Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Marshall, Dec 29, 2020.
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Our counterstamp person is Bruce @BRandM, let's see if he chimes in??
It appears to be two (2) different stamps.
While you're waiting for an intelligent response, might I suggest it could be the mark of the Van Buren Boys...
My main theory is that the stamp is an 8 Maravedis counterstamp from Spain (or other spanish country).
Haven't heard from him in a while but I'm sure @ExoMan could help you out.
I purchase it because it is a late Die State S-255. The stamps show up on five of my coins, but only the J. Stapleton on the 1793 S-5 has been identified, though the J. Crosby on my S-145 may be an inspectors mark from Springfield.
I also saw that stamp on eBay but decided not to bid although I like it.
It isn't a jeweler's mark for sure as it's too large and crudely made. Jeweler's marks are always small and generally well crafted. No fine metal craftsman would have a stamp like that.
I call this style American Primitive because of the roughness and crude workmanship. I've seen a lot of this type of stamp but could never really get a handle on who would have made them. My best guess is a rough metal worker of some sort...tool maker, blacksmith, hardware (maybe), or something along those lines.
Your stamp is probably as old as the coin or near so. The crossed W style (X/W) and stop or period midway up the initials are very old styles not seen on newer stamps.
I'm also having trouble with the stamp itself. I'm seeing "W 8" but the 8 makes no sense. I think it may actually be a "stylized" or badly shaped "S". Hard to tell for sure. In any case I like the piece very much. Thanks for posting it.
Thanks for your input. I'm not even sure which way it's oriented. Is it Leaning 8 M or W Leaning 8? And the crossing style you mention suggests that it is not V V 8 which I was wondering about as well.
Are these types of stamps catalogued anywhere or are they still considered "wild game" so to speak?
I have to admit that I find this intriguing after seeing them as a hindrance to attribution until now. My collection may have taken a new turn.
I don't think anyone has paid much attention to these primitives, either American or foreign examples. Most are American as the older British stamps are more refined and you don't see the crossed W much. Generally, examples on auction sites don't get large bids...sometimes not at all. The main reason is that attribution is nearly impossible which puts a damper on the price.
I'm intrigued by them myself and have been noticing examples for a long while now. I haven't figured out how to research them as initials-only stamps don't provide enough information. If some showed up with additional stamps on them then it would give you something to look into.
Not sure what denomination "w8" would be, but "8M" might be 8 Maravedis? Spain struck 8 Maravedis coins at least until 1850, but I don't know which of the colonies used that denomination. This is from a much earlier counterstrike:
Interestingly enough, the denomination maravedis was debased from gold to silver to copper over time:
In the meantime, I've gone over Brunk's reference looking for any examples of this type of primitive counterstamp. Without exception his listings only include a description and not even a guess as to what the stamps represent. Unusual for him, but It seems that he just didn't know anything about them.
Scratch - A sharp object is used to scratch a letter or image into the coin leaving an incused (into the coin) mark.
Engraved - Similar to the above, but using a device and process to achieve a refined and symmetric image which might also remove some material.
Standard Stamp - A device with a raised reversed image of the detail on a stamp which is then used to produced an incused image onto the coin.
Incused Stamp - A device with an encused reverse image of the detail on a stamp which is then used to produce a raised image of the detail on the stamp by depressing the material around the image.
While the normal stamp is a type of die struck with a hammer or press, early and ancient coins may have the stamp directly on the striking object.
Is this a helpful grouping? All opinions and suggestions are requested.
In this case, the OP coin would be an Incused Stamp. Since the Standard Stamp leaves an incused mark on the coin, would that be confusing?
...as @Marshall suggests.
In the original pics, the base of the "W" appeared different between the stamps...suggesting two different stamps. The new pics make me think it may be the same stamp...which would make more sense. The guy was probably just looking for something to test his stamp.
It doesn't appear to be an advertisement. I'm wondering if stamps like these were used by tradesmen to mark their tools. I'm trying to think of why I might have used a stamp like that back in the day. It could also be something like a Leper Colony stamp...before dedicated issues. Or even an owner's stamp to customize slave tags.
Why do you think your coins were stamped like that? Do you think the stamp used was made for stamping coins (e.g. advertisements)?
(Someone really clobbered that second coin of yours)
The other thing I'm trying to wrap my head around are the dots. I can understand how dots were used to separate letters (like your coins do). So why does Marshall's coin begin with a dot? Could there something more to the left we're not seeing?
I like your classifications, Marshall. The first one "scratch' is actually considered graffiti, and of course engraving is a refined type of "scratching"...but definitely not graffiti.
Then there's damage. If a coin is defaced with a tool of some sort, a chisel for example, then it's damage. It can also be considered a counterstamp because in effect the chisel becomes a stamp or die, just a crude one.
Here's a couple examples of scratched and damaged coins I have in my collection. Both are Irish Nationalist political statements that make their point by defacing the Queen. The first is a hole punched in the head to simulate a bullet hole and is classified as an assasiation coin. This can be considered both scratched and damaged.
The second coin has lines scratched through her throat which has an obvious meaning.
They weren't made specifically for stamping coins, but to mark property or something the person made as maker identification.
I don't know why Marshall's coin has a dot before the first letter. Not sure I've seen that before.There's no missing letter as a vague outline of the depression can be seen and there's no room for another letter.
Separate names with a comma.