The "R. THEIS" Counterstamp (PICS)

Discussion in 'US Coins Forum' started by Diplodocus, Mar 18, 2016.

  1. Diplodocus

    Diplodocus Active Member

    I was lucky enough to find one of these in circulation a couple of years ago.

    I don't yet have Brunk's book on counterstamps but I know that the "R. THIES" stamp is mentioned. I don't know what Brunk has to say about it but the story online is that these were stamped at the US Mint, though I find that hard to believe.

    Does anyone have any additional information regarding this stamp or know if Brunk provides any additional information to the online rumors?
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  3. Markus1959

    Markus1959 Well-Known Member

  4. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    modern counterstamp
  5. JBK

    JBK Coin Collector

    You are every lucky to have found one in the wild. I have a few of them, all purchased on eBay. I paid as little as .99 for one (from Canada, due to the postage option highlighted on the auction page being $15.00 or something, but there was a much lower shipping option listed on the shipping details screen, which most people overlooked), and as much as $10 or $15 (and I lost one or two that went higher than that).

    There is a tremendous amount of misinformation online about this coin. I do not have Brunk's book so I do not know what he says about it. I seem to recall that there was speculation that they originated out west, maybe in Nevada. All the quarters seem to be dated from about the mid-1970s to the mid-1980s.

    What I can tell you for sure is that they were NOT done by artist Ryan Thies. There was some conflicting information that it was done by him and I wrote to him to ask, and he sent me an elaborate response. I am not sure if it is still out there but at one time he used his reply to me (including a return envelope with some very interesting artwork) on his website to address the issue. He is an artist and perhaps “performance artist” as well, so some of his information needs to be taken with a grain of salt. In his letter to me he said that his father worked for the mint and did the stamping there, and was sent to prison for his actions. That was clearly tongue in cheek, though. Artist Ryan Thies (or his father) did not make these, that is certain.
    LaCointessa, Diplodocus and BRandM like this.
  6. physics-fan3.14

    physics-fan3.14 You got any more of them.... prooflikes? Supporter

    What are these counterstamps for, and why are they popular? I don't get it - someone explain it to me.
  7. JBK

    JBK Coin Collector

    Counterstamps have been added to coins for literally thousands of years for a variety of reasons, and collecting them is a niche part of coin collecting. I don’t know exactly when, but within the past few decades counterstamps have become more respected and popular as a collecting field.

    Coins have been counterstamped by governments to revalue them, by private businesses to advertise, and by individuals for many reasons. In many cases the coins are the host or the vehicle by which someone advertises his business, political beliefs, etc. There is a lot of history tied up in some counterstamped coins.

    Why collect them? Good question. Why collect any coins? Why collect medals? Subway tokens? Wooden nickels? It all seems kind of silly. But people do like to collect them for whatever reason. And when they start paying real money for them it becomes big business.
  8. Jwt708

    Jwt708 Well-Known Member

    Any comments @BRandM ?

    Our man Bruce is a bit of an expert here on counterstamps. What I love about Bruce's posts is the great deal of historical background he adds to the pieces.
    BRandM likes this.
  9. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    As JBK says above these pieces weren't struck by Ryan Thies, but probably were struck and issued out west, most likely in Nevada. There is some evidence to suggest that they were the work of a Reno resident named Richard J. Thies. Thies was the chief economist of the United States Silver Corporation and later vice-president of Security Monetary Systems.

    Many examples of this counterstamp appeared in Nevada casinos in the 1970s and 80s and were reported by Andrew Auld in an article in Coin World in April, 1985. Though Richard Thies is a possible issuer, I've seen no definitive proof that ties him to the issue.

    Many examples are struck on both sides, but some, in lieu of a second strike on the reverse, have a large number stamped in its place. One piece that I'm aware of has "40" in very large numbers on the reverse. The purpose of the numbers are unknown to me. This is an interesting modern issue that could possibly be attributed in time.

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  10. JBK

    JBK Coin Collector

    Thx for the additional details, Bruce. I am sure I got my memory of the Nevada connection from an earlier post of yours. It is interesting how the original issuer has maintained anonymity for so long - I guess he was not a coin collector, or he would have spilled the beans years ago. Maybe he liked to play the slots and enjoyed trying to get his own quarters back. There has to be some reason he only stamped quarters.
    LaCointessa, BRandM and Diplodocus like this.
  11. Diplodocus

    Diplodocus Active Member

    Awesome, thanks for the obscure details - I knew the worthpoint story and many others were wrong. Hoping to see some kind of concrete evidence emerge soon as to who really produced them.

    @BRandM and @JBK, great posts from you two are a big reason I joined these forums, glad you chimed in. JBK, your letter is indeed still posted on Ryan Thies' website; he still claims on his website that his parents are incarcerated for having done this and that they are eligible for parole sometime this year. But, as your post mentions above, it certainly seems that neither he nor his parents are responsible for these.

    To anyone who has posted in this thread already, if you message me a mailing address I'll send you a counterstamped coin I just started doing this year.
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  12. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    You could be right, JBK. I hadn't thought about using them in slot machines. It could be the only reason he struck them on quarters.

  13. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Thanks, Diplodocus. I'll send a message to you.

  14. Hookman

    Hookman Well-Known Member

    Hey Diplodocus, are you still "game" 3 years later?
    LaCointessa likes this.
  15. LaCointessa

    LaCointessa Well-Known Member

    Reading my mind again, @Hookman !! :-D
  16. LaCointessa

    LaCointessa Well-Known Member

    And also maybe because of the size of the coin - easier to work on than smaller denomination coins.
  17. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    he hasn't posted since Oct 2017
  18. Hookman

    Hookman Well-Known Member

    I was looking forward(backward?) to one of those coins he was offering.
  19. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    I know Jacob, Hookman, but lost touch with him about the time he stopped posting. I have some of his personal counterstamps , and would be glad to send one your way. I think he had at least 7 or 8 different ones. I'm not sure who cut the dies, but he stamped them on a press he had. I'll send you a few of my own too. Message me your address, Hookman, and I'll get them to you as soon as I can.

    Hookman likes this.
  20. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    I'll send you one too, LaCointessa. Not fair that Hookman gets all the goodies.:D

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  21. LaCointessa

    LaCointessa Well-Known Member

    Cool!! :joyful: and thank you!! I am sure I have at least a couple counterstamped coins around here - Memorial Cents, I think. I haven't the foggiest where I might have tucked them since I remember when someone else asked about the one they had found, they were told that they were not desirable. :(
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