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Attributing Early Date Large Cents: Die Varieties & Die States  
 

 
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New Zealand
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 Posted 06/27/2018  3:37 pm Show Profile   Bookmark this topic Add Aoraki to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I collect Draped Bust Large Cents. When attributing die varieties, I use Noyes' "United States Large Cents 1793-1814". When attributing die states, I use Breen's "Encyclopedia of Early United States Cents". While Noyes does offer broad categories of "collectible die states", it's my understanding that Breen is the real authority in this area. To wit, when we see a Draped Bust LC die state attribution such as III or VI, it has been my understanding that those are references to Breen's classifications. Do I have that right?
EAC #6558
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 Posted 06/28/2018  08:48 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add just carl to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Really can't help you with that. I purchased an Album for year only Large Cents and can't even fill that. At a coin show one dealer had several tables of Large Cents. One look at all the varieties made it clear to me to keep away from that collection.
just carl
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 Posted 06/28/2018  10:50 am  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Conder101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I don't have a copy of Noyes for the early dates so I don't know how he designates die stages, but Breen does use the Roman numerals. Often when die states are described they are either Early, E-Middlem Middle etc, or Breen Stage and then the Roman numeral. If the only thing stated for the die stage is the Roman numeral I would assume it refers to Breen stages.
Gary Schmidt
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New Zealand
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 Posted 06/28/2018  4:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Aoraki to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I don't have a copy of Noyes for the early dates so I don't know how he designates die stages, but Breen does use the Roman numerals. Often when die states are described they are either Early, E-Middlem Middle etc, or Breen Stage and then the Roman numeral. If the only thing stated for the die stage is the Roman numeral I would assume it refers to Breen stages.

Using the 1801 S-223 as an example, Breen lists six die states, I through VI. Noyes, on the other hand, lists only three, A through C.

I've been trying to complete my die state series for the S-223. Whilst states I, II and VI are easy to identify, I find there is much inconsistency in the way the others are attributed. I base that statement on my scouring of old auction catalogs and Heritage listings. Interestingly, one of the old EAC auction catalogs notes that die state V actually precedes die state IV.
EAC #6558
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 Posted 06/28/2018  5:57 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add thecoinguy1964 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
Large cents have to be the most difficult set I ever attempted, way over my head. I pulled all my coins out of my book that has different varieties, and I put into small Ziploc's about 4 years ago, thinking I was going to go down to the coin shop, and see if someone could put any of mine in the right slots.
"When a strong man, fully armed, guards his house, his possessions are safe."
- Luke 11:21
Edited by thecoinguy1964
06/28/2018 5:58 pm
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 Posted 06/28/2018  10:14 pm  Show Profile   Check paralyse's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paralyse to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
It is advisable to note here that Bill Noyes specifies that he is only listing COLLECTIBLE die stages, i.e. those which are significant enough to warrant a value premium; for instance, a late die stage strike of an 1830s cent might not merit much attention in and of itself, but when a defining feature of that die stage is a cud, crack, or other notable defect, it tends to merit its own listing based on value and scarcity. Bob Grellman treats the late date cents in much the same way in his book (U.S. Cents 1840-1857) using a, b, c, .. as in N-23(b) or N-9(a), along with a stage notation such as E/MDS or VLDS.

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Specializing in 1932-1964 Washington quarters

"Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done." -- Louis D. Brandeis
Edited by paralyse
06/29/2018 9:12 pm
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 Posted 06/28/2018  11:49 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Aoraki to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I understand the Noyes definition of "collectable". It seems however that the market has, for the most part, decided to follow Breen, anomalies and all. You can see by my last posting that I am discovering some of those anomalies...
EAC #6558
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 Posted 06/29/2018  12:55 am  Show Profile   Check paralyse's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paralyse to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with that observation. Although Bill has catalogued some great collections for Heritage, Stacks, and a few others, most provenances still refer to Breen's stages, but this is changing as times go on.

( Heritage in particular now uses Noyes die states unless there is a known Breen die state attributed, and sometimes both; see the Boka 1794 sale, e.g.)

Member ANA - EAC - TNA - SSDC
Specializing in 1932-1964 Washington quarters

"Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done." -- Louis D. Brandeis
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 Posted 06/29/2018  7:32 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Conder101 to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
A fair bit of Mr. Breen's research into die states was later revised as sometimes due to errors he had listed multiple die stages that were not verifiable on any known coins, duplicate listings, or simply flat-out wrong.

Would you know when this revision took place?


Quote:
Also, die stages from early to terminal were listed without regard to whether or not they would be actually significant in terms of value or scarcity.

Significance in terms of value or scarcity should have nothing to do with identification of die stages.
Gary Schmidt
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 Posted 06/29/2018  9:11 pm  Show Profile   Check paralyse's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add paralyse to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
Significance in terms of value or scarcity should have nothing to do with identification of die stages.


I was looking at this from the point of view of a more casual collector. It is definitely important to know what die stages exist for a given date, whether there's one or twenty-one.

The Breen/Borckardt book (Encyclopedia of United States Cents 1793-1814) is a valuable and useful reference, and accurate. I should have clarified that I was thinking towards Breen's 30+ year old general coin encyclopedia, so I'll delete the first part of my earlier post.
Member ANA - EAC - TNA - SSDC
Specializing in 1932-1964 Washington quarters

"Most of the things worth doing in the world had been declared impossible before they were done." -- Louis D. Brandeis
Edited by paralyse
06/29/2018 9:32 pm
Valued Member
New Zealand
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 Posted 06/29/2018  10:42 pm  Show Profile   Bookmark this reply Add Aoraki to your friends list Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
The Breen/Borckardt book (Encyclopedia of United States Cents 1793-1814) is a valuable and useful reference, and accurate.

My references to Breen were references to this book.
EAC #6558
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