David Davis was the person most instrumental in bringing together the eight individuals he knew who collected three or more denominations of the Turban Head design. It was the mid 1970s, and these were die-hard collectors from six different states, all of whom were combing every local, state and regional show for early bust material. Bust half dimes, dimes and quarters were the preferred topics of conversation as the subject of bust halves was monopolized by the Bust Half Nut Club, and the dollars were just too expensive. No one knew enough to be thorough by today’s standards, but each one communicated all R-6+ cherries and other great finds to the others. Duplicates were traded for upgrades and new die marriages; the greenback seldom changed hands.
Dave would sporadically collate a census on a piece of graph paper for the half dimes and dimes for the participating collectors. Just one collection was of merit: it was Stew Witham’s collection of bust half dimes, which soon sold at the Freeman sale by Rarcoa in 1977. No one, including Stew, listed an 1832 V-4 half dime of any grade on his census!
Although the census information and comradeship continued, the embryonic JRCS took a different direction after the sale of Stew’s collection as Dave, John McCloskey and Russ Logan agreed to author the book on the early dimes. The Dime Book supplied the catalyst for structuring JRCS on a more formal basis. On March 20, 1983, all five authors (now including Bill Subjack and Allen Lovejoy) met in Cleveland, Ohio to finalize the details for the Dime Book and lay the groundwork for organizing the John Reich Collectors Society.
At the 1984 Detroit ANA convention, the authors met again - Jules Reiver was also included - and agreed to apply to the Internal Revenue Service for 501(c)(3) tax exempt status for the JRCS. At the Baltimore ANA convention a year later, the directors opened the membership to anyone willing to pay $10 annual dues, which would include a subscription to the John Reich Journal. Membership applications were distributed in October 1985 to everyone the directors thought might be interested in joining JRCS. Dave Davis volunteered to be Editor and published the first journal in January 1986.
During the following ANA convention in Milwaukee on August 8, 1986, the first open meeting was held. Jules Reiver and Jim Matthews were elected directors as well as the five dime book authors. Allen Lovejoy gave a slide presentation depicting the reverse dies shared between the early quarter eagles and dimes. By the end of the fiscal year ending September 30, 1986, we had 266 dues paying members and had published two journals.
At the ANA in Atlanta on August 27, 1987, we changed our By Laws to include a life membership category and redefined our purpose to also provide technical and educational information about US gold coins minted prior to 1840.
The Journal continued as a tri-annual publication under the leadership of Dave Davis until November 1991, when Keith Bellman and Brad Karoleff were then appointed co-editors. The Journal is presently being sent to over 450 members, 8% who are life members. For three years the Journal was awarded either second or third place prize by the American Numismatic Association in the "specialized publications" category. In 1998 Brad Karoleff was appointed editor. The Journal solicits articles and feedback from members and serves as a public forum for encouraging detailed study in the field of Federal coinage. Growth and enthusiasm of the JRCS continues to provide great satisfaction to its founders, who are grateful for the participation of so many knowledgeable and generous collectors.