Roger Burdette's Saint Gaudens Double Eagles Book
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2,126 posts in this topic

5 minutes ago, Ross J said:

Ooops! My bad again.  the Barber pattern is 1906, not 1907!

Barber did the obverse and Morgan the reverse. Both were from earlier dies. Their purpose was not to propose this as a competing DE design but to test edge lettering.

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8 minutes ago, RWB said:

First - Allow me to repeat that the small diameter DE were NOT made by stacking two Eagle planchets. The metal was simply rolled to the correct thickness so that when cut with an Eagle blank cutter, the blank had the same gold as a DE. [See Renaissance of American Coinage 1905-1908 for details.]

 

Wow!  Thanks so much for that Roger.  I nit sure where I read that they just squished two ten blanks!  (I will try and find the source.) 

I am sure you are correct (having done so much research).  It must be somewhat agonizing to hear fact you know mis-stated so often.  I apologize for my mistakes in this blog and will endeavor to be more careful.  Guess the lesson is, check your sources before you speak (or write)!  So glad you are here to comment/correct..  

It is easy for those of us who spend a few hours reading books to easily sound like those who spend years writing them, but the level of thinking and effort needed to unearth, synthesize, and accurately express information should not be underestimated by any of us.  Again, my sincere and profound apology.  

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Just an FYI.  I did find information online about "Thermo-compression bonding".  Apparently gold is one of the materials which can be "welded" in this way, but generally both pressure and temperature are required to achieve an effective bond.  I doubt without other steps planchets could be welded together by a coin press alone.

I can't remember how I got the idea that the 1907's were made that way.  Perhaps it was the Vulcan Science Academy?  I watch too many science (and science fiction) programs!  

-------------------------------------------

As Roger notes, the mint technicians obviously punched the 27mm blanks from thicker strip!  :bigsmile:      

 

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21 minutes ago, Ross J said:

I can't remember how I got the idea that the 1907's were made that way.  Perhaps it was the Vulcan Science Academy?  I watch too many science (and science fiction) programs!  

I'll ask my friend, Quark, he runs a bar and has lots of Gold-Pressed Latinum.  I think you take some gold...and some latinum...and then you press it.   Maybe like an Oreo cookie, I dunno.....xD

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4 hours ago, RWB said:

First - Allow me to repeat that the small diameter DE were NOT made by stacking two Eagle planchets. The metal was simply rolled to the correct thickness so that when cut with an Eagle blank cutter, the blank had the same gold as a DE.

I think we had moving pictures then (1907) -- certainly by the 1920's (but no sound until 1931 or so) -- have you ever uncovered a FILM made in or by the Mint about how they made the coins at all the various steps ?

 

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RE: "I can't remember how I got the idea that the 1907's were made that way."

This lie appears to have its origin with Wally Breen.

RE: "Film of coinage."

There are several in the archives and also a couple of more modern versions made in the past 15+ years. All were for general interest and present nothing new to typical coin collectors. The old ones are fun for the antique equipment.

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1 hour ago, RWB said:

RE: "Film of coinage." There are several in the archives and also a couple of more modern versions made in the past 15+ years. All were for general interest and present nothing new to typical coin collectors. The old ones are fun for the antique equipment.

Can't hurt, I think I'll scour YouTube and look for them.  Thanks !

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Roger vs. Bowers:  Just wanted to say that reading Bowers book, I have an increased respect for Roger's in-depth information AND PICTURES of die varities.  As a non-expert, I find it very difficult to really gleam much from Bower's very short and succinct die information (3-7 sentences) without pictures. 

I was a bit frustrated because Roger's die material was the first stuff I ever really read on die varieties and he gave so much information (and lots of pics xD ) that I felt I wasn't absorbing all of it or most of it, just a fraction of it.  But now I see I learned alot more with the Saint book's "shotgun approach" rather than the Double Eagle book's "pop-gun" approach.

Again, it's not a question of which book is "better."   Roger's book is only on Saints and is expected to be more in-depth; Bower's book is on both Liberty and Saint Double Eagles and is meant as a primer.  But for those of you who think you might want to give Ross J a run for his money on die varities, there is no comparision in information and pics between the two books.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Thanks for the interesting comments. Neither book was written in competition with the other. The Whitman "Red Book" series are all intended as introductory volumes and are therefore limited in scope. I have no page limit or other restraint of that kind. The only constraints are availability of original, documented material, and editing to produce an even treatment and text.

The large number of photos are, in part, a response to my own frustrations in trying to make sense of Overton, Sheldon and others' descriptions without having many specimens available to examine.

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48 minutes ago, RWB said:

Thanks for the interesting comments. Neither book was written in competition with the other. The Whitman "Red Book" series are all intended as introductory volumes and are therefore limited in scope. I have no page limit or other restraint of that kind. The only constraints are availability of original, documented material, and editing to produce an even treatment and text.

The large number of photos are, in part, a response to my own frustrations in trying to make sense of Overton, Sheldon and others' descriptions without having many specimens available to examine.

I will be going over the die varieties again in coming weeks/days.  Plus other select parts that I found really interesting, like the 1933's.  For now, gonna finally finish Bowers after having done so with Akers/Ambio.  (thumbsu

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6 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

But for those of you who think you might want to give Ross J a run for his money, there is no comparision in information and pics between the two books.

Yes, Roger's book is the #1 resource for variety collecting by far.  Second are the aforementioned Variety Plus pages on NGC's website.  A distant third is the Current Cherrypicker's guide, where Saint Varieties have been treated almost as an afterthought.  Unfortunately, reverse the order if you want to know which venue generates the widest interest and audience among collectors.  The Cherrypicker's Guide has been around the longest and is more associated with general interest books in numismatics.  You can find it in Barnes & Noble along with Red books (A Guidebook of United States Coins), coin folders, etc.  It represents most collector's introduction to variety collecting   

I believe it is inevitable that Saint varieties will be studied with increased collector interest as knowledge about them becomes more widespread.  Roger's book was a "missing link" in available scholarship on the subject.  I am supporting Bill Fivaz and his team to include more entries in their upcoming revision of TCPG, and hope to do some talks and/or videos on the subject.  I also talk to dealers I meet at shows about the subject and many have begun to take an interest.

Hopefully, everyone will give me a run for my money where these coins are concerned, because that will mean I have meaningfully contributed to other's interest and enjoyment of the hobby!       

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Although I cannot afford to collect DE - by variety or otherwise - I feel it's important to look closely at the approach that has evolved in collecting Morgan and Peace dollars by VanAllen-Mallis varieties. There are many good things to be said and learned, and also many things to be avoided. This is particularly important since DE's have a very low survival rate compared to quantities struck and dies used.

Possibly the most important guideline is: simplicity. Morgan variety collecting, initially a clear list of variety numbers for each year, has descended into a multilayered jumble of suffix upon suffix and assumed "die states." This confuses all but the most deeply involved and discourages newcomers. While DE are less subject to this due to low survival from each die (except for 1908 Type I, and some P dates in the 20s), it remains a problem of imposed complexity.

A second guideline is: establish and understand the cause of varieties. Original VAM books and supplements are treated by many as some sort of sacred text of immutable wisdom. This relegates modern, more objective research into Mint operations and equipment to ephemera, and perpetuates misunderstanding of cause-effect relationships.

However, it will be up to others to do this.

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Even before retirement, I have been fortunate to have the time and discretionary resources to have assembled a decent collection of these coins.  We often hear from numismatic gurus "buy the book before the coin", but that wasn't possible when I began my DE journey years ago.  There was no book even close to what Roger has achieved.  Heritage's predecessor publication "The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens", (includes both eagle and double eagle series),while beautifully illustrated, is more like an auction catalog in tone and in terms of the information provided.  It seems hard to believe that in the 80+ years since the SGDE series ended, no scholarly in-depth analysis of these coins had ever been published.  Thanks to Roger's effort, that will not be a problem for future collectors.  His book touches all the elements that fuel interest in a coin series; relevant history, art, science, economics, and political intrigue from the era the coins were made, as well as exhaustive descriptions, illustrations, and details about the coins that survive today.     

I personally feel it's publication is something of a capstone to my collecting endeavors.  Since it's publication, I have transitioned my energies to advocacy and the education of others in the hobby (with regards to varieties) that is only possible now that the definitive "textbook" has been written.  Despite my own immersion in the subject (for years), unquestionably most of what I know about the subject at this point I've learned from Roger's book.  I believe its reputation and impact on the hobby will grow substantially in years to come.  How lucky newcomers are to have such a reference available as they discover and fall in love with these beautiful coins! 

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2 hours ago, Ross J said:

I believe it is inevitable that Saint varieties will be studied with increased collector interest as knowledge about them becomes more widespread.  Roger's book was a "missing link" in available scholarship on the subject.  I am supporting Bill Fivaz and his team to include more entries in their upcoming revision of TCPG, and hope to do some talks and/or videos on the subject.  I also talk to dealers I meet at shows about the subject and many have begun to take an interest.

Hopefully, everyone will give me a run for my money where these coins are concerned, because that will mean I have meaningfully contributed to other's interest and enjoyment of the hobby!       

Why don't you do a talk on this at an upcoming FUN Convention ?  That would be GREAT !!

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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The Summer FUN has been canceled!  Due to Carona, I'm hoping I can travel to upcoming coin shows by car.  Pittsburgh ANA in early August and/or Whitman Expo in Baltimore in November are doable, and I'm trying to arrange talks at each.  I'll let you know what happens.  I'm guessing ANA might get cancelled as it's relatively soon.  We will see.  GF, do you live in FL?

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23 minutes ago, Ross J said:

The Summer FUN has been canceled!  Due to Carona, I'm hoping I can travel to upcoming coin shows by car.  Pittsburgh ANA in early August and/or Whitman Expo in Baltimore in November are doable, and I'm trying to arrange talks at each.  I'll let you know what happens.  I'm guessing ANA might get cancelled as it's relatively soon.  We will see.  GF, do you live in FL?

New York, Ross.....I've been meaning to do Whitman since I can probably do it all in 1-day (driving there, back, and no need for a hotel room).

Took the train to FUN in January, flew back.

 

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15 hours ago, Ross J said:

You can (if you don't mean upstate!)  I do that too.  Not really a fan of Baltimore.

Just checked....3 1/2 hours from the NY 'burbs if I leave from my place, but only 2 1/2 from my folks in South Jersey. (thumbsu

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16 hours ago, Ross J said:

You can (if you don't mean upstate!)  I do that too.  Not really a fan of Baltimore.

Not a fan of the Whitman show or Baltimore itself?

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4 hours ago, Zebo said:

Not a fan of the Whitman show or Baltimore itself?

I"m pretty sure he meant the city....must be some nice hotels though near the convention center and Camden Yards.  I assume those are the safe areas.

I assume Baltimore has those.  But maybe not. xD

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5 minutes ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

I"m pretty sure he meant the city....must be some nice hotels though near the convention center and Camden Yards.  I assume those are the safe areas.

I assume Baltimore has those.  But maybe not. xD

The inner harbor area where the convention center is located - is generally safe. I'm not sure about now with the on-going riots gripping the nation, however. Hotels near-by are fine. 

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4 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

I"m pretty sure he meant the city

Yes, I meant the city.  Agree the Inner Harbor area is safer than some others, but Invariably the number of "requests for money" I get on Pratt Street every time I go there is unnerving.  I feel less safe at those shows than at any of the others I go to regularly, including the Mint in Philadelphia which is in the pretty safe historic area.  By the way, probably a  good idea to remove badges, bags, etc.... anything identifying you as a "money person" before you exit the convention center.  Also, you're probably safer if you go with a buddy.  

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To be fair, my comments should be taken generally and not meant to suggest one should have inordinate fear.  Despite whatever concerns, I do generally attend Whitman shows, will again (if they have them), and would not discourage anyone from doing so.  Just use the common sense you use whenever to travel to unfamiliar places.  I do think that at coin shows particularly, being aware of one's surroundings and exercising reasonable caution is probably a good idea.

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On 6/3/2020 at 12:56 PM, Ross J said:

To be fair, my comments should be taken generally and not meant to suggest one should have inordinate fear.  Despite whatever concerns, I do generally attend Whitman shows, will again (if they have them), and would not discourage anyone from doing so.  Just use the common sense you use whenever to travel to unfamiliar places.  I do think that at coin shows particularly, being aware of one's surroundings and exercising reasonable caution is probably a good idea.

Oh for sure....I am sure more "upscale" thieves know about the coin shows at places like FUN.  As it is dark in January in Florida, if you come out at the close and do any walking you have to be VERY aware. (thumbsu

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Speaking of Orlando FUN, their "trolley" bus service along International drive (I think) is very convenient between hotel and conference center.  The walk is ok too.  

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7 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

.... As it is dark in January in Florida ...

Your comment made me wonder, as I thought it was light out when the coin show bourse closed each day at 5 pm in Orlando.  I checked online and found the following:

For the first two weeks in January, although sunrise in both New York City and Orlando occurs at roughly the same time (around 7:20 am), sunset is actually an hour later in Florida, at around 5:40 pm.  In other words, there is approximately an additional hour of daylight in Florida compared with New York.  That makes sense when you consider that day and night are equal at the equator all year long (12 hours each) so whatever the offset is in New York, it should be less in Florida, which is further south, closer to the equator. 

sunlight.jpg

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7 hours ago, Ross J said:

Speaking of Orlando FUN, their "trolley" bus service along International drive (I think) is very convenient between hotel and conference center.  The walk is ok too.  

It was.  1st time down there and while I got the Rosen hotels mixed up (I met one of the guys from this and another forum but ended up at the WRONG hotel :)) I liked the layout of International Drive.  When I had time I didn't mind waiting for the bus/trolley....but other times, I wasn't sure when a bus was going to come and I just took a car service.  Got a few names for next year, including the guy who took me to the airport. (thumbsu  

This year I stayed at the Rosen Inn, next year I take it I have to stay at one of the two other hotels to be nearer OCCC West (FUN flips to the other side of the street next year).  Rosen Inn wasn't bad (I walked it once to OCCC; 20 minutes I think), I had a nice Thai restaurant right near me and a few other finger-food places and medium-ticket restaurants.  I wonder how many will survive when I go back next year.....hm

Ross, I think FUN was open until 6 PM on some of the days this year, I can't recall 100%.  Regardless, if you mill around afterwards to talk to a dealer or outside in the lobby, it can be later.  But you are right, it was close-to-dark when I got out but not like in NY.  Still some light outside. My bad ! xD   But still have to be careful, dealers have been followed leaving the OCCC and I would think anybody walking back with a suitcase or satchel could be a target.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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RE: "...dealers have been followed leaving the OCCC..."

Question - If a dealer is followed on Facebook do they have to keep looking over their shoulder?

:)

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15 minutes ago, RWB said:

RE: "...dealers have been followed leaving the OCCC..."

Question - If a dealer is followed on Facebook do they have to keep looking over their shoulder?

:)

xD....actually, it's pretty serious.  I think the shows are now letting people know that they need to be VERY careful.  Alot of dealers will pack up in a loading area....then take off....eventually, they stop for food and that's when a trailing car can usually hit the car or van which may have lots of valuable stuff.   If the car isn't in sight of the owner when he or she is eating, you can be cleaned out in minutes.

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4 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

 If the car isn't in sight of the owner when he or she is eating, you can be cleaned out in minutes.

That is true, but there was a case like that at a diner in NJ a few years ago that I heard ultimately turned out to be a dealer scam (trying to collect insurance - no theft).  Going to shows definitely does merit some vigilance.  GF: Let me know next year at FUN when you've bought all the SG varieties and I will walk back to your hotel with you (if I don't mug you myself!) xD   

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