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V12 2009 INDEX       E-SYLUM ARCHIVE

The E-Sylum: Volume 12, Number 34, August 23, 2009, Article 8

ANSWER: 1851 DATED ONE DOLLAR ITEM IS A FANTASY PIECE

Last week Jim Duncan asked,

I have been shown a coin - silver dollar size, and looks to be silver. It has on obverse an Indian head (as 1 cent) with UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around in serif face, and * * under neck.

The reverse is also UNITED STATES OF AMERICA around in very plain sans serif, a wreath within and within the wreath 1 / DOLLAR / 1851 (also very sans serif). No initials or mint marks of any sort.

I think it's a fantasy, but the owner has hopes. Can anyone in the USA provide more information please?

Tom DeLorey writes:

This is a fantasy piece made in China to sell to tourists. I have seen several of them brought back by unsuspecting travelers. They are also sold in the Chinatown sections of several major U.S. cities.

1$1851Indianin

Gar Travis found the above image on the web. Jim and Tom confirmed that we're all discussing the same piece. Many thanks to everyone for their quick response - we had an answer to this query before most readers were done with their Monday morning coffee. -Editor

Alan Weinberg also agrees that it's "absolutely modern". He adds

There are ironically an abundance of 1851 dated brass and G-S $1 "gold" spielmarks. Always 1851...guess that was the common date gold dollar the Germans had access to.

The Germans (often Lauer) struck brass, iron and German silver copies of numerous U.S. coins as "play money" rather than intending them to be passable counterfeits. There is an old Token and Medal Society supplement, I believe by long-deceased author Howard Kurth, which lists and pictures many of these spielmarks.



Wayne Homren, Editor

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