Volume 1, Issue 7, October 2005
Whole Number 7
This is an electronic publication of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club (LSCC). The LSCC is a non-profit organization dedicated to the attributions of the Liberty Seated Coin series. The LSCC provides the information contained in this email newsletter from various sources as a general service to the membership and others with this numismatic interest. All disclaimers are in effect as the completeness and/or accuracy of the information contained herein cannot be completely verified.
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Many thanks to Douglas A. Nyholm, Len Augsburger, and Dr. Gene Bruder for supporting this issue.
Features in this issue
==> Census Comparisons of the Scarcest Half Dollar Dates, Mints, and Varieties by Douglas A. Nyholm.
==> Interesting letter signed by Charles E. Barber by Len Augsburger.
==> New 1876 Trade Dollar Obverse by Dr. Gene Bruder.
==> Email notes from subscribers.
==> LSCC Reminders.
==> Census Comparisons of the Scarcest Half Dollar Dates/Mints/Varieties. First time contributor, Douglas A. Nyholm, offers these great observations on Liberty Seated Half Dollars.
Census Comparisons of the Scarcest Dates/Mints/Varieties
By Douglas A. Nyholm
I began collecting seated halves in 1992 after completing the “Red Book” set of capped bust halves. I have been collecting for over 40 years and most of my acquisitions have been in the VF-XF range, not mint state. I have collected many different sets but the date set of middle-grade seated halves has been by far the most challenging set I have ever attempted. Putting together the “Red Book” set of bust halves was by comparison, easy, (less the 1817/4 of course). I do believe that one could go to a major coin show, and in one day, given deep enough pockets virtually complete the 1807-1836 set of halves, even by major variety. This is definitely not the case or anywhere near it for seated halves (unless a seated specialist is in attendance, and even then it would be extremely unlikely that he would have all of them in a particular grade or range). I have thought about which dates in the seated half collection have given me the most difficult time locating and have created the chart as shown below.
* Denotes any date with 39 or less in either PCGS or NGC census report. Note, bolded type are census numbers of 39 or less.
§ Listed as 1840-O WB-101 with no mintmark
♦ No separate listing are available for WB numbers depicting ‘No Drapery’ designation
To create the above chart PCGS and NGC population reports were utilized as well as the recent LSCC seated half survey. The criteria for which dates and mints would be listed in the chart was that any coin with a total population of 39 or less, in all grades, in either NGC or PCGS would qualify. Then the totals for that date/mint were added for the other grading service, and the combined varieties from the LSCC survey of 2004 were also added.
The total number of seated halves is listed below. This of course does not take into account any re-submissions, crossovers or comparisons between LSCC and the grading services. It appears that the total number of halves used in the creation of this data may be as high as 25,000. One factor which is difficult to quantify are the dates/mints submitted to PCGS or NGC, they most likely favor the rare and scarce dates. One is more apt to submit their 1870-CC half in any grade than their 1876.
It would also appear that PCGS has graded far more scarce seated halves than NGC, but the totals between the two services only slightly favor PCGS. Apparently, the service of choice for submitting your rare seated halves is PCGS. Additionally when the LSCC totals are added some dates appear far more plentiful with LSCC members and oddly some appear to be quite a bit scarcer. As usual, with data of this type many conclusions can be drawn but as with the LSCC survey I will leave the conclusions to the reader.
My personal experience collecting seated halves have shown some of the tougher dates to locate, in no specific order are: The 1850, 1851, and 1852 Philadelphia issues are scarce but oddly enough the 1852 is usually seen more often than the 1850 or 1851. Even finding the “O” mint marked ones of these dates is somewhat difficult especially in the middle grades, the 1852-O being the most difficult. Of course, the toughest coins are the 1870-CC and 1878-S, but for a price, even these are obtainable. Then there are the impossible holes to fill, the 1853 no arrows, the recently discovered 1842 SD/SL, and the 1866 no motto. Other tough dates are the early CC dates and additionally the 1878-CC. Other than the 1870-CC, the 1874-CC is probably the rarest, I have rarely ever seen this date in middle grades, AU’s and Unc’s are sometimes available at major auctions and shows but the price reflects its rarity. The 1878-CC is close behind, but there are definitely more 1878-CC’s available than 1874-CC’s. Some dates that I did not expect to be difficult are the 1841, 1845, 1856-S. Finding an 1845 in VF/XF is very difficult. A nice middle grade 1856-S is also quite difficult to locate. When you observe the mintages for the 1879-1890 dates one would think that they would be much more difficult than they are, however, given the proper checkbook one can usually acquire them without too much difficulty. The 1882 and 1884-1887 are a bit less often seen which would be expected for their mintages, I have however seen a lot of 1879’s which also has a mintage near 5,000. Finally, the early varieties such as the 1847/6, the 1846 over horizontal date, and the 1844-O doubled-date are real challenges. And, I almost forgot the super-tough 1873 open 3 issue. I am sure I have not covered all of the difficult dates but essentially this is what I have experienced in locating seated half dollars and many local and major shows and dealer ads in major coin publications.
==> Interesting letter signed by Charles E. Barber. Len Augsburger submitted this letter found in the files of Christian Gobrecht at the Pennsylvania Historical Society.
In 1902, Christian Gobrecht Darrach, a grandson of
Christian Gobrecht, became interested in the work of his grandfather and
"Mr. Christian Gobrecht was appointed assistant engraver to Mr. William Kneass in the year 1836. Mr. Kneass died [in] 1840 and Mr. Gobrecht was appointed engraver and held office until 1844 when he died July 23. As Mr. Gobrecht was a coworker with Mr. Kneass it is impossible to separate their work. Changes were made in both gold and silver during the time these gentlemen held office. The present design on the Eagle was executed [in] 1838 and the Half Eagle [in] 1839 during Mr. Kneass' term of office. The silver dollar of 1838 some claim was the work of Mr. Gobrecht but really there is no authentic record of the work executed during the time these gentlemen were in the Mint. The design of the Eagle, Half Eagle and Quarter Eagle is the same as when executed about 1836 to 1840."
==> New 1876 Trade Dollar obverse by Dr. Gene Brody. I just picked up an 1876 Trade Dollar that was presented as a Type 2/2. Upon close examination, the coin exhibits some interesting characteristics. The obverse has 4 fingers holding the olive leaf as in type 2 obverses, but the ribbon ends point left, and there is the protrusion on the index finger on the ribbon as on Type 1 obverses. The reverse is a definite Type 2M. Has anyone seen an otherwise Type 1 obverse with 4 fingers on the right hand? Please email me at email@example.com with any info you may have.
==> Email traffic. Here are some emails that the Editor recently received:
Len Augsburger says: “I picked up an amazing deal on eBay last week - an 1856-S quarter in ANACS EF45. I got the coin today and it is for real. I was very surprised to find such a coin on eBay.”
Bill Bugert notes: “For those of you who haven’t seen the
Stack’s 70th Anniversary Sale catalogue of the The Lemus Collection of
Bill Bugert notes some recent key date half dollar auction
results (all including buyer’s premium) from the Heritage Central States Sale
1844-O Double Date, NGC-55, $4,600
1846-O Tall Date, NGC-55, $2,760
NGC-15, four letters in
1870-CC, ANACS- Net-15, repaired and whizzed, $4,025
PCGS-15, six letters in
1874-CC, PCGS-35, $2,640.
And from the Heritage
1842-O Small Date, NGC-40, $3,450
1846/Horizontal 6, NGC-61, minor scratches and abrasions, $3,450
1847/6, ANACS-20, $4,025
1873, No Arrows, Open 3, ANACS-15, several cuts and a pin scratch, $4,312.50
1874-CC, NGC-45, $3,450
1878-CC, PCGS-45, porous surfaces, $4,887.50.
==> LSCC Reminders. By now, you should have received your
announcement of the voting of club members at the 2005 ANA convention. The last issue of the E-Gobrecht presented
the details. With this announcement
came a notice that the $15 yearly dues should now be paid. Additionally, a voting ballot was included
for the Kamal M. Ahwash Literary Award for the best Gobrecht Journal article during the past year. Both dues and ballots must be submitted by
==> Recent or upcoming Liberty Seated Collections on the market. Please report others for distribution in the E-Gobrecht.
Collection of U.S. Dimes, 1796-1916, will be offered by Stack’s at their 70th
Anniversary Sale in October 2005. This
collection is a complete date and major type set of Dimes with most pieces
falling in the
Jules Reiver collection of copper, silver, and gold coinage will be offered by Heritage Numismatic Auctions in late January 2006.
Advertisements for the
None this issue.
LSCC dues notices was mailed to members - Late September.
Next issue of the Gobrecht Journal – November 2005
Seated Dime survey – January 2006
Information on the
The LSCC Pledge. To encourage, promote, and dispense numismatic knowledge of the Liberty Seated coins; to cultivate fraternal relations among its members and all those interested in the science of numismatics.
President: John McCloskey.
Vice-President: Larry Briggs.
Secretary/Treasurer: Greg Shismanian.
LSCC Membership Information. Dues are $15 per year and include three issues of the Gobrecht Journal, an award winning numismatic publication. To join the Liberty Seated Collectors Club, for Gobrecht Journal mailing address changes, or for other membership questions, correspond with the LSCC Secretary Greg Shismanian. His address with be reported in a future issue. (In the meantime, send me any correspondence and I will get it to him. Editor.)
Articles, comments, or advertisements for publication in the Gobrecht Journal may be addressed to the LSCC President:
John W. McCloskey
President, LSCC, and Editor, Gobrecht Journal
Email address: John.McCloskey@notes.udayton.edu
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