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Let’s talk US Patterns and Trial pieces

retirednowretirednow Posts: 468 ✭✭✭✭✭

I like to use this discussion to share topics about US Patterns and invite other interested collectors for their stories, knowledge and examples. I have found patterns to be most interesting as they all seem to have some sort of story behind their design and minting and the fact that even the most common patterns would be considered rare in the general scheme of collecting.

To quote Saul Teichman from the forward to J. Hewitt Judd’s book “United States Pattern Coins” 10th edition … _ "... For the collector of coins, patterns represent the untold story of where our regular-issue coinage comes from, and how it came to be where it is today."_

Three important references on patterns are Judd’s “United States Patterns” 10th edition and Andrew Pollock “United States Patterns and Related Issues “ , and the website USpatterns.com.https://uspatterns.stores.yahoo.net/

I like to start this post with one of my pieces that I find interesting, While not a different design motif, typical of patterns, it is one that was an experimental piece.

Judd-269 (Pollock-317) 1860 Liberty Seated Half dollar experimental piece struck in copper that was deface at the mint. Rarity: R.8 PCGS65BN w/ CAC

This piece was struck from the regular No Motto Seated Liberty dies of 1860 and struck in copper with the edge lettered E PLURIBUS UNUM,, perhaps from a Bust Halve lettered collar. In 1860 the mint was experimenting with techniques to address concerns about counterfeiting and alternation to circulated coins. Adding letter edges was one experimental approach to reduce concerns to coin manipulation.

USPattern.com list only 3 examples of the J269 believed known, all were defaced with chisel marks, and that all 3 show some lettering on the edge. Saul Teichman has viewed all three. They are:

1) Taylor-Windle (H Chapman 6/08) lot 1289?, Connecticut State Library, ex Mitchelson
2) Woodin, Newcomer, Boyd, Farouk, Judd, 66 ANA, Coronet Coin FPL (Krouner), Merkin 2/71, Queller-Heritage 4/09, Heritage 8/11 ANA, Heritage 8/16 ANA - NCSXF40, cleaned.
3) Lohr, Cox, RARCOA 4/72, RARCOA 1/73, Heritage 2/83, Stacks 5/85, Queller-Heritage 1/09 as NGC60BN, Simpson-Heritage 1/21, Heritage 6/21 - PCGS65BN w/CAC Endorsement, (which is this piece above); Also the Plate Coin for J-269 In reference book "United States Pattern Coins" 10th edition by J. Hewitt Judd, M.D.

This piece also appeared in the Mid-Winter ANA sale (Steve Ivy, 2/1983) /Lot #1786 and Kagin's Aug 1983 ANA Lot #3026 .

I reference these last 2 because of their addition commentary on the edge.

Per Steve Ivy Feb 1983 catalog description. “…The edge shows vague lettering, most probably from an edge collar used on bust halves. Only two stars and an indistinct letter or two are present…” and subsequently

Per Kagin’s Aug 1983 ANA catalog states “… attempted lettering of the edge, perhaps using old bust half dollar collar. Visible are letters S, E and U, plus one five-point star. U.S. Mint experiments of 1860 were designed to thwart practice of sawing reeded edge gold in half and filling hollowed-out centers with similarly heavy platinum for proper ring and heft.”

Unfortunately, even with the PCGS edge view holder I can only make out clearly one star at the 6 o’clock position and some faint lettering elsewhere. It was too bad that prior to PCGS slabbing that the coin edge was not photographed.

Interesting that prior to NGCPF60BN encapsulating, the coin had been listed as, Choice Unc almost full red ; MS63; MS63 Select Brilliant Unc – Bright Mint Red ; Uncirculated Mint Red and Olive toning, and then PCGS graded as PF64BN & PF65BN with CAC. I suspect that this piece (while fair amount of underlying red exists on each side) may have tempered it color over the past 40 years.

Comments

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @boiler78.... Wow... That is very nice... Sure wish they would do coins with such art now. Cheers, RickO

  • MarkMark Posts: 3,522 ✭✭✭✭✭

    pattern collectors are even rarer than pattern coins :D !!!!!!!!

    Mark


  • FlyingAlFlyingAl Posts: 2,844 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Pretty cool! I remember some anger towards the straight grade with the defacement, even though it was done at the mint.

    It doesn’t really bother me on such a rare coin. Pretty cool no matter what.

    Young Numismatist, Coin Photographer.

  • retirednowretirednow Posts: 468 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @boiler78 said:
    You probably won't get many responses to this thread since there aren't a lot of pattern collectors out there. Don't get me wrong ...... I love patterns and I've been collecting them since I bought my first pattern at the Abe Kosoff sale in 1985 ....... but someone once told me that pattern collectors are even rarer than pattern coins.......

    Here's one of my favorites :)

    What a great piece ... both in design, quality and pedigree. If this is not one of your favorites then I be interested to know which other one would be. That reverse eagle profile I feel is the most powerful style on any US Coin ... it would have been a great representation of the USA if it was actually used on regular production.

    As far as rarity of Pattern collectors ... that may be true, but only up to the time it comes to bid on a piece - then there is always one too many.

  • LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    fwiw, this piece has been discussed at least a few times so that may have part to do with it as well.

    fwiw, i pulled up some proof 1860 halves and did some overlays for the clashing on the copper piece so for my part, while i didn't add to the discussion, i did enjoy seeing the coin again and tinkering a bit. :)

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,529 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That 1836 gold dollar is exquisite!

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,529 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @boiler78 said:
    You probably won't get many responses to this thread since there aren't a lot of pattern collectors out there. Don't get me wrong ...... I love patterns and I've been collecting them since I bought my first pattern at the Abe Kosoff sale in 1985 ....... but someone once told me that pattern collectors are even rarer than pattern coins.......

    Here's one of my favorites :)

    When I was working in Chicago we had a customer who owned several of the 1877 Morgan half dollars. He brought them in to the shop and let me play with them.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • LakesammmanLakesammman Posts: 17,288 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very interesting - thanks for posting. :+1:

    Most of my patterns are now in the Boiler78 collection. :D

    "My friends who see my collection sometimes ask what something costs. I tell them and they are in awe at my stupidity." (Baccaruda, 12/03).I find it hard to believe that he (Trump) rushed to some hotel to meet girls of loose morals, although ours are undoubtedly the best in the world. (Putin 1/17) Gone but not forgotten. IGWT, Speedy, Bear, BigE, HokieFore, John Burns, Russ, TahoeDale, Dahlonega, Astrorat, Stewart Blay, Oldhoopster, Broadstruck, Ricko.
  • why is there a distinct lack of modern patterns? I can see why they might not be in collectors hands, but I would think that for any new coin design or design update there would be design iterations and trial strikes that would at least make it over to the national numismatic collection.

    by the way, I know the first reverse proof coins weren't released until 2006, but does anyone know when they started experimenting with the concept? I've heard it takes computer controlled polishing to polish the details of the devices to acheive a reverse proof finish, and that these days they use laser etching to make the frosty parts frosty, so when would the first reverse proof experiments have been possible?

  • dunkleosteus430dunkleosteus430 Posts: 471 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November 22, 2022 7:54AM

    @350gn said:
    Why is there a distinct lack of modern patterns?

    Mostly because we have computer rendering, but I'd imagine that it would be expensive to make new dies for every pattern.
    There are some modern patterns, as in post - WW2, but a lot of those get locked up or melted before they can be photographed/documented, much less make it into private collections. I think that most modern patterns, such as the Martha Washington test pieces, are intended to be metallurgical or mechanical trials instead of new designs. There are several experimental pieces, like the anti-tarnishing agent Sacagawea dollars, that could be considered modern patterns.
    I could be wrong about some of this, but I think it's a good explanation to your question.

    Young Numismatist

  • johnny9434johnny9434 Posts: 27,475 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I like patterns as well. Nice coin all the way around

  • retirednowretirednow Posts: 468 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @pruebas said:

    I have a few US patterns, but mostly collect non-US patterns (Mexican, Latin American, British, and a few from other random countries). I think us world pattern collectors are even rarer than US pattern collectors!

    Since this is the US forum, here are my US patterns as of today:

    is this the J67 Gold or a Gilt piece ? ... I have a J 70 Gilt and love the sharp look when in hand?

    Nice focused collecting approach.

  • kazkaz Posts: 9,064 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Beautiful patterns, everyone. I have been admiring the o.p.'s coins for some time as they are posted on CollectiveCoin.

  • pruebaspruebas Posts: 4,320 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @retirednow said:

    @pruebas said:

    I have a few US patterns, but mostly collect non-US patterns (Mexican, Latin American, British, and a few from other random countries). I think us world pattern collectors are even rarer than US pattern collectors!

    Since this is the US forum, here are my US patterns as of today:

    is this the J67 Gold or a Gilt piece ? ... I have a J 70 Gilt and love the sharp look when in hand?

    Nice focused collecting approach.

    It's a J-67 in gold. Beautiful in hand!

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @boiler78 said:
    You probably won't get many responses to this thread since there aren't a lot of pattern collectors out there. Don't get me wrong ...... I love patterns and I've been collecting them since I bought my first pattern at the Abe Kosoff sale in 1985 ....... but someone once told me that pattern collectors are even rarer than pattern coins.......

    Here's one of my favorites :)

    Great patterns @boiler78 and everyone! It's always great to see the varied designs and I love the Morgan half dollars!

    I never knew you bought from Abe Kosoff which is amazing! I wish I got to know him! I have the die pair for his 1939 dealer store card token.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 22, 2022 8:23PM

    @350gn said:
    why is there a distinct lack of modern patterns? I can see why they might not be in collectors hands, but I would think that for any new coin design or design update there would be design iterations and trial strikes that would at least make it over to the national numismatic collection.

    It appears that the US Mint doesn't feel the need to strike design patterns any more. Many coins designs are selected from artist sketches so we don't see struck pieces from non-selected designs. The Martha Washington patterns do exist to test new compositions as mentioned.

    That being said, there are US Mint design pattern designs struck by private designers. These haven't been necessarily recognized in Judd or Pollock yet, but may be more popular if they were.

    For example, the following is a struck piece of mine for a 2018 US Mint design competition that Dan Carr @dcarr was invited to participate in.

    Here's a duplicate of the acrylic model's Dan submitted along with the letter that went with it:



    There's more in this post here:

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/comment/13298117/#Comment_13298117

  • retirednowretirednow Posts: 468 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @boiler78 said:
    Morgan half dollars are my favorite pattern series especially the beaded border obverse and reverse designs. The beading or pearl effect frames the devices which make them look like tiny works of art.....I was delighted to add these three back to my collection.

    Looks like you took great advantage of the Simpson sale. Great looking set. I noted your words "Back to My [your] collection" Did you have these or different pieces before?

  • boiler78boiler78 Posts: 3,047 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I previously owned these three coins along with 10 other Morgan half dollars. I've been trying to put the band back together since the Simpson sales started.

  • RayboRaybo Posts: 5,273 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @boiler78 said:
    I previously owned these three coins along with 10 other Morgan half dollars. I've been trying to put the band back together since the Simpson sales started.

    Three posts in one thread................

  • gemtone65gemtone65 Posts: 901 ✭✭✭

    I had only one brief conversation with Abe Kosoff, at an ANA show in the early 1980's, as best I can recall. I haven't forgotten our exchange. It went like this:

                  Me: Can I show you a coin that I'm interested in possibly selling?
                  Kosoff: Only if it is rare.
                  Me: Well, it's an R-7, so only 4-12 were struck. Is that rare enough?
                  Kosoff: Not necessarily.
    

    I moved on, and shortly afterwards sold the coin (J.1115, Longacre half in copper) to Heritage.

  • LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @gemtone65 said:
    I had only one brief conversation with Abe Kosoff, at an ANA show in the early 1980's, as best I can recall. I haven't forgotten our exchange. It went like this:

    Me: Can I show you a coin that I'm interested in possibly selling?
    Kosoff: Only if it is rare.
    Me: Well, it's an R-7, so only 4-12 were struck. Is that rare enough?
    Kosoff: Not necessarily.
    I moved on, and shortly afterwards sold the coin (J.1115, Longacre half in copper) to Heritage.

    i've made the mistake a couple times in my career and i HIGHLY regret when it happens. rule #1, as exhausting as it may be, ALWAYS say, "ok, let me see what you have and thanks for sharing."

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

  • Wil1858Wil1858 Posts: 52 ✭✭✭

    Love the Pacific Company $2.50 piece...

    Here is mine...

    1849 Pacific Company K-2 Two and a Half
    Silver Die Trial, XF40

    1849 P$2 1/2 Pacific Company Die Trial XF40 PCGS. K-2, High R.6. The obverse is inscribed Pacific Company, California with 1849 below the central eagle motif. The reverse cap and rays motif has the denomination below. This is just the fourth appearance of the 1849 Pacific Company $2.50 silver die trial in our sales since 1993, with one reappearance. A lovely example, this original piece displays intermingled gold and pale blue toning. Donald Kagin rated this variety High R.6 in his 1981 reference, and that rating is likely unchanged today. PCGS has certified eight examples in all grades and no examples appear in the NGC Census. Population: 1 in 40, 5 finer (11/21).
    Ex: Garrett Collection, Part II (3/1980), where it brought $9,000.

    @pruebas said:

    @boiler78 said:
    but someone once told me that pattern collectors are even rarer than pattern coins.......

    I have no doubt this is true!

    I have a few US patterns, but mostly collect non-US patterns (Mexican, Latin American, British, and a few from other random countries). I think us world pattern collectors are even rarer than US pattern collectors!

    Since this is the US forum, here are my US patterns as of today:

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,529 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I looked at those lovely Pacific Company pieces trying to decide which I would call the obverse, then gave up and looked in the Redbook and they use the Eagle side. I can't say they are wrong.
    Thanks for showing them.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.

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