Roger Burdette's Saint Gaudens Double Eagles Book
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@RWB and @VKurtB Too bad Obama isn't in the White House or he'd've invited you both over for a beer to talk things over. (For 50 years, I was unalterably opposed to clad coinage until @cladking demolished my ironclad resistance with a single eye-opening comment.)

I respectfully believe what we have here is a case of "irreconcilable differences."

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On 7/20/2021 at 1:36 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

@RWB and @VKurtB Too bad Obama isn't in the White House or he'd've invited you both over for a beer to talk things over. (For 50 years, I was unalterably opposed to clad coinage until @cladking demolished my ironclad resistance with a single eye-opening comment.)

I respectfully believe what we have here is a case of "irreconcilable differences."

That, we do. Long and VERRRRY deeply held. That said (#1), I do own and enjoy the gentleman’s book on the 1936-1942 proofs, and also, that said (#2), I do not bow down to authors in this field. Why? Two words for you. Walter Breen. He was deified for the better part of a generation by this hobby, and then it came out he was a lifelong child molester. Am I suggesting a connection with THIS gentleman? My goodness no! But it is a cautionary tale not to deify people merely for writing books. ‘Kay? Being a cat hater is already a nearly insurmountable unforgivability, and a valid reason for revulsion. In MY metaphorical “book”, being a cat hater is more closely equivalent to being a child molester than it is for most people.

Edited by VKurtB
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@VKurtB  Not to delay this train stranded on a siding any longer than necessary, but you are citing "cats" as an aggravating factor? Please!  I am a procrastinator and perfectionist and critical by nature: a Virgo. My wife was born abroad. When I asked her for her opinion on a top-shelf PROOF Buffalo Head Nickel, she said she thought the Indian was ugly (objecting to his prominent nose as a "beak," in French) and described the 🐃 or Bison, again in French, as a "cricket."  The only thing I find annoying due to her psychiatric disability is not her inability to open and close jars properly but her tendency to strangle a tube of toothpaste in the middle, a minor thing when compared with her modesty, formality, trustworthiness and loyalty.  In 5 years of marriage I cannot recall having an argument with her, a shouting match, raising her voice much less her hand to me.  When I presented myself to her family, per long-standing custom, I compared her to a finely-tuned Patek Philippe chronograph: Perfection in the flesh.  I suspect there are a lot more to Forum members than meets the eyes.  I have nothing but love for all those who have denounced, marginalized or otherwise ignored me.  🐓

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On 7/20/2021 at 4:50 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

@VKurtB  Not to delay this train stranded on a siding any longer than necessary, but you are citing "cats" as an aggravating factor? Please!  I am a procrastinator and perfectionist and critical by nature: a Virgo. My wife was born abroad. When I asked her for her opinion on a top-shelf PROOF Buffalo Head Nickel, she said she thought the Indian was ugly (objecting to his prominent nose as a "beak," in French) and described the 🐃 or Bison, again in French, as a "cricket."  The only thing I find annoying due to her psychiatric disability is not her inability to open and close jars properly but her tendency to strangle a tube of toothpaste in the middle, a minor thing when compared with her modesty, formality, trustworthiness and loyalty.  In 5 years of marriage I cannot recall having an argument with her, a shouting match, raising her voice much less her hand to me.  When I presented myself to her family, per long-standing custom, I compared her to a finely-tuned Patek Philippe chronograph: Perfection in the flesh.  I suspect there are a lot more to Forum members than meets the eyes.  I have nothing but love for all those who have denounced, marginalized or otherwise ignored me.  🐓

u forgot tolerate.....

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@zadok  I don't want to desecrate this thread by exploring your comment further here (bad form and disrespectful to the OP whom I like) but I know instinctively that you are right. In public, I could be mistaken for a mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper but here those I haven't alienated (ignorers) or intimidated (acc to Alex B) or amused (VKurtB) simply packed up and set up shop elewhere -- but not before coordinating an evidently persuasive campaign to silence me, if temporarily.

If I had accomplished my goal and compiled the finest 🐓 set in two months (which seasoned veteran VKurtB once ridiculed) I do not believe I would still be here.  So as long as you are here, and have been kind enough to dispense helpful tips to me in the past, allow me to put the question which has vexed me for well over a year to you: forget auctions which have proven to be unfruitful:  What is the proper way of determining who owns the handful of "1/0" pop. coins I seek and making them an offer, if receptive, they cannot refuse?  Surely you, or another member ideally 70 or older, is familiar with the quandary of seeking a coin that exists, but is not immediately available.  I'm all 👂👂ears.

 

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On 7/19/2021 at 4:51 PM, VKurtB said:

I don’t see RWB’s alleged “facts” (as if…) convincing even a little bit, I do not believe ANY of the 1933 DE’s left the Mint prior to 1937. There are just too many coincidences required to believe otherwise. In order to believe they left in Spring of 1933, you have to believe that ALL of the players just happened to “stay cool” for four years until 1937 when the poopy hit the fan from several people at once. Nope, not buying that bull. I believe McCann liberated every 1933 DE that got out sometime in 1937, and that is AFTER releasing ANY date was unambiguously illegal. And you know what? My belief squares with all 12 jurors who heard the evidence firsthand, the trial judge in his rulings during post-trial motions, and the en banc Third Circuit.

It places me in opposition with MANY numismatic writers, most of whom have a private pecuniary interest in the opposite outcome. 

Even if the 1933's came out in 1937, so what ?   If the Philly Mint would have let their employees grab some in 1933 but instead somebody waited until 1937, how was the Mint or Treasury harmed ?

On 7/19/2021 at 4:51 PM, VKurtB said:

Am I comfortable there? No, I’m utterly ecstatic being there. Oh, it also places me in opposition with Judge Midge Rendell, and nothing could POSSIBLY make me happier.

Ed's wife, right ?  I did like his enthusiasm for the Eagles even if I am a Jets fan.xD

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On 7/19/2021 at 4:21 PM, VKurtB said:

Being a Mint insider, or an associate thereof, is being treated as a license to steal, and I cannot abide that type of thinking. We had a past Denver Mint Superintendent die and an aluminum 1974-D cent JUST HAPPENS to show up in his estate?!?! I only regret he was not alive to face trial. We at least had the sense to seize it from an auction.

If a coin was ILLEGALLY created -- and that requires multipe tasks and personnel as I understand it including creating a die -- then it is an illegal counterfeiting act.

If a super had DISCRETION to create some patterns/coins or expected that the coin would be mass-circulated, that's a gray area.

I haven't studied the history of the 1913 Liberty Nickel or the 1974-D Aluminum Cent so I don't know the details.  I believe the latter were given to congressmen and leaked to the public.  I see no problem if that happened.

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On 7/19/2021 at 6:01 PM, VKurtB said:

All the 1933 DE’s were illegally liberated from the Mint.

Show me the law that says that an EXCHANGE of gold coins involving the 1933's in 1937 was ILLEGAL for Mint personnel (who were always helping themselves to perks) or even the public at large (a bit stronger but still not an iron-clad prohibition).

It wasn't the case formally up to April 6th 1933....and it wasn't explicitly prohibited afterwards.

Why would the government be concerned with a date or mintmark if exchanged for gold as opposed to paper currency ?

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 7/19/2021 at 6:01 PM, VKurtB said:

Now if @RWB is suggesting that a perfectly legal exit from the Mint was done in February of 1937 by “swapping out”, I’m afraid I find that too bizarre to entertain. Every 1933 DE passed through McCann’s hands, two to what eventually morphed into the Smithsonian’s Collection, and every other one, with NO exceptions, to Izzy Switt. If this were “normal procedure”, how on earth could that happen? Was Izzy Switt the only omniscient person? Come on! Museums were refused examples, folks. All the 1933 DE’s were illegally liberated from the Mint.

You had 43 1933 DE's that were mixed in with 1932's.  You also had the 1st Striking of 1933's on March 2nd, 1933 and not March 15th as was generally accepted.  Thank RWB for these clarifications.

The fact that Tripp was blindsided by that March 7th memo allowing for exchanges tells me he had a predisposed bias (maybe out of loyalty to Sotheby's/Weitzman).  How could you be a researcher and not be aware of a key memo on coin-for-coin exchanges ?

The government knew of 1933 sales in the late 1930's.  Only when the price moved up to $1,000 or thereabouts did they start clawing back.  If the coins had sold for $35 each, they wouldn't have given a damn.

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On 7/19/2021 at 11:27 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

@GoldFinger1969 must be shaking his head... "Hmm, when do I interject, 'Back on Track' "?

Nah, the 1933 debate is very interesting to me.xD 

We are probably regurgitating the same stuff and that includes me.  I appreciate Kurt's POV even though I disagree with it and I obviously am in Roger's corner as I think his scenarios are not only plausible but have also uncovered errors in the fact timeline presented by the government since they demanded the coins in 2004 such that fairness dicatates a settlement.  These errors include the day of 1st Striking of the 1933's....the presence of 1933's with 1932 coins....and the legality of exchanges.  

Note that the government's position is that the coins were STOLEN -- not "illegally exchanged" -- and the clown judge never allowed as to how coins could be stolen yet the total amount of gold was all present and accounted for. 

Even if McCann switched the coins in 1937, so what ?  What if he had an understanding with the Mint Director that he could get some of the 1933's up to the time of their melting ?  What if a few others also had that option ?  Lots of Philly Mint personnel were selling coins on The Mainline, Park Avenue, and Beacon Hill for years making some nice profits.

And RWB isn't the only numismatist who favored a settlement or the Langbord position.  Q. David Bowers and R.W. Julian also spoke out against the coins' seizure. The ANA and PNG also opposed the government's position.  On message boards, I'd say it was 90% for the Langbord's and 10% for the government.

BTW, my position doesn't detract from the assertions that Israel Switt was a sneak, a gold bug, and willing to engage in underhanded deals.  That said, if he was the scoundrel made out to be, I don't think the Philadelphia Mint would have let him have V.I.P. status through the 1960's.  

If he had truly "stolen" gold coins from the Mint, I would think he'd have been banned for life. (thumbsu

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 7/20/2021 at 10:34 AM, Ross J said:

Let's get back to talking about Saints.  Does anyone have an opinion about the "refreshed" 2021 Gold Eagle obverse?  Supposedly they went back to original galvanos for the re-boot (even to the extent that the new coin only has 46 stars!) I think it is an improvement of the 1986-2021 "skinny" liberty cartoon version... what does anyone else think?  Sadly it is a restoration of the "Barber" design, not Gus's.  Glad to see the "family of eagles" (yuck!) reverse go, but the big eagle head is a far cry from an obvious improvement.  The more I look at modern coins, the more original Saints I find myself collecting...  

Let's see some pics of both designs back-to-back......or front-to-front.xD

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On 7/20/2021 at 7:06 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

@zadok  I don't want to desecrate this thread by exploring your comment further here (bad form and disrespectful to the OP whom I like) but I know instinctively that you are right. In public, I could be mistaken for a mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper but here those I haven't alienated (ignorers) or intimidated (acc to Alex B) or amused (VKurtB) simply packed up and set up shop elewhere -- but not before coordinating an evidently persuasive campaign to silence me, if temporarily.

If I had accomplished my goal and compiled the finest 🐓 set in two months (which seasoned veteran VKurtB once ridiculed) I do not believe I would still be here.  So as long as you are here, and have been kind enough to dispense helpful tips to me in the past, allow me to put the question which has vexed me for well over a year to you: forget auctions which have proven to be unfruitful:  What is the proper way of determining who owns the handful of "1/0" pop. coins I seek and making them an offer, if receptive, they cannot refuse?  Surely you, or another member ideally 70 or older, is familiar with the quandary of seeking a coin that exists, but is not immediately available.  I'm all 👂👂ears.

 

see pm....

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@Ross J If Puerto Rico were to become a state, I don't know where they would put that extra star but filling in that one missing Reed at the bottom of the newer DE might be a consideration.     🐓  :)

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The revised obverse is an improvement, although the face looks "off."

There were no original "galvanos." Reductions from Saint-Gaudens' original plasters were made in hard wax. These were used to make molds in which were cast iron facsimiles approx 5-inches is diameter. From these, the Janvier lathe was used to cut original hubs. All HR and low relief $20 are based on the 2nd set of models provided in the spring of 1907 - NOT the first set from December 1906. (See Renaissance of American Coinage 1905-1908 for a full explanation and details.)

[Why don't collectors read the published information BEFORE asking questions?]

Edited by RWB
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On 7/21/2021 at 9:34 AM, RWB said:

[Why don't collectors read the published information BEFORE asking questions?]

Usually because we don't have the book or reference material at our disposal. (thumbsu

Biggest differences I see in the 2 coins (not sure which is which):  "ASG" is positioned differntly.....right arm is more muscular but kind of "flattish".....rays a bit longer on bottom coin.

Which is the revised coin ?

 

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On 7/21/2021 at 9:34 AM, RWB said:

The revised obverse is an improvement, although the face looks "off."

There were no original "galvanos." Reductions from Saint-Gaudens' original plasters were made in hard wax. These were used to make molds in which were cast iron facsimiles approx 5-inches is diameter. From these, the Janvier lathe was used to cut original hubs. All HR and low relief $20 are based on the 2nd set of models provided in the spring of 1907 - NOT the first set from December 1906. (See Renaissance of American Coinage 1905-1908 for a full explanation and details.)

[Why don't collectors read the published information BEFORE asking questions?]

My Bad Roger.  Shouldn't have said Galvanos... I read somewhere they used one of those cast iron models.  Agree the results are an improvement, but a bit "funky"... it actually looks like a rush job to me... why else not update the number of stars?  Not sad to see the saccharin Ms. Busiak's eagles fly away... at least the new reverse doesn't look like a "Hallmark special"... 

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On 7/21/2021 at 1:00 PM, RWB said:

This was published 14 years ago.....

And that's when I read it!  What I remember was all the fuss Barber put up about the Janvier machine... and was it Herring that had dies made elsewhere to thwart the mint's incompetence?

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On 7/21/2021 at 1:22 PM, Ross J said:

And that's when I read it!  What I remember was all the fuss Barber put up about the Janvier machine... and was it Herring that had dies made elsewhere to thwart the mint's incompetence?

Nope. That was Wally Breen's comment. No reductions or dies were made outside of the Philadelphia Mint.

Barber did not know how to use the new reducing lathe, so one of the Weil brothers came in and did the first reductions while training George Soley and Harry Blythe.

DSC_0073-sm.jpg

Edited by RWB
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[What I have noticed is the entire model used is far more modest.

What is the significance of that single groove missing from the reeding directly at the bottom of the bottom coin?]   🤔

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Several years ago there was an internal discussion about using the reeding on bullion pieces to improve alignment in capsules and other holders. (Result in simpler automation and savings.) Not sure if this is a result, or if the Mint's resident dentist got carried away in excitement.

Edited by RWB
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On 7/20/2021 at 8:42 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Even if the 1933's came out in 1937, so what ?   If the Philly Mint would have let their employees grab some in 1933 but instead somebody waited until 1937, how was the Mint or Treasury harmed ?

Ed's wife, right ?  I did like his enthusiasm for the Eagles even if I am a Jets fan.xD

Ed’s EX-wife. Ed appointed me to a State Advisory Board when I was in County government. Ed’s fairly cool. Midge is not. 

Edited by VKurtB
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On 7/20/2021 at 8:50 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

If a coin was ILLEGALLY created -- and that requires multipe tasks and personnel as I understand it including creating a die -- then it is an illegal counterfeiting act.

If a super had DISCRETION to create some patterns/coins or expected that the coin would be mass-circulated, that's a gray area.

I haven't studied the history of the 1913 Liberty Nickel or the 1974-D Aluminum Cent so I don't know the details.  I believe the latter were given to congressmen and leaked to the public.  I see no problem if that happened.

No, only the 1974 Philly version was released to Congresscritters. The 1974-D was completely unauthorized, as were the 1913 Liberty nickels.

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On 7/20/2021 at 9:13 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Nah, the 1933 debate is very interesting to me.xD 

We are probably regurgitating the same stuff and that includes me.  I appreciate Kurt's POV even though I disagree with it and I obviously am in Roger's corner as I think his scenarios are not only plausible but have also uncovered errors in the fact timeline presented by the government since they demanded the coins in 2004 such that fairness dicatates a settlement.  These errors include the day of 1st Striking of the 1933's....the presence of 1933's with 1932 coins....and the legality of exchanges.  

Note that the government's position is that the coins were STOLEN -- not "illegally exchanged" -- and the clown judge never allowed as to how coins could be stolen yet the total amount of gold was all present and accounted for. 

Even if McCann switched the coins in 1937, so what ?  What if he had an understanding with the Mint Director that he could get some of the 1933's up to the time of their melting ?  What if a few others also had that option ?  Lots of Philly Mint personnel were selling coins on The Mainline, Park Avenue, and Beacon Hill for years making some nice profits.

And RWB isn't the only numismatist who favored a settlement or the Langbord position.  Q. David Bowers and R.W. Julian also spoke out against the coins' seizure. The ANA and PNG also opposed the government's position.  On message boards, I'd say it was 90% for the Langbord's and 10% for the government.

BTW, my position doesn't detract from the assertions that Israel Switt was a sneak, a gold bug, and willing to engage in underhanded deals.  That said, if he was the scoundrel made out to be, I don't think the Philadelphia Mint would have let him have V.I.P. status through the 1960's.  

If he had truly "stolen" gold coins from the Mint, I would think he'd have been banned for life. (thumbsu

According to the government, “illegally exchanged” is identical to “stolen”. To me, also.

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On 7/20/2021 at 9:13 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Nah, the 1933 debate is very interesting to me.xD 

We are probably regurgitating the same stuff and that includes me.  I appreciate Kurt's POV even though I disagree with it and I obviously am in Roger's corner as I think his scenarios are not only plausible but have also uncovered errors in the fact timeline presented by the government since they demanded the coins in 2004 such that fairness dicatates a settlement.  These errors include the day of 1st Striking of the 1933's....the presence of 1933's with 1932 coins....and the legality of exchanges.  

Note that the government's position is that the coins were STOLEN -- not "illegally exchanged" -- and the clown judge never allowed as to how coins could be stolen yet the total amount of gold was all present and accounted for. 

Even if McCann switched the coins in 1937, so what ?  What if he had an understanding with the Mint Director that he could get some of the 1933's up to the time of their melting ?  What if a few others also had that option ?  Lots of Philly Mint personnel were selling coins on The Mainline, Park Avenue, and Beacon Hill for years making some nice profits.

And RWB isn't the only numismatist who favored a settlement or the Langbord position.  Q. David Bowers and R.W. Julian also spoke out against the coins' seizure. The ANA and PNG also opposed the government's position.  On message boards, I'd say it was 90% for the Langbord's and 10% for the government.

BTW, my position doesn't detract from the assertions that Israel Switt was a sneak, a gold bug, and willing to engage in underhanded deals.  That said, if he was the scoundrel made out to be, I don't think the Philadelphia Mint would have let him have V.I.P. status through the 1960's.  

If he had truly "stolen" gold coins from the Mint, I would think he'd have been banned for life. (thumbsu

What if?  What if????? Come on!!!! By that time NUMEROUS museums had been told no coins could be released, even for museums whose mandates were keeping sets current. And this was the case all the way back to spring of 1933. On what possible PLANET do we get to “what if?” in 1937? Is there no LIMIT to what you will excuse in the pursuit of more Saints??? Whew!!!!

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On 7/20/2021 at 6:06 PM, Quintus Arrius said:

@zadok  I don't want to desecrate this thread by exploring your comment further here (bad form and disrespectful to the OP whom I like) but I know instinctively that you are right. In public, I could be mistaken for a mild-mannered reporter for a great metropolitan newspaper but here those I haven't alienated (ignorers) or intimidated (acc to Alex B) or amused (VKurtB) simply packed up and set up shop elewhere -- but not before coordinating an evidently persuasive campaign to silence me, if temporarily.

If I had accomplished my goal and compiled the finest 🐓 set in two months (which seasoned veteran VKurtB once ridiculed) I do not believe I would still be here.  So as long as you are here, and have been kind enough to dispense helpful tips to me in the past, allow me to put the question which has vexed me for well over a year to you: forget auctions which have proven to be unfruitful:  What is the proper way of determining who owns the handful of "1/0" pop. coins I seek and making them an offer, if receptive, they cannot refuse?  Surely you, or another member ideally 70 or older, is familiar with the quandary of seeking a coin that exists, but is not immediately available.  I'm all 👂👂ears.

 

My ONLY complaint of your set is its modest number of coins. Any registry-leading set that can be assembled in 60 days is more a test of the wallet than the commitment to the collecting ethos.

Edited by VKurtB
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Here’s my core beef with people who think like you do on this issue, @GoldFinger1969. You START from the point of view of the outcome you wanted to see happen, in this case, 10 more 1933 DE’s out there somewhere. Then you backfill your historical beliefs (which I don’t think you actually really believe - you seem too smart) in order to create a scenario under which your preferred outcome might occur legally. I have had that “trained” (smacked?) out of me by my government service, 4 in County, and 13 in State (no federal ) including 14 working side by side with lawyers daily, literally every stinking day. I literally am more comfortable around lawyers and judges than with anyone else. They are “my people”. I think like they do. They are scum, when they’re in court, or at least the majority are. But judges are supposed to be “outcome agnostic” when thinking about issues, not driven by their preference for a particular outcome. You have that “luxury”. They do not. Too many rank and file lawyers forget they are “officers of the Court”, and those are the ones who are never considered for judgeships.

I look at every issue, or try to, from the starting point of, where is the harm. What happened to cause that harm? Try to correct that harm. Conversion of public goods to private gain is about as heinous as anything ever gets, to my way of thinking. I excuse NOBODY just because it means more coins. Not Switt, not McCann, NOBODY.

Edited by VKurtB
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