Liberty Seated Dimes
Kam Ahwash Collection - Encyclopedia of United States Liberty Seated Dimes, 1837-1891
LSCC E-Gobrecht; Images from Kam Ahwash's daughter, Michelle
Memories from John McCloskey, President LSCC
Ahwash Encyclopedia Plate Coins, McCloskey Collection
In 1974 Kam Ahwash visited my home in Kettering, Ohio and we compared the coins in my collection with the notes that he had taken of the Seated dime varieties that he had identified for his new encyclopedia. He stayed at my home for three days examining coins and we pulled out all of the new varieties that we discovered. I then hired photographer Gordon Harnick to take close up pictures of the varieties that we had discovered. These pictures were then sent to Kam for use in his encyclopedia. Gordon Harnick took only close up pictures for the encyclopedia and all of the pictures represent discovery coins for the varieties that are illustrated.
I still own all of these coins! None of them were of any great value and they were purchased at local shows in the Midwest in the states of Ohio, Michigan, Indiana and Illinois. None of these coins are slabbed and I have no record of who I bought them from since they were all small part time dealers who set up at these shows. I have listed the page number of the illustration in the 1977 Ahwash encyclopedia, the date, variety, grade, cost and year of purchase. The list as I know it at this time is as follows:
Ahwash Book Date Variety Grade Cost Purchase
page 58 1841-O A5 XF $25.00 1973
page 67 1843 A2 XF 13.00 1972
page 68 1843 A3 XF 8.00 1974
page 75 1845 A3 VF 11.50 1972
page 81 1847 A1 VF 22.00 1971
page 87 1848 A1 VF 5.00 1966
page 88 1848 A2 VF 12.00 1971
page 91 1849 A2 VF 5.00 1960
page 108 1851 A1 VF 6.00 1958
page 111 1851 A3 XF 11.00 1970
page 119 1852 A2 F 3.00 1957
page 122 1852 A4 VF 8.00 1969
page 126 1853 A3 F 4.00 1958
page 127 1853 A4 XF 18.00 1973
page 129 1853 A6 VF 10.00 1972
page 136 1856 A2 XF 9.50 1971
page 137 1856 A3 XF 9.50 1968
page 138 1856 A4 F 7.00 1973
page 142 1856-O A2 XF 18.00 1967
page 144 1856-O A3 F 20.00 1971
page 208 1867-S A1 XF 50.00 1972
page 213 1868 A3 XF 12.50 1973
page 218 1869 A1 VF 8.00 1970
page 219 1869 A2 F 4.00 1958
page 220 1869 A3 VF 3.00 1959
page 226 1870 A3 XF 8.00 1973
page 228 1870 A4 VF 4.00 1957
I had nearly a complete set of Seated dimes by date and mintmark by the time I graduated from college in 1960. I purchased very few pieces during my time in graduate school from 1961 to 1965 but I began to take a serious interest in die varieties after I received my PhD in Statistics in 1965.
I hope that this information is helpful to research projects on Seated dimes.
John W. McCloskey
December 9, 2009
Memories from Roger W. Burdette
(Author of the “Renaissance of American Coinage” book series and “A Guide Book of Peace Dollars.”)
I met Kam at a coin show held in the new Carrollton. MD Holiday Inn. I had set up to take coin photos for collectors and he had me photograph a couple of coins to test the results. He then began sending me small numbers of coins to photograph and asked that all the images be the same size – 90mm, I think. Later, he had me come to the “Suburban Coin Show” sponsored by the Prince Georges (MD) Coin Club and I would spend all day photographing dimes and half dimes for him. On several occasions I recall photographing several of the same date/variety, so I never knew which photos were for his book and which were sales aids. I charged him $3 per coin including B&W prints, contact sheets, negatives and return postage.
Just after his book came out, he told me that he took some of his measurements off the negatives, instead of the coins. I reminded him that the images on the negatives did not have fixed magnification, but that didn’t seem to bother him.
The original images were made with a 135mm f2.8 lens mounted on a bellows and operating at f11. Lighting was electronic flash [1/1,000 sec duration], shutter speed was 1/60 sec on a Nikon F body. The film was 35mm Kodak Tri-X (ISO 400), and was processed normally in Kodak D-76. Prints were made on Ilford #2 glossy paper using a 4x5 Besseler enlarger and Nikon lens.
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