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Roger Burdette's Saint Gaudens Double Eagles Book
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2,621 posts in this topic

3 hours ago, Ross J said:

Well how would we know? 

Good point ! (thumbsu

3 hours ago, Ross J said:

If GC's images were better (like Heritages) so that cherrypickers could at least spot it, it might have done better.  

I generally find GC's images to be pretty good, will go back and check this one.  HA's are outstanding.

3 hours ago, Ross J said:

Then again, it is something of a dog of a coin.  I would just say that nothing was proven here with regards to premiums.  One needs to look at auctions of attributed slabs with catalog descriptions referencing it (and perhaps its scarcity) before making any meaningful statements about premiums.   

Yup, let's keep looking.

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On 5/19/2021 at 12:07 PM, RWB said:

Digitizing paper is expensive. A common rule is that if the docs have not been requested for 10 years, then they go to the end of the queue. I was fortunate to talk to someone who was active in the company back then and understood what I was asking about.

Much of the eyes-on truth has passed away, leaving us guessing.

Then again, institutional memory serves a purpose. It's too bad we don't have people running around recording the oral histories of people who were there and saw (witnessed) and experienced live action.

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When my employees were working on contracts with the Census Bureau, they were facing the prospect of many long-term key-knowldge employees retiring. We set up what was effectively a knowledge-base apprentice-shadowing-mentoring program for pre-retirement employees with unique or critical skills and experience. This included a gradual functional transition coordinated with individual retirement schedules (accounting for accumulated leave time). This was a tough sell to management who had to allocate the necessary staff time, but we got most of the key people covered. This was especially useful when combined with technology and process changes we were also doing with them. Our follow-on evaluation, although not as robust as I recommended, showed improvement especially when the mentor became the key-knowledge possessor and used that to improve processes and systems.

PS: Census Bureau is unique in that many operations only occur once in a 10-year cycle, then go dormant. Small scale versions occur for the ACS and many other surveys. Knowledge management for these hibernating operations presents very unusual challanges.

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17 hours ago, Quintus Arrius said:

Then again, institutional memory serves a purpose. It's too bad we don't have people running around recording the oral histories of people who were there and saw (witnessed) and experienced live action.

Some of the key MTB personnel are deceased which means we may never learn all the nitty-gritty about the famous 1983 El Salvador (?) Hoard which was close to 47,000 coins, mostly DE's.  Those guys were numismatists and really had an obligation to give out the details on that hoard over the years to people like Akers, RWB, etc.  Instead, we have an unfortunate situation where the information wasn't a trade secret nor impacting their finances, yet the details may well be lost for no good reason.

Same thing with the Wells Fargo Hoard, where we still don't have key details and which is more closely guarded than the Wuhan Virology Institute's secrets.  xD  Gillio is protecting no future earnings, market prices of coins, or trading partners (names can always be left out).  He really should fill-in-the-blanks. (thumbsu

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12 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

Some of the key MTB personnel are deceased which means we may never learn all the nitty-gritty about the famous 1983 El Salvador (?) Hoard which was close to 47,000 coins, mostly DE's.  Those guys were numismatists and really had an obligation to give out the details on that hoard over the years to people like Akers, RWB, etc.  Instead, we have an unfortunate situation where the information wasn't a trade secret nor impacting their finances, yet the details may well be lost for no good reason.

Same thing with the Wells Fargo Hoard, where we still don't have key details and which is more closely guarded than the Wuhan Virology Institute's secrets.  xD  Gillio is protecting no future earnings, market prices of coins, or trading partners (names can always be left out).  He really should fill-in-the-blanks. (thumbsu

...where does it say that numismatists, or anyone else, has an obligation to give out any details to anybody???...

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3 hours ago, zadok said:

...where does it say that numismatists, or anyone else, has an obligation to give out any details to anybody???...

🐻 Bear with me here a moment, Great Zadok.  I can see you're the temperamental type, so I am going to make this real simple. @RWB and @Just Bob have both  addressed the matter you allude to implying I was attempting to defend the indefensible. I believe they both now understand that the member who endorsed the video did so with a minimal understanding of the subject. I know nothing of Morgan and Peace dollars, read the member's glowing reference to the video, viewed it,, and walked away none the wiser. (Earlier today, a U.S. Mint employee kept me on the line for 21 minutes before it occurred to me the 2021-CC Dollar I was interested in was long gone.)  

There is a right way of doing things. And a wrong way.  The member who endorsed a flawed video, to me, is no worse than someone, who asked directions, sends them the wrong way. If I leave a company and decide to take my rolodex with me, I am making the new employee's job much more difficult. That's wrong.

Maybe obligation is the wrong word.  I still believe in common courtesies like removing one's hat before entering an elevator or theater.  Fortunately, for me, RWB discharged his duty in a responsible manner by lambasting me in a restrained manner and affording me the opportunity to make a distinction between an uninformed presenter and a viewer whose review was premature displaying a fervor for a subject he and I both do not know much about.

The lesson to be learned is, Do your homework. You know your material when you pick up pen and paper and write an editor stating a photograph prominently displayed in a book is mislabeled and receive a reply thanking you for pointing out the error, which would be corrected in future editions. When I placed an overseas order for a 1907 🐓 and was sent a 1911 instead, both in top MS-67 condition, I emailed the proprietor immediately offering the difference in price or returning it to keep their inventory accurate.  It so happens I needed both dates and the proprietor graciously allowed me to keep it. Moot point, or would you rather :slapfight: ?

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39 minutes ago, Quintus Arrius said:

🐻 Bear with me here a moment, Great Zadok.  I can see you're the temperamental type, so I am going to make this real simple. @RWB and @Just Bob have both  addressed the matter you allude to implying I was attempting to defend the indefensible. I believe they both now understand that the member who endorsed the video did so with a minimal understanding of the subject. I know nothing of Morgan and Peace dollars, read the member's glowing reference to the video, viewed it,, and walked away none the wiser. (Earlier today, a U.S. Mint employee kept me on the line for 21 minutes before it occurred to me the 2021-CC Dollar I was interested in was long gone.)  

There is a right way of doing things. And a wrong way.  The member who endorsed a flawed video, to me, is no worse than someone, who asked directions, sends them the wrong way. If I leave a company and decide to take my rolodex with me, I am making the new employee's job much more difficult. That's wrong.

Maybe obligation is the wrong word.  I still believe in common courtesies like removing one's hat before entering an elevator or theater.  Fortunately, for me, RWB discharged his duty in a responsible manner by lambasting me in a restrained manner and affording me the opportunity to make a distinction between an uninformed presenter and a viewer whose review was premature displaying a fervor for a subject he and I both do not know much about.

The lesson to be learned is, Do your homework. You know your material when you pick up pen and paper and write an editor stating a photograph prominently displayed in a book is mislabeled and receive a reply thanking you for pointing out the error, which would be corrected in future editions. When I placed an overseas order for a 1907 🐓 and was sent a 1911 instead, both in top MS-67 condition, I emailed the proprietor immediately offering the difference in price or returning it to keep their inventory accurate.  It so happens I needed both dates and the proprietor graciously allowed me to keep it. Moot point, or would you rather :slapfight: ?

...no clue bout anything u mentioned, none of it has anything to do with my comment, ur ref to misrepresentations, errors etc totally irrelevant to my comment....wasnt even directed at any of ur episodes...my statement in response to goldfinger thinking numismatists et al have an obligation to provide details on the sources of material they find, locate, discover, sell etc....

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21 hours ago, zadok said:

...where does it say that numismatists, or anyone else, has an obligation to give out any details to anybody???...

No obligation in the legal sense, but if they are numismatists then they must know that the STORY that goes along with the coins....their history....is crucial to the enjoyment and attachment of this hobby.  I would think they would feel a professional obligation to share that information.  I know I would. 

It's NOT a trade secret, it's not details on their finances or mark-ups....it's just details regarding how long-lost coins and/or hoards were found. (thumbsu

Roger's book, including the Commentary sections, had lots of information on various hoards and finds.

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@GoldFinger1969.GoldFinger1969 has his heart in the rght place. He would not fit into a tightly wound culture where non-disclosure is the norm leaving interested historians with the thankless job of locating long-lost jigsaw pieces and then piecing the remnants that still exist back together again to put together a cohesive story that bears some semblance of the truth, or comes as close to it as one possibly can.  @RWB routinely does this on his own time and dime.  I applaud their efforts and contribution to our understanding of a somewhat difficult spotty subject matter that may have to go through several editions as more obscure facts and supporting materials come to light -- before what is left is misunderstood as being of no value and is ingloriously assigned to the DISCARD BY: ________heap, and lost foevever to history.  

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8 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

No obligation in the legal sense, but if they are numismatists then they must know that the STORY that goes along with the coins....their history....is crucial to the enjoyment and attachment of this hobby.  I would think they would feel a professional obligation to share that information.  I know I would. 

It's NOT a trade secret, it's not details on their finances or make-ups....it's just details regarding how long-lost coins and/or hoards were found. (thumbsu

Roger's book, including the Commentary sections, had lots of information on various hoards and finds.

...several observations n comments, try to be succinct...no obligations period, legal or otherwise...the "story" has nothing to do with the coin(s) themselves, its just cream on top, nice to have...certainly not crucial in any sense of the word...not divulging sources has nothing to do with anyone's professionalism, its discretionary pure n simple...has nothing to do with trade, profits, finances, mark-ups etc...its simply a choice, sometimes entwined with other considerations such as privacy or confidentiality...not everyone needs to know where everything comes from, some items or discoveries r transacted in strict non-disclosure terms...i have bought items where the transaction was contingent on not revealing the source, either honor the terms or not buy...sure pedigrees on coins r great, own a few such coins myself, not crucial, just cream....pedigrees from public auctions just that public info, pedigrees from private sales not public if so desired...i fully support the historical n research aspect of numismatics, makes it more relevant n interesting, spent a few thousand hours at the national archives myself doing research, have published articles on coins as well, but never believed anyone has an obligation to provide any more info on their coins or discoveries than they wanted to...e.g. one individual on this forum constantly bemoans that a certain historical dealer destroyed all his records rather than make them public, i knew this dealer n actually had a discussion on same subject when i requested some historical info on certain coins, some i was provided some not...in this situation the privacy of various sellers n buyers n other financial considerations far outweighed any nice historical aspects of the records, i fully support that decision...rwb's book has some hoard info, interesting, personally i prefer tripp's research on certain pedigrees, bower's book has even more hoard info....im personally aware of several mini-hoards, one in ur collecting wheelhouse, but i have no obligations to reveal that info to anyone, the owner's privacy n the confidentiality we share far more important than any revelations on making the info public...as u r personally aware, i am not opposed to sharing of information if its pertinent to providing accuracy i.e. the previous info i shared with u on a certain issue, which was private n which u honored...i have likewise provided some personal insight to qa on mini-hoard info on his beloved roosters, nothing earthshaking but info i preferred it directed to him n not on the open forum...personal choice, right or wrong....so while i support ur enthusiasm for the rest of the numismatic story i take exception to the position that numismatists r obligated to divulge their source info if they choose not to....none of this has anything to do with the actual coins that we collect, they dont know where they came from...not as succinct as i wished...

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The part that Zadok misses is that holding ones self out as a business creates clear disclosure and information responsibilities. This is both an ethical and legal condition: seller must disclose what they know if it is a material defect or if a question is asked.

Example: Coin collector Freddy Frimble wants to buy an 1804 silver dollar from  dealer Gnarles Numbnut. The coin has a hole drilled through it and and the edge is stamped with Hanzi characters. What is Gnarles obligated to disclose and what may remain silent unless asked?

PS: Punctuation and capitalization will help readers. e e cummings is long dead.

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1 hour ago, RWB said:

The part that Zadok misses is that holding ones self out as a business creates clear disclosure and information responsibilities. This is both an ethical and legal condition: seller must disclose what they know if it is a material defect or if a question is asked.

Example: Coin collector Freddy Frimble wants to buy an 1804 silver dollar from  dealer Gnarles Numbnut. The coin has a hole drilled through it and and the edge is stamped with Hanzi characters. What is Gnarles obligated to disclose and what may remain silent unless asked?

PS: Punctuation and capitalization will help readers. e e cummings is long dead.

deflection again....subject wasnt bout disclosure on coins being sold, subject bout making public from whom bought n whom sold to n prices paid/realized n privy info on where hoards came from....no legal r ethical issues involved...

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2 hours ago, RWB said:

PS: Punctuation and capitalization will help readers. e e cummings is long dead.

(With all due respect, the Grrat Zadok, as I refer to him with affection, addressed this in a prior post describing it without elaboration as a disability. I had enough presence of mind to leave it at that. On balance, at least he expresses himself coherently.  I conceded that "obligation" was a poor choice of word on my part.)

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3 hours ago, Quintus Arrius said:

(With all due respect, the Grrat Zadok, as I refer to him with affection, addressed this in a prior post describing it without elaboration as a disability. I had enough presence of mind to leave it at that. On balance, at least he expresses himself coherently.  I conceded that "obligation" was a poor choice of word on my part.)

entire exchange of comments was in response to goldfinger's expression bout obligations on hoard discoveries...nothing more nothing less....life is short, bigger fish to fry or other roosters to roast....the guillotine spareth thee...

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5 hours ago, zadok said:

deflection again....subject wasnt bout disclosure on coins being sold, subject bout making public from whom bought n whom sold to n prices paid/realized n privy info on where hoards came from....no legal r ethical issues involved...

Not a deflection of anything. This is the context of my original question, something evidently lost.

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2 hours ago, zadok said:

entire exchange of comments was in response to goldfinger's expression bout obligations on hoard discoveries...nothing more nothing less....life is short, bigger fish to fry or other roosters to roast....the guillotine spareth thee...

"...roosters to roast...."  You sure know how to hurt a guy. Nobody knows how many were melted but I am sure that has something to do with the difficulty in finding them. 🤔

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On 5/26/2021 at 10:19 AM, zadok said:

..in this situation the privacy of various sellers n buyers n other financial considerations far outweighed any nice historical aspects of the records, i fully support that decision..

I respect his respecting others privacy....however......names can always be changed to protect the innocent (or guilty xD).

On 5/26/2021 at 10:19 AM, zadok said:

.rwb's book has some hoard info, interesting, personally i prefer tripp's research on certain pedigrees, bower's book has even more hoard info....im personally aware of several mini-hoards, one in ur collecting wheelhouse, but i have no obligations to reveal that info to anyone, the owner's privacy n the confidentiality we share far more important than any revelations on making the info public...as u r personally aware, i am not opposed to sharing of information if its pertinent to providing accuracy i.e. the previous info i shared with u on a certain issue, which was private n which u honored...i have likewise provided some personal insight to qa on mini-hoard info on his beloved roosters, nothing earthshaking but info i preferred it directed to him n not on the open forum...personal choice, right or wrong....so while i support ur enthusiasm for the rest of the numismatic story i take exception to the position that numismatists r obligated to divulge their source info if they choose not to....none of this has anything to do with the actual coins that we collect, they dont know where they came from...not as succinct as i wished...

Yes, Roger's book has some 1-liners and a few good paragraphs on hoards. (thumbsu

I presume you mean there are some hoards out there comprised of Saints; I guess it depends on how we define "hoards."  To me, it is an influx of NEW coins -- some people here consider a collection of certified and/or raw coins (purchased at least once if not several times) as a hoard -- I do not, but that is just me personally.

If someone has 20 semi-scarce Saints that are all graded but off the market, to me that is NOT a hoard in the true sense as the coins have been certified and are already in the population census.  At least with raw coins there's a possibility they've been out of the market for a while although they also could have been bought-and-sold for decades. 

I still think that it's better for our hobby and stoking interest in the coins if the story is told.  Look at all the marketing hoards given for various Morgan Dollar groups and the WW II Saints (sewn into a coat liner).  That's overkill to me, but I'd rather have too much information than too little.  

I also always thought that Gillio's Wells Fargo Hoard would have had more interest if the true origins from the post-WW I timeline had more blanks filled in.  The story really started in the 1960's when the Saints got re-bagged.

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6 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

I respect his respecting others privacy....however......names can always be changed to protect the innocent (or guilty xD).

Yes, Roger's book has some 1-liners and a few good paragraphs on hoards. (thumbsu

I presume you mean there are some hoards out there comprised of Saints; I guess it depends on how we define "hoards."  To me, it is an influx of NEW coins -- some people here consider a collection of certified and/or raw coins (purchased at least once if not several times) as a hoard -- I do not, but that is just me personally.

If someone has 20 semi-scarce Saints that are all graded but off the market, to me that is NOT a hoard in the true sense as the coins have been certified and are already in the population census.  At least with raw coins there's a possibility they've been out of the market for a while although they also could have been bought-and-sold for decades. 

I still think that it's better for our hobby and stoking interest in the coins if the story is told.  Look at all the marketing hoards given for various Morgan Dollar groups and the WW II Saints (sewn into a coat liner).  That's overkill to me, but I'd rather have too much information than too little.  

I also always thought that Gillio's Wells Fargo Hoard would have had more interest if the true origins from the post-WW I timeline had more blanks filled in.  The story really started in the 1960's when the Saints got re-bagged.

our definitions of hoards coincide...read into that what u will...

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On 5/21/2021 at 12:41 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I generally find GC's images to be pretty good, will go back and check this one.  HA's are outstanding.

Yes, I agree that Heritages are the best, followed by Stacks Bowers, with Great Collections coming in third.  My opinion... others may differ.  Ebay is generally awful (possibly deliberately so with some sellers) if for no other reason than there is no consistency or standards from seller to seller.  Let the buyer beware!

My problem with Great Collections images is that there is just "two step" magnification, and at the second step variety details may still be hard to tease out.  Trying to resolve re-punched mintmarks can be particularly maddening.

In all cases, the resolution of the photos is key.  Some of Heritages older archive images suffer in this regard.  Given advances in technology and the situation covid put us in this past year, I am less forgiving these day of websites that don't give us (especially variety collectors) the details we need to make informed purchase decisions.  As a cherrypicker, when I'm not sure of identification, I just don't bid!  

 

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10 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

I also always thought that Gillio's Wells Fargo Hoard would have had more interest if the true origins from the post-WW I timeline had more blanks filled in.

One of the problems in the hobby, and not just our hobby, with regards to information and coins is that often "mystery" about a situation generates more marketing impact than "full disclosure"... all the more so if some provocative name can be associated with the coins in question.  If the truth about something is withheld, any plausible alternative story gets a credibility "boost".  It's the basis of many successful historical drama movie scripts.

Not always the case though.  If the true story is more fascinating than a fictional, reconstructed, or embellished substitute...you can be sure you will hear every detail.   

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Unsolicited editorial comment...

If I had a choice of photos supplied by HA, GC, eB, or BH, I would choose BH every time.

Even over our own Master Photographer,  VKurtB?  Yes, I am afraid I would have no choice. Not because he is apparently busy trying out for the Daytona 500, but for no other reason that in my self-admitted inexperienced, far from professional knowledge of photography basics, Buffalo Head is King.  If anyone on the Forum is prepared to dispense with that snap conclusion as being vastly uninformed, I can assure you I haven't heard from that member yet, publicly or privately.

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4 hours ago, Ross J said:

Yes, I agree that Heritages are the best, followed by Stacks Bowers, with Great Collections coming in third.  My opinion... others may differ.  Ebay is generally awful (possibly deliberately so with some sellers) if for no other reason than there is no consistency or standards from seller to seller.  Let the buyer beware!

HA (and SB and GC) have a reputation to protect so they take control of the pictures and do an outstanding, professional job.  If they relied on the sellers to provide pictures, they'd have lousy shots that would degrade from the buying experience.

HA's commentary on some coins is also outstanding, a super treasure trove of information.  Lengthy information is usually confined to the more expensive coins, but sometimes the information is applicable to the entire coin type.  I'm in the process of compiling commentaries from HA and David Akers from the HA archives.

4 hours ago, Ross J said:

My problem with Great Collections images is that there is just "two step" magnification, and at the second step variety details may still be hard to tease out.  Trying to resolve re-punched mintmarks can be particularly maddening.

I thought they were really big -- more than filled my PC screen -- though not with a gradual zoom like HA's.   But you say you can't see the mintmarks even with  >100% magnification, Ross ?

4 hours ago, Ross J said:

In all cases, the resolution of the photos is key.  Some of Heritages older archive images suffer in this regard.  Given advances in technology and the situation covid put us in this past year, I am less forgiving these day of websites that don't give us (especially variety collectors) the details we need to make informed purchase decisions.  As a cherrypicker, when I'm not sure of identification, I just don't bid!  

I've gone back as far as 2005 (when the Morse Saints sale took place) and the pictures are pretty comparable to today's.  Before that, as you head into the 1990's, you have descriptive information and price but sometimes no photos.  I'll check pixel resolution next time I do some work on coins using HA and see if there's a big difference. 

But I believe digital cameras were taking pics utilizing megapixels (4-10 megs) as early as 2000 or 2002 so while today's pics can have alot more, you still had a decent amount after 2000.  Go back another 5-10 years though and early digital pics were often only hundreds of thousands of bytes which isn't enough resolution.  I'm not a photography expert by any stretch but once the internet got popular and the cost of digital cameras came down, resolution soared.  And then when smarthphones came along 7-10 years later.....WOW ! (thumbsu

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4 hours ago, Ross J said:

Not always the case though.  If the true story is more fascinating than a fictional, reconstructed, or embellished substitute...you can be sure you will hear every detail.   

SS Central America comes to mind.  I know people who bought because of the story and the documentaries who own no other coins but those.

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2 hours ago, Quintus Arrius said:

Unsolicited editorial comment...If I had a choice of photos supplied by HA, GC, eB, or BH, I would choose BH every time.

BH ?

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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The Fab Five:  The 1929, 1930-S, 1931, 1931-D, and 1932 are the final 5 Saint-Gaudens coins minted.  They are sometimes referred to as The Fab Five because they are all super-rare, particularly after the plentiful survivors of the 1928 and earlier coins.  

An interesting tidbit from the book on each of the coins:

1929 Saint:  Access to Vault F Cage 4 at the Philly Mint meant that the coins were not easily accessible, blocked by other cages and stacks of coins.  So they were "trapped" and thus prime targets to be melted down in their entirety after 1934.

1930-S Saint:  4 coins went from European buyer Paul Wittlin to John J. Ford, Jr (a collector)...... to Harvey Stack (dealer).... and all 4 coins were originally from a dealer in Paris, France. 

1931 Saint:  On page 546 note that 1931's were bought as late as February 1933 and throughout 1932.  Why only about 25% of the amount purchased in 1932 ?  Roger speculates that records may have been lost but I personally wouldn't be surprised if by 1932 talk of gold limitations caused the increase in retail purchases of the 1932 relative to prior years.

1931-D Saint:  In 1957....the 1926-D, 1931-D, then 1927-D were the rarity rankings in auction catalogs.....but by 1962 the catalogers had caught up to the dealers/public and it was the 1927-D, 1931-D, and 1926-D for the Denver Mint rarities.  The rankings remain unchanged to this day. 

1932 Saint:   1,101,750 were minted.  But not really....because 43 were really 1933 Saints that were added to an incomplete bag of 1932's....making it 1,101,707 1932's minted and 43 1933's added to balance the bag.....these were with the coiner, which is a possible way for some of the 1933 Saints to have been legally released before April 1933.

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@GoldFinger1969 &@RWBI don't know if we've got a couple of numismatists turned bibliophiles, or both.

Some truly fascinating investigative work on both sides.  Reciprocal cooperation at its best, and and an inspiration to mesmerized viewers who watch the installments unfold silently. Just wanted  you to know your efforts have not gone unnoticed and unappreciated, particularly within the 🐓 sect. I wonder sometimes if Saint-Gaudens would get a kick out of knowing his work is still being discussed some hundred-plus years later.   😉

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6 hours ago, Quintus Arrius said:

@GoldFinger1969 &@RWBI don't know if we've got a couple of numismatists turned bibliophiles, or both.

Some truly fascinating investigative work on both sides.  Reciprocal cooperation at its best, and and an inspiration to mesmerized viewers who watch the installments unfold silently. Just wanted  you to know your efforts have not gone unnoticed and unappreciated, particularly within the 🐓 sect. I wonder sometimes if Saint-Gaudens would get a kick out of knowing his work is still being discussed some hundred-plus years later.   😉

I think it would be great if a living relative of Saint-Gaudens were to appear as a speaker at a coin convention.  Maybe a grandkid or great-grandkid.  I think his son (Homer ?) spoke a few times in the 1950's but don't quote me.

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BTW, QA, my post above comes straight from Roger's book so give him the credit.  I just organized it and wrote it in  a nice colorful style. xD

I had always wondered why the availability drops right off after 1928.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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