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Chopmarked 1875S $20 Lib.

sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭✭

Submitted for your consideration and comments:
https://numis24.com/lots/view/65de1a3ec81e7d6f51cdf5db

Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.

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    Manifest_DestinyManifest_Destiny Posts: 3,726 ✭✭✭✭✭

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    sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 28, 2024 10:26AM

    Thanks for the enlargement-it really helps.

    There's a second one in the 4 o'clock position. It looks Chinese.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
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    JimTylerJimTyler Posts: 3,059 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Worth opening bid unless you add cost to Europe.

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    Manifest_DestinyManifest_Destiny Posts: 3,726 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @sellitstore said:
    Thanks for the enlargement-it really helps.

    There's a second one in the 4 o'clock position. It looks Chinese.

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    sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @JimTyler said:
    Worth opening bid unless you add cost to Europe.

    You don't have to go there, although it would be a good excuse. It might cost as much as $100-$150 to have it shipped, though. Starting bid was 1200 Euros-well below melt, so I expect that it sold considerably higher although I'm not seeing the price realized.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,441 ✭✭✭✭✭

    How can anyone be sure that chopmark wasn't added last month?

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

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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,441 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @MrEureka said:
    That looks more like a jeweler’s mark to me.

    Agree. It sure doesn't look like the chopmarks normally seen on old trade dollars.

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

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    WeissWeiss Posts: 9,935 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @PerryHall said:
    How can anyone be sure that chopmark wasn't added last month?

    True. My first thought was that a cartouche-type stamp looks like the marks on Middle-eastern counterfeit sovereigns.

    That $20 piece is apparently not slabbed. Interesting.

    We are like children who look at print and see a serpent in the last letter but one, and a sword in the last.
    --Severian the Lame
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    lermishlermish Posts: 1,954 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 28, 2024 8:32PM

    The HK is very obviously some sort of a jeweler's mark.

    On the Chopmark A-F legitimacy scale (patent pending @coins_i_like and @ChopmarkedTrades ) the lower relief chop is probably a D for Dubious.

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    RobertScotLoverRobertScotLover Posts: 614 ✭✭✭✭
    edited March 29, 2024 1:25AM

    IDK, the "HK" counter stamp on the rev just doesn't have that 150 year old look imo, besides not being a chop mark. The other counter stamp at 4 o'clock on the rev doesn't seem like a genuine chop mark either, but either way I cannot decipher what it is so maybe that is why it didn't sell. The auction description states it didn't sell during the auction. I think we should defer to the chop mark experts on the board for confirmation and their opinions, in this situation I am out of my league

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    sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 29, 2024 6:21AM

    @PerryHall said:
    How can anyone be sure that chopmark wasn't added last month?

    Same is true for any chopmarked coin, isn't it?

    It doesn't make sense to counterfeit a coin that doesn't command a premium above bullion value, does it? If this were the case then I guess that this was a massive fail. The 1875 date puts it right at the height of chopmarking in China.

    My opinion is that is probably legit but nobody in Europe cares and the few here that do didn't see this coin. Any Trade Dollar chopmark specialists out there? Calling @ChopmarkedTrades

    Did the jeweler stamp this coin to confirm it's weight and fineness? Doesn't that make it a chopmark, too? Why else might a jeweler stamp this coin? Let's think this through together and let's hear some more ideas about how this double eagle may have come to be.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
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    RexfordRexford Posts: 1,140 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The chopmarks do not look legitimate at all. The host coin does look genuine. And it does make sense to counterfeit chopmarks, one of the reasons being that rarer chopped types command heavy premiums.

    Regarding jeweler’s stamps on some counterfeit sovereigns, those coins were produced for use in jewelry. Genuine sovereigns are worth even less of a premium over melt than this coin and are frequently counterfeited, so that’s not a legitimate counterargument - but this $20 looks genuine anyway.

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    sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Counterfeit sovereigns are far more prevalent and produced over a wider time period than counterfeit $20 Libs. so I'm not sure that's as a legitimate comparison. We agree that the host coin is genuine and, if that's true, it should have sold at 1200 Euros. So, if it was unsold (which I haven't confirmed) that still would make sense.

    I don't specialize in countermarks, so I can't comment on the appearance of the countermarks but I note that, in general, they look different on silver than on gold coins. Gold coins generally don't have the toning of silver coins that give you much information about age, like original vs retoned (suspicious). Countermarks on gold coins that I've seen usually are colored (untoned) much the same as the rest of the coin.

    So, do you think that this is a genuine coin to which someone applied fake jewelers marks to try to get a premium but just failed? Wouldn't it have made more sense to apply Chinese chopmarks rather than a jewelers mark(s) if one was looking to defraud?

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
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    RexfordRexford Posts: 1,140 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 29, 2024 7:19AM

    I didn’t imply that they were jeweler’s marks, just that they aren’t genuine chopmarks. I don’t claim to know the intent of the stamps, but a $20 with legitimate chopmarks would be very rare and worth a very large premium. In any case, deciphering whether a counterfeit was produced for logical or illogical reasons is fairly low on my list when making a determination of authenticity. Authenticity is determined based on physical characteristics.

    In the link you posted the piece is noted to have sold for €1650 hammer.

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    ChopmarkedTradesChopmarkedTrades Posts: 499 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Chopmarked gold is a pretty speculative area, but research conducted by @CaptainBlunt on the export of US gold is coming out in an upcoming publication. Still, the rationale for chopmarking gold in the same way that silver was chopped seems dubious at best, and the marks on this coin are very suspect; the 'HK' mark in particular looks relatively modern. I'd suggest the marks are either modern counterfeits, or they are jeweler's marks of some kind, more likely 20th century than 19th.

    A mark that seems more likely to be a legitimate chop on a US gold host is the 'kwei' character shown below, which is known on two half eagles and at least one sovereign, and has been in existence for decades. Still, the discussion over whether this is a commercial chop or a generic counterstamp has never been fully resolved, thanks to a lack of supporting evidence:

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    lermishlermish Posts: 1,954 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 29, 2024 7:33AM

    @sellitstore said:

    Same is true for any chopmarked coin, isn't it?

    No, not really. You addressed this a little in your later post but many chopmarks are undoubtedly period correct.

    It doesn't make sense to counterfeit a coin that doesn't command a premium above bullion value, does it? If this were the case then I guess that this was a massive fail. The 1875 date puts it right at the height of chopmarking in China.

    I agree with @Rexford - it's not super common but many fake/modern chopmarked but legitimate coins have turned up that, if genuinely chopped, would carry a large premium.

    My opinion is that is probably legit but nobody in Europe cares and the few here that do didn't see this coin. Any Trade Dollar chopmark specialists out there? Calling @ChopmarkedTrades

    Calling @OriginalDan also. As far as I am aware (though I do not claim to be an expert), the Chinese did not chopmark gold. The Japanese did mark gold but much less is known about that. A couple of US gold "chopped" coins have turned up but I don't believe any of them are considered genuinely chopped.

    The purpose or person behind these marks can't be known but it is extraordinarily doubtful it was a late 19th century Chinese merchant.

    EDIT: Also, quite a few chopmark collector were aware of this auction & coin weeks ago.

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    RobertScotLoverRobertScotLover Posts: 614 ✭✭✭✭

    If the HK was a contemporary counter stamp or jewelers mark I would find added value in that possibility but like Chopmarkedtrades opined the HK looks new

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    RexfordRexford Posts: 1,140 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It should be clarified that counterstamps, jeweler’s marks, and chopmarks are all different things and are not to be used interchangeably, nor valued interchangeably. A jeweler’s mark should never add value, and is often found on counterfeit coins. Counterstamps generally indicate the reuse of coinage by an official government, and often add significant value. Chopmarks refer to the marks applied by merchants to validate the weight, fineness, and authenticity of coins, and generally refer to marks of Chinese origin. They often decrease the value, unless the host type is rarely found chopmarked or if the coin already has major surface issues. They are also often impossible to objectively authenticate; while counterstamps can be die-matched or at least stylistically matched with other examples, and are tied to specific issuers, there are tens of thousands of types of chopmarks out there and the vast majority of the time they cannot be reliably tied to specific years or issuers.

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    2windy2fish2windy2fish Posts: 817 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don’t have an opinion on this either way but, this is the kind of post i look for here….
    Informative, professional and interesting
    Seems like nearly every other post devolves into hate and discontent..
    Thank you for an interesting read!

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    JJMJJM Posts: 7,983 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 29, 2024 4:38PM

    Hong Kong ?????

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    sellitstoresellitstore Posts: 2,493 ✭✭✭✭✭

    The HK counterstamp can be both genuine and modern, too, can't it.

    So do we agree on Genuine coin, Genuine counterstamp but not an old counterstamp?

    The idea that it was faked to sell to a collector at a premium, as suggested by some, doesn't make sense to me. If you don't consider the likelihood of a coin to be faked, you are making a mistake. Example: You should look at key dates especially carefully because they are faked more often and you are more likely to find fakes among those. On the other hand, I haven't seen many 1998 counterfeit cents so I'm not thinking "Is it a counterfeit" as my first question. But that is always my first question with a 1914D cent. From there, I go to the diagnostics.

    Rexford- Are you familar with the "EB" jewlers mark, or is it a counterstamp, as us numismatists have already labelled it? "EB" stands for the name "Ephriam Brasher" the jeweler intitials stamped on the "countermarked" Brasher Doubloons. So, is this a jewelers mark or a counterstamp? It's a jewelers marked coin that set the record for the most expensive counterstamped coin, isn't it? So, I would get too caught up on the terminology.

    Collector and dealer in obsolete currency. Always buying all obsolete bank notes and scrip.
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    OriginalDanOriginalDan Posts: 3,723 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I don't know what this is, but to try and associate it with Chinese merchant chopmarks from the 1800's is a big stretch, IMO. Did someone take a tool punch in HK or China and strike the coin? Probably. When? Who knows. Is there positive value added by this? I don't think so, but someone else might disagree.

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