Book on Countermarked coins?

Discussion in 'World Coins' started by kazuma78, Apr 15, 2015.

  1. kazuma78

    kazuma78 Supporter! Supporter

    I am starting to get interested in countermarked coins and was wondering if there is a book about them to be had anywhere. Everyone says buy the book before the coin and in this instance I really want to do that. As I understand it, a counterstamp is an unofficial stamp on a coin like from a merchant or for advertising. On the other hand a countermark is a stamp on a coin made officially to re-value the coin to another countries currency or to sort of create a new value on an old coin. I am really primarily interested in the latter (countermark), if my statement is correct. Any suggestions on books? Thanks in advance!
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  3. cpm9ball

    cpm9ball CANNOT RE-MEMBER

    I've never heard of countermarks being used by other countries to revalue another country's coinage. As a matter of fact, I've never seen a coin with a countermark (for that purpose) on it. Do you have photos of any examples you can post here? It sounds interesting.

  4. gxseries

    gxseries Coin Collector

    Here are a couple of examples:



    A fair number of Japanese yen coins were officially countermarked at Osaka and Tokyo mint, to be officially used overseas as bullion and never to be returned back to Japan.

    I believe Brazil has also countermarked copper coins. There are also overstrikes which is another field by it's own right.
    Marsyas Mike likes this.
  5. Amanda Varner

    Amanda Varner Well-Known Member

    Paging @BRandM to the thread seems like a good idea. :)
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  6. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Welcome to Coin Talk, kazuma. The main reference...and really the only comprehensive one... on counterstamps / countermarks is Greg Brunk's book Merchant and Privately Countermarked Coins. It was published in 2003, so is a bit dated, but still very useful. He's presently working on a second edition that should come out in the next year or so.

    You find copies of the 2003 edition on ebay at times. You can also try Amazon or other book sellers online, as well as his publisher's website. The web address is His publisher is Rich Harttzog at World Exonumia Press in Rockford, IL. Another source would be Russ Rulau's series of catalogs on U.S. and foreign tokens. If you search his name on the internet you'll come across listings of all his books. Keep in mind though, his work deals generally with tokens and not specifically with countermarks.

    You're right about the use of the terms, but they're basically interchangeable. I call everything a counterstamp, while Brunk refers to every issue as a countermark. It's really not important what you call them. Until you get some references to work with I'll be more than willing to help you out as much as possible. I specialize in U.S.issues, but know a bit about foreign stamps as well. Don't hesitate to post them on C/T for us to look at. Good luck!

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  7. kazuma78

    kazuma78 Supporter! Supporter

    Thank you very much for the informative post! I will probably look for one of the copies and then update it when the new version comes out. I kind of started liking these coins when I was looking for a cut piece of 8 (2 bit) and all I could find were counterstamped (I like this term better for some reason) coins. So I ended up buying one with a curacao counterstamp on it. I really liked it alot so I started looking at others and I want to learn about them first before I start piecing together a collection of them. They say buy the book before the coin and that's what I'm trying to do. Besides, for me, its the history and story behind a coin that for the most part makes the coin interesting to me and makes me fall in love with a particular piece (if that makes sense). I am primarily a U.S. coin collector but I needed some fresh air and something new for a bit so I'm branching a little into counterstamps and some ancients. I would like to have some US counterstamps but the few ones Ive seen that I liked were slightly more expensive than I was looking for like the Planters Bank pieces. Very cool though! Again, thank you for the input and if anyone else has anything to add, more information is always welcome!
  8. medoraman

    medoraman Supporter! Supporter

    There is also a countermark book by Howgego for ancient countermarks. Also, Krause books have lots of examples in their pages if you go through them. Some are even cut and countermarked to retariff the coins for a new value.
  9. Flamdrag99

    Flamdrag99 New Member

    The terms countermark and counterstamp are synonymous and can be interchanged. Depending on the subject matter/country you are looking for there are many countermarked/counterstamped pieces from around the world from ancient times to just after the turn of the last century. Of course there are modern counterstamps as well, but most of those are primarily private issues with few exceptions.

    Counterstamped issues tell an interesting story and one thing to keep in mind when looking for these pieces is does it make sense for the issue. This is where having some reading material comes into play. There are specialized books and other reference material available on counterstamp issues it just depends on what you are looking for, from what time period and from where. I collect attributable world countermarks and really enjoy researching them and the history around why they were issued. I would be more than happy to discuss these interesting issues with you further.
  10. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank


    Did Brunk ever publish the updated edition?
  11. Gallienus


    There is for the Brazilian overstruck silver dollars: The 960 Reis.
  12. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Not yet, Frank. He's faced some major health issues in the last few years, but seems to be improving significantly so it may come to pass in the next year or so. Time will tell. The manuscript is mostly complete, so it probably wouldn't take a lot to finish it.

  13. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    well, I guess I should just buy the old one?
  14. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    You probably should, Frank. I remember him telling me about 2007 or 2008 that the book would likely be published in 2010. Here it is 2019 and...... Not his fault though.

    You see a copy on eBay once in a great while, but they're always pricey...$200 or so. I have a lot of updated information on his US and Canadian listings that I'll share if anyone's interested. He did a near complete draft of his new book in 2013, and I received a copy from him as a thank you for helping proofread it.

  15. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    Thanks, I'll have to look for it
  16. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    I saw on another website that Frank Brunk had passed away. I don't know if there is someone here that can confirm it.

    A site, about a year ago, that was taking orders for a package of three of his books and a free price guide is not accepting orders, so the Countermark/counterstamp community may have lost a couple of major players.
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2020
  17. Chris B

    Chris B Supporter! Supporter

    I heard the same thing but can't find anything on line to confirm that.
  18. Coinsandmedals

    Coinsandmedals Well-Known Member

    Although it’s not exactly what you’re looking for, J Gavin Scott produced a catalog of countermarks on British copper and bronze coinage.
  19. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Unfortunately, Greg Brunk did pass away a couple of months ago.

    While the manuscript for his new edition is nearly complete, there's still some finishing work to do on it. Greg pretty much worked alone as far as I know. He had many contributors, including me, but with the exception of his publisher, maintained his own files. He was apparently a very private man.

    About 5 or 6 years ago he sent me a copy of his US and Canadian manuscript material and asked that I help him proof it. This is material he'd gathered up until 2013 I think. I never saw his other data on foreign counterstamps.

    I don't know what's going to become of his updated manuscript. About a year or two ago NNP offered to assist him in having his work published , but he turned them down for some reason. His long time publisher, Rich Hartzog, passed away several years ago and he was having difficulty finding another, so why he didn't accept their help is a mystery to me. I guess time will tell.

  20. Marshall

    Marshall Junior Member

    Thank you for the information. I've obtained several Large Cents with Countermarks/Counterstamps this year.





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  21. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Nice coins, Marshall, I like them.

    BTW, the J. Crosby stamp is probably that of an arms inspector at the Springfield Arsenal. He inspected and stamped Model 1818 flintlock pistols. Not sure what the little star synbol is. It's too small to get a good look at. It could be Crosby's inspection stamp, but i'd need to see a close up of it.

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