OT - Trade Challenge

General discussion board about VAMs, but no buy/sell offers
JASONKFLO
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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by JASONKFLO » Sun Apr 24, 2022 1:18 pm

fogie wrote:
Fri Apr 22, 2022 11:53 pm
I got me a counterfit!
Pics by chance?
Jason Floyd
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RogerB
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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by RogerB » Sun Apr 24, 2022 5:09 pm

alefzero wrote:
Sun Apr 24, 2022 3:26 am
The numbering does meets such expectations. That was quite deliberate after doing VAMs for about 40 years. The same with the way the dies were enumerated. It is completely expandable and no issues will arise where the precedence of sub-varieties becomes a mess. It is quite strong in that regard.

Photo quality or the consistency of it can be an issue, but very rarely. As the basic coins are colorless, I made certain that all detail shots were reduced to monochrome. Full coin photos of best representative specimens are less for attribution than for gee-wow attraction (at least for some). Ian did offer access to the originals, with asking actually, should that be helpful in a print medium. Heritage archives have great recent shots (though when mixed coin and slab ones, the slab ones are usually more useful), but earlier years provided far less consistency and detail. They do have enough to attribute them with the guide as it currently presents. But still, I would not publish the actual detail shots with any color whatsoever. It is distracting at best and useless. Again, these were silver coins. So all the gamma, white balance, etc is an unnecessary consideration. Magnification, composition/framing, and focus is everything. No pretensions for making a coffee table book or one to learn more than properly attributing the series. It is a working guide.

A major varieties book is doable and the Challenge 50 one, with work on photography and expansion to show die type pairings not covered in it because they simply don't have interesting varieties. Try finding any interesting 1873-s. There might be one that I speculate exists as a late die state, but that is ... speculation and the reverse die might have been retired before the break I am looking for could have occurred.

Multiple contributors would always be nice. However, in the current state, it is unnecessary for the stated purpose. A community of editors, as has been the case for VAMs works splendidly. The current "beta test" should work out fine in identifying any remaining errors and additions. It should stand the test of time, as did Sheldon's and many others. The dies are the dies are the dies. That is indisputable. Unless the cataloguing is grossly in error, all any other reference will serve to be is an isomorphism to my (and future contributors') listings.
Unfortunate that you reject consolidating information from multiple observers. That guarantees there will be significant errors or omissions, and the target market is too small for a re-do. The best time for “community editing” (as you call it) is before going to print, not later. A look at the mess of VAM varieties makes that self-evident. Works by Sheldon and many other early die variety experts were based on a very small number of die pairs - as originally produced; in that situation “completeness” is theoretically possible, although unlikely (as shown by all the updates and corrections). The basic book will be template for future corrections and updates - however many or few; unless you are confident of having examined all die pairs, then the concept of completeness for minor varieties is a trap. Awareness can help prepare for future effects.

A major varieties book is certainly “doable” and should be the basic knowledge source for the series. But it must be complete and accurate within background and history, and community-accepted for the major varieties included. In such a volume it is OK to have no entries for some date/mints, such as 1873-S, as you mention. This is not a “coffee table book” concept but a working volume for collectors and a source, not just another mishmash as in the books on US Classic Commemoratives. The series is short on years but long on dies used.

As for printed photo quality, it appears you do not understand what I was referring to. Agreed, there is little purpose to color photos, and a goal of having printed photos similar in quality to the best Morgan variety photos is reasonable. However, I have seen a great many coin photos that the presenters thought were wonderful, but that would become a muddy mess on printing. (This refers to compatibility of image tonal range with printing tonal range, not resolution or sharpness.)

Based on user comments, I recommend to you the approach used in my Saint-Gaudens DE book. This presents historical and most background material first, then inter-spaces the date/mint listings with information relevant to the coins in that section. Information is placed in context with coin varieties and changes in how the Trade dollars were made, distributed, and used.

Proofs made as coins and as medals should likely have their own section.

Your comments, above, indicate you've decided to take a certain path and do not care for other viewpoints. I wish you and collaborators well on the Trade dollar book project. RWB

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alefzero
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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by alefzero » Sun Apr 24, 2022 5:55 pm

I think you, Roger, misunderstand the objective here. This was never with an aim toward a book (fame and fortune and al of that). It is to simply and as completely as possible enumerate and organize all of the dies, die pairs, and significant die states. Of course, that benefits from collaboration. And the intention to have it in print form is strictly out of tradition and is not at all a necessity. I am very confident that it spans the vast majority of the die pairs, as it is consistent with the Mint records for them where they have been found and exhibited. There will be some not found yet, especially on those high mintage San Francisco dates. But it is designed to add them seamlessly as they do come up.

There has been talk of doing just that for well over a decade and nothing has arose. All I have done is spent a great deal of money, concentration, and effort to build such listings. If your observations are strictly based on the Challenge 50 PDF, it is a matter of simply not seeing the entire work. It is over 500 pages with hundreds of dies and pairings. I had bought hundreds of Trade dollars and examined thousands. At the SSDC Registry, I registered over 850 auction links to support them, augmented by detailed images of those that passed through my hands or are in my possession. It is hardly flimsy in integrity or amateur in approach.
SSDC-Trade-Coverage-20220424.jpg
SSDC-Trade-Coverage-20220424.jpg (107.99 KiB) Viewed 688 times
I wrote a post reply on a thread at the CU US Coins forum detailing the dies and pairings counts and the accepted Mint numbers from the literature, though more have since been added, to demonstrate how close to complete it must be. Will see if I can find it so I do not need to work that out again.

Bottom line is that it will be there to support variety attributions and will grow and correct as time progresses, but will support the hobby for those who want it. There is nothing else out there. The Cherrypicker Guide for the handful in the series is (in the last edition at least) incomplete and one variety probably doesn't exist (1878-S FS-802 - with agreement from another notable Trade expert - just another FS-801). If someone else does eventually come out with a competing guide, I am completely certain it will simply be a one-to-one correspondence to this one. They might have a few I (and collaborators) had not seen and vice versa, and both can grow from that. I suspect the criticisms with regard to completeness probably are due to only seeing the PDF extract that is there to simply expose 50 interesting varieties, which includes the known Cherrypicker ones and others that traditional Trade guys chase, but ones that might not interest them (or they have not seen) though VAM types probably would find an affinity to.

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alefzero
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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by alefzero » Sun Apr 24, 2022 6:10 pm

Here is the CU forum thread. It was originally titled to discuss Willem's book, but I think I unintentionally highjacked it and the post author revised it. It might show some details of discussions of varieties, particularly ones included in the Challenge 50. There were other discussions in other disparate threads, in DMs and emails offline, and others as well. I did sense some turf guarding, but not an incredible amount. The post only spans two pages at the forum; so not an incredibly taxing read.

https://forums.collectors.com/discussio ... t/13156641

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LateDateMorganGuy
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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by LateDateMorganGuy » Sun Apr 24, 2022 6:39 pm

I would like to pose a "Trade Challenge". The two parties involved with this squabble should talk on the phone and do this behind the iron curtain.

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alefzero
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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by alefzero » Sun Apr 24, 2022 7:57 pm

LateDateMorganGuy wrote:
Sun Apr 24, 2022 6:39 pm
I would like to pose a "Trade Challenge". The two parties involved with this squabble should talk on the phone and do this behind the iron curtain.
We are. It is not as much of a disagreement as it may appear to be.

BTW, I did check that 1873 VF proof. It weighs out consistent with a genuine Trade dollar at 413.4 grains, reasonable for the level of wear. Tried to post a pic, but it was rejected. Might need to reformat it. But will try again here.

Nope:

ERROR
The image file you tried to attach is invalid.

RogerB
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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by RogerB » Mon Apr 25, 2022 3:47 pm

alefzero wrote:
Sun Apr 24, 2022 7:57 pm
LateDateMorganGuy wrote:
Sun Apr 24, 2022 6:39 pm
I would like to pose a "Trade Challenge". The two parties involved with this squabble should talk on the phone and do this behind the iron curtain.
We are. It is not as much of a disagreement as it may appear to be.
Agree. There is no specific disagreement, merely the kind of normal exchange of ideas and viewpoints that eventually result in better mutual understanding and improvement.
Last edited by RogerB on Mon Apr 25, 2022 9:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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messydesk
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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by messydesk » Mon Apr 25, 2022 6:08 pm

alefzero wrote:
Sun Apr 24, 2022 7:57 pm
LateDateMorganGuy wrote:
Sun Apr 24, 2022 6:39 pm
I would like to pose a "Trade Challenge". The two parties involved with this squabble should talk on the phone and do this behind the iron curtain.
We are. It is not as much of a disagreement as it may appear to be.

BTW, I did check that 1873 VF proof. It weighs out consistent with a genuine Trade dollar at 413.4 grains, reasonable for the level of wear. Tried to post a pic, but it was rejected. Might need to reformat it. But will try again here.

Nope:

ERROR
The image file you tried to attach is invalid.
Only JPEG images can be uploaded.
Welcome to the VAMWorld 2.0 discussion boards. R.I.P. old VAMWorld.

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alefzero
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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by alefzero » Tue Apr 26, 2022 1:48 am

messydesk wrote:
Mon Apr 25, 2022 6:08 pm

Only JPEG images can be uploaded.
1873_Trade_VFPF_jbc.jpg

Weird. It was just the coin on the scale anyway.

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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by RogerB » Tue Apr 26, 2022 1:53 am

My purpose in asking about a Trade Dollar book here and on other message boards, is to try and nudge collectors into cooperating to produce a really good, thorough guide to the series. This includes background, series history, economic influences, hub and die varieties, chop and other "regulation" markings, and final disposition.

A reasonable approach might be to produce a solid, long-lasting basic volume including necessary identification and measurement standards, plus the best 25 or 30 varieties. (These would eb the kinds of things that draw attention to the series.) Then prepare a digital catalog of all the varieties as a supplement that can be revised from time-to-time.

Maybe that’s dreaming – to expect collectors to cooperate is almost as hard as getting any two to agree on a “grade.” But I think it is not only possible, but highly advantageous for current and future collectors of Trade Dollars.

The other piece that I feel is important is to learn from the mistakes made in the original VanAllen-Mallis books and the latter inundation of microscopic “varieties.” These merely clog the pipeline and confuse potential buyers/collectors.

I’m interested in publishing such a “Collectors’ Guide to Trade Dollars,” but it must be a truly beneficial and cooperative effort.

RWB

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alefzero
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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by alefzero » Tue Apr 26, 2022 3:35 am

I think a more comprehensive book is a great goal. My work perhaps could be seen more as one foundation to draw from for it rather than be it. CONECA catalogues a lot of things that aren't going to move a market like the Cherrypicker's Guide will. But the more complete listing is a valuable reference. It just isn't going to service the general collecting community so much. I know of a few people (I was included among them for some time) who want to get every VAM and the full listings and diligent maintenance of that is indispensable in their pursuit. The vast majority of VAM collectors only care about a relatively small fraction of them and then the broader collecting community is fine with just what is in the Red Book. Similarly, the book on the Seated dollar varieties came out a few years back. Find someone who actually wants to assemble the complete set. The reference is of value nonetheless. The Ike Group does the DIVa attribution for Eisenhower dollars. I think it is purely digital and really not a huge list as well. It serves their community but few others don't particularly care about more than a few if any.

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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by RogerB » Tue Apr 26, 2022 1:05 pm

Certainly a good approach. Put the best in the initial volume, then build on a solid framework.

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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by JASONKFLO » Mon May 09, 2022 3:08 am

I just ordered this old 1959 Trade Dollar Book by John Willem.
Looking forward to reading it.
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Jason Floyd
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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by fogie » Mon May 09, 2022 3:26 am

Thanks JR for the 2 cents on the counterfit. It really has been tooled hard & is really kinda cool. I am not sure if it is a 100% counterfit of if it just has been tooled so much it might as well be a counterfit. @vampicker

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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by fogie » Mon May 09, 2022 3:28 am

@alefzero

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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by vampicker » Mon May 09, 2022 11:30 am

fogie wrote:
Mon May 09, 2022 3:26 am
Thanks JR for the 2 cents on the counterfit. It really has been tooled hard & is really kinda cool. I am not sure if it is a 100% counterfit of if it just has been tooled so much it might as well be a counterfit. @vampicker
It's old school. Saw a bunch like yours when I first started with the company. Don't see them very often anymore. I think they are transfer dies from genuine pieces. The central details didn't come up well, so the centers on both sides were then meticulously engraved by hand. They are interesting pieces of work.
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alefzero
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Re: OT - Trade Challenge

Post by alefzero » Wed May 11, 2022 4:55 pm

Thought I might note that the Trade listings are maintained on the SSDC Registry server. I convert them from Word to PDF and then to HTML, updating as additions or changes occur. The formatting from the original document is lost here and there but the content is all the same. Will spruce it up in time. Will also add the proof-only ones after 1878 soon enough. There are also about a thousand examples from auction archives registered to look more closely at some. A census for a particular variety will bring them up, as well as those registered with direct images. We have had a small number of newer discoveries so far in 2022.

http://registry.ssdcvams.com/Trade/

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