What does the phrase Contemporary Counterfeit mean?
Contemporary counterfeits of Capped Bust halves were made by criminals in the 19th Century to fool the American public with their bogus coins put into general circulation. They made a profit by making them out of cheap metals (e.g. such as German silver, copper, brass) instead of silver.
There are two main categories of these counterfeits – cast copies and struck coins. For the cast copies the counterfeiter would make a mold of a genuine Capped Bust half dollar and pour molten metal into the mold. These counterfeits usually look very much like the real deal but can be easily picked out by those familiar with genuine Bust Half dollars. They are described as a cast copy of a particular Overton Variety, although some cast counterfeits when found can lack the detail necessary to identify the counterfeit to one specific Overton variety.
Stuck counterfeits are made with dies and presses the same way the mint did it. Many dies were made by hand and in most cases the coins did not look much like Bust halves (i.e. at least to a Bust half collector). In some cases they do look pretty good and counterfeiters may have gotten their hands on dies discarded and sold as scrap iron by the mint which was a practice at one time.
Who started the club and why?
The club was started by Larry Schmidt, David Strong and Rick Irons. We were eager to share knowledge with fellow collectors. It seemed like the best way to do this would be an on-line club. Our first order of business was to contact Keith Davignon who gave us his blessing and full support. Mark Glazer, David Kahn and other fellow collectors who share a strong interest in this area of collecting have also generously lent their support.
Larry, David Strong, Rick, Mark and David Kahn are now the face of the club. Others have given their support with research, information and pictures, but would prefer to stay in the background.
If you have any questions or are interested in joining our virtual club please contact:
Larry Schmidt - firstname.lastname@example.org
David Strong - email@example.com
Rick Irons - firstname.lastname@example.org
Mark Glazer - email@example.com
Dave Kahn - firstname.lastname@example.org