Monday, September 7, 2015

JR Newsletter: 7 September 2015 (257)

David Finkelstein starts this week's JR Newsletter off with an original contribution, "Albion Cox’s Surety Bond"


David Perkins wrote with news and a photo:

1799 B-10, BB-163 Dollar with Shattered Reverse

 On Wednesday of this week I had the opportunity to view an “old time” Type Collection of 18th through 20 th Century U.S. Coins.  Most of the coins in this collection were raw, and all were very nice.  The collection was started by the collector’s father, probably between 1920 and 1940.  His father had a great eye.

The early U.S. silver dollar type coins consisted simply of a 1795 Flowing Hair Dollar and a 1799 Draped Bust, Heraldic Eagle Dollar, and were both raw and stored in old Kraft type 2X2 envelopes.  

 As I turned over the 1799 Dollar to view the reverse my immediate reaction was “WOW!” This specimen was struck from a shattered reverse die, Bowers Die State IV or slightly later.  The photo does not do the coin justice – the myriad of die cracks literally jumped out at me, even without a glass.  Here is the description of Bowers Die State IV (from the QDB  silver dollar book):

 Die State IV.  Obverse crack extends to outside ray of star 10.  On reverse, additional cracks develop: Vertically from border through O, between clouds 7 and 8, toward eagle’s head, splits, and branch goes left through a star.  Crack from wing, through right ribbon end, into field to left of branch end.  Crack from branch to eagle’s let to tail.  Crack from interior of branch upward to below ER.  Crack from top of A, down through TES, to cloud 5, splits, two cracks go down and to the left, and one goes to right. The die could not have survived long beyond this point.  Rare die state.

I love late die states!  This one is spectacular.

The reverse die for 1799 B-10, BB-163 was only used once, to create this die marriage.  On the other hand, this was the fifth use of the obverse die, which was used in creating a total of six 1799 dated die marriages! 
I was also reminded of the pleasure of viewing and handling a large 200 plus year old coin outside of holder.  In this case, I enjoyed viewing many coins not in holders in this old time collection. 

W. David Perkins
Centennial, CO

(if you click on this photo, it will open a larger version)


Finally, Dick Kurtz wrote:

Mention was made at the JRCS meeting at the recent ANA show that future census surveys will revert to the "15 top collections" format. Apparently someone (more than one?) was so incensed at Steve Crain's approach that he/she threatened to quit our organization. Wow! For me, I thought Steve's change, that is listing the totals in multiple grades, was a step in the right direction. Am I alone in my approval of the new approach? I can live with either format, but like the new one best.

Also, a word about the 1815 half dollar article. I believed for a long time that the overdate was actually a 15 over an inverted 5, but the authors proved that not to be the case. I'm looking forward to the follow-on article.

Dick Kurtz, 049