New site with early coppers and a unusual US Large Cent

Cape Hunter

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May 17, 2019
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Found a site with lots of iron signals in the middle of the woods by luck. Probably a small homesite, but with a pretty good walk to get fresh water. So far a number of interesting items besides these coins which I will post soon. Coins all found near where I think the home sat on a knoll. Three half pennies and a 1749 farthing. The 1787 Connecticut State coin is my favorite. Large US draped bust which looks like 1798 by the last two numbers of the date. King George II half penny date hard to read.

The odd find is this shiny silver like US Large One Cent. Braided hair from what I can see. Placed it next to a large cent I found a while ago elsewhere. Funny, the sliver one rings 17 on my Equinox 800, the large cent on the right rings 30. Coin was fairly deep, but somewhat shiny in the hole making me think it was silver at first. But a with a ring of 17 for a coin this size is certainly not silver or even copper. Maybe pewter. Dropped on a stone counter, the faux silver coin rings actually higher than the copper? Tombac? I seem to have luck finding counterfeit coins here on the cape. Must have been interesting or dangerous doing business with the locals here.
 

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Upvote 24

Hunk-a-lead

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Dec 20, 2020
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Found a site with lots of iron signals in the middle of the woods by luck. Probably a small homesite, but with a pretty good walk to get fresh water. So far a number of interesting items besides these coins which I will post soon. Coins all found near where I think the home sat on a knoll. Three half pennies and a 1749 farthing. The 1787 Connecticut State coin is my favorite. Large US draped bust which looks like 1798 by the last two numbers of the date. King George II half penny date hard to read.

The odd find is this shiny silver like US Large One Cent. Braided hair from what I can see. Placed it next to a large cent I found a while ago elsewhere. Funny, the sliver one rings 17 on my Equinox 800, the large cent on the right rings 30. Coin was fairly deep, but somewhat shiny in the hole making me think it was silver at first. But a with a ring of 17 for a coin this size is certainly not silver or even copper. Maybe pewter. Dropped on a stone counter, the faux silver coin rings actually higher than the copper? Tombac? I seem to have luck finding counterfeit coins here on the cape. Must have been interesting or dangerous doing business with the locals here.
great saves, wtg
 

paleomaxx

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Aug 14, 2016
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Upstate, NY
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I've found a number of pewter copies of large cents recently and my theory is that they were used as gaming tokens or chips similar to the spade guinea gaming tokens.

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The spade guinea tokens were manufactured in Europe and used from the the late 1700's at least through the mid 1800's, but a number have been found here on the East Coast so the games they were used in were almost certainly played here as well. I think that players here who couldn't obtain the manufactured tokens either because of scarcity or cost, would simply make their own using large cents as patterns and casting copies from scrap pewter.

The last photo above is a negative impression of a large cent I found in a pewter blob and the cast copy above it was found at the same site so I think it represents either an early attempt or simply the occupant playing around with his casting materials. The silver color would obviously distinguish them in trade so it seems unlikely that they were intended to be passed off in commerce and I find them often enough and in different regions. The varying degrees of quality in the manufacture also hints that it was individuals as opposed to a commercial source of manufacture. Yours is the first that I've seen of a braided hair pewter large cent so the practice may have continued up until the smaller cents became common. Very cool find!
 
OP
Cape Hunter

Cape Hunter

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May 17, 2019
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Thank you Paleomaxx!
I was hoping there was a reason for this coin. I could not figure why someone would make a copy of a coin using a metal that would never pass as a real US coin. You can see why I was stumped again.

Couple of years ago I broke open one of these iron cast plates finding a coin inside. It was a pewter King George II half penny. It cleaned up silver like. Saved the second cast with another coin still in it. A Boston newspaper article in 1739 mentions some pewter King George II half pennies showing up at some business shops. Also mentions that they were not very convincing. I would agree looking at this one.
 

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Digger RJ

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Aug 24, 2017
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SW Missouri/Oklahoma
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Found a site with lots of iron signals in the middle of the woods by luck. Probably a small homesite, but with a pretty good walk to get fresh water. So far a number of interesting items besides these coins which I will post soon. Coins all found near where I think the home sat on a knoll. Three half pennies and a 1749 farthing. The 1787 Connecticut State coin is my favorite. Large US draped bust which looks like 1798 by the last two numbers of the date. King George II half penny date hard to read.

The odd find is this shiny silver like US Large One Cent. Braided hair from what I can see. Placed it next to a large cent I found a while ago elsewhere. Funny, the sliver one rings 17 on my Equinox 800, the large cent on the right rings 30. Coin was fairly deep, but somewhat shiny in the hole making me think it was silver at first. But a with a ring of 17 for a coin this size is certainly not silver or even copper. Maybe pewter. Dropped on a stone counter, the faux silver coin rings actually higher than the copper? Tombac? I seem to have luck finding counterfeit coins here on the cape. Must have been interesting or dangerous doing business with the locals here.
Very Cool!!! Congrats!!!
 

lenmac65

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Jul 28, 2009
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Massachusetts
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What a great mix of coins. That CT copper is fantastic. Congrats!
 

JeffInMass

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Jan 14, 2006
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Amazing finds neighbor- Congrats!!
 

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