so this is a friendly reminder to send that payment before January 31.

I also wish to thank the several members who thoughtfully included a friendly note of thanks, and even a holiday wish or two, which are very much appreciated. Most members included the bottom portion of the payment notice; some even filled it out. Many members included their membership number which is printed on your address label, making the record-keeping so much easier, but some did not. Most members even made their dues checks payable to the 'John Reich Collectors Society', but a few of you insist upon making your checks payable to me, personally, for which I am most appreciative. I am thinking of using those payments to add a nice half dime to my collection just to make a point. And to those of you who always ask, I am making a concerted effort to expedite deposit of your dues checks so that they will clear your bank in a timely manner.

If you have moved or have a different mailing address for any reason, please notify me either by mail at the JRCS PO Box, or via email at mrhalfdime(at), so that we can get your copies of the journal to you. We consistently have several JR Journals returned by the USPS, listed as "Return as Undeliverable". And if you are a Life Member of the JRCS, please ignore your dues notice, as no payment is due.

Stephen A. Crain - Secretary
John Reich Collectors Society
P. O. Box 1680
Windham, ME 04062

Steve Gupta wrote with his report from the FUN Show:

2015 Orlando F.U.N.

It was with great excitement and some trepidation that I had the opportunity to attend my first major coin show in Orlando.  The local shows in my area are a lot of fun, but in no way did they prepare me for what I was to encounter.  My goal was to meet some like-minded collectors and hopefully find some nice Capped Bust Dimes.  Going into the show I only had 10 coins of the series so there are plenty of holes to fill.

During my pre-planning, I contacted W. David Perkins who suggested several dealers who may be able to help me on my quest.  This fortunately whittled the bourse down from over 1000 dealers to around 20.  I did bring my early dime book and some notes.  I would have benefited from bringing a copy of the latest JRCS dime census.  It is a lesson learned for next time.

Compared to my local show, the floor was a zoo.  With map in hand, I started stopping by dealers in geographical order.  It was remarkably difficult to pass case after case of beautiful coins and stay focused.  Everybody was very friendly despite being extremely busy.  Brad Karoleff even made the incredible gesture of calling his friend Charlie to come by as he correctly figured we would enjoy talking about capped bust dime collecting. 

I am slowly building a numismatic library and have a few of the key references.  Through Charlie I learned the importance of past auction catalogs.  I was familiar with Newman, Logan and Lovejoy, but now I need to strongly consider tracking down the Davis and Subjack sales.

I still have mixed feelings on partnering with dealers and creating want lists.  While this is certainly efficient and would improve my chances of finding the right coin that would otherwise be sold in a private sale, it is fun to walk around, see what is available, identify die variety and hem-haw on price, grade, etc.  Going forward, I will probably do a little bit of both.

After my preview of the bourse and conversations with very knowledgeable dealers and collectors, I had a stack of business cards and a running checklist of about a dozen dimes that would fit nicely in my collection.  I narrowed the list down to an 1830 10c, 1834 10c and an 1835 10c.  Unfortunately cash on hand dictated that I pick one.  Usually, I am excited to find a couple of coins a year that I really like.  Now I had three on the same floor.  All three had original surfaces and were in AU condition.  I verified that they were all R1 or R2 varieties. 
On an amazing coincidence, I passed on an 1833 10c JR-8 (R5) as I purchased one from the exact same dealer a couple of years earlier.  This one was in XF45, but I was not ready to upgrade my XF40.

Another lesson learned is that I need to come up with a better note taking system.  I was walking 100 yards between very patient dealers and asking to look at the coins again.  I now have a good excuse to come up with a color abbreviation sheet/visual guide so that I can note toning as being medium gray, silver gray, blue, orange, red, reddish orange, gold, etc.  I do pretty good with noting marks and die state, but the color eludes me.  Describing luster is another challenge.  I see it and appreciate it, but am pressed to describe it.

At the end of the day, I was sucked in by the Colonel Green pedigree on the 1835 10c JR-3 (R2).  The toning was much richer than I have gone for in the past, but I connected with the coin in a way that I did not with the other two coins that had a more medium gray to silver gray toning.  Fortunately, I was able to strike a deal on the coin I had my heart set on.

As an added bonus, I was able to attend the show with my Dad, who introduced me to the hobby.  Although we say we will meet at a coin show together once a year, it does not happen too often.  His budget and collecting interests are different from mine.  That is a good thing, as it allowed me to peruse some auction lots with him and learn about Liberty Seated coinage.  The next major show I attend, I will definitely set aside a couple of hours to look at auction lots.  This is an opportunity not to be squandered.

Finally the show had some great exhibits.  I was very impressed by the young numismatist exhibits.  When I was their age, I would struggle to put together collages for class projects.  These kids are researching and putting together thoughtful exhibits solely on the joy of collecting.

The owner of the "Easton Collection" sent his FUN Show report too:
It was my Mom’s 85th Birthday the week of FUN and she lives in Florida. Great excuse leaving NYC to attend FUN and see mom. Doesn’t get any better than that - and both Mom and FUN lived up to my highest expectation!

I stayed at FUN from Wednesday to Friday night – here are a few notes from my experience:

On Wednesday, I was able to do Heritage lot viewing to see the bust dimes and quarters. Very glad I did as I didn’t like any of them except the 1818 B-9 quarter (with clash marks) in VF condition. That was CAC’d and I always wanted a B-9 in VF or better condition and this is a great example. I asked a dealer for his thoughts about the coin (he liked it) and I wanted him to represent me in the auction. He got it at the high end of my price range. Boy oh boy, I was thrilled to get it. The under bidder was a friend of mine and when I mentioned that I won the B-9 to him, he mentioned to me that he acquired a B-9 in AU after the auction. We were both thrilled for each other as we got what we wanted! I never had been to a show where there were 2 high grade B-9s for sale. We both were winners!

On Thursday, Stacks-Bowers displayed the Pogue coins. They displayed the coins that they are auctioning off in May 2015. They are the draped and capped bust half dimes, draped bust dimes, draped and capped bust quarters, bust halves and the draped and bust half eagles. Prior to putting them into the showcases, I was personally able to hold and inspect each and every coin being offered! I sat with them and spent about 2 hours inspecting each of the Pogue coins. Some quick comments – the Pogue’s draped and capped bust quarters are so far superior to any other draped and capped quarters collection that I ever viewed. All of these quarters are originally and fantastically toned examples- most of them made my heart stop in amazement. Also, the draped bust dimes are simply amazing. I met Jimmy Hayes who sold the 1796 dime to the Pogues when viewing dime. The 1808 quarter eagle – again amazing. There were about 128 lots and if only one of these coins were offered in auction than that coin would be an auction highlight!  Every coin is a highlight! Great speculation with dealers and collectors on what kind of prices these coins will realize for the best of the best. I am going to Sotheby’s in NYC today to view the Pogue collection again and they will be displaying more Pogue coins including one of the 1804 dollars, an 1822 half eagle and other rarities being offered in November 2015. I will write more about the Pogue coins in a future write-up. Even if you can’t afford these coins, make sure that you look at them carefully because we will never see such a group of coins like this offered in our lifetime. By the way – I heard that Stack's will be displaying the Pogue coins in Long Beach.

On Thursday night, I was walking around the floor and one dealer with modern coins had an 1827 dime in his case. It was a JR-11 graded AU58 with the Eliasberg provenance and it was CAC’d. I asked him to look at it and I noted that this coin was offered last year in a Heritage auction. He offered it to me for a little more than half the price it sold for last year- it was a no-brainer to buy this coin, so I did. Good news, I didn’t have this die marriage yet, so I was thrilled. Also, I was able to acquire a very rare California fractional gold coin that has eluded me for over 10 years.

On Friday, I attended the JRCS meeting and there were 30 to 40 members and guests in attendance. Great seeing and speaking to those in attendance. I will leave others to report more on this meeting.

 Also, on Friday, Rich Uhrich acquired an 1828 large date bust dime in MS-63. This die marriage in mint state has eluded me for over 10 years. When offered to me I considered it mine immediately. Great example and thanks Rich for making my show! 

 My final thoughts from the show – Mom is doing great and happy 85th B’day!  While the internet is great for coin buying, there is no substitute for great relationships with dealers and other coin friends.  I missed the horrible cold weather that week in NY while I was in sunny Florida.  The Partrick coins (including the 1792 patterns) are awesome! There may have been talk about the lack of quality material out there, but it seemed with a little work and some hunting on the floor, quality was out there and priced to sell.  Thank you to my friends at Stack's for the time with the Pogue coins.  There were a lot more coins I wished to acquire, but there is only so much I can do at a show. Thank you for all those that said hello and added to my enjoyment to the show. 

Easton Collection

Finally, a request from Richard Meaney:

If you have an 1835 LM-5.1 Capped Bust Half Dime, I am interested in hearing from you.  I have recently found a few so-called 1835 LM-5.1 half dimes that are misattributed, including one in my collection.  These half dimes showed die cracks from the rim to the top of S2, one or more cracks between E2 and S2, and/or full or partial cracks from S2 to the scroll (any of these cracks make the coin an LM-5.2).  Granted, it takes CLOSE EXAMINATION to see these cracks on some coins.  I ask collectors who have the 1835 LM-5.1 remarriage to take a close look at the coin and see if any of these die cracks are present.  Good light and good magnification are a must.  What I am finding is that fine die cracks are frequently present on coins that had been categorized as LM-5.1, typically because the die cracks are so tiny that they escape view if one is not intently looking for them.  Yes, half dollar collectors are getting a chuckle here…I'm asking people to look for "tiny die cracks on tiny coins" and life would be easier if I just collected "real coins" – right? 

If collectors would do this and contact me, I would greatly appreciate it.  I would be happy to inspect the coins for you if you wish (send me an email and we can coordinate).  If you have quality images of your coin(s) and would like to share, that would be great too.

I am working on two articles for the John Reich Journal:  one is a general article on rarity of specific die remarriages and the other is focused on the 1835 LM-5 remarriages.  I expect the former article to be completed first.  It will be only with your assistance that I can thoroughly complete the second article.  You may contact me by replying to the email version of the JR Newsletter or writing to me at jrnewsletter(at)

Thank you,