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A look at the Eutopia Dollar.

keetskeets Posts: 25,351 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited August 4, 2020 9:36AM in U.S. Coin Forum

Ever since I first started to collect So-Called Dollars I have been intrigued by the Eutopia Dollar, HK-1005. It's an interesting medal which dates to 1886 and a time just after the US had considered some type of "bi-metallism" or multi-denominational coinage. The earliest I am aware of was initiated by Dana Bickford in the early 1870's. He approached the US Mint about his idea and it interested them enough that they made a series of Patterns in 1874. Bickford himself issued several medals with an aluminum outer ring and brass/bronze inner plug, one side having monetary equivalents of European Nations compared with the US Dollar.

from PCGS CoinFacts, 1874 $10/J-1375.

HK-836 Bickford Dollar/1897.

Between these two issue dates comes the Eutopia Dollar. From the second edition of So-Called Dollars:
--- Designed and struck by Nicholas Veeder, Pittsburgh, PA, as model for co-metallic coins and medals in effort to show practicality of using both gold and silver in one piece. Veeder had published booklet in 1885 titled "Co-metallism: A Plan for Combining Gold and Silver in Coinage, for Uniting and Blending their Values in Paper Money and for Establishing a Composite Single Standard Dollar of Account."
Reactions at time, both to idea and pattern, were generally unfavorable; some labeled plan "a version of the Goloid dream." Dies, engraved by Herren Bros. & Co., are said to have broken on third impression
.
--- HK-1005 Silver, 32mm, and Gold, 11mm. 33mm.

Trying to locate one of these medals has always been difficult. On a few different occasions I became puzzled by the fact that when I did searches I seemed to find around 7-8 examples of what had always been reported as only three probable survivors. Evidently the editors of the second edition of So-Called Dollars had realized that the findings of Hibler/Kappen were wrong because they listed the HK-1005 as an R8/5-10 known. Still, the "dies broken on third impression" seems to persist.

I shared some PM's with Zoins the other day about a Eutopia Dollar that had sold in a recent Stack's auction and it got me to thinking about them again, so I searched for whatever I could find. It helped that it's been raining for a few days!! :p

I started with the pop reports at PCGS and NGC. None so far with our host but NGC lists 15. The number in parenthesis is images I've found, nine of the 15 NGC lists.
1 --- VF35. (1)
1 --- XF45. (1)
1 --- AU53.
1 --- MS61.
6 --- MS62. (3)
2 --- MS63. (2)
3 --- MS64. (2)

I also found images of four other raw medals that I haven't been able to match with other images.









this one's interesting, the Gold plug was popped out.

this looks like an old image or maybe a drawing of some type, but the Gold plug is reversed.

Assuming all the NGC medals graded exist, no re-submissions to skew the numbers, my count here is about 15-16 medals. If you can add anything via images of an HK-1005 that you own please add it. Absent that, if you have one of the NGC medals can you give me the grade/insert number?? Thanks in advance and enjoy.

Al H.

Comments

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,266 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I can't add anything other than to say this is one cool post. Did the die failure occur along the line from U in EUTOPIA through the center and back out around 8:00 o'clock?

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
  • keetskeets Posts: 25,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    yeah, that's the die crack and it can be seen to a lesser degree on the reverse. if you look at the old image that looks like a drawing it can be seen through the "G" and between the "U-M" of Argentorum. Zoins raise the question I have wondered, where is a medal before the crack?? I assume that the die(s) failed on the first strike due to either poor press operation by Nicholas Veeder or, more likely, improper heat treating/annealing of the dies by the Herren Bros. whatever the cause, I doubt a medal exists without the cracks showing.

  • keetskeets Posts: 25,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    BTW, it's interesting to me that three of the better medals have a Provenance to John Ford. since I learned that I have wondered if that's where the idea originated that there were just three medals.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Thanks Al, this is an area I have no knowledge of or experience with....They really are nice pieces and quite elaborate. Great pictures as well. Cheers, RickO

  • HydrantHydrant Posts: 7,773 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great post, Keets. Thanks.

  • RichieURichRichieURich Posts: 8,316 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great post. I've also been intrigued by the Eutopia dollar, and was happy to see so many examples posted. Thank you!

    An authorized PCGS dealer, and a contributor to the Red Book.

  • tokenprotokenpro Posts: 834 ✭✭✭✭✭

    At the last Central States convention 18 months ago there were at least four Eutopia $s on the floor: ex-Brand (possibly ex-Hartzog, raw); ex-Ford; a raw damaged piece with the center reinserted at an angle; and a raw piece that I sold to a NYC dealer (possibly ex-Newman).

  • keetskeets Posts: 25,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    that would raise the total by perhaps 2-3 medals to almost 20 known. remarkable!! B)

  • jonathanbjonathanb Posts: 3,334 ✭✭✭✭✭

    My records support the idea of a R-6 rarity (21-75 known)

  • ms70ms70 Posts: 13,940 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great thread.

    Great transactions with oih82w8, JasonGaming, Moose1913.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,726 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited August 4, 2020 7:38PM

    @keets said:
    yeah, that's the die crack and it can be seen to a lesser degree on the reverse. if you look at the old image that looks like a drawing it can be seen through the "G" and between the "U-M" of Argentorum. Zoins raise the question I have wondered, where is a medal before the crack?? I assume that the die(s) failed on the first strike due to either poor press operation by Nicholas Veeder or, more likely, improper heat treating/annealing of the dies by the Herren Bros. whatever the cause, I doubt a medal exists without the cracks showing.

    Yes, I want one of these, but I've been reserving my bidding for one of the 3 struck without a die crack :)

    Great thread and research @keets!

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,726 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @keets said:
    this one's interesting, the Gold plug was popped out.

    This is great. I wonder if anyone ever found the center piece?

  • kiyotekiyote Posts: 5,563 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Wow, it’s for amazing pieces like this that I stay in collecting, even if only as a spectator for treasures like this. That is just so seriously neat!

    "I'll split the atom! I am the fifth dimension! I am the eighth wonder of the world!" -Gef the talking mongoose.
  • Namvet69Namvet69 Posts: 8,384 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Great slice of the origins of bi-metal coinage. Eutopia! What a concept. I learned something new this morning. Peace Roy

    BST: endeavor1967, synchr, kliao, Outhaul, Donttellthewife, U1Chicago, ajaan, mCarney1173, SurfinHi, MWallace, Sandman70gt, Ricko, mustanggt, Pittstate03, Lazybones, Walkerguy21D, coinandcurrency242 , thebigeng, Collectorcoins, JimTyler, USMarine6, Elkevvo, Coll3ctor, Yorkshireman, CUKevin, ranshdow, Jzyskowski1, CoinHunter4, bennybravo, Centsearcher, braddick, Windycity, ZoidMeister, mirabela, JJM, RichURich

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

    Thanks for the post !!! 👍

    Timbuk3
  • oih82w8oih82w8 Posts: 11,647 ✭✭✭✭✭

    What I find unusual is the zodiac wheel goes counterclockwise. Pretty cool SCDs!

    oih82w8 = Oh I Hate To Wait _defectus patientia_aka...Dr. Defecto - Curator of RMO's

    BST transactions: dbldie55, jayPem, 78saen, UltraHighRelief, nibanny, liefgold, FallGuy, lkeigwin, mbogoman, Sandman70gt, keets, joeykoins, ianrussell (@GC), EagleEye, ThePennyLady, GRANDAM, Ilikecolor, Gluggo, okiedude, Voyageur, LJenkins11, fastfreddie, ms70, pursuitofliberty, ZoidMeister,...
  • keetskeets Posts: 25,351 ✭✭✭✭✭

    to update the count of extant medals, I have found two new examples. both of these show signs of moderate circulation/wear which evidently resulted in the removal of the Gold central plug. rather sad and misguided because I feel safe in saying that a worn example of HK-1005 will easily sell for more that the combined PM value. on top of that it removes a historically significant artifact from existence. :s

  • keetskeets Posts: 25,351 ✭✭✭✭✭


  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,726 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @keets said:
    to update the count of extant medals, I have found two new examples. both of these show signs of moderate circulation/wear which evidently resulted in the removal of the Gold central plug. rather sad and misguided because I feel safe in saying that a worn example of HK-1005 will easily sell for more that the combined PM value. on top of that it removes a historically significant artifact from existence. :s

    Very sad. Has a center gold piece ever been found by itself? Or is it likely that it was melted?

  • lermishlermish Posts: 1,394 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @zrnumismatics said:
    Apologies for restarting an old thread, but I purchased this coin as a part of an old collection and got it graded at the FUN show in Orlando. It came back top pop: MS65 + . This should be added to this census as well. It is a beautiful coin, with an exciting history, but as a college student, it wouldn't be financially responsible to keep this coin given its value. What would be the best way to go about selling this coin?!

    Very nice coin and good purchase! Best option is to place it in a well run auction. Whether that is Great Collections or Heritage or etc would be up to you. I would probably look for prior sales to find an auction house that you feel will draw the best audience for the coin to get you the best price. Good luck!

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,250 ✭✭✭✭✭

    And a fine old thread it is! Do not apologize for reopening it.

    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.
  • I miss @Keets.

  • jmlanzafjmlanzaf Posts: 30,279 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @zrnumismatics said:
    Apologies for restarting an old thread, but I purchased this coin as a part of an old collection and got it graded at the FUN show in Orlando. It came back top pop: MS65 + . This should be added to this census as well. It is a beautiful coin, with an exciting history, but as a college student, it wouldn't be financially responsible to keep this coin given its value. What would be the best way to go about selling

    In my opinion. Stacks gets tremendous value out of tokens and medals.

  • TomBTomB Posts: 20,266 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That's a way cool find and good luck.

    Thomas Bush Numismatics & Numismatic Photography

    In honor of the memory of Cpl. Michael E. Thompson

    image
  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,549 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @zrnumismatics, I think you'd be best served by Stack's or Heritage. Past that choice, you should probably arrange to have it placed in an auction at a major show such as the ANA World's Fair of Money or perhaps the Central States Show near Chicago. Both of those are well attended so there'd be plenty of exposure.

    I would estimate probably around $10k hammer.

  • lilolmelilolme Posts: 2,310 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't know how familiar you are with the pcgs stuff but just in case here is the coinfacts page.

    https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1886-sc-1-hk-1005-eutopia-dollar/643764/65

    Often it will have an estimated retail price associated with them but in this case not enough data I guess and no numbers. The page does show one in an NGC 62 slab that sold at Kagins auction in 2018 for $3K. Here are the links.

    https://www.pcgs.com/auctionprices/item/1886-sc-1-hk-1005-eutopia-dollar/643764/-6003128093263581597

    https://auctions.kagins.com/item.aspx?i=29365349

    You could search other sources (ngc, HA, Stacks, (eBay - caution)...) or internet to see if anything else comes up. Perhaps a dealer has one out there somewhere now or in the past.

    An internet search found a few with information but I can not confirm any of it.

    These indicate it is an R8.
    https://www.coinbooks.org/v21/esylum_v21n16a35.html
    https://fr.numista.com/catalogue/exonumia122255.html
    Another information site
    https://www.so-calleddollars.com/Events/Eutopia.html

    This site indicates a mintage of 10.
    https://coinappraiser.com/coins/eutopia-dollar-in-silver-and-gold/

    This one appears to be old anacs photo slab
    https://www.shopkoreaonline.com/itm/1886-Dollar-HK-1005-Eutopia-Bi-Metal-Medal-OLD-ANA/275098881642
    and this appears to be the same at eBay
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/275098881642

    https://youtube.com/watch?v=2YNufnS_kf4 - Mama I'm coming home ...................................................................................................................................................................... RLJ 1958 - 2023

  • Hi all,
    Thanks for the warm welcome. I have been dealing with coins and other collectibles since I was around 10. I have put a lot of research into this coin both before and after purchasing this coin. I did consign some high-end coins(over $1000) to Great Collections during the FUN show. I decided to withhold this one from the consignment because Great Collections doesn't use TruViews and these look beautiful. I think that Heritage is the right way to go due to its exposure and history of selling other examples. I paid $3,500 and I am thinking due to the top pop status and rainbow going, it would get around $6,500-$10,000 at auction. But it could definitely go for much less.
    My primary question was to what auction house would be best suited for this sort of coin. I'm debating between Heritage and Stacks Bowers. I reached out to Stacks Bowers because they have a consignment office in Boston, and dropping it off would be easier than paying for shipping/insurance.

    @jmlanzaf said:

    @zrnumismatics said:
    Apologies for restarting an old thread, but I purchased this coin as a part of an old collection and got it graded at the FUN show in Orlando. It came back top pop: MS65 + . This should be added to this census as well. It is a beautiful coin, with an exciting history, but as a college student, it wouldn't be financially responsible to keep this coin given its value. What would be the best way to go about selling

    In my opinion. Stacks gets tremendous value out of tokens and medals.

    This is good to know. Thank you.

    @Maywood said:
    @zrnumismatics, I think you'd be best served by Stack's or Heritage. Past that choice, you should probably arrange to have it placed in an auction at a major show such as the ANA World's Fair of Money or perhaps the Central States Show near Chicago. Both of those are well attended so there'd be plenty of exposure.

    I would estimate probably around $10k hammer.

    That would be awesome. I'm thinking a little lower. Great advice. Any idea as to if Stacks or Heritage's consignment fee is lower?

    @lilolme said:
    I don't know how familiar you are with the pcgs stuff but just in case here is the coinfacts page.

    https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/coin/1886-sc-1-hk-1005-eutopia-dollar/643764/65

    Often it will have an estimated retail price associated with them but in this case not enough data I guess and no numbers. The page does show one in an NGC 62 slab that sold at Kagins auction in 2018 for $3K. Here are the links.

    https://www.pcgs.com/auctionprices/item/1886-sc-1-hk-1005-eutopia-dollar/643764/-6003128093263581597

    https://auctions.kagins.com/item.aspx?i=29365349

    You could search other sources (ngc, HA, Stacks, (eBay - caution)...) or internet to see if anything else comes up. Perhaps a dealer has one out there somewhere now or in the past.

    An internet search found a few with information but I can not confirm any of it.

    These indicate it is an R8.
    https://www.coinbooks.org/v21/esylum_v21n16a35.html
    https://fr.numista.com/catalogue/exonumia122255.html
    Another information site
    https://www.so-calleddollars.com/Events/Eutopia.html

    This site indicates a mintage of 10.
    https://coinappraiser.com/coins/eutopia-dollar-in-silver-and-gold/

    This one appears to be old anacs photo slab
    https://www.shopkoreaonline.com/itm/1886-Dollar-HK-1005-Eutopia-Bi-Metal-Medal-OLD-ANA/275098881642
    and this appears to be the same at eBay
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/275098881642
    @jonathanb said:
    My records support the idea of a R-6 rarity (21-75 known)

    I think this estimate is correct, which means the rarity would need to be adjusted as new examples - such as my own have come to light.

  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,549 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @zrnumismatics, my question about the TrueView images would be are they accurate, do they represent the medal as it appears in-hand??

    My experience with both Stack's and Heritage tends to favor Stack's for Exonumia. They almost always have their own good images of the item, both cropped and in-holder, sometimes list the TrueView and always have a link to the NGC or PCGS cert check page. That ensures that a listing at Stack's gets the bidder to the TrueView images. For an item like this, which is truly rare, they tend to have a brief paragraph describing it. Heritage tends to have images of a lower quality and provides less information with the listing.

    HK-1005 is a pretty significant SC$ so both sites probably would attract the same buyers who are knowledgeable about the medal. Good luck with whatever your choice happens to be.

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,747 ✭✭✭✭✭

    A beautiful piece! I think you should sell it to me :D

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

  • davewesendavewesen Posts: 5,454 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Maybe you should set a price you would be happy with and try to sell outright (BST, eBay,...) . Could be quicker cash and less risk than no reserve auction. You can always go the auction route if no takers ... it seems like a thin market, possibly try to find out the big 'collectors' in these things to see if they have outright purchase interest.

  • Thanks all for the help everyone. To Maywood's point, the coin does have a different appearance in hand. Here are some quick(very amateur) photos:

  • bolivarshagnastybolivarshagnasty Posts: 7,341 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Miss keets as well.

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,726 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 19, 2023 8:41PM

    @zrnumismatics said:
    Apologies for restarting an old thread, but I purchased this coin as a part of an old collection and got it graded at the FUN show in Orlando. It came back top pop: MS65 + . This should be added to this census as well. It is a beautiful coin, with an exciting history, but as a college student, it wouldn't be financially responsible to keep this coin given its value. What would be the best way to go about selling this coin?

    Congrats on researching and picking up this piece! It's a great purchase and a great piece!

    It's wonderful when new discoveries are posted here like this!

    Thanks for posting this.

    @DCW said:
    A beautiful piece! I think you should sell it to me :D

    I'm definitely interested as well :)

    Where are all the recommendations for selling on the BST :D

  • DCWDCW Posts: 6,747 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I love the piece, but I am not interested in actually buying it. If I were selling this, I would expect maybe 20-25 percent more than what you paid.
    This isn't going to sell for $10,000. I'm pretty confident in stating that. I think a little more than $4k is the record for equally nice MS64's, so there is SOME data.
    In the world of exonumia, "top pop" isn't as important as in US Coins. Grading is all over the place, because there really is no standard.
    So it comes down to rarity and eye appeal.
    In any case, you have a lovely piece and should make a profit. I'd work something out with @Zoins who I'm sure would appreciate this one as much as anyone else (except for maybe @keets !)
    Man, I miss that guy, too!
    Good luck and welcome to the forum!

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

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @zrnumismatics... Welcome aboard. Nice piece indeed. Good luck with your sale. Cheers, RickO

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,726 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's the other PCGS slabbed piece.

    Could be interesting to formalize a census of these.

  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,549 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said: Could be interesting to formalize a census of these.

    Below are the number of medals currently listed at the respective TPG's in their pop reports(I can't access ANACS). I have images of (2)-PCGS, (9)-NGC, (1)-ANACS photo-cert Eutopia Dollars listed as HK-1005 and (4)-unique raw medals that I can't match to any encapsulated medals because of image quality. No way of knowing at NGC how to interpret the pop numbers, whether there have been crack-outs to distort the numbers. I can say that of the 16 images I have none are duplicates to my knowledge. My count of coupled with the pop reports yields a total of 22 medals, in line with the R6 21-75 estimate made by @jonathanb.

    PCGS --- (2) medals.
    NGC --- (15) medals.
    ANACS --- unknown.

  • AUandAGAUandAG Posts: 24,327 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Registry: CC lowballs (boblindstrom), [email protected]
  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,549 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @AUandAG, thanks for the link, it's already been listed above and I've got it in my image files. B)

  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,549 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Stack's auction is currently live with the HK-1005 consigned by @zrnumismatics on the block, probably up sometime between 1-2 o'clock and currently sitting at $4,200. Overall the prices seem solid for many/most segments of Exonumia so it should be interesting to see where it settles.

  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,549 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Lot just closed, $9,000 with the juice which is close to the $10k estimated.

  • @Zoins said:

    @Maywood said:
    Lot just closed, $9,000 with the juice which is close to the $10k estimated.

    Very nicely done @zrnumismatics!

    https://auctions.stacksbowers.com/lots/view/3-11DQ0X/1886-eutopia-dollar-hk-1005-rarity-8-silver-and-gold-bimetallic-ms-65-pcgs

    Thank you. I am very pleased with the outcome of the action.

  • MaywoodMaywood Posts: 1,549 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @zrnumismatics said: Thank you. I am very pleased with the outcome of the action.

    You should be!! :p I'm amazed that you "fell" into that medal in the first place. I've probably been chasing So-Called Dollars longer than you've been alive and have never had the opportunity to buy one in such a manner as you. Please go into a little detail on how you found it, the circumstances involved and if you even knew what it was when you first saw it. As such an obscure medal most people would overlook it.

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