I found a coin that is 3 inches in diameter. It has a ONE DOLLAR
denomination, says UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, has the legends IN GOD WE
TRUST and E PLURIBUS UNUM, and is dated 1900. Lady Liberty is on one
side of the coin and there is an eagle on the other. Its edge is 3/16
of an inch thick, and it weighs 58.2 grams. Does this piece have any
collectible value or history?
West Valley, N.Y.
Based upon the images sent and measurements provided, it appears
Mr. Boccolucci’s piece it is an oversized replica of a 1900 Morgan
A genuine Morgan dollar would be composed of 90 percent silver,
have a diameter of 1.5 inches and an overall weight of 26.73 grams.
As for the history and value of this piece, a great number of U.S.
coins, both famous and common, have been reproduced in varying sizes
and compositions by private companies over the years, usually for sale
as novelties and souvenirs.
Because the piece is twice the weight and diameter of a genuine
Morgan dollar, it likely was not intended to be passed as a
counterfeit. This particular piece would be a good conversation piece
or decorative item, but has no real value as a numismatic collectible.
I’ve had this ancient coin for many years and would like to know
what it is worth.
This item is not actually a coin, nor is it ancient.
Though heavily corroded, enough details still exist on the piece
that an expert eye would likely determine it to be a uniform button
dating to the period just prior to the War of 1812.
The front of the piece shows an eagle, head facing left, atop a
cannon, the muzzle of which is also pointed to the left. The legend 1.
REGT. appears below the cannon. The design and inscription of the
button indicate the wearer was a member of the U.S. 1st Regiment of Artillery.
The other side has the stamped, circular legend ARMITAGE / PHILA.,
denoting the manufacturer.
The metal loop, or “eye,” on the back of the piece, upon which the
button would have been threaded to a uniform, has broken off.
One valuable resource for items of this sort is the book
Record of American Uniform and Historical Buttons by
Alphaeus H. Albert, first published in 1969.
Like coins, the value of uniform buttons depends on their degree
of rarity and condition.
A photo of a similar, better condition button can be found at www.civilwarbuttons.com/artillery.htm.
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