Coins Certified as of 1/19

My Coin #-15448

1852 $1 J-137 PR64

PCGS#: 11579

Owner's Comments

Estimated grade. USA & DATE HOLEY GOLD DOLLAR OBVERSE/LAUREL SPRIGS WREATH REVERSE. Obverse with USA above and 1852 below. There are two known of this, the rarest pattern ring dollar. The Wilkison example was struck over an 1846 quarter eagle, while the other one known was struck over an 1859 quarter eagle., which obviously is a restrike, as the 1852 date would indicate. The reverse is a circle of laurel sprigs. Pedigree of the Wilkison example: unknown; F.C.C. Boyd; J.H. Judd; A. Kosoff; Dr. John Wilkison; Tennessee Coin Exchange; Julian Leidman & Mike Brownlee; Paramount Coin Co.; A-Mark; unknown.

Expert Comments

Ron Guth: In 1852, the Mint experimented with increasing the size of the Gold Dollar without increasing the amount of gold in each coin.  Two methods were considered - adding more metal (copper or silver) to the alloy or increasing the diameter of the coin and perforating the center.  The first method was never tried because it was known that adding silver would turn the alloy white and adding copper would turn the alloy red.  Thus, the second method was tried, first by perforating previously struck coins, then by creating new dies specifically designed to produce perforated or "annulated" coins.  Judd 137 may have been one of the earliest types produced, as one of the two known examples is claimed to have been struck over an 1846 Quarter Eagle.  On the other hand, we know that the other of the two known Judd 137s was struck in 1859 or later, as the underlying coin is an 1859 Quarter Eagle.  Either one is an "original" and the other a restrike, or both are fantasies produced after the date they bear.

Were the Judd 137s perforated before or after the coins were overstruck?

When was the undertype first attributed as an 1846 Quarter Eagle?

David Akers (1975/88): Description: Obverse. Perforation with USA above and 1852 below. Reverse. Seven sprigs, each with two leaves and two berries, around the perforation.

Comments: This is the rarest ring gold dollar. Only two specimens are known, both struck over quarter eagles, one dated 1859 and the other dated 1846. The partial legend STATES OF AMERICA and the denomination 2 1/2 are particularly clear on the obverses of both pieces.

There are seven auction records for this pattern since 1870 but only one of the cataloguers, Chapman, actually described the fact that the coin in the sale was struck over a quarter eagle. This was in the H.P. Smith sale of May, 1906 and the pattern in that sale was the one struck over the quarter eagle. Chapman, however, erroneously stated that it was struck over an 1839, an opinion that has persisted until now.

One of the two known specimens is now owned by Paramount International Coin Corporation. It was obtained from Dr. Wilkison in September, 1973 and Wilkison had acquired it in 1962 from the Judd collection. The other specimen was owned by Dr. James O. Sloss of Beaver, Pennsylvania who had purchased it from the 1956 Chicago ANA sale conducted by James Kelly. The piece was from the Robert Schermerhorn collection and Schermerhorn had purchased it in 1954 at the Farouk sale as part of lot 334 which also contained a specimen of J-145 and a blank planchet of J-135.

Diameter: N/A Designer: N/A Edge: N/A
Mintage: N/A Weight: N/A Metal Content: Other

Condition Census

Pos Grade Thumbnail Pedigree and History
1 PR65 PCGS grade  

F.C.C. Boyd -
Dr. J. Hewitt Judd -
Abe Kosoff, 1962, "Illustrated History", Lot 164 -
Dr. John E. Wilkison -
Paramount International Coin Corporation -
LRIS Collection -
Superior 1/2008:659

Plated in Akers, where he notes that this coin was struck over an 1846 Quarter Eagle. In error, Pollock lists this example as being struck over an 1859 Quarter Eagle, apparently mixing up the two known specimens. Ron Guth examined this piece at the May 2000 Central States Numismatic Society’s annual convention and was unable to confirm the 1846 date. Although other evidence of the Liberty Head Quarter Eagle undertype remain visible, the position of the date coincides with one of the laurel leaves on the reverse of the pattern, effectively obliterating the date.  The image below clearly shows some of the details of the underlying Quarter Eagle.
2 PR63 estimated grade  

Chapman’s May 1906 sale of the H.P. Smith collection -
Sotheby’s 1954 sale of King Farouk’s "Palace Collection", part of Lot 334 (which also contained a Judd-145 and a blank planchet for Judd-135) -
Robert Schermerhorn -
James Kelly’s 1956 ANA Sale -
Dr. James O. Sloss -
sold in 1974 to Abe Kosoff -
New England Rare Coin Auctions’ July 1979 ANA Sale, Lot 1298, where it was pictured and described as "Uncirculated".

Chapman described the coin as being struck over an 1839 Quarter Eagle, an attribution that was finally corrected by David Akers, who examined the piece and discovered the date of the undertype to be 1859! Pollock incorrectly lists this example as being struck over an 1846 Quarter Eagle.