1852 GOLD "RING" DOLLAR - JUDD
Rarity: 2 known
Variety Equivalents: Pollock
164, Adams-Woodin 152, Davis 75, Taxay EP-156
Diameter: 16 millimeters (according to Akers)
Silver - 90%
Copper - 10%
Weight: 33 grains
Edge: Akers says "Reeded";
Pollock and Judd say "Plain"
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?
Images copyright 2000
Coin provided by Alhambra
1. PCGS Proof-65 (illustrated
above). F.C.C. Boyd - Dr. J. Hewitt Judd - Abe Kosoff, 1962,
"Illustrated History", Lot 164 (pictured) - Dr. John E. Wilkison -
Paramount International Coin Corporation. 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. Uncirculated. 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
(see note above).
Sources and recommended
"United States Pattern, Experimental and Trial Pieces" by J.
Hewitt Judd, M.D.
"United States Patterns
and Related Issues" by Andrew Pollock