New Counterstamped Copper "C B KING"
I found this one today. Now that I have two I have a collection. Has anyone seen this before?
Steven Smallstamped 001.jpg
Brunk lists over two dozen "King" counterstamps in his 2003 work, most of which are unattributed. There is no C.B. or even a G.B among them. Quite often, counterstamps are misread, and what looks like a C may be a G!
It looks like this is an early counterstamp; this, given the use of a period or stop, following the surname. This use of a stop, to my experience, was far more prevalent, prior to the Civil War. This counterstamp was strategically placed upon the center obverse, what with the hole being due north at 12 o'clock. This suggests to me that the coin was intentionally made into a tag. If more examples exist, they may also be tags. The relatively small letters suggest to me that the issuer was perhaps a craftsman who stamped his work or wares, quite possibly a watchmaker or jeweler. There are some varieties of Civil War tokens, issued by such tradesmen, which were made holed at the 12 o'clock position. This pure assumption on my part caused me to narrow my search, and I did manage to find one suspect ...
One Charles B. King, born in Chicago in 1845, was a jeweler and engraver in Monroe, Green, Wisconsin from 1865-1900. He appeared as such in the 1870 census and reportedly died in 1900. While he is a strong possibility as being the issuer, I'd caution that he may not be. Perhaps it was his father or a Conrad or Christian B. King.
There are many counterstamped coins for sale on ebay at any given time. All too often, some anxious sellers, akin to purveyors of snake oil, make ridiculous claims about supposed attribution without benefit of credible evidence. Such sellers would thus have a field day with my purely tentative attribution. To be fair though, even Brunk and Rulau, our premier authorities on counterstamped coins, had to alter attributions in later editions of their work. Only a relatively small number of counterstamped coins can be attributed with any high degree of certainty. In this instance perhaps, there may be a watch or jewelry item out there, having an identical mark, that's attributable to this Charles B. King? Such a find would cinch this possibility.
Steven, now that you're in the process of forming a counterstamp collection, give some consideration to acquiring copies of Brunk's (2003) and/or Rullau's (2004-4th ed.) works. There's a wealth of info between the covers of both books, and just one good find will pay for your investment in them! Happy hunting.
Last edited by Chautauquan; 06-03-2012 at 12:10 AM.
Thank you for the great reply. I am off to the Long Beach Coin Show and too excited to write....now. I will add to this when I get home. Once again, thank you for the great reply.
Perhaps we should institute a "POTD" (post of the day)! Great response!
Hi Mr. Chautauquan,
I am back from the Long Beach Coin Show. Once again, I am very grateful for your advise and information. You have started a collector! Where would I find the books that you mentioned? I should have looked on Amazon or Abe Books first before asking you. I went to the Long Beach show and it was so-so. Not like years ago. I did saw Tom Reynolds and his great coins. He seems to be a very good man. I also bought some coins from Doug Bird who I have known for many years off and on. I bought some of my first good coins from him years ago. I sold them and have started collecting again. I like talking with him and doing business. He always seems to have the coins I need and the grade I was hoping to find. And he will have two for you to choose from. I had a great time at the show, but the traffic in Los Angeles is difficult to deal with.
Thank you aqain,
Last edited by 3steven2; 06-02-2012 at 10:11 PM.
Recommended Books on Counterstamps
Hi Steven ... Always glad to help a fellow collector-enthusiast, I am. The mystery of counterstamps is the biggest draw for me, eh what?
You're wisely doing business with some fine dealers, I see. I've long enjoyed viewing coins in their cases but rarely see any counterstamped ones therein!
Here's a link to Dr. Brunk's book:
Used copies are difficult to locate. You might also keep an eye out for the 1987, first edition. They do appear in numismatic book auctions.
The other book that I heartily recommend is Russell Rulau's "Standard Catalog of U.S. Tokens 1700-1900." The 4th edition, 2004, is the latest and best. yet, there are previous books by Rulau that have great appeal, too, and even some additional info that's not repeated in later editions. Again, book auctions, ebay, numismatic book dealers and such are the most likely sources. Expect to pay $50 or more for a decent copy. Bear in mind that there are some erroneous listings, and the information in both Rulau's and Brunk's books yearns to be updated. Yet, they're super books for counterstamp enthusiasts to have in a personal library!
Counterstamped Large Cents
Thank you for the information. I will look on ebay and the used book sellers. Are there many collectors of counterstamps in EAC ? My friend had a great "Bid Board" in La Verne, CA and counterstamped coins could be found once in a while. My friend has passed, and the "bid board" is no longer in service. There is a lot of small shows in Los Angeles area and perhaps I will find some.