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The E-Sylum:  Volume 3, Number 45, October 29, 2000, Article 8

CONFEDERATE HALF DOLLAR 

  One of your editor's favorite coins is the Confederate Half 
  dollar.  A visitor to my web site wrote about a coin in their 
   possession: 

   "It is an 1861 Confederate Half Dollar.  Now please don't think 
   I'm crazy,  I know the chances are 5 billion to 1, if not more, 
   but there you go. How else can you tell (other than weight) if it 
   is a copy, and are the whereabouts of the real coins known? 
   Why would someone make a copy of this?  If it is a copy is it 
   worth about 2cents? Even if it is a copy, I learned a bit of 
   history last night, and it was great fun.  Thank you so much for 
   replying, and if its real, hey; you can help us celebrate!!" 
   My response: 

   "Well, there are restrikes and there are copies.  Copies are a 
   dime a dozen, but the restrikes are actually collectible and 
   worth $2,000 - $3,000.  I had two at one time, but sold one. 

   There were only four originals made and all are accounted 
   for, although I don't personally know the whereabouts of 
   the fourth specimen.  One is in the collection of the American 
   Numismatic Society in New York, one in the hands of a St. 
   Louis collector, and the Jefferson Davis specimen is in the 
   hands of an Arizona collector.  The fourth was sold to a 
   private collector about 25 years ago.  [Perhaps one of our 
   readers knows its whereabouts - Editor] 

   The restrikes were made from the original dies by striking 
   them on a planed-off 1861 Half Dollar.  The diagnostics are: 

    1. Lighter in weight than a real 1861 Half 
    2. Reverse shows pitting from die rust 
    3. Obverse is flattened from the blow of the reverse die. 

   Here's an illustration of the Confederate Half RESTRIKE 
   in the ANS collection: 
http://ans.openarchaeology.com/cgi-bin/showobj?accnum=1906.98.5" 

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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