How many collect die states?
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27 posts in this topic

While I consider them interesting I do not collect any series by die state or variety.   The one I know the best is the 1820 large cent Randell hoard coin. great radial cracks around the entire obverse.   Overall I would guess bust halves and Morgan dollars are the most widely collected by those who collect by die state or variety/VAM.

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I am interested in Saints so outside of a few die varieties, I really concentrate on learning about the individual coins.

A Forum Member here created a thread -- or maybe it's within the RWB Saints Thread -- about a die variety for a Saint which escapes my memory right now.  And Rogers' book has sections on each Saint that cover die varieties and other mintmark and die variations.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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well i have just recently started collecting bust halves by overton varities.  This started mearly by accident i had a dozen or so bust halves and thne i started to look at the varieties and said hay those are interesting.  So i started picking up more and more.........  going to be a challenge!

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Posted (edited)
On 3/22/2022 at 10:47 PM, Coinbuf said:

The one I know the best is the 1820 large cent Randell hoard coin. great radial cracks around the entire obverse.   

I have an 1818 N-10 Large Cent that has the same radial die crack all the way around the stars (also part of the Randall hoard).  Good call out.

On 3/23/2022 at 9:50 AM, JT2 said:

well i have just recently started collecting bust halves by overton varities.........  going to be a challenge!

Bust halves is a series that I am interested-in, but I really don't know anything about (besides I think they are cool).  I know there are many varieties, but I have no idea about die states.  I will have to study this one.

On 3/22/2022 at 11:20 PM, Woods020 said:

I do not collect by die states, nor am I very versed in them. It does come into play with attributing say bust and seated coinage in some ways. That’s my only consideration of die states though. 

Attribution of varieties was my "gateway" into liking die states - especially the ones where the die is completely crumbing, and still minting coins.

On 3/22/2022 at 11:58 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

I am interested in Saints so outside of a few die varieties, I really concentrate on learning about the individual coins.

Are there specific die states for gold?  Did the mint let the die states get "terminal"?  While I imagine that there would be die deterioration... I feel like the mint cared more about the quality of the production of their large silver and gold coins... and really showed less respect for the small demonization copper.

 

Edited by The Neophyte Numismatist
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On 3/23/2022 at 9:29 AM, The Neophyte Numismatist said:

I have an 1818 N-10 Large Cent that has the same radial die crack all the way around the stars (also part of the Randall hoard).  Good call out.

Bust halves is a series that I am interested-in, but I really don't know anything about (besides I think they are cool).  I know there are many varieties, but I have no idea about die states.  I will have to study this one.

Attribution of varieties was my "gateway" into liking die states - especially the ones where the die is completely crumbing, and still minting coins.

Are there specific die states for gold?  Did the mint let the die states get "terminal"?  While I imagine that there would be die deterioration... I feel like the mint cared more about the quality of the production of their large silver and gold coins... and really showed less respect for the small demonization copper.

 

If you do get into bust halves I recently got a new reference book that I really like. It simplifies the Overton book in my opinion. I suggest it. 
 

The Ultimate Guide To Attributing Bust Halves by Doctor Glenn Peterson (5th edition). 
 

 

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As a collector, I tried not to collect die states.

When I was collecting half cents by die variety back in the late 1980s and early 1990s, die states came into their own. I believe that the hobby is best when more people can participate. Half cents are scarce as a group, and there are not an infinite number of coins available, even for the common varieties. When one collector has to have four, five six, even 11 or more examples of one variety, there is less left for everyone. 

Therefore no, I don't collect die states. I might look them up in a book, but that's it.  

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I collect Bust half Overton varieties, but not really die states, unless it's actually noted. There are Overton die states, usually noting a die crack or something along those lines. I do have duplicate Overton varieties, but never really looked to see if there was any notable difference between the coins.

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On 3/23/2022 at 10:29 AM, The Neophyte Numismatist said:

Are there specific die states for gold?  Did the mint let the die states get "terminal"?  While I imagine that there would be die deterioration... I feel like the mint cared more about the quality of the production of their large silver and gold coins... and really showed less respect for the small demonization copper.

It's not one of my areas of expertise with Saints, but I'll post back later tonight from the book. 

RWB's Saints Book has a chapter on virtually every Saint that focuses on die breaks, die varieties, mintmark differences, etc.

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On 3/23/2022 at 3:53 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

It's not one of my areas of expertise with Saints, but I'll post back later tonight from the book. 

RWB's Saints Book has a chapter on virtually every Saint that focuses on die breaks, die varieties, mintmark differences, etc.

Thanks.  That would be cool.  I am more curious than anything.  I really don't know anything about gold.

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On 3/23/2022 at 3:53 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

It's not one of my areas of expertise with Saints, but I'll post back later tonight from the book. 

RWB's Saints Book has a chapter on virtually every Saint that focuses on die breaks, die varieties, mintmark differences, etc.

There's not much about die states -- focused on die varieties. Early gold dies were sometimes used too long, but not to the extent of cent and half cent, or half dime dies. I have not seen a clear trend in post-1850 large gold, but so many of the coins were struck, exported and immediately melted, that the population sample is unreliable.

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Posted (edited)

@RWB  Thanks.  This really picks at the question to which I was alluding:  Let's say a collector would like to get into die states.. what would be some of the best series with the most die state variation?  

Half cents and large cents were series I knew had varied die states... I didn't know that half dimes would be the same.  How about three cent nickels?  Early nickels?  I am thinking that lower denominations would be better candidates for this study, as the higher denominations got (and still get) more respect from the Mint.  However, I have no educated basis to make this assumption (and the capped bust half dollar example is contrary to this ill-thought-out "theory" of mine).

Edited by The Neophyte Numismatist
I would like to write a post without errors - Just once.
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Small denomination silver and hard-metal come to mind....half dimes, and dimes, 3-ct CuNi and 5 -ct CuNi - they were coins required in large quantities so dies were often run too long. 20th century cents -- esp in the 1920s. I;m sure others have suggestions.

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On 3/23/2022 at 5:06 PM, The Neophyte Numismatist said:

@RWB  Thanks.  This really picks at the question to which I was alluding:  Let's say a collector would like to get into die states.. what would be some of the best series with the most die state variation?  

Half cents and large cents were series I knew had varied die states... I didn't know that half dimes would be the same.  How about three cent nickels?  Early nickels?  I am thinking that lower denominations would be better candidates for this study, as the higher denominations got (and still get) more respect from the Mint.  However, I have no educated basis to make this assumption (and the capped bust half dollar example is contrary to this ill-thought-out "theory" of mine).

...ur question has interesting concepts...as alluded to here there seems to be more collecting interest in die varieties than in die states, partially because die varieties can be quantified n identified where as die states r totally subjective n each emission from those sets of dies is unique in its own right...having said that, there is still ample interest in both....as mentioned there already exists certain subsets of collectors in the early coppers that collect both groups, there r many overton collectors that explore both areas as well, some overton varieties can very well be diff die states, this occurs in the morgan series as well (vams)...another series where there r many serious collectors of die varieties n die states is in the liberty seated series, dies for half dimes, dimes, quarters n half dollars were extensively used until die termination, dollars seldom exhibit late die states....Bill Bugert's exceedingly well done series of books on liberty seated half dollars by die varieties is replete with diff degrees of die states n die/coin emission sequences....there r many members of the LSCC organization that collect various series and/or dates by varieties, states n even by grades....Bugert"s books r by far the most comprehensive original numismatic research books published for any US coin series bar none.....

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Is there a difference between die states and die varieties (including die lines, die cracks, die breaks, die collapse, etc.) ?

NN asked about die states and I kind of responded with die varieties confusingly before RWB cleared up what I tried to bring in from his book.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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On 3/23/2022 at 10:20 PM, The Neophyte Numismatist said:

Thanks @zadok I will have to look into Begert's books.  

Save up for it. I keep an eye out for a good used one at a decent price. Been looking a while now….

Edited by Woods020
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On 3/23/2022 at 10:28 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Is there a difference between die states and die varieties (including die lines, die cracks, die breaks, die collapse, etc.) ?

NN asked about die states and I kind of responded with die varieties confusingly before RWB cleared up what I tried to bring in from his book.

Yes. One example is the doubled dies we get asked about all the time. A doubled die is a die variety. Now within that die variety you will see different characteristics appear or disappear as the die is used. It may develop die cracks, breaks, and even terminal state defects such as starburst for example. You will see flow lines develop and notice small changes as it is used. So the doubled die is a variety, then the die goes through states of decomposition essentially from new to time to replace. 
 

This is oversimplified but hopefully answers your basic question. 

Edited by Woods020
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On 3/23/2022 at 11:40 PM, Woods020 said:

Yes. One example is the doubled dies we get asked about all the time. A doubled die is a die variety. Now within that die variety you will see different characteristics appear or disappear as the die is used. It may develop die cracks, breaks, and even terminal state defects such as starburst for example. You will see flow lines develop and notice small changes as it is used. So the doubled die is a variety, then the die goes through states of decomposition essentially from new to time to replace. This is oversimplified but hopefully answers your basic question. 

Yes it did....those changes are the states, got it. (thumbsu

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@GoldFinger1969 I have edited the first post with progressive photos...

The first photo is an early die state of the 1804 C-6 variety.  You can see the crack.  

The second photo is also the C-6, but not you can see that crack has now completely crumbled off but the break stops before the "i" in United.  The die is still intact over the ICA in America. 

The last photo shows the C-6 die crumbling to the "I" in United and now that ICA is also broken.

All the same variety, but you see the die deteriorate through the coins.

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On 3/23/2022 at 11:28 PM, GoldFinger1969 said:

Is there a difference between die states and die varieties (including die lines, die cracks, die breaks, die collapse, etc.) ?

NN asked about die states and I kind of responded with die varieties confusingly before RWB cleared up what I tried to bring in from his book.

...diff animals but related...die varieties more closely aligned with die pairings....die states almost exclusively related to the same die pairing as the die deteriorates...there also a subset related to die emission sequence, very selective relates to when dies were used n then at a later date or year the same die used in another pairing or poss same pairing if same year but dies having been affected.....confusing i know...

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On 3/23/2022 at 11:36 PM, Woods020 said:

Save up for it. I keep an eye out for a good used one at a decent price. Been looking a while now….

...actually Bill has published more than one volume, the first, long out of print, was all encompassing, later volumes r mint specific also out of print except for his most recent n he has more to come...however, his books r onine n free access.....

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If you have all of the die varieties, why collect all the dies states unless it's something that is really striking, like a spectacular terminal die state? Why not start another collection? 

Back when drugs really started to be a problem, someone said "Getting addicted to cocaine (It was very expensive) was a sign that you were making too much money." 

To me getting addicted to die states is a sigh that it's time to move to something else. 

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On 3/24/2022 at 12:18 AM, The Neophyte Numismatist said:

@GoldFinger1969 I have edited the first post with progressive photos...

The first photo is an early die state of the 1804 C-6 variety.  You can see the crack.  

The second photo is also the C-6, but not you can see that crack has now completely crumbled off but the break stops before the "i" in United.  The die is still intact over the ICA in America. 

The last photo shows the C-6 die crumbling to the "I" in United and now that ICA is also broken.

All the same variety, but you see the die deteriorate through the coins.

Yes, the 1804 C-6 half cent die variety, which is one of the Spiked Chin half cents, is fairly common as a variety, but some people have come up with as many as 18 die states of it. As a result, one collector could soak up that many examples in a die state set. It makes it harder for other collectors to get even one. 

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Posted (edited)
On 3/24/2022 at 1:06 PM, BillJones said:

Yes, the 1804 C-6 half cent die variety, which is one of the Spiked Chin half cents, is fairly common as a variety, but some people have come up with as many as 18 die states of it. As a result, one collector could soak up that many examples in a die state set. It makes it harder for other collectors to get even one. 

Correct.  Fuhrman's new book actually identifies 20 of C-6 die states.  You are right, collecting all 20 would put a dent in the availability of that variety.  But, putting the set together of all 20 would be extremely challenging, regardless of one's budget.  

Edited by The Neophyte Numismatist
my perception and exp is irrelevant.
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On 3/23/2022 at 11:20 PM, The Neophyte Numismatist said:

I will have to look into Bugert's books

One of the nice things about his books is that all but the most recent are available for free download online.  The first five can be found here http://www.lsccweb.org/BillBugertBooks.php  Volume VI on the issues of the Philadelphia mint after 1852 isn't out yet.  They really are a fantastic reference.

On 3/24/2022 at 1:03 PM, BillJones said:

If you have all of the die varieties, why collect all the dies states unless it's something that is really striking, like a spectacular terminal die state? Why not start another collection?

Well if you are fixated on a particular series it give you an excuse to keep buying them.  First you try and get all the date/mints, then you try to get all the varieties, and if you are looking at a coin and you have that date, and you have that variety, do you have that die stage?  (John Wright expressed a similar thought "I have that date, and I have that variety, and I have that die stage.......But I don't have a GREEN one!"  Any excuse is a good excuse.)

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