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!).