Featured My First Counterstamp, and Breaking the Redneck Barrier

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Numis-addict, Feb 22, 2014.

  1. Numis-addict

    Numis-addict Addicted to coins

    A few weeks ago, I was at a coin show at the Metrolina Fairgrounds in Charlotte. While there, I found a dealer who had a box of large cents priced at $15 apiece. Now, being the cheapskate that I am, I had to look at every single one of them:rolleyes:. Most were later-date, lower grade coins, but a few caught my eye. I decided to only buy one (though I kind of wish I had bought another that was in reasonable condition for the price). This one had a counterstamp on it, and I had no idea what I was doing:eek:. The dealer must have been feeling generous, as he sold it to me for $12. I notice a lot of dealers are like this to the YNs, BTW. They take good care of us. So, yesterday, I decided to try and figure out who or where it came from. Turns out, it is a pretty well-known and common counterstamp, but it is still not certain who exactly it comes from. It has a Brunk number of T-387 (I found this info in an auction listing), though that statement means almost nothing to me except to indicate that it is a known counterstamp. The most interesting theory I read was that it comes from a carpenter named Nathan J Tracy from Vermont who fought in the Civil War. Anyway, here is the picture:
    1846 large cent N. J. Tracy.jpg
    From what I saw, this counterstamp mostly is found on large cents, but also occasionally on Flying Eagles. However, I did not see any other examples that had been stamped twice. So, what do you think? I noticed that they have a tendency to go for between 20 and 30 dollars on the internet. Does this fit in that range?

    Now, on to the redneck portion of this:
    I wanted to take a picture of this coin, but I don't have my photography setup with me at the moment. So, I had to employ redneck engineering.
    mason jar photography.JPG
    Yes, that is a mason jar:cool:. I put small squares of black paper in there to help with the background, but this proved pointless when I had to make a cube of paper to get the coin to a better elevation. I took the images with my mother's Iphone camera, and sent it to my computer where I edited them with Photoscape. The sad thing is, my normal rig might rival the redneckery of this substitute. It is made of purely tinker toys, aside from the camera and coin, of course. (I had this image lying around in it's current state. I did not add the labels in an attempt to insult your intelligence.)
    Typical stand.png

    Any comments at all on the coin or camera setup? I hope you at least got to laugh out of the mason jar:D
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    GDJMSP Numismatist Moderator

    That is most definitely a unique copy stand ! Kudos for your ingenuity !!
    kaosleeroy108 and Numis-addict like this.
  4. aubade21

    aubade21 Well-Known Member

    Wow...very nice setup. I need to look though my kids toys and see if I can do something similar!
    Numis-addict likes this.
  5. Numis-addict

    Numis-addict Addicted to coins

    A small update: I managed to cover up the white cube by cutting a small circle to rest on it. I hope this will improve the image quality, but I have yet to test it. Thank you for the kind comments so far:).
  6. Hotpocket

    Hotpocket Supreme Overlord

    My big paws wont fit inside a mason jar. How did you get the coin in and out of the jar without it clinking around? Salad tongs?
    Numis-addict likes this.
  7. TypicalCreepahx

    TypicalCreepahx Hello There! ( ͡⚆ ͜ʖ ͡⚆)

    I agree some have helped me by pointing out coins are cleaned and advised me to buy a different coin.
    Numis-addict likes this.
  8. rysherms

    rysherms Alpha Member

    awhile back i started photographing my whole collection for insurance purposes. i was doing this in the middle of the day while my wife was at work as she is not 100% on what it is daddy is doing in his study late at night. well, this whole process ended up taking like 4-5hrs, and she comes home in the middle of it. i had a very similar "redneck" camera setup and i must say, i think yours is even nicer than mine, as mine was made by stacking "Discover" magazines on either side as a way to lower/raise the camera.

    i have seen some of these "coins specific" camera setups on ebay and have been tempted to buy them before. but i just cannot justify it. i dont ever look at pictures of my coins. and when i am looking at pics of coins, it is online because i am about to place a bid on one. there are a few gents on this forum who must have some really amazing equipment because their photos come out looking like smithsonian archival photos (in a good way).
    Numis-addict likes this.
  9. Lucky Cuss

    Lucky Cuss Cobrador de Plata

    A helpful hint regarding that mason jar set-up - you're aware that if you just leave it full and immerse the coin in the white lightnin' it actually diffuses the light coming in quite nicely?
    Mainebill and Numis-addict like this.
  10. fretboard

    fretboard Defender of Old Coinage!

    Nice counterstamp coin and a great looking set-up. I only have one but if I look around a bit, I am sure to find another. :D This one I have is very common, Pears Soap must have been known as much for their soap as their counterstamp. :D $(KGrHqN,!jUFCYIB+J!jBQtsuky!k!~~60_57.JPG

    Attached Files:

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  11. Numis-addict

    Numis-addict Addicted to coins

    I was supposed to keep it from clanking around?:eek: Lol. This setup is probably not ideal for unc coins, but in this case I'm pretty sure it couldn't have done any damage. I got the coin out by tipping it out of the jar. The paper lining did help prevent the coin from making too much noise though.
    Hotpocket likes this.
  12. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Nice Tracy counterstamps Numis-addict. I don't think I've ever seen one stamped twice so that's unusual. There's also a variety known in a curved ribbon...much less common. The latest from Brunk is that he feels these pieces were issued sometime in the early 1860s. Since there aren't any documented with other merchant stamps in addition to his, it probably doesn't originate from a large eastern city like New York or Boston ( a majority of counterstamps did).
    It has the look of a tool maker mark to me. I'm familiar with the Vermont carpenter some think may have issued it, but I don't think he's the one. I've been looking for this guy for a long time but unless someone can match the stamp to a known mark or an advertisement he'll probably never be found. BTW, $12 is a good price for yours. I think I paid $20 / $25 for mine.

    Numis-addict likes this.
  13. Numis-addict

    Numis-addict Addicted to coins

    Thanks for all of the great information! I fear that I may end up interested in this area of collecting in addition to all the others that already catch my eye. It would be a very interesting set to collect.
    BRandM likes this.
  14. Mainebill

    Mainebill Wild Bill

    The type of stamp does look like the type a 19th c carpenter would use on his planes and tools I just looked in my book on makers of wooden planes and didn't see it is just makers not owners though was just a thought by the way I like the mcgyver photo setup worked good
    Numis-addict likes this.
  15. Mainebill

    Mainebill Wild Bill

    I couldn't get my hands in a mason jar either there great to drink out of tho just wait to the next day to use for photos the moonshine will make everything blurry ;)
    Numis-addict likes this.
  16. Clutchy

    Clutchy Well-Known Member

    I have two counterstamps, this freemason and a side profile of Kennedys head on a cent. IMAG0939_1.jpg
    kaosleeroy108 likes this.
  17. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    If you like history Numis-addict then go for it. You can still pick up a lot of counterstamps for a decent price and researching them is a lot of fun.

  18. Numis-addict

    Numis-addict Addicted to coins

    Well, I'm already devoted to my type set for the moment, but I don't have any plans after I finish it. A type set of counterstamps would be a fun book to have. I'll have to add that to my list of potential collections to start after I finish the type set. Oh dear, I have more interests than I have budget:rolleyes:
  19. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Yeah, I know how you feel. Most of us are in the same boat.

    Numis-addict likes this.
  20. The Old Sarge

    The Old Sarge Junior Member

  21. The Old Sarge

    The Old Sarge Junior Member

    Did you empty the mason jar first? I assume that it contained good ole m'shine originally.

    The Old Sarge
    Mainebill and Jwt708 like this.
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