Volume 2, Issue 11, November 2006
Whole Number 20
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
Announcements. Reminder - There
will be an LSCC meeting at the upcoming
of seated coinage at table 1755, featuring the collections of Dick Osburn (seated half dollars), Gerry Fortin (seated dimes), and Len Augsburger
(seated quarters). Please try to attend the meeting and show support to the LSCC exhibitors.
Acknowledgements. Many thanks to Gerry Fortin, Jim Gray, Len Augsburger, W. David Perkins, 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.
Features in this issue
==> Question of Month.
==> Auction News by Jim Gray.
==> LSCC Obituaries.
==> Back issues of The Gobrecht Journal Being Offered in the
==> 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.
Which of the original 5 Seated series is the least difficult to complete in MS-60 or better?
None this month. Come on folks, it takes only a few minutes to send your opinion!!!
Question of this Month (November)
Can a weakly struck Seated coin legitimately be graded MS-65? (Ed., send replies to the Editor at email@example.com. Thanks)
==> AUCTION NEWS
The ANR-Stacks, Buckhead Sale, had only 375 coins and no Liberty Seated coins of note.
The Stacks Buddy Meyers Sale featured
an almost complete set of
A cleaned and repaired 1855-S in VF went for $1,380, while cleaned 1856-S halves in AU and XF went for $1,610 and $747 respectively. The MS-62 1857-S, previously from the Pryor sale, hit a strong $12,650, while a cleaned XF of the same date sold for a paltry $322.
A gem 1866-S No Motto, among the finest known, sold for $57,500. A cleaned and repaired XF 1870-CC realized $4,887, while a BU 1871-CC garnered $14, 950. A second 1871-CC in XF, but cleaned and repaired, only realized $1,380. A strong AU 1872-CC hit $3,220, while a cleaned XF duplicate only went for $575. A BU 1873-CC no arrows sold for $7,187, while an attractive choice AU duplicate achieved $5,750. An 1873-CC with arrows in BU sold for $5,462 and an 1874-CC in the same grade hit $7,475. A damaged BU 1878-CC only realized $2,875, while an AU duplicate did much better at $4,887. A beautiful BU 1878-S soared to $83,375 in spite of a light cleaning.
A companion Stack's catalogue for the 71st
Anniversary Sale contained an 1849-O half dime that was described as choice
BU. A vertical scratch on
The Heritage Dallas Sale contained
an AU 1838-O half dime that went for $2,070, while MS-62 1844 and MS-61
1858-S dimes did not sell. A cleaned
1860-O dime in F-12 went for $546.
Quarters featured the following rare and scarce dates: 1852-O, VF-35 $920, 1857-S, AU-58, cleaned $1,035, an 1858-S, AU-58 cleaned $1,265, an 1860-S, XF-40 cleaned no sale, an 1861-S, XF-40 cleaned $805, an 1867-S, XF-45 no sale, an 1867-S, AU-55 cleaned $1,840, an 1869-S, AU-55, scratched $1,265, an 1872-CC, AG-3 cleaned $1,035, and an 1872-S, cleaned, VF-30 $2,530.
A decent 1870-CC half dollar in XF-40 with a weak E went for $9,200, while an 1871-CC in XF-40, but cleaned, realized $1,495. A VF-35 1873-CC arrows brought $1,506, while a cleaned VF-20 1874-CC sold for $1,890.
A weakly struck, cleaned, 1855 dollar in AU eked out $2,300, a cleaned and tooled 1871-CC in F-12 brought $1,840, and a tooled VG-8 1872-CC dollar still went for $1,552. The two CC dollars and a number of other scarce and rare Seated coins in the sale came from the Catfish Creek Collection. All the coins were lower grade and all had one or more problems. It is possible that some of the pieces had been salvaged from Catfish Creek.
A splendid MS-63 1878-CC Trade dollar rang the bell for $25,300.
The Bowers and Merena,
First in a Series
I. Seated Dollars
By Len Augsburger
This series of articles will explore branch mint proof coinage in the Liberty Seated series. Before proceeding, we would like to encourage readers to define to themselves exactly what defines a proof coin. Some collectors may feel that “proof” status can only be properly conveyed when the mint has specifically announced the intention to strike proofs and has marketed the coins as such. Others may believe that any coin manufactured with a polished die, polished planchet, and sharp strike is eligible for the “proof” attribution. Of course, there are many degrees of die and planchet preparation, and this quickly becomes a subjective exercise. Because of the subjectivity involved, our aim is to present the evidence and let readers form their own conclusions.
1851-O $1: Unique. This coin has appeared in Heritage 5/1998:8200 (did not sell at $250,000 reserve), Goldberg 2/2000:1408 ($161,000), and Goldberg 9/2003:535 ($276,000). Formerly certified by ANACS as PR62, it currently resides in a PCGS PR62 holder, described as an “1851-O Proof restrike.” While this coin is definitely a proof, it is almost certainly not a branch mint piece. Multiple theories exist as to the origin of this coin, seemingly even more than the number of people who have viewed it.
Breen, writing in
Highfill’s “Comprehensive U.S. Silver Dollar Encyclopedia,” thought the
coin was not a
Bowers, in “Silver
Dollars and Trade Dollars of the
On the other hand,
a leading specialist on seated coinage who has viewed the coin in person
suggests that the coin was manufactured with
However, the overstruck theory gained more traction with the announcement of the discovery of an 1851 restrike dollar struck over an 1846 dollar (ANR 3/2004:1165, this coin did not sell). This discovery suggests a clandestine manufacture of 1851 restrikes using whatever materials were at hand. ANR noted that the coin had been struck multiple times, suggesting a deliberate attempt to remove traces of the undertype. Owners of 1851 restrikes are urged to study their coins carefully to see if perhaps more overstrike examples are extant. The ANR (now Stack’s) coin can be viewed at:
$1: Appearances of prooflike specimens include
Bowers 10/1977:1130 ($3740), described with “nearly full prooflike surfaces.”
Auction ’84:1194 ($16500), the cataloguer noted “prooflike surfaces
and needle sharp in strike” and “likely struck for presentation.”
Bowers 4/1997:2242 ($22550), “prooflike”. Akers 5/1998:1697 ($7700), “Fully prooflike fields under deep, somewhat dull reddish-gold,
violet, blue, and greenish-gold toning”. Bowers 9/1998:1085 ($11500), “The obverse
and reverse are brilliant, somewhat prooflike.” Bowers 11/2001:4422 ($36800), “A splendid
specimen with prooflike surfaces on the obverse and reverse,” also noting
that three pieces were set aside for the assay commission. Heritage 4/2002:4061 ($29900), “The fields are appreciably prooflike, as often seen
The mintage figures for the 1870-CC dollar are not known with absolute certainty. The figure 12,462 was popularly used until the Red book adapted the 11,758 figure beginning in 1994, following research by Randy Wiley in the National Archives (presented in The Gobrecht Journal Issue #42, and independently verified by Bob Julian in “Coins” magazine, May 1977), which gave the following mintage record of dollars:
February 10 – 2303, February 24 – 1444, March 5 – 1116, March 22 – 1175, March 24 – 500, March 30 – 1300, April 7 – 500, May 20 – 600, June 11 – 870, June 14 – 550, June 30 – 1400.
1870-CC dollars were mentioned several times
in the local press at the time of striking.
One coin was saved, along with an 1870-CC quarter and half dollar,
in the cornerstone of the
A leading seated dollar specialist had the following comments. “There is no primary source evidence to suggest the existence of specially prepared specimen strikings for the 1870-CC. Moreover, as far as I can tell, 100% of the high-grade (EF and better) specimens I have viewed exhibit proof qualities. This suggests to me that any so-called presentation specimens that can be traced back to a dignitary are likely very early strikes. My own specimen, a choice AU piece, is very sharply struck and highly prooflike.”
The arguments in favor of presentation or specimen status for 1870-CC dollars are as follows:
proof strikings of Morgan Carson City dollars are wi dely accepte d. For example, Stack’s Amon Carter 1/1984:365 1893-CC ($28000), now in a PCGS PR64 BM hol der, offere dby Legen dNumismatics in 10/2002 ($50000). Heritage Silverman 4/2002:4304 1893-CC PCGS PR64 ($48300). The Heritage 1995 ANA sale inclu de deight branch mint proof Morgans which were describe dextensively by Mark Van Winkle in Coin Worl d(10/9/1995, page. 72). Morgan Carson City proofs were recognize das far back as June 1889, when the Chapman’s catalogue da number of suppose dbranch mint Morgan proofs. Of the date 1883, they note dthat a dozen were thought to have been struck. Bowers & Merena 1/2005 contains three PCGS certified Morgan BMPRs. M.L. Peterson, Curator of the National Numismatic Collection at the Smithsonian, writing in the July, 1954 Numismatist, opined that an 1891-CC Morgan under his examination was a proof, exhibiting deeply prooflike surfaces even within the protected areas of the devices. While not pieces, specimen status of certain 1921-S Morgans is well established from the time of issue (Heritage 1/2006:3392). Carson City
2) Breen attributes proof status to the 1870-CC, noting Woodward 4/1882:134, a prooflike 1870-CC dollar, which is a rather early appearance for a high grade Carson City coin (Breen’s Encyclopedia of United States and Colonial Proof Coins). In our study of 1870-CC quarter dollars, the earliest auction appearance found was in 1890 (The Gobrecht Journal Issue #81). The earlier appearance of the dollar, just 12 years after being minted, suggests that this particular coin may have been “special” in some way and saved as such. As many coins in this era were not catalogued according to mintmark, the fact that this was noted in this case also argues for this coin being somehow “special”. Among other authors, Bowers was not quite ready to assign proof status to this issue as of 1993 (Bowers’ Silver Dollar Encyclopedia).
3) The three odd coins minted on
February 10, 1870, suggest a presentation purpose. A study of the Wiley data indicates that the intermediate mintages of silver coins within the year 1870 were very often “round” numbers typically divisible by one hundred. In the Numismatist (1/1994), Pete Smith noted three presentation pieces which were distributed to President Grant, Abraham Curry (Carson City Mint superintendent), and Carson City governor Lewis Bradley. Smith’s source (letter to this author Nevada 3/27/2003) was “With Curry’s Compliments”, a book by Doris Cerveri, published in 1990. Cerveri in turn cites the Appeal, Carson City 2/11/1870, but when we examined this source, we found no mention of 1870-CC dollars gifted to Grant, Curry, and Bradley. On the other hand, the existence of a assay ingot presented to an assayer’s daughter clearly indicates that the idea of presentation pieces was alive and well in Carson City . (This ingot, pictured in Coin World, Carson City 11/13/2006, is engraved “Annie Louise Ellis / March 1 st1890”. Advertised by Kagin’s, the piece +originates from mint assayer Pearis Ellis, Annie’s father.)
4) Finally, we have certain deeply proof-like specimens, which survive to the present day, one notably appearing in full color on the cover of Weimar White’s recently issued 2nd edition of “Coin Chemistry”.
If there is a “smoking gun” in this debate,
it would be the appearance of a highly prooflike Grant piece at public auction,
with documentation proving the provenance of the coin. Such things are not unheard of; the Zachary
Taylor gold medal in Stack’s Norweb (11/2006:2254) coming to mind. The whereabouts of this particular piece were
unknown in numismatic circles; it had resided with the
October has been a very business month for me professionally, but there always seems to be enough time to maintain attention on new seated dimes entering the market via eBay, dealer websites or auctions. This E-Gobrecht update is actually being written on a Blackberry while flying from
Numismatically, I would like to report on
several items pertaining to liberty seated dimes and the web-book. I decided to start another promotion for the
web-book to coincide with the display of my PCGS/NGC registry collection
at the forthcoming
Coggins at JJ Teaparty emailed me last week about a neat 1840-O die state
discovery. After seeing her images, I immediately recognized
the die pairing to be F-103 (Reverse with Small O of 1839) but this dime
had two obvious rim die cuds on the reverse between and . Finding an 1840-O F-103 dime is difficult enough,
but this EF45 specimen appeared to be struck with a chipped late die state
reverse die. The dime is on hold
and will be seen first hand at the
the morning of November 4, I was checking the latest eBay listings. In
last comment is that I purchased a nicely toned and original looking 1873
As Always........Happy Hunting
Gerry Fortin (Sent via BlackBerry)
Gerry Fortin's Seated Dime set, PCGS/NGC #1 registry set.
Len Augsburger's Seated Quarter set, currently #1 on the PCGS Registry.
Dick Osburn's Seated Half set, currently #1 on the NGC Registry.
This exceptional exhibit will be located at Table 1755 in Hall C."
==> LSCC Obituaries. I was hoping not to start a category with this title but, unfortunately, the time has come. Two recent deaths of long time LSCC members were reported since the last E-Gobrecht.
Charlton “Swampy” E. Meyer, Jr.
Long time LSCC member (LSCC # 83), accomplished
numismatist, and half dollar enthusiast, Charlton E. Meyer, Jr., passed
Hal V. Dunn, a 46-year northern
Len Augsburger, LSCC Secretary-Treasurer, reports that Hal was a long-time LSCC member (LSCC #313) and his LSCC membership code was "F-COL (CC)", indicating that he collected seated coinage of all denominations and identified himself as a collector, not a dealer. The "(CC)" suffix was apparently negotiated between Hal and a former secretary of the LSCC, as the "(CC)" option does not appear as an option on our membership application.
His obituary appears at the following website:
==> Back issues of The Gobrecht Journal Being Offered in the
==> Subscriber correspondence.
From David Ginsburg: Recently, while I was skimming through the records of legislation, proposed legislation and Congressional debates on the Library of Congress' website, I found a real surprise for collectors of Liberty Seated coinage in a piece of proposed legislation (S. 357 - June 7, 1838):
Sec. 2. And be it further enacted, That it shall be lawful for the director of the Mint, by and with the advice and consent of the President of the United States, to direct the coinage of silver as well as gold at the branches of the Mint at Charlotte, and Dahlonega, in case he shall believe that the same machinery employed for coining gold can, without injury to it, and without any material expense for alterations, be beneficially employed in said coinage: Provided, That the silver coined at the said branches shall be of the denomination of quarter dollars and under.
Unfortunately, I could not find any other mention of this proposed legislation. I wonder whose idea it was and where they thought the silver to be coined might have come from? But, oh, what might have been!
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- 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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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:
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