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  1. #1
    Kentucky Kache

    Defaced coins (old newspaper article)

    From old newspaper (1898)

    A Federal law has gone into effect concerning which the
    average citizen knows but little. It is an act approved March
    2, 1897, providing that gold and silver coins shall not be
    mutilated, defaced, diminished, falsified, scaled or lightened
    and a penalty of five years imprisonment and a $2000 fine is
    fixed for such offence. It is also contrary to attempt to pass any
    coin that is disfigured or lightened, the same penalty being
    prescribed for this offense as for the other. Hereafter the
    possessor of a perforated or mutilated coin must not attempt to
    pass it, even for a less sum than it's face value. Beware of bad
    coins; they may get you into trouble. This law applies, it is
    presumed, to church contributions for preachers.

    (end of article)

    With such a stiff penalty, I wonder what most people did with coins like this.

  2. #2
    Charter Member
    us
    Oct 2007
    Summit County, CO
    White's DFX, White's Classic 1 Coinmaster
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    Re: Defaced coins (old newspaper article)

    Strange, I was just reading something about this while looking up coin prices. The main intent of the law I believe was to prevent folks from shaving silver and gold from coins. It all applied to fraudulent intent. If you were converting a coin to represent a different (and more valuable) denomination, you were in trouble. Converting coins into rings, making buttons out of buffalo nickels, carving 'hobo' nickels, is apparently not illegal, as I understood it, as long as you are not trying to defraud anyone.
    Just like Texas in 1880.

  3. #3
    Kentucky Kache

    Re: Defaced coins (old newspaper article)

    Quote Originally Posted by RGINN
    Strange, I was just reading something about this while looking up coin prices. The main intent of the law I believe was to prevent folks from shaving silver and gold from coins. It all applied to fraudulent intent. If you were converting a coin to represent a different (and more valuable) denomination, you were in trouble. Converting coins into rings, making buttons out of buffalo nickels, carving 'hobo' nickels, is apparently not illegal, as I understood it, as long as you are not trying to defraud anyone.
    What do think most people would had done if the got hold of a coin that had been tampered with? After reading that article, I would have been afraid to spend such a coin.

  4. #4
    Charter Member
    us
    Oct 2007
    Summit County, CO
    White's DFX, White's Classic 1 Coinmaster
    5,433
    1305 times

    Re: Defaced coins (old newspaper article)

    You're pretty much right on that, double K. Most storekeepers wouldn't have accepted them in the old days and most folks wouldn't have wanted them in change. (just like I don't want the Canadian quarters they try to foist off on me) I have one modern quarter, which is still perfectly legal tender, that is stamped 'WORTH $25 IN STORE' on it, and I sure would like to figure out what store that is.
    Just like Texas in 1880.

  5. #5

    Mar 2007
    south central ohio
    White's Spectrum XLT
    981
    11 times
    Honorable Mentions (1)

    Re: Defaced coins (old newspaper article)

    saw some JFK halves while roll hunting once that had bullet holes inthe heads.... very sad, eerie, wrong and did i mention sad

  6. #6
    us
    Feb 2006
    GARRETT PRO
    10,896
    924 times

    Re: Defaced coins (old newspaper article)

    Some defaced coins such as the 'Hobo Nickles' are highly collectable and range from a few bucks to many thousands of dollars...many created from the Civil War period thru the 1930's Depression era...
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    The more one learns the more he understands his ignorance. I am simply an ignor ant man trying to lessen his ignorance
    Those with the most birthdays live the longest

  7. #7
    us
    I deal in reality

    Mar 2010
    Maryland
    XLT , surfmaster PI , HAYS 2Box , VIBRA-TECTOR
    7,846
    1938 times

    Re: Defaced coins (old newspaper article)

    Heck, they have machines that roll impressions on to pennies in Disney world and other places so it must be legal to modify coins.
    By the way, I think the Canadian coins are worth more than ours now.
    Did you ever notice that Mexican 5cent coins are the same size as our quarter!

 

 

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