Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

What constitutes a Type???

9 posts in this topic

Just got my Bowers' US Coins by Design Type in the mail today, so I've been perusing it.

 

Where do you draw the line for Types? Curious as I look at the 1793-1796 Large Cents (Type -- Liberty Cap). Bowers lumps these together, and mentions in his opinions section at the end of the book that you should consider the 1793-1795 Lettered Edge and 1795-1796 Plain Edge as 2 different types.

 

Don't have a problem with that, but why exclude the Beaded Border cent of 1793 as a unique Type? The border changed to denticles in 1794, so it would seem that the 1793 cent would be a Type of its own.

 

Thoughts??

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Curious question Keith. In biology, a type is a specimen deposited to a know repository for the purpose if identification and verification. With the coin hobby being more diffuse, I would suppose that a type is somehwat akin to any verifiable specimen with design features unique to the issue. Types may be unique, or confined to a particular short period of minting, or may span years/dates. Types could be major or minor, representing degrees of design change, but would be a constitution of the design, including composition, size/weight. Just to remark, one may distinguish a type from a variety by the attribution of human error (to a variety) that is repeated within a specific type in the series. A variety may span years (e.g. with early coinage) by recycling dies, but this does not constitute a type which typically defines a specific design that is conferred to the series.

 

Just my thoughts. Hoot

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Actually you can take type collecting down to very minute points in the early years of our coinage as well as the later years. Certainly a 1793 Cap Cent, a 1794 Head of 1794 Cap Cent, the 1795 Cap cents and the 1796 Cap cents are all different. Some collectors go for them all, but it takes deep pockets to do that unless you are willing to collect some very low grade coins.

 

Even in the modern series there are "hiden" types. For example there are really two types of the Type II Standing Liberty quarter and two types of the low relief (1922-35) Peace Dollars (a different number of rays on the reverse.) The Washington quarter design has had many minor adjustments done to it over the years, most of which are not on most collectors' road maps. These minor types are seldom recognized although some almost equally minor types like the Drapery and No Drapery Liberty Seated coins are considered to be type coins by advanced type collectors.

 

The great thing about collecting coins is that there are really no rules about what you put in your collection. And the great thing about type collecting is that you get to sample a wide variety of coin designs and every coin is different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Bill,

 

Reading on, I find it interesting that Bowers mentions the 1793 Liberty Cap cent, and as another example, the fact that the head of the 1794 Half Cent is larger than the ones in 1795 and later, but doesn't call these a Type, in spite of recognizable design changes.

 

Then, later on, he specifically mentions the 1944-1946 "shell case" Lincoln cents as a Type. Put a 1794 and a 1795 Half Cent in front of a newbie, and they could tell you something was different. Put a 1944 and a 1942 Lincoln in front of someone, odds are they wouldn't know anything was different.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your are right about the "shell case" Lincoln cents. The only way to tell the difference is to compare two really pristine full red examples. Then you can tell the difference, but it's really subtle. Of couse one can acquire those two coins for several dollars unless you go wild with the finest known slabbed pieces, which are a waste of money IMO.

 

I think that Dave Bowers has avoided calling the various Liberty heads on the 1794 - 7 half cents because doing so would present most collectors with a discouraging task. The prices on those coins are so high in nice condition that most collectors are happy to own just one really attractive coin.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The one that really drives me up the wall is the Standing Liberty Quarter, which is divided into Type 1 (bare breast), Type 2 (mailed breast), but not type 3 (recessed date). I haven't seen Bowers' book, but this, IMO, is much more of a change of type than the shell case cent, on a par with the Type 1/Type 2 Buffalo.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

swhuck - Rarely, I have heard of the SLQs referred to as T1, T2, and T3 for the reason you state. I'd agree with you about how dramatic the change is and it should be clearly distinguished as its own type.

 

Bill and Keith - from what you have said, it sounds like some of the hobby's expenses are entering into what a numistmatist considers for distinguishing types of large cents. This make no sense to me. The point of the study is to clearly distinguish design changes, not worry about how much the cost, right?

 

Hoot

Link to comment
Share on other sites

swhuck,

 

for what it's worth, most of my friends consider the slq series as having 3 types just as you described.

 

the recessed date is important. imo, the redone bust of washington is also important. it made for a much better strike.

 

evp

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites