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Name: Donna Hartmann
These are modern brass fantasy pieces but the legends were copied from the much smaller genuine merchant and bawdy house tokens. The originals were made in gold colored brass, nickel or bronze. To see a genuine California token in nickel from around the early 1900's, please see Item#2015 on Collectors' Showcase
Brass Checks, as they were called, were used as currency in the Western United States from as early as 1840. The traditional custom involved three roles, that of the girl, the "Madame" and the "boss". The customer would buy the tokens from the Madame. The usual rate was one silver dollar per token or six for $5. The token was used to pay the girl that the customer selected. The girl stored the token in an inaccessible container. In the morning all the tokens were turned in to the boss for an accounting.
As the law began to catch up to the west, tokens took on more subtle designs and legends and even more importance. The exchange of money was the defining action to whether an illegal act took place. In some places the token was often purchased from a madam, sometimes not even in the same location. The token was tendered to the bar keep. The customer would receive a drink and a numbered key. Since no money, not even the token changed hands with the girl, the law could be successfully circumvented.
The collecting of Bawdy House tokens is a interesting pursuit and traverses many eras (tokens are mentioned in the works of Epicurius of Ancient Greece). You may have modern "shells" but you may find this an excellent place to start your own collecting pursuit.
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Question: I have two liberty head one cent pennies. one dated 1831 and the other dated 1825. My question is are they worth anything? They are tarnished but you can read "liberty" on the head band on the front side. On the reverse side you can read "United States of America" "one cent"
Large cents were the mainstay coinage of the early 19th century in the United States. Almost every purchase involved cents and their weight and size emphasized their importance. There were several design types that existed during the life of this interesting coin (1793-1857). Both of your examples represent the "Matron Head" (1816-1835) design. Grade (condition) is paramount, as collectors attempt to find the highest grade examples that they can afford. Other factors such as date rarity and die variety can have significant impact on value.
Generally the most common 1825 variety of Large Cent in average circulated condition is valued at about $25 and the 1831 Coronet at about $10. Damaged pieces are worth much less, high grade or uncirculated pieces, far more.
Comments: just might be worthwhile!!
Name: joyce harper
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Question: have a 1922 silver dollar with a misprint. says, in God we (trvst)instead of in god we (trust). is this in any way valuable?
This is not an error but a stylistic device. All Peace Dollars show the word TRVST with a Roman "U".
Comments: It is a great site, wish I had known of it sooner. How will I know when my answer has been published, & how do I find where it is.
Name: Bill Stacy
Email Address: email@example.com
Question: Interested in identifying a Coin Or possibly it is a medal. It has on one side St. George & a dragon, the other has a young Queen Victoria. The date is 1837. Above St George's head it says "To Hanover" The date is below St. George. It has a reeded edge & is slightly larger than a US nickel coin. The color of the metal is gold & in 45 years it has never tarnished. Thank you
Victoria began her reign in 1837 but Gold Sovereigns weren't issued with her portrait until 1838. What you most likely have is a "Jeton" or counter. These were produced in a gold colored brass and in this case imitates a gold sovereign (except for the "To Hanover" above St.George's head). To see more about Jetons and their use. Please search for "Jeton" in the CoinSite's Search Tool.
Comments: I found it extremely helpful, even more so once I found the tip regarding my browser's page search feature!! What a time saver!
Name: Nancy-Jane Krauss
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Question: Thank you for such a wonderful site!! I cruised on over here with questions regarding eleven non-US coins, and with all your tips and such I was able to track most of them down, and discover I had some valuable 1943 nickels in the process! Here and I was keeping them because I felt sorry for them, what with their being misprints and all.
Unfortunately I was not able to track down the coin that I am most curious about, perhaps you would be willing to help me. It's not written in English, nor does it use letters that I am capable of reproducing with my keyboard. The closest I can say in that it has the number 10 on the left-hand side of the face, with rather unusual numbers (year??) across the bottom consisting of a one, a seven, reversed and the top has the classic v-bird shape that people like to draw, a nine that is not reversed, and a seven, reversed, with a curved top.
On the reverse side, there is more writing, and a palm tree, with crossed swords under it, in the middle of the coin. It has reeded edges, and is in very, very good condition, with a slightly yellowed cast to it, so I'm thinking it might be nickel?
I am also wondering if my 1960 QEII Hong Kong fifty cent piece is
silver? My last question, I have dimes that were stamped offset...it
appears to me that it is a common problem with dimes, are they not as
collectable as other misaligned coins?
Your mystery coin is a copper-nickel, Saudi Arabia 10 Halala (2 Ghirsh). The date you see are Arabic numerals and represents the Moslem date of 1397 (1976).
Your 1960 Hong Kong 50c is minted on a copper-nickel flan.
Yes, any mint error is worth more than face value. Off center copper-nickel dimes bring $3-$5 depending on condition and the degree of offset.
Comments: I'm just glad I found it. Nobody could answer my question and it has been driving me crazy.
Name: Tobi Ruiz
Email Address: email@example.com
Question: Why is the nickel larger than the dime?
Tradition and convenience. The original 5c coin was a half dime, too small to handle and easily lost. Since this silver coin was replaced with a base metal coin that did not have the legal tender status of precious metal coins, there were no restrictions on weight or size. Not only are nickels bigger but they are almost as heavy as quarter.
Name: Edward Rogers
Email Address: Eddie.firstname.lastname@example.org
Question: I am a young coin collector and I also have a large amount of knowledge about coins. But I was stumped when I found two 1986 pennies which had the spelling IIBERTY. Their condition is around an EF-40. Is there any record of this error? If so, would they have as much value if the error was not recorded?
I also have a 1954-s Nickel with a backward "C" in the middle of Monticello. It looks like there could have been some sort of rotation, but I seriously doubt it.It is possible that the coins could be counterfeit, but I do not know how to figure that out. It would be a great help if you had any knowledge or found any information about these three coins.
Your coin was probably struck from a worn die. When dies wear out the letters begin to appear less distinct and distorted. This can be caused not only by wear but by the periodic polishing that mint employees do to keep the dies smooth and free of debris. Late die state coins also show strong die erosion, especially near the rims. The lettering also appears less distinct toward the edge of the coin. Since all working dies are complete when transferred from the master hub, there is no chance of accidentally spelling LIBERTY, IIBERTY. If such an event got by all inspections, every die and therefore every coin would have this error.
Do coins from late die state or damaged dies ever bring a premium? Yes, the 1937-D 3-leg Buffalo nickel and the 1922 Plain cent are good examples. Both of these coins were victims of severe die polishing of worn dies.
Your backward "C" was created by a punch, probably so the nickel could be identified. For example, in the 70's and later, restaurants and bars had quarters painted with red nail polish to "feed" the juke box. When the service person came to collect the money from the machine the quarters with nail polish were returned to the proprietor.
Subject: 1807 90% silver Spanish Real
I am looking for a fair market price for a silver dollar size coin. It
is a Spanish real minted in 1807 of 90% silver. on the face are the words
Carolus IIII DET Gratia (something close to that I can't even read my own
writing now) and a picture of what looks to be the reigning queen of that
period. On the back are the words Hispan: ETIND * REX * M * 8R * T * H.
These words circle the outer edge of the coin and encircle what appears to
be a spanish crest with a bugle on either side. I know this is an 8 real
piece. It is packaged in card board display case with a printed history of
the Spanish reals and how these were Americas first silver dollars. You
can see evidence where merchants along the way have made "tick" or
"Scratch" marks to test the purity of the coin. All features and words are
visable and legible and in general I would rate this coin fair to good
condition. Any assistance with finding a marketable price for this coin
will be greatly appreciated. Thank you
Your coin is a 1807 Mexico (colonial) Portrait 8 Reales, Assayer TH. The coin features a bust of King Charles IV of Spain. The abbreviated Latin legends are CAROLUS IIII DEI.GRATIA and continuing on the reverse HISPAN. ET IND. REX or in English, Charles IV by the Grace of G-d, King of Spain and the Indies.
The reverse shows a crowned shield with alternating castles and lions (representing Castile and Leon in Spain). The Pillars of Hercules are on either side.
This long running series was minted all over Latin American and in Spain and was, at the time, the world standard for money. Actually, the "Milled Dollar" or as it was known later the "Pillar Dollar" precedes the Portrait issues by a good number of years. It is true that the United States monetary system was modeled on the Pillar and Portrait 8 reales and in fact these coins were sanctioned as legal tender by the U.S. Congress until 1858.
These coins are hardly rare, especially in average circulated condition and are usually available in quantity. Rare dates and varieties are exceptions. There are several varieties of the Mexico 1807 8 Reales with the 1807/6 the most desirable. Condition is paramount as collectors want the highest possible quality for their collections. Coins with test marks, chop marks or evidence of filing or cleaning bring far less than undamaged pieces.
General values for this particular coin run from $10 -$700 depending on variety and grade.
Name: Phil Husted
Email Address: PAHPELICAN@AOL.COM
Question: What can you tell me about a silver coin struck in the 1300's in Germany relating to the Black Plague. It had a cross on one side and the imprint of a hand on the other side? What are they worth? thanks.
Germany didn't exist as a national entity in this epoch but was a group of independent States. A coin that was common to this group was the silver penny or denar. Modern numismatists assigned the name "bracteate", derived from the Latin "bractea", a thin metal plate, as a way of describing the "look" of these coins to collectors.
The designs varied with time and State but were limited to primarily to either religious themes or religious architecture. The design you mention is most closely related to the issues of Swabia from the Hall Mint. These issues began at the end of the 13th century (c. 1296) and continued for a good number of years. The coin eventually became know as "Heller", that is, minted at the Hall Mint.
Note that the Black Death didn't appear in Europe until sometime after 1334 and this coinage design predates this event. The hand motif, represents the blessing, usually of the Bishop, and the cross represents Christ (In effect, "the blessings of Christ"). The use of hands either alone or as a Bishop raising his hands in blessing are common on these silver pennies.
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Question: Will all Morgan Silver Dollars have a mint mark? Specifically a 1921 Morgan. Also, the 1999 American Eagle Silver Dollar Proof has the mint mark "P", should the 1999 American Eagle bullion silver dollar have this mint mark or a mint mark as well?
No. Morgan Dollars without a mint mark were minted in Philadelphia. In 1980 The Mint began adding a "P" mint mark to Philadelphia minted coins. Except for the Cent (minted in Philadelphia or West Point), all U.S. coins currently show a mint mark indicating their Mint origin.
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Question: I have acquired an old Hungarian coin. It is a PCBs holder that says 1670/69-KB 6 Kr MS62 Hungary. You can see the 69 under the 70 with the naked eye. People I have talked to say the "overdate" is unknown. Do you think this is a genuine coin, and if it is could you give me an approximate value.
I'll assume the coin is a 1670 silver 6 Krajczar. It is fairly common to find coins of this epoch with overdates. Dies were extremely expensive and time consuming to manufacture. It was not unusual to take a die from the previous year, that still had life left in it, polish off the last digit and punch the new digit over that into the die. Invariably, the old digit is detectable. It does not add a great deal of value to this particular coin and therefore most catalogs fail to list them as a separate variety.
PCGS guarantees the authenticity of the coins that they grade though the grading assignment of MS62 makes no sense. As far as I know, there are no grading sets of 6 Krajczar coins. Grading world coins to U.S. modern manufacturing standards is an anachronism and is generally ignored in most numismatic market venues.
Name: Miriam Rothenbush
Email Address: email@example.com
Question: Can you tell me how much the Bicentennial Quarter from 1976 is worth and can you tell me what the Susan B. Anthony $1.00 is worth. Thanks.
Both are current circulating money and are worth their face value. Bicentennial quarters were minted in vast numbers for two years (there are no quarters dated 1975) and SBA $'s are used daily in post offices and in public transportation all over the country. There are even 1999 SBA dollars minted to suppliment the dwindling supply. March 2000 will see a new dollar coin that will circulate along side the SBA's.
If you wish to collect SBA dollars purchase mint sets or proof sets from Coin Dealers. Most likely, only gem condition pieces will ever bring a premium.
Email Address: LMilton315@aol.com
Question: Can you please tell me the value of a 1934 F series $20.00 USA bill without the words "In God We Trust" on it? The bill is in good condition. Thanks, Lori
There is no 1934F series. You must be referring to the "F" in the Federal Reserve Seal. This represents the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. 1934 Series $20 FRNs do not have the legend "In God We Trust". The motto appears on the 1963 and later series of $20 FRNs.
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Question: How much does a penny weigh?
How much does a nickel weigh?
How much does a quarter weigh?
At one time coins were minted in precious metal and the value of the coin depended directly on the weight of precious metal regardless of the denomination of the coin. If a coin was shaved, filed or damaged in some way the coin was worth less than its face value.
Today coins are tokens and are minted in base metal but the importance of weight still exists if for only as one of the ways of determining the coins authenticity. It is startling to discover that many people think that coins are struck on randomly created flans with no regard for weight or depth.
Below are the official weights of contemporary U.S. coins:
Comments: Coin Doctor site was long overdue. It's great
Chinese dollars do not carry Arabic dates but Chinese ones. The only dollar coin that matches your description is one from Kansu Province dated Year 3 (1914) of the Republic. The Military figure is Yuan Shih Kai. Value depends on grade. Range:$75 - $700+ for authentic examples.
Name: James McDaniel
You have a Mexico (under Spain) 8 Reales also known as a Pillar Dollar after the obverse design featuring the Pillars of Hercules. Value Range: $115 - $600+ depending on grade.
Name: robin jackson
One of them is the size of a half dollar and it is a 1776 with a funny looking tree on one side and a person with a stick in there hand sitting on a globe. the other is a 1849 coin with a beaver on a log and it has 10 dollars on it. and one more it is a gold coin also a 1849 ten dollar coin that in a coin book it was called a morman cold piece. can you tell me more about these coins or give me some info on who could give me more info. thank you, robin
It is a good probability that the coins you have are copies and not original pieces.
Your first piece is a 1776 Pine Tree Copper. The obverse shows a pine tree with the denomination "1d" (penny) and LM at the tree's base. The legend says MASSACHUSETTS STATE. The reverse shows a figure of Liberty seated on a globe, holding a Liberty Cap and pole. There is a dog seated by her feet. The legend says LIBERTY AND VIRTUE. This piece is unique, that is, only one is known to exist.
The second is a 1849 Oregon Exchange Company Ten D, minted in Oregon City, Oregon. This coin was issued by the Oregon Territory Legislature to create order from the gold dust being brought back from the California gold fields. This gold coin features a beaver on the obverse. The coin is very rare and valuable and ranges in price from about $20,000 - $60,000+ depending on grade.
The third coin was promoted by Brigham Young in Salt Lake City, Utah and because of this historic connection is known as Mormon Gold. The 1849 $10 gold is very rare. Value in average condition: $80,000 - $100,000.
If you feel these coins are genuine, you will want to have them certified. You can get certification from a variety of sources. See links to PCGS, NGC, ANACS and the American Numismatic Association on the CoinSite Links page .
Subject: re: MS grades
"MS" means Mint State and refers to coins that are in new condition. The definition of Mint State is a coin with no trace of wear and with all the original mint luster. Coins are minted at high speed and dumped into a hopper and later are packaged in canvas bags. They invariably acquire contact marks from impact from other coins. Coins that have lots of bag marks or other detracting blemishes might qualify for the low end of Mint State, MS60-63. Nicer coins might grade MS64-65. Superior pieces grade between MS66-69. MS70 is perfection and rarely, if ever, achieved even if you caught the coin from the press. Collectors, especially of United States Coins, prize coins in high mint state grades. Demand exceeds supply and therefore the higher grades bring higher prices.
Comments: First time here. No comments yet.
In the early history of United States coinage, the making of dies was an imperfect art. Coins in a specific year were minted by more than one die; this is still true today. Back then, dies might show highly discernable differences such as doubling, die cracks, variations of date position (dates were stuck into the dies by hand) and other identifiable characteristics.
Many collectors of early coins such as Bust half dollars enjoy determining which die combination minted their coins. Bust half dollar die varieties were organized into a catalog, in 1967, by Al. C. Overton called: Early Half Dollar Die Varieties 1794-1836.
Overton numbers are used to identify the dies that minted a specific coin. In this case the coin is an 1824 Obverse 10-variety 3.-Die crack from edge to curls between date and star 13. Full sharp double profile from forehead to chest.
Name: Brett Ward
The first use of coinage was in China in about 2000 BC. These coins were modeled, in miniature, of common, every-day objects such as knives and spades. They were made from bronze. The concept was to trade a token of the item that originally had been traded by barter. So many "knives" equaled a cow. The "knives" were a place marker or token good for future needs.
Coins in the Western World began at about 700 BC. Although the Egyptians and Assyrians exchanged precious metal bullion bars and rings, they had no official guarantee that these items contained a specific amount of precious metal. The Lydians are credited with creating official money in the form of a local natural alloy of gold and silver called electrum . Stamping these crude coins with an official seal guaranteed their weight and eliminated the need for subsequent weighing each time the coins were spent.
Comments: I think the site is excellent for novice as well as
experienced numismatists.Its great that I can actually compare the
American coins that I have against the pictures of coins available on the
web site and estimate how valuable my old silver dollars are, all the way
in India. The coin doctor idea is tops too!!
For information and lore about the "$" symbol use the CoinSite Search Tool and search for "cifrao".
The English pound symbol is a stylized version of the Ancient Roman symbol for "Pound", as in a measurement of weight. The English/Roman system ended in 1970 but for those nostalgic for this non-decimal system it went something like this:
Two slashes separated the major elements of currency: Pounds/shillings/pence abbreviated as £/s/d. The "d" representing the Ancient Roman term "denarius". An item than cost 6 shillings 3 pence would look like this on the price tag : _/6s/3d. An item that cost 1£, 6 pence would be expressed as 1£/_/6d.
Name: lisa calkins
This merchant token is fairly common and brings about $1. If I remember correctly, it was minted in brass. It doesn't commemorate Alaska's birthday but the year in which it became the 49th State.
Name: Seligman Barbara
The condition and whether it has a Denver Mint Mark has a bearing on this coin's value:
1911 Indian 1/4 Eagles range from about $100-$225 in typically found
Name: Christy Johnston
Immunis Columbia pieces are part of the late Colonial period. They are considered experimental pieces or patterns for proposed coinage for the United States. Several pieces exist that feature a seated figure of "Justice". The 1787 type has an image of an eagle on the reverse. George Wyon is traditionally credited to have created the die work. Values depend on condition (grade). Range:$400-$3,000.
Mintage is less important than numbers of survivors. Morgan Dollars were melted periodically for their silver. There are far less 1889 Carson City survivors than the 1885CC which were lucky enough to be stored in bags in government vaults.
Name: KW James
Quarters minted from 1965 to the present are struck on blanks that have the following composition:
Outer layer of copper-nickel alloy (.750 copper and .250 nickel) bonded to an inner core of pure copper. This sandwich of a CuNi layer on each side of the coin with the copper core in the center is called clad composition.
Dimes, quarters and dollars from 1965 and half dollars from 1971 to the present are struck on clad blanks. The new dollar coin that will be issued beginning in January 2000 will be the first to depart from this formula.
Comments: This is my second trip to this site and have sent a previous
question and can't wait for the answers. This is a very cool site and has
tons of neat information. Will be back again.
The red seal is on the left side of the 1928 series United States Note (also known as Legal Tender Notes). The red seal appears on the right side beginning with the 1953 series United States Notes. United States Notes are actually issued by the United States Government vs Federal Reserve Notes which are issued by the Federal Reserve, a private corporation. 1928G LTN range from $2-$25.
Name: Norma R. Matheson
Most $2 notes (series 1976 and series 1995)are current circulating money. There is often resistance to using them as there is a body of superstition surrounding this denomination. I found them to be plentiful in the New England States. They must be using them somewhere as the government even produced a new issue of this denomination in 1995.
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