Confederate States Of America Half Dollar
When the Confederate Army captured the U.S. Mint in New Orleans it was rename Confederate States Mint. They commenced striking their own half dollars with their own obverse and used the obverse of the then current U.S. 1861 Seated half dollar as the reverse design.
However silver prices were rising and the coinage for the Confederacy failed, do to lack of silver for planchets, so they only struck four originals. These four original CSA half dollars are extremely valuable and sell for upward of $632, 500.
It’s considered the Confederate half dollar that never was since no other original strikes are known, other than the four. It was Christopher Memminger’s, Confederate treasurer secretary, idea to mint Confederate coinage but with the rising silver cost, and after striking the four originals, he decided it was useless to continue on his idea of Confederate coinage.
*Image is of a Scott restrike 1879.
Confederate States Of America One Cent
Robert Lovett Jr. a die designer and die sinker, of Philadelphia, was approached by Confederate States agents to design a coinage for CSA (Confederate States Of America). He designed the One Cent with a “French Head” and struck 12 original pieces. However the Civil War commenced and he distanced himself from the Confederacy for fear of being charged with treason.
*Image is of a Haseltine copper restrike 1874.
After the war John W. Hasteltine bought the dies from Lovett and in 1874 struck a reported 55 pieces in copper and some in gold and silver, but none in copper/nickel. Lovett struck his originals in copper/nickel, and Hasteltine didn’t use this alloy, so as not to be confused with the original 12 “Confederate” One Cents.
*Image is of a Haseltine silver restrike 1874.
J.W. Scott Restrikes
J.W. Scott came up with an idea to restrike Confederate Half Dollars and bought the original obverse die from Ebenezer Locke Mason Jr., then purchased 500 circulated U.S. 1861-O Seated Half Dollars. He ground down the reverse of each half dollar then struck it with the Confederate obverse.
This method of production caused a flattening and distortion of the Seated design and are identified by this factor. Furthermore the Confederate obverse is used to grade the coin since the reverse is so altered. Almost all examples display a poor reverse with only a few choice examples are known with little distortion and bring a higher premium.
J.W. Scott’s Token
J.W. Scott also produced another 500 tokens with the Confederate die obverse but with the reverse describing the striking of the original four C.S.A. half dollars. The “Scott” medal was struck in white metal and was sold to collectors for fifty cents each, but now sell for several thousands of dollars in mint state and when certified by a reputable third party grading service like NGC (Numismatic Guarantee Corporation) or PCGS (Professional Coin Grading Service).
Robert Bashlow and David Laties bought the Confederate one cent dies from John Ford and struck the coins using the defaced dies in 1962. The evidence on the coins of the dies being defaced is a hallmark for Blashlow restrikes. The coins were minted in copper, gold, nickel/silver, aluminum, red fiber, lead, platinum, tin, zinc with gold being the rarest at only three pieces struck, but less than fifty of the other metals.
Here’s another Bashlow restrike, half doll, “Confederate” token struck in 1962 and on the reverse a list of how many were struck in each metal or alloy. It’s been noted that the mintages on the back of this coin are not accurate, and the numbers struck are less than listed. The coins were struck for Bashlow by the August Frank, Co. of Philadelphia, PA.
There’s a lot of controversy about the various C.S.A. restrikes and most of the controversy surrounds how many were minted. So the above article is subject to change if more factual evidence presents itself. Also, the facts surrounding the capture, by Confederate forces, of the New Orleans mint and the facts about the striking of the four Confederate half dollars is under debate and questioned. So do your research and don’t take any one source as the gospel on Confederate coins and restrikes.