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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:

Page Number
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
President LSCC
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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