Were all 1921-PDS Morgan dies basined or not?

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CaptHenway
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Were all 1921-PDS Morgan dies basined or not?

Post by CaptHenway » Tue Jan 25, 2022 11:19 pm

I have seen it suggested that the three Mints basined their 1921 Morgan dollar dies for part of the year, but gave it up before the end of the design run on Dec. 31 in Denver. Can anybody confirm or refute this? Citations, please.

Were any other regular issue designs still being basined as late as 1921? Citations, please.

Were any of the commemorative designs basined into the 1920's? Citations, please.

Thank you.

Tom DeLorey

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pup_picker
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Re: Were all 1921-PDS Morgan dies basined or not?

Post by pup_picker » Wed Jan 26, 2022 3:42 am

i gave NNP a try with a few versions of basin, basining, 1921 etc and it kept coming back to a guy staring at an empty bookshelf which is a first. seems i always turn up something related to my searches there.

there are at least a couple other big online numismatic archives but the names/links escape me at the moment. if i find/think of them, i'll report back.

where does roger upload his docs?

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messydesk
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Re: Were all 1921-PDS Morgan dies basined or not?

Post by messydesk » Wed Jan 26, 2022 4:18 am

@RogerB may have a quick answer for this, but if I recall, the mint correspondence for 1921 is sparse, as much was discarded.

No citations, but few commemoratives would have lent themselves to being basined after the Lincoln half in 1918. Rochelle, Rochelle, maybe, since there are special looking coins struck from those dies. Likewise for all the other circulation coinage after the Berber design was retired.
Welcome to the VAMWorld 2.0 discussion boards. R.I.P. old VAMWorld.

RogerB
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Re: Were all 1921-PDS Morgan dies basined or not?

Post by RogerB » Sat Jan 29, 2022 2:51 am

Nearly all US mint working dies were given a specific radius of curvature (or "basin"). This was often different for obverse and reverse. The most prominent exceptions were the redesigned gold, silver and minor coins from 1907-1921. These were made from brass or iron casts of artists' plaster models using a Janvier lathe. The artists did not care if the field (aka "table") was of uniform curvature - that was not important for medals. But it was important for coinage to get maximum detail and die life with one blow of a toggle press.

1878 8 TF Morgans also have an irregular radius. Here's a letter regarding this problem. The "quick" solution was to re-impress unused 8 TF reverse dies with the new 7 TF hub -- i.e., 7/8 reverse.


United States Mint, Philadelphia, Penn.
Engraver’s Department
March 12, 1878
Hon. James Pollock
Sir:
I find the new dollars dies, made from the new hubs will not “basin” on any specific basin, but
require to be accommodated by using three different grades. As this is a matter of pains taking or
skill to us who have had the benefit of long practice, I hesitate to put the task upon the Western
Mints who have not had it, as in the event of their want of success, we should be immersed in a
long series of complaints and delays. I therefore lay the facts before you asking for your
instructions in this case.
Respectfully yours,
William Barber,
Engraver

[Abstract]
William Barber, Engraver, 12 March 1878.
New silver dollar dies will not basin to any one basin but require three. Asking instructions
about preparing those for Western Mints.
Received 12 March ‘78

RogerB
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Re: Were all 1921-PDS Morgan dies basined or not?

Post by RogerB » Sat Jan 29, 2022 3:02 am

Additional examples:


March 26, 1857.
Head Tail
Half Eagles 15 18
Double Eagles 18 18
Quarter Eagles 15 20
Gold dollars 8 8
Gold Eagles 15 15

Radius refers to the curvature or basin of working dies as measured in inches.

Envr nootebook c1937 DSC_0098.jpg
Envr nootebook c1937 DSC_0098.jpg (241.46 KiB) Viewed 717 times

RogerB
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Re: Were all 1921-PDS Morgan dies basined or not?

Post by RogerB » Sat Jan 29, 2022 6:14 pm

Direct answer -- almost all U.S. coinage dies were made with a specific and uniform radius of curvature (aka "basin"). Exceptions are very unusual.

I must be more circumspect on commemoratives. Except for designs made by Mint engravers, there is no mention of radius of curvature for commemoratives....possibly, this is because there was no intention to polish working dies to make proof pieces, and most issues were very small. That leaves oddities like Stone Mountain, Oregon Trail and Texas open to question.

A spherometer would quickly show if there was a uniform basin.

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