Welcome to lucky number 13 – the thirteenth issue of this e-newsletter. And they said it wouldn't last.
OK – so “they” didn't say anything of the sort. In fact, few people even noticed this newsletter when I started it, so no one bothered to prognosticate on its staying power.
But here we are anyway, and in keeping with the spooky nature of the number 13, I have included a brief Hallowe'en feature, as well as a brief discussion of a spurtle. Yes – a spurtle. To find out more, see below.
If you dare. Bhwaa ha ha!
Results of the New Hampshire Coin Expo
This is a great medium sized show, held once per year in coin-hungry New England. The venue is nice, the accommodations are reasonably priced, and the show is put on by folks who really know how to put on a coin show. Most important of all, both the public and the dealers come to do serious business there.
Personally, my show was excellent. I was able to buy some really nice collector coins at all price points (see my 'Newps' below). In addition, I sold a fair amount more than expected, both to collectors and to dealers. I also had some great conversations with attendees, including some who had theories on the “why” of the engraved 1793 wreath cent that I have in stock, and someone who has a relative in Germany who just dug up some ancient Roman coins in their back yard. I simply can’t wait for next year’s show!
A Reminder of What Collecting is All About
Earlier this month I had the pleasure of being one of the “experts” in an Antiques Appraisal Day here in Connecticut. While I did not uncover any numismatic treasures – the best item by far was a 1926 $20 Saint – I did get a reminder of what the collecting of objects is really all about, at least for me.
I sat next to John Burda, a generalist in antiques and an expert in Militaria. While I was appraising coins shown to me, he was appraising all sorts of antiques and “stuff”. But he did more than just provide a value. Much more, in fact.
Every object brought to him would speak to him, and he told the owner a story about it. Where it was made, when it was made, what it was used for, and so on. He asked about where the owner obtained the object. Often it was passed down in the family, so he asked about the prior owners too.
Honestly, there were no high value items shown to John that night. None at all. But you would never know it from listening to him.
For instance, someone brought in a gold pocket watch that his father received as a retirement gift. Pretty straightforward, I thought.
But John didn't see it that way. He asked what his dad did for a living and what company he worked for, and how long he was employed there. The owner's dad had worked for a company that sold stationary to businesses, and then inks, and then made items for the war effort in the early 1940's. So John spoke of what it was probably like for his dad selling stationary during the booming, “Roaring '20s”. And then he spoke of how difficult it must have been to sell stationary and inks to businesses during the 1930's to feed his family, when most businesses were struggling to keep their own doors open, and that many of his customers likely failed.
But his dad obviously hung in there and saw the switchover to wartime production in the 1940's, and then the switch back to civilian business customers after World War 2. He spoke of how his dad kept the watch in the original box, and how he likely only used the watch on special occasions, as it was in nearly perfect condition. Only then did he tell the owner the value of that watch, which was about $400.
By the time he was done, not only did the owner now treasure that object, but he likely wouldn't sell it for ten times its market value. And honestly, at the end of that presentation, I kinda wanted that watch as well.
Great Moments in (Coin-Related) Hallowe'en Costumes
'Tis the season to start thinking about Hallowe'en costumes for either you or for your offspring. These images were shown recently in the PCGS Chat room. I can't decide if they are clever or a bit creepy. What do you think?
Announcement Regarding Auction Representation at the Next Newman Sale of Colonials in New York
Yesterday I received my hard copy of the auction catalog for the next part Eric Newman collection. I was aware that there were going to be a large number of spectacular colonial coins once again. What I was not prepared for was what else was in that sale. In addition to colonials, there is a ton of gold -- early gold, liberty gold (some dated, some very high grade), territorial gold, and even commemorative gold. There are lots of large cents, and some Indian cents. There is also some miscellaneous special items like a 1794 $1 in AU, an 1868 Aluminum proof set, a 1916 Standing Liberty Quarter in MS66 Full Head. All the coins are fresh by definition.
If you would like me to represent you at this sale, let me know as soon as possible. As before, under certain limited circumstances and under certain conditions, I will represent collectors at this once-in-a-lifetime sale. Contact me for details, terms, conditions, etc. Your mileage may vary; void where prohibited.
Now On to the NewP's
As in my previous newsletters – these coins are the items I have gathered over the last few weeks. The plan is to upload all these coins to my website. In the meantime, readers of this newsletter will be the very first to lay their eyes on these offerings. By popular demand, I've included photos of the coins where I have them.
The “Making the Grade” Featured Coin:
1840 No Motto Ten Dollar Liberty Gold. NGC graded MS61.
A rare uncirculated example of an issue that has only a few specimens known in all grades of uncirculated. In fact, the late David Akers wrote in the late 1980's that he had never seen an uncirculated 1840 $10. This is quite an important opportunity for collectors of $10 Libs.
And since we are speaking of gold, I would like to personally congratulate Dr. Izhar Khan of Aberdeen, Scotland for winning the prestigious Golden Spurtle award at the 21st Annual World Porridge Championships last week. And no – I didn't make any of that up.
Now what does that have to do with this 1840 $10 gold coin, or coins in general, for that matter? Absolutely nothing, but I never heard the word “spurtle” before last week and I wanted to work it into my newsletter somehow. I obviously did just that, in a seamless and completely natural way. $17,750.
1773 Virginia Halfpenny. PCGS graded MS63 Red & Brown.
The With Period type. A really neat coin that is about 80-90% full mint red, at quite a bit less than the cost of a “full red” specimen. $1200.
1787 Fugio Copper. PCGS graded XF40.
N. 6-W, considered to be rarity-4. A perfect milk chocolate brown in color on both sides. There is a small flan flaw on the reverse below the O in ONE. Often considered to be a much better variety in such a high grade (for example – Dave Bowers excellent Colonial Coin Encyclopedia lists this variety at $7500 in XF), the auction records don't seem to support this. I'm offering it at the very realistic price of $1350.
1788 Massachusetts Half Cent. PCGS graded XF45.
Choice, attractive, light brown specimen of this popular issue – the first coin in the world to have the denomination “Half Cent” on it. $975.
1916-S Lincoln Cent. PCGS MS63 Brown, Gold CAC.
A lovely coin, looking for all the world like at least an MS64Red & Brown example. Apparently CAC agrees, as it was awarded the coveted gold CAC sticker indicating they felt the coin was undergraded. Best of all, I can offer it to you at a price that actually makes sense, as an MS64 RB costs around $525. That is what this one costs too.... $525.
1797 13 star, Small Eagle Dime. PCGS graded VF35 CAC.
JR-2, considered to be rarity-4. An important Redbook type, and There is a significant amount of cartwheel luster on both sides, and beautiful pastel toning that deepens a bit at the rims. However you look at it, this coin is quite rare and desirable. Price....ON HOLD
1822 Bust half Dollar. PCGS graded AU55.
O-102, rarity-2. Another delightfully toned early bust half dollar. Electric orange, gold, and green peripheries fade to slightly lighter golden-gray centers. Freshly slabbed by the collector I purchased this from at a local show. The cartwheel luster really sets the colors off on this one. $1400.
1823 Bust Half Dollar. PCGS graded XF40.
Holy Rainbows, Batman! This coin is just plain ol' cool. Described as a “Patched 3” by PCGS on the holder, it is an Overton-106a die variety. Not really sure why PCGS saw fit to grade it XF40, as it has a significant amount of cartwheel luster on both sides. Regardless, this is a coin that will stop you in your tracks. $1575.
1830 Bust Half Dollar. Double Lettering on the Edge. Extremely Fine (uncertified).
O-116, considered to be rarity-3. I will guarantee that this coin will "straight grade" at least XF40 by either service. I did not send it in for certification it because it would largely mask the coolest feature of this coin -- that being the double edge lettering. Golden toning that deepens as one approaches the rims. Quite unusual on bust halves, and thus of interest to specialists in this series. $325.
1831 Bust Half Dollar. PCGS graded AU-58.
O-108, considered to be rarity-1. Full cartwheel luster on both sides, with just a blush of golden toning. In another era this coin would be cataloged as, “Uncirculated, or virtually so”. Or maybe just, “Uncirculated”. A fresh coin to the market, just slabbed by yours truly. $1195.
1924 Huguenot Commemorative Half Dollar. NGC graded MS64.
Gorgeously toned on both sides in reds, blues, golds and even some greens. This is an issue that rarely comes beautifully toned. So much so that a beautifully toned PCGS MS66 of this issue sold at auction in 2011 for an incredible $34,500. This coin just came back from grading so I don't have an image for it yet, but it sure is swell. $495.
World Coins That Circulated in Early America
1670 Dutch Lion Dollar. PCGS graded AU53.
West Friesland Mint. D-4870. Quite a nice, well made example of this important link to America's past. As many of you know, Lion dollars were the currency of choice in early New York. Some of the earliest paper money was denominated in Lion dollars. This coinage was crudely made, and finding a choice example is difficult. This coin sports a bold lion, velvety luster and some golden toning that deepens at the rims. $975.
1760-Mo Mexico Pillar Dollar. PCGS graded VF30.
Mexico City mint. A choice example with pretty pastel toning. Includes a PCGS TrueView image. $525.
1811 Peru 8 Reales, “Imaginary Bust”. NGC graded MS62.
Lima mint. Technically this famous issue is now called the “Imagined Bust”. Personally, I prefer the older moniker of “Imaginary Bust” because it sounds more mysterious and fantastical. The story goes that Spain crowned a new king, and so his image had to be placed on his coinage. Well, at the mint in Peru they had no idea what this dude looked like yet, what with digital photography being in its infancy and all. So – like the creative souls they were, they just winged it. Apparently they thought the new king looked like a mix of a Roman god and one of the guys from the movie, Dumb & Dumber. As for the coin itself, it is almost never found in such a high grade. No trace of rub, fully struck on that all-important imaginary bust, full satiny cartwheel luster and some light, variegated golden toning with hints of blue and green. A real find like this. $1150.
1823 Contemporary Counterfeit Bust Half Dollar. Fine (uncertified).
Davignon 1-A, considered to be “common” by bogus bust half standards. This would be a good choice for someone who wants just one representative example of this intriguing piece of illicit American history, as it is well made in German Silver & doesn't have any of those visually distracting cuts or test marks. $70.
1833 Contemporary Counterfeit Bust Half Dollar. Fine (uncertified).
This is the Davignon 20-T variety, considered to be “scarce” by that author. I have never previously owned this variety. I really love the crude engraving. For example, on the reverse the legend reads in part, “STATESOF A MERICA”. The counterfeiter did such a crummy job of engraving – it almost looks like I did it! Full silvering remains, and free of test cuts. $135.
'1861 to 1862' (actually circa late 1950's) J.J. Conway Restrike Set, Struck in Goldine. Choice Uncirculated.
The set includes the (undated) $2 1/2, $5, and $10 dollar restrikes. There is also a second $5 restrike dated 1862 on the obverse. The informational envelope of issue is also included accompanies. A really cool set of 4 restrikes, in pristine condition and a savings of perhaps $600,000 over purchasing the genuine examples, which are actually quite scarce. $1150.
1874 Dime, No Arrows Contemporary Counterfeit. Extremely Fine (uncertified).
C-101a. Crudely engraved (they misspelled America as “AMERICU”) and struck in brass. The obverse is double struck. Superbly detailed and quite distinctive. $175.
1876-CC Seated Quarter Contemporary Counterfeit. Very Fine (uncertified).
Cast in base metal, with a silver that is largely intact. Normally I don't list cast contemporary counterfeits, as I strongly prefer the struck examples. However this example is so well made (the stars and design is crisp; the silvering is close to as struck; there are no test cuts or scratches) and it is of a date and mint mark that I have not previously seen that I decided to make an exception. $65.
1904 Louisiana Purchase Expo “1/4” Gold Piece. NGC graded MS64.
H-61-310, 10 Stars. This is a neat little gold “coin” from the 1904 Louisiana Purchase Exposition. The denomination is meant to be the equivalent of a 25 cent gold piece. These are scarce, and the series seems to be gaining in popularity since it was added to the Redbook. This specimen sports a rich gold color and semi-prooflike surfaces. $375.
Contact info to reserve coins:
Website - www.DaveWcoins.com
My email address – firstname.lastname@example.org
Phone - (203) 231-1213