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Home of the

Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Collectors Club

Collectors Corner - this section includes articles and research that further share knowledge and the enjoyment of our collecting interest.


 

To find the article you wish to read from the table of contents below you can either click the underlined publication date following the article's title or scroll down though
t
he articles that are sequenced from newest to oldest publication date order until you've reached the article of your choice:  

1832 Davignon 2/B, 3/B, 3/C Enigma - November 2018 

A Collector's View -
September 2018 (3)

NC Rarities and Culls - September 2018 (2)

An Anatomy of a Transfer Die Variety - September 2018 (1)

"It almost doesn't look real (which I guess it isn't)" - August 2018  

Keith Davignon's Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Dollar 2nd Edition Variety Attribution Guide - July 2018

Counterstamped Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Halves - June 2018

1816 - May 2018

Transfer Die Contemporary Counterfeits - April 2018 (with July 2018 update)

Unique - February 2018

Mint Paths Not Taken -  December 2017

Outsourcing Operations: Planchet Manufacturers and Counterfeit Bust Halves - September 2017

An Approach to Convert the Counterfeit CBH Census to the Sheldon Scale - July 2017

Great Finds Are Still Being Made! -
June 2017 (2)

Reidentifications - June 2017 (1)

Treasure Hunt - May 2017 

Rarity and Collecting Update - April 2017

Weights - March 2017

Multi-Struck - Part 2 - December 2016 (with July 2018 epilogue)

When 1 Variety + 1 Variety = 1 Variety - March 2016

When You Just Can't Tell - February 2016 (with January 2017 update)

Meet the Familes - December 2015  (with February 2016 update)

Look What Was Unearthed in New Hamphsire! - November 2015 (2)

Our Hobby's Iceberg - November 2015 (1)

A Bigger Family - Part 3 - August 2015 (2)

Contemporary Counterfeit Bust Halves and their Composition - August 2015 (1)  (with February 2016 and December 2016 updates)

Between Historic Contemporary Counterfeits and Today's Fakes - June 2015

A Bigger Family - Part 2 - March 2015

More on Rarity and Collecting - February 2015

A Bigger Family - Part 1 - November 2014

Capped Bust halves that are not Davignons - Part 3 - October 2014 (2)

Stories Behind Discoveries - Part 2 - October 2014 (1) (with December 2016 ccCBHcc.com notation)

Capped Bust halves that are not Davignons - Part 2 - September 2014

Stories Behind Discoveries - Part 1 - April 2014 (with  September 2016 update)

We're Writing Our Red Book Yet - February 2014

History of Keith Davignon's Editions of Contemporary Capped Bust Half Dollars - November 2013  (with February 2014 update)

Multi-Struck - Part 1 - May 2013 (with January 2017 update)

An Attempt To Solve Another Mystery - March 2013

Contemporary Counterfeits Verses Modern Fakes - January 2013 (with added epilogues)

When Were Davignons Really Minted? - November 2012 (with January 2013, October 2015 and January 2017 updates)

NC - July 2012  (with June 2015 update)

Rarity and Collecting - December 2011 

Variation or New Variety? Part 2 - June 2011

True and False Follow-up - April 2011 (2)

Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Dollars .... A Fast Moving Numismatic Field - April 2011 (1)

Another Mystery Solved - September 2010

True and False  - March 2010 (with January 2012 update)

Capped Bust Half Dollar Era Contemporary Counterfeit Type Set Invitation - January 2010 (2)

Displaying Your Collection - January 2010 (1)

Variation or New Variety? - September 2009 (4)

1838-O Fake or Unlisted variety? - September 2009 (3) (with June 2010 update)

Capped Bust halves that are not Davignons - Part 1 - September 2009 (2) (with June 2010 update)

1831 D 7/G - Error Coin - September 2009 (01)

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1832 Davignon 2/B, 3/B and 3/C Enigma by Winston Zack - November 2018
...
This author has been particularly confused over the last few years with regards to three different circulating contemporary counterfeit (CCC) Capped bust half (CBH) dollar
Davignon varieties, specifically 1832 2/B, 1832 3/B, and 1832 3/C.  Why?  Because this author had been solely relying on Davignon’s 2nd edition published in 2010.  In this
2nd edition the photos of 1832 2/B and 1832 3/B are unequivocally the same variety. Oops!  Further, the obverse photo for 1832 3/B and the obverse photo for 1832 3/C are
definitely different obverse dies, and yet they share the same obverse number – the star-point-to-denticle alignments are generally similar but there are noticeable differences,
and the denticle below the 1 in the date on 1832 ‘3/C’ is below the upright, while on 1832 ‘3/B’ it is slightly offset to the left. Oy Vey!  We have a conundrum on our hands
which needs urgent updating.  Further, if these three varieties were all related to each other I would have expected that at least some of the edge dies would be the same, but
they were all different; this is not unknown for related family varieties to have used planchets with different edge devices, but it is unusual, and it did start making me scratch
my head a bit more that these were not likely related to each other.
...
So, what I quickly realized is Davignon’s 2nd edition book is imperfect and has some errors – I know of very few coin books which can be considered perfect and with little or
no error – we are all human of course! 
...
Nevertheless, this issue has caused me the most heartburn in sorting out this issue because I figured that Davignon had to have at least seen differences between these three
varieties, or at least between 2/B and 3/B, especially because these varieties usually come in high grades, otherwise he would not have listed them as separate varieties.
...
A few months ago, I had the opportunity to purchase Davignon’s 1st edition as published in 1996 – mostly for posterity.  Having not really looked through the book I finally
decided to look at pages 110-111 where these three varieties were located.  I was not necessarily thinking I would be seeing different plate images of these three varieties between
these two books since there was no logical reason to switch any out, especially since the plate images showed high-grade examples.  But low and behold the plates for 1832 2/B
between both books were different, and the other two varieties were the same – albeit the photo quality was improved.  Therefore, I was quickly able to establish that 1832 2/B
was the outlier to my variety identification issues, and that the plate image in the 1st edition was the different variety causing all my angst.  Now it was time to get to work to sort
out the differences between 1832 2/B and 1832 3/B, and to see if I actually did own one of each of these three varieties.
...
Differences between these three varieties
...
The following descriptions are based on images from the first edition of Davignon (1996), and examples from the author’s only collection.
...
1832 2/B and 3/B

1832 2/B Obverse: denticle centered below 1; star 13 points between denticles

1832 3/B Obverse: denticle off-set left below 1; star 13 points to the top of the denticle
...
...
1832 2/B Reverse: die line between arrows, denomination, leaves and UNITED, and denticles, and which may circle the entire area around the coin in front of the denticles. 
No repunched 50 C.  Top of A1 aligns with left half of denticle.  Top of A3 aligns between denticles.

1832 3/B Reverse: die line between lower two arrows and denticles.  Repunched 50 C.  Top of A1 aligns with right half of denticle.  Top of A3 aligns with top of denticle. ...
...
...
*Other letter and denticle alignment differences are visible between the two reverse dies.
...
...
1832 3/B and 3/C

1832 3/B Obverse: Star 4 points to high side of denticle.  Star 9 points to bottom edge of denticle

1832 3/C Obverse: Star 4 points between denticles. Star 9 appears to point to top of denticle.
...
Rarity
Between both the first and second editions of Davignon each of these three varieties are said to be either ‘common’ or ‘very common’.  I contend, based on this authors’ own
collection, that varieties listed as 1832 3/B and 3/C are at least common or very common, but that 1832 2/B is very rare.  Maybe 1832 2/B is actually more common than I
believe it is, but that has yet to be determined.
...
Conclusion
Based on the above analysis, each of these three varieties are unique, with unique obverse and reverse dies.  None are knowingly related to one another based on their obverse,
reverse and edge die characteristics.  Further, each is of high-quality workmanship, such that they may be transfer dies.  Finally, because each obverse and reverse die are unique,
the Davignon designation codes should be updated to reflect this without confusing shared obverse and reverse number and letter designations, respectively.

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A Collector’s View ...
Collecting contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust halves to the similarities with counterfeit British and Irish coppers of the 18th century by Jeff Rock - September 2018 (3)


I started collecting counterfeit Bust halves, especially in regards to the similarities with counterfeit British and Irish coppers of the 18th century.  My interest started with American colonial
coinage, and specifically the state coppers that were struck 1785-1788, each of which has counterfeit examples known.  Some are extremely well made, others laughably crude -- but they
always charmed and beguiled me more than the real ones did.  After learning that counterfeit British and Irish halfpence were, by far, the most commonly found coin in colonial America and
the early United States, well into the first few decades of operation of the Philadelphia Mint, I started collecting those issues, along with the British evasion coppers series which was tied to
it (evasions have the general look of a regal halfpenny or farthing, but with the legend(s) changed to something different, as a way to evade the counterfeiting laws in England -- they 
could be nonsense words like HIRARMIA for HIBERNIA or actual words such as GEORGE REIGNS instead of GEORGIVS III REX).  

In the 1980s and 1990s there was a fallacy that "Crude = American" which meant that any extremely crude counterfeit British or Irish piece must have been made in America -- simply
because it was crude.  This theory that has been completely debunked since, and we now recognize that there were bad engravers, poor die steel and rickety presses on both sides of the
Atlantic in the late 18th century.  But those very crude counterfeits, as well as mules and pieces that had dates that didn't exist for regal coinage, soon became the more interesting pieces to
me, far more so than the very well-made and deceptive counterfeits.  What fascinated me the most is that these types were OBVIOUS |counterfeits -- and yet most of them exist only in
well-worn condition, which meant that they were accepted in commerce for decades, despite no one, illiterate or even legally blind, being fooled.  Unfortunately I was not alone in this
fascination, and today it seems that the cruder the counterfeit, the higher the price tag!  

The "Family" concept being used with counterfeit Bust Halves (and other US coinage as well) actually got its start in the counterfeit copper community about 20 years ago (though it was 
first sketched out over 125 years ago by C. Wyllys Betts in a talk given to The American Numismatic Society which was well ahead of its time - and thus promptly ignored and forgotten). 
The Family concept used die and punch linkage, as well as stylistic similarity, to try and bring some order to a ridiculously large and completely unresearched series -- one that existed for
200+ years without ANY effort to classify or understand.  For those of you who bemoan 400+ counterfeit varieties of Bust halves though, we collectors of counterfeit coppers will only laugh
-- we have an estimated 10,000 different varieties, and have already delineated some 100 different Families, with more to come!

One important thing to remember is that even though counterfeit 18th century coppers and counterfeit Bust Halves were separated by half a century (and the Atlantic Ocean) that things
were not appreciably different in terms of their manufacture.  Both types would have been mostly made by hand operated presses or cast in the same type of sand.  Both types would have
had the same problems with engraving dies, making mistakes in legends or dates, repairing broken dies.  Both would have needed to acquire or make their own blank planchets.  Both would
need to figure out ways to get their product into circulation.  Both would likely need to form at least a tenuous network between counterfeiters - which at the minimum could warn of increased
police activity in a given area, allowing those not yet caught to get rid of their dies and planchets.  We are really just starting to figure out the history behind these things, and since we have
almost no records (other than a few court cases and newspaper accounts when counterfeiters were caught), the evidence will need to come from the coins themselves -- if we can only
decipher what they are saying!

Work has progressed on the large 18th century counterfeit British and Irish copper series, and the first in what is hopefully a series of books, Contemporary Counterfeit Halfpenny & Farthing
Families
 has recently been published.  It is the effort of 10 authors who describe and plate 34 known Families, and give brief summaries that lay the groundwork for 19 more.  This hardcover
book is published by The Colonial Coin Collectors Club (C4) and is nearly 300 pages with extensive full color illustrations.  It is priced at around $55 in a not-for-profit effort to get the information
out to as many collectors as possible.  It can be purchased from numismatic literature dealer Charlie Davis (numislit@aol.com
).

 

 ****************************************************************************


NC Rarities and Culls by Mark Glazer and Larry Schmidt - September 2018 (2) 
...
...
When a particular Davingon find is made it can make the heart beat a bit quicker.  That's the good news.  The bad news is that most often the newly found specimen is ugly and low-grade
relative to the Mint struck coins.  This started the thought process about why in our contemporary counterfeit collecting world fellow collectors gets so excited about what would be culls in
the rest of the coin collecting world.  Even more so for contemporary counterfeits very, very seldom have little if any precious metal value. 
... 
While discussions on whether a coin is an MS-64, MS-65 or an MS-66 can be found on many coin forums, this is simply a subject that does not come up when it comes to contemporary
counterfeits where the emphasis is on the historical and numismatic significance of the coin itself and not so much on its condition.   As stated by Keith Davignon in his Contemporary
Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Dollars 1st Edition
 and 2nd Edition reference to contemporary counterfeits:
...

...
     "Relative to grading standards for genuine coins, the overwhelming majority would grade form 'poor' to 'fine', with 'good' being the average.  Pieces that grade a full 'very fine' are considered exceptional, especially if
     otherwise problem-free.  Things normally considered problems on genuine coins such as marks, edge dings or cuts, attempted punctures or holes, etc., are the rule rather than the exception on bogus coins and should
     not be considered detrimental to their value or desirability to collectors of these pieces."

....
.....
In some respect, this is one of the more positive aspects to collecting contemporary counterfeit bust half dollars.  For instance recently, an 1833 44-QQ contemporary counterfeit bust half,
one of only three known, was auctioned on eBay ( 
https://www.ebay.com/itm/1833-Contemporary-Bogus-Capped-Bust-Half-Dollar-rare-Davignon-44-QQ-R-8-Fine-/173491056125?nordt=true&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.m43663.l44720 ).  
While some may see a coin which is worse for wear, others see an important relic in the history of the coins which circulated in the first half of the 19th century.  The auction elicited serious
competition from ten different bidders up to the closing seconds of the auction.
...
...
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...
...
......   


An Anatomy of a Transfer Die Variety by Larry Schmidt – September 2018

 

A contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half recently submitted for identification assistance perchance shows the anatomy of a transfer die Davignon variety.  The specimen, later identified
as a Davignon 1834 2/B transfer die variety, was a metal detector find that from the effects of being buried partially separated the coin’s ‘silver’ outer layer from its planchet core
[i.e. see the
April 2018
Transfer Die Contemporary Counterfeits article (http://cccbhcc.com/collectors-corner.html#transfer) for the latest transfer die identification updates].  The three images of the specimen submitted to aid in
Davignon variety identification can also be used to better understand the transfer die variety’s anatomy which are best viewed in the following sequence: 

 

The specimen’s reverse image below shows what the entire coin would have looked like at one time (i.e. bumps on the surface are areas where the 'silver' outer layer is lifting off from the 
underlying planchet due to the effects of being buried that can also be seen in the specimen's obverse image as well).




The specimen’s obverse image below shows how the coin’s ‘silver’ layer was added that is now partially missing exposing the planchet core on the left side.

 

The specimen’s edge image below shows more dramatically the added ‘silver’ layer which has separated away from the planchet core.

***

***

***

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***

***  


 “It almost doesn't look real (which I guess it isn't)” by Larry Schmidt (and fellow collectors) - August 2018
...
...
In an exchange of e-mails with a fellow collector regarding a metal detector find of a Very Scarce rarity designated Davignon the words of this article's title were shared.  This brought back
to mind the 2011 Collectors Corner article Rarity and Collecting that hinted at developing one's collecting focus by Davignon variety type / category, and not rarity.  My own preference for 
collecting of Davignons by variety type / category can be summed up with play on words of this article's title to read ... "if it really doesn't look real".  The more unreal a contemporary counterfeit
Capped Bust half looks, the more desirable it is for me. The concept of "unreal" could mean an impossible date, or it could refer to an already identified family member from either the Mexican
Head (Class 1) or Mexican Head (Class 2) families.  But the best unreal ones for me are the primitive looking varieties that don’t really take into account the specimen’s coin grade.
...
Curiosity got the better of me and fellow collectors with significant collections were asked how their focused collecting had advanced.  Their responses are presented below alphabetically by
name:
...
...
My collecting focus on bogos is to obtain as many different dates as I can.  I do like the die cut pieces more than cast pieces. The cruder, the better.” – Harvey Bastacky
...
“As what catches my eye -- early (pre-1820), late (post 1838), mintmarked (1836-O, 1838-O) and those coins that have something unique or unusual about them which could include ‘it really
doesn't look real’.” – Mark Glazer
...
“I came to this series in a way that was likely different than most.  I imagine that many collectors of counterfeit Bust halves transitioned to the series after (or while) collecting the REAL Bust
halves.  I never collected the series and, with a few minor exceptions, never really collected the Federal U.S. coinage.  My interests started with American colonial coins, especially the state
copper series, which have numerous contemporary counterfeits for each. But the more research and publication I did with the counterfeit British and Irish 18th century coppers, the more I was
drawn to the Bust halves, and especially so to the cruder and more improbably dated examples.”
 – Jeff Rock
...
My collecting interests began with U.S. coins, especially colonials, but on a budget. It soon became apparent that if I wished to continue collecting I had to diversify. British and U.S.
counterfeits provided an endless supply of affordable and interesting coins. From there it was a small step to contemporary counterfeit bust half dollars which were also affordable and interesting.
Keith Davignon’s book and the update recently published helped tremendously and while I do not expect to collect every variety, I enjoy any one which is listed and has an informative write up.
My preference is for struck pieces but I happily collect them all. My favorites are the impossible dates and the O mint marks.” – Dave Strong
...
“I am attracted to the more ‘unreal looking’ bogo halves. Hand-cut dies are a must for me.  Cast pieces don't appeal to me at all, and transfer die strikes are not high on my list either. In general
my preferences are:  hand-cut dies, silly looking design elements and impossible dates.” – Dennis Villanucci 
...
“Nearly 400 varieties is quite a challenge since the absolute rarity of many pieces keeps one’s collection with many holes.  I have decided to do a date set, preferring struck varieties, but will
use casts. I also include coins that are somewhat crude or primitive in my set. My test is that the die work screams counterfeit, at least to me.  Most modern fakes are Chinese transfer dies and I
avoid this style of counterfeit. However, the January 2013 article Contemporary Counterfeits Versus Modern Fakes (ccCBHcc.com Collectors Corner) includes a hand cut die. So as always buyer
beware.” – Dennis Wierzba
...
"Counterfeit coins come in various states of quality.  My favorite aspect in collecting these pieces has evolved into trying to identify when and where each variety, but especially a family group of
varieties was made.  The challenge and enjoyment therefore is not just in the acquisition of outstanding varieties, but in tying pieces to their past and solving these little mysteries." – Winston Zack
...
...
It is important to note that these quoted fellow collector responses did not focus directly on rarity which seems to contradict the norm of collecting coins.  These fellow collector responses are aligned
with advanced collecting by variety type / category.  
 If you were to move away from contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust halves rarity designations, what would your keen Davignon variety
type / category
 collecting interest be?
...
...
...
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...


Keith Davignon's Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Dollars 2nd Edition Variety Attribution Guide - July, 2018

     

The Variety Attribution Guide appendix from Keith Davignon's Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Dollars 2nd Edition listing 339 die variety descriptions with images is now
available on-line on this website ( http://cccbhcc.com/variety-attribution-guide.html ).

     

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Counterstamped Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Halves by Larry Schmidt  -  June 2018 (with added October 2018 updates in footnote) 

 

Counterstamped contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust halves are an anomaly!  Reasonably they should not exist but they do as is shown in this article through a few known survivors. 

Each of these very rare survivors is from a different contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust variety, and these varieties are not related through any currently identified die family groupings

of multiple varieties.

 

Why are counterstamped specimens that are so different from each other being singled out?  For the simple reason that each would have drawn additional attention to the contemporary

counterfeit!!!  This added attention was the very opposite scrutiny that their counterfeiters are believed to have wanted!!!  Counterfeiters strived for their contemporary counterfeits to blend

without notice into general circulation to be accepted at their implied face value.  For this very reason counterstamping is a departure from the normal, or rule that contemporary counterfeit

Capped Bust halves adhered to. 

 

If the avoidance of the era’s counterfeiters efforts are understood correctly, that is, to not counterstamp their dubious copies then it is was legitimate businesses who unwittingly added their

own counterstamps to contemporary counterfeits fully believing that the coins being counterstamped were absolutely genuine. This gives further proof to the success of the deception of

contemporary counterfeits, in that a legitimate business would not knowingly have counterstamped a fraudulent coin to promote their business, an act that could by association overshadow

their own business as also being fraudulent.  Rare specimens thoughtto have been genuine when counterstamped for commerce are illustrated below 1:

 
                   
Illustrated in the Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Dollars 1st Edition and 2nd Edition
                                                                                                             by Keith Davignon is this 1820 1/A variety counterstamped "PURE COIN" (variety dies used have
                                                                                               no identified family to other varieties).  Note -  
 ”The term 'pure coin' came into use after 1834 when
                                                                                               
the purity of American silver coins was changed to 0.900.  Often coins were melted to make all sorts
                                                                                               of silverware. These "pure coin" counterstamps are used either as test platforms for the silver mark
                                                                                               or a result of idle time. Many are found on large and small cents. There was never any implication
                                                                                               that the coin itself was 'pure silver' (Pure coin Brunk P-780, p253). "

.   

                     1833 2/B counterstamped "Doctor A. Perret" (variety dies used identified to be Mexican Head family).   

.   

                         1834 17/Q variety counterstamped “    BC” or “ABC” (variety dies used identified to be Clinton family).                                                                                   

.   

                     1837 3/C variety counterstamped “CAST STEEL” (variety dies used have no identified family to other varieties).     
....

    1838 3/E variety counterstamped with "2" (variety dies used identified to be Too Legit
                                                                                                                                            To Quite family)

           

.   

 .  

.    

 .  

A different type of exception is counterstamped “BAD“.  The counterstamp was very likely a clear warning to individuals who were literate to not accept this coin as genuine.

  

                    1823 1/A variety counterstamped “BAD“ (variety dies used identified to be Top Gun family).

.    

.   

Distant to counterstamps yet other hard evidence when contemporary counterfeits were unknowingly thought to be genuine was their use in engraved love tokens to timelessly
capture truisms on a coin that was believed to be as true as those words engraved (i.e. love tokens had one side or sometimes both sides smoothed down and engraved with
initials, names, phrases and/or scenes).
.    
 

   1830 3/C love token (variety dies used have no identified family to other varieties).

  1838 3 obverse with C or D reverse die.

.    

  . 

Rare, the existence of counterstamped as well as engraved love token contemporary counterfeits are yet further proof that they were thought as very real (i.e. plus many contemporary
counterfeits that were not
counterstamped nor engraved too)!  Exactly the intent that these dubious coins were minted for!

.   

 .  

  . 

1 Other counterstamped specimens exist.  Included in these specimens known but images that are not available to add to this article:

  • Davignon 1825 1/A counterstamped "C.W. Reed" (variety dies used identified to be Top Gun family)
  • Davignon 1833 1/A counterstamped "A C" (variety dies used identified to be Too Legit To Quit family)
  • Davignon 1833 6/F counterstamped "X" (variety dies used identified to be Clinton Head family)
  • Davignon 1838 3/E counterstamped “H.E.P.” (variety dies used identified to be Too Legit to Quit family)  

If you have a counterstamped contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half you’d like to share with fellow collectors please contact this website.
 .  
  . 
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  .  

   .

   .

   .

   .


1816 by Winston Zack and Larry Schmidt  -  May 2018

This is a tale about an 'impossible' 1816 Capped Bust half dollar a year for which the Capped Bust half dollar was never minted.  It began at the end of August 2016 when Keith Davignon forwarded an e-mail he
had received regarding an impossible counterfeit 1816 Capped Bust half dollar.  The ‘discovery’ of this 1816 began at a coin show in Dalton, Georgia where the impossible 1816 counterfeit Capped Bust half dollar
purchase was mentioned and blurry cell phone camera images of the coin were sent.  These rough images circulated and a wider awareness of the 1816 entered into the knowledgeable world of the John Reich
Collectors Society (i.e. an organization that encourages the study of numismatics, particularly United States gold and silver minted before the introduction of the Liberty Seated Mint type …. see the Links section
of this website for JRCS’s Internet URL).  It is important to note that this 1816 specimen is not to be confused with the limited copy Daniel Carr 1816 over-strike made with genuine US Mint coins.
   
This counterfeit 1816 was then sold, anonymously, from dealer to dealer. A fellow enthusiast and collector, who is also a dealer, eventually bought the piece, and provided clearer images, as shown below, greatly
improving the rough cell phone images that had previously circulated.
   
   



This fellow enthusiast/collector/dealer was not absolutely convinced that it is truly contemporary to the Capped Bust era.  Some design elements of the piece were believable as a contemporary counterfeit, while
other aspects were not as certain.  Being both a very experienced fellow collector and dealer, he became firmly convinced that it is not a modern Chinese counterfeit.  He thought that because of the unique date the
coin would be held to a higher standard, since it was clearly a date that someone would want to fake, if they were going to do so.
   
T
he journey of the 1816 continued. The coin was then sold to another collector where it resides today.  This latest owner studied the piece extensively, comparing design aspects to other recorded varieties, and
providing the vetting information as follows:
   
Obv.  Large date.
Rev.  Fine lines below shield, left of arrow feathers, and above left talon.

LES    Below center of E1.
RES    Below left upright of M.

Obv.  Large, tall, evenly spaced date. Large, evenly spaced stars. Star 7 points to the front of Liberty’s hair curl. 

Rev.   Fine lines below shield, left of arrow feathers, and above the left talons. Arrow shafts not connected through right talon.

Note  - At least two pieces known; a second, lower grade example has been seen (no photo available).


Studying the 1816 piece revealed that it has design characteristics similar to 1821 4-F and 1826 2-B (Riddell 448) with overall die work of high-quality.  The obverse numbers are tall, and on 1826 2-B the '6' looks 
similar. The stars are also of similar size, design and spacing. On the reverse the Eagle portrait is very good, and the eagle on this 1816 looks very similar to the one used on 1821 4-F (in comparison to all the other
recorded Davignon varieties). The 'S' punch type and the wide-looking second 'U' in UNUM are most distinctive as being different from what the Mint used (if we were to assume some sort of Transfer Die
counterfeit scenario). No matching reverse die to any other recorded Davignon variety has yet been identified.  There is though an additional finding that the die detail identifies a match of the 1821 4-F, 1826 2-B,
and the 1816 sharing of the same edge design! As a result, these three varieties all form a unique counterfeit family (so far name-less), dating back to at least 1845 when 1826 2-B was recorded by Riddell. Therefore,
through this added significant finding it is believed that the 1816 variety is in fact contemporary to 1845 and the larger suite of contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half dollars.


*
*******************************************************************************************


Transfer Die Contemporary Counterfeits by Larry Schmidt and Dennis Villanucci  -  April 2018 (with further July 2018 update)

...


Contemporary counterfeits minted from transfer dies were so dangerous!  Several Davignon varieties are identified as potential transfer die candiates 1.  These dubious
coins have neither the telltale characteristics of cast coins 2, nor coins struck from hand cut dies 3.  Transfer die contemporary counterfeits used a method in which the counterfeiter
created a working die in the crudest form, called an impact die.  A genuine coin was sacrificed to make a working die by impressing it into die steel, as if the coin were a working
hub (i.e. a hub die is a specialized die used not for striking coins but for imparting designs to working dies). Using a pair of obverse and reverse working dies, the counterfeiter then
struck as many fake coins as possible until the dies wore out or broke becoming unusable.  The transfer die method was most commonly used to counterfeit gold coins, though a
few copper and silver contemporary counterfeits are known to have been made via this method too (e.g. identified transfer die Liberty Seated denomination specimens can be
viewed via the Link Section of this website to the Liberty Seated Contemporary Counterfeit Archives).

...

The process that is usually followed to identify a coin that is suspected having been produced by the transfer die method is generally a labor intensive one. Transfer die
counterfeits will always be identifiable from the presence any surface defects that the original coin may have had, which were subsequently impressed it into the working dies 
by the counterfeiter, plus the presence of other defects that were caused by the counterfeiter when making the transfer dies.  All struck die defects were then unavoidably copied
into all subsequent coins the counterfeiter struck from the dies, thus repeatedly replicating them identically. Obviously it would be extremely unlikely that any two coins would
have identical random marks (defects) in the exact same locations.
  Detecting transfer die contemporary counterfeits is a time consuming, but straightforward process of
comparing the surface characteristics of all specimens that can be found that are suspected to have been struck from the same dies.
...
...
...
1 An initial list of suspected struck transfer die specimens was compiled by reviewing close-up color images of the plate specimens and then eliminating varieties that showed obvious grainy textured surfaces,
porosity, or other definite obvious casting attributes.  The list included; a) plate specimens with direct or implied reference to transfer dies in the 2nd Edition or New Discovery Section of this website, and
b) plate specimens identified Overton cast variety which do not exhibit any of the typical attributes of a casting, rather appearing struck from a die pair.  For accuracy the list was further refined via the feedback
from fellow collectors / owners of the identified varieties which deleted some and added other varieties not initially identified.  The result is the following list of 26 identified struck transfer die varieties that were 
reexamined to which additional varieties can yet be expected to be added through further reexaminations and new discoveries.  The list below includes five Davignon varieties that had been thought to previously
be cast but are now understood to be struck from transfer dies (e.g. 1820 5/E, 1824 4/D, 1830 10/O, 1834 2/B, 1834 9/I, 1836 3/C).  Not included in the list below are two varieties that are now questioned if they
are struck or cast (e.g. 1826 15/O and 1826 16/P).

1808 3/C identified as O-104 after vetting. 

1809 1/A identified as O-106 but with a reeded edge after vetting.  

1811 1/A identified as O-108 after vetting.

1820 5/E vetted as "Cast copy of O-103."

1823 6/F identified as O-104 after vetting.  

1824 3/C identified as O-101 after vetting.

1824 4/D identified as O-117 after vetting.

1826 11/K identified as O-102+3/reverse after vetting.

1828 3/C identified as O-117 after vetting. 

1829 12/M identified as O-113 after vetting.    

1829 19/T vetted as "Appears to be a die struck copy of O-117, probably using copied dies".

1830 10/O identified as O-117/+8 after vetting.

1832 3/C unidentified Overton after vetting.    

1832 21/V identified as O-103 after vetting.

1834 2/B vetted as "Obviously cast, but does not match any genuine dies."

1834 9/I identified as O-111? after vetting.

1834 11/K unidentified Overton after vetting.

1835 14/N vetted as "Copy of O-103".

1836 3/C unidentified Overton obverse/O-113 reverse after vetting.

1836 8/H vetted as "Cast copy of O-112".

1836 14/N unidentified Overton after vetting.

1836 15/O identified as O-106? after vetting.

1836 20/T vetted as "Possible transfer die of an 1836 Overton 116 obverse" (reverse is a handmade die).

1837 4/D identified as probably GR-1 after vetting.

1837 7/G identified as probably GR-1 after vetting.

1838 11/L unidentified Graham after vetting.

1839O 3/C unidentified Graham after vetting.

 

2.  Cast coins can be recognized by looking for recessed and raised area flaws that were not part of a genuine coin’s original design.  Recessed flaws of cast coins most often found are small holes, casting voids
known as porosity, caused by gas formation and solidification shrinkage of non-metallic compound formation, all while the metal was molten (i.e. larger gas-related voids caused by trapped mold or core gases
in the molten metal are called blows or blowholes). Unintentional raised areas that are not part of the genuine coin’s raised design were transferred to the cast coin with unwanted added metal from the mold
where air bubbles were trapped when the mold was formed leaving hole flaw(s), or when carelessness l
eft loose sand in the cavity or coarse particles or cores of metal in molding sand.
 

3.   Hand cut die struck contemporary counterfeits by comparison very rarely accurately captured the original design of the genuine coin attempted to be copied.  Atypical lettering including size, shape and
placement are the most commonly occurring identifiers of hand cut dies, but also can include folk-art-like efforts, portraying Liberty, eagle and other design elements images.

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Unique  by Larry Schmidt - February 2018

Back in April, 2017 a ccCBHcc.com Collectors Corner article Rarity and Collecting Update ending with the sentence "These statistics quantify the dynamics of our hobby and
tell of the continuing opportunities in our collecting for elusive specimens to be found!!!"  Well the clock has moved forward and some trends might be beginning to show of
relative leveling within our continued collecting by percentage.  We know statistically the following via census reporting compared to Keith Davignon's 1996 1st Edition
publication; 
'no known' varieties (documented in A Monograph of the Silver Dollar: Good and Bad by J. L. Riddell, published in 1845, yet with no known specimens), new variety
discoveries, and continued finds of known varieties that take into account reidientifcations of varieties:

1996   17 no known     57 single known (32.2%)     103 two or more known (58.1)

2009     6 no known   194 single known (64.0%)    103 two or more known (34.0%)

2010     6 no known   211 single known (62.2%)    122 two or more known (36.0%)

2011     6 no known   178 single known (51.3%)    163 two or more known (47.0%)

2012     6 no known   172 single known (48.6%)    176 two or more known (49.7%)

2014     6 no known   185 single known (50.0%)    179 two or more known 48.4%)

2016     6 no known   147 single known (38.7%)     227 two or more known (59.7%)

2017     6 no known   157 single known (39.0%)     230 two or more known (58.5%)

2018     6 no known   143 single known (37.0%)     242 two or more known (61.0%)

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Mint Paths Not Taken by Larry Schmidt - December 2017 

While Capped Bust halves were still being minted the Philadelphia Mint explored other various pattern coins in 1838 and 1839 in additional to variations of the Liberty Seated design that would eventually replace
the Capped Bust mint type.  Why is this significant to the contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half dollar collector? 
Modern copy replicas are available today of both 1838 and 1839 dated historic pattern
coins displayed in this article that could be confused as contemporary counterfeits!      
   

 


     


Modern Copies of 1838 Mint Patterns  - “Liberty Head obverse” (i.e. Gobrecht’s head of Liberty facing left, luxuriant tresses falling to her shoulder, with the word LIBERTY on the ribbon in her hair, seven stars to the left, six stars to the right,

and the date 1838 below).  Multiple reverse designs minted with this obverse are known.  Two of these reverse varieties that can be purchased as modern copies and are shown above; the “Perched eagle holding four

arrows” (i.e. eagle holding olive branch and four arrows, head turned to right, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA above HALF DOLLAR below), and the “Flying eagle in plain field” (i.e. eagle flying to the left, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA above

HALF DOLLAR below).  An additional genuine 1838 pattern reverse design not known to be available as a modern copy with the 1838 “Liberty Head obverse” is the “Regular reverse of 1838” (i.e. perched upright eagle with

a shield holding olive branch and three arrows, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA above, HALF DOL. below).  This reverse happens to be the same reverse of the 1839 mint pattern modern copy shown below that is to be discussed
later in 
this article.  Another genuine 1838 pattern reverse design not known to be available as a modern copy with the 1838 “Liberty Head obverse” is the “Paquet’s perched eagle with broken ribbon” reverse
(i.e. perched eagle with a ribbon across the shield, continuing to the eagle’s beak, eagle’s head facing to left, olive branch and three arrows, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA above, HALF DOLLAR below).

     

     


  


Modern Copy of 1839 Mint Pattern  - “Coronet Head facing right” (i.e. Gobrecht’s Coronet or Braided Hair head facing right, word LIBERTY beginning above the ear and ending with the Y above the forehead, 13 stars around, 1839 date

below).   The modern copy of one of the reverses of the multiple reverse designs known to have been minted with this obverse is shown.  This reverse is of the “Regular reverse” (i.e. perched upright eagle with a shield

holding olive branch and three arrows, large letters UNITED STATES OF AMERICA above, large letters HALF DOL. below). Three additional genuine 1839 pattern reverse designs were minted but are not known to be available as

modern copies with this 1839 obverse.  The three reverses are; the “Regular reverse” with small letters, the “Regular reverse” with medium letters, and the “Flying eagle in plain field” (i.e. as shown and described in the

1838 modern copy above). 

     

     

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Outsourcing Operations: Planchet Manufacturers and Counterfeit Bust Halves by Winston Zack - September 2017

Introduction:

Contemporary counterfeit coinage, especially United States coinage, is an often enigmatic subject matter. Little contemporary information was recorded on these pieces, and thus we are
primarily left with just the surviving physical evidence to help us reconstruct this history. Like archaeology, reconstructing history does involve making assumptions based on the best information
at hand, and this article makes several assumptions backed up by such evidence.

Contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half (CBH) dollars are especially interesting and complex to study given that there are now about 400 known Davignon varieties made from
hand-made and transfer dies, and cast pieces. So far approximately 200 hand-made die counterfeit CBH varieties have been isolated to about 30 families (presumably each family is a separate
counterfeit operation), with several dozen more not associated to a larger family group and are called singletons.  

At a minimum, each of these families contains between two to 25 varieties each. Most of these families are small, with over 80% of all families containing less than 10 known varieties each.
Additional, as yet unreported varieties are regularly being added to these families, and new families might be created from new discoveries.

This article discusses three presumably separate, but intriguingly interrelated families, nicknamed Clinton Head, Buck-Toothed Eagle, and Never Too Late, and a singleton, 1827 6/F.  Their
association with each other is based on their planchet diagnostics, including primarily their edge dies, but also their alloys, both of which are interconnected attributes.  Additional information that
can be gleaned from this analysis is assessing approximately when these counterfeits were made.

As a result of reanalyzing Davignon’s (2010) attributions, and new discoveries reported on cccbhcc.com, this article has created new, preliminary attributions, labeled in the tables below as
‘New Desig.’, for each variety in each family. These new attributions make it easier to identify shared obverse and reverse dies within and between varieties from the same family. Highlighted grey
cells with question marks contain either estimated (?) or missing (???) information (if anyone reading this article owns any of these varieties and can provide this missing information or is willing to
send me those varieties to study I would be most grateful).

           

Clinton Head

            The Clinton Head family contains 25 known varieties using 23 obverse and 16 reverse dies. These varieties are dated from 1813 to 1838, with the majority dated to the 1830s. Two varieties
re listed in Riddell (1845), including the 1814 1/A (# 440; still unreported in modern times) and 1833 9/I (# 461). Their composition is either billon (Bi; a debased silver and copper alloy) or German
silver (GS; copper, nickel, zinc alloy).  At least five different edge dies have been recorded, and each edge die is associated with a different subgroup. See table 1 for more information.

 

Table 1. Clinton Head family

Clinton Head

Sub group

 

 

New Desig.

 

 

 

Date

Davignon

Obv.

Rev.

Edge

Alloy

Notes

1

1833

9/I

1

A

3-C

Bi

Shared obverses and reverses

1831

13/M

1

Bi

1813

1/A

1

???

Bi?

1813

1/C

B

???

Bi?

1814

1/A

1

???

Bi?

1838

23/X

1

3-C

Bi

2

1833

5/E

2

C

5-E

Bi

 

3

1835

11/K

1

D

2-B

Bi

 

1833

32/GG

3

E

GS

Unknown if edge is 2-B

1836

19/S

1

GS

 

1834

12/L

1

Bi

 

1834

21/U

2

F

Bi

 

1831

19/S

2

G

Bi

 

1835

5/E

2

H

Bi, GS

Shared reverses

1833

30/EE

4

???

GS?

4

1834

15/O

3

I

1-A

GS

 

1834

17/Q

4

J

Bi

Shared obverses and reverses

1835

12/?

3

???

Bi

1835

12/L

K

???

GS?

5

1835

17/Q

4

L

4-D

GS

 

1838

4/D

2

M

GS

 

???

1833

28/CC

5

N

???

Bi?

Shared reverses

???

1835

8/H

5

???

???

???

1833

23/W

6

O

???

Bi?

 

???

1834

13/M

5

P

???

GS?

Probably has edge 2-B

 

 

Buck-Toothed Eagle

            The Buck-Toothed Eagle family contains 18 known varieties using 17 obverse and 14 reverse dies. These varieties are dated from 1830 to 1840, with most dated before 1835. Two varieties
are listed in Riddell (1845), including the 1832 12/L (# 458) and 1833 11/K (# 463). Their composition is either billon or German silver. And at least four, and maybe five, different edge dies were
used for this family. See table 2 for more information.

 

Table 2. Buck-Toothed Eagle family

Buck-Toothed Eagle

 

 

New Desig.

 

 

 

Date

Davignon

Obv.

Rev.

Edge

Alloy

Notes

1830

6/F

1

A

6-F

Bi

 

1831

14/N

1

B

Bi

 

1832

12/L

1

C

Bi

 

1833

19/S

1

D

Bi

Shared obverses; backward 1 in date

1833

19/BB

E

6-F?

Bi?

1832

7/G

2

F

6-F?

Bi

 

1832

22/W

3

G

6-F?, PE

Bi

 

1833

29/DD

2

H

6-F

Bi

 

1833

36/JJ

3

I

6-F?

Bi

 

1833

42/OO

4

J

6-F

Bi

 

1832

6/F

4

K

Bi

Shared reverses

1833

11/K

5

Bi

1833

20/T

6

L

Bi

Shared reverses

1830

14/P

2

6-F?, PE

Bi

1840

3/D

1

7, 8, or 9?

Bi?

1835

2/B

1

M

7-G, 8-H

Bi

 

1831

7/G

2

N

3-C

GS, Br

Shared reverses

1835

10/J

2

GS

 

 

Never Too Late

            The Never Too Late family contains five known varieties using five obverse dies and one reverse die shared between all varieties. These varieties are dated from 1836 to 1842, and none were
listed in Riddell (1845). Their composition is either billon or German silver. And at least three different edges are known for this family, including one lettered edge, one plain edge (PE), and one
reeded edge (RE). See table 3 for more information.

 

Table 3. Never Too Late family

Never Too Late

 

 

New Desig.

 

 

 

Date

Davignon

Obv.

Rev.

Edge

Alloy

Notes

1836

18/R

1

A

5-E; PE

GS, Bi

Shared reverses

1837

1/A

1

5-E?

Bi?

1838

7/H

1

5-E, PE

GS, Bi

1842

1/A

1

RE

GS

1842

2/A

2

RE

GS?

 

 

1827 6-F

            This variety was made from excellent hand-made dies that at first glance appear to be from transfer dies but does not match any known Overton variety. It is not currently known to be directly
associated with any larger counterfeit family. It is made of billon and has a lettered edge.

 

Analysis:

            As mentioned above, it is assumed that these three families and 1827 singleton were made from separate counterfeiting operations, but intriguingly were also interrelated, if only indirectly. 
These three families and singleton are assumed to be from separate operations due to a lack of shared punch types and die use between each.  But they are interrelated in that some of the varieties
from each family or singleton share one or more edge dies with one of the other families or singletons! The concluding assumption here is that each of these counterfeiting operations bought their
planchets from a common, third party distributor and at approximately the same time. In addition, it is assumed those varieties without edge dies shared between more than one family or singleton
also bought their planchets from the same source closely in time to the other varieties made from each family.

 

Edge dies:

            Between these three families and one singleton at least eight different lettered edge dies are known (labeled 1-A through 8-H in tables 1 to 3, and in figure 1), along with a reeded edge (RE),
and a plain edge (PE; presumably just not sent through the castaing machine). Three of these lettered edge dies are shared between these families and singleton, but are only ever shared once
(Figure 1). This suggests that when there is a shared edge die each counterfeiting group put in a planchet order at or around the same time and for specific types of planchet alloys.

 

Alloys:

Planchet alloys can also be helpful in elucidating relationships between different counterfeiting groups, and extrapolating roughly when a counterfeit was made.  The planchet alloys studied
in this article were analyzed via x-ray fluorescence (XRF). The results showed a majority of pieces were made from billon and German silver, and rarely brass (BR).

Billon is strongly assumed to be an alloy used exclusively by earlier counterfeiters (i.e. 18th century and early 19th century) due to its more expensive silver content, and is rarely found on
U.S. counterfeits after the Civil War.  In contrast, the cheaper German silver alloy is considered a later alloy which started to be used by counterfeiters during the second half of the 1830s. German
silver was advantageous to billon in that the color more closely mimicked real silver and was cheaper to produce given the absence of precious metal content requirements. When there is overlap
between billon and German silver alloys for a variety or subgroup this is considered to be a transition period from billon to German silver. The history and transition from billon to German silver by
counterfeiters will be discussed in a future article.

It is assumed that each of these counterfeiting groups ordered specific planchet alloys over the course of their operations. One good example of this is from edge 3-C, used on the Clinton
Head and Buck-Toothed Eagle families, and known discretely in either billon or German silver, respectively. Some varieties (i.e. Clinton Head 1835 5/E), and subgroups within a family (i.e. Clinton
Head subgroups 3 and 4), are known with both billon and German silver planchets suggesting a transition from one planchet type to another.

 

Conclusion:

            Based on the above information it is strongly assumed that these three families and the one singleton were made from different counterfeiting groups. They bought their specific planchets
from an independent, third party planchet manufacturer. And as such, these counterfeiting groups were probably operating in a similar geographic area at the same time. Furthermore, based on a
review of the dates on the counterfeit coins themselves, especially the latest dates, and the pieces reported in Riddell (1845), it is strongly assumed that these counterfeiters were making these pieces
sometime between approximately 1840 and 1842, especially since most counterfeiter’s imitated dates on or near the current calendar year (Zack 2017).

            All told, these counterfeiting operations exhibit an open-system counterfeiting style whereby they outsource their necessary materials (i.e. planchets and dies) and were only involved with the
final step, striking the counterfeits. This would have had the effect of streamlining the size of their operation and could have sped up production. This is in contrast to a closed-system counterfeiting
operation whereby all the different parts are contained in-house, similar to how the U.S. Mint operated at the time.

            Other than the connection to a third party planchet manufacturer more specific details about these counterfeiters remain unknown. Did these counterfeiting groups know about each other,
were they part of a larger counterfeiting network, where were these operations taking place, are there contemporary reports of these pieces in circulation, and were these counterfeiters ever
apprehended?  These questions remain for future research.  But this initial research brings us one step closer to answering these questions.

Figure 1. A hypothetical association between the three families and one singleton, their shared edge dies, their composition, and when they may have been made.

 

 

Acknowledgements:

At a minimum I would like to thank Larry Schmidt, Mark Glazer, David Kahn, Louis Scuderi, Dennis Wierzba, Brad Karoleff, and Steve Tompkins for their varying roles over the last couple of
years assisting my research on this subject. Without their assistance it would have been more difficult to write this article.

 

 

References:

Davignon, Keith R. 2010. Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Dollars, 2nd Edition. Riddell, John L. 1845. A Monograph of the Silver Dollar, Good and Bad.

Zack, Winston. 2017. When Were Counterfeits Made? John Reich Journal. Volume 27, Issue 1.

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An Approach to Convert the Counterfeit CBH Census to the Sheldon Scale by Dennis Wierzba - July 2017

The counterfeit Capped Bust Half (CBH) census is a record of how many examples of a variety have been seen, not an estimate of how many may exist.  In copper series such as large cents and colonials that have
been studied and reported for nearly 150 years, higher level rarity estimates (i.e. R6, R7, and R8) are now essentially stable with an example or two showing up on rare occasions.  Counterfeit CBHs and other
counterfeit series are currently understudied and underreported.  Keith Davignon, presumably knowing this, developed a rarity scale with tight bands (scarce = 6-9 examples, common = 10-19 examples) that
quantified, with very descriptive words, the rarity designation using a small sample size based on his collector observations.  As more collections are reported, it will be possible to improve projected rarity from a
growing sample size.
   
Dr. William Sheldon developed this classic ‘Sheldon rarity scale’ for large cent that has been adopted for many other United States numismatic series, but has not yet for counterfeit CBHs.  This complicates
comparing census records to estimated population rarity.  As such, an approach to convert counterfeit CBH census data and project it to the Sheldon scale is needed.
   
The solution is simple.  If you can approximate what percent ( Est% as a decimal) ) of the population that has been seen and by using the number of reported coins (n), then the projected population
(P) is  = n / Est%.  For example, a census with 20% of the estimated population would have the census figure, n, multiplied by 5 (=1/.20).  This projected population (P) can then be converted to the Sheldon rarity
scale.  As long as the number of seen specimens grows roughly in line with additional survey contributions, this projected estimate should be stable.  The Sheldon rarity scale has growing, wider bands as the rarity
number falls and is forgiving of estimation error.
   
The astute reader will observe that we really do not know what the population of counterfeit CBHs that exist and therefore what percent of the population has been surveyed.  However, an intelligent, rough estimate
can be made.  While how many collections have been submitted is known in the census, whether any large collections (and their size?) that have NOT been shared and some feeling about how much is still out there
is an unknown.  Therefore, the census is the best group to estimate percent surveyed and create a projected Sheldon rarity for each variety.  Further, an informal survey of collectors of counterfeit CBHs has estimated
that approximately 2,500 to 25,000 still exist.  The census is currently comprised of 1,168 specimens, but excludes the 10 most common varieties which are roughly 50% of the projected population.  Making this
adjustment, the 1,168 coins should be compared to population guesses of 1,250 to 12,250.

To quantify this concept further, I have used the midpoint of the Davignon scale with various choices of estimated percent surveyed to create a projected Sheldon rarity (R#).  As you can see, the impact of small
estimate errors in the percent surveyed is relatively benign.  A much more egregious error is to apply the Sheldon scale directly to the raw data of the number seen (equivalent to saying 100% of the coins have
been surveyed).  The approach suggested attempts to correct for this type of error.
   

SHELDON SCALE PROJECTIONS VS. % SURVEYED USING DAVIGNON MIDPOINTS

   Davignon Rarity Midpoints        10%     20%     25%     33%     50%     100%

   RARE (1.5)                                         R6-       R7-        R7-        R7-       R8         R8

   VERY SCARCE (4)                          R5-       R6-        R6-        R7+      R7-        R7-

   SCARCE (7.5)                                    R5+      R5-        R6+       R6+     R6-        R7-

   COMMON (15)                                  R4-       R5+       R5+       R5-       R6+      R6-

   VERY COMMON (35)                     R3-       R4+       R4-        R4-       R5+      R5-

   EXTREMELY COMMON (50+)   R2-       R3+       R3-        R3-       R4+      R5+    

         
    
What are the implications of the above table? The estimated % surveyed is the key variable for any hope of completion or near completion.  If only 10% of the population has been surveyed, the typical Very Scarce
variety is a R5-; at 33%, it is R7+.  The test for the relevance of any rarity estimate is your opinion of the demand side, now perhaps R6, i.e., R5s and below are currently obtainable for the collector base.
     
     
(1)    I would like to thank Winston Zack for his helpful comments and edits.

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Great Finds Are Still Being Made! by Larry Schmidt - June 2017 

 
A serious bogus half collector's most recent addition has brought his collection to 99 pieces with what has been deemed by fellow collectors who participated in the specimen's 
vetting as one of the most interesting new discoveries (e.g. 1832 28/CC http://cccbhcc.com/new-discoveries.html#183228CC).  The new discovery is unique having no known Davignon
variety family similarities.  The 1832 28/CC just goes to prove that wonderful finds are still out there as told in the following events by the fellow collector who wishes to remain
anonymous:

" I acquired the piece from a dealer at the Ft. Laud monthly coin show. The dealer drives to this show from Fort Meyers each month.  He knows I collect bogus pieces and I have bought some from
him in the past. I asked him this time if he had anything for me and he said he had a bogus half, but it was pretty poor.  He showed it to me and asked me what I wanted to pay for it.  I told him
$10 and he said 'SOLD'!!!! "

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Reidentifications by Larry Schmidt - June 2017

As collectors we know it is often challenging to correctly identify contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust halves where wear and tear of up to two centuries, planchet issues, and/or 
striking issues (e.g. weak strikes, double strikes, off-center strikes) can cause confusion.  Any of these factors can make certain specimens of the same variety look very different! 
 
Similarly, some vetted varieties based on a single known specimen with excessive wear, planchet issues, and/or striking issues can turn out to have misleading appearances.  In a
few cases these differences in appearance have led to later reidentifications, reassessing the variety anew.  Reidentifications are part of ongoing learning, an element of a healthy 
growth in knowledge, providing the most accurate contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half dollar information to fellow collectors. 
 
When a new discovery candidate is submitted to be vetted a process begins that involves multiple advanced fellow collectors who participate in synergistic scrutiny made
independent of the owner of the submitted specimen.  This vetting process has proved quite successful, yet very infrequently previously vetted specimens have been later
deemed to be reidentified, sometimes years later after their original vetting.  Additional specimen find analyses comparing additional detail(s) not seen before, and/or further study
of single known specimen vettings including the use of overlays matching design elements of stars, curls, letters, and even denticles bulges and fillings with different vetted varieties
can result in reidentification. (It is interesting to note that it has been found that neither a variety's variations of obverse and reverse rotation, nor different edge designs/lettering 
configurations can be used as distinguishing attributes.)

Reidentifications address both; 1) a previously vetted variety that is determined to be another known vetted variety, and 2) an identified variety variation that is deemed to be a
distinctly unique variety unto itself.  These reidentifications have been documented primarily in the website's 2nd Edition Errors/Changes section, but two examples are also
noted in the website's  New Discovery section of new discovery varieties that have later proved not to be two new varieties but rather two previously known vetted varieties.




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Treasure Hunt by Kerry Schaller - May 2017

 

I started hunting road construction sites with my metal detector a few years ago. It's an opportunity to get a glimpse of early history of these small towns we are hunting. It's also a
chance 
to find older coins that we just don't see very often. Most of the paved roads we travel everyday were the same roads traveled over 100 years ago by the early settlers, but in
those years the roads weren't paved. Downtown sidewalks were made of wood, and not concrete. Items lost were covered by a layer of dust in the road or fell in the gap between the
boards of the sidewalk lost to those of that time.

I get excited every time I'm out exploring one of these sites. I had already found three Large cents and three early Liberty Seated dimes at this site and this trip's success was to be
no different. Every day the construction crew moved dirt around, bringing new items to the surface within reach of the metal detector. On this day shortly after arriving, I got a good
signal at two inches deep. I dug down and out pops a large dark disc. On closer examination, I see the eagle of an early half dollar and the outline of a Capped Bust Liberty. Excited
by the find, I put it in my pocket, but was also thinking this wasn't a silver target on my machine. After several hours of hunting, I headed for home with just the one coin for the day.
 

After getting home I cleaned the coin up. Yes, I clean these coins as the roadbed is often very rough on these pieces and their value to a collector is limited, but every so often a
gem pops out that was tucked away in some unknown spot that preserved and protected it from the harsh conditions.

After sending pictures to several friends, I got a reply mentioning counterfeits. I had never found one, but the signal my machine gave me in the field, came rushing back to me. I
pulled out my metal detector and air tested the Capped Bust half. Air testing is done with a metal detector by passing an item across the coil in the air. Certain coins will come in
consistently with a certain signature (i.e. silver dime, bronze penny, zinc penny, etc). Soils can be mineralized, which can alter the response that an item would register on the
machine in the field. Air testing eliminates those variables to see how a certain actual target will respond on the machine.
 

The results from my air testing?  Wow, it comes in where an Indian Head small cent would signal. I noted the weight from my Redbook of a genuine Capped Bust half dollar and
then weighed my construction site buried treasure find and it which came out to nine grams. A chunk missing from it being holed certainly did not make up four grams needed to
make the weight of a real Capped Bust half dollar. I found the ccCBHcc website and scrolling through the New Discovery section and found the 1838 21/V Davignon variety. Upon 
reading the description and comparing the pictures, it was a spot on match. The composition of German silver (i.e. copper/nickel/zinc) also made sense for the metal detector
signal I got in that nickel and zinc come in much lower and react much different from silver.

The initial let down of this Capped Bust half dollar being counterfeit, has actually been replaced by the excitement of finding my first counterfeit coin! The effort and craftsmanship
to make this counterfeit coin is exceptional.


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Rarity and Collecting Update by Larry Schmidt -  April 2017

Back in December 2011 the Collectors Corner section of this website posed the question "Where does rarity fit in our world of collecting contemporary
counterfeit Capped Bust halves?".  The question was presented to fellow collectors to begin to think of rarity designations as constantly changing, the
results of ongoing cumulative finds of vetted new discovery specimens and additional specimens for previously known varieties reported by fellow
collectors.  Well what do we know now a few months past five years later?

Comparing the current March 26, 2017 census (i.e. see the Census Section of this website) to past ccCBHcc.com censuses the following can be said about the
reported growing number of
vetted Davignon varieties with either; no known specimens *, only a single known specimen, or having two or more known
specimens:

  

**  2011 had 347 vetted varieties; 6 with no known specimen or 2%, 178 with 1 known specimen or 52%, 163 with 2 or more known specimens (46%)

**  2012 had 356 vetted varieties; 6 with no known specimen or 2%, 174 with 1 known specimen or 49%, 176 with 2 or more known specimens (49%)

**  2014 had 368 vetted varieties; 6 with no known specimen or 2%, 183 with 1 known specimen or 51%, 179 with 2 or more known specimens (47%) 

**  2016 had 374 vetted varieties; 6 with no known specimen or 2%, 141 with 1 known specimen or 38%, 227 with 2 or more known specimens (60%) 

**  2017 so far has 391 vetted varieties; 6 with no known specimen or 2%, 155 with 1 known specimen or 40%, 230 with 2 or more known specimens (58%)

   

The 2017 year to date census statistics for reported vetted varieties with two or more known specimens when broken down are comprised of; 47 second
specimen finds for previous "only a single known specimen" varieties, plus 74 varieties with 
single rarity level updates and another 13 varieties with multiple
rarity 
level updates all since the September, 2010 publication of Keith Davignon's Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Dollars - 2nd Edition.  This
shows that for these 230 vetted varieties 
with two or more known specimens conservatively over 37.8% have had their rarity level ** upgraded!  These 

statistics quantify the dynamics of our hobby and tell of the continuing opportunities in our collecting for elusive specimens to be found!!! 

*  Illustrated in the 1845 publication A Monograph of the Silver Dollar: Good and Bad by J. L. Riddell, an employee of the New Orleans US Mint for which no specimen has yet been found.
** 
37.8% = [(13 varieties with multiple upgrades + 74 varieties with single rarity upgrades) / (230 varieties with two of more known specimens)].  The 37.8% calculation does not include the
47 second specimen finds for previous "only a single known specimen" varieties as their rarity designations do not change given that the D
avignon rarity occurrence levels are  1-2 = Rare, 
3-5 = Very Scarce, 6-9 = Scarce, 10-19 = Common, 20-49 = Very Common, 50+ = Extremely Common.

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Weights by Larry Schmidt and Winston Zack - March 2017
   
   
Sometimes when you hear or read something it triggers renewed thinking for an area.  Such was the case in a recent request sent to a few fellow collectors to identify a specimen for which a comment was
made related to getting a copy of a genuine coin with the correct weight.  With a more significant larger number of available Davignon varieties to collectively compare weights what could an analysis tell
about minting of these historic copies tell? 
   

First, when thinking of the variables of Capped Bust half dollar (CBHD) contemporary counterfeit 'correct' weights was indeed no easy task.  Different alloys with different weights struck underweight copies,
'close' to legal weight copies, and heavier copies.  Alarmingly for numismatic study even within the same Davignon variety significant ranges are known (e.g. one specimen of an 1826 3/C weighs 11.5 grams
and another weighs 15.8 grams)!  With this in mind the analysis began.
   
For the analysis only struck specimens with visibly complete planchets were compared; all holed, chipped, plugged, etc. specimens were not analyzed.  With the remaining sample size of 396 identified
Davignon specimens weights were collectively compared.  The result found was that 53.3% of contemporary counterfeit CBHDs were within the weight tolerance of authentic CBHDs of 12.0 g to 13.34 g  
accounting for different degrees that circulation wear may affect weight (i.e. complete results of the collective weight analysis are found at the end of this article).  This statistic shows that the greater the
circulation wear of genuine CBHDs the higher the number of Davignons were included within a matching tolerance weight range.  This is important to keep in mind remembering the theory that clever
contemporary counterfeiters minted coins that appeared to already have had significant circulation wear and were lighter in weight as part of their deception!
   
   

  

  

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Multi-Struck - Part 2 by Larry Schmidt - December 2016 (with December 2017 update and July 2018 Epilogue)

In the Collectors Corner May, 2013 Multi-Struck - Part 1 article analyses of multi-struck contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half dollars were presented.  Within the findings there was a distinct
difference found between multi-strikes which would have perhaps been initially noticed but after inspection would have likely been passed on in general circulation without its owner giving it much
added thought, but there were also other multi-strikes which were quite dramatic. This article provides for the enjoyment of fellow collectors a gallery of enlarged color images for typical representative
example of a multi-strike that would have been likely accepted in general circulation and other dramatic multi-strikes which would have not been.  Subjectively, specimens have been selected that
display their striking errors the best.  Other dramatic multi-strike specimens are known to exist, but due to their worn condition and/or dark toning they are VERY, VERY difficult to see [e.g. other known
examples for instance include; a) an 1831 9/I identified in the September, 2010
Collectors Corner article Another Mystery Solved, and b) an 1829 7/G with a recognizable second 9 to the right of the
four digit date, two overlapping lettered Liberty headbands, a 14th star, and a crosshatched shield on the eagle that resulted from one shield being struck over by another shield at an angle].    

 


1831 7/G

representative

multi-strike

likely accepted

in general

circulation

(e.g. besides Liberty's

slight doubled profile

note typical multi-strike

distortions of stars,

date and legend)


1821 3/D

dramatic

multi-strike


1826 5/E

dramatic

multi-strike

 


1828 17/R

dramatic

multi-strike


1834

? variety

dramatic

multi-strike


1838 3/C

dramatic

multi-strike


1838 7/H

dramatic

multi-strike

and

off-strike

   


July 2018 Epilogue

Although not a multi-struck specimen the silver wash Extremely Common rarity 1825 1/A variety below was clipped which would have certainly stood out in general circulation! 
The specimen's clipped edge surface exposes the raw planchet which appears to be brass.  Weight of the specimen is 12.6 grams.

  


   

   

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When 1 variety + 1 variety = 1 variety by Winston Zack - March 2016

In recent efforts to identify an 1833 dated contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half (CCCBH) that had seen a great deal of circulation wear two previous vetted Davignon varieties have now been
determined to be in fact the same variety! It is now understood that the 1833 33/X and the 1833 41/X Davignon 12-Star varieties are the same variety through the match identification of identical
distinctive obverse dentils patterns by Stars 7 and 9 (i.e. the multi-struck 1833 33/X variety is reidentified as the single struck 1833 41/X variety). There are only a few other known identified CCCBH
obverse dies with 12 stars; the 1830 20/V, 1840 1/A, and 1840 1/B. Almost all the rest of the Davignon varieties have the expected 13-star obverses with the exception of the 1838 12/M with 10 stars,
the 1833 32/GG with 14 stars, the 1835 5/E with 14 stars, plus a few multi-struck specimens that only appear to have more than 13 stars due to their multi-struck stars. 

 

ccCBHcc.com Notation - This discovery has been made by a fellow collector described as having "a very sharp pair of eyes" by the collector / owner of the multiple struck 1833 33/X specimen plate coin. 
It is just this kind of serious numismatic study that through the synergy of fellow collectors working together depth and richness of knowledge is gained and shared, benefiting all fellow collectors! 

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When You Just Can't Tell  by Larry Schmidt - February 2016

Well another one has been discovered!  Below are images of yet another contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half that is unfortunately not fully identifiable but has enough distinct attributes to distinguish
it as a previously unknown variety (e.g. an obverse with too close spacing between Stars 1 - 2, plus too close spacing between Stars 4 - 5, and a reverse with UNITEDSTATES and perhaps more of the legend as one word). While these
attributes can distinguish 
this specimen as a new unique variety the specimen has only a partially readable 18?? date and thus can't be vetted as a new discovery variety!  It is additionally interesting to note
that this specimen has a significant minting error, that is, extra metal on the surface of the coin that can be seen on the left sides of the obverse and reverse images.  The specimen was struck at a later state
after the dies had broken allowing extra metal to fill the surface of the coin where the obverse and reverse die surfaces were missing. The extra metal on the obverse and reverse, or "cud", should 
not be
considered a distinctive attribute as other specimens for this identified variety could be found that were struck earlier from the dies before they broke and would not have any extra metal other than their
counterfeiter's intended design.

   

Other unique specimens that each have enough distinct attributes to distinguish themselves as a previously unknown variety yet can't be fully identified as a new vetted variety are known to exist!  These
cast and struck contemporary counterfeits are known to not match any vetted Davignon variety, yet these specimens are either too worn / damaged / or for other reasons not able to be identified / vetted as
new discovery varieties.  A grouping of these type of unvetted specimens can be found at the very end of the New Discovery section on this website.   

Specimens like these continue to fuel our hobby's excitement in that we absolutely know for sure that there are additional new discovery varieties out there yet!!!  

   

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Meet the Families by Winston Zack, Louis Scuderi, Larry Schmidt - December 2015  (with February 2016 update)

 

Overview:

 

In 1996 Keith Davignon, in his book Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Dollars - First Edition, brought to the fellow collectors' attention the idea of stylistic similarities in contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half dollars now known as
‘families’:

 

“One cannot help wondering as one looks upon a group of bogus coins who made them, and whether the same person may have been responsible for several different 'coins'. When examining a large quantity of dates and varieties, spread out side by side on a table, stylistic similarities tend
to 'jump' out at you. (Davignon, 1996).”

 

This excerpt from the First Edition formally introduced the concept of ‘Families’ to contemporary counterfeit CBH collectors. Counterfeit families are varieties that appear to share stylistic similarities, such as punches (e.g letters, numbers, and
design elements including stars, Liberty bust, eagle with olive branch and arrows, banner), used to create die elements in working dies, or which share an entire common obverse or reverse die. This article builds upon Keith Davignon’s First and
Second Edition's initial identification of six nicknamed families (1) Top Gun, (2) Mexican Head, (3) Ski-Nose, (4) Too Legit to Quit, (5) Buck-Tooth Eagle, and (6) Clinton Head (Davignon 1996 Chapter 6; Davignon 2010 Chapter 7), other non-nicknamed
families, previous articles in the Collectors Corner section of the website ccCBHcc.com (i.e. An Attempt to Solve Another Mystery (Schmidt 2013), A Bigger Family - Part 1 (Scuderi and Schmidt 2014), Bigger Family - Part 2 (Scuderi and Schmidt – Part 2).
Ongoing research currently suggests at least 22 known families that are identified in tables at the end of this article.

 

 

Introduction:

 

In our fledgling country a mix of coins circulated and the populace, outside of the large eastern cities, was generally unaware of what current US Mint products looked like. With transportation focused on rivers, and law enforcement outside of
cities essentially nonexistent, counterfeiters could pass their counterfeit, fake, bogus, imitated, spurious, non-regal coins (and paper money) with relative ease and with little fear of being caught.

 

“To Counterfeit Is Death” was a term added to 18th century American colonial paper money by the likes of Benjamin Franklin and others. The term was likely used because counterfeiters were a threat to the State, and reliability, confidence and
trust in the currency was critical for a stable economy. The primary motive for counterfeiters should first and foremost be seen as a method of greed and building wealth. But it also likely had a secondary, almost beneficial effect of adding coins
into circulation during times of relative absence such as during economically unstable periods (e.g. panics and depressions).

 

Counterfeiting operations as documented by historical sources, and noted by Davignon (2010) ranged from simple individual operations to more complex networks involving highly organized gangs made up of several people sometimes spread
out over hundreds of miles. The work was often done in secret. In some instances equipment, punches, and edge lettering devices were sold, traded or exchanged over long distances.

 

The New World (North/Central America) counterfeiting culture began shortly after the arrival of settlers, but truly boomed in the mid/late-18th century (Gurney 2014). The coins typically counterfeited during this period were denominations
commonly seen in circulation. Specifically this included English and Irish guineas, halfpence, halfpennies, and farthings, Mexican and Peruvian eight and two reales, French ecú and five franc pieces, Spanish pistareens, and Brazillian joes and half
joes (Kleeberg 2000). Shortly after the United States began minting Federal coins those Mint types/denominations were counterfeited
as well. Of particular focus here is the extent of counterfeiting U.S. Capped Bust-type half dollars (CBH),
arguably the most counterfeited U.S. coin in the 19th century. One reason CBHs were targeted is that they were the bullion coin of the era used for banking/larger commercial transactions as compared to other US Mint denominations, and thus
saw more widespread circulation.

 

 

The 22 Families / Current Analyses:

 

Research currently suggests at least 22 known families, comprising 125 Davignon varieties, of contemporary counterfeit CBHs exist (see Table 1 for a summary of the 22 families and Tables 2 through 23 for details of each individual family). It is
possible that other known Davignon varieties, not currently connected to one of these listed families, may also be linked to the families listed here.

 

The sizes of each of the families currently range from two to 23 Davignon varieties. Significantly, family memberships makes up approximately 42% of the approximately 293 (292 + 1 unvetted (‘never too late’ family)) reported die struck varieties.
Identified family sizes will continue to increase in size as higher grade specimens become available for research plus more families will likely be added to this list as new discovery varieties are reported and vetted.

 

As this enlarged family tree continues to grow, and, as we attempt to understand the contemporary counterfeiting process, even more questions have arisen, including:

 

Do these families point to an industrious individual contemporary counterfeiter per family? Or did contemporary counterfeiters of Capped Bust halves likely sell equipment/punches/edge lettering devices to each other similar to the sharing of punches of design devices as seen in some colonial
contemporary counterfeits?

 

These questions are difficult, if not impossible to answer now that nearly 200 years have passed since these illicit pieces were produced. Although hundreds of pieces still exist relatively few likely survive from what can only be presumed were
much larger productions. In addition, historical documentation, which can aid in piecing together the background to this counterfeiting story, is relatively scarce or non-specific, as such provides little direct provenance information.

 

It is important to keep in mind that counterfeit dies would have been expensive to buy and time consuming to make. It takes at least three dies to make a family of two members, which generally consists of one common side (or common hub
type), and two different opposing sides. For example the Clinton Head family with 23 members, used at least 40 dies! This is a truly staggering quantity of dies for any family. This begs the questions whether these dies all belong to a single
counterfeiting operation, whether worn-out dies were re-hubbed, repunched, or reused, and/or whether these dies and hubs were sold/traded across multiple locations. Davignon (1996, 2010) notes that there were multiple localities where gangs
of counterfeiters worked, and he speculates that hundreds of CBH counterfeiting operations were in business. If each of these 22 families, including 125 die struck varieties, represent a single counterfeiting operation, do the remaining 168 die
struck varieties not linked to a family each represent a single and unique counterfeiting operation? Is the size of each counterfeiting family commensurate to the scale, and potentially success, of the counterfeiting taking place? Can we estimate
when certain counterfeits were made based upon the date of the piece, or the dates for the entire family? At the moment these questions remain
unanswered, but attempts will be made to answer them with the information available.

 

It is difficult to ascertain whether any one operation had possession of and was using all these dies, or if multiple locations were being supplied with dies from a single source. It is almost certain that one prolific counterfeiter was re-using master
hubs to make their dies, and that most likely not all dies from each family were in use concurrently, but were made to order, especially after dies wore out. To better figure this out an emission order needs to be established. The major issue
stopping us answering this is survival bias of the certain contemporary counterfeit varieties plus lack of knowledge about die life.

 

Since we do not know how many counterfeits were produced for each variety, it is impossible to know precise survival rates, however estimating survival rates is still possible. The economics of counterfeiting would suggest that counterfeiters
produced larger number of pieces to make up for the cost of metal, dies, machinery involved, time and labor, and rarely, if ever, produced just a handful of counterfeits by choice; factors such as premature die breakage and counterfeiters being
arrested limited the production of certain varieties. Further, fifty cents was a lot of money for many people in the first half of the 19th century, and the counterfeit would keep being passed along until forcibly removed from circulation. Therefore,
in theory, these counterfeits likely had a relatively long survival rate alongside authentic coins. By comparison, it was estimated that just 0.004% of the Philadelphia mintage for CBHs survives today for all dates (Evans, 1993). Although different
factors exist for the survival rate of counterfeits, especially CBHs, and if we assume a similar survival rate for counterfeit CBHs, then an estimated 625,000 (give or take) were originally produced (from a surviving population of approximately
2,500 pieces).

 

Multiple factors were involved in the identification and destruction versus the survival of counterfeit CBHs after they were introduced into commerce. Identification as a counterfeit depended primarily on the quality of characteristics that the
specimen possessed and were assessed through 1) the details of the engraving, 2) planchet metal/alloy, 3) method of production (cast or die struck), and 4) dimensions of the piece (i.e. width and thickness). In theory, the better the qualities the
piece possessed the longer it should remain undetected. It is interesting to note that many counterfeit CBHs are still misidentified today as authentic coins, potentially suggesting higher quality, more deceptive workmanship. Other factors of
survivability, such as the discovery of counterfeit coin hoards (i.e. 1831 1/A as noted in Davignon 2010), can bias this assessment although in general this has not been a major factor.

 

Overall, more than half (52%) of the reported counterfeit die struck CBH varieties (152 out of 293 varieties) are known by just one example in the current ccCBHcc.com Census (as of June 1, 2015). The vast majority of varieties are known by
ten or fewer pieces, with currently only about ten varieties are estimated to have about 50 or more examples existing (Davignon 2010). Over time the number of unique varieties will likely continue to fall, although at the same time additional,
previously unreported new discovery varieties will likely surface. But in general, the rarity of these pieces cannot easily be explained.

 

It is likely that the majority of pieces from each variety were casually destroyed over time (possibly in the big melts of the 1850s). It is also possible that most varieties were fairly low quality to begin with, and were subsequently removed from
circulation early on.
It could also be the case that counterfeit varieties that are relatively common today may have been just as common as other varieties that are now rare, unique or perhaps so far unknown. In other cases some varieties,
especially those from larger families, may
have intermixed dies quite frequently and as a result some varieties may have had very low production runs. Knowing how varieties relate to each other in a family, and creating die-link emission orders,
will help us better understand the sequence of counterfeiting.

 

Counterfeit families are made up of both shared-side and single-paired varieties. All but one family, Y 1s, is known with at least one die reused creating multiple varieties. Varieties with shared-sides are somewhat common among families.
Currently 77 of the 125 varieties share a side with another variety. This includes 24 varieties (11 different dies) where obverses were shared and 58 varieties (23 different dies) where reverses were shared; some varieties have both their obverse
and reverse shared with other varieties. It is currently unknown why so many more reverse dies were shared than obverses. It could be due to the universal nature of reverse dies being more-or-less the same, whereas obverse dies are uniquely
dated. This may also be related to which die was the hammer or anvil die, as was the case at the U.S. mint from die break and cud analysis, such that the hammer die (usually the reverse) generally fails more often than the anvil die (usually the
obverse). It may also be the result of poorer quality die steel. Although it is also worth mentioning that most counterfeit CBHs are not known with die breaks or cuds (similar to Mint made CBHs) which may indicate smaller productions that did
not result in die failure, or that larger planchet coins were not generally prone to die failure.

 

In contrast, 47 of the 125 varieties within these 22 families are single-paired varieties without either side known to be shared with another reported variety. It is almost certain that at least one side of some of these single-paired varieties will
eventually become part of a shared-side emission order as new varieties are reported. Although still speculative, some single-paired varieties may have been distributed to other counterfeiting operations, and as such sold in obverse-reverse sets
or another made-to-order combination of dies. This could explain why there are so many varieties from these families which are not part of a shared-side emission order. But we must also look at specimen survival bias and production to help
dissect
these families.

 

Production was a key part of counterfeiting. There was the production of the die and the production striking of the counterfeit. A skilled engraver could produce a counterfeit die or set of dies in a single day. Those dies likely would have needed
to be tested to make sure they did not break shortly after being made, especially if they were being sold. Fortunately the results of some of these tested dies survive today as uniface strikes or die trials on real coins (likely simulating a planchet).

 

Production of counterfeits was also related to the type and amount of metal/alloy available. A large quantity of metal meant that you could theoretically produce a large number of planchets which could be struck all at once, possibly from a
single pair of dies. After those planchets were used another batch of metal would need to be made. As time passed, different sided dies could have been married to start a shared-side emission order. In some cases those die pairings were used
again to strike more counterfeits using different alloys. We know that some varieties were struck using strikingly different alloys such as copper, German silver and brass (i.e. 1824 1/A, 1828 1/A, 1830 8/H); preliminary metallurgical analysis
using X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) also indicates multiple alloys (some being relatively minor differences) were used to strike the same counterfeit variety (Bastacky 2015).

 

Larger, more successful, and possibly more complex, counterfeiting operations could have produced counterfeits for years before stopping or being caught. This could explain several questions including, 1) why some families are much larger
than others, 2) why families used multiple dates and 3) why there are more shared-side emission orders for larger counterfeiting operations than smaller operations.

 

The dies themselves also needed to last for a considerable number of strikes to create a profit for the counterfeiter. Dies were expensive, and manufacturing counterfeits was a costly, labor-intensive operation. But, dies eventually failed. Due to
a lack of surviving dies it is almost impossible to know how strong and reliable counterfeit dies were, and how long they would last until failure. As such, this adds a new factor to whether some varieties were single-paired because the dies broke
early in production, or whether other factors were at work.

 

It is of interest to note that in general most contemporary counterfeit CBHs (like the US Mint made ones) do not exhibit large die breaks (one notable exception is 1833 24/X). This might indicate that little die breakage was occurring in the dies,
and thus the dies were comparably strong. Then again, if a die broke a counterfeiter would not likely want to make a counterfeit with an obvious broken die feature because it would make that piece stand out in general circulation more clearly.

                             

Conclusions and Suggested Further Analysis:

 

This article’s main focus is to show that there are many more counterfeit families than previously recognized, and that some individual counterfeit families are larger than previously believed. We can categorically state that our understanding of
these families is incomplete and more varieties likely exist(ed). Davignon identified five of the six largest known families, and identified similar characteristics among other varieties which were never formally matched to a family. This article
formally names 17 additional families (Table 1), and adds to the discussion
of counterfeit families and counterfeiting in general. Even more questions have been generated as a result of this research, and ongoing and future research will attempt
to answer those questions.

 

The results of this research (Tables 2-23) have allowed us to be fairly confident that two of the families pre-date the use of German silver around 1837. Five families show transitional periods of billon (copper-silver alloys) and German silver
alloys in their counterfeits dating to a period of manufacture around 1835-1840. Thirteen families are fairly confidently dated after 1837 since their preliminary metallurgical analysis suggests the use of German silver and not billon. And there is
one family, 1815 Counterfeiter, where there is not yet enough information to estimate the relative age of manufacture. Several families have members with copper or bronze type alloys that were silver plated.

 

Silver plating copper planchets was one of the earliest forms of counterfeiting silver coins dating back to around 600-650 B.C. in Asia Minor. These early counterfeits were called ‘fourrée’s’ (several types of spellings), and were most commonly
produced by taking a flan of copper, wrapping it with silver foil, heating it, and striking it with the dies. More recent forms of plating involved the ‘Sheffield plate’ method, and later the use of electrochemistry and electroplating. Sheffield plate,
invented in 1743 by Thomas Boulsover in Sheffield, involved a thin sheet of silver placed over copper, heated to fuse the two layers, and rolled to the desired thickness. Counterfeiters quickly employed this technique, especially the Birmingham
forgeries from 1796 to ~1820. Later, silver and gold electroplating was invented by John Wright of Birmingham, England and patented in 1840. This method involved using potassium cyanide as an electrolyte. Further research will need to clarify
how silver plated counterfeit CBHs were produced.

 

Pre-1837 counterfeit CBH families, albeit rare, appear to be smaller operations using just a few dies and creating few die marriages. The ‘transitional’ families (~1835-1840), which are generally fairly large, may be related to the financial Panic of
1837. These families may have been making counterfeits throughout the Panic, and gradually grew in the number of dies made and used over time. The post-1837 families may also be related to the Panic of 1837, but possibly the tail-end of the
Panic since these families tend to be smaller than the transitional families. The remaining ~168 varieties not listed with these families may or may not
also be related to the Panic of 1837 or the 22 known families. Additional study of the edge
designs and XRF analysis may help explain the extent of counterfeiting before and after 1837.

 

The use of German silver over billon was a more cost effective alloy for producing counterfeit silver coins. The transition from billon to German silver by counterfeiters is presumed to have taken place fairly quickly, although it may have taken
several years before all counterfeiting operations stopped using billon. The Panic of 1837 may have been perfect timing for counterfeiters transitioning to this cheaper alloy since silver coinage was becoming quite scarce in circulation. Thus, the
coincidental introduction of German silver coupled with the consequential Panic of 1837 may have been the perfect storm for counterfeiters, and could be the catalyst helping to explain the sudden surge in counterfeiting CBHs at this time.

 

There are five families with members listed in Riddell – Clinton Head, Buck-Tooth Eagle, Mexican Head (Class 1), Pointed Wing and Top Gun. The first four come from the four largest families, and were generally made during the transition period
from billon to German silver; Pointed Wing likely post-dates 1837. The Top Gun family with only three known variety members is one of the two known pre-1837 families. The other pre-1837 family is Backward S’s, which was not listed in Riddell.
What makes the Top Gun family so interesting and likely to be listed in Riddell is that all the members are common or extremely common; the Backward S’s family also has one variety member which is common. Most of the remaining families
not listed in Riddell post-date 1837 and most of their members are rare or scarce. What this could indicate is that Riddell primarily identified pre-1837 and transitional varieties commonly found in circulation, but rarely post-1837 varieties, and
most of those were likely non-family varieties. The only pre-1837 family not listed in Riddell is Backward S’s, and the only transitional families not listed in Riddell are Ski Nose and Mexican Head (Class 2). We should be cautious however to assume
that the transition from billon to German silver was instantaneous around 1837, as some counterfeiters may still have been using billon alloys after 1837.

 

Another important aspect to analyzing counterfeit families is assessing how economical the counterfeiters were in using digits to make their dated dies. For Mint made CBHs the first and second numbers for the dates, 1 and 8, are constant for
all dates, and therefore should always be used on counterfeits. The third digit should be one of four numbers – 0, 1, 2, 3 – and the numbers 2 and 3 were used twice as often as 0; in a few instances the number 4 was used by counterfeiters. The
fourth digit in the date could be any one of ten numbers, but the numbers 7, 8 and 9 were used one time more than the others, and therefore has a slightly higher probability of being used by counterfeiters. Therefore, when analyzing how many
times certain numbers were used to make Mint struck CBHs, 1 and 8 are the most common followed by 2 and 3; the least common numbers are 4, 5, 6, 7, and 9.

 

For counterfeiter die sinkers the most commonly used numbers, not surprisingly, are 1, 2, 3, and 8. These numbers can be used in the first three digits of most CBH dates, and when interchanged can make up to 12 different CBH dates; only the
Mint Mimicked family used just these four numbers. The least used numbers are 6, 7, 9. These numbers are terminal in the sequence of a CBHs date, and therefore would be a more specialized number for a counterfeiter die sinker to make/
acquire and use. Therefore, given when most counterfeit CBHs were made, and that 1820s and 1830s dated CBHs were most common in circulation, it was most economical for counterfeiters to primarily stick with the numbers 1, 2, 3 and 8
when making their counterfeit CBHs.

 

It also appears that the die sinker for each of the four largest counterfeit families preferred to make obverse dies with a specific date, and other dated dies were produced for diversity. The most common date for each of these families composes
33 to 60% of the known obverse dies for that family, whereas the other dates in these families composed at most of just 10 to 24%. It is also interesting to note that for the smaller families, those with fewer than 10 varieties in a family, six of
these 18 smaller families appear to have used just one date to produce all their counterfeits.

 

One of the key remaining data collection methods which will aid in the study of counterfeit CBHs is the utilization of XRF analysis. XRF studies of counterfeit CBHs are currently underway and show some intriguing results. The goal of XRF
analysis is to better understand provenance, especially in terms of when and where the counterfeits were made, but also to potentially identify who made them. The eventual goal will be to run XRF analysis on all known varieties and as many
surviving pieces as possible.

 

XRF analysis of the alloys could let us know whether shared-side and single-paired varieties were used by the same counterfeiting operation or whether multiple operations were using dies from a single engraver. A generally uniform alloy used
on most/all counterfeit varieties within the same family, would strengthen the assumption that the same counterfeiting operation was using all the dies. But if there are distinct, marked differences in alloys between shared-side and single-paired
varieties for the same family then there is a potentially stronger indication that dies were sold to different counterfeiting operations.

 

Acknowledgements:

A special thanks goes to Keith Davignon (1996, 2010), the authors updating ccCBHcc.com, and other collectors for keeping an updated record of counterfeit CBH varieties. Without their tireless efforts this article and future research would not
be possible.

 

Table 1. Counterfeit Families

Nickname

Varieties

Obv

Rev

Dates

Est. Made

Clinton Head

23

22

18

1813, 1814 1831, 1833, 1834, 1835, 1838

1835-1840

Buck-Toothed Eagle

17

16

13

1830, 1831, 1832, 1833, 1835, 1840

1835-1840

Mexican Head (Class 1)

13

12

10

1822, 1825, 1828, 1831, 1832, 1833

1835-1840

Pointed Wing

12

10

10

1811, 1815, 1826, 1828, 1829

Post-1837

Ski Nose

7

7

4

1817, 1829, 1830, 1831

1835-1840

Too Legit to Quit

5

4

2

1833, 1836, 1837, 1838

Post-1845

Mint Mimicked

5

4

4

1832

Post-1837

Never Too Late

5

5

1

1837, 1838, 1842, 1xxx

Post-1845

Square Tip

4

4

2

1822, 1830

Post-1837

Mexican Head (Class 2)

4

3

4

1833, 1835

1835-1840

Puckered Lips

4

4

3

1833, 1834 (similar to Clinton Head)

Post-1837

Y 1’s

3

3

3

1813, 1815, 1818

Post-1837

1821 Counterfeiter

3

1

3

1821

Post-1837

Top Gun

3

3

1

1822, 1823, 1825

Pre-1837

Long Neck

3

3

2

1838, 1840

Post-1840

1815 Counterfeiter

2

1

1

1815

Unknown

Backwards S’s

2

2

1

1823, 1824

Pre-1837

1830 Counterfeiter

2

1

2

1830

Post-1837

Smushed 8’s

2

2

1

1831, 1833

Post-1837

1833 Counterfeiter

2

2

1

1833

Post-1837

Late Comer

2

2

1

1837, 1838

Post-1837

Fantasy

2

1

2

1840

Post-1845

TOTAL: 22 Families

125

197 dies

 

 

 

Table 2. Clinton Head

Clinton Head

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

*1814

1

(A)

(Bi?)

Shared obverses and reverses

1813

(1)

(C)

(Br)

1813

(1)

(A)

 

1831

13

(M)

 

*1833

9

(I)

(Bi?)

1833

28

(CC)

 

Shared reverses

1835

8

(H)

 

1833

30

(EE)

(GS)

Shared reverses

1835

5

(E)

Bi

1831

19

S

(Br)

Similar reverse to 1835 5/E

1833

5

E

(Br)

 

1833

6

F

GS

 

1833

23

W

 

 

1833

40

NN

(Cu)

Similar to 1833 23/W

1834

11

K

(Cu)

Small letter reverse (look for other SL reverses)

1834

12

L

 

 

1834

13

M

 

 

1834

15

O

(GS)

 

1834

17

Q

(Br)

 

1835

11

K

Bi/Go

 

1835

12

L

 

 

1835

17

Q

GS

 

1838

4

D

 

 

 

The Clinton Head family has 23 known Davignon varieties dating from 1813 to 1838, although principally dated to the 1830s. The 1813 dated obverse die may have been a die sinking error intended to be 1831 especially given that the reverse
used on 1813 1/A was also used on 1831 13/M. But since they also made an 1814 dated die the 1813 die may have been purposeful. It is also interesting to note that 1813 1/A is the only obverse die from this family known to be paired with
multiple reverses. Nearly all varieties are rare, with few being very-scarce or scarce. Only 1833 6/F considered common, and 1814 1/A is currently unknown to survive since Riddell (1845). Only five number punches are known to make the
dates for this family – 1, 3, 4, 5, 8 – suggesting this die sinker was fairly economical. 1833 is the most common date, with seven dies. Two of the Clinton Head varieties, 18141/A and 1833 9/I, were plated in Riddell (1845). This suggests that at
least some of this family was being made before 1845. Given the rarity of these pieces today it is possible that most, if not all, varieties were in circulation but uncommon (either in quantity or by geography) when Riddell published his
monograph. Although still very preliminary, XRF data and Davignon (2010) descriptions on the composition of these varieties suggests a pre- and post-1837 date of manufacture. Some varieties are made of billon/goloid (an alloy widely used
by counterfeiters of silver coins before 1837) while other varieties are made of German silver (an alloy first introduced to the America’s around 1836/7 and adopted by counterfeiters shortly thereafter); other varieties are purported to be made
of brass and copper (Davignon 2010) but the accuracy of this description is unknown. Further, given that only two obverse dies are dated before 1831 the minimum age of origin of this family is 1831. The latest date of manufacture is more
difficult to determine, but given that one variety is dated 1838 this operation was likely still counterfeiting after that date. In general, this counterfeiting group was most likely in operation for several years, and likely operated around the second
half of the 1830s (roughly 1835-1840) during the transition from billon to German silver; additional XRF data from all varieties will help better answer this hypothesis. It would also be interesting to test the hypothesis that this counterfeit family
(and others) used specific metals/alloys at specific times which could indicate different temporal periods of manufacture; the use of more than one metal/alloy for a variety could indicate a transition period and help identify the sequence of
manufacturing.

 

Table 3. Buck-Toothed Eagle

Buck-Toothed Eagle

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes (thin shield lines)

1831

7

(G)

GS

Shared reverse

1835

10

(J)

 

1832

6

(F)

 

Shared reverse

*1833

11

(K)

Bi/Go

1833

(19)

S

 

Shared obverse; backward 1 in date

1833

(19)

BB

 

1830

14

(P)

 

Shared reverse

1833

20

(T)

Bi

1840

3

(D)

 

1830

6

F

 

 

1831

14

N

 

 

1832

7

G

Bi

 

*1832

12

L

Bi

 

1833

29

DD

Bi (GS?)

 

1833

36

JJ

(Br or Cu)

 

1833

42

OO

 

 

1835

2

B

GS+Ag

 

 

The Buck-Tooth(ed) Eagle family has 17 known Davignon varieties dated from 1830 to 1840, although principally dated from 1830 to 1835. The date 1840 is a strange anomaly for this family of counterfeits given that it is dated five years after the
next latest date, it is a fantasy date, and is the only known use of the digit ‘4’ by this counterfeiter/die sinker; this die sinker may have been anticipating bust halves being made in 1840 and prepared such an obverse die while reusing an older-style|
reverse die. This die sinker used seven digits to make all the counterfeits – 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8 – suggesting a die sinker with likely a full suite of number punches. 1833 is the most commonly dated die, with at least six dies. All of the known varieties
are considered rare, very-scarce, or scarce. Two of the Buck-Tooth(ed) Eagle varieties were plated in Riddell’s 1845 monograph, 1832 12/L and 1833 11/K, suggesting that some or all of this family was made before 1845. Although still very
preliminary, the XRF data and Davignon (2010) descriptions on the composition of these varieties suggests a pre- and post-1837 date of manufacture. Some varieties are made of billon/goloid while other varieties are made of German silver;
some varieties are also purported to be made of brass and/or copper (Davignon 2010) but the accuracy of this assumption is unknown. Further, and potentially most intriguing, is that Bastacky’s (2015) results indicated the presence of Iridium
within the alloys of some of these varieties. Iridium is a platinum group element, which, at this time, was really only known from mines in Colombia and lesser so in Ecuador. This trace element could potentially indicate a location of origin for
these counterfeits; varieties from the Mexican Head (Class 1) and Top Gun families are also reported as having Iridium within their alloys. In general, this counterfeiting group was most likely in operation for several years, and likely operated around
the second half of the 1830s (roughly 1835-1840) during the transition from billon to German silver; additional XRF data from all varieties will help better answer this hypothesis.

 

Table 4. Mexican Head (Class 1)

Mexican Head (Class 1)

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1822

3

(C)

(Br)

Shared reverse

1831

2

(B)

 

1832

8

(H)

 

1828

(1)

A

GS (Br)

Shared obverse and reverse

1828

(1)

(P)

(GS)

1825

4

(D)

GS

*1828

4

D

(Bi?)

 

1828

5

E

 

 

1828

7

G

 

 

1828

11

K

 

Gang punches used

1831

8

H

 

 

*1833

2

B

Bi, GS

 

1833

17

Q

 

 

 

The Mexican Head (Class 1) family has 13 known Davignon varieties dated irregularly from 1822 to 1833. The Mexican Head style family is divided into two classes. Class 1 is characterized by rounded-top digits in the date and larger reverse
lettering, and a similar, if not consistently identical portrait style hub punch; the Class 2 family has small, flat-top digits in the date and smaller reverse letters. This die sinker used five digits to make all the counterfeits – 1, 2, 3, 5, 8 – suggesting a
fairly economical counterfeiter. 1828 is the most commonly dated die, with at least five dies; all other known obverse dies have just one or two dies with a different date. The varieties which survive today range from rare to extremely common.
Two varieties from this family were plated in Riddell (1845), 1828 4/D and 1833 2/B; 1833 2/B is the only extremely common variety for this family. Although still very preliminary, the XRF data and Davignon (2010) descriptions on the
composition of these varieties suggests a pre- and post-1837 date of manufacture. At the moment few varieties are known made of billon/goloid while most varieties and examples analyzed are made of German silver or have a brassy appearance.
In general, this counterfeiting family was most likely in operation for a couple years, and likely operated around the end of the 1830s (roughly 1836 and later) during the transition from billon to German silver; additional XRF data from all
varieties will help better answer this hypothesis. Their use of earlier, 1820s, dates could indicate that many of their pieces were weakly struck to signify the appearance of wear.

 

Table 5. Pointed Wing

Pointed Wing

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1829

2

(B)

 

Shared reverse

*1829

11

(B)

(GS)

1829

(8)

O

 

Shared obverse and reverse

1829

(8)

I

(GS)

1829

(8)

(H-P)

GS

1829

15

(H-P)

(Cu)

1811

2

B

 

 

1815

5

F

(Br or GS)

 

1826

1

A

GS

 

1828

17

R

(GS)

 

1829

13

N

 

 

1829

18

S

(GS)

 

 

The Pointed Wing family has 12 known Davignon varieties dated irregularly from 1811 to 1829. This die sinker used six digits to make all the counterfeits – 1, 2, 5, 6, 8, 9 – suggesting a moderately economical counterfeiter. 1829 is the most
commonly dated die, with at least six dies; all other known obverse dies have just one die with a different date. The ‘6’ for 1826 1/A appears to be the same digit as the ‘9’, except turned upside-down. The varieties which survive today range
from rare to very-scarce. One variety from this family, 1829 11/B, was plated in Riddell (1845). Although still very preliminary, the XRF data and Davignon (2010) descriptions on the composition of these varieties suggests a post-1837 date of
manufacture. At the moment all varieties are known or reported in German silver and/or brass/copper alloys, and none are known in billon. This counterfeiting family may have been active for more than one year, and was definitely in
operation before 1845. Their use of earlier, 1820s and 1810s, dated dies could indicate that the detail of the dies was low and/or they were weakly struck thus signifying the appearance of wear, especially since these were made after 1837.

 

Table 6. Ski Nose

Ski Nose

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1817

2

(B)

(GS)

Shared reverse

Reverse A is same as reverse S

1829

1

(A)

 

1830

1

(A-S)

 

1830

17

(A-S)

(GS)

1830

19

U

 

Similar obv. hub portrait as 1830 17/S

1831

1

A

Bi/Go

Same date gang punch as 1831 20/T (Boston?)

1831

20

T

(Br)

Wide top arrows

 

The Ski Nose family has seven known Davignon varieties dated irregularly from 1817 to 1831, although predominately from the 1830s. This die sinker used six digits to make all the counterfeits – 0, 1, 2, 3, 7, 8 – suggesting a moderately
economical counterfeiter. 1830 is the most commonly dated die, with at least three dies, and there are two dies dated 1831. The varieties which survive today range from rare to common; 1831 1/A, the only common variety, may only be
common because of a rumor of a hoard of 15-20 high grade pieces discovered in Boston (date of discovery unknown). No varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). If the origin of manufacture was in/around Boston, this may explain why Riddell,
being so far away in New Orleans, did not record any examples in his monograph – these may have been too geographically distant, and/or were produced late enough that their circulation did not reach New Orleans, if at all, until after 1845.
Preliminary XRF data and Davignon (2010) descriptions on the composition of these varieties indicates a pre- and post-1837 date of manufacture since both billon and German silver alloys were used, along with brass.

 

Table 7. Too Legit to Quit

Too Legit to Quit

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1833

1

(A)

GS, GS+Ag

Shared obverse and reverse

Possible letter edge connection between 1837 2/B, 1838 3/C, 1838 3/E. 1837 2/B almost certainly made from same alloy as 1833 1/A. Overall alloys used by this counterfeiter were quite uniform!

1836

5

(E)

GS

1837

2

(B)

GS

1838

(3)

(C)

GS

1838

(3)

E

GS

 

The Too legit to Quit family has five known Davignon varieties dated from 1833 to 1838. This die sinker used just five digits to make all the counterfeits – 1, 3, 6, 7, 8. Only one obverse die was used for each date. The varieties which survive are
either scarce or extremely common; 1836 5/E is the only scarce variety. No varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). Preliminary XRF data suggest that all varieties were made of German silver, without other alloys known. Their composition is also
remarkably uniform possibly suggesting a highly skilled counterfeiting operation. Given that these pieces are extremely common (overall), are made of German silver, and are not listed in Riddell’s monograph suggest a post-1845 date of
manufacture. Their uniform composition and generally well struck examples may suggest a sophisticated counterfeiting operation, and one which may have operated overseas (such as Birmingham, England).

 

Table 8. Mint Mimicked

Mint Mimicked

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1832

2

(B)

GS, GS+Ag

Shared obverse and reverse

123 dentils

129 dentils

1832

(3)

(B)

GS

1832

(3)

C

 

1832

10

J

 

 

1832

13

M

 

 

 

The Mint Mimicked family has five known Davignon varieties and all are dated 1832. The varieties which survive range from rare to extremely common. Four digits were used to create these counterfeits – 1, 2, 3, 8. No varieties are plated in
Riddell (1845). Preliminary XRF data show that at least 1832 2/B was made of German silver, however the other varieties have yet to be analyzed. This likely indicates a post-1837 (German silver) origin, and possibly a post-1845 (Riddell)
origin given how common some of the varieties are. Their overall high quality in design and manufacturing could suggest that older, non-cancelled Mint dies were used to produce these counterfeits, or a highly sophisticated die engraver
(possibly a former Mint engraver) made these dies.

 

Table 9. Never Too Late

Never Too Late

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1837

1

(A)

 

Shared reverse

1838

7

(H)

 

1842

1

(A)

 

1842

2

(A)

 

1xxx

[?]

(!)

 

 

The Never Too Late family has five known Davignon varieties (one being unvetted) dated from 1837 to 1842; the unvetted variety does not have a discernable date but shares the same reverse as the other four varieties. This die sinker used at least
five digits to make all the counterfeits – 1, 2, 3, 7, 8. Five different obverse dies were used, with one common reverse die. The reverse die is the old-style, lettered-edge type with ‘50 C.’ and not ‘Half Dol.’. The varieties which survive are either
rare or very-scarce. No varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). At the moment there is no information on the metallurgical composition of these pieces. Given that these pieces are all pretty rare and use a fantasy date, 1842, it is likely this
counterfeiter made these after 1845, and these could have been made by a foreigner who may not have known that this style of half dollar stopped being made in 1839.

 

Table 10. Square Tip

Square Tip

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1822

4

D

 

 

1822

5

(E)

 

Shared reverse

1830

16

(R)

 

1830

24

(R)

(GS)

 

The Square Tip family has four known Davignon varieties, two dated 1822 and two dated 1830. This die sinker used just five digits to make all the counterfeits – 0, 1, 2, 3, 8. Four different obverse dies and two different reverse dies are known
for this family. The varieties which survive are either rare or very-scarce; 1822 4/D is the only scarce variety. No varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). Preliminary Davignon (2010) descriptions indicate that 1830 24/R is made of German silver,
although no XRF analysis has been reported or conducted for any of these varieties. If these were all made of German silver they origin would post-date 1837, and possibly 1845 since none are plated in Riddell. In general these varieties are fairly
well made, although seem weakly struck.

 

Table 11. Mexican Head (Class 2)

Mexican Head (Class 2)

(Small, flat-top digits, and small letters)

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1833

18

R

 

 

1835

(9)

I

(Cu)

Shared obverse

1835

(9a)

R

 

1835

16

P

 

 

 

The Mexican Head (Class 2) family has four known Davignon varieties dated 1833 and 1835. This family is similar, but different to the Class 1 type in that the letters and numbers are smaller. The portrait style is similar in design, but used a
distinctly different hub. This die sinker used just four digits to make all the counterfeits – 1, 3, 5, 8. Three obverse and four reverse dies were used to make these varieties. The varieties which survive are either rare or very-scarce; 1833 18/R is
the only very-scarce variety. No varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). Preliminary Davignon (2010) descriptions only indicate that 1835 9/I was made of copper; no other varieties were described and no XRF analysis has been reported for any
of these varieties. The Mexican Head (Class 1) family was likely made during the transition from billon to German silver, and it is likely that these pieces were made around the same time.

 

Table 12. Puckered Lips

Puckered Lips

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1833

14

N

 

 

1833

22

V

 

 

1834

1

(A-T)

GS, GS+Ag, Bi

Shared reverse; both reverses identical

1834

20

(A-T)

(GS)

 

The Puckered Lips family has four known Davignon varieties dated 1833 and 1834. This die sinker used just four digits to make all the counterfeits – 1, 3, 4, 8. Four obverse dies and three reverse dies were used to make these varieties. Three of
the varieties which survive are rare while 1834 1/A-T is considered extremely common. No varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). Preliminary XRF data and cccbhcc.com descriptions for 1834 20/A-T indicate that German silver was used to
produce these varieties; no other alloys are reported at this current time. This likely indicates that these counterfeits were made after 1837.

 

Table 13. Y 1s

Y 1’s

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1813

2

B

 

Third pale gule has three stripes

1815

2

B

(GS)

1818

6

F

(GS)

 

The Y 1s family has three known Davignon varieties dated 1813, 1815, and 1818. This die sinker used just four digits to make all the counterfeits – 1, 3, 5, 8. Three obverse dies and three reverse dies were used to make these varieties. All of the
known varieties are rare. No varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). Preliminary Davignon (2010) descriptions indicate that two of the varieties are made from German silver, although no XRF analysis has been reported from any of these varieties.
This could suggest that these varieties were made after 1837.

 

Table 14. 1821 Counterfeiter

                                                               1821 Counterfeiter

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1821

(2)

B

GS

Shared obverse

1821

(2)

C

 

1821

(2)

E

 

 

The 1821 Counterfeiter family has three known Davignon varieties all dated 1821. This die sinker used just three digits to make all the counterfeits – 1, 2, 8. All three obverses are the same and are paired with three different reverses. 1821 2/B is
common whereas 1821 2/C and 2/E are scarce. No varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). Preliminary XRF analysis indicated 1821 2/B was made of German silver, and possibly brass (Davignon 2010). This suggests that these were most likely
made after 1837.

 

Table 15. Top Gun

                                                                      Top Gun

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

*1822

1

(A)

Ag

Shared reverse

*1823

1

(A)

Bi, Ag

*1825

1

(A)

Bi/Go

 

The Top Gun family has three known Davignon varieties dated 1822, 1823, and 1825. This die sinker used five digits to make all the counterfeits – 1, 2, 3, 5, 8. Three obverse dies and one shared reverse die was used to make these varieties. These
varieties are common or extremely common. All varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). Preliminary XRF analysis suggests that these were made from a variety of metals and alloys, including, but not limited to, silver, oreide, billon and/or goloid;
German silver was not detected during XRF analysis although Davignon (2010) suggests that 1822 1/A and 1823 1/A could be made of German silver. Since all three varieties are plated in Riddell, they are so common, and are so far unknown in
German silver suggests a pre-1837 date of manufacture, and possibly using Mint made dies or hubs given the extremely high quality workmanship.

 

Table 16. Long Neck

Long Neck

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1838

13

(N)

 

Shared reverse

1840

4

(E)

(GS)

1838-O

12

M

 

Same artist

 

The Long Neck family has three known Davignon varieties dated 1838 and 1840, including an 1838-O. This die sinker used five digits to make all the counterfeits – 0, 1, 3, 4, 8. Three obverse dies and two reverses dies are also known. These
varieties are considered rare or very-scarce. No varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). Preliminary cccbhcc.com analysis suggests that 1840 4/E is made of German silver. Overall, this family of counterfeits was likely made after 1837, and more
likely during the early 1840’s given the reverse O mint mark on 1838-O 12/M. A reverse mint mark was not added until Seated Liberty type coins starting in 1839.

 

Table 17. 1815 Counterfeiter

1815 Counterfeiter

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1815

(4)

D

(Br)

Shared obverse

1815

(4)

E

(Cu)

 

The 1815 Counterfeiter family has two known Davignon varieties all dated 1815. This die sinker used three digits to make all the counterfeits – 1, 5, 8. One obverse die was paired with two reverse dies. These varieties are all rare. None of these
varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). Preliminary Davignon (2010) descriptions suggest that both are made from copper and/or bronze with a silver wash. As of yet it is unknown when silver plated/washed copper/bronze planchets were
commonly done in counterfeiting. Therefore the relative ago of production is currently unknown.

 

Table 18. Backward S’s

Backward S’s (in PLURIBUS)

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1823

4

(D)

 

Shared reverse

1824

1

(A)

Bi, Ag

 

The Backward S’s family has two known Davignon varieties dated 1823 and 1824. This die sinker used five digits to make all the counterfeits – 1, 2, 3, 4, 8. Two obverse dies were paired with one reverse die. 1823 4/D is considered rare while
1824 1/A is considered common. None of these varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). Preliminary XRF analysis suggests that 1824 1/A was made primarily of silver, which may indicate a pre-1837 period of manufacture. The Backwards S is
located in the word PLURIBUS within the scroll.

 

Table 19. 1830 Counterfeiter

1830 Counterfeiter

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1830

(2)

B

GS, GS+Ag

Shared obverse

1830

(2)

N

 

 

The 1830 Counterfeiter family has two known Davignon varieties all dated 1830. This die sinker used four digits to make all the counterfeits – 0, 1, 3, 8. One obverse die was paired with two reverse dies. 1830 2/B is considered common while
1830 2/N is considered very-scarce. None of these varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). Preliminary XRF analysis shows 1830 2/B was made of German silver, and suggests a post-1837 date of counterfeiting.

 

Table 20. Smushed 8s

Smushed 8’s

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1831

3

(C)

GS

Shared reverse

1833

16

(P)

 

 

The Smushed 8s family has two known Davignon varieties dated 1831 and 1833. This die sinker used three digits to make all the counterfeits – 1, 3, 8. Two obverse dies were paired with one reverse die. 1831 3/C is considered scarce while
1833 16/P is considered very-scarce. None of these varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). Preliminary XRF analysis shows 1831 3/C was made of German silver, and suggests a post-1837 date of counterfeiting.

 

Table 21. 1833 Counterfeiter

                                                              1833 Counterfeiter

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1833

24

(X)

 

Shared reverse; 1833 41/X is the same variety as 1833 33/X

1833

33

(X)

GS

 

The 1833 Counterfeiter family has two known Davignon varieties all dated 1833. This die sinker used three digits to make all the counterfeits – 1, 3, 8. Two obverse dies and one shared reverse die was used to make these varieties. These varieties
are either rare or very-scarce. 1833 24/X is known by only one piece, and it has a dramatic obverse die crack across the obverse; this may indicate that this die broke shortly after being used. None of these varieties are plated in Riddell (1845).
Preliminary Davignon (2010) descriptions suggest that 1833 33/X is made of German silver. This would suggest that these counterfeits were all made after 1837.

 

Table 22. Late Comer

Late Comer

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1837

11

(K)

(GS)

Shared reverse

1838

10

(K)

 

 

The Late Comer family has two known Davignon varieties dated 1837 and 1838. This die sinker used four digits to make all the counterfeits – 1, 3, 7, 8. Two obverse dies were paired with one common reverse die. 1837 11/K is considered rare
while 1838 10/K is considered very-scarce. None of these varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). Preliminary Davignon (2010) description suggests 1837 11/K is made of German silver. If so, this could indicate a post-1837 period of
counterfeiting.

 

Table 23. Fantasy

Fantasy

Date

Obverse

Reverse

Alloy

Notes

1840

(1)

A

 

Shared obverse

1840

(1)

B

 

 

The Fantasy family has two known Davignon varieties both dated 1840. This die sinker used four digits to make all the counterfeits – 0, 1, 4, 8. One obverse die was paired with two reverse dies. Both varieties are considered rare. None of these
varieties are plated in Riddell (1845). At the moment neither variety has been analyzed for composition, although their period of manufacture is likely post-1845. Further, this family may have been made by a foreigner who was unaware that this
style of half dollar stopped being made in 1839. This counterfeiter, it is speculated, may have made earlier dated counterfeit half dollars.

 

 

1 Colors highlighting the Date/Obverse/Reverse represent relative rarity (Davignon scale) based upon the cccbhcc.com census information; Red is rare (1-2 known), Orange is very-scarce (3-5 known), Yellow is scarce (6-9 known), Green is
common (10-19 known), Blue is very common (20-49 known), and Purple is extremely common (50+ known).

 

2 Dates with an ‘*’ to the left of them are identified in Riddell (1845).

 

3 Parentheses around Obverse numbers or Reverse letters represent shared dies.

 

4 Alloys listed come from the Harvey Bastacky collection, the Mark Glazer collection, and the Winston Zack collection and should be considered preliminary results until more examples are analyzed. Alloys listed in parentheses are from
Davignon (2010), cccbhcc.com, or Riddell (1845), and are considered best-guess estimates until metallurgical analysis is conducted.

 

5Alloy abbreviations: GS (German silver), Bi (billon), Cu (copper), Ag (silver), Br (bronze), Go (goloid).

 

 

References:

 

Bastacky, Harvey. August 2015. Contemporary Counterfeit Bust Halves and their Composition. ccCBHcc.com.

 

ccCBHcc.com. 2015. Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Collectors Club.

 

Davignon, Keith. 2010. Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Dollars. 2nd Edition.

 

Davignon, Keith. 1996. Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Dollars.

 

Evans, Phil J. 1993. An Estimate of ‘The Survivors’. John Reich Journal 7(3).

 

Gurney, Robert. 2014. Counterfeit Portrait Eight Reales, the Un-Real Reales. Swamperbob Associates. Hope Mills, NC.

 

Kleeberg, John. 2000. Appendix 2: Flowing Hair and Draped Bust Counterfeit Half Dollars in the ANS Collection. Coinage of the Americas Conference, American Numismatic Society, New York.

 

Riddell, J. L. 1845. A Monograph of the Silver Dollar: Good and Bad.

 

Schmidt, Larry. March 2013. An Attempt to Solve Another Mystery. ccCBHcc.com.

 

Scuderi, Louis and Schmidt, Larry. March 2015. A Bigger Family – Part 2. ccCBHcc.com

 

Scuderi, Louis and Schmidt, Larry. November 2014. A Bigger Family – Part 1. ccCBHcc.com

   

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Look What Was Unearthed in New Hampshire! by Kathy P. - November 2015 (2)
         
I was out at a sports field here in New Hampshire and was slowly working my way back to my car when I got a signal that my detector told me was a 50 cent piece. I pinpointed and dug a hole, and found... a nail.
Then I used my handheld pin-pointer and found that there was another metal item on the side of the hole I'd dug, about 6 inches down. I loosened the dirt a bit with my fingers, and I saw the edge of the coin, but
figured it was an old buckle, as I've found several of those in this area. I pulled out the item, and to my surprise, it was a large coin, covered in dirt, that looked to be made of copper. After wiping the dirt off a bit, I
could make out 50c and United States on the reverse. I was thrilled! Happy with my digging that day, I left the site and headed home. I ran the coin under water and let it dry on a soft cloth, and did some research.
Immediately when I found that this coin should have been made of silver, I was suspicious of its authenticity. I dug around on the Internet for a while, and came across ccCBHcc.com, and emailed the website. A
response was received with a wealth of knowledge including identification of the coin as a variety 1821 2/E that at one time would have likely had a deceptive silver wash. My suspicions were confirmed that indeed
this was a contemporary counterfeit coin. So cool!  
  

   

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Our Hobby’s Iceberg *  by Larry Schmidt - November 2015 (1)

Within our hobby there is what may be considered our hobby’s iceberg, the 1845 publication A Monograph of the Silver Dollar: Good and Bad by J. L. Riddell, an employee of the New Orleans US Mint.  This 
publication pictured obverses and reverses with brief descriptions "alerting banks, commerce, and all other readers" of 38 Capped Bust half dollar struck and cast counterfeits dated 1814 to 1839.  Why can 
John Leonard Riddell’s publication today be considered our hobby’s iceberg?  J. L. Riddell's identification of 38 counterfeit Capped Bust half dollars was just the tip of the iceberg!   The 1845 reporting of 38
counterfeit Capped Bust halves is very much like an iceberg's 10% visibility above the waterline of the real size of the iceberg, that is Riddell's identification of the 38 counterfeits had just about 10% visibility
of the now identified 372 contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half dollar varieties known today (i.e. see Census Section of this website to review the 372 current known varieties as of the
June 1, 2015 census)!  

J. L. Riddell's 1845 publication has other interests for fellow collectors too.  Perhaps simply pointing to the difference of contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half variety survival rates, relatively few specimens
of the 38 counterfeit varieties identified by Riddell have been rediscovered
!  Identified clearly enough from Riddell’s pictured obverses and reverses all but one of the 38 counterfeits can be vetted to distinct
Davignon varieties for collectors today.  Of the 37 Riddell / Davignon identifiable contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half dollar varieties; a
) six vetted varieties have yet to have any known specimens found,
b) 18 vetted varieties have rare rarity (i.e. 1 to 2 known specimens), c) five vetted varieties have very scarce rarity (i.e. 3 to 5 known specimens), d) one vetted variety has a scarce rarity (i.e. 6 to 9 known specimens), e) two
vetted varieties have common rarity (i.e. 10 to 19 known specimens), f) two vetted varieties have very common rarity (i.e. 20 to 49 known specimens), and g) two vetted varieties have extremely common rarity (i.e. 50+ known
specimens)
.  These rarity breakdowns are even more interesting considering that today when it is felt just ten "most common" contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half dollar varieties comprise approximately half 
of all surviving contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust half specimens 
only four of the ten "most common" varieties are identified in the 1845 Riddell publication! (See the Most Common Davignon Varieties section
and the Collectors Corner November, 2012 article When Were Davignons Really Minted? on this website.)
 

Note - Fellow collectors can find A Monograph of the Silver Dollar: Good and Bad by J. L. Riddell available as a hardcover reprint.  An original copy can be viewed on-line via the Newman Numismatic Portal,
Washington University in St. Louis at https://nnp.wustl.edu/library/book/528985 and page forward to entries beginning at number 426)
.


*  The stimulus for this article was the recent rediscovery of the second specimen of Riddell's 1845 Monograph No. 456, also known as the Davignon 1830 5/E variety.

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A Bigger Family - Part 3  - by Winston Zack   August 2015 (2) 

Keith Davignon, in the 2nd edition of his book "Contemporary Counterfeit Capped Bust Half Dollars" made many connections between shared obverse and reverse dies as well as stylistic "Families" where the
same artist and/or punch styles were used to create the multiple hand-cut die-struck counterfeits. Currently there are more than 300 known hand-cut die-struck contemporary counterfeit Capped Bust style half
dollar die marriages known, and that list grows every year with new discoveries. As such, it is difficult to match up all the known counterfeit Bust half dollar die marriages to their respective Families. But,
progress is being made by dedicated researchers. Here I present on a known, but growing Family of contemporary counterfeit Bust half dollars.

Davignon noted that 1829 2/B and 1829 11/B share the same reverse, and that 1829 8/H, 8/I and 8/O share the same obverse. He also noted that 1829 13/N, 15/P, and 18/S were stylistically similar - "very likely
coined by the same counterfeiter". But there's more to the story than just these counterfeits dated 1829. More dates are involved in this Family of counterfeits.

The most striking attribute for this family, in my opinion, is the unique style of '8' in the date with it's tilted 'D'-shaped inner loops. On the reverse, the eagle's shield lines, and reverse lettering are also fairly
unique to this Family. Given these similar stylistic characteristics, the following dates and die marriages are added to this Family: 1811 2/B, 1815 5/F, 1826 1/A, 1828 17/R (newly discovered).

Further, and unless I am mistaken, 1829 15/P shares the same reverse as 1829 8/H. It is also possible that 1828 17/R shares a reverse with one of these known die marriages in this family, but since it was
double-struck it is presently difficult to distinguish.

Below is the list of all known family members at the moment:

1811 2/B

1815 5/F

1826 1/A

1828 17/R

1829 2/B (Shared reverse with 1829 11/B)

1829 11/B

1829 8/H-P (Reverse H and P are identical, in my opinion)

1829 15/H-P

1829 8/I

1829 8/O (Three shared obverse dies)

1829 13/N

1829 18/S

(1833 38/LL may tentatively match)

 

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CONTEMPORARY COUNTERFEIT BUST HALVES AND THEIR COMPOSITION by Harvey Bastacky - August 2015 (1)  (with February 2016  and December 2016 updates)

Collecting Contemporary Counterfeit Bust Half Dollars has become more popular since the publication of Keith Davignon's book identifying and attributing most of the known counterfeit pieces. Pieces that are not in the books are still being discovered so collecting them is still in a
stage of infancy.  With the new technology out there today, there is a "gun" that when directed at any metal will non destructively determine the composition of any metal or combination of metals, or alloys through XRF technology. It is used extensively today by jewelers to determine
gold content and authenticity.

I had most of my collection of contemporary counterfeit Bust Half Dollars (i.e. I have accumulated about 94 pieces) tested and generated the attached chart below which shows the percentages of the metals used to produce each coin. The metals consisted of  copper (CU), nickel (NI),
zinc (ZN), lead (PB), iridium (IR), gold (AU), silver (AG) and tin (SN).

The counterfeiters used every imaginable metal composition to produce these coins. I have identical varieties of some pieces and each has a different composition!  I noticed from the data that most of the early pieces before 1835 contained at least some silver, perhaps to help the alloy
look more like silver.  After 1837 when German silver was developed, the counterfeiters stopped using silver and used the German silver alloy (
i.e. in 1837 Dr. Feuchwanger produced one-cent and three-cent trial pieces to promote the United States adopting German silver as an official metal for coins
which was followed by many bogus halves dated 1837 and 1838 
appearing to be made of the same composition).

Date

Variety

Family

Cast/Struck

Appearance

Analyses

CU

NI

ZN

PB

IR

AU

AG

SN

Total %

Rarity

Comments: XRF Capped Bust Analyses - 1/5/16 update

XRF CAPPED BUST HALVES ANALYSES  UPDATE 7/5/2016

 

 

 

 

1806/5

??

C

silver

1

1

2.20

97.70

99.90

R

unvetted

1818

2/B

S

German silver

1

56.20

11.97

27.10

2.74

1.27

99.28

1818

10/J

S

billon

1

1

29.00

3.50

66.00

98.50

R

WAS NOT identified in silver in ccCBHcc.com vetting

1820

1/A

S

German silver

1

58.00

14.00

24.00

0.10

96.10

S

Identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1820

2/B

S

silver

1

31.17

 

 

 

6.20

0.90

61.20

 

99.47

1821

2/B

1821 Counterfeiter

S

German silver

1

52.90

12.02

32.45

1.37

98.74

VS

Identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1821

2/B

1821 Counterfeiter

S

German silver

1

55.00

10.00

31.00

0.40

96.40

VS

Identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1821

3/D

S

copper

1

99.00

99.00

R

Identified in copper and German silver in 2nd Edition

1822

1/A

Top Gun

S

silver

1

1

3.00

93.00

96.00

C

 

1822

2/B

S

billon

1

1

50.00

7.10

41.00

98.10

VS

1823

1/A

Top Gun

S

billon

1

1

VF

58.00

5.00

6.20

1.30

28.00

98.50

EC

1823

1/A

 

 

AG

55.14

5.19

3.99

34.90

99.22

1823

6/F

S

German silver

1

1

55.00

11.00

25.00

2.80

93.80

R+

Identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1824

1/A

Backward S's

S

billon

1

1

20.30

2.30

76.80

99.40

C

1824

2/B

C

billon

 

 

26.02

4.20

5.06

63.90

99.18

VS

SILVER

1824

3/C

S

German silver

1

1

3.02

0.94

95.80

99.76

R+

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1824

CH CFT

chinese cft

na

German silver

1

59.70

1.20

37.80

98.70

 

Modern Fake

1825

1/A

Top Gun

S

billon

1

1

24.00

2.90

3.50

 

68.00

98.40

EC

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1825

1/A

Top Gun

S

billon

1

1

23.00

2.20

4.60

67.00

96.80

EC

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1825

1/A

Top Gun

S

billon

1

1

41.00

5.00

5.30

46.00

97.30

EC

1825

1/A

Top Gun

S

billon

1

1

30.00

4.60

5.20

1.20

58.20

99.20

EC

1825

4/D

Mexican Head (Class 1)

S

German silver

1

57.00

9.20

28.70

2.99

 

97.89

VS

1825

7/G

S

German silver with yellow tint

1

1

36.67

5.92

14.12

39.85

96.56

S

1825

8/H

S

1

1

26.60

73.30

 

99.90

R

1826

CH CFT

chinese cft

na

1

8.50

0.60

99.90

90.8 iron  magnetic

1826

1/A

Pointed Wing

S

German silver

1

67.60

8.23

21.35

1.46

98.64

VS

Identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1826

4/D

S

BILLON

1

1

34.00

4.50

0.90

59.00

98.40

VS

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1827

4/D

C

SILVER

1

1

1.70

97.00

98.70

VS

WAS NOT identified in silver in 2nd Edition

1827

5/E

C

1

1

13.00

84.00

97.00

R

1828

1/A

Mexican Head (Class 1)

S

German silver

1

61.00

12.00

24.00

97.00

S

Identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1828

6/F

S

German silver

1

1

56.00

12.00

25.00

2.90

95.90

VS

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1828

10/J

C

lead

1

1

99.90

99.90

S

WAS NOT identified in lead in 2nd Edition

1828

10/J

C

lead

1

1

99.90

99.90

S

WAS NOT identified in lead in 2nd Edition

1828

10/J

C

tin, looks like aluminum

1

1

21.39

5.33

23.60

12.54

26.73

99.92

S

tin 26.73

1829

7/G

S

goloid

1

1

56.50

15.30

27.10

 

98.90

VS

1829

8/H

Pointed Wing

S

German silver

1

1

61.30

11.40

23.00

2.70

0.70

 

99.10

VS

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1829

9/J

C

SILVER

 

 

2.00

 

 

0.20

97.00

99.20

1829/7

16/Q

S

SILVER

1

1

3.25

 

 

96.00

 

99.25

R

WAS NOT identified in silver in 2nd Edition

1830

2/B

1830 Counterfeiter

S

German silver

1

1

64.00

12.00

14.00

0.46

7.70

 

98.16

C

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1830

22/X

S

German silver

1

52.90

9.10

33.10

1.48

 

96.58

R

1830

26/AA

S

billon

1

1

1

15.00

3.00

6.10

3.40

71.00

 

98.50

R

Identified as unknown metal with silver wash in New Discovery Section of ccCBHcc.com

1830

27/BB

S

brass

1

85.00

9.30

0.98

2.80

0.40

 

98.48

R

Identified in brass in New Discovery Section of ccCBHcc.com

1831

1/A

Ski Nose

S

billon

1

1

38.80

7.50

1.50

50.90

 

98.70

VC

Identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1831

3/C

Smushed 8's

S

German silver

1

57.19

7.92

28.30

1.33

1.34

2.28

98.36

S

sn2.28

1831/3

7/G

Buck Toothed Eagle

S

German silver

1

1

66.00

7.60

19.70

2.53

 

95.83

VS  D/S

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1832

1/A

S

German silver

1

59.06

14.09

24.55

1.77

 

99.47

C

1832

1/A

S

German silver

1

1

52.00

9.60

34.00

0.80

2.00

 

 

98.40

C

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1832

2/B

Mint Mimicked

S

German silver

1

59.70

12.00

26.50

 

98.20

C  D/S

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1832

3/B

Mint Mimicked

S

German silver

1

62.50

11.20

24.50

 

0.50

 

98.70

C

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1832

5/E

S

German silver

 

52.85

11.30

30.10

2.97

97.22

1832

7/G

Buck Toothed Eagle

S

billon

1

1

28.17

1.88

7.95

60.38

 

98.38

VS

1832

7/G

Buck Toothed Eagle

S

billon

1

1

49.50

13.00

11.50

23.00

 

97.00

VS

1832

12/L

Buck Toothed Eagle

S

billon

1

1

24.80

1.10

3.60

 

69.00

 

98.50

VS

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1832

12/L

Buck Toothed Eagle

S

billon

 

 

35.98

0.70

3.80

57.00

97.48

1832

19/T

C

brass

1

1

78.00

18.20

2.80

 

99.00

R

WAS NOT identified in brass in 2nd Edition

1833

1/A

Too Legit To Quit

S

billon

1

1

42.50

13.11

14.00

26.00

 

95.61

EC

1833

1/A

Too Legit To Quit

S

German silver

1

57.00

14.00

25.00

1.30

 

97.30

EC

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1833

1/A

Too Legit To Quit

S

German silver

 

56.80

11.50

28.00

1.15

97.45

EC

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1833

2/B

Mexican Head (Class 1)

S

billon

1

1

53.00

9.70

1.90

33.60

 

98.20

VC

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1833

2/B

Mexican Head (Class 1)

S

German Silver

1

54.00

18.80

25.00

 

97.80

VC

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1833/0

3/C

S

copper or brass?

1

90.00

 

6.00

1.90

 

97.90

S

WAS NOT identified in copper nor brass in 2nd Edition

1833

4/D

S

German silver

1

57.00

13.40

25.00

1.90

 

97.30

VS

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1833

6/F

Clinton Head

S

German silver

1

66.80

8.50

21.50

 

 

 

 

96.80

C

WAS NOT identified in brass in 2nd Edition

1833

8/H

S

German silver

1

59.00

14.90

24.00

1.30

 

99.20

VS

WAS NOT identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1833

11/K

Buck Toothed Eagle

S

billon

1

1

27.00

3.60

11.00

1.90

54.00

 

97.50

VS

1833

20/T

Buck Toothed Eagle

S

billon

1

1

54.70

4.20

11.20

26.90

 

97.00

S

1833

29/DD

Buck Toothed Eagle

S

billon

1

1

1

48.60

2.90

8.20

40.20

 

99.90

R

Identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1834

1/A

Puckered Lips

S

billon

1

1

49.22

8.30

17.10

2.00

 

16.84

5.4

98.86

VC

sn5.4

1834

1/A

Puckered Lips

S

German silver with yellow tint

1

1

38.89

8.15

7.36

 

 

40.40

4.49

99.29

VC

sn4.49

1834

1/A

Puckered Lips

S

German silver

1

1

56.90

14.50

24.60

2.60

98.60

VC

Identified in German silver in 2nd Edition

1834

5/E

S

German silver

1