Discussion in 'World Coins' started by kazuma78, Apr 15, 2015.
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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.
@BRandM to the thread seems like a good idea.
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 www.exonumia.com. 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!
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!
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.
Did Brunk ever publish the updated edition?
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.
well, I guess I should just buy the old one?
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.
Thanks, I'll have to look for 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.
I heard the same thing but can't find anything on line to confirm that.
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.
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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