Gerry's Daily Blog Archives - July 2014

July 31, 2014

Today's blog is a tad late as priority was writing the E-Gobrecht Regional News column so that Bill Bugert can publish the August E-Gobrecht later today. Seems like the entire numismatic industry is focused on ANA pre-show and the actual show starting on Tuesday. GFRC's show arrival is early Wednesday morning as I catch the 5:30am Portland to Chicago O'Hare flight, then shuttle to the show.

I was able to load the entire West Coast collection consignment yesterday plus some Open Registry updates featuring the Brier Creek bust and seated quarter collections. Today's priority is adding Type Set module to the Open Registry with the support of CoinTalk's Matt Berry. First priority is a visit to our summer camp, photos of the fence and then a visit with lawyer to start legal is not boring.

Today's feature coin is another from the West Coast collection; the 1841-O F-101 Transitional Closed Bud graded PCGS VG10. From a collector perspective, I like this piece for several reasons; the original surfaces, the amount of residual details for the assigned PCGS grade and PCGS labeling for the variety (no variety attribution fees). This piece is a strong VG10 and would fit nicely into a Top 100 Variety set without need for upgrade. The asking price is reasonable for the quality and lay-a-way terms are always available. There is little if any downside risk on this piece considering most still being cherrypicked are low grade problem coins rather than nice original examples.


July 30, 2014

Yesterday was quite busy with the 1847 F-101 PCGS55 OGH dime and 1847 PCGS50 CAC quarter selling in the same day. Choice original coins are in strong demand and don't last long on my price lists. Being a collector for many more years than a dealer, I understand choice coins and also how to price them in a win-win manner for all involved.

Today's feature coin comes from the West Coast consignment and his first installment. This collector is an advanced date/mintmark and Top 100 Varieties collector. He is an important GFRC customer and has excellent eye for original seated dimes. It was logical for the individual to use GFRC to market his duplicates. Featured here is an 1854-O F-102 shattered obverse which is housed in PCGS G4 holder. Unfortunately, PCGS did not understand the nature of the shattered obverse die and the raised shelf metal that is prone to wear. A careful inspection shows high rims and well defined devices other than the central obverse. This piece grades at least a full VG8 or a tad better on conservative basis. Surfaces are problem free and original and is an ideal candidate for Top 100 set at reasonable price.


July 29, 2014

The northeast is finally clear of recent bad weather and sunny blue skies are back. Today's focus will be imaging the Westford purchases along with the West Coast consignment that arrived yesterday. I've had numerous inquiries on the 1847 F-101 PCGS AU55 OGH dime and here are images.

Unfortunately, the Fortin's are struggling with an adult bullying issue at our Androscoggin Lake summer camp. Our property has been for sale for several years and the property line has been a major issue for our neighbor who owns 3x the road and lake frontage than our humble 50 feet. The neighbor recently has a property survey done and this weekend constructed a 6 foot privacy fence through a portion of the asphalt driveway in front of the property and essentially blocked egress to the house and backyard due to the property grade and angled property lines. We have no choice but to hire a lawyer to deal with the situation. Once I have some images, will post here but an emotional and difficult situation. I can understand how children and young adults have feelings of hopelessness when being bullied by those who feel a need to exert power.

July 28, 2014

Was up at 3:30am and used the peaceful early morning hours to writing an article for the LSCC August E-Gobrecht issue. August 1 is this Friday therefore Bill Bugert, E-Gobrecht Editor, has a considerable workload this week and submitting articles early is paramount.

Maine weather will not be ideal for photography so images for the Westford purchases will be probably be posted tomorrow. Someone has already expressed interest in the 1855 F-105a rotated reverse dime and it is doubtful the piece will reach the price list.

I've established a Pinterest account and hopefully will start posting images early this week. The combined GFRC and LSCC workload leading to next week's ANA convention in Chicago is considerable and carving out time for social media development efforts is a challenge.

Today's featured coin is the subject of the August E-Gobrecht article; it is the 1841-O F-111a web-book plate coin and also has a divot in the upper left obverse field by Star 5. This is a pretty example as the high grade clearly showcases the rusted obverse and the reverse die crack at STAT(ES). A first I thought the divot was post mint damage but incremental checking of other F-111 dimes confirmed the divot is New Orleans mint induced. I will leave this topic here and let you read the entire E-Gobrecht article once published on Friday. This 1841-O is for sale and found on my price list.


July 27, 2014

It is early on Sunday morning and writing quick update before driving to Westford MA show. Spent yesterday afternoon on my sister's 37' boat on Casco Bay and so relaxing. Seeing Portland Headlight from the water is always a thrill.

I should be back home by early afternoon and will update the blog with Newps; hopefully there is something of interest at Westford. The 1847 PCGS AU55 OGH F-101 arrived yesterday and is an amazing coin. This type of conservative grading and preservaton is infrequently seen in today's market.

Afternoon Update: Back from Westford show and the exciting news is fact that 1855 F-105a rotated reverse surfaced. The dime was purchased recently by a local dealer who then offered it after recognizing the variety. The dime has original toning with some light obverse lines and grades VF20 details. Few are known and this is one of the Top 25 Rotated Reverse set key dates. Please email me if wishing a first shot at the piece.

Other Westford purchases include three nice Liberty Seated quarters all graded in NGC holders. There are 1872 NGC VF30 Stacks W57th St Collection (original gray), 1875 NGC AU53 Repunched 75 with rainbow rims and 1877 NGC AU55 original with subtle gold luster. All pieces have strong eye appeal. Rounding out purchases are an 1854-O F-101 original EF40 with broken 1 and an 1843 seated half, all original in F15 grade.

Tomorrow, I will be back to regular blog with featured coin and images.

July 26, 2014

Welcome to the weekend! Amazing how quickly the weeks go by. Spent a good part of Friday working on Liberty Seated Collector Club matters including chatting with retiring President, John McCloskey. John validated the new 2014-2015 slate of officers were elected by the membership. Those include Gerry Fortin (President), Len Augsburger (Vice President), Bill Bugert (Editor Gobrecht Journal and E-Gobrecht) and Craig Eberhart (Secretary/Treasurer). We are excited about the forthcoming transition that will initiate at the Chicago ANA show and annual meeting.

The 1882 F-102 dime sold quickly yesterday to an advanced Top 100 Varieties collector. Arriving today is an 1847 PCGS AU55 OGH F-101 dime with two interested individuals. This is another Top 100 dime and rare at this grade level. Tomorrow is the Westford, MA show and will be there as an early bird to seek out more nice coins for GFRC customers.

Today's feature coin is an 1884 F-109 seated dime. I work hard to locate and offer strictly original coins that will grade at the TPGs. This 1884 dime is incredibly original with gun metal blues and gray colors. The reverse is amazing with proof like surfaces under an even coating of blue tone. There is some light obverse rub on the right leg so an AU55 grade is accurate while the eye appeal is just superior for those who enjoy original toning.


July 25, 2014

It is difficult to believe that we are approaching the last week of July and Chicago ANA is only two weeks away. Winter FUN show planning is already under way....amazing.

If all goes as planned, I will catch up on the Open Registry update queue and finish posting Newps acquired this week. The 1861-O WB-6 posted in Thursday's blog is sold. The first installment of the West Coast seated dime consignment ships today.

Yesterday evening the following 1882 dime arrived to the price list. This is the F-102 Repunched 18 variety and included in the Top 100 Varieties set. Firstly, the 1882 date is definitely not common as the subsequent 1883 through 1891 Philadelphia dates. Buried in the 1882 surviving population is the F-102 variety with obvious repunching on the 18 digits. Since being included in the Top 100 set, I've seen few F-102 examples and the one acquired this week is strictly original and grades borderline AU. It is a no brainer to certify at major TPG. The example in my own Top 100 set only grades AU50 and remains unholdered. This piece is an opportunity for the advanced variety collectors.


July 24, 2014

Len and Debra Augsburger are visiting so today's daily blog will be brief. We enjoyed a lovely dinner at Dimillo's Floating Restaurant in Portland followed by evening conversations with a Penfold 2001 Bin 389 Shiraz. Indeed a good time.

I did manage to visit a local coin shop yesterday before the Augsburgers arrived and picked up a few coins including 1869 MS62 Shield nickel that is fully original, an 1835 JR-2 R4 original EF40 bust dime (LDS with huge crack through AMERIC) and 1891-CC AU50 Morgan that is toned a light gray with green/gold rims. These will be photographed and loaded later today. Also purchased yesterday was 1847 F-101 in PCGS55 OGH. Seated dime specialist will immediately understand how difficult this date is at certified AU55 level.

Following is a rather nice 1861-O WB-6 half dollar (Louisiana issue) posted to price list. The assign EF40 PCGS grade appears to be conservative given preservation state.


July 23, 2014

Yesterday was quite busy. The 1875-CC F-115 dime sold immediately after blog post. Express mail brought the 20+ seated coin lot and had a check into express mail by 3:30pm. These are photographed and will be posted this morning. During late afternoon, I enjoyed a phone discussion with W. David Perkins concerning a variety of topics including JRCS and LSCC operating philosophies and our major show partnership strategy. We've agreed to share tables at Winter FUN and the 2015 Baltimore shows and you will find us at Table 835 during Chicago ANA.

Today's blog provides a decent Blakesley effect example on an 1852-O F-101 PCGS40 dime listed yesterday. The Blakesley effect occurs during the upsetting or rimming process on a clipped planchet. During the rimming process, the clip area provides an absence of pressure on the opposite side of the planchet. The Blakesley effect is the most effective method for validating authentic clipped planchets. Below is the 1852-O dime. The clip is minor but visible above the cap and Star 9 with Star 9 poorly struck. Denticles are missing in this area. Then look immediate opposite to the obverse rim at 7:00 and those denticles are missing. When viewing the reverse, the clip impacts the denticles below AMERIC(A) and then opposite above (ST)ATES. New Orleans seated dimes with clipped planchets are very scarce and finding an occurence on 1852-O dime is special.

July 22, 2014

I've settled into a breakfast routine with laptop and coffee each morning to write the day's blog and today is no different. A fair number of Newps arrived yesterday and today brings an express shipment of 20+ seated dimes, quarters and halves with 50% being slabbed. A close dealer friend is raising cash and I'm more than happy to help given his eye for original seated coins.

Yesterday, an important Liberty Seated dime variety was posted to the price list. The 1875-CC In Wreath F-115 brings a combination of rarity and spectacular shattered reverse. Years ago, I set the rarity as R5 in VF or better and now believe that may be conservative. 1875-CC IW F-115 features obverse and reverse dies that have no other die pairings. Both are easy to diagnose with obvious markers so remarriages could be properly attributed. I believe that the reverse die shattered quickly upon entering production as no earlier die states are known. The die appears and is immediately shatters with deep cracks on middle to lower portion of reverse. The cracks are distinct and similar to those seen on 1887-S F-107 during late die state. The example in my reference collection grades PCGS MS63 with CAC approval and is the finest seen. The offered piece is housed in gold ANACS holder and graded as MS61. I believe the coin is better than MS61. Serious die variety collectors should pay attention as the asking price is reasonable given rarity, eye appeal and variety.

July 21, 2014

There was great response to yesterday's blog via email and on Facebook. Thank you for taking the time to add comments.

This week bring a visit by Len and Debra Augsburger to Maine and our home. We're looking forward to sharing famous Maine coastal landmarks and a shore dinner mid week.

Today's blog focuses on a niche collecting area; contemporary counterfeits. As many recognize, I am the initiator and keeper of the GFRC and LSCC Contemporary Counterfeit archives. This is an under researched and documented numismatic genre with many collectors unable to differentiate the modern Chinese pieces from the truly rare contemporary examples. One needs trained eyes to recognize the better counterfeits so let's look at a deceptive 1854-O seated quarter counterfeit submitted by Chris Majtyka this past week. The piece appears to be die struck with normal coin turn die alignment on a planchet made of german silver or similar copper nickel alloy. The edge reeding appears sharp and the overall appearance is quite good and would fool less experienced collectors let alone the general public if found in their pocket change. However, look carefully and you will note the uneven strike, poorly defined denticles and most importantly, the overall lack of sharp edges on the lettering and date consistent with a mint struck product.


July 20, 2014

Several GFRC customers recently asked why my prices are higher than PCGS guide. When selling above average coins and being a picky buyer, there are few bargains to be had on the buy and sell side. The PCGS guide is that, a guide. It's value or that of Coin World Values is based on meticulous checking of auction results to establish the "current market". But even monitoring auction results can lead to value distortions. Case in point is PCGS's recent reduction of 1874-CC prices in grade G4 through EF45. Over the past 5 years, it appears that the demand for 18744 Carson City dimes is soft and prices are slowly eroding with another drop this month. This is interesting as most GFRC customers need a nice original example for their collections at the low to mid circulated grades. Why are prices dropping when the market lacks nice original examples?

I did a quick check concerning this month's drop. It was straightforward to see that an inferior coin was graded by PCGS and then dumped back into the auction market for a fast buck. Please take a look at the following images. The Bently 1874-CC dime housed in ANACS EF45 Details old white holder and labeled as cleaned sold during March 2014 for ~ $20,000. This is a fair price for cleaned 1874-CC at the grade level. At the Summer FUN show, the same dime re-appears in a new PCGS holder graded EF45. Someone made the coin at PCGS and immediately placed it back into Heritage for a quick sale. The result? The dime brought an anemic $25,850 at the EF45 grade level. The individual made a few dollars on the flip and PCGS then reduces the 1874-CC "values" within their guide. Would this dime sticker if submitted to CAC? What is a properly graded 1874-CC EF45 dime with CAC approval worth in current market? Obviously more than the PCGS guide......

Following is email feedback from GFRC customer concerning today's blog.

Very nice blog regarding the 74-CC dime and the PCGS price guide.

Few collectors really spend time understanding the dynamics of pricing rare coins and unfortunately, TPG mistakes such as with the Bently coin are precisely the reason why CAC has done so well in the current market place. Conversely, it is also one of the many reasons why rare coins are not a more widely accepted alternative investment medium like the art market.

Astute collectors need to understand the mechanics of pricing rare coins with a curiosity to go beyond the simple recent APR's. While many dealers have not yet understood how to do this, it allows the astute buyer to take advantage of pricing dislocations which are temporarily created by poor APR's, lagging PCGS price guides, or series where within a grade qualitative factors can create massive spreads in value.

Lots to think about per this individual's comments..............

July 19, 2014

Yesterday, 16 yards of mulch found their way into my driveway. With all the past overseas traveling and extended stays, the homestead landscaping was ignored so time to make forecast calls for low humidity and temps in the low 80s so perfect for outdoor work.

I'll have the cellphone in my pocket in case someone needs a coin fix otherwise time on the computer will be limited during the next 48 hours.

Today's blog coin is an inexpensive 1849 New Orleans seated dime graded PCGS F12 CAC. I'm surprised that this one has lasted several months on the price list as can't imagine a nicer coin for the grade and price.

July 18, 2014

Today's blog focuses on a Civil War item submitted by LSCC member Jim Poston. The piece is an 1861-O Seated half dollar and attributed as WB-3 with the obverse hand engraved. The engraving is quite crude with the letters reading "ROBT. M. L." in the left obverse field and "SCHRADER" in the right obverse field. The surfaces remain in near original condition with an EF45 grade. The rims have been partially "spooned".

One could speculate that a Confederate soldier might have carried the piece to identify himself given the crude engraving and spooning. Jim Poston performed an initial Google search for the name ROBERT SCHRADER and ROBERT SHRADER and located a potential match to a Confederate soldier name Robert Shrader in Company D, 17th Regiment, Virginia Cavalry. The soldier is listed as having private rank. For those who are interested, following are the links.

This piece is for sale but setting an asking price is challenging given the potential Civil War significance. Feedback would be appreciated.


July 17, 2014

Cooler air arrives today and yard work will be priority after neglecting the outdoors during recent high humidty and temperatures.

Please understand that catching up on website posting backlog is always a challenge; the request seem to arrive as quickly as they are processed. Current backlog remains substantial. Tim Cook still has three new Seated dime varieties to be listed, Winston Zack offers a group of contemporary counterfeits for the LSCC archives and Paul Kluth sent images of five seated dimes with significant cuds, most being 1891-O. Then there are requests for Open Registry updates from John Okerson and Trey McGovern along with requests for adding 3 cents silver sets from Terry Hess and silver Type sets from Matt Berry. I will try to get to several of these today.

Do GFRC customers and Daily Blog readers recognize the significance of Gene Gardner's 1843-O PCGS MS62 CAC auction sale for $141,000? For years, advanced Liberty Seated dime collectors knew that the date was very rare in problem free AU or better. I wrote a Gobrecht Journal article about 10 years ago and concluded that an 1843-O dime in AU or better was more difficult than several of the 1871 through 1874 Carson City dates in same grades. Slowly respect increased for the date and culminated in June with the sale of Gene's mint state example. Why am I revisiting this topic today? The answer is to bring attention to another sleeper New Orleans date that remains under appreciated and under valued. This date is 1851-O. For readers who have CoinFacts access, I suggest a quick review of the holdered population in EF40 through Mint State and I believe you will quickly reach the same conclusion that the 1851-O date is a real sleeper and once the community catches on, prices will jump. PCGS price guide has the 1843-O date at $1450 in VF30 and $3250 in EF40 while the 1851-O is listed $100 in VF30 and $200 in EF40....the latter numbers are just plain wrong!

I have a nice 1851-O PCGS VF35 example in inventory that is strictly original. If you have a spare $325 kicking around, then putting this piece away may be wise as it is only a matter of time before the numismatic community recognizes the under valued 1851-O situation.


July 16, 2014

The Maine news story yesterday was a tornado watch in the central and northern state region. This is uncharacteristic for Maine with all local news stations superceding the 6:30pm national news to show the same radar doppler map for an hour. In the end, there were no reported tornadoes but some heavy rains and exciting thunder storms.

I'm pleased to report that a GFRC customer is planning to consign ~ 30-40 seated dimes after a careful review of his massive collection for variety duplicates. Fresh inventory is one of my primary goals and would encourage others who have duplicates to consider turning them into cash or using sales credits for upgrading purposes. Several GFRC customers are following this strategy and pleased with the results.

Being a collector at heart, there are still times of sadness when a certain piece sells. Case in point is the 1882-S NGC66 CAC Morgan that was labeled as Nature's Work of Art. This wonderful toner ships today to an old friend and long time Shanghai customer and hope its beauty will be appreciated in the Yunzhou Antique market where I am well known.


July 15, 2014

It appears that the fringe of the summer Polar Vortex will bring rain and thunder today. Luckily coastal Maine escaped the brunt of the vortex in the winter and now summer as temperatures remain seasonal.

Yesterday was a long day between mailings, a coin shop visit and posting Newps. Today's blog focuses on a rare Capped bust half dollar variety/die state that is part of recent consignment. According to a Bust Half Nut Club expert, this variety/die state is under appreciated by the numismatic community so a review is warranted.

The 1811 Overton 104 is listed as O-104 and O-104a in Parsley. There is a signficant die state difference between O-104 and O-104a whereby O-104 obverse die is perfect with no die cracks while O-104a has obvious circular die cracks through inside of left stars, down through the right field and across the top of date digits. Parsley lists O-104 and O-104a as R1 rarity and fails to provide an image for O-104. However, checking AMBPR44 (Auction and Mail Bid Prices Realized for Bust Half Dollars - Spring 2014) indicates the O-104 die state is R6? with the last significant recording being in January 2006 at Heritage sale. The Reiver example graded EF45 with light scratches and realized $633.

This 1811 O-104 has been validated as an O-104 (prime) and grades AU55 with old cleaning and is nicely retoned.

July 14, 2014

Maine has been blessed with perfect summer weather this year and today is no different. Blue skies will allow photography of yesterday's coin show purchases and these Newps should be posted by evening. I've posted all coins from Saturday's consignment except the 1811 0-104 which needs to be re-imaged for proper presentation.

In today's blog, the 1862 3 cent silver graded PCGS MS62 from that consignment is featured. I believe this offering present superior value due to the pretty reverse circular toning. The colorful obverse rim also nicely frames the strong center luster and highlights the Type 3 Large Star. If you check the 3 cent silver price list, the 1862's eye appeal is on par with the much more expensive 1868 proof piece.

A GFRC customer asked that I add 3 cent silver sets to the Open Registry. I've agreed and Terry Hess prepared the input form and submitted his advanced set. Hopefully by end of this week, the registry module will be added along with the Capped Bust quarter sets prepared by John Okerson. It is a pleasure to cooperate with GFRC customers to constantly expand the website collecting information and experience. Few dealers in our hobby provide a comprehensive website for enhancing collector satisfaction and I hope customers will return often to Your patronage supports the long hours of programming necessary to add new modules and enhance existing features.


July 13, 2014

Today's blog is late since attending a 24 table coin show in coastal Maine. For a small show, I spend more money than anticipated and also reunited with some senior coin dealer friends dating back to the late 1980s. It was heartening to see these individuals, some who are in their late 70s and early 80s.

As for purchase highlights, an 1807 Draped Bust half graded PCGS VG8 with CAC green stands out as a gem for the grade. Others include 1844-O half choice original EF45, several pieces in ANACS old white holders, 1853WA 25c graded EF40 that is close to AU50 and an 1830 half graded VF35 with original light gold/rose patina. Raw coins include 1832 and 1834 capped bust dimes, 1851-O, 1854-O and 1875-S IW dimes and 1857 and 1876 quarters in choice original EF and AU grades; the latter are common dates but the preservation condition is exceptional.

The consignment that arrived yesterday is priced and ready to be posted. The highlights are a rare 1811 O-104 prime Capped Bust half in AU55 and a rainbow toned 1862 3c silver PCGS MS62. Much to do so will end the blog here.

July 12, 2014

Several astute GFRC customers noted an 1875-CC In Wreath dime posted July 10 evening with the dime immediately purchased. Following are the images and background.

Transition Variety, Wide CC, 113 Reeds, R5. An important edge reeding variety for those who research and understand Carson City coinage during 1875. It has been speculated that In Wreath dimes were strike early during 1875 ahead of Below Wreath dimes and used a single 89 reed collar left over from 1874. The F-112 In Wreath variety is transitional as strikes are found with the 89 reed collar (F-112), the 113 reed collar (F-112a) and the defective reverse with 113 reed collar (F-112b). Of the three die states, the F-112a has proven to be the most elusive and I was so pleased to be able to acquire only the second known specimen to me; the other is in my collection. The offered specimen is original with strong remaining details for the EF40 assigned grade.

1875 was a challenging year at the Carson City mint. Dime production ramped from nearly 11,000 pieces to 4,645,000 which includes In Wreath and Below Wreath varieties. From extensive study, we know that a single 89 reed collar remaining from 1874 was initially employed for striking 1875 coinage. The F-112 In Wreath variety can be found with three different production conditions; a) struck with the old 89 reed collar, b) struck with the new 113 reed collar and, c) struck with 113 reed collar and defective reverse die at the lower left ribbon end. Of the three conditions, "c" is the most common followed by "a" while "b" was only discovered in the past 10 years as a result of an article I wrote for the Gobrecht Journal. The dime offered on July 10 was only the second example F-112 variety known to me with 113 reeds. In the past, this dime would have become a duplicate in my collection, but with the GFRC business it is best to share these pieces with other advanced specialists.


July 11, 2014

Today's blog is a continuation of the 1857 half dime posted yesterday with the lapped obverse die and rotated reverse. Steve Crain graciously replied to my inquiry and offered the following insights. I know of no other individual as thorough as Steve with a numismatic response.

The 1857 half dime, as I am sure you know, is a high mintage date, and because both the obverse and reverse dies were hubbed, containing all of the details except for the date numerals, it would be impossible to list all of the possible die marriages; one cannot determine a 'die marriage' when only the obverse dies are distinguishable. Accordingly, we list only those die marriages which are unique, and distinguishable. Valentine listed just nine (9) die marriages for the 1857 (P) half dime, and his descriptions for these were often vague and ambiguous, making positive attribution an exercise in frustration. He provides photographic plates only for his V1 - V8, but none for V9, so we cannot attribute that one. He does make one important contribution to the study of the 1857 half dimes, however. He mentions that "Early in 1857 the hub, having become badly worn, was retouched. The most noticeable differences are in the drapery between the figure of Liberty and the flagpole, and a dent on the inside point of the third star. The coins struck from dies before the changes were made, are No. 1, and Nos, 1, 2, and 3 of the New Orleans Mint." To this I would add perhaps the most obvious distinction, that being the relative shape of the base of the rock, above the date. For the V1, before the changes were made to the hub, the overall shape of the base of the rock is a uniform, gentle curve. After the changes to the hub, the shape of the base of the rock is very irregular. To best see this for yourself, take any half dime in the years before 1857 (say, 1856 or 1855) and look at the shape of the base of the rock; it is a gentle but regular and smooth curve. Then take any half dime from the years immediately after 1857 (say, 1858, for instance) and you will see that the base of the rock is very irregular, and not a smooth curve. Most 1857 half dimes will look like this, also.

Valentine never mentioned any 1857 half dimes with die rotation, but there are a few. His V1 (before the hub changes) sometimes comes with the dies rotated at 170° CW, although he was unaware of this variety. Al Blythe anointed this variety with his new number 'V10', but this was in error, as it is a die state of the V1. This one is well known, and always has the same relative rotation of the dies (170° CW). I presently have nine (9) examples of this rotated variety. There are other known (at least to me) varieties of 1857 half dimes with rotated dies, including the one you mentioned. I published a short article in the E-Gobrecht a few years ago on the subject of rotated die varieties in the Liberty Seated half dime series, and have attached that article for your review. I have not updated this list for a while, so I have a few more to add. For 1857, I have listed the following varieties, for all of which I have examples:

1857 20° CCW
1857 20° CW
1857 30° CCW
1857 45° CCW (Same variety as above?)
1857 V1 Unretouched Hub 170° CW (Sometimes referred to as V10)


July 10, 2014

Today's blog focuses on an interesting 1857 half dime that lasted only two hours on GFRC price list yesterday. The half dime was described as...."Lapped Die, Rotated Reverse Left ~45 Deg, Original. Definitely an interesting piece worthy of much more study as I can find no mention in the Al Blythe book, Valentine or LSCC CVs. First this dime is strictly original with uniform medium gray patina and no blemishes to note. The obverse appears to be struck from a lapped die as most of the drapery is missing along with the center base area. The weak hub die as reported by Valentine could not account for this amount of missing device details. The reverse is rotated right by ~ 45 degrees."

Has anyone else seen an 1857 half dime with these characteristics? I suspect that Mr. Half Dime (Steven Crain) probably has and will email him separately to secure an opinion. Will post additional information later.


July 9, 2014

Renee is returning to Virginia this weekend and her presence at GFRC will be deeply missed. During her last few days at home, we will work through an accumulation of lower priced coins (mostly seated dimes) and post on discount price list. Already I've added a "Spend a minimum at Gerry Fortin Rare Coins and receive discount pricing on select coins." tag to coins with minimum purchase and discounted prices. Please email or call me if you wish to work a deal as the discounted inventory needs to be reduced.

For customers who are not on Facebook, these For Sale page daily blogs are also posted to the GFRC Facebook page and are preserved as a timeline. Please consider a visit!

The coin (token) of the day is this lovely 1850 Hopkins store card acquired in recent token/medal lot from central Maine coin shop. I don't have Rulau token guide but on order. Once these tokens can be properly indentified, GFRC will offer a tokens/medal price list as I'm having too much fun researching these.


July 8, 2014

Afternoon Update: We added 8 new love tokens to that price list. John Okerson helped identify the Woods token with this input via email, "The reverse of this piece is a pun referring to the destruction of the CSS 'Alabama' off the coast of France. "Civic Grant for Alabama Claims Civis Londiniensis June 15 1877" and signed "I. F. W. Des". The 'Alabama' was a screw sloop-of-war built in Liverpool in 1862 for the Confederacy, and was used as a commerce raider. For two years it caused great damage to merchant vessels as it sailed the oceans, and by 1864 was the world's most famous naval vessel. In June 1864 it put into Cherbourg, France, and when it came out of port it was sunk by the USS 'Kearsarge'. The legal claims surrounding the CSS 'Alabama' were in the courts for over a decade." More can be found at this link.

Today's blog will focus on a token collection purchased in Maine prior to the Baltimore show. In that collection was the 1876 Centennial medal (HK20) sold to Len Augsburger at Baltimore and discussed in the July E-Gobrecht. The token collection included civil war tokens, hard time tokens and a few store cards. Included in the lot was the following brass piece that is not easily identified. The piece is obviously uncirculated with proof fields and highly reflective. The 2x2 holder states an Isaac Wood Token. A quick Google search indicates that Isaac Wood was ANS librarian (1869-1880). The token is dated 1877 with General U.S. Grant on obverse and "A Civic Grant for Alabama Claims" on the reverse. Alabama Claims involved the United States claims brought against the British government for aiding the Confederacy by building and selling warships; the most famous being the Alabama. Information about this piece would be appreciated or guidance to a reference book that might catalog the piece.


July 7, 2014

Another week starts with Gene Gardner proof quarters finally posted on LSCC website. New consignment is shipping today and highlights include 1862 3cs PCGS62 Rainbow, 1858 25C NGC45, 1811 50C O-104 Raw AU58, 1831 50C PCGS40 Rainbow, 1838 50C NGC45, 1848-O 50C Raw VG and 1857 50C NGC58. Shipment should arrive by end of week in time for weekend posting.

Unfortunately, I am developing Trigger Finger on right index finger and will have to slow down on GFRC projects to allow this condition to improve. Working long hours at the keyboard/mouse is taking its toll on my right hand and best to slow down before the condition worsens. This will impact development of incremental Open Registry sets as priority must be loading consignment and Newps plus customer communications.

Took a break on Sunday and there are still more Newps to load while Renee is developing the public LSCC Facebook page today.


July 6 , 2014

It is quiet Sunday morning and adding the balance of Baltimore show Newps and consignments. Please note the two new Seated dollars with the 1862 low mintage piece shown below.

The Gardner proof Seated Quarter loading at is nearly complete and there is a substantial backlog for individuals requesting new registry set categories and registry set updates. I appreciate the help with adding more Open Registry categories and will add these as soon as possible. Please understand that the GFRC website is not automated but handcrafted like a fine wine....things take time to get done.


July 5, 2014

Arthur has passed east of Maine and we hope the balance of weekend will be sunny. Spent the 4th posting Gene Gardner's Liberty Seated proof quarter images onto the LSCC website and also catching up on a portion of Open Registry backlog. Even though it was the 4th, still sold 1855WA PCGS45 quarter and 1847 half dollar. Today's images are from the Eugene Gardner collection; 1868 NGC PF68 Star Cameo 25c....simply an amazing piece and you are invited to visit more Gardner/Newman proofs at




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