Counterstamped Coins

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by silverdrachm, Jun 9, 2013.

  1. silverdrachm

    silverdrachm Member

    Hello, I have recently been interested in collecting counterstamped coins. I dont know a whole lot about them but i really like that each coin is unique and has a story to go with it. Sometimes the story is unknown and sometimes you can figure it out and i find that to be very cool. Can someone please help me with some basic knowledge about counterstamped coins?

    Also i have some links to auctions of coins i am thinking about buying but want a second opinion on.
    The first coin is a large cent that has another date on it. That second date is what drew me towards it.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/330936262223?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2648

    The next 2 are ones with names on them.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/400505597070?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2648
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/271219531591?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2648

    The last one is a company that i dont really know about but still interesting.

    http://www.ebay.com/itm/290911194431?ssPageName=STRK:MEWAX:IT&_trksid=p3984.m1438.l2648

    If anyone can give me some insight on counterstamped coins or the coins that i gave links to that would be very appreciated.
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  3. silverdrachm

    silverdrachm Member

  4. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Three of the five coins you linked too are undocumented or unlisted in any reference that I'm aware of silverdrachm. The exceptions are the "Pears Soap" piece and the "J.L.Philbric" stamp. The Pears stamp is not only listed, but is attributed to a particular company. The stamp is actually of an English company (London) that started manufacturing soap and other products in 1789. Many examples are known, all on French or Italian coins and were stamped in 1884 for advertising purposes. The reason that they struck their name on foreign coins was to avoid the laws in place at the time that forbade "mutilating" English coins. Interestingly, the French did the same thing, prolific counterstampers stamped mostly English coins. Apparently, the issues circulated freely in both countries. The one on eBay shows a decent strike but I've seen better. These issues usually sell for $12 to $25. The Philbric stamp is listed in the Brunk reference but is unattributed. Apparently, this is only the second example to come to light. The other is on a mutilated Large Cent. The Chicopee Falls Silver Dollar isn't a bad buy at $45 although the meaning of the caption is unclear. It may refer to an event that took place that day in the city or someones birthday or entirely something different. "L.L. Hunt" is unlisted but is a nice clear stamp and should bring $30 to $50. BTW, the "bible" of counterstamped coins is Gregory Brunk's "Merchant and Privately Countermarked Coins" printed in 2003. A new edition is in the works but is still a year or two away from publication. Hope this helped. Bruce
  5. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    BTW, I forgot to mention Rich Hartzog's website (exonumia.com). There's a lot of free information on there about counterstamped coins and tokens in general. Bruce
  6. silverdrachm

    silverdrachm Member

    Thanks for the information. So The coins that r not documented are not worth buying? like the large cent that is dated.
  7. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    The fun for me in collecting conterstamps is the research I do on the undocumented ones. Each one is a little history lesson waiting to be discovered. If you like a stamp for whatever reason it's worth buying. Documented stamps are often worth more than undocumented ones but not always. It depends on the issuer, design, condition of the stamp itself, type of coin it's struck on, etc. Many unlisted / unattributed pieces have a lot of value to them. Bruce
  8. silverdrachm

    silverdrachm Member

    Okay thanks. Im really thinking about buying the large cent that is stamped with a date on it. I really like the fact that it has 2 dates. I like that someone a long time ago decided to stamp it and i know the year they stamped it on. Depending on the price I might buy it. I also might buy the JL Philbric if it is for a good price. What do u think is the top dollar I should pay for both of them?
  9. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    It's tough to put a value on counterstamps sd because there are no price guides. You only get a sense of value after seeing what different types of stamps sell for over a long period of time. The dated/initialed Large Cent should be fairly reasonable, maybe $20 to $40. I wouldn't pay more than $30 for it, but if you like it bid higher. The Philbric is a nice stamp and is listed in Brunk so would normally bring more. I might pay up to $50 for this one if I were interested. I've seen what I thought were $100 pieces sell for $30, but have also seen what should be a $300 stamp go for $800. It's really hard to tell. Good luck on your bidding and make sure you let us how you do. Bruce
  10. silverdrachm

    silverdrachm Member

    Okay thank you for all the help!
  11. mackwork

    mackwork Caretaker of old coins & currency

  12. silverdrachm

    silverdrachm Member

  13. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    The Houck's counterstamp is one of the more popular ones mackwork. I have one in my collection but followed this one on eBay just out of curiousity. The $655 starting bid is way too high so I was pretty sure it wouldn't sell. A good Houck's stamp is worth that or more but with counterstamps a seller has to start with a much lower start and let it get bid up. Even with a no minimum bid this one should sell for a decent amount. we'll see what happens. Bruce
  14. mackwork

    mackwork Caretaker of old coins & currency

    Thanks for the selling info. BRandM. Maybe the Houck's will be relisted.
  15. JBK

    JBK Coin Collector

    Thanks to Bruce for the excellent write-up on the PEARS SOAP coins. One question: were they all stamped in 1884? I had always assumed that they were done over a longer period of time, or at least at two different times due to the fact that there are two different type styles for the counterstamps, and one of them has a broken P version.

    One other bit of advice I would give to someone new to counterstamp collecting is that it is important to understand the difference between a prepared punch (all characters on one punch, so all are stamped at the same time), and single/individual punches (each letter/number is punched individually). A prepared punch is easier to authenticate, especially if it is a known counterstamp, whereas individual punches can be far more easily faked (done long after the supposed time of stamping). I have lots of both in my collection, but single punch counterstamps can be tricky to authenticate - you need to take a lot of factors into consideration, such as the wear pattern on the letters and the coin to determine if they all look like they are appropriate for the supposed age of the counterstamp relative to age of the host coin. (Maybe someone can find a way to better explain all of this).

    A perfect example of looking at the wear on the coin vs. the wear on the stamp is one that I created myself to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic. I used some 1912 coins that were very well-worn (AG to G condition) and added a TITANIC counterstamp. The crisp, clear, unworn counterstamp is in stark contrast to the heavily worn details on the coins, which indicates that the counterstamp was not done in 1912 or anytime close to then, so no one has any reason to be fooled.
  16. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    I don't collect counter stamped coins but I did have a great one slip through my fingers once. It was an old silver coin that had the WIZARD stamp. :rollling:
    I had paid for it & I had it in my possession for about a day. I regret that I allowed it to go with the lot. :eek:
  17. Collect89

    Collect89 Coin Collector

    Here is a 1798 cent with what appears to be "?KIMB" stamped on it. I posted this at CT one time.

    Attached Files:

  18. silverdrachm

    silverdrachm Member

    Thanks. I like the ones that are individual punches because its just cool to me to think that someone a long time ago was bored and did this. like i feel the connection between that one random person who did it. i really like the ones with dates that someone punched into them.
  19. JBK

    JBK Coin Collector

    By the way....the next step is to get into the act yourself. You can buy a set of letter punches (on eBay or Harbor Freight Tools, for example) and do some yourself, if you are so inclined. I collected counterstanps for several years before I decided to also start doing some counterstamping myself. It was my way of "giving back", so to speak, and to help create some things that might be interesting or fun for future collectors.
  20. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    The general thinking seems to be that a huge number of coins, nearly a quarter of a million, we're stamped in 1884. I don't know what sources were used to determine this, but if it is correct, then any number of punches would have been used for this effort. That would of course lead to slight variations in the stamps even if produced by the same cutter. I'm not aware of a broken "P" variety Jeff, but do know there are some with a period after "Soap" and some without. In any case the shear number of these stamps issued is probably only rivaled by the Devins & Bolton emissions. They were druggists located in Montreal and like Pears issued thousands of counterstamped coins for advertising purposes. Both are from well executed dies but the shear number of both that survive today make them inexpensive to buy. Bruce
  21. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Do you remember the exact caption on your Wizard coin Collect? Was it just the word "Wizard"? I do remember you posting the Large Cent on C/T awhile ago. Although I can't get a good read from your picture the "Kimb" appears to be cut off by a poor strike. It may be "Kimball" or something similar. The style of the stamp indicates it may have been struck by a silversmith, jeweler, or some other "fancy" metalworker. Bruce

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