Volume 2, Issue 9, September 2006
Whole Number 18
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
We should all be proud of ourselves: We (The Liberty Seated Collectors Club) won the ANA’s first place 2006 Outstanding Electronic Club Publication Award! See the accompanying write–up in the Details section of this newsletter.
Acknowledgements. This issue is the longest yet. Many thanks to Gerry Fortin, Jim Gray, Len Augsburger, Brian Greer, Charles Sullivan, and the subscribers who corresponded with me.
Relevant Trivia. Who sketched this bird depicted below? (Hint, see last month’s trivia.) The answer is contained elsewhere in this issue of the E-Gobrecht.
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.
Features in this issue
==> Question of Month.
==> LSCC wins first place ANA award!
==> Bill Cowburn wins ANA Convention Exhibit awards!
==> Auction News by Jim Gray.
==> Notes on the LSCC Annual Meeting by Len Augsburger.
==> Liberty Seated Contemporary Counterfeit Dime Database Added to the www.seateddimevarieties.com Website by Gerry Fortin.
==> eBay Primer, Last-Second Proxy Bids by Charles Sullivan.
==> Review of the ANA Convention by Brian Greer.
==> 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.
A dealer has two examples of a coin that you need for your XF/AU Seated set. The first coin is graded AU-58 by a major grading service, but has dark murky toning. Close examination reveals a number of small marks, scratches, etc. under the toning. The second coin is graded XF-45 by the same service and has a good strike, smooth mark free wear, and very attractive natural toning. If the dealer priced the coins exactly the same, which one would you purchase?
Denis Loring: As a copper weenie who breaks everything out of slabs anyway, this is a no-brainer. Odds are I would net grade the first one XF-45 (at best) anyway. Coin #2 for me.
Douglas Nyholm: If I were given the choice between a murky slabbed AU-58 coin and a XF-45 coin with great eye appeal, I would definitely choose the XF-45 coin. I have always been one to by the coin and not the holder. I have seen many beautiful coins in slabs but I think we all have seen our share of downright ugly slabbed coins regardless of grade. Now, if one was a purest and simply could not have any coin in his set of AU-55 or higher seated whatever’s, then maybe both coins should be passed on. One area regarding this are coins which are so heavily toned that it is very difficult to actually personally grade the coin without special lighting and high magnification. Again, I say personally because I don’t think that one should simply look at the label on any slabbed coin and accept it as gospel. We are all also aware that to some in the hobby use excessive toning sometimes natural, sometimes helped to hide imperfections and they do get by the grading services from time to time. In conclusion, I definitely like original coins bright and toned but personally pass on ugly toning, even if it is original. I was given some good advice recently, ‘Never purchase a coin that you are going to have to apologize later for.’
…..Bill Bugert: I always prefer original, problem-free coins to problem coins. Nice coins fit well into an attractive collection that you can be proud of, problem coins deter from it. Secondly, it is far easier to sell nice problem free toned coins than otherwise.
Question of this Month (September)
Which is the easiest of the five original Seated series to complete in G-VG? (Ed., send replies to the Editor at email@example.com. Thanks)
==> Liberty Seated Collectors Club wins ANA award. On August 10th, Marilyn Reback, Senior Editor of the Numismatist Magazine, notified me (Ed. – Bill Bugert) that the LSCC won the first place Outstanding Electronic Club Publication Award. In an email, she says:
It is with great pleasure that I inform
you that "e-Gobrecht," published by the
The Outstanding Club Publications Awards
will be presented during the ANA's 115th Anniversary Convention in
If you are not planning to attend the convention, you can name someone to accept the award on your behalf, or the award can be mailed to you following the close of the convention.
Congratulations! Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions. Kindest regards, Marilyn Reback, Senior Editor, NUMISMATIST Magazine.
This award was unsolicited; the LSCC did not apply for consideration for this award. It is indeed an honor and a testament to the hard work and contributions of the club members. A scan of the certificate is included for all to enjoy. Thanks to everyone for your support and for making this award a reality.
==> Bill Cowburn
wins two ANA Convention exhibits awards!
LSCC member, researcher, and author Bill Cowburn won two awards at the
115th Anniversary ANA Convention in
By Jim Gray
The ANR sale had a number of choice Seated pieces. The dimes featured an 1838-O in MS-62 with lovely Wayte Raymond toning that did not sell. A lightly dipped 1871-CC dime in MS-61 sold for $49,450. A brightly dipped 1847-O quarter in AU-50 realized $2,760, while a choice VF-30 1849-O garnered $2,990. An original 1851-O in XF-40 realized $1,955, while an XF-45 1850-O did not sell. A very nice 1854-O, huge O, was valued at $9,775 in XF-45, while a decent AU-55 1855-S sold for $1,782. The magnificent MS-66 1869-S from the Eliasberg Collection did not sell, but a perfect XF-40 hammered for $690. An 1873 no arrows, closed 3, in XF-45 did not sell.
Relevant halves began with a very attractive AU-58 1840-O (no O) that sold for $3,220, more than $2,000 less than it went for at my sale. An XF-40 1842-O small date hammered for $4,370, while a piece in VF-25 garnered $2,070. Two 1844/1844-O pieces, both graded AU-55, did not sell nor did an 1846 over horizontal 6 in MS-61. An MS-60 1857-S with filed rims sold for $2,530, while an original 1870-CC in F-12 (L_Y visible) went for $3,680. An 1873-CC no arrows in MS-61 sold for $8,625, in spite of some dark peripheral toning. A lightly toned MS-64 1873-CC with arrows sold for $28,750, while another in AU-58 hammered for $5,290. This date is by far the most common of the seven rare CC halves. A splendid 1874-CC in MS-65 did not sell, but a VG-8 1878-S with a number of marks, digs, etc. went for $34,500, not far behind the $37,375 that was realized for a superior VG-8 in the Heritage Central States Sale.
One of the finest known 1839 original dollars in PR-64 garnered $59,200. A matching pair of 1851 and 1852 original dollars in MS-62 did not sell, breaking a long streak of successful sales of these dates. Both had full toning which was mottled and speckled, perhaps accounting for the no sell. A softly struck, dipped 1872-CC with some marks still managed $9,002.
The Heritage Denver Sale featured an 1844-O half dime that was well struck in MS-62 for $7,187. An 1856-S dime in AU-50 with nice toning did not sell. An 1860-O dime in F-12 sold for $1,380 , while a natural gray example of the same date went for $2,587. Further dimes included an XF 1871-CC cleaned at $4,025, an F-15 1873-CC at $5,462, while a toned 1873-CC in VF-20 did not sell. An 1874-CC in AG03, with a weak denomination, still hammered for $8,050, not far behind the gem AG-3 that was sold recently for $8,625.
An 1856-S quarter in AU-53 went for $4,312 while an absolutely splendid 1859-S in AU-55, and about as nice as you are going to find, hammered for a resounding $48,875. The 1861-S in AU-50 from my collection did not sell and an 1866-S in F-12 went for $920. An 1869 in MS-61 with very nice toning and a good strike brought $1,380, while an 1870 in AU-58 with rainbow toning went for $632. I looked for almost 20 years to find a comparable example of either date and was unsuccessful and now two desirable pieces sold back to back in an auction.
In halves an 1846 over horizontal 6 in MS-62 brought $4,600, while an 1870-CC in F-15 with all but the "E" visible went for $4,456. An 1871-CC in XF-45 did not sell and an 1873-CC arrows went for $1,725 in XF-40. An 1874-CC in VF-35 with nice smooth surfaces found a home for $3,490, while a piece graded AU-55 cleaned, but with toning too good to be true according to the cataloguer, sold for $4,025.
An 1836 original Gobrecht dollar from the issue of December 1836 which was graded as VF-20 details, but was absolutely covered with marks, repairs, flaws and depressions still sold for $4,025, in spite of the fact that it is in the condition census of the worst known Gobrecht dollars. An 1854 dollar that was well struck, but with some reeding marks, in MS-62 did not sell, while an 1878-CC Trade dollar in AU-55 sold for $7,188, in spite of some splotchy toning.
The Platinum Night portion of the Heritage Sale contained an 1842-O small date quarter graded MS-63. I looked at this coin through the mail when it appeared in the Norweb Sale where it was graded AU-50. The coin had obvious wear, was from a late die state with the depression in the horizontal stripes of the reverse shield, and was very weak in the centers with LIB not being visible. This coin got in an MS-63 holder about 10 years ago and did not sell at a number of auctions. Two bidders were apparently mesmerized by the grade on the holder as this coin was bid up to an incredible $74,750. A natural gray 1870-CC quarter in VF-25 realized $23,000, while another piece with AU details cleaned, but very presentable, went for $27,600.
The 1851 original dollar from my sale had mellowed from an MS-61 to an MS-62 and brought $52,900, a modest advance over the $48,300 it brought in my sale. A very choice 1873-CC dollar in XF-45 did not sell.
The Bowers and Merena Denver ANA Sale contained a nicely toned 1840-O with drapery half dime, which hammered for $6,038, while a choice AU collector coin example of the same date in brought $2,300. An 1842-O with deep toning is MS-63 went for $2,625, while an 1844-O, which was a natural gray AU-55, but with a flat wreath did not sell.
An absolutely incredible 1873-CC with arrows dime in AU-55, which was well struck with nice toning and about as nice as you are going to find except for the two MS-65 pieces, garnered $35,630. A cleaned VF-30 example of the same date sold for $3,795.
An 1852-O quarter in MS-62 with dark toning did not sell and had not sold at the Heritage Long Beach Sale. The Eliasberg 1864-S quarter in MS-68 rang the bell for $112,700, while a lovely AU-58 example of the same date did not sell. An 1867-S in AU-55 continued the strong bidding for this date when it hammered for $11,780, while a cleaned AU-53 1873-CC arrows garnered $24,775.
An 1840-O (no O) half in MS-62 and with a great look went for $5,520, while a perfect collector coin in an 1873-CC arrows in XF-45 went for $2,300.
As for dollars, an 1871-CC in XF-40 cleaned realized $3,335, an 1872-CC AU-50 cleaned for $3,525 and an 1872-CC in XF-40 with altered surfaces sold for $1,840. An absolutely beautiful 1873-CC, which was well struck with lovely deep blue toning and graded AU-55, did not sell.
==> Notes on the
LSCC annual meeting at the 2006 ANA Convention in
John McCloskey announced election results for the club year beginning September 1st. John will continue to serve as President, Larry Briggs Vice-President, and Len Augsburger as Secretary-Treasurer. The preliminary Treasurer's report from Mark Sheldon showed a deficit of about $300 for the current club year. The club has approximately one-year’s operating expenses in the bank and dues will remain at $15 for the upcoming year.
Collective Volume 5 (1995-2000) is just about ready to go back to the printer. It had been previously sent to the printer in November 2005; a computer malfunction caused the loss of the original manuscript. A data recovery expert was able to retrieve the text, but all of the images needed to be rescanned. Total length of the work is 643 pages. The preparation of Collective Volume 6 (2000-2005) will be significantly easier as all of these issues were originally prepared in digital format.
responses have been received on the 10 greatest
The seated dime survey, targeted for the November 2006 issue of The Gobrecht Journal, also received responses from 79 collectors. Paul Bradley, doing the survey with Gerry Fortin, spoke about the work. Almost 10,000 seated dimes are included, with the most popular grade being VF (about 2,000 pieces). Only 10% of the coins are slabbed and the most popular date was the 1853 with arrow (about 200 coins). The least "popular," perhaps better termed as the least "reported," was the 1874-CC with 16 pieces. Five complete sets were reported with another five nearly complete.
The next survey will be for seated quarters, with the survey conducted by Larry Briggs. Forms should be issued in early 2007. Results will be reported in the November 2007 issue.
A "Hall of Fame" for the LSCC was proposed and accepted by the club membership. John McCloskey will form a nominating committee with one of the members being Jim Gray.
Issue #100 of The Gobrecht Journal is slated for November 2007. John McCloskey proposed a color cover and recommended that interested members send him photographs of candidate coins for the cover. It was suggested that toned coins will get preference in the selection, as the cover is of course normally black and white. Further, regarding the one hundredth issue, substantive articles presenting new, original research are invited for submission. One thought is to have one article on each denomination of seated coinage.
Len Augsburger announced exhibits of seated coins at the show, including the Legend Trade Dollar set, shipwreck 1861-O half dollars, and Bill Cowburn's type "1.5" transitional trade dollar discussed in the most recent issue of the GJ.
John McCloskey read an announcement indicating that the ANA had awarded the E-Gobrecht "Best Electronic Publication" for the current club year.
Steve Crain presented John McCloskey a letter opener, a centennial piece from the Boston Savings Bank dated 1954. An 1854 half dime was embedded in the acrylic handle. It was the second such example Steve had found. A round of applause was offered up for John.
(Ed. – Answer to the Trivia Question – Christian Gobrecht drew this picture, date unknown. This drawing and others are contained in a file of Gobrecht’s personal papers in the Pennsylvania Historical Society located in downtown Philadelphia.)
==> Liberty Seated Contemporary Counterfeit Dime Database Added to the www.seateddimevarieties.com Website by Gerry Fortin
August is a
popular vacation for most people, especially Europeans who take extended
holidays. Summer temperatures have
subsided and the evenings are comfortable for sleeping. With those thoughts in mind, I return to
During the May home leave, I added a
contemporary counterfeit module to the website. Since no other reference sources existed,
fellow collectors on the web-book message board believed that constructing a
database of available contemporary counterfeits was a good idea. I like the idea and within a few days wrote
the html and prepared a module to collect all these wonderful seated dime
counterfeits that would appear. Brian
Greer emailed me and indicated that he would offer his collection to kick
start the database. Brian mailed the
coins, but unfortunately, they arrived after I had already departed for
Upon arriving home on August 23, I immediately opened Brian’s package to find 37 different contemporary dime counterfeits or “bogos” as Brian refers to them. The hoard included a host of dates ranging from 1838 through 1891. Many of the pieces were crude copies with handcut dies while others appeared to be struck from dies that ultimately originated from a genuine dime from that era. There are several neat fantasy pieces in the group including an 1838 no stars obverse paired with a small O open bud reverse and an 1846-O example with a crude obverse die and a medium O reverse. Other favorites included an AU 1861 brass counterfeit with silver dip and a gem 1874 No Arrows example with a triple struck obverse. Over a period of three days, the 37 pieces were photographed, digitally enhanced and added to the Contemporary Counterfeit link at the seated dime website. An opening description was written; Brian added his “bogo” remarks and the database were populated with supporting information along with the obverse and reverse photographs for each “bogo”. I am proud of the current state of the “bogo” database. E-Gobrecht subscribers are invited to view the entire database and Brian’s outstanding collection/hoard of contemporary counterfeit dimes at http://www.seateddimevarieties.com/cf_date/cf_date_mintmark.htm. I know of at least one other collector who has committed to send along a small group of counterfeits to further enhance the archives. Each collector’s contributions allow the entire numismatic community to benefit. What previously took years of painstaking research by an individual researcher can now be quickly assembled through the cooperation of collectors working together as an internet community.
Next month, I will discussed the heighten rate of seated dime rotated reverse die discoveries. Web-book members can check the “New Discoveries” link now to see recent findings at the 2006 Denver ANA show and on eBay.
As Always, Happy Hunting……
==> eBay Primer, Last-Second Proxy Bids by Charles Sullivan. Prospective buyers on eBay are frequently beaten out by “snipe” bids at the last instant before the auction closes. Oftentimes, the winning bidder has employed an automated system to place bids by proxy 1-10 seconds before the auction closes. Most eBay auctions with spirited competition (8 or more bids) are likely to be fueled, at least in part, by proxy bids executed in the waning seconds of the sale.
A brief review of some key aspects of eBay’s procedures should prove helpful. First and foremost, auctions (excluding “Buy It Now”) terminate at a fixed time. Secondly, it is difficult, if not impossible, for a human to make more than one bid in the last 20-25 seconds before an auction closes, especially during times of peak eBay activity (such as 9-11 PM eastern time). Thirdly, eBay processes all bids in real time. Fourth, once a buyer places a bid, regardless of whether it is the current high bid, his participation in the sale becomes known to all other buyers who care to check (excluding “private” auctions, relatively rare on eBay). Fifth, for auctions in which there is no reserve price or the reserve has been met, the winning bid is always one pre-set increment above the next highest bid.
Throughout its history, eBay has steadfastly refused to allow variable ending times for its auctions. Many people have proposed a system whereby an auction would close at or after the posted ending time only after five minutes had elapsed since the last bid. Given this rigidity on the part of eBay, proxy-bid services have appeared that enable buyers to wait at late as possible before bidding. My favorite is www.eSnipe.com, a service neither affiliated with nor endorsed by eBay. There are other proxy-bid providers as well.
eSnipe will execute proxy bids up to as late as one second (!) prior to the close of an eBay auction. An eSnipe subscriber opens an account, logs in, types in an eBay auction number, enters his one best bid, and, if desired, instructs eSnipe when to place the bid (the default is set at six seconds). An eSnipe proxy bid appears to eBay as if it had been placed manually. If the bid is successful, eSnipe charges the subscriber a small fee; if the bid fails, there is no fee.
The advantages of using eSnipe are many:
What are the drawbacks of proxy bidding? In reality, there is only one. You get to place only one “final” bid. Unlike manual bid entry, proxy bidding does not allow you to analyze the result of one bid and immediately place another. I do not know whether other proxy services have the ability to execute a second bid if a first one has failed to become the current high bid. If this capability does exist with eSnipe’s competitors, please let me know.
Is eSnipe reliable? I have used eSnipe hundreds of times with great success. On rare occasions, there is a transmission glitch between eSnipe and eBay or sometimes eBay’s site may be down temporarily. eSnipe is generally very reliable; eSnipe earns revenue only if and when proxy bids are processed and win the lot. In contrast, eBay charges the seller for virtually everything, regardless of whether the item sells.
In the absence of being able to place a conditional bid, whereby you have the chance to re-bid immediately prior to auction closing, it becomes imperative that your one proxy bid is THE highest price you will pay for the lot.
Author’s note: Entire books have been written on the subject of buying and selling on eBay. I have attempted to explain the nuances of one specialized tool, proxy bids. I invite your comments, questions, and clarifications. Please email me at Charles@KW.com.
==> Review of
the 2006 ANA Convention by Brian Greer.
This year’s ANA convention in
The specialized meetings such as LSCC and JRCS were quite well attended proving that today’s collector is very willing to travel to search for coins and meet up with fellow collectors.
On the floor, the search for Seated coins went very much as expected. There was a very nice selection of rare coins available from specialized dealers at current market prices. I would suspect that just about every collector was able to fill some important holes in their collections. Searching for bargains from non-specialized dealers was very difficult, as has been the trend. For those willing to work hard bargains and cherry picks could be found.
I saw a fair number of interesting varieties found by collectors searching dealers’ inventories. It seems that higher prices are bringing a few more rarities onto the market. I saw several 1873-CC with arrows quarters on the floor in at least 3 different dealers’ showcases. All of these pieces were priced according to current market values. I also remember seeing a fair number of 1871-CC and 1873-CC dimes but no 1874-CC's although there was one in the auction.
Most importantly, it seems that the ANA remains an annual highlight for the collector.
==> Subscriber correspondence.
From Len Augsburger: We will have a LSCC meeting at the
Baltimore Coin Show at
on Saturday, November 11 at the
From Charles Sullivan:
(Ed., I spent some
time searching the internet for a useful reference to the SS Jennison. In the
From Len Augsburger: Recent Heritage auction catalog covers have featured a nice group Carson City delicacies, including an 1874-CC dime in NGC AU50 on the June Long Beach catalog, another 1874-CC dime on the ANA auction catalog cover (PCGS AG3), as well as an 1873-CC dime on the same cover (PCGS VF20). The most recent catalog, September Long Beach, features an 1873-CC quarter in PCGS VG10 on the back cover.
From Dave Olmstead’s website (Alpine Numismatics): The ANA is nearly complete. Reports from the bourse floor are mostly positive, but generic gold coins are very soft and this has sapped a profit from those dealers that deal in these coins. Supplies of some types of coins are very high. Late date walkers, CC Morgans come to mind. ANA always brings out many ultra rare and expensive coins, but this show seems to be outdoing itself in that regard. However, nice bust coinage after 1807 and seated coins seem to be in short supply. Also, rare date gold with the exception of C&D issues is in short supply. Early gold coins which have enjoyed tremendous increases in value in recent years were in ample supply, except $2.5's. My buying fell short of average for an ANA, but I did find some special items. New items will be posted in the week to come. Thanks, Dave.
Dennis Fortier: (I)
Just attended the
Now we come to the meat: Seated Halves. There were several low-grade common dates and no interesting varieties among them. There were a few lower mintage issues present. The more interesting were: 1865 NGC PF-58, 1873-CC WA PCGS VF-35, 1872-CC VG, 1879 VG, 1880 VG, 1873-S, 1846-O TD VG, 1871-S WB-103 heavily scratched, and an 1840-O WB-104 also scratched.
Probably the most
interesting thing I took from
Advertisements for the
None this issue.
- New club year
- Next issue of The Gobrecht Journal – November 2006.
- LSCC Regional
- Quarter census mailed out – Early 2007.
- 100th Issue of The Gobrecht Journal – November 2007
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Information on the
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.
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:
Phone: (847) 816-1649.
Articles, comments, or advertisements for publication in The Gobrecht Journal may be addressed to the LSCC President:
John W. McCloskey
President, LSCC, and Editor, The Gobrecht Journal
Email address: John.McCloskey@notes.udayton.edu
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