The E-Gobrecht

Volume 3, Issue 1, January 2007

Whole Number 22

 

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 free of charge 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.Contact information is included near the end of this newsletter.

 


Miscellaneous Notes from the Editor



Acknowledgements. Many thanks to Gerry Fortin, Jim Gray, Len Augsburger, and the subscribers who corresponded with me.

Availability of past issues.Through the generosity of Gerry Fortin, the previous issues of the E-Gobrecht are readily accessible on his seated dime website at http://www.seateddimevarieties.com/LSCC.htm.

 

Please consider submitting something for print.It need not be elaborate; it can be something as simple as a short note on your favorite variety, neat find, nice cherry pick, happenings at a coin show, rare Liberty Seated coinage coming up for auction, etc.If you are interested in it, rest assured, others will be too!Sharing information is a goal of this newsletter. This is a continuing plea.

    


Features in this issue

 

==>Question of Month.

==>Reflections on 2006 and Other Topics by Gerry Fortin

==>Gobrecht Journal Index for 2006 by Bill Bugert

==>Branch Mint Proofs in the Liberty Seated Series: Twenty Cent Pieces, Second in a Series by Len Augsburger

==>Recent subscriber correspondence.


Details

 

==>Question of the month by Jim Gray.This forum hopes to increase collector interaction and correspondence.Your participation is welcomed and encouraged.Send your comments to the E-Gobrecht Editor at wb8cpy@arrl.net.

 

Augustís Question

If you owned a scare or rare Seated coin, which is original, but with deep murky toning, would you dip it?

Replies

From Charles Sullivan:  December's question really has nothing to do with "scarce" or "rare;" by definition, ALL surviving Seated Liberty coinage may be defined as scarce, for very few non-collectors ever have the privilege of holding and admiring one of these beautiful artifacts of American commerce in the 19th century. Over the last 160 years, the temptation to make "dirty" silver coins look bright and shiny has overwhelmed countless thousands of layman and collectors alike.  By my estimation, fewer than 10% of extant Seated Liberty coins have escaped some form of doctoring since leaving the mint. The current market generally prefers doctored coins over "ugly" ones, what with registry sets, NGC's "conservation" sideline business, fat premiums being paid for Wayte Raymond album toning (passive doctoring), and the like. The venerable Weimar White is a purist representing one end of the spectrum -- he equates any form of toning or oxidation as "wear."  I reside at the other extreme, for I believe that if one cannot live with "deep murky toning," then one should sublimate his ego and sell the coin to another collector instead of dipping it. It absolutely kills me to look into a dealer's showcase and see a nicely struck Seated Liberty coin with AU wear appear as bright and white as a quarter in a sealed U.S. Mint set. As a society, we make a big deal out of leaving clean air, clean water, and the like for our children.  Should we not leave "original" coins for the next generation of collectors.

From Denis Loring:  AAARGHHH!!!!!


From Bill Bugert:  Denis expresses my sentiments exactly!


From Keith Scott:  My general answer is probably not.  A coin can always be dipped, but it cannot be "undipped".  There seems to be some value to having an original, never cleaned coin.  I would make an exception to a coating, which is much thicker than an oxidation layer.  I would consult with NCS if I wanted a third party - they have a free e-newletter. A friend got a 1928 peace dollar on eBay that looked awful and was heavily encrusted so it was sold for a very low price.  He used a baking soda solution to soak it and then gentle dislodgement to yield a very nice AU coin with NO hairlines.  I've been hanging around ancient coin dealers at shows and they indicate there is a "proper level" of cleaning -remove the crust, leave the patina.


==>

AUCTION NEWS

By Jim Gray


There were no auctions in December, thus no Auction News.  See you next month, Jim.



==>  Reflections on 2006 and Other Topics by Gerry Fortin. 

As always, I could not refuse Bill Bugert's timely correspondence asking if an article or commentary could be submitted for the January E-Gobrecht.  So here I am on a flight somewhere between Chicago and Beijing and sometime between December 31, 2006 and January 1, 2007 realizing that New Year's Eve will be missed on both sides of the planet.  The solitude of the UA flight (only 10 seats filled in 747-business class) allows quiet time to reflect on this article and the important 2006 numismatic events that pertain to Seated coinage.

The year 2006 was indeed a great year for Seated coinage collector.  As a Seated dime enthusiast, I am proud of LSCC efforts to promote Seated coinage collecting and, closer to home, the growth of Seated dime "craziness".  This article will commence with a review of important 2006 Seated accomplishments and events.  Then I will elaborate on the topic of "craziness" or the addiction that some LSCC members demonstrate when pursuing their hobby.

Accomplishments and Events

2006 was a banner year with much positive momentum for LSCC members and the Seated coinage collecting fraternity.

-  Our award winning E-Gobrecht matured into a vibrant monthly forum of auctions news, LSCC updates, and specialty articles.  The subscription rate grew substantially as more individuals realized the value of a monthly Seated coinage newsletter.  As an ongoing contributor, writing for the E-Gobrecht became part of life's monthly activities and, yes, I do enjoy Bill's monthly reminders....

- The Seated message board at http://www.seateddimevarieties.com transitioned from a "Seated dime only" forum to an internet information source for all Seated denominations. Members and lurkers alike participate at the message boards by posting or simply reading the new day's commentaries. By adding individual Seated denomination Q&A forums and expert hosts, the message board witnessed a doubling of registered members, many from the PCGS Coin Forum. Forum posting rates grow by 3X in 2006; another positive step in promoting information exchanges and dialogue. I wish to thanks several contributors whose efforts were paramount in the success of our Seated message board. Those individuals include Seateddime, Mrhalfdime, Coinosauras, Classic Silver, TDN, Lickerish, and Bustseated. My hat is off to these individuals.

-  2006 was also the year that Dick Osburn, Len Ausberger, and Gerry Fortin brought forth their amazing Seated collections to attendees at the November Baltimore show.  This event was planned for well over two years, first being derailed by hurricane Katrina and the space needs at the Baltimore convention center.  Much has already been said about the Seated coinage displays in Coin World and the E-Gobrecht.  For this exhibitor, it simply was a joy to share a life long collection with LSCC friends.

-  Specific to my collecting specialty, the LSCC conducted the Top 100 Seated Dime Varieties and General Population surveys in early 2006.  The outcome was an important success with record numbers of dimes being reported in the general survey.  For the Top 100 varieties, the survey was the first polling of LSCC membership on their holdings since the Top 100 announcement in late 2004.  I was pleased with the survey findings and published a detailed summary in the November issue of the Gobrecht Journal.  There continues to be positive momentum for Seated dime variety collecting as we enter 2007.

Seated Dime Craziness

There are several individuals on the http://www.seateddimevarieties.com message boards who exhibit an intense passion for their hobby. We've coined the term "craziness" to describe this addiction or life style surrounding Seated dime variety collecting. So how does one know if you have contracted Seated dime craziness? There are several indicators or symptoms. First is the need to check new eBay listings twice a day for the latest snipe or claims for first rights on a dime. The second indicator is a need to visit the message board at least 3-4 times per day to check for new posts. The ultimate desire is for locating a new obverse or die pairing variety. When a new variety is located and verified, a major sense of accomplishment takes hold as one's discovery can be immediately publish via the power of the internet and real time updates to message boards or a numismatic references source.

I've had a quiet vision for many years, namely to see a passionate collecting community emerge for Seated dimes varieties equivalent to the Bust Half Nut Club. The internet information sources are a first step of that vision. What remains is the effort to complete the Seated coinage registry function that I proposed in 2006. This platform would encourage more members to post their combined certified and raw sets including Top 100 Varieties, further enhancing the club community surrounding Seated dime variety collecting. I hope that time can be found in a busy schedule to complete the Seated coinage "registry" function in the next six months. Furthermore, I hope that other LSCC members will find the passion or "craziness" for their hobby and become more vocal on the http://www.seateddimevarieties.com messages boards. I am optimistic that a Seated Dime Nut Club is just three or four years from being formed. Let's target the FUN shows of 2010 as the kick off point for our first Seated Dime Nut Club meeting!

As Always, Happy Hunting......(Sent by Blackberry from PCCW mobile)



==>  Gobrecht Journal Index for 2006. 

For your information and use, here is a listing of the articles published in the Gobrecht Journal in 2006 (Issues 95, 96, and 97).

Half Dimes

Issue Page #  Title

95      3          Liberty Seated Half Dimes Survey Results - 2005 by Sephen A. Crain

95      52        Letter - Half Dime Census Finds by John McCloskey

96      45        A Summary of the 2005 Half Dime Survey Data by John McCloskey

96      3          The Glenn B. Hoidale Archive of Seated Half Dimes by Len Augsburger

96      36        An 1841 Half Dime with a Misplaced Date by Stephen Crain

97      33        An 1858-O Half Dime with a Shattered Obverse by John McCloskey

Dimes

Issue Page #  Title

95     28         Updated Prices for the Rare San Francisco and New Orleans Seated Dimes by Paul Bradley

95     35         An Analysis for Carson City Dime Sets by John McCloskey

97     3           Liberty Seated Dime Survey Results, The Top 100 Varieties by Gerry Fortin

96     20         Rare 1840 Dime Splasher Shows Trial Design by Tom DeLorey

95     50         An Off Center 1856 Small Date Dime with a Doubled Die Obverse by John McCloskey

95     18         The Battle for the Unique 1873-CC No Arrows Dime by Len Augsburger

95     23         Mystery of the Ultra Rare 1873 Doubled Die Obverse Dime by Michael S. Fey

95     22         An 1876-S Dime with a Misplaced date by Tim Cook

Quarters

Issue Page #  Title

95     20         High Prices Paid for Seated Quarters at 2006 FUN Auctions by Robert A. Izydore

97     22         The Jules Reiver Collection of Seated Quarters by Bob Foster

Half Dollars

Issue Page #  Title

95     42         Mint State 1842 Small Letters Half Dollar Sold by John McCloskey

97     26         Die Marriages for the 1857-S Half Dollar by Bill Bugert

96     32         Die Marriages for the 1860-S Half Dollar by Bill Bugert

97     34         Coining Authority and Rarity for Die Marriages of 1861-O Half Dollars by Randall E. Wiley

Dollars

Issue Page #  Title

96     15         Seated Dollars From the Civil War by Dennis Garstang

96     50         A Seated Dollar Mystery by John McCloskey

96     38         An 1842 Seated Dollar with Multiple Rim Cuds by W. David Perkins

96     29         An 1869 Seated Dollar with a Misplaced 1 by Jack White

96     10         A Transitional 1876 Proof Trade Dollar by William H. Cowburn, Jr.

96     22         A Business Strike 1876 Type 1.5 Trade Dollar by Michael S. Fey

Miscellaneous

Issue Page #  Title

95     26         The Frog Farm Collection of Seated Coinage by Len Augsburger

95     44         The Ten Greatest Carson City Seated Coins by John McCloskey

95     48         Gray wins Ahwash Award for 2005 by John McCloskey

95     52         Announcement - LSCC Spring Regional Meeting

96     18         Announcement - LSCC Annual Meeting

96     21         Collective Volume Number 5 by John McCloskey

96     25         The Jules Reiver Sale by Dick Osburn

96     40         Comments on the Greatest San Francisco Seated Coins by Paul Bradley

96     42         Kamal M. Ahwash, Liberty Seated Dealer and Scholar by John McCloskey

97     19         Liberty Seated Coinage and the 1873 Assay Commission by Len Augsburger

97     25         A Theory on Localized Die Doubling by Tom DeLorey

97     32         Second Edition of Coin Chemistry Book Available by John McCloskey

97     32         On the Cover by John McCloskey

97     51         E-Gobrecht Newsletter Wins Award by John McCloskey

97     51         LSCC Regional Meeting at FUN Convention by John McCloskey

97     52         Treasurer's Report for 2005-2006 by Mark Sheldon



==>  Branch Mint Proofs in the Liberty Seated Series:  Twenty Cent Pieces, Second in a Series by Len Augsburger

The twenty cent piece was introduced in 1875, accompanied by a rich variety of twenty cent patterns that began in 1874.  The Bowers & Merena sale of the Salisbury collection (9/1994) is noteworthy, featuring an array of twenty-four twenty cent patterns, many of them R-6s and R-7s.  The sale also included the ultra-rare 1876-CC twenty cent piece, which realized $80,300.  Missing from this important set of "double dimes" was the 1875-S branch mint proof twenty cent piece.

Breen indicates that twelve pieces of the 1875-S proof were struck, this information seems to have originated in oral tradition from B. Max Mehl, cited in R. B. White's article on the 1875-S in the March 1974 issue of the Numismatist.  In 1931, Mehl is said to have sold an 1875-S branch mint proof to Emerson Gaylord, a Massachusetts collector, and related at the time that twelve had been struck (Gaylor was a consignor to two Mayflower auctions in May and November 1963 - I would be interested in hearing from any readers who might have these catalogs.).  This is evocative of the Chapman brothers in 1889 claiming the existence of twelve 1883 Carson City Morgan dollar proofs (Chapman 6/1889:242).  In neither case is primary evidence cited and in the White article (Numismatist, 3/1974), a search of San Francisco newspapers for the year 1875 was conducted and no discussion of San Francisco proof or presentation twenty cent pieces was found. However, it should be noted that several first year San Francisco proof strikings are generally accepted, including the 1854-S $20 in the Smithsonian as well as examples of 1855-S half dollars and a single 1855-S quarter.

In any case, highly prooflike examples of the 1875-S twenty cent piece clearly exist and this coin has been one of the more accepted branch mint proofs in the seated series, with three pieces currently certified by PCGS and two by NGC as branch mint proofs.  However, with identical dies used for business strikes, attribution is tricky.  Lane Brunner, ANA Deputy Executive Director, and authority on twenty cent pieces, commented in an email to the author "Since there are some wonderful, very PL 75-S business strikes from the same die pair, it can be very difficult to tell the difference.  I would be willing to bet there are others out there ready for cherry-picking or just tucked away in a collection, unknown to the owner."

Notable high-grade examples include the following (possibly some duplication in this enumeration).  An earlier listing can be found in Roy Rauch's August 1975 article in the Gobrecht Journal (collective volume 1, P. 185)

1. Pine Tree 9/1973:248 ($5,800), there accompanied by a Breen letter dated 8/20/1964 attesting to its proof status.  The Pine Tree catalog indicates a wire edge, knife rim, and a reverse lint mark by M in AMERICA. Later, this coin appeared in Heritage 2/1985:862 ($5,500), there color plated, and now certified by ANACS as a branch mint proof (ANACS certification E-1706-J, 7/15/1981)

2. Bowers&Merena ANA 7/1981:540 ($13,500).  PR65, untoned, and color plated.

3. Auction '87:86 ($3,850) and Auction 87:722 ($6,600).  Both color plated.  Lot 722 later appeared in Superior Boys Town 5/1990:1630 ($3,960).

4. Superior 8/1992:119, NGC PR63 ($7,700).  Per the catalog, "identifiable by a long disturbance in the right obverse field beneath the heavy gunmetal blue toning."  Black and white plate.

5. Heritage ANA 7/1997:8545 ($3,565), PCI PR62.  Black and white catalog.  Identified here as the Roy Rauch plate coin from Breen's Encyclopedia of Proof Coins (p. 236 in Breen).

6.. Superior 10/2000:4358, PCI PR63 ($4,025). Previously in Kagin's 8/1986 ANA:4362 ($13,200), later in Stack's 5/1998:425 ($7,700), and in Heritage 11/14/2000:2238 ($4,000). Black and white catalog plate in the Superior catalog, color plate in the Stack's catalog. The Heritage color image of this frequently traded coin is at: http://coins.heritageauctions.com/common/ view_item.php?Sale_No20112&Lot_No=2238&src=pr.

Legend specimen, http://www.pcgs.com/setregistry/alltimeset.aspx?s=2183. Ex Goldberg's Benson II 2/2002:677 ($32,200), PCGS PR63. Purchased by Benson from Philadelphia dealer Ira Reed in 1944 as a proof for $20.

8.. ANR 1/2004:1403 ($103,500), PCGS PR64CAM. http://www.stacks.com/lotdetail.aspx?lrid=AN00002921.



==>  Subscriber correspondence.

From Jason Feldman:  Hi Bill, I have included a photo of a lovely 1855 dime with a die crack running from star 4 into the body of Liberty.  I am interested to see if other like it will surface.  The coin is a full original MS62 as graded by NGC. The crack is strong extending from star 4 across the fields and fully visible onto the body.  I would imagine this crack extending beyond the star would only be visible on a mint state coin or one that was close to being mint state.  (Ed., anyone have another one of these out there?).

From Michael Fey:  Bill, A couple of years ago, I did a Top 100 quarterly newsletter with a clashed Morgan dollar tool that I thought you should know about.  I sent one to all my subscribers.  It only cost me about $0.50 per tool to make. It consisted of enlarged images (nearly 1/4 page size ea.; 2 tools per page) of the obverse and reverse of a Morgan dollar printed on one sheet of transparency paper.  It was then cut in quarters to make four pieces.  The beauty of this transparent overlay was that one could see through either the obverse or reverse to see where the clashing was actually coming from.  More importantly, it permitted rotation of either image slightly to account for clash marks resulting from coins struck slightly out of a perfect coin turn.  As it turned out, there were many coins that showed single or multiple clash marks which were out of perfect alignment.  The tool explained much more than expected.

Dr. Mark Kimpton wrote an insightful book on Morgan dollar clashed dies.  Clashing, a violent event, sometimes causes breakage of the die holder, which then allows the dies to rotate either CW or CCW during subsequent striking.  One thing that Dr. Kimpton pointed out in his ground breaking book, was that clashing can be dead center, or to the right, left, north or south if the dies were not aligned in a parallel manner.  Dr. Kimpton found clashed "O" mint marks on the obverse of some varieties, and letters transfer from obverse to reverse and vice versa.  None of this was initially obvious until a tool was used correctly. I believe LSCC members would benefit from reading Dr. Kimpton's book and from getting a large obverse and reverse image from you that they can print on transparency paper.  There's still much waiting to be discovered in seated halves and other seated coinage.  Best wishes.

From Bob Foster:  Bill, please keep me on the list for the Journal emails, I love it!  Thanks.

From Barry Stallard:  Please add my name to the email list for the E-Gobrecht newsletter.  Within the last year or so, I have started collecting the seated half dollar and dollar coins.  I have found the Gobrecht Journal most interesting and informative and no doubt, I will learn more from your newsletter.

From Byron Powell:  Bill, I just received my first copy of your most interesting E-Publication.  CONGRATULATIONS on a very fine and most interesting newsletter.  Although I am not exactly an avid Liberty Seated collector, I do enjoy reading and learning about some of the most beautiful (in my opinion) coins ever struck by the US Mint.  The E-Gobrecht piece adds to my reading interest.  I hope that you can keep up this fine publication for the future. I also enjoyed yours and Mr. Wiley's excellent articles in the November Gobrecht Journal on the Seated Liberty Half Dollars.  I never realized that there are so many "different" things to look for in just one year's production of minted coins.  Such articles make coin collecting a long-term worthwhile avocation. Thanks again for sending me the E-Gobrecht letter and please keep me on the E-mailing list.  If and when it becomes necessary, I will be glad to become a contributing member to help defray costs.

From Mike Locke:  Is LSCC interested in an article on the (potential) ancient origins of the seated Liberty design: EleutheriaHas this been done before?  Is it relevant?  Eleutheria (image of freedom) as depicted on some coins from Kyzicus (circa 400BC) is essentially identical to the seated liberty found on USA trade dollars.  Although Eleutheria is usually shown standing, on a very few very rare coins, she is shown seated. I don't have a lot to add to the above, except to provide a picture and point out the obvious similarities.

From Alan Zischke:  Thank you, Bill, your newsletter just keeps getting better.  I have two 1857-S' to attribute.  Any word on Volume 5?

From Marv Galante To my knowledge, the 1859s .25 is unknown in Uncirculated condition.  How many other Seated coins are unknown in Uncirculated?  Shouldn't this make the extant EF-AU coins more valuable than the various published prices?

From Ron Feuer:  Just a note that might be listed in the next Gobrecht Journal, (# 98), is my first cherried 1873 Double Die Dime early this year, from dealer stock.  After looking through approximately 1,000+ examples of 1873 with arrows dimes at various shows over the past five years or so (to NO avail), that I have actively been looking for this variety, I finally hit paydirt in 2006. Personally, I have paid rather stout prices for three previous examples of this coin in various grades during the years that I have been eyeballing for an undiscovered specimen, and per Brian Greer's advice, it remains an R-6 coin.  I certainly believe in his rarity factor of the variety being a "6".  Greer has mentioned to me that over the years, he has cherried five examples.  I can attest to the fact that diligence does pay off, but I was rather exhausted in my search for one of these rarities, and had more or less put my quest for it on the back burner.  When I spotted this example, I was really looking for tough mint marked dimes among some dealer stock, I was really surprised and amazed of the coin being in among common material and, of course, it is not being marked as to what it was. Yet I managed to keep my composure (although my heart did skip the proverbial beat!), enough to secure the coin for the "right" price upon my discovery of the piece. I am going to submit the coin for grading by one of the grading services soon, and think that it will easily grade VF25 or better by even the foremost service.  It is a completely nice and original piece.

From John Dannreuther:  I would like to inform members that my article about common Proof reverse dies from the 1840s (1/2 cents through eagles, including all the Liberty Seated coinage) is in the current issue of the new ANA magazine (ANA Quarterly).  Not too many numismatists are aware of this new publication, but this is the third issue and QDB, Roger Burdette, and others have contributed articles to it.  This article details the commonality of Proof-only reverse dies for ALL Proof issues of the 1840s.

From Keith Scott:  The 39th annual San Jose CA show is the weekend of the 12 - 14 of Jan.  This is second in size only to the Santa Clara Show and there is more than enough seated liberty stuff to deplete my budget many times over.  Working at the show gives me first choice - Joy!


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Calendar

Quarter census mailed out - Early 2007.

100th Issue of The Gobrecht Journal - November 2007.


Information, input, comments, or suggestions for improvements to this E-Gobrecht are actively solicited from anyone and may be sent to wb8cpy@arrl.net or by writing or calling:

Bill Bugert

Editor, E-Gobrecht

P.O. Box 3761 Gettysburg, PA 17325-6927

(717) 337-0229

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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:  Len Augsburger.

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 The Gobrecht Journal mailing address changes, or for other membership questions, correspond with the LSCC Secretary Len Augsburger at:

Leonard Augsburger

P.O. Box 6114

Vernon Hills, IL 60061

Phone: (847) 816-1649

Email: leonard_augsburger@hotmail.com.

Articles, comments, or advertisements for publication in The Gobrecht Journal may be addressed to the LSCC President:

Dr. John W. McCloskey

President, LSCC, and Editor, The Gobrecht Journal

Email address:  John.McCloskey@notes.udayton.edu

Not copyrighted, use freely but please be sure to quote the E-Gobrecht and the Liberty Seated Collectors Club.