Sunday, December 19, 2021

JR Newsletter: 19 December 2021 (561)

Sheridan Downey wrote:


Readers might enjoy a lazy Sunday, perusing lots in my upcoming FUN Show sale of bust halves.  MB 53 is live at  The sale closes Friday, Jan. 7, 2022 at 6 PM EST.  Here is the Introduction to the sale.




Welcome to MB 53!  There are 108 coins in the sale.  Once again, the principal consignor is Tim Osborne, and the watchwords are eye candy.  Tim spent more than 30 years on the hunt for bust half-dollars with exceptional eye appeal.  His BHNC friends, colleagues and suppliers during that period included Floyd Farley, Dr. Gerald Schertz, Charlton “Swampy Meyer, Gehring Prouty, Keith Davignon and, recently, Dr. Charles Link.  Prices Realized for his 60-piece consignment to my recent ANA Sale, MB 52, confirm that his knowledge and patience paid off.  This time Tim favors us with a 64-piece consignment.  When reviewing Tim’s coins pay special attention to his AU 55s.  Many will leave you wondering, “Why not AU 58?”  At lot preview during the November Baltimore Show the most talked about coin in Tim’s consignment was his 1813 O.104, lot 9, a fully original choice AU, masquerading in a CAC approved PCGS AU 55 capsule.


Several other collectors generously offered one or more pretty coins for the sale.  You will find them in Part 2, lots 65 through 101.  Highlights include three mouth-watering selections from the legendary collection of Louis Eliasberg.  Perhaps you will find an XF-AU 1811 O.113 to your liking.  And, oh, the coin doubles as a major error: it is struck off-center!  Lot 66 is an AU 58 1807 Small Stars.  Need I say more to whet your appetite?!  Last minute consignments, lots 102-108, include jaw-dropping, Condition Census examples of two noted rarities, an 1827 O.124 and 1828 O.105. 



I again asked Lance Keigwin to photograph both the coins and their slabs.  To view slab photos, click the BID button on my web site.  (No, that will not trigger a bid.)  Voila!  You will be greeted by my description of the coin and photos of the slab, along with information on current bidding.



This is an auction.  There will be coins that sell for record prices.  There will be coins that sell below expectations.  Approach the sale as you would any other: select the coins that are of most interest; research current and past prices; then bid what YOU are willing to pay, without worrying that someone else will bid “too much.”  Some coins are doubtless of Royal Blood, the finest of their ilk.  Others are working class citizens.  Each is lonely and seeking a new home.


Two invaluable research tools should be at your fingertips, Dave Rutherford’s on-line price guide,, and Steve Herrman’s latest edition of AMBPR, Vol.59. I have a couple of copies available.  Call or email if you need one.



Thanks, and enjoy the sale!



David Perkins wrote:


Correction Concerning the Upcoming JRCS Meeting at FUN


The JRCS Meeting will be held at the 2022 FUN Convention in Orlando at 8:30AM to 9:45AM EST on Friday, January 7, Room N320A.   Barry Sunshine and Chuck Link will be presenting on the Early United States Quarters, with many photos of rare quarters from circulated to Proof.  I’ve seen a number of these coins / photos in the past – if you like nice early silver you won’t want to miss this!  


Three of the four authors of Early Quarters of the United States Mint 1796 – 1838 should be in attendance at the meeting and Convention, including (rumor has it) Rory Rea! 


Hope to see you there!


W. David Perkins

Centennial, CO




Cell 303-902-5366


Table 215 FUN


Greg Cohen wrote: 



(Lincroft, NJ, December 14, 2021). LEGEND RARE COIN AUCTIONS (LRCA) is pleased to announce that the firm’s 50th Regency Auction will be a very important numismatic event, offering a spectacular selection of American numismatic treasures anchored by three powerful collections. The cabinets that make up the highlights of the sale are: 



YOUNG-DAKOTA PROOF MORGANS is a group of GEM Proof Morgan dollars, all PCGS-graded and CAC-approved. Highlights: $1 1896 PCGS PR67 CAM CAC, $1 1902 PCGS PR67+ CAC. Also included is a totally matched original GEM 1895 Proof set. 


Part II of the NAPLES COLLECTION is highlighted by the exceedingly rare $2.5 1804 13 Star PCGS AU50-A top 100 coin. Other highlights: $5 1795 Small Eagle PCGS MS61 CAC, $1 1795 Heraldic Eagle PCGS AU53, and a $5 1799 Small Stars Rev PCGS MS62+ CAC.


THE HALF DOME COLLECTION OF 20TH CENTURY GOLD-these are selections are duplicates from the HALF DOME COLLECTION the #2 sets of $10 Indians and $20 Saints on the PCGS CAC Set Registry. Highlights are the exceedingly rare, important, and universally in demand: $10 1907 Wire Edge PCGS MS66 CAC and 1907 Rolled Edge PCGS MS65+ CAC-one of only 42 minted. All of the coins in the Half Dome Collection are PCGS CAC. 


This sale will take place on January 27, 2022 at the PCGS Members Only Show at the Bellagio in Las Vegas.


A temporary watch list is now posted on our web site. We will be adding more coins shortly!  Check out the coins today:

For further information please contact Jessica Berkman 732-935-1168, or email




Greg Cohen


Senior Numismatist 

PO Box 189 | Lincroft, NJ 07738








Sunday, December 12, 2021

JR Newsletter: 12 December 2021 (560)

1832 LM-9.2 in PCGS AU58 CAC 

David Perkins wrote:


W. David Perkins Numismatics will be hosting Part II of the Extraordinary Half Dime Sealed Bid Sale, the sale of the Richard Meaney Capped Bust Half Dime Reference Collection and “KDM PCGS Registry Set.”  If you would like a copy of the Sale Catalog please send me a note requesting the catalog at wdperki(at)  -- The Sealed Bid Sale closes Sunday, January 9, 2022 at 6:00PM EST.  


A JRCS Meeting and Presentation will be held at FUN in Orlando on Friday, January 2, 2022 beginning at 8:30am. The topic will be the early Quarters.  More on this next week.  


Finally, the next issue of the John Reich Journal should be in your hands shortly. There was a slight delay at the printer.  A dues notice will be included for the next Volume in 2022.  Those who have already paid for the next Volume will not receive a dues notice.  If in doubt if you have paid for multiple years you are welcome to contact me.


Hope to see you at FUN!


W. David Perkins

Centennial, CO 


Cell 303-902-5366


Sunday, December 5, 2021

JR Newsletter: 5 December 2021 (559)

Sheridan Downey wrote:


Readers may enjoy a Preview of my upcoming FUN Show auction, Mail Bid Sale #53.  Tim Osborne again provided an anchor consignment, lots 1-64.  Tim's coins are noted for eye appeal; a great number carry CAC stickers.  The remaining lots are rife with interesting and high-quality bust halves that include mint errors, a trio of Eliasberg pedigrees and rare die marriages.  Written descriptions of the coins are underway but will not be posted until mid-December.  Lance Keigwin's superb photos must suffice for now.


I did my best to limit consignments to 100 pieces.  The current listing ends at lot 101.  At the recent Baltimore show I was presented with a small group of lovely coins and could not resist the opportunity to include them in the auction.  They are being photographed and should be posted on my web site in a week or so.


It will be a challenge to get the hard catalog printed and mailed during the holiday season.  I welcome requests to preview lots now via overnight US Express Mail.


The following link should get you to the Auction Preview page of my web site:




Sunday, November 21, 2021

JR Newsletter: 21 November 2021 (558)

Brad Karoleff wrote:

Emergency request. 

JRCS needs someone to volunteer to give a presentation at the upcoming FUN convention. 

Please contact Brad at bkaroleff(at) ASAP if you can help.


Sunday, November 14, 2021

JR Newsletter: 14 November 2021 (557)

 The collection of John McCloskey is now listed in COMING SOON at Heritage Auctions.  In addition to viewing the coins online ( ), those attending the show in Baltimore next week can view the coins in person at the Heritage Auction tables.

The Heritage Auctions site lists 870 coins in the McCloskey sale 

Sunday, November 7, 2021

JR Newsletter: 7 November 2021 (556)

 Greg Cohen sent a press release regarding three collections in Legend Rare Coin Auctions’ Regency Auction 49 which highlight Rare U.S. Gold Coins: Link to Press Release

Sunday, October 10, 2021

JR Newsletter: 10 October 2021 (555)

Brad Karoleff wrote:

I’ve been work on the next issue of our journal but could still use some content. If anyone can help with a submission please get in touch with me ASAP. Thanks. 


Sunday, September 19, 2021

JR Newsletter: 19 September 2021 (554)

Brad Karoleff wrote:

The next issue of the journal is scheduled to go out in November. In order to meet that schedule I need submissions to help fill out the issue. We will be publishing the Capped Bust half dollar and the Reeded Edge half dollar censuses but need some smaller articles to fill out the issue. Please consider submitting something for inclusion in this year ending issue. 

That being said, it will be dues time again. There will be a notice included in the issue to remind our yearly members to renew their subscription.

There will also be an offer from Heritage Auctions for a free catalog of the John W. McCloskey collection to be sold at the upcoming FUN convention in January. Although John’s collection is more Liberty Seated focused there will be some interesting bust coins available for bidding. It will be an interesting way to begin the numismatic year. 

Stay healthy and enjoy our wonderful hobby. 


Sunday, September 5, 2021

JR Newsletter: 5 September 2021 (553)


Charlie Horning wrote:

I have begun a research project on the 1806 O-111b die state. There has been considerable confusion regarding the definition of the die state as well as the number of unique examples extant.

I would like to narrow the definition of the "b" die state to be the same as the Tompkins DS-7 in his text (2 full cuds).

If our members collect Draped Bust half dollars by die variety or die state, I would like to ask them to check their collections for any 
1806  O-111 examples with 2 full cuds.

Linked below, you will see my research proposal and the request for specific information on the die state.

If my research goes well, I plan to publish it in the JR Journal.


Charlie Horning    buckaroo9(at)    

Editor's note:  Photo sourced from

Sunday, August 22, 2021

JR Newsletter: 22 August 2021 (552)


Winston Zack wrote:


On September 1st I plan to start contacting folks via email about collecting the 2021 census on counterfeit CBHs.  The last census was conducted in 2019 by Larry Schmidt with the results posted at, and Larry has agreed to let me take the reins for this 2021 census.  Since the 2019 census, many new varieties have been documented; additional examples of scarcer varieties have been identified; new collectors have started collecting these counterfeits; and more generally, collections have grown, shrunk, and been sold.  

Larry has provided me with a confidential list of prior census participants who I plan to contact via email on September 1.  In addition, if you have not been previously contacted about being included in this census and you would like to participate this year, please send an email to – to be added to the contact list.  Additional details about this census will be included in the email you receive from me on September 1.

After the census is complete, on or around October 31 I will provide a summary report documenting the results of this census to all participants.  In addition, that report, or a similar version, will be posted on the website before the end of 2021.



Winston Zack

Sunday, August 8, 2021

JR Newsletter: 8 August 2021 (551)

David Perkins wrote:

Hope to see many of you at the ANA Convention and JRCS Meeting this coming week!


W. David Perkins Numismatics will have Table 611 featuring a prime Central Location on the Bourse.  Richard Meaney, Jim Matthews, and I will be behind the table and look forward to seeing our fellow collectors and dealers.


Highlights include Part I of the Sale of the Richard Meaney CB Half Dime Reference Collection which we purchased a few months ago.  This complete set of all known die marriages and remarriages, dates and types, is truly Extraordinary.  Formed over 20 plus years, with over three fourths of the collection with CAC Stickers.  Eye appeal abounds.


We will also have on display “The Long Island Collection of Dimes,” a high grade and eye appealing date set of Draped and Capped Bust Dimes.   


Along with the above two items we’ll have numerous Draped and Capped Bust half dimes, dimes, half dollars, nearly two dozen early dollars, along with Type and a relatively large selection of early and other gold from a multi-million dollar Denver Estate Collection started in the late 1950s!  Dates and denominations for the early gold include 1795, 1797 (2 coins), 1799 (2), 1800, 1801, and 1803; 1800 and 1820 $5, and 1805 $2.50.  

Should be an exciting and blockbuster show!


W. David Perkins

Centennial, CO 


Cell 303-902-5366


Sunday, August 1, 2021

JR Newsletter: 1 August 2021 (540)


Brad Karoleff wrote:

The latest JR Journal should be in everyone’s hands now.  
If you have not received yours please drop me a line at for a replacement issue.

Hopefully many of you will be at the ANA in a couple weeks to see the presentation by Richard Meaney, 
at our annual meeting Wednesday morning in room 7 of the Stephens Convention center.


Editor added:  The official ANA program shows that the Aug 11 meeting of the JRCS will start at 8:30 AM.
Also, there may be an early JR Newsletter next week or no JR Newsletter next week depending on 
reader contributions and this editor's travels that will have him planted at table 611 in Rosemont. 

Sunday, July 25, 2021

JR Newsletter: 25 July 2021 (539)



Dave Kahn wrote:

David Kahn Rare Coins, Inc. is proud to announce that we recently acquired the Dick Graham Reference Collection of Reeded Edge Bust half dollars!  The collection lacks just a few things that Dick sold over the last few years or was never able to acquire - his 36 Reeded, 39 Small Letters, the 2 super-rare 39-O marriages, and the 38-O - but everything else is here and will be available at the ANA in Rosemont in just a couple weeks.  


There are several Plate coins from his book, a few finest known and high CC coins, and lots of interesting die states too.  Most of the coins are in very collectible grades of XF through AU58, all are in PCGS or NGC holders, and nearly all carry the GR attribution on the label.  We're particularly impressed with the quality and eye appeal of the 1839's ...if you collect this series or just want to assemble a date run of choice coins, you likely appreciate how tough those are to find.  In addition to the coins, we will have copies of Dick's book available (we have just a few left from the second printing, and we have been told in no uncertain terms there will not be a third printing), and we will also have Dick there to answer any questions, offer additional info about the coins and even sign your book!  


We look forward to seeing you there. ...table #426.  Contact Sales(at) for more information.

Sunday, July 18, 2021

JR Newsletter: 18 July 2021 (538)


Readers will recall that Winston Zack asked how many capped bust half dollars might fit into a bushel, all as part of his research into contemporary counterfeit coinage.


Winston received two responses directly, which he summarized with a spreadsheet.  You may view this spreadsheet in pdf format, by clicking here.




Thomas Little responded:  Thanks, there must have been a lot of these.  I was at a flea market in Wilmington Vermont one weekend about 25 years ago where I guy had an earlier bust half for sale which I did not recognize as such for around $75.  



Steve Herrman responded (included in Winston’s spreadsheet):  Assuming a 32.5 mm (1.28 inch) diameter and a 2.0 mm (0.0787 inch) thickness, the volume taken up by Contemporary Counterfeit Bust half dollars arranged in a rectangular grid would be 1.28 x 1.28 x 0.0787 = 0.128942 cubic inches.


Dividing a bushel (2150.42 cubic inches) by 0.128942 cubic inches per coin = 16,677 coins


The weight would be 16,677 x 13.48 grams (0.0297 pounds) = 495.6 pounds


Steve Herrman



Gary Rosner responded (included in Winston’s spreadsheet):  25,814


Here is the math I used.

 One bushel equals two 5 gallon buckets.

 One 5 gallon bucket has a inside volume of about 1110 cubic inches.

 So one bushel has a inside volume of about 2220 cubic inches.

 A CBH is 1.28” diameter x .067” think, about?

 Volume of a CBH is about .086 cubic inches.

 2220 cubic inches / .086 cubic inches = 25814, that is an estimate of course.

 That was fun!





PS: It must have been super heavy if each CBH is about 13.48g or about .0297 lbs, then x 25,814 is about 767 lbs, wow!



Steve Herrman also wrote about a scheduled JRCS meeting:

JRCS Quarterly Zoom Meeting Scheduled for July 21 Has Been Canceled


There was no volunteer to present or topics to discuss.


The next JRCS Quarterly Zoom Meeting is scheduled for September 15 at 7:00 PM EDT (4:00 PM PDT).






Sheridan Downey wrote:




The sale closes at 6 PM CDT, Wednesday August 11, 2021, day 2 of the ANA’s World’s Fair of Money in Rosemont, IL.  Auction lots, photos and descriptions are available on my web site,  Bidding is already underway.  The coins will be available for preview at my bourse tables, nos. 317 and 416.


There are 120 coins in the sale.  The watchwords for this sale are Eye Candy.  The principal consignor, Tim Osborne, spent over 30 years on the hunt for bust half-dollars with exceptional eye appeal.  His patience and practiced eye paid off.  The 60 pieces laid before us in Part 1 of the Sale (Lots 1-60) will remind you of the collections of Gehring Prouty and Keith Davignon.  Not a dud in the bunch.  When reviewing Tim’s coins pay special attention to his AU 55s.  I have not before seen so many in one collection that left me to wonder, “Why not AU 58?”  John Albanese, owner of CAC, probably felt the same way.  In June I sent him 56 of Tim’s coins; 38 came back with stickers, including one gold.  That is a remarkable batting average!


Dr. Charles Link surprised me with a late consignment of high-grade coins and interesting die states.  I hurriedly submitted 16 coins to CAC; 9 came back with stickers.  Again, a wonderful result and a testament to his experienced eye.  Chuck’s coins are in Part 2 of the Sale, Lots 61-88.  I was particularly taken with John Jay Pittman’s 1827.


Howard Sharfman decided to move from bust halves to other numismatic arenas.  He was kind enough to sell me his no. 1 rated “Everyman Registry Set” of capped bust half-dollars awhile back.  Legend will sell his Registry Set of Early Half-Dollars with Major Varieties in September.  If you hanker for 5 and 6 figure coins be sure to ask Legend for a catalog.  Part 3 of this Sale, Lots 89-94, is Howard’s consignment of rare capped bust die marriages.  The highlight is his R.5+ PCGS AU 58 1827 O.144.  Or perhaps you will prefer his dazzling 1809 XXX edge, PCGS AU 58 with CAC sticker.


Several other collectors generously offered one or more pretty coins for the sale.  You will find them in Part 4, Lots 95-107.  The highlight is Louis Eliasberg’s 1818 O.111 but don’t overlook the gorgeous 1813 O.103, 1818/7 O.101 and 1819 O.114.


The sale concludes with a modest selection from the incomparable collection of bust half errors assembled by Henry Hilgard.  The collection has remained intact since it was purchased by a single buyer, not long after Henry died in 2013.  This is the first public offering of error coins from the Hilgard collection.


Anyone with questions is welcome to call or email me.


Sheridan Downey


Ph.: 510-479-1585


Editor added:  You can view this sale here: (and the “headline coin” for this week’s JR Newsletter comes from Sheridan’s catalog!).







Sunday, July 11, 2021

JR Newsletter: 11 July 2021 (537)


Winston Zack wrote:


I'll get right to the point.  I'm researching counterfeit Capped Bust Half Dollars for my next book. In several cases when counterfeiters got arrested the newspapers reported the quantity of counterfeit CBHs found in terms of bushels (8 dry gallons); apparently bushels were quite common, and many counterfeiters used them to accumulate their counterfeit coins and presumably other artifacts of counterfeiting. While this measure and volume was probably decently understood 'back in the day', it does not help me understand how many CBHs could casually fit inside one.


So, JR Newsletter audience, approximately how many CBHs (genuine or counterfeit) can you reasonably expect to fit in a bushel?  For many of you tackling this question and problem will be a math problem (which I've attempted but can't figure out - my answers don't seem realistic).  However, if you want to build greater authenticity into this answer, I recommend you go and acquire an antique bushel (if you don't already have one), dump your collections (I mean hoards) of raw CBHs into it and get a more realistic quantity.


Any and all answers here will be appreciated and I look forward to seeing your answers!


Thanks in advance,

Winston Zack

Sunday, June 27, 2021

JR Newsletter: 27 June 2021 (536)

Brad Karoleff wrote:

The ANA is fast approaching and we hope to have a journal in your hands before you
 leave for the show.  Only one small problem, I only have 28 pages of content and 
need more NOW!  Does anyone have something for publication?  

Please get in contact with me at bkaroleff(at) ASAP to have your item 
included in the next issue.

We have been confirmed for our normal Wednesday morning meeting at the show. 
There we will be conducting the annual business of the society including elections,
 the distribution of awards and an educational presentation by our JR Newsletter editor
 Richard Meaney.  

Hope to see you all soon in Chicago.


Sunday, June 13, 2021

JR Newsletter: 13 June 2021 (535)


It has been almost two months since we received any input/contributions for publication!  We have two contributions this week:

Richard Meaney and David Perkins announce that Richard has sold his complete set of capped bust half dimes to David Perkins Numismatics.  Some notable features of the set, at the time of the sale, include the following:


-       All 123 die marriages and remarriages are represented

-       100% are in PCGS holders with attribution on the label

-       100% of coins are in straight-graded PCGS holders

-       95/123 coins are CAC

-       4 coins are gold CAC

-       48 coins are top pop or tied for top pop for the variety at PCGS

-       62 coins are top or second in JRCS 2019 condition census

-       5 coins are plate coins from the Logan-McCloskey half dime book

-       Notable provenances of the coins include Pittman, Newman, Childs, Reiver, Logan, McCloskey, David Davis, Peterson, Crain, and Matthews


Half dime collectors and other interested parties can contact Perkins concerning his plans with the coins:  wdperki(at)

Here is a link to the set on the PCGS Set Registry site:

(note that at the time of publishing this newsletter, the PCGS website is wonky and is not displaying set images at all)



Brad Karoleff wrote:


The ANA has finalized their schedule for the upcoming convention in Chicago.


JRCS will have our annual meeting on Wednesday morning at 8:30AM in room 7 of the Stephens Convention Center.  We hope to see you there.


There will be a journal coming out just before the convention.  I do still, however, need some content.  Please consider sending something for inclusion in the next issue ASAP.




Brad Karoleff



Sunday, April 18, 2021

JR Newsletter: 18 April 2021 (534)

Louis Scuderi wrote concerning a recent purchase of a reeded edge half dollar:

Here are some images (above) of a new example of 1838 GR5 that I recently acquired that you might want to include in this week’s Newsletter.  Jim Koenings has already written this up in his newsletter so you can get the details there.
Editor:  Here is a link to the newsletter, included in the newsletter is Jim Koenings’ email address if you wish to subscribe to this reeded edge half dollar news opportunity.

Sunday, April 11, 2021

JR Newsletter: 11 April 2021 (533)


We have a number of contributions this week.


Brad Karoleff wrote:


The latest issue of the John Reich Journal is on the way.  The printer did a great job presenting the articles from the membership.  I think you will be pleased with the results.


If anyone does not receive their issue by the 25th, please let me know and we will forward a replacement to you.


Some of you have still not remitted your dues for 2021.  If you have not paid your mailing label will say "DUES" after your name and there will be a yellow reminder inside the envelope.  This will be your final chance to renew your membership and receive all the issues planned for 2021.


Stay safe and health.  Have some fun with your hobby.





Steve Herrman created and released a set of searchable reference tables listing the 760 articles written over the last 35 years. The three files, sorted by Author, Subject, and Whole Number & Page, are in searchable PDF format …you can go to the JRCS web page to access this information.  If you would like a copy of the reference tables in Microsoft Excel format, contact the website administrator.  


The link to the searchable tables is here:



Bill Nyberg wrote in response to David Finkelestein:


Regarding David Finkelstein’s 4-4-21 post about two supposed early Mint screw presses, there was an excellent article by Craig Sholley in the January 2018 Penny-Wise “The Myth of the U.S. Mint’s First Screw Press” which is now available for reading on the NNP. The Table of Contents in Penny-Wise list the title of the Sholley article as I wrote, but the title at the head of the article was - The Myth of the U.S. Mint's So-Called "First Screw Press"


Craig gives dimensional evidence that proves this screw press was designed and used as a planchet cutting screw press.


Craig also debunked the myth of Jacob E. and/or Adam Eckfeldt as having fabricated this Mint screw press, in either 1792 or 1798, mentioning my Scot biography as a source, “Robert Scot: Engraving Liberty.” There is a 1798 letter to Adam Eckfeldt from the Treasury Department requesting the status of ordered screw presses. However, these were not coinage screw presses, they were eighteen embossed stamp screw presses that were contracted to Adam Eckfeldt to have fabricated for the Treasury Department. These were C-shaped in structure to allow a document to lie flat for stamping, as opposed to inverted U-shaped coinage screw presses. To go with the stamp screw presses, Robert Scot engraved 15 different denominations of revenue stamps for each of the 16 states.


In the same issue of Penny-Wise, I wrote an article that describes the history and usage of the Federal revenue stamps and screw presses supplied by the Mint to the Treasury Department, “Defending Liberty: Robert Scot and Adam Eckfeldt Create Wartime Revenue Stamps at the Mint.” These revenue stamps were strategically crucial in raising funds as part of the financing for the Quasi-War, First Barbary War, and the War of 1812.


This is an image of a revenue stamped estate inventory from my collection, which was stamped with a die engraved in 1798 by Robert Scot, and pressed with a stamp screw press supplied by Adam Eckfeldt:



Bill Nyberg



David Finkelstein wrote:


Update: The Mint’s First Coining Press


The majority of my more recent research efforts and articles could not have been completed without the collaboration and support of others.  Robert Julian has assisted me greatly in the interpretation of some of the Mint documents stored at the National Archives and Records Administration.  Even though they were hand written in English, they were hand written in 18th century English.  It some cases, 18th century style letters, numbers and symbols required Robert’s translation expertise to make sense out of critical portions of documents.   In 2017, my research on the 1794 Dollars would have been incomplete had I not collaborated with Len Augsburger and Joel Orosz.  All of our research was combined so we could publish “Who Deposited the Silver for the 1794 Dollars?” in the December 2017 JRJ.  Likewise, the July 2019 JRJ article titled “Compositional Analysis for 1794 & 1795 Dated United States Silver Coins” would never have been published had Christopher Pilliod and I not collaborated on the project’s phase 1 effort from 2015 through July 2019.  Chris had the chemical, metallurgical and scientific technology expertise, whereas I was knowledgeable about the various Mint Acts, and the first Mint’s personnel, workflow, implementation standards, business practices, accounts receivables and payables., and contemporary documents


In last week’s JRN I published a draft article on the Mint’s so-called first coining press that is currently on display at both the Philadelphia and Denver Mints.  I knew that some parts of the article were correct, I knew that some parts were probably incorrect, and I definitely knew that I was missing some critical information.  That is why I published what I had, and asked for assistance.  The assistance I received was significantly more than expected.  I corresponded via email with Len Augsburger, Bill Eckberg, Michael Rocco, Craig Sholley and Pete Smith, and I had phone conversations with John Dannreuther and Tim Grant.  Tim Grant is Public Affairs Manager for the United States Mint at Philadelphia.


As a result of the tremendous support received from the aforementioned people, there is new information regarding the Mint’s so-called first coining press.  Rather than publishing a revised article, here is the new information I obtained:


1, The Mint believed that they had the original coining press that was first used in 1792.  This belief was passed down from Mint officer to Mint officer, and/or from Mint Public Affairs Manager to Mint Public Affair Manager over the centuries.  This screw press is on display at the Philadelphia Mint.  Here is a link to a slide show tour of the Philadelphia Mint.  The so called original press is on slide 4.  It is the same press that is pictured on page 62 in 1792: Birth of a Nation’s Coinage:


Here is a link to a YouTube Philadelphia Mint Virtual Tour video [I could not get the volume to work].  The so called original press is at the 0:50 mark of the video.


2. In last week’s JRN article, I pictured a screw press from  This was the screw press at the Mint exhibit at the 1904 Louisiana Exposition.  It is now confirmed that this screw press was a replica made in Philadelphia prior to the 1904 Louisiana.  It was transported from the Philadelphia Mint to the Louisiana Exposition, then transported to the Denver Mint after the Exposition ended.  It is currently on display at the Denver Mint as a replica of the first 1792 coining press.  


3. Tim Grant (Public Affairs Manager for the United States Mint at Philadelphia) stated that another replica was made of the so called original coining press.  It is in the auditorium at the Philadelphia Mint.  This replica is accessible to people taking the Philadelphia Mint tour.  [Note: Due to the pandemic, the Mint has stopped providing tours.]


4. The overall consensus of numismatic researchers is that the so called original “coining” press at the Philadelphia Mint may be a “cutting” press.  Due to the small size of the screw press, it may have been used to cut/stamp blank planchets out of roll strip. Further evidence that this press may be a cutting press came to light during my phone conversation with Tim Grant.


5. According to Tim Grant… In 1992, to celebrate the Mint’s bicentennial, the Mint planned on striking a medal in copper using the so called original coining press.  Dies were prepared, and copper blanks were made.  The so called original coining press was unable to generate the force required to impart the design from the dies onto the copper blanks.  The screw press was, however, able to generate enough force to impart the design on lead blanks.


[Note: Copper has a tensile strength of 210 Mpa (megapascals) and a Mohs hardness or 3.0, whereas Lead has a tensile strength of 18 MPa and a Mohs hardness of 1.5.  It does not take a significant amount of force to impart designs on lead blanks.]


6. When tours are resumed at the Philadelphia Mint, Tim Grant will provide special access for a detailed inspection of the so called original coining press. Maybe something can be scheduled prior to a Baltimore coin show once life as we knew it returns somewhat normal?


To be continued sometime in the future …


Sunday, April 4, 2021

JR Newsletter: 4 April 2021 (532)

David Finkelstein wrote:


The following is a start of an article.  It is not complete.  Although some parts are correct, some parts may be incorrect.  I am publishing this in the JRN because I need assistance in solving this puzzle.


While participating in a Facebook group discussion, someone posted the following two links:

-          Inside The Denver Mint: The First Coining Press


-          First coining press used in the United States Mint


Each web page contains a picture of a screw press:

Denver Mint (




The Denver Mint claims that the screw press pictured on their website “is a replica of the first coining press from 1792… This coining press was used to produce trial coins in 1792 and many of the half-cents and cents of 1793”.  Note that this screw press is also imaged on page 62 of 1792: Birth of a Nation’s Coinage. claims that the screw press on their website was displayed by the United States Mint at the 1904 St. Louis Exposition (aka the Louisiana Purchase Exposition or the 1904 World’s Fair) as the “first coining press used in the united states Mint. Over one Hundred Years old”.


Ignoring the tables that the presses are on, the two presses look similar, but are definitely not identical.  Since they are clearly not the same screw press, how can they both be the first coining press?


Per 1792: Birth of a Nation’s Coinage, it is believed that the trial coins of 1792 were struck in John Harper's cellar around July 11-13, 1792.  We do not know when the Mint acquired their first screw press.  We do know that the first expense warrant for a “press” was Warrant 7 and issued on August 29, 1792 to pay John Harper $247.85 "for cutting presses castings".  Note that the Mint paid John Harper for cutting presses, and not simply a cutting press.  Also note that the warrant was for cutting presses and not screw presses, and not cutting and screw presses.  Also, $247.85 was a lot of money for one press, so the Mint most likely acquired multiple presses.


Is the screw press pictured on the Mint’s website one of the cutting presses obtained from John Harper and not a coining press?  It looks like a coining press without a collar to me.  Was the screw press used to strike the 1792 coinage in John Harper’s cellar, then sold to the Mint, paid for on August 29, 1792, and used to strike the copper coins of 1793?  Maybe the screw press on was also John Harper’s?  Maybe both were sold to the Mint by John Harper?  I have not seen any contemporary evidence to verify that either screw press was John Harper’s.  I emailed the Mint for assistance, clarification and documentation regarding their claim that their screw press was the first coining press.  Hopefully, I will receive a response.


Note that there is a flaw with the statement made on the Mint’s website that “this coining press was used to produce trial coins in 1792 and many of the half-cents and cents of 1793”. We know that the second time a “press” was paid for by the Mint was on June 3, 1794.  Expense Warrant 84 paid Hannah Ogden $47.44 “in full of her account for a coining Press for the use of the Mint”.  Is it therefore logical to assume that prior to the arrival of the coining press purchased from Hannah Ogden, the only coining press (or presses) in use by the Mint was the one (or more than one?) purchased from John Harper in 1792?  Since 10,000 half cents and 297,300 cents were delivered from Chief Coiner Henry Voigt to Treasurer of the Mint Tristram Dalton between January 13 and March 28, 1794, they could not have been struck on the coining press purchased from Hannah Ogden.  If, in fact, the screw press imaged on the Mint’s website is a replica of the first coining press purchased from John Harper, then the coining press was used to produce the trial coins in 1792, all of the half cents and cents of 1793, and many of the half cents and cents of 1794.


Note that the press pictured on the Mint’s website does not have a retaining collar that moved up and down as the press was cycled to center the planchet on the anvil die.  I do not claim to be an expert on the minting of half cents and cents.  Were the half cents and cents of 1793 and 1794 struck in an open collar or struck without a collar?  If anyone knows and can enlighten me on this, please contact me at dfinkelstein(at)


Regarding the screw press that is pictured on…  I can see the screw in the picture on the Mint’s website, so I can envision the hammer moving downwards towards the anvil.  I cannot see the screw in the picture on, so it is unclear if it is embedded within the press and not visible.  Also, I cannot tell if the hammer is fully retracted, the hammer has come into contact with the anvil, if the press has a collar, or if the press is a coining press.  The only thing I can tell is that it is not the same press that is pictured on the Mint’s website.

If anyone can provide additional information, references, pictures, or assistance, please contact me at dfinkelstein(at)




Steve Herrman wrote:


Auction & Mail Bid Prices Realized for Bust Half Dollars 1794-1839, Spring 2021 Revision, Number 58 was published and distributed to regular subscribers last month. This issue includes the revised rarity rating estimates from the 2020 study completed by the Bust Half Nut Club Rarity Ratings Committee last December. The information from the study was approved for public release in February.

A dozen printed copies are still available, and the issue is also available in PDF format. 272 pages.



This issue includes auction records for R4 to R8 varieties from all major auctions for a minimum of the last 10 years, and Condition Census specimens for all varieties. Separate sections are included for overdates & other popular varieties, proofs, mint errors & patterns, countermarks, and contemporary counterfeits.


Printed format (softbound):   $34.00 delivered via Media Mail
PDF format (searchable):        $24.00 delivered via Email
Both Printed & PDF formats: $40.00 delivered


To receive a copy, please contact Steve at herrman102(at)


This is a semi-yearly publication. $2.50 is donated to the JRCS for each copy sold.


Steve Herrman, JRCS LM #28