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The Spirit E-Newsletter from Muncie Coin and Stamp Club
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May 12th, 2020 MEETING CANCELED!!

MUNCIE COIN AND STAMP CLUB INC.
MINNETRISTA CULTURAL CENTER
1200 NORTH MINNETRISTA PARKWAY
MUNCIE, INDIANA

TELEPHONE 765-400-0600
WEB:
http://munciecoinandstampclub.com/
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/munciecoinandstampclub

 
March 2020’s Club Minutes and Announcements
March’s Meeting Attendance: 56 (3 From February’s meeting)
March’s Auction Lots:  113 (5 from February’s auction items)
 
Drawing Winners for March’s Meeting
Attendance drawing prizes went to: 1) Benny Tuttle 2) Alan Simmons 3) Jeannette York
Silver Dollar drawings were won by: 1) Kendell Clark 2) Ned Thompson 3) Randy Hornbaker
Progressive Drawing Winner: Anita Houser


 
A Brief Update
 
Greetings to all of our wonderful club members! I hope this newsletter finds everyone safe and healthy and provides a means of distraction from all the craziness of these times while catching you all up on some highlights from the numismatic world. There’s no doubt these are unprecedented times in our club’s history. As a newer member of this club, I’m not sure when the last time a club meeting was canceled, but here, in 2020, we find ourselves with the second consecutive monthly meeting canceled due to the national and local responses to the COVID-19 pandemic. Unfortunately, due to the craziness and confusion surrounding the first statewide closures and travel advisories at the beginning of April, I was unable to get our April 2020 newsletter put together. Hopefully the following will make up for it.
 
Upcoming Coin Shows
 
Due to so many coin shows having already been canceled, and with each state’s plans for re-opening being different from the next, the best I can do to point you to reliable coin show information is to send you to our very own website. By going to www.munciecoinandstampclub.com/coin-shows you can see all the most recent updated information on local shows and coins shows in other states. The information presented at the above URL is a direct feed from one of the largest coin show websites on the internet, CoinZip.com, which is widely used and quite dependable. Date changes and cancelations are still happening on a daily basis, so I would suggest that if you see a show that seems to still be scheduled to take place, make sure you call the actual show contacts and ask them directly if the show is still on.
 
How Ironic!
Although, released earlier in February of this year, it is now quite apropos that I include the below in this month’s newsletter. Why? Well, look at it! Even though we now know that the Coronavirus was not likely linked to someone eating bat soup (YUCK!) in a wet market in Wuhan, China, how ironic is it that the first coin of the 2020 America the Beautiful State Parks Quarter series would have a bat depicted on it! No doubt, this has been the source of some good conspiracy theories. I digress….. Please enjoy!
 
 
2020 American Samoa Quarter Review
Published on CoinWeek.com by By Chris Bulfinch -January 3, 2020
 
 
Though not the first coin to feature bats as a motif, the first new America the Beautiful National Parks quarter dollar to be released in 2020 certainly has a distinctive take on the flying mammal. Honoring the sensibly named National Park in American Samoa, the quarter will be released in February 2020, the first quarter to be released in the program’s penultimate year.
 
First officially contacted by Americans in 1839, the South Pacific islands that today constitute American Samoa were folded into the growing American empire in 1899. The territory has a population of 55,000-56,000 and sends a delegate to Congress, Amata Coleman Radewagen (R), though she is unable to vote on legislation or anything else. American Samoans have the highest per capita rate of military service of any U.S. state or territory. American Samoa was honored on a 50 State quarter in the program’s final year in 2009 when Washington D.C. and U.S. territories appeared. The 2009 quarter featured a reverse design referred to as “Heart of Polynesia”, including an ava bowl, a whisk and staff, and coconut trees, as well as an inscription of American Samoa’s motto “SAMOA MUAMUA LE ATUA”, which translates as “Samoa, God is First.”
 
The National Park of American Samoa spans three islands, Tutuila, Ofu, and Ta’u. Officially established in 1988 by an act of Congress introduced in 1984 at the behest of bat preservation experts, the National Park was included in the Federal Fish and Wildlife Restoration Act. It is the only park in the U.S. National Park System located south of the equator. In addition to its bats, the park includes coral reefs, jungle, and preservation sites of indigenous Samoan culture.
 
A little bit of World War II history is preserved in the park as well; an old tramway and gun emplacements sit at Breakers Point and Blunt’s Point. The guns, manufactured in 1907 and placed in 1941, covered the entrance to Pago Pago Harbor.
 
As a nod to the park’s origins with bat conservation, the quarter’s reverse design is dominated by an adult bat with its offspring clutching onto its chest. The species’ close ties between parents and offspring are reflected in the design. The modified version of John Flanagan’s bust of George Washington will appear on the coin’s obverse, as it has since 2010.
 
According to the National Park Service’s website, “[F]ruit bats are one of the more unusual animals in American Samoa, especially for visitors from areas where bats are small and rarely seen.” Two distinct species of fruit bat live on the islands, the Samoan fruit bat and the Tongan fruit bat. The former, which can be found only in the Samoan archipelago and Fiji, are featured on the quarter. The animals, sometimes referred to as flying foxes, can have a three-foot wingspan and subsist mostly on fruit and plants. Interestingly, where the Tongan fruit bats often nest communally in colonies, Samoan fruit bats tend to nest singly. Both species show considerable care for their young.
 
The designs were selected by the Citizen’s Coinage Advisory Committee (CCAC) and the Commission on Fine Art (CFA) months before the coins’ issuance. Other designs considered included depictions of the ocean, coral reefs, fish, turtles, and other sea creatures. Samoan people holding conch shells were another motif that appeared on some of the proposed designs. The bats that appear on the final design appear in flight on some of the other designs presented to the CCAC.
According to Dennis Tucker, a CCAC member present at the meeting discussing the designs for the American Samoa quarter, the design “had some energy around it in our discussions. The sketch itself relies too much on shading (remember that a coin is made of silver or copper-nickel, not pencil lead on paper), but if the Mint’s sculptors feel it could be translated effectively through texture and depth, I would support this design.”
 
The bats on the coins were designed by Richard Masters. Masters, who worked as Professor Emeritus at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh’s Department of Art until his retirement in 2015, was an inaugural member of the U.S. Mint’s Artistic Infusion Program (AIP). He began designing coins and medals in 2004, and his designs have appeared on such recent U.S. coins as the 2006 State quarter for Nebraska, the Birth and Early Childhood in Kentucky reverse for the 2009 Lincoln cent, the obverse for the U.S. Marshals Service commemorative silver dollar, the obverse for the Ronald Reagan Presidential dollar in 2016, and four of the America the Beautiful quarter dollars. Another of his designs will appear on the other U.S. territory whose quarter is being released in 2020: the quarter dollar honoring the Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
 
The Sculptor-Engraver responsible for transferring Masters’ design onto the quarter-size planchet is Phebe Hemphill.
 
121 years after its annexation and 11 years after its state quarter was released, American Samoa is getting its America the Beautiful quarter dollar. American Samoa’s quarter is the first of 2020’s five states and territories. As in previous years, the U.S. Mint will strike circulation pieces at the Philadelphia and Denver facilities–as well as at the West Point Mint–and Proofs at San Francisco.
 
Collectors interested in the ecology of an American territory might consider picking an example out of circulation in 2020 and beyond, or acquiring a proof or mint set that includes the coin. The intense bats on its obverse make for a striking motif that could appeal to a wide range of interests, from animal lovers to those interested in National Park history.
 
The America the Beautiful program enters its last full year paying homage to an ecologically diverse park far from the continental United States. Richard Masters’ design is one of his many contributions to modern American coinage, and collectors can look forward to his design for the quarter honoring American Samoa.
 
CoinWeek IQ: United States 1921-S Morgan Dollar Zerbe Proof
By CoinWeek IQ -March 6, 2020 @ coinweek.com
 
 

The Zerbe Proof 1921-S Morgan dollar is one of the rarest and most enigmatic issues of the Morgan dollar series. The Morgan dollar, known more officially as the Liberty Head dollar, is a silver coin that was struck at each branch of the United States Mint in operation between 1878 and 1904 and then once more in 1921.
 
In 1921, the San Francisco branch struck 21,695,000 Morgan dollar coins, complementing the more than 64 million pieces struck at Denver and Philadelphia combined – all of which bore newly tooled versions of George T. Morgan’s classic design.
 
This single-year output represented the largest Morgan dollar mintage of the entire series and was carried out pursuant to the 1918 Pittman Act, which called for the conversion to bullion up to 350,000,000 standard silver dollars for sale to Great Britain and for the repurchase of an equal amount of silver for the purposes of recoining. The law, authored by Nevada Senator Key Pittman gave had the dual benefit of aiding a key ally during a time of war and serving as a government subsidy to western mining interests.
 
The resumption of silver dollars ended a 17-year hiatus for the denomination. The American silver dollar, first issued in 1794, had a complicated and sputtering history throughout the 19th century and the Morgan dollar, which was struck in excessive amounts (as mandated by Congress), went largely went unused. The Pittman Act led to the culling of approximately 40% of the total mintage of the series. Most of these coins had never circulated and those that did spent only a brief time in commercial channels before being returned to the treasury, where they were rebagged and warehoused.
 
The same fate awaited the lion’s share of the 1921 issue as well.
 
The Plot Thickens
As the Mint prepared to strike new dollar coins, a buzz of excitement overtook the numismatic community.
 
Not satisfied with the idea of a resumption of the Morgan dollar design, past American Numismatic Association (ANA) president Farran Zerbe spoke at the ANA convention and took to the pages of The Numismatist began to advocate for the striking of a new design to mark the end of the Great War.
 
Zerbe was a giant in numismatic circles and ever the numismatic promoter, but he was also a bit of a schemer and a polarizing figure. Q. David Bowers, in his piece “A Century of Numismatics 1901-2000”, published in the August 1998 Numismatist, remarked that Zerbe was less than forthright in his efforts to buy The Numismatist from its creator George Heath’s widow and he may have even engaged in election fraud and other “Machiavellian machinations while holding ANA office….”
 
Nevertheless, Zerbe was able to marshal support for his idea within the numismatic community, resulting in the introduction of legislation authorizing a change in the long-dormant denomination’s design. In the interim, however, the Mint had millions of Morgan dollars to strike.
 
Most scholarship relating to the Zerbe Proofs or Zerbe Special Strikes center around a conversation that Zerbe had with Stuart Mosher in the mid-1940s. In the July 1955 Numismatist, Mosher recounts Zerbe telling him that in 1921, he was “in California awaiting the arrival of the dies that were to be used to strike the first Peace dollars at the San Francisco Mint.” When the Mint phoned Zerbe to announce that the new dies had arrived, Zerbe made a beeline for the Mint only to be disappointed that the dies were for the Morgan design.
 
It was at this point, that Zerbe claimed to Mosher that the Mint struck 24 coins to alleviate his disappointment. The supposed date of this interaction is open to debate. In a 2004 sale of an example from the Thomas H. Sebring Collection, an American Numismatic Rarities cataloger suggests that the date of Zerbe’s visit coincided with the San Francisco Mint’s first strikings of Morgan dollars on May 9. This seems implausible, however, due to the fact that legislation authorizing the striking of Peace dollars was not introduced in Congress until that very day and the coins certainly did not go into production until December 28.
 
Regardless, the idea of Zerbe Special Strikings or Proofs entered into the numismatic mainstream with the publication of Mosher’s article and the controversial yet stubbornly influential numismatic researcher Walter Breen was happy to go along with the claim.
 
The Five Known 1921-S Zerbe Proof Morgan Dollars
While Farran Zerbe may have claimed that 24 special strikes were made for him, to date, only five examples have satisfied the numismatic community as belonging in this group. Four are graded by PCGS, and the fifth, ungraded specimen is impounded in the collection of the American Numismatic Society (ANS), presumably acquired from Zerbe and the Chase Manhattan Bank.
 
The accepted diagnostics of the Zerbe strikes are easily discerned with the naked eye: sharp squared denticles border the rim, flattened stars that distinctly rise above the fields, and bold lettering throughout. The coins also feature two diagonal lines that descend from the denticles to the E and S in STATES. Another line connects the tip of the top serif of C to the denticles on the right side of the coin.
 
The finest known example (PCGS PR65 CAC) brought $117,500 at an August 2013 Heritage Auction. Three examples have been certified at the 64-grade level (although on the holder, various prefixes have been used). According to Heritage Auction’s published pedigree data, these coins can be traced back to the 1970s. The most recent price realized for a 64 was $94,000 for a CAC-approved example offered in June 2014.
 
By way of comparison, a “non-Zerbe” business strike 1921-S Morgan dollar in the grades of MS64 to MS65 has a retail value of between $150 and $400.
 
Obverse:
 
The obverse of the 1921-S Morgan dollar exhibits the characteristic left-facing Liberty Head motif seen on all issues of this classic dollar series. The central Liberty bust wears a Phrygian cap encircled with a ribbon adorned with the inscription LIBERTY. Miss Liberty also wears a crown of wheat and cotton, which were two of the nation’s most lucrative natural agricultural assets in the 19th century.
 
The phrase E PLURIBUS UNUM is inscribed along the upper half of the obverse rim, and the date 1886 is centered at the bottom of the obverse adjacent to the rim. Seven stars appear between the left side of the date and the inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM, while six stars fill the gap between the date and motto on the lower right side of the coin. In total, the 13 stars represent the 13 colonies that combined to form the original Union of the United States. At the base of Liberty’s neck is the “M” monogram representing Morgan’s initial.
 
Morgan designed the Liberty head bust after the likeness of Anna Willess Williams, a Philadelphia schoolteacher who modeled for the coin. Williams received significant public recognition after her face appeared on the Morgan dollar, but she rejected the attention that was heaped upon her. She refused offers for acting roles and apparently had turned down an offer for marriage following her engagement to an unknown suitor. Before dying at the age of 68 in 1926, Williams, who sat for Morgan on the sworn condition of anonymity, rebuffed her single stint as a coin design model as little more than an “incident of my youth”.
 
Reverse:
1887-S Morgan Dollar ReverseThe reverse of the 1921-S Morgan dollar is dominated by a heraldic eagle, its wings spread across the upper half of the coin. Between the upper tips of the eagle’s wings appears the motto IN GOD WE TRUST. The eagle clutches an olive branch in its right claw representing peace and in its left claw are three arrows symbolizing the nation’s ability to defend itself. The central eagle design is partly encircled by a laurel wreath.
 
Along the rim of the upper two-thirds of the reverse is the legend UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, with the tip of the eagle’s left wings, which virtually touch the coin’s rim, penetrating the space between UNITED and STATES; the right wing visually divides the words OF and AMERICA. The words ONE DOLLAR, seen at the bottom center of the reverse, are flanked by a single, six-sided star on either side of the denomination inscription. The “S” mintmark, denoting that the coin was struck at the San Francisco Mint, is located above the DO of DOLLAR.
 
The edge of the 1921-S Morgan dollar is reeded.
 
Privy Mark 2020-W America the Beautiful Quarters Coming From U.S. Mint
Published on CoinWeek.com by By US Mint -April 6, 2020
 
The period from May 8 to September 2, 2020, marks the 75th anniversary of the conclusion of World War II. In recognition of this significant anniversary, the United States Mint will manufacture “W” mint mark quarters that feature a special privy mark signifying the allied victory in World War II.
 
Mint marks identify the coins struck at each of the U.S. Mint facilities. The most commonly recognized mint marks are a “P” which denotes coins made in Philadelphia and “D” for coins made in Denver. While circulating coins are typically made only in Philadelphia or Denver, these special circulating coins that bear the “W” mint mark are manufactured at the Mint facility at West Point.
 
The Mint will be releasing the first two 2020 “W” America the Beautiful quarters, honoring the National Park of American Samoa (American Samoa) and the Weir Farm National Historic Site (Connecticut), on April 6. The coins will likely begin to appear in circulation within four to six weeks after the release date. The first wave of National Park of American Samoa quarters bearing the “P” or “D” mint mark were released February 3, 2020, and do not bear the privy mark.
 
Two million each of the first two 2020 “W” America the Beautiful quarters will be placed into circulation mixed among “P” and “D” mint mark quarters, with one million of each sent into circulation from the Mint facilities at Philadelphia and Denver. No “W” quarters will be mixed into bulk bags that are sold to coin dealers under the Mint’s bulk purchase program.
 
Privy marks are historically used on coins to reflect a unique aspect of their production or design. The special privy mark “V75” will appear on the coins’ obverse to symbolize the 75th anniversary of the allied victory of World War II. The Mint is proud to recognize the unity and determination of those who contributed to the war effort on the home front and to honor the more than 16 million Americans who served in the Armed Forces during the course of this struggle, more than 405,000 of whom made the ultimate sacrifice to the cause of democracy and peace.
 
The privy mark’s outline represents the aerial view shape of the Rainbow Pool located at the West Potomac Park in Washington, D.C., that is now an integral part of the World War II Memorial, prompting somber reflection, appreciation, reverence, and hope for the thousands who visit each year. The “V75” privy mark was developed by Mint sculptor-engravers.
 
In a city of many monuments, the WWII Memorial stands out as one of the most recognized and visited in the city, drawing veterans and visitors to remember the sacrifice and heroism demanded in the conflict that altered world history. We believe the “V75” privy mark’s particular placement, adjacent to the portrait of our revered first President, is an indelible symbol and enduring reminder to all generations of the bravery of ordinary citizens who must go to war to ensure their freedom. We at the Mint are proud to present the “W” quarter and “V75” privy mark in this important anniversary year.
 
The “W” mint mark quarters are among a portfolio of numismatic products, some of which will also feature the “V75” privy mark. Detailed information about these numismatic products will be shared later this year.
 
Additional information about the other “W” mint mark America the Beautiful quarters scheduled for release in 2020 is contingent on Mint manufacturing capacity and schedule.
 
 
Mint State 1801 $10 Eagle Featured in Stack’s Bowers June 2020 Santa Ana Auction
By Stack's Bowers -May 6, 2020 @ coinweek.com
 
Struck from 1795 through 1804, the Capped Bust Right gold eagles are among the most beautiful and desirable coins to emerge from the early United States Mint.
 
At 33 mm, the planchet is impressive and Robert Scot’s allegorical portrait of Liberty on the obverse is widely praised by collectors. Most of these issues are incredibly rare, with some surviving populations falling well under 50 pieces.
 
We are thrilled to feature a stunning MS-61 1801 eagle in our upcoming June 2020 Auction, which will be held at our headquarters in Santa Ana, California.
 
Struck from the BD-2 dies, it comes from a reported mintage of 44,344 pieces for the year. However, this mintage likely includes some coins dated 1800, and possibly also some dated 1799. With 600 to 800 coins believed extant, 1801 BD-2 is actually the most available early eagle die marriage.
 
Even so, Mint State survivors are scarce, as the demand for them is great.
 
The MS-61 (NGC) offered in our June 2020 Auction exhibits rich yellow and honey-gold color on both sides. The central elements are uniformly sharp, with particular detail to Liberty’s hair and the stripes of the shield on the reverse. Intensely lustrous and overall smooth, the surfaces are free of any distracting handling marks that are sometimes present at this grade level. This gorgeous coin is ideal for a high-grade type set as an example of this challenging Capped Bust Right design.
 
Our September 2015 sale of the D. Brent Pogue Collection Part II featured two spectacular 1801 eagles, including an MS-65 (PCGS) that earned $217,375 USD. We last offered a coin at the MS-61 level in our March 2020 Santa Ana Auction, which was graded by PCGS and sold for $20,400.
 
The coin featured here will be sold in our June 18-19, 2020 Auction, which will also offer Vermont coppers from the Q. David Bowers Collection, the Francesca Collection of U.S. Gold Coins, The Dazzling Rarities Collection, and many other rarities. The sale will be available for bidding and viewing on our website www.StacksBowers.com or you may contact us to secure a copy of the printed catalog. Also, download our mobile app to view and participate in our auctions via your Android or Apple device.
 
Limited production resumes at West Point facility after second shutdown
By Paul Gilkes , Coin World Published: Apr 26, 2020, 9 AM (coinworld.com)
 
Production at the West Point Mint was resumed on a limited basis April 21 after being shut down again April 15 pursuant to coronavirus pandemic safety precautions.
 
The April 15 production stoppage at West Point resulted in minting of American Eagle silver bullion coins being shifted to the Philadelphia Mint.
 
U.S. Mint spokesman Michael White said April 21 that the West Point Mint is resuming minting the America Eagle silver coins, with the Philadelphia Mint backing up the West Point facility “as needed.”
 
The West Point Mint has also resumed American Eagle gold bullion coin production, he said.
 
The shutdowns of the West Point facility April 15 and San Francisco Mint since March 18 have affected the production and release of several precious metal bullion collector coins and gold commemorative coins.
 
White told Coin World April 19 that, at the time, the bureau was not producing numismatic products at any of the four Mint facilities.
 
“Due to the increasing number of COVID-19 cases in Orange County, New York, and out of an abundance of caution, the United States Mint (Mint) has temporarily suspended production at the Mint facility at West Point,” White’s April 15 notice explained. “This action is being taken to further reduce the risk of Mint employee exposure to COVID-19. The Mint will resume production once it is deemed prudent to do so.” That resumption occurred April 21.
 
The Denver and Philadelphia Mints continue striking coins for general circulation, and the Philadelphia output temporarily included the American Eagle silver bullion coins.
 
Products the current and intermittent shutdowns have affected include American Eagle gold, silver and platinum bullion coins and American Buffalo gold bullion coins; American Eagles and American Buffaloes also in Uncirculated and Proof finishes; and Proof and Uncirculated 2020-W Basketball Hall of Fame gold $5 coins.
 
The U.S. Mint did not disclose how many American Eagle bullion coins in each precious metal or American Buffalo coins were in inventory before the April 15 production interruption.
 
“During the temporary suspension of operations at the Mint facility at West Point, the U.S. Mint will continue to make American Eagle and America the Beautiful silver bullion coins available to its network of Authorized Purchasers,” said White in answer to follow-up questions by Coin World, before the April 21 limited resumption of activities at the West Point Mint. “American Eagle and American Buffalo gold coins will not be available,” he had indicated, during the shutdown.
 
The America the Beautiful 5-ounce silver coins are produced at the Philadelphia Mint which, like the Denver Mint, is fully operational, with primary focus on production of coins for general circulation.
 
U.S. Mint Director David J. Ryder said the precautionary measures including the facility closures are necessary.
 
“My commitment to the health and safety of the Mint workforce is unwavering and continues to be my highest priority” Ryder said. “These are challenging and unprecedented times, and decisions on Mint operations are made with the best interests of Mint employees first and foremost.”
 
During the second temporary shutdown, the entire West Point facility was thoroughly cleaned in accordance with Centers for Disease Control and Protection (CDC) guidelines.
 
The West Point Mint was previously shuttered on March 28 after a nonproduction employee at the facility tested positive for the virus. The facility underwent a limited cleaning before production resumed April 1.
 
The Fort Knox Bullion Depository in Kentucky is fully operational, White said.
 
Since Washington, D.C., is under a stay-at-home order, most Mint employees at Mint headquarters are working remotely.
 
“With limited staff and U.S. Mint Police present at Mint Headquarters, professional cleaning staff have instructions to rotate through the building every hour to wipe and disinfect touch surfaces,” White said. “Additional cleaning is being performed in common areas and at entrances and security checkpoints. Mission essential personnel who continue to work at Mint Headquarters wear facemasks and practice social distancing.”
 
U.S. Mint officials have not disclosed how many examples of each numismatic product already struck in precious metals at West Point are in inventory for shipment from the bureaus’s contracted order fulfillment center in Memphis, Tennessee, to customers who order them.
 
As of April 15, the last numismatic product the U.S. Mint had listed in its sales catalog online was the April 17 launch of sales of the 2020-S Silver Proof set.
 
“The U.S. [Mint] product schedule online accurately reflects the information we have at this time,” White said.
 
The 2020 product schedule identifies a half dozen West Point Mint products without specific release dates, with the status listed as TBD (To Be Determined).
 
Those products are:
 
➤ Uncirculated 2020-W American Eagle 1-ounce gold $50 coin
➤ Uncirculated 2020-W American Eagle 1-ounce palladium $25 coin
➤ Proof 2020-W American Eagle 1-ounce silver dollar coin
➤ Uncirculated 2020-W American Eagle 1-ounce silver dollar coin
➤ Proof 2020-W End of World War II 75th Anniversary $50 gold coin
➤ Proof 2020-W End of World War II 75th Anniversary silver medal.
 
Just what is an 'orange peel' finish?
By Steve Roach, Coin World - Published: Apr 27, 2020, 10 AM (coinworld.com)
 


One characteristic of many Coronet-type Proof gold coins minted in the late 19th century is what’s called an “orange peel” finish. Traditionally, it was thought that the textured fields resulted from a worn die, but this doesn’t make sense considering the relatively short life of a Proof die.
 
A more recently explored theory suggests that the surfaces result from excessive heat in the annealing furnace. However, Heritage explained in its Jan. 9 offering, “That theory has now been discarded, and to our knowledge no other explanation has rushed in to fill the vacuum created by its absence.”
 
An 1898 Coronet $10 eagle and $5 half eagle in the January auction each show the “crinkled” surface on only one side.
 
The 1898 Coronet eagle shows it in the obverse fields, and the Professional Coin Grading Service Proof 64+ Deep Cameo stunner with a green Certified Acceptance Corp. sticker brought $33,600 at the recent Florida United Numismatists convention in Orlando.
 
The 1898 $5 half eagle, graded PCGS Proof 65 Deep Cameo, also CAC-approved, sold for $38,400. On that coin, the “orange-peel” texture was much more prominent on the reverse.
 
While the source of this texture remains up to debate, the visual appeal of the finest-preserved survivors is undeniable.
Muncie Coin & Stamp Club Event Calendar
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