The E-Gobrecht

Volume 1, Issue 4, Mid-June 2005

Whole Number 4


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.


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

     PO. 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




Many thanks to repeat submitters Brian Greer and Len Augsburger and first time E-Gobrecht author Saul Teichman. 


I am pleased to report that the readership for the E-Gobrecht has now reached 80 subscribers.  Thanks, all, for your interest!  Editor.

Features in this issue


==>  Market Update by Brian Greer.

==>  Half Dollar Patterns by Saul Teichman.

==>  Addendum listing for The Complete Guide To Liberty Seated Half Dollars by Bill Bugert.

==>  Kam Ahwash’s Dime Book Personal Reference Copy at Auction by Len Augsburger.

==>  Recent Finds.

==>  Advertisements for the sale of Liberty Seated Coinage.



==>  Long Beach Coin Show Market Update by Brian Greer. 

     The Long Beach show began with a heavy dark cloud over its head. A well-publicized suspected fraud in a State of Ohio pension fund involving coins had put fear into many coin dealers.  It was not the thought of as much as $50 million in rare coins coming onto the market but the belief that the bad news would scare away new investor money.  Many felt that the market had the potential to collapse.  Some, a minority, felt it could even reach the collector coin market.  As the show began some generic items such as MS 63 U.S. 2½ Indian gold coins were selling at lower levels.  The key here is "selling.”  By the time I left on Friday, most dealers were much more optimistic and activity seemed strong though lower than previous months; not at all unexpected for the beginning of Summer.  Most felt that the ANA show would be a real barometer for the markets strength.  I certainly did not notice any reduced interest in collector coins.


     Availability of Liberty Seated coins at the Long Beach Convention was very typical of the current market overall.  That is with the exception of a couple specialized dealers, scarce dates were very difficult to come by, especially if original and problem free.  Still with some persistence, a few bargains could be found.  I believe the perceived shortage stems more from an increased demand than a reduced supply.  When a fresh deal comes onto the market such as a full or partial set, it is usually devoured quickly, often by dealers who a few years ago had no interest in scarce seated coins.  A few years ago a group like that may sit in a dealer’s case for several shows with the problem or marginally graded coins disappearing over a long period of time.  Today, even the problem and seemingly, overgraded coins sell quickly if they are perceived to be scarce.  Several times I have looked at a coin, decided to "think about it" only to see it gone on the next pass through.  Seated coins are not unique to this, however.  Scarce coins in all series seem to be feeling this demand.  Scarce date Bust coinage is probably even tougher to locate in today’s market than Liberty Seated coins.  Patience is the key to today’s collector.  As I have stated previously, I believe that more material is coming onto the market today than I have seen in some time.  Being in the right place at the right time and making a prompt decision has become more critical.


==>  Saul Teichman is looking for assistance from any reader.


Information Needed on 1838 Judd-82 Pattern Half Dollars


I am seeking information on the 1838 Judd-82 pattern half dollar with the Liberty Seated obverse.  This coin has the standard 1837 Bust reverse with the denomination 50 CENTS.  According to Breen, originals and restrikes exist for the Judd-82 pattern.

Breen #4740 is the original, which, as you can see, has the word Liberty in raised letters and weighs 206 grains.  Breen claims there are 3 known proofs. I can easily trace 2 of these.

1)      The Mickley, Cohen, Parmalee, Woodin, Boyd coin which is also the Judd plate coin and is the illustrated piece.

2)      The Brand, Farouk, Krouner-Coronet Coin Fixed Price List – cleaned and lacquered.

3)      I cannot trace the Brock, University of Pennsylvania piece that Breen mentions as the third.  Does anyone have information on this third piece?

Breen #4741 – Breen claims that 2 restrikes also exist. If they exist, they will be struck from the obverse die above which has Liberty in incused letters and would likely weigh 192 grains.  Has anyone ever seen or heard of these pieces?


Please respond with any information on these pattern half dollars to: or

Saul Teichman

Editor website



==>  In 1993 when The Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Half Dollars was printed, a few errors crept into the publication process.  At the time, authors Randy Wiley and Bill Bugert provided a one-page addendum of those corrections with copies of the book sold by them.  Many copies, however, were sold by distributors and did not include the addendum listing.  That listing is reprinted here for use by those of you that own a copy of our book but without the addendum.


Addendum listing for The Complete Guide to Liberty Seated Half Dollars


October 10, 1993


Page 6:             Change caption on Subtype VII reverse photograph to read:

                        “Motto/Large Letters/No Rays


Page 8:             Change             “II.  No Motto Reverse (1866-1891)”

                        To                    “II. Motto Reverse (1866-1891)”


Page 51:           Insert under:     MISCELLANEOUS NOTES


Heavy coinage melting.  Half dollar coinage in the mid to late 1840’s was very heavy from both the New Orleans Branch and Philadelphia Mints.  This changed in 1848 with the discovery of massive quantities of gold in California.  The international value of gold began to fall and the value of silver began to rise in relation to gold.  Consequently, US silver coinage soon became more valuable than face and was exported and melted for bullion value.  By late 1850, little American silver could be found in circulation.  The withdrawal from circulation and wholesale melting of silver coins was most prevalent in the north where the population was concentrated in large cities.  In the South, half dollars were not readily obtained by speculators because the commercial use of coinage was more geographically widespread and not concentrated in cities as in the North.  The withdrawal of coinage from circulation continued until 1853 when the silver coinage weight standard was decreased to compensate for the bullion value above face.  This rationale accounts for the massive melting of Philadelphia halves including 1850, 1851, and 1852.  These dates are usually found in high grades (XF+, AU, and UNC) and probably saved at the time of minting.  Contrary to popular belief, from what we have been able to determine, the New Orleans issues of 1851-O and 1852-O are scarce not because of heavy melting of these issues but because the mintage quantities are so small.


Guatemala Hoard Coins.  Walter Breen discusses [9] a large cache of Liberty Seated Half Dollars, known as the Guatemala Hoard (for the location of the find), and it is worth repeating here:  “…about 1956 unidentified individuals discovered an immense hoard in Guatemala, reflecting mass wartime (i.e. Civil War) shipments of coins as bullion.  The Guatemala Hoard coins are readily recognizable:  They are dated between 1859 and 1865 Philadelphia, and between 1860 and 1865 S, most often between 1861-1862 from either mint, ranging in grade from VF to nearly mint state, all cleaned with baking soda or some abrasive.  There were many hundreds of each date, possibly a couple thousand 1861-1862.  As there were not later date coins in the part of the hoard I saw (at New Netherlands Coin Co., 1956), most likely the hoard was buried about 1865 or early 1866.  Either there were no 1866 S No Motto coins, or they were fished out beforehand; but I have seen none matching the hoard coins.”

            Don Taxay [25] also mentions the Guatemala Hoard with minor differences in the included coinage dates:  “Note:  “P” mint half dollars ca. 1859-1865 and “S” mint half dollars ca. 1861-1865 are now relatively common in scrubbed unc. due to a large Guatemala find.”

            Whatever the exact dates and mints of the coinage, high circulated and mint state grade cleaned coins of the early 1860’s can be found today.


Page 80:           Change caption on WB106 photo to read:

                        “WB-106. Large date, normal date.



==>  Kam Ahwash’s Dime Book Personal Reference Copy in recent auction.  Len Augsburger reports on the recent sale of this significant numismatic treasure.  In the E-Gobrecht Volume 1, Issue 2, John McCloskey described his presentation copy of the Kam Ahwash Encyclopedia of United States Liberty Seated Dimes 1837-1891.  Kam published his book in 1977 and it represented the first important work on seated dime varieties, being over four hundred pages with large photographs on nearly every page.  John described his book as having a padded blue cover and being numbered "002" in the lower right corner of the first page of the text.  John asked the readers whether the "001" copy, presumably Ahwash's own, was known to anyone in the LSCC.


     Remarkably, this very book seems to have recently appeared in George F. Kolbe's sale of the Craig and Ruanne Smith Numismatic Library, lot 62.  This sale was recently conducted on June 4, 2005, in conjunction with Kolbe's sale of the John J. Ford library, part 2.  Kolbe's description of lot 62 is as follows:


"Special leatherbound copy, impressed in gilt at the base of the upper cover: "Kamal M. Ahwash/1977". Ex. Craig Smith.  The entire first edition comprised 500 copies, of which 100 were specially numbered and bound in leather-grained padded blue cloth.  This example at hand, presumably the author's own special copy, is the only one known to us bound in leather and may be unique.  Ahwash graduated from the National Conservatory of Music in Paris, performed for the Paris Opera Company, and also on Broadway.  He was founder and first president of the Liberty Seated Collectors Club."


     Estimated at $2,000, the volume sold to a floor bidder at $4,830, a splendid tribute to the founder of the Liberty Seated Collector's Club and the significance of his work on Liberty Seated dime varieties.

Recent Finds


==>  Anyone wishing to report their recent finds, including rarities, cherry picks, late die states, “neat coins,” etc., are encouraged to share it with others in this column.


     -  Michael Fey recently purchased two 1844-O WB-103 Dramatically Doubled Date half dollars, one in a NGC 55 holder and one raw, cleaned AU detail net grade XF.



-  Dick Osburn reports this market update in an email announcement of his updated website.  “The Long Beach show, which just ended, was a renewal of the current bull market for rare coins.  I had the best show I have ever had.  The market for investor coins seems to be a little weak, but the rare dates are still in strong demand.”


-  John McCloskey, President of the LSCC and the Editor of the Gobrecht Journal provides an update on the efforts to make a Gobrecht Journal Fifth Collective Volume.  “I am currently working on preparing the Fifth Collective Volume of the journal.  It has been difficult to produce because of the rapidly changing technology during the time that the issues for Volume Five were being published.  For example, we had no digital pictures in the computer from this period so that all of the pictures had to be placed into the documents before a computer disk could be prepared.  The multiple upgrades in the software from the early period also gave us fits in recovering the original documents.  However, we are making progress between publication of each of the new issues.”


-  From the Editor.  I attended to a few local Southern Pennsylvania coin shows in the past few weeks and was disappointed to find very little in the way of Seated Half Dollars.  On the second round through the floor, I noticed little of bust coinage also.  Both shows were packed with people and trying to get through the aisles was tough.  I tried to notice what the majority seemed to be buying at it looked like Morgan Dollars and modern issues.  Maybe this is an influx from the recent state quarter issues.



ANA Summer Seminar:  Colorado Springs, CO - June 25, July 1, July 2-8

LSCC Meeting at the 2005 ANA Convention                               TBD

ANA Convention:  San Francisco, CA                                      - July 27-31

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:  Mark Sheldon


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:

     Mark Sheldon

     Secretary, LSCC

     P.O. Box 261

     Wellington, OH 44090


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     John W. McCloskey

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Copyright © 2005, The Liberty Seated Collectors Club.