Words of personal wisdom from a member.
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73 posts in this topic

Goldfinger, 

Glad I could help!

On 3/17/2022 at 1:55 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Not sure what is special about the 1936-42 Proofs but clearly there's enough interest in them to justify a book. (thumbsu

The 1936-42 proofs are a very interesting chapter to U.S. proof production, and in my opinion, one of the best series of proofs to collect. Roger's book is a must read before really getting into these, and if you have any interest I would highly recommend it. Of course, I would love to collect proof gold from 1909-1916, but I also don't have millions to throw around. :roflmao:

Since I don't have the Saints book I can't tell for sure if there is anything in that book that is like the minor opinions stated in the 36-42 book. I somehow doubt it based in what you've said. 

On 3/17/2022 at 1:55 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Facts, logical conclusions, and nebuoulsly-supported opinions are 3 different levels of confidence.  At various times, you need to decide if something is major or minor and the level of proof needed to make a statement and if that statement is one of fact, conclusion, or opinion.  Roger's numerical math on Saint survivors is one good example of this and the presence of hoards and hidden bags being found, plus a continued drip-drip-drip from the retail public, can lead an individual to make EITHER of the positions on more coins being found for a particular Saint mintage. 

 

I think that Roger's opinions on surviving coins is one of the things he has taken the time to separate from fact. In the 1936-42 proofs book he always states estimated mintage, which is a clear cut way to convey to the reader that "hey, this may or may not be true". I don't think anyone can argue this.

On 3/17/2022 at 1:55 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

All I know is I read a 640-page book that Roger wrote/edited and I found it chock-full-of-facts and well-supported conclusions/opinions.  I don't think it would have helped me if facts, opinions, and conclusions were all color-coded.

I do think that anything Roger doesn't separate is either too minor to matter or so logic and fact based that there is essentially irrefutable evidence to support it, at least with the 36-42 proofs book. I do also believe that this is why VKurt can appreciate the work that Roger did on the subject. As for other works, maybe VKurt can provide us with evidence that we don't have. This is also why I am taking Roger's side on this matter. This is also the reason I brought up the points of why Roger likely didn't separate everything (thumbsu.

On 3/17/2022 at 1:55 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Other sources besides books might be the commentaries in auction catalogs and auction sites like HA, forums like this, and other various sources on the web.  I recently found some new information on the 1983 MTB Saint/Gold Hoard from the Stack's website archives.

The problem with this is that it takes quite a major coin or hoard to bring up a well written and researched auction description. Even for coins like 1937 CAM proofs, the best I've ever seen was a basic description of the coin. No backstory, no rarity statement. It's useless to the reader at that point, and I imagine that many serious bidders looked at that, chuckled, and then bid $10,000-$20,000. Another reason why Roger's works are a rarity compared to other places, they actually find what makes each coin special and why someone is willing to pay $10,000-$20,000 for it, not just a brief description of the coin and a small mention in passing that goes along with "oh yeah by the way, its a CAM, one of around 10". I've seen all of the auction houses do this too, so I'm not just picking on one in particular.

Of course, the forums are a great source, and I've found them to be almost equal to Roger's work at times. I will have to resurrect the 1936-42 proofs book to ask Roger why he took the stance on original sets (thumbsu.

 

 

 

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On 3/17/2022 at 1:30 PM, FlyingAl said:

Goldfinger, I am with you 100% here, I was really just trying to get where VKurt was coming from. I always try to hear both sides of the story before I take a side. 

I'll try and explain where we went in a few posts, it did go really fast. The first thing that got us to where we decided that Roger does not sometimes distinguish his opinions and fact was where it was established that opinions (conclusions) cannot be facts. I had no idea this was true, but the definitions make it clear, and I was wrong. Opinions and conclusions are by definition, very close to the same. The only difference is that conclusions are generally logic and fact based, but are not in themselves fact and cannot be. I think this is where you got lost, and it was where I did before I researched it too. I encourage you to look it up, I'm sure there are sites that can give a much better answer than I can. 

I'm sorry I can't come onto your home base with the Saint's book, I'm afraid I don't have it. I will choose something that is familiar to a lot of numismatists, but this is by luck that Roger chose to have an opinion here. I will note that there were only two things in the 36-42 proofs book that were opinions that were very layered in with facts where they got very blurry and it was easy to take the opinions as fact unless you really red between the lines. They were Roger's statements on original proof sets and the number of cameo coins a die pair could have struck. I agree with his stance on the former, and disagree with the latter.

I'll choose the original proof set statement to begin with. Roger states that since all proofs were ordered individually and that they were randomly assembled at the mint (fact) they were therefore never in original sets to begin with (opinion). He does, however, correctly state that the so called "original sets" are only coins that were received in the original package from the mint. He goes on to state that there is no difference between a set in the original package and a set in five certification holders and says they are the same (opinion).

While many would agree with this, if the coins from the original set and box where also graded, I do think (opinion) that a major premium would be paid for a set never removed from the mint cellophane, which has never come to market but I know that I certainly would. This would say that the market DOES distinguish between a certified set where the coins came from all over and a truly original set just as it came from the mint. As such, the opinion that is so layered between facts is therefore taken as a fact by a reader who does not truly know the market. 

All being said, Roger has written an excellent work and is right on almost everything, there is no possible way to write a perfect book. His is as close to perfect as you can get, and I'm really having to dissect the work here. I also agree with Roger on his stance about original sets, any premium I would pay is based off of having novelty of a set surviving for so many years straight from the mint. I do suspect others would want the originality of it. However, Roger is 100% correct in saying that there is no difference between a set of five coins in one set of holders and five others in a set of a different TPG's holders. You also raise a good point about finding other good books. There are few for niche markets, especially the 36-42 proofs book, and VKurt's statement proves this when he says: 

There aren't many books out there and it is unfortunate, but you may be able to find one on the Saints. I do, however, know that if there is a better or more researched book out there about the 36-42 proofs, I haven't found it. I view Roger's book as the authoritative reference on these coins. 

I, however, agree with Roger and Goldfinger on this one. Roger's conclusions are so logically driven that there is not necessarily a need to separate them every time, for many reasons. One is that it would take too much time. Two is that it would lengthen the work. Three is that it is redundant. Four is that there is no easy way to write "in the author's opinion" (I found this out when writing my ANA YN literary submission, and it was a pain). I also suspect that there are many other reasons. I do, however, think that VKurt has a valid point for major opinions, where the opinion covers something so big that it could change the market. That should be stated as an opinion. 

Of note, I'm really not trying to burn any bridges here. I'm new to the forums but do hope that I can take what I've learned in my time in numismatics and hopefully apply it here. That's also why I took the time to (hopefully) understand both sides and where they were coming from with their arguments. I haven't really gotten to know either Roger or VKurt at all, but I do know that they have made major contributions to the hobby. I do hope that at some point, you two will be able to put your differences aside and work for the hobby together. What you could do would make a difference that would last for years, and YN's like me would thank you when we're older for how you made the hobby better. 

It does seem we've had a long argument over something that seems rather minor in my eyes now xD.

 

 

Here is an example, Al and “Finger”. Roger has repeatedly written that Daniel Carr is a counterfeiter. What would be CORRECT is to write that in his OPINION what Daniel Carr does SHOULD BE CONSIDERED counterfeiting. But no, Roger never writes that way. It’s ALWAYS in the language of absolutism, and that’s intellectually dishonest. 

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On 3/17/2022 at 2:53 PM, VKurtB said:

Here is an example, Al and “Finger”. Roger has repeatedly written that Daniel Carr is a counterfeiter. What would be CORRECT is to write that in his OPINION what Daniel Carr does SHOULD BE CONSIDERED counterfeiting. But no, Roger never writes that way. It’s ALWAYS in the language of absolutism, and that’s intellectually dishonest. 

This I would agree with, a major opinion that should be separated, no questions asked. 

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On 3/17/2022 at 4:23 PM, FlyingAl said:

Of course, I would love to collect proof gold from 1909-1916, but I also don't have millions to throw around. 

That proves my love for coin research and reading....I can only buy a Saint-Gaudens DE about as often as the NY Mets or Jets make the playoffs ! xD

On 3/17/2022 at 4:23 PM, FlyingAl said:

Since I don't have the Saints book I can't tell for sure if there is anything in that book that is like the minor opinions stated in the 36-42 book. I somehow doubt it based in what you've said. 

I'm sure there are, if I went back and went over it.  But I found the book's conclusions for the most part to be well-supported and impeccably documented.  Quite frankly, he wasn't looking to break new ground with any major revelations.  He debunked a few Old Wive's Tales but for the most part, the book made no grandiose proclamations.  The biggest controversial debating points would probably be the theoretical number of potential Saint survivors (I personally think that undocumented Saint destruction is probably NOT evidence of survivorship for the bulk of the coins missing or not definitively melted down) and the passage on the 1933 Saints legal custodianship.  Roger provided in-depth supporting documentation via extensive analysis of post-WW II hoards for the former and gave interesting supporting evidence on the latter including the shortfall of 1932's which was filled by 1933 Saints.

On 3/17/2022 at 4:23 PM, FlyingAl said:

I think that Roger's opinions on surviving coins is one of the things he has taken the time to separate from fact. In the 1936-42 proofs book he always states estimated mintage, which is a clear cut way to convey to the reader that "hey, this may or may not be true". I don't think anyone can argue this.

In the example I gave, Roger says that any Saint not definitively accounted for by being melted down in the 1933-37 meltdown could STILL be out there.  Maybe, but I think tens of millions of "missing" Saints would have been found by now.  I don't doubt the possibility -- even likelihood -- that the known Saint-Gaudens DE population will increase by tens of thousands and maybe even hundreds of thousands in the next few decades.  Maybe even sooner if gold explodes in price.  But I freely admit this is a guestimate on my part.  I haven't been able to get any estimates myself from dealers, columnists, and others who see these hoards 1st-hand. 

Gun to my head....I'd say a few hundred new Saints a year, the majority of which may not even be submitted for grading because they are worn.  Still, a few might be Mint State and/or rarities.

On 3/17/2022 at 4:23 PM, FlyingAl said:

The problem with this is that it takes quite a major coin or hoard to bring up a well written and researched auction description. Even for coins like 1937 CAM proofs, the best I've ever seen was a basic description of the coin. No backstory, no rarity statement. It's useless to the reader at that point, and I imagine that many serious bidders looked at that, chuckled, and then bid $10,000-$20,000. Another reason why Roger's works are a rarity compared to other places, they actually find what makes each coin special and why someone is willing to pay $10,000-$20,000 for it, not just a brief description of the coin and a small mention in passing that goes along with "oh yeah by the way, its a CAM, one of around 10". I've seen all of the auction houses do this too, so I'm not just picking on one in particular. Of course, the forums are a great source, and I've found them to be almost equal to Roger's work at times. I will have to resurrect the 1936-42 proofs book to ask Roger why he took the stance on original sets (thumbsu.

Roger wrote the HA essay on the 1928 Saint Double Eagle bag, which sold for a few thousand dollars.  It's a fascinating story and involves a Mint Super who appears to have gotten unfairly caught in the theft of a complete bag of 1928 Saints ($5,000 in 1930's money) and could have been held personally liable for it. 

I find these missing 1928's one of the best stories -- but unfortunately, thinly-known and researched (because of lack of evidence and investigative work done at the time) -- involving Saint Double Eagles.  There's even a thin tie-in to the 1933 Saints that left the Philly Mint, though the ties are very speculative and more of interest to folks like me than numismatic researchers who can't find any direct link (admittedly so).  Still, it's fun to speculate.  :)

If those stolen 1928's could ever be found and verified as such, they'd command a pretty premium to the generally common generic 1928's that sell today in MS-66 and below.

Enjoy the back-and-forth with you and the others on this otherwise esoteric and arcane analysis of research, books, facts and opinions, and how they intersect with our little world ! (thumbsu

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 3/17/2022 at 4:53 PM, VKurtB said:

Here is an example, Al and “Finger”. Roger has repeatedly written that Daniel Carr is a counterfeiter. What would be CORRECT is to write that in his OPINION what Daniel Carr does SHOULD BE CONSIDERED counterfeiting. But no, Roger never writes that way. It’s ALWAYS in the language of absolutism, and that’s intellectually dishonest. 

Not my debate or cup of tea, but I would say something like that is splitting of hairs. 

Anybody with interest in what Dan Carr produces will find it out and then make their OWN determination as to whether or not it is counterfeiting, replicas, duplicates, copies, retro pieces....whatever.

If Roger's style is to at times be absolute, so be it.  You know where he stands.   A collector can disagree with his opinion and debate it....or just ignore it and continue to go their own way.

Doesn't have to be a contentious debate or get personal, that's my point.  Forget about the specifics of Dan Carr stuff, that's how I treat ANY topic.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 3/17/2022 at 4:53 PM, VKurtB said:

Here is an example, Al and “Finger”. Roger has repeatedly written that Daniel Carr is a counterfeiter. What would be CORRECT is to write that in his OPINION what Daniel Carr does SHOULD BE CONSIDERED counterfeiting. But no, Roger never writes that way. It’s ALWAYS in the language of absolutism, and that’s intellectually dishonest. 

Here and on other sites, it appears that his opinion on DCarr is part of a very small minority.  The ANA and the hobby have heard Roger's opinions and comments and have disregarded them.  

If he wants to keep pushing his opinion (btw I haven't seen anything from RWB on this subject recently), that's his business.  He'll run the risk if continually pushing an unpopular and generally discredited opinion at the risk of harming his credibility.  After all, people tend to lose respect for ones credibility and knowledge when he keeps beating an unpopular dead horse.

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On 3/17/2022 at 5:14 PM, Oldhoopster said:

Here and on other sites, it appears that his opinion on DCarr is part of a very small minority.  The ANA and the hobby have heard Roger's opinions and comments and have disregarded them.  

If he wants to keep pushing his opinion (btw I haven't seen anything from RWB on this subject recently), that's his business.  He'll run the risk if continually pushing an unpopular and generally discredited opinion at the risk of harming his credibility.  After all, people tend to lose respect for ones credibility and knowledge when he keeps beating an unpopular dead horse.

Exactly this. Roger has many years ago lost ANY credibility capital he might have had with me. Any credibility I give him is a generous gift from me. He gets it on the 36-42 proofs, and nowhere else I’ve yet seen. 
 

By the way, when Roger participates in any thread involving counterfeits, and he mentions Colorado, it is Daniel Carr he’s referencing. You need to be aware of his backhand insults. He’s a walking plethora of them. I think he’s beyond contemptible. 
 

The ironic part is I agree completely with Roger’s views on Daniel’s original pieces. I own only one Amero coin. But I actively collect his fantasy date over dates. 

Edited by VKurtB
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On 3/17/2022 at 8:09 PM, VKurtB said:

Exactly this. Roger has many years ago lost ANY credibility capital he might have had with me. Any credibility I give him is a generous gift from me. He gets it on the 36-42 proofs, and nowhere else I’ve yet seen. 

Have you looked at or read his other books ?  I know you don't like gold or Saint coins, but you can't say the Saints DE book isn't a well-written, well-researched book.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Here's a clear example of wrong information that can lead to wrong opinions/conclusions being given...akin to a wrong number for mintage or population numbers from the TPGs:

"....In The Coinage of Augustus Saint-Gaudens as Illustrated by the Phillip H. Morse Collection, the authors note, 'It seems highly unlikely that any sizeable quantity of an expensive coin such as the 1929 Saint could exist without being certified. Around 40 pieces were discovered in England in 1984, but we are not aware of any other sizeable holdings of this issue that have been uncovered recently'."

I don't have the book itself, but apparently the 1929 English Hoard Hoax got passed off as FACTUAL in this Heritage commentary and of more note, in the book itself.  The factually incorrect information does NOT detract from the rest of the analysis of the 1929 Saints -- it pretty much stands alone -- but anybody repeating that there was a hoard of 1929 Saints found in England in 1984 is saying something that we know now is 100% false.

This is why you have to be very careful with oral history. (thumbsu

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On 3/18/2022 at 8:41 AM, GoldFinger1969 said:

The factually incorrect information does NOT detract from the rest of the analysis of the 1929 Saints -- it pretty much stands alone -- but anybody repeating that there was a hoard of 1929 Saints found in England in 1984 is saying something that we know now is 100% false.

And this is essentially the essence of this argument. No one wants their facts mixed in with the opinions. I don't collect Saints and therefore have no idea which particular hoards are true or false, but I do think that I would have taken the mention of 40 coins as true, because we've seen it before in the hobby.

This is the kind of misinformation that VKurt is talking about, where it can hurt even those who have been in the hobby for a time, and certainly those who are brand new. It is also why leaving opinions indistinguishable from fact very dangerous and raises many problems. 

To VKurt, I replied to your example above, but now as I think about it I don't ever recall Roger going that far away from what the hobby says as true in his written works. While it certainly hurts his credibility with the forums, does he make any statements like that in his written works? Such a move would not be good for Roger and as such, I don't think he'd try it. While I agree with your stance on his statements about Carr and how he conducted those arguments here on the forums, but since the thread is technically about his written works, perhaps you have an example from his published works that could change my opinion about those works. (thumbsu

I do also doubt that you have many of his written works, so if you don't that is your decision and I won't change that. If that is true, I will take your Carr statements as an excellent example of what we are mentioning.

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On 3/18/2022 at 1:28 PM, FlyingAl said:

I don't collect Saints and therefore have no idea which particular hoards are true or false, but I do think that I would have taken the mention of 40 coins as true, because we've seen it before in the hobby. This is the kind of misinformation that VKurt is talking about, where it can hurt even those who have been in the hobby for a time, and certainly those who are brand new. It is also why leaving opinions indistinguishable from fact very dangerous and raises many problems. 

He just has a very strong opinion on that.

I understand where you guys are coming from but if Roger wants to be absolutist there, he'll have to live with the consequences.  

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On 3/17/2022 at 8:09 PM, VKurtB said:

By the way, when Roger participates in any thread involving counterfeits, and he mentions Colorado, it is Daniel Carr he’s referencing. You need to be aware of his backhand insults. He’s a walking plethora of them. I think he’s beyond contemptible. 

Contemptible is people selling fakes or committing fraud.  Having a strong opinion -- even a WRONG opinion -- shouldn't bring that level of vitriol.

JMHO. :)

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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