Civil War Tokens

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mhonzell
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Civil War Tokens

#1 Unread post by mhonzell » Thu Mar 12, 2015 7:27 pm

After almost a year of collecting Proof Kennedy Half Dollars, I find myself drawn back to my original era of coins, the Civil War.

I am fascinated with how the public coped with a lack of money to use in trade. During this time, the melt value of coins was worth more than the face value of coins, so the public hoarded them. Coins were so scarce, store owners set up their own mints and made "pennies" to use as collateral for trade. Eventually, these coins were outlawed.

Here, I'll present a few as they come back from NGC.

The first is a Patriotic coin bearing the Flag of the Union on one side and a motto attributed to John Adam Dix on the reverse, who served as Secretary of the Treasury in 1861. In a letter to a cutter captain, "If any one attempts to haul down the American flag, shoot him on the spot." The quote found its way to a number of these patriotic tokens, slightly modified. ("haul down" is replaced with"tear it down").

While I do not believe these coins gain any value by having minor errors, some of them are interesting. For instance, look at the 'F' in FLAG.
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F-209-410A-64BN (2).JPG
F-209-410A-64BN (1).JPG



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PALH1
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Re: Civil War Tokens

#2 Unread post by PALH1 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 12:37 am

m, i've scoped a fair number of these...for examples like this, what i've seen are MDS+ "touch ups"....
:eureka:
& when they re-installed the die, it would usually have a slightly greater than normal minimal rotation, like here

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Re: Civil War Tokens

#3 Unread post by Daniel » Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:30 am

Nice coin and interesting era to collect; I had the pleasure of buying a decent size collection of these. I just wish I could have kept them all.

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Re: Civil War Tokens

#4 Unread post by dipper13 » Fri Mar 13, 2015 6:35 am

I have the same token, though mine is in pathetic shape. I have a bunch of tokens, merchant tokens and many with an indian head that I used to show my students when I taught the Civil War. The kids had a hard time understanding that a penny was a major payment for commerce back then. They relate to pennies as a nuisance item, that is worthless. I used to try to tell them otherwise, but they were skeptical.

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Re: Civil War Tokens

#5 Unread post by mhonzell » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:27 pm

The next token strikes a chord with my best collection in that it bears the Indian Head Cent obverse. Obviously, a bit altered where LIBERTY rides the headband. This patriotic token is classified as F-79/351a by Melvin Fuld. Yep, with any new interest, you should buy the book and I have bought Melvin Fuld's 5th edition of Patriotic Civil War tokens so that I could identify all these die pairs, who made them, when and where.

The obverse is attributed to Scovill Manufacturing Company with a rarity of R1, the reverse is also attributed to Scovill, but a bit more commonly used. Scovill made dies of a quality that rivaled the US Mint. He then sold them to merchants.
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Re: Civil War Tokens

#6 Unread post by mhonzell » Sat Mar 14, 2015 2:51 pm

This token, I purchased already in a TPG holder and as usual there is one large scratch in the plastic (just over the date) casting a shadow on the token. Another patriotic token with the Fuld classification of 189/399a defining the obverse and reverse dies used to mint this token. The 'a' designates the token's metal.. in this case, copper.

Known as a "Star of David", the token was very popular, but not as common as most. The crossed flags were designed and minted at the Scovill Manufacturing Company and were less commonly used (rarity R1).

Any tokens with flags will typically be Union flags bearing 25 stars on the flag, and when stars are in the field there will be 13 for the original states (even though some are now Confederate.) On these two flags, the field bears only 13 stars each.

I really like this coin. If you look closely at the obverse, at the tips of the rays, you will see definite notching of the points. Doubling? Or, less than stellar craftsmanship?
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F-189-399a-58 (2).JPG
F-189-399a-58 (1).JPG
Last edited by mhonzell on Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Civil War Tokens

#7 Unread post by mhonzell » Mon Mar 16, 2015 7:45 pm

Melvin Fuld attributes 537 specific dies to the Patriotic tokens. Only certain combinations of these dies were made. For instance, in this example, we have die 174 on the obverse, which was almost always combined with die 272 on the reverse.

The obverse is an equestrian statue of Washington facing left, based on the monument by sculptor Henry K. Brown which was unveiled on July 4, 1856 in Union Square, New York City. Die 174 was distinguished by having a smaller date than die 173 or 176.

Additionally, this one was stamped in the medal orientation.
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F-174-272a-65RB (2).JPG
F-174-272a-65RB (3).JPG

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Re: Civil War Tokens

#8 Unread post by PetesPockets55 » Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:27 pm

mhonzell wrote:Melvin Fuld attributes 537 specific dies to the Patriotic tokens. Only certain combinations of these dies were made. For instance, in this example, we have die 174 on the obverse, which was almost always combined with die 272 on the reverse.

The obverse is an equestrian statue of Washington facing left, based on the monument by sculptor Henry K. Brown which was unveiled on July 4, 1856 in Union Square, New York City. Die 174 was distinguished by having a smaller date than die 173 or 176.
Man that is a really nice looking Token for being a mass produced private issue (as opposed to US Mint)
Is that one of yours Mark?

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Re: Civil War Tokens

#9 Unread post by mhonzell » Mon Mar 16, 2015 8:34 pm

Yep, all these are mine. Hope you're enjoying them. I've got a few more, but I was trying to limit it to about one a day for a little while. And, I agree... some of these die sinkers rivaled the US Mint in their abilities. (Some of them were eventually hired by the US Mint.)

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Re: Civil War Tokens

#10 Unread post by regandon » Tue Mar 17, 2015 12:36 am

Very nice Token
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