Roger Burdette's Saint Gaudens Double Eagles Book
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9 hours ago, RWB said:

Corrections and suggestions are very welcome. I wonder why the copy editor did not catch those?

I don't have that many.  Less than 10 in fact.  For a 640 page book, that's pretty good in my estimation.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Not familiar with the Kaiseroda Mine and the plundered gold, I guess I'm gonna have to watch Nazi Gold on Smithsonian Channel or History Channel or wherever it airs xD....the comments from Tom DeLorey who worked with Abe Kosoff in the 1970's was fascinating (how the heck were the dealers supposed to tell their clients to bring back the gold from overseas ?  What if they didn't want to ?)....interesting stuff on abrasion and gold coins and how they "shrink" over time...Adjustors and Selectors and the 5 different weights for coins was also interesting.

Coming into the home stretch....B|

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This has been a very interesting thread. So what is your next book review???

There's a new book coming out on Classic gold coins 1834-1839 or maybe one of the great collections. Or something on the other denominations (gold). 

I've read all (or all that I know of) books on the sovereign. All have good information, but none are as detailed as Roger's book that you are reading. Here's a thought for Roger -- write a book on sovereigns. Just think of all of the international travel that you could write off.  Just kidding - not practible. 

I've read the Bower's book on double Eagles, but am looking forward to reading Roger's book as well. Just wish it came in hard cover. 

 

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2 hours ago, Zebo said:

I've read the Bower's book on double Eagles, but am looking forward to reading Roger's book as well. Just wish it came in hard cover. 

Yup, hardcover !! xD  Ironically, I never finished Bower's DE and Morgan Red Books from a few years ago (I still have the bookmarks in them) so I will probably finish those next.  

When you start reading Roger's book, post your thoughts here on any particular comments or sections and we can tack-on to this thread. 

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I think Zebo is referring to Daryl J. Haynor's United States Classic Gold Coins of 1834-1839. This is already the standard for variety identification and attribution. Very detailed. Lots original historical & documentary research.

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1 hour ago, RWB said:

I think Zebo is referring to Daryl J. Haynor's United States Classic Gold Coins of 1834-1839. This is already the standard for variety identification and attribution. Very detailed. Lots original historical & documentary research.

1834-39....pretty small number of years.  How many gold coins could have been produced in a 5-year stretch ?  I take it these were the Dahlonega and Charlotte Mints.

I want to finish the Bowers Red Books first....had them YEARS, and never finished it.  Don't really care that much about the Saint year-by-year info since I covered it in your book, but I do want to hit the Morgan book since I occassionally will buy one.  Commentary sections -- like in your book -- are also very interesting (esp. on hoards and shipwrecks).

After that, I will probably look into your Renaissance book(s).

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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4 hours ago, RWB said:

Dave Bowers has a book on coin hoards and accumulations - came out in a new version about 2 years ago.

I think I read about that in your book or his Red Book.....thanks Roger, I'll check it out.

Also may read FMTM again...or maybe just some key sections, like about the Philly Mint.  Might understand it better having read your Saints book.  I'll see how many pages I can read in an hour and then decide how long it will take me to finish.

I knocked off about 20 pages a day on your Saints book.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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From Mine to Mint is organized by equipment, processes, and staff roles rather than sequentially. It is likely to be a confusing book to read from front to back. Also, the Journal of Numismatic Research (JNR) issue #2 (Franklin Peale's Inventions and Innovations) supplements the early machinery beginning with 1836.

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2 hours ago, RWB said:

From Mine to Mint is organized by equipment, processes, and staff roles rather than sequentially. It is likely to be a confusing book to read from front to back. 

Yup.....but if I was able to actually visit a modern mint and see the processes and procedures as talked about in your book, I would have understood it alot better.

It was like reading a book on surgery but not knowing any of the medical terms. xD

But not your fault or the book's, I just was/am unfamiliar with alot of the mint terminology.  But I have a better undertstanding after finishing (well, 99.5% done) your Saints book.

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A modern government mint is a very different place than the kind in use 75 years ago. Most of the preparatory steps take place in a contractor's factory; even the presses are different in design although use the same mechanical principles. The Names of role have changed, too. There is no "Superintendent" - he/she is now the "Plan Manager." All master dies and hubs are cut, as are many working dies. There is little "engraving" done except on very large dies - it is all computer controlled cutting, etc. The very ugly "lizard skin" stippling pretending to be sandblasing or frosting, was a laser process - it's a little better now but not as good as the old frisket and sandblast method used for centuries before.

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Coming into the homestretch.....Roger or anybody else can chime in on these questions:

(1)  If the presses 100+ years ago didn't have gauges (trial-and-error to get pressure right)....how do we know those figures we hear about on the 1907 UHR and then the High Relief and regular Saints are correct ?  Did they measure or guestimate decades later ?  I would have thought simple gauges were around in the early-1900's.

(2)  Roger or anybody else:  do you have a favorite (or maybe 2 or 3 favorite) "tells" to determine striking detail ?  Or maybe someone at Heritage shared a secret to look for.  I liked this section as I added the Torch/Flame and Liberty's Right Fingers to my list of items to look for when gauging strike detail.  I can post my complete list in a separate post if anybody wants to see it.

(3)  Luster...fascinating section.  I can't believe that luster is caused by microscopic shifting in the die crystalline structure, the steel....I thought it was an indication of a SMOOTHER surface.  In fact, when I think of today's DCAM and UCAM proofs, they are filled with luster....must be different today though, right, those super-luster coins can't be that way because the die is beginning to shift at the microscopic level ?  With better/harder steels today and polishing agents, today's proofs appear much shinier, more luster, and "blacker" (DCAM/UCAM) than a proof or proof-like Saint from 100+ years ago.

(4)  Copper Spots:  very interesting.  I was wondering for classic .900 gold coins like Saints how they insured that the ratio was maintained at the coin/planchett level.  If you mixed huge slugs of liquid/melted gold and copper in a 90/10 split, how did you not know it wouldn't separate like orange juice in your refridge ? xD   This section sort of answered it.  The problem with separation/segregation with silver and copper (because of the melting temperature differences) seems more pronounced.  Good job explaining this, Roger.

 

 

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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FINISHED !!  xD  ^^(thumbsu

Well, as you can tell from all my posts a throughly enjoyable book.  Glad I bought it NOW before I start buying more/expensive Saints (whenever that is) down the line.  I learned alot to look for and I am somewhat mollified that it appears I didn't make any disastrous purchases previously by buying poorly-struck or overgraded coins. 

This book really gives you tons more useful buying information than Bowers' or Akers' books so if you are contemplating buying Saints, unless you have years or decades of experience, you'll definitely benefit from Roger's magnus opus on Saints.

I have a few follow-up questions and points to make and will be re-reading a few sections here-and-there.  So hopefully more posts are coming.  But let's keep this thread alive for those who want to talk about Saint-Gaudens coins and/or the book itself.  And needless to say, I HEARTILY and STRONGLY recommend purchase.

Thanks to everybody who has and continues to chime in on this thread, including Roger for his numerous and direct answers to questions and points of interest. (thumbsu

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Responses in numerical order.

#1 Did they measure or guestimate decades later?

The EHR and HR MCMVII patterns and coins were all made on the Mint’s hydraulic medal presses. These were equipped with pressure gauges and the force used could be specified by the operator. These entered service in 1893.

Pressure for ordinary coins was estimated by using metal samples that had been calibrated by on outside University or the Bureau of Standards. Once reliable strain/pressure gauges were available for industrial use in metal forming, the Mint used these – but reported striking pressures were never very precise. They were also extrapolated from the area (size) of a die to that of a different die. This was reasonable given that a toggle press delivered a uniform force with each cycle. As measurement technology improved, so did the estimates.

#2 Are there favorite "tells" to determine striking detail? I added the Torch/Flame and Liberty's Right Fingers to my list of items to look for when gauging strike detail.

Look at the detail of Liberty’s feet and toes. These are near the rim and often weak or blurred together. Lettering on both sides should have gently rounded top surfaces – not flat or chisel-shaped. Peripheral stars will be uniform with full height and no blending or stretching into the rim. Look for the best of all the above along with fully rounded eagle’s breast feathers. Few coins will meet all of the above along with superb central detail – but we can all search for those elusive bargains. This is much like looking for really nice SL quarters – “Full Head” is not “full detail.”

#3 Luster.

For pre-modern coins, luster is a normal part of die use and wear. Modern mints can imitate luster by pretreatment of dies. Also nearly all modern dies are coated to increase resistance to abrasion and reduce the formation of surface defects. Some of the bibliographic references discuss how these coatings are applied. The initial character of a polished die or planchet is fixed by mechanical polishing. These surfaces are OK for their purpose, but will never approach that produced by a craftsman or a hobbyist making their own telescope mirrors or lenses. Coin surfaces are nice but nothing notable.

#4 Segregation and spots.

Gold and copper alloy does not segregate to any appreciable degree.

Silver segregation was known in the 18th century and M&Rs at US Mints constantly had to balance the localized silver purity at different places in an ingot, versus the net purity. There’s an illustration in FMTM that shows what happens and how the Coiner compensated. Skill was required to properly mix metals when making coinage alloys. A lot of ingots were condemned for being slightly “off” specification due to incomplete mixing or impurities.

“Spots” whether in gold or silver are the result of surface contamination from the manufacturing and/or storage environment. This was determined almost two decades ago by researchers at several mints and national museums. The cure is prevention. Clean working conditions whether handling planchets, striking coins, putting thein capsules, or removing them for pseudo-grading and then repackaging the pieces.

Edited by RWB
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To Anybody Who PM'd Me....I never saw the Message Icon until today, so I just responded.  Apologize for missing the messages, quite frankly I couldn't see the icon without scrolling up. Sorry for the delays in responding.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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Not to change the subject from one double eagle to another, but has anyone read the Double Eagles Type 3 1877-1907 by Mike Fuljenz?  I got a copy and I think it is very interesting.  Ive been considering doing a 20th century set so I thought it would be a good resource.   Once I finish with a couple of my registry sets, Ill probably get going!  

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32 minutes ago, erwindoc said:

Not to change the subject from one double eagle to another, but has anyone read the Double Eagles Type 3 1877-1907 by Mike Fuljenz?  I got a copy and I think it is very interesting.  Ive been considering doing a 20th century set so I thought it would be a good resource.   Once I finish with a couple of my registry sets, Ill probably get going!  

I hadn't, in fact, I wasn't aware of his books, thanks for letting me know about it.  I see his books are mostly about the earlier Type DE's and Indian Heads from the late-1800's through 1907.

Does he go through them year-by-year, Erwindoc ?  Are there non-yearly commentary or review sections ?

I don't have any Liberty DE's but hope to at some point.  

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erwindoc – Just a casual opinion here. I've read all (I think) of the double eagle, eagle, half eagle, quarter eagle, etc., etc., books. Nearly all are mostly rehashed grindings from old catalogs, individual observations (Akers – once good but now too “thin”). None tie the coins to their economic purpose, and political influences are superficial at best. [See annotation, below.] Mintage details, even when available in the form of deliveries from public sources, are omitted. What emerge are sanitary lists of dates, mintmarks, occasional varieties, and coin observations. These are usually wrapped in a coating of “prices” or “relative rarities” that can been very misleading.

None of this is intentional by the authors. Most are/were coin dealers. That is how they view numismatics: through a narrow segment of a much wider spectrum.

The one gold book I feel comfortable admiring is, as mentioned elsewhere, Daryl Haynor’s new volume. I hope others will emulate his attention to detail, original research and objective presentation (combined with opinion, as is expected). I can also recommend the early gold book published a couple of years ago -- but I can't remember the title at the moment. That has lots of improved observational research and corrections to Breen's lies.

(As an example, no meaningful research on the $3 gold origins and purpose had been done until I published “Purpose of the $3 Gold Coin,” in Journal of Numismatic Research, Issue #4, 2013.)

Cover-JNR-Issue 4-v05-v-sm.jpg

Edited by RWB
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Roger, besides your book and Akers and Bower's Red Book, any other Saint-Gaudens books you're aware of or are they all out-of-date and relying on too-dated information ?

Not seeing anything from "Daryl Haynor" on Amazon. 

FWIW, I'm re-reading all of Akers again since your information is fresh in my mind (I'm not even sure I read all his Saint year-by-years) and I am still right at the Type III's in the 1870's in Bower's book.  So at least I have those to read having finished yours.

Tell you one thing....I picked them both up today....MAN, are they LIGHTER and easier to HOLD than your book !!  xD

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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14 minutes ago, RWB said:

erwindoc – Just a casual opinion here. I've read all (I think) of the double eagle, eagle, half eagle, quarter eagle, etc., etc., books. Nearly all are mostly rehashed grindings from old catalogs, individual observations (Akers – once good but now too “thin”). None tie the coins to their economic purpose, and political influences are 

The one gold book I feel comfortable admiring is, as mentioned elsewhere, Daryl Haynor’s new volume. I hope others will emulate his attention to detail, original research and objective presentation (combined with opinion, as is expected). I can also recommend the early gold book published a couple of years ago -- but I can't remember the title at the moment. That has lots of improved observational research and corrections to Breen's lies.

That's nice to hear, I've pre-ordered Haynor's book. Can't wait to receive it. I'd like to see a good one on the $20 Libs, but saw that the Fuljenz book only covered the type III DEs. 

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5 minutes ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

Roger, besides your book and Akers and Bower's Red Book, any other Saint-Gaudens books you're aware of or are they all out-of-date and relying on too-dated information ?

Not seeing anything from "Daryl Haynor" on Amazon. 

You can find it at Wizard Coin Supply out of Chantilly, Va.

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There are quite a few nice DE articles in old monthly publications: Numismatic Scrapbook, Coin Collectors Journal, Numismatist, several others. Most are what would be called discovery articles about something newly identified - such as the 1909/8 overdate.

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59 minutes ago, Zebo said:

That's nice to hear, I've pre-ordered Haynor's book. Can't wait to receive it. I'd like to see a good one on the $20 Libs, but saw that the Fuljenz book only covered the type III DEs. 

You've checked out Bower's Red Book on Double Eagles, right ?  Over half the book is on Liberty DE's.

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57 minutes ago, Conder101 said:

Actually proofs have no luster, they have smooth reflective surfaces

Yeah, reading Roger's book he said that luster was really caused by the "roughening" up at the microscopic level of the fields...caused by light reflecting off thousands of micron-sized ridges/imperfections/reflections....but I used to interpret luster as shineyness (is that a word ? xD )...reflectivity.....etc.

I guess luster has a specific designation/meaning not associated with "smooth reflective surfaces."  I thought those fields were 100% luster but I guess I'm using the word incorrectly.

Edited by GoldFinger1969
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7 hours ago, GoldFinger1969 said:

You've checked out Bower's Red Book on Double Eagles, right ?  Over half the book is on Liberty DE's.

Read it, but I was looking for something in addition to it. I'm in the middle of Bower's book on gold dollars right now and have ordered his book on $10 Eagles.

I am looking for books on the half and quarter Eagles now. I'm waiting on Haynor's book that covers the classic heads.

Roger's book on peace dollars is high on my list to read also.

Edited by Zebo
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