I got an interesting private message on Collectors Universe last week...

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by lordmarcovan, Jul 12, 2019 at 6:46 AM.

  1. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Really? Wow!!!

    No mintmark, but quite the sweet little gem!
    Kasia likes this.
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  3. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    No, and no, on both denomination and type. Narrows it down somewhat.
    Kasia likes this.
  4. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Half dimes (and indeed, even trimes, as shown) were not too small for engraving. True, not quite as many of them got made into love tokens, precisely because of the smallness issue, but plenty did.

    But one part of your original instinct was sound. Trust that part. ;)
    Kasia likes this.
  5. Kasia

    Kasia Got my learning hat on

  6. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    The answer can be found in the...

  7. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Or there is even a clue in @Kasia's new coin (or any other 3cS).

    All trimes share a design feature with the key to this mystery, though the love token is not a trime.
  8. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    Okay, I'll guess a Bust dime!
  9. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Yes, we're getting much warmer now, but what kind of Bust dime, and what's the (invisible) date? ;)
  10. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Average Circulated

    So it's a Bust Dime, whose variety is found among the stars. :blackalien:

    Capped Bust Dimes have stars on the obverse.
    (Some) Draped Bust dimes have stars on the reverse.

    The obverse of your token has been obliterated.
    Could we be looking at an 13 or 14-star variety Draped Bust Dime? Holy smokes! (I'm confused but not giving up yet)
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  11. Kasia

    Kasia Got my learning hat on

    I think I have an idea, but I am not really familiar with bust dimes.
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  12. Kasia

    Kasia Got my learning hat on

    Maybe it is an 1830????
    lordmarcovan likes this.
  13. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    You're getting very warm.

    Not 13 or 14 stars. There are, in fact, sixteen stars on the reverse of this coin.
    Seattlite86 likes this.
  14. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator


    Watch. @LakeEffect is about to nail it.
  15. Milesofwho

    Milesofwho Omnivorous collector

    A 1797 draped bust? If so, wow! That’s absolutely amazing!
    LakeEffect likes this.
  16. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Average Circulated

    @Milesofwho beat me to it. 1797 or 1798/7. That's amazing!
    Kasia and Milesofwho like this.
  17. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

  18. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    The 1797 Draped Bust dime with 16 stars had the stars on the obverse, and the Small Eagle reverse.

    The 1798/7 Draped Bust dime, on the other hand, had 16 stars on the reverse, and the Heraldic Eagle.

    Like so: :)


    Sorry for the photos with the big stupid Photobucket watermark, but that's all I have for the moment. The coin did not arrive today. Maybe tomorrow.

    So yeah, this amazingly kind stranger just sent me one heck of a love token.

    Based on the VG details of the reverse, this would be a $1,200-1,400-ish coin if it had a matching obverse. It is, in my estimation, still a $500+ item as a love token. That's a much narrower niche market, but one I've participated in over the last decade.

    I am thrilled. Not only is this an amazing love token, right at the moment I was thinking about picking those up again, but it is also the first piece of 1700s US silver I have owned in 43 years of collecting.

    (I have owned four or five 1790s large cents and one Draped Bust dime before, which was an 1805. The small-denomination Draped silver- those dimes and half dimes- are tough!)

    For a buck-fifty-five investment. A dollar bill, and the stamp it cost me to mail that payment. I'm glad I took him up on that offer!

    Many thanks to Rick, who knowingly gave me this mindblowing cherrypick, and charged me exactly what it cost him, decades ago, when he himself cherrypicked it. He turned down a $30 offer for it at the time, and wisely so.
  19. Seattlite86

    Seattlite86 Outspoken Member

    Absolutely incredible. Please write this entire backstory down and place it with the coin. Your (future) grandkids will appreciate being able to learn about its history.

    What’s on the other side?
    LakeEffect likes this.
  20. lordmarcovan

    lordmarcovan Eclectic & odd Moderator

    Posted that earlier in the thread. The obverse got made into a love token with "CB" script initials, sometime between 1798 and about 1860, based on the style of the engraving.


    Possibly even later in the 19th century, but based on my experience I am pretty confident the engraving dates to the first half of the 1800s, before the Civil War, and before love token fashion peaked with the much more ornate carvings of the 1870s and 1880s.
    Seattlite86 likes this.
  21. LakeEffect

    LakeEffect Average Circulated

    Amazing story and a very generous gift. Thanks for sharing.
    lordmarcovan likes this.
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