Sunday, December 31, 2017

JR Newsletter: 31 December 2017 (376)

David Kahn wrote with a quick reminder about FUN:

Just a quick reminder to see David Kahn Rare Coins early at FUN show table #235.  We are literally loaded for bear!  Do you happen to need almost any rare Capped Bust half dollar variety?  We have them.  Not just R6's like 1817-104a, 1823-113, 1837-137 and 1831-120, but we also have a PCGS AU 1836-121, and an AU OGH 1827-137 and many, many others from the Montross and Hill Top collections.  Perhaps you like other early series?  How about a lovely, PCGS XF45 1804 $5, Small 8 over Large 8, BD-5, R6+?  Maybe what you really need is an affordable, PCGS graded 1831 B7, R5+ quarter, or a lovely PCGS F15 CAC 1802 JR-4 dime, or an incredibly pleasing, smooth, chocolate brown 1786 Vermontensium copper, PCGS XF45, or a magnificent, PCGS AU58 CAC 1927-S Walker?   Point is, we have a huge selection of just about everything.  Every coin noted here is in our Newps, and will be offered for the first time at FUN, along with our other 250 or so Newps.  Plus, we will have 50 copies of the Second printing of Dick Graham's, "A Register of Die Varieties of Reeded Edge Half Dollars, 1836-1839".  We look forward to seeing you soon!  Happy New Year to all, and travel safe.


From the editor:  Sounds like I'm going to miss a great FUN show.  Not only does David Kahn have a lot to offer, but I have seen/heard/read about others who would be "for sure visits" at the show.  Sheridan Downey has an auction for half dollars, David Perkins is sharing a table with Gerry Fortin, Rich Uhrich has a table and Reeded Edge Half Dollar expert and author Dick Graham will be working with him at the table.  The JRCS has a meeting on Friday at 8:30, with the BHNC following in the same room at 9:45.  The FUN show is always a good experience.  The show packs a lot of numismatic joy into a few short days!  I do hope those of you who attend the show take some time to share some of your experiences with other readers of the JR Newsletter.  Richard

Sunday, December 24, 2017

JR Newsletter: 24 December 2017 (375)

David Kahn wrote with a pre-FUN teaser:

A number interesting things will be offered by David Kahn Rare Coins at the upcoming FUN show in Tampa.  As a very quick summary of the highlights, you will find:
  • Selections from the Montross Collection of Early half dollars, 1794-1836.  This collection includes nearly 500 coins, all slabbed, with most Capped Bust being PCGS AU58.
  • Selections from the Hill Top Collection of Early half dollars, 1805-1839-O.  A wonderful array of collector coins, about half raw and half slabbed, including very rare varieties and quite a few Overton Plate coins and duplicates from the Overton collection.  
  • Copies of the Second printing of Dick Graham's book on the Reeded Edge half dollar series.  The First printing sold out quickly after its 2012 release, and copies have been hard to come by ever since.  Dick will even be doing a quick signing session at our table.
  • Our regular inventory, which is already heavy in Bust and Seated material in all denominations, and is available on our website right now.
  • Nearly 200 Newps in all series, including Bust and Seated halves from the Fairfax Collection, Early Walkers from the Stoney Brook Collection, one cent patterns from a very important collection, choice AU Barber half duplicates from the #1 Everyman registry set and lots of other cool stuff!
All of the above and more will be available at our table, #235.  Please see us early!  For more information or to check out our website, see our latest monthly newsletter here.
All the best to everyone for a happy and healthy holiday season.  Hope to see you in Tampa!

Editor's note:  Wish I could go!

Sunday, December 17, 2017

JR Newsletter: 17 December 2017 (374)

We have two contributions this week.  First, from Glenn Peterson:

Hello JRCS members,

    I am greatly looking forward the the FUN show January 4-7 and wanted to invite members to attend the John Reich Collectors Society meeting Friday January 5th at 8:30 in room 9 of the convention center. We are having an excellent speaker and collector of bust half dimes and bust halves, Jeff Friedman. He will speak about cuds on bust coinage. 

After his presentation I expect a lively discussion about CUDs how they are defined and how they develop. After the meeting please stay for the Bust Half Nut Club in the same room at 9:45 AM. We have moved up the BHNC meeting time to we can get back to the bourse or to the PCGS luncheon on time. At the BHNC meeting we will have guest speaker, Tim Osborne, advanced collector of bust half dollars.  He will speak about major auctions he has visited and maybe have some humorous stories about legendary numismatists. SO PLEASE ATTEND BOTH OF THE MEETINGS AND VISIT WITH YOUR COLLECTING FRIENDS!

Glenn Peterson MD, JRCS/BHNC

Brad Karoleff wrote:

The latest issue of the John Reich Journal is in the mail!
The issue was posted Saturday the 16th.  If you do not have yours by the end of the month please email me at bkaroleff(at) and I will send you a replacement issue.

Remember, if you receive a green renewal notice in with your journal please send David a check to continue your membership.

There is also your ballot for the Jules Reiver Literary Award included with this issue.  Please vote for your favorite articles from the last volume.  The winner will be announced at the ANA convention this August.

Happy Holidays to all.  See you at FUN.


A reminder from the editor of the JR Newsletter:

If you wish to correspond with the editor, please write to jrnewsletter(at) or use my email address on the inside front cover of the JR Journal.  Please do not use the email address as it is no longer valid.

Richard Meaney

Sunday, December 10, 2017

JR Newsletter: 10 December 2017 (373)

We received no contributions for this week's JR Newsletter.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

JR Newsletter: 3 December 2017 (372)

Pete Smith wrote:

Amato Book Addenda
John P. Amato wrote Numismatic Background and Census of 1802 Half Dimes. This was published by Heritage earlier this year. Amato identified 32 surviving examples of the 1802 half dime.

I have reviewed the book and written an Addenda that I will give to Heritage for their website. I want to give this to the John Reich Collectors Society for review before it goes to Heritage. This can be found on the Newman Numismatic Portal at

I believe that three of Amato’s listings represent duplicated items. I have also identified another seven pieces that may not be included in his listing.

Please help me to avoid publishing something that will make me look foolish. Send your comments to me petesmith1793(at)

Sunday, November 26, 2017

JR Newsletter: 26 November 2017 (371)

Garrett Ziss wrote:

I have some sad news to report this week. One of our long-time members, Robert Stark, passed away on November 18, 2017. In addition to being a JRCS member, Mr. Stark was also a member and Secretary of the Bust Dollar Club, which met from 1977 to 1980 at the home of its Chairman, Jules Reiver.  Bob Stark was also the Editor of the Bust Dollar Club’s newsletter, The Lettered Edge.  

Even though Bob Stark and I were both Wilmington Coin Club members, we didn’t officially meet until 3 years ago at David Perkins’ table at the Baltimore Whitman Expo.  I enjoyed listening to both of them discuss their shared passion for Early U.S. dollars. I am also fortunate to have obtained from Mr. Perkins, Mr. Stark’s copy of the Variety Identification Manual for United States Half Dimes, by Jules Reiver. The manual contains an inscription in the front cover that reads “To BOB STARKWITH THANKS FOR HIS ASSISTANCE, (signed) Jules Reiver 10/15/84.”  

After that initial meeting, Mr. Stark and I always got together to talk during social time at Wilmington Coin Club meetings.  Of course we usually discussed various Bust coin topics.  We also e-mailed from time to time, and our last correspondence was on August 17, 2017.  He wrote that he was happy to read in the JR Newsletter that I had met “a dear colleague of decades past, John McCloskey”, at the ANA World’s Fair of Money.   Mr. Stark went on to tell me that he recently gave slides from a presentation given by Mr. McCloskey many years ago, to a prominent Wilmington Coin Club member. This member has generously offered to show them to me, so I’m looking forward to seeing this piece of JRCS history. 

We actually have a Wilmington Coin Club Meeting this coming Tuesday (28th), so I’m sure various members will be sharing their memories of Mr. Stark. We will definitely miss seeing him at club meetings.

Garrett Ziss
JRCS #1465

Sunday, November 19, 2017

JR Newsletter: 19 November 2017 (370)

We are fortunate to have the family of Jim Matthews grace us with some words, video, and music this week.

Jim Matthews wrote:

The recent weeks have seen considerable numismatic activity in my world. I'm still catching up from Baltimore show of last weekend and the club show at LaVale, Maryland which happened to fall on the same weekend as the Whitman Baltimore show, but on Saturday and Sunday. I attended both by being in Baltimore from Wednesday through late Friday, then heading home late that night and off to set up early Saturday in LaVale, Maryland. Highlights of the shows for me were talking with many friends and keeping up as best I could with sales and purchases.

I want to note that Veteran's Day fell this year on Saturday, November 11, this being the 99th year since the famous Armistice Day which brought to an end the horrors of World War I on November 11 in 1918. While this massive conflict is known for being the first World War, involving countless nations and soldiers from many lands, the cessation of fighting was at last at hand in that November so long ago. World War I was so horrific in its nature and scope, that many truly believed it would be the "War to end all Wars" and the importance of the Armistice between the warring nations of that period soon became a National Holiday in America. A generation later, a new war broke out followed by others in seemingly rapid succession and the National Holiday known as "Armistice Day" was officially changed to "Veteran's Day" in honor of all those who have served in the various wars that have continued to this day. I have noticed a considerable number of coin dealers and collectors that I meet have military backgrounds in their careers. This is certainly a time that all citizens need to stop and say "thank you" the many who have served our nation fighting in wars that are often far away and in exceptionally difficult conditions. Numismatics would not be the hobby it is today without the massive support of our many veterans who return home and honor our nation by studying and collecting its coins!

On a side and numismatic note, in the fervor of the outbreak of long sought peace in our time in late 1918, the United States of America sought to commemorate the restoration of Peace in our land. So, in 1921, a new silver dollar was proposed, with design competition being awarded to Anthony de Francisci (a famous medalist) as a commemorative to the welcome the elusive peace that had finally arrived. Matching the difficulties of the Augustus Saint-Gaudens design of the High Relief $20 coin of 1907, de Francisci designed a High Relief silver dollar for 1921, of which just over 1 million were struck. The coining equipment and seasoned Mint staff balked at this challenging coin to strike up, and demanded a lower relief which could more easily be struck by the coining equipment. Thus in 1922 a lower relief was adopted and while lacking the robust features of the 1921 High Relief silver dollars, the elegance of de Francisci's concept continued in coinage. I just received a broad selection of Peace Silver Dollars in high grades, many of which offer CAC approval. While struck nearly a century after the coinage of John Reich, these coins offer similar challenges of finding clean surfaces, great eye appeal and high quality. I will have a dozen or more of these condition and key date rarities available at the FUN show in January sharing a table with Gerry Fortin and David Perkins. If you have ever considered collecting this series, or just want to learn about the amazing quality required for an MS64+ grade or MS66 then be sure to stop by and view these amazing coins.  



Jim’s wife, Gabriela Luschei, wrote the following:

A special note of appreciation for our vets and military folks out there:
On Veteran’s Day last weekend, at a coin show hosted by Jim Weir in the old firehall in La Vale, Maryland, I was impressed by how many of the people attending were wearing military caps, jackets, or patches representing every branch of the U.S. armed services. I enjoyed talking with these veterans (or families of veterans), many of whom served back in the day when soldiers were conscripted and nevertheless served our country with pride under very dangerous conditions.  It always strikes me that Armistice Day and Thanksgiving Day fall close together on the calendar, and while most of us much prefer peace over conflict, it is important to honor the people who have served in combat to keep our home shores safe and also to bring safety to other regions around the world.
         For all of you active duty military folks and vets out there, I wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving.  May you share the day with your family and loved ones, safe and sound, or return home safely to family and loved ones from wherever you are stationed now.
         The field of numismatics owes a lot to our armed forces because not only does the military represent a very large part of the coin collecting community, but these are people who fight to preserve our constitutional democracy and to uphold the values of our national republic so that the rest of us can continue to do what we do every day, whether caring for children at home, working in an office cubicle, protesting in the streets, or operating heavy machinery. None of us would have the freedom to do those things without a strong defense.

Thank you for your service doesn’t go far enough in acknowledging the training, the discipline, and the sacrifice that is required of our military personnel. But thank you nevertheless, for your years of service and for your commitment to our shared community values.
         As a person who has worked in immigrant education for a long time, mostly with newcomers who come to my class to learn English and study for their citizenship exams, I can tell you that the United States of America represents the gold standard for freedom and the protection of personal liberties around the world.  That is why so many people to strive to get here and why they are so, so proud to gain U.S. citizenship, which is not an easy process.
Last week, I purchased a huge cake with a U.S. flag on it to share with my students and it was such a hit (with other classes joining us) that I had to purchase a second cake with another U.S. flag on it it to share with another group of students the following day. I then ordered another cake for the upcoming week because one of my students was so upset about missing our group photo that she spent the rest of the morning in tears. This really matters to me.  Even though it was only an ad hoc cell phone pic, my new arrival felt crushed to be excluded from it because she wants to share a proud U.S. flag / cake / English class photo with her family back in China. This newcomer's class represents five continents, 8 languages, and maybe 14 countries.  But? We all live right here, together, in the U.S. of A., and we are all grateful to be here. We are all willing to do our share of work om behalf of this society, and we certainly support the armed forces who keep this nation safe.

America is an inclusive society, and I deeply appreciate that.  It is one of the things that sets the U.S. apart as a nation and why we are such a standard-bearer for the world. As a public school educator, I work hard every day to support and defend the U.S. Constitution and I am proud of all of you who are out there in the field, doing this work on the battlefield. May God keep you safe, and Happy Thanksgiving. You have earned it.
My hat is off to all of our armed service personnel out there.  I salute you, as it were.  And, if you like, you can listen to the attached trumpet renditions of “Taps” and “America the Beautiful,” played by our daughter when she was 11 years old.  We spend a lot of time these days attending marching band events, and our child has a much wider repertoire now, but these early renditions still sound beautiful to my ear.  

Respectfully, and with gratitude, Gabriela.

 A picture of Gabriela's English as a Second Language class, people from all over the world!
Finally, here are links to Jim’s and Gabriela’s daughter, Melissa, playing “America The Beautiful” and then “Taps” on her trumpet.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

JR Newsletter: 12 November 2017 (369)

We received one new contribution this week.

Brad Karoleff wrote:

As you all probably remember, Nathan Markowitz wrote in last week about promoting the club through complementary journals.  If anyone else would like to have a few copies of a past issue of the John Reich Journal for promoting membership in the club please let me know and I will send you some!  I can be reached at bkaroleff(at)  Thanks for helping JRCS become a better club.