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Great Central Fair for the Sanitary Commission US Mint Tokens

ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited September 16, 2020 3:49AM in U.S. Coin Forum

I collect these tokens and have 3 kinds so far: copper, silver and gilt. I was reminded of this after seeing this gilt one offered for $1,950.00. I'll have to get mine slabbed now!

Does anyone collect these? I've added a photo of the Mint press at the fair below.

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    RogerBRogerB Posts: 8,852 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 26, 2019 6:14AM

    Sanitary Fairs were once very popular events during the Civil War.

    ;)

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I have all three types of Philadelphia tokens. I also have the New York, Massachusetts and Ohio pieces plus the Springfield, Massachusetts piece.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones said:
    I have all three types of Philadelphia tokens. I also have the New York, Massachusetts and Ohio pieces plus the Springfield, Massachusetts piece.

    Where the NY, MA, OH and Springfield ones minted by the US Mint on site at the fairs?

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 25, 2019 7:37PM

    I did a quick search for other tokens mentioned and found this one from Nantucket which was on Steve Hayden's site by way of Pinterest.

    https://www.civilwartokens.com/Listing/Details/850397/Nantucket-Massachusetts-Sanitary-Fair-Civil-War-token-MA530A1a

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,486 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 25, 2019 8:02PM

    The Philadelphia pieces, probably the copper and silver tokens, were struck on the floor of the event. All of the others were struck off-site, by private minters. The gold plated Philadelphia pieces may have been off-site, given the small mintage.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @BillJones Can you post photos of some of the ones from other cities. I'd love to see them!

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    @BillJones Can you post photos of some of the ones from other cities. I'd love to see them!

    Okay, here they are.

    New York City Sanitary Fair. This was a huge event, and the surface it would seem that this piece would be common. The Fuld Store Card reference way under rated it as an R-4. It is actually much scarcer. I bought an "economy model" of this piece with some marks. High grade examples can be had for a high price and a good amount of watchfulness and patience.


    Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. This would seem to be a rare piece given the source, but it might be the most common of the group. It is a little scarce, but specialist dealers often have them available.


    Wappakoneta, Ohio. This piece is quite scarce and seems to always come with a silver wash. Fuld listed two varieties in copper and Brass and rated them as R-8 and R-7 respectively. It's not as rare as that, but you have look for while to find one. I have never seen a really high grade one.


    This last piece by John Adams Bolen, was not listed in Fuld as a CWT, but it should have been. It is not in the new reference. It was issued for a Springfield, Massachusetts fair. As Bolen pieces go, this is fairly common.


    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here are the other two Philadelphia Sanitary Fair tokens.

    Copper, priced at 10 cents each as it said in the photo in the first message. There are several minor die varieties of these that differ in the placement of the lettering.


    Silver, priced at 50 cents.


    And an example of the gold plated piece which must have been made for dignitaries.


    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    BroadstruckBroadstruck Posts: 30,497 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I've bought and sold quite a few copper and silver 750's but never handled a gilt version.

    To Err Is Human.... To Collect Err's Is Just Too Much Darn Tootin Fun!
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    rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Interesting pieces... was the term 'sanitary' the buzzword of the time? Or did it have some special significance for the fair? Cheers, RickO

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Broadstruck said:
    I've bought and sold quite a few copper and silver 750's but never handled a gilt version.

    The reason that I have mine, was when I was dealer, Steve Hayden must of gotten a mini hoard of them. He had three or four as I recall. That when I bought that one. I've seen one offered one other time at a show.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited June 24, 2019 12:47AM

    Old Thread Update

    Found the following interesting info from Stack's Bowers:

    • There are 28 die varieties for these described by George and Melvin Fuld
    • "Bronze pieces…had reeded edges to discourage their use as tokens." This is mentioned in an article "The Sanitary Fair Tokens" by @BillJones in the Journal of Journal of the Civil War Token Society, Summer 1994

    Here's the reference:

    Sanitary fair that was staged in Philadelphia during June 1864. Dies are tentatively attributed to Anthony C. Paquet. Studied by George and Melvin Fuld, The Numismatist, September 1952, p. 887. Some 28 die varieties and combinations were described, most of which have only minor differences from each other. Since that time, this issue has not been collected extensively by such varieties. An extant photograph (Fuld Store Cards, 2nd edition, p. 487) displays a sign stating: "FOR SALE. TOKENS COINED BY THIS ENGINE / PRESS! / FOR SILVER, 50¢ EACH / FOR COPPER, 10¢" These pieces were struck on a U.S. Mint press. Also known as Baker-363, as the reverse a features a peruked portrait of Washington, very similar to that employed on certain pattern five-cent pieces dated 1866. Silver strikings are the most readily available Civil War tokens in this metal. The Great Central Fair was one of many sanitary fairs held during the Civil War, especially in 1864, for the benefit of Union troops. "The Sanitary Fair Tokens," Bill Jones, JCWTS, Summer 1994, gave basic information, but also included this comment: "Bronze pieces…had reeded edges to discourage their use as tokens."

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    DCWDCW Posts: 6,977 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Check this one out!

    Dead Cat Waltz Exonumia
    "Coin collecting for outcasts..."

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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,945 ✭✭✭✭✭

    "Offered for" ... I'd be more interested in "Sold for".

    All glory is fleeting.
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    topstuftopstuf Posts: 14,803 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Should one ...CLEAN.... tokens of sanitary fairs?

    Wait, never mind. >:)

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 12, 2020 7:30PM

    I just ran across this gilt specimen from William Sphon Baker's collection and thought it was worth posting. I saw a lot of pristine Sanitary Fair tokens in the Baker sale last year. Baker had an amazing collection of these tokens.

    I wonder if Dwight picked up all of these or if someone else was able to get in on the action.

    I feel lucky to have a gilt specimen. I'll need to get it certified some time.

    This sold for $1,200.00:

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited April 12, 2020 7:34PM

    Here are two that I was interested in from William Baker but wasn't able to pick up.

    Are any other white metal specimens this pristine?

    1864 New York Sanitary Fair Token - ex-Baker

    This is the same design as posted above and would make a nice set. Great piece @DCW!

    This sold for $1,680.00.

    1864 Nantucket Sanitary Fair Token - ex-Baker

    This sold for $1,440.00.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great pieces @BillJones . The breadth of your collection is really astounding. Thanks for posting these.

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    SmudgeSmudge Posts: 9,257 ✭✭✭✭✭

    They needed that when during The Civil War cavalry units would camp on a creek and keep the horses upstream.

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    Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,676 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Me thinks the sheer volume of civil war wounds, sepsis, amputations, and disease caused a huge lightbulb to go on in cleanliness in life. Good thing. Peace Roy

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    BillJonesBillJones Posts: 33,486 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The pieces with the broad rims must have been some sort of special striking. The typical examples were struck on the floor of the fair.

    Retired dealer and avid collector of U.S. type coins, 19th century presidential campaign medalets and selected medals. In recent years I have been working on a set of British coins - at least one coin from each king or queen who issued pieces that are collectible. I am also collecting at least one coin for each Roman emperor from Julius Caesar to ... ?
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited November 19, 2020 11:47PM

    Great Central Fair - Gilt - NGC MS64 POP 4/0 - A and R Coins specimen

    The NGC MS64 in the OP just sold for $1,000 on September 14, 2020. This is the "A and R Coins" (ebay: rcl3) specimen. It was sold below the $1,950 offer back in April.

    Great Central Fair - Gilt - PCGS MS65 POP 1/0 - William Sphon Baker specimen

    The A and R price feels about right given that the PCGS MS65 sold for $1,200. This is the William Sphon Baker specimen.

    It's pretty hard to find thee real price on eBay. The listing still says $1,500.

    Here's the search result showing the Best Offer.

    Here's the listing still showing $1,500.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's another specimen of the rare gilt variety.

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    jonathanbjonathanb Posts: 3,430 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The gilt version isn't anywhere near as rare as some of the books say it is. High grade, lustrous examples are hard to come by, though.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @jonathanb said:
    The gilt version isn't anywhere near as rare as some of the books say it is. High grade, lustrous examples are hard to come by, though.

    How many do you think exist?

    So far, I've run across 6, but they are mostly high grade and lustrous. I'll continue to keep an eye out for these. They are rare enough that they are interesting to look for.

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