Volume 3, Issue 2, February 2007
Whole Number 23
The E-Gobrecht is an award winning 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
Editor’s Comments. Since I have been experiencing formatting problems when I sent previous issues of the E-Gobrecht, I decided to send this issue in Microsoft Word format. I hope this does not cause difficulties with the subscribers. I would appreciate any feedback on this.
Acknowledgements. Many thanks to 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.
==> Auction News by Jim Gray.
==> An 1858 “catfish foot” half dollar by Bill Bugert.
==> Recent subscriber correspondence.
==> 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
In your opinion, are 20-cent pieces and Trade dollars legitimate parts of the Liberty Seated Series?
By Jim Gray
The Heritage FUN sales were contained in several catalogues and presented a number of choice and rare Seated coins.
An 1858-S dime in XF-45 went for $1,840 while an 1854-O huge O quarter in XF cleaned, but nicely retoned, went for $3,600. A cleaned AU 1859-S quarter did not sell, but a very attractive AU-55 of the same date went for a very strong $32,200. An 1866-S quarter in XF-40, but scratched, only realized $862 while a Fair-2 1870-CC quarter, with only the central devices and the date and mint mark visible, garnered $6,325. An 1872-CC quarter in VG-8 went for $1,955 while a very nicely toned 1873-CC with arrows quarter in VG-10 soared to $9,205.
An 1842-O small date half with a typical weak strike went for $4,025 while a VF-35 1847 over 46 hammered for $6,900. A cleaned 1870-CC half in VF-20 garnered $3,450 while the same date in VF-25, but with only LI----Y visible on the scroll still went for a hefty $8,625. An AU-53 1872-CC half went for $4,312 while an XF-45 1873-CC no arrows half brought $2,760. An 1873-CC with arrows half in XF-40 went for $1,610 while an attractive 1878-CC with uncirculated details, but scratched, still realized an impressive $10, 350. In the Platinum Night catalogue, an XF but corroded, 1874-CC dime with a decent look did not sell while a choice 1873-CC quarter in AU-55, which was well struck with nice toning and impaired only by some tiny spots, rang the bell for $74,750. A bright 1871-CC half in AU-58 did not sell while an absolutely lovely, well struck 1878-CC trade dollar in MS-65 and among the finest known, went to a happy buyer for $143,750.
There were a number of rare date quarters in the sale, which began with a choice 1842-O small date quarter in AU-55. This coin was well struck and nicely toned, except for some mottling in the right obverse field, and went for an impressive $10,580 while a nicely toned 1852-O quarter in MS-62 with the normal soft strike did not sell.
The 1861-S quarter in AU-50 is an old friend in that it was part of my collection. It sold for $7,475 in my sale, a much higher value than either the appraiser or myself had given it. The $7,475 was a nice advance on the $300 that I paid for the coin in Stacks, June 1985, sale. This coin did not sell for the second time and it appears that the buyer paid too much for it at the sale of my collection. An 1862-S quarter in AU-58 also did not sell.
The 1871-CC quarter in an AU-50 PCGS holder also was part of my collection and was raw and graded XF-45, lightly cleaned, when it was sold with my collection. Both the appraiser and myself graded the coin higher and thought that it would slab, but it only realized $23,000 at my sale. The coin appears to have been lightened slightly, but even the power of the plastic could not produce a minimum bid of $50K, which was 2-1/2 times the winning bid two and a half years ago.
An 1873-CC with arrows quarter graded AU-50, but cleaned and nicely retoned, did not sell. As for dollars, an 1872-CC in AU-53 went for $11,557 while BU and AU-53 examples of the 1872s did not sell.
The catalogue also contained the finest known 1913
==> An 1858
“catfish foot” half dollar by Bill Bugert.
Here is an interesting half dollar variety from my reference
collection. It is an 1858-P with what
I call a “catfish foot.” So called for
the catfish whisker shaped die lines from
1858 Catfish Foot Half Dollar Die line in N on the 1858 catfish foot half
==> Subscriber correspondence.
From Len Augsburger: Bill, I think John Dannreuther's article in the ANA Journal deserves a lot more attention than his modest announcement in the E-Gobrecht, so, here goes for the next issue…
Dannreuther, John. "An Era of Coinage: Common, Proof-Only Reverse Dies of the 1840s Used for All Denominations", ANA Journal, Volume 1, Number 3, Fall 2006.
Along with branch mint proofs of any date, early proofs in the seated series (prior to 1858) are among the most elusive desiderata in all of Liberty Seated coinage. Dannreuther, in May 2005, was able to carefully study the Kaufman collection of Liberty Seated proof coinage, 1837-1857, the most complete set of early proofs ever formed (surpassing Eliasberg, Pittman and even the Smithsonian collection), and missing only two pieces. (The Kaufman set of later proofs of Liberty Seated coinage was dispersed several years ago; these regularly appear on the market, many of them superb gems.). Noting several die characteristics, but especially the extension of reverse vertical shield lines, Dannreuther has been able to identify matching reverse dies for many of the 1840s era proofs. As an example, the reverse of the 1842 half dime was used for half dime proofs from 1842 to 1849. The same is true of seated dimes. Well illustrated, this article is a must for die variety specialists, and one of the more significant pieces ever written on early proofs in the Liberty Seated series, an important companion to the Eliasberg and Pittman auction catalogs.
copies of the ANA Journal are available at $21.95, see http://www.money.org/Content/NavigationMenu/Communications/ANAJournal/default.htm
From Dick Osburn’s pricelist email: Ruth and I just returned from the FUN show
While I heard a few dealers grumbling about a slow show, we had the biggest FUN we’ve ever had. Other dealers who handled early type and rare dates reported similar strong results. Business was brisk, in some cases overwhelming; from the time they opened the doors until the end of the show. The collectors were out in force.
There were several trends evident. First, the sales were truly collector coins, and not necessarily big ones. When we have a great show, we normally sell one or two very expensive coins that beef up the sales total. At this show, we sold none, just large numbers of collector coins, very few of which were individually over $1,500. Even though the sales were smaller coins, the final total far exceeded any previous FUN show.
We had a lot of interest in all the series we sell, but the highest sales were in half dollars, both bust and seated, with the bust halves being our strongest series. Again, it was the coins in the $100-750 range that attracted the most attention.
The auction results showed some similar trends, with the more expensive rarities going for far more reasonable prices than the lesser coins. The auctions themselves were amazing. In general prices were very strong. With Heritage alone offering nearly $100,000,000 in coins, I thought there would be a lot of bargains and a lot of coins not meeting their reserve bids. In fact, there was an occasional bargain, but not nearly the number I expected. In addition, the number of coins not meeting their reserves was less than in some of the smaller auctions.
That’s about it for now. I’ll be at the Texas Coin Show in Grapevine this coming weekend, and at the Houston Money Show the last weekend of this month. I hope to see some of you there.
From Daryl Luke: Hi Bill, I am the one that Dick Osburn emailed you about that has the 1858-S quarter with a possible new die marriage. I was wondering what you need for info on the coin to put in your monthly email? The reverse is more like the reverse of an 1855-S or an 1856-S, in that I mean the placement of the S, it is not even close to the two placements that are shown in Larry's Seated Quarter book. I have owned about a half dozen 1858-S quarters, and currently own one of the 2 finest certified by PCGS, and none of them had this reverse. Anyway, any help you can give me would be much appreciated. (Ed., I responded: Daryl, the next issue of the E-Gobrecht will go at the end of the month. You can send me a description, photo, or preferably both and I will get it out.)
From Len Augsburger: Bruce Scher announced the formation of a very high grade collection of seated proof coinage on the PCGS board (his announcement below). The sets are listed on the PCGS registry under "Bruce Scher". A number of Scher's previous registry sets appeared in the Heritage Long Beach auction in February, 2005. These sets included proof and business strike three cent nickels, proof Barber dimes, quarters, and half dollars, proof Walkers, and commemorative half dollars.
Thought I would update on my progress after 2 years of collecting a new series or 2 after selling virtually all my coins in early 2005. I started all over collecting all denominations of seated proofs 1858 and up. I still needed to complete half dimes and dollars, 3 coins each and the quarters still need 4 coins, the dimes and halves have plenty of holes. I have managed to corral many pop tops and 20 coins are 1/0. Most prized thus far are 1873 and 1874 arrow dimes in 66C and 67. These are really cool and also recently acquired an 1883 quarter in 68C. These seated sets are quite a challenge for me and though hopefully they will be complete in a year or 2 with nice examples I know it will take many more years to get them all the way I want them. I have learned a lot about these seated proofs and have recently started going a bit older and even have a few coins with mintages of as little as 5 coins. I sometimes cannot resist something pretty from my old areas of interest but try to keep my focus on the seated stuff. These sets have been a blast to work on.
From Len Augsburger: (Editor’s
note: Len has an advanced interest in
Christian Gobrecht related items. He
gave all attendees at the November 2006 regional LSCC meeting at the
Baltimore Coin Convention a bronze Hanover Coin Club token commemorating
Christian Gobrecht). A complete
set of Christian Gobrecht medals from the
From AZ: I just finished attributing the two 1857-S Halves I have. They both do not quite make it to AU, so EF45. The two I have are Obverse 2. The date seems larger than yours in the Journal article takes up most of the space between the rock and denticles (but not touching either. In addition, the weak foot support, could not find the lump left of the shield or the small die line in the folds, but they may be there. The reverse is definitely A (large mintmark). The other one I am fairly certain is 4-C diagnostics (high date slopes down and medium S with die lines under left wing. So 2-A and 4-C.
From Jason Feldman: I am wondering if the results of the Seated Dime census are going to be made public? I think this would be a wonder addition to the next edition (of the E-Gobrecht). While it is nice to see the variety results, some of us did spend a lot of time filling out the census and a year later, we have not seen the results. (You may feel free to add this to the comments if you wish.) Gerry Fortin responded: The general population survey results will be published in the March issue of the Gobrecht Journal. John McCloskey has confirmed this. It appears that John found some calculation problems with the tables submitted with the article at the last minute. He had to pull the article from the November issue. This fact disappointed me just as much as other club members.
From Len Augsburger: The Heritage Long Beach Sale, 2/14-2/17, has a large number of lots of seated coins with counterstamps. See lots 208-236 at:
From Gerry Fortin: (Ed., in response to my request for anything for this issue of the E-Gobrecht.): Unfortunately, I am on the sidelines this month. It is and I still have another 2-3 hours of work to catch up on. I'm also struggling to key up with new posting for the message board.
From Jason Feldman: (Ed., if you are interested in self-publishing, check this out). I found something that may make you a few extra dollars so I though I would share it.
I have an interesting 1870 Quarter that I've owned for about a year. It's certified by ANACS VF details, net VG8
(damaged whizzed). The damage is
caused by a jeweler's grinder mark right where the "CC" mintmark
would be. Can you imagine anyone these
days being so naive and stupid as to whiz off the CC mintmark? So, if someone ground off a
1. Heavy horizontal die line in the upper part of the F on OF.
2. Die scratches in the recessed area behind the eagle's left (obverse's) heel.
3. If you could count the reeds, it would have 122 versus 120 for Philly.
I have not looked through the un-Collective Volume issues of the Gobrecht Journal to see if there is more info. (Ed., OK you quarter collectors – comments?)
From Len Augsburger: The February 2007 edition of The Numismatist contains another article by John Dannreuther on the Phil Kaufman collection of early (1838-1857) proof seated coinage. This article is more of an overview of the set, rather than the die variety analysis contained in the recent ANA Journal. There is lots of eye candy here and a nice tribute to Kaufman for assembling the rarest of the rare, a set containing coins not found even in the Smithsonian collection.
From Bill Bugert: The February 2007 issue of The Numismatist has an interesting advertisement on page 25. New World Rarities, www.nwrarities.com, has a full page of photographs of PCGS certified Proof Trade Dollars in a set of 11 coins 1873 to 1883 inclusive for $35,500. I checked their website to get a closer look but got multiple errors. Check it out.
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