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1804 Dollar with Copper Plug - Gallery Mint

ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭
edited September 15, 2017 1:11AM in U.S. Coin Forum

Just ran across this 1804 dollar with a copper plug fantasy coin by GMM that I thought was pretty exciting from a minting perspective.

Unfortunately, I ended up being the underbidder on this but was willing to go higher. Let me know if anyone wants to flip this or has another to sell.

Also, pretty funny is that I was reminded of this piece after I lost it:


  • oih82w8oih82w8 Posts: 11,889 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hmmm...I can't say that I have seen that one before....interesting.

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

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  • BaleyBaley Posts: 22,658 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited January 15, 2017 10:38AM

    Had it on my watch list, but didn't end up bidding on it.

    Neat piece and must have been fun to produce.

    Liberty: Parent of Science & Industry

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 4, 2023 11:26AM

    Here's some information on this piece from Verne Roy Walrafen:

    Worth MORE Than A Plugged Nickel!
    So here is what I know so far... First, you take a perfectly good $50 proof 1804 dollar GMM strike and punch a hole in it! At first I thought it was a half cent sized hole but then I compared the silver cutout to a half cent and the cutout is significantly smaller that a half cent. So... I assume you then plug the hole with a copper insert you created with the same punch you just used on that nice proof silver dollar. This was not, as far as I can determine, a copper planchet already prepared for another purpose...for one thing it had to be the correct thickness to match the silver dollar. I know a coin expands when struck so perhaps the hole was the size of a "raw" half cent planchet but the size difference seems a bit much for that. Finally you strike the resulting planchet with half cent dies three times (see closeup at right.)

    What I don't know is; "Why?" Oh yeah... pay attention now... you don't do this just once! You almost certainly do it at a minimum of twice because the silver cutout (shown at left) that came with this trial piece (for lack of a better term at this point) is not from the 1804 dollar used for this piece. The silver cutout is from the opposite edge of a different 1804 proof dollar (there goes another $50!) Maybe the fact this specimen split out to the left edge caused a second attempt. Although...the other piece was punched quite close to the right edge. Strange!

    I don't understand how GMM could spare the resource, both already created products and manpower, unless it served some useful purpose. Perhaps training, experimenting with the materials to learn "What happens when..." or exploring new capabilities for future creations. Maybe a 1792 Voight Silver Center Cent from GMM is in our future!
    Perhaps a customer ordered a plugged 1804 dollar but that is so far-out I can't guess what their thought processes might have been. If this was a special order piece I would think GMM would need a very high price to make it worth all the special effort. I did not special order this piece but bought it already created from GMM's stock.

    So this is a question that will most likely have to be circulated around GMM to find the culprit who knows what's up. Why was this trial piece created? ...and... Does anyone out there have a similar piece? Maybe they have my silver cutout and I have theirs and we can trade!

    And photos of Verne's specimen. This one is nice because you can fully see both Liberties on the obverse.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Strange item.... not a piece I would consider, however, there are obviously interested parties...Cheers, RickO

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 6, 2017 8:44PM

    Here's a collage for posterity, photos courtesy of Dick Abrahams of Great Toning. After looking at these images this way, I can see that Verne's specimen may have been designed to show both Liberties at the same time while the PCI specimen may be designed to have the plug be able to standalone on its own.

    I'm curious how the plug was carved out of the dollar. Looks like fun times at the Gallery Mint.

    While I as the underbidder on the 1804 dollar, I did get a consolation prize and win the plug. Wonder if they will ever be rejoined as a pair again!

  • CaptHenwayCaptHenway Posts: 31,529 ✭✭✭✭✭


    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.
  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 6, 2017 9:03PM

    @CaptHenway said:

    Which part? Enquiring minds want to know!

  • tradedollarnuttradedollarnut Posts: 20,146 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Yuck. That's a mess

  • WmwoodWmwood Posts: 102 ✭✭

    @tradedollarnut said:
    Yuck. That's a mess

    It's interesting, yet horrific.

  • rickoricko Posts: 98,724 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Just not my type of 'coin'.....One must feel a spark of interest in such things.. and frankly, I agree with TDN...Cheers, RickO

  • 291fifth291fifth Posts: 23,930 ✭✭✭✭✭

    Made for collector junk.

    All glory is fleeting.
  • originalisbestoriginalisbest Posts: 5,912 ✭✭✭✭

    @291fifth said:
    Made for collector junk.

    Mr. Sunshine, as always. But I can't understand why you're bringing up dcarr products in this thread? LOL

  • OldIndianNutKaseOldIndianNutKase Posts: 2,700 ✭✭✭✭✭

    It would look much better as a well circulated coin rather than a mint state fake.


  • topstuftopstuf Posts: 14,803 ✭✭✭✭✭

    I had this.....um.... thing.
    Still don't know how it was made. Coins are correct colors. :*

  • ZoinsZoins Posts: 33,811 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited February 7, 2017 10:08AM

    @291fifth said:
    Made for collector junk.

    These or the original 1804s?

  • Insider3Insider3 Posts: 260 ✭✭✭

    @topstuf said:
    I had this.....um.... thing.
    Still don't know how it was made. Coins are correct colors. :*

    Paper weight. Mine is 5' long and all foreign coins. It has a felt or velvet backing.

  • Insider3Insider3 Posts: 260 ✭✭✭

  • Insider3Insider3 Posts: 260 ✭✭✭

    Picked this up for $3 at a flea market last year. It's 5" by 2." Eventually I plan to use metallic copper and silver paint to make this more attractive

  • braddickbraddick Posts: 23,072 ✭✭✭✭✭

    That original Gallery Mint auction was mine.
    I forgot what it eventually closed at but while owning it I thought it was cool.
    Apparently looking back on the post by others, not so much.


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