The E-Gobrecht

Volume 1, Issue 9, December 2005

Whole Number 9


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.  You do not have to be a LSCC member to benefit from this newsletter; subscription to the E-Gobrecht is available to anyone.  All disclaimers are in effect as the completeness and/or accuracy of the information contained herein cannot be completely verified.


Information, input, comments, or suggestions for improvements to this E-Gobrecht are actively solicited from anyone and may be sent to or by writing or calling:

     Bill Bugert

     Editor, E-Gobrecht

     P.O. Box 3761

     Gettysburg, PA 17325-6927

     (717) 337-0229


To be added or removed from the E-Gobrecht mailing list, send an email message with the words "Subscribe/Unsubscribe" in the subject line of the message to


Acknowledgements and Miscellaneous Notes


-  Many thanks again to Gerry Fortin and Len Augsburger for their continuing support to the success of the E-Gobrecht.


-  Gerry Fortin graciously offered to host the old issues of the E-Gobrecht on his web site.  They are available to everyone at


-  Thanks to notice of the E-Gobrecht in the latest issue of the Gobrecht Journal, we are now up to 115 subscribers.


-  This issue ends the first year of the E-Gobrecht.  Nine issues were authored and, hopefully, were of some use to all  Thanks to everyone for your help in making this successful.


-  Please consider sending me something for the E-Gobrecht.  You don’t have to be an English major, book author, long time collector, or a recognized expert to write something of interest to everyone.  We all have good stories and neat varieties to report.  Please take a few moments and type something.  Thanks.


Features in this issue


==>  Liberty Seated Dime Varieties Web-book Updates by Gerry Fortin.

==>  Uncirculated 1842 Small Date Small Letters Reverse Half Dollar sells for $57,500 by Bill Bugert.

==>  Numismatic update by Len Augsburger.

==>  Subscriber correspondence.




==>  Liberty Seated Dime Varieties Web-book Updates by Gerry Fortin ( 


How do you stimulate participation at a numismatic website?  By constantly tempting the collector with more subject matter and useful features to quickly access that content.


October and November were two busy months at  Since I am “between jobs” at the moment, the extra free time has allowed for many web-book updates.  Here is What’s New at the Liberty Seated Dime Varieties web-book.


1.  A Message Board has been added to the website.  For those E-Gobrecht subscribers who might not be familiar with a message board, it is an online medium for people with like interests to form a community around specialized topics.  Message boards can have different “forums” or topics.  In the case of the message board at, several forums have been established for the numismatic community to share their ideas, pictures, questions, links, and general information with others.  The initial forums are:


- Seated Dime General Discussion

- Top 100 Seated Dime Varieties

- Other Seated Coinage Discussion (yes, all denominations are welcomed!)

- Buy, Sell or Trade Forum


Jason Feldman, an avid collector of Liberty Seated Dimes, has provided valuable consulting on the message board setup and has volunteered to be one of the administrators.  I want to publicly thank Jason for his help in moving this new web-book feature from an aspiration to reality.  All E-Gobrecht subscribers are welcomed to visit the message board, register, and become an active participant.  I will be closely monitoring the discussions and try my best to help with attributions questions in the “Top 100 Seated Dime Varieties” forum.  I believe that “the owner should be on the premises”.  Here is the direct link to the new message board, or you can access via and click on “Message Board” in left hand column.


2.  I decided to make the Major 100 Varieties listing a public access feature instead of limiting this content to web-book members.  With the announcement of the Major 100 Seated Dime Varieties in the November issue of the Gobrecht Journal, I thought it best to give the entire collecting community a quick and easy method to get at this information.  Also, the forthcoming January survey by the Liberty Seated Collector Club on this topic needed a reliable reference source that all LSCC members could use.  The decision was made and the public links were straightforward to add to the website.


Interested non-members can retrieve a detailed list of the Major 100 Varieties and access the individual web pages for each variety.  Each individual web page presents the primary and secondary diagnostics through quality images of a high grade plate coin and numerous macro images to simplify the attribution process.


There is also a link for a pricing table for the Major 100 Varieties.  This is my first pass attempt at defining pricing thresholds for the R5 and higher varieties.  For common varieties (relatively speaking for seated dimes), I used Coin World’s CoinValues as the baseline pricing targets.  Please take a look at the table and provide feedback!


3.  Since the release of the web-book in August 2004, I have been unhappy with the content concerning the LSCC.  This was an opportunity to improve the LSCC content given the rich history of our club.  I contacted Bill Bugert to determine if he would agree to use the Seated Dime web-book as a public archive for the back issues of the E-Gobrecht.  Bill was very supportive and within a few days, the past E-Gobrecht issues because part of the subject matter at the LSCC link.  I am interested in any other ideas that E-Gobrecht and LSSC member might have to enhance the substance at this link.  Be creative and let me know!


4.  The internal Seated Dime web-book content has been under going changes.  I continue to be unhappy with some of the old imagery that came from a scanner rather than a digital camera.  Slowly, I am reworking dates that have a high amount of scanned images, replacing then with fresh digital images from a Nikon Coolpix 995 camera.  In particular, I reworked the 1857-O and 1860 dates during the past two months.  I am much happier with the presentation of this content after the rework.  Yes, I am a tough critic of the quality of the web-book, but then I am the most frequent user!


5.  The opportunity to buy new varieties or upgrades to existing web-book varieties never ends.  To facilitate the continuing web-book content improvements, I must sell off my duplicates as part of a prudent cash flow management strategy.  In addition, I may be accused of hoarding too many Seated dimes!  A For Sale page was constructed for these duplicates.  Each dime is listed with its Fortin variety and clear obverse and reverse images.  You are invited to come by and look over these duplicates and help the cause!


6.  Jim Smith, an LSCC member from Virginia, sent me a large group of new seated dime varieties for inclusion into the web-book.  The package arrived in mid August and I am still working on the photography and description of his dimes as I write this update.  Hopefully by Thanksgiving weekend, the study of Jim’s dimes will be competed and I can reunite these lovely coins with their owner.  By the way, Jim has an incredible collection of Liberty Seated Dime varieties that has been assembled over a period of many years.


Happy Hunting…….



==>  Uncirculated 1842 Small Date Small Letters Reverse Half Dollar sells for $57,500 by Bill Bugert.  In early November, the latest Stack’s auction catalogue arrived in the mail.  With a November 30, 2005 sale date, it featured selections from the Collection of Harold Nelson, the Johansson Collection, and coins from the estate of T.J. Hardin.  As always, I first turned to the lots with Liberty Seated Half Dollars and immediately a baseball bat hit me in the face!  There in all its’ glory, with oversized obverse and reverse color photos, was lot 285: an unattributed, uncirculated, gorgeous 1842 Small Date and Small Letters Half Dollar – one of only a handful known!  (With gratitude to Stack’s, here are the web photos for that coin…)   LSCC members may recall Gobrecht Journal issue #72 (July 1998) where Brian Greer presented this distinctive variety with the rare small letters reverse die.  Few have been identified since then.  I immediately called my half dollar cohort, Randy Wiley, who also noticed this prize.  Of course, we both wanted that coin for our collection and hoped no one else would notice its’ distinctiveness.  During the next month, we kept quite about this coin, discussed bidding strategies, and decided the best approach was to attend the auction in New York City.  We watched the internet bidding but were not alarmed because the bidding was appropriate for an uncirculated 1842 Small Date Medium Letters reverse variety.


November 30th quickly arrived and I checked the internet bidding before the 8 AM closing - $5,000…hmm, too high for a medium letters reverse.  That morning, Randy drove from Clifton, Virginia, picked me up in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, and we headed for NYC.  We arrived in time to study all the seated halves and to scrutinize lot 285.  Both of us took extensive notes for later die identification.  Hoping no one else noticed this rare coin and that we would be able to cherry pick it, that illusion was quickly shattered when I was approached in the lot viewing room and asked if I thought it was genuine.  Oh well, so much for a bargain.  At about 7:35 PM, that lot came up for bidding.  It opened at $11,000 and within 15-20 seconds closed at $50,000 ($57,500 counting the buyers fee), above our anticipated bids.  It went to a well known, unnamed dealer for “stock” !?!  This coin is the second example that I know of (Brian Greer’s discovery VF and this Uncirculated) but I have it on creditable authority that there are two other mid-grade circulated examples out there.  Keep looking, there may be others!  Congratulations to its new owner – I bet it shows up in a slab soon.


By the way, this coin has provenance to the Stack’s Greater NY Numismatic Convention Sale in April 1988 (lot 1279).  It was also plated in that sale and sold for $2,530.  Alas, I bid on other coins in that sale but not lot 1279.  They say that the third time is a charm; I will keep my eyes open this time.



==>  Numismatic update by Len Augsburger.


News from the web


*  Gerry Fortin has started a chat board for the discussion of seated coinage.  Anyone can read, while a (free) account is required to post.  See


*  Brian Greer has started a web site listing his inventory, at


*  Heritage continues to inventory the seated portions of the Reiver collection, which will be sold January 23-28.


Other news


-  Half Dime Archive Sold.  The recent George Kolbe sale, lot 752, featured the Glenn Hoidale archive of compiled half dime sales and auction records, covering the period from 1953-1988.  This lot sold for $500.00 plus the buyer's commission.  The archive, consisting of approximately 1,000 pages, covered the sale of over 20,000 half dimes, many of which traded privately or via fixed prices lists.  Much of this information is simply not available to the modern collector.  Hoidale died in 1998 in Texas.  Len Augsburger, and seated half-dime specialist Steve Crain, would be interested in communicating with the winner of this lot, should they wish to come forward.


Gobrecht Journal Issue #94 Review


-  Most LSCC members recently received the latest issue of the Journal in the mail.  The cover article, by Randy Wiley, featured a comprehensive study of the 1861-O half dollar, identifying all known dies and die marriages.  Wiley details six obverse and six reverse dies which were used to create fifteen difference die marriages.  The work was presented in conjunction with the promotion of shipwreck 1861-O halves uncovered in the SS Republic salvage, distributed by Odyssey Marine Exploration in Tampa, FL.


-  Gerry Fortin presented the "Major 100" seated dime varieties, a collection covering the gamut of seated dime collecting, intended to challenge new or experience collectors to assemble a significant cross section of the seated dime series.  The set includes issues with a wide variety of availability, some common and some not so common.  Important varieties, a smattering of key die states, different branch mints, die features such as repunching, misplaced digits, clashes, and doubled dies are all represented in the set.  In short, each Major 100 coin is intended to tell a story in the saga of the seated dime series.  Fortin's detailed study of each of the Major 100 issues is now available at no cost, at his website


-  Paul Bradley contributed a most interesting article attempting to generate credible pricing information for the early CC seated dimes.  The analysis was derived from the actual sale of coins at auction and through fixed price lists since 2002.  Bradley indicates that in most cases Coin World Trends values are low compared to actual sales, particularly so for problem free examples.  The article concludes with a suggested new pricing structure for the 1871-CC through 1874-CC issues in grades AG to AU.


-  In other articles, Weimar White tells the story of finding a heavily toned 1871 half dime in an antique mall and dipping the coin to a less toned condition.  Bill Cregan discusses the 1886-S dime, noting striking characteristics and circulation patterns.  Ken Cable-Camilleis, frequent GJ contributor, writes about the 1837 No Stars proof seated dime, ostensibly struck to the extent of thirty pieces, and covers strike variations he has noted in closely studying several specimens.



==>  Subscriber correspondence.


Michael Fey writes:  Hi Bill.  I am looking at an AU+ detail, lightly cleaned 1860 S Half.  It appears at first glance to be a WB-101 with large S mintmark on the reverse.


Obverse Die markers


1.  An imaginary line from the point of the shield would bisect the 8.

2.  There is a tiny raised die chip to the right of the middle of the 1 in the date.

3.  Star six shows repunching on the left point, parallel to Ms. Liberty's shoulder.

4.  Star seven has a die chip at the end of the point closest to the rim.  It swirls to the right.

5.  The top and right upper side of the shield has a doubled outline.


Reverse Die Markers.


1.  There is a diagonal die scratch within the recessed area of the 3rd horizontal line of the shield (on the left side nearest the shield outline; look straight up from the center of the first vertical cluster of 3 lines).  It goes from 2 O'clock to 7 O'clock.

2.  There is a tiny die chip within the recessed area of the leftmost side of the vertical stripes, right near the top by the horizontal lines.

3.  The top right serif of the S mintmark shows a very slightly split serif indicating this is an S/S.


There are no noticeable die cracks anywhere on the coin


I hope that helps.


Randy Wiley verbally provide this:  I have an 1860-S Large S half dollar that is a late die state with heavily worn obverse denticles.


M.F. sent in this happy note:  As an aside, one of my clients was so happy about a really wonderful coin that I recently acquired for him that, in addition to my normal consulting fee, he sent me a gift.  I opened a Fedex package yesterday, and there with a note of "Thanks" was a nice, problem free original XF+/AU 1846-O tall date half.  It simply made my day!  (Editor – I bet!)


Len Augsburger sent in a quick note with an eBay listing.  Did you see this - I think it is time for a second edition!

(Editor:  If you check this listing, it is a used copy of Randy Wiley and Bill Bugert’s book, The Complete Guide To Liberty Seated Half Dollars, that sold for $99 and change.)


==>  Recent or upcoming Liberty Seated Collections on the market.  Please report others for distribution in the E-Gobrecht.


     The current and all-time finest PCGS Registry Set of circulated Liberty Seated Quarters will be offered by American Numismatic Rarities in Orlando, FL on January 3, 2006.  See for more information.


     Jules Reiver collection of copper, silver, and gold coinage will be offered by Heritage Numismatic Auctions in late January 2006.  Check out the Heritage website; they are adding lot descriptions and write-ups upon completion.  Many lots are available for viewing now.


Advertisements for the Sale of Liberty Seated Coinage


None this issue.  You asked for this feature but no one has taken advantage of it. 



-  Seated Dime survey – January 2006

-  Next issue of the Gobrecht Journal published – March 2006



Information on the Liberty Seated Collectors Club


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.


LSCC Officers.

     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 will 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:


Copyright © 2005, The Liberty Seated Collectors Club.