Author Topic: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp  (Read 21840 times)

Offline Curt J

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #25 on: March 16, 2012, 08:30:49 PM »
Or "S. HAWKEN/ST. LOUIS".  There are people who would darned-near kill for that one, if they believed it was real.
« Last Edit: March 16, 2012, 08:31:37 PM by Curt J »

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #26 on: March 17, 2012, 06:26:43 AM »
This particular counterstamped coin originally was sold for far less than what the host coin would have been worth uncounterstamped, thus disproving that "the juice was worth the squeeze" for ruining a perfectly nice 1814 Large Cent. In other words: It would not have made any sense for anyone nowadays to counterstamp that coin like so, and accept a fraction of what it would have been worth, otherwise. There are no other known J.J. Henry counterstamped coins.
So, we look at this one and try to match it up against known marks. Figure that several punches were used over the lifetime of that specific design. (and Eric: the punch was hit with much force before it had set full on the face of the coin-it was at an angle, and the edge of the punch caught and dragged while being pounded). This is a TEST punching of the device; sometimes the person punching is a bit sloppy. That said, anyone can speculate about it without seeing it in hand. As far as value: let's say that you have two documents-one signed by an elected Town Official and one by President George Washington's hand. Both are Politicians-and I think that anyone can extrapolate the argument from here...

Offline spgordon

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #27 on: March 17, 2012, 03:45:04 PM »
This particular counterstamped coin originally was sold for far less than what the host coin would have been worth uncounterstamped, thus disproving that "the juice was worth the squeeze" for ruining a perfectly nice 1814 Large Cent. In other words: It would not have made any sense for anyone nowadays to counterstamp that coin like so, and accept a fraction of what it would have been worth, otherwise.

As far as value: let's say that you have two documents-one signed by an elected Town Official and one by President George Washington's hand. Both are Politicians-and I think that anyone can extrapolate the argument from here...


I honestly don't follow. Aren't these two points exactly contradictory? You've described the value of the counterstamp here, whatever the coin may have earlier been sold for.

There are no other known J.J. Henry counterstamped coins. So, we look at this one and try to match it up against known marks. Figure that several punches were used over the lifetime of that specific design.


So the verification involved comparing the punch against known marks on locks or barrels. As you say, given that JJHenry may have used different punches between 1822-1836, some might not match well. Would it be possible to know which known locks or barrels did match up well?

Again, I am not suggesting whatsoever that the coin is a fake. But even if it is genuine, that certainly doesn't mean it can be "verified" as such--and that's the part of the process I'm skeptical about and would like to learn more about. I do not understand the reluctance to answer this question ('the punch on the coin looks very much like the punch on this or that lock'). The similarity (or identity) should be visible to all of us.
« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 03:58:28 PM by spgordon »
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #28 on: March 17, 2012, 04:34:18 PM »
My thoughts exactly.

The question as to HOW this is verified has not been answered.  It is solely based upon 'expert opinion?'  Not that this is valueless, for many antiques are verified in such manner.  Examining the question as to 'why' someone would fake something like this, you are indeed providing the answer to that via the statement of extreme value.  It doesn't matter where it has been previously; many questionable antiques are funneled through just such a dimly-lit gauntlet of lesser hands in order to provide believable provenance.  The actual fakers themselves rarely (almost never, in fact) are the individuals receiving the final, higher value.

I frankly don't see how comparisons with extant stampings can ultimately be a verifiable basis for authentication, because modern CNC could take a photo of a genuine JJ Henry stamping off a lock or barrel and create an exact duplicate stamping tool - complete with any quirks or flaws inherent to the original - in the blink of an eye.  This item is not like a longrifle, for example, which is generally authenticated as a composite of wood, iron and brass; the penny itself is merely the canvas here, and can essentially be disregarded.  Here, the stamping itself is solely the "item" of interest.  It doesn't matter whether or not it is a complete stamping, a bungled stamping, sideways, up, down or backwards!  That should have no bearing upon the question of HOW it can be verified.

Pennyguy, are you perchance the owner of this item?
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #29 on: March 17, 2012, 04:57:31 PM »
OK, let's try it THIS way: Would anyone take a $500 bottle of wine and pour it out onto the ground? That's essentially what is the thought of ruining a perfectly nice 1814 Large Cent.
We have the coin and counterstamp, which was originally sold a couple of years ago for a small amount of money, so obviously the people who sold it had no idea what it was and did not perform the counterstamping.

"I honestly don't follow. Aren't these two points exactly contradictory? You've described the value of the counterstamp here, whatever the coin may have earlier been sold for" ???
This phrase need clarification... try it this way for people who want to know how to price things like this: you have two books: One is a grade-school text book, and one is a signed 1st ed of Gone With The Wind. Yes, they are two books but the similiarity ends there. You have a gunsmith counterstamped coin by Joe Shmoe from Idaho, and one from J.J. Henry of Boulton PA. Not many collectors may be interested in the Joe Shmoe example... We are blessed that a couple of major collections of Counterstamped coins have been auctioned during the past couple of years, so extrapolating the pricing of similar items may be done with some degree of certitude.

"Again, I am not suggesting whatsoever that the coin is a fake. But even if it is genuine, that certainly doesn't mean it can be "verified" as such--and that's the part of the process I'm skeptical about and would like to learn more about. I do not understand the reluctance to answer this question ('the punch on the coin looks very much like the punch on this or that lock'). The similarity (or identity) should be visible to all of us." Let's try this: I am not suggesting that everyone on here is an expert when it comes to things such as Counterstamped coins-that takes YEARS to do (I've been buying & selling such things since 1972). The coin is a Genuine U.S. Mint product. That is not in dispute. If we have no other counterstamped examples of J.J. Henry, then we must look at the execution of the punch. This punch matches-up well with one seen on a Navy pistol-not exactly, but the letters are the same cut and style, etc. As I stated before: "The Juice Is Not  Worth The Squeeze" for someone to totally and near-flawlessly fabricate a punch, strike it on a coin worth by itself several hundred dollars, then take it to a shop and sell it for a sum MUCH LESS than the coin is worth.

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #30 on: March 17, 2012, 05:00:58 PM »
"...the penny itself is merely the canvas here, and can essentially be disregarded"
If the "penny" was worth $10 or so, then Yes. However, the coin is worth several hundred dollars unstamped, so NO to that

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #31 on: March 17, 2012, 05:05:27 PM »
I know that talking 'Coins' with people who mainly understand 'Guns' is like talking Chinese to someone who understands German only, but rest assured that there are several Counterstamped Coins experts who have the ability and acumen to authenticate the counterstamp on its merits only

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #32 on: March 17, 2012, 05:23:11 PM »
"I honestly have no idea how one would verify the authenticity of something like this."
If this is the hanging question, then it is easy-enough to answer: Consider the Punch as one would a hand-made Die (one of many by the Die-sinker) for striking coins. Each die has its own pecularities, though they may be subtle. Experts can look at products from that die, and match it to other products known to be made by the die-sinker. A short list of things to look for: execution, letter height & width, length, etc.

We've all seen some Guns marked "J.J. Henry" and some marked "J.J. Henry/Boulton". Very different marks, but from the SAME gunsmith. So, just saying that 'the mark is different' does not preclude any gun from being from the same 'smith.

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #33 on: March 17, 2012, 05:42:37 PM »
First of all, if that coin in the same condition unstamped is worth that much, I had better hightail it over to a coin buyer because I have a pretty good pile of them (metal detecting since I was 10)!  :o

Pennyguy, you seem to be aggravated and I apologize if you are viewing this discussion as harassment.  I simply view it as a discussion.  That being said, your last statement -

"I know that talking 'Coins' with people who mainly understand 'Guns' is like talking Chinese to someone who understands German only, but rest assured that there are several Counterstamped Coins experts who have the ability and acumen to authenticate the counterstamp on its merits only"

 - might be interpreted as either frustrated or a bit insulting.  The coin itself is not at issue here, the stamping is.  A stamping allegedly by a gunsmith, using a gunsmiths' stamp and stamped upon an antique piece of metal much in the same manner that the *same* stamp would have been utilized upon a different piece of metal i.e. a lock or barrel.  Yet, we who are practicing gunsmiths and likewise collectors/restorers of antiquities composed - in part - of metals that are likewise typically engraved and/or stamped, are NOT possessive of the experience to engage in an examination of a stamped piece of antique copper?

"We have the coin and counterstamp, which was originally sold a couple of years ago for a small amount of money, so obviously the people who sold it had no idea what it was and did not perform the counterstamping."

No, what "we" have is a backstory.  All antiquities of value have one, and if such does not exist, rest assured that one will quickly be provided to assuage doubts of a potential buyer.  And all such provenance always seems to involve original owners who had no concept of the 'real' value.

"I am not suggesting that everyone on here is an expert when it comes to things such as Counterstamped coins-that takes YEARS to do..."  

One does not need to be an expert in counterstamping, nor in coins.  What one DOES need is an extensive background in the examination of antiquities, antique metals and tool technology, the manner in which such metals age over time, the patination of these materials etc.  Coincidentally, the exact background many frequenting this board do possess.

"The Juice Is Not  Worth The Squeeze" for someone to totally and near-flawlessly fabricate a punch, strike it on a coin worth by itself several hundred dollars..."

It is if one has the capability to create a punch at low cost - very common now - and thence price the piece in question for $2500.  Very worth the squeeze for practically no labor.  Even if you want to figure $1K in total base cost, which I think is grossly inflated, $1500 for a few days work seems like a VERY worthwhile squeeze to me, and low-profile to boot.
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!

Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #34 on: March 17, 2012, 05:46:50 PM »
"We've all seen some Guns marked "J.J. Henry" and some marked "J.J. Henry/Boulton". Very different marks, but from the SAME gunsmith. So, just saying that 'the mark is different' does not preclude any gun from being from the same 'smith."

So in effect, we now do not even need worry about finding an exact match to the punch.  Even easier!  Let's not gloss anything over with fluff, then:  essentially, there is NO way to verify the authenticity of this item, other than that of market value to be determined.

I am very definitely in the wrong business.
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #35 on: March 17, 2012, 06:12:34 PM »
"So in effect, we now do not even need worry about finding an exact match to the punch.  Even easier!  Let's not gloss anything over with fluff, then:  essentially, there is NO way to verify the authenticity of this item, other than that of market value to be determined."

Ahhh, no. There are determining factors. But like I stated: if someone talks ONLY one language, it is difficult to near-impossible that he will understand another...

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #36 on: March 17, 2012, 06:24:20 PM »
Eric, I am not aggravated by any means-and the argument that "anyone could do this" is probably inheritantly True; but not everyone would take an expensive coin, mutilate it and sell it for several hundred dollars LESS than the cost of the coin-that's just plain silly thinking.

And as I stated: without seeing this "in hand" and not in scan it would be very difficult indeed for anyone to pass judgement on it, pro- or con-.

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #37 on: March 17, 2012, 06:33:31 PM »

Here's a picture of an Iron-monger's counterstamp, on a coin that would be worth maybe $1500 without the counterstamp. With it: maybe mid-hundreds of dollars... and we know that it was done a LONG time ago even if it were just for that reason: that the coin is too expensive nowadays to counterstamp in such a fashion.

Offline spgordon

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #38 on: March 17, 2012, 06:38:08 PM »
The fact that Pennyguy cannot or will not explain what comparisons the "verification" was based on demonstrates that the verification was, at best, shoddy. (This doesn't speak to the issue if the authenticity if the counter stamp itself.) It shows, in effect, that you weren't concerned about the quality of the verification (or you would know the basis in which it was made) but rather only with having it verified. Better not, under those circumstances, to know too many details. The fact that buyers are willing to trust such things is only a sign of how such closed communities of collectors work: everybody agrees on such ground rules and everybody profits (or hopes to).
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Offline spgordon

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #39 on: March 17, 2012, 06:54:05 PM »
So: there was no match. I missed that if you had admitted it before.

Which if these other factors, in this case, convinced your authenticator?
« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 06:55:41 PM by spgordon »
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #40 on: March 17, 2012, 06:54:50 PM »
@spgordon: I already explained that a few posts ago... and since you don't know me at all, your precluding my experiences is a moot point. In short, absent of a direct match, other factors must be taken into consideration: letter size, execution, etc. of other known punches seen on other, known guns. Also, wear, use and detritus-even to a microscopic level, can be used as evidence of originality (this is how scientists know that Scandinavian Runes found in Mid-America are genuine to the Viking time period). Therein lies the "smell test"


Offline spgordon

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #41 on: March 17, 2012, 06:59:07 PM »
Not sure why my last post went above the post it was replying to!
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #42 on: March 17, 2012, 07:01:35 PM »
Of course, since "this thing" just hit the market due diligence is still in its infancy. But it sure does "smell good"

Offline spgordon

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #43 on: March 17, 2012, 07:03:47 PM »
If "due diligence" on this item is still in its infancy, how is it ethical to call it "verified" or "genuine"?!?!?
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #44 on: March 17, 2012, 07:17:28 PM »
Sometimes, something must be approached as "I think it's counterfeit, so I must prove that. If I can't prove that it's counterfeit, it must be OK".

My experience: I found a coin that I could not prove to myself that it was counterfeit, though counterfeits reign supreme in that particular series. It was also a unique "Mule", in that the front & backsides were known for other varieties, but not together. Now, this series of a coin has been well-studied since the mid-1800's and *new* coins are definitely scrutinized since that does not happen every year, decade or century. Everyone and their Uncle-including prestigious Authenticators-said or thought that the coin was counterfeit, and that's including the person who wrote the book on the subject. It wasn't, but no one cared enough to look at, or pay attention to, the circumstancial and evidentiary proof (much like the discussion going on here-but I'm NOT saying that anyone on here is unknowledgeable-these people who said "Nay" are in the business not to make mistakes like that). However, a prestigious firm knew as I did that it was Genuine (at a glance, too!) and it sold for $69,000. Just sayin'...

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #45 on: March 17, 2012, 07:22:27 PM »
"If "due diligence" on this item is still in its infancy, how is it ethical to call it "verified" or "genuine"?!?!?"
Due diligence to find a Mark that matches exactly. It still passes the "smell test". Unless one has viewed it in hand, then all one can do is speculate (think of Plato's "The Parable of the Cave")

Offline spgordon

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2012, 07:25:49 PM »
To Eric's point about the backstory: you will recall that the backstory included with the original posting on eBay was not accurate and the seller backpedalled...
Check out The Lost Village of Christian's Spring:
https://christiansbrunn.web.lehigh.edu/
And The Letters of Mary Penry: A Single Moravian Woman in Early America
http://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-08108-3.html

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #47 on: March 17, 2012, 07:29:16 PM »
"It is if one has the capability to create a punch at low cost - very common now - and thence price the piece in question for $2500.  Very worth the squeeze for practically no labor.  Even if you want to figure $1K in total base cost, which I think is grossly inflated, $1500 for a few days work seems like a VERY worthwhile squeeze to me, and low-profile to boot"

yes, of course: but NOT if the host coin is worth several hundereds of dollars, and it's sold for a fraction of that

Pennyguy

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #48 on: March 17, 2012, 08:43:04 PM »
"To Eric's point about the backstory: you will recall that the backstory included with the original posting on eBay was not accurate and the seller backpedalled..."

Regardless of any "backstory" (and isn't it every seller's aim on eBay to 'Baffle 'em with BS'?), the item must be taken on its sole merits. Given that no one-and I'm sorry if some don't understand this-will ruin an expensive coin with a counterstamp in hopes of perpretrating Fraud upon his fellow collector, and then sell the coin for a fraction of what it is worth unruined. It makes no sense to do that, so let's dispense with the nonsensical.
The coin shows wear, whether as a "pocket-piece" or by commerce, on the date's edge. There appears to be detritus built-up in the incused areas. The patina appears to be naturally caused. If the owner has a Black or Diamond light and can shine it on the coin, anything untoward such as repatination or *new* detritus should glow or be brighter than normal.


Offline Eric Kettenburg

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Re: 1814 coin with J. J. Henry/Boulton counterstamp
« Reply #49 on: March 17, 2012, 09:22:36 PM »
"Given that no one-and I'm sorry if some don't understand this-will ruin an expensive coin with a counterstamp in hopes of perpretrating Fraud upon his fellow collector, and then sell the coin for a fraction of what it is worth unruined. It makes no sense to do that, so let's dispense with the nonsensical."

It's only non-sensical if the backstory is accurate, and we here discussing this have no way of knowing if it is so.  If accurate, i.e. some unsuspecting seller simply walks into a shop and sells for a fraction of true worth, how do we know he/she wasn't a patsy?  We have no way of knowing.  "Fraud upon a fellow collector:"  I'm afraid to have to break this to you, but this is no longer an exception.  In fact, when $$$ is involved, it has sadly become the rule.  Professor Gordon's notion of closed societies circulating suspect pieces to inflate value is a very accurate assessment of the current state of much of the collectible world, and I have time and time again seen in practice with my own eyes.  Not simply within the realm of longrifles; I do personally have other interests as well.  It's universal, and the driving force, while usually money, can also represent other insidious interests as well, interests which may appear non-sensical in the short term but are possessive of long term implications.

Black light is useless here, and examination of wear is likewise useless as (1) it's an old coin anyway, and (2) being a small, homogenous item, patination *even on a microscopic level* is extremely easy to fake.

I don't see how this discussion can really progress any further in a productive manner.

« Last Edit: March 17, 2012, 09:23:17 PM by Eric Kettenburg »
Strange women lying in ponds, distributing swords, is no basis for a system of government!