Silver St. Parick's Farthing- coin, medal or both?

If it doesn't fit anywhere else, POST IT HERE. Numismatic related posts only.

Moderator: Daniel

Message
Author
PetesPockets55
Forum Supporter
Forum Supporter
Posts: 1391
Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:08 pm

Silver St. Parick's Farthing- coin, medal or both?

#1 Unread post by PetesPockets55 » Mon May 04, 2015 9:21 am

(c. 1670) FARTH Mark Newby's St. Patrick Farthing, Silver
(Images in this post were taken with a Droid Phone since I am still trying to get my new Nikon imaging properly-
Couldn't possibly be the operator! hugeeyes )
I was visiting a friend yesterday who showed me a silver St. Patrick's farthing that he received free :thumbsup: from a lady who dug it out of her garden in New Jersey (he did buy some other silver coins from her). The grade of his coin will be details of course because of the environmental issues.
Also it is a medal strike with the reverse rotated about 180 degrees.
My question is whether anyone knows if there is a web site or person (other than those mentioned in the following passages) who might shed light on the different varieties.
PCGS CoinFacts says-
The St. Patrick coins (so-named because of the image of the saint that appears on the back of the coins) were struck sometime prior to 1681, when some of them were brought to America by a man named Mark Newby. The front of the coins show a crowned king on his knees playing a harp and gazing up at a crown. The back of the Farthings show St. Patrick driving serpents into the sea; the back of the Halfpennies show St. Patrick surrounded by a crowd of people. Although these coins were struck overseas, they became legal money in New Jersey in May, 1682 because of the pressing need for coins in the Colonies.

Many of the copper pieces have a brass plug inserted deliberately to give the large crown a golden color.
There are regular die issues but some were struck in silver, known as an "off metal striking". These St. Patrick or Newbie's coppers were struck in the Tower Mint in London around 1641-42. The Catholic troops of Charles I had to be paid, and once the Long Parliament seized the Tower Mint, these coins were used to pay the loyalist troops fighting Cromwell's Protestant forces in the Ulster Rebellion. The tide turned against the King, and soon Cromwell was in charge, and the new ruling Protestants suppressed everything Catholic, such as these coins. The St. Patrick coins went into hiding. Next these coins appeared in Catholic Ireland and the Isle of Man, where they circulated until they were declared uncurrent in 1679. Mark Newbie, a Quaker, moved to Ireland and bought up a great many of these coins knowing that small change would be a valuable commodity in America, where he was planning to join fellow Quakers in 1681. Newbie used his considerable political influence to have these coins made legal tender, forcing their acceptance by the populace. Newbie died a year after his arrival in the Colonies, but his coins continued to circulate for many generations to come."
I found other references stating that the New Jersey legislature passed legislation authorizing the use and acceptance of these coins as legal tender because there was so little coinage for commerce. The value in America was about double as in Ireland!
This is what I have found on Heritage Auctions as of May 16-17, 2014.
Most known St. Patrick pieces are copper, and they are usually described as farthings or halfpence. However, a few off-metal pieces are known in silver and gold. In "Denominations of the St. Patrick Coinages" appearing in the ANS compilation, Philip Mossman reported about three dozen examples in silver, and two pieces in gold. The latter include the John Ford specimen from original dies, and the controversial Norweb coin from "new and otherwise unknown dies."
In many ways, the silver St. Patrick pieces are as puzzling as any of the St. Patrick farthings and halfpennies for their origin and purpose. They may have circulated in Ireland as well as in the colonies, where they always found use as a medium of exchange.
Mossman writes:
"Currently there are four opinions as to the origins of the two species of silver St. Patrick coins: they were either 1) medals, 2) currency coins (shillings), 3) models or proofs of the two copper varieties, or 4) struck much later from original dies, replicating a practice that is well known for Irish gunmoney."
He also speculates that the silver St. Patrick pieces may have been "presentation pieces struck contemporaneously from small copper dies, but [they] were never meant to circulate as currency." As he notes, that is a guess in the absence of supporting evidence. Its rarity suggests some kind of off-metal striking for presentation, yet it is always found circulated to one extent or another. No proof or Mint State examples are known. On the contrary, enough circulated examples exist to indicate it may have been a low-mintage issue for circulation.
The following link appears to be similar to his "Garden Variety" widegrin .
Heritage Auctions St. Patrick's Farthing AU53
This is another variety-Second Variety (Fine) Heritage Auctions 1999
Attachments
IMG_20150503_205706_656.jpg
Obverse Silver St. Patrick's Farthing- Garden Find
IMG_20150503_205730_635.jpg
Reverse Silver St. Patrick's Farthing- Garden Find



User avatar
mhonzell
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 1967
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:14 pm
Location: Missouri
Contact:

Re: Silver St. Parick's Farthing- coin, medal or both?

#2 Unread post by mhonzell » Mon May 04, 2015 10:28 am

First, subperb write-up!
Second, the coins from the 1600s are kind of tough because they belong to both "modern" and "ancient" coin groups. Because the coin started overseas, you are better searching "ancient" coin sites to find this one.

I really like this site for "cross-over" coins:
http://www.coins.nd.edu/ColCoin/ColCoin ... nts01.html

Look in the lower section for the St. Patrick coins.

PetesPockets55
Forum Supporter
Forum Supporter
Posts: 1391
Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:08 pm

Re: Silver St. Parick's Farthing- coin, medal or both?

#3 Unread post by PetesPockets55 » Mon May 04, 2015 10:51 am

Thank you Mark. There are some great teachers here with excellent examples to follow.
And thanks for the link.
I did notice it had an ancient "quality" (?) to it. With the references I have found for so many die varieties and varying quality, it reminded me of civil war tokens. I look forward to looking into it tonight!

dipper13
Forum Supporter
Forum Supporter
Posts: 1030
Joined: Sun Oct 03, 2010 8:24 pm

Re: Silver St. Parick's Farthing- coin, medal or both?

#4 Unread post by dipper13 » Mon May 04, 2015 11:23 am

Whatever you do, do not let go of that coin until you get some definitive answer as to why it is silver. Pal of mine dug up one of those
that was an exotic metal years ago. I think it was a gold presentation piece, big bucks as I remember. He has passed away so I cannot ask him for you.

PetesPockets55
Forum Supporter
Forum Supporter
Posts: 1391
Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:08 pm

Re: Silver St. Parick's Farthing- coin, medal or both?

#5 Unread post by PetesPockets55 » Tue May 05, 2015 1:14 am

mhonzell wrote:First, subperb write-up!
Second, the coins from the 1600s are kind of tough because they belong to both "modern" and "ancient" coin groups. Because the coin started overseas, you are better searching "ancient" coin sites to find this one.

I really like this site for "cross-over" coins:
http://www.coins.nd.edu/ColCoin/ColCoin ... nts01.html

Look in the lower section for the St. Patrick coins.
That site was very helpful. But with so many varieties (100+)of the smaller size coin I knew it would be a long shot. I did discover his "garden variety" is a Type 1 according to the information on the web site at the link. His coin is very very similar to the AU example in the link in the original post tho.
As for using silver or gold in production, smaller coins were more profitable (100%+ vs. 42%) to produce. So the silver or gold (only the smaller coins from what I have found) were presentation pieces to legislators to convince (bribe?) them to accept the smaller size coins.

User avatar
CopperFinger
Coin Wizz
Posts: 334
Joined: Mon Mar 16, 2015 5:17 pm
Location: palmetto florida.

Re: Silver St. Parick's Farthing- coin, medal or both?

#6 Unread post by CopperFinger » Thu May 07, 2015 3:08 pm

Hi Pete, i know this isnt same coin but when i saw yours i knew i had one buried in my stash. just thought id share a pic and woundering if it has any value? thanks by the way you guys burst my bubble with the 1970s level 7. I found 2 70s last week and both are the wrong ones.
Attachments
IMG_2679.JPG
IMG_2680.JPG
IMG_2682.JPG

PetesPockets55
Forum Supporter
Forum Supporter
Posts: 1391
Joined: Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:08 pm

Re: Silver St. Parick's Farthing- coin, medal or both?

#7 Unread post by PetesPockets55 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 6:52 am

UPDATE:
Turns out this is a well made cast fake (that was dug up by a little old lady from a garden in NJ, ca. 1980-1990's). Some very good information below may help you ID modern copies/fakes.

I would like to thank Mr. Sydney Martin profusely for taking the time and considerable effort to analyze this for me even though it turned out to be a cast. Extremely valuable and interesting information that helps my continuing education! ( :

Mr. Martin examined it in hand and sent me the following information:
(Hope I'm sharing this properly):

"The casting sprue is the slightly indented area at the top of the coin."
"I’ve examined your St. Patrick closely, and can give a detailed evaluation of it. It is a copy, made by Peter Rosa working in the Bronx as the Becker Manufacturing Company in the early-mid 1960s. It is an identical match to several examples in my collection, and to the pictures of Rosa’s copies presented in my book. As discussed in my book:

“Peter Rosa, active from 1965 until his death in 1990, operated as the “Becker Manufacturing Company” (of Bronx, NYC), producing copies of colonial coins in quantity. Rosa usually did not mark his copies with the word “COPY” on either the obverse or reverse surface because he felt such marking would interfere with their artistic beauty; however, he did mark some with “COPY” on the reverse and some on the edge with either “COPY” or “BECKER”.

For each of his products Rosa used a ........ plaster copy of a coin obtained from......... to produce a high-quality cast ....... to create his dies.

From these metallic dies Rosa struck impressions by squeezing lead planchets between them. He then used these impressions to produce ......... molds for making copies in a ....... Molten metal was ....... forced into the cavities. When cool the coins were extracted and, if desired, copper or silver plated.

The metallic composition of Rosa’s cast copies is typically an alloy of 80% lead, 12% tin, and 8% antimony – similar to that used in the linotype printing process.

All of Rosa’s St. Patrick reproductions I have seen are cast, although he is known to have made struck copies of some coins (e.g., Continental Dollars). His earlier work – good copper plating on well-done castings with no “COPY” markings – can be somewhat deceptive. I have seen them offered for sale at shows and on internet auctions priced and described as authentic examples.

John Kleeberg, in an artricle on Peter Rosa, reproduces a Becker Manufacturing price list of available colonial coin fabrications, and an earlier price list (No. 765—apparently from 1965) is in the collection of this author. Both list the following St. Patrick coins using the same coin identification number; however, the prices are different:

Coin # Description 1965 Price Later Price

25 St. Patrick Halfpenny 1678 $2.50 $3.00
26 St. Patrick Silver Farthing 1678 2.00 $3.00

When coins were purchased from Rosa, they came in envelopes with the Becker coin identification number on them – which usually, but not always, matched the identification number of the rubber mold from which they were made. “

I performed a specific gravity analysis on your coin. Its specific gravity is 10.25 [Silver is 10.50], so it is a low. Most of Rosa’s pieces were computed to have a SG of about the same as silver based on his preferred metal mixture as shown above – in this case, he likely used a bit less lead and a bit more tin.

I calculated the weight of your coin as 104.5 grains (although your flip says 104.9 grains – this is likely due to scale variances. Based on 30 samples of silver coins, the weight ranges from a low of 71.6 grains to a high of 123.2 grains, with a mean of 100.1 grains. Therefore, this alone could not be used to determine authenticity.

I hope this addresses your question. I’m sorry the news was not better, but as they say, “it is what it is.” I want to thank you for allowing me to examine the coin. ...........................

Sincerely yours,
Sydney F. Martin
_______________________________________

“BECKER” on the edge of coins contained in some 10,000 specialty sets manufactured for Time Magazine around 1967. A few of Rosa’s coins are known to be marked “COPY” on the edge.

Herbert, Alan, “Coin Clinic,” Numismatic News, 24 May 2005, p. 48.

Rosa occasionally used these dies to make struck copies – placing a metal planchet between them and squeezing them together with the aid of a pneumatic car jack. However, no St. Patrick coins made in this manner have surfaced. This was confirmed by Daniel Rosa, Sr. in the citation at endnote 7, and by Charles Doyle, again in the citation at endnote 7. The author has an example of a struck Continental Dollar in his collection, obtained directly from Daniel.

See Kleeberg, pp. 2230-33. "


Thanks for reading. I hope members find this information interesting and helpful.
ps. I did edit his reply somewhat with dots to make it more difficult for novice counterfeiters to replicate Rosa's techniques. PM me if you would like the missing details of his letter and I will consider sending it along.

User avatar
Daniel
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 11750
Joined: Wed Jan 28, 2009 4:59 pm
Location: Ohio
Contact:

Re: Silver St. Parick's Farthing- coin, medal or both?

#8 Unread post by Daniel » Sat Oct 20, 2018 8:06 am

Thanks for the update I don't know how I missed this one.

User avatar
mhonzell
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 1967
Joined: Mon Jul 22, 2013 2:14 pm
Location: Missouri
Contact:

Re: Silver St. Parick's Farthing- coin, medal or both?

#9 Unread post by mhonzell » Sat Oct 20, 2018 9:35 am

Wow!
Impressive update.

Thank you!

User avatar
PALH1
Master Die Variety Attributer
Master Die Variety Attributer
Posts: 4093
Joined: Wed May 29, 2013 9:19 pm

Re: Silver St. Parick's Farthing- coin, medal or both?

#10 Unread post by PALH1 » Sat Oct 20, 2018 12:08 pm

Becker did fantastic work......

here is a coin i have of his hugeeyes
Attachments
SO - Copy.JPG
1776 CONTINENTAL BECKER COPY COIN OBV - Copy.jpg
1776 CONTINENTAL BECKER COPY COIN REV - Copy.jpg
BECKER COPY COIN EDGE7.jpg

Post Reply

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Penniell and 63 guests