What's the deal with counter stamped coins?

Discussion in 'Coin Chat' started by Swervo513, Dec 25, 2012.

  1. Swervo513

    Swervo513 Well-Known Member

    Hello all

    I have been noticing a bunch of counter stamped coins on the market lately. Some were modern and others were ancient. I am just wondering if there is a general rule in regards to this subject or if it is all relative to the coin and who is stamping it. Also if you have any that you would like to share that would be great! Learning about individual coins could be a good way to learn about this general subject. So please share your counterstamped coin and it's story.

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  3. 100mon

    100mon Junior Member

    I haven't noticed any higher frequency of counter stamped coins on eBay or heritage, but those are only in the areas I am looking in, which is american coins and east asian coins. I find them really fascinating pieces of history. with wear on a coin, you cant tell where it has been, only that it has been around, but if it was stamped, you know where it had passed through a shop or certain part of the country. i only have one countermarked coin, and it was the only way I could afford a seated liberty dollar.
  4. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Generally, to a counterstamp collector like myself the stamp is of more importance than the coin it's stamped on. While the type of coin can add value (old Spanish or U.S. silver coins, gold pieces, etc.) who or for what reason the stamp was added is the appeal...in short, the history behind it. If it can be traced to a famous person, an important historical event, or something of that nature it makes it more interesting and generally more valuable. I've been researching these pieces for years and discovering the identity of the issuer is very rewarding. In the 19th Century, especially from about the 1820's to the 1880's it was a common practice to counterstamp coins for any number of reasons. Sometimes businessmen did so to advertise their business, othertimes political slogans were stamped on coins. Many personal "pocket pieces" are also known where people stamped their names on coins and carried them in a pocket or on a chain around their neck. I've always found these to be an interesting area of collecting.
    I have a lot of pics from my collection but can't seem to download them right now. I've been having trouble with that the last week or so.

  5. Treashunt

    Treashunt The Other Frank

    The moderns are junk (in my mind).

    But the older pieces are very collectible.

    one of mine:


    and another:

    Randy Abercrombie likes this.
  6. JeromeLS

    JeromeLS Coin Fanatic

    I have a Victorian farthing made into a love token with "AMY SAVAGE" stamped on it. Always wish I could find out who she was...
  7. Swervo513

    Swervo513 Well-Known Member

    So I guess the value really depends on who/why it was stamped by/for. Does anyone have any online resources pertaining to this topic?
  8. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Basically that's the case Swervo. I don't know of any websites dedicated to counterstamps per se , but the "bible" for these pieces is Greg Brunk's book Merchant and Privately Countermarked Coins published in 2003. Brunk is currently working on an a second edition but it won't be ready for another year or two. Copies of the 2003 edition appear on eBay once in awhile but are pricey.
    If you Google "counterstamps", "countermarks" or sometging similar you'll get some information on the subject.

  9. Swervo513

    Swervo513 Well-Known Member

    Thanks Bruce! I started thinking about the subject when I found a Claudius coin counter marked by Nero. Pretty cool if I may say so myself
  10. Conder101

    Conder101 Numismatist

    But when the older pieces were conterstamped, THEY were moderns and by definition "junk".

    I thought the second edition of Brunk was already out (and out of print) and he was working on the third edition.
  11. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Actually the 2003 edition is an updated combination of two previous books Brunk published American and Canadian Countermarked Coins and Merchant Countermarks on World Coins. In that regard it would be the second edition, but 2003 is really the first edition of his comprehensive listings. I spoke to him just a week or so ago and he expects to have the rough draft of his U.S. listings complete in the next 6 months or so. His Canadian section is already complete as are a few other smaller sections. After the U.S. is finished he'll move on to the foreign counterstamps.

  12. COINnoisseur

    COINnoisseur Professional Amateur

    "The Moderns Are Junk." I'm sure that's what people said when they were stamping the coins we call older pieces.
  13. tgaw

    tgaw Member

    it is an easy cheap from of advertisement and most likely the reason behind most of the ones that were done.there are so many different ones that it is amazing to me.
  14. Swervo513

    Swervo513 Well-Known Member

    Just bought this one for 40 buck. Hope I didn't over pay. Tried doing research but its not easy without any resources but the vastness of the World Wide Web. Does anyone know anything about this coin?

    Attached Files:

  15. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    You're right tgaw a lot of them were done for advertising purposes. As a matter of fact Greg Brunk calls them "Advertising on the World's Smallest Billboards". As far as numbers go, the 2003 edition lists 15,000 or more different examples but that's only a small fraction of what's out there. During my years of research I've documented several thousand additional ones myself. I know other researchers who've done likewise.

  16. tgaw

    tgaw Member

    yes i recently got a book on tokens from the library and it is comparable to a world coin book.
  17. sonlarson

    sonlarson World Silver Collector

    What's on the other side? I have seen some of these counter marked as "un colon" on one side with the 1923 date on the other. $40 seems right. Nice coin
  18. Swervo513

    Swervo513 Well-Known Member

    Don't know much about the counter stamp on this coin but here it is.

    Attached Files:

  19. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    Sorry I can't help you with your counterstamp Swervo, my main focus is on U.S. stamps. I have a nice collection of Irish political stamps but don't dabble much in foreign material other than those. I have seen a lot of these on eBay though and $40 seems like a decent price. If you went on the site and searched under "countermark" or "counterstamp" you'd probably come up with some info on them from a seller. Good luck!

  20. BRandM

    BRandM Counterstamp Collector

    What book did you get tgaw? Was it Russ Rulau's U.S. token book?

  21. tgaw

    tgaw Member

    i believe it was,but took it back have a world coin book now.i love the library for resources and reading in general another hobby of mine.
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