First, David Finkelstein has an excellent original article, "The First Depositors of Silver & Gold – Part 1." After you read the article, you will likely try to learn more about the American Philosophical Society (I know I did). You may view David's work by clicking this link: https://gallery.mailchimp.com/74a0e3c37d154d935bdeb2daf/files/DJF_Mint_Depositors_P1.pdf
In response to our "empty newsletter" of last week, we received this from the originator of the JR News, Bill Luebke:
Dick Kurtz wrote with a response to an inquiry posed by Brad Karoleff:
In this venue and in Volume 25-3 of the “John Reich Journal”, Brad Karoleff asks the following question which, in my opinion, is both timely and appropriate: “Has rarity lost its luster?” With today’s emphasis on quality, one wonders if completion of a variety set of any denomination is no longer the goal.
Visiting Canada with French friends in 1984, I crossed the border to spend one day at the ANA show in Detroit. Attending the BHNC open meeting, I expressed my interest in becoming a member. On the way in, the first dealer table I saw had a 2x2 marked “1824/1” and “$45.” Taking a look, it was a VF30 O.102, today an R-5+. It turned out that $45 was the dealer’s cost, and he wanted $50. Sold! Everyone at the meeting who saw the coin wanted to buy it. Would today’s members, especially newer ones, be excited by that find? How about a year or so later, when I purchased a VF30 1814 single leaf and a VF20 1830 O.114 (with light scratches) from a dealer for $65 total? I suspect that many would not want either, especially the ’30.
Looking back at the sales of the Reiver and Whitham collections, some of their halves ended up in “details” holders. Acquiring the variety was king in those days, with 3rd party grading in its infancy, and 4th party opinions (CAC stickers) not coming on the scene for decades. Certainly those respected collectors wanted the highest grade that they could find (and afford), but they wouldn’t turn up their noses at a rarity because it wasn’t a high grade, had “problems”, or wouldn’t end up in a stickered slab.
I’ve seen many changes in the numismatic scene over the years. As a nearly 10 year old, I received my first bust halves from my grandmother in 1945, and purchased bust halves for the first time at a Bowers & Ruddy (Empire Coin Company) auction in 1962. To me, the biggest change ever is rarity losing its luster, with PCGS and (to a lesser degree) NGC dominating the hobby. If I were 10 years old today, I wouldn’t get involved with coins unless Daddy Warbucks was my grandpa.
Richard Kurtz, JRCS 049; BHNC 052
Finally, we have this contribution from Jim Matthews. Jim offers some thoughts upon the close of Part 1 of the sale of the Kirk Gorman collection of Capped Bust Dimes:
The auction of Part I of the Kirk Gorman Collection is now history. While Capped Bust Dime collectors had a rare chance of securing rarities for their collections, everyone knew this sale would be a challenge and prices would be strong for both coins of high condition and the rare varieties. The Gorman Collection was formed over the past two decades, and like most collectors, Kirk was able to obtain a mix of high grade coins along with some key rarities to this series. While many collectors are striving for a complete collection (or nearly so other than the ultra rare 1827 JR-14 with 2 examples currently known), the balance of the collection is sort of obtainable, as many of the previously R-7 or R-6 varieties have turned up in sufficient numbers that most can be obtained over time. There had been a flurry of great dime collections offered from the Russell Logan Collection (2002), the Harmon Collection (2005) and the Jules Reiver Collection (2006) offered in the past decade. Then the supply went silent for some time, and it was not until the David J. Davis Collection was auctioned a few years ago that a truly memorable dime variety collection was available.
The initial offering by W. David Perkins of the Kirk Gorman Collection was done in two parts. Some of the coins were offered at Fixed Prices and others were sold in a Sealed Bid sale at one increment over the second highest bid. While there were many highlights, it is significant to note that all the Sealed Bid coins from the Gorman Collection were sold. In the past when great collections have been auctioned, I am always amazed at the rarities and how strong the prices are, yet the more plentiful issues seem to go for reasonable levels, sometimes bargains in fact! In the end the final results are always enlightening.
Highlights of the Gorman Collection include these rarities:
1820 JR-5, R-4, PCGS MS62 $3,795. Condition rarity, always a winning combination
1820 JR-12, R-5+, PCGS AU53 $14,779. - a coin with great color and surfaces--and high condition census!
1824/2 JR-1, R-1, PCGS AU53 $3,542. Fantastic color toning on this tough high grade issue, with lots of disappointed under-bidders here.
1825 JR-5, R-4, PCGS MS61 $5,094. This coin had previously been NGC MS64 and will likely upgrade, great color and surfaces on a tough variety!
1833 JR-7, R-4+, PCGS MS62 $11,500. Condition Rarity and handsome color--a winning combination again.
1837 JR-1, R-4-, PCGS MS62 $3,928. Here again, a tough coin to find in Mint State, or high grade at all, with many collectors seeking such an example.
Part II of the Kirk Gorman Collection will by offered by W. David Perkins at ANA show this summer, with some coins in the Fixed Price List and the balance in the Sealed Bid Auction. I'm sure everyone will be looking forward to that session where even more rarities and condition quality coins will be available. Highlights include the 1821 JR-2 and 1827 JR-2 and many others.
While cataloging Part I of the Gorman Collection, it was a great pleasure to see the consistent quality of the coins. Kirk really has an eye for quality, and often found coins with vivid colorful toning. These coins offer the greatest eye candy imaginable and often sell for far more than more typical silver-gray examples. One need look no further than his 1824 JR-1 dime that just sold, several collectors placed bids, and that coin sold for much more than expected (as did several others!), simply because the colors were so fantastic. Simply put, once a coin like that is secured, there is never a need to replace it, and no collector ever gets tired of looking at something so beautiful! So, stay tuned for the next offering of Part II of the Kirk Gorman Collection.