Sunday, January 24, 2016

JR Newsletter: 24 January 2016 (277)

David Finkelstein wrote with a correction from last week:

A few astute readers noticed that I mentioned the charter year for the Bank of Massachusetts at two locations within my article.  At the first location, I stated that the bank was chartered in 1784.  At the second location, I stated that the bank was chartered in 1790.  The Bank of Massachusetts was chartered in 1784.  Here is a revised article that contains the correct information:


Jeff Tryka wrote:

Regarding Brad's note a few weeks ago, "Has rarity lost it's luster," it seems that some folks have a somewhat binary view of collectors, e.g. you either collect for completeness by variety, or you collect for high-grade certified coins.  My sense is that as collectors we each collect for a variety of reasons that may not fall strictly into one category or another.  For me, I collect bust halves in a way that other collectors might approach fine art.  I look at lots of coins and end up going after the ones that speak to me in one way or another.  In some cases it's an interesting die marriage (which may also be a rarity) or perhaps a variety with interesting clash marks.  I also love beautifully toned coins, particularly those with a halo of album toning that could only come from years of storage of what was most likely a cleaned coin.  Sometimes it's an interesting counterstamp that adds to the historical aspects of the coin's story.

As for looking for rare varieties, I love to do it!  That's part of the treasure hunt aspect of collecting such an interesting series.  For me, that means that I'm not likely to be the one at auction bidding up the price of an R-5 variety, but I will certainly be one scouring the bourse floor for those undiscovered gems lying in a dealer case.  Is that a sign that rarity has lost its luster?  I suppose, but only if by luster you mean a willingness to pay for rarity.  I think there are many of us still out there looking for interesting die marriages that are still inclined to buy a variety of grades and conditions, whether VF or F, cleaned, damaged, etc.

Rarity still has it's place, but it's just not as simple as an all-or-none proposition as some might think.

Jeff Tryka

Gawain O'Connor wrote:

I enjoyed W. David Perkins' Quick Trip through the ANA's new "The Numismatist" Archives in the December John Reich Journal. After seeing Nos. 4 and 5 about the Beistle book, I thought I would check my copy which I bought from an ANA library sale years ago.

It has a label from A. Kosoff inside the front cover and a sticker on the inside back cover. Does the sticker indicate it was donated? My guess is that he still had the Beistle book in stock and donated leftovers to the ANA after the Overton book came out.

Gawain O'Connor


Nathan Markowitz wrote:

The Early American Copper convention will be held at the downtown Westin Hotel in Charlotte, NC April 7-10, 2016.  All members of JRCS are welcome to attend.  There is no charge for the show.  This is the weekend after the spring Baltimore show.

I serve as educational coordinator and this year we will have a wide range of topics, ranging from federal copper to colonials to general numismatic topics.  The final program will be published soon.

Last year there was a small silver "happenings" where early federal silver was displayed.  This year's convention chairman, John Kraljevich, has specifically invited and encouraged a return to a broader display of early silver at the traditional Thursday evening happenings.  I have volunteered to coordinate this effort.  Two foci of display have already been suggested:

- Quarters:  1819 B-4 with its myriad of die states/stages
- Early counterstamps

If you have any suggestions in the other silver denominations please contact me via email at  cascades1787(at)

The main criteria for a die marriage is to ensure that several will show up for comparison; grade is not important.

Nathan Markowitz

Rich Uhrich wrote:

We had a great FUN show, and we now have a very rare coin for sale:  an 1803 JR-5 dime.  This die variety was discovered by Ed Price, and there are currently 4 known specimens of 1803 JR-5.  Our coin (the discovery specimen) is XF details, environmental damage, and is pictured in the Bust Dime Variety Identification Guide, page 29.

Best wishes,

(Editor's note:  Ed Price is a member of the JRCS Hall of Fame.  Also, you can view the 1803 JR-5 dime here: .  Rich Uhrich's image of the coin is below)