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The E-Sylum (5/7/2017)

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Greg Cohen of Legend Rare Coin Auctions forwarded a press release about the firm's current sale, which closes May 18. I've illustrated some highlights. -Editor

RA XXI Cover The next Legend Rare Coin Auction Regency Sale will be held on May 18, in conjunction with the PCGS Members Only Show in New Orleans. The Regency Auction XXI will feature one of the most diverse and impressive presentations of rare coins ever offered in a Legend sale. Three “named” collections anchor the sale: The Bob Simpson Collection of Standard Silver Patterns, Part II; the Linda Collection of Mint State Trade Dollars; and the Northern Lights Collection of Toned Morgan Dollars, Part IV. Consigned alongside these world class holdings are the coins from many important numismatists.

“There really will be something for everyone in this sale!” declared LRCA president Julie Abrams. “Greg, Laura, and I hand selected 521 lots of quality rare coins. We are really pleased with the way the sale took shape. Early on, we knew we were going to have a great variety of coins to offer, and with the solidification of the market at all levels in auctions, collectors and dealers wanted to take advantage of our boutique style of marketing rare coins to the best buyers out there today.”

Greg also forwarded this description of the Standard Silver Pattern Issues. Thanks. I added an image of the referenced February 1870 issue of Mason’s Coin and Stamp Collector’s Magazine and added a link to the issue on the Newman Numismatic Portal for quick access. -Editor

An introduction to Standard Silver Pattern Issues

The patterns that fall into a subsection known as the “Standard Silver” patterns make up one of the largest in the entire series. There are three general types: Barber’s Liberty Head, Barber’s Seated Liberty, and Longacre’s Seated Indian Princess designs. In 1869, the first two types were struck in the Dime, Quarter and Half Dollar denominations. In 1870, first two types were struck in Dime, Quarter, and Half Dollar issues, the Seated Liberty design was featured on half dimes, and the Seated Liberty and Indian Princess designs were used on silver dollars also. In 1871 Barber’s Seated Liberty and Indian Princess designs were used to strike all four denominations. The offering of the Bob Simpson Collection focuses on the first type only.

Originally, the Standard Silver coinage series was a proposal to redeem fractional currency notes that were federally issued to try and aid commerce during the Civil War. When hostilities broke out in 1861, gold and silver coinage disappeared from circulation, and by 1863, even the copper nickel cent was hard to come by, putting a strain on day to day business transactions.

As a solution, the government issued banknotes for the first time, including “fractional notes” in denominations under $1 to help with small change transactions. After the war concluded, these notes were still in circulation, and needed to be redeemed. As a way to try and redeem them, officials came up with the idea of issuing coins of the standard .900 fineness, but at reduced weights (rather than keeping the weights the same and reducing the fineness of the silver content). The reduction in weight was proposed at approximately 80% of the weight standard set forth in the Coinage Act of 1853 which reduced the weight of silver coins after the influx of gold from the gold rush which raised the value of silver relative to gold.

Mason’s Coin and Stamp Collector’s Magazine February 1870 The concept was discussed at length in the Annual Mint Report in for the fiscal year ending June 30, 1870, as well as the February 1870 issue of Mason’s Coin and Stamp Collector’s Magazine. A lengthy discussion of the proposal appeared in that issue, and really explains 3 goals in issuing these new Standard issues: “First. To reduce the present weight. Second. To make a close limit on Legal Tender. Third. To limit the amount of issue.” The article continues to discuss the benefits of issuing small change coins versus small denomination notes. (for the complete Mint Report and article in Mason’s, refer to the excellent reference United States Patterns and Related Issues by Andrew W. Pollock III)

Nothing came from the proposal, and the weights of silver coins would not be adjusted until 1873. However, we have a dynamic numismatic legacy that spans three years, includes three major design types, and was struck in at least three metals, accounting for over 280 variants in the 10th Edition of J. Hewitt Judd’s United States Pattern Coins. These were struck in sets, available to contemporary collectors, and generally included examples in silver, copper, and aluminum, both with reeded and plain edges. Some of the issues are relatively common, rated as R-5 (31-75 examples), while others are UNIQUE, or one of perhaps 2-3 examples.

The coins being offered in the Simpson Collection are of Barber’s bust of Liberty design (Liberty faces right, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around the upper legend, and IN GOD WE TRUST in a ribbon below), and these can further be broken down into four subtypes:

1. Liberty with a Cap with 3 stars;
2. Liberty with a Cap with 2 Stars;
3. Liberty with a Coronet or Tiara with no Stars;
4. Liberty with a Headband with 1 Star.

To read the complete issue on the Newman Portal, see:

Now back to the press release sale highlights. -Editor

50C 1869 J-745 obverse 50C 1869 J-745 reverse
50C 1869 J-745. PCGS PR65+ BN EX SIMPSON

1870 Barber seated Liberty pattern 25cent obverse 1870 Barber seated Liberty pattern 25cent reverse

Highlights include:

  • Lot 19. 25C 1869 J-747. PCGS PR66 CAM CAC EX SIMPSON
  • Lot 47. 25C 1870 J-894. PCGS PR68+ CAM CAC EX SIMPSON
  • Lot 87. $3 1871 J-1167. PCGS PR66 RB CAC
  • Lot 197. 25C 1822 25/50C. PCGS MS65+
  • Lot 304. $1 1798 SMALL EAGLE, 15 STARS. PCGS MS62+ CAC EX MILLER
  • Lot 332. T$1 1877-S PCGS MS65+ EX LINDA COLLECTION
  • Lot 348. $1 1882-S PCGS MS67+ CAC EX NORTHERN LIGHTS
  • Lot 445. 1C-$1 1886 PROOF SET PCGS PR66-67
  • Lot 477. $5 1852-C PCGS MS64 CAC EX BAREFORD-BASS
  • Lot 490. $10 1908 MOTTO. MATTE PCGS PR67 CAC
  • Lot 497. $20 1883 PCGS PR65 DCAM CAC

Goloid Metric dollar pattern obverse Goloid Metric dollar pattern reverse
Goloid Metric dollar pattern

1793 Wreath Cent obverse 1793 Wreath Cent reverse
1793 Wreath Cent

From the catalog description:

S-11c. This is the Lettered Edge with a Single Leaf and is tied with one other as the finest known of the type 1793 Wreath Cents.

In 1793 one of the first priorities of the newly opened Philadelphia Mint was to get coins into circulation. While the original bonding requirements for the Mint’s employees delayed precious metal production of silver and gold, there was no restriction on copper, so the first focus of production were these large cents and soon half cents, both struck in 1793. The initial large cent design was the Chain reverse, but that did not meet with public favor, so that design was changed after a few short months to this Wreath design. That too met with disfavor with the public, and for the third time in 1793 entirely new designs were created, the Liberty Cap design, and those finally lasted more than a few months, continuing until mid 1796. Hence type, date and historical collectors all seek out these 1793 cents and there are few available, especially if a high grade Mint State coin is desired. Thankfully one collector will be more than satisfied with this stellar example, with its regal surfaces and finely struck devices.

Listed as #1 in Walter Breen’s Census for the S-11c variety, this coin first appeared in the Dr. Charles Clay Collection, sold by Woodward and Strobridge, December 1877, lot 701; James E. Root; Edward Coggan’s December 1878, lot 231; Lorin G. Parmelee; New York Coin & Stamp Co. June 1890, lot 673; S.H. & H. Chapman; John G. Mills; Chapman Sale, April 1904, lot 1232; Carl Wurtzbach; Virgil Brand; New Netherlands; Harold Bareford Collection, Stack’s September 1978, lot 502; J.M. “Jack” Stone; intermediaries; present consignor.

1840 Dollar obverse 1840 Dollar reverse
1840 Dollar

Catalogs are in the mail. If you are not on our mailing list, and you would like to receive a copy, please contact us today.

To visit the Legend Rare Coin Auctions web site, see:

To view the complete sale, see:


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