Home U.S. Coin Forum
Options

Counterstamped gold coins. Anyone else see these before

fishteethfishteeth Posts: 2,236 ✭✭✭✭✭

Sorry for the poor photos. Trying this entire thing on my phone
Went to the local shop today, I have been on the sidelines of the hobby for the past year. However, this group called out to me. Intrigued by the same upside down L on a 2 1\2 and a 10 dollar gold piece. There was another 2 1/2 with similar L but smaller. A quick online search shows a five dollar with exact L sold at heritage.
Any ideas what these marks were for.

There was also this random 1836 five with an interesting stamp. Dealer said they all came in together

https://coins.ha.com/itm/counterstamps/1861-s-us-gold-quarter-eagle-counterstamped-this-is-a-scarce-civil-war-era-gold-coin-with-a-mintage-of-24-000-pieces-co/a/430-164.s







«1

Comments

  • Options
    ChangeInHistoryChangeInHistory Posts: 3,008 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 8, 2018 7:00PM

    Haven't seen anything like those, interesting though.
    Maybe an American 'chop mark' sort of thing?

  • Options
    carabonnaircarabonnair Posts: 1,392 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Do you know how much they weigh? Perhaps "L" for light weight.

  • Options
    yosclimberyosclimber Posts: 4,596 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 8, 2018 7:40PM

    Interesting. On the first 2 coins (1844-O and 1843-O),
    the L and upside down L appear to be exactly opposite each other on the obv. and rev.
    Maybe made with a tool that was used to mark thin metal property on both sides, or maybe for punching/branding animal ears?

  • Options
    jwittenjwitten Posts: 5,077 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've had about 3-4 $2 1/2 coins with the L. Sold one tonight on ebay, actually. Went too cheap, haha.

  • Options
    fishteethfishteeth Posts: 2,236 ✭✭✭✭✭

    So there are a number of these out there. But why?

  • Options
    Insider2Insider2 Posts: 14,452 ✭✭✭✭✭

    larry was marking a few of his coins.

  • Options
    Timbuk3Timbuk3 Posts: 11,658 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very interesting. I've never seen any before. Thank you for your post and sharing !!! :)

    Timbuk3
  • Options
    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have not seen those before... nor would I buy one... I like my gold without extra markings....I would like to know the backstory though, since there seems to be several of these with the same mark. Cheers, RickO

  • Options
    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,554 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I am not familiar with the "L" counterstamp.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • Options
    fishteethfishteeth Posts: 2,236 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The ten lib is in an ANACS holder so will be hard to weigh. I will weight the 2 1/2 libs and see what they weigh in at.
    the way these L's are placed it has to be more than some guy with a random punch. Also we now know of 5 or 6 identical pieces

  • Options
    NysotoNysoto Posts: 3,770 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 9, 2018 11:26AM

    I have an 1836 CHG $5 counterstamped with a larger "L" that could be related to these, or not. I have only seen the same L counterstamped on an IHC.

    Robert Scot: Engraving Liberty - biography of US Mint's first chief engraver
  • Options
    Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,673 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Is the font a match? Does the mari have any unique character flaws that make them all the same die punch? Inquiring minds want to know. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52, LukeMarshall

  • Options
    NysotoNysoto Posts: 3,770 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The font on my 1836 $5 is close to Caslon typeface which does not match the OP.

    Robert Scot: Engraving Liberty - biography of US Mint's first chief engraver
  • Options
    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,435 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How do we know that someone didn't get ahold of an old punch set and applied these L punches a few weeks ago?

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • Options
    fishteethfishteeth Posts: 2,236 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The 1844-o Is in an early 90's anacs holder

  • Options
    jwittenjwitten Posts: 5,077 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:
    How do we know that someone didn't get ahold of an old punch set and applied these L punches a few weeks ago?

    I have had mine for several years at least.

    @Nysoto said:
    I have an 1836 CHG $5 counterstamped with a larger "L" that could be related to these, or not. I have only seen the same L counterstamped on an IHC.

    I had 2 $2 1/2 with larger L's too. I sold them recently as well. I will try to find the pictures tonight and post them.

    I think I still have the one I just sold.. have not shipped it yet. I can try weighing it tonight as well and see what it weighs.

  • Options
    jwittenjwitten Posts: 5,077 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here are the ones with larger matching L's.


    The second coin is currently lost in the mail, so I had to refund the buyer. Blah.

  • Options
    jwittenjwitten Posts: 5,077 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Intriguing. The underweight theory might have legs. Does this mean underweight from the mint, or fake, or what? With all of the L's being punched the same, could it have come from the mint like this? It is a fairly worn coin... would this be within tolerance for wear? Posted with another $2 1/2 to show scale is correct, as 4.18 is the correct weight.


  • Options
    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,435 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My point is that when you find a really old coin with a counterstamp, you can't always be sure when that counterstamp was applied to that coin. It may have been counterstamped soon after the coin was struck or it may have been counterstamped more recently.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • Options
    fishteethfishteeth Posts: 2,236 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Not the greatest scale but 3.9 and 4.0 for the 2 1/2 libs. Can't weight the 10 lib

  • Options
    burdellburdell Posts: 55 ✭✭✭✭

    Sorry for the doubling, just trying to figure how to post.

  • Options
    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,435 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 10, 2018 2:19AM

    Well, that clears things up quite a bit. The "Sub-Treasury" should have just removed any lightweight gold coins from circulation rather that mark/mutilate them with an L counterstamp.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • Options
    fishteethfishteeth Posts: 2,236 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Why didn't the treasury just pull these out and melt them. Who would ever want to except these. Would merchants and banks weight these and only give you bullion value

  • Options
    burdellburdell Posts: 55 ✭✭✭✭

    I am guessing that the Treasury standardized the stamping procedure by 1909.

  • Options
    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,554 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Fascinating. I was unaware of this practice. It certainly explains why the Treasury promoted the circulation of Gold Certificates over gold coins in the 20th Century.

    I must agree that when the Treasury received a coin that was too light in its eyes for redemption at full face value it should have just eaten the loss and issued a replacement coin.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • Options
    NysotoNysoto Posts: 3,770 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here is the image of the 1836 $5 that I mentioned earlier. This is interesting and could make a good article, with coins and contemporary documents that explain the "L" counterstamps. My 1836 L is 3/8" long as described in the 1909 article. I could not get a good reading on a scale, but the wear is enough to indicate weight loss.

    This could be related to the L counterstamped bust quarters, one theory is the "L" was for light.

    My 1836 $5 has been a curiosity, and the only one I have kept out of a full Redbook CHG set and about 20 die marriages. Thanks to fishteeth, 10000lakes, and burdell for providing evidence that solves the mystery for the "L" counterstamped gold coins!

    Robert Scot: Engraving Liberty - biography of US Mint's first chief engraver
  • Options
    jwittenjwitten Posts: 5,077 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I really wish this thread was posted a few days earlier, before I sold the 3 or 4 I had! I never knew what the counterstamp was for, and I am now fascinated by it. Who did they stamping? Was it one person/place, or multiple?

  • Options
    burdellburdell Posts: 55 ✭✭✭✭
  • Options
    fishteethfishteeth Posts: 2,236 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It looks like there are quite a few of these. They must of had a punch that did the front and back. I wonder why the L is stamped upside down

  • Options
    Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,673 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The reverse mark is backwards so what's that about? I don't like it. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich, Bullsitter, jmski52, LukeMarshall

  • Options
    fishteethfishteeth Posts: 2,236 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Another interesting article. Explains the sub treasury. Looks like when imported back into the country the coins were weighed. We're coins from san Francisco and New Orleans more likely to be exported and then reenter the country later. Seems like most of the marked coins are san Fran and New orleans

    http://www.rms-republic.com/details_market4.html

  • Options
    GoldenEggGoldenEgg Posts: 1,923 ✭✭✭✭✭

    This is one cool thread! I had no idea about these!

  • Options
    Batman23Batman23 Posts: 4,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Learned something new today!

  • Options
    LukeMarshallLukeMarshall Posts: 1,911 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited July 5, 2018 6:40PM

    Thanks for the great information again!

    From that last article, it seems these should have been removed from circulation and melted... I wonder how these managed to escape.

    It's all about what the people want...

  • Options
    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,554 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That doesn’t look that bad. 2% light? So Five cents gone? I’d take it for $2.50.

    Numismatist. 50 year member ANA. Winner of four ANA Heath Literary Awards; three Wayte and Olga Raymond Literary Awards; Numismatist of the Year Award 2009, and Lifetime Achievement Award 2020. Winner numerous NLG Literary Awards.
  • Options
    jwittenjwitten Posts: 5,077 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Was this the one in eBay recently? He had it advertised as a T countermark, lol

  • Options
    NysotoNysoto Posts: 3,770 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It is exciting to see another example.

    From an 1886 Mint Report:

    ""In the United States the provisions of law in regards to light gold coins are contained in Section 3505 of the Revised Statutes of the United States, which as follows:

    "Any gold coins of the the United States, if reduced in weight by natural abrasion not more than one-half of one per centum below the standard weight prescribed by law, after a circulation of twenty years, as shown by the date of the coinage, and a rateable proportion for any period less than twenty years, shall be received at their nominal value, by the United States Treasury and its offices, under such regulations as the Secretary of the Treasury may prescribe for the protection of the Government against fraudulent abrasion or other practices."

    In April, 1879, Dr. Frederick Eckfeldt, computer of bullion of the Bureau of the Mint, made a series of experiments to ascertain the average loss by abrasion suffered by United States gold coins...The result of this investigation showed that the eleven pieces of the face value of $40, with an average cirulation of 21.9 years, had lost in value $1.47 or a little over 3.5 percent...""

    Robert Scot: Engraving Liberty - biography of US Mint's first chief engraver
  • Options
    NysotoNysoto Posts: 3,770 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @philographer:

    I do think PCGS should recognize these counter-stamps--as they are government made.

    Absolutely, these are important coins. More research is needed, however.

    Robert Scot: Engraving Liberty - biography of US Mint's first chief engraver
  • Options
    ChrisH821ChrisH821 Posts: 6,333 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @philographer said:
    Thanks @Nysoto . Nice research.

    Would also like to point out that in a few of the photos in the thread, not only is the L on the back of the coin backwards, but the location of the stamp appears to have been applied in the same spot on the coin, front and back.

    I wonder if there was a punch set where both stamps were aligned in a fixed position. I don’t think someone stamped the front of the coin and then turned it over and stamped the back.

    I would bet that it was some sort of clamp mechanism rather than a punch. Think arbor press but with two opposing L dies. Or even something like a vice grip with L stamp jaws, quick and easy to squeeze the L impressions with.

    Collector, occasional seller

  • Options
    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,435 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @ChrisH821 said:

    @philographer said:
    Thanks @Nysoto . Nice research.

    Would also like to point out that in a few of the photos in the thread, not only is the L on the back of the coin backwards, but the location of the stamp appears to have been applied in the same spot on the coin, front and back.

    I wonder if there was a punch set where both stamps were aligned in a fixed position. I don’t think someone stamped the front of the coin and then turned it over and stamped the back.

    I would bet that it was some sort of clamp mechanism rather than a punch. Think arbor press but with two opposing L dies. Or even something like a vice grip with L stamp jaws, quick and easy to squeeze the L impressions with.

    My thought was a pair of large pliers with an L and an identical opposing L on each face of the pliers.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • Options
    10000lakes10000lakes Posts: 811 ✭✭✭✭

    The treasury was just ahead of it's time for starting a meme.

  • Options
    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,435 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Very interesting thread with some original research.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

  • Options
    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,435 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Does anyone have a new discovery gold coin with the L counterstamp? I haven't seen any size coins with this L counterstamp so I assume it was limited to just gold coins.

    Worry is the interest you pay on a debt you may not owe.

Leave a Comment

BoldItalicStrikethroughOrdered listUnordered list
Emoji
Image
Align leftAlign centerAlign rightToggle HTML viewToggle full pageToggle lights
Drop image/file