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1861 Clark Gruber $20 Overstrikes and Jack Leon Klausen

ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited January 3, 2023 12:14AM in U.S. Coin Forum
The recent cool posts on Clark Gruber pieces had me do a quick search on what might be available and I ran into the following fantasy piece. Any information on who may have struck this and when?

Update: while I originally posted about this in 2015, I was able to pick it up in 2022! Patience is a virtue!

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    MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,947 ✭✭✭✭✭
    All of the 1861 CG $20 "Fantasy" pieces are from the the same false dies used to strike the more commonly seen semi-PL fake non-overstrikes. And the overstrikes all seem to have provenances that originate with a California dealer, whom I believe was active from the 1950's or 60's until his death perhaps a decade ago.
    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: MrEureka

    All of the 1861 CG $20 "Fantasy" pieces are from the the same false dies used to strike the more commonly seen semi-PL fake non-overstrikes. And the overstrikes all seem to have provenances that originate with a California dealer, whom I believe was active from the 1950's or 60's until his death perhaps a decade ago.




    Is the dealer Jack Klauson? If it is, it could be cool to add the Klauson pedigree on the insert. First time I've seen one of these pieces.
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    winkywinky Posts: 1,671
    Originally posted by: Zoins
    The recent cool posts on Clark Gruber pieces had me do a quick search on what might be available and I ran into the following fantasy piece. Any information on who may have struck this and when?



    imageimage



    CoinFacts image:



    image


    When did PCGS start slabbing Fantasy coins? I have never heard of it. Does anyone know if they will do other Fantasy coins??

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    AnkurJAnkurJ Posts: 11,366 ✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: winky
    Originally posted by: Zoins
    The recent cool posts on Clark Gruber pieces had me do a quick search on what might be available and I ran into the following fantasy piece. Any information on who may have struck this and when?



    imageimage



    CoinFacts image:



    image


    When did PCGS start slabbing Fantasy coins? I have never heard of it. Does anyone know if they will do other Fantasy coins??




    I was thinking the same thing! Why are these being slabbed?
    All coins kept in bank vaults.
    PCGS Registries
    Box of 20
    SeaEagleCoins: 11/14/54-4/5/12. Miss you Larry!
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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,443 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Since PCGS set a presedent, they should start slabbing Dan Carr's fantasy overstrike coins if they want to be at all consistent. Dan Carr's products are certainly of a much higher quality that this coin being discussed.

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

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    291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,945 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: PerryHall
    Since PCGS set a presedent, they should start slabbing Dan Carr's fantasy overstrike coins if they want to be at all consistent. Dan Carr's products are certainly of a much higher quality that this coin being discussed.


    Until the actual legal status of those overstrikes is determined by the US Treasury and/or courts, PCGS would be wise to avoid slabbing any of them.

    All glory is fleeting.
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    PerryHallPerryHall Posts: 45,443 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: 291fifth

    Originally posted by: PerryHall

    Since PCGS set a presedent, they should start slabbing Dan Carr's fantasy overstrike coins if they want to be at all consistent. Dan Carr's products are certainly of a much higher quality that this coin being discussed.




    Until the actual legal status of those overstrikes is determined by the US Treasury and/or courts, PCGS would be wise to avoid slabbing any of them.







    Totally irrelevant. Dan Carr sent letters to the appropriate government agencies telling them he was planning to make these fantasy coins and they chose to not respond. If they had a problem with these coins they would have done something about it by now. Also they would go after Dan rather than PCGS. Don't forget that PCGS has slabbed actual counterfeit US coins including several Morgan dollars with the micro-O mintmark. Also, they have slabbed the 1913 Liberty nickels which have a nebulous origin.

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

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: winky

    When did PCGS start slabbing Fantasy coins? I have never heard of it. Does anyone know if they will do other Fantasy coins??



    PCGS does slab other fantasy coins like the Scovill Manufacturing Fugios but those say "New Haven Res", not "Fantasy". The New Haven Restrikes are now known not to be restrikes or have anything to do with New Haven so it would be nice to change that labeling.


    It should be noted that the Clark Gruber pieces have been suggested to be counterfeits as well. Here, PCGS and other TPGs will slab some but not all counterfeits, e.g. Machin's Mills Halfpennies vs. Micro-O Morgans. So this entire area has some subjectivity to it regarding what is and is not slabbed.
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    winkywinky Posts: 1,671
    Thanks all for the information and now I understand what to do if I want to send something in to be slabbed.
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    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: MrEureka
    All of the 1861 CG $20 "Fantasy" pieces are from the the same false dies used to strike the more commonly seen semi-PL fake non-overstrikes. And the overstrikes all seem to have provenances that originate with a California dealer, whom I believe was active from the 1950's or 60's until his death perhaps a decade ago.




    Ford ?

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    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    At one time the so-called "Die-2" 1861 $20 Clark Gruber pieces were thought to be genuine.


    PCGS and others certified them as genuine.


    But then at some point (in the late 1990s I think), by looking at auction records it was determined that the "Die 2" pieces did not exist prior to the 1960s, and that they were counterfeit.


    From the PCGS guarantee web page:





    Private Strikes and Restrikes currently recognized by PCGS





    ...


    1861 Clark Gruber $20 (Transfer Dies, Struck circa 1960s) double eagle overstrike forgeries on various genuine coins from transfer dies, struck privately circa 1960s.


    ...





    Recently, a collector loaned a full set of Clark Gruber gold to the ANA for display in the museum. The 1861 $20 in the set was PCGS certified (prior to 2000) as a genuine original, but it was actually a "Die 2" counterfeit.





    The old PCGS guarantee page talked about notorious coins that PCGS has had to pay out a lot of money on their guarantee. The "Die 2" 1861 $20 Clark Gruber was listed as one of those coins.


    Looks like there is another example of that one to deal with now.
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Good information from PCGS Dan.


    Here's an E-Sylum article on when this was discovered titled DON KAGIN ON THE ORIGIN OF THE PIONEER GOLD FORUM.


    Here's the first paragraph:



    Originally posted by: Don Kagin - The E-Sylum: Volume 11, Number 32, August 10, 2008, Article 6
    The Pioneer Forum originated with our suspicions two years ago of another controversial issue . the $20 1861 Clark Gruber & Co. Prooflike and counter stamped issues. These were .discovered. in the late 1950s but the origins seem to have been Jack Klauson .from an old guy in Denver., or so he told me. A few of these pieces appeared over the years in almost all the major auction houses including Kagin.s. Some of these coins were already in PCGS holders. I put the Forum together and we met at the FUN show last January. A unanimous determination was made that the coins in question were 20th century Fantasies made for collectors. (PCGS repurchased the slabbed pieces).
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    MrEurekaMrEureka Posts: 23,947 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Even though these coins are fake, they're very collectable, and they have value. Same as the "New Haven" Fugios.



    Whether they should be slabbed or not is debatable. My feeling is that as long as everyone knows what PCGS means by "fantasy", there's no problem slabbing them as such. But I also have to wonder what might happen if an unscrupulous dealer sells one of these coins for six or seven figures to an unknowledgeable buyer, and the courts are later asked to sort things out.
    Andy Lustig

    Doggedly collecting coins of the Central American Republic.

    Visit the Society of US Pattern Collectors at USPatterns.com.
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    To make it more clear, instead of "Clark Gruber $20 - Overstruck on Ireland 30D Token", it may be better to say something like "Fantasy Clark Gruber $20 - Overstruck on Ireland 30D Token" so one knows the Clark Gruber part is the fantasy and not something else.
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    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: MrEureka
    Even though these coins are fake, they're very collectable, and they have value. Same as the "New Haven" Fugios.

    Whether they should be slabbed or not is debatable. My feeling is that as long as everyone knows what PCGS means by "fantasy", there's no problem slabbing them as such. But I also have to wonder what might happen if an unscrupulous dealer sells one of these coins for six or seven figures to an unknowledgeable buyer, and the courts are later asked to sort things out.



    I understand what you are saying, and I realize that we have discussed on this forum many times the so-called "unknowledgeable buyer".


    I agree that there could be such a thing as an unknowledgeable owner, like a person who inherits a coin and thinks (hopes) that it might be worth a lot.


    But I don't think there is any such thing as an "unknowledgeable buyer" who would actually spend six or seven figures for something they are unknowledgeable about.


    In other words, it is one thing to find or be given an item and then hope that it might be worth a lot of money. It is all together a different situation for a person to be actually willing to pay $100,000+ for an item unless they are intimately familiar with it.

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    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    I have been told by an acquaintance that the 1861 $20 Clark Gruber loaned to the ANA museum has become a point of contention between PCGS and the owner (who is requesting that PCGS honor the guarantee and buy the fake).
    Apparently, PCGS no longer guarantees pioneer gold coins ?
    That is what I have been told by this same acquaintance, anyway.
    Is there any truth to that ?
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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,563 ✭✭✭✭✭
    It seems to me that if I were to have dies engraved for an 1899 $15 coin of Emperor Norton the Third, Emperor of California and King of Lower Slobovia, anything struck from those dies would be a "fantasy" issue.



    It also seems to me that if I were to have dies engraved for a Clark, Gruber & Co. $20 in nearly exact similitude of a coin that already exists, anything struck from those dies would be a "counterfeit."



    TD
    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.
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    If PCGS has a policy to slab the fantasy Clark Gruber pieces, would they be obligated to buy them back as fakes? As mentioned by Andy, these are very collectible.

    PCGS also slabs the Machin's Mills Halfpenny and New Haven Scovill Fugios. Is PCGS obligated to buy those back?
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    ranshdowranshdow Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: CaptHenway
    It seems to me that if I were to have dies engraved for an 1899 $15 coin of Emperor Norton the Third, Emperor of California and King of Lower Slobovia, anything struck from those dies would be a "fantasy" issue.

    TD


    Just have to say, that would be one of the coolest fantasy pieces ever. Along with Tiburcio Vasquez or Joaquin Murrieta gun money. Or an 1848 "cal" gold token made from gold dust carried by Edward Fitzgerald Beale.

    Dan Carr! Dan Carr!image

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    DIMEMANDIMEMAN Posts: 22,403 ✭✭✭✭✭
    To me there is a big difference between this coin and the Dan Carr fantasy coins. On this coin you can clearly see both images where the Dan Carr coins are clearly made to look like a coin they are not. PCGS should never slab these.
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    goldengolden Posts: 9,068 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: DIMEMAN
    To me there is a big difference between this coin and the Dan Carr fantasy coins. On this coin you can clearly see both images where the Dan Carr coins are clearly made to look like a coin they are not. PCGS should never slab these.


    image
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    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: Zoins
    If PCGS has a policy to slab the fantasy Clark Gruber pieces, would they be obligated to buy them back as fakes? As mentioned by Andy, these are very collectible.

    PCGS also slabs the Machin's Mills Halfpenny and New Haven Scovill Fugios. Is PCGS obligated to buy those back?


    I agree that the die 2 "fantasy" Clark Gruber 1861 $20 pieces are collectible, even though they were likely made in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

    However, the coin loaned to the ANA was certified as a genuine original. That certification was done before the die 2 coins were deemed counterfeit.

    I do not know if it is true, but I am hearing that PCGS no longer guarantees ANY pioneer gold, including those coins already in PCGS holders. I would hope that is not the case, but I really don't know.
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    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: ranshdow
    Originally posted by: CaptHenway
    It seems to me that if I were to have dies engraved for an 1899 $15 coin of Emperor Norton the Third, Emperor of California and King of Lower Slobovia, anything struck from those dies would be a "fantasy" issue.

    TD


    Just have to say, that would be one of the coolest fantasy pieces ever. Along with Tiburcio Vasquez or Joaquin Murrieta gun money. Or an 1848 "cal" gold token made from gold dust carried by Edward Fitzgerald Beale.

    Dan Carr! Dan Carr!image



    A fun "fantasy" piece that I've thought about making is an 1858 or 1859 "COL" gold quarter eagle.

    An "Emperor Norton" piece of some sort has also previously crossed my mind.
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    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: DIMEMAN
    To me there is a big difference between this coin and the Dan Carr fantasy coins. On this coin you can clearly see both images where the Dan Carr coins are clearly made to look like a coin they are not. PCGS should never slab these.


    On the piece pictured at the start of this thread, the under-type (Ireland token) is indeed very easy to see.

    However, some time in the late 1950s or early 1960s, the same dies were utilized to strike gold blanks. For many years, up until around 2006, those gold strikes were thought to be genuine original "die 2" 1861 Clark Gruber $20 pieces. PCGS now certifies those gold strikes as "fantasy" as well, even though they closely imitate the genuine original "die 1" gold coins.
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    CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,563 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: dcarr

    Originally posted by: ranshdow

    Originally posted by: CaptHenway

    It seems to me that if I were to have dies engraved for an 1899 $15 coin of Emperor Norton the Third, Emperor of California and King of Lower Slobovia, anything struck from those dies would be a "fantasy" issue.



    TD




    Just have to say, that would be one of the coolest fantasy pieces ever. Along with Tiburcio Vasquez or Joaquin Murrieta gun money. Or an 1848 "cal" gold token made from gold dust carried by Edward Fitzgerald Beale.



    Dan Carr! Dan Carr!image







    A fun "fantasy" piece that I've thought about making is an 1858 or 1859 "COL" gold quarter eagle.



    An "Emperor Norton" piece of some sort has also previously crossed my mind.





    If you do an "Emperor Norton" piece, put Art Carney's face on it!



    image



    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.
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: dcarr
    Originally posted by: Zoins
    If PCGS has a policy to slab the fantasy Clark Gruber pieces, would they be obligated to buy them back as fakes? As mentioned by Andy, these are very collectible.

    PCGS also slabs the Machin's Mills Halfpenny and New Haven Scovill Fugios. Is PCGS obligated to buy those back?


    I agree that the die 2 "fantasy" Clark Gruber 1861 $20 pieces are collectible, even though they were likely made in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

    However, the coin loaned to the ANA was certified as a genuine original. That certification was done before the die 2 coins were deemed counterfeit.

    I do not know if it is true, but I am hearing that PCGS no longer guarantees ANY pioneer gold, including those coins already in PCGS holders. I would hope that is not the case, but I really don't know.


    While PCGS did buy back the 1861/57-S Clark Gruber $20 MS63 for $75,000, the current PCGS Guarantee page has the following which could exclude pieces attributed to Klauson, pieces where the numismatic status was changed due to research by the Society of Private and Pioneer Numismatists (SPPN). Back in 2010 PCGS switched to labelling the Type 2 pieces fantasy pieces in their registry.

    Originally posted by: PCGS
    Changes in a coin's numismatic status. The PCGS guarantee does not cover changes in a coin's status in the numismatic community. For example, in the 1980's, there was a variety of the 1942 Denver Walking Liberty half dollar that was considered an over-mint mark. This coin was known as a 1942-D/S. Subsequent research has revealed that the coin is actually a re-punched mint mark and it is now referred to as a 1942-D/D. The PCGS guarantee does not cover any change in value due to a change in a coin's status. The following is a list of some (but not all) of the coins that are currently subject to research and would not be covered by the PCGS guarantee if their status was changed:

    [...]

    1849 J.H. Bowie and (1849) Miner's Bank $10 with crimp edge Territorial gold coins. The current view is that these issues are genuine California Territorial issues. It is possible that research will show they were made at a later date.

    Territorial patterns and bars. This is a very esoteric area and subject to continuous research and some controversy. PCGS does not guarantee the status or authenticity of Territorial patterns and bars. We will grade them however, and do our best to authenticate them, but we do not guarantee their authenticity. You buy Territorial patterns and bars at your risk.
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    dcarrdcarr Posts: 8,007 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Originally posted by: Zoins
    Originally posted by: dcarr
    Originally posted by: Zoins
    If PCGS has a policy to slab the fantasy Clark Gruber pieces, would they be obligated to buy them back as fakes? As mentioned by Andy, these are very collectible.

    PCGS also slabs the Machin's Mills Halfpenny and New Haven Scovill Fugios. Is PCGS obligated to buy those back?


    I agree that the die 2 "fantasy" Clark Gruber 1861 $20 pieces are collectible, even though they were likely made in the late 1950s or early 1960s.

    However, the coin loaned to the ANA was certified as a genuine original. That certification was done before the die 2 coins were deemed counterfeit.

    I do not know if it is true, but I am hearing that PCGS no longer guarantees ANY pioneer gold, including those coins already in PCGS holders. I would hope that is not the case, but I really don't know.


    While PCGS did buy back the 1861/57-S Clark Gruber $20 MS63 for $75,000, the current PCGS Guarantee page has the following which could exclude pieces attributed to Klauson, pieces where the numismatic status was changed due to research by the Society of Private and Pioneer Numismatists (SPPN). Back in 2010 PCGS switched to labelling the Type 2 pieces fantasy pieces in their registry.

    Originally posted by: PCGS
    Changes in a coin's numismatic status. The PCGS guarantee does not cover changes in a coin's status in the numismatic community. For example, in the 1980's, there was a variety of the 1942 Denver Walking Liberty half dollar that was considered an over-mint mark. This coin was known as a 1942-D/S. Subsequent research has revealed that the coin is actually a re-punched mint mark and it is now referred to as a 1942-D/D. The PCGS guarantee does not cover any change in value due to a change in a coin's status. The following is a list of some (but not all) of the coins that are currently subject to research and would not be covered by the PCGS guarantee if their status was changed:

    [...]

    1849 J.H. Bowie and (1849) Miner's Bank $10 with crimp edge Territorial gold coins. The current view is that these issues are genuine California Territorial issues. It is possible that research will show they were made at a later date.

    Territorial patterns and bars. This is a very esoteric area and subject to continuous research and some controversy. PCGS does not guarantee the status or authenticity of Territorial patterns and bars. We will grade them however, and do our best to authenticate them, but we do not guarantee their authenticity. You buy Territorial patterns and bars at your risk.



    Thanks, that makes more sense of it.
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 17, 2022 2:18AM

    Here's some more info. The OP in this thread is from 2015 when these were indicated as fantasy dies. The 2013 and 2002 articles below indicated these were legit test strike pieces. When was it established these were fantasy pieces?

    Heritage associates this piece with some other overstrikes, including the following in this 2022 lot description.

    Heritage wrote in 2022:
    1861 $20 Clark, Gruber Twenty Dollar, Overstruck on an Irish 30 Pence Token, MS62 PCGS. This and other similar pieces were produced during the 1960s. They were struck from transfer dies by California coin dealer Jack Klauson. While this example was struck on an 1808 Irish bank token, others exist on an 1852 double eagle, 1857-S double eagle, 1853 Assay Office twenty, and an 1850 ten dollar gold piece. The undertype is plain with a strong date, legends, and profile of George III. Each side is silver-gray with deeper olive and gunmetal accents.

    Ref: https://coins.ha.com/itm/territorial-gold/territorial-and-fractional-gold/1861-20-clark-gruber-twenty-dollar-overstruck-on-an-irish-30-pence-token-ms62-pcgs/a/1341-4261.s

    Back in 2013, CoinWeek quoted Don Kagin as saying the double eagles, eagle and Assay piece were struck by Clark Gruber:

    Don Kagin referenced in 2013:
    We now know of five overstruck Clark Gruber & Co. twenties… Originally we believed that these specimens were overstruck in Philadelphia by the firm who designed the dies–the jewelers Bailey & Company. After further research and discussions with other numismatists, including John Dannreuther of the Professional Coin Grading Service, we now believe that these were struck in Colorado by Clark, Gruber & Co. to check the force of the striking and the spacing of the dies. This would account for the variance of the pressure and sharpness of the impressions.

    These set-up pieces are not unlike other similar types such as those seen for Morgan dollars, Kennedy half dollars, and others. Before striking the regular gold blanks, which would have been considered quite precious even then, these test or trial strikings allowed the dies to first be properly aligned and avoid errors. They are recognizable because their central area is well to fully struck, while the periphery is weak or missing. Evidently the coiners would take whatever gold coins they had on hand to test the new dies.

    Ref: https://coinweek.com/us-coins/us-gold-coins/unusual-items-bizarre-territorial-gold-coin-overstrike/

    This is basically the same info from 2002:

    Heritage said in 2002:
    Unique Clark, Gruber & Co. $20 Struck Over an 1853 U.S. Assay Office $20--Possible Set-Up Piece

    1861 $20 Clark, Gruber & Co. Twenty Dollar (K-8) Struck Over an 1853 U.S. Assay Office Twenty Dollar (K-19) MS62 PCGS. New Kagin designation K-13d (see page 361 of pattern section). Brilliant prooflike surfaces with the center devices sharp and weakness around the edges.

    This unique piece was unknown to us until a couple of years ago. We now know of five overstruck Clark Gruber & Co. Twenties. In the upcoming second edition of Private Gold Coins and Patterns of the United States, we plan to list all of these pieces in the pattern section and list them as Set-Up Pieces. This specimen will have the designation 13d.

    The other known pieces are:

    1. Struck over an 1852 U.S. $20;
      13a. Struck over an 1857-S U.S. $20;
      13b. Struck over an 1849 U.S. $10;
      13c. Struck over an 1850 U.S. $20.

    Originally we believed that these specimens were overstruck in Philadelphia by the firm who designed the dies--the jewelers Bailey & Company. After further research and discussions with other numismatists, including John Dannreuther of the Professional Coin Grading Service, we now believe that these were struck in Colorado by Clark, Gruber & Co. to check the force of the striking and the spacing of the dies.
    [...]
    From The Estate of Jack L. Klausen.

    Ref: https://coins.ha.com/itm/territorial-gold/territorial-and-fractional-gold/1861-20-clark-gruber-and-co-twenty-dollar-k-8-struck-over-an-1853-us-assay-office-twenty-dollar-k-19-ms62-pcgs-new/a/300-9008.s

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's some info on Jack Leon Klausen:

    Dick Johnson said:
    Jack Klausen (who I knew as a car dealer in Kansas City that I sold advertising to). Jack later gave up dealing in cars to concentrate on coins, specializing in gold, and later moved from Kansas City to Reno Nevada.

    Ref: https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v10n22a05.html

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Combining the two lists from the Heritage lot descriptions in 2002 and 2022 we end up with the following. It seems that perhaps some of the dates were reported in error as we end up with many more pieces if we take them at face value.

    1. 1808 Irish bank token
    2. 1849 $10 eagle
    3. 1850 $10 eagle
    4. 1850 $20 double eagle
    5. 1852 $20 double eagle
    6. 1853 Assay Office $20
    7. 1857-S $20 double eagle
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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 23, 2022 11:03PM

    Here's the piece struck on an 1853 Assay double eagle which sold for $66,125.00 back in 2002!

    So far, I've only found photos of the Irish bank token in the OP and this Assay double eagle. Without seeing the others, I do think these two are probably the most striking in design.

    Do photos of the others exist?

    The history of these is very interesting going from Bailey & Company to Clark Gruber to Jack Leon Klausen. Of note, this slab doesn't say "Fantasy" on it like the Irish Bank Token but appear to be some the same group.


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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 23, 2022 11:16PM

    Here's a biography of Jack Leon Klausen from the sale of his collection by Heritage. The following is just a short excerpt so click through for more :)

    Does anyone have a photo of Jack?

    https://coins.ha.com/heritage-auctions-press-releases-and-news/spectacular-territorial-gold-coins-from-jack-klausen-s-estate-to-anchor-heritage-s-long-beach-auction.s?releaseId=235

    Heritage wrote:
    Mr. Klausen was born in Hayes, Kansas on January 15, 1920. He told his grandson that his interest in numismatics started with the Coin Collecting merit badge from the Boy Scouts. His early business activities included produce routes, a traveling carnival, his own restaurant, and a Kaiser-DeSoto car dealership. An avid collector throughout this period, Mr. Klausen started attending coin club meetings in Kansas City in the early 1950s. He was inspired by other collectors, and began friendships with dealers that would last his lifetime. To help support his own collecting, he began to buy and sell rolls en route to becoming a full-time dealer. He joked that he retired to his beloved avocation of collecting coins, although his grandson notes “it is difficult to call four decades of passionate hard work ‘retirement.’” His strategy was to quietly buy and accumulate, which gave him plenty of inventory to work with later. He began to use the Teletype system when that started, and ultimately opened Mid-Continent Coins in Kansas City in the early 1960s.

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited March 24, 2022 2:08AM

    Here's the one struck over an 1850 $10 gold eagle!

    This was sold by Heritage in 2010 and then Stack's Bowers in 2011. The interesting thing is that the Heritage lot that the article references, Lot 2388 is no longer active. Luckily the 2011 Stack's lot is active, though it does not include PCGS slab photos. The PCGS Pop Report shows 2 in MS63, though one has to wonder if these are the same specimen.

    Neither the 2013 CoinWeek article nor the 2011 Stack's Bowers lot description attribute this to Jack Leon Klausen.

    CoinWeek said:
    In Heritage’s 2010 April-May Milwaukee, WI CSNS US Coin Auction #1139 they featured a bizarre example of territorial coin production, a Clark Gruber Twenty Dollar Overstruck on a U.S. 1850 Ten Dollar, graded MS63 PCGS. Lot 2388

    Although numerous die trials or fantasy pieces are known for the 1861 Clark, Gruber coinage, this was the first such example we have seen of this particular combination, and as such it is probably unique.

    So the census with photos is now:

    1. 1808 Irish bank token
    2. 1850 $10 eagle
    3. 1853 Assay Office $20

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I finally got around to looking up the silver 1808 Irish Bank Token that the OP coin was struck on.

    Here they are to compare:


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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 10:14AM

    Here's an article. Looks like these were the subject of discussion for some time!

    https://www.coinbooks.org/esylum_v11n31a15.html

    Society of Private and Pioneer Numismatics (SPPN) said:
    PIONEER GOLD FORUM TO DISCUSS CONTROVERSIAL U.S. ASSAY OFFICE 1853 $20S AT ANA'S WORLD'S FAIR OF MONEY

    This year's annual meeting at the ANA will consist of a special gathering of the Pioneer Gold Forum, to discuss the controversial proof and prooflike 1853 $20 U.S. Assay Office of Gold Pieces. These pieces were the subject of an inconclusive 1968 PNG (Professional Numismatists Guild - Editor) arbitration.

    The Pioneer Gold Forum is an elite group of numismatic experts in the field of pioneer gold and have been carefully chosen for their abilities, willingness and impartiality toward analyzing controversial pioneer numismatic issues. Earlier this year, the Forum analyzed and concluded that the "Prooflike" 1861 Clark, Gruber & Co. $20s were 20th century fantasies, leading to PCGS' subsequent repurchase - and relabeling as fantasies - of erroneously certified overstruck specimens. This years' meeting takes place Saturday August 2, 2008 in Room #320 at the Baltimore Convention Center.

    And more from George Fuld in a Google group. Is this Google group still running?

    It looks like George concluded they weren't done by Paul Franklin's Massapequa Mint.

    George Fuld said in the Colonial Newsletter Foundation Google group:
    I had the privilege of examining the USAO $20 gold specimen in about MS-64 which is the EXACT prototype of the "proof" USAO $20 pieces. There are at least 20 exact points on the "proofs" that match the prototype $20 (it only takes seven to establish a finger print). It is obvious to the most novice observer, there is no question that the "proof" dies were made from a transfer process directly from the prototype regular issue $20. Forget the reed differences, X-ray back scatter or other mesures--the coins are strictly concoctions as there is no way genuine proofs can be produced from an original prototype regular issue!!

    Of course all the so-called die trials of the USAO pieces came under the same "BAD" category

    I started this coin study of the so-called proofs in early 1964 with a group Made up of Dr. James O. Sloss, Abe Kosoff, Eric Newman and myself. As a public service, the Metallurgy Research Laboratory of the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. did x-ray studies and photomicrographs and back scatter x-rays. All data was transmitted to Eric about six months later and he carried the ball up to the 1967-8 PNG hearing. One proof was sent to the Secret Service--but they declined to study it as they claimed that the USAO was not a government Mint until 1854 although the USAO was a U S government agency.

    Except for some crocodile tears from the present owners of the "proof" twenties and associated trials, the 11:00 AM meeting at ANA on Saturday should put this whole subject to rest.

    Of course the last big question is where the coins were made--they certainly weren't manufactured in Paul Franklin's garage!!

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 10:38AM

    @Zoins said:
    Here's the one struck over an 1850 $10 gold eagle!


    i know i'm kinda focused on the unimportant part but that obv gold one is probably the best example of what looks like mechanical doubling BUT is in fact, actually double struck (at least) confirmed by the 2 eyes from the overstruck die. - the spread of the gold piece double striking matches in degrees of rotation between obv/rev, so that is pretty straight-forward.

    the silver piece isn't as simple. the reverse has a MUCH smaller spread, actually looking like a ddr while the obverse doesn't as easily appear to have been double struck.

    there is something a bit inconsistent and the stars in the oval pattern are what is giving it away. they aren't matching the spread on the gold as the rest of the double striking spread. (obviously) and the same amount of spread is noted on the silver reverse, which kinda confirms the same die was used but still makes me wonder if it was a ddr AND then double struck.

    it may all be moot and needles but i like to keep my mind working (numismatically) with exercises like these. (edited to add: i am not challenging the authenticity or legitimacy, this is PURELY a numismatic exercise)

    disclosure, i haven't read the thread so i could be duplicating efforts.

    @Zoins - if you were to upload images of what the dies originally struck, i certainly wouldn't stop ya. ;)

    ok, gotta let me brain cool off from this one. (not sure this was the day to try to tackle this one)

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LanceNewmanOCC said:

    @Zoins said:
    Here's the one struck over an 1850 $10 gold eagle!


    i know i'm kinda focused on the unimportant part but that obv gold one is probably the best example of what looks like mechanical doubling BUT is in fact, actually double struck (at least) confirmed by the 2 eyes from the overstruck die. - the spread of the gold piece double striking matches in degrees of rotation between obv/rev, so that is pretty straight-forward.

    the silver piece isn't as simple. the reverse has a MUCH smaller spread, actually looking like a ddr while the obverse doesn't as easily appear to have been double struck.

    there is something a bit inconsistent and the stars in the oval pattern are what is giving it away. they aren't matching the spread on the gold as the rest of the double striking spread. (obviously) and the same amount of spread is noted on the silver reverse, which kinda confirms the same die was used but still makes me wonder if it was a ddr AND then double struck.

    it may all be moot and needles but i like to keep my mind working (numismatically) with exercises like these.

    disclosure, i haven't read the thread so i could be duplicating efforts.

    Nice observations!

    @Zoins - if you were to upload images of what the dies originally struck, i certainly wouldn't stop ya. ;)

    The Irish bank token is already here in this post (deep link):

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/comment/13304983/#Comment_13304983

    ok, gotta let me brain cool off from this one. (not sure this was the day to try to tackle this one)

    Haha, but super interesting!

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Here's the two TrueViews for the 1853 900 fine Assay Double Eagle.


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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    Nice observations!

    @Zoins - if you were to upload images of what the dies originally struck, i certainly wouldn't stop ya. ;)

    The Irish bank token is already here in this post (deep link):

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/comment/13304983/#Comment_13304983

    ok, gotta let me brain cool off from this one. (not sure this was the day to try to tackle this one)

    Haha, but super interesting!

    i mean a clark gruber piece these over-struck dies originally struck. i'm curious if any of them are known for a ddr. it would quickly and easily explain the discrepancy with the reverse spread.

    thanks :smiley:

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 2, 2023 10:43AM

    @LanceNewmanOCC said:

    @Zoins said:
    Nice observations!

    @Zoins - if you were to upload images of what the dies originally struck, i certainly wouldn't stop ya. ;)

    The Irish bank token is already here in this post (deep link):

    https://forums.collectors.com/discussion/comment/13304983/#Comment_13304983

    ok, gotta let me brain cool off from this one. (not sure this was the day to try to tackle this one)

    Haha, but super interesting!

    i mean a clark gruber piece these over-struck dies originally struck. i'm curious if any of them are known for a ddr. it would quickly and easily explain the discrepancy with the reverse spread.

    thanks :smiley:

    Ah! TrueViews of those coins have been notoriously difficult for me to find, but perhaps others are available.

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    Ah! TrueViews of those coins have been notoriously difficult for me to find, but perhaps others are available.

    .
    no probs. i will do the legwork then. i just figured since you did all of this, the odds of you finding them quicker would be higher BUT i was only asking on the off-chance that was the case, otherwise i'll track em down. :)

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:

    .
    would you say the $20 at the bottom of the list is the one?

    https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/category/territorial/colorado-gold/clark-gruber-co/1743

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

  • Options
    ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,910 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @LanceNewmanOCC said:

    @Zoins said:
    Ah! TrueViews of those coins have been notoriously difficult for me to find, but perhaps others are available.

    no probs. i will do the legwork then. i just figured since you did all of this, the odds of you finding them quicker would be higher BUT i was only asking on the off-chance that was the case, otherwise i'll track em down. :)
    [...]
    would you say the $20 at the bottom of the list is the one?

    https://www.pcgs.com/coinfacts/category/territorial/colorado-gold/clark-gruber-co/1743

    Yes, that would work. I was thinking of getting a photo of the "Type 2" fantasy 1861 Clark Gruber Double Eagles, but since they are made from a Type 1 coin, using a Type 1 photo should be fine as well.

  • Options
    LanceNewmanOCCLanceNewmanOCC Posts: 19,999 ✭✭✭✭✭

    @Zoins said:
    Update: while I originally posted about this in 2015, I was able to pick it up in 2022! Patience is a virtue!



    i kinda got caught up in the technical stuff and forgot to say:

    NICE NEWP!

    <--- look what's behind the mask! - cool link 1/NO ~ 2/NNP ~ 3/NNC ~ 4/CF ~ 5/PG ~ 6/Cert ~ 7/NGC 7a/NGC pop~ 8/NGCF ~ 9/HA archives ~ 10/PM ~ 11/NM ~ 12/ANACS cert ~ 13/ANACS pop - report fakes 1/ACEF ~ report fakes/thefts 1/NCIS - Numi-Classes SS ~ Bass ~ Transcribed Docs NNP - clashed coins - error training - V V mm styles -

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