Speaking of Stack's, Part Two of the firm's Philadelphia Americana Sale (September 30, 2010) features the Anthony Terranova Collection of Counterstamped Coins. I've always been a fan of these interesting coins - American Numismatic Rarities (now part of Stack's) sold my counterstamp collection in 2006. Here's a blurb about the collection from the Stack's web site.
We present a magnificent collection of counterstamped coins. This has been gathered over a long period of years by Anthony Terranova one of America's leading professional numismatists, a consummate connoisseur who has been a friend of Stack's for a long time.
These mainly consist of the advertising imprints of American merchants stamped on circulating coins of the realm—which in 19th-century America included federal issues, Spanish-American silver, and other issues. It was not until two and one-half years after the Act of February 21, 1857, that certain foreign coins were no longer legal tender in the United States. It may come as a surprise to learn that in the early 1850s, Spanish-American silver two-reales coins, valued at about 25¢, were much more plentiful in circulation in America than were Liberty Seated quarters.
The imprinting of a message on a circulating coin furnished, in effect, a traveling billboard that passed from hand to hand in the channels of commerce. Thus, a hotel in Philadelphia or a broker in New York City could advertise free of charge. Each viewer became a potential customer, at least within the geographical range of the issuer.
The collecting of counterstamped coins furnishes the possibility of getting two specimens for the price of one! In each instance, a regularly struck coin or token, called the host coin, was selected for use. Given a preference, a counterstamper would choose a well-worn Spanish-American silver two-real piece or large copper cent to a coin with little evidence of circulation. The well-worn variety offered a better matrix or canvas, so to speak, for all of the counterstamped letters to be delineated sharply and properly.
To read the complete article, see:
The Anthony Terranova Collection of Counterstamped Coins
The collection includes related items like Love Tokens and engraved pieces. Here are a few lots I found particularly interesting.
Large cent. Blank planchet with upset rim. NONE COINED / IN / 1815 engraved on one side, uniface.
Deep golden brown. Perhaps this was a custom-made filler in a large cent collection from a bygone era, quite possibly the late 1850s when numismatists were not quite certain whether any were coined in this year.
Quarter. 1853 Arrows and Rays. Brunk unlisted. T.T. ROBINSON. / C. FORSBERG / RAGS / W.H. BRADY on four on obverse of host. Host coin Fair-2.
Deep golden gray with lighter golden highlights and a forcefully impressed counterstamp. While the T.T. ROBINSON and the W.H. BRADY counterstamps are unlisted in the Brunk reference, the C. FORSBERG counterstamp is listed as Brunk F-344.
Half dollar. 1854 Arrows. Host coin with merchant's names impressed, 10 on the obverse and five on the reverse. Host coin EF or so.
Medium golden gray centers with rich rose, navy, and deepening gold, especially toward the rims. The impressions include. Obverse: G.F. POLLEY / L.W. HARRIS / L. SKINNER (Brunk S-492) / C.S. ORMSBY / P. LENT / A.S. WRIGHT / A.J. SABIN / D.H. COLSON / A.E. LOOMIS (Brunk L-482) / I.W. ROWE. Reverse: C.B. HOYT / A.N.W. & Co / EATON NY/ L.C. TABER / N. DEAN. An interesting issue.
Half dollar. 1895. Brunk not found. BOB DALTON OUTLAW on obverse of host. Host coin AG-3.
Medium golden gray with steel highlights. BOB DALTON / OUTLAW / KILLED AT COFFEYVILLE / KAN. / OCT. 5. / '95 on six lines at obverse center.
Early on the morning of October 5th, 1892, five members of the infamous Dalton Gang—Grat, Emmett, and Bob Dalton, along with Bill Power and Dick Broadwell—rode into Coffeyville, Kansas with robbery on their minds. Their plan was to hold up both town banks simultaneously. The Daltons were familiar with the town, having grown up nearby. However, they were also familiar faces around town; the gang employed disguises, but to no avail. After a mix-up in their plans—they had to tie their horses in an alley as the hitching posts in front of the banks were removed for repair—the robbers split up and entered the banks only to hear someone on the street yell "the bank is being robbed." This call was repeated up and down the street and a dozen or more armed locals organized town-wide resistance. The ensuing gun battle lasted less than 15 minutes; the end result was four dead locals and four dead gang members, including Grat and Bob Dalton along with Broadwell and Power.
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