Collectors of the Seated Liberty 20-cent coin series will have a
new book in January when authors Lane J. Brunner and John M. Frost
release Double Dimes: The United States Twenty-cent Piece.
Frost outlined the details of the 20-cent coin book in a
presentation Aug. 15 during the LSCC’s annual meeting held in
conjunction with the American Numismatic Association World’s Fair of
Money in Rosemont, Ill.
Frost said the book will debut in a free online version early in
January. The free Web version may not be 100 percent complete upon
release, Frost said, but the most important material will be available.
The online edition will include a downloadable die marriage “cheat
sheet” for attribution purposes, with links between the book and cheat
sheet. Frost said that he and Brunner have already registered the
Internet domain names www.doubledimes.com and www.doubledimebook.com.
A 120- to 130-page, 8.5-inch by 11-inch spiral-bound version and
special hardcover edition will be available sometime in the spring.
Frost said the reference will chronicle the history of the series,
and include narrative and illustrative details on patterns. A section
about misplaced dates will present a new theory on how misplaced dates
occurred on 20-cent coins. Chapters will also be devoted to ways to
collect the series, grading, a date-by-date analysis of all known die
marriages, errors and more. An exonumia section will cover love
tokens, countermarked coins, contemporary counterfeits, elongates and jewelry.
While the Seated Liberty 20-cent coin was produced for only a few
years, the denomination still offers collectors challenges in
collecting the die marriages, Frost said.
Frost said that in July, he and Brunner conducted a week-long
Double Dime Summit in Sacramento, Calif., during which more than 650
Seated Liberty 20-cent coins were examined.
To illustrate how collectors might find the series challenging to
collect, Frost notes that the 1875-S coins examined represented at
least 17 die marriages.
During their recent studies, Frost and Brunner examined what might
be two previously unreported varieties for the 1875-S 20-cent coins.
“We had identified a number of new die marriages, along with
previously known ones, and all but two 1875-S coins fit into one of
these marriages,” Frost said. “But two individual coins did not, and
we needed to re-check them carefully, as we are just being careful
before we declare these coins two new die marriages, because they were
only seen by one coin each.”
Brunner and Frost also traveled to Nevada to the former Carson
City Mint, which now houses the Nevada State Museum. While there, the
researchers examined and photographed canceled dies that were
discovered in a pit next to the structure during excavations begun in 1999.
Frost said his and Brunner’s research has determined that only one
pair of 1876 dies, with the reverse a doubled die, were used for
1876-CC 20-cent coins.
Frost said it was assumed that only two die pairs had been used
for the 1875-CC Seated Liberty 20-cent coin production. At the show,
on opening day, Frost said he met with collector Mark Obstalecki, who
showed him his newly discovered 1875-CC 20-cent coin from a third
reverse die. Frost said he confirmed a new reverse die discovery.
“The obverse was an early die state of the obverse paired with
what was previously believed to be the first reverse die, and given
the ‘new’ reverse was badly shattered, the conclusion is that the
first reverse die broke quickly, and was replaced, with a new reverse
married with the first obverse,” Frost explained.
On Aug. 14, Frost said he located at a dealer’s table on the
bourse another previously unknown die marriage for the 1875-CC coins —
a previously unidentified pairing of two known dies.
“So we went from two marriages to four in under 24 hours,” Frost
said. “Never stop looking!” ■